Author: Spiceplace

Wings Made Easy with French’s Buffalo Wing Seasoning
From French’s comes a kit including Buffalo Wing Seasoning and a roasting bag. It comes as a set of 3 pouches. Inside each pouch is a pocket with the seasoning and another with the nylon oven safe roasting bag. The nice thing about cooking with a roasting bag is the wings won’t dry out and you can see through the bag to see how cooking is progressing.

Simple to use. Open the bag pocket first and remove the back. Open the bag up, and add wings. Don’t try to stuff too many wings in one bag. Use a second if you need it. With the wings in the bag, onpen the other side of the pouch and add the seasoning, twist the top of the bag, and seal with the nylon zip tie included. Then shake it baby until the seasoning is distributed over the wings.

Cut a little hole in the bag to allow air to escape as it heats up. Place in a 350° to 400° F oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Make sure the wings are done but not over done by checking on them as say 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and then every 5 minutes.

Take out and serve with the classic accompaniments of Blue Cheese Dressing, Celery Sticks, and Carrot Sticks. Flavor is mild, so if you want some heat have some hot sauce on hand.

Lawry’s Mexican Rice Recipe

Picture of Package of Lawry's Mexican Rice Seasoning Mix
Package of Lawry's Mexican Rice Seasoning Mix

Using Lawry’s Mexican Rice Seasoning is a simple way to make a delicious seasoned rice in 20 minutes. While Lawry’s Mexican Rice Seasoning is a blend of Southwestern US (Mexican) Inspired Flavors, it’s spicy flavor lends well to the flavors of India equally well. So while this Mexican Flavor is great as a side dish for tacos, it’s equally well suited as a side dish to accompany Indian dishes such as Tandori Chicken.

Mexican Rice Wraps
Make a quick weeknight meal with Lawry’s Mexican Rice similar to Chipotle’s.

What you need:

  • Prepared Lawry’s Mexican Rice
  • Cooked Chicken (leftover Rotisserie Chicken works well)
  • Sour Cream (low fat) or Guacamole
  • Shredded Cheddar or Mexican Cheese Bland
  • Jar of Taco Sauce
  • Soft Tortillas
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Chopped Tomato

To Make (Note: Don’t over stuff, a little of each ingredient will work fine):

  1. Chop up the chicken.
  2. Heat Tacos.
  3. Place some chicken in the wrap. Top with Mexican Rice and some taco sauce.
  4. Top with Lettuce and Tomato (if desired), and add cheese, sour cream (guacamole). Wrap Up.
  5. Serve with Mexican Rice on the side.

Picture of Prepared Lawry's Mexican Rice In Pan
Prepared Lawry's Mexican Rice In Pan

To Make a Stove Top Serving of Lawry’s Mexican Rice

  1. Add water, oil, and Lawry’s Mexican Rice Mix to a 2 quart sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add rice. Return to boil. Cover. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes (until water is absorbed).
  4. Remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and then serve.

Prepared Serving of Lawry's Mexican Rice
Prepared Serving of Lawry's Mexican Rice

Author: Matthew Schroebel Author: Matthew Schroebel

Homemade Chicken Broth Recipe

Homemade Chicken Broth
Golden Homemade Chicken Broth

This delicious golden Homemade Chicken Broth is versitle in the kitchen. Use this broth
as a base for Chicken Noodle Soup, in mashed potatoes, in Ramen Soup in place of the little packet of fake flavors, as the flavor in chicken gravies, use in place of water when making rice, etc.

Many years ago, we used to make one big pot of chicken soup, adding all of the ingredients and ending up with, well, a lot of chicken soup. If you make a nice flavorful chicken broth first, you get an ingredient you can use to flavor lots of other recipes. So these days, when we’re planning on making a chicken soup, we first make a broth, and strain it (reserving the chicken meat). Then we measure out enough of our magic golden liquid to make just enough chicken soup for our family’s meal, add some meat, shredded carrots, celery, onion and noodles (Matzo balls). All done, and we have a lot of Chicken Broth left over to use to flavor many more meals.

Here is our simple recipe for making tasty Homemade Chicken Broth:

  1. Rinse the chicken thighs and place in a large pot.
  2. Prepare the vegetables. Don’t fret too much about chopping them nicely. We’re only using them for flavor, and they’ll be discarded when done cooking. Add all of the vegetables to the pot.
  3. Fill the pot to within 1″ of the top lip.
  4. Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to keep the broth at a low simmer. Cook covered for 4 to 6 hours.
  5. Place a large wire mesh colander in another pot large enough to hold the liquid and strain the broth.
  6. Pick the chicken thighs from the colander and remove the bones and skin. Shred the meat by hand or use a knife to chop. It’s very tender and should fall right off of the bones. Discard the vegetables, chicken bones and skin.
  7. For a clearer broth, rinse the colander well, line with cheese cloth and restrain.
  8. If time permits, let the broth cool, then chill in the refrigerator. When completely chilled, scoop any of the solid white fat that forms on top.
  9. Use as desired.

Quick Ramen Chicken Soup

Serving of Homemade Chicken Broth with Ramen
Serving of Homemade Chicken Broth with Ramen

  • 1 1/2 cups Homemade chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp shredded carrots
  • 1 tbsp chopped celery
  • 1 tbsp chopped onion (or 1/2 tsp dehydrated chopped onion)
  • 1/3 tsp McCormick Chinese Five Spice
  • Noodles from a package of Ramen Soup (discard flavor packet)
  • 1/3 cup diced firm Tofu
  • 1/3 cup chicken meat
  1. Add the Homemade Chicken Broth to a medium saucepan. Add vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook vegetables for 2 minutes.
  2. Add Ramen noodles, and Chinese Five Spice. Set timer and cook noodles for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, add tofu and chicken.
  4. Pour into a boil and enjoy.

Author: Matthew Schroebel Author: Matthew Schroebel

Zatarain’s Jambalaya with 40% Less Sodium Recipe

Prepared serving of lower sodium Zatarain's Jambalaya Mix
Serving of Less Sodium Zatarain's Jambalaya Mix

Zatarain’s NEW Lower Sodium Jambalaya Mix is rich and tasty and has less salt to boot. This Jamablaya Mix has only 410mg sodium per 1/2 cup serving. Plus it’s another one pan meal from Zatarain’s. This recipe is for a family size stovetop meal.

A note about Andouille Sausage. We used packaged Hillshire Farms Andouille Sausage which is not too hot. Some Andouille Sausages have a lot of heat, so if you are using another type of Andouille that you are not familiar with, it’s wise to test the sausage flavor after cooking and before adding the rice mix. You might have to cut the quantity of Andouille back if it’s really spicy.

  • 1 Cup Zatarain’s Jambalaya Mix, 40% Less Sodium
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 Cup of Hillshire Farms Andouille Sausage thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (or Thigh), cut up into 1/2″ chunks
  1. In a very large skillet, cook the chicken and Andouille Sausage until done.
  2. Add 2 cups of water and butter, cover, and bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile mix the Jamabalya Mix together well, and measure out 1 cup. Seal remaining mix in a reclosable plastic bag.
  4. Add the Jamabalya Mix to the sauce pan, stir well. Return to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes (until water has absorbed). Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff the mix and serve.

Author: Matthew Schroebel Author: Matthew Schroebel

Spatini Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Prepared Spatini Turkey Meatloaf
Cooked Spatini Turkey Meatloaf

Spatini Seasoning is a versatile mix of Italian seasoning typically used for preparing Spaghetti and other pasta sauces. Yet, Spatini Seasoning is widely used as a “secret ingredient” in many other meals. Today’s secret recipe is for a lean Turkey Meatloaf with no fillers. Just meat, seasoning, green pepper, onion, and Campbell’s Tomato Soup. It’s simplicity doesn’t portend the great taste of this recipe – we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. While there are lots of recipes that use Campbell soups and it sort of feels like cheating, this Spatini Meatloaf Recipe is different, as the Tomato soup is used as a topping only — that is, it’s not incorporated into the Meatloaf mix. Plus, this recipe takes what is usually thought of as bland ground turkey and really jazzes it up.

Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup
Can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup

  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey (or lean ground chicken breast)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper (membrane removed), finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp Spatini Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp McCormick Italian Seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl combine to ground turkey, green bell pepper, yellow onion, Spatini, Italian Seasoning and egg. Mix well. An excellent way to do this is to wear a pair of disposable latex of nitrile gloves and dig in with your hands, mixing the meat mixture like you are kneading bread.
  3. Place in a lightly oiled bread loaf pan.
  4. Top with 1/3 to 1/2 can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup (cover and retain extra soup for leftovers)
  5. Bake for one hour or until internal temperature reaches 165° F. Remove from oven. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from pan to a serving plate. Serve with a fresh steamed vegetable and mashed potatoes.

This recipe makes about Eight 1/4lb servings, so you may have some leftovers. For a quick lunch, you may place a heated slice of meatloaf (cut in half to fit the roll) on a submarine roll, top with some of the leftover Tomato soup, (lettuce, sliced tomato, onions, and mayonnaise, if desired) and serve with potato or popcorn chips.

Spatini Turkey Meatloaf Submarine Sandwich
Serving of leftovers as Spatini Turkey Meatloaf Submarine Sandwich

Author: Matthew Schroebel

Zatarain’s Creole Rice Mix with Chicken Recipe

Zatarain's Creole Pilaf Mix with Chicken Recipe
Serving of Recipe for Zatarain's Creole Pilaf Mix with Chicken

If you are looking for an easy and tasty dinner then this recipe using Zatarains’s Lower Sodium Creole Rice Pilaf Mix is something to consider. Easy to make and delicious, low in sodium, and on the table in 30 minutes.

First, measure 2 1/3 cups of water into a 3 quart saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, cut up 3 boneless and skinless chicken thighs into 1/2 inch cubes (this is easiest to do if the chicken is 1/2 thawed and so is still a little stiff from being frozen).

When the water is boiling add 1 tbsp butter and 1 1/3 cups of Zatarains’s Lower Sodium Creole Rice Pilaf Mix. Return to a boil, stir and shake the pan to level the rice to the water, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

While the rice cooks, cook the chicken in a non-stick skillet lightly oiled with olive oil. Turn often and cook through until the chicken is done. Set aside until the Zatarain’s Creole Pilaf Mix is cooked and no water is remaining.

Add the chicken to the Creole Rice Pilaf Mix, stir in well, then recover and set aside for 5 minutes. Then serve. Makes 4 servings.

Author: Matthew Schroebel Author: Matthew Schroebel

Gravy and Biscuits Breakfast Meal

Serving of Gravy and Biscuits (on toast)
Serving of Gravy and Biscuits (on toast)

This is a classic southern breakfast meal. Because sausage is high in fat and cholesterol, it’s best made with a low fat sausage. The one we use is a locally made Kirby and Holloway Sausage which is always lower in fat when compared to the big name brands. You can just tell when cooking it because there is almost no fat in the pan after cooking.

To start this recipe, cook 1 pound of bulk sausage in a non stick skillet. Keep breaking the sausage up into smaller and smaller pieces as you turn and cook it. When the sausage is half way cooked add 1/4 cup of finely chopped onions.

When the sausage is cooked through, sprinkle 3 tbsp of flour over the top of the sausage. Mix in well. Add 2 cups of milk. Stir.

Cook over medium heat, while stirring often, until the milk mixture thickens and is bubbly.

Serve over freshly baked biscuits or as we do, over toast points. Picture of the final serving is at the top.

Finished Gravy and Biscuits in pan
Finished Gravy and Biscuits in pan
Toast Points
Toast Points

Author: Matthew Schroebel Author: Matthew Schroebel

A to die for Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Closeup of Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Closeup of Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This is the best recipe for Macaroni and Cheese we’ve ever made. It has the essential quality that we feel a good Mac and Cheese recipe has that the cheese mixture absolutely sticks to and surrounds the macaroni. Look at the picture above and you’ll see how the cheese has spread well. Try this recipe yourself and provide a comment on your thoughts please. We believe strongly that this is THE Macaroni and Cheese Recipe.

Bread Crumb Topping

  • 12 ounces of dried elbow macaroni
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
  1. Melt the butter in a small non-stick skillet.
  2. Add bread crumbs and Parmesan Cheese
  3. Mix well. Remove to a small bowl. Set aside.

The Splendid Cheese Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat Oven to 500° f.
  2. Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a large pan. Add macaroni noodles. Stir.
  3. Make a Rue: Melt 2 tbsp butter in a 3 quart non-stick saucepan. Add flour and stir until bubbly and the flour begins to lightly brown.
  4. Add milk to the saucepan, while stirring thoroughly to blend the milk and flour (a whisk works well).
  5. Heat slowly, stirring often until milk is hot and just near boiling. Whisk together well.
  6. Stir in cheese and mix until melted through.
  7. Mix in the nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Set aside, the pasta should be done at this point.
  8. Drain pasta well. Pour the cheese mix over the macaroni noodles and carefully stir to blend well.
  9. Spoon the cheese/macaroni mixture into 4 x 4″ diameter ramkins or similar sized oven safe bowls about 2″ deep.
  10. Top each bowl with 1/4 of the breadcrumb mixture.
  11. Place in the oven and heat until the bowls are bubbly 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 4 to 5 minutes before serving.
  12. Enjoy.
Serving of Delicious Macaroni and Cheese
Delicious Macaroni and Cheese

Author: Matthew Schroebel

Twice Cooked Thai Chicken and Fruit Recipe

Serving of Twice Cooked Thai Chicken and Tropical Fruit

This recipe takes a little effort but the rewards in flavor makes the effort worthwhile.

First Cooking

  • 7 or 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp Thai Kitchen Thai Seasoning
  1. Season Chicken Thighs evenly with Thai Seasoning
  2. Place in a 1/2 size aluminum steam table pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil
  3. Cover pan with foil and bake in a 300° F oven for 1 to 2 hours. Remove cover for last 1/2 hour.
  4. Allow to cool. Then remove skin from thighs and discard.
  5. Shred the chicken meat by hand and place in a large bowl.

Seasoned Chicken Thighs for Twice Cooked Thai Chicken
Seasoned Chicken Thighs for Twice Cooked Thai Chicken

Shredded Chicken
Shredded Chicken

Second Cooking – Curried Coconut Sauce with Shredded Chicken

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan (large enough to hold ingredients plus chicken).
  2. Heat and blend Curried Coconut Sauce.
  3. When well blended, fold in the shredded chicken, and stir to blend well.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Serve 1 cup Twice Cooked Thai Chicken over 1 cup of fresh cooked Honey Cumin jasmine or basmati rice (recipe below).

Honey Cumin Rice Recipe

  1. Bring water to boil. Add rice, cover, reduce heat and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes (less time for basmati)
  2. Remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  3. Sprinkle ground cumin evenly over top of rice, and drizzle with honey.
  4. Stir well

Dole Tropical Fruit Blend
Dole Tropical Fruit Blend

Author: Matthew Schroebel

Easy to make Crispy Potatoes Pancakes

Serving of Crispy Potato Pancakes
Serving of Crispy Potato Pancakes

This dish is an excellent change of pace from mashed or baked potatoes as a side dish for pork chops, roasts and hamburgers. We used to make this recipe with fresh potatoes by peeling, shredding, and ringing out the excess water. That’s a lot of work and there are a couple obstacles to avoid. First, you have to have some McCormick Anti-oxidant on-hand to keep the shreds of potatoes from browning. All of those thin slices of potato brown almost immediately after shredding unless the Anti-Oxidant is used. It’s citric acid, just like in the OJ you drink, but without the flavor. Second, because you have to put those shreds of potato into the Anti-oxidant mixture, they get really wet and it’s really difficult to get rid of the excess water. And, the excess water makes it difficult to get the potato pancakes to form properly – they’ll fall apart while cooking.
Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
Package of Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns

So, we found the trick to making delicious, well formed, simple to make Crispy Potato Pancakes is to cheat a little, and buy the Simply Potato Hash Brown Potatoes in the dairy section of your grocery store. The peeling is done and there is no extra water. This makes our recipe for Crispy Potato Pancakes a snap. From start to finish in about 10 to 15 minutes, just about the same time to cook those pork chops and a vegetable to square out your lunch or dinner. Plus these Potato Pancakes keep well in the refrigerator after being cooked and make an excellent leftover. Just zap them in the microwave for 20 seconds or so to warm them up.

Recipe for Easy Crispy Potato Pancakes

  • 1 store bought package of Simply Potatoes Hash Brown Potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions or onion [we prefer scallions as the green tops add some color]

  1. Combine the scallions and potatoes in a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the potatoes and scallions (or chopped onion).
  3. Beat the egg in a small bowl and pour over the potato mixture.
  4. Mix well by hand. Latex or nitrile gloves work well as the mixture is sticky and sticks to your hands.
  5. Form into 4″ pancakes about 3/8 – 1/2″ thick. Place formed potato pancakes on wax paper.
  6. Heat a large lightly greased (with heart healthy olive or canola oil) non-stick skillet add 2 to 3 potato pancakes, depending on the size of your pan (ours pictured is about 14″ in diameter).
  7. Cook over medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes (until lightly browned, lift and peek underneath if required).
  8. Cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. Remove to a warm plate and cover to keep warm while cooking a second batch.
  10. Serve plain, with low fat sour cream, ketchup or season with Old Bay French Fry Seasoning.

Makes six 4″ potato pancakes.

Just placed in pan to cook:
Crispy Potato Pancakes Cooking in Pan
Crispy Potato Pancakes Cooking in Pan

After being flipped once, note the browning is “just right.”
Crispy Potato Pancakes, Turned Once
Crispy Potato Pancakes, Turned Once

Author: Matthew Schroebel