Southern Winter Wonderland

We woke up to a very pretty view this morning. Down my way in the south we don’t see a lot of snow, so when it does snow we have to take advantage of it.

But as my hubby who is from Boston declared, This is just a dusting.

Compared to my Northern friends, yes it isn’t a lot, but I’ll take it.

Open Faced Cheesy Pepperoni English Muffins Topped with A Fried Egg and Marinara Sauce


This is another one of my hubby’s creations. It turned out really good, but to be honest, we really didn’t
know what to call this one. It’s not really a pizza…ok maybe a reverse pizza? This is a really simple and quick lunch or dinner.. or even breakfast if you desire. It’s layered with cheese, pepperoni, a fried egg then topped with marinara sauce. This one does require a knife and fork, but it’s worth it when you first cut into the gorgeous egg and the yolk spills all of that tasty goodness onto the muffin. Heaven.

Here’s what you need to make your own:

*English muffins

*shredded cheese; I used a cheddar and Colby Jack blend

*pepperoni

*eggs, one per each half muffin

*2 tsp. canola oil

*salt and pepper to taste

*marinara sauce; jarred or homemade

Preheat oven to 400°

In a small sauce pan, heat up the marinara sauce.

Separate the muffins and place on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle the cheese over the English muffins.

Layer the pepperoni over the cheese.

Place in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the muffins are lightly toasted around the edges; about 3 to 5 minutes.

While the English muffins are in the oven heat a non stick pan on medium high heat and add the oil. When the pan is hot, crack the eggs into the pan.

Cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny; season with salt and pepper.

Take the English muffins off of the baking sheet and place on serving plates. Carefully place an egg onto each half muffin over the pepperoni.

Top with the marinara sauce.

Enjoy!

Skillet Chorizo and Potato Breakfast Hash

This breakfast hash I made with the leftover chorizo from the previous night’s Chorizo and Potato Tacos With A Cilantro Slaw. I will admit, it was the first thing I thought about that morning. But, as most of you know, I tend to think about breakfast a lot. Hubby, however, didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm. He really isn’t a breakfast person, hence the picture showing only one serving. But of course you can double this to serve as many as you wish. Oh, and hubby might not have been excited as I was at having this for breakfast, but he did indeed have some later and declared it was really tasty.

The good thing about this dish, is that it’s all cooked in one skillet so clean up is easy. I used frozen dice potatoes because it takes less time to cook and when I’m hungry, I want breakfast done as soon as possible. Don’t you too? The potatoes cooked up nice and crisp on the outside but tender on the inside, then there’s all of that slightly spicy, slightly smoky chorizo sautéed with onions to create some drool worthy flavors. Then it’s all topped with an egg. But it’s not quite done because it’s then baked in the oven so the egg gets those nice, crispy edges, but still has that beautiful runny yolk that bathes everything in it’s velvety glory. *sigh* It was really hard not to eat it straight out of the skillet.

I must confess, as I do a lot on here, that I had some chopped cilantro all handy and ready to go over the top, but as you can see, I was so eager to dive into this that I completely forgot. I did however, remember after I started eating and added it later. I do recommend it because it does give everything a nice touch of added flavor.

Here’s what you need to make your own:

This makes 1 or 2 servings but can easily be doubled

*1 cup frozen diced potatoes; use more if this is for more servings

*1/2 small onion, chopped

*1 Tbs. canola oil

*3/4 cup chorizo precooked and chopped; I used the Colombian variety, but you can use any kind.

*salt and pepper to taste

*1 egg per person

*chopped cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°.

In a cast iron skillet add the canola oil and heat to medium high heat. When the skillet is hot add in the potatoes and the onions.

Cook stirring occasionally until the potatoes start to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add in more canola oil if the skillet becomes too dry.

Add in the chorizo and cook for another 3 minutes or until the chorizo starts to brown, stirring occasionally.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Crack an egg in the center of the skillet over the chorizo mixture. If using more than one egg, place them around with out touching.

Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the eggs.

Bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired.

Serve and Enjoy!

Chorizo and Potato Tacos With A Cilantro Slaw

Happy 2022 everyone. I hope this year is really good to all of us. On my home- away -from -home site that I follow (FoodTribe) the question was asked what was the first thing you cooked in 2022. I wished that I had a grand answer, but it was breakfast…..which if you’ve looked through my blog you will see there is quite a few (ok more than a few) breakfast posts. So I guess this could be the second thing that I cooked in 2022, chorizo and potato tacos with a cilantro slaw.

My mother in law has been staying with us for a few months so we took her to one of our favorite local Mexican grocery store. I always have a hard time not bringing home half the store. They have such wonderful meats, produce and other food items that I just can’t find at our regular grocery stores, not to mention my hubby has given me a love for Latin and Mexican cuisine that I never fully appreciated until I met him. It was on this shopping trip that I found some Colombian chorizo. I’ve bought and tasted several different kinds of chorizo, but not Colombian. Colombian chorizo is not as spicy as the Mexican version and it does not have as much paprika as the Spanish kind. This is one is a nice change. It has a little hint of smokiness with just a touch of heat. The finely chopped green onions and cilantro mixed into it adds another level of flavor. I decided this would be great in tacos. I really wanted to let the flavors shine so I didn’t want to add a whole lot to it. The potatoes added a nice subtle flavor, while the cilantro slaw added a nice crunch and cooling texture as well, and cilantro is always a nice touch in my book. All of it came together nicely to make one tasty taco.

If you can’t find Colombian chorizo don’t worry, you can use Mexican or Spanish. Mexican chorizo is generally a fresh sausage and is cooked like ground meat or other sausage links. The Spanish version is more like a dried cured sausage, which is closer to the Colombian version.

Here’s what you need to make your own:

*1 large potato; peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes; I used russet potatoes but you can use gold potatoes as well.

*1 Tbs. or more canola oil

*1 lb. pre cooked Colombian chorizo (or any other style of your choosing) chopped

*1 small onion, diced

*salt to taste

*cilantro small bunch roughly chopped and divided; some will be used for the slaw and the tacos

*lime juice

*soft flour or hard corn tortillas; I used both.

For The Cilantro Slaw

*shredded cabbage mix for slaw; I bought the pre mixed kind in a bag.

*mayonnaise to taste

*olive oil to taste

*cilantro to taste

*salt and pepper to taste

*lime juice to taste

Fill a pot with water and add potatoes. Bring to a boil. Boil potatoes until potatoes are almost tender; drain.

While potatoes are boiling, add the ingredients for the slaw in a large bowl.

Mix all of the ingredients together tasting it as you go.

Add in more until it is to your liking; set aside.

In a large skillet (preferably cast iron) add canola oil and heat to medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, add in the potatoes and the onions.

Cook while stirring frequently until potatoes start to brown and onions are soft; about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in a pinch of salt.

Place chorizo in the skillet with the potatoes and onions.

Cook while stirring frequently until chorizo starts to brown; about 3 to 5 minutes. Add some lime juice (about 2 tsp.) and cilantro ( a little less than 1/4 cup). Stir together and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and add in salt if needed.

Warm up the tortillas. If using the hard corn tortillas that come in a box, warm up according to package directions.

Spoon the chorizo potato mixture onto or into the tortillas and top with the cilantro slaw.

Enjoy!

Closing The Door To 2021

A Look Back

Can you believe the year is almost over? For some it went by so fast and to others, well I’m sure it could not have gone fast enough. I wanted to take a look back at some posts that you all seemed to love the most (according to the numbers of views and pins) and some of my favorite moments and posts as well.

So get cozy, grab a glass of wine

or maybe a mimosa if it’s a tad early where you are

or like me a nice cup of coffee.

Cooking With The Air Fryer

Who knew cooking with an air fryer could be such a hit. My post on Air Fryer Hot Dogs is still the highest viewed and shared to this day.

I can see why. If you have an air fryer and you haven’t cooked any of these in there yet….whatcha waiting for? These are amazing cooked this way. This has become mine and hubby’s go to way of cooking hot dogs.

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Patties came in a close second.

Right behind was Air Fryer Corn on the Cob with Smoky Parmesan Cilantro Butter.

Nothing says summer like fresh corn. I know I did my share of freezing corn to make that bounty last and so did you guys because you all seemed to like my post on How To Freeze Corn On The Cob.

Eating Out Once Again

More restaurants began opening their dinning areas. In 2020 I shared one of my favorite local restaurants that temporarily closed due to the pandemic in my post Brick Street Cafe. In early 2021 they were finally able to reopen and I was one very happy girl.

I knew things were finally starting to get back to semi normal with another local favorite Midtown Deli reopening. It was so nice to be able to hear and be around others once again, not to mention I had truly missed their crab cake sandwich.

A Journey Through Food

I asked you all to come with me on this journey in discovering other countries and cultures through cooking some of their beloved dishes. So far we’ve tasted Pepian from Guatemala,

Beef Bulgogi from Korea,

Tibs from Ethiopia

and Yorkshire Pudding

and Pigs in a Blanket

from England pt1 and England Pt2. I hope you are enjoying this journey as much as I am. I’ve learned so many new things for sure.

Going Forward

Lastly and most importantly, I once again thank you. Thanks to all who have stopped by with your comments, conversations and support. This marks year 2 for this little blog and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. This year has brought joy, frustration, new discoveries, laughter and yes some tough times, but hopefully we are all starting to see some lighter days. I think it’s so important to find joy in even the small things. You all bring me joy. I hope you will continue this food blogging journey with me. I hope the new year brings you happiness, good times and may the love of good food continue to bring us all together.

Here’s to a new year!

Look Ma I Baked

Does it count if it’s from a box mix?

In my world yes. I’m sure there are lots of you out there that enjoy a good box mix am I right? Hubby wanted homemade cookies so I baked….well Betty Crocker did the set up I did the work. Not that it was hard work mind you.

These cookie cups turned out tasty I must say.

I won’t show it, but right out of this camera shot, there are sprinkles everywhere….. there was an incident. That’s all I’m saying.

*Note*

I am in no way affiliated with Betty Crocker. Bad things sometimes happen when I bake so I sometimes take the easy route when it comes to baking….and…not to mention hubby snuck it in the cart while grocery shopping.

Apple Cake

My mother in law made a beautiful apple cake for our Christmas Eve dinner. It was really hard not to sneak a slice after it was done baking.

*Mini Update*

I had to update this a little after I finally got to taste this. This cake was such a delicious delight and a perfect ending for our family’s Christmas Eve dinner. This cake is so moist with the hint of apples throughout. The cinnamon sugar adds the perfect touch and a little crunch on the bottom. It’s also amazing with fresh whip cream or vanilla bean ice cream… or why not add both, after all it’s a celebration.

Here is what she used:

*1 box yellow cake mix; use ingredients listed on the box but instead of water use milk

*1 cup sour cream

*3 red apples; thinly sliced

*1 cup sugar

*1 tsp. Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°

Spray a Bundt cake pan with no stick flour baking spray; set aside.

Prepare yellow cake mix according to box directions but add milk instead of the water; mix in the sour cream.

Combine sugar and cinnamon.

Pour some of the cake batter into the bottom of the cake pan. Place some of the apple slices on top then sprinkle with some of the cinnamon sugar mix. Pour another layer of the cake batter on top of the apple mix. Place more apples around on top of the batter then sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar.

Pour on the rest of the cake batter. Top with the rest of the apples and sprinkle with the rest of the cinnamon sugar mix.

Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

Enjoy

One More Day Until Christmas Eve

Enjoying a relaxing morning on this unplanned time off of work with one of my favorite southern breakfast Cheesy Grits with Bacon and a Fried Egg.

These may still be challenging times, but there are also so many gratifying moments. I always try and find the joy in these days and little moments. I think it’s what helps us get thru those hard times that some are still going through. Whether it’s a simple breakfast, cooking good food for loved ones or just simply spending time with family and friends. May you find what brings you joy this season and all the years through.

On a side note, if you are interested in the Cheesy Grits with Bacon and a Fried Egg click away. I made this over a year ago during lockdown. As you can tell it’s still one of my favorite breakfast dishes.

My Food Journey To England Pt2

Pigs In A Blanket

I simply could not turn down the chance to make these, it has bacon after all. How can it not be good.

I have made my share of the U.S. version, which is sausages wrapped in some sort of dough like biscuit dough or croissant dough. I’ve even had them with hot dogs instead of sausages, but never just the sausage wrapped in bacon and baked to a crispy perfection. These were sinfully good. It was very hard not to eat the whole tray.

Pigs in a blanket are traditionally served as a side with a Christmas turkey dinner. These are great also with a roasted chicken or even as an appetizer for New Year’s.

Here’s how you make them…..just in time for Christmas lunch or dinner:

*8 to 12 slices of bacon

*cocktail sausages

*preheat the oven to 400°

Spray a baking sheet with no stick spray or line with parchment paper; set aside.

Cut each slice of bacon in half.

Place one of the sausages on one end of the bacon slice.

Wrap the bacon around the sausage.

Place on the baking sheet seam side down.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is as crispy as you prefer.

*Note* These can be made ahead of time. Just place on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Remove the plastic wrap when ready to bake.

Enjoy!

The Journey Continues

The Journey Continues to

England

Part One

For this country I chose two little dishes, Yorkshire Pudding and Pigs in a Blanket.

The journey to this country is special to me. Ever since I was a little girl and discovered a little sci-fi British show called Doctor Who (ok not so little), I have been drawn to our friends across the pond. It wouldn’t be until many years later that I would actually make friends and meet with some wonderful people from there via online and in person. One in particular helped me immensely in trying to decide what delicious foods I should discover from here. Liz has been a friend for several years. We met online and later I had the pleasure of meeting her in person (wave Liz). If it were not for her and another in particular (yes, you too Ali my friend, I would never forget you.) I would not have met my hubby and had some memorable times that I will always cherish. Those were indeed some of the best times. But that is another story of a group of wonderful people, that although we may not chat everyday, I still consider them as my life long friends.

As I said before I have been drawn to this country, the history, the people, the magnificent shows, and yes, as a child I would even try the accent.

I really hope that I did these two dishes justice. I hope Liz and the UK FoodTribers at my home away from home, FoodTribe, think so at least. So let’s begin with the first one…the one that when I looked through the oven door and saw that those little golden delights had poofed up (not sure if that’s the correct term but hey, it was a proud moment) I did let out a joyous yell.

Yorkshire Pudding

I will confess, for the longest time I thought Yorkshire pudding was…well…a pudding. It wasn’t until I started watching British cooking shows that I found out it is pretty similar to popovers. Yorkshire puddings are commonly a side dish made from a batter of eggs, flour, milk or water and cooked in a bit of oil or beef fat. The first ever recipe for this was in a book titled The Whole Duty of a Woman in 1737. It was listed as a dripping pudding. Wheat flour began to come into common use for making cakes and puddings. Cooks in the north of England had begun baking batter puddings while their meat roasted to make use of the fat that in the dripping pan. It was later published in 1747 in the book The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse with the name Yorkshire Pudding. It was she who renamed the original version. Originally the Yorkshire pudding was served with gravy as a first course to help fill the appetites so diners would not eat so much of the more expensive meat.

Today Yorkshire pudding is still as popular as ever. It still mainly accompanies a Sunday roast dinner. It can be served as a whole in a cast iron type pan or baked in individual tins and is still served with gravy. There is also the ever popular Toad in the Hole which is roasted sausages enveloped in a giant, crispy Yorkshire pudding.

I opted to do individual ones baked in muffin tins. The key to making a successful pudding is letting the batter rest and, as Liz warned, getting the oil very hot before adding the batter. I will admit, I was really skeptical that mine would come out right the first time, but as I stated earlier, those babies did indeed rise. The outside was a nice crispy shell while the inside was tender and moist with an eggy texture. I can see why these are still popular to this day.

Here’s how you can make a Yorkshire Pudding:

*3/4 cups all-purpose flour

*1/2 tsp. salt

3 eggs

*3/4 cups milk

*pan drippings from a roast or canola oil; enough for 1 tsp in each muffin tin

In a bowl, sift together the flour and the salt.

In another bowl add in the eggs and the milk.

whisk until well combined.

Slowly add the flour to the egg and milk mixture.

Whisk until the batter is smooth.

Let the batter rest for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 450°

Pour in 1 tsp. of drippings from a roast or any other meat drippings you can save in each cup of the muffin tin. I used drippings from some bacon I had cooked earlier. If you do not have any meat drippings you can use oil such as canola, although the puddings will not be as flavorful, but they will still be mighty tasty.

Place the tin in the oven until the drippings are hot.

Take out of the oven and fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full with the batter.

You should see the batter start to bubble as soon as it hits the liquid.

Bake until the puddings have puffed up about 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve immediately.

You can store leftovers and reheat in a toaster oven. They also can be frozen in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Enjoy!

Don’t worry, part two of my English food journey featuring pigs in a blanket will be posted soon. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.