Southern Comfort: Mashed Potatoes

11:36 PM

At my house, we always make sure we keep a large bag of rice and a huge bag of potatoes in the pantry. They are those staples that are filling.  My kids love my mashed potatoes and they are very simple and easy to make.My daughter told me that my potatoes are her favorite ever and coming from an Anime loving, sushi-is-everything kid, that means a lot.

I love the taste that using chicken bouillon cubes adds to the taste of the potatoes. You can also add a bit of sour cream or some cheese. Oh my gosh, this base is just that...a base for endless possibilities.

I start by cutting (remember, I have four kids) 8-10 medium potatoes. I first wash them, then peel them, leaving some skin on them. I don't leave a lot of skin, just a little for texture. I then cut them into quarters. Place in a large pot of water. Add in 2-3 chicken bouillon cubes. 1 per every 5 potatoes. Boil for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain all of your broth into a heat safe bowl and begin mashing the potatoes.  Add in 1 tbsp of fresh shredded asiago per potato you sliced.  If they are too dry, slowly begin adding in some of the broth you set aside until you have the consistency you are happy with. There is no need to add salt or pepper as the bouillon cubes add sodium and the right taste.

Click here for my chicken recipe..for this one above, I used buttermilk instead of water.

*If anyone knows of a nice blogger recipe template that would be awesome. I am trying to find something that is print-friendly.


Mussels In Creamy Garlic Butter Sauce

10:21 PM

While I was in New York I went to a restaurant called Il Bastardo. I had mussels for the first time. Seriously, I had always seen these bad boys covered in shredded cheese on the Chinese Buffet table but they never looked appealing enough for me to actually try them.  So there I am in New York, in this gorgeous restaurant, not knowing what to expect. A steaming bowl arrives before me and the garlic-y smell blows me away...in a good way of course. I taste the broth first and was like wow. It was full of big chunky pieces of garlic...something in which I had never actually eaten...only used to season with. The chunks were tender bits of heaven and I was in love.

When I got home I had mussel on the brain. I had to try it. So I bought a ton of mussels and winged it. My first attempt at making them was a success and even my son was like, "oh yeah mama, these are gooood and perfect for kids"....okay.

So super easy.

You will need:
3 pounds of cleaned mussels
1 stick of butter
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
6 chopped cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of parmasan
4 tsp (or more to your liking) of chopped oregano

Place everything in a large pot on medium-high heat. Stir and lower heat to medium once it begins boiling. Cover and check often to see if the shells have opened. Mussels are done when shells open. Discard any that do not open.

See, super easy, right?

Easy Breakfast Scrambles....

2:07 PM

Repost...revisiting this easy breakfast idea!

For the mom on the go, breakfast does not have to be hard. A few months ago, I saw these at my local grocery store. No more spending time shredding potatoes or passing on fresh hash browns because I did not have the time to shred. These are shredded raw potatoes and perfect!

Using my griddle, I placed a two tbsp of butter on to the top of the griddle per cup of hash browns.  Then I put the cup of potatoes on top of the melting butter on meduim-high heat.  Season with just a little salt and pepper and cook until the under side begins to get crisp and brown. Flip over.

On the same griddle, I began browning my ground sausage. I sliced the sausage roll into 4 one inch thick slices and then begin to crumble them and cook. Let the grease drain. When done, fold the sausage into the hash browns. Turn heat of griddle to low.

Scramble your eggs the way you normally do and then fold those into your hash browns and sausage. You can top with shredded cheese.

Here is a variation.  I cooked the hash browns (salt and pepper), sauteed 1 cup of fresh spinach in butter with 1/2 tsp of salt, and folded the two together. Once done, I placed the hash browns in a cast iron skillet and topped with an egg. I then put it into the oven on broil until the egg whites were, well, white.  I finished this skillet with two cooked sausages. 


Crunchy & Spicy Habanero Fried Chicken

7:16 PM

One of the things the South is known for is fried chicken. There is not one restaurant you can go into that does not serve or offer their own version of this Southern classic. Of course, I am all for spice. We keep a bottle of hot sauce in the cabinet and when I do dine out, I always go for spicy chicken.

A lot of people use buttermilk for fried chicken but I use water. I like to season the bare chicken pieces with creole seasoning and then add the seasoning to the flour as well. That way you get the flavor all the way through each bite.

You will need:
(similar to my recipe for fried chicken here with step by steps, minus the Habanero)

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (you can use boneless skinless tenders as well)
2 cups of all purpose flour
Creole seasoning
1 habanero (blended in food processor)
1 bowl of cold water
Oil for frying

Rinse your chicken and place into a bowl. Sprinkle it generously  with creole seasoning. You will need three bowls. One with the seasoned chicken, one full of cold water and another with your flour.

When it comes to seasoning the flour, I do not really use measurements. About 4 tbsp should be good. I always sprinkle enough to coat the top of the flour and then mix it.  Add in your habanero to the flour and mix well.  Take your seasoned chicken and dip it into the flour, coating it. Immediately dip the floured chicken into the water and transfer back to the flour, coating again. You will notice a nice floured surface forms on the chicken. This makes it to be really crispy.

Place the floured chicken into hot oil and cook for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown or no cloudy juice comes out when you stick a fork in it.  Place on paper towel to get rid of excess grease.


Bacon Wrapped Ribs

9:53 PM

And yes, this happened today.

The next time you place a slab of ribs on the grill, consider during the last 10/15 minutes of cooking to wrap it with slices of bacon. BBQ sauce, bacon, ribs. Delicious.

I slow cooked these on the grill for five hours and they were falling off the bone. After I removed them from the grill, I wrapped them in bacon and placed in the oven at 350 degrees until bacon cooked. Next time, will definitely cook just a bit longer so bacon is more crispy but this was a huge hit.

No real recipe, just an idea. I seasoned my ribs with creole seasoning before placing on the grill and coated with bbq sauce throughout the cooking process.

With summer in full swing here in the South, this will definitely make an appearance at the 4th of July bbq.

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