Skillet Bacon and Egg Breakfast Hash

This skillet breakfast hash was the result of waking up one morning craving something hearty, but also having to make do with ingredients that I had on hand in the fridge. This breakfast hash has flavorful diced potatoes, crispy bacon, a sunny side up egg and melted cheese. What’s even better is that it’s all cooked in one pan. Less clean up is always better right? As you can see, it serves one because, well, again it was ingredients that I had one hand. Good thing hubby wasn’t craving breakfast that morning. This can easily be doubled. Serve with toast or homemade Skillet Buttermilk Biscuits on the side to make this one hearty breakfast.

Here’s what you need:

This is for one serving, but can be doubled for more.

*2 slices of bacon, cut into pieces

*1 cup frozen diced potatoes

*canola oil if needed

*1/4 tsp. sweet paprika, or more to taste

*1/4 tsp. onion powder, or more to taste

*salt to taste

*cracked pepper, to taste

*1 egg

*red chili flakes, to taste

*1/4 cup or more shredded cheese; I used a cheddar colby jack blend

Preheat oven to 400°

Heat a small cast iron skillet to medium high heat; add bacon. Cook bacon until pieces are crispy, stirring occasionally.

With a slotted spoon, take bacon out of the pan, leave a few TBS of the rendered fat. Add the frozen potatoes to the pan.

Cook the potatoes until they start to turn a golden color, stir occasionally about 7 to 8 minutes. If needed add a little canola oil. Stir in the paprika, onion powder, salt and cracked pepper.

Add in the bacon and continue to cook until the potatoes are golden and crispy on the outside but soft on the inside..

Clear a space in the middle of the pan and crack in the egg. Sprinkle chili flakes on top of the egg.

Distribute the cheese over the potatoes and bacon.

Place skillet in the oven and cook until the egg whites become firm but the yolk is still runny and the cheese melts,

Spoon on to a plate and enjoy!

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Patties

There are some nights that I’m just too tired to stand at the stove and cook dinner. You have those nights too I’m sure. When you want something satisfying, yet easy and fast. That’s why I always keep a bag of chicken patties in the freezer, for times like these. Place them in the air fryer and you have chicken patties that are crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. You can heat up a quick pizza sauce, spoon some on the chicken patty, top with mozzarella cheese and place on hamburger buns and you have a chicken parm sandwich. You can even just add your favorite sandwich toppings. Here’s how you do it:

Preheat the air fryer by running it for 5 minutes at 400°.

Place chicken patties in a single layer on the bottom of the basket.

Cook for 9 minutes, turning them over halfway thru.

Note*

Cooking time might vary depending on the brand and size of the air fryer.

Place on buns and top with desired toppings.

Enjoy!

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes. It is one of my favorite childhood sandwiches. Mom would always serve them with sliced cheese on top and a fork on the side so all of that delicious, saucy meat that fell off the bun and onto the plate never went to waste. It’s so simple yet so satisfying even to this day. These are great for lunch or dinner with fries or chips on the side.

Here’s what you need:

*1 lb. ground beef

*1 small onion, chopped

*2 garlic cloves, minced

*1 TBS. brown sugar

*1 tsp. chili powder

*2 tsp. paprika

*2 tsp. onion powder

*2 tsp. garlic powder

*1 tsp. mustard

*1/2 tsp salt or more to taste

*2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

*2 8oz. cans tomato sauce

*1 tsp. white wince vinegar

*hamburger buns or any other desired rolls.

Heat a large pan on medium high heat, add the beef and break apart as it starts to brown. When it starts to brown, add onion and garlic.

Continue cooking until beef is brown and the onions are tender; drain if needed.

Lower the heat to medium and add the in all of the ingredients except the tomato sauce and the white wine vinegar.

Stir to combine and cook for about 1 minute. Pour in the tomato sauce and the white wine, stir and reduce the heat to medium low.

Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened to your liking; stir occasionally.

Spoon beef mixture onto hamburger buns or rolls.

Air Fryer Hard Boiled Eggs

These hard boiled eggs are so easy to cook in the air fryer. There is no boiling water and the best part is you can do other things while they’re cooking. No more waiting for the water to boil and then having to keep a close eye on them as they boil. I even found that peeling them seemed easier. That is the one thing I always dread about preparing hard boiled eggs…. the peeling. But the shells came right off while peeling them under running water. On a side note, who else besides me really wants to reach thru the screen and brush off that small piece of yolk that is clinging to the white of the egg in the picture? I sure wished that I had noticed that before hand. *sigh* Maybe I can just say it gives it a rustic look….perhaps….

Here’s how you cook the eggs:

Preheat air fryer at 250° (Fahrenheit).

Place desired amount of eggs carefully into the basket.

Cook for 16 minutes. If you want a more cooked yolk, about 17 minutes.

*Note*

Cooking time my vary depending on your air fryer size and brand.

Place eggs in a large bowl filled with ice cold water. I used a kitchen towel to get the eggs out of the basket because they will be hot.

Leave in the water until they are cool enough to handle. Peel and serve as is or scoop out the yolks for deviled eggs or egg salad.

Enjoy!

Lasagna

I first posted this almost a year ago when this blog was still spanking new. I think I had only 5 followers at the time…and you are still very much appreciated as are all of you that have joined me along the way. I wanted to revise this a bit, because to be honest, it never hurts to revamp now and then and I really wanted to give this some love. I mean, it’s Lasagna…. one of the ultimate comfort foods.

This has always been one of my go to meals. It’s what I get requested frequently when I have people over for dinner. This is pretty easy and what’s not to love with layers of hearty pasta, a meaty sauce and all that cheesy goodness. Throw in some nice crusty garlic bread, a salad on the side and you have a great meal.

Here’s what you need:

For the Meat Sauce:

2 cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 small can tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2TBs olive oil

1 1/2 ground beef
1Tbs. dried basil and more to taste
1 Tbs. dried Thyme and more to taste
2 tsp. dried oregano and more to taste
2 tsp. paprika and more to taste
2 tsp. onion powder and more to taste
2 tsp, garlic powder and more to taste
2 tsp. chili powder and more to taste
1 tsp salt and more to taste
1 tsp. sugar
1 bay leaf

Or use my Shortcut Meat Sauce , truth be told I use this frequently

For the Lasagna:

1 box of oven ready Lasagna noodles
1 large container of cottage cheese
2 tsp. dried basil or more to taste
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese plus 1/2 C. reserved
1 egg
3 C. Shredded cheese; I use a Mozzarella, Colby jack and cheddar cheese blend

I start out by making a meat sauce. You can make this the day before. Don’t want to make a meat sauce from scratch? No problem. Just make a Shortcut Meat Sauce.

To make the homemade sauce,

In a large sauce pan add about 2 to 3 Tbs of olive oil. Heat to medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes or until onions become tender. Remove onions and garlic; set aside. In same pot, add beef and cook over medium high heat until meat is brown. Drain if needed.
Add onions and garlic back to the pot. Sprinkle in basil, Thyme, oregano, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, 1/2 can tomato paste and salt. Stir well with beef mixture and cook about 1 minute more.

Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add sugar; mix to combine. If sauce is too thick, add a little water. Taste and add any more spices or salt if you prefer. Add in bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove bay leaf.

Grab the cottage cheese and place in a bowl. I prefer cottage cheese in my lasagna rather than ricotta. To me, it’s not as dry as ricotta and I prefer the flavor, but if you like ricotta, then use that in place of the cottage cheese. Next add basil and the 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan ( fresh or the kind that comes in the shake-able container….no one is judging). Mix together and taste to see if you need to add any more basil or cheese.

Add in one egg and stir to combine.

Spray a large baking dish with non stick spray. Spread some of the meat sauce to cover the bottom.

Place about 4 oven lasagna noodles in a layer, slightly overlapping one another over the sauce.
I like for the pasta to cook with the sauce, I think it adds more flavor to them, not to mention it saves on time not having to boil them first.

Next, add a layer of sauce on top of the noodles.

Spread a layer of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the sauce…..

then add a layer of shredded cheese. I use a mix of mozzarella, Colby Jack and cheddar.

Then add another layer of noodles, sauce, then once again a layer of the cottage cheese mixture and then more shredded cheese. Top with one more layer of noodles and then the rest of the sauce.

Lastly, sprinkle on 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and rest of the Mozzarella, Colby Jack Cheddar mixture.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake 15 to 20 minutes more or until the noodles are done.

Let stand 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Slow Cooker Pasta Bake

This was a pasta dish that I made over a year ago. It was after Christmas and hubby and I were spending the day taking down the Christmas decorations. I wanted to come up with something easy, yet hearty for dinner that night because I knew I would not feel like cooking after all that de-decorating. I had posted this on Pinterest later that evening and it became well liked. I had forgotten about it until recently and decided to make it once again and now I’m sharing it with all of you.

The meat sauce is cooked in the slow cooker for a few hours letting all those delicious flavors mix and mingle and come together for a very tasty sauce. The pasta is cooked at the end in the sauce and coated with cheese. There is a little prepping at the beginning, but then the slow cooker does all the work, which is great when at the end of the day you don’t feel like cooking, but you want a nice, yet easy pasta dinner.

Here’s what you need:

*1lb ground beef or ground sausage; I used ground beef
*1 onion chopped
*3 garlic cloves minced
*1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
*1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
*1 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
*1 1/2 tsp. marjoram

*1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

*1 bay leaf

*28 OZ can diced tomatoes; undrained
*1 jar pasta sauce
*2 1/2 cups chicken broth
*1 box Penne or Ziti pasta
*1 cup shredded cheese; I used a Monterrey Jack Cheddar blend

In a large pan, cook ground beef. When it starts to brown, add in the onions, garlic and salt.

Continue cooking until beef is brown, stirring occasionally; pour into the slow cooker.

To the slow cooker, add in the herbs (except bay leaf), canned tomatoes, pasta sauce and chicken broth; stir to combine and then add in the bay leaf.

I add the bay leaf near the end because if it gets buried in all of the sauce, it’s not easy finding that little sucker at the end to take it out.

Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

Turn the slow cooker to high and add in the pasta.

Stir into the sauce.

Cover and continue cooking for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on how hot your slow cooker is) — check and stir at the 15 minute mark.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Cover for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serve and enjoy!

Air Fryer Roasted Garlic Parmesan Bread

This is a slight variation of my Roasted Garlic Parmesan Bread that I had posted a while back. I had dinner cooking in the oven and since there was no room to make the bread in the oven, I thought it would be a good time to try it in the air fryer. Hubby and I were both pleased with the results. It took less time to roast the garlic and toast the bread. I should also point out that hubby actually liked this better cooked in the air fryer. The roasted garlic really shined thru with the melted butter and the flavor of the parmesan made this extra tasty. The bread had a really nice crispy texture on the outside, but still soft on the inside. This is great when like me, you run out of room in the oven or you really don’t want to warm up the whole house, not to mention it takes less time which is an added bonus.

Here’s what you need:

*1 half of French bread; a whole loaf would not fit in the air fryer, but I only needed half, if you need more cook in batches.

*1/2 stick of butter softened

*5 large garlic cloves; or more if prefered

*1 TBS olive oil

*pinch of salt

*2 tsp. dried parsley

*2 TBS finely grated Parmesan cheese (the kind that looks like sand)

Preheat the air fryer at 400° for 5 minutes.

Place the garlic cloves on a small sheet of foil; sprinkle with salt and drizzle on the olive oil.

wrap the foil closed and place in the air fryer basket. Cook for 15 minutes at 400°.

While the garlic is roasting, cut the bread in half  lengthwise.

When the garlic is done, roasted in a small bowl, with the back of a spoon or fork, mash until you reach the desired consistency. I like a few bigger chunks of garlic, but you can also mash until it forms an almost paste.

Add butter, parsley and parmesan cheese; stir until well combined.

Spread evenly on each half of the bread.

Place the bread into the air fryer basket buttered side up. Try not to overlap too much.

Cook at 400° for 3 minutes. Check to see if it’s toasted enough as you like, if not cook for another 2 minutes.

Carefully remove from the basket and cut and serve.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This is one of my favorite comfort foods to make for those long cold winter evenings. What I like even better, is throwing it all in the slow cooker and let it do all the cooking…not to mention the delicious smell wafting from the kitchen for most of the day. There is a bit of prepping involved, but it is so worth it. The meat in this stew comes out so tender and flavorful from the herbs and spices, while the potatoes and tender carrots turn this into a hearty meal. It’s even better served with some crusty bread to help soak up all of that rich stew.

Here’s what you need:

*3 TBS or more of olive oil

*2 lb. stew meat or a chuck roast cut into bite size pieces.

* 3 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch slices or more if you prefer more carrots

*2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks; I prefer using russet potatoes because it has more starch which helps thicken the broth, but you can use any other potato if you prefer.

*1 small onion chopped

*1/4 cup flour

*2 tsp. dried Thyme

*2 tsp. paprika

*1/2 tsp. celery seed

*2 tsp. dried rosemary

*2 tsp. garlic powder

*2 tsp. onion powder

*1 tsp. salt or more to taste

*cracked black pepper to taste

*1 large bay leaf

*2 cups water

*2 tsp. or more to taste Better Than Bullion Beef Base or 2 beef bullion cubes

*3 TBS. tomato paste

*2tsp. Worcestershire sauce

*cornstarch and water if needed

In a large bowl, add beef, Thyme, paprika, celery seed, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. I find it easier to just use my hands,  it’s messy but what can I say, I like playing in my food. Add the flour and toss to coat all of the beef pieces.

In a large skillet, add olive oil and heat to medium high heat; add some of the beef to the pan. Do not over crowd the pan or the meat will not brown properly. You will need to do this in small batches.

Cook about 2 minutes then turn the beef over and cook another 2 minutes. If needed, add more oil to the pan.

I will be honest and say that at times, this is my least favorite part.  I did leave this step out once and the flavor was just not the same. So with love, patience and tongs in hand, I will brown the beef.

When the beef is seared on all sides, add them to the slow cooker. Next, add in the carrots, onions and potatoes.

Stir everything together.

In a large bowl, add the water, beef bullion base, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce; mix to combine. Pour over the beef and vegetables.

Add in the bay leaf, cover and cook for 6 to 7 hours on low.

Remove the bay leaf and stir. If the broth is not thick enough stir together 1 1/2 Tbs. of cornstarch to 1 1/2 TBS. of water and stir into the stew. Cook on high for 10 to 15 minutes or until broth thickens.

Enjoy!

Skillet Buttermilk Biscuits

There is something so comforting about making biscuits. It’s been my Sunday tradition for a while now. I recently wanted to try something a little new, new to me that is….cooking the biscuits in a cast iron skillet. As much as I love cooking in my cast iron skillets, I have never made them this way before. I know there are probably many of you out there thinking, really….you’re Southern….never? This is the way so many of our grandmothers and mommas used to cook biscuits, so why I have I never tried it? I will admit, the first batch I attempted was an utter failure. I really should have taken a picture, they looked like a bleached blobbed mess. *sigh* This was my second attempt and ya’ll, they turned out so good. It was hard to eat just one. These turned out a little crunchy on the outside, but pillowy soft on the inside.

Here’s what you need to make your own skillet buttermilk biscuits:

*3 cups self rising flour + more for dusting your hands

*1/4 cup butter cut into small cubes + 1 TBS melted for tops of biscuits

*1/4 cup shortening or lard + more for the pan

*1 tsp. salt

*1 1/2 cups of buttermilk ( you can use whole milk or you can add 1 1/2Tbs to the whole milk to make buttermilk)

Preheat oven to 425°

Melt 1 TBS of butter; set aside.

Cube the 1/4 cup of butter into small pieces.

Place in the freezer until ready for use.

Rub a thin layer of shortening on the bottom and sides of the skillet; set aside.

In a large bowl add flour, cubed butter, shortening and salt. With the back of a fork ( or a pastry cutter which I do not have) cut the butter and shortening into the flour. Do this until the shortening and butter is well mixed into the flour and there are no large lumps.

Slowly pour in the buttermilk, stirring to make sure it all comes together.

Continue stirring slowly until dough starts to pull away from the edges of the bowl .

The dough should not be too dry, it should be a little sticky to the touch, but not wet.

I do not kneed the dough or cut them out. Dust your hands with a little flour and scoop out some of the dough and shape into rounds.

Do this pretty quickly because you do not want to warm up the butter in the dough or the biscuits do not seem to rise as well.

Place the biscuit dough in the skillet, sides touching or at least close to touching ( this helps the biscuits to rise taller). Continue this step with the rest of the dough.

Brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter.

Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until they turn golden brown.

Serve with butter or your favorite jam.

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers with Sautéed Onions

I was craving a burger over weekend and really wanted to come up with a burger that I have never made before. As I was looking thru my pantry for some ideas, I found a bottle of BBQ sauce. Well, then I knew what I had to make and this is that burger. It has a nice juicy beef patty topped with melted American cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce and sautéed onions. If you are looking for a burger that you can eat on the go or while you are busy multitasking, this is not that burger. I will warn you, this is a bit of a messy burger, but it is so worth the use of extra napkins.

Here’s what you need:

*1 small yellow onion, chopped

*1 TBS butter

*1 tsp. olive oil

*1 LB or ground beef ( I used an 80% to 20% meat to fat ratio)

*1 1/2 TBS BBQ sauce (I used KC masterpiece original, but you can use any kind)

*1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

*2 tsp. onion powder

*cracked black pepper to taste

*1 tsp. salt + more for the sautéed onions

*bacon, 2 slices per burger, cooked

*sliced cheese; I used white American cheese.

*ketchup (optional)

*mustard (optional)

*sliced dill pickles (optional)

*hamburger buns

Heat a small sauce pan to medium high heat; add butter and olive oil.

Add the onions and salt to taste to the sauce pan.

Cook for about 1 minute, then turn the heat down to medium low. Continue cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes stirring occasionally until onions become soft and a light golden brown.

While onions are cooking, in a large bowl add ground beef, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, pepper and salt.

Mix until combined, but do not over mix or the patties will not be as tender.

Form into 4 patties making an indentation in the middle. This will help the patties to cook evenly; set aside.

Heat a large cast iron pan to medium high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the patties to the pan.

Cook for about 5 minutes then turn them over. Cook for another 3 minutes for medium rare burgers or 5 minutes for medium burgers. If the burgers seem to be getting too done too fast, turn the heat down to medium.

Place the cheese on each patty and cook for another minute or 2 until cheese melts.

Remove from the pan and place on the bottom slice of the hamburger bun. Add bacon, onions, BBQ sauce, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. I will admit, I forgot to take a picture of building the burger, but I was so hungry for this that I completely forgot.

Top with the the other half of the hamburger bun and enjoy!