SWEET & SOUR MEATBALLS ~ BLOG 365.132

This is another one of the several of my “new to me” recipes are courtesy of my friend Diana’s mom and grandma’s recipe boxes. This recipe 45 years old and was from her aunt, Carol Booth in 1978. I made only slight alterations to bring it into the 21st century.

SWEET & SOUR MEATBALLS yields 12-18 meatballs
MEATBALLS
3/4 pound ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
2/3 cup cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon Johnny’s seasoning salt
2/3 cup evaporated milk

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Gently combine all the ingredients together.
  • Roll into meatballs.
  • Brown meatballs (they will finish cooking through in oven) and transfer to baking dish.

SAUCE
13.5 ounce can pineapple tidbits
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small green pepper, chopped (OPTIONAL)

  • Drain juice from pineapple pieces into saucepan.
  • Add liquid aminos and vinegar.
  • Whisk in cornstarch until smooth.
  • Fold in green pepper if using.
  • Cook slowly until thickened.
  • Pour over meatballs.
  • Bake 20-30 minutes until heated through.

MAMA GRONK’S CHICKEN CASSEROLE ~ BLOG 365.131

MAMA GRONK’S CHICKEN CASSEROLE (adapted from)
4 cups rotisserie chicken pieces
1 cup chopped celery
1 LARGE sweet Vidalia onion
1/3 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1/4 cup Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, +/- to taste
8 slices sourdough bread, cut into small cubes
3 cups WHOLE milk
4 LARGE eggs
1 can Campbell’s cream of chicken soup
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Chopped parsley, for garnish

  • Spray bottom of large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine chicken pieces, celery pieces, onions, mayonnaise and hot sauce.
  • Fold in bread cubes.
  • Layer evenly into baking dish.
  • Whisk together the milk, eggs and soup.
  • Pour egg mixture over bread and chicken mixture.
  • Cover and chill 2-3 hours minimum.
  • Uncover casserole and bring to room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Bake 1 hour.
  • Top with cheese and bake 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.
  • Garnish and serve.

NOTE: This recipe can be baked in individual ramekins for personal servings.

SPICY BALSAMIC CAPRESE CHICKEN ~ BLOG 365.124

This is a modified version on Pampered Chef’s recipe for Balsamic Caprese Chicken.

BALSAMIC CAPRESE CHICKEN
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup FRESH basil leaves, julienned
2-3 LARGE cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
4 ounces FRESH sliced Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup balsamic glaze, to taste (RECIPE BELOW)
Homemade marinara sauce for serving

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Toss together the tomatoes, basil, garlic, Italian seasoning and avocado oil.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  • Generously season chicken breast with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Heat butter in heavy skillet.
  • Sear chicken 3-4 minutes on both sides until cooked through.
  • Top with a slice of FRESH Mozzarella cheese.
  • Drizzle with balsamic glaze.
  • Serve with pasta and homemade marinara sauce.

BALSAMIC GLAZE
1/2 cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes

  • Mix together in a small saucepan.
  • Simmer 15 minutes over medium low heat until reduced by half and will coat the back of a spoon.

SALSA VERDE HALIBUT ENCHILADAS ~ BLOG 365.115

I HAD to replicate this amazing recipe we had at the McKenzie Brewing Company formerly known as Steelhead Brewing Company while on a recent trip. These Halibut Enchiladas with their Salsa Verde on a creamy, tender bed of pinto beans were literally orgasmic.

SALSA VERDE HALIBUT ENCHILADAS serves 4 (8 enchiladas)

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 – 4 to 6 ounce Alaska Halibut fillets
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 LARGE can (18 ounce) green salsa sauce
1 SMALL can diced green chiles (mild, medium or hot, to taste)
8 – 8-inch corn or flour tortillas
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cans (15 ounces each) seasoned pinto beans, drained WELL

  • Blend garlic salt, lemon pepper, chipotle chili pepper and cumin together.
  • Sprinkle on all sides of halibut to season.
  • Heat oil over medium heat in large skillet.
  • Sear halibut JUST until fish is opaque throughout.
  • Cool slightly and then into chunks when cool enough to handle.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Pour and spread 3/4 cup of the salsa verde sauce on bottom of a 9×13-inch pan.
  • Heat a large saucepan to medium-high, adding remaining green sauce and chiles.
  • Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until warmed through.
  • Spread pinto beans evenly in the bottom of your baking dish.
  • One by one, dip the tortillas in the sauce, divide halibut chunks evenly among tortillas, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese; roll up and place enchiladas snugly side by side in the baking dish on top of the pinto beans.
  • Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and beans.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Top with chopped tomatoes.
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and enchiladas are heated through.
  • Sprinkle on cilantro when serving.

BIG SUR ROAST CHICKEN ~ BLOG 365.111

This is one of our favorite comfort meals in the fall. Herbs, garlic and lemon come together to oomph up a Sunday dinner BIG time. How can you go wrong with mashed potatoes, tender juicy chicken and garlic gravy? But, you have to plan ahead! This needs to be started early in the morning for the brine to add the maximum flavor

BIG SUR ROAST CHICKEN
4 boneless, skinless plump chicken breasts
1 cup KOSHER salt
6-8 WHOLE black peppercorns
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 LARGE eggs, beaten
2 garlic cloves, FINELY minced
1 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped Italian leaf Parsley
1 cup HOMEMADE chicken stock
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon

  • Fill a large saucepan with 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Add the salt, brown sugar and peppercorns, stirring until salt and sugar are completely dissolved.
  • Set brine aside until COMPLETELY cooled.
  • After brine is cooled, add chicken breasts, cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.
  • Remove chicken from brine.
  • Discard brine.
  • Rinse chicken and pat dry. Let chicken sit 15-20 minutes to come to room temperature.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter andthe avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Season chicken breasts to taste with FRESH ground pepper and sea salt.
  • Arrange beaten eggs and flour in 2 shallow bowls.
  • Dip chicken breasts in egg mixture and then Wondra flour, shaking off excess.
  • Sear chicken breasts 3-4 minutes per side until golden and cooked through.
  • Remove chicken breasts to platter and keep warm.
  • Add garlic to pan and sea 1 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add chicken broth, lemon juice and parsley to pan, simmering 10 minutes until flavors meld and heated through.
  • Swirl in remaining butter.
  • Plate chicken and serve with mashed potatoes.
  • Top with gravy and enjoy.

PB&J SHREDDED PORK ~ BLOG 365.104

I originally found this recipe in an old Taste Of Home magazine and it’s now a family favorite. It’s perfect for a crowd or a church potluck. You’ll get lots of requests for the recipe 😀

I altered it a bit to accommodate my mustard allergy, but it’s absolutely delicious!

PB&J SHREDDED PORK

3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder butt roast
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 cups homemade chicken stock
1 cup creamy JIF peanut butter
3/4 cup SMUCKERS apricot pineapple preserves
1/4 cup PACKED brown sugar
1/4 cup finely choppedVidalia sweet onion
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
8 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice

1-2 garlic cloves, FINELY minced
2 tablespoons butter, melted
6 ciabatta rolls, split
Coleslaw, optional

  • Generously sprinkle roast with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to a 5 quart slow cooker.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the broth, peanut butter, preserves, brown sugar, onion, vinegar, liquid aminos, pineapple and garlic.
  • Pour over meat.
  • Cook, covered, on low 6 hours or until meat is tender.
  • Preheat broiler.
  • Remove roast; cool slightly.
  • Shred pork with 2 forks.
  • Return pork to slow cooker; heat through.
  • Brush butter over cut sides of rolls.
  • Place rolls, buttered side up, on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Broil 3-4 inches from broiler for 30-60 seconds or until golden brown.
  • Using a slotted spoon, spoon pork mixture onto roll bottoms, top with coleslaw if desired and replace tops.

ROUND UP RIBS ~ BLOG 365.89

ROUND UP RIBS

More and more of my FAVORITE recipes are adapted from Taste of Home recipes that just looked too good to pass up. With this recipe the overnight chilling allows the seasonings to meld well with the meat.

This recipe may have has its original roots in the Calgary Stampede, an annual Western culture festival and exhibition in our province, but it’s now a Pacific Northwest as well as a midwest favorite in our family.

4 pounds pork baby back ribs, cut into serving-size pieces
3 garlic cloves, FINELY minced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons PAMPERED CHEF salt & vinegar seasoning
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons white pepper

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Rub ribs with garlic and place in a roasting pan.
  • Bake, covered, until tender, about 2 hours.
  • Mix sugar, salt and vinegar seasoning, paprika and pepper.
  • Sprinkle evenly over ribs.
  • Remove from pan; cool slightly.
  • Refrigerate, covered, 8 hours or overnight.

SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, FINELY chopped
1 cup jalapeno ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat.
  • Add onion and saute onion until tender.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cooking uncovered 8-10 minutes, until thickened, stirring frequently.
  • Brush ribs with some of the sauce.
  • Grill, covered, 12-15 minutes over medium heat until heated through.
  • Turn occasionally and brush with additional sauce.
  • Serve with remaining sauce.

KFC COPY CAT FRIED CHICKEN ~ BLOG 365.83

While working on an estate sale recently I found some old recipe clippings including an old tabloid clipping about the KFC Chicken Batter recipe being leaked by the Joe Ledington, nephew of Colonel Sander’s second wife, Claudia. KFC Bigwigs insist the recipe has been kept under lock and key since KFC was founded in 1930.

AUNT CLAUDIA’S ORIGINAL KFC RECIPE
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1/3 tablespoon oregano leaves
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried mustard (optional)
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons white pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1 WHOLE chicken cut up into pieces (cut breast pieces in half)
Canola oil

  • Sift together the flour and all the spices. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk and egg.
  • Soak the chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture and let set at room temperature 20-30 minutes.
  • Remove chicken pieces from buttermilk mixture and allow excess to drop off.
  • Dip the chicken pieces in the flour mixture coating well and shaking off excess. Allow to sit on a rack for 20-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile heat 3 inches of canola oil to 350° in a deep large dutch oven.
  • Fry 3-4 pieces of chicken at a time 15-18 minutes, turning once until golden brown, maintaining temperature at 350° for even frying. DO NOT CROWD THE PAN.
  • Transfer chicken to a paper towel lined baking sheet.
  • Allow oil to return to temperature before adding chicken each time.

MONROE COUNTY STYLE PORK STEAKS ~ BLOG 365.62

I was leafing through an OLD (2015) COOK’S COUNTRY magazine and ran across these amazing looking pork chops with a side of white baked beans that was just calling my name repeatedly until I finally tried them. What took me so long?? is all I can say. This yummy, flavorful meal will get repeated regularly at our house.

I did adapt the pork steaks to being done inside as our weather has stayed colder than I want to deal with for preparing a meal using the grill, but you could easily grill these instead 😀 You can also make these spicier or milder to taste without compromising their flavor.

MONROE COUNTY STYLE PORK STEAKS adapted from COOK’S COUNTRY

PORK CHOPS
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon QUALITY paprika
1/2-3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch
8 bone-in blade cut pork steaks, 1/2 inch thick, fat snipped if necessary to prevent curling

  • Generously season pork steaks on both sides with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Combine cayenne and paprika in a small bowl, mixing well. Reserve this half for the sauce.
  • Transfer half of the cayenne mixture into another small bowl and add cornstarch.
  • Sprinkle cayenne cornstarch mixture evenly over pork steaks on both sides.
  • This is where you need to make a choice – indoors or outdoors – charcoal or gas. I used a cast iron griddle pan over a gas burner. Make sure your grill or griddle pan is well oiled.
  • Over medium high heat sear chops 3-5 minutes without moving them.
  • Flip chops and repeat on second side 3-5 minutes more until they register 140°.
  • Transfer chops to a deep platter, pouring sauce over chops and turning to coat well.
  • Tent with foil and allow chops to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Serve and Enjoy.

SAUCE
8 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
Reserved spice mixture

  • Heat butter in small saucepan over medium low heat 4-5 minutes, swirling frequently until butter turns dark golden brown and has a nutty fragrance.
  • Add reserved spice mixture, cooking 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
  • Add vinegar carefully as it WILL bubble up and bring to a quick simmer.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, but not enough that the butter solidifies.

COPY CAT KFC COLESLAW ~ BLOG 365.35

Hubby and I both agree on one thing. No matter how many coleslaw recipes I try, KFC is still on of the ALL time best. BUT, we don’t have a nearby KFC that’s any good at all so this copy cat recipe will have to do.

COPY CAT KFC COLESLAW
DRESSING

1/2 cup FULL fat buttermilk (or half WHOLE milk and half buttermilk)
1/2 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper (1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper)
1/3 cup sugar
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon

  • Whisk ALL together and set aside.

SLAW
8 cups FINELY chopped cabbage (see note)
2 cups FINELY chopped carrots (see note)
3 tablespoons grated onions

  • Toss cabbage, carrots and onions together in a LARGE bowl.
  • Pour dressing over, tossing to coat well.
  • Refrigerate covered 2-4 hours before serving. Best next day.

NOTE: If you have the time GRATE the cabbage and carrots on the large side of the grater to get the perfect size.

GARLIC CHEESE BREAD ~ SMOKEHOUSE STYLE ~ BLOG 365.31

When I was a kid we went to The Smoke House restaurant in Toluca Lake, California for all the special celebration occasions – graduations, Easter, birthdays, anniversaries for their Prime Rib. As a young adult in college my friends and I would go for the bands and the bar. BUT, always we went for the garlic bread! It was THE most unbelievable garlic bread. To this day it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I’ve been experimenting for years with a copycat recipe. I have finally perfected it (at least according to my memory of it since we have long since moved away) and then my brother sends me a link order it directly from them.

It had this distinctive neon orange color (which in hindsight probably wasn’t all that good for us). I used to be able to buy the cheese powder in a loose package at a mom and pop grocery store years later in Michigan, but then we moved yet again. The closet I’ve come to finding it recently is ordering it from NUTS.com

I now prefer the non-orange powder from King Arthur that is a sharp Vermont cheddar so there is a healthier alternative 🙂

GARLIC CHEESE BREAD

1 Loaf French Sourdough bread
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1/4 cup Cheese Powder (your choice of color)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup FINELY grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a small saucepan, slowly melt butter with minced garlic.
  • Once melted, remove from heat and rest several hours to infuse the garlic into the butter.
  • Slice bread in half lengthwise.
  • Brush all the garlic butter over both halves of bread.
  • Mix together the Parmesan cheese, paprika and cheese powder.
  • Sprinkle all over both halves of bread.
  • Bake 8 minutes.
  • Increase heat to broil.
  • Broil 30 seconds at a time until you get your desired doneness. Watch it closely to prevent burning!
  • ENJOY!

BLUEBERRY STREUSEL MUFFINS

BLUEBERRY STREUSEL MUFFINS slightly adapted from OMG CHOCOLATE DESERTS

DON’T just eat these for breakfast, they are PERFECT for ANY time of day.

MUFFINS
2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 LARGE eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 cup avocado oil
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups thawed small WILD blueberries divided – 1 cup goes in the batter and 1 1/3 cups for topping
1–2 tablespoon WONDRA flour

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Line standard muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and granulated sugar until combined.
  • Whisk in yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract (mixture should be pale and yellow).
  • Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together by hand.
  • In a small bowl sprinkle 1 cup blueberries with 1-2 tablespoon flour and toss them until all blueberries are coated with thin layer of flour and then fold them really gently in the batter.
  • Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling about 2/3 of each cup.
  • Cover the batter with the remaining blueberries and then cover the blueberries generously with streusel topping.
  • Place them in the oven and reduce the heat to 375°, bake 18-20 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 5 minutes in the pan then remove muffins and cool on a wire rack.

STREUSEL

1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon PURE cinnamon

  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and cinnamon.
  • Add melted butter and stir with a fork until crumbly and set aside.