Monday, April 30, 2012

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Such a nice hearty weekend breakfast.

The biscuits are very fast. Can be whipped up in minutes and make the gravy while the biscuits bake.

May not be the most pretty picture, but it sure is yummy

Drop Biscuits


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees 

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. 

Stir in butter and milk just until moistened.
Drop batter on a lightly greased cookie sheet by the tablespoon.

Bake in preheated oven until golden on the edges, about 8 to 12 minutes.

Sausage Gravy


1 tbsp oil
1 lb of breakfast sausage
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp black pepper
3 cups milk
Salt to taste
a few shakes hot sauce
a few shakes worchestershire sauce

In a large skillet, heat oil on medium

Add sausage and brown

Once cooked through, add flour and pepper.

Stir well and cook 2 minutes

Add milk slowly, while stirring 

Let bubble and thicken. Salt to taste

Serve over biscuits 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Beer Butt Chicken

Best roasted chicken ever. It tastes like the best rotisserie chicken you have ever bought. The skin is amazingly crispy and its moist even if its overcooked a little.

Beer Butt Chicken


3-4 pound chicken
1 can beer
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp lemon pepper
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp dried or fresh parsley

preheat to 450

Rinse and dry the chicken. Dry it very very well.

Pour out (or drink) about 1/3 of the beer.

Mix the seasonings together. Put about 1 tbsp of the mix into the beer.

Put the beer in the middle of a baking pan (with a lip)

Stand the chicken up and lower it onto the beer can so its up the bum and the chicken is standing up.

This helps with stability. You can find it in the grill section.

Mix the rest of the spice mix into the melted butter and oil.

Put your fingers between the skin and the meat. Use your fingers to lightly pull the skin away from the meat, as far down as you can go. Front and back

Pour a little of the butter mix under the skin of both sides of the bird. Rub the rest around all over the skin.

Put in the oven.

Baste the bird every 15 minutes or so

Cook 45 minutes- 1 hour until temp reaches 165

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

I have never made spaghetti squash before. I have always been intrigued by it. Its an interesting gourd. Cook it and the flesh shreds like spaghetti?? What? Yeah it was a lot of fun.

This tastes like hash brown casserole. Minus the cream of chicken soup and all the starch. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

But cover anything in sour cream and cheese and I will probably love it.

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

1 spaghetti squash
1/2 cup of cheese (I used sharp cheddar and a colby jack), plus more for top
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup  cream cheese
1 tbsp vinegar (of your choice, I used white, because thats what I had)
a few pinches red pepper flake
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp dried minced onion
frenches fried onions, optional

Cut the squash in half. Put in a covered dish with a 1/3 cup of water and cook 12 minutes in the microwave (I had to do in two batches.) You could also roast in the oven. 400 degrees, 45 minutes

Let cool for 10 minutes. Shred with a fork.

Mix cheese, sour cream, vinegar, red pepper flake, garlic, and onion. Add spaghetti squash. Mix well.

Top with cheese.

Cook at 375 for 15-20 minutes until bubbly. Last few minutes, add the fried onions.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Paula Deen's Banana Pudding

Regardless how you feel about her favorite ingredients, you have to admit that everything the woman makes is freaking delicious.

This stuff is very good and very rich. I ate about 1/2 of my portion. Which was a good thing. More leftovers.

*Never mind the photo bombing beagle*

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

Adapted from Paula Deen


  • 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
  • 4 to 6 bananas, sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 (3oz) boxes instant French vanilla pudding
  • 1  package 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped and unsweetened
With a hand mixer, combine the pudding and milk. Let sit

In another bowl, combine cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. Add pudding to the mix

Fold in the whipped cream

Layer a 9x13 pan with a even layer of the cookies. Top with bananas. Top with pudding. Top with more cookies.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

From Scratch Slow Cooked Baked Beans

I have never been a fan of homemade baked beans. Why go through all that work when Bush's tastes better?

Well, THIS tastes like Bush's Baked Beans, but BETTER.

This is a easy recipe, but it takes TIME. Trust me. Its worth it. The crock pot does most of the work for you. Its just not a "oh dinner is in a hour. Baked beans would be a good side" type of recipe. Sorry!

Slow Cooked Baked Beans

1 lb dried white beans
1 cup bean water
1/2 lb of bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled
1 tbsp of the bacon fat
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup unsweetened molasses
1/4 cup (or more) brown sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more)
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp liquid smoke (optional, but yummy)
salt and pepper

Inspect the beans for rocks. Soak overnight.

In the AM, drain the beans, fill back up with water and simmer for 1 hour.

Drain the beans BUT save 1 cup of the water!

Mix all the ingredients together in a crock pot. Adjust the seasonings to taste, if necessary

Simmer on low alllll day long. Enjoy!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pineapple Teriyaki Grilled Chicken

This was a family favorite. Its a different twist on boring grilled chicken. Very flavorful and fun.

Pineapple Teriyaki Grilled Chicken


4 chicken breasts
4 pineapple rings
4 slices of provolone


1 cup light soy sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp oil
3 tbsp dried minced onion
3  smashed garlic cloves
1 inch knob ginger, grated

Cover chicken with plastic wrap and hammer down thick parts to make a even piece of meat.

Combine marinate ingredients in a large ziplock bag and add chicken. Let sit in fridge at least 2 hours.

Grill chicken.

In last few minutes, top with pineapple ring and cheese.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hamburger or Hotdog Buns

Next step in my homemade breads project. There is something very satisfying about making every element in a dish.

Hamburger or Hotdog Buns
Adapted from Allrecipes

Makes 8 hamburger or 12 hotdog buns

  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast

1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp sugar

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups flour

  • Combine the yeast, water, and sugar. Let sit 10 minutes.

  • Add to milk, melted butter, salt, and egg.

  • Put the flour in a stand mixer with the dough hook attached.

  • Add liquids and mix.

  • Let machine knead for 5 minutes. If dough is sticky, add flour 1 tbsp at a time.

  • For hamburger buns:

  • Cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll into a smooth ball. Place on a lightly sprayed baking sheet and press down lightly into a flatter disk.

  • For hot dog buns:

  • Cut into 12 equal pieces and roll into about 5 inch long logs.  Place on a lightly sprayed baking sheet and press down lightly to flatten.

  • Cover and let rise 30-35 minutes.

  • Bake at 400 degrees for 12-17 minutes until golden brown.

  • Let cool completely and store in a bag 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sauerkraut Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Holy yumminess. This is a way to take a hot dog up a notch with just a few more minutes of prep.

Sauerkraut Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs
Adapted from Simplyrecipes


4 jumbo kosher hot dogs
2 oz of block sharp cheddar cheese, sliced into sticks
1 cup sauerkraut, drained well
4 slices of bacon (not thick cut)

Cut the hot dogs from end to end, but not cutting all the way through. I cut about half deep and pulled it to open a little more.

Put the sticks of cheese in the cut.

Top with a few tbsp of sauerkraut.

Wrap bacon around the hotdog (not super tight) and secure with toothpicks

Grill, turning 1/4 turns until the bacon is cooked

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Balsamic Bruschetta Grilled Chicken

This recipe is fast. Spend a minute on the marinade and then throw them on the grill that night.

Balsamic Bruschetta Grilled Chicken

4 servings:

4 chicken breasts

Marinade ingredients:
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large crushed garlic clove
pinch of red pepper flakes

4 oz of fresh mozzarella, cut into 4 slices
1 large tomato (on the vine is BEST)
4 basil leaves, rolled tight and cut into strips.
salt and pepper

Cover the chicken with a sheet of plastic wrap and hit the fattest part of the breast to make a even piece of meat so it cooks evenly.

Place in a large ziplock bag and add the marinade ingredients. Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Grill as you would any chicken breast.

At the end, top with cheese.

For topping, quarter tomato and scrape out the seeds. Dice and toss with the basil and salt and pepper.

Once chicken is done, top with tomato salad.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mushroom and Beef Burger

Hamburgers can be so much more than just boring beef thrown on the grill. This recipe mixes diced up mushrooms mixed into the patty. Its delicious.

Mushroom and Beef Burger

makes about 6 burgers.


2 lbs 80/20 ground beef
6 cremini mushrooms, diced in pea sized pieces
1 tbsp Lowrys seasoning
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp pepper

Cheese for topping (suggested monterey jack or swiss)

Simply mix all ingredients together lightly with your fingers (don't over mix) and form into patties. Don't use too many mushrooms or the patties won't form well.

Cook on a grill to desired done-ness and top with cheese

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Avocado and Tomato Potato Salad

I had the most yummy potato salad at my sisters house a few months back. But knowing my foodie self, I can just leave well enough alone. So here is my take on potato salad. Its going to be a summer staple I believe.

Avocado and Tomato Potato Salad
Makes a very big bowlful

5 Russet potatoes
6 hard boiled eggs
1 small red onion, fine diced
1/2 cup dill relish
2/3 cup light mayo
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup mustard
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3 avocados, cubed
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Peel the potatoes and cut into bite sized cubes. Put in cold salted water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until for tender. Cool.

Toss the avocados in the lemon juice.

Add avocado, tomatoes, and onion to the potatoes.

Cut the eggs in half. Scoop out the yolk and put in a medium bowl. Dice the egg whites and add to potatoes.

Add the relish, mayo, half and half, and mustard to the egg yolks. Combine well. Taste and add salt and pepper.

Mix mayo mix into the potato mix. Stir well. Add a little more mayo or relish if needed.

Serve cold.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cream Cheese, Tomato, and Basil Stuffed Chicken Breast

This has so much flavor and it took me about 10 minutes from start to oven.

Cream Cheese, Tomato, and Basil Stuffed Chicken Breast 

Makes 2 servings


2 chicken breasts
4 oz 1/3rd fat cream cheese
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp grated parmesan
salt and pepper
1 cup italian seasoned Panko bread crumbs (or plain panko, seasoned with oregano, basil, parsley, garlic and onion powder)

preheat oven to 400

Make a deep and long slit in the side of the chicken breast. Try to not pop though the other side or the top or bottom.

Mix the cream cheese, tomatoes, basil, parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff half the mix in each breast.

Coat in seasoned crumbs.

Put some oil in a oven safe skillet on medium. Once hot, add chicken breasts. Cook 3-4 minutes.

Flip the chicken and place pan in oven for about 20 minutes.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Blood Orange Pound Cake

I had a bunch of blood oranges in the fridge and I just had to make something awesome out of them. Its spring and I am just loving citrus right now. Citrus just brightens everything up.

Blood Orange Pound Cake

Makes 1 loaf


You will need the zest and juice of 4 blood oranges (might want to get 5 just in case they don't produce enough juice

1 stick butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

2 heaping tbsp zest
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp  salt
2 tbsp juice
6 tbsp buttermilk, or a splash of white vinegar and enough milk to make 6 tbsp
1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup juice
1/4 cup syrup

2-3 tbsp juice
1/2-1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350
Spray a 9x5 loaf pan

In a mixing bowl with a paddle, cream the butter and sugar for 3 minutes

While its running, add eggs and zest.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl, mix juice, milk, and vanilla

Add to mixing bowl, dry, wet, dry, wet, and then dry.

Spread into loaf pan and smooth top.

Cook 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then cool on a wire rack

While it is cooking, heat sugar and juice in a small saucepan over medium. Once sugar is dissolved, continue to cook 3 minutes.

Poke holes all over the cake with a toothpick. Brush cake with syrup. Once absorbed, burst again.

Let cool completely.

Once cool, combine juice and powdered sugar. It should be thick but pourable.

Drizzle over cake. Let set and serve

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nutella Swirl Banana Bread

My friend just out of the blue suggested I make Nutella Banana Bread. I immediately rose the the occasion and tweaked my tried and true banana bread to make the swirl bread. So yummy

Virgin coconut oil is a good use in this recipe. It adds a nice coconut undertone

Nutella Swirl Banana Bread

Makes 2 loaves


1 cups brown sugar
1 cups white sugar
2 cups mashed banana
4 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup oil

3 1/2 cup flour
1/2tsp salt
2tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp clove

2/3rd cup Nutella
1 cup walnuts (optional if you are one of those people that like nuts in bread. :P)

Preheat oven to 350
Spray 2 9x5 loaf pans

In the mixer bowl, mix all wet ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.

Add dry to wet. Mix until just combined

Pour about half the batter into the the bowl that held the dry ingredients

Add the Nutella to the half batter. (Fold in nuts if you desire)

Alternate the plain batter and the nutella batter. Use a butter knife to lightly, briefly swirl the batters.

Cook 60-75 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean

Let cool 10 minutes in pan.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

No Knead Parmesan and Sun Dried Tomato Bread

I love using the Dutch Oven to make bread. When you do a long overnight rise on breads like this and then cook them in the Dutch Oven, you get this amazing chewy crusty bread.  And it really couldn't be easier

No Knead Parmesan and Sun Dried Tomato Bread


  • 3 cups flour (bread flour is best)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 3/4 cup water

If you use the sun dried tomatoes in oil, blot them first.

Combine all the dry ingredients first. Stir in the water using a wooden spoon. Stir until just combined.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-18 hours.

Lightly flour a counter top. Place sticky wet dough on it. Flour hands and shape dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven and Dutch Oven to 450.

Scoop dough up and let it fall into the hot dutch oven. Cover and cook 30 minutes. Take lid off, and cook 15-20 minutes more.