Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Homemade Frosty





My husband LOVES Wendy's frosties, however the closest Wendy's to our house is almost 7 miles away, he doesn't have time to always run out and grab one when the craving strikes.  Which, of course, is why he loves that I have discovered the quick and easy recipe to make some at home, I am not joking when I say that this tastes like a real Wendy's Frosty! What's even better is this is so simple to make!

Homemade Frosty

1/2 gallon chocolate milk
8 oz cool whip
1 can sweetened condensed milk


Chill all ingredients first, mix together well.  Pour into an ice cream maker and serve when "frosty."

Bananas Foster over Sweet French Toast



I LOVE bananas foster, however I don't get many chances to make it in my day to day life, which is why I decided to share this little treat with my kiddos.  My son asked for our new favorite Brinner (breakfast for dinner) which was my Carmel Bacon Stuffed French Toast, but having had that every two weeks for the past month, I thought it was time for a change so I paired my sweet french toast with bananas foster.  This brinner is sure to become a new family favorite.

Bananas Foster


2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 - 1/2 cup dark rum
3 bananas, peeled

In a heavy skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and rum, stir together. Add cream and continue cooking until smooth and bubbly, around 4-6 minutes. slice and stir in bananas, cook while gently swirling skillet, until bananas are just warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Note: if you want a fiery display, wait to add rum until you've added the bananas, carefully with a long handled lighter set on fire. Flames should put themselves out in less than a minute.


Sweet French Toast


Ingredients
8 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 slices bread
1/4 cup milk
6 tsp sugar

Directions
In a shallow dish, beat egg, sugar, milk and vanilla well.
Heat griddle or pan on medium heat. Coat with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Soak each side of bread in egg mixture until wet, but not soggy, about 10-20 seconds a side.
Grill each side until golden brown.
Remove from heat. Serve, top as desired.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Southern Sweet Tea



When I lived in the south the idea of not having sweet iced tea might as well have been synonymous with not having running water.  Everyone had it, everyone made it and you're darn right everyone was drinking it.  So why is it that everyone up north has no idea what a good sweet tea should taste like?  Sweet tea is not the same as "sweetened tea," no, this tea needs to be sweet, not lightly sweetened, but straight up sweet.  Maybe the north needs a few more southern gals to show them what real tea tastes like.

For me, the funny thing was in our house it wasn't the girls who made the tea, but it was actually the man of the house, who was constantly saying "I'm probably not makin' this righ', but it tastes righ' ta me." Sure as heck tasted right to me! Almost like my sweet ole grandma's tea.


Southern Sweet Tea

1 pitcher sun tea
1 cup sugar
ice
Lemon wedge, optional

Directions
Make yourself a large pitcher of sun tea: I use 3-6 tea bags per 2 quart pitcher, depending on how long I'm willing to let the tea set in the sun, the longer it sets, the less bags I use.  Let your pitcher of water and tea bags set in the sun for a few hours, until the tea is nice and dark.
Once you have your pitcher of sun tea remove the tea bags, and add in the whole cup of sugar, yes it's a lot of sugar but it is needed!
Store in refrigerator, serve with ice and a lemon wedge.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sausage Egg Muffins



My husband LOVES fast food breakfast, I've never really been a fan because of all the preservatives, and of course, the cost.  I know for a fact that it doesn't cost $1.50 plus tax to put together two eggs, one slice of sausage and an english muffin, that's just outrageous.

So my husband has been going about finding a way to get his fast food fix, without the fast food price.  He's pretty happy with his newest find swaggerty's premium sausage, which comes pre-sliced for his convenience. I would have been just as happy buying ground sausage by the chub, letting it get almost frozen, and then slicing it myself. Alas, the pre-sliced sausage was roughly the same price per ounce as the chub, so I let him indulge, and I have to say, it tastes pretty good, if not better than what I normally buy.
Note: If you opt for buying the chub, you can save time in the mornings by preforming your patties up to 3-5 days in advance if kept in your fridge, and 1 month ahead if kept in your freezer, just remember to thaw a day or two before cooking to allow for even heating of the patty.

This super simple breakfast can be easily prepared in less than ten minutes, and munched on as you head off for your hectic commute. Recipe makes 1 muffin, and is easily altered to make many.

Sausage Egg Muffin

Ingredients
1 English muffin, split open
2 eggs, beaten
1-2 sausage patties
1 slice cheddar, optional

nonstick cooking spray

cupcake tin

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 550*F and heat a skillet on medium heat.

2. In a small bowl beat eggs.  If you have to form your sausage patties, do it now, while everything is heating up. Cut a slice of Cheddar or other cheese if desired.


3. In a cupcake pan, spray nonstick cooking spray into the cups.  Pour beaten eggs evenly into cups, I usually do two cups per sandwich. Place in 550*F oven for roughly 8 minutes.  Eggs should puff up and look like mini muffins.
4. While eggs are cooking, place sausage patties in your skillet.  Flip patties over after 5 minutes, or when first side is thoroughly browned, cook roughly 3-4 minutes on alternate side.  Times may vary depending on type of skillet and heat source, just be sure to thoroughly cook the patty as to no pink remaining inside.

5. Slide patties and eggs onto one side of the muffin, top with cheese if desired, close sandwich and enjoy.

My husband and I find that the sausage gives enough salt to the sandwich that the eggs do not need any salt, but one of my daughters disagrees.  Easiest way to find out is to make it without the first day and then add salt than to add salt before trying and find out that it is too much.
Also note, that if you add salt to your eggs before cooking you often taste less of the salt and end up salting more, which increases your sodium intake.  Salting after cooking reduces this.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Guacamole



This dip is perfect for all your chips and dip needs.  I am not normally one to like guacamole because it never tastes "right" this, is one exception, I LOVE this dip and would eat it with or without chips.  It was so good that some people even used it as a condiment on their burger!

Here's a tip I learned a long time ago from one of my nieces: Leave the avocado pits in the guacamole to keep it from browning as quickly.

Guacamole

Ingredients
3 large Avocados
1 large hot house tomato
1 medium hot house tomato
1/2 large sweet onion
1/2 tsp garlic, minced or fresh
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp mayo*
salt, to taste
lime juice, 1 generous squeeze
1 tsp Serrano finely chopped, optional- these are MUCH hotter than jalapenos, use with care

Directions
1.) Cut your avocado in half, and remove pit.  With a spoon scoop the avocado from the skin. Depending on the ripeness of your avocado you can either mash the avocado with a fork or dice the avocado into more manageable pieces before mashing. When mashing the avocado put into a medium to large mixing bowl before mashing.

2.) Dice tomatoes, and onion, add to the bowl with the avocado.

3.) Shell and mince garlic, add to bowl.  Chop the cilantro, stems and all, add to bowl.

4.) Mix all ingredients together with one generous squeeze of fresh lime juice and 1 Tbsp mayo, salt to taste.
* using gluten free mayo will make this recipe gluten free.

Sweet dry rub



This sweet dry rub was created by my friend David, in an attempt to make a rub that was low in fats and oils so that I could eat it as well.  This rub is very sweet due to the large amount of sugars in it, if you're not in the mood for something as sweet adjust your ratios. Can be used on beef, pork, chicken and vegetables.

The recipes from David are always done in ratios or percentages. Start with the larger percentages first, then incrementally go down the list.  This allows you to determine how much of the smaller mixtures you are going to need and reduces the guess work.
When working with a recipe that deals with percentages or ratios it allows the chef to adjust the recipe to their specific tastes.

This means if it says 30% of brown sugar, you want brown sugar to be 1/3 of the total recipe.  So if I want 1 cup of rub, I will use 1/3 of a cup of brown sugar, and so on.
It becomes slightly more difficult when you are using a mixture with a percentage, always start off with LESS than you feel you will need of each ingredient and mix them in a measuring cup so that you don't go over your percentage.
Once you have all of the ingredients that are in the percentage mixture, go back and adjust your increments of the ingredients you want to be more dominate, such as if you want something to have more of a kick, add in more paprika, etc., keeping in mind that your increments should be small and all need to be within the percentage/ratio.

I usually aim for 1 cup rub unless I'm having a party, where I make 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups, and I almost always have some rub leftover.

Sweet Dry Rub

35% - Brown Sugar
35% - White Sugar

20% - Paprika
        - rosemary
        - cumin
        - salt
        - cinnamon

10% - garlic, fresh, chopped
        - molasses
        - Johnson's meat tenderizer
        - McCormick BBQ rub

Directions
1.) Figure out how much rub you want to make total, see above for directions about percentages.
2.) Measure out your sugars put into a medium bowl.
3.) After making your percentage mixtures combine with the sugar mixtures. Let set for 1-2 hours for flavors to combine.
4.) Before cooking meat, generously rub the dry rub into the meat, if desired, let set for an hour for the meat to absorb the rub mixture.


For the percentage mixtures:

I start out with 1/4 tsp of each ingredient, except for salt, as the meat tenderizer contains a lot of salt.  Then I adjust my paprika first, then my rosemary and cumin, finally my cinnamon.  I don't touch the salt again until the very end, after I've added in the tenderizer.

When a recipe calls for garlic in a percentage I usually chop 1/2 a clove, and then adjust as I go on.  For this recipe your only moisture is in your molasses and garlic, use more molasses than other ingredients in this percentage, I would start with 1 1/2 tsp - 1 Tbsp, and then adjust accordingly.  Remember 1 cup has 16 Tablespoons, so 1 Tbsp is a lot for a 1 cup mixture.

Bourbon Onions



These Bourbon Onions are first marinated in the mixture, and then sauteed in a pan.  Great for topping your burgers!

Bourbon Onions

Ingredients
1/2 cup Stub's Hickory Bourbon Sauce
1 packet McCormick Spiced Brandy and Herb mix
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 - 3 medium sweet onions, sliced in rings

Directions
Peel and slice onions and set aside.
Mix all other ingredients together, in a medium bowl.
Add onions into bowl and coat well.  Set aside 20-30 minutes to marinate.
After onions have marinated saute onions in a pan over medium heat until the onions are soft and the mixture begins to caramelize.
Serve warm.

Teriyaki sauce


Here are two different teriyaki sauces that were used at our most recent BBQ, both were pretty good on burgers.

Teriyaki Sauce #1

Ingredients

33% - soy sauce
33% - pineapple juice
33% - sake

2 - 3 Tbsp ginger, finely grated
2 - 3 cloves garlic

Directions
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, let set for 20 - 30 minutes for flavors to combine.


Teriyaki Sauce #2

Ingredients

30% - Pineapple juice

25% - Teriyaki BBQ marinate
20% - Soy sauce

20% - cumin
        - celery seeds
        - sesame seeds
        - turmeric
        - thyme
        - ginger powder
        - agave nectar
        - garlic, fresh, finely chopped
        - hot sauce, Louisiana style, use very little
        - serrano pepper, 1/4 of a pepper - thick sliced, removed from marinate before serving

Directions
1.) Figure out how much rub you want to make total, see above for directions about percentages.
2.) Measure out the pineapple juice, BBQ marinate and soy sauce, mix together in a medium bowl.
3.) After making your percentage mixture combine with the wet mixture mixtures. Let set for 1-2 hours for flavors to combine.

Please note: Agave Nectar is not as sweet as other sugars so you will need more agave than you would other sugars.  If you cannot find agave nectar or do not wish to use it, try honey as a natural substitute.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cream Soda ( Italian and Traditional )



My husband LOVES cream soda.  A few years ago I convinced him to give up store bought soda, in exchange he was allowed to make his own italian sodas at home from carbonated water and flavored syrups, he was okay with this until he realized that he would need recipes for such sodas.  So here are two recipes for cream soda, one is the traditional American version, which oddly enough contains no cream at all, and then there is the Italian version which does contain cream. Try both, see which one you prefer.



Italian Cream Soda

2 Tbsp Vanilla syrup
6-8 oz carbonated water (aka soda water)
2 oz cream

Mix all ingredients together, serve over ice.



Traditional Cream Soda

2 Tbsp Vanilla syrup
1 pinch brown sugar
8 oz carbonated water (aka soda water)

Dissolve brown sugar in vanilla syrup. Combine syrup mixture and carbonated water, serve over ice.