Top 10 Recipes of 2017

Are you ready for 2018?

2017 was a good year for me from a culinary standpoint. Here are the top 10 recipes from the year, but first let me go over some things I learned that I’m so excited about…still.

I discovered smoking.

THAT was huge; I never really knew the joy of smoking until I got my smoker box.
One of best things I’ve smoked so far – Smoked Lemon Pepper Wings.
Smoked Lemon Pepper Wings Go here for the recipe.
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I discovered sous vide cooking. Words can’t express how much I love this method. If you don’t have a sous vide, get one ASAP.
I made these Reverse Sear Carnitas.
Carnitas | Dixie Chik Cooks Get the recipe here.

I learned that you can pancake batter the shit out of just about anything.

Including Pancake Battered Chicken.
Pancake Battered Chicken | Dixie Chik Cooks Go here for the recipe.

I learned that bacon and tequila pair quite nicely. I made this Bacon Jalapeno Tequila Jam Burger, and it got me a Golden Ticket to World Food Championships.
Bacon Tequila Jam Burger Get the recipe here.

I learned EXACTLY how to make copycat Krystal (or White Castle) burgers. I nailed them.
Krystal Copycat Burger Go here for the recipe.

I learned that thinly sliced potatoes make damn good vehicles for other food – such as Sloppy Joe stuff. And other stuff.

Ok, fine, jalapenos.
Sheet Pan Pachos | Dixie Chik Cooks Get this here –> recipe.

I learned that shoving a beer can in the middle of ground beef makes for a perfectly stuffed burger.
Go here for the recipe – You won’t be sorry.

I also learned that adding an Asian flair to the typical French Dip is absolutely amazing.
Asian French Dip Get the recipe for this Asian French Dip here.

I also played around with layering – cheese encased in a meatball encased in a pretzel shell. Sounds complicated, but nah.
Meatball Stuffed Pretzels Get the recipe for these Meatball Stuffed Pretzels.

Oh, and I made, yet, another burger. Shocker, I know.
Click here for my Steakhouse Burger.

That was the best of the best – 2017 version.

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Best of 2017

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Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Smoked Chicken

I can’t get enough of my smoker.

I smoked beef yesterday, and I threw some stuffed chicken on it today. DESPITE the rain. The rain and cloudiness just won’t stop here lately. I do love the rain…

Who wants to stay in bed and just listen to it?


A big, fat, lazy ass me.
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However, here’s what I did today…
How pretty is this?

These are chicken breasts that I smoked.

I smoked the shit out of them.
And, I stuffed them with Cabot Garlic and Herb cheese and a mixture of olives, cilantro and jalapenos, then wrapped them with bacon.

I can’t get enough of my smoking habit.
Here’s your printable-

Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Smoked Chicken


  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  • 4 oz Cabot Garlic Herb Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup green stuffed olives, diced
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapenos, diced
  • 1 handful fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, sliced


  • Slice chicken breasts horizontally.
  • Combine olives, jalapenos and cilantro.
  • Stuff chicken breasts with cheese and olive mixture.
  • Wrap with bacon.
  • Smoke - about 275 degrees, until done.

Here’s your pinable – 
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Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

Are you a fan of taquitos?

Hell, I’m a fan of most things Mexican. Especially when I make them at home. The beautiful thing about making food at home vs. eating out is the control you have. You can control it all – the amount of cheese, how it’s prepared, how spicy, etc. Why would you not want to make it at home?

These aren’t your typical taquitos. I think I probably say that about a lot of things I make, but it’s the truth. These are made with flour tortillas, chicken thighs and buffalo sauce.

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos | Dixie Chik Cooks I also made a dipping sauce with sour cream, salsa verde, and candied jalapenos.
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The sauce itself is so good, and if you’ve never tried candied jalapenos before, DO IT. Don’t hesitate – they’re addictive as hell.
Buffalo Chicken Taquitos You could put this sauce on so many things – burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas. Just dip whatever you have in the pantry in it.

The taquitos are really simple to put together. I’m a big fan of chicken thighs because you can control the actual fat by trimming them, and you get the white/dark meat combo which always yields a juicy end result.
Buffalo Chicken Taquitos The versatility of these make them a solid addition to your dinner or appetizer rotation. You could even make them meatless by using beans, rice or diced veggies. Butternut squash would be pretty damn good too, maybe with some parmesan, black beans and diced poblanos?

I think yes.

I shredded the chicken in my KitchenAid and tossed it with Moore’s Buffalo Sauce. Roll them tightly, and throw them in hot oil for about 20 seconds each side, and you have perfect taquitos.
Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

Here’s your printable-

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos


    For the Taquitos
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • Moore's Original Buffalo Sauce
  • Flour tortillas
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Oil, for frying
  • Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • For the Dipping Sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1/4 cup Candied Jalapenos


  • Bake, grill or smoke chicken thighs; shred.
  • Toss chicken in enough buffalo sauce to coat.
  • Place about 2 tbsp shredded chicken and 1-2 tbsp cheese (depending on preference) in a flour tortilla, roll tightly.
  • Bring oil to 350 degrees.
  • Fry taquitos for about 20 seconds on each side, until golden brown.
  • Drizzle with more buffalo sauce and sprinkle with cilantro.
  • To make dip, combine sour cream, salsa verde and chopped jalapenos.
  • Serve taquitos with dip.

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Buffalo Chicken Taquitos | Dixie Chik Cooks
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Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce

For whatever reason, there are recipes that I’ve made for years that I just haven’t shared. I really have no excuse. This one is something I’ve made for a very long time, and I have made it many different ways.

I could make this with my eyes closed.
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Refrigerated tortellini, my meat sauce and a shit ton of cheese.

There are certain things that make my sauce a bit better than most; one of those being balsamic vinegar. Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t skip the wine, either. It gives your sauce depth, and depth is good.

As far as time; I put an hour or more in the instructions because you could simmer it for 30 minutes and it be ok, but the longer – the better. I usually have mine simmering for about 4 hours.

When people in your household start asking you when it’s going to be ready and asking why it’s taking so long (∗ahem∗…like my ex-husband used to do me), tell them to calm the fuck down and go play a video game or something. Better yet, tell them to take your car to get washed, remind them that it’s time to get the oil changed, oh – and they need to go to the store and pick up the 3 16 things you forgot when you went earlier. When they argue with you simmer that shit for an hour longer than what you planned. Reach over and crank that timer up right in front of them. They’ll get the hint.

When it comes to cheese, I’m a huge fan of Muenster, and I like to combine that with Mozzarella. Provolone would work just as well.
Serve this with crusty bread and good wine, and you’ll be set. And, you’ll have your oil changed.

Here’s your printable-

Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce

Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce


  • 20 oz package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 8 tbsp salted butter, divided in half
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 16 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine (I used Shiraz)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dried basil (or a handful of chiffonade 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
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Muenster cheese, shredded


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Boil tortellini according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  • Melt 4 tbsp. butter over medium heat and add onion and garlic, stirring until fragrant.
  • Add beef and sausage, combine and brown.
  • Add remaining butter, tomato paste through pepper, combine and bring to a low boil; reduce heat to low and cover. Stir intermittently, simmer for an hour (or longer!).
  • Combine pasta and sauce in a large dish, top with cheeses and bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.


You may not need all of the sauce; it depends on how much it reduces. Use as much as you need to make sure the pasta is really swimming in it. Save any remaining for another dish!


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Buffalo Feta Burger

I’ve made so many burgers at this point; you would think I would run out of ideas.

But I don’t.

I just DON’T.
This one, I will definitely say, is the hallmark of my “coming back”, if you will.
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Since I moved I haven’t felt very comfortable in my tiny ass kitchen. It has been an adjustment, to say the least. When you’re used to a kitchen the size of a football stadium and have to transition to one that’s about as big as a fucking thimble, it takes some time to adjust – Time to cuss a little, time to cry, time to reflect back on the kitchen you’re used to and force your damn self to not be bitter, and a little bit of time to NOT cook.

But, now, I’m good. Seriously.

The kitchen – It isn’t about the size of it. It isn’t about what’s in it. It isn’t about who is in it. Ok, well, maybe that is important.

What’s really, really important is recognizing that you are who you are despite elements or surroundings. No matter how big or small your house or kitchen, no matter how expensive or impressive your kitchen tools are, the heart you put into your food and your cooking is, ultimately, what’s really important. This week I gave up trying to make a recipe that I had been planning for a month because my heart wasn’t in it. I was exhausted and dreaded trying to make something work that just wouldn’t. When I’m not enjoying making something, it just will NOT turn out great. Hell, probably not even good.

So, this morning I woke up and said ‘Fuck it, I’m making a burger’. I had fun.

I did what I do best. 

This burger has some serious attitude. I don’t intentionally throw bacon on burgers a lot, but it’s hard to argue with the fact that everything is better with bacon. In this case, it’s a perfect contrast to the tangy fried pickles. Yes, fried pickles. Not only are they fried, but tossed in buffalo sauce. I threw them in buffalo sauce before I breaded them and then deep fried them. I knew how I imagined this would taste – and I was dead on.

All the flavors married so perfectly – it was meant to be.
I didn’t overly season the beef; just some Moore’s Original Marinade and a little pepper, so put as much or as little as you want. I made my burger a solid medium.

You don’t necessarily have to add more buffalo sauce if the buffalo pickles are enough for you. But, I’m all about slutting my burgers out, as you all know.

Here’s your printable –

Buffalo Feta Burger

Yield: 2 Burgers

Buffalo Feta Burger


  • 1/2 lb. ground round
  • 2 tbsp. Moore's Original Marinade
  • 1 tbsp. cracked black pepper
  • 8 oz. pickle slices
  • Moores's Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups sunflower oil, for frying
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • 2 burger buns, toasted


  • Combine the ground round, marinade and pepper; form into two burgers; refrigerate.
  • Toss pickle slices in buffalo sauce, then dredge in flower.
  • Bring the sunflower oil to 350 degrees in a sauce pan; add pickles and fry until golden, about 2 minutes, then drain on paper towels.
  • Broil, fry or grill burgers.
  • Build burger by adding tomato slices and parsley to bottom bun, burger, bacon fried pickles, feta cheese and more buffalo sauce.

Want some more burger porn? Go here, here and here, or check out my Visual Recipe Index.
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