Friday, February 26, 2010

Applesauce Muffins

1 C. Butter (softened)
2 C. Sugar
2 Eggs
2 C. Applesauce
3 t. Cinnamon
2 t. Allspice
1 t. Nutmeg
1 t. Salt
2 t. Baking soda
4 C. Flour

  • Cream butter and sugar together
  • Add all other ingredients through baking soda and mix thoroughly
  • Once mixed, add flour slowly, beating continuously
  • Line muffin pan with liners, fill with batter
  • Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes

Breakfast Puffs

1/3 C. Crisco shortening
1 Egg
1 1/2 C. Flour
1/2 C. Sugar
1 1/2 t. Baking powder
1/2 t. Salt
1/2 t. Nutmeg
1/2 C. Milk

1/2 C. Sugar
1 t. Cinnamon
6 T. Butter (cold)

  • Beat the shortening and the egg together in large bowl
  • In a separate bowl, combine all other "dry" ingredients
  • Slowly add the "dry" mixture to the shortening and egg, while alternating with a portion of the milk; beat continuously
  • Beat until stiff
  • Fill muffin tin with liners, pour batter into liners, fill each liner no more than half way, set aside
  • Mix all topping ingredients together using a pastry cutter, combine until it coarsely mixed
  • Layer a portion of the topping over the batter in each pastry liner, liner should be around 3/4 full
  • Place muffin pan on a cookie sheet for baking, topping will spill over
  • Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chicken Spaghetti

5 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (boiled, cubed)
1 Onion (grated, medium sized)
3 Stalks Celery (finely chopped)
1 10 Oz. Package Spaghetti pasta
1 Can Cream of mushroom soup
2 C. Velveeta (shredded)

  • Grease 9x13 baking dish
  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions, drain, set aside
  • Combine all other ingredients
  • Add spaghetti noodles and above mixture to baking dish
  • Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes

Chicken Crescent Pockets

4 Oz. Cream cheese (softened)
1 T. Butter
1 T. Onion (minced)
2 C. Velveeta (shredded)
2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked, cubed small)
2 Cans Crescent rolls
1 Stick Butter (melted)
1 Bag Seasoned croutons (crushed)

  • Mix all ingredients, ending with chicken, together well
  • Separate crescent rolls into respective triangles
  • Place 2 T. of the mixture into the center of the crescent triangle, lay a second triangle over the top, press edges completely to create pocket
  • Dip pockets into butter, then crushed croutons
  • Place on baking sheet, bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes
The above recipe is for a small number of people, but obvs, this can be expanded easily!

Remoulade Sauce

1 C. Mayonnaise
3 Green onions (sliced thinly)
2 T. Creole mustard
1 Clove Garlic
1 T. Parsley (chopped)
1/4 t. Cayenne pepper

  • Mix all ingredients thoroughly!
  • This is meant to be served with Chicken Croquettes, but experiment!

Chicken Croquettes

6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (boiled, chilled)
3 T. Butter
4 Green onions
1 Clove Garlic
1 C. Breadcrumbs
1 Egg (beaten)
2 T. Mayonnaise
1 T. Creole mustard
2 t. Creole seasoning

  • Cut chicken breasts into pieces small enough to fit into a food processor
  • Grind the chicken in the processor until it forms coarse crumb texture.
  • Add all other ingredients and process until well blended
  • Form mixutre into 5 or 6 patties
  • Over low/medium heat, cook patties all the way through in a 1/2 C. or so of Crisco oil
This serves up incredibly well with our remoulade sauce! Yay! See recipe . . .
This recipe is attributed to Diane Simmons.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Easy Poppy Seed Chicken

6-8 boneless,skinless chicken breasts
12 oz. sour cream
2 cans cream chicken soup (not healthy choice)
2 cans cream cream mushroom soup
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese-finely grated

2 sleeves Ritz crackers
2 sticks butter
1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese-finely grated
3 T. poppy seeds(i really use 2)

  • Boil and cool chicken breasts, chop into small bite size pieces
  • Combine chicken, soups,sour cream, and cheese
  • Stir well, it can get sticky
  • Pour into 9 x 13 casserole, grease w Pam
  • Cover with topping, this will be goopy, just spoon it on and spread as well as you can, it will melt into casserole.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, covered, remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until bubbly.
  • Serve over rice
  • This is a great dish to take to friends in need or just because.
  • This recipe will feed 12 easily.
  • If you want a quick dinner on the run try the following: pour 1/3 of mixture into 3 separate disposable baking dishes, cover well and freeze. You can put a frozen dish out in the morning before work and it will be thawed and ready to bake when you get home! Then all you have to do is make the rice and a veggie and you have dinner.

Live blogging the Sunday Gravy!

Ok, I'm learning to make a recipe that my mother has become famous for. This is not, generally speaking, my sort of recipe. There are a lot of raw meats, manual labor,waiting around for stuff to simmer, and dirtying up like 6 different pots/pans involved. Basically, it's just a tad too much work for someone whose cooking style is more "Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee" than, say, "Iron Chef Bobby Flay." We are about 10 minutes in, and my eyes are sort of glazing over. But I'm going to press on. Here we go . . . . . . .

  • So far, we have already dirtied up 1 giant pot, one chopping board, and 4 different utensils. We are only 2 steps in.
  • The first thing we are up to is lightly browning the pork chops. This is cool, as I love a good pork-chop, but these aren't for eating. No, they are just for the flava. Or so I'm told.
  • 2 center-cut pork chops are browning (for 15 minutes) in 2 T. of olive oil. They are doing so in the largest pot Mom has, which is pretty giant. Last time I used my pot like this, I was making Abby's Punch and couldn't seem to find the actual cocktail server thing with the spigot on it. So, the guests got to ladle their punch out of this extra-large cooking pot into the classy plastic cups I provided. But I digress.
  • Ok, the pork-chops have been lightly browned and are taken off of the heat. They are not cooked to serve or anything. Unless you like extra-extra-rare meat. They are set aside and remain "on the bone."
  • Now, the veal chops replace the pork in the large pot. A tad bit of olive oil is added. The veal now cooks for 15 minutes to the same degree the pork was.
  • More waiting.
  • We just used the "garlic roller" for the first time to chop up the 4 cloves of garlic in this recipe. It is the bomb. And you don't have to touch the garlic.
  • Now, we are prepping the caprese salad to go with it. This I can do. It's just chopping stuff. Namely, fresh tomatoes, basil, and Buffalo mozzarella cheese.
  • Oh, wow. I didn't realize you could complicated a caprese salad this much. My mother had just had me chop up 3 more tomatoes than I originally had because the first ones I cut up weren't "peeled and cored." Wtf?? Who peels tomatoes? Then they just look all mushy and nasty. It's not right, but whatevs.
  • The veal is done browning. Time for the sweet, Italian sausage to go. Same deal. Bit more olive oil, same large pot, brown for 10 or 15.
  • Ok, meats are done, leaving behind copious amounts of olive oil and grease. We drain off most of this, but not all. Yum.
  • Now, the 4 cloves of chopped garlic go in with the oil/grease above and simmer for 2 minutes over low heat
  • The garlic is fished out of the mixture and thrown away after the 2 minutes is up. I'm told this is so the oil/grease mixture is "infused" with the garlic flavor
  • The cans of tomato paste are added to the oil/grease/garlic thing and that simmers for 1 minute
  • No one knows why that last step is necessary
  • Now the cans of pureed tomatoes, all 3 enormous cans, are added to the large pot. I guess this is why we used such a big one to start with
  • We then, inexplicably, alter the step where we add the hot water. It's supposed to be like 2 cups. But instead we do something random
  • We take the 3 now empty cans of pureed tomatoes, mix about 3/4 C. water into each can separately, and then pour this tomato/water mixture into the pot. Why this is superior to adding just the water? I'm not sure.
  • It's pretty much ready to go now, except for adding back the hunks of pork, veal, and sausage .
  • We throw the meat into the red sauce, and . . . . . . now we are on break for a couple of hours. You pretty much just let it all simmer for about 2 hours
  • C ya then. I'm off to work on wedding stuff. Which is almost as not fun as complicated cooking stuff

  • Uh, and were finally back. Yeah, I know its 8:34pm CST. We eat late. Don't judge. We had to work in a trip to the bookstore, then we forgot the potatoes to make the gnocchi to accompany the Sunday Gravy, and then I started drinking. Anyway . . . .
  • So, after the 2 hour simmer, the sauce was set aside to achieve room temp. The meats were fished out of the sauce, as they were apparently there only for the taste, not the texture. That's like a LOT of meat to throw away - so we don't. The veal and pork will be shredded and added to a soup. Oh, so, yeah, the sausage does get thrown out. But that's all
  • 1/4 of the Sunday Gravy we made will be served for the 3 of us this evening, while 3/4 of it will be divided into containers for freezing. That's right, this one "freezes beautifully" as they say on Steel Magnolias
  • Gnocchi time. Nothing like potatoes, parmigiano reggiano cheese, butter, flour, eggs, and S & P to make a tasty something. That many calories can't be wrong.
  • Ok, we have rolled the gnocchi dough into what my mother just termed "wiener logs." Are you kidding me? My mother just said this. Ew.
  • The logs, as I will call them, are now cut into bite-sized pieces. Ready to boil 'em.
  • Did I mention that, in the meantime, I've made our "ultimate chocolate chip cookies" for dessert? Cause yeah, I'm not fat enough after this visit to Arkansas
  • I have prepped the caprese. Salads are on the table
  • Gnocchi coming 0ff stove
  • Hooray for Fotinos pinot noir! On glass 2. My friend Chris Fotino and his brother own this winery, and the pinot is amazing!
  • Emergency! The gnocchi is naaaasssstttty. Seriously. They aren't so much dumplings as they are dough that is really sticky that you can't chew. We have thrown them out. As in the trash
  • We are boiling fetuccine as we speak. Gonna top it with some parm. reg. Should be ok

  • Oh lord. I sort of lost the trail on Friday night! It turned out very well overall! We ended up using the fetuccine, adding the sausage meat back to the sauce with a little bit of whipping cream, heating until ready to serve, and sprinkiling shredded parmigiano reggiano cheese over the top after plating
  • I pretty much felt like a "real cook" for once. But I still think it's sort of a pain in the butt
  • Final verdict . . . . I would TOTALLY make this on my own, whenever I had a spare DAY to hang out at the house. Very very tasty
  • Mom is going to put the actual recipe on-line this week. Enjoy!

Mom's Lasagne

1 lb. Sausage (browned, crumbled, I prefer Jimmy Dean with regular heat)
1 Clove Garlic (crushed)
2 t. Basil
1 Can Crushed tomatoes (large sized can)
2 6 Oz. Cans Tomato paste
3 C. Ricotta cheese
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese (shredded)
2 T. Parsley (finely chopped)
2 Eggs (beaten)
1 t. Pepper
1 Box Lasagna noodles
2 Pkg. Mozzarella cheese (sliced)

  • Grease lasagna pan with Pam, set aside
  • Brown sausage in large skillet; once thoroughly browned and crumbled -add the garlic, basil, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to the skillet and let simmer for 30 minutes on low
  • While above simmers - mix ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, eggs, and pepper until thoroughly combined, set aside
  • Prepare lasagna noodles according to package directions and set aside
  • Once sausage and tomato mixture is through simmering, get ready to use all your mixtures and remaining ingredients to layer your lasagna and prep it to bake
  • In pan, lay 3-4 lasagna noodles, followed by 1/3 of the meat sauce mixture, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, and 4 slices of the mozzarella cheese
  • Repeat above process once more
  • Lastly, pour the remaining meat sauce mixture over the top of the dish, cover with foil
  • Set lasagna pan on a cookie sheet to avoid "drips"
  • Bake at 375 for 30 minutes
Never fail recipe! You can increase the amount of the meat mixture if you are a true red sauce lover. Ditto for the cheese mixture. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Emily's Spaghetti Sauce

1 Pkg. Spaghetti or fettuccine pasta
1 1/2 Lb. Ground Sirloin (browned, crumbled)
3-4 Links Italian sausage (remove casings, browned, crumbled)
2 Cloves Garlic (smaller in size, crushed)
1 Onion (smaller in size, grated)
2 Cans Crushed tomatoes (large sized cans)
2 6 Oz. Cans Tomato paste
1 t. White sugar
1 t. Basil
1 t. Oregano
1-2 T. Olive oil
1 C. Heavy whipping cream

  • Prepare pasta noodles according to package directions, drain, return to pot, set aside
  • In extra large skillet, sautee garlic and onion in the olive oil
  • Add cooked Italian sausage and cooked sirloin to the skillet
  • Add in tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, basil, and oregano
  • Simmer on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally
  • Add the heavy whipping cream, cook for another 10 minutes
  • Add sauce to pasta noodles, toss thoroughly
This, as Darryl Hannah would say, "freezes beautifully!"

The Matt Glover Memorial Turkey Burgers

1 Lb. Ground turkey
1 Onion (smaller in size, grated)
1 Egg (beaten)
5 T. Breadcrumbs
1 T. Parsley (chopped)
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1-2 Dash Tabasco

  • Heat your grill to medium setting
  • Combine all ingredients using your hands; gross but it's the vest way!
  • Shape meat mixture in to 4 or 5 patties of average thickness
  • Grill patties until done to your liking
Swiss cheese is a great add-on for these burgers. See below for a great yogurt sauce recipe that compliments the turkey burgers . . . . . . .

1 C. Raw yogurt
2 Plumb tomatoes (peeled and finely chopped)
2 T. Green onion (finely sliced)
2 T. Parsley (finely chopped)
1 t. Raw horseradish (the kind in the jar)
1 t. Dijon mustard

  • Combine all ingredients well
  • Serve on the burgers or on the side as an option!

Easiest Roast Ever! Aka: The Crock Pot Roast

4 Lb. Roast (can be chuck, rump, etc)
2 Pkg. Ranch dressing
1 C. Water

  • Pour water into crock pot, set on #2 or "high"setting
  • Coat the roast in the ranch dressing mix
  • Place coated roast into crock pot
  • Let cook for no less than 8 hours
Seriously, that is all, and it is delish. Is should fall apart as you remove it from crock pot. Great to serve on it's own with sides of veggies or to turn into sandwiches. I recommend Hawaiian rolls and horesradish sauce for the perfect sammies!
Again, Thanks, Miss Mary

Easy Homeade Pancakes

1 C. Flour
2 T. White sugar
2 t. Baking powder
1/2 t. Salt
1 t. Vanilla extract
1/2 t. Cinnamon
1 t. Orange juice
1 Egg (beaten)
1 C. Milk
3 T. Butter (melted) OR 2 T. vegetable oil

  • Heat lightly oiled griddle or frying pan to medium/high heat
  • In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt
  • Make a well in the center of the mixture; add milk, egg, and oil; mix until smooth
  • Pour 1/4 C. of mixture per pancake onto heated griddle, brown on both sides, turn only once
As with any pancakes, you can add any additives or toppings you may want! I prefer the traditional approach to toppings - 1 C. syrup + 1 T. butter melted and mixed together on stove or in microwave. Also, as you can see this recipe makes only a small amount of batter; it is easily doubled or tripled to accommodate many hungry people. Oh, and if you want to be really clever, see below for instructions on how to have way more fun making pancakes . . . . . .

1 - 4 Plastic "ketchup" bottles (the kind you would see in a diner type restaurant)

  • Cut the tip on the lid of the bottle to be a little wider than usual; cut the tips at different lengths to create a variety of widths
  • After making your pancake batter, pour into the bottles
  • Get to work making fun shapes or even spelling your name with the batter as you squirt it onto the heated griddle!
  • Turn just like a normal pancake
This idea is one I can attribute to Mrs. Elaine Justice of Searcy, Arkansas who used to do this trick for me and her daughter, Alison, when we were littler girls than we are now!

Easy Meatballs

1 Egg (beaten)
2/3 C. Bread crumbs
1/2 C. Onion (grated)
1 t. Salt
1/2 t. Allspice
1/4 t. Pepper
1 Lb. Ground sirloin

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly
  • Form grape sized meatballs from mixture
  • Cook in large skillet until well browned
See, easy right! You can make the meatballs slightly larger if you wish, and if you want to save some for use later, they freeze amazingly well also. See below for our delish pasta that serves up just right with these meatballs. It's NOT red sauce based, which makes it a really unique take on a meatball dish. Enjoy . . . . . . . .

2 C. Beef consomme
1 C. Sour cream
2 T. Cornstarch
1 Pkg. Egg noodles (wide type)

  • Boil noodles according to package directions, drain, return to pot, set aside
  • Put 1 C. consomme in large skillet and heat on medium until very hot, NOT boiling
  • Add in cornstarch and the remaining 1 C. of consomme, continue cooking over medium heat until it thickens
  • Add in sour cream, continue cooking over medium heat until heated through
  • Add cooked meatballs, simmer for 30 minutes
  • Pour sauce and meatballs over noodles and toss until thoroughly distributed
Super awesome comfort food!

Marinated Roast Beef

1 4-5 Lb. Eye-of-the-round roast (trimmed)
1 C. Crisco oil
3/4 C. Soy sauce
1/2 C. Lemon juice
1/2 C. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 C. Yellow mustard
2-3 Cloves garlic (crushed)
1 T. Pepper
  • Make holes throughout the "body" of the roast using a fork
  • Place roast in a 2 gallon Ziploc bag, set aside
  • Combine all other ingredients in a mixing bowl
  • Pour above marinade into Ziploc bag with roast
  • Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days

  • Grease lasagna pan
  • Place roast in pan, pour 1 1/2 C. of marinade over the roast along with 1 C. water
  • Cover entire dish with foil
  • Bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours, turn roast over and remove foil, bake for 1 more hour
To cook a larger or smaller roast, adjust your cooking time by 30 minutes per pound!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

ULTIMATE Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 C. Butter (melted)
1/2 C. Crisco (softened til nearly melted)
1 1/4 Brown sugar
2 T. Milk
1 T. Vanilla
1 Egg
1 1/2 C. Flour
1 t. Salt
1/2 t. Baking soda
1 Bag chocolate chips

  • In large bowl, beat butter, Crisco, and brown sugar together.
  • Add milk, vanilla, egg; continue beating
  • Add remainder of ingredients, except for chocolate chips; continue beating at low speed
  • Stir in chocolate chips by hand
  • Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes
Don't over bake! These are better a tad underdone

Emily's Famous Chicken Nuggets

3 Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless, cubed)
1 C. Miracle whip
3 T. Milk
1 t. Cumin
1 t. Onion powder
1/2 t. Cayenne pepper
1/2 t. Garlic powder
2 Sleeves of Ritz crackers (crushed)
2 T. sesame Seeds

  • In small bowl, mix miracle whip, milk, cumin, onion powder, cayenne, and garlic powder
  • In a shallow bowl or pie pan, mix the crushed Ritz crackers and sesame seeds
  • Done "assembly line" style - dip the bite-sized pieces of chicken into the miracle whip mixture, then dip them into the Ritz mixture, then lay them out on a cookie sheet
  • Make sure the nuggets are evenly spread out on the cookie sheet; bake at 425 for 30 minutes
This recipe can be easily expanded to feed lots and lots of folks! To really make it delish, serve it with Jezebel Sauce! See below . . . . . .

1/2 C. Apple jelly
1/2 C. Pineapple preserves
1 t. Yellow mustard
Pure horseradish
  • Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl and mix thoroughly, add in the horseradish to taste

Shelly's Pasta

1 Lb. Penne pasta
1 Eggplant (peeled, cubed)
4 Plum tomatoes (peeled, cubed)
1 Red onion (larger sized, peeled, cut "apple" style, layers separated)
1 C. Pecorino Romano cheese (grated)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

  • Put all vegetables on a large cookie sheet, spread out evenly
  • Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
  • Bake at 350 for 1 hour, turning over veggies 3 -4 times
  • Boil penne according to package directions while the veggies cook, drain, return to pot, set aside
  • When veggies are done, add them to the pasta, toss well
  • Serve immediately, top each portion with Pecorino Romano

This is one of Abby's favorites!

Penne Alla Vodka

1 Lb. Penne pasta
3/4 C. Parmigiano Reggiano (shredded)
3 T. Butter, unsalted
2 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
2 Oz. Prosciutto (classically cut, very thin)
1 Can Crushed tomatoes (drained)
1/2 t. Crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 C. Heavy cream
Salt and pepper

  • Boil pasta according to package directions, drain, set aside
  • In extra large skillet, melt butter over medium heat, add garlic, cook for 1 minute, remove from heat
  • Cut prosciutto into small strips
  • In a smaller skillet, cook prosciutto until just before crispy
  • Add prosciutto to large skillet, also add tomatoes and pepper flakes, cook for 5 minutes
  • Stir in cream, cook for 1-2 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste
  • Add pasta to large skillet, toss thoroughly
  • Serve and sprinkle generous serving of Parmigiano Reggiano over each portion

Cheesy Chicken Penne Pasta

8 Oz. Penne pasta
3 Chicken breasts (boneless, cooked, cubed)
16 Oz. Velveeta (cubed)
8 Oz. Sour cream
1/2 C. Whipping cream
1/8-1/4 Cayenne pepper

  • Boil pasta according to package directions, drain, return to pot, set aside
  • Put all remaining ingredients in a saucepan and cook until well blended, stirring frequently
  • Add chicken to sauce, cook for 1-2 more minutes
  • Pour sauce over pasta and toss until well distributed
For an excellent, quick way to cook your chicken breasts - refer to the instructions contained in the recipe for Classic Fettuccine Alfredo!

Classic Fetucinne Alfredo

1/4 C. Butter
1 C. Whipping cream
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese (finely shredded)
3-4 Green onions (finely chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8-1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 Pkg. Fettuccine pasta

  • Melt butter and whipping cream together over medium/low heat, heat until nearly boiling
  • Add Parmesan cheese slowly, stirring constantly until well blended
  • Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and green onions; simmer until fettuccine is ready
  • Boil fettuccine according to the directions on the package, drain and return to pot
  • Add alfredo sauce to pasta and toss until well distributed
To do this recipe with chicken, see below . . . .

3 Chicken breasts (boneless)
Garlic pepper
Pinch of salt and pepper
Olive oil

  • Cook chicken over medium heat in a heavy skillet with small amounts of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic pepper.
  • Cook until well done, chop chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces
  • Add chicken to the alfredo sauce just before you pour it over the fettuccine

Classic Baked Beans

6 Slices bacon (crispy, crumbled)
1 Onion (medium sized, chopped)
1 Can baked beans (Bush's recommended, large sized can)
1 t. Yellow mustard
1/2 C. Heinz chili sauce
1/2 C. BBQ sauce (Hickory flavor is best)

  • Grease 9x11 glass baking pan with Pam
  • Mix all ingredients together in large bowl
  • Pour into pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes

Sweet Potato Casserole

1 C. Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 Stick butter (melted)
2 Cans sweet potatoes (large sized cans)
1 t. Cinnamon
1 C. Milk

1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Flour
1/2 Stick butter (softened)
1/2 C. pecans

  • Grease a 9x13 baking pan with Pam
  • With a handmixer, blend all ingredients except for those that apply to the topping
  • Blend until smooth
  • Pour contents into baking pan
  • In small bowl combine all topping ingredients
  • Sprinkle above mixture over the casserole
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

Squash Casserole

4-5 Yellow squashes (peeled, thinly sliced)
1 Onion (medium sized, grated)
5 T. butter
1/2 t. Salt
1 Can cream of chicken soup
8 Oz. Sour cream
1 Stick butter
3 Eggs (beaten)
1 C. Cheddar (shredded)
2 C. Ritz crackers (crushed)

  • Grease 11x13 pan with Pam, set aside
  • Boil squash in sauce pan for 15-20 minutes, drain, set aside
  • In large mixing bowl, combine onion, salt, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, butter, eggs, 1/2 C. of the cheddar; mix very well
  • Add squash and 1 1/2 C. of the Ritz crackers; mix gently so as not to mash squash
  • In a smaller bowl, combine remaining cheddar and Ritz crackers, set aside
  • Pour mixture from large bowl into baking pan, bake at 350 at 30 minutes
  • At 30 minute mark, remove pan, sprinkle cheddar and crackers mixture over the top of the dish and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes

Simple Mashed Potatoes for Two

2-3 Baking potatoes (I perfer Yukon gold, peeled, cubed)
1 Stick butter (cubed)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C. Whipping cream

  • Boil and drain potatoes
  • In a large bowl, combine potatoes, butter, whipping cream, salt, and pepper; mash until you achieve the texture you like
Recipe easily expands to accommodate more people.

Heavenly Hash Browns

2 Bags Frozen shredded hash browns (Ore Ida brand recommended, need to be thawed to use)
1 Stick Butter (melted)
1 t. Salt
1 t. Garlic powder
1 C. Onion (grated)
1 Can Cream of chicken soup
1 16 Oz. Sour cream
2 C. Sharp cheddar (Tillamook brand recommended, shredded)
1 1/2 C. Mozzarella (shredded)

  • Grease 11x13 baking pan with Pam
  • Mix together all ingredients except for the hash browns
  • Blot hash browns to get rid of any water, add to the mixture, stir thoroughly
  • Bake at 350 for 45 minutes
This recipe was given to my family by our long-time friends, the Thorpes, grandmother! Thank you!

Easy Purple Hull Peas

2 Cans purple hull peas (drained)
4 Pieces salt pork or fat back
1/2 t. Pepper
3-4 dashes Tabasco

  • Put all ingredients in a pan, cook uncovers for 30 minutes on medium/low heat

Spicy Black Eyed Peas

1/2 Lb. bacon (crispy, crumbled, don't microwave, you need the bacon grease)
2 C. Onion (chopped)
2 C. Celery (remove ribs, chopped)
1 Can diced tomatoes (large sized can)
3 15 Oz. Cans black eyed peas
1 Can Rotel
1 t. White vinegar

  • Prepare bacon
  • Sautee onion and celery in the bacon grease
  • Put ALL of the ingredients in a large stock pot
  • Simmer on low for 1 to 1 1/2 hours

Aunt Diny's Mashed Potatoes

6-8 Baking potatoes (peeled, cubed)
8 Oz. Cream cheese (softened)
2 Sticks butter
2 Eggs (beaten)
1 t. Salt
1/2 t. Pepper
2 T. Flour

  • Grease 11x13 baking dish with Pam
  • Boil potatoes, drain, place in large bowl, and beat with a hand mixer until smooth
  • Add cream cheese, butter, eggs; beat until smooth again
  • Add salt, pepper, flour; beat until smooth again
  • Pour contents into baking dish and bake at 325 for 30 minutes
Add extra cream cheese if you wish!

Green Bean Bundles

2 Cans of whole green beans
1 1/2 Stick of butter
1/2 C. Brown sugar
1 t. Garlic powder
4 t. Soy sauce
8 Slices of bacon (cut in half)
Wooden toothpicks

  • Combine butter, brown sugar, garlic powder, and soy sauce in saucepan over medium heat; cook just until ingredients are well mixed
  • Bundle green beans 6 to 8 at a time, wrap in piece of bacon, insert toothpick to hold bundle together
  • Lay bundles in 9x13 baking pan, pour mixture of other ingredients over the bundles evenly
  • Bake at 375 for 45 minutes
A holiday classic!

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 Whole chicken
3 Cans of chicken broth (large sized cans)
1 t. Salt
1 Pkg. medium egg noodles
2 Cans cream of chicken soup
2 Sticks of butter
2 Carrots
6 Celery ribs

  • Place chicken in large soup pot and cover with chicken broth, salt, and 4 of the celery ribs
  • Bring to a slow boil, boil for 1 1/2 hours
  • Remove chicken, place in container for refrigeration
  • Strain broth from the chicken pot, place in container for refrigeration
  • After chicken has cooled, remove chicken from bones
  • Skim the fat off the broth, place broth in a sauce pan
  • Bring broth to a boil, add water, carrots, remaining celery ribs; boil for 15 mins
  • Add noodles to the broth and boil until they are cooked
  • Add cream of chicken soup, chicken meat, and simmer for 30 minutes
  • Serve hot
Cornbread is excellent with this!

Baked Potato Soup

4-6 Baking potatoes
1 Onion (small sized, grated)
1 T. Butter
1 C. Whipping Cream
1 C. Velveeta (shredded)
1 C. Monterrey jack (shredded)
Salt and pepper

6-8 Slices of bacon (crispy, crumbled)
1 C. Sharp cheddar (shredded)

  • Peel and cube potatoes
  • Boil for 30-40 minutes, until soft, drain
  • Put potatoes back in pot and mash until lumpy
  • Place pot on medium/low heat; add onion, whip cream, both cheeses
  • Prepare toppings (bacon and cheddar) and serve very hot
Yummy! And keeps well in the refrigerator for company.

Mary Eleanor's Soup

2 Lb. Ground sirloin (browned, crumbled)
1 Onion (choose a larger sized onion, chopped)
1 Pkg. Powdered ranch dressing
2 Pkg. Taco seasoning
2 Cans of Rotel (regular or mild)
1 Can diced tomatoes (large can)
2 Cans white shoepeg corn
1 Can pinto beans
2 Cans ranch style beans (the kind in the black can is perferrable)
2 C. Water

  • Pour all ingredients into large pot
  • Simmer for 2 hours on low heat, stirring occasionally
Serve it with cornbread. It's the only way to add more calories to this dish.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 10 Oz. Package chopped frozen broccoli
1/2 C. Onion (finely chopped)
1 T. butter
1 1/2 C. Whipping cream (or substitute milk)
1/2 C. Water
1 Can cream of chicken soup
1 Lb. Velveeta (cubed)

  • In LARGE saucepan, sautee onion in the butter over medium heat
  • Turn heat down to medium/low, add all remaining ingredients
  • Heat only until bubbly, do not allow to boil
  • Serve immdiately

Carnitas! A.K.A Braised Pork, Mexican Style

I made the below recipe Super Bowl Sunday for a group of about 8 people. It turned out really well and was ridiculously easy to make. It was also great because I was able to prepare it ahead of time.

Total Time: 15 min. prep/8 hrs. (slow cooked)

3 1/2 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (aka pork butt - nice name, huh?) - I used a 4 lb piece of meat because I was serving a larger group
1 bottle (15 oz.) salsa verde
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds - I didn't add this and it turned out just fine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus some leaves

1.Trim as much of the excess pork fat as you can, I left a little on for flavor. I also seasoned the meat with salt and pepper before adding the marinade.
2. I then placed the meat in the crock pot container and added the chicken stock, salsa verde, onions, cumin and oregano and then put the pot in the fridge with the lid on for 4 - 6 hours to marinade - this is NOT necessary, I just had the ingredients ahead of time
3. Just before going to bed, I put the pot back in the crock pot and turned it on low for 8 hours
4. When I woke up I left the meat sitting in the crock pot warming until I was ready to brown it (please note - your house will smell like a Mexican taco stand if you cook it over night)
5. To brown the meat I heated the oven to 375 degrees and then placed the meat in a pyrex dish and let cook for about 30 minutes, just until the meat began to brown and crisp on the edges.
6. In the mean time I removed the fat from the juice left in the crock pot and boiled the juices for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce reduced to about 2 1/2 cups and was a thick consistency
7. I shredded the meat with 2 forks, and added in the sauce and mixed until all of the pieces were covered. I then sprinkled the cilantro on top of the meat.
8. I served the pork with hot flour tortillas (corn is an option too - I just like flour better), sour cream (I added lime juice to the sour cream), cheddar cheese, salsa and lettuce.

Simply Recipes ©2003-2010 Simply Recipes, Inc.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ultimate Sausage and Cheese Tray

I'm not sure if this even qualifies as a recipe. Mostly, it's just an ingredient to the easiest-to-make appetizer of all time. It's also delish, as are most things with this many calories.

Large links of Andouille sausage
Large block of extra sharp cheddar cheese (I prefer Tillamook)
BBQ sauce (I recommend you get this from whatever your favorite BBQ restaurant happens to be)
Saltine crackers
Cocktail toothpicks

  • Remove casing from sausage and cook in the skillet or throw it on the grill until lightly browned
  • Chop cheese into whatever you consider bite-sized
  • Assemble all ingredients on a tray for serving
Somehow it helps if you serve this particular thing on an ironic and/or really special tray. It just feels like you did more. Or something.

The Ultimate White Trash Cheese Dip

2 Lb. Velveeta (cubed)
2 Cans of Rotel (one hot, one regular)
1 Package of zesty Italian dressing mix
1 Lb. Sausage (browned, crumbled)
1 Onion (small size is best, grated, brown along with the sausage)

  • After browning the sausage and onions, put all of the ingredients into a double boiler
  • Continue cooking over medium heat until mixture is melted and hot enough to serve
I love to serve mine with the Tostitos: Hint of Lime chips! Plain Tostitos are fine too.

Hot Artichoke Dip

1 C. Cream cheese (softened)
1 14 Oz. Can of artichoke hearts (cut into eighths)
2 C. Mayonnaise
2 C. Parmesan cheese (grated)

  • Spray 11x7 pan with Pam
  • Beat cream cheese using medium speed until blended
  • Stir in artichoke hearts, mayo, and Parmesan; pour mixture into pan
  • Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes
Serve with any yummy crackers. My fav is Wheat Thins!!! This recipe was given to by my family by Robbie Schuhard, who is fabulous.

Cheesy Bread Bowl

1 Loaf Hawaiian bread
1 C. Monterrey jack (shredded, out-of-the-bag is fine)
1 C. Parmesan (shredded, out-of-the-bag is fine)
1 C. Mayonnaise
10 Slices of bacon (cooked until crispy, crumbled)
1 Clove of garlic (crushed)
1 Small onion (grated)

  • Cut a hole in the top of the bread, as if you were cutting the top off of a pumpkin, hollow out the inside of the loaf
  • Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl
  • Pour entire contents into hollowed out bread bowl and place top on bowl
  • Wrap bowl in heavy-duty aluminum foil and seal
  • Bake at 350 for 60 minutes
You can serve this dip with any crackers that you wish!!!

Bundt Pan Breakfast Casserole

This casserole is epic. It looks delish. It is delish. And after baking, will keep in the refrigerator for a week. That's right . . . all you, your dependents, or your guests have to do is slice off a piece of this casserole, microwave it for 1 to 2 minutes, and voila - amazing breakfast or snack! Perfect for holiday times when you think you will GO CRAZY if one more person (one of the men, of course) asks you to fix them something else to eat.

9 Eggs
1 Lb. Sausage (browned, crumbled)
1/2 Lb. Bacon (cooked until crispy, crumbled)
1 C. Monterrey jack/cheddar blended cheese (shredded)
1 C. Extra sharp cheddar (shredded)
1/2 C. Cream cheese (cubed)
1/8 C. Heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 Can crescent rolls (separate each triangle, cut each triangle in half, roll pieces into balls)
1/4 C. Tomato (chopped)
1/4 C. Green onions (chopped)

  • Spray regular sized bundt pan with Pam
  • Whisk the eggs together until thoroughly blended
  • Brown the sausage, cook the bacon, set aside and let cool (just for a few mins)
  • To the egg mixture, add all cheeses, heavy whipping cream, crescent roll "balls," tomato, and green onions; stir til blended
  • Add meats to mixture, stir til blended
  • Pour entire contents into bundt pan
  • Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown
This recipe is easily manipulated! Having a fiesta this manana? Just swap the sausage for traditional chorizo, swap the sharp cheddar for a mild white, add jalapenos instead of green onions, sour cream in place of the cream cheese, skip the crescent rolls in favor of biscuits, and serve with salsa or black beans. Want to do this casserole Texas style? Do brisket instead of sausage, caramelized onions instead of green onions, add 1/4 C. jalapenos, white cheddar in place of sharp cheddar, and sour cream instead of cream cheese. So, there's that.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Abby's Punch

5 Parts vodka (Ketel One or better)
2 Parts lemonade (I like Simply Lemonade)
1 Part limeade (Again, the Simply brand is best)
1 Part OJ (any brand, NO PULP)
1/2 Part pure lemon juice
1/2 Part ginger ale (or champagne, for an extra kick)
LOTS of ice (crushed)

I serve it in highballs, by which I mean plastic Solo cups. If you are making this for one or two folks - like on a drink by drink basis - it's really awesome to mix it in a martini shaker. It, obvs, gets super fizzy and extra cold that way but wouldn't be practical for a larger number of people. If making it for a group, I recommend mixing it in something with a spout and providing cups filled with ice to serve it in. Plan on adding extra vodka, ginger ale, and ice repeatedly if you are serving it this way.

Fastest Mac-N-Cheese Ever

1 1/2 C. Macaroni pasta (Rigatoni is also good)
1 C. Extra sharp cheddar cheese (shredded, Tillamook is my fav)
3/4 C. Parmigiano Reggiano (shredded)
1 C. Small curd cottage cheese
1/2 C. Evaporated milk
1 C. Sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste (can also add some cayenne for a bit of zip)
1 C. Bread Crumbs (crushed Ritz crackers are actually better, if you have a couple extra minutes)
1/4 C. butter

  • Boil macaroni, drain, set aside
  • Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam
  • In a small bowl, melt the butter and mix in the bread crumbs, set aside
  • Pour macaroni and ALL other ingredients into the baking pan
  • Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over the dish
  • Bake at 350 for 35 minutes
  • Broil for 2 minutes to harden the crust on top (alternate step, do only if desired)
If your really feeling lazy, this bakes just fine in one of those throwaway metal pans you can pick up at the supermarket. Just bake it, serve it, toss the sticky pan out when your done. Because anyone who has ever made mac-n-cheese of any kind knows that the bitch of it is the clean-up. And by that I mean, after you spend 30 minutes working the baking pan over with some steel wool, you will be very bitchy.
Lastly, you can exercise all the normal options with this recipe, like adding meat, or heat, or anything else you may want.

Crazy Good Mac-N-Cheese

2 1/2 C. Macaroni pasta
6 Oz. Velveeta (cubed)
6 Oz. White cheddar (cubed)
8 Oz. Gruyere cheese (shredded)
1 C. Monterrey Jack and cheddar cheeses blended (buy in the bag, pre-shredded)
3 Oz. Cream cheese
1/3 C. Sour cream
3/4 C. Heavy cream
3/4 C. Half-n-half
1 Egg
1 1/2 T. Flour
1/2 T. Worcestershire
1/2 t. Garlic powder
1/2 t. Onion powder
1/2 t. Mustard powder
1/8 t. Cayenne pepper
1/16 t. Nutmeg
1/2 t. Kosher salt
Pinch paprika
Pinch chives

  • Boil macaroni, set aside
  • Spray 9x13 pan with Pam
  • Mix heavy cream, half-n-half, sour cream, cream cheese, egg, flour, Worcestershire, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard, cayenne, and nutmeg
  • Layer bottom of pan with the Velveeta and white cheddar cheese cubes
  • Pour macaroni pasta into pan
  • Layer top of macaroni with the Gruyere
  • Pour on mixture in step 3
  • Layer Monterrey jack and cheddar cheese mixture and paprika over the top of the dish
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly and slightly brown on top
This is super fiiiiinnnnneeee with any type of meat you might wish to add. It is also great spicy! Just add jalapenos, ancho chilies, bell peppers, extra cayenne, or anything else that you like.

Hard-Boiled Eggs, No Seriously . . . .

You are about to read the one and only "recipe" contributed by my fiancee. What can I say, he has been nothing but a bachelor for 47 years. He has this recipe because he once saw his mother boil eggs and thought it was the most fascinating and tasty thing ever. He then had his mother write down this "recipe" for him. I made the mistake of laughing when he presented the "recipe" card to me and subsequently pointed out that - if even I knew how to hard-boil eggs - then surely everyone else on earth must already know as well. And, of course, he looked immediately hurt and then spent the better part of the next half hour walking me through the "recipe" step-by-step, explaining that his mother obviously did something "special and different" to her eggs. He even included a helpful sidebar explaining what the phrase "medium heat" meant. See the groundbreaking instructions for this culinary masterpiece below . . . . .

  • Put the desired number of eggs into a saucepan and cover them with water
  • Bring that water to a full boil using medium heat
  • Turn off heat and let stand for 15 minutes
  • Rinse eggs in cold water, remove shells, and serve
Congratulations. You have, according to my fiancee, just read the "recipe" that will change the world of food preparation forever.

Hot Ham Sandwiches

8 Onion buns or 12 Hawaiian rolls
1 Lb. Black Forest ham
1/2 Lb. Swiss cheese
1 C. Butter
1/4 C. Mustard
2 T. White onion (grated)
1 T. Poppyseed

  • Melt butter
  • Combine butter, mustard, onion, and poppyseed; mix thoroughly
  • Spread mixture on both sides of all buns
  • Layer appropriate amount of ham and cheese on buns
  • Wrap sets of 4 sandwiches at a time in aluminum foil "pockets," don't wrap the sandwiches tightly, leave some breathing room in the "pockets"
  • Tear off 4 square sheets of aluminum foil and roll them, individually, into strips, these will look like foil "ropes" when finished
  • Once the "ropes" are rolled, bend the ends of each roll together to create individual circles
  • Place the circles you have just created onto a cookie sheet, then lay the foil "pockets" containing the sandwiches on top, the circles should behave like "feet" for the "pockets"
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

Redneck Chicken Bake

6 Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (don't forget to trim off the fat, ewww!)
8 Slices of bacon
2 C. Stove Top cornbread stuffing mix (thoroughly crushed)
2 C. Ritz crackers (thoroughly crushed)
1 C. Hot water
1/2 Stick margarine or butter
1/2 C. Lemon juice
2 T. Orange juice
1/2 C. Crushed pecans
1/2 C. Chopped pecans
3/4 - 1 C. Parmesan shredded cheese
1/4 C. Honey

  • Spray 9x13 baking pan with Pam, layer the bottom of the pan with the bacon
  • Melt margarine and add hot water, mix together
  • Combine Stove Top stuffing, Ritz crackers, crushed pecans, Parmesan, and lemon juice; stir only until mixture is moistened
  • Stir in margarine/water mixture, stir as little as possible until mixed
  • In large, separate bowl, combine honey and OJ.
  • Dip chicken breasts in honey, OJ mixture until coated
  • By hand, pat "stuffing" mixture onto coated chicken breasts
  • Lay chicken breasts in pan on top of bacon
  • Bake at 375 for 40 minutes, add chopped pecans as a topper around the 30 minute mark, I also love to add some extra Parmesan as a topper also!
This recipe goes best with some sweet corn on the cob or green been bundles, though any southern favorite will do. Serve it with Mom's cream cheese mashed potatoes if it's not swimsuit season. Also works well served "chicken nugget" style.