Saturday, February 28

Belgian Chocolate Waffles


Perfect for brunches, weekend wonders, or holiday morning breakfasts. These waffles are easy to make, pretty to look at, and fantastic to eat. Try baking up a batch for fun and these may just become your go to favorite.

Full time 20-30 minutes
Serves 4-6

The needs-

For waffles:
2 eggs, separated yolks from whites
2 cups milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsweetened coco powder
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

For serving:
Fresh strawberries
Whipped cream
Chocolate sauce

The know-

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients for waffle base except egg whites, whisking to ensure fully blended.

Blend in egg whites only to fully incorporate.

Allow batter to rest 5 minutes before cooking.

On a preheated waffle iron, pour approximately 1/2 cup (based on your iron size) batter and allow to cook 5 minutes.

Carefully check for doneness, allowing to cook 3 minutes more if needed.

Remove from iron and place in a preheated low oven to keep warm, repeat until all batter has been used.

For serving you will want to slice your strawberries 2 ways. The first will be a fan cut, this is done by slicing thin slices 3/4 of the way into each strawberry length wise. Cut one for each waffle or for the top of each stack is serving more than one at a time.


The second is a disc cut, slice thin rounds creating 3-4 discs per waffle of stack.

Okay time to create the eye popping presentation.

Place one waffle or a stack of waffles on a plate.

Drizzle across chocolate sauce, drizzle lovingly.

Place strawberry discs in center of waffle.

Pipe whipped cream onto the strawberry discs.

Top with a fanned strawberry and serve immediately.

Cheers!

Thursday, February 26

Traditional Pot Roast


Making a traditional pot roast is one of the easiest things to do. The trick behind a great roast is keeping it simple while creating full flavors. It is easy to over complicate the process turning this great dish into a sudo-stew or loosing the meat beneath too many vegetables. Here is an easy to make, full of flavor pot roast which will help you clean off your plate.

Full time 4 1/2-6 1/2 hours
Serves 4

The needs-

2-2 1/2 lb. beef roast
2 large white potatoes, cleaned and diced into 1/2" pieces
1 large red onion, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 pint whole baby belle (or white) mushrooms, cleaned
2 cups baby carrots
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine (or more stock)
1 packet homemade onion soup mix (or store bought)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

The know-

Place roast in slow cooker.

Cover with onion soup mix.

Gently tuck potato pieces around the outside.

Top potatoes with onions.

Top roast with mushrooms.

Top everything with carrots.

Add in stock and wine.

Season across the top with salt and pepper.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, low for 6 hours, or my preferred way cook on high for an hour and then drop to low for 4.

Carefully remove lid to avoid steam.

Using a slotted spoon move vegetables to a side bowl.

Carefully lift roast out of pot and place on cutting board.

Cut into 4 equal portions.

Serve a portion of meat with a healthy scoop (or two) of vegetables.

Ladle reserve liquid over roast and vegetables.

Cheers!



Tuesday, February 24

Carribean Chicken

Perfect for those days you want to set it and forget it, this recipe gives you the perfect blend of sweet and sassy! I enjoy serving it along side roasted corn for a full diner vacation!

Full time 6 hours
Serves 4

The needs-

4-6 chicken thighs, frozen (if not frozen adjust cook time to 4 hours)
8 oz can pineapple rings, with juice
1/3 cup orange juice*
3 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp chili powder

*I have actually used orange juice with mango for this as well. It gives it a nice sweet tropical flavor

The know-

In a slow cooker arrange thighs.

Add in pineapple with juice and orange juice.

Add in all spice, nutmeg, and chili powder.

Add in brown sugar.

Cover and cook on high for 1 hour, then lower to low for 5 hours. You can cook it on low the full time, but adjust for and extra hour just to be safe.

Cheers!

Sunday, February 22

MAKE IT: Simple Cheese Sauce


A simple cheese sauce goes a long ways. Cheese sauce can be used for a variety of recipes, it is the base for Au gratins, is fantastic on sandwiches, turns tortillas or fries into a side dish, and can be used as a fondue. Making a simple cheese sauce is one of things every cook should know.

When making a cheese the only real important thing to remember is you must use a semi-soft cheese. Hard cheeses will not melt evenly and soft will melt to much. Cheeses like cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, Monterrey, gouda, are perfect examples of great cheeses for saucing. Once you get down the basics you will have a full range of your local cheese bar!

Full time 20 minutes
Makes 2 cups

The needs-

4 oz cheese, (I am using pepper jack), diced into 1/4" cubes
1 cup light cream (substitute milk by reducing it to 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper


The know-

In a small sauce pot melt butter over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble.


Remove from heat and whisk in flour, whisking to create a nice even golden color in the flour.

Return to heat and whisk in cream, whisking vigerously until flour has dissolved and no lumps can be seen.

Whisk in salt and pepper, allow to cook for 2-3 minutes or until edges begin to bubbles, stirring gently.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add in cheese. Whisk gently to heat cheese melt into pot. Once melted allow sauce to thicken over heat 2-3 minutes.

Your cheese sauce is now done, serve immedietly, it will continue to thicken as it cools.

Cheers!

Tuesday, February 17

Pepperoncini Pork Sliders


Pepperoncinis are a great little pepper, full of zest, tang, and texture. These little guys can turn a pork roast into a great lunch special all by themselves! 

Full time 6 1/2 hours
Makes 8 sliders

The needs-

3-4 lb. Pork roast, trimmed of excess fat
16 oz. jar whole pepperoncini, with juices
1 tbsp minced garlic

For serving-
8 slider rolls or small rolls (I use chibata)

The know-

In a slow cooker place pork roast.

Add in pepperoncini along with juices from jar.

Add in minced garlic.

Cover with lid and cook on low for 6 hours.

Carefully remove lid to avoid steam. Cut through center of roast to ensure doneness.

Move pork to serving platter and gently pull apart with two forks.



Top pepperoncini and drizzle over a small amount of liquid from crock pot.

Serve piled high on slider rolls topped with a pepperoncini.

Cheers!

Sunday, February 15

Mississippi Pork Roast


Here is another Pintrest inspired recipe. Originally calling for a beef roast, I tried it with a pork roast and it was wonderful. Try this as your next set it and forget it meal.

Full time 6 1/2 hours
Serves 4-6

The needs-

4-5 lb well trimmed pork roast
6 pepperoncini peppers
1 packet Ranch dressing/dip mix (store bought or homemade)
1 packet gravy mix (store bought or homemade)
1/2 stick butter

The know-

In a slow cooker place pork roast.

Top with ranch and gravy mixes.

Top with pepperoncinis.

Top with butter.

Let cook on low for 6 hours or until tender.

Carefully remove lid to avoid steam.

Move roast to serving platter and top with pepperoncinis.

Stir juices in bottom of pot and run through fine mesh strainer.

Serve juices on side as a great gravy.

Cheers!

Friday, February 13

MAKE IT: French Dip Sandwiches


Ah the French Dip, a classic sandwich which is equally simple and flavorful. This beautiful sandwich can easily be made in your home with just a slow cooker and a few ingredients. This classic recipe can be made traditionally using beef or my favorite twist using pork. Making this perfect for football Sundays, brunches, or family gathering!

Full time 7 1/2 hours
Serves 6-8

The needs-

5 lb. trimmed pork roast or rump roast
2 cup beef stock
1 1/2 cup ginger ale 
1 packet or batch onion soup mix. Mine recipe available at: 

For serving:
French Rolls, warmed slightly
Butter, softened

The know-

In a slow cooker place roast.

Add in beef stock and ginger ale.

Top with onion soup mix.

Cook on low for 7 hours.

Gently remove roast from slow cooker and slice meat thinly.


Run contents of slow cooker through a fine strainer to retain juices only.

Pour into easy dipping bowl.

For serving, lightly butter rolls and place a small pile of meat onto each bottom.


Top with lightly buttered top of roll and serve with a dipping bowl of juices.

Cheers!