Dessert Delight

Dessert Delight

Shrimp New Orleans

Dry Sherry, a common indredient in Cajun and Creole cooking, adds a smoky-sweet flavor to dishes.


12 ounces fresh or frozen peeled and deveined cooked shrimp
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped green or red sweet pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups cooked white rice
1 10-75 ounce cancondensed cream of shrimp soup
1/2 cup half and half or light cream
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
Snipped fresh cilantro

Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Preheat oven to 350 F. In medium saucepan, cook onion and sweet pepper in hot butter over medium heat until tender. Remove from heat.

Stir in shrimp, cooked rice, soup, half and half, sherry, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper. Transfer mixture to a ungreased 2 quart square baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro. makes 6 servings.

Tips for Hot dishes (Casseroles)

Cooperative, cook-friendly casseroles bend over backward to make magnificent meals. These two dozen tips will help even more.

  1. For perfect casseroles, use the size of baking dish that your recipe calls for.
  2. If you don't have the correct size dish, think big and opt to use a dish with larger volume.
  3. If you use a pan that is shallower than the one specified, reduce your baking time by 25 percent.
  4. If you use a pan that is deeper than the one specified, increase baking time by 25 percent.
  5. To check casserole capacity, fill it with water one quart at a time.
  6. Once you have determined the capacity of your casserole dish, mark it on the bottom with an indelible pen, (sharpe) so you won't have to repeat the process.
  7. Stock up on prepeeled and precut vegetables like carrots, onions and broccoli florets. These time-shavers available in the produce section or on the grocery store salad bar, make prep a snap.
  8. Call upon small, four to six ounce individually frozen chicken breasts to pare minutes from prep. These breasts will thaw in a bowl of cold water in less time than it takes to cook pasta or rice.
  9. Put the pasta pot on to boil as soon as you walk in the door. By the time you change into comfy clothes, the water will be ready for cooking pasta or rice.
  10. Adjust recipes as you please. One of the most beatiful things about casseroles is that they're flexible. Does a cup of cheese should like too much? Use half. Does the sauce seem too thick? Thin it with water or broth.
  11. Love those leftovers. Why toss a half a bowl of corn, some leftover tomates, or a sliver of last night's ham when it can be tossed into the enrich and extend almost any casserole.
  12. Don't fear frozen vegetables. Packages of smaller vegetables, like peas or medelys of frozen diced vegetables are nearly equal to fresh vegetables in quality and nutritional content. They do not need to be thawed before adding to casseroles.
  13. Frozen precooked meatballs will stand in for ground beef in a pinch, just thaw, break them up with a fork, and then add to casseroles.
  14. Most casseroles freeze beautifully. Prepare casseroles in foil lined dishes. Freeze overnight in a casserole dish, then remove from dish. Wrap foil carefully over top of casserole or place frozen casserole in a zipping freezer bag.
  15. Most casseroles can be baked, frozen and reheated.  Casseroles containing pasta, however, may become soggy when reheated, so it is best to freeze these casseroles before they are baked.
  16. To prepare a pre-baked casserole, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. If that is impossible, cover and heat in a 325 degree oven for twice its normal baking time.
  17. Would you rather have a crisp, brown casserole top? Bake it uncovered. Conversely, if you prefer your casserole to be soft topped cover while baking.
  18. Assemble casseroles the night before. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator until baking time.

Bacon Cheese Hash Brown Casserole

  • 6 bacon slices
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (32-ounce) package frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded Classic Melts Four Cheese blend, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed 30% reduced-sodium, 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • Cooking spray


  1. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and crumble. Discard drippings in pan. Add 1 cup onion and garlic to pan; cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the potatoes; cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Combine crumbled bacon, 1/4 cup cheese, green onions, sour cream, salt, pepper, and soup in a large bowl. Add potato mixture; toss gently to combine. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. Remove casserole from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Bake casserole, covered, at 350º for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly around edges and cheese begins to brown.

Chicken Coconut Curry Soup


  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
  • 1 (5 3/4-ounce) package pad thai noodles (wide rice stick noodles)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 small hot red chiles, seeded and chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 7 lime wedges


  1. 1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add spinach and peas to pan; cook for 30 seconds. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Add noodles to pan; cook 3 minutes. Drain; add noodles to spinach mixture in bowl.
  2. 2. Heat canola oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and the next 5 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth to pan, and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk to pan; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add chicken, onions, sugar, and fish sauce to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Pour chicken mixture over noodle mixture in bowl. Stir in cilantro and chiles. Serve with lime wedges.

Low Carb Chicken Pasta

1 box uncooked Dreamfields Spaghetti
1/3 cup olive oil
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
7 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid)
15 Kalamata or black olives, pitted and finely chopped
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped (optional)
3 tablespoons capers, drained (optional)
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pan.
  2. Meanwhile, heat half of olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add half of chicken pieces. Cook about 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from skillet. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken. Remove chicken from skillet.
  3. Add garlic to skillet. Cook 1 to 2 minutes until golden, watching carefully so garlic does not burn. Once garlic begins to turn golden, add tomatoes. Cook 2 minutes; stir in olives, anchovies, capers, tomato puree and red pepper flakes. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Return chicken to skillet; heat through. Add spaghetti, toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper as desired. If sauce is too thick, add all or part of the reserved tomato liquid until sauce is desired consistency.
Makes 6 main dish servings.
Nutrition information (1/6 of recipe): 530 calories; 30 g protein; 15 g digestible carbohydrates*; 23 g total fat; 4 g saturated fat; 74 mg cholesterol; 475 mg sodium; 8 g total dietary fiber

Cowboy Beans

I often make pinto beans because my oldest daughter just loves Mexican food and these and a spin off of them.

1 bag of dry pinto beans (wash and pick out any rocks or discolored beans)
1 large diced green bell pepper
1 large diced onion
1/2 diced red bell pepper
4 bay leaves
3 tablespoons chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cumin
4 cut up links of your favorite sausage (I'm using venison/pork garlic spicy flavor)
water to cover beans
1 tsp of red chili flakes or jap if you prefer
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
handful of chopped cilantro

Wash pinto beans. Place pinto beans and all the ingredients into the crock pot except the sausage links and cilantro.

Turn crock pot on low and cook for 5 hours (often adding water if needed and seasoning).  Cut up the sausage into bite size or slices and place into beans.  Cook another 2 hours or until the beans are completely soft. Adjust seasoning if needed.  Serve with Mexican cornbread and over rice.


Crumly Cogwhells Tortilla Soup

Back in the late 80's when I started my career I worked downtown (Houston) and often had lunch at this wonderful restaurant in the tunnel system of town. The restaurant was called Crumly's; which is no longer a working restaurant but does catering.  This soup is by far one of my favorites so I wanted to share it with my friends. 

You can add veggies to this or what ever you would like to make this your own. Don't be afraid to experiement.

 Crumly Cogwheels Tortilla Soup

Recipe By     : Crumly Cogwheels & Houston Chronicle, May 1997
Serving Size  : 10   Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Mexican/Tex-Mex                  Soups & Stews

   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
    1      bunch         cilantro -- washed well
                         -- (leaves only)
    4                    garlic cloves
    1      small         onion -- chopped
    2                    fresh serrano peppers
    1      can           (10-ounce) tomatoes with green chilies
    3      quarts        chicken stock
    1      can           tomato sauce (8 oz)
    2      teaspoons     ground cumin (cominos) -- (2 to 3)
    1      teaspoon      salt -- (up to 2)
    2      tablespoons   cornstarch dissolved in a small amount of
                         -- water
                         corn tortillas (about 20) -- cut into thin
                         -- strips
                         vegetable oil
    2      cups          shredded grilled or poached chicken
                         -- breasts (about 2 ounces per serving)
    1      1/2 cups      shredded monterey jack cheese -- (up to 1)
                         -- (about 1 ounce per serving)
    2                    avocados -- peeled, pitted and
                         -- sliced

Purée cilantro, garlic, onion, peppers and tomatoes with green chilies in a
blender or food processor. Heat stock and add puréed mixture with tomato
sauce, cumin and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 1
hour. Stir dissolved cornstarch into stock. Fry tortillas strips in oil
until crisp; drain well. (Note: you can now buy tortilla strips near the salad condiments)

Divide tortilla strips among 10 to 12 bowls. Top
with chicken and ladle the stock over top.

Garnish with shredded cheese and
2 or 3 avocado slices. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
  “After the recipe for Crumly Cogwheels Cheesecake appeared in the Food
section April 2, several loyal fans of the former restaurant at 1200 Milam
wrote to ask for other favorite recipes, including the Tortilla Soup. It is
their most-requested recipe, said owner Paul Helm, who now operates Crumly
Cogwheels as a full-service catering company. Helm suggests adjusting the
amounts of tortillas, chicken, cheese and avocado to your personal taste.”
Houston Chronicle, May, 1997

Simple, Perfect Chili

I can't take credit for this recipe. It comes from the Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond). It is wonderful, hearty and perfect for a frito pie to chili fries.


2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 pounds ground beef or (venison)
One 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup masa (corn flour, found in the mexican food section of many supermarkets)
1 can pinto beans, drained (I make my pinto beans in the crockpot the day before) taste so much better.
1 can kidney beans, drained (optional)
1 jalapeno, seeeded and finely diced
1 can diced  tomatoes and chiles (I use the Rotel brand)
1 small chopped onion

For serving:
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Chopped onion

1. Begin by measuring the spices; chopped garlic, oregano, cumin, cayenne, and chili powder.
2. Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic and onion.
3. Cook the beef until brown.
4. Drain off the excess fat.
5. Pour in the tomato sauce.
6. Followed by the spices and the salt.
7. Stir together well, cover, and reduce to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour, stiring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add in 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.
8. After an hour, place the massa in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup water and stir together with a fork.
9. Dump the masa mixture into the chili.
10. Stir together well. Taste, adjust the seasonings, and add more masa paste and/or water to get the chili to your preferred consistency, or to add more corn flavor. Add the beans, jalepeno, and tomatoes if desired. Simmer for 10 minutes.
11. Serve with shredded cheddar, chopped onion, and fritos.

I like to cook dry pinto beans the day before in a crockpot instead of adding can. Taste so much better.

Helpful hints: To freeze the chili, allow it to cool completely, then place it in 1 cup portions in freezer bags. Flatten the bags for easy storage in the freezer.

Ceasar Spaghetti

Serves 4
1 pound spaghetti or whole wheat or whole grain spaghetti
1/4 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) plus some for drizzle
6 - 8 oz anchovy fillets, drained
4 large garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 medium heads of escarole, washed and dried
Lots of course black pepper
1/4 tsp freshly grted nutmet, or to taste
1 lemon
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups grated Percoriono Romano cheese

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. When the water boils, add the pasta and cook the pasta to just shy of al dente. Heads up; you need to reserve a cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining.

While the past is cooking , place a large skillet over medium high heat with the EVOO . Add the anchovies to the pan and cook until they've melted into the oil, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the garlic.  Stir for 1 minute , then add the worchestershire sauce.

 Tear the escarole and add severl handfulls  at a time, then stir the wilting greens to coat the garlic oil. Season the greenswith lots of pepper and a little nutmeg, then squeeze the juice of the lemon over the greens. In a heat proof bowl, add the reserved pasta cooking water to the egg yolks and beat together to temper the.

 Turn off the heat under the skillet and toss the drained pasta with the greens and eggs and half of the cheese to coat evenly; toss vigourously for 1 minute. Dress the misture with an extra drizzle of EVOO and serve. Pass the remaining cheese at the table.

Gooey Butter Cake

Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients Add to grocery list

1 18 1/4-ounce package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer.  Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. 
Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well.  Spread over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.