Sunday, January 9, 2011

Homemade Donuts! (Chocolate and Powdered Sugar)

Make amazingly scrumptious donuts from home! Cheap, easy and scrumptacular! No need for a donut making machine if you've got oil and a lg pot or deep fryer your good to go! There is not much like a freshly deep chizzled donut, and I bet you miss them now that Crispy Cream is out of business! Well I'm going to help you get your fix ;) I have never been much of a fan of the frosting type glaze so I am going to show you how to make one with real chocolate. Side note: I use to work for Dunkin Donuts in my teens, if you would like more donut recipes let me know in the comments section, always love to hear from my readers!

What you'll need:

Pack of Pillsbury jumbo biscuits
Hershey chocolate bar
Powdered sugar
A deep fryer or large pot
Oil (recommend buying a large jug from GFS, Costco or Sam's Club
Bottle cap from soda bottle

Preparing and cooking:

Preheat deep fryer to 350F, if using a lg pot with oil you do not need that much oil, around 3 inch's thick, (enough for the donuts to float on top) medium to medium high heat
Open your biscuits and separate them
Press them down a bit to flatten (I like to use the bottom of a plate for this), you want them about about a 1/2 inch thick
Take your bottle cap and place it in the center of the biscuit, press down, remove doe (You've just created a donut hole!)
Place them in the deep fryer or pot with oil and keep a close eye on them, use tongs to flip, will not take long and you will know when there done when they are golden brown.

When your donuts are done place them on a plate on top of paper towel, let them cool for a bit then pat them over a bit with paper towel.

For chocolate glaze:
(The taste of these is heaven sent! Must try to understand.)

Take your Hershey chocolate bar and place it in a bowl, heat in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute (need to check on this frequently, every microwave is different) heat until melted.
spread your melted chocolate over the top of them with a rubber spatula.
Add sprinkles etc if you'd like!

For powdered donuts:
Sprinkle your powdered sugar over the donuts

Now THAT'S Scrumptious!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Italian Spaghetti n Meatballs

Italian Spaghetti n Meatballs:
Who doesn't like spaghetti? Our scrumptacular spaghetti n meatball recipe is sure to be a hit on any occasion!

What you'll need:

2 pounds ground beef (wouldn't go for lean, will miss a lot of flavor if you do)

Jimmy Dean Italian sausage (use half of the roll)
Pack of spaghetti noodles
2 bottles of Ragu brand spaghetti sauce, pick two different types for instance: pick one with mushrooms, another with veggies etc (gives more flavor). Later on I will post how to make spaghetti sauce from scratch but it is a long process and most people probably will not want to mess with it.
Italian seasoning shaker
4 garlic cloves (minced)
2 onions (chopped)
More mushrooms if you'd like
Salt & pepper


Mince all of your garlic and chop both onions, set aside.

To prepare meatballs: 
Preheat oven to 350F
Spread your ground beef out flat same with half of the Italian sausage roll, set the Italian sausage on top of the ground beef, sprinkle an even layer of Italian seasoning, 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1 chopped onion, roll the meat mixture up and mix it up good with your hands.
Form the meat mixture into meatballs, I usually make them around an inch and a half thick, make sure you get them all around the same size or it will complicate cooking.

To cook the meatballs:

In a frying pan place 1 tbs of oil and heat on medium high for around 3-4 minutes
Place meatballs in frying pan. (You'll get some smoke, don't worry that's how you know your cooking properly! That fat in the ground beef is where you get your flavor, it is going to heat up into a liquid form and sear back into a solid state while leaving scrumptacular flavor!)
Let them get a good sear and turn them so that each side gets a good sear, cook until you've got a good sear on all sides, don't worry about overcooking we are going to finish them off in the oven just make sure you don't leave them on one side too long and if it's heating up on each side too fast turn your heat down a little but make sure your using enough heat.

Place the meatballs in a baking dish (needs to have sides but no lid) enough room for them to all be on the same level not all bunched in.
Sprinkle with your Italian seasoning, salt & pepper then place in your 350F preheated oven.

(Check on these while cooking the rest of your ingredients. When they are done they should be firm when pressing with your index finger, check my steak article to learn how to easily tell when meats are done)

Now it's time to boil your noodles:

Fill your pot with water put it on the stove on high heat, turn down when your water starts to boil to medium - medium high, throw your noodles in there along with a tsp of oil so the noodles won't stick.
Be sure not to overcook the noodles it is a common mistake and common misconception that you cannot overcook a noodle. You want it done enough so that it has a little texture but not soggy at the same time, taste test while cooking.

Now for the sauce:
Place your Ragu or other brand of sause in a medium pot

(This part is crucial, remember you have TONS of sauce here, you are going to need quite a bit of seasoning to evenly get threw it.)

Add the rest of the minced garlic and chopped onion (should be 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 chopped onion left)
Add 1/4 cup of italian seasoning to start
1 Tsp of salt to start
Couple pinch's of pepper to start

Mix well and taste test, this is where in my opinion spaghetti turns to art. Taste the mixture and add what you think it needs, you may want more garlic and onion (can also put powder form in) or you may need more Italian seasoning. In my opinion good spaghetti should have a good thyme taste which is in your Italian seasoning, you could choose to use fresh thyme or a shaker of that as well but be advised thyme is a very overpowering herb so you want to add that a little at a time. Another key is using enough salt, without it your spaghetti will be bland and flavorless, salt brings out the flavor of all of the ingredients. Season until it suites your tastes but don't be shy with the seasoning, that is the mistake far too many make!

Place noodles on plates, spread sauce on top and add meatballs, don't forget to make some garlic bread or Texas Toast!

Now THAT'S Scrumptious!

To Store:
Place sauce in a covered container along with the meatballs to store in your fridge (The sauce will keep the meatballs fresher)
Place noodles in a separate container.

The Perfect Pot Roast w/Homemade Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

The Perfect Pot Roast w/Homemade Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
 This is an easy yet scrumptious meal that'll turn any large cut of beef into a flavorful delicious meal!

What you'll need:
Any large cut of beef (I usually use a rump roast, cheap yet scrumptious when slow cooked! You'd never think rump would taste this good!)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Onions (Chopped)
2 Garlic cloves (Minced)
Mini carrots (Gives it a nice sweet taste)
Tbs of basil
Crockpot (preferred, or roasting pan)

Wash all ingredients besides basil and roast of course. Mince garlic, chop onions.
Line your crockpot or roasting pan with full stalks of celery less leafy tops.
Throw your carrots in there
Pour half a cup of water in the bottom
Take your roast out and coat it with tbs of olive oil or other oil
Rub on the minced garlic and chopped onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, basil.
Place roast on top of celery stalks (This is key as it will keep your roast from overcooking ensuring it comes out juicy & scrumptious)

Cook on high heat for 10 minutes to get everything going, reduce to medium for around an hour finish on low. Again, every appliance is different, checking frequently is key! If you really don't want to mess with it cook on high for 10 min reduce to low will take aprox 2-3 hours or more.

Homemade mashed potatoes with garlic

What you'll need:

Around a half bag or more of roasting potatoes
2 cloves of garlic (Minced)
1 stick of salted butter
Tsp parsley Lg cooking pot

Wash potatoes, cut them in half (cooks quicker), place in lg pot (I prefer not to skin, more flavor and healthier for you!), fill pot with water over potatoes, start on high heat bring down to medium once boiling, cook until you can stick a fork in one of the potatoes with ease, mash with potato masher, throw your stick of butter in there as well as your garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade beef/veggie gravy from roast:

What you'll need:

Flour and juice from your roast
Empty jar with lid or whisk and bowl
1/2 teaspoon of salt, dash of pepper

Pour meat/veggie juice from roast into an empty jar or other container, add salt, dash of pepper, if using the jar method pour around a half cup of flour in initially, put the lid on and shake until smooth, test consistency by taking a spoon and dipping it in letting the gravy run off to see how thick it is, if not thick enough add a little more flour and repeat. If using a container and whisk you must slowly pour in the flour a bit at a time while whisking at the same time otherwise you'll have gravy with flour chunks. If you've made it too thick add more juice to level it out. You can also use a food processor which is the best method in my opinion.

Now THAT'S Scrumptious!

What the heck does scrumptious mean?

Mean's our recipes are:

Twin pig's in the blanket

Pig's in the blanket overpowered by the crescent taste? I find putting two links in each balances out this popular meal. I also like to put shredded cheese on the crescent before cooking and press it in as well as some Italian seasoning.

Sausage links (I prefer smokey links)
Tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls
Shredded cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar)
Italian seasoning

Take your crescent roll tube and open it up, peel off a crescent roll, place 2 links inside and wrap the crescent roll around it. Take some shredded cheese and press it into the crescent roll, now sprinkle some Italian seasoning over it and repeat the process.


Every oven is different I usually do not follow preheat recommendations. It's kind of like cooking with a microwave there all different same with ovens. I will recommend 350F check once in a while if needed turn it up to 400 etc, the key is not in getting the perfect preheat temp but checking on it enough!

Now THAT'S Scrumptious!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Grilled Cheese: Texas style!

(Can be cooked on a medium heated grill or 350F in the oven)

What you'll need:

Garlic Texas Toast (Pepperidge Farms brand or other)
Shredded cheese (my favorite is sharp cheddar but any will work)
Mayo if desired

Preheat oven to 350F

Set out two slices of texas toast per sandwich garlic side up.
Place shredded cheese on the top of one piece, put both slices together (garlic side facing cheese).
Cook until golden brown.
Take one side off and place tomato slices. Mayo is also good if desired.

Now THAT's Scrumptious!

Authentic Mexicana Style Guacamole

Authentic Mexicana Style Guacamole

What you need:

2 Avocado's (cubed)
1 Jalapeno pepper for mild 1 and a half to 2 for hot (remove seeds, mince)
2 Roma tomatoes (minced)
1 Garlic clove (minced)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (minced)
Half of a white onion (minced)

(Rinse all ingredients)

To prepare: Run knife around the avocado, pull apart, remove center ball, now take a thin knife with the skin still on and run it from the top of the innards to the bottom of the avacado multiple times turn and do the same to the side to create a crosshatch type pattern, looks something like this /###\ now run the knife around the edge of the avocodo, take a spoon and scrape out the innards you will be left with little cubes of avocado do this with both sides and both avocado's

Prepare other ingredients as noted, combine, stir (enough to break down the avocado's more unless you want the guacamole chunky, and salt to taste.

Now THAT'S Scrumptious!

Authentic Mexicana Style Salsa

Authentic Mexicana Style Salsa

What you need:

4 Roma tomatoes (mince or chop for chunky salsa)
1 Jalapeno pepper for mild, 1 and a half to 2 for hot (take the seeds out and mince)
Half of a white onion (minced)
1 Garlic clove (minced)
Half a cup of fresh cilantro (minced)

Rinse all ingredients then mince or chop ingredients as noted, combine, stir, salt to taste.

Now THAT'S Scrumptious!

Ninja Master Prep Blender and Food Processor Review

Before I get to my salsa and guacamole recipes I thought I'd write a mini-review on the Ninja Master Prep, my favorite new kitchen appliance.

The Ninja Master Prep took my prep time from 15-30 minutes down to 5 minutes if that. My Wife and I received the Ninja Master Prep kit for Christmas and I honestly could not live without this thing after using it!

The kit includes a blender as well as a food processor that will take an onion, garlic clove etc down to mince level in a couple press's of the button!

I use this machine to make all of my dips, to mince and chop all of my ingredients and even make homemade gravy!!! The container bowls are very sturdy and come complete with a lid so after you make salsa etc you can just throw the lid on and throw it in the fridge, same with making smoothies, shakes etc. The blender part of the machine will even take ice down to slushy grade! Extremely versatile machine!

Grilling The Perfect Steak (The Sear and Indirect Method)

The biggest mistake people make when attempting to grill a steak with good flavor and the desired doneness is using the same heat setting during the entire cooking process. We here at Now THAT'S Scrumptious! like to use an indirect method after searing. I see people grill steak one of three ways:

They cook it on high heat the entire time which gets you a good sear flavor with good grill marks but overcooks the steak rendering it well done or worse, burns the steak up. Poof! There goes ur Cash and Steak!

They cook it on high heat initially then drop there heat to medium or low, still ending up with a lot of overcooked and dry steaks.

Or they cook it on medium or low the entire time and have a searless, flavorless steak.

Now if you have used any of the above method's do not feel bad as I have too. The same holds true with any skill: Persistence and practice is the key to perfection!

Before I get to my method I want to first note that if you buy a bad cut of steak it really doesn't matter how well you know how to cook it. You can't expect to buy a New York Strip steak and have it come out tasting like Falay Megnon. In my opinion the best cuts from best to worst are: Falay Megnon, Rib-Eye, T-bone (Half Falay Megnon, half New York Strip), Top Sirloin, New York Strip and I don't really go any lower of grade than that unless making stew.

If you love steak buy a slab of it!:

Go to the butcher at your local supermarket and tell them how many pounds you want, I've gotten 7 pounds of Rib-eye for $40 bucks. Depends on how good there price's are but you will get a better quality steak as it's not sitting around on display for however long it takes to sell it. Another bonus is you can have them cut it or cut it yourself to the desired thickness.

Gettin in good with the butcher:

Get in good with the butcher! Strike up a convo with him/her when visiting the supermarket when he/she is not busy. Even just waving to him with a smile will help your odds of getting in good with him for cheaper steak! Show him respect and he'll return it by giving you more steak or cheaper steak.

The method I have developed over the years:

(Good for any type of steak listed above)


(I season right before flipping and right after) My preference is Black Pepper and Salt (Preferably Kosher or Sea Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper (I buy grinders). This is what most Steak Houses use as well. I also like to throw some Worcestershire Sauce on there too.

1. Get your steak's out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temp on the counter for 5-10 minutes while preheating your gas grill on high heat or get your charcoal lit up and ready (Should be orange) Very important to have a very high heat! If you can hold your hand a couple inch's from the grate for over 3-4 seconds it's not hot enough!

(Leave the lid of the grill up/off until step 4!)

2. Throw your steak's on, For rare: Cook for a minute or so till you get a good sear. For Medium: Cook for 2 minutes. For well-done: Cook 3-4 minutes. This is important when cooking for multiple people that have different preferences on doneness. Don't worry about flareup's that is where your flavor is coming from also don't panic and turn your grill off! If cooking to Medium or Well-Done lift the edge of the steak's once in a while towards the end to check that it's not getting too dark and overcooked.

3. Flip and do the same as step 2.

4. Now if using gas turn one burner completely off and move your steak's over onto the section that is turned off, leave the other burner on high. Or if using charcoal shift your charcoal to one side of the grill (Get an extra spatula or another metal utensil to do this) I use an oven mit to lift the grate off with the steak's and set it aside and another utensil to move the charcoal) Don't tilt the grill! You'll get sut all over your steaks. Now put your grate back on and set your steak's over the area with no charcoal. This is called indirect cooking and will ensure that your steak's will not be overcooked. You've got your sear (flavor), Now were just finishing to the desired level of doneness.

5. Continue cooking until desired doneness:
Hold your hand out and feel the fleshy area between your thumb and index finger on the palm of your hand (the part that's kind of puffy on your palm), with an open hand, that is what rare feels like. Now tighten your hand only half way, that's medium. Make a fist and feel, well-done. Now do the same on the steak's by pressing with your index finger, It will feel the same and will help you determine the doneness.

6. When your done cooking take your steak's off and let them rest for 5 minutes which settles the juice otherwise if you cut right into it the juice will just spill out leaving you with a dryer steak's.

Now THAT'S Scrumptious!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chicken Alfredo

What you will need:

A roasting chicken
Fettuccine Noodles
2 Jars of Alfredo Sauce (I prefer Bertolli Mushroom Alfredo) This is a quicker version, will show you how to make homemade Alfredo Sause in another article.
Broccoli, Red Bell Peppers and Mushrooms are tastey too!
A pot for your noodles
A roasting pan or cookie sheet (Preferably with aluminum foil over it for less cleanup mess!)
Oil (Not Pam!)

(If you are in a rush you can also buy a precooked rotisserie chicken at your local store.) I prefer making my own as it is cheaper and I know how to cook a chicken so that it is not overdone.

Preheat oven to 250° F (It's going to be really nice. That chicken will be flowing off the bones because of the low heat and will be nice and juicy). Rinse your chicken in cold water and take out the gizzards, unless you like that but I wouldn't recommend putting it in the Alfredo.

Place the chicken breast side down on a roasting pan or cookie sheet.

Take some oil (I prefer olive oil but any will do) and pour a little on top and spread it all over the chicken (This will get you that nice golden brown chicken look and deep chizzled taste but much healthier than frying!).

Season with Salt, Black Pepper and Garlic (Fresh minced or powder).

Place the Chicken in the oven.

(Flip half way threw. Do not cover the Chicken!)

Take a large spoon and pour the drippings over the chicken during cooking about every 45 minutes. Baking at 250° F will take around 2-3 hours. Keep checking on it. It should be golden brown and firm but if you are unsure of how to tell when it is done use a meat thermometer.

Now while your chicken is cooking about 20 minutes before you think it's done get your noodles and broccoli any other veggies done, I prefer to sautee personally in a little oil or butter. Make sure your chicken is done and cut your chicken off the bone. I prefer white meat only for alfredo cut in little strips. Throw your sause over the noodles. Don't dump both jars in at the same time, just start mixing it in until desired consistancy. Keep the left over sause in the fridge for when you reheat the alfredo to make it a nice consistancy again as it will dry up a bit after refridgerating

Throw your chicken and broccoli in there and season with salt to your liking. I also like a bit of black pepper.

Now THAT'S Scrumptious!!!

Don't forget to save the rest of that chicken! I'll show you how to not waste even the bones of that chicken in future articles for making homemade chicken broth, soup etc.

Welcome to the Now THAT'S Scrumptious Blog!!!

Here at Now THAT's Scrumptious! We don't just cook, we've got cookin down to a science! Our recipes are unique, perfected, tried and true! We like to keep our articles humorous and fun! We've got recipe's so good you'll have your family/guest's talking for weeks!!! Our recipes are unique in that we believe in using high heat initially and then off-cooking the rest of the way for meats which gives the best overall flavor for grilling and range/oven cooking as well. I'm going to teach you how to make a Steak so good you'll have your neighbors paying you and not the Steakhouse! Ever heard of anyone making a meatloaf on the grill? Bacon and eggs? You will once I teach you how here on Now THAT'S Scrumptious! Your gonna be rockin that grill harder than Jimmy Page rocks the guitar!

We are going to have all kinds of scrumptiousness on this blog. Not just grillin! We love to use the oven range/oven/broiler even deep chizzle some scrumptiousness in the deepfryer!!! I've learned Italian cooking from true Italian's, Mexican food from true Mexican's, BBQ from Texans. Throw that Foreman grill away! I'm gonna turn you into a lean-mean multi-nation-cookin-machine!