Mexican Seasoning Blend

Mexican Seasoning Blend 2

We recently moved Savannah home again. She will be doing an internship in January, and it was impossible to find a six-month lease near the college. So, for six-months, she will make the daily drive to college.

I questioned how living together would be after she has been on her own for so long. I’m trying really hard to remember she’s not a child any longer. It is coming with some benefits also. She has become very independent…she doesn’t want me doing her laundry, and she has become an excellent cook!

Fajitas is a specialty of hers, and I am using every excuse I can think of to have her cook them often. Her secret is this awesome seasoning blend that she makes. I even seasoned a roast with it, and it was delicious.

Savannah does not have an exact measurement for the meat and veggies. To feed two people, she typically uses one to two boneless, skinless chicken breast, two green bell peppers, one large onion, and two to three Roma tomatoes.

Savannah seasons her meat with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Then saute’s it in a little oil until done. She then removes the meat from the skillet to saute green bell peppers and onions. Once the veggies are tender, add chopped Roma tomatoes and a heaping tablespoon of the fabulous seasoning, plus the juice of half a lime. Add the meat back to the skillet, stirring to combine and serve.

Try this tasty Mexican seasoning blend on burgers or grilled meats for extra wonderful flavor!


Mexican Seasoning Blend
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Store in a small jar.


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Fat Tuesday Fried Chicken





One of the best things about living on the Gulf coast was being introduced to Cajun food and Mardi Gras. One of the first things we did on the coast was to attend a family-friendly Mardi Gras parade. We were all caught up in the spirit of the celebration with moon pies and beads. We often visited Louisana while living in Pensacola, especially during the years that Wes played with a travel ice hockey team out of Baton Rouge. We enjoyed the people, their food, and their customs.

We do not celebrate Mardi Gras in a big way here in Georgia, but I say, there’s no better excuse to cook up some good Cajun food. I found this recipe on, where I found many other recipes that I can’t wait to try!  This chicken marinates for 48 hours for a wonderful flavor. It’s cooks up wonderfully crispy with the addition of corn starch, and it is incredibly moist and juicy. Don’t let the hot sauce scare you because it isn’t hot at all. The marinade simply gives it an excellent taste.


Fat Tuesday Fried Chicken
  • Seasoning Mix:
  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. white pepper
  • 1 (3-lb.) whole chickens, cut into serving pieces
  • 4 c. buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. Louisiana hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Crystal hot sauce
  • 4 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. corn starch
  • Peanut oil for frying
  1. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine seasoning mix. Season chicken with 6 tbsp. of the mix. Reserve remaining mix. Place chicken in 1 or 2 large resealable bags.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk and hot sauces; pour over the chicken. Seal and refrigerate for a least 4 hours or up to 48 hours, (the longer it soaks the better), turning occasionally.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and reserved seasoning mix.
  4. Set a rack on a large baking sheet.
  5. Working one piece at a time, remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip back into the bag. Dredge in flour mixture and shake off excess. Place on prepared rack.
  6. Pour oil halfway up the side of a large, deep skillet (preferably cast iron) and heat to 350° F.
  7. Prepare another large baking sheet lined with paper towels and a rack over top.
  8. Fry chicken in batches, starting skin side down. Do not overcrowd skillet. Once chicken is added to oil, the temperature will drop. Maintain cooking temperature of 315° F for ideal frying. Fry, turning, until golden brown and cooked through to reach an internal temperature of 165° F. Remove to rack and allow to drain. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.


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Twisted Slaw



The summer of 2016 has been one of the hottest and dryest that I can recall. Our grass is brown, we have trees dying, and our yard already resembles autumn with the yellow and falling leaves. We, most likely, have several more weeks of hot weather, but I am over summer already!

Labor Day is going to be the unofficial end of summer for me, and I’m going to send it off with a bang! I will be with family this year cooking up all of our favorite summertime foods. Hamburgers and hot dogs, brown sugar baked beans, potato salad, homemade ice cream and my cousins fabulous Twisted Slaw!

My cousin, Regina, has a delicious slaw recipe. It is similar to the slaw I have made for years. However, the addition of bell pepper, chives, and green onions definitely takes her slaw over the top with the fresh flavor. It’s delicious alone or on top of a burger or hot dog!

If you are looking for a short-cut, use the pre-shredded cabbage. Regina says that she does this often when feeding her big family. Prepare several hours before serving and store in the refrigerator. Oh, and don’t forget to have a few extra copies of this recipe handy at the cookout because it’s sure to be a hit!


Twisted Slaw
  • 2 heads cabbage, chopped
  • 1 lg. carrot, chopped
  • ¼ c. chopped chives
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • ½ c. chopped bell pepper
  • ⅛ c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. seasoning salt
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1½ c. mayonnaise
  1. Mix the mayonnaise, vinegar, seasoning salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the bell pepper, green onions, chives, carrot, and cabbage and toss to coat the vegetables.
  2. Chill at least one hour before serving. Several hours makes it even better.
After mixing the slaw taste for sugar. It the slaw has a bitter taste add a bit more sugar.


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Chicken Burrito Bowls

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Have you had a chance to visit a Chipotle restaurant?  I am in love with their burrito bowls!  It’s simply all of the delicious burrito ingredients, layered in a bowl, without the flour tortilla.

I usually eat at Chipotle when I’m visiting my mom.  The chain hasn’t quite made it to Garfield yet!  If I get a craving I use this recipe to make them at the house.  The recipe looks quite long and intimidating but it’s actually very simple.  With ingredients such as canned beans and frozen corn it comes together fairly quick.  I like to set up a buffet and have everyone fix their own bowl, topping it exactly as they like.   My recipe is a variation of a recipe I found on  This recipe makes a lot but reheats well.

Chicken Burrito Bowls
Serves: 6 to 8
  • 3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, or thighs, or a combination
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • Seasoning:
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne powder
  • Beans:
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans
  • 1 (15-oz.) can Ranch Style beans (I used Real Western flavor)
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Cilantro-Lime Rice:
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. long-grain white rice
  • ¼ c. chopped cilantro
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 (12-oz.) bag Steamin' whole kernel corn
  • Optional Toppings: avocados, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, fresh cilantro, guacamole, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, jalapeños, lime juice, fresh salsa, diced green onions
  1. Chicken:
  2. Mix the chili powder, 2 tsp. garlic powder, salt, ½ tsp. cumin, onion powder, oregano, and cayenne powder together in a small bowl. Brush both sides of chicken breasts with olive oil. Sprinkle seasoning on both sides of chicken. Grill chicken over medium-high heat until the juices run clear and chicken is cooked through. Remove from grill, cover with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Chop chicken and set aside.
  3. Beans:
  4. While the chicken cooks, prepare the beans and rice. For the beans, combine the black beans and the Ranch style beans in a saucepan. Add ½ tsp. ground cumin and ½ tsp. garlic powder. Bring to a simmer and heat until the beans are heated through. Remove from heat, set aside.
  5. Rice:
  6. To prepare the rice, bring 2 c. water, 1 tbsp. oil, and ½ tsp. salt to a boil in a saucepan. Rinse rice in a strainer, under cold water, then add to the boiling water, place the lid on pan. Lower heat to medium-low, and simmer until rice is tender and water absorbed. Add juice of ½ lime and ¼ c. chopped cilantro. Fluff with a fork.
  7. Corn:
  8. Follow the directions on the package and steam the corn in microwave.
  9. To assemble your burrito bowl place a serving of rice in the bottom of a bowl. Top with beans, then corn. Add chicken, then toppings of your choice.



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Died and Gone to Pimento Cheese Heaven



This delicious pimento cheese is in honor of The Masters Tournament!  The Masters is held the first full week of April at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.  Greg and I were both born and raised in the Atlanta area.  We moved away from family, friends, and everything we had ever known when Wes was 5 and Savannah was 2 years old to Augusta.  We lived there for 6 years and made many wonderful memories.  We still keep in touch with great friends there.  While living in Augusta we had the opportunity to attend the Masters almost every year, and have been able to go back a few times since leaving Augusta, including the Par 3 this week.

The Augusta National is a sight to behold.  My dad was a huge golf fan and I can’t help but think of him when I’m out there.  I know it’s a place he would have loved going.  Here are just a few of the photos that we were able to take on Wednesday.  You can tell that we are Bubba fans by looking at these pictures.  We lived in the same area of Florida that Bubba was from.  In fact, Wes went to high school where Bubba did and Savannah attended the elementary school that he went to.

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This is the second pimento cheese recipe that I have on  NJSD.  The first recipe was among the first recipes I ever posted.  Still a delicious pimento cheese, and probably more like the Augusta National pimento cheese, (if you make it with cheddar), than this recipe.  However, when stumbled across this recipe on and saw the ingredient list I tried it right away.  The main reason was 1/2 cup mayonnaise.  I really don’t care for a strong mayonnaise taste.  After I made it the first time I knew that I had found my Masters week recipe.  The Augusta National is famous for their egg salad sandwiches and pimento cheese sandwiches, which you can get for $1.50 each.  I really think this pimento cheese is better than my old pimento cheese recipe and even the Augusta National recipe!  I love the addition of garlic powder and onion powder and the four cheeses are a great combination.  The cream cheese and the Monterey Jack cheese give this salad it’s creaminess.   The Cheddar adds that great sharp flavor and then you get that extra little oomph with the extra sharp Cheddar.

So even if I’m at home Sunday, watching the finish on the television instead of the golf course.  I’ll be enjoying my afternoon, watching to see who wins the green jacket, and snacking on this delicious pimento cheese!


Died and Gone to Pimento Cheese Heaven
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ c. Vermont extra-sharp White Cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¾ c. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 c. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • ½ c. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 4 oz. diced pimientos, drained
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or dash of hot sauce
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  1. With an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese.
  2. Add the other cheeses, mayonnaise, vinegar, pimientos, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper and beat until creamy and combined.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for about a hour before serving.
Great on sandwiches, with corn chips, crackers or celery and carrots.


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