Monday, February 24, 2014


 Ranch Egg Bake



 I love to cook, but sometimes the clean up afterwords is obnoxious. I was looking at a brunch recipe the other day and it used so many different bowls my eyes didn't even make it to the end of the directions. Any recipe that gets you in and out of the kitchen quickly has my attention. It's an extra bonus when there are very few dirty dishes. This one is perfect! It is spicy with tons of flavor and takes very little time to make. Try this out on a Saturday morning and you will love it!

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1/2 cup salsa
6 eggs



Clean the potatoes very well. Then, chop them into bite sized pieces. Heat the oil in a large skillet that can go into the oven. Also, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
 

Place the potatoes in the heated pan and sprinkle over the taco seasoning. Let this cook over medium heat for about ten to fifteen minutes. Once the potatoes are a bit crisp on the outside, add in the salsa. I do this at around ten minutes.


Turn off the heat on the stove. I take a large spoon or spatula and make small valleys in the geography of the potatoes. Then, crack in the eggs. I like to do this in a nice pattern, but it is not important.


Bake the eggs for about ten to fifteen minutes or until the eggs are set to your liking.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


 Hassleback Potatoes

 Side dishes can make or break your meal. If you are having a fancy main dish and just serve raw carrots with it, it just feels wrong! These potatoes are so delicious they can go with just about any roasted or grilled meat. Not to mention, they are super easy once they are cut. I like to serve these with a roasted chicken since I have to turn the oven on anyway. 

These really are so perfect for any meal. The fanned edges of the potatoes get really crispy while the inside part gets really fluffy and delicious. If those sounds good to you, just wait for the super crispy skin on the bottom. It's my favorite! It's almost like eating a french fry. 

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt and pepper


First, make sure your potatoes are squeaky clean. I have a cute little potato looking brush that works really well. You also need to preheat your oven to 375 degrees.


Next, search your kitchen for one or two utensils that are about the same width. I use a wooden spatula and a spoon to do this. Chopsticks work well for this too, as long as they are thick enough. If you have super high culinary skill, you can just do this by sight. The whole goal is to slice the potato almost all the way through. Do this to all four of them
 

If you have a few slices come out of the potato it's not a big deal, just shove it back where it came from. Place the potatoes in a small baking dish. Drizzle a little oil over each potato. You may need more or less depending on your drizzle style. I sometimes even use a pastry brush to make sure all the parts are well coated. Then sprinkle over the salt and pepper.
 

Bake these in the oven for about an hour at 375 degrees. 
 

To make sure they are done before serving, I like to roll them onto their sides and poke a fork to ensure tenderness.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Roasted Chicken with White Wine Sauce



 You always here the advice "Never go to the grocery store hungry." It seems like a good rule to follow, but it just isn't always convenient. As I walked through the blast of heat in the entrance of the grocery store, I was overcome by the smell of the roatiseree chickens. They always smell so good. They keep them right by the check out next to the candy. It's like oven roasted meat candy they know you will buy on a whim.

These chickens smelled so good I reorganized my grocery list to use one of those instead of frozen chicken breasts. These chickens smelled so good in fact that by the time I had finished my shopping everyone else had already bought them all. Not a roasted chicken in sight! 

OK, there was one left, but it was already open and I wasn't quite that desperate.

I headed back to the meat department and I got my own chicken. "Other people need pre roasted chicken, I can totally do this myself!"  It was indeed the truth and you can do the same!

Ingredients

1 small roasting chicken, giblets removed
1 onion, cut in quarters
1 lemon split in half
4 tablespoons of butter, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons season salt
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock



Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. First, clean up the bird by rinsing it with cool water.  Make sure you fill up the insides and dump it out. Give it a little shimmy to get all the water out of the inside. Yes, this part is a little gross but it is worth it. Sprinkle a little season salt on the inside of the cavity. Then place the onion and lemon pieces on the inside. This bird was oddly shaped so I could only fit 3 of the 4 pieces of onion.

Tie the legs together gathering the tail bit. I'm sure there's a technical term for it but make sure you tie this little "booty blob" in with the legs or it will burn in your pan. Once you have tied the chicken up, smear on half of the butter. Sprinkle the remaining season salt on the bird and smear the rest of the butter on. This butter, season, butter layering helps make a nice and crispy crust on the outside.

Place your chicken in a roasting pan or any other large pan that works well in the oven.


Bake the chicken for about an hour and a half at 375 degrees. You will know this is done by a few tests:
1. A meat thermometer should read 165 degrees for the white meat and 165 for the thigh.
2. Take a gentle stab into the thigh area. If the juices are clear, then the chicken is done.
3. If the leg pulls away from the bird easily, it is ready!


The outside will also be super delicious and brown! The pan will have collected some super tasty bits you will really want to use. 


Take the roasted bird of beauty out of the pan and cover it in foil. 


Pour off all but two tablespoons of the fat and heat the pan to medium low. Then add two tablespoons of flour. Stir this into the greasy meaty bit filled mixture and cook over medium heat. Once this has had a chance to cook for about two minutes add the wine and chicken stock whisking furiously to keep the sauce smooth. Let this come to a boil for a few minutes to burn off all the alcohol, but do not stop whisking. Taste it to see if it needs any extra seasonings. Once this has finished cooking, turn off the stove and carve up your anything but foul meal!


I like to serve this with some yummy roasted veggies and a tasty tater. Check back on Thursday for a super easy Hassleback Potato recipe.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Nuts




Pssst! I have a secret for you. You have to promise you won't tell anyone. This is highly confidential and serious stuff. Now that you have prepared yourself, I can tell you.

Those super delicious smelling nuts in the mall and airport. You know the ones. The buttery wafting sent that attacks when you enter the door. 

They are stupid easy to make. It will take you longer to try on another sweater you don't need. Seriously. These take 5 minutes to stir together and 10 minutes to bake.Not to mention you can put as much cinnamon and sugar on them as you like. I like a slight dusting to qualify them as a breakfast addition, but you can layer that goodness to make a thick and crunchy layer. 

Ingredients

1 egg white, bean until frothy
3 cups of raw nuts (pecans, almonds or even walnuts)
1/3 cup cinnamon sugar (1/3 sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of salt


Stir the nuts into the egg white. Make sure all the nuts a well coated. Then add the cinnamon sugar and salt.

Spread this out on a cookie sheet covered with parchment. Bake at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes. Take one nut and chop it in half. If it flakes a bit on the inside, they are ready! Let these cool a bit before they are enjoyed.

Monday, February 10, 2014


 Broccoli Cheese Soup



One of my favorite lunches in the whole world is gone. Not gone as in the components were banned and burned by all the major countries, but noticeably absent from one of my favorite restaurants. Was it something terribly exciting? Not to most people, but I thought it was a most delightful lunch. It made all midday tummy grumbles disappear with a super well made turkey sandwich, seasoned fries and some broccoli cheese soup. As a ketchup and fry fan, I have to say that fries and cheesy soups were made to go together.

Well that is over. At least the sandwich part. As for now, I make the soup and fries at home. It takes no time at all to whip up this soup recipe and bake some frozen fries with season salt. The crispy fry dipped in the gooey soup. If your lucky, you can even get some of the cheese stuck to the fry. Broccoli cheese fries? Not the worst idea I have ever had. 

Regardless of what you dunk in this soup, it is really good! Some broccoli cheese soups are runny, boring or too thick. This soup has great cheese and broccoli flavor with a nice creaminess. You will love it!

Ingredients

10 Ounces Velveeta, cubbed
2 12 oz cans of evaporated milk (I used low fat)
2 large fresh broccoli crowns, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 can cream of chicken soup
shredded cheese for the top


 As I was taking pictures for this, it seemed a little silly. This soup is so easy it's all really one step. Just throw everything in a pot over medium heat. Let the Velveeta melt and the broccoli soften. Once both of those things have been accomplished, you are ready for some deliciousness!



 The cheese on the top is optional, but I really love a good string of cheese with a cheesy soup!