Journey toward happiness

May 30, 2008

Oh yeah baby. It’s all about the sauce.

Filed under: recipes, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Tara @ 8:31 pm

Just a quick note on one of the best marinades that I have tried in a while.


Kroger Brand Bourbon Peppercorn Marinade. It is a new item and I will be stocking up next time I go to the store. It has a hint of a bourbon smell when you open the bottle. We grilled thick boneless pork chops after soaking them in this heavenly mixture. The chop came out peppery and slightly sweet and completely delicious.


Served with sauted yellow onions, green bell peppers and asparagus. Yum-Yum-Yum!


I think I will try it on chicken next. OOHHH! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.


Have a groovy, grilling weekend!



May 22, 2008

Italian Chicken

Filed under: recipes — Tags: , , , — Tara @ 1:23 pm

Well, we fixed the chicken the other night and of course I forgot to take pictures. I can’t quite get used to photographing all my food. I promise to remember next time. This chicken is easy and delicious.


Italian Chicken
2- 4 Chicken Breasts
1 small bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing
1-2 large Potatoes
Potatoes, Carrots, Green Peppers, Red Peppers, Onion, or any other vegetable you have laying around the house
1 cup of shredded Mozzarella Cheese


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Place chicken breasts in a baking dish. I use a 9 x 12.
3.  Pour bottle of dressing over top and let the chicken marinate while cutting the veggies.
4.  Coarsely chop the veggies and add to baking dish.
5.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until breasts are thoroughly cooked.
6.  Sprinkle the cheese over top of the chicken and veggies and return to the oven until cheese is melted.
    It should only take a few minutes.
7.  Serve and enjoy.


This is a quick and easy recipe that turns out like a gourmet meal. Make sure to use potatoes because they absorb the dressing and taste wonderful. Don’t skimp on the cheese either. I always use more than a cup. Mmmmmm……


Merry baking,



May 20, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara @ 8:47 pm

NC Man is making one of our favorite(I know they are all our favorite, but whatever it’s delish) meals tonight. Mom called and has fresh green beans from the local market and a pasta salad made by her very good friend. I am going to pick some up for dinner and NC Man is making Italian Chicken. He made it for me on our second(homecooking) date. It is so simple and delicious. I will give details and the recipe tomorrow if I have time. Maybe I will throw in some details about how I met this man of my dreams. Ahhhh……..

Have a Happy Dinner Tonight!


One great pot roast

Filed under: recipes — Tags: , , , , , — Tara @ 3:07 pm

For several days, I searched the Internet looking for a new pot roast recipe. After scanning through what seemed liked hundreds of recipes, I took several and joined them together. The result was a perfect marriage of flavors. I cook this in a crock pot for 6-8 hours on low. The pot roast ends up fork tender and fills the house with irresistible aromas. Sorry no pictures just yet. I will make it again soon and entice you with beautiful pics.


Tara’s Special Pot Roast
3-5 lbs. pork roast or tenderloin(you can also use beef)
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 tbsp beef bouillon base
1 can sliced mushrooms
Worcestershire sauce
black pepper
garlic powder
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.  Coat the meat with garlic power and fresh ground black pepper
2.  Heat frying pan on med-high and add olive oil
3.  Fry the meat for a few minutes on each side to form a golden crust
4.  Meanwhile, mix cream soups, mushrooms, a few dashes of Worcestershire, bouillon base, black pepper, and garlic in crock pot. Use as little or as much of the garlic as you desire. I tend to use quite a bit.
5.  Place the golden pork roast/tenderloin in the crock pot.
6.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir after a few hours to make sure all of the meat is covered in the ooey-gooey rich sauce.

I like to serve this over buttered egg noodles or homemade mashed potatoes. Yum-yum-yum! This is one of our favorite dishes. If you are only cooking for two, then there will be plenty left over for lunch the next day. Double the recipe if you are cooking for a small army. You may even want to double it so you have plenty of leftovers. It is even better the next day!

Now dust off that crock pot and start cooking!

Enjoy the smells,


May 18, 2008

Tasty Onion Rings

Filed under: recipes — Tags: , , , , — Tara @ 4:08 pm

I ran across this recipe on a great website We are not big fans of the big crunchy restaurant onion rings, but I found the pictures and description of the recipe to be irresistable. These are light and crispy and perfect with Southwest Dipping Sauce. I love to serve these with Stubbs Chicken Wings or Hamburgers(chicken or beef). I could make these everyday. They are so yummy. Just make sure that you make more that you think you will need. I always end up eating half of the batch before dinner is served. PW’s recipe is called Onion Strings, in case you want to look up the original. I have made only a few small changes.

Yummy, crisp onion rings with southwest sauce

Onion Rings
1 large onion
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour (I use 1.5 cups Bisquick and .5 cups wheat flour)
1 scant tablespoon salt
Lots of black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper(or a little more if you like ’em spicy)
Canola Oil


1. Slice onion very thin. Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk for at least one hour.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl or plastic bag.
3. Coat the rings with the dry mix.
4. Deep fry until golden brown.
5. Serve with Southwest Dipping Sauce or any sauce of your choice. Enjoy.


I don’t remember where I found the recipe for Southwest Dipping Sauce so I apologize for not giving proper credit. This sauce is great with fried foods, veggies, chips, and even on sandwiches. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge.


Southwest Dipping Sauce
1/2   cup mayonnaise
2     tsp ketchup
1      tbsp cream-style horseradish
1/4  tsp paprika
1/4  teaspoon seasoning salt
1/8  tsp ground oregano
1/8  tsp ground black pepper
1/8  tsp cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Store covered in the refrigerator until needed.


 Happy frying,



May 15, 2008

Best wings ever!

Filed under: recipes — Tags: , , , , — Tara @ 3:37 pm

Well, I just couldn’t wait. I have to share this recipe. It is made with Stubb’s products. If you don’t know about Stubb’s, then visit 

Stubb’s restaurant is in Austin, Texas. The sauces can be found at any local grocery store and if you can’t find them, order online. I actually make both wing recipes from the website and combine them. Yummy! Tasty wings!

 The best sauce ever…

Stubb’s-style Tavern Wings
Zesty Tavern Chicken Wings





Serves: 4 Submitted by: Don Notter

3 lb. chicken wings (about 16)
3 tablespoons butter
9 tablespoons Stubb’s Original Wicked Chicken Wing Sauce
2 tablespoons Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons prepared mustard

1. Deep fry wings at 400 degrees F (high) for 12 minutes or until cooked and crispy; drain.
2. Melt butter in small sauce pan
3. Mix remaining ingredients into pan with
melted butter; stir well.
4. Drop wings into sauce two at a ti
and stir until wings are well-coated.
5. Serve hot.

 Now for the wings….

Stubb’s Legendary Inferno Hot Wings
Serves: 5 – 10    Submitted by: Stubb’s

1 bottle Stubb’s Wicked Wing Sauce
2 tablespoons of Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Spice Rub
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
40 or so chicken wings (third joint removed)
Non-stick cooking spray
Blue Cheese dressing or Ranch (we prefer Ranch, but you really just need the sauce above)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F; spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine flour, salt, pepper, red pepper and Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Spice Rub in a plastic, sealable bag.
Shake the wings 6 at a time until well coated. Shake off excess flour and spices.
Place on previously sprayed baking pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
Remove from oven and brush Stubb’s Wicked Chicken Wing Sauce generously over wings.
Return to oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, turn wings and again brush with Stubb’s Wicked Chicken Wing Sauce – return to oven for 5 minutes.


I also have a great recipe for Onion Strings that are wonderful with the wings. Sometimes I make Potato Skins to calm the fire. You make whatever you like as a side, just make sure you try these wings!


I will try to take some pics so everyone can see how tasty they look!  I apologize for the post being all over the place. I am still learning how to change formats/colors/etc. Please forgive me.


Happy eating,


New Direction

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Tara @ 1:58 pm

I started this blog and really wasn’t sure what to do with it. So far, it has consisted of randoms thoughts and nonsense. This morning as I logged in, it hit me. NC Man and I are constantly trying out new recipes. Why not share these with the world. Lately, we have been taking our old recipes and revamping them. I can’t wait to share. I know there are about a gazillion cooking blogs out there, but I would love to share my recipes and gardening ideas with friends and family. I will try to post pictures when I can. I am excited.

This should be fun.

My favorite flower, the Poppy

Peace, love, and happy cooking,


May 5, 2008

Just a silly random picture…

Filed under: animals — Tags: , , — Tara @ 6:46 pm

This is my baby boy(who is not so little) Zeke. He is a 14 months old and 75 lbs. large Blue Weimaraner.

I am trying to figure out how to insert media. Guess I got it, huh?

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