Cheese and Sausage Bites

I am in LOVE with these little cheese and sausage bites! They remind me of portable cheese and sausage biscuits and go perfect with eggs in the morning!

Do not get me wrong though…they can be served anytime and are delicious served hot, room temperature or cold.

Cheese and Sausage Balls Blaise the Baker

Cheese and Sausage Bites

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound hot sausage
2 cups biscuit mix (Such as “Jiffy” Brand)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the shredded cheese, sausage, salt and pepper together in a large bowl, using clean hands to thoroughly mix everything together.

Add the 2 cups of biscuit mix, and once again, combine together with clean hands.

Roll the mixture into tablespoon size (approximately) balls and place on ungreased baking sheet.

Place in preheated oven for 23 minutes.

Remove.

Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Frosting

I have a new “favorite thing” – peanut butter frosting! I love peanut butter and just recently started experimenting with peanut butter frosting…only when I was out of cream cheese. Delicious topped on chocolate cupcakes – and even better eaten out of the bowl with a spoon…which may have been what happened the first time I made this.

Try it – and let me know what you think!

Peanut Butter Frosting Blaise the Baker

Peanut Butter Frosting

1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter (creamy)
2 – 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Start by creaming together the softened butter and peanut butter in a large bowl.

Next, add the 1/4 cup whole milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir to combine.

Add the 2 cups powdered sugar, and stir gently.

Depending on the desired consistency, gently add the 1/2 cup remaining powdered sugar, and the 2 tablespoons whole milk and beat until smooth and creamy.

Use as desired.

Frosting makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes – or a 13×9-inch cake generously.

Enjoy!

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar

I have been in the habit lately of roasting vegetables. They are so delicious and so much better than steaming, frying or boiling them. The oven almost caramelizes their flavor and really deepens the taste… if you have not tried roasting vegetables in the oven – I highly recommend it!

I have tried roasting several things – whole roasted cauliflower (here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2015/02/20/parmesan-whole-roasted-cauliflower), kale (here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2014/07/10/kale-chips/), potatoes, carrots, squash, etc.

Tonight I had another favorite – brussel sprouts. Now – before you turn your nose up at these, believe me when I say – they are delicious! Caramelized from the oven a little and then drizzled with balsamic vinegar at the end – oh my… so good! Try them!!!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts Blaise the Baker

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar

1 – 1 1/2 pounds of brussel sprouts
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare the brussel sprouts by cutting off the end tips, and then cutting the sprout in half, length wise. Place them on a large baking sheet. Be sure to throw on the loose leafs also – they are AMAZING when roasted.

Drizzle on the olive oil and sprinkle on the salt and pepper.

Place in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. After 30 minutes, check on desired doneness.

Remove from the oven, and drizzle on the balsamic vinegar.

Toss and serve hot.

Enjoy!

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Cookbook Corner – Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love

I am SO excited to share this new “Cookbook Corner” with all of you! I am IN LOVE with this book and have made countless things out of it and all have been beyond perfection! I highly recommend you BUY IT – but first, you need to read my review – it would be appreciated! Ha! 

COVER. BITDB MADE WITH LOVE Hi Res

“Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love” By: Cheryl and Griffith Day

First of all – this is Cheryl and Griffith’s 2nd book. Their first one is fabulous and you can see my review on THAT ONE here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2014/09/17/cookbook-corner-back-in-the-day-bakery-cookbook/

Back to this one – it is a great book! I DO think that their first one was a little more “sweet” based, and this one a little more “savory” focused – but hey – together it is the perfect balance. Although, I am a fan of both, even when standing alone.

I feel like I have a “connection” with Cheryl Day (“Star Brownie”) because over a year ago, I posted something about their “Old-Fashioned Cupcakes” and posted a photo on Instagram – Cheryl commented and clicked she “liked” my picture! We have obviously been BFF’s ever since! Ha!

This book, much like their first, is filled with handcrafted, scratch-made and lovingly put together recipes. Each and every recipe is “made from scratch” and written and developed with love.

OH – and did I mention that scattered throughout the book are “recipes” for CRAFTS!? No? Yes! And they are fabulous… (more on those later)

The book is divided into eight main sections.

The Beginning of a Great Day, Everyday Cakes, Pie Day, Your Day-ly Bread, Holidays and Celebrations, Saturday Supper Club, A Satisfying Treat Saves the Day and Make It For a Rainy Day. (Get the “DAY” connection – Cheryl and Griffith DAY – you did!? Ok – good… Ha!)

First of all – when flipping through the book you will notice the beautiful photographs – I mean, gorgeous pictures with some of the best “antique” items in the backgrounds… I am a believer in “it is all about the details” – and this book and its photos hits that head on!

Just some of the delicious recipes that can be found in the book are… (I will share some of my personal photos, but do not want to bombard this review with pictures. If you want to see more of my photos follow me on social media).

“Jam Muffins” (page 15) which taste like jelly filled donuts – in muffin form! How bad can that be?! I have had these for breakfast more than a few times, and they really get better after the first day. The jelly and the muffin “get to know each other” and (dare I say) get even more MOIST and delicious.

(Page 17 – I love buttermilk too…)

“Chocolate Bubble Loaf” (page 31) is not only fun to make and eat – but fun to say! Say it with me “Chocolate Bubble Loaf” – “Chocolate Bubble Loaf”! What is a “bubble loaf”? It is like “monkey bread” – a pull apart loaf that can be shared – and so fun for entertaining! I am going to be honest here…the first time I made this…I ate it all. Every “bubble” – every crumb. It is delicious, and so easy to make!

“Banana Chiffon Cake with Banana-Cream Cheese Frosting” (page 65) is quite possibly the moistest cake I have ever had. (Yes – I use the word MOIST. I know a lot of people do not like it – but I do – get over it…) The bananas in this cake make it the PERFECT “make ahead” cake because once it sets overnight – wow! Delicious, and full of so much flavor, you will not believe it! AND the “Banana Cream Cheese Frosting”!? You might want to make a double batch. One batch to frost the cake – the other batch to eat, straight from the bowl with a spoon.

“Ginny’s Chocolate Chip Cake with Classic Buttercream” (page 68) is on my list “to make” – and SOON! Follow me on Instagram (http://instagram.com/blaisethebaker) to get my updates about this cake. It is a delicious butter cake with chocolate chips in the batter, and then frosted with chocolate buttercream frosting. I can not wait to try this!

“Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Glaze” (page 76) really hits the spot when I am wanting my “lemon fix”. For those who follow me on my social media links, you know – I LOVE LEMON! This is delicious – and really fresh tasting! AND speaking of lemon and fresh tasting and needing a “lemon fix” – flip to page 81 – “Lemon Pudding Cakes”! Heavenly! Like lemon!? You will melt over these delicious little cakes…

“Baby-Cake Party Hat” (page 87) CRAFT ALERT – CRAFT ALERT! Remember when I said there were also CRAFTS involved – scattered throughout the book and in between the recipes? This is the first one – and it is adorable! Perfect for a child’s birthday party – and so easy to assemble! Great idea…

“Banoffee Pie” (page 96) is delicious and was gobbled up when made for a local “pot luck” dinner. “Where did you get this recipe?” and “How did you make this crust? Is that pecans!?” Was most of what was said… after everyone explained that they wanted it again at the next potluck! It’s delicious – and EASY with only SIX ingredients!

“Cornmeal Sandwich Buns” (page 135) are quickly becoming a family favorite around here! My Grandma and I have been looking for the perfect recipe for homemade hamburger buns…and we found it with these! The cornmeal really adds a certain “flavor” and texture that really adds to the finished product.

“Sweet Potato Lemon Bread” (page 142) because – LEMON! LEMON and sweet potato BREAD!? Yes, and it’s delicious! I am  looking forward to making this for their suggested use of the “Thanksgiving Sandwich” idea detailed in the book. I will report back in November how it goes…if I can remember to update! (Follow me on Facebook to get my updates also – http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker)

“Snack Pocket” (page 149) CRAFT ALERT – CRAFT ALERT! Make a snack pocket out of fabric – it is a genius idea and the “recipe” can be transformed into using about any kind of fabric and stitch!

“Caramel Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting” (page 160) IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE CAKES EVER! I love anything salted caramel – and this caramel CAKE with the salted caramel FROSTING – delicious! I highly recommend this with a delicious cup of strongly brewed coffee…which is how I first enjoyed this.

“Beans and Corn Bread Cobbler” (page 204) is a genius idea that I honestly wish I would have thought of… my Grandma said she DID…but that is up for discussion. My Grandma loves beans and cornbread – why not combine them into a “casserole” type dish, and turn up the volume!? Classic “comfort food” recipe.

“Lunch Canister” (page 226) CRAFT ALERT – CRAFT ALERT! This is a fabulous and fun way to use antique / vintage flour, sugar canisters. I want one… I may try this soon… Perfect conversation piece for the office…

“PB & J Sammies” (page 250) are delicious! I used strawberry jam in mine – perfection!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sammies Back in the Day Bakery Made With Love Blaise Doubman

“Cotton Candy Meringues” (page 252) are amazing! I may never eat cotton candy the “normal way” again. These are so much fun to make (and easier than the normal way of making cotton candy) and taste even better than the “circus” treat! I think these would be fun dyed different colors and cut out with different shaped cookie cutters! AND – no flour – perfect for those who are “Gluten-free”!

“Star Brownies” (page 254) are quite possibly the best brownies I have ever tasted. RICH, fudgy, packed with flavor and super easy to make… Yes – you need to beat the batter 100 times after each egg addition. BUT – it is a workout for your arms – and I need all the extra exercise I can get! Ha! These have been made several times… and they are gobbled up almost immediately.

Star Brownies Back in the Day Bakery Made With Love Blaise Doubman

“Lemon Buttermilk Fudge” (page 260). I love lemon. I love buttermilk. I love fudge. That is all… 

“Apple Butter” (page 274) is by far one of the best recipes for apple butter I have ever found. I don’t know if it is the mixture of spices, or what – I think it is – but DELICIOUS!

Some of the other delicious recipes that fill this book are, “Raspberry Corn Muffins” (page 18), “Cinnamon Walnut Bread” (page 29), “Eggnog French Toast” (page 41), “Very Berry Bundt Cake with Buttermilk Glaze” (page 55), “Strawberry Buttermilk Cake” (page 74), “Pineapple Upside-Down Cake” (page 84), “Orange Buttermilk Pie” (page 100), “Blackberry and Apple Pie” (page 106), “Razzleberry Crisp” (page 115), “Sorghum Whole Wheat Bread” (page 131), “Buttermilk Dinner Rolls” (page 134), “Cibatta Rolls” (page 138 – and made easy with “step by step” photos), “Savory Rosemary Lemon Shortbread” (page 145), “Baby Cakes with Vanilla Meringue Buttercream” (page 152), “Alabama Lane Cake” (page 177), “Buttermilk Brown Sugar Cheesecake with Sorghum-Caramel Pecans” (page 187), “Sweet Potato PotPie” (page 202), “Spoon Bread” (page 210), “Pizza the Day Way” (page 213), “Chive Parmigiano-Reggiano Popovers” (page 219), “Honey Oat Cookies” (page 232), “Key Lime Shortbread Cookies” (page 236), “Decorated Sugar Cookies” (page 246 and made super simple with “step by step” how-to photos on decorating), “Salted Caramel Popcorn” (page 259), “Blackberry Lime Jam” (page 269), “Vidalia Onion Marmalade” (page 272), “Pickled Red Onions” (page 277) and “Homemade Syrups” (page 286).

Well – I could go on and on and on, (and some might say I have) but just trust me – BUY THIS BOOK! I highly recommend it for those who love sweet, savory, Cheryl and Griffith Day and delicious “made from scratch” food with love…

To buy “Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love” and to learn more about Cheryl and Griffith Day, and their fabulous bakery, please click here…

http://www.backinthedaybakery.com/

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions. Shout out and special thanks to Artisan books, Workman Publishing and Cheryl and Griffith Day for this opportunity.

Blaise

Slow Cooker BBQ Pineapple Chicken

I have been getting requests for more chicken recipes on my blog, so I thought I would post one of my current favorites… This recipe, made in a slow cooker, makes the chicken so unbelievably juicy, you will not believe it!

This is amazing served alongside with white (or brown) rice and a roasted vegetable of some kind. (Such as my “Parmesan Whole Roasted Cauliflower”, recipe here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2015/02/20/parmesan-whole-roasted-cauliflower/)

This can also be made WITHOUT the pineapple – no need to adjust anything – just do not add it. BUT – the addition of the pineapple, really adds a “sweet” flavor that goes well with the BBQ taste.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pineapple Chicken Blaise the Baker

Slow Cooker BBQ Pineapple Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1 small can of crushed pineapple

The above ingredients are what I use – everything “normal” size. If you want to use a different flavored BBQ sauce – go ahead. If you want to use a little more / less of the crushed pineapple – feel free! Experiment and have fun!

Start by spraying the inside of your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine the bottle of BBQ sauce and can of crushed pineapple together in a small bowl and stir to combine. Place chicken in slow cooker and pour over BBQ and crushed pineapple mixture. No need to add any other liquid!

Set your slow cooker on…

HIGH for 3 hours and check OR LOW for 5 hours and check.

Enjoy!

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Chew This – Grandpa Max’s Old-Fashioned Custard Pie

There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about my Grandpa Max. I am thankful that I got to spend the time with him that I did before he passed away… His love of cooking and food, his deep strong connection to Faith, his love of family and friends… There are so many good memories that my family and I talk about.

This week’s “Chew This” column is dedicated to him – through the column and the recipe. It was an emotional piece for me to write – but I really wanted to share my story, and share this recipe with all of you…

Custard Pie Blaise Doubman Blaise the Baker Chew This

Grandpa Max’s Old-Fashioned Custard Pie

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/article_fff46120-c745-11e4-9843-f74a6d627d2b.html

Try it – and be sure to let me know what you think! Message me, or email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com Can not wait to hear what you all think…

Blaise

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Leftover 411

I titled this post “Leftover 411” because I have this saying – whenever I do not know something I will say “What’s the 411!?” Example – I hear someone talking about the new peanut butter, cream cheese toaster pastries – and I will say “Really? What’s the 411!?” Ha! I know – I am a nerd. Anyways…this post is all about some leftover ideas.

Let us say you have a couple of overly ripe bananas, or maybe a couple of potatoes leftover, or maybe some leftover spaghetti and sauce from the night before. What do you do with them!? Throw them away!? No!

Use these “leftover” recipes – and expand and go with what you’ve got. Experiment and HAVE FUN in the kitchen! You will never know what you will come up with…

Leftovers Blaise the Baker Blog Post

Quick Spaghetti Bread

1 – 2 cups leftover spaghetti and sauce
1 package frozen pizza dough, thawed
1 egg white, beaten
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F and spray a regular size loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Knead the leftover spaghetti and sauce into the pizza dough. Trust me – this will work – just keep kneading and folding – eventually it will all come together.

Place the bread into the prepared loaf pan – make a loaf shape if it does not form one by itself. 

Brush the top of the loaf with the beaten egg white and sprinkle evenly on top the Parmesan cheese.

Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes exactly. Remove and allow to cool slightly before removing and slicing. This is AMAZING with melted butter on each slice.

Leftovers can be kept in an air-tight container for up to 2 days.

Enjoy!

Quick Banana Bread

3-4 bananas, peeled
1 box of yellow cake mix
2 eggs
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
(the cinnamon and nutmeg are optional – also optional would be 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup pecans or even 1/2 cup chocolate chips)

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a regular size loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas. (I use a potato masher to do this…)

Add the eggs, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat until fully incorporated.

Add whatever else you desire – (see note above)

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, even out the top and place in preheated oven for 40 minutes exactly.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan.

Slice and serve slathered with butter.

Enjoy!

Roasted Loaded Sliced Potatoes

2 – 3 potatoes, unpeeled, cleaned and scrubbed
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Desired toppings

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Spray the aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray.

Slice the potatoes into slices – about 1/2 inch thick – and place them on the aluminum foil.

Drizzle olive oil all over the potato slices, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Turn the potato slices over, and repeat with the other side. Olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes (or until golden brown).

Remove and add shredded cheese (if using) and return to oven to melted cheese for another 2-3 minutes.

Remove from oven and add desired toppings. I like sour cream and chives. Feel free to add bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, olives, etc.

Enjoy!

What new and usual ways do YOU use leftovers!? Shoot me an email (blaisethebaker@gmail.com) and let me know!

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Update and Recipe Change

Sometimes recipes need changed – or “updated” and there is nothing wrong with that! Things evolve (much like the seasons of life), and – much like life – things can always be made better.

As I was making my “Chocolate Fudge Frosting” today, for my “Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake” (recipe here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2014/02/06/chocolate-mayonnaise-cake/), I thought – this needs “shine” – and honestly – it was a little difficult to spread…so I reached for the light corn syrup, added a couple of tablespoons, and BAM – perfect shine AND consistency.

Updated Chocolate Fudge Frosting Blaise the Baker

To view the UPDATED recipe, please click here…

https://blaisethebaker.com/2014/02/18/chocolate-fudge-frosting/

Blaise

Roasted Lemon Chicken

I have had several people ask me for chicken recipes, and I posted about this one on Facebook tonight. It is super easy and really delicious! Versatile too! I made mine on a bed of potatoes and carrots – but you could use anything you would like – such as onions and fennel (which I have done before and is just as delicious)!

Roasted Lemon Chicken Blaise the Baker

Roasted Lemon Chicken

1 large roasting chicken (6-7 pounds)
Olive Oil
Salt
Black Pepper
4 tablespoons butter, softened
6 cups mini carrots
6 cups washed and sliced potatoes (skin on)
4 lemons
2 cups chicken stock
Chicken seasoning (optional)

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F and spray a large roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Remove chicken giblets and dispose. Run the chicken under running water – inside and outside to remove any impurities, etc before patting dry with a paper towel. Place in roasting pan.

Sprinkle the chicken with quite a bit of salt and black pepper. If using – sprinkle with a few tablespoons of chicken seasoning.

Next, flatten out the 4 tablespoons of softened butter between your hands, and place it gently underneath the breast skin – on the top of the chicken. Do this by gently pulling back the skin from the breast, being sure not to separate the two completely. Place the butter under and gently press the skin to spread evenly.

Next, add the mini carrots and sliced potatoes around the chicken in the roaster.

Sprinkle the potatoes and carrots with quite a bit of salt and pepper.

Drizzle olive oil over everything – the chicken and the vegetables.

Cut the lemons in half, remove seeds carefully, and squeeze over everything. After squeezing, place lemons inside the chicken cavity.

Finally, pour in 2 cups of chicken stock.

Cover, and place in preheated oven for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until fully cooked.

Remove, allow to sit covered for about 20 minutes, and serve.

Enjoy!

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Cookbook Corner – LARD

Lard Blaise the Baker Cookbook Corner

“Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient” By: The Editors of GRIT Magazine.

I LOVE this cookbook! I know – big surprise, right!? Every single recipe in this cookbook contains lard – and THAT simple fact is what makes me love this cookbook! Ha! I remember my Grandma always using lard – still does – and I remember being interested and fascinated even way back then about why she was using lard, what it did, and what was the difference between lard and butter!?

This cookbook contains DELICIOUS recipes for things such as homemade biscuits, banana bread, applesauce doughnuts, berry muffins, hot cross buns, iced cinnamon rolls, fried okra, sweet potato fries, green beans, carrot fries, cauliflower, fried green tomatoes, stuffed mushrooms, fresh corn pot pie, baked steak, make-ahead chili, chicken and dumplings, southern fried chicken, country fried chicken, baked tuna, crab cakes, wartime sugar cookies, school day cookies, Grandma’s ice box cookies, peanut butter cookies, chocolate caramel swirl bars, peanut butter brownies, oatmeal bars, cherry custard pie, green tomato pie, fudge cake, blackberry cake, strawberry soda pop cake, buttermilk pound cake, banana butter crunch and apple pizza.

The secret ingredient in this cookbook?! Lard – and you will love it…

To buy “Lard”, please click here…
http://www.amazon.com/Lard-Cooking-Grandmothers-Secret-Ingredient/dp/1449409741/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428025638&sr=1-1&keywords=lard+the+lost+art+of+cooking+with+your+grandmother%27s+secret+ingredient

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions. Shout out and special thanks to the Editors of GRIT magazine for this opportunity.

Blaise