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!

December 31, 2014

Orange Honey Chicken - Home Cooked Recipe 60

While looking for new chicken recipe online recently, I came across a recipe for Orange Chicken that the Pioneer Woman posted.  You can find the original recipe HERE.  It looked so good, I had to try it.  It is really easy to make and super delicious.  The only thing I tweaked was that I added double the amount of honey (she used 1 tbs brown sugar, but I used 2 tbs of honey), and I omitted the vinegar because I didn't think the sauce needed it due to the acid in the OJ.  I even fresh squeezed my OJ since navel oranges are in season and I got 4 lbs for $1.99.  I squeezed 5 oranges worth, which was probably more than the 1/2 cup of OJ she calls for, but we like things really saucy around here.  Try it for a great weeknight meal!

Orange Honey Chicken
Sauce before thickened


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 1 cup OJ
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • crushed red pepper to taste (I used about 1 tbs)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • veg oil (for frying)

Chicken in egg white mixture
Heat 2 inches oil in dutch oven until it reaches 350.
Whisk together 2 egg whites and 1 tbs cornstarch until frothy.  Place chicken cubes in mixture and let sit 5-10 minutes.  Meanwhile, make sauce.
In small non stick saucepan, combine OJ, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and red pepper.  Heat on medium until bubbling.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Stir together 1 tsp cornstarch and 1/4 cup water.  Whisk in to sauce mixture.  Heat on medium low until sauce is thickened (about 5-10 minutes).
Thickened sauce
Fry chicken in oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.  
Chicken Frying
Serve chicken in sauce, with white rice on the side if desired (cook 1 cup rice in 2 cups water for 30 minutes).

Finished chicken

December 30, 2014

Beef and Potato Empanadas - Home Cooked Recipe 59

I adore empanadas! Little hand pies filled with meat, cheese, or even dessert fillings.  I am in love with Latin flavors, and these tasty little treats are easy to make if you take a little help from your freezer section.  As you know, I am not much into the pastry arts, so instead, I get the dough, already made and in perfect circles for only a couple of bucks from my freezer section (you can find them with international foods).  Easy to make for a snack, lunch, dinner... Any time really!  And I did mine with beef and potato since I saw a recipe that looked so good on Wishes and Dishes.  But really, you can fill them with chicken, cheese, or even chocolate for dessert.  Try them!

Beef and Potato Empanadas

1 package of 10 frozen empanada dough discs, thawed (for 1 hour at room temp prior to using)
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 small russet potato, diced into very small chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet of Goya Sazon

1 tbs of Goya Adobo seasoning
1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs dried cilantro
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper

1 small can tomato sauce 
1 egg, lightly beaten with a splash of water

Preheat oven to 350.
Add caption
Brown ground beef in pan with potatoes.  After 5 minutes, add garlic and onions.  Cook another 5 minutes and add all the spices.  Cook another 5 minutes and stir in all the spices.  After 5 more minutes, add in tomato sauce, combine well, cook two more minutes and then turn off heat.  Let filling cool.  Fill each disc with a tablespoon or so of filling (be careful not to overfill).  Fold in half and seal edges together with a fork.  Brush tops with egg wash.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.

December 24, 2014

We Made Room For Dessert 20 - Xmas Sugar Cookies

I love a good sugar cookie.  I found an easy recipe for them online, and made them this year as my Christmas cookie of choice.  I also made the icing from scratch, and I am giving you that recipe today too as a bonus recipe!  Happy Holidays to all my blog readers!!!

Sugar Cookies


  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 3 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350
Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter together on low until completely combined.  Add extracts and egg, beat again for another minute.  Slowly fold in baking powder and flour.  Beat on low for a couple of minutes until dough is completely incorporated.  Roll out dough onto counter.  Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Let cool completely before icing.

Sugar Cookie Icing


  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 drops of food coloring (I used green for Christmas)

Combine all ingredients until smooth and completely combined.  Spread onto cooled cookies with knife.

December 22, 2014

Asian Beef Stew - Crock*Pot Cafe 4

I am a big fan of food that uses Asian flavors.  Recently I saw a recipe for beef and broccoli in the slow cooker that had a great Asian sauce.  So I adapted the recipe by using carrots instead of broccoli, and adding about a cup more beef broth to the sauce recipe, as well as adding some red pepper flakes for a kick.  The result?  A delicious Asian style beef stew that was hearty and comforting, with a great sweet and spicy sauce.  Served over rice it makes a great meal.

Asian Beef Stew

(for 2 people, double recipe for a family of 4)

  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 6 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chucks
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbs red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
***4 tbs cooking liquid
***2 tbs corn starch
***2 cups cooked white rice for serving

Mix together broth, soy, sugar, pepper, garlic, and sesame oil.  Pour into bottom of slow cooker.  Place stew meat on top, stirring gently to separate cubes and toss with sauce.  Top with carrot chunks, and gently stir.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  After 6 hours, remove 4 tbs cooking liquid.  This is also the time to start cooking your rice (1 cup white rice, 2 cups water, simmer for 20-30 minutes).  Mix the 4 tbs of cooking liquid with 2 tbs cornstarch. Pour back into slow cooker.  Stir well.  Continue to cook stew on low for another 30 minutes until rice is finished.  Serve stew with white rice.

December 19, 2014

Slow Baked Chicken Thighs - Home Cooked Recipe 58

Normally in my house when we have chicken it is boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  That's like 97% of the time.  One in a while we have chicken wings.  But I have heard so much about chicken thighs, that I finally decided to take the plunge and make a recipe where that is the main star.  I was perusing through the October issue of Cooking Light magazine and came across and article for slow baked chicken thighs.  You can find the original recipe HERE.  With a few tweaks, I made the dish my own and really liked it!  I think white meat is still the favorite around here, but I will definitely be making chicken things (boneless, skinless) again.

Slow Baked Chicken Thighs


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • 1 packet Goya sazon
  • 1 tbs cajun or creole spice
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325.
Melt 2 tbs butter on the bottom of a baking dish (I used my trusty small glass Pyrex).  Next, layer onions on bottom of dish.  Place chicken thighs on top of onions.  Season all over with sazon, cajun spice, and salt and pepper.  Place lemons and garlic slices all around dish in between chicken pieces,  Cut remaining butter in to a small dice and sprinkle over top of chicken.  Cover dish with foil and bake for 1 hour.  Uncover, baste chicken, and bake for an additional 45 minutes, basting every ten minutes.  Serve with rice.

December 15, 2014

We Made Room For Dessert 19 - Birthday Cake

What's a birthday without cake?  I have made a couple of birthday cakes previously, but this year for a couple of friends birthday's I made my first layer cake.  I used a recipe for a chocolate cake with mayonnaise instead of oil.  It did come out so much more moist than my previous cakes!  As a short cut I used store bought frosting, but you can make your own if you so desire.  I might the next time, as the store bought kind was way too sweet for me.  Either way, this cake is easy, moist, and delicious!

Birthday Cake 


  • 1 box devil's food cake mix (I used Duncan Hines brand)
  • 2 tubs vanilla frosting (I used Pillsubry, which came with sprinkles)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup mayo (I used Hellmann's as it's the only kind of mayo I use)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding mix

Preheat oven to 350
Grease 2 8 inch cake pans
Mix together all ingredients except frosting on low speed for a minute, then on high for 3 minutes.  Equally divide cake batter between the 2 pans.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.  Let cake cool for an hour.
Frost cake, creating a layer of frosting in between the two cake layers, then frost the whole outside.  Decorate with sprinkles.

December 11, 2014

Simply Sides 14 - Baked Beans

What completes a BBQ better than the side items like coleslaw, mac n cheese, and baked beans?  I have already posted some great recipes for coleslaw (click HERE) and mac n cheese (click HERE), but not one for baked beans yet!  I was perusing Pinterest (you know it's my fav!) and found a great recipe on South Your Mouth.  I made them for a bonfire we recently went to and EVERYBODY absolutely LOVED them.  So next time you need and easy, delicious, and fairly inexpensive side dish, make these!

Baked Beans


  • 2 28oz cans baked beans (the original recipe calls for cheap pork and beans but I used Bush's Country Style baked beans and I am pretty sure it was worth it, plus they were 2/$4 at my grocer that week)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I used Kraft Spicy Honey)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbs yellow mustard
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs Cajun spice (my own addition)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 5-6 slices bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all ingredients except beans and bacon in a mixing bowl.  Combine well.  Fold in both cans of beans.  Pour in to a baking dish.  Top with bacon pieces.  Bake for 1 - 2 hours.  

December 8, 2014

Spanikopita - Home Cooked Recipe 57

Aaaaaahhh.  Spinach pie.  One of my absolute favorite dishes in the world. A Greek delicacy, laced with many flaky phyllo dough layers, tons of butter, spinach, and cheese.  What is not to like?  Recently I wrote about my trip to the Epcot Food and Wine fest, and mentioned how their Spanikopita was my favorite bite.  It inspired me to make my own at home.  This recipe is easy, but does require patience.  Serious patience.  Phyllo dough is delicate and you have to layer it with butter on each sheet to get a nice base.  And this requires many sheets.  But in my opinion? Totally worth the effort.  And once you get the technique down you could fill your phyllo with anything you like!


2 10oz boxes of frozen spinach, thawed and drained (make sure you wring spinach out in a towel)
1 roll of phyllo dough (1/2 a box, a box usually comes with 2 rolls)
1 stick of butter, melted
1 4oz tub of feta
4oz shredded mozzarella
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp dried dill
salt and pepper
dash of garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350.
For the filling: Combine egg, spinach, cheeses, and spices.  Keep in fridge until done with first half of phyllo crust.
For the crust: Start by spreading out phyllo dough.  Divide stack in half, keeping one half under a moist (but not WET towel).  In a well-greased baking dish (9x9), place one sheet of phyllo.  Brush on butter.  Place another phyllo sheet on top.  Repeat phyllo layers until your first half of the roll is gone. Then layer on spinach filling, spreading evenly.  Remove moist towel and place a phyllo sheet on top of spinach.  Brush with butter.  Top with phyllo.  Repeat with the rest of phyllo dough until all sheets are used.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

December 1, 2014

SPECIAL POST - Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving Spread
Ahhhh.  Another Thanksgiving is now behind us.  I do adore Thanksgiving, because it is a big food holiday!  This year, I made a couple of dishes to bring to the house we went to.  One of them is new (for me), and the other one my family has made every Thanksgiving and Christmas for 20+ years.  Now I am going to share them with you!!!  What could be better than 2 recipes in one post?  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and continue to have an amazing holiday season!

Dish #1 - Cornbread Pudding


  • 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 4 oz sour cream
  • 4 oz shredded cheddar
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 10 oz package frozen corn
  • 1/2 stick melted butter

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all ingredients together.  Grease 9x13 baking dish,  Pour batter into dish.  Bake for 1 hour.

Dish #2 - Cheesy Ritz and Broccoli Casserole


  • 2 10 oz packages of frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 2 8 oz packages shredded cheddar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 sleeves of Ritz crackers, crushed

Preheat oven to 350
Mix crushed crackers with melted butter.  Make sure crackers are completely coated in butter.  Mix together broccoli and cheddar.  Fold in 1/2 of cracker mixture and spread in greased baking dish.  Top with remaining cracker mixture (spread evenly over top).  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.