Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Crispy Taters and Easy Chicken

When it comes to planning meals, there are some foods that always go together in this household. The meal is not complete without these combinations. For example, if Sloppy Joes are on the menu, then tater tots have to be one of the side dishes. Always has been and always will be. As it so happens, on a recent Cook's Country show, one of the featured recipes was homemade tater tots.

Oh, my! Did they look good...crispy golden brown little bundles of potato joy. I had to try that recipe. Amazing... and really not that difficult to do.

Potato Tots (adapted from Cook's Country)

2 ½ lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 cup water
2 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 ½ tablespoons flour
Vegetable oil

1. In a food processor, mix water and salt together. Add potatoes and pulse 10 to 12 times. Potatoes should be coarsely ground.
2. Drain in a fine-mesh strainer. Press potatoes with a rubber spatula to remove as much water as possible.
3. Transfer to a microwave bowl and cook on high in a microwave for about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir halfway through cooking. Potatoes should be dry and sticky.
4. Stir in flour.
5. Spread potatoes out on foil until cool.
6. Spread foil in bottom of 8 X 8 pan and spread potatoes evenly in the pan. Freeze for 30 minutes.
7. Slice into small squares and fry in oil. The fried tots can be frozen and reheated.

And speaking of something easy to do, this recipe isn't kidding. This is so easy and very delicious quick way to bake some chicken. Why haven't I thought of this before?

Easy Peasy Chicken (adapted from Mommy's Kitchen)

10 to 14 chicken legs or thighs
Olive oil
Greek Seasoning or salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

1. On baking sheet drizzle chicken with olive oil.
2. Sprinkle with Greek seasoning or salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle an  amount that suits your taste.
3. Place in the oven at 400° and bake about an hour or until done. Turn the chicken over midway through the cooking to ensure crispiness.


Thursday, March 07, 2013

Prepping for St. Patrick

If you enjoy key lime pie, then you'll love this cake. And what better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and to encourage spring to arrive than to bake this cake - Key Lime Cake. The pretty pastel green color, the glaze, the cream cheese icing and the combination of lemon, lime and orange flavors really make this an easy and delicious cake.

Key Lime Cake (adapted from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood)

1 (3 oz) package lime Jello
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 eggs

3/4 cup key lime juice
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

½ cup butter, room temperature
1 (8
oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
 4 cups confectioners' sugar

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix
Jello, sugar, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir to mix well.
2. Add the oil, orange juice, lemon juice, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until well combined.
3. Pour the batter evenly in greased and floured 9X13 pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
4. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes.

For the glaze: While the cake is still hot, mix the lime juice and confectioners' sugar together well. Pierce the cake with a fork to allow the glaze to soak in better and pour it over the cake on the cooling rack. Allow cake to cool completely as you prepare the icing.

For the icing: Cream the butter and cream cheese. Beat in the confectioners' sugar until mixture is smooth and easy to spread. Spread the icing on the top and sides of the cake.

You can also use three 9-inch round cake pans and make this into a layer cake.