My kids drink quite a bit of chocolate milk. I know I should probably feel guilty about that, but I don’t. I do, however, feel guilty when I buy the chocolate syrup with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HCFS) in it. I haven’t found ANY chocolate syrup at the regular grocery store that doesn’t have HCFS in it so, I have been buying it at Trader Joe’s. It is good, but we don’t live super close to a TJ’s and I really wanted an alternative that I could easily make at home. Friends, I have found it. This chocolate syrup is so stinkin’ good, that it makes your milk sing!!! I always worry when I make homemade versions of storebought stuff because usually my kiddos will turn their noses up at it (can you say homemade graham crackers?). But this stuff they have been snarfing down like there is no tomorrow. Hooray!!! Go make this. You will be a hero to your kids.
Homemade Chocolate Syrup
Recipe added by oneordinaryday on TastyKitchen.com
- 1 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- ¼ teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 1 cup Water
- 3 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1. Whisk cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a pot until combined. Add water and whisk or stir until well blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove syrup from heat and allow to cool.
2. When cooled completely, stir in vanilla extract until well combined. Pour syrup into an airtight container and refrigerate.
3. Makes approximately 1 3/4 cups of syrup and will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. (It’ll never last that long though!)
Use 1 tablespoon per glass of chocolate milk.
Yes, you read that right. If you are reading this and you aren’t from the South, you are probably thinking, “Ewwww, why would someone fry a pickle????” Well, we here in the South fry all manor of things, but fried pickles are the BEST. We even have a restaurant near here called the Fickle Pickle that is famous for their fried pickles. These are pretty much as good as those. The sauce recipe comes from another restaurant called Smokejack that also has awesome fried pickles with a spicy sauce. I have made that recipe before, but it is a bit more involved than these and I think these are just as good. So, if you are having friends over and are feeling adventurous, make these pickles. They will LOVE you for it.
Fried Dill Pickles
from Food Network
- 1 pint sliced dill pickles, undrained
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons ground red pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ c. yellow cornmeal (this is my addition and I love it!)
- Vegetable oil
- Drain pickles, reserving 2/3-cup pickle juice. Press pickles between paper towels. Combine 2/3 cup pickle juice, egg, 1 tablespoon flour, and hot sauce. Stir well and set aside.
2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour with ground red pepper, garlic powder, salt, and paprika. Blend well.
3. Dip pickles in egg mixture, then dredge in flour mixture. Fry coated pickles in 375-degree oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Hot Pink Dipping Sauce
Recipe from Smokejack Restaurant
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon Sriracha hot chili sauce (We used WAY more than 1/2 TBS)
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and the Sriracha and mix well.
If you like Italian food at all, you will LOVE this casserole. It is full of yummy goodies like pepperoni, pasta, sausage and cheese. And, best of all, it is a super easy weeknight dinner. All you need to do is make a salad and you have an awesome meal. Of course, I didn’t make a salad. That would be too healthy for us. We just gorged on the pasta and called it a night. Another BIG plus to this casserole is that both of my kids at it. It was a little Christmas miracle. This would be the perfect casserole to take to a potluck because it is so quick and easy and it makes a lot. Enjoy!!
Pepperoni Pizza Casserole
From the AJC
8 ounces (about 3 cups) uncooked spiral pasta
1 pound Italian sausage (casings removed) or ground beef (I used hot turkey Italian sausage)
4 cups spaghetti sauce
1 (4-ounce) can mushrooms, drained (I left these out)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (6-ounce) package sliced pepperoni
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (I used pre-shredded Italian blend cheese)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On the stovetop, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. Return the pasta to the pot.
- Meanwhile, in a saute pan over medium heat, cook the sausage; drain. Add the sausage, spaghetti sauce and mushrooms to the pasta and stir to combine. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and half the pepperoni slices.
- Spread pasta mixture into a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Top with the mozzarella cheese. Arrange remaining half of pepperoni slices over top. Bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.