Uncle Chuck’s Chicken on the Grill

Uncle Chuck's Chicken




Uncle Chuck’s Chicken on the Grill

When it comes to cooking on the Grill the struggle is REAL especially when it comes to meat. It seems I am either over-cooking it or undercooking it and, of course, you can’t serve under-cooked meat so it then goes back on the grill until I have achieved the polar opposite, a burnt slab of meat. So this year I have decided enough is enough and went to the pro, my brother. This guy can  seriously cook anything on the grill. His burgers alone are #drool worthy. So this year I am going to find out all of  his secrets starting with his Chicken on the Grill. In this particular recipe, my brother used chicken leg quarters but he has also used this method of cooking on legs & thighs and chicken breasts. The cooking times will vary depending on what cut of chicken you decide to use.

Uncle Chuck’s Chicken on the Grill  

Ingredients:

8-10 Chicken quarters

1 – stick Butter

2 (1/2) – 3 – Cups Vinegar

Garlic Powder to taste

salt & Pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Turn grill to high (or 500 degrees), once it reaches 500 degrees clean it off good with grill brush. Once the grill is cleaned turn the heat down to 350 degrees ( medium high). On the stovetop in a small/medium sized sauce pan, on medium heat, add butter, vinegar, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Cook till butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Once grill has reached the correct temperature of 350 degrees place raw chicken halves on the grill and baste them with vinegar & butter mixture. Close the lid to the grill and cook chicken for 1 to 1(1/2) hours or until chicken has reached a safe temperature of 170-F (77-C) degrees, basting every 15 minutes.




Make ahead Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast Burrito

Make ahead Breakfast Burritos

Keeping some of these easy Make ahead Breakfast Burritos on hand will make your mornings extra enjoyable. I love knowing that I only have one mess to clean up from breakfast, for the ENTIRE week! And the mess is really not that bad. Usually, it consists of 1 electric skillet, a cutting board, a bowl, and of course, a few utensils. See, easy peasy, not even enough to fully load the dishwasher 😉 Paper plates also help to keep the mess minimal.

Now, I know I said these are Make ahead Breakfast Burritos, and they are, but my mom also had another great idea. She suggested that if I had overnight company I could make these up the night before, place them seam-side down in a greased cake pan, and bake them in the morning. I’m not sure what temperature these would have to cook at because I have never tried it. If you googled it I am sure you would find something on it. Gotta love google, right!?

* I saw many different methods of wrapping and freezing the burritos but I liked the one I used int this recipe the best. I can not find the website where I saw this, I might even have seen it on youtube. But I want all my readers to know that the recipe is my own but the freezer method is not. If I happen to come across it again I will be sure to link it. If you choose to make these burritos for yourself do some research on the different freezer methods, you may find something you like better. For example, I saw some people wrap them in foil. This would be a nice method if you chose not to use microwaves, you could probably take them straight out of the freezer and bake them in the oven with the foil still on. =)


Strawberry Crunch Pound Cake

Strawberry Pound Cake

I know I have been making a lot of cakes lately but this strawberry pound cake really takes the cake (pun intended). Due to the upcoming Easter holiday, my sister has come home from New York for the week. I am beyond thrilled! Because when my sister comes home it’s a free for all.. a free to stuff your face with all the food you want with no judgements and no talk of diets kinda all. So far we have been to the long horn for steaks and, of course, she had to one up me and get a steak AND lobster meal. Then the very next day we decided we needed to make a trip to Buffalo wild wings for a sandwich the size of our hands! And as if that meal wasn’t enough, we then decided we needed a slice of pie.. oh, and a coffee from Starbucks. I mean you can’t have pie without coffee, can you? Today she picked my son and I up for lunch at one of our favorite dinners, we did get a salad.. but I am not going to tell you everything else we got =p I am afraid that, unlike my sister, you will judge me. I mean I would probably judge me if I were you too, that’s a lot of food! But it doesn’t happen often, only a few times a year, so we take full advantage. And I am always sad to see her go. But I don’t want to think about that right now. Right now I want to focus on this lovely cake we will be indulging in for the next day or two, three if we’re lucky!

This Strawberry Crunch Cake reminds me of a strawberry scooter crunch.  It is so good! It is a moist strawberry pound cake with a cream cheese frosting and then is topped with “crunch” that is made from vanilla pudding and strawberry jello. This is the perfect summertime cake, your guests will love it!

This recipe was adapted from one of the recipes I inherited from my Nana.

Ham Salad Sliders with Spicy Mustard Sauce

Ham Salad Sliders - Final

Ham Salad Sliders with Spicy Mustard Sauce

I served these ham salad sliders at our super bowl party along with some other recipes that came by special request including my Buckin’ Bronco Nachos. I always like serving my recipes to a small crowd to get their reaction before posting them to my website. And I am proud to say that these sliders got rave reviews!

While I was preparing the Sliders, I heard a few grumbles coming from the living room about the pickled eggs. I thought I would be nice and make a few without pickled eggs. Well, no surprise to me, the only ones left over were the ones without pickled eggs. If you are a little skeptical about the pickled eggs you should, at least, give it a try. I once heard Paula Deen say something like this ” The first time you make a recipe follow it exactly, the second time make it your own” I think Mrs. Deen has the right idea. So when you make them please, please, at least, try the pickled egg, do it for me and do it for Mrs.Deen. 😉

I like creating recipes that are quick and easy but pack a flavorful punch. These little sliders have it all! The sweetness from the pretzel rolls, savory ham salad, a tang from the pickled egg, and let’s not forget the spicy mustard sauce. They are seriously like little flavor bombs. When I made them I used a combo of both mini pretzel rolls and mini bagels, they pretzel rolls are better… way better. The bagels were good but they didn’t add the sweetness that the pretzel rolls offered. You could always do what I did and try both the mini pretzel rolls and mini bagels to see which you like best. I hope you enjoy. =)

Nana’s Chocolate Pound Cake

chocolate bundt cake

December was a difficult month for me to say the least. I lost a grandparent to cancer, which I talked about in my previous blog post, Orange Chiffon cake from 1948, but I also lost a job. I only had the job for a few months. I started out as part time and somehow ended up assistant manager… whoa! Although I liked the job, it wasn’t where my heart was. My heart belongs here, at home, with my baby boy ( he is now 4 =) ) and my blog. So when things started to get rough at work I saw it as a way out and took it.

It’s funny how sometimes God puts you in a situation to teach you more about yourself, isn’t it? Although I quit my job and was feeling guilty and worthless, I learned 3 very important things about myself:

#1 People are going to let you down sometimes – People are going to hurt you, it’s part of life. Sometimes people choose to hurt you on purpose and sometimes it’s just an accident. In the end, we are all people, we all make mistakes, and we all have our own struggles. So I’m slowly learning that I need to forgive and forget, let go and let God.

#2 Stick up for yourself, you’re worth it! –  I have learned that I need to stick up for myself, I’m worth it. This is something that I have struggled with my entire life. I feel like God has big plans for me and learning to stick up for myself is a must for the next door to open. I will tell you this much if that job was a test from God, to see if I would stick up for myself, I failed. I got a big F for failure on that one. But the good news is that we serve a God of second chances, a forgiving God. So I guess if God can forgive me then I need to forgive myself  and make sure I am prepared to pass the next text.

#3 Do what makes YOU happy – After losing my job, I had a long talk with my mom about everything. I told her how I felt like a failure and that my blog was not near as good as other ones I have seen. She said to me ” Emily, do you like to blog?” I said “Yes! I love it!” “so do it!” she said. Then she said to me ” Do what makes you happy! You don’t have to be good at it as long as it makes YOU happy. You will become good over time.” That kinda stuck with me. And it is so true. I have seen a huge improvement in my blog from when I first started till now. So I guess that means I am slowly starting to get good at it?? 😉

well, you know what they say. You live, you learn, and you eat cake… lots of cake. So enough with the life lessons and lets get to this cake recipe. This is another recipe of Nana’s. Last week was Orange Chiffon Cake from 1948 and this week is Chocolate Pound cake. This was one of my Nana’s specialties and also my sister and I’s favorite.

Chocolate Pound Cake

3 sticks butter (softened)

3 cups of sugar

3 Cups of Flour ( sifted)

5 heaping Tablespoons of cocoa (sifted twice)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Cup Milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

5 eggs

10X sugar to dust cake with ( optional)

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees In a mixing bowl

In a mixing bowl, add sifted flour and cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. While stand mixer is still running add one egg at a time. Once eggs are mixed in slowly add mixing bowl of dry ingredients alternately with milk; add vanilla. Bake in a greased and lined bundt cake pan or angel food cake pan at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. When cake is finished baking it will look slightly moist on the top, like it should continue baking for another 5-10 minutes, you want it to look like this. Allow cake to cool. Go around the edges of the cake with a butter knife and turn cake out on a plate, top side up if using an angel food cake pan. Dust cake with 10X sugar

* Instead of lining the pan you could grease the pan and dust it with cocoa, that’s how I did it.


Orange Chiffon Cake ~ Recipe from 1948

orange chiffon final

Orange Chiffon Cake ~ Recipe from 1948

I lost my Nana 3 weeks ago. After a 4 year battle with cancer, cancer finally won. When you know where you are going, death doesn’t have to be a sad or scary thing but rather a celebration. I use the word celebration because I know my Nana is no longer suffering. In fact, I bet she is up in heaven horseback riding this very moment… she loved horses. Cancer may have taken her flesh  but it couldn’t take her soul. No. that belonged to Jesus. I fully believe that she took her last breath here on earth and her very next breath in heaven, in the presence of our Saviour.

My Pap has been going through some of Nana’s things and came across her cookbooks that she had gathered over the years. Along with the cookbooks came a manilla envelope filled with old, old, hand written recipes. He passed them all to me. I am so honored. So I will be cooking my way through them, one by one, for the next year and sharing them with you all.

The first recipe that really caught my eye was a recipe for orange chiffon cake. The index card that it was written on is so old and discoloured that I couldn’t help but to make this recipe first. Oh, and did I mention the date on the card? 1948!! It’s funny how a little slip of paper can have such huge history behind it. My sweet Aunt Kat (Nana’s sister) told me that this cake was a recipe that my great, great, grandma used to make. Aunt Kat also told me that Gladys ( My great, great grandma) made this cake for the actor Cliff Robertson and he ate 5 pieces!! I wasn’t sure who cliff Roberston was so I had to look him up, but I was sure that it wouldn’t be difficult to eat 5 pieces of this cake. It is seriously amazing! It is kind of a cross between an angel food cake and a bundt cake. It has a vibrant orange flavor and a light and fluffy texture. And to ice the cake, a thick glaze that is entangled with orange zest.

Orange Chiffon Final

I made this cake a few times already. I am going to explain to you what I have found to be the easiest way to make it. The first thing I did was split the ingredient list into 3 groups, they are as follows: Dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and egg whites.

1.) First I took the dry ingredient group and mixed them together in a bowl.

Group 1: Dry Ingredients 

2 1/4 Cup flour

1 1/2 Cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2.) Next, in a separate bowl, I added all the wet ingredients

Group 2: Wet Ingredients 

3 oranges ( zest and juice all 3. Make sure there are no seeds in the juice!)

1/2 Cup oil

7 egg yolks ( put the whites in a separate bowl, you will be using them)

3/4 cup of water or juice ( Now, let me explain this to you. What you want to do first is zest all 3 oranges and set the zest aside. Next juice the oranges. If you can get 3/4 of a cup from the oranges that’s great, use it! But if not and you fall just under 3/4 cup of juice then fill your measuring cup the rest of the way up with water. That’s how I usually have to do it.)

2 teaspoons vanilla

Now combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix well with a whisk.

3.) In a third bowl ( I use my kitchen aid mixer) add the egg whites 

Group 3: egg whites 

7 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter

Beat egg whites and cream of tarter on high for 4 minutes, until stiff and fluffy.

gently fold in the zest from all three oranges, which is about 2 teaspoons of zest.

Gently fold the egg white mixture in with the batter.

How to bake it:

Pour into a greased angel food cake pan or chiffon pan. Take the middle oven rack out, and place the other oven rack 2 up from the bottom. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake for 55 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Gently take a knife around the cake, then turn out onto a tea cloth. Let cake finish cooling. Once the cake is completely cool, ice the cake.


Cheesy Pesto Bread

pesto Cheesy Bread


I am so in love with this bread.. like head over heels, love at first bite sort of love. I made this recipe accidently one-day last while getting ready for work. I had some dough that was thawed and wanted to do something with it quickly before work so it didn’t go to waste. Here is what I came up with… and trust me… it’s good!… Really Good!

Ingredients:

1 frozen loaf of bread (thaw and let rise according to package)

1/2- 1 Tablespoon butter

2-3 tsp. parmesan cheese

2-3 tsp. pesto

1 1/2 – 2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese

Marinara for dipping


Directions:

pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

Using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, roll bread into an oval shape. Spread the top of the dough with butter, then sprinkle 2-3 teaspoons of parmesan cheese evenly over the top of the dough. Next, spread 2-3 teaspoons of pesto over the parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the top of the dough with a nice thick layer of Mozzarella cheese, about 1 1/2 to 2 Cups ( Hey! I said it was CHEESY bread 😉 )  Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bread is done and cheese is slightly browned around edges.

  • If the cheese starts to get too brown cover the bread with a piece of foil that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. The cooking spray will keep the cheese from sticking to the foil. I don’t need to use the foil in my oven but, for some reason, I need to use the foil when I make it in my mom’s oven.

*   Here’s what the dough should look like rolled out.

dough

Peanut Butter & Hazelnut Cookies

peanut Butter Hazelnut cookies Final

Ingredients:

1- Cup butter

1/4- Cup shortening ( I use crisco)

3/4- Cup Peanut Butter

1/2- Cup Hazelnut spread ( Nutella)

3/4- Cup Brown Sugar

2- eggs

1- teaspoon vanilla

1- Cup sugar

1- teaspoon baking soda

1- teaspoon salt

3- Cups Flour

1- Cup of sugar for rolling

For the Icing :

1- bag of semi sweet chocolate chips ( 2 cups)

4- Tablespoons Hazelnut spread ( Nutella)

1/2- Cup hazelnuts ( Crushed)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a medium sized mixing bowl add the first 10 ingredients ( everything except the flour).  Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add in all 3 cups of flour and mix till it looks like cookie dough. ( I am not one to separate the wet and dry ingredients so, when making cookies, I always add the flour last.) Chill cookie dough for about 20 minutes. Roll cookie dough into balls using half tablespoons. Roll into sugar and place cookies on a GREASED cookie sheet. Make the cute little crisscross on the cookies with a fork. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until cookies are cooked all the way (Mine were perfect at 8 minutes). Let cookies cool completely.

Icing Directions:

Pour chocolate chips and 1 cap full of vegetable oil into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring the chocolate chips after every 30 seconds. When the chocolate chips are almost completely melted add 4 tablespoons of hazelnut spread ( Nutella) and heat for an additional 30 seconds. Stir well. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate onto each cookie and smooth with a spoon, top with crushed hazelnuts. Cool in the refrigerator until chocolate hardens. Store in a cool place.

Monster Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monster Chocolate chip cookies

 

 

Sometimes it’s just fun to eat an obnoxiously big cookie. These cookies are just that! There is no rule that says you HAVE to make them this big, but why wouldn’t you? Sometimes you have to break the rules and make big cookies =P

I have been experimenting with these cookies a lot! Here is what I discovered.. If you bake them on an air-bake cookie sheet they get flat, still good, but flat. If you bake them on a dark cookie sheet that is NOT an air-bake they get more on the fluffy side. So it is up to you, do you like flat cookies or fluffy cookies? I like all cookies! flat, fluffy, big, little, I like them all. LOL. These cookies are also great to hand out as gifts. I like to make them and wrap them individually in plastic wrap.

Monster Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2 Cups (4 sticks) Butter

1/3 Cup crisco

1 3/4 Cup brown sugar

1 3/4 Cup sugar

4 eggs

3 tsp. vanilla

5 1/2 Cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 bags chocolate chips

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

In a large mixing bowl add butter, crisco, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Use a hand mixer to cream together. Once creamed together, add flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well with a wooden spoon. Once everything is mixed well and it looks like cookie dough, add both bags of chocolate chips, mix well. Chill dough in the fridge for about 20 minutes. For monster cookies, drop by ice cream scoops full. Depending on the size of your cookie sheets, you may only be able to make 2-4 cookies at a time. For normal sized cookies drop by tablespoons full.

Monster cookies bake at 375 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until edges are brown and center is cooked.

* I always make the monster cookies, but for normal sized cookies bake at 375 degrees but reduce the cooking time. I would try 8 minutes. =)

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Au Gratin potatoes

Bacon Ranch Au gratin

 

Recently I had the pleasure of making these thick and creamy potatoes Au Gratin from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. They were a huge hit, and I will be making them again in the very near future. If you have yet to check out A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures, then you’d better get hopping. She has so many delicious recipes that will leave you drooling. Trust me..

Catch her on facebook, also! – A Kitchen Hoor 

My Bacon Ranch Potatoes Au Gratin was adapted from A Kitchen Hoor’s recipe, thick and Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin. I had no garlic or gruyere cheese in the house. But, what I did have, was bacon, ranch packets, and shredded cheddar cheese. It’s hard to go wrong with those three ingredients. Add some potatoes and a few more ingredients to the mix and you have yourself a delicious pan of bacon ranch au gratin potatoes. YUM!

Bacon Ranch Au Gratin Potatoes 

Ingredients:

4-6 medium to large potatoes ( about 6 cups sliced)

1/2-pound bacon

1 Ranch seasoning packet

3 C. milk

1/2 stick butter

1 1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese ( mild)

2 Tbsp. flour

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Peel and wash potatoes; slice thinly using a mandolin slicer. In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter. Add potatoes to the bowl of melted butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Use hands to toss potatoes in the melted butter, salt and pepper, so each potato gets coated well. Place half the potatoes, evenly, in the bottom of a greased 13 X 9 cake pan, sprinkle, evenly, with 1/2 cup of the cheese; Repeat once. Using kitchen shears, or a sharp knife, cut or slice bacon into small bite sized pieces. Cook bacon in a medium to large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the bacon has finished cooking, drain grease, and reserve 1 Tbsp. of cooked bacon for the top. Add milk, ranch packet, and flour to the saucepan of cooked bacon. Still on medium-high heat, wait for the milk mixture to come to a boil, use a whisk to scrape the brown bits up from the bottom of the pan, whisking often. As soon as milk mixture comes to a boil, turn off the burner, and carefully remove it from the heat, pour evenly over top the cheese and potatoes. Cover with foil and bake at 425 degrees for 50 minutes. Take foil off, and evenly sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of the reserved bacon and the last 1/2 C. of cheese. Bake and additional 10 minutes or until cheese is brown and crispy.

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