Friday, July 29, 2011

Scrumptious Honey Buttered Scones

If you haven't eaten hot scones particularly with melt-y honey butter than you haven't lived! We don't eat much deep-fried fare in our house, but I make an exception with these scones. And it's so worth it! As for the honey butter, for those of us who've had the out of this world experience of fresh Lion House rolls slathered with their amazing honey butter-let me just tell you this honey butter easily gives theirs a run for it's money. It's that good. Plus it doesn't have anything weird and, let's be serious, kind of gross like egg whites in it-as I've heard some honey butters do. 3 simple ingredients whipped together and you're in heaven! Sweet, fluffy, honey-filled heaven!

PS Watch for the next post featuring a savory way to enjoy these scones, so versatile right?!

Scrumptious Honey Buttered Scones
{Honey butter recipe source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe}

4 cups flour
1 cup dried milk (sweet! a food storage item use!)
2 cups warm water
8 t baking powder
2 t salt
Large amount of oil for frying

Mix warm water and milk together in small bowl. In bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment, mix flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add warm "milk" until dough comes together and isn't ridiculously sticky. Roll a golf ball sized amount of dough into a thin circle, using some flour to help with sticking. Slash 3 slits into dough with knife-this helps to alleviate some serious bubbling air pockets during frying. Heat oil in fryer or deep-ish pan/pot over med-high heat. To test if it's ready, drop a pea size amount of dough into hot oil. If it immediately sizzles and quickly floats to the surface the oil is ready for frying. Fry scones one or two at time, but don't crowd the pot, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with honey butter, jam, etc.

Honey Butter

2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup marshmallow creme

In electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add marshmallow creme and honey and mix until well blended. Serve at room temp. May keep in fridge or freezer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Coleslaw Topped Pulled Pork Sandwiches {Slow Cooker}

Hot Diggety these are good! Slow cooker BBQ slathered pulled pork topped with creamy, cool coleslaw means summer at it's finest. I'm not sure I can ever appreciate pulled pork without coleslaw again. This was our 4th of July fare this year and it might just become tradition. Delicioso!

Coleslaw Topped Pulled Pork Sandwiches
{Recipe Source: Our Best Bites}

For Pulled Pork:

3 lb. boneless pork shoulder

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Smoked paprika or liquid smoke

Chicken or beef broth

About 12 oz. of your favorite BBQ sauce

About 12 high-quality rolls

Coleslaw (see recipe below)

Rinse pork roast well in cold water and trim of excess fat. Be thorough in this process, it’s important for non-fishy smelling/tasting weird pork! Pat dry. Sprinkle roast with liquid smoke, a few drops’ll do ya, and seasonings and place in slow cooker. Add about 1/2 inch of broth (or water) and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

When the roast has cooked, drain liquid and then return to the slow cooker and gently shred. Pour enough sauce over the meat so it’s well-incorporated but not soupy, and gently mix. Return the lid to the crock pot and heat through. When ready to serve, slice rolls (toast in desired) and add meat. Top with coleslaw. Cheese and dill pickles are good toppings too!

Memphis-Style Coleslaw
Recipe from

1 c. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Dijon
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 heaping tsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbsp. grated onion
2-2 1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 16-oz. bag shredded cabbage with carrots (I liked using a combination of pre-mixed coleslaw and finely shredded napa cabbage that I already had on hand)
1/2 minced green bell pepper
1 carrot, peeled and grated

Combine mayo, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, onion, and celery seed. In a large bowl, combine shredded cabbage, carrots, and green pepper.

Toss with dressing and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours and up to about 3 days.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Makeshift Shepherd's Pie

This is a true left-over make-over dish. I wasn't even sure I would share the "recipe", but my family including our baby scarfed it down so I figured "what the heck!" I use the term "recipe" loosely here because it's more a grab whatever you have in fridge at the moment ingredient list and bake it. So if you find yourself with any of the following leftovers: sunday roast/mashed potatoes/or gravy on your hands, throw this together for dinner Monday night! Your family will thank you and you'll feel so domestic and economical refusing to let those leftovers go to waste.

Makeshift Shepherd's Pie
{Loosely based on a recipe from Lion House Recipes cookbook}

1 can cream of mushroom soup, or leftover gravy
2 T brown gravy mix, if not using leftover gravy
Roughly 1 cup chopped leftover roast beef
1 1/2 cups carrots, rough chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, optional
2 T butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chicken broth
2+ cups leftover mashed potatoes, or fresh-made
1/2 cup grated cheese

If using, combine soup and gravy mix in large mixing bowl and set aside. In medium saute pan, combine carrots, onion, celery, cabbage, and 2 T butter. Saute for a few minutes, until onion starts becoming translucent. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Add a bit of chicken broth and cover with lid to allow steaming. When veggies are par-cooked, add to soup mixture or left-over gravy. Mix, adding chopped roast beef and frozen peas too. Grease an appropriately sized casserole dish, mine was a bit smaller than a 9X13 equivalent. Pour veggie/meat mixture into dish. Spoon warmed potatoes on top and spread around using a spatula until surface is completely covered. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Pop in 350 degree oven until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbling and warmed through, maybe 25 minutes or so.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Divine Oriental Mandarin Salad

Although I've made it before, it's been a few years and I think it's safe to say this is my not so new favorite salad at the moment. Delicious! The dressing, as is usually the case, is what does it for me. I wanted to eat it with a spoon. I served this with asian food, but think it's a great addition to any spread and grilled chicken on top would make it a very satisfying summer meal. You're gonna love it!

Divine Oriental Mandarin Salad

1 head romaine lettuce, finely chopped
1/3 head napa cabbage, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
1 bunch green onions chopped
1/2 to 1 cup almonds, toasted or sugar coated (see here for easy sugar coating technique)
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
Crunchy chow mein noodles and/or sesame seeds, toasted

Combine above ingredients in large bowl and serve with:

1 cup mayo
2 T dijon mustard
2 T+ honey
Few drops sesame oil
1+ T rice wine vinegar

Whisk all ingredients together. Taste and adjust as needed. I usually want more honey and more vinegar.

I suggest serving the dressing on the side, but you may toss it together just don't over the dressing amount-all won't be needed most likely and don't toss until right before serving. Won't keep once dressing is added.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Baked Ham "Fried" Rice

Again with the yucky picture!

This is a great little recipe that goes well with any asian dinner. I love that it has simple ingredients and easy prep. No actual frying of the rice, just a quick pop in the oven and you're good to go. I realize that I already have a bunch of rice recipes on here, but each one is perfect in it's own way, don't overlook this one!

Baked Ham Fried Rice
From my friend Carolee

3 T butter
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 carrot diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 cup ham, finely chopped
2 T soy sauce
2 1/2 cups pre-cooked rice (3 cups, 1/2 water-1/2 chicken broth brought to boil, add 1 1/2 cups rice, stir, place on lid, turn off heat and let sit 20 minutes, no peeking! fluff with fork)

Saute onions, celery, and carrots in butter. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Bake at 275 for 10-20 minutes. Serve hot.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ground Turkey (or Chicken) Pot Stickers

{This picture is awful. I'm tempted to do a redo, but at the time it was rainy outside and so yucky indoor yellow light was all we had! SO sorry! When I make these again, I'll update with a better picture.}

So with that out of my system on with this winner of a recipe. It's another great one from my good friend Carolee. That woman can cook! These little gems are seriously addicting and make the best leftovers. Sadly we rarely have enough left over though. My son probably ate his weight in these babies. I had to put a limit on how many he could have. And how often is there a recipe that pleases kids and adults alike? Not too often, but this is one of them. The mixture is so flavorful-fresh ginger, garlic, cabbage, etc. and the crispy brown bottoms and soft, pasta like tops are such a great texture combination. Although the prep time is a little more with assembling each individual potsticker, the filling comes together in a snap and the cooking time is next to nothing so they are still a pretty quick meal for any night of the week. We dipped these in a completely random dipping sauce I concocted from a couple different recipes (will include what ingredients I can remember at the end of the recipe) and ate them alongside baked ham-"fried" rice, again from Carolee, and an oriental mandarin salad. Both recipes coming your way soon...

Ground Turkey (or Chicken) Pot Stickers
(Recipe from Carolee. The original calls for ground chicken, which I never have so I substitute the more readily available ground turkey. Putting a couple chicken breasts in the food processor would work beautifully I'm sure)

2 t vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped napa cabbage
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
1/2-1 lb ground turkey or chicken
1/3 cup minced green onion
1 T minced peeled ginger root
1/2 t salt
few drops dark sesame oil
1 egg white, beaten
2 cloves garlic, crushed
30 won ton wrappers (I find mine in the refrigerated part of the produce section & have used both square and round, I recommend round)
2 T veggie oil
1 cup water (possibly divided)

Heat 2 t veggie oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add cabbage and 1/2 cup water or chicken broth and let cook down and brown for a good 8 minutes or more. Let cool. Meanwhile in mixing bowl, add chicken and next 6 ingredients and mix well. Add mostly cooled cabbage and stir.

Take one won ton wrapper at a time, keeping remaining covered so they don't dry out, and spoon about a tablespoon of filling into center of wrapper. Moisten half the edges with a little water, using your finger. Fold over and press together. Then stand up on end and holding closed edge, lightly press down to create the flat-bottom and ruffled top edge look that is typical of pot stickers. See picture above to get the idea. Set assembled wonton on a cookie sheet sprayer with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat process, adding each newly assembled pot stickers to the plastic wrapped cookie sheet. You don't want them to dry out while you're working on all the others.

Heat 2 T of veggie oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot add pot stickers flat side down. You may have to do more than one batch if they skillet isn't big enough. It's best if they're not too crowded. Let brown on bottom for about 3 minutes. Once browned add water, either full cup or half a cup depending on batch size (all or halved). Put lid on skillet (or cover with foil) and let steam for another 5-7 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Serve warm with favorite asian dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce #1

1 1/2 T soy sauce
1 T seasoned rice vinegar
1 T chili-garlic sauce

Combine and serve with pot stickers, etc.

Dipping Sauce #2

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 T sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 t red pepper flakes

Combine and serve. Better to let sit awhile so flavors can meld together.

My version isn't much of a recipe, so might not be all that helpful to others but I just picked and chose what I liked or had on hand from the above 2 recipes: soy sauce, vinegar, chili-garlic sauce, grated ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and I used a profuse amount of brown sugar because I like sweet dipping sauces with these pot stickers. I would have used green onions too if I'd had anymore. It was yummy!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Peaches and Cream Cake w/ Warm Vanilla Sauce

Wow, this. was. yummy! It was pretty much peach cobbler in a cake, doesn't get any better! I was looking for a 4th of July dessert and this one caught my attention. I love peaches and I love cream cheese and this has both. I liked that this used canned peaches, since where I live fresh peaches are pretty much gross and not worth buying. So sad, since I LOVE fresh peaches. But the canned tasted terrific and are something most people probably have on hand all the time. As for the sauce, it actually comes from another recipe but when I realized I had no ice cream or whipped cream I opted to "steal" this and see what became of pairing the two. Pure tastiness, that what came of it! This was an easy, no fuss dessert that I will definitely be making again and again. And you should too.

Peaches and Cream Cake w/ Warm Vanilla Sauce
{Recipe source: Mels Kitchen Cafe-combined 2 recipes}

1 1/2 cups flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup milk
6 T butter, melted

Peaches and Cream Cheese Layer:
29 oz. sliced peaches
2 pkgs (16 oz.) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
6 T reserved peach juice
cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. In bowl of mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cornstarch. Add vanilla, eggs, milk and melted butter. Mix till well combined and spread batter evenly in the prepared baking dish.

Drain peaches, reserving 6 T of peach juice. Set aside. Slice peached into bite sized peaches and scatter over top of batter evenly. In same mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and reserved peach juice until light and creamy. Dollop cream cheese mixture over peaches and batter. Then use spatula to spread as evenly as possible over all. It doesn't have to be perfect. (Mine was so runny that it spread itself over the peaches and batter, but my cream cheese was probably a little on the warm side to begin with) Sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until the edges are puffed and golden and the cream cheese layer is bubbled slightly. If the middle is still jiggly, bake until it no longer jiggles. Mine was right around 50 minutes. Serve warm or room temp (we liked room temp with the warm sauce) with ice cream, sweetened whipped cream, or warm vanilla sauce. Recipe follows...

Warm Vanilla Sauce

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 t vanilla extract

Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add the sugar and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened (it thickens more as it cools). Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spoon over peaches and cream cake.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chicken Fetticine Alfredo

I'm back! Sort of. I have at least this one recipe to post. Coming off vacation it's always hard to get back in the swing of things, especially cooking since all I really want to do is keep eating out!

Anyhow, this recipe is a serious tried and true for us. I started making this clear back when Derek and I were first married, going on 10 years, and probably a thousand times since. We love it. The problem is, it's a serious fat bomb! Heavy cream, butter, parmesan cheese and that's IT! See? That's a mind-boggling amount of fat and calories. But rather than not making it at all, we just make it "sparingly". Although it's quick and easy and so good that we want it to be a regular, we try to save it for just every once and awhile.

It's a classic, pure alfredo sauce with nothing fancy added and cream, butter, and cheese are just good enough to not need anything more, except maybe some blood pressure meds on the side! ;0) Please try it and for once don't let yourself worry about health consequences, sometimes food just need to be ENJOYED!

Chicken Fetticine Alfredo

1/2 cup butter
1/2-1 cup heavy whipping cream, I ere on the side of more cream, equal amounts butter to cream is a just a little too crazy-fatty for me (as if cream's any better than butter though right?!)
3/4 cup grated parmesan
fresh garlic or garlic powder to taste
plenty of black pepper
1 extra large or 2 regular chicken breasts, cooked however you'd like.
8 oz. cooked fetticine noodles

*Note: Anymore I don't follow this original recipe to a "T", but probably would the first time just to see what I like. Now I usually double this recipe, but don't use a full cup of butter, more like 1/2 cup butter to 1 1/2-2 cups of cream or thereabouts and the cheese is whatever amount floats my boat. Also, for the chicken I season mine with season-all or garlic pepper, saute it briefly on both sides in some olive oil so that it gets a good brown crust going and then pop it in a 400 degree oven to finish cooking while I make the sauce and noodles.

Start pot of water boiling for noodles and get those going. Once noodles and chicken are cooking, in a good size skillet melt butter and cream over low heat stirring frequently. When butter is melted add cheese and season with garlic powder (is using-for fresh garlic saute it for a few seconds in the melting butter and then add cream and so on) and lots of fresh ground black pepper. Chop up cooked, seasoned chicken and add to sauce or serve on top. Spoon over cooked fetticine noodles or toss all together. Fresh parsley or basil on top is nice sometimes and we even occasionally add some halved grape tomatoes to ours. Get crazy!