Friday, March 16, 2007

St. Patricks Day Beverages

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at home with these super simple drinks. Serve with your favorite corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, fish and chips, or other pub food recipe.

Instant St. Patrick's Day Drinks Add a few drops of green food coloring to the following beverages to make them Irish for the night.
  • Beer
  • Sparkling Cider
  • White Wine
  • Apple Juice or White Grape Juice
  • Champagne
  • Bottled Water
  • Clear Sodas
  • Irish Whiskey

Irish Coffees Serve these beverages with your green icing topped desserts.

  • Add a little Irish Whiskey or Irish Cream Liquor to your coffee.
  • For a non alcoholic version, buy an Irish Cream flavored creamer for your coffee.
  • Dress your coffee up with a little whipped cream and a dash of green sprinkles

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Favorite Potato Shortcut

Paradise Valley All Natural Creamy Mash Potatoes have to be the easiest and tastiest shortcut to mashed potatoes that I have had. I love the ingredient list: Russet Potatoes, Butter, and Salt. No preservatives or additives that take away from the potato flavor. All I had to do was boil 2 cups of water and 3 tablespoons butter (the butter is optional), stir in the potatoes, then add 3/4 cup of milk. Done.

Normally, I need gravy or butter to top my mashed potatoes because I don't really like them plain. These potatoes were so creamy and the butter flavor shined through so well, I didn't bother bother with gravy. A dash of pepper was all they needed.

The second time we made the potatoes. We substituted sour cream for some of the milk and added cheddar cheese and chives. Delicious!

Paradise Valley Mash Potatoes are produced by US Foods. Their website is

PS I got my box at Costco.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Snow Ice Cream

Snow Ice Cream is so fun to make, especially with kids. I think the simple vanilla ice cream is the best, since it still looks like snow and tastes great. Adding a little peppermint extract adds a little arctic chill to the flavor.

8 c. clean snow (Or use shaved ice from a snow cone maker)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 t. vanilla
Chocolate sauce, to taste (optional)
Flavored extracts, such as almond extract or peppermint extract (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and serve immediately.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, March 12, 2007

Buttermilk Baked Chicken

1 c. parsley-buttermilk dressing (see previous post) or ranch dressing
1 c. unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 t. salt or garlic salt
1/2 2. freshly cracked pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Place chicken breasts in a large zip-lock baggie with dressing. Marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix breadcrumbs with seasonings. Dredge chicken breasts in breadcrumbs. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Parsley-Buttermilk Dressing

This ranch-like dressing is super simple to make and adds a lot more class to a salad than the bottled ranch. Decrease the buttermilk to half a cup and add a half a cup of sour cream to make a dip for veggies. In tomorrow's post, I'll tell you how to use this dressing for a great oven-baked chicken recipe.

1 c buttermilk
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/4 c finely chopped fresh parsley
1 T finely chopped chives
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
2 cloves finely minced garlic
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients well and chill for several hours before serving.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Creamy Peanut Butter Dip

I love this simple, healthy dip with crisp apples or bananas. It also goes great with graham crackers or Nilla wafers. Usually, I use peanut butter, but occasionally I add some variety by using Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread) or cashew butter. All three variations are delicious for an after school snack, midnight snack, or anytime snack!

Peanut Butter
Cream Cheese

Soften cream cheese in microwave. Mix in an equal amount of peanut butter and a drizzle of honey. Add just enough milk so the consistency is right for dipping.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, March 5, 2007

Technorati claim

Technorati Profile

Just ignore this post and move on. I'll be deleting it later...

Cheddar-Stuffed Tex-Mex Meatloaf Muffins

I wanted a faster cooking meatloaf recipe, so I looked online and found the cooking times for meatloaf muffins. I adapted my Tex-Mex meatloaf recipe to fit and added a little cheddar cheese surprise to the middle. My family loved these and I know that yours will, too. You can also adapt your favorite meatloaf recipe. 30 minutes at 350 is all you need to remember. Enjoy!

1 egg
1/4 c. bread crumbs
2 T. milk or beer
Salt and pepper
1 T. ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
5-6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 T. each of coriander, cumin, and chili powder
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
6-8 1 inch cubes cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Beat egg in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs through seasonings. Mix well. Work in ground beef. Divide into six to eight portions and place in muffin tin. Press a cheddar cheese cube into the middle of each meatloaf muffin and form the meat over the top so the cheese is fully covered. Spread a small spoonful of salsa over the top of each meatloaf. Bake for 30 minutes.

Tip: Place a cookie sheet on the rack below the muffin tin to catch any drippings that may overflow from the meatloaf muffins.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Pesto-Walnut Crusted Chicken Breasts

I love simple, flexible recipes that are big on taste. Any kind of pesto, from traditional basil to some of the more original ones on the market, works beautifully with this dish as does any kind of nut. Baking the nuts with the chicken brings out their toasty goodness. When I want to dress up the presentation and add another layer of flavor, I top each chicken breast with diced tomato and shredded Parmesan or diced fresh mozzarella.

Pesto-Walnut Crusted Chicken Breasts
Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper
2 T. prepared pesto per chicken breast
2-3 T, chopped walnuts per chicken breast

Preheat oven to 450 F. Place chicken in a roasting pan and season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread a layer of pesto on top of each chicken breast. Press walnuts into pesto. Bake chicken until juices run clear, about 20 minutes.

Labels: , , , , , ,