Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shipwreck Casserole

Shipwreck Casserole

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 medium chopped onion
3 large baking potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
2 cups of sliced carrots
4 stalks of celery, sliced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 can of condensed tomato soup
1 soup can of warm water
1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning
Cajun Seasoning
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9x13 inch pan with non-stick spray, such as Pam and set aside.
Brown the ground beef and turkey and salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Drain if needed and set aside.

Layer the casserole dish with onions on the bottom, then potatoes; sprinkle lightly with seasoning salt or salt and pepper. 



Top with carrots, celery and bell pepper.  Sprinkle this layer lightly with salt and pepper or seasoning salt. 

Top with the browned meat. 

Whisk together the can of soup, the can of water and Italian seasoning until well blended. 

Pour the soup and seasoning evenly over the top.  Season the top with a light dash of Cajun seasoning. 


Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for around an hour. 

Test with a knife to make sure the potatoes are done (mine weren't and required another 30 minutes).
Remove the foil lover and sprinkle the cheese over the top. 


Return the dish to the oven until the cheese is melted.





 ...and that is What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Peanut Butter and Chocolate, does it get any better?  
This dessert is nothing short of spectacular and tasty!  This has been a requested treat by those who have sampled it's creamy lusciousness.  Recently, I needed something special to take to work for our Secret Santa lunch and this cheesecake popped to the top of the list.  There was only one small problem.....I hadn't made one for nearly 10 years.  So the search for the recipe was on.  I have folders of recipes and thankfully I had organized them earlier this year and after 10 minutes, I had the recipe in hand and was ready to bake. My current co-workers enjoyed it immensly.  I hope you will give it a try and that you enjoy it equally as well and it becomes your new favorite cheesecake!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 package of Nutter Butter cookies
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts
6 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar


Filling:
4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 1/2 cups mini Reese Peanut Butter Cups, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces (1 bag)


Topping:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream
15-20 mini Reese peanut butter cups


Directions:

Crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 9" x 2 x 3/4 spring form pan.
In a food processor place the Nutter Butter cookies, peanuts and brown sugar.
Pulse mixture until chopped very fine.
With the processor running, drizzle in the melted butter.
Press mixture evenly onto the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan.
Bake until the crust is set, about 8 minutes.
Cool on a rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.


Filling:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the brown sugar and beat again. The mixture should be smooth.  
Add the peanut butter, vanilla and beat until blended.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.  Add the whipping cream and beat until smooth.
Stir in the chopped peanut butter cup pieces.
Pour the filling into the crust.  Bake until the sides of the cake are set but the center still moves slightly, about 55 minutes.
Shut off the oven and let the cake and oven cool. (I leave mine in overnight)  
The cake may crack, don't worry, the topping hides the imperfections!
Move the cooled cake to the refrigerator.   When completely cool and chilled, add the topping.






Topping:

Chop up the chocolate and melt it in a double boiler or in the microwave.  Cool slightly then add all but 1 Tablespoon of cream.  Stir to mix thoroughly.  Pour over the cool cheesecake (while still in the spring form pan).  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Place the peanut butter and 1 Tablespoon of whipping cream in a bowl and microwave until it has a runny consistency.  Place the mixture in a sandwich bag, clip the corner and top the chocolate with a swirled or geometric pattern.  Before the peanut butter mixture sets, cut the mini peanut butter cups in half and surround the outside edge of the pan with the cup halves, lined up end to end.

Keep refrigerated until serving.  Slice it up, grab a fork and dig in!



and that is What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sausage Broccoli Bake


I was given this recipe by a lady I worked with many years ago at Citizens Bank in Evansville, IN.  When she first told me about it, I was very skeptical, I didn't think it sounded yummy at all.  I made it and from then on I was hooked! 
It is very easy, and I often have the ingredients on hand.
Give it a try and I hope you are as pleasantly surprised as I was!

Sausage Broccoli Bake

Ingredients:

1 pound bulk pork sausage
2 beaten eggs
2 cups soft bread crumbs
1 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
11 oz. package frozen broccoli, cooked and drained
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup salad dressing
2 teaspoons mustard

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brown and drain sausage.  You will notice oil in my photo and that is because I used sausage I made an it is leaner than what you buy in the store, so I needed a little olive oil.


Using fresh bread, using your food processor, make fresh bread crumbs.  I had some left over hamburger buns that I used.
Mix the sausage, eggs, bread crumbs, water chestnuts and cooked, drained broccoli together and turn the mixture into a greased baking dish.
Bake uncovered 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven.



While the casserole is baking, mix together the sour cream, salad dressing and mustard.
I would recommend using Miracle Whip, I didn't have any MW on hand so I used mayo and it wasn't as good.


Combine and spread over the top of the sausage mixture.  Return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes until the topping is hot.


and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sweet & Salty Treats

If you enjoy making holiday treats to give as gifts to family and friends during the holidays?  If so, you must give this recipe a try.  The ingredients blend into a combination of sweet and salty and crunch that will have you reaching for seconds.  The broken shards of the bark make a lovely presentation.  


These treats will have folks thinking that you slaved for hours... but you and I will have a little secret, knowing how easy these are to make.  I promise not to tell if you will!


Sweet & Salty Treats

Ingredients:

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3 4-oz bars bittersweet chocolate baking bars
3 4-oz bars white chocolate baking bars
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Directions:



Place pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 8-10 minutes or until toasted.


Line a 17x12 jelly roll plan with aluminum foil.


Break each chocolate bar into 8 equal squares.
Arrange in a checkerboard pattern in the jelly roll pan, alternating white and dark chocolate.


Bake at 250 degrees for 5 minutes, or until the chocolate is melted.



Remove the pan from the oven and using a toothpick, swirl the chocolate into a marbled design.
Sprinkle evenly with the toasted pecans and sea salt.
Chill 1 hour until the mixture hardens.
Break into pieces.
Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to a month.


Notes:  I used Ghiradelli chocolate.  Any premium chocolate should work, just don't use candy coating.

and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!

Famous Oh! Cookies

Psst!  Need a great cookie recipe to use for leaving by the hearth when Santa comes to visit your house?

If so, I guarantee the man in red will be searching your kitchen for seconds if you leave him a plate of these cookies!  I'm betting he might even leave you an extra something in your stocking because these are so awesome!

This recipe came with rave reviews and I am here to tell you, these cookies deserve every word of praise uttered.  They will vanish from your cookie jar in record time!

I inquired about the name of the cookies and am told that originally the cookies didn't have a name but everyone  who tasted them would exclaim "oh man (or insert various expletitives) these are good!"  One bite and you will agree!  You will equally love the dough if you are inclined to snitch cookie dough (yes,I eat cookie dough, I admit it).  The baked results have a marvelous light and crisp texture that is addicting.

A big thank you to Lynn Ogle, the creator of the recipe and also to Andi Miller for sharing the recipe with me!  Lynn's recipe can also be found in the Junior League of Evansville cookbook.

Before we get baking, I want to pass along a little tip.  If you're like me and decide on a whim to bake and your butter is rock hard from the refrigerator, pull out your soft cheese grater and grate the butter right into your mixing bowl.  It will work like magic, creating more surface space allowing the butter to soften up faster.



Famous Oh! Cookies
Makes approximately 4 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:

2 sticks butter (don't substitute margine, use the real thing)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup chunky peanut butter (must be chunky)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 365 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the two eggs and mix well.
Mix in the peanut butter until well blended.  Be sure to use Chunky, not smooth.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla and salt.  Mix thoroughly.


Stir in the oats and chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.
Drop by rounded (heaping) tablespoon fulls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

I also found that my dark baking sheet resulted in a better browning of the cookies, so use a dark baking sheet if you have it.  If not, you can lengthen the baking time by a minute or two to compensate. 



...and that my friends is What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie


Do you like comfort food?  Who doesn't?  I think we all have our favorite dishes that we consider comfort foods.  I find I gravitate to comfort foods, especially when the colder months of the year roll around. Today was one of those days and I am craving one of my favorites, Chicken Pot Pie.

I am a big fan of purchased pot pies, especially the brand by MC that you nuke in the microwave in the box for 6 minutes and presto, dinner!  The only problem is that there just doesn't seem to be much filling.  Don't get me wrong, I like crust as much as anyone, maybe even more than the average person, but come on, is it too much to ask to have more than 5 chunks of chicken in my pie?

I decided to try to do something I've never attempted..make chicken pot pie.  I  do most of my cooking on the weekend so meal prep during the work week isn't a chore that gets pushed to the back burner in favor of something quick and easy, like fast food, which we all know isn't good for us.

Armed with a list and determination, I head to my local grocery for ingredients.  Lucky for me,  they had bone in chicken breasts for 89 cents a pound.  I  bought a family pack that contained 4 huge chicken breasts.  Those were some mighty busty chickens, if you ask me (don't get me started about the hormones they give animals that we eat!).  Anyway,  I cooked all four of them and saved the meat from two of them to freeze and use later in some homemade chicken noodle soup (another cold weather comfort food).

I used frozen puff pastry for the top crust and I was satisfied with the results.  I was a little skeptical since "pie" in my book means top and bottom crusts, but I found that I didn't miss he bottom crust at all on these gems.  I will let you know in advance that you will need to taste and readjust seasonings because I found the basic recipe too bland for my liking. 

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:

2 large bone in, skin on chicken breasts
1 large onion
6 stalks of celery, including tops, cut into 4" pieces
4 carrots cut into 4" pieces
1 32 oz. box of low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary

8 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 chopped cooked chicken breasts
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
1 package frozen puff pastry

Directions:

In a large pot, place the chicken breasts and next 8 ingredients.  Heat over medium heat until chicken is cooked through.  I let it simmer on the stove for about an hour, maybe a little longer. 
Remove chicken to a platter and set aside to cool.
Using a colander, strain the contents over a large bowl. Discard the veggies that have been cooked to mush.  They were there to enrich the broth, not to be eaten or incorporated.
Pour the strained liquid into a fat separator.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put the puff pastry out to thaw.
In the large pot, over medium heat, melt the butter.


Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture smells fragrant and nutty.
Slowly pour in the stock, whisking until smooth and bubbly.
Bring mixture to a boil.
Add the onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf and thyme, cooking the vegetables until tender.  About 5 minutes.


Add the potatoes, chicken, peas and salt and pepper and cook until the potatoes are tender, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.


Remove from the heat and cool.  Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Taste (carefully, it is hot) and adjust the seasonings a little at a time to fit your taste. 
I ended up adding a teaspoon more salt and  pepper and  1/2 teaspoon more thyme.

Divide the mixture equally among oven proof bowls.  I used small ramekins (just the right size for lunch), my two small Emile Henry pie plates and a Corning petite pan that I had.  This makes quite a bit. 


Unfold the puff pastry and cut to fit the tops of your oven proof bowls. 
Moisten the rims of your bowls and stretch the pastry over the filling, pressing along the edges to seal. 


Line a cookie sheet with foil.
Move the bowls to the cookie sheet for baking.  These will very likely run over, so the foil will save you on cleanup!






Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.  It should take about 20-25 minutes. 
Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Don't these look delish?




...and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!












About Me

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My career is in IT.  Cooking and photography are among a few of my hobbies. In my spare time, which is most weekends I tie on my apron and exercise my creativity by trying new recipes and adapting them to my tastes. I also have a passion for photography that I incorporate by taking photographs to go along with the recipes I post on my blog.  
I also enjoy travel, both near and abroad. Meeting new people, new experiences and cultures and oh, not to mention the food! I hope you enjoy my blog.