Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cream Cheese Sausage Balls

I found this recipe for sausage balls on pinterest and made these for Thanksgiving. Along with the almonds, these were my other favorite snack. I've made traditional sausage balls before, the only difference with these is the cream keeps them moist so they don't dry out. I doubled the recipe and made 2 batches of these, and they were gone by the next day. I actually made these ahead of time the night before Thanksgiving and kept them in the fridge until right before, then put them in the oven. They are best warm, but to me they are just as good cold. Keep them refrigerated in a container and they will stay fresh for a while...that is, if you don't eat them all first:)

Cream Cheese Sausage Balls

*I changed the measurements from the original recipe...this will make a double batch

You will need:

-2 pounds ground sausage, uncooked ( I used mild, but you could use hot)

-8 oz cream cheese, softened

-2 1/4 cups bisquick

-8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese

*Preheat oven to 400

*Mix all ingredients together. I did this by hand..make sure to get the cream cheese soft first. Roll into 1 inch balls and bake for 25 minutes

Monday, November 28, 2011

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken

Yep, here's the crockpot's been getting a lot of use lately! I found this recipe on pinterest last week, and it looked too easy not to try. We love the spicy buffalo flavor on just about anything, so this was perfect for us. We had so much chicken left over I decided to make a stuffed baked potato for dinner the following night, and it was almost better than the sandwich. Two meals in one, can't beat that. Just in case you are wondering, the recipe does call for frozen chicken. You can use fresh chicken if you already have it thawed out, but I followed what it said..even though I haven't ever put frozen meat directly in the turned out great!

You will need:

-1 bag frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts

-1 packet ranch mix

-1 bottle franks red hot wings BUFFALO SAUCE *there's lots of different kinds so get the one that says this exactly

-a few tablespoons butter

-buns of your choice...I used regular hamburger buns, toasted a little in the oven

-shredded sharp cheddar cheese

-ranch dressing...optional, but I like ranch and buffalo sauce together
*Place frozen chicken in the crockpot
*Pour entire bottle of buffalo sauce over chicken (it really wasn't too spicy, don't be scared)
*Sprinkle the ranch over the top
*Cook on low for 6-7 hours
*Take chicken out and shred with a fork, it should shred easily
*Place chicken back in crockpot and add a couple tablespoons of butter
*Stir well and cook on low for another 30 minutes to an hour

*Our first night I toasted a few hamburger buns, spread ranch dressing on the inside of the buns, and topped the chicken with shredded easy!

*Our second night, I used the leftover chicken to stuff a big baked potato...and topped it with cheese and ranch dressing. Pretty much the same thing I know, but I was proud I made good use of our leftovers:)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cinnamon Sugared Crockpot Almonds

I have a long list of recipes waiting to be eventually posted, but was so excited over this one, I decided to post it right away! I found this recipe for cinnamon sugared almonds that you can roast in your crock pot via Pinterest on this blog My picture is really bad and does not do the almonds justice. I roasted these Thanksgiving morning and was in such a hurry running around the kitchen, that this was the only quick pic I could get. These things are really addicting. I literally snacked on this things for 3 days straight, the recipe made a ton! In addition to being a super yummy snack, the aroma you get from the roasted almonds makes your whole house smell awesome! Definitely will be making these again!

You will need:

-cooking spray to coat inside of crockpot

-1 1/2 cup sugar

-3 tbsp cinnamon

-1/8 tsp kosher salt

-1 egg white

-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-3 1/4 cups whole raw almonds (I bought two 16oz bags in the produce section...I used one full bag and about half of the other bag)

-foil or parchment paper

*Spray inside of crock pot with cooking spray so almonds don't stick

*In a small bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt and set aside

*In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg white and vanilla

*Add almonds to egg white mixture and toss to coat well

*Now add cinnamon mixture over almonds and toss to coat well

*Put almonds in crock pot and cover and cook on high for 2 hours...stir every 30 minutes or so to keep the almonds on the sides of the crockpot from sticking.

*When almonds are finished spread out on counter over foil or parchment paper to cool

**Mine didn't make it to the cooling stage...they went straight into a bowl and were served warm

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crockpot Taco Soup

I made this taco soup a few weeks ago (when it was pretty chilly outside), and it was the perfect meal to warm you right up. I combined a few different ingredients found in different taco soups I've had, and came up with this the crockpot of course! I have a feeling my old crockpot will be my dear friend this winter and be put to good use:) I topped my soup with crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheese, and served it with mini corn muffins (recipe found on the back of the Jiffy cornbread box). It was the perfect combo...I will be making this again soon!

You will need:
-1 lb ground beef
-1/2 onion, chopped
-1 can pinto beans, drained
-1 can kidney beans, drained
-1 can whole kernel corn , drained
-1 can rotel, undrained (I used original, you could use mild though)
-1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
-1 small 4 oz can chopped green chilis, drained
-1 packet of taco seasoning
-1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
-2 soup cans of water (or more if you want it to be thinner)

*Brown ground beef in a skillet and drain off excess oil.
*Tranfer ground beef to crockpot and add all remaining ingredients, mixing well.
*Cook on low 3-4 hours in crockpot

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lemon Dill Chicken Skewers and Roasted Red Potatoes

So, I had a ton of wooden skewer sticks left over from the kids birthday party fruit kabobs that I made, so I searched for a easy way to put the leftover skewers to good, I felt like grilling! I found this recipe for the lemon dill chicken on this site . This blog has some amazing recipes, and they all seem pretty simple and easy....beautiful pictures too!

I've heard you're supposed to soak the wooden skewers in water prior to grilling to keep them from I did, for about 30 minutes. They still got pretty charred from the grill, and a few actually broke it half, but all was well, because the chicken came out perfectly. I served this with roasted red potatoes (recipe to follow) and some cheesy cauliflower...yummy! The kids actually loved this chicken too! They, of course, dipped theirs in ketchup. Kevin and I ate the chicken by itself, but if I make these again, I want to find a good dipping sauce to go along with the chicken. This is the perfect meal to sit out on the patio, balcony, deck, or whatever you have, and enjoy your dinner in this beautiful weather....because it won't last long!

Lemon Dill Chicken Skewers

You will need:

-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( I actually bought about a pound and a half of chicken tenders...they were easier to cut into chunks)

-2 tablespoons olive oil

-juice from 1 large lemon

-2 teaspoons dried dill

-1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

-wooden skewers

*Heat grill to med-high heat.

*Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes and place into a bowl.

*Add olive oil and lemon juice to chicken and begin massaging chicken with your hands for 30 seconds

*Add dill, salt, and pepper to chicken and continue massaging for 30 more seconds.

*Skewer 6-8 pieces of chicken on each stick. Carefully pour some olive oil onto some paper towels, and using tongs, grease the grill with the olive oil soaked paper towels.

*Place chicken skewers on the grill and cook for 10 minutes, turning over once halfway through (5 minutes on each side)

Here's my favorite way to do roasted red potatoes....these are so easy and soooo good. They are a perfect side for any dish and require very little time or effort. And did I mention that they are crispy? That's the best part:)

Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

You will need:

-a few pounds of small red potatoes, washed well

-extra virgin olive oil

-kosher salt or sea salt

-ground black pepper

-garlic salt (I used a garlic sea salt grinder), either one would work

-3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, cut and chopped up finely

*Cut potatoes into halves and then quarter them. Put potatoes into a large bowl and drizzle on a good amount of olive oil. Generously add the salt, pepper, garlic salt. Sprinkle in the rosemary, and toss with your hands to combine everything. Spread potatoes out on a foil line baking sheet and bake on 425 for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are slightly golden and crispy. Sprinkle with a little remaining kosher salt when they come out of the oven. Enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pot Roast and Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

I made this meal several weeks ago, and am just now getting around to posting it. If you are looking for a perfect roast recipe, then this would be it in my book! I'm pretty sure I dreamed about this roast for a few days afterwards. And the mashed potatoes were just as good, definitely not low in calories, but amazing and so worth it. I pretty much followed her recipe exactly, except that I didn't have fresh thyme so I left it out. She also gave the option of using either red wine or beef broth, and I chose to use all beef broth. She used a large dutch oven that could go straight from the stovetop to the oven....I don't have one of these so I opted to transfer the roast and beef stock with veggies to a roasting dish when it was time to put in the oven, and it worked just fine. If you are having guests over and want to impress them, or just want to impress your husband then this is the dish to make!

Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pot Roast

You will need:

-1 chuck roast (mine was right around 4 lbs.)

-2 tablespoons olive oil

-2 whole onions (I used yellow onions)

-6 whole carrots

-salt and pepper (I used kosher salt)

-1 box beef broth

-3 sprigs fresh thyme

-3 sprigs fresh rosemary

*Generously salt and pepper the roast.

*Now prep your veggies: Cut the 2 onions in half and peel off the outer skin. Then, cut the carrots into 2 inch pieces. (I didn't peel them, just wash them off really well)

*Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat (I think I added a tablespoon of butter too). When the oil is very hot, add the halved onions and brown them on all sides, then remove them and set aside on a plate.

*Now throw the carrots into the hot oil (be careful because it will splatter) and brown for 1 or 2 minutes, then remove to a plate with the onions

*Now brown the roast: if needed add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Place the roast in the skillet and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown. Remove the roast to a plate.

*With the burner still on high, pour in 1 cup of beef broth to skillet and whisk the bottom of the pan to remove all the browned bits and drippings (this is deglazing). Just whisk for a minute or so.

*Transfer roast to a roasting dish and carefully pour the beef broth from the skillet over the roast. Then pour the remaining beef broth from the box over the roast. Add in the carrots and onions and sprigs of rosemary and thyme.

*Put the lid on the roasting dish and roast in a 275 oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Here's where it gets really good. Go the extra step and make these. They are kind of labor intensive, but so worth it.

Mashed Potatoes

You will need:

-5 lbs. russet or yukon gold potatoes (I used a whole bag)

-3/4 cups butter, softened

-8 0z cream cheese, softened

-1/2 cup half and half

-1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon lawry's seasoned salt

-1/2 teaspoon black pepper

*I also added a little bit of garlic salt

*Peel and cut potatoes into pieces, make sure they are close to the same size so they will cook evenly

*Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook potatoes about 30-35 minutes until tender and fork will easily slide into the potatoes.

*Drain potatoes, then add them back into the dry pot on the stove. Mash potatoes over low heat to allow steam to escape and then turn off the stove.

*Add butter, cream cheese, and 1/2 and 1/2, and mash well with a potatoe masher.

*Next season with seasoning salt, pepper, and garlic salt if desired.

*I think I added a little butter to top it off

You can make these ahead of time if you need to and bake them to reheat them. Honestly these don't even need gravy they are so good, but we used the leftover gravy from the roasting dish and it was awesome. I can't wait to make these for Thanksgiving!