Who needs all the carbs you find in traditional nachos? We’ll, here’s the solution if you’re watching your carbohydrates. Perfectly roasted cauliflower topped with your favorite nacho toppings. Heck, you don’t even have to be counting carbs to enjoy these nachos. These cauliflower nachos remind me of another low-carb version of a dish: mashed cauliflower. Just like the potato version, but without the carbs. We make them often and always enjoy folk’s reaction when we tell them they aren’t eating mashed potatoes.
I would’ve liked to have made this slow cooker tomato sauce using tomatoes from our garden. For some reason, our tomatoes just didn’t produce this year. Usually I have to worry about the raccoons stealing them but not this time. They just didn’t come out. So, Plan B, I picked up a big batch of ripe tomatoes at the grocery store. The end result came out very, very flavorful. Quite honestly, I had my sights set on using this sauce to make pizza sauce, but it’s so good by itself you could easily serve it as-is as tomato soup. I used Roma tomatoes because I like how they taste. You can substitute any good tomato, just make sure they’re good and ripe. Do not use those hard-as-cardboard tomatoes you often find at your grocery store. If you’re lucky enough to be near a farmer’s market, it’s well worth the trip. When tomatoes are at peak you’ll want to make several batches of this slow cooker tomato sauce and freeze it for later.
I can eat a scary amount of crab legs. Fortunately, I don’t have to tell you just how much a ‘scary amount’ is, but when the crab legs are as great as these Old Bay crab legs cooked on my Char-Broil Big Easy, I cannot control myself. From the moment they go into cooker the aroma hits you and your stomach will start growling. In just minutes you too can be enjoying nice big ole meaty crab legs covered in Old Bay seasoning. For dipping, I made a bit of clarified butter, which is also something I cannot control myself around. This was a bonus meal for sure! You can make Old Bay snow crab legs too, if you wish, but you’ll probably want to cut back on the heating time. It doesn’t take long to re-heat the already-steamed thawed crab legs.
What’s better than spiral ham? Spiral ham glazed with bacon, of course. It’s spiral-ham-sale-time here, so I backed up the truck and grabbed a nice big smoked ham. Of course, they’re easy to reheat. And just as easy to glaze during the last 30 minutes. The bacon glaze adds a bit more smokiness, but also some sweetness, a little tartness and a little tang thanks to two different kinds of mustard. You can substitute pretty much any jelly you want, but I’d stay away from ‘darker’ ones, such as blueberry or the like. Go for lighter colors. And don’t be afraid to use a spicy jelly such as jalapeno pepper jelly. You may also want to double the amount of bacon-glaze, serving any leftover glaze as a drizzle over the sliced ham when you serve it.
As much as I love turkey around the holidays, it’s the dressing and gravy that I love the most. Dressing (specially this ciabatta and sausage version) has so many different flavors and textures and colors. Turkey? Meh… not so much. Not that the turkey is a bad thing, it’s just that I much prefer a plate with a lot of dressing and just a bit of turkey. I had never had a dressing that contained sausage until this one. I was blown away by just how much flavor the sage sausage adds. The ciabatta adds such wonderful texture and flavor too. There’s no question, this is one fantastic dressing.
We had a sort-of-good turnout this year at Halloween. Trick-or-treaters came in waves, but not big waves like we had last year. That means we were left with a big ole bowl (actually, three bowls) of leftover Halloween candy. I’m a big fan of Skittles candies, so we had lots of Skittles… so I made Skittles popcorn! Fun to make, the popcorn tastes a bit like caramel corn, but with the sweetness cranked up a few notches. Tangerine, lemon, berry, grape and pear flavors exploded everywhere! Skittles popcorn is mighty darned tasty (and sweet). It doesn’t get super-duper crunchy like caramel corn but it’s still a great treat. And it doesn’t take a whole lot of Skittles candies to make a while lot of popcorn, either.
Some of the colors get a bit thin as they melt, so don’t be afraid to have a few drops of food coloring on hand to bump up the colors.
3/4 cup of Skittles® (make sure single flavor used
Notes: 4 cups cooked per half recipe
Pop your corn according to package instructions. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Rip a sheet of waxed paper (about 8 – 10? long) and lie on your counter.
Melt butter and brown sugar on the stove on medium heat. Stir frequently to avoid scorching.
Pour in the Skittles® candies. Stir until melted (you might need to mash them down to help them dissolve).
Once done melting pour the hot candy mixture over the top of the popcorn.
Use a spatula and fold in the mixture throughout the popcorn until will covered.
Dump the popcorn onto the waxed paper and spread thinly to allow to cool.
If you wish to make popcorn balls, allow mixture to cool for 3 – 4 minutes (or until you can touch it). Then, spray cooking spray or butter your hands and form the popcorn into balls shapes. Set aside.
I’ve made my share of Stove Top Chicken Stuffing. It’s fast, easy, cheap and good. In my bachelor days you’d always find a box or two in my pantry. Now that I cook a lot more from scratch, I decided it was time to give making a copycat of the classic boxed stuffing a shot. And you know what? Man, was it ever as good as the boxed stuff and mighty fun and easy to make! I will definitely double (or triple) this recipe for copycat Stove Top Chicken Stuffing next time. I admit, as much as I love Thanksgiving turkey, I’m really more partial to the stuffing and mashed potatoes, each loaded up with tons of gravy. And for me, my go-to gravy is my make-ahead holiday gravy. I don’t just double the gravy recipe either. More like 6 times as much as the recipe states. Maybe 7. Or 8. Like I said, I love gravy.
I set out to prove to myself just how easy it can be to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving (or any time of the year). That meant no brining, no basting, no rubs, no oils, no injecting. Nothing. Just a turkey breast. To achieve what ended up being a fantastic result, I used a turkey breast that was already in a basting solution. Turkeys that are already pre-brined (or ‘pumped’) are common and they do save you a lot of time and hassle. I was very, very happy with this easy smoked turkey breast. It was completely fuss-free. The skin was nice and crunchy. The meat was tender and moist. All that greatness and all I did was put it on the smoker and make sure the cook temperature stayed around 325 F. I used plenty of wood to get plenty of smoky flavor, which I think made up for the spices or basting sauce I would normally add. This is a great way to make a turkey breast for a crowd while still leaving yourself free for other things.
This recipe uses a 'pumped' turkey breast, or one that has already been brined. The package will state 'contains up to 8% of a solution of water, salt, spices to enhance tenderness and juiciness'. Normally I would use a natural turkey that does not contain such a solution, but the goal was to make as easy a turkey breast as possible.