Category Archives: Tips

Vanilla Substitute – Jack Daniels Single Barrel

Cook and Bake with Jack Daniels

Cook and Bake with Jack Daniels

Did you know that you can substitute Jack Daniels Whiskey for Vanilla? I’m a big Jack Daniels fan. Besides ‘on the rocks’ it can do wonders to add unique flavor to many recipes.

We recently had the opportunity to tour the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. If you get the chance, GO!!! The Basic Tour is FREE and if you are over 21 you can sign up for the Sampling Tour for a mere $12.00 per person. When you go, don’t skip the town of Lynchburg. Park and walk around. It’s small enough to walk the whole square and stop in one of the restaurants for a nice lunch. You won’t leave without stopping at one of the several unique culinary/candy shops where you can get your specialty chocolates incorporated with Ole’ Jack! Mmmmm.

There are several different varieties of this amazing whiskey as well as multiple uses besides the old-fashioned ‘medicinal’ one on the rocks. Jack Daniels Single Barrel is a perfect one for one substitute for Vanilla in your baking and cooking. It has deep rich color and flavor. I don’t ALWAYS have Single Barrel on hand as it is a bit expensive. BUT Jack Daniels Old No. 7 will work too. If you are looking for sweetness, then the Tennessee Honey Whiskey would be a good choice. Jack Daniels Fireball will add a boost of hot cinnamon to your recipes.

When grocery shopping, take note of the items boasting Jack Daniels in its ingredients. It isn’t a well-kept secret, but one that is often overlooked. From Barbecues to Cakes and Cookies and Candy. You just can’t beat a good shot of Jack Daniels to add flavor and excitement to your culinary crafts.

Beans and Greens – A New Twist

A New Way to Serve Beans & Greens

A New Way to Serve Beans & Greens

Heres a new way to create a Beans and Greens dish that is packed with protein. By adding an egg on top with some homemade salsa it becomes a healthy meal.

Yesterday my RV Park neighbor with a small garden gave me a bundle of fresh picked kale. He knew that I liked to put it in super-shakes. The bundle was much larger than I would ever use up in shakes. DH likes Beans and Greens but I didn’t have everything needed (including time) to make it.

I found the answer in this month’s Cooking Light Magazine. Peppered White Bean, Kale and Egg Stack. It took me a bit longer than the 30 minute total prep and cook time as published, but in the end it was worth it! This is a really tasty meatless dish that is packed with protein and fiber and could actually work for ANY meal. You will use multiple pieces of cookware and utensils, so be sure your counters are clear before you start.

The recipe calls for fresh Cilantro and Parsley. I rarely have fresh herbs on hand. They tend to be too expensive and go to waste before I could ever use them up.

TIP: Go to AMAZON.COM and get Litehouse FRESH Freeze Dried herbs for your pantry. These are not dried and crushed, but are fresh when rehydrated. Now I have the fresh herbs I need always on hand.

Another note: I took the time to read the recipe from beginning to end. That’s an important thing to do whenever you tackle something new. I realized that it made more sense to do Step 4 first.

Peppered White Bean, Kale and Egg Stack

1 (14.5-ounce) can Great Northern beans rinsed and drained
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3/8 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
5 cups chopped kale
1/2 teaspoon salt divided
2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove minced


  1. Combine beans and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in rind, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and cheese; coarsely mash.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add kale and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 3 minutes or until kale wilts, stirring frequently. Remove kale from pan’ keep warm.
  3. Wipe Dutch oven clean with a paper towel; return pan to medium high heat. Add water to pan, filling two-thirds full; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer. Add vinegar. Break each egg into a custard cup. Gently pur eggs into pan; cook 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Carefully remove eggs using slotted spoon; place on a towel-lined plate.
  4. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 14 teaspoon salt, onion and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
  5. Divide bean mixture evenly among 4 plates. Top evenly with kale, eggs and tomato mixture.

Serves 4

Calories 264; Fat 10.5 g (sat. 3.2g, mono 4.1g, poly 1.6g); Protein 16g; Carb 28g; Fiber 9g; Sugars 2g

Recipe by Tiffany Vickers Davis as published in January/February 2016 Cooking Light Magazine

Lodge Grill / Griddle continued

As promised I will continue to brag about the Lodge LPGI3 Cast-Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle, 20-inch x 10.44-inch and demonstrate why I love it so much. As I said yesterday, it is easy to store and is always ready for use. Last night I had a nice lean ham steak to cook for dinner. In the back of the fridge was some leftover fresh pineapple that I had purchased for a different recipe. Why not? I heated up the grill, FLAT side up this time.

While the grill was preheating, I added just a very thin coat of Crisco. The grill does come pre-seasoned right out of the box and that very thin coat of shortening before and after cooking has turned my grill into a virtual non-stick miracle. Remember, I said VERY THIN coat; you want to season the grill and not fry the food.

Grilled Hamsteak & Pineapple

Grilled Ham Steak & Pineapple

I sprinkled a smidge of Ground Cloves on each side of the ham steak and placed it on one side of the grill positioning it directly over a burner.

I popped the Pineapple Chunks on the other side and let them brown, turning occasionally while the ham steak cooked.

I had a leftover Red Rice and Okra dish in the freezer that I heated as a side and we had a delicious dinner.

Dinner finished, it’s time to clean up. We ate on paper plates, so only a few pieces of silverware. Not all the Red Rice was eaten, so that went back into the fridge for lunch the next day. All that was left was to clean up was the grill, wash the utensils and put the stove-top covers back in place.

Cleaning the grill (especially the flat side) is quick and easy. I simple place HOT tap water on the grill and rub with the Lodge Brush.  Notice in the photo how the water bubbles up indicating a non-stick surface.

Clean up is a breeze

Clean up is a breeze

You can use a non-abrasive sponge too. I usually use both; the brush to clean and then the sponge to absorb the water.

Very Light Coat of Shortening

Very Light Coat of Shortening

I dry it with a paper towel and then add a VERY VERY thin coat of Crisco.

(Note: In a previous post I shared with you using your pastry mat to catch crumbs, etc. from falling through the cracks of your stove-top cover. I STILL do that. It fits over the grill and keeps crumbs, drips, etc. from accumulating on the grill surface. You don’t want liquid to find its way on the grill causing it to rust).

If I haven’t convinced you yet that this is a MUST HAVE, stay tuned for BREAKFAST. Eggs over easy and Sausage. If you are convinced, then just click the link below and order yours today.