Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mary Patton's Beef Stroganoff with Noodles

Hmmm....what do I think about when I think about college?  Maybe how much of it I don't remember?  No, of course not!  That would be ridiculous!

I think of my friends...the people that got me into and out of more trouble than should be discussed on this blog.  

They were, for all intents and purposes, my family in Athens, GA.

We did everything together.  Meals were shared, glasses clinked together in celebration, dramas unfolded, memories were made and through it all lifelong bonds were forged.

I think back on all the silly things we did whether it be piling in a restaurant where our friends worked just to get a free meal of fried shrimp thinking there was no way the owner was going to find out....Or figuring out that if we called the pizza delivery person at just the right time they would meet us at the house with a fresh pizza perfect for a late-night, post bar snack...Or climbing on top of a fraternity house at 4:30 in the morning because that was clearly the best decision, and safest option, we could think of.

There are a million tales that are not fit for story time but what endures are the friendships that remain.

I will never forget the friends who consoled me after a heartbreak, the rides down Lumpkin Street belting out our favorite songs or sitting on a porch on a perfect spring day just having a beer and enjoying the company of those around me.

These people made a mark on my soul that will last a lifetime, but one of the highlights of these amazing people was the food their parents would send back with them that we would all devour before it ever even hit the fridge.

One such dish was a meal my roommate, Mary Beth, would bring back any time she went to see her parents.  Her mother knew it was her favorite and after my first taste of this delicious meal it soon became one of mine as well.

Here is one of my tasty memories from my college days!

Mary Patton's Beef Stroganoff with Noodles

1 ½ - 2 lbs round steak cut into strips (or use ½ thick sirloin instead)
1 medium onion sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1-cup sour cream
2 T. ketchup
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 (3 oz.) can sliced mushrooms
12 oz. noodles (egg noodles) cooked and drained and tossed with 1 T. butter
Always remember to use a separate cutting board for meat.

Brown meat strips in small amount of hot vegetable oil (2T).
Add onions and garlic and cook until tender.
 In a bowl, mix soup, sour cream, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and mushrooms (with liquid); pour over meat and heat through (try not to boil).
 Serve over egg noodles.
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Dad's Flemings Potatoes

Years ago my Dad did an experiment with a recipe he found that claimed to be the delicious "Flemings Potatoes" which have been legendary in our house for years.  Armed with this recipe and his knowledge of similar recipes, Dad went to work.  These are now a favorite for Sunday dinner and a dish that is totally worth all the time it takes to peel and slice the potatoes.....and that is saying something coming from the girl who HATES to peel a potato!!

Dad's Version of the Fleming's Potatoes

3 tablespoons butter
2 small jalapenos peppers,diced
2 leeks, diced, whites only
2 garlic cloves,minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, fine grind
1 1/2 heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups pepperjack cheese, grated
5 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes.Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add jalapenos, leeks garlic, salt and pepper and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
Add cream and half&half and bring to a simmer.  
When cream is hot, remove pan from the stove.  Stir in both cheese and blend thoroughly.  
Place potato slices in a large mixing bowl.  Add cream mixture to the bowl, folding potatoes and sauce gently together.  
Grease a 9x13-inch glass baking dish with non-stick coating.  
Pour in potato mixture and evenly distribute potatoes and sauce.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil.  
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 60 minutes.  
Remove foil and cook an additional 15 minutes to brown potatoes.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bourbon Mushrooms

You know the best part about mushrooms?  They are like little sponges and absorb the flavor of anything you want to throw at them!

Wine, Italian Dressing, butter or soy sauce....the list is endless!  They will absorb those delicious, tasty ingredients and provide an excellent side to compliment any meal.  You could probably soak those bad boys in beer and they would turn out delicious!

Just think about it...soak them in beer, batter them up and throw them in the deep fryer then serve them with a big ole vat of homemade ranch?  YUM!  

Clearly that had me 100% distracted!  

Back to my conversation I was having with myself about mushrooms.  

They are kinda my faves!  I really do love them stuffed for an appetizer, in most any sauce or even just roasted as a side, so whenever I find a recipe that I think looks like it might have something to it and the main ingredient is a mushroom, I am sold!  

Here is one such recipe I found on a blog I love to read, Plain Chicken, that has provided me ample amounts of dishes to try for parties and family dinners alike!

Bourbon Mushrooms
as adapted from Plain Chicken
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds assorted fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup bourbon (Maker's Mark)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried French thyme

In a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. 
Add chopped mushrooms, salt and pepper. 
 Cook 12-15 minutes, until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. 
 Add bourbon and cook 2-3 more minutes. 
 Reduce heat to low and add garlic, parsley and thyme. 
Cook 2-3 more minutes.
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Herbed Potato Gratin with Roasted Garlic and Manchego

What is it about any sort of potato dish that I cannot pass up?  Add to that 3 different kinds of cheeses and you have my heart in a pyrex dish!

I am constantly in the market for new recipes to try with some of our family favorites but at the end of the day I have come to realize a few things.  First, I will always be attracted to anything even remotely associated with potatoes and second I am going to top it in cheese.

It is just what I do.

Cheese and potatoes are essentially my happy place.  When I saw that this recipe also called for roasted garlic I was sold and compiling a grocery list in my mind before I even knew when I was going to serve it.

Here is just another one of the delicious potato recipes I have been lucky enough to find!

Herbed Potato Gratin with Roasted Garlic and Manchego

original recipe from Food & Wine

3 heads of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 quart half-and-half
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
9 ounces aged Manchego cheese, coarsely shredded (2 cups)
5 ounces San Simón or smoked Gouda cheese, shredded (1 cup)

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a 9-inch cake pan, drizzle the garlic with the oil.
Cover with foil and roast for 40 minutes, until tender. Let cool, then squeeze out the cloves.
Mash the garlic to a paste and transfer to a saucepan.
Add the half-and-half, thyme and rosemary and bring to a boil.
Simmer over very low heat until reduced to 3 cups, 20 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Arrange one-fourth of the potatoes in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
Top with one-fourth of the shredded cheeses and drizzle lightly with the garlic cream.  Repeat the layering with the remaining potatoes, cheese and cream. Pour any remaining cream on top and press the top layer of potatoes to submerge it.

Bake the gratin for about 1 1/2 hours, until golden and bubbling. Let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

MAKE AHEAD The gratin can be prepared through Step 3; refrigerate overnight. Return to room temperature before baking.
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Friday, February 8, 2013

Baked Brie Recipe

I love, love, love cheese....but I don't like it on my sandwiches.  

Strange, right?

Well I don't...I do, however, love it in any other form or fashion!

There is just something about a well-balanced cheese tray at a party that just screams "park here and devour the entire tray".  Alas, I typically restrain myself from this urge, though not always as successfully as I might have hoped!

When I came across this recipe I thought it looked like the perfect way to include a few more of my favorite flavors right there in with the delicious cheese!

The picture looked so lovely and tasty, but in truth, ours did not turn out looking so clean and delicious, though the flavor was incredible!  

My theory, you ask?  

Well I think that we diced the tomatoes up more than they were supposed to be so they made the dip much darker than in the pictures I had seen on Pinterest, but as I said before...the flavor was out of this world!

Baked Brie Recipe

about 10 oz. Brie
8 oz. jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained & chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping teaspoon of dried thyme or 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
fresh cracked black pepper
Baguette or crackers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Remove rind from Brie, then cut brie into cubes.
In medium bowl, combine sun dried tomatoes, garlic, thyme, fresh cracked black pepper
In small-medium baking dish, layer the base with about 1/3 of the sun dried tomato mixture, then top with 1/2 of the chopped brie. Repeat the layering until the top layer is the sun dried tomato mixture.
Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, or until the brie completely melts and becomes bubbly. You may need to stir the dip one time, about 15 minutes into the baking to combine the layers.
Serve warm, with bread or crackers
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pizza Rolls

As I have said time and time again, I cannot live without pizza....I LOVE IT!!

Pizza is one of those foods that the situation has to be pretty extreme for me not to eat it or crave it in some fashion.

When I came across this recipe on Pinterest while in search of Super Bowl party appetizers I immediately sent it to my sister-in-law and we decided it was a must try!  Here is another delicious appetizer recipe among so many on my Appetizers board on Pinterest!!

Easy Pepperoni Rolls
as adapted from

3 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits (10 biscuits per can)
56 pepperoni slices
Block of cheese (I use Colby & Monterey Jack)
1 beaten egg
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
1 jar pizza sauce

Cut the block of cheese into at least 28 squares.
Flatten a biscuit out and stack pepperoni and cheese on top. 
Gather up the edges of the biscuit.
Now you have a cute little bundle.
Line the rolls up (seam side down) in a greased 9x13 in. pan. Brush with beaten egg. 
Sprinkle with Parmesan, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
Bake at 425°F for 18-20 minutes.
Serve the rolls with warm pizza sauce for dipping.
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Rotel Cups

Well the Super Bowl has come and season is officially over which means I have only a few months to build back up and arsenal of appetizer recipes for next year!  This year for the Super Bowl we were going to keep it a little more low key so I was just going to cook some ribs, make some mac 'n cheese and a couple appetizers, but I wanted to try something new....something that we could possibly add to our line up for next year's tailgating parties.

After searching through my Appetizers board on Pinterest I came up with several ideas and sent them on to my sister-in-law so she could make the final decision.

These were chosen for one of two Super Bowl appetizers this year!

Rotel Cups
3 pkg. filo pastry cups – thawed
1 Can rotel drained (almost all the way)
1 bag hormel bacon bits
1 cup shredded swiss
1 cup Dukes Mayo

Mix it up real good and scoop evenly into the little cups. Cook at 350 for 15 min.
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Cilantro Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Often times people ask me what my favorite dish is to make and honestly I have no idea!  It completely depends on my mood.  I mean, of course, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for pasta and Mexican food is simply a given but to be frank, I simply don't know what my "favorite" thing would be to make.

I often times answer this question with the response "I know what other people's favorite dish is...." and that is my chicken enchiladas!

Some members of my family and some of my dearest friends have actually threatened that they either haven't had this dish in far too long or have never had it before and I am pretty certain they are implying that our friendship/familial relations may be on the line should this not be rectified soon!

   With all of that being said I typically don't even look at different enchilada recipes since what I use seems to do the job just fine, but when I saw this one I thought it was a must try!  First of all there were not too many ingredients so it fit perfectly into the "Budget Friendly Meal" category.  Second, it included cilantro.....boy do I love cilantro!  

I realize there are readers out there that just stopped reading because they hate cilantro.  Someone has actually told me before that the only reason they could see growing cilantro was to burn it.  True story!  I learned that this is a genetic thing.  Evidently some people taste cilantro like soap.  It is not a matter of preference or being a picky simply tastes gross to them!

I am just grateful I am not one of those folks!

I called in some of my finest taste testers and here is what we had and I must admit, in my opinion these might actually rival my traditional chicken enchiladas!  

Cilantro Lime Chicken Enchiladas
as adapted from

2 cups shredded chicken (I bought a rotisserie chicken and used the whole thing)
2 avocados, diced
couple cilantro leaves, chopped
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper
12 flour tortillas
1 10 oz. can green chile enchilada sauce ($.79)
1 – 1 1/2 cups shredded queso quesadilla or Mexican blend cheese ($1)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9×13 glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, diced avocado, cilantro, sour cream, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper.
Pour a little bit of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish.
Spoon the mixture evenly onto the 12 tortillas.
Roll, place seam side down, and fit snugly into the baking dish.  Pour the enchilada sauce over the top.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbly.
Prepare a side dish.
Serve Cilantro Lime Chicken Enchiladas with side dish.
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