Tag Archives: recipes

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’, Miss Toni?

15 Sep

Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne


And to add to the above quote, it should also be entered into without a recipe or timetable.

Those of you who know me well, know that I love to cook. Yes, I do so with complete abandon. Hmm… I’ve probably abandoned a few projects too.

As I’ve mentioned before, being Mexican-American, I like to make “food.” You may call it Mexican food. So yesterday, when my neighbor Kathy asked if I wanted to go to dinner for Taco Tuesday, I said, “Why don’t you just come here and I’ll make FOOD.”

I made chicken quesadillas with all the fixins’ and Kathy brought all the liquid refreshments for margaritas.
I wanted to share my no-recipe recipe for black eyed pea and bean salsa stuff, just in case you missed it a previous time. It goes well with anything or just as an appetizer with tortilla chips. It also made a visit to my friendly fire stations for 9/11 and several friends and neighbors.
4 or 5 cans of corn, drained, dry roasted in a big pan (casueala above) When corn starts to brown, add a swig of vegetable oil, add two big cans of diced tomatoes, 5 or 6 or 7 cans of black eyed peas (drained), 2 or 3 cans of black beans (drained) 1 jar of salsa, and a jar of sliced pickled jalapeños (mushed) I put as many cans of stuff as will fit in the big casuela. (Secret ingredient- about a cup of apple cider vinegar.) I simmer for a little while, then let cool.
I put the cooled mixture in jars for sharing. The stuff is always better the next day or two after it’s coagulated and fermented.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni? ~Cha-Cha~ Cha

3 Jun

“Compliments will get you everywhere, or at least something good to eat.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Last Saturday, I had lunch with my friend Karen at Panera. We had a lot of catching up to do, and our leisurely lunch turned out to be a four hour lunch. Even Giligan and the crew only had a three hour tour before being stranded on the island.

During the course of the conversation, talking about kids, grandkids, friends, crazy rainy weather and dumb ass stupid ex-husbands, (did I say that out loud? It was just me) and we started talking about cooking. I was telling her about some of the vegan meals I made when my son came to visit. Then, I told her about my bad ass brownies (trade mark protected-not really.) So, out of the blue, she asked me for my recipe for my black eyed pea/bean salsa dip that I make. Uh oh! 🤷🏻‍♀️

If you know me, I don’t follow recipes. I just throw in stuff I have handy and wing it. I told her the basic ingredients, and she looked like maybe she got the idea.

So today, I decided just to make a big batch of the stuff and then she wouldn’t have to use the trial and error system that I’m known for. She was so kind to invite a bunch of us to the Smiles Charity Concert on Sunday, so this would make a nice thank you. Better than a card. You can’t eat a card. Well, you can if you’re a goat. She’s not a goat, but she’s a great KID. Ha, ((Did I say that out loud?)

I started out by pan roasting 5 cans of corn in a little vegetable oil until it starts to brown and crackle a little, then add salt, pepper and a ton of garlic powder. Well, not a ton, but a whole lot. (Use you’re judgement)
Then, I added about 5 or 6 cans of black eyed peas, 3 or 4 cans of black beans, a few cans of diced tomatoes, one was Rotel. (Drained, of course- beans, not tomatoes) Not pictured- 2 big jars of salsa (not Bernard’s-I save that for special meals) Then, maybe a cup or 2 of apple cider vinegar (that’s the secret) and a little more oil, maybe 1/2 cup? And maybe more garlic powder. I love garlic.

Now, you mix that all together in the largest big ass bowl (did I say that out loud?🤦‍♀️) that you have. I counted. I used about 20 cans and 2 big jars of ingredients. I just used what I had in my pantry. Yes, I keep a lot of stuff in my pantry… just for such occasions.

It’s good to refrigerate at least a few hours before serving. But, a day or two is even better. Serve cold with some tortilla chips. My favorite are Great Value Salsa Verde Chips from Walmart, but I rarely can find them. I have friends scouting them out for me when they shop. I’m down to my last bag. Oh no!

Now, when you serve this black eyed pea/salsa dip, (I think they call it Texas Caviar), try and get the salsa verde chips and wash it down with a margarita.

Ta- da… you’re welcome…de nada… adios!

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’, Miss Toni? Apple Cinnamon Roll Bake

26 May

“Here’s another one of my detailed recipes… Grab stuff out of the fridge and pantry and bake it . You’re Welcome!”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I made this dessert quite a few days ago, but I didn’t get a chance to share it till now. Or did I? I don’t remember. Old age and sugar overload.

I had 2 cans of cinnamon rolls in the fridge. Last time I bought some, I forgot they were hidden under stuff. They got old and tossed. Not this time. I had these from and center. I had a can of apple pie filling in the pantry, and a few apples in the fridge that were just sittin’. I always have brown sugar, and I had some leftover almond crunch cereal that I smooshed up with a rolling pin.
I layered the bottom of a parchment paper lined pan and smooshed the rolls with my fist until it made a uniform crust.
I spread the can of apple pie filling on top, and thinly sliced my apples.
I put the crunched up cereal in a bowl with a stick of butter and a big handful of brown sugar and “forked it” until it made a crumbly topping that I could sprinkle on top.
I baked it at 350°, but here’s the thing, I put a cookie sheet on top so it would be covered and bake those raw apples and melt that sugar/butter topping. How long you ask? 🤷🏻‍♀️ I dunno? I checked after about 1/2 an hour, then left it in some more. I guess and estimate everything. I took the cookie sheet off a while and let it Brown. When it was bubbly and awesome looking, I took it out. I drizzled on the icing stuff that came in the tube of rolls.

This looks pretty good, but I had mine with a scoop of caramel praline ice cream while it was still warm. 🤦‍♀️

I gave most of the rest away, except for a small portion that I shoved in the freezer. Maybe I jammed it in the freezer? There’s no room in the freezer. 🤦‍♀️

Give this easy no-recipe recipe a try. It feeds approximately a whole bunch of people. (don’t forget the ice cream.)

Saturday:) Some More Vegan Supper Ideas

23 May

“Sometimes it’s not about trying to eat healthy as much as it is trying to use up the leftovers in the fridge.🤦‍♀️”

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I’ll make a big confession. (It’s a Catholic thing) I’ve been eating quite a few vegan meals lately. No, I haven’t gone all vegan or vegetarian on ya. But, when my California vegan son was visiting me during Mother’s Day, we bought a ton of vegan foods and healthy stuff. I still have a lot left.

Yesterday, I had some vegan chorizo and egg burritos, and today I made some vegan quesadillas. I love cheese, and this vegan cheese is pretty darn good.

I warmed up two corn tortillas with the cheese until toasty in a dry pan, no butter or oil.
I added lettuce/spinach, tomato, avocado with a dollop of Bernard’s Gourmet Foods Salsa. (Of course.)

This was my lovely late lunch on a dreary drizzly Saturday. I was going to go for an evening walk, but it’s raining out there…again! Not again!

So, here’s where the Catholic confession part comes in. 🤦‍♀️ After that awesome healthy vegan lunch, I had some caramel praline ice cream. (Bless me Father for I have sinned. 🙏)

Is there such a thing as semi- vegan?

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni

8 Apr

“Recipes, we don’t need no stinkin’ recipes!”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


As promised, or threatened, depending on how you look at it, I wanted to share my awesome secret un-recipe for tuna salad. I made a whole bunch of sandwiches on Good Friday to share with my senior artists at Towne Creek.

One package of cream cheese softened. I mix and soften with my mixer to soften before adding about 1/4 jar of Miracle Whip or mayonnaise. I just used what was left in my jar. If you don’t blend the cream cheese first, sometimes the mayo doesn’t blend smoothly. (Learned the hard way)
What makes it really special, I sauté one onion and about 3 stalks of finely chopped celery. The onions brown and get sweet. Uncooked onions can be sharp and bitter. (I learned the hard way.)
Then, I added 6 cans of drained tuna. When I blended it together, it was still a little thin, so I added 2 more cans of tuna. The cream cheese will firm up when refrigerated. I kept It in the fridge until getting ready to leave, and made the sandwiches fresh. No one likes soggy tuna sandwiches. I know, that’s a lot of tuna, but I made a lot of sandwiches and had some leftover for me.
I added a little finely shredded lettuce into the mixture before spreading on the bread and buns. I waited till the last minute to make up the sandwiches.

An easy way to make a lot of tuna sandwiches for any occasion. This would work with canned or fresh shredded chicken too, it just happened to be Good Friday and I couldn’t eat meat. (So, no one eats meat.)

Of course, a lot of cupcakes were made too!

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’, Miss Toni?Spicy Mac and Cheese.

11 Feb

“When it’s freezing out, and you don’t feel like going to the store or fancy cooking, just see what you have in the freezer and cupboards.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today was a freezing feeling kinda lazy day. I checked my fully-packed freezer to see what I could make for dinner. I have SO MUCH food in the fridge, freezer, cupboards and pantry. I found a large container of nacho cheese in the freezer and a pound of pork sausage. Hmm? What can I make? Ah, Mac and cheese. There’s always lots of pasta in the pantry. Great comfort food on a chilly day.

3 packages of twirls, sausage, an onion and lots of garlic powder. (I showed the can of cheddar cheese here, but I had already put in the spicy nacho cheese in the pasta.)

I have some friends who don’t like tomatoes, so I made a separate batch of pasta for me with diced tomatoes.

If you’re lookin’ for a recipe, you’re lookin’ in the wrong place. I don’t do recipes.

Yum! Yum! SO GOOD! Cheers, my friends.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

26 Nov

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

― Charles M. Schulz


Every time I think I’ve found the perfect cookie, brownie or cheesecake recipe, I tweak and change and experiment and create something even more amazing,

My brownies are always delicious and special because I put mini marshmallows in the batter, then top with semisweet chocolate chips before baking. Then, I use Helene’s no bake cheesecake recipe, which I’ve added peanut butter before, but this time I wanted chocolate. Recipe: 1 package creamed cheese, 1/4 c. Cocoa powder, 3/4 c. Powdered sugar, 1 tub cool whip, blend and refrigerate. (I doubled mine because I’m an over achiever.)

And what would be even more chocolatey than combining a brownie, a scoop of chocolate cheesecake and a little bit of a Hershey bar? Put them in a festive holiday paper cupcake liner for easy packing. Oh so easy. Oh so good.

I shared with several neighbors, a whole bunch of friends, and both the garbage man and recycling garbage guy. I missed the mail lady today. (Darn- Miss Stephanie loves my brownies,)

I managed to save a couple for myself. Cheers!

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

17 Sep

“There’s only one thing better than the perfect cookie. And that is, dozens of perfect cookies.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


When I come up with a recipe or concoction that is really awesome, there’s no stopping me. When I make my brownies, they have to have mini marshmallows and a cup of chocolate chips. NOW… my favorite cookie recipe is my Better than Mrs. Field’s chocolate chip that’s made with 1/2 flower and half oatmeal, then I add Kraft Caramel Bits and kosher salt on top. OH MAN!!!

I make such a huge batch that I double the recipe so I have plenty to freeze for a rainy day. (It’s been raining a lot…not really… but me like cookies!)

My ancient recipe… with a few additions…

I will NEVER bake any other kind of cookie again. This one is a keeper.

Friday From My Kitchen:) COOKIES!!!!

14 Aug

In the ‘kitchen of your life’, you have a choice as to what ingredients you want to use to build yourself up. 

Selorm Betepe Alfred



I have this very old, weathered, worn, spilt upon awesome recipe for chocolate chip cookies. It’s from a newspaper clipping, and I’m not sure who sent it to me, but it’s my go to recipe for decades…. and I don’t usually use recipes. But, because I’m a renegade cook and baker, I usually like to jazz it up or make massive quantities or BOTH, as in my many cookie marathons.

I haven’t made cookies in such a long time because that was always my Christmas marathon, but the past few years, I’ve been in Chicago all of December visiting family and friends. I sure hope I can make it out this year.

So… here it is.,,.Better Than Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (My variation with Snickers and salted caramel,)

Now here’s where it gets tricky. I always double the recipe SO… I used

4 c. Butter, 4 c. Sugar, 4 c. Brown sugar, 8 eggs, 8 cups flour, 10 cups of oatmeal (5 ground up, 5 whole) 2 bags of chocolate chips, some cut up Snicker bars, 2 tsp. Salt, 4 each baking soda and powder, Kraft Caramel bits (no nuts)

So, when you’re talking 18 cups of dry ingredients alone, you know it’s gonna get messy. More bowls were used in the production of this marathon.

The cookies bake better when chilled, so I made tubes to slice later.

(I also saved some dough mixture to make peanut butter, too) I put in the fridge to cool. The rolls slice nicely and uniformed for baking.

I ALWAYS use parchment paper so the cookies don’t stick or burn. I sprinkled each with the caramel bits and smooshed them on top and some chopped snickers and a tiny kosher salt on top. OMG! Best cookies I ever made. Yum!

The cool part is I still have 5 more rolls to keep in the fridge or even freeze a couple. The bad part is, I checked with my friend who is the McKinney Fire Department liaison, and she said the stations still can’t accept homemade goodies from the public… not even from Miss Toni. So sad… they are getting so skinny.

Look at the size of these cookies!

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

28 May

“Some people are talented creative cooks and bakers. Me, I just slap stuff together and delicious concoctions are created.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


If you know me well, you know I don’t follow recipes. I just kinda fly by the seat of my pants. Well, the other day, I had some left over brownies. ** How is that humanly possible, you ask? Left over brownies? Well, I’m still not able to take goodies over to my favorite fire stations, and I still have that inner burning desire to bake every now and then. You see the dilemma.

I also had some left over peanut butter no bake pie filling in the fridge, so I decided to combine the great flavors.


Leftover brownies (from a mix)

Leftover peanut butter pie filling: 1 cream cheese, 1cup powdered sugar, 1 container cool whip, around 1/2 cup peanut butter.

Melted chocolate chips with a tiny vegetable oil (just a few drops)

Taste better refrigerated.

Oh boy, those were good. I still had a little peanut butter filling left, so I put a scoop on top of an Oreo cookie, to make a few mini pies. Oh yes, I also melted some chocolate chips to swirl on the top for extra chocolates goodness.

I, of course, sampled a few, then dispersed the rest to friends and neighbors who were gracious enough to take them off my hands. Thank goodness for friends!