Easy Recipe…

Hey everyone, hope you are having a great day.

I just wanted to share a really simple idea for an easy side dish, or a small meal. Some of you may already use this idea, but for those who haven’t tried it, it’s crock pot baked potatoes.

I love a good soft baked potato, but they take so long to cook in the oven. You can use the microwave, but, it just doesn’t taste as good as an oven baked potato. I have been using my crock-pot to make baked potatoes for my family, and they taste so good. The hardest part is remembering to put them in the pot in the morning before my day gets going.

You can use any white potato, sweet potatoes, or a combination of both. I just wash them really good with my vegetable brush. Next I spray them with olive oil, and shake on some sea salt, then wrap the potatoes in foil. I cut a little slit into each one to vent. Before I put them in my crock-pot, I add a little water to the pot (maybe 1/4 -1/2 cup). This helps steam the potatoes.

Place the lid on, and forget about them until meal time. I usually cook mine on low for about 6 hours, but you could cook them on high for about 4 hours. I whole idea behind this recipe is to make it easy on yourself. I think leaving them on low works the best because you don’t have to keep a check on them. Sweet potatoes don’t take quite as long to cook, but when I am cooking both in one batch, I just leave the sweet potatoes in with the white.

Once done, load them up with your favorite toppings: sour cream, butter, olive oil, bacon bits, cheese, broccoli – whatever you want. You really could make a meal out of a loaded baked potato, and a salad. This also works well as a meal with left over soup, and garlic toast – YUM!

If you’ve never used your slow cooker for baked potatoes, you should definitely give this a try.

Have a great week!

Easy Recipe: Fish Cakes

I like an easy recipe that only requires a few ingredients that I usually have in my pantry. This recipe is so simple, and you could customize it to suit your own taste. If you don’t like fish, you could substitute canned chicken. You can use any canned fish such as Mackerel, Tuna, crab or Salmon. I have made this recipe with stuffing mix instead of bread crumbs. The stuffing mix is really good because of the seasoning in the stuffing.

To make this dish you need: a 15 oz. can of Mackerel (or the fish/chicken of your choice), one egg, about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, and seasoning of your choice.

      

Above are the brands that I used for my recipe. I tried a gluten free bread crumb (trying to cut out some gluten in the diet). These bread crumbs worked great, making this a gluten free recipe. I also used a creole seasoning, and oregano, but you can use your favorites for fish or chicken.

I drain the brine from my fish, and then pour the fish into a bowl. Next, I take out the spine of the fish which is easily removed. You can see it in the picture below.

After I remove the spine, I use a fork to chop up the fish.

Next you add the bread crumbs, seasoning, and the egg. I don’t measure my seasoning, I just sprinkle it in. Mix it up well, and form into patties. I heat a pan on medium heat with oil (I used olive oil). Place the patties in the pan and cook evenly on each side. The patties will get a crusty coating on them. Remove from the pan.

     

 

I also made some slaw for this recipe. Homemade slaw is so good, and of course, what goes better with fish than slaw. To make the slaw, I bought a bag of tri-colored slaw mix in the produce isle. You could buy a head of cabbage and shred it in a food processor. I usually make mine that way, but to save time, I bought the mix.

     

To Make the slaw, I mix up about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 3 Tablespoons of sugar. Pour the cabbage into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl add the mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar and mix well. Pour the mayonnaise mixture into the cabbage and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate till serving.

I also cooked broiled Tilapia. I take the frozen fillets and coat them in oil to keep the moist while cooking. I season them with the same seasoning I used on my fish cakes. Bake the fillets at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, then I broil them for about 5 – 10 minutes. Just watch them, and be careful not to overcook them.

I hope you will give this recipe a try. It’s so easy, and it’s pretty health too.

Apple Dumpling Goodness

This passed Sunday, my church had our monthly fellowship meal after our PM service. We all enjoy this time together, and sampling all the delicious recipes. There are always a few that stand out.

Well, there was one dessert that really stood out to me. I had never seen this dish at our meal before, so I decided to try it. I’m so glad that I did. After trying mine, my husband decided that he had to go get his own serving. This prompted a friend to go and get some as well. We were all in agreement that it was delicious!

The dessert was apple dumplings. A sweet lady in our church named June Mitchell had made it. When I got home, I pulled out the church cookbook to see if the recipe was in the book. I was so happy to see it, and it was Ms. June’s recipe. Right then, I set out to buy the ingredients and make it for a blog post. So, here goes…

All you need to make this dish is:

4 Granny Smith apples, 2 cups sugar, 2 sticks of butter, 1 Tbsp. cinnamon, 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract, 2 cans of crescent rolls.

The first step is to preheat the oven at 350, peel your apples and cut them in quarters, making 16 pieces.

                

Next heat the sugar, 2 sticks of butter, cinnamon and vanilla until dissolved.

                

Wrap the apple quarters in the crescent rolls and place them in a greased baking dish.

Pour the dissolved sugar mixture over the dumplings and place in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. I added some walnut pieces to the top of my dumplings during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

After the dumplings are cooled, plate them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream – delicious! Enjoy this sweet dish with your family.

       

Homemade Goodness

Hey everyone, just thought I would do a quick post on some homemade goodness.

I went to the store on Valentines Day to purchase some cute holiday cupcakes. I was just in the mood for sweetness. I didn’t ask for any chocolates this year, but wanted a little something sweet. Do you know that there wasn’t one package of Valentine cupcakes. All that was left were cookies. I guess that I wasn’t the only one in the mood for a holiday cupcake!

Well, I thought, “I’ll just get a pack of regular cupcakes.” There were several flavors, but I just couldn’t get over the price. I kept telling myself, “I can make them much cheaper that this.” I wasn’t really in the mood to go home and bake, but I thought that me and my youngest could do it together for Valentines Day. I already had a chocolate cake mix at home, and decided to make some yummy homemade icing.

If you have never made homemade icing, you should try it. It is soooooo easy, only takes a few ingredients that you probably have already, and doesn’t cost a lot to make. It really makes a cake mix cupcake taste special.

All you need is:

1 box (1 lb.) of confectioners sugar, 1 stick of margarine, 4 Tbsp. cocoa, 1 tsp. vanilla, milk as needed to thin.

I started by softening the margarine in the microwave. Next, I added the sugar and cocoa, then the vanilla. I used my mixer to blend the ingredients together, and just add the milk as needed. This recipe was enough to cover a dozen cupcakes with a little to spare, but we piped the icing in a pastry bag so it took a little more icing than just spreading it. We had some sprinkles, and added them to the top.  I would double this recipe to cover 24 cupcakes, but one batch is enough for a sheet cake. Homemade icing taste so much better than store bought, and it saves money as well.

Give this recipe a try, and let me know what you think.

Easy Cookie Recipe

I love homemade cookies. They are one of my favorite sweet treats. I love the crunchy, chewy texture, and the fact that you can just pop them into your mouth, no plates or silverware needed. I can also put away quite a few if I’m not careful. This is why try not to bake them very often, they are too tempting for me.

When I do want to make a batch of homemade goodness, I like a simple recipe. My oldest daughter found a recipe using a cake mix. This is one of the easiest and most versatile recipes. You can use any flavor of cake mix, and you can use any kind of chips. I have often thought using a strawberry cake mix with white chocolate chips would be delicious, but I have never tried it.  I made cookies over the Christmas holiday using a spice cake mix (no chips), and they tasted like gingerbread cookies. You can add nuts to the recipe if you like, but I wouldn’t add nuts and chips in one recipe. It might make the cookies too chunky.

My daughter Emily submitted this recipe in our church cookbook.

In this recipe, I used a chocolate cake mix and semi chocolate chips. If you are a chocolate lover, these cookies are for you. To make the cookies, all you need is one box of chocolate cake mix. I used Devils Food cake, but you could use any flavor of chocolate cake mix. You will also need 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of oil, and about half of a bag of chips. I used the semi chocolate chips for my chocolate cookies.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix your ingredients well. Scoop out the batter using a tablespoon, and place the cookies about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies for about 12-15 minutes. These cookies are thick, and you can make them whatever size you like, but a tablespoon is a good size cookie. The chocolate cookies are a little harder to tell if they are done because of the dark chocolate color. Cooking time does depend on the size of the cookie (larger cookies, longer baking time). Let the cookies cool and then enjoy! Try not to eat them all, but I’m warning you, they will disappear quickly.

Yummy chocolate, chocolate chip cookies!