Tag Archives: Homesick Texan

Chocolate Muffins #BrunchWeek

Welcome to the fourth annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! Eight amazing sponsors are helping us host a GIVEAWAY of some incredible prizes for multiple winners. CLICK HERE to enter!

Chocolate Muffins

So, my regulars here know that my parents were quite insistent about healthy eating for my sister and me growing up, and nowhere was this more present than with breakfast. Skipping it was never an option, there was very little sugar present, and never anything that resembled a dessert. No sugary cereals, no Pop-Tarts, no doughnuts or coffee cakes or sweet muffins, and even when we occasionally got pancakes or French toast, it was of the whole grain variety.

Chocolate Muffins

Suffice it to say, I was well into my teens before finding out that chocolate muffins were a thing. Eating chocolate for breakfast just didn’t happen in our house. Once I reached adulthood, I began sampling them at coffee shops and bakeries, and concluded that I hadn’t really missed out on anything. Most chocolate muffins leave a lot to be desired.

They seem to come in two forms: either they are overly sweet and taste like an unfrosted cupcake – and really, what is sadder than an unfrosted cupcake?; or they are so determined not to be a cupcake and actually sort of be healthy, that they become dense and flavorless. I’ve long since given up on store-bought chocolate muffins, but I’ve been trying different recipes at home to see if a perfect one existed.

Chocolate Muffins

It took quite awhile, but turns out, yes, everything we want in a chocolate muffin does exist. Obviously, it’s what I’m sharing today (duh). These are definitely sweet enough, but not as much as a cupcake would be. They have a firmer muffin texture, but remain incredibly moist and tender. The chocolate tastes more like breakfast than dessert, if that even makes sense, but it really does! In short, I’m done looking. This is my go-to chocolate muffin forevermore. It should be yours too. Enjoy!

Chocolate Muffins

Source: The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain

1 ½ cups Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs
½ cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
6 oz. semisweet or dark chocolate chips (your preference)

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or them with paper liners.
Stir together the sugar, oil, eggs, milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until well blended. Add the liquids and stir until a smooth batter forms. Stir in the chocolate chips. Fill the muffin cups about three-quarters full. I use a regular ice cream scoop for this.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned on top and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature (they’re tasty both ways).

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BrunchWeek Beverages:

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Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Peppery Oven Spareribs

Peppery Oven Spareribs

Spring is supposedly on its way (or already here? Given the recent snow it’s hard to tell), but as much as I’m trying to will it otherwise, consistent grilling weather simply isn’t here yet. Not that that stops my barbecue cravings of late, mind you. I decided I’d just have to address that craving in the form of oven ribs, a notion that has always filled my Texan heart with skepticism in the past.

Peppery Oven Spareribs

No need for that with this recipe though, thank goodness. I suppose it makes sense that I would turn to another native Texan with a small NYC apartment when researching oven rib methods that actually, well, work. Blogger Lisa Fain’s second cookbook, highly recommended by the way, provides an excellent recipe for those of us stuck inside for the time being, whether that be because of weather or March Madness*.

Peppery Oven Spareribs

Matt and I loved these! I debated between several different spare rib recipes in my cookbook arsenal, but that peppery crust on these particular ribs convinced me. We are peppery, spicy people in this house, and that crust was really phenomenal. Sort of reminded me of the French au poivre topping usually reserved for steaks, but that thick pepper crust was accompanied by a well-lacquered tangy barbecue sauce layer. Overall, extremely delicious, and I will admit to being actually happy to have a great oven ribs recipe in my bag of tricks, much as I love the grill. Enjoy!

Peppery Oven Spareribs

*I am, at best, a listless observer of March Madness these days, seeing as Baylor lost out on the FIRST round. To … dear god don’t even say it … Yale. My husband, who is not a Baylor alum, is a much more enthusiastic viewer. So I do understand this aspect of being stuck inside for meals.

Peppery Oven Spareribs

Source: The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain


2 tbs kosher salt
2 tbs black pepper
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp chipotle chile powder
2 slabs St. Louis-cut spareribs, about 2 lbs. each
Coarsely cracked black pepper, for garnish

1 cup canned tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs molasses
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
Pinch of ground cloves
½ tsp smoked paprika
Salt, to taste
Liquid smoke, to taste (optional)

First make the rub for the ribs: mix together the salt, pepper, brown sugar, smoked paprika, and chipotle chile powder. Sprinkle each slab of ribs evenly with the rub, then double wrap in aluminum foil, making a note of which is the meat side. Refrigerate the ribs for 2 to 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 275 F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. Place the foil-wrapped ribs, meat side up, on the baking sheets, and bake for 1 ½ hours to 2 hours.
While the ribs are baking, make the BARBECUE SAUCE. In a medium pot, stir together the tomato sauce, ketchup, garlic, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire, molasses, brown sugar, black pepper, cumin, cayenne, and cloves. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat to low, and gently simmer for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring. After 30 minutes, stir in the smoked paprika, plus salt and liquid smoke to taste (if using).
After 1 ½ hours, lift the foil to check on the ribs. If the meat hasn’t really pulled back from the bones, cook another 30 minutes under the foil. If they are looking mostly done, proceed with the recipe.
Brush the meat side of the ribs with some of the barbecue sauce, then bake another 30 minutes. Brush with the sauce again, and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, keeping a careful eye on how much the meat has pulled back from the bone. You don’t want to overcook them.
Once the ribs are done, turn on the broiler and place a rack 6 inches away from the heating element. Remove the rib slabs from the foil and discard. Drain any residual fat from the baking sheets and brush the ribs with more sauce. Broil 1 to 3 minutes, until dark spots start to appear. Remove the ribs, garnish with the coarse black pepper and let stand for 10 minutes. Use a serrated knife to cut the slab into individual ribs. Serve with the extra barbecue sauce on the side.

Classic Gingerbread

Classic Gingerbread

Yesterday I shared a once-a-year show-stopper of a holiday cake, and no lie – it takes some time and effort. Also, it kind of makes a mess. All worth it for an appropriate occasion, yes, but a mess nonetheless. Today’s cake is the complete opposite. This cake gets made in no time, uses a minimal amount of utensils and dishes, doesn’t need any frosting, and yet may be one of my favorite cakes I’ve eaten in a long time.

Classic Gingerbread

This is real gingerbread, yo. Old-school, classic, old-fashioned, straight-up gingerbread that offers no apologies for being what it is. Gingerbread is a very assertive cake with strong, in-your-face flavors and not a ton of sweetness. A lot of times, it gets watered down and all but changed in favor of a sweeter, lightly spiced cake calling itself gingerbread.

Classic Gingerbread

Not this version here. The spices are rightly heavy-handed, the molasses flavor is thick and musky as it should be, and the sweetness merely waves from the back row. I found it completely delicious and utterly satisfying. Perfect for a last-minute Christmas dessert. Enjoy!

Classic Gingerbread

Source: The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup molasses
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup warm water
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting the cake
Orange zest, for garnish

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking dish.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and molasses and beat until smooth and well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat until just combined. Stir in the warm water until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Be sure not to overcook it, as it will harden a bit as it cools.
While the cake is still warm, sift confectioners’ sugar over the top, as much or as little as you desire, then sprinkle evenly with the orange zest. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pigs in Jalapeno-Cheddar Blankets with Jalapeno Mustard Dipping Sauce

Pigs in Jalapeno Cheddar Blankets with Jalapeno Mustard Dipping Sauce

My obsession with pigs in a blanket, that ubiquitous, classic and a-little-bit-trashy party food, has quite the long history. I literally can’t remember ever not going gaga over these little treats. Fortunately for me, they showed up often enough: Super Bowl parties, sometimes at Family Christmas, birthday parties…

Pigs in Jalapeno Cheddar Blankets with Jalapeno Mustard Dipping Sauce

Since Matt and I cut out (most!) processed food from our diet, I’ve been missing my pigs for quite a long time. They are usually made with canned croissant dough, and since I switched to making all dough (except puff pastry) from scratch, they just haven’t made an appearance.

pigs in jalapeno cheddar blankets with jalapeno mustard dipping sauce

Thus, the reason why excited really doesn’t begin to describe my feelings upon finding a version of pigs in a blanket in Lisa Fain’s most recent book where the dough is made entirely from scratch!! Giddy though I was, I sort of made the knee-jerk assumption that the dough would be complicated. Turns out, nope! I was totally wrong on that one. This dough couldn’t be easier – a first-grader could probably do it – and it’s incredibly tasty.

Pigs in Jalapeno-Cheddar Blankets with Jalapeno Mustard Dipping Sauce

This recipe has a bit of a Tex-Mex spin what with the jalapenos and cheddar, but I’d encourage everyone to take this method and really adapt it to your own tastes. Since my taste buds love Tex-Mex, I left it as is, but my brain began spinning with all the different flavor profiles you could do here. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have this little trick up my sleeve now, and it should definitely be in your arsenal too! Enjoy!

Pigs in Jalapeno Cheddar Blankets with Jalapeno Mustard Dipping Sauce

Source: The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain


8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
8 tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp cayenne
½ cup (2 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and minced

32 cocktail size hot dogs

½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup prepared yellow mustard
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
¼ tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt, to taste

First make the DOUGH: using a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula, mix together the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the flour, salt, cayenne, cheddar, and jalapeno until a soft dough forms. Divide the dough in half, shape each piece into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Either lightly grease or line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Set aside.
On a lightly floured work surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll one of the dough halves in an 11-inch circle. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the circle into 16 equal-sized wedges, like slicing a pie. It does not matter one bit if the edges of the circle are jagged, as long as each wedge is about the same size.
To assemble the pigs, gently lift one of the dough triangles, and starting at the wider end opposite the point, roll the dough around one of the cocktail hot dogs. Place the blanketed pig on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough triangles. Now repeat this whole process with the second disc of dough.
Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned.
While the pigs are baking, make the DIPPING SAUCE. In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, and cumin. Add salt to taste and chill until serving.
Serve the pigs warm with the dipping sauce.

Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas with Chile con Carne #SundaySupper

Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas with Chile con Carne

Welcome to a Hometown Food issue of Sunday Supper!!! This might just be my favorite Sunday Supper I’ve participated in so far. My home city and state has deep roots as far as culinary traditions go, and I’m thrilled to share one of my absolute favorites with you today! I’m also very excited to see what everyone else has brought today – in general, I find myself fascinated with regional cuisine. So, this is a wonderful Sunday Supper for me!

Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas with Chile con Carne

I had many choices of what I could have made for today, but I decided something classic and iconic would be best; and thus, I chose one of the best-loved and well-known Tex-Mex dishes to ever come out of Texas (besides chili): enchiladas filled with cheddar cheese and raw onion, topped with a chile con carne, which is a gravy sauce flavored with lots of chile peppers and ground beef. You’ll see this dish on Tex-Mex menus all over the state, including my home town of Dallas.

Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas with Chile con Carne

I have way too many memories to count of ordering this dish in Tex-Mex restaurants growing up. It was one of my favorites (this one being the other favorite thing to order in a Tex-Mex restaurant). As I no longer live in Texas, I can’t really order this dish in restaurants anymore – Tex-Mex restaurants are few and far between in New York, and the ones that do exist are pretty unimpressive – so I had to learn to make it at home. And I’m incredibly pleased to let you know that this recipe tastes just like all the wonderful restaurant versions I had growing up. It’s perfect!

Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas with Chile con Carne

Since I grew up eating this, of course I find it delicious. But I’m happy to report that my non-native-Texan husband has tried it and he loves it too. And yes, he thought it sounded a bit odd at first. So if you are thinking this dish sounds weird, you’re not alone!

There are a lot of chiles in this dish, but it’s not terribly spicy. Ancho chiles are more fruity than spicy – but, don’t rub your eyes after handling them! They are still chiles. The onions don’t entirely cook out, so there’s a little bit of heavenly crunch in the final product. But no, you may not cook them first. The dish calls for raw onions going into the enchiladas, so cooking them first would be blasphemous, but not to worry – they are no longer biting and raw-tasting after the enchiladas bake, but they don’t fully cook either. It just adds a lovely crunch to the soft melted cheese. I hope y’all enjoy this one! I had a blast making and eating it!

Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas with Chile con Carne

And don’t forget to check out all the wonderful regional fare from my Sunday Supper cohorts!

{Two Years Ago: Cotija Rice}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

6 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
1 tbs olive or canola oil
½ medium yellow onion, chopped (save the other half, you need it later)
2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican
½ lb. lean ground beef (I use either sirloin or first cut brisket)
2 cups beef stock
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

12 corn tortillas, heated until pliable and kept warm
16 oz. yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
½ medium onion, chopped

First you’ll make the CHILE CON CARNE: toast the dried chiles about 10 seconds each side in a medium stockpot over high heat. They are done when they are just fragrant. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the chiles, then place it back over high heat. Let it come up to a rolling boil. When it does, shut off the heat, cover the pot and let the chiles rehydrate for 20-25 minutes. Once rehydrated, place the chiles in the blender and save the soaking liquid.
Meanwhile, preheat a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, then sweat out the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Place the cooked onion and garlic into the blender with the ancho chiles. Add the cumin, oregano, allspice, cinnamon, and 1 cup of the soaking liquid from the chiles. Puree until very smooth.
Wipe out the skillet you used for the onion and garlic, then preheat to medium-high. Add the ground beef and crumble it (you can add a little more oil if needed). Cook, crumbling it as you go, until no traces of pink remain. Add the chile puree and the beef stock. Heat on high until boiling, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want it to thicken to a gravy-like consistency. After 30 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper. Shut off the heat.
Now you can assemble the ENCHILADAS: preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a large baking dish (I always use a 9×13” baker). Take a heated tortilla and drag it through the sauce on both sides. Lay it on a clean work surface and fill it down the middle with a scant ¼ cup of shredded cheese, followed by a pinch of the chopped raw onion. Roll the tortilla and place it seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining 11 tortillas. Pour the rest of the sauce and spread it evenly over all the enchiladas, then sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over top, followed by the rest of the raw onion. Bake the enchiladas for 15 minutes, until bubbling and slightly browned. For a truly superb and complete Tex-Mex meal, serve with rice and refried beans on the side.



Appetizers and Snacks

Main Dishes

Side Dishes


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

King Ranch Casserole #SundaySupper

King Ranch Casserole

Welcome to another Sunday Supper! Today we bring you our theme of Captivating Casseroles! I have to admit, I struggled a little with ideas for what to make for this one. A long time ago, back when we were engaged, my dear husband told me that he hated casseroles and would be perfectly happy going to his deathbed not taking another bite of one. I think he may have had a scarring experience with a bad one at some point during childhood.

King Ranch Casserole

So as long as we’ve been together, I’ve never made one, which presented a little bit of a challenge this week! I knew that we could make lasagna or a baked pasta dish, both of which Matt loves, but for whatever reason lasagna just wasn’t calling my name this week. Despite the fact that I love it too.

King Ranch Casserole

King Ranch Casserole

So I thought, and I thought, and I thought about it. I pondered the casseroles I’d had growing up (not nearly as many as Matt, it sounds like), and then it dawned on me – King Ranch Casserole!! Of course! This is the one casserole I grew up eating. It’s a Texas creation and favorite, and I’ve always loved it. Problem solved!

King Ranch Casserole

I told Matt what I was making, and then had to break the news to him gently that no, King Ranch Casserole does not involve ranch dressing or flavorings. KRC was invented in rural Texas a very long time ago; most of those men were cattle ranchers, and one day someone’s wife threw together this dish of chicken, tortillas and cheese laced with a creamy white sauce. It became popular, then iconic, and lives on to this day as one of the defining dishes of the state of Texas. Thus, the name of the dish is referring to the men’s profession, not the ingredients therein.

King Ranch Casserole

It’s always typically been made using condensed cream of mushroom soup, but I’m thrilled to have found a from-scratch version, which I think is even more tasty than the original (if I can say that without committing blasphemy). And the ultimate good news? Matt absolutely loved it! He said he is not revising his overall stand on casseroles in general, but that I can make this one any time. And he’s right, it is incredibly comforting and delicious! Enjoy!

King Ranch Casserole

Don’t forget to see what other casseroles my Sunday Supper crew brought to the table today!

{One Year Ago: Broccoli Cheddar Quiche}

Source: The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tsp ancho chile powder, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 tsp lime juice, divided
1 tbs olive oil
4 tbs unsalted butter
½ medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne
2 tbs all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup half-and-half
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
½ cup sour cream
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
10 corn tortillas, warmed
8 oz. queso blanco or white cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded

Pat the chicken breasts very dry with paper towels, then sprinkle them on both sides with 2 tsp of ancho chile powder, plus salt and pepper to taste. Douse them with 2 tsp lime juice. Place a large skillet or large soup pot over medium-high heat and drizzle in the olive oil. Cook the chicken breasts, being sure not to crowd the pan, until just cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Flip them back and forth occasionally to prevent either side from burning. When done, transfer the chicken breasts to a plate and let cool a bit (until you can handle them).
If you want to use the same pot to make the sauce, I’d recommend shutting off the heat and then pouring in a little water to get the browned chicken bits up. Pour the water off, then let the residual heat from the pan evaporate any remaining drops of water. Alternately, you can simply use a different stockpot.
Preheat a medium-to-large stockpot over medium heat. Add the butter and once it has melted, add the onions, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne, remaining 2 tsp ancho chile powder, and flour. Cook about 1 minute. Now stir in the chicken stock and stir until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Once the stock has thickened, stir in the half-and-half and tomatoes. Cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, the chicken has probably cooled enough that you can handle it, so shred it into large shards at this point.
Uncover the pot and stir in the sour cream, remaining 2 tsp lime juice, and ¼ cup of the cilantro. Adjust seasonings if needed and add salt and black pepper to taste. Turn off the heat.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13” baking dish.
Now we will assemble our casserole. Ladle ½ cup of sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Layer half of the corn tortillas on top of the sauce, breaking them to fit as necessary. Make sure the entire surface is covered. Add half the chicken on top of the tortillas, then half of the remaining sauce on top of the chicken. Now add the remaining cilantro, then ¾ cup of the shredded cheddar, then ¾ cup of the shredded pepper jack cheese. Repeat the layering once more, using up the rest of the ingredients and topping the whole thing with a cheese layer.
Cook uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbling. Let rest for a few minutes, then serve.

Captivating Breakfast Casseroles

Appetizing Casserole Sides

Main Event Casseroles

Decadent Dessert and Sweet Casseroles

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Cranberry Hatch Chile Salsa #SundaySupper

Cranberry Hatch chile salsa 6397

Happy Sunday Supper everyone! We are smoothly transitioning from the season of giving thanks to the season of giving (and receiving, let’s be honest) gifts with our theme this week of Food as Gifts!

You will get lots of wonderful ideas for the family and friends in your life who enjoy a good edible present. Today I’m sharing a cranberry salsa/sauce, which probably prompted you to say or at least think, “Uh, Thanksgiving was last week, Julie. Maybe you need a calendar for Christmas.” I know, I know. But I firmly believe that cranberries should last us until January, and that they are just as comfortable on December holiday tables as they are on the Thanksgiving table.

cranberries 6290

And since this is a gift from me, I had to go all Tex-Mex with it, giving you this wonderful, amazing Tex-Mex-y spin on the usual cranberry sauce. I used Hatch chiles, but you could easily sub in the same amount of jalapenos and it would be delicious. This is a bit spicy, and not nearly as sweet as some cranberry sauces, which I loved. It’s thick and beautiful.

Cranberry Hatch Chile Salsa 6387

You can pass it around at a formal holiday table like you would at Thanksgiving, or I also loved it heated and then poured over a block of cream cheese to be scooped up with crackers. Or honestly, just eat it with tortilla chips in front of the TV. It’s perfectly at home that way! It is also lovely on leftover turkey tacos or enchiladas. I would know. 😉

Cranberry Hatch Chile salsa 6401

If you happen to have someone on your gift-giving list who loves spicy Tex-Mex inspired holiday-appropriate condiments, then you’re covered on what to get them – cross ‘em off the list and pat yourself on the back! Or, give yourself a gift this year. You work hard. You deserve it. Enjoy, everyone!

Cranberry hatch chile salsa 6407

{One Year Ago: Apple Cider Doughnuts}
{Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Cheesecake, Mole Poblano with Chicken Thighs}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain

12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed if frozen
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded and diced
2 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded and diced
¼ cup chopped toasted pecans
2 tbs finely grated orange zest
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ tsp ground cumin
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of cayenne
Kosher salt, to taste

In a large pot, stir together the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the poblano and Hatch chiles, pecans, orange zest, cilantro, cumin, ginger, and cayenne. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it should keep up to 1 week.



Appetizers and Snacks:

Condiments and Sauces:

Savory and Sweet Mixes:

Desserts and Sweets:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Mushroom Spinach Enchiladas

Mushroom Spinach Enchiladas 5267

It probably sounds a little funny and hugely un-revolutionary to many, but seeing as I grew up in two extended families of carnivores, and living in the Land of the Almighty Cow, vegetarian fare is somewhat novel to me. But I have to say, it’s grown on me more and more, to the point where I will actually seek it out. Those who knew my youthful self would never have predicted this, but it’s true – I love vegetarian cooking and I’ve even purchased several vegetarian cookbooks.

mushrooms 5225

Mushroom Spinach enchiladas 5266

And so it goes with these extremely tasty enchiladas. Instead of just being meat-free and cheese-filled every which way, they have actual vegetables in the filling (not that cheese isn’t there aplenty; it is). The mushrooms have something of a meaty texture. While mushrooms themselves don’t taste like beef per se, and you won’t be fooling any of your diners, the texture is quite pleasing to the chew. They give the enchiladas heft.

Mushroom spinach enchiladas 5260

The spinach provides a nice leafy background note, and its slight bitterness contrasts nicely with the bright, acidic tomatillo salsa. And of course both the filling and the enchiladas themselves are ensconced in creamy cheesiness that we all love. It’s a filling meal! Without a lot of guilt. That always works in my book. Enjoy!

mushroom spinach enchiladas 5254

{One Year Ago: Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin over Apple-Turnip Hash, Apple Maple Walnut Cobbler, Apple Crisp}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain


1 poblano chile
1 large jalapeno
½ lb. fresh tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
½ cup cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp lime juice
1 cup vegetable stock
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp canola oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

1 tsp canola oil
10 oz. white button or cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
½ medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano or small jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (16 oz.) container ricotta cheese, full-fat or low-fat, but not fat-free
1 tbs lime juice
¼ tsp cayenne
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
12 corn tortillas
2 cups (about 8 oz.) Monterey jack cheese, shredded

First make the salsa. Roast the poblano and jalapeno either under the broiler or on an open flame from a gas stove, until the outside skin is blackened all over. Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let them steam for about 15 minutes. Using either your hands or a paper towel, scrape the blackened skin off. Cut off the stems and remove the seeds from inside the chiles, then add the flesh to your blender.
Meanwhile, add the tomatillos to a small pot and cover with water. Bring the pot to a boil and cook about 5 minutes, until the tomatillos are tender but not gone to complete mush. Drain, and add the tomatillos to the blender, along with the cilantro, garlic, lime juice, vegetable stock, and cumin. Blend until smooth.
Heat the oil in the pot you used for the tomatillos and place over medium-low heat. Pour the salsa into the pot and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then turn the heat to very low and just keep it warm until you need it again.
Now make the filling. Heat the oil in a medium-to-large skillet on medium. Add the mushrooms and sauté about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Add a pinch of salt and remove to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Add the onion to the skillet and cook about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and chile and cook another minute.
Place the spinach in a clean kitchen towel and wring it out over the sink, until you’ve gotten most of the excess water out. Add the spinach to the skillet and cook about 2 minutes, just to remove the excess water. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Shut off the heat and add the spinach mixture to the mushrooms in the large bowl. Allow to cool about 5 minutes, then add the ricotta, lime juice, cayenne, cumin and cinnamon. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir to combine everything. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a large casserole or baking dish. Warm the tortillas either in the microwave or on top of your gas stove. Store them in a tortilla warmer or wrapped in a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm.
Take a heated tortilla and drag it through the salsa, coating both sides. Use tongs if it’s too hot for your fingers. Shake off most of the salsa back into the pot, but make sure the tortilla is pliable. Lay the soaked tortilla on a clean work surface and add about ¼ cup of the mushroom spinach mixture to the center of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla and place, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining 11 tortillas. Pour the rest of the salsa over the enchiladas and top evenly with the shredded cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbling. Serve immediately. Leftovers are good.

Austin-Style Black Beans #SundaySupper

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Welcome to a Budget Friendly edition of Sunday Supper! Up front, I have to confess something. I don’t really ever budget when it comes to our food costs. Now I’m certainly not buying things like caviar and lobster every week, and I’m very cognizant of what is and isn’t on a special sale that week, but I don’t enter the grocery store with a number in mind that I can’t or shouldn’t exceed. I’m a firm believer in the principle of pay more for your food and less for your healthcare. So I’ll cut back in almost every other area of life, but not food.

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True story to illustrate my point: several years ago I noticed that my everyday boots had a not-so-insignificant hole in the sole. Fortunately they were thick soles, so the situation wasn’t as dire as it sounds, but still – that’s not great. I ventured into a shopping mall with the express purpose of buying a new pair of shoes. Two hours later I walked back to my car, without any new shoes, but carrying in hand a bag of goodies, including a bottle of $11 gourmet barbecue sauce, from Williams-Sonoma. Yeah. You can see where my priorities lie.

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Eventually I did replace the shoes, but I didn’t on that particular day because I was being mindful of our overall budget, and well, I wanted the barbecue sauce more. So this week’s theme was a little bit out of my wheelhouse!

In the end, I decided I couldn’t go wrong with dried beans. They are extremely cheap, and once cooked they stretch to either feed a small army, or let a few people eat for a week, easy. These were delicious – full of flavor, incredibly filling, high in protein, and you will not feel like you are “eating cheap”, if that makes sense. They work wonderfully as a side dish, but I ate a more substantial-sized bowl for lunch today, and was a perfectly happy camper.

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I hope y’all enjoy them! And definitely check out the rest of the Sunday Supper gang for some fantastic ideas on budget friendly, yet delicious recipes!

{Two Years Ago: Poutine, Blue Cheese Hazelnut Biscuits}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed, picked over and rocks discarded
1 tbs canola or vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped, plus a nice spoonful of adobo sauce
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs tomato paste
¼ cup lime juice
Kosher salt, to taste
Crumbled Cotija cheese, for garnish (optional – this will make it non-vegan)

Place the beans in a large bowl and fill with water, covering them by about 1 inch. Soak at room temperature overnight. Drain the beans well, then transfer to a large soup pot. Cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
Drain and rinse the beans in a colander in the sink.
Return the empty pot to the stove and heat to medium-high. Add the oil, then the onion. Saute the onion and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Lower the heat to medium, then add the beans, chipotle plus adobo sauce, and ¼ cup cilantro. Cover with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for 1 ½ hours. Adjust the heat around as necessary and stir occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom. You want to keep things at a gently rolling simmer.
After 1 ½ hours, add the remaining cilantro, cumin, tomato paste, lime juice and salt to taste. Cook uncovered 30 minutes more, or until the beans are tender. Taste again for seasoning and adjust as needed. Garnish with Cotija if you desire, noting that it will no longer be vegan if you do so.
Note: you may need to go longer than the stated 2 hours cook time, just keep tasting and see. Mine went an extra 30 minutes purely because I got distracted cooking the rest of our dinner that night, and they were not overcooked at all.

Scrumptious Mains (Breakfast and Dinner)

Satisfying Sides

Sweet Treats

Sips, Spreads, and Snacks

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Bacon Cheddar Chipotle Biscuits

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Happy weekend! I’m spending a lovely long weekend visiting family in Texas so this post will be short and sweet. And all about biscuits, to boot.

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The title tells you everything you need to know about these wonderful, homey baked goods. Three of my favorite flavors all jammed into a light, fluffy, round biscuit. Bacon. And cheese. And chipotle. So perfect.

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I’m thinking these are perfect for making and serving alongside chili, which you know you’re going to be making tons of what with the upcoming football season (NFL starts tomorrow, right? Yea, go Cowboys!).

I used a three-inch biscuit cutter so I got six big ones, but you can certainly cut them smaller. You will likely need less time in the oven if so. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Italian Sausage Hoagies with Caprese Relish}
{Two Years Ago: Fried Summer Squash with a Horseradish Dipper, Blueberry Pancakes}

Source: The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, chilled
4 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and chopped
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 canned chipotle in adobo, minced
3/4 cup half-and-half or buttermilk, cold

Preheat your oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Quickly cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the mixing bowl. Toss once or twice to coat the butter with the flour mixture, then use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut the butter into the flour, until the mixture is crumbly.
Now add the bacon, cheese, chipotle, and half-and-half. Use a rubber spatula to mix until the dough just comes together. There will still be crumbs, which is fine.
Flour a clean work surface and dump the dough out. Knead for 1 minute until the dough just comes together. It will be sticky.
Now pat the dough out to about 1 inch in height. Flour a biscuit cutter and stamp out circles, re-rolling and re-patting the dough as needed. Transfer the biscuits to your prepared baking sheet, placing them close together so they rise up, not out.
If you used a 3″ biscuit cutter, you’ll have 6 biscuits, and they should bake for 15 minutes. If you used a smaller biscuit cutter, it’ll be a few minutes less. Bake until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm.