Monday, February 29, 2016

Potato Latkes

Potato Latke's are very similar to Mashed Potato Patties, however these are a combination of shredded and mashed potatoes.  They are crispier and a little heavier.  But, they are wonderful!  Give them a try

Potato Latkes

1 whole medium potato
1 cup mashed potatoes (leftover)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 heaping Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. ground pepper

Peel the whole medium potato and place in boiling water.  Boil for about 5 minutes and remove.  Allow to cool until it is easier to handle.  Add to food processor (or do by hand)...shred the potato.

In a bowl, combine the leftover mashed potatoes, egg, pepper and flour.  Mix well.  Stir in the shredded, boiled potato and the cheese.  Scoop out with a large T-Spoon onto a buttered griddle or skillet.  Cook over medium heat until both sides are browned.  Remove and serve with salsa or sour cream.


Friday, February 26, 2016

Chicken Mini Shepherds Pie

Another new creation and I absolutely love this!  It was so easy and great.  Made these in a popover pan so they are easy to handle.  Try them...I bet you'll love em.

Chicken Mini Shepherds Pie

1 roll refrigerated crescent rolls
2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
Leftover Mashed Potatoes - about 1 1/2 to 2 cups
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. salt (unless potatoes are already salty)
2 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
Cooking Spray

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a skillet.  Cut the chicken breast into very small pieces.  Add to skillet.  Add pepper and salt and sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the chicken is done.

Meanwhile, using a large popover-type muffin pan, spray it with cooking spray.  Roll out the crescent rolls and press them into the muffin cups until they form a bowl.  Be sure to cover the bottom and up the sides.  I had a large one, so it made 4 muffin cups. 

Grab some leftover mashed potatoes from the fridge and place about 2 Tbsp. into the bottom of each crescent roll cup.  Top with chopped green onions.  Sprinkle about 1 Tbsp. of the cheese on top of the green onions.

When the chicken is done, layer it on top of the muffin cups evenly and top them with the remaining cheese.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove and serve immediately.  *You could also use ground beef or leftover steak to make these.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chicken Quesadillas

Quesadillas are simple to make and even kids love them.  This easy recipe for chicken quesadillas only requires one chicken breast.  Try this one, you're family will thank you!

Chicken Quesadillas

4 large flour tortillas
1 chicken breast, sliced into very thin strips
3 green onions
1/2 bell pepper, sliced into very thin strips
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 Tbsp. salsa
2 Tbsp. butter
cooking spray

Slice chicken breast into very thin strips.  In a skillet, over medium heat, melt butter.  Add chicken strips, ground pepper, Worcestershire sauce, bell pepper and green onion.  Saute' until chicken is done (about 8 to 10 minutes).

On a flat griddle large enough to hold two of the tortillas, spray with cooking spray or coat with butter.  Place tortillas down and just allow them to start to brown a little.  It won't take long to get them done per side - maybe a minute or two.  Flip them over and on one of the tortillas, place some of the mozzarella and some of the chicken mixture.  Top with some of the cheddar cheese and flip the other tortilla on top.  Press down with a spatula to assist with melting the cheese.

Remove and slice with a pizza cutter into triangles.  Repeat for the other 2 tortillas.  Each tortilla should make 8 slices, so there is plenty for the family...well maybe!

Serve with fresh salsa and sour cream.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Steak and Orzo Stirfry

This is a meal I created just last night.  I had a few pieces of left over roast that I had cut into small chunks. I didn't really feel like beef stew, so I created this.  I had a little Orzo left and when I threw it together, it was fabulous! 

Steak and Orzo Stirfry

8 to 10 pieces of beef chunks, sliced very very thinly
1/2 cup of Orzo pasta
1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
4 baby carrots, very thinly sliced
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
water as needed

In a skillet, add 2 Tbsp. butter and the thinly sliced onion, bell pepper and carrots.  Saute' for about 6 to 8 minutes to get the onions translucent and carrots are starting to soften.  Meanwhile, slice the beef chunks very thinly.  Add to the skillet and sauté for about 10 minutes.  (if it starts to get dry, add additional butter and about 4 Tbsp. of water.)

In a separate pan of boiling water (about 4 cups), add the Orzo once the water is boiling.  Boil for about 6 minutes until the pasta is almost completely done.  Drain completely.

Once the steak is tender and about ready, add the drained Orzo into the skillet.  Immediately add the Worcestershire sauce and the ground pepper.  Stir well to combine.  Remove from heat and serve.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Crispy French Toast

French Toast is a nice change for breakfast now and then.  Last weekend, I thought I would try something different.  I like crispy things, so I thought I would try to make my French Toast crispy and it was great!  Give it a try

Crispy French Toast

Bowl 1 = 3 large eggs and 3 Tbsp. milk,  1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. sugar  (beat together)
Bowl 2 = 2 cups Panko Japanese Bread Crumbs
Butter 3 to 4 Tbsp. as needed
4 to 6 slices of bread

Butter a griddle or flat skillet.  Dip your bread into the egg mixture on both sides.  Shake off excess and dip it into the Panko Bread Crumbs turn over and cover both sides.  Press down slightly with fingers to make sure they stick to the egg mixture.

Fry on a buttered skillet until both sides are browned and crispy (about 3 minutes per side), over medium heat.

Remove to plate and dust with powdered sugar or top with syrup.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Garlic Chicken Spaghetti

Oh my, I have to say this is one of my favorite dishes that I have come up with lately.  It is even fantastic heated up!  Can I say I love this stuff!  Well I do.  You gotta try this one!  Not a great picture, so the picture doesn't do this one justice!

Garlic Chicken Spaghetti

2 cups leftover Rotisserie chicken (pulled and shredded by hand)
2 Tbsp. minced Garlic
2 heaping Tbsp. sour cream
2 Tbsp. real butter
2 green onions, finely diced (optional)
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1/2 stalk celery, finely diced

In a skillet, sauté butter, celery, garlic and green onions for about 3 minutes.  Pull apart the chicken until you have about 2 cups of shredded or chopped chicken.  Add it to the skillet just long enough to heat it through. It's already cooked, so you don't need to heat it more than 3 or 4 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth and reduce heat to simmer.  Continue to simmer until spaghetti is done.

In a separate pan of salted (1 tsp.) water, bring to a boil and add desired amount of spaghetti (usually feeds 4).  Boil spaghetti until just done and drain.

Toss the spaghetti into the chicken mixture.  Add 1 cup of evaporated milk and sour cream.  Mix well and allow to simmer until it thickens and reduces.  Should just take a few minutes to reduce. 

Serve and Enjoy!  This is great served with a slice of garlic cheese bread. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

French Bread Pizza

I always love coming up with new varieties of pizza.  This pizza is crispy and full of flavor.  And so easy!  Try it, I guarantee you'll love it.

French Bread Pizza

1 loaf of store-bought French Bread
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Italian Seasonings
3 green onions, diced
1/4 bell pepper, finely diced

Brown ground beef and bell pepper in a skillet.  Drain completely. 

While ground beef is cooking, slice the bread in half long-ways down the middle and then using your fingers, scoop out a small well in the center.  Repeat for the other side.  The well helps the toppings stay on the bread without falling off.

Melt butter in a small pan.  Remove from heat and stir in garlic, Oregano and Italian Seasonings.  Using a brush, brush this mixture across all of the French Bread.  Depending on the size of your loaf of bread, you may need more butter.

Top with the drained ground beef and bell pepper mixture.  Top with the green onions and then layer heavily with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Press down lightly using your fingers.

Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes and then turn the oven on broil.  Broil the top of the bread for about 2 minutes, or until the bread gets browned, crispy and the cheese is melted.

Remove, slice each half into quarters and serve.

*Note, if you like marinara, you can layer it on after the garlic butter.  I personally don't like marinara, so I like it with just the garlic and butter. 


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Garlic Shrimp in Tomato Sauce

I love shrimp!  They are wonderful little bites of joy!  I'm so used to just doing them fried or scampi, but I recently came up with this variation that I really like. 

Garlic Shrimp in Tomato Sauce

1 bag of medium pre-cooked Shrimp - remove tails
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. real butter
1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes (or you can put petite tomatoes in a food processor to puree)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. Basil
1 - 2 dashes hot sauce (based on preference)

Remove tails from shrimp and drain to remove most of the water.  In a skillet, saute' butter and garlic for a couple of minutes.  Add lemon juice, pepper, basil, hot sauce and finally, the crushed tomatoes.  Allow to simmer until the sauce cooks down and becomes slightly thicker.  Add shrimp and cook just 3 or 4 minutes, just to head the pre-cooked shrimp.

Serve and Enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cheesesteak Pizza

I love to come up with new and unique varieties of pizza.  This is one of my favorites.

Cheesesteak Pizza

Your favorite pizza crust
Thinly sliced strips of leftover roast or steak
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cups Mozzarella cheese
1 green Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup Gruyere cheese
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. real butter
1 tsp. Italian Seasonings
1 tsp. Rosemary
4 Tbsp. Ranch Dressing mixed with 1 Tbsp. Miracle Whip

Make or buy your favorite pizza crust and roll it out or (I cook mine in a cast ironed skillet for crispier pizza crust).  Melt 2 Tbsp. real butter and mix in the 1 Tbsp. minced garlic.  Brush this all over the bottom of the pizza.  Next, mix the 4 Tbsp. Ranch Dressing with 1 Tbsp. Miracle Whip.  Beat well together and drizzle evenly over the crust.

In a skillet, sauté the bell pepper and onion in 1 tsp. olive oil until the onions are translucent.  Add the steak or roast to the skillet, just long enough to heat it up.  Remove from heat.

Build your pizza by adding 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese first, then evenly spread the meat/veggies mixture over the top.  Add the 2nd cup of Mozzarella and the 1 cup of Gruyere cheese.  Sprinkle the diced Roma tomatoes over top and sprinkle with the seasonings.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 to 18 minutes or until the crust starts to brown on the edges.

Remove, slice and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Vegetable Fried Rice

I love this dish because it is quick and easy and tastes really great.  You can add meat if you wish, but this recipe is for just veggies

Vegetable Fried Rice

2 cups Beef Broth
1 cup white quick cook rice (like Minute Rice)
4 baby carrots, sliced into thin strips
4 Tbsp. bell pepper sliced into strips
1/4 white onion, diced
1 green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. real butter
2 Tbsp. ground pepper

In a deep skillet, sautee' onions, bell peppers and carrots in 2 Tbsp. real butter until they start getting tender.  Add the 2 cups of Beef Broth and ground pepper.  You really don't need to add salt to this dish because the beef broth is so salty.  Bring to a boil and add the rice.  Stir often while cooking.  Cook until the broth boils away and the rice is done.

If you need to, you can add some water if it cooks down too fast and the rice gets sticky.  Then just continue to cook until it reduces.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Boneless Panko Fried Chicken Breasts

These are wonderful and even kids will love these.  They are simple to make and cook quickly.  Great for dinner after a long day.  Enjoy

Boneless Panko Fried Chicken Breasts

6 boneless chicken breasts (skin on or off, your choice)
3 cups Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
3 cups evaporated milk
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
3 Tbsp. Sea Salt

Vegetable Oil in a pan about 3" deep.  Over medium heat, make sure oil is hot enough (I drop a few of the Panko flakes into the oil and if they sizzle, it is ready)

Lightly pound out the chicken breasts so that they are slightly flatter. 

In one bowl add the Panko bread crumbs.  In the second bowl add the milk, 1 Tbsp. of the salt and the pepper.  Dip the chicken breasts first into the milk and then into the Panko.  Slowly lower them into the hot oil.  Cook for about 4 minutes, turn and cook about 4 minutes on the other side.

If they are cooking too fast, turn your heat down a little bit.

Remove and drain on a paper towel and then cook the rest of the chicken.

Crispy, juicy and fabulous!  Enjoy!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hearty Ground Beef Stew

Have left-over ground beef?  Sick of hamburgers or tacos?  Try this quick and easy soup.  It'll put some meat on your bones (as my mamaw used to say).

Hearty Ground Beef Stew

1 lb. lean ground beef or ground chuck
2 medium potatoes, cut into large chunks
1/4 onion, roughly chopped
6 baby carrots, sliced into 1/4" pieces
2 cans beef broth
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. Italian Seasonings
1 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch

Brown ground beef (chuck) with onion and drain.  Peel and cut up the two potatoes and slice 6 baby carrots into 1/4" pieces and add both to a stock pot in enough water to cover them.  Boil for about 8 to 10 minutes, or just until done.  Drain water off.  Add 2 cans beef broth to the potatoes/carrots and stir in the ground beef/onion mixture.  Bring back up to a boil, add seasonings and boil on medium heat for another 10 minutes. 

In a small cup, mix 1/4 cup water and 2 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch.  Drizzle into the boiling mixture, stirring constantly, until it just starts to thicken a little.  You don't want it really thick.

Serve and Enjoy!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Breakfast Bisquit Popovers

These little biscuits are great to make ahead on a weekend and bag up for a quick breakfast at home or work for the rest of the week. 

Breakfast Biscuit Popovers

2 cups baking mix (such as Bisquick)
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
6 pieces of bacon (or turkey sausage), fried and crumbled
1/4 stick real butter
1/4 cup of evaporated milk (more or less)
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. salt

In bowl, mix baking mix, pepper and salt.  Start adding milk slowly until it is a thick-doughy consistency.  You don't want it too soupy.  You need to be able to knead it.  Pour out onto a floured board and knead a couple of times. 

Melt butter and brush the bottoms and sides of a 12-cup cupcake pan.  Roll the biscuit mix into small balls, about the size of a quarter and drop 3 of them into the bottom of each cup. 

Fry bacon or turkey sausage, drain and crumble.  Sprinkle evenly over the tops of the dough balls and top with 1 or 2 Tbsp. of the cheese until it is evenly distributed.  Drizzle the remaining butter over the tops.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and biscuits are browning.  Remove and pop out with a spoon.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

BBQ Minute Steaks

Once in a while I like to change up my regular beef recipes with a little BBQ sauce.  I have always made my own BBQ sauce and am very picky about it.  Rarely do I find one of the bottled kind that I like.  Try this it is so tender and hearty!

BBQ Minute Steaks

1 pkg. 4 to 6 Minute Steaks
   * I have even bought a large roast on sale and sliced it really thinly with my electric knife to make my own minute steaks

BBQ sauce

1 cup catsup
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix these ingredients together.  Spray an oven-save skillet or pan with cooking spray (I use cast-iron).  Place the steaks into the pan and brush the BBQ sauce onto one side of the steaks (be generous).  Flip and brush the other side of the steaks.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 8 minutes.  Remove, flip steaks and brush with more BBQ sauce.  Bake another 15 to 20 minutes and remove from oven.   Pour remaining BBQ sauce into a gravy boat or dish and serve along with your minute steaks.

For thicker steaks, you will need to cook these a little longer.  This is also good on Pork.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Crab Salad

This Crab Salad is simply amazing.  It is so easy to make.  I took it to a pitch-in at work recently and it was a big hit!  So, here is my recipe for:

Crab Salad

1 pkg. imitation Crab Meat
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 8 oz. tub whipped Cream Cheese
1/2 stalk celery, finely diced
1 green onion, finely diced (optional)
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Chop up Crab Meat (I use my food processor and just pulse it twice).  You don't want it pureed, just chopped.  Place into a large bowl and add 1/2 cup Miracle Whip and 1 - 8 oz. tub of the whipped Cream Cheese.  Add finely diced celery and green onion.  Add pepper and 1/2 tsp. lemon juice.  Fold together gently. 

For best results chill for at least 4 hours or overnight so that the lemon juice marries with the other flavors.  Serve with crackers or I like it on a croissant.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Potato Skins

Good morning everyone...I have been hiding out the last few days with a horrible cold.  Sorry for not posting, but I simply have not been cooking.  My sweet hubby has been taking care of me while I was sick. 

These fantastic potato skins are something easy and something you will surely love.  Give them a try.

Potato Skins

6 sm/med potatoes
4 Tbsp. softened butter
2 green onions, finely diced
1 cup Gruyere or Mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp. seasoned salt
1 Tbsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper

Wash potatoes and pierce the skins with a fork or nice (all around the potato).  Place in plastic wrap and microwave about 4 minutes.  Carefully remove plastic wrap and slice potatoes in half.  Using a spoon, scoop out a well in the center of each half, leaving plenty around the edges.

Place a dollop of softened butter (not even a tsp.) in each potato.  In a small bowl, mix seasoned salt, pepper and cayenne.  Using fingers, sprinkle a little on top of each potato.  Add about 1 heaping Tbsp. of cheese to each potato half and then sprinkle the green onions on top.  Place onto a sprayed or lined cookie sheet (I put them in my cast-ironed skillet) and bake for about 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven, or until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown slightly.

Remove, top with sour cream and serve.  These would be a great Super Bowl snack!