Category: American

Bacon Cheddar Crackers

To quote my nephew (8) after his first bite on Christmas Eve, “It’s a miracle!” These delicious appetizers were loved by all from 2-97. The “cherry on top” or dare I say the “bacon on top”, is that they can be made ahead and frozen. The perfect appetizer for a busy day with guests.

Special Tools: Food Processor, Small Cookie Scoop & Parchment Paper

WWSPoints: Approximately 4 per cracker

Makes/Serves: 4 dozen

Time:

Prep: 25 mins (this does not include bacon cook time)

Bake: 12-15 mins

Lender of the recipe: http://www.plainchicken.com/2015/12/cheddar-bacon-crackers-football-friday.html

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cooked, chopped bacon pieces (make sure the grease is patted off)
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the food processor, pulse together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and butter until a crumbly dough forms.

Add cheese, bacon and milk. Pulse just until dough forms. If you have 2 different sized food processors like I do, use the larger one.

Using a small cookie scoop (1 Tbsp) or a rounded Tbsp measuring spoon, scoop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. Flatten in a criss-cross pattern with a floured fork (keep the flour nearby).

Bake for 12-15 minutes. I cooled them on racks and froze them in ziplocks.

Now Let’s Dish: Holy cow these are buttery, bacony, cheese uh cheesy. I was so happy that it yielded so many and that I could freeze them. I made them at the same time that I made my Sausage Bites (to post later). These can be served warm or cold. They are slightly dry but heck, they are crackers. If they were moist they would be a cookie.

Served with: Sausage Bites, Artichoke Parmesan Tarte’s, Chili’s Queso

*Lesson Learned-How to have a stress-free holiday! I made all of the appetizers ahead except the queso. I did blend the spices for the queso ahead. This made for a no mess, no stress Christmas Eve for me.

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Bacon Cheddar Crackers

To quote my nephew (8) after his first bite on Christmas Eve, “It’s a miracle!” These delicious appetizers were loved by all from 2-97. The “cherry on top” or dare I say the “bacon on top”, is that they can be made ahead and frozen. The perfect appetizer for a busy day with guests.

Special Tools: Food Processor, Small Cookie Scoop & Parchment Paper

WWSPoints: Approximately 4 per cracker

Makes/Serves: 4 dozen

Time:

Prep: 25 mins (this does not include bacon cook time)

Bake: 12-15 mins

Lender of the recipe: http://www.plainchicken.com/2015/12/cheddar-bacon-crackers-football-friday.html

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cooked, chopped bacon pieces (make sure the grease is patted off)
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the food processor, pulse together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and butter until a crumbly dough forms. Add cheese, bacon and milk. Pulse just until dough forms. If you have 2 different sized food processors like I do, use the larger one.

Using a small cookie scoop (1 Tbsp) or a rounded Tbsp measuring spoon, scoop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. Flatten in a criss-cross pattern with a floured fork (keep the flour nearby).

Bake for 12-15 minutes. I cooled them on racks and froze them in ziplocks.

Now Let’s Dish: Holy cow these are buttery, bacony, cheese uh cheesy. I was so happy that it yielded so many and that I could freeze them. I made them at the same time that I made my Sausage Bites (to post later). These can be served warm or cold. They are slightly dry but heck, they are crackers. If they were moist they would be a cookie.

Served with: Sausage Bites, Artichoke Parmesan Tarte’s, Chili’s Queso

*Lesson Learned-How to have a stress-free holiday! I made all of the appetizers ahead except the queso. I did blend the spices for the queso ahead. This made for a no mess, no stress Christmas Eve for me.

Biscuits & Gravy Casserole

Biscuits & Gravy Casserole

This was a huge hit for the whole family. I am constantly looking for options for meals that I can prepare ahead. In fact, prepping breakfast is my new Saturday night tradition, oh how times have changed. Luckily this will provide breakfast for at least one more day.

Special Tools: Just the usual pots and pans.

WWSPoints: 15 Points (This is per serving. 1/8th is really a lot. I would recommend ¼ serving and some fruit.)

Makes/Serves: 8 large slices

Time:

Prep: 20 mins

Sit: Overnight (not necessary)

Bake: 1 hour 5 mins (if from fridge) 40 mins if baked fresh

Lender of the recipe: https://www.scatteredthoughtsofacraftymom.com/sausage-and-gravy-breakfast-casserole/

  • 16 ounces of buttermilk biscuit dough (cut into 1’ cubes, precision not necessary)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 (2 3/4 ounce) package peppered gravy mix (makes 2 cups)
  • 1 lb sausage, any flavor
  • 1 cup cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13×9 pan.
  2. Brown the sausage in skillet and drain thoroughly.
  3. Cut biscuit dough into 1″ cubes, and place on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Layer cooked sausage over the biscuit pieces.
  5. Layer shredded cheese over sausage.
  6. Whisk eggs and milk, add salt and pepper and pour over biscuit/layers.
  7. Make gravy according to instructions, and pour over everything.
  8. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes or until eggs and biscuits are cooked through. I recommend letting it brown for a little bit of crisp.
  9. Serve with some fresh fruit &/or juice.

Now Let’s Dish: I usually make my gravy from scratch so I was hesitant on using the packet kind. Although it was a different flavor, it was still really delicious. Since I prepared it the night before I cooked for an additional 20 minutes. They recommended tenting with foil but I thought it would be better a little crispy and it was. Perfect Sunday morning care-free breakfast.

Served with: Sumo Oranges

*Lesson Learned- You can tell if an egg is still fresh but placing in a bowl of water. Fresh- Sinks to the bottom on its side. Not as fresh- Sinks to the bottom on one of the egg ends. Time to toss- Floats.

Garlic Butta Hot Wings

Garlic Butta Hot Wings

Wowzah! These are super hot. I mean, they taste delicious but I couldn’t eat more than two and my hubby ate about 4 and I have no idea how. There were no shirts being offered and my pic wasn’t going on a wall so 2 was enough for me. If you love spicy food, these have a great flavor!

WWSPoints: 11 points*

Makes: 4-6 servings

Total: 1 hr 40 min

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon mustard powder

1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

2 teaspoons ground cumin

4 pounds chicken wings, tips removed

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)

1 jalapeno pepper, minced (remove seeds for less heat)

1 12 -ounce bottle hot pepper sauce

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

 

Directions

Prepare the wings: In a large bowl, combine the granulated garlic, cayenne pepper, mustard powder, black pepper, white pepper and cumin. Remove and reserve 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture for the sauce.

Rinse the wings and pat dry. Add to the bowl with the remaining spice mixture and toss to coat well. Lay the wings on a baking sheet, loosely cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat a grill to medium high with direct and indirect heat (on a gas grill, turn off the burners on one side; on a charcoal grill, bank the coals to one side). Cook the wings over direct heat, turning, until they are good and crispy on both sides, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to the cooler side of the grill and cook, turning frequently, until cooked through, 8 to 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the olive oil, garlic and jalapeno. Saute 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons spice mixture and the hot sauce. Bring to a simmer, then add the butter, vinegar and lime juice and stir until the butter melts. Keep warm until ready to serve. Put the wings in a large bowl, pour in the sauce and toss.

Now Let’s Dish– As I said before, this is HOT! I liked that this recipe uses a grill. Usually when I think of wings I do not think of grilling but it worked and worked well. I would not mind trying this method again with a milder sauce. I think I may try the same recipe but find ways to greatly decrease the spice without decreasing the flavor.

Recipe from Food Network Magazine

*Points based on adding ingredient points and dividing by servings.

New York Strips & Gorgonzola Butter

New York Strips with Gorgonzola Butter

Easy, rich and delicious. A perfect Saturday on the grill meal. See below for more notes

WWSPoints: 19 Points*

Serves: 4

Prep: 15 minutes

Chill: 1 hour

Grill: 10 minutes

2 Tbsp. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese or other blue cheese

2 Tbsp. cream cheese spread with chives and onion

1 to 2 Tbsp. butter, softened

1 Tbsp. chopped pine nuts or walnuts, toasted*

4 boneless beef top loin (strip) steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 3 pounds)

Salt

  1. For Gorgonzola butter, in a small bowl stir together Gorgonzola cheese, cream cheese, butter, and nuts. Shape mixture into a 1-inch-diameter log. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill about 1 hour or until firm.
  2. Trim fat from steaks. Sprinkle steaks lightly with salt. For a charcoal grill, grill steaks on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals to desired doneness, turning once halfway through grilling. Allow 10 to 12 minutes for medium (160 F). (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce eat to medium. Place steaks on grill rack over heat. Cover; grill as directed.)
  3. To serve, cut butter into eight slices. Place two slices on each steak.

Dish with Love- This was delicious steak. Only two adults enjoying this meal and I think it is better that way. Don’t think our kids would have enjoyed this meal, especially because there was a conversation very recently on the “grossness of blue cheese”. The prep for the steaks is really minimal and making the butter was so super easy that it left me with a lot of time to make my sides.

I served this with Olive Garden-like Breadsticks, Grilled Artichokes, and Parmesan Smashed Potatoes. It was a huge meal but hey that’s what Saturday’s are for.

Recipe from: Grill It! 2012

nystripsgorgonzolagrilledartichokes,smashedparm,olivegarden

French Toast Pigs in Blankets

frenchtoastpigsinblankets

This was a filling a yummy breakfast. I did alter half of the recipe to have no sugar or cinnamon because of us does not like cinnamon. It was delicious either way. I made scrambled eggs on the side and it turned out to be a great combination.

WWSPoints: 9 Approximately*

Serves: 12 pieces

Active: 20 mins

Total: 40 mins

12 pork breakfast sausage links (about 14 ounces)

6 large eggs

¾ cup milk

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of kosher salt

12 slices potato bread or country white bread (we used country white)

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Confectioner sugar, for topping

Maple Syrup for dipping

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the sausages on the baking sheet and bake until lightly browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside; reduce the oven temperature to 200.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, milk, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Trim each slice of break into a 2-by-4-in. rectangle, then flatten slightly with your fingertips. Starting at a short end, roll each piece of break around a sausage, pressing firmly to seal. Transfer to the bowl with the egg mixture and soak 5 minutes.
  3. Melt 2 Tbsp. in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it begins to brown and foam add 6 of the bread wrapped sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the skillet add the remaining 2 tbsp. butter and repeat with the remaining 6 sausages. Dust with confectioners sugar and serve with maple syrup.

Now Lets Dish- First things first, I made the first 6 without sugar, nutmeg & cinnamon, because our oldest doesn’t like cinnamon. I added half the sugar, nutmeg & cinnamon after the first 6. They were both delicious in their own way.

The recipe calls for soaking for 5 minutes but I advise against it. The first batch was too “eggy” and soggy being in the eggs mixture that long. The second batch that soaked for 3 mins were exactly how I had originally anticipated.  

Reference: Food Network Magazine December 2013

*Points figured out by adding up ingredients points and dividing by servings

Garlic Home Fries

garlichomefries

Garlic Home Fries

Oh my goodness! These were a hit. I was specifically told these “were delicious potatoes”. The recipe was originally for breakfast but was such a wonderful compliment to the steak. Also, man I would not want to put in that kind of work for breakfast.

WWSPoints: 11 Approximately*

Serves: 4

Active: 15 mins

Total: 35 mins

Kosher salt

2 lbs. large red bliss or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. cubes (we used Yukon)

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

½ onion, chopped (I use pre-chopped)

½ tsp. paprika

1 clove garlic

½ cup fresh parsley

Freshly ground pepper

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes, cover and cook over medium-high heat until just tender, about 6 minutes; drain.
  2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add the potatoes and spread into a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until they start browning on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and sprinkle with paprika; flip the potatoes and cook 5 more minutes. Stir once, then continue cooking until the potatoes are mostly golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, roughly chop the garlic, pile the parsley on top and sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt. Chop and mash together until finely minced. When the potatoes are done, add the garlic mixture to the skillet and toss to coat; cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Now Lets Dish- This reminded me of a good garlic fry but even better. Even though I usually buy minced garlic, mincing this with the salt and parsley made a delicious melt into potato flavor. They do take a little bit of time and energy but they are definitely worth it. I should have kept the heat up a little higher so they crisped up a little more but they were still mmm mmm good.

Reference: Food Network Magazine April 2015

*Points figured out by adding ingredients and dividing by serving