A Very Long Hiatus and Two Recipes with Similar Ingredients

OK. I’ve been missing here for a long, long time, friends. How are you all doing? 🤗 Happy New Year!

Honestly, I’ve been on the fence about deleting my WordPress account several times now. I’m still debating. I know I need a .com for links but also know I’m rarely here now. So much has changed here; I’m not sure I’m doing things right on WordPress anymore. 🤔

On a side note, I haven’t shared about life in awhile. You know blogging can be much like a diary choosing what and how much to share. I did lose both of my parents in the past 3 years. with my mom just passing on June 30th of last year.

Taking care of mom the last few years and then all the dealings with one of the messiest estates (in our attorney’s words) well, let’s just say it has been a long and exhausting trial.

You wouldn’t even believe the things we have encountered if I told you. Ie We had a property burn down and the contract holder went silent, complex issues with selling other properties, bizarre mistakes and delays just so many things it would take forever to write about even if I even wanted to. You really couldn’t make this stuff up!!

I do believe both me and my husband have become “semi-experts” whether we wanted to or not on: real estate, finalizing estates, making wills, insurance, nursing homes & meds, burial info, veterans affairs, SS…just being 24/7 detectives-what a learning curve!!

So, initially this outlet/hobby, if you will, helped keep my mind sharp, motivated me to keep on learning, and was a welcome distraction from my own health issues being nearly homebound for 7 years.

I’ve been just too darn busy to write here or give it much time now. In the beginning, I did need something to do and initially thought to write about health info here that I researched for decades. I just wanted to help others. I know doctors don’t have the answers much of the time. I wanted to write about Lyme Disease, eczema, GERD, resistant asthma, auto immune issues, dry eye disease, muscle issues and treating naturally vs meds, etc. And if any of you are suffering or know someone who is, with any of those diseases, feel free to pass my info on. It can be a lonely place not knowing where to turn and your health IS truly everything! You come to understand that if you lose it. But, I just might not check here as often as I used to and going through the gram might be a better way to communicate. I’m so willing to help anyone!! But I found actually trying to go back to write about it all would bring back so much PTSD, that I just wouldn’t finish a post. I have several on draft. 😞

That’s not to say I don’t struggle anymore and presently struggle with new things. I am considering another avenue now, but so far it just hasn’t happened the way I thought.

So, I learned about starting a blog and lots of other things after having to leave my teaching job, well all activities at church etc behind. My camera and my PC really saved me.

Back then, I went on to learn all I could about social media and then as a business. I have found all facets of it so very interesting. Learning blog design, SEO, how to make videos, then on my better days was able to create/share recipes, and more recently decorating tips. This all became a fun distraction and a healthy way to try and escape from physical pain. But also could become helpful if well and able to work again.

I say all of that to say, I don’t know yet what I’ll do here anymore. I hate losing everything I’ve written throughout the years but know the amount of time and effort it takes to write up one post is just… well you fellow bloggers all know. And I find myself on Instagram more and more and have met so many good friends there, as well. It seems to be an “easier” creative platform for me. In the meantime, I’m trying to decide by posting one more blog post, catching you all up, and like other cooking blogs I’ve read, I just threw all my life update into a post with some recipes. HA

Tomorrow, my daughter and her family actually will fly here. We’re just now celebrating Christmas since we all took turns being ill with COVID throughout the last 2 months. I don’t know about you and 2022, but I’ve been sick for 4 months this past year. What a year huh with the flu and everything?!! I am always down longer than most I know due to my asthma. However, this year so many seem to have been very ill as well. Has that been the case with your family? We even lost several people we knew over the past few years to COVID. It’s so sad.

I was discussing with my Aunt recently and we both felt that virus might have contributed to my own dad’s death as they didn’t know all about COVID at the beginning of it all in 2020, and he was having heart and breathing issues.

Our family doesn’t always get to celebrate Christmas together with some of them being in Georgia, but since they found some reasonable tickets, had vacation to take, and other business to tend to here, we decided to celebrate as a family along with my son’s family. TBH I’m really over looking at Christmas decor.

Today, I was thinking up things to make ahead and know they love spicy food and I KNOW my daughter loves dips of any kind, so I decided to make two recipes out of the same ingredients. I only had to add cream cheese and subtract fluid to change the latter one.

Hungry yet?

The first is Mexican soup then a Mexican dip. I had a rotisserie chicken I needed to use up.

The first is

Mexican Soup

You’ll need:

Cubed or shredded chicken

Chopped onions & bell peppers in OO

1 can of chili beans (you can use any type of beans really)

1 can of enchilada sauce

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 can of chicken broth

1 T of green chilis (canned)

1 can of cream of chicken

1 can of corn

Oregano

Taco seasoning

Crushed garlic

1 cup of water

Crushed tortilla chips or masa for thickening

Cilantro, shredded cheese and avocado for garnish

Directions:

I cut up the chicken into small pieces with scissors.

Cook till onion and peppers soften.

Add all ingredients but chicken.

Bring to a boil. Thicken or thin with less or more water and or Masa.

Add in the chicken.

Top with garnishes.

Yum!

The second one was 👇🏼

Mexican Dip

Okay easy.

Just add smaller amounts of the other items above, a block of cream cheese and really no liquids hardly at all. Top with same garnishes. Oh, and add more cheese.

For more decorating or photography:

Instagram accounts: atMorgie_and_Me

And for travel and photography atThentherestwo

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🌶 Enchilada Pasta 🌶

Once again, I had items in my fridge that needed to be used up. And recently we gathered a bunch of fresh veggies and herbs from our kids’ garden as they are away for two months living in Southern California. 🏖

My son is on a job rotation, left Indiana with his family, and can you believe he’s only minutes from where I grew up? I hadn’t been back since 1992 when he was born. It’s kind of surreal thinking my two grandkids are now placing their little feet on some of the same beaches that I did as a kid. Life has a way of coming full circle doesn’t it?

Anyhow, I used some of those fresh, garden goodies and decided to make another pasta dish. It’s not my usual recipe but it turned out so well, according to the hubs, my main critic, that I decided to share it. It really can be tweaked to your liking. These are mere suggestions. 🤗

But it’s quick, it’s easy and oh so YUMMY!😋🍲

Ingredients:

Note: Ground beef, red chili flakes & garlic not pictured

Directions:

Brown your meat with all veggies and seasonings. (We used beef this time but usually use chicken.)

Lastly, add in fresh tomatoes after all other veggies soften and cook tomatoes briefly. (You can also use canned tomatoes of course. 🍅)

Boil your pasta and add it (along with remaining water) to the ground beef mixture. Stirring in 1 can of red enchilada sauce.

Add 1 block of cubed cream cheese, cover till melted, and blend all together adding in any extra seasonings. I did add some red chili flakes here as well as some extra spices.

Then simmer till all the ingredients heat through

Catch us on Instagram!

You can garnish with anything. 🥑 We loved cilantro, avocado, cheese and a fresh squeeze of lime.

*We felt adding the lime was key! It added just the right notes 😁👌🏼

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Tammy♥️

Corn Chowder

Even though it’s been so incredibly hot this month, this recipe caught my eye. I decided this chowder recipe looked good enough to try even though I’d been sweating bullets lately.

I usually only make soups in the fall and winter. However, my daughter came up from GA with her 4 month old to stay a month. Having been on prednisone for 3 weeks (for my 3 ongoing, herniated discs) well, as usual, it made me SO hyper, able to stand long hours again and cook to my heart’s content. 😜 I really miss doing things pain free and cooking being one of them. Getting old can really stink!

In Indiana, the fresh corn 🌽 is becoming abundant and it just sounded so yummy to add some right off the cob to complete this recipe.

I actually tweaked a recipe from Natashaskitchen.com this time and let me tell you the family absolutely loved it! My husband said it’s one of his new favorites now. Mine too!🤗

Do you love corn? Try it out for yourself?

Here’s the direct link to her recipe:

https://natashaskitchen.com/corn-chowder-recipe/

Note: Hayes never had clothes on because it’s been so hot around here. 🔥 😓

Here’s a picture of our first granddaughter Chloe enjoying her first corn on the cob, too!

Quick Naan Pizzas

Have you ever used prepackaged Naan bread? What about for individualized pizzas?

I just bought some Naan at ALDI (as well as my other ingredients) and began experimenting and these mini pizzas turned out great! And they are quick and easy to make. Plus it’s fun individualizing them. 🍕

I was thinking I can’t wait for my grandkids to grow up then they can come over to make their own lil pizzas. (Wait, I don’t want them to grow up!) 🤗

You really can use any ingredients you want, but here’s the ingredients I used:

Naan bread

Tomato paste

Italian seasonings ( all types)

Chopped sweet peppers

Shredded cheese

Tomatoes

Pepperoni

Hot honey

Watch our video. 😁

Instructions:

I baked them after they were all assembled for only 15 minutes at 350 degrees but every oven is different, so be sure to watch them; you don’t want them too brown. And then, I broiled them at the last minute to melt everything and make it all brown and toasty on top! Yum!😋 Oh, And I’ve been hearing about people ordering this hot honey from Amazon to put on top of their pizza, but I actually found some at Aldi. I have to say it is delicious on top of pizza.

They were hubby approved, and we’ve now made them more than once. 👌🏼

Tell me if you try making them.

Follow us on Instagram for more recipes and decor!

@morgie_and_me

Mexican Pork Carnitas Bowls

When I’m bored I cook.

When I’m stressed I cook.

When I’m wanting to rest my mind, I experiment with recipes. 👩🏻‍🍳

Well, I’ve been laying around the house for three weeks after surgery hardly able to move. So today, I can finally get up and move more freely able to do a little more, and use my arms. I’ve been so stir crazy I felt I should cook. I mean really cook. I mean like cook all day into the night cook. (Presently, I have a bowl of potato salad in the fridge that could feed an army.) We’re empty-nesters, there’s only two of us. Yep, I made enough food for an army today ha!

We usually shop at ALDI, so I tried to use up items we already had on hand.

One item we have really enjoyed are these packages of pork carnitas from ALDI. You just place them in the microwave, so they’re so easy to use. I usually shred the meat after I heat it.

Here’s the microwaveable package from ALDI.

I mean this was a really yummy meal with great flavor.

Here’s the ingredients:

1 pkg pork carnitas from Aldi.

Romaine lettuce, chili beans, shredded cheese, sour cream, sweet onions, rice, bell peppers, butter, olive oil, taco seasoning, avocado, salsa, Catalina salad dressing…really just anything else you want in your bowl.

I made mine different from my husband’s to try to be more “keto friendly” so I didn’t add the rice, beans nor the salad dressing. I also substituted the sour cream for plain Greek yogurt.

Instructions:

First, I thinly sliced bell peppers and onions and sprinkled them with the taco seasoning, then grilled them in olive oil and unsalted butter. These added the best flavor to our bowls! Do this step!

Yum!

Then, I heated up my Package of Carnitas as well as the chili beans and I just begin preparing my bowl with all the items listed above.

For our salsa recipe go here:

https://thentherestwo.com/2017/01/12/easy-salsa-recipe/

Best Jiffy Corn Bread Recipe

Jiffy Corn Bread with Added Creamed Corn🌽

This recipe is the most delicious recipe for cornbread I have ever found. The addition of creamed corn just makes this cornbread moist and much like a dessert to be quite honest. 👌🏼 This cornbread recipe is fast, it’s easy… it won’t get stuck in your throat! 😉 Does that ever happen to you?

Anyhow, I believe you and your whole family will love it! (Not sponsored in anyway. I just love it. It’s my go to recipe.)

Cornbread recipe:

2 eggs

2 boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

2/3 cup milk

14oz can of creamed corn

2 Tablespoons butter

Put an 8” or 12″ cast iron pan in the oven at 375F for about 15 minutes. *

Mix together the 2 boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix with the eggs, milk, and creamed corn.

Pull the cast iron pan out of the oven, drop in the butter and swirl it around, make sure it gets up on the walls of the cast iron pan.

Pour the batter into the cast iron pan, and bake for 30 minutes. Check for doneness, the edges of the crust should be starting to brown.

Let it cool for a few minutes, run a spatula up under the pan to loosen the corn bread. Flip onto a plate.

*I’ve also made it into muffins and also in a loaf pan instead of the cast iron pan.

ENJOY!!

Check out my ham and beans for a good bowl of soup to go with it! here

A Quick White Chicken Chili Recipe

Today, my husband came home early from work because he was down in the back, again. 😞 He had a long drive home, and then I heated up a water bottle and sent him off to bed. Poor guy! I know all about horrible back pain. It ain’t no fun!

Meanwhile, I got busy on a cozy fall meal. A quick white chicken chili for when he woke up. 😊

I had previously shopped at ALDI and this was a last minute dinner idea, but I had everything I needed already on hand. (ALDI is our favorite store!👍🏼)

Here’s what you’ll need:

Olive oil & butter

2 large skinless chicken breasts or 8 tenderloins-cubed

3 stalks of green onions-chopped (I like to use scissors) or 1/2 a sweet onion cubed

*8 small sweet peppers-from ALDI-cubed (adds variety of color & sweetness. But this is optional.)

Seasonings to your taste: garlic powder or garlic cloves, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, basil & thyme (basically anything you personally like😁) You could even add a taco seasoning packet.

1 T chicken base (optional)

2- 15.5 oz. cans of great northern beans drained (Any white bean will do.)

2 cans of chicken broth

1/2 can of corn

1 C water (add water according to how thick or thin you like your chili)

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1 block of cream cheese (cubed)

1 T lime juice (optional)

1 small bunch of cilantro chopped (optional)

*And if you want it a little spicy, add some chili flakes, jalapeño or green chilis. 🌶

Directions:

Season the cubed chicken very well.

Cook the chicken in a skillet with olive oil and butter. Slightly undercook it so that when you continue cooking it with all the vegetables, it doesn’t get tough.

Remove from skillet and sauté peppers and onions adding a little more oil and butter.

Add the chicken back with water along with the remainder of the ingredients except the heavy whipping cream & cream cheese.

You’re going to bring everything to a boil, and you don’t want the cream to curdle. Once roughy to boil, and the chicken is completely done, add in the cream and cubed cream cheese then bring it to a slow simmer.

Now you’re ready to serve!

Top it with sour cream, avocado and a slice of lime. 🤗

It is so yummy!👌🏼

I must admit, I went back for a couple bowls. 😉 It was a perfect meal for this cozy, fall day. And hopefully it will help the hubby feel better too!

I also made my favorite cornbread recipe to go along with this yummy chili.

Here is the link to that recipe: 👉🏼cornbread

Do you like a white chili? **************************Here’s a little fall video I made for ya to put you in the cozy mood. 🤗🍁

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Season Finale Salad

I ate this almost every other day, all summer, and honestly… probably will continue.🤗

But when the ingredients are so fresh it is my favorite go to. It’s quick to make, healthy and flavorful.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Avocado

Tomatoes

Feta

Cucumber

Salt, pepper, thyme, garlic powder

Drizzle with apple cider vinegar & olive oil OR balsamic vinegar.

Quick, Cheesy, Vegetable Casserol

I realized my husband was coming home soon and I hadn’t finished (or even started) cooking dinner,🤦🏼‍♀️ so I quickly ran to look for things. I had steaks for the grill but needed a vegetable side dish.

In the freezer, I found some cauliflower that I had forgotten about. I had quickly chopped then threw it in the freezer as we had to leave for Georgia when we heard our first grandbaby was coming!

I had just bought a bunch of groceries, so I quickly cooked up a lot of things and froze the rest. I also found some fresh broccoli and half a jar of Cheeze Whiz, ricotta and whipping cream from previous dinners. So, away I went creating something quick while trying to use up all these items so they wouldn’t go to waste. I hate waste, don’t you?

Anyhow, it ended up being so delicious we kept going back for more. (And my husband usually won’t eat cauliflower.) One of the yummiest, quickest vegetable dishes I’ve ever made quite honestly.

Hope you can whip it up as quick as I did. 🌪 Or get your kids to eat it by making it taste like mac n cheese ha! 👍🏼

Feel free to substitute some ingredients!

Ingredients:

1 small head of cauliflower

1/2 head of broccoli

1/2 small jar of Cheese Whiz

1/2 C shredded sharp cheese

1/4 C ricotta cheese

1/2 C heavy cream

Seasonings to taste:

garlic powder

onion powder

black pepper

smoked paprika

croutons, seasoned breadcrumbs or herbed stuffing (like I had leftover from last Thanksgiving. ) 😳

2 pads of butter

Instructions:

Boil veggies 🥦 till tender but not mushy. Drain, then add to a deep pan. (Use something you can later transfer to the oven.)

Over medium heat, Stir in the Cheeze Whiz, cream, and spices to taste.

*Remember the Cheeze Whiz is mighty salty already so watch how much extra seasoning you add!

You may have to soften some of this in the microwave before adding to your vegetable pan.

But hold back the shredded cheese for later. 🤚🏼

Gently mix everything together so as not to break up the tender veggies.

Now top with your croutons or stuffing 😁 and the shredded cheese.

Lastly, add your pads of butter and place in the oven broiling till slightly brown.

*Be careful to set a 5 min timer ⏱ or you might burn it like I do most things when I quickly want to “brown” something! 🔥🤦🏻‍♀️

NOTE: This can be keto friendly by shredding your own cheese and omitting the croutons.

Enjoy!

Yummiest and Easiest Cauliflower Mac-n-Cheese (gluten free)

Ok, I happen to be a person who actually likes cauliflower. But all my life, I have LOVED macaroni and cheese. I could’ve solely lived on it actually. (Well anything with cheese.) 🧀🧀

But I’m also now trying to avoid gluten in dealing with this Sjogren’s and Lyme Disease. Sooooo I thought this might be a good combo and away I went with experimentation. 👩‍🍳

My husband is the official taste tester around here and if he says a recipe I come up with is delicious, like this cauliflower mac-n-cheese, then I publish it!👌🏼😁

And we BOTH really loved this, so we hope you do too!

Ingredients:

1 Head of cauliflower

1 Block of softened cream cheese

2 Cups sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 Cup parmesan cheese (opt)

1 Pint of heavy whipping cream

2 T. Plain Greek yogurt (optional) or sour cream

5 Strips of thick bacon (diced) or 1-2 (3 oz. pkgs) of “real” bacon bits

Panko bread crumbs

Seasonings: Black pepper, garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, sriracha hot chili sauce. (To taste… but let me tell you, the more seasonings the better, in my opinion.😁 I’m kind of the seasoning queen, ha. )

Directions:

Chop up the cauliflower. Then boil till it is slightly tender. Drain the water. Mix all the above ingredients except the cauliflower and melt together on stovetop lastly add in the cooked bacon or bits. (But also save back some cheese and bacon bits for toppings.) Place everything in a baking dish and cover with bread crumbs, more shredded cheese, bacon bits and finish with sriracha hot chili sauce.

Finally, broil till everything is lightly browned and crispy on top. 😋

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 🥄🥄

This is not a sponsored post, but I did find everything at ALDIS…Love ALDIS!