Hot Dog Chili

When I was a kid, there were a lot of weekends we had either hamburgers or hot dogs for dinner. Looking back, it was probably because it’s a cheaper meal, easy to fix on a busy day and we loved them. I mean, who doesn’t love a good hot dog with chili. Down here in the South, most restaurants serve hot dogs topped with chili or as we call it, a chili dog. I thought that’s how everyone ate their hot dogs…..hey, I was a kid what can I say. My hubby, who is from up North, wasn’t quite sure what to make of a hot dog with chili not to mention that it doesn’t contain beans. He pretty much loves them now. My mom and dad always made their chili from scratch. My recipe is pretty much they way they made it….and my mom still does to this day, but of course I’ve tweaked it a bit. It’s great topped with ketchup, mustard and even a sliced pickle or two. This also makes a great chili cheese sandwich…..but that’s for a later post so stay tuned.

Here’s what you need:

*1 LB or ground beef; I use a leaner beef for this

*3/4 cups ketchup or more to taste

*2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce or more to taste

*2 tsp. mustard or more to taste

*1 TBS chili powder or to taste

*1 tsp. onion powder or more to taste

*1/4 tsp salt or more to taste

Heat a large pan to medium high heat and add ground beef, break up into very small pieces as it cooks; drain if needed.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the remaining ingredients.

Mix well to combine.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for abut 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve over hot dogs and add your favorite toppings.

*Note*

This can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Looking Back on 2020

As 2020 is coming to a close (thank goodness) and hopefully 2021 will be a much better year, I wanted to take a weee look back and say thank you. Yes, you! Thank you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and being a part of my food blogging journey that I began almost 1 year ago…..January 13 to be exact. My very first post was my Cheese Stuffed Burgers.

I remember I was excited to be starting a new journey and nervous that I was going to get it all wrong, but I learned along the way. I learned to just be myself and share what I enjoy most. Here is a look back at some of my favorite moments and some of yours as well it seems (in no certain order).

  1. Crash Course on What is Freezer Safe After Surviving The Hunger Games aka Food Shopping:

When things came to a screeching halt, like many of you, I only went out for essentials. Who knew something as simple as grocery shopping would turn into quite the adventure to say the least. Just to find meat, much less steak for a nice steak dinner was nearly impossible. The carnivore in me was ecstatic to be able to come across said steak, by accident really, but as in my post for a Ribeye Steak Dinner I got to share one of my food loves.

We also had to deal with the bare isles in the grocery stores. No toilette paper became the norm, no cooking oil…odd but ok, but what did you do when you scored 20 lbs. of butter? Ok, so maybe not that much, but I had some ask if milk, butter and other items could be frozen. So alas I shared my experience on what could be frozen in my post Surviving Thunderdome.

I recently came across this on Amazon.

These silicone stashers bags replace zip top bags. These are great for freezing and I use a lot of freezer zip top bags so I thought it would be good to try.

I got the 1/2 gallon size. I’ll be honest with you, they are expensive so I bought mine when they were on sale. I love it. I’m hoping to get another one when they go on sale again.

2. Anniversary Dinner and the I-Don’t-Know-Whatchamacall -It:

I got to share mine and hubby’s at home anniversary dinner in my post Anniversary Dinner and a Tasty Mystery Delight

I still have no clue what that delicious, crunchy delight was but I still dream of it *sigh*.

3. You Really Like Breakfast Sandwiches

Apparently most of you share my love of breakfast foods. When I looked back to do this post, I realized that the top two posts were the Cheesy Bacon Hash Brown Waffles Topped with a Fried Egg

And the Ham, Cheese and Hash Brown Breakfast Sandwich with an Over Easy Egg Those are some of my favorites as well.

4. The Baking Challenge and I Did Not Burn Down My Kitchen

I accepted a dessert challenge and baked a BChocolate Pudding Cake. Baking is not my thing as I shared with you in my The Christmas Cake Disaster Of ’93

I have to say, I was proud of myself that this cake turned out really well and no pot holders were harmed.

5. Last But Never Least

Lastly, I can not tell you all that have stopped by and continued to read my little food blog how grateful I am. This has helped me stay sane to say the least, through this year. I have made friends here and also from following some of you on your own blogs. I feel truly blessed. As the new year rolls in, I wish all of you happiness, good health, and that we continue to share the things that bring family, friends and acquaintances together…. the love of food. May our journey continue and here’s to a new year!

Cheesy Mexican Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

On Christmas morning we gather at my aunt’s house for a family breakfast. She always comes up with the best breakfast casseroles. This is a spin on a few of those. Hubby once again came up with the idea, but wanted something that could be eaten as a hearty breakfast or would make a great dinner. It has a layer of hash browns, beef that’s packed full of flavor, salsa, eggs and can’t forget all the wonderful cheese. This is even great to make the night before and pop in the oven the next morning.

Here’s what you need:

*1 lb ground beef

*2 tsp. Onion powder

*1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

*2 tsp. Hungarian paprika

*1/2 tsp. salt

*1/2 tsp. Ancho chili powder, or more to taste

*1/2 tsp. dried oregano

*1 tsp. Cumin

*1 tsp. Coriander

*3 cups shredded hash browns; I used the frozen kind.

*1 small jar of mild or medium salsa

*1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

*8 eggs

*cracked pepper

*1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat a large pan to medium high heat, add ground beef.

Break up the ground beef while browning; drain if needed.

Add all of the herbs and spices to the beef

Stir to mix and cook for about 1 minute more. Take off of the heat and set aside.

Spray a 9X9-inch casserole dish with non stick spray. Add hash browns to the bottom of the dish.

Add the ground beef on top of the hash browns.

Spoon the salsa over the beef.

Then layer on the cheese.

In a large bowl, crack in the eggs; add salt and cracked pepper to taste.

then pour in the milk. Whisk together until combined.

Pour the egg mixture over the top of the cheese.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until eggs are set.

*Note:

If you are not going to bake this right away skip this step. Instead, cover tightly with foil and refrigerate. Take casserole out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Pour milk mixture over the top then bake.

Serve and enjoy!

Simple Chicken Salad

This is a great way to use up any leftover rotisserie chicken. It takes no time to prepare and it’s great on sandwiches or even by itself with some crackers on the side.

Here’s what you need:

2 1/2 Cups diced rotisserie chicken or any other cooked chicken. You can use more or less, this is what I had leftover from a whole rotisserie chicken.

1/2 Cup mayonnaise + 1 Tbs at a time until you get the desired amount in your mix.

1/2 tsp. Dill weed or more to taste

1/4 celery seed or more to taste

1/8 tsp salt or more to taste

cracked pepper to taste

1/4 tsp. Lemon juice or more to taste

In a medium bowl, add all of the ingredients.

Mix well. Taste after mixing and add any more of the ingredients if needed.

Serve on bread or by itself with a side of crackers.

Enjoy!

Easy Salsa

My very first post on my blog was my Salsa recipe for some Super Bowl noshing. Now that football season is back….. much to my hubby’s uncontainable excitement…..I thought why not post my easier version, after all, watching all those games requires some all day football snacking.

Here’s what you need:

*2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes

*1 10 0z. can diced tomatoes with green chilies; if you like chilies in your salsa, just add another can of diced tomatoes.

*1 small onion, roughly chopped

*2 cloves of garlic

*1 tsp. garlic powder

* 1 TBS lime juice, or more to taste

* 1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste

* 1/4 tsp cumin

* 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped; or more or less to taste

In a food processor, add all ingredients except for cilantro. Pulse a few times to mix everything together.

Add cilantro

Pulse until you have desired consistency. Taste to see if you need to add any more spices.

Pour into a serving bowl, grab some chips and commence snacking.

To store, place in a container with a tight fitting lid and place in refrigerator. This can be kept for about 5 days.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Marinara Sauce

Meatballs. I think everyone who likes these round, flavorful pieces of meat has their own recipe….. kind of like a good spaghetti sauce. It might be the quick and easy kind, or the kind like grandma used to make simmering away in a special sauce for hours. It took me a while to get mine just the way I wanted them. This is my basic recipe. I use these same meatballs with my spaghetti sauce, for meatball sliders and meatball subs. These I made for the slow cooker with a marinara sauce. These turn out tender and so flavorful. I like to put them under the broiler for a few minutes before adding them in the slow cooker. This seems to help them hold their shape better.

Here’s what you need.

*1 ib ground beef

*1/2 small onion, finely chopped

*2 garlic cloves, minced

*(optional)1 TBS Penzey’s Beef Roast Seasoning

This is my go to spice mix for meatballs, meat loafs, beef tips and so much more. You do not have to use this, instead 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. sweet paprika and 1/2 tsp. marjoram

*1 tsp. dried parsley

*1/2 tsp. dried sage

*1/2 tsp. salt, or more to taste

*1.2 tsp cracked pepper, or more to taste

*1/4 C. Parmesan cheese; finely grated + more for garnish

*1/3 C. bread crumbs

*1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

*1 egg

*1 jar marinara sauce

Add all of the ingredients, except for marinara sauce, in a large bowl.

Lightly mix until combined.

But don’t over mix or the meatballs will become tough.

Form into balls.

You can make them any size you want, just keep them all them the same size so they will all cook evenly. If i’m making these for spaghetti, I tend to make them a little bigger than I would when I’m using these for subs or sliders.

Preheat the broiler.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with no stick spray. This makes clean up a little easier. Place the meat balls on to the baking sheet.

Broil for about 8 minutes, turn them over and broil for about another 8 minutes.

Place the meatballs into the slow cooker.

Pour the marinara sauce over the meatballs.

Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

Sprinkle a little Parmesan over the top before serving.

Brick Street Cafe

There’s a little cafe near down town where the sweet tea flows freely and southern hospitality comes naturally. This has been one of my favorite places to go for lunch on a Saturday for years. This is one of those places where you meet up with your friends for a girls lunch out or take your sweetie to grab a leisurely bite to eat.

The first thing you notice when you walk thru the big double doors, is all the colors.

Each room has a different color and different design.

Everything feels fun and inviting. Almost like you’ve stepped into someone’s home. Whenever I stop by, I’m always greeted by Miss Sue calling out “My friend!” and embracing me in a warm hug.

Sarah and Jim might own the cafe, but Miss Sue is really the legend there, as they say, she’s the hostess with the mostest. She might be in her 80’s (and she’s not ashamed to tell you that either), but she keeps everything in line and stops to give hugs and greetings along the way. Not only is her personality and caring self famous, but so is her chicken salad sandwich….Miss Sue’s Chicken Salad Sandwich to be exact. It’s a delicious combination of chicken salad with walnuts, cheddar cheese and onions on honey wheat bread.

There are many variety’s of sandwiches to choose from. My favorite is the crab cake sandwich.

I have a weakness for crab cakes and they have one of the best…..a nice sized crab cake topped with their remoulade sauce on a sandwich bun.

If you are a lover of grilled cheese, there is an awesome Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich….melted cheddar and mozzarella cheeses with bacon crumbles and green onions. I like to pair this with a nice tomato dill soup.

There is everything from shrimp and grits, salads, fruit and brie plates and even a “love muffin”….. a muffin stuffed with cream cheese and topped with raspberry jam. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it all.

But you can’t talk about the food and not talk about the cakes. Every afternoon at 12:07……yes 12:07… the music begins to play and out come the chefs, waiters and staff each carrying a variety of to die for cakes. They carry their bounty around the tables so you can get a great view of all their sinfully, delicious treats. There is the chocolate cake, the peanut butter cake and peanut butter pie, the paddy cake, the ever famous sweet potato pie.

Sadly, I don’t like sweet potato, but I can assure you, if you ask anyone else they will say it’s the best. Those are just a few. My favorite is the coconut cake.

The light, fluffy layers surrounded by decadent vanilla cream and coconut flakes. *sigh*. It’s heaven on a plate.

I’m counting down the days until I can go back there again. For now, like so many other places around town, I can get a meal to go or a cake to order, but there is just something about stepping thru those big double doors, seeing everyone relaxing and having a great time, and hearing the oooooo’s and awwwww’s from the bridal or baby showers at the tables nearby. So I will continue to wait patiently until I can sip on that sweet tea and dig into that coconut cake once again.

Pizza Hot Dogs

If you’re tired of hot dogs done the same way, this puts a tasty twist on your average dog. If you like pepperoni pizza, then this one is for you. There is pepperoni, beef hot dogs, pizza sauce and cheese all mixing and mingling together in one single hot dog bun. This also is cooked in the oven, so basically you put it all together, throw it in the oven for 30 minutes and you have dinner… or lunch if you prefer…or if you’re like my hubby…breakfast.

Here’s what you need:

*Hot dogs buns

*pepperoni

*hot dogs

*pizza sauce; homemade or from a jar

*shredded cheese ( I used a Colby Jack and Cheddar mix)

Preheat oven to 350°

Place the hot dog buns in a baking pan and open, but not too far or the buns will split. Add a layer of pepperoni on the bottom.

Place hot dog on top of the pepperoni.

Next, spoon pizza sauce over the hot dogs.

load on the cheese…..

Cover with foil.

* Here’s a tip: Spray foil with non stick spray so the cheese will not stick to the foil while cooking.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Blue Box Mac and Cheese

One of my weaknesses is mac and cheese. I adore homemade, especially the kind my grandmother used to make….which will be a new post in the near future I’m thinking….but every now and then I get a craving for the kind that mom made me when I was a kid. You know the one…..the one in the blue box that some will never admit he or she loves, but keeps a box hidden way back in the darkest spot in the cabinet.

Yes, this is the one. There is still something about waiting for those noodles to get just right, then stirring in the milk and butter…and yes, even dumping in that powdery cheese. I know, to some it’s a horrible site. Maybe I like it so well because it reminds me of my childhood. I even love that sound it makes when your spoon sinks through all that cheesy goodness and scoops out a heap. *sigh* It’s almost like a warm hug. Too far? Ok, but you know what I mean, right? I think during these times we all need a little comfort.

Is there something that you find comforting and like to eat that not many find it as appealing as you?

So as you ponder that question, I’ll be here sitting with my spoon and enjoying every bite of my blue box mac and cheese.

Eggs With Chorizo and Potatoes

This picture doesn’t do this dish justice. I was debating if I should even post this since it really taste better than it looks. I have quite a bit of chorizo left in the freezer. I used some to make my Chorizo Cheese Burgers With Guacamole. Hubby wanted breakfast for dinner so I thought, why not mix the chorizo and eggs together. To make it a little heartier, I also added some potatoes.

Here’s what you need:

*canola oil

*2/3 C diced potatoes

*1tsp garlic powder; or more to taste

*salt to taste

*1/2 small onion, chopped

*1/3 lb Mexican chorizo ( you can use Spanish if desired, Mexican is what I have on hand)

*8 eggs

*hot sauce; to taste

*cracked pepper; to taste

*dried parsley

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat, add canola oil. When oil is hot, add diced potatoes and chopped onions. Cook until potatoes start to turn crispy, stirring occasionally. Add garlic powder and salt, stir to mix with potatoes and onions.

Add chorizo to the pan, breaking it apart while it cooks with the potatoes and onions; about 5 minutes.

Crack eggs into a bowl, add a few dashes of hot sauce.

Beat eggs until well blended.

Turn heat down to medium low. Pour eggs into the skillet with the potatoes and chorizo; add cracked pepper to taste.

When eggs begin to set, with a spatula slowly begin stirring and pulling eggs across the pan.

Continue pulling and stirring the eggs until eggs are incorporated with chorizo mixture and eggs are cooked through.

Place into a bowl or plates, sprinkle with parsley and serve.