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Blogs, Recipes

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

A really simple recipe that comes together in a snap. Pork tenderloin stuffed with bacon, jalapeno peppers, cream cheese and cheddar cheese, this recipe is  bursting with flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin, the package usually comes with 2- freeze the other one or double the recipe if cooking for a large crowd
  • 2 jalapeno peppers , cored and minced
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese , grated
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 6-8 bacon slices, crumbled

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Cook the bacon in a large skillet. The skillet will be used for searing the pork, so don’t clean it out after the bacon has been cooked. Once the bacon is cooled crumble it. 

Trim the pork tenderloins of any fat and membrane. 

To butterfly the pork tenderloin, use a sharp knife to make a horizontal cut about one-third of the way up from the bottom of the tenderloin. Flip open the thicker, top flap (like opening a book). Then, take the knife and cut another horizontal line through the thicker part of the tenderloin to open it up even more (like a trifold). You should now have a flat surface of meat. 

Put a piece of plastic wrap over the laid out pork and pound it out to about a 1/3 inch thickness, be careful not to tear it. 

Once the pork has been butterflied, rub both sides with the Barbeque seasoning of your choice.

You can make your own Barbeque rub or take the easy road and purchase one. My favorite is Good Shit, yes you read that right! LOL! You can find it on Amazon. There’s a whole line of seasonings from Big Cock Ranch. Not only do they bring your meat to the next level, they make for a hilarious conversation starter or gift!

In a small bowl, mix together the diced jalapeño pepper with the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles and chili powder.

Spread the jalapeño pepper mixture on one side of the pork. Now it’s ready to roll!

Roll up the pork tenderloin, making sure you wrap up all that goodness inside! Then, using cooking twine, tie the rolled pork tenderloin up to hold in all the ingredients.

Remember the oven safe skillet you cooked the bacon in? Bring that back over medium heat, and sear the pork tenderloin on all sides. I know it’s rolled up, so what do I mean by sides? Simply rotate it about four times to get as much of the tenderloin seared as possible (about 5 minutes on each side).

Place the pork tenderloin in the preheated oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes, making sure the internal temperature is at 165°F. Take the tenderloin out of the oven.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and Enjoy!

Tip: While cutting the jalapeños, whatever you do, please please please don’t don’t touch your face. The oils in the peppers will BURN, I speak from experience, it’s VERY painful. The spice in jalapeños is found in the seeds and inner membranes.  To reduce the heat in this recipe, clean out all of the (light colored) inner membrane and seeds. If you like lots of heat, leave a little bit of membrane.

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Recipes

Stuffed Chorizo Chicken over Yellow Rice

The smells of Spanish cooking never fails to set my tastebuds alight.

Spanish food looks good and tastes great. But the smell of Spanish food cooking adds to the anticipation of dinner, and to the experience of eating it!

I loving making recipes that remind me of being a little girl at my grandparents’ houses.

I love using Chorizo in my cooking, whether it’s for my mom’s Spanish Bean Soup, a breakfast hash or tacos! It adds little richness and spice to a dish. The two most common types of chorizo here in the United States are Mexican chorizo and Spanish chorizo.

Here’s a some quick tips on the difference.

Spanish Chorizo

Spanish chorizo is usually cured or smoked and wrapped in a casing. It does not need any further cooking or preparation to enjoy. I like to eat Spanish chorizo as-is on a charcuterie board with cheeses and a glass of red wine.

Mexican Chorizo

Mexican chorizo is most commonly sold raw and must be cooked before consuming. It should be pan-fried or browned like any ground sausage. I love Mexican chorizo, it’s a highly versatile ingredient for adding huge flavor to any dish. It works seamlessly with soups, chilis, sauces, or as a topping for potatoes, pasta dishes, and breakfast hashes.

For this recipe, I used Mexican chorizo since I will stuffing it into chicken.

I always like to marinade my chicken, especially if I’m using breast. I find chicken breast to not have much flavor on it’s own.

I usually make my own marinade but I had a bottle of Goya Mojo Chipotle Marinade in the frig and it’s pretty good so I figured let’s save some time!

The first step of this recipe is to dump your chicken breast into a ziplock bag and pour enough of the marinade in to cover the chicken.

If you have the time, marinate it over night, if not at least 1 hour.

Now it’s time to get to slicing and dicing! This is where my boyfriend, Brian comes in handy!

Before you start, make sure you have a trash bowl next to your cutting board. I learned this tip from one of my favorite chefs, Rachael Ray! I use my Meme’s old metal colander, it makes me feel like she’s in the kitchen with me!

Evenly, dice the onion, garlic and red bell peppers.

Here’s another tip! When you cut your red bell pepper or any pepper make sure to cut it skin down. This will make it so much easier for your knife and you!

While you are slicing and dicing, heat your skillet. Place the chorizo in a skillet over medium heat and break it up into tiny pieces with a wooden spoon while cooking. Transfer the chorizo to a large bowl lined with a paper towel and let the oils drain from the chorizo.

Next, using that same pan, wipe out most of the oil with a paper towel, but leave some of the chorizo oil, and sauté your onion. Sprinkling the Saxon Con Azafran (I use the Baida brand). Continue to sauté for about 4-5 minutes until tender, then add the red bell pepper and sauté until tender. I add the garlic last because garlic can burn if cooked too long and that is not good for any dish. Sauté all together, for 4-5 minutes until fragrant.

Transfer the veggies and chorizo to a large bowl and stir together. This is the filing a.k.a Chorizo stuffing for your chicken!

By now, the aroma from your kitchen should be calling to your family and neighbors to come over for dinner!

PreHeat your oven to 325F

Next up, prepare the yellow rice! I personally love VIGO yellow rice! It’s made right here in Tampa! If you have never visited the VIGO store in Tampa, you must! They also offer field trips for students!

First melt the butter and EVOO in a saucepan. Then add the rice. A great tip I learned from Gordan Ramsay is to first toast your rice!

The secret to a better pan of rice lies in seasoning and flavoring the grains before they even hit that pot of boiling water.

Once the grains are coated and start to toast (you should smell a deep nutty aroma), take it a step further by tossing in some aromatics — like chopped shallots, garlic, ginger, and/or spices — into the pan. For this recipe, toss in the garlic! Toast for just a few minutes, until the rice starts to look slightly brown on the tips and smells fragrant and nutty. Then add in the 2 cups of chicken broth. Stirring occasionally, bring the broth to a boil. Cover saucepan tightly. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes.

Now it’s time to take out all the stress from the day! Grab your mallet or rolling pin; chicken, and cutting board.

Place the chicken on the cutting board and cover it with wax paper or plastic wrap (keep it covered, you don’t want chicken juice on your rolling pin or mallet). After giving the chicken breast a good pounding on both sides, use your rolling pin to roll it out like pie dough to approcimately 1/4 thick (but keep it in the covered since you don’t want chicken juice on your rolling pin.)

Sprinkle Badia Sazon With Saffron over the chicken. Take a scoop of Chorizo stuffing about 1-2 tablespoons and place it at one end of the chicken breast. Do not let your scoop touch the chicken, you are going to want to save the leftover stuffing for future meals, I used mine in quesadillas the next day! It’s also good in a breakfast hash or even as a salsa!

Unravel the cheese… yup I said unravel! It’s like a ball of yarn but cheese! Super fun!

Cut 2-3 inch strips and place on top of the Chorizo stuffing.

Now roll the chicken, making sure to tuck in the cheese and stuffing. You’re basically rolling the chicken like you would a tortilla for a burrito.

You can use tooth picks or kitchen twine to tie the chicken, so it does not come undone. I used twine but tooth picks are much easier. 😉

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat and drizzle with EVOO. You don’t have to use cast iron – a large skillet will do but I much prefer cooking with cast iron!

Sear the stuffed chicken breasts for 4 minutes on each side until browned. (They will not be fully cooked. You will finish them off in the oven.)

Some of the cheese will ooze out, but don’t worry it will taste amazing like fried cheese!

Take the skillet off of the heat, and pour in 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth. Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165F.

Now it’s time to plate the dish! I love creating the presentation of the meal!

Take a ladle and press the rice to form a dome, then place the chicken next to it with the cheese oozing onto the plate. YUM!

Get creative and post your plated presentation below in the comments, I’d love to see it!!!

Ingredients:

Goya Mojo Chipotle Marinade

4 Chicken Breasts

1 large Onion – diced

5 garlic cloves- minced or diced

2 red bell peppers – diced

1 pound Mexican Chorizo

1 ball of Oaxaca Cheese

2 teaspoons Badia Sazon With Saffron

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth

Yellow Rice Ingredients:

10 oz. Vigo Yellow Rice packet

1 tbsp unsalted butter

Olive Oil – EVOO

1 clove garlic – minced or diced

2 cups Chicken Broth

Instructions:

1. Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over the chicken. Leave in refrigerator at least one hour or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 325F.

3. In a large skillet, sauté Chorizo until cooked through. Place the chorizo in a large bowl lined with a paper towel.

4. In the same skillet, sauté the diced onion, sprinkle with Badia Sazon With Saffron seasoning. Add the diced red bell peppers, stirring occasionally until soft. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant.

5. Pour onion, red bell pepper & garlic mixture into a large bowl. Add the chorizo into the bowl and stir together.

6. Lay down 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Use the smooth side of a mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken. Start in the center of your chicken and work your way out, until chicken is 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick.

7. Scoop the Chorizo stuffing onto one side of the flatten chicken breast.

8. Lay a 2-3 inch slice of cheese on top of the chorizo stuffing.

9. Roll up the chicken, tucking in the stuffing and cheese.

10. Stick a couple of toothpicks in near the opening to keep it all together.

11. Heat up a pan to medium-high heat (I used a cast iron skillet) and sear the meat on both sides about 4 minutes for each side.

12. Pour in 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth.

13. Lower the heat and continue cooking the meat on the stove until it’s done or, if you’re using a cast iron skillet, you can put the skillet in the oven. Just make sure you cook it until the center reaches 165ºF on a thermometer

14. Serve immediately over yellow rice. Enjoy!

Yellow Rice Instructions

1. Melt butter and EVOO over medium heat in a sauce pan.

2. Pour packet of yellow rice into the saucepan. Toast the rice until the edges are slightly brown.

3. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.

4. Pour 2 cups of chicken broth into the saucepan and bring to boil, stirring for about one minute.

5. Cover saucepan tightly. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes.

On the Side, Recipes

The Best 3 Barbeque Sauces

In honor of Black History month, I’d like to introduce you to Jereline and Larry Bethune. 

Jereline and Larry Bethune first opened their restaurant in 1942. Back then it was a nightclub, the Siesta Club, that also sold food. It later became Brenda’s, named after one of their daughters. A pivotal location in black history, the restaurant became an unofficial center for the local civil rights movement, holding N.A.A.C.P. meetings, printing fliers and planning protests. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery. Shortly after, bus boycotts began around the city. The Brenda’s Bar-B-Que Pit staff helped organize some of the boycott, which soon propelled the civil rights movement into the national conversation.

Even after the bus boycotts, Ms. Bethune quietly held lessons to teach other African-Americans to read so they could pass the literacy test.  At the time, this functioned as a way to suppress the black vote during the height of the Jim Crow era. Donetta Bethune, the Bethune’s granddaughter, described it as: “Let’s learn how to read. Let’s learn how to vote. Let’s go after our own rights so we never have to be treated in a way that we’re not equal again.”  (College Chefs, 2019).

Brenda’s is the oldest barbecue restaurant in Montgomery and family-run to this day.

Below are three of my favorite homemade barbeque sauces inspired by the story of Jereline and Larry Bethune. 

Spicy Barbecue Sauce

This Spicy BBQ Sauce will be your new favorite condiment! It’s easy to make and pairs perfectly with pizza, sandwiches, or burgers.

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

White Barbeque

This BBQ sauce is a tangy, creamy twist on a traditional barbecue sauce recipe. It’s delicious on grilled chicken, pulled pork, fish, burgers, and lots more!

  •  1 cup mayo
  •  1/4 cup white vinegar
  •  1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  •  2 teaspoons cream style horseradish
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon paprika

Honey Barbeque Sauce

This Honey BBQ Sauce Recipe is the perfect sweet and sticky sauce for burgers, wings, chicken, and more.

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon onion Powder
  • ½ teaspoon black Pepper

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Let sauce cool and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.  

Healthy, Recipes

Keto Cajun Chicken Alfredo

This Keto Cajun Chicken Alfredo was inspired by Leah Chase, also known as the Queen of Creole.

This Keto Cajun Chicken Alfredo is creamy and delicious plus it comes together in just minutes. 

This one pot meal is loaded with chicken and sausage, heavy cream and lots of Parmesan cheese, not to mention lots of Cajun seasoning.

Served over your choice of noodles and you have the perfect week day dinner in less than 30 minutes! I used spaghetti squash noodles to make this dish an easy, low carb, gluten free and keto friendly!

This recipe was inspired by Leah Chase, the Queen of Creole. 

She was the executive chef and co-owner of the Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans, one of the most historic restaurants in America. Not only was she a chef, co-owner and cookbook author, she also was a public servant. 

When African Americans were denied a seat in New Orleans restaurants in the ‘50s and ‘60s, she cooked for them and fed meals to civil rights workers on the frontlines. Chase died in June 2019, but Dooky’s continues to be a stomping ground for regulars, and tourists. 

Did you know Princess Tiana, the waitress who wanted to own a restaurant in Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog,” was based on Mrs. Chase. It was the first African-American princess in a Disney movie.

Cajun food lovers- here’s what you’ll need for this easy one pot meal!

Cajun Seasoning- my best friend, Christine, a.k.a the Cajun Queen introduced me to Tony’s Chachere’s Cajun seasoning when we lived together. I always have some in my pantry! It is my go-to Cajun seasoning!

Unsalted Butter- I always use unsalted butter, it’s much easier to control the salt level in my dishes. Since our seasoning blend already has salt in it and the Parmesan cheese is naturally salty. This dish doesn’t need any more salt.

Chicken breast or thighs- I personally love thighs but you can use breast too. 

Andouille Sausage- It’s a pretty spicy sausage. It is made from smoked pork and it makes perfect sense with cajun spices!

Fresh Garlic- Garlic is a must in any Alfredo sauce. 

Chicken broth- This thins out the sauce and adds a lot of flavor.

Heavy whipping cream- This is what makes this keto cajun chicken alfredo sauce rich and creamy!

Parmesan cheese- Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese because pre-shredded cheese usually has added ingredients which help prevent the shredded cheese from naturally sticking together.

Hot Sauce- I love giving an extra kick to my dishes and that is exactly why I add a dash of hot sauce right at the end.

Fresh parsley– A little parsley adds some color to this quite orange-ish yellow dish, plus it adds some freshness and lightness!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Tony’s Chachere’s Cajun seasoning
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • 2 Andouille sausage links, sliced
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • handful of fresh minced parsley, divided (save some for garnish)
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded (save some for garnish)
  • Noodles or noodle replacement of choice to serve (I used spaghetti squash)

Instructions

To start, season your chicken breasts liberally with your Cajun seasoning blend. 

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat, and melt 2 tablespoon of butter. 

Sear your chicken and sausage over medium high heat, until it’s cooked thru and reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Once cooked thru, remove from the skillet and set aside. Don’t drain or remove any of the drippings.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add 2 more tablespoon of butter of it to your cast iron. Add in your minced garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Being careful not to let your garlic burn.

Whisk in chicken broth, heavy whipping cream and a dash of hot sauce.

Stir in your parsley, and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle in more Cajun seasoning to taste. Cook until your cheese has melted. 

Cut your chicken into pieces, and add chicken and sausage to the skillet. 

Serve over noodles of choice. I used Spaghetti squash to get it low carb.

Garnish with more parsley and parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Recipes

Beef Short Rib Sliders

Short rib sliders with spicy slaw are the perfect make-ahead dishes for any party.

You can make these on the smoker like we did or in the crock pot! I include both method instructions below.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: food is the best thing about football season.

For years, that’s all we had as Buccaneers fans…Our tailgates! We never gave up on our team but it’s tough to watch your team lose on an empty stomach. 

Our friend, John, each season makes a tailgate game menu based on the home game schedule. We all would cook something that matches the theme. 

For example, when we play the Saints, our tailgate is New Orleans food theme- jambalaya, cajun chicken wings and so on. 

The best game-day eats are ones that are easily assembled and eaten whether you’re parked on the couch or tailgating outside the stadium! 

These short rib sliders are perfect for that – compact and easy to eat. Tender, fall-apart shredded short ribs piled on toasted sweet Hawaiian rolls and topped with cheddar, onion rings, & Spicy and Sweet Coleslaw – they’re so full of flavor, I promise, they will be a huge hit. 

Ingredients

Short Ribs

  • 2 pounds beef short ribs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika 
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and Black pepper

Barbecue Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cheddar Cheese

Sweet Hawaiian Rolls

Instructions

Crockpot Method

Season the ribs with salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. 

Transfer the ribs to a slow cooker combine the short ribs, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, brown sugar, ketchup,, mustard, Worcestershire, vinegar, and 1 cup water. Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for 6 to 8 hours until the ribs are tender and falling apart. Use two forks to shred up the meat.

Big Green Egg Method

Scatter hickory chips over the preheated charcoal. Using mitts, place the grid in the EGG.

Place the ribs on the grilling grate bone side down and let smoke for an hour before checking

Look to see if the rib surface is drying out and spray with a mist of water (you can use a mix with cider vinegar if you wish)

After 3 hours in the smoke the meat should measure 165° and it is time to wrap

Place the ribs in an aluminum pan with 1 cup of red wine (or beef broth) and seal with foil

Let this cook for another 2-3 hours until the meat is probe tender and measures 204°

Wrap and place in cooler for another 1-2 hours

While the beef is in the cooking make the sauce. If you are doing the crockpot method, then the sauce is already in the crockpot so you can skip this step. 

Whisk together all ingredients in a medium saucepan situated over medium heat. Allow to come to a bubble and then reduce the heat to low. Allow to simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. 

Serve immediately or allow to cool slightly and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Assemble the sliders

Place the cheese and beef on one side of the roll and top with my Spicy & Sweet coleslaw.

On the Side, Recipes

Spicy & Sweet Coleslaw

Tangy, sweet and spicy in taste, this coleslaw is far from bland or boring!

Coleslaw is such a budget friendly, versatile side dish, or salad! This crisp, sweet and spicy coleslaw is a perfect way to round out any barbecue or dinner!

Crisp, shredded cabbage mixed with crunchy carrots, parsley and  fresh green onions, then tossed with a slightly sweet, tangy mayonnaise based coleslaw sauce. This slaw is fresh, fabulous and the perfect addition to any Barbecue or try it on my Beef short rib sliders!

While the recipe below calls for small heads of green and purple cabbage, plus carrots, you can absolutely substitute a bag of pre-prepared coleslaw mix from the grocery store!

Ingredients

  • 1 small head cabbage, washed, peeled and shredded
  • 1 small head purple cabbage, washed, peeled and shredded
  • 2-3 large carrots, washed, peeled and shredded
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½  teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley 
  • salt and black pepper

Instructions

In a food processor with a grating blade, shred the cabbage and carrots. Process in batches. Set into a large bowl. Add the parsley and toss.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sriracha, vinegar, sugar, celery seeds, salt, and black pepper. 

When adding the coleslaw dressing to the vegetables, start with 1/4 cup of dressing, toss and then continue to add the dressing a little bit at a time until desired level of creaminess is achieved. Chances are, you will not need all of the dressing, so it is best to err on the side of caution! I only used 1/3 cup on my coleslaw and I used the rest for dipping my homemade beer battered onion rings!

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Recipes, Small Bites

Beer Battered Crispy Onion Rings

Crispy, golden and absolutely easy these Beer Battered Onion rings are the perfect appetizer or side dish!

Beer Battered Onion Rings are the perfect combination of crispy, light and fluffy with a hint of sweetness from the beer. A great side or topping for game day!

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be amazed how delicious these onion rings turn out!

  • In a bowl whisk together your beer and egg and set aside.
  • In another bowl whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder and pepper.
  • Add in your beer and egg mixture.
  • Whisk this mixture until its smooth and no lumps remain.
  • In a shallow bowl add your additional flour and dredge your sliced onions in the flour.
  • Dunk your onion rings into your batter and deep fry in 350 degree F oil until golden brown, flipping a few times.

See how easy this recipe is?

The sweet lime aioli is quick to come together and can be prepared ahead of time. Just whisk all the ingredients together!

You can eat these onion rings as a side to your burger and pile them on top. We piled them onto our Beef Short Rib sliders! 

Ingredients 

LIME AIOLI

  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

ONION RINGS

  • 2 large sweet onions rough skins removed, cut into 1/2 inch rings and separated
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1–1 1/2 cups beer
  • Vegetable oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

In a small bowl combine mayo, ketchup, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, garlic, olive oil, and lime juice.

Begin by peeling the onions and slicing very thinly, use a mandoline slicer if you can. Separate the onion slices and place them in a shallow baking dish and pour the buttermilk over the top. Press the onions down so they’re submerged as much as possible and let them soak on the counter for at least an hour. If necessary, stir them around a bit halfway through the soaking process.

Set 1/4 cup of flour aside on a shallow plate. In a medium bowl combine 1 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, beaten egg and 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups beer depending on how thick you want the batter.

Heat oil to 375 degrees. Dip onion rings in flour on a shallow plate and then into batter. 

Fry battered onion rings in the hot oil until browned, about 4 minutes. Place on paper towels while working in small batches.

Serve hot with Lime aioli or pile them on top of your sandwich!

Recipes, Soups

Lemon Chickpea Soup

Lemon Chickpea Soup… Perfect to warm your tummy!

This soup totally reminds me of Spring! It is cozy, healthy, and loaded with spring flavors like garlic, lemon, fresh dill and baby spinach. The orzo and chickpeas swirl to the surface with every spoonful. A sight that lifts the spirit and warms the belly.

This recipe is pretty straightforward and simple to make so enjoy!

  1. Simply sauté the carrots, onion and minced garlic for 3-4 minutes to soften.
  2. Add the broth, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper to the pot. Raise the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Stir in the orzo, salt, and black pepper to taste and cook until orzo al dente. 
  4. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, lemon juice and chopped fresh dill. 
  6. Take two cups of the broth and whisk in with the eggs. Then slowly add mixture to the pot while whisking the soup. 
  7. Turn the  heat back on to low heat and Stir in the cheese and baby spinach. 
  8. Cook until spinach is wilted. 
  9. Taste, salt and pepper as needed. 
  10. Serve warm with a glass of Scout and Cellar DOVE HUNT DOG CHARDONNAY

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 4 eggs
  • Zest of one lemon
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 1–3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Add carrots and garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the bay leaf and red pepper flakes and stir to combine.

Add broth and chickpeas, and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium (or medium-low), whatever works to maintain a steady low simmer.

Add orzo and stir to combine.  

Continue cooking until the orzo is al dente, stirring occasionally so that the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, as the orzo is cooking, whisk together the eggs, cheese and lemon juice in a separate mixing bowl or measuring cup until combined.  Ladle out 1 cup of the hot soup broth, and while whisking the egg mixture with one hand continuously, very very slowly drizzle the broth into the eggs until combined.  Repeat with 1 more cup of hot broth.

Once the orzo is ready to go, remove the stockpot from the heat.  Then while stirring the entire soup with one hand continuously, very very slowly drizzle the egg mixture into the soup until combined.  

The egg mixture should make the soup nice and creamy.  

(But if the eggs look like they are scrambling when you add them in — kind of like in egg drop soup — stop and let the soup cool down for a few minutes before adding the rest of the eggs.)

Return the soup to low heat.  

Stir in the spinach and dill and stir for 1-2 minutes until the spinach has wilted.  

Then taste and season the soup with a few pinches of salt and black pepper, as needed.

Serve warm, garnished with extra dill and lemon wedges.

Early Riser, Healthy, Recipes

Keto Friendly Breakfast Casserole

Keto Friendly Bacon, Egg, and Spinach Breakfast Frittata Casserole is the perfect quick and easy make-ahead, meal-prep breakfast that is sure to please any crowd!

I love making frittatas; combining a bunch of ingredients that pair well together, whisking in eggs and then throwing in the oven to bake. This recipe is basically a LARGE frittata that is perfect to serve at any family gathering or brunch! It is also great to make on the weekend for meal prep! Then portion out your breakfast for the week and you just like that, breakfast is all taken care of!

This recipe is highly customizable, so you can change out the type of cheese, peppers and even the bacon.  You can make whatever combination you like, maybe sausage or ham instead of bacon. Simply use what you have on hand to make it easy!

Just follow these easy steps!

  1. Sauté the veggies and spinach.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  3. Create the first layer by adding the sautéed spinach and veggies to the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Whisk the eggs and egg whites in a small bowl
  5. Pour over the veggies. 
  6. Sprinkle cooked, crumbled bacon and shredded cheese over the top. 
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites – You can use 8-10 eggs if you don’t want to use egg whites.
  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 chopped red pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Place a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the chopped veggies (excluding the spinach) to the pan. Sautee for a few minutes until the veggies are soft.

Add spinach to the pan, and saute until slightly wilted. 

Add the veggies and spinach to the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the veggies throughout the dish.

Whisk the egg whites and eggs in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. 

Pour the egg mixture over the veggies.

Create an additional layer by adding the crumbled bacon and shredded cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Allow to cool before serving

Healthy, Recipes

Keto Meatball Casserole

Juicy, flavorful meatballs cooked until golden and then covered with tomato sauce and cheese.

If you are looking for a new dinner this Keto Meatball Casserole should be it. 

I love this keto friendly meatball casserole because it’s really simple to make and delicious.  It’s also great for meal prep!

I took my grandparent’s meatball recipe, made a couple of changes to make these keto/low carb meatballs. They make epic leftovers… so great for meal prepping! 

The Meat

My personal favorite meat combo when it comes to meatballs is a fifty-fifty of ground beef and Italian sausage. 

The Breadcrumbs

As you know, meatballs traditionally call for breadcrumbs for the binder. It’s purpose is to add moisture and keep the proteins in the meat from shrinking and becoming tough. I used crushed pork rinds! They work surprisingly well in lieu of breadcrumbs and they really play up the flavors.

To Pan-fry or to bake?

This is a great debate between Italian cooks – whether meatballs should be baked or pan fried. 

I grew up watching my grandmother, Meme pan-fry her meatballs. So in this house, we pan fry! Pan frying meatballs produces superior caramelization and a flavorful outer crust. You really do get the best flavor. 

Having said that, you can definitely bake up these too. 

The Sauce

Nothing fancy here, just simple and delicious! One can of crushed tomatoes and ¼ cup of red wine, I recommend Scout & Cellar Gallivant Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cheese

You choose the shredded cheese… Mozzarella, Provolone, Monterrey Jack, Cheddar… I personally like a combination of Mozzarella and Provolone. 

Serve warm on top of zucchini noodles or your with a side of your favorite vegetable. 

Ingredients

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • ⅓ cup grated or shredded parmesan
  • 2/3 cup crushed pork rinds
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 2 tsp dried minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt and Pepper

Casserole Ingredients:

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix thoroughly. 

Make about 24 meatballs

Heat an oven safe skillet over medium heat. (I used my cast iron skillet)

Drizzle one tablespoon in the skillet. 

Place meatballs into the skillet and cook for two-three minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. 

Place the skillet into the preheated oven and bake for ten minutes. 

Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, pour the crushed tomatoes and wine over the meatballs. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for another ten minutes. 

Once the sauce is bubbling, sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake for an additional 8 minutes until the cheese is melted. 

Optional: I broiled for 3-4 minutes at the end to toast the cheese. Watch it carefully if you put it under the broiler. The cheese can burn easily.

Recipes, Soups

Keto Loaded “Baked Potato” Soup

Thick, creamy, and a low-carb alternative to Baked Potato Soup!

Loaded baked potato soup is prime comfort food, but it’s also loaded with calories. My lightened-up version swaps the potatoes for cauliflower while keeping all of the comforting appeal. Roasting the cauliflower takes this soup to the next level. Topped with all your favorite fixings, there’s nothing potato soup can do that this soup can’t.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sprigs thyme, divided
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, diced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Scout and Cellar Dove Hunt Dog Chardonnay
  • 6 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • crispy bacon, crumbled
  • cheddar cheese
  • sliced scallions or green onion

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425°. 

Divide cauliflower between two large baking sheets. Drizzle each baking sheet with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and scatter 4 thyme sprigs on top.

Bake until cauliflower is golden and tender, about 20 minutes.

In a large pot (or dutch oven) over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes. Drain cooked bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate, reserving fat in the pot, then chop bacon into small pieces.

Add onion and celery to bacon fat and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute, then pour in wine. Cook until wine has mostly reduced down, about 2 minutes.

Add roasted cauliflower to the pot and pour over chicken broth. Add bay leaf, all seasonings and remaining thyme sprigs. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the cauliflower is falling apart, about 20 minutes. 

Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs from soup. Let the mixture cool slightly then carefully pour it into a blender. Cover that center opening with a towel, holding your hand over the towel, and process the soup mixture on low at first (gradually increasing the speed) until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Pour the smooth soup back into the Dutch oven on the stovetop. 

Whisk in the heavy cream and sour cream.

Set it over medium heat to let it warm through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper, if needed

Serve warm with cheddar, chopped bacon, and chives.

Recipes, Soups

Bok Choy & Rice Noodle Soup

Did you know in China, soup is something that is always on the table, particularly at dinner. According to Chinese tradition, dinner should always include at least three dishes and one soup. Chinese soups are very easy to make and usually made with simple ingredients. And this recipe is no exception!

I absolutely LOVE the flavor and crunch bok choy brings to this fragrant garlicky ginger soup! If you can’t find Bok Choy, you can use any green, such as cabbage, spinach or other Asian greens.

This recipe also calls for one of my new favorite spices…Star Anise. I was first introduced to Star Anise by one of Gordon Ramsay’s recipes.The star-shaped pods look beautiful and have an exotic flavor you’ll fall in love with. It has earthy, subtly sweet spice that is perfect in savory dishes. Star Anise is also an ingredient in Chinese five spice, where it’s combined with fennel, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns and cloves. So if you can not find Star Anise, you can use Chinese five spice.

Honestly this is one of my go to soups, it’s perfect in cold or even warm weather, who doesn’t love a nutritious, comforting, and flu-fighting soup! Get your grocery list together and let’s get cooking!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped, green and white divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger, fresh, minced)
  • 5 ½ cups chicken broth (or water)
  • 2 whole star anise or ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice season
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 10 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 oz rice noodles
  • 1.5 heads bok choy, roughly chopped
  • sesame seeds (for topping)
  • red pepper flakes (for topping)

INSTRUCTIONS


Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium-sized stockpot over medium heat.
Saute the shallots over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the shallots turn translucent and start to soften. Stir often.
Add the white part of the green onions, garlic, and ginger to the shallots and mix.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes or until garlic and ginger is fragrant.
Carefully pour the chicken broth into the pot and bring to a simmer.
Add the star anise and soy sauce. Cover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the lid from the pot and carefully remove and discard each star anise from the soup.
Add the mushrooms, uncooked noodles, and bok choy to the pot and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until noodles and bok choy are tender.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with sesame seeds, the green parts of green onions and red pepper flakes.