Monday, September 26, 2011

Football Feeding Frenzy!

With football season in full swing this Sunday turned into a major food fest at our house. Well, actually my brothers house but that is besides the point! LOL! Since it was such a beautiful warm day we started everything off with a nice jaunt around the area on the bikes. Ahhh so relaxing and a great way to build up the appetite! Once we were thoroughly famished back home we went for our food fest. It consisted of several chips and dips (veggie dip, hummus, homemade corn and chipotle salsas and nacho cheese and chipotle sausage dip), calzones, steaks and chicken wings. It was pure gluttony and man was it good. The newest recipe was the chipotle sausage dip. Our local market has a fantastic meat counter and they always have unannounced sales so I feel compelled to check it out every time I go in. This past weekend they had a mystery sale on house made chipotle sausage. This was something new and, being a huge fan of their Italian sausage, I felt compelled to try it. Then the gears started to turn as to how I would prepare it. I came up with this recipe and, yes, I realize it is a tad Sandra Lee-ish with the use of canned soup but I have to say it was delicious and went perfectly with beer and football and all of the other things we had going on. I did have a few beers in me when I put it together but I think I remember how I made it. LOL!

Warm Nacho Cheese and Chipotle Sausage Dip

2 cans Campbell's Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup
1 8 oz container soft cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pound chipotle sausage, crumbled and browned
1-2 cans milk

Mix soup, cheeses and sausage in a large sauce pan over low heat. Add milk to desired consistency. Stir frequently until well mixed and warmed through. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

I honestly can't remember if I put the sour cream in or not when I made this but I know I fully intended to so I included it in the recipe. I will have to check my brothers refrigerator and see if I actually did. LOL! Regardless, hubby LOVED this stuff and so did I! The nacho soup is rather hard to find though and I think I came across it at Walmart. I definitely will be going back to get more so I can make this again and again. Hopefully the market will continue to make the chipotle sausage or will make it on request. They may. Small town life is cool like that.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Meatloaf Monday

Yesterday I was let off of the hook when it came to dinner. Hubby made a request! Sunday evening he asked if we could have meatloaf for dinner Monday. Absolutely! I even had ground beef in the refrigerator begging to be used up. It also gave me all day to contemplate what kind on meatloaf I wanted to make. I love playing around with meatloaf recipes. No matter what it usually comes out ok. It really is difficult to wreck a meatloaf so bad that a little ketchup couldn't resurrect it, LOL! Since I still had bacon on the brain from my Bacon Jam I decided to make this meatloaf a twist on one of my favorite burger combinations: mushroom, onion and swiss - with bacon! I didn't have any bacon thawed so I used a little bacon fat to add flavor to the meat. I think cooked chopped bacon would have been better and shouldn't have been so lazy but now I know not to take short cuts next time around. This recipe makes a gigantic meatloaf and can easily feed 4-5 hungry people.

Meatloaf (V.2) mushroom, onion and swiss - with bacon!

4-5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
3 pounds ground beef (more or less)
1 box chicken stuffing
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 C swiss cheese, shredded or chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 eggs
1-2 tsp kosher salt
1-2tsp black pepper
1/2 C ketchup

Mix everything except ketchup together in a large bowl until well incorporated
transfer mix to a roasting pan and shape into a log
brush with ketchup and bake 350 for 1 hr.

Husband said this was his favorite meatloaf yet so I will definately be making this again. The use of prepared ingredients also add to the ease of preparation which is great on a busy weeknight. You could easily adapt this to make it from scratch too.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

We're Jammin'

So this weekend I decided to try a new recipe out since I was planning on going to a big breakfast party Sunday morning. I had read about the recipe on the Foodie with Family website and Evil Chef Mom website. Both sites were raving about it and, in my opinion, anything with bacon in it can't be bad, so I gave it a shot. The recipe in question, you ask?? Why it's BACON JAM! A sweet and smokey concoction that tastes great on toast or on a spoon! I think it might even be good on ice cream but I cannot attest to that personally! LOL! Anyway, here is how you make it!

Bacon Jam (Adapted from Foodie with Family)

3 pounds bacon
4 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
8 cloves garlic, smashed with the flat side of a knife or a pan and peeled
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups very strong brewed black coffee
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut the bacon slices into one inch strips. Add the bacon to a Dutch oven or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until the bacon is browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings into a heat-proof jar with a tight-fitting lid.*

Add the onions and garlic. Stir well and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook for about 8 minutes, or until the onions are mostly translucent.

Add the remaining ingredients, stir well.

Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and boil hard for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, stir the browned bacon.

Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally to make sure things aren’t sticking, adding a little water if it seems to be drying out. When the onions are meltingly soft and the liquid is thick and syrupy, remove the dutch oven from the heat and let cool.

Transfer the jam to a food processor that has been fitted with a blade and process until it is a spreadable consistency.

Store in a container with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Can be served cold, room temperature or warmed.