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!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Beef Stew (Ree Drummond)

(Reviewed by Tammy)

This is my favorite recipe from this book so far.  Who doesn't like stew?  It was so flavorful and satisfying.  Ideal for a cold winter's night.  At the time I'm writing this, I've made this stew twice.  The second time I made 2 changes-I added red pepper flakes because we prefer foods that are spicier and I also omitted the beer-I just didn't like the flavor of it the first time.
This has to simmer for a couple of hours so be sure to allow time for that.

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 pounds beef stew meat
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can/bottle of beer (I omitted)
4 cups beef broth
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 new potatoes, quartered
4 carrots, roughly sliced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
minced parsley, for garnish (optional)

1.  Start by heating the olive oil and butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Throw in the stew meat and quickly brown it on all sides.

2.  Remove the meat to a clean plate and set aside.

3.  Throw the onion into the pot, then reduce the heat to low.

4.  Stir the onion for about 3 minutes or until softened.  Then add the garlic and cook for about a minute.

5.  Pour in the beer, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, paprika, sugar, salt and pepper.

6.  Finally return the meat to the pot, cover it, and simmer the stew over very low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.  If the liquid level gets too low, add 1 to 2 cups hot water as needed.

7.  Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot.Simmer for 30 minutes or until tender.

8.  To thicken the stew, remove 1 cup of cooking liquid and whisk in the flour.  Pour into the pot and simmer another 10 minutes.  Add the parsley at the end if desired.  

9.  Dish up and enjoy!
(I served mine over rice)

Citrus Butter Cookie (Ree Drummond)

(Reviewed by Tammy)

The flavor of these little cookies is unbelievable!  Butter cookies have always been a favorite of mine.  Adding the citrus just put it over the top.  My didn't turn out nearly as pretty as Ree's.  In fact I get an F in presentation.  I'm not sure what happened.  Mine were kind of flat.  I was super disappointed until I tasted them.  Who cares what they look like when they taste like this!
I omitted the icing instead sprinkling with powdered sugar and lime and lemon zest.

2 large eggs
4 sticks of butter (1 pound) salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons orange, lemon and lime zest (1 Tablespoon each)
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons orange, lemon, and/or lime juice (2 Tablespoons total)

3 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons whole milk
2 Tablespoons combined orange, lemon and lime zest
Juice of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Dash of salt
Extra zest for decorating

1.  Preheat the oven to 350.

2.  Separate the eggs.  Set aside one of the egg whites for the icing.

3.  Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until combined.

4.  Add the egg yolks and mix until combined.

5.  Add the 3 Tablespoons of citrus zest.

6.  Then add the flour and mix until just combined.

7.  Next, add the 2 Tablespoons of citrus juice and mix the dough until it comes together.

8.  Scoop out heaping teaspoons of dough, then roll them into balls between your hands.  Place on a cookie sheet.  

9.  Bake them for 12-13 minutes or until they're not quite starting to turn brown.  Remove them from the oven but keep them on the cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes.  Use a spatula to move them to a cooling rack.  Cool completely.

10.  To make the icing, combine 1 egg white with the rest of the icing ingredients (except the zest).  Whisk thoroughly until combined, adding either more powdered sugar or more juice until it reaches a pourable but still thick consistency.
11.  Drizzle the icing across the cookies in several lines, then repeat in the other direction.
12.  Sprinkle them with extra zest before icing set.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Curry Chicken Pasta Salad (Ree Drummond)

(Reviewed by Grace)
I made this for lunch yesterday.  Ree uses her favorite chicken salad recipe, and adds a little curry and pasta.  On a scale of one to ten for this recipe's flavor, I'd have to give it a 5.  The chicken salad has celery and the white/light green parts of a green onion.  Personally, we didn't like the crunchiness as much as others. If I had to try this recipe again, I'd take out the celery and use the dark green parts of the green onion.  We also did not include the grapes or almonds in this recipe.

Curry Chicken Pasta Salad

1 recipe Basic Chicken Salad
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons curry powder, more or less to taste (we did MORE!)
6 ounce's bow tie pasta, cooked and drained
3/4 cup regular or golden raisins (we did not include this)

For the Basic Chicken Salad:
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1/2 plain yogurt or sour cream (we did yogurt)
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt to taste 
Freshly ground black pepper to taste 
2 cups shredded or diced grilled chicken
2 or 3 celery stalks, chopped
3 green onions, sliced (white and light green parts only)
2 to 3 cups red and green grapes, halved
1.2 cups silvered almonds (we didn't include this)
A small handful of fresh dill, minced 
1. First stir together the mayo, yogurt, and half-and-half.  This is the base of the salad dressing, and you can change it up by adding whatever spices you like.  (we added a bit of Tony's)

2. Add the lemon juice, sugar, and more salt and pepper.  Stir this together and set aside.

3. Throw the chicken, celery, green onions, and grapes into a bowl.

4.  Pour three-quarters of the dressing over the top, and add the fresh dill.

Note- I didn't read ahead on the Curried Chicken Pasta Salad (ALWAYS READ AHEAD!! (:  ).  You were supposed to substitute the regular sugar for the brown sugar.

 5.  Add the curry and toss to combine. Add the cooked pasta and...

voila!  Curry Chicken Pasta Salad.

Breakfast Pizza (Ree Drummond)

(Reviewed by Tammy)
Man is this good! Heavy, filling and completely satisfying.  There's no way I could eat this often.  After my 1 serving all I wanted to do was go back to bed!  It would make a great dish to serve for brunch.  I made a couple of alterations to suit my family's taste.  First off, I used turkey bacon and secondly I didn't use as many eggs.  Instead I fixed a bowl of scrambled eggs to serve on the side.  They were super yummy mixed with the pizza.  Another thing, this would even be fabulous without the pizza crust.  We had leftovers that we refrigerated.  They were even better the next day!

1 pound thick cut bacon 
3 cups frozen hash browns
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
Pizza dough (recipe here)
1/2 cup salsa
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
8 large eggs
Salt and pepper

1.  Preheat the oven to 475.  Place the rack in the lowest position.
2.  Fry the bacon until chewy, then chop into bite size pieces.
3.  Fry the frozen hash browns in a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 Tablespoon of the vegetable oil until they're just starting to brown ( I seasoned mine with Tony's).  Remove and set them aside on a plate.
4.In the same skillet, fry the red, green and yellow peppers over medium-high heat in the remaining 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil for about 5 minutes or until brown.  Set aside.

5.  Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet.  Spread the salsa over the surface.
6.  Evenly distribute the sliced mozzarella over the top.

7.  Sprinkle on the hash browns, bell peppers and bacon.
8.  Crack the eggs here and there all over the surface of the pizza.

9.  Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the eggs are set.  Serve immediately.