Welcome to my food blog! I am your average home cook and I want to share my love of food with the world. I'll divulge my recipes as often as possible. Feel free to comment or to email me at nodessertpodcast@gmail.com! Don' forget to come by often for new posts... I love having you visit me!

April 26, 2021

Maafe - Pinterest Pick #26

 I have been hearing a lot about West African food lately and I realize I haven't really cooked any African food before. When I came across a recipe for Maafe in one of my food groups, I thought it sounded delicious and easy enough to give it a try. So I made this dish yesterday and it was a very different flavor than what we usually eat. I liked it, hubby was on the fence. It was spicy and nutty. The dish comes from Senegal in West Africa. Peanuts are their largest crop, which explains the peanut butter in the dish. A lot of their cuisine are stewed dishes, often eaten with bread. I served the dish with garlic biscuits, but you could also serve it with rice, couscous, or a flatbread like Naan. I hope this recipe influences some of my dear blog readers to branch out and try African cuisine if you haven't before. I did leave out the jalapeno and green bell pepper as I did not have any on hand, but the dish was spicy enough with the red pepper flakes. If you prefer a milder flavor, I would reduce the amount of red pepper flakes or leave them out entirely. You can find the original pin HERE and the original recipe HERE,

Maafe (Beef Peanut Stew)

2 lb beef stew meat (or a chuck roast cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs minced ginger
3 tbs tomato paste
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp red pepper flakes (use half or leave out depending on your spice tolerance)
1 jalapeno, finely diced (I omitted)
1 red bell pepper, largely diced
1 green bell pepper, largely diced (I omitted)
12 baby carrots
3 cups beef broth
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used creamy, but crunch is fine too)
salt & pepper
*I also used a spice from Trader Joe's called Ajika which is spicy, garlicky, and nutty so it fit in with this dish (I used about a tablespoon)

Marinate meat for a few hours (or overnight like I did) in the paprika, salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger.

Sear meat in vegetable oil for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pot (I used a 6 quart Dutch oven) and set aside. Add a touch more oil to the pot and add in onions. Saute until tender. Add in ginger and garlic, and jalapeno if using. Cook for 1 minute then stir in tomato paste. Let cook for an additional minute then add in salt & pepper and red pepper flakes. Let cook for 5 minutes. Add in broth and carrots. Stir in peanut butter then add beef back to pot. Simmer for an hour then add in bell pepper. Let cook an additional hour. Serve with rice, couscous, or bread. Enjoy!

November 3, 2020

French Onion Beef Casserole - Home Cooked Recipe 87

 Tis the season for comfort food! And what is more comforting then a creamy casserole? Nada. I present to you the French onion beef casserole. It is easy to make, great for a weeknight, and inexpensive. It is a delicious dish that is perfect for the fall/winter season.

French Onion Beef Casserole


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 package egg noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 can cream of onion soup (really, any cream soup you have would work)
  • 1 8 ounce container of French onion dip (I use a refrigerated brand)
  • French's fried onions
  • salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350. While egg noodles are cooking, brown ground beef with diced onion. When beef is browned drain and season with salt and pepper. Mix together noodles, beef mixture, soup, and dip. Pour in to greased 9x13 baking dish. Top with fried onions. Bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

October 23, 2020

Dijon Beef Stew - Home Cooked Recipe 86

 Once in a while I come across a gem of a recipe either on television or the internet. This particular recipe I saw on Rachael Ray a week or so ago. It looked so good I couldn't even wait for it to get cold here in FL to make it. And I am really glad I didn't wait because it is SO delicious! I made slight adjustments to the recipe based on ingredients I had on hand, but you can find the original recipe HERE if you want to make it exactly as she does. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did in our house. 




  • 2 lbs stew meat (bite size chunks)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbs ground sage
  • salt & pepper
  • 4-6 tbs butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 shallots, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry sherry 
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 4-6 red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup grainy dijon mustard
  • 16 oz white mushrooms, sliced 
  • 4 tbs butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tbs ground thyme
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

(STEW) Heat 4 tbs butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Mix sage, salt, and pepper into flour. Coat stew meat pieces lightly with flour. Brown stew meat pieces in the butter, in 2 batches. Set beef aside. Add more butter if needed to Dutch oven. Add in shallots and onions. Season with salt and pepper and add in bay leaf. Cook until soft, approximately 8 minutes. Deglaze pot with sherry. Let reduce by half. Add Dijon, broth, and Worcestershire. Stir beef back in. Reduce heat to low and simmer beef for 90 minutes. Add in carrots and potatoes, and simmer for 45 more minutes. Stir in grainy mustard. Once mustard is in, turn off heat and prepare mushrooms.
(MUSHROOMS) Heat butter in large sauté pan. Add mushrooms and cook until browned. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic - cook one minute. Deglaze pan with sherry. Turn off heat and squeeze in lemon juice. Top stew with sherry mushrooms.


June 11, 2020

Cheesy Italian Chicken - CROCK*POT CAFE 16

Hey all! It has been really strange time hasn't it? 2020 has to be the oddest year of my life yet, and I am sure many of yours too. With pandemic happening, a civil rights movement sweeping the nation, murder hornets, and who knows what else, the last thing we have time to think about is what's for dinner. So I have a solution for you! This easy, 4 ingredient, tasty recipe that you can set and forget. I found the recipe on TikTok. Several users posted it so I am not sure where it originated from. But I am glad we tried it because now it is a household favorite!

Cheesy Italian Chicken


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( you can easily double or triple the chicken in this recipe - or even sub boneless, skinless chicken thighs - and the other ingredients can remain the same)
  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 1 bottle Olive Garden Italian salad dressing (or sub whatever Italian dressing you like best)
  • 1/2 bag shredded Parmesan (I would reserve the other half for topping)

Place chicken in slow cooker. Cover with Italian dressing, cream cheese, and Parmesan. Cook on low for 4 hours. You can shred the chicken once cooked like we did or leave the breasts whole. Serve with rice or noodles & top with additional Parmesan if desired. Enjoy!

March 12, 2020

Risotto with Sea Scallops - Home Cooked Recipe #85

Risotto is a comforting rice dish that warms the heart (and belly!). Once I mastered the technique to make it, I find it a lot easier than a lot of cooking shows make it seem! Hubby and myself LOVE sea scallops, and find they make a perfect topping for risotto. But because they are so expensive, we only have them occasionally as a treat. Also, not that many sea scallops come in a package, so I like to serve them with something hearty like risotto so we feel like we are getting a complete and filling meal. Mushrooms were on sale the week when I grabbed the scallops, so I added them to this dish to round it out. Talk about an umami bomb! But you could also use vegetables such as peas or asparagus; these are other popular veggies served with risotto. If I am working with more of a budget, I will cook up some shrimp as the protein instead of scallops, since shrimp are generally more affordable. If you don't like or can't eat seafood, you can always top the risotto with the protein of your choice - or leave it out altogether! Risotto is very versatile, and only requires a smidgen of patience.

Risotto with Sea Scallops


  • 12-16 ounce package of sea scallops
  • 8 ounce package of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I use 1 carton of low sodium chicken broth - usually Swanson's or Progresso)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
  • 6 TBS butter
  • salt and pepper
  • soy sauce
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Heat water and broth in a saucepan over medium/low, keep close to skillet.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high. Once hot, but not smoking, add 2 TBS butter. Saute mushrooms until brown and cooked, about 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and a dash or two of soy sauce. Remove from pan.
Add 2 TBS butter to pan. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and cook for a minute and a half on the first side. Flip over (you should have a nice golden brown crust), and cook an additional 90 seconds. Remove from pan. 
Add remaining butter and diced onion. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn down heat to medium. Add in garlic, saute an additional minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in arborio rice. Toast rice with onions and garlic for a minute or two. Begin adding broth mixture, a ladle or two at a time. Once most of the liquid is absorbed, add another ladle or two and repeat until approximately 1/2 the broth mixture is gone. At this point, begin tasting the rice for doneness, adding the broth mixture a ladle at a time until rice is fully cooked. This process usually takes 20 to 25 minutes. Once the rice is al dente, turn off heat. Stir in cream and Parmesan. Serve immediately, topped with mushrooms and scallops. Enjoy!