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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Crispy & Good

Every now then we have a hankering for oven fried potatoes. The other night we had some friends over for dinner. With summer still here I thought I would BBQ for dinner. I made some amazing chicken and had to come up with some sort of side dish.  How about some crispy oven fried potatoes.  This recipe was the talk of the evening (how'd you get them so crispy and flavorful). Look no further.

Oven Baked French Fry Potatoes
adapted from: http://www.rachaelray.com/recipe.php?recipe_id=4020

6 potatoes, cut up into fries (about 12-16 sticks each)
olive oil
salt and pepper

additional olive oil
favorite seasonings (I used an garlic onion mixture)

Toss potatoes in olive oil in a large bowl. Lay out potatoes on 2 large (lined) cookie sheets (saving bowl). Salt and pepper potatoes. Bake at 400 for about 20minutes. Remove to bowl. Add additional olive oil if need and toss with other seasonings. Place on lined cookie sheets again.  Bake at 425 for about 25minutes until crispy. Perfection!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Berry Delicious

Picking huckleberries is hard work...but very rewarding after several hours. These delicate berries are MUCH better than blueberries. Since tasting them for the first time many years ago, I was hooked. I wish they were more readily available all year. This summer I have picked a few cups worth...I may have to go hunt more before the summer is over. These pancakes were perfect with them.

Lemon Huckleberry Pancakes
adapted from: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/09/lemon-blueberry-pancakes/

1 1/2 cups flour (I used gluten free)
1/4 t salt
1 T plus 1 t baking powder
3 T sugar
1 1/2 cups milk (plus more if batter is too thick)
splash of lemon exttract
1 egg
1 1/2 t vanilla
2T butter, melted
huckleberries

Mix all ingredients together except for berries.  Coat a hot griddle with butter/baking grease. Dollop batter by 1/4 cupfuls on to griddle; sprinkle with some berries. Flip when slightly golden on the bottom. Serve with maple syrup and butter (or just butter).  Tasty and delicious!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mini Pies

The other night I had leftover taco meat.  I did not really feel like making tacos again. However I thought I could try my hand at homemade empanadas. Boy were they good! My dear husband and I loved them...dipped in chunky salsa. If you have leftover taco meat - this is your go-to recipe.

Beef Empanadas
inspired by: http://www.eatliverun.com/homemade-beef-empanadas/
gluten free pastry dough: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-tomato-tart-rich-savory-pie-crust/

Pastry
1 3/4 cup gluten free flour blend (this blend is good)
1/2 t salt
1 stick UNsalted butter, cut up into chunks
1 egg yolk, mixed with 1/2 cup COLD water
1/2 cup shredded cheese
In a food processor combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add cheese, Slowly add egg and water mixture (until it just comes together - NOTE: I did not use all of it).  Remove from processor bowl wrap in plastic wrap for a few hours in the fridge.
Roll out and place about 1-2T meat mixture in the middle of cut out circles (about 3 inches across. Pinch and seal edges. Bake at 400 for about 20-25minutes.  This would be just as tasty if you made a rustic pie by using a larger slab of dough. Tasty and very flaky.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Light & Refreshing

Happy Birthday to my Sister! I have shared many childhood (and now adulthood) memories with her. I love you and thank God for you everyday, Amy! You are awe-mazing; this salad reminds me of you (since it has the freshest and most delicious ingredients).  I recently had a similar salad at a restaurant chain; it was so delicious.

Loaded Strawberry Fields Salad
adapted from: http://iowagirleats.com/2014/06/20/loaded-strawberry-fields-salad/

4 strips bacon, cooked-cooled & crumbled
1 cup candied sunflower seeds (this is how the fast food restaurant did it)
1 T butter
2 T honey
2 large chicken breasts, seasoned with garlic - salt and pepper
Mixed greens (spinach, lettuces, etc)
1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
4oz bleu cheese (stronger the better)

Toss sunflower seeds in butter and honey and bake slightly at 350 on parchment paper (5-6minutes until slightly toasted)-it may be easier to find just honey roasted salted sunflower seeds.
Grill chicken breasts until done.  Thinly slice once slightly cooled.
Divide lettuce mixture and chicken pieces, evenly among 4 plates. Top with strawberries, onions, sunflower seeds and bleu cheese.  Drizzle over with a balsamic vinaigrette (Apple Cider Balsamic Vinaigrette was a delicious accompaniment).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chewy & Yummy Breakfast

I really detest cereal for any meal...unless it is granola.  I have been in search of a favorite recipe for a while.

Granola
adapted from: http://yummysupper.blogspot.com/2010/02/chewy-granola-with-cranberries-and.html

1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I had to use raisins since I unexpectedly ran out)
1/2 cup shredded coconnut
1/2 cup ground oats
1 t cinnamon
1/2 cup dry milk
5 T butter, melted
2 T olive oil
2/3 cup honey
2 t vanilla
2 1/2 cups oats

In a stand mixer combine all ingredients.  Pour on to the middle of a parchment lined cookie sheet. Do not spread around.  Bake at 275 for 20minutes.  Then 10 minutes. Stir and spread out some. Ten more minutes; stir and spread again. Then one last time (10 minutes; stir and spread).  Let cool completely on the cookie sheet. Put in an air tight container. Serve with milk (as cereal) or as a topping for yogurt.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Perfect Weather....Let's BBQ

The other night I decided I would make some steaks on the bbq. I love using it, especially when the heat soars and I don't want to heat the house (even if we do have AC).  These steaks were delicious as were the potato-onion packets.

Delicious BBQ Steaks
adapted from: Camp Chef Magazine

2-3 pounds boneless loin steaks
1/4 t black pepper
1 can lemon lime soda
1 1/2 T liquid smoke
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce

Place all ingredients in a zip bag (or sealed glass container). Refrigerate overnight. Rotating every few hours.  Remove steaks. Grill until desired doneness.

Potato Onion Packets (on the BBQ)
adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-potatoes-and-onion/

8 potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 large onions, sliced
8 T butter
salt/pepper/onion/garlic

Combine potatoes, onions and spices in a bowl.  Dump into 8 individual or 2 large foil pieces. Dot with butter evenly.  Pinch and seal edges tightly.  Place in indirect heat (of 400) on your bbq.  Cook for about 25minutes.  Serve.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Best Rice Krispie Treats

Recently on our family vacation I made some really chewy rice krispie treats. They were an awesome hit for everyone that tried them.  Definitely a keeper!

Loaded Rice Krispie Treats

10 cups rice krispie cereal
1 1/4 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup salted shelled sunflower seeds, optional
1/2 cup shredded cocounut, optional
1 small bag small marshmallows (8oz)
1 bag large marshmallows
1 stick margarine
splash of orange and vanilla extracts

In a large bowl combine cereal, cranberries, chocolate chips and small marshmallows; mix slightly.  In a saucepan melt together large marshmallows, margarine and extracts.  Pour sticky mixture over cereal mix.  Mix well with greased hands.  Press into a well greased 15x10x2 cake pan.  Place in fridge to stiffen up. Remove from fridge when cutting into pieces and into serving container.  Serve at room temperature.