Monday, December 31, 2012

Ham and Cheese Chili Dogs

My husband has some of the most unique ideas when it comes to food. Sound a little crazy I know, but this is so good and easy the family will truly be surprised. 

8 Slices Ham 1 1/2" thick and 6 inches long

1 8 count package hot dog buns
Fiesta shredded cheese
Home make relish

Place the buns on a cookie sheet and let them toast nice and golden.  Place the ham slices on cookie sheet with buns and allow to warm.
Homemade Bean Less Chili
1 lb ground meat
2 Tbs Flour
1 4 oz Can Tomato Sauce
2 Tablespoons Water
11/2 cup Chili Seasoning Mix
1 Tsp Red Chili Sauce (more if you go for spicy)
Salt & Pepper

Brown meat in large kettle.  Mix flour into meat string quickly to avoid lumps.  Pour in Tomato Sauce and water continuing to stir briskly until mixture is smooth. You might need to add more water at this point if the gravy is too thick.  Add chili seasonings, salt and pepper. Let simmer for thirty minutes while hot dogs cook.

Home Made Relish
1/2 Cup Dill Pickles (diced)
2 Jalapeno Peppers (diced)
3 Large Garlic Cloves (crushed)
1/4 Cup Diced Onion                                       

Mix all ingredients and let set in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

Place relish spoonful of relish on bottom of each bun.  Add Ham and top with chili and cheese.  Return to oven until cheese is melted and gooey. ENJOY!

Sweet Potato Fries
2 Large Sweet Potatoes (Baked)
Cooking Spray

Leaving skin on slice cooked potato into strips and place on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray.  Lay potatoes on pan, topping with additional cooking spray.  Add seasonings (ie, garlic salt, onion powder, sea salt etc) and bake at 400 for approximately 10 minutes or until brown flipping occasionally.  Using baked potatoes cuts down on cooking time and adds a crispier texture to the fries.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ham & Potato Cakes

I don't know about you but I am always looking for something different and inspiring to do with all of the holiday leftovers.  Ham & Potato Cakes are so simple and easy you may want to make them any time of the year.  It's a great breakfast treat, quick afternoon lunch or all-in-one dinner idea.  The best part is the amazing aroma they leave behind.  It reminds me of being back home.  This recipe will make twelve cakes 8" cakes.

3 Cups Mashed Potatoes (mashed with skin on)
2 Cups Diced Ham
3 Eggs
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Pepper
1 Tbs Onion Powder
1 Tbs Garlic Powder
2 Cups Flour

Heat 2 inches of oil in a skillet.  Mix Eggs and Potatoes together in a large bowl until eggs are completely blended.  Add Ham and seasonings mixing well.  Stir in flour until you have a sticky batter.  Drop by large spoonful into hot oil and flatten with a spatula.  Cook until crispy brown (about five minutes per side) turning carefully with spatula. Tip: I use two spatulas to turn, holding both sides so that cakes don't flop.  Continue dropping batter into hot oil until none is left.

These quick and easy cakes are good by themselves, or you can add a variety of your favorite toppings.  These pictured are topped with leftover holiday gravy, melted cheese and french onion dip.  You might also try salsa, pica de gallo, or sour cream.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Amazingly Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every once in a while life tosses you an amazing surprise.  I love baking fresh cookies and like a lot of people chocolate chicp loaded with plenty of walnuts is definately my favorite.  This year I took a chance and wanted to see if there is any way to make a vegan cookie.  These cookies are so soft and chewey you can't stop eating them!  The biggest die hard cookie fan won't even realize that this sweet treat is totally vegan.

2 cups flour (I used Self-Rising. If you aren't, add in 1 Tsp of Baking Soda)
1 small bannana (mashed until liquefied)
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups Sunspire 42% Cacao Chips
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix flour, Baking Powder, mashed bananna and butter in large bowl.  Blend together with fork or pasty cutter until no clumps of butter are visible.  Add brown sugar, milk salt and vanilla and continue to mix until dough is moist and well blended.  Add chips and walnuts stirring well to distribute chips evenly into batter.  Coat cookie sheet with a vegetable oil cooking spray.  Drop cookies by spoon on to pan at least 1 1/2 inches and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and slightly moist in the center.  Makes approximately 4 1/2 dozen small cookies 2 1/2 Large ones)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Personal Pan Pizzas

These Pizza's are so darn good. You won't believe how easy they are to make either. I made these using left over smoked breisket and chicken. It didn't matter they both went quick. Make these in advance and freeze to serve at your next party. They are perfect for a leftover lunch too. Use any combination of topings you like. I used these because the combination was colorful and flavorful.

1 pkg (5 count) Indian Flat Bread (Naan)
3 cups Marinara Sauce

1 1/2 cup eash - Mushrooms, Red Pepper, Green Onions, Black Olives and Green Olives

5 Cups chopped or shreeded meat (chicken, beef, pork, sausage)
1/4 Cup Green Chillies

Chedder and Mozeralla Cheese

Dice the vegetable ingredients a couple of hourse before you plan to bake the pizza's and place together in a covered bowl. This gives an equally diverse flavor amoung the ingredients. Place the flat bread on a cookie sheet. Warm in 350 oven for 10 minutes or until as crispy as you like. Do not heat the meat, but add Green Chilies and mix well. Spread marinara sauce to the very edge of each piece of bread. Top with 1 1/2 cup of vegetables and than 1 cup of meat and press with a splatula. Place back in oven for 10 munites to heat. Top with cheese as close to the edge as you can go and press again. Heat in oven until cheese is melted.

You can change the pizza up by adding your favorite meat topping like sausage or peproni and a different comination of cheeses. Either way you prefer them the taste is one of the best pizzas around.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fajita Chicken Stir Fry

Wow!  That's all can say about this.  The flavor was is as good as it looks.  This dish is not only delicious, but it is packed with a nutritious kick. There are several options for making this dish.  The easiest and quickest choice is to simply grab some fajita seasoned chicken breast at the grocery store.  I prefer to season the meat myself.  To do this you can simply purchase 2 packages of Fajita Seasoning Mix, or make your own mix using these ingredients:
Fajita Seasoning
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Poultry Flakes
1 1/2 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Red Pepper      

Stir Fry
4 Lbs Chicken Breast or Thighs cut into strips
2 Peppers (red, green, yellow or orange) sliced into strips
One Medium Onion sliced into strips
1 10 oz package fresh mushrooms sliced

Add 1/4 cup oil to Fajita seasoning in mixing bowl.  Add chicken and cover.  Chill in refrigerator for 2 or more hours.

Place chicken in Wok, or large skillet with 2 tablespoons of marinade.  Stirring chicken frequently allow to cook until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Add fresh vegetables and continue to stir for an additional 10 until vegetables are tender, but not over cooked.

You can serve this the way my husband enjoyed it, with flour tortillas.  You can also serve it over white rice.  Either way you'll enjoy this dish for sure.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

If you carved and canned your fall pumpkin I hope you didn't forget one of the most nutritious parts.  Those pumpkins seeds are packed, and the roast very nicely.  If you read my post on canning pumpkin you know I bake my pumpkins first.  The pumpkin is one of the hardest produce items to cut.

After the pumpkin is baked split it down the middle.  When you remove the inside pulp and seed you have a stringy, gooey mess.  I found place the concoction in a colander and gently kneading it with my fingers allows the seeds to freely dislodge from the pulp.

Once all of the seeds are rounded up pat they dry with a paper towel.  Place them on a baking sheet and coat with a vegetable oil based cooking spray.  With a spatula rotate the seeds so they are completely coated.

At this point you can add what ever seasoning you like.  I used Cajun and garlic salt.  My daughter likes cinnamon and sugar.  Some other combinations might be chili and cheese powder or Parmesan and onion.  Use your imagination to create your own special flavor.  Stir the seeds again to be sure they are generously coated.

Bake seeds in a 350 degree oven for about twenty minutes or until gently browned.  Don't let them get too brown..  Check the seeds often and continue to stir frequently.