USDA Beef Grades

USDA Prime – is the highest classification and roughly only 2% of American beef is categorized as prime. It has the highest level of marbling which corresponds to the best flavor when cooked. USDA Prime is difficult to find in the US as most of it is exported to other countries like Japan.

USDA Choice – most restaurants offer USDA choice beef (several of the best steakhouses offer USDA prime) which is the second highest category and has about 15% less marbling than USDA Prime. Additionally, Certified Angus Beef has to be at least USDA Choice quality.

USDA Select – is a very common quality consumed in the US. It has roughly 15% less marbling than the USDA Choice. The beef is leaner and thus sometimes preferred by consumers, but it is not as tender or flavorful. USDA Select is what is primarily found in supermarkets.

Candied Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon


6 to 8 large sweet potatoes
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup bourbon
salt and pepper, to taste


Cook sweet potatoes; peel and slice crosswise then lengthwise or as desired. Cool and arrange in buttered casserole pan or dish. combine remaining ingredients and pour over potatoes. Bake at 350° for 20 to 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbling.

What is the difference between Baby Back and Spare Ribs?

Back Ribs, also referred to as Canadian Back Ribs and Baby Back Ribs, originate from the blade and center section of the loin. Back ribs contain meat between the ribs called finger meat, and shall contain at least eight ribs.

on the other hand:

Spare Ribs are the intact rib section removed from the belly and may include costal cartilages with or without the brisket removed and diaphragm trimmed. Spare Ribs shall contain at least eleven ribs

Swedish Pancakes

Ingredients and Preparation:

3 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional

In a blender, combine all the ingredients above until smooth.

Heat a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until nice and hot.

Lightly butter the skillet and pour 1/2 cup of the batter into it.

Swirl the pan with batter to expand to a thin layer.

Cook until bubbles form and the pancake is golden brown on the bottom, about 1-1/2 minutes. Flip turn and continue to cook for about one more minute.

Remove from the fry pan. It should not be necessary to add more butter to the pan for more pancakes.

When finished, fold each pancake into quarters. Serve by sprinkling sugar on the open pancake and swirling whipped cream and jelly, I use strawberry, but lingonberry is more old school.

Emma’s First Brownies

1 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2/3 cup flour
5 tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375F.

Prepare a baking dish. I use an 8×8 inches square glass dish. I think 8×8 or 9×9 round dish should work just fine too. If the dish is nonstick, you don’t need to do anything. If it’s not nonstick, grease it.

Melt the Chocolate Chips 20 seconds at a time until liquid, then put the butter in the same bowl.

Melt the butter – a couple of more seconds in a microwave will do it.

Stir the chips and melted butter.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar for several minutes.

Add butter/chocolate mixture to egg mixture and stir. Add the flour and stir until combined (don’t overmix).

Put the batter in the baking dish and spread evenly. Put in the oven.

Bake for 25 minutes and take it out. It will seem undercooked, but it’s not! Don’t be tempted to continue baking it until it’s hard – you would end up with a tough brownie!

Let it cool down for 10 minutes, and you’ll have a soft, fudgy, yummy brownie! Slice it and eat. YUM! It’s best when it’s warm. Let your tongue swim in the gooey sweetness!

Chicken Sandwich

**Note- This was written by someone as a recipe they found comparable to Chick-Fil-A. As their lawyers have reminded me- Chick-Fil-A does not share their recipe and this is not THE recipe***

3 cups Peanut oil
1 Egg
1 cup Milk
1 cup Flour
2-1/2 Teaspoons Powdered sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
2 Tablespoons Salt
2 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved
4 Plain hamburger buns
2 Tablespoons Melted butter
8 Dill pickle slices

Mix together the egg and milk. Place the filets in this mixture, and let sit for at least an hour. While the breasts are sitting, mix together the Flour, Sugar, Pepper,and Salt. Once the sitting is done, dredge in the flour. Place the Peanut oil in a deep fat fryer, and bring up to a high heat. Once up to 375 F., gently drop into the oil, and let cook until golden brown. (This is for those of us who do not have a pressure cooker. If you do, follow the note below!)

Note: Chick-Fil-A actually uses a Pressure Cooker to cook the Filets in. If you have one, use the peanut oil according to the instructions for frying in it. Desired heat is 400 F. Once steam starts shooting through, cook for about 4 Minutes.

Lightly butter the buns, and grill until heated through. Place two
pickles on each bun, and place a hot breast on each, with lots of mayo!

Servings: 4

Southern Fried Chicken and Buttered Mash Potatoes


Southern Fried Chicken:

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 eggs, whisked
3/4 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Buttered Mashed Potatoes, recipe follows


Rub the chicken pieces on both sides with the poultry seasoning. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and the milk together. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the egg and milk mixture, and then dredge the chicken in the flour mixture.

Heat enough oil to generously cover the bottom of a large, deep pan over medium-high heat. Fry the battered chicken until all sides are golden brown and the meat is cooked through.

Serve with Buttered Mashed Potatoes…

Buttered Mashed Potatoes:

2 large white potatoes, peeled and cubed (recommended: Russets)
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, add the potatoes and pour just enough water to fully cover the potatoes. Heat the water over high heat, until the water comes to a rolling boil. Boil the potatoes in water until they are tender and then drain. Place the potatoes back on the heat and stir until the steam dissipates. Add butter, salt and pepper to the pot and then mash together until they reach the desired consistency.

Make sure to enjoy this with the Sweet Tea!

Brown Sugar Walnut Squares

1 cup c and h brown sugar; packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Combine sugar, vanilla, and egg. Stir until smooth and blended. Combine flour, soda, and salt. Add to sugar mixture; stir until blended. Spoon into greased and paperlined 8-inch square pan. Bake in 350 degree oven 18 to 20 minutes. (Cookies will be soft in center.) Cool in pan. Remove from pan, peel off paper, and cut into 16 squares.

Reprinted with permission from “From our Private Collection” – the C and H Sugar Kitchen

Summertime Lemonade!!!

2 fresh lemons (about 1/3 cup juice)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 quart water
Sprigs of mint
Ice cubes

Squeeze lemons; add sugar, water and mint. Shake well and refrigerate for flavors to mellow (1/2 to 6 hours).

Pour over ice cubes and serve.

This will make 4 large glasses.

French Toast

– 4 eggs
– 1 splash of vanilla (about a teaspoon)
– 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup milk
– 10 to 12 slices white bread
– butter
– Eggo syrup

Break eggs into a wide, shallow bowl or pie plate; beat lightly with a fork. Stir in vanilla, sugar, salt, and milk.

Over medium-low heat, heat griddle or skillet coated with a thin layer of butter or margarine.

Place the bread slices, one at a time, into the bowl or plate, letting slices soak up egg mixture for a minute, then carefully turn to coat the other side.

Place the bread slices into the griddle or skillet, heating slowly until bottom is golden brown. Turn and brown the other side. Serve French toast hot with butter and syrup.