Tag Archives: sweet

Southwest Succotash

Ah, good ol’ succotash!  An American classic that has been served on supper tables for decades and, for some reason, is one of my favorite words to say.  Today though, we’re giving the southern staple quite a southwestern twist!  The added ingredients of avocado, black beans and jalapeno are balanced out with a tangy and sweet vinaigrette.  Now, by all means, please add in the original versions most popular ingredient, lima beans (I really do like them).  Though, I suppose they can be optional and given there are still beans in the mix, no one will be the wiser…

 

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cups cooked/grilled corn, fresh or frozen *grilled fresh is ideal
  • 2 avocados, cut into 1/2″ cubs
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped 
  • 1/2 cup frozen, thawed lima beans (optional)

Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 fresh lime, plus zest
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, each or to taste

 

In a large bowl, combine the prepared vegetables and beans.  In a small separate bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.  Make sure to taste for seasoning (i.e. more salt? pepper?  Maybe an added tablespoon of honey?)

Pour the dressing over the corn salad, toss to coat and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.  Serving suggestion:  Plate under grilled chicken, steak or fish or serve with tortilla chips.

SouthwestSuccotash

Frozen Blueberry Buttermilk 

Wait, no ice cream maker needed you say??  Yes, it’s true!  This summer hybrid of ice cream & frozen yogurt (that tastes just like cheesecake!!) can be made with just the help of your mixer!

It’s fantastic for these hot & humid summertime months..especially as a great memory making activity you can enjoy with your family!  Think about upcoming 4th of July, simply add some strawberries to the mix and there’s your red, white & blue dessert!!  You’ll be everyone’s favorite guest!

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk vanilla Greek yogurt
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Let’s begin!  In a saucepan over medium-heat, bring the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice to a simmer and allow the sugar to melt and berries to slightly break down (about 10 minutes).  Remove from heat and cool.

 Onto the base of it all!  In a stand mixer or with your hand mixer, combine the buttermilk, heavy cream and pinch of salt to a bowl.  Beat together on high speed just till medium stiff peaks form.  Slowly add in the sweetened condensed milk and the Greek yogurt till combined.

Pour half of the cream mixture into a loaf pan.  Next, pour in half of the cooled blueberry compote and create a swirl effect with a spoon, etc.  Repeat with the remaining half of cream & blueberries, again, slightly swirling together.

Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 4 hours…enjoy!!

Brisket Burgers w/ Grilled Tequila Peach Slaw

Do you want to impress your dad this Father’s Day??  Then it’s a must that you try this sweet-heat burger that also has a hint of booze!  

Here in the south, peaches are a summertime staple and what better way to enjoy them then grilled, soaked in a sweet tequila bath and overtop a ground brisket burger that has a kick from fresh jalapenos…a true Texas delight!  Enjoy!🍔🌞

The Starting Lineup

Brisket Burger

I had my butcher mix me:

  • 1lb of ground chuck 
  • 1lb ground brisket
  • Kosher salt & pepper, outside of patties
  • Soft bakery hamburger rolls
  • Pepper jack cheese, slices

Grilled Tequila Peach Slaw

  • 4-5 ripe peaches
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup tequila anejo
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced or diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt & pepper, to taste 

Begin this summertime fave by firing up your grill!  Slice up and skewer the peaches before brushing the melted butter over top.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the pineapple juice and the honey.  Whisk together till smooth.  Bring to a simmer and let cook till slightly thickened, about 15 minutes and then remove from heat.
 

Now that your grill is hot and ready, grill your skewered peaches for just a few minutes.  Remove, chop up and add to the pineapple/honey syrup.  Pour the tequila over top and give a gentle toss.  Cover and let sit for about 10 minutes.

While the peaches are soaking, prep the veggies for the slaw. 

 

Combine all the ingredients for the slaw together, including the soaked peaches.  Toss, cover and refridgerate while you get the burgers ready. 


Prepare your meat into about 1/4lb patties (8 all together) and press your thumb slightly in the middle of each patty to prevent puffing up while grilling.  Sprinkle the outside liberally with kosher salt and pepper.  Now with the grill ready to go once again, add the beef/brisket patties and cook till desired doneness. *I prefer mine cooked about 5 minutes on the first side and then 3-4 minutes on the other, flip just once please ;).  Once you’ve flipped your burger, add the pepperjack cheese to each patty.  Cheese NEEDS to be melty-good here folks!
*I also like to split my hamburger buns, lightly spread mayonnaise on each cut side and place on the grill for a minute or two.  The mayo will caramelize over the flame leading to a nice crunch and less soggy burger!  Winning!! 

 

Chorizo & Sweet Potato Breakfast Tacos (w/ Lime Crema)

I grew up in a city where Breakfast Burritos was the quintessential  breakfast..Now here in Texas, it’s quite similar, but it’s Breakfast TACOS instead that reign supreme.  …I’m also totally ok with that!!

So below is a fantastic version of my own that has spice, sweetness, savoriness, tanginess..need I go on??  Also, if there are leftovers, than simply throw them in an airtight Tupperware and reheat for the next days breakfast..or dinner 😉

*Gluten Free as well.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1-2 links Mexican chorizo sausage, about 8oz
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin, divided
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • Kosher salt & black pepper
  • 6 large eggs, plus a splash of milk
  • Corn tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil

Garnish

  • 1/2 cup of sour cream w/ the juice of 1 lime
  • Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled
  • Cilantro
  • Salsa (red or green)
  • Jalapeño slices
  • Lime wedges 

Let’s begin!!  In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, lime juice and a 1/4 tsp of cumin;  cover and refrigerate.

Next up, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chorizo until browned (7-8 minutes) and transfer to a paper towel lined dish with a slotted spoon.  Keep that slightly spicy chorizo grease in the pan please!!

 Now you will add the cubed sweet potatoes along with the chili powder, remaining cumin, cayenne powder and a pinch of salt & pepper to the same hot skillet and cook until the edges are crisp and the center is soft.

  

  While the sweet potatoes are doing their thing, whisk the eggs and milk together before pouring them into a buttered non-stick skillet.  Cook, stirring and folding occasionally, over medium heat.  Once the eggs are ALMOST done and set, fold in the cooked chorizo and set aside.

  

    *If you can really multitask, I like to warm my tortillas a bit first before adding all of the goodies 😉

 Finally!!!  On your (warmed) tortillas, fill with the slightly charred sweet potatoes followed by the chorizo & egg mix.  Top each taco with your lime crema, salsa, cilantro, cheese & Jalapeños!!  Enjoy!!!….if it’s Sunday brunch then serve with a cerveza! 😉

Thanksgiving Waffles

For real…THIS IS GOOOODD!  When you’re at a loss for what to do on the next after-holiday-morning, have very little desire to cook again and have 2 pounds of stuffing or dressing leftover…I ask you to please give this a try!  It’s so easy and yummy that it’s become a tradition in our home and we’ll often make it more than once!

Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s easily adaptable to most palates.  Now of course I’m using my cornbread stuffing here, but that goes with sweet OR heat!  So slather on the syrup or the hot sauce..it’s a win-win!!

The Starting Lineup

Optional

  • Syrup (for sweet lovers)
  • Hot Sauce (for savory lovers)
  • Cranberry sauce & turkey (for the purists)  

As stated above, this easy-peasy breakfast or brunch recipe has become a tradition in our home after a prior busy holiday day!  Like, it’s really, REALLY good!!!

Heat your waffle iron to about mid-temp and place a few spoonfuls of your stuffing/dressing onto each waffle inlay.  Close and allow to do its magic! 

 While the ‘stuffing waffles’ are cooking, cook the eggs to your taste.  *We prefer ours over-hard, but to each their own!  I imagine a runny yolk would be good over this if desired, even scrambled!  …while also crisping up your bacon side!

Once the waffles have crisped up, layer your eggs on top with the garnish of your choice!  We often like a bit of sliced green onions and Louisiana style hot sauce!  Mmmm….when’s brunch again?? 

 


 S’mores Parfait

“Hey, you want a s’more?”  ….  “Some more of what?”

If you don’t utter that quote from the fantastic 1990’s movie The Sandlot everytime you hear the word s’more…we can no longer be friends  ..or at least close ones.

With Fall amongst us and nights starting to get a little chill in the air, we’re no longer outside by the fire quite as much.  We are however still craving our summertime favorite of melted chocolate, crunchy graham crackers and gooey marshmallow goodness.  So we have brought this family favorite into the home were it can be equally enjoyed.

I hope that after you serve up this ridiculously easy dessert…a play on the classic campfire S’more, that you too will always say that infamous quote in your head and give yourself a good chuckle.  Ill know why you’re smiling 🙂

The Starting Lineup

  • Graham crackers, broken and crumbled
  • Instant chocolate pudding (+2 cups milk)
  • Mini marshmallows 

We’ll start this easy recipe by just following your brand’s pudding directions.  Mine was to simply add the chocolate powder to 2 cups of cold milk.  Then I whisked these two ingredients together until smooth.

     After combined, I place a piece of saran wrap directly on top of the pudding.  Gently press onto the surface to ensure your dessert does not get that nasty ‘skin’ on top.  Place your now covered bowl into the refridgerator while you finish this delight!

 Next crumble up those graham crackers!  You can either place them into a ziploc bag and hit with a pan or rolling pin or just break up with your hands.  I prefer my crackers not too crumbly to give this dessert a bit of texture.

 Assemly time has come!  In a dessert dish, place down a bit of the crushed graham crackers followed by a layer of mini marshmallows.  Then scoop some of the prepared chocolate pudding on top of both and repeat these steps until you reach the top of your dish.

 When I reach the top I put down a layer of marshmallows.  Keeping with the original s’mores recipe, I like to torch the top…great extra flavor and effect!

If you do not have a small kitchen torch handy, you can easily lay a few down onto a baking tray and place under the broiler for just seconds.  Allow to cool a bit and then transfer to the top of your dessert.  *This was can be a bit messy though!  ALSO, make sure you do not stick your entire dessert under the broiler to toast the ‘mallows, UNLESS you’re using an oven and broiler proof dish.

   Now since this took you no time at all to create…you have plenty of time to enjoy!

Glazed Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles

In my home right now, Fall IS in the air!  The pumpkin pie spiced aroma is almost too much to take as my boys and I are baking, so we decide to play outside as the cookies cool.  …Going outside to play, that again told me it was Fall and no longer the hot summer months.

It also made it that much more pleasurable to go back in and REALLY smell that sweet & spicy goodness!  These delicious cookies are topped off with a glaze that can only make them better..if you can even imagine!! 🍂🍃🍂

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 sticks butter, unsalted softened 
  • 1 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup of pumpkin purée 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Crust

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Simple Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract  

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and have to baking sheets prepped with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. 

 In a seperate bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer and paddle attachment, cream together the softened 2 sticks of butter and the white and light brown sugar till fluffy (2-3 minutes) on medium speed. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat for 1 minute. Finally add in your pumpkin purée and beat together till just combined. 

     Now you’ll slowly add in the dry ingredients (flour mix), scraping the bowl as needed, and beat again until just combined. Do not overmix! Saran Wrap the top of this dough and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes (meanwhile clean the mess 😉 and get the ‘crust’ together. 
   In a shallow dish combine the 1/4 cup sugar and 1tsp each of the pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. (Remove dough from refridgerator). With a small spoon or better yet, a small small ice cream scoop, scoop out a ball of dough and roll in the ‘crust’. Make sure to fully coat..you may need to make more sugar mix. 

   Place each dough ball onto the parchment lined baking sheets about 2″ apart. *I typically fit about a dozen per sheet. 

 Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven for 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through (at 5 minutes). Cool for 5-7 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Complete with the remaining dough and baking sheets till all are cooked and cooled. 

 Meanwhile, prepare the Simple Glaze for your finished cookies.  In a small bowl combine the glaze ingredients and whisk till smooth.  Now with the cooled cookies still on the wire rack over the baking sheet, you can either drizzle the glaze or dunk the cookie tops and replace on rack to soak in and harden. 

     Set these beauties on a pretty platter or immediately serve alongside a cold glass of milk!  Also…get ready to make another couple dozen, as they go quick!! 

 

Chicken & Bacon Cheddar Waffle’wiches

This is a masterpiece. I am not kidding. By now I imagine that most of the country has heard of the delicious meal called “Chicken & Waffles”…Well let me introduce you to its hand-held counterpart, the Chicken Waffle’wich! You get the same flavors, but no fork and knife needed! Plus who could argue that a savory bacon & cheddar buttermilk waffle doesn’t enhance this delight!  

Disclaimer: this recipe made 6 large sandwiches and 3 of us ate every morsel of them in one quick sitting.

The Starting Lineup

Waffle Batter 

 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of black pepper & salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten, room temperature
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 6-8 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled, *leave bacon grease in pan

Fried Chicken Cutlets 
 

  • 6 thin sliced chicken breasts
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk (chicken should be marinated in this for at least 1 hour)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Oil (canola, peanut) for frying

Garnish

  • Maple Mayo (equal parts real maple syrup and mayonnaise)
  • Red Hot Mayo (equal parts Franks Red Hot Sauce & mayonnaise plus 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato

Preheat you waffle iron. *I like to heat it to medium (the 3 out of 5 on my iron). Also preheat your oven to 225 degrees. If you haven’t done so already, place your chicken into a shallow dish and cover with 2 cups buttermilk. Let sit in fridge for at least 1 hour.
Now in a large bowl combine the first 5 dry waffle ingredients, making a bit of a ‘well’ in the center. 
  

Can you kind of see that “well”?

 Add your beaten eggs into that ‘well’ along with the buttermilk and the cooled, melted butter. Stir to combine all of the ingredients, it’s ok if the batter is slightly lumpy. Then gently fold in the cooked & crumbled bacon and the shredded cheddar cheese. 
   The waffle iron should now be hot and ready to go! Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto each waffle segment. Close and let it do its thing. Once you hear that beep and they’re done, transfer to a wire rack lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. *You want them to be on a rack ideally so they do not get soggy. 

Waffles!! I do not know why the lighting is all weird here, but…

 Chicken time!! Take the chicken & buttermilk dish out of the fridge. In another shallow dish, combine the two cups flour along with the spices. Finally, have another wire rack lined baking sheet ready to hold the floured chicken cutlets.
One by one, take a chicken cutlet out of the buttermilk and place into the flour. Lightly coat each side and then put BACK into the buttermilk and then BACK into the flour. Once coated twice, lay the dredged chicken onto the wire rack. Repeat with all cutlets. *Now my hands here were pretty messy, so I unfortunately could not take a picture of this process..I hope you get the idea. 

Coated and ready to fry!

 Now let’s get that pan you cooked the bacon in up to med-high temp, see why you needed to keep that grease! If needed, add a bit of oil to the pan as well, so it comes about an inch up the pan side.  
Place (careful..hot oil!!) the chicken, about two at a time into the pan. I cooked mine about 4-5 minutes on the first side and then 3-4 minutes on the other side. Transfer the cooked chicken to another wire racked baking sheet and into your preheated oven (along with those waffles) to keep warm. 
   Once all is cooked, hot and ready to go it’s assembly time!! By all means, create your own masterpiece here but around my house this is how we do it..
On one waffle slather on the maple mayo, on another waffle slather on the Red Hot mayo. Top the maple mayo-d waffle off with a crunchy chicken cutlet, lettuce & tomato and then the Red Hot mayo-d waffle. Cut in half at an angle and enjoy!!! *You may just need to hold these bad boys together with a wooden skewer, they’re huge! 👌 
 

Chipotle Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Texas.  Dr. Pepper.  These two go together like beans & rice, Oreos & milk, sour cream & onion…you get the idea.  The dark-hued bubbly soda pop was created in the late 1800’s in a city known as Waco, Texas.  This “Texas Native” is a proud product in these parts…

So after watching my beloved Food Network, it was only natural that I tweaked a recipe to fit my mood that day.  This recipe is now so easy, because it’s a crockpot meal!  Every busy family’s favorite kind!  Did the crockpot inventor ever win a noble peace prize by chance???  He or she can have my vote!!

The Starting Lineup

  • 4-6 lb pork butt/shoulder
  • 2 cans of Dr. Pepper
  • 3.5-7 oz of chipotle in adobo
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Non-stick spray

Optional

  • Coleslaw
  • Sandwich buns 

Spray your crockpot with the non-stick spray.  Easy cleanup is our friend!!  Lay your quartered onion into the large ceramic bowl.  Onto the pork…liberally sprinkle all over with your salt & pepper.   To taste, add a bit of chili powder as well.    Place the pork butt on top of the onions.  Next pour your can of chipotles (plus sauce) over the pork.  After that spicy can is empty, simply pour each can of Dr. Pepper over everything.  This is all ridiculously simple.      Place the lid onto the filled crockpot and turn on low.  I leave ours (untouched) for an easy 8-10 hours.  This comes out gloriously tender.  Everytime.    Now, how you decide to serve this is your own call, but I’ll tell you a little bit on how we enjoy ours…

I make a super simple slaw (precut cabbage mix, a bit o mayo, a bit of granulated sugar, a couple dashes of apple cider vinegar and some S&P…not too wet here).

I then slice, in half, some bakery sandwich/hamburger rolls and toast them. Pile on that fall-apart Chipotle Dr. Pepper Pork, an extra drizzle or two of the sweet & spicy sauce and good helping of crunchy slaw.  Never fails.   

Raspberry Chipotle & Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken

You know that appetizer at holiday parties where the host has a brick of cream cheese and pours the sweet, yet spicy raspberry chipotle sauce over top and serves with crunchy crackers??  Well, here’s the dinner version!

I was craving that flavor combination and just knew it would be great with chicken!  I was correct! 😉 An awesome thing about this meal is A. There are just a few ingredients and B. With prep time and cooking time, it was on the table in an hour!  Excellent!

The Starting Lineup

  • 3-4 chicken breasts, slightly flattened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup raspberry chipotle sauce
  • 1 bunch green onion, sliced
  • Chili powder
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • Jalapeño, sliced (optional)
  • Butcher twine or Toothpicks

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Liberally season each side of the chicken breasts with your kosher salt & pepper and chili powder.

Butterfly your chicken breast and if they’re pretty thick, flatten just a little bit with a roller, mallet or heavy bottomed pan.  Season the inside with a bit more chili powder. *If the breast are on the thinner side, you can just make a “pocket” in the center of each breast, instead of fully butterflying them.

In a small bowl, combine your softened cream cheese with about a 1/3 cup of sliced green onions and a pinch of salt & pepper.

After your cream cheese mix is combined, spread equal amounts down the middle of each breast or into the “pocket” you made. *Here is where I was a dummy and forgot to take a picture for ya..oops!  Roll or fold the breast to almost conceal the cheese mix and either toothpick shut or tie with butcher twine.  Lay each stuffed chicken breast onto your baking sheet.


Now glaze your chicken AALLLL over with a good coating of the raspberry chipotle sauce.  If you have any extra sauce, leave at room temp (or warm) and drizzle over your finished, cooked chicken.

Place the chicken (on the baking sheet) into the oven.  This will cook for 30minutes (here’s where I finish up my sides and pick up the used dishes) 🙂

Once chicken is cooked through, but still juicy, remove from oven and cut off the twine/remove those toothpicks.  Be careful, it’s hot!!

Plate your creamy, sweet and spicy stuffed chicken with seasoned black beans and rice, yum!! *I prefer to garnish ours with an extra drizzle of sauce, the rest of my sliced green onions and a couple thinly sliced jalapeños for some added heat!

 

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