Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Loaded Potato Pancakes

Do you have leftover mashed potatoes? (Like when you make Food Network’s Potato Skins) A great side for breakfast or lunch is using the leftover mashed potatoes and making loaded potato pancakes. Topped with the same sour cream and chives you would use in twice baked potatoes.


2 1/2 cups of mashed potatoes
2 Tablespoons of salsa or 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
1 Tablespoon flour (optional)
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 Tablespoon chives
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Enough olive oil to cover 1/3rd of skillet
Sour Cream and chives for garnish


Combine the potatoes, salsa or hot sauce, cheese, chives, salt and egg. Mix well. If potatoes are runny add the flour. (I had to) I also made my pancakes to big and had to start over. The second time around my pancakes were about 2"x 3". Cook in a hot skillet on med/high heat 2 minutes on each side. I also put them on a paper towel before serving. Garnish with a sprinkle of chives and a dollop of sour cream. Yum Yum

Monday, March 20, 2017

How to use the Paella Method of Cooking

International chefs use the paella method of cooking by picking out certain spices and herbs from a certain region, choose the highest quality of ingredients, use the sauté cooking method and apply a special twist to make the dish their very own.

What is the paella method of cooking?
1. Make sure your pan is hot.
2. Use a good olive oil
3. Sauté your protein
4. Add raw rice
5. Use a flavorful liquid
6. Add vegetables
7. Simmer (20 minutes)
8. Add your twist

Remember if you are adding herbs you need to add them late in the cooking process, spices are added early.

So what is the twist?

It's the ability to change a recipe that you make again and again and change it into a meal from another country, just by changing the protein, rice and/or the spices.

For example: my favorite Italian paella recipe I use chicken with garlic, oregano and basil, but it's important to use an Italian rice like Carnaroli or Maratelli. To twist it up, switch out the Italian rice for Spanish rice, shrimp instead of chicken and paprika, saffron and cayenne pepper for this Spanish paella dish. Making sure you pick an authentic item for your dish whether it's the meat, rice and/or seasonings (even the oil from olive to sesame for an Asian paella dish) for that special twist to make it your own.

Here are some spice teams for different regions:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Broccoli Pasta Salad


1 box of 16 oz small shell pasta
3/4 cup broccoli florets, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/3 cup shredded American cheese
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 hard boiled egg, chopped


1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup ranch salad dressing
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon season salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard


Cook pasta according to package. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Make dressing and add to pasta. Serve.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

With this recipe Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham you will have to make a cheesy white roux. This has been a family favorite even when I was a little girl and now I get to pass it down to my granddaughters. Serves 6-8 unless everyone has seconds! This is a great recipe if you have leftover ham.


Make your white roux:
2 tablespoons butter 
2 tablespoons flour 
1-2 cups milk 
1 teaspoon garlic salt 
1 teaspoon dried parsley 
Seasoned Salt and pepper, to taste 
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese 

3-4 Potatoes, sliced
1 med size white onion, sliced
1 package of precut cubed ham, leftover ham or a ham steak, cut into 1” cubes
1/2 shredded cheddar cheese 
Heavy cream, if needed
1/4 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 
Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9x13-inch baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray. 

Make your cheese roux: in a saucepan on medium heat melt your butter then stir in your flour until you make a paste and you no longer see any white flour. Whisk in the milk a little at a time to get your desired thickness. Add in the cheese and seasonings and cook until the cheese has melted.  In Your prepared baking dish layer potatoes, onions, ham and roux. Repeat. If not enough roux to cover second layer make more cheese roux or add a little bit of heavy cream and sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Check to see if potatoes are tender, if not cook 1/2 hr more or until they are done. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Yum Yum! 

Don't want to make a roux try cream of celery soup instead.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes

I love cooking potatoes and cabbage together, but I never thought of mixing cabbage with mashed potatoes. Have you?


1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
4 med size red potatoes, peel and quarter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion diced (yellow or white)
Bacon bits or 4 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
Salt and pepper, to taste
Add more butter, if desired


Boil potatoes 12-15 minutes. In a large pan melt the butter with the oil and add the onions cook 1 minute. Add the cabbage, stir and cook until softened. When potatoes are done mash and add the heavy cream and butter, blend. Fold in the potatoes with the cabbage. Serve with bacon, additional butter and salt and pepper, if desired.

Garlic Jasmine Rice

I've seen a lot of recipes using jasmine rice. Since I made the vegetable beef stew I thought this would be a great combination for dinner. I jazzed it up some using garlic and cooking it in chicken broth.


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup jasmine rice
1 tablespoon garlic
2 cups chicken broth
Fresh parsley
Salt, to taste


Melt the butter with the oil in a sauce pan. Add the garlic, stir and cook 1 minute. Add the rice stir continuously for 5 minutes then add the chicken broth. Let it come to boil reduce heat med/low cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. Fluff with fork sprinkle with fresh parsley. Salt, to taste. Serve by itself or top with a stew. Yum Yum

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Vegetarian Stew


1 tsp olive oil
1 med yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced or tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 med carrots, sliced
2 med celery sticks, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
*3 1/2 cups peeled tomatoes (tomato concasse) or 14 oz can, quarter
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup vegetable stock
1 1/4 cup or 9 oz. chick pea garbanzos, cooked

If you want it more like a soup add additional vegetable stock.

Tomato Concasse:

Core and cut an x in the bottom of each tomato with a knife. Bring a pot of water to boil. Place tomatoes in water, reduce heat to simmer and cover. When the skin splits (10-40 sec) remove tomatoes and put them directly into cold water. Rub off skin. Cut in half to remove seeds and squeeze. Quarter.


1. Cook onions in oil 5-10 minutes in a stew pot/Dutch oven Med heat.

2. Add garlic, spices, carrots, celery and pepper; cook an additional 5 minutes
3. Add tomatoes, vegetable stock and broccoli florets; cook 20 minutes
Right before serving add the cooked chick pea garbanzos (cooked per package instructions).

If you don't want to use cooked chick pea garbanzos you can substitute lentils or split pea. Or...like me, I diced up 2 medium size Yukon gold  potatoes (peeled)  and added them in with the tomatoes instead.

I traded broccoli for beef and switched out vegetable stock for beef broth, which I added enough to cover the vegetables.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Meatless Southwestern Chili

Do you like chili without meat? Then you will like this meatless Southwestern chili. Serves 6-8 Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes


2 15 oz cans of kidney beans
1 15 oz can of pinto beans
1 15 oz can of black beans
1 15 oz can of corn
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 med yellow onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
1 cup salsa
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sprinkle with cheese (I used taco cheese)
Dollop of sour cream


I rinsed all of the beans then added them to the crockpot with all of the other ingredients down to the cayenne pepper. Stir and cook on high for 4 hours. Serve with cheese and sour cream, if desired. Salt and pepper, to taste. Yum Yum

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sunday's Leftover Cheesy Meatball Casserole

I have lots of porcupine meatballs left from Friday nights meal. The granddaughters liked the meatballs but weren't to thrilled with the tomato sauce mixture, so I'm going to smother the rest of the meatballs in pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese.


Porcupine Meatballs
24 oz jar pasta sauce or marinara sauce
16 oz pasta (I'd use a ziti or penne)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese


Cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions. Drain.  Combine pasta, meatballs and sauce in a bowl. Coat well. In a large baking dish (sprayed with Pam) add the pasta and meatballs cover with 1/2 of the cheese. Add another layer of pasta and meatballs and cover with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning. Bake 20 minutes in a preheated 350F oven or until cheese melts.

Last minute we decided to add in 3 large mushrooms chopped and sautéed in oil and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Yum Yum

Friday, March 3, 2017

Bacon Almond Cheese Ball

This recipe is originally called the 5 Minute Million Dollar Dip...but it's more like  the 5 Minute to prepare, 2 hours to chill.....Bacon Almond Cheese Ball.


8 oz Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup Slivered almonds
1/2 cup bacon bits
5 green onions, chopped


Mix all ingredients and chill for 2 hours (I covered the bowl in Saran Wrap). My granddaughters don't like green onions so I used a little minced onions. Form a ball and serve with crackers Yum Yum

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Porcupine Meatballs

Ok, I'm the Dum Dum because I've never heard of porcupine meatballs. Have you? Below are a few variations of how to make  and cook them; skillet, oven, crockpot and power pressure cooker.

Ingredients for skillet and oven made:

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
1/3 cup chopped onion (When there’s no time to chop onions, onion powder is one option. Substitute 1 tablespoon of onion powder for one medium chopped onion. For the best onion flavor, use frozen chopped onions or dried minced onion (found in the spice aisle). One tablespoon of dried minced onion equals 1/4 cup minced raw onion.)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water, or more if needed
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


Mix ground beef, rice, 1/2 cup water, onion, salt, celery salt, garlic powder and black pepper in a bowl. Roll the mixture into 12 meatballs. Heat a large skillet over med/high heat and add the meatballs. Cook turning occasionally to prevent burning until they are evenly browned. Drain and discard the grease. Pour the tomato Sause, 1 cup of water and Worcestershire sauce into the skillet; reduce heat to med/low cover  and simmer about 45 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink on the inside. Stir in more water if sauce becomes too dry.

Oven Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Place meatballs in a 8x8 square baking dish (spray with nonstick Pam). Cover with tomato sauce mixture. Bake covered for 45 minutes, then uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.