Monday, May 28, 2012
1/2 medium green pepper, finely diced
1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
1 lb lean ground beef
seasoned salt & black pepper
2 [28 oz] cans hickory flavored baked beans
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 [15 oz] can chili seasoned tomatoes
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp whole grain mustard
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp barbecue seasoning [such as Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple ]
6-8 slices center cut bacon
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Add a couple of drizzles of olive oil to a stove top pan. Saute the diced green pepper, onion and ground beef until no pink remains in the beef. Season with seasoned salt and black pepper to your taste. After browning, drain any excess fat from the pan before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together, the baked beans, barbecue sauce, chili style tomatoes, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, whole grain mustard and barbecue seasoning. Add the browned ground beef, peppers and onions to the bowl, and stir until the ingredients are well blended.
Pour into the baking dish, then lay the bacon strips on top.
Place into the oven and bake for 1-1 hour 15 minutes. Allow the baked beans to rest for 5-10 minutes on the counter before serving to allow the sauce to thicken. Stir before serving. Yield: 12-14 servings
Posted by Melissa at 7:58 AM
Saturday, May 26, 2012
This recipe is for all of my friends who don't really enjoy baking, but, want something simple and sweet to serve family and friends. At times I really love serving bite sized desserts. This allows my guests to enjoy small bites of several different flavors without feeling overwhelmed by making one choice. Let's face it, choosing a dessert can be so very difficult!! Who needs added stress in their lives, lets' simplify things shall we? :)
24 mini fillo shells
24 1 inch round and thick pound cake rounds
1 18 oz. container of prepared cream cheese icing
1/2 cup of partially thawed frozen blueberries plus 24 for garnishing
1 cup of white chocolate chips divided
1/3 cup of heavy cream plus 2 Tbs.
1 tsp. clear vanilla
1 tsp. of lemon zest [optional]
Place the fillo shells onto a cookie sheet and toast for 3-5 minutes per the instructions on the box, then set aside to cool. Using a sharp knife or a small cookie cutter, cut the sliced pound cake into 24 1 inch rounds. The cakes should be small enough to fit inside of the shells snuggly. Separate the blueberries, and set aside 24 whole berries for garnishing. Melt 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream in the microwave in 20 second intervals. Stop to stir periodically. Repeat this process until the chocolate is completely smooth. Using a hand mixer, whip together the cream cheese icing, 1/3 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of slightly thawed frozen blueberries. Add the melted white chocolate and vanilla. This is the point you would add the lemon zest, if you like, these are delicious with or without it, it's your call!
Whip the filling together for 1-2 minutes until fully combined.
Place a dollop of blueberry frosting into the bottom of each fillo shell to form the "glue" for the babycakes. Center one cake round in each fillo shell.
Frost the cakes, as desired, with the blueberry frosting and garnish with a whole blueberry.
To prepare the white chocolate ganache, melt the remaining white chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second intervals with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. Stir well each time. Repeat this process until the chocolate is smooth. Drizzle each babycake with the melted white chocolate ganache. Chill until serving. Yield: 24 babycakes
Posted by Melissa at 10:00 AM
Thursday, May 17, 2012
1st Place winner of the Stovetop Recipe Round-Up and featured by the Gooseberry Patch Blog
July 15 2012
This dish was a happy accident in my kitchen. It was one of those moments in my kitchen where I had bits and pieces of ingredients, but, I had to get creative about how to stretch them into a pasta bake. I had roasted chicken, left over pasta from another project, spinach that was closing in on it's expiration date, a handful of sun dried tomatoes, half a jar of prepared basil pesto....and a couple of jars of Alfredo sauce in my pantry. My son had sweetly asked for Pasta Alfredo for dinner, and of course, I didn't want to disappoint him!
I had no intentions of posting the recipe for this dish on my blog, when I made it, but, it turned out so tasty, I wanted to share my idea with you in case you found yourself in the same dilemma one day. After one taste, and seeing my family's reaction, I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped a few pictures, so, you could see it. I literally cleaned out my fridge when I made this dish, and it ended up leaving my family yellin' for more! The beauty of this dish, is, if you're hard pressed for time, it could be finished completely on the stove top and sprinkled with Parmesan and a few toasted pine nuts just before serving. It makes life so much less stressful when you can prepare a dish that's simple and versatile.
1 small finely diced onion
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 [15 oz] jars light creamy Alfredo sauce [I used Classico]
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup 1/3 less fat chive & onion cream cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup basil pesto [I used Classico]
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, rinsed
3 cups roughly chopped roasted chicken
2 cups shredded Italian Cheese Blend, divided
4 cups cooked penne pasta
1 [6oz] pkg baby spinach
salt & black pepper to taste
For the topping:
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs or Italian cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp melted butter
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray an 8 x 12 inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large stove top pot over medium-high heat, cook the diced onion in a couple of drizzles of olive oil until it's translucent and beginning to brown. Season with salt and black pepper to your taste then add the crushed red pepper flakes for a little kick. [tip:Using a large pot will allow it to double as my mixing bowl.]
To the pot add both jars of Alfredo sauce, 1/2 cup of milk, and the cream cheese. Simmer on low heat just until the cream cheese melts. Add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of basil pesto, 1/3 cup of sun dried tomatoes, 3 cups chopped roasted chicken and 1 1/4 cups of shredded Italian cheese blend. Stir well.
Next, add the cooked penne pasta and the baby spinach. Cook over low heat just until the spinach wilts into the sauce. This will only take a couple of minutes. If you'd like your sauce a little thinner, add extra milk and stir, stir, stir!! [tip: At this point, you could skip the oven and serve this dish as is....All you'd need to do is, stir all of the cheese into the mixture and simmer on the stove top until heated through. Then sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese just before serving. For a little crunch, toss some toasted pine nuts on top]
Pour the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining shredded Italian cheese blend on top. To make the topping: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the crumbs. Sprinkle the buttered crumbs over the pasta. Place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden and the edges are bubbly. Serve hot. Yield: 6-8 servings
Sun dried tomatoes are packed in oil. I recommend that you rinse the oil from the tomatoes for this dish, to prevent the flavor from overpowering the sauce.
Posted by Melissa at 7:16 PM
For this recipe, I dredge tender buttermilk marinated chicken breasts in a crunchy panko and Parmesan-Romano coating. After this, each piece is stuffed with creamy provolone cheese. [oh yes, a lot-a-love went into this chicken!] Then, drizzle with melted butter and bake until the coating is crispy and golden. This splendid chicken was the star of his birthday dinner. Well, that is, until we cut the cake....
For the chicken you'll need:
4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts [approximately 2 lb]
4 thick cut slices provolone cheese
1 cup buttermilk
marinara sauce for dipping [optional]
For the breading:
1 large egg beaten with 3 Tbsp milk
1 cup seasoned flour [1/2 tsp each salt, paprika, black pepper]
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese
1 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
1 1/2-2 tsp garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp salt
1/2 cup of melted butter or margarine
At least one hour prior to baking the chicken, marinate in one cup of buttermilk. Refrigerate until baking.
Preheat the oven to 425°F and spritz a baking sheet with cooking spray. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk marinade, and discard. Cut a slit in each chicken breast to form the pocket for the cheese being careful not to cut all the way through. Insert a folded slice of thick cut provolone cheese into the pocket. Of course, you could use your favorite cheese, if you like. Repeat this process with all of the chicken breasts.
To prepare the dredging ingredients, mix one beaten egg with 3 tablespoons of milk, set aside. Season 1 cup of all purpose flour with 1/2 tsp each of salt, paprika and black pepper. [or to your taste] This amount of flour is likely more than needed. I prefer make a little extra, than not have enough. For the panko, mix together the panko, grated Parmesan-Romano, dried parsley, garlic powder and salt. Prepare the dredging ingredients in this order. Seasoned flour, egg wash, panko coating. Have your baking sheet nearby so, you can move the chicken directly onto the pan after coating.
After dredging, place the chicken breasts onto the baking sheet, and secure each one with toothpicks. [tip: Dip the toothpicks in water so, they won't get too hot in the oven] If you have long skewers, you could use those instead to skewer along the sides of the chicken to secure the pocket. Drizzle each piece with melted butter or margarine.
Place into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts, this may take a few minutes longer, or if they're thinner, less time. Rule of thumb with chicken is to bake until the juices run clear. Very important!
Allow the chicken breasts to rest on the pan 5-10 minutes before serving. This chicken can be eaten alone, or with a dipping sauce such as marinara sauce. Yield: 4 pieces
Posted by Melissa at 9:16 AM
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Hello friends!! Today, I'd like to introduce you to Annakate Tefft, my first guest blogger. Annakate is the PR/Social and Media Manager for the popular online recipe club called Just A Pinch. [JAP] She is responsible for local and national outreach to media outlets as well as managing the Recipe Showcases of which I was honored to be a part of not once but, twice. Annakate manages all of JAP social media presences, from Twitter and Facebook to Pinterest and Google+. She's not only incredibly talented and very busy, but, she's a die hard foodie and blogger, too. Annakate, welcome to my Southern Kitchen!!
I’m honored that Melissa asked me to share on her blog! It’s been so exciting to see Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen develop over the last year. I’ve enjoyed seeing the amazing recipes she’s shared (and with such frequency!) as well as how her upbeat personality that has come through on the blog, both through her words and through her blog design (how cute is that header?!).
But first, a little background on how this post came to be. I met Melissa through Just A Pinch Recipe Club. As many of you may know, Melissa was the winner of the Flour Power Baking Contest through Just A Pinch with her Caramel, Chocolate and Almond Gooey Butter Cake recipe, or as one well known club member likes to refer to it, “gooey goodness.” I work for Just A Pinch, and coordinate the Recipe Showcases surrounding our contests. For those Showcases, we fly winners to Nashville to prepare their recipe in front of a live studio audience, offer up Grand Ole Opry tickets, shuttle them around in a limo all weekend and give them a $1,000 shopping spree in a kitchen store! And let me tell you, calling up the contestants to tell them they’ve won all this is a dream! I absolutely love it. There is nothing better than being the bearer of fabulous news!! When we get to Showcase day, the audience is composed of Just A Pinch members from all over country with of course a large contingent from our own backyard of Tennessee. Part of the magic of these events is cooks meeting each other in person for the first time. The Recipe Showcases are seriously SO MUCH FUN. I like to refer to these events as a big love fest!
Anyway, Melissa and I first met in January during her Recipe Showcase, then she recently came back in April to emcee the latest Recipe Showcase. Over those months, I’ve felt a kinship with Melissa and her approach to cooking. Meeting Melissa in person was even more fun than our initial phone call (it was right before Christmas, and she was so thrilled to tell family over the holiday!!). She was such a joy to get to know and work with. She’s so poised, kind and accommodating, and she’s one heck of a cook!
As we got to know each other, I shared with Melissa that I’m also a blogger. I love to explore food and cooking, as Melissa does, testing recipes I find, coming up with new ones, and investigating questions I have about food. It’s been fun to follow Melissa through her blog and through her chatter on the site with other Club members to learn about her approach to cooking.
Another way I’ve connected with Melissa is through her love of cooking for her family. The way she talks about her two little boys and the cooking she does for them and Rob is so touching. I look forward to a family of my own someday, and Melissa has truly been an inspiration.
Because of our food and family connections, I thought I’d share a recipe that’s been near and dear to my family for as long as I can remember. My Grandmother Barbara was famous for her Cheesy Potato recipe. She would make them for birthdays, father’s days, holidays and more, pretty much anytime we’d all gather together. My Grandmother passed away when I was 11 years old. Since then, my mother, Grandma Barbara’s daughter-in-law, has since carried on the tradition of the Cheesy Potatoes. One recent Christmas we decided to mix things up with a surf-and-turf spread of salmon and beef instead of a more traditional dinner. While it was a delectable feast no doubt, when it was all said and done, the general consensus was that Christmas just isn't Christmas without those Cheesy Potatoes.
Even though I love to cook and absolutely love these potatoes, I've never made them before, heck I'd never even seen the recipe! I've watched my Mom make them a million times, but when she sent me the recipe I have to admit, I was suprised at it's simplicity. It only has 5 ingredients!!
|1/2 lb||extra sharp cheddar cheese|
|1 c||whipping cream|
|1 tsp||dry mustard|
|salt and pepper to taste|
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While oven is heating, cook potatoes in their skins in a large pot of boiling water just until cooked through. Peel and grate.
2Heat milk and cream in a saucepan and gently add cheese until it’s thoroughly melted. Add mustard, salt and pepper.
3Spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray. Add potatoes, and pour cheese sauce over top. Bake covered for about an hour. Toward the last 10 minutes uncover to slightly brown top.
4Please note, I divided this recipe into two batches, freezing half for later. That's why I used an 8x8-inch pan (the other is in the freezer, and has a bit less than half the recipe in it. FYI)
They were delicious, but you know what? They weren’t quite like how I remembered them. I love when my Mom makes them, and maybe that’s why these just didn’t live up to my memory. I’m pretty sure I did everything like she did, but somehow it just wasn’t the same. I told her that over the phone after I made them and I think it made her day. I betcha they’ll taste good if you make them though - it was just my association with my family that left me hanging. :) I hadn’t shared this recipe with anyone until Melissa asked me to do this post. I’m so glad it’s now out there! It’s such a tasty dish, and I’m happy to share a recipe that’s been such a fixture in my family over the years.
If I were feeling fancy, I might add bacon and green onions to the original recipe, and maybe some nutmeg or red pepper to spice it up some. But, for this first go, I wanted to see about making the original. Maybe next time I’ll try to spice it up and create my own tradition.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have, and I’m so thankful to Melissa for asking me to share it with all of you. Enjoy, and happy cooking!!
[click the links below if you'd like to read more about the current JAP contest or to see Annakate's original recipe on JAP]
Posted by Melissa at 10:58 AM
Thursday, May 10, 2012
These canapes were one of three finalists in a pretzel crisp competition. The Snack Factory included this recipe along with my other two entries, in their limited addition cookbook. I wanted to share the recipe with you, because this topping would also be incredible on toasted sour dough bread, pita crisps, or my personal favorite, toasted polenta rounds. You can use any of your favorite appetizer breads, crackers or crisps. This sweet onion and mushroom topping can easily be made ahead of time, then reheated and assembled when you're ready to serve your guests. They're a wonderful meat free option and a tasty choice for anytime snacking!
24 garlic parmesan pretzel crisps
16 oz. baby portabella/button/cremini mushrooms
1 large sweet onion
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
3 1/2 Tbs. olive oil divided
3 Tbs. fresh chopped rosemary
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. granulated sugar
salt & black pepper to taste
Chop the mushrooms into bite size pieces. Quarter and thinly slice the onion. In a medium saucepan, drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil, then add the sliced onion. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, then lower the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook the onion for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Cook for another 2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the vinegar has evaporated, then remove the caramelized onions from the heat.
While the onions are caramelizing, in a separate saucepan over high heat add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and all of the mushrooms. Lower the heat to medium and continue to sauté the mushrooms for 6-7 minutes until golden. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add 1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
To assemble, place 24 pretzel crisps on a serving platter. Divide the mushrooms and the caramelized onions evenly on each pretzel crisp. Sprinkle with about ½ teaspoon of goat cheese on each canapé and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped rosemary. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 24 canapés
It's always a good idea to have extra pretzels, pita's or breads handy just in case you have extra toppings and can assemble more canapes than expected.
October 2012 published Cookbook Feature: The Snack Factory
Website feature 11/30/12 http://pretzelcrisps.com/4227/
Posted by Melissa at 6:41 PM
Monday, May 7, 2012
36 chipotle cheddar flavored pretzel crisps
2 cups of chopped roasted chicken
2 cups of hickory flavored barbecue sauce
8 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese blend
1 small minced chipotle pepper plus 1 tsp adobo sauce
1-2 tsp. maple flavoring
6 thinly sliced green onions
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a 12 x 18 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange 36 chipotle cheddar flavored pretzel crisps on the prepared baking sheet. In a stove top pan, cook the bacon slices until crisp then drain on paper towels. After the bacon has cooled, crumble and set aside. Chop the chicken into small pieces and thinly slice the green onions.
In a medium microwave safe bowl, mix together 2 cups of hickory flavored barbecue sauce and 1 minced chipotle pepper and 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce. Warm the sauce in the microwave for 4-5 minutes, then stir in 1-2 teaspoons of maple flavoring. Stir well and cool slightly. You can also simmer the sauce on the stove top ahead of time, and chill until you're ready to prepare the sliders. That'll allow these sliders to come together even more quickly!
To assemble, arrange 1 teaspoon of chopped chicken on top of each pretzel crisp. Drizzle the chicken with 1 teaspoon of barbecue sauce, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of shredded sharp cheddar cheese blend. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 3-5 minutes, unit the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbly. Remove from the oven and arrange on a serving platter. Sprinkle each crisp with crumbled bacon and garnish with chopped green onion. Serve any remaining maple chipotle barbecue sauce on the side. Yield: 36 Maple- Chipotle Barbecue Chicken Sliders
October 2012 published Cookbook feature: The Snack Factory
Posted by Melissa at 9:35 AM
Friday, May 4, 2012
1 1/4 lbs. of fresh tomatilla's
1 small sweet onion
1/2 cup of cilantro leaves [about a handful]
1 jalapeno pepper
1 serrano chili
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic
2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt and black pepper to taste
Move the oven rack to the highest position and preheat the oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray. Remove the husks from the tomatillas and wash.
Cut the jalapeno through the middle lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. You'll also need to remove the stem from the serrano pepper and jalapeno peppers. Peel the garlic cloves and quarter the onion. Wash the cilantro thoroughly to remove any dirt and grit. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling peppers!
Place the tomatillas and garlic cloves onto the roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. I'm roasting extra garlic for another project, while I'm at it, but, 2-3 cloves will be plenty for this salsa.
Place the pan into the oven and roast, turning as necessary, until the ingredients are charred, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the tomatillas from the oven, and allow them to cool slightly. Pour the charred tomatillas and garlic cloves into a food processor or blender along with the quartered onion, peppers, cilantro, lime juice, seasonings, olive oil and pan juices. We don't want any of the toasted goodness or juices to escape! Pulse in the blender until your desired consistency is reached. If you'd like the salsa thinner, add cold water one tablespoon at a time.
Puree until chunky smooth. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed.
Posted by Melissa at 8:48 AM
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
For the enchilada sauce you'll need:
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 [15 oz] can of tomato sauce
3 tsp taco seasoning [I used McCormick's]
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground chipotle pepper
For the filling:
1 small onion, diced
1 medium poblano pepper, diced
1 [10 oz] can diced tomatoes & green chili's [I used Rotel Chili Fixin's]
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp cinnamon
salt & black pepper to taste
3 cups cooked chuck roast, roughly chopped
1/2 cup mild/medium/hot taco sauce [your preference]
6 [8 or 10 inch] flour tortillas
2 cups shredded colby-jack cheddar cheese, divided
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Before you begin, make the enchilada sauce. You can also make this ahead of time and refrigerate for a time saver. In a small saucepan, cook 1/4 cup of chopped onion in a small amount of olive oil until translucent. Add 1 can of tomato sauce and all of the seasonings. Stir well and season with salt to your taste. Lower the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes then remove from the heat to cool slightly.
To make the filling for the enchiladas:
Preheat the oven to 375°F and spray a 9 x 13 inch dish with cooking spray. In a stove top pot over medium high heat, saute the chopped onion and poblano pepper in a couple of drizzles of olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook until the veggies turn translucent and are beginning to brown.
Next, add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and one can of diced tomatoes and green chilies. The variety I used were already seasoned. Cook on medium low heat until the tomatoes begin to break down and stew with the vegetables. Add the cumin, chipotle powder, oregano and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 7-8 minutes to allow the tomatoes to release some of their juice. [tip: if you'd like your tomatoes to have a finer texture, toss them into your food processor prior to adding them to the pot.]
Next add 1/3 cup of taco sauce and the shredded beef. Simmer the beef on low heat for another 5-7 minutes to allow it to warm and soak in all of the flavors from the spices and tomato sauce. Remove from the heat.
Divide the shredded beef equally between 6 tortillas. Sprinkle 1/2 of the shredded cheese on top.
Roll the tortillas and place seam side down side by side, in the baking dish. Pour the enchilada sauce on top from end to end.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded colby-jack cheese over the top and place into the oven.
Bake for 25 minutes until the cheese is golden and the enchiladas are bubbly around the edge. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Yield: 6 enchiladas
The tomatoes I used were already seasoned, so, I adjusted my seasonings so as not to overpower the dish. If you're unable to find that variety, season to your taste.
Posted by Melissa at 8:47 AM