My Dad’s Chicken & Rice

My Dad’s Chicken & Rice is a chicken and rice recipe that you will want to have in your back pocket for busy nights.  Fancy mixed vegetables, crispy chicken, mushrooms and crunchy water chestnuts make this a delicious dinner that’s ready in under 30 minutes!

My Dads Chicken and Rice in a bowl with a craft beer off to the side.

I’m serious when I say that I have been eating this meal most of my life. It’s a recipe that my dad invented, thus the name ‘My Dad’s Chicken & Rice’. He cooked it for us growing up and when I was old enough he gave the recipe to me and I’ve been making it myself for about 20 years now.

My dad is a great cook! He makes the most unbelievable grilled chicken. My mouth is watering a little right now as I’m thinking about it. I want to think that he got his skills from my grandmother. On Sunday’s growing up, we would have big dinners of lamb, creamed spinach, and croissants.

Dessert was almost always chocolate pudding with whipped cream. I loved those Sunday’s and I try and keep the tradition alive in our house.  Sunday’s here usually start with Swedish Pancakes and end with a big comforting meal like Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast.

My Dads Chicken and Rice in a bowl with a craft beer off to the side.

For quick weeknight dinners though, I look to this chicken and rice recipe.  It’s full of chicken, meaty mushrooms, and crunchy water chestnuts.  Perfect when you want a one-dish meal that goes from stove to table with little cleanup.

How to make My Dad’s Chicken & Rice:

First, take the chicken and cut into cubes.  On a plate, put the flour, garlic powder, and pepper.  Dredge the chicken in the mixture coating all pieces.

Chicken covered with flour on a plate.

In the bottom of a large pan, I use a covered stockpot, heat about 1 tbs. of oil in the bottom of a pan.

Add the chicken to the pan and cook until all the chicken is nice and crispy around 10 minutes.  Stirring occasionally to make sure all parts are browned.  *Look at that! Again, this is what makes this dish amazing.*

Cooked chicken on a plate.
Once the chicken has cooked take it out of the pan and set aside.  In the same pan add butter and let it melt.  Add the sliced mushrooms and chopped onion.  Cook until the mushrooms start to shrink and the onions are browned.

To the pan add the chicken back in.  Now add the wet ingredients: chicken broth, fancy mixed vegetables (do not drain liquid), water chestnuts (do not drain liquid), and soy sauce.

Finally to the pot add the rice and stir it all together.  Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes check to see if you need to add any additional chicken stock so that the rice doesn’t dry out and stir so the rice doesn’t stick to the pan.

If there’s still plenty of liquid allow to cook another 5-8 minutes covered.

Taste to make sure that the rice has cooked thoroughly and then add salt, pepper, and more soy sauce to your taste. I always end up adding more but please add at your discretion.  Top with some crunchy noodles.

Tips for making My Dad’s Chicken & Rice:

  • The key to really good chicken and rice is making sure the chicken in really crispy.  In order to do that it means cooking the chicken separate from the mushrooms and onions.

And here you are……

My Dads Chicken and Rice in a bowl with a craft beer and a pot of Chicken and Rice off to the side.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

Originally published March of 2016. Updated photos & recipe July of 2018.

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Print Recipe
My Dad's Chicken & Rice
This is 'my Dad's' Chicken & Rice recipe. A hearty meal of chicken, fancy mixed vegetables, and instant rice that cooks up in under 30 minutes.
My Dads Chicken and Rice | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
My Dads Chicken and Rice | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Take the chicken and cut into cubes. On a plate, put the flour, garlic powder, and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the mixture coating all pieces.
  2. In the bottom of a large pan, I use a covered stock pot, heat about 1 tbs. of oil in the bottom of a pan. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until all the chicken is nice and crispy, around 10 minutes. Stiring occasially to make sure all parts are browned. Once the chicken has cooked take it out of the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan add butter and let it melt. Add the sliced mushrooms and chopped onion. Cook until the mushrooms start to shrink and the onions are browned.
  4. To the pan add the chicken back in. Now add the wet ingredients: chicken broth, fancy mixed vegetables (do not drain liquid), water chestnuts (do not dain liquid), and soy sauce. Finally to the pot add the rice and stir it all together.
  5. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes check to see if you need to add any additional chicken stock so that the rice doesn't dry out. If there's still plenty of liquid allow to cook another 5-8 minutes covered.
  6. Taste to make sure that the rice has cooked thoroughly and then add salt, pepper and more soy sauce to your taste. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Tips for making My Dad's Chicken & Rice:

  • The key to really good chicken and rice is making sure the chicken in really crispy.  In order to do that it means cooking the chicken separate from the mushrooms and onions.

Sausage Hash Brown Casserole

Do you love making big breakfasts during the weekend?  Or like to make a breakfast casserole on Sundays so there are plenty of leftovers for weekday mornings?  If you say ‘yes’ to either of those then this Sausage Hash Brown Casserole is for you!

A slice of Sausage Hash Brown Casserole with a bisuit and jam next to it ready to eat!

This casserole is loaded with potatoes, sausage, cheese, eggs and a special ‘secret ingredient’. This stick to your ribs recipe is made for a crowd or even better as leftovers.

I first had this dish while staying the weekend with my family up in Muskegon.  It was such a great weekend visiting with family and lots of great food.  On Sunday morning, we woke up and my stepmom made a big breakfast and the main dish was this sausage hash brown casserole.  It was so good!

Sausage Hash Brown Casserole in a pan with a bisuit and jelly next to it on a plate.

While I was gobbling it down I asked her what was all in it so that I could make it once we got home.  She said the first few ingredients which were a given: hash browns, sausage, cheese….but then she said ‘french onion dip’.  What?  You mean like chip dip?  Yes!  Even though it’s not something that I would have thought of, I now can’t imagine a savory breakfast casserole that isn’t a combination of creamy sour cream and french onion dip.  Now on to the breakfast casserole recipe!

How to make Sausage Hash Brown Casserole:

Start by defrosting the hash browns according to the package directions.

While the hash browns are thawing, in a pan on the stovetop cook the breakfast sausage and onions until cooked all the way through.  Should take around 8-10 minutes.

Remove the sausage from the pan and place on a plate with a few paper towels.  Depending on how fatty your sausage is there may be grease that needs to drain off.

Ingredients and steps for making Sausage Hash Brown Casserole.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 dish.

Next in a bowl whisk the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and Spanish paprika. In a large bowl add the container of sour cream and french onion dip. Stir to combine.

Now add the thawed hash browns to the bowl followed by the egg mixture.

Finally, add all but 1/2 a cup of the cheese to the bowl.

Ingredients for Sausage Hash Brown Casserole in a bowl being stirred.

Stir it all together so that everything is all combined well.  Add it to the prepared pan and spread it evenly.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese on the top.

Cover the pan with tin foil then cook for 50 minutes.

Cut into 12 pieces and serve with a big bowl of fruit, biscuits, and jelly.

Tips for making Sausage Hash Brown Casserole:

  • Do not skip defrosting the frozen hash browns. If you try to cook them frozen your casserole will take about…5 hours to cook.  Now if you are having a really lazy Sunday then fine but you would probably have all your coffee drank by then and what fun is that?
  • Need this recipe for an even bigger crowd?  Double the batch and bake in a large foil 20×12 baking pan.  Add 20 additional minutes to baking time.

And here you are……

Sausage Hash Brown Casserole in a pan ready to eat!

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Sausage Hash Brown Casserole
This sausage hash brown breakfast casserole is made with a special ingredient - french onion dip! Perfect for weekend breakfast or brunch. Fill up a big glass of orange juice and dig in.
Sausage Hash Brown Casserole | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Breakfast, Casserole
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Breakfast, Casserole
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Sausage Hash Brown Casserole | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Defrost the hash browns according to the package directions.
  2. In a pan on the stovetop cook the breakfast sausage and onions until cooked all the way through. Should take around 8-10 minutes.
  3. Remove the sausage from the pan and place on a plate with a few paper towels. Depending on how fatty your sausage is there may be grease that needs to drain off.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 dish.
  5. In a bowl whisk the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and Spanish paprika.
  6. In a large bowl add the container of sour cream and french onion dip. Stir to combine. Now add the thawed hash browns to the bowl followed by the egg mixture. Finally add all but 1/2 a cup of the cheese to the bowl.
  7. Stir it all together so the everything is all combines well. Add it all into the preprared pan and spread it all evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese on the top.
  8. Cover the pan with tin foil then cook for 50 minutes.
  9. Cut into 12 pieces and serve. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Tips for Sausage Hash Brown Casserole:

  • Do not skip defrosting the frozen hash browns. If you try to cook them frozen your casserole will take about...5 hours to cook.  Now if you are having a really lazy Sunday then fine but you would probably have all your coffee drank by then and what fun is that?
  • Need this recipe for an even bigger crowd?  Double the batch and bake in a large foil 20x12 baking pan.  Add 20 additional minutes to baking time.

Dry Rub Chicken Wings

This chicken wing recipe will make sure you don’t miss saucy wings at all.  Dry Rub Chicken Wings are rubbed with a smoky and sweet coating then baked to a crispy perfection. 

Dry Rub Chicken Wings in a basket with blue cheese dressing and a craft beer to the side.

Kicking off Father’s Day weekend with Mitten Movie Night! I thought I would make my husband a special dish just for him.

When I was thinking about what to make my husband this weekend I remembered some really great wings that we had in Florida.  While there we stayed in a condo so we hit the local Costco and grabbed some already made up dishes from the deli area.  That is where we got the chicken wings and they were fabulous.  We heated them up in the oven and paired with a giant salad.

When we got home sadly our local Costco did not have them.  So light bulb moment, I will make my own dry rub chicken wings at home!

Dry Rub Chicken Wings in a basket with blue cheese dressing on the side.

Full disclosure, I have never made wings before.  If you read my post about Wing Sauce Sliders you would know why and how I just finally came around to buffalo sauce.  I was willing to give it a try though you know since I kind of like the guy who has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years.

So off to the internet I went to check out how some of my favorite bloggers make dry rub chicken wings.  Then since I don’t have a grill, how to bake chicken wings.

How to make Dry Rub Chicken Wings:

For the rub, I visited Bewitchin’ Kitchen and followed the recipe for Sweet n’ Smoky Rib Rub.

It had all the spices I thought were in the rub I was basing these on. It turned out great and I didn’t need to go out and buy any fancy ingredients. I had all of them in my spice cabinet.

Next, I headed over to The Chunky Chef’s site and followed the directions for baked chicken wings from her Epic Dry-Rubbed Chicken Wings recipe.

To a large bowl, I added the wings then drizzled them with 2 Tbs oil.

Sprinkle them with 3/4 of the rub but saved some for after the chicken bakes to add some extra flavor.

Then rubbed all the wings with that good flavor.

Ingredients and steps of how to make Dry Rub Chicken Wings.

On a prepared cookie sheet I put down tinfoil and a baking rack.

Layer the wings out then put into a preheated 400-degree oven for 45 minutes.  Be prepared because if you make these the house will smell downright amazing!

Cooked dry rub chicken wings with butter and dry rub seasoning to the side.

Once the chicken was done I decided to use a part of The Suburban Soapbox’s Grilled Old Bay Chicken Wings recipe.

At the end of the recipe, it called for melting 4 Tbs of butter.  Pour it over the chicken.

Add the spice that was left over to it the bowl.  Toss to coat the chicken with the butter and spices.

Make a bowl of blue cheese dressing to dip them into and a side of crunchy carrots.

What beer pairs well with Dry Rub Chicken Wings?

The beer: Greenbush Brewing, Star Chicken Shotgun.

These sweet and smoky dry rub chicken wings pair great with my hubbies favorite style of beer, an IPA.

Poultry and IPA’s work well together but add the spice of the rub and crispy skin and you have a perfect combination.

And here you are……..

Dry Rub Chicken Wings in a basket with blue cheese dressing and a craft beer to the side.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Dry Rub Chicken Wings
Chicken wings are coated with a sweet and smoky dry rub then baked to crispy perfection. Serve with a side of blue cheese for a great appetizer or meal.
Dry Rub Chicken Wings | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Dry Rub Chicken Wings | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Mix together the paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, peppers, coarse kosher salt, dry mustard, chili powder, cayenne powder and cumin in a small bowl.
  2. To a large bowl, I added the wings then drizzled them with 2 Tbs oil. Sprinkled them with 3/4 of the rub but saved some for after the chicken bakes to add some extra flavor. Then rubbed all the wings with that good flavor.
  3. On a prepared cookie sheet I put down tinfoil and a baking rack. Lay the wings out then put into a preheated 400 deree oven for 45 minutes.
  4. When chicken is done melt 4 Tbs of butter and add the remining rub to it.
  5. Toss chicken in butter mixture. Serve with blue cheese dressing on the side. Enjoy!

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

A creamy homemade cheese sauce coats noodles and makes the perfect bed for pulled pork.  Drizzle this Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese with BBQ sauce then top with spicy jalapenos and pickled red onions. 

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese on a plate with some BBQ sauce off to the side.

Welcome to the first Mitten Movie Night of Spring! We are ready to settle in and start enjoying the warmer weather.  Today I am sharing a recipe that is inspired by a wonderful meal that we had while on our Spring Break trip to Florida, pulled pork mac and cheese.

A little more on the backstory of where this recipe originated from.  This year was the first year that we actually ventured out of Michigan for Spring Break. The Winter has been long and we were all in need of some serious Sunshine.  So we headed down to a place that I grew up going to as a kid – Venice, Florida. Right on the Gulf of Mexico we couldn’t have asked for a better place to get away from it all….well expect for the traffic with everyone else having the same idea…but I digress and do not want to complain because this was easily one of my favorite vacations we’ve ever had.  I mean look at this picture of the boys heading down to the beach.  A picture truly is worth a thousand words.

Spring Break 2018 Venice Florida.

While we were in Florida we visited my friend and her family who hosted us for Easter.  Visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Winter & Hope.  Then enjoyed lots of time at the pool, the beach and eating really good food.  On the suggestion of one of the residents at the condo we headed over to Darrell’s BBQ. It was a treat because anyone with kids and driving 24 hours to get to a location knows it means lots of fast food and we were ready for a sit down meal.  The husband had the pulled pork platter, Big A had a burger and Little A and I shared a big bowl of pulled pork mac and cheese with piles of pork and sweet BBQ sauce.  It was so good and one that I kept note of so I could make it as soon as we got home.

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese on a plate ready to eat.

What beer pairs well with Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese?

The beer: Hopsoulution Double IPA from Bell’s.

Even though most of this post talks about Florida, I am a Michigan girl and happy to be home because we do have some of the best craft beer in the country.  Wouldn’t you know we came back just in time for the release of Hopsoulution Double IPA.

How to make Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese:

Let’s start with the pulled pork.  For this pulled pork mac and cheese recipe, I made the pork in the slow cooker.  You can easily smoke the meat if you like but I ran short on time and really didn’t feel like pulling out the smoker so the slow cooker worked just as good.

Mix the beef broth and seasonings in the bottom of the crock pot and add the pork. Set for 6-8 hours on low and the pork is ready to be taken out and pulled.

About 20 minutes before the pork is ready to come out start the macaroni and cheese. Boil the pasta according to package directions.  Once it is done remove from the pan, drain and set aside in another bowl.

To the pot you cooked the pasta add the butter and over medium heat melt the butter.  Once it has melted stir the flour into the butter until it is slightly smooth (you may see some lumps) then add the milk.  Stir until combines and you have a nice sauce appearance.

Now add the nutmeg, pepper, garlic powder then finally add the 3 different cheeses.  Make sure you stir the whole time.  See how awesome this sauce comes out. The ‘pull’ of the cheese.  Thick enough to coat all the noodles.  Another word for it is ‘cheesetastic’.

Cheese sauce in a pan.

Add the noodles to the pot and stir to get all the sauce all over the noodles.  Now set out a plate and add the mac and cheese.

Heap some pulled pork on there.  Drizzle with BBQ sauce (I recommend my Best BBQ Sauce).  Finish off this pulled pork mac and cheese with pickled red onions and jalapenos.

And here you are….

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese on a plate with some BBQ sauce and a craft beer off to the side.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese has creamy homemade sauce and is topped with tender pulled pork and sweet BBQ sauce. The perfect meal for when you're looking for cheesy decadence.
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Pulled Pork
Mac and Cheese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Pulled Pork
Mac and Cheese
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
Pulled Pork
  1. To a slow cooker add beef broth, onion powder, minced garlic and seasonings then set for 6-8 hours on low and the pork is ready to be taken out and pulled.
Mac and Cheese
  1. Boil the pasta according to package directions. Once it is done remove from the pan, drain and set aside in another bowl.
  2. To the pot you cooked the pasta add the butter and over medium heat melt the butter. Once it has melted stir the flour into the butter until it is slightly smooth (you may see some lumps) then add the milk. Stir until combines and you have a nice sauce appearance.
  3. Add the nutmeg, pepper, garlic powder then finally add the 3 different cheese. Make sure you stir the whole time.
  4. Add the noodles to the pot and stir to get all the sauce all over the noodles.
  5. To plate: Add the mac and cheese. Heap some pulled pork on there. Drizzle with BBQ sauce. Finish off with pickled red onions and jalapenos. Enjoy!

Skillet Chicken, Mushrooms & Garlic

Looking to have a cozy Friday night in?  And how would you like to make up a chicken dinner that can be made all in one pan and bake while you lounge on the couch reading or watching movies? Am I speaking your language yet? This skillet chicken, mushrooms & garlic is the perfect dinner for a great night in.

Break out the cast iron skillet and enjoy this Skillet Chicken, Mushrooms & Garlic. This one-pan meal that is perfect for a great night in. | Bottom Left of the Mitten

So tonight for Mitten Movie Night I made one of my favorites, a simple chicken dinner.  I love nothing more than chicken with a light gravy and mashed potatoes.  This meal paired so well with the White Chocolate Blonde from Grand Armory Brewing that we picked up when we were out hunting for Hopslam.  With only a hint of chocolate, it went great with the meaty mushrooms, tender chicken, and light sauce perfectly.

Recommended to watch: The Secret of Marrowbone.  This movie had me thinking about it long after it was over.  A little bit of horror with a surprise twist at the end.  So cuddle up because the weather is still cold and let’s get to the recipe for skillet chicken, mushrooms & garlic.

Break out the cast iron skillet and enjoy this Skillet Chicken, Mushrooms & Garlic. This one-pan meal that is perfect for a great night in. | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Do you have a cast iron skillet?  If not this skillet chicken dish works well in a dutch oven too.  I’ve been using my cast iron like crazy since I got it this summer.  Before having one I always thought that it would be too intimidating but I was simply wrong about it. Easy to clean and you can make everything from burgers to dessert in it.

Start off by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.  On the stove heat the pan and add the 1/4 cup olive oil. On a plate add the flour, salt, pepper, and thyme.  Combine the spices and flour together then dredge each chicken piece into it then add them skin side down to the pan.  Cook for 5 minutes, flip over and cook another 5 minutes on the other side.  While the chicken is cooking chop the onion, clean the mushrooms and get the garlic peeled.

Once the chicken is cooked remove and put on a separate plate.  The chicken does not have to be cooked you just wanted to crisp up the skin.  To the same pan add 1 Tbs of butter.  With a spatula bring up the little bits on the bottom of the pan and add the onions.  Brown them until translucent for 2-3 minutes.  By now the kitchen should be smelling amazing!

Break out the cast iron skillet and enjoy this Skillet Chicken, Mushrooms & Garlic. This one-pan meal that is perfect for a great night in. | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Now that the onions are cooked add the liquids: wine and chicken stock.  Add the chicken back to the pan.  Then finally add the mushrooms and garlic on top of that.  Turn off the heat to the skillet on the stove top then put the whole pan into the oven.

Cook the chicken for 60 minutes but to keep it moist every 15 minutes take a spoon and pour the juices from the pan over the chicken.  While it’s cooking make up some mashed potatoes and a vegetable side.  Plate it up and here you are…..

Break out the cast iron skillet and enjoy this Skillet Chicken, Mushrooms & Garlic. This one-pan meal that is perfect for a great night in. | Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Skillet Chicken, Mushrooms & Garlic | Bottom Left of the Mitten #chicken #skilletcooking
Print Recipe
Skillet Chicken, Mushrooms & Garlic
Break out the cast iron skillet and enjoy this Skillet Chicken, Mushrooms & Garlic. This one-pan meal that is perfect for a great night in.
Skillet Chicken, Mushrooms & Garlic | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Skillet Chicken, Mushrooms & Garlic | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Start off by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. On the stove heat the pan and add the 1/4 cup olive oil.
  2. On a plate add the flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Combine the spices and flour together then dredge each chicken piece into it then add them skin side down to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, flip over and cook another 5 minutes on the other side.
  3. While the chicken is cooking chop the onion, clean the mushrooms and get the garlic peeled.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked remove and put on a separate plate. The chicken does not have to be cooked you just wanted to crisp up the skin. To the same pan add 1 Tbs of butter.
  5. With a spatula bring up the little bits on the bottom of the pan and add the onions. Brown them until translucent for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Now that the onions are cooked add the liquids: wine and chicken stock. Add the chicken back to the pan. Then finally add the mushrooms and garlic on top of that. Turn off the heat to the skillet on the stove top then put the whole pan into the oven.
  7. Cook the chicken for 60 minutes but to keep it moist every 15 minutes take a spoon and pour the juices from the pan over the chicken. Plate it up. Enjoy!

PB&J Burger

Are unique burger combinations your thing?  If so, this PB & J Burger is just what you’ve been looking for.  A toasted bun slathered with peanut butter, homemade bacon jam then a juicy burger with lots of cheese and jalapenos loaded on top.  The perfect boring burger escape.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Burger

What TV show pairs well with burgers and beer?

For this Mitten Movie Night we are watching Stranger Things.  In honor of it, I decided to go all out and try to make something special to coincide with a night of binge watching this awesome show.  If you follow my blog you know that I love recreating regional favorites.  Whether it’s Michigan or Memphis Hot Dogs or recreating a sandwich I had in Ohio, I’m in for taking a culinary trip with my taste buds.  So, why not make something from Indiana which is were the show takes place?  The Peanut Butter Burger.

Even though I live very close to Indiana I’ll be honest I’m not totally immersed in what foods are big there.  So off to the little ‘tell me what I don’t know’ box called the internet I went.  With some research I found 9 Strange Food Combinations Only People In Indiana Will Love from Only In Your State. Right at the Top #1-Peanut Butter and Hamburgers. Hmm…..this might just be interesting enough to try.  Never had it, but I’ll try it. The article said that it usually comes with jalapenos so of course this was going to be delicious with the sweet, salty and spicy flavors all working together.

What beer pairs well with Peanut Butter and Jelly Burgers?

The beer: I thought a Halloween themed beer would be good so Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop Pale Ale from New Belgium it is.

While a more locally sourced craft beer would probably have been better this beer was purchased in Mishawaka at Costco so close enough!  Now on to this peanut butter burger that really was a delicious surprise.

Peanut Butter Burger

For the burgers we’re keeping it simple so mix the ground beef, pepper, salt and garlic powder and shape into 4 patties.  I always cook my burgers in a cast iron skillet with some oil.  After a recent episode of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives there was a restaurant that covered the burgers with a dish so they stayed moist.  I tried this trick and it worked great.

How to make PB&J Burgers:

Place burgers in skillet and cook without the bowl over it for 3 minutes.  Cover with a bowl as shown below and cook for another 5 minutes.  Using a spatula flip up the side of the bowl then use tongs to take it off completely. Do not touch the bowl, it is hot! 

Flip burgers and let cook for 3 minutes.

Using the tongs place the bowl back over and cook for another 5 minutes.

Using the same technique as before flip the bowl off, add the shredded cheese equally over the burgers and return the bowl one last time.

Cook finally for another 2-3 minutes to melt cheese then remove them from the pan.

Cap over cooking burgers in skillet

So the ‘PB’ is of course for peanut butter but the ‘J’ is for jam.  Bacon jam to be exact.  I thought this would be a good addition.

I recently had a burger on it at a local brewery and now I’m obsessed.  In an effort to keep some in my house at all times now I made some using this Easy Skillet Bacon Jam recipe.

Bacon Jam going on hamburger bun

Toast the bun with a little butter then assemble the burger.  Spread the peanut butter on the bottom, burger, jalapenos and bacon jam.

Add lettuce and tomatoes if you wish.

And here you are…..

Peanut Butter and Jelly Burger

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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PB&J Burger | Bottom Left of the Mitten #burger #peanutbutterburger #baconjam
Print Recipe
PB&J Burger
This is not the peanut butter and jelly you grew up with. It's not your average burger. PB & J=Peanut Butter and Bacon Jam make this burger an all-out hit!
PB&J Burger | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
burgers
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
burgers
Ingredients
PB&J Burger | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Mix the ground beef, pepper, salt and garlic powder and shape into 4 patties.
  2. To use the bowl method: Place burgers in skillet with a small amount of oil and cook without the bowl over it for 3 minutes. Cover with a bowl as shown below and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Using a spatula flip up the side of the bowl then use tongs to take it off completely. Do not touch the bowl, it is hot! Flip burgers and let cook for 3 minutes. Using the tongs place the bowl back over and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Using the same technique as before flip the bowl off, add the shredded cheese equally over the burgers and return the bowl one last time. Cook finally for another 2-3 minutes to melt cheese then remove them from the pan.
  5. Toast the bun with a little butter then assemble the burger. Spread the peanut butter on the bottom, burger, jalapenos and bacon jam. Add lettuce and tomatoes if you wish. Enjoy!

Fried Jalapeno Burger

Can you believe it’s almost August?  Summer sure does seem to be not taking it slow.  We have been very busy though having fun visiting new places with the kids and spending tons of time in the pool.  So for the last Mitten Movie Night of July I’m making something extra spicy, a burger topped with Fried Jalapenos.

Fried Jalapeno Burger | Bottom Left of the Mitten
This week has been a long one so I am ready to relax.  I am currently in the process of pulling wallpaper down in what is known as the ‘Man Cave’.  Dubbed as such the first time we came to look a the house with the boys. There is a fair amount of wallpaper in this house so I felt it was a good place to start.  After getting into it I quickly realize that only 1 area a year might be getting done because it is WORK!

I got some great tips over on my Facebook page so I started with a water/fabric softener and scraper combo that actually worked pretty good.  Then I mentioned to my mother-in-law that a lot of people recommended a steamer.  Guess what?  She actually had a brand new one!  It has been working like a charm. Probably half the time it would have taken with the water/softener concoction. I’m so thankful too because I wanted to have this all done by the middle of August.  Looks like I am on track and I will post the before and afters soon for all to see.

After dinner I am kicking back and relaxing with  Wedding Crashers.  An oldie but goody and I love digging through our old DVD’s.  With dinner we’re drinking some Michigantuan from Short’s Brewing.  I can not resist a cherry beer especially one using Michigan cherries.  So now on to the food.

Fried Jalapeno Burger | Bottom Left of the Mitten

The fried jalapenos are simple enough.  Take the jarred jalapenos and put them onto a paper towel, fold over and press down to dry them off as much as possible. Mix together the egg, milk, flour, salt and pepper for the batter. Heat up 1/4 cup of oil in a pan (drop a little bit of the batter to see if it starts to fry to check if oil is ready)  and fry 2-3 minutes, on each side until golden brown. Remove from pan and put on another clean plate and paper towel to drain.

Fried Jalapeno Burger | Bottom Left of the Mitten

For the burger I actually finally used a hamburger press that I got from my son’s school fundraiser probably 3 years ago.  They really turned out great as you can see from the end result below.  I mix my burger some Worcestershire Sauce and that’s it.  Press half the meat into one side and then the other putting a piece of cheese into the middle and pressing it so the two halves connect.  If you don’t have a press just make a 1/2 pound patty and add cheese later.

As I’ve said before I don’t have a grill so I used my Foreman grill.  It took about 12 minutes total but check to make sure fully cooked for whatever method you are using.  Thinking I might have to remedy this whole no grill quick….maybe for my birthday coming up here in August?

Fried Jalapeno Burger | Bottom Left of the Mitten

For the aioli mix mayo, minced garlic clove and 1 teaspoon of jalapeno juice.  Toast the buns, always.  Top with the spicy aioli.  And here you are….

Fried Jalapeno Burger | Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

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Fried Jalapeno Burger | Bottom Left of the Mitten #jalapeno #burgerrecipe #aioli
Print Recipe
Fried Jalapeno Burger
All beef hamburger stuffed with cheddar cheese then topped with crunchy fried jalapenos. Pile on creamy jalapeno aioli to finish off with even more heat.
Fried Jalapeno Burger | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Burger
Servings
burger
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Burger
Servings
burger
Ingredients
Fried Jalapeno Burger | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Take the jarred jalapenos and put them onto a paper towel, fold over and press down to dry them off as much as possible.
  2. Mix together the egg, milk, flour, salt and pepper for the batter.
  3. Heat up 1/4 cup of oil in a pan (drop a little bit of the batter to see if it starts to fry to check if oil is ready) and fry 2-3 minutes, on each side until golden brown.
  4. Remove from pan and put on another clean plate and paper towel to drain.
  5. Mix burger with Worcestershire Sauce.
  6. Press half the meat into one side and then the other putting a piece of cheese into the middle and pressing it so the two halves connect. **If you don't have a press just make a 1/2 pound patty and add cheese later.
  7. Cook on each side around 6 minutes for a total of 12 minutes. **Check to make sure fully cooked for whatever method you are using.
  8. For the aioli mix mayo, minced garlic clove and 1 teaspoon of jalapeno juice.
  9. Toast the buns. Top with the spicy aioli. Enjoy!

Smoked Sausage Sandwich

This week officially marked two months in our new home!  So we are celebrating this Mitten Movie Night feeling like we are finally settled in.  I made one of my favorite categories of food: the ‘sandwich‘.  Topped with saucy goodness and peppers this Smoked Sausage Sandwich is a well deserved reward for a job well done.

Smoked Sausage Sandwich | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Tonight we are drinking 400 Divine Rabbits from a local favorite Greenbush Brewing Co.  A great stop if you hit the beach or the casino in New Buffalo.  Then finishing up Orange Is The New Black.  I have spent many nights since last Friday binge watching it. What shows are your favorites?  I will need a new one once this is over.

I would love to take the opportunity to give a little shout out of people that helped us along the way.  Since my blog is called ‘Bottom Left of the Mitten’ I thought it was a good platform to showcase who made buying a home in this area such a treat.

Realtor:  ‘Power of 2’ Team from Cressy & Everett in Dowagiac.  We actually looked at homes a few years ago and she walked us through any and every one we wanted to look at.  We just didn’t find ‘the one’ at the time.  Called her up when we found this house to show it to us.  Three weeks and one day later not only did we have this house but we also sold ours and 4 acres of land.

Inspector:  Gary from Lake Michigan Inspections. I cannot recommend this gentleman and his father enough.  They walked us through everything, I mean everything, for our new house.  Living in town we were new to sewer and well. Same for a gas fireplace and even fixed a cap on the wood burning fireplace.

New Air Conditioner: Rohdy’s—Awesome job!  Right before our recent heatwave they worked us in for a quote and then installed the unit.  Thanks to them we have stayed comfortable and cool.

Thank you again to everyone! Now on to the food.

Smoked Sausage Sandwich | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Chop up the peppers, onions and mince the garlic.  To a bowl add the balsamic vinegar, sugar and olive oil then mix to combine.  Sautee over medium/high heat for 7-10 minutes. I love when the peppers are ‘burnt’ a little so I go a little closer to the 10 minute mark.

 

Smoked Sausage Sandwich | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Our new appliances were purchased in the recent store closing for HH Gregg.  This Frigidaire stove has a center griddle that I’ve been using non-stop.  No worries if you don’t have a griddle you can use a regular frying pan.  Butter buns and place them split side down.  Cut the sausage in 4 parts then split down the middle placing that split side down as well.  Heat the sausage through for around 3 minutes.  Flip both the bun and the sausage then cook around 3 minutes again.

Smoked Sausage Sandwich | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Heating up the spaghetti sauce and assembling the sandwich is all that’s left to do.  I heated it up in the microwave for 1 minute.  Place bun on plate, add split smoked sausage, layer on the veggies then top with sauce.  And here you are…..

Smoked Sausage Sandwich | Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Smoked Sausage Sandwich | Bottom Left of the Mitten #smokedsausage #sandwichrecipe #foodandbeerpairing
Print Recipe
Smoked Sausage Sandwich
Smoky sausage makes a great base for crisp peppers bathed in sweet balsamic. Finish off with a thick layer of spaghetti sauce. Perfecto!
Smoked Sausage Sandwich | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Sandwich
Servings
sandwiches
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Sandwich
Servings
sandwiches
Ingredients
Smoked Sausage Sandwich | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Chop up the peppers, onions and mince the garlic.
  2. To a bowl add the balsamic vinegar, sugar and olive oil then mix to combine.
  3. Sautee over medium/high heat for 7-10 minutes.
  4. Butter buns and place them split side down on a heated griddle or frying pan.
  5. Cut the sausage in 4 parts then split down the middle placing that split side down as well.
  6. Heat the sausage through for around 3 minutes. Flip both the bun and the sausage then cook around 3 minutes again.
  7. Heat up spaghetti sauce in a microwave for 1 minute.
  8. Place bun on plate, add split smoked sausage, layer on the veggies then top with sauce. Enjoy!

Cheesy Cauliflower #SundaySupper

Looking for a simple side dish that your kids will love?  Have a picky eater that thinks veggies are evil?  Try my Cheesy Cauliflower that is a proven winner with my kids and I’m sure yours will love this side dish too.

Cheesy Cauliflower | Bottom Left of the Mitten

My two boys couldn’t be more different nutrition wise.  If you set a bowl of fruit and a cookie in from of my 10-year-old he would always choose the fruit.  He likes to generally eat healthily and only complains when I serve green beans or Brussels sprouts.

My 3-year-old, on the other hand, could sniff out a sugar-laden treat from 10 miles away.  Most days it’s a struggle to get a banana down him for breakfast unless I make my Swedish Pancakes with Brown Sugar Bananas, but even then it’s a struggle.  So I make small concessions and try my very best to make good things as appealing as possible.  And this Cheesy Cauliflower is a hit with both my boys.

Cheesy Cauliflower | Bottom Left of the Mitten

How to make Cheesy Cauliflower:

Start by chopping the core off the cauliflower and chop into similar sizes.

Add to a pot of water and set to boil for 15 minutes.

Remove the cooked cauliflower from the pot and drain the water.  To that pot add the butter and cook over medium heat to melt.

Once melted whisk the flour 1 Tablespoon at a time and stir to combine.  Now add the milk and continue to whisk until it starts thickening.

Now it’s time to add the spices.

Cheesy Cauliflower | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Four simple ingredients: salt, pepper, garlic powder then Parmesan.  I love the powder kind and use it constantly. 

Now the fifth spice is really what makes this dish a stand out~nutmeg.  A few years back I was watching The Rachel Ray Show and she recommended adding nutmeg to cheese sauces.  Ever since then that is what I’ve done.  Who am I to question Rachel Ray!

Cheesy Cauliflower | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Once you’ve added the spices and Parmesan whisk to combine then add 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese and stir until melted and combined completely.

Add the cauliflower back into the pot and stir the sauce and cauliflower so that it covers every piece.

Put the cauliflower into a greased oven proof bowl then sprinkle with the reminding 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.

Put into a 350 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes.

And here you are……

Cheesy Cauliflower | Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

Instagram | Bottom Left of the Mitten

As always thank you to our Sunday Supper host this week, Anne from Simple and Savory.  If you want more vegetable recipes to make kids happy check out all these other recipes from Sunday Supper bloggers.

Sunday Supper Kid-Friendly Vegetable Recipes

Breakfast

Dinners

Sides

Snacks

For even more kid friendly vegetables check out these Vegetable Recipes for Picky Eaters by The Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Cheesy Cauliflower | Bottom Left of the Mitten #sidedish #cauliflower #kidfriendly
Print Recipe
Cheesy Cauliflower
Tender cauliflower is combined with a creamy cheese sauce. Cheesy Cauliflower is a veggie side dish that is kid approved.
Cheesy Cauliflower | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cheesy Cauliflower | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Start by chopping the core off the cauliflower and chop into similar sizes. Add to a pot of water and set to boil for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the cooked cauliflower from the pot and drain the water. To that pot add the butter and cook over medium heat to melt. Once melted whisk the flour 1 Tablespoon at a time and stir to combine. Now add the milk and continue to whisk until it starts thickening.
  3. Now add salt, pepper, garlic powder, nutmeg then Parmesan.
  4. Once you've added the spices and Parmesan whisk to combine then add 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese and stir until melted and combined completely.
  5. Add the cauliflower back into the pot and stir the sauce and cauliflower so that it covers every piece.
  6. Put the cauliflower into a greased oven proof bowl then sprinkle with the reminding 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.
  7. Put into a 350 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Wing Sauce Sliders

I’ll be upfront right now. And this may make me unpopular but for a long time I couldn’t even smell Buffalo Wing Sauce. In fact it’s been over a decade that even looking at the sauce would give me chills. Flash back 2003….my husband had just won Virginia’s Strongest Man. We actually had friends in the area so we went out and celebrated afterwards at a local wing place. Well, let’s just say that I ‘Celebrated’ a little too much **insert you shaking your head here because most of us have ‘been there’**.

Wing Sauce Sliders | Bottom Left of the Mitten

So, there’s that. But I can FINALLY say that after my pregnancy with my youngest my taste buds must have been awakened because I craved spicy stuff constantly and have been on the Wing Sauce bandwagon ever since. I’m like ‘Let’s put it on everything!’ Just like I do with these Wing Sauce Sliders.

Wing Sauce Sliders | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Not only have my tastes changed over the years but my entertainment habits have too.  Now instead of going out and getting crazy I much prefer staying at home and spending Mitten Movie Nights  making a great meal and pairing it with some great beer while watching some great entertainment.  Ok, now on to the food!

First you will prepare your chicken. Cut the pieces down to size for as many sliders as you are expecting to prepare. After cutting them into as many pieces as you have buns (I had 12) pound them out with a mallet to thin them out. This helps to tenderize them and you don’t have to cook them as long so they turn out a little juicer.

Wing Sauce Sliders | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Add vegetable oil to the pan. I usually use about 1/2 cup. Bring oil to a temperature that will ‘fry’ the chicken breasts. You can test by adding a little of the dredging mixture and see if it sizzles. While that is heating up put 1/2 cup flour onto a plate. Dredge the chicken so it is coated on all sides of the chicken. Test to see if oil is hot enough. If it is add chicken to pan.  Cook first side around 6-8 minutes–DO NOT TOUCH IT once it’s in the oil. I’m telling you, you want the crunchy part of this chicken to stay intact because it’s delicious and you will ruin it if you mess with it. Ok, rant over :’) Flip over (again, only 1 time) and cook another 6-8 minutes. Remove from pan and let drain on paper towel.

While your chicken is cooking make up the sauces to go with these. First off let’s start with the Garlic Parmesan Sauce.  Mix all the ingredients together in a covered bowl. Once the chicken is cooked take the amount of you want to have the Garlic Parmesan sauce on it and add to bowl with the combined sauce. Cover & shake. Go ahead and get your arm workout for the day.

WingSauceSliders_1f

For the Buffalo Wing sliders just take some Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce and add it to a covered bowl. Just like with the Garlic Parmesan sauce shake the daylights out of it until the sauce covers all parts of the chicken.

Wing Sauce Sliders | Bottom Left of the Mitten

The topper for these sliders is a Blue Cheese Sauce that is a perfect combination with the bite of the cheese, creaminess and then the crunch of the celery.  The perfect topping!

Wing Sauce Sliders | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Put chicken onto your slider buns. Viola!  Take your sauce & slather it all over the top of your sliders. Add tomato and lettuce so you get your veggies. And here you are……

Wing Sauce Sliders | Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Originally published May, 2016. Updated photos & recipe.

Garlic Parmesan Sauce adapted from Raining Hot Coupons

Blue Cheese Dressing adapted from Domestic Superhero

 

Wing Sauce Sliders | Bottom Left of the Mitten #buffalosauce #sliders #chickensandwich
Print Recipe
Wing Sauce Sliders
Crunchy chicken on soft slider buns slathered in Wing Sauce then topped with Blue Cheese & Celery Sauce.
Wing Sauce Sliders | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Sliders
Servings
sliders
Ingredients
Chicken for Wing Sauce Sliders
Garlic Parmesan Sauce
Buffalo Wing Sauce
Blue Cheese & Celery Sauce
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Sliders
Servings
sliders
Ingredients
Chicken for Wing Sauce Sliders
Garlic Parmesan Sauce
Buffalo Wing Sauce
Blue Cheese & Celery Sauce
Wing Sauce Sliders | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
Chicken for Wing Sauce Sliders
  1. Add vegetable oil to the pan. Bring oil to a temperature that will 'fry' the chicken breasts.
  2. Dredge the chicken in flour so it is coated on all sides of the chicken. Test to see if oil is hot enough. If it is add chicken to pan.
  3. Cook 6-8 minutes each side. Only turning once.
  4. Remove from pan and let drain on paper towel.
Garlic Parmesan Sauce
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a covered bowl.
  2. Add cooked chicken to covered bowl. Cover & shake.
Buffalo Wing Sauce
  1. Add sauce and cooked chicken to covered bowl. Cover & shake.
Blue Cheese & Celery Sauce
  1. Chop your celery and mix with all other ingredients together.

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