I admit that back in my bachelor gotta-make-something-for-dinner-but-I-can’t-cook days I went through my share of boxes of Hamburger Helper. Easy to make and hearty, any flavor of Hamburger Helper would do. That’s why I just had to make this copycat version of the classic cheeseburger mix. Just as easy as the stuff out of the box and darn tasty too! You can easily modify this recipe and make your own. Add jalapenos or a dash or two of cayenne pepper for a little kick. Swap Monterey Jack cheese for the cheddar. Use ground turkey instead of ground beef and add a pinch or two of dried sage. Your copycat cheeseburger Hamburger Helper doesn’t have to be exactly like the stuff out of the box, but it’s ok if it is!
I love any restaurant, chain or not, that serves chicken wings. I have my favorites for sure, and Buffalo Wild Wings is one of them. BW3s Parmesan garlic wing sauce is to die for. It’s creamy, a little nutty thanks to the Parmesan cheese, and definitely packed with garlic. This copycat of the chain sauce is spot-on crazy good. I absolutely could not stop eating it. So much so that I made wings covered in the Parmesan garlic sauce two days in a row. Is that wrong?
I say without hesitation that you should double the amount of sauce. It’s not so much that you need to drown the wings in it, no. It’s because it’s good on sandwiches and subs too. Crazy garlicky good.
Anita requested that I make patty melts for dinner. So, I made patty melts for dinner. But not just my usual patty melts. No, it was time to bring out the big guns – a copycat of Applebee’s Classic Patty Melt. This is what a patty melt should be. Griddled patties, sauteed onions, a delicious sauce and of course, cheese. And thick bread. You have to have thick bread or you’ll end up with sandwich sadness. No one wants to have their patty melt fall apart when they take a bite. The sauce is best with a clove of roasted garlic mixed in. I roasted an entire head of garlic ahead of time. I squeezed out one clove for this recipe and saved the rest for something else. It really makes this Applebee’s Classic Patty Melt better than the rest, so don’t skip the effort.
I could make (and eat) ‘fried’ chicken using my Vortex BBQ all day long. It has never let me down. It has never been anything but easy. This copycat of Church’s fried chicken was no exception. Incredibly crunchy skin. Unbelievably moist and flavorful meat. And as easy as coating it, grilling it, eating it. Done. There are no tricks or special handshakes that you need to know to get fried chicken right using the Vortex. And although a lot of sites say to rotate the lid every 15 minutes while cooking, I’ve not found that it makes a difference. I don’t over-crowd my grill and I make sure I have a super-hot fire. If you’ve found that rotating the lid is a requirement, let me know but so far, I’ve not had anything but success just keeping the lid right where it is. I also do not flip my chicken while it is cooking. Doing so will result in ‘batter loss’, a bad thing. Just keep it right where it is.
Also try my insanely-awesome proper pub fried chicken, another fantastic recipe for deliciously crispy tasty chicken cooked using the Vortex. You can also use off-the-shelf fried chicken coating to make spectacular chicken on the Vortex. Check out my Kentucky Kernel chicken too!
It’s summer. That means iced tea for me, and in particular, Snapple. This copycat of the fantastic bottled version hits the spot on a hot day for sure. Just toss a few ingredients into your slow cooker and in a few hours you get great tasting tea. I prefer peach- or lemon-flavored tea, but you can use any flavor you’d like. For lower calorie, lower carb tea use artificial sweetener and any one of the sugar-free fruit flavors of Torani syrup. I’ve found that some syrup flavors can be hard to find locally but thankfully, shipping isn’t bad so I ordered a few bottles online. You don’t have to worry about the syrups expiring either, so don’t be afraid to try several different flavors in your teas.
I’ve never been to Firehouse Subs. So, I can’t really say for sure that this is a 100% copycat of their Battalion Chief sub (then again, I don’t see it on the menu any more). But I can say I thought this was a fantastic sandwich and if the rest of the menu at Firehouse Sub’s is anything like this, I need to get on over there and make up for lost time. Cheese, horseradish, roast beef and lettuce all on a nice toasted roll. Oh, and the surprise? Crunchy fried onions. Oh yeah. I’m not as big a fan of horseradish as Anita is, even though it does go very, very well with roast beef. But, since finding The Mustard Man’s Simply Horsey mustard, I’ve become a bigger and bigger fan. Simply Horsey combines just the right amount of horseradish with creamy mustard and bit of mayonnaise. It has the perfect consistency for topping this copycat Firehouse Sub’s Battalion Chief sub.
Also checkout my copycat of one of my all-time favorite restaurant sandwiches, Subway’s Italian BMT.
“Bring it back!” “Bring it back!” That’s what a lot of folks are saying when they think about McDonald’s Cheddar Melt, which first came out around 2000, but it wasn’t available for long. But, so far, no luck. That’s when you have to step up and make it at home. And hey, to be honest.. it’s even better than I rememeber!
The real winning flavor on these McDonald’s Cheddar Melts is the onion and teriyaki mixture. It compliments the meaty burger and creamy cheddar sauce perfectly. I grilled my burgers because, well, that’s what I do, but you can also cook the burgers in the same pan that you cook the onions. The cheese and onions are also perfect on hot dogs, so don’t be afraid to double or even triple the recipe. And hey, a dash or two of hot sauce isn’t a bad idea either. But don’t go crazy with it. You definitely do not want to hide the wonderful flavor of the toppings on these McDonald’s Cheddar Melts. Heck, you could just eat the cheese and onion with a spoon!
After enjoying a McDonald’s Cheddar Melt try a homemade Arch Deluxe. It’s crazy good too!
Sometimes you just need a little reminder to step outside of your box of usual sandwich spreads and use something you might not think of. This copycat of the avocado sandwich spread from Jimmy John’s is essentially guacamole with a few twists thrown in. It’s fantastic on a sandwich and for that matter, equally as great as a dip for tortilla chips. That’s why I doubled the recipe. Sandwiches and chips. Lunch is done. Every sandwich needs a little spiciness in my opinion. Which is why I was happy that this avocado sandwich spread includes a jalapeno. Now, granted, it’s a small jalapeno so you’re not going to get overwhelming heat. But you don’t want that kick to be front-and-center. Just there, in the back. Noticed but not overwhelming. This spread is excellent on my copycat of Jason’s Deli California Club sandwich.