Wednesday, February 27, 2013

take my word for it wednesday.. poppi is 72 and we had grandmommy's miracle whip chocolate cake with fudge frosting to celebrate...





i've mentioned a time or two my paternal grandmother, aka grandmommy was an amazing cook.. i have posted some of her recipes here grandmommy's recipes.. and will be posting more very soon.. i was fortunate enough to be raised around {my mom, mommabell and grandmommy} and then to marry into a family of amazing cooks! grandmommy could do things with jello that were crazy but good.. she was a chocoholic {that's where i got it from} and was always coming up with new and decadent desserts.. the history of this cake is unknown and we don't know when she first made it.. all we know is no one can remember a time, even my dad, when she didn't make it.. she made it for birthdays, anniversary's, good grades on your report card.. pretty much if there was an occasion this cake got made.. and sometimes the occasion was she was just in the mood.. i have been for several years now trying to perfect the recipe and make it "just like grandmommy" it's not a hard recipe. the cake part is so simple you will never buy a box cake again.. the fudge frosting however is a little tricky.. and by that i mean you have to be patient, which apparently i never was until now.. if your patient and let the "fudge" do it's thing it will turn out perfectly chocolaty and wonderful.. she actually would ice the cake with her christmas fudge recipe it's the darnedest thing and it's the best tasting thing.. i think if i had to pick just one food item that was my favorite of all time.. over everything else..it would have to be this cake and frosting.. hands down..


the cake unfrosted is still perfectly good and wonderful to eat.. i like to keep it in the fridge and serve it cold.. it's so dense.. and chocolaty.. no frosting is even needed

 
 myabe not needed but soo appreciated.. the frosting is kinda hard and gets a "crunchy" texture.. i know that sounds funny but try it i promise you will love it.. but be sure to have a cold glass of milk on hand.. i am the first to admit i am not a baker.. but the cake recipe is so easy anyone can make it.. the frosting a tad bit harder but i am going to give you my tips as i did them and hopefully yours will come out perfect too..


grandmommy's miracle whip cake

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: 9 by 13" casserole dish

ingredients:

1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
6 tbsp. cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup miracle whip
1 cup warm water (make sure it's warm)
1 tsp. vanilla

sift dry ingredients together then add miracle whip, water and vanilla. combine all ingredients until mixed well. pour into greased {i sprayed with pam} 9 by 13' casserole dish and bake for 28-30 minutes in a 350 (f) degree oven.  remove when done and allow to cool before adding your frosting..{the reason she always baked it in a casserole dish is when you pour the fudge frosting over the top it seeps down the side settles on the bottom and forms a nice layer on top so you have frosting on the bottom and top.. aahhhhmmmaazing}


i have made this cake a few times with different frosting's like this time with vanilla butter cream frosting.. i recently made it poked holes it and topped it with a cream cheese and whipped cream frosting  then drizzled with chocolate ganach and caramel.. {recipe to be posted soon} the cake recipe itself is so versatile and so easy you must make it!!



grandmommy's fudge frosting

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 25 minutes
servings: will frost one 9 by 13" cake

ingredients:

4 cups sugar {i used powdered sugar}
6 heaping tblsp. of cocoa
1 cup milk
1 stick of butter

in a medium pot over medium heat cook sugar, cocoa and milk for about 17 minutes, constantly whisking.. after 17 minutes it should be slowly boiling.. continue to whisk.. for 3 minutes.. add butter and incorporate, all the while whisking.. then for 3 minutes allow to cook without whisking.. turn heat off and allow to cool, i waited 13 minutes..then beat until thick.. {you can use a hand mixer or whisk} pour over cake and put in the fridge until ready to serve... needs at least 2-3 hours to set before serving..



happy birthday poppi


all the grand kids.. wishing poppi happy birthday..


just the boys!! no picture of just the girls :(

ollie helping poppi blow out his candles.. ollie will 4 years old in a few weeks..and won't let you forget it.. i {heart} this kid!!

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

brown-sugar kissed mashed potatoes with creamy chicken gravy..


mashed potatoes is one of my all time favorite foods.. it truly goes with anything.. your probably thinking brown sugar?? what is this girl thinking.. but trust me they are amazing.. this recipe came about by accident.. ever notice a lot of good recipes start out that way?? it was years ago.. probably 10-12 or so and i was making ribs, mashed taters, baked beans and corn.. i had 2 pots on the stove one with the potatoes and one with the beans.. and i tossed in a few spoons of brown sugar to what i thought was the pot of baked beans and it was the pot of potatoes.. and me not wanting to start all over thought what the heck let's see how these roll.. so i tried them and ooohhhhhmyylawdyy they were good.. for years i never told anyone my secret ingredient.. it seemed to weird.. to decadent.. to not mashed potato like.. but now.. weird is good.. weird is acceptable.. weird is in.. i figure what the hay i will share my strange but yummy mashed potato recipe.. i really hope you try it.. it's not over powering it's not overly sweet.. it truly is only brown sugar kissed.. when i recently made these i made chicken gravy, well because potatoes without gravy is like a kiss without a squeeze.. while it's still nice.. sweet.. enjoyable.. it's lacking something.. just needs something.. and this gravy is it.. it's so simple.. so creamy.. so yummy.. they are perfect together.. i made them for my dad's birthday dinner.. the southern fried chicken and waffle recipe from that night can be found here.. normally i wouldn't serve chicken, waffles, potatoes and gravy.. but the waffles were a surprise not part of the pre planned menu so the extra carbs were over looked..


brown sugar kissed mashed potatoes

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 35- 45 minutes
servings: 10

ingredients:

salt
4-5 lbs. pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 package (8 oz.) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1 tsp. {or more} of brown sugar, add the tsp. if you think it needs more add 1/2 tsp. more
salt and pepper

peel and cut potatoes into quarters.. bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer.. add potatoes.. bring to a boil and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until fork tender.. (not falling apart)  drain the potatoes and put back into your cooking pot.. mash potatoes with potato masher (or you can use a hand mixer or potato mill) add butter, cream cheese and buttermilk.. mash together or mix with hand mixer until well incorporated.. add brown sugar.. and stir.. add salt and pepper to taste.. {if you think it needs a little more butter or buttermilk by all means add it.. you want them creamy} serve immediately.. {i actually had to keep mine in the microwave on warm while i made the chicken but it worked out just fine}


creamy chicken gravy {after you have made your southern fried chicken reserve about 2 tblsp. of  the oil you fried your chicken in and make this amazing gravy}

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 10 minutes
servings: about 2-3 cups

ingredients:

2 tblsp. of reserved cooking oil from frying the chicken
2 tblsp. of ap flour
1 cup milk
salt and pepper

pour in a safe container all your frying oil but 2 tblsp. {we poured ours into a vinegar bottle with a lid}. heat your reserved oil {there should be all kinds of yummy bits left in the bottom of the pan from frying the chicken} over medium heat.. once hot add flour and cook while whisking until flour is lightly browned.. {your making a roux}.. cook for about 1 minute your cooking off the flour taste.. then slowly stir in milk and cook until gravy is thick.. about 5-10 minutes.. continue to whisk {or have your mom do it like i did} once thick and creamy add salt and pepper and serve immediately.. and pour over everything.. your chicken, your mashed potatoes and your biscuits.. everything.. pete poured it over his waffles too..
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

spicy chicken and waffles with honey butter and a spicy honey syrup..


it's that time of year again... my dad's b day.. and every year he requests the same menu..southern fried chicken, mashed taters {this year i made brown sugar kissed mashed potatoes.. recipe soon}, corn, buttermilk sour~cream pepper biscuits {this year my hand slipped and so much pepper fell in.. ohh emm gee they were so good and spicy.. and they had a green hue.. weird but so good} and  of course grandmommy's miracle whip cake with fudge frosting.. but this year i threw in a little surprise.. i made waffles and we topped them with honey butter and a spicy honey syrup.. it was soo good.. luckily we only indulge like this once a year.. and this year i came "dangerously close" to perfecting my grandma's fudge frosting, {in the words of my dad}.. i will post that recipe wednesday.. i am not sure if you have ever had what is now my favorite meal.. that being chicken and waffles.. it's sweet.. savory.. spicy.. meaty.. fluffy.. sticky.. simply amazing.... your probably thinking chicken and waffles.. what the heck.. but apparently it was "invented" in harlem during the jazz scene.. the singers would go to wells supper club and some would be still so wound up dinner was what they wanted.. but some would be so ready to call it a night that breakfast is what they wanted.. soo they combined the 2 and made everybody happy.. now there is also stories that it dates back to thomas jefferson when he was president and brought back the first waffle iron and his chef made the first chicken waffles.. so not sure which story is true.. and not sure it matters i am just glad someone invented it..



spicy fried chicken

for the fried chicken i used my recipe which i posted here.. it's the way i have been making it for years and i haven't changed any of it.. accept maybe adding an extra dash or two of cayenne in the flour.. but other than that nothing.. same recipe.. simple tried and true..

waffles

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 3-5 minutes
servings: 8

4 cups ap unbleached flour
3 tblsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 cups low fat buttermilk
1 cup melted butter
3 large eggs

in a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.. in a medium mixing bowl whisk together, butter, eggs and buttermilk.. add to flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.. don't over mix.. heat your waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions.. i spray mine on the first waffle with pam but then don't spray again.. my waffle iron is about 20 years old so it's pretty well seasoned and non sticky ha ..pour batter onto iron. {this depends on the size of your waffle iron as to how much} cook until crisp and golden brown.. 3-5 minutes.. remove to a plate and serve immediately so they don't get soggy.. we slathered our waffles with honey butter, grabbed the chicken of our choice and then drizzled with spicy honey syrup.. {recipe for the butter and syrup below}it was quite delish.. if i do say so myself..


spicy honey syrup {i use the same "sauce" i use for my chicken wings and i love to dip my pizza in it}

1/4 cup of honey
2 tsp. {or more} of cayenne

in a small microwave safe bowl combine the 2 and zap in the microwave for about 20 seconds right before ready to serve so it's easily drizzlable {good golly is that a word..}

honey butter {we used this on our biscuits and our waffles}

4 tbslp. butter, room temperature
3 tblsp. orange blossom honey

whisk until well combined... {it's great on warm flour tortillas, toast and even pancakes}

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

camping food.. spicy turkey chili and skillet potatoes and a day of duning..

 
every year for the last several years we go camping at the dunes for presidents day.. it sometimes is the only time we get to the dunes.. you can't go after march it's just to hot.. we meet a group of friends out there and we all camp in a circle with our fire pit in the center.. during the day it's duning, riding and relaxing.. night time is lighted up bachi ball.. drinking and telling stories from camping trips past around the fire pit.. ohh and of course there are marshmallows being roasted and s'mores being made.. i can honestly say these trips are some of the best trips ever!! the first night we arrived around 7 and i quickly made my spicy chili.. it was chilly at night and this warmed us all up in a hurry.. very good and satisfying...


spicy turkey chili

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 45 - 60 minutes {depending on how much time you have}
servings:  6-8

ingredients:

2 lbs ground turkey (or beef if you prefer)
1 {16 oz} can chili ready or mexican style diced tomatoes
1 {16} can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
1 {16 oz} can of kidney beans
1 {16 oz} can of pinto beans {or black beans}
2 tblsp. of "hot" taco seasoning {my recipe below} a package of taco seasoning is fine too use too
olive oil

toppings: {optional}

shredded cheese
diced onions
diced pickled jalapenos
chopped cilantro
tobasco
light sour cream
crushed fritos

a few turns around your large pot with the olive oil.. heat over a medium high and place turkey in pot and cook until evenly brown and crumbly.. add tomato paste.. stir around and incorporate into meat.. about 2-3 minutes..  add taco seasoning.. cook for about 2 -3 minutes.. add tomatoes and beans (don't drain them) bring to a boil.. reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-60 minutes stirring often so it doesn't burn.. i then top with diced onions, shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream, jalapenos and tobasco. {for camping we brought flour tortillas and fritos.. it was so good}

taco seasoning
 
prep time: 5

ingredients:

1 tbsp. chili powder (i use mexican hot)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. chipolte chili powder
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. smokey spanish paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. course sea salt

combine and keep in a mason jar so its always ready for whenever you need it..

 
for breakfast the next morning i made skillet potatoes, scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage and left over chili.. it was soo good.. we made bloody marys and our "camping" neighbor brought us over their version of bloody mary's which was a blt.. it had bacon, fresh lettuce leaf and a tomato slice.. very good!!!
camping breakfast potatoes

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 30-45 minutes
servings: 4

ingredients:

olive oil {or canola oil-or while camping bacon grease works awesome, i had made bacon for our bloody mary's}
4-5 russet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 small white onion, diced
1 bell pepper, any color, cored, seeded and diced
1 tblsp. italian seasoning
salt and pepper

wash and pat dry your potatoes, cut into chunks.. in a cast iron skillet heat two~three twirls around the pan with olive oil over medium heat until hot..{or use the pan you cooked bacon in leaving the bacon grease} add potatoes, onion and bell pepper.. crank heat up to medium high.. add seasoning.. {salt, pepper and italian seasoning} and stir around to make sure everything is covered in your oil or bacon grease.. leave alone uncovered and without stirring for about 5-10 minutes.. you want the underside to start to brown.. then stir around and cook the other side of potatoes.. another 3-4 minutes.. then stir around and continue to do so until potatoes are tender and starting to get to the level of browning you like.. reduce heat.. then when the rest of breakfast is done.. serve immediately... i also served with it my scrambled eggs.. {what is funny that post for the scrambled eggs is the second recipe i ever posted on this blog.. i guess i should up date it.. ha}



after breakfast it warmed up for the girls to hang out in tank tops...


 
then it was time to go for a ride in the sand car.. 


tina and lo up front and shell and sam in back!!
 

 
with all the dust and dirt shell thought my hair should be french braided.. augh look at those roots.. luckily i have a hair appt. next weekend..
 

 
some guy basically landed in our camp.. and then came up a truck they piled his chute in the truck and took off.. it was funny.


while the girls were duning, jake and a crew of them all went riding.. 




jake, shell and pete going for little family ride..
 
 
we really had fun and of course we ate like kings.. for lunch the first full day we had chili dogs and chili burgers.. for dinner that night i made pollo asada and carne asada {no pictures to dark}, the next morning we had tomatoes and eggs.. for lunch that day we had french dip {i will make them again and post recipe shell said it was the best thing i've ever made out there} and for dinner we had grilled tri tip, baked potatoes with the works and bread salad..pete made the croutons on a baking sheet using the outdoor grill.. they were awesome.. even camping you can eat great...
 
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

easy cheese/antipasto spread with white bean pâté

this is probably, but not guaranteed, the last post from my cousins dinner several weekends ago.. since it was an italian night i went with a cheese/antipasto platter as my appetizer.. it was so simple yet elegant... everyone loved it.. below are some of my tips... presentation is the key..
 

pick out different and fun cheeses... i got 5 or 6.. traditional like cheddar and goat.. but added some fun stuff too whatever looked good.. you will want to add olives.. marinated peppers, artichoke hearts and mozzarella.. {i got my olives, peppers and artichoke hearts from the olive bar at whole foods}
 

add other elements.. maybe some sliced prosciutto, salami and pepperoni.


you want something "sweet" also to go with it like apples, pears, spicy n' sweet nuts.. throw in some different kinds of crackers.. maybe some crusty peasant bread.. i made a white bean pâté.. {recipe below} for serving i used different cutting boards.. white platters  and bowls.. and a tree trunk platter i recently picked up..
 
 
my cousin suzy decoratively rolled the meat and placed it on the different cutting boards.. it was fun.. simple.. elegant.. and of course delicious!!
 
 
brandade á la soissonaise {white bean pâté}
 
prep time: 15 minutes

servings: 8-10
 
ingredients:
 
1 {15 oz} can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed {or another white bean if you prefer}
6 cloves roasted garlic {i used the garlic from my easy garlic confit}
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for drizzling { i used garlic olive oil from the garlic confit}
salt and pepper
the juice and zest from one small lemon
crushed red pepper {for garnish, which is not in the picture above but it on the dish for serving}
 
place beans, garlic, lemon juice and zest in your food processor bowl.. pulse until the mixture is pureed, about 1 minute.. add 1/3 cup olive oil thru the opening of the processor slowly while the food processor is running.. transfer the bean puree to a small serving bowl.. cover and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.. when about to serve drizzle with olive and sprinkle with crushed red pepper..
 
enjoy and get cook'n!!
 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

pasta w/ a roasted butternut squash~leek sauce & spicy chicken sausage


i am really liking roasted butternut squash these days.. i made roasted butternut squash risotto which now has me addicted to risotto as well.. and last year i made butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter sauce which knocked my socks off.. i put roasted butternut squash on a pizza with pancetta and caramelized onions which was amazing!! {no picture my camera was on the fritz.. but trust me it was delish} then i saw this recipe here.. and knew it was something i wanted to try.. it was very good and made you feel good about eating it since it's healthy and not heavy or weighed down... {i am not a big fan of "boiled" butternut squash which the original recipe called for.. so i cut mine in half scooped out the seeds and what not.. placed in a casserole dish with a 1/2 cup of water in the bottom, drizzled the butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven on 425 {f} for about an hour.. scooped out the squash and placed it in the blender to make the sauce.. so good}


pasta with a roasted butternut squash-leek sauce and spicy chicken sausage

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 1.5 hours
servings: 6-8

ingredients:

4 links spicy chicken italian sause, casing removed
1 medium butternut squash, roasted
10 oz. pasta of your choice {pete liked these wide noodles i don't i would have used penne if given my druthers}
1/4 cup leek, sliced {white part only}
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
olive oil
crushed red pepper

preheat oven to 425 degrees {f}, halve squash lengthwise, and remove seeds and fibers.. srinkle squash halves with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. fill a roasting pan/casserole dish with 1/4 inch water.. place squash in pan.. cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 20-30 minutes.. then remove cover and bake another 20-30 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.. remove from oven, transfer squash to a cool surface, and let cool enough to handle.. about 10 minutes, scoop out the inside and place in blender and blend until smooth.. in the meantime cook pasta according to pasta directions, reserve at least 1 cup pasta water... in a large deep non stick skillet cook sausage over medium heat until brown and crumbly.. when cooked remove from pan and set aside.  reduce heat of your pan to medium low and two twirls around the pan with olive oil .. saute leeks and garlic until soft and golden.. about 5 minutes.. add pureed butternut squash, salt and pepper and little of the reserved pasta water {about 1 cup} to thin out the sauce.. add sausage and pasta {if pan is not big enough add the sauce and chicken sausage to your pasta pot with the pasta and stir}mix well add parmesan, crushed red pepper and serve with a tossed green salad..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

sweet 'n salty crisps


i have mentioned i love chocolate.. i used to be totally obsessed but now i can't eat it very often.. sadly it gives me a headache.. how crushing that your favorite thing in the world makes you sick.. it's horrible.. but i can sneak, every now and again, a little piece.. and this easy yet sinful treat is perfect.. i love love the flavor combo of salty and sweet.. chocolate snack pack with lays.. wendy's frosty with french fries.. *sigh* takes me back to my childhood.. these crisps are so easy and quick i actually made them around christmas time when i needed to fill one of my gift baskets a little more.. i quickly made them.. once out of the freezer broke them up, put in a decorative tin and viola they filled the hole in my goodie basket.. but you don't have to wait until christmas any old time would be good for these..


you simply lay out 30-40 saltine crackers on lined baking sheet..


you melt 2 sticks of butter with a cup of light brown sugar until it turns a caramel color.. you pour over the crackers and then pop in the oven on 425 degrees {f} for 5 minutes.. remove and pour a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips over the hot caramel.. once it's melted you then spread the chocolate around and top with whatever you want.. i put course sea salt and heath toffee bar bits.. then pop in the freezer for 20 minutes, remove and break apart.. simple as that.. one two three.. :)

 
sweet 'n salty crisps
 
prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 10 minutes
servings: 20-30 crisps
 
ingredients:
 
cooking spray
35-40 saltine crackers
1 cup {2 sticks} of unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 bag {16 oz} of semi sweet chocolate chips
 
pre heat oven to 425 degrees {f}.. line your baking sheet or jelly roll pan with foil.. spray with cooking spray.. arrange saltines in a single layer.. in a medium sauce pan over medium heat melt butter and brown sugar together.. boil until it turns a light caramel color.. about 2 minutes.. remove from heat and pour over the crackers, covering completely.. place the baking sheet, gently, in the oven, {try not to giggle and move the crackers around} and bake for 3-5 minutes, or until bubbly.. keep a close eye on it.. remove from oven, gently and sprinkle with your chocolate chips.. wait about a minute or two then spread chips over crackers evenly.. sprinkle with course sea salt or top with heath toffee bits.. {or anything else you think might be yummy on top} place in freezer for 20 minutes.. remove and break into pieces.. some will be bit some small.. serve, or place in an airtight container until ready to serve..
 
enjoy and get cook'n!!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

skillet potatoes with eggs ~ and we're going camping..


happy valentines day.. i wanted to post a recipe i love and about something i enjoy doing..
 
 
i love camping.. we try and do it several times a year.. and camping food is the best!! the first time i had these potatoes and eggs was fourth of july 1986.. your thinking why in the world do you remember the date? i can't answer that but my mind works that way and the stuff i remember is sometimes pretty looney.. ha..


my mom used to make what she called "german" fried potatoes which is basically potatoes sliced and cooked in a little oil.. when she would make these i would cringe.. i couldn't stand them.. and some would get burned and my dad and brother would fight over who got the "crispy critters" but.. on that fateful day in july while camping at panguitch lake.. pete's work buddy made us breakfast and while they are essentially the same "german fried" potatoes my mom made all those times i was growing up except for the addition of the peppers, onions, cheese, paprika and crushed red peppers.. i loved them {in my moms defense once i declared i "hated" something nothing was going to get me to change my mind}.. why i loved his so much? i don't really know, but it might have been i was starving that day and freezing.. it was fourth of july so i packed shorts and summery type clothing.. i had however packed one pair of light weight pajama pants.. thinking it might get cold at night.. well guess what it was cold the entire time we were there which was 4 days.. i was freezing and had to wear the same pants every day.. i wasn't a happy camper well until i had these potatoes i wasn't.. then of course throw a egg on it and well you have perfection and that meal transformed my weekend..


i had not made these in a long time.. not sure why but they kinda fell out of my routine until i saw this recipe here.. and while mine are not really anything like hers and she uses a lot of pans.. it got me thinking about these camping potatoes.. {they don't necessarily have to made while camping..} i made them last weekend and they were perfectly wonderful consumed at my breakfast counter with a glass of pulpy oj.. but we are going camping for presidents day and these will be made.. and enjoyed sitting by a fire, sipping on hot cocoa, watching the duners race by our campsite.. {camping at the dunes is not for someone who want's peace and quiet.. it's loud.. it's dusty and it doesn't stop.. people are riding, racing and rebel rousing all day and night.. and i can't imagine a better place to spend a 3 day wekeend}


skillet potatoes & eggs

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 30-45 minutes
servings: 4

ingredients:

olive oil {or canola oil-or while camping bacon grease would be perfect}
4-5 russet potatoes, sliced into rounds
1 small white onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, any color, cored, seeded and sliced
1 tsp. smokey paprika
salt and pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 eggs

wash and pat dry your potatoes, then slice them into rounds or disks.. in a cast iron skillet heat two~three twirls around the pan with olive oil over medium heat until hot.. add potatoes, onion and bell pepper.. crank heat up to medium high.. add seasoning.. {salt, pepper and paprika} and stir around to make sure everything is covered in your oil or bacon grease.. leave alone uncovered and without stirring for about 5 minutes.. you want the underside to get brown.. then stir around and cook the other side of potatoes.. another 3-4 minutes.. then stir around and continue to do so until potatoes are tender and starting to get to the level of browning you like.. reduce heat.. add cheese and allow to melt. another 3-5 minutes.. once cheese is melted add crushed red pepper.. meanwhile make your eggs any ole you like them.. we like ours a cross between sunny side up and over easy.. divide potatoes between 4 plates.. top each dish with 2 eggs cooked the way you like them.. add salt and pepper.. maybe a dash of tobasco and enjoy.. it's so simple.. so basic.. yet so good.. {one favorite is to cook my bacon.. remove and set aside cook the potatoes just like above in the bacon grease and before the cheese is added crumble the bacon on top of the potatoes..}

enjoy and get cook'n!
 
{and i hope you have a wonderful 3 day weekend..doing what makes you happy}

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

take my word for it wednesday.. creamy mushroom risotto is scrumptious..


I am so addicted to risotto now.. it's so easy.. maybe to easy.. but ohh so creamy and tastes decadant.. but it's not.. and since i bought a large bag of aborio rice for this roasted butternut squash risotto i went on the hunt for other risotto recipes and found this one here..and well i did have mushrooms.. it was meant to be.. and ohh my goodness it tasted so good..

creamy mushroom risotto

prep time: 10
cooking time: 1.5 hour
servings: 8

ingredients:

1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb. fresh porobello and crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 tblsp. butter
salt and pepper
1.5 cups aborio rice
4 cups {approx} low sodium chicken stock
1 package of dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups warm water {reserve water your going to add it to your chicken broth}
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream {i used organic skim}
1/2 cup parmesan shavings
finely minced parsley, for garnish {optional}

heat chicken broth and reserved water from porcini mushrooms in a medium sauce pan over low heat.. in a heavy bottom large skillet, i used my iron skillet, add 2 twirls around the pan with olive oil over medium heat, add chopped shallot and garlic and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until translucent..add the arborio rice and stir continuously.. cook for about 1 minute add salt and pepper.. i had my chicken broth mushroom juice in a pot on the burner behind my rice on low heat and using a 1 cup measuring cup began adding my warmed broth 1 cup at a time into the skillet and stirring to combine and as the liquid would be absorbed add another cup of the broth and stir.. continue to do this and stirring gently as the broth absorbs into the rice and the rice becomes tender.. add salt and pepper a few times along the way.. taste the rice after about 5 cups of the broth has been added and absorbed and check the consistency of the rice, it should be tender but with some "bite".. while it's cooking in a small saute pan over medium heat heat butter.. once frothy add "fresh mushrooms" and saute for 3-5 minutes until lightly brown.. season with salt and pepper.. cook another minute and remove from heat and set aside.. now once the risotto is to the consistency you like add your reconstituted mushrooms and fresh mushrooms and stir gently.. add milk or cream and parmesan shavings and stir to combine.. taste and if needed add more salt and pepper .. sprinkle with minced parsley and serve immediately.


enjoy and get cook'n!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

roasted veggie sandwich with garlic mayo..


ok so i've been on a sandwich kick lately..i shared with you yesterday, what i believe to be the best sandwich ever.. that recipe can be found here cuban pork sandwich..then i shared with you a few weeks ago mashed potato, bacon, turkey and cranberry mayo sandwich.. thanksgiving on steroid type sandwich.. and who could forget this open faced asparagus, egg and bacon sandwich.. i know i never could.. and last but not least another recent post was this grilled roast beef 1000 sandwich..  which we loved.. so for lunch this weekend i made these roasted veggie sandwiches.. here was the response from the family.. pete: i don't usually care for veggie sandwiches but i really liked that.. me: i added pancetta to it.. pete: well whatever you did do it again because that was good.. shell: oh i don't think i will like that, can i have trix instead? me: no just try it kid.. shell: nom nom.. wow this is good.. is this my sandwich? can i eat it all? jake: no thanks i am not eating bread.. me: oh ok.. *i didn't push it with him.. seemed easier ha*  but all in all the results where favorable and i do love veggie sandwiches.. and i really enjoyed this one..



i roasted the veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper.. nothing could be easier..
 


i had to use these little grape tomatoes because well i forgot to get regular tomatoes but they worked out perfect..



roasted veggie sandwich with garlic mayo

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 30-40 minutes
servings: 4

roasted vegetables:
1 small eggplant, thinly sliced into rounds,
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper and 1 yellow {they were small}, cored, seeded and sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper

sandwich fixens:
shredded mozzarella {i would have used provolone but i was out}
4 ciabatta rolls or other type rolls.. split and toasted
8 slices of pancetta or 4 slices of bacon

roasted garlic mayo:
6-8 cloves of roasted garlic {i used my easy garlic confit technique}
2 tblsp. garlic olive oil {again i used the garlic oil from the garlic confit}
1 cup mayo
zest and juice of 1 lemon
 
roasted vegetables: preheat oven to 450 degrees {f}.. lay vegetables flat in a single layer on a lined baking sheet.. drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.. roast veggies until tender and starting to brown.. remove from oven.. on another lined baking sheet, split your rolls, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and cook until in the 450 degree oven for about 7 minutes.. cook your pancetta or bacon in a non stick pan over medium heat until slightly crispy..
 
roasted garlic mayonnaise: mash 6-8 roasted garlic cloves.. and chop.. add garlic mash/chop/paste to your mayo, add garlic olive oil, lemon juice and zest, whisk until well combined.. cover tightly and keep in fridge until ready to use.
 
sandwich assembly: take your toasted bread spread your garlic mayo on your bottom and top bun, layer pancetta or bacon, then your veggies in any ole way.. doesn't matter.. then sprinkle cheese {or lay a slice of your favorite cheese} and then your top bun and serve immediately.. very yummy..
 
enjoy and get cook'n!!