Ground Turkey Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro

I have been enjoying great success with my new Nesco Snackmaster Pro. Of course the most popular items have been the various jerky flavors that I’ve made. And so far, I’ve just made jerky using beef. Not everyone can handle beef, so I decided to try my hand at making jerky using ground turkey. I have to say, I was pretty pessimistic going in. I’m not always a big fan of ground turkey (I think it’s a textural thing), but boy, were my fears unfounded! Ground turkey jerky (say it 10 times fast, it’s fun!) is absolutely fantastic! It’s tender, and oh so flavorful. Heck, Anita likes it better than my beef jerky.

Ground Turkey Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster ProYou just can’t go wrong with ground turkey jerky. I can’t wait to make this again. I started using a standard almost-Slim Jim-like flavoring. Nice and neutral, without any heat, so it could be enjoyed by anyone. I’ll soon try other flavors with more kick, but there’s definitely nothing but good about this jerky.

Do not skip the final step of placing the dried jerky in the oven for 30 minutes. Better safe than sorry with poultry!

Check out my guide to using the Nesco Snackmaster Pro. You will be making fantastic jerky at home in no time at all!

Ground Turkey Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro
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This recipe scales up very easily. You can make about 1 pound of jerky per every 2 trays. You'll also need a jerky gun (see below).
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place turkey in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and add to the turkey. Combine well.
  3. Transfer to a resealable container or baggie and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Load the meat into a jerky gun and squeeze out onto the Snackmaster Pro trays. Do not let the meat touch or overlap.
  5. Transfer trays to the Snackmaster Pro set on the highest temperature and dry for 6 hours. Test for doneness by bending the jerky. If it bends without tearing it is not dry enough. If it gives and starts to tear at the bend it is done.
  6. Preheat your oven to 170 F and place the jerky on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes to ensure safety.
  7. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

No Carb Sherbet Pops

These no carb sherbet (er, sherbert as I was raised to call it) pops are proof that going low carb does not mean getting no flavor. Packed with your favorite gelatin flavor (in our case yummy raspberry), it’s the perfect treat for a hot day. Or cool day, as was the case here. I made pops, but you can also just pour the sherbet mixture into single-serve cups and freeze them.

The original recipe for no carb sherbet pops calls for using a small 4-serving box of gelatin, which is perfect. For double the flavor use the bigger 0.6 ounce box.

No Carb Sherbet Pops For an adult version, substitute wine or champagne for the club soda. If you don’t mind a few carbs add in some fruit (frozen fruit that has been slightly thawed is fine) before or after you puree the mixture.

No Carb Sherbet Pops
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Serves: 6 pops
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (0.3 ounce) box your favorite sugar-free Jell-O (for extra flavor, use a 0.6 ounce box)
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cold club soda, plus more
  • 1 1/2 cup crushed ice
Instructions
  1. Place Jello-O into a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add the boiling water and stir until the Jell-O is dissolved.
  3. Whisk in the heavy hipping cream, vanilla and 1/3 cup of soda water.
  4. Place the ice into a blender.
  5. Add the Jell-O mixture and puree until smooth. If the mixture is too thick add more club soda, a bit at a time.
  6. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until set.

 

Chili Crunch Burger

I’ve been jonesin’ really bad for a really good burger. A loaded burger, with lots of spicy kick to it. So I fired up my grill and proceeded to make a few big ole chili crunch burgers. Spicy chili. Crunchy chips. Sweet onions. Hot jalapenos. All topped with fiery habanero cheese. Yeah, baby, spicy messy burger time!
Chili Crunch Burger

There is nothing but goodness in every bite. Chili and yummy burger juices will run down your arm. Melted cheese will drip onto your plate. That’s why you want to keep a few extra Fritos around so you can scoop up the fallen chili and cheese.

Although I prefer fresh jalapenos, sometimes they aren’t available. That’s when I substitute canned (not pickled) chopped jalapenos. My favorite are fire-roasted. The roasting adds a great sweet charred flavor to any dish.

Chili Crunch Burger
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Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
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Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • 8 slices Habanero Jack cheese
  • 1 15 ounce can Hormel Hot No Bean chili, warmed
  • 1 medium onion (red, white or sweet), chopped
  • 4 jalapenos, seeded, chopped
  • A few handfuls of Fritos Chili Cheese corn chips
Instructions
  1. Place beef in a large bowl.
  2. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and mix well. Form into 8 1/4 pound patties.
  3. Grill burgers as desired.
  4. Place cooked patties on bun bottoms.
  5. Top with cheese, a few tablespoons of the chili, the onion, and jalapeno.
  6. Add a few corn chips and the bun top and serve (with paper towels!).

 

Chorizo-Stuffed Fritos on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Very few things are as addicting as chorizo-stuffed Fritos. These little bite-sized snacks disappear in no time. As an added bonus, they are incredibly easy to make. I made a batch on my Char-Broil Big Easy. You can fit a whole bunch of stuffed Fritos on the Big Easy, making it perfect for cooking for a crowd, if you have the available cooking rack.
Chorizo-Stuffed Fritos on the Char-Broil Big EasyJust about anything you put in the Fritos is going to taste great. I used Mexican chorizo because I love the spiciness that is brings to dishes, but ground breakfast sausage would also be fantastic.

Be careful when pulling these chorizo-stuffed Fritos off your Big Easy. In no time the chips get mighty hot, so use tongs or let them cool a bit first before handling and eating.

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!

Chorizo-Stuffed Fritos on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
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You'll need the 6-level cooking rack from Char-Broil to heat up a bunch of these treats at once.
Ingredients
  • Fritos Scoops chips (grab 2 bags in case it's hard to find the perfectly-shaped chips)
  • Cooked Mexican chorizo, finely crumbled (Note: If you cannot crumble the sausage well enough, toss the slightly-cooled cooked chorizo into a food processor and pulse a few times)
  • Shredded cheese (extra sharp cheddar or pepperjack work great!)
  • 1 cup Ranch salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons (or more, to taste) chopped chipotle peppers along with some of the adobo sauce
  • Green onions, sliced thin, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Open the bag of chips and place in a large bowl. Go through them and grab the biggest, best scooping chips you can find.
  3. Combine the crumbled chorizo and cheese. Press lightly into the chips and transfer to the cooking rack.
  4. Lower rack into the Big Easy and cook until the cheese is melted on all levels, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the rack and let cool slightly.
  6. While the chips are cooling whisk together the dressing and chipotle with adobo.
  7. Serve chips drizzled with the sauce and garnished with green onions.

Fat Johnny’s Cheesy Cornbread

Chez John (aka Fat Johnny) turns out some mighty darned good grub (check out his awesome blog at Fat Johnny’s Front Porch). Like this cheesy cornbread. We absolutely love the addition of sweet corn to cornbread. The cornbread cooks up perfectly. Soft and moist with an incredible cheesy flavor.
Fat Johnny's Cheesy CornbreadJust about anything can be added to this (or any cornbread) recipe. Try finely chopped cooked Mexican chorizo. Or ham or bacon. Or broccoli. Really, anything.

We cooked the cornbread in round pans, but of course you can use muffin tins instead. Note that it’ll probably be done sooner in tins, so keep an eye on it after about 15 minutes of cooking.

Fat Johnny's Cheesy Cornbread
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Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
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Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or canned, drained)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup fine diced sweet onion
  • 1 cup, plus more, buttermilk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  2. Set out two medium bowls.
  3. In one bowl, gently stir together all of the wet ingredients.
  4. In the other bowl stir together the dry ingredients.
  5. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, forming a batter. If it's too clumpy add more buttermilk, a little at a time, and stir.
  6. Pour batter into a muffin tin or pie pan.
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

 

Bistro Burgers

I was jonesin’ for a big, great burger. Hot off the grill. Juicy. Packed with flavor. These Bistro burgers were so good that Anita said “You’re making these again, and soon” after only one bite. Of course, there’s bacon. And a fried egg (burgers and fried eggs were meant for each other). But the kicker? Frisee lettuce tossed with Dijon, shallots and a bit of the drippings from the bacon. My goodness they were great!
Bistro BurgersThere is nothing I can think of that could possibly make these Bistro burgers any better other than to have made more of them. The Dijon wasn’t too strong (sometimes, too much mustard can be a bad thing), and in fact it was outstanding. Every bite was packed with the perfect tastes.

Bistro Burgers
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Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
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Serves: 4 burgers
 
Ingredients
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, divided into 4 patties
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, plus more for spreading
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1 small bunch frisee lettuce, torn
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Reserve all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings.
  4. Season the burger patties and place on the grill.
  5. While the burgers are cooking fry the egg in the skillet. Remove.
  6. Cook burgers until they reach the desired doneness.
  7. Toast buns as desired.
  8. Whisk 1 tablespoon of the Dijon and 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon drippings. Stir in the shallots then toss the frisee into the mixture, coating
  9. Slather buns with a bit more of the Dijon.
  10. Add the cooked patties, bacon, egg, frisee and bun tops. Enjoy!

 

Bicycle Museum of America

There are two types of people in the world: those that think that a bicycle museum sounds awesome, and those that don’t. If you’re in the ‘don’t’ group, you need to brush your thoughts aside and get to the Bicycle Museum of America in New Bremen, Ohio, because the place is awesome. The museum owns hundreds and hundreds of bikes, with a hundred or so on display at any time. From the first bike ever (an 1816 Draisine) to bikes from your childhood to today, you’ll be amazed at how much you don’t actually know about the history and technology of bicycles.
Bicycle Museum of AmericaWe started out by watching a 15 minute video that was actually quite fascinating. It was mostly about a bike show in Findlay, but it showed how people rode old-time bikes. Did you know that newspapers used to publish lists of people that ‘headered’ (went over the handle bars)? There were actually two lists. Those that got back up, and those that didn’t.

Bicycle Museum of America

Bicycle Museum of AmericaBikes were dangerous back in the day, until the invention of the safety bike. Can you believe that this bike is from 1890? It looks almost exactly like any bike you can buy today.

Bicycle Museum of America

Bicycle Museum of AmericaWomen didn’t ride bikes in the early parts of bike history. Bikes weren’t designed for women in dresses. Later, bikes became more female-friendly, including having string dress guards!

Bicycle Museum of AmericaWood bikes are cool!

Bicycle Museum of AmericaThe bike below was one of our favorites. What a fantastic design!

Bicycle Museum of AmericaWe were accompanied by a curator (I think that’s the proper term) of the museum. He was so knowledgeable and friendly we could’ve just spent the entire day walking around and hearing stories about all of the bikes. Although you get very detailed easy-to-follow handouts (each bike’s placard has a number on it that you can look up on your handouts), having the guide was a bonus!

Bicycle Museum of AmericaSo how did a bicycle museum end up in New Bremen, Ohio? Well, I’m glad you asked! The museum got its start when the Schwinn bike company in Chicago was going bankrupt in the late 90s. A local New Bremen family went to Chicago and bought out the Schwinn museum (and name) which was then located on the North Pier.

Bicycle Museum of AmericaSince then the Bicycle Museum of America has continued to acquire amazing bikes for the collection, including military models. There are also bike-related materials, such as the badges bike police have when patrolling the presidential inauguration in Washington, DC.

Bicycle Museum of AmericaOne of 7 bikes used in the Pee Wee Herman movie!

Bicycle Museum of AmericaThe bike below is also one of my favorites. What a cool design.

Bicycle Museum of America

Bicycle Museum of America

Bicycle Museum of AmericaEvery bike is restored (or new, actually) and is in amazing condition.

Bicycle Museum of America

Bicycle Museum of AmericaOn the first floor there is a full-sized Ordinary bike (the one with the huge front wheel) that you can sit on and get a feel for just how crazy high the old bikes were! If you have little ones, there is a great peddle car on the 3rd floor of the museum that they can drive around the building.

I really can’t tell you just how much the Bicycle Museum of America exceeded our expectations. The bikes are just amazing and the staff was fantastic. This was also our first time in the New Bremen, Ohio, area and we found the town to be great! After the museum we walked a few doors down to the New Bremen Coffee company and had a great lunch.

 

Copycat Panera Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberries are in season. I’ve been waiting for this moment to make this copycat of Panera’s strawberry poppy seed dressing. My patience was definitely rewarded. This could easily be my favorite dressing of all time. Smooth strawberry flavor with just a bit of sweetness. White balsamic vinegar, while not as cheap as the dark version, is more mellow and adds a great tang.
Copycat Panera Strawberry Poppy Seed DressingI was curious what makes white balsamic vinegar more gentle than dark, so I Googled it. Turns out dark balsamic vinegar is aged for at least twelve years in barrels that have been fired and were previously used for other batches of balsamic vinegar. White balsamic vinegar, on the other hand, is aged at least twelve years in new barrels that have not been fired or used before. That explains the cleaner flavor! It’s perfect in this copycat Panera strawberry poppy seed dressing.

After I use up this batch of dressing (read: tonight), I think I’ll try the same recipe but using raspberries instead. Or peaches. I think this same approach could work well with any good in-season fruit.

Copycat Panera Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: American
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar (or regular, but the dressing will be darker)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon stevia (or your favorite no-calorie sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients except the poppy seeds together in a high-speed blender or food processor and mix until smooth.