Friday, November 14, 2014

Foodie Friday- BBQ Beef & Mashed Potato Pie

Another good casserole, found here.


2 pound(s) Yukon gold or white potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-in. pieces

Kosher salt and pepper

4 tablespoon(s) olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 1/2 pound(s) lean ground beef

4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/2 cup(s) ketchup

2 tablespoon(s) cider vinegar

1 tablespoon(s) Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon(s) molasses

1 tablespoon(s) Worcestershire sauce


Place the potatoes in a pot. Add cold water to cover; bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt; simmer until just tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking liquid; drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Mash with 3 Tbsp oil, ¼ tsp each salt and pepper and 2 Tbsp of the reserved cooking liquid (add more liquid if necessary).

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the remaining Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Heat broiler. Add the beef to the onion and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Spoon off and discard any grease. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the ketchup, vinegar, mustard, molasses and Worcestershire; add to the beef and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Transfer the beef mixture to a 2-qt broiler-proof baking dish and top with the mashed potatoes. Broil until beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Foodie Friday Flashback- Sweet Potato Queens Death Chicken

Found in several of the books, this version of this yummy casserole is found here.


6 slices bacon
1 cup white rice
3 -4 chicken breasts ( or equivalent in other chicken parts, if you prefer)
1 (10 3/4 ounce) cans regular condensed cream of chicken soup or 1 (10 3/4 ounce) cans reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup water
1 teaspoon oregano
3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
ground nutmeg
garlic salt or garlic powder ( you won't miss the salt)


Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with the bacon.
Pour the uncooked rice over the bacon, then lay the chicken breasts on top of the rice.
Whisk together the remaining ingredients-- using a pinch of nutmeg and a few shakes of garlic salt/powder-- but*don't* eliminate the nutmeg, because I promise, it's what makes the dish!
Pour the whisked mixture over the rice, then cover the dish with heavy duty foil (the author states emphatically that it's really important to use*heavy duty* foil, so if I don't have any, I use two layers of regular foil to be safe).
Bake at 300 degrees F for 2 hours.

My tweaks- I like a little thicker sauce and more of it, so I skipped the water & used 1 can cream of chicken & 1 can of cream of mushroom soup. Also threw in a few tablespoons of sour cream. I usually skip the parsley unless I have fresh on hand (rarely) and just add extra Italian seasoning. Also, use garlic powder- if you use a good bacon, you won't need or miss the salt.

This is good the day it's made, but if you can force yourself to leave some, it's even better the next day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day

I hope you voted today.

I did. I feel like I have to, no matter how slim the odds of my vote making a difference. Why?

1.The Armed Forces- all branches. The people who fight & die to protect our country and allow us to use the rights we have. Too many members of my family (on both sides) have served for me to not appreciate the sacrifices made on our behalf. My beloved Uncle John was one of the original Montford Point Marines (more on that here) and served in both Korea & Vietnam.

2.The National American Womens Sufferage Association fought for women to have the right to vote, risking social ridicule and jail sentences to have their voices heard. Those women went through hell to see that I had the same rights and opportunities to vote as the men of our country did. Many tried to go on hunger strikes while in prison and were brutally force fed by guards. (The movie Iron Jawed Angels can be a bit hamfisted, but is a good example of what they did)

3. The American Civil Rights Movement. Again, many members of my family participated in this. They demanded the right to be treated equally, with all the rights and privileges that they deserved.

So there are my three reasons for voting no matter what. I realize that the right to vote also comes with the right to not vote. However, as a bi-racial woman in a country where political changes seem to occur almost daily, I feel it would be a slap in the face of those who came before me to not honor their sacrifices and use the vote they gave me.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Spinach & Artichoke Baked Pasta

I love a good spinach & artichoke dip! This pasta dish is a close second. Originally found on the WD recipe finder, it's a quick easy dish to make.


12 ounce(s) short pasta, such as orecchiette or mezzi rigatoni
1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and pepper
4 clove(s) garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup(s) lowfat sour cream
4 ounce(s) lowfat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup(s) grated Parmesan (2 oz)
2 teaspoon(s) lemon zest
1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
1 package(s) (10 oz) frozen leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess moisture
1 can(s) (13.5 oz) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, squeezed of excess moisture and chopped
4 ounce(s) mozzarella, shredded (about 1 cup)


Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Heat broiler. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan, lemon zest and lemon juice; stir in the onion mixture.
Add the pasta to the bowl and toss to coat. Stir in the spinach, artichokes and 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid (adding more liquid if the pasta seems dry). Fold in 1/2 cup mozzarella.
Transfer the pasta mixture to a broiler-proof 2 1/2- to 3-qt casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and broil until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Make it ahead: Line the casserole dish with foil, leaving a 3-in. overhang on two sides. Fill the dish with the prepared pasta mixture and freeze until just firm, about 20 minutes. Using the overhangs, lift the pasta out of the dish in one piece. Wrap in plastic, then foil, and freeze for up to 2 months. To serve: Let thaw in the refrigerator, remove the foil and plastic, and transfer the pasta to a broiler-proof casserole dish. Reheat, covered, in a 375°F oven, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella and broil as directed.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Nutella Hot Chocolate with Hazelnut Liqueur

Who doesn't like a nice warm drink when the weather starts getting nippy? This one, found here, has become a new favorite!

1 cup milk
2 tbsp. Nutella
1 tbsp. hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico (optional)
Whipped cream, for serving

Heat milk in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat until just beginning to bubble at edges, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth. Top with whipped cream to serve.

How easy is this?!?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Stop the world, I want to get off...

No, really.

Failing that, I would like to have Tom Hiddleston & Michael Fassbender delivered to me ASAP.

Friday, October 17, 2014

KFC Copycat Recipe

I periodically get the urge to eat fried chicken. I've never been a big fan of dealing with chicken bones though, so I tend to make it with boneless breasts/tenderloins. As a child, KFC extra crispy was one of my favorite treats.

Well, poking around on the internet, I found this copycat recipe for the 11 herbs & spices. Here it is- maybe I'll make a batch this weekend if the weather is cool!

11 Secret Herbs and Spices (KFC Copy Cat)

Minutes to Prepare: 10
Minutes to Cook: 10
Number of Servings: 1


2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon onion salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon basil leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon marjoram leaves, crushed finely


Combine all ingredients as listed in a small jar with a tight fitting lid (baby food jars work good). Shake mixture to combine. Stores for months. Keep out of direct sunlight, heat and humidity.
(makes about 1/3 cup)
To Use:
Mix together 4 teaspoons mixture, 1 cup flour, 2 Tbls. packed light brown sugar and 1 teaspoons salt. Place in a doubled plastic food bag and add chicken to coat. Fry, drain on paper towels, serve!

yields : 1/3 Cup

Number of Servings: 1