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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bacon Seasoned Snap peas

You can also make this dish with green beans,
it's a good dish using a crock pot or slow cooker.
It takes a few hours and the result is amazing.

6 slices smoked bacon
6 cups cold water
1 pound fresh sugar snap peas
dash of brown sugar
dash of ground black pepper
dash of garlic powder
dash of onion powder

In a large saute pan crisp up the bacon.
Then add into a sauce pan the snap peas,
cold water, sugar, pepper and powders.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low,
Simmer covered for about 2 hours or until done.

Sriracha Glazing Sauce

Use to glaze oven baked chicken wings.
Also good on baked pork ribs or chops.
After a few minutes under the broiler
the chicken wings get crispy and taste
just like they were deep fried.
I like the balance of sweet to heat.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup clover honey
1/4 cup Sriracha pepper sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

In a sauce pan melt butter over medium heat.
Stir in the flour until lightly browned,
about 1 minute should do it.
Stir in clover honey, Sriracha hot pepper sauce,
light soy sauce and fresh lime juice, bring to a boil.
Lower heat to simmer until slightly thickened,
about 1-2 minutes should do it.
Use this Sriracha glazing sauce on baked chicken wings.
After baking wings brush with sauce and place under a
broiler until crispy good and spicy golden brown.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Miracle Whip Potato Salad

Some people like Miracle Whip dressing, others not so much.
I'm on the fence with all of the mayonnaise dressings.
This potato salad tastes good but might not be good for you.

6 large red potatoes, cubed
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
3 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
1/2 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
2 celery stalks,; finely chopped
1 Onion, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 or 2 dashes of smoked paprika

In a large pot of salted water,
Cook potatoes 10 to 15 minutes or so
until fork tender then drain. Cool.
Meanwhile in a bowl combine Miracle Whip,
chopped celery, onions, relish, mustard and
sugar, then gently stir in the cooked potatoes.
Garnish with sliced cooked eggs and paprika.

Homemade Pizza Dough

Here's my tried and true recipe for making
a good tasting and easy to use pizza dough.
Now that warmer weather is here I like to
put a pizza together and cook it on the grill.
I use my Kitchen aide mixer with a dough hook.

1 1/4 cups warm (120 degree F.) water
1 packet yeast
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
a few dashes of salt
flour for kneading

Place sugar and warm water in a measuring cup.
Stir in yeast and let sit to proof 10 minutes.
In mixing bowl add in olive oil and salt,
then pour proofed yeast water into bowl.
With mixer on low slowly add in flour to
make a semi sticky dough, scrape sides of bowl.
Add more flour if needed to make dough workable.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and
knead a few times to create a ball of dough.
Cover dough ball with mixing bowl and let rest to rise.
It will take about 1 hour to double in size.
Use dough to roll out a great tasting pizza.

Garlic Dill Pickles

Homemade crisp crunchy and tasty good.
When you've eaten all the pickles from a
store bought jar of dill pickles, use the jar
and juice to make your own homemade dill pickles.
This is easy to prepare and they last weeks.

1 store bought pickle jar, with juice
1 English cucumber, semi peeled
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper corns
2 garlic cloves, peeled
white vinegar or cold water

Add sugar, salt pepper and garlic in jar.
Cut ends off of cucumber and semi peel.
Slice into 1/8 inch rounds and place in jar.
Add water or vinegar to fill to top of jar.
Seal with lid and refrigerate before serving.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Eggplant and Squash Stew

This is half Ratatouille and half Eggplant Caviar.
A good tasting vegetable stew to add to your menu.
I half peeled the eggplant liking to leave skin on.
I used baby kale and Spinach for the added flavor.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large eggplant
1 yellow summer squash
1 green bell pepper
1 onion, peeled
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups mixed fresh greens
dash of salt or to taste
dash of ground black pepper
dash of garlic powder

Slice eggplant, squash, pepper, mushrooms
and onion into serving size pieces.
In a large pot add olive oil and
all other ingredients, cover and simmer
for about 30 minutes until cooked through.
Serve plain, over cooked rice or noodles.

Corn Flake & Beef Meatballs

Corn Flakes lighten up ground beef meatballs
in place of adding day old or dried bread crumbs.
You can also make these meatballs in a slow cooker.

Meatballs: 2 cups corn flakes cereal
2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 large egg, beaten
1 lb. ground beef 85/15
Sauce: 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine corn flakes cereal,
ketchup and egg then mix in ground beef.
Shape mixture into 1-1/4-inch meatballs.
Place in a shallow baking pan lined with aluminum foil.
Bake meatballs for about 12 minutes or until browned.
In a large saucepan, combine remaining ingredients.
Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add meatballs. Continue cooking for 15 minutes.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Grilled Pizza 101

Today I made a pizza on my gas grill.
Yup, there's a first time for everything.
If your a fellow foodie you have to do this.
I had a fresh pineapple sitting on the counter
but this time I resisted in making a ham and...
It takes some planning to grill pizza because
you have to have all of the toppings ready to go.

You need a smoking hot sun infrared type of a grill.
I have to admit that after grilling this pizza,
I sat down for a few minutes with a cold beer.

1 pound pizza dough
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup tomato sauce
2 slices of green bell pepper, chopped
2 slices of deli pepperoni, cut up
2 slices of deli olive loaf, cut up
2 slices of onion, peeled and diced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat your grill to the highest heat possible.
roll out bread/pizza dough to desired shape/thickness.
Spread olive oil on entire rolled out pizza dough.
Have all of your pizza toppings at room temperature,
and ready to place on top of your grilled pizza dough.
Place the rolled out dough right on the grill grates.
(I had a little trouble keeping it together but it worked.
Let dough cook uncovered for about 3 minutes or so.
I used a metal spatula to turn the pizza dough over.
(Here's where the fun begins).
Spread the dough with tomato sauce and toppings.
Close the grill lid and let bake for 5 minutes or so.
remove the pizza and let it sit 15 minutes to slice it up.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pizza Pizza Pizza

Today I made one of my famous home made pizzas.
Using a Pillsbury's Hot Roll box Mix for the dough,
This couldn't be easier to bake up and tastes great.
You can use any ingredients you have on hand a
good amount of mozzarella cheese makes this best.
I usually cut pizza into triangle slices but today
served up the pizza in squares to serve a few more.

1 Pillsbury's Hot Roll Mix
1 yeast packet
1 1/4 cup warm water (120 degrees F.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups tomato sauce
Toppings of your choice:
sliced onions
sliced mushrooms
sliced green peppers
sliced pepperoni
sliced cooked bacon
shredded mozzarella cheese
(any other toppings you desire)
Corn meal for dusting baking sheet

Prepare hot roll mix to make pizza dough in a bowl.
By adding mix with sugar, oil, water and dried oregano
in a Kitchen Aide mixer using the dough hook until smooth.
Remove dough onto a floured surface to knead into a dough ball.
Cover dough and let rise for about 30 to 40 minutes or so.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Roll out dough with additional flour on a working surface.
Sprinkle cornmeal evenly onto a baking sheet.
Place dough on the baking sheet, spreading out as you go.
Spread some tomato sauce evenly over pizza dough.
I like to season this with dried oregano to taste.
Top with onions,mushrooms,peppers, bacon, and a good amount
of shredded mozzarella cheese along with other ingredients.
Place pizza in oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees F.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until the bottom is brown and
the toppings are all cooked through, slice and serve.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mushrooms And Onions

These are good on hot dogs, burgers and pasta.
Serve over cooked white rice for a side dish.
I like the flavor that garlic adds to mushrooms
and the sweet sliced onions get browned up nice.
Don't be afraid of giving the mushrooms a quick
rinse under a cold water spray to clean them.
They don't soak up much water to make them soggy.

1 pack fresh mushrooms
3/4 of a large sweet onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
a few dashes of garlic powder
a few dashes of ground pepper
a few dashes of soy sauce
a sprinkling of salt to taste

Melt butter and heat oil on medium in a large pan.
Clean and slice mushrooms then add them
into the pan and saute for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the garlic powder and black pepper.
Remove mushrooms when wilted and slightly browned.
Peel and slice onion to add to the pan and saute
for about 5 minutes then add in the soy sauce.
Stir and saute for another 5 minutes or until
wilted and starting to brown around the edges.
Sprinkle in the soy sauce and continue cooking
until done to your desired browning then add back
into the pan the mushrooms, give them a stir.
Turn off heat and let them cool slightly in the pan.
Remove to serve or store in an airtight container.
These will last a good week in the refrigerator.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Chicken Fried Burger King Steaks

The Burger King hamburgers are already cooked
all you need to do is to dust them in flour,
dip them in egg wash and coat in bread crumbs.
Because you freeze them they don't get over cooked.
Brown them in a fry pan and serve with a gravy.
I tried this recipe using McDonald's burgers and
prefer Burger King's, Can't wait to try Wendy's.

Hamburgers from Burger King
eggs, beaten
dried bread crumbs
canola oil for frying
some beef gravy.

Go to your local Burger King restaurant and get
a few plain hamburgers without tomato ketchup.
When you get home remove the burgers from the buns,
throw them in one layer into a zip-lock bag and
into the freezer to freeze for an hour or overnight.
Preheat a fry pan, dip each frozen burger in flour,
then dip in egg and then in bread crumbs.
Fry up these prepared burgers into great tasting
Burger King Chicken Fried steaks served with gravy.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Using Frozen Mussels

I never cooked with frozen mussels thinking fresh
mussels cook up so fast why get the frozen ones.
Was I wrong in not using the frozen cooked kind.
These heated up in no time at all, were nice and big,
so I threw them into a tomato sauce for pasta.
Have a bag of these in the freezer for a quick meal.

24 frozen mussels
1/2 cup water
1 cup tomato sauce
cooked pasta of your choice

Heat water in a large sauce pan, add in frozen mussels
and heat them just until the shells open, remove mussels.
Reserving liquid in pot, remove mussels from shells.
Add the tomato sauce in pot until heated then turn off heat.
Add the cooked mussels in with the sauce, serve over pasta.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bacon Leftover Mashed Potatoes

A different way to use up left over mashed potatoes.
You place a few strips of bacon in the bottom of a pan.
Then add in leftover mashed potatoes, bake them up into
a creamy and cheesy good tasting potato casserole.

6 slices of smoked bacon
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees F.
Place bacon strips in the roasting pan,
Mix all other ingredients and plop in pan.
Smooth the potato mixture about as you can and
bake for about 45 minutes or until crusty browned.
The bacon strips on the bottom is just golden tasting.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Baked Flour Tortilla Bowls

These make for a good presentation to serve
a corn and avocado Mexican style salad.
I've also used them to serve chicken salad.
They are like the crispy taco salad shells.

2 (6 inch) flour tortillas
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray each tortilla with cooking oil on both sides.
Using a muffin tin turned upside down,
press the tortillas in between the muffin cups.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Baked Eggs in Avocado

This is so easy to make and tastes great.
Along with an English muffin or bagel to
soak up some of the yummy runny egg yolks.

2 avocados
4 large eggs
1/2 lime
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
butter if desired

Preheat oven to 425 F.
Split avocados in half and remove the pit.
Place avocado halves on a foil lined baking dish.
Drizzle each with a little lime juice and season
with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Crack one egg into each avocado halve and bake
for about 15 minutes or until whites are set.
I like to serve this with a pat of butter.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Leftover Mashed Potato Gnocchi

Here's an easy to make potato Gnocchi recipe.
They're really light, fluffy and taste great.
Served with red sauce and topped with cheese.
I don't add additional salt as the potatoes
were boiled in salted water to begin with.
When making Gnocchi use as little flour possible.

2 cups cooked mashed potatoes, cold
1/2 cup flour (or more), sifted
1/4 cup corn starch, sifted
1 egg, beaten
4 cups cold water for cooking
Tomato sauce for serving
Grated cheese for garnish

Sift flour together with corn starch.
Beat egg in a bowl and combine with the
flour mixture to form a soft dough.
Roll dough into 1/2 inch ropes and cut
into 1 inch pieces, then using a fork
or a wooden Gnocchi board make Gnocchi.
Bring water to a rolling boil and cook them
until they come to the surface of the water.
Using a slotted spoon, remove them to drain.
Serve along with a nice red tomato sauce.
And some freshly grated cheese of choice.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Best Baked Chicken Thighs

I've been baking chicken for over fifty years.
Through the years I've learned a few secrets for
creating juicy and tender crispy skinned chicken.
In this recipe I spiced it up a little bit by adding
in a few drops of Sriricha hot pepper and soy sauces,
to the egg wash to dip the chicken in before breading.
Some people double dip the chicken in this egg wash
and flour mixture to make a thicker crusty chicken.

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken thighs, skin on
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 drops hot pepper sauce
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon chili powder
dash of ground black pepper
dash of garlic powder
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Drizzle oil in bottom of roasting pan.
in a bowl beat egg, milk, soy and hot sauce.
In another bowl combine flour, chili powder,
black pepper, garlic powder and salt.
Dip each chicken thigh in egg wash mixture and
then dredge in seasoned flour mixture.
Place chicken skin side down in roasting pan.
Bake covered for about 40 minutes,
then turn chicken thighs over and continue baking,
uncovered for about 20 minutes until browned on top.

Bacon Jam

This jam is good on burgers and hot dogs.
It's salty sweetness compliments everything.
Some people make this in a slow cooker.

1 lb smoked bacon, cut into 1/4" slices
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons Sriracha hot pepper sauce
1 cup dark brewed coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup cold water

Fry bacon in a skillet until beginning to crisp up.
remove bacon and drain most of the rendered fat.
Add the onion and garlic in skillet to soften.
Add the cooked bacon in skillet with onion and garlic,
and add the brown sugar, Sriracha sauce, coffee,
vinegar, maple syrup, black pepper and cold water.
Simmer for 2 hours stirring often until liquid reduces.
Let cool and pulse in food processor to make jam.
Serve or save in an air tight jar, refrigerated.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Simply the Best Onion Rings

I've been frying onions for over forty years,
some with a heavy beading and others without.
Without has a much better tasting onion flavor.
Don't skimp on the salt as it makes the dish.

4 onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
4 cups canola or peanut oil for deep frying
4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
A sprinkling of seasoned salt to taste

Preheat oil in a big pot to 360 degrees F.
After peeling and slicing onions coat them
in flour to coat all over, set aside to rest.
Fry in batches to a golden brown, not to dark.
Set aside and season with salt to tast.
Serve while still warm.
These are also good served with a tomato salsa.

Celery and Carrots Under Chicken

I use celery and carrots to act as a roasting rack
placing chicken on top to bake until golden brown.
You can use chicken parts if desired in his method.

6 stalks of celery
6 carrots, peeled
2 whole baking chickens
salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange celery and carrots in pan.
Top with chicken and season to taste.
Bake uncovered for about 1 hour or until done.

Chicken Thighs Baked on Onions

If you like crispy baked onions this is for you.
The juices from the chicken flavor the onions and
everything bakes up crispy brown and tastes great.

1/4 cup olive oil
6 onions, peeled
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 chicken thighs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 cups cooked white rice

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Line a roasting pan with foil.
Cut onions in half and place in roasting pan.
Season onions with black pepper to taste.
Arrange chicken thighs skin side up on top of onions.
Sprinkle olive oil over chicken and onions.
Season with salt, paprika and more pepper to taste.
Cover roasting pan and bake for 1 hour then remove
cover and let bake for another 30 minutes or so.
Let rest 15 minutes before serving with cooked rice.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sriracha Dipping Sauce

Sriracha Hot Pepper Sauce spices up
this Thousand island dressing dip.
Use it on salads or as a dipping sauce.

1 cup Real mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise,
Sriracha sauce and lemon juice.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cooking Frozen Mussels

I've never cooked or even bought frozen mussels before.
They're cooked and in a bag frozen in they're liquid.
The directions on the bag said not to thaw them but to
heat them in a soup pot along with some cooking liquid.
I added in some white wine, garlic and some tomato sauce.
This made a decent tasting clam sauce to serve with pasta.

1 bag of frozen mussels
1 cup white wine
1 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Place frozen mussels in pot.
add in white wine, tomato sauce,
dried chives and garlic powder.
Cover pot and simmer until mussels are heated though.
Serve over a cooked pasta of your choice.

Peanut Butter on a Spoon

Lately I've been on a peanut butter kick.
Making Ritz cracker sandwiches with it,
and having peanut butter with jelly.
Last night I simply took a spoon to scoop out
mouthfuls of peanut butter straight from the jar.

1 jar peanut butter
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 plastic spoon

Open jar of peanut butter and sprinkle
inside of jar with brown sugar to taste.
Use spoon to scoop out peanut butter.

Better Than Hot Dogs

Sliced kielbasa served in hot dog buns,
topped with cooked sauerkraut and mustard.
Don't get me wrong grilled hot dogs are good,
but after tasting one of these I think you'll
agree with me kielbasa tastes so much better.

For each kielbasa dog:
Cooked smoked kielbasa, sliced
Cooked sauerkraut for topping
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 hot dog bun

Steam or grill bun if desired.
Place sliced kielbasa in bun and
top with sauerkraut and butter.
Slather with mustard of your choice.

Baked Whole Fresh Pineapple

I wanted to grill the fresh pineapple
but it's still so dang cold and windy
outside to try and heat up the gas grill.
So I threw the pineapple to bake in the oven.
It came out sweet tasting and yummy good.

1 whole fresh pineapple
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Line a small roasting pan with foil.
Cut the top off the pineapple and using a knife
cut top to create a bowl to fill with the sugar.
After packing the brown sugar in the pineapple,
spread the butter on the sugar and sprinkle
with the ground cinnamon.
Place in a 350 degree F. oven to bake foe 1 hour.
Turn off oven and leaving the pineapple in oven,
open the oven door to cool for about 20 minutes.
Slice up the cooked pineapple and serve.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Eggplant Sauteed in Applesauce

Fresh eggplants soak up liquids like sponges.
I thought I'd take advantage of that fact and
use a sliced eggplant to soak up tasty flavors.
Took some jarred applesauce, spiced it up with
hot pepper sauce and came up with this dish.
Garlic plays a good foil to spicy eggplant.

1 eggplant, 1/2" sliced
2 cups applesauce
2 cloves garlic
2 drops hot pepper sauce
ground black pepper to taste

Heat a saute pan to medium heat and
place sliced eggplant in dry pan.
Drizzle eggplant with hot pepper sauce.
(It will soak right into the eggplant.)
Add in applesauce and let simmer 5 minutes.
Season with garlic powder and black pepper.
Use as a topping for fresh cooked pasta or rice.