Saturday, December 31, 2011

Crispy Potato Roast



Here is a different twist (at least for me) in serving some full of flavor potatoes that are not real time consuming, are special enough to serve to company, and are a wonderful alternative to plain baked potatoes. They are also a wonderful base for a delicious breakfast if you should chance to have some left over. More on that later.

These are the potatoes I served on Christmas Day to both our parents and my sister Ann and her family, along with Roast Beef, Ham, Salad, Broccoli and Carrots and a Scrumptious Cheesecake. I seem to have a weakness for that last thing!☺ I think they enjoyed everything, I know I did! Most of all the people that were here to share the meal with us!!

Ingredient List:
4 lbs. Russet Potatoes, skins on
4 Shallots, sliced thin
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 sprigs of Fresh Thyme
Red Pepper Flakes
Coarse Salt

*The picture is at least two recipes.

Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl combine butter and oil. Brush the bottom of a round 9 inch pan with some of this mixture. With a mandolin slice the washed potatoes very thinly crosswise. Because I was preparing them and not baking them right away I soaked them in water for a bit after slicing them to remove the starchy stuff that turns them brown if they just sit. Drain well. I put them through a salad spinner.

Arrange potato slices vertically in baking dish, wedging thin sliced Shallots randomly throughout. Sprinkle with Pepper Flakes, Salt, and Thyme sprigs. Brush with the remaining butter/oil combination. Bake uncovered for approximately 1½ hours or until potatoes are tender and the edges are crisp. Delicious!!!

Be Blessed and Have a Safe and Happy New Year!

inspiration for this recipe comes from fishfood blog.com

  clairejustineoxox   

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Better Cake Mixes


Ever wish those boxed cake mixes were a bit bulkier and bigger?  In a pinch, occasionally, I use cake mixes and when that happens I like to add a few ingredients along with the required ones to stretch it a bit and make it a little more worth the effort. With 3 big boys around, (2 in the neighborhood of 6', they like to remind me they are now taller than both their parents ☺), baking a cake mix without adding these ingredients seems a bit like a "bandaid" for the cookie jar. Try it sometime and let me know what you think.

1 cake mix (any flavor) with required ingredients +
¾ cup flour (AP)
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup water
1 egg
1 Tablespoon oil

Mix all together and pour into a greased 12x15 bar pan and bake according to package directions.


 Ice with desired icing, Butter Cream and Chocolate are my favorites, depending on the cake flavor.


 This usually buys me a bit of time till I have time to bake something they really like.☺

Be Blessed!

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Friday, December 16, 2011

White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

My New Favorite!!


♥Kitchen Happiness♥

another one I made recently for someone

Baking cheesecakes is my most favorite thing to do in the kitchen. I love to bake  them because they are easy yet elegant and there are so many flavor possibilities with just minor ingredient changes. This one turned out really, really good, too! The vanilla beans add a wonderful flavor! but I definitely need to look for a place to purchase them for a more reasonable price before we have this one too much. Anyone have suggestions as to where I might find them for a better price?

 I invited a friend over for the grand taste test and she was pleased with the flavor and texture as well, so I know it isn't just in my head.☺ The fresh berries compliment it perfectly! (we also ate blueberries with it) It was a lovely forenoon at my dining room table! Thanks Marie for coming!☺

Crust Ingredients:
1 pkg. graham crackers, finely crushed
60 Nilla Wafers, finely crushed
1 stick butter, melted

Mix well and press into bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9 inch Springform pan (sprayed with non stick spray). Bake @ 300° for 7 minutes. Allow to cool.

Cake ingredients:
11 ounces Ghiradelli White Chocolate Chips
5 (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temp.
1 cup sugar
5 eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten
fresh squeezed lemon juice, ½ of a lemon, room temp.
contents of 2 Vanilla Beans

Topping:
16 oz. sour cream
¼ cup sugar
contents of 1 Vanilla Bean

Stir together well!

In a large mixer bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar and beat until fluffy and creamy. Scrape down sides as needed. Meanwhile melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, allow to cool slightly.  Add chocolate, lemon juice and vanilla bean scrapings (slit the bean open and scrape contents out with a small spoon) to the cream cheese mixture. In a separate bowl lightly beat the egg then add to the rest of the batter and mix until combined. Scraping down sides and mixing again. Do not over beat! Pour into prepared crust, place Springform pan on a baking sheet, and bake @ 300° for 1 hour. Turn oven heat off and prop the door open with a wooden spoon handle. Leave cheesecake in the oven for another 40 minutes, then put topping on and return to oven for another 20 minutes with the door closed. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before refrigerating overnight. Remove from pan and serve.


Delicious!!

Be Blessed!

    SweetasSugarCookies  Ladybird Ln
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Ranch Party Mix


Years ago at a Valentine Supper I was introduced to my first taste of Ranch party mix. I enjoyed the flavor somewhat better than the traditional party mix, and over the years I have changed the ingredients a bit here and there, and I've found that it takes a lot less oil and Ranch mix than the original one if you use crackers and things that have their own strong flavor. I like to keep Chex cereal as a base and I look for mini crackers and thin pretzels with some having flavors like Asiago cheese, cheddar, ranch, etc. Really any flavors that you like would work with this, and my concoction varies from year to year. I like to add the Fruit Loops because they give it just a bit of something sweet with the salty and I add peanuts because my husband likes them in there. This makes a very large batch, making it nice to use for gift baskets and such. The mix I made today was probably one of the better ones I've made over the years. Try it, I think you will enjoy it!

1 box of each Corn and Rice Chex
1 box Fruit Loops
1 bag Cheetos
1 bag Thin Pretzel sticks
1 box mini Triscuits
1 box Ritz Munchables (mini Thin &Buttery)
2 boxes Wheat Thins
1 box Cheddar cheez-its
1 box Asiago cheez-its
2 boxes Cheese Crisps Crackers
1 Lg. Cocktail Peanuts

Mix all together in a large container. Set aside.

2 cups light olive oil
2 pkgs. Ranch dressing mix
1 large Tablespoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
1½ teaspoons dill weed

Mix together with a wire whisk and pour over dry mix. Toss to coat evenly and let set at room temperature till the oil is absorbed. Store in airtight containers.


Enjoy and Be Blessed!


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Peanut Butter Granola


I love a good granola, but like everything else in the food line, eating the same old, same old gets ...well, old. I remembered that some of my sisters talk about a good Peanut Butter Granola they've been making and enjoying. I called both of them and got 3 recipes, ha. Sooo, I picked out the ingredients I thought I would like the most and baked up a couple of small batches to try. I like it with mini chocolate chips in it but one of my sons said he would prefer it without so we made some like that too. It's delicious with milk and a banana...and the chocolate chips but they are not really a necessity.☺ I tried it one morning with plain Greek yogurt and honey fried bananas. Yikes!! not again! Plain and simple is how I like it best! I had two boys this evening that wanted to help with something in the kitchen so I put them to work making another batch of this. It's great for gifts or just to stock your own cereal cupboard.

½ cup light olive oil
½ cup honey
½ cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups rolled oats
1 cup ground flax seeds
1½ cups coconut
¾ cup brown sugar
mini chocolate chips, optional

one of my hansome helpers

In a small mixing bowl combine the last 4 ingredients.


In a small saucepan combine the first 3 ingredients.

making sure he measures it righthaha

 Stir over med/low heat until peanut butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Then add vanilla and stir to combine.


Pour over dry mixture.


Toss to coat.


Pour onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet (I sprayed the paper with non stick spray) in an even layer.


Bake @270° until coconut is browned, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool completely before storing in glass containers.



Be Blessed!

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