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Dec 31, 2011

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

Twice backed Potato Casserole

I tried this recipe out at a friend's house and oh my is divine! It is so tasty and went over very well! It was so good that I actually ended up making it again for Christmas dinner. I'm telling will fall in love with these potatoes. They are creamy, cheesy, and packed with flavor!

You will need:
(warning...this makes a lot, so consider halving the recipe)

  • 5 lb russet potatoes
  • 10 slices bacon
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼  cup chives, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel potatoes, and cut into 1-inch chunks.
 Place in a large saucepan, and add enough cold water to cover by about 2 inches.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and reduce to a simmer.

Cook until tender and easily pierced with a paring knife, about 20 minutes.
Transfer to a colander to drain; return to pan, cover, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat.

 Add bacon, and cook until crisp and browned, turning once.
 Transfer to paper towels to drain; let cool, and crumble into pieces.

3. Using a fork, mash the potatoes in pan until light and fluffy.

Add the cream cheese, butter, and sour cream, and stir until combined and smooth.

Add the chives, 2 cups cheddar cheese, half the bacon, salt, and pepper.
Stir until well combined.

4. Transfer to a buttered 3-quart baking dish.

 Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
Bake until top is slightly golden and potatoes are heated through, about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven; garnish with remaining bacon.
Serve immediately.


Dec 17, 2011

Raspberry Cobbler

I saw the Pioneer Woman on tv one day and she made this blackberry cobbler that sounded SO good and simple. So I changed the blackberries to raspberries and whipped this recipe up in a jiffy for a birthday dessert. It came out SOOOOO good!
In fact, everyone ate it up so fast that the hubby was bummed there wasn't more for him!

You will need:
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1-¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Self-Rising Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 cups raspberries (frozen or fresh)

Melt butter in a microwavable dish. 
Pour 1 cup of sugar and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking in milk.
 Mix well. 
Then, pour in melted butter and whisk it all well together. 
Butter a baking dish.
Now rinse and pat dry the raspberries.
 Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish. 
Sprinkle raspberries over the top of the batter; distributing evenly. 
Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over the top.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden and bubbly. 

If you desire, sprinkle an additional teaspoon of sugar over the cobbler 10 minutes before it’s done.

Source: Pioneer Woman (She used blackberries)

Dec 16, 2011

Artichoke Cheese Bread

Artichoke Cheese Bread
What a great flavor explosion! This was a great addition to our weekly menu and we served it with a pasta dish, but it is tasty and hearty enough to serve with just about anything!

You will need:
1 (10 oz.) baguette, halved lengthwise
1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste

To make:
Gently remove soft insides of baguette halves, setting "shells" aside to refill later.
Tear soft bread into small pieces by hand.
Melt butter over med-high heat in a skillet.
Add garlic and bread pieces. Cook until bread turns golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Stir together artichoke hearts, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and monterey cheese in a bowl.
Fold in browned bread and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne (if desired). 

Spoon entire mixture into reserved shells and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Cool 5 minutes and then slice up and serve!

Dec 15, 2011

Almond Rosemary Chicken over Spinach

Almond Rosemary Chicken over Spinach
This is a different recipe, but I really liked the flavors it brought out.

You will need:
4 chicken breasts, split to make 4 "cutlets"
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp buttermilk
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 small shallot, chopped
8 cups spinach
1/4 tsp salt

To make:
Whisk together egg and buttermilk in a bowl.
Stir together almonds, panko, rosemary, and 1/2 tsp salt on a plate.
Dip chicken in egg mixture, then roll in almonds until well coated.
Add oil to skillet over med-high heat and cook breaded cutlets about 5-7 minutes per side. 
Remove from skillet and place on a plate.

Add shallot to pan of chicken drippings and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in spinach ( i know it's a lot) and then add the salt and pepper and watch it shrink down! Cook about 1 minute.
Serve the chicken on a bed of sauteed spinach!

Dec 14, 2011

Mexican Chicken Lime Soup

Okay, so I found this recipe on Rachel Ray's website and it's out of my "box", but I thought the hubby would like it because it's spicy.
Whew-whee! Is it ever hot!
I don't think I'll be making it again and if I do, then I will definitely cut back on the chiles in adobo sauce, but if you like a lot of spice then you will LOVE this!
P.S. The hubby thought it rocked!
You will need:
1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (i skipped the 2 Tbsp sauce)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 limes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 hass avocado, thinly sliced lengthwise into 12 pieces
  • Crushed tortilla chips

  • To make:
  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. 
  • Stir in the onion and garlic, lower the heat to medium and cook until the onion begins to brown, about 7 minutes. 

  • Increase the heat to high, push the vegetables to the side of the pan, add the chicken and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. 

  • Stir in the chipotles and adobo sauce, then stir in the chicken broth. 

  • Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming any foam. 

  • Stir in the cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper.

  • Place 2 avocado slices in each of 6 soup bowls and pour in the soup. 

  • Top with the tortilla chips.
Source: Rachel Ray

Dec 13, 2011

Roasted Vegetables

Wow! I love this recipe because it is a quick toss it all together and throw it in the oven!
My kind of cooking!! 
You can make this with any main dish and it is delicious!
You can use just about anything you have on hand! Here are some of the things I used.

Red potatoes
Russet Potatoes
Red bell pepper
baby carrots
Sweet Potatoes
Whole garlic cloves

Place all veggies (cut up-except carrots and garlic)  on baking tray and lightly drizzle with EVOO. 
Then put in oven at 350 degree F for 45 minutes.
 During the last 10 minutes in the oven, dust them with parmesan cheese and then enjoy!

Dec 12, 2011

Beyond Spaghetti

Beyond Spaghetti- Linguine with Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes, and Spinach!

This is a fabulous pasta dish that you can serve with either chicken or shrimp. There  is some killer taste that comes out of the roasted tomatoes, garlic, EVOO combo.I found this recipe in my Parenting magazine (October edition) and it comes from Cake Boss's Buddy Valastro.

You will need:
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup EVOO
salt and pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 pound linguine
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp butter
chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces (about 2-3 breasts) or 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups baby spinach

To make:
Preheat oven to 450 degree's F.
In a baking dish, toss together the cherry tomatoes, 1 tsp of the chopped garlic, 1/4 cup Evoo, and salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup bread crumbs and roast for 5 more minutes.

Then boil the linguine until al dente and set aside.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp veg. oil, the butter, and the other 1 tsp chopped garlic and cook 1 minute.
Add shrimp or chicken to the pan.
 If using chicken, then cut into bite size pieces and cook until done, 5-7 minutes or until juiced run clear and chicken is no longer pink.
If using shrimp, season with salt and pepper and saute until they are pink and cooked through, 3-4 minutes. 
Then add the chicken broth and let the liquid cook down 1-2 minutes. Add the drained pasta, roasted tomatoes, and the 2 cups baby spinach.
(The spinach will look like a lot at first, but it QUICKLY cooks down!)

Toss well and serve!

Dec 11, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Wraps

Cheesy Chicken Wraps

These are not only super tasty, but oh so quick to make!
(and they make great leftovers!)
I made these and served them with my addictive salsa and chips and it was fantastic!

You will need:
1/3 cup mayo (any kind you like)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions, sliced thin
2 celery ribs, chopped fine
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 tsp hot sauce- I used Red Hot  (doesn't make them spicy, just gives great flavor)
1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded and meat shredded 
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
flour tortillas (larger ones)

To make:
When I made these, I didn't have any celery or scallions on hand, so you can omit anything you don't like and add anything you do! (Next time I want to add some tomatoes)

Whisk mayo, cilantro, scallions, celery, sour cream, and hot sauce in a large bowl.
Add chicken and toss to combine.

Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges. 
Then arrange the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla.
Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open.
Spray tortilla all over with cooking spray. 
Heat a nonstick skillet on medium for about a minute.
Arrange wrap seam side down, in pan and cook until golden brown 3-5 minutes per side.
Serve with a little chips and salsa on the side and you're good to go!

Most Addicting Salsa!

Salsa, salsa, salsa!

Okay, so a few months ago I posted a recipe here for Chili's Salsa. Little did I know that with a few minor changes it would easily become my new obsession. Our whole families, actually. Seriously, even my 3 year old loves it!
I have made it every single week for the past 8 weeks, sometimes even twice a week!
So I got rid of the spanish onion that it called for because it made it too sweet, i like my salsa tasty and with a little zip, not sweet.  I also puree mine a bit longer so that it's not terribly chunky. is SO good! 
I go to bed with chips and salsa at night for a snack,  I eat it for lunch, and then find ways to incorporate it into my meals (See my recipe for Cheesy Chicken Wraps)!
Here is the edited version of the best salsa ever!

1- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
3 Tbsp canned diced jalapenos (you can add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 Tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cumin

To Make:
First are some can easily double this recipe. 
I like to buy a big glass container (near olives in grocery store) of sliced jalapeno and that way I always have some in the fridge.
Ok, on to the recipe!

Combine diced tomatoes, jalapenos, lime juice, and spices in a food processor. 

Run it on high for a few moments until the tomatoes and jalapeno's are fully pureed, but be careful not to make it too soupy.

Pour mixture into bowl. 
Cover & chill in fridge.
The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor gets.
and don't say I didn't warn you!

Dec 10, 2011


Classic Goulash
I love goulash, mainly because my dad used to make it all the time on cold winter nights and I think it is just a great comfort food.
Cook it up with a little cornbread and you got yourself a wonderful meal!
This recipe will yield 4 servings, but you can just double it to make 8 servings if you need to!

You will need:
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 1-1/2 bay leaves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni

To make:
In a large Dutch oven, cook and stir the ground beef over medium-high heat,

 breaking the meat up as it cooks, until the meat is no longer pink and has started to brown, about 10 minutes. 

Skim off excess fat, and stir in the onions and garlic. 

Cook and stir the meat mixture until the onions are translucent, about 10 more minutes.

Stir in water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, and seasoned salt, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. 

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the macaroni, cover, and simmer over low heat until the pasta is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Remove from heat, discard bay leaves, and serve.


Dec 6, 2011

Apple Raspberry Crumb Pie

 Raspberry Apple Crumb Pie

My husband requested this pie for his birthday and I found this recipe at Betty Crocker. I thought it turned out very well, especially the crust, but I was not too fond of the almond paste. It made the pie too sweet for me, so I think next time I make it, I will skip that part and instead throw in more raspberries!

You will need:
Pie crust recipe, Pate Brisee, found here
3cups thinly sliced peeled cooking apples (3 medium)
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons Gold Medal all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups frozen raspberries (from 1-lb bag), thawed
½ cup cubed or crumbled pure almond paste (from 7- or 8-oz package) Almond Crumb Topping
½ cup Gold Medal all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup butter or margarine
½ cup sliced almonds

To make:
I made the Pate Brisee pie crust recipe first, I froze one of the discs and then did this below.

Heat oven to 350°F.
 Place pie crust in 9-inch glass pie plate  for one-crust filled pie.
 In large bowl, stir together apples, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons flour and the cinnamon.
 Spoon into crust-lined pie plate. 
Sprinkle with raspberries.
 Sprinkle almond paste over raspberries.
In medium bowl, mix 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup sugar. 
Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until particles are size of small peas. 
Stir in almonds. Sprinkle evenly over almond paste.
Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes, covering edge of crust with foil after about 30 minutes, until apples are tender in center and surface is golden brown. 
Serve warm or cooled.

Source: Betty Crocker