Saturday, May 28, 2011

Parsley Potatoes with Grilled Onions

This is probably Gabby's favorite side dish I make.  She went through a stage where she didn't eat onions, so I would make her potatoes with just butter.  Once she tried them with the onions, she wants them that way every time.
  • 3 lb. bag of new potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 large Vidalia onions, sliced into thin semi-circles
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • ½ T. black pepper
  • 2 T. fresh (finely chopped) or dried parsley
  1. Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender, about 20 minutes
  2. While potatoes are boiling, cook onions in oil on low until limp
  3. Turn up the heat and slightly brown the onions
  4. Drain the potatoes, then add the butter, salt, pepper, grilled onions, and parsley
 Tips and Tricks:
  • When we have leftovers of these potatoes, I use them to make an omelet.  Simply reheat in a skillet and pour scrambled eggs over the warmed potatoes and onions.  Yum!
  • Sometimes I use chives instead of parsley; it really just needs some herbs to brighten it up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mint Julep

The first time I had a mint julep was at a Kentucky Derby party.  They are yummy and easy to make.
Mint infused simple syrup:
  • 20 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 C. water
  • Rocks glass filled with ice
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 2 oz. mint infused simple syrup
  • Splash of club soda
  1. Heat the water and sugar until it comes to a boil
  2. Mix well and turn off the heat
  3. Add the mint and cover
  4. Let the mixture steep for at least 1 hour
  5. Pour the bourbon over the ice
  6. Add the mint infused simple syrup and then club soda
  7. Mix with a stirrer and garish with a sprig of mint
 Tips and Tricks:
  • Growing mint is super easy.  I bought 2 mint plants at Home Depot and planted them in a pot.  They are on my porch and growing like crazy.
  • Simple syrup is simple to make. 
  • I’ve made these with Crown Royal which is not bourbon, but a whiskey.  It tastes good with either.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This is as close to the dip at Houston's as you will get.  I think it is even a little better than theirs.  It is rich and creamy.  You will love it.

  • 2 boxes of chopped spinach
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 1 (8oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 (8oz.) sour cream
  • 1 (8oz.) whipping cream
  • 8 oz. of Jalapeño Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • ¼ C. parmesan cheese
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. black pepper
  • ½ t. garlic powder
  1. Cook spinach as directed on box and drain
  2. Squeeze the excess water out of the spinach and dry with paper towels
  3. Drain artichoke hearts well and mash
  4. Sauté onions in butter over medium low heat until limp
  5. Add each of the ingredients to the pot (except the pepper cheese), stirring to incorporate after each
  6. Add about half of the pepper cheese to the mixture and save the other half
  7. In a microwave safe dish, scoop the mixture in and then cover with the other half of pepper cheese
  8. Microwave on high for 5 minutes
  9. Serve with tortilla chips
 Tips and Tricks:
  • I serve this dip with sour cream and salsa on the side.
  • When preparing the artichoke hearts, it is important to pick out any leaves that are hard.  They are usually on the outside of the artichoke heart and are darker in color.
  • I use light sour cream and 1/3 less fat cream cheese.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

This is another family favorite from "Talk about Good" cookbook.  You know the drill, I've tweaked it and made it my own.
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. of ground chuck
  • ¼ C. lemon juice
  • ¼ C. red wine
  • 1 can of consommé
  • 1 can of water
  • 1 T. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • 1 C. sour cream
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag of extra broad egg noodles minus 1 C.
  • Chives
  1. Sauté the onions in the butter over medium heat until soft
  2. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute
  3. Add the ground chuck and cook until brown
  4. Add the lemon juice, wine, consommé, water, and Creole Seasoning
  5. Cook for 15 minutes
  6. Stir in the uncooked noodles and cover
  7. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the noodles are tender and most of the liquid is incorporated
  8. Stir in the sour cream and heat through, but DO NOT BOIL
  9. Serve with sprinkled chives
 Tips and Tricks:
  • I use light sour cream.
  • Use a red wine that you like to drink for this recipe.  You only use a little bit in the recipe, but you can drink the rest with the meal.
  • This recipe is rich, so a steamed veggie is a great side dish.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shrimp Dip

This is my Mom's recipe.  We had Shrimp Dip every New Years Eve, and on some other occasions also.
  • 1 C. chopped boiled shrimp
  • 1 envelope of Lipton Golden Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 (8 oz.) sour cream
  • ½ C. evaporated milk
  • 1 t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • 1 T. chopped chives
  1. Let cream cheese soften, before starting to make this dip.
  2. Combine the softened cream cheese with the sour cream
  3. Add the milk, then the Soup Mix, then the Creole Seasoning
  4. Sprinkle in the chives
  5. Fold the shrimp in last
  6. Refrigerate overnight, so the flavors can Marry!
 Tips and Tricks:
  • I use light sour cream and 1/3 less fat cream cheese.
  • I serve this dip with Fritos Scoops.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mississippi Mud

This is another recipe from my friend Jeannien's mother, JoAnn. It serves a ton of people and it is a crowd pleaser.   It is creamy and nutty and chocolately.  Yum!
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 C. of flour
  • 1 C. chopped pecans
  • 1 C. of powered sugar
  • 1 (8oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 small box of instant chocolate pudding
  • 4 C. of milk
  • 1 (12oz.) cool whip
  • ½ C. of chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Remove the cream cheese and cool whip from the refrigerator
  3. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray
  4. Mix the crust ingredients together, then spread into the baking dish
  5. Press down into the dish so that the bottom is totally covered
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, then let cool
  7. Whip the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth, then fold in 1 C. of cool whip
  8. Spread the mixture on top of the crust
  9. Mix 2 C. of milk into each pudding mix let sit for 5 minutes
  10. Spread the vanilla pudding in a layer, then the chocolate pudding in a layer
  11. Cool whip is the final layer
  12. Sprinkle with pecans
  13. Refrigerate overnight
Tips and Tricks:
  • Spreading the crust into the baking dish is easier said than done.  I dust my hands with flour and press the crust into place.  You don’t need the crust to go up the sides of the dish.
  • I use light everything for this recipe.  I use sugar free pudding, low-fat milk, lite cool whip, and 1/3 less fat cream cheese.  I think it tastes great!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Watermelon Mojitos

What a great spring or summer drink.  Refreshing and beautiful.  It is a Barefoot Contessa recipe, but I've added the mint-infused simple syrup.  Enjoy!
Mint infused simple syrup:
  • 20 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 C. water
  • 6 C. of cubed watermelon
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 ½ C. light rum
  • ½ C. mint-infused simple syrup
  • 3 limes, freshly squeezed
  1. Heat the water and sugar until it comes to a boil
  2. Mix well and turn off the heat
  3. Add the mint and cover
  4. Let the mixture steep for at least 1 hour
  5. In a food processer, add the seedless watermelon and the mint
  6. Puree until fine
  7. Pour the watermelon mixture through a strainer to remove the big pulpy pieces
  8. In a large pitcher, mix the watermelon puree, rum, fresh lime juice, and mint-infused simple syrup
  9. Serve over ice
 Tips and Tricks:
  • Seedless watermelon is great for this recipe. 
  • This is a drink best served in a short, shallow, clear glass.  The color of the drink is so pretty.  You will want to show it off.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Potato and Onion Omelet

I love the potato and onion omelet at "Camellia Grill" , this is how I make it at home.
  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ C. sour cream
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, sliced thin
  • ¾ C. hash brown potatoes
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. black pepper
  • Chopped jalapeños
  • Salsa
  1. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet to medium heat
  2. Cook the onions in the butter until soft
  3. Add the hash brown potatoes
  4. Cook both until they start to brown
  5. Scramble the eggs with the sour cream, salt , and pepper
  6. Pour the eggs over the onions and potatoes
  7. Cook until the eggs are set
  8. Serve with chopped jalapeños on top and salsa on the side
Tips and Tricks:
  • I buy the hash brown potatoes in the freezer section.  They are cut into small square pieces.
  • If you have an immersion blender, use it to scramble the eggs.  It adds a lot of air into eggs and they cook light and fluffy.
  • I use light sour cream.