Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Overstuffed, Twice-Baked Potatos

What goes better with steak than baked potatos? Overstuffed twice-baked potatos! I love making these, they are so filling and yummy.

2 large baking potatos, plus two smaller potatos
1 cup of colby monterrey jack cheese
1 stalk of green onion, chopped
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Cook potatos and let cool completely (I just throw them in the microwave). Cut in half longways and remove the inside, being careful not to puncture the skin. I discard the two smaller potato skins, I just use the for the potato part.
In a large bowl, combine potato, milk and butter. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add green onion, sour cream and seasonings. All of my measurements are just approximate, so you may have to adjust based on how creamy you want the mixture.
Scoop mixture back into potato skins, over-stuffing the potato. Sprinkle with a little more cheese and broil at 500 until cheese is melted.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Crawfish Fettucine

We had our annual Good Friday crawfish boil yesterday. We had a few leftovers, maybe about 2 pounds peeled. So I froze one pound and made this fettucine with the other pound. I can't stand a dry fettucine, so I made quite a few alterations to this recipe, which I have tried before. I also don't like it when it tastes like mac and cheese, so I cut back on the cheese too. It was delish!
Original Source: Good Louisiana Eatin' cookbook

1 pound crawfish tails
1 small onion, diced
1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
1 stick of butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 stalks green onion, chopped
2 5 ounce cans of evaporated milk
1 can of Rotel tomatos (I only used 1/2 of the can)
8 ounces of Velvetta Cheese, cubed
1/2 bag of cooked egg noodles

Saute onions and garlic in butter until soft. Add flour and stir until well blended. Add crawfish, green onions, evaporated milk and rotel tomatos. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Slowly add cheese and continue to stir until mixed well. Stir in cooked noodles. Bake in covered casserole dish at 350 for 30 minutes.

Chicken Parmesean

This was so good and so easy to make. It was actually my first time making Chicken Parmesean and I was surprised at how quick it was.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
2 cups italian style bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesean cheese (grated)
4 tablespoons melted butter
seasonings to taste
marinara sauce
mozarella cheese
linguine noodles, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray well. Mix bread crumbs, parmesean cheese and seasonings together and set aside. Dip chicken in melted butter, then in bread crumb mixture, shaking off any excess. Place on baking sheet. Cook 15 minutes, then turn over. Continue to cook until chicken is done and add a small bit of marinara sauce and top with cheese. Put back in oven for a few minutes until cheese is melted and browned.
Serve with pasta.

Blueberry Bread

This was another great breakfast item that I made on a Sunday and we ate off of all week. I used fresh blueberries, but I think it would be just as good with frozen. Souce: All Recipes
Original recipe here.

2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup fresh blueberries (I used 2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I didn't use any)

Mix together beaten eggs with the sugar. Add milk and melted shortening or vegetable oil.
Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Combine mixtures, stirring only until blended. Carefully fold in fresh or frozen blueberries and broken walnut pieces.
Pour into greased 5 x 12 inch loaf pan. (I made 4 mini loaves) Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50-60 minutes. Cool in pan but try to turn it out of pan before it is totally cool. It will be easier to remove. Can also be made in a normal size loaf pan or can be made into 2 pans.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Chewy

I love these cookies. They always come out so soft and chewy (hence the name!). I doubled the recipe because I wanted to send some to daycare with my daughter to share with her friends. I think it's important to use real butter and not margarine. I tried using margarine once and it just wasn't the same. Source: Alton Brown

2 sticks unsalted butter (I used salted)
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I cut back to 1/2 teaspoons since my butter was salted)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of mini Reeses Pieces)

Hardware: Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact) (I didn't use this, just regular spoons)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside. Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Since I did a double batch, I always put the dough back in the fridge between batches.

Mini Meatloaf

Sorry for the bad photos. DH took it and didn't do a very good job!

I don't eat ground meat, but DH loves it. I don't mind cooking it for him and I like trying new dishes on him since he isn't picky. This is the first time I have ever made meatloaf. Looked and smelled tasty and DH loved it. Source: All Recipes

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used almost 2 pounds)
1 egg
1 onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup milk
1 cup dried bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/3 cup ketchup

**Note: Because I used more meat than the recipe called for, I added a tad bit more of all the ingredients**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, onion, milk and bread OR cracker crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 5x9 inch loaf pan, OR form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour over the meatloaf.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour.

This made 4 perfect mini-meatloves!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cauliflower Augratin

A simple and quick side dish. I wanted to mix with broccoli, but didn't have any. This was a small serving, but it can easily be doubled. Souce: me.

1 package of frozen cauliflower
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of flour
3/4 cup of milk
1 cup of shredded cheese (I used colby and monterrey jack blend)
salt and pepper
Steam cauliflower until barely tender. I think I steamed it too long and it fell apart.
For the bechamel sauce, melt butter in a pot and add flour. Whisk until incorporated and add milk. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until smooth.
Grease bottom of casserole dish and add cauliflower (I also put salt and pepper on the veggies). Toss with a little bit of the cheese and cover with the bechamel sauce. Top with the rest of the cheese and cook on 400 for 20 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly.

Crispy Fried Pork Chops

Last time I made fried pork chops, all of the batter came off. In an attempt to keep that from happening again, I tried two new things. I used bread flour and I double dipped them. They came out wonderfully and were really crispy! Souce: me

4 bone-in pork chops
2 cups of bread flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
seasonings to taste
vegetable oil

Heat vegetable oil in dutch oven. Trim the fat from the pork chops. Mix eggs and milk together and add desired seasonings (I used salt, pepper, Tony Chachere's and parsley).
Mix flour with desired seasonings, I used the same ones as the egg and milk mixture.
Dip pork chops in egg mixture, then lightly dredge in flour mixture. Dip in egg mixture again and back in flour mixture, making sure to pack the flour on the pork chop. Shake off any access flour.
Fry in hot vegetable oil until brown and crispy, about 4-6 minutes on each side.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Different Spinach and Artichoke Dip

We are going to a crawfish boil this afternoon and I knew I wanted to bring a dip. I have another recipe for spin and artichoke dip, but it's really cheesy. It's always a crowd pleaser, but I wanted something different. I made this once before and I think in this one you can taste the flavors of the spinach and artichoke more. Source: myself

1 can of artichoke hearts, quartered (not marinated)
1 package of frozen, chopped spinach, cooked and drained well
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 jalapeno slices, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded mozarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar/monterrey jack blend cheese
grated parmesean cheese

Sautee onions in butter over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno slices. Sautee until tender. Add artichokes, spinach and heavy whipping cream. Stir until well combined. Add salt and pepper. Stir well.
Remove from heat and add mozarella and cheddar/monterray jack cheeses. Stir until well blended.
Place in a casserole dish and top with grated parmesean cheese. Cook on 450 until the top is browned.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Chicken and Veggie Pasta

This was an interesting creation made with leftover veggies from our grill-out last night and the three chicken breasts I had in the freezer. It was pretty good.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
red pepper flakes
1 pound of vermicelli pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups of cooked broccoli (I roasted it in the oven at 450 for 15 minutes)
leftover roasted zucchini, squash and mushrooms

Season chicken with parsley, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Saute in olive until nice and browned. Add veggies. I roasted the broccoli in the oven for a few minutes to keep it somewhat firm, I hate mushy broccoli. Last night we grilled zucchini, squash and mushrooms, so I threw the leftovers in there as well. I drained out a little bit of the olive oil, didn't want it to be too oily.
I just let this simmer for a little while until the veggies were heated.

I served over cooked pasta with a little bit of the lemon butter sauce I made a few weeks ago (and froze) to go along with my Shrimp Portofino.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I wanted to make something that I could bring for breakfast this week, and this is what I came across. It was super easy to make and I think I will enjoy eating it all week! Source:

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (I used one cup of milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, 1 cup sugar and egg until blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar.
Pour a third of the batter into a greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pan; sprinkle with a third of the cinnamon-sugar. Repeat layers twice. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.