Bacon Burger with Muenster, Onion Strings and Buffalo Mayo

I have many childhood memories from both my mom and my dad in relation to food. Let me give you a mini-ride down memory lane.

In regard to my mom I tend to remember –

1. Salmon Croquettes. Refer to this. You need to, seriously.

2. Potato Salad. She referred to hers as “German” potato salad, which includes lots of mayo, bacon and green olives, amongst other things, and is the only potato salad I will eat. Not sure if it’s actually German, but it’s something that’s so ingrained in my head I’ve yet to question if it’s actually a foreign recipe or if she just says that for the hell of it.

3. Southern Dressing. Yes, dressing, not stuffing. Here in the South, we don’t do stuffing. Honestly, stuffing isn’t a good thing unless you’re using it in a recipe that has absolutely nothing to do with Thanksgiving. When my mother makes dressing, the consistency requires a rather large spoon, i.e. not a knife. Again, that wouldn’t be normal. We need to spoon it out and pour on an obscene amount of cream of chicken soup. That’s the Southern way.

As far as my dad –

1. Fried Shrimp. If the man were still alive this would be the first in his arsenal I would have picked his brain for. I know he breaded them in cornmeal but I’ve yet to be able to re-create this recipe. His shrimp were crispy, but tender and the flavor was amazing. They will forever stand out in my mind. He always made these with what he referred to as “Indian” salad…this was actually a Greek salad for all intents and purposes. Again, another one of those things I wonder about now that I’m grown.

2. Smoked Sausage Baskets. Simple, but yet something that I remember him making on a regular basis. He would make smoked sausage, cut the links up and put them in napkin lined baskets with sharp cheddar cheese. It’s a flavor combination I can taste as I type this; and as a matter of fact I can’t help but to think of watching Miami Vice on those ’80’s Friday nights.

3. Burgers. Burger night has stuck with me as far as I can remember. I do remember my mom having a part in making these, but one of the things that stands out in my memory is after frying the burgers in a pan, they would remove them and dip the inside of the buns in the burger grease. I have a feeling that made magical burgers. I also had to have every condiment I could get my hands on, including lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, mustard, ketchup, etc. But the most critical part of this meal was Fritos dipped in cottage cheese.

You see, burgers combined with Frito’s and cottage cheese go hand-in-hand. They. just. do.

Try it one time and you’ll be hooked. Just don’t get that fat free crap.

Now, here’s a burger you need to grill soon. I’ve been meaning to make onion strings for months,and finally got around to making them this weekend – and at the same time creating a pretty amazing burger.



Bacon Burger with Muenster, Onion Strings and Buffalo Mayo

1 lb ground round

2 tbsp bread crumbs

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp seasoned salt, like Lawry’s

Onion strings – this is a very easy recipe for these

1/2 cup mayo

1 tbsp buffalo hot sauce, or more depending on your heat tolerance 😉

4 onion rolls

4 slices Muenster cheese

1/2 lb. sliced bacon, cooked

Combine the ground round through seasoned salt; form into patties and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. I have discovered this makes grilling so much easier because they tend not to fall apart.

Grill the burgers until desired temp, then top with cheese and close the grill for about a minute; remove and cover with foil.

Mix the mayo and hot sauce together, then slather some on the top part of each bun. Place the burger on bottom bun, then top with bacon and onion strings, then top bun.


Please have Frito’s and cottage cheese with this.

*wink wink*

~Dixie Chik~

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Caprese Grilled Cheese with Mozzarella, Brie and Honey Mayo

I’m just curious – is it just down here in the deep south that winter/spring decided to take a year off and let summer come in as a fill-in? It went from being slightly chilly in February to it’s-freakin-hot-and-the-bugs-are-dangerously-gigantic. Seriously, they are psychotic. And the grass it out of control.

Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love summertime; I’m definitely a beach/pool/sun girl. But sometimes a little cushion in between cold and suffocating humidity is a good thing. Not to mention the tornadoes.

Speaking of springtime….did you know that April is Grilled Cheese Month? I didn’t either until my good friend Google told me. Funny how search results can be so random and have nothing to do with what you’re looking for.

Grilled cheese has been a staple in this house since the day my daughter started eating real food. When we grill out – she gets a grilled cheese. When I make any type of seafood – she gets a grilled cheese. If she had her way, she would eat a grilled cheese every night. But, not gonna happen. I’m just waiting on her to branch out those taste buds and eat like her mama.

This is a grown-up grilled cheese that has flavors of Caprese salad and a hint of sweetness from mayonnaise combined with a little honey.

It’s scrumptious –

Caprese Grilled Cheese with Mozzarella, Brie and Honey Mayo

2 tbsp mayo

1 tbsp honey

2 slices of thick white bread (I used potato bread)

1 handful fresh basil leaves

1 handful grape tomatoes, washed and halved

Mozzarella cheese – didn’t measure, but use enough to make a hearty grilled cheese

2 tbsp Brie cheese

2 tbsp butter

Mix mayo and honey in a small bowl until combined, then spread this on one side of one slice of bread. Next, spread Brie on the other slice and layer the basil leaves, tomatoes and Mozzarella.

Grill in panini maker or in a regular pan on the stove prepared with butter.


~Dixie Chik~

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Chocolate Bread

I’m going to have to blame this on Pinterest.

Damn it, Pinterest. Not only are you taking over the entire internet, you’re converting a non-baker.

How many times have I told y’all I’m not a baker?? Once, twice, fifteen times?

Something about all those seductively delicious looking cupcakes and breads screaming at me from their little pins make me want to get out my flour and black and white (yet sexy) apron and bake my ass off. Is it that I want to be known for my baking skills?


As a matter of fact, as I’ve told you before, I haven’t really ever enjoyed baking. I don’t like the whole the-measurements-have-to-be-perfect thing. I love cooking; throwing in this and that, etc. I get immense joy from experimenting and playing with food. However, let’s not jump to conclusions. I still don’t have fantastic baking skills, and I’m taking it one day at a time.

I just want to play in my kitchen… and for whatever reason it’s beginning to really reach beyond jalapenos. It’s time I stop avoiding it.

Who knew?

This is a recipe I found on Pinterest that, for some reason, the second I re-pinned it I had to make it – and yes – recreate it.

Chocolate Bread with Bailey’s Glaze

Adapted from Mehan’s Kitchen

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup cocoa

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp saltes

2 large eggs

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup oil

3/4 cup whole milk

1 tsp vanilla extract


1/3 cup Bailey’s liquor

1/2 cup powdered sugar, or more

Combine the liquor and sugar to make a syrupy glaze. If it’s too thin, add more sugar and whisk.

Preheat oven to 350° and spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Using a stand mixer, combine brown sugar through salt on low until combined.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, oil and milk. While the mixer is running on low, slowly pour this in with the flour mixture, just until a soft dough forms, then stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it rest for 15 minutes before serving. Drizzle with glaze.


This pan vanished within 30 minutes.

Just sayin’

~Dixie Chik~

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Ravioli Lasagna

I have made lasagna several different ways over the years. A staple in my house is my Classic Lasagna, which is very close to this one. I have also made one using zucchini in place of the pasta, which was incredible- my husband loved it although he was very reluctant to try it. I need to make it again and post it for you.

This lasagna was just an idea I got one night during a pantry/fridge “clean out” that has to be done every now and then. The ravioli had been in the freezer long enough, and I thought it would make a nice addition to my lasagna.

Or maybe I’m a cheese whore.

Could be both.

Ravioli Lasagna

Serves 8

1 12 oz bag frozen cheese ravioli

1 8 oz box lasagna pasta (I used no-boil but regular works the same)

1 lb ground beef

1/2 lb ground Italian sausage, casings removed

12 oz Ricotta cheese

1 egg

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 16 oz can petite diced tomatoes

1/2 cup red wine (I used Shiraz)

2 tbsp dried basil

2 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce, divided

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp Lawry’s seasoned salt

1 tbsp Sea salt

1 tsp pepper

4 cups mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350°

Start by cooking the ravioli according to package directions. Drain, cover and refrigerate. Mix together the Ricotta, egg and Parmesan thoroughly.  Salt and pepper to taste, the cover and refrigerate.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat, and add garlic.  When fragrant, add onions and saute for about a minute or two.  Add sausage and ground beef, mashing and stirring until crumbled and browned. Whisk together the  tomato paste and 1/2  cup of water, then add to the meat along with the Worchestershire sauce, both cans of tomatoes, wine, balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Bring to a slow boil, then cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.  Taste periodically and adjust salt/seasonings to your preference.

Good red wine is crucial to my sauce, along with balsamic vinegar. The vinegar adds a certain depth and richness. In other words, yum.

Begin putting your lasagna together:

Pour about 1/2 cup of sauce in bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Layer lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, cheese and ravioli, more sauce, then lasagna, ricotta, etc. You get the picture.

Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour, then remove foil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Check out the cheese oozing from the ravioli....


Dixie Chik

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Spinach and Cheese Rugelach

We’re home, we’re home!

My husband and I took a week long cruise to celebrate our anniversary last week and although we had a fantastic time….there’s no place like home. Check out our pics on my Facebook page if you haven’t already.

On the way back, we spent a day with my husband’s family, which was long overdue. They live in south Florida, so it’s not an easy trip either way. So, I’ve been in this family long enough to know that get-togethers surround one thing: Food.

But, let me tell you, that’s also how I was raised. My mother has slightly discolored Polaroids from the 1970’s in her photo albums of an entire dinner table full of southern greens, pinto beans and banana pudding. It makes me wonder…why the hell did they take those pictures?

My mother also tells the story (over and over) about how, beginning age 3, I could say every fast food restaurant name and anytime we left the house I would ask to stop and eat. This particular trait was inherited from my father, I’ll admit, who always had a reason to eat/cook/stop to get something to eat.

Hence, Dixie Chik was born.

Back to the story. While we were visiting with Mark’s family, we had Rugelach with coffee after lunch. No, I have never in my life heard of it. Something about the texture of the pastry made me want to taste this, although I’m not a fan of sweets. I’m not even kidding, there was something so seductive about this pastry I couldn’t get my mind off of it. It was so buttery, flaky, but more dense than a croissant. Like a tiny pie crust, but more buttery and intense. These, apparently, are typically filled with a jam/nut mixture that compliments the pie-like crust so well, and these happen to be an authentic Jewish staple. Oh, and typically, a dessert.


If you know me, you can predict my plan.

I have to make this savory.

Spinach and Cheese Rugelach

Rugelach Dough

2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

2 tbsp sour cream

6 oz cream cheese, cold, cut into pieces

2 tbsp ricotta cheese

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt


16 oz box frozen chopped spinach

5 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup Italian blend shredded cheese

1/4 cup Ricotta cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Sea salt

You will also need 2 egg whites, whisked for baking


Sriricha sauce for serving

In a food processor, pulse the butter, sour cream and cheeses until combined. It doesn’t need to be smooth, but well incorporated. Add the flour and salt to a stand mixer, add the butter/cheese mix and mix on low until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides.

You should probably coat your hands with a little flour at this point. Separate the ball into 4 baby ones, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Take one dough ball out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to about an 1/8″ thickness. Cut to make as large of a circle as you can using a knife; make a ball out of the extra dough and refrigerate. We don’t need to waste! Cut the dough like a pizza into even triangles; obviously a pizza cutter works best but even a regular knife will do. Spoon about a tsp of the filling on the fattest part of the triangle and roll tightly like a croissant.

Place each rugelach on a baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.

Take a look at this flaky, buttery pastry…

It literally flakes apart in your hand. I dredged these in Sriracha – amazing.

I honestly think the filling options are limitless.

There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home.

Missed every one of you!


~Dixie Chik~

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