Southwest-Style Egg Rolls with Southwest Sour Cream Dip


  • ¼ cup olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • 8 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt (we used Kosher salt)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (we used closer to 8 oz. of pepper jack cheese)
  • 1 (14-oz.) package egg roll wrappers
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Southwest Sour Cream Dip
    • 1 (16 oz.) container sour cream
    • 4 teaspoons lime zest
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 3 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers
    • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
    • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt


  1. Pour the olive oil into a skillet and set the heat to medium. Once the oil’s hot, add in the green onions and cook just long enough for them to get tender. Add in the spinach, corn, black beans, and lime juice to the skillet. Mix in the salt and ground cumin, taking the skillet off the heat and stirring in the cheese afterwards.
  2. Take ¼ cup of the skillet mixture and place it in the middle of an egg roll wrapper. Fold in the sides of the wrapper and roll it up, applying a small amount of water to the wrapper up afterwards. Repeat until the filling is used up.
  3. Using a large heavy skillet (we used a Dutch oven), pour in enough vegetable oil to fully cover the egg rolls once they’re in there, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, place a few egg rolls in at a time, cooking until they look golden-brown all over. Take the egg rolls out and place them on a paper towel-lined plate.
  4. While the egg rolls are resting on a plate, make the dip by simply taking a mixing bowl out and stirring the Southwest Sour Cream Dip ingredients together until combined. Serve immediately.

Yields 13 egg rolls (could’ve been 14 but we taste tested the filling a few times).

This was a delicious combo. We did have to look up instructions on how to roll an egg roll because ours just didn’t look right based off their instructions. This was our first time actually making egg rolls so not all of the egg rolls cam out looking pretty but it got the job done. We’ll get better at making egg rolls though, we just need more practice. The egg rolls tasted good on their own and were surprisingly filling but the dip that we thought up ourselves makes it taste even better ! In the dip you’ll taste smokiness and spiciness from the chipotles and adobo sauce and some tang from the lime zest. The cumin also adds some depth to the dip. The spiciness is enough to notice but not overpower the flavors in the dip.

The egg roll recipe came from Allrecipes but the dip was our own creation.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Allrecipes.

Take care everybody !


Smoky Ranch Dip


  • 1 (1-oz.) envelope Ranch dressing mix (we used Hidden Valley)
  • 1 ½ cups light sour cream (we used regular sour cream)
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp. adobo sauce from can
  • Potato chips, assorted vegetables (we used Ruffles original chips)


  1. Take a bowl or container out and mix the first 4 ingredients together in it. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Serve with the chips and/or vegetables.

We thought this was a good-tasting dish. While this is tasty we didn’t taste the chipotle nearly as much as we wanted to, so we’ll definitely increase the chipotles next time. We’re curious to see if the flavors get stronger after sitting in the fridge for a couple of days.

We found this recipe in a Southern Living magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Hidden Valley, Ruffles or Southern Living.

Take care everybody !

Hot Wing Dip


  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (we used cooked breast meat from a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese (we just shredded 8 oz. of cheddar cheese, we didn’t measure it)
  • 1 cup ranch salad dressing (we used Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing)
  • ½ cup Louisiana-style hot sauce (we used Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce)
  • Tortilla chips and/or celery sticks (we just used tortilla chips)
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional (we didn’t use it)


  1. Take a 3-qt. slow cooker out and stir the first 5 ingredients together in it. Put a lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for one hour or until all the cheese has melted (we had to stir our dip around to see if all the cheese had melted). Serve immediately with the chips (and celery sticks if you want). Sprinkle the parsley over the dip if you’re going to use it.

We thought this was a tasty dip. You get the spice of the hot sauce but you don’t really get the heat so we’ll probably increase the amount of hot sauce next time. The chicken also adds a different texture to the dip.

We got this recipe from a Taste of Home magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Hidden Valley, Frank’s, or Taste of Home.

Take care everybody !

Mexican Brownies


  • 1 box (1 lb. 2.3 oz.) Betty Crocker fudge brownie mix
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 2 oz. dark or bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped (we used bittersweet chocolate)
  • Coarsely ground sea salt (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a 9-inch square pan (we only had an 8-inch square pan) and grease the inside of the pan with your choice of either shortening or cooking spray (we used cooking spray).
  2. Take a large mixing bowl out and mix the brownie mixture, water, oil, eggs and cayenne pepper together using a spoon just enough to blend everything together. Fold in your chopped chocolate afterwards. Pour the batter into the greased pan, making sure that everything’s spread out evenly afterwards.
  3. Stick the pan in the oven to cook for 35 to 40 minutes (we put ours in for 37 minutes) or until a toothpick that you stick into the brownie 1 inch from the side of the pan comes out looking mostly clean. Take the pan out of the oven and let it cool down for at least 10 minutes before cutting the brownies into 5 rows by 4 rows*. You can enjoy this warm or when it’s cool.

*Because we used a smaller pan we could only get 4 rows by 4 rows.

We didn’t taste any heat when we initially took a bite but by the end of one whole piece, you could feel the heat ! The sea salt wasn’t something the original recipe suggested but when we tried sprinkling a little over our individual pieces, we enjoyed the brownies that much more !

We found this recipe in a Betty Crocker cookbook.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Betty Crocker.

Take care everybody !

Pizza-Stuffed Mushrooms

A great handheld snack for any occasion !


  • ½ pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed (we used hot Italian sausage)
  • ¾ cup chopped pepperoni slices, divided
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Take a rimmed baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil.
  2. Take a large skillet out and set the heat to medium. Once the skillet’s hot, add in the Italian sausage, ½ cup of the pepperoni, and the minced onion, stirring now and then for 7 minutes or however long it takes for the sausage to be fully cooked and crumbly. Drain off the grease afterwards. Add the cream cheese and pizza sauce to the skillet, stirring until the cream cheese has melted and the mixture looks smooth. Take the skillet off the heat.
  3. Spoon the skillet mixture into the mushroom caps (keeping the filling even with the top of the mushroom or maybe a little over) and place it on the lined baking sheet. After filling the caps, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and what’s left of the pepperoni over the top and stick the sheet in the oven.
  4. Let the mushrooms cook for 20 minutes or until the cheese looks golden brown (20 minutes worked for us). Serve right away (we found if you let them cool down a little before eating them, they’re a lot more enjoyable).

If you eat them right after they’re done cooking, you’ll have the water from the mushroom come squirting out and it dilutes the flavors to the point of it just tasting “meh” but if you let the mushrooms cool down a little so the juice doesn’t come bursting out when you take a bite, that’s when you can really taste the flavors of the filling. Using hot Italian sausage adds just a little bit of heat that wouldn’t have been existent in the dish otherwise. The Italian sausage and pepperoni adds some texture to the dish, the cream cheese provides a creamy tanginess and the pizza sauce adds a little sweetness.

We got this recipe from a Cooking with Paula Deen magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote the Paula Deen magazine.

Take care everybody !

Southwestern Nachos Potato Skins

We came across a 2010 issue of Food Network magazine where they made a themed potato skin for every team in the NFL and their toppings for the Arizona Cardinals themed potato skins was just too scrumptious to pass up without trying !


  • 4 large russet potatoes (we used 5*)
  • Melted butter
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • Salsa (mommy used Pace Picante medium chunky salsa, I used La Victoria Thick’N Chunky Salsa Verde Medium that was pureed**)
  • Pickled jalapeño slices
  • Chopped scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional) (we used Kraft Mexican Four Cheese)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take your potatoes and pierce them with a fork. Stick the potatoes in the oven, directly onto the oven rack and let them cook for one hour or until the potatoes are tender. Pull them out and let them cool (we let them cool for 15 minutes and found they were still hot so we cut them in half lengthwise and found that after an additional 15 minutes, they cooled down enough). Set the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Once the potatoes are cool, cut each potato into 4 pieces lengthwise and scoop out enough flesh until it’s only a ¼-inch thick shell. Take melted butter and brush both sides*** of the potato skin with it, seasoning the skins afterwards with salt and pepper. Stick the potato skins back in the oven, skin-side up, until the skin feels crisp, around 15 minutes or so should do the trick. If you want cheesy skins, flip the potato skins over, sprinkle the cheese over them and stick them back in the oven**** for an additional 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients into the potato skins and enjoy !

*Some of our potato skins fell apart so it really is a good idea to bake an extra potato just in case something goes wrong with one of the other potatoes.

**The picante salsa is red so it really pops better against the other toppings. Mommy like the flavor of the picante salsa with the other toppings and I enjoyed the salsa verde more even though it didn’t stand out color wise since it’s green.

***We brushed both sides of the potato with the butter when we stuck it in the oven and it dripped down to the bottom of the oven and created so much smoke ! We had to turn on the fan over the oven and lower the window so the smoke could go somewhere. It really freaked our cat Ghost out (he even hissed at the stove at one point) so we turned the heat off after 5 minutes and just left them in there for the remaining 10 minutes.

****After the butter fiasco, we decided to take a baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil. We put the potato skins on the lined baking sheet, skin-side up, and spread the cheese over them afterwards. We put the baking sheet in the oven for the 5 minutes (oven still turned off but had plenty of residual heat) and it came out with the cheese melted and no mess to clean up like we would have, had we put the skins directly on the oven rack.

This is such a great game day snack even with the problems we ran into ! The skins might have been crispier had we left the oven on but otherwise it was still delicious. You can pick it up with your hands to eat and the skin’s firm enough that the toppings don’t go spilling everywhere. You get some heat and acidity from the salsa and pickled jalapeño slices, a freshness to the dish from the scallions and cilantro, the sour cream adds a tanginess as well as tempers the heat from the salsa and jalapeño slices, and it’s nice having that cheese flavor come through as well in the dish.  You can really change up the flavor of this simply by changing the salsa ! If we make this again in the future, we’ll probably skip spreading the melted butter over the flesh side of the potato skin.

We weren’t paid in any way to mention Food Network, La Victoria, Pace salsa or Kraft.

Take care everybody !

Colossal Chili


  • 1 lb. boneless beef chuck roast or stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes (we used beef stew meat)
  • ¼ cup olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef or 1 lb. ground beef with 1 lb. ground pork (we used 2 lbs. ground  beef)
  • ½ lb. bulk hot Italian sausage (used 1 lb.)
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 large green, red or yellow sweet peppers, chopped (we used 3 red bell peppers)
  • ½ cup Burgundy wine or dry red wine (we used a cabernet sauvignon wine)
  • 2 (14 ½ oz.) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained and cut up
  • 1 (29 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. hot chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed Aleppo pepper or hot chili powder (we used Ancho Chile powder)
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. kosher flake salt or kosher salt (we used kosher salt)
  • 1 tsp. ground black Tellicherry pepper or ground black pepper (we used ground black Tellicherry pepper)
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (we used smoked cheddar cheese)
  • Thinly sliced green onions


  1. Get a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven out and pour the olive oil in. Get the oil hot and add in the cubed beef, browning it on all sides. Take the beef cubes out and place in a large bowl. Do not drain the pan drippings from the Dutch oven. Add the ground beef and Italian sausage to the Dutch oven, cooking until the meat’s been browned and fully cooked, stirring occasionally. Take both meats out of the Dutch oven, putting them both in the same bowl as the cubed beef. Keeping 2 tablespoons of the pan drippings in the Dutch oven, pour the rest out.
  2. Toss the onions and sweet peppers into the Dutch oven. Stir the onions and peppers continuously over medium heat for roughly 10 minutes or until the onion is tender. Take the Dutch oven off the heat and pour the wine in. Put the Dutch oven back on the heat and wait for a boil to occur. Turn the heat down once it’s boiling so that it’s at a simmer. Let it simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or however long it takes for the wine to reduce by half. Now stir in the stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, aleppo pepper, tomato paste, salt, black Tellicherry pepper, and bay leaves, bringing the dish up to a boil.
  3. Add the meats back to the Dutch oven, and wait for the chili to come back up to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and put a lid on the Dutch oven. Let it cook for 3 hours, stirring now and then (we stirred every 30 minutes). Add the beans into the Dutch oven and let the chili cook for another 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and throw them away.
  4. Serve the chili and for your individual portions, add on the cheddar cheese and green onions if you want.

My dad loves this dish ! It’s meaty and hearty. It’s a little sweet and there’s some heat but it doesn’t overwhelm the dish. The chili is great by itself but adding on the smoked cheddar and green onions, it takes it to the next level for flavor !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !