Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lisa's Tennessee Vols Buffalo Chicken Dip

Sorry if I get a little wordy on this post...but Tennessee football season begins tomorrow and I just have to supply a little background before the recipe for this awesome tailgating dip shared with me by my fellow co-worker and Alabama fan Lisa Powell.
When I was 12 years old, I used to babysit the Vanzant kids on the weekend while their Momma worked at the hospital and their Daddy did farm stuff and hung out at Chicken Holt's store down the road. Those folks, like we say down here, "were eat up with Tennessee Volunteer football". Charlie would come in for lunch and the first thing he would do would flip on the little radio in the kitchen to WKSR. Tennessee football and Rocky Top would be blaring loud enough you could hear it a mile away. The boys were as involved with each play as their Dad and everyone would be hooping and hollering with joy or anger....depending on how each play turned out.

One time Charlie talked me into driving the straight shift farm truck while pulling a trailer of hay. I was probably 14 and had Jenny riding with me in the cab and Charlie and the boys threw hay off to the cattle. There was a dusting of snow on the ground and it was colder than kraut. But those windows were rolled down; the radio was blasting and we were all cheering on the Big Orange! Everyone survived my lack of driving skills and the Vols brought home another VICTORY!

The first game I saw in Neyland Stadium (1979) just sealed the deal. By then I knew my blood ran orange. There have been plenty of ups (1998 Championship) and downs...but I will never change my colors.

As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing better than SEC football. It doesn't matter who plays who, it's pretty much gonna be one heck of a game. Tennessee-Alabama, Tennessee-Florida, Tennessee-Georgia, Tennessee-South Carolina, Tennessee-Vanderbilt, Tennessee-Kentucky and every fourth year Tennessee-Auburn can raise some pretty intense emotions in living rooms all over the South. Wins are pretty much hard-earned regardless of the final score. After 37 years, my yelling, clapping and jumping ability has been perfected...much to the shame of my children. I am ready for a new season!

"Which SEC team do you follow?" ranks up there with, "now, whose your family?" when a newbie comes to town. The correct answer, besides Tennessee, is anyone playing against Alabama, Georgia or Florida. Avoiding a house-divided is a must. Me marrying an Alabama boy would never happen in my lifetime! It just goes against my beliefs! As I stated earlier, Lisa is a Bama fan through and through. Just look the groom's cake she had made for Michael when they married.


As I said, we're pretty hard core around here.

Why the other day, she posted this nasty picture on my Facebook timeline. Can you believe it? Mmmmmmm. They're rolling high now, but every dog has it's day. I just wish ol' Smokey's days were a little better.
Then there's the Bama balloons she and Tracy gave our boss David for his birthday. Having been born to Tuscaloosa natives and lifelong Alabama fans/alumni was tough enough for this Tennessee-born Vols fan.

So he returned the favor next pay day! However, the one prank played by Meredith has been impossible to top. You just don't mess with someone with Photoshop skills.


Now, having said all that, Tennessee starts up the 2012 season Friday, August 31st against North Carolina State at 6:30 p.m. Will I be watching? ABSOLUTELY! I will also be dipping into this killer Buffalo Chicken Dip. Lisa brought a batch to work the other day and it was so good I had make some for Andy. After a few scoops, I noticed the color was looking pretty close to Tennessee Orange. So here is my choice for an appetizer while watching the Vols play!


INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 large cans all white chicken
  • 2- 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 6 oz. Frank's Hot Wing Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • Frito Lay Scoops
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread in a small baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until nice and bubbly.

GO VOLS!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ham Sandwich Wraps

On the weekends we are working at our place on the Elk River; we like to get a good start on the day by drinking a few cups of coffee and getting right to work. Around 10 or so, I'll go fix one of numerous cold or hot sandwich concoctions and we'll have a little brunch break. These ham sandwich wraps are what I threw together last weekend.

We are just crazy about the FlatOut flatbread from Wal-mart. It's a lot healthier than wheat bread and it makes a great light sandwich. You can add just about anything you want so you don't feel like you're eating the same old thing. Somehow or another, we managed to leave lettuce out of the cooler, so it was missing this time.

INGREDIENTS:
  • Flatout Flatbread Wraps
  • Shaved cooked ham
  • Pickle Sandwich Stackers
  • Hellman's Mayonnaise (mustard optional)
  • Fresh sliced tomato
  • Provolone cheese
Line a plate with paper towels. Lay pickle slices out to drain. 

We used homegrown tomatoes and I like to peel the skin off of them with a sharp knife. Core and slice into 1/4" thick slices. Sprinkle with a little salt and let them sit for at least 10 minutes. The salt will help work some of the extra water out of the tomatoes so your sandwich wrap isn't too drippy. Drain juice and lightly pat with a paper towel.
Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over 2/3 of the flatbread. Layer in this order: cheese slices and several layers of ham, pickles and tomato in the center of the wrap. Fold the bottom of the wrap over and pull the filling to the bottom. Proceed to roll up the rest of the way. Lay on plate seam side down. Cut in half.

Monday, August 27, 2012

World Champion BBQ Ribs

One day I was browsing through Fox's online news and a featured story's headline caught my eye: "How to BBQ like a world champion." I emailed Andy the link to the story and video and the rest is history. Typically we fix ribs on the grill with consistent results. Other times we smoke them on the Bubba Keg or the pit in the backyard. Overall, her directions were very similar to what we were doing with the exception of doubling up on the mustard and rub application and brushing honey at the end. Andy sprays the meat down with apple juice when they're on the pit; so adding it when they were ready to wrap on the smoker was a new step for us too.

Ms. Cookston's recommendation is 225 for two hours and then wrap in foil; do the special seasoning and cook an additional two hours. For whatever reason, that Bubba Keg wants to hover around 325 degrees no matter what. So we stuck to the time we know works on that particular smoker. When we've smoked ribs on one of those charcoal/bullet looking smokers, that lower heat (225) produces some incredible ribs. Low and slow is definitely the way you want to go.

Ingredients:
  • Baby Back or St. Louis style ribs
  • Rib Rub
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Apple Juice
  • Cattleman's Barbecue Sauce
  • Honey 
  • Heavy Duty Extra Long Aluminum Foil

Start with the basic prep for fixing any ribs.
  1. The first thing I recommend is getting a big kitchen garbage bag and laying it out on your counter for all the prep work. (You'll thank me when it comes to clean up time.)
  2. Rinse meat
  3. Strip silver membrane off the back (This will not dissolve if you leave it on!)

This photo (from a previous smoking session) shows how to protect your kitchen
counter from getting nasty during the prep stage!

We normally apply mustard first and then the rub. This specified to apply a coat of the rib rub directly to the meat first. Then, rub the meat down with yellow mustard, covering every part of the meat, even the sides. We used our current favorite McCormick's Applewood rub.



Place ribs on smoker. (We cut the slab in half so it would fit in the smoker better)


If your smoker holds at 225 degrees; after two hours of cooking, it's time for the next seasoning phase. Place ribs on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap each slab in. Don't let the color fool you into thinking they're done. They look good, but they will be as tough as shoe leather.


Add another light layer of rub to both sides of the ribs.


Add another layer of mustard to both sides. We were a little skeptical, but went with it.



Before you wrap these up, you want to add up to 2 cups of apple juice. This will keep the ribs nice and moist. Wrap them up nice and tight and let them smoke for another two hours.
*Notice I snuck a half dozen ears of corn to cook!

Yummy!! These are looking good; but not quite done!

Time for the third seasoning phase! Start coating the ribs in your favorite BBQ sauce. We normally use Andy Top Secret sauce, but we have found a really good substitute when we don't have time to make our own. It's really close to what we make, but there's an extra little kick in there that we can't put our finger on. I know we'll figure it out eventually and add to our own recipe .

Brush the Cattleman's Kansas City Style BBQ sauce all over the ribs.

Squeeze honey on top of the ribs.

Brush it all over the top of the ribs.Close the lid and let the cook unwrapped for 10-15 minutes.

 
I wish these were on a plate in front of me right now!



Adapted from: MelissaCookston, co-owner of Memphis Barbecue Company 








Sunday, August 26, 2012

Quick and Easy Peach Cobbler

I fixed this peach cobbler the other night and had to show you how easy it was to make. When I opened the pantry the can was screaming fix me!! Don't forget to pick up some vanilla ice cream to serve on the side of this warm peach cobbler!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 29 oz. can of peach slices with syrup drained
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt stick of butter in 9"X9" (or similar sized oval) casserole dish in oven. When I turn on the oven to preheat; I go ahead and put the dish in immediately.

Drain the syrup from the fruit. I left a little of it since this can was surprisingly pretty packed with peaches.

Mix flour, sugar, vanilla and milk in a small bowl.

The butter should be bubbling and almost "clarified." You want a hot dish to work with.

When butter is melted and bubbly, pour fruit in dish

Pour batter over the top of the fruit. Do not mix!

Place dish on a baking sheet in case it bubbles over.

Bake until top of cobbler is a very light brown and fruit is bubbly.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Homemade Blackberry Wine Part IV

Well, it's been a little over 6 weeks since we started this 5 gallon jug of homemade blackberry wine. The bubbling action has stopped so it looks like we will be doing some bottling this weekend. I have tested it and it is quite delicious!

We just crushed 3 quarts of fruit to start 3 gallons of muscadine wine (I'll post this soon!) and went out to the little cottage to store it. While I was out there checking out the progress of the blackberry wine, I noticed Andy had a little over a half gallon of cherry wine from last year. I thought we were out as this was what was served at our wedding last year.

I poured up an orange cup full and went in an started dinner shortly thereafter! :-)
It was still as sweet as I remember! Hopefully next year's cherry crop won't be destroyed by a freeze and we'll get to share how we make it. 




Thursday, August 23, 2012

Copycat Chick Fil A Sauce


The next time you whip up your Copycat Chick Fil A chicken strips; choose this option instead of the garden variety Ken's Honey Mustard and BBQ sauce version. I think Blair and I have just about perfected the sauce. There are a zillion options on the internet but this one caught my eye and I thought we'd give it a whirl. It didn't include any BBQ sauce, so I wasn't sure. We both tasted it and it was good, but not 100%. It lacked that little extra smoky bite. I had Blair add the Mesquite Smoke BBQ sauce 1/4 teaspoon at a time until she declared it was lip smackin' good. All I can say is Dip to your Heart's Delight!!!
  • ½ cups Hellman's Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Lawry's Garlic Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Kraft Mesquite Smoke BBQ Sauce
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Money Saving Coupons


SAVINGS ALERT!! New today! Look for the little blue coupon box at the bottom of the first post or individual posts for coupons available in your zip code!! If a specific ingredient has a coupon available; you will see a little icon next to it. I'm all about saving money! 

It's a new feature, so give it a little time to experience the full benefit. The zip code for my small little Southern town is 38478 and I found a total of 10 coupons on the Boston Cream Poke Cake Recipe. I'm curious to hear from some of my followers from larger communities all around the country as to what kind of results you're getting.

As always, thank you so much for following Man, That Stuff Is Good! here and on my Facebook page.

Don't forget to "Like" Man, That Stuff Is Good! on Facebook if you haven't already! When you become a fan you're automatically entered in the special promotion for 250 FB Likes!

Happy eating and savings!!!

Denise 






Monday, August 20, 2012

Lasagna Soup

Soup in the summer? My thoughts exactly! Well, here's one that will change your mind! We are always on the lookout for something new and different to try. You know that feeling you had when you tried taco soup for the first time? Well, get ready to experience that sensation again. 

When the weather was still cool, I received an email with a Lasagne Soup recipe. I printed it and laid it to the side and somehow managed to not find the time to fix it. I've been wanting to eat some homemade lasagne for the past few weeks and I remembered the soup recipe...which was laying in a stack on the computer. I jumped on my smartphone and did a search and found this one from A Farmgirl's Dabbles; quickly read over the ingredient list and picked up the mild Italian sausage, noodles and fire roasted tomatoes I needed to complete the dish.

When you have an Italian dish cooking in your house and garlic bread in your oven...your family knows they are going to be fed well that night! When they walk in the door and smell this heavenly concoction cooking; they'll be setting the table for you before you even realize it! When they taste it; they'll really go nuts! Seriously, if I heard "man, this stuff is good!" one more time...

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. mild Italian sausage
  • 3 cups onion, chopped 
  • 4 heavy tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. Sicilian style Italian blend spices
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 14.5-oz. cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 8 oz. Radiatore pasta
  • Salt and pepper

TOPPING:
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese 


Serve with garlic bread.

**See below for additional cheeses needed for the "bottom of the bowl"! 

 Slice 1-1/2 lbs. of sausage into small pieces. Place olive oil in the bottom of a large soup pot and heat. Add sausage and let it brown. Stirring frequently. Add chopped onions. Cook until they become transparent. Add garlic and spices and blend well.
Once sausage and onions are cooked, add the tomato paste and work through the mixture.
Stir in fire roasted tomatoes, chicken broth and bay leaves. Bring to a rolling boil and let cook on low for 30 minutes. While this is cooking, cook your pasta per the directions on the box.
BOTTOM OF THE BOWL:
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper


Mix the above ingredients in a small bowl, set aside while noodles are cooking.
Now it's time to fix a bowl of goodness! Place a large spoonful of the cheese mixture in the bottom of the bowl.

Cover cheese with cooked noodles.

Spoon the sausage and soup mixture over the top of the noodles. Top with mozzarella cheese. 


Adapted from: A Farmgirl's Dabbles




Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tuna Salad

We have really enjoyed eating salads throughout this gardening season! The mini sweet bell peppers are finally starting to produce. The lack of rain this summer had me really worried that we would go another summer without fresh peppers. We originally bought these colorful mini-bell peppers at Wal-Mart. We liked them so much we saved the seeds from all three colors of peppers and planted them. The other night I had already planned on making a salad with the last of the cucumbers out of the garden and I was so happy to finally get to add some peppers to it. For the past few weeks, Andy had been talking about wanting to eat tuna salad so I thought I'd whip up a bowl to eat with crackers, on the side of our garden salad.
Typically I won't touch tuna salad unless my Mother or I have made it. I have yet to buy any pre-made or in a restaurant that isn't dripping with mayo; watery or just plain boring. Or worse yet, it's oil-packed and there's oil in it. *Gag* We grew up eating the fancy white Albacore tuna with onion and celery diced up in it. This combination on toasted wheat bread is my ultimate favorite. Andy hates celery. He likes the plain ol' tuna. So I have to compromise a little when I fix it for him. Since it tastes good; I'm not going to fuss.

INGREDIENTS:
  • Large can tuna fish in water
  • 1/4 cup (or more) Pickle relish
  • 2-3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • Hellman's mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Drain the water from the tuna fish. If you accidentally bought the oil-packed version, get rid of the oil! I use a little can colander similar to the one below to squeeze all that liquid out.

With a fork, gently shred the tuna. In a mixing bowl add the chopped eggs, onion, pickle relish and work all ingredients together. Once mixed well, add the Hellman's until you have the consistency you want. I like for my tuna salad to be firm and semi-dry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let it chill in the refrigerator at least one half hour before serving.

Serve with crackers; on toasted bread, a bed or lettuce and tomato slices or stuffed into a homegrown tomato.




Friday, August 17, 2012

Boston Cream Poke Cake

Okay all you chocolate lovers out there...Here's an easy dessert to bake with a delicious topping that will tempt you to go back for seconds! There are several food blogs I like to follow for new recipes to test. This one from Oh, Bite It is definitely a keeper. It needs to be kept in the refrigerator; so you get the added bonus of a COOL dessert to enjoy on a hot day. I found two things I would do differently: Use a 9x12 baking dish instead of what I used. The original recipe called for a 9x9. This one was a little bigger than that, and I almost had too much cake and not enough room for the toppings. Number 2: use a HUGE bowl when making the ganache in microwave. I just about had a lava explosion! However...it's the absolute best I've tasted. I immediately imagined drizzling this over my biscuits the next morning!!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 box Pillsbury Classic Yellow Moist Supreme Sugar Free Cake Mix
  • 1- 4.6 oz. box Vanilla Jell-O Cook and Serve Pudding
GANACHE INGREDIENTS:
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 4.5 tbsp. Hershey's cocoa
  • 1.5 cups boiling water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. butter
Prepare your cake mix per the directions on the box.
In a MEDIUM sized bowl, mix sugar, cornstarch and Hershey's cocoa well. Stir in the boiling water and blend well with a whisk. Place in the microwave for 3 minutes on high. I turned my back for like 30 seconds and this stuff started to rise like a cake! Give it plenty of room to grow. Stir several times.  Once it has thickened up, stir in the vanilla and butter. Set to the side with the cake and let it cool a little.

Mix the puddling per the directions on the box.
 With a wooden spoon, poke nice little holes to soak up all that pudding!
Pour the pudding over the top of the cake. I tapped the dish on the counter several times to help it seep into the holes and poured some more until I had a nice smooth coating of "cream". Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for the cake and pudding to cool down.
Pour the chocolate ganache over the top and place back into the refrigerator until you're ready to devour, eat it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Baked Ham

One of my favorite Sunday meals has a baked ham center stage. My favorite cut is a shank portion. This is so easy you'll wonder why you don't fix a ham more often! There's plenty of fat to season the meat as it's cooking, but they seem to yield a lot more meaty slices. And leftovers? For breakfast you can chop up a slice or two for omelets or a ham and mushroom quiche. When lunch rolls around, you can fix a ham salad sandwich or just put a slice on a roll with a slice of Swiss cheese.

When the temperature cools off a little; I'll get Andy to smoke one of these on the Bubba Keg. That definitely puts a different spin on it! Smoked ham is quite the treat!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 10 lb. Shank Portion Ham
  • 12 oz. Diet Sun-drop (or Pepsi or Coke)
Drop the upper rack in your oven to allow ample baking room. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The label says 325 degrees, but I know how my oven bakes and this is what works perfect for me everytime.

Using long aluminum foil, take two pieces and join them to make one extra large piece to wrap your ham in. Lay them on top of each other and fold up about 1/4" where they join. Fold two additional times. Lay in a 9x13 baking dish.

Rinse off ham and don't forget to remove that plastic circle on the bottom. Place ham in the center of the dish. Pour one 12 oz. Diet Sun-drop (or substituted drink) over the top of the ham. Tightly wrap and seal up the ham. Place in oven. 


It takes 20-25 minutes per pound to properly bake a ham. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees. You know when the meat pulls off the bone, it's there.

The ham I baked was a 10 lb. ham. I set the timer on my oven for an hour and a half. When the timer went off, I dropped the temperature to 325 degrees and baked the ham for an additional two hours.

When it is finished cooking, take it out of the oven and let it sit untouched for a minimum of 15 minutes before you cut into it. Speaking of which, I'm fortunate Andy can slice a ham and make it look decent.