Jiffy Mix Cornbread with Jalapeno and Cheese

Until recently, we were unable to find Jiffy cornbread mix here. Having found it, I searched Pinterest to look for an upgrade to the mix. Below is the enhanced recipe…

Jiffy Mix Jalapeno and Cheese Corn Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
  • 2 Tbsp. of melted butter (I use unsalted)
  • 1/3 cup of milk – I used 2%, but you can substitute whatever you have on hand
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 /2 of 15 oz. can of Niblets corn – drained
  • 1 – medium Jalapeno diced (or) 2 Tbsp. of canned jalapeno diced (optional)
  • 1 egg

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Using a large mixing bowl, add the corn muffin mix and all of the other ingredients and mix until the dough is moist

3. Grease an 8×8 pan and pour the mixture into the pan

4. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25-35 minutes – or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean

5. Bread will still be very moist when done, don’t let that confuse you with it not being cooked.

NOTES

*Adjust baking time per baking dish. Muffins will be ready on the earlier side of time frame (around 15-20 min., loaf pan will probably take the full amount of time because of the depth of the batter – maybe longer, use the toothpick method. you can use an 8×8 or 9×9 pan to spread the batter out a little, and you are probably looking at closer to 25 minutes.

Spaghetti with Beef and Chorizo

By now you know me well enough that I shop at Costco, which means I always buy bulk. Chorizo (Argentinian sausage) is raw when purchased. It must be cooked! Leftover sausages can be easily frozen, which was the case here. Finding that I had all of the ingredients, this recipe went together quickly. Enjoy!

Spaghetti with Beef and Chorizo

Spaghetti with Chorizo and Beef

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
  • 2 cups white onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chorizo sausage, diced
  • 2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup red or green bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 jar passata (tomato puree)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic crema (reduced balsamic vinegar)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 200 grams fresh spaghetti noodles
  • fresh basil leaves, to serve

Method:

Add oil to a large pot on medium heat. Cook onions for 5-7 minutes, until they begin to become translucent. Add salt, garlic and chorizo, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and bell peppers. Season with dried basil, oregano, parsley and chili flakes.

In a separate pan on medium heat, cook the ground beef. Once cooked through, add to the pot with everything else. Add passata, balsamic crema, water, and combine well. Cover with lid and lower heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add fresh spaghetti noodles, and cook for 2 minutes before draining, reserving a little of the pasta water. Add sauce to the pot, combine well, and serve with fresh basil.

Loaded Mashed Potato Mix

What to serve with some beautiful beef filets? Of course, potatoes, but what kind? Since there were no real potatoes in the house, I turned to my fall back potatoes – INSTANT! (I always have a few different kinds of Idaho Instant potatoes in the pantry). For this recipe, I chose the Idaho Baby Reds.

Not wanting to simply whip up according to the package, I found a recipe on Pinterest. (You are NOT surprised.) It was delicious and perfect with the filets and roasted asparagus. So perfect, that I neglected to take a photo…

Loaded Idaho Mashed Potato Mix

Ingredients

  • 6 cups prepared mashed potatoes made with butter and milk (or broth)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix unprepared (I substituted Emeril’s Essence)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • 6 slices cooked bacon chopped
  • 6 green onions thinly sliced (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, sour cream, ranch dressing mix, 1 cup cheese, bacon and onions.

3. Spread into large casserole dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated. Remove from oven and sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup cheese.

4. Return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese on top is melted.

5. Garnish if desired with extra bacon and green onions.

6. Serves 6-8

Salmon and Avocado Salad with Japanese Ponzu Dressing

If you have a nearby Costco, they usually carry Norwegian smoked salmon (the one with three rows of different smoked salmon). This comes in handy for pizzas, pastas, quiche, etc. You can buy “ponzu” soy, but I prefer making this dressing as shown. In place of the arugula I used baby romaine as a bed for the salmon.

Smoked salmon and avocado salad with Japanese Ponzu Dressing

Salmon & Avocado Salad with Japanese Ponzu Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. smoked salmon – thinly sliced
  • Large handful of wild arugulas
  • 2 avocados – diced
  • 1 English cucumber – cut in rounds and halved

Homemade Ponzu Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice or lime juice (or a combination)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 tsp of chili pepper flakes

Method:

1. In a large salad bowl, combine the ingredients for the ponzu dressing, and whisk well.

2. Add in the arugula, avocado, and cucumbers. Give it a good toss. Add in the smoked salmon and lightly toss again. Taste and adjust any seasonings if needed. Enjoy immediately!

More Copycat Recipes

Since the last post of copycat recipes was so well received,here are four more you might like – Emeril’s Essence 2. Everything Bagel Spice 3. Poultry seasoning and 4. Stuffing Mix.

None of the above can normally be found where we live and in desperation I searched Pinterest for more copycats. Not only do I save money on imported originals, but I can also make smaller amounts, I can make fresh amounts as needed.

Emeril’s Essence

  • 2 -1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

    Everything Bagel Spice (mix with cream cheese)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed or whole (optional, but recommended)

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container. You can store the mix on the counter or in a cabinet for a while; I keep it in my refrigerator, to ensure the seeds stay fresher longer (the fats in seeds make them more susceptible to turning rancid).

Copycat Poultry Seasoning

  • 2 tsp. sage
  • 1 ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp. Marjoram
  • ¾ tsp. rosemary
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Mix well. Rub Homemade Poultry Seasoning on the outside of the chicken before roasting. This homemade seasoning can also be used in stuffing and in soups.

Copycat Stuffing Mix

  • 6 cups cubed bread
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 cup dried onion flakes
  • 1/2 cup dried celery flakes
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread 8 to 10 minutes, cool. Dump all ingredients in a large bowl (that has a cover!) shake well to blend.

2. To Use: Combine 2 cups stuffing mix, 1/2 cup boiling water, 2 tablespoons melted butter in a saucepan.

Copycat Spice Mix Recipes

Depending on which country you live in, some of those crucial ingredients you need for a recipe can be difficult to find. Spice mixes are one of the most challenging if you are used to walking into your US or Canadian grocery store and always finding the mix you want in the spice section. Such is NOT the case in Mexico! This is where PINTEREST is so helpful! Below are four of the MOST common ones I never find here in Yucatan. Each is actually cheaper than buying the brand name!!

  1. Cajun Spice 2. Dry Ranch Seasoning 3. Onion Soup Mix 4. Taco Seasoning

Cajun Spice Mix

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 teaspoons celery salt
  • 4 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 4 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

1. Measure out all of your dry spices and seasonings.

2. Stir until well combined.

3. Transfer to a pint-sized mason jar and store with your spices.

Dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning Mix

  • 1 tbsp dry Parsley
  • 1 tbsp Dill
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion flakes or dry minced onion
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Onion Soup Mix

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dehydrated minced onion flakes
  • 2 tablespoons instant beef bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Directions

Combine the onion flakes, beef bouillon granules, and onion powder until blended. Store in an airtight container.

This makes the equivalent of 1 package soup mix. Use anywhere that onion soup mix is called for (recipes, mix with sour cream for a dip, etc).

Taco Seasoning

  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper

1. Measure all of the ingredients into a lidded jar.

2. Shake until all ingredients are combined.

Notes

This recipe makes about one cup of seasoning.

Before each use, give it a good shake. Makes 3 tbsp. seasoning = 1 packet

For one pound of meat, use 3 tbsp. of seasoning plus about 2/3 cup of water.

Thai Cucumber Salad

Great anyday salad, but perfect for a day of NO COOKING, like Saturday or Sunday! And you know we enjoy Thai food whenever we get to our favourite restaurant in nearby Baca. It is a quick and easy salad that even the kids could make if you supervise their cutting! Personally, I used my mandoline.

This salad tasted so good even with regular cucumbers (seeds and all) and I enjoyed it so much that I forgot to get a real picture before it was GONE!

I replaced the red chile pepper with a bit of finely diced red pepper but still used the red pepper flakes for a little heat.

Thai Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 red Thai chile pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 large cucumber, spiralized or sliced
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

1. Combine rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and red Thai chile pepper in a small bowl. Mix well.

2. In another small bowl, combine cucumber, shallots and red pepper flakes. Mix well.

3. Pour liquid mixture over cucumber mixture. Toss until cucumbers are coated well. Place in fridge until ready to serve.

Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Another hot day in Yucatan and time for a cold dinner of salads. Previously I shared 10 Minute Canned Salmon Salad (May 31,2020) and also Chilled Asparagus Salad (last week). Here I am adding an easy Vietnamese Noodle Salad with garnishes of jicama, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes and black olives. The “noodles” are actually rice vermicelli which is readily available in most grocery stores where pasta or Asian foods are displayed. It made a great looking salad bowl! (I took this photo before I added the tomatoes) LOL.

The “salads” can easily be made ahead and assembled as shown when lunch or dinner calls.

Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces thin Asian vermicelli noodles
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 2 cucumbers seeded and shredded
  • 4 green onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts OPTIONAL
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro OPTIONAL
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Lime

1. Soften the vermicelli noodles in a large bowl by covering with boiling water and soaking for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Rinse under cold water, drain, and add to a large bowl. Add the shredded carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts and chopped cilantro to the noodles.

2. In a glass jar fitted with a lid or a bowl, mix together the fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic and crushed red pepper. Pour 3/4 of the dressing over the noodles and toss to coat. Add more dressing if desired. Sprinkle with more cilantro and green onion and a squeeze of lime if desired. Salad can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight, however if making ahead, add the cilantro just before serving.

Chilled Asparagus with Citrus Dressing

For a great summer lunch try this chilled asparagus with some salmon poached in wine. I usually do the salmon with cold green beans (blanched), but not having found any at Costco, I went for using asparagus, which I believe you northerners are seeing IN SEASON. We started the meal with a cold strawberry soup ( which is somewhere on this blog if you do a search). The great thing about this meal is that you can easily prepare it all in the morning and just plate it up when company arrives.

Chilled Asparagus with Citrus Dressing

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-pound asparagus, woody ends cut off
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • Juice of an orange
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. Add in the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Immediately remove the asparagus from the boiling water and place it into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

4. Once the asparagus has cooled remove it from the water, blot it dry with a towel, and place it in a large bowl.

5. In a glass measuring cup combine the remaining ingredients (everything from zest down to pepper) and whisk together to form the citrus vinaigrette.

6. Pour the desired amount of vinaigrette over the asparagus and toss to coat.

7. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, then top with a little more salt and pepper.

Zoodle Pad Thai

After spiralizing my zucchini, I was ready to prepare the sauce and ready my garnishes. It is a fairly simple cooking process, for which I use my trusty wok. Use less zucchini for two people,but otherwise follow the instructions. A spoonful of real peanut butter isn’t a bad option to the sauce? I am addicted…

Zoodle Pad Thai

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 medium zucchinis (about 10-ounces each), made into zoodles with spiralizer ( I used one larger one for two people)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 green onions, sliced in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped

Sauce

  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons less sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce

Garnish

  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Bean sprouts
  • Peanuts
  • Lime wedge

Instructions

For the sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside until needed.

Heat a wok, or large skillet (preferably with high sides) over medium-heat. Add the oil and garlic, and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).

Add the 2 eggs to the pan and lightly scramble for about 30-40 seconds. Add half of the green onions, and peanuts to the skillet, toss for about 30 seconds.

Add the zoodles and the set aside sauce to the skillet. Use tongs to gently toss the zoodles into the sauce to evenly coat all of the zoodles.

Garnish with the remaining uncooked green onions, peanuts, bean sprouts, cilantro and a lime wedge.