Texas Style Cornbread

November 3rd, 2011
by: Sue

This cornbread contains all three of the primary tastes that Texans love: savory (bacon grease), sweet (creamed corn), and spicy (chipotle peppers). If you don’t like spicy leave out the peppers, but you are missing a way to jump start your metabolism if you don’t use peppers. You are also missing the way the your brain starts firing “WOW” messages to the rest of you.

1 cup stone ground cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or sea salt)

1/2 cup canola oil (or bacon grease if you have it)
14 ounce can cream style corn
2 eggs, whisked until smooth
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated sharp cheese (cheddar)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
two chipotle peppers, chopped small (optional)
crushed black pepper for top (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put iron skillet in oven and add 2-3 Tablespoons bacon grease or oil. Heat until hot but not smoking.
Place dry ingredients in mixing bowl and whisk together to distribute evenly. Add oil, whisked eggs, creamed corn, sour cream, cheese, cayenne and chipotle peppers. Whisk together just until blended. Pour batter into heated iron skillet, top with cracked black pepper, then bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes, and remove from oven. Coat top lightly with salted butter, and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and enjoy!

This recipe will also make wonderful corn muffins!

Creamy Brussel Sprouts and Noodles

May 12th, 2011
by: Sue

It’s spring and I am hungry for vegetables. A trip to the supermarket brought beautiful brussel sprouts to my attention, along with sweet yellow bell peppers. I thought about combining these veggies with bacon and noodles in a creamy sauce and here is what I came up with:

6 slices Wright’s peppered bacon, diced and slow cooked in skillet
12 ounces medium home style egg noodles
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow bell pepper, rough diced to bite sized (3/4″)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups brussel sprouts, quartered lengthwise
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup pasta water
4 ounces cream cheese
salt & pepper
shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
fresh basil, rolled and cut into chiffonade strips

Cook noodles according to package directions. When done, drain but retain a cup of starchy water. Drizzle olive oil and/or butter over the noodles and lightly salt to taste.

In large (12″) skillet, cook bacon until fat is rendered. Salt and pepper all the chopped vegetables. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and add all vegetables except garlic to pan. Cook on medium high heat until brussel sprouts turn bright green and onions and peppers are tender. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Add cream cheese, and chicken stock and enough starch water to produce a medium thick sauce, stirring until sauce forms and fond is dissolved.

Plate and top with Parmigiano Reggiano and basil chiffonade. Enjoy!

Calabacitas con Elote

August 9th, 2010
by: Blue

I love to make this dish after visiting the farmers market for locally grown, fresh produce.

3 ears of fresh corn
3-4 yellow or zucchini squash (or a mix)
2 roasted Anaheim peppers, peeled and chopped (or substitute 1 can of green chiles)
1-2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
Queso Fresco (can substitute mozzerella or monterey jack for queso fresco)
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

Cut corn from the cobs.  Dice the squash.  In a skillet, saute the onions in the butter or oil until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the squash, garlic, and corn, and saute until the squash is tender.  Add the chiles and top with the queso fresco (or cheese of your choice).

How simple is THAT!

Ancho Sweet Potatoes

August 9th, 2010
by: Blue

I made this on Saturday for my sweetie and his dear friend.  It accompanied a Texas-flair dinner of fish tacos and and calabacitas con elote(squash and corn).  The sweet potatoes were the bomb!  I used two ancho chiles to keep the heat level low – use more if you want it little spicier.

3 large sweet potatoes
2-3 dried ancho chiles
1/2 cup heavy cream, half and half, or milk
1 tablespoon butter
salt to taste

Bake the sweet potatoes until soft and let them sit until cool enough to handle.  Tear the ancho chiles open and remove/discard seeds and stem.  Cut or tear the chiles into pieces.  Bring the heavy cream and anchos to a boil and immediately remove from heat.  Let this mixture stand at least 1/2 an hour; stir occasionally to make sure that the anchos are somewhat immersed in the cream.  Puree the mixture in a blender – this results in a delicious, creamy, ancho paste.

Peel the sweet potatoes and lightly mix with the ancho cream and salt.  Place into a casserole dish, top with dabs of butter, and bake at 350 until hot (about 20 minutes).

Kewl Kohlrabi

February 28th, 2010
by: Blue

I bought kohlrabi at a farmer’s market today (yes, the farmer’s market is open for business this last day in February in San Antonio).  I’ve never had it, never cooked it, and it was one of the few things that was left at 4 pm.  Kind of like the runt in a litter.  THANK GOD.  I now love-love-love kohlrabi.  Kohlrabi=yummy in my tummy=a cross between potatoes and spinach and artichokes.  Tommy likes it too, he went back for a second taste :-)

3 kohlrabi bulbs with leaves
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup finely chopped cooked bacon (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Trim and peel the kohlrabi bulbs. Rinse the leaves (discard the stems and yellow leaves), and pat the leaves dry with paper towels. Coarsely chop the leaves and set aside. Cut the bulbs into chunks.

Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil, and add the kohlrabi chunks. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender (about 15 minutes).


Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, another minute or two.

Add the kohlrabi leaves to the skillet along with 1/4 cup water. Cover, and cook 5 minutes. Then uncover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated, 3-5 minutes.

Add the drained kohlrabi chunks to the skillet, stir, and add the heavy cream and the bacon.  Stir for a few minutes until everything is heated and enjoy immediately.

Hawaiian Style Macaroni Salad

January 7th, 2010
by: Sue

One of our favorite meals in Hawaii was a mixed plate lunch. Hawaiian mixed plate lunches always include pasta salad. I have taken a basic Hawaiian style pasta recipe and modified it to suit my taste. I added the cabbage, lemon juice and vinegar because that’s what I like but you can make the salad without them. If you do, it will be bland. I just love this recipe, it’s creamy and has less fat than most pasta salads. Relatively simple, easy to make, goes with everything.

Pour: 3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (approximately 1 pound)

Into: 4 quarts boiling water
2 teaspoons salt

Cook until soft. Al dente won’t be as good. This will take 10-15 minutes or does at the Lubbock elevation. True Hawaiians say, “Cook it till it’s fat.”

While it’s cooking, mix the dressing and shred the veggies:

2 carrots, shredded
1/2 head cabbage, chopped and shredded fine

Dressing (Whisk together in small mixing bowl):

1 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
pepper & salt to taste
1 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

Drain cooked pasta, reserving some pasta water to add back to the salad. While pasta is still warm, add shredded veggies and dressing, and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Put in airtight container and refrigerate until cold if you can stand to leave it alone. Add more pasta water to loosen it up if needed.

Corn Pudding

January 5th, 2010
by: Sue

This corn pudding is wonderfully creamy and rich, and especially good with a holiday meal. Of course, it may also
be prepared during the summer when fresh corn is readily available. We especially like it in the fall when Hatch chiles are available, when we add chopped roasted green chili to it. Best corn pudding I’ve ever had.

1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
6 large eggs
2 cups cream
1 stick of butter, melted
6 cups of fresh corn (you can substitute frozen)

Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk, then stir in the cream and melted butter. Gradually add the sugar, stirring until smooth. Stir in the corn and pour into a greased 13×9 baking dish. Bake at 350 or until deep golden and set. Let stand 5 minutes before stirring.

I like to add green chile to this dish (of course!).

Tomato Basil Soup

November 16th, 2009
by: Blue

Tia Loca sent this recipe – it sounds heavenly, as well as delightfully quick and easy.  I will be making this soon – you should too.


4 cups fresh tomatoes, blanched, skinned, chopped (Or two large cans of whole, diced or stewed)
4 cups tomato sauce
12-14 basil leaves, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
¼ cup minced onion
1 small container fresh parmesan
1 pint of Half and Half
¼ lb. butter


Saute garlic and onion in olive oil. Add tomatoes and sauce, simmer for 30 minutes. With a hand held mixer or in food processor, puree tomato mixture and chopped basil. Add butter, cream and Parmesan and puree. Season with fresh ground sea salt and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Top with croutons and extra Parmesan.

For croutons, take day-old french bread, brush with olive oil, and toast in the oven @ 400 for 10 – 15 minutes until brown.

Cranberry Apple Gelatin Salad

November 16th, 2009
by: Blue

Another recipe from Tía Loca.  I love Tía Loca more than a fat kid loves cake!


1 3-ounce package cranberry or raspberry jello
3/4 cup boiling water
1 1/4 cups cold cranberry juice
1 cup tart medium apple, finely chopped (granny smith)
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of cloves


Dissolve jello in boiling water. Add remaining ingredients and stir to blend. Pour into a 3 cup mold. Chill at least five hours. Serve as a relish with meat or poultry.

Squash patties

October 14th, 2009
by: Sue

This is something I developed so my sweetie would get more vegetables with his breakfast. Reminiscent of hash brown potatoes, it has a sweetness from the browned squash that we love.

1 medium yellow squash per person, washed, ends cut off, then grated.

Place the squash between paper towel squares and blot the excess moisture.

Heat 1-2 T butter in skillet. When the bubbles have subsided, add the squash. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When the bottom has browned, flip the patty, and brown the other side. Remove to plate and serve with eggs, bacon & toast.

I have added onion to this simple dish, but I prefer the simplicity of the butter, squash, salt and pepper. It’s magic!