Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ranch Oyster Crackers

Our aunt Donna makes these yummy snacks during the holidays. They are super easy to make and a great snack to leave out in a bowl for your guests.

Ranch Oyster Crackers
Time: 30mins

- 2 packages of Oyster Crackers (Mine were 9oz bags)
- 1 package of Dry Ranch Mix (add more if desired)
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Dill Weed (Optional)
- 1/2-3/4 c Oil
  1. Mix dry spices into the crackers. Slowly drizzle in oil and stir every 5-10mins until everything is well coated. 
  2. If desired you can heat them in the oven for a few minutes prior to serving. (We typically don't)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy always bring back fond memories of Christmas morning. Dad only made this for me for a few years, but somehow it has always stuck and I ask for it EVERY year. I love the great feelings and memories that food evokes even years later. This year I decided that it was my time to take over and continue this tradition.

Biscuits & Gravy (Makes 6 biscuits)
Time: 45mins-1hr

Sausage Gravy
- 4-5 oz Sausage, Removed from casing (I used a hot breakfast sausage)
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 2 1/2c Milk, plus extra if it thickens too much
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Salt and Pepper
  1. Cook sausage in large pan and crumble into small pieces.
  2. Lower the heat to medium low and add butter and milk.
  3. Add in flour and mix until smooth. It will take a few minutes for the gravy to start thickening.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste and pour on the biscuits! If the gravy thickens too much prior to serving, just add a little more milk or cream.
Tupelo honey Cafe Biscuits
- 2c Flour
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 tbsp Sour Cream
- 1 tsp, plus 1/2tsp salt
- 3/4 c unsalted butter, frozen
- 1/2 c Buttermilk
- 1 tbsp butter melted
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and soda, sour cream, and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl.
  3. Using a cheese grater to shave butter into flour, cut the butter into flour mixture with a fork.
  4. Once mixture resembles a coarse meal, add buttermilk and stir until combined. Don't overmix!
  5. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1 inch thickness and use a biscuit cutter (I used a cup) to cut our biscuits. Place on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven for about 10-12 mins. ( The cookbook states 20-25 mins, but at 17 minutes mine were already slightly over brozned)
  6. You can brush melted butter on top if you'd like or just skip that step and pour on the gravy!

Monday, December 24, 2012

10 Reasons Why I love You

On the tenth day of Christmas...I just wanted to tell you a few of the reasons why I love you so much.

1. You love me more than I even know.
2. You are one of the most caring and honest people I have ever met.
3. You are going to be an amazing father one day.
4. You work hard for our family, yourself, and for those you don't even know.
5. You are the most handsome man in the world.
6. You make me laugh.
7. You do the dishes after I spend hours in the kitchen making us a meal.
8. You make sure there are no water spots on our faucets and mirrors.
9. You're my American hero.
10. There is no one else that could've been more perfect for me.

Thank you for your unconditional love, taking care of me always, and for the life you allow me to enjoy. I'm truly thankful for the opportunity you've given me by allowing me to go back to school full time without having to worry about work. I know I don't say it enough, but thank you for making my life amazing. Though work keeps you away from home, I cherish every single minute we have together and wouldn't trade our life together for anything.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Salt Crusted Ribeye Roast

My dad has made ribeye roasts on Christmas day for as long as I can remember! Since we aren't able to travel home for Christmas this year, I had to make this for our dinner party. There's no better way to show our friends how much we love them! This roast will definitely please your guests, give this a whirl for your next dinner party!

Ribeye Roast (Serves 20)
Time: 18-20min per lb (Cook time depends on size of roast)

- 11lbs Ribeye Roast
( We purchased ours at Costco, you can also use other cuts of meat for a more reasonable price)
- 1 Bunch of Celery
- 1 Bunch of Carrots
- 1 Large Onion
- 5 whole cloves of Garlic (Optional)
- 3 Sprigs of Rosemary (Optional)
- 26z Container of Salt
- Pepper

  1. Let the meat rest at room temperature for 1-2hrs prior to cooking.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Add rosemary sprigs and roughly chopped vegetables to the bottom of the pan. Set aside 1-2cups to place on top of the roast.
  4. Place the meat on top of the vegetables, fat side up.
  5. Rub black pepper onto the roast. Coat the top of the roast with salt, you will use most of the salt to create a nice salt crust. When you think it's too much salt...just keep going. To keep with the holiday spirit, it will look like a snowy mound!
  6. Top with leftover vegetables and rosemary and place in oven for 3-3.5 hrs. Use a meat thermometer to make sure it is cooked to your liking.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole

After years of enjoying yam and marshmallow casseroles for Thanksgiving, I decided to mix it up and make a sweet potato casserole this year. It was AWESOME...I'm now a believer of the sweet potato casserole! I'm sorry dear yam, but I will not be turning back. Hope you enjoy it! What are some of your variations?

Sweet Potato Casserole (Serves 10)
Time: 1hr

- 3 Large Sweet Potatoes, Skin Removed
- 1 Egg
- 1/3c Flour
- 1/2-3/4c Brown Sugar
- 1/4c Evaporated Milk
- 1/2tsp Vanilla 
- 1tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2tsp Nutmeg
- 1c Pecans, Chopped
- 4tbsp Butter
- Pinch of Salt
- Marshmallows (Optional)
  1. Cut sweet potatoes into even pieces. Place pot on stove with water sitting about an inch above the potatoes on medium/medium high heat, cook until tender.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Mix together pecans, brown sugar, 1/2tsp cinnamon, and flour in a bowl.
  4.  In another bowl mash the potatoes with 2 tbsp butter, 1/2tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, milk, vanilla and egg (Add in beated egg slowly).
  5. Top the potatoes with the pecan mixture and two pats of butter. Bake in oven for 20mins. 
  6. Add in marshmallows at the last 10mins of baking or add them at the end and set oven to broil just until they brown. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Baked Eggs and Spinach in Prosciutto Cups

"These are a few of my favorite things!" I had leftover La Quercia Prosciutto that was waiting to be made into a delightful brunch! I liked it so much that I've already decided to make this again on New Years Day. Hope you enjoy it too, feel free to add whatever your taste buds desire.

Baked Eggs and Spinach in Prosciutto Cups ( 4 Cups)

Time: 30mins

- Handful of Spinach
- Prosciutto (2-3 slices per cup)
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Garlic Clove, Minced
- Feta Cheese (Optional)
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Oil 4 spaces of a muffin tin/ramekin and layer the prosciutto slices into into the cups.
  3. Pack each cup with chopped spinach, garlic, and top with an egg. Place back in the oven for 15-17mins until eggs are baked.
  4. Once the cups are ready, top with cheese and serve!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sweet Greens Juice

After admiring juicers for the past year, I had a special delivery at my door from my parents the other day. I'm so excited to create and try new juice recipes, so please post your favorite recipes! I grew up drinking homemade juices and I've always loved the taste of celery and cucumber, so of course I had to include them in my first juice! I think this recipe is a good start for a beginner's "green" juice. Enjoy!

Sweet Greens (Makes 20oz)
- 1/2 English Cucumber
- 3 Stalks of Celery, Chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 Med or 3 Small Apples, Sliced into wedges
- 2 Handfuls of Spinach
- 1 Pear, Sliced into wedges

  1. Make sure you follow the feeding instructions for your specific juicer.
  2. In order to reduce pulp backup, I alternate the celery and spinach with the fruit and cucumber.
I know I've only used it once so far, but I really enjoy my Omega VRT350 HD. While the masticating juicers are a little slower, I didn't find it to be too tedious. I've also read some complaints about additional cleaning time, but it only took me a few minutes. Aside from the great juice and dry pulp, I absolutely love that the juicer is upright and small enough to store on my counter. Keep an eye out for Bed Bath and Beyond's 20% coupons, these juicers can get expensive and I saved $75.00 on my purchase! Happy juicing friends!

- Masticating vs. Centrifugal