Katie J’s Pecan Rocha

From my wife’s colleague, Katie J… Very good Rocha.

  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 11.5 oz pkg milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  1. Line 13″ X 16″ cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Melt butter in 3 quart pan.
  3. Add sugar and light corn syrup.
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes.  It should look like hot boiling lava and will eventually turn golden brown.  If you use a candy thermometer, it should register 290 degrees (soft-crack stage).  The common mistake is not to cook this long enough.  I cook it until I am sure that it is just about to burn!
  5. Pour onto cookie sheet.  Tip sheet to spread evenly.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.  Let sit 2 minutes.
  7. Using the back of a spoon, spread out chocolate onto toffee.
  8. Top with chopped pecans, press into chocolate.
  9. Cool several hours.
  10. Break into pieces.  Eat all the small bits.  No one will know.

Rice-a-Roni with Ground Beef

It’s a simple recipe.  In addition to the onion, I sometimes grate a couple of carrots into the mix…

Beef Rice-a-Roni

• 1 lb ground beef
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 cup raw rice
• 8 ounces spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces
• 4 tablespoons margarine
• 4 cups beef broth
• salt and pepper

1. Brown onion and beef in large skillet.
2. Drain and rinse to remove all fat, if desired.
3. Brown rice and spaghetti in margarine.
4. Add beef, onion and broth to rice mixture.
5. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice and spaghetti are fully cooked.
6. Season with salt and pepper.

Creamy Chicken and Dumplings

Serves 6


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced to ¼ in half rings
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ frozen peas
  • 4 tablespoons fresh minced parsley


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ⅓ cups heavy cream


  1. In a 6-quart dutch oven, cook chicken over medium-high heat until brown on both sides. Once chicken pieces are browned, remove and set aside.
  2. Add carrot and onion and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and stir for another minute.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and add butter and flour, stirring constantly for 3 minutes to avoid lumps.
  5. Add chicken and any accumulated juices back to dutch oven and stir to to coat in roux/vegetable mix. Add chicken broth, cream, thyme, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Once soup is at a simmer, add frozen peas and cover.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cream. Stir until mixture comes together into single mass of dough.
  7. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, form dough into small round balls about 1 inch in diameter (this dough mixture should yield 14-16 dumplings).
  8. Place dough balls into simmering soup (making sure they don’t touch), and cover. Let soup simmer for 15 minutes or until dumplings are cooked (they should pass the toothpick test).
  9. Ladle into bowl, giving 1-2 dumplings per serving.


From https://redd.it/5cmz3g

Thai Beef with Chiles and Basil Over Coconut Rice

This is really good and super easy.  I do it with mild chiles or if I don’t have them, I just use a 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.  This dish works with beef, pork, or turkey.

I use a rice cooker for the coconut rice.  I just pour the coconut milk over the rinsed rice and add water to the fill line of the rice cooker.

  • 1 1/4 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 long hot peppers or red jalapeno chiles, seeded and sliced into 2-inch matchsticks
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef sirloin
  • 1 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil leaves
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, 3/4 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.

  2. When rice is almost done, combine fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl; set aside. Heat a cast-iron skillet or wok over high. Add oil and heat; add garlic and half the chiles. Cook, stirring constantly, 15 seconds. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until completely browned, about 4 minutes. Add soy mixture and cook 30 seconds. Add basil and remaining chiles and stir to combine. Serve beef over coconut rice with lime wedges.

Original recipe from the Martha Stewart web site…

Layered Chicken Chile Relleno Casserole

This is a really good casserole dish, easy, flavorful, and the whole family loved it.  We’ll be having it again.  It’s from the Weary Chef web site, I really like Andi’s blog.  http://wearychef.com/layered-chicken-chile-relleno-casserole/

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large poblano chile, diced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces sour cream, (low fat)
  • 8 ounces green salsa, we used Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde
  • 8 corn tortillas, cut in half
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese
  • green onions, sliced thin for garnish

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, poblano, chicken, spices and salt.  Cook about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Prehead oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

Stir together the sour cream and salsa

Layer 1/3 of the tortilla pieces in the bottom of the dish. Spread about 1/2 of the chicken mixture over the tortillas.  Spread about 1/3 of the salsa mixture over the chicken. Then spread about 1/3 of the cheese over the salsa mix.

Repeat the layers in the previous step, then make one more layer of tortillas over the top.  Spread the rest of the salsa mix over them and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Cover with foil and back in the preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Remove foil, raise heat to 400 and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Let rest for 10 minutes, sprinkle with the green onions and serve.  Serves 4-6.