Monday, December 19, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Pasta


2-3 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded {or shredded rotisserie chicken…I used the breasts}

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 C frozen corn

1 {4 oz.} can diced green chiles

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

2 {10 oz.} cans green chili enchilada sauce

2/3 cups red enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded cheese {I used colby & monterrey jack}

1 cup sour cream

1 1/2 to 2 lbs Penne pasta

Optional toppings


Green Onions

Black Olives


Sour Cream

Cook chicken, drain, and shred. Meanwhile boil pasta according to package and chop the veggies.

Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet and cook onions for about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper and corn and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Add cooked chicken, green chiles, cumin, chili powder, salt, & enchilada sauces. Let sauce simmer for about 8-10 minutes.

Add cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and heated through. Now toss in the sour cream, but DO NOT bring to a boil! Cook on low heat or the sour cream will curdle. Stir until sour cream is well mixed and heated through.

Drain pasta & return to pot. Pour sauce over pasta and mix well. Serve and garnish with avocado, tomato, green onion, and a dollop of sour cream.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Brined Maple Turkey with Cream Gravy


  • 8 quarts water
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 (12-pound) fresh or thawed frozen turkey (I found you don't need to double anything even if you do a larger turkey)
  • 1 cup cola
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • To prepare brine, combine first 6 ingredients in a large stockpot, stirring until salt dissolves.
  • To prepare turkey, remove and reserve giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Add turkey to pot, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Bring cola and 1/2 cup syrup to a boil in a small saucepan; cook 1 minute.
  • Combine thyme, sage, seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Remove turkey from brine, discarding brine; pat dry. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub thyme mixture under loosened skin; sprinkle inside body cavity. Place 4 garlic cloves and onions in body cavity. Tie ends of legs together with twine. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey.
  • Place turkey on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Insert a meat thermometer into meaty part of a thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Pour cola mixture over turkey; cover with foil. Bake an additional 1 hour and 45 minutes or until thermometer registers 180°. Remove turkey from pan, reserving drippings for gravy. Place turkey on a platter. Cover loosely with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Remove twine. Discard skin.
  • To prepare gravy, while turkey bakes, combine reserved giblet and neck and the broth in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Strain mixture through a colander into a bowl, discarding solids.
  • Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour pan drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top).
  • Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into broiler pan, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Add broth mixture. Place broiler pan on stovetop over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Combine milk and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk; add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Strain gravy through a sieve into a bowl. Discard solids. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sweet Potato Casserole


  • 4 cups sweet potato, cubed (about 1 large potato)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9x9 inch baking dish.
  3. In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes


6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
2 10 oz cans Cream of Chicken Soup
4 lbs peeled, cubed potatoes
5 Tablespoons real butter
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
6 cloves roasted garlic (directions are below)
1- 1 1/2 Cups warm skim milk (any milk will do, I used skim)
1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste


Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.
Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. Place onto stove top over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and transfer to the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, Parmesan, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Season to taste if needed. For thinner mashed potatoes add more milk, slowly until your desired consistency.
Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot.

Roasted Garlic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bulb of garlic with skins on, wrap lightly in tin foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from foil and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove garlic from skins, place in a bowl and mash with a fork until completely mashed. Set aside. One garlic bulb will have around 12 cloves.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Salted Caramel (that we used in cupcakes over 4th of July)

Salted Caramel Filling
2 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, preferably fleur de sel

Heat sugar with the water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over high, stirring occasionally, until syrup is clear; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan and stop stirring.

Cook until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush as needed. Boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is caramelized and just reaches 360°F. Remove rom heat and slowly pour in cream; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in sea salt.

Use immediately; if caramel begins to harden reheat gently until pourable.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Slow-Cooker Braised Pork with Salsa

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt
1 1/2 cups prepared tomatillo salsa
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 - 1/2 cup cream

Trim and discard pork surface fat. Cut meat apart following layers of fat around muscles; trim and discard fat. Cut into 2-inch chunks and rinse with cold water. Place in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Turn heat to high.

Combine salsa, broth, onion and cumin seeds in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour over the meat. Add tomatoes and mix gently. Put the lid on and cook until the meat is pull-apart tender, 6 to 7 hours.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a large bowl; cover and keep warm. Pour the sauce and vegetables into a large skillet; skim fat. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add heavy cream to taste. Boil, skimming froth from time to time, for about 20 minutes, to intensify flavors and thicken slightly. Add the pork and 1/4 cup cilantro; heat through.

To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro. Serve with cilantro lime rice.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Honey Bourbon Barbecue Chicken Breasts

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups ketchup
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons bourbon
6 chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the next 7 ingredients. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook slowly for 20 minutes; until the sauce thickens. Stir in bourbon.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in the grill.

Mix salt and pepper together. Sprinkle over chicken breasts. Grill chicken about 10 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Reserve 1 cup of barbecue sauce. Brush chicken lightly with remaining sauce and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Place chicken on a platter and cover loosely with foil until ready to serve. Serve with remaining sauce, warmed.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

1 1/2 cups WATER
1 1/2 cups SUGAR
1/2 teaspoon GROUND CLOVES
1/2 teaspoon GROUND GINGER
1 teaspoon GROUND NUTMEG
2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons PUMPKIN PUREE

In a small pot, over medium heat, dissolve sugar in water.

Add remaining ingredients. Allow to cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring often. (Do not boil!)

Strain mixture using cheesecloth or a tea towel.

Pour into a bottle or jar and store in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Banana Bars

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 (16 ounce) container cream cheese frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter. Finally, mix in the mashed banana. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow bars to cool completely before frosting with the cream cheese frosting.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Claudia's Apple Sausage Mac and Cheese

4 TBSP butter, plus more for the dish
3/4 lb medium pasta shells
1/2 C diced onion
6 oz chicken- apple sausage, sliced 1/2 inch thick (I would use a whole lb, this is the star of the dish)
1 TBSP mustard powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 C flour
3 C apple juice
1 lb monterey jack cheese, shredded (4 C)
1/2 lb extra-sharp cheddar cheese shredded (2 cups)
1/2 C sour cream
35 small butter crackers ( 1 sleeve ritz) crushed

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium- high heat. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring, until the sausage is golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the apple juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 8 more minutes.
3. Slowly stir about three quarters each of the monterey jack and cheddar cheese into the sauce until smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove for the heat. Stir in the pasta and sour cream.. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the crushed crackers and the remaining cheese. Bake until bubbly, 25-300 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Caribbean Passion Smoothie

1 C passion fruit juice
3 scoops orange sherbet
4 frozen strawberries
6 frozen peach slices
1/4 C ice

Blend all ingredients together. Add more passion fruit juice if necessary to reach desired consistency.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Berry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette


1/2 c. white wine vinegar
1/2 c. honey (or sugar)
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 tsp. kosher or other coarse salt
About 10 cracks of freshly ground black pepper
1 c. raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries
2/3 c. canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds


Combine the vinegar, honey, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and berries in the jar of a blender. Blend until smooth and then, with the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream. Turn off the blender and whisk in the poppy seeds. If possible, refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Banana Cupcakes (better)

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 bananas (abt 1 1/2 cups) mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour

Cream the sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in mashed bananas. Alternate sour cream and flour mixed with soda and baking powder. I use 1/4 cup batter for each cupcake and got 33 cupcakes. Frost with the Cinnamon Honey Frosting. These are more like cake. The previous post is more like banana bread. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Cinnamon Honey Frosting:

1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream (abt tablespoon)
Beat until smooth and creamy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Spread tops with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting. Just before serving, peel and slice banana into rounds, and place one on each cupcake, if desired.

Honey-Cinnamon Frosting
• 2 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 tablespoon honey
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat confectioners' sugar, unsalted butter, honey, and ground cinnamon until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes.

This is a Martha Stewart recipe and I got 15 cupcakes. When making the frosting I only used ½ stick of butter and thinned with a little cream. I used a little more cinnamon and honey, too.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bananas Foster Upside-Down Cake

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 large)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons crème de cacao
  • 1/3 cup rum
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Place butter in a 13- x 9-inch pan; place in a 350° oven for 5 minutes or just until melted. Remove from oven, and coat pan with cooking spray. Add brown sugar and cinnamon, stirring well. Spread mixture in pan.
  • Cut 3 bananas diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices on brown sugar mixture in 4 lengthwise rows; cover and set aside.
  • Combine mashed banana and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; add to mashed banana mixture, beating on low speed just until blended. Pour batter evenly over sliced banana in pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 2 minutes; loosen cake from sides of pan with knife, and invert onto a large rectangular serving platter.
  • Drizzle crème de cacao over cake. Heat rum in a small saucepan just until simmering; ignite with a long match. Spoon rum over cake with a long-handled spoon. Serve warm cake with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chicken Crunch


1 can Cream of Chicken Soup

1/2 cup milk

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups Herb Seasoned Stuffing, crushed

2 tablespoons butter, melted


Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir 1/3 cup soup and 1/4 cup milk in a shallow dish. Coat the chicken with the flour. Dip the chicken in the soup mixture. Coat the chicken with the stuffing. Place the chicken onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with the butter.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Heat the remaining soup and milk in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Serve the soup mixture with the chicken.

Strawberry Fruit Dip

1 large container strawberry yogurt
8 oz strawberry cream cheese
1 pint whipping or heavy cream
strawberry or berry jam to taste (about 1/4-1/2 cup)

Beat cream cheese till smooth. Add yogurt and beat till smooth again. In a separate bowl beat whipping cream with 1 tsp vanilla and 2 Tbsp sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into yogurt mixture. Add jam to taste. Chill in refrigerator. Serve with sliced fruit.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fresh Raspberry Bars

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Softened butter (for brushing sides of foil)
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam or preserves 1 pint (2 cups) fresh raspberries
1/2 of an 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. goat cheese (chévre) or 4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel (zest)
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with a 24-inch-long sheet of aluminum foil, leaving extra foil extending over ends (use these later to lift bars from pan); set aside. In a large bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until it just begins to blend and soften slightly, about 30 seconds.
2. Add brown sugar and salt, beat on low speed until incorporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute. You're not trying to cream it, you're just mixing it in, Scott says. With mixer off, add the 2 cups flour. Beat on low speed until flour is incorporated. Increase speed to medium, mix until ingredients form an even, cohesive dough. "People tend to undermix shortbread, which makes it too crumbly," Scott says. "It's tough to overmix because of the amount of butter we use."
3. Break dough into small chunks and distribute in prepared pan; with your fingers press dough into an even layer (photo 2). Bake 20 minutes or until dough has begun to puff and is just set. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes.
4. Lightly brush exposed sides of foil with softened butter to keep filling from sticking. Spread jam evenly over crust
5. Sprinkle evenly with raspberries.
6. With a lemon zester, remove peel from lemon, making sure to avoid bitter white pith "For the most flavor, you want to do this right before baking," Scott says.
7. In a large bowl beat cream cheese and goat cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Mix in granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon flour until blended. With mixer running, add egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
8. Pour custard batter evenly over berries .Tilt pan back and forth to distribute evenly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until barely set. Transfer to a wire rack until completely cool, about 1 hour; cover and transfer to refrigerator. Chill 2 hours. Top will crack slightly as it cools.
9. Use foil to lift the bars from pan. With a knife or metal spatula, support the sides of the bars while you gently peel the foil downward and away from sides of the bars.
10. Cut into long bars, peel foil from bottom, and transfer to cutting boars using side of a long knife or spatula (photo 11). "Cutting first on the foil results in cleaner edges," Scott says. Cut into 24 squaresSprinkle very lightly with powdered sugar. "It's much more interesting with just the rumor of sugar on top," Scott says.

Makes 24 bars. Nutrition Facts Calories209, Total Fat (g)12, Saturated Fat (g)7, Monounsaturated Fat (g)3, Polyunsaturated Fat (g)1, Cholesterol (mg)48, Sodium (mg)88, Carbohydrate (g)23, Total Sugar (g)12, Fiber (g)1, Protein (g)3, Vitamin C (DV%)8, Calcium (DV%)3, Iron (DV%)4, This is from the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens. I used frozen unsweetened raspberries and jam with seeds. These are divine!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Frosted Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Bars

2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspooons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine brown sugar and melted butter and beat well. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Stir in dry ingredients and mix and then stir in chocolate chips. Spread in greased 9x13 pan. Bake 25 minutes at 350º. Do NOT overbake. Spread with frosting after cool. Frosting: 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1-2 tablespoons milk. Beat well.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients (I doubled the spices so I could make mine extra spicy):
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1.5" chunks
1 & 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon New Mexico chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic

Put 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and set the timer for 10 minutes – time from when you put the potatoes in, not from when the water starts to boil. Cook potatoes until soft but not cooked through. Remove and cool.

Blend together remaining ingredients. I also added cayenne pepper. Lay potato slices onto parchment or greased cookie sheet and smash. I had to spray a glass w/ cooking spray to smash. Drizzle each smashed potato slice w/ 2 T melted butter mixed w/ 2 T olive oil. Sprinkle w/ spice mixture. Roast at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn them over, sprinkle with butter and spice mixture and roast for another 10 minutes.

Super Easy Bread that Rani Could Do...

Simple Bread
Slightly adapted from Marcia Passos Duffy


5-6 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Dry Yeast
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme (optional and I used a variety of Greek spices that I had)
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (I pulled this back to 2 tsp.)
Sea Salt (optional)
2 Cups Hot Water (120-130 degrees F.)
A cake pan of hot water

Mix 3 cups of the flour with the yeast, sugar, thyme and salt. Pour in the hot water and beat 100 strokes (or 3 minutes with a mixer).

Stir in the remaining flour until the dough loses its stickiness. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead for 8 minutes. Of course I let the Kitchen Aid knead this. Maybe it kneaded it for 3-4 minutes? The dough was super soft and perfect.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a warm damp cloth. Let rise for 15 minutes in a warm spot (away from drafts).

Punch down and divide the dough into two pieces. Shape into round loaves and place on a greased baking sheet. Cut an “X” one-half inch deep in each of the loaves with a wet sharp knife. Sprinkle the tops with sea salt (I brushed the bread w/ a little bit of egg so the salt would stick)

Place baking sheet with loaves in the middle of a COLD oven. Place a pan of hot water on the lowest shelf. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake 40-50 minutes until golden brown.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Crash Hot Potatoes

From Pioneer Woman
12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
Rosemary (or Other Herbs Of Choice) To Taste
Preparation Instructions
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.

On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.

Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Cookie Dough Truffles

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate morsels
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 pounds chocolate bark candy coating, melted
In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour and add milk. Add chocolate morsels and pecans, mixing well. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on waxed paper; chill 2 hours.

*Cook's Note: Since the dough is sticky, roll your fingers into flour. This will make it easier to roll.

Melt chocolate bark candy coating in a double boiler. Using 2 forks, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Place on waxed paper and chill to set. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

French Breakfast Puffs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons margarine, melted

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line cups with paper muffin liners.
2.In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, cream together 1/2 cup sugar and shortening. Beat in egg. Stir flour mixture into shortening mixture alternately with milk. Beat well. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3.Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. While muffins are baking, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
4.Remove muffins from oven and muffin pan. Immediately, dip the tops of the muffins into the melted margarine, then into the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Repeat with each muffin, until all muffin tops are covered. Serve warm.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

1 cup warm water
1 Tbl. yeast
1/4 c. honey
2 Tbl. oil
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. white flour

Dissolve yeast in water. Add salt, oil, whole wheat flour. Add white flour (more or less). Mix with KitchenAid until pulls away from bowl and then a little more. Let rise about an hour or until double. Punch down and shape into loaf and put in greased loaf pan. Let rise again until double. Bake 350º for 30-35 min.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Soft Ginger Cookies w/Ginger-Orange Frosting

Makes about 3 dozen cookies, or 18 sandwiches
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Additional sugar for rolling cookies
1/4 cup (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ginger
pinch of salt
2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
To make the cookies: In a large bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves; set aside.
In another large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and shortening together until light and fluffy. Beat in both sugars until combined and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then stir in the molasses and vanilla until combined. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture into the mixing bowl and beat until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl, as needed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpat mats or parchment paper.
Roll a 1 tablespoon portion of dough into a ball and coat it in the extra sugar. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets, about 2-inches apart, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are turning golden brown and tops are cracking. Allow to cool on sheets before transferring to wire cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting or serving.
To make the filling: In a medium bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together until well combined. Stir in the vanilla, orange zest, and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and beat until just combined. Add more sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until the filling reaches a soft, but slightly firm consistency. If it gets too dry, add small amounts of orange juice to soften it up.

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