Sunday, October 12, 2014

PEANUT BUTTER WHIPPED CREAM

I came up with this idea one afternoon and (right out of the chute) it was a keeper.  Whipped cream that has a mellow peanut butter taste... the perfect addition to ANY dessert!!

Make this part a few minutes ahead of time, so it can cool just a little:

1 cup Reece's Peanut Butter Chips
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Microwave the above just until the cream gets steamy hot, but not boiling. In my microwave this takes about a minute. Remove from the microwave and whisk until the melted mixture is smooth.

Add
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk until smooth and set aside to cool a little.

With electric mixer, start whipping 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream.
When it gets about "half way" to being whipped cream, slowly drizzle in the peanut butter chip mixture.

Continue whipping until it gets to the consistency you like.


ENJOY !!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

BACON HASSELBACK POTATOES

As I understand it, Hasselback potatoes originated in Sweden as far back as the 1700's and there are a lot of variations. Basically it is an unpeeled baking potato that has been partially sliced, buttered and baked. The outside is crispy, salty and chewy but the inside of the potato is smooth and moist. They are very easy to make, delicious to eat and pretty enough to serve over the upcoming holidays.

A word of warning about these photographs: I didn't realize that the photos were on the blurry side until we finished dinner, so I couldn't re-take them. Sorry about that.

 
This version has bacon in it !!
 
There really isn't a specific recipe, but I do have a few tips that will help you in the process.

Things to do ahead of time: 

Lay 1 strip of good quality smoky THICK bacon (for every 2 potatoes) on a flat surface and freeze for about 30 minutes. This will help you slide the bacon down into the cuts of the potato.

Use meaty bacon

Bring a pot of water (large enough to hold the potatoes) to a full boil.

Wash the unpeeled potatoes, scrubbing them with a vegetable brush, then drying them with a paper towel.

Next, it's time to cut the slices into the potato. Because it is easy to cut too far, it's better to use some sort of cutting depth guide. Personally, I lay the potato between 2 spoon handles and use a sharp (thin bladed) knife to cut down only as far as the spoon handles.

 
Next, put the potatoes into the pot of boiling water. Let boil 4 minutes for larger potatoes and 2 minutes for medium potatoes. Gently lift them out and pat them dry.

Coat the potatoes with melted butter, making sure it gets down into every cut (just don't try to PRY the slices apart too much).

After you've buttered the potato, insert 3 pieces of frozen bacon (evenly spaced) into the potato. Make sure the bacon is big enough to be a little wider and taller than the potato because it will shrink as it bakes.


Butter again and then sprinkle with kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper.

Bake at 350° (2 hours for large potatoes and 1 1/2 hours for medium potatoes). Dab them with a little butter about half way through.

The last 5-10 minutes of baking, melt a little butter and add a finely sliced green onion(optional) and half a clove of minced garlic. Let the garlic toast in the butter JUST A LITTLE, then drizzle the garlic butter over the potatoes and bake a few minutes more.

Carefully lift the potatoes out of the baking dish with a sturdy utensil.


The potatoes have a smooth and slightly smoky flavor. Picky-picky husband loved them.  Like I said, sorry about the poor quality of todays photos.

ENJOY !!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

MEXICAN QUINOA SKILLET

A friend of mine tipped me off to this fantastic recipe at http://damndelicious.net  It provides that COMFORT FOOD taste AND it is totally healthy for you (a rare combination)!! This recipe is super quick and easy to make!!  It is definitely going directly into my 5 star recipe box and I will be freezing single portions of it for my busy day quick hot lunch!!

 


In a large skillet place:
1 tablespoon olive oil  (I use canola oil)
2 cloves garlic minced
1 seeded and chopped jalapeno (see note below)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion  (my tweak)
Saute for a couple of minutes or until the onion starts to smell sweet, then add:
1 cup quinoa
15 ounce can drained black beans (I use kidney beans)
1 cup vegetable broth
14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup corn  (I used frozen)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounce can diced mild green chiles (my tweak)

Stir well, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and put the lid on and cook for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes:

Turn off the heat and add:
1 peeled and diced avocado
Juice of 1 lime  (I left this out)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (I left this out)

Toss and serve immediately.


NOTE: I left out the jalapeno because I'm a little shy on spice-heat. I substituted a 4 ounce can of diced mild green chiles...it was perfect and full flavored. If you like a little heat with food, by all means include the mild green chiles AND the jalapeno pepper.

NOTE: Quinoa is a high protein grain that is VERY healthy for you and is an excellent addition to anyone dealing with diabetic issues.