Monday, February 3, 2020

Stuffed Italian Sausages

Hello, Hello friends!

Is it February already?  This freaks me out, the last 2 months have been 2 of the worst I have had in years, and now, to top it off I am going to be 46 at the end of the month! HOW can this be?!  I thought I was still 25.  I am just going to roll with it, you are only as old as you think you are ,right?

This recipe is not mine.  A friend of mine on YouTube posted this video and I knew I HAD to share it.  Follow the link on the video and you can find her.  She eats a keto diet and makes great food!

The night I tested this video things went a little upside down.  I was serving this with salad and pasta and I accidentally dumped an entire pot with 2 lbs of pasta (so I could freezer bank some) and boiling water down my side and on my feet.  My husband rushed me to the ER and I spent the next 5 hours getting iv pain meds, nausea meds and the drs and nurses trying to decide if I should be transferred to a burn center.  I obviously know burns are no joke but I learned when they are on your extremities, they are REALLY no joke.   You know being burned has always been one of my biggest fears.  You can't imagine unless it has happened to you the level of pain involved.  I will say, I am a stronger person, mentally and physically.  I choose to take something good from it.    I ended up coming home, thankfully but guess what had been in the oven for 5 hours at that point?!

Sad, right?  Well, that was a month ago, and my burns are finally healing, and so I was able to remake this recipe and enjoy it with my family!  So few ingredients, so easy to make and I can easily see this served alone with a salad, served on a crusty hoagie roll, or with pasta.  The recipe I am going to give you is not set in stone and easily interchangeable to your taste.  I made a double batch the second time but will give you the recipe for a single recipe!

You will need:
6 Italian Sausages (Sweet or Hot)
6 string cheeses
1 cups marinara
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Slice your sausage down one side not quite to the top or bottom.  Push your string cheese in and remold the sausage around it until the cheese is enveloped inside.  Lay in a casserole dish and proceed with the rest.  Pour over the marinara sauce and then top with cheese.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until sausage is completely cooked.

ENJOY this SO many ways!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Aunt Em's Famous Caramel Corn

Happy week before Christmas Eve!  You guys, I have been riding a flip flopping, up and down and all around roller coaster for a week now.  Let me fill you in....

On Monday December 9th, I was sitting in the dentists waiting room while my darling hubby had some work done.  I went to post something on my FoodThoughtsOfaChefWannabe Facebook page and had been hacked.  I was taken off admin and the entire contents and control of the page had been stolen.  After much support from all of you, many attempts at contacting Facebook and lots of prayers and luck I got it back last night!  I was devastated thinking I would lose all of those friends!  Now that my holiday spirit is back I have a recipe to share!

This recipe is from a family I grew up with, it is their great aunt's recipe.   My oldest sister has been making this recipe for years and she is "known" for this caramel corn.  I decided I wanted to try my hand at it this year and holy Toledo Ohio!  Amazing, just as always!  This is Aunt Em's recipe but my sister adds vanilla and so, I did too.  Double yum.  I don't suggest any children help with this one, and I DO suggest making a double batch.  You are going to need it!

This recipe is so easy, no thermometers, just good old fashioned timing.  You can't mess it up!

Here we go!
8 qts popped popcorn (if you use salted popcorn or salt your popcorn omit it from the recipe list)
2 sticks butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup Caro syrup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Keep popcorn warm in a 250 degree oven.  Combine all ingredients EXCEPT soda in a saucepan and stir until all ingredients are combined and sugar is melted.  Continue to stir until the mixture comes to a boil, boil on medium for 5 minutes.  Now is the time to add your SODA and VANILLA if you are using vanilla!  Stir to combine, mixture will raise up in your pot for a moment so don't be alarmed! Pour over popcorn that is in a large roaster or large foil pan.  Stir to combine the caramel and popcorn.  Place back into oven for 1hr.  Stir after 15-20 minutes.  At 60 minutes, stir one last time and let cool and break.  Keep in airtight container!

Her recipe says, "keeps well in a coffee can"!

SIMPLY the best!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Pecan Pie Muffins

Hello my friends!  So good to have you back again!  Everyone in the US getting ready for Thanksgiving celebrations?  Do you do the cooking or just the eating?!

I decided to share some recipes for the holidays this year that are from my mom.  Not recipes my mom made or had made, just recipes she has sent to me over the years from newspapers!  I am going to share the things that have been shared with me.  For Thanksgiving I am going to share some unconventional twists on Thanksgiving foods or dinner options!  

This recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving breakfast, brunch, the day after, etc.  They have the chewy pecan pie top of a perfectly soft muffin! Make these in foil liners if you can.  I think it will work fantastic and the recipe actually calls for that, but who reads ALL the directions?  If you use foil liners, peel them off and heat up for a few seconds, and oh my gosh!  This recipe clearly has been around the block by the looks of it but let me get to the most important part...the BAKING!

You will need:

1 cup chopped pecans (I bought halves and cut the up so I could put a half on top as decoration)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup butter melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
In a bowl mix together pecans, brown sugar and flour.   Whisk eggs until foamy and combine with melted butter.  Add to dry mixture and mix until combined.  Line muffin pan with foil liners and fill each about 2/3 full.  (I got 10 out of mine and WILL be doubling it next time)  If you choose, add a pecan half on top!  Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are just beyond golden brown, kind of that pecan pie top color!

Enjoy warm, maybe with a little butter?!?  Some coffee?!?  

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Slow Cooker Bread Pudding

Hey guys!

I feels like fall today!  I HAD to get this recipe up for you all, because well, as I mentioned, it FEELS like fall!

It is comfort food night at our house tonight.  Spaghetti and meatballs, (I made over 100 so I could freeze some), bread pudding and Eagles football!  E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!

This recipe is made for my small slow cooker, but can easily put into your regular size, just watch the cooking time, I don't think it will take near as long!

This is supper easy, and my traditional bread pudding recipe is here.  This is perfect for someone who wants to "set it and forget it" so to speak.  My prized bread pudding is easy but this is even easier and I know how attached some of you are to your slow cooker!~  #slowcookerlife


Here is what you will need:
6 cups cubed bread (use old hamburger, hot dog buns, stale bread, it is a perfect use up)
1 1/2 cups ilk
2 eggs
2 T melted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray or butter it well.  Add in bread.  In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients.  Pour it over the bread, and push the bread down to make the bread is all soaked!

Set it on HIGH for 3 hours!  My husband loves it with some heavy cream or half and half poured over the top!  How do you like it?!


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Hello, Hello!

Hoping this post finds you all healthy, happy, and never gassy.  I literally am sitting here laughing as I type, I am totally leaving that in.  Might be my new tag line.  What do you think?

Sooooo.......  We have been having major Mexican food hankering's in this house.  We have been obsessed, it is kind of ridiculous.  Well over a month ago we decided to try and make cheese enchiladas like our favorite Mexican food restaurant, and I made the gaggy mistake of buying enchilada sauce in a can.  I used to do this all the time and loved it in my sons favorite dish which is Cody's Favorite Enchilada Casserole   

So, I opened the can and it was as thin as water, had a layer of grease floating on top and the smell could have gagged a maggot!  HOW did we ever consume this junk?!  I went to my phone and began googling enchilada sauce recipes.  After spending an hour tweaking and tasting, simmering and adding, from numerous recipes, this is what we came to that we loved.  When I say loved, I mean, it is so thick, and creamy and delightful.  I have used it as a soup base, as a Mexican spaghetti base, I mean, you could literally eat it with a spoon and call it Mexican Tomato Soup! New recipe idea!

This makes likely much more than you may need for one recipe.  However, it freezes beautifully and why not make it once and have it for twice or more!  Am I right?  Let's get to it!  Make sure to check out the video as well!

You Will Need:
4T vegetable oil
4T flour
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
2-10 oz. cans Original  Ro-tel (Tomatoes and Green Chilis)
3 cups water
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder or onion flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

In a medium sized pot, add in oil and flour.  Whisk until combined.  It will clump up in your whisk a little just let it go for about 30 seconds.  Add in your chili powder, cumin and oregano.  Let those spices heat for a few seconds and wake up their flavor.  Now add in about half of your water.  Whisk and let simmer for a couple of minutes.  Add in your tomatoes and chilis and the rest of the ingredients as well as the rest of your water.  Let simmer for about 3 minutes while whisking.  When it has simmered and smells amazing, remove from heat.  Using an immersion blender or a standing blender, blend ingredients until it is a smooth and creamy consistency.

You are officially ready.  Ready to service this over anything you like.  Might I suggest my cheese enchiladas?  Video below!



Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Buttery Parmesan Potatoes

We meet again!  Finally, right?

You guys, I missed my website birthday!  WHAAT?  She turned 8 years old on August 20th!  Oh the vision I started out with has changed so much!  Those first ideas were laughable, my former 2 to 3 new recipes a week is now an unthinkable goal for me and I love it all.  All the dreams, all the changes, all of the everything.  Most I love all of you who have followed me, endured my losses, shared in my successes, and remained supportive friends through it all.  May God bless you abundantly, and forever, hold you in the palm of his hand. 

I have been missing my mom... what is new right?  Not in a bad way anymore though.  More happy missing.  Makes total sense right?  Anyway, she always boiled potatoes.  I am fairly sure we always had boiled potatoes, or she would mash them.  My dad was the fried potato master but I think my mom was the boiled potato lady.  I am not sure I remember ever eating a baked potato at home as a kid.  I do remember she would make me green beans daily just about.  (insert spoiled rotten brat grin)  I still love green beans like a fool to this day.  Anyway, these potatoes are just how she used to make them, minus all the good stuff.  Sorry ma, I mean, we both know seasonings and flavor weren't always your forte.  I appreciate every morsel you ever fed me.  Except show leather roast beast....EVERY. STINKIN. SUNDAY.

Let's do this!  If you are a visual kinda human, I have a video below you can watch!

1-2 lbs of potatoes (I used 1.5 lbs of a tricolor baby potato, feel free to use regular russets that you have cubed)
1T salt for water to cook potatoes in
6 T butter
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a pot big enough to hold your potatoes, add in water and 1 T salt.  Bring to a boil, add in rinsed potatoes and boil until the can easy get a fork to slide into the potato.  I used baby potatoes and it took about 20 minutes, yours may take less or more depending on size, so just keep checking.

When they are fork tender, drain and add right back to the hot pot so the rest of the water will evaporate.  Add in 2 T of butter and toss the potatoes.  Let them sit for a few minutes and begin to get a little color on them.  You will stir and almost "fry" them slightly.  That boiled buttery potato with a wee bit of surprise crust is amazing!  Do this until potatoes are just the way you want them.  You can let them go much longer to be full on fried on the outside.  Sprinkle in Italian seasoning, parsley, salt and pepper to taste and that glorious cheese!  Toss for a few seconds and immediately remove from heat.  This will go perfectly alongside steak, or anything else you choose.  I served mine with thick cut chops that were as good and tender and flavorful as you can imagine!

  Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate your friendship and support!  Make sure if you aren't "following" my website you do so on the right hand column!  Also check out the video above and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Golden Oreo Blondies

Good old Oreo Cookies.  They come in darn near every imaginable flavor these days, don't they?  My husband the "not a huge fan of chocolate" guy, LOVES the Golden Oreos.  Just as a side note...who doesn't love chocolate?!  Nobody normal. 

I have been feeling some baking in my bones.  In fact, the day I baked these for hubby, I also re-shot a video that turned out blindly bright.  This time, all of my video clips were corrupt so I can tell you with confidence, I stress ate me one of these babies, OK maybe two.  I mean it depends on how you look at it, I cut one in half.  I ate them like 3 minutes apart, so I am fairly confident the calorie and fat count is less than eating the whole thing at once.  When my husband sees me do this he laughs and says, "you DO know they are still the same whether you eat half now and half later or all at once, right"?  Haha!  He is a lover of all things Blondie.  (except his brunette wife).  He asked me to make Blondies with Golden Oreos in the middle and they were awesome, so I surprised him with another batch and wanted to share them with you.  The cookie kind of melts into the Blondie and the cream is still in the center.  Oh my.  Just close your eyes and go for it. 

I make these in an 8x8 pan but feel free to use a 9x13 and bake just 30-ish minutes!

You will need:
1 cup melted butter
2 cups brown sugar (light or dark makes no difference)
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/3 cup vanilla chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. 

I used just a whisk and spatula but feel free to use an electric mixer or stand mixer.
In a bowl combine melted butter, brown sugar and vanilla, whisk until smooth and combined.  Add in eggs and whisk, again until combined.  Pour flour into the mixture and using a spatula just stir and fold until combined.  I add the chips in halfway through so I don't have to mix any longer than necessary. 

Line your pan with parchment (easier to just pick them up out of the pan)  I still spray the sides with nonstick spray.  Spread mixture in pan and then add Oreos.  If you squish a lot of batter out between them just spread it around when you are done.  You can place these on top to, but, I like pressing them down about halfway.  These are a really thick, chewy Blondie.  Bake for approx 40-45 minutes.

Let cool for at least 20 minutes IN THE PAN!  They need that time to carry over bake and set!

Don't forget to watch the video and subscribe to my channel!