Monday, September 19, 2011

The World's Best Potato Salad

Since Spud (potato) Harvest is coming up soon around these parts, I figured it would be fitting to share a potato recipe with you all today.

Since I've been married, which will be eight years this November, I've yet to impress my husband with a good potato salad. He's not normally a picky eater, and will pretty much eat anything. But, potato salad is a different story. He doesn't like it too dry. He doesn't like it too sweet. He doesn't like it with dill.... Don't get me wrong, he will eat anything I make, but he rarely compliments on my potato salads. That is until he tried this one. I first made it a couple of weeks ago to go with some ribs I had made.

I found the recipe on but of course I changed things up a bit. If you're like me you know what I mean. You take a recipe as a base and then fix it up to your likings. I'm glad I did, and I'm glad I wrote down what I did!! He loved this one and even thought it worthy to bring along to a little catering job that we did just this last weekend. And everyone that ate at the dinner we provided said it was mighty delish!

Sorry I don't have a picture of this recipe right now, but I'm sure I'll be making it again soon and I'll post a picture of it then.

The World's Best Potato Salad

6 medium Idaho Russet potatoes
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
6 hard-boiled eggs, diced
5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)


2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup vinegar
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1/4 cup butter
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup relish
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp. pepper (or to taste)

paprika for garnish

Whisk together eggs, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Stir in vinegar, evaporated milk and mustard. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until thickened, this could take about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Refrigerate until completely cool. Then stir in mayonnaise, relish, celery seed, salt and pepper.

Wash the potatoes, but do not peel. Place whole potatoes into a large pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and let cool. Once cool, peel and dice into a large bowl. Add onion, celery, eggs and bacon into bowl and mix.

Stir in cooled prepared dressing with the potato mixture. Make sure everything is evenly coated. Garnish with a shake or two of paprika for color. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but overnight is best. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oatmeal Cookie Granola

This is by far my favorite granola recipe! The original recipe came from The Sisters Cafe but of course I can't just make a recipe like it's stated, so I altered it a little bit to my likings. This is a great breakfast granola with milk or yogurt or you can be like me and sit with the container of granola for a snack! I think it tastes like an oatmeal cookie, the cinnamon and vanilla really stand out! I love this granola and I always have it on hand.

Oatmeal Cookie Granola

4 cups Oats (I use old fashioned)
1 cup flour, all purpose or whole wheat, whatever you have
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
¼ cup flax seed (optional)
1 cup or more almond slivers and/or pecans pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/3 cup water
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 300. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, flax seed, coconut and nuts. Set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, butter, and water and heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbly. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture together until smooth, and then stir in the salt, vanilla and spices. Pour mixture over the oats mixture and stir will to coat. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
Spread mixture on two cookie sheets, separating it into irregular clumps with your fingers, and allowing space between clumps for the hot air to circulate. Bake in oven for 15 minutes at a time, stirring after each 15 minutes, baking for a total of one hour. Cool completely and add raisins and craisins and store in an air tight container.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

One of my favorite easy things to make to accompany a meal are these cheddar bay biscuits. They are so yummy and whenever I make them, my family gobbles them up. If you've ever been to Red Lobster, then you have had cheddar bay biscuits, but I honestly think that these are better! They aren't as greasy as Red Lobster's and they just plain taste better. When I make these I use Pioneer Brand baking mix, because I like it better then Bisquick, but you can use either or a store brand would even work. I hope you try these, let me know what you think!

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

2 cups baking mix (I like Pioneer Brand the best)

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons melted butter

2/3 milk

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Mix the baking mix and cheese together in a bowl, add melted butter and milk and mix until combined. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Top baked biscuits with garlic herb butter and enjoy!

Makes 9 biscuits.

Garlic Herb Butter

¼ cup salted butter, melted

¼ - ½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried parsley

Mix all ingredients together and top hot cheddar biscuits.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pumpkin Yeast Bread

I had some leftover canned pumpkin in my fridge the other day, so I decided to make some pumpkin bread with it. I wasn't in the mood for the traditional quick bread type of pumpkin bread and we were getting low on sandwich bread, so I decided to make some pumpkin yeast bread. Easy enough, I just used my regular white bread recipe and substituted one cup of the water called for in that recipe for one cup of canned pumpkin! Pumpkin is pretty moist, so I figured it would work out, and I was right! You can't really taste a difference, so it doesn't taste pumpkiny, but your adding 6 grams of fiber to the recipe! Plus you get a nice orange color that kids think is pretty cool. If you wanted to use wheat flour to make this bread you could, since my recipe calls for vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer, you'll still get a light fluffy loaf. So, if you have leftover pumpkin that you need to use up, why not try this recipe?!

Pumpkin Yeast Bread

1 cup warm water

2/3 cup sugar

1 ½ tablespoons yeast

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ cup oil

1 tablespoon dough enhancer

1/3 cup vital wheat gluten

5 – 6 cups all purpose flour

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the water, sugar and yeast. Let sit until the yeast has proofed, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with dough hook attachment until combined. Then let the mixer knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 – 7 minutes. Turn dough into a greased bowl and cover with a towel, place the bowl in a warm place and let dough rise to double it's size. After it has risen, punch the dough down and divide into two portions. Form loaves with the dough and place into greased bread pans. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until the dough is about an inch above the pan. Once risen, place the bread into a preheated 350° F oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. When done baking remove from pans immediately and let cool on a wire rack. Makes 2 loaves.

With half of my dough I actually made a pan of cinnamon rolls. If you want to do that, roll out half of the dough at a time into a rectangle that is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Spread about 3 tablespoons of melted butter on the dough, followed by about 1/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Spread evenly, add raisins or nuts if desired and then roll up long ways. Cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces and place in a greased dish. Let them rise until doubled and then bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. I didn't frost mine, but if you want them frosted I would use a cream cheese frosting maybe about 4 ounces of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of butter, 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, a tablespoon of milk if needed and maybe some vanilla, about 1/2 teaspoon would work well. I would use that much for the whole batch of bread being turned into cinnamon rolls, so for half a batch just cut that in half. If you wanted them frosted, frost about 5 minutes after you take them out of the oven so that the frosting doesn't melt everywhere.

Now, just so you know, in my picture of the cinnamon rolls you might see some little cinnamon chips on top of them. I put cinnamon chips inside of my rolls and they made a huge mess, so I wouldn't recommend doing that. The filling melted out all over the place and was a gooey mess. So, learn from my mistake and don't do that! :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Red Raspberry Brownie Cheesecake Squares

So, I was looking through my recipes and I noticed that I haven't posted my recipe for Red Raspberry Brownie Cheesecake Squares! Duh.... This is a recipe that I came up with a few years ago when I entered the Pillsbury Cook-Off contest. It didn't get chosen, but everyone that has ever tried it has said that these are the best brownies ever! These would be great to take to a pot luck during the holiday months. Enjoy!

Red Raspberry Brownie Cheesecake Squares

1 box fudge brownie mix plus ingredients to make

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup all purpose flour

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/3 cup seedless red raspberry jam

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9x13 in baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray and set aside. Prepare brownies as package states, pour into baking pan and bake for 15 minutes. While brownie layer bakes, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar, flour and vanilla, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. When brownie comes out of oven, spoon cheesecake mixture over brownies, spread as evenly as possible. Dot with jam and swirl with knife. Top with chocolate chips and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheesecake looks set but still a little wiggly. Cool for 10 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, remove from pan using aluminum foil, peel away and place brownie on cutting board. Cut into 24 squares, making sure to wipe knife between each cut. Place on serving tray and enjoy! Make sure to refrigerate any leftovers! Serves 24.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies

I was over at Picky Palate today looking at the recipes that I hadn't seen because I've been in this rut of not wanting to cook for so long, when I came across this recipe for Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies! I knew right when I saw it that I HAD to make them!! I love cinnamon rolls and I love cookies, which you probably already knew since I have so many cookie recipes! These cookies did not disappoint! They taste just like a cinnamon roll, but in a sugar cookie form!

I made my frosting with heavy cream that I had in my fridge, so it took a lot more then the original recipe states. And my frosting was a lot thicker still, but I think I prefer it this way because I was able to pipe it onto the cookies in a cute little design. And so far I haven't been able to try them out of the fridge, like Jenny says to eat them because I've been too impatient and couldn't wait for them to sit in the fridge for the 30 minutes! But they are awesome even if not refrigerated! The recipe does make a TON, so make sure you have a lot of people to share them with! The guys at my hubby's work are going to be the recipients of lots of cookies tomorrow!

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies

2 C. sugar
1 C. butter, softened
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. sour cream
6 Cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

8 T. butter, softened and divided
1 1/2 C. packed light brown sugar, divided into 1/4 Cups
1 1/2 T. ground cinnamon, divided

8 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 C. powdered sugar
2-4 T. milk or 1/4-1/3 C. cream, to thin icing

1. In an electric or stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream until well combined. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined.

2. In 2 batches, place in plastic wrap in a disc shape and chill for at least 2 hours for best results.

3. Once chilled, cut each disc into thirds and roll into a 1/8 inch thick oval, about 12 inches X 5 inches. Spread each rolled pieces of dough with 2 Tablespoons softened butter, 1/4 Cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Start rolling from the long end closest to you, rolling into a log shape. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/2 inch pieces of dough then placing onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from baking sheet.

4. To prepare frosting, beat the cream cheese until softened and smooth, slowly add powdered sugar and milk until desired consistency. Frost cookies then place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Makes at least 6 dozen

Friday, May 21, 2010

Coconut Cake

Hi everyone! I haven't posted on here in so long! I honestly don't have a very good excuse, except for the fact that I'm currently 25 weeks pregnant with my third child, it's a girl!! Her two brothers are looking forward to having a sister and I'm looking forward to having a girl! Anyhow, I haven't been up to much cooking lately, which my husband is less then thrilled about. But, cooking just hasn't been my thing lately. I do however, want to share this recipe for yummy coconut cake with you. It's so yummy!! If you choose to use chocolate cake, it will taste like a mounds bar! And if you choose to use white cake, it will taste like a heavenly coconut cake. This cake is a poke cake, so it is pretty messy, but it's way yummy! I'll have to make this when I get a chance and take some pictures of it, but for now, here is the recipe! I hope you all enjoy it! And I'll try my best to start posting more often.

Coconut Cake

1 box white or chocolate cake mix plus ingredients to make the cake
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 can coconut milk
1 small tub cool whip
½ cup flaked coconut

Bake cake according to directions on box for a 9x13 cake. While cake is still warm, poke holes it it with the end of a skinny wooden spoon. Mix the sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk together and pour over warm cake. Let cool completely and then top with cool whip and coconut. Refrigerate and Enjoy! Serves 8-12.
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