Friday, December 9, 2016

Encouraging you to subscribe

Hi Dear Friends,

I am sure that you or someone you know Is not good in the kitchen at all.

I want to encourage you blog viewers to subscribe to this blog and receive these kitchen blog posts straight to your email inbox. Subscribe yourself, then invite 2 friends to do the same. Let's actually do something in order to get to where we want to be.

If this blog has been helpful to you, don't just hold it to yourself. Share it with someone else.

To subscribe just follow the directions to the right of this post  titled 'Get this in your email' It has the 1, 2, 3 steps on subscribing. Then directly on top of it, is a section titled 'Follow by email' That is where you write in your email address to receive these posts straight to your email inbox.

Pass on the word,

P.S. If people can pass along information that are garbage and irrelevant. Why not pass on something helpful and interesting?

From my kitchen to yours God Bless

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Loaded Mac and Cheese

Theres a story behind this recipe : - )
Warning: Nothing healthy about this recipe. But it is oh, so good...

I'm a southern girl at heart. I love my good old fashioned southern food, even though I'm from New York. You can never go wrong when it comes to that Southern Homestyle cooking. Yum...Things like collard greens, ribs, fried chicken, mac and cheese, dressings and all that good stuff. Here is a recipe that I tweeked and combined together from two people, who taught me how to make some good mac and cheese; (not the straight out of the box kind that I was used to) a lady named Mrs. Esther and a gentleman named Mr. Duke.

Heres a little story of how I used to do my mac and cheese. All my life growing up in the North, I've loved mac and cheese. So anytime I needed mac and cheese I would do what I assume, almost everyone does. I'd follow the instructions on the back of the box - boil pasta and then add the cheese that comes with the packet. That simple : - )

One day I made mac and cheese along with some other things for a party. When everyone ate the food, they loved it. But after the party. Mr. Duke came to me and said "Mrs. You are in the South now. Mac and cheese has a whole new meaning out here. Let me explain to you how to make mac and cheese the right way for next time." I started laughing but actually took his advice and tried it next time.

Then I met another lady named Esther who for the first time in my life, I'd seen that actually adds other things into the mac and cheese besides just the pasta and the cheese from the box. Thats where I got the loaded idea from. Two mac and cheese specialists, whom I'm not sure if my mac and cheese will ever deserve a table spot anywhere near theirs : - ) Thanks for the help.

Loaded Mac and Cheese
Servings: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Source: Elise Jackson, Mr. Duke, Mrs. Esther

1 box shell Pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 8oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 pack shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese cut into small cubes
1/2 cup cheddar cheese cut into small cubes
1/2 onion diced really small
1/2 pepper diced really small
1/4 cup chives diced really small
1/2 tomato diced really small
1 pack of bacon
bread crumbs (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

In a small pot sauté  for about 1 - 2 minutes in a little butter or oil, your onion, pepper and tomatoes. Set aside.

Set a pot full of water on the stove on high heat and when it starts to boil, add in your pasta for the directed time on the back of the box. Should be between 6 - 10 minutes more or less. Once boiled and soft, drain and rinse the pasta in cold water (this helps it to cool but most importantly stops the cooking)  set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400F and bake your pack of bacon until crispy and set to cool. Once cooled crumble your bacon. (This can be done with any meat. Chicken would be a great alternative. Cooking the chicken and then shredding it.)

Once your bacon is already cooked and crumbled and all of your cheese are cited and  your vegetables are diced tiny as mentioned in the list above. Get big bowl and mix in all of your ingredients (except for the shredded mozzarella cheese) together into the big bowl. Add a little salt and pepper and mix well.

Now reduce your oven temperature to 350F, Get a pyrex and sprinkle a little  olive oil on the bottom just to prevent the pasta from sticking.  Place all of your mac and cheese mixture into the pyrex and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese on top. (Optional: You can sprinkle some bread crumbs on top also. With the mozzarella cheese, for a uniquely different taste and a nice crunch)

Cover with aluminum foil and Place in the oven for about 20minutes, remove the foil and set oven to broil for about 1-2 minutes(only) just to allow cheese to brown on top.

Remove from oven and serve warm.
Goes great with everything

Print Recipe
From my kitchen to yours

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chili's Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Went to Chili's a little while ago and as a side had their loaded mashed potatoes. I fell in love with it but couldn't stop thinking about how simple and cheap it is to make for myself at home. Very simple and yet delicious to go alongside any of your great meals. Here is how its done.

Chili's Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Servings: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Source: Elise Jackson

6 large potatoes
1 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp butter
2 oz milk
salt and pepper to taste

As much as  you want, this is to sprinkle on top
-full pieces of bacon strips or bacon bits
-shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese

If you are using bacon strips, go ahead and place them in the oven on 400F for about 15 minutes or until very crispy, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cooled, crumble into tiny pieces.

Place a pot full of water on the stove on high heat and bring it to a boil, while its starting to boil. Peel and cut your potatoes into big chunks and throw it into the boiling water. Allow to boil for about 10 - 15 minutes or until the potatoes are nice and soft. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl a little at a time pour in your drained potatoes pieces, milk, sour cream and butter and mix using a handheld electric mixer in order to get it nice, smooth and creamy. Once you've finished mixing, add in your salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

Cut your chives into small pieces and mix it in a small bowl with the shredded cheese and your bacon pieces.

At the time to serve, plate your mashed potatoes nice and warm and on top sprinkle the cheese, chive, bacon mixture and serve. Because the potatoes are hot, the cheese will begin to melt on top.

Tip: Always when dealing with potatoes, in order for them not to get black. Place them into a bowl of water as soon as you peel it. This helps it keep its nice white or cream color without blackening spots.

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Friday, December 2, 2016

Salmon Sandwich Rolls (Done in 2 minutes)

These bite sized light sandwiches are such a delicate snack or great addition to eat alongside any soup or salad. I had this a few weeks ago with a squash soup. Really light and delicious. All six of these little rolls were made from one slice of bread. Try it for yourself; and feel free to add another meat like turkey, ham, salami, mortadella, pastrami etc. The salmon I used for mine was smoked salmon, though it looks raw it isn't.

Salmon Sandwich Rolls
Servings: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 2 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Minutes
Source: Elise Jackson

1 pack hand sliced fresh smoked salmon (Pat them dry with a paper towel)
1/2 cup cream cheese (at room temperature)
2 tbsp chives
4 slices bread
pinch salt

Dice your chives into small pieces and mix it in well with the cream cheese and salt. Set aside.

Take your bread slices and cut off the crust, Using a rolling pin or a bottle if you don't have one. Roll out your bread until it is flat. And now spread a thick layer of the cream cheese mixture onto your bread and add on top of that the salmon slices. Carefully roll the sandwich together as you would do in making a wrap or burrito.

wrap the sandwich individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour. After an hour remove it from the fridge and slice it into 1/2 inch pieces, creating the rolls. Once roll should give you about 6 pieces.

Print Recipe
From my kitchen to yours

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hamburger Helper

If you've ever had Hamburger helper, you know exactly how delicious it is. Almost every kids favorite junkie meal and every moms quick throw together ready in minutes. 

The only down side is that it is not all natural, the powder which is the main item to the dish is what I consider as a mystery powder (you have no idea all that's in it.) One of the ingredients labeled on the package is MSG (Not a good thing) Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats.. 

Here I am teaching you how to make it on your own from scratch. Few ingredients and same great taste as that boxed stuff without the mystery powder. You know exactly what you are adding to your food.

So grab your pots and pans and Follow along:

Hamburger Helper
Servings: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 2 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Source: Elise Jackson

1 lb ground beef
1 pack egg noodle pasta (elbow or bowtie can also be used)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
seasoning used: salt, pepper, garlic powder and lawrys (to taste)


In a large pot boil your pasta as instructed on the back of the packet, once boiled; drain and set aside.

While in another large pot put a little oil and start cooking your ground beef on medium-high heat. season as you cook. Once well browned and cooked all the way through, add in your tomato sauce, heavy cream and cheese and mix well, lower heat to medium-low heat and allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until sauce slightly thickens. ( I am not too fond of cheese, but if you are a cheese lover go ahead and add extra cheese, you can even add other types of cheese such as parmesan)

Add your pasta to the cheese sauce, mix and serve warm

Print Recipe
From my kitchen to yours

Monday, November 28, 2016

Coconut Energy Bars in 5 minutes

With  14g of protein per bar, these homemade protein bars are an excellent energy bar, great as a snack and pick me up for a long day ahead, Great to grab in the morning on your way out the door to school or work, for those trying to loose weight a great meal replacement, that is low in calorie but has everything their body needs to keep them going, Great for before and after workouts at the gym (my husbands best use of them) Instead of buying them, make your own and experiment with the flavors to get a variety of tastes that you will love in merely 5 minutes.

Coconut Protein Bar
250 Calories
Servings: 9 Servings (9 Bars)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Source: Elise Jackson

1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup milk (Regular milk, Soy, Coconut or Almond)
3tbsp honey
2/3 cups peanut butter
3 cups oatmeal


In a blender mix together coconut and oatmeal. Blend well until powder like, set aside.

Using a large bowl and a wire whisk, mix together the milk and honey. Once combined add in peanut butter and mix well, then lastly add in your oatmeal, coconut powder. Use a wooden spoon and mix well until it becomes moldable. consistency of a dough.   

Line a small pan with either a cookie sheet or plastic wrap and spread in a thick layer. Refrigerate for about 3 hours, then cut into 6 bars and enjoy. This can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 months. Excellent source of quick protein on the go or just as a light and healthy snack.

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Loaded Cheesy rice

By now you're probably already tired of the endless thanksgiving leftovers turkey sandwiches : - ) Another great thanksgiving leftovers idea, is this loaded cheesy rice. This is great to do with all the bits and pieces leftover in your fridge. You can combine all the leftovers together and make something new that your family won't even recognize was your leftovers from thanksgiving.

Can be compared to southern mac and cheese as well as a lasagna. Here is how its done.

Loaded Cheesy Rice
Servings: 6-8 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Source: Elise Jackson

2 cups rice
2 cups turkey
1 cup collard greens
1 block cream cheese (8oz)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese
salt, pepper to taste

Note: For this recipe you can use whatever you have leftover. What I had was collard greens and turkey, but if you had other vegetables and meats feel free to add them all to your rice, as little or as much as you have

The rice that I used was already cooked for thanksgiving and leftover. But if you don't have enough rice. Just follow this rice recipe and set it aside.

Preheat oven to 350F, Take a pyrex and put all your rice in the pyrex, add in all of your leftovers. In my case I added in the rice, collard greens and turkey.

In a large pot on medium low heat, slowly cook together the milk and cream cheese mixture until it slowly starts to thicken and becomes a cheese sauce. Pour on top of your pyrex mixture and sprinkle shredded cheese to cover the top. Cover with aluminum foil and place in over for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and leave for an additional 5 minutes to allow cheese to brown. Your done.

Remove from oven and serve warm. Goes great with sweet beans if you like that kind of thing

Print Recipe
From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Friday, November 25, 2016

Quick snack

Here is an idea for a quick snack that looks fancy. Entertain your guest with simple ritz crackers topped with whatever you have around. Add different colors to make it stand out.

Great idea for a snack using your thanksgiving leftovers.

Tip: spread something on the cracker to help the toppings stick, but also to avoid the cracker being too dry. I suggest something like sour cream, cream cheese, butter or enchilada sauce

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Candied Yams

Part of the Thanksgiving meal is that delicious candied yams. I just can't have the thanksgiving dinner without 3 things on the table.  The turkey, candied yams and cranberry sauce. Everything else I don't mind, it can change each year; but those 3 are the main essentials : - ) or else you will have a really disappointed Elise.

This thanksgiving don't leave out that traditional candied yams. Its quick and easy to make. Here is how its done.

Candied Yams
Servings: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Source: Elise Jackson

4 Sweet Potatoes
3 tbsp butter
1 bowl of sugar
cinnamon (to taste)

Preheat your oven to 350F, Peel and cut your sweet Potatoes into 1/2 inch circles, set aside. Put 1 and 1/ 2 tbsp of butter chunks at the bottom of a pyrex.

 Take a small bowl and fill it with sugar, then bread each individual sweet potato chunk in the sugar on each side and place them in a pyrex. Once you've got all your sweet potatoes coated in sugar and inside the pyrex. Put the remainder 1 and 1/2 tbsp butter chunks at the top of the sweet potatoes. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven for 1 hour or until sweet potatoes are very soft.

Remove from the oven and while still hot sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Goes great with everything
Print Recipe
From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Corn Muffin Crust Pizza

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Source: Elsie Da Silva

1 box jiffy corn muffin mix
1/2 cup enchilada sauce or tomato sauce
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion diced
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
seasonings (to taste) : lawrys all purpose seasoning, salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 400F, In a large bowl add jiffy mix, sour cream, egg, and milk. Mix well and spread a thin layer on a large pyrex or metal skillet, you want it to form a pizza type crust. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes just until crust starts to harden but is still slightly raw. Set aside to cool.

In a big pot add oil, onion and garlic, cook on medium heat until browned. Add in ground beef and cook, until nicely browned adding in seasonings. Pour half of your enchilada sauce on top of the meat mixture and mix.

Take your Jiffy crust and poke holes all over, pour the remainder of your enchilada sauce on top of the crust and spread your meat on top of sauce, add cheese on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in oven for another 15 minutes or until cheese is nicely melted on top.

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Monday, November 21, 2016

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup)

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup)
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 
Source: Elise Jackson

1 Linguiça or Polska Sausage (Cut 1/3 inch thick)
5 Potatoes (Peeled and cut into big chunks)
2 cups collard greens
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Onion (diced)
1 tsp crushed garlic
salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot add in your 2 tbsp olive oil, onion and garlic. Sauté on medium heat until just browned. Fill pot with water and add in your potatoes. Leave cooking for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are mushy. Set aside to cool for about 30 minutes. 

In another Pot sauté your sausage until golden, drain out the oil and set aside. Once the potatoes and the water is cooled place mixture in a blender a little at a time and blend well until smooth. Return blended mixture to pot. 

Turn on medium heat, add in salt, pepper, linguica and Collard greens. Cook about 5 minutes or until collard greens are a brighter green.

Serve immediately, use the other 1 tbsp olive oil to drizzle on top of each fresh bowl of caldo verde. Goes great with a nice warm piece of your favorite bread.

(Note: If your soup is too thick add a little water, if it is too thin add in more cooked potatoes)
From my kitchen to yours

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Have you tried Subscribing?

Here is your opportunity: If you haven't done so yet. Subscribe to receive weekly emails of recipes and cooking ideas that you can practice and perfect your skill, by simply writing in your email in the 'Follow By Email' section on the side bar.

When Cooking Becomes More Than Just A Task

Many people look at cooking as something so old fashioned and out dated, something no longer needed in today's fast paced - everything at your fingertip society. Wth TV dinners and microwavable everything at hand, after all who really needs cooking anyway... No one wants to stand in front of a hot stove for an hour cooking food from scratch, when you have many other options. How many people look at this blog or any other instructional cooking website and just pass it over as though it is nothing relevant...nothing worth learning, something nice to look at - but definitely not for me...

My friend, that is where you are so wrong. In this blog post, I am trying to bring you to reality. Cooking is related to many areas of your life. How many ladies for instance want to get married,  how many pray to marry prince charming and would love to start a family of their own and live that happily ever after. But wether you go to church or not; the truth of the matter is that unfortunately. You will NEVER get a blessing if you are not ready for it.

You want to get married, don't just hope and wish - that will get you no where. Get up - and do something about it. Practice what you will need, humble yourself and learn this new skill. Excel in everything you do, don't half do things, don't lazy around and sometimes do it, and sometimes don't... Your cooking needs to be Excellent.

How is cooking related to marriage? Marriage, is forever... Everyday for the rest of your life you and your family will need to eat. How can you as the woman of the house provide any kind of whipped together meal for those whom you love... No effort whatsoever. That shouldn't be okay, and maybe that is why you still haven't obtained your blessing, because something like that doesn't please God.

I'm a firm believer in, If you are going to do something - Do it all the way. Dive right in. Give it the absolute best that you have. Where it couldn't possibly be done any better by you.  If you aren't going to give it your best you minus well just not do it at all.

If you can't commit to giving your best in perfecting your cooking, then how can you be cut out for marriage and a family?

So yes, you want to be a wife? You want to have a family of your own? You want to be that guy that knocks your wife off her feet, by knowing your way around the kitchen. Then you are going to have to put in the effort, stand in front of the hot stove, sometimes for hours in order to come out with a masterpiece.

Only when cooking becomes to you more than just a task, when it becomes something important, something worth learning, something to excel in. That my friend, is when you are ready to take on a big responsibility like marriage.When you value the many resources you have at hand to learn how to cook and not keep the excuse of why you aren't a great cook, is when you are ready for prince charming.

Food for thought...

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Triple Chocolate Threat Cake

You know that food that is so bad for you, but you don't seem to care because it's just that good. This is that cake... Such a guilty pleasure.

Full of calories and nothing diet about it at all. But every bite is all so worthed. The perfect combination of soft crumbling cake, bite size chocolate pieces, crushed nuts giving it a nice crunch and a sticky-goey dulce de leche covering. Well worth your time to make.

Triple Chocolate Threat Cake
Servings: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 min
Source: Elsie Da Silva

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 Can condensed milk
1/2 cup Crushed Pecans
1/3 cup coconut
1/3 cup chocolate chips
chocolate syrup sauce (Can also be made by combining 1/2 cup cocoa powder and about 2- 3 tbsp butter in a small pot and cooking on medium low heat for about 5 min.)


Preheat your oven to 350F or 175C and start by making your cake

Grease a cake pan with a little butter and flour, then in a large bowl mix in your butter and sugar until smooth, add eggs and mix until smooth, add in flour and baking powder again mix and then add milk and mix until smooth. Lastly add in your cocoa powder and mix well.  Place mixture into your cake pan and cook in the oven for 45 min to 1 hour depending on type of cake pan used. For a bundt cake like the one pictured above leave in oven for 45 min. Generally for round cakes or cakes made in a pyrex it may vary from 55 min to 1 hour 10 min. Cake is ready when a toothpick or knife pokes the cake and it comes out dry.

While your cake is in the oven, Prepare your sticky topping by putting an unopened can on condensed milk into a pot of boiling water and leave boiling on medium high heat for about 1 hour, this is how you make dulce de leche caramel, very simple.  (If you own a pressure pot, it is much quicker if you put the can of condensed milk inside of a pressure pot and do the same thing...)  Once done, Be EXTREMELY careful when dealing with this HOT can. I suggest draining out the water and leaving the pot along with the can in cold running water for at least 3 - 4 minutes to ensure it cools off.

Open your can, once fully cooled of and frost your cake, if the dulce de leech is too thick a great trick is to add a little milk to soften it a bit.

After frosting the cake start mounting on your toppings. Drizzle your chocolate sauce lightly on top, Sprinkle on your crushed pecans, chocolate chips and coconut.

Cut, serve and enjoy.
Print Recipe
Excellent with a nice tea or coffee.

God Bless
From my kitchen to yours

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Quinoa (Great alternative to rice)


Quinoa - known as the super grain of the future is an excellent substitute to rice, For all the gluten free lovers, it is A naturally gluten free food. Now days you don't have to feel bloated everyday eating white rice, there are so many other healthier options on the market, things like couscous, bulgar wheat, wild rice, brown rice mix and quinoa which are all often even tastier than rice itself when prepared properly. In todays day and age, you only eat white rice and feel bloated if you really want to because there are plenty of really good options.

Here is a great alternative for you to try, Goes great with everything just as rice would. 

Servings: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

2 cup Quinoa
1/3 cup thinly diced olives
1 tomato diced
1/3 onion diced
1/4 cup diced parsley
salt, pepper to taste

Just as you would do with rice, since out your quinoa in a strainer and then place 3 cups of water, on Medium high heat boil that water adding a pinch of salt and olive oil to it. Once boiling add in your quinoa and reduce the heat to low, allow to cook for about 10 - 15 minutes or until your water is gone and the quinoa seeds are soft.

Set aside to cool, in a big bowl add in your cooled quinoa, and all of your diced ingredients (feel free to add to or take away from anything listed above. I've added other things to my quinoa before such as  sliced turkey, diced chicken cubes, other vegetable etc. you can do the same) Add in a pinch of your salt and pepper and mix it all in with a wooden spoon until all evenly mixed together.

Serve just as you would rice, great with fish, beef and chicken dishes.

God Bless
From my kitchen to yours

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is a really quick and delicious snack or dessert that goes excellent with ice cream or whipped cream,

* Here is a good tip: Every time that I have bread that has gone stale, or bread ends. I always put them in a ziplock bag and throw them in the freezer. Then when I have enough bread ends I put them all together and make bread pudding. Thats a great way to make use of bread that you were going to throw away.

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding
Servings: 10 servings
Prep time: 15 min
Total time: 1 Hour 30 min
Source: Elise Jackson

1 loaf of bread
1 can condensed milk
3 cups milk
1/2 pack graham crackers
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
2 eggs
pics cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 350F,

In a large bowl mix together the condensed milk, milk, cinnamon  and eggs. Then in a large pyrex break bread into bite sized chunks and add raisins (optional),  Pour your milk mixture into the bread and let stand for 5 min until all the milk is absorbed into the bread.

Sprinkle graham crackers on top for a nice crunch and place in oven to cook for 45 min or until golden and dry to the touch. Let cool, cut and serve.

Serves great with vanilla ice cream
Print Recipe
From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tips on setting a summery table

As we are now in the summer season here in the U.S. here is a great summery styled snack table. I found this online a little while ago and found it to be gorgeous. If you notice the items on the table are very simple. Just a cake frosted in chocolate and tiny finger foods. Tiny breads with an assortment of things on top such as cheese, tomato, cucumber, salmon, boiled egg etc. and in the far back fresh water with orange slices.

Take notice of how easily you can make something simple look extravagant by adding simple touches. Here they used 2 tier trays to hold the finger foods, a beautiful flower arrangement and cute butterfly ties to hold the napkins (which I've seen at the dollar store before, not expensive at all)

One trick which is used in this picture is the use of different levels to achieve a fuller, more fancy looking table and to create more space. If you have something elevated on a tray rather than flat on the table, this allows for you to then add something else underneath it onto the actual table.

Pay attention to the detail, they are not using plastic plates or cups, but instead summery colored plates and cups. Also instead of serving plain water, Oranges were cut up and added into the jar to create a hint of orange flavor and to look nicer.

Each hors d' oeuvre is formed and carefully put together. For instance lets look at the one with a boiled egg on top. To do this you could use a small cookie cutter or perhaps a bottle cap or something that would help you cut out the bread into a circular shape. Using sliced bread cut out that round shape. Boil an egg (for a smaller cuter looking egg, use quail eggs) lightly butter your bread and Cut the egg into a similar sized circle, gently place the egg on top of the bread and garnish with a piece of parsley.

God Bless

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Edible Arrangments fruit basket (made yourself)

Have you ever heard of Edible Arrangments? A very popular and creative basket made of fruits, a great alternative to giving a healthy gift to your loved ones instead of the same ol things such as flowers and a box of chocolate.

Though beautiful, popular and very fun to eat. Some don't get it due to its expensive prices. A fruit basket such as the one pictured above that can be made at home for about $10 - $20 at absolute most, this would cost you upward of $70 at Edible Arrangments.  More than triple the amount it would cost to make. Don't get me wrong, for those not willing to put in the work to make your own, Edible Arrangments is a sure place to get them, as they are the best in this field, their fruit baskets are spot on. But for those willing to put in just a little work and doing it yourself, it will save you lots of money and made with lots of love is often much better than just buying it in the store.

Take a look at how its done...

Edible Arrangments fruit basket (made yourself )
Servings: 2 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Total time: 45 min
Source: Elsie Da Silva

1 pack skewers
red grapes
8oz meltable milk chocolate or white chocolate
1/2 tsp butter
sprinkles, crushed graham crackers, crushed nuts etc.
(Feel free to swap any of these fruits for something else you like more)

As with Edible Arrangments, your fruit basket can be done in any size vase. Here we made it in a tall mug. Wash all of your fruit and set it aside to dry. Your fruit can be arranged a number of creative ways. On a skewer arrange all the fruit however you like. Mix and match  until you like what you see. Using your knife carve out shapes into your meatier fruits such as in this case the cantaloupe and pineapple.

As you notice in the picture above, some fruits are carved into a heart others into flowers, others into moon shaped pieces, circles etc. Go ahead and try, carve pieces into triangles, circles, squares, stars, hearts and whatever else you may want.

Once you've got your perfect cut pieces, put them on the skewers. Leaving for last your strawberries which will be dipped in chocolate.

In a small bowl pour out your sprinkles and into a small pot place your milk chocolate and butter, on low heat cook until all melted. With your strawberries on a skewer stick, dip the tip into the chocolate  and then into the sprinkles then set aside to cool and harden. Once hardened add it to your fruit basket.

To go an extra mile, add in cute things like the big purple butterfly in this basket (search your local dollar store for these cute little touches to the basket.) Wrap it in thick plastic and tie it with a bow to finish the entire look.

Remember this is a perishable item. Make sure to keep it refrigerated until you give it to the person as a gift.

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Friday, July 15, 2016

Smooth Porridge

For a great breakfast or light dinner, try making porridge. You might remember porridge from the childhood story of Goldie locks and the 3 bears : - ) An age old recipe for such a hearty,smooth, filling and deliciously soft breakfast. Made in mere minutes. I can't get enough of it.

Servings: 2 servings
Prep time: 2 min
Total time: 10 min
Source: Elise Jackson

1/2 cup Oats
2 cups milk
2 tsp sugar
(optional - coconut, cinnamon, apples or whatever else you may want to add to the flavor)

In a blender put your oats and blend it until flaked.
In a pot add in your milk and put it on medium low heat, add in your flaked oats and sugar to taste and cook for about 4 minutes or until your porridge is noticeably thicker. Serve right away and enjoy.

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Cold Cuts Platter

Take a look at this, I came across this picture just the other day and had to share it with you all. A very interesting way to place all of your cold cuts into one big tray and serve at fancy occasions. Very unique and undoubtably an eye catcher.

Try this at your next get together, quick and easy. A nice tip would be to alternate between cheese and something like ham or turkey slices, to have more variety.

God Bless

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

How to cook a whole chicken

Here in the U.S. one of our major holidays is thanksgiving. Where we enjoy a nice big turkey and all of the side dishes that go along with it. But funny enough, there are lots of people who don't like making turkey or even whole chicken due to the fact that it is such a big piece of meat and they are not quite sure how to clean and prepare it. 

I've had many people tell me that they don't cook whole chicken because they don't know how to. In this post, my aim is to help you have a better understanding of how to cook and clean whole chicken, the same goes for making big birds such as turkey.

For the easiest and best cooking method, First cut out the spine of the chicken to allow for it to lay flat in the pyrex whilst cooking. Turn to the back and with a pair of kitchen scissors cut along both sides of the chicken spine, the entire piece will be completely detached and you can throw it away. This will also facilitate with cleaning the insides of the chicken itself.

Once that is done, follow the normal procedure of cleaning chicken Here is a great example of how to properly clean your chicken. Next season the meat by first drizzling olive oil and then the seasonings of your chicken. Such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, lawrys all purpose seasoning etc. Rub it all in well. Here are more details on how to properly season

Preheat the oven to 425F or 210C. Place the chicken into a big enough pyrex drizzled with a little olive oil just for the chicken to not get stuck to the bottom.

Place it in the oven for about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 min. or until fully cooked all the way through and nicely browned.

Once cooked, set aside and allow to cool before cutting it into pieces. Serves well for cutting into whole leg quarters, wings, breast or serving as an entire half a chicken.

From my kitchen to yours

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Making A Pasta Dish

Are you a pasta person? Like anything as long as its pasta?

I love pasta, though its not one of the worlds healthiest food, it is such an enjoyable food to eat. Here I made a quick pasta dish. You can do the same at home and throw together what you have into a a pot and mix it in with your pasta and there you go. In mere minutes you have an enjoyably delicious meal.

Follow instructions below for Making the ideal pasta dish

Pasta Dish
Servings 4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Source: Elise Jackson

1lb meat (can be anything from bacon, ground meat, sausage, chicken, seafood, beef, pork)
2-3 cups Green vegetable
1 box Your choice pasta
Your choice sauce as listed below
seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder

Ingredients for Basic Sauces:
White wine sauce - 2 cup heavy cream and 1/3 white wine
White cheese sauce - 2 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
Pink sauce - 1 1/2 cup Heavy cream and 1/2 cup tomato sauce
Red wine sauce - 2 cup tomato sauce and 1/4 cup white wine
red sauce - 2 cup tomato sauce

Lets get started, now that you have your meat, your green vegetable and your pasta. Start off by following the instruction on the back of your pasta and boil for the allotted amount of time instructed. Drain and set aside to cool.

Cut your meat into bite sized cubes, Take a big pot and adding a little oil, cook your meat for a few minutes on medium high heat until cooked all the way through and no longer raw. Choose which sauce you want and Add in your sauce ingredients to the pot ( feel free to add or take away from the suggested amounts of sauce to use.) Cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes, mixing once in a while to not stick to pot and get burned.

Lower heat to medium low, add in your seasonings and green vegetables and cook for another 15 minutes or until sauce slightly thickens.

To Serve neatly try plating the pasta first and then using a big spoon, scoop the meat and vegetable sauce on top in the center of your pasta. Mixing the pasta and sauce together into a big bowl before plating at times tends to come out a bit dry and not very saucy.

Note: Pictured above I made a " Crawfish Fettucini Alfredo" For my meat I used crawfish, my green vegetable was broccoli and my sauce was the white cheese sauce.

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From my kitchen to yours

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Beat the summer heat with refreshing 'Watermelon juice'

The summer is finally here, and the heat is not joking. I am in Louisiana, USA and yesterdays heat was a strong 92F and the summer has just began : - ) In days like this we need to discover smart ways to stay cool, refreshed and hydrated. Here is one of the ideas I came up with. Besides your very necessary intake of 8 cups of water a day (especially in the summer heat) I have started making big containers of fresh watermelon juice.

Did you know that one of the many watermelon qualities is that it is made up of 92% water...  besides all of the other nutritional facts. Watermelon is listed as one of the healthiest fruits on earth. Only consisting of 6% sugar.

Having such a high percentage of water is one of the main reasons why it keeps you so refreshed. Beat the summer heat by eating lots of watermelon  this summer. Follow the instructions below to make watermelon juice. Refrigerate it for a few hours and every time that you are overheating go ahead and pour yourself a tall glass of this cold, fresh watermelon juice and see how instantly refreshed you become.

Fresh Watermelon Juice
Servings 20
Prep time: 7 min
Total time: 10 min
Source: Elise Jackson

A whole Watermelon

Simply take your whole watermelon and cut it into large chunks at a time, throw it into your blender seeds and all, blend for a few minutes until smooth. Then take a strainer and strain out the blended juice into a big bottle or jar. This straining process will strain out the pulp and seeds; allowing for a fresher pulp free juice. (if you are having a hard time straining, use a wooden spoon and help by moving it in a circular motion as the juice goes through the strainer, sometimes it goes slow due to the pulp getting stuck in the wholes. Using the spoon ensures that you get out all the juice and that very few pulp is left over in the end. Don't loose juice, make sure that you get it all out of the strainer) Repeat the process until you have done the entire watermelon.

Here is an example of how to store the juice( a closed glass jar) as you can see, my husband and I are almost halfway through the bottle : - ) 

Refrigerate for a few hours and drink when needed.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Mini pudim de leite

Here is an idea for making pudim de leite. Instead of making the entire traditional bundt pan size, you can make them into individual small mini pudim's. Use cupcake trays and follow the recipe below. Easy, quick and cute.


Here is the recipe. Follow this, just place them into cupcake trays instead of the bundt pan and the cooking time will be 30 minutes rather than the time posted for the bigger pudim  pudim de leite recipe

For those who are more health conscious, Follow the same guidelines listed above, and do this pudim de leite which is fat free style with that same great taste.   fat free pudim de leite recipe

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Louisiana Gumbo Recipe

Being new to Louisiana, residing in New Orleans. I've come to learn that their food is creatively delicious. Their Creole & Cajun styled food is full of flavor and completely different than the traditional American foods that I am used to.

Gumbo is one of the traditional New Orleans food. True soul food at its best. It consists of a pot full of meats. A very heavy meal to keep the family stuffed. Normally there are a variety of meats in the one big pot. The meats for the gumbo vary depending on which types of meats you prefer. Normally there is seafood, chicken and sausage for the best gumbo's. This is served alongside rice.

After trying Gumbo a few times, I decided to give it a try. So I made a Crawfish (Very common in Louisiana, similar to lobster and shrimp, in my opinion much tastier than both), Crab, Turkey neck, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.

Now this recipe would be more for the advanced cooks, as it takes a LONG TIME to make. Though it isn't complicated to do at all. It requires lots of patience with slow cooking over a medium fire. But no doubt, well worth the wait.

Louisiana Gumbo
Servings: 8 - 10
Prep time: 45 min
Total time: 7 hours
Source: Elise Jackson

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb crawfish
1 lb fresh crabmeat
1 lb chicken breast diced into big chunks
1 lb turkey neck
1 long sausage link cut into thick slices
seasonings: (Tony Cacheres creole seasoning, Tony Cacheres gumbo base, lawrys, salt, black pepper, garlic powder)

1 cup butter
1 cup flour


In a big pot put in your olive oil and add in all of your turkey neck, sausage and chicken, on medium high heat cook well for a few minutes until nicely browned. Once completely cooked and browned, add in your seasonings to the meat sprinkle in salt, lawrys, black pepper, garlic powder. Mix in until all well incorporated into the meats. Now fill your pot with water all the way till the top.

Leave on fire on medium high heat until the water starts to boil rapidly. Add in your creole seasoning and your gumbo base to the water and mix in with a wooden spoon. return to boil. Once it returns to a boil, lower your heat to medium low and leave it simmering for 3 hours mixing every once in a while.

While it simmers make your roux. A roux is an even amount of fat and flour. It can be done with lard, butter or oil. Whatever amount of fat you use, you would need to use that same measurement of flour. Roux is made to thicken any type of sauce. Excellent form of making anything thicker. Whether it be a white sauce, wine sauce, tomato sauce or soups and gumbo. Here I used 1 cup of butter so I also had to use 1 cup of flour.

There are different stages when it comes to making the perfect roux. You simply put in your butter into the pot, let it melt and immediately add in your flour and continue mixing every few seconds to not allow to burn on medium low heat. For this specific gumbo recipe you will let it cook for about 45 minutes, mixing every few seconds, until it becomes this dark brown color and consistency. This will allow our sauce for the gumbo to not lighten and change colors but to remain dark and gumbo like.

The different stages to making Roux.

~ White stage -( excellent for white and white wine sauces) cook for about 10 minutes
~ Peanut butter stage -( excellent for your average soups and red sauces, will become light brown and resemble the color of peanut butter.) cook for about 20 - 25 minutes
~ Dark brown stage -( excellent for dark sauces and things such as the gumbo we are making, helps keep the sauce a dark color, as adding white roux to an already dark sauce will lighten the color. To keep that rich dark color you need a dark brown roux) cook for about 45 min.
~ stone hard stage - (stays dark brown in color but no longer becomes smooth and sauce like but instead very hard. This will thicken any sauce almost immediately.)  cook a little longer than 45 min and you will notice a change in texture

After making your roux, set it aside

After your 3 hours of cooking the gumbo, add in your seafood, in my case the crawfish and crabmeat, mix in well and continue cooking for 1 more hour on medium low heat. Now add in your roux which will allow your sauce to noticeably thicken, be careful not to burn, leave on stove for another 1 hour 30 min to 2 hours mixing every once in a while. But as your sauce is thickening be carful for it not to burn.

Once your gumbo is a slightly thick texture and your meats are soft and falling apart, your gumbo is full of flavor and good enough to eat.

Serve with white rice, here is a good recipe

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From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Taco Bell tacos

Last night my husband and I enjoyed tacos. Something that is very simple to make and very fun to create. Done in mere minutes and an enjoyable light snack.

Servings 4
Prep time: 10 min
Total time: 12 min


4 Hard or Soft Shell Tacos
1 lb Ground beef
1/2 cup Tomato sauce 
1/2 Diced onion, tomato, carrot
1/2  lettuce Thinly sliced 
Shredded cheese
Optional: sour cream
Optional: Bbq sauce
Seasonings: salt, pepper, onion powder, taco seasoning


Take your ground meat and cook it in a little bit of olive oil, until nicely browned. To make the original hard shell taco bell tacos, you will season the meat with your taco seasoning mix, salt, pepper, onion powder etc. ( if you don't have taco seasoning, substitute it for something like chilli powder, or other seasonings) once your meat is the way you like it, seasoning wize, you can either leave it dry for the original taco bell way or add in your tomato sauce for a more juicy taco and mix in well, cook on low heat for another 5 min. Then set aside to cool.

On a plate, seperate each of you taco toppings just as I did pictured above to facilitate your taco construction : - ) this is also a fun way to set it up when serving guests or for the kids. It gives everyone the ability to build the taco the way they want.

The Taco Bell styled taco is built 2 ways. On you hard shell taco put in your ground meat and on top of that add a lot of lettuce, then sprinkle on your tomato, onion and last shredded cheese. Another way to do it you want a creamy center: add a tsp of sour cream directly on top of the meat before adding in the lettuce.

Now for my own soft shell taco recipe, it tastes absolutely amazing and would have never known until I tried it. Honestly, I liked this even better than the original Taco Bell recipe. Absolutely delicious.

Bbq Soft Shell Taco
Servings 4
Prep time: 10 min
Total time: 12 min
Source: Elise Jackson


1 lb ground meat
4 Soft shell tacos
Bbq sauce


Cook your ground meat until golden, add in bbq sauce and cook on low for 5 min, set aside to cool. Take your soft shell tacos and put them in a frying pan just to warm up and soften it. Warm for a few seconds then flip over to the other side and warm a few more seconds.

Put your taco together by adding the bbq meat, optional you can add in the lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese.

Seriously, very delicious...

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From my kitchen to yours

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chicken and Tuna kebabs

Like kebabs? Have that outdoor kebab on a grill experience done straight in your oven...
Delicious, fun to eat and great to be served in parties or even as a snack, all your meat and vegetables in one stick.

On the kebab you have your meal serving of meat and vegetables, all you need to add is your starch. Things like rice, mashed potatoes or pasta go well as a side. When making kebabs, there is no specific right or wrong way to make it, nor is there a right or wrong ingredient to add. What I typically do, is I search for all of my favorite vegetables and I add it to the skewer.

I've seen many people add things like onion, pepper, tomato etc. But if you are not the type of person to eat a whole half an onion. Don't add it to your kebab. It will just be taking up space and once roasted you won't eat it. Put things on the skewer that you would actually eat and enjoy.

(Makes 12 Kebabs)

12 Skewer sticks
4 chicken breasts (seasoned and diced into large chunks)
6 Tuna Steaks (optional)
3 Zucchini
10 Carrots
24 broccoli stems
12 Brussel Sprouts
12 mushrooms
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
seasoning: Rock salt, salt, pepper, garlic powder, crushed garlic, parsley

Preheat oven to 400 F or 200 C.

On the skewer, slide in your raw chicken, which will take longer to cook, set it across a pyrex short wise, so that the sticks rest on top of the top of the pyrex. Place in the oven to cook for 20 minutes.

While in oven, work on washing and chopping your vegetables into large, thick chunks. Once the carrots are cut, put them in boiling water for about 5 minutes just until slightly softened, to facilitate the sliding of the carrots onto the skewer stick.(be careful not to overcook or they will break easily).

Remove skewers from oven and allow to cool. Removing the chicken pieces off of the sticks, softly, to not break. Fill in the skewer sticks however you want, alternating between the meats and the vegetables(If you will also be using Tuna, you can add the tuna onto the sticks now as you add in the vegetables, tuna cooks quickly) . Until they are full. Repeat the same pattern for all of your sticks.

Separately in a small bowl mix in your melted butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, crushed garlic,parmesan cheese and parsley. Brush this butter mixture onto both sides of your skewers,being careful to get some of that butter on everything. (I  sometimes find it better, to use a spoon and drizzle it on the skewers one at a time, choose which method works best for you)

Place in the oven, for 15 more minutes, then turn each stick over to cook the other side. Cook for an additional 5 - 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle some rocks salt on top.

Serve warm with rice or the starch of your choice.

Tip: Kebabs are also great with meats such as beef and shrimp.

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From my kitchen to yours

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Brioche French toast for 2

Woke up earlier this morning and made a yummy breakfast for me and my sweetheart. Delicious Brioche bread french toast. Its really simple to make, done in minutes and really filling.We ate this huge breakfast and didn't feel like eating until late afternoon. We were stuffed and more importantly, left the breakfast table with a smile. A really delicious breakfast choice. Try it for your Sunday morning Brunch.

6 Thick sliced bread (I used Brioche bread)
3 egg
1/2 milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Set your bread aside, In a large bowl mix in all of your ingredients.

Turn your fire onto medium low heat, if your frying pan is not teflon and easily sticks spray a little pam.

Dip your breads on both sides, into the egg mixture. Then immediately put it in the frying pan and cook for about 2 minutes or until golden brown, then flip over and cook the same way on the other side.

That simple, your done

French toast goes well with things such as syrup, also great with fresh fruits and jam or whipped cream

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From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

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