Baked Potato Soup

Baked potato soup is another restaurant inspired soup that I keep in my wintertime menu rotation.

The recipe that was given to me by one of the restaurant owners is long gone.  After making it so many times, I just throw things together in a pan and serve it up.

He swore that his secret ingredient was ham soup base.  This can usually be found in the Latin section of local grocery stores.  Apparently, Wally World no longer carries this product.  I prefer to use Goya brand, since it comes in perfect sized little packets, but I have been known to grab a jar of it in the regular soup aisle if the packets aren’t available.

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Sweet Bacon Crackers

Sweet Bacon Crackers are an idea that have been running around the internet for quite some time.  Lord knows, I have looked at a few of them, so it is hard telling which onse was the first one I saw.  It is also hard to tell if there was any one recipe that I have used so I apologize to any other blogger out there who believes this recipe may belong to them.

This can be made any type of cracker that you would like.  I prefer the buttery small rectangles, only because I like the shape that this cracker becomes.  All of the cracker types will shrink somewhat in the general area the bacon is wrapped.

The key to keeping your crackers together is to keep the heat high in the oven.  If you cook these too slow, there is more time for the grease to absorb into the crackers and they will be soggy in the middle.  But if you like your pork fat, this might be the way you want to cook them.

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Bacon Wrapped Baby Potato Bites with Sriracha Sour Cream

Bacon Wrapped Baby Potato Bites with Sriracha Sour Cream are the perfect snack for football, holiday gatherings, or just hanging out at home having a lazy weekend watching TV.

I like to use baby yellow potatoes for this recipe, but any small potato will work.  I have even made these with regular sized potatoes, they just need to be cut into wedges.

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Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

I love bacon wrapped snacks and appetizers.  I have been making this bacon wrapped water chestnut for over 25 years.

Bacon wrapped water chestnuts are perfect for tailgating, game day parties, New Year’s parties, and just about any gathering of people.

I have been known to serve these at Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and even Christmas day while the holiday meal is cooking.

I am sure this came off of the back of a product, but it’s been a minute since I last saw it anywhere near a product package.  It could have been chestnuts, or soy sauce, or even Worcestershire sauce.

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Old Fashioned Slow Simmered Green Beans

Old Fashioned Slow Simmered Green Beans have been in my life since I was old enough to eat.  The first indication a holiday feast brewing in the kitchen is the smell of bacon and onions cooking at the crack of dawn.

My grandmother and mother both made green beans often.  I don’t know if it was tradition, cheap, a comfort food, or just the first vegetable that came to mind at dinner time.  When I was growing up, everyone’s normal evening meal included a protein, a starch and a vegetable.

My grandmother used a spoonful of bacon grease when she cooked almost anything.  She had a can of bacon grease sitting on the stove.  She added to that can every time she made bacon for breakfast, which if memory serves me right was daily.  My grandfather loved his bacon.  Even after my grandma passed, he still made himself a breakfast of bacon, eggs, biscuits, and grape jelly.  He also drank his coffee out of a saucer instead of a cup.  I never did know why he did that.  It remains a mystery to me to this day.  He lived to be 89 and had it not been for dementia he probably would have lived longer than that. Continue reading “Old Fashioned Slow Simmered Green Beans”

Midwest Quesadillas

This recipe was also inspired by a restaurant from back in my hometown.  It was the first place I experienced the goodness of quesadillas.  I have to call these Midwest Quesadillas because just plain ole quesadillas might cause folks to expect a recipe containing toasted tortillas with tomatoes, peppers and perhaps some chicken, beef, carnitas, or even barbacoa in them.  Although, all of those options are tasty and I even think Ron may have one he will share on the blog someday, this one has none of the common ingredients in it expect maybe cheese and onions.

Even the cheese is not a common sight in quesadillas, this one uses jack cheese.  I remember when I first started making these I had to shred my jack cheese by hand.  These are so much easier to make now that shredded jack is readily available at most markets. Continue reading “Midwest Quesadillas”

Chocolate Bacon Bourbon Balls

Chocolate Bacon Bourbon Balls is a recipe I’ve been experimenting in preparation for football season. Football only a few months away, so I figured I’d start early with some new ideas and recipes.

I have to give credit when credit is due. This recipe was inspired by Martha and Jack’s Bourbon Truffle recipe over at A Family Feast. I took their recipe and gave it my own twists with more chocolate goodness and bacon.

This recipe is also inspired by a few of my favorite things: chocolate, bacon, bourbon, and college football (go bulldawgs!). Plus, bacon and bourbon seem to go hand-in-hand with football, at least it does here in the south. I can’t walk out of a college football game without seeing the stadium littered with small empty bourbon bottles. It’s a tradition, but one I’ve never partook inside a stadium. Continue reading “Chocolate Bacon Bourbon Balls”

Bacon Cheddar and Green Onion Scones

Saturday morning breakfast is a ritual around my house. Coffee must be brewed, bacon must be fried, and breakfast must be cooked. However, there are some mornings where the weather is perfect for sitting outside. If you live anywhere in the deep south, you know the weather isn’t favorable for outside sitting very often, so we try to take it in when we can.

On those nice mornings, the last thing I want to do is spend my morning in the kitchen cooking, even if it is ritualistic. However, while sitting on the back porch I love sipping on a fresh pot of coffee, listening to the birds, and eating a scone. It can be a plain scone with a bit of butter. It can be a blueberry scone. Or, it can be my personal favorite scone, bacon, cheddar, and onion. I’ll focus on whipping up a batch of my wife’s famous bacon cheddar and green onion scones.

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Bratwurst and German Potato Salad

homemade-bratwurstBratwurst and German potato salad is one of my favorite meals to enjoy on the back porch during the spring and fall months. I’ll admit it now, the bratwurst in the photo above is homemade and it was made by me, but the recipe isn’t mine. It came straight out of the one cookbook every sausage connoisseur should own: Charcuterie – The Craft of Salting, Curing, and Smoking. I’m not going to post the recipe for the Bratwurst because I think folks should really buy this book. Form a historical standpoint, this book made me truly understand and the appreciate the art of curing meats and knowing exactly where my meat comes from. Buy… the… book… I’m being serious. Even if you don’t plan on making sausage, it’s a good read.

However, I can recommend a method for cooking your bratwurst. Most people just toss it on a grill or pan and go to town on searing it. I find that cooking this way often burns or over cooks the skins before the interior is done. One of the best methods to cook brats or any sausage is to simmer them in a pan, with the lid on, in a shallow liquid, until they are cooked through. Then finish them on the grill or in a pan. My favorite liquid to simmer my bratwurst in is beer. Oktoberfest to be specific. I’ll also chop up some onions and add them to my liquid. When the bratwurst are finish cooking, I’ll put them aside and I’ll finish cooking down the beer and onions until thick. The cooked onions are great with the bratwurst. I may add a little brown sugar to balance out the onions (beer can sometimes become bitter when cooked). Then I will finish the bratwurst on the grill or in a cast iron skillet.

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Diabetus Baked Beans

I can’t sit down to anything BBQ related without a side of baked beans to go with it. For me, baked beans, potato salad and some smoked meat (pork shoulder, brisket, ribs, etc.) is my idea of the perfect summer meal.

This recipe is a friend and family favorite. My sister annoyingly asks me to make this at least once a month. I often get asked to make this recipe for other functions because people enjoy it so much. However, I do have to warn you, this recipe is not healthy and has the potential of giving you diabetus, said in your best Wilford Brimley voice, and heart disease.

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