Old Thyme Southern Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

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Thyme is the simple secret :-)

Southern simplicity at its finest. Serve with eggs over easy, grits or hash browns and you have one complete down-home style breakfast suited for even the most discriminating Southern Gentleman.

Ingredients:

16 ounces Breakfast Sausage—I use Bob Evan’s or Jimmy Dean original. Turkey, Chicken or Soy crumbles may be used.

1/3 cup Flour

1 1/2 cups Milk

1 cup chicken broth

1 small onion; chopped fine

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Salt and Pepper

Your favorite Biscuit Recipe

Directions:

Brown sausage and onions in skillet until deeply colored and crispy, breaking sausage into pieces. Season with nutmeg, thyme, salt and pepper.

Sprinkle flour onto sausage and onions, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add milk and broth to sausage mixture, stir and bring to a boil, simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add more milk, if needed. Sprinkle in parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour gravy over biscuits and serve with rib-stickin’ sides of your choice.

#5 of 2014’s Top 10 Food Hacks “Salad in a Jar”

salad 1

Layer, Shake, Plate & Enjoy!

There are few things as enjoyable as a nice, crisp, flavorful salad! One ready for you when you are ready for it. A little prep now can bring a multitude of fresh layers of flavors when you want and need them the most. These colorful, portable, on the go jars of freshness far surpass any offered at a drive-thru or the soggy, flat-flavored ones offered at your local market. Give them a try! They’re fun, quick and oh so delish!

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Where does your salad hail?

salad 2

A few fresh, crunchy, ingredient ideas–the list is as vast as your imagination

“Have salad will travel!” Buon Appetito!

#4 of 2014’s Top 10 Food Hacks! The In-Home Pastry Chef!

Pastry Hack1

“The Braid” Make a crescent roll square, cut sides with 5 snips leaving a 2″ space in center, smear on sweetened cream cheese, add fruit filling and braid. Brush with egg wash & bake @ 375* for 20-25 minutes.

Want impressive and delicious pastries at home in minutes? Try these easy and fun techniques! All can be accomplished with a few simple ingredients and about 20-30 minutes. No need to make a trip in to your local bakery because you got this!

Start with a can or 2 of crescent rolls (healthier brands can be found at your local health food market), a base of softened cream cheese (8 ounces) and powdered sugar (about 1/4-1/2 cup) to taste–whip up. Slice fruit of choice–berries and apples work nice or use preserves and jelly. Some egg wash–1 egg whipped up with a tablespoon of milk. Grab your spoons, knife, pastry brush and baking pan and lets go!

Pastry Hack2

“The Crossover” Same as the braid, but follow this cutting technique. A dollop of cream cheese in center & a few berries. Brush on egg wash & bake

pastry hack3

“The Pinwheel” A Crescent square, Cut sides in 4 triangles, alternate & fold corners to center, pinch, fill, brush & bake

pastry hack4

“The Traditional” Square, bring in corners, pinch center, fill, brush & bake

Amish Apple Cinnamon Teacake

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This is the next best thing to coffee cake that I have ever found. I added my own personal twists to the original recipe, but only minor, small changes because this simple bread is so delicious in its simplicity that I simply could not taint it! No kneading, just mix and bake! Perfect with a nice cup of coffee, tea or milk at anytime of the day.

Ingredients

Batter:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp each of salt, cardamom or nutmeg

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice

2 cups flour

1teaspoon baking soda

1 medium apple; peeled & chopped fine

Cinnamon/sugar mixture:

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cinnamon bread whole

Directions:

Cream together butter, sugar, and egg. Add milk, flour, salt, spices and baking soda. Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pan. Mix in separate bowl sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter. Sprinkle on half the apples and press in slightly. Add remaining batter to pan; sprinkle remaining cinnamon topping and apples, press slightly. Swirl batter horizontally with a knife—about 6-7 passes. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min. or until toothpick tester come clean. Sprinkle course sugar or glaze over top when cake completely cools–optional, but nice :-)

Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Makes 1 loaf. Ingredients can easily be doubled.

 

 

 

Stuffed Pizza Bread Easy Quick & Delish! #3 of 2014’s Top 10 Food Hacks

Pizza Bread 1

2 Tubes of Your Favorite Biscuits, Prep & Dice Toppings, Slice Down Center of Each Biscuit–Leave about 1/4″ Around Bottom & Sides. Pinch Top Together

Pizza Bread 2

Sprinkle Bottom of Pan with Grated Parmesan, Salt & Pepper To Taste. Place Pinched Side Down in Pre-Greased Tube Pan. Sprinkle with Salt & Pepper. Bake @ 400* for 30-35 minutes. Cool Pan on Wire Rack for 10 Minutes. Invert Onto Serving Plate. Enjoy!!

Spicy Mexican Chorizo & Potatoes–Mexican Simplicity at It’s Finest!

 

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This simple Mexican dish is packed with unique luscious flavors and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. Chorizo is uncooked sausage, made with fresh ground pork and well seasoned with smoked red chiles. Since it’s fresh, you will need to remove the casing before cooking. Chorizo can be found at most supermarkets or if you’re fortunate enough, an authentic Carniceria.  Also, some chorizos are very salty so watch the seasoning.

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I served this flavorful dish with seasoned pinto beans topped with a blend of Mexican cheeses and flour tortillas, but it’s a great filling for soft tacos too; just add shredded cheese, beans and your choice of any of your favorite taco fillings. Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

drying-Chorizo

Chorizo Drying–You’ll want fresh for this dish

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon light olive oil

1 pound of Mexican chorizo, casings removed

1 small onion, diced

1 hatch, pablano chile pepper, or 1 green pepper for less heat, chopped course

1 pound boiled red skinned new potatoes, cut into small cubes

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

hatch

Fresh Hatch Chile Peppers

Directions: 

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and cook, breaking up the clumps, until dry and crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a paper lined plate to absorb any additional oil. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan and heat the pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers and boiled potatoes and saute until brown, about 12 minutes. Stir in the cooked chorizo and season with a little salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl or plate into individual serving dishes. Top with additional roasted peppers and hot sauce for garnish. My favorite is “Cholula.”

 

 

Guest Chef Wednesday! Ellie’s Easy & Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

hampotatoleeksoup

Ready In: 45 Minutes Servings: 8

A hearty, easy soup that’s ready in 45 minutes. Perfect for using up leftover ham. Break out the crusty bread and crisp salad greens! This soup is quick, easy in all of its luscious, satisfying and creamy deliciousness.

cheryl-winter-potatoes-big

INGREDIENTS:

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes

1/3 cup diced celery

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

3/4 cup diced cooked ham

3 1/4 cups water

2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste

5 tablespoons butter

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

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Crusty Sourdough

“Chocolat” Truffles: Official Recipe from the Movie & How to Experience Chocolate: A Sensual Journey into the 5 Senses

B.S.O.-Chocolat

Roux & Vianne

BE PRESENT. Close your eyes, take three deep, cleansing breaths and quiet the mind.

SEE  the shine and color on the truffle’s round shape.

TOUCH. Run your thumb and forefinger across the chocolate surface. Is it smooth, rough, bumpy, dry, moist or…?

SMELL. Bring your thumb and chocolate to your nose and inhale deeply. Close your eyes. Cup your other hand around the truffle and smell.

Truffles All Best

SNAP. Bite the truffle into two pieces. If the proper temperature conditions are present, you should hear a crisp, clean pop that indicates a well-tempered chocolate.

TASTE. Take a small bite. Break up the chocolate in your mouth, let it sit over your tongue, press to your palate (the roof of your mouth), and melt. What does your tongue detect: sweet, salty, bitter, acidic combination?

Now, taste with the help of your nose…as the chocolate is melting on your tongue, take a deep breath, aerating your palate as you stimulate your sense of smell through the back of your throat. What flavors do you taste now?

EVALUATE. After you have eaten the chocolate, take a breath into your mouth and chew on the breath, this gives you the lingering sense of the experience. Did you enjoy?

THE RECIPE: Yield: 36

Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

½ cup superfine sugar

½ tsp. kosher salt

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted

6 tbsp. unsweetened natural cocoa powder

2 tbsp. brewed espresso or dark coffee, at room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2½ cups rolled oats

1 cup unsweetened finely shredded dried coconut

Truffles Close Best

Directions

Combine butter, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and use a handheld mixer set to medium speed to beat the mixture until pale and fluffy, 1–2 minutes. Add chocolate, cocoa powder, espresso, and vanilla and continue beating until combined, about 1 minute more.

Place oats in bowl of a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped, about 7-10 pulses. Add oats to chocolate–butter mixture and mix until combined; refrigerate until chilled, 1 hour.

Divide chilled chocolate mixture into 36 portions using a tablespoon-size measuring spoon or small cookie scoop; roll each portion into a 1″ ball. Place coconut in a shallow dish and roll each ball thoroughly in coconut; transfer balls to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

 

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Cocoa Beans

 

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The Velvety Finish

 

Top 10 Food Hacks of 2014 #2 “The Walking Taco”

Taco1

Remove half of the fritos, slice veggies and add, add cheese, salsa, sour cream & black olives

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Taco 2

Dig In! It’s fast, easy, quick and portable!

NOTE: Bring along a small bag of Fritos to work, chop veggies & place in ziploc bag, do the same for shredded cheese and meat. Pop meat in microwave to warm, add veggies and cheese and a packet of salsa. Done!

Top 10 Food Hacks of 2014! #1 Crispy Crunchy Cheese Bread

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We all want to perform like a pro in the kitchen, but with as little time and effort as possible. Over the next several weeks I will be unveiling 2014’s Top 10 Kitchen Hacks that will be sure to make food preparation and consuming a little more deliciously quick, easy and fun! Not to mention, most are extremely clever and impressive! Today we have “Baked Cheese Bread.” The results are as easy to look at as they are to eat!

Instructions & Ingredients:

1 loaf of your favorite Italian or French Bread; the thicker the crust the crunchier the bite

1 pound of your favorite cheese; sliced thin. Parmesan, Mozzarella or Asiago preferred

A handful of fresh chopped green onions and or basil & oregano mixed with 3 tablespoons olive oil

Slice bread vertically 5-6 times–careful, not all the way to the bottom, leave about an inch; then slice horizontally 6-7 times…remember leave about an inch at the bottom with each cut. I use a wooden kitchen spoon at the bottom as a guide.

Stuff with cheese slices, top with olive oil &  herbs, sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper and bake at 400* for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and cheese starts to bubble. That’s it! Serve as an appetizer, along side pasta or salad or as a late night snack. Cheesy crunchy EASY perfection!

 

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