I always take a break from blogging on the weekends. I am doing most of my cooking on the weekends, so I don’t have time to blog about it. I have so many recipes and pictures to post that I probably won’t have to cook all week! Ok, that won’t ever happen.
Tonight at dinner my son came up with another great line. He said, “I wonder what it would be like to eat a jelly fish?” This coming from the child who also said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been poked in the eye.” I just love to hear the interesting things that these kids come up with.
Earlier this week I made my crockpot turkey breast recipe. We had a little mishap with the turkey because it was cooked on high for too long. Oh well, we still ate it, but it was a bit dry. I knew the only thing to do with it was to make Turkey Tetrazzini. I made this last year with our leftover turkey, and it it the best recipe out there. I adapted it from Allrecipes.com, and it’s just about perfect.
One of the greatest things about Thanksgiving is all over the leftovers. Now you have something yummy to make with your turkey, besides putting it on 2 slices of white bread slathered in Mayo. Yummm, turkey sandwiches!
This week I am going to post a lot of recipes to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers. Tomorrow I am going to share a recipe for dinner rolls along with the recipe to turn them into bread pudding the next day. Or, in my case, turning them into bread pudding because you burned over 50% of them. UGH! I’m also going to share a recipe for using up leftover cake (thanks mom).
Have a great week!
Adapted from: Allrecipes.com
1 (16 ounce) package uncooked spaghetti or elbow macaroni noodles
1/2 cup butter
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c. onion
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add noodles, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and return to the pot.
In large saucepan, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion until soft. Add in garlic and saute until garlic is fragrant. Stir in flour. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and milk. Cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir in Parmesan cheese, and remove from heat. Mix in the turkey.
Pour sauce over noodles and stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until surface is lightly browned. Bake 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until surface is lightly browned.
13 Nov 2011 3 Comments
09 Nov 2011 1 Comment
Have you tried Holiday Grapes yet? I had no idea what Holiday grapes were. I’m sure I’ve had them before, but I didn’t know what they were called. My discovery of Holiday Grapes was made through a wonderful program called Fruit my Cube. This program was designed by the Farmer’s Market in Belleville, Illinois. They decided to put together boxes of fruits and veggies that are delivered to employers throughout the area. Individuals can order a “Fruit Cube” that contains apples, oranges, grapes, pears, etc. Each week, employees can order a cube for $10 and then go to a designated pickup area and get their cube. Last week’s cube contained Holiday Grapes, among other things. They were the sweetest, juiciest grapes I have ever had. There is no bitterness in the skin either. If you see these are your local grocery store, try them. Yum!
We have a great meat market/grocery store in our area. They have wonderful cuts of meat that are all fresh and offered at a decent price. When I was there to pick up something for dinner, I found these amazing pork chops. They were HUGE – about 3″ thick. I wanted to come up with an easy recipe that allowed me to marinade them all day and just throw them on the grill when it was time for dinner.
They took a while to cook because they were so thick, but I think everyone liked them. I served them with my mashed potatoes and some frozen corn.
Grilled Pork Chops
4 large pork chops
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic to large, plastic zipper bag and mix. Add in pork chops. Place in refrigerator to marinate for several hours, turn bag over halfway through the marinating process.
Preheat grill and place pork chops directly on grill over medium heat. Discard remaining marinade Sprinkle chops with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat, turning once, until juices run clear and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees. Remove meat from grill, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
07 Nov 2011 5 Comments
I recently joined a challenge that asks us to explore recipes from other bloggers. This first challenge was to make mashed potatoes using a recipe from someone else’s blog.
I’m pretty partial to my own mashed potato recipe, so it was tough to decide on a different recipe. The only real difference between the recipe I found at Life’s Ambrosia and mine was the use of half and half. Other than that, it’s identical.
My little sous chef helped peel potatoes, in fact, he peeled most of them. I chopped them this time, but he usually does that as well.
We prepped the potatoes ahead of time, so they had to be submerged in water so they wouldn’t turn brown before we used them.
These potatoes are really yummy and creamy. They aren’t complicated to make. I did change it up a bit because I only had heavy cream, but I made the appropriate adjustments. This is the perfect mashed potato recipe….and it’s super easy. One look at these yummy potatoes will make you wish you had made some already.
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Recipe adapted from: Life’s Ambrosia
8 russet potatoes – peeled and cubed
6 tbsp. butter
1 cup half and half (or 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream)
salt and pepper to taste
Place cubed potatoes into large pot of boiling water. Let boil until potatoes can be pierced and broken with a fork. Drain potatoes.
Add butter and half and half to bowl of stand mixer. Place potatoes in bowl on top of butter and milk and let sit for one minute to allow butter to melt.
Turn mixer on medium speed and whip for 2 minutes. Add in salt and pepper during mixing. Taste after 1 minute to determine if you need more salt. Serve immediately – plain or with your favorite gravy.
04 Nov 2011 2 Comments
Happy Friday to everyone! I am going to be putting together a wonderful Thanksgiving menu that’s perfect for people that don’t have a lot of time and/or don’t know how to cook. This menu is going to include recipes that I have made in the past, but I made them before I started my blog. In other words….no pictures. BOOOOO! I will put together the entire menu, but I need to get each recipe posted first.
This first recipe is something that I made a few years back when I hosted Thanksgiving at my house for the hubby’s family. I’ve also made it several other times, but I think it’s important that you know I did actually make it for Thanksgiving. Everyone loves this recipe. It is fool-proof! If you are scared to make a turkey for fear it will be gross and dry, try this recipe. It only uses the breast portion of the turkey, so if you have a small family, this will be the perfect size. I would say that this will easily feed 6 people. Make sure you have a large crockpot because this will not fit in the smaller ones.
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Recipe by: The Accidental Cook
1 – Whole turkey breast (6-8 lbs.) – These are found in the freezer section with the frozen, whole turkeys.
2 – Dry onion soup mix packages
1 yellow onion – cut in quarters
3 celery stalks – cut in sections
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 – tablespoons butter
Spread onion soup mixture on the outside and inside cavity of the turkey. Place the onion and celery on the inside of the turkey and underneath and around the turkey if you have space in your crockpot. Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the crockpot being careful not to pour over the turkey and wash off any seasoning. Cut butter into 4 squares and place them on top of the turkey. Cook on high for 1 hour and then on low for another 7-8. Remove turkey from crockpot and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Discard the onion and celery. Slice turkey and serve.
01 Nov 2011 1 Comment
Happy November! Well, maybe it’s not happy for some. The way I look at it is that it brings me one month closer to spring. That’s the only thing I look forward to once October ends.
Last night was Halloween, and, as always, my neighborhood was CRAZY. We went through 8 big bags of candy! The kids had so much fun. I made homemade chili (recipe tomorrow) and apple pie (recipe soon). My mother-in-law made white chicken chili, so I will take pics and post that later as well. Gees, I have a lot of blogging to do this week.
So this recipe isn’t a recipe that I made for Halloween. This is a recipe that I make on a regular basis because the hubby loves it. I love it too, especially because it’s a crockpot recipe. I have always loved French dip sandwiches, but I never knew how to make the perfect roast beef for them. This recipe does it. All you need are some good French rolls and any cheese that you prefer with your roast beef and you will have a quick and easy roast beef sandwich. This can be prepared the night before and then added to the crockpot in the morning, or it can be prepared the same day.
Slow Cooker Beef Dip Sandwiches
Adapted from: allrecipes.com
5 pound beef chuck roast
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
3 bay leaves
1 cup soy sauce (I use GF soy sauce)
6 cups water
In large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the bay leaves and roast. Stir to combine. Add roast to bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight if possible to marinate the meat. This is not a necessary step, but I find that the flavor is better if you can let it sit in the marinade overnight.
Remove roast from crockpot. Let meat rest for 5 minutes. Slice and spoon some of the leftover liquid from the crockpot onto the meat. Serve warm or cold.
31 Oct 2011 1 Comment
Is there a website that just sells 1 shoe? There has to be. I couldn’t possibly be the only person out there that has a dog that chews up just 1 of their shoes on a regular basis. I wish someone could explain to me why our dog only chews up 1 shoe and they are only MINE. The children could leave shoes on the floor for a month, but if I leave a pair of shoes out, she takes only one and tears up only the important parts like the tips of the heel or one of the loops for the shoe strings. Why can’t she just chew up the laces??? Anyway, if you find a website that sells single shoes, let me know. I have a closet full of single shoes.
When I first started cooking, I had no idea what “roasting” potatoes meant. I thought it was some complicated cooking technique that was too much for me to handle. Um, wrong! Roasted red potatoes are one of my family’s favorite dishes, and it’s the easiest way to add potatoes to a quick, weeknight meal. These can be prepared in 5 minutes. The thing that takes the longest is baking them. This recipe is very versatile and can be used with veggies as well. I’ve added squash, carrots, sweet potatoes and asparagus and they all taste great. Potatoes take longer to bake, so reduce the cooking time for veggies. I served these with the hubby’s favorite slow-cooker roast beef (recipe coming soon).
Roasted Red Potatoes
Recipe by: The Accidental Cook
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. italian seasoning
2 tsp. salt + more for seasoning
3 cups red potatoes, cubed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Stir potatoes and continue to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Cooking time varies depending on the size of your potatoes. The potatoes are done when they are crispy on the outside. Serve immediately.
30 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
My blog should be named…Everyday I dream of Bread. I have an issue with bread. I love everything about it…I love to eat it and I love to make it. There are so many things you can do with bread. It can be used for sandwiches, Thanksgiving stuffing, French toast, bread crumbs, croutons, and almost anything else that is awesome.
The worst part about having Celiac disease, at least what I think would be the worst part, is not being able to eat regular breads. The gluten-free breads are ok, but they aren’t stellar. We pretend like they taste good, and to someone that can’t eat the regular stuff, it’s better than nothing, or a poke in the eye.
So this morning, the hubby suggested that we have chicken pot pie for dinner. I started looking around for a gluten-free recipe and then I remembered that I had just bought a box of gluten-free Bisquick mix. The main reason that I ever started buying Bisquick was to make the cheddar bay biscuits that they serve at Red Lobster. Which gave me the idea that became this recipe. Could I top the pot pie mixture with a layer of cheddar bay biscuits? Oh yes I can!!! Everything about this recipe was perfect, except the hubby thought the topping was too thick, so I posted the recipe for half of the topping mixture, and that should be the perfect amount.
You could make this recipe using regular flour and regular Bisquick, just decrease the amount of milk by half in the topping mix. If you or someone you know has issues with gluten, make this for them. It’s so good that I had 3 helpings.
Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie
Recipe by: The Accidental Cook
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used Andrea’s)
3 cups chicken broth
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup whole kernel corn
2 whole carrots, chopped
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/4 cups gluten-free Bisquick
2 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cups cold milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In large skillet over medium/high heat, melt butter. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Sprinkle the onions with flour and stir until the flour is completely mixed into the onions. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, and continue whisking until the mixture starts to simmer and becomes thick. Add in the chicken, peas, corn, carrots and potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue simmering over low heat and prepare the top crust.
Pour Bisquick in a large bowl. Add in the chilled butter and use a pastry cutter, pizza wheel or 2 knives to cut in the butter to the Bisquick until is resembles small pebbles. Add in milk, cheese and garlic powder and mix until just combined.
Remove vegetables from heat and pour into a 9×9 baking dish. Spoon the topping mix over the top of the vegetables and spread to cover the entire dish.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Place a cookie sheet underneath the pan to catch any drippings.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add garlic, parsley and salt. After the pot pie has been baking for 15 minutes, brush the top with the butter mixture and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
27 Oct 2011 1 Comment
Comfort food! We all have our opinion of what comfort food should be. What’s yours? Mine are a big pot of chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Campbell’s chicken noodle soup and lasagna. If you’ve never made homemade lasagna, you cannot fully appreciate the time that goes into preparing it, especially if you make your sauce from scratch as well. I don’t care how many times you see commercials advertising delicious homemade lasagna from a box, or canned lasagna – Um really? – there is nothing that will beat a good slice of freshly prepared lasagna. Now, I didn’t go all out and make my noodles from scratch, but everything else was made from ingredients and not a mix from a box.
My Sous Chef was super excited about making lasagna. He wanted to make it without my help. I gave him the task of preparing the tomato sauce, and provided him with a simple recipe to use. He followed the instructions perfectly, but then I went behind him and added in a little of this and a little of that to make it our own special sauce. It really turned out great. I was so proud of him and a little proud of myself for creating my own recipe that didn’t completely fail! Woo hooo!
Feel free to use “no-boil” noodles for your lasagna – I did. Mine were actually gluten-free, no boil noodles (details here).
I made an entire pan of this lasagna and planned to take a picture of a cut piece, but it never happened. The lasagna was gone by the next evening. The hubby had 3 pieces for lunch! I told him that he would have to workout for at least 3 extra hours to work it off! This recipe isn’t something you want to eat everyday. I hope you will make this for your family. It really is worth the extra effort.
I have included the recipe below with step-by-step photos to help you with layering the lasagna. A link to a printable version (no pics included) can be found below.
Cheri’s Homemade Lasagna with Crockpot Tomato Sauce
Recipe by: The Accidental Cook
2 cans tomato paste (6 ozs.)
2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 ozs.)
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. parsley
1 bay leaf
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 lb. ground beef
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
½ cup chopped onion
1 box Lasagna Noodles
16 ozs. Small curd cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, sugar, salt, oregano, parsley and bay leaf to large crockpot. Cook on low for 5 hours.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add Italian sausage, ground beef, garlic and onions and cook until all meat is browned. Drain and then add meat mixture to the tomato mixture in the crockpot. Continue cooking for 4 hours.
Prepare lasagna noodles according to directions on box. I used “no-boil” noodles.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a large baking dish (9×7) by spraying with a non-stick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, and egg.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
24 Oct 2011 3 Comments
I like to think that I’m an awesome chef. Ok, I’m not a chef at all. In fact, I’ve only been trained by all of the wonderful bloggers and websites out there. I have no formal training in cooking and baking.
As I was talking to the hubby a few nights ago, I made a really dumb comment. I said,
“I’m actually a pretty good cook, I hardly mess up recipes. Everyone makes it sound like cooking and baking are so difficult; I just don’t understand why they say that. Cooking and baking are so easy, I don’t know how people mess up recipes so badly.”
Leave it to the hubby to put me back in my place…he said, “so, like when you baked that pumpkin pie without sugar.” Dang! He got me with that one. He had a few others that I had conveniently forgotten. Oh well, let me live in my fantasy world please.
One of the dishes that I completely screw up everytime is homemade hashbrowns. My husband has perfected the art of making hashbrowns from scratch. He grates the potatoes himself and fries them up perfectly. He is a hashbrown connoisseur. Well, on Sunday morning he made a mistake. He decided to take his motorcycle for a ride to the grocery store to get sugar, leaving me with the task of preparing the hashbrowns. I told him that I would happily go to the grocery store, mostly because I knew I was going to have to cook those darn hashbrowns if I stayed home. And, he eagerly handed over the “hashbrown cooking” reins to me so he could ride his motorcycle, even it was only for a short distance. Neither of us wanted to cook the hashbrowns, but the potatoes had already been peeled. I should have made a different recipe, but instead I forged ahead with my husband’s original plan.
It always seems like such a simple recipe; shred the potatoes, heat some oil and fry. But it never turns out this way for me. The potatoes always end up burnt, there is never enough oil and they are raw in the middle. This Sunday was no exception – burn, raw potatoes. I vowed to concur this dish, and I WILL do it. I’m going to make hashbrowns to rival the ones they make at Denny’s! Watch out!
I just realized that I have been rambling on and on about potatoes and this post really has nothing to do with potatoes. I better get back on task….
Sunday is a big cooking and baking day for me. I love to spend the entire day in my kitchen baking up the fancy things that I don’t have time for during the week. I decided that homemade lasagna would be the perfect Sunday dinner for us, paired with some homemade garlic bread. YUM! I’m going to post the lasagna recipe next, so watch for it.
I made this french bread a few weeks ago, and it is really easy and good. I figured it would be a good bread to use for fresh garlic bread. My 11-year-old son was my Sous Chef, and I was really excited to teach him how to make bread. He was such a big help and I’m hoping that by teaching him early, he will be able to cook for his family when he gets older. We had such a great time cooking together.
We prepared the french loaves (recipe found here), and then made it in to garlic bread. It was so fresh and delicious. I’m somewhat upset that I didn’t bring some to work for lunch, but it will be waiting for me when I get home. Enjoy!
By: The Accidental Cook
1 loaf fresh french bread, sliced in half
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp. minced garlic (more or less depending on taste preference)
1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients in small bowl, mixing until completely smooth and light. Spread butter mixture on each half of french bread.
Preheat your oven broiler. Place bread on baking sheet underneath broiler and broil for 5-6 minutes, or until bread reaches your desired level of doneness. Serve immediately.
19 Oct 2011 1 Comment
I knew that I had to make this recipe when my son told me about it, and I knew that tonight would be the night to do it. This is the first night of the World Series, so what better way to celebrate than with cupcakes for dinner! These are special cupcakes. They are meatloaf on bottom with a gooey provolone cheese center and topped with whipped mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese and bacon. Wow…what a combination! These little treats were amazing. They would be really cute as mini cupcakes, but mine were full sized. Try them as a treat for your next baseball or football party. They are pretty simple. Here are my recipes, but feel free to use your favorites.
Recipe by: The Accidental Cook
Yield: 12 cupcakes
1.5 lbs. ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped onion (I sauteed mine in butter before adding them)
6 slices provolone cheese
8 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup milk
1-2 tablespoons salt (depends on taste)
Bacon bits for garnish
Cheddar cheese, shredded for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, milk and chopped onion in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix until well combined.
Press the ground beef mixture into metal muffin pan, filling to the top edge of the pan.
Using a spoon, scoop out a small portion of the middle of the cupcake and reserve the meat that you removed. Take a half slice of provolone and break it up so it fits into the middle of the meatloaf. Place the reserved meatloaf back over the top of the cheese to cover it and make sure the top is smooth and even. Follow this same process with the entire pan.
Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Remove from oven and transfer to serving platter.
While the meatloaves are baking, add the diced potatoes to a large pot of water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes until they are soft and easily split in half with a fork (15-20 minutes).
Strain potatoes and pour them into a large bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter and let sit for 1 minute to soften. Add 1/2 cup of milk and salt and mix on medium speed until the potatoes reach a whipped consistency. Add more milk if potatoes are not smooth enough.
Place mashed potatoes into a piping bag or into a sandwich bag with the corner cut off. Pipe a heaping pile of potatoes on top of each of the meatloaves and then top with shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of bacon bits.