10 November 2009

Italian Crock Pot Roast

3# beef roast
Salt and pepper

1 small bag baby carrots
5 potatoes, medium cubed (about 1")
1 large onion, sliced vertically in large wedges
1 can diced tomatoes, Italian style
1/2 can dry red wine
Package of Italian salad dressing mix
Italian seasoning

6 ounces red wine
2 tsp. flour

Buy any type of roast that suits your fancy, usually I buy whatever is on sale. Cheaper cuts of meats do especially well cooking low and slow so it won't matter. Trim the roast of any excess fat, some fat at this point is okay, just gristle and large amounts hanging on the meat need to be removed. Once the roast is prepped, heat a skillet over medium high heat. Drizzle a little bit of oil in the bottom of the pan, salt and pepper the roast. Sear all sides of the roast until a nice brown crust develops. The roast doesn't need to be cooked all the way, you are just trying to brown the outside.

Put potatoes in the bottom of a LARGE crock pot. Then layer carrots and onions. Nestle the seared roast in the vegetables, leaving the potatoes touching the bottom of crock pot. Vegetables should be touching the sides of the crock pot and the roast should be surrounded by vegetables. Pour can of tomatoes over the roast and vegetables. In tomato can, pour in wine, add Italian salad dressing mix and stir. Pour into crock pot. (At this point, it's also okay to add a little water or wine back to the can to make sure you get all the seasonings out).

Cook on high for 6-8 hours or low overnight. About halfway through, taste gravy and add Italian seasoning to taste. You may need to add more liquid depending on the size of your pot and how much liquid develops. I did not need to add any, but I certainly would not have complained with more gravy.

Thirty minutes before serving, pour wine into a coffee cup (that's how I estimated 6 ounces, clever, no?) and add flour. Whisk until no flour lumps are present. Add to crock pot and turn heat to high. Gravy will thicken and be ready to serve with roast and veggies.

Roast should fall apart when you are ready to eat. Serve in a bowl with some nice hearty multi-grain bread. It's a meal in a bowl!

**Forgive me for the lack of pictures. There wasn't really any time for pictures before it got eaten up. I would assume that roast really doesn't photograph that well. But I guess that just means I'll have to make it again to test that theory!

20 September 2009

Chile Rellenos Casserole

My mom and I used to be Mexican food connoisseurs while I was growing. I mean, we used to frequent Casa Ole AT LEAST once a week. ;) My mom used to always order chile rellenos, I could practically bet money on it that she would order them. I attempted to eat one once and thoroughly did not enjoy it. It was mushy and peppery and soggy and just plain gross. Since that day, I had never tried once again.

The dish that started it all. It's the little dude on the right.

UNTIL, I went to New Mexico this summer. I inadvertently ordered one. It came on the New Mexico special plate. A green hatch chile stuffed with white cheese and fried. Ohmygosh, it was delicious, I couldn't believe I had missed out on this for so long. Since July, chile rellenos have been my weakness at Mexican food restaurants. But on Friday, I had my first bad chile rellenos incident. It wasn't necessarily bad, but it just didn't live up to my standards. I decided to take the task of making chile rellenos myself but I decided to try and bake them in a casserole style so I don't have to worry about frying. My results was TASTY but not too pretty. I'll keep working on it though. I had an odd amount of chiles so you can either go down to four for two layers or up to six/seven for three layers. Your choice. And once again, I'm using some regional ingredients, so I don't have a substitution suggestion...yet. I'll keep working on that for you.

Serves 4

1 14 oz. can Hatch 5 Pepper Enchilada Sauce
8 poblano chiles
1 round sliced queso asadero cheese
6 eggs
1/3 c. crushed tortilla chips
Splash of milk
Salt/Pepper to taste

Turn over to broil and move rack to top shelf. Place chiles directly on oven rack. Blacken chiles on each side (just be warned, they will pop and hiss at you). Once chiles are thoroughly blackened, remove and place in a plastic sack (an old HEB one works fine) and tie the bag to let steam for 15 minutes or so. Go ahead and change the oven to 375 degrees. After 15 minutes, remove chiles from bag, (and it works best if you work over said bag), remove skin from chiles. It will be a thin layer that should have blackened. It should come off relatively easy. Then, seed chiles, remove stem and spilt in halves. Do with all remaining chiles.

Pour half of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of an 8x8 pan. Place chile halves down to cover the sauce. Think about putting them in a single layer, much like you would lasagna noodles. You might need to tear some of the chiles to fit. Next, tear your queso asadero cheese slices with your hands and place them on top of the chiles. You don't want them next to each other because they will melt (and oh so nicely I might add) and spread. Repeat chile/cheese/chile.

In a bowl, mix/whisk eggs, splash of milk, crushed tortilla chips and salt and pepper throughly. (Here, I made the mistake of not whipping the eggs thoroughly and I had some patchy areas in my casserole.) Pour this layer over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.

When eggs are set, but not browned, place remaining slices of cheese on top. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. This next step is VERY important, but will be very hard to do. Remove from oven and let it set for ten minutes! If not, you'll end up with a short layer casserole with cheese sauce in your dish that you'll have to spoon over tortilla chips, and while tasty, it would be much better in between the chiles. Queso Asadero is a very melty cheese. It WILL run out of the layers if you don't give it time to set. That's why my picture looks short and small. Slice into pieces and spoon remaining enchilada sauce over the top. Serve with some refried black beans and you are done!

19 September 2009

Cold Brewed Coffee

I've been hearing all the rage about cold brewed coffee. It's supposed to be "all the rage." Benefits boasted are that the coffee is less acidic, more caffeinated and less bitter than conventional coffee. You also preserve the oils like you would in a french press. What I'm banking on is the convenience of it, you make a concentrate and then you can either use it for iced coffee or heat it up and have traditional warm coffee.

This is fairly easy to make. The hardest part for me was straining it. I only had a normal plastic colander. I think a metal sieve lined with a coffee filter would work MUCH better. As for the coffee, make sure you pick something you like. I went to the bulk aisle in my local HEB, picked out my favorite whole bean and then grounded it in the store on the coarsest ground they had. For those of you with bulk aisles in your local HEB, I'd recommend the Houston blend. It turned out so nicely and I didn't even need any sweetener! This will be one of those no recipe recipes. The ratio of coffee to water should be about 1 parts coffee to 4 parts water, but I fudged a little bit and it turned out great. Then this will make you concentrate and you theoretically should add 1 part water to 1 part concentrate, but who has time for measuring these days? I mean, really? So do as your hearts content, if you concentrate ends up weak, add less water when you make or if it ends up too strong, add more water. It's your coffee! Drink it how you like it!

Sorry, pictures of coffee aren't that exciting.

1 c. coarsely ground coffee
4 c. filtered water (yes, this will make it taste better, promise!)

Mix coffee grounds and water in a sealable container. I used a 1 qt. mason jar. (Yes if you do the math, I fudged a little bit on the coffee.) Steep the grounds over night. In the morning, strain coffee through a coffee filter lined sieve. After initial filtering is done, strain through a double lined coffee filter, just to remove any last bit of grounds. Store in the refrigerator. When you are ready to drink coffee, add 1 part concentrate to 1 part water. Either warm in microwave or serve over ice with cream, my personal favorite. It really does taste different from your traditional brewed coffee. You'll definitely be happy you don't have to deal with coffee breath afterwards!

18 September 2009

Dos Leches Pan Dulce Bread Pudding

I've been in Harlingen for 5 weeks now. I must admit I'm a HUGE fan of Mexican cuisine. I've become addicted to the Mexican bakeries around here. Each of them sells the same thing for the most part; various kinds of cookies, empanadas and pan dulce which is a round loaf of bread that has a slightly sweet flavor. At a few of the bakeries, they have day old pan dulce loaves 5 for $1.00. Since I love bread pudding and it's a great deal, I decided this would be a good medium to try it with. I'm also in love with the different items you see in the grocery stores down here that generally aren't found in the rest of Texas. One such is Media Crema. It's in the baking aisle with sweetened condensed and evaporated milk. It's a thick cream in a can basically. It's even thicker than half and half and probably heavy whipping cream. If you can't find Media Crema, whipping cream would probably do the trick though.

Most Mexican desserts aren't sweet by American taste buds. This dessert hits it's right on the spot. Since the bread is slightly sweet you don't need to add any additional sugar to the custard mix. The end result is delicious, sweet enough to qualify as dessert but not overwhelming. If I had to do it again, I might add a little bit of piloncillo to the dos leches that goes on top just to make it an wee bit sweeter and add some depth to it. The neat thing about this dessert is that the colors from the icing on the bread stay intact while baking so you end up with colorful bursts as you slice into it.

Dos Leches Pan Dulce Bread Pudding

8 Pan Dulce (day old), torn in about 1" pieces by hand
raisins (to taste)

6 eggs
4 c. milk
1/2 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 can (7.6 oz.) NESTLÉ Media Crema (can be found in Mexican Grocery Food Store)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 9x13 baking dish.

Place about half pan dulce pieces on bottom of baking dish in one single layer. Let bread sit for about ten minutes to dry out. Sprinkle with half the raisins (I used about 1/3 cup here). Repeat process with remaining bread slices and raisins.

Combine milk, butter, cinnamon, first half of sweetened condensed milk and eggs either by whisk or by blender. Mix until smooth. Pour over pan dulce layers in dish. Let stand for 10 minutes, pressing down on bread so that bread is soaked in liquid.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake.

While bread pudding is baking, combine remaining sweetened condensed milk and media crema. After pudding has come out of oven, pour the two milks (dos leches) over the cake. It will not absorb fully, but you will have a layer of sweet cream sitting on the top. Serve warm (although it's not too bad cold either)!

Heavily adapted from Nestle Meals

06 September 2009

No Leftovers Cake

I made this for a family gathering on Labor Day. I was looking for something easy and that would fit in a cake pan and not have to roll out or scoop out cookies. This is a take on a cake that my mom used to make, but I just changed it ever so slightly due to my recent obsession with Tres Leches Cake. Seriously, in less than 24 hours, this cake was gone. I had to fight for the last piece. This takes no longer than a normal cake to prepare and it will win over everyone!

I didn't even get a picture of a slice because it was gone so quickly!

1 chocolate box cake mix, to be prepared as directed
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar of caramel topping (can be found in the ice cream aisle)
1 large container cool whip
2 large Heath bars, crushed

Prepare chocolate cake as directed on box. While cake is warm, poke holes in cake with straws or end of a wooden spoon. Pour can of sweetened condensed milk over warm cake. After milk has soaked in, pour caramel topping over cake. Let cake cool. Right before serving, top with Cool Whip and sprinkle with Heath bars. At first, you might want to serve smaller pieces, but I found people came back for seconds anyways. ;)

BBQ Stuffed Peppers

I had been eyeing dishes to make for Labor Day at my grandparent's house. I had found a stuffed pepper recipe online but decided it was too much work so I didn't pick up the ingredients. When I got there, my grandfather must have been thinking the same thing because he bought almost exactly what I needed. I made a few adjustments to suit the ingredients we had on hand. Also, I had problems with the bacon sticking to the outside AND the stuffing falling out. To remedy that, I changed the recipe below to what I think will work. So the pictures won't match and if the changes don't work, don't sue me. ;) I plan to make these again when I have a crowd, so I'll be sure and post an update. Even if you make them as pictured (which would be saving the bacon for the outside), they'll still be delicious, just a little messy. I can say these went quicker than the No Leftovers Cake. They even beat out the crab stuffed jalepenos that my aunt is famous for! They smokey flavor of the peppers melds together with the meats and make for a delicious savory treat which can even work as a full meal because the peppers are so big.

15 large evenly shaped poblano peppers
16 slices of bacon
2# ground beef
2# ground sausage
2-4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 c. ranch dressing
BBQ sauce

Wash, remove tops from peppers (carefully, you will use them later) and remove seeds and membrane while leaving peppers whole.

In a skillet, fry bacon until cooked but not crisp. Brown beef and sausage in a skillet until brown but not crisp. Drain off all fat. Crumble bacon into meat mixture. Let cool. Add cheddar cheese to your liking and ranch dressing to meat mixture until mixture is coated but not runny. Loosely stuff mixture into peppers Replace tops on peppers to hold everything in and secure with a toothpick.

Either on a grill or under a broiler, place peppers. Cook until peppers are soft and begin to char on the outside. Rotate peppers on all sides until thoroughly cooked. After peppers are cooked, brush on BBQ sauce and continue cooking until sauce is warm and acts as a glaze on the peppers.

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

27 May 2009

Alejandra's Restaurant, Balinger

On my way to Abilene, I've passed through Ballinger. It's a cute town with a courthouse and a downtown. Well actually, "downtown" is the only part of town in Ballinger. There's some quaint looking restaurants that I've seen and I've been dying to stop but work or the time of day has always prevented me. But today was my lucky day! I drove through Ballinger around 7:30pm. I drove down the strip to look at my prospects more closely. There was a restaurant that was packed with cars in its parking lot and on both sides of the street. It was labeled as a mexican/american restaurant. Eh, for once, I was looking for something other than Mexican. I drove past the courthouse to the next block. The café on the corner that was my first pick was closed for lunch. There was another restaurant across the street but it only had five cars at it. It paled in comparison to the Mexican restaurant. I turned around; I figured the residents of Ballinger wouldn't lead me wrong. Boy, was I ever right!

After looking over the extensive menu with options like Mexican Caviar, chicken with grilled onions and queso, stuffed bell peppers, KC steak, chicken fried steak and chicken fried bacon in addition to the traditional Mexican fare, I decided on Steak a la Mexicana. "Steak bits with grilled onions, jalapenos and tomatoes. with a cheese enchilada, guacamole, rice and beans. $10.99" Sounded right up my alley, except for the price tag. After numerous occurrences of being nickled and dimed to death, I couldn't help but notice there were no tortillas on the agenda and I was worried if I would get my money's worth. I placed my order with the waitress, who then asked how I would like my steak cooked. I thought this was an odd questions from a mexican food restaurant but I told her anyways, Medium Rare. Yeah right, I thought to myself, because medium rare NEVER happens for me.

My food came out fairly promptly AND with an order of tortillas (YES!). My first bite was heaven. There it was a medium rare steak chopped into small bite size chunks with grilled onions, jalapenos and tomatoes. Exactly as described. I have never had a steak cooked so properly and seasoned so well. This was enough for two meals. I wish I could say I finished it all but I took over half of the meat home, enough to make two tacos worth later. I talked with the hostess as I was checking out. I told her I had never had a better steak anywhere in Texas and she proceeds to tell me that the cook was the chef at one of the leading steak houses in Abilene or San Angelo (I can't remember which, don't hate me!) and he was tired of the big city so he moved out here.

I would recommend this place to anyone. It's got wonderful atmosphere with old Texas relics on the brick wall inside. Stop in the next time you're in Ballinger, you won't regret it. I might have to go back and just try a steak!

02 April 2009

Strawberry Napoleon

Or this could be called "Easy Strawberry Napoleon" or "Low-fat Strawberry Napoleon." But I decided to keep it simple. ;) This is so easy to put together, but it looks so impressive. In fact, if you don't let you guests see you make, they'll thin you spent hours preparing it.

1 sheet puff pastry
whipped cream
chocolate sauce

Defrost puff pastry according to package. Once it has defrosted enough to handle, cut puff pastry into 9 squares. Bake according to directions on package (about 15 minutes). Remove from oven and split each square into two pieces. On plate, layer pastry, whipped cream, strawberries, chocolate sauce. Repeat 2 or 3 times (depending on how hungry you are!)

This recipe is so easy to modify depending on your needs. I make this for my uncle who is watching what he eats because fruit is healthy, then I can use sugar-free cool whip and low fat chocolate syrup. Or I can make it ultra decadent by whipping my own cream and using high-quality chocolate. Either way, it's a hit!

Garlicy Spinach

Until high school, I was an avid hater of spinach. My mother made it on a regular basis and I would rather starve than eat that nasty stuff from the box. All that changed in high school when I was invited over for dinner to my friend's house. There was an intoxicating smell coming from the kitchen so I went to check it out. What the heck was it? I asked what it was and she told me spinach. But it wasn't like the spinach my mom made; it was heaping, overflowing out of the skillet. After I explained to her my concern about not being normal spinach, she told me after eating this, I would never want spinach another way. I watched her for the few minutes; the spinach that had tried to escape the skillet had now melted into this little mound of green. It went against my whole will, I had to try it. One bite and I was hooked. You know what? She was right. That was almost eleven years ago and I have never prepared my spinach any other way. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! (There's one way thing to know, you can NEVER have too much garlic. I used almost a whole head this time!)

Yes, that white is garlic. I didn't mince mine enough this time but it was still good!

4 T. olive oil (just a guess)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 bags spinach (9 oz each)

In a LARGE skillet, heat up oil and sautee garlic. Make sure garlic is completely cooked and soft. (When you add the spinach, it is more the heat from the oil that will wilt and cook it than the heat from the burner.) Once garlic is browned, add all the spinach. Keep turning spinach until all is cooked and wilted.

Grilled Chicken Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Balsamic Reduction

The inspiration for this dish was a combination of two things. First, I had a dish similar to this a TGI Friday's. It was so good and so simple that I couldn't forget it. I remember the balsamic reduction that was to die for but it was not nearly enough. Yesterday at lunch, my aunt had some killer lemon spinach which in turn made me crazy for spinach (MY spinach because I know I can make it better). My uncle had pecan crusted chicken that was incredibly tender. After discussion, we decided it was because the chicken was so thin. SO I decided to combine the two and the result was awesome! My aunt and uncle raved about it. I'd highly recommend it and I wouldn't change a thing. I'm going to write my directions to show you how to multi-task so hopefully it all is ready at the same time! So read everything first, then cook. ;)

chicken breasts, butterflied
salt-free lemon pepper

capellini pasta
diced tomatoes
a good quality hard cheese, grated

1 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 T. brown sugar

Preheat grill (or George Foreman in my case). To butterfly chicken, trim of all fat and skin. Carefully place on palm on top of chicken, using the other hand slice through the middle of breast. Spray George Foreman grill with Pam. Season both sides of chicken breast with lemon pepper seasoning, sprinkle top with oregano. Cook for about five minutes or until temperature is 165 (carry over cooking will take it to 170).

While grill is heating (before you butterfly the chicken), pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer. Let simmer while everything cooks.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta.

Around the time you add the pasta, taste the balsamic reduction. If it needs a little bit of sweetness, add brown sugar to taste. Return to simmer while pasta cooks. The reduction should have reduced by about half and it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

To serve, place pasta on place, cut chicken into bite size pieces and layer on top of pasta. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Add diced tomatoes and cheese. Serve with crusty bread.

01 April 2009

Threadgill's, Austin, TX

Testifying before a House committee at the Capitol can really work up an appetite. After we were done, we decided to hit up local eats in Austin. Threadgill's boasts home cooking and I was bound to determine if that was true. When you walk in, the atmosphere is awesome. Gingham tablecloths, crock condiment holders and music posters plastered all over the walls makes you feel like your at a cross between your favorite country bar and your grandma's house. They have chalkboards on every wall listing a blue plate special, veggie of the day, soup of the day and dessert of the day. (Which I have to say, I LOVE a restaurant that can change their menu every day. It shows versatility, creativity and it is not your stock chain place.)

We started with fried green tomatoes because I mean, how can you NOT order fried green tomatoes when they are available? I was shocked to learn that out of myself, my aunt and my uncle, I was the only one who had ever had fried green tomatoes. So for the record, it is NOT just a movie, bt a pretty scrumptous dish. Green tomatoes are a little tangy and firmer than ripe tomatoes. Served along with a spicy ranch, they are delish!

Did I mention that they give you complimentary cornbread and yeast rolls? The cornbread is more traditional muffin style that pan cornbread. It is a little sweeter and has whole kernels of corn in it. But awesome nonetheless.

Now what every southern gal wants, Chicken Friend Steak! This was an above average chicken fried steak. Now by NO means does this mean it was bad, but a girl has certain needs and wants. I like a tender steak, crispy batter, thick cream white gravy are all a must. This CFS had two out of the three. The steak was so tender I could a fork to cut it and the batter was light and crispy. The gravy was, well different. I prefer gravy that I can eat with a fork. Threadgill's was thinner and had a sweeter taste to it. Perhaps they made it from ham dripping instead of bacon because there wasn't that smoky flavor to it. Would I eat it again? Heck yes. The sides are just like your grandma would make. They have an extensive listing of sides which all sounded too good. I finally decided on San Antonio squash and cheesy garlic grits, as you can see in the background. San Antonio squash was just another name for cheesy squash. It could have been sliced a little thinner, but the flavor was good. The cheesy garlic grits was tasty, not too much garlic, but plenty of cheese.

My aunt had grilled chicken with spinach and asparagus. It was average. The chicken was moist but not a lot of bold flavors. My uncle had the pecan crusted chicken and HOLY COW! this was good. I think I would have traded my CFS for his chicken. The chicken was so thin and the batter was not too thick. It was placed on a bed of creamy pecan gravy. I would highly recommend this dish to anyone; even if you don't like pecans, try it, it doesn't taste like it. It just has a subtly sweet taste and amazing texture.

Overall: 4/5

Eating at Threadgill's is an experience. We had a wonderful and attentive waiter with great food. The eclectic crowd that eats here is what defines Austin. So yes, I'm picky, but it was still good. I would eat here again in two heartbeats.

29 March 2009

Roasted Potatoes

Ohmygoodness, these were yummy and so easy. I had a hankering for roasted potatoes but I had never made them. To speed up the process, I put them in the microwave for 3 minutes to partially cook them first and then it only took 20 minutes in the oven.

6 small red potatoes
1/4 white onion, frenched
3 T. evoo
3 tsp. garlic, chopped
kosher salt
coarse ground or fresh black pepper
2 tsp. italian seasoning

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes (because they will be hot!). Cube into bite size pieces. On a foil-lined cookie sheet, lay potatoes and onions in a single layer. Drizzle evoo on top and make sure the potatoes are evenly coated. Add garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning on top of potatoes. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes. Stir to turn potatoes, roast an additional 10 minutes. Serve immediately!

26 March 2009

Hawaiian Chicken Crock Pot Style

Back in the days of college, my two best friends from high school and one of their boyfriends (now husband) had a dinner club. We took turns rotating each week by cooking dinner. That was five years ago and one of the dishes that stands out was one that Kevin made. He put chicken, pineapple, peppers and onions in a foil pouch and baked it in the oven. After an hour, he just emptied everything out over rice. It was ingenious and SO delicious. I have been craving this for a while, so I decided to adapt it for the crock pot. It turned out delicious. It didn't taste as sweet as I can remember, I think it has to do with using terrayki marinade instead of sauce. Possibly, or I could just be delusional. So before serving, I took the juice in the crock pot, mixed leftover juice drained from the fruit with a few tablespoons of flour, brought it to a boil and reduced it while I was cooking the rice. It was an excellent idea. It enhanced the sweetness that I thought was lacking in the straight-from-the-crock pot version.

1/2 bag frozen pearl onions
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed
1 can pineapple chunks (including juice)
1 can mandarian oranges, juice drained and reserved
1/2 bottle terrayki sauce

flour, if needed
brown sugar, if needed

Layer the ingredients in the crock pot as listed, with the veggies on the bottom, fruit on top. Cook on low for 4 hours. Before serving, transfer liquid from crock pot into saucepan. Mix reserved orange juice with a few tablespoons of flour and pour into crock pot liquid. Bring to a boil on the stovetop. Taste for sweetness. If needed, added a few tablespoons on brown sugar. Simmer while preparing rice.

Serve over white or brown rice with reduction sauce on top! Aloha!

Honey B Ham, Conroe, TX

...or Honey Bee Ham, I'm really not sure which is correct. I drove by this place with a banner that proclaimed the "Best Burgers in Montgomery County." Always the one looking for a good cheeseburger, I had to stop and give it a try. I was highly skeptical however, I mean after all, there were a deli, not a hamburger place. It was a small place in a shopping center, both lined the sides and tables in the middle, but the place was packed! I order their standard hamburger, but there are so many choices! Your choice of cheese and your choice of homemade bread. I opted for American cheese and jalepeno bread. I tend to stick to the ideology of the Texas Burger Guy except for the fact that I don't need the "herd killer" aspect of a burger. I do enjoy a moist (not greasy) burger that when the juices from the properly seasoned patty mingle with the mayonnaise it forms an exlir from heaven. This burger in Conroe was pretty dang close. The homemade bun was killer. It rivaled Tiki Bar in Crystal Beach, one that I could eat every stinkin day. There wasn't much kick from the jalepenos but it was slighty sweet, toasted on the inside but soft and chewy outside. The burger was well seasoned and not over-cooked. Served with seasoned fries, this burger was a steal. Definitely under $10 and SO filling. I give it 4.5 stars only because the decor/atmosphere left something to be desired. If it had been in a rustic burger joint, it would have been 5 stars all around.

25 March 2009

Cheese Stuffed Sausage

Tonight was a quick fix meal and I needed it! I had some fresh sausage that was "Philly Cheesesteak" flavored. Now I'm not exactly sure what that entails but it sounded intriguing. I simmered the sausages in beef broth to enrich the meaty-ness of it. (Yes I know, I make up words all the time.) Then "grilled" it under the broiler to make it crispy, one of my favorite techniques. Did you know a broiler is a grill upside down? Yes! I know! Use it!

1 can beef broth
2 Philly Cheesesteak Sausages
1/2 onions, frenched
1 slice 1/4" thick cheddar cheese

Add sausages and onions to broth. Bring to a simmer on medium heat. Turn heat to low and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes (or until meat is cooked if it is fresh sausage). While sausage is simmering, line cookie sheet with foil and preheat broiler. Place sausage on cookie sheet and broil for 2-3 mins on one side until crispy. Turn onions and broth back up to medium to let boil and reduce broth (psst, we're making au jus-kinda). Meanwhile in the oven, flip sausage and cut a slit in sausage, broil for 2 minutes. Add cheese into slit in sausage and continue to broil until melty and gooey. At the same time, place rolls directly on oven rack to get toasty.

Serve sausage on toasty bun with onions on top. Place au jus in a small dipping bowl and serve along side. So tasty, so good and SO easy!!!

P.S. This serves two sausages, one with onions, one without; so if you both want onions, then add a whole onion to the simmering concoction. There's a million variations you can do on this dish. Be careful though, I overcooked my fresh sausage so it was a little tough. BUT I wouldn't hesitate to make it again!

Sweet Potato Fries

It's Tuesday and I've already strayed from my menu planning. BUT I'm a thrifty shopper AND a sucker for a deal, so that's my excuse. ;) I went to an HEB Market, which is similar to a Central Market, only they carry name-brand foods and not as extensive in the organic line. BUT they had a cafe on the run, which I had to check to see if they had pimento cheese. (If you haven't had HEB's Pam's Pimento Cheese, go find yourself some now. It is absolutely NOTHING like they overly orange gooey stuff in the tub. It is simply fabulous!) While I was there, they had crab cakes on sale for $3 each! Then the girl told me they froze well, so I got four. Yum-o. I spent the hour driving "home" to figure out what side I could easily make and that would complement crab cakes. Corn relish?! Yes! However, my fellow dinner partner doesn't like corn. (Who doesn't like corn?! Crazy people, that's who.) That's out. Cole slaw. Possibly, if only they made a decent cole slaw dressing in a bottle. So what do I do turn? Turn to google. :) After a few posts, FINALLY someone recommended sweet potato fries. A-HA! I used to make sweet potato chips all the time. Easy peasy. Except, BOTH mandolines that I own are at my aunt's house...in San Antonio.

I decided to go the old-fashion route and make actual fries. I normally make chips in the microwave but since these would be thicker, I decided to use the oven. I made the mistake of adding too much oil. I thought it would help them cook faster, but it just made them soggy. So I then took a paper towel and wiped up the excess oil and popped them back in the oven, no problem. Also, I LOVE a sprinkle of cayenne on my sweet potatoes. (And I do mean a sprinkle.) It gives it just a little kick that makes you wonder where it came from. You could always go with the standard salt and pepper. Or brown sugar and cinnamon. Whatever suits your fancy.

2 small-medium sweet potatoes (one for each person)
Oil (you can use canola or evoo, just enough to barely coat the fries)
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400. Peel the sweet potatoes and remove any bad spots. Uniformly, slice them into fries. (Uniformity is the key or else parts will skinny fries will start to burn before the fat fries get crunchy.) Line a cookie sheet with foil and lay fries in a single layer. DRIZZLE oil onto potatoes and toss with fingers to coat. Use a lot less than you think you will need, it goes a long way. Redistribute so the fries are in a single layer again. Sprinkle with salt and a hint of cayenne. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn the fries if you wish. Turn the heat up to 425 and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until desired doneness/crispiness.

24 March 2009

Chocolate Chip Pie

I've made this pie once before. It was one of the last things I made in my kitchen before the hurricane. I remember taking it to my Dad's when I evacuated because there was over half a pie left. Everyone went crazy for it up there. The only problem is, I don't remember the recipe. I tried to make it again and had problems while cooking it in the oven. I think I originally added more flour. The problem was, I couldn't get the pie to "set." After 40 minutes, the top was brown and crusty, but the inside was still raw. I turned the oven down to 300 degrees and baked it for another 15 minutes like that. It set fine in the end but all the chocolate chips had melted together at the bottom and then there was the 'dough' layer. So I'll post the recipe as I made it and you can make your own judgment as to how to prepare it. (I would probably add another 1/2 cup of flour and start baking it at 300 degrees first.)

2 eggs
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla (I didn't have any!)
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. chocolate chips
1/4 c. chocolate chips
pie crust of your choice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat eggs until frothy. Add both types of sugar and vanilla, blend well. Once sugars are incorporated, add melted butter. Add flour in small batches until well blended. Add 3/4 c. chocolate chips and pour into pie crust placed on a cookie sheet. Bake in oven for 40 mins. Add 1/4 chocolate chips (so you'll have some at the bottom AND the top). (This is where I had to turn the oven down to 300.) Bake an additional 15-20 minutes. Pie will still look raw, much like chocolate chip cookies, but should be firm.

Serve warm with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla, whip cream and chocolate syrup (if I had some!). Yummy!

Pie in the Sky, Part II

Okay, so I HAD to go back since I was in Conroe. This time I had their savory pie of the day, which had: zuchinni, squash, tomatoes, onions, fresh spinach, cilantro, bread, ham, bacon and eggs and I'm not sure what else, all baked in a pie shell. Then they broiled a sliced tomato and cheese on top. It was so tasty. I remembered to take a picture of it as I was almost done. It was SOOO tall and very filling. They served it along with your choice of soup for $7.95.

I had to skip dessert this time because I was so full. But there's always next time. (This place is actually what inspired me to make my chocolate chip pie again.) =)

23 March 2009

Menu Planning

I haven't cooked anything in what seems like weeks. I mean, I whip up the standard pasta or something easy but this week I'm gonna plan so I can make something exciting and new! Hopefully. Here's my plan...

Leftover Mexican Pasta

Hawaiian Chicken

Oven Fried Chicken

Spinach Noodle Crockpot

Eat out

Hmm, that's a lot of chicken. We'll see what happens!

26 February 2009

Pie in the Sky, Conroe, TX

I don't think I have given out five stars yet in my reviewing restaurants, but *DING DING DING* we have a winner. Holy cow this place is awesome. I have no idea what kind of building it used to be, but the Pie in the Sky people have transformed it in to a cute, quaint little cafe. It's got bold bright green, blues and oranges on the walls, complete with rustic doors lining the ceiling. EVERYONE feels comfortable here. There's a group of ladies spliting a pie at the table next to me, across the room are two men car salesman. No one is unwelcome here. Every dish that comes out of the kitchen looks spectacular, including the sweet potato fries. I instead opted to have their strawberry spinach salad and let me tell you. They don't play around. Served in a tall glass bowl, this was packed full with spinach and FRESH strawberries. The dressing wasn't too heavy or too sweet. Then, the killer, Mississippi Mud pie. Whoa man. It came out on a plate, warmed, drizzled with chocolate and caramel syrup, dotted with chocolate chips and pecans and huge scoop of ice cream AND whip cream. I think I'm gaining pounds just by looking at it. One bite and it's heaven. I'm not comparing, but it's better than a certain piece of "Heaven" in the Bryan/College Station area pie. I would HIGHLY recommend this place!

Bueno: EVERYTHING, even the wait staff
Cons: You have to leave/
Rating: 5/5

24 February 2009

Creamy Cajun Pasta

Ooooweee! 'Dis stuff is slap yo momma good. (That was my Justin Wilson impersonation.) Happy Fat Tuesday! I've been craving cajun food sooo bad. Maybe it's because Saturday was the Mardi Gras parade on the Bolivar Peninsula, which would normally result in a crawfish boil or some sort of cajun food happening. Or the fact that it's Fat Tuesday and I've heard all about it. Anyways, I decided to do something about it. I compiled a bunch of different recipes and it turned out sooooooo good!

6 chicken tenders, cleaned and cubed

1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 medium onion, diced
3/4 red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3T. flour
3 1/2 c. half and half
8 oz. white velveeta

1/2 pound small shrimp, cleaned, tails removed
12 bay scallops, cleaned

bowtie pasta

blackened seasoning
salt, coarse ground pepper

Start a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Warm a few tablespoon of olive oil in a large (read: deep) skillet over medium heat. Cover both sides of chicken with blackening seasoning. At this time, season the shrimp and scallops as well, but we will not cook them just let. They will marinate and be happy in the blackening seasoning for a while. Sautee chicken until light brown and cooked all the way through. This should not take long since the chicken is cubed. Once light brown, add the chopped veggies EXCEPT the garlic and save a little green onion tops for garnish. Also salt and pepper to taste. Once the onions turn opaque, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the garlic is soft. [Now, just so you know, I combined about 7 different recipes and in my shuffling through recipes, I decided to cook my veggies first and forgot about the chicken. Needless to say, I added the chicken after the veggies were soft and it didn't affect anything except for it's ability to brown a little, but it really didn't matter that much. If I created this recipe again, I would probably start with chicken first though.)

Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and veggie mixture and cook until no longer white. Turn heat down to medium low (or low for those of you like me who are scared of burning milk) and add cream and velveeta. Increase heat to bring to low simmer. *This is a good time to add your pasta to the boiling water.* Keep it at a LOW simmer for 5 minutes. Around minute 3 or so, check your seasonings to make sure you have enough blackening seasoning, salt and pepper. (Make sure it is simmering or very hot) Add the shrimp and scallops. These should only need to cook for 5 minutes or so. You will know they are done when the shrimp curl up like a "C" and are a bright pink. The scallops will be white instead of opaque-y. Serve over pasta with fresh Italian bread.

Next time, I wouldn't change a thing!!! This was so excellent and even though it was MORE than 3 cups of half and half, it wasn't too heavy. I might use a little less flour because I was over paranoid it would turn more into a thick gravy than a creamy sauce. But other than that, nothing else. It was perfect!

17 February 2009

Recipe Bonaza!!!

It has finally happened. I updated! I am current with all my recipes, including my crock pot adventures! I back dated the recipes so you'll have to look for it. Be sure and check out the oldest from November.Here are the older posts you should check out:

Crock Pot BBQ Pork
Crock Pot Gumbo
Crock Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu
Crock Pot Carnitas
Chicken Spaghetti
Crock Pot BBQ Beef Ribs and Sausage

As you might can tell, I'm obsessed with my crock pot. It was the best Christmas present I could have gotten!

Crock Pot BBQ Beef Ribs & Sausage

Sweet and melt in your mouth good without all the fuss. Need I say more?

2(ish) lbs beef ribs
Tex-Joy BBQ Seasoning

1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. coarse grain mustard
3T. liquid smoke
3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 onion, sliced

1/2 c. Dr. Pepper

1 lb. sausage, sliced on the bias

Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

Trim ribs of skin and excess fat. Sprinkle on seasoning of your choice. Mix next group of ingredients together. Coat ribs with glaze. Layer ribs and onions in crock pot. Pour Dr. Pepper over the top. (I accidentally forgot to pull in my crock pot and it sat for an hour. I think it might have helped.) After that I realized I wasn't smelling my food like I should have, I went to check on it and then plugged in it. :D Let this cook on high for three hours.

After three hours, I pulled the ribs out and poured on BBQ sauce on the ribs and added the sausage. I then cooked for another two hours on low.

Next time, I would cook the sausage a little to lessen the fat. (And be more cautious when I trim the fat too). Either that or cook it the day before I wanted it, stick it in the refrigerator and then remove the fat and reheat the next day. I would also drain about half of the first liquid off before I added the BBQ sauce. I am assuming this would result in a thicker sauce that could top the BBQ. Don't get me wrong, the flavor was awesome! I will definitely make this again!

14 February 2009

Chicken Spaghetti

Valentine's Day was coming this year and I wanted something a little indulgent. We had lots of leftover chicken lying around and me being the frugal one I couldn't let it go to waste. Add cheese to anything and you have the perfect dish. So this might be a little odd, but this blog recipe will have two parts. The first part I made it in the crock pot. Then it wasn't cheesy enough so I tweeked it for leftovers. I'm crazy, I know.

2(ish) cups cooked chicken
1 (ish) cup chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can diced tomatoes (I used garlic and onion), undrained

1 pound (1/2 loaf velveeta)

cooked spaghetti noodles

Place the chicken in the crock pot. Add tomatoes, cream of mushroom soup and enough chicken broth to make it soupy. (This part makes it very adaptable to however much chicken you have left!) Then thickly slice the velveeta and lay it on top. Simmer on low for 5-6 hours. Serve over cooked noodles.

It turned out okay, not anything spectacular. It didn't become the oozy cheesy that I had expected it to. I think because I let it go for that long in the crock pot (I left the house to teach) the chicken stock boiled and didn't let the velveeta do it's magic. To fix, I would just cook it until it's reheated and all gooey.

Chicken Spaghetti, Redux

To maximize the cheesyness, (I like to add -y to words because I can!) I decided to make a cheese sauce to add to it. To do this, I took about 3/4 pound of velveeta, cut it into cubes and added chicken stock to think it out. If I had to guesstimate, I'd say I used about 1/3 cup of chicken stock. (Psst, I actually warmed this in the microwave until it became smooth and creamy.) Once smooth, I folded it into crock pot chicken spaghetti. This was DELISH!!! This was exactly the way I had planned it.

Next time, I would make this when I was at home so I could monitor and allow it to become creamy because I really think it would. Or if I had the time, I would just make the sauce, throw it in a casserole dish, top with cheese and brown it in the oven. Either way, the second go around was super tastey!!!

08 February 2009

Crock Pot Carnitas

Nothing beats authentic and simple Mexican food. These carnitas are super easy to make and with the simplest condiments make a fabulous meal. The best thing is you can use the leftover meat for quesadillas or enchilada casserole.

4 lb pork (shoulder, roast, carnita meat)
1 bottle Miller Chill beer
1/2 fresh orange juice
1/2 bunch cilantro
4 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper

Rub the pork with salt, pepper and garlic. Place in crock pot and pour OJ and beer in crock pot and place cilantro around pork. Let simmer on low for 6 hours.

Serve on corn tortillas with lime wedges, pico, fresh avocado, and crumbled queso fresco. Keep it simple! It's so tasty.

Next time, I would add 2 limes (cut into wedges) to the crock pot while simmering. I was afraid that the Miller Chill would be too limey but it wasn't at all. I would also use a different kind of beer. The Miller Chill just didn't do it for me. I don't know what exactly I'd use, but I'd try something different. I'd also just go ahead and add a whole bunch of cilantro (minus some for the pico). Why the heck not? :D

31 January 2009

Crockpot Chicken Cordon Bleu

Okay, so I can't let you think that everything I make is good. This recipe was an epic fail. I'm not even going to lie. I don't know how it went wrong, it sounded so good in my head. I am determined to revisit this and try it again. But here's what I did so you will know what NOT to do...

In a crockpot, layer:

Chicken Breasts
Canned Mushrooms
Swiss Cheese

Mix 1 can of cream of chicken and 1 can of cream of broccoli cheese soup and pour over layers. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

I think where I went wrong was with real cheese. I believe cooking it for an extended period of time melted it too much changing the texture and integrity of the dish. I also would stick with cream of mushroom soups. I particularly care for the cream of chicken and broccoli cheese soup, but that's just me. I haven't figured out exactly how to redo this, but I'm gonna find a way!

29 January 2009


This morning I had to have my car worked on in San Juan which is about 30 miles from the town I'm working in. In case you're wondering there a few things I only trust with select people. I'm very picky about who does my hair, my eyebrows, takes care of my dog and my car falls into this category as well. A friend of a friend of my uncle's referred me over here, so here I am. Nevertheless, the point of this post is food! Being stranded for a few hours, I decided to walk down to the first restaurant by the shop which the owner had recommended. It was a small place in a strip mall so I was a little cautious. Everything looked too new to fall in the 'greasy hole in the wall reaaaallly good mexican food' category. The breakfast menu was overwhelming with options. Eggs with anything you could imagine, some I couldn't identify what it was. Two different kinds of migas, three different kinds of chilaquiles. I was intrigued. I've never had authentic migas OR chilaquiles and really didn't know the difference. After asking the waitress a few questions, I decided on chilaquiles rojo con chorizo. See, migas and chilaquiles both have fried tortilla bits in them, but where they differ is migas are cooked with eggs and chilaquiles are simply covered with sauce, maybe a meat and queso fresco. I ordered scrambled eggs on the side as well.

Picture from www.chezpim.com

Picture from www.roadfood.com

As you can see from these pictures (that I didn't take), the migas are more egg-y, while the chilaquiles are more sauce-y.

The plate came out with this wonderful red conncotion on a third of the plate with beans, fried potatoes and my eggs, which were real for the record and not the fake powdered kind. Although the above picture is not my meal, it was very similar, minus the pepper and tomato with a little bit more sauce. My first bite and I was hooked. The tortillas were still crunchy and the rojo sauce was the perfect blend of spices and heat. The chorizo was crumbled enough to not interfere with the simplicity of the dish. A bite of chilaquiles and a bite of eggs and I was in mexican food heaven. I swear I have a mexican grandmother somewhere in my genes because nothing is better than homemade mexican food. Shortly after I received my order, the four staff of the restaurant sat down and enjoyed breakfast together. You know it's good when you see the people that cook and serve it all day sit down and eat it. I only hope I have a reason to travel to San Juan again so I can try something else from there!

16 January 2009

Crockpot Gumbo

3/4 c. oil
3/4 c. flour

1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced (including leaves)
1 bunch green onion, chopped (roots removed, including green tops)
4 cloves garlic, chopped

2# chicken breasts
1# sausage, sliced
4-6 c. chicken stock

red pepper

*I still don't have a camera, I might insert a stock photo later. Sorry!*

Chop all your veggies first! I did not use bell peppers because I frankly don't care for them. I instead used a whole bunch of green onions and included all the tops as well.

Heat oil in a skillet until hot. Slowly whisk in flour until blended. Brown flour to a dark brown, not black. (I've heard this can only take ten minutes, but I was too afraid of burning it so it took me upwards of forty five minutes.) As soon as it reaches the correct color, remove from heat and throw in the veggies. Stir around, cover the veggies with the roux and sautee with the residual heat left in the pan.

Dump the roux and veggies in the crock pot. Add chicken (I prefer dark meat because it takes to longer cooking in the crock pot, white meat has a tendency to dry out) and sausage. Add enough chicken broth (I actually used chicken and beef because I had some open from the last time I cooked) to cover the chicken and sausage. Add salt, pepper and red pepper to taste. Cook on low allllllllll day. Seriously, I put mine on a 10:00 in the morning and we ate it at 5:30 in the evening.

Gumbo is one of those amazing things that you can simmer forever and the better it gets. If your chicken hasn't fallen apart, use a fork and gently shred it before you serve. Serve over cooked rice with some file, Tony's and Tabasco. This stuff is so simple, but sooo good! I made a whole 4 quart full and it was all gone after one sitting!

13 January 2009

Recipe in the Making

I got a crock pot for Christmas!! And yes, I actually asked for it! Now that I have one, it's my new obsession. For the next month, I plan to use my crock pot every Saturday while I'm away at indoor drumline rehearsals. I have been researching crockpot recipes for the past two weeks and they all seem to look the same. Pot roast. Chicken. BBQ meat. What about some variety? There's a lady who cooked something in her crock pot EVERY DAY of the year last year and didn't get too tired. I figured surely I can cook something once a week and not get bored. One of my favorite dishes I haven't made in a while is Hawaiian chicken. Usually I cook it in a foil pouch in the oven, but I'm thinking maybe I can do it in the crock pot...Hmmmm. I think I can. I'll let you know.

*And I promise to update with my first crock pot recipe and pictures soon!

10 January 2009

Crock Pot BBQ Pork

Ugh, this was so stinking good and I can't remember the recipe now. I thought I had saved it, but I guess not. And of course, I can't find whatever website I used for my inspiration. So here's what I *think* I did:

3-4 lb. pork roast
1 bottle BBQ sauce (Jack Daniel's BBQ sauce)
2 c. (ish?) beef broth
3T liquid smoke
1/4 c. dried chopped onion
salt, pepper

Season the pork roast with salt and pepper. Place in bottom of crock pot. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over. I know 1/4 cup of dried onion sounds like a lot but I know that I seriously used 1/2 bottle of dried chopped onion. I guess you could use real onion, but I didn't have any on hand. I also can't remember if I used 3T. of liquid smoke or 1/4 cup. I know, I suck. I guess I'll have to make it again. Either way, this is the basis and if you make it, I promise it'll be good. I mean, just look at the picture!

07 January 2009

New York Deli II

I'm in the Rio Grande Valley this week which means...sandwiches? You would think being a hop, skip, and a jump, I would be engorging myself on Mexican food. However, last time I was down this way, I was less than impressed with the "Mexican" food. You see, apparently "real" Mexican food and Tex-Mex are waaaaaaaaaay different. I have found that I am a Tex-Mex gal. Real authentic Mexican food is too bland for my personal palate. Nothing seemed to quench my mexican food craving last time, so this time I'm carefully researching it. In the mean time, I hit a relatively new place to town called New York Deli II. Apparently, they did so well in a neighboring town, they opened up one in Harlingen, so it HAD to be good, right? RIGHT! I ordered a traditional corned beef Reuben. There was cheese on both sides of bread and a hearty amount of sauerkraut, something which most places just sprinkles on. With homemade Russian dressing! It was so good, and apparently so popular, that it comes in a bottle, like ketchup would. You also get your choice of potato salad, coleslaw or bagged potato chips. I went for the coleslaw after questioning the waitress about it's creamy-ness or vinegary-ness. She said she totally understood my concern, she's had that question before but the best answer she could give was that it's both.[I was glad to know I wasn't the first to ask!] So I decided to give it a try and was glad I did! The cabbage was finely shredded, like almost to the likes of sprouts, I mean that thin. It was crazy and I couldn't figure it out. But true to her word, the coleslaw was creamy with just the right hint of sweet and vinegar. I would recommend this place without hesitation. The only cons was that it's a small place, about 25 tables and it gets PACKED and LOUD during traditional lunch hours. So come early or late, or be prepared to scout out a table. I wish I had some pictures or they even had a website, but I was ill prepared, but trust me, this is a keeper!

Pros: Awesome sandwiches with quality meats and cheese, prompt waitress
Cons: Can be packed and loud at times
Will I Return?: HECK YES!
Rating: 5/5

BY THE WAY, if you happen to find yourself in Harlingen and at New York Deli II, make sure to grab a bag of cookies at the counter. They were from a local place that just had a tag that said "Dulce Vida." They looked like a cookie I remember devouring by the dozen in my past, although my old age prevents me from remembering where I got them. I just had to buy a bag, even though it was $4/dz. However, they were SOO delicious I am thinking of calling the number on the back to get some more before I have to leave town. They were two versions, one with powdered sugar and one with cinnamon and sugar. I opted for cinnamon sugar and they were absolutely fab. They just dissolve in your mouth to the texture of sand [I know it's a horrible analogy but the best way I could think to describe it.] DEFINITELY buy yourself a bag!