Review: King Arthur Flour Buttermilk Pancakes

Recipe Link: King Arthur Flour Buttermilk Pancakes

Time: 45 minutes, includes 15 minute rest time

Ease: Simple

Review: Carb haters may skip this post (but if you don’t….I won’t tell). Hey, we are living in weird times if you need a pancake, who am I to judge??

If you think you would never be able to make pancakes without a mix, this recipe will change your mind. It was easy to make and they were delicious! The directions are clear and the recipe turns out the way it was described. I recommend getting all of your ingredients prior to cooking and measure them out and have them ready to go – mise en place.

I use a non-stick electric griddle for pancakes, but I’m not a big fan of Teflon because of the risk of leaching “forever chemicals”, PFAS into the food. I use this one non-stick item for a few things and that’s it.

If you are using a non-stick pan make sure to keep the temperature around 350F, the coating begins to deteriorate as it reaches 500F. You are likely to never reach this temperature, but sometimes we get distracted and leave a pan on the eye (burner) and allow it to overheat. Secondarily, if your oil begins to smoke it releases toxic fumes and free radicals which can be damaging to your health, so always keep an eye on your pan.

If I use a regular frying pan and make them on the stove, the first pancake is always the sacrifice to the pancake god, burnt on the alter of Kitchenaid. The blessing of perfect pancakes is only complete once the burnt offering is consumed by the great an might (old and sweet) Sasha Dog (or whatever your pet is named). If you burn the first one…or two, don’t worry, the rest will be perfect. As in life, adjust the heat and keep going.

Once you are comfortable with the recipe as written, try adding things like rolled oats, nuts, berries, other flours, extracts, etc. and experiment with flavor.

This morning I altered the recipe. For the 2 cups of all purpose flour I used 1 cup all purpose flour, 3/4 cup Spelt flour, and 1/4 cup Kamut flour. The recipe will be just as delicious with regular all purpose flour.

Tip: If you don’t have buttermilk use 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice per cup of milk. Mix well and let stand 5-10 minutes to thicken. Yogurt or Sourcream may also be used as a substitution.

And just so we don’t just pick on carb haters; fat haters you should know we poured yummy hot butter all over the finished pancakes and they were great! Oh and sugar haters, these are best with 100 pure maple syrup (still a sugar). Food haters unite!!! Join the eat real food revolution and drop your hate!!! #eatrealfood


To learn more about the dangers of PFAS read this great blog post by my awesome hubs. PFAS, What’s All the Fuss About.

LHi, I’m Lisa and I’m an Independent Shaklee Distributor and Certified Health Coach. My absolute joy is partnering with people to realize their own self value and learn to live healthier lives. I believe that as we love ourselves we are loving to ourselves and from there we are more able to eat well, exercise, and take care of our physical selves. It is my goal to touch the lives of others and help people live healthier lives longer!! Through Shaklee I have an excellent partner that shares my passions of environment and health and I look forward to sharing that with you. 

Visit my other websites:

Yielding Action Health Coaching

Environmental Friendly Products: Shaklee

Feel free to leave your comments or reach out to me at

What’s for Dinner? Mini Masala Meatballs, Veggie Pizza (sorta), and cheese and Onion Pasties

Summer is almost over and for Bringing Back Dinner and many of you this means a return to routine. It has been fun, but I kind of like the predictability of September – May.  Starting in September we will get back to regular blog posts and start planning those hearty, warm meals of fall.  I’d love to hear from some of you, what is your favorite fall dish?  What is that dish that signifies the start of cool weather?  Send me the recipe and a link to share and I will be glad to review it.  Post to the comments section below.

This week’s pictures are taken using Oggl an app available for Iphone and Windows phones with customizable filters.


Mini Masala Meatballs – Trader Joe’s

masala meatballs

Time: 30 – 45 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  This recipes would be great football food!  It is sort of a sweet and sour meets Indian.  You can buy frozen meatballs for this, but I made my own.  I used ground beef and added curry, zaatar seasoning, an egg and some breadcrumbs.  rolled into small meatballs and baked at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  For the rest of the recipe click the title link.

My family liked this and I served it with rice.  It is nice to try different flavors sometimes and it doesn’t have to be hard.


Veggie Pizza (sorta) – Meatless Monday (almost)

veg pizza 2

Time: 45 Minutes

Ease: Simple to Moderate based on whether or not you make your own crust.  I don’t.

Review: This was my Meatless Monday dish.  I use the raw pizza dough already prepared from my grocery.  Lowes and Harris Teeter sell them in the bakery section.

Spread and even layer of prepared spaghetti sauce over the crust, top with chopped broccoli, slices of tomato, fresh mozzarella cut into slices, and caramelized onions; use at least 1 whole onion.  Then top with cheese.  To caramelize the onion follow the link here.  It really adds extra flavor.

I was doing great until this point, and then well there was this bacon ya see.  I mean…it’s bacon!  Soooo, I crumbled bacon all over the top of the pizza. To be honest, I blew Meatless Monday.  However,  It was a perfectly yummy veggi pizza before I defiled (blessed) it with bacon.  While I feel certain it will make a wonderful Meatless Monday dish for you, I felt  I must come clean and tell you about the bacon.  Feel free to transgress.


Cheese and Onion Pasties – Lavender and Lovage

pasties 2

Time: 55 Minutes

Ease: Moderate

Review: I love pasties and I’m always trying to find a yummy recipe that tastes like the pasties at the pasty stand in Windsor UK.  This is good, but not quite it.  We enjoyed these and I will probably make them again, but in the end we felt they could have had a little more flavor to them.  That said it was a very nice comfort food flavor, I mean really it is hard to go terribly wrong with potato, cheese and onion.  Do not be dissuaded and give it a try.


I hope you have had a great summer and thank you for your patience with the summertime inconsistencies of Bringing Back Dinner.  I hope to be back to normal by September as we stop traveling and settle into a glorious fall!


Reviews: Giada, Pampered Chef, Ellie Krieger & Fresh Market

merry christmas

I hope you have been enjoying this new blog, I’d love to have your feedback.  What would you like to see?  What would make it easier for you to use? Ideas?  I may not take every suggestion, but will take them all into consideration.

This has been an adventure for me, one I am completely loving!  I thought, “hmmm, I’ll just write a little blog” and found there is a lot more to it than that.  I wrote about it in another blog I have called Never Thought I’d Blog: Cultivating Thoughts; Yielding Action, feel free to check it out.

This week’s Reviews:

Giada:Grilled Lamb Chops with Grilled Tuna Steaks by Ina Garten

Pampered Chef: Family Burrito Bake

Ellie Krieger: Oven Fried Chicken

Fresh Market: Curried Sweet Potato and Pear Soup

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan 4-5 meals (or pick some meals from here)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy

The Meals:

Giada: Grilled Lamb Chops with Grilled Tuna Steaks by Ina Garten
lamb & fish

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: We visited Wales in April and I discovered that my family really likes lamb.  I had no idea.  This dish was very good and simple.  I added Tuna steaks because the meat was small and it seemed like a good combo.  Both were very good.

Tip: Look for the meat and fish on sale.  I found the lamb on sale, but in small pieces which made it a nice combo dish.

Pampered Chef: Family Burrito Bakeburrito bake

Time: 30 minutes in the microwave  1 hour in the oven

Ease: Simple

Review: I am a huge fan of Pampered Chef products and I enjoy the recipes because they are quick and often look like you put much more time into them than you actually did.  My family liked this meal and it was ready in minutes.

Tip: You can make this in any casserole dish and do not need the Deep Dish Baker by Pampered Chef.  Although it is a nice thing to have.  just make sure you have room to layer.

Ellie Krieger: Oven Fried Chickenchicken tenders

Time: 30-45 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  This is a family favorite.  We will never buy store bought chicken nuggets or tenders again.  It is fresh and healthy and just plain good.

Tip: I alter this to make it in to nuggets or tenders rather than use the bone in chicken thighs.  The basic recipe works with any type of chicken I’ve tried.

Fresh Market: Curried Sweet Potato and Pear Soup
sweet potato pear soup

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  Wow, this was so simple and so good.  Everyone enjoyed it even though it has neither cheese nor cream in it! But you would never know.  We served it with Goat cheese on toasted bread instead of Roquefort Cheese as suggested. Ok-there still must be cheese somewhere!

Tip: You can use chicken broth in place of wine if you prefer

With the holiday season in full swing life is pretty crazy and I caved, don’t feel bad if you have to sometimes too.  I bought frozen lasagna one night, but when you have been eating nice fresh, homemade meals frozen just can’t compare and they are loaded with extra sodium and preservatives.  But sometimes….

Restaurant Review: Josephine’s Bistro Greensboro, NC

We had a lovely date night this week and visited one of our favorite restaurants, Josephine’s Bistro.  If you get the chance to go here you should!  The food has been consistently good.  I find most places are too heavy on the salt, but Josephine s has a delicate hand with seasoning allowing you to experience the most from the flavors.  The wait staff is helpful and courteous and they have a great wine selection.

Have a wonderful Christmas week!

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones I Have created.  Thank you.

Relax, Just Enjoy Each Other and let the Holiday Season Begin.

What my House looks like! Titled: When Elves vomit (ok Vomit isn’t a great word for a food blog, but really…look at that mess!  But we are having fun!Photo 6It is easy to become frantic at the holidays.  I know I go crazy trying to organize everything, keep the house clean, and have food on hand for the unexpected holiday guest. Then I have to stop myself and remember it is all about the people.  Relax, Just enjoy each other.  Stop in the madness and let the holiday season begin. While you’re at it take some advice from Robert Frost:

A Time to Talk: taken from

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan (or pick some meals from here)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy

The Meals:

Bacon, Pineapple & Spinach Pizza

Photo 2(1)

Time: 30 -45 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: We had birthday number three this week and the request was simply “As long as it has lots of bacon and cheese…”.  So, my husband and I bounced around some ideas, I asked for help from friends and FoodieChats, via twitter, and received some great ideas.  There is one foodiechat recommendation that my husband is begging for me to make, so expect to see Poblano stuffed peppers with cheese and wrapped in bacon from @jeffriessunni at some point.  He is so excited.

I said, offhandedly, what about bacon pizza with something like pineapple and didn’t think about it again until my husband calls me from work and says “oh, I told him you were going to make pizza with bacon and pineapple and he thought it was awesome”. Ok, uhhh well. I didn’t actually know what I was going to do, but the results were great and the birthday boy was happy.

Pizza crust (I used pre-made crust from my grocery in the deli section)

Alfredo sauce

Mozzarella and Gouda cheeses

bacon, cooked and crumbled

caramelized onions (if you caramelize the onions on this day it will bump you time up to allow for good caramelization of the onions)

spinach (fresh or frozen)

pineapple bits

I made three pizzas, you will adjust the amounts based on what looks good and works for your table.  I find it is easier to just put things on the pizza until it looks right and I rarely measure.  Top your crust with a few spoonfuls of Alfredo sauce; just enough to cover, not make it saucy.  Then layer the rest of the pizza with chopped caramelized onions, crumble the bacon and cover pizza, add fresh or frozen spinach on top-amounts to taste, then add bits of pineapple across the spinach.  Top with a blend of mozzarella and Gouda and bake per the instructions of your crust.  Approximately 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Tip: Many grocery stores sell the dough they use to make in-house pizzas and it is a quick, but tasty option.

Grape Leaf Wrapped Salmon : Green Valley Grill, Greensboro NC
fish gvg

Fish, quick

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Simple to moderate

Review:  First I’d like to say that the Green Valley Grill is one of my favorite restaurants.  It has wonderful food and you feel like you have escaped just for a while.  If you are ever in Greensboro, go!

I made this without the grape leaves this time, which does take away a bit from the dish, but still yummy.  It is easy and quick, but elegant.  I served it with creamy polenta and steamed green beans.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Corn Hashbeans and corn

Vegetarian, quick, Healthy

Time: 35 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: There are a few meals I pull out when I want something quick and tasty and know everyone will like it and this is one of them.  It is hearty and healthy!  This week I was out of black beans, but didn’t know it until I started cooking-someone didn’t follow her grocery list, so I used pinto beans instead and served it with rice.  It was still tasty, but if you have it, I recommend using the black beans.

Just for Fun: Grapefruit BruleePhoto 5

This time of year it is especially fun to play with your food!  If I could recommend a useful, but totally fun kitchen tool it would be a torch! And yes, I was tempted to say “Mwahh haa haa”.  A torch can be used for so many things, like browning the top of a casserole, or crystalizing sugar on a brulee, or flambes!  It is just a great tool.  This week we used our torch to brulee the sugar on top of grapefruit.  So yummy!

I know I only put three meals out for review this week, but this week we were invited to holiday gatherings at other peoples homes where we enjoyed great food and great company.  It is what it is all about: Relax, just enjoy each other and let the the holiday season begin!

Feel free to suggest a recipe you would like to see reviewed.  Just use the contact me above and send me the link and I will see what I can do.

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones I Have created.  Thank you.

Pasta, Leftover Turkey Potpie & Pork Loin Double Duty

pasta cameraThanksgiving week was a crazy week!  A wonderful week, but crazy just the same.  We had so much fun celebrating birthdays and Thanksgiving, seeing friends and family and decking the halls! So this past week we decided to keep it simple.  Brought out the crockpot, did 30 minute meals and even used paper plates one night. But, we still enjoyed each other and that is the point.

Just because dinner is simple doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice freshness or taste.  Don’t grab a mix or pre-packaged dinner;  Fresh, real meals are within reach. Enjoy!

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan (or pick some meals from here)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy

The Meals:

Pasta buffetpasta bar

Time: 30 minutes, allow extra time if you heat each person’s individually

Ease: Simple

Review:  Sometimes simple can be pretty fun, even fancy!  We like to make pasta and cook squash, zucchini, peppers and onions, sausage (try different types) and mushrooms individually and then place each in their own bowl – buffet style.  Then have a dish of alfredo sauce and one of marinara sauce and you are set.  You have two choices at this point 1. have everything warm and ready to serve at the same time or 2. let people choose the items they would like and have one pan for red sauce and one for white ready on the stove or grill, then toss in their ingredients and heat together each plate separately.   Similar to what you see served at a catered meal.  It is fun and takes very little time.  So the next time you have that last minute dinner party just throw together this simple buffet, add in a salad and sit down and enjoy your guests.

Leftover Turkey Potpie:  The Pioneer Woman  Chef:  Ree Drummandbaking potpie

Photo 14Time: 1 hour

Ease: Simple to moderate (depends on whether you use a store bought crust or make it yourself)

Review:  Wow, The Pioneer Woman is awesome!  My husband liked this so much he said we should do it every year.  This recipe was easy to follow and simple to make (and yes I used a store bought, roll out crust.  But  hey,  she said she wouldn’t judge).  Our turkey this year had sweet Italian sausage under the skin and this was a nice added flavor to our potpie.

Apricot Chiptle-Glazed Pork Tenderloin:  PBS Food  Chef: Jenna Weber
Photo 22Photo 21

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  This dish could not have been any more simple: make the glaze, brush it on, and broil.  Voila!  Do not be afraid of the broiler, I know I have been in the past.  This recipe worked exactly like it said it would.  Just don’t put the meat too close, I used the second groove in my oven and it came out perfectly.

Tip:  Often pork loins come with 2 pieces.  Depending on the size of your group, try cooking one and saving the other one for the next night’s dish: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos

Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos  Chef: Kelly SenyeiPhoto 28

Time: 6-8 hours in the slow cooker and 15 minutes when you get home.

Ease: Simple

Review: My family loves tacos, tacos of any kind and this taco did not disappoint.  It was juicy and full of flavor and was ready within minutes of walking in the door.  Can’t beat that!

Tip:  I used a pork loin because I had one left from the day before.

Hotdogs, I know-but I love them so.

P1080965Ok, I know hotdogs are not exactly fresh or wholesome, but I love them.  I mean I really love them, especially with slaw. You know coleslaw-white, mayo based coleslaw.  I even like hotdogs from convenience stores. I like them broiled, grilled, boiled, and on the rotator at the store.  They are quick and yummy and I won’t judge you for them if you don’t judge me.

I hope you enjoy this week’s meals.  Remember that you can have meals in minutes without sacrificing freshness, wholesomeness and taste. OK-minus hotdog night, but come on…It’s a hotdog, everybody loves a good hotdog from time to time.

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones I Have created.  Thank you.

Birthdays, Thanksgiving and Decking the Halls: Food, Food, Food!

birthday cake 2Thanksgiving is a time when we often stop and reflect on the things we are, well, thankful for and even if you don’t post something to facebook everyday, make scrapbooks or make a big production about it we still find ourselves reflecting on the more lovely things in our lives, at least for just a moment.  It is a good exercise and one we should consider practicing more than once a year.

I am thankful for people to share life with, people to celebrate and celebrate with and for being able to make someplace for people to feel at home.  It was an awesome week.

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan (or pick some meals from here)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy

The Meals:

Provencal Vegetable Soup: Food Network  Chef: Ina Garten

provencial vegitable soup

Time: 1 1/2 hours

Ease: Simple

Review: Soups are warm and comforting by nature, but this soup is especially comforting.  It is the kind of soup you eat while curled up in front of a fire with your favorite blanket.  Do not let the pistou scare you, it is an additional step, but makes all the difference in the flavor.  I believe in you, I promise even with this added step I still call it simple.

Tip: Saffron can be expensive and sometimes we just have to watch the budget.  Try the Hispanic section of your grocery store for a more affordable option, it still adds nice flavor and color.

Glazed Asian Chicken Thighs:  All

asian chicken 3


stir fry

Time: 1 1/2 hours

Ease: Simple

Review:  I try to make chicken at least once a week and learned something this week; my family prefers dark meat, hmm I think I should have know this already.  They loved this dish! It was easy to prepare and the flavors were nice with a little heat, but not so much as to scare off my heat sensitive people.  Try experimenting with your own stir fry  as side dishes.  For this one I added Ginger, thai chili paste, reduced sodium soy sauce, and a little pepper.  Just enough flavor without taking away from the fresh, crisp, vegetables.  Yum!

Sliders/ Mini Man Burgers  Food Network    Chef: Alton Brown

Ooops, we ate them too quickly!


Time: 15 minutes

Ease: Simple!

Review:  These burgers were so good, that we all ate them so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance to take a picture! What you see above is the review: gone, good, and quick! I think you’ll like them; clearly we did!

Thanksgiving Day and Birthday Celebration #1:
thanksgiving day

  • Turkey with sweet Italian sausage, sage, parsley and breadcrumbs stuffed under the skin and apple, onion, sage and lemon in the cavity.  Brushed with olive oil.  I used Food and Wine Magazine as a guide and adapted to what I thought we would like.
  • Chantilly Potatoes with a Parmesan Crust
  • Broccoli Salad
  • Cranberry Salad:  My husband made this with orange jello, lemon jello, red wine and nuts.  It was great.
  • Rolls
  • Chocolate Truffle Cake ( we didn’t do the eggs) with Whipped Ganache and poured Ganache: Birthday Cake for the birthday boy

It was a wonderful day celebrating, enjoying family, and just hanging out.

Chili and Birthday Celebration #2chili & Spoons green

Time: 2 hours

Ease: Simple

Review: I have made this recipe for years and years and everyone loves it!  The go to chili recipe.

This recipe uses a jar of spaghetti sauce and you might think “what!! no way!” but trust me it is great.  No one would ever guess.

Tip: Adapt this recipe to suit your family.  We omit green peppers, sometimes, and always omit corn just because we aren’t fans.  I like this slow cooked to develop a lot of flavor.

And Aunt Lacie‘s Carrot Cake for the birthday girl.

Apple Sausage Stuffing Bites  For Decking the Hallsapple sausage stuffing bites

We finished the week by decorating for Christmas.  Each year we invite a bunch of people over and have apple cider, coffee, lots of food, and decorate.  We are loud, silly, and have so much fun!

This year’s feast included some of the following items, prepared by me and my friends:

tomoato cheese sandwich bites

Now, it is time to put the house back together and start fresh for another week.  Remember to take a dinner time breather, relax and relate.

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones I Have created.  Thank you.

Sandwiches, Soup, Haluski, and Baked Potatoes: Keeping it Simple

Baked Potato Bar

We make dinner (meals) for more than just keeping people fed it is about friendship, conversation, connection and relationship. As you practice these types of meals you will come to expect them and enjoy creating them.  Do you ever think “I miss you” about the people you see every day?  I do.  It is usually because I was too busy to stop and connect, but bringing back dinner into our lives gives us just a moment to learn about each other and remember each other.  I love it.

Some weeks life is busy, but if we are intentional we can create the one calm place in the craziness of life with a nice meal, albeit simple meal.  This week’s menu is nice and easy. I hope you enjoy it!

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan (or pick some meals from here)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip (unless you are one of my European friends with your tiny little refrigerators – adapt as needed)

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy.  I say Dinner, but any meal will be fine.  Just try to find a time to relax and enjoy each others company over a meal.

The Meals:

Baked Potato and Salad Barbaked potato

Time: 30-1 hour I prefer oven baked potatoes rolled in olive oil and kosher salt with pepper, but sometimes we just don’t have the time and though a master chef would probably cringe, just toss them in the microwave if you are short on time.

Ease: simple

Review: This is a fun thing to do with a group of people.  This week I had nine ladies over for “ladies night out” and I baked potatoes, one girlfriend brought lettuce and everyone else brought toppings.  We had a great (loud) laughter (loud) filled (loud) night.  So, fun. Oh, and we were loud!  Ten ladies laughing and talking and eating-it was great.  We learned about each other and relaxed together.  Hmmm, I think we’re getting it.

Topping Ideas:

Cheese, broccoli, raisins, Craisins, sunflower seeds, mandarin orange slices, salsa, sour cream, butter, croutons, dressings…. The list goes on.  You can go wild with this.

pmleftover potato slicesWhat to do with the leftover baked potatoes? Try slicing them cold and pan frying them until golden brown.  They can be eaten plain or you can top them with cheese, bacon, and sourcream for a baked potato hors d’oevre.

Make soup

Twice baked potatoes: Scoop out the insides and mash with milk or cream and butter, then there are endless options.  Add salsa and cheese with green onions or jalapenos and top with cheese. Horseradish and chives and try topping with Swiss.  Don’t be afraid to experiment, you might start to hope you have always have leftover baked potatoes.

Tupelo Honey’s Chicken and Havarti Sandwich: Adapted from Tupelo Honey Cookbook  (Tupelo Honey  Asheville, NC)tupelo honey chicken sandwiches


1-2 Boneless Chicken breasts

1 cup Marinade: 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice, 2/3 cup olive oil, 2/3 cup soy sauce, 4 cloves garlic finely chopped, 2 Tbsp finely minced fresh ginger.

Sliced Havarti cheese


Cranberry Mayo: equal parts mayo and whole cranberry sauce

Romaine Lettuce

Sourdough Bread

I found that thinly slicing the chicken lengthwise into layers made for an easier sandwich.  Start at one tip of the breast and gently slice to the other end in a thin layer.  You should get several slices out of each breast (I used 2 for 4 people).  Once sliced place in the marinade and refrigerate overnight. Cook chicken in a skillet or griddle until done, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Place cheese on top of chicken at the end to let it melt.  Lightly butter bread (they recommended sourdough, but we found it fell apart easily and may try caibatta next time) and grill each face.  Remove from grill and assemble sandwiches by sliding chicken and cheese onto bread and top with lettuce and cranberry mayo.

Time: 30 minutes plus overnight marinade, 45 if roasting potatoes

Ease: Simple

Review:  First off, if you ever get to eat in Asheville, NC you will be in for a treat.  Everywhere I have ever eaten was superb.  This Recipe was from a small restaurant called Tupelo Honey, it had a fun atmosphere and great food.  Second, don’t feel like sandwiches can’t be dinner.  This sandwich was a nice warm and hearty sandwich and felt like a full meal.  I served it with Roasted potatoes.

roasted potatoesRoasted Potatoes: Start with olive oil and salt and pepper and then go wherever you imagination takes you.  I have added things like bbq sauce, dijon mustard, onions, steak seasoning, ranch, garlic, rosemary etc.  This dish can be different every time you serve it.  Start the potatoes at the beginning of the meal preparation so that they can cook while you prepare the rest of the meal.  Generally Roast at 425 degrees until golden brown, turning once.  30-45 minutes.

Haluski : or Guy Fieri (Originally from the Frugal Gourmet) pmhaluski

Time: 30 minutes- 1 hour depending on the recipe you use.

Ease: Simple; 3 main ingredients and full flavor

Review: I first tried this recipe from the cookbook “The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors” and largely still use this as my guide.  The ingredient list is the same, but the cooking method different.  I saute (or caramelize depending on time) the onion then add the cabbage and cook it until tender, but still full of color.  While this is cooking boil the pasta and toss together at the end.  I don’t know how to explain why this is so yummy, but it is.  Simple and good.  My family likes the addition of kielbasa, but to keep it vegetarian you can skip it.  My son requested this for this week.  Good choice.  FYI: They don’t even like cabbage and love this.

Tortilla Soup: Chef Wolfgang Puck
tortilla soup

Time: 30-45 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: This was a nice comfy soup. This was also a special request for the week-from my husband.  I confess I used frozen corn instead of corn on the cob and skipped the part where you add the cobs to the broth. It was still very good.

Cheese Board and Veggie Traycheese & Veg 2

My husband looooves cheese, I mean loves it!  So if I suggest we have a variety of cheeses and meats with crackers he is more than happy.  I also like to add in a veggie try.  Try adding things like salami, pepperoni, or even just rolls of lunch meat.  One quick addition is cream cheese topped with spicy pepper jelly; sounds so-so, but is really good.  If it makes you feel better cheese boards or on the menu of high end restaurants, so throw in a nice glass of wine, light a fire and relax.

Time: 5-10 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: Let’s face it, there are days when you say “I don’t want to cook”!  That’s OK, it doesn’t mean you still can’t have a nice time together and I know I stress the importance of the table, but I mean the table to sometimes be any place you gather together over a meal.  This night we chose the living room.

cheese & Veg fire

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones I Have created.  Thank you.

Beans and Rice, Spoonbread, and Brunswick Stew – Southern Comfort Food

beans soakingOne of the things I love about being a southern girl is the food.  Foods that make you feel warm and content, foods you can linger over and foods you can share.  I’m sure this is true of every region, but a girl has to stay true to her roots. Besides, if it weren’t “all that” Country music would loose half their songs, you know precious odes to fried chicken, collard greens (well, I loose points here, ewww) and that precious amber colored liquid gold in a glass- sweet tea!  I think Country music is onto something here.

Even if you don’t like sweet tea (I really can’t understand this,but…) I think you’ll like this week’s menu filled with what we call “stick to your rib” food.  As the weather gets colder and the days shorter there is something oh so comforting in a nice bowl of stew or beans.  Enjoy!

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan (or pick some meals from here)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy

The Meals:

red beans and riceRed Beans and Rice Louisana Style:  Chef: Judy Walker adapted from Pableaux Johnson’s Monday Night Red Beans.

Time: 1 1/2-2 hours plus soaking time.  If you are short on time try using low sodium rinsed canned beans and cook 30 minutes for flavors to blend.

Ease: Moderate – not rated simple because of the steps involved, but is definitely doable.

Review:  I have had red beans and rice my whole life and like it any way I can get it.  I enjoyed this version of this, but the greatest praise came from my husband, who lived in New Orleans for a while.  He said it was the best beans and rice he thought he’d ever had and that it was Louisiana worthy.  My husband tells me that there are no bad restaurants in New Orleans, just some not as great as others.

Tips & Adaptations: The andouille sausage is pretty hot, if you have heat sensitive people at your table try serving on the side, but still cook your onions in the grease from the sausage.  I have fans of parsley and green onions and dislikers as well; if you do, just serve those on the side too.  I didn’t have Tony Cachere’s Creole Seasoning and used Emeril’s.

spoon breadSpoon Bread

This is not a main dish menu item, but needs to go with the beans.  I especially like the leftovers for breakfast, hot and dripping with butter. Butter is a must for this dish, Paula Deen herself would approve.

sloppy joeSloppy Joe’s:  The Food Network   Chef: Ellie Krieger                                                (from the Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a healthy life)

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:   I can’t rave enough about this dish or this cookbook.  Though the recipes above may not show it, I enjoy trying to make meals more healthy, but full of flavor and  Ellie Krieger excels at this! I have never been a fan of the packets or cans for sloppy Joe and therefore thought I didn’t like sloppy Joe, but this changed my mind.  It is quick, simple, and tastes great.  It will become a go-to meal for you. We do not put the beans in it, but that is a personal preference.

brunswick stewBrunswick Stew: Lynchburg Eats

Time: 2 1/2 hours or 6-8 in crockpot.  I suggest making this on the weekend and re-heating for a quick meal during the week.

Ease: Simple, don’t let this one fool you.  It looks to easy and too plain, but is packed with flavor.

Review: When I was growing up it was common to find Brunswick stew at festivals in town and always cooked all day long in a big giant cast iron cauldron.  MMMMM, so good.  There seemed to be an unspoken agreement between the stew and the weather and it always drizzled and was just shy of cold.  Perfect!  This recipe is pretty darn close to those traditional stews.  This is a great rainy day, sleepy Sunday night dinner.

Tips: Take the time to get those family recipes written down before it is too late!  This is a prime example of not doing so.  My grandmother made this in huge batches each year and put it in small containers in the deep freeze where we could then enjoy it all winter long.  However…no one ever got the recipe.  She once told me her secret was V-8 juice, so I added part broth and part V-8 juice and felt the results were nice.  In regards to the meat, Brunswick stew was originally made with squirrel, but I’m not going out to snag or bag any squirrels any time soon,like ever, nor do I expect you to.  Use any meat you have or desire.  I used a pork tenderloin that I had in the freezer, it had been roasted first, then I cut into the desired bite size.  We were very pleased with the pork.  Be creative and use any meat you’d like even squirrel, if that’s your thing.

fiesta tortillas

Sweet BBQ Chicken Tortillas : Adapted from Great American Cookbook – 1994

Time: 30-45 minutes  I will often cook the chicken in the microwave and use Pampered Chefs stoneware covered baker. The chicken is ready for the recipe in 6-10 minutes.  Microwaving it cuts the time closer to 20 minutes.  The stoneware keeps it from being too dry.

Ease: Simple

Review: I first discovered this recipe in 1994 and have made a few adjustments over the years.  This adaptation is my family’s favorite.  This is a great recipe to make when you are in a hurry or just need to throw something together, maybe unexpected company.

sweet potato & RavioliRavioli with Sage Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Caramelized Shallots

Time: 1 hour (prep & cooking combined)

Ease: Simple

Review: I searched the internet for a dish like this and couldn’t find what I was looking for so, this is what I ended up with.  If you can’t find it, make it. I was pleased with the results, the blend of the flavor of the shallots with the sweet potatoes was pleasant.  There were no leftovers.   I encourage you to experiment, you may surprise yourself.

snaps new potsFinally, To make sure you have had the full southern experience I have added snaps and new potatoes.  Snaps is what we call southern style green beans and let me be perfectly clear here,  Snaps are not meant to squeak against your teeth, they should be mushy and overcooked and have fatback, bacon or Streak o’ lean in it.   Now green beans may be steamed, roasted, grilled or squeaky, just don’t call ’em snaps.

I recently asked the butcher for fatback and he just looked at me and said “what??”, oh, Lordy mercy what has the south come to.  If this happens to you pick an extra fatty piece of bacon, it’ll work just fine. Below are a few recipes to choose from.

Green Beans with New Potatoes: Paula Deen

Southern Style Green Beans: Emeril Lagasse

White Trash Cooking Green Beans & New Potatoes: Insightful Nana

Southern Style Green Beans: Deep South Dish

Ya’ll come back now (naaooah), ya hear (heaa).

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones I Have created.  Thank you.