Campfire Brisket Nachos

Posted by Tara on Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

brisket nachos

  • 1 12 oz can refried beans
  • 8 oz smoked beef brisket
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa or BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Toppings:
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped green onions
  • 2 Tablespoons jalopeno peppers
  • 1 bag corn chips

Light about 30 charcoal briquettes.  Prepare nachos while charcoal is heating.  In a 10 camping style Dutch oven layer the ingredients in the order listed, saving toppings and corn chips until ready to serve.  Cover Dutch oven and place it over 10 prepared charcoal briquettes, and then place 20 briquettes on top of the lid.  Cook for 15 minutes, then rotate the lid a quarter turn clockwise and the bottom a quarter turn counter clockwise.  Cook another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.  Garnish with the cilantro, onions, and peppers.  Serve with corn chips.  This recipe can be gluten free – just be sure there are no hidden gluten sources in the  refried beans, sauce, or chips.

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Italian Roasted Tomatoes

Posted by Tara on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

italian-roasted-tomatoes-2

Roasted Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 325

In a Dutch Oven, or casserole dish with glass lid add:

  • 4 boxes of cherry or grape tomatoes (approximate weight 12-16 oz box)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 4-5 cloves pressed garlic
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup olive oil

Stir to coat tomatoes with oil and herbs. Cover tomatoes. Cook 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have begun to brown on top.

Spoon onto Ciabatta , Asiago Cheese, or your favorite bread. Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.  Also tasty served with Pita Chips and over Italian Roast Beef Sandwiches.

Printable Recipe

Roasted Tomatoes

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Meatloaf Skillet Meal

Posted by Tara on Sunday, June 28th, 2015

mealloaf skillet meal
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 5 oz can evaporated milk (can use 2/3 cup coconut or almond milk for dairy free)
  • 1 can mild Rotel drained tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup chili sauce, or BBQ sauce or ketchup -
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ stick melted butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, washed, tips and strings removed, cut into 2” pieces
  • 4-6 new potatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1 garden fresh onion – peeled and quartered
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine the beef, milk, tomatoes, chili sauce (or BBQ or ketchup), minced onion, and salt and pepper to taste.  Form meat into a round loaf about 2” thick and 5” in diameter.  Place loaf in the middle of a 10-12” iron skillet or Dutch oven.  Cover meatloaf with BBQ sauce or ketchup.  Add the quartered new potatoes, quartered onion, and the fresh green beans, placing them around the meatloaf.  Add salt and pepper to the potatoes and green beans.  Pour melted butter and water over the veggies.  Bake the dish at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until meat is done and veggies are tender.

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Sugar Snap Peas

Posted by Tara on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Sugar Snap Peas
  • 1 pound fresh sugar snap peas
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or grape seed oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Sea salt and pepper for seasoning

Prepare the sugar snap peas by removing the ends and strings from each pea.  Rinse them under cold water and spread them in a single layer over paper towels and pat them dry.  In a large skillet add the oils and turn heat to medium-high. Add the peas and sesame seeds to the skillet and sauté them for about 5 minutes or longer if more tenderness is desired.  Add sea salt and pepper to taste before serving.

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Dutch Oven Apple Pie

Posted by Tara on Monday, May 25th, 2015

Dutch Oven Apple Cobbler

Looking for a hearty dish to make around the campfire?  Dutch Oven Apple Pie is a people pleasing way to keep all your campers happy.  This one turned out perfect and was simple to make with store bought pie pastry and some apple pie filling with fresh apples added.

  • 1 box refrigerated pie crust sheets
  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 stick real butter cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup water

Light 25 charcoal bricks and assemble the apple pie while waiting for charcoal to heat and turn grey.

Allow pie crusts to warm to room temperature out of the cooler for 10-15 minutes.  Unroll on of the refrigerated pie pastries and line the bottom of a 10″ Dutch oven with one of them,  pressing the edges up onto the sides of oven.  In a large bowl add the apple pie filling, sliced fresh apples, sugar, and cinnamon.  Pour mixture into Dutch oven.  Dot the apple filling mixture with the butter cubes.  Pour water over the filling.  Top the mixture with the other pie crust sheet.  Press edges to the sides and into the other pie crust.  Sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon over the top pie crust.  Cover Dutch oven with lid and place over prepared charcoals.  Place 8 hot charcoals under the Dutch Oven and 17 hot charcoals on top of the lid.  Every 15 minutes rotate Dutch oven 1/4 turn clockwise, then rotate the lid 1/4 turn counterclockwise.  Cook Apple Pie approximately 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Remove from heat and cool slightly before serving.

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Strawberry Tiramisu

Posted by Tara on Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Strawberry Tiramisu

I’m glad to live in Tennessee if for no other reason than the fresh strawberries grown in this state.  I’ve never had a sweeter,  juicer strawberry anywhere else.  Strawberry Tiramisu is the perfect dessert to welcome summer and makes an impressive presentation for minimal effort.

  • 2 cups strawberries – washed and stems removed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • juice from one lemon
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 pint whipping cream – whipped
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries – washed, stems removed, cut into slices
  • 3 3 oz packages ladyfingers

Add the 2 cups whole strawberries, 3/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice into a blender.  Puree mixture until smooth. Pour the strawberry puree mixture into a medium sauce pan.  Set heat to high until the mixture begins to boil.  Whisk frequently while mixture boils for 1 minute.  Remove pan from heat and let mixture cool.

In a large mixing bowl add the mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar.  Beat with an electric mixer until well combined.  Fold the whipped cream into the cheese/sugar mixture.  Beat for 1-2 minutes or until a fluffy consistency is formed.

Cover the bottom of an 8×8 Pyrex with a layer of ladyfingers.  Brush a generous amount of the strawberry puree mixture over ladyfingers.  Next spread about 1/3 of the cream mixture over the glazed ladyfingers.  Then top the cream layer with fresh sliced strawberries.  Repeat this layering process 2 more times.  Save any remaining strawberry puree and fresh sliced strawberries for garnish.  Refrigerate the Strawberry Tiramisu, berries, and puree 2 hours or more before serving.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

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Lasagna Soup

Posted by Tara on Saturday, February 28th, 2015

lasagna-soup

Lasagna Soup

This recipe is a keeper! It is a crowder pleaser and is so easy to make – just brown beef, open cans, add cooked noodles and enjoy.

  • 1 pound browned ground beef
  • 1 can 28 oz can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
  • 2 NO BEEF bullion cubes + 4 cups water (or use a 32oz box of beef broth + 1 NO BEEF Bullion cube)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cooked spiral noodles (cook about 1 cup dry spiral noodles – do not add cooked noodles until almost ready to serve)
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese

In large Dutch oven  brown the ground beef.  Add bullion cubes, water (or beef broth) and tomatoes. Bring to boil and dissolve bullion cubes in liquid. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste buds. Reduce heat to simmer at 20-30 minutes. While the beef, broth, and tomatoes are simmering, prepare 1 cup of dry pasta spirals according to package directions.  Cook until al dente, drain, and rinse with cold water.  Add cooked noodles to soup mixture before serving and let simmer another 5 minutes. Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Plain diced tomatoes can also be used along with 1-2 teaspoons of dried Italian seasoning

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Kitchen Organization 101

Posted by Tara on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

spice drawer

I spent a good part of Tuesday “degreasing” and organizing my cook top and drawers under it.  It was a messy sticky icky job.  One of the tasks involved with this project was organizing the spice drawer.  I’ve had jars and boxes of spices thrown into this drawer for a decade.  The spices would spill out into the drawer, and were in no order whatsoever.  Part of my spices were stored in this drawer and the rest in another drawer on the other side of the kitchen.  Locating a spice wasn’t easy and left me frustrated.  Solution?  36 Ball jars, 4 oz size, filled with spices, stored neatly and clearly labeled with CHALKY TALKY chalkboard peel and stick labels.  I ordered these labels and the CHALKY TALKY liquid chalkboard pens from Amazon.  The cool thing about the labels is the liquid chalk can be wiped off with a damp paper towel and reused.  There were 40 labels which fit standard size jars.  I plan to order another pack of 40 standard labels along with wide mouth labels for another organization project.  For now, I am one happy happy OCD gal!

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Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Posted by Tara on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

ChickenNDumplins

I can think of few main dishes with more Southern flair than Chicken and Dumplings.  I do not recall either of my parents making this dish in our home.  Chicken and Dumplings were given the respect they deserved.  Only my Grandmothers were worthy enough to make them.  There was no special family recipe written down. And both my Grandmothers instinctively knew how to prepare this family favorite.  By the way – the Blue WIllow plate in this photo belonged to my great grandmother Hancock.

I think the secret to perfect Chicken and Dumplings is having rich chicken broth.  Although boneless, skinless chicken breast could be cooked and diced, a whole hen with the skin on will produce a richer broth with more fat. Short on time?  Pickup a deli chicken and boil it for a few minutes skin and all before shredding the chicken meat.  Save the broth to make the dumplins.

Remove any bagged chicken pieces or parts from the cavity of the hen.  Rinse her well. Fill a large deep pot halfway with water. Add the chicken and bring water to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium or a low boil.  Cook chicken until tender.  Remove chicken from broth.  SAVE BROTH in pan to cook dumplings.  When chicken is cool, pull meat from bones, removing skin if desired.

Dumplings:

  • 2 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • milk

Mix together and add enough milk to make a stiff batter. Knead dough using plenty of flour.  Roll out to the thickness of pie crust.  I use a pizza cutter to cut dough into 1 inch by 2 inch pieces.

Bring chicken broth to a rolling boil.  Drop dough pieces into boiling broth and cook slowly until done.  You may need to cover pot with a lid and allow the excess liquid to cook down.  Add chicken and let stand to blend the flavors.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot!

Printable Recipe

Chicken-N-Dumplings

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Better Than Zaxby’s Fried Chicken and Jezebel Sauce

Posted by Tara on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

fried-chicken

Fried Chicken Tenders

You will need:

  • 2 pounds fresh chicken tenders
  • Salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 ½ cups Ritz cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons Lowry’s seasoned salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun spice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • Vegetable Oil for frying

Fried chicken is better when made from fresh, not frozen chicken. Remove fresh chicken tenders from package (I’ve also used the chicken breast and cut my own tenders). Rinse chicken and place in a bowl of water along with 2-3 Tablespoons salt. Soak chicken 30-60 minutes. Pour water off chicken and rinse again. Return chicken to bowl and cover with buttermilk. Let chicken soak in buttermilk at least 30 minutes. Place chicken in refrigerator while soaking in salt water and buttermilk.

While chicken soaks, prepare the breading. Crush the crackers, and then add the flour, all the seasonings, mixing well. Sometimes, I will place the breading in a zip-lock bag to coat the chicken. Sometimes I simply toss chicken with the breading in a large bowl. Either way, the some of the buttermilk needs to be drained off the chicken before the breading takes place. Also, place only 4-6 tenders at a time in the breading. Too many tenders at once are harder to coat. I like to lay the breaded tenders on paper towels as I continue breading and begin frying.

I use a fryer that has a metal basket, along with a thermostat. I fill the fryer up to the maximum oil line. Then I preheat the fryer to 400 degrees. When oil is hot, I add 4-6 tenders to the basket and fry for about 6 minutes, or until the breading is golden brown, but not overdone. If the tenders are very thick, I like to cut into the thickest ones to test for doneness. Sometimes the tenders must be fried a little longer. Remember, pink chicken is not very healthy.

Remove cooked tenders from fryer basket and drain/cool them on clean paper towels. Transfer to your favorite platter when all tenders are ready to serve. See this platter – it belonged to my husband’s grandmother. My mother-in-law gave it to me for Christmas this year. This was the first meal served on it in our home.

Our children love all types of dipping sauces. These tenders are excellent served with Jezebel sauce. Other favorites are honey mustard dressing, ranch dressing, and barbeque sauce.

You will make many friends when you serve these tenders.

jezebel-sauce1

Jezebel Sauce

What in the world is Jezebel sauce? Well- its zippy, its zesty, and its zingy! And it peps up a lot of fried meats and boring dried beans.

Mix together and store in Rubbermaid or Tupperware bowl:

  • 1 pint apple jelly
  • 1 pint pineapple or peach preserves
  • ¼ cup horseradish
  • ½ cup mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

Mix well, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve as a dipping sauce for fried chicken, shrimp, or fish. This sauce is also tasty served with pinto beans, navy beans, crowder peas, or black eyed peas. Keeps up to 4 weeks in refrigerator.

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