Baseball Park Style Candied Cashews

Unfortunately we were not able to get out to a ballgame this year. It is one of those things we love to do as a family. Everything from the tailgate, walking into the stadium, and enjoying the game (and more food). If there is one thing my wife loves it is the candied style nuts that they serve. The smell of them cooking is intoxicating, and they are as good to eat as they are to smell. It’s one of those things we typically buy together when we go. So with that being said, and a bit disappointed that we were not able to get to a game this year, I was not going to let that stop me from coming up with a batch of these baseball park style candied nuts for my wife and kids to enjoy.

Baseball Park Style Candied Nuts Recipe
Baseball Park Style Candied Nuts Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of whole cashews
  • 1 whole egg white, beaten
  • 1 tsp ice cold water
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • cooking spray, or parchment paper

The trick to getting that candied effect on the nuts is the egg white. It adds just the awesome crunch and serves as the glue for the seasoning.

Baseball Park Style Candied Nuts Recipe
Baseball Park Style Candied Nuts Recipe

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the egg white and water in a bowl until it is nice and frothy.

Add the nuts to the bowl, along with the spices, and mix very well.

Baseball Park Style Candied Nuts Recipe
Baseball Park Style Candied Nuts Recipe

Lay the nuts evenly on the baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until everything begins to caramelize and get nice and toasted. Once that is achieved, remove from the oven, and slide those nuts into a serving bowl. Let cool for about 5 minutes (if you can resist), and dig in.

You want to talk about not only a great ballpark snack, but these nuts are perfect this time of year, especially around the holidays! Hope you enjoy and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Chocolate Cake Waffles

Do you know that time when you wake up and you immediately think of how much you love your kids? Yeah, me to. Granted parenting can be a very difficult thing in anyone’s life, but getting those ‘I love you Dad’ on a daily basis, especially, and personally nowadays it means everything to me. I love my kids and it is probably one of the reasons I cook and come up with recipes to hopefully continue to build memories and get them thinking about family, food, and all kinds of different cuisine. I mean what kid doesn’t love Thai/Lao larb, right? I know mine do.

My kids love breakfast, and I know how they roll. Chocolate chip whatever is how they roll. Me? I am not a fan of the sweet breakfast, but if you throw in a breakfast hash, some toast, and an easy egg, well then I am all in. But it is about them, and so are these super easy to make chocolate cake waffles.

Chocolate Cake Waffles Recipe
Chocolate Cake Waffles Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Waffle iron
  • cooking spray
  • 1 box of your favorite cake mix
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup of water

It doesn’t get any easier than this. Read the back of your cake mix box if you want and take if from there. I go chocolate because that’s how my kids roll, but think of the endless amounts of waffles you could be making!

Heat your waffle iron. During this time mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, and water, and make into a smooth batter.

Chocolate Cake Waffles Ingredients
Chocolate Cake Waffles Ingredients

Once your iron is heated, lightly coat it with cooking spray.

Ladle in some of the cake mix to fill into the waffle iron. Close, flip, and cook until your waffle iron tells you so. The waffles should easily be removed from the iron. Repeat and get ready to see smiles on your kids faces.  The result? No clue, but what I can tell you is they LOVED them. Enjoy!

Loaded Steakhouse Potato Soup

There is something about this time of year I love, and no it is not all the hustle and bustle at work or trying to get everything completed before the holidays. It’s actually a bowl of soup. Yep, pretty dang simple over here. I will have to admit however that my appetite or at least the ‘crave’ component is not what it was in the past. I blame cancer for that, but it is what it is. When I do get that urge though, I could not be more happy than with a bowl of soup. This is one of those recipes, the loaded steakhouse potato soup. Why steakhouse? When I think steak house, or supper club for those of us in Wisconsin, I think of not only a great steak, but that baked potato, those mushrooms, bacon wrapped whatever, and so I decided to make this style of soup for my daughter, only because she loves mushrooms and I wanted to bring that meatiness to the soup without the meat. Well, there’s bacon, but c’mon….

Loaded Steakhouse Potato Soup Recipe
Loaded Steakhouse Potato Soup Recipe

This has everything I love about a visit to a supper club, plus a great use of kale from my last harvest.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 6 russet potatoes, cleaned
  • 16 oz fresh cremini mushrooms, cleaned, and quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 12 slices of your favorite bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of kale, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 7 cups of milk
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • water
  • 1 cup stock, optional

Now the only two choices you have at this time is do I leave the skin on, or remove the skin from the potatoes or do I boil or roast them? I’ll leave that to you. Me, I’m skin on and boil. The rest of the family is skin off. I’m out numbered so I leave one with the skin on.

Start by adding the potatoes to large pot filled with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook just until slightly tender, about 12-18 minutes. Once cooked, strain, cool, then cut into bite sized pieces. The potato will break down a bit to thicken the soup when you are ready to rock and roll.

During this time, cook the bacon. If you know me, I’m a fan of Nueske’s. Best stuff out there in my opinion. Once cooked, reserve the bacon fat, but remove the bacon and coarsely chop it.

Loaded Steakhouse Potato Soup Recipe Ingredients
Loaded Steakhouse Potato Soup Recipe Ingredients

If that was not enough for you, get another pan on the stove on medium heat, add a bit of that bacon fat, then toss in the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and get them nice and caramelized. There’s something about caramelized mushrooms if you know what I’m saying. Once those begin to caramelize, toss in the garlic, and kale. Give that a good toss, and remove from the heat.

SOUP ON!

Get your stock or soup pot on the stove on medium heat. Add all that bacon fat, then stir in the flour. Cook the flour and continue to stir for about 3-5 minutes, if that. You just want to cook the rawness from that flour.

Pour in the milk, continue to stir so that you break up the clumps of flour. This is your base for the soup. This will take about 10-12 minutes or so. You will see it get to a thickening state. If you want it thinner, add a bit of stock (optional).

Now add in your potatoes, and stir. Next add in the mushroom and kale mixture and give another good stir. Reduce to a simmer.

Now you are ready to serve. Ladle the soup into your bowls. garnish with cheese and bacon and dig in! This soup screams everything. Actually everyone who ate it was quiet (which is always a good thing)! You get everything comforting from the creaminess and the potato, then the crisp bacon pieces and awesome cheese note. Then what? KALE? Heck yeah, kale brings this over the top, and makes your feel good about yourself after that bowl (or two) of soup.

It’s a winning soup. It is the Loaded Steakhouse Potato Soup. Stay warm my friends.

 

Eggplant Parmesan

Unfortunately our local farmers market season has ended and for us Wisconsinites that means only one thing. Winter is on its way. It’s actually snowing out while I type this and looking out of the windows yields a heavy, thick snowfall. It’s pretty for about 2 minutes, then well I guess I’m over it. But reflecting on the market days, I always try to buy an array of things from various farmers. Eggplant was one of those items this season. I’ll be up front and honest, I’m not not a fan of eggplant and never really have been, but I keep trying, much like I will keep trying beets (yes, not a fan). When I brought them home, I immediately thought of making baba ghanoush (that I am a fan of), but then I thought I would go with an eggplant parmesan and see how my kids would like it. They love lasagna so maybe if I tried to disguise it as a lasagna on a meatless Monday, how would they react?

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

It was not actually all meatless, as I used about a 1/4 pound of ground meat just to get the kids thinking it was possibly what they thought it was. It worked out just fine.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole, small eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 28 oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 cups of panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 lb ground beef, cooked and fat drained

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.

Season your eggs and breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.

Take each eggplant round and swipe it through eggs, then the breadcrumbs, then place on a baking sheet. Repeat with all eggplant. Drizzle the tops with olive oil.

Place the baking sheet into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until the eggplant’s coating is a nice golden brown.

Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients
Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients

Next, add about 1 cup of marinara to the bottom of a casserole or lasagna dish. Layer in half of the eggplant, top with half of the mozzarella cheese, layer with the remaining eggplant, then more cheese, then top with the ground meat, and finish with more marinara and all of the remaining cheese.

Place into the oven, uncovered, and cook for about another 25 minutes or until the cheese and sauce is nice and bubbly. Remove and let it cool for about 10 minutes before slicing into it.

The result? Well, eggplant parmesan. Were my kids a fan? Not really! Was I? Not really, but it was nice knowing I wasn’t indulging in a mound of meat and potatoes. It was easy, clean, and well very good if you are into that type of stuff. Hope you enjoy!