Monday, September 29, 2014

BBQ Bacon Burger:

I know that grilling seasoning is definitely winding down, but we just recently put a roof over our deck, so we are loving being able to grill during whatever weather!
I love a good cheeseburger, and this was a really nice twist! I'm not a huge bacon lover, but it gave it a really nice flavor and helped to hold everything together.
I hope you try them out!

1 pound ground beef
1 & 1/2 tsp. steak seasoning (or seasoning salt)
1 & 1/2 tsp. dried minced onion
3 tblsp. bacon bits
1 tblsp. mayonnaise (we use miracle whip)
1 tblsp. Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
Hamburger buns
Toppings of your choice

In a medium bowl, mix together ground beef, seasoning, onion, bacon bits, mayo and BBQ sauce.
Measure out 1/3 cup portions, and shape into patties. Grill burgers on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with your favorite toppings!

-You can mix together equal amounts of Mayo and BBQ Sauce for a yummy topping in place of ketchup.

Adapted from: Six Sisters Stuff

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Crispy Oven Roasted Potatoes:

I don't know anyone who doesn't love a good serving of crispy, roasted potatoes. My dad can make the BEST fried potatoes in a skillet, but it's sort of a hit and miss thing with me - I never know if they'll turn out or how long it might take them! I've seen lots of tips on how to make the perfect, crispy, roasted potatoes, and some of them did help, but nothing really worked all that great. 
I stumbled across this recipe and it had a few tips that I had never even heard of, so I decided to give it a try. And I'm pleased to say that it works SO well!!!! They were crispy, yet didn't burn to the pan, and didn't take an hour to make! 
I've made them several times and my whole family loves them! 
I hope you will give them a try!

3 lbs. potatoes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 & 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
5 tablespoons canola oil 

Garlic Dressing (optional):
1 & 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 - 3 teaspoons minced garlic (depending on how garlic-y you want it)
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Place 2 large rimmed baking sheets in the oven. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, wash the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place the potatoes on a kitchen towel and pat dry, if they are very wet. Place potatoes in a large bowl that can seal. Add the cornstarch, garlic powder and desired amount of salt and pepper. Seal the bowl tightly with a lid and shake until potatoes are evenly coated. Remove baking sheets from the oven, and carefully divide the oil between the two baking sheets. Tilt the sheets to evenly coat with the oil. Divide the potatoes between the two baking sheets (preferably to a single layer). BE CAREFUL as you pour the potatoes onto the baking sheets, as the oil will be hot by now, and it might splatter a little bit. Bake for 20-25 minutes and then stir the potatoes. Return to the oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until they are as crispy as you want them. Mix together the dressing ingredients, if desired. Pour over the potatoes and mix until well combined. Serve! 

-My family's new #1 favorite meal is these potatoes in place of the baked potatoes in Taco Baked Potatoes. It tastes SO good!!! We leave out the garlic dressing, though!
-There are a few things here that are super important:
1. Leave your baking sheet in the oven until you are ready to put the potatoes on it! It makes all the difference in the world!
2. The drier your potatoes are, the crispier they will get.
3. The cornstarch is what totally makes it. It absorbs all the moisture that the potatoes release while they are baking.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Crock-Pot Apple Pie:

When I started figuring a few things out and actually making some gluten-free dishes that were enjoyable as well as edible, so many people kept telling me that I should make a cookbook.
After a while, I actually did look into it and consider it, but nothing stood out to me. My photos are nowhere near good enough for a cookbook (nor my recipes for that matter), I would have to put out SO much money to even start (they don't grow money trees where I live), and then the book itself would cost a fortune, and I definitely didn't want that!
With the type of person I am, and how you have to cook to be gluten-free, I was always experimenting and changing recipes. To re-publish a cookbook everyone year or so, was going to cost even MORE money!
I really have no clue what gave me the idea to start a blog, and I was pretty nervous about it, because I had NO clue what I was doing!! A year and half, 200+ recipes later - I still don't know what I'm doing, but I'm enjoying it, and I can change the recipe everyday if I want!!!

So I said all that to preface this - I've had this recipe on the blog for a while now, but I have changed it up a little (surprise, surprise!) the last few times I've made it, so I wanted to share with you the "new and improved" version!!
This is such an easy recipe to make, yet we hardly have any leftovers!
I think that's how it usually works - the dishes you slave over for hours, people can take or leave. But if it only takes a few minutes to throw together, everyone loves it!!
I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do!

Minister's Delight Recipe

1 box BettyCrocker Gluten-Free White cake mix (or cake mix of your choice)
1 stick (8 tblsp.) butter, melted
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
2 cans of Apple Pie filling

Spray the inside of your slow-cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Add the pie filling and spread it out so it's even across the bottom of the slow-cooker. In a medium size bowl, mix together the cake mix, melted butter, brown sugar and nuts. Mix until well combined (this should be moist, but very crumbly). Sprinkle over the top of the pie filling. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours (longer is always better). Serve as is or with a dollop of whipped topping or a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

-You can use any brand of cake mix you like. I've not found a better tasting "gluten-free" mix than the BettyCrocker, but if you have one you like, you can definitely use that instead!
-You can change up the kind of cake mix and pie filling. I have seen cherry pie filling with a chocolate cake mix. Get creative!!
-Although Apple is by far my favorite, I've also used Blueberry pie filling, and it was very good!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Baked Chicken & Rice:

I'm typically one for the type of food that is just bursting with all kinds of flavor, a little spicy maybe, unique and different and just anything that is really good!! I just love food, I guess you could say (yes, I do have to exercise)!!!!
But every now and then, I just want something simple, kind of light in the flavor bursting department, but still yummy! 
Enter Chicken & Rice! 
I'm not normally fond of most chicken and rice dishes, but I found this one in my mom's recipe box and decided to give it a try! She said she used to make it all the time, for some reason, I can't remember.
However, I don't know why I can't remember it, because it turned out fantastic when I made it for dinner the other night and I think everyone really enjoyed it! 
I know this, because, for the first time in a long time, there was only a teeny, tiny bit leftover!
I hope you try it out and enjoy it as much as we did!

1 cup long-grain rice (not the minute rice)
2 stalks of celery
1 medium onion
2 batches of cream of chicken soup (see note)
1 & 1/2 cups water
Salt and Pepper to taste
5-6 chicken breasts, cut into strips (see note)

Pour rice into a 9x13-inch baking dish that has been generously coated in cooking spray.
Place celery and onion in a food processor or chopper and pulse until chopped very fine; 
sprinkle over the rice. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup and the water.
Cut chicken into 1 & 1/2 inch strips. Lay flat on top of the rice. 
Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. 
Pour chicken soup mixture over all.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed into the rice and the chicken is no longer pink in the center. 

-If you are not making this gluten-free, then you can just use 2 cans of cream of chicken soup. If you are making this gluten-free, then click HERE for a fast and easy homemade "can of cream of chicken soup." You will need to make the equivalent of 2 cans for this recipe.
-It may take more or less chicken, depending on the size of the chicken breasts you use. Mine were very small, and 5 was enough. I just laid them across the bottom of my pan, to see how much I would need.
-I've not had this problem, but in the original recipe, there was a note that said if the rice is drying out before you chicken is done, just add small amounts of water every so often until the chicken is done. Make sure all the water is absorbed before you serve it!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Easy Twice Baked Potatoes:

This isn't the best picture AT ALL, but just let me tell you that these potatoes were SO, SO good and VERY easy! I had never made twice baked potatoes before, so I was actually a little nervous! But oh my, they were so easy! My whole family just loved them! I thought I made WAY too many for us, but we only had like 3 halves leftover, so I guess that was pretty good!! I made them a few hours before I needed them, and kept them in the fridge until I was ready to bake them! That made clean up a lot easier!
I hope you give them a try!

7-8 medium potatoes
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup prepared ranch dressing
1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus more for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash dry potatoes. Rub each potato lightly with canola oil and prick several times with a fork.
Place potatoes directly on the top rack of the oven. Bake for 40-60 minutes (it depends on the size of your potato) or until you can easy poke the potato with a fork. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, milk, ranch dressing and ranch dressing mix with a hand mixer, until well combined. 
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, and scoop out the potato with a spoon (leave a small amount in the skins, so that they hold their shape). Add the potato filling to the cheese mixture and mix until well combined. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese. Scoop filling into the potato shells. Sprinkle with additional cheddar cheese.
Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chicken Zucchini Boats:

Our garden did not do well this year for some reason, so we're kind of missing our usual over-abundance of zucchini! However, someone very generously shared some of their over-abundance with us, so now we're making all things zucchini!
I was rather skeptical of this recipe when I first saw it. It was just pretty unusual, and I wasn't really sure. But I went ahead and gave it a shot, and I'm SO glad I did!!
All the flavors blended together really well, and it turned out to be a rather simple, yummy dish!!
I hope you try it out!

2 large zucchini 
4 medium chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch bites
salt and pepper
1 medium yellow or red onion, diced
2 cups corn (fresh or frozen, but not canned)
1 tblsp. minced garlic
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Shredded Mozzarella cheese

Place chicken pieces in a large skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute over high heat, until chicken is done and liquid is mostly evaporated. Add onion; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add corn and garlic. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated.

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, scoop out the flesh of the zucchini, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Dice the scooped out zucchini and add to the chicken mixture, if desired. Place zucchini shells on a cookie sheet. Fill with chicken mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with desired amount of cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.
Slice and serve!

-You can add in the extra, chopped zucchini or you don't have to. I think it was very good added it, but it's completely up to you.
-I think this would be great with any kind of leftover, cooked chicken you might have - marinated, grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, etc.
-As you can see from the picture, the zucchini I used were very large! I'm talking over a foot long, bigger around than a softball. If you are using smaller zucchini, you will want to adjust the recipe, and also the cooking time. You want a fork to be able to just barely poke down through the flesh of the zucchini.
-This is not a dish that would work well to prepare ahead of time. Zucchini has a very high water content, so once cut, the longer it sits, it will produce more and more liquid.
-Click HERE to view MyRecipe Magic, where you can find the nutritional info for this recipe.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Italian Veggie Dip:

I love sweet snacks and a good dessert, but I also LOVE fresh veggies and dip!!!!! Especially a homemade dip. We had a bunch of fresh veggies recently, and my sister and I were so excited to make a big batch of homemade ranch dip to go with all the veggies we were planning on devouring! Unfortunately, we found out we were out of Ranch Dressing Mix. We grabbed the next best thing, and just hoped it would work!
And it did! Really well, actually! The Italian Seasoning was not overpower at all, but went so well with the vegetables! Just talking about it, makes me want a big bowl of veggies and dip right now!!
This is also perfect if you have lots of produce coming from your garden!
I hope you'll try it out!

1 (16 oz.) container Sour Cream
2 packets Zesty Italian dressing mix
Raw vegetables of your choice

Place sour cream in medium size bowl. Add dressing mix and mix until thoroughly combined.
Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve!

-This was also very good as a chip dip!
-Click HERE to view on MyRecipe Magic, where you can find the nutritional information for this recipe!

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Slow-Cooker Philly Cheese-steak Sandwich:

We tried out these sandwiches for the 4th of July this year. We had never made anything like it before, so I was a tad nervous about how they might turn out! But it worked great and everybody loved it!
You can customize it to your taste by choosing whatever toppings you like!
I hope you give them a try!
(please don't mind the really tasted good!)

1 & 1/2  - 2 pounds beef round steak (see note)
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cups beef broth
1 envelope Italian dressing mix
Hoagie or Sandwich buns
-Onion slices
-Provolone cheese slices
-Swiss cheese slices
-Steak Sauce

Slice meat into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place in meat, peppers and onions in a crock-pot. Pour beef broth over all, and sprinkle with dressing mix. Cover and cook on Low for 5-6 hours or High for 2-3 hours.
Serve on toasted buns with desired toppings!

-When we made this, we used "Hoagie Meat" from our butcher. It was sliced just right for this dish.
-I don't really care for peppers that have been cooked to death, so I didn't put any in the crock-pot. I just sauteed the slices in butter, and then put them on my sandwich.
-The above picture is not the best picture ever, but it was the only one I got! It was my dad's sandwich, so that is not a gluten-free bun, but click HERE to find the awesome, gluten-free buns that we used!
-Click HERE to view on MyRecipe Magic, where you can find the nutritional information for this recipe!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Calico Beans:

I wouldn't really consider our family big "tradition" people when it comes to holidays, special occasions, etc.
I guess because we don't have any "big" traditions. They are mostly just small, seemingly insignificant things, but somehow they make a difference to us!
This recipe is like that. When they were living, I always lived very close to both sets of my grandparents, so we were always at one of the grandparent's houses for any given holiday.
We usually went to my dad's parents for the 4th of July.
My grandma always made BBQ, grilled chicken legs, and Calico beans (to name only a few things!).
I don't know how on earth they got the name and they definitely aren't much to look at, but they're really good and they will forever scream "4th of July food" to me!!!
If you like ordinary baked beans at all, you will love these!
I hope you give them a try!!

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. bacon, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tblsp. mustard
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp. vinegar
1 (28 oz.) can Baked Beans
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen baby Lima beans

In a large skillet, brown beef and bacon until meat is no longer pink; drain. In a large bowl, combine ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and vinegar; mix well. Add meat and beans. Stir until well combined. Pour into a greased casserole dish.
Oven Method:
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until hot, bubbly and lightly browned.
Slow-Cooker Method:
Pour into your crock pot. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or low for 4 hours.

-I often mix this up the day before I need it and I keep it in the fridge until I'm ready to bake it.
-Stay tuned for the "Philly Cheese-steaks" sandwich recipe (also pictured above) coming next week!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Green Stuff:

This is one dish I have grown up on my whole life and I don't think I'll ever get tired it!
My mom and grandma used to make this salad all the time! Pappy always called it "rainbow stew"!!! I have no idea why! I've also heard some people call it Watergate Salad........we always call it Green Stuff.  It's so easy to make, and I think we make it for just about every occasion - Christmas, 4th of July, family reunions, whatever!! We've tried different Jello Salads and things instead of this salad, and people have said "it's good, but just doesn't take the place of Green Stuff"!
If you're not a huge fan of pistachios, don't worry! It only has a very slight pistachio flavor that you hardly notice! It's such a great dish for the summer, and I hope you'll give it a try!

2 (3.4 oz.) boxes instant pistachio pudding mix
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, do not drain
2+ cups mini marshmallows
1 (16 oz.) container Cool Whip

In a large bowl, mix together pudding and pineapple until well combined. Stir in marshmallows - start with 2 cups and add more if you want! Fold in the Cool Whip. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve!

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