Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Potato Patties

Oh... I just love the smell of fried food in the morning. These are great to make early, then throw in the fridge and serve cold with ketchup. Everyone has their own version, but my Grandpa used to make these for me... since he was a Saint and the best cook I've ever known, I haven't really changed the recipe.


2oz. Original Idahoan mashed potatoes
4oz. Garlic Idahoan mashed potatoes
8oz. cream cheese, softened in microwave
2 eggs
3 cups water
1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
vegetable oil


In a medium pot, bring water to boil, add in mashed potatoes, cream cheese, and eggs. Reduce heat, stir constantly for a few minutes. Allow mashed potatoes to cool completely. Pour breadcrumbs onto small plate; when potatoes are cool, scoop tablespoon sized portions into you palm and form a rough ball shape. Roll ball in breadcrumbs until lightly coated; form into 1/2 inch (approximately) patty. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown, flip to other side, fry until golden brown. Lay patties on paper towel lined plate to soak up excess grease.

Some people like these hot, but I think they are SO much better cold... and ketchup is a must.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Broccoli Casserole

This is just the epitome if Southern comfort food. Cheese + French fried onions = yum!

1.5lbs chicken breasts
16oz shredded cheese (I love Kraft with Philadelphia cream cheese)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cheese soup
1 small onion (finely chopped)
12oz broccoli (chopped, fresh or frozen)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
French fried onions
Salt & pepper to taste

Boil chicken for 15 minutes, shred. Preheat oven to 350. In a casserole dish, combine chicken, cheese, soups, onion, broccoli and garlic powder, mix. Top with French fried onions & bake for 25 minutes. Serve over rice with salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I love chips and salsa & that's all I have to say about that.


1 14.5oz Mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 tsp chipotle chile powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 heaping tbsp minced garlic
2oz red habanero hot sauce
1 medium onion
1 large bell pepper (I had leftover halves of a bell pepper trinity so I used those), chopped
8 tomatillos
10 jalapenos
1 medium onion
1/4 cup cilantro
2 tbsp lime juice


In a medium pot, combine stewed tomatoes, tomatillos (whole, outer skin removed), bell pepper, garlic, spices, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until tomatillos turn slightly golden. Pour in blender and set on grate, low speed. Blend until there are no large chunks of tomatillo or stewed tomato. 

Mince jalapenos (stems removed) and cilantro (roughly 1/2 the bunch) in a food processor, finely chop onion, and add all remaining ingredients to tomato mixture. Best if refrigerated for a few hours.

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Bacon wrapped green beans.... *drool* oh yes, everything is better with bacon, and if there is a way to take something healthy and turn it into a sinful concoction of artery clogging goodness, I will find it. I've been making these for years, and I honestly cannot count how many people I've had to give this recipe to. They're great for an appetizer at a party or a side dish for ANY meal. Really. Bacon goes with everything. Today happens to be the AFC Championship game, (GO PATS!!) so I made bacon wrapped green beans, salsa, and a roast is in the crockpot....

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans


4 cans WHOLE green beans
16oz bacon (I always use black label regular bacon)
1 pkg. Italian dressing seasoning


Preheat oven to 350

Open cans of green beans and drain, pour out onto plate. Slice bacon in half. on another plate, take one piece of the halved bacon and run finger over it to smooth it out. Bundle about 6-8 green beans onto bacon and wrap; place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining green beans and bacon. Sprinkle Italian dressing seasoning over green beans. Bake on middle rack for 25-30 minutes. 

Oreo Balls

A friend (who happens to be an amazing cook) made Oreo balls for Christmas. I had no clue what they were, but they were so yummy I had to put them in the back of the fridge so that I wouldn't grab one every time I opened it. As I was trying to come up with ideas for goodies to send over to the "sand box," I came across a recipe on Pinterest for Oreo truffles... little did I know, that these were the infamous little treats that Misty made us for Christmas. Since I never seem to be satisfied with doing something the easy way, I went one step further and made golden Oreo balls in addition to the regular ones. I really can't decide which are my favorite, but both are addictive and I'm glad that the majority of the batch was sent overseas. I tried to convince Josh to take the rest to work, but they never made it there.


Whether you want to make regular Oreo balls, golden Oreo balls, or both, you will need:
one package of Oreos
8oz cream cheese, softened
candy coating or bark
(tsp. vanilla extract for golden Oreo balls)


In a food processor, ground Oreos until very fine. 

The hard part: Mash Oreos and cream cheese together until completely blended. I did this in a large bowl using a fork to continuously press the Oreo crumbs and cream cheese together. It took less than ten minutes, but I am convinced that there has to be a better/easier way. If anyone has input on that, please feel free to share. If you are making golden Oreo balls, you would add in the tsp. of vanilla while combining crumbs and cream cheese.

Roll into balls up to 1", mine were various sizes. Freeze for about 20 minutes.

Melt bark according to package. You will probably only need to use about half, unless making a large batch. I used white chocolate for the regular Oreo balls and milk chocolate for the golden Oreo balls. 

Remove Oreo balls from freezer and dip into melted bark/candy coating. I used toothpicks, but a dipping tool would be even better.

Place dipped balls on cookie sheet and refrigerate.

And because I couldn't help myself...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mom's Fudge

My mom has been making this fudge since I was born and probably before. In my recent baking endeavor to send goodies to Afghanistan, I decided to give it a whirl. This isn't a super thick fudge; instead, it's creamy and melts in your mouth. In other words, it's absolutely fan-fudging-tastic.

Mom's Fudge:


4 1/2 cups of sugar
12oz evaporated milk
18oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 tbs vanilla 


In a medium pot, combine sugar and milk; bring to boil and stir constantly for 6 minutes. Remove from heat & add all remaining ingredients. stir until completely blended & butter is melted. Pour mixture into greased 9x13" glass baking dish. Cool in refrigerator over night. 

The chocolatey goodness left behind in the pot? Well, that's up to you... 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sausage & Shrimp Jumbalaya

This has to be one of my favorite crockpot meals ever. We went to the store this morning so I could get the fixins for mexican lasagna because I have been testing the waters for the perfect recipe. It isn't perfected yet, so you won't find it on here until I'm satisfied, but apparently Josh wasn't in the mood for mexican... which has to be a first... so he asked me if I would make him some jumbalaya. Ok, twist my arm...

Sausage & Shrimp Jumbalaya

2 cups celery, sliced (about half a bunch)
1.5 cups sweet yellow onion, chopped (small onion)
2-3 cloves elephant garlic, sliced
1 cup okra (frozen or fresh)
16oz red beans & rice (Mahatma package)
8oz. hot links, sliced
8oz. shrimp (small, peeled, deveined, tails off)
6oz. tomato paste
14oz beef broth
4.5 cups water
4oz. Louisiana hot sauce
1 Tbs Cajun seasoning (I used everglades heat, Tony's will be just fine too)

Combine all ingredients in 5qt crockpot (yes, it will all fit) & cook on high for 4-5 hours. Stir Occasionally.

It's so dang good, I'm glad I don't know how to make anything in small quantities. This is great for Josh to take to lunch during the week... and maybe me too, even though I try to keep my indulgences to the weekend... the jumbalaya is just that good.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Holy Chicken Marsala

OK... I know, what's with the "holy?" Chicken marsala is my boyfriend's favorite meal. SO, after he has asked for it and asked for it, I finally delivered. His reaction upon his first bite: "OH MY GOD!" I seriously thought something was wrong, he practically yelled it... when I asked him what was wrong, he said "you can make this for me every day of my life." I'd honestly prefer not to; it isn't the easiest meal to make, but I have to admit, it is pretty fantastic. Is it the best chicken marsala ever? I don't know. I've never had chicken marsala. I don't even know what it's supposed to taste like, but the boyfriend seems to think it was perfection. It's not your typical marsala recipe. I read several recipes and decided I didn't like any of them and immediately started jotting down ingredients that I thought would make it better. And so it was created... holy chicken marsala.

1 pkg (pre-packed sliced) baby portabella mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 small white onion
2 Tbs minced garlic (or less, to taste. I really like garlic)
1.5lbs (give or take, but that's what I used) chicken tenders or breasts halved
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup egg beaters (I'm lazy, this is what I use to dredge chicken... eggs are fine too, of course)
1 Tbs oregano (I use the dried Mexican oregano)
pepper & salt to taste
1/2 cup marsala wine
1/4 cup butter (I used whipped butter)
olive oil
pasta or rice


This required a fair bit of multi-tasking, which I am not too fond of, but the result really was worth it, and since my wonderful man slaved all day outside replacing emblems on my beloved camaro, I figured he deserved it. With that being said, I'm going to try to not to type in circles :)

Mince onions in food processor, roughly chop mushrooms so that they're not such large pieces. If your slices are already small, then this is not necessary. In a large pan (you'll be cooking chicken in this pan later) saute onions, mushrooms, and garlic in butter. 

In small pot, combine soups. Add your onions, mushroom & garlic, but make sure to leave a small amount of the mixture in the large pan. This will add flavor to chicken later. Heat on low. Stir Occasionally.

Pound chicken until about 1/4 inch thick. Dredge in egg & bread with bread crumbs, flour, oregano, salt, & pepper. 

Coat the bottom of your large pan in olive oil. On high heat, fry chicken for about two minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to small baking dish & keep in oven on 250 for about 15 minutes or until cooked through. I used this time to finish the sauce and cook the pasta.

Prepare pasta or rice of your choice. I prefer whole grain spaghetti.

Bring sauce to boil & add marsala wine. Reduce heat to low and simmer until pasta is cooked, stirring occasionally.

Serve as you wish. I mixed sauce and pasta on the plate, then topped with chicken and more sauce. It looks messy, true, but it was absolutely yummy!