Makin Grammie Proud!

Food, Garden and family

shepherds pie twice baked taters.

So as many of my facebook friends know I was blessed yesterday with a BUNCH of taters. So sitting here today thinking of ways to use up these babies…. hmm soup? naw no bacon and not enough milk.  fries? naw trying to cut back… hmmm baked taters? naw but maybe… twice baked…. oooh or shepherds pie… or oh wait both…. Hmmmm Ab’s think this one out for  a sec…. and all I could here was  Joey in an episode of friends… ” meat good peas good custard GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!” you all know which episode I am talkin I about hahahahahaha. Here is it.

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Start with

6-8 large russets.  ( I used 6 and had enough inside stuff for at least 2 more)

1 lb lean ground beef ( you can sub turkey or chicken or tofu if you are in to that stuff)

1 med onion diced

1/2  packet of ranch powder

1-2 cups of cheddar

3 TBS Butter or margarine

1 cup (give or take) of milk

*Some frozen peas… ( for my youngest who doesn’t want to eat meat lately)

So You can bake up your taters. I cheated and used the microwave and if you are gonna do that then ( prick them with a fork like 12 times 1st) I did 4 for 10 min then 2 more for I think 6 min. I actually used the potato setting on my microwave so yeah.

While those bad boys are baking ( or cooling see below)  get out your big pan and set it to med hi heat and soften up your onions in a tiny bit of oil and salt. add your meat and brown it up with whatever spices you like. We like the montreal steak seasoning from McCormick.

But anyway when they are baked to perfection and cooled to an easily handleable temperature, cut the top 3rd off. Scoop the top out  and put it in a bowl. I didn’t use that much of the skins but you can. My doggy liked the skins.

now CAREFULLY scoop out the big part of the potato leaving enough innards inside to keep the sides up.  Add those innards to the innards of the tops.  I had a few places on mine where i scooped them to close and they ended up leaking some meaty juicy goodness on to my sheet pan and made it hard to remove the potato without ruining it.

Use all the innards and make mashed taters. I added the butter sour cream and 1/2 packet of ranch powder mashed em up and added milk till i liked the consistency. mash.

preheat your oven to 350.

Now to put em together.  Get out a sheet pan and cover it with foil, unless you get some weird kick out of scrubbing baked on cheese. Now that I think about it can’t hurt to spray  your pan with nonstick spray.  Put a big scoop of you meat mix in the potato canoe 1st then make a rounded top of your mashed taters. place on your sheet pan. I topped mine with the shredded cheddar ( actually my boys topped them so more cheese made it on the sheet pan and in their mouths then on the potatoes) but you can do something else… what ever floats your potato boat. 🙂

* Oh for my youngests I added frozen peas to the bottom of his instead of the  meat mixture. Then topped with mashed potatos and cheese marked his with peas on top so we would know which was his. super easy and I knew he would eat it that way.

Bake for ten minutes at 350. I then pulled mine out and turned the broiler on and broiled the cheese tops for a min or two. Let cool for a few while you set the table and steam one of the veggies in a bag.

these were so good I had ZERO leftovers. Hubs ate 3! Hope you all like these. Tell me how you change them up. All in all probably only took me 30 min to make them.  Unless you are baking the taters int he oven it shouldnt take a very long time to throw this one together.

Blessing all!

P.S.  please if you have any ideas for an over abundance of onions.. let me know 🙂

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Simply simple Whole wheat bread.

I am a big fan of the whole grain bread that has all the nuts and stuff in it.  husband and kids however would be happy with plain old wonder bread. So i try to compromise and try to make really soft whole wheat breads. I am learning as I go. My loaves started off short and dense. very crumby and kind of tasteless.

Now days I have learned a few tricks to making whole wheat breads. My biggest trick is this little thing called “Vital wheat Gluten”  it is a natural product sold in a bag or box about the size of a powderd sugar box.  A small amount of this stuff packs a huge punch! For my standard loaf I use just two TBS.  i have also found that buying the cheapest whole wheat flour doesnt work for my family. I like the King aurthur brand whole wheat cause it is very very ground. My guys are fussy about stuff sometimes. I am too its just I am the one cooking so i make things i like. LOL anyways below is my standard whole wheat recipe.

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1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup

2 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour

1 cup bread or AP flour

1 packet (2 and a half TSP.) active dry yeast.

1/4 cup nonfat dried milk

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 TBS of vital wheat gluten. Yes you are adding gluten… I aint no hippie dippie gluten free freak. LOL JK. ADD IT or you will end up with  WHOLE WHEAT BRICK.

First get your warm water in your bowl  with your sweetener. I prefer the Molasses. mix it up a little bit.  then add your yeast and let those guys get going for about 5-10 min.  After that  put every thing else in your bowl.  mix it up till it pulls away from you bowl. then turn it out and knead it by hand for 6-8 minutes then let it rise in a warm place for 50 min… OOOOOOOR put all this mess in your bread machine bowl and set it to the dough method like i do.  1.5 hours later boom dough.  I punch mine down and let it  rise again in a greased bread pan for 30 min.

Pop that baby in the oven for 20 min at 350. When the timer dings tent your bread with foil and let it bake another 15 min. The tent prevents the crust for turning to brown and hard. When that timer rings take your bread out of the pan and on to a wire rack. While it is still smokin hot you want to coat the crust in soething to keep it tender as well. I like to use butter, just rub the stick all over it but…. my expanding waistline says i need to cut back soooo lowfat milk will do the same. Just brush the whole loaf while it is still hot with  the milk and let it cool.  AT LEAST 30 MIN!!! this is key. Your bread will colapse if you dont give it time.  I promise.

Let me know if you guys use this recipe or any ideas you think would make it better. This is  a simple starter recipe you can  add nuts… go all whole wheat flour, use honey.   Whatever you think.

Blessings!

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Pancake adventure!!!!

so it is always nice to wake up and make a yummy breakfast for your family. I have to say though it rarely happens in our house cause mom is usually making bowls of cereal or serving muffins half asleep.  Sometimes though husband feel the urge to wake u and make breakfast. Probably because his 1st order of business in the morning s it a shower. Today was one of those days.  he woke up and  cleaned the kitchen then proceeded to  work on breaky. not realizing we didnt have instantpancake batter he promised our youngest chocolate chip banana pancakes.  Then enlisted my help in making hoem made pancake batter. which niether of us had ever made before. there is a 1st time for everything.  so with flour in hand we tried a random recipe we found.  here is our version of home made pancakes for 4 people.

3 cups of ap flour

1 egg

4 tsp bakign powder

1 tsp salt

1tbs sugar

4 tbs shortening.

2.5 cups of milk

2 tbs buttermilk powder

mix the dry stuff together.  twice… i dont knwo why but the recipe said to do it twice.  next add the wet stuff.  now we semi melted our shortening cause we thought it would work better and ours was comign out of the fridge.also  slowly add the milk you might need more or less to make it the right consistency.

Dont over mix your pancakes will end up tough and crumbly.  pour on to a heated skillet at this point you can add things like banana slices or chocolate chips or berries. When it starts to bubble flip it.cook for another few minutes.

I know what you are saying ” but the just add water mix is so much easier”  and too you i say rubbish. I was a “just add water” girl but I am thinking I wont be buying the mix at all anymore. It was sooo easy. You can do it. Try it. I  think  my favorite part about makin these was being in the kitchen with my hubby. Wearing the cute apron he gave me for christmas.

blessings

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SFBC Yuminess

So yes this is my second post today but you need to understand that dinner was so good I could not wait to share it with you.

SFBC means spinach feta bacon chicken burgers.  YUM. i served these on regular plain old burger buns with just a touch of ranch and they were awesome. If one likes tomato a good slice  would probably be yummy here too.

1 lb ground chicken

1/2 a 10 oz box of frozen spinach defrosted a rung out well.

2 tbs of diced parsley (optional)

1 egg

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

4 oz of feta chopped in to small pieces.

4 slices of bacon cooked cooled and crumbled.

2 green onions diced fine ( you can use whatever onion you have but i would grate up a big onion so you dont get a ton of onion flavor.)

1-2 tsp salt (to taste)

1/2 tsp of pepper

2 tbs Worcestershire sauce.

Ok  kids remove your rings… I always forget. Open up you chicken plop it in the bowl.. crumble the spinach on top add everythign else up there in to the bowl. Then get to mixing… mix it up good… but dont “squish it” . Heat your grilled pan on med high heat and  start to form your pattys. I got 5 good sized pattys out of mine.  Cook them for 3 min on each side. Mmmm i am still so full but i cant wait for lunch with leftovers tomorrow.

I hope you try these soon

Blessings

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Happy mom = a better world for all.

what do you get when you combined a box of pancake mix, a 2 lb box of strawberries and whipped cream? A happy momma!

the night before chop up your straw berries and mix them with a 1/2 cup of sugar.  cover and pu tin the fridge  till
morning.

Make your batter as per the box instructions for waffles.

I happen to have a hand me down  cheap belgian waffle iron soo I am lucky.

Spray your iron with no stick spray. I dont care if it says it is non stick they will stick if you dont spray it.  Ok fine dont spray it see what happens. I don’t care.  they are your waffles. I pour about a cup of batter in to my iron, close it and let it go for  FULL 5 min. NO PEEKING! if your waffle iron is stil letting steam out after 5 min give it another min or 2 to  let the steam calm down. Not to much though or you will have burnt waffles. Blah

Ok waffles are done take them out of the iron put them on a plate and top with 2 scoops or strawberries and some whipped cream.  the only thing that could make this better would be some bacon. YUM!

Now i know you are saying ” wth sd2cb? i know how to make waffles! what do you think i am an idiot?” No I don’t. I think that some people  *cough* my husband *cough* are very uhm… brainy… and need very detailed instructions on doing simple things… even though i doubt any dudes read this blog maybe a few women need that type of instruction. either way there it is… now go to goodwill or salvation army and find your self a poor lonely unwanted waffle iron… i think that’s where my mom got the one she gave me. stop looking at the waffle picture and go!!!!

Blessings!

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My pot of posole

Ok so you make it in a slow cooker so it isnt really a pot but…YUM I could eat bowls of this stuff for weeks. I got a new slow cooker for my birthday since I murdered my old one  ( on accident). I ❤ My friend Kim.

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1-2 lbs boneless pork shoulder ( I used already cut up pork stew meat)
1Tbs cooking oil
1 medium red or green sweet pepper cut into1/2 in pieces
1 medium tomato chopped ( I am lazy i used 1 can of diced tomatos)
1/2 cup of chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic minced
2 14.5 oz cans of golden Hominy drained
1 4oz can of diced green chilies
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano crushed
2 14 oz cans of chicken broth ( I used one whole box which is 32oz but eh it wasnt to much more)
Tortilla chips, mexican cheese (the big round white thing not the kraft cheese blend), Lime wedges and chopped cilantro are optional but I highly recommend them. YUM.

1. trim the fat from the meat and cut the meat in to 1 in ch cubes. In a e skillet brown the pork half at a time drain off the fat.
2. transfer the pork to your  slow cooker. Add sweet pepper, onion, tomato, garlic, hominy, chile peppers, chili powder and oregano and then pour the broth over all of that.
3. cover; cook on low setting for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

when it is done put some in a bowl squeeze some lime juice on add some cheese and a sprinkle of cilantro and mmmmmmmm you will be in heaven.

Blessings

PS sorry it has been so long. Things have been crazy here and we have been living off of processed yuck. back to the grind though and back in the kitchen i go.

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cluck cluck yum

So in my kitchen there are usually 2 main meats, boneless skin less chicken breasts and beef of one form or another. usually ground. We also like pork but it is maybe once a week.  so being that we are between paychecks again i am working on making meals again with what we have here at home. scrounging thru the freezer i found some ground chicken… ” hmm what can i do with this? not enough for burgers for the family it is only a pound… hmmm.” then it clicked I saw rachel ray do a recipe with ground chicken on a rerun the other day. chicken parm meatballs mmmmm. So here it is.

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1 lb of ground chicken

1 box of frozen spinach thawed and well drained. ( really well drained. Wring it out in a towel)

1/2 cup of bread crumbs ( I used panko because that is what I had.)

1/4 cup of milk

1/2cup shredded parm cheese

1 egg

1 clove of garlic minced

1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg

1 onion ( for grating)

3Tbs tomato paste divided

Salt and pepper to taste

preheat your oven to 400 and like a cookie sheet/ baking sheet with parchment paper.

“Place chicken and spinach in bowl. Grate 1 clove of garlic into bowl or finely chop and add garlic. Grate 3-4 tablespoons of onion directly into bowl. Combine 1/2 cup of cheese and breadcrumbs with nutmeg and barely moisten with milk, no more than 1/4 cup. Sprinkle the bread-cheese mixture into chicken then add egg, parsley, salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons tomato paste.

Combine 1 tablespoon of tomato paste with 1 tablespoon EVOO in small bowl. Mix and combine the chicken with breadcrumbs and section the meatball mix into quarters. Then roll 3 large balls from each section. Arrange balls on baking sheet as you work. Using a pastry brush, brush meatballs with tomato paste and oil mixture and roast for 18-20 minutes”

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We ate ours with jarred sauce and whole wheat noodles. This is the full recipe if you want it. (http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/chicken-parm-meatballs-and-spaghetti/) It was delicious. I am serious. My son had fun mixing the meat and he ate like 4 meatballs.  YOWZA!!!

Blessings

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Best dang bread EVER!

Ok so in the 2 years i have had this bread machine i have tried many ( and by many i mean hundreds.) of bread recipes.  None of which have fit me perfectly. I  mean they were ok and edible and all but nothing like this one. yes I know it doesn’t use whole grains.. and yes I know  it has milk and butter and salt and… yeah i know… but that is why it doesn’t taste like a brick of cardboard. I don’t know about you but i hate cardboard with my grilled cheese or turkey club BLAH! so here it is.

It is actually very very simple. I used this recipe from king Arthur’s flour company ( http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/bread-machine-breadeasy-as-can-be-recipe). I made a few changes to mine. Just a couple don’t freak out.

For large (1 1/2lb.- 2lb.) machine
1 cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup lukewarm milk

ok 1st big switch up.

I used buttermilk powder here.(http://www.sacofoods.com/culteredbuttermilkblend.html) Because I was out of milk yesterday. It is easy to use but you can sub real buttermilk too just use and equal amount of buttermilk. I highly suggest using buttermilk if you can. YUM.

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour

2nd switch up

Here I used all bread flour. But hey  whatever you have I guess.
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast ( I used bread machine yeast whatever)

So the recipe on the web site says to do the whole thing in your bread machine.. I didn’t I put my machine on the dough cycle and plopped the finished dough in my standard bread pan ( greased a little) and let it rise for 45 more min in a warm spot.  then i tossed it in to  350 DEGREE oven and baked for 35 min.  when it is done  take it out of the pan and let it cool for AT LEAST 30 min but if you are like me  30 min will be all you can wait.

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The king Arthur’s web site is chock-a-block full recipes. Plus I like their product.  No need to thank me for this one by the way. Your smiles say so much.

Blessings

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J.O.B. Taco salad

In my family we make taco salad. no not that crap in a taco bowl. This is salad in a bowl.  Ok here is it.

Cook up 1.5 – 2lbs of ground beef  with salt and pepper.

Get bag of iceburg salad mix stuff the one with cabage and carrots.

2 tomatos

2 ripe avocados

a cup of cheddar

nacho cheese doritos

and some ranch dressing

Pile some salad in your bowl top with a scoop of meat a sprinkling of cheese some diced tomato and dice avocado. crumble some chips on top and  add some ranch. YUM. I cant wait to eat it. Now this is a top secret family recipe.  please dont share it with to many folks. And yes you may say “EW sd2cb that sounds gross…” but it is good and can be healthy if you make.

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I think my addiction is out of control.

So Husband and I are home relaxing after a long trying day. I am craving something… something chocolatey.. I go look for something.. Nothing in the cookie jar but some granola bars. Good but not what I wanted. I wanted something deeper.. something richer… more sinful… I scour my cabinets looking for anything to quench this aching need…HMPH! Nothing. Feeling defeated I decide to look in my better homes and gardens cook book at pictures of things I might have time to make tomorrow. After all it is 10:30 I cant exactly start a chocolate cake right now… Wait! That is it… I flip to the back of the book where I keep all my recipe print outs from the net and there is a perfectly white piece of paper (meaning I have never used it or it would be oil stained or something) across the top is written “ the most dangerous cake recipe in the world” followed by my moms email address. I think to myself “ she would be the one who would lead to my demise” I read the paper… I can do this…. I can I even have a vanilla ice cream in the fridge.

Husband walks in the kitchen at this point and asks” what are you doing” “an experiment” I say… “ at 10:30 at night ?” At this point I look at him in shock… how dare he question my thinking…if this turns out he will be lucky to get a bite. “ yes now go away “

Recipe

1 mug

4 tbs regular AP flour

4 tbs sugar

4 tbs baking cocoa

Mix this all together in the mug then add

1 egg

make sure this get good and mixed in there. I might even say scramble it 1st then add it.

Next add

3 tbs of milk

3tbs of oil

2-3 tbs chocolate chips

a splash of vanilla

Mix the all together and pop that bad boy in the microwave for 3 min. Don’t freak out if it puffs up out of the mug it will be fine. When the time beeps.. take the mug out ( I would suggest a oven mitt just in case) and let it cool for like 2 min the pop that bad boy on a plate and mack down on that thing and all its chocolatey glory. MMM

As I type this I am still eating mine. I have big mugs… husband did help but gave up a while ago. Now don’t let me fool you this is not a true chocolate cake but OMG it hits the spot. If you try this please please let me know. I want to know how it turns out for you. Mine was awesome. And totally hit the spot.

Mom once again you come to my rescue from almost a thousand miles away! I love you.

Blessings

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