Crash Hot Potatoes

These are the potatoes I made for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner. I had heard about these so many times but had never made them. I thought they came out really delicous-and they couldn’t be easier to make. Boil, mash, sprinkle, bake. That’s it. I used Red A potatoes. They were perfect with the corned beef and cabbage-neither of which I cook the traditional way.

 

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Crash Hot Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs of red potatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • fresh rosemary

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
  3. On a large baking sheet drizzle the olive oil. Place the potatoes a bit apart from each other. Using a potato masher gently press down to mash a bit then turn the masher 90 degrees and gently mash a bit more.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and rosemary and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.

Recipe courtesy of pioneerwoman.com

Note: one of those eating with us has a sodium intake restriction so I did not salt the water. I  made one row of potatoes with a large gap from the others and did not sprinkle any salt on them. What a convenient way of accommodating a restriction yet making the same dish for all.

Dijon Roasted Cabbage

This year for St. Patrick’s Day dinner I made my corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. Truth be told I’m not a fan of boiled cabbage. Or boiled potatoes. I probably roast vegetables 99% of the time that I  make them. They get just a little crunchy on the ends and they are so so so yummy.   And cabbage is so good for you-you don’t want to boil all of that goodness away.

I was so glad to find this recipe!  The addition of the dijon really intrigued me and I we were not disappointed. The cabbage was delicious! It was cooked perfectly-firm and a bit crunchy on the tips not at all like boiled. If you’re looking for a new way to prepare your cabbage try this-it’s excellent.  It’s cut into wedges before it’s roasted which makes it a snap to serve-everyone gets a wedge.

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Dijon Roasted Cabbage

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head green cabbage, core removed and cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • fleur de sel to taste
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine evenly.
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet large enough for all of the cabbage with foil. Place the wedges (not overlapping) on the baking sheet.  Pour the mustard mix evenly over the cabbage and cover with another sheet of foil.
  4. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, remove the foil and roast another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.

Adapted from skinnyms.com

 

Scallion & Dill Pickle Dip

Recently I’ve seen a ton of ‘dill pickle dips’ floating around online. I LOVE dill pickles but felt they could be improved on a bit-some used dried dill or just cream cheese so I came up with my own.  The scallions add another layer of flavor and the fresh dill really ties everything together.

I served it with some delicious super crunchy kettle chips for a St. Patrick’s Day app.

It can be made ahead of time and put into the fridge for hours until you’re ready to serve it.

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Scallion & Dill Pickle Dip

Ingredients:

  • 4 ozs. reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature (not fat free neufchatel cheese)
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped dill pickles (please get the freshest, best quality pickles that you can)
  • 2-3 tbsp dill pickle juice (to taste and texture)
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped small
  • 1 tbsp low fat sour cream
  • 2 scallions, green and white, chopped into 1/4-1/8 sized pieces

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl mash the cream cheese to make sure it’s fully softened.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients (2 tbsp of the juice to start with, add the additional after mixing if desired) except the scallion and mix well to combine.
  3. Gently fold in the scallions until incorporated.
  4. Chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours before serving.
  5. Serve with crispy potato chips.

 

Lucky O’Cupcakes

It’s time again for the What’s Baking monthly goodies!! This month’s theme was chosen by Colleen of the redheadbaker blog and she chose (so aptly) Bailey’s. Not a problem. I love the stuff. It’s also so convenient since I had planned on having a St. Patrick’s Day get together at my house the Saturday before the lucky little day so a dessert made with Bailey’s would be perfect.

So I thought. And thought. And thought. And thought about how I could incorporate it into something yummy but a bit different. I determined that I didn’t want to do a Guinness cupcake (no offense to Guinness-you’re my favorite beer) but everyone does that. So I thought ‘what do I like with my Bailey’s’? Coffee! And chocolate! PERFECT! So there was the cake flavor. But then the frosting. Bailey’s is pretty heavy stuff so I decided on a buttercream but I made it nice and light by also incorporating heavy cream.  Yummy. Then I thought back to many Christmas celebrations at my In-laws and remembered that my Husband’s Grandmother used to make Buttery Nipple shots-Bailey’s and Butterscotch Schnapps. There was the bit of goodness that would tie this all together. Throw on a bit of edible green glitter and it’s perfect.

Not only was this a super tasty, multi-tastyness treat-it was delicate. The cake is light and airy, the frosting is more along the whipped cream line than thick buttercream.  The butterscotch drizzle ties it all together. The best part for me-they’re not overly sweet-they’re just right.  They are a joy to eat. You feel just lucky to have one in your hand.

And voila! A masterpiece is born (it took me 6 tries to get that butterscotch to swirl). This is an original recipe.

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Lucky O’Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 & 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • 2 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 yolk from a large egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1/4 tsp coffee extract

For the Bailey’s Frosting:

  • 3 & 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp Bailey’s
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp vanilla extract

For the Butterscotch drizzle:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3-6 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out and set aside
  • 1-3 tsp flaky fleur de sel sea salt

Instructions:

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare cupcake tins with paper liners (about 30). Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of  your stand mixer add the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using the whisk attachment give it a minute or 2 on low speed to mix everything thoroughly.
  3. Now add the eggs, yolk, milk, cream, vanilla, coffee and coffed extract and attach the paddle mixer. Beat on low speed to mix and give it a few minutes until everthing is mixed together, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.  The batter will be quite liquidy (but really yummy!!)
  4. Fill the prepared tins about 2/3 of the way full (my ice cream scooper is perfect for this).
  5. Bake about 19-24 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the middle of one comes out clean.
  6. Let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then stack them up on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely (the only way to know for sure is to eat one you know :)

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For the Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer just add everthing. Using the whisk attachment start it off slow so that you dont have a powdered sugar explosion. When it’s combined turn that mixer up to high and let it go for about 10 mintues.
  2. Set the frosting aside for later when you’re ready to decorate.  You can also refrigerate it but when you’re ready to use it you will leave it out for a few hours to come to room temp.

For the Butterscotch:

  1. Using a medium sized, heavy bottomed sauce pan het up the butter until it’s melted using medium (towards the low side) heat. Add the sugar, cream and 1 tsp of salt and whisk it about gently until it’s well blended.  Leave it alone for a bit, whisking here and there, until it comes to a very soft boil. Let it boil that way for about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove it from the heat, add the 3 tps vanilla, vanilla beans and vanilla pod and stir it to combine. Put the pan over very very low heat (really just enough to keep it warm) and allow the vanilla to seep into the mix-about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove it from the heat, remove the pod and discard. Taste for satlyness and vanillayness and add more if necessary. Salt and vanilla vary so it’s hard to give exact amounts to use. Just judge until you like it.
  4. Pour into bottles to keep in the fridge for a few weeks and until you’re ready to drizzle.  It needs to be cooled completely to put on the cupcakes or it will melt the frosting.

When you’re ready for the cupcakes either pipe on the frosting or put it on with a spatula or knife or whatever, drizzle with some of the butterscotch, sprinkle with edible green glitter if you have it and enjoy!!

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Note:  you can omit the butterscotch but it makes them so much better with it.

Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash

Sometimes it’s the most simple of recipes that have the tastiest results. Sometimes things from nature need very little to go from tasty to super delicous and yummy. This is one of those times.  3 ingredients.  One tasty healthy dish.

Since you roast this with the inside up it forms a bit of a bowl. The butter and brown sugar melt together and make a little sauce in there. YUM!! See? Poking the holes into the squash allows the sauce to really seep in.

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Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash, halved the long way from stem to tip, seeds removed
  • 1.5 tsp light salted butter, softened
  • 1.5 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place both halves inside up into a baking dish (the dish should hold them snugly so they dont tip over. If the dish is too big roll up some foil into a log, attach the ends to make a circle and snuggle the squash into it in the pan.
  3. Rub a touch of the butter along the top rim of the squash then rub the rest into the inside.
  4. Sprikle a touch of the sugar onto the rim than the rest inside.
  5. Cover the pan with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, poke holes all over the interior of the squash (gently-don’t go through the outside skin) and then back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, then scrape out the squash, cut and serve.

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Strawberry Treat

Strawberries are delicious this year!  I love to have them in the evening for a snack but get bored of just sliced plain ones. I came across this recipe and it sounded so so so good!! And it’s delicious. The combination of sour cream and brown sugar may sound strange but it’s addictive and perfect with the berries. It stays well in a container in the fridge too.

Note: you don’t have to eat all of the strawberries at once for this.  Wash only the ones you plan to eat immediately. Once you wash a strawberry it goes bad fast.

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Strawberry Treat

Ingredients:

  • 16 ozs fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed and cut into 1/4s
  • 4oz fat free sour cream
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Pile some strawberries in a pretty dish.
  2. Combine the sour cream and brown sugar and drizzle over the berries.

Adapted from skinnytaste.com

Chicken Chili-slow cooker

It seems like this winter just goes on and on and on and on. In the usually average temperature of 40 island I live upon it has been freezing-single digits, tens, teens etc.. and we’ve been introduced to the ‘arctic vortex’ which sounds like some kind of ice cream treat they’d make at Carvel. Sadly it’s not ice cream.  So I’ve had the makings of a lot of soups, chilis, stews around all winter and it was time to clear some of them out of the cabinets to make room for (hopefully soon!!!) spring-time stuff! This chili is great for cleaning out the pantry. Adjust to what you have on hand. It’s delicious!!!

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Chicken Chili-slow cooker

Ingredients:

  • 24ozs boneless skinless chicken breast (about 2 large)
  • 1 small can diced green chilies (7oz)
  • 1 15oz can sweet corn kernels
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1 15oz can red kidney beans
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Muir Glen organic)
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce (I used Muir Glen organic)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning (or you could use one of the packets)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • Toppings-avocado, grated cheese, sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro etc…

Instructions:

  1. Place chicken in slow cooker insert. Add everything else, stir to cover chicken and combine.
  2. Cook on low for 8.5 hours. Shred chicken with forks, check seasoning and add salt and or pepper if needed. Allow to cook for another 30 minutes on low.
  3. Top with anything you’d like.  Eat!!

Red Velvet Cookie Bars with Vanilla Bean Frosting

This months “What’s Baking” theme of ‘Red Velvet’ was chosen by Kim of Just Baked.  Appropriate for Valentine’s Day treats don’t you think? 99% of the time red velvet is paired with cream cheese frosting so I wanted to do something different. While I love CC frosting it’s pretty heavy.

I love love love light airy frosting. The frosting here ended up being as light as fresh whipped cream and super-vanilly which means that it will be great on all kind of things-cookies, cakes etc…. So keep it to use any time of the year. Note: I only made half of the recipe below-you can see in the photo below how much frosting you’ll have on each piece with the recipe halved. If you want more make the full recipe.

Red Velvet Cookie Bars with Vanilla Bean Frosting

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Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • 3 & 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp KAF Red Velvet Emulsion

Frosting:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla pod, beans set aside

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking poweder. Whisk to evenly combine. Set aside.
  3. In theb owl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, and then the vanilla. Beat until combined evenly.
  4. Little by little add the dry ingredients, just incorporating before adding more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat until a dough forms.
  5. Pour then press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add the butter and 1/4 of the sugar.  Beat on low until combined. Continue to add the sugar in this way until it’s all combined.  Add the vanilla extract and beans and  beat on highest speed for about 8 minutes or until it won’t get any fluffier. It will have the consistancy of whipped cream.
  2. Frost the cookies using an offset spatula or backwards dinner knife.

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Cookie recipe adapted from chocolatemoosey.com.  The frosting’s mine.

WB

Perfect Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I generally am really not so good at making chocolate chip cookies from scratch. They’re either too dark on the bottom, too soft in the inside etc….it’s pretty sad really. I’ve baked those ones from the mix or the tube a few times, and they’re great, but I feel like it’s a real cop-out.

But these–these were perfect.  Perfect I tell you.  And so easy to make! It took me less than 20 minutes from start to getting them out of the oven to cool.

I found the recipe that I adapted to make these cookies on a container of Crisco that I had bought-probably during the holidays intending on baking tons of goodie-but never did.

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Perfect Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1&1/4 firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark-your choice)
  • 3/4 stick Crisco butter flavor all-veggie shortening
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1&3/4 AP flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the first 4 ingredients and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl when needed.
  3. Add the egg and mix until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir with a wisk to evenly combine.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the bowl of the mixer on low speed and mix until just blended.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  7. Place rounded tbsp of dough 2.5 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 11 minutes for chewy insides and crispy outsides, a bit less for all chewy.
  8. Remove from the oven, let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet then carefully slide the parchment with the cookies off of the sheet to cool.

The full recipe makes about 36 cookies. I baked half and froze the other half in a ziplock bag with the instructions written on the bag.

Mexican Meatball Soup

The recipe for this soup caught my eye for a number of reasons-it’s easy and fast to cook and the ingredients are probably already in your pantry (I just had to buy the carrot and zucchini) yet delicious when put together. You can very easily adjust the heat too-add a bit more or less of the chili powders or add some diced green chiles. I made mine rather mild,  opting for a few squirts of hot sauce later.  I really loved how crisp the veggies stay even after reheating and there’s just enough rice. I served it with a small cheese quesadilla, a bit of refried beans, sour cream and salsa.  It was nice to dip the quesadilla into to broth. I think it would be great topped with some tortilla strips or crunched tortilla chips. This recipe is a keeper!!

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Mexican Meatball Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste
  • 1 large egg
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Goya Adobo
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups low sodium, low fat chicken broth (I used the last 3 cups of this home made chicken stock plus an additional 3 cups which I purchased)
  • 1 large carrot cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 large zucchini,  halved then cut into 1/4 inch half-moons
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes, undrained (I used Muir Woods Organic)
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for topping
  • freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, for topping

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl combine the first 9 ingredients (beef through and including Adobo). Using your hands mix to evenly combine. Be careful not to over-mix. Pinch off tablespoon-sized pieces and roll into balls.
  2. In a large dutch oven heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Place as many meatballs into the pot as you can without crowding them and push slightly on the top to flatten a bit. Brown on all sides for about 3/4 minutes. You do not have to cook them all the way through but they must be mostly done. You may have to work in batches to brown all of the meatballs.
  3. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, zucchini and rice. Return to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is done and the meatballs are cooked through.
  4. Season with salt if necessary.
  5. Serve garnished with cilantro and cheddar cheese if desired.

This soup reheats beautifully for left overs and I would imagine that it freezes well-although I didn’t try.

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Adapted from February, 2014 issue of All You Magazine.

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