Monday, December 26, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Dip


Clearly, we love dips!  This one became an instant hit the first time we tasted it.  There are a few variations to the recipe, but no matter how you make it, you'll keep coming back for more. 


Buffalo Chicken Dip


Ingredients:

8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (we use FRANKS)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 12.5 oz cans chunk chicken, drained

Directions:

Heat oven to 350º.  Stir cream cheese in bowl until smooth.  Add ranch, sauce and cheese.  Mix in chicken and seperate so there are no chunks.  

Bake about 20 minutes until heated through.  (or microwave for about 5 minute)
Serve with tortilla chips or warm pita bread. 

Variations:

Use bleu cheese dressing instead of ranch and bleu cheese crumbles instead of mozzarella. 
Depending on how spicy you like it you can use Frank's Original (for more of a kick) or Frank's Wing Sauce (for a milder version)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey



When I was first married, my visiting teacher and I were discussing the upcoming holidays.  I mentioned to her that I had never cooked a turkey before.  At her next visit, she gave me an article from the local newspaper with instructions on cooking a turkey.  

I used it that year and it turned out so juicy and tender.  Since then it has been the only turkey recipe I've ever used.  

I've included the article word for word because it's such valuable information!  

*The only thing I do different is I buy frozen turkeys.  


Thanksgiving Turkey


Las Vegas Review Journal
A Caesars Palace chef shows the way to a juicy, roast Thanksgiving Turkey


Here are his tips for cooking the perfect Thanksgiving turkey

1.   Buy a fresh turkey instead of a frozen one.  To pick the right size, estimate two pounds of turkey per person.  This will allow for shrinkage and the weight of the bone, and still have leftovers.


2.    Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Put the stuffed turkey in an uncovered roasting pan on a base of vegetables--a raw, halved or quartered white onion; a washed, scrubbed carrot (whole or peeled); washed celery stakes with no leaves; ½ clove of garlic; three sprigs of fresh thyme and one bay leave.  If you don’t’ use a base of vegetables use a rack to lift the turkey off the bottom of the pan.


3.    Before roasting, brush the turkey skin with one stick of melted butter mixed with three tablespoons olive oil one table spoon salt and ¼ teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.  Tie the turkey legs together with chives or string. 


4.    Place the turkey in the oven, uncovered for ½ hour, or until it has nicely browned.  Then, reduce the temperature to 275 degrees and finish roasting the turkey.  Baste the turkey one every ½ hour with pan juices.  Reducing the temperature to 275 is important.  Boyce says most people cook their turkey too quickly in an oven that’s too hot.


5.    To tell when it’s done, estimate 20 minutes per pound, or use a meat thermometer.  The turkey is done when it reaches 160 degrees internal temperature.


GOBBLE GOBBLE!

OTHER TIPS: 
It’s best to stuff the turkey, even if you don’t eat the stuffing, because it keeps the turkey most.  Be sure the stuffing itself is moist or it will act like a sponge and a dry turkey will result.  You should be able to push the raw stuffing down with a fork and still see the impression of the fork.


Never use caned gravy. Packaged mixes are better than canned, but the best gravy comes from your own stock make a day ahead of time.  Buy chicken bones or turkey bones from the butcher.  Brown the bones in the oven.  Boil the browned bone in water and reduce to make stock.  Cool it to room temperature, remove the bones, strain and chill in the refrigerator.  If it doesn’t thicken somewhat like gelatin, it needs to be boiled longer. Skim off any extra fat that may have formed on the top of the chilled stock.  When the turkey comes out of the oven, remove the turkey and vegetables from the pan, skim off excess fat form the juices in the pan and make gravy adding the stock.  Thicken with a little flour.


To serve a beautiful turkey add, garnishes of different colored kale and radicchio leaves.  Or buy oak or maple leaves from a florist.  Wash them and put them on the tray around the turkey.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Creamy Corn




My brother made this for Thanksgiving this year.  Since then, we've made this at least 3 times (Thanksgiving was 3 weeks ago!)  It is so sweet and creamy!  Yum!

Creamy Corn



  • Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen corn, defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Salt, to season
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or more if you like. 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. When butter is foamy add the corn stirring to coat with the butter. Cook stirring frequently for 1 minute. Add sugar and cook for 2 minutes more. Increase heat to high and add heavy cream-continue to stir so corn won't stick to pan. Add salt and pepper. Cook corn until most all of the cream has absorbed about 5 minutes more. Remove and serve hot.

Rose's Potato Salad



I started making potato salad because of my husband.  His mom makes this and out of all 6 of her kids, I think he always eats the most.  When we moved away, I called and asked for her recipe.  It's simple, but it hits the spot!

Potato Salad


Ingredients


8-10 russett potatoes
8-12 hard boiled eggs
Miracle Whip
Onion salt 
Paprika

Peel and chop potatoes.  Boil until fork tender. Be careful not to cook too long or the salad will become mushy.  Use and egg slicer to slice the eggs (reserve 2-3 eggs).  Mix together with the Miracle Whip until you reach the desired consistency.  Spread the reserved 2-3 eggs over the top and sprinkle with Paprika.

*I like to add a dab of mustard to my bowl to give it a little kick.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Salsa



Salsa was one of the very first recipes I remember enjoying to make. 

I have been making my own salsa since I was a teenager.  

Recently, I found this recipe and my mouth started to water as I saw it.  

I made it immediately.  

It was incredibly similar to my version with a few added ingredients that really makes it amazing!  

With a few tweaks, it's now my go-to recipe.


Salsa



Ingredients

1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes with juice
2 cans (10 oz) Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies) I prefer to use one HOT and one ORIGINAL.
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 whole jalapeno, quartered
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 whole lime juice (sometimes I cheat and use concentrated lime juice)


Combine everything into a bowl.  Use a hand mixer to blend until you get the consistancy you like.

Test seasonings with tortilla chip and adjust as needed.

Eat immediately, or serve after it's chilled.



Source: Restaurant Style Salsa from Pioneer Woman




Bean Salad




This colorful bean salad is so fresh and light with so many flavors I could eat the entire bowl in one sitting!  I got the recipe from my brother who made it last year for Thanksgiving.  It is now a mandatory side dish at all our family gatherings.

Make this tonight.  You'll probably want to eat the entire bowl.

Bean Salad




Ingredients:

1 small red onion, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbonzo beans, drained and rinsed
small bunch cilantro, minced
1 small bag frozen corn
1 small container feta cheese
juice from 1 lime
few splashes rice vinegar (to taste)


Mix all ingredients together.
Serve with tortilla chips.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

IKEA Meatballs


When looking to furnish a room in our first house we visited IKEA for the first time on a trip to California.  It was love at first sight.  To a young couple looking to buy cheap furniture it was the happiest place on earth. Then, we entered the food court...we couldn't believe it....it just kept getting better.  After a long day of shopping we sat down to enjoy some Swedish meatballs and potatoes. Now, it's the only thing we order when we go.

Dear IKEA,

Please come to Nevada.

A few years later, I found a recipe titled IKEA Meatballs from a cookbook the ladies in my ward put together.  I immediatly tried it.  Now....it's a favorite!


IKEA Meatballs




Ingredients

2 cups cream
1 cup beef broth
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp white flour
2 Tbsp water, cold
salt and pepper (to season)
1 bag frozen meatballs (not Italian style)

In a large skillet bring beef broth to a low boil.  Add the cream.

In a small bowl mix the flour and water to a creamy consistency.

Add to the skillet and stir. (make sure the cream and broth are boiling)

Add salt, pepper and soy sauce.

Allow to simmer to allow sauce to thicken.

Add meatballs and simmer until they are heated through.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chicken Pockets

I first made these after we had moved to a new city and I had just started working a new demanding job.  So, naturally I was searching for meals that would be easy, quick and tasty to feed the family after a long day at work.


Presto!





Chicken Pockets!


These little chicken pockets are a surprise burst of flavor when you bite into them.  I like to overfill the rolls so the filling is exploding out of the sides. 

Chicken Pockets



Ingredients: 

2 cans crescent rolls (not the flaky kind)
2 boneless chicken breasts
2 8 oz container Onion and Chive cream cheese, softened
1-2 cups chopped mushrooms
salt and pepper (for seasoning)



Preheat oven to 350º

Cook chicken, shred.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan and cook mushrooms until soft.

Mix all ingredients, except rolls, together in a bowl.  Flatten rolls and add a heaping spoonful of the filling in the center.  Wrap corners around the filling.

Bake about 15 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip



This is an easy dip that is great to take to potlucks and get togethers with family and friends.  Almost everyone likes a spinach artichoke dip.  This one is from Pampered Chef.  Someone gave us an All-Purpose Spreader as a wedding gift.



Inside the packaging was a small folded piece of manilla paper with this recipe printed on it.  For 8 years I have kept (and used) it.  I am relieved to finally have it on a larger scale.


Spinach Artichoke Dip


Ingredients:

2 6oz jars marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonaise
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375ºF.  


Drain and coarsely chop artichoke hearts.  


Mix artichoke hearts with remaining ingredients in a medium size bowl.  


Spoon into an 8x8 baking dish.


Bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through. 


Serve with tortilla chips, pita bread, crackers or fresh veggies. 





Saturday, November 5, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham



Originally, we ate this meal at a friends house.  I couldn't believe the tastiness!  It was so filling and full of creamy flavor.  After we left, I just couldn't stop thinking about how good it was.

About 3 months later I got this cookbook.

                                      Cover Image

Guess what I found inside?  Not only the same meal I had eaten at my friend's house, but lots of dog-ear-the-page worthy recipes! 

But out of them all, this is the one I go back to the most often. Such a good meal.


I did make one adjustment, though.  It calls for russet potatoes, but I prefer red potatoes. 





Scalloped Potatoes and Ham


Ingredients:

8-10 red potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 ham steak (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into cubes
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Grill seasoning to taste (we like Johnnys Seasoning Salt)

Layer potatoes and ham in slow cooker.

Combine soup, water, cheese and seasoning in a bowl.  Pour mixture over ham and potatoes.  Cover; cook on HIGH 3 1/2 hours or until potatoes are fork-tender.

Turn slow cooker to LOW and continue cooking 1 hour.






Friday, November 4, 2011

White Castle Sliders


I have never eaten a real White Castle slider, but my husband has.  The first time I made these he said (and I quote) "These taste better than the real thing!"  That is all I needed to hear.  This recipe immediatly found its spot on my list of favorites.

I originally found this recipe from another food blog I follow Favorite Family Recipes.  It's an amazing site.  Go check it out.

To fit our family, I made a few adjustments to the recipe.  Enjoy!





White Castle Sliders



Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
1 package of dry onion soup mix
1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup milk
12 slices of cheese (the processed kind is good)
1 tbsp olive oil
12 Sara Lee dinner rolls

Preheat oven to 350º degrees

In a large bowl mix (with your hands or a spoon) the hamburger, onion soup mix, peanut butter, and milk. Spread the meat mixture on a cookie sheet with a lip. Use a cup or rolling pin to roll over the meat to smooth it out.  Try to get it to reach all the edges of the pan. 


Put in oven for about 10 minutes. The meat will shrink. 

While the meat is in the oven, saute the onions in a small frying pan with olive oil.  

Take it out of the oven and put the onions all around the edges to flavor the meat. Place back in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Take it out of the oven. If you want onions on your sliders then spoon them onto the meat from the sides. Add your cheese slices across the entire surface. Put it back in the oven for 7-10 minutes (until cheese is melted). 

At this point there is a lot of juice.  Use a bulb baster to drain some of it from the pan.  

Then add the tops of your rolls and place back in the oven for about 5 more minutes.

Take it out of the oven. Slice the meat with a pizza cutter and pick up the slider/top bun with a spatula and set it on the bottom bun.

*Sometimes we add pre-cooked bacon.
*Enjoy with ketchup and mustard

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bean Dip





This bean dip recipe is a masterpiece. The magic is in the ingredients we add to the dip.  It is so simple and delicious.  The dip is beany, cheesy, the chips are crunchy and it truly warms my heart to eat it.  


My family has enjoyed this dip since my parents were newlyweds.  Their love of this snack has become a favorite for all members of the family.  

Now, in my own family, it's a snack we enjoy almost weekly. Yum!

Bean Dip


Ingredients

1 can of Fritos Bean Dip (we like original, but you can try the HOT version too.  It's also delicious!)
1 slice of chedder cheese
a few shakes of Worcestershire Sauce



Put all the ingredients in a bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes (until the cheese is melted)  Stir to combine and serve with Fritos Corn Chips. 

*I also like to eat it with a warm tortilla.  




Thursday, October 27, 2011

Salisbury Slop: aka Salisbury Steak




The first time I made this meal, my husband and I had only been married about 8 months.  Anxious to prove my domestic abilities I attempted to make Salisbury Steaks for dinner.  I made every effort to follow the recipe down to the very last detail, but managed to create mushy slop instead of nicely rounded steaks.  Understandably upset, I served my failed meal only to have total sucess read all over my sweet husband's face.  Despite its lousy apperance, the meal tasted delish!  So, it was lovingly renamed: Salisbury Slop.

Fast forward about 8 years and I decided to try again.  Same great taste and this time...no slop!







Salisbury Slop


Not the greatest picture of the final product.  I'll work on my photography skills. 


Ingredients:

1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed Cream of Mushroom soup
1 lb of ground beef
1/3 cup of dry bread crumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms

Mix 1/4 cup of soup, beef, bread crumbs, onion and egg THOUROUGHLY.  Shape firmly into 4 patties, 1/2 inch thick. 

In skillet over medium high heat, heat oil.  Cook patties until browned.  Set patties aside.  Pour off fat. 

Add remaining soup and mushrooms.  Heat to a boil.  Return patties to pan.  Cover and cook over low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until patties are done (160 degrees)





Monday, October 24, 2011

Welcome


WELCOME!

Thank you for visiting My Casual Kitchen. This blog has been created as a way to organize all of my favorite recipes I have collected from a wide range of cookbooks, food blogs, torn out magazine pages and personal recipes that are jotted down on index cards.

I have a growing family who likes to eat. We like variety, but we aren't too fancy. Please join me as I create and post our favorite recipes.