Thursday, September 29, 2011

Roasted Garlic

Ahhhh I HEART garlic!!  In Colorado we went to this awesome restaurant - and they had roasted garlic and bread....since then, I've been trying to recreate the taste, and I finally did :)  YUMMY!!!

1 head garlic
Olive oil

Take a whole head of garlic. You want the remaining cloves to still be attached to the base. Peel off any excess paper around the edges. You’ll want the cloves themselves to still be in their papers but if you’ve got a lot of excess around the edges just pull them off.

Cut the top part off like in the picture. Just enough to expose the cloves- like a little less than 1/3 of the head. Place the cut head on a piece of foil.

Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and drizzle with a couple teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. I drizzle some on and wait for it to soak down into the garlic and then pour on some more.  Then grab the edges of the foil and just pull them up, sealing tightly.  Toss that bad boy in the oven, directly on the rack. If it’s the only thing in your oven, bake at 400 degrees for about 30-40 minutes.

The foil ball should feel soft when it’s done.  When it’s done, take out of the oven and let cool for a minute. When you open up your cute little package you’ll have this glorious, soft, caramelized, yummy stuff.  The soft cloves will just pop right out of there. You can either squeeze them out, or use a little fork to pop them out.
(It will keep for a week or more in your fridge in an air-tight container. You can also freeze it and just grab a spoonful as you need it.)
 One of my favorite ways to eat roasted garlic is fresh out of the oven, rubbed onto warm crusty bread.  Sprinkled with fresh Parmesan? Even better....

Other ideas:
-Spread on crostini before topping with Bruschetta
-Add to mashed potatoes
-Spread on bread (makes a great appetizer)
-Add to pasta dishes
-Add to mayo
-Use in salad dressings
-Add to bread dough just before kneading

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I have overlooked Spaghetti until now....Ross kept asking for it, but I kept telling him "it wasn't a new recipe, so I couldn't blog it".....but then I found this recipe!!  I made my own meatballs - and um, I'm always going to make my own meatballs!  These were sooooo good!!  I wasn't a HUGE fan of the sauce - it was good, don't get me wrong....but it was a tad on the sweet side - so I don't think I'll add sugar next time.

I cut the sauce/meatball ingredients in half since it was just the 2 of us - and it still made about 12 meatballs - and more than enough sauce.  I would say the full serving is for about 12 even cutting it in half is still more than enough for leftovers :)

Italian Meatballs:
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb Italian sausage
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt

Gently combine meatball ingredients in a medium bowl. Shape into balls, whatever size you like, but I prefer using my standard cookie scoop (about 1 Tbsp.) to shape meat into balls and then rolling it between my hands to make them even more round. Place on a broiler pan and broil until the meatballs start to brown. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use (or freeze for later use).

1 large onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Olive oil
(2) 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
16 oz tomato sauce
1-2 Tablespoons sugar (to taste)
2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of baking soda (to help neutralize the acid)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add remaining sauce ingredients and combine well. Bring to a simmer and add meatballs. Simmer on low, uncovered, until desired consistency is reached--about 25-30 minutes for a sauce that's of medium consistency.

Serve over hot spaghetti with some freshly grated Parmesan on top.

Prepare meatballs as directed, but divide the meatballs among two freezer-safe containers. Prepare sauce through adding all ingredients to the pan, but don't simmer; rather, divide the sauce among the two containers. Freeze until ready to use. When ready to use, place in slow cooker and cook on low for about 5-6 hours, although you'll want to keep an eye on the sauce and make sure it's not burning if you go for the whole 6 hours.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Smokey Bean Soup with Ham and Bacon

Ross: "what the heck is with all the beans..."  Lisa: "it's fall...the bean season".  :)  Had the best FALLmeal tonight - we made this yummy soup with BLT sandwiches and hard boiled eggs....ahhh so good!  Perfect combination of awesomness - and this soup was really easy to make!  I still don't have an immersion blender (Bday gift idea!) - but it worked pretty slick in a normal blender!  Try it out!!

Serves 4-6:  OBB Cookbook

6 slices bacon (a few more if you want extra for garnish)
1 cup diced onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 3 large cloves)
2 cups diced Ham (about 10oz)
2 red potatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces (2-2 1/2 cups)
2 cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
32oz box chicken broth

Slice bacon into bite-size pieces.  Cook in a large stock pot until crisp.  Remove bacon to drain on paper towels.  Reserve 2-3 teaspoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest (dump it in one of those empty bean cans).

Add diced onion to pan and saute for about 2 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add diced ham, beans, smoked paprika and salt to pan and stir to combine.  Then add the broth and the potatoes.  Bring soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.   Remove from heat and  stir in  bacon.   Take  3 cups of the soup and place in the blender (leave the plug in the lid off to let steam escape and cover with a paper towel to avoid splashes while you blend)  Blend until completely smooth.  You could also use an immersion blender in place of a blender if you have one.  Add blended soup back to pot and stir to combine.

Add additional salt (and pepper if desired) to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with extra bacon if desired.  Great with some croutons too!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Doctored-Up 7-Layer Dip

It was Nicole and Emily's bachelorette party last night - so decided to make up something new!  I am a huge fan of taco dip, so when I saw this - I knew I was going to love it!  It was really easy prep - and because it uses refried beans instead of meat, it took like 10 minutes to make....well, and eat :)  It was a huge hit!!

OBB Cookbook

28-oz can refried beans
1 1/2 cup QUAC!!
1 1/2-2 cup Pico de Gallo
16-oz container sour cream
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup chopped green onions (about 2 bunches)
16 oz can olives, drained and chopped
1 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese

Layer the refried beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo. Whisk together the taco seasoning and sour cream and spread it over the pico de gallo. Add the chopped olives and cilantro, then squeeze the lime juice over everything. Sprinkle with the cheeses and serve with tortilla chips. Makes a lot–if you’re serving just a few people, you can cut all the quantities by half.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Feta and Mushroom Chicken Breasts

Got this new cookbook from Ross's gma - so figured I would try some new recipes!!  This was probably the easiest meal ever to make - and tasted so good, it tasted like it took forever!  The best part about it - it's for 2 people!!  The perfect size!!  ahhh you'll love it!

Serves 2 - The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever

1 tablespoon butter
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup sliced mushrooms
6 tablespoons halved pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 400.  Put the butter in a shallow 1-quart casserole and put the casserole in the oven as it pre-heats.  Watch carefully so the butter doesn't burn.

Remove the casserole from the oven and roll the chicken breasts in the melted butter.  Arrange them in the casserole and sprinkle on both sides with salt, pepper, paprika, and flour.

Whisk the cream and mustard together.

Spread the sliced mushrooms and 1/4 cup of the olives on top of the chicken and pour the cream mixture over all.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olives and the feta and return to oven for 5 minutes - until heated through.  Sprinkle with the parsley and serve hot.

Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Casserole

Fall time - squash time!!  YAY!!  I can't believe I used to hate squash...this was so so so good!!  I can't get enough!!

Serves 6 - The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever

2 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400.  Coat a shallow 3-quart casserole with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, toss everything together but the cheese.  Transfer to the casserole dish and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 55 minutes - 1 hour or until squash is tender.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chili Lime Steak Salad

I'm not a huge fan of just eating steak....yes, man friends - this is an OUTRAGE!  I have to complete the meal with something else besides a slab of meat staring at me - SO whenever Ross starts to crave STEAK for dinner - I go looking for a recipe / marinade / something to go with it.  This one was super good!!  It was really easy - and it was super good leftover....I'm not usually a fan of eating steak leftover (something about the fat tendons or something being cold...) - but because they were all sliced up and in salad form - it was really good for lunch the next day too!!  Do it up :)

Makes 6-8 servings OBB

Ingredients (marinade):
1 t chili powder
1 t granulated garlic
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t oregano
1/8- 1/4 t cayenne pepper
3/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 lime (about 2 T lime juice)
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1-2 lbs flank steak, or other good grilling cut

Juice the lime into a small bowl. Add oil and spices and stir to combine.  Place the steak in a shallow dish and pour the spice mixture on top. Now is the time to make friends with that hunk of beef. Use your hands to massage it in there. Trust me- your hands work a lot better than smooshing it around in a ziplock bag. Don’t be afraid!  Let it sit for 15 minutes.

Place meat on hot grill (bbq is best, but an indoor grill pan or broiler will work just fine too). If you’re using flank steak it should take about 5-7 minutes on each side.  When steak is finished, remove from grill and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into it. Otherwise all of the juices will run out and you’ll be stuck with dry steak. And who wants to eat dry steak? Slice in strips against the grain.

Ingredients (salad):
1 recipe Creamy Cilantro-Lime Ranch Dressing
1 large head romaine lettuce
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed in cold water
1-2 avocados, sliced
cilantro for garnish

You know how to make a salad, right?? Start with a nice bed of cold, crunchy lettuce, top with tomatoes (cut in half), sliced onion, black beans, avocado and smother it in the best dressing ever. Sprinkle on some cilantro. Oh ya, and don’t forget the steak like I just did while writing this. It’s kind of important. I like it warm, but you can use leftovers and have it chilled too. Yummy yummy.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hashbrown Crust Quiche

Huge THANK YOU to Rossy for making this!!  We were up at the cabin - and Luke, Meghan, and I woke up to this awesomness :)  He said it was really easy to make - and tasted amazing!  Ahhh such a great meal - I love that it's the most important!! 

Paula Dean Recipe - serves 4

3 cups, shredded frozen hash browns, thawed and drained
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup of cooked zucchini (Paula used cooked ham)
1 cup shredded Cheddar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. In a 9-inch pie plate, toss the hash browns with the melted butter into the plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

World's Best Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter

Okay - Meghan and I are the best pilgrims EVER!!  Yes, I said pilgrims because that's what we felt like making bread from scratch!!  We are awesome....I mean - we started with some flour and yeast and made dinner ourselves!!!!  AND good news for you - if we made can too!!  We are not good "bakers" - and I don't especially like to bake, but perfect cabin weekend to try it out!  It was was fun - and really pretty easy :)  We used whole wheat flour - to make it a little healthier, but next time I would stick with normal flour.  These were tasty!!  ESP - when you teamed up these rolls with the homemade HONEY BUTTER we made too!!!  Ahhhh pilgrims in the house!!!  :)

OBB - makes 24 rolls

2 cups whole milk (if you’re in a pinch, you can use 2%, but whole is best. Don’t use 1% or skim)
½ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) butter
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 pkgs. active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 teaspoons), preferably bread machine yeast
2/3 cup warm (105-115-degree) water
8-9 cups all-purpose flour
3 beaten eggs

Combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. It’s salty. It’s sweet. Yum.

Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm. I usually rub some ice cubes along the sides of the pan or pop the entire pan in a sink full of ice cubes to cool the mixture down because this step can take forever. This step is really important because if the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. If the yeast hasn’t bubbled, you’ll need to repeat this step–moving on with yeast that hasn’t been activated properly will only end in heartache for you.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes.

Add beaten eggs. Why should you beat your eggs first? Same reason you should combine your dry ingredients before adding them to moist ingredients when making cookies and cakes–it ensures everything is well-mixed and can be evenly-distributed through your dough or batter. If you add the whole eggs, your dough may not be as consistent.

Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft–it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it. Don’t worry, it will firm up during the rising process. Part of what makes these rolls so good is that they’re so soft and light; if you add too much flour, they will be heavy and dense. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel; allow to rise 1 hour.
Punch down dough. Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Divide in half.

Spray (2) 9×13 glass pans with cooking spray. Roll first portion of dough into a rectangle and then cut it into 12 equal-sized pieces. I like to use a pizza cutter because it has a blade on each side, so it cuts right through dough without sticking to the blade. This dough should be very easy to work with, almost like playdough.

Shape each piece into a ball and place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough in the second pan.  Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. When dough has about 15-20 minutes to go (depending on your oven), preheat oven to 375.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden-brown. When done, remove from oven. Rub a stick of cold butter over the tops of the rolls. You must now eat one. Now. While it’s hot.

Honey Butter

2 sticks real butter, (close to room temp- works best when slightly chilled still.)
2/3 cup honey
¾ cup powdered sugar

(If your butter is too soft, you’ll end up with a gooey mess, so I just leave it out on the counter for about 20 minutes or so before beating and it turns out nice and fluffy).  Just place it all in a bowl and beat with an electric hand-mixer for about 30 seconds.  Serve at room temp!

Sunday Beef Stew

I LOVE this time of year!!!  The chilly air just makes you want to cuddle up in sweats and eat a hearty stew!!  This was soooooo good - and really easy to prep!!  We were up at the cabin this weekend with friends - and it was the perfect meal to make!  Just threw everything in the crock pot in the am - and heaven in your mouth 9 hours later :)  You will LOVE this!!


1 1/2-2 lb. lean stew beef, cut into even smaller bite-sized pieces (just pull out a pair of kitchen shears and cut anything that looks like you’d need to use a knife and fork on)
4-5 medium red potatoes, chopped
4-5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 (12-oz) cans or 3 cups vegetable juice cocktail (like V8 or even Bloody Mary mix)
10 oz can condensed tomato soup
10 oz water (just use the can from the tomato soup to measure)
1 teaspoon basil
2 beef bouillon cubes (or 2 tsp. beef base)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Ready for this....preheat oven to 350.  Combine ingredients in a large oven-safe pot that comes with an oven-safe lid.  Cook in heated oven for 3 hours.  Remove from oven and serve!
OR use the best invention ever - the CROCK POT!!  Place on low for 9-10 hours or high for 5-6.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Glazed Apples

It's cookbook club tonight and we are all about APPLES!!!  Everything we made tonight had apples in it - so we made up these pork chops and these were yummy :)  The sauce was heaven - and the apples were cooked perfectly!!!  (good work ladies!)  It tasted a little bit like applesauce...ahhh  It was really easy to make too!!  Do it up :)

Serves 4 - Bride and Groom Cookbook

2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
4 thin-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1 tablespoon bacon grease, plus more if needed
2 small red apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine the brown sugar, salt, and rosemary in a small bowl and stir together.  Coat the pork chops on both sides with the mixture, gently massaging the meat with your fingers to jump start the curing process.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  Rinse the chops and pat dry with paper towels.  Season the chops on both sides with pepper to taste.

Melt the 1 tablespoon bacon grease in a large heavy skillet over high heat, add the pork chops, and cook until crispy brown, about 2 minutes each side.

Transfer the pork chops to a plate and cover with foil.  Add the apples to the skillet and cook, stirring gently to brown slightly, about 30 seconds, adding a bit more bacon grease if the pan is dry.  Add the stock, jam, brandy, and cinnamon - stir well.  Cook until the sauce thickens and is rich brown in color, about 10 minutes.  (Don't cook sauce too much, but if you do - add more stock).

Uncover the pork chops and top with the glazed apples.

Low-Fat Apple Waldorf Salad

This salad was "eh"....I thought it would be amazing, but it wasn't great.  I don't know if it was the miracle whip or just wasn't that great.  Wouldn't make it again.....the fruit was good -- haha!!

Makes 6 servings - Costco Home Cooking

1/3 cup low-fat mayo
1/3 cup fat-free yogurt
2 medium Fuji apples, cored and cut into bite-size chunks
1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks (or 20oz can pineapple chunks)
2 celery stalks, sliced
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup golden raisins

Mix maoy and yogurt in a bowl until blended.  Add apples, pineapple, celery, walnuts and raisins to the bowl.  Stir until well mixed.

Caramel Apple Nachos

It's fall time....ahhhh my favorite!!  When I was trying to find "apple" recipes - my mom was reading Kraft foods magazine and she saw this - so figured we would try it for cookbook!  It was good - but we kept getting nervous the caramel was going to rip our teeth be careful :)

2 apples (green)
18 Kraft caramels
2 teaspoon water
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
2 Oreo cookies, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

Core apple.  Slice apples - arrange apples with slices slightly overlapping on plate.

Microwave caramels and water in microwavable bowl on HIGH 1 1/2 min or until caramels are completely melted, stirring every 30 seconds.  Pour mixture into measuring cup; drizzle over apples.

Top with remaining ingredients.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Creamy Taco Mac

Needed something quick/easy tonight that could be used for leftovers for lunch this week - and this was it!!  This was so easy - and it tasted amazing!  It's going to be great for lunch - can't wait!!  I ate dinner over at my parents house tonight, but made this up for Ross's dinner, so now my mouth is watering to try it :)

1¼ lbs. ground turkey (I used ground beef)
8 oz dry pasta shapes
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
4 tablespoon taco seasoning
3 oz cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook pasta according to the package directions.  Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the ground turkey over medium-high heat until no longer pink.  A few minutes before the turkey is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet.

Once the turkey is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Mix in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit.  Remove from the heat and top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Black Bean Burgers

Just another meal that doesn't include "meat" -- BUT I did get the approval from Ross that it was "pretty good"!!  :)  Pretty easy to prepare - and not a lot of clean up!  Plus - it's a HEALTHY burger!!  We topped it with mango salsa - gave it that extra, I added a jalapeno diced up too - gave it a little more kick!  We made this with Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Slices and it was a very complete / healthy Sunday night meal!

Tiff blog - makes 6 burgers

3/4 cup panko
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 (15oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed, divided
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 shallot, minced

Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Combine the panko with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and mix with a fork to blend.  Add the mixture to the skillet and toast the panko, stirring frequently until light golden brown.  Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Place 2 1/2 cups of the beans in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork until mostly smooth.  In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, 1 tablespoon of the oil, cumin, salt, and cayenne.  Whisk to blend.  Add the egg mixture toasted panko, the remaining 1/2 cup beans , bell pepper, cilantro, and shallot to the bowl with the mashed beans.  Stir together until evenly combined.

Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, about 1/2 cup each.  Lightly pack into 1-inch thick patties.  (At this point the patties can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before cooking).

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Carefully lay half of the patties in the skillet and cook until well browned on both sides, about 8-10 minutes total.  Transfer the cooked burgers to a plate, tent with foil, and repeat with the remaining oil and bean patties.  Serve warm

Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Slices

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Potato and Bacon Breakfast Casserole

We were FINALLY home for a weekend, so I decided to make up some bfast for us before we hit up the boat!  This was super easy cause we just made it up the night before - and then threw it in the oven when we woke up!  It was really good too - recommend putting hot sauce on it a little extra kick!!  Don't mind the burnt bacon...Ross got a little carried away with the stove heat last night :)

OBB - Serves 8

4 cups Southern/country-style hash browns (cubes), completely thawed (if they’re not thawed, they won’t cook correctly)
12 oz package bacon
1 1/2 cups pepper jack cheese
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 eggs
1 cup milk
about 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
about 10 turns freshly ground black pepper

Begin cooking bacon.  While the bacon is cooking, place the potatoes in a 9×13″ baking dish.

Mix the cheeses together and sprinkle it over the potatoes. When the bacon is done cooking, drain it on a paper towel and reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings. Cook the onions in the drippings for 2-3 minutes or until they’re tender and fragrant.

Spread the onions over the cheese mixture and then sprinkle everything with the crumbled bacon.  Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper and, whisking constantly, pour the egg mixture evenly over the potato mixture.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or for 7-8 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350.  Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly but not brown. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve with fresh fruit.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sweet Pepper and Goat Cheese Pizza

Um, my mouth is still watering!!!  I made such an awesome pizza tonight -- ahhh I would eat the whole thing, but I have a feeling when Ross gets home from work in a bit he might be a bit starving :)  For real - the combo of the peppers and the sweet sauce was SO good!!  I think Ross might love it - even though no meat is involved!!  It was actually really easy to make - it took about 20 min from beginning to it!!

Tiff blog

Olive Oil cooking spray
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium sized white onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 (10 oz.) jars (about 2 cups) drained roasted red peppers, thinly sliced (packed in water, not oil)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
Kosher or Sea salt
1/2 lb store bought pizza dough (I used Target's premade Flat bread pizza)
1/4 lb goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 450. Spray a 17x11 inch rimmed baking sheet with olive oil spray.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until softened but not browned, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the roasted peppers and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring. Add the sugar, vinegar, and water and stir until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to low, and cook until the liquid is reduced, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. season with salt to taste and let the pepper mixture cool slightly. (This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated)

Stretch the dough (or use flat bread pizza) directly onto the baking pan, pressing and gently stretching to fill as much of the pan as possible. Spread the pepper filling evenly over the dough, place in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan, crumble goat cheese over the surface of the pizza and continue to bake for an additional 7-10 minutes, until the center of the pie is fully cooked.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Cut into slices and serve.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Southwest Pasta Salad

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall Wreath

So fall cleaning has me going through every box / drawer - and I came to find my fake leaves leftover from our wedding!!  Figured I should either toss them or find a craft I could use them for.....SO I made this wreath!!  It was super cute, super easy, and super cheap!!

Wire wreath (whatever size you want)
Fake leaves
Excoto knife

That's it!!

Basically all I did was put little slits into the leaves - and then just strung them on the wire wreath - and PRESTO....DONE!!  Took me a total of 2 episodes of "Weeds"  :)  Tied it all up with a ribbon and hung from my wreath hanger - and now I have the wedding memories to go along with my fall decorations!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Koni "puke" sandwiches

Headed up to the cabin for labor day - so we wanted something easy to make for the group!  This was Ross's favorite meal as a kid - he used to have it up at Bestemor and Bubba's cabin, so figured it was the perfect meal!!  Let's just say that the love continued into the Ronhovde family - as they were gone in less than 5 minutes!! 

Try it out - super easy and yummy!  Might not be the healthiest of meals - but they were dang good!!  We brought these on our road trip last year too - just freeze the mix and then plop them in buns and warm them up!  Would be a good "in a hurry meal" to defrost and eat!!

1.5lb of beef
1lb of Velveeta
1 small can diced black olives
8oz can of tomato sauce
1 onion chopped

Brown the beef with the onions.  Take off heat when brown – add the cheese (in cube).  Stir until melted – then add rest of the ingredients.

Put in bun / wrap in foil – bake for 15-20 min at 350 degrees.  Makes 2 dozen.  I had to take this pic...I mean, it looked could you not!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pico de Gallo

AHHH can't go wrong with pico de gallo and chips!!  Super good snack - and hey, besides the chips it's healthy :)

OBB Cookbook
About 3 Roma tomatoes
1 smallish jalapeno pepper
1/2 small red onion

Freshly squeezed lime juice (use 1/2 lime for a little zing, use the whole thing for distinct lime flavor. In case you were wondering, I use the whole thing)
A very generous pinch of chopped cilantro--I just grab some using all my fingers at once. It probably comes out to about 1/4 cup.
Kosher salt to taste; some people leave it on the bland side because a lot of foods pico de gallo is served with tends to be salty. Personally, I like it on the salty side.

Cut ends off tomatoes and then slice in half lengthwise. Under running water, gently run your finger under the membrane that contains the seeds. It's okay if some seeds get in there, but if you have all of them, it's going to get a little sloppy. Cut into small chunks.
Finely dice the onion. Toss with the tomato mixture.

Finely chop the jalapeno, removing the seeds if desired (the seeds contain the majority of the heat, although the flesh is still pretty hot) Toss with the tomatoes and onions.

Add the fresh-squeezed juice of 1/2 of the lime. Taste. If you want to walk on the limey side, add a little more.
Add your giant pinch of cilantro. Combine well. Add a generous sprinkling of Kosher salt, taste, and add more if desired. This is best if it stands for a few hours before you serve it, but it also may (okay, will) get a little wet in the bottom of the bowl, so you might want to strain it before serving it. It's great just straight up on tortilla chips.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chicken Potpies

Yup - that's right...I made my OWN chicken potpies.....who needs frozen Banquet's when you got L-Sodahl in the house!!  These were ammmmaaaaazzzzzing!!!  They were actually really easy to make too - don't judge the pic (I used the wrong pie crust...)  I added a little bit of LISA style to them - you can kinda see it :)  I got my little ramekins as a gift from Miss Nicole (roomie!) - so guess you'll have to ask her where she got them.  They work perfect for this dish!!  (part of the reason why I tried it...well that and I had leftover pastry sheets & rotisserie chicken!)  Make it - they were yummy!!  AND another great reason to make these - is you can FREEZE them and all you have to do it pop them in the oven....for real - just like Banquet!

Makes 4 servings - Bride and Groom Cookbook

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
salt / pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon flour
2/3 cup chicken stock (or low sodium canned chicken broth)
1 jar (16oz) Alfredo sauce, I used Classico
3 cups shredded purchased roast chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 package (10oz) frozen mixed peas and carrots, thawed
2 frozen pastry circles or sheets for 9-inch pie
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 425.  Line a baking sheet with foil.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, 5-7 minutes.  Add the wine and cook until it has evaporated but the onion is still most, about 2 minutes more.  Sprinkle the flour over the onion and cook for 1 minute.  Add the stock and stir until well incorporated and slightly thickened.

Remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in the Alfredo sauce, then the chicken and peas and carrots.  Adjust the seasonings with more salt and pepper.  Divide the filling amount four 1 1/2 ramekins.  Set aside.

Place frozen pastry circles or sheets on work surface and let that slightly, about 10 minutes.  Place a ramekin directly on pastry.  Cut out a circle 1 inch wider than the bottom of the ramekin.  Drape the pastry over the ramekin and seal by pressing gently on the sides of the ramekin.  Repeat with remaining ramekins.  Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.

Place potpies on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden, 35-45 minutes.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

DO AHEAD: The filling can be made and pies assembled 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate then bake as directed.

FREEZE: We recommend baking 2 potpies and freezing the remaining 2.  Do not brush the pasty with the beaten egg before freezing the pies.  Cover the ramekins with foil and freeze.  Bake the frozen pies, covered in foil, in 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Then remove foil, brush with beaten egg, and continue baking until crust is golden, about 30 minutes.