I am a newlywed on a budget, just trying to make healthy and inexpensive meals for my husband and I to enjoy. He eats a lot, so cost is a big factor. Though I work 3 jobs, I manage to find time 6 nights a week to cook a full dinner for us both. I am constantly looking for new recipes that are moderately healthy, taste great, and won't break the bank.

On the side, I also own a brownie business called Gersheybars. My passion and love for cooking started when I was just a small child, baking with my mom and grandmother. The brownie recipe has been passed down through 5 generations and I am thrilled to finally have an outlet to share them with everybody else. Friends and family have helped spread the word and made my business as successful as it is today.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rubios Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are probably the best beachside food EVER. Seriously, there's nothing like sitting on a rooftop bar, looking out over the ocean at sunset, with a pitcher of margaritas, some excellent chips and salsa, and a plate of fish tacos. Mmm...mmm...good! Too bad you can't get any decent fish tacos in Washington, DC.

This recipe is supposed to taste like the fish tacos from Rubios, a popular California eatery. While these were quite tasty, and pretty easy to make, they aren't really authentic Rubios. There wasn't the distinct pink sauce and the batter wasn't quite right. But they were still delicious.

I'd give the recipe a 4 star rating on taste, and a 2 star rating on accuracy. Oh well. I don't know where the original recipe came from, it was just in a random post on Chef2Chef.

  • 12 Cod or favorite whitefish fillets (1-1/2 oz ea.)
  • 12 Tortillas, corn, as thick/fresh as possible

  • 1 c Flour
  • 1 c Beer
  • Garlic powder, pepper to taste

  • 1/2 c Mayonaise
  • 1/2 c Yogurt

  • 1 Garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 6 Tomatoes, ripe, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 Onion, minced
  • 2 tb Cilantro leaves, chopped, stems removed
  • 1 Jalapeno chiles, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 ts Salt
  • 1/4 ts Pepper
  • Oil for deep frying

  • 1 Head cabbage, green, shredded
  • 1 Lime, cut into wedges
  1. Mix flour with favorite spices such as garlic powder, red or black ground pepper. Stir the flour mixture into the beer and mix until well blended.
  2. Wash fish by dipping in cold, lightly salted water or water with a little bit of lemon juice added. Be sure fish is completely dry before dipping into batter.
  3. Prepare salsa; reserve.
  4. Put the vegetable oil into a deep skillet and bring to 375F. Place fish in a single layer--do not let pieces touch each other. Cook fish until batter is crispy and golden brown.
  5. Heat corn tortillas lightly in a skillet or Mexican comal until they are soft and hot.
  6. To assemble, on each tortilla layer the fish fillet, white sauce, salsa and cabbage. Top it off with a squeeze of lime. Fold tortilla over to serve.
We made one change to the salsa & white sauce. I didn't like the "white sauce," so we pureed half of the salsa in a food processor and mixed that in with the sauce. Much tastier. I also think the batter needs a bit of salt, as the fish was pretty bland without the salsa or sauce on top.

Monday, December 7, 2009


It's a cold and snowy night, which means it's perfect for chili and cornbread! It seems like every time I make chili, I use a new recipe. Some are good, some are great, and some are pretty damn worthless. But this one, is delicious! It's easy, quick, very chunky, spicy and pretty much perfect.

I did make a few changes, as per the suggestions of fellow readers on Allrecipes, and added 2 links of pepper/onion pork sausage. My changes are noted below. The chili starts off pretty thick, so it's great for a weeknight when you only have a few hours, vs. an entire day to let the chili thicken up. We served it with a side of
cornbread, of course! And that recipe is also below.

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I used 1 lb ground beef, and 1/2 lb pepper/onion sausage)
  • 1 (23 fluid ounce) can tomato juice (I used 23oz tomato sauce)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce (I used a 15oz can of diced tomatoes, drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups canned red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  1. Place ground beef & sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and put back in pan.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large kettle. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Tilapia Pita Pockets

Love love love when Tilapia is on sale at the grocery store! There's always something new I want to try with it. This time, I had a bunch of leftover Feta cheese, so I wanted to find a recipe that would incorporate both the fish and the cheese. And that's when I stumbled upon the Tilapia Pita Pockets recipe. After spending 6 years in California, we have grown to love fish tacos. This recipe is sort of similar to a fish taco, but a slight bit healthier. There is some mayo involved, but the fish is pan-grilled with no butter and there's lettuce, onions and whole wheat pita to add some nutrients! This is definitely a winner in my book. It was quick and simple to make, packed with flavor and spice, and made enough to have some leftover for lunch today.

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 anchovy fillets, drained (I omitted these)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 4 cups iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 6 pita breads, cut in half
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, Italian dressing, feta cheese and anchovies. Season with cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt. Mix until well blended, then set aside.
  2. Spray grill pan with non-stick spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Place the tilapia fillets in the skillet, and season with lemon pepper, salt and cayenne. Cook until browned on each side, and fish flakes easily with a fork, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Warm pita breads in the toaster or in the microwave to soften. Open from the cut side to make pockets. Fill pita bread halves with lettuce, onion, and tilapia fillets, then spoon in some of the feta cheese sauce. Serve and enjoy!


It's always so difficult to find the perfect meatloaf recipe. One that's not too dry, not too wet, not too chunky, but just chunky enough, not too sweet, but not too spicy. This time, I think I've found the winning recipe! It's from Allrecipes, of course. The original recipe calls for buffalo meat, but I used a meatloaf mix (pork, veal and beef) instead. It was delicious! Full of flavor, and chunky with veggies, not too sweet, and just a little spicy. I served it with some Texas Toast and steamed veggies.

  • 1 slice multigrain bread
  • 1 pound ground buffalo meat (I substituted meatloaf mix and it was perfect!)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Crumble the bread slice into crumbs and set aside. Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish.
  2. Thoroughly mix ground buffalo meat, onion, egg, ground mustard, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs in a large bowl.
  3. Form the meat mixture into a loaf shape about 8x4 inches and place into the middle of the baking dish. Apply ketchup to the top and sides of the meatloaf.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until meat is no longer pink and ketchup forms a glaze over the meatloaf, 1 1/2 hours. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.