Sunday, April 13, 2014

Twice-Baked New Potatoes

(Review by Tammy)

This is a petite version of the tradition twice-baked potato- Overflowing with goodness!  These would be a perfect party food.  Proof that good things do come in small packages.


12 New potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups grated Montery Jack cheese
1 Tablespoon minced chives
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Salt and black pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 375

2.  Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and toss them to coat.

3.  Roast the potatoes for 20-25 minutes or until they are tender and the skin is slightly crisp.

4.  Halve the potatoes.  Use a spoon or small scoop to remove the insides, leaving a small margin of potato intact.

5.  To the scooped out potatoes, add the cream cheese, sour cream...

6.  Montery Jack, chives, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

7.  Mash until the potato mixture is totally smooth.  

8.  Scoop the mixture into the potato shells.  At this point you can cover and refrigerate them until dinner time.

9.  Bake the potatoes for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower (Ree Drummond)

(Review by Tammy)
I made this one weekday for lunch.  It was quick and easy and really had a nice flavor.  Next time I'll probably skip the breadcrumbs altogether because we liked it plain.

1 cauliflower head, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
11/2 cups panko bread crumbs
4 Tablespoons butter, melted

1.  Preheat the oven to 400.

2.  Spread the cauliflower on a large sheet pan and drizzle it with the olive oil.

3.  Toss the cauliflower to coat it evenly.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

4.  Roast the cauliflower for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown with some darker parts.

5.  Add the bread crumbs to a bowl...

6.  Then pour in the melted butter and toss the bread crumbs to combine.

7.  Place the cauliflower in a medium baking dish (or individual dishes), then mound the bread crumbs on top.

8.  Roast for 5 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden on top.  A perfect, yummy side dish.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Rigatoni and Meatballs (Ree Drummond)

 (Review by Tammy)

Who doesn't love pasta and meatballs?  Meatballs are my favorite.  These are really good-I of course added more spices 'cause we've got to have a little more flavor down here.  

6 thick slices crusty bread
3/4 pound ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
3/4 up freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup red wine, optional
One 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
One 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
12 fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade (optional)
2 pounds rigatoni, cooked al dente (I forgot to buy rigatoni, so I just used the pasta I already had.)

1.  Place the bread on a baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes in a 200 oven or until totally dry.

2.  Break the bread into chunks...

3.  And pulse until the bread turns into crumbs.

4.  Throw the meat into a large mixing bowl.

5.  Add the garlic, bread crumbs, eggs, parsley, grated Parmesan, milk, salt and pepper.  Use clean hands to mix together until well combined.

6.  Use a scoop to retrieve a small amount of the meat mixture...

7.  And roll in your hands to make meatballs (about 25).  Place the pan in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, just to firm them up.

8.  Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Working with 8-10 meatballs at a time, cook them until brown but not cooked all the way through, 2 to 3 minutes per batch.

9.  Remove from the pan to a plate while you make the rigatoni and sauce.

10.  Add the onion and garlic to the pan.  Stir and cook for a minute or two, until the onion begins to soften.

11.  Add the wine and cook for another minute.  (I omitted this step)

12.  Add the crushed tomatoes...

13.  Whole tomatoes...

14.  Salt, pepper and sugar...

15.  And parsley and basil.

16.  Stir the sauce to combine all the ingredients...Cover and reduce the heat to simmer.  Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

17.  Then throw in the meatballs!

18.  Stir gently, then cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the meatballs are cooked through.

19.  Heap the rigatoni on a large platter and pile the meatballs and sauce on the top.  Sprinkle on some extra minces parsley and serve with extra grated Parmesan.  

Good, good!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pam's Pie Crust (Ree Drummond)

(Review by Tammy)

This was the easiest pie crust I've ever made...and quite tasty.  The recipe makes 2.  Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


2 1/2 cups all purpose or pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup cold butter cut into chunks
1/4 cup cold water

1.  Lightly mix 2 cups of the flour, the salt and the sugar in a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a food processor.

2.  Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or by pulsing the food processor.  The mixture should look like large crumbs and begin to cling together in clumps.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour and mix lightly or pulse the processor 2-3 times.

3.  Do not over mix this flour.  It should coat the clumps.

4.  Sprinkle the cold water over the dough and with your hands or a wooden spoon, mix it until the dough holds together, then shape the dough into 2 discs.  At this point, you may wrap the dough in plastic wrap for storage.

5.  Have ready 2 sheets of parchment paper that are each at least 12 inches square.  Place 1 disc of dough between them.  Starting at the center, roll the pin out to the edge.  Turn the dough and parchment as necessary and continue rolling, always from the center to the outer edge. After a couple of rolls, lift the parchment paper away from the dough to loosen and replace the parchment.  Flip the whole thing and loosen the other paper sheet.  Continue rolling until the dough is large enough for your pie pan.

Cowboy Quiche (Ree Drummond)

(Reviewed by Tammy)
My husband was so impressed with this recipe!  He made me feel like a famous chef with all of his raving.  I definitely have to make this one again.

1 recipe Pam's Pie Crust (found here)
8 slices bacon, fried until chewy
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 400.

2.  Begin by rolling out the pie dough.

3.  Gently lay it in a large tart or deep dish pie pan...

4.  And press it into the grooves in the pan.  Set aside.

5.  Chop up the bacon into bite-size pieces.

6.  In a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, fry the onions in the butter until deep golden brown, 12-15 minutes

7.  Mix the eggs, cream, and salt and pepper in a bowl.

8.  Add the bacon, onions, and cheese....

9.  And stir to combine.

10,  Pour the filling into the pie shell, cover lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the quiche is set and the crust is golden brown.

11.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Homemade Glazed Doughnuts (Ree Drummond)

I can't believe I made doughnuts!  I actually made homemade doughnuts...and they were SO tasty!  Here's my warning-these take a lot of time.  They're not a lot of work, just a lot of hurry up and wait (or rise).  I don't have a doughnut cutter so I just used a biscuit cutter and a smaller circular cookie cutter.  They worked just fine.


1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/8 cups whole milk, very warm
3 teaspoons instant yeast
2 large eggs
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, 
4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups vegetable shortening for frying (or peanut or safflower oil)

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cold water

1.  In a medium bowl, add the granulated sugar to the warm milk.

2.  Then add the yeast.  Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the yeast is starting to bubble.

3.  In a small bowl, beat the eggs.

4.  Then pour them into a bowl with the melted butter, whisking constantly.

5.  Add the butter/egg mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer.  Pour in the milk/sugar/yeast mixture.

6.  With the hook attachment, turn the mixer to low speed.

7.  Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, then retrieve 1/2 cup at a time...

8.  And add it to the mixing bowl, allowing it to slowly incorporate into the liquid mixture.

9.  Continue mixing for 5 minutes after the flour is combined.  Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl, and mix for 30 seconds more.  Then place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and 
refrigerate it for 8-12 hours.  

10.  Remove dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature and rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Put it in a warm spot if necessary to facilitate rising. 

11.  Turn it out onto a floured surface...

12.  And roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick.

13.  Use a doughnut cutter (or 2 biscuit cutters) to cut the doughnuts.

14.  Remove the holes and transfer the doughnuts to a lightly floured baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment.  Then cover with tea towels and place it in a draft free area of your kitchen for at least 
1 1/2 to 2 hours.  

15.  It'll take that long for them to do this. Light as a feather!  

16.  Melt the shortening in a pot over medium-heat till it reaches 350 on a candy thermometer.  Carefully drop the doughnuts  into the oil, a few at a time.  

17.  They should immediately float to the top and puff up.

18.  Then use a metal spoon to carefully flip them over.

19.  Remove them from the oil as soon as they're golden brown on both sides (this should take less than a minute).

20.  At the end, drop in the doughnut holes and fry them until golden brown.

21.  Place the doughnuts on paper towel lined plates to drain.

22.  To glaze the doughnuts, mix the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and water in a bowl until smooth.  Drop in the doughnuts one at a time.

23.  Quickly turn them over.

24.  Then remove them...

25.  And place them on a rack so that the excess glaze can drip off.

26.  To make the most of the glaze, set the holes underneath the doughnuts so they can catch the extra good stuff.

27.  Now the most important part....take a big bite!  Yum!

Shepherd's Pie (Ree Drummond)

(Review by Tammy)
This was my first time to cook Shepherd's Pie.  Can you believe it?  I've heard about it for years, just never got around to trying it.  After enjoying the beef stew recipe so much, I knew I'd like this one too.  I wasn't disappointed.  It's so tasty and comforting.  I know you'll love it.  

At least 4 cups leftover Beef Stew (recipe here)
Mashed potatoes
Minced parsley for garnish (optional)

1.  Preheat the oven to 375
2. Place the leftover stew in an ovenproof skillet or baking dish.  
3.  Make your mashed potatoes.
4.  Spoon mashed potatoes all over the surface of the stew...
5.  Then use a spoon or spatula to spread them out.  
6.  Then just put the skillet into the oven and bake it until the top is nice and golden brown.  
7.  Dish up and enjoy!