Mmm… sloppy joe with giardiniera and a side of chips.  Those are Utz salt ‘n vinegar flavored chips.  Amazon had a deal on them for Prime members, alas the deal has moved on. [ETA:  They’re back in stock!]Mrs J sent me this pic of Toby at the vet’s office.  He tangled with a feral cat and got a bite on his tail that abcessed.  He’s fine now.Gabe waits by the door with Homer keeping him company.  Mrs J has just left for the vet with Toby.  She told Gabe he wasn’t going but he hoped she would change her mind.Franks with beans on the side.Franks with beans on the top.Mmm… gumbo!  This recipe came up first with a Google search and it looked pretty good.  I took my usual liberties with the ingredients, crawdads for the shrimp, and chicken because I like chicken.  I used a small can of tomato paste and added four fresh ripe tomatoes sans their skins.  It does have andouille sausage.Ribs and fries.  I need to work on my presentation – the half slab doesn’t look “ribby” enough.Here’s a fresh loaf in a plastic bag.  Do you tie?  I often use small office binder clips if the loaf is going into the freezer but the twist and tuck under is the way I go if the bread is going to be used that day.Gabe likes to climb on my lap to be reassured Mrs J will come back home.

Super Bowl Recipes: Buffalo Chicken Dip

No secret I have friends in Patriot-land and it seems in the last few years Colorado/Denver and Boston/New England have gone against each other in various sporting events and I’m forced to fall back on my original upbringing – New England all the way.  Although I will admit I was truly torn between the Red Sox/Rockies World Series match-up.  I alternated between my Rox gear and my BoSox gear.  This year, no such dilemma as the Patriots face off with the Giants.

So from the land of the Patriots comes another Super Bowl recipe from my friend Butch Maier.  Take it away, Butch:

Now that the Patriots are in the SuperBowl I will reveal my winning dip that I have been making. by the way the Pats record is 7-0 when I make ths dip,Alabama won a national championship with this dip so here goes………….(btw)NO GIANTS FANS can use this weekend.

BUFFALO (not bills) CHICKEN DIP…..

  • 8oz pkg of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of blue cheese or ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup of Texas Pete hot sauce or Franks Hot Sauce will do
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • I use 2-12oz cans of chicken or use 2 boneless breasts
  • plenty of scooping chips.

Stir is softened cream cheese,dressing,hot sauce,cheese,and chicken mix it all around in a big bowl then put in a 9 inch pie plate smooth out and I bake 20 mins at 350 until its bubbling…..

In the interest of blog equity, I’m willing to post a Giant’s fan recipe.  Email me with it or hit the comments with it.  😀

Taco Soup: Slow Cooker and Stove Top Methods

Yesterday 3 inches of snow brought the Front Range to its knees.  Very unusual, we’re deep snow people, but I guess it was because it was so warm before and the temps dropped dramatically, it created a skating rink just as morning rush hour began.  I wouldn’t know because when my alarm went off and the traffic guy on the radio described the doom and gloom on the roads, I decided to work from home. After I slept another hour.

This morning at work we were talking about how much we love soups and taco salad, so Taco Soup didn’t seem that far of a leap. I usually like to do my own seasoning, but let’s consider this a quick and foolproof soup, using some tried and true ingredients: taco seasoning and Ro*tel style tomatoes. I won’t tell. If you’d like to make your own taco seasoning, JeffreyW had a recipe here. You can cook this in a slow-cooker or on the stovetop, the directions for both are below.

Taco Soup

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 4 cups of water or tomato juice
  • 15 1/2-ounce can pinto beans
  • 15 1/2-ounce can red kidney beans
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans Ro*tel-style tomatoes (use your heat preference)
  • 6 oz diced green chilies
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • Corn chips, for serving
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Grated cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • Pickled jalapenos, for garnish
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Black olives for garnish

(all garnishes are optional, of course)

Brown the ground beef and onions in a skillet; drain the excess fat, then add 1/2 taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water, stirring well. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker. Stir in the liquid, beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, jalapenos, remaining taco seasoning, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours (alternately you can simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove). To serve, place a few chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with garnishes.

Opening Day Menu: Play Ball!

First of all, you guys rock! I awoke this morning to a full inbox. Thanks so much for the kind words, everyone should have their day start out that way.

As promised, here is an opening day menu to bring the ballpark to your house. I tried to be as authentic as I could with each dog. Personally, I would grill any of mine, authentic or not. I was lucky enough to have my friends spoil me with authentic Fenway Franks (grilled) and buns while I was back east. They were as good as I remember them. My all time favorite though is the Italian Sausage with grilled peppers. Here in Colorado you can’t swing a metaphorical cat without hitting a brewery (even our Governor is a former brew master), so we have plenty of great choices for a cold brew. Okay, PLAY BALL!!

On the board today:

Pick Favorite (recipes below):

  • Fenway Franks
  • Boston Dogs
  • New York Dawg
  • Italian Sausage w/peppers
  • Denver Dogs
  • Dodger Dogs (adults only)

Vinegar & Salt chips (if you can find them, Cape Cod chips are excellent)

Raw Vegetable Tray (hey it can’t all be junk food)

Pick one:

  • Ice cream in dipped cones
  • Cracker Jacks
  • Popcorn
  • Peanuts in shells
  • Lemonade
  • Favorite Ice Cold Brew

Fenway Franks

The closest I can find to these are to use Ball Park Brand Franks. The secret to these tasty franks is to bring the water to a boil, then add the franks and let them cook until just heated through. If you can find them, authentic Fenway franks are served in white bread sliced rolls (these look like two bun size slices of white bread, joined together at the bottom and sliced open at the top). If not, regular buns will do. Mustard only, please …though I like them plain.

Boston Dogs

Follow in the instructions above and add hot chili and shredded cheddar.

New York Dawg

Follow the instructions for Fenway Franks and add sauerkraut.

Denver Dogs

Split your dog lengthwise, but not all the way through. Flatten on hot grill, keep the rack far from the flame, don’t let them burn, flip and grill the other side. Brush rolls with melted butter and a touch of garlic, toast on the grill. Bring bun & dog together, top with relish or spicy brown mustard.

Dodger Dogs (Adults ONLY)

Get a can or bottle of your favorite beer, take your dogs and use a fork to poke holes around the dogs. In a large, shallow bowl, add dogs & beer and let soak 30 minutes. Now, this is a two-step process for authentic dogs, but if you want, you can skip the boiling part. Bring water to a boil, drop dogs in for 3 to 5 minutes, remove and immediately pop onto a hot grill and grill all sides. Serve in warm rolls, top with spicy beer mustard or relish.

Italian Sausage w/Peppers

Spicy Italian sausage or bratwurst grilled or pan-fried. These are thick, so make sure you cook them long enough to cook completely through (follow pkg. directions) Slice a green pepper in rings and sauté in butter & olive oil. Toast regular hot dog bun in skillet or on grill, add sausage and top with peppers.

Ice Cream in Dipped Cones

  • 4 waffle cones
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 oz package chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream

In a double-boiler (or a saucepan with a Pyrex or metal bowl place on top), add water to the bottom and melt chocolate & butter. Dip top of cones into melted chocolate, then dip immediately into sprinkles. Let cool completely, scoop in ice cream and top with remaining sprinkles


Yeah, yeah.  Been there and done that.

Deal with it.  This is seriously good stuff.  I did make this batch a bit differently than the last few.  I used the counter top roaster to cook the pork and added a bunch of onions and dried peppers to the pan with the meat.  Cleaned a  head of garlic and slipped most of the head into slits cut here and there on the roast.  Took the powdered dried peppers I made a while back and gave everything inside the pan a good dusting with that, along with some onion powder and plenty of ground black pepper.  Poured in a good quart of chicken stock and turned it on to 350.  I shoved a temperature probe into the sweet spot and set it to beep when it got to 165.  Worked like a charm.

I took the cooked roast out and set it to cool on a board and then strained the peppers and onions and other solids from the juices left in the pan.  Ladle off the fat from the good stuff or do as I did–put the bowl into the freezer until the fat hardens and you can lift it out.

Drag out the blender and dump in the solids you strained from the drippings and the defatted juices and pulse to puree, add chicken stock or water to make it thin enough to pour back into the pot.  Those chilies and cooked onions with a few cloves of cooked garlic make a super duper flavoring.  I enhanced mine with a few chipotles in adobo sauce.  The juice of a lime will work well in there.

Shred or chop the pork when it is cool enough to handle.  Peel off the fat and gristly parts.  Dump the meat into a big stock pot, add some hominy, a few more onions cut up into largish pieces, add enough chicken stock to cover well.  Add the puree of peppers and onions and bring the pot to a simmer, keep it there for at least an hour, longer is better.  Give the broth a taste and adjust for salt and heat.  Add more pureed  chipotles, perhaps with some red pepper flakes or whole dried chilies.  Knock yourself out.  I like a good bit of oregano in mine, I put in a good tablespoon-that’s in 5 quarts or so, maybe 6, of soup.


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