Roasted Red Salsa

I like jarred salsa, but sometimes I just want something fresh! My husband makes a delicious Pico de Gallo salsa, I also make an amazing salsa verde, but I wanted to try something new and make a red salsa with roasted tomatoes! A salsa that would be blended and not as chunky as the Pico de Gallo.

I made shredded carnitas tacos and used the salsa as a topping and served it up with tortilla chips. You can make this salsa as spicy as you like by scraping out all of the seeds of the jalapeño or leaving some seeds for a little kick.

Place halved tomatoes, jalapeño and garlic cloves on baking sheet. Put in 425 degree F preheated oven for 12-15 mins.
Browned veggies and tomatoes are softened. Let cool for a few mins before peeling garlic cloves.
Garlic cloves are peeled and everything is ready to be blended.
Add in cilantro leaves and chopped onion.
Blend everything up to your desired thickness, add in lime juice, salt & cumin. Add more salt or lime juice depending on your taste preference.
Serve up with your favorite tortilla chips, on top of tacos, nachos, burritos, or even your favorite breakfast omelet or burrito!

Italian Sausage Pasta

Italian food is definitely one of my go-to’s for a simple and savory meal. I love making my pasta dishes with big chunky pasta more than using spaghetti noodles, something about the pasta flavor, and I love carbs 😂

I cooked up the meat and sauce in our Dutch oven on our stovetop, but you can use a deep skillet as well. I make the sauce in this dish using canned tomatoes, but feel free to use fresh chopped tomatoes if you like. If you’re on a low carb diet, instead of pasta, you can put the meat & sauce mix on top of a bed of zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash noodles, or cauliflower rice! This dish seems like it has a lot of steps below, but once you get going on adding and stirring everything, I had this ready to eat in 20 mins. I cooked my pasta while I was cooking the meat at the same time too.

Sauté chopped onion in olive oil on medium heat and season with salt & pepper.
This ground Italian sausage is perfect for this dish.
Add sausage to the pot, breaking it down into crumbles, and brown it up! Season the meat with chili powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes (optional).
Browning it up and it’s smelling so good!
Remove meat & onion from pot once browned and set aside on a plate or in a bowl.
Add minced garlic into pot and stir.
Add water and diced bouillon cube and stir.
Sprinkle flour in and whisk, keep stirring to reduce liquid for about 2 mins.
Add in canned tomatoes, I like this mixture because of the extra seasonings it has.
Let’s get to stirring!
Stir it all in, this sauce is looking TAY-STEE!
Add in heavy cream and stir some more!
Add back in ground sausage with onions and stir to mix it all in. Keep cooking it until it reduces a bit more, until it reaches your preference of sauce thickness.
Love this beautiful rigatoni!
I love the chunks of sausage mixed with the tomatoes in this recipe, I’ll definitely make this again! Only thing missing is to top this with some shredded mozzarella cheese and serve it with a side salad.

Greek Meatballs 🇬🇷

First off, let me say these meatballs are the best. You can make these with ground sausage, beef, lamb, or turkey, but my favorite so far has been with sausage. The pics and recipe below are made with 1lb of ground sausage, but you can substitute with beef, lamb or turkey if you’re looking for something leaner. If you eat elk meat or moose meat, that works too! These are low carb and keto friendly because they are made with almond flour instead of bread crumbs.

I broil these meatballs in our toaster/air fryer/broiler combo oven and they are done in 10 mins. If you prefer to cook them up on your stove top, you can do that too! I serve them up in pita bread with freshly chopped tomatoes and tzatziki sauce, with a salad on the side. I’ve also made my yellow rice recipe to go with Greek dishes, this would go well with this too. If you are on a low carb diet, just sub the pita bread for a low carb spinach wrap or a lettuce wrap works too. All of these options sound delicious. I’ll put my tzatziki sauce recipe on the bottom if you’d like to make it with this dish too 😉 happy eating y’all!

Measure out almond flour, all of the seasonings, and minced garlic into a medium size bowl.
Mix together well prior to adding the ground sausage.
Put the ground sausage in the bowl and stir the seasonings into it, then mix around with your hands and make into small 1” size balls.
Spray nonstick baking spray on a baking sheet and place balls on the baking sheet about an inch apart from each other. Broil in your toaster oven or regular oven for about 10 mins.
Remove from oven once browned and slightly crispy looking on the outside.
Serve in pita bread with freshly chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and tzatziki sauce. Serve with a salad on the side with Greek vinaigrette dressing.

Mexican Style Pork Chops

We’ve been trying new recipes with boneless pork chops, and this has been the best so far! I chose boneless chops because they cook faster, but you can also use bone-in. You would just need to adjust the cooking time to a little bit longer. I cooked these up on our stove top in a cast iron skillet and all 4 fit perfect on there with extra room. The chops are cooked on each side for about 3-4 mins on medium heat, so this is a quickly prepared meal. We marinated the chops in our homemade marinade and they were juicy and delicious. If you’d like to make these in your air fryer or grill on your barbecue, you can use my marinade ingredients to get the chops nice and flavorful and cook them however you’d like!

For the sides, I sautéed up some veggies in a skillet and heated up pinto beans. To make this keto or low carb friendly, just serve up with some sautéed veggies like bell peppers, onions, jalapeños and zucchini. This time, I cooked up a red and yellow bell pepper, red onion, and minced garlic. I sautéed the veggies in olive oil and seasoned

4 chops at a good price! I like how affordable pork chops can be.
All of the ingredients for the yummy marinade. I put the marinade ingredients and the chops in a gallon size Ziploc bag and marinaded in the fridge. Marinate them for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Mixed all in together and going to place in a glass dish just in case if it leaks out of the bag.
Take the chops out of your fridge to warm up a little prior to cooking, a
Sliced up veggies to sauté!
Started cooking the veggies first because the chops take less time. Put in about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin.
After about 2-3 mins, add in minced garlic to veggies.
Cook pork chops on one side for about 3-4 mins then flip over and cook for an additional 3-4 mins.
Veggies look delicious.
Pork chops are done, now they need to rest in foil for about 5 mins.

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted a new recipe, so here we go! Last night I made Spicy Shrimp Pasta and we loved it. Super fast and easy recipe! I used frozen shrimp, thawed them and cooked them up. You can also use fresh shrimp, just one less step you have to do! It’s best to get the kind that are peeled, tails removed and deveined but if you want to do the work yourself, you can do those steps too. The frozen ones I bought had the tails on but were peeled and deveined. I just thawed them, rinsed and removed the tails prior to sautéing!

If you love shrimp but don’t want a dish that’s too spicy, use a little less red pepper flakes or just leave them out. If you want this low carb friendly, instead of using pasta as the base, you can serve the shrimp on top of a bed of zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash noodles, or cauliflower rice. This recipe makes 4 servings, also perfect for dinner for 2 with leftovers.

This is a 12oz bag, you can use up to 16oz of shrimp for this recipe.
Thaw, rinse, and remove tails.
Sauté the shrimp in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle on seasonings and cook each side about 1-2 mins.
When finished cooking, remove from pan, set in a small bowl & cover to keep warm.
Add diced onion and minced garlic cloves to pan. Add more olive oil if needed to sauté. Cook for about 2 mins to soften.
Caramelized looking onions due to paprika in the pan!
I use canned diced tomatoes mixed with green peppers, celery & onions. It adds a lot of flavor & texture to this dish.
Add in diced tomatoes and chicken broth, stir. Add in oregano and basil and stir.
Simmer for about 10 mins.
Stir throughout simmering to make sure all the flavors are incorporated.
Add heavy whipping cream and stir.
Add shrimp back in!
Stir it all up and serve on top of your favorite pasta.
We cooked up elbow macaroni pasta to serve with the shrimp & sauce.
Perfect!

Air Fried Pork Chops

I haven’t made pork chops in ages so we wanted to try a new recipe and air fry them! We used boneless pork chops so they cook a bit faster than bone-in, but you can use bone-in for this recipe if you’d like. Also, if you don’t have an air fryer you can use my marinade in this recipe and cook up the pork chops on your grill, sauté on your stove top or bake them in your oven.

I put the pork chops in a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour all of my marinade ingredients into the bag and mix around. I put the bag in a glass dish in my fridge for at least 4 hours to marinate, or up to overnight.
We have a combo toaster oven/broiler/air fryer by Cuisinart.
Spray nonstick spray on basket and tray. Place pork chops on top, season with salt, pepper & red pepper flakes. Air fry for 10-12 mins flip over halfway. Cook until internal temp is 145 degrees F.
All done! Now they need to rest covered in foil for 3-5 mins prior to serving/slicing up.
Served ours with mashed potatoes but if you want it keto friendly or low carb, serve up with a side salad or oven roasted asparagus!

Slow Cooker Carnitas 🌮

I definitely had some help prepping this dish! Our toddler wanted to help by stirring, pouring and supervising 😂 Something about mommy having all the fun up on the counters with food makes her want to “help.” It doesn’t always mean I get things done quickly but I appreciate her wanting to be a part of my recipes. And since we are using our slow cooker to cook the pork roast all day, it makes our meal time easy once it’s all done!

We’ve been craving carnitas tacos for a long time, and we needed to make them ASAP. For this recipe I used a 5 lb pork shoulder roast (sometimes they call it a butt roast at the store). I mixed up a few seasonings and rubbed them on it, chopped up a couple onions, a jalapeño & minced some garlic and added all that to the slow cooker. I used my 4qt slow cooker for this recipe. Then I squeezed a couple oranges on top and put the lid on it! Slow cooked on low for 10 hours and it was juicy! I also broiled the shredded meat in our oven to make it crispy at the end too. 😋

Little hands helping me stir the seasonings ❤️
Sprayed my slow cooker with nonstick spray & put the roast in fat side up.
Rubbed it all over with my seasoning mix.
Added 2 chopped yellow onions, 1 chopped & de-seeded jalapeño, 4 minced garlic cloves, & 2 juiced oranges. Set the lid on my pot & slow cooked on low for 10 hours. Can also cook on High for 7 hours.
Shredded the pork with 2 forks in an 8×8 baking dish. The juices will stay in the dish better than using a flat cutting board.
Put shredded pork on the baking sheet poured about a cup of juices from crockpot on top. Broiled for about 5 mins.
Mmm crispy on top and ready to be eaten!
Made ours into tacos with shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa verde! Also made fried shells, yum!

Chicks & Ducklings Update!

Our chicks and ducklings are growing like crazy! This past week we moved all the chicks over to our chicken coop. They had all of their feathers come in, so we moved them over gradually. We first moved our biggest chicks, the white leghorns. Then a couple days later we moved over our Red Sex Links, and this past weekend we moved over our Bantam Red Sussex chicks!

Our leghorn girls are loving this big space!
Our chicken coop with run attached.
Changing out their pine shavings bedding and moving the Red Sex Links to the coop!
Our daughter loves the chicks!

Our ducklings are getting huge btw, and their brooder bin kept getting wetter. We were out there changing out their bedding twice daily to keep up with their wet messes they made. Had to come up with a better option for the ducks, so I did some research and we moved them! In our carport area we have sand and it seemed like the better and drier alternative for the ducks. Since the bin would hold the water when it spilled, we needed to put them in an area that drained better. No more wet brooder bin! Plus the ducks have more room to move around too.

Cleaning out the ducks’ brooder bin is a wet mess.
Ducks come out daily for a swim, the pen around them keeps them in there and safe. They love eating weeds in their water.
Ducks in their new area! Much drier and happier.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Have you ever used your Instant Pot on the slow cook setting? It’s pretty awesome! It saves having to sauté in one skillet and then transfer everything to your slow cooker or crockpot. You can sauté your ground turkey and veggies in the instant pot and then add all the liquid ingredients to start slow cooking.

I’ve made turkey chili in our instant pot before, but I wanted to update the recipe a bit! I also wanted to include the instructions if you’re going to cook it on your stove and transfer to your slow cooker. I used canned beans for my recipe, but you can also use dried beans. You would need to soak them overnight prior to cooking them in the chili.

Sautéing diced white onion & bell pepper.
Brown up the ground turkey. Season with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin & red pepper flakes.
Stir in tomato paste and minced garlic cloves.
Add in diced tomatoes and stir.
Add in drained and rinsed beans. I used black and northern beans this time. You can also use kidney beans or any other small white beans for this chili.
Add in measured seasonings and diced chicken bouillon cube.
Add in water and stir, put on lid and set to slow cook on High for 4 hours.
Smells amazing! All done!

Crockpot Pinto Beans & Mexican Brown Rice

Making pinto beans in my crockpot is so easy! Pretty much just dump everything in and let it slow cook all day. This time (and some other times too) I forgot to soak my beans overnight. I did a quick soak method on my stovetop and the beans still turned out great. So if you’re like me, and sometimes forgetful, the quick soak method is a great way to prep your beans to slow cook!

This recipe is made with a chicken bouillon cube, but you can also substitute and use vegetable broth. If you use vegetable broth, you would only add 2 cups of water to the pot. If you want to use chicken broth instead, you would do the same thing as with the vegetable broth and only add 2 cups water. If you do not like coconut oil, you can use olive oil instead. I personally love coconut oil! 🥥 For this recipe, I made it with 1 cup of dried beans so it ended up being 4 servings. Sometimes I like to make smaller batches that way we don’t have a ton of leftovers. This recipe is perfect for a dinner for 2 with leftovers or for a family of 4 and no leftovers. My Mexican brown rice recipe will be after the pinto beans recipe! ❤️

Put beans in a pot with at least 2” of water above them. Put the lid on and get the water to boil.
Let the water boil for 2 mins then turn off the heat and let the beans sit for 1 hour with the lid on.
Drain and rinse the beans.
Spray nonstick spray on the crockpot. Add all ingredients to the pot, then add in the beans and water.
Stirred beans & all the ingredients together before adding the water.
Pour in the water and stir, put the lid on and set to slow cook on High for 8 hours.
We put the cooked beans in burritos with ground beef, sautéed onion, chopped tomatoes, cheese and sour cream 😋

I made Mexican brown rice to go with the burritos, it just ended up being done later than I thought it would be. We had this as a side. Brown rice takes quite a bit longer to cook than white rice, so keep that in mind when you are timing everything. My white rice will normally take 20 mins to cook in the rice cooker, while the brown rice took about 45 mins! I have the recipe and pics for the rice below.

Add all ingredients to the rice cooker, except for the water. Stir it all up! No need to rinse brown rice prior to cooking it.
Add water and stir, set lid on and turn on rice cooker.
All done and ready to be served!