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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Skillet Mac & Cheese with Ham and Bacon

Skillet Mac & Cheese with Ham and Bacon is a yummy all in one meal! Creamy macaroni and cheese with bits of flavorful ham and bacon packed in makes for a tasty dinner.

This recipe makes for a crowd, so for my family, we make once, and are able to enjoy some leftovers.


Every year, the kids show a couple pigs in as part of their 4-H experience. They enjoy taking care of their pigs from early Spring until later Summer! Every day is morning and evening chores and working with them to prepare for show day at our county fair. They love to give them marshmallows for a treat.


We always feed one out to have processed after fair season for ourselves, to have a freezer full of different cuts of pork.

We like to cook a large smoked, bone-in ham in the slow cooker . With the large ham, we can use can enjoy it for several meals. We generally have the ham for dinner the evening its cooked in the crock pot, then any leftovers are fun to mix into other meals, like this Skillet Mac & Cheese with Ham and Bacon.



I am a big fan of cooking with cast iron and I am loving this new large cast iron skillet! It is great for making large meals.




This is a great recipe to use leftover ham. After you have enjoyed the ham after it is initially cooked, its nice to use any leftovers to incorporate into other meals. This Skillet Mac & Cheese with Ham and Bacon is a family favorite!! Including all 4 of our kiddos!! Plus it comes together pretty easily and quick! Win Win!!




Skillet Mac & Cheese with Ham and Bacon 

Skillet Mac & Cheese with Ham and Bacon Ingredients

3 cups elbow macaroni 
2 cups of ham, cubed
1/2 cup bacon, cooked and chopped - about 4 slices of bacon
3 tbsp canola oil
2 cups cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 tsp Dijon Mustard 

Skillet Mac & Cheese with Ham and Bacon Directions

1. Add the salt and water to a large pan and bring to a boil. Add the elbow macaroni pasta to the large pot and cook, uncovered, for 1 minute less that the instructions on the box. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water when draining the pasta. 

2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the ham and bacon. Cook the bacon and chop or crumble to pieces and set aside. Cut the cooked ham into cubed pieces and set aside. You can also used precooked diced ham. 

3. Preheat the skillet over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the oil to the skillet to heat up. Then add the flour and whisk it into the oil until there are no lumps and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. 

4. Slowly whisk in the milk, cream, cream cheese, and Dijon mustard. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then let it cook until it is slightly thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then reduce the heat. 

5. Slowly whisk in the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, working in batches, until they are fully melted. 

6. Add in the reserved pasta water and whisk it in to think out the sauce some. 

7. Add in the prepared cooked ham and bacon. Stir the meat into the pasta so it is blended in well. 

8. Top with panko breadcrumbs and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are lighly toasted.


Other pork recipes from the Backroad:

Instant Pot Ham and Beans 

BLT Pasta Salad 

Grilled Herb and Garlic Pork Chops 

Country Quiche 

Crock Pot Cowboy Beans 







This post is sponsored by Indiana Pork, but my 
thoughts/opinions are always 100% my own.


Friday, January 17, 2020

Perfectly Fluffy & Delicious Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs never go out of style for a classic breakfast, brunch, or even breakfast for dinner! This Perfectly Fluffy & Delicious Scrambled Eggs recipe is just that, fluffy and delicious scrambled eggs. A great go to recipe.


This scrambled egg recipe makes fluffy and deliciously flavorful eggs that are perfect by themselves or as fillers for breakfast burritos. This recipe bumps basic scrambled eggs up a notch creating a more fluffy and flavor packed scrambled egg.


We generally have big breakfast on Sunday mornings, scrambled eggs are always included. My family of 6 can easily go through a dozen eggs for our weekend breakfast!

There are so many ways to eat them! They pair perfectly with just about every breakfast food there is; pancakes, sausage, bacon, waffles, fried potatoes, and the list goes on. Enjoy plain, top with cheese, salsa, different herbs, etc.

You can never go wrong with scrambled eggs!

The recipe is simple!

Crack your desired amount of eggs into a mixing bowl and beat the eggs.



Add salt and pepper to taste.


Add the Clabber Girl Baking Powder, 1/4 tsp. per egg. This helps make the scrambled eggs extra fluffy!

Add the milk or heavy cream, 1 Tbsp per egg.


Beat the eggs until everything is fully incorporated


Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat


Add the beaten egg mixture to the hot skillet.


Sir often until the eggs are fully cooked.




If I am ever in a hurry or trying to think of what to make for a meal. Scrambled eggs often comes to mind. Pair with other sides and you've got a complete meal, can't go wrong.


Perfectly Fluffy & Delicious Scrambled Eggs

PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE

Ingredients for Perfectly Fluffy & Delicious Scrambled Eggs

Eggs
Milk or heavy cream - 1 Tbsp per egg
Clabber Girl Baking Powder - 1/2 Tbsp per egg
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter - 1/4 tsp

Directions for Perfectly Fluffy & Delicious Scrambled Eggs

1. Crack your desired amount of eggs into a mixing bowl and beat the eggs. 

2. Add salt and pepper to taste

3. Add the milk or heavy cream, 1 Tbsp per egg.

4. Add the Clabber Girl Baking Powder, 1/4 tsp. per egg.

5. Beat the eggs until everything is fully incorporated

6. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat

7. Add the beaten egg mixture to the hot skillet and stir often until the eggs are fully cooked.

Enjoy!
This post is sponsored by Clabber Girl but my
 thoughts/opinions are always 100% my ow

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Dark Hot Chocolate


Do you love a delicious hot chocolate drink in the winter time? This Dark Hot Chocolate is a great choice! It has a rich, creamy chocolate flavor that is perfect for a warm hot chocolate.


My kiddos love to go outside and play in the snow during the winter. They build forts, have snowball fights, and love to go sledding. I always like to have a nice cup of warm hot chocolate ready for them when they come inside. What a great way to warm up!.....and delicious!


This recipe is simple, and you'll have several cups of hot chocolate mix to have on hand. If your making hot chocolate several times during the winter like I am, it sure won't last long.

First you'll need to break up the unsweetened baker's chocolate, and add to the food processor. This will break it up more and create a powder out of it. There may be some small chunks, which is ok, it will melt when the drink is prepared for serving.


Add all the ingredients to the food processor to blend and mix well. This recipe makes 4 cups of hot chocolate mix, so there will be plenty to keep for later use. Place the dark hot chocolate mix in a jar or container for easy keeping to make hot chocolate in the future.

What a great idea for a simple Christmas gift as well!!


For one cup of dark hot chocolate, use 2 Tbsp dark hot chocolate mix per 4 ounces of boiling hot water. Make sure to use boiling water, so that it is hot enough to melt any chocolate chunks that are in the mix.


To make a large batch of Dark Hot Chocolate, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add the water to a slow cooker and add 20 Tbsp of the Dark Hot Chocolate mix and stir together well. Use the slow cooker, on keep warm setting, to keep the hot chocolate warm. Ladle out when needed.


Top with your favorite toppings: mini marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, or cinnamon.


Dark Hot Chocolate

PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE

Ingredients for Dark Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate Mix
3 oz. unsweetened baker's chocolate
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup Dutch Process (Euorpean-style) cocoa
1 tsp powdered vanilla, optional 
1 Tbsp Clabber Girl Corn Starch 
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Toppings 
-Vanilla Marshmallow Kisses or Marshmallow Bits
-Whipped topping, 
-Ground cinnamon


Directions for Dark Hot Chocolate

1. Add all mix ingredients in a food processor and blend together until well combined. Makes about 4 cups of dry hot chocolate mix. 

2. Use 2 Tbsp dark hot chocolate mix per 4 oz. boiling hot water. It is important to use boiling water, as it needs to be hot enough to melt the baker's chocolate. 

3. Let the mix sit for one minute, then stir the beverage to be sure that all the chocolate is melted. 

4. Top the prepared hot chocolate vanilla marshmallow kisses, or marshmallow bits, whipped topping, and cinnamon. 

5. To make a large batch of dark hot chocolate, bring 5 cups water to a boil.

6. Mix boiling water with 20 Tbsp Dark Hot Chocolate mix in a slow cooker, and stir well.

7. Keep slow cooker on keep warm setting, and ladle out the hot chocolate drink as needed.

8. Top with your favorite hot chocolate toppings.

Note: For 1 cup of Dark Hot Chocolate, use 1 cup of boiling hot water with 4 Tbsp mix. 


This post is sponsored by Clabber Girl but my
 thoughts/opinions are always 100% my own. 


Saturday, November 2, 2019

Honey Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

Honey Garlic Roasted Cauliflower is packed full of flavor! The pepper-garlic roasted cauliflower paired with the savory sauce makes for a delicious combination.

The versatility of cauliflower has great increased in recent years, as there are so many creative ways that it can be transformed. For this recipe, the raw cauliflower roasted with the olive oil, pepper, and garlic salt transforms into golden tastiness in the oven. It is delicious as is, but adding the savory sauce.


We love to grow cauliflower as part of our Spring and late Fall garden. It's a cool crop so it loves the cooler weather.

My family is big fans of cauliflower as part of our meal! Everyone likes it. We like to prepare it different ways. We always like to change up our side dishes and this Honey Garlic Roasted Cauliflower doesn't disappoint. It is always sure to be a favorite at dinner-time.


I love honey garlic flavors and paired with the roasted cauliflower makes for a delicious side dish to pair with any meal.




Honey Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE

Ingredients for Honey Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pepper to taste
6 Tbsp honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce 
6 Tbsp water
2 tsp Clabber Girl Corn Starch

Directions for Honey Garlic Roasted Cauliflower


1. Clean and cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces and place into a medium sized bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix together so the cauliflower pieces are evenly coated. 

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the cauliflower pieces out evenly. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until cauliflower is cooked tender. Remove baking sheet from oven and allow the roasted cauliflower to cool for about 10 minutes. 

3. Make the sauce while the cauliflower is roasting in the oven. Using a small sauce pan on the stove, add all the sauce ingredients except for the Clabber Girl Corn Starch and the water. Bring to a low boil and stir until well blended. 

4. In a small bowl, combine the water and the Clabber Girl Corn Starch, and stir until the corn starch is completely dissolved in the water. Then add the mixture to the other sauce ingredients in the pot and stir in well. 

5. Bring sauce to a boil again and then cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Cool for a few minutes, it should still be warm, but not hot. The sauce will thicken more as it cools. 

6. In a small mixing bowl, add the cooled roasted cauliflower and pour the warm sauce over. Toss the cauliflower so it is evenly coated with sauce and absorbed. Top with fresh green onions when serving. 


This post is sponsored by Clabber Girl but my
 thoughts/opinions are always 100% my own

Monday, September 30, 2019

Sweet Potato Fries with Toasted Marshmallow Dipping Sauce

These Sweet Potato Fries are easy to make, baked to slightly crispy, lightly seasoned and paired with a delicious Toasted Marshmallow Dipping Sauce to satisfy your salty and sweet cravings!


We plant sweet potato slips every Spring to harvest fresh sweet potatoes from our garden in the Fall. Any time we can use produce that comes out of the garden, that we've grown ourselves, I love. I sure enjoy that sweet potatoes can be prepared savory and sweet and taste wonderful both ways. For this recipe it is a nice and light mix between the two!


For sweet potato fries, I enjoy a little crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Baking the sweet potato fries using Clabber Girl Corn Starch, will give you a crispy sweet potato fry that is perfectly crispy on the outside and still soft and flavorful on the inside.

This recipe is easy to make. You simply cut the sweet potatoes into long strips, about 1/4 inch wide. They then are soaked in water for about 30 minutes. This helps them to soften up a little for baking.



The dipping sauce comes together quickly.

Sweet Potato Fries with Toasted Marshmallow Dipping Sauce

PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Fries with Toasted Marshmallow Dipping Sauce

Sweet Potato Fries
2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Fine sea salt, to taste

Toasted Marshmallow Dipping Sauce 

1 bag Large Marshmallows
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp Cinnamon 
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Nutmeg 

Directions for Sweet Potato Fries with Toasted Marshmallow Dipping Sauce

1. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into long, thin strips. About 1/4 inch wide, so all the strips are evenly cut. 

2. Place the fry strips into a large bowl of water and soak for about 30 minutes. 

3. After the 30 minutes, remove the fries from the water and pat dry with a clean towel. 

4. Add the fries to a medium sized bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the fries and use a spatula and mix together so all the fries are well coated. 

5. In a separate bowl, add the Clabber Girl Corn Starch, garlic powder, and pepper and whisk together until well blended. 

6. Sprinkle the corn starch mixture over the prepared sweet potato fries and toss so they are all well coated. 

7. Evenly space on a Parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. 

8. Remove the baking sheet, then using a spatula flip over the sweet potato fries, keeping them evenly spaced. Then place them back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes. 

9. Remove the baking sheet and lightly sprinkle the sweet potato fries with the fine sea salt and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm with the Toasted Marshmallow Dipping Sauce.

10. While the fries are baking, is a great time to get the sauce started.

11. Evenly place the large marshmallows on a baking sheet and place in the oven. The same oven temperature is fine. Watch for the marshmallows to become lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.

12. Once the marshmallows are toasted, remove them from the oven.

13. Using a blender, add the heavy cream, marshmallows, cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg and blend together until well mixed and combined.

14. Pour the blended sauce into dipping bowl.

15. Enjoy the Sweet Potato Fries with the Toasted Marshmallow Dipping Sauce.

Recipe notes:
You will want to make the sauce right at the time you are ready to serve the fries, as the sauce will set up after a while.

This is a great snack to enjoy at home or to serve for a pot luck meal. The sweet and salty pairing is so yummy!



Saturday, August 31, 2019

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings is always a good go to meal that is a family favorite! It is a delicious comfort food meal. Juicy chicken, tender dumplings, in a flavorful broth bring this recipe together for an easy, one pot meal.


Chicken and Dumplings is a great fall and winter meal. So warm and comforting on a chilly day.

This recipe starts with cutting up three chicken breasts into chunks, preparing the onions, carrots, and celery.


Combining the chicken breast chunks together with the chicken broth, vegetables, and seasonings.


While the broth is simmering, prepare the dough for the dumplings. Add the dumpling ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Using a fork, press down on the shortening until it is blended into the mixture.


Next, you'll add the milk just a little at a time to the dumpling mixture. All the milk may not be used, but you will want the dough to be soft and not sticky. Use a fork to gradually mix the milk into the mixture to create the dough.


Then move the dough to a floured surface and knead it a few times. Then using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick.



The rolled out dumpling dough is then ready to be cut into 1 inch strips. Then cut the strips into 1-2 inch strips to create the dumpling. 


Add the dumplings to the simmering pot and let the simmer and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. 




Chicken and Dumplings 

Ingredients for Chicken and Dumplings

For the soup: 
3 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup carrot, julienned
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
8 cup low sodium chicken stock
2 bayleaf
salt and pepper to taste

4 Tbsp Clabber Girl Corn Starch (optional) 

For the dumplings: 
1 3/4 cups flour, plus extra for dusting when rolling out
1/3 cup shortening 
1/2 tsp Clabber Girl Baking Powder
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt

Directions for Chicken and Dumplings

1. Using a large stock pot, add the chicken, onions, carrots, celery and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Also add the bayleaves. 

2. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. 

3. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 60 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. 

4. Meanwhile, during the simmering of the broth, prepare the dumplings. 

5. To make the dumplings, add the flour, Clabber Girl Baking Powder, salt, and shortening in a medium mixing bowl. Using a fork, press down on the shortening until it is blended into the mixture. 

6. Add the milk a little at a time. Continue to stir in the milk into the flour mixture until it well combined. You may not use all the milk, so that is ok, just so the dumpling dough is soft but not sticky. 

7. On a floured surface, knead the dough a few times until smooth. 

8. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to roughly 1/8th inch thick. Cut into 1 inch strips, then approximately 1 to 2 inch lengths. 

9. Add the dumplings to the simmering broth. Simmmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until the dumplings are cooked and tender. 

10. If you desire the broth to be a little thicker, add 4 Tbsp Clabber Girl Corn Starch with 4 Tbsp water and mix together until well blended.  Then add this mixture gradually to the Chicken and Dumplings and mix in until desired consistency is reached. 




This post is sponsored by Clabber Girl but my
 thoughts/opinions are always 100% my own

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