Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dinosaur BBQ Chili Pecan BBQ Sauce

I took this recipe out of the Dinosaur BBQ cookbook and we really enjoyed it.  I would make again.

Bake 1 cup of pecans at 350 for 10 minutes.  Cook and chop.

Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in skillet.  Add in chopped onion and 1 jalapeno pepper and a sprinkle or two of minced garlic and cook until soft.  Then add in 1 1/2 cups of Mutha sauce and 1 cup of chicken stock.  Simmer over medium heat about 15 minutes.  Then add in 1 tsp of ancho chili pepper, 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1 1/2 tbsp of honey and pecans.  You can also add a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper.  Keep warm until ready to serve.  When ready to serve, stir in 2 tbsp of butter.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

30 Minute Rolls

These worked out REALLY well.  I let them rise longer than 10 minutes, probably closer to 45 minutes.  However, they rose very well and tasted delicious.  I baked for about 15 minutes.  They really worked for a quick dinner roll.  Note:  I used my bread machine to mix up the dough.

  • 1 C plus 2 Tbsp warm water
  • 1/3 C oil
  • 2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 C bread flour (seems to work better but all purpose flour will also work)
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In your mixer bowl combine the water, oil, yeast and sugar and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Using your dough hook, mix in the salt, egg and flour.
  • Knead with hook until will incorporated and dough is soft and smooth. (Just a few minutes)
  • Form dough into 12 balls and then place in a greased 9 x 13 pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.

Corn Chowder

This was good.  It was a nice easy soup to throw in the crockpot.  I halved the recipe and used thickened milk instead of the cream / half and half.  I also added about 2 tbsp. of instant potato flakes.

Slow Cooker Corn and Potato Chowder Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces (1/2 pound) bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
  • 2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes (approximately 5 medium sized potatoes), NOT peeled, diced in 1/4 inch cubes
  • 8 cups (about 2 pounds) kernel corn (I used frozen)
  • 1 medium/large sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 6 - 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (my favorite is Aunt Cora's)
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 16 ounces (2 cups) half & half or heavy cream
  • salt & pepper

Slow Cooker Corn and Potato Chowder Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT half & half in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours.
  3. Blend about half the soup using an immersion blender (or just scoop it into your upright blender then return to slow cooker).
  4. Add half & half or heavy cream and continue cooking, uncovered, for about another 15 minutes, until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dew Cake

This was good.  The original recipe called for powdered sugar mixed with mountain dew but we really weren't fond of it.  Its just good with a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

1 18.25oz box lemon cake mix
4 eggs
1 pkg. instant lemon pudding
2/3 cup oil (the original recipe called for 3/4 cup but I cut it down)
12 oz. mountain dew

Mix in mixer for 2 minutes.  Then pour into a greased bundt pan.  Bake for 45 minutes at 350. (I baked at 325 since I had a dark pan).

Monday, February 10, 2014

Gumbo-Laya Stew

This was really good.  I didn't use the Okra but adde dmore peppers.  I found that I needed more than 1/2 tsp of seasoning.  I used probably about 2 tsp of cajun seasoning. 
“Gumbo-laya” Stew with Spicy Sausage, Chicken and Shrimp with Okra over Fragrant Garlic Rice

(Serves about 6-8)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spicy andouille (or smoked) sausage, sliced
8 chicken tenderloins (or 2 skinless/boneless chicken breasts), cut into bite-size pieces
• Salt
• Pepper
3 celery stalks, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large bell pepper, finely diced
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon, heaping, tomato paste
½ pound okra, sliced into ¼ – ½” thick slices
1 (28 oz) can organic diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups chicken stock, hot
½ pound peeled and cleaned, medium size shrimp (raw)
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
-Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil; once the oil is hot, add the sliced sausage in, and allow it to caramelize and brown for a few minutes; once well browned, remove the sausage from the pot, and set it aside for a moment; next, add the chicken pieces into the pot along with a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper, and allow them to brown in the oil/sausage drippings for about 2-3 minutes; remove the chicken pieces from the pot, and set aside for a moment; next, add in the diced celery, onion and bell pepper, and caramelize it for about 2-3 minutes in the oil, then add in the bay leaves, the Creole seasoning, the cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and stir to combine; next, add in the garlic and stir, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, and cook for about 1 minute to cook out the “raw” tomato flavor; next, add in the sliced okra, the diced tomatoes with juice, the hot chicken stock, and the browned sausage and chicken, and stir to combine, and allow the stew to simmer gently on low/medium-low, uncovered, for 20 minutes; after 20 minutes, add in the shrimp (you can season it with a sprinkle of salt/pepper if you wish), and simmer for only 2 minutes more as to not overcook the shrimp; finish by stirring in the chopped parsley and cilantro, and serve over the Fragrant Garlic Rice, with some additional spice/heat options like hot sauce, red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, if desired.

Dinosaur BBQ Shepards Pie

This was good.  My husband really enjoyed it.  I made a traditional mac and cheese for the top instead of the one listed in this recipe.  I used Velveeta for the cheese.

3 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 Lb Pasta Shells
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Cups Chopped Onion
1 Cup Chopped Green Pepper
5 Cloves Chopped Garlic
1 1/4 Ground Beef
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
3/4 Cup Mutha Sauce
1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
2 1/2 Cups Half and Half or Milk
3 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup Grated Parmesan
2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
Tabasco Sauce

Pre-heat oven to #75 degrees. Cook pasta til al-dente. In a skillet saute half of the onions and half of the peppers til soft. Toss in garlic and cook for a minute. Add ground beef, cook until it looses its pink, season with 1 1/2 tsp of both salt and pepper. Mix in Mutha Sauce and set aside.
In a sauce pan, melt butter, fry up the remaining onion and pepper til soft. Add in flour and whisk til throughly blended. Add in the milk slowly, whisking as it is added. When the mixture bubbles and thickens slightly remove from heat. Stir in 2 cups Cheddar, the parmesan, mustard, and remaining salt and pepper. Add Tabasco if desired. Stir until cheese is melted and then fold into the drained pasta.
Grease a 9×13 pan, spread the beef mixture on the bottom. Spread the mac and cheese on top. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30-45 mins.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hot Chocolate Cookies

These were SUPER good.  It really is just the toll house recipe with hot chocolate and marshmallows added.  I would definetely make these again.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 12 oz. package of chocolate chips
  • 3 1 oz. packages of hot cocoa mix
  • 2/3 cup mini marshmallow bits
Preheat oven to 350 and prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening, and both sugars with a hand mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until everything is just combined.
Beat in the flour, salt, baking soda, and hot chocolate mix.
Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet. Bake cookies for 9-10 minutes, or until the edges just begin to turn golden brown. Remove cookies from the oven, allow them to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, and then remove them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

This was really good.  I used 1/2 of the dumpling recipe and I really thought that was plenty.  Super easy crock pot recipe.

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 ribs celery
  • ½ lb (3-4) carrots
  • 1 large (3/4 lb.) chicken breast
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ Tbsp dried parsley
  • 6 Tbsp cold butter
  • ¾ tsp sugar
  • ⅔ cup milk
  1. Mince the garlic, dice the onion, and slice the carrots and celery into small pieces. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, basil, thyme, chicken breast, water, and some freshly cracked pepper to a slow cooker. Stir to combine and then cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.
  2. After cooking for four hours on high or eight hours on low, remove the chicken from the broth and place it on a cutting board (if you cooked on low heat, turn it to high now). Use two forks to shred the chicken. Return the chicken to the pot and stir in 1 tsp of salt to the soup. Keep the slow cooker covered as much as possible during this process to retain heat and maintain the temperature.
  3. Allow the soup to continue to cook on high while you mix the dumpling batter. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, parsley, and sugar. Mix well. Add butter in small chunks and cut it in or work it in with your hands until the mixture resembles damp sand. Add the milk and stir until a very soft paste-like mixture forms.
  4. Remove the lid from the slow cooker and drop the dumpling batter into the soup by the heaping spoonful. Return the lid to the slow cooker and allow the dumplings to steam for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes they should have fluffed and expanded from the heat. Although they may look moist on the outside, they will be light and fluffy on the inside. Serve hot.

Ground Hog Cookies

These were super cute.  Can't really say my kids liked the taste of them but I though they were ok.  I used a teddy graham as the groundhog and used chocolate covered oreos as the base. 

Po groundhog cookie recipe

Yields 12-15 cookies, depending on size of cookie mounds

Ingredients and supplies:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups oatmeal (preferably quick-cooking oats)
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Chocolate frosting or chocolate candy melts
  • White decorator candy balls and sprinkles
  • Black food color marker
  • Dark Chocolate Fudge Stripe cookies (or a similar cookie with a hole in the center)
  • 1-inch diameter plastic cake dowels (cut into 2-inch segments)
  • Powdered sugar (optional)



Mix the no-bake cookie mounds

Before mixing the cookies, arrange your plastic cake dowels on a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper. In a large pan on the stove, mix and melt the sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk over high heat. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Add the peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. Mix well.


Form the no-bake cookie mounds

With a teaspoon, scoop and drop your cookie mixture around the plastic dowels, forming small mounds about the same size as the Fudge Stripe cookies. Allow the cookie mounds to cool and harden completely before removing the plastic dowels. (Note: Don't attempt to cut out the center of the cookie after it has cooled, as the hardened cookies will crack.)


Make the groundhogs

Soften a Tootsie Roll with your hands or in a microwave for a few seconds. Mold the ears and head, and widen the body so that it has a base slightly larger than the hole of your Fudge Stripe cookies but will fit through the hole in the cookie mound. Secure the eyes and teeth with a tiny dab of chocolate frosting or chocolate candy melts. Make a nose with another dab of chocolate. Draw two black dots on the eyes with an edible food color marker.


Assemble the cookie

Pipe a circle of chocolate frosting or chocolate candy melts onto the Fudge Stripe cookie. Place one Tootsie Roll groundhog over the center hole. Place a cookie mound over both, securing it to the frosted bottom cookie. Allow chocolate to harden.


Play with your food!

Insert your pinky or index finger into the hole to make your groundhog move up and down.