Slow-Cooked Reuben Brats

Ingredients

  • 10 uncooked bratwurst links (we used Johnsonville Brats Original)
  • 3 bottles (12 oz. each) light beer or nonalcoholic beer (we used Michelob Ultra Pure Gold)
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced (we thinly sliced the onion)
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sauerkraut, rinsed and well-drained
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion (we used a yellow onion)
  • 2 tsp. sweet pickle relish
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 10 hoagie buns, split
  • 10 slices Swiss cheese

Directions

  1. In batches, brown your bratwurst in a large skillet (we browned 5 of the links at a time). Add the beer, sliced onion and sauerkraut to a 5-qt. slow cooker (we used a 6-qt. slow cooker), stirring to combine. Place the browned bratwurst in the slow cooker, putting the lid on and cooking for 7-9 hours on LOW or until the sausages are fully cooked (our bratwurst were fully cooked when we checked them at the 7 hour mark).
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a small mixing bowl out and add the following ingredients to it, stirring to combine: mayonnaise, chili sauce, ketchup, chopped onion, relish, garlic and pepper. Spread the mayonnaise mixture over the cut sides of the buns, adding the cheese on next followed by the bratwurst and the sauerkraut mixture (we used a slotted spoon to get the sauerkraut mixture without all the liquid). Place the buns on an ungreased baking sheet (we lined our baking sheet with aluminum foil before placing the buns on it). Stick the sheet in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted (our cheese melted by the 8 minute mark).

*We poured a tablespoon of vegetable oil into a large cast-iron skillet, letting the oil get hot before adding in the bratwurst to get browned.

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This was a tasty bratwurst ! You definitely taste the Swiss cheese and the bratwurst but we didn’t taste the sauce and sauerkraut mixture much. The cheese is ooey gooey, the bratwurst is nice and juicy, it just made us want to keep coming back fr more ! If you’re looking for something to serve on a game day, this would be a great handheld dish to enjoy !

This recipe came from Taste Of Home.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Johnsonville, Michelob or Taste Of Home.

Take care everybody !

Pork Chop Mac And Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork rib chops
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded  whole-milk mozzarella cheese*
  • 1 (16-ounce package cavatappi pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garish: fresh rosemary

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Take a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and pour 1 tablespoon of oil in, setting the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil’s hot, toss the onion in, stirring it now and then for around 5 minutes or until the onion looks lightly browned. Take the onions out of the skillet and put them on a plate for the time being. Pour the remaining oil into the skillet. Season the pork chops with 1/2 teaspoon salt** and 1/2 teaspoon pepper**, adding them to the skillet so they can get browned (about 3 minutes per side). Take the pork chops out and put them on a plate (not the one with onion on it).
  3. Add the butter into the skillet, turning the heat down to medium. Once the butter’s melted, put the flour in the skillet, stirring constantly for 1 minute (we slowly whisked the flour in and then stirred for a minute). Whisk in the following ingredients: milk, sage, rosemary, and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium-high and wait for boiling to occur, stirring constantly during that time. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low. Whisk constantly for 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, taking the skillet off the heat once it has.
  4. Add the mozzarella into the sauce, stirring until melted. Put the pasta in the skillet, tossing to get all of it coated in the cheese sauce. Put the pork chops on top of the mac and cheese, overlapping them a little. Sprinkle on the onion, bread crumbs and Parmesan.
  5. Place the skillet in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pork chops are tender and fully cooked. Garnish with the rosemary and you’re ready to dig in !

*The only whole-milk mozzarella we could find in our town was a 16 oz. package of fresh whole-milk mozzarella from Belgioioso. It was a hot mess trying to grate it, we had all kinds of pieces breaking off while grating but we were able to get the 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese from that one package and we enjoyed just snacking on all the broken off pieces.

**1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper just didn’t seem like enough to season the pork chops with so we added extra salt and pepper on so that both sides of the pork chops seemed properly seasoned.

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The pork chops tasted so good that we actually considered gnawing on the bone just to get to every last bit of meat ! The pork chops are great but the macaroni and cheese is freaking awesome ! The cheese was ooey gooey and you could taste the sage but it wasn’t overpowering. The chopped onions tasted good with the pork chops and the macaroni and cheese. The rosemary garnish helped the flavor of rosemary come through a little more and it added some more color to the meal. This is a fantastic 2-for-1 comfort food dish that we hope you love as much as we did !

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Belgioioso.

Take care everybody !

Three-Cheese French Bread Pizza

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 loaf soft French or Italian bread, halved lengthwise
  • ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat the broiler (we had the oven rack on the middle shelf). Take a large skillet and pour one tablespoon of the olive oil in, setting the heat to medium-high.  Once the oil’s hot, add in the mushrooms, seasoning them with salt and pepper afterwards. Stir the mushrooms around now and then for 5 minutes or until they’re lightly browned (we cooked them for 5 minutes). Take the skillet off the heat and leave it off to the side for now.
  2. Take a small bowl out and mix the ¼ cup oil and garlic together in it. Take a baking sheet out (we lined ours with aluminum foil) and place the bread on it cut-side up. Drizzle the garlic oil over both halves, sprinkling o salt to taste. Broil the bread for 2 to 3 minutes or until it’s lightly toasted (2 minutes did the job for us). Spoon the ricotta onto the bread, spreading it out evenly, topping it with the mushrooms and mozzarella afterwards (might not matter but between the two, we put the mushrooms on first). Stick the bread back in to broil for another 2 to 5 minutes or until the pizza is browned and bubbly (we went with 3 minutes*). Take the bread off the baking sheet and transfer it to a cutting board.
  3. Slice the bread into pieces, topping with the parsley, parmesan, and however much red pepper flakes you desire. Take the tomato slices and drizzle them with the vinegar and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, seasoning them to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the tomato slices with the pizza and enjoy !

Serves 4 (or two really hungry people).

*At 3 minutes the cheese was nicely browned and bubbly but the ends and the edges of the bread were browned a little more than we would’ve liked so next time we’ll try just going for 2 ½ minutes.

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When you cook a pizza using a pre-made pizza crust, the crust can be limp or make you think “so this is what cardboard tastes like”, you won’t have to worry about that with this french bread pizza ! The outside of the bread had a nice crispy crunch to it and the cheese became ooey gooey. We love eating mushrooms so we’ll be at least doubling the amount of mushrooms next time. We couldn’t really taste the parsley but it did add a nice pop of color ! We added enough pepper flakes to make the pizza spicy which is a nice counterbalance to the salty (in a good way), cheesy awesomeness of this pizza !

We got this recipe from Food Network.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Food Network.

Take care everybody !

Gussied Up Mac ‘N Cheese

We found this recipe in a Southern Living magazine and just had to try it out !

Ingredients

  • 1 (16-oz.) package cavatappi pasta (we used corkscrew pasta)
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • ½ lb. andouille sausage, casings removed* (we used a whole pound of Roger Wood brand andouille)
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (16-oz.) package pasteurized prepared cheese product, cut into 1-inch cubes (we used original Velveeta)
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) freshly shredded smoked Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup freshly shredded aged Gouda cheese
  • ½ cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 (5-oz.) package unsalted kettle-cooked potato chips, crumbled (lightly salted potato chips may be substituted) (we used Lay’s Lightly Salted potato chips)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Look at the box the pasta came in for cooking instructions and follow those directions for the al dente results, adding that one tablespoon of salt to the water. Once cooked, drain the pasta and leave it off to the side for now (we put our pasta in a sealed mixing bowl so the pasta wouldn’t get dried out or stuck together).
  2. While the pasta’s cooking, quarter the andouille lengthwise. Now take each of the quartered pieces of andouille and slice them into ¼-inch-thick pieces.
  3. Take a Dutch oven out and set the heat to medium-high. Once the Dutch oven’s hot, toss the andouille in and let it cook for 3 minutes or until it looks browned around the edges, stirring constantly. Once browned around the edges, scoop out the andouille and lay it on a paper towel lined plate so any grease can drain off.
  4. Pour the cream into the Dutch oven and wait for it to come a simmer. As soon as you see the cream is at a simmer, turn the heat down to low and stir in the cheese product. Keep stirring until the cheese product has completely melted at which point you can add all the other cheeses in and toss the sausage back in, remembering to continue stirring constantly. Once all the cheeses have melted, turn off the heat and take the Dutch oven off the the stovetop. Stir the pasta in afterwards.
  5. Take a 3-quart baking dish or 12 (8-oz.) ramekins out and butter up the inside(s) of whichever one you go with (we used a 3-quart baking dish). Pour the Dutch oven mixture into the baking dish and top it with the potato chips you crushed earlier. Stick the dish in the oven for 20 minutes or until the dish is bubbly and looks browned. Take the dish out of the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

* This is how we removed the casing from the andouille:

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We had trouble picking between all the scrumptious mac & cheese photos that we took so we’re posting several but really, is there such a thing as too many pictures of macaroni & cheese?

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This is such a scrumptious comfort food dish. It’s creamy, the potato chips add a crunch to the dish. The pasta was perfect for catching all the sauce with. Naturally the andouille brought a ton of flavor to the dish as well. You do have to eat the mac & cheese when it’s hot though or else you’ll only be able to eat a small portion before feeling full.

We weren’t paid in any way to promote Southern Living, Roger Wood, Velveeta, or Lay’s.

Take care everybody !

Two-Cheese and Ham French Loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf (1 lb.) French bread
  • ¼ cup honey mustard
  • 8 slices (¾ to 1 oz. each) Swiss cheese
  • 8 slices (¾ to 1 oz. each) Cheddar cheese
  • ¼ lb. thinly sliced cooked ham
  • ¾ cup strawberry or raspberry preserves (we used strawberry)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut out a 30 x 18-inch sheet of heavy-duty foil. Take the French bread and slice it in half horizontally. Take the honey mustard and spread it equally over the two cut sides of the bread halves. Take the bottom half and lay it down on the foil.
  2. Take the two cheeses as well as the ham and layer them evenly on the bottom half of the bread. Place the top half of the bread over the meat and cheese and wrap the whole loaf up tightly using the double-fold seals method*.
  3. Place the wrapped loaf in the oven for somewhere between 30 to 30 minutes or however long it takes for the cheese to melt and the loaf sandwich to get heated throughout.
  4. Pull the loaf out of the oven and carefully unwrap the foil so steam can escape before cutting the loaf up into 6 pieces. Serve the sandwich with the preserves acting as a dip for it.

*We don’t know what they might have meant by “double-fold seals” but this is how we did a double-fold seals:

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Serves 6

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This is a tasty sandwich ! You will need to eat it right away to fully enjoy the ooey gooey cheese and the crispiness of the bread but the flavors all together are tasty. The sweetness of the honey mustard is a nice contrast against the salty, savory flavor of the ham and cheese. It can be a messy sandwich to enjoy though so we’d recommend having some napkins or paper towels with you while eating this. We tried using the preserves but the flavor overpowered any honey mustard you could taste. For us, the idea of maybe something tangy would be more appealing of a dip to use.

We don’t know where we got this recipe from.

Take care everybody !

Chicken Pot Pie Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (we used Swanson 33% Less Sodium)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley (we used Italian parsley)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese, divided (we used 1 cup*)
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (we used breast meat)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 6 slices American cheese
  • 3/4 cup coarsely crushed buttery round crackers (we used Ritz crackers)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Look at the box your pasta came in and follow it’s directions for cooking. Drain the pasta and place it in a covered container to keep it warm.
  3. Take a 10-inch cast-iron skillet out and add the butter to it, setting the skillet over medium heat. Once the butter’s melted, add in the carrot, onion, and celery, stirring now and then for 5 minutes or until they’ve softened. Take the flour and sprinkle it over the vegetables, stirring frequently for 1 minute afterwards. Slowly whisk in the milk and broth, continuing to whisk even after you’re done pouring  until simmering starts to occur. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture looks like it’s thickened. Now whisk in the thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper, taking the skillet off the heat afterwards. Immediately add in 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese, whisking until the cheese has melted.
  4. Take a large mixing bowl and stir the pasta, chicken, peas, and sauce together in it,  spooning it back into the skillet afterwards (we just mixed everything together carefully in the skillet instead of a bowl), topping with the cheese slices before sticking the skillet into the oven.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, taking the skillet out long enough to sprinkle on the crushed crackers and the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar. Stick the skillet back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the crackers and cheese look lightly browned (10 minutes did it for us). Pull the skillet out of the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes around 10 servings.

*The ingredients list only calls for 3/4 cup but in the directions, they call for a cup’s worth so we decided to go with the 1 cup because when is extra cheese ever a bad thing?

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This is a delicious mash-up you’ll want to gobble up ! You have that wonderful creaminess you can get from a wonderful pot pie and that ooey, gooey factor from mac and cheese at the same time. It’s like having two wonderful comfort foods at the same time. ‘Cause the crackers do lose their crispiness with time, you’ll either need to eat it shortly after it’s done or have extra crackers on hand for later to still have that crispy-crunchy texture. We loved eating this dish and hope you do too !

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Swanson, Kraft, or Ritz.

Take care everybody !