Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sausage in a White Wine Risotto

 This is a British recipe that I wanted to try because I’ve never had Risotto. Therefore, I’ve never cooked it either. I just tried Orzo last year and love it in a cream sauce, so I’m hoping Risotto cooked in wine will be equally as good. Let’s cross our fingers and I’ll let you know. FYI... if you don’t have Risotto you can substitute with jasmine rice.


2 cups of Risotto
2 tablespoons of butter, divided
1 tablespoon of olive oil
14 oz smoked sausage
28 oz warm chicken stock
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 yellow or white onion, sliced
Dash of thyme
Dash of rosemary
Dash of Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup white wine
3.5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons parsley


I get hillshire farms precooked smoked sausage and slice it up into 1” pieces.  Add the oil in a skillet and on med/high heat cook them for 6-9 minutes, turning frequently.  Remove and set aside.

In a saucepan on low heat add the stock.

In the skillet (that was used for the sausage) on med/high heat add half of the butter. When it melts add the onions and sauté them until they are translucent. Then add the garlic, seasonings and rice. When the rice becomes glossy pour in the wine. Bring to boil to reduce liquid by 2/3rds.

Reduce heat to medium and add a laddle of stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Do this a laddle at a time until you have used all the stock. This should take about 20 minutes. This process should complete the cooking of the rice.

Add in the sausage and fold in the remaining butter and Parmesan cheese. Serve once cheese starts to melt. Top with parsley. Yum Yum.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Yum Yum for Spices: What is a Caraway Seed?

A caraway plant reminds me of the American Queens Ann Lace, but this plant comes from Europe, North Africa and the Asia Minor regions.  It’s a biennial, herbaceous plant which blooms once in every two years. The seeds are crescent shaped, dark brown, with up to five ribs  running lengthwise on their surface.

Besides culinary uses caraway water is sometimes used in treating flatulence and indigestion, especially used to relieve a baby’s colic. It can also be used to flavor mouthwash. Caraway extract is used for colds, bronchitis and even irritable bowel syndrome.

Caraway seeds are featured in savory dishes, including cabbage soups, salads and sauerkraut. See my Crockpot Pork and Sauerkraut recipe. It often gives a pleasant aroma to bread (especially rye bread), cake, biscuits and cheese. In Central Europe, caraway seasoned sausages (Kielbasa Kminkowa) are a staple dish. 

Crockpot Pork and Sauerkraut

I was brought up in Ohio and my mother’s mother, Grandma Ree, was from Germany, we traditionally ate pork and sauerkraut for New Year’s Day. Why? Pigs root forward so it is believed that we want to go forward with our lives in the year ahead. Sauerkraut is made of green cabbage therefore we want lots of green money.  I have only a small daughter’s family hates sauerkraut! So this meal is just for me, instead of cooking an entire pork loin in my crockpot, I’m just cooking a couple pork chops with sauerkraut on the side. (No video)... But if you have a family that enjoys sauerkraut this recipe is for you. I wish everyone good luck and well being in 2018 and as you sit at your table with your family wish each other much goodness and money as the number of shreds of cabbage in the sauerkraut!


1 4 lb pork loin roast
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 cups sauerkraut with liquid


Place pork in crockpot top with caraway seeds, salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauerkraut with liquid
over pork. Cook on high for 1 hour. Then on low for 5-6 hours. Internal temperature should reach 145 degrees. Yum Yum

Friday, December 29, 2017

Mexican Pasta Salad

This is a version of Ree Drummond’s Mexican Pasta Salad. You can eat this salad alone for lunch or as a side with your favorite meat such as chicken or beef for dinner. Serves 12. It’s a large salad and would be great for a pitch-in.


1 cup salsa
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Juice from 2 limes
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

1 can corn, cooked and chilled
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can of black olives, quartered
1 lb of macaroni, drained and rinsed in cold water
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, diced optional
A sprinkle of cilantro, optional


In a large bowl combine the corn, black beans, black olives, tomatoes, onions, and celery with the macaroni. In a separate bowl combine all the dressing ingredients then fold into the vegetable/pasta bowl. Top with avocado and cilantro, optional.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Strawberry Sauce for Cheesecake

Who doesn’t love cheesecake??? Next time you have cheesecake try this super easy strawberry sauce.


Fresh strawberries, diced
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


Add your cleaned and cut up strawberries to a skillet with the sugar and vanilla. Stir continuously.  Smash a few strawberries when they have softened to produce some syrup continue to stir until thickens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Take 1/3rd of sauce and purée in a blender. Add back into remaining topping and refrigerate before serving. Yum Yum!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Crockpot Pizza Soup

Talking about comfort food, who doesn’t like pizza? Well this is a great alternative for lunch or dinner. Make this ahead of time and it’s done 6-7 hours later. Serves 6


1 lb. turkey sausage (casing removed)
3 cans of Italian seasoned stewed tomatoes
3 cups beef broth
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper
Shredded mozzarella cheese


Combine the stewed tomatoes with juice, broth, mushrooms, onion, tomato paste, salt and pepper in the crockpot. Shape the sausage into marble size balls and gently stir them into the soup mixture. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Serve with cheese. YumYum

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Kitchen Gadget Gifts

I know what you are thinking Christmas is just around the corner and you haven’t a clue on what to get for someone. Personally I love kitchen gadgets. Some of these I have and some I wish I had (wink wink 😉)

The IKEA spice rack. I want a lot of these. They can be used for so many things in addition to spices. First of all I want at least 3 of them for the inside of my pantry door to store wax paper, aluminum foil, parchment paper, trash bags etc.. In the bathroom at least 1 for my daily beauty products to eliminate clutter on my vanity. Hoping I can put 1 or 2 inside my cabinet for my pots and pans to store my lids. I’ve seen people use these to organize cleaning supplies, scrapbook and/or sewing supplies, fingernail polish holder, turn it upside down for a towel rack or to hang clothes from and even to organize children’s toys or books. You name it. FYI they do not come with screws or anchors.

The NuWave PIC Flex Precision Induction Cooktop with Frypan. I have this and love to use it to make a variety of dishes. Not only do I use the frypan, I bought a huge wok to make my orange chicken and other Asian dishes. Just remember if you are looking for new pots and pans to look for the Induction symbol on the bottom.

The food mill. Ok, this gadget is on my Christmas list. I watched some chef YouTuber make some mashed potatoes and to get out the lumps he used one of these. Amazons description: RSVP strives to offer quality kitchen products and cooking tools at competitive prices. Our Endurance Food Mill with Stainless Steel Interchangeable Disks is a perfect example. Our food mill is the best choice for both high-volume canning and for the more occasional use because it simultaneously grinds and strains COOKED foods. Often, you won’t need to peel or remove seeds before milling, which can save a lot of time and effort. What can you make with the food mill? Applesauce, tomato sauce, mashed potatoes, strained carrots, peach puree or raspberry coulis. Enjoy the produce from your summer garden year-round by filling your pantry with your garden's yield. Substantial pot rests hold the mill steady while cranking the blade. Made of nonreactive and hygienic 18/8 stainless steel. Measures 8-inches in diameter by 4-inches high with 7-1/2-inch handle. When all the right people, and ingredients, kitchen tools, and food come together, we call this The Art of Gathering.

The Chefcoo Kitchen All-in-One Cutlery Knife Set. This set is on sale originally 69.99. It comes with a magnetic strip so you can display this colorful knife set. A knife sharpener is also included. The knives are: Paring Knife, Utility Knife, Carving Knife, Chef’s Knife, Bread Knife, Cheese Knife and a Pizza Knife.

The fruit and vegetable corer. Here is a kitchen gadget you can slip into someone’s stocking. My last recipe required me to core a tomato, but I don’t have a corer. This would of come in handy.

My last gadget the singing pasta timer is for the chef/cook that has everything. This guy is a bit pricey too, around 62.00 with shipping. ( you might find him on other websites for less) Place him in the pot with your pasta and he’ll start singing when your pasta is done.

I found this guy at Target for 19.99 and ordered one. Free shipping to the store. Click picture to order.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Chiles Rellenos with Sofrito Sauce

Chiles Rellenos is one of my favorite dishes at a Mexican restaurant. Sometimes the stuffing has ground beef, but mostly it’s a combination of cheese and a few seasonings. The directions are a little involved if you’ve never made this recipe before, like me. I’m not one to deep fry foods thinking that I’m adding calories, but according to a single homemade relleno has only 259 calories. Just don’t add ranchero sauce then one serving is 570 calories or refried beans and rice adds 392 calories. I’d have to not eat all day to have that meal. But, hey it’s not like we eat this meal everyday and it’s comfort food, right? Even some Mexican restaurants advertise that way.

 Serves 6. (A pepper a person) More people? More peppers.

PS. I just had a Chiles Rellenos with ground beef. 😝 I much rather have it with cheese.


6 Pablono Peppers, cleaned, deveined and seeds removed
5 plum tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
3 egg whites and 1 egg yolk
Enough vegetable oil for frying
All-purpose flour, for dredging


1. Char the chiles. Once the chiles are cleaned, deveined and the seeds are removed (without removing stem) place them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven on broil until they blacken and blister on both sides (use prongs to turn them).

2. Let them soften. Place them in a ziplock bag for 10 minutes. They will steam making them soft and easy to peel. When cool enough to handle peel away the skin. You can use a paper towel to rub the skin off, but don’t rinse.

3.  Some people don’t devein or remove seeds until this point. If you do wait, cut below the stem.

4.  Purée the chopped tomatoes, onions and garlic in a blender until smooth. In a medium size skillet add the olive oil and sauté the mixture stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and keep warm. This is also know as a sufrito sauce, very popular with Latin America dishes 

5.  Combine the Monterey Jack cheese and Mexican oregano. Stuff the peppers with 1/4th the cheese mixture and close with toothpicks. Repeat for remaining chiles.

6.  Beat 3 egg yolks until peaks occur then and in the egg yolk, beat an additional 3 minutes.

7.  In a deep skillet add enough oil so it’s 1” deep. Heat oil and use a deep-fry thermometer. The temperature should read 375F when ready.

8.  Put flour on a shallow plate. Dredge pepper through flour then hold them by the stem dipping them one at a time in the eggs, throughly covering them. Place them in the oil and fry them until they are golden brown on both sides, 1-2 minutes.

9.  Serve on a plate and cover with them with the warm tomato sauce.

10. Yum Yum!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

One Pan Brazilian Chicken and Rice

I’m going to try some South American recipes this month and I’ve always loved to make an easy one pan meal. This recipe serves 6.


6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 small white or yellow onion, diced
2 cups fresh or thawed corn
2 1/2 cups rice, your choice
2-3 cups chicken stock
2 limes and parsley, to garnish (optional)


I’m using my electric skillet, but you can also use a large skillet on the stove.  First I’m going to pound my chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap. Add the oil to the skillet on med/high heat cook the chicken until golden brown on both sides, 7-8 minutes each. Add seasoning to both sides and cook and additional minute. Remove and set aside.

Add the onions and garlic to the skillet (add another tablespoon of oil if needed) cook for 2 minutes or until onions have softened. Add the chicken back in along with the corn and rice, let cook a minute or two as you stir continuously. Then add the chicken stock, let boil, cover then reduce to simmer until the rice has softened, 15-17 minutes. Add more salt, if desired. Garnish with lime wedges and sprinkle with parsley. Yum Yum.

Chicken with Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

I don’t know if this chicken with creamy sun-dried tomato sauce recipe originated in South America or not, but it sure looks delicious. Serves 4. According to the recipe they are only using 2 chicken breasts cut in half. If you are used to serving one chicken breast per person, you might want to double your recipe.


2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut in half.
1 6oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil.
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Pinch of paprika 
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 cup Mozzarella cheese 
1 teaspoon dried basil 
Salt and pepper to taste 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 


In a large pan on medium heat add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes. Discard the rest of the oil with the jar. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and remove from pan. Set aside. Add the chicken halves to the pan lightly salt and paprika them on both sides. Cook them until they are light brown at least 5 minutes per side. Then turn off the heat, set pan aside covered and let chicken cook in its own juices for another 5 minutes. Check to see if chicken is no longer pink inside.

In another skillet add the heavy cream, let boil,  then reduce heat add cheese until melted. Slowly add in the milk stir continuously until smooth. Add in the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic, the basil and crushed red peppers then the chicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook long enough to rewarm the chicken and serve along with your favorite South American sides. Yum Yum! 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Crockpot Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

There is nothing better for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner than a sweet potato casserole, especially one as easy as this with melted marshmallows and pecans on top. Again, since I made this for Thanksgiving there will not be a how-to video, but hopefully I’ll remember to take some photos.


4 lbs of sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup small marshmallows
1 cup chopped pecans, divided


Spray your crockpot with a nonstick cooking spray and add in the cubed sweet potatoes. In a medium size bowl mix together the remaining ingredients except 1/2 cup of pecan and the marshmallows. Add mixture to crockpot and make sure the sweet potatoes are covered throughout. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Uncover, top with remaining pecans and marshmallows, reduce heat and serve after marshmallows have melted. YumYum !

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Crockpot Stuffing

How many of us can honestly say we have actually never made homemade stuffing?  🙋‍♀️ I am one of them. This year I am hosting my brother’s family for Thanksgiving, so I’m desperately searching for a simple stuffing recipe. Since I’m a big fan of using my crockpot, I thought this would be the easiest way. There will be no how-to video since I’ll be extremely busy cooking various dishes, but I hope to take pictures of the final results. Wish me luck. 🤞


12 cups of day old bread, cubed (you can use white or wheat or 6 cups of each)
1/2-1 cup butter
1 cup each of chopped onion, celery and mushrooms
1 teaspoon each of ground sage, ground poultry seasoning and salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
14 oz of chicken broth
2 large eggs beaten


In a medium size skillet melt the butter. Add the onions, mushrooms and celery, cook until the onions are translucent. In a large bowl add the cubed bread and seasoning, mix well. Add in the
vegetable mixture a little at a time to throughly coat the bread. Combined the chicken broth and the eggs then add to the bread, stir to combine. Pour into a 3-4 quart crockpot, cook on low for 3-4 hours or until internal temperature is 160F. Serves 10 YumYum!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats

Aren't these pumpkin Rice Krispie treats cute? I'm going to have my granddaughter make them for Thanksgiving. The batch should make 12 pumpkins.


1/4 cup butter
1 bag (40) large marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
4-6 drops of red food coloring
12 drops of yellow food coloring
Mini rolos
Green M&Ms
1/4 bowl of oil (for your hands)


In a large saucepan melt the butter on low heat. Add the marshmallows stir until melted and combined with the butter. Remove from heat and add the food coloring. Once you get the desired color add in the Rice Krispies. Mix together. Form small 2" balls. To prevent them from sticking to you rub oil on your hands before you form each ball. While they are still warm press in the rolo for the stem and the green m&m for a leaf. Let cool to set. Yum Yum!

Spicy Loaded Potato Chicken Casserole

Wow! This casserole was surely spicy. If  you want to tame it down a bit skip the hot sauce. Since I was out of hot sauce my substitute was ceyanne pepper. I could of skipped that too! I did get a thumbs up from the three family members that tried it. I also thought there was too much grease on the bottom of the baking dish. I don't know if this was because the chicken wasn't pre cooked or from the mayonnaise. 

So, next time I'm going to precook the chicken breasts 7 minutes on each side, let cool, then cube them. Maybe if I do that I can subtract about 15 minutes off the cooking time, as long as the potatoes are tender. What do you think?  Serves 6

My Ingredients:

2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed
8 med red potatoes, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon hot sauce or cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 cup mayonnaise
5 green onions, chopped
5 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups of cheddar cheese
Garnish: green onion, chopped (optional)


In a large bowl add the chopped potatoes, cubed chicken, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, hot sauce (optional) and mayonnaise. Mix well. Pour into a 9x11 baking dish that was sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray. Place in a 400F preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, stirring after every 25 minutes. Top with the cheese, chopped onions and crumbled bacon. Bake an additional 8 minutes. Serve with sour cream, top with chopped green onions, if using and maybe LOTS of water! Yum Yum!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Did you know there is 210 calories in a large head of cauliflower and a large bake potato can have up to 275 calories? So can you save calories eating cauliflower instead? Well it all depends on what you put on it or add to it. This Parmesan roasted cauliflower recipe is only 70 calories a single serving. A single serving equates to a 1/2 of a cup. The only problem is once you taste this your going to want more than one serving! They say that this recipe will serve 6 people, so if you think everyone will eat a little over 2 serving (1.16 cups) or you have more people then I'd make a couple batches.


1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces  (7 cups) 
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup bread crumbs 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese 


Preheat your oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with a nonstick cooking spray. 
In a large zip lock bag add the cauliflower florets and the oil. Make sure that the florets are covered with the oil then a the remaining ingredients shake well. Press slightly to get the bread crumbs to stick. Spread the florets out evenly on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the tops of the florets with the nonstick cooking spray.

Bake for 20 minutes, remove, stir and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot...Yum Yum! 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fluffy Pumpkin Dip

This fluffy pumpkin dip might be too sweet as an appetizer for Thanksgiving, but it could be somewhat of a healthy alternative for dessert. Since it only has 4 ingredients; 15 oz can of pumpkin purée, 8 oz cool whip (thawed), 1.5 oz pkg. of vanilla pudding mix and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, you could use the lite options for the cool whip and vanilla pudding mix to save a few pounds. Serve with apple slices, graham crackers or (lite) vanilla wafers.

Mix the pumpkin purée, vanilla pudding mix and pumpkin pie spice in a medium size bowl,

 then fold in the cool whip.
Chill before serving. Pour into your favorite serving bowl or a hollowed out pumpkin. Yum Yum

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Crockpot Maple Country Pork Ribs

You don't have to be a Dum Dum to throw this recipe together. (Except for me as I mistook dried minced onions as minced garlic) If you love crockpot cooking you are sure to love how easy and yum yum yummy these maple country pork ribs taste. Only 9 ingredients and they are:

1 1/2 lbs Country pork ribs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons dried minced onions
1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and allspice 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash of black pepper

 Combine all ingredients in crockpot ribs first on low for 7-9 hours. Serves 4.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

IKEA Swedish Meatballs vs My Swedish Meatballs

The new IKEA opened near me two weeks ago and I have to say I went there 4 days of the first 5 days it was open. I had to try their  Swedish meatball meal. It was good, so I bought a package of the regular meatballs. (They also have chicken and vegetable meatballs) Now I'm going to ask the family if they prefer mine or IKEA's meatballs. I will only know which meatball is which....let the judging begin!

My Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter

Cream Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste


In a medium size bowl combine the ground beef, panko bread crumbs, parsley, nutmeg, allspice, onion, garlic powder, salt, pepper and egg. Mix well. Roll into 12 large meatballs or 20 small ones. In a skillet melt the 1 tablespoon of butter and add the olive oil. Add the meatballs continuously turn them until they are brown and cooked throughout. Put them on a plate and cover them in foil.

In the same skillet and the 4 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of flour. Whisk until it turns light brown. Slowly stir in the broth and heavy cream. Then add the Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard simmer until sauce begins to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the meatballs back in and let simmer an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve on mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

IKEA Ingredients:

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 egg
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup water
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, crushed
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of allspice, optional

Cream Sauce:
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients together except the butter and form meatballs. Fry them in butter until they are brown and cooked throughout. Set aside. In the same skillet add the butter and the flour until its brown and the flour is cooked. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until you get the desired thickness. Serve cream sauce over meatballs ...don't forget the mashed potatoes and the lingonberry jam.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Sauteed Chicken In Red Wine With Spaetzle

It's so easy to find an Italian recipe, I decided to do something different and feed my 17% German heritage. (I am 9% Greek/Italian) I mean, how many of us get the opportunity to dine in a German restaurant and sample their food? In Jasper, Indiana there is a German restaurant called the Schnitzelbank. I've been there only a few times, but I don't get down to Jasper much. Last week while grocery shopping, I found some spaetzle. Now what to do with it. I've never had it let alone know how to cook it or what to cook it with. I expected to find most recipes with bratwurst, pork or veal then with chicken. Oh and a lot of recipes made the spaetzle from scratch thing at a time.


 3 1/2-4 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
8 oz container of white mushrooms, quartered
1 small white onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons brandy, optional
1 1/2 cups red wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
Seasonings: in a cheesecloth add some parsley, thyme, bay leaf and 2 cloves (Bouquet Garni)
Salt and pepper, to taste


Salt and pepper bothe sides of the chicken. Melt the butter in a skillet on med/high heat. Brown the chicken about 5-6 minutes on both sides. Set aside.

In the same skillet add the mushrooms, garlic and onions stir for 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture and stir an additional minute. Add the brandy and ignite. When the flames die down add the wine, chicken broth, seasonings, salt and pepper. Stir and reduce to simmer. Add the chicken back into the skillet, cover and cook about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

While the chicken is cooking make the spaetzle according to the package instructions.

Remove the cover to reduce the liquid slightly. Remove the bouquet garni and serve with spaetzle. Yum Yum.

NOTE: If you are not flambéing with brandy the skip that part and go right for the wine. But if you are here are some flambéing tips:

Use an alcohol with a content of 80% proof . Less might not lite, more like 150% might combust!

Remove pan from burner when add the alcohol. This will prevent your bottle of brandy from exploding.

Heat the alcohol to the point when it begins to bubble before igniting

If the open flame is making you nervous. You can put it out by putting a lid on it or simply blowing it out. (I'd have a lid handy)

The best pan for flambéing is a flambé Stainless Steel pan.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Which Cooking Oil to Use When

From deep-fried foods to healthy salads, cooking oils play a part in the flavor profile and healthiness of many meals. With such a huge range of nut, seed, and flower oils on the market to choose from, all boasting their own array of nutritional and superfood benefits, it can be hard to know where to start. Consider the smoke point when selecting an oil to cook with. 

The temperature at which a type of oil begins to smoke and burn will play a huge factor in the dishes you should use it in. Will you be cooking your food hot and fast? If that’s the case you might want to avoid the delicious and flavorful extra virgin olive oil, which begins to smoke at 320 degrees F, and instead opt for an oil with a higher smoke point, like avocado oil, which smokes at a searing 520 degrees F. 

Then there’s your waistline and general health to consider. It’s no 

secret all oils contain fats, but consulting our list will teach the levels of mono-saturated, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats in 15 popular nut, seed, and flower oils, allowing you to choose the oil that’s right for you. Will you be stir-frying your next meal? Try almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or walnut oil. Feel like a toasty flavor in your next salad dressing? Perhaps sesame oil should be your oil of choice. From flavor profiles to best applications, as well as interesting information on the derivation of each oil from its plant source, see the infographic below for everything you need to know about cooking oils and more.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fried Chicken Induction Style

Healthy cooking and maximizing flavor is a simple matter of understanding the chemistry and physics of proper food preparation. When chicken
is deep fried in oil, the outer surface is seared (caramelized) and the pores are closed, drawing the natural salts and sugars to the surface of the meat maximizing flavor. The meat within is then steamed to perfection in its own natural juices.
Sound simple? There’s more to learn... The cooking 
oil and the cooking temperature when frying is critical. Fried chicken, French fries, even donuts, fry best at 360˚F (182˚C). Hotter than 370˚F the food will burn. Cooler than 350˚F it will not cook thoroughly and the chicken will be greasy.
It should be noted, regardless of promotion, advertising and publicity, there is no such thing as a healthy oil. Oil is oil. All cooking and salad oils contain 14g of fat per tablespoons, 120 calories and no minerals or vitamins. When selecting an oil for frying all you need to know is the oil smoke point. For example; the ever popular coconut, sesame, canola, and soy oils all have a smoke point of less than 350˚F (177˚C). On the other hand extra virgin olive oil, grape seed, and peanut oil have a smoke point in excess of 370˚F.
The ideal oils for deep frying foods are; 1) pure golden olive oil (not the green stuff, 2) lard, and 3) vegetable shortening (Crisco)
Fried Chicken Induction Style
EQUIPMENT: 5 quart mixing bowl, NuWave PIC Flex induction cooker13" French skillet.
PREPARATION TIME: 1 hour – serves 2 to 4
1½ to 2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (breasts, thighs and drumsticks)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons poultry seasoning of paprika
3 teaspoons dried basil or marjoram
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoons fresh grates black pepper or white pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
7 cups pure golden olive oil, lard or Crisco
Sauce for dipping (optional)
Combine the flour and spices in the 5-quart covered mixing bowl? Cover and shake to evenly combine ingredients. 
Place the 13 inch (3½ quart) French skillet on the induction cooker, add the oil and set the temperature to 360˚F (182˚C). Heat for 10-12 minutes, until oil reaches temperature. 
Add the chicken to the seasoned flour a few pieces at a time, cover, shake the mixing bowl to coat the chicken.
Place the chicken in the hot oil and fry 10-12 minutes per side. Cook chicken until internal temperature reach 160-170˚F. 
Tip: Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. If necessary, fry in two or three batches. 
To serve; top with Sauce Supreme, or serve with BBQ sauce, or honey and yellow mustard mixed with soy sauce.

Why All-Clad Stainless Steel 13" Skillet?
The All-Clad Stainless 41135 13-inch French Skillet features a large surface area and round sides that hold in heat and liquids while preventing splattering, making the pan ideal for searing, browning and pan frying a wide range of foods, including eggs and meats. The round sides allow for large quantities of food to be easily flipped, and facilitates easy basting while cooking, yielding superb results full of flavor and color. All-Clad’s Stainless 3-ply cookware features a thick-gauge aluminum core that attracts heat fast, while the addition of stainless steel ensures even heat distribution for consistent results across the entire cooking surface, all the way to the rim. Even more, its stainless-steel interior with a starburst finish offers natural stick resistance, letting you know when food is ready to release, and it won’t react with ingredients, so there’s no risk of food picking up a metallic taste. Made in the USA, this stainless-steel cookware offers warp-resistant strength and dishwasher-safe convenience, plus it can be used on any cooktop, including induction. Discover what it means to cook with All-Clad’s most popular cookware collection–All-Clad Stainless is a classic choice for anyone who loves to cook.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Crockpot Loaded Chili

I love fall...sweatshirt weather, football and chili! But, this year has been down right chilly. We need something that will warm our bellies, and doesn't this crockpot loaded chili look good! This chili is good for lunch or dinner, just add some garlic bread and a salad. I'm going to cheat a little bit on the ingredients and use Season's Choice Three Peppers and Onions

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef, browned and drained of grease
2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes with juice
2 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz Season's Choice Three Peppers and Onions, thawed (enough for 2 peppers and a medium onion, 1/2 the bag)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 1.25oz packets McCormicks Chili Powder

Shredded Mexican blended cheese
Sour Cream
and tortilla chips for dipping


Put all the ingredients in the crockpot in this order; browned ground beef, tomatoes with juice, kidney beans, peppers and onions, garlic and seasoning.  Stir.

Cook on low for 6 hours and high for 3 hours. Stir occasionally, if needed. Add a cup of water if too thick. Serve with your favorite toppings. Yum Yum!

After, definitely after...took the picture after I had a few bites! Three of the family of five tried it and all three had 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Crockpot Sausage and BBQ Beans

My granddaughter Cristen is going to love this recipe, because she puts BBQ sauce on everything! This crockpot sausage and BBQ beans recipe is another meal you can prepare in the morning and 6-8 hours later you have a yummy meal you can serve with corn muffins and a salad.  

I had all the ingredients but one; molasses, so I'm substituting it for brown sugar. The conversion rate is 1.5 cup brown sugar to 1 cup molasses. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup molasses which is 4 tablespoons. If I'm doing this right I need 6 tablespoons of brown sugar. Let me know if I'm right.


2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed 
2 cans of northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup BBQ sauce 
3/4 cup ketchup 
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder 
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
1/2 cup maple syrup 
1/4 cup molasses or 6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 14.5 oz can of chicken broth or a tad over 1 3/4 cups, if you have your chicken broth in a 32 oz container 
1 lb bacon, cooked and cut into bite size pieces 
2 lbs of sausage, cut into bite size pieces 


In your crockpot add the beans then the rest of the ingredients except for the sausage and stir. Place the sausage on top and cover. Cook 6-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. Stir in the sausage right before serving. Yum Yum! 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Electric Skillet

Personally I don't think a kitchen can do without an electric skillet. I use mine for many of my recipes . It's easy to make any meal; whether it's eggs for breakfast, grilled cheese for lunch or garlic chicken and potatoes for dinner.  Clean up is a breeze as most nonstick skillets can be immersed in water as long as the cord is removed and some are even dishwasher safe.

The De'longhi was rated best electric skillet by Best Reviews this past September. Large cooking space, teflon didn't flake, great performance and dishwasher safe were among their positive points. The only con was that the aluminum body can get hot while cooking.

Other top performers were; Presto, Precise Heat, Oaster and Rival. also liked the Cuisinart 150 and 250. There must have features are:

  • Glass Lids. Glass lids are an ideal feature because they allow you to see food through the top of the skillet. You don’t have to remove the lid to check on your food. As a result, the heat stays locked inside and the cooking process doesn’t get interrupted.
  • Drainage Spouts. Drainage spouts are another great feature to look for. They allow you to pour out the broth or grease from your meal. This makes the cooking process easier. You won’t have to worry about accidentally dumping your meal in the sink while you’re draining the grease. Not only that, but it also makes the process safer.
  • Locking Lid. A locking lid is another component that is worth the extra money. It makes it easier to transport your food from location to the next. If you’re moving the electric skillet from the kitchen to the dining room, a locking lid will make the process seem effortless.
  • Non-Stick Coating. Non-stick coating is also a must-have feature. The skillet should have a non-stick feature on the inside, as well as the outside. Your food won’t stick to the pan, which will make it easier to clean. In addition to that, look for an electric skillet that is made of warp-proof material. Warp-proof pans are more durable and last for longer.
  • Adjustable Steam Vent. Find a model with an adjustable steam vent on the lid. The vent helps ensure that no liquid spills occur. Without an adjustable steam vent, pressure begins to build. This causes liquid to leak out of the sides of the electric skillet.
  • Heat-Resistant Handles. Heat-resistant handles are also a useful feature. Since you won’t need to use an oven mitt, they make the cooking process simpler. Not only that, but they are also safer than regular handles. You can pick up the skillet without burning your hands.
Buying Tip: When shopping for an electric skillet, look for one with high sides. This will allow you to accommodate larger amounts of food. Along with that, higher sides make it easier to deep-fry and braise. If you have awkward food shapes, they are more likely to fit better in a high-sided pan.

Features of the Hamilton Beach 

  • The product dimensions are 16” x 12” x 7”. The electric skillet’s 16-inch non-stick cooking surface invites an immediate heads up. The nonstick aspect makes it an ideal cooking unit to prepare recipes that need such utensils. This ensures ample cooking space for the ingredients. The skillet has a relatively high rim to allow the food to simmer at suitable temperatures without spillage.
  • The glass lid is yet another admirable feature of the Hamilton Beach 38540 16-inch Step up Skillet as it makes it see-through. The glass top of the skillet has a stay-cool grip, as do the sides of the unit.
  • The metal construction makes the skillet durable and imparts a solid look to the appliance. No doubt this skillet will last you years and years, if not decades.
  • The electric skillet has a unique built-in pour spout. This makes it easy to handle broth, excess liquid and other ingredients that are otherwise hard to dish out from the pan without spillage. This feature has made it an instant hit amongst users constantly bothered by pan dropout.
  • The lid of the skillet can be clipped to ensure that the food remains safely stored and remains sufficiently hot for comparatively longer periods of time.
  • The Hamilton Beach 38540 16-inch Step Up Skillet has four thick rubber legs to protect its base from scratches and to support the heavy metal cooking area. This feature also helps in using the skillet for a buffet.