TATER TOT GRILLED CHEESE & BACON WAFFLE SANDWICH

TATER TOT GRILLED CHEESE & BACON WAFFLE SANDWICH
1 bag frozen tater tots, thawed (give or take depending on your waffle maker size)
4 – 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp
4 – 6 slices of cheddar or ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced or thin red onion slices

  • Preheat waffle iron on high.
  • Place thawed tater tots closely together in an even layer on the waffle iron.
  • Close the lid and press it down tightly.
  • Cook until the tater tot waffle is crisp, about 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Remove the waffle from the waffle iron and allow it to cool on a wire rack.
  • Repeat the process to make a second tater tot waffle.
  • When the second waffle is crisp, top it with half of the cheese, the cooked bacon, and the sliced green onions.
  • Using the bottom plate of the waffle iron, heat the sandwich until the cheese has melted on the bottom waffle.
  • When the cheese has melted, carefully flip the sandwich over and allow the cheese to melt on the other side before removing the sandwich from the iron.
  • Cut it into quarters and serve.

BEAN & BACON ROLLS

I love to collect old recipe boxes when I go to rummage sales or antique shops. I found this old recipe in one of those boxes. It was written with real ink so is probably about 50 or so years old.

BEAN & BACON ROLLS
4 slices of your favorite bread
8 slices bacon
1 small can Bush Maple baked beans

  • Preheat oven to 350˚.
  • Spread Beans on each slice of bread.
  • Roll bread up and secure with 2 slices of bacon with toothpicks.
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes until bacon is crisp.

CHICKEN CAESAR SAMMIES ala Rotisserie OR Slow Cooker

I love this recipe!  It can be made one of 2 ways, slow cooker or quick and easy. It just depends on whether I’ve just gotten home from Costco with a batch of their rotisserie chicken parts or in the slow cooker when thighs are on sale. Yep, they now sell just leg quarters from yesterday’s rotisserie chickens at a much reduced price.

You can also choose to use bottle dressing or make your own.  I tend to use bottle when I’m using the Costco chicken to make it quick and easy. Using the Costco chicken also gives you the added option of making the recipe cold OR hot.

CHICKEN CAESAR SAMMIES ala Rotisserie OR Slow Cooker

6 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 cup Caesar dressing
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Kaiser Rolls

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Place chicken in slow cooker skin side up.
  • Cook on low 5-6 hours.
  • Remove from slow cooker.
  • Remove skin and bones, shredding the chicken into a bowl.
  • Add dressing and cheese, mixing until well incorporated.
  • Serve on rolls.

CAESAR DRESSING  makes 1 1/2 cups
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon anchovy
Juice from one lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Add the mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, whisking until well combined.
  • Taste and adjust to taste. Use immediately.

NOTE: Since I’m deathly allergic to mustard I make this recipe without the mustard, split the batch and then add ALL the mustard to my husband’s half. He loves it.

KENTUCKY HOT BROWN

Previously I had made the HOT BROWN from THE BROWN HOTEL from OFF THE EATEN PATH by Morgan Murphy from Southern Living.  I had made a couple of small substitutions but we loved it and cannot even think about changing the substitution back.

THE HOT BROWN serves 4
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups heavy cream
10 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, divided**
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound thinly sliced turkey (I used Costco sliced and it was perfect)
4 Texas toast slices (I used thick Sourdough)
4 plum tomatoes, sliced lengthwise (I used grape tomatoes halved and scattered)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
8 cooked bacon slices
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

*Preheat broiler with rack 4 inches from heat.
*Melt butter in a heavy 2 quart saucepan over medium low heat.
*Whisk in the flour until smooth and golden.
*Gradually whisk in cream over medium heat, whisking constantly until thick and bubbly.
*Stir in 1/2 cup cheese, salt and pepper, stirring to blend.
*Place toast slice in the bottom of a lightly greased casserole dish or make them all at once in a foil lined cookie sheet.
*Top with turkey slices.
*Top with tomatoes.
*Spoon cheese sauce over tomatoes.
*Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
*Broil 5 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.
*Sprinkle with paprika.
*Top with bacon pieces (Next time I will crumble the bacon over top to make them easier to eat.
*Sprinkle with parsley.
*Enjoy.

**I didn’t realize I was out, but I was, so I substituted extra sharp cheddar and it was lick the plate clean good.

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HOMEMADE SLOPPY JOES

These are always a crowd pleaser.
HOMEMADE SLOPPY JOES
1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
1 1/2 pound beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic, jar
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon beef base

  • Heat olive oil and add ground beef.
  • Generously salt and pepper.
  • Brown beef, onion and garlic. Drain.
  • Add brown sugar, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, steak seasoning and beef base. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste and tomato sauce.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  • Serve on fresh baked buns.

BREAKFAST BURGERS

I saw this Rachel Ray recipe in a magazine and then adjusted to our likes.  Hubby likes his with mayo, mustard and a dill flavored Havarti cheese I just butter my muffin with a plainer straight Havarti.

BREAKFAST BURGERS
1/3 pound ground beef per person
2 teaspoons  drained chopped green chiles per person
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce per person
1 green onion, minced per person
1 clove garlic, minced per person
fresh ground sea salt and black pepper to taste + paprika to taste
1 over medium fried egg, per person
1 slice cheese of choice, per person
1 English muffin, toasted per person
1 tablespoon butter

  • Combine the beef, green chiles, onion, garlic, Worcestershire, salt and pepper until well blended.
  • Form patties.
  • Melt butter in skillet.  Cook patties until browned and evenly cooked through to taste. Top with cheese during last few minutes (fold the cheese to the necessary size) and top each burger.
  • While the burgers are cooking in a separate pan cook the eggs to over medium (whites are cooked through and yolks are runny).
  • While burgers and eggs are cooking toast the English muffins and dress with desired condiments.

BEEF and BEAN BURGERS

I  really wanted to make veggie burgers, but hubby nixed that idea before it left the gate. So, I came up with this recipe and he was half way thru before he even noticed the beans AND he cleaned his plate, so I’ll call it a success.

VEGGIE BURGERS – NOT
BEEF and BEAN BURGERS – makes 6 burgers

1 can seasoned black beans, drained
1 cup Panko
2 pounds ground chuck 
1/4 cup grated onion or minced green onions
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh ground salt and black pepper
4 slices baby Swiss or aged white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
hot sauce
toasted buns (I served them bunless)
lettuce, pickles and sliced tomato
1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • Whisk together the mayonnaise and hot sauce to taste. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the bread crumbs, paprika, garlic, green onions, Worcestershire, salt and pepper until well blended.
  • Using your hands mix in beans until well incorporated.
  • Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Preheat 1 avocado oil in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Using your hands divide bean mixture into 6 balls and form 6 patties.
  • Cook the burgers until browned, about 5 minutes on each side.
  • Add a slice of cheese, cooking only until cheese is melted.
  • Serve on toasted buns with mayo hot sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles.

    BEEF & POTATO HAND PIES

    This recipe was something I was going to make while my nephew was visiting, but he became ill and lost his appetite. I finally made it tonight and realized he REALLY would have loved it!  You could change this up to do chicken or pork with various vegetables quite easily.  The key to the flavor was the raisins and paprika combination with this particular recipe.

     BEEF & POTATO HAND PIES
    1 tablespoon Avocado oil
    1 small wall walla sweet onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 pound ground beef
    1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    1 medium Yukon gold potato, diced small
    1/2 cup golden raisins
    1 package (2 sheets) Pepperidge Farm puff pastry
    Fresh ground salt and black pepper
    2 tablespoons butter, melted

    • Preheat oven to 400°.
    • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  
    • Add onion, cooking until soft.
    • Add garlic, cooking until fragrant.
    • Add beef and cook until browned, breaking up meat into very small pieces.
    • Add potato, paprika and raisins, stirring to blend well. 
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • On a lightly floured work surface, gently roll out puff pastry and smooth creases.
    • Cut each sheet into 4 squares.
    • Place 1/3 cup of meat mixture into center of each squae.
    • Lightly brush edges with water.
    • Fold over into triangles and seal edges.
    • Sprinkle with more paprika.
    • Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet.
    • Bake 20-25 minutes until puff pastry is golden and puffed.
    • Brush with melted butter during last 5 minutes.
    • Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

    SANDWICH STACKERS

    This recipe was originally from a book for cooking with cast iron pie irons. I changed it up for an easy week night recipe.  You can fill it whatever you’d like and or dip it in any sauce you like.  This is a fantastically versatile recipe.  Using thin sliced deli meats and cheeses works best.

    SANDWICH STACKERS
    Pillsbury Crescent Rolls or Pizza Dough
    cooked bacon strips
    baby swiss slices
    aged white cheddar slices
    hard salami slices
    pastrami slices
    oven roasted turkey slices
    Apple slices
    Egg Butter wash

    • Using two of the crescent triangles create a rectangle for each sandwich.
    • Layer desired ingredients within the rectangle.
    • Top with two more crescent triangles and seal edges.
    • Bake 12-15 minutes until pastry is golden and cheese is melted.
    • Brush with egg butter wash.
    • Bake another 3-5 minutes
    • Cool 2 minutes before cutting into squares and stacking.

    THE CUBAN RUEBEN SANDWICH deconstructed AND reconstructed as STUDEBAKERS

    I LOVE to find interesting recipes that have tons of flavor.  Unfortunately at times I have to adjust them to the flavor whims of my family.  The following recipe is just that type of recipe.

    Originally known as Rueben Cubans I had to adjust some ingredients for my food allergy as well as for the ingredients I had on hand.  When I deconstruct and reconstruct a sandwich successfully I always rename them after a fun sounding car.  My first example of that was my recipe for Cadillacs aka Parmesan Roast Beef.

    STUDEBAKERS aka GRILLED SWISS BACON SAUSAGE SANDS
    3 tablespoons mayonnaise
    3 tablespoons dijon mayonnaise
    3 tablespoons chopped dill pickle (or dill pickle relish)
    1 1/2 tablespoons chopped green chiles
    1 small onion, thinly sliced
    3/4 – 1 pound ground pork sausage (good with plain old beef too)
    8 thinly sliced center cut Canadian Bacon
    4 thin slices turkey
    6 ounces shredded or thinly sliced Baby Swiss Cheese
    8 slices Caraway Rye Bread
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 tablespoons butter

    • In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, mustard, pickles and jalapenos. Set aside.
    • Saute onion and set aside.
    • Grill Canadian Bacon slices until tender.
    • Shape the Italian sausage into 4 patties roughly shaped the size of your bread.
    • Season patties with salt and pepper.
    • Grill each patty for about 3 minutes or until edges are brown and no longer pink.
    • Flip patties to brown second side and top with one half of Swiss cheese.
    • Spread mustard mixture on each slice of bread.
    • Heat a grill pan and melt butter.  
    • Lay 4 slices of bread in bubbling butter and top with Canadian Bacon slices.
    • Top with turkey slices.
    • Top with remaining Swiss Cheese and sauteed onions.
    • Add pork patties and top with remaining bread slices. 
    • When bottoms are golden flip sandwich and grill other side until golden.

    ITALIAN GARLIC SUPREME STROMBOLI aka SANDWICH PIZZA

    According to Wikipedia STROMBOLI is: a type of turnover filled with various cheeses, typically mozzarella, Italian meats such as salami, capicola and bresaola or vegetables or a Greek Island or an Ingrid Bergman movie – you choose. The dough is Italian bread dough.

    When I was much younger and elderly family friend always told me I looked just like Ingrid Bergman.  I didn’t know then what a compliment that was.

    Stromboli is reported to have originated in 1950 in Essington, Tinicum Township just outside of Philadelphia, at Romano’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, by Nazzareno Romano. There, William Schofield supposedly gave it the name, after the movie Stromboli, starring Ingrid Bergman.  Other sources claim the stromboli was the brainchild of Mike Aquino, Sr., and that he created it in Spokane, Washington, in 1954.  The first claim is more credible, with most people remembering the advent of the stromboli at Romano’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria in the early 1950s.

    No matter what you call it, it is a family favorite around here.

    We have a favorite pizza – ITALIAN GARLIC SUPREME from Round Table Pizza.  This pizza is full of pepperoni, Italian sausage, Roma tomatoes, white mushrooms, green onions and lots of chopped garlic and is baked with a blend of 3 cheeses in a creamy garlic sauce.  Unfortunately they are not a national chain.  We have spent horribly disappointing meals  out trying to find a local replacement for this pizza.  I have since decided the best replacement is the one I make myself.  Hubby whole heartily agreed! We decided to push the envelope though and make that same recipe into a sandwich.
    ITALIAN GARLIC SUPREME STROMBOLI aka SANDWICH PIZZA
    ITALIAN GARLIC SUPREME PIZZA
    CRUST
    1 cup of warm water (105 degrees)
    3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons of olive oil
    2 teaspoons of honey
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 teaspoon of salt
    1 teaspoon of yeast
    • Put warm water into a bowl. Add salt, sugar and honey and mix well. Add the yeast, mix and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
    • Gradually add the flour and olive oil until well blended.
    • When the mixture gets too heavy to mix, start kneading the dough with your hands.
    • Knead the dough until you have a smooth ball. If the dough cracks it is too dry. Add water bit by bit until if forms a nice smooth ball. If you need to add water or flour, do it by small amounts.
    • Coat the dough with olive oil, place it in a large bowl and cover it with kitchen wrap and a flour sack towel. Let the dough rise for about an hour at room temperature, then push it down again so it deflates. Let it sit for about another hour. Either bake it or refrigerate for later use.
    • Put the dough on a lightly floured surface, put a bit of flour on top and make it into the shape of a pie by stretching it out from the center outwards. Use a rolling pin until the dough is about 1/4″ thick. Punch some holes in the dough with a fork to let the air escape while the pizza is in the oven.
    • Lightly oil a cookie sheet with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal.
    • Pre-Bake dough at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.
    TOPPINGS 
    1 package John Morrell pepperoni
    3 Italian sausages, cooked and crumbled 
    1 can Contadina tomato paste with basil and oregano or homemade sauce
    1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
    1 large bunch green onions, thinly sliced including the majority of the tops
    6 cloves garlic, finely minced
    1 Roma tomato, diced small
    2/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
    2/3 cup grated provolone cheese
    2/3 cup grated Romano cheese
    Extra light olive oil
    • Whisk together the tomato paste, garlic and 1 teaspoon olive oil to make the sauce.
    • Brush pre-baked dough with a small amount of olive oil and then an even layer of the sauce.
    • Evenly sprinkle the crumbled sausage over the sauce followed by half of the pepperoni.
    • Top with the mushrooms, green onions and tomatoes.
    • Evenly sprinkle the cheese over it all
    • Top with the remaining pepperoni.
    • Roll up and place on the center of the pan.
    • Bake the sandwich pizza at 400-450° F for about 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden.

    STUCK IN A TIME WARP – GRILLED CHEESE & CHILI

    Back in 1988 I was having a particularly tough time at work- no details, but let’s just say a man was trying to make my life miserable and I needed a mental health day.  I decided to go to a movie that had just been released, Working Girl.  After all, Harrison Ford was in it!  I thought it would be a fun chick flick and bring my spirits up.


    I was right.  My spirits saw the underdog, a woman no less, rise above the BS and succeed, or at least get her opportunity to succeed.  So, what is my point?  Do you remember that scene at the very end when Melanie Griffith, er Tess McGill in Working Girl combines Trask and radio to succeed?  It was almost like an Oprah AHA moment!

    Well, I had an AHA, or Trask/radio idea! Chili and Grilled Cheese.  You eat cheese on your chili don’t you?  So, why not eat chili on your cheese, grilled cheese that is.


    There’s no real recipe here – you get the picture!