New Helper In the Kitchen

I know that lately I have been hit or miss here and that is due to a surprise that I had a week ago. Last Sunday at 1:12 pm, my son Jeffery Michael was born! He was born at home because he was in such a hurry to get into this world! We are both doing fine and are at home. It is going to take some time to get into a routine that will allow me to post here regularly again. Hopefully I can get a couple of recipes up soon, although I have not been cooking much as of late. Image

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Hello New Readers and Followers

Hello all, I noticed that I have some new followers and readers. First of all, thank you so much for following me and reading my stuff, I truly appreciate it! When I start a new blog I usually try to just post stuff that I want to see or cook with the hope that it will appeal to others. It is wonderful when that pays off!

I love to cook, but I am not a gourmet cook. I do not have an amazing kitchen where I can turn out all these fantastically complicated dishes. The truth is, we live in a one bed room apartment with a small kitchen and limited counter space. So when I post a recipe that I have made, I can honestly say that the average home cook can make this with no issues.

I have certain equipment that I love and I am lucky to have, such as a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I love this thing to death! I also have multiple attachments for it as well such as the pasta maker and the meat grinder. For the most part I use an electric stove and oven and run of the mill pots and pans. Well, except for my cast iron skillet that I totally love. Hopefully in the future I can get a food processor and better pots and pans, but we will see.

Again, thank you for taking the time to read me, there are a lot of food blogs out there and I am happy you chose me!

-Ciao!

Fall is In the Air

Fall is my favorite season of all. Mainly because the weather is crisper and cool but not the harsh cold of winter. Just enough that I can open the windows and enjoy the breezes. It is also the time when I begin pulling the heartier dishes out and making them. The soup recipes and the stick-to-your-ribs dinners like country fried steak with mashed potatoes. 

During the summer, I try really hard to not cook in the oven at all. It is just too hot for that. So I try and rely on salads and things I can make on the stove.  The fall is when I pull out the crock pot and make wonderfully rich and filling meals for us. I also start baking more in the fall because it is apple time! 

So, what are your favorite fall dishes? 

Pardon Our Dust….

I am in the process of transferring my cooking blog from Blogger to here. As usual with technology, things did not go as smoothly as planned. So, I am transferring the posts by hand and it will take some time. Enjoy the recipes that are already here and as soon as I can, I will be posting more recipes! Thanks for understanding…

-Ciao!

Welcome Home Dinner

As I said, my hubby has been away for two weeks training with the National Guard, so this is my welcome home dinner menu for him. I am adding the recipes here, so you all can try them out too!

NY Strip Marinade:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsps. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

In a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag, combine oil, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Add the steaks to the bag, press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn several times to distribute the marinade. Place the bag in bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally. Overnight is best.

 

Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients:

4 large Idaho potatoes ( I get the ones in the bulk section, because I can usually find really big ones there)

2 packages of bacon ( use your favorite kind, but don’t use a super cheap brand)

2 packages of shredded cheese (you can use any kind of cheese you like, I usually use mind cheddar)

1 stick of butter

1/3 cup of milk ( I use whole milk because it makes the dish richer)

1 pinch of salt (go easy on the salt because you will be adding bacon and it is salty!)

2 dashes of black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake the potatoes for an hour, your oven might take longer or shorter to bake the potatoes depending on how it cooks.  While baking the potatoes cook the bacon on the stove top according to package directions. Drain it on paper towels and let it cool.

When the potatoes are soft enough to squeeze slightly and you can feel them give, remove them from the oven. Set aside for 30 minutes to an hour to cool so you can handle them.

When potatoes are cool, slice them length wise, so you have two halves and they look like boats. Take a spoon and spoon out the middles being careful to leave about 1/2 inch along the sides. Spoon the middles into another bowl.

Set the potato skins aside and use the middles in the bowl. Add the butter and the milk to them and using a potato masher or fork make mashed potatoes. Don’t worry if they are not totally smooth, they are supposed to have some lumps.

Add one package of cheese and all but 4-5 slices of the bacon to the mashed potatoes. When adding bacon, cut or tear into smaller pieces. When you  have all the cheese and bacon into the mashed potatoes, stir with a spoon, mixing well. ** I like to make this up to this point the night before. I just put this mixture and skins in the refrigerator to chill. It is easier for me to put these together using my hands when the mixture is cold. **

Using the mixture in the bowl, you can either spoon it into the skins or use your hands to fill them. You want the skins to be heaping with the mixture, so keep adding it to the skins until the mixture is used up. Turn the oven down or on to 350 degrees while you put these together.

When the skins are filled, use the cheese from the other package to sprinkle on top of the potatoes and top with the remaining bacon pieces. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is brown and bubbly on top. Serve right away.

**** You can use the basic recipe here and add anything you want to make twice baked potatoes, this is easily customizable with all kinds of additives.****

 

Garlic Butter & Bacon Green Beans

I usually make these from my head. There is no exact recipe for them. If you want to know how to make them, you can find me on FB.

 

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups of butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 (20 oz) can pineapple slices

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 2/3 cup butter, stir in brown sugar.

Spread in bottom of 12-inch cast iron skillet or a 12x9x2 pan. DO NOT GREASE

Arrange pineapple slices over sugar mixture.

In large bowl, cream sugar and remaining butter; beat in eggs and vanilla

Combine all dry ingredients; add alternately with the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition

Pour carefully over sugar mixture

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick tests say its done. Immediately invert onto serving platter.

 

Well, that is my menu. I am adding frozen rolls and a salad as well.

On the Menu..

Some of you might know that my hubby Army Boy is away at National Guard training, when he gets back on the 23rd, he will have been gone for two weeks. Army food is okay, I guess I have never actually had it, he tells me it is gross. So, I figured that I would make him a welcome home dinner! This is what the menu will consist of.

NY strip steaks- the marinade is from Paula Deen. I will post the recipe here.

Twice baked cheesy bacon potatoes

Garlic butter & bacon fresh green beans

and for dessert.. a pineapple up-side down cake made in my cast iron skillet.

I will post all the recipes here so that you can see what all I am making and you can also try them out for yourself too! He is ready to come home to real food as he puts it. LOL. Hopefully he will enjoy what I am cookin’ up for him!

Ciao!!