Hash Browns For Hubby

As a new bride nearly 23 years ago, I learned very quickly that there were favorite dishes my husband enjoyed that I had either never heard of or that I had just never made.  Potatoes and onions cooked together is just one of these dishes.  My husband grew up in a pastor’s family of 6 children, 5 of whom were boys born within 6 years!  While feeding this crew was a challenge, there was always an abundance of potatoes and onions.  Tim grew up with fried potatoes and onions; onions and hash browns; mashed potatoes, and cheesy potato soup.  For me, mashed, boiled, or scalloped potatoes were the extent of potato dishes!  Here is how I make hash browns to help keep the hubby happy. It is a great way to use any left over baked potatoes from dinner the night before.

3 medium baked potatoes and completely cooled

1/2 medium onion, diced

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

salt; pepper; ground red pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet.  Add diced onions and saute until tender but not brown.  Grate the potatoes and add to the onions.   Heat through and gently brown the potatoes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and peppers to taste.  Serve hot with sunny-side up eggs and toast!   Makes about 2 servings.

Variation:  use finely chopped hot pepper in place of ground red pepper,  cooking the hot pepper with the onion.

More Traditional Sweet Treats!

Christmas is just around the corner, and if you are like me, you are hurrying here, there, and everywhere trying to get ready for the big day.  Holiday baking is a tradition for most people, and I am no exception!  I have a few items that I have made at Christmas time for nearly 23 years.  The kids and Tim say that it just wouldn’t be Christmas without them.  I have been making these first 2 recipes since I was just out of college.  The last one I created just last year, and have already made it twice this season!  Enjoy!

CHOCOLATE COVERED PEANUT BUTTER BALLS

4 c. powdered sugar

1 c. butter, softened

1 c. peanut butter (can use crunchy)

12 oz. chocolate chips

2 Tbsp. butter

1/2 block paraffin

Mix sugar, butter, and peanut butter with mixer until well-blended.  Shape into balls and chill on foil-covered cookie sheet. Melt chocolate chips, butter, and paraffin in double boiler.  Dip the chilled balls into the chocolate mixture. Return each dipped ball to foil-covered cookie sheet and chill to fully harden the chocolate.  Store in cool place.  Makes about 50, depending on how large you make each one!

CHERRY NUT BREAD

2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. butter

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. buttermilk

1 c. chopped pecans

1 (10oz) jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped

Grease standard loaf pan. Stir together dry ingredients in medium bowl.  In a large bowl, cream sugar and margarine. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well.  Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, mixing well after each addition. Bake in prepared pan at 350 degrees for about an hour or until toothpick comes out clean.   This recipe also makes about 6 small loaves which are great to give as gifts.  Reduce baking time to about 30 minutes.  Make sure toothpick comes out clean.

CRANBERRY-WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1 c. granulated sugar

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/4 c. milk

2 tbsp. orange juice

1 egg

3 c. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1-1/2 c. fresh cranberries, chopped (dried cranberries also work)

1 c. white chocolate chips

Mix sugars and butter.  Stir in milk, orange juice, and egg.  Mix dry ingredients together.  Add to sugar mixture. Stir in cranberries and chips.  Drop by spoonfuls on to cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 12-13 minutes.  Makes about 60 cookies.

These are great just like this, but also taste great with a thin layer of icing.

College Quickie: Rice

College tends to deplete a lot of things in life, such as time, food, money, food, sleep, food, brain power, and food. After a long day running between classes,  or working to pay for those classes, microwaved leftovers start to sound pretty good.  Extra rice always manages to land in our fridge, saved for the inevitable missed-dinner nights, and it happens to be my favorite dish to experiment with.  My list of rice variations rivals Forrest Gump’s shrimp list, and since it’s been “one of those weeks” where nothing else gets done, I decided to share…

Long grain white rice

Rice And:
grilled fish (tilapia or salmon)
frozen peas
mozzarella cheese
teriyaki sauce
soy sauce
sweet and sour sauce
tuna salad (mix tuna with sour cream, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds)
chicken strips
sour cream
lemon and lime juice
chow mein noodles
fresh tomatoes (grilled or fried)
tomato sauce
marinara sauce
chicken alfredo
orange slices
cashews
on toast
tortilla chips
taco shells
ground beef
stir fry leftovers

…to name a few! Anything I didn’t mention?

Like the South Loves Bar-b-Q

Few dishes are as fundamentally southern as barbeque. Spelled a variety of ways (bbq, bar-b-que, bar-b-q), and served for any occasion (parties, cookouts, weddings, even funerals), barbeque is easily the most-consumed summer meal. Don’t quote us, but we’re pretty sure.
BBQ is a great way to use left-over chicken breasts and the recipe we used was fairly simple. Definitely a win-win! Serve it with hamburger or hotdog buns, plain toast, flour tortillas, lettuce, sandwich bread, bagels, etc, etc, etc. Just don’t forget the sweet tea.

B-B-Q Chicken Sandwiches

5-6 chicken breasts, cooked
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/4 cups ketchup
1/3 c. cider vinegar
1/3 c. Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 large sandwich buns

Using 2 forks, shred the chicken into thin pieces (this is the most time consuming part!).

Set aside in large mixing bowl. Pour oil into large skillet. Add the onion and garlic. Cook gently for about 10 minutes or until tender. Add ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Stir well; simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
Pour sauce over the shredded chicken and mix well. Return chicken to skillet and heat through.

 Serve on anything listed above, or get creative. 🙂