Sunday, February 4, 2018

Italian Grinder Casserole

ITALIAN GRINDER CASSEROLE
Olivia and I have a friend, Deb. C. who shared this delicious recipe with us.  It is like a deconstructed grinder that not only tastes great but also makes your whole house smell amazing when it is cooking.  My husband and I were talking with Deb and her husband about this recipe and we were  brainstorming about all the ways this could be changed to make it similar but different.  We came up with the idea of a chicken, bacon, ranch version, and even a Hawaiian version that might include ham and even pineapple bits. 

Once you have tried this original version, be adventurous and try to change it up and see how it turns out.  When I made this recipe I cut back a little on the bread and increased slightly the amount of meat to trim some of the carbs.  The way the cheese melts and makes a little crust around the edge is absolute heaven.  Putting this on a lettuce bed with the Italian dressing makes it even more like a grinder.  Hope you like it!
- Nanette

1 pound of Italian bread cut into cubes
Mix the following and pour over bread cubes:
2 T. olive oil
1 T. parmesan cheese
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Mix:
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 egg

Pour broth and egg mixture over bread cubes and mix.

Cut up one pound of Italian meats such as salami, prosciutto, capocollo, sopresseta, and pepperoni.  Mix the meats into the cube mixture.


Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.  Place a layer of the bread and meat mixture in the bottom, then a place a layer of sliced provolone cheese, then layer again until you use all the mixture and an entire 8 ounce package of provolone cheese. 

Spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and put over the casserole. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake another 5-10 until the top bubbles. 


Serve over shredded lettuce tossed with a dressing made of:
1 T. mayo
2 T. olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper

Sunday, January 28, 2018

20-Clove Garlic Soup

 20 CLOVE GARLIC SOUP
Winter has been teasing us here in our part of the country.  One day it is 50 degrees with a faint feeling of Spring in the air.  The next day we have forecasts of snow, ice and temperatures in the teens.  It is this time of year, we enjoy soup most.  It is hearty, satisfying, and warms the body while soothing the soul.

Olivia found this incredible soup at www.ediblemichiana.com.  It is full of flavor (mostly garlic) and rich with butter, wine, and half-and-half.  If you like garlic and like a smooth, cheesy soup, I think you will enjoy this one.  When Olivia made it, she said it really tastes like garlic so know that before you make it and consider making it an appetizer instead of a large bowl main attraction.  No matter what context you wish to serve it in, it is sure to be a blast to the winter blues and a warm blanket for your taste buds.  Make a batch and enjoy!
-Nanette


20-Clove Garlic Soup

  • 20 garlic cloves (about 2 full heads)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1¼ cups half-and-half
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan
  • 1½ cups croutons (see below)
  • Sage oil (see below)
Croutons
  • 3 slices bread
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
Sage oil
  • 6 sage leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt 


Cut off the base of 2 whole heads of garlic and leave the paper on the cloves. Pour ½ teaspoon of olive oil over each head of garlic and place in aluminum foil. Roast at 350° for 30–35 minutes, until soft. The cloves should easily squeeze out of their peel.
Place the roasted garlic cloves and butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Add the wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and chicken broth, then use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to an upright blender to blend. Return to low heat and add the half-and-half. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the cayenne and Parmesan, shut off the heat and cover with a lid to let the cheese melt. Serve with croutons and a drizzle of sage oil.
Croutons
Toast 3 slices of good bread and cut into 2- by 2-inch pieces, then drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake at 400° for 10–11 minutes.
Sage oil
Sauté the sage leaves in oil with a pinch of salt over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

ROBIN EGG CAKE

ROBIN EGG CAKE
Spring is definitely NOT in the air here.  The temperatures have been in the teens and snow is in the forecast, but already Olivia and I have begun to look at seed catalogs and dream of Spring and the garden's bounty.  Soon it will be time to plan for an early Easter and all things fresh and beautiful. 

With visions of green grass and sunshine, we offer this Robin Egg Cake from Country Living Magazine.  Make it now to dispel the Winter gloom or keep the recipe for Easter.  Either way you will love its flavorful taste and creamy texture.  It is a feast both for the stomach and the eyes.  Enjoy!
-Nanette




For the Cake:

Ingredients

  • Baking spray, for pan
  • 3 c. cake flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. malted milk powder
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. half-and-half, at room temperature
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pure coconut extract
  • 1 large egg plus 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Coconut Buttercream (recipe link below)
  • 1/8 tsp. brown gel food coloring
  • Phyllo nest and robin egg candies (recipe link below)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease three 8-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Whisk together flour, baking powder, malt powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together oil, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, coconut extract, and whole egg in a separate bowl until smooth. Fold in flour mixture just until incorporated. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold egg whites into batter just until combined.

  1. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool completely.
  2. Place one layer on a cake plate and frost top with 1 cup coconut buttercream. Repeat two more times. Frost sides with remaining Coconut Buttercream.
  3. Stir together food coloring and 2 drops water in a bowl. Dip the tip of a wide, stiff paintbrush into the mixture. Holding the brush 6 to 8 inches from the cake, gently fling the mixture onto iced cake. Repeat for desired effect. Spread phyllo nest around the base of the cake, and nestle candies in nest.
For the Coconut Buttercream:

Ingredients

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. cream of coconut
  • 6 c. confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • Blue gel food coloring

Directions

  1. Beat butter and cream of coconut with an electric mixture on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Gradually beat in sugar.
  3. Beat in pure vanilla extract and a pinch of kosher salt until combined.
  4. Beat in blue gel food coloring, one drop at a time, to desired color.
For the Phyllo Nest:

Ingredients

  • 6 sheets of phyllo dough
  • Cooking spray
  • Directions

    1. Tightly roll 6 sheets of phyllo dough lengthwise. Very thinly slice.
    2. Transfer to a baking sheet, loosely separating layers. Spray with cooking spray.
    3. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden-brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes
This recipe came from www.geniuskitchen.com.  I have made scalloped potatoes differently many times over the years, but this recipe is particularly good because it sets up well and the sauce is a nice consistency.  The only variation I have made is to use Honey Baked Ham and to sprinkle a little parsley on top at the end for a little more color. 

Growing up, Olivia has enjoyed with her parents a Honey Baked Ham each Christmas.  One of the best things about such a ham is that you can get a lot of mileage out of it and what is left that gets put in the freezer.  We have enjoyed breakfast casseroles, soup beans, and even scalloped potatoes made with the leftovers.  I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes when I make ham and scalloped potatoes.  They add to the richness and creamy texture.  This is a great recipe to make if you live somewhere where it is cold right now and you could use a little comfort food.  Enjoy!
-Nanette


READY IN:
 1hr 50mins
SERVES:
 8
UNITS:
 US

INGREDIENTSNutrition

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt butter in large sauce pan over low heat; blend in flour, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Remove from heat gradually stir in milk.
  3. Return to heat; cook until thickened and bubbly.
  4. Fold in ham, onion, green pepper and cheese. Pour over potatoes in a large bowl.
  5. Stir gently then move into a buttered 13X9-inch baking dish; cover with foil.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  7. Uncover and continue to bake for 1 hour.
  8. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.











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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Ham and Potato Casserole

HAM AND POTATO CASSEROLE
Christmas is bearing down on us fast.  It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind or all the activity.  Two of my favorite things to do during the holiday season are attending special holiday programs that heighten the joy of the festive season and preparing recipes I wouldn't normally make but really enjoy.

This recipe is one Olivia found at www.allrecipes.com.  It is a simple and good way to use up left over ham and possibly potatoes (Olivia chopped up baked potatoes when she made it).  It uses ingredients you probably already have on hand and makes a creamy, comforting casserole.

Olivia and I want to take the time to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy 2018.  We also want to wish you a warm and satisfying Christmas filled with the joy in knowing that unto us a child is given and unto us our Christ is born...Emmanuel God with us!  Merry Christmas!
-Nanette

 HAM AND CHEESE CASSEROLE

Ingredients

  • 6 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Grease a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
  4. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the ham and onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir potatoes into ham mixture; transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  6. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir flour into melted butter until smooth.
  7. Gradually whisk milk into flour mixture; season with salt and black pepper. Continue cooking and stirring until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir Cheddar cheese into the white sauce until melted.
  9. Pour sauce over ham and potatoes.
  10. Sprinkle bread crumbs atop casserole.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven until sauce is bubbly and browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES


SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES
Olivia and I have long had a tradition at Christmas time of making Christmas baskets to give away to friends, co-workers and family members.  In years past they have included cookies, candies, breads, and homemade soaps, candles, etc.  If I remember correctly, one year we did over thirty baskets.  It was quite the feat putting them together.  Nowadays they aren't quite as big or as many, but we still make the effort to share favorite holiday recipes with others--especially people whom we know do not do holiday baking themselves because perhaps they can't or they are alone, or they have small children, etc.  In previous year we have made a mix of old and new recipes. 

This year Olivia's holiday baking included these delightful snickerdoodles.  The snickerdoodle is a favorite.  It is not a fancy cookie but good for its basic wholesome consistency and cinnamon goodness.  We quite frankly adore them.  It is a good bet that if you make them and give them away, the people you give them to will love them also.  Take the time to make and enjoy these.  This time of year can be busy and stressful but taking time to make something homemade and sharing it with others can be a gift to you and others as well.  Enjoy!
Nanette


SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES

Ingredients:

1 cup butter flavored shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
  3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

Monday, December 11, 2017

HAM AND POTATO CASSEROLE

HAM AND POTATO CASSEROLE
Christmas is bearing down on us fast.  It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind or all the activity.  Two of my favorite things to do during the holiday season are attending special holiday programs that heighten the joy of the festive season and preparing recipes I wouldn't normally make but really enjoy.

This recipe is one Olivia found at www.allrecipes.com.  It is a simple and good way to use up left over ham and possibly potatoes (Olivia chopped up baked potatoes when she made it).  It uses ingredients you probably already have on hand and makes a creamy, comforting casserole.

Olivia and I want to take the time to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy 2018.  We also want to wish you a warm and satisfying Christmas filled with the joy in knowing that unto us a child is given and unto us our Christ is born...Emmanuel God with us!  Merry Christmas!
-Nanette

 HAM AND CHEESE CASSEROLE

Ingredients

  • 6 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Grease a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
  4. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the ham and onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir potatoes into ham mixture; transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  6. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir flour into melted butter until smooth.
  7. Gradually whisk milk into flour mixture; season with salt and black pepper. Continue cooking and stirring until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir Cheddar cheese into the white sauce until melted.
  9. Pour sauce over ham and potatoes.
  10. Sprinkle bread crumbs atop casserole.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven until sauce is bubbly and browned, 25 to 30 minutes.