Kicked Up Scrambled Eggs

Some days, you just need eggs. I love scrambled eggs, but not the plain boring kind. I like mine kicked up a notch. My secret to awesome scrambled eggs? Hot pepper spread. I use it in anything (well, everything) that needs a spicy kick.

Kicked Up Scrambled Eggs

(Prep, 10 minutes. Cook time, 15 minutes)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 Cups Egg Beaters (or 8 eggs, beaten)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Hot Pepper Spread
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheese (4 Cheese Blend, Sharp cheese, or Mexican Blend)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Chop up green pepper and onion, mince garlic. Add 2 Tbs olive oil to skillet along with onions, peppers, and garlic. Saute over medium heat until onions are soft and translucent. Add hot pepper spread and eggs. Scramble eggs and cook until desired doneness.  Sprinkle cheese over top of cooked eggs, cover and let sit for three minutes until cheese is melty. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

(I like to put ketchup on them, but Mike thinks that’s gross. He doesn’t know what he’s missing!)

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French Onion Soup

There is nothing better on a cold fall evening than a warm, yummy bowl of French Onion soup. This batch was pretty much perfect!

French Onion Soup

(Prep time, 15 minutes. Cook time, 1 hour)

Ingredients:

  • 10 Large Onions (Really, you can’t have too many)
  • 2 Large Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 8 Cups Beef Stock (2 – 32 oz boxes)
  • 2 Cups Dry White Wine (Pinot Grigio)
  • 2 Tablespoons “Better Than Bouillon” Beef Base
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Thyme
  • 1 Teaspoon Basil
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Croutons
  • Shredded Gruyere Cheese

Directions:

Melt butter in a medium stock pot. Peel and slice onions into 1/2 inch strips. Peel and mince garlic. Add to melted butter, along with bay leaves, thyme and basil. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Do NOT cover.

Stir occasionally and allow to cook down until onions caramelize (turn a medium brown – about 40 minutes). Once onions are brown, add white wine and cook 10 minutes. Add beef stock, beef base, along with salt and pepper. Stir to dissolve beef base. Bring to a boil and cook at a gently rolling boil for ten to fifteen minutes.

Ladle soup into bowl, add croutons and shredded cheese. Cover with a saucer and let sit five minutes until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Printer Friendly!

I don’t know about you, but when I find a new recipe the first thing I do is print it out and put it in my recipe binder.

But the recipes here? If you tried to print them they were messy because of the photos. That bothered me. I want people to be able to print cool, neat looking recipes. So, I installed a new gadget that will make printing the recipes so much easier.

At the bottom of each post, there should be a button labeled “Print & PDF.” If you click the button, it opens a new window that will allow you to delete the photos and other extra crap you don’t want, adjust the font size, and then allow you to print or PDF the cleaned up version.

Yay!

Thank you PrinterFriendly.com for making today a happy beginning. (Yes, I’m a neat freak. So?)

Kielbasa Fajitas

Sounds weird, right? But, I promise you, it’s delicious!

Kielbasa Fajitas

(Prep, 10 minutes. Cook time 15-20 minutes)

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Onions, Julienne
  • 2 Green Peppers, Julienne
  • 1 package Kielbasa (Franks)
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • Shredded cheese
  • Burrito size tortilla shells
  • Sour cream
  • Mustard

Directions:

Slice onions and green peppers into long strips. Mince garlic.

Put olive oil, onions, peppers, and garlic into skillet over medium high heat. Cover. Once onions and peppers start to sweat, add Worcester sauce, Sriracha hot sauce, lime juice and water. Cover and let simmer about two minutes.

Add kielbasa franks, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until peppers are soft and kielbasa starts to split, about 15 minutes.

Once kielbasa is done, remove from heat. Warm tortilla shell in microwave, add mustard, kielbasa, onions & peppers with sauce, shredded cheese of your choice and sour cream to taste. Wrap up and enjoy. Yum!

You can substitute sweet or hot Italian sausage or even hot dogs if you prefer. I love the kielbasa so that’s what I suggest.

Creamy Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Mac & CheeseMy mom taught me this basic recipe when I was about ten years old. I’ve been making it ever since.

Creamy Baked Macaroni & Cheese

(Prep time 30-45 min. Bake time 45 min.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 8 oz bricks Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (16 oz total), shredded
  • 1 – 8 oz brick Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 Cup shredded cheese blend (I use Mexican but 4 or 6 cheese blend will work)
  • 4 1/2 Cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • 5 Cups milk
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 sleeve of Saltine Crackers, crushed (10-15 crackers)

Prep:

Shred all cheeses, place near your stove-top

Chop half of a small onion until it is finely diced

Crush saltines into uneven rough crumbs and chunks, set aside

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Directions:

Boil macaroni until almost done (it should be plumped up but just shy of al-dente). It will finish cooking in the oven. Drain water and put cooked macaroni in a large oven-safe casserole dish or dutch oven and set aside. You can put a small amount of butter in it to keep it from sticking together, or just boil your macaroni as you make the cheese sauce.

In a large saucepan (I think mine is 8 quarts) melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the flour and whisk together to form a roux. Add one cup of milk and keep whisking until it thickens. Add rest of milk slowly, stirring constantly.

Oven Baked Goodness

Once milk is added, add diced onion, salt and pepper. Let cook for two to three minutes until mixture is warm enough to melt the cheese. Add shredded cheeses one handful at a time, stirring constantly to avoid sticking and scorching on the bottom of your saucepan. When all the cheese is added and melted, pour cheese sauce over cooked macaroni and stir. It should be loose, you may think you have too much cheese sauce. You don’t! It will cook down and be perfect once it bakes.

Take the crushed saltine crackers and spread evenly over the top of the mac and cheese. Do NOT stir. This becomes a crunchy cheesy crust that is nom-tastic.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool for ten minutes before serving. It will still be steaming hot, so be careful. Enjoy!

Sunday Football Chili

Mike and I are football fanatics. I start this chili at half-time during the first game on Sunday and it’s ready to eat by the end of the second game. This is a low to medium hot (spicy) chili because I don’t enjoy chili that is nothing but hot spice. It’s perfect in front of the television with a beer and a side of crunchy garlic toast for dipping!

Sunday Football Chili

(Prep time, 30 minutes. Cooking time, approximately two hours)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef
  • 2 Onions, chopped and divided into two piles
  • 1 Green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 6 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with zesty green chilis
  • 2 Cans (28 oz each) crushed tomatoes with roasted garlic
  • 1 Can (40.5 oz) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Can (15.5 oz) light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons hot pepper spread
  • 1/2 Cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Cup water

Directions:

In a heavy stockpot, put 2 Tbsps olive oil and one chopped onion (the second chopped onion is added with the beans and tomatoes later). Turn burner on medium high and let onion start to sweat. When the onion starts to get soft, put the ground beef into the pan and cook over medium high heat until beef is cooked through. Make sure to chop beef up with your spoon or spatula until you have small chunks.

Once the beef is completely cooked, add the rest of the ingredients to your stock pot. Make sure beans are drained and rinsed before adding them to the pot.

Stir well. The chili will be thick, but it will loosen up once the tomatoes cook down a little. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar to let steam escape and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it starts boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for one and half to two hours (until beans and peppers are soft). Stir frequently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. About an hour in, I will pull a small spoonful to test the spice mix. Adjust as needed to get the spicy heat you like for chili.

Serve with crackers, fresh bread, or toasted garlic bread. You can garnish with shredded cheese and/or diced raw onion, but I’m a purist and enjoy it naked. It tastes even better on the second day. Yum!

Bacon Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

I originally found this recipe on Food.com. The original is quite good, but I made some changes. Here’s my version.

Bacon Egg Breakfast Casserole

(prep time, 30 minutes – cooking time, 50 minutes)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 loaf Italian or French bread, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup cheddar jack cheese (or Mexican blend), shredded
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked and chopped into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 32 oz carton of low-fat egg substitute
  • 1 1/3 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper spread (hot)
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Mexican blend cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rather than fry my bacon, I bake it. Line a jelly roll pan (or any cookie sheet with a raised edge) with parchment paper and spread the bacon in a single layer, then bake it in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. The parchment paper means there’s almost no clean-up, that’s my kind of cooking!

You’ll need a large casserole or lasagna dish. Don’t use a standard 9 x 13 cake pan, it may overflow. Use something with a little more room in it. I have a 9 x 13 Paula Deen lasagna pan and it works perfectly.

Spray your dish with non-stick cooking spray, then spread the cubed bread over the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped bacon, the Gruyere and cheddar jack cheeses, and the chopped onions. You can substitute green onions if you them, they taste fantastic in this.

Next mix all the other ingredients (other than the last cup of cheese) in a bowl and whisk until well mixed and mixture is foamy. Pour over the bread, bacon, & cheese mixture.

Cover with tin foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Take the tin foil off, spread the last cup of cheese over the top and return to the oven to bake another 30 minutes uncovered.

Bacon Cheese Casserole

Fresh out of the oven, so yummy!

Let cool at least 10 minutes, then devour!

If you want, you can layer some grilled or fried potatoes in the bottom for more of a frittata-type dish. If you like breakfast sausage or ham steak, feel free to chop it up into small chunks and throw it in with the bacon. If you don’t want to use egg substitute, you can use 8 to 12 eggs, well beaten. I have a hard time with measurements. I’m more of a “shake the canister until you have enough” cook, so feel free to adjust the spices to your own taste.

Mike and I love to make this casserole on Saturday morning for brunch and enjoy the leftovers on Sunday. A happy beginning rather than an ending, I guess.

Enjoy!

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