Tag Archives: family favorite

Buttery Fried Cabbage & Sausage

This meal is REALLY easy, REALLY inexpensive AND pretty darn healthy!  Yes, do not let the words “buttery” and “fried” scare you…Surprisingly enough, this recipe comes in at under 400 calories per person and if you’re allergic to gluten, you’re good there too!

Here in the south sometimes the word fried also can mean sauté, not everything we eat here is deep fried in lard!  Well most…but not all 😉  Anyway, when you combine the butter & cabbage, it’s slowly sautéed aka fried!  Alright, enough on the verbiage lesson…

To sum it up, I was able to make this dinner for my family in under 30 minutes…which is great, because it was inhaled in about 5!  Plus the entire dish cost less than $10?!!  Beat that!

**Bacon/Bacon grease can also be used..calories MAY go up though 😉

The Starting Lineup

  • 6 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 14oz kielbasa (polish) sausage, sliced
  • 1 head of green cabbage, sliced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • Italian flat leaf parsely, rough chop

Serve with:

 
 In a large skillet over medium heat, melt half of the butter (3 tbsp).  Add the diced onion to the skillet and sauté for a few minutes and then add the garlic.  Sauté for 1 minute more.

 Next, add in the red wine vinegar and give a good mix with the onions & garlic. Follow this with the sliced sausage and cook till the slices are slightly browned. Smells sooooo good, huh?!

 Now add in the remaining butter, cabbage, crushed red pepper, paprika and salt & pepper.  Carefully toss all together and watch as the cabbage begins to slightly wilt and take on a more golden color.

 Top the dish with the fresh parsley and serve!  Enjoy with a side of potatoes and a cold beer, enjoy!!

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Coconut ‘Fried’ Chicken

This is the perfect weeknight dinner!!  It’s flavorful, fun, and on the table in under 30 minutes…did I mention it’s healthy too??!!  A definite win-win friends!

Now I like to marinate the chicken (2 simple ingredients!) for 6-8 hours..before you head in to work.  However, if you’re worried you’ll forget to quickly prepare this in the busy AM, then you can do this the night before!  So now you just wake up & go!!…After work you can pop in the oven and have dinner in minutes!

This lean chicken has a great savory crunch to it with the added hint of sweetness.  Kids LOVE it!!  …and parents don’t have to feel guilty 😉

*Can be prepared Gluten-Free as well 

*Dipping Sauce:  I make by eye considering the persons taste buds.  Sweeter (more honey), Hotter (more sriracha), etc..  But a basic recipe is below.

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 lbs chicken tenders (or Breasts cut into strips)
  • 1 cup honey mustard
  • 1 cup mayonaisse 
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs (or Gluten Free bread crumbs)
  • 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • Pinch of kosher salt & pepper

Dipping Sauce (optional)

  • Honey mustard (1/4 cup)
  • Honey (1 tbsp)
  • Sriracha (1-2 tsp)
  • Rice wine vinegar (SMALL splash)

Garnish (optional)

  • Shredded sweetened coconut
  • Cilantro, chopped  

Easy!!!  The night before OR before you head out for work, marinate the chicken in the cup of honey mustard and cup of mayonnaise mixture.  Cover and place in the fridge.

Now let us imagine that you’re already home and ready for dinner!!  So here you’ll simply preheat your oven to 425 degrees and take the chicken out of the refridgerator.  Prepare a baking sheet with either foil or a silpat sheet and if you’d like, you can add a grate atop.  *Remember to spray the grate and/or foil with non-stick spray, however, the silpat liner will be fine with out spray. 

 Have a shallow dish prepared with the panko (or gluten free breadcrumbs), coconut and salt & pepper.  Next, one-by-one, coat the honey mustard/mayo’d chicken into the coconut-bread crumbs and lay onto the baking sheet.  Repeat until finished. 

   Pop the tray into the preheated oven for 25 minutes and then remove to rest and cool for a couple of minutes.  It’s hot!!!…

I like to serve this healthy and easy meal topped with a bit of extra shredded coconut & cilantro along with a side of rice and dipping sauce!  Enjoy!! 

 

Grilled Meatloaf Sandwich with a Bourbon Bacon Jam

Ok, I made this treat of a dinner tonight just for myself.  Yes, I made an entire 2 lb+ meatloaf and a jar of bacon jam for MY dinner.  Do you want to know why??  Because quite frankly it’s delicious and it only gets better after the next day or two, especially that Bourbon Bacon Jam!!  Which is why it’s a great “leftovers” type of meal!

Let’s say you made the traditional meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner one night and you’re not wanting the same darn thing the next..Well, simply add the Bacon Jam and garnishes to a meatloaf sandwich and you’ve taken repurposing to an entire new level!
*This jam is good off a plain spoon, but spread it on a warm slice of toast or English muffin topped off with a fried egg.  Now THATS a rave worthy breakfast!

The Starting Lineup

Bourbon Bacon Jam

  • 1 pckg (12-16oz) bacon, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, diced, plus 1 tbsp sauce
  • 1/4 dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 apple cider vinegar
  • 4oz Bourbon (2 shots, optional)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • Pinch of kosher salt & ground pepper

Meatloaf

  • 2lbs ground (I do 1/2 ground beef & 1/2 ground pork)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, diced
  • 1/2-1 whole jalapeño, seeded & finely diced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk….*soak the above Panko^^ in the milk
  • 1 packet low-sodium meatloaf seasoning packet (or seasoning blend of choice)
  • Hefty pinch or two of kosher salt & pepper for the top of the meatloaf

Garnish

  • Hearty/crusty white bread slices
  • Mayonaisse
  • Thick sliced ripe tomatoes, seasoned with kosher salt & pepper
  • Havarti cheese slices (or another great melty cheese)  

As I stated earlier, this can all be made ahead of time or at seperate times if using as a “leftover” meatloaf meal…but let’s pretend that you’re doing what I did…let us start from the beginning!

Bourbon Bacon Jam time my friends!  Start by chopping, dicing and mincing the bacon, sweet onion & garlic.  In a large sauce pan (*if not nonstick, add a tbsp of EVOO), cook your chopped bacon until slightly crisp.  Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined dish and set aside. 

   

In that same pan with the reserved bacon grease, add in the chopped onions and cook down for about 10-15 minutes.  Add the minced garlic to the onions and continue to cook for another few minutes.

Now to the onion-garlic mix, add in all of the remaining ingredients (diced chipotle pepper & sauce, dark brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, bourbon, smoked paprika, cumin, salt & pepper and the cooked bacon) and stir to combine.  Bring to a low boil and then down to a simmer.  Let stand uncovered and do its thing while stirring occasionally.  *I like to leave it on the stove top on low for a good 2-3 hours and carefully drain the liquid from the pot about once an hour.  It’ll really thicken up!  Once done you can either transfer to a food processor to thin or leave as is.  I, myself, prefer it chunky for texture and leave it as is.  Keep in a mason jar or Tupperware container in your refridgerator, it’ll be gone FAST! 


 
 So while that Bourbon Bacon Jam is rendering away, we’ll begin the meatloaf.  Now this is a basic meatloaf recipe, and if you have a personal favorite then please feel free to use it!

*Ok, ok..I can hear you now.  “Carly, why does there have to be chipotles/jalapeño in the meatloaf??”  1.Because  2. Why not?  3. My 2 & 4 year old boys eat it and have no idea, it’s NOT really spicy 4. You need to finish off that can of Chipotles anyway and 5.  Your combining it with a SWEET bacon jam. You NEED the contrasting flavors.  It’s the little things that make food great!

Now back to the task at hand.  Meatloaf.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get whatever pan you use to cook your meatloaf in out and greased if not non-stick.

In a large bowl, combine ALL of the meatloaf ingredients together and gently mix with your hands.  Transfer the mix to your baking pan and again, gently, pack into meatloaf shape.  Crack some more black pepper and salt over top and place into the preheated oven for about 1 hour, uncovered.  

   Remember, while the meatloaf is baking your Bourbon Bacon Jam is still rendering away and smelling devine!  I dare you to tell me your haven’t inhaled a few spoonfuls already….

Now that the meatloaf has finished cooking, it’s assembly time!  Have 1-2 saute pans heating on the stove top.  

In one pan, lay thick slices of meatloaf down and slightly cook each side, as to create a bit of a ‘crust’. 

 Lightly coat each slice of bread (on both sides) with a thin spread of mayonaisse.  Then add a good helping of the warm Bourbon Bacon Jam to one slice. 

Transfer the mayo’ed slice to your second hot pan, top with the Caramelized meatloaf slices, tomatoes seasoned with a pinch of kosher salt & pepper, cheese slices and top it off with the second slice of bacon jam coated bread.  Cook each side for about 2 minutes, till cheese has melted and the bread is golden brown in color. 

   
Cut on the bias and serve warm, enjoy!  

Poor Mans Pickle Burgers

Don’t let the title fool you…even you rich folks can and will enjoy this simple meal!  It’s easy to prepare, a meal can be had in under 30 minutes and you likely have these ingredients already in your refridgerator!

My family can’t stop requesting them, which is fine by me!  To best describe them is a mix of a diner patty melt, loose meat sandwich and a Freddy’s Steak Burger all in one!  Also, not having to shape hamburger patties out makes this both quick AND stretches it farther.  ..and trust me, you won’t even miss the normal ketchup & mustard here..just try it my way.  Please…..

The Starting Lineup (makes 4 good size burgers)

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, finely minced, divided 1:1
  • 4-6 slices American cheese
  • Dill pickle slices, thick cut or lots of them
  • 8 slices bread (I prefer sourdough, but generic wheat or white works!  It’s a “poor-mans” after all!)
  • Mayonaisse (the real deal, not Miracle Whip)
  • A pinch each of salt, pepper & season salt 
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional for grilling the sandwich)   

Preheat a saute pan to medium heat and add in the ground beef and 1/2 of the minced onions, salt, pepper & season salt.  Cook till meat is browned and onions translucent.

 While the meat is cooking, slather the mayonaisse on both sides of the bread…I mean from corner to corner here!  Also, heat up another pan to “grill” the sandwich.

 After the meat has finished it’s assembly time!  With the cooked ground beef divided evenly, add a layer onto one slice of the bread.  Top with a bit more minced onions, LOADS of pickle slices and then top it off with a slice or two of the melty American cheese.  *make sure to cover all the toppings with the cheese, this REALLY helps hold it all together!  Finally, add on that remaining slice of bread and transfer to the heated pan.

     Grill each side of the poor mans burger for about a minute, till crisp.  Cut on the diagonal and serve with some good ol fries or chips!!  Enjoy!

Texas Taco Joes

This is another FUN meal that the entire family will love!!  A spin on the classic “Sloppy Joe” with an open-face, TexMex twist!  

The meat topping can be made to your desired heat level (or use ground turkey, pork or chicken if you’re not a beef fan) and then the toppings can range to what I listed below or can go waayyyy beyond that!!

*If your grocer doesn’t carry “Texas Toast” in the bread aisle…move.  

… Just kidding 😂, you may check the freezer section OR buy a large bread loaf in the bakery and just slice it at least a good 1-1/2″ thick!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped 
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes, “Mexican Style lime & cilantro” (don’t drain)
  • 1 can green chilis
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Texas toast 

Garnish (optional)

  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Chopped onion
  • Diced tomatoes 
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado slices
  • Black olives    

Heat a pan up to medium with the ground beef and the chopped onion *add about 2Tbsp of EVOO if using a very lean meat.  Cook until the onions are translucent and the meat is browned. 

 In that same pan (draining grease IF necessary), add in the taco seasoning along with the can of Rotel tomatoes, green chili’s and water.  Stir, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer.   Cover the mixture and walk away till thickened *about 15 minutes. 

     While the meat mixture is thickening, we’ll toast those fat slices of bread.  Aka “Texas Toast”.  Now you can do this as you wish, oven or toaster, but I layed a bunch of slices down on a baking sheet and popped it under the broiler of my oven for just a minute till toasted!

The fun part has arrived!!  Preparing your own Texas Taco Joe with the toppings of your choice!  I’m a fan of “the works” and add everything but the kitchen sink to mine, but to each their own!!  Enjoy! 

 

LIPTON Crockpot Pot Roast

I’m thankful.  I’m thankful for this chilly, rainy, drizzly weather that has gotten me in the mood for a good ol’ fashioned pot roast!  Now there are ‘fancier’ recipes out there, ones that braise away in the oven, in their expensive, heavy, ceramic cast-iron pans, deglazed with red wine…but this is not one of those.  It is, however, one that tastes the same and smells up the home the same.  Win!  Plus the soup mix you prepare makes for the fabulous onion’y mushroom gravy!!

Now, there are a few tricks of the trade I like to do if time permits, but if not…it’s still delicious!

*Again, IF time allows, have pan on med-high to high heat and sear each side of the roast for a couple of minutes before placeing into the crockpot.  Even better, scrape up any brown bits and juices and scoop those into the pot as well!
If you have beef broth, use that instead of water.  You also can add a 1/4 of dry red wine to this if available.
Feel free to add the veggies of your choosing, but you can easily ‘fancy them up’!  I.e pearl onions, parsnips, sweet potatoes for a savory & sweet flavor, etc.

Also, NO NEED for salt!  The combination of soup mix and the soup itself works just fine without it.  Promise!!

The Starting Lineup

  • 5-7lb beef roast
  • 2 cans of Cream of Mushroom soup (i.e Campbells)
  • 1 packet Liptons Onion soup mix packet
  • 1 cup water (or Beef Broth if handy)
  • Pepper (to taste – or patted on roast if searing)

Garnish

  • Carrots, chopped
  • Onion, quartered
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes, quarterd in pot or make mashed later
  • Parsely 

The EASIEST way to prepare this meal is to coat your crockpot with non-stick and place the cut-up carrots and onions (potatoes as well if not ‘mashing) in the bottom.


 In a small bowl, mix together the cream of mushroom soup, Lipton onion mix and water (broth).  Give a good stir and set aside.

 Next, place the roast (seasoned with pepper to taste) on top of those vegetables.  *Here is where you can give the roast a sear.  Once browned on all sides place onto veggies.  Then lay in the mushrooms (if using) around the roast.  *These are more fragile vegetables to me, and they’d be squished under a heavy roast.

   Now is when you can pour that soup mix over top of the entire roast, cover, set to low for 8 hours (high for 6) and WALK RIGHT AWAY!

 Once the time is up, all you have to do is spoon the tender roast, vegetables and gravy onto a large plate (trust me…you’ll need a big one with as much as you’re about to consume) and serve with the tried & true bread and butter!!  Enjoy and bundle up!

 

Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry

I must really love my husband, because besides sushi I am not big on Asian cuisine…at all.  I know, I know..I’m “crazy”, “nuts”, “a weirdo”..I’ve heard it all.  Quite frankly, just feed me tacos and champagne for the rest of my days and I’d be happy as a clam!

That being said, every now and then I’ll surprise my dear love with an Asian inspired meal…and it’s also quite possible that I just wanted a sake bomb, but who knows?? 😉

So below is a take on a restaurant favorite that I tried and tweaked and I have to say….I wasn’t sure if I was in my own kitchen or Little China down the street, it was that good.  I suppose that may also of had to do with the sake bombs 😉 

The Starting Lineup

Marinade (1hr)

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake (optional, if you like a bit of heat–not recommended for lil kiddos)
  • 1 1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced into thin strips

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (make sure to NOT use regular soy sauce…it will be waayyy too salty)
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1-2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp sherry
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-2 heads broccoli, crowns cut off

Garnish/Sides (optional)

  • Rice (white or fried)
  • Scallions
  • Sriracha sauce  

Let’s begin!  Starting with the marinade, have a medium size bowl ready and whisk together all of the above “marinade” ingredients (baking soda, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, water and vegetable oil).  

Next add in the thinly sliced steak and toss with tongs to coat.  Cover the bowl with saran wrap and keep in the refridgerator for 45-60 minutes.  This will really tenderize that ‘tough’ flank steak like you wouldn’t believe!  *Take the steak out of the refridgerator about 15 minutes prior to cooking. 

  

Yes…I know, it looks really appetizing doesn’t it?? Sorry to my vegetarian friends. Kind of.

 

Alrighty..now while the meat is tenderizing away in the fridge, all we have left to do is the sauce and prepping of the broccoli.  I first cut the crowns of the broccoli off their stalks and rinse them in a collander and allow to dry.  *If still a bit wet when time to cook, just pat dry with a paper towel/kitchen towel.  You really don’t want water added to hot oil..at all!  *You can also keep the stalks and use in soup broths, chop into a chicken alfredo sauce, etc.. 

   Next for the sauce (glaze), in a small bowl combine the ‘sauce’ ingredients (soy sauce, dark brown sugar, ginger, garlic, flour, sherry, vegetable oil).  Cover and set aside. 

   

    I’m pretty sure that by now the steak should be about ready to cook!  Sooo in a large pan, heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil to medium-high heat.  Add in the broccoli and cook for about 3-4 minutes while stirring often.  *If they turn a bit brown/crisp on the edges, that is ok!.  Remove the par cooked broccoli to a plate and set aside. 

   In that same pan, carefully add in another Tbsp of vegetable oil and then once hot toss in the marinated steak and 1/2 of the prepared sauce.  Sauté togther for about 4 minutes.  Finally add the broccoli back in with the remaining sauce and saute all together for another 1-2 minutes. 

       I like to serve our Beef & Broccoli over rice and garnish with a bit of scallions and sriracha (<- for the adults), alongside a few appetizers of pot stickers and egg rolls!  Let me tell you…my lil boys ate that steak right up!  A perfect sweet & salty flavor! 

 

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