Tag Archives: BBQ

Mini BBQ meatloaf cups

Let me start off by saying, dear reader, how much I appreciate you coming back week after week to peek at what’s going on in this gal’s life. Oh sure, I’ve got recipes for you, but I like to think that I’m at least entertaining you a wee little bit with my ramblings on. And for that, my little chickadee, you shall be rewarded with tales of my embarrassment. How better to get over those things that make me cringe than by putting them upon a stage for all the world to ridicule?

Ok, now it’s like I’ve built up some sort of expectation of embarrassment for you. Luckily, I’m not continually a fool, so we’ll start with a small bit of foolishness on my part. Guess who’s got two thumbs and fought her way through a terrible snow storm only to find out that she didn’t actually have to work that day? Oh yeah, this girl. This shamefaced, white-knuckled, overly exhausted girl. Yeah, I may have forgotten that it was President’s Day on Monday. Le sigh. To be fair, I did have a couple of tasks that were better completed right away on Monday, and my mistake made me look like the hardest of workers, so it’s all winning. Still though, everyone that I mentioned the story too (including my dad, of all people) was like, “Uh goofball, you forgot you didn’t have to work?!” I may need to scale back a little on all those projects I’m trying to tackle.

Luckily, this recipe comes together super easy, allowing me a little space to carve out for said activities. Because I think we both know that scaling back my to-do list will never make it on the list. So, bear with me, elaborate recipes have their place, but it’s not here right now.

Besides, if there’s anything Himself loves it’s meatloaf. Make the meatloaf slightly meatball shaped, and I suddenly become the best wife there ever was. Me, I was happy to have a meatloaf that cooked super quick. Plus, a couple of things will help elevate your tried and true meatloaf into awesomeness. I’ve taken to making my own croutons whenever I have bread that’s past its prime. I keep the croutons in the freezer and grab a few out whenever I need them. I highly recommend you start doing the same, because these croutons will make the best breadcrumbs you ever did taste. Likewise, the BBQ sauce is best when you’ve made your own. And, the garlicky bite of the breadcrumbs and sharpness of the cheddar are perfectly balanced with the sweet you get from the BBQ sauce and the corn. See, even meatloaf can make a foodie happy!


Mini BBQ meatloaf cups

Mini BBQ meatloaf cups

Adapted from Taste of Home’s BBQ Meat Loaf Minis

1 lb ground beef
¼ finely chopped onion
⅓ cup sweet corn
¾ cup homemade breadcrumbs
¼ cup BBQ sauce, plus more for serving
1 egg
2 teaspoons hickory seasoning or BBQ rub
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Shape into ⅓ cup balls and place in an ungreased muffin tin. Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately with additional BBQ sauce if desired.


BBQ chicken pockets

You guys! Guess who went and got herself a new job?! A perfect job for her, if she does say so. That’s right, I’m going to be doing communications for one of the local school districts. Imagine that, me, getting to write All. The. Time. And, I get to start right away! So that means I am about to be one busy little bee. I had a bunch of wee projects I wanted to get done before the month was out (eeek! where has the time gone?!). So now, the mad scramble to get those done, and to get ready for a job that will actually take me out of the house!

One of those projects I’ve been working on is organizing all those recipe clippings. It isn’t pretty, but it’s getting to be pretty functional. Which is making me right happy. Number one, I hauled all these clippings during the move, so I really do need to do something with them. But number two, it’s fun to get re-inspired by the recipes again. And I could use a little inspiration, since I seem to be a little overwhelmed with my interweb inspirations. I’ve been avoiding my Pinterest boards and avoiding pinning anything new. There’s. Just. So. Much. There. Looks like one of my belated resolutions is going to have to be to cook my way through my boards. Well anyway, I’ll save that for another day. Today, I’m just happy to have made a dent in all those clippings.

Now the recipe I have for you is a tried and true favorite and is all about comfort. Similar to the chicken, spinach, and artichoke pockets, you could certainly make these with homemade biscuits. But in my mind, this comfort food should be quick, so I opted to stick with the refrigerated biscuits. You’ll note a stress on the sharp cheddar cheese there too. You’re going to want that to balance the sweet of the BBQ. Throw in the tartness of the green chilies and bite of the red onion, and you’ve got an easy meal that can’t be beat!


BBQ chicken pockets

BBQ chicken pockets

Adapted from my chicken, spinach and artichoke pockets

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
¼ cup chopped red onion
2 Tablespoons roasted green chilies
⅓ cup BBQ sauce
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 package (8 count) refrigerated biscuits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix together chicken, red onion, and green chilies. Add BBQ sauce and mix well. Mix in cheddar cheese.

Pat or roll out each biscuit until about double in size. Add filling to one half of circle and fold biscuit over. Pinch edges shut with a fork and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake pockets 20 minutes or until golden brown.

BBQ chicken en papillote

Guys! I finally organized the entire kitchen to my liking! Sure, I bet you’re asking yourself, “What the heck took you so long?!” Well, as you can imagine, this girl has a lot of kitchen implements, appliances, pots, and pans. When in doubt for gifts, people always add to the collection. It’s fantastic to have a hobby (ok, obsession)  that your friends and family support!

To celebrate, we’re making chicken en papillote. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s a fancy way to say cooking in parchment paper, and is about the easiest. I may be losing my mastery of the French language, but I’m just embarking on mastering all those French cooking techniques. Seems an ok trade-off for now.

Now that the kitchen is all set up, food photography is just a step behind, This will be the last of the iPhone shots, that I know you’ve all come to love <groan>. It also turns out that this meal doesn’t photograph the best. I questioned sharing it with you, but the presentation at table is just too good to pass up! So what we have are the technique photos instead.

Which works, because, this recipe is really more about the technique than the ingredients. This recipe is using the Homemade BBQ sauce I showed you last week, but you can really use whatever sauce you like. Substitute whatever you have on hand, change the quantities, omit stuff altogether, it’ll still be delicious. En papillote works great for fish too, layers of asparagus, lemon and capers, oh my! For fish, the cooking temp and time will change – 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Either protein you choose to use, this meal is sure to impress. Enjoy!

BBQ chicken en papillote

Chicken en papillote

Layers on the heart shaped parchment

2 medium potatoes
2 chicken breasts
¼ cup thinly sliced brussel sprouts (about 5 sprouts)
Thinly sliced red onion
Feta cheese
Homemade BBQ sauce
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Microwave potatoes 2 ½ – 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

While potatoes are cooling, take a piece of parchment paper about 3 times the size of the chicken breast. Fold parchment in half, and cut out into a heart shape.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice thinly. Place in layers on one half of the parchment “heart.” Keep potatoes layered in a size that approximates the chicken breast. Top with chicken, then red onion, drizzled BBQ sauce, brussel sprouts, and a sprinkle of feta.

Fold parchment “heart” in half. Roll and fold paper beginning from top of heart. Continue rolling and folding in small sections until the entire packet is sealed. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 28 – 30 minutes.

Chicken en papillote2

Beginning from the top, just roll and fold your way around

To serve, plate the entire packet, and slice open at the table.

Homemade BBQ sauce

It’s a big day here in Jessica-land! Guess who’s got two thumbs and 47 miles of garage sales to check out? Yup, you read that right, 47 miles! I’m on my usual garage sale hunt – vintage cookbooks and servingware. Wish me luck!

I am looking forward to fun-filled weekend here, guys. Himself and I both have two glorious days off in a row. For the most part, we have Wednesdays and Sundays off, but today, the stars have shone upon me, and I plan on making the most of it. Garage sales, scenic drives to see the leaves changing, roller derby, and watching the football game with G’pa and G’ma! Does it get more perfect? I’m even giving myself permission not to accomplish all the things <gasp>! We’re really kicking up our heels here!

Not having to accomplish all the things, means a little extra time in the kitchen. Extra time means homemade BBQ sauce. Now guys, homemade BBQ sauce is the easiest, and the taste can’t be beat. Seriously, I don’t even bother with that store bought stuff anymore. The caveat, it does take two hours to make, but it’s not two supervised hours. For me it’s two eps of The Good Wife (don’t you judge me) on Hulu, and before you know it, all done.

So this recipe mushes up two of my favorite cooks’ recipes – my grandma’s and Jessica from How Sweet Eats with my own flair. Stick around and you guys will find that I reference these two awesome ladies a lot. Now, here’s the thing. I like a tangy BBQ sauce with a hint of heat.

If sweet’s more your thing, go ahead reduce the vinegar and replace with water. Also, I really want to take this time to tell you about my favorite hot sauce, which has no idea who I am and would probably scoff at me singing their praises. Standing in front of the hot sauce section of the grocery store can be a little overwhelming, so many choices! Well, imagine how lucky I felt when I saw a label that said, “Try Me!” Yup, that’s right, I’m like Alice, tell me, “Try me,” and I usually will. So that’s how I happened upon Cajun Sunshine, and it’s now my go-to hot sauce. Recently, when I hit our new grocery store, I discovered that they have a whole line of sauces. Happy day!

Enough hot sauce talk, you’re looking for that BBQ sauce recipe. Here you go, enjoy!

Homemade BBQ Sauce

¼ cup butterHomemade BBQ sauce
3 cup brown sugar
2 cups ketchup
½ cup apple cider or red wine vinegar
¼ cup water
½ Tbsp molasses
½ Tbsp soy sauce
½ Tbsp hot sauce
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder

In a small, sturdy saucepan melt butter and sugar until sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered two hours, stirring periodically. When cooled transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate.

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