Tomorrow is May 5th.  To most of us that doesn’t mean anything but in Mexico it commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). Mexico had trouble paying back war debts to European countries, and France had come to Mexico to collect that debt.

For us in the US it is a time to enjoy Mexican food and drink.  And if you are a fan of Ellie Krieger then celebrating in a healthy way is easy.


I made these in 2015 and they were good so I decided to make them again. Also making them again because we have been cooking with Ellie for so long that some themes are getting low on recipes.

Lots of flavor, lots of veggies, lots of meats and totally Whole30 compliant.  Yes, I’m still eating that way as much as possible which meant no tortillas and no cheese, and no sour cream.  I can live with that.  But if you want them with all that….

fajita 2

The recipe is on page 98 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders.

More Cinco de Mayo -> Eating with Ellie.


This week’s theme for Eating with Ellie was  Italian Night – Gaye’s choice for the first Thursday in March.

For some reason when I hear Italian food I think of meatballs.  I don’t know why because Italian food is so so much more than simple meatballs.  But since I can’t have pasta in any form or rice {on the Whole30 program} I decided meatballs was my safest route.  


Tapas-style Meatballs

Everything in the recipe – lean ground beef, onions, garlic, eggs, parsley and various other spices – are all Whole 30 compliant. Except for the bread crumbs.  THOSE I left out.  That made the meatballs a little harder to work with but it didn’t change the taste.

I also didn’t use Ellie’s sauce for the meatballs. I just wasn’t sure if the tomato sauce would be compliant so I made a Whole30 sauce instead.  Either way the meal was just right.  Meatballs in sauce.  How can you go wrong with that?

The recipe is from Ellie’s You Have it Made (page 144) but you can also find the recipe on line HERE.

For more Italian food visit Italian Night on Eating with Ellie.

Want to join the fun.  Just cook any recipe from Ellie Krieger that fits the themes, blog and leave your link under comments.  We prefer not to include the recipe.  Buy Ellie’s books instead.  You will be glad you did!

This week’s theme for Wednesdays with Donna Hay is BEEF!  It’s what’s for Dinner. And that is a good thing for a houseful of carnivores.  We don’t eat beef nearly as often as we used to so we tend to enjoy it more and it want it tasty.  Donna’s beef and peppercorn pies was perfect.  A whole lot of flavor in a small package.

Well, in our case, not so small a package.  Instead of making 4 small pies I made one medium {about 1/3 of the recipe} for the two of us.



Using a regular pie shell for the bottom she topped the beef cooked with peppercorns, wine, and stock with puff pastry which gave us a wonderfully crispy, flaky crust.  Simple ingredients.    It was delicious.  Just the right amount of wine to bring out the flavor.  Definitely a keeper.  And if you didn’t want to make a pie it would be great over rice or potatoes.


The recipe is from Donna’s Flavours, page 140.  We don’t publish the recipes.  Instead we would like to encourage you to buy her books.  You will not be sorry.  And if you want to join us here, please do. We’d love to have you.  Just make a dish from the theme, post it and add your link.  Easy Peasy!

Need more beef -> WWDH.



If you have ever watched Good Eats you know that Alton is all about technique and science rather than the actual recipe.  Thank goodness!  Because while I followed the technique for this turnover I wasn’t exactly thrilled with his filling.  Also, thank goodness, he said we could fill these turnovers with anything we wanted.

The recipe is labeled Salmon Turnovers and I love salmon but mixed with sour pickle relish – not so much.  {I did later try one with sweet pickle relish and it was pretty tasty!}


These made a great lunch.  I also made a couple with steak, cheese, and peppers and eggs and ham and cheese.  It’s all about the puff!

The recipe is from Alton’s Good: Eats The Early Years  on page 247.

The recipe is also on FoodTV – HERE!

This was the last recipe for CookBook Countdown with Alton Brown.  I still have plenty left and four more of his books.  And it’s all GOOD EATS!!

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

This week we are enjoying Marvelous Meat for Wednesdays with Donna Hay.  Meat can be anything that doesn’t swim  so lamb, beef, pork, and chicken  were all possibilities.

We don’t eat a lot of beef so fixing a small amount for a lunch with a friend was the  perfect way to go.  With an Asian Flair.


Stir-fried beef, ginger, and greens

A short list of simple ingredients:  beef, sesame oil, ginger, garlic,  Asian Greens, oyster sauce and Chinese cooking wine was all we needed.  But I have one question – WHAT are Asian Greens?  Chinese Cabbage?  Bok Choy?  Lemon Grass?  We settled on the cabbage because the Bok Choy didn’t look so hot.

It was really easy to put together but we didn’t care for it very much.  It seemed rather bland even with the Oyster sauce and Sesame oil.  I served it with Rice Noodles.  Not a repeat.

The recipe is on page 60 of Donna’s   new food fast.

More Marvelous Meat on Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

I don’t know about you but Shepherd’s Pie is a common occurrence in our kitchen. Whenever I need something easy and filling I usually turn to Shepherd’s pie. And there is not much difference between one recipe and another.  Except years ago I stopped using any kind of canned soup and started making my own filling.  SOOOOO much better.  But I was still unhappy because of all the potato topping the pie.


I don’t have to worry about that any more because of Ellie.  This topping is made with potatoes and cauliflower.  A new twist on your every day Shepherd’s Pie.  And a good one.  Even The Man liked it and he is NOT a cauliflower fan.  The steamed cauliflower mixes in very well with the potatoes so that the taste is more potato.  And although Ellie doesn’t add the cheese on top it just wouldn’t be Shepherd’s Pie with out a little cheese.

The filling is lean ground beef mixed with onions, carrots, mushrooms (which I left out), peas, and seasonings.  Very tasty.

The recipe is from Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix (page 131) but it is also HERE!

More Beef recipes are on Eating with Ellie.

While you are there check out the schedule of Themes for Eating with Ellie.  Won’t you join us?

Actually the full name of this recipe is Hoover’s Night Hawk Chicken-Fried steak and Cream Gravy.  In Austin, TX. there is a Hoover’s Cooking where this particular CFS recipe is cooked in a cast iron skillet and is probably the end result of hundreds of family recipes.  Hoover Alexander shared his recipe with Molly for One Big Table.


    4 cups all-purpose flour4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 tablespoon kosher salt
    1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 teaspoons granulated garlic
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 cups milk
    4 large eggs
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    Four 6-ounce beef cube steaks, pounded to 1/4 inch thick

Preheat oven to 200F.  Place a wire rack over a cookie sheet.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne together.

Whisk the egg and milk together in another container.

In a large cast-iron skillet heat the oil over medium heat to 350F.

Dredge one steak in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and then back in the flour mixture.  Make sure to shake the excess flour off after the first dredge.

Cook on one side for about 4 – 6 minutes.  Flip the steaks over and fry for an additional 4 – 6 minutes until golden brown.

Place the steaks on the wire rack and place in the oven to keep warm.  Repeat process with the additional steaks..  Make sure the oil returns to 350F before starting the next batch.


2 cups milk
2 cups homemade chicken broth or low-sodium
store-bought chicken broth
2 tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring the milk and broth to a simmer and keep warm.   Pour off  all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet.  Add the bacon grease and flour to the oil in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes.

Slowly add in the milk/broth mixture whisking all the time.  Add in the garlic and onion powder and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the steak with the gravy on the top.  And for the best meal serve with mashed potatoes. And some good fresh corn on the cob.

I know this is a basic recipe but there were two ingredients here I had not used before when I have made CFS.  Bacon Grease.  Baking powder.  The bacon flavor just raises the bar on the flavor and the baking powder in the steak dredge adds fluffiness and crunch.  I will definitely continue to do this when I make CFS.

I did make a couple of changes.  I would suggest just reserving a little more than 1/2 cup  of the flour/seasoning dredge for the gravy.  I found that I wasted a lot of dredging flour.  Also, I only used about 1/2 of the milk/broth/egg mix when I dipped the steaks.

The recipe is on page 442 of One Big Table.onebigtable

I’m linking this post with

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

I figured if I’m going to the Indy I am going in style.  Maybe a box seat!  Maybe the camper in the pits.  I’m going to need that because my lunchbox had a rather messy meal in it.


Ellie’s Open-Face PHILLY Cheese Steak Sandwich

When ever I try out a new place for lunch, if they have the Philly, I will try it.  I’ve had one from about 20 different places.  Most are good.  Some not so much.  The one from The Huddle House isn’t bad.  Neither is the one at IHOP.  I haven’t found one that blows me away yet.  Guess I will just have to keep trying.

Meanwhile Ellie’s will do nicely for a make-at-home Philly.  A toasted whole whet Italian roll (I used a WW English muffin instead) covered with nicely browned beef, sauteed onions and bells (Ellie said red and green but I am not a fan of green so I used orange instead.  Great Color!), and a lovely cheese sauce made with REAL cheese – extra sharp cheddar.  It was quite tasty, but quite messy as well.  Which is just fine with me.  Definitely a repeat, maybe NOT for the INDY, but any other lunch.

The recipe is from Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix (page 112) .  I also found it on my friend Tracy’s blog.

Check out what else is our Lunchboxes.


If you live in the South you will find Chicken Fried Steak on just about any menu.  It is usually served with a white pepper gravy and filled with lots of calories.  It is delicious, as most fried foods are.  There’s just something about frying food….

With so many calories it is hard to enjoy too often without guilt unless you are pencil thin, which I am not!!  Thank goodness for Ellie who has come up with a recipe that has about 1/2 the fat with 100% of the flavor.  Her recipe calls for ‘frying’ cube steak in only 1 1/2 Tbl of oil and dipping the steak in a mix of egg, egg white, hot sauce, and low fat milk before dredging in just a little whole wheat pastry flour seasoned with paprika, salt, and pepper. All of this means a saving of about 100 calories.


You’re welcome!

This was good.  It didn’t taste any different than my regular steak but I didn’t feel as guilty eating it.  Keeper!!

The theme this week, thanks to Gaye, is Marvelous Meat so check out what else is on the menu.

The recipe is from Comfort Food Fix and is on page 142.

Do you have moments you savor? I do. A particular time with My Babies. A weekend away with The Man. Fishing with Dad. Yep! All important moments to keep in the memory for later.

Well, this month I found something else to savor. A new blog to read and cook from thanks to The Secret Recipe ClubSavory Moments.  This blog is run by Amy and covers

“My journey to learn more and more about food and cooking..”

And she has done a great job.  She has a wonderful collection of recipes that she is keeping for her family and her recipes focus on fresh, local, and healthy.  I was excited to find so many delicious recipes that were also easy to make:  Cheddar ham and broccoli quinoa casserole, Peanut butter cup bars, Creole chicken with cheddar and scallion grits,  and Tomato-basil soup are all saved for later.  So if I’m making those later, what did I make this time for SRC?

Lt’s start with breakfast.  Pancakes.  Pumpkin Pancakes.  With Maple syrup and toasted pecans  I love pancakes.  They are probably my favorite breakfast.  More than waffles.  More than eggs and bacon. m So when I saw these Pumpkin oatmeal pancakes {for two} I knew I had to try them.  It was the right thing to do.


They reminded me of pumpkin bread.  Full of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and brown sugar.  I made just a couple of changes.  I increased the pumpkin to 3/4 cup rather than 1/2 and I added some cooked 7-Grain cereal to the mix.  I figured a little more fiber wouldn’t hurt  Then instead of toasted walnuts, I used toasted pecans.  I do enjoy pecans in or on my pancakes.  Perfect.  Amy said these were for two and I ended up with 8 medium sized pancakes.Perfect!  I think these would make good waffles as well.

 Next on the list I found several muffin recipes.   I love making muffins.  No frosting. No papers to peel off.  Just out of the oven and eat. Sweet?  Not Sweet?  How about some delicious healthy muffins?


Whole Wheat Muffins to be exact.  With a little brown sugar to bring out the sweetness of the bananas.  Amy suggested folding in some walnuts, cranberries, or chocolate chips but I opted for some big sweet blueberries instead.  Blueberries are so good for you so adding them to the whole wheat muffins makes them almost guilt free.  And delicious.

That’s what I made to have around for a snack.

For supper we had…


Bacon Cheeseburger Pie.  This is not your usual hamburger pie.  Instead of adding some veggies and covering with mashed potatoes this pie is baked in a pie crust with all the ingredients of a bacon cheeseburger – thus the name!  There’s bacon, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and yellow mustard. And of course, lots of cheese.  Amy used  Yancey’s Fancy Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger cheese but I could not find that here in South Podunk so I followed her suggestion and used a sharp cheddar mixed with some crumbled bacon. YUM!!

I have the ingredients for her Cheddar Broccoli soup and the Cheddar ham and broccoli quinoa casserole waiting in the wings.  Looking forward to making them real soon.

Thanks for some great healthy recipes,  Amy.  I enjoyed my visit.  I’ll be back!

For more recipes from the Secret Recipe Club just follow the Frog.

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