Ok, y’all, I’m back. And this time I’m gonna give you some of my favorites recipes–which you might remember hearing about in Veteran Affairs. Are y’all ready for this? ‘Cause now everyone is gonna want to come over to your kitchen for supper!
Actually, they’ll want to come over for breakfast, because I just realized that out of the four recipes I have for you only one isn’t meant to start the day with. I mean, unless you’re like me and you feel like supper is just a second breakfast. There’s nothing wrong with ending the day the same way I started it: full of sweets.
Plus, Max really likes all my extra sugar. *Wink, Wink*
Ok, let me go on. I’m going to start this in reverse and give you the breakfast recipes last, which means we are starting with….
This wonderful recipe came from the Cajun aunt of the lady who posted it on AllRecipes. Make sure you have two+ hours to dedicate to it, so you can enjoy the process.
1 (2 to 3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
3 green bell peppers, diced
2 onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
5 bay leaves
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup uncooked white rice
Now, let’s make it!
- Place chicken and sausage in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is opaque and falls from the bone, 45 minutes. (I usually do this the night before and refrigerate to skim the fat.) Remove chicken and sausage, reserving broth. Shred chicken.
- In a large pot over medium heat, cook bell pepper, onion and garlic until onion is translucent, adding reserved chicken broth if necessary. Stir in tomatoes, chili powder, pepper sauce, cayenne, Worcestershire and bay leaves; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
- Stir the shredded chicken, sausage and tomato paste into the spiced vegetables. Continue to simmer until flavor is as spicy as you like, adding reserved liquid as needed to thin.
- Stir in 1 cup reserved liquid with the rice. Simmer 20 minutes, until rice is tender. Serve or continue to simmer, as desired.
CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS
I’ve made this recipe for company and it can’t be beat. These are the. best. chocolate chip muffins! Tip: If you get silicone muffin cups, you won’t have to worry about running out of paper cups–and you don’t have to deal with messy peeling!
What you’ll need
2 cups (9oz/ 255g) all purpose flour, lightly spooned and leveled
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (6oz/ 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup (7 oz/ 200g) sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, (4 teaspoons if using imitation vanilla)
1 cup (8oz/ 227g) sour cream, at room temperature
1 cup (6 oz/ 170g) semi-sweet (or milk or bittersweet) chocolate chips, preferably minis (see note for substitution), plus extra for sprinkling over the top
Now, let’s make it!
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Line a 12 cup muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners (or 48 mini liners, if using mini cupcake pan).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer and a large bowl) beat the butter on medium high speed until creamy and lightened up; 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar and beat together until lightened up in both color and texture; 4 to 5 minutes. The color should turn very pale and texture should look fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and beat together for one minute.
- On lowest speed, add in one-third of the flour mixture and mix until mostly combined. Add in half of the sour cream and lightly stir until almost mixed in. Continue with adding another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining sour cream and ending with the last third of flour mixture. Mix until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX or you could end up with tough muffins.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the mini chocolate chips (see note for regular sized).
- Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin pan, filling the cups almost to the top; about ½ cup of batter for regular muffins and 2 tablespoons for the minis. Sprinkle the tops with some extra chocolate chips
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes (for regular muffins), or until the top are golden brown and spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Mini muffins should bake in about 9 to 12 minutes. (Always check early for doneness and add a few minutes if still not baked through). DO NOT OVERBAKE or the muffins will dry out.
- Allow muffins to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool slightly before serving. Served warm or at room temperature. Allow to cool completely before storing. Store leftovers in an airtight container to retain its moisture.
Okay, so some days I wake up and I have all the energy in the world. On these days, I’ll make things like those wonderful chocolate chip muffins with sausage and hash browns. Wooh, I’m working up a sweat just thinking about all that work. But most days, I’m a lazy couch potato. I mean, I work from home. I literally could live on my couch.
So, when I want more than cereal, I usually make pancakes. Now, the secret here is not making pancakes from scratch. My best recipe for pancakes is this:
What you’ll need (to do)
Buy your favorite box of pancake mix.
Find a cute glass container or mason jar.
Get burlap or pretty ribbon & cardstock that matches.
Now, let’s make it!
Empty the pancake mix into the glass container. Cut a rectangular piece of cardstock and write “Homemade Pancakes” on it. Attach it onto the burlap or ribbon and wrap it all around the container. Voilá! No one has to know.
And last tip, don’t forget to add the expiration date somewhere inconspicuous. 😉
Okay, that’s just a sausage, not a sausage kolache. BUT it’s what makes them so yummy! And before I give you this delicious recipe, I have to tell you that apparently these are not supposed to be called kolaches. I recently read that the Czach community in Texas wants people to stop calling them that, since the real things don’t have sausage. So, from now on I’m going to call these Breakfast Hot Dogs from Heaven, because that’s what they are. And they are geeewwwwd.
P.S.: I love how this recipe comes with the ingredients categorized, so you don’t have to look for what to use when!
What you’ll need
(For the sponge)
1⁄4 cup water (warm- about 115 degrees)
1⁄2 cup sugar
4 1⁄2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup milk (warm- about 115 degrees)
1 3⁄4 cups flour
(After the initial 1 hour)
1⁄2 cup Crisco (melted and cooled a bit)
1⁄4 cup warm milk
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
2 egg yolks
2 1⁄4 cups flour
30 Little Smokies sausages
30 slices American cheese (sliced approximately the same size as the sausage.)
2 1⁄2 dozen canned jalapeno slices (optional)
2 tablespoons water
Now, let’s make it!
- Beat together warm water, sugar, yeast, 1 cup warm milk and 1 3/4 cups flour thoroughly and let stand for 1 hour. (I usually make the sponge in a large metal bowl, and let it sit in a barely warm oven for the hour. I preheat my oven to 170, then open the door of it to let some of the heat escape for about 3 to 5 minutes. BE SURE TO TURN YOUR OVEN OFF! I cover the bowl with a clean flour sack towel and pop it in.).
- Add Crisco, 1/4 cup warm milk, salt, egg yolks and 2 1/4 cups flour. Beat well and let rise until double in bulk. (When I put the sponge in the barely warmed oven, I microwave the Crisco. It’s really hot, so I let it stand out while the sponge is perculating. If you put the Crisco in when it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. The results are not pretty, lol. I usually use butter flavored Crisco.).
- Then work down (stir it with a wooden spoon. It releases all the “air” trapped in it. The dough will be very soft, and a little sticky.).
- Make the parts for each sausage roll. Cover the sausage and cheese with the dough you have patted out.( I use a silpat, and pat each golf ball size blob down to a rectange about 3 inches by 5 inches and about 1/4 of an inch thick.) Make sure to seal the cheese and sausage up well, and place the seam side down on the sheet pan. (It’s hard to put an exact measurement on this because some like to use the big sausages, and others the little smokies. I usually use about a golf ball size for the sausages that are about 4 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter. Any more, and I have way too much breading around the sausage. This dough really grows after the 2nd rise.).
- Beat the egg and water together to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash over the tops of the kolaches. (This makes them a beautiful golden brown. I usually reserve the 2 egg whites that I separate from the yolks for the dough and it has worked like a charm for me.).
- Let rise 15 minutes. (I’ve found that 15 minutes is plenty, because the kolaches continue to puff up in the oven. I’ve left them overnight, and it caused the bread to be too spongy, and they went stale very quickly.).
- Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
***Some additional notes: I’ve made these in a bread machine on the dough setting and just dumped everything in for the sponge and the dough. It’s a lot less work, but after it is baked, the bread does not have the fine texture the it does when you do all of the steps as listed. Also, underestimate the amount of dough you need to wrap around your filling. If the yeast that you have used is fresh, a little dough goes a long way!