New Giveaway! Comment To Win-

Just in time for Thanksgiving I’m giving away a wonderful basting brush by Mario Batali.  Wonderful for your turkeys!  Anything foodnetwork.com does is fantastic.  All you have to do is post a comment on this post answering this: 

What is the recipe you can’t wait to make this Thanksgiving??  Like, REALLY can’t wait to make – no matter where you are.

So, just post your comment and me and my foodie sidekick and editor, Joanna, will blindly pick a number to decide who wins.  Entry deadline is Wednesday November 10th, 2010.

Winner will be announced November 15th, 2010.

Good Luck!

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Iron Foodie 2010 – Why Dixie Chik Should Be Picked To Participate

Iron Foodie 2010 | Here's Why that will be me:
MarxFoods.com -- Fine Bulk Foods The Foodie BlogRoll

Over the next few weeks, Foodie Blogroll is challenging 25 bloggers to participate in Iron Foodie 2010 – where they are sent 8 secret ingredients from Marx Foods , and they have to pick only 3 of them to make a signature dish.   I visited the Marx website, and they have the most amazing variety of foods – kangaroo (yes, kangaroo), squid ink (very interesting; I’ll be looking into what this can be used for), but also Pecorino Al Tartufo Cheese, Balsamic vinegar with White Truffle, gluten-free pastas….it’s endless; you just have to visit

The answers to the following questions will determine if I am chosen to participate.  I need all fingers and toes crossed!  I want to do this!

1.Why do you want to compete in this challenge?

I want to compete in this challenge because I’ve found that given limited time and resources, I’ve been able to pull together some of my best recipes.  And it sounds fun.

2.Limitations of time/space notwithstanding, whose kitchen would you like to spend the day in & why? Julia Child, Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria, James Beard, Marie-Antoine Careme, or The Swedish Chef?

Julia Child.  She succeeded in closing the gap between classical French cooking and the average home cook.  She was an excellent teacher and I think she was the pioneer of recognizing that being in the kitchen is enjoyable rather than a daily chore.

3.What morsel are you most likely to swipe from family & friends’ plates when they aren’t looking?

French fries or nachos.

4.Sum your childhood up in one meal.

Turnip greens, salmon croquettes, butter beans and cornbread, fresh tomatoes and sweet iced tea.

5.The one mainstream food you can’t stand? 

Chain restaurant Italian food.  WAY too heavy on the oil and cheese.  I like Italian, but only from my kitchen.

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Dixie Chik’s Entry into Tastespotting’s Johnsonville Sausage Contest

I ran across this contest on www.tastespotting.com recently.  Use Johnsonville Italian sausage in an original or not-so-original way – should be fun, right?  It was.  My first attempt was a sausage, cheese and maple scone that looked great but didn’t quite make the cut in the taste area.  Needed probably more cheese and a bit more fluffiness.  Probably needs to be a biscuit.  A big, fat biscuit.  I wanted the sausage and cheese to combine with the pure maple syrup to make the ultimate breakfast bread. 

I will be tweaking this and trying to get it perfected because Joanna and I think it really has potential.  So stay tuned for all that.

So, here’s the final recipe.  Mr. Dixie thoroughly enjoyed it.

Italian Sausage Reubens with Caramelized Onions

1 pound Johnsonville Italian Sausage

10 slices Jewish Rye bread

5 slices Swiss cheese

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp coarse salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup sauerkraut

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup catsup (ketchup) what’s the difference? No one has ever told me

1 tbsp pickle relish

1 dash tabasco sauce

In a small sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onions and sea salt.  Combine and reduce heat to low.  Cover, but leave a small opening for steam to escape.  Simmer onions for 2-3 hours, until caramelized and very soft.  Add sauerkraut and simmer for about 15-20 minutes longer.

Combine the mayo, catsup, relish and hot sauce in a small bowl; chill.

Remove casings from sausage.  Slice sausages vertically (to make two long halves).  In a large pan, saute them over medium heat until done in the middle and browned, turning about every few minutes; set aside.  Heat a panini grill over medium-high heat. (You can also put these back in your pan if you don’t have a panini grill to grill the sandwich and melt the cheese). Brush melted butter on one side of each slice of bread.  Spread the dressing on one side (unbuttered side) of 4 pieces.  When the grill is ready, place one bread slice (or two, depending on how big your grill is), buttered side down and dressing side up.  Layer the sausage first, followed by onion/sauerkraut mixture and then cheese.  Top the sandwiches off with the remaining bread and grill for about 2-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the bread is nicely browned.

Dip in the remaining sauce.

~Enjoy~

Dixie Chik

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Pioneer Woman’s Cake Balls~Halloween Style

Once I saw these little monsters on her site I knew I had to make them.   So cute, so fun, and so incredibly rich, not to mention very Halloween-y.  And I like making little faces as much as the kids do.  And you KNOW anything Pioneer Woman does turns out awesome ;).  When I start looking on her blog I have a very hard time mustering up the strength to pull myself away; she’s kind of an addiction.  Is there a PW support group???

Anyway…onto the balls…..

1 box cake mix (and everything you need to bake it)

1 container cake frosting

1 package lollipop sticks (found at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc)

2 1 lb packages melting candies (I used white chocolate and milk chocolate; think ghosts and monsters)

Tubes of gel icing for decorating

Prepare the cake according to instructions.  Allow to cool completely.

Crumble the cake, a little bit at a time, in a large mixing bowl and mix until its just a bunch of crumbs. 

Add the cake frosting to the cake crumbs, stirring gently to combine until it becomes a mushy mess.  With your hands, roll into small balls, about the size of a golf ball.  Put them in the freezer for an hour (or more).  You want them good and solid. 

When you’re ready to take them out of the freezer, go ahead and melt the candies. 

You can use a double boiler, but I used my microwave.  I just put them in there for about 30 seconds at a time on defrost, stirring really good in between. 

Insert a lollipop stick into each of the cake balls.  Dip into melted chocolate, covering completely.  Decorate the little monster faces with gel icing.

Have fun!!

But please make us!!

Because we would be sooooo sad if you didn’t…..

The original PW recipe can be found  here.

Happy Halloween!!!

~Dixie Chik~

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Individual Pizza Pasta Squares

These were fun and easy- pasta with a pizza twist.  And individual size, so everybody gets to put what they want in theirs.

1 lb Ziti pasta (or whatever kind of pasta you like), cooked and drained

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 tbsp basil   

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp garlic salt

2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

Your favorite pizza toppings (we used several different; pepperoni for my son, two types of cheese for my daughter, shrimp and feta for me, etc.)

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray the bottom of a brownie pan or muffin pan with cooking spray.  This will make approximately 16 individual squares.

Using a blender or food processer (I used an immersion blender), combine the tomatoes, spices and Worchestershire sauce.  Blend until desired consistency.  I would actually prefer mine to be a little chunky, but the kids would give me all kinds of hell heck.  In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the sauce.

Spoon a bottom layer of pasta in each section of the pan(s).

Then, sprinkle a layer of cheese – then more pasta and your toppings.

Bake in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes.  Check them after about 10 just to be safe – all ovens cook differently.

Voila! Little baby pasta pizza squares~

Dixie Chik

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