Monday, March 3, 2014

Reuben Pigs in a Blanket

This recipe was in the December 2013 issue of Food Network Magazine. We made it three times in a month and made a few adaptations. 

I usually hate all things Reuben. These are so yummy!

Reuben Pigs in a Blanket
You will need:
  • 1/2 Cup sauerkraut, drained and chopped (buy refrigerated, not canned, it tastes better)
  • 3 or 4 Tablespoons pickle relish
  • 1 8 oz tube of crescent rolls (we like Immaculate baking company)
  • 2 or 3 oz sliced Swiss cheese (original recipe called for shredded, slices make it easier to roll)
  • 24 cocktail weenies 
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • caraway seeds, for topping (gives it the rye taste)
  • Thousand Island dressing, for dipping
  • Spicy brown mustard, for dipping 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the sauerkraut and relish in a bowl, set aside.

Unroll the crescent roll dough and pinch together the seams with your fingers. Cut the dough in half lengthwise, then slice each half crosswise into 12 strips, for a total of 24 strips. Cut cheese slices into 24 strips. Lay of strip of cheese on each piece of dough. Spread about a teaspoon of sauerkraut-relish mixture onto each strip of dough, leaving 1/2 inch at one short end. (if you do shredded cheese, add it after relish) Place one weenie on each dough strip and roll the dough around the weenie, pressing lightly to seal.

Transfer the rolled up dough to the parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle on the caraway seeds. Bake until dough is golden, about 15 minutes. Serve with Thousand Island and/or spicy brown mustard.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chili Cheese Dip

This dip is great for parties or for when you're feeling lazy and want chili.

Chili Cheese Dip
You will need:

  • 1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can no bean chili
  • 1 to 2 cups shredded cheese
  • nacho cheese doritos for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an 8x8 or 9x9 pan spread cream cheese all over the bottom. Layer the chili on top of the cream cheese. Sprinkle on desired amount of cheese. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and chili is bubbling. Serve hot with Doritos.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Grandma's Egg Noodles

Just in time for Thanksgiving! One of the greatest foods I remember growing up is my Grandma Mather's noodles. They were always one of the things I most looked forward to eating.

Grandma's Egg Noodles
You will need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp water
  • 2 cans chicken broth or chicken stock
  • dash of salt
In a large pot, start broth boiling. Whisk eggs, water and salt together. Mix in the flour. Roll flat on a lightly floured surface, about 1/4 of an inch to 1/8. Let rest (very important!). Roll flat again. Loosely roll dough up (like sushi or a cinnamon roll) and cut desired width of noodles. Add noodles to to boiling broth for 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Season to taste with pepper. Enjoy!

Nacho Spuds

A potato take on the always delicious nachos.

Nacho Spuds
Serves 4
You will need:

  • 2 large baking potatoes, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 2 T taco seasoning
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • sour cream for serving
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the potato slices with the olive oil. Sprinkle with pepper and a little salt. Arrange potatoes in a single layer and bake until golden brown, around 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet brown the ground beef. Once cooked through, add the black beans, taco seasoning and 2 Tablespoons of water. Stir well. Simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the potatoes to an oven safe baking dish. Sprinkle half of the cheese on top. Then spoon on the meat and bean mixture. Top with the remaining cheese, green onions and tomatoes. Return to the oven and turn off the heat. Let stand 3 or 4o minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream. If desired you can also serve with tortilla chips to scoop up the extra goodness.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Marbled Stuffed Potatoes

I love to have a baked potato every now and then, but my husband dislikes potatoes. He does however love sweet potatoes. Enter compromise that is oh so delicious.

Marbled Stuffed Potatoes
Makes 4 servings
You will need:

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/4 Cup sour cream
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 to 3 green onions
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • olive oil for brushing
  • salt
  • pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place all of the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for 30 minutes. Pierce each potato a few times and then continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool slightly (you'll probably have to handle the potatoes with oven mitts for the next part).

Peel the sweet potato and place in a bowl. Mash it lightly with a fork. Trim a thin slice off of the top of each russet potato lengthwise. Scoop out most of the flesh, leaving skins intact, into another bowl. Stir in the sour cream, butter, onions, cinnamon and 3/2 cup cheddar. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Brush the skins with olive oil. If you want you can salt and pepper the skins. Generously stuff the the russet potato skins with the potato mixture. Top with the remaining cheese.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Place the stuffed potatoes on a baking sheet and cook until the cheese is melted. About 25 to 30 minutes.

You can also add in some bacon bits if you wanted a more traditional baked potato.

Adapted from the October 2010 issue of Food Network Magazine

Sunday, August 28, 2011

French Dip Sandwiches

These sandwiches are so good that they got eaten before I could take a picture. They are so easy to make since you let it simmer in the crock pot all day.

French Dip Sandwiches with Au Jus
Makes enough for 6 to 8 sandwiches
You will need:

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup beef broth or stock (I use low sodium if I can find it)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 11/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ~3lb chuck roast
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 6-8 sandwich rolls, split
  • ~1/2 pound of sliced provolone or swiss cheese

Slice the onion into 1/4 to 1/2-inch rounds. Keeping the rounds intact,  line the bottom of the crockpot with the onions.  Add beef broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, Tabasco sauce, and garlic to the top of the onions.  Salt and pepper both sides of the roast and place on top of the onions. Cook on low 6-7 hours until beef is fall-apart tender. Shred the roast using two forks (you can remove it from the crock pot to shred if it is easier for you, but I shred mine in the pot).  You can keep the crockpot on warm until you are ready to eat.

Preheat the broiler. Place the split sandwich rolls on a baking sheet and toast for 1 minute or just until the bread begins to brown. I toss my buns in the toaster oven so I don't have to wait for the broiler to preheat.

Scoop out some of the beef and onion mixture onto the bottom bun. Top with Provolone cheese. You can place the sandwiches back in the oven after you have topped them with meat and cheese, but I find that the meat melts the cheese anyways.  Serve with small bowls of jus.

Modified from this recipe.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Peanuty chocolate truffles

A fun, simple dessert. I was surprised by how easy these were to make.

This recipe is from a delicious dessert cookbook I got awhile ago.

What you will need:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp butter, divided
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 squares semi-sweet chocolate for baking (or 1/3 cup semi-sweet morsels)
1 1/4 cups dry-roasted peanuts (or almonds)

1. Add peanut butter and 1/4 cup butter to a microwave safe dish. Microwave on High for 1 minute or till melted, stir. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Refrigerate 30 minutes, till easy to handle

2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Roll 1 tsp of peanut butter mixture into a ball and place on prepared pan. Repeat with remaining mixture and refrigerate 15 minutes.

4. Place chocolate and remaining butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on Hogh for 1-1 1/2 minutes until melted and smooth, stirring after 1 minute.

5. Chop peanuts and place into a shallow dish for coating step.

6. Roll truffle in the melted chocolate then roll on peanuts and return to parchment-lined pan. Repeat with remaining truffles. Chill again, this time in an air-tight containertill ready to serve.


Citrus Mojito

This is a perfect summer drink. Slighty sweet yet refreshing. This is courtesy of Abby!

In a microwave safe container mix 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Microwave for 2 minutes to dissolve.

In a large picture combine:
Simple syrup from above
1 package of fresh mint
Juice from 2 oranges
Juice from 2 lemons
Juice from 3 limes
2 cups of white rum
8 cans of squirt soda ( I decrease this to a 2 liter)

Serve chilled or on ice and be prepared to make a second batch :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Soft Pretzels

It's been a long time since I have done a post here. I am still trying new recipes and taking pictures of them. It is just hard to keep up with this blog on top of my others. I will try and make a greater effort to post :)

I LOVE soft pretzels! I will stop off and get pretzel bites when I am in the mall. I will sometimes buy a box of the frozen ones so I can have a pretzel whenever I want. They just aren't as good as a fresh out of the oven pretzel. I saw this recipe and enlisted the help of my husband to make this tasty treat (he has way more patience for dough than I do).

Soft Pretzels
Makes 16 small or 8 large pretzels
You will need:
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups very warm water (~110 degrees)
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 T water
  • course salt if desired for topping
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. Stir in the sugar and salt until completely dissolved. Add in the flour (I add half then stir and then the other half) and mix well. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 8 or 16 equal pieces. Roll each section into a strip. You may need to let the dough rest for a little bit if the roll wants to shrink back up. Shape into pretzels and place on a well-greased baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Beat the egg yolk with 1T water and brush onto pretzels. Sprinkle with salt if desired. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm (and with cheese!).

To whip up a simple cheese, I heat 1/2 cup hard apple cider and one minced clove of garlic until simmering. Meanwhile I toss one to one and half cups shredded cheese (whatever I have on hand, this time it was Colby jack) with one Tablespoon flour. Stir into cider. Continue stirring until all the cheese is melted through. Add in 1 or 2 T diced jalapenos for more of a nacho cheese flavor. Season with pepper to taste.

Our kitty loves to watch us cook, especially if she can smell Crisco.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

BBQ Bacon Wrapped Weenies

This is a simple recipe that is great to take to a potluck or to serve as an appetizer. People love them so much that you won't have leftovers to take home (even if it is a group of women). They are so tasty!

BBQ Bacon wrapped weenies
You will need:
  • 1 lb little weenies (I used Hormel lil smokies)
  • 1 lb uncooked bacon
  • 1 cup bbq sauce (I used something with a little spice since you add so much sweet)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • honey
  • wooden toothpicks

Line a 9x13 pan with foil (it will make clean up much easier and the bacon get crisper). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the bacon strips into 1/4s. Wrap each weenie with bacon, secure with a toothpick. Be sure you use wooden toothpicks, plastic will melt in the oven.

Measure bbq sauce out and stir in the brown sugar in a bowl or measuring cup. Place wrapped smokies into the 9X13 pan, drizzle with BBQ sauce mixture. Next, drizzle honey in a zig zag pattern. No need to coat them in the honey. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bacon is slightly crispy. Be careful not to over bake, the BBQ sauce will quickly darken and bacon can become rubbery.

If you do have left overs, refrigerate in a container making sure you have bbq sauce to keep them moist.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Natalie's Cheesy Potatoes

Here is a recipe for some delicious and fairly easy cheesy potatoes.

Cheesy Potatoes
Serves 8
You will need:
  • 1 bag of frozen Potatoes O'Brian (with peppers and onions)
  • 1 Can of Cream of Chicken
  • 16 oz sour cream (low fat)
  • 10 oz Velveeta (cut into small cubes)
  • 1/2 stick of butter, divided in half and melted
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of corn flakes
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2: Mix together potatoes, cream of chicken, sour cream, Velveeta, 1/4 cup butter. Pour into an ungreased 9x13 baking dish
Step 3: Bake mixture in a large baking dish for 30 minutes
Step 4: Mix corn flakes and remaining 1/4 stick of butter and use to cover the baked potato mixture.
Step 5: Return to oven for another 10 minutes. Watch to make certain the corn flakes don't get too browned.

Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Swiss Steak

Another comfort food from my childhood that got the thumbs up from the boyfriend so I figured I would share it through this forum.

This is a crock-pot item which might be one of my top 5 kitchen items.

Serves 4
You will need:
  • 1.5-2 lbs steak (sirloin and round steak work well)
  • 3 - 10.5 oz cans of tomato soup (or one large, family size can)
  • 3 green bell peppers, sliced into rings
  • 3 onions, sliced into rings and separated
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • Mashed potatoes (optional)
Pour one can of soup into the bottom of the crock pot, add the ground pepper, and stir. Place steak in the pot and then cover with the green pepper and onion rings. Pour remaining two cans of soup over the top of the onions and peppers. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 or until the steak pulls apart when tested with a fork.

Serve with mashed potatoes and enjoy.

Simple Clam Chowder

(Picture to Follow)

With a cold winter having settled in for 6 more weeks (at least) I've been looking for some good comfort foods. I remembered that growing up my parents always made a very flavorful and soothing clam chowder so I got the following recipe from my mom.

Simple Clam Chowder
Serves 4 to 6
You will need:
  • 1 can Cream of Celery
  • 1 can Cream of Potato
  • 3 cans of Minced Clams (DO NOT strain)
  • 10.5 oz heavy cream (refill one of the soup cans)
  • 3 medium sized potatoes, diced and boiled
  • ~1/2 cup imitation mashed potatoes
A: Peel and dice potatoes. Place in a medium sized pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and cook potatoes until they are slightly firm when tested with a fork (or till desired texture has been achieved). (Depending on the size of the diced potatoes, this should take between 5 and 12 minutes of steady boiling.)

B: At the same time, in a medium sized pot combine the cream of celery, cream of potato, minced clams with juice, and heavy cream. (You can add the boiled potatoes to this mix at any point as soon as they are ready.) Simmer over low heat until it becomes liquidy. Be sure to constantly stir the mixture so as not to scorch the cream. Once a liquidy state is reached, slowly stir in imitation potatoes until a desired thickness is reached.

C: Serve with oyster crackers and enjoy!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

I love pumpkin desserts but am usually hesitant to make cheesecake because I do not own a springform pan so when a friend found this recipe I was a little hesitant to undertake it but it was very delicious and more importantly very easy (BONUS: no springform pan necessary!). It's from Kraft Foods but wanted to share it with those who enjoy this blog and the foods that experiment with.

Serves 16

You will need:
  • 25 Ginger Snaps, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Dash ground cloves

Step 1: Heat oven to 325°F

Step 2: Mix crumbs, nuts and butter; press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 13x9-inch pan.

Step 3: Beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each just until blended. Remove 1-1/2 cups batter. Stir remaining sugar, pumpkin and spices into remaining batter.

Step 4: Spoon half the pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of half the plain batter. Repeat layers; swirl with knife.

Step 5: Bake 45 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Easiest Fruit Cobbler

This is the easiest berry cobbler recipe ever. The cake mix contains enough sugar to sweeten this dessert without adding any additional ingredients.

You will need:
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 Stick of butter (1/2 cup)
6 cups of berries (fresh, canned, or frozen)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Pour the frozen berries in the bottom of a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish. Sprinkle the cake mix over the frozen berries. Cut the stick of butter into small tabs and distribute over the top of the dry cake mix. Bake for 45 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the topping is lightly brown.

Options for berries: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches, apples, any combination of these, or anything else that you feel like experimenting with :)

Parmesan Fondue

This is a fondue recipe that I got from my sister. It is so fast and easy to make, not to mention quite delicious.

Parmesan Fondue
Serves 4 to 6
You will need:
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 2 (8oz) cream cheese blocks, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

In a large saucepan (or your fondue pot if it is stove-top safe), cook and stir the milk and cream cheese over low heat until cheese is melted. Stir in Parmesan cheese slowly. Add in the garlic powder, cook and stir until heated through. Transfer to a fondue pot or mini slow cooker, keep warm. Serve with bread cubes, apples, ham, pepperoni, etc.

Monday, January 18, 2010

3 bean salad

An easy recipe that's a great side item. I got this from my new aunt.

You will need:
1 can green beans
1 can wax beans
1 can dark kidney beans
1/2 c thinly sliced onion
1/2 c olive oil
2/3 c wine vinegar
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c sugar
1 clove garlic finely diced
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Thoroughly mix all ingredients except beans and onion. In a separate bowl combine beans and onions. Pour liquid mixture over beans, chill and enjoy.


This is one of my FAVORITE appetizers. It's pretty easy and very delicious!

You will need:
1 loaf French bread, slide
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 large fresh tomatoes, diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Step 2: Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. In a bowl, mix the onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, oregano, basil, and parsley. Gently toss in the tomatoes. Top bread slices with the tomato mixture. Sprinkle with feta and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with olive oil.

Step 3: Bake 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted and bread is lightly toasted.

Lemon Snowflake cookies

These cookies are from the Blue Owl Restaurant in Kimmswick, MO. This is one of the best dessert restaurants (and regular food) I've ever been to.

You will need:
1 box lemon cake mix
2 cups Cool Whip (thawed)
1 egg
Powdered Sugar

Mix first 3 ingredients together. The dough will be very runny. In a separate bowl with powdered sugar, drop in about a tablespoon of dough and shake the bowl around to coat the dough ball. Remove the coated dough from the powdered sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Space cookies about 3 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

This sauce is absolutely wonderful.

Prep: 30min Cook: 20min Ready in: 50min

Serves 8
You will need:

2 large red bell peppers
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
4 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Preheat broiler. Lightly coat the red peppers with olive oil. Grill peppers under the broiler until the skin is blackened, and the flesh has softened slightly. Place peppers in a paper bag or resealable plastic bag and cool for approximately 45 minutes.

Step 2: Remove the seeds and skin from the peppers (the skin should come off the peppers easily now). Cut peppers into small pieces.

Step 3: In a skillet, cook and stir the garlic, basil, and red peppers in 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, so that the flavors mix.

Step 4: Place the hot mixture in blender and puree to desired consistency. Return puree to skillet, and reheat to a boil. Stir in the half-and-half and the Romano cheese; cook and stir until cheese melts. Add the butter and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Pour over your desired pasta noodle and enjoy!