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Homemade Pickled Jalapenos

28 Jan

I make a batch of these every couple of weeks. They’re so awesome you’ll never go back to the store-bought stuff again. These are pickled in the refrigerator, so they are NOT shelf-stable. Keep them in the fridge and they’ll last as long as you’ll need them to. While they’re awesome right away, I recommend that you let them hang out in the fridge for a week or two before eating. They just get better with time.

Ingredients:
– 16 medium-to-large fresh jalapenos
– 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
– 1 1/4 cups filtered or distilled water
– 4 large garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
– 4 TBSP granulated sugar
– 2 TBSP kosher salt

Yield: Two pint jars

Wash the jalapenos and cut into “bottle caps”, or rings. Discard stems.

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Fill a large bowl with very warm water. Remove the lids from two pint jars (mine are purple!), and submerge them in the water. This will bring the jars up to temperature prior to filling them with hot jalapenos and liquid.

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Combine water, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved, and bring to a boil. Add the jalapenos, pushing them down to submerge them in the liquid. Remove them from the heat and allow to sit, uncovered, for fifteen minutes. You’ll notice that the color will go from bright green to a duller green color.

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Remove the jars from the warm water. Using tongs, transfer the jalapenos from the saucepan into the jars, evenly distributing them between the two. I usually start by digging out the four cloves of garlic and making sure each jar gets two apiece.

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Next, ladle the liquid into each jar until the liquid reaches near the top of the jar. Attach the lids and bands and allow to sit on the counter until completely cooled. Store in the refrigerator – the jalapenos can be eaten right away but we’ve found that they taste best after sitting in the refrigerator for a week.

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We use these in and on everything. Omelettes, cheeseburgers, salads, crackers and cheese, marinades, deviled eggs, tuna salad, sandwiches, soups and stews, baked salmon, pretty much anything going in the crock pot… we’re a little obsessed.

Enjoy!

Prime Rib Roast (Standing Rib Roast) with Au Jus

26 Dec

We first made this for Christmas 2009, and it came out so well we that might never go back to our traditional lobster dinner at Christmas (or at least, not for a few years). I compiled this recipe/method from several different sources. In summary, the roast is marinaded for 24 hours before cooking, then rubbed with a paste and seared at a high temperature to seal in the juices and give it a nice crust, before reducing the cooking temp to roast slowly for the remaining cooking time. The result is nicely pink prime rib steaks that fall away from the bone. It looks a lot more complicated than it actually is, trust me!

Ingredients:

One well-marbled butcher-tied standing rib roast (keep it tied, don’t remove the twine!):
– 6 people – three rib roast – 7-8.5 lbs
– 8 people – four rib roast – 9-10.5 lbs (this is the size I usually make – it repeatedly feeds six hearty servings with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day)
– 10 people – five rib roast – 11-13.5 lbs
– 12 people – six rib roast – 14-16 lbs
– 14 people – seven rib roast – 16-18.5 lbs

Marinade:
1 1/4 cup dry red wine (I personally prefer cabernet sauvignon)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup water

Rub Paste:
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbsp prepared horseradish
1/4 cup ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
(do not salt the roast prior to cooking, it dries it out!)

Basting Liquid:
1 cup beef broth or stock
1/4 cup dry red wine

Au Jus:
Juices from the roast
2 tbsp of fat from the juices (discard remainder)
3 cups beef stock or good quality beef broth
1/2 cup dry red wine
salt and pepper to taste

Tools/Utensils:
One large, high sided (about three inches) roasting pan, no rack necessary
One instant read meat thermometer (absolutely required!)
One flat whisk (recommended)
One VERY sharp carving knife (absolutely required, serrated works best!)
Two large meat forks

Instructions:

1. 24 HOURS before cooking the roast, mix all of the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Place the roast inside a very large tupperware container with a lid. Pour the marinade over the roast, flip it a few times to coat, cover, and place in the refrigerator. Turn the roast several times over the 24-hour period to evenly marinate the meat.

2. TWO HOURS before putting the roast in the oven, remove it from the refrigerator, pat it dry, place it in the roasting pan you’re going to use, cover it loosely with tinfoil, and allow it to sit out on the counter. The meat will cook more evenly, and more quickly, if it’s put into the oven at room temperature.

3. When it’s time to put the roast in the oven, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. While the oven is preheating, mix together all of the ingredients for the rub paste. Thoroughly rub all sides and both ends of the rib roast, then place it bone side down/fat side up in the roasting pan. Place it in the oven and roast at 450 for fifteen minutes.

4. After fifteen minutes, turn the oven down to 325 degrees and finish cooking for the remaining time.

5. Baste the roast every half-hour with the broth and wine.

6. Cook until the internal temperature reads 120 degrees F with the instant read thermometer. APPROXIMATE times are as follows, but always use the thermometer reading over the cooking time. Start checking the temperature of the roast a half-hour before the end of the cooking time indicated below:

7-8.5 lbs – 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours
9-10.5 lbs – 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours (for a four-rib roast mine is usually at 120 degrees F right at two hours)
11-13.5 lbs – 2 1/4 to 2/3/4 hours
14-16 lbs – 3 to 3 1/4 hours
16 to 18.5 lbs – 3 1/4 to 4 hours

7. When the thermometer reads 120 degrees, remove the roast from the oven, place on a cutting board or rimmed cookie sheet, and tent tightly with foil for 15-20 minutes. The roast will continue to cook slightly as it rests, so it’s important to remove the roast from the oven at 120 degrees internal temperature.

8. While the roast is resting, make the au jus. Pour the drippings from the roasting pan into a measuring cup to allow fat and juices to separate. DO NOT clean out the browned bits from the roasting pan, they’re what give the au jus color and flavor. Place the roasting pan over two burners turned to medium heat. Pour in two tablespoons of the fat (discard the rest), the roast juices, the beef broth, and the wine. Using a flat whisk, scrape up all the browned bits from the pan and incorporate into the liquid. Simmer on medium heat for about five minutes to slightly thicken the au jus. Remember, au jus is NOT thick like gravy, it’s more broth-like. Once thoroughly mixed and heated through, pour au jus from the pan into a gravy boat.

9. To carve the prime rib roast, cut off the twine holding the roast onto the bone. Using a large meat fork, stand the roast on its side with the ends of the bones facing upward. The bones should fall away from the roast itself (like opening a book), held onto the meat at the base (or “spine” of the book). Slice the bones away from the base of the meat so that they separate in one piece together. Save the bones for nibbling on, or making soup.

10. Slice the roast across the grain to whatever thickness you prefer. Serve on large plates and drizzle with au jus. Offer prepared horseradish on the side.

Recommended sides: mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables (asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli), baked potato soup, green salad.

Steak Dinner with All The Fixin’s

23 Feb

Last night Bill was in the mood to spend some time in the kitchen with me. One of my favorite things to do is cook with Bill – the two of us gravitate toward one another as we work our way around the meal preparation. We tease. We talk. We exchange pecks while passing each other to the stove or the fridge. We taste test (never trust a skinny chef). We bicker cheerfully about prep techniques and seasoning. In last night’s case, we did all of this while maneuvering around the camera-mounted tripod. The sum of our efforts always result in exponentially better meals; more so than if one of us and prepared it alone.

Last night, we surpassed even our own best efforts. Oh, lord, have mercy.

First, we went to the grocery store. I love shopping with Bill, though we inevitably end up spending twice as much as if I’d gone alone. We LOVE to eat, have I mentioned? We kept up a running discussion of just what, exactly, we needed to make our dinner perfect. For this meal, the cost was COMPLETELY worth it. Here’s the list of ingredients for copying our meal exactly. You’re going to want to do this. Trust me.

Cooking with Bill and Tiffany – Fabulous Steak Dinner With All The Fixin’s

Essential Equipment:
– cast iron skillet
– meat thermometer

Ingredients:
– 2 Fillet Mignon steaks, approximately two inches thick (these were probably, like, 10+ oz each)
– 1 bunch fresh spinach
– 1 lb baby potatoes
– 1 package sliced mushrooms (we used baby portobello)
– 1 bottle good-quality red wine (we used Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon)
– fresh cracked pepper (table pepper would work, too)
– kosher or pearl salt (table salt would work too, just be sparing)
– vegetable or canola oil
– olive oil
– butter
– crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese
– 3 cloves minced garlic, separated
– Worcestershire sauce
– non-stick cooking spray

This recipe absolutely requires a cast-iron skillet. If you don’t have one, go out and buy one. They’re only around $25. I have one of these pre-seasoned deals, and I love it. Pioneer Woman made me do it. She’s handy that way.

I must also mention that this steak recipe is ruthlessly stolen and slightly modified from The Barefoot Contessa’s Steakhouse Steak recipe. It’s good karma to give credit where credit is due.

Now, to get down to bidness.

About two hours before you intend to start the steaks, you’ll need to marinate them. Start by pouring yourself a big glass of wine, thusly:

barefoot

Now, in a glass dish big enough to hold both steaks, combine 1 cup of wine, 2 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste (Calvin also tossed in a couple of blurts of Tabasco, and sprinkled each steak with a bit of tenderizer and poked ’em with a fork). Place the steaks in the marinade, turn to coat, then cover and refrigerate until ready to cook – at least two hours. Flip ’em over every now and then to marinade them evenly.

marinated

Okay. Ready to cook? Take the steaks out of the fridge and uncover them to bring them up to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. While the oven is heating, prep your baby potatoes:

potatoes

Wash ’em, pat ’em dry, cut the larger ones in half to even up the cooking, then put them in a large bowl. Toss them with a tablespoon of olive oil, two cloves of garlic, salt, and pepper. A little rosemary and/or dill is good, too. Pour them into an oven-safe baking dish and put them in the oven.

Wait ten minutes to allow the potatoes to roast. Have another glass of wine. Watch the Oscars. Dance around to 80’s music. Do your thang.

Next, place your cast iron skillet on the stove. Spray it with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray and heat it on HIGH heat for about five minutes. While the skillet is heating, remove the steaks from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels. Brush each steak on all sides with a light coating of canola oil. Then, either by putting cracked pepper and kosher salt on a plate, or by sprinkling directly onto the steaks, coat each side (including THE sides) with a light “crust” of salt and pepper, pressing and massaging into the meat (you dirty kids). I combined the salt and pepper into a small bowl, then grabbed little handfuls of it to rub into the meat. I’d say I used one tablespoon of salt (KOSHER, mind) and one tablespoon of pepper for each steak. Really, for this step you can NOT be afraid to get your hands dirty. Just wash ’em afterwards. You’re durable that way.

Place the steaks into the HOT skillet and sear on all sides (including THE sides) for 1-2 minutes each side. This will sear the steaks to a lovely dark color and adhere the seasonings like a “crust”. Here’s a shot of the steaks searing on their sides – kind of tricky if they can’t balance without being held:

browning

Once the steaks are seared, lay them flat in the skillet if they aren’t already. Top each steak with one tablespoon of butter (we used salted – don’t be afraid of the butter, it is your friend). Place the skillet into the oven with the potatoes and TURN THE OVEN DOWN TO 400 DEGREES (this is important so you don’t overcook the steaks). I had the steaks on the top rack and the potatoes on the bottom rack.

Cook the steaks according to how rare you like them. You’re really going to need a meat thermometer to do this right, as you can’t really time them for the appropriate done-ness. I have one of these – cheap and accurate. We like our steaks medium-rare, which is 125 degrees on the meat thermometer (I think 115 is rare). Stick the probe lengthwise into the side of the meat to get an accurate reading in the center. I’d say the steaks were in the oven for ten total minutes, though we took them out two or three times to check them. Keep in mind, my darlings, these were ENORMOUS steaks – so big that Bill and I only each ate half of one, and the remainder will be some truly fabulous leftovers. So, what I’m saying here is, YMMV.

TRUST YOUR MEAT THERMOMETER. We took the steaks out of the oven at 125 degrees exactly. You’ll see how lovely the result was in a moment.

Now, the steaks need to rest for 10 minutes after removing them from the oven. Place the steaks on a serving platter, and sprinkle the desired amount of blue cheese or Gorgonzola (we used Gorgonzola) on each steak. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and set aside. Be patient. The steak needs to rest before it’s chewed up.

Now, TURN OFF YOUR OVEN but leave the potatoes in until the rest of the meal is prepared.

While the steaks are resting, it’s time to prepare the veggies. They’re both very quick preps and were done at exactly the 10-minute mark when we cooked ’em last night.

First, you take your spinach:

spinach

Wash it well and pat it dry. Place a large skillet on the stove, and over medium heat saute one clove of minced garlic in one tablespoon of olive oil. Once the garlic begins to brown and is fragrant, add the spinach in batches, stirring constantly to coat. Once the spinach is SLIGHTLY wilted and it will all fit into the skillet, cover the skillet, remove it from the heat, and allow it to steam and wilt.

Next you take your mushrooms:

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Wash them and pat them dry. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter. Once the butter is melted, add the mushrooms and stir to coat. Add one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and stir to coat. Keep stirring until the mushrooms have softened and the sauce has slightly thickened, about five minutes. Cover and remove from heat.

Now remove the potatoes from the oven. Uncover the steaks. Cry a little at their loveliness. Dish up the steak, potatoes, spinach, and mushrooms. Arrange prettily on a plate and take a picture, like so:

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DO YOU SEE THAT PERFECTION? Feel free to click on the picture and view a larger size to bask in all of its glory.

Serve with your steak sauce of choice (though it doesn’t need it), maybe some sour cream and butter for the potatoes, maybe some salt and pepper for the spinach and mushrooms. Oh, and more wine. Celebrate the gastronomical glory that is steak.

You’re welcome.

(Cross-posted at Snerkology.)

Grandma’s Triple Top-Secret Potato Salad – Revealed!

31 Dec

People are passionate about their potato salad. Everybody claims they have the “best” recipe – either their own, or their mom’s, or their grandma’s, or what have you. Individual potato salads are subject to strict critique by the consumers. They might say outright, “This is good, but it’s not as good as such-and-so’s,” or they admit, “This is the best darned potato salad I ever did eat!” Or they internally scrutinize and judge and analyze just what might that secret ingredient be that they detect.

ingredients

If you make a good one, you know it because it’s requested for every family dinner and every potluck, and it disappears quickly. If you make a bad one, you know it because you have leftovers when the day is done.

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My childhood summers featured this dish very prominantly. My grandmother would make a batch just about every week, and I have to tell you (get ready), it IS the best recipe and IS the best potato salad you’re ever going to eat. And it took me a long time to perfect it. You see, this recipe had no measurements. Just a list of ingredients whose amounts you would add and adjust and taste and assess throughout the process of making the potato salad. I don’t know how Grandma made it EXACTLY the same every time, but she did.

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I made a batch tonight, and as I went along I tried to note just how much of each ingredient I used. I probably don’t have it exactly right here, but I’m taking a shot at it. Your experience and preference may vary, so feel free to adjust the amounts toward your preference. Like a “yellower” potato salad? Add more mustard! Like it a little dryer? Add less mayo! Like it a bit more tangy? Add more vinegar!

You catch my drift. Okay, here goes!

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Grandma’s Triple Top-Secret Potato Salad – Revealed!

Ingredients:

– 5 lbs yellow or golden potatoes
– 4 stalks celery
– 1/2 of a medium sweet onion
– 5 eggs
– 2/3 of a 32 oz jar of mayo… what is that, about 21 oz? Almost three cups? Let’s just say three cups – we like our potato salad “wet”. (Yes dears, that’s what I said… THREE CUPS OF MAYO. What, you didn’t come here for HEALTHY food, did you?)
– 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
– 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
– 3 heaping tbsp sweet pickle relish
– 3 heaping tbsp yellow mustard
– 2 tbsp sugar
– 1 tbsp onion powder
– salt and pepper to taste (the potatoes absorb the salt, so don’t be shy with it!)

Peel all the potatoes, cut them in half, and place in a large pot. Cover with water about 2″ above the potatoes, splash in a bit of vegetable oil, and throw in a couple of tablespoons of salt. Boil until fork-tender but not falling apart, about 20 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain and allow to cool.

While the potatoes are boiling, hard-boil the eggs (I keep them at a rolling boil for fifteen minutes). Drain and allow to cool.

While you’re waiting for the potatoes and eggs to cool, chop the celery and the onion and place them in a very large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayo, oil, vinegar, relish, mustard, sugar, onion powder, salt and pepper.

When the potatoes and eggs are cool, roughly chop them (about 3/4 inch pieces for the taters, smaller for the eggs), and add to the bowl with the celery and onion. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, and gently fold to incorporate without mushing up the potatoes. Pour from mixing bowl into a large serving dish. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Makes at least 6-8 servings.

You will die of the taste sensation, I guar-an-tee.

Salsa Burgers

11 Mar

– 1 lb ground beef (I’ve found that the 85% lean works best)
– 1 1/2 cups salsa of choice
– 1 slice white bread, crumbled
– 1/8 to 1/4 cup milk
– 2 cloves garlic, crushed (the crushed roasted garlic in a jar works well too, 1 tsp)
– 1 tbsp. Worcestershire
– salt and pepper to taste

– Burger buns
– Sliced cheese – american, cheddar, pepper-jack, swiss, etc.
– Condiments – ketchup, mustard, relish, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, jalapenos, etc.

Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of salsa. In a separate bowl, mix together the white bread and milk (add gradually so it doesn’t get too “soupy”) until it forms a thick paste. Add to the burger meat. Add garlic, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Mix all together very thoroughly (by hand works best!) and form into four equal patties (slightly concave, or a bit thinner in the middle than on the edges, they cook better this way).

Heat skillet over medium-high heat – do NOT add patties until skillet is very hot. Quickly sear both sides of the burger patties, about 60 seconds each side, to brown and seal in the juices. Turn heat down to medium. Add remaining one cup of salsa to the pan (or more if you like them “sloppy”!), turn burger patties to coat. Cook, covered, for 3-5 minutes each side (for medium to medium-well burgers).

Place each patty on burger bun, and top with cheese and condiments as desired. I, of course, add jalapeno slices to mine. Mmmm…

Baked Enchiladas

25 Feb

– 3 cups cooked beef roast (use leftovers!) (-or- cooked chicken -or- cooked pork -or- a combination of any/all three -or- sauteed peppers, onions, spinach, or other vegetables for vegetarian enchiladas)
– 3/4 cup salsa of choice (we use a mild red)
– 1 sm. can (one to three oz) diced mild green chilis
– 1 32-oz can mild green enchilada sauce
– 1 16-oz can refried beans
– 1/4 cup water
– 3 cups cooked rice (we use instant rice)
– 6 large (burrito size, or 12 inch or larger) flour tortillas**
– Additional salsa
– Shredded cheese of choice (we use a cheddar/jack combo)
– Garnish recommendations: Sliced jalapenos, Sour cream, sliced black olives, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×15 casserole dish with non-stick spray.

Shred the beef roast into a skillet. Add 3/4 cup salsa, green chilis, and 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce. Stir to combine and heat over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, combine refried beans and water in a bowl and stir to combine until smooth. Prepare rice.

Line six flour tortillas on the counter, assembly-line fashion. Place 1/4 cup (or two heaping spoonfuls) of refried bean mixture onto each tortilla and spread down the center, stopping about 2-inches from the edges. Place 1/4 cup of beef mixture on top of refried beans. Place 1/4 cup rice on top of beef. Sprinkle each with two tbsp of salsa and 1/4 cup shredded cheese (or to taste). Keep in mind to stay away from the edges of the tortilla throughout!

To roll the enchiladas, fold one side over the ingredients. Fold top and bottom over the inside, then roll lengthwise to create a closed-ended wrap. Place side-by-side in casserole dish.

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Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and pour remainder of enchilada sauce over all. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with shredded cheese. Return to oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove and serve with sour cream, jalapenos, additional salsa, additional cheese, black olives, shredded lettuce, or whatever garnish you desire.

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You will likely have leftover refried beans, rice, and roast mixture. Combine all in a large bowl and heat for an excellent dip served with tortilla chips, or for fast lunchtime burritos. Very versitile leftovers!

**For gluten free recipe, substitute flour tortillas with corn and roll taquito-style.

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

25 Jan

36 cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup sugar
1 (4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Combine flour and baking soda.
In a large bowl beat brown sugar, sugar, butter, shortening, pudding mix, vanilla, and almond extract.
Mix until well blended.
Add eggs and mix well.
Beat in the flour mixture.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonful and bake 10-12 minutes.

Do not overcook! The cookies will still be soft when you remove them from the baking sheet, transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. There are limitless possibilities with this recipe – use chocolate pudding and caramel chips (our favorite), coconut pudding and white chocolate chips, or vanilla pudding with peanut butter chips. I also used a full cup of butter instead of 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening, and it turned out just fine.

Greek Pasta Salad

25 Jan

1 12 oz package rainbow spiral noodles
1/2 cup red onion, slivered
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 whole large cucumber, peeled, sliced, and the slices cut into quarters
12 jumbo black olives, sliced (or use kalamata olives)
1 5 oz can artichoke hearts, drained (optional)
1 large firm tomato, diced
1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
3 tbsp extra light olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Boil noodles according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Put noodles in a large bowl and combine with remaining ingredients. Mix well. Chill pasta salad for at least an hour in the fridge before eating. Since I’m the only one in the family who likes Feta, I leave that out and just top my own serving with it. Enjoy!

Chicken, Black Bean, and Potato Skillet

25 Jan

– 3 chicken breasts, cut into one-inch pieces
– 4 tbsp olive or canola oil, separated
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tbsp Worcestershire
– 1 tbsp chicken seasoning (they usually sell a chicken seasoning mix in the spice area of the store)
– 4 large red potatoes, cut into one-inch pieces (don’t remove skin)
– 1 cup onion, chopped
– 1 can sweet yellow corn, drained
– 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
– 1.5 cups salsa of choice (we use mild)
– 2 tsp. green tabasco sauce
– 2 tsp mexican seasoning (found in the same place the chicken seasoning is)
– salt and pepper to taste

Optional toppings:
Shredded cheese
Sour cream

  1. Boil potatoes with the skin on, in a large pot filled with well-salted water. Cook until done but still slightly firm. Drain.
  2. While potatoes are boiling, heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken, garlic powder, worcestershire, and chicken seasoning. Sautee until chicken is cooked through and lightly browned. Remove from skillet.
  3. Place cooked potatoes in skillet with 2 tbsp. oil and chopped onion, and cook until both are lightly browned. Then add to skillet the chicken, corn, beans, and salsa. Sprinkle with green tabasco and mexican seasoning. Stir to combine ingredients, and cook on low heat until everything is heated.
  4. Top with sour cream or shredded cheese, if you so choose. Calvin just coats everything with ranch dressing.

Magic Cookie Bars

25 Jan

– 1/2 cup margerine or butter
– 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
– 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
– 1 (6 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips (mini chips work great)
– 1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
– 1 cup chopped nuts – the more finely chopped the better, I like to use half hazelnut and half walnut.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for a glass dish). In a 13X9 inch baking pan, melt margerine in oven. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over margerine. Mix together and press into pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Top evenly with chocolate chips, then coconut, then nuts. Press down firmly. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting.

(Updated 12/26/10)