Saturday, June 16

Quinoa and Black Beans


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix quinoa into onion mixture and cover with vegetable broth; season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes; mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Friday, May 18

Cafe Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing Copycat Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes


  • 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch mix TRADITIONAL not BUTTERMILK
  • 1 c. mayonnaise I prefer Best Foods
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 2 tomatillos remove husk, diced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro fresh
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 jalapeno we like it SPICY so we kept the seeds in it, if you like it mild, just remove the seeds


  1. Add all the ingredients in to a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve as a dressing over salad or as a dip for veggies and chips.
    All the following Cafe Recipes are from Favorite Family Recipes - they really are the best ones I have come across

Cafe Rio’s Cilantro Lime Rice and Black Beans

Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


For the Rice:

  • 1 c. rice uncooked, long-grain, white rice
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 15 oz. can chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. cilantro fresh chopped

For the Black Beans:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/3 c. tomato juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro fresh chopped


For the Rice:

  1. In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender.
  3. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro.
  4. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.

For the Black Beans:

  1. In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Copycat Recipe

Servings 8


  • 2 pounds pork we use boneless pork rib meat
  • 3 cans Coke NOT diet
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • dash garlic salt
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 3/4 10oz can red enchilada sauce (I use Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness but any will work)
  • 1 c. brown sugar


  1. Put the pork in a heavy duty ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry) or on low for 8 hours. Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.
  3. In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.
  4. Put shredded pork and sauce in crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

Thursday, December 14

Spinach and Chickien Pasta salad

  • 16 oz. bow tie pasta cooked al dente
  • Dressing:1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup Yoshida's gourmet sauce
  • 2/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • Salad consists of:
  • 20 oz. bag of spinach
  • 1 6 oz. bag craisins
  • 3 cans mandarin oranges drained
  • 2 cans sliced water chestnuts drained
  • 1/2 cup parsley chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds toasted
  • 6 oz. peanuts
  • 2 cups chicken cut into pieces
  1. Blend dressing in blender
  2. Mix dressing and pasta and marinade for 2 hours (in a ziploc bag)
  3. Combine rest and add pasta and dressing and toss
    Recipe and picture courtesy of yourhomebasedmom!!!

Wednesday, October 11

Mexican Quiche

10 eggs
1 lb grated jack cheese
1 pint small curd cottage cheese
½ Cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
dash salt
1 8 oz can diced green chiles
3/4 Cup butter
Beat eggs in large bowl.  Add grated cheese and cottage cheese, using low speed.  Add flour, baking powder, salt, chiles.  Add ½ Cup butter.  Mix thoroughly.  Pour remaining 1/4 Cup butter into 10 x 15 (for appetizers) or 9 x 13 (for entree) pan.  Then add mixture.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins



  • 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I often sub half applesauce/half oil)
  • 2 cups (15 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree (15-ounce can)


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) powdered sugar

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon


  1. For the cream cheese filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar and mix with a handheld electric mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer) until smooth. On a piece of parchment paper or greased foil, form the soft mixture into a log making sure that the diameter is small enough to fit into the well of a muffin pan once cut into pieces. Wrap the log up tightly and freeze until slightly hardened, 1-2 hours. ALTERNATE METHOD: sometimes I use my small cookie scoop (about a tablespoon in size) and portion out 24 cream cheese dollops on a parchment-lined plate or tray and freeze that way.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners (can bake in batches if you only have one pan) – see the note below for tips on muffin tins and how many to use.
  3. For the muffins, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, spices, salt and baking soda. Whisk to combine; set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil (and applesauce if using), sugar and pumpkin puree until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (don’t overmix; a few lumps are ok!).
  4. For the streusel topping, in a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix together with a handheld electric mixer, pastry blender or two forks until crumbly.
  5. Fill each muffin cup 1/3 of the way with batter. Remove the cream cheese log from the freezer and slice into 24 equal slices (no need to slice if you portioned the cream cheese mixture into individual dollops and froze). Place a slice or dollop of cream cheese on top of the batter in each muffin well and press lightly into the batter (no need to aggressively shove to the bottom, just a light press).
  6. Divide the remaining muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups on top of the cream cheese (filling the muffin tins about 2/3 to 3/4 full, depending on how deep the muffin cups are). Sprinkle the streusel topping over the top of each muffin. Bake the muffins for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the top of the muffin (about 1/3 of the way down) comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.  Recipe and Photo Credit Mels Kitchen Cafe