American cuisine

Chicken & Dumplings

The right kind of chicken and dumplings are the kind that Brandon’s grandmother makes. They are the kind you get at Cracker Barrel. They are true southern style, and they don’t actually have dumplings, it’s more like slabs of tender and delicious biscuit dough. You could think of them as really big, thick noodles. There are no silly things like vegetables in here, it’s just chicken, chicken stock and dumplings. Period. You can eat your green beans and fried okra on side like the real Southerners do. Every single time we go to Cracker Barrel, that’s what Brandon gets. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And you know that’s going to be hard to live up to because I’m sure Cracker Barrel makes those things with lard and crack cocaine like everything else they serve. (I kid, I love Cracker Barrel, lard and all!)

Couscous Salad with Pomegranate Seeds & Mint

I know, I know ... the flavor combination may sound a bit, well, ... odd.  But believe me, it's soooooo good.  The sweetness of the pomegranate seeds and dried currants, with the 'refreshingness' (yup, I think I just made that word up) of the fresh mint is wonderful.  And the pomegranate seeds and walnuts also bring a fantabulous crunch.  Mmmmmmm, mmmmm ... yummy for my tummy.  It makes my tummy do a little happy dance.

White Russian Milkshake

A White Russian is usually nothing more than coffee liqueur, vodka and heavy cream (or half and half or full-fat milk.) “White Russian Milkshake!” said my brain. I don’t drink milk, but if it’s blended with a bunch of ice cream, I’ll toss it back faster than you can say “You’re nuts!” Because the White Russians look so pretty with their black and white layers, I opted to layer my milkshake instead of tossing all the ingredients into the blender willy-nilly.

What was the verdict from this unsophisticated lady? It was darned good. It was slurp it with a straw good. I highly recommend you give this creamy twist on tradition a spin!

Carrot Cake

Sigrid’s Carrot Cake, my friends, is moist. It’s flavorful. It’s basic and wholesome and natural.  From Pioneer Woman - need I say more - it is awesome!

Sole Almondine

The fish is good. Love the crunchy almonds. Ya-de-ya-de-ya. (No really. This fish is the bomb.)

Barbecued Shrimp

I have no idea why they are called Barbecued (BBQ) Shrimp, because they are not really barbecued. They’re baked in the oven at 350. But “Barbecued Shrimp” is the name this recipe is stuck with. If you go to any restaurant in New Orleans (or anywhere in south Louisiana) and order Barbecued Shrimp, you will be served some variation of this recipe. And it will always be accompanied by a hearty portion of French bread.
It’s good. Real good. That’s why it’s on menus all across the region. That’s also why everybody serves it with French bread. I mean, you need something to sop up all that good juju-ma-gumbo, right? And French bread fits that bill perfectly.

Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn

Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn.  Duh.

And it’s easy…
Let’s do it.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Peruvian Bean Enchilada

At the top of my list is a version of slow-cooker peruvian bean enchiladas I tried from TheKitchn a while back. Simple, not fussy, comforting, big-on-taste, hearty, filling and inexpensive, these enchiladas deliver a lot for the small amount of work behind them. They were just what I needed and wanted.

I’ve made this same recipe both in the slow-cooker and the oven. You get a more ‘authentic’ enchilada texture from oven-baking them, but they’re ever so good in the slow-cooker. The tortillas soak up everything and get all salsa-fied and still get some crispy edges where they come in contact with the side of the slow-cooker. The instructions specify to cook the enchiladas in the slow-cooker for two to four hours, and I’ve settled on about three hours as my preferred time. Closer to two hours yields a firmer tortilla while cooking it closer to four hours creates a much softer tortilla… almost fall-apart soft. When I let mine go the full four hours, I ended up with a texture that was more like enchilada casserole. It was still delicious, it was just different.

Whichever way you prefer to go, you’ll get a serious dose of delicious comfort for your minimal efforts. The enchiladas dress up nicely, if -unlike me- you’re serving dinner in something other than yoga pants with tissues stuffed in the waistband. On the other hand, they sit beautifully in a bowl that you can cradle in your lap while sitting on the couch watching BBCAmerica broadcasts.


Authentic? Maybe not, but these gooey, bursting-at-the-seams, simple to pull together, slow-cooker enchiladas are packed with delicious peruvian beans, moist chicken, corn, and spices. Salsa delivers the saucy punch and loads of melted, oozy cheese makes it the perfect comforting dish for days when you're short on time.

Hawaiian Chicken Sliders with Garlic Mayo

Warm Alexia French Rolls split and filled with salty teriyaki chicken, spicy pepper jack cheese, sweet grilled pineapple and a smear of garlic mayo to bring it all together. Add a side of Alexia Crispy Panko Onion Rings and HOLY SMOKES. Talk about Flavor town USA (channeling my Inner Guy Fieri)!

Not gonna lie… I started out with 8 French Rolls and one of them disappeared after it came out of the oven… strange how that happens.

Trust me when I say, you guys need to make this sandwich! It’s a snap to throw together (thanks to the convenience of the Alexia frozen goodies) & MAN is it good!!!

Brined Turkey Breast

There’s no sense in waiting until Thanksgiving to serve turkey.  Turkey breasts are readily accessible all year long.  By cooking just the breast, you get the good flavor of turkey yet the amount of turkey is little enough that you don’t have to have turkey leftovers for the next month.  The white meat is not as juicy as the dark and requires brining to ensure that’s is not so dry you can’t swallow it once it cooked.  Brining is an easy process but does require some planning since the bird needs to be brined overnight.

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