Thursday, August 28, 2014

BBQ Macaroni Salad with Pork or Chicken (optional)

I've really been enjoying these different flavored pasta salads recently and this BBQ Macaroni Salad with Pork (or Chicken) was a great meal! I used the Neely's recipe as a guideline and just made a bowl for lunch, it was an excellent use for a couple ounces of leftover pork tenderloin, but you could leave the protein out if desired and call it a side dish. Actually leftover BBQ chicken would really be good in this, might just have to toss a couple extra legs on the grill this weekend:@)
I felt celery seed was the only thing missing from the ingredient list, I'd add some the next time.

BBQ Macaroni Salad with Pork or Chicken-adapted from
2 Tblsp cider vinegar
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
pinch cayenne-I did not use this
1 C mayonnaise
1/2 C BBQ sauce
1 lb pasta, cooked, cooled with cold water and drained well-I used half whole wheat pasta
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped-I had green, any pepper would be good
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 whole scallions, sliced-I chopped some onion
8 oz pulled pork-I used cubed leftover tenderloin
S&P to taste
a few shakes of celery seed-optional but my recommendation
parsley, chopped for garnish-I didn't have any
  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a big bowl.
  2. Add the pasta and veggies, mix well. Garnish top with parsley if using.
  3. The Neely's serve the pork on top of the salad, I mixed mine into the salad.
  4. I chose to serve mine on a bed of lettuce, that was nice too.
Other flavorful options:

Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Darn Good Baked Beans! ...with Bacon and Brown Sugar

When three bloggy buddies rave about a baked bean recipe I just have to try it. Debbie calls these the Best Baked Beans Ever and I'm so glad she shared her recipe. While I tend to shy away from labels like the best or the greatest I will say these are some Darn Good Baked Beans! They're made from three different canned beans and the most time consuming part is frying up the bacon:@) They are sweet and bacon-y and the four of us may have pigged out just a tad... we ate all of them! They'll be on our menu again and I think you'll like 'em if you try 'em folks. This would be a great side dish for your Labor Day BBQ or upcoming tailgating.
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Darn Good Baked Beans!-from Mountain Breaths
2 C (one 15oz can) kidney beans, rinsed
2 C (one 15oz can) great northern or butter beans, rinsed-I used great northern
2 C (one 15 oz can) pork and beans-I poured some of the juice off
1/2 lb bacon, crisped and broken into pieces
1 small onion, chopped-mine was smaller than a baseball
1/2 C ketchup
1/2 C brown sugar
1/8 tsp garlic powder
  1. Brown the bacon, drain, break into pieces.
  2. Pour off all but about 1 Tblsp fat and cook the onions for about 5-7 minutes. 
  3. Mix everything together and pour into a 2 quart baking dish.
  4. Bake uncovered at 350 for an hour.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer 2014

I have to tell ya folks, barring a Sharknado attack some time this week, this has to go down in history as one of the mildest summers Philly has ever had! Maybe Mother Nature is trying to make nice for last winter??? Don't know but I'm grateful and loving it!
Gonna enjoy the last of it before I have to deal with another predicted Polar Vortex... 
Stay cool and anyone have the sudden urge for seafood???

Have a happy day:@)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Smiley Face Deviled Eggs

How about whipping up some Smiley Face Deviled Eggs! Why? Just because we can:@) Ok, if we really need a reason, how fun would it be for the kids to come home from school to find this snack. You'd bring a chuckle to the Labor Day BBQ, or take some to the next football party and hope your team doesn't turn them into frowny face deviled eggs...
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I trimmed the corners off the eyes in the upper pic and just left them rectangular in the lower pic... it's your choice. 
My best suggestion would be to get large olives, I only had small ones. You'd have a wider smile with the larger olives.
Nothing fancy here folks, just make your favorite deviled eggs and smooth the yolks into a circle with your finger. Cut the olives into rings, then in half for the smile. Cut smaller pieces for the eyes and press them into the yolks to make the smiley face.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday Snippets

Happy Saturday!!! My mind has been on gathering decorations for the Halloween tree which will go up in a few weeks... This will be the first year I'm using a 6' tree so I need some quick ornament ideas to help fill the branches. Decided these lollypop ornaments would be perfect for Halloween by adding a simple little black bow to the stick, there are six of them. The green one has a traditional bow tied around the stick, I used the tutorial below for the flat bow on the orange one, I think that looks neater. The lollypops were from Michaels a year or two ago.
While clear ornaments with the glitter on the inside are very pretty (and not messy), nothing beats the shine and sparkle from glitter on the outside! Lovin' this royal purple chunky glitter I found at Walmart for 88¢. So far I've covered a couple old balls of different sizes...

How to tie a flat bow:

My pudgy little heart is broken, after almost 5 years of solid use and abuse my ♥4 quart electronic pressure cooker♥ has died. Gonna spend some time without it to see how much I really do miss it... I guess the good news is I now know what to ask Santa for:@) I've said it many times, this has been my all time #1 favorite -worth every penny- kitchen toy.

It's a cool, rainy day here so I think I'll put a pot of Chalupa (pork and pintos) on the stove 
and enjoy the smell of that gently bubbling away for a few hours. If you haven't tried it, it's good stuff folks!

And lastly:
I'm so excited, I even treated myself to a new 50" TV this year!
It'll be like the players are in my livingroom!!! Well... minus all that sweat:@)

Have a happy day everyone!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Odds-N-Ends Quick Relish-Small Batch, No Canning Required

My determination to use everything in the little planter garden this year has led me to the last of the green tomatoes. I wanted to whip up a small batch of relish for some grilled sausage sandwiches and this is very tasty! I'd call it a medium relish, just a tad puckery, just a tad sweet, with nothing hot added. Really??? I debated about chopping up a jalapeno but decided to make a relish that would be good for a crowd. Don't hesitate to use up the last little bit of goodies from the garden by making this Odds-N-Ends Quick Relish folks:@)
The idea was to keep things as simple as possible, so I went with even amounts of produce. If you want it a little more sour, add more vinegar. Like a sweeter relish, add more sugar... Since this is a refrigerator recipe there's more wiggle room. Don't want to add corn-sub cauliflower, carrots, or just add more cabbage. Taste it as it cooks, if you think some crushed hot pepper flakes would be good-add them. Did Granny's relish have more celery seed? Well you know how I feel about Granny's cooking-by all means add more! You get the idea...

Odds-N-Ends Quick Relish-No Canning Required
1/2 C chopped onion
1/2 C chopped green pepper, add some red pepper if you have it
1/2 C chopped cabbage
1/2 C chopped green tomatoes
1/2 C corn-I used frozen
1/4 C cider vinegar
3 Tblsp sugar
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/8 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • Toss everything into a pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until just about all of the liquid is gone (approx 45 minutes). Stir often. Allow to cool, store in a covered jar or bowl in the fridge. I got about 1 1/2 C of relish. I don't know how long the Food Police say this will be good for, I don't expect it to last past Sunday dinner:@)
Have a happy day!

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs-A German Recipe

Grilled sticky chicken sound good to anyone??? I was offered the opportunity to review a new cookbook-Grilling Like A Champion, the writers are award winning grillers so it sounded like fun to me. What surprised me was, they live in Germany! What amused me was, every new chapter started with... pork. Ya gotta love the pig folks:@) What made me curious was, these Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs because they called for things Americans wouldn't expect in that marinade, chili powder, paprika, maple syrup and rosemary. I loved the nice thick sticky sauce, they were pungently tangy and really different! I'm looking forward to the leftovers being added to a salad for lunch on Monday, and that includes the grilled veggies...
 The book made meat and onion kabobs, I added onion, green pepper and celery sliced about 1/4" thick on a diagonal.
LOVE the shopping list they included, look at the very first thing on the list-they know how to party in Germany!!! 
The chapter on sausage is exciting because the items start with ground meat and you actually make homemade sausage!
Overall this was a fun book to read through, there are a few minor things that get lost in translation, like while we're used to S&P to taste they'll add things like salt, pepper and chili powder to the end of recipes. But I'm thrilled they sent me a copy and I see Sauerkraut Pancakes in my near future!

Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs-from Grilling Like A Champion
~Mix everything and add 1" pieces of chicken. Marinate overnight. Skewer with onion between each piece of chicken. Oil your grate and grill until cooked through.
Note: I don't know how much a bunch of rosemary is... I made a half batch and just added 1/2 tsp fresh minced rosemary. Got to thinking later... maybe they just lay the whole stem of the rosemary in the marinade??? Don't know but I can say mine wasn't overly rosemary-ish... 

Try something new just for fun and have a happy day:@)