Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bronco Bustin' Tailgate Chili

This is the chili I make for the Boise State Bronco football games.  I make it the day before and have it ready to load and reheat on game day.
Bronco Bustin' Tailgate Chili
  • 2 lbs. ground chuck
  • 1 lb sausage
  • 3 15 oz cans chili beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz can Ranch beans
  • 4 cans diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon bacon bits
  • 4 cubes, or 4 teaspoons, beef bouillon
  • 8 oz. beer
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • Fritos and shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Heat a large stock pot (I use my 5 1/2 qt LeCreuset pot) over high heat.  Crumble the chuck and sausage into the hot pot, cook until browned.  Drain. 
  2. Pour in the chili beans, ranch beans, tomatoes.  Add the onion, celery, peppers, bacon bits.  Pour the beer into a measuring cup, and to the beer add the tomato paste, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, basil, salt, pepper, paprika, and sugar.  Stir to blend, add to bean mixture, cover and simmer on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Taste and adjust for salt, pepper and chili powder if needed.  Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate and serve the next day.
  4. Ladle into bowls, top with corn chips and cheese.  
Go Broncos!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Cake

Fall is my favorite time of year, and I am ready for pumpkin delights!  I made this pumpkin cake and took it to work, and it earned rave reviews!    I'll make it again for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Cake
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 10 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits (optional) - I left out
  1. Preheat oven to 350'
  2. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray
  3. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs and pumpkin pie spice.  Stir well.
  4. Pour into prepared 9x13 pan
  5. Sprinkle entire box of cake mix on top, followed by crushed graham crackers (and toffee bits if desired)
  6. Pour melted butter evenly on top
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes until center is set and edges are lightly browned.
  8. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

I needed something yummy for our work pot luck, a main dish that most everyone would like on a cool fall day.  This is an easy recipe, and Weight Watchers to boot!

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeds removed
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cans black beans, drained
  • 2 cans corn, drained
  • 2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes with spices or chilis
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chilpolte chili powder (or regular chili powder)
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • Fresh cilantro - optional 
Combine all ingredients.  Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours in crockpot.  Top with chopped cilantro, and serve with sour cream or low fat cheese if desired.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, & Caramel Rice Krispies Treats

Let's call these "Adult" Rice Krispies treats because of the layers of chocolate, caramel and peanut butter on top!   They are simply, divine!   Pass the milk!
  • ·         3 Tablespoons butter
  • ·         1 10 oz. bag marshmallows or mini-marshmallows
  • ·         1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • ·         7 cups Rice Krispies
  • ·         1 bag of caramel pieces (similar to chocolate chips)
  • ·         2 Tablespoons water
  • ·         1 ½ cup peanut butter – divided
  • ·         12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Spray or butter a 13x9 pan.  

Place 3 tablespoons butter in large microwave bowl.   Microwave until melted, about 30-45 seconds.  Add marshmallows, stir until well coated.  Return to microwave for 1 minute.  Stir, microwave another 30-45 seconds until marshmallows are melted.   Stir in vanilla.   Add rice krispies, stir until well coated.  Pour into buttered 13x9 pan.  With buttered or wet hands, pat mixture firmly.   Place in refrigerator to chill.

Microwave caramel chips and water until melted, about 45-60 seconds.  Stir.  Add 1 cup peanut butter to the caramel, and stir until completely blended.  Pour onto the rice krispies mixture and spread to the edges.   Place back in the refrigerator to chill.

Microwave chocolate chips until melted, about 45-60 seconds.  Stir.  Add ½ cup peanut butter , stirring until smooth.  Pour the chocolate mixture over the caramel mixture, spreading to the edges in an even layer.  Place dessert in the refrigerator and allow to set up for about 1 hour or until chocolate is firm to the touch.  Cut into squares or rectangles when firm.

Bars are easiest to cut when cold but are best eaten at room temperature or only slightly chilled.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Front Porch

I love fall...the leaves changing color, the cooler temperatures and anything pumpkin and spice!   I worked on my front porch for fall this weekend, and even used some of the pumpkins from Ironman's garden.   Sweet!

Here's my fall porch, pumpkins resting in our grand kids rockers and lining the steps with a few of the summer plants that are still hanging on.

My DIY Red Wreath Project 
One grapevine wreath, spray painted red, and wrapped in a garland of fall leaves.  
It may get nailed to the tree with ribbon, or I might hang it from the fence.  I love it!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Almond Sheet Cake

I knew I had a winner when my 17 year old grandson took one bite of this Almond Cake, and said it's the best cake he has EVER eaten!  He wants it for his next birthday, and then said, he could eat it everyday for breakfast!   As I type this recipe and enter it in my blog, the cake is half gone.  Best compliment I've had in days!  It melts in your mouth!
Almond Sheet Cake

  1. 1 cup flour
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 2 cups flour
  4. 2 cups sugar
  5. 1 tsp. baking soda
  6. 1/2 cup sour cream
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
Preheat oven to 375'.

In a small pan, add 1 cup water and 1 cup butter (2 sticks) and bring to a boil.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar.  Pour boiling water/butter mixture over the flour/sugar mixture.  Beat well.

Adding baking soda, almond extract, sour cream and beaten eggs.  Beat well until blended, about 1 minute.

Pour batter into a greased 13x0 pan, or jelly roll pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until set.  Cool cake completely before icing.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 cups (plus 1 cup) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure almond extract
Bring butter and milk to a boil in a small sauce pan.

Add the sugar and almond extract to a large mixing bowl.  Once the milk and butter are boiling, pour into the sugar and almond extract mixture.  Stir until well mixed and no white lumps.  Add more powdered sugar if want a thicker consistency.  It should be pourable.  Warning - I did not use all of the icing - it was way too much but so good you could drink it!

Pour icing over cooled cake.  Let set for 20 minutes.   And try not to lick your place!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Warm.  Chocolate.  Homemade brownies from my kitchen to yours.  People have been known to take not just one brownie, but two or three and ask for the recipe!  They are that good.   Don't be scared, they are easy and SO much better than boxed brownies.

Double Chocolate Brownies

  • 1 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 powdered cocoa
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 oz. Chambord (black raspberry liqueur) optional
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Melt butter over low heat, do not let it bubble.
  2. Mix sugar and cocoa in a large mixing bowl.  Added melted butter and stir until completely mixed.
  3. Add eggs (and Chambord), stir thoroughly.  Add flour and chocolate chips into the chocolate mixture.  Do not over mix.
  4. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350' for 25-30 minutes.  Cool at least one hour before cutting.
Eat and enjoy responsibly, or not!!

 See the little crusty edges around the pan....the best part!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cowboy Casserole

It's Rodeo Time in Idaho!   Time to make a favorite western dish that always reminds me of being on a ranch, or sitting around a campfire.  Beans, beef and biscuits.  A great combination any cowboy would love! 

  • 1/2 lb. bacon
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 glove garlic, diced
  • 2 cans Ranch, Pinto or Chili Beans or your favorite two combo
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Original BBQ Sauce (or more if you like)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 package Texas style biscuits (10 biscuits)
  1. Cook bacon in Dutch Oven until evenly browned.  Drain and cut into bite size pieces.    Set aside.  Add hamburger and onion to the Dutch Oven and cook until no longer pink and onion is tender.  Drain.
  2. Stir bacon, beans and BBQ sauce into the ground beef, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Place biscuits in a single layer over the top of the beef/bean mixture.  Cover, and simmer for about 12-14 minutes on low, or until the biscuits are done.  Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and put the lid back on until cheese is melted. 
  I am saying I had every thing in the house for dinner.
Do you have the Pampered Chef Mix and Chop?  It's the only way to brown ground beef and unchunk it!
 Biscuits ready to be cooked
 Biscuits are dumpling textured, and with cheese on top....heaven!
 I think I could make 3 batches of Cowboy Casserole and it would disappear in a day!
My single serving.  My Ironman's serving (see the plate load above).

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Caribbean Corn and Apple Salad

Caribbean Corn and Apple Salad.  A delicious and light salad to go with our summer BBQ's.

  • 4 ears fresh corn on the cob, cooked (grilled or boiled)
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 jicama, sliced thin
  • 1 /3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 pinch chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lime, wedged
  1. Cook corn, cool.  Cut kernels from the the ears and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Lightly toss the diced apples with corn and jicama.  Whisk the yogurt, vinegar, chili powder, salt, pepper in a separate bowl; stir the dressing in to the apples, corn, jicama.  Squeeze lime wedge over salad and serve.

Country Potato Salad

I am not a potato salad lover, but my family loves it.  It was the 4th of July and I felt guilty about buying a tub of potato salad from Albertson's so I attempted to make it from scratch.  I was actually kind of scared of it, and the process of boiling and peeling hot potatoes.  My Ironman never, I mean hardly ever, says anything about what I cook, or meals, or food, BUT today when I said I was making potato salad he says "white or yellow"?  Huh?  There is a difference?  Then he says the potatoes should be cooked just right or it's not so good.  I was in a tail spin by this time....not knowing whether I should use red potatoes, russets or yukon golds.   I read so many recipes I was dizzy.  I took a big leap and made this potato salad, and it got good reviews!  Whew!

  • 6 strips bacon
  • 2 lbs small red potatoes
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Saute bacon, green pepper and garlic until bacon is almost crispy.  Drain on paper towels.  Reserve a few tablespoons of drippings from the bacon.
  2. Place potatoes in cold water in medium saucepan.  Add 1 teas. salt and small amount of reserved bacon drippings.  Boil until fork tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain and cool.  Cut into 1 inch cubes.
  3. Combine mayonnaise, sugar, mustard, cider vinegar, celery seed, salt and pepper.
  4. Combine potatoes, green onion, and chopped eggs; add bacon, pepper and garlic mixture.   Add mayonnaise mixture.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wine Me Up!

Here's the back story....about Costco and 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards in Eagle, Idaho.

I watched the CNBC special "The Costco Craze: Inside the Giant Warehouse" and was totally awestruck with their wine buyer, Annette Alvarez-Peters.  Annette started at Costco as a buyer in the auto parts division, and worked her way through a bottle or two of vino and is currently the buyer for one of the largest retailers of wine in the world.

On my last visit to Costco, as I was getting my 30 count pack of toilet paper, I struck up a conversation with the associate driving the pallet reloading t.p.   I said something like "Costco's #1 seller of all products is toilet paper, right?"  He said yes it is, and bottled water comes in second.   We were chatting about the CNBC special and he told me the story of when Annette Alvarez-Peters visited the Boise Costco, and fell in love with 3 Horse Ranch wine.  Annette's request of the 3 Horse Ranch Vineyard is that they produce more of the wine so she could stock it in more Costco warehouses.  The producers have a small operation and can't fulfill the request of Costco, but something tells me they should be looking at expanding, and if they aren't, well, they are losing a boat load of money.

I had to try a bottle, my arm was getting twisted, and of course the clue to a good buyer (me) is to see which of the product brand has fewer items on the shelf.  The white wine, 2011 Estate Vivacious, was low in inventory which told me people love it and are buying it!  

2011 Vivacious

A lightly oaked, perfectly balanced blend of two great white Rhone varietals, a most beautiful marriage.  Blending the voluptuous mouth feel and aromatics of the Viognier grape to the more acidic, floral side of the Roussanne grape expresses the terroir of our vineyards as well as any wine we have produced.

3 Horse Ranch Vineyards Wine.  $12.  Made by Idaho families in Eagle, Idaho. 

Mexican Casserole

Taco in a Pan!  Savory ground beef and sausage, ranch style beans and diced tomatoes layered with corn tortillas topped with lots of cheese screams ... Taco!  Taco!  It's a quick meal for a busy night, or yummy enough to share at a party.
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground sausage
  • 1 can Ranch beans (undrained)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes w/garlic or your favorite blend
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 12 oz. package corn tortillas
  • 3-4 cups shredded cheddar or mixed cheese
  • 2 T. chili powder (optional)
Brown ground beef and sausage in large skillet.  Drain.  Mix together beans, tomatoes, mushroom soup, chili powder, and add to meat mixture and heat thoroughly.

Line a 13x9 pan with tortillas (I break my in half so they fit nicely).  Layer with 1/2 meat mixture.  Make another layer of tortillas, and add the remaining meat mixture.  Top with shredded cheese.

Bake in preheated 350' oven for 30 minutes.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Garden Gazing Ball with Mini-Lights

My inspiration gazing ball was found in Florida (the mecca of cool garden lighting  and up green lights on palm trees).   I went into one of my favorite garden shops Palm Harbor and found a simple gazing ball they stuffed with white Christmas lights.  $40.   I knew I could make my own once I got home.

I bought the gazing ball at Lowe's for $19 (blue ones in 2012, and my fav amber ball I found in 2011 sadly it broke last spring).  I took the cap off of the gazing ball, threaded 100 white lights into the ball, plugged it into an extension cord, plopped it on a plant stand in my flower bed, and once it got dark, I had a beautiful glowing gazing ball in my garden!   Several friends have done the same and love their gazing balls as much I do mine!  Make sure the gazing ball is not opaque, and clear somewhat to let the white lights shine through.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sugar Cookie Bars

These cookies will have you whistling dixie in no time!
Your kids will love them as much as the cut out kind, and the ladies (and gents) will be begging you for the recipe.
Sugar Cookie Bars
about 60 bars (depending on how big you cut them)

Cookie Dough
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 teas. almond extract
1/2 teas. baking soda
1 teas. vanilla
1 teas. baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour

1 /2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
 3-5 tablespoons milk
1 teas. vanilla
food coloring (I use gel food coloring from Michael's for more intense color)
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the sugar, butter, egg and cream cheese until nice and frothy, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extract, beat for one minute.
  • In a small bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder and flour.  Stir together until all incorporated.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat for about 2 minutes.
  • Spray with Pam, or use a Silpat liner, a large jelly roll pan (cookie sheet).
  • Press the dough into a large jelly roll pan. 
  • Bake at 350' for 20 minutes.
  • Let cool completely (I put mine in the freezer for a few minutes to quick chill).
  • In a medium bowl or stand mixer, combine the butter and cream cheese.  Beat about 2 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and food coloring.  Mix for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
  • Frost the cooled cookies.
  • Cut cookies into bars using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mimosa Punch

One of the best Mimosa recipes I've tasted!   It has just the right amount of sizzle (thanks to New Age sparkling white wine).    I bought a new beverage decanter at Bed, Bath and Beyond and the punch looked so pretty, we just had to drink it!

Mimosa Punch  
  • 1/2 gallon orange juice, chilled
  • 1 2-liter bottle ginger ale, chilled
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur (Grand Marnier or Triple Sec)
  • Orange slices
  • Fresh Strawberries, halved
  • 2 bottles chilled New Age sparkling white wine, or dry champagne
  • Ice
Combine orange juice, ginger ale, orange liqueur, orange slices and strawberries in beverage decanter or large punch bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled.  Right before serving, add the New Age white wine (or champagne) and ice.  Stir and serve.
And it all starts with New Age White Sparkling Wine

Clay Pot Peach Cobbler

This cobbler is easier than pie!  Hope you have some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on hand if you are serving this warm!

Isn't the cobbler just too cute in their own little clay pots?  I baked and served them straight from the clay pots, and my guests took home their little pots to remind them of a fun evening.  The pots were less than $1 at Home Depot.  Your guests will be impressed!

Clay Pot Peach Cobbler

3 cans drained sliced peaches
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup quick cooking Tapioca
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch Salt

1 2/3 cup flour
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/8 teas. salt
6 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2/3 cup heavy cream

12 mini clay pots (Home Depot)


Preheat oven to 350'.  Spray Pam in clay pots.  Place the 12 mini pots on a large cookie sheet.

Stir together all the filling ingredients.  Spoon peach filling into each pot until just below the top.

Biscuit Topping:   In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add the butter cubes and pulse until mixture resembles course crumbs.   Slowly pour in the 2/3 cup cream, pulse until the dough just comes together.   Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and pat out.  Cut circles with a biscuit cutter or small glass (or you can just flatten a small piece with your hand).  Place dough on top of each peach filled pot.

Brush with a little cream over the rounds.  Bake about 30' minutes or until the tops are golden and the filling is bubbling.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tillamook Caramel Butter Pecan Ice Cream

It's late.  I've been cooking all night getting ready for a fun night of Bunco on Wednesday with my gal pals.  Just as I was headed to bed, the freezer called my name, well, actually, the Tillamook Caramel Butter Pecan ice cream called out to me, and I had to take a step back, and enjoy just one spoonful of deliciousness.

 Good night everyone.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Magnolia Tree - So Pretty in Pink!

My favorite spring tree...full of pink blossoms and soft pedals, and it's right outside my door.
The Magnolia Tree.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter "GoldFish" Carrots!

Kids love GoldFish, and Kids Love Easter!  I found cute little carrot treat bags and filled them with cheddar goldfish and and chocolate goldfish and chocolate teddy grahams for the moms and dads.  The eggs are filled with crisp new dollar bills and grapes.  I figured their moms and dads will load them up with chocolate bunnies and (Reece's Peanut Eggs -- one of my favs)!

Happy Easter to You and Yours!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pizza! Pizza! St. Louis Style Pizza

I admit it, I am a pizza snob and LOVE Vic Cassano's Pizza King (based in Dayton, Ohio).  It's really the only type of pizza I had growing up, and didn't realize there were other types of pizza until I moved to Idaho from Ohio.  Now, in 2012, I have come to learn that my fav childhood pizza originated in St. Louis.   I saw this pizza recipe this month on Cook's Country TV show and 'bout cried when I realized it was the yummy oozy flat pizza from my childhood!
Thank you Cook's Country for sharing this recipe with the world, well, me at least!

From Cook's Country magazine

St. Louis Style-Pizza (similar to Cassano's)
  Yield: 2 (12-inch) pizzas (8 servings)

For the sauce:
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • For the cheese (see note):
  • 2 cups shredded white American cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 drops liquid smoke
For the dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position. Place a pizza stone or an inverted baking sheet on the rack. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

2. Prepare the sauce. Whisk together tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, 1 tablespoon sugar and oregano in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Prepare the cheese. Toss American and Monterey Jack cheeses with liquid smoke in a medium bowl. Set aside.  NOTE: or use Provel Cheese.

4.  Prepare the dough. Combine flour, cornstarch, 2 teaspoons sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Combine water and olive oil in a measuring cup. Stir water mixture into flour mixture until dough starts to come together. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead 3 or 4 times, until cohesive.

5. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, press into a small circle and transfer to a sheet of parchment paper dusted lightly with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll and stretch dough into a 12-inch circle, rotating parchment as needed. Lift parchment off work surface and onto an inverted baking sheet.

6. Top each piece of dough with half of the sauce and half of the cheese. Carefully pull one sheet of parchment paper and pizza off a baking sheet and place on the hot baking stone. Bake until underside of crust is golden brown and cheese is completely melted, 9 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, roll out the remaining dough and top with sauce and cheese.

7. When first pizza is done, transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for a few minutes. Bake second pizza. Cut pizzas into 2-inch squares and serve (this is a must)!

Note: Substitute 2 1/2 cups of provel cheese, if available, for the cheese mixture. The dough can be made in advance; tightly wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Recipe developed by Meghan Erwin of Cook's Country magazine

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cherry Mountain

A trip down memory lane.  Cherry Mountains.  Love cherry and chocolate combined!

St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks

The smell of BBQ sauce makes my mouth water.  A famous St. Louis BBQ Sauce is made by Maull.   I couldn't find Maull's in my neck of the woods so I researched and found a few recipes, and revised this one to make it my own.

Pork steaks are taken from the shoulder of the pig, and is a tender cut (and inexpensive for those of us on a budget).    They are typically seared and dry roasted on a grill but I braised them in my 5.5 quart LeCreuset French Oven, and finished the cooking process in a 350' oven.   They were delicious!

St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 can light beer  (feel free to drink the remaining beer left in the can)
  • 4 T A.1 Steak Sauce
  • 4 T brown sugar
  • 1 T cider vinegar
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teas. garlic powder
  • 3-4 drops hot sauce
  • 1/2 teas. liquid smoke
  • 6 pork steaks
Heat 2 T olive oil in dutch oven or large skillet.  
Season pork steaks with fresh black pepper and brown, reserve on platter until all are brown.  Remove from pan.

Whisk together tomato sauce, A.1, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, hot sauce and liquid smoke in a bowl.  

Return pork steaks to dutch oven or baking dish.   Pour BBQ sauce over the steaks, cover and bake at 350' for 1 1/2 hours.  
Skim fat from sauce, serve sauce with the steaks. 

Some of the tasty ingredients in the BBQ sauce
 Simmered in BBQ Sauce
 Ready to Eat!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Honda 2012 CR-V EX-L

This girl loves her new ride!   
2012 Honda CR-V EX-L, All-Wheel Drive, Eco Assist, Bluetooth, XM radio, Sunroof, and enough cargo space in the back to lay the seats completely down and haul an antique 5-drawer dresser from estate sale to the house!   

Urban Titantium Metallic Exterior
Beige Leather Interior
More Fun, Less Fuel! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Take on Hash Brown Casserole

First time my lips tasted Hashbrown Casserole was back in 1986, and it was smothered with crushed potato chips or corn flakes on top.  Tasty but kind of, greasy.    Since then, I've made about 500 hashbrown casseroles (even substituting plain yogurt back in the day when I was trying to save calories and not use sour cream, bad idea).   

Today I am happy to blog that I've made the best Hashbrown Casserole that I think has passed through my oven!   Here is my new take on Hashbrown Casserole and I am excited to share with it you.

New Take on Hash Brown Casserole

  • 1 1/2 packages frozen shredded hasbrown potatoes
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 3 gloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 T Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teas. pepper
  • 1 teas. salt
  • 1 teas. onion powder
Melt butter with chopped garlic in the microwave (cover with paper towel), checking every 30 seconds until melted.

Place hashbrowns in large bowl.   Add cheeses, mix.  Stir together melted butter & garlic, soup, sour cream, cottage cheese, chopped carrots, and seasonings.    Add the soup mixture to the potato mixture.  Pour into a 13 x 9 pan, bake at 350' for 45 minutes. 

Italian Greyhound

Ahh, Rocco as a puppy Italian Greyhound!  Cute lil' face he had.   It's like looking at baby pictures!  Here he is when we first brought him home in 2005.
 Now, the boy is almost 7 years old, and still as strong and beautiful as ever.  Rocco is truly, the best dog in the entire universe.  Well, my universe.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Easy Parmesan Knots

This recipe went great with the Chicken Brunswick Stew.  My husband was impressed I could take a refrigerator biscuit, roll it, knot it, and glam it up!

1 tube refrigerator biscuits (I used Pillsbury Golden Layers)
1/3 cup canola oil
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 teas. Italian herbs for dippin, OR
1 teas. dried oregano
1 teas. dried parsley flakes
1/2 teas. garlic powder

Roll each biscuit into a 12" rope and tie into a knot, tuck ends under.  Place 2" apart on a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper.   Bake at 400' for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

In a bowl, combine the spices, cheese and oil.  Brush the warm knots with the mixture.  Makes 10 knots.