Sunday, August 28, 2011

Championship Chicken Wings & Wing Sauce


With another football season just weeks away and the tailgating menus in our thoughts... I wanted to repost our popular Championship Chicken Wings and wing sauce (with photo tutorial!) These are always a hit, and always gone before game time. 

CHAMPIONSHIP CHICKEN WINGS

10 chicken wings
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 dash ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
Oil - Enough for frying
In a small bowl mix together the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Place chicken wings in a large non-porous glass dish or bowl and sprinkle flour mixture over them until they are evenly coated. Cover dish or bowl and refrigerate for 60 to 90 minutes. (Tip: Use a sifter to sprinkle on flour mixture evenly then flip to coat the opposite side.) Heat oil in a cast iron skillet, pan, or deep fryer to 375° F. (I usually put my stove dial at just over Medium.) The oil should be just enough to cover wings entirely, or at least half way up. While your oil heats you can make your wing sauce listed below. Once oil has reached the desired temperature, carefully place wings into hot oil. Fry coated wings in hot oil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until wings begin to turn golden brown and juices run clear. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Once the wings have drained, place the wings in serving bowl, add hot sauce mixture and stir together or spoon some sauce over the top. Serve with or without sauce.


Wing Sauce
1/4 C Butter
1/4 C Hot sauce (We HIGHLY recommend Franks Hot Sauce!)

1 dash garlic powder
Combine the butter, hot sauce, pepper and garlic powder in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir together and heat until butter is melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat or set on low heat to reserve for serving. Stir occasionally if left on low heat. (Note: For hotter sauce, use LESS butter. For a more milder sauce with less heat, use MORE butter.)

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Photo Tutorial 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Skyline Chili Dip



     A version of this might be on the back of the box but I wanted to share this great dip because it gets so many rave reviews when I make it. 
     Skyline chili is a birthright in Cincinnati, Ohio. It's practically an unknown in the South however. I was introduced to Skyline Chili when I was doing a clinical internship for school. It's classically served a-top a bed of spaghetti noodles. Not until I was walking through the frozen food section of my local Publix supermarket did I cross paths with this great and unique tasting chili again. 
     Having eaten for several weeks, I decided to try the dip recipe (listed on the back of the box) for an upcoming party. It was devoured in under 10 minutes. The recipe was ask for several times, and I would tell them exactly where I got it and what to do. Since it was such a hit, and few folks around here know about it, I decided to share it. Check your local stores to see if they carry Skyline chili or if they can get some for you (It runs ~$2.99 around here for a 13.25 oz frozen package). It will be a guaranteed hit! 



SKYLINE CHILI DIP
2 (6 oz) pkg Cream cheese, softened
1 (13.25 oz) pkg Skyline Chili, thawed/cooked
1/4 C onion, finely diced
1-2 C Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (Use more if desired)
Heat your frozen chili in the microwave as instructed on the package. Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes. During it's cooking/cooling time...Evenly spread softened cream cheese in a 9" x 13" casserole dish. Sprinkle finely diced onions (as even as you can) on the cream cheese layer. Open the thawed chili and carefully spoon chili onto the cream cheese and onion layers. Spread the chili until it completely covers the bottom layers. Evenly sprinkle on shredded cheese on top of the chili layer. When you are ready to serve, microwave for 2 minutes or heat in an oven at 350° until cheese melts. Serve warm with Santitas Tortilla Chips ($2 Only!) or any chip of your choice. *Note - Sometimes I will half this recipe and make two smaller casserole dishes. Eg. 4" x 8" instead of 9" x 13". I will keep one in the fridge while the other one is eaten. Once it's gone, I will pop the fresh one in the microwave. This tends to ensure a hot dip for my all of my guest whenever they may arrive. Either way, there is never any of this dip left. That makes cleaning super easy!

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Photo tutorial after the link...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chicken, Cheese, & Broccoli Braid


This is a pretty simple dish that looks like you spent hours putting it together. Basically, it can be a "hodgepodge" of things you like... rolled in dough. The recipe below is what we most commonly put in it. I recommend putting in whatever you like. Experiment a little... it's pretty hard to mess up. (Also, below the recipe is a photo tutorial of how we make it... Just hit the break and Enjoy!)

CHICKEN, CHEESE, & BROCCOLI BRAID
2-3 Skinless boneless chicken breast, cook & shredded
1 C Broccoli, cooked & chopped
1 Clove crushed garlic
1 C Cheddar cheese, shredded (use more if desired)
1/2 C Mayonnaise
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/4 C Onion, diced
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 pkg/can Pizza dough
1 egg white, beaten
*optional 1/2 C red bell pepper, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, mix together chicken, mayonnaise, broccoli, garlic, cheese, dill, and onion (you can also add other optional ingredients at this point. Use what ever you like.) Salt and pepper to taste. Mix until ingredients are combined well. Next, open your pizza dough. Unroll it onto a lightly greased, tinfoil lined cookie sheet. Spread the dough until touches, or almost touches the edges of the cookie sheet. Using a pizza cutter or scissors, cut 1 inch wide strips toward the center down the long sides of the dough. Be sure to leave about 3 inches of solid (uncut) dough in the center. (The strips will look like a fringe on the two long sides.) Spoon the chicken mixture onto the center strip as even as you can. It will form a little mound down the length of the dough. Take a strip and gently pull/fold over the chicken mixture, alternating strips from side to side. (If you pull at about a 45° and angle, it will give a nice braided appearance.) Fold or pinch the ends. Brush the braided dough with the egg white. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown and dough is done.

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For the photo tutorial hit the link!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Homemade Draino



Drano and other clog removers can be expensive when you're on a budget. But, if you're stuck with a sink that's clogged or just drains dreadfully slow, there is a much cheaper alternative that might already be in your pantry.  Baking Soda + Vinegar =  A sad plumber with one less job.

Step 1 – Put the DRY baking soda down the drain. I use about 3/4 of a cup. ( If you're having a hard time removing the sink stopper to put in you baking soda, click here to find out how to remove it correctly.)
Step 2 – Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar down the drain after the baking soda. Be sure to cover the drain immediately afterwards with a rag or plug, filling the hole completely so nothing can escape. This is because the interaction of the baking soda and vinegar will cause a “mini volcano” that will want to come up and out of the drain..you want to keep it down there to break up the clog.
Step 3 – Leave this concoction in the drain for about 30 minutes. While you are waiting, boil a tea kettle full of water.
Step 4 – After 30 minutes, remove the plug and slowly pour the HOT water down the drain.


Thats it... by now, all should flow smoothly. If not, just repeat the process 1-2 more times to break up the stubborn clog.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Taco Seasoning


With another Margarita Monday around the corner I wanted to post a simple tag along with the Chicken Taco Soup that I previously posted. We often find ourself short of one or more ingredients when we go to cook a recipe. Rather than running to the store it's nice to find an easy alternative or a way to make what you initially wanted. Taco seasoning is one of those things we don't always have on hand but, we have the all of the ingredients in the spice shelf to make our own. It's just knowing the right combo... and here is that combo! Never buy taco seasoning again!



TACO SEASONING
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
Combine listed ingredients. Stir together until combined. Use with any recipes that call for Taco Seasoning.

Now that you have taco seasoning... you need something to use it in. Here is a repost of a Margarita Monday favorite Chicken Taco Soup.





CHICKEN TACO SOUP
(Slow Cooker)
1 sm onion, chopped
1 (16 oz) can chili beans
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chillies, undrained
1 (1.25 oz) pkg taco seasoning
3 whole chicken breast, boneless, skinless
1 (12 oz) can/container chicken stock OR (12 oz) can/bottle beer
*(Optional topping) Cheddar cheese, shredded
*(Optional topping) sour cream
*(Optional topping) crushed tortilla chips
Place the chopped onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with green chilies, and chicken stock OR beer (NOT BOTH) into a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breast on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly to just cover by the other ingredients. Cover slow cooker and set on low heat. Cook for 5 hours. Carefully remove chicken breast from soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Shred chicken. Add shredded chicken back into the soup and stir a little. Cover again and continue cooking on low for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.


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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Guacamole Dip

Homemade Guacamole 
With Margarita Monday around the corner, I figured I would post an easy guacamole dip recipe. Don't be scared to try something new. You'll be surprised at how fresh, light, easy, and good this homemade dip is!   

GUACAMOLE DIP
3 avocados, peeled, pitted, and roughly mashed
1 lime, juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 C onion, finely diced
3 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
2 roma aka plum tomatos, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
* Optional - 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper

In a medium size mixing bowl, mash together avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatos, and garlic. If you choose, add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Stir until ingredients are well combined. Cover and refrigerate for an hour before serving with chips.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Great Steak Marinade

Steak Marinade 

Made these two steaks tonight. Threw together this recipe sort of last minute but turned out pretty darn good. Should have let the steaks marinate in it for more than 2 hours but turned out great anyway. Not too bad for someone who's is not a "big steak eater". 


Ingredients

  • 1/3 C soy sauce
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 1/3 C lemon juice
  • 1/4 C Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried minced garlic (optional)


Directions
  1. Place the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, and pepper in bowl and mix together. Add optional hot pepper sauce and garlic, if desired. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Pour marinade over desired type of meat. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired

FYI: If you choose to use marinade for any other purpose, boil for 5 minutes over high heat to make it safe to consume.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip Begins!


Made this dip for the 4th of July block party we threw together last night. It didn't last long, and folks keep asking for the recipe so I decided to share it on here. Hope you enjoy and have a SAFE and great 4th weekend!

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Ingredients
2-3 Boneless, skinless chicken breast - cooked and shredded
2 (8 oz) pkgs Cream Cheese - softened 
1/2 (12 oz) or All of Bottle of Franks Hot Sauce (or any that you desire, we like Franks.)
Directions
Boil chicken until completely cooked. Once chicken is cooked, shred and place into a small or medium sized slow cooker.  Add softened cream cheese and 1/2 of the bottle of Franks hot sauce (or what ever hot sauce you choose). Heat on Low, Medium, or High depending on how soon you need it. Be sure to stir it often to ensure it gets mixed well. It’s ready when it’s warmed throughly. Serve with Frito Scoops or Original Ruffles. 
(Note: You can adjust heat by adding more hot sauce or more cream cheese.) 

Stir as the cream cheese heats.
In the end you should have a nice creamy mixture.
I find it best to serve in a slow cooker to keep it warm. It doesn't last long....





Chicken n' Waffles

Just devoured this tasty brunch treat @ O'Charley's. Not on the menu, but ordered the brunch waffle an asked them to top it with fried chicken strips. Turned out Deeelish! Great combo of sweet & salty! They should put it on their menu...
Sent from my iPhone

Monday, June 27, 2011

Homemade Italian Beef

Homemade Italian Beef

My wife and I made this delightful little dish this weekend. The aroma filled the house all day Saturday and kept us both drooling. Once we got the chance to eat, my wife couldn't stop saying how good it was. It's really simple to throw together and pretty filling! It's even better the next day!

Ingredients

  • 3 Lbs beef chuck roast
  • 2 (1 oz) pkg dry Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1 C water or beer of choice
  • 1 (16 oz) jar pepperoncini peppers & 1/2 of the juice 
  • *Optional - 1-2 dashes crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 8 hoagie rolls or hamburger buns, split


Directions

Place the roast into a slow cooker. Add the jar of pepperoncini peppers and half of the jar of juice (you can use more depending on your taste). Sprinkle Italian dressing mix on top of meat and peppers. Pour in your water (or beer if you choose) next. Cover, and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 6 to 7 hours. During the last hour, shred the meat with two forks. (Note: Meat should shred rather easily. If not, it needs to cook longer.) Serve on hoagie rolls or buns. Sandwiches can then be topped with provolone cheese if deisred or any other cheese you like. This is classically served with plain potato chips.


  

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Garlic Cheese Stuffed Burgers w/ Roasted Red Pepper Relish!

 Garlic Cheese Stuffed Burgers w/ Roasted Red Pepper Relish -Sorry for the blurry pic!

My wife and I made these Thursday night and thought they turned out pretty good. If you're in the mood to try something new and pretty tasty try these. Not expensive, and not hard to throw together... Thats what I'm about! Cheap, easy, and good... That might belong on a t-shirt. 



Garlic Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Ingredients 

1 1/2 lb. ground beef (85% lean)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (4.4-oz.) container light garlic-and-herb spreadable cheese (such as Boursin that is found in the cheese section of the grocery store.)
4 hamburger buns, split
Top with Roasted Red Pepper Relish (recipe follows)

Directions

1. Heat grill. Gently combine beef, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Shape into 8 (4-inch) patties 1/4 inch thick. Place heaping tablespoon of cheese in center of 4 patties. Top with remaining patties; pinch edges to seal. Gently flatten to about 3/4-inch thickness.
2. Oil grill grates. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or coals 8 to 12 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink in center, turning once. During last minute of grilling, place buns on grill to toast, if desired. Serve 
burgers in buns with Roasted Red Pepper Relish (Recipe Below).




Roasted Red Pepper Relish

Ingredients


1 C chopped roasted red bell peppers (about 12 oz.)
1/4 C chopped red onions
1/4 C red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp minced garlic

Directions


Bring all ingredients to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 6 to 8 minutes or until liquid has mostly evaporated, stirring occasionally.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Garlic Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Quick snap-shot of our garlic cheese stuffed burgers
sorry it's a little blurry... was rushing to eat! 
Will post the recipe for these garlic cheese stuffed burgers and a few other great recipes and tips this weekend. Stay hungry my friends!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Banana Pudding

 Banana Pudding 
I've been a little slack for the past few weeks with my updates.  I'm still cooking and taking a lot of pics! I will be sure to upload the pics and recipes as soon as I get a chance. I just want to make sure that when I publish, I publish a GOOD recipe.  I hate to settle for "okay" food and I don't want you to settle for "okay" food/recipe(s) when you too, go through the process of making a dish. I want you, your family, and friends to enjoy every crumb!

Leave them asking for the recipe!

I also know that everyone's taste is different. Some recipes that you try you'll love, some you will like, and some you'll wish you had your empty stomach back to give it another go :-)  But in turn, I sincerely hope that any and every dish of mine that you attempt, that it meets and/or surpasses your standard. 


BANANA PUDDING

Ingredients
1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (5 oz.) pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
2 C Cold Milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
3-4 bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 (12 oz.) pkg Nilla wafers


Directions

In a large bowl, beat room temperature cream cheese until "creamy". Beat in sweetened condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the thawed whipped topping. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with Nilla wafers. Top wafers with banana slices. Spread pudding mixture on top of banana layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. I also like to top this dish with the remaining Nilla wafters (crushed) just before serving. ***Note, with 2 cups of milk, this will be a soft, firm-like dessert. If you desire a more "old fashioned" pudding consistance, add a total of 3 cups milk, instead of just 2 cups.***



Picture Tutorial 

1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (5 oz.) pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
2 C Cold Milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
3-4 bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 (12 oz.) pkg Nilla wafers

In a large bowl, beat room temperature cream cheese until "creamy". Beat in sweetened condensed milk.
 Add pudding mix, cold milk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
***Note, with 2 cups of milk, this will be a soft, firm-like dessert. If you desire a more "old fashioned" pudding consistance, add a total of 3 cups milk, instead of just 2 cups.***

 Line the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with Nilla wafers. 
Thinly slice bananas and top wafers with banana slices.

 Fold in 1/2 of the thawed whipped topping into pudding mixture.
Spread pudding mixture on top of banana layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. I also like to take the remaining Nilla wafers and crush them. Top this dish with crushed wafers just before serving. Gives it and extra ascetic "wow" factor. Enjoy!


BANANA PUDDING

Ingredients
1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (5 oz.) pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
2 C Cold Milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
3-4 bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 (12 oz.) pkg Nilla wafers


Directions

In a large bowl, beat room temperature cream cheese until "creamy". Beat in sweetened condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the thawed whipped topping. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with Nilla wafers. Top wafers with banana slices. Spread pudding mixture on top of banana layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
 ***Note, with 2 cups of milk, this will be a soft, firm-like dessert. If you desire a more "old fashioned" pudding consistance, add a total of 3 cups milk, instead of just 2 cups.I also like to top this dish with the remaining Nilla wafters (crushed) just before serving. Gives it and extra ascetic "wow" factor.***









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