Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Potato Salad a Cookout Staple

Summer is in full swing now, kids are out of school and grills have been fired up once or twice. Now, with the biggest barbeque holiday of the year right around the corner; what’s on your 4th of July Menu? Hopefully after this post you will give my potato salad recipe a try. What cookout is complete without this wonderful side dish, and everyone has their own special trick to make it just right. So here are my tricks to help you make the best potato salad.  
First, make sure you salt the water when cooking your potatoes. Just like when cooking pasta or rice, because it’s hard to season it afterwards. I like to boil my eggs as the potatoes, this way they are cooked perfectly. This next tip is from my Nana, take the hard boiled eggs and one onion coarsely chopped and puree in food processor. This will ensure that no one bites down on big chunks of egg or onion and gives the potato salad a nice creamy texture. With these tips potato should be great.

Potato Salad
3lbs Yukon gold potatoes
4 eggs
1 medium onion (coarsely chopped)
1 cup mayo (more can be added to get desired creaminess)
½ cup sweet relish
1 tbsp yellow mustard

Peel and dice potatoes (try to make sure potatoes are the same size to ensure even cooking), place in a large pot and cover with cold water (be sure to salt the water).
Add eggs.
Boil potatoes until are tender (test with fork).
Drain potatoes and spread on cookie sheet to cool. If you take your potatoes too far, put in fridge to cool and they will be fine. I skipped this step the first time I made potato salad and ended up with potato soup.
While potatoes are cooling remove shell from eggs and place in food processor with chopped onion. Pulse until pureed, about 8-10 times.
Once potatoes are cooled place in a large bowl with egg and onion puree.
Add relish and mayo. Then add mustard to give that great yellow color.

I hope you try my Nana’s potato salad at your next cookout. Be blessed and enjoy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

How to Dress Up Store Brought Brownie Mix

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

I am a big fan a brownies; fudgy, chewy, chocolaty and yummy brownies. I don't always get to make them from scratch. Sometimes I don't feel like chopping all the chocolate and the whole double boiling thing. I just want the instant satisfaction of a box mix (yeah, I know that's lazy but lazy can be good too). But that can be boring, so I like to dress them up to make them a little more homemade. You can use any box mix you like, just add a few simple ingredients to make it your own.

Chopped Snickers

Add to Brownie Mix

Substitute Coffee or Espresso for Water 

Add chopped Peanut Butter Cups


I like the combo of chocolate and coffee, so I like to add a teaspoon of coffee or espresso powder to the water in the recipe. Then, follow the rest of the recipe according to the package instructions. with adding the mix ins you will need to increase the oven temp to 350 and bake for about 45-55 minutes. Then mix is whatever you want, I did one batch of chopped up Snickers (my favorite) and one with chopped up peanut butter cups (my hubby's favorite). With this the possibilities are endless; and you can wow all the parents at the next school bake sale or class party with some brownies chopped up chocolate chip cookies in it (ooh, I think I might try that next).

Snicker's Brownies


I hope you get in the kitchen and experiment with your own mix in brownies. Be blessed and enjoy.

 What is your favorite thing to mix in your brownies?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chicken Scampi Pasta

Like every other mom out there I love it when I find quick, easy dishes to prepare for the family. And this is one of my family's favorites, Chicken Scampi Pasta. We are a pasta loving family around here; we have it at least once a week in some form.

This Scampi is really simple to make and full of flavor too; you can easily swap out the chicken for shrimp and make it a date night meal. I have even thrown in some spinach to sneak some veggies into the kids. That's one of the things I love about pasta dishes, you can throw pretty much anything together with it and will be good.



Chicken Scampi Pasta


1lb chicken tenderloin (you can also use breast, but tenderloins are usually less expensive)

1 tsp italian seasoning

1tsp dried oregano

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp lemon pepper

½ tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 stick of butter, divided in half

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large or 2 small lemons

2tbsp parsley fresh or dried

1lb of your favorite pasta (I used spaghetti)


Cook pasta according to package instructions.

While pasta is cooking dice chicken tenderloins into small chunks, and season with spices.

Place butter and olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. When butter has melted add chicken and sauté until brown.

Add the remaining butter and garlic and cook until fragrant. Slice the lemons and squeeze cut side up in the pan.

Drain pasta reserving about ½ cup of pasta liquid. Add some of the pasta water to loosen sauce.

Place drained pasta in serving bowl and add chicken. Sprinkle with parsley and cheese (if you like).


I hope you enjoy my version of chicken scampi as much as my family does. Be blessed and enjoy.




Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Banana Crumb Muffins

I love muffins; they are a great little handheld breakfast. You can grab them and head out the door with your coffee or tea, and who doesn't like the idea of an easy breakfast. Bananas on the other hand I have not always been a fan of, but in muffin form they are so good. And when you add a crumb topping things get so much better.

These banana muffins are quick to whip up and leave your house smelling so good. If you ever plan on selling your house, have some of these baking and it will surely get you a good price. This particular recipe makes quite a large amount of muffins; 3 dozen muffins or 2 dozen and a loaf of bread. They freeze really well so you can have some for when guest stop by or if you want to send some to a friend.


Banana Crumb Muffins
Adapted from Designs by Kristen Ann


2 cups brown sugar

1 cup butter

4 eggs

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

5 mashed bananas (with cinnamon and nutmeg)


Streusel Topping

½ cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 tsp cinnamon

Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs, mix well, and make sure to scrap the bottom of the bowl. Add flour, and baking soda, mix until combined. Then add bananas. Set this mixture aside.


For the streusel topping, cream butter and sugar together (the butter should be very soft). Add flour and combine completely, the mixture should look like a crumble. You want to have some texture to the streusel, so with your hands you can clump it together while mixing. Add just over half the streusel to the muffin mixture and lightly fold in. There should be waves of streusel in the mixture, you do not want to over mix this!!


Scoop the muffin mixture into the liners, going about 2/3 up. This recipe should make about 3 dozen muffins. Sprinkle the remaining streusel on top of the muffins generously. You can pat it down slightly to make sure it sticks. Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes.


These are a really great way to get some fruit in to your kids without them knowing. My kids love them and I hope yours do to. Be blessed and enjoy.

Links to:
Sweet for Saturday @Sweet as Sugar Cookies

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...