Tag Archives: Scratch made

Apple Butter Cheddar Waffles

Since I just don’t know how to leave things alone and feel the need to always one-up myself, I decided to tackle the typical Sunday brunch waffle.  While the standard homemade waffle is good, if not great as is, I thought to make it spectacular!

All the flavors I put together compliment each other perfectly.  Nothing overpowers the other and they come together in a slightly sweet and savory way.  Also that apple butter maple syrup at the end is so good it could be eaten off a shoe!  …or perhaps over ice cream or a slice of pie. 😉

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cups All-Purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon each apple pie spice & cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • *Combine and warm equal parts pure maple syrup with the apple butter to drizzle overtop.

Preheat your waffle iron to its medium setting.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, spices and salt.

In another bowl whisk together the milk, apple butter, shredded cheddar, eggs and vegetable oil.  Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir/fold to combine.

Spray the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray and spoon the batter onto the heated griddle.  Close and cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions.

Serve the waffles with the warmed apple butter syrup, enjoy!

CheddarAppleButterWaffles

Seared Pork Chops w/ a Southern Bacon Tomato Gravy

You get it by now..we LOVE our comfort food in this house!  If I’m not devouring a taco or 5, you can often find me with a big ol plate of braised meat, mashed potatoes and gravy!  Oh my….

This is actually a pretty quick recipe that you don’t have to let stew all day long, but will still gives your home a wonderful aroma and a family pleasing meal..  So even consider this for a filling weeknight dinner!

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 lbs pork chops
  • 4 strips of bacon, grease reserved
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 14.5 oz can of tomatoes (w/ onion, celery & bell pepper)
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup milk (*you can use all milk instead of chicken stock if desired)
  • 1/2 chicken stock 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil  

Begin this recipe by liberally seasoning the pork chops with a bit of oil and the paprika, salt & pepper and set aside. 

 In a large heavy-bottomed-pot or pan, begin to cook the bacon over medium heat till just crisp.  Remove the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined sheet while reserving the bacon grease.   Next, to that grease, add in the 1 tbsp of butter, the onions and cook till slightly translucent and then add in the garlic. 

   Turn the heat down to medium-low and follow this up by sprinkling the flour over the onion/garlic mixture and stirring to make a rue.  Slowly pour in the milk (& chicken stock if using) while stirring continuously.  Get those flour lumps out!   Finally add in the can of tomatoes (with juice) and brown sugar.  Bring to a low boil and then down to a simmer, stirring occasionally. 

    

I wanted to mash up my tomatoes just a bit here..

 If you’re really good at multitasking, while you’re making the above Bacon Tomato Gravy,  have another pan set on medium-high heat with a tbsp of oil in it.  Once hot add in the pork chops (2-3 at a time/don’t overcrowd pan) and sear for 1-2 minutes on each side.  Immediately after each pork chop has been seared, add straight to the gravy, cover, and let simmer for 20-25 minutes to cook through. 

   *During the simmering of the pork chops, I like to complete my side dishes, which are typically fresh, sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes.

Time’s up!!  Spoon a good amount of mashed potatoes onto a plate and place a juicy pork chop on top.  Ladle that warm Southern Bacon Tomato Gravy over the chop & potatoes and top with the reserved bacon and some parsely…just don’t forget the veggies!!  Enjoy! 

 

Scratch Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

The great debate: Stuffing vs Dressing.  Yes, I know what the difference is between the two, stuffing goes INSIDE the bird, while dressing is cooked OUTSIDE the bird.  However, growing up in my household, no matter which way we cooked it, we called it stuffing.  So you’re just going to have to deal with the title 😉

The flavors in this holiday side dish are just fabulous!  There is a sweet heat in the cornbread and a savoriness with the sausage and classic thyme & sage spices!  Plus, my favorite thing, is how there is still texture to the dish…I loathe mushy, pasty stuffing.  This definitely isn’t one of them!

*Make how you please, but I like to prepare the cornbread and dry it out at LEAST a day before I finish it.  This is a busy enough time of year, help yourself out a little! 🙂

*Also, this is a southern style cornbread, meaning NO sugar.  If you prefer yours sweet like a true Yankee 😉 feel free to add in a Tbsp or two..but when made into a stuffing it really isn’t needed.  Personally.

The Starting Lineup
Jalapeno Cornbread

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt & sugar, each
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup corn kernals, roasted (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 Jalapenos, seeded & minced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced  

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

  • 1 recipe of Jalapeno Cornbread, cubed & dried
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage, cooked & crumbled
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 3 celery, chopped fine
  • 1 pckg sliced mushrooms
  • 5 tsp butter
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 cup half-in-half
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock/broth (low sodium)
  • 4 large eggs
  • A pinch each (salt, pepper & cayenne pepper)  

Starting with the cornbread…

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

In either a skillet or under the broiler, cook the corn till it starts to take on a little color (mere minutes).  Set aside. 

   In a bowl, whisk the milk, oil, honey and eggs till combined. 

 In a another large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.  Next add the milk mixture into the dry mixture and whisk till smooth. 

     Finally fold in the corn, jalapeños and green onions into the mix and pour the batter into your greased baking dish. 


 
 Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (about 60 minutes in my oven…everyone’s oven is different).  Cool in pan for 2-3 hours to set. 

 *Onced cooked and set, cut the cornbread with a serrated knife into 1″ cubes.  Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and place the cubed cornbread onto two baking sheets (spread out evenly) and put into oven.  Rotate the filled baking sheets every 20 mintutes or so until the cornbread has dried out (crouton like), at least an hour. 

   

Good morning (since you’re likely finishing this the next day)!!  We’ll start this preperation by cooking the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once browned and crumbled, set aside on a paper towel lined plate. 

In that same skillet, add in 2 Tbsps of the butter, the chopped celery, onion and mushrooms and cook down for about 3 minutes.  To that, add in the thyme, sage and minced garlic.  Cook for 30-60 seconds and then add the sausage back in along with the chicken stock and remove from heat, allowing to cool. 

   While the pan is cooling, whisk together the eggs, half-in-half, salt, pepper & cayenne till combined.  Then SLOWLY add in the chicken stock mix to the eggs while constantly whisking.  *If that stock is still too hot and you combine it with the eggs too fast, you’ll basically end up with scrambled eggs.  No good.  So please do it slowly while constantly whisking.  Temper the eggs. 🙂 

     Now set the oven to 375 degrees.  

Here is where you gently fold in the cubed & dried cornbread into the wet mixture.  Once all saturated let sit for roughly 15-20 minutes to REALLY let the bread soak up the liquid. 

   Transfer to your 9×13 baking dish and drizzle the remaining 3 TBSP butter overtop the dish.

Bake your glorious scratch-made stuffing uncovered for 40 minutes till the top is a golden brown and then let rest for 20.  Enjoy your hard work! 

 

Real-Deal Green Bean Casserole (no cans)

You may be thinking..why go through all the effort when the Campbell’s soup Green Bean Casserole recipe has been around for decades??  Well, because THIS is the best, that’s why!  I luckily stumbled upon this goodie years back and just tweaked a couple of things to suit my family.  There’s no going back to the dark side now!  ..Well, maybe occasionally, it does remind me of good memories growing up 🙂  Anyway…  Now besides what you may be thinking is a lot of work, this can all be done in an hour and it’s ALL fresh!!  You actually KNOW what your family is consuming.  That’s kind of awesome.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
  • 4+ slices bacon (grease reserved after fying)
  • 6 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb sliced mushrooms
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 heaping tsp thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided (1:1)
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsely, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper 

    Yes…there should also be the thyme, bacon and milk pictured…but lets just hope you’re reading the ingredient list 😉

      

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick spray.

In a large deep skillet, cook the bacon strips till desired doneness and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.  Then add the extra virgin olive oil straight into the excess bacon grease and heat till almost smoking. 

 To the hot grease/oil, add in the sliced shallots (about 1/4 cup at a time, it took about 3 batches) and fry until they turn a nice golden brown and and crisp up.  Once done transfer to another paper towel lined plate and set aside. 

  *Meanwhile, you can either steam the green beans on the stove top OR take an easier way out and add them to a large microwave safe bowl with about 2 Tbsp of water.  Cover the bowl with a plate or saran wrap and microwave on high in 2-minute increments until that perfect soft but slightly crisp texture is achieved!  Make sense?  Soft and crisp?  Yes, it’s a thing! 😉
Now that the shallots are done frying up, dispose of the excess grease/oil EXCEPT for roughly 2 Tbsp’s worth.   You will now add all of the mushrooms to the grease over a medium-high heat.  Stirring occasionally, the mushrooms will start to ‘sweat’ and release their moisture.  Keep cooking until all of the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes.  Finally you will add in the minced garlic and thyme leaves.  Cook for 30-60 seconds and transfer the mushroom mix to a bowl, set aside. 

   While the mushrooms are cooking down, whisk together the flour and milk in a bowl until the flour is dissolved. 

Now add this right to the same skillet (you’ve been cooking everything in/mushrooms just removed from) while constantly whisking and bring to a simmer.  Lower the heat to medium-low, whisking occasionally, and in about 10 minutes it will reduce down and thicken up nicely.  *should ‘coat’ the back of a spoon.  Remove the skillet from heat. 

  

See how it’s starting to ‘coat’ the whisk and reduce down?

Ok, here is the real easy part!  Now is when you can fold in the mushroom mix, 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese, the cooked and chopped bacon, parsely, nutmeg, salt & pepper and the GREEN BEANS to that milk/flour rue you just made.  Resist the urge to spoon in mouth…though I’m 100% guilty! 

     Pour this holiday staple side dish straight into the non-stick coated casserole dish and top with the remaining 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese and the fried shallots you made earlier.  Pop into the preheated oven and bake (uncovered) for 20-30 minutes! 

Enjoy and Happy Eating!! xo


%d bloggers like this: