Monday, August 26, 2013

Beef Empanadas

 Here is my 3rd and last Goya recipe for this month of August.  We were also supposed to do a beef recipe from "Beef, It's what for dinner" council.  August is a really busy month with me going back to the classroom so I did a beef recipe with my Goya product.  Knocking out two and one.  So this last one, I really wanted to see if I could find the Goya "Discos" or the puff pastry circles to make Empanadas.  Luckily at my second attempt at a Safeway that seemed to have lots of Goya on their shelves...I tried my luck in the freezer to look for the dough and SCORE!!! I scooped up two.  I stay away from recipes most times that have you make your own doughs.  I just don't have the time or patience for it anymore.  When I saw that Goya made its own dough for Empanadas I had to see if I could find it and so happy I did.
Allrecipes had only one empanada recipe from Goya and in true JennyMac fashion I tweaked it:

-I did not use all their prepared seasonings and such.  I was fearful of it being too salty,
-None of the seasonings (Sazon Goya and Goya Soffrito) were included in my box of goodies so I wasn't going to go out and buy them.
-I added a non-traditional food in it, (K-man doesn't like olives) sweet potato.
-I did NOT FRY them.

Beef and Sweet Potato Empanadas
by JennyMac Lipsmack on

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup Goya Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp. Adobo seasoning
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 (14 ounce) package Goya Discos (yellow or white), thawed
About 1/4 c. Oil, for cooking and brushing
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat about 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove and put to side.  Put another tbsp of oil and onions and sweet potato in the already heated pan. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, adobo, garlic, oregano and black pepper and add the ground beef back into the pan mixture. Taste for seasoning
On a lightly floured work surface, using a rolling pin, roll out discos until 1/2-inch larger in diameter. Spoon about 1 tbsp. meat mixture into middle, fold in half to form a half moon; moisten edges with water and pinch to seal closed, or seal with a fork.
Line cookie sheet with either a silpat or parchment.  Brush with oil.  Place 12 empanadas on sheet and brush with oil.  Place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Turn empanadas over and bake for another 5 minutes or until both sides are golden brown.

This is the second time I took a classically FRIED recipe and baked it (I also bake egg rolls now instead of deep frying them) and the dough comes out just as crispy as though it was fried and so little oil is being absorbed by doing this.  

All in all, the Goya products were top notch and I used them before, so it was a no-brainer to me about using them.  Also we like to eat beef here so a double  assignment of making a beef recipes wasn't to difficult since we eat it at least twice a week.  It was fun taking a beef recipe and creating a new filling and using a new Goya product.  This was a good month for food from Allrecipes Allstars.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cheesy Chicken and Yellow Rice

Time for my second Goya Recipe review.  I find that I really have to play with rice when it comes to K-man.  He is not a fan of plain rice at all and any flavored rice has to be really good for him to finish what is on his plate. 

My tweak on this recipe was adding a little cream of chicken soup.  That made this a winner to K-man.  Clean plate. 

I also didn't want to mix all the veggies and chicken in with the rice because K-man likes to have his food somewhat separate.  Although, personally I don't care K-man perhaps thinks he gets more of a variety through eating a bite of the chicken and pepper then the rice.  Not rice coated chicken and peppers.  It's not like he is OCD and the chicken can't touch the vegetables and the rice can't touch them either.  He's not THAT bad! 

All in all, I felt this was a pretty good recipe and would do it again.

Cheesy Chicken and Yellow Rice
by Goya on

1 (8 ounce) box GOYA® Yellow Rice
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
2 tablespoons GOYA® Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 3/4-inch pieces
GOYA® Adobo All-Purpose Seasoning with Pepper, to
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
In small saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 cups water to boil. Add contents of yellow rice mix, tomatoes and 1 tbsp. oil; return water to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with Adobo. Cook chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add bell peppers and onions to skillet. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft and chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more; remove from heat.
In skillet with cooked chicken, stir in cooked rice until combined. Mix in cheese, stirring until melted. Serve warm. (I did not stir in my rice with chicken as shown above but you can do what pleases you most)

Cook's notes:  I added 1/2 cup cream of chicken soup in with the step with the cheese and it made the rice so much creamier!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chipotle Cheeseburgers

This month for my Allrecipes Allstars assignment we are working with Goya.  I have used Goya many times and have been very pleased with their products.  Even though I got a lovely box of free products....I would still sing their praises.  One of my first recipes I did was Chipotle Cheeseburgers.  It was very tasty.
Of course since this was dinner and there was no daylight my picture looks nothing like their beautiful picture on AR.  They added a big onion slice, tomato and lettuce.  We kept it simple because we wanted to really taste the burger to see if it was flavored enough.  Even without making the chipotle mayo (an extra task for you to do to make this burger) it stood out on it's own.  I sliced my burger in half and tried it both ways.  So I you want extra steps with high flavor/heat....go for it.  But without the special mayo it was still awesome.

Chipotle Cheeseburger
from GOYA on

1/4 cup Goya Mayonnaise
1 chipotle pepper from a can of Goya
Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, finely
1/4 cup sauce from a can of Goya
Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce
3 tablespoons Goya Minced Garlic,
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh
Goya Adobo All-Purpose Seasoning, to
2 pounds ground beef (80% lean)
1 teaspoon Goya Vegetable Oil
6 slices Cheddar cheese
6 hamburger buns
6 (1/4 inch thick) slices red onions
6 (1/2 inch thick) slices tomatoes
6 lettuce leaves
1. In medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, 1 tbsp. chipotle sauce, 1 tsp. garlic, cilantro and adobo; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. In large bowl, gently mix together beef, chopped chipotle, 3 tbsp. chipotle sauce, remaining garlic and adobo until combined. Divide meat into 6 portions; form into 1 inch-thick patties. (Take care not to over-handle meat or else it will toughen).
3. Prepare grill to medium-high heat, grease with oil (or heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat). Cook burgers, flipping once, until charred and cooked to desired doneness (about 12 minutes total for medium rare). Add cheese to patties about 5 minutes before taking them off grill.
4. To assemble, divide patties evenly among bottom buns; top with onion slice, tomato slice, lettuce and top bun spread with reserved chipotle mayonnaise.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Southwestern Egg Rolls with Cilantro Dipping Sauce

This month the Allrecipes Allstars Ambassadors received Herdez® Cooking Sauces.  I got the Classic Chipotle and Roasted Pasilla Chile. The Chipotle one has definitely got some ZING.  I felt it was best suited for the recipe I came up with.  I have had a few versions of different restaurants Southwestern Egg Rolls and I used the corn and black bean salad from my Grocery deli as a shortcut so I wouldn't have to do all the chopping. AND these are BAKED not FRIED!!!  Double Score.  I created a Cilantro sauce to help cool the sting from the Chipotle or to just add another layer of flavor.

Southwestern Egg Rolls with Cilantro Dipping Sauce
by JennyMac's LipSmack

1 lb ground beef
1 jar Herdez® Classic Chipotle Mexican Cooking Sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup corn and black bean salad (or see note to make own)
1 pkg. egg roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water
oil for coating
Cilantro Sauce:
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2.  Brown ground beef with green onion.
3.  Add Herdez® Classic Chipotle Mexican Cooking Sauce and cook until reduced. Set aside to cool.
4.  Add Corn and Black Bean Salad (a mixture of yellow corn, black beans, chopped red pepper, green pepper, onions and lime juice.
5.  Put one egg roll wrapper on cutting board. Turn, so it's a DIAMOND not SQUARE. Coat edges with beaten egg with basting brush.  Place 1-2 Tbsp of mixture on bottom of Diamond.  Fold up bottom point to just cover the mixture. Fold over each side (should resemble an open envelope).  Now roll up fold to the top tip of that "envelope/diamond"  Use fingers to press edges so egg can start the wrapper edges to stick to itself.
6.  Brush each egg roll with oil of choice.
7.  Bake for 10-15 until golden.
8.  While baking put cilantro, sour cream, onions, mayo in a food processor.  Blend until smooth.
9.  Serve cilantro dipping sauce with egg rolls for cool finish to with the ZIP of the Herdez® Chipotle Cooking Sauce.

Cook's Notes:
To make your own Corn Salad: 
Corn and Black Bean Salad can be found in your in your grocery store's Deli, perhaps near the potato salad?  If not, don't worry.  You can use canned or frozen corn.  Drain a can of black beans.  Chop up one red, one green pepper and one onion.  Squeeze one lime on chopped stuff. Mix it all up.  Reserve 1 to 1-1/2 cups of salad to put in your beef with Herdez®.  Eat the remainder of your salad another time or as a side.

These were a keeper!  I was shocked K-man loved the cilantro sauce.  No everyone is a FAN of cilantro.  I know it took me awhile to develop a taste for it.  I swore K-man was gonna ask for Ranch instead.  I believe the word he used was "Killer".  I'll take it.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Chicken a la Mexican

I make this little dish at least 3-4 times a month.  It's very versatile hence it's generic name.  It could have been Chicken tacos but why make you think you have to eat it with a shell/bread?  It's not a casserole because usually that has some kind of rice or pasta.  I named it Chicken a la Mexican because it's got Mexican type spices, peppers and onions.  But here is the fun part. You decide how/where you want it.  Put it on soft tortillas with shredded cheese.  Or put a giant spoonful on rice or pasta.  Top it with cheese or sour cream or both.  Put it on crushed tortilla chip on a green salad.  Slop it in a long crusty sub roll....Have you figured out how you want yours yet?

Chicken a la Mexican
a JennyMacLipsmack creation

4 chicken boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper cut into strips
1-2 jalapeno peppers cut into very thin strips
1 large onion, sliced, rings separated
1-15 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
cilantro for topping/garnish
oil for coating pan
shredded cheese, optional
sour cream, optional
Chicken seasoning:
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chile powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt

1.  Sliced chicken into strips, coat with seasonings, set aside.
2.  Slice and prep all veggies.
3.  Heat pan medium high with oil of choice about 2 Tbsp.
4.  When pan is hot start with chicken and constantly stir with wooden spoon.
5.  When chicken is half pink and white (about half cooked) add sliced veggies and tomatoes.
6.  Keep cooking until chicken it totally cooked through and no pink remains.
7.  Serve on soft flour tortillas, rice, pasta or sub rolls or a pupusa (as seen below)

Cook's Notes:
1.   Feel free to add a whole green pepper instead of jalapeno if you can't stand the heat.
2.  Feel free to use a pre-prepared Mexican seasoning that is your favorite.  I won't mind.
3.  Taste while you cook to add more of something.  I didn't add on the list an ingredient I don't know if you have available.  I found some Smokey chipotle dried peppers at Home Goods.  I better start looking to see where I can find more.  They are smokey and spicy.  I love them.  But I didn't want you to not make this because you couldn't find them.

K-man smiles real big when he sees this dinner.  He always puts his on a soft flour tortilla.  I prefer the corniness of the tortilla chips on a salad is my favorite.  If you have pre made pupusas in your ethnic section, this is a great topping as well.  Find yours!


Friday, March 15, 2013


One of my assignments as an Brand Ambassador was to take a ground beef recipe and change it using Johnsonville Sausage.  All righty!! Don't need to ask me twice!
I know the picture is not stupendous but it was nighttime, it was dinnertime and we were hungry- nuff said.

This recipe was for Beefaroni.  Ground beef, tomato sauce, cheese and pasta. Being JennyMac who is notorious for playing with food.  I did some tweaks.  Those ingredients was just TOO boring.  I had to add some onions.  Double onions.  Raw onions in the mix and French's Onions on top.  It was great!  Of course if you are a fan of Johnsonville and have a FB page, try Johnsonville Kitchens- its another source of recipes plus this way you get a more open forum of things people are doing/sharing.

Now since this is a tweak, I will put the original recipe and provide the link to Allrecipes - following it I put my notes.  Here is a link to my customized Sausaroni recipe.


1 pound ground beef
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 (16 ounce) package uncooked elbow macaroni
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until evenly browned. Drain.
3. While the ground beef is cooking, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, and stir in butter. Transfer to a large casserole dish, and mix in the ground beef, tomato sauce, and Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the top.
4. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until heated through and bubbly.

Cook's Notes:
1.  Substitute one package of Johnsonville Sausage, I used HOT Italian.
2.  I added half chopped RAW onion to step 3.  We wanted the onion with a little bit more bite....not faded and mooshy.
3.  I added salt and pepper and 1 tsp. garlic powder to the whole mix not just on top.
4.  I sprinkled half a container (about 1 cup) of French's Fried Onion on top for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
5.  Next time I will do this half tomato sauce and half diced tomatoes!
6.  Added BONUS!  Did you know that they make CORN ELBOW pasta for those who are GLUTEN FREE?

I am sure your KIDS would love this.  Using the mild or sweet sausage I am sure would be good,  not sure hot your kids can take it.  I am so used to HEAT that my tongue may be OFF.  lol  Serve with a salad and garlic bread. 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Family Secret Meatballs and Sauce

I don't think I told you but I was accepted in a little fun program called Allrecipes Allstars.  I have been a member of the web page for years.  Sheesh, back in those days they had many sites.,, were tons....then they wised up and condensed.  Long story short....they are a place where people like me can post or look up recipes that are TRIED and TRUE.  All the members post their own pictures of how it turned out (if they want)...tons of reviews, suggestions, videos....I've been a member for 13 years.
So I see a FB friend post about this program where you do fun stuff each month they assign.  Sounded like fun AND would give me something to do on my own blog.
This month one of the activities we could do was to select a 'faceless' (no picture) recipe on and give it try in our kitchen, review it and provide a picture.  Completion would be 3 faceless....or do more if you so desired.
The first one I did not like much.  It was OK, even though I took a picture of start my AR CRED. lol  It was Lemon-Dijon Grilled Chicken. I was not thrilled about it and my review said as such.  Eh.  It needed some herbs.  Too much honey as well.  Ok next recipe....

YAY!  Winner!  I wondered why someone would put a Secret Family Recipe online...I guess we are now at the time in our lives when there are no more secrets anymore....everything good or bad goes on the Internet.  Well HONEY....this is one of those GOOD things to put out there.  Awesome stuff.  These were called Secret Family Meatballs and Sauce.  These are an appetizer kinda thing.  One person pictured theirs on a bed of, not seeing that.  The sauce has ketchup, onion, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce.....not an Italian thing.  Are people eating BBQ on spaghetti now?   We ate these with a salad and some homemade jalapeno mac and cheese and garlic bread.  I can't wait for the leftovers tomorrow!

Here is the recipe to look over, however the link above is easier to print from if you like:

2 pounds ground beef
3/4 cup rolled oats
6 tablespoons chopped sweet onion (such as a Walla Walla)
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups ketchup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons white sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion (such as a Walla Walla)
4 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
2. Mix together the ground beef, rolled oats, 6 tablespoons of sweet onion, milk, salt, and black pepper until thoroughly combined. Roll the mixture into 2-inch meatballs, and place meatballs into the prepared baking dish.
3. In a bowl, mix the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, 4 1/2 tablespoons of sweet onion, apple cider vinegar, and water until the sugar has dissolved, and pour the sauce evenly over the meatballs.
4. Bake the meatballs and sauce in the preheated oven until the sauce is bubbling and thickened and the meatballs are no longer pink inside, about 1 1/2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Flourless Almond Cake (Gluten Free!)

The holidays killed me and it's been a struggle to get back to my Paleo lifestyle.  But I swear that bread and sugar is like a crack to, I saw this cake recipe and had to try it.  I tweaked it a bit and it really turned out awesome.

Flourless Almond Cake
adapted by Jenny Mac's Lipsmack

1 1/2 cups whole almonds, toasted
5 large eggs, at room temperature, separated 1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Peach Preserves
1/4 cup almonds, toasted (they used sliced, I had only slivered ones to use up.)

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper. (they suggested a springform, I used a regular cake pan with the parchment  and it popped right out).
2.  Beat 5 egg whites in large bowl with the electric hand mixer on medium speed until very foamy, white and doubled in volume, but not stiff enough to hold peaks, 1 to 2 minutes (they said to not over whip which will cause it to sink).
3.  Process whole almonds in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Beat 5 egg yolks, 1/2 cup honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with an hand mixer. Add the ground almonds and beat on low until combined.
4.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
5.  Bake the cake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Cake should pull from the sides and be easy to pop out of pan.
6.  To serve, glaze the top of the cake with peach preserves (or whatever you have available or more honey) and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Cook's Notes:

1. I loved how lightly sweet this was.  Not a sickening sweet like some Paleo stuff can be.  When you think about the 1/2 cup honey and how the cake sliced into 6 pieces...that is Tbsp and 1/2 of honey.  The topping is ridiculously thin (just to make the almonds on top stick really.).

2.  I've noticed something....I read alot about food 'stuff'.  I've been a Diet Coke drinker my WHOLE life.  Never a regular soda has touched my lips (unless by a careless server mixed up my drink order with my husband).  They say...Sugar Free drinks are just as bad....for it still makes your body crave sugar.  At work, I drink nothing but seltzer water.  I have no cravings and will make cookies with the club after school, no desire to eat them.  However when I go home I will allow myself a diet coke (trying to taper off) and will notice I am hunting around after dinner for something sweet....I really think there is something to this theory.  I am beginning to see this....OH HOW CAN I GIVE UP my FRESCA, DIET COKE and CRYSTAL LIGHT??  The TORTURE!!!

3.  Very light and spongy.  Great for breakfast too.  I passed some out to my Paleo Pals at work....still waiting on their opinion!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

Happy Super Bowl Weekend Kids!I have a fun and easy recipe for you.  If you'd like to change up a familiar recipe for your Super Bowl food tomorrow here's a nice recipe I created.

Sriracha Deviled Eggs
created by JennyMac's Lipsmack

12 hard boiled eggs
2-3 Tbsp of mayonnaisse
2-3 Tbsp of Sriracha
1/8 tsp of dry mustard
salt to taste
cayenne to taste
smoked paprika

Split your hard boiled eggs and remove the yolks.  Here's a fun tip if you choose to try all your yolks in a ziploc bag.  Arrange your whites on a pretty plate.  Close the ziploc and smush all your yolks in the bag until no more chunks.  Add the mayo and sriracha, salt and cayenne (I left the measurements for you to taste and add more or less to your liking).  Taste and make adjustments.  Squeeze out air from bag and close again.  Cut hole on bottom bag about 3/4 inch.  Squeeze most of yolks to bottom of bag.  Squeeze out yolks into eggs.  Use a little pulsing squeeze to get the 'rippled' affect on your yolks as seen on mine.  Top with smoked paprika.  Serve to hungry guests.  Stand Back!

Cooks Notes:
1.  How picky are you?  Some days I am picky about my food some days I could care less.  The boiling and hoping of are they cooked enough or are they over cooked I am tired of the stress of that.  The peeling of the eggs...ugh.  Fresh eggs are NOT to be used for hard-boiled eggs.  The membrane takes out chunks and it makes your eggs look awful.  Hard to believe the older the eggs the better.  I guess fresh is out since you need air between the white and membrane to easily peel eggs.  ANYWAY- my you realize they have already hard boiled eggs in your local grocery?  Yes, they do!  However....they are little more rubbery for my taste.  You own boiled ones are much more soft and delicate.  But if you have a husband who is crazy for deviled eggs....his craziness just may over rule his taste in soft vs. rubbery eggs.  LOL.
Just thought I'd share that with you.

Since my Redskins couldn't make it this year.  I will put a Shout out to our neighbors the RAVENS!  We'll be rooting for you this year!