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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

This is a video of all the holiday decorations at the Butterfield casa this's a little long, but worth it!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Buttermilk Berry Fritters ala ~DKBB~

Buttermilk Berry Fritters ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe from

1 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
½ cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
½ tsp. vanilla
1 cup dried cranberries
Oil for deep-fat frying
Confectioners’ sugar
  • Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Combine egg, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla; add to dry ingredients just until moistened; fold in dried cranberries.
  • In electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees F; drop batter by tablespoonful, a few at a time, into hot oil.
  • Fry until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
  • Drain on paper towel-covered baking racks
  • Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Yield about 1¼ dozen.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Eggnog Snickerdoodles ala ~DKBB~

Eggnog Skickerdoodles ala ~DKBB~
(based on a recipe from J.M. Hirsch)

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¾ c. (1½ sticks) butter
2 c. sugar, divided
¼ c. plain eggnog
1 Tbsp. spiced rum
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together to flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and 1½ c. of the sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly drizzle in the eggnog, rum, and vanilla, mixing until completely incorporated.
  • Add the eggs, then beat until well mixed.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly (preferably with a spoon, rather than the mixer).
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, mix ½ c. sugar, the cinnamon, and the ground nutmeg.
  • Working with about 1 Tbsp. of dough at a time, roll the dough between your hands to form balls (add a bit of flour if the dough remains too wet/sticky to roll).
  • Roll each ball in the sugar mixture to coat evenly, then arrange them on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between the cookies on all sides.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden but still soft at the center. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Makes 36 cookies.

I personally am not a huge snickerdoodle fan, but according to my husband, these cookies "totally rock!"

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Argentinian Pumpkin Stew ala ~DKBB~

Argentinian Pumpkin Stew ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe from several online sources, including and

2 lb. beef stew meat, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 lg. tomatoes or 4 roma tomatoes, chopped -or- 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes (your choice to drain or not)
1 lg. green pepper, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 to 1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. sugar
capers (optional)
2 c. dried apricots, each cut in half
3 white potatoes, peeled & diced
3 sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
2 to 4 tsp. capers
2 c. beef broth
1 medium sized pumpkin
2 to 3 tbsp. butter, melted
  • In large pot/dutch oven cook beef with onion and garlic in oil until browned.
  • Add tomatoes and green pepper, salt, pepper, sugar, apricots, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, capers, and broth.
  • Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, cut off pumpkin top and discard. Scoop out seeds and stringy membrane.
  • Brush inside of pumpkin with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Stir sherry and corn into stew and spoon into pumpkin shell.
  • Place filled shell in shallow pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1 to 2 hours or until pumpkin meat is tender.
  • Place pumpkin in large bowl and ladle out stew, scooping out some of the pumpkin with each serving. Makes 8-12 servings.
This is a perfect dish to make in the cool weather of the fall, and a great way to use those pumpkins you bought (or grew) for fall decorating.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken Schnitzel ala ~DKBB~

Crispy Chicken Schnitzel with Garlic Onion Gravy ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe from Guy Fieri on


4 chicken breasts (can be cut into smaller pieces if desired)
1 to 2 cups flour (for dredging)
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups Panko bread crumbs (you can use “regular” bread crumbs if you prefer)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional, but I do use it)
¼ cup olive oil (for frying)
Kosher (or regular) salt and freshly ground (or regular) pepper
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees (this is just to provide a warm place to keep the finished meat while you make the gravy).
  • Pound the chicken breasts to about ¼ inch thick, doing one at a time and placing them between layers of plastic wrap (try not to tear the chicken).
  • Set up a breading station of flour, buttermilk, and bread crumbs, adding salt and pepper to each and the Parmesan cheese to the bread crumbs.
  • Dredge each flattened chicken breast in flour, then buttermilk, then bread crumbs. Place them in a single layer on a large platter and refrigerate them for 15 minutes.
  • Using either an electric skillet or large frying pans (on medium-high heat), add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan(s) and cook each piece for chicken for 3 to 4 minutes per side. They will be golden brown and crispy when they are done. Transfer to an ovenproof pan or dish and keep them warm in the oven while you make the gravy.

Olive oil (for sautéing garlic and onion)
6 cloves garlic, minced (or 3 teaspoons minced garlic from a jar)
1 large onion, finely diced
1 to 2 teaspoon thyme leaves (fresh is preferred, but not necessary)
Kosher (or regular) salt and freshly ground (or regular) pepper
1 cup dry white (cooking) wine
2 cups chicken broth
6 to 8 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into small cubes
Wondra flour (or regular flour) as needed
  • Using pan you fried the chicken in, add olive oil if needed and sauté garlic, onion, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Sauté until onions are lightly caramelized and tender (7 to 8 minutes).
  • Add the white wine and reduce for 1 minute before adding the chicken broth; simmer for 5 minutes then add the butter cubes.
  • Melt the butter and add Wondra/flour as needed to thicken up the gravy just a bit.
 Serve over chicken schnitzel and mashed potatoes.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Raisin Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding ala ~DKBB~

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Raisin Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe from

nonstick cooking spray
one pound cinnamon raisin bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds or your favorite nut chopped (optional)
12 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
powdered sugar and caramel sauce, or cream for garnish, optional

  • Coat the inside of the crock with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the bottom of the crock with half of the bread, sprinkle with two tablespoons of chocolate chips, one tablespoon of raisins, and one tablespoon of nuts. Repeat.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, milk, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Pour the mixture over the layers of bread. Do not stir.
  • Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. The bread pudding is done when all of the liquid has been absorbed, the egg is cooked through, and the bread starts to pull away from the walls of the crock.
  • Spoon a serving onto a plate and if desired, sprinkle powdered sugar and drizzle caramel sauce, or pour cream over the top.
NOTE: I am not a fan of the chocolate chips in this, though my husband certainly is. If chocolate chips in bread pudding are not your cup o' tea, leave them out of the recipe.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Chilean Salad ala ~CHB~

Chilean Salad ala ~CHB~
(recipe by Chuck Butterfield)

2 tomatoes, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
Olive oil*
  • Layer tomatoes, avocado, and onions on two small salad plates.
  • Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Add kosher salt (not too much).
Chuck discovered this salad on a trip to Chile. It has become one of our favorites, and is especially yummy when we have fresh garden tomatoes.

*Try it with garlic infused olive oil whisked with Spanish vinegar. Perfection!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Paula's Salsa ala ~DKBB~

Paula’s Salsa ala ~DKBB~
(based on an original recipe by Paula Ensz)
  • 4 cups chopped, seeded peppers – you can use a variety of chilies, bells, Anaheims, jalapenos, and whatever else is growing that year. Approximately 10 jalapenos for this size batch makes it medium heat; leave the seeds in ¼ to ½ of the jalapenos to give it a hotter kick. You can also add 1-3 ghost peppers, sliced open and dropped in whole, to up the heat factor
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
Put first 4 ingredients in large stockpot and simmer until veggies are soft; while they are cooking start on your tomatoes (if using fresh).
  • 8 cups peeled, chopped tomatoes – you can use a variety of varieties, or you can use canned (fire-roasted)
  • 1 29 oz. can tomato puree
  • 1 4 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. fried basil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ t turmeric
Add the rest of the ingredients to softened veggies and simmer 1 hour or more. Taste-test for heat, salt, and herbs/spices. If it is too hot, you can add more tomatoes or sauce.

Fill (sterilized) jars.

Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

This recipe makes approximately 10 half pints (5 pints).

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Butter Garlic Green Beans ala ~DKBB~

Here's a great way to use some of those green beans you garden is producing right now.

Butter Garlic Green Beans ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe by Laura McNeill in Oct. 2006 Simple & Delicious magazine)

2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
1½ tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. butter
3 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) cut green beans
½ c. chicken broth
⅛ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. white pepper 
  • In a large skillet, sauté onion and garlic in butter for 2-3 minutes, or until onion is crisp-tender.
  • Add beans, broth, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender.

Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ratatouille with Polenta ala ~DKBB~

This is a really great way to use some of that abundance of veggies from your garden this time of year.
Ratatouille with Polenta ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe on

1/2 pound small fresh mushrooms, halved
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cups cubed peeled eggplant
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 small summer squash, chopped
3 to 4 roma tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper OR cracked pepper
1 tube (1 pound) polenta, cut into 1/2-inch slices
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
  • In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, pepper and onion in 2 teaspoons oil until almost tender. Add the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning and salt.
  • Saute for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • In another skillet, cook polenta slices in remaining oil over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
  • Serve with ratatouille; sprinkle with cheese if desired.
Yield: 4 servings.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Eggplant Mariana Sauce ala ~DKBB~

If your garden is anything like mine, right now you are drowning in garden produce. Here's a versatile way to use some of that eggplant and some of those tomatoes and peppers you planted last spring:

Eggplant Marinara Sauce ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe from Krystol Cummings)

Eggplant, thickly sliced
Red peppers, thickly sliced
Garlic cloves, left whole
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper
Fresh oregano, basil, white pepper, thyme (spices to taste)
  • Lightly coat eggplant slices, red peppers, and garlic cloves in olive oil; roast in oven on medium heat OR grill all (put pepper slices and garlic cloves in grill pan, grill eggplant directly on grill).
  • Remove skin from roasted/grilled eggplant and peppers.
  • Puree eggplant/red peppers/garlic cloves and tomatoes, adding salt, pepper, and spices to taste.
  • Heat puree and serve with bread sticks or use as sauce for pasta.
Amounts depend on how much you want to make; use your own best judgment.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dad Guy's Kick@ss BBQ Sauce

Chuck's Ghost Pepper BBQ Sauce

1¾ c. dark brown sugar (packed)
2 c. ketchup
1 c. water
¾ c. cider vinegar
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 c. dark corn syrup
1 c. molasses
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. garlic pepper
1 Tbsp. Liquid Smoke flavoring
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. onion salt
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked (or spicy) paprika
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 to 2 ghost peppers, finely chopped (you can leave this out if you don’t like hot & spicy BBQ sauce, but if you do you're really missing out!)
  • In a large sauce pan (or small stock pot) combine all ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 15 to 45 minutes (the longer it simmers, the more the flavors will blend).
  • Remove from heat; cool before serving.
 The quantities in this recipe will create a BBQ sauce that serves approximately 60.

(This BBQ sauce recipe, combined with a roast pig, won third place at the 2012 Cookout For A Cause in Chadron, NE.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Kale Chips

Kale Chips ala ~DKBB~

I love kale and use it in several dishes, but we've discovered that our very favorite way to eat it is as chips. It sounds odd, but it is really good!

If you are lucky enough to have kale growing in your garden, pick it when the leaves are medium sized (the bigger leaves work for this, but the medium and small ones are better).

Kale leaves
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Cracked pepper
  • Cut stems from leaves, wash well and dry.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay out the kale leaves on it in a single layer.
  • Drizzle olive oil over kale (don't over do it, but don't skimp either).
  • Sprinkle kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper over all.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes (until kale is dry, but not burned).
We cook these on the top rack of the gas grill (who wants to heat up the kitchen by running the oven in the summer?!). The first time I made these, my husband was borderline appalled, until he tried them. Now he is a happy convert.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dinner for a Sizzlin' Hot Night

The temperatures here have been just this side of Hell for a while now. When it's this hot, cooking becomes something you tend to avoid. But last night we had a rush for lots o' good food, so we grilled a roast (basted periodically with Pine Ridge Jalapeno BBQ Sauce), fried up some zucchini and summer squash, and made a pretty awesome potato salad. It was a rather decent dinner.

Grandma's Potato Salad ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe by Sue Gronholz in the Aug/Sept 2012 edition of Taste of Home magazine)

3 pounds small red potatoes, boiled with skins on, cooled, diced

1/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/8 cup white vinegar
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar (minus 1 to 2 Tbsp.)
2 1/4 tsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup Miracle Whip

1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. pepper
2 to 3 hard-boiled eggs, diced
3 to 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • For the dressing: Using a double boiler over barely simmering water, heat water, butter, and vinegar until butter is melted. In a small bowl, beat egg, add sugar and cornstarch. Add to melted butter mixture, cook and stir for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a large bowl; cool completely.
  • For salad: In a small bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Stir Miracle Whip into the cooled dressing mixture; fold in the whipped cream. Stir in diced onions, green onions, salt, pepper, and diced hard-boiled eggs. Add the diced potatoes; toss lightly to combine well. Refrigerate, covered, until chilled (at least 4 to 6 hours).
To serve, top with sliced hard-boiled eggs and dust with paprika. Serves 12.

Fried Squash ala ~DKBB~
Summer (yellow) squash
Kosher salt
Cracked pepper
2 eggs
1/3 to 1/2 cup milk
Canola oil
  • In a large, deep pan heat 1 1/2 to 2 inches of oil on medium/medium high; use a splatter screen to keep from making a huge mess.
  • Slice squash 1/2 inch thick.
  • Put about 2 cups of cornmeal in a gallon sized zip loc bag; add kosher salt and cracked pepper (enough so you can see it in the mix); close the back and shake well to mix.
  • In a pie tin/plate, beat eggs and milk together well.
  • Dip each squash slice in egg, covering well, then put in bag of cornmeal mix and shake well to coat.
  • Place coated squash slices in hot oil and cook until almost crisp.
  • Remove from oil and drain well.
Serve with ketchup, if desired.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Gingerbread Pancakes ala ~CHB~

Gingerbread Pancakes ala ~CHB~
My husband came up with this little change-of-routine breakfast gem.

Pancake mix (NOT a complete mix, but one using egg and oil; follow instructions on the box)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each ginger, allspice, and ground cloves

Mix together well and make pancakes! Dust with powdered sugar or serve with dark maple syrup.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Leek & Bacon Flatbread ala ~DKBB~

Leek & Bacon Flatbread ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe from Andrea Albin for the Cooking Channel)

6 slices bacon, chopped*
1 medium leek, white and green parts thinly sliced and rinsed thoroughly
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil (for greasing)
2 c. grated gruyere cheese (about 4 oz.)

* You can substitute real bacon bits for the chopped bacon as long as you have bacon fat to cook the leeks in.

  • Preheat oven to 500° F (or, you can bake this on a gas grill…just get it to a high temperature and keep an eye on it).
  • Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp – about 12 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.
  • Cook the leeks in the bacon fat, stirring often, until tender but not browned – about 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Lightly oil a baking sheet; place dough on top and gradually press and stretch to fit the pan.
  • Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top of the dough, followed by the leeks and the bacon.
  • Bake until crust is golden brown (12 to 15 min. in the oven…just keep an eye on it on the grill).
  • Transfer to a cutting board and cut into pieces.

Berry-Dijon Chicken with a Kick ala ~DKBB~

Berry-Dijon Chicken with a Kick ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe by Susan Marshall in the June/July 2012 edition of Taste of Home magazine)

4 boneless chicken breast halves
1 Tbsp. butter
Salt & pepper
  • Melt butter in large skillet.
  • Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and cook over medium heat 6-8 minutes per side (or until meat thermometer reads 170° F).
  • Remove cooked chicken from skillet and and keep warm.
½ c. of fruit preserves (blueberry, blackberry, black raspberry, raspberry)
c. raspberry vinegar
½ c. fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
3 Tbsp. honey Dijon mustard
Dash habanero sauce
  • Combine all ingredients, except berries, in small bowl and whisk together.
  • Add all ingredients, including berries, to skillet used for cooking chicken.
  • Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened.
  • Serve over chicken breasts; garnish with fresh basil if desired.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Coleslaw, Take Two

Coleslaw, Take Two ala ~DKBB~

Take #1 - Honey Mustard Coleslaw
(original recipe by Rebecca Anderson in the June/July 2012 edition Simple & Delicious magazine)

1 pkg. coleslaw mix (14 to 16 oz.)
½ cup mayonnaise (I prefer olive oil pepper mayo)
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
½ tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
⅛ tsp. celery seed

Place coleslaw mix in a large bowl.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well; pour over the coleslaw a bit at a time, tossing well to coat. (Note: You might not use all the dressing; it depends upon your preference.)
Chill until serving; this really does taste better the next day, so chilling overnight is not a bad idea.

Take #2 – Ruby Raspberry Slaw
(original recipe by Deborah Biggs in the June/July 2012 edition of Taste of Home magazine)

1 pkg. coleslaw mix (14 to 16 oz.)
¼ c. prepared raspberry vinaigrette
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise (I use regular mayo for this recipe)
¼ tsp. pepper (if you use the olive oil pepper mayo, don’t add the pepper)

Place coleslaw mix in a large bowl.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well; pour over the coleslaw a bit at a time, tossing well to coat. (Note: You might not want to use all the dressing; it depends on your preference.)
Chill until serving; garnish with fresh raspberries.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cold Corn Salad ala ~DKBB~

Corn Salad ala ~DKBB~

1 16 oz. bag frozen shoepeg corn (thawed) or 16 oz. fresh corn
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/3 c. chopped celery
1/3 c. chopped red pepper

¼ c. mayonnaise (olive oil peppercorn is recommended)
1 to 2 Tbsp. honey Dijon mustard
¼ to ½ tsp. turmeric (to taste)
¼ to ½ tsp. cumin (to taste)
1 tsp. sugar (to taste)
½ to 1 tsp. salt (to taste)
¼ to ½ tsp. pepper (to taste; don’t need pepper if you use the pepper mayo)
1 tsp. cilantro (dried or fresh…use however much you wish)

When mixing the dressing, taste often and adjust amounts to suit your own taste.

Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before serving (best served cold).

This makes a small amount; double or triple the recipe as needed.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Welcome Spring with Asparagus!

Pesto Chicken & Asparagus ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe by Brooke Icenhour, in Apr/May 2012 Taste of Home)
This is the time of year you can find decent fresh asparagus in your local grocery stores. Here's a really yummy, and quick, recipe to showcase that fresh asparagus.
1 lb. cubed boneless chicken breasts
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (note: almost any fresh vegetable could be used)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. whipping cream
½ c. prepared pesto
Cracked pepper
Kosher salt
8 oz. prepared pasta of your choice (or rice, couscous....whatever you desire)
  • In medium skillet, cook the cubed chicken breasts in 1 tbsp. olive oil until they are no longer pink.
  • In large skillet, sauté asparagus in 1 tbsp. oil until crisp-tender.
  • Stir in whipping cream and prepared pesto.
  • Season to taste with cracked pepper and kosher salt.
  • Add cooked chicken cubes and heat thoroughly.
Serve over cooked pasta (or couscous, or rice, or whatever you desire). Enjoy!

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    Sausage & Polenta

    Sausage and Polenta with Balsamic Vinaigrette ala ~DKBB~
    (original recipe from Better Homes & Gardens)

    1/2 of a 16-oz. tube of refrigerated cooked polenta
    1 Tbsp. olive oil
    4 to 6 uncooked sausage links, each cut into 4 to 6 pieces (original recipe called for sweet Italian sausage, but I use combinations such as 2 to 3 sweet and 2 to 3 hot Italian sausages, or any such mixture of sweet/mild and hot/bold sausages)
    1/2 c. apple juice
    1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
    2 Tbsp. snipped dried tomatoes
    1 8-oz. package mixed salad greens (a spinach mix works great)
    • Preheat oven to 400° F; cut polenta into 1/4-inch slices, then cut each slice in half; brush polenta with oil; arrange in a single layer in a shallow baking pan; bake approximately 15 minutes or until light brown, turning once.
    • Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook sausage over medium heat for 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly; remove sausage from skillet; drain off fat; wipe skillet with paper towels.
    • Return sausage to skillet; add apple juice, balsamic vinegar, and dried tomatoes; bring to boiling; reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until sausage is thoroughly cooked (no longer pink).
    • To serve, divide salad greens among four dinner plates; arrange polenta slices and sausage pieces next to greens; drizzle remaining warm balsamic mixture over greens, polenta, and sausage. Makes 4 servings.
    I had purchased some polenta at Trader Joe's in Lincoln when we were there around New Year's. I didn't have a clue what to make with it and came across this recipe on Yahoo Shine. I made it for Chuck's "welcome back from Alaska Study Away trip" last night and it was a huge hit. I wish I would have thought to take a photo before we ate, but we were both pretty hungry and I forgot. 

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    A Legion of Leeks

    I recently tried a new recipe using leeks (a vegetable I have not cooked with before), and like it so much that I found another one to use the leftover leeks (my tiny little burg's grocery store only sells leeks in bundles of 3). So, here's some good recipes (one for dinner and one for breakfast) that showcase leeks:

    Marinated Grilled Steak with BL Smashed Potatoes ala ~DKBB~
    (original recipe by Rachel Ray)

    Marinated Grilled Steak
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 Tbsp. grill seasoning blend (I use Kansas City or Misty’s Steak Seasoning)
    1 tsp. smoked paprika
    1 tsp. hot sauce
    1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
    1/3 cup olive oil
    2 lbs. steak
    • Mix garlic, grill seasoning blend, smoked paprika, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar in small bowl.
    • Whisk in olive oil.
    • Place steaks in glass container and pour marinate over them; let them marinate for 1 or more hours, turning once.
    • Grill steaks.
    BL Smashed Potatoes
    2½ lbs. small red skin new potatoes (regular red skin potatoes work just as well)
    1 leek, trimmed of tough tops
    4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
    1 cup chicken stock or broth
    Salt and pepper
    • Wash potatoes; cut larger potatoes in fourths; place in pan and cover with water; boil until done (12 to 15 minutes).
    • Cut leek lengthwise once, then cut in ½ inch sections; place into a large bowl of water and swish around a bit to release all the dirt in the leek; drain in colander.
    • Cook the bacon in a skillet for 3 to 5 minutes, until it has rendered most of its fat.
    • Add the leeks to the skillet and cook for 3 to 5 more minutes, until leeks are tender.
    • Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot; add the chicken stock and smash the potatoes.
    • Add the bacon and leeks; continue to smash the mixture.
    • Add salt and pepper to taste.
    Serve the steaks with the potatoes. Enjoy!

    Leek Hash ala ~DKBB~
    (original recipe from

    2 leeks
    4 slices of thick sliced bacon, diced
    1 onion, diced
    4 to 6 potatoes*
    Salt and pepper to taste
    A pinch of smoked paprika
    A pinch of celery salt
    • Cut potatoes in halves or fourths (peeling is optional), place in pan of water and boil until fork tender (10 to 12 minutes).
    • Cut the leeks in half, then in half again, then cut in ½ inch sections; place cut leeks in bowl of water and swish them around a bit to release the dirt; drain in colander.
    • Put bacon in large skillet and cook 3 to 5 minutes to render fat; add diced onion and leeks; cook all on medium to low heat 3 to 5 minutes.
    • Drain potatoes and dice; placed diced potatoes in skillet with bacon, onion, and leeks; cook all until potatoes are lightly brown and a bit crispy.
    • Add salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and celery salt to taste.
    * This is a great way to use leftover potatoes from a pot roast; just dice them up and toss them in!

    This hash is excellent when served with fried or poached eggs on top and English Muffin Bread toast on the side.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Amy's Chicken Tetrazzini ala ~DKBB~

    This was a surprising hit with my husband. It's a great way to use up leftover roast chicken, should you have some on hand.

    Amy’s Chicken Tetrazzini ala ~DKBB~
    (original recipe by Amy Tague, Lebanon, IN, in The Gooseberry Patch Big Book of Home Cooking)

    ½ cup butter
    ½ cup all-purpose flour
    ½ tsp. salt
    ½ tsp. white pepper
    2 cups chicken broth
    2 tbsp. cooking sherry
    2 cups half & half
    8 oz. cooked spaghetti
    2 cups cubed cooked chicken
    ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
    1 to 2 cups croutons or bread crumbs of your choice
    • Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat; add flour, salt, white pepper; cook until bubbly.
    • Add broth, cooking sherry, and half & half; bring to a boil for one minute.
    • Stir in cooked spaghetti, cubed chicken, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, and mushrooms; mix well.
    • Spread into lightly greased 9” x 13” baking pan; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and top with croutons/bread crumbs.
    • Bake uncovered at 350° for 30 minutes.
    • Serves 6 to 8.

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    Gouda Mac n' Cheese & Bacon Onion Bread

    A perfect combination! And the Bacon Onion Bread also makes the most delicious toast when served with a poached or fried egg on it.

    Gouda Macaroni and Cheese ala ~DKBB~
    (original recipe from
    1 pound organic whole wheat penne pasta
    Sea salt
    8 tablespoons butter
    4 cups milk
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
    1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne
    1/8 teaspoon paprika
    2 3/4 cups grated Gouda cheese
    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 loaf day old French bread
    • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Note: This recipe makes enough for (2) dinners. Cut French bread into ¼” cubes and set aside. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in heavy French skillet. Add minced garlic and rosemary and cook until garlic is lightly browned. Add cubed French bread and stir until well coated. Transfer to a heavy cooking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until evenly browned. Remove from oven when done and set aside.
    • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, lightly salted water, reducing cooking time by 2-3 minutes from package directions. Drain pasta and return to pot.
    • Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons of butter in large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add cayenne and paprika to melted butter and stir well. Add flour; whisking constantly until mixture is thick. Slowly add milk; continuing to stir until texture is smooth. Add Gouda and Parmesan cheese and continue to whisk until smooth.
    • Pour cheese mixture over pasta and mix. Place mixture evenly in lightly greased baking dishes (2) 8” x 8” or (2) 9” x 9” baking dishes. Coat with garlic/rosemary croutons and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until mixture is bubbling and top is lightly browned.
    • To freeze remaining dish, cover with foil after completely cooled and freeze for up to 3 months. To bake, place frozen dish with foil in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for 10 more minutes or until done.
    NOTE: You can use any type of bread you want for the crouton topping…you do not have to make the rosemary garlic ones in the recipe. I usually use either dried Oregano Herb bread or dried Onion Bacon bread for the croutons.

    Bacon Onion Bread ala ~DKBB~ (for bread machines)
    (original recipe from

    1 1/4 cups water (70 to 80 degrees)
    2 tsp. butter
    4 to 5 tbsp. dried minced onion
    2 tbsp. sugar
    1 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. ground allspice
    1/4 cup finely crumbled cooked bacon
    4 1/2 tsp. dry nonfat milk powder
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tsp. active dry yeast
    • In a bread machine, place ingredients in order suggested by the machine's manufacturer. 
    • Select french bread setting; choose crust color and loaf size, if available.
    • Bake according to bread machine directions; check dough after 5 minutes of mixing and add 1 to 2 tbsp. of water or flour if needed.
    • Yield 1 loaf (1.5 pounds).
    NOTE: Do not use the bread machine's time delay feature for this recipe.

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Frankfurter Supper Dish ala ~DKBB~

    (original recipe from Betty Crocker's New Good and Easy Cookbook, 1972)

    This has been a family staple for decades. The ingredients are something you usually have on hand, it's inexpensive, and it pretty much covers all the food groups except fruit.

    6 frankfurters
    1 10oz pkg. frozen green beans
    1 1/2 cups cream sauce (I use Wondra flour's cream sauce recipe)
    1/2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
    1/2 to 1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, pepper jack...whatever floats your boat)
    about 1/2 package seasoned croutons

    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
    • Drop franks into boiling water and heat 5 to 6 minutes.
    • Remove partially-cooked franks from water; cut into 1 inch pieces.
    • Cook beans half the time directed on pkg.
    • Make cream sauce, stirring in Worchestershire sauce.
    • Stir franks and beans into cream sauce.
    • Pour all into a 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish.
    • Cover with croutons; sprinkle grated cheese over croutons.
    • Bake 30 minutes.

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    The Perfect Sunday Morning Brunch Recipe

    Baked Apple Pancake ala ~DKBB~
    (from a recipe by Jill St. John in a 1980s or 1990s Parade Magazine)

    1 cup flour 
    1/3 cup + ½ tsp. sugar
    1 cup beer, room temperature
    2 egg yolks
    4 egg whites
    ¼ cup light brown sugar
    1½ tsp. cinnamon
    2 green apples, peeled and sliced
    3 Tbsp. sweet butter
    1 Tbsp. oil
    ½ small lemon
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    • Sift together flour, 1½ tsp. of the sugar, and salt.
    • Add beer and stir until smooth.
    • Beat in 1 egg yolk, then the other.
    • In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and 1 Tbsp. of the sugar; beat until peaks form.
    • Carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the batter.
    • Mix together the remaining sugars and cinnamon; reserve 2 Tbsp. of the mixture.
    • Squeeze the ½ lemon over apple slices and toss well, then toss that with the sugar/cinnamon mixture until the slices are thoroughly coated. 
    • Heat butter and oil in iron skillet.
    • Pour ½ of the batter into the skillet, add in the coated apples (lay them in carefully), then pour the rest of the batter over the apple layer.
    • Sprinkle the reserved sugar/cinnamon mixture over the top.
    • Bake for 60 minutes.
    Serve with whipped cream for a real treat.