Eat!

Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Hamburger Potato Bake

I was digging around in the pantry trying to throw dinner together. This happened. It is delicious, inexpensive, easy to make and kid friendly. It is also a casserole.

Don’t be afraid. I know sometimes casseroles are mushy. Often, they are made up of cream of something soup or have hot, canned tuna in them. I am not down on you if you like any of those things, but many people do not. I cannot blame them. My Hamburger Potato Bake is nothing like that.

The trick to making sure that nothing is mushy is not to cook everything together. Potatoes take longer to cook than ground beef. If you cook them together the burger will be gray and mushy. Make your own cheese sauce. Or don’t. If you want to save time, just melt equal parts Cheez Whiz with milk. But don’t get angry and say my casserole wasn’t good.

 I use baby golden potatoes because they cook quickly, and you don’t need to peel them. I also use a mandoline to slice the potatoes because a) the potatoes cook evenly if they are sliced about the same thickness and b) I got a mandoline for Christmas and use it ALLLLL the time now.

Hamburger Potato Bake

Servings: 4-6

Time:  Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 50 minutes; (An hour if you are making your own cheese sauce); dinner in an hour
Hardware: Cutting board and large knife, measuring cups, a large bowl, a slotted spoon, and a 10-inch skillet that can be used in the oven. If you do not have an oven safe skillet, just transfer the pan drippings to a 9X9 inch glass baking dish and go from there.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of bacon
  • 4 ounces ( ¼ cup or one small) onion
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1-pound golden baby potatoes
  • 1-9-ounce bag of frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup of up of cheese sauce
  • ½  cup of shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚.  Slice the onion into rings and then slice the rings into quarters. Chop the bacon.
  2. Heat the bacon and onions on medium high for 4 minutes, stirring often. Add the ground beef, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and cook and crumble until the beef is no longer pink. This usually takes me about 10 minutes.
  3. While the beef is cooking, wash the potatoes. Slice them as thin as you can. Make sure to try to keep each slice the same thickness.
  4. Using the slotted spoon, remove the onions, the bacon and the beef from the pan and into the bowl. Do not drain the pan. Add the potatoes to the pan and make sure that they are covered in the pan drippings. Lightly salt and pepper them. Place the pan into the preheated oven and bake until the potatoes are tender. This should take 25-30 minutes.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, follow the directions on the package, and microwave the broccoli for about 30 seconds less than recommended.
  6. When the potatoes are easily pierced with a  fork, fold the meat mixture, broccoli and cheese sauce into the potatoes. Be careful, you don't want to tear the potatoes. Top with the shredded cheese and return to the oven and roast until the cheese is bubbly and just starting to brown, probably 5-7 minutes.
  7. Serve right away.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Day number 6 thousand of the pandemic,  I am going stir crazy and as a result am doing some weird stuff with food (don’t get me started on the tuna pinwheels.) But out of my boredom and off-kilter imagination, good things often happen. These Buffalo Chicken Bites are one of those good things.

Dear Lawd, these are delicious. I have made them three times. Once I had them for breakfast. My mom, the pickiest person on Earth, likes them.

I always give you suggestions for making my recipes your own. Don’t  change a darned thing. Don’t. I shredded a rotisserie chicken for ease. I also used Hooters wing sauce because it is thick. I usually use Franks. You can use your  favorite sauce. But otherwise, do this.

Servings: 25-30 pieces
Time:  Active: 15 minutes; Freeze: 1 hour; Cook: 10 Minutes; Bites in about 90 minutes
Hardware:  A hand mixer, a large mixing, a silicone spatula, a large plastic container with a lid, large plate, 3 shallow bowls, a deep skillet, a large metal slotted spoon (or a skimmer/spider web), a paper towel covered plate, an oil thermometer

 Ingredients

  • 1-8oz package cream cheese
  • 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  • 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of wing sauce (I used Hooters)
  • 1-1 oz packet of ranch dressing mix (this is optional, you could skip it and just add a dash of salt)
  • 2 eggs (maybe a third)
  • 1 ½  cups of breadcrumbs
  • 1 ½ cup of flour
  • 1-2 cups of oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ranch or blue cheese dressing 
Buffalo Chicken Bites
  1. Put the cream cheese out to soften.
  2. Using the hand mixer, mix the softened cream cheese, wing sauce and dressing mix OR salt together until the cream cheese and wing sauce are thoroughly combined. Then mix in the shredded chicken and cheddar cheese. You will need to stop mixing and use the spatula to clear the beaters a few times.
  3. Roll 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture into balls. If you make them too large, they won’t cook all the way through later. Place the balls in the freezer for at least on hour. (I froze them for 3 days and they were okay.)
  4. Remove the Bites from the freezer. Put enough oil in the skillet to cover the Bites.  Preheat the oil until it is 350°.  You will want to monitor the oil temperature and keep it between 320° and 350°.
  5. While the oil is heating, place the eggs into one bowl and beat vigorously. Place the flour into the second bowl and the crumbs into the third one. Stir a little salt and pepper into the flour and the crumbs.
  6. Dip a frozen Bite into the flour, then the egg and then the crumbs. You can dip it in the same order twice if you need to, but make sure it is completely encased in crumbs. Repeat this for all the Bites.
  7. Place a few Bites in a single layer in the hot oil. Don’t crowd the skillet. You will have to cook in batches.
  8. Allow them to cook until they are golden brown. Flip them over at least once. I find that it is easiest to just cook one and then cut it open. If it is still frozen in the middle, turn the oil down and increase the cooking time. Use this test Bite to gauge how long to cook them.
  9. As they finish, place them on the paper towel covered plate to drain.  You can place the plate in the oven on the lowest setting to keep them warm.
  10. Serve right away. Offer your guests ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Buffalo Chicken Roll-Ups

Buffalo Chicken Roll-Ups

I have been trying to come up with more chicken wing recipes. I thought and thought and got nothing. However, my mom was making tuna roll-ups and an idea crept into my head. How about wing roll-ups?

 

I made Buffalo Chicken Roll-Ups the first time using slices of chicken cold cuts. Not good. They didn’t have enough chicken. I also laid a slice of celery in the center of the second round. Not good. They had too much celery.  The third time, I think I got them pretty near perfect. I bought a rotisserie chicken and just pulled the chicken from it. My husband and my brother-in-law loved these.  I think you will, too.

 

I have some filling left over. I’m thinking of stuffing it into jalapeños and making Buffalo Chicken Poppers. I’ll let you know how those turn out.

 

 

Servings: About 24 pieces
Time: Active time 20 minutes; Refrigerate for at least an hour, Snacks in about an hour and half
Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, a mixer, a large mixing bowl, a silicone spatula plastic wrap, a wooden spoon and a serrated knife and cutting board, for serving you will need a small dipping bowl and a platter

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • ½  cup wing sauce (I used Frank’s RedHot)
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken  
  • 1 of cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 large flour tortillas (8 inch)
  • Ranch dressing for dipping
  1. Mix the softened cream cheese, wing sauce, and sour cream until everything is completely combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
  2. Fold the chicken and cheddar cheese into the cream cheese mixture until they are combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  3. Lay a tortilla onto a flat surface and cover it with ¼ of the chicken mixture. Spread the mixture evenly over the entire tortilla, getting as close to the edge as you can.
  4. Start at the edge and roll the tortilla up as tightly as possible. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour. I like to make these a day early and slice them right before serving. Repeat this process with the other 3 tortillas.
  5. When you are ready to serve the roll-ups, unwrap them and place them seam side down onto a cutting board. Slice each log into 8-9 rounds. I have found that using a serrated knife works best for getting smooth edges and cutting through.
  6. To serve, fill a small bowl with ranch dressing. Place the bowl in the middle of the platter. Stack the roll-ups, cut side down, around the bowl of dressing. I serve mine with slices of celery.

 

 

Monday, December 28, 2020

Cheesesteak Sliders

Cheesesteak Sliders

The holidays are  always crazy busy. I wanted a quick, easy snack that both my mom and husband would eat. Enter the Cheesesteak Slider. These were so tasty that I made them again later in the week.

 

I used to date a guy from Philadelphia. When we visited his family, we went downtown and had a Cheesesteak. Believe it or not, all the venders were using Cheez Whiz. You can use American cheese if you want, but for authenticity (and speed and ease) use the bright yellow stuff from the jar. Trust me. You can also add sautéed mushrooms if you wish. Just make sure to drain them and chop them up before adding them with the peppers and onions.

 

You can serve these as a snack, as an appetizer at your socially distanced New Year's Eve bonfire or as a meal. If you enjoy these try my Italian Sausage and Pepper Sliders  or my Chicken Taco Sliders.


Servings: 12 sliders
Time:  Active time 20 minutes; Cook: 35 Minutes, Sandwiches in about an hour
Hardware:  A cutting board and knives, measuring cups and spoons, a microwave safe bowl, a second bowl, a serrated knife, a silicone spatula, tongs, a wooden spoon, a pastry brush, a skillet, an 8x11.5 glass baking dish, and foil

Ingredients

  • 1-12 pack of King’s Hawaiian Rolls
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Olive oil for the bottom of the skillet
  • 1 bell pepper (8-10 ounces)-I used different colored baby bells for color
  • 1 small onion (4 ounces)
  • 1-pound roast beef cold cuts (I used Boar’s Head Londonport)
  • ½ cup Cheeze Whiz

  1.  Melt the butter in the microwave safe bowl. Preheat the oven to 350˚.
  2. Roughly chop the onions and pepper into small chunks. Heat the oil over medium. Cook the peppers and onions until they are the desired tenderness. Remove them to the second bowl.
  3. Roughly chop the cold cuts. I find this easiest to do by rolling it up and  slicing it in one direction and then the other direction.
  4. With a large, serrated knife cut the rolls in half horizontally. Don’t separate the rolls. You are creating one large top slab and one large bottom slab.

  5. Lay a large piece of foil in the bottom of the baking dish. Place the bottom of the bread on the foil. Spread the chopped cold cuts evenly over the bread.

    Make sure to not pile all the meat in the middle but spread it out to the edges. Top the roast beef with the peppers and onions.

    Use the spatula to spread the top ‘half’ of the bread with Cheeze Whiz.

    Lay the top slab onto the bottom one. Pour the butter evenly over the sliders. Use the pastry brush to make sure all the bread is covered in butter. Seal the foil closed. You may need another sheet of foil. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Allow the sliders to rest for 2-3 minutes. Following the outline of the top buns, use a serrated knife to slice into 12 sliders.

  7. Serve warm.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Lemon Supreme Bundt Cake

Lemon Supreme Bundt Cake
 From scratch is best. Fresh is a necessity.These are the rules I live by. Today, I broke my own rules. I opened some boxes and jars and made this wonderful Lemon Supreme Bundt Cake. I did this because I am not a great baker. But I am adventurous and willing to take chances. A few years ago I made a Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze. This cake is basically a twist on that cake. It is really pretty and so, so delicious!

If lemons aren’t your thing, you could use an orange cake mix, vanilla pudding and orange marmalade. Strawberry cake mix, vanilla or cheesecake pudding and strawberry jam would also make a lovely cake. You could really use any flavor combination as long as you maintain the exact same measures. You can also skip the filling.

Serves: 10-14 slices
Time:  Active time 10 minutes; Cook: 30-35 Minutes: Cooling time: varies-cake in a few hours
Hardware: Measuring spoons and cups, 2 mixing bowls, mixer, rubber spatulas, a 9x3 Bundt pan and a gallon plastic bag, a microwave safe bowl, Optional-a rolling pin or sturdy coffee cup, a gallon plastic bag, a knife, or  citrus peeler

 

Ingredients:

  • Flour/butter for the Bundt pan
  • 1 box of lemon cake mix (15.25 ounces)- I used Duncan Hines Perfectly Moist Lemon Supreme
  • 1 package of lemon instant pudding (3.4 ounces) I used Jell-O Lemon
  • ⅛ish teaspoon of salt (a little less)
  • 1-16-ounce (pint) container of sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 10 oz jar of lemon curd-I used Dickinson’s
………………
  • 16 ounces jar of frosting -I used Duncan Hines Creamy Lemon Supreme
  • A little milk
  • Optional: Lemon Cooler Cookies -I used Pepperidge farm Snowball Citrus Cookies
  • Optional-a lemon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour the pan. Set aside.
  2. In one bowl, mix the sour cream, eggs, and oil until completely combined. Wash the beaters. 
  3.   In the other bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding and salt.
  4.  Add the wet to the dry and beat on low speed for about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down the bowl. Make sure that no dry ingredients are on the bottom.  Beat on high speed for about 2 minutes. Allow the mix to rest for about 15 minutes. While the batter is resting, pour the lemon curd into one of the plastic bags.
  5.  Spoon about ⅓ of the batter the into prepared pan. Snip a corner from the curd filled bag. Pipe the curd around the cake. Make sure to keep the curd in the middle of the cake, away from either edge. Spoon the rest of the cake mix on top of the curd and allow to settle.
  6. Place the cake into the oven on the middle rack, bake for about 50-60 minutes. Turn the cake about half-way through baking. You can insert a knife close to the edge and it should come out clean. However, you may hit the lemon curd and so this method isn’t full proof. Just know your oven and begin checking at about 50 minutes.
  7.  Cool the cake in the pan for about 10 minutes then cool it completely before frosting.
  8. To make the glaze, place the frosting in a microwave proof bowl and add a little bit of milk. Microwave for 10 seconds and stir. If it isn’t the consistency you want, stir in a tiny bit more milk and microwave again. Do this until it is the consistency you want. If you get it too runny, you can add a little cream cheese or confectioners’ sugar.
  9.  If you are using the cookies for decoration, place them into one of the plastic bags and crush them with the rolling pin or cup. Peel long strands of lemon peel. Pour the frosting over the cake and allow it to run down the sides. Sprinkle on the cookie crumbs and arrange the lemon peels on top of the cake.