Bacon, Brussels And Balsamic

I recently had this at a restaurant in Lutz, Florida. It was served as an appetizer but this could easily be served as a side dish. This recipe can easily be doubled and should be if you serve it as a side dish. What’s not to love? Bacon, Brussel Sprouts, Balsamic glaze and chopped peanuts for crunch.

Ingredients:

6 slices of bacon

3 Tablespoons butter

1 pound bag of Brussel Sprouts, I bought a bag of raw, ready to steam, I did NOT steam them, cut them in half

1/2 cup onion, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste (I used sea salt)

1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, rough chopped

*Balsamic (Vinegar) Glaze, enough to drizzle

Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels, save bacon grease. Melt butter in bacon grease. Add Brussel Sprouts and onion. Cook till tender about 8-10 minutes. I like mine caramelized so I cooked my Brussels on a higher heat. Once cooked, add bacon and crumble it. Drizzle balsamic glaze and place chopped peanuts on top. Enjoy!

*Balsamic Glaze can be purchased at the grocery store where vinegar is sold.

Everything But The Bagel Deviled Eggs

It’s a new year, new decade and I always try to start low carb or low calorie. I happen to love devil eggs and love to eat them whenever I can, eating healthy or not. I used Trader Joe’s seasoning but my local Publix sells it, Amazon sells it and Sam’s Club does too. You can easily make your own Everything But The Bagel seasoning too. I will give you the instructions below my recipe.

Ingredients:

8 hard boiled eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise

3 Tablespoons Mustard (your choice of Dijon, yellow, grainy, your favorite)

Everything But The Bagel Seasoning (recipe below for homemade)

Slice eggs in half and scoop out yolk and place yolk in a separate bowl. Mash eggs with a fork or potato masher. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in mayonnaise and mustard, blending well. Spoon back in the egg whites and sprinkle with Everything But The Bagel Seasoning.

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon sesame seeds

1 Tablespoon poppy seeds

1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes

1 Tablespoon dried garlic flakes

1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt

Combine above ingredients and store in an airtight container until ready to use. There are a lot of recipes for this seasoning and I have always heard Sunny Anderson say equal parts of said ingredients. That’s what I go by if I am making it myself. I typically buy it because it’s cheaper to purchase than buying all of the ingredients.

Broccoli Casserole Rewind

My favorite vegetable is green beans. My Daughter in Love Danielle loves broccoli. She wondered what my green bean casserole would taste like if I used broccoli instead of green beans. We decided to try it Christmas Day as one of our side dishes. It was wonderful. I have rewound the recipe, taken out the green beans and added frozen broccoli florets.

Ingredients:

2 packages of frozen broccoli florets, steam in the bag, cooked to package directions
1/2 cup onion, diced fine
2 Tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce (secret ingredient that rocks this recipe)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup of sour cream
2 cups of cheese
1 large container of French fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a skillet on the stove. Add flour to pan to make a roux. Cook for one minute. Do not burn! Add onion, salt, soy sauce, sugar and sour cream. Stir to blend. Add broccoli and toss in mixture to coat. Pour into a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Top with cheddar cheese. Distribute onions on top of cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. I usually check halfway through the cooking time to make sure the fried onions are not getting too brown, if they are, tent with foil.

***Tip: This dish can be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated without the onion topping on it. Take it out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before you need to bake it. Right before baking, add the French fried onions. This can be a big time saver when trying to prepare a holiday meal.

Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes

This is a recipe from my past. My Aunt Juanita gave this recipe to my Mom between 40-50 years ago. Losing my handwritten recipes was heartbreaking but I knew I had put the recipe in a school or church cookbook. My dear Aunt didn’t remember the recipe. I sure remembered it. You have two options, use sweet potatoes or yam patties. I used yam patties because that’s what my Mom always used. This old vintage recipe is a keeper.

Ingredients for Glaze:

2 big navel oranges, zest only

2 cups orange juice, I used pulp free

1/3 cup white granulated sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

3 Tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons corn starch

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook until thickened.

You may use raw sweet potatoes or frozen patties (if you buy or use frozen patties, thaw them before using in this recipe). It’s easy to find the patties at your grocery store during the holiday season. They freeze well too if you want to make this recipe for Easter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For raw sweet potatoes, cook in boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender. Cool, peel and slice. Place sliced in a baking pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the glaze over the slices and bake for 30 minutes.

For prepared patties, place patties in baking dish. Pour the glaze over the patties, bake for 30 minutes.

Copycat Chicken Salad Chick Broccoli Salad

I am leaving the recipe for Chicken Salad Chick’s Broccoli Salad however, I am also including a bonus recipe, mine. I actually prefer my broccoli salad recipe over Chicken Salad Chick, I think you will too. Keep scrolling to find my recipe.

Copycat Chicken Salad Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

2 bunches of broccoli or 2 packages of raw broccoli florets

1 cup of grated cheese

1 cup Bacon Bits, I refuse to buy those so I used real bacon

Place in a large bowl.

Dressing:

1 cup of mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar or Splenda

Combine in a separate bowl. Add to broccoli salad and toss well.

That’s the Chicken Salad Chick Broccoli Salad. Broccoli, fake bacon and cheese. You decide.

Below is my broccoli salad recipe recipe that I have been making for my family for years. I actually prefer my recipe because it has more yummy ingredients.

Cydnee’s Broccoli Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

2 bunches of broccoli or 2 packages of broccoli florets

1 cup grated cheese

1 cup of nuts, I used dried roasted peanuts but cashews, slivered almonds or sunflower seeds work too.

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1 cup of golden raisins or Craisins

1 pound bacon, cooked crisp * and crumbled

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Dressing:

1 cup of mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar or Splenda

Mix dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and add to broccoli salad. Toss to combine. Enjoy!

*I microwaved my bacon on a plate lined with paper towels about a minute per slice depending on the wats of your microwave.

This recipe can easily be a low carb/Keto recipe if the raisins or craisins are omitted.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes are one of my favorite Southern foods. They were not created for the movie, fried green tomatoes have been around for centuries, appearing in cookbooks from the 1800’s. I believe Fried Green Tomatoes gained more popularity after the 1991 film was released. Dip them in Ranch or dip them in my Aussie Sauce or just enjoy them on their own.

Ingredients:

3 – 4 green tomatoes, cut into 1/3 inch slices

Flour dredge ingredients:

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon chili powder or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Whisk together and set aside

Liquid Ingredients:

2 eggs

1 cup of buttermilk (the real stuff)

Combine and set aside.

Word to the wise, it’s not recommended that taking bites out of your tomato is a good idea. They are hot and I know someone that burned her mouth. 🤦🏼‍♀️

Corneal/Flour Dredge:

3/4 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon chili powder or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Notice I have added the same seasonings to this dredge station too.

Set up dredge/dipping stations. Put enough vegetable oil in a pan to fry the tomatoes. Preheat oil before frying. Do not overcrowd pan with tomatoes. Start by dredging the tomatoes in the seasoned flour. Dip both sides of tomatoes into egg/buttermilk mixture. Lastly dredge tomatoes in the seasoned cornmeal/flour mixture. Coat well in all side. Place in frying pan and fry until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Salt immediately after removing from fryer. Serve warm and use a dipping sauce of your choosing or they have lots of flavor on their own. Enjoy!

For Aussie Dipping Sauce, click here.

Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

I love all kinds of squash but this lately has become a favorite. Great side dish to any meal. In my opinion, it could be a a dessert. Yes, it’s that good. This would replace sweet potatoes on my table every time.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the acorn squash. Carefully cut the squash in half. Use a sharp chefs knife to cut your squash. Easiest way is to the squash in the indentation line. Scoop out seeds and place in a casserole dish.

Ingredients:

Acorn squash

1 Tablespoon butter for each squash cavity

Brown sugar* enough to fill and pack squash cavity

Put butter in squash cavity. Pack with brown sugar. Bake for one hour. Let rest a few minutes before handling. Eat and enjoy!

You can place the squash next to each other for stability.

*I did use brown sugar Splenda once and it was also delicious.

Sautéed Green Beans With Mushrooms

Green beans are my favorite vegetable. They always have been. This side dish is easy, comes together quickly and is a great side dish to any meal. The flavor is incredible and low carb friendly.

Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed

1 pound of sliced mushrooms

2 shallots, grated*

4 pieces of bacon

6 Tablespoons butter, divided

8 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon in a sauté pan. Remove bacon and set aside. Melt 4 Tablespoons butter in bacon grease. Add mushrooms and shallots. Sauté until tender. In a dutch oven, place green beans and boil until done. If you prefer your green beans al dente with a slight crunch, boil 4 minutes and drain and return to Dutch oven. If you prefer your beans more tender, boil a few minutes more. Add mushrooms, bacon and shallots and all of the butter and bacon grease in the pan. Add in Worcestershire Sauce, Soy Sauce, last 2 tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low for fifteen minutes. Discard bacon if desired and serve immediately. Enjoy!

*I used a microplane to grate the shallots but a box grater will work just fine.

Copycat Chicken Salad Chick Grape Salad

To be perfectly honest, I have never heard of or tried grape salad until recently. I thought perhaps it might be a Southern recipe but as I was doing my research, come to find out it originated in Minnesota. When it comes to copycat recipes, my recipe may not be the exact recipe or ingredients but the taste is the same. I first tried this grape salad at a new restaurant near me, Chicken Salad Chick. The restaurant is not new, just the location near me is new. So far the chains are only located in the South. I love this grape salad. I am hooked. Now you can make this salad at home even if you do not have a Chicken Salad Chick near you.

Ingredients:

8 oz softened cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sour cream

⅓ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 pounds (10 cups) seedless grapes (red and green all sizes are fine, I used both red and green like the restaurant)

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, or more if desired

Lightly cover top with brown sugar

Whip the cream cheese until fluffy. Add sour cream, brown sugar and vanilla combine together. In a large bowl place 10 cups of red and green grapes. Stir in cream cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, add the toppings. The chick tops with brown sugar only if you need to be nut free. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!

Other options:

Fat free or reduced fat sour cream and cream cheese can be used. I personally would use full fat but that’s me.

I did use Splenda Brown Sugar instead of regular brown sugar. I could not tell the difference.

Confetti Macaroni Salad

I call this confetti because there is yellow, green, red and orange ingredients in the salad. The dressing is unique because it’s one part mayonnaise and one part sour cream. Please feel free to add hard boiled eggs and/or olives to this salad if that is your preference. This will brighten up your summer BBQ’s and family gatherings.

Ingredients:

16 Oz elbow macaroni

4 ounces chopped pimentos, drained

1 yellow pepper, chopped

1 1/2 cups celery, chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 3/4 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise**

1 1/2 cups sour cream**

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni to package directions. Remember to make your pasta water salty like the sea. Drain cooked pasta and cool it off with cold water. Add pimentos, yellow pepper, celery, onion and grated cheese. Stir to combine all ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise and sour cream together. Season dressing (mayonnaise and sour cream) with salt and pepper.

** Everyone likes a different amount of dressing on salads. If you feel like this is not enough, it’s one part mayonnaise and one part sour cream.