Archive for the ‘Bucket List’ Category

Breakfast casserole in the crock pot!

Ingredients: Prep and cook while you sleep!

1 bag 26 oz. frozen hash browns
12 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 16 oz. roll sausage
maple, sage or regular sausage.
Salt and pepper
16 oz. bag shredded cheddar cheese


1. Spray crock pot and evenly spread hash browns at the bottom.
2. Crack 12 eggs in a large bowl.
3. Mix well (and slowly) using a whisk.
4. Add the milk.
5. Go ahead and sprinkle in the ground mustard. This might sound like a weird ingredient, but I’ve come to love (and use) this in most of my recipes.
6. Add plenty of salt….
…and lots of fresh pepper. Mix well and set aside.
7. Cook the sausage on high heat, drain and set aside.

8. Add sausage on top of hash browns.
9. Is this enough cheese? Maybe? Probably. Throw the whole big bag in there.
10. Mix it up well. Or good, depending on where you’re from.
11. Pour the egg mixture over everything in the crock pot. Using a wood spoon, even everything out so it’s spread evenly.
12. Turn the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Recipe courtesy of author in photo!

Recipe courtesy of author in photo!

Stuffed Pepper Soup
Serve 6 (or 3 hungry bikers)

1 lb LEAN ground beef
1 lg onion, diced
1 cups uncooked, 2 cups cooked rice (I love to use wild rice)
1 can Hunts flavored diced tomatoes (Red pepper and fennel, roasted garlic, sweet onion etc) (14.5oz can)
1 can tomato sauce (14.5 oz can)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp basil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 box chicken stock (32oz)
2 cups water
2 tbsp powdered beef stock
3 bell peppers (I use 1 big green pepper then 4-5 red and 4-5 yellow BABY bell peppers)
Cheese for topping (optional)
Fresh cracked black pepper for garnish (optional)

In a large soup pot coated with cooking spray, over medium-high heat, brown the grown beef with the onions and rice. I know that sounds odd, but browning the rice gives it a nice nutty flavor – do not allow it to burn!! 
Meanwhile dice your peppers into small ½” pieces, set side
Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, chicken stock, water, and powdered beef stock, then allow it to come to a boil. 
Reduce heat, cover and allow it to cook 20 minutes then add the peppers and allow it to cook another 20-30 minutes (some types of rice may need longer cooking times)
Serve with cheese on top (optional)

Seafood Butter Sauce for fish or shrimp


Photo By Carolyn Davidson Hicks

Photo By Carolyn Davidson Hicks

Serves 4 to 6!

6 large sage leaves
1/2 lb butter plus 2 tablespoons
2 lbs fish fillets (your choice)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup clam juice (or dry white wine)
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

In a deep, large skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Fry the sage leaves on both sides until crispy. Remove to a saucepan (1qt minimum), keeping the butter in the skillet. Add another tablespoon butter to the skillet and set aside.
In the saucepan with the sage, add the clam juice, dry sherry, whole milk, garlic, shallots, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil until it reduces by half.
Heat another tablespoon of butter in a separate saucepan on medium heat until foamy. Sprinkle with flour, stirring a couple of minutes with a metal whisk until well mixed and the sage breaks. You want the mixture to be tan but not brown.
Slowly add the reduced mixture to the flour mixture, stirring quickly to incorporate. Turn the heat to low, then whisk in the 2 sticks of butter 2 tablespoons at a time. Add the lemon juice, salt, and white pepper. Once all is incorporated, set aside.
Season the fish with salt and pepper. Set the flame on the stove to medium-high and cook the fillets for 5 minutes on the first side. Carefully flip the fillets and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Carefully remove the fish from the pan, split the sauce over the fillets, and add the chopped parsley just before serving.

Pecan Bars


1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 350°F.

Unroll dough and press in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of a 9×13-inch pan. Firmly press perforations to seal. Bake 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour filling over partially baked crust.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

We found this recipe at

We found this recipe at

20oz curly leaf spinach, rinsed
1/4 cup water
12oz feta, crumbled into fine pieces
3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
4 medium scallions, sliced thin
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 lb phyllo, thawed over night in the refrigerator
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

Place the spinach and water in a large microwave-save bowl. Cover the bowl with a large dinner plate. Microwave on high until the spinach is wilted and decreased in volume by half (about 5 minutes). Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and keep covered for 1 minute.
Remove the plate and transfer the spinach to a colander in the sink. Using the back of a rubber spatula, press the spinach against the colander to release the excess liquid. Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and roughly chop. Wrap the spinach in paper towels and squeeze to remove excess water. Transfer the spinach to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients up to and including the cayenne pepper to the bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
Preheat the oven to 425F. Grease a pie or cake pan with melted butter. Lay one phyllo sheet on the buttered pan, pressing the dough into the corners and letting the edges hang over the edge of the pan. Repeat with 9 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter until you have a total of 10 layers of phyllo.
Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the phyllo. Fold the edges of the bottom layer of phyllo over the filling. Add 6 more phyllo sheets to the top, brushing each with butter and sprinkling each with 2 tablespoons Pecorino cheese. Add 2 final phyllo sheets, brushing them with butter but not sprinkling with the Pecorino. Trim the edges, then use a spoon to neaten the edges of the pastry case.
Use a sharp knife to score the pie through the top 3 layers of phyllo into 8 even pieces of pie. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden and crisp. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Floating Islands

We found this recipe at

We found this recipe at


1 tablespoon softened butter
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
12 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
a pinch of salt

6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups hot milk
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
1 tablespoon rum (optional)

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter

For the Meringue: Butter a 3″ deep baking sheet and dust the inside with confectioners sugar, knocking out the excess. Preheat the oven to 250F.
Start beating the egg whites until they are foamy throughout. Beat in the salt and cream of tartar, then gradually increase the speed until soft peaks form.
Beat in the sugar into the forming meringue, gradually adding until the meringue becomes glossy and shining peaks form. Beat in the vanilla and turn the meringue out into the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a draw plunged through the middle comes out clean. Set the dish on a rack to let cool.
For the Creme Anglaise: Whisk the egg yolks in a medium saucepan, adding the sugar gradually. continue beating 2-3 minutes until the mixture becomes pale yellow and thick. Slowly stir (don’t beat) in the hot milk, avoiding creating bubbles.
Set the saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring slowly and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan. The sauce should approach a simmer, but never actually reach it. When the surface bubbles begin to subside, and the sauce coats a wooden spoon with a light, creamy layer that holds onto your finger when drawn across, the sauce is done.
Add in the vanilla, butter and rum to the sauce and stir. Set aside.
For the Caramel Sauce, blend together the sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and swirl the pan to be sure the sugar has dissolved completely.
Cover the pan tightly and boil the syrup for several minutes over medium-high heat. Peek after a minute or so, and boil until the bubbles are nice and thick. Uncover the pan and continue boiling, swirling the pan slowly by the handled.
Continue to boil until the sauce becomes a light caramel brown, then remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and cream. Put back on the heat, and cook over low heat and stir with a fork until any hardened caramel melts and the sauce is uniformly smooth. Set the bottom of the pan in cold water to cool and stop the cooking.
To Serve: Pour the custard into a serving platter (or individual shots or dinner plates). run a knife around the edge of the meringue dish and push with a rubber spatula to loosen. Unmold the meringue into a cookie sheet, and cut into as many servings as there are dishes, or unto 6-8 big chinks on the case of a serving platter. Arrange them over the creme anglaise.
Drizzle the meringue with the caramel sauce, and garnish with nuts and/or fresh berries.


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Outdoor Cooking