Dressing Sauces & Condiments

Homemade Apple Jelly

Turn those leftover apple skins and cores from making homemade applesauce and apple pie into jelly! Tastes great and you get to make the most out of every aspect of the apple.

Homemade Apple Jelly

So after you are done peeling and coring all those apples to make a delicious apple pie, are you supposed to just throw away the skins and cores? No! Don’t you dare throw those precious morsels into the waste basket. They are the perfect candidates for making homemade apple jelly. It make look a bit gross while it cooks down but I promise it results in the best apple jelly. And you will feel resourceful by using every part of the apple.

This recipe uses the skins and cores from 20 pounds of apples, which were used to make a bunch of homemade applesauce and two apple pies. In case you did not just have an apple-fest, you could also use whole apples to make this jelly. Five pounds of whole chopped apples may be substituted for the peels and skins from 20 pounds of apples. The most important part is making sure you have the exact amount of juice and sugar. Happy canning!

One year ago: Graham Cracker Bars

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Biscoff Blondies
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Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce

Make movie theater style nachos at home with with this homemade nacho cheese sauce recipe. No processed cheese.

Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce 1

I cannot believe we have reached the fourth Monday of September already, which means it’s Secret Recipe Club Time! This month I was assigned to Traci’s blog Burnt Apple. Traci has a wide variety of recipes from savory bacon wrapped chicken with goat cheese and basil, to seasonal pumpkin caramel cookies, and fun unicorn poop cookies! Yes unicorn poop and it looks like a lot of fun. Lots of colors and sprinkles! I actually narrowed down my choices to those two cookies but then I saw her recipe for homemade nacho cheese sauce. I know that with fall on the rise pumpkin may have seemed like the better choice but I disagree. I wanted eat nachos while watching football! And since I am part of #10DaysofTailgate currently going on right now I thought it fit perfectly with that theme (and it just may appear in another recipe later this week).

This nacho cheese sauce looks and tastes just like the real deal and there’s no velveeta involved. I loved using fresh pepperjack and cheddar cheese to make this nacho cheese sauce. I bet you could change it up with whatever cheeses you have on hand but of course that will change the flavor. I kind of want to try it with monterey jack and pepperjack for a white nacho cheese sauce. Thanks Traci for letting me poke around your blog this month and I look forward to trying my hand at some unicorn poop soon :-).

Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce 2

One year ago: Corn Salsa

Two years ago: Peanut Butter and Chocolate French Toast

Three years ago: Pumpkin Granola
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Skirt Steak with Kale Chimichurri Sauce

Seasoned skirt streak topped with a kale chimichurri sauce. So much flavor and easy to make!

Skirt Steak with Kale Chimichurri Sauce 2x

Told you I’ve been making a lot of recipes with kale and arugula lately. I had been wanting to make chimichurri for a very long time so when I found a recipe using kale I finally sprung into action. This steak was everything I hoped it would be. Perfectly seasoned, pick in the middle and topped with an amazingly flavorful chimichurri. There was actually plenty of chimichurri leftover and have enjoyed spreading it on sandwiches and burgers. I want to try it in an omlet next. It’s my new favorite condiment!

Skirt Steak with Kale Chimichurri Sauce 3x

One year ago: Eggplant Manicotti with Creamy Pesto Filling
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Homemade Strawberry Jam

Turn those end-of-season strawberries into delicious homemade jarred jam. Other than freezing them, it’s the best way to enjoy berries year round.

Homemade Strawberry Jam

While many of your have just started picking strawberries at your local U-pick farm, in east Tennessee strawberry season is ending and we are beginning blueberry and raspberry picking season. Which means it’s the perfect time to make jam out of those end of season strawberries. While jam making is not something I normally dive in to, my dad has made jam and jelly for as long as I can remember and therefore has all the tools to do so. We actually made this jam at the same time as the strawberry syrup.

One year ago: Mexican Hot Dogs with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Cream
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Homemade Strawberry Syrup

Homemade strawberry syrup only requires two ingredients: strawberries and sugar. Whip up a batch for breakfast this weekend.

Homemade Strawberry Syrup

Not only is my dad the king of pancakes (amongst other things), but he also makes his own syrup. Growing up in upstate NY we had the luxury of having a small patch of woods behind our house with sugar maples, which my dad would tap in the winter to collect some of their sap which would be boiled down into maple syrup. Sadly I did not appreciate it as a kid and only wanted Mrs. Butterworth’s. Since my parents moved to TN he cannot make his own maple syrup anymore but still continues to make homemade strawberry syrup which has always been my favorite anyway. I love serving it over waffles, pancakes, or French toast topped with even more strawberries. We made a huge batch from one of our strawberry picking excursions, multiplying the recipe below in order to make 5 quarts. This is one of the reasons why they own a chest freezer.

One year ago: Therapy Brownies

Three years ago: Chicken Parmesan Quesadillas
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Baked Reuben Taquitos with Thousand Island Dipping Sauce

Irish meets Mexican in these baked Reuben taquitos with a thousand island dipping sauce. Classic Reuben flavor with a twist.

Baked Reuben Taquitos with Thousand Island Dipping Sauce

St. Patrick’s Day may be over but Reubens are good year-round, which is why you should use up any leftover corned beef that remains to make these taquitos. Oh yea you better believe I mixed Mexican and Irish into one amazing appetizer (or entree). I was inspired to do such a thing after experiencing Irish eggrolls for the first time and figured I could expand it into other food genres. Cooked corned beef is mixed with shredded cabbage and creamy swiss, then rolled into white corn tortillas to be oven-fried with a light spray of cooking oil. While they bake, whip up the thousand island dipping sauce and you’ll be ready to dive in.

P.S. Job hunt news: I had a second phone interview for the job I told you about last week! The one with the writing assignment. Overall I think it went well and enjoyed the conversation. Unfortunately I blanked and then blundered a bit over one question, but managed to compose myself and continue on without another hitch. Hopefully I will receive good news in a week or two regarding the next step in the process!

One year ago: Raw S’mores Cookie Dough Bites

Two years ago: Corned Beef with Blackberry Mustard Glaze
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Homemade Spicy Ranch Seasoning Mix

Need ranch seasoning/dressing/dip for your holiday party or dinner, but don’t feel like venturing to the store? Then I am here to rescue you! (Assuming you have all these ingredients in your pantry.) This ranch seasoning mix can be made to use immediately or stored for later use. I decided to make it spicy, but if you prefer a non-spicy, traditional version then omit the red pepper.

Homemade Spicy Ranch Seasoning Mix

One year ago: Apple Pecan Pie

Two years ago: German Pancakes

Three years ago: Chocolate Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies
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Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

Normally for Single Serving Sunday I try to share recipes that only make one serving, but with the upcoming Thanksgiving feast I decided to do something special – a Thanksgiving meal that serves two. Many recipes for Thanksgiving produce a magnitude of servings, but what about the people out there only cooking for two, or four? This menu I have prepared easily serves 2 with leftovers. Because who doesn’t want leftovers from Thanksgiving? That being said, the turkey could serve four but if you have hearty eaters you may want to double the sides.

This dinner consists of a slow cooker turkey tenderloin with gravy, Greek yogurt-rosemary rolls, bagel-bacon stuffing, roasted brussels, twice baked sweet potatoes, cranberry-pomegranate sauce, and pumpkin crème brulee for dessert. Take a moment to be jealous.

 Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin

My turkey tenderloin came out so juicy and flavorful that it will be hard to convince me to cook a whole turkey in the future. It literally fell apart when I lifted it out of the pot. By using a slow cooker I was also able to do whatever the heck I wanted in the oven, which is a huge perk for those of us with only one oven (one day I hope to be spoiled with a double oven). Even the gravy was amazing after cooking in all those delicious juices.

Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin with Gravy

As you are aware, I have a habit of adding Greek yogurt to anything I possibly can so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it shows up here in dinner rolls. The rosemary really sold me on these rolls. If you don’t like rosemary, please substitute for another herb because they will rock your world with their subtle herby-ness. You can also prep these the day beforehand and refrigerate before the last rise. The next day, take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to bake them.

Greek Yogurt-Rosemary Dinner Rolls

Then there’s the stuffing. I’ve seen stuffing made with all types of bread but this was the first recipe I had seen using bagels. I originally set aside two corn muffins for stuffing, but those were thrown into the freezer once I discovered I could use a bagel instead. I freaking love bagels! And I was not disappointed by the trade-off, especially since there was bacon involved.

Bagel and Bacon Stuffing

For a green side I chose brussels sprouts. Only a couple Thanksgivings ago I discovered that I no longer hated them and actually became obsessed. As a result, they are nostalgic to me at this time of year. Just a simple roasting and a drizzle of balsamic is all they needed.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Growing up we usually had both regular mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes but knew I would burst if I tried to add both onto this already long lineup. I went with a twice baked sweet potato that is topped with pecans and coconut. Although it is less sweet than a marshmallow topping, it has a crunchier topping that will make you forget about those puffy white things (no offense marshmallows, I still love you).

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without some cranberry sauce. This version uses pomegranate juice for a more complex flavor. This can be made the day beforehand or even a few days before to minimize the amount of work you have to do on the big day. But if you do have to whip it up the same day, rest assured that it will only take 20 minutes.

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce

Of course, once you’ve stuffed your face you’ll still find room for dessert, right? Especially for pumpkin crème brulee. I know you may initially think it’s a crime to not have pumpkin pie but it’s basically pumpkin pie and crème brulee all in one. Are you really going to be upset by having both?

Pumpkin Creme Brulee 1

Now for some tips on how I timed everything in order to be hot and ready all at the same time. An hour before turkey is done cooking (mine only took 4 hours), take rolls out of fridge (if prepared the night before), toast the bagel for stuffing, and prep the brussels sprouts. Bake the stuffing and brussels at the same time and with 20 minutes of cook time remaining, add the sweet potatoes and rolls to the oven. At that time, remove the turkey from the slow cooker and prepare the gravy. Slice up the turkey and serve! Then once your belly has digested a little to make room for dessert, torch the creme brulee just before you’re ready to dig in.

 Pumpkin Creme Brulee 2

One year ago: Buckeye Cupcakes

Two years ago: Apple Blackberry Pie

Three years ago: Cranberry Sauce
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Pass the Cook Book Club: Ina Garten’s Foolproof Ribs with BBQ Sauce

It’s that time of the month again! No not that, sick-o…. it’s the 4th Thursday and the month and therefore Pass the Cook Book Club time! For July, we were given three recipes from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten. I almost made the blondies but ended up going for the ribs as I have never cooked them myself before.

PCBC-post-image

I prepared the BBQ sauce the day before to make my life easier the next day when cooking the ribs. The BBQ sauce alone smelled amazing as it simmered on the stove and this recipe made a TON of BBQ sauce (I had a lot of BBQ sauce leftover, but I am actually excited about it because it’s delicious). Then the next day, my plan-ahead-preparations were thrown off by going to the store to buy the ribs and finding out they were frozen solid! I then had to thaw them in the sink full with water but it worked fairly quickly.

Finally, once they were in the oven topped with BBQ sauce, their aromas began seeping through the surrounding rooms. Despite the treat my nose was enjoying, I was still nervous somehow about whether they would be good or not because I am not a grill-master. But as soon as they were transferred to the grill I was convinced they had to be good when one of the bones literally fell off the meat. This was further verified upon finally sinking my teeth into the ribs and cleaning off every bone – not a trace of meat left on those suckers! Foolproof Ribs

One year ago: Strawberry Malted Pancakes

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Sandwich Bread
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Mexican Hot Dogs with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Cream

When grocery shopping I always bring reusable shopping bags and have never run into a cashier that seemed confused by them. However, half the time I bring them into other stores such as Target, Marshalls, etc. the cashier starts looking for a bar code tag even though the first thing I said to them upon approaching was “Hi, I am using my own bag today”. Reusable bags are common enough these days to not have it be so odd to bring one into a regular department store. Besides, I’m not going to avoid plastic bags at the grocery store just to acquire them elsewhere. I do use them for my small bathroom trash can and really should work on an alternative, but I don’t need very many to meet that call to duty.

Which brings me to a cool thing happening on the west coast (other than my brother, sister-in-law and nephew moving there in a month) – bans on plastic bags! It started in San Francisco in 2007 and has slowly spread to other major cities over the years such as Los Angeles and Sacramento. Chicago, Portland and Dallas look like they might be next. So start busting out those reusable bags if you haven’t already!

Oh and food? Yes you are here for food not my ramblings and I am here to tell you to make these hot dogs. They are regular turkey hot dogs topped with Mexican inspired deliciousness. It involves a salsa made from corn, jalapeno, avocado and some seasonings. Then some chipotle peppers come out to play mixed with Greek yogurt for a perfect cream topping. I even served them with some spicy sweet potato fries, which were also dipped in any leftover cream.

Turkey Dogs with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Cream

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