Thursday, June 09, 2016

Jalapeno Poppers

Today is Mexican Food here at Welcome Home and what says Mexican food better than jalapeno peppers!   Jalapeno Poppers to be exact!  I make mine stuffed with cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack and sometimes cream cheese and bacon. Then I bread them and fry them for that perfect crispy bite!  Some people blanch them first; some people bake them first that’s up to you.  If you like a crunch to your peppers, then don’t do either.  But whatever you do, make sure you wear gloves when you make them and keep your hands away from your face!
Jalapeno Poppers
6-8 jalapenos, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds and stems removed
4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 cup panko bread crumbs
oil for frying

Clean your peppers and remove the stems. Slice each pepper down one side and scoop out the core and remove all of the seeds.  You will need to decide whether or not you want to soften them before you stuff and fry them.  If you want a soft pepper on the inside with a crunchy outside, then roast your peppers at in a preheated 450 degree oven until browned on all sides.  Then remove and cool before stuffing them.

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and cheddar cheese until blended. Stuff each of the peppers with the cheese. Then put the two halves together. The stuffing mixture should hold them together well.

Set up your dredging station with three shallow bowls.  Add salt and pepper to flour. Mix the beaten egg with milk.  Next add the milk to one bowl and the flour and breadcrumbs to the other two.  Dredge the peppers in the seasoned flour, dip them in the egg and milk mixture, and dredge them in the bread crumbs.  I like to repeat this same process a second time so I have a nice thick coating and the cheese doesn’t come out when you fry them.

To fry the poppers:  Fill a heavy skillet (I use my cast iron skillet) with about 2-3 inches of oil.  Heat on medium high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees. Fry just a few peppers at a time until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peppers to a sheet pan lined with paper.  Continue to fry the peppers, making sure your oil is at the 350 degrees for each batch.

To Bake the poppers:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place the stuffed breaded poppers onto a greased sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes or until brown.  Sprinkle with additional salt.

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Steak and Shrimp Fajitas

I am such a fan of Mexican food. But I am not always a fan of all the red and green peppers that go into making them.  So sometimes I just like to make my own and keep it simple. Making your own fajitas is simple and you can add whatever you like.  These are my favorite surf and turf fajitas. Tender marinated shrimp sauteed with onions and steak.  Oh My! 

Steak and Shrimp Fajitas

Shrimp Marinade

12 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined with tails removed
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coriander
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 pinch of red pepper flakes

Mix ingredients together in a large plastic resealable bag and add shrimp. Refrigerate for about one hour.

Steak Marinade

1 lb flank steak (or flat iron or skirt steak)
Juice of one lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup cilantro

Combine all marinade ingredients in a large resealable plastic bag. Add steak and marinate for 1 hour at room temperature.  Remove steak from bag and shake off excess marinade. Next, slice the steak across the grain in thin strips. 


1 medium onion, sliced
2 tbsp  olive oil, divided   
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese 
8  (6 to 8 inch) flour tortillas
sour cream
1 cup  refrigerated guacamole
2  limes, cut into 6 wedges
Red, green, yellow bell peppers and other vegetables (optional)

In a heavy skillet set on medium high heat, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil until it starts to smoke lightly.  Add onions and saute until caramelized.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  Add steak and saute for  3 to 4 minutes or until medium-rare and well browned on surface. Remove steak to a plate and tent with aluminum foil.  If you would like to add peppers or any other vegetable, now would be the time to do it.  Just saute them until tender in the same skillet once steak has been removed.

In a large skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Remove shrimp from bag and discard marinade.  Saut√© shrimp until they turn pink and tender and heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove shrimp to plate and cover with foil.

To build fajitas, first warm them in a skillet over very low heat. Divide meat and shrimp mixture equally among tortillas.  Add sauteed vegetables, sour cream, guacamole, fresh salsa, shredded lettuce, cheese, or whatever filling you like.  Fold tortillas in half and enjoy! 

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

The New June Issue of the Welcome Home Online Blog Magazine is Here!

The new June issue of the Welcome Home Online Blog Magazine was released this morning for your viewing pleasure! You'll love this "Best Of Welcome Home Recipes" issue, featuring my award winning Maryland Crab Cakes, my Mom's delicious Sugar Cream Pie, my popular Meatball Rotini Casserole and many more of my favorites!

If you are not yet a subscriber, subscribe today and get over 650 Welcome Home Recipes with many more to come! Each month you'll find 30-35 new recipes all with beautiful full color photos ready for you to print out or save for later! All for only $2 a month!

And as an added bonus, when you subscribe, you will be invited to be a member of the exclusive Welcome Home Fan Club on Facebook where you'll find even more recipes and kitchen tips and cooking lessons.

Click here for more information on how to subscribe:

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Shrimp and Green Beans with Garlic Sauce

I love this recipe! It's one of those that I figured out how to make after ordering at my favorite Chinese restaurant. It took me a few times to get it just right...but I finally figured out the ingredients I needed and now it's just perfect. Tender, succulent shrimp in a rich garlic sauce with fresh green beans that have just enough snap. Delish! Click on photo for drool mode!

Shrimp and Green Beans 

5 tablespoons of butter or margarine
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 cup chicken broth, divided
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 lb large shrimp, cleaned and tails removed
1/2 pound of fresh green beans
1 tablespoon cornstarch for thickening
Salt & pepper to taste
pinch of Garlic powder

In a saute pan over Medium heat melt 1 tablespoon of the butter, add chopped garlic and saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add scallions and saute for 1-2 additional minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the water and 1/4 cup of chicken broth into a small sauce pan. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, throw in the rice, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Mixed sauted garlic and scallions into the rice with a fork, fluffing up the rice as you do this. Keep covered until you are ready to serve. Taste for salt & pepper, season as needed.

In a large saute pan melt 3 tablespoons of butter over Medium-High heat, add the other 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Toss in the shrimp and green beans and saute until shrimp is just pink in color. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder then sprinkle cornstarch over it all, giving it a good mix. Sauce should bubble and become slightly thick as the shrimp heats through and the dish’s flavor come together.

To serve, place a large spoonful of rice on the plate, cover with the shrimp & green beans, then drizzle remaining pan sauce over each plate.

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Shrimp Fried Rice

I love making my own shrimp fried rice because I can decide what I want in it. Some people put far more into it than I scrambled eggs and bean sprouts. I like it just like this!

Shrimp Fried Rice

1 pound medium uncooked shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup of chopped onion
1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped
5 cups left-over cold rice,
1 cup frozen carrots and peas, defrosted
2 tablespoons soy sauce (more if needed)
1½ teaspoon sesame oil
In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp, cornstarch, salt and pepper and set aside. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When oil is hot and begins to sizzle, add the shrimp and cook for about a minute on each side stirring constantly. Remove to bowl when shrimp just begins to turn pink.

 Add another tablespoon of oil to the same skillet and when hot, add the onion and the green onions and cook until fragrant and tender.  Then add the rice and mix well. Spread rice evenly over the pan and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stir and saute another 1 to 2 minutes. Rice should sizzle.

Drizzle 2 tablespoons of soy sauce over rice and stir well. Add sesame oil and vegetables and mix well. Add cooked shrimp to the pan and mix well. Continue to cook until the rice is hot, stirring frequently. Add more soy sauce to taste, if desired.

Photographs are copyright and owned by ©Welcome Home.
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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pound Cake with Whipped Cream and Strawberries

 I love a simple dessert, don't you? Just a basic pound cake sliced and topped with a little whipped cream and fresh strawberries can be mood changing! LOL!

Pound Cake with Whipped Cream and Strawberries

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan and then line with parchment paper. Leave a little paper on each end to use for lifting cake later.

Mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a hand or stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Next add the vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined. Do not over-mix.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack, and turn upright to cool completely.

Slice when cool and top with whipped cream and fresh strawberries and for a real treat drizzle a little strawberry or chocolate syrup on top!

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home. 

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Quinoa Bean Salad

I have a friend who is vegetarian and that can be challenging to a meat and potatoes girl like me.  So when I invite her over for lunch or dinner, I'm always searching for new recipes that I think she'll enjoy. Last summer, when everyone was eating hot dogs and hamburgers off the grill, I wanted something that was both light and summery, yet had lots of protein and a wonderful flavor.  I went to my pantry and took a look at my Star Fine Foods ingredients and came up with this little salad and it was a huge hit! She loved it....and the other guests loved it too.  You can serve this as a main dish or a side dish.  It's that good! 

Quinoa Bean Salad

2 (14 ounce) cans Kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups barley or couscous
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup red bell pepper, diced small
¼ cup green pepper diced small
4 thin-sliced scallions
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
¼ cup cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa as directed on package. Do the same with the barley or couscous or whatever other grain you have chosen. When finished cooking, set aside.

Mix together the cilantro, parsley, lime juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and pulse. Chill in refrigerator while you prepare you salad.

Once cooked, add your grains to a large bowl.  Add in chick peas, kidney beans, red and green pepper and scallions. Pour cilantro lime vinaigrette over quinoa salad and let marinate for at least 30-45 minutes.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.

STAR Red Wine Vinegar  is available at select Safeway, Kroger, Save Mart, Food 4 Less, Vons, Smart & Final, Roundy’s, Randalls, Sherm’s, Schnucks, King Soopers, Fred Meyer, Ralphs and Smith’s stores  and online at

Star Fine Foods now has a promo code for all Welcome Home fans that will give you a 10% discount on anything you order online. Just enter WELCOMEHOME10 at checkout! 

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!
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Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I love Brussels sprouts cooked any way you can cook them. But this is my favorite 
recipe for them. I know it probably sounds strange to combine a sweet maple syrup 
with a green vegetable but wait until you try it! Oh my goodness! It is the perfect 
combination! And for a kick try a little cayenne pepper to wake things up a bit! 

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts 

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise 
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
sprinkling of sea salt or any coarse salt 
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup 
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional) 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sprouts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. 
Spread the sprouts on the baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes or until 
sprouts caramelize and are brown or golden in spots. Stir about half way through 
the cooking time so they are evenly roasted. You can use a knife to piece the center 
and check for tenderness. 

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine maple syrup and cayenne pepper if using. 
Drizzle sprouts with maple syrup mixture, stir to coat, and roast 1 more minute. 
Serve hot. 

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