Chefs of Honor: Beefy Boys Cooking Co.

Disclaimer: This may be the awesomest food post ever.

First off, I just have to say, I love my brothers, the ones by blood, and the “adopted” ones that are just always at my parents’ house that I see just as much as I do my “real” brothers.  They all make me smile, and root me on like no one else can.

I have evidence of that last statement, too!  Earlier this week, I got a text message from my “big-little brother” Jesse.  Some of you may remember his unforgettable appearance in my tribute to my Grandma, Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits.  Here it is (the text message that is):

photo (2)

This already had me beaming.  An out of the blue text message from a brother always does.  But an out of the blue text message from a brother about my blog…and wanting to be on my blog (even if it is slightly a joke…look at the title haha!) had me absolutely thrilled.  Plus, the pictures made it look pretty tasty to me too!!  See?

IMG_3518

Yummy!!  They even thought to garnish it!

IMG_8543

Haha.

So, intrigued, I asked for a recipe.  And this is what I got:

As if that wasn’t awesome enough, before I had a chance to respond through my fits of laughter, I got another one, featuring my brother-from-another-mother Christian to give me the last few tips I need to make (and eat) these Beefy Canoe Wagon Sliders.

Well.  I’m convinced, how about you?  Haha.  I would eat Beefy Canoe Wagon Sliders any day!!

Jesse later informed me that all you need for the marinade is this:

  • Olive Oil
  • Bragg’s Amino Acids (Or Soy Sauce)
  • Pepper
  • Half of a Lemon Juice

Sounds easy, delicious, and healthy!!  Let me know if you try it!!

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Make Ahead Egg Bites (Healthy Breakfast On the GO!)

One of my sweet little employees came to me about a month ago and told me that she was taking charge of her diet and wanting to start a healthy lifestyle!!  And then she began to tell me about these cute little egg cups she was making that helped her start her day off right.  I had seen them on Pinterest but never tried them.  However, as she continued to go on and on for several days about just how yummy they are…I decided heck…I gotta try.  Especially since I have a VERY hard time getting myself to eat breakfast!  I am prone to choose 10 extra minutes of sleep over making breakfast.  Which is dumb because 10 minutes of sleep won’t help much…but eating breakfast will haha!  However, now if I take the time to make a batch of these at the beginning of the week, I don’t have to choose!  Cause all I  have to do is warm a couple of these guys up and I can down them in 60 seconds flat…and have healthy energy for my day!  PERFEEEECT!

Adapted from fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody!!

So, here is what you need for just 6 Bites (I was running low on eggs, so feel free to double it or more!)

  • 6 pieces turkey bacon, (Optional.  I made half of mine with, half without…and both were gloriously wonderful.  The bacon ones had the added salt and smoky flavor…but the non-bacon ones had a delightful flakey brown crust of sorts.)
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1-2 Tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt (For a creamy factor, and to stretch it if you are low on eggs like I was!)
  • 2 Tbsp Cubes Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Grated would work too.  I just like the cute little cubes)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • A sprinkle of your favorite herb or seasoning (Optional.  I think I may have added just a sprinkling of Mrs. Dash or something similar)
  • Dash of Sriracha…..also optional, but come on, Sriracha is wonderful!
  • 1 Tbsp(ish) of butter
  • Mini Muffin Pan

And here’s how you do it (easy peasy):

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*
  2. Put your bacon in a pan just for a couple of minutes until it is starting to brown and crisp but is still bendy.  This step is optional but a lot of the commenters recommended it 🙂
  3. Whisk together your eggs, yogurt, cheese, salt, pepper, sriracha, and seasonings of choice until nice and creamy.
  4. Smear butter on the inside of all the little muffin cups you will be using.
  5. Wrap bacon around the inside of your cups if you are using it.
  6. Pour the egg mixture into the cups until about 3/4 full.
  7. Slide into your oven and bake until golden brown and not jiggly.  Check around 20 minutes, but may take up to 30.  🙂
  8. Enjoy the ease and deliciousness of healthy breakfast habits!!

 

Peectures!

Preheat your oven to 350, and get your bacon started!  Toss it in a pan for a few minutes until just starting to brown and crisp up but still pliable.  You can also crank some fresh pepper on it as you do so.  Peppered bacon is my new favorite!!

Photo

Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the butter) in a bowl…

Photo (3)And whisk until smooth…

Photo (4)Smear butter around in the every muffin cup you will be using.  Wrap bacon inside the cups if you are going that route (again, with and without are both fantastic, I don’t think I could pick a favorite!)  Fill each cup 3/4 full with the egg mixture.

Photo (5)Slide into preheated oven and bake until browned and no longer jiggly.  Start checking it at 20 minutes, but it could take up to 30.

Photo (6)Yum!

Photo (8)See what I mean about the lightly browned, flakey crust on those guys?

Photo (7)But then, who can really resist bacon….?

Photo (9)Without?

Photo (11)With????
Photo (10)WITHOUT?!?!?

I have an idea…how bout you make some, and let me know what YOU like better?  🙂

“THE BEST” Chicken (or Leftover Turkey!) Barley Soup

Why do I call it “THE BEST” you ask?!  Well…because of this…

Photo (7)Hahahahaaaa.  I think instead of being a post about “Feeding Mr. Rodgers,”  this should be “Pleasing Mamma Monaghan.”  The original idea was to create a chicken noodle soup without noodles.  Haha, I tend to cook classic foods without their main ingredient I have noticed.  Mr.  Rodgers loves chicken noodle soup…especially on days like the ones we have been having.  Cold.  Wet.  Dark.  Well I wanted to leave out the noodles for health reasons, but still wanted something nice and tasty other than just veggies and meat.  And I began to reminisce on my childhood when my mamma would make barley soups, so I thought I’d try it out.   Well my mamma in law decided to try a bowl…and promptly informed me that there might not be any left when I came home from work that night.  She then packaged it up and put it in the fridge for me…and I found this note.  Hahahah.  So sweet and fun!  And it really didn’t last very long either.  She devoured it, and I am so glad, cause she’s not a big eater so I love it when she goes crazy on healthy foods!!

But she wasn’t the only one thrilled with it.  It truly was perfect for our rainy day and the flavor was beyond wonderful and comforting.  I used chicken breast, but here is the beauty of a soup like this…you can use whatever meat you have laying around.  So tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Why not re-purpose the left over turkey into a barley soup?  Not only delicious…but oh so frugal!  And a good way to get the kids to eat the same thing for days without realizing (or complaining about) it, eh?

So…I think this was adapted from marthastewart.com.  But honestly, when you look up Chicken Barley Soup recipes…they are pretty close to identical so I can’t remember for sure which one I based this off of haha!

 

Here’s what you need!

  • 3 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 4 Large Carrots, Diced
  • 4 Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 3-5 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 2-3 Lg Chicken Breasts, Cut into cubes (or about 2 Cups cooked Turkey!  Or meat of choice!)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 6 C Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 5 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 C Barley (I did not use quick cooking because I wanted to let it simmer!  You can use either and just adjust the time/wait for it to get tender)

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Prep all your veggies!
  2. Melt your butter or coconut in a large pot over medium heat and add all your veggies except the garlic.  Cook until starting to get tender; about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and stir in, cooking another 30 seconds.
  3. Cut up your chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Add to the skillet and cook a few minutes, until starting to brown. (If you are using leftover meat, you just have to throw it right on in there!)
  4. Add chicken broth and thyme.  Bring it to a boil then add the barley.  Now cover and reduce; letting simmer until you are ready to eat!  (At least 15 minutes so the chicken gets cooked through, but I let mine simmer for a good part of the morning while I did laundry and such wifely things!  Gotta love mornings off!)  How easy as that?!  Easy as pie!  Speaking of pie…you will probably be regretting all the pie you eat on Thanksgiving, so this recipe will be really good for upset tummies and trimming for expanding waist lines, haha!!!  Enjoy!

 

Prep your veggies!

PhotoMelt your butter or coconut oil in a big ol’ pot…

Photo (1)

Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds or so, until fragrant.

Photo (3)Add your meat source…be it chicken breast, left over turkey, browned ground beef…don’t forget a little salt and pepper!

Photo (4)

Add chicken broth and thyme….

Photo (5)Bring to a boil, add barley, reduce heat, and simmer till done!  At least 15 minutes but can be simmered as you do your laundry until you are ready to eat!  😉

Photo (6)Yummy yummy in your tummy, healthy healthy for your body!! Hopefully you will find a note kind of like this on top of your soup!!

Photo (7)❤  LOVE IT!

 

Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper; Entry 4: Southwest Style Meatball Skillet

This is a recipe I pinned from cinnamonandspiceandeverythingnice.com, because I thought it looked delicious!  (Spoiler: It was!).  The funny thing is, I had already decided to make this dish before I even realized that it called for a Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce…I originally didn’t plan for it to end up in this series!  How fun is that?!  It was just…meant to be!  😉

I did change it up just a bit, because I was feeling energized and creative that evening, but however you make this its gonna be great.  I just watched a special on travel channel about meatballs.  Apparently it is a revolution.  I unknowingly joined the revolution.  The meatball revolution.  You should join too.  And make this skillet!  All you need is a little quinoa and you have a whole meal.  We both LOVED the flavor of these meatballs.  They were moist and packed with tastiness!  You gotta try!

 

So, here’s what you need for the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey or Beef (I used turkey because it’s what I had in the freezer)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 C Ezekiel Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp Chile Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle Chile Powder (Optional)
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dry Cilantro (Note, I used these two because I didn’t have any fresh.  It tasted great, but if you have fresh go for it!)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dry Parsley (Note, I used these two because I didn’t have any fresh.  It tasted great, but if you have fresh go for it!)
  • 3 Pieces Turkey Bacon
  • Salt and Pepper…of course
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil

And for the Skillet:

  • 1/2 Large Onion, Diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper, Minced (With tsp of sauce)
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 C Corn
  • 1 1/2 C Black Beans
  • 1 (15 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes in juices
  • 1/2 C Broth (Beef or Chicken)
  • Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 8 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 3 Pieces Bacon
  • 1 C Uncooked Quinoa

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. First things first:  Bacon.  We don’t want the bacon to be soggy…but we don’t want it to be too black either since it is going to continue cooking.  So get out your big cast iron skillet and get it cooked (all 6 pieces) until it is just barely starting to get browned.  Just a few minutes!  Now cut it into little strips for both uses: meatballs and skillet.
  2. Grab all of your meat ball ingredients (except the butter or coconut oil) and combine them in a bowl (including half of the bacon you just cut up!).  Form into balls (the original says golf ball sized!)
  3. In same skillet, melt the butter or coconut oil…hopefully you still have some of the bacon grease in there too, even though turkey bacon is lean it still produces a little of that goodness!!  Very carefully add the meat balls and cook for a couple minutes, turning to get a brown around the outside.  Remove from the skillet for now.  If you are using beef, you will need to drain some of the fat off at this point, but leave some to cook the veggies in.  🙂
  4. Add onion and cook until beginning to become transparent.  Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds more.
  5. Add Chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, paprika, and cumin.  Stir and cook about a minute more.
  6. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, lime juice, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and mix well.  Return meat balls to the pan along with the remainder of the turkey bacon.
  7. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, preferably covered.  Serve over a hot steamy pile of quinoa (to cook that, just boil 2 C water, add quinoa, and simmer for 12ish minutes ;))

Yaaaaay yummy!  Seriously super delish, we brought it to the church the next day for lunch cause we were going to be working there all day…and just ate it out of the Tupperware with a fork and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  The Rodgers family has joined the Meat Ball Revolution.  Will you?!

 

After you have partially cooked your bacon to just barely browned status, add all of your meatball ingredients (minus butter) to a bowl and combine.

Photo (8)Form into golf ball sized meat balls…

Photo (9)Heat butter or coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet.

Photo (10)Gently add meat balls…

Photo (11)Cook just a couple minutes, turning to get a browned color on the outside.

Photo (12)Remove from skillet.  If needed, drain some excess grease from the bottom of the skillet, but leaving just enough to cook your veggies in.

Add your onion. and cook a few minutes until beginning to become translucent.  Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.  Stir in Chipotle Pepper, Adobo Sauce, Paprika, and Cumin.  Stir and cook about a minute more.  Add corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, lime juice, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and mix well.

Photo (14)

Add meatballs back to the skillet, along with the turkey bacon.

Photo (16)Bring to a simmer, and let it cook about 10-15 minutes, preferably covered.

Photo (18)Yummy!

Photo (19)Pile on top of hot quinoa and enjoy!  We sure did!

Crackers, Cheese, and Marshmallows…and Bacon (Cheat Treat!!)

I know.  It sounds cray cray.  But years of Kirkwood tradition and countless converts says it’s not.  (P.S…if you don’t know me, Kirkwood is my maiden name.!)  Growing up I would tell my friends about how we ate crackers, cheese, and marshmallows at my house…thinking it was completely normal.  It didn’t take many confused looks to realize that I was wrong.  However, I would promptly invite them over (because my parents loved to cook for my friends), we would broil up a few of these beauties….and we made them believers!!  In FACT, Mr. Rodgers himself has become a believer…and it was his idea to create this post when we were trying to decide on a treat for date night.  🙂

Okay, now a confession.  Kirkwoods ourselves are converts to this concept as well!!  I think of it as Kirkwood tradition because I have never known my family without said tradition.  However, before I was born, my dad’s sister married my uncle Nic…who I have also never known life without.  And he introduced my family to his Anderson tradition.  And the rest is history.  I love my Uncle Nic.  And I love this recipe.  It is perfection.  And now I am proud to say, this is no longer simply an Anderson/Kirkwood tradition…it is now an Anderson/Kirkwood/Rodgers tradition.  I even added a few twists.  Yep.  You guessed it.  BACON.  I figured if we were going to be naughty and eat a treat…we might as well go all out and really eat a treat haha.

Growing up, we ALWAYS made this with saltine crackers.  However, since Mr. Rodgers loves to experiment, he suggested we try it with all different types of crackers.  If we had a bigger budget, we probably would have grabbed even more.  Personally, I wanted to try this on giant Cheese Its.  But we narrowed it down to three types.  At the end, I will reveal our thoughts on all three so that you can decide what you want to try for yourself.  Or maybe you want to try them all!!  Let me know what you like best 🙂 This is a treat you don’t want to miss!!

So, here’s what you need: (For 3 or 4 people)

  • 20 Crackers (Traditionally Saltines.  We also tried with Triscuits and FlipSides)
  • 10 Slices Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Cut in Half (Cracker size!!)
  • 10 Large Marshmallows, Cut in half
  • 5 Slices Cooked Bacon, Cut into bite sized pieces (optional)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Prep all your goodies!!
  3. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Lay out your crackers in a single layer.
  4. Top each cracker with a slice of cheese, a piece of bacon (if you are using it), and half a marshmallow (cut side down.)
  5. Slide it under your broiler.  Leave the oven door propped open slightly and keep an eye on it constantly cause this happens fast!!  Cook until cheese is melted, marshmallows are puffing up, and the top of the marshmallows are toasted and brown.  About one minute, maybe two.
  6. EAT AND BE AMAZED!!!

So….after our experiment, here are our thoughts on the crackers:

Saltines:  Best flavor!!!

Sea Salt and Black Pepper Triscuits: Best crunch!  But flavor a little overwhelming.

FlipSides:  Most trendy!  (Pretzel is so in right now!)  But just not quite the flavor of those classic Saltines!

Try it…what crackers can you think up that would win with this combo?!

PhotoHere’s the crackers we experimented with…and our creations…

Photo (3)Half with bacon….

Photo (1)Half without!!  And now, after they hung out under the broiler a couple minutes….

Photo (4)

BAM!!  How gorgeous, melty, and toasty is that?!  You have the crunch of the cracker, the goo of the cheese, the slight crunch and salty smokiness of the bacon, and the super sweet creaminess of the marshmallow with just a little more crunch on top with the toasted top!  It’s layers!!  And again I say…it’s perfection!!  Again, we have with bacon…

Photo (2)And without!  And honestly I can’t way which I love better, because they are both so heavenly!!  I love the tradition of the original, which really doesn’t NEED anything.  However, bacon never HURTS anything, does it?!  😉  Both glorious.  And up for you to decide.

Photo (5)Pretty!!

Photo (6)Melty.  Yummy.  AAAAAH.  I told myself I would start eating healthy again today.  But this is testing my resolve.  I better end this post now.  Okaaaaay bye!

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches With Peppered Bacon and Fried Eggs

Sammiches.  Yum.  And yes, yes I do call them sammiches…I started calling them that because I can never remember how to spell the actual word.  And now…I can’t seem to say (or type) it any other way.  So forgive me if I sound “Duck Dynasty-esque” in this post.  But I simply can’t call these anything other than..sammiches.

Anywho.  Since our health journey started, we have cut back almost 100% on eating bread.  That is, when we are doing good at least.  😉   So that means, no sammiches.  But I had this recipe (well, the pre-adapted version that is) on Pinterest, and I just knew I had to turn it healthy because it is made using two of my favorite ingredients: Sriracha and Honey.  So I busted out the good ol’ Organic, Sprouted Grain Ezekiel Bread.  And we made sweet and spicy pulled chicken sammiches.  I have made a few new recipes the past two weeks.  I asked Mr. Rodgers which was his favorite…and he whole heartedly replied “THE SAMMICHES!!”  If that alone doesn’t convince you to try it…let the pictures speak for themselves!!  You’ll love ’em!  Alright, let’s get this show on the road!!

Just a note…it may seem like a random combo at first…it’s because the original called for ketchup, which usually has sugar or corn syrup along with some mystery ingredients.  So I worked in a recipe for home made ketchup.  🙂

Adapted from foodiewithfamily.com!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 (6 oz) Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Mustard
  • 1/4 C White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 1/2 C Honey + 2 Tbsp
  • 1 Onion, Roughly Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Roughly Chopped
  • 1- 4 Tbsp Sriracha, depending on your love of heat.  I did 2 Tbsp, and will do more next time for a little more heat.
  • 2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Bragg’s Amino Acids (our soy sauce substitute)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Extra Sharp Cheddar, Sliced
  • 1 Cucumber, peeled and sliced into ribbons with a mandolin or veggie peeler
  • 1 Fried Egg per sammich
  • 1 lb Turkey Bacon (try to get some without sugar and nitrites)

It may look like a lot, but this recipe really is quite simple.  🙂  And ohhhh so satisfying!!  Let’s get down to business!

Here’s how you do it!!

  1. Place all the sauce ingredients into your food processor (that is everything up until the chicken breasts, as you could probably guess!!)  Whiz until evenly blended and creamy!
  2. Salt and Pepper the chicken and place in a 4 qt crock pot.  Mine was actually slightly still frozen and it still worked great!
  3. Dump the sauce over the chicken, cover, and cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Fish out the chicken and shred with two forks.  Replace in the crock pot and stir to coat.
  5. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and lay out your bacon in a single layer.  Place in a cold oven, and set the temperature to 400*.  Leave for 20 minutes.  It should be browned and crispy by then!
  6. Fry your eggs, slice some cheese, and make sure your cucumbers are ready.
  7. Cut your Ezekiel bread into rounds so it is like buns. (Optional)
  8. Butter the bread.  Place under a broiler until it is browned and toasted.
  9. Pile pulled chicken on half of the “buns” and top with cheese.  Place back under the broiler until cheese is melty.
  10. Move to a plate and top with cucumber, fried egg, bacon, and another piece of Ezekiel Bread.
  11. Devour…you can try eating this like a normal sammich if you like…but my guess is that you will have better luck with a knife and fork.  Okay, it’s not really a guess.  I’m speaking from experience 😉

Okay I can’t wait any longer, here is the pictures!!

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 1Gather all your sauce ingredients…

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 2Put them into a food processor…

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 3Whiz until everything is combined and creamy.

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 4Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and place in a 4 qt crock pot…

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 5Dump the sauce on top, cover, and cook on low for 8 hours.

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 6When done, fish out the chicken breasts and shred with two forks.

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 7Place back in the sauce and stir to coat.

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 8Cover a cookie sheet with foil and lay out the turkey bacon in a single layer.  Crack fresh pepper over it and slide it into a cold oven.  Turn the temperature to 400* and leave for about 20 minutes.

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 9Fry your eggs to whatever doneness you prefer…

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 10Cut your Ezekiel bread into rounds (I used a wide mouthed cup) and butter.

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 11Slide under a broiler until browned and toasty.

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 12Pile on some chicken from the crock pot and top with cheddar…

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 13Replace under the broiler until cheese is melty…

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 14Top with cucumber ribbons…

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 15Fried egg…

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 16And bacon…

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 18And your other piece of bread!  Melty, salty, sweet, little spicy, fresh twist with the cucumber, wonderful texture and flavor of the egg, crispy smokiness of the bacon…YUM.

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 19

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 17

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 20How fantastic is that?!

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Chicken Sammiches 21Perfection!!!  ❤