Julie’s Ranch Pretzels

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Julie has a great blog called Julie’s Eats and Treats.  I came across her blog’s page on Facebook and she had posted these delectable goodies.  I was looking for a snack for Easter weekend and decided these would be perfect.

Ranch Pretzels

I made them as Julie posted on her blog and while they were a bit salty, we could NOT stop eating them.  In fact, my daughter took what was left for her get-together on Sunday night.  They are highly addictive.

Somehow, I don’t think Virginia is the hotbed of pretzels since it took forever to find them.  Mr. Meat Eater found them eventually.  Don’t use the skinny little pretzel sticks,  Utz brand makes a bigger stick pretzel ~ plain and buttery.

Ranch Pretzels 2

Click on the link to Julie’s blog for the recipe ~ Julie’s Ranch Pretzels

Happy Cooking!

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Opening Day!!!

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Finally, baseball season is back!  I love baseball and I am a Mets fan and Mr. Meat Eater is a Yankees fan so we watch both teams when they play via MLB Extra Innings.  One of the things I love about baseball is that I can walk out of the room and do something and come back and chances are nothing has happened, LOL!

Baseball makes me think of hot dogs which makes me think of a hot dog restaurant called Brownies in the town where I grew up ~ Amsterdam, New York.  They made the best hot dogs with meat sauce (mustard and onions first, of course) and fries with gravy.  I really, really miss that place and don’t have any idea if it is still there or not.  Somehow I doubt it.

In my quest to find a meat sauce for hot dogs that I can make just like Brownies, I came across this one.  It tasted nothing like Brownies but Mr. Meat Eater loved it.  Probably because it tastes more like chili than anything else.  I thought it was good but I wanted it to taste like I remember and it didn’t so I was disappointed.

If anyone has a good tried and true recipe for meat sauce for hot dogs, please send them to me and I’ll try them over the summer ~ a_recipe_day at yahoo dot com.

Hot Dog Meat Sauce

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 lb ground beef
8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns

Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Brown ground beef in a skillet and drain. Add the tomato sauce mixture and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Removed from heat and set aside.

Grill, boil, or pan fry the hot dogs ~ I also grill the top split buns.

Serve hot dogs with your choice of condiments and the meat sauce.

Makes 8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Potato Salad

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From, you guessed it, the Barefoot Contessa.  I’ve never made a potato salad that had a dressing ~ I’ve always just added mayo.  I LOVE this potato salad.  It’s simple and delicious and goes with just about anything.  Plus it uses fresh dill which is one of my absolute favorites!

Potato Salad
Barefoot Contessa

3 pounds small potatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsps Dijon mustard
2 tbsps whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion

Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are steaming, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters or in half, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper ~ I thought this was way too much salt and pepper so I left it out until I tasted and I found it didn’t need it at all. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Lemonade Chicken

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In my July/August issue of the Food Network magazine, I found this recipe in the “A Picnic for Six” article.  It’s an easy recipe but I would have liked more lemony flavor so next time I make it, I’ll add more lemon.  Other than that, we really enjoyed this chicken.

I do have to apologize for the picture but I was late with dinner and the hoardes were starving and refused to wait while I took a picture, LOL!

Lemonade Chicken

2 tbsps grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
3 tbsps packed brown sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk
12 chicken drumsticks
2 cups panko
1 tbsp fresh thyme (don’t leave this out as it adds really good flavor)
pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup mayonnaise
olive oil cooking spray

Mix 1 tbsp. zest and lemon juice in a bowl. Add the water and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Whisk in the buttermilk. Place mixture in a large ziplock bag. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the ziplock bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400º.

Mix the panko, thyme, 1 tbsp zest, cayenne, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Put mayonnaise in a shallow bowl.

Place a rack on a baking sheet with sides (like a jellyroll pan) so the juice won’t go all over your oven and cause a fire and spray the rack with the olive oil cooking spray. Use two sheets if you don’t have enough room on one.

Drain the chicken and get rid of the marinade. Dip each drumstick in the mayo and then in the panko mixture and place on the rack. Spray the tops of the chicken with the spray.

Bake for 35 minutes, turn, and continue to bake for another 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Fresh Lemonade

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Lemonade is so good on a hot summer day and we love this version.   It takes quite a few lemons (don’t sub the stuff in a bottle ~ use fresh lemons) but it’s well worth it!

Fresh Lemonade

1 3/4 cups sugar
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice

In a saucepan, mix 1 cup water and sugar together. Bring to a boil and boil until the sugar is dissolved. Cool syrup to room temperature than refrigerate until it is chilled.

Remove seeds from lemon juice but keep the pulp.

In a pitcher, stir together the chilled syrup, lemon juice and the 7 cups of water. Mix well. Add lemon slices and ice if desired.

Makes 12 or so servings (or more if you are using small cups). This is really a guess, you’ll have to judge for yourself.

Happy Cooking!

Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

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Before I forget, you can now subscribe to my blog ~ you’ll get an email when a new post goes up.  At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work.  I don’t do technical ~ I just follow the directions, LOL!  Anyway, the box is over there on the right.

I know you’re thinking what can be so great about ham and cheese sandwiches.  It’s the topping on the rolls that makes these into something special.  I love this recipe.  It’s great for lunch or parties and, of course, it’s easy to make.  You could also change up the meat and cheese any way you  want.

I got this particular version from a Gooseberry Patch Christmas cookbook, but I’ve seen the recipe in many cookbooks.

Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

3.4 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp poppy seed
2 tsps dried minced onion
2 (12 count) pkgs Hawaiian dinner rolls
1 lb thin sliced deli ham
1/2 lb thin sliced Swiss cheese

Combine butter, Worcestershire, mustard, poppy seed and onion in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat; remove from heat.

Slice individual rolls in half and make sandwiches using the ham and cheese. Place sandwiches on an ungreased 15×10 jelly-roll pan and spoon butter mixture over the top of the sandwiches.

Bake, uncovered at 350º for about 15 minutes. I baked mine a minute or two less.

Makes 12 servings of 2 sandwiches each.

Happy Cooking!

A BIG, Zesty Sandwich

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I was not in the mood to cook over the weekend and came across this recipe and it was just perfect for lunch.

This makes a BIG sandwich ~ I’m guessing it would feed 6-8 making it perfect for a picnic or tailgating.  I would think you could switch up the meats and cheese to make it your own ~ in fact I used provolone.  I also think a little bit of red onion would add to the flavor.

A Big, Zesty Sandwich

1 round loaf of sourdough bread ~ I used Italian
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 slices Gouda cheese ~ I used Provolone
5 slices Genoa salami ~ I used hard salami
1/3 lb. smoked deli turkey, sliced thin ~ I used oven roasted turkey
1/3 lb. Black Forest deli ham, thinly sliced ~ I used honey ham
1 1/2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup red wine vinegar and olive oil salad dressing

Cut the bread in half and hollow the top and bottom piece leaving a little bread.

Drizzle 2 tbsps red wine vinegar over the top and 2 tbsps over bottom. Layer the cheese, the salami, the turkey and the ham. Place the lettuce and tomatoes in a bowl and toss with the salad dressing; then place on top of the ham. Place the top of the bread over the lettuce/tomato combo and press down. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 4-10 hours.

Cut into wedges and place a toothpick in each wedge to hold together.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!