Beef, Bean, and Pepper Jack Baked Flautas

We were all craving Mexican food so I grabbed some lean ground beef from the store and whipped up these tasty baked flautas. The refried beans made them creamy and the beef was really flavorful while the pepper jack gave them a nice kick. I also made a few using cheddar cheese for the kids but they ended up liking the pepper jack best! This was a quick and delicious meal that we all really liked.

Beef, Bean, and Pepper Jack Baked Flautas:
Recipe and photos by For the Love of
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Flour tortillas
  • Refried beans
  • Pepper Jack, shredded
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and break the meat into crumbles. Add the onion as well as the seasonings then cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through and the onion is tender. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the beef mixture from the stove and set aside to cool.

Wrap flour tortillas in wet paper towels and microwave them for 1 minute or until soft.

Place a bit of refried beans down the center of the tortilla followed by a sprinkling of pepper Jack cheese then top with some of the ground beef mixture; roll. Place, seam side down, on a baking sheet that's been coated with cooking spray. Finish rolling the rest of the flautas, then spray each of them with cooking spray.

Place into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes then turn over and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.


Serve the flautas with a side of guacamole, sour cream, and/or salsa for dipping. Enjoy.

Mini Pumpkin Tartlets with Homemade Cinnamon Whipped Cream

My daughter came home with a book from her school library called "Fairy Tale Feasts" A literary cookbook for young readers & eaters. First of all, how cool is it that she checked out a cookbook? I love that! Anyway, after reading the book and looking at all of the recipes, she decided to make these little mini pumpkin tartlets. We had a lot of fun making these tasty little treats together. We topped off each tartlet with homemade cinnamon whipped cream. The combination of the spicy pie, the crunchy walnut topping, and the creamy whipped cream was fantastic. The whole family loved these mini pies and my daughter was filled with pride over her creation.

Mini Pumpkin Tartlets with Homemade Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
Adapted recipe and photos by For the Love of
Original recipe by Fair Tale Feasts by Heidi E.Y. Stemple
  • 7 oz of canned pumpkin (I used half of a 15 oz can)
  • 1/4 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl then mix thoroughly.

Mixing carefully while trying to ignore her brother

Walnut Topping:
  • 2 tbsp walnuts
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cold butter, diced
Grind walnuts, brown sugar, and diced butter in a food processor. Pulse until it is crumbly. Set aside.

Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • Powdered sugar to taste
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Beat together the the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, to taste, vanilla extract, and cinnamon with a mixer until the cream is thick and fluffy. Place into the refrigerator until needed.

Other Ingredients:
  • 2 pre-made pie crusts
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat 2 mini muffin trays with cooking spray.

Lay the pie crusts out on a floured surface. Cut them into rounds using a cookie cutter or drinking glass upside down and pushing down firmly. You should be able to get approximately 10 tartlet shells from each pie shell. Gently press the rounds into the muffin tin. This is easier if you form them into a slight cup shape first so you don't poke a hole through them.

Pour 1 tablespoon of filling in each shell. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the walnut topping on top of each tartlet.

Place into the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes or until pie crusts are golden brown. Let cool. Serve topped with homemade cinnamon whipped cream. Enjoy.

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder AND Giveaway Winner

It's been cold and rainy here in Portland and I was craving something warm and comforting for dinner. I decided to make a big batch of veggie soup. I found this cheesy vegetable chowder recipe on Lulu the Baker that looked amazing. It was simple to make and smelled fantastic while simmering on the stove. It was cheesy, flavorful, and filled with veggies and potatoes. This one was a huge hit with my entire family especially my daughter who asked for the leftovers for lunch the following day.

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder:
Adapted recipe and photos by For the Love of
Original recipe by Lulu the Baker
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup of carrots, diced finely
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp flour (divided)
  • 6 cups of homemade vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups of potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 2 heaping cups of sharp cheddar, shredded
Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the butter has melted add the onions, carrots, and celery then sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic then cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon of flour then stir until well combined and cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetable or chicken broth and mix well. Add the potatoes then cover with a lid and simmer for 35-40 minutes; add the broccoli florets and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until all of the vegetables are softened. Add the last tablespoon of flour to the cheese and toss to coat evenly then add to the soup along with the milk. Stir frequently until the cheese has melted and is well combined. If you want an even thicker soup, mix some broth with some corn starch to make a slurry then add to the soup and stir until thickened.

Side Note: Tossing the cheese with the flour helps the cheese not separate when it's added to the soup.


The winner of the Fujima mini cooking torch is comment number 170:

Renee said...

Found you this morning as I was looking for a new recipe for homemade noodles and I've been lost in your blog ever since. Beautiful photos, do-able recipes of a wonderful variety of foods and even a Thanksgiving give away! You are now bookmarked and I'll be visiting often!

Congratulations Renee! Send me an e-mail with your mailing address so your new torch can be mailed to you.

Spanish Coffee AND a Giveaway!

It was a cold and rainy day on Thanksgiving so my husband decided to make us each a Spanish coffee. What could be tastier than hot coffee with kahlua, rum, a bit of triple sec, and homemade whipped cream? What made this drink extra special was the cinnamon and sugar rim that my husband caramelized with my new Fujima mini cooking torch. It made this warm and comforting drink so delicious!

Spanish Coffee:
Recipe and photos by For the Love of
Made by my husband Chad
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon (more if desired)
  • Lime
  • 1 oz of kahlua
  • 1 oz of rum
  • Dash of triple sec
  • Coffee to the top
  • Whipped Cream
  • Dash of nutmeg
Combine the sugar and cinnamon together and mix well. Pour the mixture onto a small plate. Rub the rim of the coffee mug with lime then place upside down on the plate with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Spin the mug on the plate to evenly coat the rim with the cinnamon and sugar. Carefully torch the cinnamon coated rim of the mug with the cooking torch until it is caramelized and hardened.

Pour the kahlua, rum, and dash of triple sec into the mug then add the coffee to the top. Add a dollop of whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg. Serve immediately and enjoy!

The generous people who sent me my Fujima mini cooking torch offered to host a giveaway of one torch to my readers. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment on this post. If you leave an anonymous comment make sure you leave your name or e-mail address so I will know who to contact if you are the winner. The giveaway ends on Sunday November 27, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

Good luck!!!

Thanksgiving Round Up

Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will hopefully inspire you this holiday season.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Bread and Rolls: