Cheddar Chive Waffles


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 5 chives (1/8 cup) chopped

Directions:

Preheat your waffle iron, we put ours on 5. Our waffle iron is a rotating Belgian waffle type.

Preheat the oven to 200° F.

In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk to combine the egg yolks, milk, and butter. Make sure the let the melted butter cool enough to avoid curdling the milk. Set aside.

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the egg whites to soft peaks.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until they are almost combined. Add the egg whites, cheese, and chives to the bowl, and gently fold them in until combined. If you are a fan of the Great British Baking Show and Mary Berry, you will know this as, “Around the outside and through the middle.” Make sure not to be too rough as this will defeat the purpose of the whipped egg whites which is to make the waffles light and fluffy.

I use the portion cup that came with the waffle iron which will make 3 large waffles. I cook for approximately 5 minutes, until golden brown. Rotate it just after putting in the batter and then once the steam stops, rotate it back and check until you have reached the desired golden brown color. If the waffle isn’t crisp at this stage, that is just fine as they will crisp in the oven.

Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and place the waffles on that in the oven to let the waffles crisp up.

Once all waffles have crisped, top with whatever you’d like and enjoy! We love to use these waffles with fried chicken and gravy for delicious chicken and waffles. You can also leave out the cheddar and chives for non savory waffles! Enjoy these delicious waffles!

Recipe adapted from FifteenSpatulas.

Chocolate and Amaretto Mousse Cake

This is the perfect dessert when you want to serve something decadent, but you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. This dessert has layers of chocolate fudge cake, chocolate mousse and white chocolate mousse with Amaretto. Topped off with some whipped cream and raspberries to make a dessert every chocolate lover will go crazy for!

So I know that it’s sort of cheating, but honestly I just use a box cake mix. I usually go for a Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge or Devils Food. They are rich and moist while maintaining a fluffy texture. It’s good to make a cake that doesn’t crumble too much because you want the rounds to stay in shape.

We went with 3 layers of cake on this one because we were feeling particularly naughty. That ended up being a bit much, I would stick with just 2 layers of cake. It was a fun stay-cation with some special visitors. My very good friend and her son stopped into town for a few days and stayed with us. It is so crazy how fast life passes you by. I remember when her son was just starting school and we used to all hang out and watch The Incredibles and other fun movies with the kids. Now he is just starting to drive and doing all sorts of great activities in high school. Where does all the time go? I miss those guys so much. They were our favorite couple to hang out with! Never found friends quite like that.

So while we had a few of them here we really went all out in food department. It was so much fun to just cook for 3 days in a row and have great drinks and play some fun games and watch a scary movie!!!

The very first time we made this cake we were inspired by the mousse cakes at our local Kneaders. The most difficult part of the conceptual process for us was trying to find plastic sheets to create the mold. After like an hour wandering around Hobby Lobby we stumbled on some computer printable transparent plastic sheets in the school supplies area. They worked perfectly!! If you can’t find something like this then you can definitely free pipe your mousse, just make sure that you have let it set for a few hours first.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix, prepared according to directions in a 9×13 pan. Cool to room temperature.

Chocolate Mousse

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 1/2 Cups Whipping Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

White Chocolate Amaretto Mousse

  • 4 oz Cream Cheese
  • 4 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 4 oz Ghiradelli White Chocolate
  • 1/4 Cup Amaretto
  • 3/4 Cup Whipping Cream

To prepare the Chocolate Mousse:

Using a stand mixer or a hand held mixer beat the eggs and sugar on a low speed for about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of cream into a medium sauce pan. Over medium heat bring the cream to just warm enough that you can still touch it, this should only take 1-2 minutes.
With your mixer on low slowly add the warm cream to the eggs and sugar until all the ingredients are combined. Now add the mixture back into the saucepan and put it back on the stovetop over a low heat. Stir consistently for about 5 minutes, do not let it boil!
Once it done it will be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove from heat and stir in  chocolate chips until completely melted. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours stirring occasionally.

Whip the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream with the vanilla using the whisk attachment for 5-8 minutes until stiff peaks form. Switch over to the paddle attachment and on a low speed add the chilled chocolate spoonfuls at a time until it completely mixed.

Spoon into a large piping bag, secure the top with a rubberband and place in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

To prepare White Chocolate Amaretto Mousse:

In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until it’s light and fluffy. In a large bowl beat the whipping cream, powdered sugar and amaretto for about 5-7 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Using a spatula take 1/4 of the whipping cream and fold it into the cream cheese. Repeat with the remaining whipping cream until you have a smooth mousse. Transfer the mousse into a piping bag, secure the top with a rubberband and place in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

Assemble:
Using a 3-4 inch round cookie cutter cut 1 piece of cake per person. Using a thin knife, cake leveler or a cutting wire slice each cake piece into 2 even disks. Create molds by wrapping the plastic around the circumference of the cookie cutter and taping the edge down. Place the molds on a flat plate or a cookie sheet and start to layer with cake-mousse-cake-mousse and pop it in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes or a few hours until you’re ready to serve!

Top it with whipped cream and fresh fruit and remove the mold and let the good times roll!

Southwestern Mac and Cheese with Sausage

When you’re a busy adult with many important things to do it can be hard to make sure you have a homemade meal and not too much fast food for lunch every day. I used to try and meal plan so that there would be enough from every meal for leftovers……and that plan ended with way too many casseroles. I do enjoy a good casserole every now and then, but almost every day is just way too much.

So I started this whole meal prep thing. I’ve discovered some really good Crockpot and one pot recipes  and of course just a few casseroles. That way I can just spend a little time every Sunday making enough lunch to last the whole week. And then that free’s up dinner time for something simple on busy days like steamed veggies and rice or chicken salads.

What is your favorite thing to make for lunch?

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz Macaroni Elbows, cooked according to package directions
  • 6 Johnsonville Hatch Green Chile Sausage, cut into bite size pieces and fully cooked
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 30 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 12 oz can Seasoned Black Beans, rinsed
  • 7 oz Chopped Green Chiles, hot or mild depending on your preference
  • 2 Cup Colby Jack Shredded Cheese

Boil the pasta according to package directions. Once it’s cooked to your liking drain the pasta and toss with 1 tbsp butter. In a medium skillet over medium high heat add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a medium skillet and add the sausage and cook about 3-5 minutes until well done.

In a 6 quart pot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour, you should have a thick paste texture. Add the milk 1/2 cup at a time whisking thoroughly. Whisk in the tomato sauce and green chiles, bring to a low boil. Lower heat and simmer until your sauce starts to thicken, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes.

Once the sauce will coat the back of a spoon add the cheese and black beans. Stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and add the macaroni and sausage.

Orange and White Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies

These cookies are the perfect summer treat! The tangy orange with the sweet white chocolate is almost like a creamsicle! One of the best things about this recipe is that the orange flavor is all natural so you don’t have any of that funky extract after taste.

These cookies are also so soft and chewy, some people fall either into the crunchy cookie lover category or the chewy lovers. Which one are you? I can go either way!

I brought these to both jobs and only had a few leftover for us to enjoy! My favorite part was opening the tupperware and getting a burst of orange right in the olfactory sense! I just love making treats to share with my friends at work. I have one co-worker who doesn’t really like desserts and now whenever he hears I have treats is right at my desk curiously peeking in the box!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sticks Salted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • Zest of 2 Oranges
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 16 oz White Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350.

In a stand mixer or large bowl beat the butter and sugars together until you have a grainy paste. Add the vanilla, egg, zest, juice, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Slowly add flour, mix until well combined. Finally add the white chocolate chips and mix for about 30 seconds until well distributed.

On a large baking sheet drop small spoonfuls of cookies I did 5 rows of 4 cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Do not over bake or else the citrus will burn the bottom of the cookie.

Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and finish cooling. Store in a covered container if they last long enough 😉

Feel free to comment below and let me know how yours turned out or if you have any questions.

Dragon’s Breath Pulled Pork

Who watched the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 7 last night? I was enthralled from start to finish. I mean that first scene almost had me in tears. You go, Arya Stark! I especially loved the scene of Daenerys Targaryen finally coming home to Dragonstone. The silent joy and resolve of that moment was one of the most moving parts of this entire series.

I just can’t wait to see what happens for the rest of this season! Will Jon Snow and Daenerys meet? Will he find out the truth about his past? Will little Arya get her chance at revenge on Cersei, or will Jamie beat her to it? Will we see more of Ed Sheeran? (seriously, what was that all about?) All these burning questions and only 6 more episodes!

I like to make a special dinner for GoT night. This week it was one of our old favorites re-imagined. Pulled pork with an extra spicy bite and just a hint of sweetness seems more than fitting. Definitely give this one a shot the next time you sit down with friends or family to another thrilling episode!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lbs Pork Loin Roast
  • Pork Rub- I created my own with 1/2 cup brown sugar and  1 Tbsp each: garlic salt, paprika, red pepper flakes and black pepper.
  • 1-2 liter of Dr. Pepper
  • 3 Serrano peppers- the smaller the pepper the more heat you get
  • 2 Jalepenos, plus more if you want some for a raw topping
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1-2 Cup of Jack Daniels Spicy BBQ sauce.

These ingredients will give you a nice little mild to medium spicy bite. If you really want to kick it up a notch you can get 2 of the following: cayenne pepper, tobasco pepper or habanero peppers.

Rub the pork rub onto your roast and let it sit for 5 minutes. In your slow cooker add the roast fat side down. Slice the peppers at least in half and add to the slow cooker. Pour in the Dr. Pepper in so that the roast is at least 3/4 submerged. Pour 1/2 Cup of BBQ sauce onto the roast.

Cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Once your meat is tender carefully move the roast into a large bowl. The meat should easily pull apart with a fork. Shred the roast and add 1/2 cup BBQ sauce.

Toast your buns and add your favorite toppings such as Colby Jack Cheese, Jalapenos, Onions, or Cole Slaw. Don’t forget to top it with even more BBQ sauce to your taste!

Cheesy Beef and Potato Bake

Here is another simple weeknight dinner. 15 minute prep and then into the oven for 90 minutes while you work on those pesky chores! There is just always so much more to do in the summer. Between gardening and yard work and there always seems like there is more cleaning that needs to be done. That pesky spring cleaning seems like it will never be done!

This year I have definitely learned the value of putting down new mulch every year. The weeds have just taken over my whole life, I simply can’t catch up. I am mostly just trying to keep them from over running my veggies at this point. How is everyone’s garden doing this year? I am finally having some success with basil this year. I mean big success. I think we’re going to have to make some basil pesto this year. I garnished this dish with mt first basil cuttings. And they were delicious! This whole dish was a wonderful comfort food. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 5 Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced (the thicker the slice the longer to cook)
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Cups Tillamook Thick Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
  • Garnish with fresh basil and parsley

Thin Gravy:

  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 4 Chicken Buillon cubes
  • 1 tsp Red pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium skillet add 1 tbsp cooking oil and add the onion. Saute over medium heat until the onions are soft. Add the beef and rosemary. Cook until the beef is nicely browned. Drain the fat. Return to heat and add garlic, saute for just another 1-2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

To make the gravy in a medium saucepan melt the butter with the buillion cubes, rosemary and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes until it starts to brown a little. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time, whisking it together until all the lumps are gone. Add the milk and garlic powder. Bring to a simmer for 5-7 minutes whisking occasionally until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Spray a 9×9 cooking dish with cooking spray. Lay down half the potato slices in a single layer slightly overlapping them. Cover with half the beef, sauce and cheese. Repeat a second layer of potatoes, beef, sauce and cheese. Cover with tin foil.

Bake for an hour, test the potatoes with a fork. There should be minimal resistance. Bake longer if needed.

Top with your favorite garnish…I always for go for basil and parsley.

Apple Cinnamon Dutch Baby

You can call them Dutch Baby or you can call them German Pancakes. Either way, they are completely delicious and fun to make! I can believe I’ve never made this before. It’s so easy to make and kinda feels like you’re having a fancy dinner in about 30 minutes!

I remember my parents made something similar to this when we were kids. And I just loved it! They are very light with a sweet buttery flavor. Which makes them the perfect blank slate for any added flavors you like! I decided to go with the ultimate comfort with Cinnamon and apples. Next time I’m thinking a summery mixed berry!

I used a 9 inch cast iron pan but you could also use a 9×11 baking dish.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar, split
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the butter in the pan and put it in the oven until melted.

In a large bowl toss together the apple slices with 2 tbsp sugar, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Remove your dish with melted butter from the oven. Stir in the brown sugar, this gives you a start of a caramel. Add the apples to the dish and stir to coat them. Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes while you prepare the batter.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt and 2 tbsp sugar. Add the milk and vanilla and whisk until there are no lumps left. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.

Remove the apples from the oven. Evenly pour the batter over the apples. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Once the pastry has puffed up and the edges are browned and the center doesn’t jiggle you will know that it’s done!!

Lightly dust with powdered sugar and serve up with some patty sausages or crispy bacon….yum!

Orange Peach Lemonade


I just threw this together, but it turned out to be quite refreshing! A delightful way to start the evening after work, while Danielle cooks us a delicious meal! 

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/4 oz peach schnapps
  • Equal parts orange juice and lemonade 
  • Top off with Fresca

Get a highball glass and fill halfway with ice. Start adding liquids with the vodka and peach schnapps, then add orange juice, lemonade, and the finish with Fresca. 

Enjoy!

Freedom Fire Blondies

Where does everyone like to go to watch the fireworks? We will either watch them from the lawn in front of Convergys or we’ll go to the stadium. This year I work till 9 and meeting my parents at the stadium. Hopefully it all works out!

I’m not sure where this started but watching the fireworks has always meant a great deal to me. I love the patriotic music and when those fireworks get popping I just get really emotional. I thinks fireworks are really romantic, and unfortunately it’s always been a terrible day for me relationship wise. But I am so happy to be able to spend it with my friends and family now!

And of course when you are sitting on a lawn or in a stadium for hours you need to bring treats! Chips or pretzels for the salty crew……but what to bring for the sweet teeth? Blondies of course! And I had to make them holiday appropriate……all you need is a little food dye!

These Blondies are a great treat with white chocolate chips and pecans for a little crunch. These are incredibly easy to make and a quick treat to whip up and delight your  friends and family this holiday!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sticks Butter, softened
  • 2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Pecans, finely chopped
  • Red and Blue food dye
  • Your favorite patriotic sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar until you have a grainy paste. Add the egg, vanilla, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Beat in the flour until you have a thick batter. Gently stir in the white chocolate and pecans.

Split the batter evenly into 3 different bowls. In one bowl slowly add blue dye until you get your desired color. Repeat with the red dye in a separate bowl.

Spray an 8×11 pan with cooking spray. Using a cookie scoop. scoop the batter into the pan in alternating colors. Run a knife under hot water for about a minute and then drag it through the batter to create a swirl. (Careful not to over do it otherwise your colors will start to bleed.)

Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from oven and add sprinkles. Let it cool for at least an hour before serving.

One Pan Bacon and Bowtie Pasta

I’ve been on somewhat of a meal prep kick lately. In an effort to try and save some money we’ve been taking lunch to work for quite some time now. We started out just taking leftovers from dinner the night before. The problem with this is that I have to plan a dinner every night that is going to have enough for 2 meals. This proved to be a challenge week in and week out. Thus enter the idea of meal prep.

I’ve done different crockpot meals and those work out really well! I like the idea of making a lot of food with very little effort. So a one pot meal is right up my alley. This dish was quick to put together while I was cleaning the kitchen and starting my gardening chores. This turned out really yummy and you can really just throw in whatever veggies you feel like! This is just a nice comfort food, but the fresh veggies won’t make you feel guilty about it!

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces Thick cut Bacon, chopped into 1 inch squares
  • 6 Johnsonville Sausages…pick your favorite flavor (I like Italian), sliced
  • 1 Green Pepper, finely diced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 24 oz Jar pasta sauce
  • 24 oz Water
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 16 oz Bowtie Pasta
  • 1 Bag Kraft Italian Blend Cheese

In a large skillet brown the bacon over medium heat. Once it starts to get crispy add the sausage. Cook until lightly browned. Add the green peppers, onions and tomatoes, saute for about 5 minutes until veggies are tender. Add garlic, rosemary and oregano, saute for another minute.

Add the pasta sauce and water. Bring to a low boil. Add the pasta and cover. Simmer for 12 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. If you’re eating it now then go ahead and add the cheese and cover for another minute until the cheese it nice and melted.

If you are prepping lunches then let it cool for 20 minutes. Place in tupperware and top with cheese. Store in the fridge. It will take about 2.5 minutes to heat up in a microwave.