Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Something SO simple, But, I don't know how to make

I'll admit it: I don't know how to make mashed potatoes.  Simply because it is always a guessing game.  Add but to taste, add milk TO taste, add salt TO TASTE.  There has to be one way to make it and it taste good.  I don't have time for guessing, or to taste.  So I went to google this time.  

Google never lets me down...there were a few things that I need to sort out first (well just one): no cream.  Who in the world keeps heavy cream on hand?  (Rachel Ray if you ever read this, if you are reading this I KNOW you keep it on hand, and I should know better!!!)

So now that that is taken care of...

Question number one: how do I know when the potatoes are done?!?!
Answer: when the fall apart
(lord help me please)

I was worried that hubby wouldn't like them, his only complaint: add more cream cheese :D

This is the recipe I used, but you probably already have a recipe that you enjoy, or you just make it with the "add to taste concept"!

What You Need

2 teaspoons salt
1 large Yukon Gold potato per person (about 1/2 to 3/4 pound apiece) 
1 tablespoon butter, or more as desired
1/2 cup milk or cream, or more as needed
1 ounce cream cheese (optional) 
Freshly ground black pepper
3-quart pot (or larger) 
Wooden spoon 


1. Fill a pot with water and stir in 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Decide how many potatoes you want to use. (I was making enough for two people, with some leftovers, so I used about 1 1/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes.)
2. Peel the potatoes. Cut them in half, then in quarters, lengthwise. Then cut the quarters into thin strips. You can chop them finer, if you feel like it; the finer they are, going into the water, the easier they will be to mash later. Slip the potatoes into the boiling water and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are falling-apart tender.
3. Meanwhile, choose and warm your dairy. Now, this is decision time. For modest weeknight mashed potatoes, a tablespoon of butter (or a little olive oil) and 1/2 cup of milk per pound of potatoes will be plenty of dairy. It will help the potatoes be creamy and smooth, and bind everything together. But if you want a more decadent experience, then by all means, dial it up! Switch out the milk to cream, and add an ounce of cream cheese or even a dollop of sour cream. It's up to you. The more fat, the creamier they will be. But whatever you choose, warm it first, before adding to the potatoes. Warm the milk or cream in the microwave, and let any cream cheese or sour cream warm to room temperature.
4. When the potatoes are quite soft, drain them completely and return them to the pan over medium heat. Add the butter and cook for a few minutes over medium heat, stirring the potatoes rapidly and vigorously to help any residual water evaporate. You also want to break the potatoes up and smash them with the spoon. You can employ a fork to help, if you like, but you shouldn't need a ricer or a masher unless you want ultra-smooth potatoes. Just cook, stir, and smash.
5. When any remaining water has evaporated, and the potatoes are quite smashed up and smooth, it's time to add the warm milk or cream, as well as any other dairy you'd like to throw in. Pour the milk in slowly, stirring constantly. Keep stirring and cooking until the potatoes are quite hot, creamy, and smooth. Turn off the heat, season to taste with pepper and salt, and dish them up! (You can also keep them warm in the top half of a double boiler.)
Additional Notes
• Once all the milk is incorporated you can use a heavy whisk, if you like, to break up the last chunks of potato.
OK, your turn! How do you make mashed potatoes? Do you ever make enough for just one person, or for two? Do you add chives or other herbs into a basic recipe like this? Or cheese, perhaps?

Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm not a trained chef, I just pretend to be

Sometimes I hit the nail on the head, sometimes I hit it, but not all the way, and sometimes I am just on the other side of yum.  Yesterday's dish was the one that I hit, but not so much.  When I found this blog, the lady describes the dish as looking like dog food but tasting amazing...I missed the amazing!  It did taste good!  Unbelievably good, no.  So it is a really simple recipe..onion, garlic, burger, cheese, cream of mushroom, milk, corn and tater tots.  Mix them together and put it in a casserole, sounds easy?!?

This dish needs more: Onion, Cheese, Cream of mushroom..and pepper.  I add pepper to everything, so it needed it.  I would probably make it again, cause the hubby enjoyed it and it is easy.  

So if you would like the recipe you can find it here:

or here:

Cowboy Casserole
adapted from a recipe at Taste of Home
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 80/20)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (15.25oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 bag (30 oz) frozen tater tots (I used Ore-Ida Crispy Crowns)

Before I got ready to make this casserole, I let the Crispy Crowns sit on the counter to defrost for an hour or so. The original recipe used still frozen tater tots, but I felt they wouldn't cook as well if they were still frozen solid.

In a large skillet cook the onion until tender and translucent. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beef and cook over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain the mixture and place into a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the soup, milk and sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add to hamburger mixture and stir to combine. Add corn and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Gently mix to combine.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer half of the Crispy Crowns on the bottom, pour the hamburger mixture over the top and then layer with the other half of the Crispy Crowns. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy.

*Note - The second time I made this I prepared it the night before and stuck it in the fridge overnight. I took it out about an hour before I wanted to bake it, just so it could come to room temperature a bit. I think it was even better than the first one!

Cowboy Casserole 1

Monday, March 18, 2013

Way outside of my comfort zone...

It has been a while since I have stepped this far outside of my cooking comfort zone, Im not even sure if it is edable, and I am sure as anything not going to eat it.  But, oh the things that we do for our hubby's!  

My Hubby will eat almost anything, he really isn't picky.  He really likes Rubins and Corned Beef.  When we go to Busch gardens he always wants to eat in Ireland, so that he can get the Corned Beef.  So while we were in BJ's on Saturday he saw corned beef and asked if I would make it.  I didn't get home in time to make it yesterday so I promised that I would make it for him today, along with cabbage.  Both of which I have never made.  I'm a little worried that the will not be good at all.  But, to be honest I don't know how they are supposed to taste because I don't eat either thing.

For the Corned Beef you bring water to a boil and simmer not boil for 3 okay I guess that I could do that.  But the meat is still pink.  Was it supposed to be?  As far as the cabbage goes I just put water in a pot that was for the oven, and my grandma said add pepper, butter and salt.  It smelled yucky, so maybe that was right.  Hubby hasn't gotten up to eat it yet.  So, I still don't know if it was okay for him to eat.  

Hubby will probably tell me that it tasted fine.  I hope that is the case.  Though there isn't very good bread to eat it on at the house, and I don't know if he will eat it plan.  I don't know if he needs sauerkraut  cause I am sure that I have forgotten to buy it.  I am so nervous!  Yikes...maybe I should stick to things that I know.  

Oh more thing!!! This week is his birthday and I am supposed to me making him a cake in my new mixer...that is out of my comfort zone too.  Lord help me!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My next big adventure

Hello Bloggers!!

I have been a little bit reluctant to share this information with you, as you might not be interested in this idea, but considering it is my blog I though that I would get it a shot.  Last year I began selling Scentsy, I have done well with this and the people that I sell to seem to be enjoying the products and coming to the house for get togethers.  I am still selling Scentsy, but now I am selling Thirty-one.  Which is more than just purses.  Thirty-one helps you organize your office, even aspects of your life.  You may not think that you need it, but in some ways you do!  

Who wants to buy an Easter Basket that in a few years you will have to toss out?  (No ONE!!) So instead buy this, personalize it with your child's name and it could last for years on end!!

Mini Utility Bin

Do you have an office?  If you are like me your office is the bag that you carry around, before Thirty-one the bag that I carried around was a mess, so was the binder that I carried it all in...I solved that problem with two bags...
Organizing Utility Tote
Fold N File

I thank you all the time over and over for following this blog, and I really try and entertain you!!  I would love if you would support me a little bit more and order Thirty-one from me!!! Thanks in advance!!

The above is where you can order from!!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Seems like I always have an excuse not to Blog (cook)...

Talk about a crazy start to the New Year, I just seem to run out of time!  I look at my calendar and it goes from January to March in the blink of an eye.  Pretty soon it will be July...

I guess that I should stop calling THIS job my new job and just say my job.  As I am getting more committed to this job I am finding out that I am working later and longer days.  Not what I intended, but I will take that pay check any day.  Anyways, on Monday's I have been working about 12 hour days.  It wouldn't be so horrible if I would get a break in there some where.  But last week it was like 45 minutes and the week before it was only 15 (this includes drive time, because that is a major part of my job and I don't considering anything but not driving work.)  Plus, I have to pick the furkids up from granny and pappy's house so I usually don't get home until 10pm.  So I am usually out of the house by 7am and not there again until 10pm.  Where is the time to cook?

So, I am making this blog as a plea...a plea to have faith in me and stick with me.  I promise that I will be cooking.  I also promised the Hubby that I would cook to, so I can't break them right?!?!  

Let me tell you about my latest miss...So the Hubby asked me to make lunch yesterday.  And we don't have a lot of things in the house (the other day when I heard that we are getting snow..I bought Bagels, like 3 bags of them), so I made him a bagel.  But he only really likes the plan ones.  Well, we cleaned out the toaster because I noticed that it has been burning our toast (when we made our wedding list we asked for a really nice one, and we got it I LOVE THAT THING!!).  I burned the only plan bagel that we had in the house.  Hubby was so upset.  He picked off the seeds and such of the everything bagel.  I turned the setting down and toasted away for him.  Poor thing!!  Lesson Learned: buy more than one thing of plan bagels!!!