Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Salt Potatoes


This one is really easy and very yummy. We used to get these when we went to the Hill Cumorah Pageant, they were smothered in butter and so so good! I made them for the first time for thanksgiving and they were great!

Salt Potatoes

Small bite sized potatoes (the bag I have is 28 oz so I'll do a recipe based off of that)
1 cup of salt
3 TBS butter
4-5 Cups water

Wash the potatoes, leaving the skin on. Place water and potatoes in a large pot. Pour the salt over the potatoes...yes, it is a LOT! Don't worry most of it is left in the pot, but it leaves a beautiful layer on the skin of each potato! Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and let it cook for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender (stick a fork in it, if it glides through it's done). Serve with melted butter!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Roasted Potato Wedges



These are really good and so easy, the only thing is that you need to plan ahead of time because they do take a while to cook. I found this recipe here.

Roasted Potato Wedges

4 red or gold potatoes
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS bread crumbs
1 TBS Parmesan Cheese
Seasonings- I use parsley, salt, and pepper with just a little garlic and onion powder

You could also use Italian style bread crumbs instead of plain for a different flavor.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash potatoes and slice them into wedges. Place into a medium sized bowl and toss them in olive oil until they are well coated. Add the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and seasonings. Mix until it is evenly coated. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until desired crispiness, flipping halfway through. I usually do 15 minutes then flip then and then another 15 minutes and that is enough time, it also depends on the thickness of your wedges. You want the coating to be browned and the potatoes to be soft.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

English Toffee


Here is a treat sure to impress and perfect for the holidays! It has very few ingredients and is easy to make! Growing up my mom always made this during Christmas time along with lots of other goodies to hand out to neighbors and friends. It is definitely a favorite!

English Toffee

1 C sugar

2 TBS water

1/2 lbs ( 2 sticks) real butter

2 C chocolate chips

1/2 C chopped nuts

Combine first three ingredients in sauce pan. Stir on high until amber color (dark yellow turning brown). If you don't cook it long enough it will be sugary and grainy. I always cook it a little longer than I think it needs because I start to get a little panicked that it is going to burn and take it off too early so let it keep cooking until it is a really nice amber color!!

Pour onto cookie sheet. Spread smooth. Immediately put chocolate on, let melt and spread evenly on top of the toffee.

Sprinkle nuts on, I usually leave some without nuts because I prefer it that way. Let it set. When cool break into pieces by putting knife in straight up and bringing knife down.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Freezer Cooking: Chicken



First off, I'm so sorry I haven't posted in a while and that my posts have been scarce. My life has been pretty crazy, but hopefully I can keep up with the blog a little better in the future!

So I did my first ever freezer cooking day a few weeks ago! It has made sticking to my menu SO much easier!

I bought 20lbs of chicken breast and made all chicken meals, I thought it'd be better for me if I focused on one main thing.

I spent the night before cutting all of the fat and nasty stuff off and stuck it all into 2 gallon size freezer bags. That always takes me forever because I'm so picky about getting every little thing off, so I wanted to get it done so I could just focus on cooking the next day.

Everything I bought:
20 lbs Chicken
1 lb Bacon
25-30 thin slices of ham
flour tortillas (10 pack)
sour cream
Chicken Bouillon
1 head of broccoli
1 can of Green enchilada sauce

I had a some stuff already I'll try to remember all of it so you aren't missing something if you want to make these same meals

Basic Ingredients for bread- Bread flour, sugar, rapid rise yeast, salt
Provolone cheese - at least 6 slices
Shredded Cheddar cheese (for enchiladas and a little bit for the stromboli)
Cream Cheese
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Parmesan/Romano cheese (or just Parmesan)
Mr. Yoshida's Marinade (or any other Teryaki sauce/marinade)
Cajun seasoning
Dry Italian dressing mix packet
Butter (about a stick and a half should be enough)
salt and pepper
Milk
Freezer bags- I have a lot of qt sized so I mostly used those, probably 12-15 of them, plus 6 gallon sized ones and a few regular storage bags for the pizza ingredients that go inside the gallon bags)

Here is what I finished with:

2 Chicken Alfredo Pizza Kits
4 Stromboli
3 meals of stuffed chicken for Cordon Bleu
2 bags of cubed (raw) chicken to use for Orange Chicken
3 bags of marinated chicken tenders (Italian, Cajun, and Teriyaki)
2 dishes of chicken enchiladas
I also had 4 bags of plain shredded chicken to use for other random meals

So far we've tried the Stromboli and chicken Alfredo pizza... YUMMY! I also used both of the bags of cubed chicken for orange chicken... I love that stuff!!



I put 8 lbs in the crock pot on low and let that cook for 5 hours or so, flipping pieces around ever 1.5 hrs.

Find the 6 largest chicken breasts, stuff with ham and cheese, rub salt and pepper on the outsides and put 2 in each freezer bag.

Cut the rest of the breasts into tenders and cubes.

I put 7-9 tenders (I cut them kinda too small on accident) into each bag (total of 3 bags). One with Mr. Yoshida's marinade, one with an Italian dressing packet mixed with 2 TBS butter, and the last with some Cajun seasoning mixed with 2 TBS butter... we'll see how those turn out I've never tried this before!

For the cubes just cut it into 1-2 inch cubes and do 1-2lbs in each bag.

When Chicken in the crock pot is done take out and put directly into the kitchen aid with a whisk attachment (I do a few breasts at a time) and turn it on high for 7-10 seconds, until it is all shredded. Pour into a big bowl.

Mix up 6 batches of pizza dough, separate and put 2 balls directly into freezer bags and freeze. I used the Pantry Secrets Bread Recipe that can be purchased here but I can't share... sorry! A basic Pizza dough recipe will work!

I made up a cream of chicken sauce to go in the enchiladas and Stromboli so I mixed that up as follows:

6 TBS butter
7-8 TBS flour
1 1/2 C Chicken broth (I used water mixed with bouillon)
3 C Milk
a dash of salt (only if needed mine was pretty salty from the chicken bouillon)

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan, using a wire whisk, mix in the flour until it is thickened but not clumping, you need to put enough though so that it will thicken up enough with all of the liquid you are going to add. Let it brown over med-high heat (you want it browned just slightly... don't burn it! ). Whisk in the Chicken broth (have the milk ready also) slowly but consistently, giving it time to thicken up but before it has the chance to clump up you want to keep pouring. When you've used up the broth start with the milk, same thing keep pouring it in until it stops clumping and it is a nice consistency, you want it thick like gravy. Taste it and add a little salt if needed.
Set aside to use later.

Wash and cut the broccoli put a little water in the bottom of a container and steam it in the microwave for 2 minutes, until mostly done. Divide it into 4 equal amounts.

Roll out one of the dough balls into approx. 10x12. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Put a handful (don't need a lot) of shredded chicken in a strip down the middle, topped with 3-4 pieces of ham, you can break it up a little to make it easier to eat. Then put some broccoli in with a handful of shredded cheese. Last ladle some of the cream of chicken sauce over it. take the ends and fold them in and fold one side over and bring the other side all the way over and seal as best as you can. Put it seam side down on a large cookie sheet. Repeat that 3 more times with the other Stromboli. Use 2 separate cookie sheets because you don't want them to touch at all... I put all of mine on the same one and it was a disaster trying to separate them to freeze.. luckily I salvaged them but learn from my mistake and make sure they aren't touching when you bake them!
Cut 3 large slits in the top (see picture above) and bake them for 15 minutes or so... until the bread is pretty much done, let them cool, then freeze separately in gallon size freezer bags. (I took mine out and let it thaw for like 2 hours then baked it at 350 until the middle was warm... it took a while like 30 minutes or so and the bread got a little hard but it was still really good!)

While those are cooking you can start on the pizza kits by making Alfredo sauce, pretty much the same technique as the sauce we just made but different ingredients. Divide it between 2 bags and put into a gallon size bag to start the pizza kit.

Put enough mozzarella for one pizza into a bag x2 and mix in some Parmesan/Romano. Put 8 slices of uncooked bacon into 2 little Ziploc (4 in each) and add to the gallon bags.

Put some shredded chicken (I put a big handful in each) into 2 Ziplocs and add that to the bag and then your pizza kits are ready for the freezer!

Lastly do the chicken enchiladas. I just did 2 8x8 pans with 5 enchiladas each!

If you have shredded chicken leftover put 1-2 cups in freezer bags to add into casseroles or tacos!!



Monday, October 24, 2011

Aunt Heidi's Rolls



These Rolls are so yummy, growing up we had them with every thanksgiving dinner that I can remember (and it was a good thing because my whole thanksgiving dinner was rolls and chocolate fluff… oh the sad sad life of a picky eater!!)

Aunt Heidi's Rolls

¼ C. Softened butter

¼ C. Sugar

1 TBS salt

3 C. hot water

2 eggs

8 C. bread flour

2 TBS rapid rise yeast

6 more TBS butter for the pan

With the rapid rise yeast you don't need to let it proof, you can just add it with the dry ingredients. Mix all of the ingredients together, cover and let it rise for one hour. Punch down the dough, separate it into 24 balls, then smooth out each ball. Melt butter on a baking sheet. Dip the top in butter and put it seam side down on a 9x13 baking sheet 4 across and 6 down. Let it rise for 20 more minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook for about 10 minutes, until they start to get golden. I always tear open the roll in the middle to make sure they are done… and I get to eat one piping hot straight from the oven, YUM!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baked Ziti




This is like the easiest recipe and honestly I don’t love it because the sauce is a little overwhelming for me… I’m more of an alfredo girl, which now that I think about it is a great idea for next time!! But if you are fine with tomato sauce then this is for you! As you can see from the picture mine is seriously lacking in the cheese department... the cheesier the better, we just ran out!


Baked Ziti

1 lb box ziti

1 jar of spaghetti sauce

8 oz mozzarella cheese

½ C. Parmesan cheese

See I told you… easy! Cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and pour back into the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta(I blend my sauce so it is smooth… I hate chunks in my sauce, it is the reason I never ate sauce growing up!!). Mix until the pasta is evenly coated. I like to throw in a handful of mozzarella cheese and mix it in. Pour into a 9x13 cake pan… I like to use a glass Pyrex. Level it out and top with the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reese's Cake


I found this recipe on Annie's Eats and HAD to try it because it pretty much looks AMAZING and guess what!??! IT WAS AMAZING!!

Haha seriously though it was sooo good, and definitely not as difficult as I thought it might be… I did use a box cake as my base for the cake so that helped!

Reese's Cake

1 Chocolate Cake mix

1 Instant Chocolate Pudding mix

4 Eggs

1 ¼ C. Water

½ C. Crisco or vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes with an electric mixer. Grease and flour two 9x2” round cake pans (you can also line the pans with a circle of parchment paper to keep it from sticking). Divide batter evenly into the 2 pans. Bake for 26-30 minutes or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Place pans on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, run a knife along the edges and remove cakes from pans. Cool to room temperature.

Peanut Butter Frosting/Filling

1 C. Powdered Sugar

1 C. Creamy Peanut butter

5 TBS butter at room temperature

¼ tsp salt

1/3 C. Heavy Cream

*You will also need a 12oz bag of mini Reese’s cups

Mix the Powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium/low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you mix. Add the cream and beat on high until the mixture is light and smooth.

Chop the Reese’s Cups in half, I used about 12 for the bottom, 9 for the top then chopped 12 or so for the filling and topping.

Place one of the cake layers on the dish it will be served on OR you can get a circle cardboard wrapped in tin foil and frost it on that so you can move it easier later. Spread the Peanut Butter frosting on the top of the cake layer and sprinkle with chopped Reese’s Cups. Place the second cake layer on top of the first and frost the top and outside of the cake with the remaining peanut butter frosting. Decorate with the halved and chopped Reese’s cups.