Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Classic Buttermilk Waffles

This is a classic buttermilk waffle recipe.  Its not something I would make as an everyday waffle recipe, but when having guests over or for a special occasion, this is thee recipe.  It tastes just like something you would get at a restaurant.  My kids loved them!  A tip on the original website (listed below) suggested not over mixing to keep the waffles light.  Also, in my belgium waffle iron, about 1 cup of batter equals 1 large waffle, but it will vary per waffle iron.

2 C all purpose flour
2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups lowfat buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees; set a rack on a baking sheet, and place in oven. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, and eggs; add flour mixture, and mix just until batter is combined.
  2. Heat waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions; brush with oil. Pour batter onto iron (amount depends on iron size), leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides (spread batter if necessary). Close iron; cook until waffles are golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to rack in oven to keep warm; repeat with remaining batter.

Photo Source: Nook & Pantry
Recipe Source: Martha Stewart

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Perfect Brownie

I finally found my go-to brownie recipe!  Who knew it would be such a difficult thing to discover, yet here it is.  Enjoy!

2/3 c butter
3/4 c cocoa
1/4 c oil
1 1/3 flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 c chopped nuts
1 c chocolate chips

Melt butter, oil and cocoa together.  Beat eggs well, add sugar.  Mix in chocolate mixture and vanilla.  Add flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix well.  Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.  Spread in greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (start at 25 minutes).  Test if done.  Cool.

Recipe Source:  My friend Julie D.
Picture Source: Copy Kat

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Creamy Berry Shortcake

My friend Julie brought this to my house recently when we invited her for dinner.   It was delicious!  My new go-to strawberry shortcake recipe.

Makes 1 9X13 pan
1 package Jello White Chocolate Pudding
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 container Cool Whip (I am assuming 8 oz)
1 white cake mix
1 box Danish Dessert, raspberry or strawberry flavor
fresh strawberries or raspberries

Make cake according to box instructions and allow to cool before applying topping.

Cream topping:  Make pudding according to package directions.  If you want it more thick, follow the pie filling instructions.  Add softened cream cheese and whip until very smooth. Mix in the container of Cool Whip and then spread the mixture over the cake.

Make Danish Dessert and add fruit.  Serve on top of cake.

Picture Source: Betty Crocker

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Grilled BBQ Chicken

 I think the main problem I have always had with BBQ chicken is it tends to be really dry chicken with some BBQ sauce smothered on top.  I don't know, I just have never been a big fan of it…..until my husband found this recipe.  You brine the chicken before cooking it and it comes out very moist and delicious.  I will add we leave out the cayenne pepper to the brine because we have little ones eating it.  Maybe we should add it in next time to experiment.  A big thanks to 101 Cooking for Two for the recipe we have referred back to several times!

  • 2 Skinless boneless chicken breasts.

  • (Mels note: We doubled the recipe below for 4 lbs of chicken….it seems like a lot of brine for just two chicken breasts)
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 3 T table salt
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 1 t cayenne pepper
  • 2T BBQ sauce of choice
  1. Trim skinless boneless chicken breast of any trimable fat.Poke with a knife to make about 15-20 holes in each breast.
  2. Mix brine of 3 cups water, 3 T table salt, 3 T brown sugar and 1 t cayenne pepper. Add chicken and submerge and allow to set at room temp for 15 minutes while grill is preheating on high.
  3. Remove chicken from brine and rinse lightly under running water.Pat dry.Brush lightly with BBQ sauce of your choice.
  4. Clean and oil grates. Place over high heat or medium high if you have a hot grill.
  5. Flip about every 5 minutes. About 3-4 minutes before done, brush both sides with sauce. Remove from grill at temp of 165. About 30 minutes total grill time.

Picture and Recipe Source: 101 Cooking For Two

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Mixed Berry Sauce

I made this sauce and put it over Valentines Day heart pancakes.  Its not too sweet and so delicious. You could put it over just about anything-granola, cheesecake, yogurt, pancakes, etc.  

2 c frozen berries
1/3 c sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
zest of one lemon
pinch of salt
1 tbs cornstarch

Combine all ingredients into a medium pot.  Set heat to medium high heat.  Bring mixture to a boil until desired thickness.  Enjoy!

Picture and Recipe Source: To Die For Recipes

Monday, February 8, 2016

Thanksgiving Turkey Brine

We love this brine recipe.  The turkey comes out moist and flavored wonderfully.  When we lived in Hawaii, everyone cooked their turkeys in the underground imus….and while it was fun, we much prefer the taste of a traditionally cooked turkey.  We made the mistake of buying two turkeys around Thanksgiving time and one is taking up the entire bottom of our freezer.  So its turkey in February for our family this week :)  

1 gallon vegetable broth (we usually use chicken broth)
1 cup sea salt
1 TBS crushed dried rosemary
1 TBS dried sage
1 TBS dried savory
1 TBS dried thyme
1 gallon ice water

  1. In a large stock pot, combine the vegetable broth, sea salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, and savory. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to be sure salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
  2. When the broth mixture is cool, pour it into a clean 5 gallon bucket. Stir in the ice water.
  3. Wash and dry your turkey. Make sure you have removed the innards. Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Remove the turkey carefully draining off the excess brine and pat dry. Discard excess brine.
  5. Cook the turkey as desired reserving the drippings for gravy. Keep in mind that brined turkeys cook 20 to 30 minutes faster so watch the temperature gauge.
    • Tip:
    • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

    Recipe and Photo Source: All Recipes

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sweet N Sour Meatballs

I have not made the meatballs in this recipe, just the sauce.  I was in a hurry one day so I put all of the sauce ingredients in the crock pot, dumped in frozen, pre-cooked meatballs (I know, I know, what a shame but I needed a quick meal) with the pineapples.  The sauce did not thicken like I believe it would have on the stove top, but it was still good.  Served it over rice and with a veggie.  Enjoy!  

Sauce Ingredients

1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 1/4 cups pineapple juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
One 25-count bag All-Purpose Meatballs (still frozen is fine), recipe follows
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
1 cup drained small pineapple chunks
Steamed long-grain rice, for serving
2 tablespoons sliced green onions, for garnish

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and 2 cups of the pineapple juice. Bring to a boil.

Make a slurry by mixing the cornstarch into the remaining 1/4 cup pineapple juice, whisking to get out all the lumps. Whisk the slurry into the skillet and add the All-Purpose Meatballs. Bring to a simmer and add the sriracha. Cover and cook until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are heated through, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the pineapple chunks.

Serve over steamed rice, garnished with green onions.

All-Purpose Meatballs:

5 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil

All-Purpose Meatballs:
To make the meatballs, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, cream, parsley, mustard, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Mix together well with your hands. Scoop out 1-tablespoon portions and roll them into balls with your hands. Place the meatballs onto parchment-lined baking sheets and put the baking sheets in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes for the meatballs to firm up.

To brown the meatballs, heat the olive oil in a heavy pot or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Cook, turning the meatballs to make sure they brown all over, 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels.

Freezer instructions: Put the cooked meatballs in a single layer on baking sheets and put into the freezer. When frozen, divide them into freezer bags, 25 per bag, and return them to the freezer. Yield: 125 meatballs.

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Picture and recipe Source: The Food Network