Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Have you ever been asked the question, "If you could only have 1 food for the rest of your life, what would it be?"  I have, and my answer has always been "potatoes".  But I'm going to change my answer to not just potatoes, but THESE potatoes!

I started making potatoes for our Thanksgiving meal and since I'm a wimp and don't really like mashing the potatoes I called in Tony (the hubby) to help me out.  (Chivalry is not dead!:))  In the process of mashing he added some "stuff" and boy was it some good "stuff"!!  I had to have him tell me in detail what he did so I could share these awesome potatoes with all of you!  The few little things he added really took these to over-the-top delicious status!  He's hired from here on out!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Pin It
About 5 pounds or so of potatoes
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1-2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste

Peel and cut potatoes into 1" cubes.  Place in a large pot and cover the potatoes with water by about an inch or 2.  Bring to a boil and then time potatoes for about 20 minutes or until tender.  Drain water.  Put butter and cream cheese into a large bowl and then pour hot drained potatoes on top.  Mash potatoes until most of the lumps are mashed.  Add the whipping cream and mash until nice and smooth.  Add the Mrs. Dash, salt and pepper to taste and mix in. 

These are wonderful just plain like this...I even found myself sneaking into the leftovers and just eating them cold right out of the Tupperware!  They just call my name!:)

  They can be served with gravy and are really good that way really can't go wrong with these!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mom's Potato Rolls

Well, it's back to the grind today.  It was such a nice Thanksgiving break!  "We're Thankful for Pie" night, Thanksgiving dinner with my hubby and kiddo's, Black Friday shopping, games, putting up the Christmas tree, naps, staying in pajamas all day long....IT. WAS. GOOD!  I'm sad that it ended so quickly, but it's only 3 more weeks until Christmas break.  Yeah!! 

So with that, I figured I'd let you in on the Wilson family secret recipe for Potato Rolls (my Mom's).  They are sure to put you in the Holiday mood!  They go perfectly with Turkey or Ham...add them to your festivities this year.  The potatoes make for a really soft and delicious dough.  Once you try these all other rolls will be tossed to the curb!

Mom's Potato Rolls
Pin It
1 cup mashed potatoes (make sure there are no lumps)
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups hot milk
1/2 cup oil
7-8 1/2 cups flour

Add the yeast to the lukewarm water and set aside for about 10 minutes.  In the bowl of your mixer add the potatoes, salt, sugar, and oil.  Heat your milk in the microwave until hot, but do not boil.  Add milk to the potato mixture and mix lightly.  Let cool to lukewarm.  Add the beaten eggs and combine.  Add about 4-5 cups flour and beat until smooth.  Add the yeast and the rest of the flour.  Knead dough for about 10 minutes in your mixer.  Dough will be sticky! 

Flour your surface and place dough on it.  Coat the dough with flour so it doesn't stick and roll dough to about 1" thick.  Using a large cup (or any kind of cutter you have) cut out rolls and place them on a greased large cookie sheet.  Dough should be touching each other.

Cover and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Rub butter over the tops of rolls while still hot.

(These make the best sandwich rolls for leftover turkey and ham!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

"We're Thankful for Pie" Night Round-up!

This year we're sticking around for Thanksgiving...just me and my hubby and kiddo's (unless Grandpa & Grandma decide to show-up:))!  Sometimes it's just nice to be home and not have to worry about traveling anywhere and being able to spend time with your own family! 

BUT, we knew there was one thing we'd REALLY miss about not joining my side of the family for Thanksgiving..."We're thankful for Pie" night!  (If you don't remember from last year or are knew...go check out last year's post HERE!)  Basically it's the night before thanksgiving when everyone brings their favorite pies (or other desserts) to share with everyone.  THE BEST TRADITION EVER!!!  Instead of trying to eat pie after you've stuffed yourself so full of turkey, potatoes, and stuffing, you have it the night before so it can be enjoyed!

Sooooooo....instead of belly-aching about it, we decided we'd host our own "We're thankful for Pie" night at our house!  I'm so excited to try out some new pies...I know a couple of "flavors" that will be coming and can't wait to try them! 

Kyla and I will be making the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cream Pie (because you know how much she loves chocolate and PB!), a Banana Cream Pie, and Triple Fruit Pie.  (Unless we find something better in the meantime...which is know to happen a lot around here!) 

So, if any of you would like to start a new tradition, or if you just need some good pie recipes for Thanksgiving day...HERE'S A START!

(Sorry about the horrible picture...I promise to take a better one this year!)

(again...sorry for the photo!)



S'mores Pie (being made and brought by a friend (Jolyn!))



And....if you need a really good recipe for pie crust...this is by far my favorite!  (and there's a pretty great recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie with it!)  I am by no means a pie crust baker and I've had such luck with this one...always flaky and light and wonderfully delicious!

I'll be taking lots of pictures of our "We'er thankful for Pie" night, and we'll make sure to share them with you!

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving filled with lots of pie eating!:)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Italian Minestrone Soup

It seems all we've posted lately is soup or baked goods of some kind.  It must be the "it's almost winter and I better start packing on the pounds to help me make it through" mentality, at least the baked good part of it anyway.  And I guess it's just the warm comfort of soup that I love that has me making a new kind at least twice a week! 

I love this soup because it is made with ingredients I almost always have on hand, it's made in the crockpot (love having dinner ready at the beginning of the day!), and it is so perfectly spiced and wonderful!  You'll be asking for another me!

Italian Minestrone Soup
Recipe slightly adapted from 365 Crockpot

1 pound lean ground meat (pork, beef, or turkey...I used turkey)
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup chopped carrots
1 can (14.5 oz.) stewed tomatoes (or diced)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 box (32 oz.) beef broth
1 cup dried penne pasta
Kosher salt

Brown the meat, mushrooms, onion and garlic on the stove top and drain the fat.  Add the meat to the slow cooker (6 quart size) along with your vegetables.  Add the tomatoes, oregano and broth and then stir to combine.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  30 minutes before serving, add the dry pasta.  Turn the cooker to high and cook for 30 more minutes or until the pasta is tender.

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giant Double Chocolate Cookies

I saw these bad boys on Pinterest last week and knew they had to made SOON!  By the way, if you have not yet been to Pinterest or don't know what in the heck it need to go and check it out NOW!  I love that whenever I find something that I know is going to change my life (ie...these cookies!) I can just "pin" it and it's there for future use...brilliant!  It so blows my 127 pages of recipes in a word document out of the water!!  Not that I think I'll ever be able to keep up with it either, but it is just so much more manageable!  (Also, you can follow my pin's over on pinterest by clicking the "Follow me on Pinterest" button on the right side bar...can't wait to see you all there!) 

In the meantime you need to make these cookies!  Usually when I make cookies I keep going back for more and end up eating 3, or 4, ok maybe 10.  But one of these cookies did it for me.  It makes me feel good that I just ate about self control!:)  Ok, it may be because each cookie is 4 oz. of dough, that it's so rich and chocolatey and gooey, and that the recipe made just enough for all of our party to only have 1, but I like to think it's because I had some self control.  And you'll definately want a glass of milk with this one! 

Giant Double Chocolate Cookies
Recipe from Annie's Eats

1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder (regular or dark...I used regular, but can't wait to try the dark!)
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used the mini's!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  You can line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (silpat), but I just cooked mine right on the cookie sheet. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time.  Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the chcoolate chips.  Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.  (Try to refrain from eating any dough or you'll only end up with 11 cookies instead of 12...we know this from personal experience, good thing we only needed 11!!)

Divide the dough into 4 ounce portions.  I used my kitchen scale.  If you don't have one, this would be the perfect excuse to go and get one...or...I figured each cookie was about 6 tablespoons of dough, so you can guesstimate that way too!:)  Roll each portion of dough into a ball and flatten just slightly into a disc.  Place on the cookie sheets a few inches apart.  Bake for 16-20 minutes.  Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes and then you can transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely or you can serve them and eat them warm, which is what we did!  De.lic.ious.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cajun Pulled Pork (for Crockpot)

Yummy.  That's how I would describe this dish.  That's how I describe a lot of things lately.  I even caught myself saying it last night when talking about something that wasn't even food related!  I don't think she noticed or just decided to dismiss it as "Jana's losing her mind!"  (I think I probably get that a lot...cause it's true most days!) 

Anyway, this is a wonderful dish to throw in the crockpot on a busy night, and serve with a salad!  Yummy!!:)
Cajun Pulled Pork
Recipe from 365 Crockpot

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt (I used pork tenderloin)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1-2 tablespoons liquid smoke
2 cups water

Put the meat into a large plastic zipper bag with brown sugar and all spices.  Seal well and shake to coat.  Pour the contents of the bag into the crockpot.  (You can also just put the meat in the crockpot and rub the seasoning all over it). 

Top with the chopped onion, butter and liquid smoke.  Pour in the water.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork. 

To make the pulled pork sandwich you will need:
Hamburger buns
cheese (your choice...we used provolone...Yummy!)

Butter one half of the hamburger bun and place it buttered side up on a large cookie sheet.  Place a slice of cheese on the other half and put it cheese side up on the pan.  Place under the broiler in your oven and watch carefully.  Once they start to brown it goes quick and you may end up eating black buns if you're not watching!

Place pork on toasted buns and top with some bbq sauce (or it it plain...I like the bbq sauce though).  Hope you enjoy!  Yummy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Butterfinger Blizzard Cupcakes

I thought since it's such an awesome date (you gotta admit 11/11/11, that's pretty cool) that we'd have to post a pretty awesome recipe!  And I think we've found it!  These have been made on a few different occasions, but I have never made them unless I've had somewhere for them to go...they are THAT dangerous!  You can say goodbye to any will-power you think you may have...that's really simple for me cause I don't have any!  Take these to your next party and you'll be loved forever, just don't make them for yourself unless you are prepared to eat them all!

Butterfinger Blizzard Cupcakes
Recipe from Your Cup of Cake
Chocolate Cake:
1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
Caramel Sauce (store bought or your favorite homemade recipe)
Butterfinger Buttercream
4 Butterfingers
3/4 cup butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 1/2-2 1/2  cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffins tins with cupcake liners.  

For the cake, lightly beat eggs, water, milk, and oil together. Stir in vanilla and sour cream and cake mix. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 13-18 minute or until a knife comes out clean. 

While cupcakes are in the oven, mix sweetened condense milk and caramel sauce together. Use about 3/4 to 1 cup of the caramel sauce.  Pour into a squeeze bottle with a small tip.  While cupcake are still hot, fill with condensed milk/caramel mixture by pushing the tip of the squeeze bottle into the middle of the cupcake.  I squeeze for about 5 seconds per cupcakes.  I just count it out in my head and it seems to be about the right amount!

Now for he Butterfinger Buttercream!!  You need to unwrap the butterfingers and shave the chocolate off the outside of each bar.  It's a little tricky, but if you've got some helpers (Kyla!) this is something they seem to think is fun!!  Take the orange middles and crush in a bowl or in a plastic bag. Sift as much of the candy as possible. You want to get about 1/2 cup of orange Butterfinger powder. 

Beat butter and cream cheese for 5 minutes. Add as much powdered sugar as desired (I use about 2 cups) and milk. Add the sifted Butterfinger and beat well.  Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and use the chocolate shavings and the parts that were too big to sift to decorate.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Florentine Chicken Soup

I know I've probably mentioned this fact a dozen times or so, but I LOVE SOUP!!  I get so excited when it finally starts cooling down so we can enjoy soup more often!  It's a definate perk to the cold weather!  This particular soup is out of this world good!  The flavors are so wonderful and it's so easy to throw together.  My kid's didn't even complain about the spinach....SCORE!!!:)

Florentine Chicken Soup
Adapted from Taste of Home
3 cups uncooked penne pasta (whole wheat is great!)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 bag (10 oz.) fresh spinach
1 jar (12 oz.) roasted sweet peppers (found by the pickles)
2 Tablespoons dried rosemary, or 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
1 jar (15 oz.) prepared Alfredo Sauce
1/3 cup prepared pesto

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook the chicken in the butter along with the garlic powder, rosemary, and pepper until chicken is browned and cooked through.  Add the red peppers, and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted.  Stir in the chicken broth, alfredo sauce and pesto; cook for 4-5 minutes or until heated through.  Drain pasta and add it to the soup.  Sprinkle with pinenuts and shredded parmesean cheese if desired.  Makes 10 servings...perfect for our family, just enough leftovers for lunch the next day!

Double the Deliciousness FEATURED!

Hey everyone....just wanted to let you know that our fabulous Death by Oreo Cupcakes are being featured over at "Or So She Says" today!  Please head over there and check it out!!  We are so excited...we'd love to have lots of comments over there, so if you can help us out we'd be eternally grateful!:) 

Thanks so much to Mariel for featuring us and for an awesome blog!  There are so many wonderful ideas over there so if you've never checked it out YOU NEED TO!!! 

Oh, and I'll be posting a wonderful recipe this afternoon so don't forget to check back!:)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies

There are times in my life when I just have this overwhelming love for people.  This weekend has been one of those times.  People are GOOD!  I witnessed so much good this weekend and I love being reminded that although there are some real pieces of work out there, that there are also really, REALLY good people out there too!  It makes me want to make something for everyone!  Cause that's how I show my love and thanks...I bake!:)  These cookies (in my humble opinion) would more than adequately say "thanks" and "love you".  You will have new best friends!  Give it a try.  Make a batch for someone!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies
Recipe from Your Cup of Cake
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake Cookies:

1 box spice cake mix
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
15 oz pumpkin puree
1/3 cup applesauce
1 bag mini chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz cream cheese
¼ cup butter, softened
2 ½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper, or silpat.  Mix spice cake mix and pumpkin pie spice together then add the pumpkin and applesauce and mix until combined.  Mix in the chocolate chips.   Scoop dough using a medium cookie scoop (or spoons...just make the dough about golf ball size) onto parchment paper/silpat and bake for 11-14 minutes or until the tops are cooked. Place onto cooling racks, and make sure they are completely cooled before assembling.

For the filling, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and beat for 2-3 minutes.

Assemble cookie sandwiches by piping filling into the bottom side of half the cookies.  Place another cookie on top and then refrigerate cookies until chilled, about 1 hour. This will help so that all the filling does not gush out over the sides when you're trying to eat them!

You'll make some friends for life!:)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Oh my!!  We love ourselves some chicken cordon bleu!  I rarely make it because I'm not too fond of cutting into the chicken and stuffing them, or flattening and rolling them!  I'm a snob that way!:)  So when I saw this recipe I knew it was one I was going to have to try it, just put the chicken in the casserole, no stuffing or rolling!!:)  Really, really delicious...whole family loved it!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 pounds russet potatoes (about 4-5 medium sized ones), peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
6 tablespoons flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream or milk (I used skim)
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (6 oz.)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced thinly
9 ounces ham, chopped

For the topping process the bread and butter in a food processor until coarsely ground. (I used my blender and it worked great!)  Set aside.

For the filling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, making sure the oven rack is in the middle.  Place the potatoes, 6 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are partially cooked, about 2 minutes (you don't want to overcook them because they will continue to cook in the oven.)  Carefully drain potatoes, or remove them with a slotted spoon, and transfer them to a bowl.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook until the onions are softened, about 6 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and the cream or milk.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking often, until slightly thickened (if using milk instead of cream, you may have to cook longer for it to thicken up a bit!.  Off the heat, whisk in the Swiss cheese, Dijon, and cayenne pepper until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and set aside until ready to use.

Toss the potatoes with half of the sauce and spread into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  Layer the chicken on the potatoes and then spread the ham evenly over the chicken.  Make sure the chicken is in a single layer so that it cooks thoroughly.  Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the chicken and sprinkle with the bread crumb topping.  Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the casserole is bubbling, 30-35 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Roasted Tomato Soup

I have a pretty nice sized sweet tooth, but these last 2 weeks have left me with a big ol' cavity! (metaphorically speaking, I don't really have a huge cavity, although it is time to go to the dentist, so I guess maybe I could)  So anyway, when my friend was telling me about this recipe she had made I knew it would be the perfect solution to counter-act all the sweets we've been consuming at our house lately! (i.e. Kyla's Birthday cake (Peanut Butter Cup Cake), Kyla's Birthday Cupcakes (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes), celebrating Halloween not only on Halloween but on the Saturday before Halloween as well=loads of candy and party treats!)

This soup was AMAZING!  I loved all the spices and flavor it had goin' on in it!  And it just felt so good to eat something so good for you! 

Roasted Tomato Soup

7 large tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 green pepper, without seeds, halved
salt & pepper to taste
Olive Oil
5 Tablespoon butter, divided
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon dry basil (or 2 teaspoon fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk (skim is fine)
1/4 cup flour
Place tomatoes, garlic, and green pepper on a large cookie sheet cut side facing up.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
Cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Peel the skins off of the tomatoes and garlic; set aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan.  Add in the onion, oregano, and basil and cook until the onions are transluscent. 

Puree tomatoes, green pepper, garlic, chicken stock, and onion mixture in a blender.  You will probably need to do half at a time unless you have a huge blender!:)  Place the pureed mixture into a large pot on the stovetop and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 20 minutes. 

While the tomatoes are simmering, make the white sauce.  Melt 4 tablespoons of butter (you can do this in the microwave or stovetop) and then whisk in the flour to make a thick paste (roux).  Slowly add the milk, whisking as you go.  We don't want any lumps in our white sauce!:)  Heat until sauce thickens.  If doing this in the microwave, heat at 2 minute increments, whisking inbetween until thickened.  (you can substitute heavy whipping cream instead of making a white sauce.  Just use about 1 1/2 cups cream instead!)

After the tomato puree has simmered 20 minutes add the white sauce.  Stir to incorporate and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

We tried some Grilled Cheese Crutons with ours, they were good, but think they could have been better with some sturdier bread instead of the really soft stuff I used!:)  I'm going to perfect those and let you know!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...