Thursday, August 25, 2016

Peach Pecan Muffins - Easy & Dellicious

Today I've got a brand new recipe to share with you. It's special to me for a number of reasons. First, it's made with my favorite almond flour...Honeyville's Blanched Almond Flour that has had a place in my pantry for over 4 years now! Second, it's made with two of my favorite Georgia grown ingredients...Georgia pecans and Georgia peaches (and I just happen to live in Georgia)! Last, but not least...this recipe was the very first item to be baked in my new oven in my new house. These delicious muffins embarked on the "maiden voyage" of my new oven. A little silly, I know, but it's true!

These muffins are easy to make and can be made with either fresh, ripe juicy peaches or no sugar added canned peaches. They are lightly sweetened but can easily be made sweeter if that's how you like your muffins (simply increase the sweetener or add a few drops of stevia to boost the sweetness). They are super moist and tender. I store mine in the fridge since they are moist and because it's pretty humid here this time of year. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Check out a few photos below. To get to the recipe, please click here: Peach Pecan Muffins. Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Spicy Homestyle Chili

This evening I decided to make dinner instead of unpack boxes...and it felt SO good to be back in the kitchen again believe it or not! Since it was a little cooler today (as in upper 80s/90 degrees...LOL) I was in the mood to make a big ole pot of chili. I usually like to make chili and cook it all day long on low in the crock pot, but I settled for simmering it on the stove this evening instead. I made a modified version of my "Sweet & Spicy Chili" recipe but used all ground beef instead of a mixture of beef chunks and ground beef and made a few other tweaks as well. It turned out great! I snapped a quick photo below and included my modified recipe as well. You can make this chili as spicy or as mild as you like by adjusting the chipotle pepper, hot paprika and cayenne pepper. Enjoy!

Spicy Homestyle Chili


2 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons oil, to saute vegetables
1 cup onion, diced
2 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow or orange), diced
1 Poblano pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
5 cloves garlic, minced
   1 tablespoon chili powder
   1 teaspoon "chipotle chili powder" (or regular chili powder to reduce heat)
   1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika (or substitute sweet paprika to reduce heat)
   1 teaspoon ground coriander
   1 teaspoon cumin (I used roasted cumin)
   1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
   1 teaspoon oregano
   1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
   1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 28-oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes (including juice)
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water (more or less, depending on preferred thickness)
1 16-oz can kidney beans, drained (optional)


In a large stockpot over medium heat, add oil and saute onion, sweet bell peppers, Poblano pepper, and jalapeno peppers until almost tender; add minced garlic and cook a couple more minutes, stirring frequently (covering the pan helps speed up cooking the veggies). Remove the veggies with a slotted spoon and set aside on a platter.  

In the same pan, brown ground beef until cooked and no longer pink. Return pepper and onion mixture back to the pot. Stir in all of the spices, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock and water. Bring to a medium boil; taste to adjust seasoning, if necessary.  Cover pot and reduce heat to low, Simmer on low for approximately 1 hour (if desired, chili can be placed in a crock-pot and cooked on low for 8 - 10 hours instead of simmering on top of the stove).  

Ladle chili into bowls and top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and dollop of sour cream, if desired.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

First Breakfast in the New Kitchen -- I'M BACK!!!

Good morning! It seems like a lifetime since I've posted here. As some of you already know...I moved recently to a new home. It has been a long and arduous, not to mention HOT, process to say the least (so far we've had 70+ days above 90 degrees here when the average is only 30 days). Not exactly the perfect temperature to be moving in...and the humidity...DON'T EVEN ASK!

We are slowly getting settled into our new home. Still have lots of boxes to unpack but I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We've installed new carpet, repainted much of the house, re-done the kitchen (yes, ANOTHER kitchen remodel...the 2nd in 2 years -- am I crazy or WHAT?). We've got the last (hopefully) contractors coming later this morning and then life will hopefully return to some sense of "normal" (after I finish unpacking the last 40-50 boxes, that is). I've spent the last few months keeping my other house "showroom ready" and spotless (brutal), packing what seems like hundreds of boxes and now unpacking all of those boxes that seem to have doubled. I've not gotten more than 3 hours of sleep in a night except for ONCE in the last few months. I'm hoping to slowly re-emerge from "zombie mode" back into the human race. I've been blessed by a very understanding boss who has allowed me to juggle one million things at once which has enabled me to retain my sanity (or most of it). expecting to see more and more of me again SOON! I wanted to share a photo with you of my very first breakfast in my new kitchen. After 2 nights in a row of "yogurt" for dinner...I decided I needed some REAL FOOD this morning to get me through the day. It isn't anything fancy, and the photo was taken with my phone (sorry), but it's the maiden voyage on my new stove, so I wanted to share it with you! LOL Scrambled eggs w/ cheese and bacon...not to mention I also enjoyed the FIRST cup of coffee in my new house this morning, too. I've missed blogging more than I could have imagined but just couldn't squeeze one more thing into the short 24 hours in a day. It feels GOOD to be back. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Scrambled Omelets - Sunday Breakfast

This morning we awoke to a bright and sunny, as well as hot and muggy, morning. Before we started running errands, I decided that a big Sunday breakfast was in order. I debated whether to make omelets or scrambled eggs. Because I had a couple of beautiful red bell peppers and Vidalia onions to use, I decided to do the only logical thing...and make "scrambled omelets". LOL. Rather than make 3 separate omelets, I made one skillet of "scrambled omelets" for all to share.

I sauteed diced red bell peppers and diced Vidalia onions in a generous tablespoon of olive oil until softened and caramelized. I added a pat of butter to the skillet and then poured in 8 beaten eggs and mixed everything together with a rubber spatula. While the eggs were cooking, I diced up some of my favorite 3-Alarm Spicy Pepper Colby Jack Cheese and added it to the eggs, mixing it together as they cooked. It was the perfect combination of sweet peppers and Vidalia onions with spicy cheese. In another skillet I cooked up some bacon and reheated leftover oven roasted red potatoes in another skillet for the guys to eat. I made a batch of my quick and easy Mini Cheddar Bay Muffins to serve along with our breakfast. It was a great way to begin the day and is sure to hold us over until dinnertime. I snapped a few photos below. Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Easy Mexican Style Meatloaf - Low Carb

This evening I made my Mexican Style Meatloaf for dinner. I actually did a little bit of prep last night by sauteing half of a diced red bell pepper, a diced Poblano pepper, and a diced small Vidalia onion in a bit of olive oil until softened and the onion translucent. I put them in a small bowl and popped them in the fridge overnight so I could just mix them into my beef along with the spices when I got home from work this evening. I used my meatloaf recipe found here: Mexican Style Meatloaf and just added the diced cooked peppers and onions to give it an additional boost of flavor. You can choose to add or omit to suit your own taste. I simply mixed everything together which took about 5 minutes and then popped it into my preheated oven for a little over an hour. Note that in place of the typical egg and breadcrumbs added to traditional style meatloaf as a binder, instead I used shredded cheese as my binder. It works amazingly well and adds flavor as well. You will never miss those fillers, I promise. I snapped a few photos of tonight's meatloaf below. If you'd like to try another delicious flavor of meatloaf, be sure to check out my recipe for Greek Style Meatloaf w/ Eggplant, Spinach & Feta here: Greek Style Meatloaf. Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Oven Roasted Citrus-Butter Wild Copper River Salmon - Easy, Sustainable, Low Carb

This evening I made my favorite Wild Copper River Salmon for dinner. I picked it up at Costco, who had it for $14.99/lb this past weekend (it was $16.99/lb the weekend prior). I kept it simple and seasoned it with sea salt and pepper and put softened butter on top and then alternated fresh orange and lemon slices. I popped it into a preheated 450 degree oven and then immediately reduced the oven temp to 425 degrees and roasted it for 10-12 minutes (depending on thickness), then removed it from the oven and covered it with heavy duty foil and let it sit about 5 minutes. It turned out delicious. I served it with steamed cauli-rice (raw cauliflower grated with a box grater then briefly steamed in the microwave) tossed with butter and diced multi-colored baby tomatoes. It was a healthy, quick and delicious meal. I snapped a few photos below. If you'd like to try another delicious version of this beautiful sure to check out my Roasted Copper River Salmon w/ Dijon Cream Sauce. Enjoy!

 USA Pans

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mini Cheddar Bay Muffins - Low Carb & Grain Free

Today I've got a new recipe to share. It's a quick and ridiculously simple recipe for an absolutely delicious little bite of "cheddar heaven" made with just a few simple ingredients; predominantly cheddar cheese and Honeyville blanched almond flour! They have big cheddar flavor crammed into a tiny little package. If you like the oh so popular "cheddar bay biscuits" are going to love these little "Mini Cheddar Bay Muffins". They are sort of biscuity and muffiny all at the same time...and most definitely delicious. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Check out the photos below. To get to the recipe, please click here: Mini Cheddar Bay Muffins. Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Spaghetti & Meat Sauce w/ Grain Free Zoodles

Greetings! I decided I was way overdo for a post. I've been swamped here the past couple of weeks. There is lots going on in the GGC household recently (it's all good though, so no worries). It's about to get a bit crazier though...but it will all be worth it. Enough of my stuff for now; I'll share more later. This evening I was in the mood for "spaghetti" for dinner. I made a big pot of thick meat sauce by simply browning a couple pounds of ground beef, diced Vidalia onion, and a couple of diced zucchini together in a bit of olive oil. I opened a jar of Del Grosso's Fireworks Sauce and poured it into the pot of browned beef and veggies and simmered it for about 20 minutes or so. I added a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes to boost the heat a bit.

While the sauce simmered, I made a big pile of zoodles with my Paderno Tri-Blade Vegetable Slicer. It only took a couple of minutes to make them. I lightly salted them and wrapped them in paper towels to extract the excess moisture for about 30 minutes and then lightly sauteed them in olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, just until they were al dente. It was a simple but delicious meal. I snapped a few photos below. If you haven't already seen my post on "How to Make Non-Watery Zoodles"'s worth checking out. I just got tired of having "zoodle soup" every time I wanted I figured out a way to solve that problem. Check out my post here: How to Make Non-Watery Zoodles. Check back tomorrow for my NEW RECIPE debut. Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Apple Smoked Chipotle Orange-Lime Salmon - Wild Copper River & Zucchini Parmesan Bake

This evening I prepared Copper River Salmon again (I've been on a binge recently eating for both lunch and dinner). We grilled it on the Weber Jumbo Joe charcoal grill with chunks of apple wood on top of the hot coals. Apple wood produces a more mild flavored smoky flavor than the mesquite chips we've been using. I seasoned the salmon lightly with McCormicks Chipotle & Roasted Garlic seasoning, topped it with pats of Kerrygold butter, and then with alternating slices of orange and lime. I cooked it in a foil pouch left open on top so it would absorb the apple wood smoke flavor. We grilled it for about 12 minutes. It turned out good; the apple wood was much more delicate flavored than the mesquite. I've been eating leftover salmon cold for lunch and I noticed that the smokey flavor intensifies overnight and it's really, really good cold the next day.

For our side dish, I made an easy Zucchini Parmesan Bake. I sauteed diced Vidalia onion, zucchini, and fresh diced baby tomatoes in a skillet and then transferred it to a shallow casserole dish, topped it with Parmesan cheese and ran it under a broiler for about 5 minutes until browned. It was simple, fresh and delicious. I snapped a few photos below as well as included the easy recipe for the Zucchini Parmesan Bake. Enjoy!

Ready for the grill

Zucchini Parmesan Bake


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Vidalia onion, diced
4 medium zucchini, diced
1 cup diced grape or cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add zucchini and continue cooking, stirring frequently until softened. Stir in diced tomatoes and cook until most of the juices have cooked off.

Transfer mixture to a greased shallow 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. Top with Parmesan cheese; broil under a hot broiler for about 5 minutes or until browned.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Poached Copper River Salmon w/ Lemon, Butter & White Wine Sauce

This evening I made Copper River Salmon for dinner (yes, again...LOL). I poached it this time and kept it extremely simple. Rather than poach it in the oven or on to stove top, I wrapped it tightly in an aluminum foil pouch with butter, white wine and lemon slices, seasoned only with salt and pepper. I heated the gas grill to 500 degrees and then placed it on top of the gas burner so that the burner was directly underneath the entire length of the fillet and cooked it about 7 minutes (the time would vary depending on the thickness of your fillet). I removed it from the grill and kept the packet tightly closed for another 5 minutes to complete cooking. If you prefer your salmon slightly under cooked, you can serve it immediately. It was tender, moist and delicious and the delicate salmon flavor was the star of the show. I made my Yellow Cheddar Squash Casserole to go alongside the salmon. It was the perfect meal featuring two of my absolute summertime favorites. I snapped a few photos below and included the easy recipe for the poached salmon. Poaching it on the grill keeps the heat and any fish smell outside and leaves your oven available to bake the squash casserole in. To get to the recipe for the squash casserole, click here: Yellow Cheddar Squash Casserole. Enjoy!

#copperriversalmon #knowyourfisherman #copperriverwild #100daysofsalmon #soundsalmon

Poached Copper River Salmon w/ Lemon, Butter & White Wine Sauce


1 pound fresh wild Copper River Salmon fillet
1 large lemon, thinly sliced
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 to 5 pieces
2 tablespoons white wine


Preheat gas grill to 500 degrees F (or oven to 450 degrees F). Tear a large sheet of heavy duty foil long enough to extend about 4 inches beyond each end of the fillet

Place a few lemon slices (about 3) in center of foil to go underneath salmon fillet. Place salmon, skin side down, on top of lemon slices in center of foil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with pieces of butter. Crimp ends of foil tightly. Form a packet around sides of fillet. Pour white wine over top of salmon fillet and crimp the packet tightly closed, leaving space around the fillet to allow it to steam as it cooks. Place packet lengthwise along center of grill burner (so it runs the length of the burner). Cover grill and cook approximately 5 to 8 minutes, depending on thickness of fillet. Remove packet from grill and allow to continue cooking off the heat for about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon, butter, wine sauce spooned over top.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Grilled Mesquite Burgers w/ Bacon Vidalia & Tomato Jam

This evening I made grilled mesquite burgers and my Easy Coleslaw for dinner. We cooked the burgers on the charcoal grill with mesquite wood chips to give them that nice smoky flavor. I seasoned them on one side with McCormicks Spicy Montreal Steak Seasoning and then added a splash of Worcestershire sauce to the other side when we flipped them. We cooked them about 5 to 6 minutes per side. What made these burgers extra super duper special and unbelievably delicious was my amazing and easy to make Bacon Vidalia & Tomato Jam. It pushed these burgers over the edge.

I topped the mesquite burgers with sliced spicy Three Alarm Colby Jack Cheese (by Great Midwest) and let it melt a bit, then topped them with a generous dollop of BVT (Bacon Vidalia & Tomato) Jam. It made these burgers crazy good. The jam is so easy to prepare and worth every second that it takes to make it. It has half of a diced Vidalia onion, 6 diced strips of bacon that are cooked until the onions are caramelized and softened and the bacon is cooked. Once the bacon and onions were caramelized and sticky, I tossed in a generous heaped cup of diced multi-colored baby tomatoes (red, yellow, orange, green and dark red) and cooked them down until the liquid and juices had evaporated and it became a thick and rich jam. I stirred in a splash of apple cider vinegar for a little pop. It was absolutely AMAZING on top of the burgers. It's a must try for sure...who needs condiments like ketchup and mustard when you can have BVT Jam instead. I snapped a few photos below and included the easy peasy recipe for the jam. Enjoy!

Bacon Vidalia Tomato Jam


1/2 Vidalia onion, diced (or other sweet onion)
6 strips bacon, diced
1 to 1-1/4 cups diced fresh grape, cherry or baby tomatoes
1/2 to 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Pinch sea salt, optional


In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, add onions and bacon. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until bacon is cooked and onions are caramelized, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and continue cooking until juices have cooked off and mixture is thickened. Stir in apple cider vinegar and salt, if desired.