Sauce Buns and Red Hots

Sauce buns and red hots were a summertime tradition back home and seem to be regional specialties not know to those outside of the small town I grew up in.  Sauce buns are just like the name implies, sauce on a bun, but if you added a hot dog it became a red hot.  These cannot be described as chili dogs or Coney dogs because they are sweeter than that.  If you bite into one of these expecting a chili dog you will be disappointed.  However, if you know going in that this is something totally different than that, you just might love them.

This recipe is inspired by Jaenicke’s in Kankakee, the local hot dog stand where we used to eat these.  I might be dating myself, but I remember getting a baby beer with my hot dog.  It was the smallest root beer mug I have ever seen, filled with their homemade root beer, delivered by a carhop.  There was only one location back then, “down by the river.”

These sauce buns have a sweet red meat sauce that is flavored with chili powdered, resembles chili, but doesn’t actually taste like chili.  They are very hard to explain to anyone who has never had one or has never been to an old fashioned root beer stand in the Midwest prior to big franchises.  It’s kind of like sloppy joe and chili dog sauce rolled into one.

I have never eaten at an A & W, but I have heard these might be similar.  I have had Coney dogs, not the same.  This is also not Cincinnati chili or Skyline chili.

Continue reading “Sauce Buns and Red Hots”

No-fail Fruit Cobbler

We rarely had dessert growing up unless it was a special occasion or Sunday lunch. However, I do remember occasionally, on a random Saturday night, my mom would whip up this cobbler as a treat. It was always a very welcomed surprise.

This cobbler is truly, endlessly versatile. You can use any fruit, it can be made any size, and you can customize it any way you want.

The fruit can be canned, frozen, or fresh. My sister-in-law even made one with a can of pie filling and said the results were tasty. My family’s preference has always been a can of fruit cocktail or peaches. Ron and I have done some experimenting and our new favorite is frozen blackberries, often with extra sugar sprinkled on top of the cobbler right before it goes in the oven for some extra crunch.

Continue reading “No-fail Fruit Cobbler”

Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Banana bread and strawberry butter ran hand-in-hand with the $30 salad, at a restaurant we used to eat at in Florida.  Of course, you know the drill if you have been a follower of my posts, either the restaurant doesn’t exit or it is out of my geographical location.  In this case, it is both.

The banana bread would come out in the bread basket served with the menu.  I’m not sure why they even bothered to serve yeast rolls.  You could look across the restaurant tables and see lonely yeast rolls hanging out in those bread baskets.  Obviously, the banana bread smeared with strawberry butter was the preferred choice.

I have two banana bread recipes, but I prefer this one to go with strawberry butter.  The other banana bread recipe has a pretty strong banana and brown sugar flavor that seems to overpower the strawberry butter.  It’s also almost too moist and dense for the addition of any butter.  I say almost because folks still seem to butter it when I carry it somewhere

Continue reading “Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter”

Chicken and Dumplings

My grandmother was famous for her chicken and dumplings, at least I always believed she was. Then I grew up and realized that everyone’s grandma, mom, aunt, sister, and/or cousin had one.

Unfortunately, there was no recipe for these. My grandmother would just toss things into a bowl and whip them up. These are not the soft fluffy biscuit type dumplings. I have heard them called chicken and sliders and also chicken and noodles when made by others.

Pre-internet days before I knew “everyone” had a version and I could simply search for a recipe, I spent years trying to make them like my grandma. My mom’s best friend’s mother  spent an afternoon with me once and showed me how she made hers. They were just like my grandma’s! You would think I would have written down quantities, but nope. I was certain I could manage. The first time I made them her way, they were moon rocks. They were a little flavorless too and the broth base needed help.

Continue reading “Chicken and Dumplings”

Stuffed Green Peppers

Stuffed Green Peppers are one of the most basic recipes from my kitchen. I probably should have made this one of the first posts of the blog since it is truly a beginner’s recipe. Perhaps that’s why I never thought about it, it’s one of those things I just whip up when I have spare peppers hanging out that need to be used.

Sometimes, when I am looking at recipes my inside voice (you know, the one that gets me in trouble when it bypasses my better judgment filter) asks “what is wrong with good old fashioned basic recipes? Does everything need some twist or added feature to be worthy of eating?”

I am not opposed to experimenting in the kitchen, some of my best tasting recipes were devised doing just that. It’s just that at what point have we fooled with recipes and cooking techniques so much that recipes become intimidating?

Continue reading “Stuffed Green Peppers”