Beef Manhattans

I love to order beef manhattans when I am out at local restaurants and often wondered if I could try to make my own homemade version. Well I did and they are fabulous! You will not believe how flavorful these are, or how simple! Use store bought or homemade mashed potatoes and brown gravy.

Beef Manhattans

4 pound boneless beef chuck roast
1 stick butter
1 package dry Ranch dressing mix
1 package au jus gravy mix
2 cups homemade or jarred brown gravy
Prepared mashed potatoes
Texas Toast

Start by lining your slow cooker with a slow cooker liner. Place in the boneless beef chuck roast.

Place stick of butter on top of roast.

Sprinkle over package of dry Ranch dressing mix. Sprinkle over package of au jus gravy mix.

Place on lid and cook 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

After cooking, remove lid and shred meat using 2 forks.

Warm prepared brown gravy and prepared mashed potatoes.

Assemble the beef manhattans by placing 2 slices of Texas Toast on a plate. Top with shredded beef. Top with mashed potatoes and finish with brown gravy.

CHEW THIS! Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs

Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 7th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

TRAIL “blazing” onto a new and different website…
Blaise Doubman

Loyal readers, I am thrilled to announce that my social media problems are over! Now, someone run and knock wood for me! Ha! Seriously though, I am hoping that the problems I had in the past with my accounts being hacked are far behind me. I basically had to completely start over all of my social media accounts, change my phone number, change my email and transfer five years’ worth of work and recipes over to a new website. Talk about stressful! It was a challenging time, not to mention emotional but I did learn some lessons along the way. So, if you would like to follow my new website, called TRAIL BLAISE, please do so at http://trailblaise.com Also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all under the username: btrailblaise As always, I thank you for your continued dedication and support.

When I was thinking up a name, I said a silent prayer and told myself that whatever would come into my mind I would use. I had about forty minutes to decide on something, so it had to be fast. I closed my eyes, opened them and typed out “TRAIL BLAISE”. I knew this was it! I looked online to make sure it was not copywritten, it was not, and I immediately registered and bought the name. Some people may wonder where “Blaise the Baker” went and I always tell them that there will always be “Blaise the Baker”! There will always be “Blaise the Baker” cookbooks and recipes. For some people I will always be “Blaise the Baker” and that is fine! I am just no longer using the name in my social media life, but it will always be a part of me, partially because I have bought and owned the name since 2014! Ha!

My new website “TRAIL BLAISE” will combine all my worlds. “Blaise the Baker”, “CHEW THIS!”, along with many other new and exciting things! Speaking of new and exciting things let me tell you about my newest recipe! Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs are fabulously easy and extremely scrumptious! With only four ingredients, not counting salt and pepper, you are on your way to a healthy and delicious meal that the whole family will love! Try it tonight!

Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs

This dish needs to marinate for at least an hour but no longer than 6 hours. You can substitute the chicken legs for chicken thighs if you wish but be sure to adjust the cooking time. Do not worry about the lemon seeds falling into the marinate, they will slide right off the chicken when you move it from the dish to the baking sheet. This recipe can also be made using oranges in place of lemon for my recipe for “Orange and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs”.

13-16 chicken legs
6 lemons, cut in half
½ cup pure olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

Place the chicken legs into a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Squeeze the prepared lemons all over the chicken, not worrying about the seeds and placing in the lemon rind in between the chicken legs.

Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with the minced garlic.

Sprinkle on the salt and black pepper. Remember, we are using a lot of salt and black pepper because this is a lot of meat to season. Be sure to season generously.

Using clean hands, move, roll and rub the chicken legs so that all of the meat gets covered by the marinate. Press everything down, arrange the lemon wedges between the chicken legs and cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

Place into the refrigerator for at least an hour but no longer than 6 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Remove the chicken legs from the marinate and place on baking sheet. Place into preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. I prefer these a little overbaked, it does something I like to the skin, so feel free to bake an additional 10-15 minutes longer than you may think you need.

Remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be kept, covered and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This is delicious served cold as well.

Ask and Answer: I heard from a few people who made my “Fluffernutter Fudge” and said they loved it but wanted to know more about the marshmallows and how they were supposed to be in the fudge. If you go back and read my column I clearly state that the marshmallows are not to be melted. They are to stay whole. Melting the marshmallows into the fudge will not only ruin the looks of the overall finished product but ruin the taste and texture as well. It is important that the marshmallows stay whole. The fudge can also easily be doubled.

Grandma Barbra’s Slow Cooker Pork Roast

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” May 1st, 2017

This recipe comes straight from my Grandma Barbra. She served this for Easter and everyone went crazy so naturally I had to find out the recipe!

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Grandma Barbra’s Slow Cooker Pork Roast

1 pork roast (between 2-3 pounds)
1 bottle Italian salad dressing
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

In a shallow baking dish combine the pork roast with the bottle of Italian salad dressing. Cover with aluminum foil and place into the refrigerator overnight – or at least 6 hours.

Line your slow cooker with a plastic slow cooker liner, for easier cleanup, or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Place pork roast inside carefully along with water. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Cook on high for 4 hours. Turn down and cook on low for 4 additional hours. At the end of the cooking time, shred the pork with two forks.

Serve on hamburger buns with BBQ sauce and pickles if desired.

Enjoy!

CHEW THIS! Salmon Patties

Salmon Patties

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 2nd 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Salmon Patties are on the Dinner Menu
Blaise Doubman

I grew up eating salmon patties and I love everything about them! I love how versatile the recipe can be, see my notes below, I love how quick they are and I especially love the family memories that come along with eating them. My Mom, Darla, has made these for my family and I for many years and every time she does they disappear quick! My Grandma Deloris has made them over the years, as has my Grandma Barbra. Each of their recipes are slightly different – the recipe below is my version – but all of them taste delicious. Asking me to pick a favorite would be like asking me to pick who I love the most! My answer? All of them of course! And the side dishes to go along with them are endless! Baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese, macaroni and tomatoes, pasta salad, green beans, baked beans, rice, polenta, broccoli, and on and on. I am getting hungry just thinking about them! What about you?

Salmon is good for you too! Did you know that salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, high in Vitamin B, is a good source of potassium, a great source of protein, may reduce the risk of heart disease and may even benefit weight management! Salmon is also good for the brain, helps with inflammation and may even keep your hair healthier! Now, if all of those reasons are not reasons enough to eat salmon, I am not sure I can help you! Even if you are not really a seafood person, I would highly recommend giving these a try! Healthy, nutritious and delicious! I hope that soon your friends and family will see that salmon patties have joined your dinner menu.

Salmon Patties

This recipe is very versatile! Add lemon juice and lemon zest to the salmon patties, or even orange zest and parsley. Also the salmon patties can be fried in olive oil instead of vegetable oil if you desire. I prefer red salmon over the pink variety but feel free to use whichever variety you please. Also feel free to mix in turmeric, paprika or basil. You can also bake these in the oven by placing them on a baking sheet and placing them in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes per side. The outer patty will be crisp and the inside tender, just like the frying method.

2 cans red salmon, bones removed, undrained and flaked
1 sleeve of saltine crackers, crushed fine
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup pure vegetable oil

In a large skillet heat the pure vegetable oil over medium heat.

In a large bowl combine the prepared red salmon, crushed saltine crackers, large beaten eggs, chopped green onion, minced garlic, salt and black pepper.

Form into patties about ½-inch size in thickness and place gently into the hot vegetable oil. Do this in batches, giving the salmon patties room to breathe and cook properly.

Cook the salmon patties until browned on both sides, which is usually around 5 minutes per side. Be careful flipping them – this is hot work and the oil may splatter!

Once done cooking, remove and place on paper towels to drain some of the oil.

Serve hot.

Ask and Answer: I recently made homemade cinnamon rolls and posted the step by step process on my Facebook page. I had several people write to me and wonder the difference between dry yeast and instant yeast. The answer is – both yeasts can be used in whatever recipe you have that calls for yeast. However, dry yeast needs to be dissolved in a liquid before using – such as a milk and sugar mixture – whereas instant yeast can be mixed right in. I personally never use anything that says “fast rise” or “rapid rise” when it comes to buying yeast. I always buy the regular rising yeast because I find the results consistent.

CHEW THIS! BBQ Pineapple Chicken, Corn Pudding and Rice

BBQ Chicken, Corn Pudding and Rice

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 17th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

A complete southern-style meal, with perfect pairings…
Blaise Doubman

I love a good southern-style meal, and this one may be one of my favorites. Usually when someone mentions a southern-style meal, my first thoughts drift to fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, macaroni and cheese, dumplings, cheesy grits, buttermilk biscuits, green beans, fried corn and okra. Southern-style food is classified as a lot more than just fried chicken, loads of butter and carbohydrates believe it or not. The cuisine of the Southern United States consists of a lot of flavor, and food, combinations that I’m sure many of you aren’t aware of. Did you know that in the southern cuisine there are culture influences from Africa, England, and Scotland? Did you also know BBQ, rice and corn are all listed in the online food index as having “southern influences”?

I love hearing from my readers, and many of you have written asking for meal ideas, recipes for main dishes, and recipes for side dishes. I love to bake, but I also love to cook as well, so coming up with something like this isn’t anything out of my comfort zone. I did end up taking myself out of my comfort zone though, when I decided I wasn’t going to fry anything for this southern-style meal. I wanted to produce something southern, but not in the typical way a lot of people associate with the term “southern-style cuisine”. I wanted people to open their minds as to what could be classified as such, and with the combinations of BBQ, chicken, corn and rice – it was a perfect match!

BBQ Pineapple Chicken, Corn Pudding and Rice

If you don’t like pineapple, feel free to leave it out of the recipe, and just add the BBQ sauce to the chicken breasts – no need to do any recipe readjustments. The flavors in this meal compliment each other nicely and even better when served with a side of roasted broccoli. Roasted broccoli is a simple side dish. Take fresh or frozen broccoli florets and place on a sheet pan. Drizzle the broccoli with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a couple of teaspoons each salt and black pepper. Toss all together with clean hands, and place in preheated 425-degree oven for 30 minutes. This same recipe will work with all kinds of vegetables. Potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, squash… Flavorful – and healthy!

For BBQ Pineapple Chicken…

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 regular size bottle BBQ sauce
1 small can of crushed pineapple

For the Corn Pudding…

1 regular sized can whole kernel corn (undrained)
1 regular sized can cream style corn
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, beaten
1 small box “Jiffy”- brand corn muffin mix
1 (4 oz) stick of salted butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

To make the BBQ pineapple chicken, spray the inside of your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.

Place the chicken breasts inside the slow cooker and pour over the BBQ sauce, and can of crushed pineapple. Be sure the BBQ sauce and crushed pineapple is evenly distributed over the chicken breasts.

Set your slow cooker on high for three hours, or low for five hours until chicken is done.

To make the corn pudding, start by preheating your oven to 350-degrees F and lightly spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine both cans of corn, sour cream, beaten eggs, corn muffin mix, melted butter, salt and pepper.

Pour this mixture into the prepared casserole dish, and place in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes until the top is dry and the interior is still slightly wobbly.

Remove from oven, and allow to cool slightly before serving.

To prepare the white rice, follow the package directions of your favorite rice. I also prefer to use the “stovetop” method, adding a little salt and butter to the rice.

Leftovers from this meal can be kept in a covered container, in the refrigerator, for up to three days and reheated in the microwave.

CHEW THIS! Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Vegetables

Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Vegetables

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, December 6th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

A warm and delicious slow cooker meal, perfect for cold weather…
Blaise Doubman

I have to admit that I’ve never been a slow cooker fan, until recently. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was because of the “slow cooking” process? I’ve never been one to have an extreme amount of patience, and the whole concept of cooking something over the course of several hours never really appealed to me. If you feel the same way, let me reassure you of something that I’m sure will change your mind. When you cook food low and slow, especially meat, you will have the most succulent and tender piece of meat you can ever imagine. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the process of “slow cooking” and this method can actually be used to benefit you in the long run by eliminating the clean up of several pots and pans, and by adding time to your day.

If you are like almost every single person in the world today, you need more hours in the day, am I right? You work a hectic job, try and get everything done for everybody else and don’t have that much time to cook when you finally get home in the evenings. And believe me, after a full, hectic and stressful day, a warm home cooked meal is exactly what is needed. Grabbing something from a fast food chain just will not warm and comfort the soul like something fresh and made at home where you control what goes in, and stays out, of the finished dish. Prepare this complete meal in the morning, go about your daily life, and come home to a meal that is warm, soothing, flavorful and completely satisfying. Try this worry and hassle free meal for a surefire hit!

Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Vegetables

It’s essential that you cut the beef roast in half to ensure even cooking. This recipe is very versatile and can be made with a variety of vegetables other than potatoes and carrots. For something different try fennel with the onions, or even fennel, onions, celery and garlic. Experiment with whatever vegetable and flavors you desire. You can also experiment with the types of beef used, and use any boneless cut from the chuck or round – such as a rump roast or a bottom round roast. It’s really about preference. I have found, though, that the boneless beef chuck shoulder roast results in the most tender and succulent result. If you want to add even more flavor to the recipe, brown all sides of the roast in a skillet with a little flour before adding it to your slow cooker. This will develop a “crust” which will help lock in the final juices.

1, 4-5 pound boneless beef chuck shoulder roast
4 large potatoes, washed, peeled, and medium diced
4 large carrots, washed and medium diced
2 cups white pearl onions
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 ½ cups water
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 package brown gravy mix
1 package au jus gravy mix

Start by spraying your slow cooker liner with a light coat of non-stick cooking spray.

Place the diced potatoes, diced carrots and pearl onions in the slow cooker, and sprinkle them evenly with the salt and black pepper.

Cut the boneless beef chuck shoulder roast in half with a sharp knife and place it in the slow cooker, on top of the vegetables. Depending on the size of the roast, you may need to push it down into the center of the vegetables, to make sure the lid fits.

Pour in the water, and sprinkle in the dry onion soup mix, brown gravy mix and au jus gravy mix. Place the lid on the slow cooker.

Cook on high for 4 hours, or cook on low for 8 hours.

CHEW THIS! Cheesy Potatoes with Sausage Casserole

Cheesy Potatoes with Sausage Casserole

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 4th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Generational Casserole Recipe Wins Approval…
Blaise Doubman

I love recipes that have history around them. Recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation are not only some of the best, but some of my most popular recipes. No matter what food trends come and go (peanut butter flavored pickles, or coconut popcorn sorbet, anyone?) true and trusted “heirloom” recipes, are hard to beat. The recipe I’m sharing today has been in my family for years and years. I remember first learning about this from my Mom, Darla, when I was about five years old. It amazed me how such simple ingredients could come together to make such an incredible dish.

My Mom was taught this recipe from her Mom, my Grandma, Deloris Bolinger – who was in turn taught the recipe from her Mom, my Great Grandma, Viola Davis. Are you adding that up? That means this recipe is a four generations-old recipe! The stories and memories that go along with each recipe handed down to the next generation are some of my favorite growing up. Listening and watching my Mom teach me this recipe will then be shared with future generations and now here with all of you. I hope this recipe brings memories and stories to share with the ones you love – just like it’s done with mine.

Cheesy Potatoes with Sausage Casserole

This casserole can be made ahead and placed in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to bake, just remove from the refrigerator, place in preheated oven and bake. There really is no substitute for “Velveeta” – brand cheese. If you’re not a fan of using this type of cheese, give it another try. The taste and texture of this cheese has really improved, compared to other types of “processed cheese”, and the delicious “melting” of this type of cheese just can’t be beat…

2 pounds of Idaho baking potatoes
4 tablespoons salted butter
4 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound (16 oz.) Velveeta-brand cheese
2 small packages (or 1 large) mini sausages (28 oz. total)

Start by preparing the potatoes. Peel the potatoes, cut them into medium-sized cubes, and place in a large pot of salted boiling water over high heat until tender.

In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, combine the salted butter, white all-purpose flour, whole milk, salt, black pepper and Velveeta-brand cheese until melted, smooth and creamy. If any lumps are present, whisk with a wire whisk to remove them.

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F and lightly grease a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the cooked potatoes in the dish, and spread out evenly.

Next, pour the cheese mixture over the potatoes, being sure to distribute evenly.

Before placing in the oven, spread the mini sausages, evenly, over the top of the cheese and potatoes. Place in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Remove and allow to cool very slightly before serving.