Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Have you ever gone to a steakhouse and gotten the delectable, delicious and oh so scrumptious loaded sweet potato? You can easily make these at home and they are so much cheaper. Ha! I made these for dinner tonight. It so quick and so simple!

All you do is take a sweet potato and jag holes all over it with a fork. Then wrap it in a paper towel and put it in the microwave for 10 minutes. Take it out and cut it lengthwise and squeeze open, put some butter and brown sugar on it and that's it! Yuuuuuummmmoooooo! Seriously this is so incredibly good. You can easily get your kids to eat these potatoes. They are healthy and nutritious too. You don't have to add that much butter and brown sugar to make it sweet and yummy. They have a natural sweetness to them. I make these all the time. OMG, really, really good!

I also made some brussel sprouts. These get a bad rap. True, when I was little I didn't like them either. One time we were at a neighbor's house for dinner and I snuck mine into a napkin and then excused myself to the bathroom and flushed them all down the toilet. I got in trouble for that one. Ha! Now, I am a big fan though. Years ago, I dated this guy Dan and he had me make them for dinner and I couldn't believe how good they were. I've been a fan ever since. They are easy too. I just cut the end off and peel a little bit of the leafy part off. Then put them into a pot of boiling water. Once the leaves start to fall off a little bit they are usually done. I also stick a fork into them to make sure they are soft. Then I take them out and put a little butter on them and some parmesean cheese and that's it! Fab-u-lous! Seriously, they are sooooo good and OMG! let's just talk about how stinkin' healthy they are!! You've got to try them. You really do. I promise you will like them.

I also made a quick salad. I've been trying to eat more vegetables (at least 2-3 with each meal) and so I just threw together some spinach, roma/cherry tomatoes, shredded part skim mozzarella, and some slivered almonds. That's it. So easy and so good.

A totally veggie meal tonight. What fresh veggies to you make on a regular basis and how do you prepare them?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Not Bogged Down with These Cranberries

My mom makes this amazing Cranberry Relish each holiday. Believe me it is fab-u-lous!!!! People who think they don't like cranberry relish have got to try this kind because you will loooooove it! It is a perfect combination of tart and sweet. And it is so incredibly simple to make.

So all you do is take a bag of frozen cranberries (You just buy them at the grocery store and freeze them) and an orange. You grind these together. You grind the orange peel and all.

My mom uses this old fashioned food grinder that suctions onto the table and you put the cranberries and the orange in the top and turn the handle which pushes the fruit through the grinder. I'm sure you could also use a food processor. But, to me, there is something nostalgic and nice about using a machine that has been used for probably well over 30-some years to make so many dishes that so many others have enjoyed. I love that idea.

Okay, so once you have the cranberries and orange ground, you simply add in 1 cup of sugar and mix it all together. That's it!! Yes, really. That's all there is to it. Next, you just take spoonful and enjoy! How do you make your cranberry relish?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scalloped Oysters!

I love oysters and make this Scalloped Oyster side dish . My one brother actually requests it every Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is so so simple, yet so so good. Seriously it is fab-u-lous!!!

Here's what you do.

You first melt 1/4 lb. (that's 1 stick of butter) in a skillet. Next you take 1 cup of crushed saltine crackers and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs and add that to the skillet, mixing completely with the melted butter.

Put half of the cracker mixture on the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish.

Drain 1 pt. of fresh oysters. Make sure you save the liquid.

Place the oysters in a single layer on top of the cracker mixture. Sprinkle with salt.

Use 1 tbsp. of cream or evaporated milk and mix with 2 tbsp. of the oyster liquid. Also throw in a few dashes of Tabasco sauce. I shake the bottle of Tabasco about 3-4 times. It really depends on your preference for the spicyness you like. Spoon this liquid mixture over the oysters. I always reserve about 1 cup extra of the oyster liquid and about 1/2 -3/4 cup of cream and mix that with more Tabasco and then I have it to sprinkle on the next day before reheating them. It just moistens it more.

Place the other half of the cracker mixture over the oysters.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 minutes.

That's it!!! Fab-u-lous!!! Really, to die for!!! Once you make these for one holiday, believe me, they will started being requested for every holiday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fried Pies???

When my mom and I were touring Tennessee this past summer we stopped by Loretta Lynn's Country restaurant and store. I love me some Loretta Lynn (she is being honored on the CMAs tonight too!!!!!) and so we had to stop.

While there I bought these fried pies. I remember Kelley over at Kelly's Korner always blogging about Fried Pies. She always talked about the chocolate ones, which sounded so yummy, but we could only find the peach ones. We got them and then pulled over on the side of the road before even getting back on the highway and ate them. They were good. Not fantastic, but good. I would probably get them again definitely, but probably not the peach ones. Now if I can ever find the chocolate ones, I am all over that.

Have you ever heard of Fried Pies and if so, where can I get more of them???? Keep in mind that I live way up north in Pennsylvania and have seriously never heard of them around here, but can I order them somewhere?

Here are some more pictures of Loretta Lynn's place. We also stopped by her mansion and also her daughter Sissy Lynn's store.

This is a remake of the house she grew up in.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Porkchops and Applesauce...That's Swell

Sorry for being incognito for the past month. I lost my job and am moving back home to Pennsylvania. While I am extremely happy about moving back closer to my whole family and friends, I wish it would have happened differently.

Okay, well Peter Brady had it half right with the applesauce. A couple of weeks ago I made my annual homemade applesauce. If you remember reading from last year's post I love to make my own applesauce. Yes, I know I could easily buy it, but mine tastes so much better!!!! Seriously, you should make your own and then you'll understand. Plus it is super simple.

First I washed off of my apples.

Then I slice them all. I tried to use my Pampered Chef Apple Slicer and that worked for some of the apples but the majority of them were way too large and I kept getting the apples stuck in the slicer (not fun!). So, for the larger ones you can just slice and core them yourself.

Then, I put all of the apple slices in a huge pot of water and turn the burner on high. I let them boil for about 10-20 minutes until they get soft.

Next, I use a food mill to get the skin off of the apples. Trust me on this one, it is MUCH easier to boil the apples and get them soft so the skin just peels off, rather than peel them all by hand ahead of time. That's a big waste of time plus you run the risk of wasting so much of the apple in the peeling process. So anyway, you take a bunch of the boiled apple slices and place them in the food mill and then take the wooden utensil and swirl it around the food mill and the apple sauce falls out the bottom and the skins stay inside. So Simple!!! Amazing! I don't think you can even buy these anymore.

Finally, you have this wonderful container of applesauce. I add in some of the Cinnamon Red Hots and some Cinnamon. That's it! Soooo simple and yet so fab-u-lously delicious!!!!!!

Do any of you make your own applesauce and if so, how do you make yours?