Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

There are much more complicated recipes for garlic mashed potatoes. This recipe was simple, but still had the taste of garlic that I love. Found in Betty Crocker (one of my staples. Gotta love Betty)

6 medium round red or white potatoes
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/3 to 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c butter softened
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper

1. Place potatoes and garlic in 2 quart saucepan; add enough water just to cover potatoes. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. Shake pan with potatoes over low heat to dry (this will help mashed potatoes be fluffier).
2. Mash potatoes in pan until no lumps remain. Add milk in small amounts, mashed after each addition (amount of milk needed to make potatoes smooth and fluffy depends on kind of potatoes used).
3. Add butter, salt and pepper. Mash vigorously until potatoes are light and fluffy. If desired, sprinkle with small pieces of butter or sprinkle with paprika, chopped parsley and chives.

Green Beans with Bacon

My very favorite cookbooks are The Essential Mormon Cookbook and Essential Mormon Celebrations by Julie Badger Jensen. She rarely lets me down and this recipe was no exception.

2 (16 oz) packages frozen green beans (I used fresh green beans and it was divine)
1 lb bacon
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Cook beans according to package directions; drain and set aside. In skillet, cook bacon. Remove bacon from skillet. Pour off bacon drippings, leaving about 3 tablespoons in skillet. Saute onion in bacon drippings until tender. Add vinegar, sugar, and green beans. Stir together and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste. Place in serving dish. Crumble bacon over top and serve. Makes 12 servings.

Brining a Turkey

My parents gave me a coupon for a free turkey. Since I never have a chance to make a turkey when it doesn't matter, I decided that I wanted to try a new turkey cooking procedure. I wanted to attempt to brine a turkey. My SIL Amy gave me the basics and they are as follows

1 c. salt
2 gallons of water

That is it...easy huh? She added some dried basil and oregano to hers and she mentioned that if you are brining a chicken you should also add 1/2 c. of sugar.

The trick is finding a pot big enough to cover your turkey in the brine. I have seen it where people used a huge cooler with ice in it (you have to keep the turkey cold. At least at refrigerator temperature). I decided to use my sink and kept ice in it. It was a lot more work than some methods because I had to be around it and adding ice all day...lame.

It is recommended that you brine your turkey at lease 6 hours and max of 12 (although I have heard of longer). I actually brined my turkey for 4 hours since that is all I had.

The purpose of brining a turkey is to allow it to keep is juices while cooking. Nobody likes a dry turkey right? Well, even with only brining it 4 hours there was a huge difference. I have been thinking about getting a small turkey (my original turkey was 13 lbs) and trying different methods out. I would love to try deep fry a turkey (so good!) or brine one for the full amount of time. Good luck! Let me know if you try this and how it turns out!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ham Broccoli Braid

I love the blog My Kitchen Cafe. The other day they had a BBQ chicken braid featured on there. I have wanted to do one of these forever. I used her roll dough and instructions on how to do the braid and improvised the rest. I wanted to do a ham, cheese and broccoli braid. I loosely followed a recipe I found on This recipe uses refrigerated crescent roll dough, but I prefer the homemade stuff.

2 cups of ham chopped
1 cup chopped fresh broccoli
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough

I add a couple of dollops of mayo so it isn't as dry

# Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
# In a large bowl, combine ham, broccoli, onion, parsley, mustard and cheese. Stir well.
# Unroll crescent roll dough, and arrange flat on a medium baking sheet. Pinch together perforations to form a single sheet of dough. Using a knife or scissors, cut 1 inch wide strips in towards the center, starting on the long sides. There should be a solid strip about 3 inches wide down the center, with the cut strips forming a fringe down each side. Spread the filling along the center strip. Fold the side strips over filling, alternating strips from each side. Pinch or twist to seal.
# Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until deep golden brown

Coconut Sticky Rice

I am in love with Thai food. I especially love this dessert. I finally found a recipe for it somewhere on the internet (I am so bad at remembering where I find thing.) Josh and I went through a kick where we would make it just about every night. The kids aren't that into it (more for us) so we would make it after they went to be and eat it while watching "24" "Lost" etc. Good memories. There are a lot more complicated recipes for this rice out there, but this one is really good and way easier than any else I have seen.

1 cup sticky rice (or just use regular medium or short grain rice-long grain will not get as sticky, but still tastes good)
1 can coconut milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
mango or peaches (but mango tastes best)

Cover rice with cold water and rinse, repeat until water runs clear, about three times.

In medium pan, bring 1 3/4 cups of water to a boil. Add rice and stir briefly. reduce heat to low simmer and cover. Cook 20-25 minutes (I think 20 is good, 25 might burn)or until all of the water is absorbed.

In another pan combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Boil for 3 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Mix the milk mixture and rice together. Stir well.

Cover top of rice directly with aluminum foil. Let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Serve with cubed mango.