Chicken and “Rice” Casserole

Hi.

Missed you.

As in I am currently crying I have missed you so.

It’s been a summer. Nothing bad just… Hectic and life and Little and you know.

I didn’t forget about you. Not once. Not one single day. But there reached a point where I hadn’t reached out in a while and then I was embarrassed and scared.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

And you know how sometimes when you are apart people change? Yeah that happened. So I worried you wouldn’t like me anymore. I still want to bake and cook for you all day long but somewhere mid July I went grain free.

Yes yes yes I know it is a bit crazy. Or a lot bit crazy. Can we still be friends? There will be lots of yumminess still I promise. Some of the things I have learned to make are out of this world good. You know me. I don’t settle for subpar food and just because it doesn’t have grains doesn’t mean I will all of sudden start putting up with awfully dry muffins or crappy crackers. No way.

This is for legit gonna blow your mind grain free deliciousness.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

Can we still be friends? Make a cup of coffee and catch up? I promise if you want to come along on this new grain free ride (even just as an occasional experiment) I will hold your hand the whole way. If you aren’t up for this I get it too. Come over anyways. The cookies are still delicious.

So this dinner is from one of my new favorite cookbooks Against All Grain. The author is not only talented but also stunning. I have been gifted both of her cookbooks and they are stanbys for me. So far only one recipe has been subpar. The rest have all been keepers.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

This is one of the keepers. Some wise soul at some point discovered that grated cauliflower was a great substitute for rice. It is awesome. This recipe even just cooks it with the rest of the veggies so there is no extra step to make rice. Even if I was eating grains again I would put this on the menu rotation because it is a mess of veggies with cashew cream (yeah I have ventured there too… it is worth it) and chicken. Ridiculously healthy.

Total legit comfort food. No compromises. Just deliciousness that happens to be grain free.

Can we do this? I say this to you as much as me. Opening up the blog again is vulnerable and and and…. I don’t even have words. Just stay with me. Love me as I am- broken, crazy, busy, and now grain free.

We can do this.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

One year ago today: Tomato Bread Bake

Two years ago today: Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

Chicken and Rice Casserole (serves 6+)
From Against All Grain Meals Made Simple

Sauce:
1 cup cashews soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
Juice from 1/2 small lemon

Casserole:
3 tbs olive oil
5 cloves garlic minced
2 shallots minced
3 cup grated cauliflower (box grater works AWESOME)
10 ounces chopped zucchini
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Optional: 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Sauce:
Drain the cashews and place in blender (or a bowl if using an immersion blender like me)with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend till smooth. Set aside

Casserole:
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook till just starting to soften. Add the cauliflower, zucchini, and salt. Continue cooking till crisp tender (about 10-12 minutes). Add the chicken and remove from the heat. Stir in the sauce thinning with water if necessary. Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish and top with the cheese if you so choose. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10. Serve straight away.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

Homemade Falafel with Tahini Sauce

Remember when I bought tahini for the first time the other day? And made pita bread? Best day ever.

So I did it again. Not the buying tahini part because I already had some but the making pita bread. Just a half batch this time. Lets not get crazy out of hand people. And then I made homemade falafel to fill it with.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

Seriously. Made my own falafel. Who knew it was so easy? Sure you gotta stand over the stove and fry them but it is so worth it.

Precious little brings me as much pleasure as being able to make restaurant quality food at home. I love being able to make things I would otherwise have to pay someone to make for me. And for a fraction of the price plus there is the upside that I get to share it with you.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

Speaking of sharing things what are you up to on May 31st? This sweet little blog turns two at the end of May and last year it was SO fun to see many of you at the first anniversary party. Wanna have another party? I’ll cook. It will be delicious. There will be drinks. But seriously. Please just come celebrate with me. I would be over the moon.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

Mark you calendar- My 31st. Be there or … I don’t know. I have no threats to make. Just come. It will make me happy. I might make you some pitas.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

One year ago today: Baby bok choi and mushrooms and risotto primavera

Homemade Falafel with Tahini Sauce (makes XXX)
From Just a Taste

For the falafel:
2 cups roughly chopped white onion
6 garlic cloves
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
Canola oil, for sauteing
Pita bread, for serving

For the tahini sauce:
1¼ cups plain yogurt (full fat or non-fat)
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Add the onion and garlic cloves to the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until they are finely minced. Remove the mixture and set it aside.

Add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, salt, chili powder, and cumin to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until they are roughly blended but not pureed.

Return the onion mixture to the food processor, along with the baking powder and just enough flour so that when you pulse the processor, the mixture begins to form a small ball and is not sticky. (Note: Start by adding ¼ cup of flour, and then the remaining ¼ cup. You can add more if the mixture is still too wet.)

Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour.

While the falafel mixture is chilling, prepare the tahini sauce by whisking together the yogurt, tahini and lemon juice. Season it with salt and pepper, cover it and place it in the fridge.

Once the falafel mixture has chilled, use a small ice cream scoop or spoons to form the mixture into balls (roughly 3 Tablespoons per ball). (Note: You can also add additional flour at this point, if the mixture is too wet to scoop.)

Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add a liberal amount of canola oil so that the pan is well-coated. Let the pan pre-heat for 3 minutes then add the falafel one by one, browning them on the first side for 3 minutes, then flipping them once and browning the second side until the mixture is cooked throughout.

Transfer the falafel to a paper towel-lined cooling wrack and immediately season them with salt. Repeat this process until you have cooked all of the falafel.

Place three or four falafel inside a halved, warmed pita and drizzle with the prepared tahini sauce.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

Enchilada Quinoa Black Bean Casserole

We have done black bean enchiladas before. So ridiculously good.

I have thing for enchiladas. They might, just might, be one of my all time favorite foods. And since I can make my own sauce I can whip them up whenever I want. Which I don’t. Because I can be lazy like that. Aren’t we all?

Enchilada Quinoa Black Bean Casserole

Then the idea floated across Pinterest to just toss the sauce with quinoa and other goodies and bake. Yes please.

What a simple recipe to throw together. Skip the cheese and it is vegan. Use or make a gluten free sauce and it’s gluten free. Which, in the circles I hang out in, something that can easily be vegan AND gluten free is a real winner.

Enchilada Quinoa Black Bean Casserole

We topped our with avocado and limes. I’m sure cilantro, sour cream, and even guacamole would be welcome additions.

Simply put it is enchiladas with WAY less hassle. And a bunch of veggies. I was thinking as I was making it that you would easily roast up some veggies and include them. And if you are an omnivore or someone who doesn’t think it is a complete meal without meat adding in some shredded chicken or pulled pork would totally be appropriate.

It makes a ton to invite company over. Just sayin.

Enchilada Quinoa Black Bean Casserole

One year ago today: Honey Cake and On Delivering Dinner (my favorite post ever)

Enchilada Quinoa Black Bean Casserole (easily serves 8+)
From Two Peas and their Pod

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 orange pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 cup corn frozen kernels
Juice of 1 small lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed or three to four cups cooked on your own
2 cups red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover quinoa and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the peppers and corn. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Pour in the enchilada sauce and stir. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with toppings, if desired. Serve warm.

Enchilada Quinoa Black Bean Casserole

Pita Bread

Hummus and pita go hand in hand. Right? Thanks for agreeing with me.

A good mama friend of mine made these a few weeks ago with her littles. I have seen them all over Pinterest for months dying to try them.

Homemade pita bread

For some reason they simply haven’t surfaced on the list of things I needed or wanted to make. Now you can add them to the list of things I will NEVER buy from a store again.

Pitas to me have always been these overly dry tasteless things that you get at the store in a bag. Occasionally at a restaurant you get really good soft and fluffy ones but they aren’t the pocket type pitas. I didn’t even know that pocket pita could be synonymous with soft and fluffy. Delicious.

Homemade pita bread

Easy peasy bread that you kinda throw together and then leave on the counter. Want to know a secret? I forgot about mine and what was supposed to be 1 hour rise turned into I think three. I can’t remember. The recipe called for throwing it in the fridge- I did none of that. Who has the patience?!

And I baked mine in the oven for only three minutes on my pizza stone. All an absolute utter breeze. Have I stressed the fact enough yet that these were delicious? Often homemade things are pretty good but store bought can be passable. This is not one of them. Two different worlds. Go make your own!

Homemade pita bread

One year ago today: Apple Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream Frosting

Pita Bread (makes 8-12)
From Smitten Kitchen

3 cups plus a scant 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients. With the paddle attachment, mix on low speed just until all the flour is moistened, about 20 seconds. Change to the dough hook, raise the speed to medium and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should clean the bowl and be very soft and smooth and just a little sticky to the touch. Add a little flour or water if necessary.

Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into a 2-quart or larger dough-rising container or bowl, lightly greased with cooking spray or oil. Press the dough down and lightly spray or oil the top of it. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. Let rise for about an hour and a half. Proceed to shaping or place in the fridge for 4 to 12 hours.

When ready to bake preheat the oven to 475°F one hour before. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone, cast-iron skillet, or baking sheet on it before preheating. Cut the dough into 8 or 12 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest covered with a damp cloth. On a lightly floured counter, with lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a ball and then flatten it into a disk. Cover the dough with oiled plastic and allow it to rest for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll each disk into a circle a little under 1/4 inch thick.

Quickly place 1 piece of dough directly on the stone or in the skillet or on the baking sheet, and bake for 3 minutes. The pita should be completely puffed but not beginning to brown. How well the pita will puff depends on how much moisture is in the dough. The more moist the better the puff. Allow to cool then enjoy.

Homemade pita bread

Hummus

WHy is it that the basics are elusive? How on earth do I know how to make my own butter but have never made my own hummus? We even keep a stash of dried garbanzo beans on hand at all times so would think it would be something that was n my repertoire.

Guess not.

However when requested I am more than happy to oblige. Particularly when it is something that has to be ridiculously simple and I just haven’t bothered to figure it out yet.

Which was the case here. A friend asked for it so I happily made it. And he happily ate over 2/3 of it in one sitting.

Homemade hummus in minutes

Who can blame him?

Also I thought I was going to take the cheater way out of this and use peanut butter instead of tahini. I had heard that you could do it and I didn’t want to bother with hunting some down (not like it is hard but I am L.A.Z.Y.). Nathan however was not amused so to acquiesce I got some. One of the local hippy stores (there are many) actually keeps tahini in bulk bins so I bought enough for two batches.

Totally worth it. Even better in pita sandwiches with tomatoes, shallots, and spinach. Seriously could make myself sick overeating on these. Oh and the pitas were homemade. Recipe to come. Also totally worth the effort.

Couple of notes- taste, taste, taste, and taste. Make sure you like the flavor! Also I had to add quite a bit of water to get it as loose as I wanted it to be. Don’t be afraid to keep adding water till it is right.

Homemade hummus in minutes

One year ago today: Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Scones and Ciabatta Bread

Hummus (makes about three cups)
From the Barefoot Contessa

4 garlic cloves
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas

Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it’s minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Add more water if necessary to thin it out. Taste, for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Homemade hummus in minutes

Cooking Beans

It has astounded me how many vegetarians I have talked to of late who mentioned they don’t make/don’t know how to make their own beans. From scratch.

I too used to be in the canned bean buying club. With my budget concious ways making my own beans was just a matter of time. At first I found it frustrating and confusing between the soaking and the rinsing and the simmering. And I always seemed to have too many or not enough when I was done making a batch.

Cooking Dried Beans

Then I learned you can freeze them after cooking. Freeze.them. What?!

World turned upside down.

Cooking Dried Beans

Now this is the only way I make beans. I keep all sorts of dried beans on hand at all times because I buy them in bulk from my co op. A pantry full. Many of them from the local valley too. I’m a lucky girl. Also I tend to keep at least 3-4 different containers full of different kinds of cooked beans in my freezer.

Cooking Dried Beans

Pretty much a kitchen full of beans. Not really but you get the idea. But seriously since I learned that you can make and freeze beans I haven’t bought a single can from the store. Mostly because I can’t bring myself to buy a can of beans when I know I have so many at home. Sure if I have to make a batch from dried its going to take an hour and half ish or if I need to thaw them it will take a while but I am more than happy to go this route.

Or I’m neurotic and just love making everything from scratch.

Anyways. It’s easy. It’s cheaper. You should do it. Join me.

Cooking Dried Beans

One year ago today: Orange poppyseed scones

Cooking Dried Beans (makes as much as you want)
Mine (ish)

Dried beans
Water

It is not necessary to pre-soak most beans but you can if you want. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) must be soaked overnight however.

Place your beans in a large pot, pick them over for any rocks and broken beans. Rinse a couple of times in cold water to get off any residual dirt. Drain the dirty water. Cover the beans with 2-3 inches of water and place over medium high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Set a timer for one hour. Once the timer goes off taste test at least five beans from the pot (try to get them for different places) to see if they are done. Continue checking in 10 minute increments till they are perfect. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Use immediately or cover with fresh water, cover, and freeze till you want to use them. Enjoy!

Cooking Dried Beans

Hearty Stew

Truly this was supposed to be an Irish stew to go with the rest of St. Patricks day themed recipes I am conjuring up around here but… I have no way to make a claim that this is Irish in any way shape or form.

For some reason we haven’t made much stew around here. There was one made back in October but it was haphazard and willy nilly so it didn’t make it on here. I should seriously make it more often because I can’t remember the last time I watched Nathan consume so many leftovers. He has enjoyed this even more than once a day every day since I made it. I am in awe.

Hearty Stew

Would someone please explain to me why I have always thought stew was time consuming? It really wants. Sure I had to be around the house to make it but it was a lot of do something for 5-10 minutes then simmer (in my case that meant do work) for an hour then do something for 5-10 minutes then simmer an hour then done. Chuck stuff in a pot. Totally my style.

I measured nothing. Soups and stews I have come to the conclusion and merciful and forgiving. I followed the recipe. I honestly did but rather than measure I just eye balled it. Totally worked.

Hearty Stew

Are you brave that way? There are certain things I simply don’t measure anymore. If it is a savory, cook on the stove dish it is all approximations. When it comes to baking I can’t remember the last time I measured vanilla. If it is something that is hard to extract from the container like honey or coconut oil I will often to just take an educated guess. If is the bottom of a container I will totally just dumb what is left in and pray it turns out ok.

Hearty Stew

Everyone does this right? Right. Thanks for reassuring me.

So make stew. Feed your family for what feels like a week off of cooking once. Maybe even you family will eat the leftovers too. Even if you eye ball all the proportions.

Hearty Stew

One year ago today: Almond Poppyseed Bread and Refried Beans

Hearty Stew (easily feeds 10-12)
From My Baking Addiction 

1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
4 cups beef stock
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Red Duck ketchup
1 tablespoon A-1 steak sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water
2/3 cup frozen peas

Combine flour, garlic and onion powders into a bowl; mix until incorporated. Toss beef into the flour mixture until thoroughly coated.

In a large dutch oven, cook beef in heated oil over medium heat until nicely browned. Remove beef and set aside.

Deglaze pot with red wine, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add in beef, beef stock, rosemary, parsley and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.

Stir potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, Worcestershire, ketchup and A-1 Steak Sauce into the pot. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 teaspoons cold water and stir into stew. Cover and simmer 1 hour more. Stir in frozen peas and continue cooking until peas are cooked through. Add salt to taste.

Hearty Stew

Fresh Spinach Pasta

Sometimes I do things in what feels like a cheater way.

Homemade pasta has been finicky. Sometimes it comes out right, sometimes it frustrates the living daylights out of me.  I truly love it but I often find it daunting because. Cracking eggs into a pile of flour on my counter stresses.me.out. A lot.

Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

And yes I have had my beautifully crafted well break and have egg spill all over my counter. I don’t do messes. Much less egg and flour messes on my counter.

But I wanted spinach pasta. I just had no idea how to get there without making an even bigger mess. So I avoided it for far too long.

Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

That is till I learned you can make (and should!) make spinach pasta in your food processor. Throw ingredients in bowl, whir, dump on counter, kneed, done. Totally makes me feel like a cheater cheater.

I love it.

Our little family cannot put away an entire batch of homemade pasta in one sitting though. We have dried pasta before and it has been quite successful but it’s just… Augh. It’s a thing. And pasta hangs out on your counter for what feels like forever. And it breaks SO easy.

Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

The solution? Freeze it! I take the pasta after running it through the cutting roller, toss it with flour, and then put it in single serving piles on a baking sheet. Once frozen I toss them in a ziplock bag. When we want fresh pasta it is just as easy as grabbing a pile/nest per person and tossing them in boiling water. Where has this trick been my entire life?

So I’m a convert. Next time I make regular pasta I’m going to try the food processor too. And freeze it. Because we rock like that.

Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

One year ago today: Homemade Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

Fresh Spinach Pasta (makes a bit more than a pound)
From Food Network/ Emeril Lagasse 

5 ounces fresh spinach, blanched and squeezed dry
1 pound all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
6 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and blanched spinach. Process to mix well. With the machine running, add the eggs, egg yolks, and olive oil through the feed tube, and process until it resembles wet cornmeal, about 2 minutes.

Dump the dough on to the counter and kneed till elastic and cohesive (about 5 minutes). Let rest covered in plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes. Roll out each dough ball into desired shape in a pasta machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until just al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and serve with desired sauce.

(This particular batch was cut into small sheets for cannelloni)

IMG_2063Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

Mini Meatloaf and Red Duck Ketchup

We chit chatted earlier this week about Red Duck Ketchup. How delicious it was and how perfect it is on corn dogs. Remember? And I promised there would be one lucky winner of a ketchup gift pack?

Well Emily Shack you are the lucky winner! I’ll email for your address so we can send tasty ketchup your way.

I do want to share one more recipe with you before we jump off this ketchup train for a while. Simple homemade meatloaf. Except I made mine in my mini muffin tin instead of in to an actual loaf. Apparently I have a thing for miniature sized foods….

Mini Meatloaf and Red Duck Ketchup

There really is a story behind this though. When my sister and I were little we wouldn’t eat meatloaf. Well we wouldn’t eat it in loaf form. However is my mom baked it in a muffin tin, slathered it with ketchup and topped it with cheese, and called them snuffleupagus meatballs we would devour them. My mom is a pretty bright woman if you ask me.

I have never tried to feed Little meatloaf in a loaf form. In fact (are you ready for this??)….. I have never made meatloaf before. Like ever. I actually had to go look up some recipes because, while I had a vague idea of what I was doing, I wasn’t completely sure what all went in it.

Mini Meatloaf and Red Duck Ketchup

And then I decided to wing it. I liked the idea of pureeing some veggies in the food processor to add to the mixture. Hiding veggies in your meals can NEVER be a bad idea. But I so trust the Pioneer Woman recipes I really wanted to make hers. Except I had no bacon (a completely separate tragedy which will be remedied shortly). That and her recipe didn’t have the veggies in it.

So I just kinda did my own thing. It turned out positively delicious. Little promptly ate two (at 9 am) as soon as they were cool enough to handle.

Mini Meatloaf and Red Duck Ketchup

I wasn’t sure how the curry ketchup would fare on the meatloaf. Please please please believe me when I tell you, if you are local, go out and buy a bottle of Red Duck curry ketchup even if it is just for meatloaf. What an incredible addition and layers of flavor. Hands down the winner.

The spicy ones were also incredibly delicious but I was simply blown away at how well the curry went with the meatloaf. It’s a thing. You should do it.

Mini Meatloaf and Red Duck Ketchup

One year ago today: Broccoli Cheese Soup

Mini Meatloaf (made 22 mini cupcakes sized)
Pieced together from many recipes

1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1/4 yellow onion peeled
1/2 cup milk
2 slices Bread
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup (heaping) grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 whole eggs, beaten
Ketchup for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes. Put the coarsely chopped carrot, celery and onion in the bowl of your food processor. Process till very finely chopped. Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, veggies, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.

With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a little balls and place in your mini muffin pan. Place a good sized dollop of ketchup on each mini meatloaf and spread evenly.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until internal temp reaches 170 F. Enjoy with a side of veggies or potatoes.

Mini Meatloaf and Red Duck Ketchup

Homemade Corn Dogs and Red Duck Ketchup

Proof we are not 100% healthy eaters around here.

I am not kidding about these corn dogs. These are genuine dipped in batter fried in oil deliciousness.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

Sure. Ok. Fine. It is organic non gmo masa and cornmeal. And the hot dogs are locally made from ethically raised meat. And the oil is cold press canola. BUT it is still battered and fried food. A true scarcity around here.

What prompted this? Ketchup. Wonderful local craft ketchup.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

Nathan has been working with a super cool founders group and Red Duck  just happens to be part of the same group. Red Duck is a brilliant group of entrepreneurs who tired of the boring ketchup fare offered locally. They took to their kitchen to create something delicious and over 30 flavor combinations later three tasty flavors emerged- classic, curry, and spicy.

I had the privilege of tasting all the flavors at a local expo. Who knew ketchup could be so good? I feel this is the point in time where I need to admit I don’t really like ketchup. Well  I guess I should say I don’t like commercially available ketchup. This stuff? This stuff I will eat by the spoonful.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

And guess what!?! You will get to too! Red Duck gifted me with two jars to taste and cook with at home (I did promise I would tell you about it) and then has offered to ship a 3 pack gift set to one lucky lucky reader.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

Can we talk about this ketchup for a second? First off it is organic. Secondly it has none of the odd ingredients found in mass market ketchup such as high fructose ketchup or stabilizers. Thirdly it is local to my area. Love me some local businesses.

I highly recommend if you do win this ketchup that you make these corn dogs to go with. Seriously easy as all your are doing is mixing up a batter, dipping, then frying. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool. Dipping them in cool ketchup helps. Trust me.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

How to enter this give away:

There are three ways to get an entry.

1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what’s your favorite thing to put ketchup on.

2. Go like Red Duck Ketchup on Facebook. Come back here and leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

3. Share this post on your Facebook. Come back here and leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

Entries close Friday, February 28th at 8 am. I will draw and and announce a winner on Friday.

Luck!

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

One year ago today: Brownie Cookie and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Corn Dogs (we made them mini so it made 24)
From How to Cook With Vesna

Pack of hot dogs, the very best all-beef ones you can find
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup masa harina
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
Bamboo skewers
2-4 cups of oil for frying

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet indregients (start with 1/2 cup buttermilk) and stir well. You are looking for the consistency of thick pancake batter. Skewer a hot dog and test dip in the batter. If it coats easily then you are ready to go. If it is too think then add some more buttermilk. Pour the batter into a tall cup. Pour the oil in a heavy duty pan (cast iron is best) and bring to about 375 F. A small dap of batter dropped int he oil should sizzle nicely. Skewer the hot dogs (or in our case 1/4 of the hot dog pieces) then dip in the batter. Put immediately in the pan and cook till golden then flip. Once the second side is golden remove to a paper towel to drain. Allow to cool slightly then enjoy dipped in the very best ketchup around.

(And Red Duck does have a fan in this little picky eater. The curry one specifically. Who needs corn dogs when you can just eat it with your hands!?)

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!