Crock Pot Beef Barbacoa

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The inspiration for this dish came from one of my co-workers.   Since Jamie and I started the blog, my co-worker has been asking me about making a simple crock pot meal so I decided this could be a perfect time.

I had some ideas of what I wanted to make but I was not 100% sure what until I remembered it was National Tequila Day tomorrow.   After a lot of research (10 min or so), I came across a bunch of Beef Barbacoa recipes.  I thought this was so perfect because 9 out of 10 times when I go out for lunch, I go to Chipotle and I always get their beef barbacoa bowl or tacos.  I love it!

For this recipe, you can serve it in a variety of ways.  You can make a burrito, burrito bowl, taco or have as topping on salad (which is what I did).  I think it would also be amazing on a sandwich adding grilled onions and peppers along with some Monterrey Jack cheese and some guacamole.

This recipe does have a kick so you can alter it to suit your taste.

To make this recipe, start with the sauce.

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For the sauce, I tried to use as many ingredients as I could out of my own garden.  Just saute the veggies in a cooking pot with some EVOO.

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Pour chicken stock into the pot with your sauteed veggies.

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Then use a hand blender (immersion blender) to blender the ingredients to make the sauce.

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Place your seasoned meat in the crock pot.

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Pour the sauce over the meat and cook on high for 4 – 6 hours.


2 1/2 lbs of beef round roast

For the Sauce:

1 Tablespoon of EVOO

2 poblano peppers diced

1 1/2 cup of chicken stock

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 medium onion finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 chipotle peppers from adobe sauce *seeded to reduce the heat*

2 tablespoons of adobe sauce

2 small hot jalapeno type peppers *optional*

3 medium tomatoes

1 tsp of cumin

1 tsp of oregano

1 tsp of ground chipotle pepper

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of pepper

dash of cayenne, if desired

the juice of 1 lime


Dice up the Poblano peppers and put them in a sauce pan with no oil.  You will cook these for about 5 minutes or so until they get sort of char color on them.  At this point you will add the chicken stock in the pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer and let stand for as long as it takes you to complete the next steps.

In another pan add the oil and slice the onions.  Cook the onions until tender and then chop the garlic and add in garlic. Let the garlic cook for a minute and then add the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, tomatoes and jalapeno peppers. Cook these until tender and add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, ground chipotle, and a dash of cayenne, if desired.

At this point you will combine the chicken stock with pepper and onion mixture.  If you have a hand blender, use to blend together.  If you don’t have a hand blender, just use a regular blender and mix everything together.  Set aside.

At this point you will salt and pepper the meat thoroughly and place the meat in the crock pot.  Pour the sauce in the crock pot and turn the crock pot on high.   Cook for 4-6 hours or until the meat is tender and you can shred it with a fork.

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I hope you try this recipe as it was fairly simple to prepare and very, very good.   I hope to start providing some new crock pot recipes in the future.  I’d also like to hear what kind of recipes you’d like to see from us.  Let us know and we will definitely give it a go!

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

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Starting off the menu this week is a corn and black bean salsa.  Salsa is one of my favorite things to have around the house.  It can be used in so many ways and there are so many different variations of salsa out there.   This is one that I think goes great with the main course that I am going to share on the blog tomorrow.  This is a quick and easy recipe to make.  It’s also healthy and affordable. Plus, I don’t think you could mess this recipe up if you tried.

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This is one of those recipes where you just drop all of your ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine and voila!  It’s done!

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This Corn and Black Bean Salsa would also be delicious on a salad with a vinaigrette dressing.

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If you don’t have an ear of corn, you can use 1/2 cup of frozen corn (thawed) or 1/2 cup of canned corn.


1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)

1 ear of corn

1 small poblano pepper, diced

1 small onion, diced

1 medium tomato, diced

1 small hot pepper (optional), diced

2 tsp of cilantro, chopped

1 small clove of garlic, minced

pinch of salt and black pepper

the juice of 1/2 of a lime (about 1 tbsp)

Pour all ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine.  Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.  This is best served after chilling overnight.  Serve with your choice of tortilla chips or on a salad.

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Weekend Recap

My birthday was last week so over the weekend Luke and I went to my hometown so I could see my family.  Saturday morning, my mom and I made doughnut holes for breakfast and then we went shopping.  I bought a few things for myself (Happy belated Birthday to me), a few things for Luke and some gifts for a few other people.  Saturday night, we celebrated my birthday with Marco’s pizza and my favorite chocolate cake.

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This is my favorite cake of all time!  It’s actually my mom’s, my Memaw’s, my Aunt Rita’s and Luke’s favorite cake.  It’s a recipe my mom created many, many years ago.  It’s been my birthday cake since I was about 6 or 7 years old.  It’s a chocolate cake with chocolate chips and cream cheese and chocolate icing.  I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly delicious it is!

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Me with both of my adorable grandmothers.

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I also wanted to share some pictures from my parents’ farm.  Isn’t this the sweetest face!!  This is one of my parents’ miniature donkeys.  When the miniature donkeys see us, they walk right over to the fence so we can pet them.  They are such sweet animals!

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My mom said these donkeys are the best of friends which I think is so sweet.

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More precious donkeys.

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My parents also have goats.  This goat is more like a dog.  He loves to be petted and talked to just like a dog.  If you’ve ever been around goats, you know how unusual this is because most goats aren’t interested in interacting with people.  Several of the goats had babies recently, and I was hoping to get pictures of the 8 babies but they were all resting in the shade.

Get ready for some fun, easy and delicious recipes this week to celebrate National Tequila Day which is Thursday.  This weeks recipes will be recipes you can make for your fiesta so check back with us tomorrow for the kickoff of National Tequila Day! :)

Our Go-To Margaritas

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First things first, today is Jamie’s birthday so we are going to celebrate with a wonderful, easy Margarita! This is our go-to drink in the summer.  Easy, quick and great tasting.  One of the best things about this drink is that you can change this recipe up by changing the flavor of the simple syrup by adding different fruits to it.  You can also use Orange Curacao or Blue Curacao instead of Triple Sec to change the look and/or flavor of the drink.  Jamie prefers the taste of the Orange Curacao but if you want a “pretty margarita”, you can go with the Blue Curacao.

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This is Jamie’s margarita with the Orange Curacao.

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This is the “pretty margarita” with the Blue Curacao.

All you need are 2 or 3 Limes, Simple Syrup, Triple Sec (or Orange Curacao or Blue Curacao) and Tequila.  Jamie found this Tequila called Altos which is a really good tequila!

2 1/2 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice

2 oz of tequila

2 oz of Triple Sec

1 oz of simple syrup

Salt the rim of your glass (optional)

Pour the lime juice, tequila, Triple Sec (or Orange Curacao or Blue Curacao), and simple syrup into a shaker with ice.  Shake to combine and then pour into your margarita glass (or your glass of choice).  If you prefer a frozen margarita, you can definitely do that too.  Enjoy!

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Pasta with Scallops… Spicy and with Bacon…Challenge

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Time for a challenge! Jamie was in the mood for some scallops so I had to put my thinking cap on and use some imagination to come up with this meal.   I decided to make this a challenge and add some bacon to my scallops as I was going for the same effect of a bacon wrapped scallop.

Start by placing your scallops on a piece of tin foil.

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These are Jamie’s scallops…I made her’s without the bacon, of course.

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These are my scallops…with lots of crumbled bacon.

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Since I made two different recipes, I made two pouches.  For each pouch, placed the scallops in the center of the tin foil and then fold the edges of the tin foil up until it looks like little pouch.  I like using tin foil especially when I am grilling the smaller Patagonian Scallops (which is what I used for this recipe).  The tin foil keeps the scallops moist and tender.  Plus, you don’t have to worry about the scallops falling through the grate.

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For the pasta sauce, I used fresh ingredients…no canned stuff.

This meal is super fast and super easy.  The scallops will take all of 10 minutes to cook and prep and sauce is very easy to put together.  So let’s start with the sauce.


4 – 6 tomatoes, diced

1 small onion, diced

1 small bell pepper, diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 small cayenne pepper (hot pepper) ***OPTIONAL***

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

In a large cooking pot, cook the angel hair pasta according to the package instructions.

In a medium pan, heat the EVOO.  Chop the onion and bell pepper and saute until tender. Mince the garlic and stir in with the onion and bell pepper. Cook for another minute or 2.  Dice up the tomatoes and put in the pan with the mixture.  Chop up the cayenne pepper (optional) and add into the pan and cook for another minute.  Then toss in the cooked angel hair pasta.  Once combined, plate the pasta and top with the scallops.

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Scallops without bacon.


1/2 lb of Patagonian Scallops

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tbls of Olive Oil

Dash of Cayenne Pepper to taste

Squeeze of half a lemon

4 – 5 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

Combined all ingredients on tinfoil and then you will fold into a pouch and seal it tight. Cook for 6 – 8 minutes on a hot grill.

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Scallops with bacon version:

Use the same ingredients as above but instead of using basil, crumble 1 – 2 pieces of cooked bacon on the scallops before you grill the scallops.

You will cook  the scallops as you would the other batch (about 6 – 8 minutes on a hot grill).

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Easy Homemade Doughnut Holes

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I love doughnut/donut holes!  They’re perfect for breakfast, a quick snack or dessert.  Until my mom and I made these, it had been years since I’d eaten a doughnut hole.  I didn’t intend on going that long without eating a doughnut hole, but I never go into doughnut shops so I never buy them and to be honest, I never thought about making them at home.

Over the weekend, my mom and I made the most delicious doughnut holes.  This is Kelly’s recipe at Just a Taste.  Her recipe is perfect the way it is.  Honestly, these doughnut holes were some of the best I’ve ever eaten.  Plus, they’re really quick and easy to make.  They’re incredibly moist and cakey and so delicious!

I knew this recipe was going to be winner the minute I saw the dough.  It was light and fluffy and it smelled like donuts!

These doughnut holes don’t need anything extra because Kelly’s recipe is perfect the way it is, but when my mom and I cook, we always change the recipe up a bit. While we were frying some of the doughnut holes, my mom made the comment that chocolate filled or cream-filled donuts would be yummy too, so I suggested we fill some of them with hot fudge sauce.  My mom’s face lit up and her response was “yeah, let’s do that!”  So we did!  I have to say, they were outrageously delicious!

First, we fried the doughnut holes and then set them on a paper towel to cool for a couple of minutes.  Then we tossed the doughnut holes in the glaze and set them aside to dry.  Once the glaze was set, we filled about half of the doughnut holes with the hot fudge sauce.

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We ended up running out of the glaze but instead of making more, we tossed the remaining doughnut holes in cinnamon sugar.  These were delicious too!  You just can’t go wrong with Kelly’s recipe!

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I wish I’d taken the time to take better pictures…I guess I’ll have no choice but to make these again so I can take some decent pictures to share with you. ;)

Check out Kelly’s blog for her delicious doughnut hole recipe!

Quick and Tasty Cucumber Appetizer

I hope you all had a great weekend!  My mom came to stay with us to help me with somethings that I had going on.  It was great having her around.  It’s always so hard on me when it’s time for her to go back home.  We always have so much fun together.  She’s the easiest person to talk to and she always has the best advice.  She’s such a sweet and comforting person.  She has always been my best friend, and I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful, loving and understanding mom.  I love you, Mom!

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Since we didn’t post any recipes for the end of the week last week, I had to post something today!  Last weekend, I made a cucumber appetizer(s) based on a picture I saw on Instagram.  I’m not sure what the Instagram recipe called for but the recipes I came up with were pretty tasty!

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The picture on Instagram was sliced cucumbers with a dollop of cream cheese or Greek yogurt and each cucumber was topped with a piece of salmon.  For my recipe, I picked 2 medium cucumbers out of Luke’s garden and bought a package of sliced, smoked salmon in the grocery store.

For one of the recipes, I stirred a couple of tablespoons of capers and a couple of tablespoons of dill in 3 ounces of cream cheese and topped each slice of cucumber with about a tablespoon of the mixture.  Then I tore strips of smoked salmon and rolled each strip and place them on top of each of the cucumber slices.

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For the second recipe, I stirred about 3 tablespoons of capers into 3 ounces of cream cheese and topped each slice of cucumber with about a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture.  Then tore strips of smoked salmon and rolled each strip and placed them on top of the cucumber slices.

Each recipe makes 8 cucumber appetizers (16 total).

3 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

2 tbsp capers

1/8 tsp pepper

1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced

2 oz. smoked salmon, torn into strips

In a small bowl, stir the cream cheese, dill, capers and pepper together.  Peel the cucumber and slice into about 1/2 inch slices. Spoon about a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture onto each cucumber slice.  Take a piece of smoked salmon and roll it up. Then place the smoked salmon on top of the cream cheese mixture.

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3 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 tbsp capers

1/8 tsp pepper

1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced

2 oz. smoked salmon, torn into strips

In a small bowl, stir the cream cheese, capers and pepper together.  Peel the cucumber and slice into about 1/2 inch slices.  Spoon about a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture onto each cucumber slice.  Take a piece of the smoked salmon and roll it up.  Then place the smoked salmon on top of the cream cheese mixture.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

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Quick Herb Potatoes (Great Side Dish!)

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Jamie is on the mend and I am manning the blog for possibly the remainder of the week.   I am going to warn everyone there is no telling what I am going to post.  I get distracted pretty easily so there is no telling whats going to be posted for tomorrow.

Let’s start with this wonderful side dish  Jamie made the other day.  I absolutely love these potatoes. They’re crispy and golden. They look wonderful and they smell as good as they taste.

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1 lb of fingerling potatoes (cut these in half or quarters as you will want them the same size so they cook evenly)

2 med garlic gloves grated

1 tsp oregano

3/4 tsp of kosher salt

1/4 tsp of black pepper

2 tsp of EVOO (Jamie used Cobrancosa from The Crescent Olive)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In large bowl, whisk the EVOO, salt, pepper, oregano and grated garlic together.  Then add the potatoes to the bowl.  Toss the potatoes to coat.  Then pour onto a greased baking sheet.  Cook for 20 min and then flip over and cook for another 8 min.  These potatoes will turn a golden brown and be ready to eat.

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Who Won it Wednesday

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Jamie and I had a dessert competition over the weekend.  We had some friends over Saturday night so our friends were the judges.  It was chocolate vs. lemon.  Who do you think is going to win?   Pretty simple, if you like chocolate more than lemon, you would pick chocolate and vice versa.  I think they were both fantastic and really both of them go back to our youth growing up eating chocolate pies and lemon meringue pie.  The bottom line is that I won this battle as I completed both meringues for the first time ever.

Umm, actually Luke, I taught you how to make the meringue so you didn’t make it all on your own.  Let’s be honest.

First let’s start with the puff pastry.  Cut each sheet of puff pastry sheet into 3 pieces.  You’ll end up with 6.  Place all 6 pieces on a greased baking sheet and bake according to the package instructions for about 12 minutes (until they puff up and turn a golden color).

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  Once they’re cooled, split each puff pastry in half.  Layer an 8×8 baking dish with the bottom half of 3 of the puff pastries.  You may have to cut off about 1/2 inch of the puff pastry to make sure they fit into the baking dish.  Then pour the pie filling over this layer and top the pie filling with the tops of the puff pastry.  Then top the dessert with meringue.  We used Jamie’s mom’s recipe for the meringue for both desserts.

This  is my Maw Maw’s (grandmother) lemon pie filling recipe.  The great thing about the lemon puff pastry dessert is it’s simple to make.  If I knew how easy it was, I would have started making it years ago.

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1 can of sweetened condensed milk

3 egg yolk

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

In a medium bowl, whisk the 3 eggs yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue), 1/4 cup of lemon juice and a can of sweetened condensed milk.  Make sure the ingredients are mixed completely and you are ready to go.  Taste to see if you need to add more lemon juice.  I added a little more because I like it tart.

Meringue recipe:

3 egg whites

6 tbsp of sugar

pinch of tarter

1 tsp of vanilla

Beat egg whites the cream of tarter until foamy. Gradually/Slowly add the sugar beating well after each tablespoon.  Beat until soft peaks are formed and sugar is dissolved.  Fold in the vanilla at this time.  Spread over the puff pastry and place in a 350 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.

The chocolate puff pastry dessert takes a little more time and prep.  This is Jamie’s mom’s recipe for chocolate pie filling and it is very good.

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3 tbsp of Cocoa

5 tbsp of Butter

1 cup of sugar

2 tbsp of flour

2 egg yolk (reserve the egg whites for the meringue)

1 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp of vanilla

Melt the butter over low heat and add the cocoa.  Whisk until cocoa dissolves.  Whisk in the flour and sugar.  In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks and whisk them quickly into the chocolate mixture.  Slowly stir in the milk and vanilla.  Continue to stir constantly until it thickens.  Remove from the heat and let it cool for about 15 minutes.  Then pour over the bottom layer of the puff pastry.  Then place the top layer of puff pastry over the chocolate layer and start of your meringue.

Meringue recipe:

3 egg whites

6 tbsp of sugar

pinch of tarter

1 tsp of vanilla

Beat egg whites the cream of tarter until foamy. Gradually/Slowly add the sugar beating well after each tablespoon.  Beat until soft peaks are formed and sugar is dissolved.  Fold in the vanilla at this time.  Spread over the puff pastry and place in a 350 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.

So who do you think won??????

The Chocolate…

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or the lemon…?

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Mint Chocolate Cookies

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The taste of mint and chocolate take me back to my childhood.  When I was a little girl, my mom always bought a box of Junior Mints and a Cherry Coke for me when we’d go see a movie at the movie theater. It’s one of those memories that’s stayed with me.

When Luke and I first started dating, I mentioned Junior Mints and Cherry Coke being my movie theater treat as a child.  So the first time he took me to a movie, he bought me a box of Junior Mints and a Cherry Coke.  I remember thinking how sweet and thoughtful that was and it also proved that he’d actually been paying attention and listening to what I’d said.  I can’t say he still listens to every word I say but I don’t always listen to every word he says either. ;)

A few weeks ago, I found Andes Baking Chips in the grocery store and I knew I had to try them.  At first I planned on using the Andes Baking Chips to make mint chocolate chip brownies or mint chocolate chip cookies.  I usually get Luke’s opinion when I make desserts because he’s going to be eating the majority of whatever I make so I want to make sure it’s what he wants.  When I asked him if I should make brownies or chocolate cookies, he said he would rather I make a sugar cookie with the mint chocolate chips.  He said he wanted the cookies to be more like mint chocolate chip ice cream and not so much chocolate.  Can you believe Luke wanted less chocolate???  That never happens!

For the sugar cookie, I used Robyn’s Chewy Sugar Cookie recipe.  I just excluded the step of rolling the cookie dough in extra sugar. The sugar cookie and the Andes Baking Chips are an incredibly delicious combination.  The cookie is perfectly chewy and the mint and chocolate take the cookie to a whole other level.  These cookies taste a lot like the Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies.  Need I say more…?

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Once all of your sugar cookie ingredients are combined, stir in the Andes Baking Chips.  The cookie batter is very thick so it takes a little muscle to stir the baking chips into the batter.  So you get a workout while you’re making these cookies!  It’s a win, win!

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Use a small ice cream scoop to drop the cookie batter onto the greased cookie sheets.

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Pop your cookie sheets into a 350 degree oven and bake for 12 – 14 minutes.

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These cookies would make delicious homemade ice cream sandwiches.  I’m thinking vanilla ice cream sandwiched between 2 cookies…yum!


Mint Chocolate Cookies

Servings:  30 – 35 cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter/margarine, softened

1/2 cups sugar

1 egg

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup Andes Baking Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.

Cream the butter/margarine and sugar together.  Then add the egg and mix until combined.

Next, add the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract.  Once combined, stir in the Andes Baking Chips.

Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto the greased cooking sheet.  Space the cookies out about 2 inches apart.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 12 – 14 minutes.

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Simply Gloria