Warm Brussels Sprout Slaw With Bacon

3/4 lb thick sliced bacon, cut into 1/2 inch strips
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 lbs. Brussels Sprouts, thinly sliced in a food processor
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 tablespoon of garlic powder


1. In a large skillet, cook cut bacon over high heat.Stirring until crisp, roughly 6 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towel and save bacon grease.

2. Melt butter into bacon grease

3. Add Brussels in batches if skillet not large enough to cook all of them at once. Add powders to Brussels sprouts. Cook for 8 minutes or until soft, but still maintaining the bright green color.

4. Place cooked Brussels sprouts in a bowl and sprinkle cooked bacon over sprouts and serve warm.


Chicken & Dumplings

This is one of my go to meals. Colorado's weather in March bounces back and forth, one day 70 degrees out and the next day, snowing with the high of 20. Very hard to plan meals with this going on and I swear my teenager has a tape worm because he's always hungry and lately have not been making enough to fill his tummy. This is one of those meals that will leave the hungriest guy completely full.

3 lbs of chicken thighs ( seems much but remember, you have bones)
4 cloves of garlic, just smashed enough to smell them
1 medium yellow or sweet onion
3 ribs of celery
4 carrots
1 tbsp of onion powder
1 tbsp. Garlic powder
1 tbsp. Salt
1 tsp. Dried basil
5 tbsp. Chicken bouillon, if using the cubes, only 3 of them, but I use better than bouillon's brand.

1 ½ cup cake flour/ can us all purpose, but the cake flour makes the dumplings more "airy"
1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp of fresh herbs of your choice ( I like chives)
5 tbsp unsalted butter
¾ tsp sugar
2/3 cup milk


In a dutch oven boil water and place chicken in the boiling water for an hour to 2 hours, depending the thickness of the chicken. Trust me, boiling the chicken will give you the starter broth , and the most moist chicken you will ever taste.
While that is boiling, smash your garlic, dice the onion, slice the carrots and celery into bite size pieces.
Once the chicken is fully cooked, set aside until cool enough to handle and strain the “chicken water” with a fine mesh strainer and save the water, and put back into the pot. Bring back to a boil. You can use 2 forks to tear the chicken apart but I use my hands. Throw away chicken bones and skin. While destroying your chicken, place remaining ingredients for the soup into the dutch oven, return chicken meat into the same pot and cover. Boil until veggies are firm to add the dumplings.

Sift all dry ingredients, finely chop your choice of herb/s, add the flour mixture. Melt butter and add to milk and mix with the dry. Mixture will thick like paste. I use a cookie scoop to add the dumplings to the soup, or a soup spoon will work fine. Don't make them too big or they will not steam correctly.

Bring the soup to a rolling boil, quickly add the wet dumplings to the soup and cover with lid. Takes 10-15 minutes for the dumplings to steam in the soup. DO NOT lift the lid while cooking, we want the dumplings to steam not boil, boiling them will make them dense and mushy instead airy.
The flour from dumplings should thicken the soup but for some reason it doesn't or you want it thicker, follow the directions for making gravy with corn starch and add until desired thickness.

Enjoy, and if any is left... wait for the soup to cool and refrigerate. Seems even better the second day but we never have leftovers. 

Pepper Jelly

Makes 6- ,1 cup jars

2 Cups of each, red & green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
8 of your choice of hot peppers such as ghost peppers/jalapeƱos, seeded. (if you like it hotter, leave in some seeds)
½ tbsp. Unsalted butter ( this will reduce the foamy stuff that forms at the top when everything is said and done )
1 cup Apple cider vinegar
1 pkg. Fruit pectin
5 cups sugar

PLACE peppers in 6 qt. Sauce pot. Add vinegar. Stir in pectin. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

LADLE immediately into prepared jars. Keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks but if you're not going to eat that much jelly in that time frame, here is a great video on how to give your jellies a water bath to keep them fresh and sealed. 


Caribou Lou

Now that halloween has gone and past and putting away the decorations, I see the "fall" decor and just sigh. The holidays are here. Between the holidays and football season, Food and drinks with friends are in our future. Every year other than the turkey for Thanksgiving and a prime rib for Christmas, I try to do something different or perfecting my dishes, but the one thing that I honestly don't think about is mixed drinks. Sure, wine and imported beer are great to drink with our dinners but I'm starting to get bored and want to step out of my comfort zone. My son is starting to listen to various types of music and rap (hip hop) has been one of them. I was searching for drinks when I heard Tech N9ne singing his song Caribou Lou and remember having it once at a comedy club a couple years ago and was mouth watering and strong, with that I decided that I was going to master this drink. After several attempts and a drunk husband, I got the ratio down.  1 oz equals one standard shot glass.

1 1/2 oz 151 proof rum
1 oz Coconut rum
5 oz pineapple juice

Shake well and serve with ice in a highball glass, add pineapple slice to glass for garnish. 

Pecan Pie Bars

    1 container of pre-made raw cinnamon rolls (8 to 12 count)

    3 eggs
    1 cup light corn syrup
     1/2 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
     2 tablespoons butter, melted
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 2/3 cups chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray. Take cinnamon rolls and form a rectangle and flatten with rolling pin and cook until done 5 to 10 minutes depending on oven and altitude, so basically saying watch until desired crispness.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, corn syrup, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons margarine, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the chopped pecans. Spread the filling evenly over the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  3. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set.

    Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into bars with a sharp knife and enjoy!        

Cornish Game Hen


    2 Cornish game hens
    6 lemon wedges
    8 whole green onions, trimmed.
    2 tablespoon grape seed oil
    3 tablespoons butter, melted
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
    8 small red potatoes, halved


    Place hens in a greased roasting pan, breast side up. Gently lift skin from breasts. Place two lemon wedges and one green onion, cut-up, into the center cavity of each hen. Tie legs of each hen together; turn wings under backs.
    In a small bowl, stir together oil, butter, lemon juice and garlic. Brush half of mixture over hens. Sprinkle hens with salt and pepper.
    Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Add potatoes and remaining whole green onions to roasting pan. Brush hens with remaining butter mixture. Bake 40-45 minutes longer or until meat juices run clear and potatoes are fork tender. If you prefer crispy skin, broil, just the hens until desired crispness.
    Remove hens to serving platter. Stir red potatoes and green onions to coat with pan drippings. Serve potatoes and onions with hens.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Bread

I make these for the boys all the time. I prefer to use fresh blueberries but as winter comes along, finding tasty fresh berries are hard to find here in Colorado so I make due with frozen. I rinse them and sprinkle just enough sugar to give them a boost and let them thaw at room temperature. If the loaf actually lasts through the night, pop in the microwave for 10 seconds and it makes a tasty breakfast with coffee. Enjoy!

       For the yummy bread:
          ½ cup Salted Butter
       ½ cup Sugar
       1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
       2 whole Egg Yolks
       1 ¾ cup All-purpose Flour ( I like using King Arthur)
       ½ teaspoon Baking Powder 
           ⅓ cups Milk
       1½ cup Blueberries (If using frozen, make sure that you strained every       ounce of water otherwise it will take longer and meaning a burnt top.)
    2 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
    2 whole Egg Whites
    ¼ cup White Sugar
    8 ounces (1 package) room temperature Cream Cheese
    ½ cup Sugar
    1 ½ Tablespoon Flour
    1 Egg
    1 Tablespoon lemon zest (optional)
    2 Tablespoons Sugar
    ½ teaspoons Vanilla
    1 teaspoon Water

    For the bread:
    Cream butter and sugar (1/2 cup) until fluffy. Add salt and vanilla. Add egg yolks (save the egg whites as you’ll need them later) to the sugar mixture; beat until creamy. Set aside.
    In another bowl, combine flour (1 1/2 cups) and baking powder. Add this mixture, alternately with milk to egg yolk mixture.
    Coat berries with 1 tablespoon flour and add them to the batter.
    In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar small amounts at a time (1/4 cup), and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter.
    Pour 1/2 of the batter (or a little less) into a floured and greased bread pan. Layer the filling over the batter and then finish with remainder of batter. This will create a layer of “cheesecake” between the blueberry batter.

    For the filling:

    In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, egg and lemon zest; beat until smooth. Set aside.

    Stir together the glaze ingredients and set aside.
    Pour glaze over top of unbaked loaf and bake at 350F for 55-60 minutes.

Photo credit:

Sunday Football Corn Tempura

I make this about once a month during the year and even more during the winter season for football games. It goes well with a N.Y strip or fried chicken wings.
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/3 COLD water or COLD soda water
2 ears of fresh corn kernels 

  1 Tbsp. white Sugar for when sweet corn is not in season. Canned corn can not be substituted. I've tried it, its just down right gross.
peanut oil, for deep-frying

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, egg and 1/2 of the water or soda water

Whisk in remaining water, small amounts at a time , to make thin batter. Stir in corn.

Heat oil to 375 degrees. Gently drop batter 3 Tablespoons or use a cookie scoop , into hot oil. Deep-fry, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel-lined rack.


Baked Brown Sugar Chicken Wings with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried minced garlic
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp black pepper
6 tbsp grape seed or olive oil
2 lbs. chicken legs or wings

1/3 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
2 oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs sour cream

Preheat oven to 425.
In a plastic bag combine all ingredients. Add the chicken to the bag and toss or shake bag until well coated. 
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, turn the chicken over, and continue to bake until cooked through, about 10-15 additional minutes.
In a food processor, add the roasted red pepper, cream cheese, salt and sour cream, process until well combined.

Lemon Toner

1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1 c. distilled water
2/3 c. witch hazel


Combine all the ingredients in a glass measuring cup and mix well. Pour into a clean bottle or container. Shake well before each use. Apply with a cotton ball or soft cloth.