My Mom’s Goulash

I was talking with my mom over the weekend.  I mentioned how I make hamburger and beans quite often. Kent and Eric enjoy it.  She was so surprised. She did tell me that she did not call it hamburger and beans.  She called it Goulash!  So I am updating this recipe per my phone conversation with my mom.  I am correcting the recipe name from Hamburger and Beans to:

My Mom’s Goulash

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1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped or sliced very thin – that is up to you (she used green bell pepper)
1 medium onion, chopped or sliced very thin – that is up to you too!
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
2-15 oz cans Bush’s Original Baked Beans (You can use whatever beans you like, kidney, cannellini, baked, whatever is in your cupboard.  My mom used Campbell’s Pork and Beans)
2 Tablespoons fresh basil (if you don’t have fresh basil you don’t have to add any.  I know my mom didn’t add basil. I love basil.)
Salt and Pepper (of course)


1.  Using a 12 inch skillet, add 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, add peppers and onions, saute for 2-3 minutes, add garlic.  Stir together.
2.  Add the ground beef to the peppers and onions, cook until no longer pink.  Drain any excess fat.
3.  Open up those cans of beans and add to the hamburger/peppers/onions.  Stir together and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
4.  Add basil (or not) and stir together.  ALL DONE!

I never thought that anyone in my family would like this super quick meal.  Kent, myself and Eric really enjoy it.  It is super simple and very delicious.  Give it a try!  😉

Chicken Salad

I roasted a chicken this weekend.  I thought it would be nice to make a chicken salad.  Kent and I really enjoy this for a quick meal.  Kent likes it on a roll, I like it in a bowl!!  Also, I happen to enjoy the chives if I have them on hand.  Kent is not a fan.  If you don’t want to roast a chicken, go to the store and pick up a rotisserie chicken.  Simple and Delicious!

Chicken Salad


4 cups of chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 Tablespoon capers
10 – black olives, sliced
1 Tablespoon chives, chopped (sometimes I use them and sometimes I don’t)
2/3 cup mayonnaise (You could use Miracle Whip or olive oil.  I like mayo!)
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (You can use whatever mustard you like.  I think the yellow works best for this.  That’s just my opinion, for what it is worth)
Freshly ground pepper
Salt to your taste (capers and olives give enough saltiness for us)


1.  Add all ingredients in medium sized bowl
2.  Mix until combined.  Refrigerate.
3.  Serve on a roll, lettuce leaf or in a bowl!

How simple is that?  Great for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Enjoy!!

Sausage Soup, Stew or Chili

I love this time of year.  I enjoy being in my kitchen when it is cooler out.  I really enjoy being there when it is a cloudy, rainy, cool day.  This time of year is “comfort food” time.  I made a sausage soup that you can make and serve in less than an hour.  Serve with a salad, sandwich, fresh loaf of bread or all by itself.  This is super simple and incredibly delicious.  Here goes!

Sausage Soup (or stew or chili…you tell me!)

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1# hot sausage (I bought it out of casing.  If all you have is sausage in the casing, just take it out.  Also, I like a little spice.  If you don’t like that get mild or sweet Italian sausage.  It is your soup after all!)
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (You could use a 15 oz can.  I like tomatoes.)
1 15 oz can great northern beans, drained (or any beans you have in your pantry, kidney, black, whatever you like)
1 32 oz carton chicken broth
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and Pepper


1.  Using a saucepan, fry the sausage until no longer pink, about 10 minutes.  I keep breaking apart with a wooden spoon, until crumbly.  Drain off excess fat.
2.  Add carrots and onion, saute with the sausage until onion is opaque, about 5 minutes.
3.  Add rest of ingredients, except basil.  Simmer for 30 minutes. Add basil last 5 minutes of simmering.  All done!

This is so easy.  I just threw it together one evening when I came home from work.  Find stuff in your fridge and pantry and have fun with it.  You never know, you may make something so delicious you will want to share it with others.  ENJOY!!

Ultimate Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

I enjoy baking.  I enjoy baking anything chocolate.  I saw this recipe and had to give it a try.  I am on an America’s Test Kitchen kick so it is no surprise this is where I found this recipe.  These cupcakes were rich, decadent and delicious.  My only problem was the ganache sunk to the bottom.  If the ganache sets too much (somewhat solid) it will sink to the bottom of the cupcake.  Next time I will leave in the refrigerator 20 instead of 30 minutes.  Other than that they were awesome!  Eric and Martin2 loved them (and so did I).  If you love chocolate you will love these cupcakes!  This recipe was somewhat simple but extremely delicious!

Ultimate Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

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Ganache Filling

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (I used Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chocolate Bar)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Chocolate Cupcakes

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/3 cup (1 ounce) Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup hot coffee
3/4 cup (4 1/8 ounces) bread flour
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. GANACHE FILLING: Place chocolate, cream, and confectioners’ sugar in medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave on high power until mixture is warm to touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth; transfer bowl to refrigerator and let stand until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes. (20 minutes would be better)
2. CUPCAKES: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-size muffin pan (cups have ½-cup capacity) with baking-cup liners. Place chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl. Pour hot coffee over mixture and whisk until smooth. Set in refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
3. Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled chocolate-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
4. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon ganache filling on top of each cupcake. Bake until cupcakes are set and just firm to touch, 17 to 19 minutes.(19 minutes, exactly!)  Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before frosting, about 1 hour.
5. FROST: Mound 2 to 3 tablespoons frosting on center of each cupcake. Using small icing spatula or butter knife, spread frosting to edge of cupcake, leaving slight mound in center. ( I made a Chocolate Cream Frosting. Guess where I got the recipe.)

Chocolate Cream Frosting (This frosting is incredibly creamy!)

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1/3 cup granulated sugar
2large egg whites
Pinch table salt
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-Tablespoon pieces
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (Again I used the Ghiaradelli Bittersweet Chocolate)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in bowl of stand mixer; place bowl over pan of simmering water. Whisking gently but constantly, heat mixture until slightly thickened, foamy, and registers 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Place bowl in stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat mixture on medium speed until consistency of shaving cream and slightly cooled, 1 to 2 minutes. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. (Frosting may look curdled after half of butter has been added; it will smooth with additional butter.) Once all butter is added, add cooled melted chocolate and vanilla; mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds, scraping beater and sides of bowl with rubber spatula as necessary.

Mini M&M Cookies

Paige is visiting for the summer.  This week she requested mini M&M cookies for Pizza Friday.  (I was able to find a super easy recipe.)   I just hope they last until then!  They are quite yummy and of course, Simple and Delicious!!

Mini M&M Cookies

Cookies Martin Martin II and Paige 016


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (you can use light brown, that was all I had)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 ounce bag mini M&M’s

1.  Blend together the butter, sugar and brown sugar until combined.  (I used my stand up mixer, as usual.  You can bake by hand or electric mixer too.)
2.  Add vanilla and egg, mix well.
3.  Add dry ingredients and mix together.
4.  Add mini M&M’s by hand or with mixer.  I used the mixer.  (I was kind of lazy tonight)
5.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place a heaping teaspoon on baking sheet, 2 inches apart. (I know a teaspoon seems too little but the cookies bake better small).
6.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  I baked 5 minutes, turned the baking sheet around and baked 5 more minutes.  They were perfect that way!  I baked 36 cookies from this recipe.  ENJOY!!


Salmon Pizza

I thought I would make finding salmon pizza a bit easier and putting it in it’s own post.  This is a super simple and really delicious pizza.  I don’t even like salmon and I like this pizza.

Salmon Pizza

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1-2 tomatoes, thinly sliced (you can also use canned diced tomatoes, drained)
1 small green pepper, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 pound salmon, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lemon
1/8 teaspoon salt


1.  In a small bowl put the olive oil, salt, clove garlic, and juice of 1/2 lemon and mix together.  Brush on your pizza dough
2.  Top with mozzarella cheese
3.  Top the cheese with tomatoes, green pepper, onion, salmon 420 017
4.  Bake at 525 degrees for 12-15 minutes

That’s it.  You will love this pizza combination.  Enjoy!!  🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites

As you all know I ask everyone what they want for Pizza Friday.  I love making anything, anyone wants.   I have been requesting a dessert suggestion lately. It is nice to have something sweet after all that pizza, right?!  This week Martin suggested something with bananas, chocolate and peanut butter.  I told him that sounded kind of yucky.  He thought I was crazy.  I resisted but came home and checked for some recipes.  I thought I would try a variation of  this recipe and see what they think.  A couple of things; I ended up making 2 batches of the peanut butter mix and chocolate.  I used bittersweet chocolate the first time and milk chocolate next.  I am looking forward to tomorrow to see which chocolate goes over the best.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites

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3 medium bananas (cut into 1/2 inch slices)
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiaradelli bittersweet chocolate chips)
Sea Salt


1.  Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.
2.  Whisk together confectioners sugar, peanut butter and heavy cream.  Put in a mixture in a sandwich size ziploc bag and snip a corner.
3.  Top peanut butter mix on top of banana slices. March 29 2013 003
4.  Melt 2 ounces of chocolate in double boiler or place chocolate in bowl set in pan with about 2 inches of water.  Melt chocolate, remove from heat and add the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate to the bowl.  Stir constantly until blended together.
5.  Now the tricky part.  I used a spoon and put chocolate on top of peanut butter and spread around the banana.March 29 2013 004(I know I was kind of sloppy.  The more I did the less messy it was.)   **When I woke up the next morning to check on my little treats I did not like that I didn’t chocolatize the entire bite.  I flipped them over, melted some semi sweet chocolate,covered the entire treat and topped with just a little sea salt.  Much betterer!**  😀 (I am aware I used 2 words that aren’t words for the grammar police!)
6.  Put in refrigerator to set.  You can eat pretty quickly or save for the next day to serve on YOUR Pizza Friday!

We will see if these are a hit or miss tomorrow.  I tried one and thought they were quite tasty.  I will check back tomorrow to let you know how the rest of the crew likes them.  ** The Pizza Friday crew ate every single one.**Another Simple and Delicious sweet treat!!