Monthly Archives: January 2015

Creamy Spinach With Caramelized Onions

Standard
Creamy Spinach With Caramelized Onions

IMG_1903

This is definitely one of our favorite sides in our house. So delicious and cheesy and perfect! It’s a perfect side dish, but also something fun to stuff chicken with if you want to try something different!

Ingredients:
2 boxes frozen spinach drained
1 sweet onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 c mozzarella cheese
1/2 c cheddar cheese
2 oz cream cheese
2 T butter
1/4 c milk
1 T flour
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

1. Chop your onion and garlic and put in your skillet or Dutch oven with butter and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Keep it on medium heat and cook for about ten minutes.

IMG_1895

2. Meanwhile, defrost your frozen spinach. I had taken mine out earlier in the day, but you can defrost it easily in the microwave.

IMG_1896

3. Place your spinach in a colander and squeeze all the water out with your hands. You will be surprised how much water comes out!

IMG_1897

4. Once your onions look golden and delicious, add your flour and give it a stir. Let it cook 2-3 minutes.

IMG_1898

IMG_1899

5. Now turn down the heat a bit and add your squeezed out spinach, cheeses, and milk.

IMG_1900

IMG_1901

6. Stir it around until everything is melted and combined. I like to add a little more salt and pepper here too.

IMG_1902

Enjoy 🙂

IMG_1904

Advertisements

Applesauce

Standard
Applesauce

IMG_1892

Every week at the grocery store I find myself buying two boxes of those applesauce squeeze things for my son. Only four come in a box, and they’re freakin expensive for what they are! So today I decided enough is enough – I can start making my own applesauce! My son loves it and I just bought a homemade baby food kit that lets you put baby food into squeeze pouches. This recipe made 16 pouches for me (roughly 8 cups of applesauce).

Ingredients:
8 apples (I used honeycrisp)
1 c apple juice (if you don’t have this, you can use water)
2 lemons
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar

1. Peel your apples. I like to use an actual peeler instead of a knife because you keep more apple that way.

IMG_1879

2. Dump your apple juice into a pot or Dutch oven. I used a juice box!

IMG_1880

3. Slice your apples into the same size so they’ll cook evenly and at the same time. Then dump into your pot.

IMG_1881

4. Squeeze your two lemons in there.

IMG_1882

5. Bring to a boil for one minute, put the lid on, and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Stir halfway through.

IMG_1883

6. Once it’s done cooking, add both sugars, cinnamon, and stir together.

IMG_1885

7. Now take your pot over to your food processor or blender and work in batches to purée into a perfectly delicious consistency. It took me two batches.

IMG_1888

8. Now you’re done! You can put it into these squeeze thingies like I did, or save in a container with a top. I’m freezing my squeeze packs and pulling out a few each week so they’ll be defrosted and ready to eat in the fridge whenever!

IMG_1890

Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos

Standard
Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos

2015/01/img_1734.jpg

My husband loves breakfast burritos, and these are a great make ahead breakfast thing for him to grab on his way out the door every morning. Just keep them in the freezer and reheat one whenever you want it. This recipe makes a dozen burritos.

Ingredients:

8 eggs
1/2 c milk or half and half
Grated cheese
12 tortillas
3 Yukon gold potatoes
1 jalapeño
1 sweet onion
1 garlic clove
1 1lb package of bacon
3 T butter
Salt and pepper
Salsa (optional)

1. First, dump your package of bacon into a large skillet. I’ll be using Old Faithful AKA my cast iron.

2015/01/img_1720.jpg

2. Once your bacon is cooked, set it aside on a paper towel to drain and crisp up. Then pour off 90% of your grease into your bacon grease bowl (I know every good Southern cook knows what I’m talkin’ bout here). Keep the rest of the grease in your skillet to help the veggies along.

2015/01/img_1721.jpg

3. Add your chopped onion and jalapeño and 1 T butter. Sauté for 10 minutes or so.

2015/01/img_1722.jpg

4. Once your onions start turning golden brown, add your diced potatoes and garlic, plus another T of butter. Season it all with salt and pepper.

2015/01/img_1723.jpg

5. This is when I started making the eggs. I make them separate because I like to control the amount of egg in each burrito. I don’t like it when it’s all mixed together. The rule of thumb is 1 T of liquid per egg, so that’s 1/2 c (8 T) milk or half and half whipped into the eggs. Also salt and pepper these as well. Add to a skillet that has your last T of butter melted in it. Stir with a soft spatula and watch it all come together.

2015/01/img_1724.jpg

2015/01/img_1725.jpg

2015/01/img_1727.jpg

2015/01/img_1728.jpg

2015/01/img_1731.jpg

6. Once your potatoes are done cooking in the onion and pepper mix (about ten minutes), crumble up your bacon back into the skillet.

2015/01/img_1730.jpg

7. Now get yourself a little burrito assembly line going. I pre-cut 12 pieces of foil and had them ready to put my tortilla on, add skillet stuff, eggs, grated cheese, salsa, wrap up, repeat! Yum! Also, you can use any salsa you want, but if you like homemade salsa you can find my recipe here.

2015/01/img_1732.jpg

2015/01/img_1735.jpg

Easy Oven BBQ Chicken

Standard
Easy Oven BBQ Chicken

2015/01/img_1417.jpg

Do yall ever just feel so exhausted you feel like making dinner is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest? That’s how I felt yesterday after doing 4,573 piles of laundry. I was actually buried alive there for a little bit and things got iffy, by I made it out ok. I was craving my other BBQ Chicken, but as I said before, I had no energy and no ability to baste my chicken because I knew my arms would fall off. So I did it this way instead, and it was just as delicious and very easy to do!

Ingredients:
3 lbs chicken thighs bone in skin on (the cheap chicken thigh pack)
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 sweet onion
1 c BBQ sauce (Head Country is the best)
6-8 oz apricot jam (Mine was an 8 oz jar I had eaten some out of already, but you get the drift 😄)
1/2 stick butter
Salt and pepper

1. Melt your butter in a heavy duty Dutch oven and once it’s hot, place your chicken skin side down to get a nice sear on it. Make sure to season it with salt and pepper. Flip it over after a few minutes and then set it aside. It’s far from cooked, but we just want to get the skin crispy for later.

2015/01/img_1406-0.jpg

2015/01/img_1407-0.jpg

2015/01/img_1408-0.jpg

2. Now toss in your onion and turn the heat down a bit if you need to. Again, season it with salt and pepper and cook it 15-20 minutes or until they’re golden and cooked through. Toss your garlic in there during the last five minutes.

2015/01/img_1409.jpg

2015/01/img_1410.jpg

3. After that’s all cooked, add your cup of BBQ sauce and apricot jam into it and stir all together. Turn off the heat.

2015/01/img_1411.jpg

4. Now lay your chicken in there with the skin side up, put the lid on it, and set in your oven at 325 for one hour.

2015/01/img_1412.jpg

5. Now it’s done! If you don’t have a Dutch oven, but you do have a slow cooker, you could do all the cooking on your stovetop in a skillet (preferably cast iron) and dump it into your slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8. We had ours with baked potatoes and it was perfection!

2015/01/img_1415.jpg

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Standard
Broccoli Rice Casserole

2015/01/img_1344-1.jpg
We’ve all had broccoli rice casserole at one time or another, and this isn’t too far off from the original recipe from Cambell’s. It’s just got a few tweaks to give it some extra dimension and flavor!

Ingredients:
1 lb (16 oz) frozen cut broccoli
8 oz Velveeta
1 onion
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 c rice
2 oz cream cheese
2 cloves of garlic chopped
Roasted red peppers
1 can cream of chicken and mushroom soup (the blend is really good!)
1/3 c milk
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

1. Sauté your chopped onion in your butter for about 15 minutes until they start to turn golden. Meanwhile, cook your 1 1/2 c rice according to the package instructions.

2015/01/img_1330.jpg

2. Put your broccoli in a microwaveable safe container and fill halfway with water. Pop it in your microwave for five minutes to steam them so they’re cooked but still crunchy.

2015/01/img_1329.jpg

3. After your onion is mostly cooked, add your chopped garlic and sauté another few minutes. Season it all with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. I also added chopped up roasted red peppers. I only had a half a jar, but would’ve done a full jar if I had it.

2015/01/img_1331.jpg

4. Add your cheeses and cream of mushroom & chicken and cook on low until it’s melted.

2015/01/img_1332.jpg

5. Add your milk and it will thin out the sauce a bit.

2015/01/img_1333.jpg

6. Now add your broccoli…

2015/01/img_1341.jpg

7. …then add your cooked rice 😄

2015/01/img_1342.jpg

8. Now pour this into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. So good!

2015/01/img_1344-1.jpg

The Best Hot Chocolate Mix Ever

Standard
The Best Hot Chocolate Mix Ever

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/991/58902680/files/2015/01/img_1132.jpg

I know that’s a pretty ballsy claim, but it’s true! My husband likes to put a scoop of hot chocolate in his coffee every morning and we were going through Swiss Miss like no one’s business! Then I took a look at the ingredients and things like “corn syrup solids” and “hydrogenated oil” weren’t making me feel too great about him drinking it daily. So I tried a few recipes online and still wasn’t too happy with the taste of the mixes. I found plenty of delicious recipes for stovetop hot chocolate, but I needed something in a dry mix for his coffee, so I came up with my own recipe and to me, it’s absolutely perfect. Also, I’m sorry I don’t have any awesome pictures of my hot chocolate in a neat mug with marshmallows on top, so I’ll let you feast your eyes on this “mug shot” instead.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/991/58902680/files/2015/01/img_0782.jpg

My sister got this for me for Christmas and it’s absolutely perfect! Ok, let’s get down to business.

Ingredients:
1 c MILK CHOCOLATE chips (notice I said milk chocolate, not semi-sweet)
1 c powdered sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
3 c powdered milk (instant non-fat)

1. Put the chocolate chips in a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs. Then add the rest of your ingredients and blend until it’s a smooth powder. That’s it! You can store in a Tupperware with a snap top for delicious hot chocolate anytime!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/991/58902680/files/2015/01/img_1133.jpg

Two ways to enjoy this hot chocolate mix:
1. Add 1/3 c to 1 c hot water or milk, stir, and enjoy.
2. This is the best way and definitely decadent… Add 1/3 c to 1 c hot half and half with a splash of vanilla. Omg it’s out of this world!

Easy Glazed Ham

Standard
Easy Glazed Ham

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/991/58902680/files/2015/01/img_0999.jpg
Glazed ham has got to be one of my favorite things to eat and cook. It’s so easy and that delicious ham can feed your family for a week!

I remember years ago when I first tried to bake a ham for my first Easter away from home. If you’ll google ham recipes, you’ll find lots with cloves that you stick into the ham, then later remove. It’s pretty tasty, but cloves are expensive, plus time consuming to put in and remove before eating. I’ve tried all these complicated and expensive (to me) recipes, but I’ve finally settled on my favorite glazed ham recipe and it only requires three ingredients! I even have a solution to cloves and it keeps your ham moist, plus it adds some awesome flavor to your juice that you save and make a pot of peas, green beans, or anything else with. I’ll give you a bonus recipe as well with what I did with this leftover ham 🙂

Ingredients:
1 c apple cider
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c honey
Ham (I mean, obviously…)

Ok, first lets talk about the ham. Sure, everyone loves the spiral cut runway model of hams. But who has $50 to blow on a ham? Especially when you can spend $10-$15 on the same amount of meat and you just cut it yourself. Do yourself a favor if you’re penny pinching like me and buy the cheapest ham at your grocery store, which will most likely be the shank end of a ham. Remember you’re glazing it yourself, so no need for any extras like pre-packaged full of preservatives and other stuff glaze. Just a cheap ham shank. Also, this glaze is going to work for any ham up to about 12 pounds, so if your ham is bigger, just make a little more glaze.

1. Take a paring knife and cut all around your ham in one direction about 1/4 inch into the ham, then around it again in the opposite direction making little diamonds all over your ham. Now it sorta resembles a checkerboard. This will let the skin crisp up and allow the glaze to flavor the inside of the ham once we get there. Place your ham in a large roasting pan. Do not underestimate the amount of juice your ham will make and put it into a roasting dish that’s too small. You’ll end up cleaning up your oven forever! Ask me how I know this 😳

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/991/58902680/files/2015/01/img_0992.jpg

2. Pour one cup of apple cider in with your ham. Any apple cider will do. They’re spiced and seasoned with yummy flavors like clove, cinnamon, and who knows what else. I just know it’s delicious and really gives the ham a yummy flavor, plus it keeps it moist. Then cover in foil and place in your oven 15-20 minutes PER POUND at 325. So, if your ham is 10 pounds, that’s 150-200 minutes baking time. The last 30 minutes of your baking time we will glaze the ham, so set a timer for yourself. Also, you pick the cooking time based on how your tastes are, so my suggestion is set a timer for the shorter time, look at it, and if you want to cook it longer (like I did), then cook it longer.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/991/58902680/files/2015/01/img_0993.jpg

3. The last 30 minutes of your baking time remove the foil from your ham and pour the glaze all over it. To make the glaze, just put your brown sugar and honey in a microwave safe bowl and nuke it about 1 minute, stirring halfway through. If you don’t have a microwave, you can do it on your stovetop. After you’ve poured the glaze on, put back in your oven for another 30 minutes.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/991/58902680/files/2015/01/img_0996.jpg

4. After 30 minutes your ham is done! Take it out and let it rest about 10-15 minutes before slicing into it.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/991/58902680/files/2015/01/img_0998.jpg

Things to do with leftover ham:

1. Similar to the Hawaiian Sweet Roll ham sandwich recipe I’m sure you’ve all tasted at parties, here is my spin on that: Using 24 dinner rolls from your store’s bakery, cut in half and place on a sheet pan. Cover bottom roll with 50/50 miracle whip/mayo and top with leftover ham and Swiss cheese. Place top back on rolls. In a microwave safe dish, mix 1 cup baked ham juice from roasting pan and 1 stick melted butter. Pour over the rolls and allow to sit anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight in the fridge wrapped in foil. Place covered in foil in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, then serve the most delicious little ham sandwich straight from heaven.

2. Save the leftover ham juice and ham hock. You can use them separately in different dishes to stretch out the use of your ham. Check out my turnip greens recipe if you like those. Or put the ham hock in a pot of beans, cream peas, soup, etc. You can’t go wrong! I even used part of my leftover juice to boil a bag of frozen green beans with salt and pepper and they were fantastic!

Hambone, hambone, have ya heard?! I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist 😄