Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wowza Weekend Link Party #18

Wowza Weekend Link Party #18

Thanks for all the great links last week.  Here are a few of my favorites!


photo by Turnips 2 Tangerines

1.  Lynn at Turnips 2 Tangerines linked this incredible looking Bumbleberry Pie.  Yes I wanted a piece the minute I saw it!!!  
photo by The Pin Junkie

2.  The Pin Junkie linked this decadent Chocolate Banana Bread.  I love banana bread, the chocolate is a must try!!!   

Thanks for linking up and be sure to share more this week too!  I hope everyone had a family filled, fun and safe 4th of July!!!

Please help me grow this link party by sharing on your social media...THANKS!!!


  • Link directly to your post, not your blog's main page.  I am interested in seeing links to great recipes, fun crafts and any tips (including military spouse tips)!  PLEASE NO ETSY SHOPS OR GIVEAWAYS!
  • Please grab my button and place it on your blog post or somewhere on your website so others hear about this party too.
The Patriotic Pam

  • Be friendly...and check out others links...leave them some blog loving comments too!
  • Linking up to this link party gives me the right to feature your post with a link back to your page.  I will be showcasing those featured posts on both my Facebook and Pinterest accounts.  
Thanks for stopping by...share this party with others, so that it continues to grow!  Have an amazing weekend!!!


Happy 4th of July - Recipe Roundup



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Big Green Egg Mac N Cheese

Big Green Egg

Our Family definitely has a love for good Mac N Cheese.  It has a little something to do with our oldest son Andy who absolutely would admit Mac N Cheese is his all time favorite food.  The rest of us like to keep changing up his favorite food with trying new recipes.  We did 12 Weeks of Mac N Cheese earlier this week and truly spent 12 weeks sharing with you guys our favorite of our Mac N Cheese recipes that we have made so far.  (That probably only touches of the hundreds we have tried.)  Well this past week we tried and LOVED another amazing recipe that I couldn't help but share with you guys.  What made this one so yummy was the ease to which it is made and the cheesy outcome it delivers.  (For those counting calories, this is a recipe to ONLY try with a small, small helping or lighten up with lightening up some of the ingredients.)  

We saw this recipe first on Sunny Anderson from the Food Network.  She made it as a SPICY Mac N Cheese, but we liked the basics to how she made it.  Check out the original recipe here.  The below recipe is how we altered it and took out the spicy as our son doesn't like spicy food.  We also made it completely on our Big Green Egg.  If you are considering a Big Green Egg of your own, know that this is one of the absolute best purchases I feel I have ever made.  The food off of the Big Green Egg is just always better.  I have to admit in the last two weeks we have made this recipe twice, once on the Big Green Egg and once in the oven.  The BGE one tasted just that much better.  We added some applewood chips to the coals and it created just a nice light smokey flavor to the pasta that just couldn't be recreated in the oven!
Big Green Egg Mac N Cheese

Prep Time:  15 mins
Cook Time:  30 mins


  • 2 cups pasta
  • 24 oz of cheese - we used...
    • 8oz of velveeta cheese
    • 8oz of vermont sharp cheddar cheese
    • 8oz of munster cheese
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely grated onions (this gave it an amazing flavor, we used our cheese grater on fine to grate the onion
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese for topping
  • 8oz cup of applewood chips soaked in water

1.  Place applewood chips into Big Green Egg with your coals prior to heating up egg.  (Drain water off of the chips prior to adding to coals.  Soaking wood chips help them add the smoke instead of burning)
2.  Preheat Big Green Egg to about 300-350 degrees.  Either use the place the plate setter OR place your baking dish on a cookie sheet just to display the direct heat a little.  
3.  Cook pasta until al dente.  Drain and set aside
4.  In a large bowl, mis together the flour, salt, pepper, dry mustard, nutmeg.  Add sour cream, egg, heavy cream, milk, and onions.  
5.  You can either cube of grate your cheeses, for this recipe it didn't really matter.  Add the cheese to the milk mixture and stir slightly.
6.  Pour pasta into milk/cheese mixture.  Stir slightly.  Pour into a baking dish.
7.  Top with shredded cheese.  (Variation:  add a 1/4 cup of panco to your shredded cheese for a crunchier topping.)
8.  Place on Big Green Egg and cook for about 30 minutes until top begins to brown and bubbly.  

Mac N Cheese

It's one of the creamiest recipes we have made without having to make the rue ahead of time.  I like how everything is just thrown together stirred and placed in the baking dish.  Only thing pre-cooked is the pasta.  Super easy.  We varied it up a little by creating some in individual dishes that we did add Frank's Hot Sauce to and tried a little Spicy version also. It was also amazing.  

If you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to check out more of our 12 weeks of Mac N Cheese.  

Mac N Cheese

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sweet Chili Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes

This is a super easy and savory recipe.  It's actually the same starter I use for my homemade chili.  My boys don't like the beans in the chili (they prefer a meatier chili), so we comprised and made it into sloppy joes.  

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins


  • 1 lb of ground hamburger (can use turkey burger if you prefer, works great with this recipe)
  • 1 packet of McCormicks regular chili mix
  • 1 can of Tomato Sauce
  • 3 tbsp of sugar (honey can be substituted)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of Balsamic Ketchup
  • Dinner rolls of your choice
  • Sliced cheese (optional)

1.  Brown hamburger meat in a skillet.  Drain off fat.  Place back in skillet
2.  Add chili seasoning, tomato sauce, sugar and water.  Simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes.  
3.  As it simmers it will reduce a little and thicken slightly.  
4.  Just before serving at in balsamic ketchup and stir over low heat for another 2-3 minutes.  
5.  Serve on Dinner Rolls of your choice topping with cheese.  Messy and yummy!!!

You can just add a can of dark red kidney beans to left overs and have a wonderful tasting chili to serve the next day or for lunch!  

I love this ever so easy recipe to make.  It works both in the winter and summer, as it doesn't take long in the kitchen and we don't have to heat of the oven making the house hotter in summer.  But it is a warm meal that works great in the winter too!!!

Check out a few of these other recipes as well:
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Monday, July 1, 2013

Buttery Sweet Yeast Rolls

Buttery Sweet Yeast Rolls

We enjoyed a yummy Barbecue Pulled Pork recipe on Sunday and we wanted good bread to go with it.  I found a new yeast roll recipe that I thought I would try and it turned out pretty good.  I love how much these rise and how yummy sweet they were.  

I discovered this recipe through Pinterest which I placed on my "Recipes I Want To Make" board.   The recipe was on the blog From Cupcakes to Caviar.  I made a few small adjustments and this is what we came up with.  

Prep Time:  1.5 hours
Cook Time:  20 mins

  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/3 cup of sugar + 1 tbsp (for yeast blooming)
  • 1 egg white beaten
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dry active yeast
  • 1 cup of warm water ( higher)
  • 4.5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

1.  In stand mixer bloom yeast by mixing 1 cup of warm water with yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar.  Let stand until bubbly.
2.  In a separate microwave safe bowl combine milk, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 4tbsp of butter.  Heat in microwave for about 90 secs.  Stir until butter is completely melted.
3.  Let milk mixture cool until about 100 degrees or cooler.  Add egg and salt to milk mixture.  Stir.
4.  Add milk mixture to stand mixer bowl where the yeast has bloomed.  Add 2 cups of flour.  Mix with dough hook, continue to mix in 1 cup of flour at a time.  Once 4 cups is added mix well and decide if additional 1/2 cup is needed.  You want it to pull away from sides of mixer and not be incredibly sticky.  
5.  Once you have gotten a good dough consistently, flour surface on counter and knead dough for 2-4 minutes until smooth.  
6.  I usually clean stand mixer bowl and then lightly use vegetable oil to oil bowl.  Place dough into bowl rolling around in oil so that as it rises it won't harden on top.  
7.  Place a dish towel over bowl and allow to rise until dough in size in a warm spot.  (Many times just placing in a cool oven with the oven light on will be good enough and out of drafts.)  About 30-40 minutes.
8.  Butter a 9x9 pan.
9.  Punch down and then separate into about golf ball size balls.  Take rest of butter and cut into small chunks.  One at a time flatten the ball into your hand and place butter inside.  Then roll back around butter into a ball again.  Place into baking pan.  As you proceed I placed all of mine completely touching sides and each other.  You can do this for saofter edges of bun, or pace apart on a cookie sheet if you want a crisper edge on all rolls.
10.  Once all rolls are placed into pan, cover again with a towel and let rise in a warm spot for another 30 minutes until double in size.  
11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees while dough is rising.
12.  Baking rolls for 20 mins until top is golden brown.  When you pull out of oven let sit for about 5-10 minutes before you cut.  Take about a tbsp of butter and run across the tops for the wonderful buttery glisten!  
13.  Cut and serve warm!  So yummy!!!

We definitely enjoyed these with our Barbecue Pulled Pork recipe.  We tried the William Sonoma Pulled Pork recipe cooked in the slow cooker and it was pretty yummy.  Not quite as good as our Big Green Egg Pulled Pork (I'll have to share this one with you soon), but a great leave and go recipe for the slow cooker.  

Be sure to check out more of our recipes and many things that we have pinned on our Pinterest account!  

Hope you EnJoY!!!