Monday, February 28, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tater Skins

As a recovering french fry addict I was ecstatic that these little skins turned out so well and satisfied my salt-tooth. I only was able to eat a few since Mike and both girls finished off the rest of the batch while I was busy with the rest of dinner prep. Must make more next time. They're crispy with a little bit of chew, salty, a little buttery (or a lot, depending on how much you throw in) and super easy to do!
I was making mashed potatoes for dinner, didn't want to waste the skin and didn't have time to do a twice-baked approach of scooping out the baked potato flesh and then crisping the skins. Enter the next best option, recipe follows (*I strongly recommend using organic potatoes):

Turn on oven to 350 degrees. Place 1-2 Tblsp. butter in glass bowl to melt while oven heats up. (Use more butter if having a large amount of potato peelings). Peel potatoes and place peelings in baking dish or on baking sheet. Toss peelings well with melted butter. Bake 10 minutes, stir, then bake additional 10 minutes. Top with sea salt, shredded cheese or other seasonings.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Layered Mexican Pie

So lately I've gone a little... crazy?...overboard?... with my favorite crust recipes. Apparently you can throw pretty much anything inside a good, flaky crust and it will be deemed delicious. This was an experiment gone right and I think I made this recipe about three times over the course of a week and a half. I should note that we did not in fact consume it all on our own (although I'm sure we could have) since one of the times I made it was for a Christmas party-potluck. Again, words fail me as I tried to come up with an appropriately descriptive name for this dish... anyone want to help me out? No monetary reward but ample thanks, recognition and a diner (me) at your table when you serve this will be provided to the winner for Best Title of Delicious But As Yet Not Appropriately Named Dish. :)

Layered Mexican Pie

2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. sugar or Rapadura
1/2 c. cold butter
9-11 Tblsp. cold water

In bowl combine flour, salt and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossingn with a fork until ball forms. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Meanwhile:

2 lbs. ground beef or elk
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning or Slap Ya Mama seasoning (or more, to taste- I plan to do a separate post on the amazingness that is SlapYaMama seasoning at a later date)
1 (7 oz) can diced green chilies
1 can corn or Mexicorn
1-2 cans (15 oz) pinto or black beans
1 can olives, sliced
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream and salsa, optional but highly recommended

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, butter 9x13-inch pyrex dish. In large skillet brown ground beef/elk, onions and garlic. Season with cumin and Cajun seasoning. Add diced green chilies and corn and mix well. Remove from heat and set aside. Roll out crust on lightly floured surface and place in greased 9x13 dish with crust slightly overlapping the edges. Spread pinto or black beans over crust. Top with hamburger mixture and then olives. Bake 30 minutes, adding cheese to top the last 10 minutes of baking. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Sausage and Cranberry Pizza/Tart

I madeover this recipe to suit our tastes (and the contents of our pantry). I whipped up two of these for the girls' birthday party last month and nary a crumb was left. Apparently I should've made three... for the leftovers, of course. :)

Sausage and Cranberry Pizza (I'd rather call it a tart or pie but everyone else referred to it as pizza so that's what I'll leave it at... except that it has a pie crust...)

1 lb. sausage, browned
1-1/2 c. shredded Swiss or white cheddar cheese
1/2 c. dried cranberries (or can use frozen, partially thawed cranberries for less sweetness/more tang)
1/2 c. sliced celery
3 Tblsp. snipped fresh parsley
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 Tblsp. honey Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
*Pie crust (I used this recipe and loved the flaky crust, but you can use any pie crust recipe or even a refrigerated one from the store if you prefer)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, combine all ingredients (except pie crust) and mix well. Grease pizza pan. Roll out pie crust on lightly floured surface into round shape and place on pizza pan. Place sausage mixture in center of pie crust to about 1-inch from the edge. Slice edges of crust diagonally and fold crust strips towards center over filling for a pretty finish. (You can press corners together for a "ring" look). If this makes no sense, do whatever you think looks best; it'll taste great regardless. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Eventual Procrastinator

I have a character flaw. Several, actually, but we can save the rest for another post. I used to attribute it to a mere issue of "personality" but I've since come to the realization that was merely an excuse for what is truly, a flaw in my character. This one is particular stems from an odd struggle with perfectionism wherein if I can't do something exactly the way I purport it should be done I simply avoid it altogether. This would be where the procrastination part comes in. I become overwhelmed with creative ideas that would be great... if I did them. I get behind and then can't bring myself to even attempt the first step up a seemingly insurmountable mountain of self-imposed idealism. Deplorable in my opinion but the good news is that Character can be developed! Thanks be to God, Who in His grace and mercy refuses to leave me the depraved way that I am! My praise to Him as He continually draws me to Himself and doesn't leave me to my own ways. Enough with the confession. All this to say, the thought of blogging about the holidays and the girls' birthdays and everything else swirling around in my brain threw me over the edge into blogging oblivion and only a friend's curious, "Are you not blogging because you're pregnant and experiencing morning sickness?" has snapped me out of my funk. Since I do not have such a blessed excuse I shall climb back upon the blogging horse as it were and start this ride once again.
I decided the best way to ease back into the proverbial saddle would be to simply share the latest pics of the girls. Selah wore her hair up in her first little ponytail today- it went straight up on top of her head. She looked so darn cute and reminded me so much of Eileigh at her age! I had to dig out some pics of Eileigh for comparison.

Eileigh (about the same age here as Selah is now)

Selah (today)

Ahhh, the scrunch-nose face. A favorite.

When Baby ain't happy...

Doesn't phase Eileigh

And look how fast the mood changes...

My precious girls