Friday, July 6, 2012

How Working with Raw Jalapenos Will Jack Your Stuff Up and Other Lessons Learned in My Kitchen!

So, sometimes I like to cook. Or rather I like to try stuff out and experiment and generally goof off. Sometimes I get bored with the same old stuff I normally make and wonder what would happen if I just threw some junk together. I've also been known to scour sites like for some good ideas or Pinterest. I like to try new things. I just hate to clean up afterward.

Well, this week I have a couple of recipes to talk about. One recipe I made up myself. It's a variation of my Mom's goulash...okay, it's a whole different thing altogether, but the idea came from my mom's goulash. The other two are what happened last night when I tried out two recipes from All of the food turned out awesome. I will include my Mexican Goulash recipe here and the link to the other two well as photos of my endeavors.

First off, the other night I wanted something quick and easy, so I asked my mom about her goulash. It sounded pretty good to me. I had the stuff to make it. So, I gave it a shot. Well, I tweaked it here and there, and this is my finished product. I hope you will try it and like it as much as we did. It will be included in our normal menu rotation from now on.

Lisa's Mexican Goulash
1-2 lbs of Ground Beef (depends on how much meat you like)
Pasta (whatever you want. We used whole wheat Rotini)
2 cans of tomato sauce
1 can of green beans
1 can of corn
oregano, cumin, salt and pepper, season salt, garlic powder, onion powder (or you could use a real onion cooked in with the beef. I used the powder b/c my husband doesn't like onions), chili powder, lemon pepper,  Ranch dip mix
Shredded Cheese
Tortilla chips.

Brown the beef and drain. You can season the meat with salt and pepper if you wish, but don't be heavy handed. While you brown up the beef, place the pasta in boiling water and cook until tender. The time depends on what kind of pasta you choose. After the pasta is cooked (I would make it just a little under cooked as it will continue to cook in the skillet) and the beef is browned, combine the beef, pasta, corn, green beans and tomato sauce into a big, deep skillet. Also, put about half a can of water in each can of tomato sauce to not only add liquid to the food but also to get out the excess sauce from each can. Also, remember to drain the veggies before adding them. Take all of the above seasonings and season to your tastes. Be careful. That's a lot of spices, and if you get too heavy handed it may be too salty or just too spicy. Use your discretion. Simmer all together for about 10 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and cheese. I prefer shredded cheddar cheese, but the night I made this, I was out. So, we substituted slices of American cheese. We just broke up a slice and put it on top. It melted up beautifully and tasted GREAT!

We loved this dish. My kids really loved it. They love what they call "Mexican Night." My husband added crushed red pepper flakes to his, and you could also add on some jalapenos if you wanted to give it a bit more kick.

Speaking of jalapenos. I found a couple of recipes online that I could not wait to try out. Well, the thing is, I was trying to think of something good to take to a get together next week.  I will be meeting a few new people, and I am honest enough to admit that I want to make a good impression. I just need to bring a snack of some sort or finger food. But I want to take something that I think people will enjoy. I am still not sure what to take, but in my search for ideas I came across two recipes I made for my family last night. One of which, had me working with raw jalapenos. Let me say, before last night I don't think I've ever even touched a raw jalapeno in my life! I won't again with bare hands and will be sure to have lots of ventilation.

The first thing I made were Jalapeno Snacks (find recipe right HERE). Just the photo on had my mouth watering. I told my son, "Everything is better wrapped in bacon." He replied, "I know, right!?!" He's almost 7, and he already knows a good thing when he sees it. I couldn't wait to make these. I got out my ingredients. I washed the peppers and started halving and seeding them. Suddenly, my mouth, throat, and chest started to burn and tickle. I started wheezing and coughing. I was having a scary time trying to breathe. I had NO IDEA those things would do that to me. I actually had to take a couple of hits off my inhaler and switch off with my husband for awhile and let him seed the rest. I took an allergy pill (I had NO clue why this was happening to me), and when my finger touched my lips and tongue, they started to burn. In fact, the little pill also burned my tongue from its contact with my fingers. I had already washed my hands two or three times at this point. That's when I remembered I should have worn gloves. I thanked God in Heaven that I didn't accidentally touch my eyes!

Well, I mixed up the cream cheese filling and cut the bacon slices in half, but when it came time to stuff those peppers, I remembered to put on some gloves. Also, the recipe calls for a broiling pan. I don't own one. So, I improvised the best I could. The tops turned out toasty and good, but the underside was a bit under cooked and greasy. I think next time I will find a better way. These peppers were a huge hit. My family loved them. Well, Ben ate the bacon off of them and left the rest of it, and Shelby scraped out the cheese filling and just ate the bacon and peppers...but everyone ELSE loved them. ;-)

I also made what they call "Farmhouse Barbecue Muffins" (find recipe right HERE). I will make these often!!! Although I do like the BBQ sauce the recipe lays out, I think I'm just lazy enough to use store bought bottled sauce next time I make these. The recipe turned out just a tad sweet for me. It was good though. These are like sloppy joes in a biscuit. With cheese. Everything is better with cheese...or bacon...or both!

The photo above are the BBQ muffins fresh out of the oven. These will become a staple. The Jalapeno Snacks from above will be saved for special occasions as I am too lazy to do those often. Not to mention, they kind of freaked me out with the wheezing and coughing and having to leave the room over and over to get away from them. But, I've been told that either roasting the peppers or soaking them in ice water for a couple of hours will take the heat away and make them easier to work with.

Here's the finished plate! I hope you are inspired to try some new stuff this week. Maybe even one of these recipes!

My plate. Very filling by the way.


  1. OMG! These photos are great and the food looks yummy. I think my dad made a version of your Mexican goulash when I was kid. My husband makes the stuffed jalapenos quite often. He grills them and they are so hot. I may try your barbeque muffin recipe today.

  2. :-) Thanks. The BBQ muffins aren't mine. I got the recipe from I LOVE that site!!! Those are good. I'm thinking about making them for a get together I have this week. I'm also thinking about making chicken quesadillas (my own recipe for those...I fry the tortillas) also. Hope you like them. I'm going to use bottled bbq sauce next time I make them.