Monday, June 25, 2012

My Meatloaf Quest has ended!

No, seriously.  I have been cooking for a looonnng time.  And while I am no professional chef, I can tell you I have probably tried all the major versions out there for meatloaf.  And this! This is finally a meatloaf everyone in my family would love...who am I kidding?  I'm the pickiest one of all about my meatloaf, probably because like many of you, it's hard to find one "as good as my mamas", right?  Well,  (insert trumpet sounds of the epiphany here) I found it by combining some ideas of my own and stealing a sauce off of  Try it for yourself and see if you don't agree it's pretty darn good!  (If it's better than your mom's, don't tell her)

Better Than My Momma's Meatloaf (sorry Lois! :)

Servings: 10 good sized portions (I told you I have a big family!- you can halve this recipe easily)
Oven: 350 degrees

2 lbs. ground beef
3/4lb. mild sausage
2 eggs
5 slices of toasted bread, crumbled up
1tsp. salt
1tsp. pepper
1 T. garlic salt
1 c. milk
4 T. regular mustard
4 T. brown sugar
2/3 c. ketchup

Mix first 8 ingredients thoroughly by hand and form into loaf and place in 9x13 or loaf pan(if you halve the recipe)

Then whisk brown sugar, mustard, and ketchup together and pour over meatloaf.  Cook uncovered for 1 hour, remove to serving plate.

Good eats!

Slutty Brownies...Oh the things they will do for your sweet tooth.

Slutty Brownies:

Yes this really is the name of this ridiculously sweet concoction, and rightly so. There is something just a little bit naughty about this dessert and it flaunts it's naughtiness shamelessly! Basically this is a brownie with a chocolate chip cookie base and oreos nestled lovingly between the two. It is ooey gooey goodness! My mom made it for the family a few nights ago and the pan was gone within 12 hours. I mean, a 9x13 glass pan, gone in 12 hours...Well, probably less than 12 hours...I was being generous. The coolest part I thought though was when I was cutting into them ribbons of brownie batter oozed out. I nearly fainted from desire. DARN YOU GLUTEN INTOLERANCE!!! (When I could eat brownies, it was a struggle for them to even get to the pan because I would practically drink the batter. I know I am not the only one who ever did that :) 
Well they were a glorious mess. Glorious! So, if you would like to make these for yourself, the link below will take you to the lovely blogger we originally got this recipe from on Pinterest. Enjoy!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

A quick fix snack for your summer road trip!

I am currently procrastinating. Yes I am writing a food blog but I am really procrastinating instead of packing for a trip that I am supposed to be taking later this week. Would it be easier if I did it now? Yes. Am I going to? No! That's just how I roll. I need a fire under my butt to operate evidently...Anyways...If you are new to the blog my name is Jessica (Hi!) and I am the daughter of this mother-daughter blogging team and have very recently discovered that I am gluten intolerant. Now I know that it sounds like it's an awful problem to have and it can be very unpleasant at times (I will spare you the details) but really the biggest pain about it is it just makes eating more of an inconvenience than it should be. Where one person might be able to stop during a road trip and grab a snack at a gas station or a fast food restaurant I (for the most part) can not. So what do folks who have this issue do in these situations?

A. We don't eat and stay hungry.
B. We make our own travel friendly snacks and stay well fed on the road!

I have been horrible lately about being the "A" person (refer back to the first paragraph) but I'm trying really hard to get better at it. So, in an effort to become a better planner I started researching quick fix gluten friendly snacks. There were all kinds of great recipes for everything from dried fruit to marinated carrots (?)...Yeah, I had never heard of those either...and back again, but the thing that caught my eye was a treat I hadn't had in a very long time. Candied cashews. DING, DING, DING! We have a winner! They are extremely easy to make and they taste marvelous :) So here is the recipe for a quick fix gluten free snack that takes all of 10 minutes to make. Enjoy!


2 cups whole cashews
1/2 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

You will combine your cashews, butter and sugar in a sauce pan and stir over a medium heat until all the sugar has melted and is a medium brown color. Once the mixture has reached the right color and texture (It should be very smooth) you will remove the pan from the heat, add the vanilla extract and stir.

After you have finished mixing you will place the cashews on a greased baking pan to cool. Once cooled break apart if need be.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dos Pancakes: Tex-Mex, breakfast and barbecue!

What would happen if you introduced a Tex-Mex restaurant to a sweet little down home breakfast joint and then taught them how to make mouth watering barbecue? Dos Pancakes, that's what would happen.

My family and I have been frequenting this restaurant for a few months now and honestly everything we have eaten there is fantastic.The restaurant itself is located next door to a gas station that's right off of 85 North immediately after you get off the exit for Hamilton Mill. Not surprisingly the building used to be an old Huddle House and from the outside it doesn't really resemble anything more than that. Wonderfully though, what is found on the inside is light years away from greasy truck stop food, it is a little piece of culinary mash-up heaven.

As you walk in the door you are greeted warmly by Sam who also checks on you throughout the meal asking if you need anything and also your opinion on the dish you're having, which scores big points from me. If he is brave enough to ask what our opinions are as diners that means he values them, which also means he is always trying to improve things to make the experience better. And let's not forget Felipe! The head chef who makes us all happy. Everything is hot, tasty and cooked to perfection when it reaches the table.

Obviously I am a big fan of this diner as I've eaten here several times before but just to give you an idea of what others are saying I asked a few regulars what their opinion was of the restaurant and this is what they had to say about the food at Dos Pancakes.

Mary: "Everything I have tried so far is delicious. From the fish tacos, to the chorizo's, to the omelets, to the quesadillas, anything you try is phenomenal. I like that everything is freshly made, that nothing is processed and that is what really attracted me to the restaurant." 

Julie Richardson: "My favorite is the Mexican Pyramid. It's got the chicken pieces that are grilled and then the rice in the middle, and then the broccoli (around it) and then the cheese dip is all on top of it, it's really good! It's delicious!" 

And when it came to her teenage daughters' favorite?

"The best cheese quesadilla ever, she doesn't like them anywhere else except for here." 

Her daughters other standby item is the queso and chips. So much so that even when they come for breakfast she will sometimes order that instead of a breakfast item. The fact that she is able to do  that though is what Jennifer thinks is "the best thing about this place." Delightedly adding that "you can get mexican whenever you want!". If I want Brisket first thing in the morning I can have it. If I want a big pile of banana nut pancakes with a side of eggs for dinner, I can have it. Freedom of food! Ah, the beauty of eating in America. God bless the USA! Sorry, I'm a food enthusiast, I can get carried away.

So what did we have for dinner last night? Well, we had THIS! Chili Relleno with chicken!

First of all, this Chili Relleno isn't fried! GF friends rejoice! Seriously though, so often people will deep fry the mess out of these peppers, which in my opinion can kill the flavor of the entire thing. Not this bad boy. It has been grilled till it's just soft enough to cut with a fork and stuffed to overflowing with your choice of beautifully seasoned meat (chicken, beef, or shrimp) jalapenos, red and yellow pepper slivers, onions and a light and slightly sweet poblano cream sauce. Everything about it was light and fresh and filling. I think this might be my favorite dish thus far, granted I haven't tried everything on the menu yet but that is going to happen eventually. The entre is served with fresh refried beans and mexican rice and the portions were enough for my mother and I to split but I could definitely consume this entire meal if it was just myself eating and it wouldn't be seen that as over-eating. It really is a single adult serving which I think more restaurants should do.

So after we polished off dinner we had to have a little something sweet. That is where the Apple Chimichanga enters the story.

I recently spent three days in downtown Atlanta dining at some of the best restaurants in town and I promise you, none of the deserts I had in those restaurants came even close to this. It is apple pie a la mode but wrapped in a fried, homemade flour tortilla sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar! It is heaven on a plate. You will notice immediately after tasting the filling that it is less sweet and dense than you wold expect it to be. That's because the filling, instead of the regular cornstarch and sugar combo, is made from agave syrup. It allows the taste of the granny smiths to come through as opposed to other similar pies or fried deserts that cover up the main ingredient with an overload of sugar and cinnamon. And as for portion size? It is easily a two person desert. I'm sure some folks could eat the whole thing...*cough*...Dad...*cough*... But if you are watching your weight then half is plenty!

To sum up our experience I have only one thing to say: Go now!
The service was wonderful, the atmosphere is family friendly and the food was fantastic! So please, call up a few friends your sweetheart or your family to invite them to come have a unique dining experience at Dos Pancakes!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A knock-off of that "Awesome chicken dish from that great Australian-named restaurant" we all love!

(Man! The trouble you have to go through to protect copyrights!)  ANYWAY...

I saw this on Pinterest today ( and just had to try it... I mean, anything with chicken AND bacon AND cheese is a definite must-try!  Needless to say it was a hit in my house; and that's saying something!  
Let me give you a little context....

I have two middle-schoolers (picky enough), one of which is special needs and has sensory issues (more picky). Then I have a "meat and potatoes" kinda husband who couldn't care less about super fancy anything (another layer of pickyness). THEN I have a six year old grandson who thinks PB&J and Chicken Nuggets are the only thing that belongs on his menu (yet ANOTHER layer of pickyness.. do you spell that with an "i" or "y"???), then my gluten-free blogging daughter, Jessica, and ...well, you get the picture of how hard it is to get the whole house to love ANYTHING, but this one passed the test!  It was easy, and even though I had to substitute a little (that's part of that whole using-your- cooking-intuition thing), it was amazing!  So...enjoy...all of you! 

Sherry's Aussie Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2" thickness (or filet them instead)
Seasoning salt
6 slices bacon, cut in half
1/4 c. regular mustard
1/4 to 1/3c. honey
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
2 tsp. dried onion flakes
1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 c. shredded colby/jack cheese

Sprinkle and rub the chicken breasts with seasoning salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp.  Remove bacon and crumble, making sure to save the drippings.  Saute chicken in the bacon grease for 5 minutes per side, or until browned.  Move chicken to 9x13 pan.

In a small bowl, mix the mustard, honey, mayo and dried onion flakes (I used onion powder).  Pour honey mustard mixture  on each breast, then layer with mushrooms, bacon, and shredded cheese.

Bake covered with foil, in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and chicken is done (be sure to check chicken for doneness).  Serve with honey mustard sauce or drippings from the pan! 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

PB&J hot wings! No, really...

So we are just going to keep things short and sweet today. This recipe looks really simple and after watching the instructional video the whole process from beginning to end is extremely easy. I will most definitely be giving this a whirl for the next big family get together. Also, for my GF friends, this recipe only needs two minor adjustments for it to work for you. When it calls for potato flakes make sure that they are the General Mills brand of instant flakes and that your soy sauce is a gluten free brand. I can't recall the name of the brand off the top of my head but I know they sell it at Publix. Also, below the recipe I will include the link to the instructional video I was talking about earlier. I hope you enjoy this dish and please let me know how they turn out in the comments below!  Thanks guys :)

1/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
5 lbs Chicken wings (Completely thawed and dried)

Sauce ingredients: 
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup jalapeno pepper jelly
1/4 seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 dash chili garlic sauce (such as Sriracha) or to taste


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. Whisk mashed potato flakes, vegetable oil, kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken wings and toss to coat.
3. Whisk peanut butter, pepper jelly, rice vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and chili garlic sauce in a large bowl. Set aside.
4. Place coated chicken wings in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, turn wings over using tongs, and return to oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
5. Transfer chicken wings to the peanut pepper jelly mixture; toss to coat. Return chicken wings to baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.

Here is the link for the video. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

God save the Queen!

 In honor of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee this week I thought it would be apropos to post a recipe that might bring a bit of Great Britain to your own table. I was lucky enough to make it across the pond a few summers ago for a five day vacation in London, and I think that out of every possible food item I had while I was there the pecan scones had to be my absolute favorite. It is a staple when serving tea and if you have had them you will know why! They are scrumptious. The crust is crispy and crumbly while the inside is soft and buttery with just a hint of sweetness. Then to absolutely destroy any and all nutritional value these treats might possibly possess, you slice it in two and smear clotted cream and your choice of jam all over it. Oh my goodness, it is fantastic!

 So, here is a recipe I thought looked pretty similar to the biscuits I enjoyed while in London and I will include at the end of this post a link to where you can buy clotted cream online. I am having one heck of a time finding it in any grocery store here in the Atlanta area but if I do I will leave the information in a comment later on. So bake some scones, put on a kettle and let's hear it for Her Royal Highness! Cheers!


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup chopped raisins (I personally would substitue the raisins with 1 cup chopped pecans)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg


In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in raisins (or pecans). Beat milk and egg; add to dry ingredients, stirring lightly. 

Turn onto lightly floured surface; roll to 1-inch thickness and cut with a 2-1/2 inch biscuit cutter (Or, if you're like me, just use a small tumbler glass from the cabinet.). Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 10 scones. 

Where you can buy clotted cream:
I also found a grocer in Atlanta that carries it. Thanks Kyle for the info! Just type in your location and find the market nearest you :)

Or if you are feeling adventurous there are recipes for clotted cream online. It's time intensive work but it looks great! I will have to try it myself this summer when I get the chance.