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Everything Avocado Hummus

Hummus, meet my dear friend, guacamole.  At least that is what I say to myself every time I prepare this delicious, creamy dip.  Make it once, and you’ll want to make it all the time!  Plus, it can be made in 10 minutes and can be served in a multitude of ways.  It’s a great lunchbox snack for the kids or adults, served alongside chips, pretzels or cut up veggies or even adding a layer to wraps and sandwiches.  It’ll not only pack extra flavor, but also protein and fiber!  This will definitely become a staple in your home.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 ripe medium-large avocado or 2 mini avocados
  • ¼ cup cilantro, optional
  • 3 Tablespoons Greek yogurt or sour-cream or the standard tahini to make it Vegan.
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • GARNISH with plenty of Everything Bagel Seasoning and a pinch of red pepper flake and smoked paprika for heat.

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, and process for another 1 to 2 minutes until smooth.

If the hummus is too thick, slowly add in 1-2 tablespoons of water at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.

Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil, everything bagel seasoning and a dash of red pepper flakes and smoked paprika. Serve with chips, veggies or schmear on your bread for sandwiches!  Enjoy!

AvocadoHummus

Southern Buttermilk Pie

This is a classic pie, through and through, here in the south.  The custard is undeniably sweet, but offset just enough with the slight tang of the added lemon.  The top adds a great juxtaposition with it’s lightly crackled sugar top, reminiscent of its fancy cousin,  crème brulee.  A true old-fashioned treat!

It is believed this pie originated in England, and was brought to America by southern settlers.  Specifically us Texans, where buttermilk was always plentiful.  The recipe seems to remain the same… dang easy!  A quick mix of the ingredients you then simply pour into your pie shell, bake and done!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 (9-inch) pie crust recipe, unbaked
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • Dusting of nutmeg for garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together the eggs, sugar, flour, butter, buttermilk, vanilla, the lemon juice and zest and salt until well combined.  Pour into the unbaked pie crust and bake for 45-50 minutes, until set and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly and set before slicing.  Serve with fresh berries, whipped cream or even a salted caramel syrup and pecans!  Enjoy!

*Place the empty pie shell on a baking sheet prior to filling, so it will be easier to transfer to the oven.

*Please use only whole milk buttermilk (low-fat will work), but it’s not the tie for non-fat.

*This is a custard pie, so it’s best kept chilled till ready to serve or for any leftovers.

buttermilk pie

Irish Nachos

Such a fun way to celebrate the upcoming holiday, St Patrick’s Day!  As always, I’ve always been over the typical corned beef and cabbage meal, but to each their own.  I love to change it up and play with the typical ingredients to make something much more exciting!

Now, this can be tweaked in so many ways.  I only showed you a few ideas and basics.  You can absolutely deep fry your potatoes, use French fries or tater tots, even tortilla chips!  You can change up the cheese sauce with added ingredients or keep it simple in the crockpot with Velveeta.  I don’t care, I just want you to have fun this March 17th!  ..or heck, this makes for great leftovers too if you’re a corned beef and cabbage purist!

*Recipes below, if desired

The Starting Lineup

  • Corned Beef, shredded/chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into thin coins with a mandoline
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Beer Cheese Sauce *
  • Garlic Chive aioli*
  • Green onions, sliced
  • Optional garnish: sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, jalapenos, chopped tomatoes

*Beer Cheese Sauce

  •  4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup Guinness beer
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
  • 1 tsp worcesterchire sauce
  • 1 tsp mustard (spicy brown/dijon)
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

*Garlic Chive Aioli

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh chives, fine chop
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • Pinch each, cayenne and kosher salt

 

Prepare the Garlic Chive Aioli (whisk all ingredients together), cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using a mandoline, slice the potatoes at 1/8th of an inch thickness.  Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove top and drop in the sliced potatoes for 3 minutes, remove and place on a towel to dry.

Once patted dry, toss the potatoes with a bit of olive oil and paprika in a large bowl, covering evenly.  Spread the slices onto two parchment covered baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes.

Flip the potatoes and rotate your pan, baking for another 15 minutes or until nice and browned.

Place the baked slices on a cooling rack and season with kosher salt, let cool.  They’ll continue to crisp as the cool down.

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Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the butter, once melted whisk in the flour.  Keep whisking to make a roux, cook down for 2-3 minutes until golden in color.  Pour in the beer and the milk, stir and drop the heat to low, stirring until the mixture begins to thicken.

Next, add in the freshly grated cheddar cheese, Worcestershire and mustard and keep stirring till smooth (add in a dash of milk if too thick).  Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

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ASSEMBLY

On a large platter, alternate the crispy potatoes, Guinness beer cheese sauce, and the corned beef.  Top with a drizzle of the garlic-chive aioli and scallions.  If your like me, you’ll also love a bit of kraut and jalapenos too!  Enjoy!

 

Kid-Approved Chicken Tenders w/ Honey Mustard

If I was a bettin’ woman, I would say that a solid 90% of children enjoy warm, crunchy chicken tenders with some sort of dipping sauce.  I would also bet that tenders are at a tie with grilled cheese on the number-one spot on any restaurants kids menu.

The somewhat unfortunate part, is that they’re usually more of a splurge and not the healthiest meal for our favorite littles to eat.  Given my favorite 6-year-old is one of those annoyingly picky kiddo’s, I always try to revamp his favorites into something more parent friendly.  These definitely do the trick for his taste buds and my peace of mind and the homemade dip is just extra goodness!

*For a fun switch, add in some shredded coconut to the panko and serve with a sweet Thai chili sauce!

The Starting Lineup

Chicken Tenderes

  • Oil for frying (Peanut preffered, but Canola or Vegetable is fine)
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

Honey Mustard

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To make the easy Honey Mustard dressing, simply mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Preheat your oil to 350 degrees F. while cutting the chicken breast into long strips.

In a bowl, beat the 3 eggs.  In one pie dish or shallow bowl, measure out the flour.  In a second shallow dish, measure the panko and add in all of the spices.

Dip each chicken strip first into the flour, then the beaten egg and lastly into the seasoned panko.

A couple at a time, fry the dredged chicken strips into the hot oil for 7-8 minutes.  Remove the golden brown strips to a paper towel lined plate.  Serve alongside the Honey Mustard dressing and enjoy!

ChickenTenders

 

 

Fried Green Tomato Salad

Hands down, one of my favorite appetizers has to be the simple, satisfying and crunchy, Fried Green Tomatoes.  If ever on a menu, this will be what I order and admittedly, judge them off of.

This recipe is southern in origin, and please tell me you love the namesake movie ‘Fried Green Tomatoes (if never seen, run to your tv now), as you WILL enjoy both.  Given it’s long-lasting delicious popularity, is almost unthinkable to skip over such a regional treat.  As I mentioned, this can be eaten as a side, drizzled in ranch, or added to a BLT, burger or into a hearty salad, as you’ll find below.  Simply scrumptious.

The Starting Lineup

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 4 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 2 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 5 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cup canola oil

Salad

  • 6 cups spring mix
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, sliced
  • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • Buttermilk ranch dressing, homemade best
  • Hot sauce, if desired

In a small mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk and hot sauce.  Add tomato slices and allow to soak for 20 minutes.

Add oil to a skillet over medium-high heat.  In a shallow dish, mix together flour, cornmeal, smoked paprika, salt & pepper.  Once the oil is hot, remove the tomatoes from the buttermilk, shaking off the excess liquid, and dredge each slice liberally in the flour mixture.  Fry for about 2 minutes per side, not to overcrowd the pan.

While frying, toss together the salad.  Top the salad with the freshly fried tomatoes and a drizzle of ranch and hot sauce.  Enjoy!

FriedGreenTomatoSalad

Roast Beef “Debris” Po’Boy

Mmmmmm…..When most people think of the famous Po’boy sandwich, their mind often runs to fried oysters or fried shrimp.  Mine, however, goes to the heavenly tender roast beef version dripping in gravy.

It can be insanely messy, hence the “debris” name (thank you to the paper towel inventor), but Ill gladly wear the this meal on my shirt, need be.  Something magical happens when you mix the beefy flavor with thick, real southern mayonnaise, juicy tomatoes and cool, crunchy shredded lettuce.

*This can also be made in a Dutch oven and covered, roasted in the oven vs. your slow cooker.  You will still sear and sauté on the stove top, the cover and place in a 350 degree oven for 3-1/2 to 4 hours, till fork tender.  You will also need to up the chicken broth or water by one cup.  Checking once or twice to make sure the liquid didn’t evaporate.

The Starting Lineup

  • 3 pound beef roast (i.e. top round, chuck, eye of round etc)
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 8 cloved garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 Tbsp both vegetable oil and butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp worcestershire
  • 1Tbsp hot sauce (i.e. Crystal)
  • 1 bay leaf

Assemble:

  • Six 6-inch length French bread ‘baguettes’
  • Mayonnaise (i.e. Dukes, Blue Plate)
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Dill pickle slices (optional)

Heavily season the beef roast with the salt and pepper.  Make about 16, 1-inch slits all over the roast and insert the halved garlic cloves into the roast.  Dredge all sides in the flour.

Heat up a pan to medium heat and add in the vegetable oil and butter.  Sear the beef roast on all sides until a crust appears, while also adding the prepared onion, carrot, bell pepper and celery.  Sauté and sear!

Transfer the seared roast and sautéed vegetables to a slow cooker.  Pour a bit of chicken broth to pan to scrape up any ‘brown bits’ and also add to the slow cooker.

Whisk together the broth, Worcestershire and hot sauce, pour over.  Add the bay leaf, cover, and set to low for 8 hours.

Prepare:  Turn the slow cooker to warm and shred the beef (remove bay leaf).  Half the French bread loaves and spread with mayonnaise.  Layer a good amount of the juicy shredded beef, followed buy the tomatoes, pickles and shredded lettuce.

Serve with hot, salted fries or a handful of Zapp’s chips and a Barq’s Root Beer, enjoy!

RoastBeefPoBoy

Christmas on the “Ranch” Rollups

I just love this time of year!  Not only because of the family time, presents, décor or music, but also because of all the yummy appetizers to be had!

This one here is a cinch to make and looks great on your Christmas Eve buffet.  Its creamy, yet has great crunch from the fresh vegetables and tremendous flavor from the bacon and ranch seasoning.  Plus you can add in any additional veggies you may have on hand (shredded carrots, chopped tomatoes, etc.), which is a great way to sneak in a little bit of extra nutrition for your picky eaters!  This is definitely family and kid-approved!

 

The Starting Lineup 

  • 4 large garden spinach herb flavored (green) tortillas
  • 2 (8oz) blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (1oz) packet Ranch Seasoning
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, Ranch seasoning, crumbled bacon, red bell pepper, green onions, jalapenos and pepper.  Mix thoroughly.

Spread an even amount of the cream cheese mixture over each tortilla.  Roll up like a jelly roll and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to overnight.  Slice each roll into 1″ pieces and arrange on a serving dish.  Enjoy!

RanchRollups

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