Pub Cheese

Pub cheese, also known as beer cheese, is a spreadable, pungent cheese that is always a crowd pleaser.  While the name may imply that it is of Irish origins (pub), it actually has its origins in Kentucky where they hold an annual beer cheese festival.

Most pub cheeses have sharp cheddar, beer and garlic with a bite of cayenne.  Other ingredients can be horseradish, dry mustard, chives and Worcestershire sauce. Continue reading “Pub Cheese”

Crowd Pleasers: Taquitos

Taquitos are a Mexican treat and are also known by other names; taco dorados, rolled tacos and flautas, although flautas tends to be larger in size and sometimes made with flour tortillas.  The name taquito is Spanish for small taco while they may be small in size they are not small in flavor.

These are great for game day, parties and celebrations, like Cinco de Mayo.  You serve them warm with salsa, hot sauce, guacamole, ranch dressing, sour cream, etc.

Because everyone has different preferences for fillings, I have made four variations of this recipe which will yield 15 taquitos per flavor. If you want all of them the same then you will need to multiply the recipe by four, or if you want half and half then multiply the recipe by two, and so on. Continue reading “Crowd Pleasers: Taquitos”

Ranch Roasted Carrots

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I was never exposed to much in the way of vegetables when I was growing up.  My father was forced to eat them as a child and hated them.  He probably didn’t hate the vegetable itself but more likely in the way in which they were cooked, or should I say, overcooked and probably minimal if any seasoning.

Some of the vegetables we did have when I was growing up were, potatoes, peas, corn and carrots, I’ve always loved carrots. Maybe it was the brainwashing that they are good for your eyes and I didn’t want to wear glasses.  Whenever there was a party with a veggie platter, I always went for the carrots and dipped them into gobs of ranch dressing.   Continue reading “Ranch Roasted Carrots”

Peanut Coleslaw

Many people associate coleslaw with the South but it actually comes from the Netherlands where it is known as koolsla.  Here in America it is often a staple for barbecues, a topping for pulled pork and goes well with fried chicken.

Peanut coleslaw is something I had at a barbecue restaurant, I loved it so much more than regular or traditional coleslaw.  It was crunchy, tangy and very satisfying, I looked forward to it more than I did the rest of the meal.  Of course the restaurant wouldn’t give out their recipe so I had to play around with it until I could make a copycat version of it, which after some tweaking, I preferred more than theirs. Continue reading “Peanut Coleslaw”

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Ahhh pancakes!  Makes me think of weekend breakfast when I was growing up.  My mama would make up a big batch of pancakes and she had sausage or bacon to go with it.  Although pancakes come in all sorts of flavors, as do the syrups, I’ve always been partial of simple buttermilk pancakes and maple syrup.  

Pancakes go by a variety of names in America; griddlecakes, flapjacks, hotcakes and their counterparts in other countries such as crepes, blintzes and Dutch baby.  They come in all shapes and sizes, some are stacked, filled, rolled and are found throughout the world.  Some are sweet while others savory and can be served for any type of meal. Continue reading “Whole Wheat Pancakes”

Whole Wheat Waffles

Waffles date back to Medieval times but instead of the grid waffle pattern we are accustom to now they depicted religious symbols.  Nowadays waffles come in all shapes and sizes and nearly every country has their own version of a waffle.  You can find them already made in the freezer section ready to pop in the toaster.  Nearly any restaurant that serves breakfast has waffles on the menu.  Many hotel chains that offer free breakfast have a waffle iron for you to make your own.  Recently there has been a big trend in utilizing the waffle iron to do cornbread, eggs, hash browns and a lot of other delicious foods. 

I wanted to create a healthier waffle with whole wheat goodness and lower the fat by cutting the buttermilk and oil without compromising the taste. I used whole wheat flour, sea salt and baking powder that is then in turn mixed with a little agave nectar, egg, warm buttermilk and unsweetened applesauce.  If you wanted to make it dairy free you can certainly substitute the buttermilk with soy or almond milk and add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Continue reading “Whole Wheat Waffles”

Lemon & Thyme Roasted Asparagus

Growing up I was never forced to eat vegetables, in fact, for the most part they were never cooked.  My mama on occasion would cook herself green beans, cauliflower and cabbage.  Always when my papa was not around, either on a business trip or at work.  I wouldn’t try it, papa said they were nasty and the smell was nasty too. It turns out that my papa’s mama would force him to sit at the table and eat a pile of vegetables he hated which with his stubbornness usually ended in a stand off that lasted hours.  The only vegetables he would eat was succotash, green peas, corn, potatoes and green salad.  It wasn’t until I was around 30 did I try broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus.  Cooked the right way, I loved them all.

Asparagus, by far, is my favorite vegetable.  I love when spring hits and the grocery stores are full of fresh asparagus, the small pencil like size.  Although I have bought the larger ones and surprisingly, some turned out tender as the narrower ones.  When in season, asparagus is really cheap, grocery stores and farmer’s markets run some really good deals on them. Continue reading “Lemon & Thyme Roasted Asparagus”

Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is a staple dish in the South, mostly in the Carolinas.  Pork is widely used in the South because it is inexpensive.  The typical cut of pork used for this recipe is pork shoulder which is also known as pork butt, picnic shoulder or Boston shoulder.  If you would like a leaner pork for this recipe, I’ve made it with pork loin and it works well too.

While some pulled pork is prepared by smoking the meat, others are cooked and braised in the oven and that is how I prepare mine. I start with a large Dutch oven but you can use any type of roasting pan with a lid even a Römertopf works really well for this dish.

Many pulled pork recipes are nothing more than barbecue sauce poured over the meat and baked slowly, I don’t use store bought barbecue sauce because of the unhealthy ingredients.  I lightly spray my Dutch oven with olive oil spray to prevent the roast from sticking.  I then add paprika, minced garlic, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, black pepper, dried thyme, sea salt, pure maple syrup, water and apple cider vinegar.  I don’t rub the roast, I just dump it all in, place the lid on it and place it in the preheated oven and allow it to cook for about 6 hours. Continue reading “Pulled Pork”