Tag Archives: cooking

Leftover Yummies

We all have a few foods that we enjoy as leftovers. Some are not as good as others, but there are a few that stand out. 

When I make mashed potatoes I always think about the leftovers. We of course have to heat them up for whatever meal they went with, steak, pork chops, fried chicken, etc. However sometimes the only thing left is the potatoes. In that case, I look forward to transforming this morning staple into something wonderful. 


Potatoes cakes are truly fabulous. They are whipped up in no time at all and are great alone or with the next days dinner. Growing up we had these quite often. 

Make these the next time you have leftovers. They are great with a meal, breakfast, or as a snack.  

Potatoes Cakes

Leftover mashed potatoes

1 egg

Chopped onion 

Flour

Salt/pepper

Oil
Mix mashed potatoes with egg. Add enough flour to be able to handle the potatoes. Stir in the onion. (Sometimes I add garlic salt and cheddar cheese). Make into patties and fry in a nonstick skillet with a little oil. Cook until brown on both sides and heated through. 


Enjoy!

Quick, Easy, and Oh, So Yummy!

I recently returned from a visit to my family in Tennessee. I always enjoy my visit and come back with lots of great memories. I also usually have lots of stuff from taking advantage of stores we do not have here in Wyoming. This year I also came home with a great recipe. 

Now recipes are swapped back and forth between my mother and I all the time. The significance of this recipe is it came from my little sister. She is not a cook. By that I mean she doesn’t try new recipes very often. She keeps it simple. She does basics! She could cook very well if she wanted but as she says cooking is not her thing. 

Well she shared this recipe and at first I was reluctant. The ingredients, all three of them, just didn’t seem to be a good mix to me. Then she popped over to mom’s and proceeded to whip this up. 

I was wrong it’s wonderful. Not only does it only have three ingredients but it is done in about 10 minutes, Maybe less! It is also addicting. 

The other reason I love it, is that it makes just enough. You don’t end up with a huge pot of dip. It is a rather small amount compared to my regular sausage dip with velvetta. So if making for a crowd you will need to double or triple. 

Here it is. You must make this! Chances are you have everything you need in your fridge right now!

Easy Sausage Dip

1lb sausage- swaggerty

1 pkg of cream cheese

1 can of original rotel
Brown the sausage and drain the grease. 

Then add the cream cheese and rotel. Mix throughly. 
Serve warm with tortilla chips or crackers. 

You will thank me for this one. I couldn’t resist. Had a bite immediately!

At Last… Gas!

When my husband and I were looking at homes and picking out appliances I was asked gas or electric.  Well I had never really been around a gas stove so I went with what I knew electric. Isn’t that what most of us would do?

I mean I watched my mom cook on an electric flat top. I watched my grandmother cook on an electric stove. So that must be the norm. 

Let me date myself a little. This was in 1997. Before major cooking shows on foodnetwork appeared on my satellite dish. To be frank we didn’t have satellite so I didn’t even watch those shows. I knew who Julia Child was, but I had never really watched one of her shows. At this point in my life I cooked mostly what I learned from mom and from foods in high school. I just didn’t see that many people using gas until I began to watch food network. 

As the years tickled by I became aware of the popularity of a gas range. The usefulness of a convection oven. I began to desire them both. However my stove of 17 years was working fine and there was no upcoming need for me to upgrade in the near future. At least I thought. 

When I cook pulled pork in the oven using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe, it never fails. There is going to be a problem. I don’t know why. There just is. Usually no biggie. It boils over every time.  

When the fire starts in the bottom of the oven. I try not to panic. I of course always remember baking soda is for grease fire. Or was that baking powder. Or was it salt. By this point I have a fairly large white hill that should put out the fire. However it’s changing. Somehow the element got bent has burnt completely into. The fire is now looking like a welders arc and it is coming out of the element. I am trapping it under a mound of well, all white matter. Let’s just say we are now moving into destruction of stove mode. My hubby is now on the scene helping to throw more white stuff at this point baking soda onto the arc. We have unplugged but the damage is not fixable. 

I’m devastated.  I mean I was cooking. It was done but I need to brown it. Looks like I’m getting a new stove.

  Yes, you guessed it I’m going to upgrade to gas. Well this is on Sunday and I am having knee surgery on Thursday. We pick one out in Casper which is 1.5 hours away. Then go back to pick it up on Wednesday. Who knew that stores don’t keep ovens in stock? We buy all the gas parts and JJ assures me while I’m bedridden  on Thursday and Friday he will get this bad boy in. 

  
I’m home from surgery on Thursday. JJ and my son work to get this hooked up. I can hear commotion but I am incapable of movement out of my bed. 

They get it all in place. I hobble in to take a gander and it’s perfect. I can’t wait to cook. However I can not be on my feet very long. 

I get to listen as JJ and the kids begin to contemplate what to cook. He is going to cooks on my new stove. He is the first one. I’m so mad and jealous. Life just is not fair sometimes. I hear the sounds of excitement and ooh dad. They cook 2 pizzas at once in the convection oven. Works like a charm. I’m drifting off to sleep and dreaming of what I will cook. 

It has been almost two weeks and I absolutely love it. It cooks like a dream. The convection is wonderful. I plan to cook two pans of cookies tomorrow at the same time just to try it out further. If I had known I would have set that other stove on fire purposely. Just kidding!

  
Is it crazy to be that excited about a stove? Yeah I think so. 

From A Movie To The Plate

I love a good movie. I love a movie even more if it includes Meryl Streep. Just love her. How can you go wrong with one of her movies?

 I have watched her in the movie It’s Complicated more times than I can count. I just love it. Her and Alec Baldwin are hilarious together. Now if you haven’t seen it rent it ASAP. I even have it downloaded on my phone so I can watch it if I get bored on a plane or car ride or I just want to watch it in bed at night. I know I’m weird. But sometimes, okay most of the time, JJ is watching some awful show upstairs and Loganne is downstairs. There really is no other option. So I watch a movie and knit. What’s more fun than that!

  

Now in this movie she is a brilliant cook. This is what draws me to this movie besides the humor aspect. I just love movies about cooking. 

 I have wanted to make the Croque Monseir ever since I saw her cook it. I had no idea what it was,  I just knew it came out of the oven smothered in cheese. 
  
Basically it is a fancy ham and cheese sandwich that you will hug yourself after making!!! I found a recipe by Ina Garten. It includes a cheese sauce that will allow you to make about 6 sandwiches. Maybe even one or two more. Trust me you will want to!
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/croque-monsieur-recipe.html

Give this recipe a try soon. You will thank me. 
  
I added roasted Parmesan and garlic potatoes. 
Enjoy!

Oh It’s Been Awhile!!!!

  

Many many years ago, I began making a stuffed mushroom. I had been to a restaurant and ordered them off the appetizer menu. I fell in love and decided I had to make these when I get
home.
These mushrooms are filled with a stuffing like mixture, and covered with melted Gruyere cheese. They are baked in the oven with a little Chardonnay in the bottom of the pan. If you love mushrooms these are to die for!

I will try to post the recipe later today. It has been a while so I’m gonna have to try to remember how to do it. For now, enjoy these pictures!

  

Conquering Cheesecake 

Cheesecake is one of those oh no items that many of us fear to make. I can say with all honesty I use to feel that way. Then in 2012, I decided to tackle it head on.

I attempted several recipes before I found one that I felt was good.  Then I read pages of tips to baking it correctly. After several attempts I finally got it down.

Amazingly it turns out almost every time. I think it has cracked twice. But both times I overfilled the pan.

So here is to conquering the scary cheesecake.

It’s what I dreamed about!

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I woke up the other day with a craving for this soup inside a delicious bread bowl. Luckily for me the local grocery store carries fresh made bread bowls, and I found a recipe for the soup.  Within minutes, yes minutes I had mouth watering soup steaming inside a delicious bread bowl.

My picky eater son would not touch the soup. However he would dip the bread into my soup and eat that.  Weird!!

This was perfect on a snowy blowy morning.  I think it will freeze well to be enjoyed many times through the winter.

 

Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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1/2 cup butter

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1-2 pkgs (16 ounces each) frozen chopped broccoli

7 cups of hot water mixed with Watkins Chicken soup base or 4 cans of chicken broth

1 pound (1 box) of processed cheese, cubed. (I used 1.5 boxes)

1-2 cups heavy cream

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 cup water

salt and pepper to taste

 

1. Melt butter in a large soup pan. Toss in onions and sauté until tender.  Stir in the broccoli (depending on how much broccoli you want add 1 or 2 bags)  and cover with the chicken broth.  Simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes.

2.  Reduce heat, and stir in the cubed cheese. Stir until completely melted. Paying careful attention that it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.

3.  Add the cream. Stir to combine.  Next mix the cornstarch and the water. Add to the soup mixture.  Stir to incorporate. Stir often until thickened to your liking.  Add the garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.

4. Pour into bread bowls.  Enjoy

 

 

 

 

Coconut Heaven

My daughter asked for a coconut cake for her birthday. I was so dreading making the traditional two layer cake topped with mounds of coconut. It is just such a heavy cake.

Although it is delicious and one of my favorites, it is a big cake. To be honest, it just doesn’t get eaten. My family will take a slice maybe two, then that is it. It will lay to rot away.

So I went searching for something new. I found this glorious little cake. It is so rich and wonderful. I waited for it to be nice and cold the next morning. However my family dove in as soon as it was cool enough for me to frost.

It is basically a poke cake, but it is turned up a notch. If you love coconut, this is the cake for you!

Note: You will notice a little yellow spot on the picture of the cake. That is from a dripping birthday candle.

Coconut Dream Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can cream of coconut
1 large tub of Cool-whip topping
Sweetened flaked coconut

1. Bake cake in a 9×13 pan according to pkg directions.

2. In a small saucepan combine sweetened condensed milk and the cream of coconut. Don’t boil, just warm throughly and stir until combined.

3. Take cake out of the oven when a toothpick comes out clean. Poke holes over the cake. Pour the coconut mixture over the warm cake slowly. Sprinkle with a little bit of coconut.

4. Let cook completely. Too with cool whip and sprinkle with additional coconut. Place in the fridge to chill.

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The Perfect Anytime Ham!

My Aunt Jo makes the most amazing ham. We have had the privilege of eating her delicacy since we were little. At every major holiday she would make this monster of a ham. When she would arrive with that ham, we would all peak into the kitchen to see if we could get a little bite.  Her ham on my mom’s rolls! Oh it takes my breath away!! The rolls melt in your mouth and then that warm, sweet ham. Oh my goodness, you are truly missing out.

It is amazing. I absolutely love it.  It is wonderful the first day, amazing the 2nd on leftover rolls, and positively decadent in ham and potato soup.  However you decide to use up the few leftovers you will have, you first must make it.  You will not be disappointed.

We happend to be at the grocery store yesterday and picked up a nice spiral sliced ham. I cooked it with Aunt Jo’s recipe today for lunch.  We were not disappointed. It is mouthwatering!!

Christmas Cranberry and Pineapple Ham

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  • 12 lb. ham, uncooked
  • whole cloves
  • 2 ½ cups brown sugar, packed and divided
  • 1 ⅓ cups cranberry juice cocktail
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 ½ tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
  • tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 1 can pineapple slices
  • maraschino cherry, halved
1.Remove the skin from the ham; place fat side up. Score fat in a diamond design and stud with cloves. Place ham fat side up on rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer, making certain end of the thermometer does not touch fat or bone. Bake at 350 degrees for 3.5 – 4 hours
2.Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, cranberry juice, honey, cider vinegar, flour, and mustard in a saucepan Mix well. Bring to a boil and com one minute. Coat exposed portions of ham with remaining brown sugar. Place pineapple rings on ham securing with toothpicks. Leave tip exposed for cherry halves. Pour hot cranberry sauce over the ham, bake an additional 30 minutes or until thermometer reaches 160 degrees. Let rest before slicing.

Another Morning of Candy Making

I finished up the peanut butter balls. I love peanut butter balls with rice krispies in them.  I just do.  My family not so much.  Which left more than plenty for me to eat.

I will tell you that for the dipping chocolate I used the leftover chocolate from the coconut balls. I made so much that I had more than plenty do handle both the coconut balls and the PB balls and still have to throw out a little.

Enjoy!!

Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls

  • Servings: 20-40 depending on size
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  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar

  • 3 cups crisp rice cereal
  • favorite chocolate dipping recipe
  1. Melt peanut butter and butter in saucepan, over low heat. In large bowl, mix crispy rice cereal and confectioners’ sugar well. Pour melted peanut butter and butter over cereal and sugar and blend together thoroughly.
  2. Put into the fridge overnight.
  3. Scoop with a small cookie scoop and roll into balls. Using a toothpick dip them into your favorite chocolate dipping recipe.
  4. Place in mini muffin wrappers and top with sprinkles to hide the hole the toothpick leaves.
  5. These can be frozen.

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Peanut Butter Balls These turned out so good. I can’t wait to make them again.

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