Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bacon Gravy and Biscuits

I don't make our gravy super thick, although, you certainly can if that is how you like it.  We also like to eat eggs with our Biscuits and Gravy.  ENJOY!
Every now and then I MUST have biscuits and gravy for breakfast.  It seems lately a lot of blogs that I follow are also sharing their recipes.  If my tummy is going to be tempted, then I must answer it with a scrumptious biscuit and yummilicious bacon gravy.  I like that word, my computer does not know what to do with it...LOL  It's a good word...YUM-MI-LIC-IOUS.  Just sounds good!

Oh, yeah...the gravy.  I like sausage gravy but I love a good bacon gravy.  It's not as bold as sausage so the gravy, really shines.  I don't know when I first started making this for my family, other than I know it's been too long to remember.  It's a family favorite and the more bacon I use the more hugs I get.  LOL

I will encourage you to buy great bacon.  Don't go for the thin stuff...thick is what you will need.  I usually buy my bacon from the deli and spend extra $ for this recipe.  Today I used Boars Head.  Their stuff is all gluten free. You can use pepper, maple or might change the overall flavor a bit, but if your family likes pepper...then buy pepper!  Let's make the family happy.

I will share with you two recipes for biscuits.  One that I LOVE, but cannot eat anymore (wheat).  This is the recipe I used to make.  I will also share a GF biscuit recipe.   I try really hard to always provide something for everyone in my recipes and something that is GF.  I have so many friends that are being diagnosed with Celiac or have a sensitivity to wheat.  I am sure that you do to.  Let me tell you, that if my friends made something special for me and my diet needs, it almost brings a tear to my eye.  It says LOVE when someone WANTS to cook for me, with ME in mind.  That is why I share GF recipes and regular recipes.  It means a lot to those of us who are on a restricted diet.

 Bacon Gravy and Biscuits

1/2 pound of Bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped (small pieces)
1/2 tsp salt.  You will need more, but this is a personal choice and you will need to taste and salt as you go.
1/2-1 tsp pepper.  We like a lot of pepper.  But start small and work up to more.
4 cups of milk
2 T. flour (I use corn starch for the GF version)

Fry cut bacon in a heavy duty skillet until crisp.  I cook my bacon on med to med high heat.  I don't like it to burn, so I would rather take it slow and not rush it.  When bacon is almost to where you think it is done for your family, add the onion and celery.  This combination only needs to cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Enough time for them to not be crunchy.  Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon/celery/onion mixture to a paper towel.

Discard all of the remaining grease except 1 T. bacon grease.  If using flour, add flour to grease and cook on med heat for 3 minutes.  If using corn starch, add the corn starch to a little bit of the 4 cups of milk and whisk together.

Add the milk or starch/milk mixture to the skillet.  Using a whisk and watching the heat, stir until bubbly and thick.  Add the bacon mixture and turn off the heat.  If the gravy is not as thick as you like it add more flour or starch.   NOTE:  Always add your starch to cold milk or water first, then add to the item you are cooking.  I would do the same with flour.  It prevents lumps.

I like to let the gravy sit for a few minutes so that everything has a chance to meld.  The flavors of the bacon, onion and celery need time to adjust to the flour and milk gravy.  This is why I make the gravy first and then make the biscuits.  It seems to work out perfectly.

Recipe: Biscuits

2 cups of flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup of cream
1/2 cup of chicken broth
OPTIONAL: 1 cup of cheddar cheese...the men love the cheese with the bacon gravy!

Combine dry ingredients.  Make a well in flour bowl and add milk and broth.  Do not over stir.  Add cheese and drop dough onto a baking stone or greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes.  The should just start to be turning brown.  Every stove is different, so watch them.

Recipe: GF Biscuits (These will taste like a wheat biscuit)

1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup of millet
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup of tapioca starch
1 tsp. xantham gum
2 T. baking powder ( this adds a lot of flavor to the biscuit)
1 tsp. salt

6 T. solid vegetable shortening
4 T. butter, soft
1 cup milk
Optional: 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place pizza stone in oven to preheat. You can use a cookie sheet too.

In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. Using a whisk, blend dry ingredients well.

Add the shortening and butter. Using a pastry cutter, cut into flour until the flour looks like small pebbles.

Gently add milk and form dough. Try not to over mix.

Using rice flour, sprinkle on to the counter and tip dough out of bowl. I used my fingers to press dough to the thickness I needed my biscuits to be....about 1/2 inch. I used a small circle cutter. Remove stone from oven and place biscuits on stone, return to oven. Bake for 12 minutes. If the biscuits are larger, then you may need to bake them for a little bit longer. I was able to get 40 small biscuits  or 16-18 normal size biscuits.

These biscuits are flaky, soft in the center...perfect for using with soups. I did not add any sugar to this recipe because I like it that way. I can use it with savory meals or with sweet treats. If serving with whip cream, the sweetness will come from this and the fruit. Feel free to add sugar if you want it a bit sweeter. If you choose to add this, start with 1T. of sugar. ENJOY

Written by Sherron Watson

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chicken Satay

When we have a BBQ or a crowd at our home, I am always looking for something that I can prepare in the morning and just POP on the grill.  I like this recipe for Chicken Satay for this very's easy and I can make it in the morning. It leaves me with plenty of time before our friends arrive to set the table, work on minor side dishes and get ready! Sometimes I spend the day cooking and forget that I need to look good too. LOL

Marinading the chicken for the day makes the chicken so tender .  It really just melts in your mouth.  I also make the peanut sauce in the morning.  I think the flavors have a chance to blend when given the opportunity to sit.

Brown rice and veggies are what we serve.  I love my rice cooker.  Again, it's something that I can add the ingredients and walk away.  It does it's own thing with out me having to keep track of it.  I love that!

Skewers always add so much to any meal. They look great on the table and the kids love eating their food right off of a stick.  Who does not love food on a stick?

Chicken Satay and Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp curry powder
2 T crunchy or smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
crushed dried chile peppers, to taste

Peanut Sauce:
3/4 cup crunchy or smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T. soy sauce (I used Tamarin, it's gf)
2 T. molasses
1 tsp. fresh ginger root, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
cayenne pepper
grated lime zest
fresh cilantro

6 chicken breast halves, boned, skinned and cut into 1/2 inch wide strips

To make the marinade, combine the first 7 ingredients in a large ziplock bag.

Add your chicken.  Let marinade in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours.

One hour before grilling, soak your bamboo skewer in water.  I used a foil pan (the same one that I used to put the skewered chicken in).

Thread the chicken strips onto a bamboo skewer in a serpentine fashion. 

I make sure to spray the grill with Pam (or oil) and add skewers.  They do not take long to cook.  Watch them closely.

Cook the skewered chicken, turning several times and basting with the marinade, until crispy on the outside but still moist on the inside, about 8 minutes.

Make the peanut sauce by combining the next 7 ingredients (peanut butter through garlic) in a saucepan.

Season to taste with cayenne pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce is as thick as heavy cream (about 15 minutes).

Transfer to a food processor or blender and purée briefly. Add chicken broth and cream and blend until smooth.

This mixture can be made several hours ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Prepare moderate-hot BBQ grill or broiler.

Sprinkle grilled chicken with lime zest and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serve with the peanut sauce for dipping.

Written by Sherron Watson


I will admit that one of my all time favorite movies is Ratatouille. I don't know if it's the cooking or the mouse, the goofy dish washer boy or the love story. I just like the whole thing. I never knew what ratatouille was until I saw this movie. I am a huge fan of eggplant. I have always loved it, even as a kid. So it was no surprise that when I found out that this was in the recipe, I was thrilled.

So, why did it take me so long to make it? Several things come to mind. One is the fact that living in Utah, at the time, we did not have an abundant supply of FRESH eggplant. It was not something that I heard my neighbors talk about growing and the stores never had many on the shelves. Out of sight, out of mind. The other reason may have been that I thought it was MUCH more complicated to make than it actually was...after all, Ratatouille is a pretty intense word...LOL OH, but I do love to say it--RAT-A-TOO-eee!

When I announced to my family that we were eating Ratatouille, my 4YO , thought we were having "mouse" for dinner.  Oh MY!  She was relieved when I showed her a plate of veggies...LOL  

When I was first learning to cook, I bought a book.  My favorite cooking book.  It's title is Joy of Cooking.  Two of my favorite things in one title..JOY and COOKING!  Now we are talking.  I have read this book, yes, every single page, at least 3 times.  WHY?  I find it so helpful with all things cooking.  It is the only cookbook that I own that does not have pictures in it.  Every recipe I have ever tried, has worked, taste good and brings me JOY!  

The Ratatouille is from this book and this dish has brought my whole family JOY!  We absolutely loved it!  My husband told me he could eat this dish every day.  Eggplant grows in abundance in Maryland.  They must love the sandy soil.  I have two sitting on my counter and my neighbor's plants are loaded with them.  I am thinking he is going to get his wish of eating it most days...LOL

I will say, that this recipe is wonderful hot or cold.  Fresh or as a leftover.  It's just plain amazing!  I would recommend that you use the BEST extra virgin olive oil that you can.  It adds so much to the flavor of the veggies.   ENJOY!

Fresh from my neighbors garden..Thank you!

Ratatouille from Joy of Cooking


 1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes ( 1 lb)

1 lb zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups onions, sliced

2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares

3 garlic cloves, chopped

salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped seeded peeled

2 -3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaves

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped


    1. Saute in a large skillet or Dutch oven over high heat until the vegetables are golden and just tender, 10 to 12 minutes: 1/4 C olive oil, eggplant and zucchini.
    2. Remove the vegetables and reduce the heat to medium-high. In the same pan, cook until the onions are slightly softened: 2 T of olive oil and onions.
    3. Add and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender but not browned, 8 to 12 minutes: red pepper and garlic.
    4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    5. Add: tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf.
    6. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 5 minutes.
    7. Add the eggplant and zucchini and cook until everything is tender, about 20 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in: basil.

      I served this as a side dish with Chicken Satay.  The Ratatouille can also be a main dish and hold it's own.
      Written by Sherron Watson

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    Green Pea Salad

    I have been craving this salad for two weeks.  I kept forgetting to buy the frozen peas until Saturday.  I sent the hubster to the store and he came home with the PEAS!  Yeah!

    I have several family members that have to go back for seconds on this salad, I have to admit, I am one of those family members.

    I use Boars Head Jack cheese and Velvetta.  I like the two cheese's in the recipe because one adds a sharp taste and the other is smooth and soft on your tongue.  I use Lawry's season salt that has no MSG.  I am very sensitive to this flavoring and they do make it now with no MSG.

    This is a favorite at BBQs or Sunday dinner.  I like to make it in the morning to give the seasoning and flavors a chance to BLOOM. It can be made right before too.  ENJOY

    Green Pea Salad  

    1 bag of frozen peas,  3-4 cups of peas

    ½ cup of diced Celery
    ½ cup of diced Onion
    ½ cup Jack or Cheddar Cheese, cubed
    ½ cup Velveeta cheese, cubed
    2 Hard-boiled eggs, diced
    Lawry's salt to taste
    ½ cup Mayo

    Mix and refrigerate for an hour. Serve.  I like to add extra celery and onion. You can adjust the ingredients to what your family likes.  Add more or less to make it your own.

    Written by Sherron Watson

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    English Toffee Candy

    I am sharing a recipe that we usually make at Christmas time.  We make it for neighbors, friends and family.   Once they try it, they really REALLY want to remain our friends and stay close to us...LOL

    I know it's not Christmas, but it is July and I have heard a thing or two about Christmas in July.

    Making candy can be tricky and so it does take patience and time.  You cannot speed up the stages and expect to have a quality product. I cannot express enough that GOOD candy comes from the BEST products.

    If you are unfamiliar with the stages of making candy, I have found a site that can tell you and show you this process  here.  Understanding the difference between soft boil and soft crack are what you will need to know for this recipe.

    You also must have several kitchen tools on hand.  A candy thermometer is a must.  The pan you use is also something to consider.  I use a small, heavy sauce pan.  It has a copper lining  between two sheets of steel.  This allows the heat to cook more evenly.  I have made this before in a cheap pan and it does not turn out as well.

    Use exact measurements.   Cooking is a science that does offer a lot of room for adaptations to our own style and taste buds. Candy making is more sensitive to alterations and should not be modified the first time you make a recipe.

    I have made this recipe at high altitudes, sea level, in dry conditions and in the humid air.  The humid air will make it sticky if not left in an airtight container.  This is my only recommendation when making this toffee, keep it in a cool place. I keep mine in the freezer and it stays dry and crunchy.  I know some have had problems with it getting sticky, I have never had this problem in 24 years of making this.

    English Toffee

    2/3 cup butter, soft
    1/2 cup of sugar
    1/2 cup of water
    1/2 tsp salt
    2/3 cups blanched almonds
    1/4 tsp baking soda
    1 cup of chocolate chips
    1/2 -1 cup of pecans, chopped.

    Cook over medium heat the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan, stirring constantly until it boils (5-7 minutes).

    Once it starts to boil,  stop stirring and add a candy thermometer and let it cook until it reaches 236 degrees (softball stage).

    Add the 2/3 cup blanched almonds, continue cooking until the temperature reaches 275 degrees (soft crack stage).  You must stir constantly at this stage to prevent overcooking.

    Remove from heat and add 1/4 tsp. baking soda.

    I used a cookie sheet that I greased with butter first.  Immediately spread the toffee to a 1/4 inch thickness.  Immediately add chocolate chips and let sit for 1 minute.  The chips will melt and you can use the back of a spoon and spread the chocolate over the toffee.  Add the nuts and gently push the nuts into the chocolate with your hands.

    Put your cookie sheet into the freezer for 15 minutes or until hard.  Remove and break into bite-size portions.  Store in an airtight container in a cool place.

    Written by Sherron Watson

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Orange Delight

    I have moved over 20 times in 25 years.  WHY?  Military, school and hubby's that is.  We like to call ourselves gypsies or bohemians.  I just can't sit still in the same spot for too long.  I love to travel.  I still have my "MUST live here" list. It includes Alaska, Vermont, France, Japan, Hong Kong, and NYC.  Our family is no longer shocked when we say that we are on the move AGAIN.  We are a bit of a joke, I think...LOL

    I see it as, "different strokes for different folks".  My kids have had many great friends, visited awesome places and have a desire to try things.  Especially food.  We love Andrew Zimmern and his show about bizarre foods.  We have eaten a variety of different foods but we have also gotten some of the BEST recipes from friends.

    My friend Kara, who I met when we lived in Illinois, used to make this creamy salad with mandarin oranges.  It was delicious!  She graciously gave me her recipe and over the years I think I have added a few different things to it, but it all started with Kira.  Just like so many of my recipes have started with a special friendship.  I like this because when I make each recipe, I am reminded of the "good times". Just by writing this little bit of an intro I have 3 or 4 friends that I could easily write about that have given me some awesome recipes. Washington, Utah, Oregon, Colorado, Illinois and Texas (states, instead of names)......thanks friends for providing some yummy food during our times together!

    Orange Fruit Salad

     1 large container of Cool Whip
    2 large cans of Mandarin Oranges, Drained
    1 small can of crushed Pineapple, Drained
    1 small box of Orange Jello
    1 small container of Cottage Cheese

    Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and let set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.  The jello needs time to blend with the other flavors.  I have also used Lime jello, added coconut and bananas.  It's an easy recipe but it sure does bring a smile to my face.

    Written by Sherron Watson

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Corn Casserole

    I visited my sister-n-law, Amy, a few years ago and she made this casserole that was so delicious!  It was warm, creamy and full of corn.  I tried really hard to not eat the whole thing, let alone lick the plate clean.  I had to have the recipe and she shared.  The original recipe was from Jiffy and can be found here.

    I have not had this recipe in almost 2 years because of the fact that I cannot eat wheat.  Jiffy is made with wheat.  While at the Fancy Food Show in DC, I met Bob Hodgson from Hodgson Mill.  They have a great line of gluten free mixes and flours.  I was so excited when they loaded me up with samples and mixes.  That made for a heavy trip home on the Metro...LOL and some rather strange looks.

    I have used several of the products and they all have exceeded my expectation.  I made Flank Steak in the morning and I needed something yummy to go with it.  I saw the cans of corn and thought to myself, "I wonder if I could duplicate the corn casserole that I had ate in Idaho?".

    I started looking around my house to see what I had and it hit me.  I had a yellow cake mix from Hodgson Mill.  Now, this is the great thing about gluten free products.  The ingredients are all listed and you KNOW what the ingredients are.  I know how they function together when combined.  This yellow cake mix was perfect!

    So the adventure began and my fingers were crossed.  I can tell you that it was wonderful and had the same texture and taste as the original.  Thanks Hodgson Mill for making versatile product.

    Corn's also Gluten-Free.

    2 cans of corn, drained
    1/2 cup of cream or milk
    2 eggs, beaten
    2 cups of GF Yellow Cake Mix ( I used Hodgson Mill)
    1 stick of butter
    1/2 c. plain yogurt
    1/2 c. sour cream
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder

    Preheat oven to 375.

    I make my own cream of corn.  Take one can of drained corn and the 1/2 cup of milk or cream.  Blend in a blender.  It does not have to be smooth just combined very well.

    Add creamed corn and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Spray cooking oil into a 9X13 pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Use a tooth pick to decide if the center is cooked all the way through.

    NOTE: I used a deep dish pizza pan to make my corn casserole.  I had enough mix that I could also make 6 cupcakes. These make great snacks for the kids.

    This is not a paid advertisement for Hodgson Mill, I just really like their products.  ENJOY>

    Flank Steak Marinade

    I dabble with the idea of becoming a vegetarian, and then we have this, and I am so torn.  We love our flank steak and this marinade is so delicious.   I think this is our favorite BBQ meat dish.  It's a wonderful way to start a camping trip too.  

    Before we bought our trailer, we did a lot of tent camping.  It's always so much work that first day to set up camp that I dread making dinner.  The flank steak makes my day so much easier because I get it started in the morning, double bag it, pop it into the cooler and once camp is ready to go...I turn the heat up and grill!  Very easy!

    I usually buy our flank steak at Sam's or Costco.  I find the price to be much better.  Almost like your getting two for one.  My family of 5 will eat 2 flanks.  I try to fill them up with other side dishes, but they want their MEAT!  We never have leftovers.  ENJOY

    I am going to provide two recipes: the original and a Gluten/MSG-free version.

    Recipe: Flank Steak Marinade (THE ORIGINAL)

    1.5 pounds of Flank Steak
    1 can of Beef Broth
    2 bunches of Green Onion
    2 cloves of Garlic, minced
    1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
    1/3 cup of Soy Sauce

    You want to cut your meat across the grain into strips.  My strips are usually 1 inch thick and wide.

    In a large storage bag or bowl, combine all ingredients.  Marinade in the refrigerator for at last 4 hours.

    Remove the bag, grab some tongs and a bowl.  Make sure you spray your grill with oil so that the meat will not stick.  Grill the flank steaks for 2-3 minutes on each side.  We don't like ours well done.  There should be some pink in the middle.

    Gluten/ MSG Free Marinade Recipe

    I used this recipe to marinate 3 pounds of Flank Steak.  Adjust according to how much meat you have.

    1/4 Liquid Amino Acids (this is a soy-based flavoring)
    2 cups of water
    3/4 cups of Tamari Soy Sauce (gluten-free)
    1 T. onion powder or 2 bunches of green onion
    2 tsp. garlic powder or 2 cloves of minced garlic
    1 cup of brown sugar

    Written by Sherron Watson

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Fish Tacos and the BEST Sauce


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    2020 UPDATE: I am just checking in. I still use this recipe and this sauce. We live at the beach now so our fish consumption is pretty high. ENJOY!

    It took me about 20 years before I would even consider eating a fish taco.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love Fish. I love tacos.  Together?  I thought that was a train wreck waiting to happen inside my mouth.

    So what changed my mind?  A wild hair.  I decided I was going to get it over with and try the taco's so that I could check it off my food list of things to try.  I am an avid researcher.  Before I do most anything I read and read and read.  I want to know what all of my options are before I set out to do anything.  This task was not any different especially since I was going to be eating it.  My mouth requires the best.  LOL

    I learned several things to make this experience wonderful and, hopefully, one that I would want to repeat.

    1.  FISH.  You must use the best fish that you can find and afford.
    2.  FRESH.  Your fish should be the freshest that you can find.
    3.  TYPE.  The type of fish you use, can make or break the deal.
    4.  SAUCE.  The most important. It adds so much flavor to an already AWESOME dish.

    I only use Halibut because it's not flaky or soft.  The fish holds up wonderfully under the frying.  I only use a corn meal or brown rice flour when frying because I want to taste my fish, not all of the batter that most places use.  I make the sauce in the morning so that the spices have a chance to BLOOM.

    Fish taco's is something I would eat everyday if my family would let me.  LOL  I have shared this recipe with several family members who were not fans of the FISH TACO and they have been converted.  They love this recipe but most of all they all rave about the SAUCE.  It's very yummy!

    Fish Tacos with a Cilantro Sauce

    Read the whole recipe before planning on making the tacos.  The sauce is better if done in advance, although I have made it 30 minutes before dinner.

    1-2 pounds of fresh Halibut.  1 pound will feed my family of 5 (2 tacos each)
    1 small red cabbage
    1 bunch of cilantro
    corn tortilla's
    Fish Fry Coating Mix ( I use Hodgson Mill GF mix)
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup of milk

    Heat 2 T. of oil in a frying pan.  Prepare the fish by cutting into 2X1 inch sections.  Beat the egg and milk in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl, add your fish fry mix.  YOU HAVE 2 BOWLS.  Dip the fish in the egg/milk mix and then dip in your fish fry mix. You can re-dip for a second time if you wish.  Add fish to oil and fry on both sides.  The fish will cook fast.  I set them on a paper towel to absorb any extra oil.

    Shred red cabbage very thin.  I coarsely chop the cilantro.  I like big leaves.  I also include the stems. They are soft and not bitter.

    Fry your corn tortillas in oil. I use a small pan with oil and cook the tortilla's on both sides until soft, not crispy.

    Prepare the sauce below.


    ½ cup plain yogurt
    ½ cup mayo…I like more to make it thicker
    ½ tsp lime
    1 jalapeno pepper
    1 handful of cilantro..I like a lot, I usually add more than a handfull
    1 tsp onion, minced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ tsp cumin…I add more of this too.  But taste the original first.
    ½ tsp chili powder

    I combine all ingredients in a blender or small food processor. Blend until creamy, Cilantro is usually specks of green.  Make and let set in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.  It takes time for the spices to “shine”.  ENJOY!

    Serve your fish taco's with a variety of side dishes.  You might want to try this guacamole recipe here. ENJOY!

    Written by Sherron Watson

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    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    Potato Skin Quiche

     WOW, what a day!  I woke up tired and could not find my energy until my kids went and got me a DR. Pepper.  Thank you kidlets.  Disclaimer: I drink one Dr.Pepper a month.  It's pretty much all that my family can handle me to drink.  It really makes me run on over drive...I talk way too fast too.

    Yesterday I made gnocchi. I decided to bake my potatoes instead of boiling them for two reasons.  One, I wanted the skins for tonight's dinner and two, I did not want all of the water that my potatoes would absorb.  That's another blog post for next week.  I totally forgot about the skins and dinner came around and I was at a loss.  It's not often I don't have a plan or have it already made from that morning.  I opened the door and they're staring at me were the skins.  THANK YOU! hit me.  I had spinach, saw the eggs and cheese.  I was going to use the skins as my crust and make mini quiches inside each of those golden potato skins.  Seriously, my heart was fluttering with excitement..or it could have been the Dr. Pepper, no matter. I was on fire!  And so it mouth starts watering, I can't wait for it to be done and the anticipation of whether or not the family will like it.

    Oh, they did!  My son ate 6.  This is a great appetizer, breakfast or dinner.  You could use so many fun things in the skins other than spinach and onion. Get creative!  OWN IT and make it yours.

    Potato Skin Quiche

    18 precooked skins, 9 whole potatoes total
    1 cup of cheese.  I used 1/2 Cheddar and 1/2 Asiago
    1/2 cup onion, diced
    1 cup of spinach, chopped
    5 eggs
    1/4 cup of cream or milk
    salt and pepper to taste

    Bake at 425 degrees.

    I used a cookie sheet to lay my skins on.  I liked this idea because they could rest on each other while baking.  Arrange your skins on the cookie sheet.

    Add chopped spinach and diced onion.  Add cheese.

    Mix egg and cream, gently whisk to mix.

    Add the egg mixture to the potato skins.  CAREFULLY fill the skins.  The egg is slippery and will slip right off of the spinach and cheese.  I picked each skin up and slowly poured the egg inside.  You will spill and some will tip and drip.  The cookie sheet will get messy. It's ok because the skins will still cook just fine.

    Bake for 15-20 minutes.  You will know they are done because they will have risen and should be firm to the touch.

    Serve skins with sour cream, salsa, guacamole or ranch dressing.

    NOTE:  I used red and golden potatoes.  They were not very large.  I would say they averaged 4 inches long by 2 inches wide.  If you use larger potatoes, you will need to adjust the ingredient list to fill the skins. I figured it was one egg for every 4 skins.

    Let me know how it goes for you and your family.  Also, I would love to know how you made these to fit your families taste.  Next time I might add asparagus or sauteed mushrooms.  YUM and ENJOY!

    Jalapeno Bacon and Potato Salad

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    During the summer we get invited to several BBQs where the same people are oftentimes invited.  We are asked to bring something and so we do.  The trick is keeping it interesting and not always serving the same thing.  We have our favorite standbys like fruit salad, watermelon, chips or guacamole.

    I have to say that THIS is the one dish that I get ASKED to bring to BBQ's the most.  My question is, do they want me or my salad?..LOL  Just kidding friends, I know you want me and my family. But, yes this salad is a show stopper and really, really good.  I like that you can make it as hot as you think your friends can stand it.  We like it hot!

    Jalapeno Bacon Potato Salad

    This recipe will make enough to serve 6-8 people.  Adjust according to how large of a crowd you will be serving.

    8-10 potatoes.  I use a variety of types.  Red, Russet and Golden.  I leave the skins on too.  I like the color.
    1 medium red onion, diced
    1 cup of Sweet Pickles, diced
    1 pound of bacon, cooked crispy and sliced into small pieces
    jalapeno's to taste
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 cup of mayonnaise

    In a large pot, add diced potatoes. Cover with water until potatoes are barely covered.  Cook until tender.  The time will vary depending on the size you dice your potatoes.  It usually takes me about 25 minutes.

    While potatoes are cooking, dice onion and pickles.  Cook bacon.  We like our bacon crispy.

    Jalapeno warning:  Be careful when mincing the jalapeno that you do NOT touch your eyes.  Using gloves can be helpful in this step.  I use jalapenos in the jar, but you can use fresh ones.  The seeds are what make it fiery hot.  You decide how HOT you want this to be.

    Once everything is diced, cooked and prepared...add it all to one big bowl and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste.

    Written by Sherron Watson

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