Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

An easy shepherd's pie recipe for those cold nights.

1 lb lean ground beef
2 chopped green onions
1/2 package of frozen mixed vegetables
4 cups of instant mashed potatoes
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb
1/2 tsp seasoned salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a large, oven safe skillet. Add in the ground beef and chopped onion. Pour 1/4 cup red wine over meat and brown. Add in the mixed vegetables and allow to simmer over med low heat for five minutes. Add mashed potatoes over the top and place skillet in the oven. Heat for 15-20 minutes then add cheese and bake for an extra 5 minutes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Barbecue Chicken Sliders...

More experimenting with the slow cooker yielded this little gem.

Barbecue Chicken Sliders

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (or boneless, skinless thighs)
12 oz Head Country (c) barbecue sauce
1/2 cup Ken's Steakhouse (c) light northern Italian dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 green onions, chopped

Make sure chicken is thawed out first. Lay the chicken in the slow cooker. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and poor over the chicken. Cook in the cooker on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. To shred the chicken, I use a hand mixer on low.

To make sliders, use "dollar rolls" from your local bakery or you can use hamburger buns for full sized sandwiches. Should serve 4-6.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Garlic Breadsticks

Modified a bread recipe and it came out pretty good.

Garlic Breadsticks

1 tbsp active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm (110-115 degree) water
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp melted and cooled butter
3 cups all-purpose flour


1/4 cup butter
1/2 tbsp garlic salt
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
dry parsley flakes

Mix water, yeast and sugar in a mid sized mixing bowl and let sit for two to three minutes. Add salt and half of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the rest of the flour until the batter becomes a soft dough that cleans the bowl. Place on a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl and turn the dough ball once to coat with grease. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or the dough doubles in size. I like to open the oven and set it to 170 degrees. I will then leave the bowl of dough on the open door. Punch the dough down. Now grease a 14"-16" pizza pan. Place the dough on the pizza pan and flatten out. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the flattened dough in half and then into 1 inch strips. Cover the pan with a damp towel and let dough rise for another 30 minutes.

For the topping, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Add the garlic salt and garlic powder to the butter and brush the tops of the breadsticks. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Open oven and brush more butter and garlic onto the breadsticks at 10 minute intervals. At the last 10 minutes, sprinkle parsley flakes on top and allow to finish baking until the sticks are golden brown.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pizza Casserole

Tonight's experiment was a three color rotini pizza casserole. It turned out pretty good overal. If you put it on the top layer it comes out too tough.

Three Color Rotini Pizza Casserole

2 cups tri color rotini
2 cups spaghetti sauce
salt and Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning
1lb ground beef
1 4oz can mushroom pieces and stems (no salt added)
1/2 medium red onionl
1tsp garlic salt
1tsp oregano
2 cups three cheese pizza cheese (1 part mozerella, 1 part mild cheddar, 1 part parmegan)
30 or so pepperoini slices.

In a skillet, mix ground beef, onion and mushrooms. Add salt and Mrs. Dash to taste and heat until meat is browned. Meanwhile, cook 2 cups tri colored rotini to package specifications. Drain grease from meat, and mix with rotini in a large bowl. Add spaghetti sauce, garlic salt and oregano. Mix until well blended. Layer 1/2 of the mixture into a 3qt casserole pan or skillet. Spread one cup of cheese over layer and add 15(ish) pepperoni. Add a second layer of meat/noodle mixture. Cover with second cup of cheese and pepperoni. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and dish is heated through.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bacon Fried Rice

This is another favorite of Mrs. H. From what I've heard, fried rice is to China what stew is to us... something to do with the leftovers. It doesn't have to be fancy, and can actually be done relatively quickly with the right ingredients. Most people add egg to their rice, but since Rorie-Bory is allergic to eggs, I leave it out.

Bacon Fried Rice

1/2 - 1lb lean bacon
2 cups Minute Rice (c)
2 cups water
1 package frozen mixed vegetables
1 can no salt added mushroom pieces and stems
1tsp garlic salt
1tsp Mrs. Dash (c) garlic and herb seasoning
2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp sesame oil
(1 egg is optional for consistency)

Should serve 4-6

This recipe works best if you have a wok or deep frying pan. Fry the bacon in the wok until it is crispy (just shy of burnt) and set aside on paper towels to dry. Add 1tbsp of sesame oil to the drippings in the wok. Add the frozen vegetables, mushrooms, and seasonings to the bacon drippings and fry them until the veggies are tender, stirring frequently.While the bacon is crisping, boil 2 cups of water in a separate saucepan. When the water comes to a boil, add 2 cups of Minute Rice (c), remove from heat and let sit for 5-6 minutes. Crumble the bacon up and add to the veggie mix in the wok. Stir in the rice, teriyaki sauce and soy sauce. [If using egg, beat one egg until well blended. Move rice to one side of pan and pour egg into the empty space. Scramble until desired hardness and then mix in with rice.] Continue to stir fry for about 5 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all of the sauces. Remove from heat and serve.

Chicken and Yellow Rice

This recipe is something that I remembered my dad making for us when I was a kid. It is a really easy and cheap recipe and can be used as a main dish, a side dish or an appetizer on crackers. As usual, I added to the original, but since I never figured on writing it down, these measurements are approximations.

Chicken and Yellow Rice

1/2 to 1lb boneless chicken thighs.
1-2tbsp light olive or Smart Balance oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder (should lightly coat the top of the chicken)
1/2 tsp seasoned salt (same)
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash garlic & herb (see prev. two)
1tbsp butter or margarine
1 chicken bullion cube (optional)
1 can "no salt added" mushroom pieces & stems
1 pkg Mahatma (c) saffron yellow seasonings and long grain rice (5oz pk for just us, 10oz pk for company and 15oz pk for church)...

Cut the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces. Brown the chicken and mushrooms with the seasonings above in the oil, stirring frequently. The chicken should actually start getting a light brown glaze to it before you go to the next step. This adds more flavor to the rice later. Add water,and butter and wait until it reaches a boil. For added flavor, you can add one to three bullion cubes depending on the amount of water and how salty/chickeny you want it. Add rice per directions on package and let simmer over low heat (setting 3 or lower on my stove) for 25 minutes. You can also cook the butter into the chicken instead of adding it to the water for the same effect.

This has been a favorite dish for our church's hospitality guild, and as you can see, it's pretty easy to do. If you want, you could stir peas and carrots into the chicken before you add the water and rice.

Grand Opening

After Mrs. H's (my wife) suggestion, I started this little spot to relate my experiences as an apprentice kitchen wizard. I guess I'll start by introducing myself. My name is Dave, and I am currently a full time househusband. For those who follow my other blog Hillbilly Musings, you already know my children, Spud (3 1/2) and Rorie-Bory (1 1/2, formerly known as Sprout).

Now that we've been introduced, Let's move onto the first recipe and it's result. The inspiration came from a book called Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann along with a substitution or two. The most interesting is going to be the substitution of 2tsp of yeast dissolved in warm water replacing the 2 eggs. This is a recommendation from FAAN the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. If you have a child with food allergies, this is an awesome website and a great network.

Slow Cooked Meatloaf over Potatoes

5 lb red potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 to 1" cubes
1tbsp virgin olive oil
2lb ground beef
3/4 cup barbecue sauce ( I use Head Country (c) as it is a favorite of Mrs. H.)
1/8 cup of Ken's Steakhouse (c) Lite Northern Italian Dressing
1/3 cup crushed saltine crackers
2tsp yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water (sub for 2 eggs)

3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
2tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
Serves 6-8 (I hope)

Peel and cut the potatoes into 1/2" to 1" cubes. Pour olive oil into slow cooker and add potatoes. Toss the potatoes to coat with the oil. Mix together ground beef, barbecue sauce, crackers, dressing and yeast mixture. Once it is well mixed, form into a loaf and place on top of potatoes in the cooker. Now mix the remainder barbecue sauce, brown sugar, mustard, garlic powder, oregano, and seasoned salt in a small bowl or large mixing cup. Coat the loaf with the mixture. Set cooker for low heat and allow to cook until the internal temperature of the meat reaches around 160 degrees (6-8 hours). Serve with mixed vegetables.

I put all of this together around 1am this morning while waiting for Rorie-Bory to wake up. She has a habit of waking up between 12 and 2am and again between 4 and 6am.

Update: To anyone that tried to cook their meatloaf for more than 8 hours, I'm so sorry. Will have to try this again with less time in the cooker.