Hasselback Potatoes

15 Feb

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A couple weeks ago I had a cooking demo for a Ladies Day Event and the one item that got the most attention was….The Potato. The flipping Poe-Tah-Toe!

Ok, these aren’t your plain Jane potato. This is a HASSELBACK! I just shouted that at you. For some reason every time I say hasselback to myself I’m shouting it in my head!

HASSELBACK! HASSELBACK! Gosh, I have a headache.

I love way too much sour cream on my baked potato, along with it drenched in A1 sauce. Yes, I just said A1 sauce. I picked that one up from Nellie. It’s good, you should try it. Really, try it. (Hey Beckyf, I’m using my bossy voice)

Ok, I’m going to reveal a disgusting food combo; I eat my cottage cheese with BBQ sauce on it! I know, it’s strange! But, I can’t “quit” this combo. I’ve even got my older son eating his cottage cheese this way now! And I think my sister Becky eats it this way too!

Try it! Tell me some of your “closet food” combos! I won’t judge you, I will probably say, “eww” like you just did to me!

Alright, onto this delicious potato. I really do like making this starchy side-dish. It’s a different way to prepare the potato then always whipping them up into mashed, scalloped, or just a plain baked potato.

Hey, now don’t get me wrong, I love the potato prepared in all these ways listed, I’m just saying this is a fun, interesting, delicious and different method that impresses company and family.

The only thing you need to know is the technique. And that technique is learning how NOT to cut all the way through the potato. Your goal is to create a bunch of fanned slices that will bake into crispy individual slices that are fun to pull-apart, like a buttery chip to dip in sour cream, ketchup or even A1 sauce. 🙂

Grab a cutting board and start.

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After you have the slices completed to the end of the potato, you can run it under water flexing the slices to remove some of the starch that can prevent the slices to fan open.

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Bake for 45-50 minutes basting every 10-15 minutes throughout.

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Once the potato skin is nice and crispy, and the center is soft & buttery they’re done! Serve with sour cream or French onion dip and eat like chips! Yum-o!

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Hasselback Potatoes

4-6 medium potatoes (I used Idaho )
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Sour cream to garnish

Clean potatoes. Place a potato between two wooden spoon handles. Cut slits almost all the way in, the wooden spoons will help prevent the cut from going all the way through. Rinse in cold water. Dry each potato before applying the olive oil and seasonings.

Place the potatoes in a 9×13 baking dish. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Flex the cuts to get the seasonings and oil in between. Bake for 5-8 minutes then start basting with the garlic butter. (Add other herbs, if you prefer)

Bake at 425°F for 45-50 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with the melted butter. MAKE SURE YOU GET BETWEEN EACH CUT!

Serve with sour cream. Enjoy!

*Recipe first seen and created on Tahnycooks

Chocolate Pot de Crème

14 Feb

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Sometimes I feel so humbled by the untainted love God has for me. Gosh, I mess up so often, and yet He loves me with a love that is so perfect and never ending. His love covers me like the morning dew, so soft, clean, pure and refreshing….

My husband is the biggest blessing God has blessed me with. Which in turn makes me fall in love with my Savior all that much more. When The Lord was creating Kent, He had me in mind.

“I am my lover’s and my lover is mine…” Song of Solomon 6:3 NIV

Things I Love about Kent:

1.) he loves The Lord

2.) his ability to tell me, “it’s ok” and I believe him

3.) he is the best daddy ever

4.) he has the ability to make me whisper, “I love you Kent” when he’s not even around.

5.) he loves my food (but he is getting a little too comfortable in his critiquing, he has picked that up from my father)

6.) he ignores my stress during stressful catering jobs and still helps me (BeckyF & Samantha, you both have witnessed this many times)

7.) his dry humor

Things I would like to change about Kent, but love him anyways are:

1.) he hates nuts (so annoying)

2.) he gives me a 5 minute delay before he does anything I ask

3.) he wrestles too hard until he makes someone cry. (Yes, even his own children)

4.) he NEVER puts the milk or orange juice away

5.) he don’t cook. ANYTHING EVER, he would rather starve. (I don’t get it either)

I figured I should stop there and make sure the “I love” column was longer! I will say, the latter column; I typed through it like lightning! 😉

Kent and I have been married for 10 years. Yes, as with all marriages there have been a lot of up’s and down’s, but keeping God in the center of our marriage and giving Him the broken pieces to mend and place back together, has only made our marriage stronger. We have been blessed, because of perseverance.

Hold steadfast in whatever difficult situation you might have, you will be blessed! My prayer is that Kent and I won’t have too many difficult situations, but that we will never grow numb to the importance of our marriage staying strong in the foundation of God always being 1st in everything.

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NIV

Oh besides, Kent and I have said, “we will never get divorced because we are too cheap and it’s too much paper work!” 😉

Kent loves chocolate. I’m convinced he loves chocolate because I don’t make it that often. Find out why HERE.

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Remove the cream from the heat as soon as it starts to get small simmering bubbles around the saucepans’ edges.

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Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Mix well, add the egg yolk mixture.

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Pour the chocolate custard into the ramekins.

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Using the bain marie (ban mah-REE) is the term for a hot water bath. This method creates an even and gentle way of baking for the custard. These turned out perfect!

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This custard is soooo nice and thick, it reminds me of fudge. Kent loved it….oxox.

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Chocolate Pot de Creme

2 cups whipping cream
6oz. dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar

Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Arrange six 3/4-cup ramekins in a roasting or 9×13-inch pan.

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized bowl; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until it’s steaming; remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth.

Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. When the chocolate mixture has cooled a bit, whisk in the egg yolk mixture. Divide the custard between the cups, and pour warm water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the cups.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the custards are set. Cool, then refrigerate until well chilled.

Garnish with berries and/or sweetened whipped cream. Enjoy!

Recipe first seen and created on Tahnycooks.

Coeur La Creme

11 Feb

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Bonjour! I’m feeling a little “French” today. With all this romance floating around with Valentines Day coming this week I thought I would make a French dessert.

I didn’t have time to make any pastry or custard like almost all French desserts require, so I went with this easy and delicious spread. The contrast of this white sweet vanilla cream spread looks stunning with bright red berries. You can also serve this with vanilla wafers, brownie chunks, all fruits, pound cake and just by the spoonfuls!”inks.l,xiliodfijtjgigjgjg gedomnbvijijokokkkk,kkkkkklp Continue reading

Chocolate Raspberry Cake Squares With Ganache

7 Feb

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Today is confession day. I don’t eat chocolate. I’d rather eat THIS, THIS AND THIS!

There, I said it. Don’t be a hater, or stop following me. I have been keeping this secret from those of you that only know me through my blog. Sorry….!

Pick up your jaw, and put your eyeballs back in their sockets.

I’m tired of my friend Becky “F” making me feel like I’m a phony! She’s mean. But, seriously one of my BFF’s.

Ok, so here’s why I don’t eat chocolate or drink coffee, tea and soda pop.

1.) I’ve decided to be caffeine free since 6th grade.

So yes, for those of you that are doing the math IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME! (I’m 35, if that helps some of you)

Over the years I have developed quite a phobia of chocolate. I don’t even eat things that are even drizzled, touching, frosted, coated or scooped out with the same spoon as chocolate. I’m totally overboard with this, I know. But, as with anything I don’t even think about this. It’s just been my way of life for almost 23 years.

I do eat white chocolate without cocoa butter. White chocolate isn’t even really chocolate, it’s just a delicious creamy candy. And as far as soda pop, COME ON THAT STUFF IS AWFUL FOR YOU!

However, I do love the smell of a rich chocolate dessert baking. And who doesn’t love the smell of coffee?! Sometimes I’m tempted, but I never surrender.

Ok, now that I have made my confession and I feel this freedom, I want to share with you my requested birthday cake when I did eat chocolate.

I would beg Nellie to make me this cake all the time. I’d eat this cake until I was sick. And by golly if I were to ever eat chocolate again this is what I would eat first and then second!

Nellie would make this cake in a bit of a different style. But all the ingredients are the same.

Make and bake your cake. This is a very runny batter.

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While the cake is baking; make filling. The raspberries were beautiful. Gently fold the berries into the sweetened whipped cream.

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Make sure the cake is completely cooled before assembling.

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This is a perfect Valentines Day Dessert. For you, not me.

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My Valentine loves chocolate. He took all these to work!

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Chocolate Raspberry Cake Squares With Ganache

Cake Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared dish.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool completely.

Cut into 18-20 squares. Then split each square into two. Fill with the filling. Smooth the sides. And dip all sides into the ganache then cover the top. Or, leave the sides exposed and just spoon the ganache over the top. Garnish with a raspberry.

Whipped Cream Filling

3 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
3/4 Powdered Sugar (add more if the raspberries aren’t very sweet or if you just like it sweeter!)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
2-2 1/2 cups Fresh Raspberries

Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and extracts to a COLD mixing bowl. Whip on medium high speed until it can hold a solid peak. But, don’t over whip!

Fold in the whole raspberries. Don’t crush or purée; keep whole.

Chocolate Ganache

12oz of Semisweet Chocolate, chopped
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat heavy cream just to a simmer. Pour over chopped chocolate, add sugar. Let sit for 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Add vanilla.

*Chocolate cake adapted from, Hershey’s. Thank you!

*Chocolate Raspberry Cake Squares first seen and created on Tahnycooks.

*Side note: Using a heart shaped cookie cutter would be super cute. I thought about it, but I didn’t want to have any cake scraps around since, I don’t eat chocolate! The square shape prevented scraps!

*Side note: Nellie brought me over this cake. No chocolate!

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Lemon Pound Cake

4 Feb

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Have you ever had one of those days that it seems like everything you touch turns out as a stink’n disaster?!

Well, that was my day. It started like this:

Max shut his alarm off before I heard it in his room blasting off to the Superman theme song. So, because of this, he missed the bus. Which then resulted in getting Rudy Raccoon up from his sound sleep.

I kinda cherish the quiet mornings after Max gets on the bus. I really enjoy watching Beth Moore uninterrupted with Rudy’s wants and needs of the day.

You would think I could drop my child off to school on time, but no! And since we were running 3 minutes late I had to “sign him in” at the office. But before I surrendered to exposing myself (sweatpants, moon boots, no make-up, frizzy hair and a stained sweatshirt from the night before) to the other mothers that must get up at 5am to put on a nice pant suit, make-up and boots with heels, I seriously debated on just keeping Max home. Bad mom moment, I know…
When I get to feeling this way at times reading THIS HELPS ME.

Since Rudy and I were up and out already, I thought it would be safe to go to the library for only 37 seconds so I can get a movie and go hibernate back home. But….there was a lovely lady in there that noticed my 3 years and 4 month old is not potty trained yet. I wanted to cry and tell her, “I’ve been trying!” But, I just listened to her with a smile on my face while she was giving me her advice on how she had the miracle solution on how to get toddlers trained.

This ladies miracle solution was simple: “just let them run around at home with nothing on.” BRILLIANT! (Now remember, I’m desperate) She did say I would have to stay home all day and keep putting my child on the potty every few minutes.

Stay home all day: Check!
No clothes on my child, translation=no laundry: Check!

Accident 1 happened on the kitchen wood floor directly after sitting on the toilet for 8 minutes.

Accident 2 happened on the carpet. sigh…

Accident 3 happened directly on one of my kitchen drawers. I opened the drawer, and my ramekins were full of urine. I quickly called my friend Becky to get calmed down and to have her talk me out of going to the library and demanding this ladies address!

So after a good bleaching, and putting a diaper on Rudy, I had some rational thinking that I was the coo-coo one for trying this method, I decided pound cake would make things better. Prayer and baking calm me down.

The day was grey (in more ways then one) outside and I thought the refreshing taste of lemon with a sweet glaze was just what I needed to brighten things up around here!

Doesn’t it look yummy!

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I can’t wait to have a slice or twoooo………nnnnNNNNOOOOOO!!!!!

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This literally slipped out of my hands. I stood looking down at it for about 27 minutes in disbelief. Fortunately, I did eat the slice that is pictured above. This was 😦 delicious!
I will be making his again, but just not today. I gotta go, Rudy just spilled his milk! Shocking!

Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten. I bet she didn’t drop hers! Or have pee in her ramekins!

Side note: Ephesians 5:20 (NIV) always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I wouldn’t change a single thing about my life! I’m richly loved and forever accepted!

Side note: I did eat off the floor. Don’t judge!

Monster Cookies

1 Feb

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Rudy had his first friend over today. That’s pretty much all I can say.

I don’t get how wrestling is fun. And, I’m also confused by the constant announcement of farts. Passing gas is supposed to be a secret. Or, if you ask my husband he will tell you that woman don’t even poop. Denial.

The biggest thing that confuses me is how boys can just “move on” from a disagreement. They become best friends again directly after an all out brawl. I’m amazed by this ability boys have. There was no, “oh, no…youuuu….didn’t?!” or “I’m not talking to you” or “I’m not your friend anymore!”

Boys, they just “punch it out” and become ok, again. I certainly don’t get it! I almost feel like telling my boys sometimes, “that they need to really evaluate how that friend just treated you…or, maybe you should spend some time away from that friend..?…. maybe you should tell that friend how they made you feel….?”

Then I realize that I would be alienating my sons from having any friends EVER in their life! Boys, they got the “forgive & forget” thing down. Momma needs to just butt out. Ugggg, I just feel like we need to talk about this…..

I remember going to Kent’s house when we were just dating and I was hit in the face by testosterone! My husband has 3 brothers (and 1 sister) and when I was over there for one of the first times they all got in this huge wresting match in the living room. I didn’t realize this was “fun” I wanted to take cover behind the couch with the phone clutched in my hand and call a friend to come and rescue me. But, then I realized my best friend and weren’t talking so I would just have to resort to 911.

The thing that left me in awe was Kent’s mother. She just kept doing her house work. This tangled ball of boys hitting, choke holding, pinning and doing this thing called “full nelson’s” didn’t even phase her. I remember even seeing her step over the sweaty boys to get to the bathroom to put freshly folded towels away. I thought she must have been blind. But no, she is not blind, she is a mother of boys. She gets it.

Oh, and Kent’s father Ken, he just sat on the couch with the tv clicker in his hand turning up the volume because he couldn’t hear the tv over all the grunting. Then every once in awhile his father would mutter his now famous words, “it’s all fun until someone gets hurt.” Classic. Then once the WWF showdown was over, they would all sit together at the table all red faced and sweaty passing each other mashed potatoes. I would just sit there in silence, scared and so confused. I felt like I just wanted to tell Kent, “don’t give your brothers any potatoes, remember he just punched you!”

Ok, on to the cookies! And what cookie is more appropriate then Monster cookies for boys?!

My little monsters today…Rudy and Caleb. I tried my hardest to get them to smile sweetly, I even tried to threaten to take the candy away but, they started to cry and yell. I didn’t think tears would look like they had a good time. So, I settled for this…ugh, boys.

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I mixed in every source of candy I could in this classic monster dough batter. Rudy did cry when the Reese’s Cups got poured in by Caleb. Rudy looked and shouted at Caleb, “why’d you do that?!?!”

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I felt so privileged to have Batman and a pirate help me make cookies today

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They need to work on keeping their portions a little more uniform.

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I will say that Caleb was into making the cookies while Rudy was hoarding the Reese’s Cups.
Isn’t that a sweet face?!

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After my Super hero’s left to go save the planet from another villain, I made the cookies a little more uniform, they turned out great!

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Monster Cookies

2 sticks (1/2 Pound) Butter (salted) Softened
1/2 cup White Sugar
1-1/2 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
2 whole Large Eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Salt
1-1/2 cup Oats (either Quick Or Regular)
1 cup mini Reese’s Cups
1/2 cup M & M’s
3/4 cups Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter with sugars until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to mixing bowl and mix till combined. After that, add in remaining ingredients in whatever quantity you prefer. Add more if you’d like, or more M & M’s, more Reese’s Cup, white or chocolate chips.

Bake until golden brown, then allow to cool on a rack.

Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman, but tweaked a lot to my Super Hero’s liking!

Being Obedient

29 Jan

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“Obedience” is a subject Kent and I have mentioned lately in our conversations. We have realized that there are certain circumstances in life that being obedient to God is not that simple. You would think just for the mere fact that we are christians this wouldn’t be so hard. We need to just trust and obey God. But, oh my…that’s easier said then done. God never said it would be easy.

To be obedient is to be “willing” and to “submit”. Just hearing the word “submit” can bring negative feelings, especially for woman. But, God never intended for that word to have a negative stigma. We humans can be put to blame for that. And to be “willing” isn’t that easy either!

Lately there are subjects in my household that bring up the question, “are we being obedient to God?” Well, this question always leaves me thinking. “If I’m obedient to God, it could change my life drastically, it might be uncomfortable to go through, I might be embarrassed, I might lose friends, we could suffer….” Goodness, after listing all these things about being obedient, who would want too?

Then I have to ask myself what would happen if I/we weren’t being obedient to God? Not being obedient to God is far worse then any temporary embarrassment, suffering or loss of friends. We could be in a state of discontentment, or constantly be in search for fulfillment that isn’t being filled by our own searching. And being disobedient is going against what God tells us in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

This reminds me of Jonah in the Bible. He didn’t want to be obedient to God by going to Nineveh like God told him to. So, what did Jonah do? He ran away and searched for a place to hide from God. Can you imagine how he felt?! The constant pit in Jonah’s stomach, the worry, the guilt, the disobedience. He tried to escape God and His request and it only made matters much worse for Jonah.

See, by us denying that we need to be obedient to God makes us miserable! Yes, by being obedient to God might not seem like it would be pleasant given your circumstance, but we at least know that God is with us, and we are teaming together to conquer the task at hand. Jonah was running from God and trying to hide from Him, which is impossible. But, through Gods grace He gave Jonah a second chance. I don’t want to run from God, I want to run with Him while He’s holding my hand.

Being disobedient to God is depriving ourselves of His blessings. To be obedient to God is accepting His blessing. His blessing could be unfolded through our journey of obedience by just learning to trust Him, and to grow in spiritual maturity.

Of course being obedient to God doesn’t only bless us but, you never know how our trial blesses others throughout our journey. My friends Valerie and Michelle are both great testaments of this. Valerie just went on a journey to Indonesia. The mission trip she was on lasted 10 days. Valerie has 3 young boys at home that she left behind. She was very hesitant at first to go but she answered the call to be obedient to God. And through this beautiful journey she was blessed by God opening her eyes to a whole new world out there that needed what she had to share, and little did she know just how much she needed them. They were both blessed by her obedience to God. You can read about Valerie’s journey here.

Michelle, (my neighbor from years back.) Her husband and family have surrendered to Gods calling by way of adoption from Ethiopia. Wow, that is so amazing! To rescue a child in need and to be able to share the love of Christ isn’t only a blessing to this child but it will be within their hearts too. And what a strong testimony this child will have to share with others as he grows older throughout his life.
You can learn about Michelle’s journey here.

Just like when our children are being disobedient we as their parent and God as our Father are here to guide us back into the right direction, to protect us and to help us understand what path we need to take, so we can grow and be a light in this often too dark of a world.

So, yes being obedient to God can be a “not so eager” challenge at times. But, to miss out on Gods blessing He has in store for us and others is just tragic.

My good friend Karen sent me this quote, “when you feel intimidated, remember that you have the DNA of the Almighty God!”

Lord, help Kent and I to be bold in obedience to You.

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I took this picture of this crabapple tree just about 1 month ago. It was shocking and so refreshing to see what God has in store. I can only imagine it was tough and unpleasant for those blooms to be so vibrant on such a cool winter day. But, it blessed me and it was a nice reminder that “OUR Spring” is just around the corner. We are renewed.

-Tahny