Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's Goin' On...

Hey! So, I thought I'd just let you know why I haven't updated the blog with any new recipes lately. I've been potty training my two year old. You would think that I would have oodles of time to post as I stay at home and do nothing but ask my little girl if she has to go potty. But no.

The good news - she's done REALLY well today. So I'm crossing my fingers that she'll be done soon and I can get back to posting yummy recipes! But for now, wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Favorite Mashed Potatoes

Today, I'm giving you my favorite mashed potato recipe. I've had it for years and everyone that's ever tried it loves it as well. I like that it's seasoned perfectly and they're moist and rich. Mmmmmmmmm!!

I also like that you can make these ahead of time, put them in the fridge until you're ready for them, then pop 'em in the oven just before you need them.

It's very convenient when you're entertaining. Mix everything together in the morning or the night before and you don't even have to worry about them until you're ready to warm them up. Try it out and see what you think!

Here's what you'll need:

5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 C. sour cream
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 T. butter, divided
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Drain.

In a large mixing bowl, mash potatoes. Add sour cream, cream cheese, 2 Tablespoons of butter, salt, onion salt, and pepper; beat until fluffy. (You can just mash the potatoes with a masher and then mix in the other ingredients really well with a fork. But they won't be as light and fluffy if you do it that way.) Transfer to a 2 quart (9x13 inch) baking dish. (I doubled the recipe when I made them last for a dinner party. It doesn't really make two pans.) Dot with the remaining Tablespoon of butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Serves 8.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chocolate, Chocolate Cake

I had a FABULOUS weekend!!! I hosted a Girl's Night at my house on Saturday and spent Sunday evening with my hubby's family. Both nights were filled with great food and fantastic company! Like I said, it was a great weekend!!

Sunday evening, I was in charge of bringing dessert (my favorite thing to make). So I took a look through my new cookbook and found a super simple and yummy sounding recipe and gave it a try. I got rave reviews on it!
So, thanks to my friend, Mandy, for submitting this recipe. It's so easy. Just dump the ingredients together, mix it up, bake it, dust with powdered sugar, and serve. It took me about ten minutes to get all of the ingredients out, put together, mixed, poured in the bundt pan, and into the oven, and get cleaned up. Then you let is bake for almost an hour. It's so easy!! And sooooooooooooooo delicious!!!! Very moist and chocolaty!!

Here's what you'll need:

1 chocolate cake mix
1 more egg than called for on box instructions
1 (3.9 oz) pkg. chocolate pudding mix, dry
1 C. sour cream
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, dump the cake mix and any ingredients called for on the box instructions plus one more egg, the dry chocolate pudding mix, and the sour cream. Beat for about 2 minutes then stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into a well greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Turn over onto a serving plate and dust with powdered sugar. This is fantastic served warm with a scoop of ice cream!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!!! If you like a chocolaty cake, you're gonna love this one! Try it out. You'll be glad you did!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Peppermint Frosted Brownies

I'm posting early today so that you will be ready to make this yummy St. Patrick's Day treat for tomorrow. It's combination of chocolate and mint really does make this treat the gold at the end of the rainbow!

Here's what you'll need:

Fudge Brownies - either MY RECIPE or a box mix, mixed, baked, and cooled
Peppermint Frosting:

1/4 C. butter
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
2-3 T. milk

1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. shortening

Beat butter for 30 seconds, add powdered sugar, mint extract and enough milk to make a good spreading consistency. Tint green with a few drops of food coloring. Spread over cooled brownies. Melt the chocolate chips and the shortening together and mix until smooth. Drizzle over the brownies and frosting. I frosted the brownies first, then cut them, and drizzled them with chocolate once they were on a plate to give away. But you can do it either way!

A PERFECT St. Patrick's Day treat! Enjoy!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!!

This happens every time! I say I'm going to post all week and I only post twice. Nice. I'm sorry! My week last week ended up getting really full of things to do. So, today I've added four new recipes from my new cookbook to make up for my slacking to do so last week. Enjoy!!!

Steak Fajitas

My neighbor, Janette, submitted this recipe. She's a good friend of mine. And you know she's a good friend when she comes to your house, days after you've had a baby, lets herself in very quietly as my kids and I nap, and stocks my fridge full of good food to eat so I don't have to worry about cooking. AND she didn't even mind that my house was a disaster! She's a VERY good friend!!! And a very good cook too!

When making her fajitas, you have to make sure to plan ahead, since the meat has to marinate overnight. But it's worth it! I love the flavor the marinade gives to the whole meal. Very good!!

Here's what you'll need:

1 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. honey
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 C. water
2lb. sirloin or flank steak

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced

In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, honey, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, ginger, and water. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade in the fridge and pour the rest into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and place the the steak into the bag as well. Marinate in the fridge overnight.

When you're ready to get cooking, remove the steak from the marinade and discard the bag. Slice the steak into thin strips.

Combine the strips of steak with the sliced veggies in a heated skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry until the meat is cooked and the veggies are tender, using the reserved marinade to keep the meat from sticking to the pan. Or you can do what I did and just toss in all of the reserved marinade in the pan with the steak and veggies and let them cook in it. Serve with warmed tortillas and sour cream.

Yum, yum!!!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I keep hearing from my friends that I HAVE to try Tanyss' recipes. (Tanyss is a sweet friend of mine.) So one day, I did. I love to eat Chicken Cordon Bleu, but I think it's a pain in the neck to put together. Seeing this recipe of Tanyss', I knew I had to try it. Let me tell you, it was SOOOOOOOO good!! Now I have a whole list of recipes of hers to try.

Here's what you'll need:

2 C. chicken, cooked and cubed or shredded
2 C. Swiss cheese, shredded
2 C. ham, cubed (you can use lunch meat)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C. sour cream
1/2 a tube of Ritz crackers, crushed
2 T. melted butter

In a greased 8x8 inch baking dish, layer the chicken, Swiss cheese, and ham. Combine the cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Spread over the ham layer. Then combine the crushed crackers with the melted butter and sprinkle evenly over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve over cooked rice.

Oh my, very, very good!!! Try it out!

Hot & Hearty Loaf

This recipe comes from my friend, and super great cook, Kolette. It is very similar to my mom's Submarine Pizza, but this has more meat and the meat mixture has a lot more flavor. It is quite delicious!! And easy to put together too!

Here's what you'll need:

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 C. finely chopped onion OR 1 T. dried, chopped onion
1/4 C. chopped olives
1/3 C. Parmesan cheese
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 C. water
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. rosemary
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 loaf French bread (unsliced)
6 slices of cheese, whatever you like
10-12 slices tomato

Brown beef with onion. Drain excess fat. Add remaning ingredients. Warm through. Mixture should be thick enough to mound well. Slice loaf of bread horizontally into 2 equal pieces. (I had to cut my bread in half first since I had frozen it and that was the only way I could get it to fit in the freezer bag.) Divide meat mixture in half and spread onto bread halves. Preheat broiler. Top beef mixture with tomato slices and then cheese. Broil until cheese is melted. Slice into pieces and serve immediately.
Great flavor and quick and easy!! Love it!!!!

Barbeque Chicken

My whole family LOVED this recipe. My oldest would say with every bite he took, "Oh my gosh, this is soooooooooooooo good!" Or, "Wow, this is amazing!" Or, "This is the best dinner EVER!" Or, "Mmmmmmmmmm, WOW!!!" With every single bite. It was great to hear! And he was right, it was very good chicken!

Here's what you'll need:

3 - 4 lbs. chicken
Seasoned salt
1 T. dried onion
3/4 C. ketchup
1/3 C. vinegar
1/2 C. water
3 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. mustard
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. honey

Season chicken with seasoned salt, then cook through. I used my George Foreman grill (which I LOVE, by the way). Place chicken into a 9x13 inch pan. While the meat is cooking, in small sauce pan, combine the remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour over the cooked chicken and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with rice or a baked potato. We REALLY enjoyed this!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Baked Beans

The recipe I'm sharing with you today is called, "Original Ranch House Baked Beans" in my new cookbook. Now, I've never heard of Ranch House before, but by looking at the ingredients, I thought this recipe sounded good. Well, it was. It was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!! It has such a wonderful flavor to it and is very hearty. Served with my breadsticks, it's a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal.

Here's what you'll need:

2 (16 oz) cans pork and beans
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 (16 oz) can butter beans, drained
1 C. ketchup
1 C. brown sugar
1 T. liquid smoke
3 scant T. vinegar
1/2 onion, chopped OR 4 T. dried, chopped onion
1 lb. bacon
1 lb. hamburger

Brown hamburger, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder (a few shakes of each). Cook bacon; cut into 1 inch chunks. Drain all grease. Mix all ingredients together in a pot. Simmer for 1 hour (I only had 30 minutes and it was still great). Or use a crockpot and cook on low for 3 hours.

You really should try this. Especially if you live in Southeast Idaho where it's snowing right now. This will warm you right up!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Garlic Cream Sauce

I have been going HOG WILD with the new community cookbook I helped put together last year. For the last two months I have been cooking with this book almost exclusively and have found that many of my neighbors are terrific cooks! So this week, hopefully everyday, I'll be posting a yummy recipe from my cookbook.

Today's recipe comes from my neighbor, Donna. In the cookbook she has a recipe called "Chicken Pasta" and it's a casserole. But when I made it, I didn't make it into a casserole. Instead, I made the pasta sauce and served it over Penne and a chicken breast. Oh my good heavens, the sauce was SPECTACULAR!!!

I'll give you the instructions on how to make the casserole too. But no matter what way you make this, you MUST try it!!!!!!!

Here's what you'll need:

1/2 C. sweet butter
2 garlic cloves, minced OR 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 C. mozzarella cheese

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, cream, white pepper and bring it to a simmer. Stir often. Add the Parmesan cheese and simmer sauce for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and is smooth. When sauce has thickened, add the mozzarella cheese and stir until smooth.

As I said earlier, I served it like this...

To make it as a casserole:

Cook a package of Penne pasta. In the mean time, cook chicken (probably 3 chicken breasts), seasoned with Italian seasoning and Lawry's Seasoned Salt. Cube once cooked through. Cube enough ham to make two cups. Saute ham with sliced, fresh mushrooms and sliced green onions (as many mushrooms and onions as you'd like).

Combine the cooked pasta, chicken, and the sauce above. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Top with the ham and mushroom mixture. Then sprinkle with shredded Swiss cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

It sounds delicious and I'll definitely be making this some day. But if you don't want to hassle with a casserole, definitely make the sauce to serve as I did! It is absolutely divine!!!

Oh, and just a note, if you have leftover sauce for the next day, it will separate. All you have to do is warm it up and whisk until it combines. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chicken Fried Steak

On Sunday afternoons, we like to make a dinner that might take a little more time than what I might spend on a weeknight. A couple of Sundays ago, my hubby and I decided to make chicken fried steak since I have a TON of cube steaks in the freezer. So I started looking through recipes online. I found one on allrecipes that had a really good rating and wrote it down. Then I remembered watching Bobby Flay make some as I was laying in a hospital bed just after I had my baby. It looked good. So I looked it up too and compared the two recipes.

I couldn't decide which one would be better just by looking at the ingredients. I decided to make them both and have a taste-test. That was a lot of fun and my husband was so excited. After getting everything cooked, we sat down to eat. Brett said that the allrecipes CFS tasted like what you get at restaurants. But I never order it at restaurants because it's nothing special - bland really, which is what I thought of the allrecipes recipe.

Bobby Flay's, on the other hand, was VERY flavorful. I loved it! And I will take better tasting food than restaurants around here can make any day!! So, today I am sharing my version of Bobby Flay's Chicken Fried Steak. To see the original, click HERE. Enjoy!

Here's what you'll need:

1 - 1 1/2 lbs. cubed steak, cut into four sections
1 1/2 C. buttermilk (or milk, but buttermilk is better)
2 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 T. paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper, opt.
oil for frying

2 T. (heaping) flour
2 C. milk
2 T. heavy cream
salt, pepper, and thyme to taste

Pour the buttermilk into a shallow dish and set aside. In another shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper, if desired.

Dredge the cube steak in the flour mixture and then into the buttermilk and then again in the flour mixture.
Fry in heated oil and cook over medium-low heat until golden brown on the outside and the meat is cooked through.
Remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate.

For the country gravy, pour off most of the oil from the frying pan, but keeping a little still in the pan. Add the flour and cook for one minute. Slowly add the milk, cream, and seasonings. Cook until thickened. Serve over the steaks and mashed potatoes.

Mmmmmmmmm!!! Much better than what you get at the restaurant!
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