Chicken Beer Brats with Side Salad

Out of all the places I’ve lived and have eaten brats (college, tail gaits, grad school, etc) I have to say that they really know how to make them here in Wisconsin…they make beer brats! I found Chicken Brats at the local organic grocery store, so I just had to test out the beer brats with them, and boy were they good, so this method works with both regular brats and chicken ones.

Chicken Beer Brats with Side Salad
Recipe Type: Dinner, Main Meal, Entree
Author: Sweetphi
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 4
  • 5 Chicken Brats
  • 5 Brat Buns
  • 1/2 Onion, cut into pieces
  • 1 Tbs Butter
  • 1 Bottle or can of beer, I used 1 But Light
  • 4 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Agave Nectar (or honey)
  • 1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 20-40 Croutons
  • 4 Tbs shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 4-8 cups spring greens
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Mustard
  1. In a deep frying pan that will be able to hold liquid, melt the butter and stir in the onions. Fry until they become translucent, add 1 tbs olive oil and add the brats. Brown on each side, 5 minutes on each side, about 10-12 minutes total. when they have a nice color on each side, add the entire can of beer and let cook on medium high for half an hr to an hour.
  2. For the salad dressing. In a bowl whisk together the 3 tbs olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave nectar and Dijon mustard. Add a sprinkle of salt and some cracked pepper (I used 5 turns).To assemble the salads lay out 4 small bowls, add in spring greens, add 1 tbs Parmesan cheese to each bowl, 5-8 croutons per bowl and top with 1 tbs of the dressing.
  3. To assemble the brats open bun and insert brat, and add some of the onions from the pot, spread with mustard or desired condiments.

 Ingredients for the lovely meal

 The chicken brats cooking in the beer

 The Salad Dressing

 The completed meal

Chicken Green Chile Nachos

I looove Nachos! It’s almost a guilty pleasure, but I don’t feel guilty so i’d say it’s just a pleasure! Every month I have book club, and we used to go to this place that had really good nachos, we switched locations so I had to create something in its wake. I think these are better than at the restaurant, and it’s super easy to prepare.

 Just look at that oooey gooey cheese!

Chicken Green Chile Nachos
Recipe Type: Appetizer, main meal
Author: Sweetphi
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 5 mins
Serves: 4
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth-100% Fat Free
  • 1 Cup Tomatilla Salsa with Cilantro and Olives
  • 1 Can Diced Green Chile’s (you can get mild or spicy depending on your taste)
  • 3/4 cup Cheddar Cheese, reduced fat
  • 3/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 8 Cups Thick Tortilla Chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375, place chicken, chicken broth, salsa and entire can of chile’s in a deep baking dish and let cook for 2 hrs, or alternatively put in crock pot and turn on high for 2-3 hrs (I used the crock pot and they came out wonderful). After Chicken is cooked through, shred the chicken by puling it apart with two forks.
  2. Mix the shredded cheeses in bowl and set aside.
  3. To assemble take two cups of tortilla chips and place in a bowl, add the chicken with some chiles-I used a slotted spoon so I wouldn’t get any of the liquid onto the chips-then add the cheese. The cheese will melt after a few minutes. Serve and enjoy!

 All the ingredients

 The bowls waiting to be eaten!


Easter Ham Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Brussels Sprout Hash

This post is from last week, when there was left-over easter ham, it would certainly be good with any sort of left-over ham!

What to do with left-over Easter ham….what to do…I know, put it in a hash (not the trash)! I had a bag of frozen butternut squash and leftover roasted brussels sprouts, it turned out beautifully!

Ham Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Brussels Sprout Hash
Author: Sweetphi
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 17 mins
Serves: 4
  • 1 to 2 cups chopped cooked ham
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 10 oz butternut squash
  • 1 cup roasted brussels sprouts
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbs butter
  • salt, pepper, chili powder seasoning
  1. This is one of the easiest hashes. Peel the sweet potato and cook in microwave for 7 minutes, then chop in rough pieces. Chop the onion and add the onion, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and ham to a frying pan with the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and chili powder and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir a few times while cooking, browning the veggies.
  2. In another pan melt the butter and fry the egg-to get sunyside up, don’t flip or pop the center.
  3. Put desired amount of hash in a bowl and top with the egg!


 The hash cooking up

 Ready to serve and enjoy

Best Ever Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

If you ever make a cake from scratch, this is the one! I made this for Easter but just haven’t had time to post until now. What you’ll learn from this post is the coolest way to cut a cake-brought to you from my mom! The way she cuts a cake is by cutting a circle in the middle, and then when you cut pieces you can make them smaller or larger and the cake will stay even…genius! Besides, this cake was literally the best carrot cake ever…EVER!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
Recipe Type: Desert
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Serves: 8
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 pound medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots), peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • For the Frosting:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool
  • 8 tablespoons (2 sticks)unsalted butter softened, but still cool
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 heaping Tablespoons Apricot Preserves
  • For the decorative carrots:
  • 1 small tube each of orange and green gel frosting, mixed with 1 tbs of the frosting
  1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round spring form pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms of pan with parchment and spray parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside.
  3. Clean and grate/shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside.
  4. In another bowl beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds. With mixer running, add oil in slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against inside of bowl (if oil begins to splatter, reduce speed to low until oil is incorporated, then resume adding oil). Increase speed to high and mix until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pans.
  5. Bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Cool cakes to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.
  6. When the cake is cool, make the cream cheese frosting. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium high speed until well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1 minute. Put half the frosting in a separate bowl, and add 4 heaping tablespoons apricot preserve and mix.
  7. To assemble the cake, place one layer on desired serving dish, spread the middle layer with the apricot frosting mixture, add the second layer, and then frost the cake with the remaining frosting. Draw on the carrots with a knife (I mixed the tube of gel frosting with 1 tablespoon of frosting)

I adapted this awesome recipe from Sweetpea Kitchen

 Carrot cake ingredients

 See how the middle is cut? so cool!

 a slice of the cake

Mini Upside-down Pineapple Cakes

I had a can of crushed pineapple in the fridge and had to use it, so I thought that I’d do a twist on the ever so popular pineapple upside down cake that I’ve never had. These turned out great, a perfect little cake bite.

Mini Upside-down Pineapple Cakes
Recipe Type: Desert
Author: Sweetphi
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 24
  • Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/3 C white sugar
  • 4 T pineapple juice
  • 1/3 C all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2/3 C brown sugar
  • 1 Can crushed pineapple (small can will do, you will only need 24 1/2 tablespoons worth)
  • maraschino cherries (I did not use in this batch because I didn’t have any on hand, but I think a quarter or half of one on top would have been a nice flavor boost)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your muffin tin (I used a mini 24 cup muffin tin) with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add egg, white sugar, and pineapple juice. Beat for 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and turn mixer back on for 2 minutes.
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and add the brown sugar. Stir on low heat for one minute.
  4. Place a 1 tsp of crushed pineapple in the bottom of each muffin tin. Spoon over a layer of the warm brown sugar mixture. Pour cake mixture over to fill muffin tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake to help loosen in case it sticks a little. Place a wire cooling rack on top, and quickly flip over on top of sheet tray to catch extra drippings. Place on a wire rack to cool.

 Mini Pineapple Upside-down cakes ingredients

 After they were done, mine were filled a little too much

Up close and personal

Carolina Mustard Barbecue Pulled Chicken with Sweet potato fries

Before I moved to Wisconsin I lived in North Carolina for three years. Carolina has amazing barbecue, the true Carolina style barbecue is mustard based and is one of my favorite things, I loooove mustard, last November I posted this-at that time I had 7 different mustard’s in my fridge and that wasn’t even all of them! So I just had to try and make some at home, and let me tell you, I hit the nail on the head with this flavorful recipe.

Carolina Mustard Barbecue Pulled Chicken with Sweet potato fries
Recipe Type: Dinner, Entree
Author: Sweetphi
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 3 hours
Total time: 3 hours 15 mins
Serves: 6-8
  • For the Pulled Chicken: 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1.5 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Small Onion, diced
  • 1 tsp each of salt, pepper and thyme
  • For the Sweet Potato Fries: 2-4 Sweet Potatoes
  • 4 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs each of Chili Powder and Thyme and salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • For the Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce: 1 Tbs Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Yellow Mustard
  • 1/4 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Dry Mustard Powder
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. For the pulled chicken: saute onion, garlic and olive oil in pan for about 5 minutes over high heat until some pieces are opaque or close to opaque and some have browned. Put chicken breasts, broth, salt, pepper, thyme and onion and garlic mixture into a crock pot. Put heat on high and let cook for 2.5 hrs. Pull apart for serving.
  2. For the Sweet Potato Fries: Preheat oven to 375. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into desired thickness. In a large bowl place cut sweet potatoes and cover with olive oil and seasonings, mix well. Place on foil or parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-40 minutes-depending on how thick you have cut your fries. They should be slightly golden brown on some sides and you should easily be able to poke a fork into them.
  3. For the Barbecue sauce: In a stick free pot melt the butter and add brown sugar, when the sugar begins to dissolve add the ketchup, mustard and vinegar, add seasonings and stir very well. When the mixture comes to a slow boil turn off heat and let sit until you are ready to serve.
  4. I served the dish with the chicken naked and the sauce and sweet potatoes on the side so one could dip the sweet potato fries and chicken into the sauce


 The sweet potato fries all done

 The bbq all ready to eat

 the dipping! enjoy!

C-Boost Mango Smoothie Almond Torte

Ever see those smoothies in the grocery store next to the salads? I happen to love them! I was going to make this Torte that I usually make in the summer when I add berries, but I thought it would be oh so delicious if I added some of the soft mango flavor that is in one of my favorite smoothies called C-Boost by Bolthouse Farms. The torte turned out wonderful with hints of mango and almond from the almond meal. This is a wonderful dish for spring or summer nights.

Mango Smoothie Almond Torte with honey topping
Recipe Type: Desert
Author: Sweetphi
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 8
  • 1 Cup + 1 Tbs Almond Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Masa Harina (Corn Meal Flour)
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Lemon (zest + juice)
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup C-Boost Mango Smoothie
  • Pinch of salt
  • Topping:
  • 3 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbs Lemon juice
  • 1/4 Cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In 1 bowl mix the flours plus 1/3 cup white sugar.
  3. In a second bowl beat the egg whites with a handheld mixer until soft peaks form, then add the pinch of salt and 1/3 cup sugar
  4. In a third bowl beat the egg yolks until a creamy color, add in the brown sugar, smoothie, olive oil, zest and juice of lemon.
  5. Combine the second and third bowls, folding the mixtures together with spoon, and then slowly fold in the first bowls’ contents. When all the ingredients are combined pour into the prepared springform pan and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and remove outer springform. In a bowl mix together the honey, vanilla extract and lemon juice and drizzle over torte. When torte has cooled, sift the powered sugar on top, cut and enjoy!

 Mango Almond Torte Ingredients

 Mango Almond Torte All ready to eat

 Mango Almond Torte … yummy!

Himalayan Rock Salt White and Dark Chocolate Blondie Brownies

The title says it all….this recipe has a fancy salt, white and dark chocolate, and it’s a blondie…and brownie! Sooo delish! I love the combination of salty and sweet, and I had this fancy salt sitting in my spice cabinet (yes, I have a cabinet that is full of only spices and herbs). You may wonder why there is no picture of the brownies in a pan…well, it is because they were so good that they got devoured in one night, and the only thing that was left were the three I had set aside to take photos of (embarrassing, I know! But it was SO worth it)

Himalayan Rock Salt White and Dark Chocolate Blondie Brownies
Recipe Type: Desert
Author: Sweetphi
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 16
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 bar (3.25 oz) white chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Rock Salt (it looks pink)
  • cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a microwave safe bowl put the stick of butter and white chocolate chips. Cook in microwave for 1 minute, take out and stir so that everything is melted together and smooth. Next add the 2 eggs and stir with a wooden spoon. Next add the sugars and pinch of salt, and add 1/2 tsp of the Himalayan Rock Salt and the vanilla extract. Divide the mix into two, and in one of the halved batter bowls add the chocolate chips. Spread this mixture into a greased (cooking spray covered) 8 x 8 brownie pan. Spread the remaining batter over the one with the chocolate chips, and add the remaining 1/2 tsp Himalayan Rock Salt by sprinkling it evenly across the top.
  2. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, don’t over bake. When done allow to cool for 45-1 hr. Cut into 16 squares and enjoy

Dark Chocolate and Fig Cookies and Holding the Phone

Whenever something is so good, I tell Nick (my fiance) to ‘hold the phone.’ When i made these cookies and gave him some to try, he looked and me and said ‘babe, look’ and was holding his phone up in the air 🙂 So needless to say, this recipe will be a repeat. It has a wonderful fig and dark chocolate taste, they were gone in a day they were so good, everyone that tried some went back for more.

Dark Chocolate and Fig Cookies and Holding the Phone
Author: Sweetphi
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 24
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1.25 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup figs, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl cream the butter and two sugars, add vanilla, salt and baking soda and stir. add the egg and then add the flour. Next stir in the chocolate chips (the recipe would have been good with just 3/4 or 1 cup of chocolate chips) and chopped up figs.
  2. Place cookies on parchment paper covered cookies sheets and bake for 14-20 minutes. When done let them cool on cookie rack before serving.

 Here are the ingredients, it’s hard to see, but the Figs actually came from Walgreens of all places, they were having a sale and i wanted to try some in cookies, i should have bought many more boxes because they were only $1!

 Here you can see the fig pieces and chocolate chips, a delicious combo.

Port and Prune Pork Chops with Creamy Polenta and Roasted Carrots

Port and Prune Pork Chops with Creamy Polenta and Roasted Carrots
Author: Sweetphi
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 4
  • For the Carrots:
  • 10 carrots
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp thyme
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • For the Pork Chops:
  • 4 pork chops
  • 8 prunes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 Tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup Port or a deep red wine
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • For the Polenta:
  • 1.5 cups skim milk
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/5 cups Corn Meal
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tbs butter
  1. For the Carrots: Preheat oven to 350. Clean and cut the carrots into thin strips, and mix in a bowl with the olive oil, thyme and salt. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and bake for 30-40 minutes or until done.
  2. For the Pork Chops: Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel. In a bowl or on a plate pat each side of the pork chops with the brown sugar and the garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a skillet on high heat the olive oil, and put in the pork chops, roast each side for 3 minutes. Remove from pan and put the pork chops on a plate and cover with aluminum foil. In a bowl mix the port, balsamic vinegar, oregano and corn starch. In the pan cook the onion until almost translucent and then add the prunes and liquid that you have mixed up. Bring the mixture in the pan to a slow boil, the sauce will thicken and reduce in size. Remove the sauce from the pan, leaving about 3 tbs worth in the pan, add the pork chops back to the pan and let cook for about 2 minutes on each side, then serve with the sauce when done.
  3. For the Polenta: In a pot combine water, milk, polenta, and salt, bring to a boil and whisk as it cooks. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and continue to whisk it ever so often. After 20 minutes, when it has a pudding like consistency add the Parmesan cheese and butter, stir, let sit for another 3 minutes and then serve!

Every once in a while a make a fancy meal that really surprises me as to why I haven’t tried something like it before…this was one of those meals. It was fancy and oh so delicious!

 The meal ingredients

 The wonderful dinner on a plate