Friday, July 22, 2016


I was first introduced to churros as a young adult while also discovering the joys of the flea market.  It was immediate love for the crunchy sweet treats that were drenched in sugar and cinnamon.  

The recipe and photo comes from Pati Jinich's website. After seeing her prepare the sweet treats on her cooking show on Create TV, Pati's Mexican Table, I had to find her recipe since I lost my recipe a long time ago and missed making them.

Check out her recipes for authentic Mexican food on her website and check out her show if you get Create TV.

Canola oil for frying, plus 1/4 cup
1 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon
2 cups water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
Cajeta or dulce de leche optional dipping sauce

In a large, heavy and extended casserole, or cast iron, high-sided skillet, heat about 1 1/2-inches of canola oil over medium heat until the oil temperature reaches 350 degrees (or test with a piece of tortilla or bread; it’s ready when the oil bubbles actively all around it). It will take awhile to heat, so get this started before making the dough.

On a large plate, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, 1/4 cup oil, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and salt. 

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 

Add the flour all at once, turn off the heat and use a wooden spoon to stir vigorously until the mixture forms a dough as smooth as possible with no flour lumps. It will take about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip or a churro press. Pipe the dough into about 6 to 8-inch pieces (or if you want to replicate a churro store, pipe a rope-like dough of about 24-inches) and carefully place in oil. 

Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes, until golden and crisp, flipping in between. Use tongs to remove them and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet or drying rack.

While the churros are still very hot, toss them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture to coat. If desired, serve with cajeta or dulce de leche as a dipping sauce and Mexican hot chocolate on the side.

Recipe and Photo Source

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Italian Crescent Pie

Love meat pies!  My mom makes one with cheddar cheese and green beans mixed in with the ground beef that was a much requested meal during my childhood.


1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion 
1 cup Muir Glen™ organic fire roasted tomato pasta sauce 
6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream 
1 (8-oz.) can Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted


Heat oven to 375°F. 

Cook ground beef and onion over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Stir in pasta sauce; cook until thoroughly heated.

Combine mozzarella cheese and sour cream; mix well.

Pour hot beef mixture into ungreased 9 1/2 or 10-inch glass deep-dish pie pan or 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish. 

Spoon cheese mixture over beef mixture.

Unroll dough over cheese mixture. (If using pie pan, separate dough into 8 triangles; arrange points toward center over cheese mixture, crimping outside edges if necessary.) 

In small bowl, mix Parmesan cheese and butter. Spread evenly over dough.

Bake at 375°F. for 18 to 25 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Sicilian Meatballs


2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup fresh grated Pecorino cheese with black peppercorns
1/4 cup finely diced onion
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1 large egg
1 clove garlic minced
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 pound ground pork sausage
1/2 pound ground veal
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons currants or chopped raisins


Preheat oven to 350F

Lightly oil a baking sheet.

In a bowl soak the breadcrumbs in the milk; let stand a couple of minutes.

Mix in all remaining ingredients in order given and combine well.

Wet your hands and form mixture into meatballs then flatten slightly so they are disk shaped.

Place them on the baking sheet and cook until nicely browned; internal temp of 155F

Serve on bed of tomato sauce or just plain as a second course.

Recipe courtesy of CiaoItalia -- Mary Ann Esposito

This recipe is featured on Season 18 - Episode 1812.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Foil Packs

Whether you make this meal in a foil pack or as a casserole, the prep is quick and easy, using a few different ingredients.

I would make this as a casserole by placing the ingredients in a casserole dish and bake covered in a 400 degree oven (which may need to be tweaked a bit).  The foil pack method is attractive as a no-mess alternative.

Many reviewers of this recipe used sliced potatoes instead of brocolli with great results.  Some used italian dressing instead of ranch.  Of course I would add fresh mushrooms!


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, each cut in half lengthwise
1 cup ranch dressing
1 bag (12 oz) frozen broccoli florets, cooked 
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
6 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled


Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 6 sheets of heavy-duty foil with cooking spray.

Place 1 boneless skinless chicken breast half in center of each sheet of foil. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper. Top each with 2 tablespoons ranch dressing, 1/4 cup cooked Green Giant™ Valley Fresh Steamers™ broccoli florets, 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese and 1 tablespoon crumbled cooked bacon.
Wrap each foil pack.  Bring 2 sides of foil up over chicken-broccoli mixture so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again.  Allow space on sides for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal. Place foil packets on ungreased large cookie sheet.

Bake 30 minutes. (Some reviewers reported having to bake longer for 50 minutes)

Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. 

Serve with additional ranch dressing, if desired.

The photo and recipe is from

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