Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fried Pepper Jack Cheese Sticks

It's been a long time since we used our deep fryer and I'm so glad I busted it out for this recipe.  Incredible!  I will make these again and often.

Fried Pepper Jack Cheese Sticks
from Life's Ambrosia

8 oz block of pepper jack cheese
wonton wrappers
oil for frying

Avocado Cream Dip
1 avocado, pitted and removed from skin
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp sour cream
1/4 tsp cumin

Cut the cheese into 1/2 inch sticks.  I think I got 12 out of it.  Place each cheese stick on a wonton and close according to package directions using the water.  Heat deep fryer to 350F.  Fry the cheese sticks in batches and remove to a paper towel to drain.  Sprinkle with salt.  Mix together the Avocado Cream Dip.  Serve cheese sticks with dip.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sausage Cheese Dip

I'm on a quest to find a new football game-day dip.  I found this on the internet and it's just okay.  I will keep looking.

Sausage Cheese Dip
from Never Enough Thyme

Cooking spray
8 oz sausage
16 oz Velveeta cheese
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp pepper

Place a medium skillet over medium heat.  Spray liberally with cooking spray.  Break up the sausage in the pan and cook, stirring and separating the sausage until no pink color remains.  Remove the sausage to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.  Cut the Velveeta into roughly 1" chunks and add it with the salsa to the same skillet.  Stir constantly until the cheese is completely melted.  Add the sour cream, pepper and sausage.  Stir until thoroughly combined.  Serve with corn chips for dipping.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

I just love everything made with Buffalo flavor.  This was diet-busting, but I swear I only ate fewer than half of them.  The only adjustment I'd make next time is using shredded cheddar in the taquitos instead of blue cheese crumbles.

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos
from Chef In Training

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/8 cup buffalo sauce
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 cup blue cheese crumbles, divided (or use shredded cheddar)
12 small flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 425F.  Mix cream cheese and buffalo sauce until well combined.  Stir in chicken until thoroughly mixed.  Place 2-3 tbsp of mixture spread into a thin line onto the center of tortilla.  Sprinkle 1 tbsp of cheese over the top.  Roll up tight.  Place on lightly greased baking sheet and repeat for remaining taquitos.  Once taquitos are arranged on the baking sheet, lightly spray the tops with cooking spray.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Chili

This was so easy to make, but I have to confess I didn't taste it.  I'm not a big fan of soups or chilies, so I skipped it.  I heard it was very tasty, and all of the leftovers were eaten later in the week.

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Chili
from iFOODreal

5 garlic cloves, chopped
3 medium onions, chopped (2 cups)
3-4 large carrot, chopped (3 cups)
2 cups celery, chopped
2 15 oz cans any beans, drained & rinsed (I used cannelini and kidney)
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 lbs chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
Cooking spray

Preheat large skillet on medium and spray with cooking spray.  Add garlic, onions, carrots and celery and saute for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer to a large crock pot.  Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot, except chicken.  Mix to combine.  Add chicken breasts and push them down to the bottom, and cover with the other ingredients.  Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.  When done, remove chicken, shred with 2 forks, and return it to the crock pot and mix together.  Let chili cook another 30 minutes.  Serve hot.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I was hesitant to commit to a whole week of this dish when I saw it come out of the oven.  It didn't look like much, but actually tastes fantastic.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
from Caveman Keto

3 lbs chicken (breast, tender or thigh)
1 lb ham steak
1 lb Jarlsberg Swiss cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder to taste
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut chicken into 1" cubes and spread on the bottom of a greased 9x13" baking dish.  Season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Cut ham into 1/2 cubes and spread over chicken.  Shred Swiss cheese and spread over meats.  In a medium bowl, heat the cream cheese until soft, but not liquid.  Mix in the heavy whipping cream and then pour over casserole.  Mix the whole dish up.  Bake for 40 minutes.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mom's Meatloaf

Well, this is actually a variation of my mom's meatloaf, but pretty close.  I was not a big fan growing up ("The onion pieces are too big!!") but now I love it for warm fall/winter lunches.  I adapted my own recipe this time, thinking I would shake it up.  I usually use regular flavor Cheez-Its, but I thought it would be fun to try the white cheddar flavor.  I was wrong.  I really missed the cheddar flavor, but it wasn't inedible.  I just won't make that mistake again.  When you crush up the Cheez-Its, leave some bigger pieces with the smaller pieces, because it's really nice to bite into a mushy, cheesy bite every so often.

adapted from my mom's recipe, aka no onions

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 cup (or more) smashed Cheez-Its
2 beaten eggs
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tbsp Italian seasonings
onion powder and garlic powder to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined.  Pour into a 9x5" greased baking dish.  Bake for 1 1/4 hours.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Southern-Style Baked Shrimp

This was SUPER tasty.  I like baking shrimp because it's so easy and you really don't need to interact with it or watch it.  Low calorie, low carb, a little spicy.  You really can't go wrong.

Southern-Style Baked Shrimp
from Flat Belly Diet! Family Cookbook

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp honey
2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine the oil, lemon juice, Cajun seasoning, garlic, honey, and soy sauce in an 8x8" baking dish.  Add the shrimp and toss gently to coat.  Let sit for 15 minutes.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque.  Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Delmonico Deviled Chicken

This is probably my second favorite chicken recipe.  It works really well with bone-in, skin-on thighs.  I've tried it with all of the other chicken cuts, and you can see I used legs here.  The best reason for using the thighs is that the flatter surface of them holds the butter mixture better than the other cuts.  I find that when you put the butter on the hot chicken, it starts melting and sliding off too soon.  The butter mixture is the best part!

Delmonico Deviled Chicken
from 365 Ways to Cook Chicken

3 lbs chicken drumsticks, thighs and/or breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
salt and pepper
4 tbsp butter at room temperature
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat broiler on high.  Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper.  Cover a baking sheet in foil and spray with cooking spray.  Place the chicken on the baking sheet and place the sheet in the oven, 6-8 inches from the heat.  Broil for 5-7 minutes a side, until skin is browned.  Remove from broiler and reduce oven to 350F.  Blend butter, mustard, vinegar and paprika and 1/2 tsp salt in a small bowl.  Place the chicken, skin side up, in a baking dish.  Brush with seasoned butter.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over chicken.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until coating is browned and crisp, and chicken is tender.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bacon Breakfast Muffins

I made these for my breakfasts for the last week and they are incredible.  I packed two for work every morning and they kept me full until lunch.  Plus they're super low-carb, if you eat that way.

Bacon Breakfast Muffins
adapted from Caveman Keto

6 eggs
6 oz heavy whipping cream
1 lb broccoli, cooked
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
10 slices bacon
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
3 slices cheddar cheese

Cook the bacon until close to done, but not quite crispy (I baked mine at 400F for about 15-20 minutes), drain on paper towel.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a standard-sized muffin tin and place a piece of bacon in 10 of the tins, wrapping it around the outside.  Cut down the broccoli into small pieces and distribute it in each bacon cup evenly.  Whisk together the cream, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder and shredded cheddar in a medium bowl.  Pour mixture into each bacon cup evenly, leaving room for expansion.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until firm.  When they are mostly done, add 1/4 slice of cheddar to the top of each muffin and bake until cheese melts.

"The Best Chili I Ever Ate"

This picture is horrible and I actually did a really bad job of cooking this chili this time.  The recipe calls for the chili to be cooked in a pot on the stove, then transferred to a baking dish.  I've successfully made this in a crockpot more than once, but I don't know what happened this time.  Maybe I didn't get the chili hot enough to bake the cornbread on top.  Instead, the cornbread kind of spread throughout the chili and thickened it up.  From what I was told, it was not very good.  But, you should still make it the right way.

"The Best Chili I Ever Ate"
adapted from Heartland USA Magazine

2 lbs ground meat (I have used venison/beef mix in the past, or just beef, or beef/veal like I did this time)
1 cup diced onions
1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
16 oz can diced tomatoes
16 oz tomato juice
16 oz can pork and beans
16 oz can kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp chili powder
1 cup grated cheddar
2 cups corn meal mix
15 oz can creamed corn
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar

Brown the ground meat in a skillet, drain and transfer to a large pot.  Add onion, tomatoes, tomato juice, pork and beans, kidney beans, salt, garlic powder, chili powder and red pepper flakes.  Cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  In a separate bowl, combine cornmeal, cream corn, milk and sugar.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Pour chili in a deep 9x13" baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Pour cornmeal mixture evenly over the top of the chili.  Bake in oven for 35 minutes or until cornbread top is golden brown.

Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Gravy

I. Ate. Every. Bite.  This was so delicious.  You have to really love blue cheese to want to eat this, and I really love blue cheese.  I cannot wait to make this again!

Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Gravy

2 tbsp butter
2 thick-cut pork chops
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder, or to taste
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 ounces blue cheese crumbles

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Season the pork chops on both sides with black pepper and garlic powder.  Fry the pork chops in butter until no longer pink and juices run clear, about 20 minutes.  Turn occasionally to brown on both sides.  Remove the pork chops to a plate and keep warm.  Stir the whipping cream into the skillet, scraping up any brown bits of meat stuck to the bottom.  When warm, stir in the blue cheese.  Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.  Pour sauce over warm pork chops.