RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Recipe

Butterfinger Cookies Recipe by Leah

Recipes Logo

20180129_165824

Butterfinger Cookies

If you give me the chance to curl up and read a cozy mystery I’m going to take it.  Especially if it’s a series centered around a lovable woman in her 50’s who finds herself bumbling around the mysterious situations.  Did I mention that she also loves to cook?  😁

Josie Kilpack’s culinary mysteries have been a fun series with some great recipes.  This one came from book #4, Key Lime Pie.   

Butterfinger Cookies

Yield: 4 dozen

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 cup peanut butter (chunky or creamy)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

5 (2.1-oz) Butterfinger candy bars, chopped* (about 2 cups)

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream butter and sugars.
  2. Add egg; mix.
  3. Add peanut butter and vanilla; mix until smooth.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt.  Mix well.  Add butterfingers; mix.
  5. Roll into 1-inch balls, use a 1-inch scoopo, or drop by 1-inch spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes, just until browned.
  6. Allow cookies to cool 2 minutes on baking sheet before moving to cooling rack.

*Do not use a food processor.  The pieces will be too fine and you lose the lovely crunch from the Butterfingers.  My 10-year old got a little overzealous trying to crush them with a rolling pin and we had the same problem.  You want the delicious peanut buttery crunch of a Butterfinger bar in the cookie.  It’s worth it to chop them.

Leah Recipe Logo

Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe by Leah

Recipes Logo

I have loved stuff mushrooms for as long as I can remember.  It’s my go to starter at any restaurant and have tried so many different kinds I’ve lost track.  I decided I needed to just start making them myself and after some trial and error have created these.  They have everything I love about a stuffed mushroom – a creamy, strongly-flavored filling with some kick from the sausage and cayenne.  These are one of my most requested appetizers.

Stuffed Mushrooms

yield: 36

INGREDIENTS

36 large (2 1/2- inch) while mushrooms

1 lb Italian Pork Sausage

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 Tbsp minced garlic

2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel.  Carefully break off stems.  Discard half the stems.  Chop the remaining stems extremely fine, discarding tough ends.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook sausage, breaking up as you cook, until done.  Remove sausage and set aside to drain on a paper towel.
  3. Add vegetable oil to a skillet.  Add garlic and chopped mushrooms to skillet.  Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic.  Set aside to cool.
  4. When mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan, pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper.  Mix in sausage.  Mixture should be very thick.  Using a spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of filling.  Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of the mushrooms) in preheated oven.  The mushrooms should be piping hot with liquid forming under the caps.

Leah Recipe Logo

Shredded Barbecue Chicken Over Grits

Recipes Logo

 

 

20180201_172232

Shredded Barbecue Chicken Over Grits

 

This recipe is one my sister gave me.  She saw it in a Taste of Home magazine, knew I’d like it, brought me the recipe, and volunteered to taste-test it when I made it.  She was right.  I did like it – so did she, my husband, my kids, and my parents.  The grits have a wonderful flavor.  You can tell something has been added but no one could guess it was pumpkin.  

When I served the chicken I was generous with the sauce and still had a lot leftover.  Next time I’ll make 2 lbs of chicken for that amount of sauce rather than 1 lb.  The leftover chicken would make great tacos.

 

Shredded Barbecue Chicken Over Grits

Prep:20 min

Cook: 25 min

Yield: 6 servings

 

INGREDIENTS

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/4 tsp pepper

1 can (14 1/2 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup hickory smoke-flavored barbecue sauce

1/4 cup molasses

1 Tbsp ground ancho chili pepper

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 1/4 cups water

1 cup quick-cooking grits

1 cup canned pumpkin

3/4 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped

6 Tbsp sour cream

2 green oinons, chopped

2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced

 

PREPARATION

  1. Sprinkle chicken with pepper; place in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup broth, barbecue sauce, molasses, chili pepper and cinnamon; pour over the chicken.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees F.  Shred meat with 2 forks and return to skillet.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring water and remaining broth to a boil.. Slowly stir in grits and pumpkin.  Reduce heat; cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in cheese until melted.
  4. Divide grits among 6 serving bowls; top each with 1/2 cup chicken mixture.  Serve with tomato, sour cream, green onions and cilantro.

 

 

 

Leah Recipe Logo

Taco Salad Recipe

Recipes Logo

 

 

 

20180204_170733

Taco Salad

 

My sweet 10 year old desperately wanted to make dinner for me on my birthday.  Hmmm.  What can I ask her to make that is both tasty enough to give her confidence from her efforts and requires minimal cooking experience?  This is the recipe I pulled out for her.  She did have to ask my husband a couple questions, like how to know when the meat was done, but overall she did wonderfully and gave us all a delicious meal.  She even asked to take some of the leftovers to school for lunch the next day.  That’s what I call a success!

 

Taco Salad

 

Yield: 6-8 servings

 

INGREDIENTS

1 lb ground beef

1 packet taco seasoning

1/3 cup water

1 large head romaine lettuce

15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1 cup chopped green onions

1 avocado, sliced

3.8 oz can black olives, drained

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Bolthouse Salsa Ranch Dressing (or your favorite salsa with a little ranch mixed in)

 

PREPARATION

  1. Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat.  Brown the meat and break into small pieces with a wooden spoon.  Stir in the taco seasoing and 1/3 cup water.   Simmer until the water is absorbed, then remove from heat.
  2. Chop the lettuce and place in a large serving bowl.  Pile the taco meat and beans over the top.
  3. Add the crushed Doritos, tomatoes, green onions, avocado slices, olives and cheese.  Top the salad with Salsa Ranch Dressing.

 

 

Leah Recipe Logo

Cherry Chiffon

I thought for Serve It Sunday I’d share a super easy dessert dish just in case someone doesn’t have the recipe yet. It’s not only easy, but goes over incredibly well for gatherings and buffets. It’s really sweet, yet light and airy, with just a little tang from some pineapple. I’ll write out the regular recipe, then add my notes below it.

Cherry Chiffon
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling (in case you’ve never used this don’t drain)
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
1/2 can (of a 15 oz can) chunk pineapple, drained
1 cup miniature marshmallows.

Stir ingredients together, chill and allow the dessert to set up overnight, and serve cold.

My notes: We love this dessert, but we’ve tweaked the recipe a little. First, we prefer to use crushed pineapple. It seems to incorporate a lot more thoroughly, so there aren’t just pockets of tanginess. Second, we prefer to make the chiffon creamier, so I actually use two tubs of cool whip. And last, everyone loves the marshmallows, so I add the whole bag of marshmallows. It makes the dessert a bit sweeter, but gives more umph to the texture, and people can just cut back on the portion size if it’s too sweet to them. In all of the years that I’ve made this I haven’t noticed a difference in brands of the sweetened condensed milk, but I have noticed that some brands of pie filling has a few pits in them, so watch it carefully as you dump it into the bowl. I usually empty the can into the bowl first, just so that I can double check, although Comstock brand has the least problems. The chilling is a huge part of making this dessert impressive. It gives the chiffon time to set up and get super fluffy instead of just creamy, so don’t get impatient and try to serve it quickly. I’m adding a picture of it, although it’s the picture that Eagle Brand posted of it, since they’re experienced with setting up food shots and I’m not. Mine didn’t look nearly as pretty. One thing to note though is that they didn’t let theirs set up, so it looks uber creamy instead of fluffy. Expect yours to look more like the inside of a meringue, all airy, especially if you indulge with my version.

IMG_2071.JPG

I hope you don’t mind my posting such a basic recipe, but it’s a fantastic one that is always requested when I go to gatherings, so I figured it’d be the perfect one to share. 🙂

Chicken Frito Supreme

Chicken Frito Supreme

Hi there!  In honor of Serve It Sunday I want to share a new recipe that I found on Pinterest that will become part of our regular meal rotation.  The original recipe is at http://www.redaprongirl.com/chicken-frito-supreme/, although mine has a few changes plus a little tip.  This meal comes together without a whole lot of work, especially if you all ready have some trimmed chicken breasts ready.

We used:

2 trimmed chicken breasts, diced

1 cup salsa (due to my sensitivities I used extra mild picante instead, but it’s totally whatever you prefer, and I only had the one cup of salsa, so that’s why I went with some Ro-tel.  If you have a full jar of salsa, then use the original 2.5 cups of salsa and omit the Ro-tel)

1 can mild Ro-tel

1 can of chicken broth

5 tbsp. cornstarch (original calls for 3; if you use a picante or Ro-tel, then you will also need more cornstarch)

Grated cheddar cheese

Fritos chips

2 cups Instant Rice

Sautee the chicken until it’s cooked through (we went with two breasts because we didn’t want it as meaty, while the original recipe calls for 4), and then add the salsa/Ro-tel, broth, and cornstarch to the chicken.

ChickenFrito1 ChickenFrito2

Here’s where I take a detour from the original recipe.  It says to “let simmer while rice cooks”.  Most of the time cornstarch needs some heat to become active, just like when you make gravy, so after I stirred the mixture together (and added the extra cornstarch beyond the original recipe) and let it simmer for a while, I finally realized why the mixture was still thin and increased the heat to medium high just until it came to a boil. I then turned it down and let the mixture simmer, stirring frequently, and it thickened up well.  I cooked the instant rice with hot water as the package indicated.

(My feet have been excruciating for the past few days, so I was sitting on my knees on my walker to cook today.  I stepped down to rinse a measuring cup and when I turned back I discovered that Abby had taken advantage of my walker to check on the meal.  *laugh*  Apparently it smelled good, because she really didn’t want to get back down to the floor! *grin*)

ChickenFrito3

Look how yummy the sauce looks once it thickens:

ChickenFrito4

Once everything is cooked, layer rice, chicken sauce mixture, shredded cheese, and fritos on each person’s plate.

Chicken Frito Supreme

Chicken Frito Supreme

It is SO good and surprisingly hearty.  I only ate half of the plate of food.  We love cheddar, so we were pretty generous with the cheese, and I love how gooey it got after sitting on the hot chicken sauce mixture for a few minutes.  You can change up the chips, but I agree with the original blogger that Fritos really makes this dish pop.  I think it’s because of the corn flavor rounding out the almost Mexican food flavors.  If you like a meatier dish, then you can totally add more chicken.  The two breasts turned out to be the perfect amount for our preference (which is ironic, since Larry is very much a “meat and potatoes” man).  I like that the recipe is a good start that allows for a lot of versatility.  I really want to stress though that if your sauce mixture doesn’t seem to be thickening, then you need to bring it up to a boil and then let the mixture simmer, just like you would with a cornstarch based gravy.  It makes a world of difference.  If you have a really thick and hearty salsa, then I’d start with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and add as needed, if needed.  We’re going to make this again next week and we’re going to add some sliced black olives when layering.  Mmmm.  I hope you give this recipe a try.  You serve right from the two pans, and no baking needed, so it’s a great meal for a busy day in my opinion.

If you try it, I’d love to hear about your experience and especially any tweaks you made.  Until tomorrow 🙂

Beef Sundaes

In honor of Serve It Sunday I thought I’d go with a savory twist on a sundae.  Now, before you wrinkle your nose and think I’ve gone completely off my rocker, it’s just called that because it’s layered much like a dessert sundae would be.  If you’re familiar with the KFC Chicken Bowls, then this recipe will remind you a lot of them, except this is kind of the hot beefcake cousin of that.  *grin*  This recipe has several names and variations in the Midwest and they’re even served at some fairs, so there’s a good chance that some of you will be familiar with these.  The best part is that we found some shortcuts to make this meal super quick and easy, so we can have a hot meal even on my really bad days when it’s a struggle just to get out of bed.  If you’re one of those people that likes to make everything from scratch, look away now.  *laugh*  This recipe is for those people that watch Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade.  😉

See, I told you it was savory

See, I told you it was savory

Are you still with me now that you’ve seen that it truly is a savory dish?  *smile*  You’re going to put a scoop or two of mashed potatoes in the bottom of the bowl, sprinkle some corn over that along with some shredded cheddar cheese, and pour some hot topping (gravy) with roast beef right over the top.  Some people add a small cherry tomato on top to complete the whole sundae thing, but I prefer to not mess with this flavor combination.  *laugh*  We take several shortcuts with this meal.  We make instant mashed potatoes to make this super quick, start with a packaged gravy mix, warm up a bag of freezer steamer corn, and even use thick cut lunch meat.  You can make less dishes for yourself if you use packaged shredded cheddar instead of shredding it yourself, too.

So, start your gravy and your mashed potatoes.  I’m not going to post any pictures of making the potatoes since there’s nothing interesting about that, other than for the two of us (one picky eater and one country boy) plus some leftovers we followed the 3-4 servings instructions.  I am going to put a few of the gravy, though, since I found out that some people have never used a gravy mix before.  We love McCormick’s Brown Gravy Mix so much that I buy it in bulk.

Start that Good Brown Gravy

Start that Good Brown Gravy

Any country fans out there?  Do you have “Good Brown Gravy” in your head now?  lol  Anyway…I wanted to make 3 cups of gravy, so I used 9 tablespoons of McCormick’s Brown Gravy Mix (if you’re using the packets I’d follow the instructions on there and make two packets worth), and added a tiny bit of water to the powdered mix.  I whisked it until it created a paste and then slowly whisked in the remaining 2 1/4 cups of hot water.  Creating the paste and then slowly whisking in the remaining water will ensure that you have a smooth gravy.

After whisking water into the paste

After whisking water into the paste

We then chopped up some leftover thick cut roast beef lunch meat, which was then added into the gravy, and simmered the combo to warm the meat up.

Chopped Roast Beef Lunch Meat

Chopped Roast Beef Lunch Meat

Add Meat to the Gravy

Add Meat to the Gravy

While the meat simmered in a delicious bath I steamed a frozen bag of super sweet corn and drained it.  Once the corn and meat are warmed up, it’s time to build your beef sundae.

IMG_1211 IMG_1212

Pour the meat sauce over and dig in!  I don’t add salt since the gravy mix has a sodium kick to it all ready, but the big guy likes to add salt and pepper to his.  The last key tidbit I’ll give is that you have to try and get all of the layers in each bite for the best flavor profile.

Mmm Hot Beef Sundae

Mmm Hot Beef Sundae

The cheese melts into that meat and gravy, then there’s the creamy mashed potato, and a bright pop of sweet corn…a delightful bite and a super easy meal!  I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy it.  Although I’m obsessed with this flavor combo you can totally change this up so easily to fit the interests of your family.  This is a great dish to sneak in a bit of veggies into, by the way.  *grin*  I wish you a wonderful week and happy pampering.  🙂

Beef Sundae Recipe

Makes about 3 not-overly-healthy sized portions 🙂

3-4 servings of instant mashed potatoes, prepared per package instructions (which calls for water, milk, margarine, and salt)

9 tbsp. McCormick Brown Gravy Mix

2 1/4 cups of hot water

Leftover roast beef lunch meat (I use about 3 cups worth)

One bag of frozen steamer super sweet corn, steamed and drained

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, to taste

Whisk a tiny bit of water into the gravy mix until it creates a thick paste.  Whisk in remaining hot water and bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring frequently.  Reduce the heat and simmer about 3 minutes.

While gravy is simmering prepare the instant mashed potatoes per package instructions.  Chop leftover roast beef lunch meat into bite sized pieces and add to the gravy after it has simmered.  Continue to simmer the gravy combo until the meat is warmed through (about 3-5 minutes usually).

While gravy is finishing steam and drain the corn.

Once the hot ingredients are all heated through build each sundae in a heat resistant bowl, starting with a scoop (or three, per preference) of mashed potatoes.  Sprinkle a handful of shredded cheese and about a quarter cup of corn over the potatoes.  Ladle the gravy and meat mixture over the top.  Add salt and pepper to taste, optional.  Enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: