Saturday, May 30, 2020

Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake

I was a bit worried this would be too sweet. NO worries. We all loved it! I made it on a dreary Saturday during quarantine!

Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake
adapted a bit from

1 can 8 count cinnamon rolls with icing not Grands size--I used Aldi brand
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter melted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-inch pie plate with cooking spray.

Open can of cinnamon rolls and separate.  Press each into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate to form the crust, pinching to seal any gaps between the rolls.

Stir together sugar, oil, egg and milk in a large bowl. Add baking powder, salt, and 1 1/2 cups flour, and stir well.   Pour this over the cinnamon roll crust.

In a small bowl, add the brown sugar, cinnamon to the melted butter. Stir and sprinkle over the top of the coffee cake.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes,(we had to add 15 min) until a toothpick comes out clean. 

While warm, top with icing that came with the cinnamon rolls. You may want to make more icing:  start with 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 T milk.  Mix well.  

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Nacho Cheese Dip/ Brisket Fries

We made this for our Brisket Fries(Nachos) during the quarantine. It was good!  The recipe for how we make the fries is at the bottom.  Try these soon, you will LOVE them!  Many times we get extra brisket when we have gone to a BBQ joint, just so we can make these.

Nacho Cheese Dip
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk - we used about 2 cups of 2% and 1/2 cup of half and half.
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste

In a medium size saucepan over over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter is melted, add the flour, stirring to combine with the butter until it forms a paste. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly
Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Cook for about 5 minutes, while continuing to whisk. The mixture should become smooth and thickened. Add the grated cheese and whisk until it is melted and the cheese dip is smooth. Whisk in the hot sauce and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If you want to add a bit more kick to the cheese dip, add some additional hot sauce or cayenne pepper.
The cheese dip should be of a pourable consistency. If it gets too thick, whisk in a couple of drops of milk until the dip is thick, yet still pourable.

Brisket "Nachos"
Fashioned after Liberty BBQ's Trash Fries in Round Rock and MacDaddy's Brisket Nachos in Port Aransas
1 bag frozen fries (waffle cut works best)
1-2 cups of queso (storebought or homemade, we used
1/4-1/3 pound brisket, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic (dried)--necessary, don't use fresh, trust me!
1/2 stick butter
2 Tablespoons candied jalapenos, chopped
BBQ Sauce, to taste
Bake fries according to package directions; we usually go a bit crispier (10 -15 minutes longer)
Melt the butter over medium heat, add onions and cook until just getting carmelized. Add the brisket and cook 5-7 minutes more, until crispy. Add minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Warm the queso
Assemble the nachos by spreading the fries on a sheet pan, top with the brisket mixture, queso and candied jalapenos. Top with BBQ sauce.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Two Cheese Bread Machine Bread

I found this recipe in a bread machine pamphlet.  The bread rose beautifully and then sunk in the middle during the baking process.  It tasted great and made great toast!
Two Cheese Bread Machine Bread
1.5# loaf

2/3 c water
1 T butter
1 egg
2 t sugar
1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/4 c powdered milk
1 c cheddar cheese
3 T Parmesan cheese, grated
2 t sesame seeds
1 t salt
1 1/2 t dry yeast

Add all ingredients to the bread pan in the order given.  Set the machine for Basic bread setting.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Yellow Jasmine Rice

Jenna here! A sweet friend at work shared this recipe her husband found and I wondered if I could adapt it to an Instant Pot, since rice is so simple that way! I have made it 3-4 times now and it comes out perfect each time! I added the original recipe and then Instant Pot adaptations in the notes below. It is really great as a side to homemade chicken gyros!

Yellow Jasmine Rice

2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 cups uncooked long grain jasmine rice
3 cups chicken broth*
1 bay leaf, optional
*Eva's Salt for topping

Add the butter, garlic, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon to a medium sauce pot. Saute over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic has softened. (If making in the Instant Pot, just put on Saute mode for 3 minutes until flavors meld).

Add the dry rice to the pot. Stir and cook over medium heat (or in Instant Pot Saute mode) for about 2 minutes to slightly toast the rice. You may hear a slight popping or crackling noise as the rice toasts.

Add the chicken broth and bay leaf to the pot. Place a lid on top, increase the heat to high, and bring the pot to a rolling boil. As soon as it reaches a full boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer (with the lid in place) for 20 minutes. (If using Instant Pot, turn off Saute mode, make sure the top is set to seal, and hit manual for 6 minutes).

After letting it simmer for 20 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest (do not remove the lid) for an additional 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. (If using Instant Pot, let it release pressure manually about 15 minutes and fluff!).

*If using Instant Pot, add about 3 1/4 cups water or chicken broth. The Johnson's use homemade Veggie Boullion and water instead of chicken broth. Once it is done, right before serving, sprinkle some Eva's salt over the bowl. It is amazing!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

I had some sourdough starter to use up and had 2 cups of blueberries in the fridge.  I looked at a few recipes and combined them to make this one.  They were very tasty.
Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

2 eggs
1/2 c maple syrup
1/2 c butter milk(I use 1 T lemon juice and fill the rest of the measuring cup with milk)
4 T melted butter
2 t vanilla
1 c sourdough starter
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2- 2 c white flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
2 c blueberries

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix the eggs and maple syrup together.  Add buttermilk, butter and vanilla.  Stir well.  Mix in the starter.

Add dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.  Fold in blueberries.

Put in paper lined muffin tins---I got 24 regular sized muffins out of this batter. 

Bake for 14-16 minutes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad

Don loves chicken salad and this one is a bit different in how it has you poach the chicken. We both really liked it!

Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad

1 c. white vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cinnamon stick
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tbsp. kosher salt
3 chicken breast
1 1/4 c.
chopped California walnuts
3/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c.  celery, chopped
1/2 c onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped parsley Beth used 4 T dried
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest Beth used 1/2 t dried
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. dried cranberries, plus more for serving
Sliced bread, for serving
Lettuce leaves, for serving

Make the poached chicken, combine 4 cups water, vinegar, garlic, cinnamon, bay leaves, ginger, and salt in a medium pot. Nestle chicken into mixture, making sure it's fully submerged. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, until chicken is just cooked through and the thickest part reads 165° on an instant read thermometer, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer chicken to a cutting board. Let cool then, dice chicken.

Make the salad, in a large skillet, toast the walnuts over medium-high, stirring constantly, until golden, about 8 minutes. Scrape onto a plate and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, celery, shallot, parsley, and lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add the diced chicken and cranberries. Crumble 1 cup of the walnuts over top and toss to combine.

Top with a handful of cranberries and crumble the remaining ¼ cup walnuts over top. Serve with bread and lettuce to make sandwiches.

Monday, May 18, 2020


We were looking for a quick bread recipe for dinner one night.  This was perfect and we at the whole pan!  We made it again a few nights later.  We liked it in the cast iron pan--it made every bite crusty and yummy!

¾ cup warm water
½ teaspoon sugar
1½ teaspoons yeast
5 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, divided (plus more for sprinkling the dough)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan (optional)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried, divided
flaky sea salt for topping, optional

Place the warm water and sugar in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can use an electric handheld mixer as well). Stir well to combine.

Sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir just a bit. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Turn the mixer on low speed, and add 1 cup of the flour and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and mix just until combined.

Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon of the fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried and mix until combined.

With the mixer on low, gradually add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour, then add just enough of the remaining 1/4 cup until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl (you may not need it all).

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Grease a cast iron skillet or 8 - 9" cake pan with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Lightly flour a surface with flour. Remove the dough and place onto the floured surface and sprinkle the top lightly with flour as well. Gently shape the dough into a flat disk and place in the prepared skillet.

Gently press the dough evenly in the bottom of the skillet and 1" up the sides, then cover with a clean towel.

TURN OFF THE OVEN and place the skillet in the oven for 20 minutes to rise.
Remove the skillet from the oven and remove the towel. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, garlic, remaining rosemary, and parmesan if using.

Brush the olive oil mixture over the focaccia bread dough, then make indents over the top of the dough with your thumb.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven, and brush with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt if desired.
Cool slightly on a wire rack and serve!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Crockpot Turtle Dump Cake

Today is our 33rd anniversary, so let's celebrate with a cake!  I made this cake for Don's birthday in March while we were in quarantine.  I kind of made up the recipe and it WORKED!

Crockpot Turtle Dump Cake

1 chocolate cake mix, dry
1 1/2 c milk
1 small box chocolate pudding, dry
10 oz bag caramel, cut in half
1/2-3/4 c chopped pecans

1 c semi sweet chocolate chips,  chocolate frosting or hot fudge sauce

Line crockpot with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix pudding and 1 1/2 c milk.  Add dry cake mix.  Mix well and pour into crockpot.  Push 1/2-2/3 of the cut up caramels into the top of the cake.  Sprinkle the rest of the caramels over the top. 

Cover the top of the crockpot with paper towels and then place the lid on the crock pot.  Cook on high for 2-3 hours until middle is set.

Remove lid and let stand for 15 minutes with heat off.  Melt chips, or frosting or fudge sauce and drizzle over the cake.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Simple Oven Baked Chicken Breast

I needed a recipe that I could use to put on a lettuce salad.  This was a tasty and easy one!
Simple Oven Baked Chicken Breast

4 large Chicken Breast
3 Tablespoons Butter Melted
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and the minced garlic.  Spray a 9 by 13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add the chicken breasts. 
Using a spoon, drizzle the butter and minced garlic mixture on the chicken breast. Be sure to coat both sides of the chicken. 

In another small bowl, combine the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix. Sprinkle the seasonings on all sides of the chicken breasts.

Bake the chicken in the oven for 20-35 minutes, depending on how thick the chicken breasts are. When the chicken is done the internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It is the safe internal temperature for both the white meat and dark chicken meat. 
Remove the chicken from the oven and spoon the butter and chicken juiced on the meat. Let the meat sit for about 5 minutes and then serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

7 Minute Crock Pot Bread

My cousin had posted this recipe just after we were in quarantine. I tried it and it was great! It is super easy and depending on the size of your crockpot, you may get a taller loaf. I used a 5 qt crockpot, next time I may try the 2 qt round.

7 Minute Crock Pot Bread

1 TBS active dry yeast or instant yeast
1 TBS honey
1 cup warm water
2 3/4 cup all-purpose white flour
1 TBS white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs olive oil

Parchment paper
3 paper towels

Mix together warm (not hot) water, yeast, and honey, and let sit for a minute for yeast to foam.

Stir together flour, sugar, salt, and then mix with yeast mixture and olive oil.  Stir together with a wooden spoon.

Knead for 5 minutes, either by hand or with a stand mixer and hook attachment. Do not short cut this time. Check the dough, it should be elastic, and not stick to your hands too much, and should form a nice ball. If this does not happen, knead a little longer until it reaches this stage.

Line a crock pot with parchment and place ball of dough in center.

Put paper towels over the top, and put the lid, very slightly ajar over that, this will help absorb some of the moisture so the top of your bread is not mushy and wet while the bottom is crispy and hard.
Cook on high for an hour and a half, or until bottom is browned (You can just lift it out with the parchment to check how brown the bottom is)

Remove from crock pot, put on a baking tray, and into a preheated oven set to broil on high. Broil 2-3 minutes or until you reach the desired golden brown.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls

I made these for our first Saturday breakfast when we found out about the quarantine. They were quick and easy to make and we all like them.

Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls
makes 9 rolls

For the Filling
3/4 brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
For the Dough
2½ cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup colored sprinkles (jimmies)
1 cup buttermilk
7 Tablespoons butter, melted and divided
For the Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese
1¼ cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon butter, softened
¼ cup colored sprinkles (jimmies)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with 1 Tablespoon melted butter.

Combine all the filling ingredients and stir until it resembles coarse sand. Set aside.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sprinkles. Create a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk and 2 Tablespoons melted butter in. Mix until a soft dough forms.

Knead the dough a few times on a floured surface. Use your finger tips to press the dough into a 10"x 14" rectangle.

Spread the dough with 2 Tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle with the filling. Keep the sugar about 1/2" away from the edge all around.

Roll up the dough from the short end. If the dough sticks to the counter, use a butter knife to gently loosen it. Cut off a small part of each end to even it out. Cut the log into 9 even pieces. Place the rolls in the pan.

Drizzle the remaining 2 Tablespoons melted butter over the rolls. Bake for 18 minutes. Cool slightly.

Beat the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until creamy. Spread over the warm rolls. Top with sprinkles.

Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Heat the rolls for 30 seconds in the microwave to warm them up.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Creamy Tomato Chipotle Soup

I made this for lunch on one of our first quarantine days.  It makes A LOT, so be prepared!  We liked it a lot!
Creamy Tomato Chipotle Soup
adapted from

4 Tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotles)Beth purees the whole can and used 1 T 
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour use xanthum gum for low carb--start with 1 t
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes in juice Beth used 2 can diced and 2 cans crushed
2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth Beth used 4 t chicken bouillon  and 32 oz water
3 oz cream cheese
1 cup heavy cream
cilantro and black pepper (optional)

Melt butter in large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onions; cook about 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in garlic, chipotle chile and adobo sauce; cook 1 minutes more. Stir in flour, chipotle chile powder and cumin, stirring until fully incorporated.

Add tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Beth used a hand blender right in the pot. Add soup to a blender along with the cream cheese (you will need to do this in two batches). Puree until smooth. Add soup back to the original pot and stir in heavy cream. Serve immediately and garnish with cilantro and black pepper if you choose.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Sweet and Spicy Asian Keto Chili Sauce

I made this to use as a stir fry sauce. It was good, but spicy. Next time I will use less chili paste.

Sweet and Spicy Asian Keto Chili Sauce

1.5 tbsp chili garlic paste may want to use less
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup powdered erythritol Beth used Splenda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp red pepper flakes, optional Beth didn't use

Mix all ingredients in small pot over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently with a whisk. Remove.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Jalapeño Popper Cauliflower "Mac" and Cheese - Keto and Low Carb

I had an extra head of cauliflower in the fridge.  I found this recipe and IT IS A KEEPER!  What an awesome side dish!  We loved it!
Jalapeño Popper Cauliflower "Mac" and Cheese - Keto and Low Carb

1 large head cauliflower cut into small bites
8 ounces cream cheese softened
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 strips  bacon cooked and crumbled (bacon grease reserved)
3 teaspoons bacon grease melted
2 jalapeño peppers minced
2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
1-2 tablespoons hot water
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: fresh cilantro for garnish

Add the cauliflower florets to a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 7-8 minutes or until slightly tender. 

While the cauliflower is cooking, heat a sauce pan over medium. Add in the butter and bacon grease, then sauté the jalapeño peppers until tender. Add in the cream cheese and stir until melted. Add the remaining ingredients and still until well combined and all the cheese has melted.  Add in 1-2 tablespoons of hot water if needed, to reach your desired consistency.

Once the cauliflower is cooked through, place cauliflower in the skillet and mix well to coat each piece, then serve.  Top with the bacon.

Optional: Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or crumbled bacon.
Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days. It reheats beautifully in the microwave or stovetop.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Baked Pork Chops

This was a quick weeknight dinner. I used two thicker chops and this was great!

Baked Pork Chops

1 pound pork chops boneless, thin cut
1 small yellow onion halved and thinly sliced
1/3-1/2 cup mayonnaise or more, if you really love mayo
6-8 oz Extra sharp cheddar cheese grated
salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a meat hammer (or any other appropriate kitchen utensil) lightly pound the meat on both sides. (I place the meat between two sheets of plastic wrap).

Place meat side by side on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or a cast iron skillet.

Season meat with salt and pepper and then spread sliced onions over top of it. Spread mayonnaise over meat and onion and then top with shredded cheese.

Bake 35-45 minutes until cheese is bubbly on top and meat is cooked through.