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Instant Pot BBQ Ribs If you’ve ever made BBQ ribs before, you know it can be a long process if you want fall off the bone, melt in your mouth, meat.  Thanks to Instant Pot, you can shave 4-5 hours off this process now!  Using the pressure cooking component of the Instant Pot, you can pressure cook your ribs for 30 minutes and get the same effect you would have if you had slow cooked your ribs in the oven for 4 hours.  I seasoned my ribs with a dry rub, and refrigerated
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Grown Up Mac & Cheese

14 March, 2014, 0 comments, on

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What every man wants for dinner . . . grown up Mac n Cheese!

I recently went home to celebrate my dad’s birthday, and was faced with what on earth to make for dinner on a Monday night at a moment’s notice at 7 PM?  I’ll be honest, it wasn’t so much what to make pops for dinner (he’ll eat anything), but it was more of, what can I make that will be quick and easy, and yield amazing results.  My parents live on a farm, and we usually have an abundance of fresh cheese and pork, so I thought I’d start here.  Mac n Cheese is always a winner, so I set out to make the most decadent and grown up version possible with high quality basic ingredients that we had on hand.

ingredients, mac, cheese, recipe

I started by browning 1 lb Cedar Hill mild pork sausage in a cast iron skillet.  I chose to brown mine in the casings and slice it after cooking, but you could just as well brown it out of the casings and chop it up.

recipe, sausage, mac, cheese

Next I made a roux, which is equal parts flour and fat.  I chose butter as my fat.  I melted 4 Tbsp. butter and then added the flour mixing constantly, until just starting to lightly brown.  Next I slowly added 2 ½ cups of whole milk, again stirring constantly to avoid lumps.  I lowered the temperature and continued stirring occasionally until thickened.  

mac, cheese, recipe

Now came the best part: the incorporation of the cheese!  I chose a blend of three cheeses; provolone, parmesan, and my mom’s own special recipe – a cave aged cocoa cayenne cheddar.   I used a total of approximately 3 ½ cups of grated cheese.  I gradually incorporated the cheese at a low temperature over medium heat, stirring constantly.  

mac, cheese, recipe, whisk

After a taste, I decided to take this grown up Mac n Cheese a step further, by adding approximately 3 oz of Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey whiskey, which yielded a heavenly result!  The cheeses that I chose to blend were very sharp, so the honey whiskey served to mellow and sweeten the sauce. Visit http://www.jackdaniels.com/whiskey/jack-daniels-tennessee-honey for a description of this whiskey and for some other ideas of what to make with it.  

jack daniels honey mac and cheese recipe

Lastly I incorporated the sliced sausage, and 1 lb cooked and strained shell noodles into the pan with the sauce.  In less than 30 minutes I had a birthday dinner for dad that he really appreciated and time left to spend relaxing with the ones I love.  Enjoy!

jack daniels honey mac and cheese recipe

-Emily

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Lasagna Soup

7 March, 2014, 0 comments, on

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Well, I’m not really a soup lover, but the name of this soup caught my attention too much not to give it a try.  I am so happy that I did.  It was wonderful and it tasted just like its namesake – yet not as heavy in the stomach.  I served the soup with some buttered crusty Italian bread (You can never go wrong with that!)

Another plus side of the recipe – from prep to eating only took 30 minutes!  

Here are the ingredients for Lasagna Soup:

lasagna soup

Kosher Salt
8 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into pieces (about 10 noodles)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 onion, chopped
½ pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed 
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1 cup water

First bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the noodles and cooks as the label directs.  Drain; drizzle with olive oil and toss.

lasagna soup

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the sausage, garlic and oregano and cook, stirring and breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is browned, about 4 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and 1 cup water; cover and bring to a simmer.  Uncover and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the noodles, basil, parmesan cheese and heavy cream (or half and half if you decided to take the “lighter” route); simmer 2 more minutes.

Divide the soup among bowls.  If desired, you can add toppings such as mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan cheese and/or ricotta cheese.

lasagna soup

ENJOY!

-Lisa

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Lasagna Soup

7 March, 2014, 0 comments, on

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    No votes yet

Well, I’m not really a soup lover, but the name of this soup caught my attention too much not to give it a try.  I am so happy that I did.  It was wonderful and it tasted just like its namesake – yet not as heavy in the stomach.  I served the soup with some buttered crusty Italian bread (You can never go wrong with that!)

Another plus side of the recipe – from prep to eating only took 30 minutes!  

Here are the ingredients for Lasagna Soup:

lasagna soup

Kosher Salt
8 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into pieces (about 10 noodles)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 onion, chopped
½ pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed 
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1 cup water

First bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the noodles and cooks as the label directs.  Drain; drizzle with olive oil and toss.

lasagna soup

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the sausage, garlic and oregano and cook, stirring and breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is browned, about 4 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and 1 cup water; cover and bring to a simmer.  Uncover and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the noodles, basil, parmesan cheese and heavy cream (or half and half if you decided to take the “lighter” route); simmer 2 more minutes.

Divide the soup among bowls.  If desired, you can add toppings such as mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan cheese and/or ricotta cheese.

lasagna soup

ENJOY!

-Lisa

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Thanksgiving in March!

5 March, 2014, 0 comments, on

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So Thanksgiving happens to be my FAVORITE holiday of all time. I love all the food that comes with a Thanksgiving Feast and most of all the Turkey and Stuffing. I was craving a little comfort food in my life this week and decided to make my boyfriend and me our own mini feast.

I hit the grocery store for a few items including Onion Soup Mix, a small Butterball Turkey Breast, a package of 5 minute turkey stuffing, a small onion and a red potato.

Since I don’t have the luxury of spending the afternoon at home smelling the aromas of my turkey cooking from the oven for a few hours I had to modify my wants and opt for the use of my handy dandy crock pot. In the crockpot the turkey can cook for 7-8 hours on low, the perfect amount of time while I am away at work.

The stuffing can be done on the stove top in a matter of minutes after I get home.

First thing you want to do is pour ½ cup of water into the bottom of the crockpot. You can substitute this for chicken broth as well, I just didn’t have any on had so water works just fine.

Then cut the potato and onion in to large chunks and places in the bottom of the crockpot. This helps hold the turkey up off the bottom of the pot and adds some extra flavor as well.

Next unwrap the turkey breast but leave the netting on the turkey. Spray the turkey with nonstick cooking spray. Rub down with 1 packet of Onion soup mix.

Place the turkey on top of the onions and potatoes.

Set the crockpot on a low setting to cook for 7-8 hours and you are all set.

crockpot turkey

After 7-8 hours your turkey will look like this.

turkey crockpot

Pull the turkey out and let sit for 15-20 before cutting. You can see from my photo here that as I pulled it out it started to break a part. That’s how tender this turkey is that it falls apart so easily.

turkey crockpot

Cut into slices (as best you can) mine was more like chunks of turkey because it just kept falling apart.

turkey crockpot

Whip up some of the 5 minute turkey stuffing on the stove top. This package is all inclusive just need to add water and butter. I also chopped up some onion to add and a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper because I like my stuffing a little spicy. This quick and easy side was super tasty!

stuffing

And there you have it! A Thanksgiving meal with little to no work and a whole lot of flavor. The leftover turkey is just as amazing the next day too! I will definitely be making this again very, very soon!

turkey crockpot and stuffing

- Sara

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Mushrooms Stuffed With Flavor!

20 February, 2014, 0 comments, on

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So tonight we had steaks on the grill and asparagus and I decided to try out some stuffed mushrooms to mix things up a bit rather than having our go to, mashed potatoes.

This recipe is super easy and only took about 10 minutes of prep time and 10 minutes of cook time.

You will need large white mushrooms (I used 4 so we could each have 2), ½ cup seasoned croutons, a pinch of minced garlic, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, and half a stick of melted butter. A little Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese to top it off and you are ready to go!

stuffed mushrooms ingrideients

Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave.

Crush the croutons into a bowl for mixing. Since I was only making 4 mushrooms I could mix all my stuff in a cereal bowl.

Add mozzarella cheese to the bowl.

Then add the minced garlic and half of the melted butter. Mix together. I also added a dash of Italian seasoning here.

Take the stems off of the mushrooms and make sure to wipe the mushrooms down with a paper towel. Pour the other half of the melted butter into the bottom of the baking dish and set the mushrooms in the dish.

Fill each mushroom with the filler from the bowl.

I also topped with a little parmesan cheese I had in the fridge.

Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

stuffed mushrooms recipe

These were the perfect side dish to go with our steaks and had a ton of flavor. You could also mix this recipe up and use portabella mushrooms instead for a slightly different flavor.

Hope you enjoy!

-Sara

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