Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower & Potatoes

Here's another veggie I successfully hid from myself and I really enjoyed the flavor combination.  The only way you can tell the cauliflower is hiding in there is by little sweet bursts.  

Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower & Potatoes

1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Boil cauliflower and potatoes together until fork tender.  Drain, add butter and mash.  Add in milk and sour cream.  Sprinkle in cheeses and spices and it's ready.

As of today, I've accomplished my goal of posting a new recipe every day this month.  It felt good.  I may try again in August.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cranberry Orange Zucchini Bread

I admit I'm somewhat of a child at heart and sometimes I even have to hide the veggies in food.  Thanks to my CSA, I've had to learn to experience all kinds of new veggies (I did pass on the kohlrabi) and zucchini is one of the veggies. 

Cranberry Orange Zucchini Bread

1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp orange zest
juice from 1/2 an orange
1/2 tsp orange extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Craisins (coated in flour)

Mix together sugar and buttermilk.  Add in zucchini, orange juice, zest and extract.  Gradually add in dry ingredients.  In a small bowl, put 2 tbsp of flour and Craisins and coat them.  This prevents them from sinking to the bottom - see picture above to know what happens if you skip this step.  :-)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Loaded Small Red Potatoes

It's a quiet Sunday in the neighborhood.  I had to retreat early back inside thanks to heat and humidity.  So what did I do?  I played with my food.  These were just going to accompany an Italian sausage but I discovered they were the only thing I was having when I found the sausage in the freezer instead of the refrigerator.

Loaded Small Red Potatoes

1# small red potatoes
1 cup shredded colby/monterey jack cheese
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp sour cream
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

(you could add ham, bacon or prosciutto)

Cook potatoes until tender.  Drain and allow to cool.  Cut potatoes in half.  I used a melon baller to scoop them out while leaving a little around all edges so the sides stay firm.

Put insides back in pan and mash with fork or potato masher.  Add in milk, sour cream and seasoning.  Stir in cheese and then then scoop out refill potatoes.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Caramel Pear Smoothie

I wanted something different to start off my morning today.  I can somewhat justify in my mind that this is healthy with the pears in it (maybe not so much the caramel sauce).  But it is so good and an easy breakfast.  It tastes much better than it photographs.

Pear Caramel Smoothie

2 pears, peeled and cored
6 oz Greek yogurt
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp caramel sauce
1 dash cinnamon
1/2 cup crushed ice

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth.

Have a good day~

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bacon & Corn Dish

I was looking for a somewhat easy vegetable to make tonight and really needed to create some space in my refrigerator.  The lucky winner was 5 ears of corn.  

Bacon & Corn Dish

4 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
5 ears of corn, cut off of the cobs
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp parsley
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook the bacon in a large frying pan until crisp.  Remove and drain on a paper towel lined dish.  Remove all but 1 tbsp of bacon dripping from the pan.  Add in your corn.  Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes and add the bacon back in.  Pour cream in and parsley, salt and pepper.

Makes 2 servings 

That was so easy for dinner that I already have the dishes done and am ready to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

Have a good evening!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Double Peanut Butter Rice Cereal Cupcakes

I made this treat as an exchange for some killer chili.  Killer is a good description because I think there was a whole jalapeno in my bowl - wowsa.  

Double Peanut Butter Rice Cereal Cupcakes

Melt in a large bowl ~

3 tbsp butter
10 oz marshmallows
1/2 cup peanut butter

Stir after the butter has melted and marshmallows have soften.

Add ~

6 cups rice cereal
1 cup Reese's Pieces

I put them in cupcake tins.

Makes 18

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chocolate Chip & Granola Cookies

I made these cookies as a surprise birthday gift and have tracked the package and know they're in the city that they are supposed to be and hopefully will be delivered yet today.  I was happily surprised at how well they turned out.  I used Udi's Original Granola and every bite gives you a different flavor.  Sometimes a banana chip or raisins and then a variety of nuts.  

                      Chocolate Chip & Granola Cookies

Makes  : 30    

   1 stick butter, softened
   3/4 cup brown sugar
   1 large egg
   1 tsp vanilla
   3/4 cup flour
   1/2 tsp baking soda
   1/2 tsp salt
   1 cup granola  
   3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and brown sugar.  Add in egg and vanilla.  Gradually add in
dry ingredients.  Gently mix in granola and mini chocolate chips.  Bake at 325° for 12 minutes.

Drop small scoops unto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake until a light golden color - be careful not to overbake.  Cool on

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ground Beef & Potato Bake

While checking out posts on Pinterest, I came across something called Serbian Ground Beef, Veggie, and Potato Bake.  I pinned it and went back later to check out the ingredients.  It wasn't the Serbian flavor profile that I had tasted so I revamped the recipe into one that tasted like what I had dined on.

Ground Beef & Potato Bake

1 pound ground beef, browned with salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp celery flakes (or 1/4 cup diced celery)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup beef broth
2/3 cup V8 juice
4 potatoes, sliced (if using a mandolin - I set it at 1/8")

Brown ground beef.  Remove from pan and add in 1 tbsp olive oil, place green pepper and carrots in the pan and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes (you can use this time to peel and slice the potatoes).  Add in onions and cook for 5 minutes.  Add in the garlic for an additional minute and the return the ground beef to the pan.  Pour in beef broth and V8 juice and add smoked paprika.  Taste to see if you need more salt and pepper.  Even better add in some Vegeta if you have it.

Line your greased baking dish with potato slices (on the sides also).  Pour ground beef mixture on top and spread out evenly.  Top with a layer of potatoes.  Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes.  Remove cover and bake for another 15 minutes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Another manic Monday and a perfect time to bring chocolate into work to share.  I promised one co-worker that I'd put this recipe up so it must be ok.  


                          Chocolate Zucchini Bread


  1 1/2 cups zucchini, shredded and drained
  1/4 cup canola oil
  6 ounces Greek yogurt
  1 1/2 cups flour
  1/2 tsp baking powder
  1/2 tsp baking soda
  1/2 tsp salt
  3/4 cup light brown sugar
  1/4 cup dark cocoa
  1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

In a large bowl, put drained zucchini, oil and Greek yogurt and mix well.
Add in dry ingredients.  Pour into a greased 4 x 9 bread pan.  Bake for one hour at 350°.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Root Beer Baked Beans

I'm still trying to escape the heat and use up the free 2-liter of root beer I received.  I managed to use another cup of it but I have a long way to go.


                           Root Beer Baked Beans

   3 cans       canellini beans, drained and rinsed
   6 slices      applewood smoked bacon, sliced into 1/2"
                        -- pieces, cooked
   1/4  cup     onion finely chopped
   2 large       garlic cloves, finely chopped
   1 cup         root beer
   2 tbsp        molasses
   4 tbsp        ketchup
   1/2 tsp       ground mustard
                    salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook bacon in a large frying pan.  Remove bacon and add in onions with
bacon grease.  When almost translucent, add in garlic and cook for another 2
minutes.  Remove garlic and onions and put into crockpot with other

Cook on medium high for 2 hours.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Canadian Bacon & Cheese Muffins

Nothing like being awakened early thanks to your cat, struggling to keep your eyes open while sipping on your daily limit of caffeine ~ a can of Coke and wondering what's for breakfast.  That's what happened to me this morning.  I opened the refrigerator door and pulled out Canadian bacon and cheese and decided it was a good time to create a new breakfast muffin.


                      Canadian Bacon & Cheese Muffins

Serving Size  : 6 Jumbo Muffins 

   1 3/4 cups flour
   2 1/2 tsp baking powder
   1/4 tsp cayenne
   1/4 tsp garlic powder
   1 tsp sugar
   1/2 tsp salt
   1 1/4 cups buttermilk
   2 large eggs
   1 cup Canadian bacon, diced
   1 cup Marble jack cheese, shredded

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Add in eggs and
buttermilk.  Stir only until ingredients are mixed - do not overmix.  Fold
in Canadian bacon and cheese.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

I used jumbo muffin cups - filled 3/4 full.  If you use regular muffin
cups, still fill 3/4 full but adjust baking time down.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Peach Salad

98° and humid...I'm staying inside.  I went out and watered my plants but I think my squash aren't going to survive the heat and having no rain.  I made an easy salad (ok some might not consider this to be a salad but we do in the northern plains).

Peach Salad

8 oz Cool Whip
3 oz Peach Jell-O (you can use sugar-free)
2 cups cottage cheese
2 cup peaches, diced

Combine Jell-O with the Cool Whip in a large bowl.  Stir in cottage cheese and peaches.  Keep refrigerated until you're ready to eat. 

I used frozen peaches rather than fresh because they hold their shape and last longer.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Facebook Page

With all the changes going on with Foodbuzz.com, I decided it was time to create a Facebook page for my blog.  It's only been up for 30 minutes so please excuse the mess since I haven't had time to clean it up. 

I do want to keep in contact with all my Foodbuzz friends.  I love seeing what all of you are doing.  Please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or thru Google Friend Connect.  I will follow you back. 



Garlic Cheese Bread

I know this doesn't sound real exciting but I roasted the garlic and it does add a nice taste.

Garlic Cheese Bread

1 clove of garlic per tablespoon of butter - I did 4
4 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp parsley
french or ciabatta bread
Romano or Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Cut 1/8" of the flat end of the garlic cloves.  Wrap in aluminum foil and roast garlic for a half hour at 350° or 15-20 minutes on the grill.  . 

Let cool and then mix in the softened butter with the parsley.  Grill or bake the garlic bread until golden brown.  Remove from the heat and grate fresh Romano or Parmesan cheese on top.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Apple Chicken Sausage Hash

Also known as it's the middle of the week and I'm going to make an easy dinner.

Apple Sausage Hash

1/4 large onion finely chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cubed
2 apple chicken sausage links, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large frying pan, add olive oil, onions and sweet potatoes. Add in diced potatoes after 10 minutes. Cook until tender and add in sausage.

I love using wood spoons and spatulas when I'm cooking.  They, however, do not fare well in my care.  Wood spoons and blenders don't mix well I've discovered.  Makes my friends laugh when I tell them how I demolish them and I get new ones for Christmas so it's not all bad...  This weeks victim was my wood spatula.  I got momentarily distracted and didn't realize I had set it close (too close) to the burner and on my glass top stove.  RIP my spatula...you served me well.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chicken Alfredo

My Sunday night dinner delivered to you on Tuesday.  I made so many different things this weekend that I'm stretching them out for a couple days and tonight is a busy night with pickups from our CSA delivery.  I've always wanted to try making this on my own because jarred sauces are too thick and you can feel your arteries clogging (sorry to say but the same applies to most restaurants that I've ordered this at).

Chicken Alfredo

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp flour
dash red pepper flakes
1 tbsp parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (grate extra to serve on top)
1 pound chicken breasts, cubed and sautéed
3/4 cup peas (optional)

Remove sautéed chicken pieces from pan.  Heat olive oil and add in garlic and cook until softened.  Add in chicken broth and whisk in flour.  Allow to thicken and gradually add in milk.  Add in spices and chicken.  Stir in Parmesan cheese and peas.  Serve over your favorite pasta and top with some more Parmesan.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Strawberry Bread

I'm getting overwhelmed by all the fresh and delicious fruits now.  I just love a plain dish of mixed fruit with a little sugar sprinkled on top but sometimes I feel the need to create this moist bread with one of my favorite fruits.

Strawberry Bread

1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
6 oz plain Greek yogurt
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups strawberries, diced

Cream butter and sugar.  Add in eggs and yogurt.  Gradually add in dry ingredients.  Add in strawberries last. 

Bake for 1 hour at 350°.

I used a hand mixer so the strawberries were blended in and the bread turned a nice pink color.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mini Caramel Apple Pies

Caramel apples were my favorite thing to buy at the county fair when I was young, that is until I got braces.  The fair is currently in town but the high temperatures just don't make it appealing like it was when I was a teenager.  Here's a dessert that you can enjoy all the flavors and that's relatively easy to make.

Caramel Apple Pies

Makes 6

1 pie crust (I used a premade one)
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp flour
2-3 tbsp sugar (taste to judge by the tartness of the apples you use)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

15 caramels
2 tbsp heavy or whipping cream

Roll out pie dough.  Cut round circles - I used english muffin rings and they were a perfect fit for a regular size muffin pan.  Press dough into greased muffin tins and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  I had a mini apple cutter so I cut out 6 of those and baked on a pieces of aluminum foil that were sprinkled with cinnamon sugar also.  Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.  Remember to stretch out dough as high as you can because it will shrink.

In a large saucepan, combine apples, lemon juice, flour, 2 tbsp sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Cook on medium heat until apples have softened.  Taste to see if they need more sugar.  Cool.

Remove pie crusts from oven and let cool.  Spoon cooled apples on top. 

Microwave the caramels and cream in a glass bowl for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir together until caramels have completely melted.  Pour over apples. 

My Outdoor Fountain

Pinterest will be the cause of the demise of my savings account.  I find lots of projects that I want to do, think I should do, might actually have the supplies for, the list is endless.  I was looking at outdoor fountains last winter...trust me, winters in this area usually mean you're stuck indoors because of snow or frigid temperatures.  Last winter, a co-worker introduced me to Pinterest.  47 boards, 1148 pins (that's just my one account, not the one I started for this blog) later...

I have tried and completed some of my pins.  The making caramel from a can of sweetened condensed milk in a crock pot was a complete fail.  Opened it to discover it was the same as when I started. 

Back to fountains...I looked at all the cute ideas, pinned a few, including how to actually get your fountain running.  Not sure why I thought I'd actually read directions since it's a last resort for me, but it looked like something I should have.

This is my fountain.

I already had the basin.  I bought it at an auction sale and was going to plant lots of cute purple flowers in it.  I bought the flowers and they did well until it rained a few times and they drowned because there was no holes in the bottom to drain off the excess water.  I found a cheap coffee pot on eBay and ordered a solar fountain pump from Amazon (they're cheaper in February). 

I drilled two holes in the bottom of the coffee pot.  I took a lazy means to do this.  I tipped it upside down in my kitchen sink instead of going down to the basement and unloading my workshop table from everything I've piled up on it.  Enamelware is strong.  It took some muscle to forge my way through it with the drill and I did wonder if this was the project that would send me to the emergency room.  I should drill another hole in the side of the basin for the cord and seal with aquarium glue but I was too anxious to get it up and running.

I added coffee colored rocks and it works great on sunny days (solar panel).  My only nemesis is a certain robin.  I cleaned it last weekend from leaves, grass clippings, whatever had blown in and was outside reading and this little robin came along, looked at me and pooped in it.  I had to reclean the fountain and there's a certain robin that's on my enemy list...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Grilled Mexican Corn

Well this is my version of Mexican corn.  I'm allergic to mayo so the basic recipe for Mexican corn is totally out of the question for me.  And if I haven't admitted it before, I am a cheesaholic and I totally love Cotija cheese. The cheese is slightly salty which works great with vegetables.

Grilled Mexican Corn

2 ears of corn on the cob, shucked
butter, softened
Cotija cheese

Rub butter over ears of corn.  Sprinkle spices on top, roll to coat all sides.  I used a lot more paprika than cayenne.  Wrap in foil and cook on indirect heat on the grill.  When done, open package and sprinkle 1/4 cup Cotija cheese on top.  Leave on grill another couple minutes.

Summer "Foodie" Reading

I've been seeing posts lately sharing what food literature is on everyone's must read lists and here's mine...

I just got this in the mail ~

In non-Kindle books ~


On my Kindle ~

That should keep me busy for a little while.  I am impatiently waiting for the next book from Diane Mott Davidson.  Love her writing and her recipes that she includes in her books.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Peach Tart

Finally Friday!  Time to relax and enjoy the weekend.  With temperatures to be near 100°, it seems like a good idea to stay inside.  I had the other half of my puff pastry dough from the sausage bake that needed to be used and some peaches in the refrigerator...it was a match just waiting to be made.

Peach Tart

1/2 sheet puff pastry, thawed and rolled out lengthwise
3 peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
cinnamon sugar

Spread rolled out puff pastry in your tart pan. Pinch edges up, poke pastry with a fork, sprinkle a light coating of cinnamon sugar and bake for 10 minutes at 350°.
In a small bowl, combine peach slices, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Remove puff pastry from oven and place fruit mixture on top.  Return to oven and bake for another 20 minutes.
Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Peach Chili Garlic Chicken Sauce

Is it Friday yet?  It seems like a long week after a holiday split up last week.  Plus my throat is a little sore so I'm hoping it's not a summer cold.

Peach Chili Garlic Chicken Sauce

2 tbsp peach preserves
1 tsp chili garlic sauce

Mix and baste your chicken after it's cooked and return to grill/oven for a couple more minutes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Puff Pastry Sausage Bake

I like easy breakfasts at any time of the day.  The first serving was for breakfast and then I had the leftovers for dinner.

Puff Pastry Sausage Bake

1/2 sheet puff pastry, thawed and rolled out lengthwise
9.6 oz Hot & Spicy Sausage Crumbles or regular
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1 cup Marble Jack cheese

Spread rolled out puff pastry in your tart pan.  Pinch edges up and poke pastry and bake for 10 minutes at 350°.

Heat sausage in pan.  Add in flour and mix well.  Pour in milk and stir until thickened.  Remove pastry from oven and spread out sausage.  Top with cheese and return to oven for another 20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tangarine Sugar Scrub

I was in the mood to try something non-food related.  I used to have my own craft business, was in some shows and two craft malls out of state.  One item I made was soap and I happened to have some essential oils in my basement full of craft supplies.  This is so easy to make but the scrub makes a noticable difference after the first use and it smells good...win!

Tangarine Sugar Scrub

2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
15 drops tangarine essential oil (or your favorite scent)

Place all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and stir the oil and scent into the sugar.  Put in a waterproof container so you can have it handy by your shower or in a decorative container for gift giving.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Easy grilled sweet & Yukon Gold potatoes

Sometimes you need an easy side after a long day at work especially when the temperatures are back up in the 90's. 

Sweet & Yukon Gold Potatoes

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and dice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 cup olive oil

After dicing potatoes, put into a bowl and sprinkle with olive oil. Mix all of the spices together and sprinkle over the slices. Toss gently.  Place in a tinfoil package and cook on indirect heat on your grill.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Grilled Peaches

Ah Sundays...the day of rest and then preparing yourself for the work week ahead.  I decided to end my meal on a very sweet note and since I had the grill already going it was time to try my hand at grilling peaches.

Grilled Peaches

Cut peaches in half and pit.  Place cut side down on grill for 5 minutes and then flip and remove from direct heat.  Sprinkle with this mixture:

2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Cook for another 15 minutes. 

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

The brown sugar mixture makes enough for 4 peaches.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Brownie Ice Cream

A few weeks ago I was wondering what I should try to make next with my ice cream maker.  I almost went for a raspberry (with Chambord) ice cream...that will be next.  Today I was drawn towards a chocolate and vanilla mix.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

3 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise and the seeds scraped out

In a large saucepan, combine heavy cream, sugar and the vanilla bean seeds and heat to a simmer.

Lightly beat egg yolks, gradually temper with cream mixture and then add into saucepan. Heat until thickened, stirring frequently.

Cool mixture and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight
Pour into ice cream maker and run per manufacturer's directions.


1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Allow to cool and then add in sugar and beat well.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients and then pour into a greased 9 x 9 sqare or round cake pan. 

Bake for 25 minutes at 350°.  Do not overbake.

When ice cream is done in the maker, put into a freezable container.  Put half in and then a quarter of the brownies and mix.  Place the rest of ice cream in and another half of the brownies and mix slightly.  Freeze until hard.

You will have half the brownies leftover but I'm sure you can find a good home for them.  I think my hips are going to claim mine.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mexican Pizza

I realize that there is no such thing as an official Mexican pizza but I made a pizza using Mexican flavored toppings.  It's a rainy day and the cat dragged out all of his cat toys so I dragged out some of mine in the woman cave, namely the mixer with the dough hook.

Dough -

3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup warm water

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water with 2 tbsp olive oil.  Let sit for 10 minutes until it foams.  In a large mixer bowl, combine flour and salt.  When the yeast his ready, gradually add into flour mixture while the mixer is on a medium speed.  Add in additional 1 cup water (watch the dough, you made need more or less than this amount. 

Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 3 minutes.  Put back into the mixer bowl that has been coated with a light layer of olive oil.  Turn dough over so the ball is lightly coated, cover with a dish towel and allow to rise for 2 hours or until doubled.

When it has risen, cut in half.  I froze the 2nd ball.  Stretch out into oval form and pre-bake for 10 minutes at 325°.

Remove from oven and spread out refried beans.  Top with 1/2 pound of ground beef that is cooked with 1/4 cup of diced onions, salt, pepper and 1 tsp chili powder.  Drizzle 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa on top of ground beef and then top with 1 1/2 cups cheese (I used Monterey Jack).

Bake for another 10 minutes.

Here's the link for my recipe for Crockpot Refried Beans ~ http://micheleswomancave.blogspot.com/2012/05/crockpot-refried-beans.html

At least I cleaned up my toys but someone didn't pick up theirs...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blackberry Muffins

A much cooler morning with less humidity today which I took advantage of and made a quick batch of blackberry muffins.  The mellow hint of cinnamon leads you into the tart burst of the blackberries.  It is a nice way to start the morning.

                             Blackberry Muffins

   1/2 cup        butter, softened
   1 cup           sugar
   2 large         eggs
   2 cups          flour
   2 tsp             baking powder
   1/2 tsp          salt
   1/2 tsp          cinnamon
   3/4 cup         milk
   2 cups          blackberries (fresh or frozen)

Cream together butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl.  Add in eggs and
milk.  Mix together dry ingredients in a small bowl and gradually add into
butter mixture.  Gently fold in blackberries last and spoon into muffin cups
until they are 2/3 full.

Optional - sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top after baking for 10

Bake at 325° for 20 minutes.

Makes 22 muffins

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Strawberry Sun Tea

Happy Independence Day!  We're starting off the day with high temperatures and humidity.  I didn't mind it at all when I "accidentally" sprayed myself while watering the plants and trees.  I'm enjoying some outdoors time before the temperature rises or the storms that are popping up to the west move in.  My beverage of choice at this hour is a sun tea I made yesterday in the hot sun.

Strawberry Sun Tea

8 cups water
2 strawberry herbal tea bags
fresh berries of your choice (I used strawberries and blueberries)

Place pitcher filled with water and 2 tea bags in the sun.  It only took 1 hour to infuse the tea into the water.  Remove tea bags and refrigerate.  Garnish tea with your fresh berries of choice.

I have a visitor while I'm outside this morning.  He's been zigzagging all across the backyard and doesn't seem too concerned about my presence.

No bunny you may not take the car out for a spin...

Have a safe 4th everyone~

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Easy sauce for chicken

I'm always looking for new ways to inject some flavor into chicken breasts.  And I will break down and use my oven when the heat index is in the 104°  temperature range and it's unbearable outside.

                           Easy sauce for chicken

                      Drippings from chicken
   1 cup           chicken broth
   1 tbsp          flour
   1 tbsp          Hoisin sauce
   1 tbsp          chili garlic sauce

Remove chicken from pan (I browned my chicken and then finished them off
in the oven in another pan).  Add chicken broth to dripping and whisk in
flour.  Mix in hoisen and chili garlic sauces and cook until thickened.
Spoon over chicken before serving.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bacon Juicy Lucy Hamburger

As a former (and still in my heart) Minnesotan, I have heard about the legendary ownership rights to the title of the Juicy Lucy creation...cheeseburger with the cheese cooked inside the hamburger.  I needed sometime to fill the hamburger buns that I made so I decided to try it myself with the addition of bacon.  It worked out well and a good sign that your burger is done is when the cheese starts oozing out.

The start ~ I used 1/3# of hamburger, 1/2 a slice of cooked bacon and some colby/monterey jack marble cheese. 

Make 2 patties ~

Season one side with salt and pepper, place bacon and cheese in center of the other patty and cover with the first patty, sealing the edges well.  Grill to the doneness that you prefer and enjoy!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Honey Wheat Hamburger Buns

I made a quick exception to turning the oven on this weekend as the outside temperatures are in the upper 90's for these buns to go with burgers off the grill.

Honey Wheat Hamburger Buns

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup dry milk
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup warm water

Put all the ingredients into your bread machine or mixer. I put on dough setting, remove, roll in a tube and cut into 8 equal pieces.  Form dough into flat balls and allow to rise until doubled in size.  (I found outside was great to let the dough rise since it's so warm out and it's air conditioned inside).  Brush buns with butter after they have baked for 15 minutes and return to oven to finish baking.

Bake at 325° until golden brown.
  Makes 8.