Posted in From Scratch, Historical, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, The Hungry Hen

The Buckhorn Inn House Dressing

IStsducc2cmcp81000000000When I was a kid and my Momma moved us back to Virginia from North Carolina, goin’ out to eat was a treat…one that came fewer than the risin’ of a  Blue Moon. When we first came up, we stayed out in Craigsville where Grandma was married to her second husband, Maxie. There, they both had a match box for a trailer. To be truthful, I don’t think they make things that small anymore. Maxie was usually gone—Gone Drinkin’—and most times when he was back, him and Grandma spent fightin’ up a storm – about him bein’ gone off drinkin’. Their fightin’ never bothered us kids none, because we actually liked ol’ Maxie. He was a man rarely seen and of very few words but when he was around, he wasn’t grouchy like most adults were back in them days. lol. He never took a strap to us or made us shush because even our breathin’ got on his nerves.

Now, while Maxie and Grandma had their problems – if he had taken her with him, I’m sure all would have been right in her world—but as I said, he was good to us. Once, I remember him makin’ her drive us out to Highland County, just because Maxie had a hankerin’ for some bread. That bread is still famous around these parts. It’s a heavy Yeast Bread that some might call Depression Food. The trip to Highland was just the icing on the cake. Maxie decided to surprise us with a trip to the infamous, Buckhorn Inn, which is actually on out there in Churchville, Virginia.

Yup, it’s still there and at the time of writin’ this piece, it’s for sale. More on that later, though.

That day, some of us cousins piled up in Grandma’s little ol’ Chevette while she drove Maxie and the rest of us wherever he wanted to go. Tons of windin’ backroads, skyscrapin’ mountains and too-many-to count-pit-stops for Maxie, who had to relieve  himself all too often of all that Old Milwaukee beer. snickers

Once it was all said and done, though, Maxie treated us to a buffet supper at, The Buckhorn Inn, located at 2487 Hankey Mountain Hwy, Churchville, VA 24421. Now, while I can’t tell you what in the world the food is like now, I can tell you it was all home cooked and delicious back then. Not that Maxie would have known it that night. He kept tellin’ the Waitress he wasn’t eattin’ because he had bread and beer in the car, lol. Still, he sat there patiently with a drunken grin on his face while we scoffed all that food down and got him more than his money’s worth. 

ISat48r2n4tip10000000000The Buckhorn Inn, built in 1859, is rumored to be haunted, not that the ghost stories frightened anyone off from eattin’ there back in the day. I think the ghost or one of them is a soldier?  Here are the claims of a Psychic and Paranormal Investigation done there. I can’t raise my right hand and swear on any of that. But it is interestin’ for those who crave somethin’ ghoulish. As I said above, it is FOR SALE. Sadly, since I was there as a kid, it has passed through the hands of many, many Owners. Some good, some not so great. Shame. Its in great shape and has awesome potential. Way above my price range but if there are any filthy rich gazillion-aires out there that just want to throw some money my way, I’d be happy to take the place on, lol.

Now that I have drug you down memory lane, let’s get to the point of this article. Few years back, while stummblin’ around my husband’s hometown of Deerfield, Virginia, I got my hands on a cookbook published by one of the church’s out there. (Deerfield Church of God) Inside was a recipe for The Buckhorn Inn’s House Dressing. That took me down memory lane, which made me just drag you down kickin’ and screamin’ and well, now here we are… to the recipe bit. I’m not sure if those who own it now use any of the old recipes, but here’s one for history’s sake. Enjoy. It’s a simple one but who knows, you may like it.


  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 cup Oil
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar


Stir all ingredients well and put in a Jar for storage. Refrigerate.

Note: I just add it all to a Mason Jar, put lid on, and shake for dear life.




Posted in Bread, Rolls & Such, From Scratch, Mine v/s Theirs, Pork, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, The Hungry Hen

Ham & Cheese Yeast Rolls

One great thing about Facebook & Pinterest – the recipes. The bad thing about those recipes, many get you excited only to leave you feeling miserably disappointed. Money doesn’t grow on trees, so wasting bucks on ingredients creating something that doesn’t taste all that great, well, that’s a huge kick in the gut.

Luckily, we learn from experience and while that doesn’t mean we just give up on trying new things, it does mean we can spot, “what wont work”, head on. I did that the other night when someone on my Friend’s List was showing up a cool video of something that reminded me of Cinnamon Yeast Rolls, but instead of the Cinnamon and Sugar, they were rolled up and baked with Ham & Cheese. In their version, the recipe called for one of the many kinds and versions of “Canned Biscuits.”

I HATE BREAD DOUGH THAT COMES FROM A CAN. You can call it biscuits, pizza crust, croissants, rolls or whatever the hell you want to call it. It all tastes the same – processed yuck. That being said, I thought this was an incredible idea minus the Canned Yuck. So, last night, I sat down and whipped up a version of MY OWN HOMEMADE YEAST BREAD DOUGH to make this heavenly, Ham & Cheese Comfort Food treat.  AND, I know many of you are limited on time. You don’t have time to knead, let rise, then knead again only to let rise again. So we are going to use RAPID DRY YEAST and we are only going to KNEAD ONE TIME. Ready?




  • 2 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of Honey (Some people prefer a little sweeter than others. So your choice. Either 1/2 cup or 2/3 cup)
  • 3 Individual packs of RAPID or INSTANT DRY YEAST
  • 4 1/2 cups of unbleached Flour
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of Salt
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of warm Milk (heated to 110 degrees)



  • 1 Pound of Black Forest Ham (I get my sandwhich sliced.)
  • 1 pack of sliced Swiss cheese (10-11 slices)
  • 4-5 slices Deli American Cheese
  • 1 Glass Pan



In one bowl, whisk together the dry yeast and 4 cups flour. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat eggs. Add salt and let dissolve.

In a glass measuring cup, heat milk in a microwave with butter. If you make it too hot, no worries. Just let it cool down a bit before you add it to the yeast. And don’t stress over it being a perfect 110 degrees. A degree here or there should kill it.

Add honey to milk and then all ingredients (egg, salt) to the flour and yeast.

Begin to mix. Adding a bit of flour of you need to until dough pulls from edges. Take to the counter and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is nice and smooth. Dust the counter and your hands with the 1/2 excess flour and look, if you end up using a bit more, don’t panic. It is what it is. If you think you have used way too much, rub Crisco on your hands and begin working the dough. This helps to make it elastic and workable without using more flour.

Let dough rest for about five or ten minutes.

Next step, with a rolling pin, roll the dough into one big rectangle, like so…


Next, lay the ham out over it…


Then, the Swiss cheese and lastly, fill in the gaps with the American.


Roll the dough up placing the seam side down.




Place in glass pan


Cover with a warm towel – I usually pop one in the dryer and sit in a dry, warm place.

Let them rise to double or triple their size. Depending on the temperature of the house and the ham & cheese, this could take an hour or two. Maybe less. Last night, it was raining here so it took a few hours. The key to light bread or one of them, is letting it rise long enough. Some people panic and go by directions. If it says 40 minutes, they let it rise for 40 but sometimes it takes longer,,,,

Once it has risen, bake in an oven 375 or 400 degrees until golden brown. Brush tops with butter OR the sauce below (if you use the sauce, bake it with it on.) and serve HOT.

These are out of this world. If you try them, please tell me what you think.


Here is a sauce that went with the recipe/video that I found on Facebook. Me and the kids didn’t like it because its sweet, although my husband loved it. If you don’t want the sauce, don’t use it or brush the inside of the dough with mayo—or nothing at all. We had some with nothing and it was delicious. Nothing else needed. NOTHING.


  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds.

Mix together, brush tops of rolls before you bake.


Again, this is a hot, amazing roll that can stand on it’s own or go great with soup or anything.

Posted in Chicken, From Scratch, Salads, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, The Hungry Hen

Jalapeno, Bacon Ranch Dressing on a Grilled, Rotisserie Chicken Salad


This will take some steps but its really simple. My kids love it and it took me YEARS just to get them to eat a salad. Plus, the Dressing, is my oldest Son’s crack. He uses it on everything. EVERYTHING. And you can work it out to suit your level of spiciness. Also, there are two options with the bacon, which again, you can pick to suit your tastes.

Now, while we all love to skip steps or throw in our own curve balls, please try this with the ingredients I have listed below first especially where the Dressing is concerned. If later on, you want to go with a store bought brand in a bottle, go ahead but just try my way first. I honestly don’t think you’ll regret it,

Let’s start with making the Dressing, first.


You will need….

  • A box of Hidden Valley Ranch Mix.


  • 1 Mason Jar
  • 1 Cup of Mayo
  • 1 Cup of Milk (Fresh or Canned Milk. I like Fresh.)
  • 4 Strips of Bacon Fried extra crispy and cooled. (NO BACON BITS. Try Actual Bacon.)
  • 4 TBSP of Hot Pickled Jalapeno Peppers. If you use Medium or Mild, you may want to use 1/4 cup. Remember, if you are playing with Heat, go small before you go big. After this sits in Fridge for awhile, the Heat GROWS. Keep that in mind. Use Pickled because the Brine adds a zip to this recipe.


Add Mayo, Milk and Ranch Mix in Mason Jar. Seal with a lid and give it a good shaking. Grind the Jalapeno Peppers in a Food Processor and then add to the Jar—shake again.

As far as the Bacon, you have two choices here. You can add the crumbled Bacon to the Dressing—keeping in mind that the Bacon, no matter how crispy, will go soft. If you don’t mind soft Bacon, then go for it. If you want Crunchy Bacon,  add a little to the salad just before serving.

Store in Fridge for an Hour before serving.

Now, For the Chicken and Salad …..


This will make 4 Large Salads.

You will need…..

  • 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • McCormick Perfect Pinch Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning


  • 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt
  • 1 Head of Leafy Lettuce
  • Flaked Parmesan Cheese
  • Grill
  • Optional: Sliced Cucumber, Diced Fresh Apple (If everyone will eat this, use it. If not, Don’t. My kids wont but I will, so I just add it to mine and not to theirs.)


Put Chicken Breasts, frozen or thawed, in a bowl of water (enough to cover them) with Salt and Vinegar. Let Thaw or Marinate for a few hours until no longer frozen or you’re ready to Grill.

Throw on the Grill, using Rotisserie Seasoning on both sides. (Don’t be shy!) Cook until juice runs clear.

While they are cooking, cut up lettuce and if you are using Cucumber or Apple, cut those up too. Sprinkle a little lemon Juice on the apple and it will not turn brown.

Once the Chicken is done, slice in thin pieces. Season some more if you’d like.

On a plate, lay a bed of Lettuce and Cucumber or Apple. Lay out the Chicken. If you didn’t use the Bacon in the Dressing, crumble some now and sprinkle it on. Sprinkle with the flakey Parm Cheese. Drizzle with Dressing and Serve.


Posted in Canning & Preserving, From Scratch, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes

Homemade Mustard

  • 1/3 cup Mustard Seed
  • 3 TBSP Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Dark Beer (If you are Gluten Free, use a Gluten Free Beer)
  • 2 minced Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Allspice
  • Turmeric (For bright color.) Amount varies on Color you want.
  1. Mix Mustard Seed, Dry Mustard and Cider Vinegar. Cover with Plastic and let sit room temperature for 3 hours.
  2. In saucepan, combine Beer, Garlic, Sugar, Salt. Ginger, Turmeric and Allspice. Stir in mustard mixture. Bring to boil and then simmer for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring.
  3. Spoon hot mixture into hot Canning Jars and seal tightly. Cool and store in cool, dark place. Refrigerate after opening.
Posted in Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, Substitutes, The Hungry Hen

Spice Substitutes


There you are, in the middle of some grand kitchen-creation when you realize, “Oh (bleep),” you’re out of that certain special and much needed spice. No worries. See if this list will help….


Allspice Pinch of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and ground Cloves.
Basil Equal amounts of Thyme & Oregano
Cardamom Ginger
Chili Powder Hot Pepper Sauce w/ a pinch of Cumin
Chives Green Onions (Make sure to use the green part)
Cinnamon Nutmeg w pinch of Allspice
Cloves Equal Amounts of Allspice, Cinnamon and Nutmeg
Ginger Equal Amounts of Mace, Allspice, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg
Marjoram Equal Amounts of Savory, Thyme, Basil, and Oregano
Nutmeg Mace
Oregano Equal Amounts of Basil, Marjoram, & Thyme
Red Pepper Flakes Hot Sauce
Rosemary Equal Amounts of Savory, Tarragon and Thyme
Saffron Pinch of Turmeric
Sage Equal Amounts of Rosemary, Savory, Thyme, and Marjoram
Thyme Equal Amounts of Savory, Marjoram, Oregano and Basil




Posted in From Scratch, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, Substitutes, The Hungry Hen

Brown Sugar Substitute

Recipe calls for Brown Sugar but when you go to grab it from the cabinet, it’s not there. What do you do?


For ever 1/2 cup Brown Sugar a recipe calls for, mix 1 TBSP of Molasses into 1/2 cup white Sugar.

Posted in Canning & Preserving, From Scratch, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, The Hungry Hen

Homemade BBQ Sauce

You can “Can” this if you’d like. It will make up to 1 Quart (3 cups). Double. triple for whatever amount you need if you are Canning. Since there is plenty of acid in the sauce, you can use a Water Bath Canner. If you don’t can, I’d make a few days ahead from when you need it. This allows all of the spices to merge and create a better flavored sauce. If you cant make it ahead of time, no worries. It’s fine fresh, too.



  • 1 & 1/2 cups of Ketchup
  • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2/3 cup Peanut or Safflower Oil (You can substitute Canola or Vegetable Oil if you aren’t willing to use the other.)
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • 3 TBSP Spicy Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Lemon Juiced
  • Optional: 1-2 fresh Red Chili Peppers. Seeded. Minced. Use Gloves. They burn.


Mix everything in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook until sugar has completely dissolved. Can or Store or Use that Night.