Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Twice Baked Potatoes

I believe the first time I had a twiced baked potato was at my mother-in-law's table.  She is a wonderful cook and when I was a young bride I asked her for every recipe she prepared-- and still do.
This side dish goes wonderfully with burgers, grilled chicken, barbecue or by itself with a green salad.
I don't really have a recipe and find myself adding different ingredients each time I prepare them. They are truly a crowd pleaser so I usually make extra so my guys can enjoy them the next few days. Here is how I make them!!!

Twice Baked Potatoes 

Several Potatoes
Cheddar Cheese
1/2 to 1 stick of Butter, softened
Sour Cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika 

Clean the potatoes very well, wrap in foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for one hour - until fully baked.

Carefully cut the top 1/3 off of each potato (saving the potato pulp) and cut an oval into the potato, leaving 1/4-1/2 inch to form a shell. Scoop the pulp out and place it in a large bowl.  Set the potato shell in a lightly greased baking dish.


Add cheese, sour cream, butter and seasonings to the pulp.  With an electric mixer combine all. Regarding the amount of sour cream and butter... add a little at a time. You can always add more but if you add too much you can't take it out. Start with half cup of sour cream and then add more to get the consistency that you prefer.

Scoop the prepared potato mixture back into the shells and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through.  
At this point you may refrigerate and bake later that night or even freeze separately.


You may add green onions, extra cheese, lump crab meat... what would you add? : )

Happy Cooking!

Week 2: Family Pork Chops

Good morning, dear readers!  It is a rainy, rainy week here in western North Carolina.  I have several recipes to share with you that I prepared the second week of 2012.  I noticed that center-cut pork chops were on sale at my favorite grocery store and instantly thought of a recipe that I have been making since David and I were married 27+ years ago.  I found the recipe in a cookbook I received as a wedding gift and it quickly became a favorite recipe.

Family Pork Chops
Source: The Cotton Country Collection

Salt and pepper to taste
6 pork chops
Onion slices
3/4 cup ketchup
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce   
2 Tablespoons Vinegar 
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder


Salt and pepper the chops and place them in a lightly greased, shallow baking dish. Top each chop with an onion slice. Make a sauce of the remaining ingredients and pour over the chops.


Cover and bake at 300 to 325 degrees for about 1 and 1/2 hours.  Uncover for the last 20 minutes. 
Serves 6.  

Happy Cooking!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Week 1: Alice Springs Chicken

Recently I saw a pin on Pinterest and knew I had to try the recipe.
 In fact, I wanted to go to the store right then, buy the ingredients and make it immediately.
Outback is one of our favorite date night restaurants; but we seldom order chicken when we are there.  Several people in the last week have told me their favorite Outback entree to order is Alice Springs Chicken.  So I guess it is rather popular and we have really been missing out!
I found a recipe online that stated that Outback's recipe for honey mustard is 1 and 1/2 cups of Hellmann's Mayonnaise, 1/4 cup Grey Poupon ( do not substitute) and 1/2 cup honey.  So I used this recipe instead of the recipe found on Pinterest.

Alice Springs Chicken 
  (Source: Debra Pate)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

season salt
cracked black pepper 
4-6 pieces of bacon
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cups, extra sharp cheddar cheese
Honey Mustard Sauce (1 and 1/2 cups Hellmanns Mayo, 1/4 cup Grey Poupon Mustard (no substitutes) and 1/2 cup honey) 

Prepare the Honey Mustard Sauce and set aside.
Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Set aside and save bacon grease.

Pound chicken breasts with a meat mallet or rolling pin. I place the chicken breasts between two large sheets of parchment paper before I pound them. 

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and saute in the bacon grease for 4-5 minutes per side.   

Transfer chicken breasts to a lightly greased casserole dish and spread the Honey Mustard Sauce on each piece.  Layer with mushrooms and bacon.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, top with cheddar cheese and bake for 5 more minutes.

If you do not pound the chicken breasts they will take longer to bake at 350 degrees.  Make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through before serving.
Serve with the remaining Honey Mustard Sauce.

Happy Cooking!

Week 1: Strawberry Romaine Salad

For those of you who know me well, I know you are not surprised that I am posting this salad recipe in week 1 of my new blog.  It is truly a family favorite and has been for years and years.  Each of our children request this salad as part of their birthday dinners and I find Samuel making this salad on his own often.  It is delicious!

I believe I enjoyed it for the first time at my sweet friend, Kimberly Pruitt's home, in Little Rock.  The recipe is published in The Junior League of Little Rock's cookbook - Apron Strings .    
I have changed the recipe in that I do not sugar the pecans. I simply add them as they are - fresh and delicious.  Please let me know if you make this salad.

Strawberry Romaine Salad
(Source: Apron Strings)

1 cup Canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
black pepper to taste

For the dressing combine the oil, sugar, vinegar, garlic, salt, paprika and pepper in a large jar. Cover and shake vigorously.
Store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator

1 large head romaine lettuce
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 
1 cup pecans or walnuts

For the salad, tear the lettuce into bite size pieces. Combine with the strawberries, cheese and pecans/walnuts in a bowl and toss to mix.
Shake the dressing and add just before serving. Toss to mix

Happy Cooking!

Week 1: Black Eyed Pea Pico de Gallo

After baking 52 cakes in 2012 I decided to make 2013's blog 52 Weeks of Favorite Recipes.  Since I cook all through the week this blog will have several recipes each week and won't only be sweets.  
This first recipe is a wonderful recipe to make for New Years Day.  You make it the day before so that the vegetables and black eyed peas can marinate in the Zesty Italian Dressing. 

Black Eyed Pea Pico de Gallo

2 - 15 oz cans Black Eyed Peas, drained and rinsed
1 - 15 oz can Shoe Peg Corn, drained
3-4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped   
 Zesty Italian Dressing

Combine all ingredients, stirring very gently, pour dressing over peas and vegetables, cover and refrigerate.


Drain, in colander, before serving with corn chips.

 Happy 2013 and Happy Cooking!


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Favorite Recipes

I have so enjoyed baking a cake each week and posting the recipe on 52 Weeks of Cakes that I thought I would secure a few other blog domains to store recipes.  My hope is that my daughter and future daughters-in-law will enjoy having family recipes at their fingertips.
The recipes on this blog will be a variety and I will begin very soon!
Happy Day!