Thursday, October 29, 2009

Free Betty Crocker Potatoe Samples

Click here for your free sample of Betty Crocker Potatoes.

You can either choose Au Gratin or Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  You will have to agree to receive their newsletter to get the potatoes, but that's it!

Homemade Bread - the easy way...

With autumn coming quickly to the mid-west, temperatures begin to fall outside. Soup and bread become a good and hearty meal for either lunch or dinner. When you get that urge, here is a recipe that will let you make a loaf of bread in about an hour.


3 cups self rising flour
12 ounces beer
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and flour together. Add beer and continue to mix until it is a wet and sticky consistency. Put the dough mixture into a well greased 9x5 loaf pan and distribute evenly throughout the pan. No need to push the dough into the corners. Melt the butter and pour over the top of the dough. Place the pan into the oven and let bake for about 60 minutes. Stick a toothpick into the loaf to see if it comes out clean. If it does, it is done.

For a variation of the recipe, don't be afraid to add your own combination of herbs or spices to the bread. Try it with either a light color or darker color beer such as a stout. Let me know your favorite variation of the bread recipe.


Friday, October 23, 2009

"Local" Artisans

Artisan, what does the word artisan mean? According to, as a noun, it means a person skilled in an applied art; a craftsperson. Why is that important?

In this time of our economy, it is a very important term. We all have a variety of local artisans that provide us with a variety of products and services which are often superior to those of the Big Box Stores. The quality that we should all expect, but often settle for something else

With the holiday season approaching, take a few moments and consider the opportunities you might have around you who could indeed provide you with craftsperson type work in their field. It might cost a few cents or maybe even a few dollars more, but I would imagine that in most cases, you will get a much better value for your hard earned money. Keep in mind that if cheaper was always better, we'd all be driving Yugo's right now.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to explore some "Local" Artisans and the products and services they offer with the idea of promoting the high quality they provide and often times the higher level of service that you don't typically get at the mall stores.

If you know of someone in your area that would fit the description, please feel free to have them get in touch with me via a comment here, or via email at . I would love to meet them and learn about their specialty and how they do it.

Check back soon to meet a few of my local favorites and why they are some of my favorites.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dad's Roadhouse: Spicy Salsa Chicken

Dad's Roadhouse: Spicy Salsa Chicken

Spicy Salsa Chicken

If you'd like to spice up your chicken this weekend, try this...

Lightly salt and pepper your boneless chicken breasts. Grill or broil them as usual on one side. Flip them over and take a spoonful of your favorite salsa and slather it over the top to let it cook in.

Serve with rice and veggies for a quick and simple meal.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Great Fall Salad

Romaine lettuce
1/2 cub Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
1 Apple cored and cubed into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Dads Roadhouse Sweet Apple Honey Mustard Dressing (to taste)

Mix the ingredients with the dressing and serve. It makes Add Image for a great fall salad.

Add Image

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What do you put into your Chili?

Today is the day for the first batch of chili for the season. Luckily, today I have a variety of peppers on hand to make it a nice batch. I am not sure that I ever make the same chili twice, but they all seem to turn out well. I was just wondering what do you put into your chili to make it special?

Today's Chili:

2 lbs ground beef
5 cloves of garlic - minced
1 small white onion - chopped
2 poblano peppers
2 jalapeno peppers
1 sweet red pepper
2 Hungarian wax peppers
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can hot chili beans
1/2 cup water

Brown the beef along with the onions and garlic. Add the water along with the chopped peppers. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer long and slow to let the flavors blend. Season to taste with salt, pepper and your favorite habanero pepper sauce. Top with shredded cheese or sour cream if you like.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Stovetop Sauerkraut

With the weather turning colder here in the midwest, we tend to have a time where veggies come in from the garden in abundance whether they are ready or not. This weekend they are talking about frost and snow.

We have that abundance with cabbage currently and last night I turned some of it into Stovetop Sauerkraut.


1/4 cup vegetable oil - Olive oil would work as well
1 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 3/4 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 cloves garlic - peeled and diced
1 tsp whole mustard seeds
1 cabbage shredded like sauerkraut

In a Dutch oven, add the oil, water, vinegar and sugar over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the mustard seeds and garlic to the liquids and stir. Add the cabbage and continue to cook until the cabbage is soft and the liquid reduces. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Optional is adding 3-4 slices of chopped bacon at the time you add the mustard seeds and garlic.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Something new in the store...

We are pleased to announce the arrival of 2 new salad dressings to our line. The first is a Red Raspberry Vinaigrette and the second is a Sweet Apple Honey Mustard Dressing. Both will make a nice addition to our line.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chicken Burgers with Olives and Feta Cheese

If you haven't been to a good meat market recently, it might just be time to take a trip over there. We have a favorite that is not too close to home, but they always have something fun to try.

Last night, I had the opportunity to grill up some Chicken Burgers with Olives and Feta Cheese. It is a lot lighter than a normal hamburger and makes a nice quick dinner as well.

Be sure to support your local meat markets so they can be there for you. Also, don't be afraid to ask them for ideas and suggestions while you are there. You may be surprised what they can do.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Gourmet is a word we hear all of the time. It is thrown around with almost any meal or dish that takes actual preparation or possibly does not come out of a box. May it be just a little bit overused?

I went to and looked it up online and here is the definition at

1.a connoisseur of fine food and drink; epicure.
2.of or characteristic of a gourmet, esp. in involving or purporting to involve high-quality or exotic ingredients and skilled preparation: gourmet meals; gourmet cooking.
3.elaborately equipped for the preparation of fancy, specialized, or exotic meals: a gourmet kitchen.

I was indeed surprised to see the word "purporting" in the definition and I guess that would answer my question. As long as people imply that it is high quality or full of exotic ingredients, then they are ok to use the phrase and they would be correct to use it.

It does indeed seem to leave a lot of room for interpretation.

Our Sweet and Hot Chicken Wings Chosen as a Winner!

We know how to make great wings around here. Another example is being selected as a featured recipe in the Armadillo Pepper Recipe of the month contest.

If you need an idea for the big game or any other time, ask for suggestions.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lots of tomatoes and nothing to do?

If you live in the Midwest, you know that it is the time of the year that as the temperature falls, you may indeed have a lot of tomatoes come in off the vine as opposed to letting them freeze. Here is a quick and easy recipe for a pasta dish that will help to put a few of those to good use.


1 cup diced tomatoes
1 pound pasta - spaghetti works fine
2 cloves minced garlic
Olive oil
Basil to taste - use fresh if you have it

In a skillet, heat some olive oil over a medium high heat. Add the garlic and then the tomatoes. Salt and pepper them lightly while stirring. Add the basil when the tomatoes begin to break down and there is liquid in the pan. Continue to lightly stir the mixture to keep it from sticking.

After about 5 minutes you will see the tomatoes start to break down a bit and the misture will have a smoother texture. You do not want to cook it down to a sauce. You do want to retain the tomato chunks as they are. When pleased with the consistency, pour over cooked pasta, mix and serve. It can make a great meal with a salad or add a chicken breast to it for another variation.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

A different type of ribs...

Want to try something a little bit different for your BBQ Ribs? Try using a little bit of a Jamaican Jerk Marinade on your ribs before you toss them on the grill. It gives them a whole new flavor and it might just be a little bit that bites you back.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hot vs Hot

In many hot sauces, I have come to realize that heat is often the desired goal. That can be wonderful if taste is not the ultimate goal. Many hot sauces are full of capsicum which is the heat of a pepper, but not the flavor associated with the fleshy part of the flavor.

To enjoy a hot sauce, you should indeed be able to taste the flavor of the peppers and other ingredients that make the heat possible. Without flavor, heat is just hot.