Mexican Seasoning Blend

Mexican Seasoning Blend 2

We recently moved Savannah home again. She will be doing an internship in January, and it was impossible to find a six-month lease near the college. So, for six-months, she will make the daily drive to college.

I questioned how living together would be after she has been on her own for so long. I’m trying really hard to remember she’s not a child any longer. It is coming with some benefits also. She has become very independent…she doesn’t want me doing her laundry, and she has become an excellent cook!

Fajitas is a specialty of hers, and I am using every excuse I can think of to have her cook them often. Her secret is this awesome seasoning blend that she makes. I even seasoned a roast with it, and it was delicious.

Savannah does not have an exact measurement for the meat and veggies. To feed two people, she typically uses one to two boneless, skinless chicken breast, two green bell peppers, one large onion, and two to three Roma tomatoes.

Savannah seasons her meat with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Then saute’s it in a little oil until done. She then removes the meat from the skillet to saute green bell peppers and onions. Once the veggies are tender, add chopped Roma tomatoes and a heaping tablespoon of the fabulous seasoning, plus the juice of half a lime. Add the meat back to the skillet, stirring to combine and serve.

Try this tasty Mexican seasoning blend on burgers or grilled meats for extra wonderful flavor!

 

Mexican Seasoning Blend
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Store in a small jar.

 

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Fat Tuesday Fried Chicken

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One of the best things about living on the Gulf coast was being introduced to Cajun food and Mardi Gras. One of the first things we did on the coast was to attend a family-friendly Mardi Gras parade. We were all caught up in the spirit of the celebration with moon pies and beads. We often visited Louisana while living in Pensacola, especially during the years that Wes played with a travel ice hockey team out of Baton Rouge. We enjoyed the people, their food, and their customs.

We do not celebrate Mardi Gras in a big way here in Georgia, but I say, there’s no better excuse to cook up some good Cajun food. I found this recipe on www.raisedonaroux.com, where I found many other recipes that I can’t wait to try!  This chicken marinates for 48 hours for a wonderful flavor. It’s cooks up wonderfully crispy with the addition of corn starch, and it is incredibly moist and juicy. Don’t let the hot sauce scare you because it isn’t hot at all. The marinade simply gives it an excellent taste.

 

Fat Tuesday Fried Chicken
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • Seasoning Mix:
  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. white pepper
  • 1 (3-lb.) whole chickens, cut into serving pieces
  • 4 c. buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. Louisiana hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Crystal hot sauce
  • 4 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. corn starch
  • Peanut oil for frying
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine seasoning mix. Season chicken with 6 tbsp. of the mix. Reserve remaining mix. Place chicken in 1 or 2 large resealable bags.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk and hot sauces; pour over the chicken. Seal and refrigerate for a least 4 hours or up to 48 hours, (the longer it soaks the better), turning occasionally.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and reserved seasoning mix.
  4. Set a rack on a large baking sheet.
  5. Working one piece at a time, remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip back into the bag. Dredge in flour mixture and shake off excess. Place on prepared rack.
  6. Pour oil halfway up the side of a large, deep skillet (preferably cast iron) and heat to 350° F.
  7. Prepare another large baking sheet lined with paper towels and a rack over top.
  8. Fry chicken in batches, starting skin side down. Do not overcrowd skillet. Once chicken is added to oil, the temperature will drop. Maintain cooking temperature of 315° F for ideal frying. Fry, turning, until golden brown and cooked through to reach an internal temperature of 165° F. Remove to rack and allow to drain. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

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Easy French Dip Sliders

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I am thrilled that the Atlanta Falcons have made it to the Super Bowl!  Most of you already know that I enjoy tailgating and this is a great excuse to have some friends over.  I would be willing to bet that I am not alone in saying I will watch for more than the halftime show this year!
As you prepare for your own tailgating party, here is an excellent recipe that is sure to please.  These French Dip Sliders are easy to assemble.  They are warm and gooey with melted cheese and are perfect served with Au Jus for dipping!
These sliders are very similar to the hot ham and cheese sandwiches, on the little rectangular dinner rolls, that I remember eating as a kid.  I always loved them and could never eat just one.  These French Dip Sliders have pretty much the same concept.  Combine melted butter with some great flavors, pour over the top and bake until warm, and melty.
I doubled this recipe and was able to fit two packages of Hawaiian sweet rolls into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  I suggest medium or even rare deli meat for this dish.  As the sliders bake, the meat will also cook slightly.

 

Easy French Dip Sliders
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg. Hawaiian sweet rolls (12 rolls total)
  • 1 lb. deli roast beef
  • 12 slices provolone cheese, separated
  • Seasoning:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 envelope Au Jus seasoning mix, separated
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • ¾ tsp. dried minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. seasoned salt, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of a11 x 7 baking dish.
  3. Without separating the rolls, slice the package of rolls in half horizontally.
  4. Place the bottom half of the rolls in the baking dish. (If you are using two packages of rolls in a 9 x 13-inch dish you may have to separate a few of the rolls and adjust to fit the pan.)
  5. Top the bottom half of rolls with 6 slices of cheese. Add deli meat evenly over the cheese, then top with 6 additional slices of cheese, and the top half of the rolls.
  6. In a small bowl, melt the butter in a microwave. Mix in 1 tbsp. of the Au Jus seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, sesame seeds, dried minced garlic, onion powder and seasoning salt. Whisk to combine.
  7. Pour this mixture over the rolls, using a pastry brush to spread the mixture evenly.
  8. Bake the sliders uncovered until the cheese is gooey and the tops are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. If you notice the tops getting dark, cover with foil and continue to bake until the cheese has melted.
  9. Remove from the oven and cut the sliders in between the rolls.
  10. While the sliders bake, combine the remaining au jus seasoning with 2 cups of cold water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened.
  11. Serve with sliders.
Notes
If you are using two packages of rolls in a 9 x 13-inch dish you may have to separate a few of the rolls and adjust to fit the pan.

 

 

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Died and Gone to Pimento Cheese Heaven

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This delicious pimento cheese is in honor of The Masters Tournament!  The Masters is held the first full week of April at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.  Greg and I were both born and raised in the Atlanta area.  We moved away from family, friends, and everything we had ever known when Wes was 5 and Savannah was 2 years old to Augusta.  We lived there for 6 years and made many wonderful memories.  We still keep in touch with great friends there.  While living in Augusta we had the opportunity to attend the Masters almost every year, and have been able to go back a few times since leaving Augusta, including the Par 3 this week.

The Augusta National is a sight to behold.  My dad was a huge golf fan and I can’t help but think of him when I’m out there.  I know it’s a place he would have loved going.  Here are just a few of the photos that we were able to take on Wednesday.  You can tell that we are Bubba fans by looking at these pictures.  We lived in the same area of Florida that Bubba was from.  In fact, Wes went to high school where Bubba did and Savannah attended the elementary school that he went to.

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This is the second pimento cheese recipe that I have on  NJSD.  The first recipe was among the first recipes I ever posted.  Still a delicious pimento cheese, and probably more like the Augusta National pimento cheese, (if you make it with cheddar), than this recipe.  However, when stumbled across this recipe on food.com and saw the ingredient list I tried it right away.  The main reason was 1/2 cup mayonnaise.  I really don’t care for a strong mayonnaise taste.  After I made it the first time I knew that I had found my Masters week recipe.  The Augusta National is famous for their egg salad sandwiches and pimento cheese sandwiches, which you can get for $1.50 each.  I really think this pimento cheese is better than my old pimento cheese recipe and even the Augusta National recipe!  I love the addition of garlic powder and onion powder and the four cheeses are a great combination.  The cream cheese and the Monterey Jack cheese give this salad it’s creaminess.   The Cheddar adds that great sharp flavor and then you get that extra little oomph with the extra sharp Cheddar.

So even if I’m at home Sunday, watching the finish on the television instead of the golf course.  I’ll be enjoying my afternoon, watching to see who wins the green jacket, and snacking on this delicious pimento cheese!

 

Died and Gone to Pimento Cheese Heaven
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ c. Vermont extra-sharp White Cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¾ c. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 c. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • ½ c. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 4 oz. diced pimientos, drained
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or dash of hot sauce
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. With an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese.
  2. Add the other cheeses, mayonnaise, vinegar, pimientos, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper and beat until creamy and combined.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for about a hour before serving.
Notes
Great on sandwiches, with corn chips, crackers or celery and carrots.

 

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