Sticky Buns

“Nothing says home like the smell of baking.”

This is the easiest recipe in the world. It takes about five minutes to prepare and then eight minutes to cook … and, all the prep can be done in a large measuring cup! Don’t do what I did and wait until Christmas morning to cook these delicious Sticky Buns … have them on many mornings throughout the year. This recipe was torn from a magazine dated May 1975 … unfortunately the name of the magazine was not printed on the page so I can’t properly credit the source.

Mixture in bottom of cup on right. Raw biscuit atop mixture in cup on left.

Mixture in bottom of cup on right. Raw biscuit atop mixture in cup on left.

I’ve modified the amounts from the 1975 original because canned biscuits are much larger now.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 can of refrigerated FLAKY biscuits

Instructions:
Using a large pyrex measuring cup, melt the butter and mix in the sugar, pecans and cinnamon. In your muffin pan, lightly grease each cup with butter-flavored (or plain) no-stick cooking spray.

Sticky Buns

Sticky Buns

Next, spoon the topping mixture into ten of the cups trying to put an equal amount in each. Next, place a biscuit in each of the cups over the topping mixture … don’t press them into the mixture. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven 8-10 minutes or until golden. Invert from pan immediately and serve.

Garlic Cheese Sausage Balls

“People who love food are always the best people.”

Imagine taking an overused, very old appetizer recipe and by changing one ingredient turning it into a new, fresh, exciting appetizer ….. well, that’s exactly what Lisa at her blog, The Cutting Edge of Ordinary 300-B_two-150x150, did!

Lisa simply substituted Bisquick’s Cheese and Garlic Biscuit mix for Bisquick’s traditional biscuit mix that we’ve all been using for years. In addition to coming up with the ideal appetizer, she may have created the perfect breakfast for someone on the go. Think about it … each serving provides some bread, sausage, cheese and egg … what more could you ask for!

Ingredients:
1 (7.75 ounces) package Bisquick Complete Cheese-Garlic Biscuit mix
1 pound ground pork sausage (spicy to your taste)
1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg
2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350. Let the sausage sit out for a half hour to come to room temperature. This makes it easier to mix. Combine the sausage and biscuit mix. Add in the egg and mix (with your fingers) to combine. Mix in the cheese and chives. Form into large walnut size balls and place on a baking sheet lined with no-stick foil. Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until cooked through.300-B_one1

Serve with dipping sauce of your choice or just enjoy them plain.

Baked Garlic Cheese Grits

“Food is essential to life, therefore, make it good.”

This is one of my favorite sides and any leftovers make for a great breakfast the next day. I make this recipe at least twice a month to take to our church’s Sunday luncheon potluck buffet. A Paula Deen recipe was an inspiration as well as one from our good friend, Suzanne Carter, who specializes in gluten-free dishes.

A serving of baked grits with pork tenderloin medallions

A serving of baked grits with pork tenderloin medallions

Prep Time : 10 min
Cook Time : 50 min
Level : Easy
Serves : 8

Ingredients
3 cups chicken broth
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup quick grits (not instant, not regular)
8 ounce log of garlic cheddar cheese, cubed (see comments)
¼ cup half & half
2 large eggs beaten
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese (see comments)

A dish of grits just out of the oven

A dish of grits just out of the oven

(Comments – The garlic cheddar cheese log is a cold pack cheese food. It used to be on the shelves year round until Kraft stopped making it, so now I can only find it during the Nov-Jan holiday season. Since its storage life is 12-months, I now buy a dozen or more logs at a time for year round use. An alternative to the log is an 8-oz block of sharp cheddar cheese, grated, along with a ¼ tsp of powdered garlic. Extra Sharp white cheddar cheese is a must for the topping. Most grocery stores carry it under several brand names including Cabot and Kraft. If you are in a pinch, an alternative is to use regular yellow extra sharp (or sharp) cheddar cheese.)

Baked Garlic Cheese Grits

Baked Garlic Cheese Grits

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease a 9” x 13” casserole baking dish (I typically use an 8 ¼” x 12 ¼” disposable aluminum pan for potluck dinners). Bring the broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (if used) to a boil in a 2-qt saucepan. Stir in the grits and whisk until completely combined. Reduce the heat to low and simmer (stirring frequently) until the grits are thick, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cubed cheddar and half & half and stir. Gradually stir in the eggs and butter and continue stirring until all are combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with the white cheddar and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. After cooling for awhile, I cut mine to about the size of brownies. Refrigerate the leftovers in a sealed container and warm them for breakfast the next day!

Baked Garlic Cheese Grits topped with a crawfish cream sauce

Baked Garlic Cheese Grits topped with a crawfish cream sauce

Optionally, there are numerous sauces that may be served over the grits including those with shrimp or crawfish.

Rosti Eggs Benedict

“If you are what you eat, then you might as well eat something good.”

Everyone has one or more signature dishes; typically though, you just don’t call them that unless you are an accomplished chef (which I am definitely NOT). However, with that said, I am very proud of this dish and I created it from scratch after many, many trials … So, I am immodestly calling this my signature dish!

Rosti Eggs Benedict

Rosti Eggs Benedict

Although it can be served as the main entrée at any meal, this dish is best suited for breakfast or brunch along with coffee, fresh fruit and maybe a Bloody Mary.

Rosti is simply the Swiss version of our hash brown shredded potatoes. Cooking Light published a recipe for Rosti Casserole with Baked Eggs which inspired me but only barely resembles my recipe. A free magazine in Ontario named Food & Drink published a recipe in 2008 for Rosti Benedict which also inspired and resembles mine but both the others are different enough that I think I can lay claim to Rosti Eggs Benedict.

Uncooked Potato Mixture in baking dish

Uncooked Potato Mixture in baking dish

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
4 oz Greek-style Plain yogurt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 heaping tablespoons of small bacon pieces or diced ham pieces
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
10 oz fresh shredded hash brown potatoes (found packaged in the grocery dairy section)
Cooking spray
2 extra large eggs (see comments)
Chopped fresh chives (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

Cooked Potato Mixture

Cooked Potato Mixture

Hollandaise Sauce Ingredients (or use a packaged mix like Knorr):
1 cup melted butter
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of milk or half & half
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of cayenne

(Some Comments: Do not add salt during the prep nor salt this dish until you’ve tasted it. The bacon or ham pieces are probably loaded with enough salt to satisfy your taste. You’ve got to be extremely careful and watchful during the last 1 to 3 minutes of baking the eggs … seriously, the seconds mean the difference between a runny yolk and a semi-solid yolk. No two ovens are calibrated the same … at a setting of 400° some will take 8 1/2 minutes for the eggs to bake and some will take 11 minutes so be very, very careful and watchful. You can make a lot of alterations/modifications to this recipe to meet your individual tastes. You can substitute Pepper Jack Cheese or Mexican blend or even Gruyere for the Monterey Jack.. Instead of bacon pieces you can use diced ham or diced smoked salmon or even diced Portobello mushrooms. If necessary you can substitute thawed, frozen shredded hash browns. If you prefer two eggs on your plate instead of one, simply make two indentions in the potato mixure and increase the number of eggs accordingly … no other ingredients need to be adjusted.)

Plates with raw eggs going into the oven

Plates with raw eggs going into the oven

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine yogurt and flour in a large bowl mixing well. Add cheese, butter, bacon pieces, black pepper, nutmeg, and potatoes to yogurt mixture and continue mixing well using your hands. Spread potato mixture evenly into a medium size oval baking dish (boat shaped abt 10”x 5”x 1”) coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven. With the bottom of a small bowl, make an indentation in top of potato mixture. Crack open 1 egg and pour it into the indentation without breaking the yolk. Return dish to oven. Bake at 400° for 9-11 minutes or until egg whites are firm and yolks barely move when pan is touched

3. While the dish is baking, prepare the Hollandaise Sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and whisk for a minute or two until thick. (Note: an alternative would be to use a prepackaged mix (Knorr makes a great one) and just follow the simple instructions on the envelope.)

Ready to serve

Ready to serve

4. Remove the dish from the oven and spoon Hollandaise Sauce liberally over each egg. Sprinkle with fresh chopped chives and black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately. Remember, do not salt till after you’ve first tasted it!

All Content © 2010 All Rights Reserved, J. Taylor, Marshall, TX

Balsamic Glazed Sugar Snap Peas with Bacon

“Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen, it can fix anything.”

This is one of our favorite side dishes. The bacon fat doesn’t make it the healthiest in the world but it sure tastes good! This recipe rated 4 1/2 stars (out of five) on the source website at AllRecipes.com

Balsamic Glazed Sugar Snap Peas with Bacon

Balsamic Glazed Sugar Snap Peas with Bacon

Ingredients:
8 slices of bacon
1 pound of fresh sugar snap peas
3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar (or 2 T of brown sugar)
salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:
Cook the bacon in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until the fat has rendered out and the bacon has begun to crisp, about 5 minutes. Go ahead and eat one or two of the bacon strips because you really only need a minimum of six! Remove the bacon, crumble it into half-inch sized pieces and set aside leaving the bacon fat in the pan. Add the sugar snap peas and toss them with a spatula coating them with the bacon fat. Cook and stir until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Pour in the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and bacon. Continue cooking until the balsamic has reduced and the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. (Please remember that a good quality balsamic vinegar is a MUST).

Sherried Pork Chops

I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” W.C. Fields

If you listed the top ten comfort foods, this dish would be there! The fact that it is simple and quick to make just adds to its appeal. The suggestion to sop up the gravy with French bread should be a warning that it is definitely NOT a low cal/low fat dish. I cannot emphasize enough that chicken tenderloins can be substituted for pork and the results are every bit as good. And remember, a good quality sherry will produce a rich, full-bodied gravy for this dish (never, never, never cook with “cooking sherry”).

Out of the oven with foil removed.

Out of the oven with foil removed.

Ingredients:
4 to 6 Pork Chops (center cut, thin sliced, bone in or out)(can substitute with Chicken tenderloins)
1 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
3/4 stick butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup
1 cup Sour Cream
3/4 cup pale Dry Sherry

Instructions:
In a skillet, season the chops with the Lawry’s and brown in the butter. Remove chops and place them in a 9×13 baking dish. In the skillet, pour out all but about a tablespoon or less of butter but try to save any scrapings/leavings … blend the chicken broth, the soup, the sour cream and the sherry.

Sherried Pork Chops with Rice and Green Beans

Sherried Pork Chops with Rice and Green Beans

Pour over the Pork Chops. Cover with a tight lid or foil and cook in a 350-degree oven for about an hour. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

All Content © 2010 All Rights Reserved, J. Taylor, Marshall, TX

Peanut Bisque

“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living.” L.P. De Gouy

Undoubtedly, my favorite culinary memory of the 1980’s was Bob Daniel’s Peanut Bisque at the famous Durham House in Waxahachie, Texas.  The restaurant was located in an old Victorian house near the downtown area and I remember having to make reservations over a month in advance for each visit, and even then having to park a block away because limousines from Dallas lined both sides of the street.  Other than creamy tomato when I was home sick, I never cared much for soup … however, since peanut butter has always been a mainstay, it was easy to fall in love with Peanut Bisque.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

INGREDIENTS:
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups celery, minced or liquefied
1/2 cup white onion, minced or liquefied
3 Tablespoons flour
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I prefer Peter Pan or Bama)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
3 drops Tabasco hot pepper sauce250-peanutB01

INSTRUCTIONS:
Melt butter.  Add celery and onion and cook until tender.  Put into blender and liquify.  Return to pan and add flour stirring with a wire whisk.  Gradually add chicken broth and cook until thickened and mixture comes to a boil. Stir in peanut butter, salt, pepper, paprika and Tabasco.  Remove from heat and add cream; return to heat and bring to serving temperature but below boiling.  Sprinkle with fresh chopped chives for serving.  Will refrigerate for one week.