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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tailgate Treats & Eats: Zowie Burgers

Here is a pretty simple one.  I have a firm belief that most everything tastes better with horseradish in it (I did say "most").  This may be low in ingredients, but its high in taste. 

Zowie Burger

1.25 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup white onion, minced
4-6 tbsp horseradish (depending on your tolerance)

Mash the ingredients together in a bowl by hand.

Form into patties.

Throw on a nice hot grill.  Sear both sides, then cook to grilled preference.

Serve up on a Kaiser roll with some red leaf lettuce and provolone cheese.  Nom nom nom.


You know what goes great on a Zowie Burger?  Spicy Ketchup!  Now if we only knew where to find a recipe for that.  Hmmmm....( :)

If you want to kick it up another notch, instead of provolone, throw on some jalapeno Jack Cheese.

(In case you were wondering, those ghostly white patties on the grill are Zowie Turkey Burgers for the non-beef eaters in the crowd.  Same simple recipe, different ground meat, same good taste.  Zowie!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tailgate Treats and Eats: Dipsy Doodles

Exciting and new!  Figured you can never go wrong with the dynamic duo of peanut butter and chocolate, so I put together a little variation on the combo for your eating enjoyment.  Why are they called Dipsy Doodles?  Ah, because it's the first thing that popped into my head.

Dipsy Doodles
peanut butter-pecan cookies dipped in milk chocolate

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1-1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 lb melting chocolate

Cream together peanut butter and butter until smooth.

Add sugars to the mix and cream together until light and fluffy.

Add vanilla and egg and beat into mixture.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add the flour mixture in parts to make sure it gets blended well.

Fold in the chopped pecans.

Cover the cookie dough and chill.

Remove from the dough from the fridge and roll by the tablespoon into balls.  Flatten with a cup bottom and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet and transfer to a cooking rack.

In a small saucepan melt the chocolate until smooth.

Once it's ready, dip half of the cookie in the chocolate and shake off the excess.  Put dipped cookies on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and put in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to set.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tailgate Treats & Eats: Spicy Ketchup

As I was flipping through my cookbook collection looking for new inspirations, I came across this recipe in one of my new favorite books, "Off the Eaten Path" (see TCC review at

From the menu of Terrene (restaurant) in St. Louis, Missouri, here's a spicy little condiment that you might like to try out.  I whipped up a batch of this and it is YUM!  Of course, I think everything is better with some horseradish in it so I might be a little biased here, but think that you'll find it's a very versatile little sauce.

You can slather it on burgers, dip your deep-fried potatoes in it, generously coat your brauts, serve it up with some grilled seafood, or (wait for it) use it as a dip for onion rings (drool).  They call it Spicy Ketchup, but it's more like a ketchupy-cocktaily sauce which to me gives it a great range of use.

So try it, Mikey, you'll like it.

Spicy Ketchup

1 cup ketchup
2 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp horseradish
2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp sherry vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Put all the ingredients in a small bowl (or 2 cup measuring cup).

Whisk together, then cover and refrigerate for at least 30-45 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Ready to roll!


I used stone ground brown mustard instead of Dijon.

You could probably use plain sherry or a red wine vinegar in lieu of the sherry vinegar, shouldn't notably alter the taste.

I'm thinking if you wanted to make it a little creamer, tossing in a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise might be do the trick. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tailgate Treats & Eats: "Deviled" Taters

Who doesn't love taters!  These treats can be eaten hot, cold or room temp.  Easy to transport and great with anything you pull off the grill.

"Deviled" Taters

12 small red potatoes
olive oil
1 1/2-2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese, chopped small
1/2 tsp garlic salt
3 strips bacon, fried and crumbled
fresh cracked black pepper

Rinse the red potatoes and pat dry.  Remove any eyes or nubby areas.

Place on a cookie sheet.  Lightly brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until fork tender.

Remove from oven and allow to cool to the touch.

Cut 10 of the potatoes in half and using a small spoon or melon baller, scoop out the center of each.  Make sure to leave a shell thick enough to hold the filling and not fall apart.  Peel tke skin off the last two, chop up the potato and throw them in with the other centers.

In a mixer or food processor, blend the sour cream with the potato until fairly smooth.  Doesn't need to be completely mashed smooth, if you want to leave some chunks for texture that works too.

Mix in the cheddar cheese pieces and garlic salt.

You can use a pastry bag (or ziplock bag with one corner cut out to use as a pastry bag) or fill the potato shells with the mixture.

Sprinkle the bacon on top and serve.


Alternately you could mix the bacon crumbles into the filling and then garnish the finished ones with chopped parsley.

I used turkey bacon on mine (in case you were wondering why it didn't look like regular bacon).

You can use larger fingerling or small yellow potatoes for thsi recipe too.  You just want them to be about the size of a tablespoon -- larger than the teaspoon shown in the photo above, but still small enough to be no more than one or two bites in size.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Check It Out: House-Autry Anniversary Cookbook Recipe Search

This looked like a fun opportunity so I thought I'd forward it for you to check out.

"House-Autry Mills is looking for Southern recipes that incorporate at least one House-Autry product. Additionally, the company hopes to learn the stories and traditions behind these special recipes. The best recipes will be included in the cookbook and possibly featured on the House-Autry Mills Facebook page, YouTube page or website at" (WooHoo, 15 minutes of fame, here we come!)

“House-Autry Mills will be celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2012, and we wanted to do something special,” said Jamie Hall, House-Autry Mills business development manager. “Compiling a Southern cookbook gives us an opportunity to hear from the people that have supported us for all these years and preserve their recipes for future generations.”

Now for you Yankee cooks out there (and I say this lovingly because I am actually one of you, I may be Southern by choice, but I'm Northern by birth), if you aren't familiar with House-Autry, they make breading and flours and all kinds of good stuff like that.  Every year at the NC State Fair, they sponsor the hush puppy booth (mmm, hush puppies).  So if you have a favorite breaded food recipe that you think may be Southern-friendly, then I say give it a whirl and submit it, you never know what could happen.

To submit a recipe and the story behind it, visit deadline for submissions is November 1, 2011
If you do decide to submit a recipe, let me know.  Would love to feature it in a future post!  Good luck and good cookin', y'all!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tailgate Treats & Eats: Surf-n-Turf Kabobs

Bringing you more fun with food-on-a-stick and this time something a little meatier to dig your teeth into.  The steak and shrimp each have their own marinade, but with a similar flavor that makes for a singular taste sensation.

Surf-n-Turf Kabobs

6  8" skewers, soaked for grilling

1 dozen raw jumbo shrimp
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1-1/2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Clean and devein the shrimp, then put in a bowl.  Pat dry.

Add the other ingredients to the shrimp and mix until they are well-coated.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hours.

1/2 lb of flat iron steak
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/4 tsp fresh garlic, minced

Cut the steak into thin slices.  You want them thick enough to stay on the skewer, but thin enough that they will cook quickly like the shrimp.

Put the steak strips in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.  Mix until they are well-coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hours.

Start your grill about 45 minutes before you're ready to cook.  Once the coals are close to white hot, thread the skewers.  Two large shrimp per skewer alternated with strips of the steak.

Put the skewers on the grill and cover.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.

Uncover and flip the skewers.  The steak should have a nice little brown edging on the cooked side.  Cook another 3-4 minutes with the lid on. 

Remove from grill, they are now ready to serve, no additional flavor or sauce needed.


In lieu of flat iron steak, you could use skirt steak or flank steak.  What you're looking for is something that cuts easily into strips.

I realized when Mom presented me with the head-on shrimp (fresh North Carolina shrimp, y'all) that I have never beheaded shrimp before. 

It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be (though I wore gloves so I wouldn't get any uggies on my fingers).

The heads popped off easily, just had to rinse afterwards and then deshelled them down to the last tail segment.  The legs came off very easily too, a little deveining, and then...all that was left was a beautiful LARGE piece of shrimp. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Things that make you go...Oh!

So as foil and saran your way through tailgate food prep and storage, I thought I'd share a little something that I consider one of the best kept secrets in the kitchen.

A friend of my Mom's pointed it out to her, and Mom pointed it out to me, and I have taken it upon myself to spread the word of...the Roll Holders.

If you've never looked closely at the end of a box of saran wrap or alumninum foil, then you'll have missed the little area that you can press in on either end (like box handles) that holds the roll in place!

and it does hold!

I KNOW!  So simple...who knew?  (Okay, the Glad wrap people did and kind of put it out there for those people who notice stuff.)

For those of you who already knew this, good on ya!  Why didn't you say anything sooner?

For those who are having a V-8 moment, you're welcome.  And now your turn, pass it on.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tailgate Treats & Eats: Fondue Skewers

As you may know, I have a great fondness for food-on-a-stick.  It's just fun!  It's easy to handle, you can carry it around, it always makes for a great presentation, and you can have sword fights with the skewers afterwards.  The fun never ends.  And you know what else is fun?  Fondue!  So I thought why not put these two great notions together to create a new treat sensation.

Fondue Skewers

1 qt. strawberries
6 oz. bag dried apricots
Sarah Lee poundcake

chocolate sauce

9 oz. chocolate chips
1/4 half-n-half

4" or 6" skewers

Wash and hull your strawberries.  Make sure to pat them very dry.  Cut any larger strawberries in half to make single-bite sized pieces.

Cut the poundcake into 1" slices.  Cut each slice into 6 cubes (each cube will be approximately 1" square).

I used 6" skewers and threaded a combo of 5-6 strawberries, poundcake cubes and dried apricots on each.

Put a single layer of skewers in the bottom of the container you plan to carry them in. Set the others aside for now.

To make the chocolate sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat, scald the half-n-half. You want to see the beginning formation of bubbles around the edge, but you don't want it to boil.

Slowly add in the chocolate chips, and gently whisk together until all the chips are melted and the sauce is thick but still liquidy. When you lift the whisk out of the sauce it will drip and you can see the drips sitting on top of the sauce.

Using your whisk, drizzle the chocolate sauce over the skewers.  Flip them over and drizzle a bit on the other side too.

Add another layer of skewers to the container and repeat the drizzling process.  You don't need to put anything between the layers to keep them separate.  You can just dog pile them together.

You can put them in the fridge, but they taste best at room temperature so make sure to pull them out about an hour before serving. 

Makes 12-14 (6") skewers.  If you go with a smaller skewer, I would only put 3-4 pieces on each and they will make about 2 dozen


You can also use fruits like pineapple or orange slices.  The key is to make sure your fruit has been patted very dry so that you are not adding too much moisture to the chocolate or making the skewers soggy.

You could use angel food cake instead of poundcake. I use the Sarah Lee poundcake because it's the right combination of dense and light.  You want a cake that will hold up well being skewered.  If you homemade poundcake has that same texture, then by all means use that instead.

I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you could make this with dark chocolate as well.  The chocolate sauce will firm up in the fridge so you will need to reheat to drizzle.  I used about 1/2 the sauce to make the 12 skewers. 

I had a friend suggest throwing these on a grill BEFORE you drizzle them with chocolate, of course.  If you want to toss them on the grill before serving, make sure to soak your skewers first.  And then you can use the sauce for dipping.