Category: Recipes

Italian Potato Bake {Recipe}

I’ve mentioned before that I believe everyone should have a handful of go-to recipes for a variety of occasions. Something for company, something for special occasions, a signature dish, a great dessert, and a killer side dish.

This is that killer side dish.

It started with making some simple foil packets with potatoes, onions, butter and seasonings when we would grill out, using a recipe I nicked from my mom. As time wore on I made more and more changes and eventually started doing it in the oven to save time when we would grill out with friends. It quickly became my most requested recipe and quite possibly the most anticipated dish at all our get togethers!

Since I cook mostly by sight and smell, it took some time to figure out the precise measurements of everything so that I could share it with you here.

Ingredients: 

  • 8 to 10 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (I use the kind that comes in a jar)
  • 1/4 cup imitation bacon bits
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing
  • 2 teaspoons Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
  • 1/2 stick of butter

Directions:

  1. In a large casserole dish, toss peppers, potatoes, garlic, and bacon bits.
  2. Add Italian dressing and mix well.
  3. Toss with seasonings until evenly coated.
  4. Stir in cheese.
  5. Dot with butter (as shown below).
  6. Cover dish with foil.
  7. Bake at 450 degrees for one hour.
  8. Enjoy!

So there you have it!! I guarantee this dish will have your guests begging for more! Try it soon and let me know how you liked it!

Steak With Red Wine Sauce {Recipe}

Every year for Almost-Husband’s birthday, I make him a nice steak dinner. His favorite is my steak with red wine sauce that I break out on super special occasions.

Like most of my recipes, I tried several variations of this dish from multiple cook books and websites before finally combining the best elements of them all into something wonderful and new.

Since his birthday was yesterday, I of course whipped up this dish. It is a bit time consuming, but it is so worth it! Give it a try the next time you’re looking for something a little fancy and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large steaks
  • 6 oz fresh mushrooms (sliced)
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • Ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons flour

Directions: 

  1. Season both sides of the steak with the salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Once shimmering, add onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook until slightly tender.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the rosemary to pan.
  4. Once butter is melted, push the veggies to the side and add your steaks. Cook to desired level of doneness and remove from pan. Tent with foil to keep warm.
  5. Smash the garlic into the pan and give everything a good stir. 
  6. Add one tablespoon of butter, rolled in flour, to the pan and stir. 
  7. Once the butter is melted, add the wine and boil for two minutes, or until reduced by half.
  8. Add beef broth and any juices from your resting steak to the pan and boil until reduced. 
  9. Add the rest of your butter, one flour-coated tablespoon at a time until thickened.
  10. Return steaks to pan for a minute on each side to warm. 
  11. Serve steaks topped with veggies and sauce and enjoy!

I usually serve this dish with green beans and garlic mashed potatoes, as the sauce makes a great gravy. 
I hope you love this meal as much as we do! If you’ve tried this, let me know what you think in the comments below. I am also open to suggestions on how to make this dish even better!

Pork Roast/Pork Cassarole Two-Fer {Recipe}

Pork Roast/Pork Cassarole Two-Fer {Recipe}

One of my very favorite things in life is cooking a big meal for family and friends. I don’t know why, but there is something very fulfilling to me about ensuring the tummies of my loved ones get full.

One of my other favorite things is stretching a buck. Typically on a Sunday night I will make a large meal and then use the leftover meat for an easy Monday night meal.

I ran across the basis of this recipe a couple of years ago and couldn’t wait to try it out. I called up a few friends and excitedly whipped it up. It was a huge hit! Over time, I tweaked it until I got it exactly how I wanted it and it became one of Almost-Husband’s favorites. 
Since this recipe takes so long to make and yields so much food, I was hesitant to make it for just the two of us (plus a picky toddler!) without a plan for the leftovers. Not one to back down from a challenge, I concocted a delicious casserole to make the day after. What’s better than getting two meals from one cut of meat?

The casserole was a huge success–Almost-Husband devoured all the leftovers within 24 hours! 

First, we start with the main dish.

Sunday Pork Roast

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons flour (divided)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf (finely crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • 1 pork roast (4 to 5 pounds) 
  • 2 medium carrots (chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 rib of celery (chopped)
  • 3 and 1/3 cups cold water (divided)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can vegetable broth

Will also need a baking dish or roasting pan, a large measuring cup, a turkey baster, a large skillet, and tin foil.

Directions:

  1. Combine 2 tbsp flour and seasonings in a small bowl. Rub over entire roast and place fat side up in baking dish or roasting pan. Arrange vegetables around roast and pour 2 cups of cold water in the pan.
  2. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with juices in pan.
  3. Baste, sprinkle with 1/2 the brown sugar, baste again, and top with remaining sugar. Bake for 30-40 more minutes.
  4. Remove Roast to serving tray and tent with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. With a slotted spoon, remove vegetables to a separate bowl (you may serve with the meal, if you wish). 
  6. Pour liquid from roasting pan into a measuring cup. Add vegetable broth until it measures 2 and 1/3 cup. Pour into skillet.
  7. Combine 3 tbsp flour and 1 cup cold water until smooth. Whisk into broth. Bring mixture to a boil and stir until thickened.

Serve with mashed potatoes and your favorite vegetable. 

Save your leftover meat and your gravy, you will need both tomorrow.

Pork Roast Casserole

Ingredients:

  • Leftover pork roast (cubed)
  • Leftover gravy
  • 1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup + one can of water
  • 1 packet of dry gravy mix (pork flavored)
  • 1 16 oz. bag of mixed veggies-frozen. 
  • 2 1/2  cups of dry egg noodles 
  • 2 or 3 small potatoes (diced)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Lawry’s salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large baking dish, combine gravy, soup, water, dry gravy mix, and seasonings until well blended.
  2. Stir in vegetables and potatoes.
  3. Stir in meat.
  4. Stir in noodles.
  5. Cover dish with tin foil and bake at 450 degrees for 1 hour or until both noodles and potatoes are tender.

Life Tip: You can use this basic casserole recipe with any leftover meat and gravy. Just substitute the dry gravy packet with the corresponding meat (chicken with chicken, brown with beef). If you do not have gravy from the previous meal, you can use a canned gravy or a corresponding “cream of” soup. If you use the soup, add about a half can more of water.

I hope you enjoy this two-for-one dinner plan! Do you have any left-over make-over dishes? I’d love to know about them! Leave a comment below!

Brandyn Blaze’s World Famous Pizza {Recipe}

Brandyn Blaze’s World Famous Pizza {Recipe}

I believe that every woman should have a signature dish or two; just a handful of recipes you can pull out for a variety of occasions that you know is going to kill every time. For barbecues my go to is a killer Italian potato bake, for super special moments I’ll pull out the steak with red wine sauce, when I know I’m having company I have an amazing pork roast–all of which I hope to share with you as this blog goes on.

Today, however, I want to tell you about the one dish I’m really, really proud of : my homemade pizza.

I believe we’ve covered my extraordinary love of pizza before. I’ve even told you about this wonder-food’s enormous role in my childhood. What I haven’t told you, is that I have big plans for me and pizza in the future.

One of my dreams is to own a bar and grill, where one of the menu items will obviously be pizza. More specifically, you’ll be able to order up my specialty pizza and naturally, it will be the best selling item. It will be raved about by all the food critics and people will come from miles around just to grab a slice. It will be heaven on a crust.  In fact it will be:

Since perfection doesn’t happen overnight, I’ve been tinkering with my recipe over the years. I’ve still got to develop my own crust and sauce, but the basics are there. So, without further ado, I give to you the current incarnation of my world-famous pizza.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of crust mix (yes, you will need two for one pizza, since this thing is loaded with toppings.)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Italian Seasoning (divided)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 6.5 oz. can of mushrooms
  • 1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce (I prefer the type with herbs included)
  • 1 1/4 cup 5 Cheese Italian Blend (divided)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese
  • 1 6 oz package pepperoni
  • 1 green pepper
  • Parmesan cheese 
  • flour (for hands)
  • cooking spray (for cookie sheet)
  • 1 cup water (or as directed on your preferred brand of crust mix)

Tools:

  • 15 X 10 cookie sheet
  • Pastry brush
  • Paper Towels
  • large bowl (to mix crust)
  • microwave safe bowl 

How It’s Done:

1.)  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, or as directed on your package of crust mix. 
2.) While your oven is heating up, combine both packages of mix, garlic powder, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, and water (as directed by package).

3.) Cover with a damp paper towel (to prevent it from drying out) and let it stand for a minimum of 5 minutes. I usually place the bowl on top of the stove (between the burners to prevent any mishaps!).

4.) While your dough is rising, put the butter in a microwave safe bowl and add the minced garlic and remainder of the Italian seasoning. Melt it in the microwave (about 1 minute on high). If you haven’t already, use the remaining time to dice your green pepper, open your jars and packages, and grease your cookie sheet.

5.) With floured hands, press the dough into your cookie sheet, taking it all the way to the edges.

6.) Brush your garlic butter onto the crust, concentrating on the edges and then blending into the middle.

7.) Brush on your sauce, leaving about a half inch of buttered crust exposed around the edges. It is best to sort of dab it on and then smooth it out. It will blend with the butter and seem a little watery. This is normal.

8.) Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese over the sauce.

Now it’s time for the toppings!

9.) Sprinkle about 1 cup of the 5-Cheese blend evenly over the sauce.

10.) Add your pepperoni in a single layer, leaving as little cheese exposed as possible.

11.) Sprinkle 1 cup of the Mozzarella cheese on top of the pepperoni.

12.) Add your mushrooms, spacing more or less evenly to cover the whole area.

13). Add your diced green pepper, again, trying to evenly cover the pizza.

14.) Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Mozzarella over the pizza.

15.) Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup 5 Cheese blend.

16.) Top it with the 1/2 cup of Cheddar cheese.

17.) Bake at 450 for 13-18 minutes (or as directed on package of crust mix). You will want to keep an eye on out as it bakes, to ensure that your crust does not burn.

18.) Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes before you attempt to cut it, otherwise you risk losing your toppings.

19.) Enjoy!!

A word of caution: this is not a low carb food. Nor is is a low calorie food. This is pure indulgence. Deliciously fattening indulgence. Plan accordingly.

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