Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Does anyone have a request for a theme?

Chile Verde Burritos

from the Sister’s Cafe

I love this recipe! To see a picture click here

1 1/2 pounds pork roast, fat removed as much as possible (I use a beef roast)
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 10oz can green enchilada sauce
1 4oz can diced green chilis
1 14oz can diced tomatoes with chilis
2 chicken bouillon cubes
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp pepper
Monetary Jack Cheese
Sour Cream

In a large heavy pot, over medium heat, brown meat (I skip browning it and just saute garlic and onions), then add onion and garlic and sauté a few minutes.
Stir remaining ingredients in a crockpot, add meat, cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until done.
Ladle out liquid from crockpot, straining out & reserving the vegetables to return to crockpot with the roast. When cooked, shred meat in a food processor or by hand. Pour liquid into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring often until thickened.

Pour over meat and stir or serve on the side.
Garnish as desired.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Perfect Hot Chocolate

from Martha Stewart
This was the first home made hot chocolate recipe I've tried, so if you have a terrific recipe, go ahead and post it, but I really enjoyed this one. Additionally, I will never again go a year w/o Hatsuho's peppermint + candycane marshmallow recipe. They are perfect for hot chocolate!
10 ounces best-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 quarts milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine chocolate and milk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until chocolate is melted and milk is very hot and frothy, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add vanilla; pour into a blender, filling halfway. Blend, holding lid in place (the hot liquid will expand), until frothy. Serve immediately. Blend remaining milk-and-chocolate mixture.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Just Chicken Pot Pie (great way to use left over turkey!)

from America’s Best Lost Recipes

I am not a pot pie person, or a crust person, but this is Really good! I even Love the crust!! We did use our Thanksgiving left over turkey and it turned out great. Making the crust a day early is advised to cut some prep work on the day of, and it has to chill anyway.

2 ½ lbs chicken
Salt and pepper
1 stick butter
1 celery rib, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic minced
1/3 c flour
12 oz can evaporated milk
2 c low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp grated lemon zest
3 scallions chopped
1 recipe Double Crust Pie Dough
¾ c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 large egg, beaten, for brushing

Prepare pie dough.

Adjust oven rack to middle position. Heat oven to 400. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Roast until chicken registers 160 degrees, about 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Reduce oven temperature to 350.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook celery until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds until fragrant. Stir in flour and cook until it begins to brown, about 1 minute.

Stir in milk, broth, and zest and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Strain sauce into a large bowl (discard vegetables), stir in the chicken and scallions and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the filling cool until just warm, about 30 minutes.

Spoon chicken mixture into pie shell and sprinkle with cheese. Top with remaining chilled circle of dough. Trim all but 1/2” dough overhanging the edge of the pie plate. Press top and bottom of crusts together, then tuck edges underneath. Crimp dough evenly around the edge of the pie using your fingers.

Cut 4, 2” slits in top of dough, brush with beaten egg, and bake until crust is deep golden brown, 45-55 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve.

Double Crust Pie Dough:

2 ½ c flour
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
8 T vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2” pieces and chilled
12 T butter cut into ¼” pieces and chilled
6-8 T ice water

Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined. Scatter shortening over the top and process until mixture has the texture of coarse sand. Scatter butter pieces over the top and process until it resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer to a bowl.

Sprinkle 6 T water over mixture. Stir and press dough together, using a stiff rubber spatula, until dough sticks together. If dough does not come together, stir in remaining water, 1 T at a time until it does.

Divide dough into 2 even pieces and flatten each into a 4” disk. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. (The dough can be refrigerated if wrapped tightly for 2 days, or frozen for 2 months. If frozen, let the dough thaw on countertop until malleable before rolling).

Let the chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out into 2, 12” circles on a floured surface and fitting one into pie plate. Chill the other. To make the top, let it roll around the rolling pin to lift.

Cherry Almond Angel Roll

So I made this last night and it is wonderful! I got it out of a Pampered Chef cookbook.

1 pkg (16 oz) angel food cake mix
1 pkg (2.25 oz) sliced almonds, chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cherry preserves
1 container (8oz) sour cream
1 container (8oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 tsp almond extract
2-4 drops red food coloring (optional)
1 pkg (3.3 oz) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling
Additional powdered sugar (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour batter over parchment paper, spreading evenly. Chop almonds. (it says using Food Chopper which if you don't have the pampered chef one you should get it. It really is amazing.) Sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake 30-35 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched with fingertip. Remove from oven.
2. Sprinkle powdered sugar over cake. Place an additional piece of parchment paper over cake. Invert cooling rack over paper. Carefully invert cake; remove pan. Peel parchment paper from bottom side of cake; discard. Starting at short end of cake, roll up cake in parchment paper jelly roll style. Cool completely.
3. Unroll cake. Spread cake with preserves. In bowl, combine sour cream, whipped topping, almond extract and food coloring. Mix well. Add pudding mix and whisk until thickened. Spread filling over cake to within 1 inch of edge; roll up cake. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle cake with additional powdered sugar, if desired. Slice using serrated knife.
Yield: 12 servings.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake

from Top Secret Restaurant Recipes

After trying the restaurant's recipe, I was addicted!! I searched for a recipe that could duplicate it, and the first I tried tasted just like pumpkin pie. Even one I had at the Olive Garden tasted just like pumpkin pie. There's nothing like the Cheesecake Factory's recipe. This one was JUST like the Cheesecake Factories!

1 ½ c graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbsp butter, melted
1 c + 1 Tbsp sugar
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 c canned pumpkin
3 eggs
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350.
Make crust by combining crackers with melted butter and 1 Tbsp sugar in a medium bowl.
Stir well enough to coat all crumbs with butter, but don’t let it turn to a paste. Keep it crumbly.
Press into the bottom and about 2/3 up sides of an 8” springform pan (or two 9” pie plates). Bake 5 minutes, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1 c sugar, and vanilla. Mix with electric mixer until smooth.
Add pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.
Pour into the pan and bake 60 – 70 minutes, the top will be a bit darker at this point. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When it has come to room temperature, place in refrigerator. Cut and serve with whipped cream once chilled.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These are my favorite mashed potatoes!!! They are amazing.
recipe from cooks Illustrated
5 lbs russet baking potatoes (about 9 med) scrubbed poked several times with fork
3 c heavy cream hot
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter melted
Salt and ground black pepper

Adjust oven rack to middle position of oven 450
Microwave potatoes on high power for 16 minutes turning them over halfway through cooking time.Transfer the potatoes to the oven & place them directly on the hot oven rack. Bake until a skewer slides easily through the flesh, about 30 minutes, flipping them over halfway through the baking time (do not undercook.)

Remove potatoes from the oven, and cut ea potato in half lengthwise. Using an oven mitt kitchen towel to hold the hot potatoes, scoop out all flesh from each potato half into a med bowl. Break the cooked potato flesh down into small pieces using a fork, potato masher, or rubber spatula.
Transfer half the potatoes to the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat potatoes on high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds, gradually adding the rest of the potatoes to incorporate, until completely smooth and no lumps remain, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping the mixer to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.

Remove bowl from the mixer and gently fold in 2 c of cream, followed by butter and 2 teaspoons salt. Gently fold in up to ½ cup the cream as needed to reach your desired serving consistency. Once the desired serving consistency is reached, gently fold in an additional ½ cup cream (if serving next day).
Adding extra cream- to prevent potatoes from drying out as they sit overnight, make them quite soupy. Add cream to your desired consistency then add 1/2c + to accommodate their over night storage.

Celery Herb Stuffing

7 tablespoons butter, plus more for dish and baking
1 loaf rustic white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 9 1/2 cups bread cubes)
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 celery stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced in half-moons
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (rubbed between fingers to crumble lightly)
3 to 4 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in the microwave. Toss with bread cubes in a large bowl. Spread in a single layer on 1 or 2 rimmed baking sheets. Toast in the oven, tossing once, until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

Heat the oil and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter has melted. Add celery, onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and soft, about 10 minutes.

To bake all of the stuffing in the oven:(this is my preferred method) Put vegetable mixture and toasted bread into large bowl. Stir in poultry seasoning, herbs, and 2 cups broth into stuffing. Stir in 4 eggs until bread mixture is well coated. Spoon into a buttered 13-by-9-inch baking dish, and dot generously with butter. Cover with foil, and bake in a 375° oven for 25 minutes. Uncover, and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more. To stuff inside of turkey: Put vegetable mixture and toasted bread into a bowl. Stir in 1 cup broth, the poultry seasoning, and herbs; season with salt and pepper. Stir in 3 eggs. Stuff inside of turkey and bake.


This was such a juicy turkey. Not dry at all!!! This is a keeper. And the gravy was the best!
This recipe comes from the my kitchen cafe blog.
1 (18-22) pound turkey (I used a 12-pound turkey)
celery (cut into large chunks)
onion (peeled and cut into large chunks)
garlic cloves (peeled and smashed)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
brown paper bag
drippings, flour, and water for gravy
(I leave the veggies out)

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and let it heat for one hour.
Meanwhile, remove giblets and neck and wash the turkey. Fill the cavity of the turkey with carrots, celery, garlic and onion.

Combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning in a small bowl. With your hands, rub the entire turkey with the lemon juice mixture.Place the turkey breast down (this is opposite of how a turkey is normally cooked - so just flip the turkey upside down) in a large roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the hot oven for as many minutes as the turkey weighs (ie. 19 lb. turkey = 19 minutes).
Bake for the allotted time.

Meanwhile, grease a large brown paper bag with butter on both sides. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and carefully (because the turkey and roasting pan are HOT) make a tent out of the paper bag and drape it over the turkey, taking care to tuck the sides of the bag into the roasting pan (otherwise, the butter will drip off the bag, leap onto the oven burner and possibly create a large fire OR this time I just used a piece of foil over the top & buttered the turkey a bit more.
Turn the oven down to 400 degrees and cook the turkey for two hours.Remove the roasting pan and turkey from the oven and let turkey sit for 20 minutes. Remove turkey from the roasting pan and pour the drippings into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil. Make a slurry from flour and water (to the consistency of thick, heavy cream) and add to the drippings until desired consistency is reached.