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Friday, March 31, 2017

Chicken Fried Chicken with Homemade Country Gravy


Ingredients

4 chicken breasts, halved
2 c. buttermilk
3 eggs
1/2 c. milk
2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like spicy)
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying
For the gravy:
1/4 c. reserved pan drippings
4 Tbsp. reserved flour mixture
2 c. chicken broth or stock
1/2 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:



Pound each chicken breast half flat so it is even in thickness, do this carefully, you want it flat but not so thin that it tear (each chicken piece should be about the size of your hand or slightly smaller).
Place chicken pieces in a gallon-sized Ziploc back and pour buttermilk over. Press as much air as you can out of the bag, seal, and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or overnight).
In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs and milk, set aside.
In a separate shallow dish combine flour, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined and then remove about 4 Tbsp. of the dry mixture and set aside (this will be used for the gravy later).
Remove chicken from Ziploc, shake off excess buttermilk, and dredge each piece evenly with four mixture. Once coated with flour, lightly shake off excess, dip in egg/milk mixture, then place in back in flour mixture, giving it a double coating of flour.
Set chicken aside on a platter or on wax paper until ready to fry.
Add oil to a large skillet until it is about 1/4-inch full. Heat oil on medium-high heat until it reaches 350-degrees.
Add each piece of chicken to the oil without overcrowding (you may have to do this in batches) for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through and crispy and golden on the outside. Place cooked chicken on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet to catch excess oil. Place in warm oven (about 200-degrees) to keep warm until the rest of the chicken is done and you are ready to serve.
For the gravy:
Drain off all but about 1/4 c. of the oil from the pan. Whisk reserved flour mixture into the oil until the four has absorbed the oil. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Whisk constantly and reduce heat to a simmer. Once the gravy starts to thicken, slowly add milk (you may not need all of it) to thin to desired consistency, whisking constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over chicken.

Sour Cream and Onion Tater Tot Casserole


Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef (ground turkey would also work well here- you can also do ground Veggie crumbles to make it Vegetarian)
1  32 oz. package Tater Tots
¾  cup Hood sour cream (use light for less calories)
¼  cup milk (use low fat or skim for less calories)
½ cup chicken broth
1 ½ cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
1 ½ tsp garlic salt
1 medium onion
2-3 tsps. oil mix (90% veg oil, 10% olive oil)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:


Thaw tater tots.
Dice onion finely. (I have been known to mince mine- same flavor, but if your kids don’t enjoy the texture of onions, the smaller they are, the less likely they are to notice them in the dish)
Grease a 9×13 baking pan.
Preheat oven to 350
1. Saute onions in oil mix  until they begin to become translucent
onions-tater-tot-casserole
2. Add ground beef to pan and cook until done.
3. Drain excess liquid if needed.
4. In a large bowl combine tater tots, ground beef, sour cream , milk, chicken broth, shredded cheese, garlic salt, and onion- stir to combine all ingredients well.
tater-tot-casserole-mix-ready
5. Pour into prepared baking pan.
6.Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired.
tater-tot-casserole- before-oven
7. Bake for 30 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbling.
8. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Hash Brown Chicken Casserole


Ingredients:

2 lbs frozen hash brown potatoes, Southern Style
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1/2 cup summer sweet corn, canned
2 C sour cream or plain yogurt
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup milk
3 cups cooked, shredded roasted chicken
Bread crumbs or Corn Flake crumbs

Directions:


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the potatoes in 9 by 13-inch pan. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients, except the bread crumbs. Layer the mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle crumbs on top. Bake for 1 hour or until top is golden brown.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Crispy Baked Onion Rings


Ingredients:

2 large Vidalia (sweet) onions
1 qt. low fat buttermilk/buttermilk substitute
3-4 egg whites
2/3 cup whole wheat (or all purpose) flour
3/4 cup ground cornmeal
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt, pepper, paprika, any other desired seasonings, to taste
Oil spray (nonstick oil, olive oil, or coconut oil)

How to make it:


Peel onions and cut into 1/2 in. slices, being careful to keep rings intact. Then, pop each layer of each onion slice out to form the rings. 
Place onion rings in a dish and pour in buttermilk-don't need to completely cover the rings but make sure they're at least partially submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4-12 hours, or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line baking sheet(s) (you can either line 2 sheets or do it in 2 batches using the same sheet) with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with a fork. Combine flour, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and seasonings in a large, shallow dish. 
 Remove soaked onion rings from the refrigerator. Take each ring out of the buttermilk and dip in the egg whites, then coat in the crumbs mixture. (If the crumbs aren't sticking, dip back in the egg whites and then try again.)--If you run out of the crumb mixture, mix more up.
Place coated rings on baking sheet(s) in a single layer. Spray each lightly with the oil spray to seal the breading.
Bake 10-15 minutes (15 minutes if the pan is full and the rings are large). Remove and flip each ring over, spraying with the oil again. Bake 10-15 more minutes, or until browned and crisped to your preference.
Let finished onion rings sit for 10 minutes, then enjoy immediately! 
Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator, and then reheat in the oven for optimal crispness.
Disclaimer: Be VERY careful when slicing your onions-especially when dealing with large ones it can be very tricky, and no onion ring is worth a sliced finger! So be cautious!

BBQ Chicken Salad


Barbecue Dressing:

2/3 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 clove garlic, pressed
Corn Salsa:
1 cup fresh, frozen, or canned corn kernels
½ cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed if canned
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
Salad:
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3)
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup shredded Jack cheese (about 4 oz)
10 cups chopped Romaine lettuce (about 2 hearts)
Ranch Dressing (use your favorite – I used Litehouse)
½ cup crushed tortilla chips

How to make it:



In a small bowl, mix the Barbecue Dressing ingredients together, stirring with a whisk to mix well.  Place ¼ cup of the dressing in a smaller bowl and set aside.

If using fresh or frozen corn, cook briefly in boiling water until just tender.  Drain and cool.  If using canned corn, drain well.  Combine the corn, black beans and red bell pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.  Brush the chicken with the reserved ¼ cup Barbecue Dressing.  Grill or broil the chicken until cooked through.  Let the chicken cool a bit, and then cut it into bite-sized pieces.

Place the Romaine lettuce in a large bowl.  Toss with the Ranch dressing to taste.  Divide the Romaine between 4 plates.  Place a quarter of the corn salsa on top of each serving.  Next divide the red onions and Jack cheese among the plates.  Add the chicken on top of the onions and cheese.  Drizzle a little of the Barbecue Dressing on top of each salad.  Finally, top with the crushed tortilla chips.

Pass the extra Barbecue Dressing at the table so diners can add to taste.

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Taco Macaroni and Cheese


1 pound macaroni or shell pasta
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serving of taco seasoning (or 1 packet of store-bought seasoning mix)
1 cup salsa
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, cut into chunks
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

How to make it:


1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
2. Meanwhile, brown ground beef and sweat the onion together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the beef is completely cooked through, drain off excess fat, return to skillet, and add garlic. Cook and stir 30 seconds. Add taco seasoning and salsa and stir to combine; reduce heat to low.
3. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add cream cheese, milk, and sour cream and stir to combine. Cook until cream cheese is melted and mixture is thick and bubbling. Stir in shredded cheese.
4. Add cheese sauce and ground beef mixture to pasta and stir to combine. Top each serving with salsa and sour cream, if desired.

Yummies


1 yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
2 eggs
1 pound box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

How to make it


Mix first three ingredients together and put in the bottom if a 9 x 13 pan. (I sprayed my baking dish with Baker's Joy first.)  Next, beat together cream cheese, eggs, powdered sugar and vanilla.  (I used my mixer.)  Pour over above mixture.  Bake at 350 for 35 - 40 minutes.  Cool, cut into squares and refrigerate. 

Homemade lemon Pound Cake with lemon glaze.


For the Cake
3 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife, plus more for the pan
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (low fat is fine)
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, packed (note: you’ll need 4-5 large lemons for the entire recipe)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
For the Syrup
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
For the Glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, packed
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted

How to make it :


Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and dust with flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters), cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice.
With the mixer on low speed, beat in one-quarter of the flour mixture, then one-third of the buttermilk mixture.
Beat in another quarter of the flour, then another third of the milk mixture. Repeat with another quarter of the flour and the remaining milk mixture.
Finally, beat in the remaining flour mixture.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and give a quick mix to make sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
Spoon the thick batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the pan for ten minutes on a rack.
Meanwhile, make the syrup.
Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Invert the warm cake onto a rack.
Slip a large piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil under the rack to catch all the drips from the syrup and glaze.
Gradually brush the hot syrup over the cake, letting it soak in (a little syrup will drip off, but try not to rush so that most of it is absorbed).
Allow the cake to cool completely, about one hour.
When the cake is cool, make the glaze.
Combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and melted butter in a medium bowl, mixing with a fork until smooth. Add more confectioners’ sugar or lemon juice as necessary to make a thick but pourable glaze (it should be the consistency of thick honey). Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides.

Liver and Onions


Ingredients 

1⁄4 cup flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon pepper
1 lb beef liver
2-3 Tbsp Butter (For Onions)
2 Tbsp oil (For Onions)
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1⁄2 cup beef stock
2-3 Tbsp Butter (To Brown Liver)
2-Tbsp Oil (To Brown Liver)
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley if desired

Directions



Combine flour, salt and pepper in bag.
Slice the liver into 1/2 inch strips and shake in bag of seasonings to coat. Set Aside.
.
Heat skillet with 2-3 Tbsp of butter and oil.
Saute the onions on medium heat until tender and glossy.
Transfer to side dish and sprinkle with, salt and pepper.
Return skillet to medium high heat, add 3-4 tablespoons butter and dash of oil.
Add liver and cook about 5 minutes until brown.
Remove liver and onions from pan and plate.
Use stock to deglaze pan and reduce liquid til you have a thickened sauce.
Sprinkle with parsley if desired and serve.

Butter Pecan Cake


For the cake:

6 ounces white chocolate chips
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups cake flour
For the frosting:
1/4 cup butter
2-1/2 cups pecans, chopped
22 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
32 ounces powdered sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:


For the cake:
1. Place white chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour boiling water over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flower three 9-inch cake pans.
3. In an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter for about 1 minute by itself. Gradually add the sugar with the mixer still running, and continue to cream for about 1 minute after all the sugar is added. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each one. Reduce the mixer to low speed, and add the white chocolate and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour to the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with flour.
5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
6. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
1. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped pecans and cook for 5-10 minutes, until toasted. Cool completely.
2. In a mixer on medium speed, cream together the cream cheese and softened butter. Reduce the mixer to low speed, and gradually add the powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Stir in the pecans and vanilla. Chill at least 1 hour.
You'll probably have some frosting left over, but I'm sure you can find something to with it. Charlie was under the impression that it would be given to whomever asked for it most politely.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Buttermilk Chess Pie


1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

How to make it:

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine sugar and flour in a large bowl. Add eggs and buttermilk, stirring until blended. Stir in melted butter and vanila and pour into unbaked pie crust.
3. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack at least an hour before serving. Store leftovers, well-wrapped in refrigerator.

Chicken Patties Recipe


250 gm chicken
1tbs Black pepper
Salt to taste
Chili flake to taste
1 tbs Vinegar
2 Spring onion
250gm Puff pastry
1 Egg

How to make it:

Heat up oil and add spring onion in a pan.
Add chicken, black pepper, salt, chili flake, vinegar and prepare until chicken will be tender.
Now roll puff pastry and cut two pastries with a cutter machine in round shape.
Fill one pastry with chicken and cover with another.
With the fork press sides of pastry and apply egg wash around the pastry.
Bake pastry in a preheated oven for 20 min at 240c.
Chicken Patties is ready to serve hot.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Turkey Quinoa Nuggets!


Half a box of quinoa, cooked
1 pound organic ground turkey
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Black pepper
Sea salt
Flax seed (1/2 cup?) mixed with 1/2 cup (?) water
1/2 can organic pumpkin (for color)
1/2 to 1 cup finely shredded organic unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup (?) coconut oil

How to make it:

Mix everything together with your hands which are wearing disposable gloves. Scoop onto cookie sheet using a cookie dough scoop, and flatten and shape with your gloved hands (if you want to impress the teacher and make them in nugget shapes. I wasn't about to make them into dinosaur shapes, however.....) Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

Healthy Creamy Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing


Ingredients

1 Avocado
1 clove Garlic, peeled
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
¼ cup low-fat sour-cream or greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice (or white vinegar)
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Water

Instructions

Place all the ingredients In a food processor or blender.
Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. Thin the salad dressing out with about ⅓ cup water (give or take) until it reaches a desired consistency.
Keep in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Baked Parmesan Crusted Potato Wedges


4 potatoes peeled and cut into thick wedges
bread crumbs of choice panko style or regular Italian flavored
 Parmesan grating cheese
garlic powder
rosemary
parsley
salt, pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
 optional : cayenne pepper to taste

How to make it:

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a plastic Ziploc bag, place potatoes and oil. Shake. Place on the parchment paper. Sprinkle generously with Italian flavored bread crumbs, cheese, then evenly with  all seasonings. Add grating cheese generously, last on top.  Bake on 400 degree hot oven till browned and crisp.

Chocolate Eclair Cake


Ingredients:

- 1 (16oz.) container milk chocolate icing
- 1 box of graham crackers
- 2 (3.4oz.) boxes french vanilla instant pudding
- 3 1/4 cups skim milk
- 1 (8oz.) container light cool whip

Directions:

- Whisk together milk and pudding for 2 minutes. Fold in the cool whip until mixed well.
- In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish lay graham crackers down on the bottom until covered. 
- Pour half of the pudding mixture on top of the first layer of graham crackers. 
- Lay down another layer of graham crackers and pour the remaining pudding mix over top.
- Add one more layer of graham crackers. Set in fridge until cold (about 2 hours).
- Spread the top of the graham crackers with the chocolate icing. (Icing should be at room temperature). Return to refrigerator for several hours or until ready to serve. 
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BROCCOLI CHEDDAR STUFFED POTATOES


4 medium russet potatoes, washed well and dried
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons salted butter, very soft
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon chives
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 and 1/2 cups cooked broccoli, chopped, divided
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, divided


How to make it :


Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). 
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Place potatoes in a small baking dish and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until soft.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to safely handle, slice each one in half, lengthwise. 
Scoop out the potato pulp and place it into a large bowl, being careful to leave the skins intact.
Rub the outsides of the potato skins with a little olive oil. 
Place the skins on the prepared baking sheet and set aside.
Add the butter to the potato pulp and mash - using an electric mixer or a potato masher - until fairly smooth; add Greek yogurt, buttermilk, salt, pepper, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, dried onion flakes, dill weed, paprika, broccoli and 3/4 cup of the cheese.
Divide the filling evenly among the potato shells then top with remaining cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are heated through.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Peppered Steak and Rice


2 packages Skirt Steak
1 1/2 cup White Rice
2 Bell Peppers
1 cup Brown Gravy
ground black pepper
Seasoning Salt
2 tsp Butter

How to make it :


I used regular long grain white rice, so I started that first. (If you're using minute rice you can make it last.) But combine rice, butter, and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Then remove from heat. (Hopefully you know how to make rice by now)
Put 1 teaspoon of butter in a skillet and watch it melt
Pop the skirt steak in the skillet. One at a time unless you have a big enough skillet to cook both. Season the steak with ground black pepper.
Cut the Bell Peppers into strips. I used 3 peppers of different colors for aesthetic reasons. Don't get distracted and forget about your steak lol.
Whether you got pre-made canned brown gravy or powdered gravy. Get it bubbling and toss the peppers in it and let it simmer to soften the peppers up.
When the steak is all browned. Remove it from the skillet and cut it into strips. Whatever size you prefer.
Toss the steak strips into the the simmering gravy and let it continue to simmer. This will cook the gravy flavor into the meat.
By the time the peppers are soft, the rice should be done.
Put a scoop of the rice into a bowl, or on a plate. Top it with the gravy/steak/pepper mix and serve. Be careful, the gravy will be really really hot.

Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie


1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups corn syrup (I use 1/2 dark and 1/2 light)
4 eggs
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely broken
1 unbaked deep dish pie shell

How to make it :

In saucepan boil sugar and corn syrup together for 2 to 3 minutes; set aside to cool slightly.
In large bowl beat eggs lightly and very slowly pour the syrup mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly.
At this point I like to strain the mixture to make sure it’s smooth and lump free.
Stir in butter, vanilla, and pecans and pour into crust.
Bake in a 350°F oven for about 45 to 60 minutes or until set.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

PERFECT POUND CAKE


1 cup of butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour

How to make it:

Heat oven to 350F.
Lightly butter and flour a 4 1/2 by 8 1/2 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until very light and fluffy, 7 minutes. Scrape down bowl and beat 1 minute more. Add vanilla, then gradually add eggs, beating well and scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add salt, then gradually add flour, beating well to combine and scraping down bowl as needed.
Transfer batter to pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 65 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, 1 hour (we couldn't wait that long, and removed it after 10 minutes, sliced it and ate it warm). Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on rack before slicing.
Enjoy!

perfect homemade yellow cake




2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (do not sift the flour)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
Vegetable oil
1 stick butter (not margarine), softened
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350°
Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of (3) 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray, place the wax paper in the pans and spray the paper.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, mixing well.
Measure the 1-1/4 cups of milk in a 2 cup measuring cup….then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1-1/3 cups.
Add the milk/vegetable oil mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
Add the eggs and continue beating an additional 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center of cake comes out clean, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.
Cool cakes on wire racks for 15 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.

Italian Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms


Here is what I used:

16 large fresh mushrooms
3 Italian sausage links (This was almost 1lb.)
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of a 10-inch fry pan)

How I did this:

 I covered the bottom of my fry pan with olive oil, removed the casing from the sausage and began cooking this on medium heat. Use a fork frequently to keep breaking the sausage up into small crumbles. 
Now that the sausage was started I washed and removed the stems from the mushrooms. Then I
chopped up the mushroom stems in my small food processor and set the mushroom caps aside.
Sausage cooking
Cooking the sausage, mushroom caps and stems are ready
As the sausage was cooking I added the chopped up stems, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and last the bread crumbs. Continued stirring this until I had a nice firm mixture.
Mushroom sausage stuffing
Now all I had to do was stuff the mushrooms caps. I used a tablespoon to fill the mushroom caps  rounding up the tops.
I placed these in a glass baking dish with a little bit of water on the bottom, sprinkled with more Parmesan cheese on top. Preheated the oven to 350 degrees and baked for 20 minutes. Serve as soon as they come out of the oven.

Baked Parmesan Zucchini


What you need:

2 or 3 zucchini of course sliced into rounds
Olive oil or our latest favorite coconut oil
Parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning
Minced garlic or garlic powder (Optional)

Here is all you have to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Slice the zucchini into a bowl, (you can slice them to your desired thickness) I like the zucchini slices thin because they are so crispy right of the oven.
Drizzle some oil into the bowl and toss until the zucchini are all coated
Spread them out on a cookie sheet and add your seasonings, top off with a nice layer of Parmesan cheese
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, for extra crispy turn on the broiler for the last 5 minutes
Serve and enjoy this oven baked parmesan zucchini.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Vintage Cheddar and Gruyere Mac and Cheese with Polish Kielbasa


Ingredients

2 tbsp-butter
1 heaped tbsp-flour
1½ cups-milk, 2% or whole
200 gr- vintage cheddar, grated
200 gr-Gruyere, grated
1 lbs-short pasta
150 gr-Polish smoked kielbasa, sliced

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
Cook pasta in a large pot filled with salted water 3-4 minutes less than the package directs.
While pasta is cooking make the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, blend in flour with a wire whisk.
Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes while stirring the entire time, then add milk and stir.
Cook the sauce for 5 minutes, it will gradually thicken, continue stirring with a wire whisk to avoid lumps.
When the sauce is the desired consistency take it off the heat and stir in both cheeses, reserve a combined ¼ cup of cheese.
The cheese should melt and completely incorporate into the sauce. Use your wire whisk to ensure the sauce is smooth and lump-free. (Don't walk away from the stove the entire time the cheese sauce is cooking as it can burn quickly and/or will go lumpy if left unattended.)
When your pasta is cooked drain but reserve ¼ cup of starchy water the pasta was cooking in.
Return the drained pasta into the same pot and add water and cheese sauce, gently toss to coat the pasta. It should be quite runny.
Mix in sliced kielbasa and transfer to a deep baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. The top should be golden by the end of the cooking time. If the pasta still looks pale at the end of the cooking time set your oven to broil and let the top crisp up for 2-3 minutes.
Serve with a simple green salad.

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine


ingredients:

1 pound linguine (any other pasta is fine and fresh is ideal since sauces cling better to fresh pasta)
kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 shallot, chopped finely
1 35-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano) with liquid
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
red hot pepper flakes (the amount depending on how hot you like it)
1½ cups fresh or frozen peas
1 cup heavy cream
¼ lb sliced prosciutto (taste it before buying, you don't want it too salty)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or freshly grated Parmesan cheese
chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)

directions:

In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water plus a generous pinch plus plus of kosher salt to a boil (about 1 tablespoon per 2 quarts water, so 3 tablespoons in this case). Taste the water, it should be salty like the ocean.
While waiting for the water to boil, pour the can of tomatoes with juice into the work bowl of a food processor. DO NOT turn on the processor at full speed because you will end up with pink foam. Just pulse until you have a smooth puree. If you want a chunkier sauce, just dump the can of tomatoes and juice into a large bowl and crush the tomatoes with your impeccably clean hands.
Over medium heat, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep pan or skillet. Add the chopped garlic and chopped shallot to the oil. Saute until soft and translucent, then slowly pour in the pureed tomatoes and their juice. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, seasoning it with salt and pepper to taste as it simmers (go easy on the salt because of the cheese that will be added). If you're using the red hot pepper flakes, add them now. Simmer until it reduces a bit about 10 to 15 minutes tops.
While the tomato sauce simmers, add the linguine to the boiling pot of water and cook until al dente (about 6 to 8 minutes, keep checking by biting into a strand). In the mean time, once the sauce has simmered for 10-15 minutes, stir in the 2 tablespoons of butter, then add the peas (if using) and let them cook for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on their size (fresh peas are bigger). Slowly pour the cream into the sauce, swirling the pan and stirring, then add the sliced prosciutto (if using), stirring to distribute it evenly.
Immediately drain the linguine, pouring some of the pasta water into a cup in case you need to thin the sauce once the cheese is added. If your pan or skillet is big enough, dump all the linguine right into the sauce and toss, adding all the parmigiano-reggiano cheese at once and tossing over the heat until it coats the linguine. If your skillet or pan isn't big enough, dump the pasta into a large bowl and pour the sauce and cheese on top of it, tossing until all the pasta is coated.
If the sauce is too thick once tossed with the linguine, thin it out with some of the reserved pasta water.
Top with the chopped parsley (if using), some more fresh ground pepper, if needed, and serve immediately, passing extra Parmigiano-Reggiano or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Crushed New Potatoes


Ingredients

4 new potatoes
1 TBS olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 TBS chives
salt
pepper
2 TBS grated cheese(any kind you like...I used Pepper Jack)
1 TBS Parmesan
Herbs of choice (optional)

Instructions


Preheat Broiler
Wash potatoes well and place in salted water.
Bring to boil and cook till fork tender (15-20 minutes).
Mix oil with crushed garlic clove. Set aside.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the potatoes on the parchment.
Using a potato crusher, crush the potatoes carefully. You may also use a paper towel and press the potatoes with your palm.
Pour some garlic oil over each potato.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Add some Parmesan/Pepper Jack cheese and chives.
Broil for 7-10 minutes or until nice and crispy.

Potato Pampushki With Cheese Filling


Ingredients

2½ cups mashed potatoes
1½ lbs of potatoes, about 4 medium-sized (preferably Yukon Gold)
salt, pepper
½ cup farmer's cheese or ricotta
4 oz Mozzarella cheese, grated (you can use any cheese that you like)
fresh parsley and chives, minced
2-4 Tablespoons heavy cream
oil, for pan frying

Instructions


Peel the raw potatoes and grate on a box grater. Squeeze out all the moisture by placing the potatoes in a cheesecloth or kitchen towel and squeeze out all excess moisture.
Combine the grated potatoes with the mashed potatoes. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, the farmer's cheese, Mozzarella cheese, fresh herbs and heavy cream for the cheese filling. Season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine. You can substitute ricotta or cottage cheese for the farmer's cheese. Depending on how dry the cheese mixture will be, add more or less heavy cream, just enough for it to all come together smoothly.
Take about a ¼ cup of potato mixture and form into a patty. Place about a tablespoon of the cheese filling and place into the center of the patty. Fold the potato mixture over the cheese filling, shaping it into an oval shape.
In a nonstick skillet, heat about 2 Tablespoons of oil and add the potato cakes. Cook the potato cakes on medium heat, about 5-7 minutes per side, until golden brown.
Drain the potato cakes on paper towels and serve warm.

Chick-fil-A Cole Slaw


INGREDIENTS:

1 cup mayonnaise
4 tsp white vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 bags (14 oz each) shredded cole slaw mix

DIRECTIONS:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, and salt until smooth.
Add in shredded cole slaw mix and fold over with spatula until completely coated. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, or overnight.
Serve and enjoy!

GREEK VINAIGRETTE



INGREDIENTS

Yields: ½ cup
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, smashed with side of your knife then peeled*
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
3 pinches of salt
10-15 grinds black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to a mason jar or any type of container with a top. Cover and shake vigorously until combined. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Cover and store in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Stir before serving.
NOTES
*the garlic flavor gets stronger the longer the vinaigrette sits, so if serving the vinaigrette immediately, you can add minced or pressed garlic, otherwise, smashed garlic works great here as it gradually flavors the vinaigrette

HAWAIIAN STYLE TERIYAKI CHICKEN


Ingedients

3 pounds chicken thigh ( boneless, skinless )
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
5 clove(s) garlic ( 3-5 cloves, crushed )
1 ginger root ( 2-3 slices, cut thin and lengthwise )

Directions

This is the basic ratio for the sauce, you will just increase it depending on how much meat you are soaking. You want there to be enough marinade that you can stir the meat freely. If it's hard to stir, you need to add more sauce.
Combine the water and soy sauce and then dissolve the sugar in the liquid. Add the desired amounts of ginger and garlic. Add the chicken. You can soak the meat in the marinade for up to 3 days but you want to soak it for at least 24 hours. You can also boil the chicken in the sauce right after you make it if you want to eat it sooner than later.
After you have marinated the meat for a few days, you are ready to grill. Just cook the meat on the grill like you would any other meat. If you are cooking a lot, grill it on hot heat and then stick it in a put on the grill. Add a little fresh teriyaki sauce to the pot and it will steam the grilled chicken assuring the chicken ends up very tender and juicy.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

DUTCH APPLE PIE RECIPE


Ingredients

Crust:
1 cup Vegetable Shortening
2 cup Flour
1 Egg
4 tbsp cold Water
2 tsp White Vinegar
Filling:
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
3 lbs Granny Smith Apples (about 6 medium)
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp Butter
Struesel:
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Uncooked Oats (not instant)
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
6 tbsp cold Butter, cut into small pieces

Instructions

Work shortening into flour with a pastry cutter until texture resembles meal.
Beat egg and add to mixture.
Add cold water and vinegar and stir until just incorporated.
Place in a zippered bag.
Flatten to about 1/2" with a rolling pin.
Freeze for at least 20 minutes.
Combine dry struesel ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.
Add cold butter and work with a pastry cutter until dry mixture is fully incorporated.
Crumble so pieces are no larger than pea sized.
Refrigerate until needed.
Roll out pie crust on a floured surface and place in pie pan.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch any spillover during baking and place in bottom third of oven.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, flour and spices and mix well.
Core, peel and slice apples into 1/4" or less slices.
Add apples and vinegar to bowl and toss to coat.
Put apples in crust and dot top with pieces of butter.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and top pie with struesel mixture.
Reduce temperature to 375 return pie to oven to cook for about 50 minutes more (when crust is golden and filling is bubbling).
If struesel begins to get too brown, cover top loosely with aluminum foil.
Allow to cool before serving.
FROM SITES WE LOVE

STRAWBERRY, MASCARPONE LAYER CAKE


Preheat Oven to 325F Degrees

FOR THE CAKE
1 box of white cake mix, sifted
1 c. cake flour, sifted
1 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. whole milk
1 c. sour cream
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 egg whites
FOR THE FILLING
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
2 cartons of strawberries (or 1 large carton) 
FOR THE FROSTING
12 oz. of mascarpone cheese (1 1/2 containers)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
2 c. heavy whipping cream
Optional: Graham Cracker Crumbs
  
DIRECTIONS


For the Cake:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, whisk together cake mix, flour and sugar. Then add in milk, sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Scrape down sides and mix again until well incorporated. Finally add in egg whites. 
Grease 2-8 inch round pans. Divide batter equally among 2 pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top of the cakes are slightly golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to slightly cool. Then turn them out and let cool completely. 
If cake is not completely flat, use either a cake leveler or knife, to make cake completely even.
For the Filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip heavy whipping cream, on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside in refrigerator.
Using half a carton- hull strawberries and slice lengthwise. Set aside.
Then, place one carton of strawberries in the bowl of  a food processor and pulse until the sauce appears to be like a "chunky applesauce." Using a strainer, push the strawberry puree through- to get rid of excess water. Fold strained strawberry puree (i.e., puree minus the water) into the whipped cream. The whipped topping will become a pink color when puree is well incorporated. Then fold in sliced strawberries.
Keep in refrigerator until assembling cake. Reserve 1/2 carton of strawberries for decorating.
For the Frosting:
In a medium bowl, whisk together mascarpone cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar with a spatula until well blended and smooth. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip heavy whipping cream, on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in whipped cream into the cheese mixture.
Assembling the Cake:
Place one 8-inch round cake on serving plate (on a cake turn table, preferred). Then using a large (1M) circle tip, pipe a border around the top (edge) of the cake (i.e., creating a wall). Make another border on top of the already piped border. You want a tall border to prevent the filling from spilling out. Within this border, place a large, heaping scoop of strawberry filling (you may not use all of the filling). Using  a spatula, spread the strawberry filling over the top of the cake.
Gently place the second 8-inch round cake directly on top of filling, slightly pressing down and making sure the second layer of cake is perfectly aligned with the second. Cover cake with mascarpone frosting. Decorate as desired using the remaining frosting and strawberries.
Optional: After frosting the cake, but before decorating-- I chose to cover the side of the cake with graham cracker crumbs. I accomplished this by having a handful of graham cracker crumbs and pushing them against the side of the cake, very gently.
Enjoy,
 
 
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