Stuffing Balls

Stuffing Balls 

stuffing balls final

Making this recipe really reminds me of when my Nana was still around for the holidays. I remember how as soon as I walked into her house at Christmas, I’d be bombarded by her four dogs and the amazing aroma of turkey and stuffing wafting from the kitchen. I also remember how Nana would greet me with a kiss, and how as soon as she walked away, Pap would ask me if I wanted a beer. Of course, I always said no, though sometimes it may have helped me deal with my family’s craziness! Just kidding! I absolutely love my family and truly enjoy being around them.
Another thing I remember is how Nana used to buy paper plates so that she didn’t have to do dishes after our large family dinner. We would finish up dinner and still find her washing up the paper plates to use at another time!
This recipe is not the same one that my grandparents used, but it is very similar. I actually stole this recipe from my brother! I loved my grandparents cooking, but sometimes it could be a little bland. So I wanted to make sure that I incorporated a lot of flavor into this recipe. Now if you have any picky eaters, you could leave out the peppers and onions. However, I don’t recommend leaving out any of the cream soups as they add moisture and tons of yummy flavor to this recipe. This is a great spin on stuffing that is sure to become a family favorite!





Lasagna Sandwich on Texas Toast




Lasagna Sandwich

Lasagna Sandwich on Texas Toast

As a kid, I was never really a huge fan of lasagna. My mom used to hide onions in it and then swear up and down she didn’t put any in. Yeah, okay mom (insert eye rolling emoji). I remember folding my garlic bread in half and stuffing it with lasagna or spaghetti to mask the taste of the onions.  But as I got older I learned that if I made Lasagna my way, extra mozzarella, hold the onions,  I actually loved it! And let’s not forget a nice thick slice of garlic bread or Texas toast to slop up the extra sauce. For me, this is actually the best part of the meal!

(*I know that half a pound of ground beef does not seem like a lot of meat but trust me it’s PLENTY. There will be enough to make 4 sandwiches, I promise 😉 )

Lasagna sandwich 3

After pondering this for awhile I thought to myself why wait until the end of my meal to fully enjoy it? Why not enjoy every bite? So I decided to stuff loads of lasagna meat sauce and extra mozzarella between two slices of Texas toast. It was AMAZING! And probably one of the quickest warm meals I have made in awhile. Every bite left me totally satisfied and wanting more. I had to stop myself from eating another sandwich… it was so tempting. If you decide to eat two there will be no judgment coming from me, I totally get it.




Lasagna sandwich 4

Side Note: When making these sandwiches it is very important you do not overcook the texas toast. If you do, you’re sandwich’s will be very hard to eat. Since the texas toast will get wrapped in foil and go back in the oven I use the lesser cooking time of the Texas Toast package.





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.





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.




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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