Sausage Balls

While gearing up for the big Super Bowl game, I reached out to my Grandma for the sausage balls recipe that we enjoyed devoured on Christmas Eve.  The guys barely got to eat any after they came back from golf – we almost polished them all off.  These are great to make ahead of time and just pop in the oven when you’re ready, or bake them the day before and just warm up before the game!

Sausage Balls

Ingredients:
  • 1 C baked sweet potato, mashed
  • 1 lb sausage, uncooked
  • 12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • ~2 C Bisquick

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Combine sweet potato, cheese and sausage.  Add ~2 cups of Bisquick, slowly working it in by the half cup until the mixture adheres together well.

Shape into 1 inch balls, place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. 14.5 minutes was the right time for my oven.

They even freeze well – baked, or unbaked.  Wrap them in foil, place in a baggie and use when ready!sausage-balls

Edits : Rollene doesn’t use the whole 2 cups of Bisquick, so really add that part slowly while mixing the sausage mixture well.  Also she uses a piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet!

Results : These were just as good as I remembered and we finished them just as quickly as in Georgia.  Since the Falcons won the NFC championship when we ate them in Charleston, looks like I’ll be making another batch for Super Bowl Sunday!  Oh, and did I mention the sweet potato makes you feel healthier?  Perfect for no guilt football snacking 🙂

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Baked Chicken Taquitos

My sister and I love some chicken taquitos.  If they’re ever on the menu, it’ll take a lot for me not to order them.  So one night I was looking around on Pinterest for a recipe in order to use the leftover rotisserie chicken, and stumbled across this baked chicken taquito recipe. Yes, please!

Baked Chicken Taquitos

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 T canola oil
  • 1/2 c chopped yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c salsa verde
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 T chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Heat 1/2 T of oil over medium heat in a large pan.  Sauté the onion until they’re soft, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic.  Remove the skillet from heat, and add salsa verde and the cream cheese.

Reduce heat to medium low, and return the pan to the heat, stirring constantly until the cream cheese has melted.  Add in the chili powder, paprika, cumin, lime juice, and some salt & pepper.  Stir the mixture well, then remove from heat.  Add the chicken, cilantro and cheese.  Stir until it’s mixed well.

Warm up the tortillas in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds, covered in a damp paper towel to make them more pliable and prevent them from cracking. (You can also warm them up in a pan, but the microwave is just easier).

Now assemble the taquitos!  Put about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture in a tortilla and roll it up snug, but not too tight where the tortillas crack.  Place the rolled taquito on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat until you’re out of chicken mixture and your taquitos are all lined up on the baking sheet.  Leave some spacing between them, so they’ll have even baking and get crisp.

Lightly brush the top of the taquitos with a little canola oil.  Bake at 425 for 18-20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the taquitos are crisp.  Finish with your favorite toppings or dips and enjoy!

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Edits: I added more salsa verde in the chicken mixture than it called for to so it was easier to mix up, and it just seemed like it needed more!  You want the mixture to be creamy, but not too liquid or the taquitos won’t crisp.

Results: These were awesome. Like “eat until you’re way too full, and then eat one more” kind of awesome.  We topped ours with a homemade guacamole, some taco sauce, cholula, and I had queso dip for dunking or pouring on top.  We both ate so much, but still had 4 leftover for later.  This definitely made it to the “Keep recipe” list.

Sausage & Grits Breakfast Casserole

My friend Callee has made this breakfast casserole for all sorts of get togethers, and it always hits the spot in the morning.  I tend to get seconds, I like it that much. When we talked about what to make for breakfast at my bachelorette, it seemed like the perfect option so I asked Callee for the recipe, and am now sharing it so I don’t lose it..

Sausage & Grits Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked grits
  • 1 lb ground sausage
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Cook your grits in 4 cups of salted water until thick.  Cook the sausage in a pan over medium heat, breaking it into small pieces.  When the sausage is almost done, add the green onion to the sausage pan and continue to saute until onions are soft and sausage is cooked through.  Drain sausage mixture to remove excess fat.

Add butter, egg, and 1 cup of the cheese to grits.  Combine grits mixture with sausage mixture and pour into a 13 x 9-inch casserole dish.  Garnish with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, paprika and parsley.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the casserole is bubbly and lightly brown on top.

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Note: The casserole can be refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking, and it also freezes well.

Crave

It’s been 2 years since we closed on our house (craziness!!), and in those two years we have explored this part of Mount Pleasant a lot.  Seaside Farms is super close to us, and we eat at the different restaurants there a fair bit since they’re so convenient.

Crave Kitchen & Cocktails is one of these restaurants that I’ve eaten at more for just about any type of meal: brunch, lunch, girls night, date night, happy hour, etc.  They also have a food truck that comes to SPARC a bunch.  This is all building you up to understand how excited I was when Taylor asked if I wanted to go with him to their media dinner the other night.

We started the dinner at a big table on their patio, which was great because the weather had been beautiful that day.  After a bit of a late start, the group had drinks, got a tour of their food truck and were anxiously awaiting the first course: mac n’ cheese.

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Crave is known for their mac n’ cheese — it’s actually the winningest mac in America!  So the mac comes out, with three big plates of short rib, pulled pork and shrimp to put on top.  Short rib with the mac was easily my favorite combo.  I also ate wayyyyy too much considering it was only the first course.

Next up: brie bites.  These were basically huge fried brie balls with apple chips and a grape / pepper marmalade.  I split a plate with Connelly and we both went back for another half.

One thing to note is that with each course, we were receiving cocktails that paired well with them.  I started with some wine (#malbecmonday), then we received a habanero mojito with the mac, and prosecco drink with the brie.  It was gonna be one of those Mondays…
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For entree time, we moved inside.  They brought out 2 entrees: hanger steak and sea scallops. I can’t eat the scallops, but they looked and smelled good. That hanger steak though…. Okay, so there was hanger steak, sauteed spinach, bing cherries, and brie (and walnuts for those non-food allergy kids).  Getting a bite with all of that was awesome — so many textures!  This was my favorite course of the night, hands down.

The two cocktails for these courses were a tequila sangria, and rifle range rye.  The latter was surprisingly light and refreshing, which was kinda needed at this point in the night.  Also tequila in a sangria seems like a great idea, and was executed really well.

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As if we weren’t full already, there was one course left: dessert.  Dessert consisted of seared pears, walnuts (or not), bing cherries, cranberries, caramel and humboldt fog goat cheese.  Somehow they managed to put cheese in every dish, but the goat cheese totally tied the dessert all together.

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Crave even sent us some with some leftovers, and more mac!  Hunter was pumped about that… If you haven’t been to Crave, you definitely need to check it out.  And if you have, come with me to eat more mac, the hanger steak, and pears!  And their brunch..

Special thanks to Peter, Chef Landen, Anthony & Damon for a great start to my week!  I had to end with a pic of all the drinks i had by the time I left.  Despite my best efforts, I tried all the cocktails, but couldn’t finish all of them..

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Grilled Cheese Bar

August was our month to host Supper Club again, and Brittney, Michelle and I decided to do a grilled cheese bar!  What is a grilled cheese bar, you ask?  Basically you have an assortment of breads, cheeses, and toppings, then everyone chooses what they want, and makes their own sandwich.  It’s a perfect option when planning ahead, and only has a little prep time.

So what did our grilled cheese bar include?

Breads

We had 3 different breads for people to use: Sourdough, honey wheat, and multi-grain.  Susu also brought a gluten free option.  The sourdough and 5 grain were the most popular options.

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We offered 5 different types of cheeses: Mozzarella, cheddar, pepper jack, jalapeño pimento, and brie. Honestly, just about every cheese was seriously depleted at the end of the night, so there was something for everyone.

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Toppings

I’m not gonna lie, coming up with the toppings to offer was really fun.  We had an assortment of spreads and toppings to make fancy grilled cheeses with: Mayo, cranberry spread, pesto, sriracha, turkey, bacon, prosciutto, apple slices, avocado slices, tomatoes, spinach, and caramelized onions.

Of course, everything was labeled with my new wine cork place card holders

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After you finally figured out what toppings you wanted, it was time for the grilling.

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Michelle and Brittney grilled everyone’s sandwiches on the stove, with a little butter.

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Finally, we cut them in half and demolished them.  I don’t even have a picture of any of the grilled cheeses when they were all melted and delicious — we ate them that quickly.

Strategy: It was pretty hard to choose what you wanted on your sandwich, so in some cases people make their own and then traded 1/2 with someone else for a different grilled cheese.

My sandwich included cheddar and pimento cheeses, bacon, prosciutto, and apple slices.  Other popular combos were the brie with cranberry spread and apples, pepper jack cheese with tomatoes and avocado, and mozzarella, with spinach and onions.  There were so many possible combinations..

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This was one of the more creative culinary nights, and I personally had a blast with the grilled cheese bar.  The other nice thing was that there was something there for everyone, and it was a great way to handle food allergies and such.

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Now that we’re done hosting, we get a few months before we’re up again — Happy Labor Day Weekend!

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