Sunday, November 2, 2014

baked potato soup. {winner!!}

Baked Potato Soup from Brittany:

6 to 8 slices bacon, fried crisp
1 cup diced yellow onions
1/3 cup flour
6 cups hot chicken broth
4 cups diced, peeled baked potatoes (6 potatoes)
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or 1-2 T dried parsley)
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced green onions

Chop bacon; reserve. Cook onions 3 Tbsp melted butter over medium-high heat until transparent, about 3 minutes. Add flour stirring to prevent lumps: cook for 3-5 minutes, until mixture just begins to turn golden. Add chicken stock gradually, whisking to prevent lumps, until liquid thickens. Reduce heat to simmer and add potatoes, cream, chopped bacon, parsley, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes; do not allow to boil. Add grated cheese and green onions; heat until cheese melts smoothly. Garnish each serving as desired.

Additional chopped bacon, grated cheese and chopped parsley for garnish (optional).

Monday, October 13, 2014

parker house rolls.

Parker House Rolls from Holly:
via bobby flay/foodnetwork

1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing
1/2 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 cups all-purpose flour

Place milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and sugar and let cool. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit until foamy. Combine milk mixture, eggs, yeast, salt and 1/2 of the flour in a mixer with the dough attachment and mix until smooth. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until smooth ball forms.

Remove from the bowl and knead by hand on a floured surface for about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 60 to 70 minutes. On a floured surface, punch down the dough and shape into desired shapes. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover again and let rise until doubled, about 30-40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter before serving.

almond, craisin salad.

Almond, Craisin Salad from Alisa:

1 head red leaf lettuce
1 head green leaf lettuce
1 pkg dried cranberries
1 package feta cheese, crumbled
candied almonds (see below)

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp poppy seed
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Mix together. Better if you can do this (the dressing) one day beforehand.

Candied Almonds:
Melt in pan over medium-low heat:

1 T butter
3/4 cup sugar
Stir and heat until mixture crystalized (becomes liquid). Continue to stir for approximately 1 minute. Mixture starts to turn a darker brown. Stir in 1 1/3 cups slivered almonds. Spread on cookie sheet (sprayed with Pam) to cool and harden. Break into small pieces.

israeli couscous with apples cranberries and herbs.

Israeli Couscous with Apples, Cranberries and Herbs from Sarah:


2 T olive oil
2 cups Israeli couscous (or barley or orzo)
4 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 T chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 medium green apple, diced
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (or pine nuts)


1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 T maple syrup
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

For the couscous: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked couscous to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, apple, dried cranberries and almonds.

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. pour the vinaigrette over the couscous and toss to coat evenly.

*To toast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350 F. Arrange the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before using.

spinach salad.

Spinach Salad from Holly:

1/2 package spinach
1/2 head of lettuce
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 purple onion, sliced
3/4 lb bacon, browned, crisp and crumbled
3/4 cup grated cheese

Salad Dressing: (I double this recipe)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
garlic salt
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
juice from 1/2 lemon

Assemble Salad. Mix dressing ingredients and dress salad just before serving.

chicken cashew pasta salad.

Chicken Cashew Pasta Salad from Kathi:

1 box big shell pasta
1 can chicken
1 can pineapple chunks
1 apple
green onion
Coleslaw dressing (1 bottle)

Boil pasta, cut remaining ingredients into bite sized pieces. Drain pasta, cool. Add rest of ingredients and toss with dressing.

Friday, September 5, 2014

cheesy garlic zucchini bread. {winner!}

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Bread from Amanda:
serves 6-8

3 cups grated zucchini or summer squash
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, or whole wheat flour (a gf flour blend would probably work too)
1 T baking powder
1 medium onion, diced (I used green onions)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 T garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs, beaten, preferably at room temp

Combine the zucchini and salt in a colander and toss to mix. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 7x11 inch baking dish with butter or lard. Stir together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add the onion, zucchini, cheese, garlic powder and pepper. Mix well with a fork, breaking up any clumps of zucchini. Whisk together eggs and butter in a small bowl. Pour into the zucchini mixture and mix well. Spread evenly in the baking dish. Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden and the entire pan cooked through, so don't be afraid to give it some extra time if needed. The batter is very thick and moist. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

chicken tikka masala.

Chicken Tikka Masala from Donnarae:

2 chicken breasts *
1 cup plain yogurt
1 T lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp black pepper
1 T minced ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp paprika

Marinate chicken for 1 hour, then grill or fry chicken.

1 T butter
1 clove minced garlic
1 chopped jalepeno
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz tomato sauce
1 cup cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Melt butter, then sauté garlic and jalepeno for 1-2 minutes. Add cumin, paprika and salt and fry for a minute. Add tomato sauce and cream. Simmer over low heat until thickened (about 20 minutes). Add chicken and simmer 10 minutes. Add cilantro before serving.

*I like to cut my chicken into strips about 3/4" thick before marinating, then cut it into bite sized pieces after cooking.
**I like to broil the chicken - 5 minutes on the first side, 4 minutes on the other.

Naan (bread)

2 cups white flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 T yeast
4 T lukewarm milk
1 T vegetable oil
2 T plain yogurt
1 egg

Sift flour and salt together in large bowl. In smaller bowl, combine yeast with milk and set aside for 15 minutes. Add yeast mixture, oil, yogurt and egg to flour and mix to soft dough. Knead dough until smooth. (I use the KitchenAid, then knead on counter for about 2 minutes). Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in size. Preheat oven to the highest setting, at least 450. Turn dough back onto floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Divide into 3 equal pieces, roll each out into a teardrop shape about 10 in. long, 5 in. wide, and 1/4 inch thick.

Bake naan for 3-4 minutes, or until puffed up. Brush naan with butter/sprinkle of cilantro and place under broiler for about a minute until browned.

creme brûlée french toast.

Creme Brûlée French Toast from Juliann:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 T corn syrup
1 loaf french bread cut into thick slices
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half cream
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of cinnamon

In a saucepan melt butter, brown sugar and corn syrup over medium heat until smooth, stirring occasionally. Pour the mixture onto a large, greased pan. Spread around to cover surface. Place your slices of bread in a single layer to cover the sauce on the pan. 

Mix together the eggs, cream, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Spoon or pour the mixture over each piece of bread, covering completely.

Cover and refrigerate overnight!

The next morning, bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Flip each piece over as soon as it comes out of the oven so it doesn't stick to the pan.

Serve with berries and whip cream.

pecan pie.

Pecan Pie from Jennifer:

1 cup light brown sugar
1 T flour
3 T butter or margarine, melted
1 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup pecan halves
9" pie crust

Mix sugar and flour together. Add melted butter, corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Add eggs and pecan halves. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees about 50 minutes or until toothpick is clean.

pumpkin curry soup.

Pumpkin Curry Soup from Brittany:

4 T. butter
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom (can leave out if you don't have it)
1 1/2 - 2 tsp salt (to taste - adjust at end)
1/4 -1/2 tsp pepper (to taste - adjust at end)
1 large (29 oz) can of pumpkin
4 cups chicken stock (or 4 cups water, 4 tsp bouillon)
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 - 3 cups half and half and/or cream (I did a combo)
3 chicken breasts, shredded (I used rotisserie chicken)

Pre-cook the chicken and shred.. or use rotisserie chicken :)

Melt butter, saute onions and garlic for about 8 minutes. Add spices and cook about another minute or so. Add pumpkin and broth. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add chicken and cream, warm through but don't boil. Adjust salt and pepper.

This can be eaten as a traditional soup or you can serve it over rice or noodles. My friend Michelle (who I got this recipe from) has also added wild rice to the soup and that is really good.

*at the end I adjusted all seasonings and added a little more of everything. I also made it the day before so the flavors developed more in the fridge overnight, that is of course not necessary though.

frito pie.

Frito Pie from Shannon:

1-2 lbs ground meat, browned. (I use whatever I have or feel like; beef, sausage, turkey. Anything works)
3 cans beans, your choice. (I prefer drained kidney and black, and a can of chili beans in sauce.
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 package chili seasonings (or create your own using chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, oregano.. whatever you like!)
1 can tomato sauce

Throw it in a crock pot and let simmer all day/afternoon on low.

Serve in bowls with cheese, sour cream and fritos. 

southern belle pecan bars.

Southern Belle Pecan Bars from Holly H.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3 T all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 1/4 cups flour, butter and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/4 cup pecans. Press crust mixture evenly onto bottom of ungreased 8 or 9 inch square baking pan. Bake 18-22 minutes or until very light golden brown on edges. Combine all filling ingredients except pecans in bowl; mix well. Stir in pecans. Spread evenly over hot, partially based crust. Bake 20-30 minutes or until filling appears set and knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Cool completely; cut into bars.

pumpkin crisp.

Pumpkin Crisp from Stacie:

1 can pumpkin 15.3 oz (not pie filling)
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 box, french vanilla, or butter golden cake mix
1 cube melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Mix first five ingredients and pour into lightly greased 13x9x2 pan. Sprinkle cake mix over pumpkin mixture (do not mix). Cover with 1 cup pecans or walnuts (optional). Pour melted butter over top of dry cake mix and nuts. Bake for 1 hour. If nuts are browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.

Serve warm with whip cream.

two ingredient chocolate pumpkin muffins.

Two Ingredient Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins (or Cookies) from Kathi:

15 ounces canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
18.25 ounces chocolate cake mix
2/3 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Makes 12 regular or 36 mini muffins or 36 cookies

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. For muffins, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line muffin tin with paper liners or coat them with non stick spray. For cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheet with parchment paper or coat with non-stick spray.

Make batter in a large bowl by mixing the two ingredients together, ignoring the instructions on the cake mix. This will take some effort and the mixture will be very very thick. Stir in the mini semisweet chocolate chips, if using.

For muffins, place batter into the prepared tins. Bake at 400 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes for regular muffins, 12 minutes for the minis.

For cookies, drop by tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until the edges are firm and the centers are just barely set when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

dinner in a pumpkin.

Dinner in a pumpkin from Kathi:

1 chopped onion
2 T oil
1 1/2 - 2 lbs ground beef
2 T soy sauce
2 T brown sugar
1 4 oz can mushrooms (drained)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cup cooked rice
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1 cleaned out pumpkin with top cut off

Cook ground beef with onion. Add soy sauce, sugar, mushrooms and soup. Cook 10 minutes. Add rice and water chestnuts. Spoon into pumpkin, replace top and put on baking sheet. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees.

skor bits apple dip.

Skor Bits Apple Dip from Alisa:

1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 bag chocolate chips
1 bag Skor Heath bits

Mix with mixer. Then add and stir by hand chocolate chips and heath bits. Serve with apples, strawberries or pears.

pumpkin pie sheet cake.

Pumpkin Pie Sheet Cake from Jane:
via Mels Kitchen Cafe

2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 T butter (1 stick), melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg

2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk (or 1 cup cream)
Sweetened Whip Cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350. Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven (too low the crust will burn). For the crust, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Pour in the melted butter, vanilla and egg. Stir to combine (use hands at the end to combine the dough into a cohesive ball). Press the dough into the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 pan.

For the filling, you can use the same bowl that was used for the crust as long as there aren't any large clumps of dough remaining in it. Whisk the eggs until light and creamy. Stir in the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and pumpkin. Whisk to combine. Stir in the evaporated milk or cream. Pour the filling over the crust. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Don't over bake or the crust will be too tough. Cool completely.  Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream.

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins from Shannon:

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil OR apple sauce OR coconut oil 
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners. Mix sugar, oil and eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add wet mixture to dry. Stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill 12 muffin cups evenly (about 2/3 cup full). Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden and toothpick comes out clean.

s'more bars.

S'more Bars from Holly V. :

8 cups Golden Grahams cereal
5 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup light corn syrup
5 T butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Into a large bowl, measure cereal. Butter 13x9 pan. In large microwaveable bowl, microwave 5 cups marshmallows, chocolate chips, corn syrup and butter uncovered on high for 2 to 3 1/2 minutes, stirring after every minute, until melted and smooth when stirred. Stir in vanilla.

Pour over cereal; quickly toss until completely coated. Stir in 1 cup marshmallows. Press mixture evenly in pan, using buttered back of spoon. Let stand uncovered at least 1 hour or refrigerate if you prefer a firmer bar. 

For bars, cut into 6 rows. Store loosely covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.