YUM! Cheesy Fiesta Hash


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I am all for comfort food…and am in even more favor of easy comfort food. So this Cheesy Fiesta Hash is my kind of grub – delicious and quick to the plate. My take on the classic hash features a spicy sausage and both cheddar and pepper jack for a super cheesy twist with a little kick and a lot of flavor!

You are going to flip over the deliciousness. This hash is one of my go-to meals and it’s versatility keeps it fresh even though it’s in frequent rotation on our table. We most often have it for dinner, but I’ve whipped it up for lunch and breakfast too.

I prefer to use a fresh chicken sausage in a spicy southwestern flavor, but you can use turkey Italian sausage or spicy breakfast sausage instead. I have even subbed the sausage for plain old ground chicken or turkey that I goosed up with canned diced green chilies and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

This dish also presents well because it’s so colorful – like a fiesta on the plate. You will want to use a small, thin skinned potato and any color bell pepper you like. I used a yellow pepper and baby yukon golds for this version but it turns out just as tasty and beautiful with red potatoes and green bell peppers too! My suggestion is to just buy what’s on sale.

Leftovers, if any, never last more than a day with this cheesy goodness!

ImageIt all starts with simple fresh ingredients that I almost always have on hand. Fresh southwest chipotle chicken sausage, potatoes, bell pepper, tomatoes, and cheddar and pepper jack cheeses.

ImageRemove the sausage from the casings and crumble up into a lightly oiled pan. Brown over medium heat.

ImageWhile the sausage cooks, cut your potatoes into a 1/2 inch dice. They don’t have to be pretty but similar in size so they cook evenly.

ImageAdd the diced potatoes to the cooked sausage.

Image Mix to combine it all together. Allow to cook over medium/low heat for about 8 minutes or until the potatoes just start to soften.

ImageAdd the peppers and tomatoes and allow to cook for a few more minutes. Then mix in the cheese and allow to melt. Remove from heat and enjoy!

ImageI like to serve it up in a mound topped with a sunny side up egg. The golden yolk spills out over the cheesy hash and adds a richness that brings this fiesta all together. YUM!

Cheesy Fiesta Hash

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lb. Fresh Chicken Sausage in a spicy chipotle flavor (or any kind of sausage or ground meet of your choosing)
  • 6-8 Small Thin-Skinned Potatoes, like baby red potatoes or baby yukon golds
  • 2 Medium-sized Tomatoes
  • 1 Bell Pepper, any color
  • 1/2 Cup Medium Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.

Directions:

  1. Remove the sausage from casings and crumble into a lightly oiled skillet. Brown over medium heat.
  2. Wash the potatoes, then dice into small cubes. Be sure they are about same size to ensure even cooking.
  3. Add the diced potatoes to the sausage and mix to combine. Season with salt and Pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes start to soften.
  4. While the potatoes cook wash the pepper and tomatoes and cut into small pieces.
  5. Add the pepper and tomato pieces to the pan and mix. Cook for an additional five minutes.
  6. Add the cheese and mix to combine it all.
  7. Remove from heat and serve!
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Miss Jacquelyn enjoyed the hash too. I removed a bit for her before I added the pepper jack cheese so it wouldn’t be as spicy, but just in case I let her have an after-dinner popsicle to cool her mouth down.

Let Me Help You Warm Up


I live in Phoenix, Arizona – land of eternal sunshine.

Today I was cold.

I shouldn’t complain since pretty much every state east of AZ is under a deep freeze – temperatures in the 20’s, teens and (shudder) below freezing! How is that livable?

It was 67 degrees when I was running errands this afternoon and I was kicking myself for not putting on my gloves. Seriously. Gloves.

I am the definition of desert rat – thin blood, Arizona born and bred, anything below 80 degrees, I call chilly. Snow is not for me. Cold is not for me.

But cold weather grub, like soup is definitely for me. I eat it in August when I crying about how hot I am.  So here is a little re-visit of two of my most blog posts – recipes for soup! A super easy creamy loaded baked potato soup and a hearty lemon chicken with orzo. Both are yummy and sure to warm you from the inside out. Stay inside and make a pot of one or both.

Keep warm….and if you must venture into the subzero temps, don’t forget your gloves!

Healthy “Egg Nog” Smoothie


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Check out this recipe I contributed as a member of the Hot Mom Squad for Spa Week Daily. Healthy doesn’t come to mine when you think egg nog and for many the season just isn’t the same without it.

Personally, I am not the biggest fan of ‘nog, it’s just too thick and sweet for my liking. So I came up with this healthy, lighter version and find I it quite pleasing. You can feel free to adjust the nutmeg and cinnamon to your preference and maybe even add a little ginger for extra sweet warmth.

The almond milk has awesome nutritional value and the addition of Greek yogurt gives this treat a boost of protein! Omit the eggs and sub soy yogurt for a vegan version!

Enjoy!

Healthy Holiday Eggnog Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cups of Vanilla Almond Milk, Unsweetened
  • 1/3 Cup Organic Agave Nectar
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 2 ½ Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 6 Ounce Containers of Honey or Vanilla Flavored Greek Yogurt
  • Handful of ice

Click here to read how to blend into a guilt-free taste of the season!

YUM! Four Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip


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It’s pretty likely that you will be doing some holiday entertaining, or perhaps you’ll be attending a few parties and you need to bring a dish to share, or you’re office is having a potluck — whatever the case, you will want to remember this delicious, ooey-gooey, super cheesey dip.

Now, I have two pieces of advice for you in regards to this recipe: 1.) MAKE IT! and 2.) DOUBLE IT!  — Yes, it’s that good! Better than any spinach artichoke dip you order at a restaurant and I am willing to put money on that statement!

Y.U.M.M.Y.

Now, I usually don’t do any jarred sauces, not when it’s so easy to make your own; but I make an exception for this dip. The jarred Alfredo works really well, plus you’ll be doctoring it up so it really only acts as a base. Jarred is the way to go here.

Dunk in your favorite corn tortilla chips, veggies or go all out and make some tasty crostini for your dipping pleasure. This dip is also yummy as a sandwich spread or spooned over grilled chicken. So. Darn. Good.

Enjoy!

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So this is FOUR Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip, yet I only remembered to put the cream cheese in the shot. Not quite sure how I managed to forget THREE main ingredients here, but I did. Duh, me! The cheeses missing from the shot are Asiago, Parmesan, and Mozzarella. Other ingredients include fresh garlic, chopped, frozen spinach, jarred Alfredo sauce, artichoke hearts (in water, NOT marinated) and cream cheese.

Four Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 15 Ounce Jar Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 – 8 Ounce Brick of Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 – 10 Ounce Box of Frozen Chopped Spinach
  • 1 – 14 Ounce Can of Artichoke Hearts in water, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 – Cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Asiago Cheese
  • 1/2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan cook the garlic in the olive oil over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Stirring constantly and careful not to brown or burn.
  2. Add the entire jar of Alfredo sauce to the pan and stir to incorporate the garlic and oil.
  3. Add the softened cream cheese to the Alfredo sauce. Whisk briskly until the cream cheese is smooth, and melted into the sauce.
  4. Add the paprika and blend well.
  5. Add the Asiago, Parmesan and Mozzarella to the sauce in small increments and whisk until smooth between each addition. If you put all the cheese in at once it will clump.
  6. Add the chopped spinach to the mix and stir to incorporate.
  7. Add the chopped artichoke hearts and mix them well into the dip.
  8. Allow to simmer over low heat until the dip starts to bubble a little. Be sure to stir and not let it burn on the bottom of the pan.
  9. Garnish with a dash of paprika and a sprinkle of cheese.
  10. Serve with tortilla chips, crudite, or crostini.
Deliciously dippable. Want a bite?

Deliciously dip-able. Want a bite?

YUM! Chorizo Chili Beans (My Mama’s Recipe)


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Raised by a single mom, I grew up with very little luxuries. But one thing we never lacked was good food. My mom always found a way of stretching a meal to feed our family. Since beans are a very inexpensive protein they were frequently on the menu.

This recipe for chorizo chili beans was always a favorite in our house. When my mom made it for get-togethers she always brought home an empty pot and was hounded for the recipe. But my mom never, ever used recipes, she just threw what she had together. I learned how to make this chili by watching her and I’ve got it down pat (shhhh, mine might even be a little better than hers, but don’t tell her I said that).

The end result of this chili is spicy, hearty and versatile. Ladle it over chips and add cheese for nachos, spoon it over a beef frank for a delicious chili dog or just eat it warm from a bowl, topped with sour cream and cheese. It’s also a great side dish to grilled steaks and delicious for breakfast the next day; serve it over a couple sunny-side-up eggs for a south-of-the-border start to your day. YUM! This recipe makes a lot so be sure to invite some company to share the goodness.

Oh, and my mom’s secret to preventing an evening of toots (haha) after eating a bowl of beans is to drain them after they’ve been boiling for 20-25 minutes. Then add fresh water and then continue cooking. She did it. I do it. You should do it. It works.

ImageThe hot shots of the recipe: onion, beans, chili powder, garlic, ground beef and Mexican chorizo. Muy caliente!

ImageAdd your beans to a big soup pot and cover with water. The beans need to be submerged with about 2 inches of water on top (about 6 cups). Once the beans have been boiling for about 20 minutes remove them from the stove and drain out the water (my mom calls this de-gassing the beans).

Image Return the beans to the pot and cover them with fresh water. Return to stove and add a chunked up onion, garlic, salt, pepper and chili powder. Boil for about an hour or until beans are tender. Remove about one cup of the cooked beans and mash them up. Hold the mashed beans aside.

Image While the beans are boiling you can start on the meat. Add one pound of ground beef and two rolls of Mexican chorizo sausage to a large skillet. You can use beef or pork chorizo; I like prefer pork. Break up the beef and chorizo and make sure they are combined. Cook until done, stirring to prevent burning.

ImageAdd the chorizo mixture directly into the pot of cooked beans.

ImageRemember those smashed beans I told you about three photos up? You need them now. The mashed beans help thicken up your chili and make it hearty and make it robust and yummy! I used a blender to mash up mine but a potato masher works just as well.

Image Mix everything together and continue to cook over low heat for another 10 minutes.

Image YUMMY!

Image You can serve it up topped with cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Image My favorite way to eat this chili is over an all all beef hot dog, tucked in a warm bun and topped with cheese and diced onion.

Image Nachos anyone?

Mama’s Chorizo Chili Beans

Ingredients:

  • 2 16 Ounce Rolls of Mexican Chorizo (beef or pork)
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1 1/2 Pounds of Dried Pinto Beans
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, cut into chunks
  • 2-3 Cloves of Garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 TBS of Chili Powder
  • Enough Water to Cover the Beans
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions: 

  1. Add the beans to a large soup pot and cover with water. Make sure there is about 2 inches of water above the beans. Boil for about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the beans and return to the pot. Cover with the same amount of water as first step. Return to the stove ad boil for one hour.
  3. While beans are cooking start on the meat. Add the ground beef and chorizo to a large skillet and cook until done (about 10 minutes). Be sure to break up the ground beef and make sure the chorizo is mixed up well with the beef. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
  4. When the beans are done cooking, remove about one cup of beans and mash or puree. Return the mashed beans to the pot of cooked beans to help thicken the chili.
  5. Add the chorizo mixture to the pot of cooked beans and stir. Cook for another 10 minutes over low heat.
  6. Serve, eat and enjoy!