Monthly Archives: September 2012

Roasted Sweet Potato Beer Bread

Roasted Sweet Potato Beer Bread


  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Tb Olive Oil
  • 1 large full sprig of fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 Tb plus 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 bottle or can of beer (I use Coors or Budweiser)
  • 3 Tb salted butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 375, line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with a pan spray.

Toss the cubed sweet potato with the Olive Oil and spread them on the foil lined baking sheet. Roast them for 40 minutes until completely soft. Tossing them halfway during the roasting process.

Turn you oven down to a temperature of 350 and butter a loaf or bread pan.

In a large bowl mash the roasted sweet potatoes. Add the minced Rosemary. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt over the sweet potatoes. Add the brown sugar and toss all the ingredient together. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the beer. Stir the ingredients until they are well blended. Spread the bread dough into the buttered loaf pan and pour the melted butter over the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. You’ll know the bread is baked thoroughly when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.


Posted by on September 29, 2012 in Breads


Tags: ,

Baked Grape Tomatoes

Baked Grape Tomatoes

Need a side dish for dinner tonight? My go to is Baked Grape Tomatoes.

Ingredients:   Serves 2 to 3 people

  • 1 container of Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tb Olive Oil
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the tomatoes in half. Toss together the tomatoes, garlic, Olive Oil and Parmesan Cheese. Make sure everything is well mixed. Place in a glass baking dish, season with the black pepper and bake for about 10 minutes, just until the cheese starts to melt and the tomatoes are hot. Serve immediately.


Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Vegetables


Tags: , , , ,

Texas Chili

Texas Chili

Texas Style Chili surprises many people because it’s said that true Texas Chili does not contain beans. But there is a difference of opinion on whether it contains any vegetables. I prefer mine made with onions, green peppers and fresh tomatoes.

I do have to apologize from the start this recipe of mine isn’t for the quick kitchen cook, it takes a bit of prep time. This is one of those Sunday type recipes when it’s cool outside and you want to play in the kitchen for a few hours.


  • 5 to 6 dried New Mexico Chiles, (This time I used 2 Pasillas, 2 Anchos and 2 New Mexicos because that’s what I had.)
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 TB ground Mexican Oregano
  • 1 TB salt
  • 1 TB Cocoa Powder, sweetened
  • 3 pounds beef chuck, cubed, patted dry with paper towels
  • Bacon grease, Lard or Vegetable Oil (I just always have bacon grease on hand, it adds lots of flavor to the meat.)
  • 1 onion, roughly diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, roughly diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock (I use chicken instead of beef because I find it more flavorful)
  • 2 TB Masa tamale flour, tortilla flour, corn meal flour or all-purpose flour
  • 5 fresh tomatoes, peeled and quartered or One 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 Jalapeno, stem removed, seeded, de-veined and minced
  • 1 TB Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 TB White Vinegar

Remove the stems of the dried chiles and remove the seeds. Place in a heavy bottom medium sauce pan and just cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes to soften the peppers completely. Remove the chiles from the water and set the chile water aside for future use in this recipe. Open the chiles up and gently scrap the flesh from the skin and set aside. I use a butter knife to do this. Discard the skins as they are very bitter.

Roast the garlic cloves in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until they are soft and the outer skin is blackened in places. This takes about 10 minutes. Cool, peel and set aside.

In a food processor combine the chile flesh, roasted garlic, cumin, black pepper, Mexican Oregano, salt, Cocoa Powder and 1/4 cup of the chile water. Process this until you get a nice paste from it. Set this mixture aside to be used later.

Melt about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease. Lard or Vegetable Oil, which ever you decide to use in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add some of the beef cubes, but don’t overcrowd the pan, lightly brown on all sides. Continue on with the remaining cubes of beef adding more bacon grease when needed. Place browned beef in the bottom of a crock pot.

When the beef is all browned, reduce the heat to medium and cool the skillet slightly. Melt another 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in it and add the onions and green bell peppers. Saute these until they just start to soften. Don’t worry about the beef residue in the skillet, the onions and peppers will de-glaze the pan. Add the chicken stock and 1 cup of the reserved Chili water. Whisk in the Chili paste until well blended. Slowly whisk in the Masa or your flour of choice to avoid developing lumps. Once all of these ingredients are well blended remove from heat and add the quartered tomatoes.

In your crock pot you now have the browned beef on the bottom. Top the beef with the minced Jalapeno and ladle the sauce mixture over the beef. Start off cooking on High for the first hour then reduce to low and continue to slowly simmer for 3 to 4 hours more. I usually stir the chile a couple of times during this process. The chile is done when the cubed beef is tender and falls apart.

10 minutes before serving stir in the brown sugar and vinegar.

Suggestions: I like to serve my Texas Chili by putting a layer of refried  black beans in the bottom of a deep bowl, top with the Texas Chili and a Hoe Cake. If you choose to cook this on the stove you will need to double the amount of chicken stock and chile water.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Beef, Soups and Stews


Tags: , , , ,

Paula Deen’s “Hoecakes”

Paula Deen’s recipe for “Hoecakes”

I’ve had hoecakes from all over the south. To date I thought the ones from the “Loveless Cafe” in Tennessee were the best. Until now I was under the impression they were suppose to bland, probably because they were used to sopped up juices and barbecue sauce. Thanks to Mark and a quick trip to Savannah, Georgia I was able to try Paula Deen’s version of Hoecakes. So flavorful, so different from all the rest, definitely my hoecake of choice from now on. If any of you find a tastier, easier recipe, please let me know.


  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tb sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tb of water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
  • Oil or butter for frying

Mix all ingredients well except for frying oil. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls into the hot skillet. Use approximately 2 tablespoons of batter per hoecake. Brown until crisp; turn and brown on the other side. Drain on paper towels.

Suggestion: You can bet I will be tweaking this recipe a little down the line. Maybe some garlic and onions added. How about adding a bit of jalapeno? Anything is possible with Paula Deen’s recipe as the base.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Breads


Tags: , , , , , ,

So Cal Burgers

Ingredients:   yields 4 large burgers

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 pound ground chorizo
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • garlic salt for seasoning

Combine all the above ingredients except the garlic salt. Mix well and pat into 4 large patties. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot add the burger patties, season with a sprinkle of garlic salt  and fry each side until browned. I like serving mine with fresh tomato slices, baby spinach leaves and sliced avocado when in season.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Beef, Salads, Sandwiches, Spreads


Tags: , ,

Paula Deen’s “Gooey Butter Cake”

Paula Deen’s recipe for “Gooey Butter Cake”

We tried this absolutely wonderful dessert at Paula Deen’s Restaurant “The Lady and Sons” in Savannah, Georgia last week. One week later and we just had to have it again, it tasted that good. I am thankful that Paula (that’s what I call her now) shares her fabulous recipes.

Crust Ingredients:

  • One 18.25-ounce package of Yellow Cake Mix. (I could only find a 16.50-oz & 15 .25-oz box, so I went with the 16.50-oz.)
  • 1 egg
  • 8 TB butter, melted

Filling Ingredients:

  • One 8-ounce package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 TB butter, melted
  • One 16-ounce box powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease or butter a 13×9-inch baking pan. (I used a 11 3/4 x 7 1/2 glass baking dish.) Combine the cake mix, egg & 8 tablespoons of melted butter, mix well. Pat into the baking pan. Prepare the filling: beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Add butter and beat. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over cake mixture. Bake for 40-50 minutes. (I baked mine for 60 minutes, don’t know if that was because I used a different size dish and used glass versus metal, or just because of my oven.) According to Paula you want the center to be a little gooey. So do not overbake.

Suggestions: Paula Deen has many versions of this wonderfully sweet cake in her cookbook. I’m going to be trying every single one of them, that’s how much I have enjoyed this recipe.


Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Desserts


Tags: , , , , , ,

Shredded Chipotle Chicken in a Crockpot


  • 1 whole chicken, quartered (cut out and remove the back bone, then cut into 4 pieces)
  • 2 Tb all-purpose meat seasoning, (I get mine from “The Old Fashioned Butcher Shoppe” here in Evansville)
  • 1 Tb Cumin
  • 2 tsp Mexican Oregano, ground
  • 1 tsp Thyme, ground
  • 4 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, diced
  • 1 cup chicken broth, (I use “Das Dutchman Esenhaus Chicken Base”)

Combine all dry spices and rub chicken pieces thoroughly. Place in a gallon ziplock bag, add the Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, mix well and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. I marinate them overnight. Using a crock pot, add the marinated chicken thighs, pour the chicken broth over them. Cook on low all day. Remove meat from bones if it hasn’t already fallen off. Discard bones and skin.

Suggestions: Use this flavorful shredded chicken in your tacos, enchiladas, tamales, casseroles and even chicken pot pie.


Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Chicken


Tags: , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: