Thursday, June 28, 2012

Easy Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes!

Mashed potatoes are a good thing, a very good thing indeed. Sometimes I add sour cream or cream cheese, or Cheddar, or whatever is in the kitchen sink. Just kidding...but one thing is for sure, I ALWAYS add butter, and lots of it! And I always add buttermilk, it gives them the slightest tang and the most wonderfully creamy texture...Mmmmm.....

Ingredients for four servings:
6 medium potatoes (I used red) peeled and cut into two inch cubes
3/4 stick of butter (remember, it's good stuff)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/3 cup buttermilk                                                            

Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water as you peel and chop them. The cold water keeps them from turning brown. Bring the potatoes to a rapid boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium high and cook until tender, about fifteen minutes.

Drain the potatoes and set them aside. Butter the bowl you're going to use and leave the rest of the butter in the bottom of the bowl. Add the potatoes and mash them with a potato masher or fork, until they're at the consistency you like.

Add the salt, pepper and buttermilk and continue to mash and stir until they're creamy.

Like this :)

Now, if you have left over meat loaf, then you're lucky, heat it up, make some mushroom gravy and pour it up over those potatoes. I know, I get a little crazy with gravy sometimes...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Devilish Egg Sandwiches!

I don't know what it is with me and the lemons this summer, but once again I've added a little twist to a simple sandwich and it did NOT disappoint! It wasn't lemons I used but lemon pepper in the recipe. WOW! Now I can't wait to try it in deviled eggs!

Ingredients for four servings:
six boiled eggs
3 to 4 tablespoons Duke's mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

I didn't take any pics of the eggs boiling or me peeling them, though I guess I should have.
Just picture it!
Place six eggs in a medium pot and cover with water. Heat the stove on high. When the eggs start to boil, turn the heat to medium high and let them boil for twelve minutes. Remove from heat and run cold water over them until they're cool enough to touch. Peel the eggs and dry them with paper towels. 

Now grate the eggs into a medium bowl. 'Cause that's much easier than mashing them with a fork :)

I like easy...

Add the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and lemon pepper.

Mix until it's all blended in it's creamy goodness and spread it onto the freshest white bread you can possibly find.

Now be a true gourmand like myself and serve it with potato chips and homemade green tomato pickles...
At least the pickles were homemade!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Grilled Cheese French Toast

I don't have many moments when I indulge in my thoughts of food decadence and there's a good reason for that. If I gave in to all of the ideas I have of food decadence, my jeans wouldn't fit anymore. But I had been thinking of this recipe for so long that I'll admit that if I had more than one piece of cheese in the fridge when I made this I would've used two. I can truly tell you that this was as good as I had been dreaming it would be. Yes, I dream about food....

Makes one serving
2 slices of bread, I used plain old white bread
sliced American cheese, the real stuff, I would use two slices, if I had them :)
2 eggs
butter for frying, about one tablespoon

No need for the butter yet, (we'll get to that in a minute). Just heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat until it's hot enough to grill the sandwich. Place the cheese between two slices of bread.

Break the eggs into a bowl that's large enough to dip the sandwich into.

Beat the eggs, just until they're blended. 

Grill the sandwich on each side and remove from the pan.

Turn the heat to medium low and now it's time to add the butter!

Coat the sandwich with the eggs on both sides.

Into the butter! Cook until the egg is done.

Then flip it over and cook on the other side. Make sure the egg has cooked through.

I didn't want anything on top of it, just me, the eggs, cheese and toast.

Excuse me while I have a moment with my breakfast...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Squash Fried To Perfection!

I adore fried squash, cooked to the perfect crispiness, served with well, just about anything. Honestly I could make a meal from the squash alone! It's easy to prepare, and takes only about thirty minutes from start to finish. As with any food that requires breading, setting up the assembly line is key. Using paper plates or bowls is a trick I'm quite fond of, less clean up=less time in the kitchen=I get to eat sooner! JD's mother gave us these yellow squash from their garden, thanks MR! They were wonderful!

Makes four servings
3 medium size, yellow crookneck or straight neck squash
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup cornmeal mix, white or yellow
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups canola oil for frying

Set up your assembly line first. It will make it much easier to keep everything moving along :)
Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and pepper to the flour and add the other teaspoon of each to the cornmeal mix. Stir it in until it's blended well. Wash and dry the squash, then slice it into 1/2 inch pieces. 
Heat the oil in a medium pot on medium heat until it reaches 375 degrees F. I always let my oil heat while I'm breading the squash. 

Dredge the squash pieces in the flour.

Now dip it into the buttermilk.

Coat both sides of the squash well with the cornmeal mix.

Place the squash into the heated oil and cook for about two minutes.

Carefully turn the squash over and cook on the second side for another two to three minutes, or until it's golden brown. 

Drain on paper towels. 
I usually serve the squash with other summer time favorites, fresh tomatoes and cayenne, maybe some country fried steak and gravy, a sliced cantatloupe. Man, I'm hungry now!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup, With A Twist!

Sometimes you need a good hot bowl of soup in the summer months too! For me, chicken noodle soup always hits the spot, it's good for the soul, and pretty waistline friendly as well. This one is perfect for warmer weather, because the 'twist' is a little lemon zest added at the end!

Four chicken breasts or 1 whole turkey breast, bone in
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 cup water
1-16 ounce bag large noodles (I use no yolks, dumpling noodles)
1 box chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup (fat free)
parsley to taste, dried or fresh
1 teaspoon lemon zest, freshly grated with a rasp

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the chicken or turkey into a casserole dish.
Because I used a turkey breast and the skin was already off, I first rubbed the breast with canola oil. If the skin is on the chicken or turkey that you use, then leave the oil out of the recipe. Rub the meat with the salt, pepper and lemon pepper. 

Cover with the lid and cook for about one and one half hours. Let the meat cool. 

When you remove the meat from the casserole, save the broth you cooked it in, that's yummy stuff in there!

Once the chicken has cooled, remove it from the casserole onto a cutting board. Remove any skin and bones and chop or shred the meat into bite size pieces.

Place the chicken into a large pot. Pour the broth left from cooking through a strainer into the pot with the chicken, over medium heat. 

Add the box of broth to the pot of chicken. 

Cook the noodles in a separate pot, according to the package directions. 

Add the cream of chicken soup to the pot of chicken and broth. 

Reduce the heat to medium low. 
After draining the noodles, place them into the soup pot. Add the parsley, and let it simmer for about ten minutes. 

Now add the lemon zest to the pot. 
I wasn't exactly sure about the lemon when the idea first popped into my head, but on a whim I decided to go ahead with it and I'm so glad I did. 
After all, poultry and lemons are good friends!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Oh So Easy,Cheesy Burger Tater Tot Casserole

Take Two. I posted this recipe a little while back, with no photos. That was because I was crazed with hunger and forgot to take the pics. So, here it is, in all of it's simple, cottage-liciousness!

1 pound ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use the 99 percent fat free)
1- 32 ounce bag of Tater Tots
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated (why did I bother with ff soup?)

Preheat oven according to directions on Tater Tots

Brown the ground beef over medium heat. Add salt and pepper according to taste.

Spray an 8x8 or 9 inch round casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Drain any fat from the beef and place it in the bottom of the casserole dish.

Spread the soup on top of the beef. 

Arrange the Tater Tots on top of the soup and cook according to the directions on the Tater Tot package. 

When the Tater Tots have browned, remove the casserole from the oven and top with the cheese. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Return the casserole to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted. 

This is so good and so easy, it just doesn't seem right!