Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cashew Broccoli

We had this really delicious broccoli for our Christmas dinner.  If you have trouble eating your broccoli (like we sometimes do in our house), this is such a great recipe!  (How can it not be delicious with 6 ounces of sour cream?)

We didn't exactly measure out 2 pounds of broccoli, but we used 2 (12oz) frozen steamer bags.  The minced onion that the recipe calls for is not the minced onion flakes that are so handy--it's real onion.  Also, if you can't find white wine vinegar, you can use regular white vinegar; that's what we did, and it still tasted wonderful.

Cashew Broccoli

2 lbs broccoli
2 Tbsp minced onion
3 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp paprika
3 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chopped cashews

Steam broccoli until tender.  Saute onion in butter; add sour cream, sugar, poppy seeds, paprika, vinegar, and salt and pepper.  Arrange broccoli on a serving plate.  Pour sauce over broccoli, and sprinkle with cashews.  Serves 6.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Teak Dog Tuesday!

During a recent nap, Teak looked like he was snuggling with my stuffed tiger.  It was pretty cute.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Twice-Baked Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes

This was really good!  It's a meal all by itself.  Whenever I make grilled shrimp, I usually serve it with a baked potato, so this just combined them. 

This is a Paula Deen recipe from a particularly ridiculous Christmas special that was on Food Network a couple of weeks ago in which her two grown sons dressed up like elves and her husband dressed up as Elvis-Santa.  I love her, but I miss the old Paula--the one who didn't say "y'all" every other word, the one who didn't scream and cackle like a witch, the one who didn't deep-fry every other ingredient.

Christmas time makes me nostalgic.


Twice-baked potatoes are always delicious, and they only get better with shrimp sauteed in a pat of butter.  Also, don't skip sprinkling the potatoes with paprika; it smelled wonderful!  We cut the recipe in half, but I'm posting the whole recipe below.  My mom and I enjoyed making these together, and I'm sure your family will enjoy them, too. 

Twice-Baked Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes

6 large Idaho potatoes
Vegetable oil, for coating
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
Salt and ground black pepper
1 pound shrimp, peeled and sauteed
8 oz grated Cheddar cheese
Paprika, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350.  Cover a baking sheet or pan with foil. 

Begin by washing the potatoes, drying them, and gently prinking them with a fork on all sides.  Coat each potato with vegetable oil, place on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour. 

Remove the potatoes from the oven, and slice them in half.  Scoop out the inside of the potato, and place in a large bowl.  Place the butter in the bowl.  Using a mixter on high, mix toghether, and then add the sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. 

Chop the shrimp into large pieces.  Fold the shrimp and cheese into the mixture.  Gently stuff the mixture back into the potato shells, making sure not to break them.  Pile the mixture as high as you can on top of the potato shells.  Sprinkle each potato with paprika.  Bake in the oven until browned on top, 20-25 minutes. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Spaghetti Pie

(The picture above was taken before I put it in the oven.  Just imagine that the cheese has melted.)

This is such a delicious way to make spaghetti!  We made this for Buck's parents for Sunday lunch, and it was a hit with everyone!  We used ground venison, but you can use hamburger meat, too.  We served it with a salad and crescent rolls.  This would be a great weeknight meal.  It definitely serves a crowd. 

Spaghetti Pie

1 lb ground venison
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
8 oz spaghetti, cooked al dente
1 1/3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 Tbsp olive oil
Tony Chachere's (or other Cajun seasoning), to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the venison and brown well.  Season with Tony's, to taste.  Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Adjust seasoning and remove from heat. 

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, cream cheese, and green onions.  Set aside.

Coat a two-quart casserole dish with cooking spray, and add the cooked pasta.  Spread the sour cream mixture over the pasta.  Add the meat mixture on top, and sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and bake for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Philly-Style Duck Sandwiches

Buck is an avid duck hunter, and of course, Teak is a mighty retriever now.  When Buck told me that he wanted to try a new duck recipe, I wasn't terribly interested.  Ducks haven't ever been my favorite.

Anyway, these duck sandwiches turned out AMAZING.  I'm not exaggerating; they were fantastic.  I went from being a skeptic to a believer just because of this recipe.  I really do look forward to Buck making these again.  

If you are also a skeptic or just don't want to use ducks, I'm sure it would be great with chicken or steak.  It would also be great wrapped up in a tortilla because these are very similar to fajitas, but the bun (we used potato rolls) were good because they absorbed some of the juices. 

The recipe from says to use 3 cups of thinly sliced duck breast fillets for four servings; I'm not exactly sure how many cups we had, but I do know that it was the breasts from two wood ducks for our two sandwiches.  You can count one duck per sandwich.

I highly recommend that you try these.  If you're friends with a hunter, he (or she) probably has some duck breasts in a freezer somewhere, and this is the recipe you should try!

Philly-Style Duck Sandwiches (makes 2 sandwiches)

2 wood duck breast fillets, very thinly sliced (Place the duck breasts in the freezer for an hour or two to firm up before slicing as thinly as possible with a sharp, thin-bladed knife.)

1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Tabasco sauce
2 slices pepper jack cheese

In a medium bowl, combine half the olive oil with the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the duck slices and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for two hours. 

Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are lightly browned. Mound the onion mixture on one side of the skillet. Add the marinated duck to the other side of the skillet and stir-fry for two to three minutes. Once cooked, season with a dash of Tabasco sauce. 

Combine the meat and onion mixture. Form into two rectangular mounds, top with cheese, and cook until the cheese is melted. Fill each roll with the meat, onion, and cheese mixture.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Teak Dog Tuesday!

This is Teak Dog Tuesday's Christmas edition (and also the Wednesday edition--whoops).

Merry Christmas!

Chicken in Wine Sauce

This is such a delicious baked chicken dish, and it takes almost no time to throw it together.  If you're still scrambling to plan a Christmas menu, this is a worthy contender for the main dish at one of your meals.

If you don't drink or don't want to use wine for any reason, you can substitute the wine for milk or even water.  My sister says she commonly makes this dish for her friends who just had babies, and she and uses milk or water.  The taste isn't noticeably different.  Also, the last time I made it, I forgot to use the butter in the recipe, and it was still great.  That might be a meager way to cut some calories.

The recipe is from Paula Deen's cookbook, The Lady and Sons.  I hope you like it!

Chicken in Wine Sauce

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup herb-flavored stuffing mix, crushed
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.  Place chicken in shallow buttered casserole dish.  Layer cheese on top.  Mix soup, wine, salt, and pepper; pour over cheese.  Sprinkle stuffing mix on top, and drizzle with melted butter.  Bake for 45-60 minutes. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Teak Dog Tuesday!

On the way back fron a hunting trip, Teak wedged himself behind the center console in Biz's single-cab truck.  He chose to take a nap there, instead of the empty passenger seat.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tomato Bisque

This is my mom's recipe.  A few years ago, my dad started planting a huge vegetable garden in the summer, and it produced more tomatoes than they knew what to do with.  BLTs?  Check.  Marinara sauce?  Check.   Then she started making this tomato bisque, and it is SO delicious.  She, of course, makes it with her abundance with fresh tomatoes during the summer.  During the winter, I make it with canned diced tomatoes that I smooth out in the food processor, but I'm sure tomato puree would work the same way.

This recipe is always a treat and a crowd pleaser.  There are also some changes you can make if you want to use ingredients you already have or cut some of the fat out of the original recipe.  As with everything, the full-flavor version is better, but I couldn't notice much of a difference at all when I used 1% milk (instead of whole milk) and 1/2 stick of butter (instead of a whole stick).  I'll let you decide for yourself what you want to do. 

I strongly recommend that you try it.  You won't be disappointed.  Like Buck said over the weekend, this soup is good for your soul.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe, Mom!  I love you!

Tomato Bisque

2 lbs tomatoes, peeled and seeded OR 3 (14oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 Tbsp sugar
1 qt milk
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup flour
1/2 or 1 stick butter

If using canned diced tomatoes, pulse in food processor until in small bits, not large chunks.  Place tomatoes in a large pot over medium heat.  Stir in bouillon cubes, sugar, salt, bay leaf, basil, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.  Whisk in flour all at once to make a roux; cook 1 minute.  Whisk in milk a little at a time, cooking and stirring constantly until thickened.  Stir into tomato mixture and heat through.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pecan Pie Mini Muffins

I found this recipe in a Southern Living cookbook, and I had to try it because it only had five ingredients that I already had in my pantry.  I am SO glad we tried these.  Buck absolutely loves them.  I was impressed that they even looked like pecan pies coming out of the muffin tins.  If you don't want to go to the trouble of making a pecan pie this Christmas, everyone would be just as happy with these.  The only thing Buck wished we'd had with these is vanilla ice cream--a mistake we won't make next time. 

Pecan Pie Mini Muffins

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
2 large eggs
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix brown sugar, flour, and pecans in a bowl.  Make a well in the center of the mixture.  Beat eggs until foamy.  Stir together butter and eggs; add to dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened. 

Spray 2 mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.  Spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.  Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.  Yields 2 dozen mini muffins. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Teak stays outside if it's not raining, and he lies under a cypress tree in the yard.  He is COVERED with leaves and grass and tree sap by the time we get home from work.  I don't think we'll get all the sap out of his fur until his next haircut. 

White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

This was a Southern Living recipe, and not surprisingly, we loved them.  They reminded us a lot of the Ultimate White Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Oatmeal Crispies.  They were so good, and they'd be great as an edible Christmas gift. I ended up cutting the recipe in half, but I'm posting the entire recipe.  Make as many as you need, deciding how many you want to share.  :)  Enjoy!

White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter, soft eggsened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked regular oats
2 cups (12 oz) white chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended.  Stir in oats,  white chocolate chips, and pecans.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.  Cool on baking sheets for 3 minutes, and remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Yields about 5 dozen.