Tuesday, December 9, 2014


1 C. oil
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 chicken, cut up or de-boned
8 C. stock or flavored water
1½ lbs. Andouille
2 C. chopped green onions
1 C. flour
Cooked Rice
Joe’s Stuff seasoning
TRINITY: (Next three items)
4 C. chopped onions
2 C. chopped celery
2 C. chopped green pepper
Season and brown the chicken in oil, lard, or bacon drippings over a medium heat. Add sausage to pot and sauté with chicken. Remove both from pot.
Make a roux; with equal parts of oil (must be free of food particles to avoid burning) and flour to the desired color. Add onions, celery, and green pepper. Add garlic to the mixture and stir continuously. After vegetables reach desired tenderness, return chicken and sausage to pot and cook with vegetables, continuing to stir frequently. Gradually stir in liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for an hour or more. Season the Gumbo to your taste with Joe’s Stuff Seasoning.
Approximately 10 minutes before serving, add green onions. Serve gumbo over rice or without rice, accompanied by French bread.
*FILE’ – A fine green powder of young dried ground sassafras leaves, used in gumbo for flavor and thickening. It may be placed on the table for individuals to add to their gumbo if they wish. ¼ to ½ tsp. per serving is recommended. 
Makes 15 – 20 Servings

Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce


  • 1 small loaf of stale french bread, cut into chunks. (I always throw leftover french bread into a bag in the freezer, and make bread pudding when there are enough scraps to be the equivalent of a small loaf.)
  • 4 c milk
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten) plus 3 egg whites
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 c raisins
  • 1 c chopped pecans
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t nutmeg


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 350F and butter a 9x13 baking dish. Pour sugar and spices over bread in a large bowl. Pour melted butter over the bread and mix. Mix in milk, whole eggs, and vanilla.
  • 2
    Beat egg whites to stiff peaks and fold in. Fold in nuts and raisins. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about an hour and fifteen minutes, until the pudding is puffed up and the top is golden brown. Serve warm.
  • 3
    If you want to prep this ahead of time, bake for 40 minutes, cool, refrigerate uncovered overnight, then cover tightly and freeze. To finish, thaw and then bake an hour at 350F.
Cream 1 stick butter and 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter is absorbed. Remove from heat and mix in 2 egg yolks. Gradually stir in 1/2 cup bourbon, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Serve warm over bread pudding.
  • 1
    Add a can of crushed pineapple and a cup of shredded coconut. Substitute a can of coconut milk or pina colada mix for 2 cups of the milk.
  • 2
    Reduce the cinnamon and nutmeg by half.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sloppy Joes


2 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 large green bell pepper, diced

1/2 large onion, diced

1 1/2 cups ketchup

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons chili powder, or more as needed

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more as needed

Hot sauce, such as Tabasco

Worcestershire sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 kaiser rolls
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Chips or salad, for serving, if desired
Start by browning the ground beef in a large pot over medium-high heat. Drain off the fat.

Add in the green peppers and onions. Stir, and then add 1 cup water, the ketchup and garlic. Stir it around to combine, and then add the brown sugar, chili powder, dry mustard, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine, and then cover and simmer over medium-low heat, about 20 minutes.

To serve, spread the rolls with the butter and brown them on a griddle or in a skillet. Spoon a good amount of the meat mixture onto the bottom roll, and then top with the other half. Serve with chips, salad or just enjoy it by itself.

Caramel Popcorn

1/4 cup Karo syrup (light)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cube of butter
1 cup brown sugar

Melt in saucepan until contents come to a full boil. Cook exactly 5 minutes. Remove from stove and stir in 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Pour over popcorn (three bags go microwave, old maid removed). Put in two separate pans or one big turkey roaster-type pan.
Bake at 225 degrees for one hour. Stir every ten minutes. Take out and cool popcorn on waxed paper. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Grinder: Iowa State Fair Food

While I’m from the midwest (Iowa), a large majority of my family is from, and still lives in Iowa. Every year they go to the Iowa State Fair, and last year we finally had the chance to join them. This year I'm going to the state fair to experience the foods of my childhood. One stop will be a sandwich from one of those fair carts called a “Guinea Grinder”.
Some Italians aren’t happy with the name as its origins date back to when Italian immigrants were called “guineas”. It’s considered a racial slur and some restaurants in Iowa have even changed the name of this sandwich to plain old “grinder”. I read somewhere that the word grinder refers to the act of grinding your teeth back and fourth to bite through the tough bread in the sandwich, which would also indicate they didn’t toast them early on. No matter what you call it, it’s really delicious and freezes well too!
Finding a recipe for Guinea Grinders on the internet wasn’t as easy as searching for something more widely known. Because this sandwich is really only found in Iowa, there aren’t a lot of search results for the recipe. There were a few different versions, but the one I chose was closest to the one my husband enjoyed at the fair. They offer it with or without Mozzarella cheese and sometimes with banana peppers. I opted for the cheese but left off the peppers to keep it family friendly for the kids. The recipe I found called for a French loaf, which is what I used here, but at the fair they used more of an bomber type bun.
These were really good, easy to make, and as I mentioned, can be easily frozen. I did find that the reheated meat mixture seemed saltier after being frozen, so I would suggest adding a bit of water when warming it up the second time around. I also used shredded Mozzarella instead of sliced, which the original recipe calls for.
Guinea Grinders
This recipe makes 12 sandwiches. I made 6 and froze the other half for another meal. You could just cut this in half as well.
1 lb Italian sausage
1 lb ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
30 oz homemade pizza sauce (or jar pizza sauce)
4 loaves French bread, sliced in half horizontally
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
If sausage has casings remove them and crumble into pan with the ground beef. Brown both meats together until no longer pink. Drain fat.
Mix the salt, pepper, garlic powder and pepper flakes into the pizza sauce.
Put the browned meat and the seasoned sauce into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 1-2 hours, stir once or twice during cooking.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut the split French loaf into 3 separate sandwiches. Repeat with second loaf. If making all 12 servings, repeat with 3rd and 4th loaf.
Pull a small amount of bread out of the bottom of the loaf to make a bowl for the meat.
Fill the bowl with meat mixture.
Cover the meat mixture with shredded Mozzarella cheese.
Place the top of loaf onto the sandwich and wrap the entire thing in foil. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven and serve.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Caramelized Baked Chicken Legs/Wings

    Caramelized Baked Chicken Legs/Wings

    12 lb chicken leg
    23 tbsp olive oil, (to help it stop sticking to the pan)
    12 cup soy sauce
    23 tbsp ketchup
    34 cup honey
    2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 salt
    1 pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. Place chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Mix together the oil, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, salt and pepper.
    3. Pour over the chicken.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for one hour, or until sauce is caramelized.
    5. Could also use wings or pork ribs.

    Thursday, February 6, 2014

    Slow Cook Beef Barley Soup

    Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup
    • 1 lb. stew meat
    • 2 tsp McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 2 carrots, sliced
    • 2 stalks celery, sliced
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 potatoes, cubed and peeled
    • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1 tsp basil
    • ¼ tsp thyme
    • 1 Tbsp parsley
    • 4 C beef broth
    • 1 Tbsp white sugar
    • 2 (15 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
    • salt to taste
    • pepper to taste
    • 1 /2 cup quick cooking barley
    1. Season meat with steak seasoning. Brown meat in a skillet with the olive oil.
    2. Place meat in slow cooker and combine with carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, beef broth, sugar, tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
    3. Cook on low for 8 hours.
    4. One hour before serving mix in barley, turn to high and cook until barley is tender.