Author Archives: Rachel

Waffles

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Waffles

Blueberry Waffles
Jalapeno Bacon Waffles

I love love love waffles! Love them! This recipe is great for classic waffles, or add your favorite mixins! I love blueberries in mine, and my husband loves jalapenos and bacon. So weird, but he loves it.

Ingredients:
2 cups self-rising flour (This is one of those time savers I love because you don’t have to add salt and baking powder. If you don’t have self-rising flour, just add 1 tsp salt and 4 tsp baking powder to the recipe.)
2 T white sugar
1 T honey
2 eggs
1 1/2 c milk (we use coconut milk at our house, but any milk will do)
1/3 c melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c mixins per waffle if you want them and keep separate from the mixing bowl (blueberries, strawberries, jalapenos and bacon, whatever… frozen fruit works best)

Combine all your ingredients and add 1/3 c at a time to your waffle iron that you’ve sprayed with non-stick cooking spray between each waffle. Right after you pour the mixture onto the iron, sprinkle your 1/4 c of mixins on top of the batter and close the lid. Cook according to the instructions on your waffle iron. Makes about 10 waffles.

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Homemade Chicken Broth

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Homemade Chicken Broth

Homemade Chicken Broth

Chicken broth made at home is so much tastier than the boxed/canned stuff you get at the store, not to mention much cheaper when you compare how much this makes! This broth is great for any recipe, like Chicken Noodle Soup, Texas Cornbread Dressing, or any other recipe that calls for broth or stock. What’s the difference between broth and stock? Stock is really more about the carcass of the animal (chicken bones, beef bones, etc.) and broth boils the meat. They’re both delicious, but broth is a bit quicker to make and doesn’t take all day boiling away, plus it leaves you with leftover meat you can chop up and make just about anything with (soup, chicken salad, enchiladas, the possibilities are endless!). Also, I should note I used chicken thighs for this broth recipe because that’s what I had in my freezer and not a whole chicken. Either one will work perfectly. The key is you want your chicken to have skin and bones, because it’s going to deliver the most flavor.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of celery with leaves
3 carrots
1 large onion skin on
2 bay leaves
2 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes
1 T garlic herb seasoning
1.5 gallons of water (24 cups of water)
1 large package chicken thighs or 1 whole chicken between 2.5-3.5 pounds (my chicken thighs were 3 pounds)

1. Don’t even bother peeling or skinning your veggies, just give them a rough chop and throw them all in your stock pot.
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2. Add your chicken and seasonings into the pot.
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3. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and leave uncovered.
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Homemade Chicken Broth

4. After about an hour and a half your broth is done cooking! Take out a strainer and place over another large pot or bowl in your sink and pour everything out of your stock pot into it. I suggest pulling your chicken out first before trying this move, because if your strainer is like mine, it’s probably not big enough to hold all of that.
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5. Now you have lots of delicious broth left in your bowl and you can use it now or freeze in containers and use whenever you want. So good!
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Perfect Pot Roast

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Perfect Pot Roast

Perfect Pot Roast

I love easy dinners like this pot roast you can just throw in all one dish and let it cook away all day! I made mine in the oven only because I wanted to use my shiny orange ovenware dish, but this works perfectly in a crockpot too. Crocktober lasts pretty much all fall and winter at my house, and this is one of my favorites. Also, I know some of you may be hesitant about using sweet potato in this recipe, but I promise you it’s so delicious, and once you’ve tried it you’ll never cook pot roast with just plain potatoes ever again!

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato
1 large sweet onion
8-10 purple potatoes (you could use new potatoes too, I just love the color of the purple ones)
1 large Yukon gold potato
3 garlic cloves
3 carrots
1 can cream of mushroom and chicken (if you can’t find this, just use regular cream of mushroom)
1 package Zesty Italian Seasoning
4 cups of water
Your favorite all purpose seasoning (something with salt, pepper, garlic, etc)
2-3 lb pot roast

1. Chop all your veggies and put in your crockpot or casserole dish. Combine in a separate bowl can of cream of mushroom/chicken, Zesty Italian Seasoning, and 4 c water. Stir until combined and pour over the veggies.
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2. Season pot roast liberally on all sides with your favorite all purpose seasoning and place on top of veggies and cover with lid.
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3. Bake in oven for six hours at 300 degrees or place crockpot on high for 6-8 hours (depending on the strength of your crockpot and weight of your roast). Serve over rice or with tortillas in a pot roast taco for a delicious cool weather meal! If you’re serving with rice, I like to cook the rice with some of the pot roast liquid after it’s done cooking to give it extra flavor. Yum!
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Dutch Apple Pie

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Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch Apple Pie

This cooler weather is so perfect for baking something delicious in your kitchen and making your whole house smell amazing! This Dutch Apple Pie is so good and is made with my absolute favorite apples: Honey Crisp. You can make this pie with a mix of different apples or just pick your favorite, but I highly suggest Honey Crisp! Also, I’ve made this without the pie crust many times and just made it in a baking dish as a crisp and it’s perfect too! 

 Ingredients: 

 (Filling) 

  • 5-6 peeled and sliced thin apples 
  • 3 T flour 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/4 c brown sugar packed 
  • 1/2 c white sugar 
  • Your favorite pie crust

 (Topping) 

  • 3/4 c flour
  •  1/4 c brown sugar
  •  1/4 c white sugar
  •  1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/3 c butter cut into cubes

 1. Stir all filling ingredients in a large bowl and dump into pie crust. I used a frozen pie crust because ain’t nobody got time to make a homemade crust!
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2. Combine your topping ingredients in a bowl and using either a pastry cutter or two forks stir together until butter is well incorporated and is roughly the size of peas.
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3. Place pie on a foil lined cookie sheet to prevent spills and bake at 375 for 50 minutes. Allow to cool on cooling rack before eating. It’s perfection, trust me!
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Chicken Noodle Soup

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

There’s nothing better than homemade chicken noodle soup on a cool weather day, or when you’re recovering from an illness. Mmmm 🙂 This is only about a million times better than the canned version! I think the trick to making the chicken extra tasty is letting it marinade overnight in your favorite all purpose seasoning (something salt-free like a garlic herb seasoning) in the fridge (or at least for four hours if you can’t do it overnight). Let’s get started…

Ingredients:
1 package chicken thighs with bone and skin on
4 carrots
4 celery sticks (with leafy tops)
2 onions (I love sweet onions)
Chicken bouillon cube (as always, I use the Knorr brand)
6 oz egg noodles
1 stick butter
1/4 c flour
2-3 small garlic cloves chopped
Your favorite all purpose seasoning, salt, and pepper

1. Chop 1 onion, 3 carrots, garlic, and celery and place in saute pan. You’re going to reserve the celery leafy tops and bottoms, 1 carrot, and 1 onion sliced in half and place all of that in a pot to make your broth.
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2. Add your marinated chicken to the pot with the veggies and add your chicken bouillon cube and enough water to completely cover the veggies and chicken. Set to a boil and let this go for about an hour.
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3. Meanwhile, add your butter, salt, and pepper to your veggies in your saute skillet and set that on about medium heat. You don’t want to brown these – you want to sweat them out and cook until they’re soft and the onions are transparent. This should take about 20-25 minutes. You’ll notice in this picture there is only 1/2 stick of butter present. I decided halfway through cooking these they needed more butter. I think the lesson here is clear: When it doubt, add more butter! Amen.
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4. After your veggies are done cooking, add your flour and stir the veggies around for 3-4 minutes while the flour cooks through and it will thicken up the veggies. Then turn the heat off and set aside.
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5. At this point your kitchen smells delicious! Don’t worry, you’re almost done… Now you’ll get out a strainer and dump your broth and chicken pot into it, allowing the broth to go into a bowl under the strainer and then pick out the chicken to cut into bite sized pieces on your cutting board (discard skin and bones).
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6. Discard the stuff in the strainer and pour the veggies, chicken, and broth mix all back into the pot and bring to a boil. Also, I added about 2 cups of water after dumping the broth in to thin it out a bit, but you can use your own judgement here. Then add 6 oz or so of your favorite noodles (I love egg noodles here) and allow to boil until the noodles are cooked. That’s it! Now the most delicious homemade chicken noodle soup is ready to eat 🙂
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Hot Chow Chow

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Hot Chow Chow

How Chow Chow
Do yall understand that hot chow chow is one of the best things on earth? I absolutely love it and look forward to eating it every summer on my peas, greens, hot dogs, etc. This recipe was made up this year after my mom’s garden had a huge crop of green tomatoes (10 pounds!) and I am so looking forward to having enough chow chow in my pantry to last me the next couple of years! This recipe is spicy and uses lots of peppers, so if you don’t like it hot, I suggest taking the seeds out of maybe 1/2 of the peppers used. Also, this recipe can easily be cut in half (or more), but I’m going to post the recipe for the 10 lbs of tomatoes I used since that’s what you’ll see in all the pictures. It made 15 pints of chow chow and 5 pints of hot pepper sauce to keep for my greens and other deliciousness! That’s because after the chow chow was drained out of pot we had so much delicious liquid leftover we decided it would’ve been a sin not to keep it! After drizzling it on buttered cornbread last night we decided we were definitely glad we did 🙂

Ingredients:
10 lbs green tomatoes
2 bags sweet mini bell peppers (or use 2 each of yellow, orange, and red)
2 cups of hot peppers chopped (we used an assortment from the garden of jalapenos, serranos, and a few banana peppers)
6 onions
4 c white vinegar
2 c apple cider vinegar
2 c water
5 c sugar
1/2 c salt (use pickling salt if you have it)
8 whole cloves
1 T mustard seeds
1 T whole black peppercorns
24 dried cayenne peppers
1 tsp turmeric

1. First you’re going to get your pickling liquid going. In a sauce pot combine vinegars, water, sugar, salt, spices, and dried cayenne peppers. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
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2. Now start prepping all your veggies to go into your food processor (tomatoes, peppers, onions). For tomatoes cut the tops off and cut in half or quarters depending on the size of the tomato. Quarter up your onions and make sure your peppers are small enough for your processor to handle. Start processing in batches and add to a large pot.
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3. Once your pickling liquid is done simmering and all your veggies are processed and combined in the large pot, pour STRAINED pickling liquid over the chow chow mix and bring to a boil. This will take a while and you’ll have a considerable about of liquid in there, so be patient:) After it comes to a boil, bring the heat down and allow it to simmer about 40 minutes or until it looks like this.
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4. Now it’s time to start canning! Start putting chow chow into your hot jars (I’m assuming you’ve prepped your jars) and filling them up to about 1/2 inch from the top. You’ll want to sort of let the juice run out, not quite straining the liquid, but getting mostly the chunky stuff to fill up your jars first, then pour the liquid in at the last. This will give you 15 pint size jars. After you’ve canned your chow chow, you can take liquid that’s leftover at the bottom of the pot and save it for yummy hot pepper sauce. I can’t even tell you how delicious this is!
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5. Water bath the jars for 15 minutes, then allow to sit and seal on your counter top.
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6. Now it’s time to make yourself a southern meal of peas, greens, cornbread, chicken, etc, and sprinkle some hot chow chow all over it and go ahead and sign out for the evening! You’ll be so glad you took the time to make these little green gems into this delicious concoction!
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Roasted Red Snapper With Veggies

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Roasted Red Snapper With Veggies

Roasted Red Snapper With Veggies

I love fish! There are so many people that tell me they love fish but that they’re scared to cook it or all they know how to do is fry it. Don’t get me wrong, I love fried fish, but there are so many healthier and just as delicious ways to enjoy our friends from the salty sea. This red snapper is a very mild white fish, and if you can’t find snapper where you are, a similar tasting fish would be grouper, flounder, or another mild white flaky fish. Halibut is delicious too, but it’s usually an arm and a leg, and I like to stick with the affordable stuff! Normally I do sort of a cooked pico de gallo recipe with this fish, but I had some bell peppers in my garden that were ready to pick, so those got incorporated into this dish and I was so happy I put them in there!

Ingredients:
1 fish filet per person
1 large tomato or a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 handful chopped cilantro
As many chopped jalapenos as you can handle 🙂
2 bell peppers any color
2 chopped onions (I did one sweet and one purple because I had them both, but if you’re just picking one, go with sweet)
butter
2 chopped garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Your favorite fish seasoning (I like to use the GOYA brands I normally use on chicken which are the Seasoning Total and GOYA con pepper in addition to a few cracks of fresh black pepper from the grinder)

1. Using an oven safe skillet (hello cast iron!), saute with about 3 T of butter and a drizzle of oil your onions and peppers and season with salt and pepper. This will take about 10 minutes or so on medium high heat. Then add your garlic and saute for a few more minutes.
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2. Turn the heat off and add your chopped tomatoes and cilantro and add additional salt if needed. Stir that around until everything is incorporated.
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3. Place your seasoned fish filets on top of the veggies and place into a 425 degree oven for about 12 minutes. You’ll need to vary your time based on how many filets you have, the thickness, etc, but you get the idea that they’re going in and coming out pretty quickly. Also, I find it helps roast the fish and hold in the moisture if you drizzle the tops with a little olive oil as well as the seasoning you put on them.
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4. I started checking my fish at 10 minutes and I could tell when it was done when the meat bounced back firmly and poked a fork in there and it was opaque. Remember, when you take it out it will continue to carry over cook, so there’s no need for you to cook the blazes out of it.
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5. Plate that puppy up and serve with a twist of lime or a side of rice for a delicious and healthy meal! -13

Chicken Spaghetti

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Chicken Spaghetti

Chicken Spaghetti

Who loves cheese? Well then this chicken spaghetti recipe is for you! It has an ooey gooey cheesy sauce that is absolutely delicious! Also, this is a great recipe to chop up veggies into tiny pieces and hide them in the sauce so your kids eat them. I’ve got lots of squash and parsley in my garden right now and my son had no idea either were in this dish. I think you could easily substitute zucchini, peas, chopped asparagus, finely chopped broccoli, finely chopped spinach, or any combination of those veggies into this dish easily!

Ingredients:

1 sweet onion finely chopped

1/4 c roasted red peppers chopped (or two jars pimentos)

Additional chopped veggies of your choice (I used one yellow squash and a few sprigs of chopped parsley)

1/2 lb linguine pasta (I used whole wheat)

4 oz Velveeta

1 can cream of mushroom

2 T cream cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 package boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 2 lbs)

Chicken bouillon cube

Salt and pepper

2 chopped garlic cloves

3 T butter

1 T garlic and herb seasoning

Additional mozzarella or other Italian cheese for topping

Italian breadcrumbs

1. First we’re going to season the water you’ll be using to cook the chicken (and later the noodles). Bring a pot of water with chicken bouillon and garlic herb seasoning to a boil and add chicken to pot. This will need to boil about 20-25 minutes.

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2. Add chopped onion, chopped veggies of your choice, butter, salt, and pepper to a sauté pan. Cook until veggies become tender and add chopped garlic and roasted red peppers and cook a few more minutes on medium high heat.

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3. Turn heat down to medium low and add cream of mushroom, cream cheese, mozzarella, and Velveeta. Stir and allow mixture to melt and come together.

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4. Pull your chicken out of the boiling seasoned water and cut into bite size pieces.

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5. Add chicken to sauce mixture.

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6. Add linguini to the boiling seasoned water and cook using directions on the box. Once it’s done, add the drained pasta to the chicken and cheese mix.

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7. Pour this into a buttered 9×11 baking dish and top with more cheese and sprinkle top with Italian breadcrumbs.

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8. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until top is golden brown.

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Mmmmmm would you look at that beautiful masterpiece?! It’s delicious with a hunk of crusty garlic bread and large glass of red wine 🙂

BBQ Chicken

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BBQ Chicken

BBQ Chicken

This is hands down the best BBQ chicken you will ever have! That’s right, I’m that confident in this BBQ chicken recipe and its deliciously sticky BBQ sauce. Mmmmm 🙂 While reading Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman)’s facebook page, I noticed she had put up a recipe for her BBQ chicken. She does hers with peach preserves and her favorite BBQ sauce (which happens to be one of my favorites as well), and I decided to change up the recipe a bit to make it my own. So essentially, it’s a mix of recipes. Let’s get started!

Ingredients:
1/3 cup mesquite/smoky/spicy bbq sauce (I used Head Country Orignial here because I love it and also because Ree Drummond used it in her original recipe)
1/3 cup sweet/mild bbq sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s here and Original or Honey BBQ would be delicious)
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1-2 garlic cloves finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 1/2 – 3 pounds chicken thighs/wings/legs

1. Whether you’re doing this on the grill or in your oven, you’ll need to spray a piece of foil with non-stick cooking spray to keep the chicken from sticking throughout this process. If you’re doing it in your oven, you can either spray a jelly roll pan with or without foil, or use a grilling rack. I used the grill for my chicken because the wind wasn’t trying to blow my house down that day, and it was nice to be outside.
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2. Salt and pepper both sides of whatever chicken you’re using.
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3. Combine both BBQ sauces, apricot preserves, and chopped garlic in a small sauce pot and place on the stove on low. Stir until combined, then you can turn off the heat once it’s all married up nicely.
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4. You’re going to cook your chicken on the grill/oven for about 20-25 minutes before you start basting it with the sauce. If you’re using your oven, the first 20-25 minutes the temperature should be around 350. Once your time is up, turn up the heat to about 400, or just crank up your grill and baste the first side of the chicken, flip over, then baste the other side. Then allow it to cook another 7-8 minutes before repeating the process. You’ll do this several times until you run out of sauce and your chicken is done. Make sure you’re closing the lid of grill after each basting and also make sure not to lose any of the skin during the flipping process.
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Doesn’t that look delicious? It’s ready to eat! Those apricot preserves and their plump juicy apricots really make this chicken amazing!

Garden Vegetable and Shrimp Alfredo

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Garden Vegetable and Shrimp Alfredo

Garden Vegetable and Shrimp Alfredo

I am so happy when summer veggies start coming up in my garden and love to use them in tons of different recipes. This pasta I made tonight was so yummy, and it uses summer squash and zucchini as the vegetables, but really any veggie you could want would do great in here. Peas, broccoli, asparagus, carrots, etc would be tasty! I also added shrimp for some protein, but feel free to leave it out or substitute grilled chicken instead.

Ingredients:
1/2 lb linguini pasta
1/2 pint (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
5 oz shredded Romano cheese (or use Parmesan if you prefer)
1 zucchini sliced into 1/2 rings
1 squash sliced into 1/2 rings
1 lb shrimp that’s been peeled and de-veined
1 stick of butter
1 clove garlic chopped
1-2 T chopped fresh herbs (I used flat leaf parsley and basil from the garden)
Salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional)

1. First get your water boiling for the pasta and get your veggies started in a separate skillet with 2 T butter. Oh hello there cast iron skillet! You know how much I love you 🙂
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2. Saute on medium-high heat for a few minutes and season with salt and pepper, then add your chopped garlic and saute a few more minutes. Drain into a bowl and set aside.
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3. Next, saute your shrimp in 4 T of butter and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. The last minute they’re in there toss in your freshly chopped herbs. Remove pan from the heat and set aside.
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4. For the sauce, just melt 2 T of butter in a small sauce pot over low to medium heat, and add your heavy whipping cream once it’s melted. Season liberally with salt and pepper, then add 3-4 oz of your shredded Romano cheese.
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5. Once it’s thickened and melted, it will stick to the back of your spoon and become a deliciously sinful white cheesy sauce.
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6. Combine your veggies, pasta, sauce, and shrimp all together and stir.
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7. Top with more freshly chopped herbs and the rest of your shredded cheese, then serve with cheesy garlic bread for a yummy summer Italian meal!
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