Monday, February 29, 2016

Hash Brown Casserole #secretrecipeclub

March means several things to me.  Now it is the month my baby was born.  But before then it was Spring. And St. Patrick's Day.  Maybe because it is an Irish holiday but I always think of potatoes when I think of St. Patrick's Day. I also dream of rainbows and pots of gold too. 

So this month for the themed reveal of the Secret Recipe Club I knew I had to go with a potato dish.  Good thing Micha from Cookin' Mimi had plenty of potato recipes.  Micha has been cooking for a very long time.  She has many memories growing up with food and being in the kitchen with her family. I feel like we grew up similarly in that regard. If you want some good American cooking with a little Southern flare be sure to check out Cookin' Mimi.

I was eyeing these ranch potatoes.  The Yukon mashed potato cakes also looked yummy but I made something similar not too long ago. In the end I ended up with the Hash Brown Casserole. You can make it for breakfast or dinner. We had ours as a side with pork tenderloin.  It was delicious and although the recipe makes a ton the dish disappeared very quickly.

Given the fact that Miss O ate it up means we will be adding it to our arsenal of recipes.  

Hash Brown Casserole

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 10 minutes, once potatoes are
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Keywords: bake side cheese potatoes
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
  • 2 – 2 1/2 pounds of potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Bake potatoes in the oven until fork tender. Let cool and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When potatoes are cold, peel and shred using the large side of a box grater.

Place potatoes, butter, soup, and cheese into a bowl. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and stir gently to combine, you don’t want to break up your potatoes.

Butter or spray a 9 x 13 casserole and add the potato mixture.

Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly and starting to brown.
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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Creamy Smashed Garlic Cauliflower

Hello Wednesday!  I cannot decide if it is a good or bad thing that today is Wednesday and the week is half done.  Tomorrow I jump on a plane for a quick jaunt to St. Louis.  I could do without this trip. But when I come back it will be the weekend.  I am always excited for the weekend. 

I have made pretty things in my day.  This here creamy smashed garlic cauliflower was an attempt to get more cauliflower in our lives.  Mr. J loves the stuff. My parents do not and therefore I didn't eat it much growing up. Funny how much our parents influence our eats.  I only think of how we are influencing Miss O nowadays.  With this in mind I am trying to give her as many different foods as possible. 

So back to this cauliflower. I bought a head and then wasn't really sure what to do with it.  I had seen recipes similar to mashed potatoes but using cauliflower. I thought since Miss O liked mashed potatoes she would probably jump on some mashed cauliflower as well. We easily cut up the cauliflower head and then steamed it on the stove top.  After adding lots of garlic for flavor and sour cream to make it smooth and creamy we ended up with some pretty delicious cauliflower. 

Mr. J really liked it.  I enjoyed it too. Miss O ate up about 5 bites before deciding she was done. Nothing but closed mouth and head shaking no after that. The true test will be when we try it again. 

Creamy Smashed Garlic Cauliflower

by Emily Morris, slightly adapted from Skinnytaste
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: steam side vegetarian cauliflower
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut up into florets
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp light butter
Steam cauliflower and garlic until soft. Drain.

Add milk, sour cream, butter, salt, pepper and mash with a potato masher or a hand blender.
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Monday, February 22, 2016

Mexican Pizza #secretrecipeclub

February is almost over and I am ready to do a happy dance.  February is always hard for me.  At this point I am sick of winter and the dark gloomy days. I start longing for major Spring cleaning and a refresh of life.  

Since it is near the end of the month it also means it is time for my Secret Recipe Club reveal.  Each month a group of bloggers is a assigned another blog in secret.  We pick a recipe to try out and then post on a set day. This month I had the pleasure of finding something delicious on Chocolate and Chilies by Asiya. They live in Canada but have roots from India and Pakistan.  When she mentioned most of her recipes include garlic and chilies I knew I would find way too many recipes to try.

I ended up deciding on the Mexican pizza, but also tagged the avocado pasta and the skinny chocolate fudge muffins.

This pizza was so easy to put together. I had my husband do the chopping for the toppings while I made the bean spread.  We bought some store pizza dough so all we had to do there was roll it out. In about 30 minutes the whole thing was done.  The pizza is super filling and really healthy except for the amount of cheese I put on top. I love cheese and got a little heavy handed with the cheese.

Thanks for a winning dish Asiya!!

Mexican Pizza

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Keywords: bake pizza Mexican
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • pizza dough
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (19 oz)
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp water
For the Toppings:
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • half of a red pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup corn, fresh or frozen (if frozen, allow to defrost before using)
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
  • 3-4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • shredded cheese, about 2 cups
For the Bean Spread:
In a food processor add 1 cup of the black beans, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Puree until smooth. While it is pureeing, add water. Add remaining black beans and pulse until chopped. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza pan. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to a 12 inch circle using a floured rolling pin. Transfer dough to pizza pan.

Spread desired amount of bean spread on pizza (I used 1 cup). Sprinkle with cheese.

Top with 1/2 of the cheese. Then continue topping with the red pepper, jalapeno, onion, corn and cilantro. Finish with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes. Top with shredded lettuce, sour cream and salsa if desired.
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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Skillet Apple Cobbler ‪#‎thebookclubcookbookCC

This month I have dutifully been reading The Killer Angels for the #thebookclubcookbookCC.  Not familiar with the  #thebookclubcookbookCC?  Well it's a group of 11 bloggers where each month we pick a book, to read or not is up to you, and then make a recipe either from The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp or something inspired by the book. If you are interested in joining see this post from Camilla, our leader or Ashley's invitation for February.

There is a giveaway at the bottom of this post for The Book Club Cook Book so keep reading. 

So back to The Killer Angels. This book is a classic, very much something my father would read. Being about the Civil War I wasn't sure if I was going to get into it or not.  I brought it with me on my trek to Texas and was a bit worried that it was my only entertainment on a 4 hour flight.  What if I didn't like it?  Well I had no need to worry.  I ended up really enjoying the story and different perspectives about the battle of Gettysburg.  

There was a lot of food talk in the book, mainly because they were tired and hungry after the battle and because their wasn't much food to go around.  I thought about roasting a chicken because there was a scene at the end where the smell of chicken was almost too much for one of the soldiers to bear.  He ended getting a few pieces.  Another food that made an appearance over and over again in the book, besides coffee and liquor, was cherries.  Too many cherries didn't go over so well for some of the soldiers and their bellies.

The recipe given for The Killer Soldiers in The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors  was a Apple Cherry Cobbler. I don't care for cherries so I opted for a more simple apple cobbler. I made it in a skillet and pictured being able to cook it over an open fire. 

Be sure to check out the other bloggers participating as well!

Skillet Apple Cobbler

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Keywords: saute bake dessert apple fall
Ingredients (serves 2)
    For the Filling;
    • 2 Gala apples (about 12 ounces), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (2 generous cups)
    • 2 heaping tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    For the Cream Biscuits:
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • Pinch fine salt
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
    For the Filling:
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the apples with 2 heaping tablespoons of the sugar, the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the butter, and toss. Put into a 8 inch skillet. Tent each loosely with foil and bake until the apples are tender and the juice is bubbling, about 35 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the oven, remove the foil, give the apples barely a stir with a fork and press the top into the juices.

    For the topping:
    Whisk together the flour, the baking powder, salt and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Quickly stir in the heavy cream, then work the dough with your fingers as if you were working butter into pie dough, to make moist, slightly flattened chunks of dough.

    Top with dough. Sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining sugar, and bake until the topping is browned and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.
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    This month Ashley at Cheese Curd in Paradise, this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish! One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from February 1st till February 29th at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    *Disclosure: Ashley received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

    Thursday, February 18, 2016

    Citrus Smoothie

    I promise I used to be a healthy person before I had a baby.  Before Miss O came along I could barely remember the last time I had had more than a cold.  This year however we are struggling. Last week I got knocked out almost four days with the most awful stomach bug.  It has now moved on to my baby and Mr. J.  Being sick is the worst!

    In order to make sure I don't get sick again, and just to feel a bit more refreshed and bright (if that is even possible right now), I made this smoothie.  I got tired of eating my vitamin C so I threw it in a blender.  The coconut milk gives it a vacation feel and the color just makes me happy. So if you need a little pick me up this week try this smoothie out.

    Citrus Smoothie

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 2 minutes
    Keywords: blender beverage breakfast
    Ingredients (serves 2)
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup OJ
    • 1 orange, peeled and sliced
    • 1 banana, chopped in to chucks
    • 2 to 3 ice cubes
    Put all ingredients into the blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute.
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    Sunday, February 14, 2016

    Friday, February 5, 2016

    Coconut Rice Pudding

    We have this Indian buffet at a local Indian restaurant.  It's only on the weekends at lunch and it is so, so good. We stuff ourselves.  I really only like a few favorite dishes but my husband loves the variety and samples of new things.  For dessert they have rice pudding. Or they did have rice pudding. The last several times they had something else.  I am not really sure what they switched out the rice pudding with but it wasn't nearly as good. 

    I have been mean to make our own rice pudding for a while and for some reason (baby, house, work) had not got around to it just yet.  Well today was a snow day.  There is nothing like being trapped in your house to make you want some rice pudding. 

    For some reason I thought rice pudding might be complicated to make. This recipe was not complicated at all. You throw everything in a bowl and stir, then pour in a baking dish. You do have to stir it several times through out a lengthy cooking process but it was easy peasy. 

    We topped ours with both toasted coconut and almonds.  It was super delicious as soon as it was done but I am picturing a nice bowl full for breakfast tomorrow morning too. 

    Coconut Rice Pudding

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 90 minutes
    Keywords: bake coconut rice Indian
    Ingredients (serves 4)
      For the Pudding:
      • 1/3 cup medium grain rice
      • 2 - 13 1/2 oz cans of full fat coconut milk
      • 1/2 cup honey
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla
      • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
      • pinch of salt
      • Toppings
      • Toasted coconut flakes
      • Chopped almonds
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a deep baking dish, approximately 2 quarts. I used an 9x13.

      Combine all of the pudding ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into the baking dish.
      Bake for 30 minutes, then stir. Repeat this at 30 minutes intervals for 90 minutes. Each time the pudding should be thicker.

      At 90 minutes, start stirring in 10 minute increments until the pudding is the desired consistency. Let the pudding cool slightly on the back of the spoon. The pudding is done when it looks thick and creamy and a track from your finger remains on the spoon.

      Serve pudding warm or cold, topped with coconut, almonds or both if desired.
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      Thursday, February 4, 2016

      Chocolate Treats for Valentine's Days

      Are you a fan of Valentine's Day? Hearts and all things pink make me happy and as a result I do like all of the love and decoration swirling around in February.  That being said, going out to spend double on a meal with loud and large crowds is not my idea of fun.  Mr. J and I will be sending February 14th at home with the baby.  Last year we had our baby class, toured the hospital, and ate Chipotle. I cannot believe that was a year ago.

      Anyhoo, this year we will probably have some chocolate a our special treat after our home cooked meal.  I love chocolate.  My perfect idea of Valentine's Day is being with Mr. J and having a bit of chocolate. 

      I just made some cinnamon chocolate pudding which was so good I just might make it again.  But here is a laundry list of all chocolate sweet treats. Can I have one of each, please?

      White Chocolate Coconut Cookies

      Chocolate Dipped Sugar Cookies

      Peanut Butter Blossoms 

      Chocolate Chip Funfetti Sugar Cookies 

      Triple Chocolate Cookies

      Double Chocolate Pudding Cookies  

      Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookies

      Oreo Chocolate Pie

      Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

      Oreo Monster Bars 

      Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars 

      Brownies with Cookie Dough Frosting

      Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies  

      Fudge Topped Brownies 

      Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

      Other Desserts:
      Chocolate Expresso Pots de Creme

      Red Velvet Cake

      Chocolate Chip Waffles

      Profiteroles with Old Fashioned Cream Filling

      Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins 

      Double Chocolate Muffins

      Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins 

      Monday, February 1, 2016

      Cinnamon Chocolate Pudding

      Its Monday again. And I am not really looking forward to it.  I had a really good weekend. And I have a very busy Monday and week.  I always enjoyed my weekends but now with Miss O I pretty much live for them.  It is so much fun being with her. Each day her personality comes out more and more.  I find her little mannerisms so funny.  Her facial expressions are priceless.

      I thought I might need a little extra help this week to get through everything that needs to get done.  For me that help best comes in the form of chocolate.  I am not a huge pudding fan but for whatever reason I got the hankering for chocolate pudding.  I couldn't get it out of my mind. When I mentioned the idea to Mr. J he was in immediately.

      This pudding is fairly simple and quick. Of course I don't always wait for the cooling process to happen. I like my pudding warm. Is that weird?  I had a bowl full right after the cooking was complete.  And although the recipe serves six, our cooled portion was about three servings.  To each their own I guess. 

      Cinnamon Chocolate Pudding

      by Emily Morris
      Prep Time: 5 minutes
      Cook Time: 10 minutes
      Keywords: dessert chocolate cinnamon
      Ingredients (serves 4)
      • 2/3 C sugar
      • 3 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
      • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • pinch of salt
      • 3 1/2 C whole milk
      • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
      • 4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
      • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
      • Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving (optional)
      In a large sauce pan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt until well blended.

      Add about 3/4 cup of the milk and stir until smooth and incorporated. Gradually stir in the remaining milk and butter.

      Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Be sure to scrape the the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching. Continue cooking until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

      Add the coarsely chopped chocolate and stir until melted and the mixture is smooth. Then add the vanilla and stir.

      Strain the pudding through a medium fine sieve into your serving container. Lay plastic wrap over the tom to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon if desired.
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