Crock-Pot vs Pressure Cooker!

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Holiday Food Safety Check!

Tex-Mex Meat Loaf topped with Salsa



1 1/ 2 lb extra-lean minced or finely ground beef

1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies, “Rotel” drained

2 eggs

1 small green bell pepper minced

1 small sweet onion minced

1/ 4 cup Progresso Garlic herb seasoned bread crumbs

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin



1. Combine beef, tomatoes and chilies, and the remaining ingredients, except salsa, in a large bowl. Take care to mix the ingredients well. Place this mixture on a 9×5-inch loaf and put it in an 11×7-inch glass. Bake at 375ºF for an hour. You can also grill this meat loaf by placing it on parchment paper, then on a drip rack over a tray to catch the drippings. This really ads to the flavor. I like to shape mine like a loaf of bread and grill it!

2. Remove from oven and drain out any liquid before slicing the meat loaf. (unless you grill it, see above)

Serve with salsa as a topping or place on meatloaf the last 15 minutes of cooking time for a better flavor.

Photo and recipe by Carolyn Davidson Hicks

Photo and recipe by Carolyn Davidson Hicks

Chili Tamale Pie


Serves 8

1 cup Masa Meal (follow directions on package)

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (1/4 for Masa Meal mixture, 1/4 as a topper before baking)

2 tbs unsalted butter

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 lb. ground chuck

1 1/2 cup minced onion

3 tbs chili powder

4 cups red kidney beans or red beans

14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 cup ketchup

1/2 cup tomato sauce

Mix Masa, add 1/4 cup cheddar stir and sit aside. Brown hamburger meat and add all ingredients. Let simmer for about 25 minutes. In a buttered baking dish place filling in first, then top with Masa mixture. Cover dish and bake about  15 ti 20 minutes or until Masa is done at about 350 degrees.

Easy Coconut Shrimp


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached
  • vegetable oil or coconut oil1


  1. Start with 3 medium bowls. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in one. Beat the eggs in the second bowl.  Combine Panko and coconut in the third bowl.
  2. Dip the shrimp into the flour, then the eggs, and then dredge the shrimp into the coconut mixing, pressing gently to adhere. You want a lot of coconut on each shrimp. Set the coated shrimp aside on a plate as you coat the remaining shrimp.
  3. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet on medium heat. Fry the coconut shrimp in batches – do not crowd them in the pan. I fried about 6-7 at a time. Flip after 2 minutes and fry the other side for 2 minutes or until golden brown. I like mine a little darker, so I fried each side for about 3 minutes.
  4. Place the finished coconut shrimp on a plate lined with a paper towel as you fry the rest. Serve with your favorite sweet chili sauce or an orange chili sauce (which is 1 part Thai sweet chili sauce to 2 parts orange marmalade). I’ve tried this dipping sauce and it’s very tasty as well.
  5. Sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro (optional) and serve. Leftover coconut shrimp keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  6. Make ahead tip: Fried coconut shrimp freezes well, up to 2 months. Reheat for 10 minutes in a 350F oven– or until thawed and warm.

You can find the original recipe just Click Here

Mac n Cheese Primavera

Photo and Recipe by Carolyn Davidson Hicks

Photo and Recipe by Carolyn Davidson Hicks

1 cup elbow macaroni (when cooked, feeds 2 two 4)
1/2 cup of 1/4 in cubed Velveeta Cheese pieces
1/4 cup of 3 Mexican Cheese Blend
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 stick of butter
Salt and white pepper
1 pinch of pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup of finely chopped vegetables (3 or 4 broccoli florets finely chopped, 1 red and 1 yellow sweet pepper, 1/4 sweet onion) Saute them in Olive oil until tender.

Once you cook the macaroni, drain and put back in the pot, add the milk and turn the heat down to low. Add the vegetables and cheese and stir until all the cheese melts!