Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chowder. New Music From Criminal Hygiene.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chowder
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Mmmmm. This Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chowder is insanely good. Thick, warming and full of all the flavors that make Buffalo-anything so fantastic.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chowder
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chowder

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups chicken, cubed
1 Tbs butter
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 tsp celery seed, divided
1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
2 tsp pepper, divided
1/8 tsp ground thyme
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half and half
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Buffalo sauce
2 Tbs corn starch
Blue cheese crumbles and celery slices for topping

Directions:

1. Add potatoes to the slow cooker.

2. Warm a skillet over medium heat and add butter. Season chicken with 1/2 tsp celery seed, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Cook chicken until no longer pink and heated through. Just before chicken is completely cooked add onion and celery. Cook until onions are translucent and tender.

3. Transfer chicken and vetegables to the slow cooker. Pour in half and half, chicken broth and buffalo sauce. Stir. Sprinkle with flour and stir again. Add remaining 1/2 tsp celery seed, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, ground thyme and red pepper flakes. Stir well.

4. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6, until potatoes are tender.

5. If chowder is not thick enough, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid to the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine. Stir into the chowder.

6. Divide chowder among bowls. Top with blue cheese crumbles and a drizzle of Buffalo sauce if desired. Serve with celery slices.

Serves 6

Recipe from Baked by Rachel
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chowder
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chowder
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chowder
The first thing that grabbed me about this band was their name.

Criminal Hygiene.

Crazy good.

Criminal Hygiene’s new song ‘Turpentine’ is solid classic rock. Smells Sounds pretty good.

Check out Criminal Hygiene on the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming gigs in Chicago and link to buy their music.

Cheers!

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Christmas Snow Globe Cake. A Song For The Season From Zerbin.

Christmas Snow Globe Cake

I thought this Christmas Snow Globe Cake was so cute. Just a few purchased decorations and less than 2 minutes of your time and you have this adorable cake which can double as a centerpiece.

I made this delicious (and sturdy) fruitcake which is perfect for holding any weight on top. (That post also contains some other fun cake decorating ideas.). The cake is frosted with a thick royal icing which provides a hard, smooth surface which also is great for supporting decorations.

I used Peep snowmen for my decoration, but you could use cookies, marzipan figures or even little ornaments…anything is going to look sweet under that globe.

Christmas Snow Globe Cake
Christmas Snow Globe Cake

Ingredients:

Your favorite cake frosted with white icing
Marshmallow Peeps snowmen
Snowflake sprinkles
Fishbowl
Ribbon

Directions:

1. Affix snowmen to cake with a bit of icing. Sprinkle snowflake sprinkles around them.

2. Carefully place fishbowl over the snowmen. Tie ribbon around the bowl.
Christmas Snow Globe Cake
Christmas Snow Globe Cake

This is a comforting tune for the season from Canadian band Zerbin.

“Peace upon the earth
’cause you will bring
love for all”

Check out Zerbin on Facebook. You can get their latest EP here.

Cheers!

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Frito Pie Casserole. Is Father Christmas A Frog?

Frito Pie Casserole

This cracked me up.

Feeding a crowd now or sometime soon?

This Frito Pie Casserole is perfect for serving lots of people with minimum time spent in the kitchen. Plus, it has Fritos in it, so you know everyone is going to love it!

All you do is cook up a quick beef and bean chili and pour it over a boatload of Fritos. All of that gets smothered in cheddar and baked up to a hot, satisfying Tex-Mex style meal that is ready in under an hour.

Frito Pie Casserole
Frito Pie Casserole

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef
2 cups onion, chopped
1 Tbs minced garlic
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can Ranch Style beans (or chili beans)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
1 cup beef broth
2 Tbs cumin
1 1/2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp salt
2 (10.25 ounce) bags Fritos Coarn Chips
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
Sliced pickled jalapeños, to garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 3 quart baking dish.

2. Over medium-high heat, cook beef, onion and garlic in skillet until browned and crumbly. Drain.

3. Stir in tomato sauce and next 7 ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Arrange corn chips in prepared pan and top with beef mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.

5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with jalapeños and serve.

Serves 10 to 12

Recipe from Cooking With Paula Deen Magazine
Frito Pie Casserole
Frito Pie Casserole

Is Father Christmas a frog?
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When you see something like that in your inbox, it catches your attention.

Turns out Swedish band The Stuff released a covers album titled ‘Frog Bouquet’, which happens to contain “Father Christmas” by The Kinks.

Perfect to get us in the mood for Thursday, although the frog question never gets answered.

Maybe it’s this guy.
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Check out The Stuff on the band’s Website, where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Beef, Main Courses | Tagged | Leave a comment

Easy Chocolate Yule Log. Rocking Out With The Yule Logs.

Easy Chocolate Yule Log
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No, I don’t really hate it. It’s just the amount of work required to pull off a Happy Christmas for everyone is always overwhelming. I’m the Elf-In-Chief (and a freaking type A perfectionist) so I feel especially overwhelmed every single year.

I know, I know….just relax and enjoy the spirit of the season. I get it.

That’s why I have increasingly streamlined some of the traditional recipe favorites. I can still spend lots of time singing in my kitchen, but also have time to tackle the other tasks that need doing.

We always have a Yule Log for dessert on Christmas Eve. Today’s recipe is one of the easiest ones out there. It uses packaged brownie mix and canned icing. The whipped cream filling takes hardly anytime at all.

The cream filling is flecked with chocolate and is a lovely, light contrast to the dense brownie. Festive and special. No hate here at all!

Easy Chocolate Yule Log
Easy Chocolate Yule Log

Ingredients:

1 box brownie mix and the ingredients called for on the box
4 eggs, beaten (This increased the amount of eggs for my brownie mix by 2)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Cream Filling (recipe follows)
1 container chocolate icing
Confectioners’ sugar or holly, for decoration (I used rosemary sprigs and maraschino cherries)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan and line with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper.

2. Combine eggs and brownie mix and prepare brownie mix according to package instructions.

3. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for 15-17 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.

4. Remove from oven and turn out immediately onto a tea towel that has been generously sprinkled with 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar. Remove parchment paper and, beginning at the narrow end, roll up the cake and the tea towel together. Allow to cool.

5. Unroll the cake when cool and spread the cream filling. Re-roll without the towel.

6. Cut a thick diagonal slice off one end of the cake. Transfer the larger piece of cake to a flat serving plate. Spread a little icing over cut side of the small piece of cake and fix it to the large roll to make a stump. (I was in a rush, so I left my log as a plain old log!)

7. Frost the entire cake with the chocolate icing. Run a fork along the icing so it resembles tree bark.

8. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and decorate with holly.

Serves 8

Cream Filling

Ingredients:

3 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 Tbs water
1/2 pint whipping cream
2 Tbs confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Whip cream until soft peaks form.

2. Stir confectioners’ sugar and vanilla into the whipped cream.

3. Melt chocolate and let cool for 10 minutes.

4. Stir the chocolate into the whipped cream. The warm chocolate forms crisp bits in the cold cream which is absolutely delicious. If you want a smoother chocolate cream filling, allow the chocolate to cool completely before adding to the whipped cream.

Recipes from Yum Food & Fun Magazine
Easy Chocolate Yule Log
Easy Chocolate Yule Log
Easy Chocolate Yule Log

Sure, I shared a recipe for a Yule Log today. But it is, after all, Hanukkah.

A very good reason then to rock out to ‘Latke Man’.

Check out The Yule Logs on the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming shows in Chico, CA and buy their music.

Bah Humbug!
Cheers!

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Man Cave Nachos. Nick Cave On The Stereo.

Man Cave Nachos

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The occupants of the man cave would not approve of that cartoon.

However…Man Cave Nachos…

Whoa! Very high approval rating.

These Man Cave Nachos are the ultimate in snack decadence.

Think poutine crashes into nachos. Fries, little franks and jalapeños are piled high and smothered in a creamy, cheesy sauce laced with Guinness stout.

Make a big batch for the man caver in your life or to dig into while watching the big game on TV. You’ll definitely get high scores.

Man Cave Nachos
Man Cave Nachos

Ingredients:

1 (2 lb) bag frozen fries
1 (14oz) bag of Lit’l Smokies sausages or Lit’l Beef Franks
Sliced jalapeños, fresh or from a jar
Guinness Cheese Sauce (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Slice each little frank in half lengthwise.

2. Spread the fries and franks evenly on a baking sheet. Top with jalapeños.

3. Bake at 350℉ for about 30 minutes or until the franks and fries are golden.

4. Spoon Guinness sauce over the “Nachos” and serve warm.

Guinness Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

2 Tbs unsalted butter
3 Tbs flour
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup Guinness beer
2 tsp yellow mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Hot sauce, to taste
12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

2. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

3. Slowly whisk in the milk and beer. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer.

4. Add the mustard, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes.

5. Add the cheese, a small amount at a time, whisking until it is completely melted before adding more. (This will ensure a smooth sauce.) Season with salt and pepper.

Recipes from Oh Bite It!
Man Cave Nachos
Man Cave Nachos

Man caves are cool, but my favorite Cave would, hands down, be Nick.

‘Give Us A Kiss’ was released in September to coincide with the premiere of Nick Cave’s documentary “20,000 Days On Earth”.

It’s musical perfection as only Mr. Cave can deliver.

“You’re still hanging out in my dreams,
in your sister’s shoes and your blue jeans.
Ah give us a kiss.”

Check out Nick Cave on his Website, where you can learn of upcoming world tour dates and buy the music.

Cheers!

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Ramen Cheeseburgers. New Music From Yoofs.

Ramen Cheeseburger
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I somehow missed the Ramen Cheeseburger craze. I guess it was right up there with the Cronut in 2013.

Better late than never, as they say.

These Ramen Cheeseburgers are just plain crazy.

Crazy good.

Crazy fun.

Ramen noodles are molded into “buns” then briefly pan fried until they are crisp outside, but still soft enough not to break up when you bite into them. The noodle buns are then filled with cheeseburgers that use the ramen spice packet for flavoring (what a great idea!) a sriracha mayo and some lettuce and tomato.

Very impressive and very delicious. My husband thought the burgers would work just as well as an open faced sandwich using just one ramen bun on the bottom. Then you could dig in with a knife and fork. Either way, I say this is a winner of a recipe.

Ramen Cheeseburger
Ramen Cheeseburgers

Ingredients:

2 (3 ounce) packages instant ramen noodles (reserve flavor packets)
1 egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 slices American cheese
2 slices tomato
2 leaves butter lettuce

Directions:

1. Line 4 (four-inch) ramekins with plastic wrap, leaving 4 inches of overhang.

2. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water, according to the package directions. Drain; rinse noodles under cold water.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg. Add the noodles and toss to coat.

4. Divide noodle mixture among the ramekins. Fold the plastic over the noodles and press to compact. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

5. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, sriracha and sesame oil.

6. In another bowl, combine the beef and the flavor packet. Form the beef into 2 (four-inch) patties.

7. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high. Add the beef patties and cook, turning once, about 8 minutes for medium. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a slice of cheese and cover until the cheese melts.

8. Transfer the patties to a plate. Wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining 1/4 cup vegetable oil and heat over medium-high. Unwrap the ramen buns and cook, turning once, until browned and crisp, 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

9. Build burgers using ramen “buns”, cheeseburgers, tomatoes, lettuce and sriracha mayo.

Serves 2 (doubles easily)

Recipe from Every Day With Rachael Ray Magazine
Ramen Cheeseburger
Ramen Cheeseburger

Here’s some new psychedelic-style pop from London area duo Yoofs. It has got a little guitar solo at the end worthy of a lighter in the air.

Check out Yoofs on Facebook. They are offering most of their songs as free downloads on Soundcloud. You can buy ‘Can’t Think’ here.

Cheers!

Posted in Beef | Tagged | 1 Comment

Short And Sweet. Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper.

Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper

Q: Why did the bees go on strike?
A: Because they wanted more honey and shorter working flowers.

Q: How do bees get to school?
A: By school buzz

Q: What kind of bees give milk?
A: Boobees.

Dessert hardly gets easier than these rustic, but also elegant, Plum Tarts.

I was intrigued by the honey/black pepper combination with the fruit. The flavor of the plums is heightened by the dusting of salt and pepper while the honey adds the perfect note of sweetness.
Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper
Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper

Ingredients:

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-oz package or half of 17.3-oz package), thawed according to package directions
1 pound red plums cut into ½ inch wedges
¼ cup sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
Flaky sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Cut pastry into six 4 inch squares. Place squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet and prick all over with a fork.

3. Top pastry with plums, leaving a ½ inch border. Sprinkle with sugar and season with a few grinds of pepper.

4. Bake tarts, rotating pan halfway through, until edges of pastry are puffed and golden brown, 25–30 minutes.

5. Drizzle tarts with honey and sprinkle with salt just before serving. (The tarts can be baked 4 hours ahead. Keep at room temperature.)

Serves 6

Recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine
Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper
Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper
Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper
Short song time.

And a sweet song.

Check out Manfred Kidd on Facebook. You can buy their music here.

Learn more about Dreams In Static on the band’s Website, where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

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