Thursday, August 25, 2016

Baked grilled cheese and Chili Bar

I hosted a dinner party for friends the other night.  Eight of them to be exact. I made a huge batch of chili and all the fixings.  Where I grew up, you accompany your chili with a cinnamon roll or grilled cheese.  I know, some of you say, what? Where's the cornbread? I'm from the North, that's just how we roll. I didn't want to waste precious wine drinking time at the stove cooking one or two grilled cheese at a time.  I found a few recipes online that said you can make them in the oven. I've heard this rumor before but never had a reason to try it.  This was the night. There are different variations of how to do it but I chose the simplest one.

Grilled Cheese in the oven
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Butter one side of 6 pieces of bread and place butter side down on a baking sheet.  Top with a slice of cheese of your choice.  Butter 6 more slices of bread and lay on top of the cheese, butter side up.  Sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 6-8 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.  Flip and bake 6-8 more minutes.  Keep in mind the tops won't be brown, it cooks from the bottom!

The sandwiches turned out great! I cut in diagonals and we dipped away!

For the chili I used my usual recipe found here but doubled it to feed the crowd.  I threw it in the crockpot before I went to work in the morning so it was really easy prep pre-party.

For the Build Your Own Chili Bar I had the following for people to enjoy:
shredded cheese
green onion
jalapenos
sour cream
cinnamon rolls
french bread
grilled cheese
saltine crackers
ritz crackers
tortilla chips
butter
hot sauce
Success!!! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Breakfast casserole muffins


Ingredients:
8 oz. breakfast sausage
8 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
6 Thomas’ English Muffins, coarsely chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced green onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 12 cavity muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
Cook the breakfast sausage in a skillet over medium heat, breaking it up and crumbling it until it’s no longer pink. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, dry mustard and paprika. Add the coarsely chopped English Muffins, cheese, green onions and cooked sausage to the bowl, stir to combine. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes before filling up the muffin cups evenly.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the eggs are set and cooked through. Run a knife around breakfast cups to remove from the muffin tin and enjoy warm.


*If desired, package up the breakfast cups in a zipclose bag and store in fridge. Reheat one cup at a time in the microwave before eating.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Henrytown Church Cookbook Banana Bread



Ingredients:
1 C. white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda in ¼ C. hot water
½ C. shortening
2 Tbsp. sweet milk
1 ½ C. flour
2 bananas, mashed


Combine all ingredients, adding bananas last.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.  

This is one of my mom's most used recipe from the Henrytown Church Cookbook.  So moist and delicious! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Southwestern Cheeseball


Ingredients:
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
¼ cup finely diced onion
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
4 oz can chopped green chilies
chopped cilantro
crackers, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the cheddar, cream cheese, butter, onion, garlic powder and green chilies. Mix completely.  Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form into a ball and wrap tightly. Refrigerate until set up, 2 hours to overnight.  Place chopped cilantro on a plate. Unwrap cheeseball and roll in the cilantro until coated. Serve with crackers.


First of all, I left this as a dip and added the cilantro instead of rolling in it.  I found the original recipe to be a bit blah so I added 2 Tbsp of ranch dressing, a few dashes of hot sauce and half a diced jalapeno.  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

One Pot Kielbasa Pasta


Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb smoked kielbasa or turkey/chicken sausage sliced 1/4 inch thick
1.5 cups diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
10 oz can diced tomatoes
8 oz dry pasta(small pasta)
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt and pepper, each
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, for garnish

Add olive oil to a 4-5 quart saute pan over medium high heat.  Fry the kielbasa and onions.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, heavy cream, pasta, and seasonings.  Simmer for 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese.  Top with remaining cheese and cover until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly.  Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve.

This was easy to throw together and very tasty.  I had most of the ingredients on hand so it was super cheap to make.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Trash Treats



Ingredients:
3 tbsp. butter
1 (16) oz. bag marshmallows
2 tbsp. peanut butter
4 c. potato chips, crushed
2 c. Pretzels, crushed
1/4 c. M&M's
1/2 c. chocolate chips, melted

Grease a 9" x 9" pan with cooking spray.
In a large pot over low heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows and stir until smooth. Add peanut butter and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and quickly stir in crushed chips and pretzels.
Using a spatula or wax paper, press mixture into pan. Sprinkle with M&M's. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Let chocolate cool and harden before serving, about 30 minutes.


These bars were a perfect combination of sweet and salty. The only thing I would change is to mix the M&Ms in to the mixture before pressing in the pan.  They tend to fall off the top after you cut them.  I also had a small amount of Reeses Pieces in the kitchen so I added those too.  Yum! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Jalapeno Popper Pull-Apart Bread


Ingredients:
1 tube of biscuits (8 rolls)
16 slices of bacon, cut in half
6 medium sized jalapeños
14 oz. cream cheese
14 oz. diced cheddar cheese (I used shredded)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Cut jalapeños.  Mix cream cheese with 2/3 of cheddar, jalapeños, salt, garlic and pepper.
Cut dough in half and wrap in bacon.

Oven directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray pan with non-stick spray. Place bacon wrapped dough around outside perimeter of the pan.  Place cream cheese mixture in the middle and add the rest of the cheddar on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits and cheese turn golden brown. 

Grill directions:
Place in cast iron pan.
Place cream cheese mixture in the middle and add the rest of the cheddar on top.
Grill on indirect heat at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.


Hottest day of the year so far and I chose to make this last night.  Great idea, turn on the oven.  Ooh, eat something spicy.  But it was totally worth it.  Delicious recipe.  Next time I will try it on the grill just to see the difference.