French Onion Rice and Pork Chops

French Onion Pork Chops and Rice

When I was first married I had to fix pork chops at least once a week for my husband.  He adored pork.  But I think I ruined it for him by overcooking it.  I cooked them to death.  I could do a pork roast ok, but the poor little pork chop was like leather.  So as the years went by he changed his tastes and didn’t ask for them too often.  I figured out if I told him we were having pork chops for dinner he would either suggest we go out or he might bring home a pizza.  I kept a package of pork chops in the freezer for quite a while. I’d pull it out to thaw and he would put it back in the freezer!  It worked!

I think if he were still here he might like this pork chop recipe.  I think it would be good with chicken too.

French Onion Pork Chops and Rice


Bacon Cheeseburger Grits

Bacon Cheeseburger Grits

While I was thinking about all those burgers for the Burger Bash a good casserole came to mind. My family always requests cheese grits when we get together for a special meal such as brisket or barbecue. When I get into a mode it seems to flow. Then I hit a dry spell and nothing good is developed for a while.

Bacon Cheeseburger Grits


Spice Up for Spring-Green Enchilada Casserole

All the way home from work I was thinking about Mexican food.  I never got over in a lane where I could turn into any place to get it to take home.  So I had to make my own.

For some reason I bought some flour tortillas the other day while I was shopping.  I think I was intending on a chicken taco salad with the shell baked in some new tortilla bowl molds I bought.  (Another day!)  In the pantry I had all the fixings I needed to make my own Mexican flavored dinner.

When I get hungry for the taste of enchiladas nothing else will do.  All I had were flour tortillas.  I could make burritos or enchiladas; however I settled on this little casserole which now has provided plenty of leftovers.  I don’t usually use refried beans, but these also have the flavor or nachos with the beans.  So I have technically taken care of 2 hankerings I might have.

I used to make Nachos Grande on Sunday night.  A little labor intensive, but so well worth the taste.  Tostada chips spread with the beans (individually), topped with browned ground meat, green chiles, onions, tomatoes and cheese.  Broil until the cheese bubbles and eat them fast while they are still warm.  Andy would warm up the leftovers in the microwave.  That didn’t appeal to me.

I like the taste of raw onions on my enchiladas.  If you don’t, you can brown the onions with the ground meat.

Green Enchilada Casserole

Favorite Family Sides for Easter

Holiday Meal Side Dishes

I don’t know about you but in my family there are certain sides that must accompany each holiday meal.  At Easter, Andy equals broccoli rice, Amy equals deviled eggs, Krista equals rolls and mashed potatoes.  No one would say anything but it would be akin to disowning them.  So, I have whipped up some of these to be ready for Sunday.  We are adding fruits and vegetables because that is what Cameron (my oldest grandaughter) likes.  Maddie must lick the bowl when I am baking…see all of my cupcake recipes.  Oh yeah…there is ham.  That is a given, but really my group gathers round for their favorite side dishes.

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Deviled Eggs


KiStrawNana Salsa

I am taking all these family favorites to Saturday dishes which starts tomorrow morning.  I hope you will join us there.  It promises to be a grand collection of side dishes if you are still making your shopping list.

Saturday Dishes

Happy Easter



Easter Egg (or spring forward) Casserole with Fresh Salsa and Cheese Sauce

I liked to have a casserole to serve for Easter breakfast.  It was easy to serve and could be made the night before and popped in the oven while 3 kids were looking for eggs and going through their Easter baskets.  We almost always had to hide the eggs inside the house.  It was either very cold or very windy on Easter Sunday.

It was always such a scramble (no pun intended) to get the eggs gathered, kids dressed for church (when did I ever have time to get dressed?) and have something for breakfast.  The church service was always longer than usual so we had to have something for breakfast.  Especially after all those jelly beans and chocolate bunnies had been nibbled on.

This is easy and can be enlarged or even doubled for a large crowd.  I served it with fresh fruit and made a side salsa of diced tomatoes, green onions and halved grape tomatoes with just a little red wine vinegar.  I usually served the cheese sauce on the side.

Easter Egg Casserole

What’d You Do This Weekend? #4

Welcome back to the weekend recap party.  I love hearing and seeing what you did.  Also, welcome to anyone that hasn’t been here before.  I am so glad you found the party.

I am happy to introduce my co-host this week.  Susan from zentMrs. who shares her recipes and garden tips with us as well as her reflections on life in San Diego.


The featured link from last week is Susan’s very own Roasted Peppers.  They are so pretty and versatile.  You can eat them on your own, make soup or add them into about any dish to add a great and fiery flavor.

I am open to everything except promos, political material and Etsy Shops. Recipes, crafts, house and yard projects, sewing, restaurant review or even your weekend road trip ramblings are all welcome links. You’ll note by the title of the site that I like ramblings! Whatever. I like to read and learn new things. I will be having weekly features that I will promote on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest our Monthly Newsletter and anyplace else I can think to share.  We just ask that you place our button on your post or on your parties page or link us somewhere. 

Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa
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If you would like to co-host, just send us an email and we’ll set it up as soon as possible.

So, let’s ramble shall we? I went to Austin to visit my oldest daughter and go to my niece’s baby shower. My little sister drove in from Victoria to spend the day with all of us.  So, I got a lot of visiting in.  Celebrations all around!  I mixed all that in with some shopping, cooking and good eating!  Spring is already starting to settle in in Austin.  It was a good time.  My daughter and I invented a new casserole for another link party I co-host on Saturday called Saturday Dishes  We made a Spicy Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole.

Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole

What did YOU do?  Show me!

Spicy Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole for Saturday Dishes

I am happy to be co-hosting this blog hop with Savannah from Hammock Tracks and Paula from Call Me PMC.   Each week we have a theme.  This week it is casseroles.

I am in Austin and visiting with my oldest daughter.  We invented today’s casserole together for dinner tonight.  We call it Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole.

Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole

If you are a foodie blogger share your favorite casserole with us this week.  If you are a food creator and looking to whip up a cozy family meal find your favorite recipes, and create your grocery list before you head out to the store.

To view all of the upcoming “Saturday Dishes” themes, click here.

Be sure to visit Hammock Tracks and Call Me PMC as we will each feature different posts from the previous week party.

Saturday Dishes

Also, please provide a link back to this post either on your parties page or in the post itself.  You can grab the button above if you like.

My featured blog for this week is: Miss Information’s Fish Friday Po’Boy.    My husband loved NOLA too and my oldest daughter is crazy about it.  What a fabulous recipe and I agree with her husband.  Mayo on both sides. But to each their own!

This party starts Saturday morning at 8AM.

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I feature all of my favorites from around the blogosphere at Weekly Rays of Sunshine on Saturday mornings.  Also, don’t forget to come to my Monday linky party to tell me what you did this weekend.
What'd Ya Do This Weekend Button


Zucchini Bruschetta

I like this dinner because it checks all the boxes for good for you and good flavor.  I don’t think I could ever be a complete vegetarian but I could stick with just having an occassional burger or steak.  This is a fast and easy weeknight dinner that requires just a little of everything and a LOT of zucchini.

Mexico-Welcome Juanita’s Cocina!

Mexico first participated at the Olympic Games in 1900 and has sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games since 1924. Mexico has also participated in several Winter Olympic Games since 1928, though has never medaled in the Winter Olympics.Mexican athletes have won a total of 57 medals – with track and field, boxing and diving as the top medal-producing sports.Thanks for joining us for Olympic Week.  I could not think of a better country to end with than Mexico.  It has lent particular depth and meaning to our Texas culture and food.  Those of us who live here don’t call it Mexican.  We just call it food!  I also couldn’t think of a friend I would like to share my kitchen with for this event more than Jen from Juanita’s Cocina.  Her recipes take Tex-Mex to a whole new level.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and visit her Cocina for more inspiration. 

Hi, y’all! I’m Jen from Juanita’s Cocina!

I was SO excited when Linda from Tumbleweed Contessa wrote and asked if I would consider guest posting in her kitchen. You see, I’m a HUGE TWC (that’s what all of the cool kids call the Tumbleweed Contessa) fan. We’re both Texans, and we both love cookin’. Linda is even a West Texas gal, and since I’m from the West Texas area, I feel that we’re sort of on the same wavelength. Us West Texas folks know how to make things sparkle and shine, in spite of all of the dust…cooking included. And of course, we all know how to dodge tumbleweeds on a windy day while driving the country roads.

When Linda told me that I’d be a guest poster during her food celebration of the Olympics, I thought: “Why didn’t I think of that???”

Me and this dish are representing Mexico…which is perfect, because I specialize in all things Mexican cooking. Mexican cooking is my comfort zone…it’s where my heart is at. Sometimes I like to tell people that I was raised with a jalapeno in my mouth instead of a pacifier.

It didn’t take me long to settle on the dish I’d be making to share here in the Contessa kitchen. I immediately went to one of our favorite dishes…this Poblano, Hominy, and Chorizo Casserole from The Homesick Texan.

Lisa Fain and the Homesick Texan is one of my go-to stops for amazing Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. I have never tried a recipe from her cookbook or site that I haven’t absolutely fallen in love with. Everything is full of spice and huge, complex flavors, and this casserole is no different. Lisa’s recipes aren’t for the faint of heart…you need to love spice, in a subtle sort of way. Her recipes won’t slap you directly in the face, but they will leave that good chile burn in the back of your throat. It’s a feeling I love.

I figured nothing screams Mexican cooking and is more appropriate for the Tumbleweed Contessa’s Olympic-worthy celebration than chiles, chorizo, and posole (hominy). We served our casserole alongside some smoked brisket, but you can absolutely have this dish as your main entree. It’s THAT good. You don’t need anything else. This casserole is also better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld for a bit longer.

Poblano, Hominy, and Chorizo Casserole


  • 2 poblanos
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1/2 lb. Mexican chorizo, removed from the casing and crumbled
  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced finely
  • 2 15 oz. cans of hominy, drained
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Roast the poblanos under the broiler in your oven until skins blacken and char, approximately 5 minutes per side. Once roasted, place the poblanos in a bag or container with a lid, seal and set aside for 10-15 minutes. After 15 minutes, peel the poblanos, remove the stems, and de-seed if desired. Dice the poblanos and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.

Over medium-low heat, heat the oil in a 10-inch iron (or oven-safe) skillet. Cook the chorizo in the skillet until it is cooked through. Once cooked, remove from the skillet, set on a paper towel-lined plate, and allow to drain.

Add the diced jalapenos and onions to the skillet and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute before removing the skillet from the heat.

Add the poblanos, chorizo, hominy, sour cream, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, lime juice, and 1/2 of the cheese to the skillet and stir until well-combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Top with the remaining cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until top is browned and casserole is bubbling.

Y’all are going to LOVE this casserole. Sometimes I think people are scared of the word “casserole” (me included). There’s no need to be fearful of this one…unless you’re afraid of delicious!

I truly think that this dish is worthy of an Olympic-style celebration!

Thank you to Linda and Tumbleweed Contessa for allowing me to share one of my favorite dishes here in the Tumbleweed Kitchen. I can’t wait to see what else is served up during this amazing celebration of the foods from different countries!

Fresh From the Garden Week!

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

Welcome to our first harvest from the garden and a week’s worth of vegetable recipes.

Almost too pretty to eat….ALMOST!


First up, an old family favorite made just for kids that don’t like vegetables.

There is nothing like making a dish that takes you back to good times.  As I was in the garden foraging for squash hidden in between the giant leaves I was thinking about this casserole.  I picked almost three pounds of squash and a pound of peppers this morning.  I weighed it just to be sure.  Amazing!  I plant squash almost every spring.  Sometimes I get beautiful plants and blooms, but never a squash.  This year, for some reason, the plants are huge and are loaded with squash!

Now what to do with it?  I could make zucchini bread, grate it and serve it in place of spaghetti, or chop it and freeze it, but I want a taste of it now.  So I think the Summer Squash Casserole is my best bet.

Amy, my middle child, doesn’t like “squishy feeling” food.  No tomatoes, squash, jello, most fruits….  You get the idea.  So in the summer when the squash was coming on I had to figure out some way to get her to eat some.  (My children weren’t picky eaters.)  So I called this Cracker Casserole and Amy would eat it when she was little.  I bet we can’t fool her any more.

Happy summer gardening and cooking!

Cracker Casserole (with squash) aka Summer Squash Casserole

  • 3 medium yellow squash*, halved length-wise, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-5 stems fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chicken broth, low-sodium, low fat
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs (I used saltines)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Lightly spray with non-stick spray an 8-inch square baking dish.

Bring the squash, onion, bell pepper, thyme, and broth to a boil in a medium saucepan with a lid.  Add enough water to almost cover the squash.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates a little and the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a collender.  At this point I mash the squash a little with a fork.  Transfer back to pan.

Stir in the cream of chicken soup, 2 tablespoons butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the cracker crumbs and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. You can dress this up with any cracker crumbs.  You can substitute cheese for the cracker crumbs and butter as a topping. This is a very versatile recipe.  Make it to your taste.  Maybe I’ll skip the carbs and add the cheese for my dish.

Bake until the juices are simmering around the edges and the top is crusty, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve hot.

*You can use zucchini squash too.