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Side Dishes

I had a leftover chicken breast in my fridge as well as some homemade ranch dressing.  I decided to whip up some Buffalo Chicken Dip for a snack.


1 cooked chicken breast, shredded  (instead of fresh chicken, you can use 2- 10 oz. cans of chicken, drained)

2- 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup ranch dressing  (you can use bottled ranch also)

3/4 cup hot sauce

2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese


Soften cream cheese.

Add shredded chicken, ranch dressing, hot sauce and 1 1/2 cups  shredded cheese.  Mix together and scoop into a casserole dish.  (I brought out the good china by using a throwaway pan).  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Remove and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips and veggies.

Delicious Buffalo Chicken Dip with Tortilla Chips and Veggies

A couple of months ago, I picked up a Henrietta Hen Egg Cooker at Goodwill for $1.99.  She was still in the box and looked brand new.  I love gadgets, but my kitchen is overflowing and I picked her up and put her back a couple of times.  Well, I ended up keeping her and what a hen she has become.  She sits on my counter all the time.  She is one of the best little gadgets I own.  I could never get my hard-boiled eggs cooked properly, they were either undercooked or overcooked.  Henrietta Hen takes all the guesswork out of hard-boiled eggs.  (She poaches too, but I haven’t tried doing that).  You fill the water line up, place 7 eggs on the tray and plug her in.  About 15 minutes later she whistles whenever the eggs are done.  I transfer them into cold water for a bit and then they crack beautifully!  Thanks, Henrietta Hen for making hard-boiled eggs so much easier for me!  Can’t wait until this summer whenever I make potato and macaroni salad.  It will be a snap. She is available at if I have convinced you to get one.  She is really quite a fun gadget!


Salad topped with Henrietta Hen’s eggs.


We have been trying different techniques to make a good jerky. We think we finally have a good process.  One of the tricks is having good lean venison. Many times processors throw in too much fat into the ground meat and the jerky can be greasy and still have a wild taste. We have experimented with homemade mixes but the Con Yeager Spice Co. has done all the work so why bother. Here is the step by step process.


8 lbs ground LEAN venison

1/2 cup water

1 packet of Con Yeager Spice (Hill Billy Jerky is very good)


The ingredients are simple but the process is more involved. You must be careful to use fresh ground venison or frozen venison that has been handled properly. It is very easy to get sick if you don’t take care of the meat when making jerky. When the meat is ready add the mix and water and mix it well in the bowl. The mix contains a sugar cure that will allow the jerky to stay preserved in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.  So cure is important. If you plan on doing your own spices make sure you buy a cure and add it to your meat. After the mixture is ready we add ours to a jerky gun that holds about 1 pound at a time. We use a large dehydrator from the LEM company that works very well. The racks in the dehydrator are a pain to clean so we add foil to them and spray with a nonstick coating. I know those who use dehydrators will think this is a mistake because it inhibits air flow but we flip the jerky over half way through the drying process and rotate the racks. The jerky is dried for about 7 hours at a setting of 140 degrees. At the end of the drying the jerky should be like tough leather and bend but not be brittle and crack. The temperature is not hot enough to keep bacteria from growing.  You need to add an additional step of putting your dried jerky in the oven for 30 minutes at 200 degrees.  Transfer the cured jerky to a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator or seal part of it up and freeze for later. You get about 3 pounds of jerky from 8 pounds of meat.