Month: January 2013

Bean Dip

Another great recipe that came out of a family gathering.  My youngest son had his ninth birthday party yesterday.  My parents brought a bean dip that is very similar to the one at our local Mexican joint (Soleas) and one that my mother in law makes.


Bean Dip

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 2 cans of refried beans (one had green chills in it)
  • 1 lb cheddar cheese (substituted 8oz sharp cheddar and 8oz Mexican with jalapeño)

Brown hamburger with taco mix.  Either layer in the other ingredients in a 9X13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or you can mix all the remaining ingredients (reserve a small amount of cheese to top) in the pan and heat through on the stove.  Put in crock pot, top with reserved cheese.

Serve with corn chips or Tostidos.



First Run at Beef Hot Sticks



Once I got back to work from a week off for gun deer season, I caught a new bug, a sausage bug. A number of guys that I work with were making their own sausage and it was fantastic. Since I already had a grinder and a smoker, I went on the hunt for a sausage stuffer. I struck out trying to get the stuffer that my grandparents had on their farm, so I hit the Internet. I ended up with a LEM 5lb stuffer that I ordered directly off of their site. By doing so, it came with stainless steel stuffing tubes instead of plastic.

Now that the holidays are over, I decided to take a crack at Beef Hot Sticks. There are a ton of recipes across the internet so I mashed a few together and took a crack at it.

First I ran the crushed red pepper through my spice grinder (coffee grinder set aside specifically to grind spices), just to break it up a little.



Next I gathered up all of the other dry spices and then mixed them together.



Next I whisked together the water, salt, sugar and hot sauce.




Five pounds of Niemuth’s 85/15 ground beef was weighed out.




My six year old sous chef daughter and I then mixed the dry and wet spices into the meat in the Cabela’s meat mixer.




After mixing the meat together, I took a small amount of meat out and fried it up in a pan. It allows you to adjust spices if needed before stuffing in the casings. In this case, the flavor was good for the first try.




We then stuffed the 5lbs into the stuffer and into the collagen casings. The stuffer worked great, my daughter cranked while I fed the casing off the stuffer tube. It made quick work of the meat.


13_01_Sausage_045 13_01_Sausage_046



Hot Sticks Recipe

  • 5 lbs of 85/15 Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp of Pink Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Garlic Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Penzey’s Chili 3000
  • 1 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of Paprika
  • 2 tsp of crushed red pepper (run through the spice grinder to bust up the seeds)


  • 1/2 cup of cold water
  • 3 tbsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Hot Sauce


  1. In a small bowl, combine the water, salt, sugar and hot sauce and stir until all ingredients are dissolved.
  2. Combine the remaining dry ingredients in another bowl.
  3. Mix the wet and the dry ingredients into the meat.
  4. Fry test a piece of meat to ensure spice to taste.
  5. Stuff in snack stick size collagen casings.
  6. Smoke at 125-150 degrees for one hour to dry the casings.
  7. Smoke for about another hour at 200 degrees, until the internal temp is 152 degrees.
  8. Submerge sticks in ice cold water for a minute.
  9. Place in fridge overnight to dry casings.
  10. Cut and vacuum seal.

Peanut Butter Captain Crunch Bars

We had this for the Autism walk as a kid dessert and it was a huge hit. Another Schmidt recipe.

Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch Bars

Number of Servings: 24

*3 tbs of regular stick butter (do not use light here)
*1 tbs of regular or reduce fat peanut butter
*30 large marshmallows
*6 cups of Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch
*1 1/2 cups of regular M&M’s

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray, set aside. In a large pot on stove melt butter, peanut butter and marshmallows on medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Once mixture is melted and all combined, remove from heat. Then add cereal and M&M’s quickly and stir quickly to well coat. As the marshmallow mixture cools will become harder to mix. Then pour into prepared pan. Then I always spray a little cooking spray on my hands and press down the mixture into the pan to get it as even as possible. Allow to cool completely and cut into 24 squares. Enjoy!

Number of Servings: 24

Schmidt’s Prime Rib

The Schmidt’s have raved about their prime rib so when my in-laws were looking for a recipe for New Years, I went to Tina. My in-laws were very happy with how this turned out. They said their four pounder was a little too done (light pink in middle) at 3 hrs and 15 minutes but the taste was amazing, so adjust accordingly to size and desired doneness.

Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Whatever other desired flavor

Season generously… and rub well into meat.

Trim fat off and season as desired. Place roast fat side up and put fat back on top and tie with cooking string.

Put in cold oven set to 375 degrees for 1 hour. Turn oven off. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR AT ANY TIME. Leave roast in oven 2-5 hours depending on size and desired doneness.

About 1 hour before before serving, turn oven on at 375 degrees. Turn oven off when it reaches internal temp (we do normally around 120-130) and set your roast out and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Slice as desired.


Award Winning Chicken Chili

I have won the first two chili contests at work with this recipe. Super easy.

Award Winning White Chili w/
Apple Wood Smoked, Cherry Rubbed Yardbird

1 jar of your favorite salsa (I used homemade)
1 16 oz container sour cream
4 oz shredded cheese (I used Sargento’s Taco and Sargento’s Pepper Jack)
1 can each of great northern white beans, black beans and ROTEL (used Lime w/Cillantro)
2-3 cups chopped smoked chicken (see below)
cumin to taste, chili powder to taste, garlic powder to taste, pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in crock-pot and heat on low until warmed through. Serve with tortilla chips, peppers, onions and cheese.

Smoked Chicken – Regular chicken or a rotisserie chicken can be used in this recipe. I think smoked chicken adds a deeper flavor profile though. For the smoked chicken, I spatchcocked (butterflied) a whole free range chicken. Discard neck, backbone and trimmings or use for stock. I used Simply Marvelous Cherry Rub and butter and rubbed under the skin and outside the skin. I then melted some butter and mixed in more rub and injected that into the breasts and thighs in a number of different spots. My homemade King Pig Ugly Drum Smoker was brought to 300 degrees over lump charcoal. I added a few chunks of local apple wood for flavor. Once the smoker is holding its temp, put the bird on for about 2 hours. Pull when the thigh reads 170 and let rest covered in foil to bring to 180 degrees.

Christmas Morning Crockpot Breakfast

For most of my children’s existence (11 years and counting), we have hosted Christmas morning breakfast for their grandparents. The menu has varied over the years, but the tradition has stood and the kids enjoy showing off their new gifts. Usually I make something from scratch that morning, but decided to go the easy route this year. I mashed up a couple of different crock pot bakes into this recipe. We liked it but the recipe needed tweaking due to the cheese burning. This will be great for an opening day deer hunting bake as well. Enjoy!


1 dozen eggs
1 cup milk (add more since the first bake was a little dry)
1 package (32 oz.) of frozen o’brien hashbrowns
1 lb of bacon – cooked, drained and cut into pieces
1 lb of sausage, browned and drained
1/2 cup green onions – diced
1 green pepper – diced
1 pound cheddar cheese – shredded
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
salt & pepper to taste


1. Layer potatoes, bacon, onions, green pepper in the crockpot in two or three layers.

2. Beat the eggs, milk and mustard, salt & pepper together.

3. Pour over the whole mixture.

4. Cook with slow cooker on low for ten to twelve hours or until eggs are set and thoroughly cooked.

5. Put the cheese on top an hour before serving.

Asian Essence

Sometime in the last six months, Emeril’s Asian Essence stopped being made. It is a critical component to my Lo Mein recipe. This past Christmas Eve the family decided to do an Asian theme for our meal. With some fresh venison backs traps and loins in the freezer, Lo Mein was in order. After trolling across the web and looking at different posts about the Emeril’s seasoning, this appears to be the recipe most folks are using. It was very close.

Asian Essence
makes about 1/4 cup

1 T Kosher salt
1 T dried cilantro
2 t dried basil
1 t dried parsley
1 t granulated onion
1 t crushed red pepper
3/4 t Chinese five spice
1/4 t granulated garlic
1/4 t ground ginger
1/8 t ground coriander