Smoked Sausage with Black Beans

After just having gotten over a cold a few weeks ago, I’m battling another one now!  So frustrating.  My poor red nose can’t handle being blown anymore! I’m thinking I should be good for another few years after these back to back colds.

My appetite is sadly lacking again at the moment, but I do want to quickly share a recipe today that I think you’ll enjoy 🙂

I love the combination of smoked sausage, beans, and rice together.  Red beans and rice is one of my favorite meals.  This recipe has similar ingredients but with a twist.  It has more of a Southwestern flare.

It’s easy to make, calls for just a few simple ingredients, and is delicious!  What more could you ask for? 🙂

I hope you give this a try, and until next time, Happy Cooking!

Smoked Sausage with Black Beans


  • 1/2 lb smoked sausage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped bell pepper (I used a combo of red and orange)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  •  1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed


In a large skillet, cook the sausage until it starts to brown.  Add in the onion, bell pepper, and garlic.  Cook until the vegetables have softened.  Add in all remaining ingredients.  Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until heated through.  Serve over rice.



Filed under Beans, Pork, Stove-Top Meals

Sweet Potato Brownies

I have had this recipe saved in my recipe box for as long as I can remember, and it finally took the fact that I had two little sweet potatoes that were in dire need of being used up for me to finally make it.

Don’t make the same mistake I did!!

These are sooo good.  The main flavor really isn’t even the sweet potato (not that I would have minded since I love sweet potatoes) but the butterscotch flavor from the brown sugar and butter. And the glaze just puts them over the top.  Sinfully sweet!

Jay wrinkled up his nose at the idea of sweet potato brownies.  He has now learned the error of his ways 😉  He thought they were delicious too.

And I think you’ll agree if you give them a try!  Until next time, Happy Cooking 🙂

Sweet Potato Brownies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups peeled and finely shredded sweet potato
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tb softened butter
  • 2 Tb milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13×9 baking dish.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Stir in vanilla.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir into the batter just until blended.  Fold in the sweet potatoes.  Spread the batter evenly in the baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Mix together the powedered sugar, butter, and milk until smooth.  Spread over the brownies while they are still warm.

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Filed under Cookies and Candies, Desserts

Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

Here’s a great recipe to make now that warm sunny days are finally arriving.  It’ll still be a while before all the snow melts away where I live, but at least the sun is shining brightly this morning.  And isn’t there just something so uplifting about a sunny day? 🙂

If you’ve never tried it before, black-eyed pea salsa may sound a little strange.  It really is delicious!  And this coming from a girl who really doesn’t care much for black-eyed peas unless they’re fresh, and this recipe calls for canned.

This recipe comes from Cooking Light, so you know it’s also healthy, another bonus.  They refer to it as a “salad” but since it’s meant to be eaten with tortilla or pita chips it kinda seems more like a salsa, wouldn’t you say?  So that’s what I’m gonna call it! I also made just a few tiny changes to the original recipe.

I hope you give this a try and enjoy it!  Until next time, happy cooking 🙂

Black_Eyed Pea Salsa


  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (regular white vinegar works fine too)
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 cups chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 Tb fresh cilantro
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • pita or tortilla chips


Whisk together the first 5 ingredients (salt thru cumin).  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Serve with pita or tortilla chips.

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Filed under Appetizers, Beans, Vegetarian

Easy Skillet Chili Mac

Food snobs please exit stage right.  Or left.  I don’t particularly care.  Just get thy snobby pants gone.  Thank you kindly.

For the rest of us, let’s discuss some good ol’ chili macaroni!  I bet most all of you have some version of a skillet ground beef and macaroni dish, whether it be called chili mac, goulash, or what have you. 

And if you do, then I’m sure you’ll also agree with me that we all need some recipes like this in our repetoire.  Go-to recipes that are easy, non-fussy, and can be put on the table quickly.  Maybe not something we’d get much enjoyment out of cooking every night, but that there’s definitely a place in our kitchens for once in a while.

If you’re nodding your head right now (okay, maybe not literally nodding), then here’s a great recipe for you!  It comes from my Pillsbury Favorite Casseroles cookbook.  It easily takes less than 30 minutes to make, start to finish (and unlike a certain someone else’s 30 minute meals, you won’t spend another half hour cleaning up the kitchen afterwards…). 

I couldn’t be bothered getting my cheddar cheese out of the freezer, so I just plopped a dollop of Cheese Whiz on top.  I’m oh so gourmet like that 😉

Happy Cooking!

Easy Skillet Chili Mac


  • 6 oz. uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can spicy chili beans, undrained
  • 1 can chili-style diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp EACH salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, brown ground beef in a large skillet.  Drain off any grease.  Stir in cooked macaroni, beans, tomatoes, and salt and pepper.  Cook 3-5 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.  Sprinkle with cheese.

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Filed under Beans, Beef, Stove-Top Meals

Honey Garlic Meatballs

Howdy!  How’s everyone doin’?  Aside from the gray, overcast, dreary, dismal (need I say more?) weather we’ve been suffering with for the past week or so, I’m doing just peachy 😉

Remember the little kitten I mentioned in my last post?  I cried like a baby when we gave him away, I sure did.  And just a secret between you and me, my big strapping husband’s eyes were suspiciously watery too.  Okay, let’s be totally honest-he had almost as many tears streaming down his face as I did.  And seriously, how could I possibly not love a man who’s such a softy at heart that he would cry over giving a little kitten away?  *Sigh*

We heard back yesterday from the family the kitten (now officially named Tiger) went to.  The dad said the little guy had curled right up with his daughter the very first night and they fell asleep together.  Just like it was meant to be.  *Sigh*  I love happy endings 🙂

Okay, now I’m going to tell you about these meatballs that are sooo good you’ll want to go make them right away, I’m sure.  You won’t be able to help yourself! 

I love sweet and sour flavors, and if you do too, then these meatballs will be right up your alley.  They are one of my favorite ways to eat ground beef.  As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m a picky meat eater, and with the strong flavors from the honey garlic sauce here, I have no problem gobbling up these meatballs.

I hope you try them too and enjoy them!  Until next time, happy cooking 🙂

Honey Garlic Meatballs


  • 2 1bs ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 Tb soy sauce


Combine the ground beef and next 5 ingredients.  Form into 1-inch meatballs.  Place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add ketchup, honey, and soy sauce.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the meatballs to the sauce, stirring to make sure they are well coated.  Simmer for another 5-10 minutes, until heated through.

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Filed under Beef

Junior League Mac & Cheese

Dear Readers,

Beginning with this post, I endeavor to return to giving my little blog the love and attention it has been sorely missing lately.  I’ve barely even checked up on it or any other of my favorite blogs.  So unlike me!

Things have been a little topsy turvy in the Berner household.  In addition to us both getting sick, we also acquired a kitten that Jay found alongside the highway one morning.  Someone had obviously dumped him during the night.  Who would do such a thing to a kitten??  It boggles my mind.

The little kitten, aka the little orange terror, is going to a new home today on an acreage where he will happily run around chasing mice and where a little 5-year old girl will give him lots and lots of love.  I’ll be sad to see him go but it’ll be a more suitable home for him. 

So now that I’ve shared my news, let’s move on to talking about food, shall we? 🙂

This is another recipe from The Southern Junior League Cookbook.  I would not be exaggerating if I said this is quite possibly the best mac & cheese I’ve ever made.  Which would make me a horrible food blogger if I didn’t share it with y’all, wouldn’t it??

This one is made a little more special with the addition of bell pepper, boiled eggs, and pimientos, none of which I’ve ever had in mac & cheese before.  After making this recipe, I can now say that they are mighty fine additions, indeed! 

I highly recommend giving this recipe a try! 

Until next time, happy cooking 🙂

Junior League Mac & Cheese


  • 3 Tb butter
  • 4 Tb flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped pimientos
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup macaroni, cooked and drained


Melt butter in a saucepan.  Stir in flour to make a roux.  Gradually stir in milk and cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened.  Stir in half the cheese. 

Mix sauce with remaining ingredients, except reserved cheese.  Spoon into a greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle with reserved cheese.  Bake at 325 degrees for 35 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned on top.

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Filed under Casseroles, Pasta, Vegetarian

Tomato Spice Cake

That’s right, you read that title correctly.  Tomato spice cake!  But don’t worry, it tastes nothing like tomatoes, I promise.  I wouldn’t do that to y’all 😉

I did mean to share this recipe before now, but Jay came down with a cold and then I did too, and you know how it is when you’re sick.  Most everything food related looks disgusting, so I figured it was a good idea to actually feel like blogging about food before I did so.  Makes sense, huh?

I first tried this cake a while back when a co-worker brought it in.  I loved it and wanted to give it a try myself.  I don’t know if this is the same recipe she used, but mine comes straight from Campbell’s and it was really good! 

I know that this cake originally came from the Depression era when milk and eggs were scare, so the soup was used as the main moistening ingredient.  This recipe does have eggs so I’m sure it’s not completely authentic.  But eggs aren’t exactly scarce any more, right?  So we can be a bit extravagant and add eggs!

If you’re looking to try something a little different then give this a try because it’s delicious!  Until next time, happy cooking 🙂

Tomato Spice Cake


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tb milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13×9 baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the soup, oil, eggs, and water, mixing until well combined.  Pour into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, milk, and vanilla until creamy.  Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until frosting is the desired consistency.

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Filed under Desserts