Friday, April 10, 2009

Garlic Mashed Potatoes Pizza with Feta Cheese Recipe

I had a beautifully browned version of this pizza and a marauding teenager grabbed mine when I went for my camera. Next time I make it I'll replace the photograph.

olive oil
sea salt
cream or milk
Parmesan cheese
green pepper
pizza dough
feta cheese

Garlic mashed potatoes

Potatoes—put the potatoes in a pot with a steamer insert (I use a pasta pot) and cook until fork tender—I like steaming them since sometimes they become too moist when boiled

While the potatoes are cooking, roast the garlic. To roast garlic slice the top portion off a head of garlic and remove some of the outer papery skin (leave the inner segments alone). Drizzle olive oil on top and season with sea salt. Wrap the garlic head in foil and bake at 375F for about 30 minutes. Be careful opening the foil since there is trapped steam. The individual cloves of garlic can be easily removed from the skin for use or eating; I usually just squeeze them out if they don't need to be pretty.

While everything else is cooking saute chopped onion and green pepper (these will be used in the pizza, they don't go in the mashed potatoes).

Put the potatoes and garlic in a large bowl and add the following ingredients to taste. I use a hand masher, not an electric mixer since the mixer tends to make mashed potatoes gummy. It's difficult to say how much liquid to add since some potatoes are drier than others. If you're making the potatoes to eat immediately with a meal; warm your butter and cream so they don't cool the potatoes.

cooked potatoes
roasted garlic - fork mash before adding to prevent having large chunks of garlic
sea salt
cream or milk
Parmesan cheese

To assemble the pizza

Use your favorite pizza dough or flour tortillas work.
Spread the mashed potatoes like you would sauce.
Add the sauteed onions and green pepper
Tomatoes chopped or sliced, I used sun dried since it was what I had on hand

Sprinkle the pizza with Parmesan cheese and crumbled feta cheese.

Bake at 400 until nicely browned.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Apricot Chicken With Carrots and Walnuts Recipe

I'm a firm believer in easy meals otherwise I end up serving Chinese takeout or pizza. I made this with frozen chicken breasts and simple ingredients.

Start cooking the brown rice

Put a bag of frozen, skinless chicken breasts in a heavy skillet and cover. Cook slowly, you have plenty of time since the brown rice takes awhile. I don't add fat or liquid since the chicken has so much additional moisture; if it's cooked slowly it doesn't need additional fat or liquid.

Peel and slice the carrots on the diagonal. I used about 20 carrots. Add them to the chicken when it's about half done. Cook with the cover on.

When the carrots and chicken is cooked through, add:
1/4 c brown sugar
1 1/2 cups apricot preserves (dried apricots would be terrific but I'm allergic to the preservatives.)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
pepper to taste

There should be excess liquid. Put a tablespoon of corn starch in a small cup and add a 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Stir them together to and add in to the pot. I like adding the corn starch in increments since it can become thicker than desired. Keep cooking and the corn starch will thicken the sauce. If it seems runny make more of the corn starch mixture.

Stir in 1 cup of walnuts and serve with the rice.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chili Cheese Wrap with Fritos Recipe

Take a flour tortilla and add a large dollop of canned chili and cheese. Microwave until the cheese is melted. I like fine shredded Mexican Cheese but Pepper Jack or any spicy cheese is very good.

Put on chopped tomatoes, onions, and Frito's for a nice crunch.

Some other tasty additions would be jalapeno slices, shredded lettuce and avocado. You could also replace the chili with refried beans.

Fold over tortilla or fold into a burrito shape. I like putting the tortilla on a griddle to crisp up but then it's very difficult to fold over and it becomes more like a Quesadilla.

Sausage and Asparagus Quiche Recipe

I make these quite often; changing the meat, cheese and vegetables. My favorite uses a frozen combination of broccoli, cauliflower and sliced carrots. The mix doesn't sound like it would work in a quiche but it's excellent.

I'm a pie crust snob but this is the best prepared pie crust that I've ever found. Homemade is better but this is very good and convenient.

Chop your meat and place it on top of the crust. I'm using precooked sausage patties.

Frozen asparagus but if you have fresh all the better.

Chop the vegetables and place them on the meat.

10 eggs beaten. I have a large quiche dish so you might want to put in a smaller number of eggs and add more if needed.

I use whatever cheese I have on hand. This is a very nice Swiss but Cheddar, Jalapeno Jack, or any favorite works well.

Decorate the top with more asparagus. Sliced tomatoes are very pretty.

Bake at 375 until the mixture is cooked through; about 30 minutes.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Emergency Fudge Recipe

OK, It's not a huge emergency but sometimes you want something chocolate but don't have all the wonderful ingredients to make typical fudge.

This is my husband's favorite fudge recipe since it's tasty and easy enough to get me to to make it whenever he asks.

The recipe is actually the chocolate topping I use when I make eclairs. It makes a very small batch which can be a good thing but you can increase the ingredients if you want to share. I don't bother putting this in a lined glass container; I put the mixture on a piece of foil on the counter and spread it smooth to the desired height. It's sets up quickly and is gone almost as fast.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a sauce pan over a low heat.

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate or 3 tablespoons cocoa + 1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon butter


add the following and stir until the powdered sugar is incorporated.

1 1/2 c powdered sugar
2 teaspoons hot water



1 cup chopped walnuts

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Swiss Spaghetti Harvest 1957

In 1957 the BBC broke a story about the Swiss Spaghetti harvest. According to the Museum of Hoaxes, "Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this, the BBC diplomatically replied, "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.'"