Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joe's

Thursday, September 20, 2018

My family loves any food made with buffalo sauce. These sloppy joes are no exception. They are weeknight easy and so full of buffalo wing flavor! There is only one of 5 people in the house who will  eat blue cheese, so I always serve ranch instead. This is a recipe that I make again and again on a regular rotation. I was hesitant that it would be a bit too hot for my boys' taste, but they all gobbled their sandwiches up in record time  and asked for seconds.The ground chicken makes  it a light tasting dish , which I appreciate. The buffalo sauce is so good, I could use it as a dip for chips or in other dishes.I will definitely try to incorporate the  sauce into other recipes as well. Maybe mixed with cream cheese and stuffed in chicken breasts. Yum!

           Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground chicken 
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup hot sauce ( Frank's Red Hot)
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 8  burger rolls, split and toasted
  • blue cheese or ranch dressing
  • dill pickles, chopped
Heat a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add meat and break it up with wooden spoon, cook 5 to 6 minutes. Add in carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and  cook 7 to 8 minutes more. In a bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato paste and stock. Pour into the pan and stir to combine. Simmer a few minutes more. Pile filling onto buns and top with blue cheese or ranch dressing and chopped pickles.

Old Fashioned Caramel Corn

Monday, September 17, 2018

One of the foods I love to make for neighbors, teachers and friends during the fall season is this old fashioned caramel corn. Growing up, this popcorn was always at my nana's when we could pop over to visit. She would make  a double {or triple) recipe and store it in a large Charles Chips tin. My sister, cousins and I would sit around the kitchen table and eat handfuls of it until nana cut us off. As we got older, she would put bowls of the corn  on the table as we played Scrabble . It brings back so many great memories. Don't you just love when food sends you into reminiscing about childhood?
This recipe is easy, once you get the hang of it. It is rich and buttery and makes a great snack. Keep it in  an airtight container , otherwise it will get soft. I would make a double batch if I were you .It goes quick!

Old Fashioned Caramel Corn
2 cups brown sugar (packed)
1 cup butter
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 quarts popped corn

Pop corn and keep warm in two shallow pans (however, I recommend using one large roasting pan versus cookie sheets) in 250 degree oven. Combine sugar, butter, syrup and salt in sauce pan on stovetop. Bring to a boil slowly and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour immediately over popped corn and mix well. Place back in oven and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.Let cool and break up. Store in container.

Buffalo Chicken Soup

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Slow cooker soup is a winner in my book for simplicity, and ease of preperation. This buffalo chicken soup is so easy to put together and it tastes so good on cool September days. I use ground chicken in this recipe, but you can use diced chicken breasts as well. Totally your preference.  This recipe can be easily doubled for larger gatherings.  If you are low carb, like we are, just omit the corn. Or pick it out. That is what I do because my boys like the corn in it.  I have one boy who doesnt like it too hot, so I use a little more than 1/4 c buffalo sauce to begin with , then add a bit more at the end. And leave the bottle on the table if anyone wants it even hotter. You can also add diced celery, which I do if I have it. If not, no biggie. And you blue cheese lovers  , you can sprinkle crumbs over it to serve, but no one here eats blue cheese, so I didnt add it to this recipe. 

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Soup

1 lb ground chicken (or diced breasts)
1 (14.5 oz) fire roasted tomatoes
2 c chicken broth (reduced sodium)
1/4 c buffalo sauce (I use Franks)
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 c frozen corn kernels
1 c celery, small diced 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp celery salt
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c packed spinach, cut up
Cilantro, for garnish
Blue cheese crumbles (optional)

Directions a skillet, brown the ground chicken on medium high heat until cooked through. Transfer the cooked chicken to a slow cooker.
2.Add all other ingredients except the cream cheese and spinach to the slow cooker and stir well.
3. Place the cream cheese on top of the soup and cover. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 6. 
4. 30 minutes before serving, add the spinach and stir to incorporate the cream cheese.
5. Taste and add more buffalo sauce as needed.
6. Serve hot, served with cilantro and blue cheese crumbles (optional)

Grilled BBQ Bacon Chicken Kabobs

Saturday, August 18, 2018

We do a lot of grilling in the summer  months. For obvious reasons. Quick, easy meals that do not heat up the house. This particular chicken recipe was a huge hit with my husband and my boys. There was not a single piece left and they all said I can make this again and soon. My husband wants to try to rub on pork next time he uses his smoker. All you do is make the rub in a food processor and coat the chicken , thread them on skewers and grill. The fat from the bacon in the rub keeps it moist. Seriously good ! I was going to baste the chicken with bbq sauce at the end of the cooking time, but one of my kids would not eat it with the sauce , so I decided to serve the sauce on the side, for dipping.  I used Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce. For the bacon. I used the prepackaged ready made bacon .  It is already cooked and it makes the rub perfect!  These would be good as appetizers too. Yum!

****** low carb and keto peeps, use a sugar free bbq sauce ( I use G Hughes BBq sauce ) and Lakanto brand golden monkfruit in place of the brown sugar.

Grilled BBQ Bacon Chicken Kabobs

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cubed for kabobs
3 T brown sugar
2 T smoked paprika
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
6 pieces ready cooked bacon 
1 cup bbq sauce, for serving

1. Preheat grill.
2. In a food processor , add the brown sugar, paprika, salt,pepper ,garlic powder, onion powder and  ready cooked bacon . Pulse all ingredients until you have a rub. about 15 seconds.
3. Place the rub in a bowl and dredge each piece of chicken in the rub, then thread on skewers.
4. Grill until the chicken is cooked, about 4 -5 minutes on each side.
5. Serve with bbq sauce for dipping.

I am linking up this week to The Dedicated House and Stone Gable Blog  and  Eighteen25  and  A Stroll Through Life and   My Uncommon Life in Suburbia    linky parties. Head on over to see some great ideas !

Grilled Cheerwine BBQ Pork Chops

Thursday, August 16, 2018

These grilled pork chops are so good. Cheerwine is used for the bbq sauce and it creates a nice sauce with a hint of cherry flavor. For those of you not familiar with Cheerwine, it is a cherry soda made in Salisbury, NC. It is very popular and it is beginning to make its way to states  other than NC. I can find it here in WV/VA stores. I have also been known to bring a few 12 packs home with me from NC when I go home to visit my family. If you cannot find Cheerwine, you can use a cherry coke or pepsi, but the flavor will not be the exact same as using Cheerwine.
This recipe uses a flavorful rub , then the chops are grilled and the bbq sauce is brushed on the meat near the end of grilling. The pork chops come out perfect.You can use any kind of pork chop. I use thick bone in chops. But use what you have. Just adjust the grill time accordingly if you have thin chops. You don't want to over cook them .
 Make sure you save some of the bbq sauce for dipping at the table. I had a bit left over from dinner and I made a bbq ranch dressing with the leftover sauce for grilled chicken salad for lunch the next day. I just mixed in the bbq sauce one tablespoon at a time into homemade ranch dressing until I got the bbq flavor I wanted. I used about 3 T sauce to 1 cup dressing.

Grilled Cheerwine BBQ Pork Chops

BBQ Sauce:
1 T butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1 c ketchup
1 c Cheerwine
3 T worchestershire sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 T white distilled vinegar

1. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add garlic and cook in the butter, stirring , for about 45 seconds. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about half an hour.

Pork :
6- 8  bone in  pork chops, about 1 1/2 thick
1 T thyme
1 T oregano
1 T paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1. Mix all of the rub ingredients together well.Coat the pork , on both sides, with the rub using your fingers to get the rub all over the meat. Place the pork in a large ziploc bag and marinate for 4 hours.

1.Preheat grill to medium heat. When grill has been heated, place the pork on the grates and grill 6 o 8 minutes.
2.Turn he pork and grill on the other side  until the meat is cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.
3.Using 1 cup of sauce ( reserve the rest for serving)  brush the pork with the sauce. Grill for about 2 minutes, then turn the pork and brush the other sides with the sauce and cook another 2 minutes.
4.Remove the pork from he grill and tent it with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes to le the meat rest.
5.Serve with reserved bbq sauce.

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

I am forever  looking for creative recipes using ground beef. Especially when it is on sale . Usually, ground beef recipes are a life saver for me on busy weeknights. It doesn't take long to cook and you can add so many different sauces to make pasta, casseroles or sloppy joes. My kids love sloppy joes. I make them often, knowing they will be eaten with happy faces around the dinner table . You can check out my Homemade Sloppy Joes recipe HERE and Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes HERE . These sloppy joes are reminiscent of Philly cheesesteaks, although I do not use provolone cheese . I know, I know. Everyone knows philly cheesesteaks use provolone. But after making these for many years and trial and error. I like the combo of mozzarella and gouda. And I even used mozzarella and parmesan once when that was all I had and it worked beautifully. Basically,  use any cheese that you  want. This recipe makes a bunch. But I have a houseful of teenage boys, so I make huge amounts of food anyway. So cut the recipe in half if you have a smaller family to feed. 

Philly Cheesecake Sloppy Joes

2 lbs ground beef
4 T butter
1 yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
4 oz white mushrooms, minced
4 T ketchup
2 T worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 T plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 c beef broth
2 slices gouda cheese, diced small
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
8-12 buns

1. In a medium to large skillet, brown the ground beef until cooked through. Remove beef to a bowl and keep warm.
2.In the same skillet, add the butter, onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Cook on medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 2 minutes.
3. Add beef back to the skillet. Stir.
4. In a measuring cup add the beef broth and cornstarch and stir until you have a light brown slurry.
5. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and beef broth/cornstarch mixture.
6. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid is reduced and the sloppy joes thicken up a bit.
7. Turn off the heat and add the gouda and mozzarella cheese. Stir well until all of the cheese is melted .
8. Serve hot on buns.

Easy Weeknight Korean Beef

Sunday, August 12, 2018

This is a tried and true recipe that everyone in my household loves. Korean Beef. This is not authentic korean beef. But the flavors are close , even with it being Americanized. Sweet, spicy carmelized ground beef over steamed rice. So good. And it is so quick to put together and inexpensive to make. You can always add steamed veggies to the meat to make it more substantial. If I have fresh broccoli or cauliflower , I will usually serve it on the side. But it is just as good without the veggies. 1/4 c of brown sugar is enough for us ( and a scant one at that) , but you can add up to 1/2 c if you like the meat a bit sweeter. You can sub  the Sriracha sauce for crushed red pepper. I usually use the crushed red pepper, but my husband prefers the Sriracha. There are never any leftovers with this one.

Weeknight Korean Beef
1 lb lean ground beef
1 T vegetable oil
3 T brown sugar
1/3 c low sodium soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 to 1 tsp crushed red pepper (or Sriracha sauce,to taste)
1 bunch green onions

1.Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and garlic. Brown an drain off the fat.
2.Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, black pepper and crushed red pepper ( or sriracha sauce). Simmer for a few minutes to heat through, stirring well.
3. Serve overrice and top with sliced green onions.