Spicy Sausage and Biscuit Sandwich

During the busy work week, my typical breakfast consists of oatmeal, toast, or anything quick and easy! Whenever we have a lazy Saturday, though, we enjoy cooking a big breakfast. One of my favorite breakfast dishes are my lemon blueberry pancakes

We recently tried a spicy, cheesy twist on a sausage and biscuit sandwich that is delicious. It's based on a Pioneer Woman recipe, with a few modifications. The bread for the sandwich is a cheddar biscuit seasoned with cayenne - yum! These were my first attempt at making biscuits by scratch on my own, usually my husband takes care of the biscuits. It's another recipe I can mark off of my recipe bucket list!

The sandwiches have the flavor kicked up another notch by seasoning the sausage patties with cayenne.

Spicy Sausage and Biscuit Sandwich ingredients:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered milk
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your taste)
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into bits
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tbs melted butter
  • Breakfast sausage seasoned with cayenne pepper

    Spicy Sausage and Biscuit Sandwich instructions:
    • Preheat oven to 450F
    • Whisk together flour, powdered milk, sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and cayenne pepper
    • Use a pastry cutter to blend in butter bits and shortening, blend until combined
    • Mix in cheese
    • Fold in buttermilk
    • Flour a surface and turn dough out onto the surface
    • Fold dough and press into a circle around 1 inch thick
    • Cut out biscuits with biscuit cutter or glass
    • Place biscuits in cast iron skillet
    • Brush with butter
    • Bake 10-12 minutes
    • Fry sausage patties in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through
    • Season both sides of sausage patties with cayenne pepper
    • Create delicious spicy sandwich with biscuit and sausage

    Chicken Salad Croissant

    Chicken salad is one of my favorite sandwiches, especially when it comes on a flaky, buttery croissant. I love the tang and crunch of this classic dish! When you order it at a restaurant, though, you never know quite what to expect...there are so many versions. I've had so many different styles that I've enjoyed, but I do have a few preferences. For example, I really don't like grapes in my chicken salad. I don't know what it is, I enjoy snacking on grapes...but I am not a fan or them in my sandwich. Pecans and celery, though, are a must. The flavor and crunch makes the sandwich!

    I was craving chicken salad the other day, so I decided I would try and make my own so I could have it exactly the way I prefer! I have a bucket list of recipes I've been wanting to try or dishes that I wanted to try and make a homemade version of, chicken salad was on this list. I noticed a recipe in a cookbook my mom gave me recently for one of my favorite restaurants back home. This recipe is pretty basic, but it was delicious! I made a batch up and ate off of it all week for lunch. Next time, I'd like to experiment with some additional herbs to enhance the flavor, but this is a quick and easy version that still tastes great.

    I made a few changes to the recipe including leaving out the grapes, shredding the chicken rather than cubing, and using low-fat mayonnaise.

    Chicken Salad Croissant ingredients:

    • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (or cubed, I just prefer shredded in a sandwich)
    • 1/2 cup finely-chopped celery
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
    • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
    • 1 tsp salt
    • Dash of freshly cracked black pepper
    • Croissants
    Chicken Salad Croissant instructions:
    • Shred cooked chicken breast
    • Chop celery and pecans
    • Combine chicken, celery, pecan, mayonnaise in a bowl
    • Season with salt and pepper
    • Mix together to combined seasoning throughout
    • Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving
    • Using a bread knife, carefully slice croissants down the middle
    • Spoon chicken salad in croissants and enjoy!

    Spicy Baked Zucchini Fries with the Perfect Crunch

    It's only a few weeks until National Zucchini Day on August 8. Zucchini is a food that I used to dislike, but now I can't get enough of the delicious vegetable! I've featured zucchini in several of my favorite dishes:

    Today's zucchini dish tops my list of favorite recipes! I've been wanting to try the recipe out for a while, but I wasn't sure about the Parmesan cheese...I'm not a huge fan. But, I recently saw some hot pepper seasoned grated Parmesan cheese in the grocery and was intrigued! It inspired me to take a spicy twist on the baked fries. The black pepper, seasonings in the Parmesan cheese, and the red pepper flakes all contributed to a nice level of heat. I even added some red pepper flakes to the marinara sauce I dipped them in!

    Once I had the spices figured out, I still had some reservations. I love fried zucchini, but it's hard to replicate the delicious crispiness with baking. Amazingly, these zucchini zucchini fries have the PERFECT crunch, though! It's nice to have a healthier alternative to fried zucchini, without sacrificing flavor or crunch. The Panko breadcrumbs are the key to this texture. I use the breadcrumbs for my baked macaroni and the fake fried chicken recipe that I love!!

    Here's how I made the delicious, spicy zucchini fries -

    Spicy Baked Zucchini Fries ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
    • 1/4 cup hot pepper seasoned grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
    • Salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
    • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into fries
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 egg, beaten
    Spicy Baked Zucchini Fries instructions:
    • Preheat oven to 425F
    • Coat baking sheet with nonstick spray
    • Combine Panko, Parmesean, and seasonings
    • Dredge zucchini in flour, dip in egg, dredge in Panko mixture
    • Place on baking sheet
    • Bake 20 minutes
    • Cool for a few minutes
    • Dip in marinara sauce or your favorite dipping sauce

    Teriyaki Veggie Skewers

    Our house is pretty divided when it comes to vegetables. Potatoes and the occasional green bean are about the extent of my husband's vegetable intake. I, on the other hand, love a good veggie dish. Zucchini, carrots, peppers, onions, and even eggplant - all delicious in my book!

    The last time we grilled out, we definitely had a his/hers cookout. While my husband made hot dogs (I'm not a fan...), I made these teriyaki marinated veggie skewers. The sauce is based on the Pioneer Woman's Skewers of Glory recipe, but I decided to try them on veggies.  The marinade uses teriyaki sauce, but kicks up the flavor with lemon, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. The marinade is slightly smokey, sweet, and has a bit of a spicy kick...well at least when you triple the red pepper flake amount... I love a spicy kick!

    I smothered this amazing sauce on some of my favorite veggies - zucchini, onion, green pepper, and red pepper. I had a few red potatoes laying around and decided to try them out, but the pieces were a bit too big and didn't get cooked all the way through. I probably won't use them on the skewer again, but the other veggies were perfectly charred and had a nice crunch!

    If you love veggies, you will definitely want to try this recipe. I will be making these skewers again at our next cookout!

    Teriyaki Veggie Skewer ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 tbs ground ginger
    • 1 tbs sugar
    • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • Dash of kosher salt
    • 2 whole green onions
    • Your choice of veggies (zucchini, onion, green pepper, red pepper, mushroom, etc.)
    Teriyaki Veggie Skewer instructions:
    • Mix together all marinade ingredients (teriyaki sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, red pepper flakes, lemon, salt, green onion)
    • Cut veggies into small slices and pieces
    • Pour marinade in sealable bag and drop in veggies
    • Refrigerate marinade bag and let sit for 2-4 hours
    • Place veggies on a metal skewer
    • Place on grill and turn ever few minutes, cook for around 10 minutes total

    Indoor Peanut Butter S'mores

    What's better on a warm summer evening than the gooey goodness of s'mores?! The only downside is there's really no substitute for the toasted marshmallow, and it can be hard to do without a fire pit or bonfire. We've tried to use the microwave, but it's a mess and the marshmallows still don't get toasted. But, today's recipe is the perfect indoor version of the popular summer treat transforming it into a dip you can easily create in the oven.

    This recipe couldn't be simpler or quicker to make! It takes longer to preheat the oven than to actually cook it. I found a few different versions of this recipe online. One version I saw used Reese's in place of chocolate chips, which takes the s'mores to the next level!! Peanut butter s'mores - yum!!

    There's so much you could do with this recipe by replacing the chocolate chips or Reese's with another chocolate-y treat. Andes mint s'mores, Snickers s'mores, dark chocolate s'mores, caramel s'mores using Rolo's, etc. - so many possibilities!!

    The Reese's version is pretty great, though. The dip was a big hit with our friends at our cookout this past weekend.

    Here's the quick and easy way to make indoor s'mores dip.

    Peanut Butter S'mores Dip ingredients:

    • 1 bag of mini Reese's
    • 32 marshmallows
    • Graham crackers
    Peanut Butter S'mores Dip instructions:
    • Preheat the oven to 450F
    • Unwrap Reese's and place in the bottom of a baking dish
    • Top with marshmallows
    • Bake 8-10 minutes until marshmallows are golden brown on top
    • Let cool a few minutes
    • Dip graham crackers in the concoction and enjoy!

    American Flag Fruit Pizza

    Happy 4th of July!

    Hope you and your family had a safe and enjoyable 4th of July! My husband and I both had Friday off, so we started the festivities a little early. On Friday, we had a few friends over for a cookout. Our tiny grill got a workout as we made quite a few burgers and hot dogs. I also prepared some of the corn salsa I just shared and my favorite baked mac 'n cheese. For dessert, I created an American flag themed fruit pizza (shared below) and an amazingly delicious S'mores Dip (sharing next week)! All in all, I think our first cookout in our new home was a success. After having a small apartment for the past few years, it was nice to have a big enough space to entertain!

    After the cookout, we played a few outdoor games and then enjoyed music and dazzling fireworks at our church.

    Saturday was a bit more relaxed. We decided to grill out a second time as well as finish up the rest of our cookout leftovers. My husband cooked up the last few hot dogs, and I experimented with a new recipe for teriyaki veggies. Delicious! It's one of my favorite new savory recipes I've tried lately, I'll be sharing the recipe this week.

    The weekend was filled with quality time with friends and delicious food - a wonderful celebration of our nation's birthday!

    The fruit pizza I made for our cookout is similar to the fruit cookie cups I previously made, and based on a Pioneer Woman recipe. The sugar cookie crust is amazing with just a hint of orange. Our kitchen was filled with a delicious aroma of vanilla and orange zest...yum!

    American Flag Fruit Pizza ingredients:

    • Sugar cookie crust -
      • 1 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
      • 1 1/2 cup sugar
      • 1 tsp orange zest
      • 1 tsp vanilla
      • 2 eggs
      • 8 tsp whole milk
      • 4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 3 tsp baking powder
      • 1/2 tsp salt
    • Cream cheese topping - 
      • 1 jar (13 oz) marshmallow creme
      • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
    • Blueberries
    • Strawberries

    American Flag Fruit Pizza instructions:
    • Cream butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla
    • Beat in both eggs until light and fluffy
    • Mix in milk
    • Sift the remaining dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, salt
    • Slowly add the dry ingredients into butter mixture
    • Mix until fully combined
    • Flatten between two sheets of wax paper
    • Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze of 20 minutes
    • Flatten dough into cookie sheet, I used half of the dough in a small cookie sheet and saved the rest of the dough to make some cookies later!
    • Bake the dough 12-15 minutes
    • Cool completely
    • Whip the cream cheese and marshmallow creme together until smooth
    • Spread over the cookie crust
    • Decorate the top left corner with blueberries and then arrange slices of strawberries to make stripes