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crack potatoes

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

2 (16oz) containers sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 (3oz) bags real bacon bits
2 packages Ranch Dip mix
1 large bag frozen hash brown potatoes (or two containers of rehydrated dehydrated hash browns).

Combine first 4 ingredients, mix in hash browns.  Spread into a 9×13 pan.  Bake at 400 for 45-60 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of

cornbread dressing

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

1/2 cup butter
3 cups diced celery
2 cups diced onions
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh sage
Cornbread Crumbles
3 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
7 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add celery and onions, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until onions are tender. Stir in sage, and sauté 1 minute.

Stir together Cornbread Crumbles and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, next 2 ingredients, and celery mixture, stirring until blended. Divide cornbread mixture between 1 lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish and 1 lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish.

3. Bake at 400° for 45 to 55 minutes or until set and golden brown.

Recipe courtesy of Southern Living magazine.

creamed spinach

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

3 tablespoons salted butter
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup half-and-half
2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and heat for about 1 minute. Whisk in half-and-half.

2. Squeeze water out of the thawed spinach and add the spinach to the saucepan. Add salt, nutmeg, and black pepper and simmer for 20 minutes on medium/low heat. Spinach will be tender when done.

Serves 4.

Source: “Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3″ by Todd Wilbur.

corn fiesta casserole

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

1 Tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
2 Tablespoons diced onion
2 Tablespoons chopped pimentos
¼ cup chopped green pepper
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 cup cooked pinto beans
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon whole wheat flour
2 cups milk
1 cup yellow corn grits
1 ½ cups grated cheese

Sauté onion in oil till tender; stir in next five ingredients and heat through.  Melt butter in saucepan, stir in flour; slowly add milk and grits.  Stir until thick, mix in vegetables and one cup cheese.  Pour into square baking dish.  Sprinkle with ½ cup cheese and bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.

Notes:  I did not add the pimentos, green pepper or corn, but added canned chopped chilis instead.  AND HAVEN ATE IT!  I believe this dish also needs salt and pepper to taste.  We did not The box says you can use soy milk and I imagine you could probably use soy cheese to make a vegan dish?

Recipe found on the back of the Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Corn Grits.


Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

finely chopped or shredded cabbage
shredded carrots (optional)
finely chopped or shredded onions (optional)
mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman’s, my grandmother uses Miracle Whip, but use whatever mayonnaise you have on hand)
salt and pepper
celery seed
apple cider vinegar

I am guilty. I’m like my grandmother. I make food without recipes, and this is one. My cole slaw never comes out the same and the ingredients vary greatly, but it always has cabbage, mayonnaise, celery seed, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Sometimes you have really mild cabbage, sometimes it’s very strong, and it all depends on how much liquid the cabbage releases…and how I feel that day…so there is no real recipe for this. Sorry guys. If I get around to it I will concoct some sort of directions to follow.

jamaican rice and peas

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

1 1/2 cups of dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1/2 cup of coconut milk
3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1 Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, FINELY chopped (I wear gloves when chopping. These little guys are HOT!)
3 sprigs fresh thyme (dried works fine)
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Place beans and garlic in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When the beans are tender, stir in the coconut milk, green onions, Scotch bonnet, and thyme, and increase the heat to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover the pot, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid. Transfer to a large serving bowl and garnish with sliced green onions.

Recipe courtesy of Sara Charbonneau. The original recipe came from chef Bobby Flay’s show, Hot off the Grill on the Food Network. Sara uses black beans instead of red kidney beans, which I’m sure would work just as well.

Notes: This is a surprisingly easy dish to make. I made it for our 6th Anniversary party and it was a huge hit, although I made way too much! It wasn’t too spicy (which I was a little worried about) and is extremely affordable to put together. I’d say you can make two batches for under $5, easily. I’ve frozen a ton of leftovers, so I will let you know what it tastes like after being frozen and reheated.

cheesy potato casserole

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

4 garlic cloves, 1 clove cut in half lengthwise, remaining cloves minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cut shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (4 to 5 medium), peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
4-5 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts removed and torn into pieces (about 4 cups)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350° F. Use cut side of halved garlic to rub sides and bottom of 2-quart shallow baking or gratin dish. Allow garlic in dish to dry briefly, about 2 minutes, then coat dish with softened butter. Combine cheeses in small bowl.

Bring minced garlic, cream, broth, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and gently stir in potatoes.

Spoon half of potato mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle with half of cheese, add remaining potato mixture, and press with spatula to compact. Press bread pieces into casserole. Bake 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and continue baking until golden and bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead : This casserole can be assembled (leave off the bread) and refrigerated up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, add bread topping and bake according to the recipe. If you are cooking for a crowd, double the ingredients and use two baking dishes of similar size.

Recipe courtesy of Mary Ann Montgomery, Laura’s great aunt.

baked sweet potato fries

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
chili powder (optional)

Heat oven to 425° F.

Slice each sweet potato lengthwise into 8 pieces. Place in large plastic bag. Toss with salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder. Add olive oil and mix well. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned on the bottom, about 15 minutes.  Turn slices and bake until bottom is browned and potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

Note: To reduce cooking time, slice potatoes, blanch potatoes in boiling water for approximately three minutes before placing in oven.  I’ve sliced them like potato chips, blanched them and grilled them with great results.

spinach casserole

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen choppen spinach
1 cup sour cream
1 package onion soup mix
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup herb seasoned stuffing mix

Cook and drain spinach according to package. Mix sour cream and onion soup mix well. Pour over spinach and stir. In a separate bowl, mix stuffing and melted butter. Place in 2-quart casserole and top with stuffing mixture. Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Laura’s maternal grandmother, Nana.

wild rice pilaf

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup mushrooms
1 large clove garlic, chopped
3 cups water
8 ounces wild rice
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then the onions and mushrooms. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté one more minute. Add the water, rice and seasonings. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the rice is tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (If there is still liquid in the pan when the rice is done, remove the lid and cook until the liquid evaporates.) Let set 3 to 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Serve immediately.

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