Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ham and Noodle Casserole


It was the very first overcast and cooler day we have had, and I could almost feel fall in the AIR, almost! I spent hours making a months supply of dog food and I was beat! So, I decided to whip up a casserole. I was sick of chicken, pork and the usual so I decided to make it with Ham for a change!

  • 1 lb of ham (I bought a thick slice right from the deli counter)
  • 1 package of No Yolks noodles
  • 2 cans of Cream of Whatever you like soup (I used Chicken and
  • Mushroom)
  • 1/4 cup of mushrooms, fresh, dried or canned
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Peas (do not use canned)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream (I used fat free)
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 small jar of Pimento's
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese, I used Colby Jack
Dice the ham into small chunks

Cook your noodles according to the package direction (cook a bit less than the package says as you will be baking this)

Mix the soups, spices, sour cream and Pimentos, add the chicken stock until you have a loose consistency, you want enough sauce to cover the noodles

Add 1/2 of the shredded cheese, peas, mushrooms, and the ham, mix until well incorporated

Put into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or bubbly

Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the remaining cheese

Monday, September 29, 2008

Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting



I served this at my family barbecue. I wanted the kids to be able to decorate their cupcakes themselves and add whatever toppings they liked.

Unfortunately, they could not wait so they ate them plain. I made some pretty ones for the grownups!

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, (makes 12-15 cupcakes depending on size)

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.

Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Whipped Cream Frosting
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 tbl Vanilla
Sugar to taste

Add the vanilla to a preferably cold bowl and using the whipping attachment of your Kitchenaide Mixer or Hand Mixer whip until soft peaks form, add your sugar (less than 1/4 cup for me), and continue whipping until firm peaks form (don't over whip or you will have butter)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Zucchini Bread


Recently, my fabulous neighbor and farmer, Jack, gave me a ton of Zucchini (as well as loads of other wonderful produce over the summer). I have never made Zucchini Bread before and decided now was the time to try it! I have to say it was moist and delicious, I will be making it often now that I know how good it is!

The view from my back deck, Jack's garden early in the summer!


I checked out a few recipes online and created my own version! This makes 2 loaves. p.s. thanks Pam for letting me borrow your beautiful platter!

3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg (fresh is best)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
4 eggs beaten
2 cups grated Zucchini (use a towel and squeeze excess liquid out)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup chopped nut of your choice, I used Walnuts
2 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 loaf pans

In a large bowl combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and both sugars

In a separate bowl, combine oil, applesauce, eggs, water, zucchini, honey, vanilla and lemon juice

Mix wet ingredients into dry, and fold in nuts, split between your 2 loaf pans

Bake for 1 hour or until your knife comes out clean

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Italian Smore's

My husband and I were goofing around and wondered, what would an Italian Smore look like exactly. We figured something like this. I used Nutella spread instead of chocolate, and served oranges on the side. If nothing else, it was amazingly good! Graham Crackers, Nutella, Mini Marshmallows, Chocolate Sauce, and you have what we "think" an Italian Smore should be!

Graham Crackers
Nutella Spread
Mini Marshmallows
Chocolate Sauce
Oranges

Spread a thin layer of Nutella on your graham cracker
Carefully place your marshmallows covering the cracker
Use a torch or the broiler to toast your mallows
Drizzle with chocolate sauce
Dip your oranges into the sauce

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pistachio Fluff


My mom used to make this for us kids all the time and we loved it. I had a family barbecue over the weekend and wanted to have it, but I had no idea how to make it. There seem to be many different names for it and variations of ingredients. I read several and winged it, as I always do.

My brother, the big pain in the ARCE, was busy munching on the pistachio's I had painstakingly cracked the day before. It all worked out tho! and was just like mom used to make!

In reality it is not that bad for you either, everything in it is low fat and I opted for sugar free options, so it is diabetic friendly!

2 tubs of Cool Whip (I used sugar free)
2 packages Instant Pistachio Pudding Mix (I used sugar free)
1 20 oz can Crushed Pineapple, do not drain
1/2 bag of Mini Marshmallow
1 cup of chopped Pistachios
1/2 to 1 cup of shredded coconut(optional, but I used it)

Mix everything together and let sit for at least 4 hours up to overnight.

Some optional ingredients I noted when I was reviewing recipes: Maraschino Cherries, Walnuts, Mandarin Oranges, Pecans

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hasselback Potatoes


I have been wanting to make these for quite some time, they originated in Sweden and make a nice change from baked potatoes. I looked at a few recipes and decided to make my own version. They were delicious!

2-4 russet potatoes, scrubbed well
1/2 cube butter
1 garlic clove cut into very thin slices
1 garlic clove minced well
salt and fresh cracked pepper
4 tbl Romano or Parmesan Cheese

The hardest part of this is cutting the potatoes, I read somewhere if you place them on a wooden spoon it works well and it does! Essentially you want to cut slits in the potato from one end to the other but not all the way thru the potato, just about 3/4 the way thru.

Place as many of the garlic slices as you wish into the slits you made in the potato.

Place on a baking sheet

Melt the butter and add the minced garlic, then brush the tops of the potatoes with that mixture, add salt and pepper to taste

Bake at 400 for 50 t0 60 minutes until done, remove, brush with remaining garlic butter and add the cheese. Return to oven for approximately another 10 minutes

(I served with a horseradish and chive sour cream)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Milk Chocolate Mousse



I have been wanting to make Chocolate Mousse for quite some time, but I am not a huge fan of dark chocolate, so I used milk chocolate instead. I topped it with a childhood favorite candy, Malted Whoppers! Delicous!

2 tablespoons brewed coffee
5 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
3/4 cup heavy cream


Bring a small pot of water to a gentle simmer over medium heat.

Combine the coffee, chocolate and rum, if using, in a medium metal bowl that can sit atop the pot of water without touching the water.

Place the bowl on the pot and heat until the chocolate is melted, stirring often. When the mixture is smooth, remove from the heat and set aside to cool until no longer warm to the touch.

Whip the cream at high speed to speed to soft peaks, about 1 minute. Fold half of the cream into the chocolate until combined but not fully incorporated and some streaks remain.

Add the remaining cream in two batches, mixing to fully incorporate when the last batch is added.

Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour, or up to 48 hours

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Corn Pudding

Our amazing neighbor Jack who grows all sorts of veggies has some super sweet corn this year, I was lucky to get my hands on some! We barbecued a bunch of the ears, took the kernels off, and I decided to surprise my corn loving husband with Corn Pudding. He swooned, literally!

For 6 individual (4-ounce) custard ceramic ramekins
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter (use some for greasing ramekins)
  • 2 eggs plus 2 yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 cups fresh corn, cut from the cob
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
    1 cup of cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Butter molds or casserole.

Beat eggs, stir in sugar, cream, butter and milk. Add corn, cheese and salt.

Mix thoroughly with whisk, pour into baking dishes and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Bake in water bath for 45 minutes or until custard is set (it took about 65 minutes for mine to be done). Serve in the ramekins or invert onto a plate

Monday, September 15, 2008

Smoked Brisket


My husband finally talked me into a Traeger smoker this summer, and the very first thing he smoked was a beautiful brisket. He is my guest blogger today, here is John!

There are many BBQ sites that tell you how to properly prepare a brisket and sometimes it comes down to a matter of opinion on many things; fat side up/down, cooking temp, final cooking process, eat it warm/cold, and so on. Realizing there is no right or wrong I encourage you to boldly try a recipe and develop your own family favorite. What follows is a version of ours.

Did you know that when shopping for a brisket you should pick one (if you can) with white fat instead of yellow? The white means that the beast ended its life with a grass diet instead of grain. The grass diet is said to have better meat flavors.

Starting with a cryovac'd brisket from Cash&Carry (one of the few locals that carries full briskets), place the slab fat side up on the counter and begin shaving off the excess fat. Leave about 1/8" to 1/4" layer, no more. Next, create the following mixture for an overnight marinade:

1 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

Marinate for at least 8 hours in the fridge in an airtight container. I used a vacuum sealed bag and layed it in a large casserole in case of leaks. Turn once during the night. Overall, this doesn't do much to add huge amounts of flavoring deep into the meat, just the outer 1/8" or so but it's worth it.

Late a.m. the next day, remove the brisket from the marinade and dust both sides with this:

1/4 cup paprika
4 tablespoons garlic powder
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons onion salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 teaspoon cumin

Let the meat come up to room temp while you prepare your smoker. The internal temperature that I go for is 180-205. Yes, this seems high for beef but with this cut, this is what you want for the gelatin to release and get you a good juicy, tender result. I set the smoker on a setting that averages about 220 degrees. My smoker is "indirect" heat, not an offset smoker so I have to be careful about drying things out. For the smoke source I used mostly Hickory with some Mesquite. Note: sweeter woods like Alder, Pecan, Cherry, Apple, Maple go better with fish and foul. Hickory and Mesquite are best for red meats.

Starting out, place the brisket fat side up for at least the first four hours. I keep a temperature probe (oven safe tethered probe) in the thickest part of the slab. Closely monitor the temperature of your smoker and the meat. Put some good quality apple juice in a clean spray bottle, check the brisket every two hours and mist heavily. I got to the 12th hour of smoking and dinner time was looming (very late dinner, I should have started MUCH earlier) so I had to ramp the cooking temp to 325 for an hour to reach 190 on the meat. Remove from the grill, wrap in foil immediately and let rest for at least 20-30 minutes. Remove the foil, add a little of your favorite bbq sauce to give a bit of zing, enjoy.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Homemade Dog Food II

My dog has severe allergies, and we have tried every dry dog food on the market, even the ones which are supposed to be "non allergy". I finally decided I was going to make a 2nd attempt at creating my own dog food using "known" non allergenic foods. I wont bore you with photo's, it isn't pretty but after a bunch of research this seems like it works for my allergy kid! Besides who could resist this girl! Mommy sure can't!





6 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large yam, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups of brown rice, cooked
2 apples, cored, peeled and cut into small dice
1 tub of full fat cottage cheese
2 lbs of hamburger
1 container of tofu, firm
2 cans of green beans, rinsed well

Boil your hamburger for just a few minutes until just done, drain water, put into a large bowl

Next, boil your carrots and yam until your knife slides in easily, drain

Mix the remaining ingredients until well incorporated, you can refrigerate for up to 3 days then freeze it in single day servings.

You need to feed your dog 2 percent of their body weight per day, I feed 2 lbs of this a day and half a bananna and as many raw carrots as she wants. I do not feed her any people food, at least any processed type food. Straight from the table home made food is ok...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tomato Tart

My husband made a delicious Tomato Tart several years ago, I wanted to try to re-produce it but I could not remember where he got the recipe, dang it! I looked around online at some tart recipes, and decided to just wing it, which I am pretty good at! It turned out beautifully, the roasted tomatoes and cheese along with the crisp crust were amazing.
  • 1/2 package Boursin Cheese (you could use any cheese)
  • 1 basket of Cherry Tomatoes (I used my home grown ones, about 50 of em)
  • 1 package Puff Pastry (you will only use 1) at room temperature
  • 3 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 beaten egg
Heat your oven to 400 degrees and mix the tomatoes with the olive oil and a bit of salt

Roast on a sheet pan in the oven for about 20 minutes, remove and let cool

Reduce heat to 350

In the meantime, get your puff pastry out and place on a cutting board, you may need a bit of flour, I did it right on the sheet pan I was baking it on

You will cut off about 1 inch strips all the way around, you are going to build a dam to hold your ingredients
Brush your puff pastry with the beaten egg, then place the strips on each side (cutting off excess), bake for 20 minutes until lightly brown, remove and set aside

Place your tomatoes on top and sprinkle with as much cheese as you like and a bit more fresh cracked pepper.
Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese melts a bit, cut and serve

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Homemade Applesauce


I realized the other day I have never made applesauce in my entire LIFE! I decided to remedy that issue and I made it this morning, after all they are in season locally. It tastes soooooo much better than store bought applesauce, however, the ROI is not worth it for a long term solution to your applesauce needs.

By adding the cinnamon sticks during cooking it adds a very nice, but not overpowering cinnamon taste.

This makes a small batch, about 1 cup of applesauce
  • 4 apples, peeled cored, diced into fairly large chunks (any kind you like)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • sugar to taste or equal
Add the apples, water and cinnamon sticks to your pan, bring to a boil, then add lid, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes until tender.

Drain water, as much as you can, remove the cinnamon sticks, return to pan.

Sweeten to taste, it will be chunky, you can put it in the blender, food mill or use a stick blender to make it more like a supermarket brand consistency, but we liked it chunky.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Legs


My husband and I really love Buffalo Wings, but the drawbacks are that they are fatty, fried, and I only like the legs not the wings. I have been wanting to try to create that same taste but with full sized chicken legs. The key, in my opinion, is Frank's Red Hot Sauce!

Chicken Legs (as many as you want), I put several horizontal slices in each leg, so it can absorb the marinade

Marinade (make enough to cover the legs)
2-3 TBL Soy Sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
Dash, or to taste Cayenne Pepper
Frank's Red Hot Sauce (Buffalo version)
Marinate the legs in the above mixture, anywhere from 4 hours to overnight, drain the marinade

To make the Buffalo Sauce, in a saucepan mix Franks Red Hot, several dashes of Tabasco and Butter, (you are supposed to use an equal butter to Franks mixture, but that was a bit rich for me, I just added about 2 cups of Franks to 1/2 cube butter)

Place the legs on a non stock sheet pan and cook at 425 for 30 minutes

Remove and brush with the Buffalo Sauce, reduce heat to 350 and cook for another 10 minutes, brushing occasionally with the sauce.

Remove the legs to a bowl with remaining sauce and mix well.

I served with Blue Cheese dressing and celery

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bananna Upside Down Cake




I cannot even remember where I got this recipe I have been making it for so long! It is a great way to use up bananas and after you invert it, the Carmel crust is delicious. Instead of the usual cake, try this, you won't be sorry!

1 cup (2 sticks unsalted butter) at room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 t0 3 ripe firm bananas peeled and cut diagonally
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 cup flour
1 tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Vanilla
1 cup milk, you can use any type

Preheat your oven to 350

You need a round cake pan, non stick is preferable

Place 1 cube of butter and the brown sugar into your cake pan, and melt on the stovetop, mixing constantly until it incorporates and becomes like liquid carmel
Arrange your banana slices in the carmel mixture overlapping

Beat remaining butter and 1 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl

Add vanilla and eggs and beat until smooth

Sift 2 cups flour and the baking powder/salt into a bowl

Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to butter mixture

Spoon carefully over the bananas

Bake until puffy and brown about an hour (this can vary, check at 50 minutes)

Transfer to rack and cool

Invert onto cake plate or serving platter

I serve with whipped cream

Do not tell Grandma about this!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Croissant French Toast


I had some leftover Croissants to use up and my wonderful husband offered to make French Toast out of them. What a wonderful idea, they were rich and very tender, I am hooked! Try it this weekend!

3 Croissants, cut in half
1 TBL vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 300 degrees, place a plate in the oven

Whip the beaten eggs, milk, vanilla, and spices until well blended, cinnamon should be well incorpporated

Dip each piece of croissant into the batter mixture, let it sit for a minute or so and place on your greased griddle or non-stick fry pan.

Cook on outside first, spoon on leftover egg mixture (if any) to the inside of the croissant as the outside cooks. (this adds to the custardy texture)

Cook both sides until golden brown, then transfer to the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking. (makes sure the inside is done)

Serve immediately with butter and warm syrup!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Popsicles of Summer




My niece who works at Starbucks turned me onto this wonderful tea, Tazo Iced Passion Tea. It is delicious, so I figured why not make popsicles with it? Sometimes I do get a great idea and this was one of em!

Make the tea as directed on the box, it makes 2 quarts
Add the sweetner of your choice, I used 6 Equal, you could use sugar or whatever tickes your fancy. Sweeten to your liking.

Pour it into your homemade popsicle molds (I bought mine from New Seasons Market), freeze and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Milk Chocolate Mousse!


I have been wanting to make Chocolate Mousse for quite some time, but I am not a huge fan of dark chocolate, so I used milk chocolate instead. I topped it with a childhood favorite candy, Malted Whoppers! Delicous!

2 tablespoons brewed coffee
5 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
3/4 cup heavy cream

Bring a small pot of water to a gentle simmer over medium heat.

Combine the coffee, chocolate and rum, if using, in a medium metal bowl that can sit atop the pot of water without touching the water.

Place the bowl on the pot and heat until the chocolate is melted, stirring often. When the mixture is smooth, remove from the heat and set aside to cool until no longer warm to the touch.

Whip the cream at high speed to speed to soft peaks, about 1 minute. Fold half of the cream into the chocolate until combined but not fully incorporated and some streaks remain.

Add the remaining cream in two batches, mixing to fully incorporate when the last batch is added.

Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour, or up to 48 hours

Chicken Tikka Masala

The hubster and I love Indian Food and we saw this made on the Cooks Illustrated show. It sounds very complex but in reality it is pretty easy, well that is easy for me to say as I had nothing to do with making it! I did eat it however, and it was wonderful!


Chicken Tikka
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon table salt
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts , trimmed of fat
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (see note above)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Masala Sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh serrano chile , ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced (see note above)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala (see note above)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.

FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.

Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tomato Basil Soup


I needed to use up my bounty of tomatoes and basil, so I made my annual end of summer soup! I like to roast the vegetables first, which adds another dimension of flavor!

10 -12 tomatoes, sliced in half
1 red bell pepper cut into chunks
1 quart chicken stock, homemade preferable but you can use a low sodium pre-made stock
1 sweet yellow onion
2 tbl tomato paste
15 fresh basil leaves (washed)



First you need to roast your tomatoes, place them on a baking sheet, and sprinkle on some sea or kosher salt, roast at 425 for about 10-15 minutes, remove and place into your soup pot (get all the juice on the sheet pan)

Next roast your onions and red bell pepper, place on the same sheet pan, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, mix well and roast for about 15 minutes, remove and add to your soup pot

Add your stock, tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste, and let simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes

Add your whole basil leaves and simmer for an additional 10 minutes

Use your stick blender to emulsify your soup, or alternately you can run it thru your food processor, it should be a smooth and creamy consistency.

Right before serving, I add about 1/4 cup of whipping cream or you could use whole milk


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Monday, September 1, 2008

Potatoes Au Gratin


I had not made this dish before and it was a good excuse to use my Mandolin, a gift from my hubby. It is rich and delicious, and pairs well with chicken or beef. There are many different names and ways of making this, I read a few recipes then did my own thing!

2-3 medium russet potatoes, sliced thinly (via Mandolin preferably)
grated cheese, I used Cheddar and Parmesan for the top layer
butter
whole milk (most recipes call for half and half but it tasted just fine with whole milk)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh chives

Grease your baking dish with butter
Place a layer of potatoes down first, overlap them
next sprinkle on a layer of cheese
another layer of potatoes
another layer of cheese
continue this process until you run out of potatoes, you can finish with a layer of cheese

add salt and pepper and chives

pour the milk into the mixture until you can barely see it above the potato mixture

Bake at 350 for 50 to 55 minutes until tender and bubbly

Beef Pho - Pho Bo

My husband and I are Pho lovers, we eat Pho at least once or twice a month.  I have always wanted to try making it at home, but it seem...