Elk and Turkey Sausage Meatloaf

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After Brad had his heart attack a couple of years ago, his doctor and dietician told him to eliminate red meat from his diet. The doctor did say he could have game meat occasionally, so when I saw ground elk on sale the other day, I thought I’d try it and some hot Italian turkey sausage in a meatloaf for a change from using ground turkey.

What a great flavor combination! Naturally lean, elk tastes much like ground beef and slightly sweet. The hot Italian turkey sausage adds a nice kick to the meatloaf, but you can use mild if you don’t like the heat. Next time I will add some red or green bell pepper to the mix.

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Kel’s Perfect Little Pretzel Bites

Kel's Cafe Pretzel Bites

In my last post I featured yummy beer and cheese dip to celebrate American Cheese Month and promised to publish my recipe for homemade pretzel bites. You are going to love these soft and buttery morsels. They are really easy to make and impossible to resist, especially right out of the oven.

If I’m not making these for a crowd, I usually wind up freezing part of them. When ready to reheat them, I just place them in a 250°F oven until they are warm.

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Kel’s Best Beer and Cheese Dip

dip pretzel bit in beer cheese dip

To celebrate American Cheese Month, I present to you my delicious beer and cheese dip. In 2019, the American Cheese Education Foundation moved this month from October to May to better support the needs of cheesemakers and retailers. Personally, I think we officially should celebrate cheese every month.

You can enjoy this decadent dip with chips or veggies, use it as part of a loaded nachos platter, incorporate it into homemade mac ‘n’ cheese, pour it over steamed veggies such as broccoli or cauliflower, or pair it with my homemade pretzel bites.  This dip has such a depth of flavor not found in the jarred stuff at the grocery store. It is so easy to make and will keep in the fridge for a week or so.

I like using a dark beer with this, but just stick to your favorite brew and you’ll be fine, although a lager or lighter beer won’t offer as much of a complex flavor. Measure your beer (3/4 cup cup) and bring it to room temperature before starting this recipe. Drink whatever you don’t use for the dip so you don’t waste anything!  Continue reading

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Kel’s Strawberry Lemon Bundt Cake

Kel's Straberry lemon bundt cake

Hello, friends! I’m finally back after recovering from my shoulder surgery. Healing is a slow process, but my arm is much better than before the surgery. I have suspended going to physical therapy due to COVID-19, so I’m not really where I hoped I be by now, but at least I’m back in the kitchen!

It’s strawberry time in North Carolina, so I’d celebrate being back at my blog by making this delicious strawberry lemon Bundt cake. Picking fresh strawberries at the various farms around here is still allowed, especially since social distancing is so easy to do.

I like to use cake flour in this recipe because it’s finer and softer than all-purpose flour, resulting in a moist and lighter cake. But if you don’t have any cake flour on hand, go ahead and use all-purpose flour instead.

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Kel’s Café on Hiatus (plus eating and drinking our way through Europe)

Hello Dear Readers,

I just wanted to let you know that Kel’s Café will be on hiatus until early 2020. I recently had shoulder surgery and need to take off a couple of months to fully heal before getting back into the kitchen. I look forward to when I can start creating, cooking and photographing new dishes again!

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Right before my surgery, Brad and I had a whirlwind vacation to parts of northwestern Europe and made it a point to try some of the dishes famous from most of the countries we visited. So please enjoy these photos of us eating and drinking our way through Europe and I’ll see you early next year.

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Kel’s Bourbon-Infused Peach Upside-Down Cake

Kel's bourbon infused peach upside down cake

With peach season in full swing here in the South, this is my recipe for an upside down, bourbon-infused, peach cake that will delight old and young. The honey bourbon gives the peaches a nice little kick and the cinnamon adds just enough spice to this delicious dessert. This cake is easy to assemble – the hard part is waiting for it to come out of the oven!

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Kel’s Decadent Avocados Stuffed with Chicken and Cheese

Kel's Cafe chicken stuffed avocado

These stuffed avocados are so creamy and delicious, you’ll be coming back for more! They are perfect to serve for brunch or dinner – just add a side salad or some fresh fruit and your meal is complete. Make extra as they keep in the fridge for several days and easily reheat in the microwave in just a couple of minutes.

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What’s Up, Doc? Kel’s Honey and Garlic Roasted Rainbow Carrots

Kel's honey garlic roasted rainbow carrots

This is one of the easiest and tastiest side dishes in the world, especially if you can find mini rainbow carrots that have already been peeled. Consider it for your upcoming Easter holiday feast or later in the year at Thanksgiving. Yum, yum, yum, and easy, easy, easy!

The honey brings out the sweetness of the carrots and the roasted garlic granules are an easy alternative to using fresh garlic cloves. If you want to use fresh garlic, press 2 cloves and add them to the butter, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.

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Kel’s Puff Pastry Reuben Roll

Up close slices of Reuben roll

Got leftover corned beef from St. Patrick’s Day? Here’s a fun twist on the traditional Reuben sandwich, where rye bread is replaced with puff pastry and, instead being grilled, it is baked in the oven.

I make my own Thousand Island dressing (with mayo, ketchup, sweet pickle relish, a bit of vinegar and paprika), but use store bought if you have a favorite brand. If you’d rather have something more savory, replace the sweeter 1000 island dressing with a nice Dijon or spicy mustard.

This reheats nicely in the microwave – just place your slices on a microwavable plate, zap for a minute or so, and you’re good to go.


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Kel’s Easy Cheesy Cheddar-Garlic Drop Biscuits

Kels' cheddar garlic drop biscuits

These cheddar-garlic drop biscuits are so easy to make – just a handful of ingredients, minimal prep time, about 10 minutes in the oven, and Viola! you have warm, delicious homemade biscuits that go great as a side to a variety of soups, stews, chilis, and other main dishes.

I prefer smaller biscuits and usually make a dozen at a time. If you want larger biscuits, just divide the dough into larger spoonfuls. I also like to cook these on a baking stone, which keeps the bottoms of the biscuits from turning too brown.

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