Scalloped Potatoes & Hamburg Bake




Potatoes and peas main

Scalloped Potatoes & Hamburg Bake

Listen, I’ll be honest with you, I am terrible at coming up with names for my recipes. I just call them as I see them. When I started this blog all I knew was that I could cook, I didn’t realize that there were so many different elements to blogging. Along with cooking I also had to learn photography & improve my semi non existing writing skills. So bare with me as I learn. I am currently reading a book by Anne Lamott called Bird By Bird. I will warn you there is some foul language in the book. I am not finished with the book yet but basically she is showing me how to break down my writing into one category at a time and quit the other voice’s in my head so I can deal with one voice at a time. In one particular part of the book she asks you to close your eyes and imagine all those voice in your head are mice. She then says to to put each mouse (voice) in a separate jar so you can sort through the voices one by one. I know that sounds confusing but it actually does help, a lot!

Ok, that’s enough about my writing skills. Lets talk about this Scalloped Potatoes & Hamburg Bake! So this recipe basically came to be out of pure laziness. My husband said he wanted a meatloaf and every time I think meatloaf I think scalloped potatoes as a side. In my mind they go together like Peanut butter and Jelly, like coffee and mornings, like me and burlap. You get it. I had everything ready to go, the potatoes laid out, hamburg thawed, oven preheated. But then I got lazy, really lazy. I thought, forget it. I wasn’t in the mood to make all that but now I was now craving scalloped potatoes and my husband still wanted something with ground beef. So I thought to myself, I know, I’ll just throw the ground beef in with the potatoes. Perfect, right? wrong. To feel good about myself as both a wife and a mother I knew I had to add a veggie. I thought about making a veggie on the side but that would mean another dirty dish and I just wasn’t having it. I found a bag of peas in the freezer tossed them in and called it a day.





Italian Salad

No Dressing needed salad




Italian Salad

Once in a blue moon, when I decide to torture myself, by cutting carbs out of my diet for a week or two this salad is a life saver. It gives me all the flavors I enjoy in a big meaty hoagie without all the carbs. I know the cheese and salami are fattening but I somehow justify it to myself since I am not layering it all in a carb infested hoagie roll. Also, the fact that this Italian Salad is seasoned to perfection so there really is no need for a fatty dressing is another one of my justifications. Of course, if you feel the need for dressing, a little oil works well. If I were left at home alone with this salad I am confident it would not see the dawn of a new day. But don’t think you have to be on a diet to make this salad. My husband enjoys this salad just as mush as I do and he has never dieted a day in his life! Every time I make this salad I have to leave a fork on the counter. If I didn’t I would have a sink full of forks from me returning to the fridge every 20 minutes to steal a bite. This recipe is also a great way to use up some of those garden tomatoes. I do not care for tomatoes but my husband loves them so I add them anyway. I was raised in a home where if you didn’t like something you picked it out. =p

If you decide to make this Italian Salad I would love to hear back from ya!

Baked Italian Hoagie Sandwiches




Italian Sub

Baked Italian Hoagie Sandwiches

Make these Baked Italian Hoagie Sandwiches for your next family game night or party. Not only are they quick and easy to make but they are also delicious. I have been making these for awhile and they are always a huge hit!

Ingredients:

1  Loaf of Italian Bread

6-7 slices of Deli ham ( Thinly sliced)

8 slices of Hard Salami ( Thinly Sliced)

8 slices of provolone cheese

3-4 Tablespoons of butter

Mayo

Shredded lettuce ( 1 small bag)

1 tomato ( sliced)

1/2 onion ( sliced)

banana peppers ( optional)

Italian Dressing or Oil

Salt & Pepper

Garlic Powder

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice loaf of Italian bread in half but do not slice completely through. Spread the insides of the bread with butter and put on a cookie sheet buttered sides down. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until buttered sides are slightly toasted. Leaving the bread on the cookie sheet, flip the bread so buttered sides are facing up and add as much or as little mayo as you like. Then begin to evenly load the hoagie with ham, salami, and cheese ( in that order). Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Take it out of the oven and load it up with lettuce, tomato, onion, and banana peppers. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and drizzle with Italian dressing or oil. Cut into sandwich size pieces and serve.





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.




Hugy Grannies Flash Fried Chicken with a KICK

hoodgie Grannies chicken

Today I am spicing up an old family recipe. This recipe comes from my Hugy Granny, which is my Grams, great grams recipe. I am not sure how they came about the spelling of her name, but it is pronounced like HOOD – G then put it together, Hugy. Now, that is not her real name, but it is what everyone called her. From what I gather, she was a tiny woman, and the family called her little Granny. My gram was a toddler at the time, and when she tried to say little Granny, it came out Hugy Granny, and the name stuck. Now decades later, the name still stands.

I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t trying to fix something, and to me, this recipe needed some fixin’. The original recipe was just to dip the chicken in egg and flour then fry and bake. This was really good, but I wanted to kick it up a notch. I added some more spices to the flour and heated up with some cayenne pepper to give this chicken the kick it needed. This turned out to be one of the best chicken recipes I have ever tasted, and my family agreed. The crust was nice and crispy and the chicken was so juicy.  My family told me this recipe deserved a standing ovation, but I think everyone was too full to stand. Here is the recipe.. try it for yourself. =)

Ingredients:

4-6 pounds chicken thighs and legs

2 Cups Flour

1 tsp.  Salt

2 tsp. cayenne pepper ( If you do not like spicy, then you may want to omit the cayenne or cut it back to 1 tsp.)

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. parsley flakes

4-5 eggs

 

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium sized mixing bowl, add flour, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, and parsley flakes; whisk well. In a separate bowl, crack 4-5 eggs; whisk well. Set both bowls aside. Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with cooking oil and set to medium-high heat. While waiting for the frying pan to heat,  begin to dip each piece of chicken in the egg and then into the flour, making sure to coat each piece well.  Place coated chicken into a hot skillet and cook on both sides until crust is brown. About 3-4 minutes, flipping only once, so the crust doesn’t slip off. Once the crust is brown, transfer chicken to a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

Pasta Carbonara

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pasta carbonara

Pasta Carbonara is one of my all time favorite dishes. Every time I go to an OIP ( a chain of Italian restaurants in my area) you better believe I am ordering I nice big plate of Pasta Carbonara with a loaf of their amazing bread! This is one of those dishes that is kind of pricey for us at almost $15 a plate but it is so worth it! Plus they give so much food that I have lunch for the next day, so really its only $7.50 a plate… or at least thats how I try to justify my favorite dish to my husband. Since I am so in LOVE with this dish (I’m talking talking will you marry me on the first date kind of love… yeah it’s pretty serious!)  I have decided to recreate it at home and put my own spin on it. Now I can have Pasta Carbonara any time I want! Good for my taste buds… baaaad for my hips.

Digging in!

pasta 2

Here it is! My Pasta Carbonara Recipe! =p

Ingredients: 

1 pound of bacon

1 pond box of penne pasta ( Cooked according to aldente directions + 2 ladles full of pasta water)

1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1/4 Tsp. Black Pepper

1/4 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

1/4 C. white cooking wine ( to de-glaze the pan)

2 Cups Heavy cream

1 1/2 Parmesan cheese

2 egg yolks

1 egg

chopped parsley for garnish

 

This is where is gets tricky! This is a fairly simple dish to make it is just a lot is going on at one time, if you have help in the kitchen you are going to want it! If you do not have help in the kitchen, like me, I will show you a few tricks to getting things prepared so you have a beautiful dish.

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Directions:

Start penne noddles and bacon at the same time. More than likely the noodles will be finished before the bacon is     ( this is good!). Using a deep skillet, cut bacon in to small pieces and fry on medium high heat till crispy. Drain bacon grease and set bacon on a plate that has been lined with paper towels, set aside for later. Once pasta is finished, pour 2 ladles full of the pasta water into a small bowl and set aside.  Drain the pasta and let it sit in the strainer until you are ready for it.  Return skillet that you cooked the bacon in to the burner set at medium high heat, pour 1/4 cup of white cookie wine in the skillet to deglaze the bottom of your pan, use a wooden spoon to scrap up all the little brown bits on the bottom of the pan… they add flavor. Add heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, pepper, and red pepper flakes to the skillet, whisk till you have a nice sauce ( it will be a little on the runny side.. that’s OK). Quickly, in another small bowl add 2 egg yolks and one egg, whisk vigorously. Next add the whisked eggs to the 2 ladles spoons of pasta water ( this will temper the eggs so you don’t end up with a sauce that has chunks of fried eggs in it). Wait until you see the first signs of the sauce in the skillet start to boil, as soon as you do quickly add the tempered eggs and whisk for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken a little, it is very important that you do not stop whisking in these 1-2 minutes. Once the sauce has thicken up some turn the heat down to low add the penne noodles and quickly toss them in the sauce.. it should not take long for the noodles to warm back up. Take off the heat an place all the pasta in a large bowl, you do not want it to continue cooking any longer. Plate it up right away and garnish with bacon pieces and fresh parsley.

Note- When re-heating pasta carbonara left overs the next day, I put what I want into a small skillet on medium high heat and add a little heavy cream. This will bring the sauce back to life. I also want to add that I NEVER through the bacon in with the pasta or it will become soft and chewy. It is best just to keep it on the side and add as needed per plate.

 

Ok so I promised I would give you a few tips on how to make this dish if you did not have help in the kitchen, here they are:

* Use a very small bowl and add all the spices and set aside so they are ready to go when needed

* In a medium sized bowl add heavy cream and Parmesan cheese and give a small whisk

* In another small bowl add the egg yolks and egg and whisk vigorously, set them aside so when you need them they are ready.

Hope this helped! =)
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pasta 1

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. This post does, however, contain ads that I will receive commission for if clicked. This post may also include affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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