Texas BBQ Sauce

Texas BBQ Sauce

Let’s talk BBQ folks! There are typically two kinds of people.

One: “Sure, I like BBQ!”
Two: “YAASS! Let me tell you about my families BBQ, which is the best. In the world! Oh? You’ve got a recipe? How cute are you. No. You don’t. Mine is the best.”

BBQ is serious business to some. Almost a religion. The different types: Dry rub or Wet. Kansas, Memphis, North Carolina, or Texas. Tomato, Vinegar or Mustard base? Do you bake it, grill it or smoke it. I have been on the receiving end of quite a few eye rolls and scoffs in my time.

One of Mike’s favorite shows to binge is BBQ Pit Masters. It’s like Real Housewives of New York meets Food Network. It’s bizarre – and nasty at times.

Let’s Cook!

Ribs was already on the menu for this weekend and I was thrilled to find this BBQ sauce recipe. On a chilly rainy weekend, grilling won’t work, so it’s low and slow in the oven.

Make sure you’ve removed the silver skin, generously salt and pepper both sides, and place in a roasting pan or high sided baking sheet. Cover tight with tinfoil and bake at 275 for 3 to 4 hours.

While it was baking I put the sauce together. I’m still chuckling over the line item “1/2 teaspoon mono-sodium glutamate”. Heh. I certainly don’t have any MSG in my spice cabinet. I could buy it from Amazon for $16.00, but I think we’ll just skip that for now. Wasn’t that the big thing about Chinese restaurants years ago? All the MSG and how it was going to kill us? Sigh…if only that was the biggest fear we faced right now.

MSG aside, let’s get this mixed. I know it looks like a lot of ingredients but that’s because there is! Almost every prep bowl I own. And WOW that’s a lot of vinegar!

Mix it all and heat it up. Done.

At the three hour mark, take the ribs out of the oven and check if it’s ‘fall off the bone’ yet. If the ribs are at that point, then slather them with the sauce and pop them back in the oven for another thirty minutes.

I would love to say that I have a fantastic picture of the cooked ribs. Some Instagram worthy picture of three or four ribs piled on top of each other with the sauce dripping down the sides. But I don’t. When the ribs were deemed done – the shit hit the fan and it was like I hadn’t fed my family in days. I got a shot of the full rack in the pan…that was it.

Final Results:

My husband really likes stuff with vinegar in it. Like, a lot.

This is damn fine BBQ sauce. I was going to pour the extra away, but Mike grabbed it and said he would find SOMETHING to put it on. This will definitely be made again. However, I will cut down on the cayenne (there was a bit too much heat for this pansy girl). Also, the amount of vinegar was quite a lot – maybe just one cup would do? I think maybe that would thicken the sauce up a bit as well.

What’s your method? Drop a comment and throw your hands up for your family BBQ!

Old Fashioned Meatloaf

Old Fashioned Meatloaf

The last time I made meatloaf was about 5 years ago. I made something very similar to this… It might have been that exact recipe. I’ve buried the memory to the far recesses of my brain. It was pretty traumatic. The first line of this recipe says to preheat the oven and then “line a baking sheet with parchment paper”. You know what I did? I lined the baking sheet with wax paper. WAX PAPER. You know what happens to wax paper when you bake it in a 350 degree oven? Yepper – It melts. It melts INTO the food you are making. I essentially made a Wax Meatloaf.

I swore off Meatloaf for the rest of my life. But then my husband saw that I was constantly skipping over this particular recipe – he asked if I would try it. He said “I loved the meatloaf last time – please try it again”. He is either an excellent liar – or likes melted wax paper in his diet.

I will persevere! I give you really weird old fashioned meatloaf!
Honestly, I have never seen so many ‘bits’ in a meatloaf before. Celery, bell pepper… corn? But then again, I haven’t even so much as paused on a meatloaf recipe in years so what the hell do I know?

As far as ease is concerned – couldn’t be easier. Get a mess of crap and smoosh it all together in a big bowl and then slam into the loaf pan. Dissolving the bouillon cube in hot water was the biggest pain in the ass. Easy Peasy. Problem was that I’m still trying to figure out how to interpret these old recipes – I didn’t think to read through the directions fully before I ordered all of the ingredients for our grocery store curb side pickup. I didn’t realize I needed a 1/2 can of Mexican tomatoes.

What I did have was a can of HOT Rotel! How different could it be?! Throw on half the can and add the last minute spices and we are off to the races! (I’ll be damned before I put water chestnuts on ANY meal. Yick!)

Result:

I didn’t try it! I don’t eat spicy stuff. There was some discussion when this website started about what the name was going to be. While I am very pleased with what we ended up with – one of the original ideas was “The Wussy Texan”. I bring shame to my family, I truly do. I can’t eat spicy things…like at all. But my man and kid live for spice. So, while they eat dinner I get a perfectly acceptable reason to drink my dinner. (We’re on lock down – don’t judge)

He said it was good. And as a matter of fact, has now had it for lunch two days running. He says “meatloaf is always better as leftovers”. So there you have it – from Wax Loaf to actually edible! Progress!!

‘Mans’ Casserole

‘Mans’ Casserole

Let’s get this right out in the open. This might be the worst name for a recipe. Ever. I realize this came from a different time; the different ideas of society and different ideas of gender roles. I imagine the name depicts a hearty meal – something that the ranch hands and cowboys would be able to fill up on to sustain themselves. But it is still such an unfortunate name.

Oddly, this is another recipe that we use quite a bit and it’s interesting to see how it’s changed over the years. The way my mom taught me is far simpler and quicker. I didn’t even know that ‘liquefied nonfat dry milk’ was even in the original version. 

The best part of this post was that I got to make and share this meal with a local family that’s been hit hard from the pandemic. A good friend of mine, along with local churches and restaurants, have teamed up to feed as many people possible. I had reached out the other day to see if she needed any help and as luck would have it – there was a family that still needed a meal. 

Since this was going to be delivered to another family – and not my unsuspecting guinea pigs of a family – I decided to go with the way I’ve always done it. I wanted to make sure it worked and that it would be tasty. Also…nonfat dry milk- not something I keep in the pantry. (I had to look up what the hell it was)

It is a rather easy meal to put together. Saute the onions and brown the beef and drain off. You can get wild here with the beef and add whatever spices or flavors you like, or just keep it easy: salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, a touch of garlic powder. Turn off the heat and dump the entire can of cream of celery and two eggs into the mixture and mix it up. It’s not attractive at this point. Sort of a gloppy mess.

The recipe calls for layering – which is not something I’ve ever done. I take the whole pot of meat stuff, dump it into the pot with the noodles and mix it all and transfer to a casserole dish. Top the whole thing with an enormous amount of cheese. Like a lot of cheese. When you’ve added enough – add a touch more. It’s cheese y’all.

Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes. Cheese should be slightly crispy on top.

This is one of my go-to recipes for lunch at the office…..when I used to have an office to go to! I would make it on the weekend and then packaged servings to take to work. I loved having my lunches sorted throughout the week and it heats up super easy in the microwave.

All of that said…it’s still a terrible name for a recipe. I have another recipe that I use from time to time called ‘Man Pleasing Chicken’…can’t decide which is worse.

Being able to help another family in need was a really gratifying experience. Despite being laid off, I truly know that we are luckier than some. We are very fortunate to have what we do. I encourage all of you to please take a moment to check out HerndonCares.Org. If you can donate, please do.

And if you’ve got a better name for this dish – please feel free to let me know. Seriously.

Easy Cheesy Chicken Crescents

Easy Cheesy Chicken Crescents

Let me start off by saying that this dish does not photograph well. It especially does not photograph well off of a blue plate. I have a ways to go in my food styling. I’ve seen so many meme’s about ‘mastering a skill’ while in quarantine – maybe that’s the one I should work on. My husband might be a little irritated though when I grab the tuna fish sandwich out of his hand insisting that the light isn’t right.

Today’s recipe fits all the new rules for this website:

  • Do I have all the ingredients? I’m not going to store unless we run out of wine or toilet paper.
  • Do I think my family will actually eat it? Now is not the time to be wasting food for sport.

The truth of the matter though is that I didn’t think they would eat this as is. Boring ass non-seasoned chicken wasn’t going to sell this dinner to my family. So I made a simple rub to spice things up a bit.

  • Teaspoon of each chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Personally – that’s a bit spicy for me. If I were to do it again I would use:

  • Teaspoon of each turmeric, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt. 2 teaspoons oregano and a touch of pepper.

Dry rubs are really simple to make up on the spot. If you don’t like it hot – eliminate that spice. If you like garlic, like I do, add more of that.

You can google chicken dry rub and get a million returns. Or you can check out this slide show from Southern Living. It’s a bit heavy on the pop-ups and ads, but it gives you a break down of how to create your own rub.

Once you’ve decided on a mix – stir it all together so it’s combined.

Cut 2 chicken breasts into small cubes and throw it in a gallon bag and throw the dry rub in. Seal it up and smush everything around. Try to get everything as coated as possible. Heat up a medium to large frying pan with some olive oil and cook up the chicken (in batches if necessary), until done. Set the chicken aside and continue on with the recipe as written.

I will be honest, this was damn tasty. I was actually surprised. My husband said it was comfort food – and it seems that comfort is something we can all get behind during this time. It’s hearty and heavy – so not something I would lean towards on a hot summer night. Also, I think really easy to change up with your own ideas. Next time I’ll use a better cheese – like a gruyere maybe. Best part is, unlike toilet paper and yeast, these are easy things to come by at the store.

I told you it didn’t photograph well.

Let me know if you try it and what changes you made.

Easy Cheesy Chicken Crescents

Pinch and Peck
Comforting and filling with easily found items!
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Chicken Breast Cubed, cooked and chopped
  • 1 8 oz Crescent Roll
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Cheese Use a good quality melting cheese if you can
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 portion Dry Rub of your choosing Experiment with: Chili Powder, Ground Cumin, Smoke Paprika, Oregano, Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Cube 2 chicken breasts and mix with dry rub of your choice
  • Cook chicken (in batches if necessary) over medium heat until cooked through. Remove chicken to bowl and add 2 tablespoons of cheese. Set aside to cool a bit.
  • In medium saucepan combine the soup, milk and 1/4 cup of cheese. Heat until cheese melts.
  • Chop or shred the chicken cubes to make rolling in the cresecent easier.
  • Place about 2 tablespoons worth of chicken/cheese mixture onto the large edge of crescent triangle and roll up. You should have eight total at the end.
  • When the cheese has melted in the soup mixture add roughly half of it to a 8 or 9 inch casserole dish. Place the rolled chicken crescents into the casserole dish. The bottom of the cresent rolls will be sitting in the hot soup mixture.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes – or until golden brown. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and return to the oven for a few minutes for it to melt.
  • Optional: Servce with the remaining soup/sauce. Poured over top or on the side.