Here are some of our favorite and most frequented family staple recipes from our family to yours.  Enjoy!

Easy Tres Leches Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 large can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 large box  vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cup milk
8 oz whipped topping
Bake yellow cake according to box directions.
Take out of oven and immediately pokes hole with a wooden spoon.
Mix the cream, evaporated, and condensed milks together and slowly pour it into the holes and all over the top.
Let cake cool some then cover and refrigerate until cold.
Mix  pudding with 1 1/2 cups milk.
Let pudding set up (only takes a few minutes) and then mix with 8 oz tub of whipped topping.
Frost the cake with the pudding/whipped topping mixture.
Refrigerate to let set up until ready to serve.  About 2 hours.

Easy Chocolate Cheesecake

 2 packages of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 c. sugar
1  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 milk
2 eggs
1 package mini hershey bars (8 pack)
1 c. milk chocolate chips
1 ready make graham crust
Melt Hershey bars & milk in microwave about a minute or until creamy when stirred.  Stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.  Pour in to ready made graham crust.
Melt chocolate chips and set aside.  Mix cream cheese with sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Add melted chocolate chips and mix well.
Poor cheesecake batter on top of chocolate layer in crust.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Note:  I couldn’t wait and we ate this warm.  It was delicious and a total crowd pleaser!  Even for my husband who is not a huge cheesecake fan.

Easy Gooey Butter Cake:

Gooey Butter Cake:
1 pkg. buttercream cake mix
1/2 c. butter
1 egg
1/3 c. cream cheese softened

Gooey Butter:

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

2 eggs
1 lb. box confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together cake mix (just the mix, not the other ingredients called for on the box) with butter and 1 egg.
Pat into an ungreased 9 x 13 inch cake pan.
Cream together cream cheese, 2 eggs (one at a time), powdered sugar and vanilla.
Pour over cake mixture. Spreading to the edges.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Easy Gooey Chocolate Cake:

Gooey Chocolate Cake:

1 pkg. devil’s food cake mix
1/2 c. butter
1 egg
1/3 c. cream cheese softened

Gooey Chocolate:

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips
1 lb. box confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together cake mix (just the mix, not the other ingredients called for on the box) with butter and 1 egg.
Pat into an ungreased 9 x 13 inch cake pan.
Melt chocolate chips. Cream together cream cheese, 2 eggs (one at a time), powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add in chocolate and mix well.
Pour over cake mixture. Spreading to the edges.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Banana Bread

1  1/2 c. self-rising flour
3 bananas, mashed
3 eggs
1 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla1 c. sugar

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add bananas and vanilla; beat well.  Mix in flour slowly.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour or until golden brown.

Crockpot or Stovetop Chili:

1 lb lean ground beef
browned with half onion of your choice
2 large cans tomato sauce
2 cans kidney beans
2 generic packets of chili seasoning
3 heaping TBSP chili powder
3 heaping TBSP cumin
1 heaping TBSP of minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste (it’s in the packet, but I like a little more)

Simmer on low for an hour on the stove or in crock pot on low for 2-3 hours (it’s fine to go for more time on low in crock)Serve with crackers, on a hot dog, or with Fritos and Colby Jack cheese for Frito pie.
Easy Chili Tip:  Use left over ground taco meat or Sloppy Joe filling  from the night before to add to your chili. Makes for yummy chili and gives left  overs a second chance.***

Thick & Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Diced

2 Boxes of Chicken Stock
3 Ribs Celery chopped
1 Cup Baby Carrots chopped (these come out so tender and are a little sweeter than large carrots)
1 Small White Onion
1 Can Cream of Mushroom (or substitute with any cream soup you prefer)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Large Can of Biscuit Dough (10 count) cut in chunks
1/4 Cup Flour
Bring stock to a roiling boil.  Add in salt, pepper, and veggies.
Let simmer on medium-low until carrots are fork tender.
Add chicken chunks and cook for 10-12 minutes or until chicken is done.
After chicken is done, add in cream of mushroom soup and let simmer on medium for about 5 minutes.
Skim from top one cup of simmered broth (no veggies or chicken) and put in separate bowl (it’s hot, so be careful).  Bring remaining mixture to a boil while preparing the roux.
Slowly add in 1/4 cup of flour to make roux.  Whisk quickly and constantly to avoid lumps.
Once roux is smooth, slowly add back to pot stirring constantly.  This will thicken the soup and give it a rich, creamy texture.
Add chunks of biscuit dough and boil until the dough puffs and floats up to the top.  This won’t take long, so keep an eye on it.

Crockpot Enchiladas

1 Small Rump or Shoulder Roast

1 Can Green Enchilada Sauce
1 Can Red Enchilada Sauce
10 oz Colby Jack or Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
1 Package Flour Tortillas
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp pepper
Put roast in crock pot and add salt and pepper.
Cook roast in crockpot until meat is tender and easily pulls apart with fork.
Drain juice from pot and shred meat with a fork.  Add meat back to crock and stir in can of green enchilada sauce.  Turn crock to high and cook for 30 minutes.
Keep out 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese and put to side.  This will be for topping off the enchiladas before baking.
Spoon roast mixture in to flour tortillas, add cheese, roll up, and place in to greased 9×13 Pyrex dish.
Pour can of red enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle remaining shredded cheese.
Bake at 325 for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve with a side of rice and black beans.

Mini Meat Loaves

1  1/2 lbs Lean Ground Beef

1 Egg
1/4 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
2 ribs Celery chopped
1 small White Onion chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Mix ingredients and spoon in to muffin pan.  Top with tomato sauce (I used left over spaghetti sauce).  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Freeze left overs.
*** Easy Tip: Throw the veggies, salt, pepper, and egg in the food processor.  Add to meat mixture.  This makes it super easy and the meat loaves come out so moist! ***

Beef Empanadas

Cold, left over pot roast and potatoes: at least 2 cups or more (see Granny’s Pot Roast recipe)
1  1/2 cups Colby Jack Cheese shredded
One 4 ounce can diced green chiles
One 4 ounce can jar diced pimentos
Two refrigerated pie crusts (generic works great!)
In food processor, chop roast, potatoes, & any left over onion & celery pieces left from the roast.
Put in large bowl and add cheese, chiles, and pimentos. Mix well.
On pizza stone stack pie crusts and cut in to quarters with pizza cutter. Should now have 8 triangles to work with. Stuff each triangle with mixture. Fold over and pinch ends together.
Arrange on pizza stone and crimp each end with a fork to ensure they don’t pop open during baking (not to mention they look pretty). Cut three slits in the top of each empanada to release steam while baking.
Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.
*** Tip: Not to worry if you have mixture left over. It freezes and thaws beautifully. Just add to pie crusts and enjoy!
*This recipe works with chicken too. Use left over chicken and roasted potatoes with the above ingredients. *** ~~~

Granny’s Pot Roast

5 pounds (or so) beef rump or shoulder roast thawed
1 medium white onion diced
3 ribs celery diced
1 roma tomato
2 cups baby carrots
2 peeled and diced russet potatoes (or about 6 or 7 diced red potatoes with skin)
garlic salt & pepper
Sprinkle both sides of roast generously with garlic salt.  Repeat with pepper (not generously, just a sprinkle over both sides).
Sear all sides in pan over medium-high heat.  Place in crockpot  and add veggies.
Cook on low 5-6 hours.  If cooking in dutch oven, bake at 325 for 4 hours.

Easy Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

Boil and shred two chicken breasts and put aside

In saucepan combine:
1 can or rotel
1 can of cream of mushroon
salt and pepper to taste (just a dash of each will do)
about 1/4 of a velveeta cheese block
Stir until all melty. Boil your spaghetti noodles and combine it all together once the noddles have been strained.

Easy Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

8 tomatoes – peeled, seeded and diced
8 cups tomato juice
28 leaves fresh basil ribboned (ribbon a few extra and use as garnish when served)
2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 stick butter softened
One 24 oz can of tomato sauce
1 cup mozerella shredded (plus 1/4 cup to garnish top when served)
salt and pepper to taste
Place tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 45 minutes. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the stock pot.  Stir in can of tomato sauce.
Place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the heavy cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Do not boil.
Remove from heat.  Add mozerella and stir until melted.  Laddle in to bowl.
Sprinkle cheese and basil ribbons to top.

Bacon-Herb Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 to 1 1/2 pound each) trimmed of excess fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
12 fresh sage leaves chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 package thick sliced bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place garlic in a small ramekin and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and wrap in foil.
Bake until aromatic, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
Arrange tenderloins on work surface. Rub the top each tenderloin with the roasted garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Mix together the rosemary, sage, and thyme.  Scatter half of the mix over each garlic rubbed tenderloin.
Split bacon between each tenderloin and wrape around each holding in place with toothpicks or butcher’s string.
Sear each tenderloin in 2 TBSP of olive oil until golden brown on all sides. Transfer seared tenderloins to medium roasting pan or dutch oven.
Place in the oven and cook at 375 to medium doneness about 8 to 10 minutes.
Transfer tenderloins to cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Remove twine or toothpicks before carving.
*** Tip: This meal freezes and reheats beautifully. Thaw and heat in oven at 325 for 8 minutes on each side. Stays just as tender, juicy, and flavorful as it did the night it was freshly cooked. ***