Saturday, July 25, 2015

Spicy Tomato Burger

Earlier this month, Red Gold launched another Summer Grilling Season with loads of great recipes. One of my favorites from last year made an appearance again this year--the Spicy Tomato Burger! This burger is seriously good and so, so easy to make. I have to tell you that my burger making skills have historically been lackluster at best. That was before I discovered the "secret" ingredient.....wait for it....canned diced tomatoes! In this case, it's the flavorful Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies...

It's always a good day when tomato products show up at my door....

Simply drain a 10 or 14 ounce can of Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies and mix it into a pound of lean ground beef. Add a little salt and pepper, form into patties, and you are good to go. I like to add a nice slice of pepper-jack cheese to make it complete. Now wasn't that easy?

Of course, you don't have to stop at just this flavor combo. Some of you may remember the Caribbean Chicken Burger I made last year. Simply mix a pound of ground chicken or turkey with a can of Petite Diced Tomatoes with Cilantro and Lime (well drained), a slightly beaten egg, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, salt and pepper, and voila! another delicious burger is made!

Caribbean Chicken Burger

Let's not forget our toppings. Guess what new product Red Gold has just come out with? Yes! Sriracha Ketchup! I have a preview bottle that is almost gone. Luckily, this ketchup rolls out nationwide by the end of July.

You can find both of these recipes and more grilling ideas (using diced tomatoes!) on Red Gold's website. 

Happy Grilling!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Lemon-Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

Lemon-Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

It's been awhile since I've been on a cinnamon roll binge. There was a time when I was cranking out Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls, Cranberry and Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls, Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls, Hot Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding....I even posted regular, plain ol' Cinnamon Rolls. Then came a vacation from cinnamon rolls. Oh, there were other binges in the meantime...muffins, all things sweet potato, waffles....but nothing quite as satisfying or as fun as cinnamon rolls. Now, just when you thought you'd never see another cinnamon roll out of me, I've become obsessed once again.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I made a batch of cinnamon rolls for work. They were such a success that I decided on another batch, this time swapping out the milk for buttermilk and the orange frosting for lemon. To. Die. For. Who knew that buttermilk could make such a difference?!

The beginning of a beautiful thing.....

Of course I didn't stop at Lemon-Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls. No, I went one further. Blueberries. I added blueberries and created the best cinnamon rolls ever. At least until I come up with another combination....

Lemon-Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

Butter, sugar, cinnamon, more butter, more sugar...these cinnamon rolls may the the best ever!


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 egg, room temperature, slightly beaten
  • 3 1/4 cups to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, optional
  • Frosting:
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Heat the buttermilk, 1/4 cup butter, and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool until the temperature is between 110 and 120 degrees F. (bathwater warm).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk mixture with the yeast, egg, 2 cups of the flour, and the salt. Beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 7 minutes. (Alternately, just use the dough hook on your mixer and let the mixer knead the dough for about 5 minutes).
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning it once. Cover the bowl with a clean damp towel and allow the dough to rise in a draft-free area until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour. In the meantime, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and softened butter in a small bowl.
  4. Gently deflate the dough and let it rest for 5 minutes. Roll out the dough into a 12x9-inch rectangle. Spread the dough with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Sprinkle the blueberries over the top, if desired.
  5. Starting from the long end, roll up the dough and pinch the seam closed. Cut into 12 equal sized pieces and place into a greased 9x13-inch pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. While the rolls are rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and frost while still warm.
  7. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and the butter in a medium bowl. Add the lemon peel and the lemon juice, blending until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat to desired consistency, adding additional lemon juice if needed.

Blueberries are an easy addition.

Go ahead and double the frosting recipe if you like lots.


What should my next flavor be?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Saucy Orange Habanero Burgers

What a ride this Saucy Mama trip has been! Just a little over 2 weeks ago, a package of sauces, marinades, and one very tasty mustard arrived at my door. It was up to me to come up with a recipe worthy of competing in the 2015 Saucy Mama Contest. This contest will be someone's ticket, a Golden Ticket, to the 2015 World Food Championships taking place in Kissimmee, Florida. Can you imagine what a fun and scary ride that will be?!

Those of you who know me know that I have a thing for a touch of orange in my food. From breads, to pies, to sweet rolls, there isn't much I haven't sprinkled with some orange zest. It's no wonder that the bottle of sauce that stood out from rest for me was Saucy Mama's Orange Habanero Wing Sauce. It just sounded like it was going to be awesome. Boy howdy, with its slightly sweet, slightly hot, and slightly orange deliciousness -- it is awesome! I just couldn't resist building an entire meal with this stuff....

As you can see, I made some good, saucy choices....

The criteria for creating the perfect Saucy Mama recipe are that the recipe must be easy to replicate, family friendly, great for parties, and, above all, delicious. It came to me that the one food that encompasses all of these things might just be the hamburger. Think about it.....hamburgers come in all shapes and sizes, some fancy, some sloppy, and all delicious. Yup. I was going to make a hamburger.

My first creation: Orange Habanero Candied Bacon

My final recipe turned out to be a compilation of three easy, and very flavorful parts...a sweet, candied bacon, a spicy, orange-y ketchup, and fresh, crispy onion strings, all piled on top of a basic, juicy burger. May I present Saucy Orange Habanero Burgers!

The Orange Habanero Ketchup is the bomb! I've even used it as pizza sauce!

Saucy Orange Habanero Burgers

Orange Habanero Candied Bacon

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
1/3 cup Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Wing Sauce
12 slices thick-cut bacon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Spray a cooling rack with cooking spray and place in sheet pan.

Mix the brown sugar with the orange peel and place in a shallow bowl. Brush the both sides of each side of bacon with the wing sauce. Place the bacon in the bowl with the brown sugar and toss to coat. Make sure the bacon is evenly coated. Place the bacon in a single layer on top of the rack. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the bacon is slightly dark. Watch carefully after 20 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn. Carefully remove the bacon from the rack and allow it to cool on a sheet of parchment. The bacon will crisp as it cools.

Orange Habanero Ketchup

1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Wing Sauce
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel

Combine all of the ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture just comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Orange Habanero Onion Strings

1 large, sweet onion
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Wing Sauce
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups canola oil for frying

Use a mandolin or very sharp knife to slice the onion into very thin rings. Place the onion rings in a medium bowl. Stir together the buttermilk and the wing sauce. Pour over the onions, covering completely. Allow to stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. In the meantime, whisk together the flour, orange peel, salt, and cayenne pepper. Place the oil in a heavy saucepan. Heat to 375 degrees F. Using tongs, scoop up a portion of the onion rings. Dredge them in the flour mixture, shaking off the extra flour. Place the onions in the hot oil. Use the tongs to push the onions around, breaking up any clumps. Fry for a minute or two, or until golden. Remove to a paper lined plate to drain and repeat, in batches, with the remaining onions. Cover to keep warm.


1 1/2 pounds ground chuck, 80/20 blend
Freshly ground pepper and Kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
4 slices provolone cheese
4 good quality hamburger buns, split (click here if you want to make your own)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
assorted lettuce leaves

Carefully form the ground chuck into 4 patties, making an indentation on the top of each burger. Season each patty with pepper and salt. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or grill pan until it begins to shimmer. Add the burger patties and cook for about 4 minutes. Flip the burger and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Top each burger patty with a slice of the cheese, cover and continue to fry until the cheese is melted. Spread the butter over the cut side of each bun. Grill the buns until they are golden brown.

To assemble the burgers, place lettuce leaves on the cut side of each bottom bun. Top with a burger patty. Spread a tablespoon or two of the ketchup on top of each burger. Add bacon slices and a handful of onion strings, then top with the remaining bun halves, toasted side down.

Wish me competitors are a talented bunch!

Want to win your very own 3-pack of Saucy Mama condiments? Simply visit my last post, Orange Habanero Candied Bacon, and enter via the RaffleCopter widget. Have fun and keep it Saucy!