It’s been awhile since I’ve added a recipe and I know the kiddos love carnitas!  Here ya go.  Super simple and your house will smell divine.  Any dutch oven will do, but I love the Wagner Ware.


  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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4-5 lb. pork shoulder
2  green bell peppers, diced or thinly sliced
1  red bell pepper, diced or thinly sliced
3-5 Jalapeno peppers, diced
2 medium brown onions
1 lb. chorizo
3 juice of lemons
2 cups orange juice (may substitute papaya, guava, mango, pineapple)

1.  Brown pork on all sides in a dutch oven.  Salt and pepper while browning.
2.  Cover top of browned meat with chorizo and lemon juice.  Smother with onions and peppers.  Add orange juice.  Cover and bake in 350 degree oven and bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
3.  When meat is done, remove from pot and shred, removing any fat or gristle.  
4.  Return meat to pot with vegetables and mix together until well blended.  If there is too much liquid it can be drained off at this time.

Serve with corn or flour tortillas as tacos or burritos.
Also makes a great tamale filler with less veggies.

Lasagna Soup

I was browsing through Pinterest and lasagna soup came up in the feed.  This sounded so good to me on this rainy day!  I started searching through all of the lasagna soup recipes and combined a few of my favorite parts into this lasagna soup.  So simple.  Make this one for a quick meal on a cold night.

Lasagna Soup

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Olive oil
1/2 lb. lean ground beefIMG_7732
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
32 oz. chicken broth
1 – 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 – 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
10 lasagna noodles
1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
8 oz. ricotta cheese

1.  Start water to boil with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions.  You can cut into bite-sized pieces at this time or after cooking.
2.  Meanwhile, pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large cook pot (I use a Dutch oven) and fry ground beef and sausage until there is no longer any pink in the meat.  Remove meat and set aside.
3.  Add onions and garlic to pot.  You may need to add a little olive oil.  Saute until softened.
4.  Add cooked ground meat, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and all spices.  Simmer over low heat.
5.  Your lasagna noodles should be done.  Cut into bite-sized pieces if you haven’t already.  Add to your cook pot.  At this time you may want to add some lasagna noodle water (about a cup) to cook pot to reach desired consistency of your soup.  Let simmer until nice and hot.
6.  In a medium bowl, mix together shredded mozzarella, shredded parmesan, and ricotta cheeses.  Add a few tablespoons of chopped parsley or basil to the mixture, if desired.
7.  Serve soup in shallow bowls with a dollop or two of the cheese mixture on top.


Our Meatloaf

My mom makes a great meatloaf.  There is usually an ongoing battle of either meatloaf with Saltine crackers/catsup/tomato paste OR oatmeal/barbeque sauce.  Which one is the best?  I think this recipe that is a little of both worlds.  A simple meatloaf recipe on the blog for the kids’ reference.


1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. pork sausage (Italian, hot, or breakfast – it does matter)
2 eggs
1 med. brown onion, diced
2-3 celery sticks, chopped finelyIMG_7579
2 med. carrots, diced
2 cups rolled oats
8 oz. barbeque sauce
1 Tbs. chili powder
2 Tbs. Italian seasoning
2 Tbs. granulated garlic
2 Tbs. cumin
Catsup for the top
salt and pepper

1.  Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl by hand.  Turn into an ungreased 9×13 baking dish.  Form a loaf in the middle of the pan, taking care to keep the loaf away from all sides.  A shaped and flat loaf help to cook faster and more thoroughly.

2.  Bake uncovered at 350° for 45 minutes to an hour.

3.  Remove from oven and pour catsup or barbeque sauce over top and bake until sauce is hot (about 10-15 minutes).


World Peace Ribs (or steaks)

So called, because if everybody had these ribs, there would be world peace!

24 oz. lemon juice
6 jalapeños, diced small
4 Tbs. salt
3 racks ribs (OR 4 lbs. of steak – I like to use Tri-Tip)

Additional Ingredients:
need depending on meat choice below
12 oz. lemon juice
12 oz. light Mexican beer (Corona)

1. Add all marinade ingredients together in stainless steel sauce pan and heat to boiling. Turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

For ribs:
Need the additional 12 oz. of lemon juice and 12 oz. of light Mexican beer (Corona).
2. Place 3-4 racks on baking sheet (jelly roll pan). Pour 12 oz. of lemon juice over ribs. Pour 12 oz. of beer over the ribs. Salt and pepper. Tent ribs with foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours or more.
3. Place ribs on hot BBQ and baste with World Peace sauce. Grill until brown on both sides.

For steaks:
Need an additional 12 oz. of lemon juice.
2. Marinade steaks in 12 oz. of lemon juice for 1-2 hours.
3. Salt and pepper. Put steaks on grill and baste with World Peace sauce. Grill until brown on both sides.

Brussels Sprout Mac ‘n Cheese

I grew Brussels sprouts for the first time last year. Even though I battled pests on the leaves (aphids and cabbage worm), the sprouts were perfect. Add to a skillet of mac ‘n cheese? You bet!

Brussels Sprout Mac ‘n Cheese

8 oz. elbow macaroni
2 1/4 cups almond milk
5 Tbs. butter
1/4 cup flour
10 oz. white American cheese slices
2 oz. gruyere cheese, grated
2 oz. pecorino cheese, grated
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 357 degrees.

2. Cook macaroni according to package directions, al dente, drain and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, grate the gruyere and pecorino cheeses and add spices. Set aside about 1/2 cup of the grated cheese and 4 slices of white American cheese for the top.

4. Melt butter in a large iron skillet (#12) over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the milk and whisk until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Slowly add cheeses from bowl and 3-4 slices of white American at a time until all incorporated and melted. Stir in macaroni and Brussels sprouts. (You can core the Brussels sprouts if you prefer, but we don’t.)

5. Top with remaining white American slices and reserved grated cheeses. Sprinkle bread crumbs over cheeses.

6. Bake in iron skillet for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Clam Chowder Bowl

Clam Chowder Bowl

1-1/2  lbs. fresh clams, chopped (see Notes below)
1          lb. bacon, finely chopped
2          med. onions, diced
2-3       med. potatoes, chopped
4          Tbs. butter
3/4       cup flour
2-1/2   quart clam juice
1          quart heavy cream or half and half
2-1/2   Tbs. chicken base
1-1/2   tsp. white pepper
dash    Tabasco
1/2       cup lemon juice
2          Tbs. fresh garlic, finely chopped
1/2       cup parsley
2           cups celery, diced

1. In a skillet, sauté bacon until it starts to brown and then add the onions, garlic and 3 Tbs. of butter. Cook until onions are translucent. Add the flour to make a roux.

2. In soup pot, saute celery in 1 Tbs. butter until celery is tender. Add the potatoes, clam juice, pepper, Tabasco, lemon juice, and chicken base. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked.

3. Add cream and parsley. Bring to a slow boil. Add roux very slowly, stirring constantly, to thicken.

4, Add clams.

5. Simmer 5 minutes and serve.

To serve in bread bowls: Cut tops off bread bowls and scoop out insides, leaving enough “bowl” for the soup. Cut bread from the inside of the bowl and place on baking sheet to toast. Also toast lid.

NOTES: Use 1 can – 3.3 lbs.- Chopped Sea Clams from Costco. Save the juice from the can and use as above (it will be all the juice you need).

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Here’s an easy crock pot meal. Similar to something I like to order at Chipotle.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

There is even enough for leftovers tomorrow night.

3-4 boneless chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (15 oz.) can black beans
8 oz. fresh or frozen corn
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
avocado and sour cream, if desired

For rice:
1/4 cup lime juice
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup rice

Combine ingredients (except rice ingredients) in crock pot with chicken on top.

Cook on low for about 10 hours or on high for about 6 hours.

Remove chicken and shred with fork. Add shredded chicken back to crock pot and keep warm until serving.
Serve over rice. Garnish with sliced avocado and/or a dollop of sour cream.