1/2 pound ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 ounces canned diced green chiles
14-ounce cans seasoned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white shoepeg corn, drained
2 limes, juiced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 cups cooked white rice
1 cup (4 ounces) grated white Cheddar or Cotija cheese
1/2 bunch green onions, trimmed and sliced
Salsa of choice
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
FRESH cilantro, for garnish

  • Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-low heat, rendering all of the fat until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Drain, reserving fat and set aside.
  • Increase the heat to medium and add the onions to rendered fat. Stir, then cook until soft, translucent and lightly brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the chili powder and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the green chiles and black beans.
  • Stir and continue cooking to heat through, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and mash with a fork, potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Or, for a smooth consistency, puree in a food processor, add 2 to 4 tablespoons water to the puree if it seems too dry.
  • Stir in corn and ground beef.
  • Stir in the juice of 1 lime and season with salt.
    To serve, fill one side of a serving bowl with refried beans. Fill the other side with cooked rice.
  • Garnish with cheese, salsa and scallions.
  • Scatter the jalapeno slices and cilantro on top.

HOMEMADE TORTILLAS adapted from Molly Yeh

2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup avocado oil

  • Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Add the oil and mix until coarse and mealy.
  • Stir in 3/4 cup water to form a dough.
  • Turn it out onto a surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until a smooth, slightly sticky dough is formed, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a dry skillet over medium heat.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll them out on a lightly-floured surface until they’re really thin, keeping the remaining dough balls covered. I like a 1/16- or 1/8-inch thickness but wouldn’t turn down a 3/16-inch-thick one.
  • Cook them in the skillet on both sides until they’re just starting to show some brown spots, 45 seconds to 1 minute per side.
  • Keep warm in a towel until ready to serve.


The meatball mixture can be made ahead of time you can even shape them like I did into squares using my Joie silicone ice cube tray and then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re to ready to use them.

Adapted from Marley Spoon’s Anna Painter


4 ounces sun dried tomato pesto
2 ounces (regular) pesto
2 ounces cream cheese
2 cups (dry) penne pasta
1/4 cup panko crumbs
4 ounces ricotta
scant 3/4 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped parsley
½ pound green beans
1 small shallot, FINELY chopped
FRESH ground sea salt & ground pepper
avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter

  • Preheat oven to 450° and arrange rack into the center position.
  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Trim green beans, then cut or snap in half.
  • Finely chop parsley leaves and stems.
  • In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, ricotta, panko crumbs, 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper to taste. Gentle knead to blend.
Shape beef into 6-8 meatballs of about 2 tablespoons each. Choose your shape round or square – I use square if I’m making them in advance because I use silicone molds to freeze them in.
  • Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil.
  • Bake on center oven rack until browned on the bottom and cooked through, 10–12 minutes.
  • While meatballs bake, add pasta to boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost al dente, about 8 minutes.
  • Add green beans to the pot with the pasta, and continue cooking another 4 minutes until pasta is al dente’ and green beans are tender. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and green beans.
  • Place drained pasta and beans over the butter in a bowl. Toss to coat.
  • Return the pot to the burner and add oil in same pot over medium-high.
  • Add shallots and a pinch each of salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring, until softened.
  • Add cream cheese, pesto, sun dried tomato pesto, and reserved cooking water.
  • Cook, whisking, until cream cheese is incorporated and sauce is smooth, about 1 minute.

Add pasta, green beans, and half of the parsley to pot with sauce.
  • Cook, stirring, until pasta and green beans are coated well.
  • Add meatballs to pot and gently stir to combine.
  • Garnish with remaining parsley.



Take Out Style Enchiladas are a power packed recipe full of flavor with a velvety chili sauce that is very fragrant, but NOT overly spicy. Adapted from Jennifer Aaronson @ MARLEY SPOON

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2/3 pound lean ground beef, browned to crumbly and drained of grease
1 can shoepeg niblet corn, drained
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar-jack blend
2 ounces pickled jalapeños, FINELY chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 green onions, sliced and diced (greens and whites separated)
1 tablespoon beef broth concentrate
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • Preheat oven to 425° with a rack in the center.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium.
  • Add taco seasoning, tomato paste and 1 tablespoon flour; cook, whisking, 1 minute.
  • Whisk together broth and beef broth concentrate.
  • Add to saucepan, stirring to blend. Bring to a simmer, cooking 8-10 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper. 
 Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground beef, beans, scallion whites, chopped jalapeños, half of the corn, 1/3 cup of the sauce and ⅔ of the cheese; stir to com-3bine.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.

  • Brush tortillas on both sides with oil, then place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake tortillas on center oven rack until just warmed and softened, about 2-3 minutes (watch closely). Wrap in foil or a clean kitchen towel to prevent from drying out, keep covered until ready to use.

  • Lightly oil the inside of a medium baking dish.
  • Pour in ¼ cup sauce, spreading to coat the bottom.
  • Arrange tortillas on a work surface.
  • Divide filling (about ⅓ cup each) evenly among tortillas; roll up tightly and arrange in prepared baking dish, seam side down.
  • Top with remaining sauce.
Sprinkle enchiladas with remaining cheese.
  • Bake on center oven rack until cheese is browned and bubbling, 20 minutes.
  • Garnish with remaining scallions sprinkled over top, and with remaining jalapeños on the side.


ITALIAN WEDDING CASSEROLE adapted from Ree Drummond

2 cups (dry) bowtie pasta
2 tablespoons butter 
2 tablespoons avocado oil 
1 cup diced celery 
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH oregano 
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped Italian Parsley
1 teaspoon FRESH chopped rosemary
3 cloves garlic, minced 
2 carrots, diced 
1 onion, diced 
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
4 cups chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1 1/2 pounds of homemade meatballs OR a 26-ounce bag frozen Italian meatballs 
2-3 cups chopped baby spinach *SEE NOTES
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until less than al dente; set aside.
  • Melt butter and avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add celery, carrots and onion, cooking until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add oregano and garlic, sautéing until fragrant.
  • Sprinkle with the flour, stirring and cooking for an additional minute.
  • While whisking constantly, slowly add chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and allow the sauce to thicken, about 2 minutes.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Add the meatballs, spinach, Parmesan, stirring to combine.
  • Fold in pasta.
  • Transfer to 9×13-inch baking dish.

1  cup PANKO breadcrumbs
1/4 cup FRESH grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH parsley 
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH oregano 

  • Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, butter, parsley and oregano in a bowl until well combined.
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumb topping over the casserole.
  • Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
  • Allow the casserole to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

NOTES:  Baby spinach can be easily replaced with broccoli or green beans, but both of those need to be added during the saute’ process.


12 ounces fettuccine
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color peppercorns, to taste
1 pound sirloin steak
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1 small can baby peas (Le Seur)
Balsamic glaze, for drizzling

  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside. OR roast or pan fry potatoes in a separate pan.
  • Generously season steak with FRESH ground sea salt and tri-colored peppercorns.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook steak 3 minutes per side for medium rare.
  • Transfer to a plate to let rest, 10 minutes, then thinly slice.
  • Meanwhile, make Alfredo sauce.
  • Add butter to skillet and let melt.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
  • Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute more, then add milk and simmer until thickened, 5 minutes.
  • Add parsley and Parmesan, stirring to combine.
  • Fold in peas.
  • Add tomatoes (if desired) and cook down 2 minutes.
  • Add cooked pasta or roasted potatoes to sauce and toss until coated.
  • Top with sliced steak, drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with minced Parsley.


I LOVE this recipe because there is an actual saladness to it and no tortillas are needed. It is as refreshing as it is filling and hearty.

TACO BOWLS serves 4
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounce can diced green chiles, drained but reserved
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup mini pepper rings
4 LARGE radishes, sliced thin
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
6 cups shredded cabbages and carrots
1-2 LARGE avocados, sliced
1 LARGE lemon, juiced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
FRESH chopped cilantro, to taste
1 cup sour cream
1-1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
salsa (optional)

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add garlic and pepper rings, cooking and stirring 5-7 minutes until it begins to brown.
  • Add beef, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, green chiles and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until beef is cooked through.
  • Whisk together the lemon juice and reserved green chile liquid.
  • Arrange FRESH ingredients in bowls.
  • Drizzle with lemon juice mixture.
  • Sprinkle generously with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Divide the shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream to each bowl.
  • Add a large scoop of the meat to each bowl, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

SWEET & SOUR ROAST (slow cooker)

2-3 pound chuck roast
1/2 cup pickle juice or apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons FRESH ground salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, halved
1 small bag baby carrots

  • Place potatoes and carrots in bottom of slow cooker.
  • Heat butter in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Sear roast on both sides.
  • Lay roast over potatoes and carrots.
  • Whisk together remaining ingredients.
  • Pour over roast.
  • Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours until fork tender.

NOTE:  This recipe easily converts to cast iron baking if you so choose. 😀


3/4 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound hamburger
1/2 pound ground pork
1 sleeve Keebler club crackers, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 Jumbo eggs
1 tablespoon liquid Smoke – MYSTERY ingredient

6 medium red potatoes, washed and cut into pieces (see note)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 cup Buttermilk

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons self-rising flour
1 tablespoons cream sherry
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon better than bouillon beef base
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
salt and pepper to taste

  • Combine all the hamburger steak ingredients until well mixed. Form six steaks.
  • Bake 30-45 minutes at 350°.
  • In a large skillet melt the butter for the gravy.
  • Saute the onions until browned.
  • Add the bouillon base, cream sherry and hot water. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, add flour and continue cooking to desired consistency.
  • Bring potatoes to a boil until tender. Drain WELL.
  • Combine potato ingredients and beat until smooth.
  • Enjoy

NOTE: If making this dish for company I like to use russets and bake them first.  Scoop out insides to prepare potatoes and pipe back into the shells to heat before serving. 😀


Years ago my niece “renamed” or “nicknamed my winter soup to Wagon Wheel because I used a round pasta that resembled wagon wheels.  Whatever you call this soup, it’s a hearty rib-sticking soup that makes you want to sop up the very last drop with a warm bread.

1 1/2 pounds coarse ground hamburger, ground pork or combination of both
1 cup cooked rice or uncooked pasta of your choice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large Vidalia onion, FINELY chopped
2 cups V-8 juice
8 ounces tomato sauce
2 cans original Rotel tomatoes with juice
+/- 8 ounces beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 small head cabbage, chopped

  • In a large dutch oven, brown hamburger.
  • Drain hamburger in colander over a paper plate and paper toweling to catch grease.
  • Add onion and garlic to dutch oven, sautéing until soft and fragrant.
  • Add V-8, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and broth, stirring to blend.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer over low heat 1-2 hours.
  • Add cabbage and simmer 1 hour more.
  • Add  pasta and simmer 20 minutes more until pasta is tender or add cooked rice and simmer 5 minutes until rice is heated through.

NOTE: If you like it thinner like soup, add more broth.

ORIGINAL POSTINGS: CML 1-20-2015, 1-28-2018 SKT 1-20-2015 3SOC much earlier, but no longer accesible


1/2 pound ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 SMALL onion, FINELY chopped
2 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • In a large bowl mix together ground meats, seasonings, chopped onion and garlic until well blended.
  • Form into golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Heat oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Sear meatballs, turning often, until browned.
  • Transfer to paper towels to drain.

2-3 pounds FRESH Roma or cherry tomatoes, chopped rustic
1/4 cup chopped FRESH flat leaf Parsley
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH oregano
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH basil
Avocado oil
1 bulb garlic, sliced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Cover large baking sheet with foil.
  • Arrange tomatoes, onions and garlic in a single layer.
  • Drizzle with avocado oil.
  • Season well with herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 3 hours until tomatoes are shriveled and soft.
  • Cool completely.

Pureed Slow Roasted Tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream

  • Puree tomato mixture before running through a food mill to remove seeds and large chunks.
  • Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add chicken broth and pureed tomatoes.
  • Bring to a SLOW simmer for 40 minutes.
  • Whisk in heavy cream and simmer 5-10 minutes more.


2 cups shredded or pulled chicken pieces
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 can ROTEL original tomatoes and green chiles, drained WELL
1 can green enchilada sauce, divided
1/2 cup Taco Bell MILD taco sauce
1 cup Frank’s ORIGINAL hot sauce
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
(8) 8 inch flour tortillas

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl combine cream cheese, half of cheddar cheese, 1/2 of the green enchilada sauce and Frank’s hot sauce until creamy.
  • Fold in chicken pieces and green onions, reserving a few green onions for garnish.
  • Fill tortillas and place seam side down tightly in a prepared baking dish.
  • Combine taco sauce and remaining green enchilada sauce in a small bowl.
  • Brush sauce over top of enchiladas evenly so that all tortillas are moist.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese over sauce.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and enchiladas are cooked through.
  • Serve immediately with green onions, fresh diced tomatoes and sour cream as garnish.


ACTIVE PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 25-30 minutes
SERVES: 4-6 depending on appetites
WHY I’LL MAKE IT AGAIN: This is a comfort food perfect for ANY Fall evening!  It’s a quick cinch to make on a weeknight too.
NOTES: Don’t over stuff your bread (like I obviously did 😀 )

3/4 pound ground beef
1-2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
2 teaspoons ancho chile pepper
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 can ROTEL tomatoes ORIGINAL, drained WELL
1 can SHOEPEG corn, drained WELL
1 tablespoon GREEN Tabasco sauce
1 tube Pillsbury PIZZA dough
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup shredded Jack cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Line 9 1/2 x 5 loaf pan with foil. Leave a couple inches hanging over on ALL sides to use as handles to remove the bread at the end.
  • Lightly spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Lightly spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add ground beef, onions, garlic, ancho chile powder, salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned and everything is well incorporated.
  • Add tomatoes and corn, stirring well.
  • Stir in the Tabasco sauce and half of each cheese.
  • Cool slightly.
  • Unroll dough and form into an 8×14 rectangle.
  • Cut a 4 inch section off the short end so you have a 4×8 section and a 10×8 section.
  • Fit the large section into the loaf pan, GENTLY stretching the dough into the loaf pan so the dough goes up the sides.
  • Add cooled meat filling.
  • Top with half of the remaining cheeses.
  • Roll reserved dough into an 11 inch long piece.
  • Cut crosswise into 14 pieces.
  • Arrange cut pieces into an overlapping basket weave pattern over the top of the meat mixture, sealing the edges.
  • Brush with the egg.
  • Top with remaining cheeses.
  • Bake 25 minutes.