Friday, December 30, 2011

Peppercorn Roast Beef with Whipped Horseradish Cream


This easy-made dinner will absolutely impress your guests...or make the meat & potato lovin' man in your life very happy!

Ingredients
1 ½ teaspoons cracked black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon thyme (fresh or dried)
½ teaspoon rosemary (fresh or dried)
1 3lb beef top round roast
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

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1 cup whipping cream
½ cup horseradish cream 
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon parsley (fresh or dried)

Preheat oven to 325°

In a small bowl combine the peppercorns, salt,  thyme and rosemary. 

Cut several slits in roast; insert a garlic slice into each opening. Rub peppercorn mixture over roast. Place roast (fat side up) on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. 

Disclaimer: I used a chuck roast I had in the freezer (so the picture doesn't match the ingredient list). I would suggest sticking to the top round roast listed above if you want a "prettier" roast with larger slices of meat. 

Roast for 1 ¾ to 2 ½ hours or until thermometer registers 135°. About 30 minutes before roast is done, prepare Whipped Horseradish Cream.
Beat whipping cream at medium speed with a hand mixer for 2 minutes or until soft peaks form.

Fold in remaining ingredients. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  1. Remove roast from oven and put on a cutting board. Cover with foil completely; let stand for 20 minutes. 
  2. I suggest serving with Roasted Asparagus Bundles to add in some greens, and a heaping spoonful of mashed potatoes - however you like 'em.

  1. Roasted Asparagus Bundles: toss asparagus in olive oil, salt & pepper. Wrap with one slice bacon each. Roast at 400° for 20 minutes.
Enjoy y'all!

  1. This meal was adapted from recipes in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine & Southern Living Magazine.
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Best Banana Bread


Today I am posting about Banana Bread. I made these mini-loaves as holiday treats for neighbors. You could make them for a New Year's treat...or for a no-excuse, anytime treat...

In case you can't tell...I love Banana Bread. There is no rhyme or reason to my love for BB but it is a strong relationship. I often let bananas get to the borderline of ripeness just so I have an excuse to make BB. You should make BB today. Trust me, it will make you happy.

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter (= 1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 mashed overripe bananas
¾ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 9x5 inch loaf pan (or 5 cute mini loaf pans as seen above... $1 each at Michaels and a great reusable gift!).

In a large bowl combine flour, soda and salt.

In a separate mixing bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar on medium speed with hand mixer. Consistency should look like this:
Stir eggs and mashed bananas into sugar mixture until well-blended. Then combine banana mixture into flour mixture, add in nuts (if using) and stir just to moisten. Be sure not to leave any big flour clumps!

Bake in preheated oven for 60-65 minutes if using large pan; 45-50 if smaller pans. Insert a toothpick into center; if it comes out clean it's done. Let bread cool in pan for 12-15 minutes then turn out onto wire rack . If leaving in mini pans let cool for at least 30 minutes before wrapping up. 

Enjoy a slice while it's still warm. There is no reason you should give it ALL away :) 

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Second-Time Score: Turkey Spaghetti Casserole


It was just the hubs, a friend and I for an Ohioan Thanksgiving this year, but we went ahead and got a 12-pounder because we loooove turkey sandwiches post-holiday (and I of course would not be a good hostess if I didn't send our guest home with leftovers too)! If you are over the sandwich by now and still have some "bird" leftover, go ahead and whip up this dish...it's nothing fancy but I think you'll like it. Prep time = 30 minutes! Pop it in the oven...start decorating your Christmas tree...and voila, you've taken leftovers up a notch! 

Ingredients
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 ½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can reduced-fat/reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 ½ cups cubed turkey breast (or dark meat if you prefer)
6 ounces uncooked spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
½ cup shredded Colby-jack cheese (or cheddar)
½ teaspoon paprika 

In small skillet, melt butter on medium-high heat; sauté the vegetables until tender, about 7-8 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the soup, broth, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

Coat  a 2 ½ quart baking dish with cooking spray. Layer (two total) the turkey, [uncooked] spaghetti and vegetable mixture. Pour broth mixture over top. I promise you the noodles will cook and the liquid will thicken...don't be nervous y'all. :)

Cover and bake at 350° for 75-80 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and paprika. Bake 10-12 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. 

A fab use of leftovers if I do say so myself!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home magazine (November 2008 issue).

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes

One word: divine. I altered a recipe from Cooking with Paula Deen (January 2010) and combined it with one of my own, Stuffed Baked Potatoes. Paula and I both love cooking with butta' so you know this is bound to be a good one, y'all! Definitely a "splurge" dinner :)

Ingredients
Stuffed Baked Potatoes
3 medium baking potatoes
Olive oil
¼ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup milk
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon green onions, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 slices bacon, cooked
Salt & pepper

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Spicy Shrimp
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
¼ cup minced green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup chicken broth


Preheat oven to 400°. Wash potatoes; rub with salt and a touch of olive oil. With fork, pierce potatoes 5-6 times in different places around the potato. Place on baking sheet and cook for 1 hour or until tender. Remove and reduce heat to 375°.  Let potatoes cool for 10-15 minutes. 
While potatoes are cooling, chop green onions and prepare garlic (enough for both the potatoes and shrimp). FYI: you can always use bottled minced garlic if you don't keep fresh on hand - 1 teaspoon = 1 clove. Also, here's a helpful tutorial on garlic...usually a must-have ingredient for me!
Cut each potato in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp leaving a thin shell.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the pulp with butter. Add in milk, cream, ranch mix, and garlic; beat until well blended. Stir in green onions, cheese and bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon into potato shells. Bake for 20 minutes.
While potatoes are baking, combine shrimp, flour, red pepper flakes and salt. Set aside.

In large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add remaining green onions and garlic; cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
Add shrimp mixture; cook for 2 minutes or until shrimp are no longer pink.  Add broth; cook for 3 minutes or until mixture is thickened.
Serve shrimp over stuffed potatoes; add some greens as a side if you need a little something extra.

Let a gal know if you make this one..I have a feeling you will agree that it is a melt-in-your-mouth delicious recipe! Also, if you need a dish to use your leftover ranch dressing mix in I've got an idea!
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Slow Roasted Stuffed Peppers

This is a simple and tasty meal that cooks itself! I pull my Crock-Pot out during the weeks that are moving too quickly with (unfortunately) little time left for the kitchen. You can put this together the evening before and pop into the slow cooker on your way out to work the next day.
Ingredients
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound lean ground beef - even better if you can get it from the family farm in AR :)
½ tablespoon black pepper
Dash of red pepper flakes
1 cube beef bouillon
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (14.5-oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 packet dry vegetable soup mix (optional)
1 can cannellini beans (optional)
3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tablespoon minced garlic out of the jar)
¼ cup water (or chicken broth if you have it on hand)
½ cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
4 green bell peppers

Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high and add ground beef, garlic and black pepper and red pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes until no longer pink; drain grease from pan.
Add meat mixture back to pan; adjust to medium-low heat. Add Worcestershire, tomatoes and dry soup mix.

Microwave water for 1 minute; drop bouillon cube in to dissolve. Add to the pan.
Stir mixture well and bring to a simmer; cook for 4-5 minutes.
While simmering, wash peppers, cut tops off and remove membranes and seeds.

Remove pan from heat and stir in one cup of cheese. Fill peppers with meat and cheese mixture; sprinkle remaining cheese over tops. Place in crock, cover and cook on low for 8 hours (if you prefer to use the oven I would cook on 250°- 275° for 3 hours, or until peppers are tender). Serve with rice if desired. Enjoy, y'all!

Recipe adapted from The Everyday Low-Carg Slow Cooker Cookbook.
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Southwest Cheesecake

If you enjoy entertaining like I do, you are always looking for simple but impressive appetizers to serve to your guests. This savory cheesecake is a perfect choice...I will warn you that it is addicting! Can you tell by now I don’t always count the calories in my cooking? :)

Note: a springform pan is a necessity for making this (or most any cheesecake for that matter).

Ingredients
2 tablespoon butter
2 small yellow onions, chopped
3 packages (reduced fat) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
2 (10-oz) cans diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup whole-kernel corn
1 package taco seasoning mix
2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix (suggested: Hidden Valley)
Dash of red pepper flakes
Garnish: shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, chopped green bell peppers
Tortilla chips


In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions; cook for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease a 10-inch springform pan.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until combined.

Add diced tomatoes and green chilies, 2 cups cheese, corn, taco mix, ranch mix and pepper, beating until well combined. Add cooked onions, stirring to combine. Pour mixture into pan.

Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Insert toothpick and remove to check consistency; cook 5-10 minutes longer if needed. 

Garnish with cheese, tomatoes and peppers, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips


Enjoy, y'all!
 
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Game Day Spicy Chicken Chili


Nothing beats a good pot of chili on a football Saturday in the fall! Even better when cheering on the Razorbacks :) The hubs is usually a beef chili kind-of-guy but this one rated pretty high on his scale. Let a gal know what you think!

Ingredients
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium white onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 chicken breasts (uncooked), cut up in small cubes
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15-oz) can Cannellini beans
1 (15-oz) can Great Northern beans
1 (15-oz) can Pinto beans
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 (4-oz) can diced green chilies
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
Salt & pepper
Red pepper flakes, based on your need for an added kick!
3 cups chicken broth, extra may be needed
For garnish: avocado, tomato, shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla strips

Dice the onion.
And the green pepper.

Heat oil in large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saut√©  onion and green pepper until translucent; about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
Add the chicken...
...and cook on medium heat until no longer pink, about 7-8  minutes.
While waiting for the chicken to cook wash your beans, y'all!
Then seed and slice your jalapeno.
Now add your green chilies, jalapeno, beans and corn to the pot! Don't forget your spices...

Next, start pouring on the chicken broth until you cover the chili mixture and then some. Turn on medium-high heat and bring to a boil; cook 5-7 minutes. 

Turn to medium-low heat and cook for 1-1½ hours until thickened, stirring occasionally; add more broth if necessary and additional spices if desired (I always add in a dash of red pepper flakes for good measure)!

When you're ready to grab a bowl and watch the game, garnish your chili with all the fixins'. The avocado really complements the spiciness; it is a must-have. And don't forget your cold beverage, football fans! Touchdown time!
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits

Happy November y'all! Here in the Fry house it's never to early to start planning our Thanksgiving menu. For the past several years Scott and I have spent this holiday together in North Carolina with family, friends or just the two of us. We always make the huge spread no matter how many visitors we have at our dinner table!

We both love making things that remind us of holidays while growing up...Sheri Lee's (my mama) Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars always make the cut. They are a special treat for the hubs - he is capable of eating the whole pan :) - because I only bake them once a year!

Here's a quicker version that is super cute for entertaining anytime this fall!

Ingredients

1 (8-oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1 (16-oz) can of pumpkin
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Nilla Wafers 
Chopped pecans (optional)

Beat cream cheese in large mixing bowl until fluffy.  Slowly add in sweet condensed milk while mixing. Beat in egg until smooth.  Mix in can of pumpkin; stir in pumpkin pie spice.
 Pour mixture into 9"x 13" greased glass pan.  

Bake at 
350° for 30-35 minutes. Take out and let cool on baking rack until ready to assemble (you can also refrigerate overnight and assemble the next day).

While cheesecake is cooling, crush Nilla Wafers in food processor.
Layer crushed wafers and cheesecake filling.  
Cool in the refrigerator for a couple hours and before serving top with chopped pecans or a vanilla wafer.  Enjoy!

Check out the Pier 1 Tasting Party collection here. Love to use these items for gatherings!
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Fall Y'all!

Parfaits, bites and puffs, oh my! Recently I hosted a Stella & Dot Open House and provided some festive finger foods since I knew I would be launching my blog the following week! The theme was: Happy Fall Y’all: Fashion & Food ‘Must Haves’ for the Season (thanks to my gal-pal J Lev for the idea).


On my menu: Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits, Ham & Chive Puffs, Sausage & Cornbread Stuffin’ Bites and Pan-FRYed Onion dip.

Here’s the recipe for Sausage & Cornbread Stuffin’ Bites. I created this one based off some ingredients I use in my southern-style stuffing I make around the holidays. A little taste of Thanksgiving in one simple bite!

Ingredients
1 box of cornbread mix with accompanying ingredients (make ahead)
 ¼ cup unsalted butter 
1 cup onion diced
¾ cup celery diced
1 tablespoon parsley
1 pound of mild pork sausage
½ cup Bisquick
1 egg
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (or ½ teaspoon each of sage & thyme)
¼ cup chicken broth (or more if needed)
Salt & pepper

Melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute onion, celery and parsley until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. This is one of my favorite smells in the kitchen!


While sauteing the onion and celery, break up corn bread in large mixing bowl. Add sausage and Bisquick to the bowl and mix thoroughly with hands. Add onion, celery and parsley mixture, along with seasonings (salt and pepper as desired) egg and chicken broth; mix until well blended.  


Use palm of hands to roll into 1 inch balls.  Place on non-stick baking sheet and cook at 400 for 30 minutes, turning the bites once while cooking (to prevent sticking). Ta-da: Sausage & Cornbread Stuffin' Bites!    


Stay tuned for more recipes from "Happy Fall Y'all"... which one should I post next?? Also - you can check out the fabulous jewels on my website!


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