Tag Archives: recipes

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

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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.

RECIPE-KINDA:

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!

Toni’s Tasty Tostada Tuesday

20 May

“When people ask me if I like Mexican food, I always reply, “Growing up, we just called it food.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Talk about a lazy Tuesday. I finally got dressed somewhere around 2, then whiled away the day. It was pretty hot out, in the 90’s, so I wasn’t planning on walking until around 7:30. I went out on the back porch around 7 pm with a tall glass of water and my phone, so I could call my sister.

After we made some small talk, she asked me if I did anything today. I said, “Why yes! I did DIDDLEY and I did some SQUATS and I combined them and did DIDDLEY SQUAT today.” Ha ha, it wouldn’t be so funny if it wasn’t so true.

I did go out for a nice evening walk, about two miles, then made some dinner. It is Taco Tuesday, but I made tacos twice last week, so today I made Tuesday tostadas, still trying to use up some left overs.

I had some leftover pot roast. No, I didn’t make a pot roast. Kathy across the street did, and she gave me a big container full. So I sautéed thinly slice pot roast and some red onion, and added about three big tablespoons of Bernard’s Gourmet Foods Tomato y Red Pepper Salsa. A little goes a long way, adds wonderful flavor and just a tiny spiciness,

Then I warmed up two flour tortillas in a dry pan until they got crispy. No need to fry. Then, added the meat mixture, top with pepper jack cheese and warmed on low with a lid so the cheese melted.

Then, I cut up some spinach, (I prefer spinach instead of iceberg lettuce-healthier) added a couple more teaspoons of salsa, a drizzle of ranch dressing, and voila. You can substitute what you like, but I use what I have on hand.

My inspiration on Tuesday always comes from my friends Chef David and Michele Bernard and their delicious salsas. (Which I always happen to have in the pantry.) When I see Chef David’s video on Facebook every Tuesday, I get very hungry and very inspired.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tasty Tip of the Day

13 May

“The best recipes are the ones that you just make up.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I was going through baking withdrawals last week, but I wasn’t sure what to make. I made a batch of my usual brownies with mini marshmallows, sprinkled with chocolate chips. But, I needed to experiment with something different.

I baked a box of German chocolate cake mix, and I didn’t worry about how it looked because I was going to mush it up in a bowl with a can of coconut pecan frosting. But, I also had some homemade cream cheese frosting in the fridge that I wanted to use up. So, I put the frostings in a big bowl and crumpled the cake mix and blended.

Guess what? It was too mushy, too wet, and wouldn’t form into a ball. Soooo, fortunately, I had another box of cake mix in the pantry, so I decided to bake another box. I let that one cool a bit, then crumpled into the previous mushy mix. Ok, that was better.

I rolled the cake/frosting mixture into small cake balls, set on a wax paper lined cookie sheets, and also into an Ethel M candy box, that I just so happened to have recently finished consuming. Then, refrigerated them while I melted the chocolate for dipping. Just a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips and about a teaspoon of vegetable oil, and melt over a makeshift double boiler.

I dipped the endless little piles of tiny cake balls into the yummy melted chocolate.

Of course, I had to taste-test a few to check for quality assurance. They passed. Then, I packaged up the majority of the delightful delicacies, and distributed the bon bons and brownies to friends and neighbors. Mostly porch drop offs.

I was assured by the recipients that they were delicious. (I managed to save a few for future consumption.)

“When the going gets tough, the tough get baking.”

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni? (With Bernard’s Gourmet Salsas)

30 Apr

“When the world gives you lots of leftovers, have a lot of fun making tasty meals.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I love to cook, and when I have leftovers, it’s fun to see what I can create that’s easy and tasty. I had some leftover chicken tenders, and I was able to make three or four different meals with it.

I diced and sautéed the chicken and half an onion. Monday, I made quesadillas with some of the mixture using pepper jack cheese and Bernard’s habanero salsa. Yesterday, I made flour tortilla tostadas with the chicken mixture and black beans, cheese and spinach, more salsa, of course.

Today, I made a couple of corn tostadas with the chicken, black beans, cheese, and spinach. I used those already pre-made shells that are so good and inexpensive. You could feed a family of five with these 27 small shells.

I grabbed a small ziplock of avocado from the freezer earlier, (yes, you can freeze avocado with a little lemon) mushed it up, snipped off a corner, and drizzled on the baby spinach topping the shells. I just happen to love spinach instead of lettuce.

I popped them in the toaster oven a couple of minutes to warm the shell and melt the cheese, then put a couple of teaspoons of Bernard’s Tomato y Red Pepper Salsa, some spinach, and little avocado.

Delicious! The problem is… I still have enough leftover for another meal. 🤦‍♀️

Luckily, you never get tired of tasty tostadas.

My Marvelous Manic Monday

21 Apr

“Just when you think your day is going to be one big boring maleficent mess, your doorbell rings with a surprise.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I was having another lazy morning when I received a text from my neighbor. He asked if I could stop over at his house to take in a package that arrived while he was at work. Wow! A purpose, a goal, an inncentive to get out of my jammies before 5pm. Yay! I walked over and grabbed the package and put it in his house, then continued to walk about two miles. All this before noon! Wow!

When I got home, I sat on the sofa (I think there’s a big dent in my spot) and made some phone calls and checked Facebook, with the rest of the day looming gloomily ahead. Then, the doorbell rang.

By the time I got to the door, a young man was walking away and there was a small shopping bag at the door, and the young man waved and walked to his truck. I looked at the bag wondering what it could be, as I didn’t order anything. OH!!! It said “Bernard’s Gourmet Foods.” It was a beautifully wrapped jar of salsa and a lovely note from Michele and Davis Bernard, saying how much they appreciate my sharing there Facebook posts and videos.

I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t the WORLD’s BEST EVER SALSA, I probably wouldn’t be sharing. It really is wonderful. We have been friends since way back when David and Michele were just making salsa at home for us fortunate friends that used to come for visits and parties. Now, they have their salsas at HEB stores and several other stores and shops. They are famous!

Chef David has been making these wonderful videos on Facebook, sharing some of his wonderful recipes with their salsa with the rest of the world.

So, I decided to make my own video. It was such a coincidence because I was planning on making this yummy grilled sandwich using my salsa mixture tonight for dinner. Coincidence or karma?

My sandwich was fantastic. I was going to make another one to share, but I changed my mind. I’m having another one. 🤦‍♀️

Thank you Michele and David…you ROCK!

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

16 Apr

“Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.” 

~M.F.K. Fisher

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If you recall, yesterday, I was cooking up a storm. I made a huge pot of ham/bean/veggie soup, but everyone that I offered soup to in my neighborhood, graciously declined. I probably could eat most of it and freeze some, but I wanted to share. I guess not everyone likes the beans or the tomatoes or the ham or the veggies. That’s ok. I’m not offended.

So today, when some of my friends over at the apartments were doing a progressive potluck, offering curbside for those of us living further away, I offered to drop off a dessert when I picked up the curbside meal. I said I didn’t need any food for me, but I’d pick up Mr. Jerry’s dinner and save him a trip, as he lives closer to my side of town.

I decided the easiest and tastiest dessert to share and dispense would be my favorite peanut butter Snicker no bake mini pies. (Watch video for directions and recipe)

While the desserts were setting up in the fridge, I decided to make some pasta for Mr. Jerry and Mr. Mike. I know they like pasta. So, I made a big pot and divided it up, and put in containers for transport. I didn’t even save any for myself. I still have lots of soup eat. Sometimes I just get on a roll and I have to cook and bake and share. It’s a Toni thing.

I dropped off the pasta and four mini pies for my neighbor, Mr. Mike. Then, I drove over to Helene’s, and she had my curbside pick-up of chicken cacciatore with bread, cobbler, whipped cream, and salad, packed up and ready to go. I drove over to Mr. Jerry’s and dropped the wonderful meals from “the gang,” along with what I made. He was delighted and now has enough food for the rest of the week. He sent us a thank you photo.

Sharing is caring, and I have the sweetest caring friends in the world.

When you can’t hug someone, give them food. Almost just as good.

Saturday:) Super-Duper Fruity Upside-down Dump Cake

7 Apr

“I was never one to follow recipes. I just follow my heart and see what’s in the freezer.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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As promised, I wanted to share the recipe for my fruity upside-down cake that I made for my friends at Towne Creek yesterday. Because I wanted to use a really big pan, I used two yellow cake mixes. I followed directions on the back, but used a tiny bit less water.

I had some canned apple pie filling in the pantry, but looked in the freezer to see if I had some other fruit to put in. I always end up buying more fruit than I can consume, (because I go out to lunch too often) so I freeze the extra.

I found some mango, blueberries, and strawberries, so I added it to the canned apple pie filling.

First, I lined the pan with foil. While the oven was pre-heating, I put a stick of butter in the pan and put in the oven to melt. Once melted, I added some brown sugar. How much? Hmm? Somewhere between one and two cups, enough to cover the bottom and mix with melted butter.

I spooned the fruit mixture on top of brown sugar butter mixture, then topped with cake mix. Two boxes of mix was a little too much, but one would have been too little. So, I made a smaller apple upside cake for my Fire station friends with the extra batter and another can of apple filling.

I baked at 340 because it was one of those dark shiny pans. I checked it after about 25 minutes and it was still gooey in the middle. Then, I realized maybe I should cover it with foil so it wouldn’t burn on top before the middle finished baking. I never trust a timer. I just touch it to see when it’s done. This one took over 30 minutes. The smaller Apple one was done before the big one. I didn’t get a good picture of the finished fruit one because I took it warm to Towne Creek. So, I flipped it with a spatula in sections and added ice cream.

Oh yes, the reason for the foil is, when you flip the cake onto a platter, it’s easier to put a platter over the pan, flip it over, then remove the foil to reveal the pretty fruit. I had enough left over to give some to the ladies to take home and some to share with some neighbors. Oh, and an entire 9×12 cake for Station 9.

This is a very easy yummy cake and a good way to use up any extra fruit in the freezer or getting too ripe in the fridge.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

7 Sep

“There’s only one recipe in my cook book. Ingredients: Love, Preparation time: All your life, Serves: All friends and family, and enough left over to share.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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When I cook and bake, I don’t mess around. I never learned to cook for one, so when I go through the trouble of a culinary endeavor, I make sure there is plenty to share. Deciding to make some of my favorite chocolate chip cookies, I pulled out my well worn favorite cookie recipe. I really need to copy it down, as it’s worn and torn and probably over  25 years old. I love it because it calls for flour and ground oatmeal, 9 cups total. (I don’t grind it too fine, then even reserve a cup or two of it whole) Being an over achiever, I always double the recipe. Yes, 18 cups of flour/oatmeal, 4 cups of butter, 8 eggs, etc. I think I used 5 bags of chocolate chips. (No bars chopped)

I can’t fit all the ingredients in one bowl, so I just mix the butter, sugars, eggs etc., in the mixer, then scoop out half of the wet portion, working from there.


I make a big mess, flour flying all over, wrappers flapping around, music playing in the background. It’s an all day event.


I always like to save a small lump of the mixture to add peanut butter to. Yum! Peanut butter cookies, dredged in sugar before baking, then dipped in melted chocolate on the ends, like Mrs. Fields used to do. 

Now, here’s my tip. I make this huge conglomeration and store in the fridge. I take some of the mixture and form into rolls with Saran Wrap. These can be frozen or given to friends. I gave a couple rolls to Jim to take back home with him yesterday.


The reason I doubled the recipe is so I can have plenty of cookies to bake fresh and take over to Fire Station #5 and #2 for Septemebr 11. I’ve been taking baked goodies to my local fire station every 9/11 since…well…since after the first 9/11. This year, I’ll probably stop by on 9/10, because the stations are usually involved in some commemorative  ceremony or out on calls on 9/11. Scoop or slice, both are nice. (A little rhyme)

Parchment paper on the cookie sheets prevents them from sticking and burning, and the sheets can be used over and over, and even flipped over for more usage. No parchment paper, no problemo. Cut open a brown sandwich bag, works great. Plus, I do a LOT of baking, so I invested in the Airbake insulated cookie sheets. They cost a little more, but I’ve had them for eons. A good investment. But, the parchment or brown bag helps any surface.

This small batch is going with me to my St. Gabriel support group tonight. 

Ah…just out of the oven now…kitchen smells good!



Or lots of love and lots of butter!

Sunday: The Domino Effect

29 Apr

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You know how one thing leads to another…and another…and another? It’s the domino effect. Last week, when I went for my weekly trip to the grocery store, I found some pretty great sales. There were some super in-store coupons and a few can’t pass up specials. I had bought a couple of packages of cream cheese at regular price the week before, but this week the eight ounce package was only fifty cents! What? I had paid $1.99 earlier. So naturally, I bought eight of them. I’m always baking and making dips, so this was too good to pass up. Glancing at the sale flyer, I noticed eggs were on sale 99 cents a dozen. My inner karma was saying, “Cheesecake.”

Friday, I had made a bazillion little mini cheesecakes, and had left over batter that I used to make a 9×12 slab of plain old cheesecake filling. I still had about 10 mini cheesecakes and the slab leftover after Friday’s tea party. So, today I cut the mini’s into quarters and dipped them in chocolate, of course. Then, I cut the slab in half, put strawberry jam on one half, topped with the other half and froze it. Once frozen, I cut into tiny squares and dipped those in chocolate. All of the dipped bite-sized chocolate delights were then frozen and popped onto many small ziplock bags to be used for emergency chocolate fixes and functions. They freeze very well, and I can sneak into one of the bags and take out one little bite and not feel to guilty. It’s when I take out five or six that I feel guilty.

Thus, the domino effect. Cream cheese and eggs on sale leads to cheesecake, which leads to left-overs, which leads to little dipped chocolate bites, which leads to… well, I guess leads to having to go to the gym and work overtime at Zumba class. Down go the dominoes!

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A Good Friday

30 Mar

It was a good Good Friday. How was your day? I got up at the crack of dawn. Well, there really wasn’t a crack, as much as a full-fledged right smack in your face sunshine pouring in the windows morning. My plan for the day was to get up early and start baking a zillion cute cupcakes with the marshmallow Peep bunnies on top. Everybody loves them.

It was a massive production. While the mixer was blazing with the first batch of yellow cake mix, the oven was reaching 350 degrees. I put paper cupcake liners in 2 pans of a dozen, and started pouring in batter, adding a teaspoon of cherry pie filling in the center. While the cupcakes were baking, I started mixing up the cream cheese frosting, adding a little green food coloring. Then another batch of chocolate cupcakes.

Several hours and 48 cupcakes later, I placed pink and yellow Peeps on top of each one, using a pretzel stick instead of a toothpick to secure the bunny. Then I put a dab of frosting on a mini marshmallow for a bunny tail.

The first dozen went over to Fire Station 5. I took a couple over to Kerri and Justin at Papa Murphy’s when I picked up my pizza for dinner later. Six more went next door to the triplets and the family. Then, it was 2 pm and time for my senior art group. They enjoyed the special bunny treats. Who wouldn’t?

There are a few more unfrosted cupcakes left, but I’ll frost them fresh in the morning and find a few more folks to share them with.” Nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven.”

Oh yes! I always like to make a funny face with the mixes. What do you think?

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