potatoes, Uncategorized

Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes

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When I was little, my mother would sometimes buy the scalloped potatoes that you get out of the box. You just add water and milk and the contents of the box and you throw it into the casserole dish and bake it until it’s golden brown. I always thought it was so good. One day I was scrolling through a blog that only had a few posts. It was essentially abandoned. I saved two recipes from the blog. Unfortunately, it is no longer a blog. It’s too bad the owner didn’t keep up with it, because honestly his or her recipes were AMAZING. Two of our favorite recipes came from the blog.

On a side note: I hope ya’ll had a great Christmas!

1/4 cup butter

2 lbs potatoes

3 cups heavy cream

2 garlic cloves

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 teaspoons dried parsley

1/2 to 3/4 cup grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice potatoes. Melt butter, stir in potatoes, cream, salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley into a pot. Bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes. In a greased casserole dish pour in the potato mixture. Top with cheese. Cook until golden. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Vegetables

Asparagus

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I’ve never eaten asparagus. Ever. I was scared. I was nervous. I was…..I’m not sure what I was. But…i did it. I tried it. I, Heather, the picky eater of the South, ate it. I even liked it a little. It definitely has a taste that is unique, but I did not hate it. I’ll definitely eat it again. It’s a recipe I might not use again, but it was one I would eat again, if it was presented.  It’s simple. My husband loved it!

Asparagus

Season salt

garlic powder

italian seasoning

parmesan

mozarella cheese

Butter

Melt butter, mix with asparagus. season with season salt, garlic powder and italian seasoning.  Top with parmesan and mozarella. Bake at 350 until tender. Enjoy ya’ll!

Soups and Stews

Chicken n’ Dumplins

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When I was a kid my mother made chicken n’ dumplins. However it wasn’t like this. It was basically water, chicken, and flour. It wasn’t bad either. However, as time has gone by I’ve vamped up my mom’s recipe. It’s pretty good and makes me feel better as a one pot type meal. I still don’t LOVE chicken and dumplins, but if I’m going to eat it, this is the recipe I’m going to use.

When I was 14, I met my first “real” boyfriend. He had been raised by his grandparents. I adored his grandmother, Lupe. She was the sweetest woman I’ve ever met. She worked so hard for her family. She loved her children and her grandchildren, unconditionally. She LOVED chicken and dumplins and she asked me to make them for her all the time. It always made me feel so good to have her ask me to make them. She taught me so much with our time together. I may not have been the right one for her son, but the loss of her was devastating to me. She never did treat me like an outsider. I was always welcome. Even after we finally split up, she still wanted me to see her and be around her. I was part of her family no matter what I wanted. I hope that I’m that type of mother. While my mother is the best mother ever…Guadalupe was definitely ranked up there right by my mother. Unfortunately, Lupe died in February 2008. Her birthday is in ten days. I never forgot. As I flipped through my recipes finding what I’d make for the month, I came across my recipe and I thought of her and I thought…What a great way to think of her! I miss her. I wish I could talk to her. She always had good advice and a loving hug waiting for me. Enjoy ya’ll. Hug your mom’s, your aunts, your grandma’s, your mother in laws, your ex mother in laws…whatever…hug them tight and show them some love.

3-4 pieces of chicken

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups water

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

3/4 teaspoon salt (more if needed)

1 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/3 cups self rising flour

1 1/2 teaspoons parsley

1/2 cup milk, more if needed

1/4 cup melted butter

In a big stock pot melt a few tablespoons of butter. Add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté for a few minutes until onion is translucent. Add flour and stir. Add the water and chicken broth. Once it comes to a boil, add the chicken cut into pieces. Cook until done. Add thyme, salt, and pepper. In a separate bowl add flour, parsley, milk, and butter. Batter should be thick. If you need more milk, add it. Take about a teaspoon at a time and dump into the soup. Let cook for a few minutes before you dump more into the pot. Otherwise it’ll stick together and be a big huge mess. Let cook for 15-20 minutes longer and then serve.

Enjoy ya’ll! This didn’t last more than 20 minutes at my house.

 

Tips, Uncategorized

Freezer to table

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The other day I shared a Chili recipe. I know ya’ll tried it. I know ya’ll loved it. HAHA…OK, that’s not the point of this post…Here it is…

So Monday night is scout night. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Friday’s are crazy day times because my hubby has his own things to do. Finally, Monday  to Friday kids are in school. I’m one of those mom’s who packs school lunch for the kids because school food in general doesn’t seem to make them very happy. Hubby prefers something besides a sandwich every day…I like to try to oblige. Frozen meals can add up in dollars and eating out everyday is even more dollars. What I do is try to buy a little bit more than what I normally would cook. Usually what happens is that I don’t want to eat it the next day too. Sometimes I do, if I love the meal I cooked. I’m just a weird, picky eater, just to be honest. I have found there are certain things I can freeze. Chili from the other night is one of those things. Guys don’t get crazy and throw stuff in the freezer in one big ol’ pot. Make it easy.

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Something like this is what I usually use; in fact this is the exact thing I have. Anything like it would work, but this particular one is a large one that is about what you would use as one ladle- one and a half ladles. I can easily fill them and flop them in the freezer. When they are frozen I can take them out and put in a freezer bag. Whenever I take a notion to have chili, I take it out and heat it up. It’s easy and it prevents waste. I do this with a lot of different soups too. However, there are some soups that just don’t freeze well. Lesson is…be careful with the things you try to freeze. Not everything freezes well.

Breakfast

Banana Crumb Muffins

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I suck at making crumbled top anything muffins. I’m serious. Look at the top of my muffin?! Some of them had holes in the middle. My crumble looked like my batter. Honestly, I think it’s because of the butter I used. I know better, but I insist on dragging out the country crock. Honestly, I prefer butter-butter, but lately I’ve just been buying country crock, because it’s my favorite alternative. I use it for most stuff. Which I hate, but love. It’s funny, considering I’m so big on healthy options. Not saying country crock is unhealthy, but 100% butter is healthier. Make sense? Maybe….I don’t know.

I guess it doesn’t matter much, Cooper thought it was good. He loved them. Next time I make these I’m actually going to freeze some. A problem I have is I waste more than I’d like to waste. He eats them for two mornings and then the left overs get tossed. I was reading that you can freeze muffins, so I’m going to try my hand at it. I try to make muffins once a week, simply because I like to change up the recipe and use something new, but there are times that I’m just behind and in a hurry. This could turn out helpful for me. When I try freezing it, I’ll update this post.

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 ripe bananas, mashed

3/4 cup white sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon cut into bits

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers. Mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Beat together bananas, white sugar, egg, and melted butter in a bowl. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture until just moist. Spoon batter into tin evenly. Mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and the remaining flour into a small bowl. Add butter bits and stir with a fork until resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle over the muffins. Bake until center is clean when you insert a toothpick. Generally 18-20 minutes.

Beef, Uncategorized

Beef Stew Round 3

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I don’t know why but different beef stew recipes leave me fascinated. I think they are so easy and hearty. They literally come in all different shapes, flavors, and countries. I’m particularly partial to Irish stews though. You’ll find I make them most whenever it’s St. Patrick’s Day. This particular recipe I had stuffed in my cookbook and I just hadn’t bothered to ever make it. I decided to pull it out and give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. I would change a few things though. Like for one, I’d cook the beef a little longer to make it even more tender.

5 cups of chicken broth

1 lb beef stew meat

1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 teaspoons tomato paste

3/4 cup dry red wine

1 lb Yukon gold potatoes, cut into pieces

1 lb carrots

Combine beef, onions, oil, salt, and pepper ina  dutch oven. Over medium heat cook. Brown meat. Stir in garlic and thyme. Cook until fragrant. This is about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and flour. Cook about 1 minute. Stir in wine. Stir out lumps. Stir in beef broth. Cover. Reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots and cook until tender.

Bread, Uncategorized

Cherokee Fry Bread

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My family is from all over. I’m literally a mixed mutt. Most of us are these days. My mom’s family are Cherokee. My dad’s family has Cherokee too, but most of it comes from my mom’s side. Most of the time my great grandmother said she was black dutch. This is because most times back in those days, you didn’t want to be associated with being any type of black or native American. Native American’s that lived outside of the reservation usually said they were white if they could get away with it, or if they couldn’t, they’d claim black dutch. It’s better than being an Indian in their minds. People treated you differently. I recently learned to make fry bread. It’s not something I grew up with, unless I was in Cherokee. This recipe is pretty authentic. It could have been changed over the years, but I know not of this. I received it from someone I know on the reservation.

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup instant dry milk

2 cups shortening

Add all the dry ingredients. Add water until a soft ball forms. In your deep frying pan heat shortening until flour bubbles. Pull off a palm sized mound of dough. Roll into a ball. Flatten into a disk shape. Cook until brown. Turn with tongs.