Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sauteed Crimini Mushrooms

Meat and potatoes – every red-blooded, American man’s favorite combination, right? Well, this meal was meant for the hubs Father’s Day dinner…we and our lazy butts never got around to going to the store. So, better late than never! He requested filet mignon, roasted shrimp cocktail and roasted garlic mash. The mushrooms are for me, however because the man doesn’t eat fungus! I’ve never had steak and sautéed mushrooms so now is good a time as any.

Verdict: Yum! Great sides, great steak…and we didn’t spend even one third of what it would have cost at a steak house! I love that 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Mash Ingredients – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 head garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, washed well and quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
Directions –

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Slice off the very top of the garlic head. Drizzle head with olive oil and wrap in foil. Place on a sheet tray and bake until tender and fragrant, roughly 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove the cloves and mash with a wooden spoon.

Place potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender and drain. Mash the potatoes until smooth.

Meanwhile heat butter and cream until butter melts. Add the roasted garlic and potatoes and mash all together.

Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Sautéed Crimini Mushrooms – 

  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms (aka baby Portobello) cleaned and sliced
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 4 TBSP dry red wine
  • fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt to taste
Directions –
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and butter. Add mushrooms, shallot and garlic; then cook 15 minutes until evenly browned and tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste then add wine and deglaze the pan. Cook down for a few more minutes until the pan is mostly dry. Add a little more unsalted butter to taste, if desired.

Buttermilk Baked Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Homemade Creamed Corn

chicken1

I’m all for eating healthier in January to sort of make up for all the rich foods that I made during the holidays…but sometimes it’s hard to quit the comfort. All of these recipes were delicious, but the cream corn had me swooning and will definitely be a repeat offender in this house! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

Buttermilk Baked Chicken – adapted from Food Republic

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed (*I used garlic powder*)
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
Directions –
To prepare the marinade, in a large mixing bowl whisk the buttermilk, mustard, hot sauce, paprika, salt, onion and garlic together to combine. Put the chicken in a plastic storage bag, add the buttermilk mixture and smoosh the chicken around to thoroughly coat in the marinade. Press out the air, seal the bag and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, preferably up to 2 days.
When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the marinade, wiping off any excess buttermilk, and discard. Season both sides of the chicken breasts lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the breadcrumbs out on a flat plate. Press the chicken breasts into the breadcrumbs to completely coat all sides, shaking off the excess.
Put a cast-iron or ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is shimmering, lay the chicken in the pan – you may have to do this in batches. Sear for 3 minutes on each side. Nestle the seared chicken breasts side by side in the skillet. Transfer the skillet (and chicken) to the oven and bake for roughly 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the crust is golden.

WP_20140107_17_53_54_Pro

Home-Style Mashed Potatoes – adapted from Pass the Sushi

      • 2 pounds potatoes (I had Russett)
      • 2 TBSP butter
      • 1/2  cup heavy cream
      • salt

Directions –

Scrub and peel the potatoes. Dice into even 1/2″ cubes to even out cooking time. Place in a large Dutch oven with just enough water to cover. Salt the water and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork pierces the potatoes easily.

Drain the potatoes and return to the Dutch oven. Add the cream and using a blender or a masher, mash the potatoes. Add 2 tablespoons butter and mix until incorporated. Add more cream if needed (starch may very from potato to potato). Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to entice friends and family into extra big spoonfuls.

WP_20140107_17_59_42_Pro

Homemade Creamed Corn – adapted from Fabulously Fugal

      • 20 ounces frozen corn thawed
      • 1 cup heavy cream
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 2 T sugar
      • 1/4 tsp pepper
      • 2 T butter
      • 1/2 cup milk
      • 2 TBS flour
      • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

Directions –

Heat first 6 ingredients together in a large pot. In a separate small bowl, wisk separately  the 1/2 cup milk and 2 TBS of flour (this is what will help thicken the cream).

Stir into corn mixture and cook over medium heat (stir often so the cream doesn’t burn) until mixture is thickened and corn cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Citrus Brined Roasted Chicken

chicken

Do you need a special meal for Thanksgiving, but not enough people around to warrant roasting an entire turkey? There is nothing wrong with that, and I have been in that position before. While it’s not the best scenario celebrating the holidays without extended family, making a special meal is sometimes better than going out. Our first Thanksgiving away from family was the worst on record, and I never want to experience that again. We lived in a tiny city in Texas and the only place open that day was a buffet – yuck! We had no choice because I didn’t cook back then like I do now…live and learn, right?

Roast chicken is made even better with a tad more effort; and I can’t get over how much better chicken tastes once it has been brined! My husband took a bite and was confused because of the orange flavor, because he wasn’t expecting it. It was so juicy and flavorful that I’m not sure I’ll be able to skip brining next time. I have tried one other recipe before, but I concocted this recipe myself after searching around for ratios of water to salt to weight. Citrus and chicken make a winning combination, and the idea went from there. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

Citrus Brined Roast Chicken – a Mom-Makes original

  • 3-4 lb. whole chicken
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar or honey
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1/2 lemon – juiced and zested (*save the other half for roasting*)
  • 1/2 orange – juiced and zested (*save the other half for roasting*)
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed

Directions –

Heat 2 quarts of water in a small pot. Once the water simmers, add your salt and sugar – stir until dissolved. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse your chicken and remove anything inside the cavity (giblets, liver, ect).  Place your chicken in a large lidded container (mine holds 6 quarts of liquid) or a heavy-duty plastic bag. Add the citrus, garlic, spices and herbs. Pour the cold water and then the dissolved salt/sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate of 8 hours or overnight.

*About an hour before roasting, take the chicken out of the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Set it on a sheet pan and place it uncovered in the refrigerator so the skin can dry out a little.

**Citrus and Herb Butter –

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • heavy pinch of kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon and orange zest
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions –

Place butter in a small bowl.  Using a fork, mash until softened.  Add salt and pepper and mash to incorporate.  Add olive oil, zest and rosemary and stir to combine.

Roasting Directions –

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the other half of lemon and orange in the cavity, and garlic or shallot if you have it. Truss chicken and coat generously with the citrus butter. Add salt and pepper to taste and place in roasting pan or a foil lined sheet pan; insert probe thermometer into the thickest part of one of the breasts. Roast the chicken until the thermometer reads 155-160 degrees, (about 70-75 minutes with my convection roast setting). Once the desired temperature is reached, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Carve, serve and enjoy!

chicken1

Roasted Broccoli

Quick Post: I’ve never had roasted broccoli and have wanted to try it for some time. Broccoli was on sale today and I needed a “diet-friendly” side dish to go along with this tilapia and these mashed potatoes. These were so good – a little salty bite, savory, nutty a little sweet…so good. It’s my new favorite way to enjoy broccoli 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Roasted Broccoli –

  • 4 cups broccoli, rinsed and trimmed
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425.
Cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces. Cut the stalk into 1/8-inch thick, round slices. Place the broccoli into a mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and spread out evenly on a baking sheet. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes.

Re-Post: Pot Roast

potroast1

I often plan my meals basted on the local weather forecast and I was so happy when I learned the high today would be 71 degrees and the low 61. I know some of you might not think that is at all cold – but this is Florida after all…I’ll take what I can get! 😉 Anything less than 80 degrees feels like a treat here and what better way to celebrate this cooler weather than to make something warm and comforting? I love its simplicity and all the great flavor that it creates; this one is hands-down my favorite, especially when we serve it over a big pile of roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

potroast

Pot Roast with Vegetables – adapted from Tyler Florence

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) piece beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 yellow onions, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 12 – 16 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced in half
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions –

Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside. Pour in the tomatoes and the water. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the pot roast, season with salt and pepper; and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Slice the pot roast and arrange on platter surrounded by the vegetables. Serve with the pot juices.

Thanksgiving Day Recipe Round-Up

rolls1
Fall is my absolute favorite season because of the cooler weather, but mostly it’s because of the food! Thanksgiving dinner is hands-down the most time-consuming meal I make all year; but I love it! It’s a little depressing when I think of all the planning, shopping, prep-work, cooking, baking – not to mention the dish washing involved; and everyone is finished eating in about 20 minutes. Thankfully, there are the leftovers which can be the best part of the ordeal 🙂 I decided to round-up some of our favorites to help those of you who need inspiration and ideas.

A couple of tips for you novices out there – don’t be intimidated! 🙂 Plan at least a week in advance, especially if you plan on brining your turkey – I highly recommend it! You will never have a more moist, perfectly seasoned bird than when you’ve taken the time to brine. It’s not difficult, but you will need some extra space in your refrigerator and if you don’t have a huge, lidded container you can use heavy-duty brining bags, (I have used these). Also, invest in a digital probe thermometer, because who wants to go through all that trouble only to end up with overcooked (or under-cooked) turkey? Thanks for reading!

3

Breakfast

*Update* Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Bread

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Waffles

Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

soup12

Appetizer/Sides

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Vanilla Almonds

Brioche and Sausage Dressing

Loaded Potato Soup

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Perfect Au Gratin Potatoes

Garlic Green Beans

rolls3

Breads

Honey Yeast Rolls

Basic Buttery Brioche

Homemade Crescent Rolls

Dinner Rolls

Parker House Rolls

Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns

Honey Cornbread Muffins

4

Mains

Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey

Honey Ham 

pumpkincheesecake

Desserts

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Deep Dish Apple Crumble Pie

Apple Crisp I

Apple Crisp II

Vegan Apple Crisp

1

For the Leftovers

*Update* Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust

Turkey, Bacon and Avocado Sandwiches

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Ham and Potato Soup

Bacon Wrapped Filet

steak

I surprised my husband with a big dinner full of his favorites for Valentine’s Day. He was totally impressed and I was too because this was my first time cooking steak! I was inspired by The Pioneer Woman’s Food Network show, but I used this link for the time and temperature. I served this with roasted shrimp cocktail, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and the Snickers pie for dessert! He loved every bit of this meal and I enjoyed trying new techniques to pull this off. The kids weren’t left out this Valentine’s Day because I made them a heart-shaped pizza – they thought that was pretty cool. I will probably do the same next year so we can start a new tradition – I know they’ll appreciate that 🙂 Thanks for stopping by 🙂

valentinesday

I Can Hardly Wait!


After two years of making this huge spread for TG, I have learned (the hard way) what to do in advance to make this as stress free as possible. Today I started the brine for our turkey! It’s a simple step that really makes all the difference in your finished bird. I never craved turkey until I made this recipe, but this always comes out juicy and flavorful. Every year I have made it, I have used the 10 gallon Ziploc bag, and my 12 quart stock pot to contain the beast! It’s a nerve-racking workout to place this safely and cleanly into the fridge 🙂

Over the weekend, I prepared my brioche dough for the brioche and sausage dressing and the herb butter is sitting pretty in the freezer ( I used a stick and a half of butter instead of three). Tomorrow my plan is to bake off the brioche and roast several bulbs of garlic. Wednesday I will prepare the dressing, make the dinner rolls and take the turkey out of the brine. Thanksgiving day, I will prepare this ham in the crock pot, roast the turkey, make the roasted garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and bake off the dressing. It’s lists like this that makes me wish for two ovens!  Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving!

Re-Post of the Best Birthday Cake (so far)

Our friends/neighbors’ birthday was this week (the same day, how cute/convenient is that?) and my husband suggested that we have them over. The kids made them birthday cards with their voucher for their free dinner and dessert which they happily accepted 🙂 For dinner, M grilled filet mingnon, which we served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, roasted carrots and broccoli and everyone’s favorite – roasted garlic bread. Dinner was a complete success and I’m so happy that they enjoyed it 🙂
Now, onto everyones favorite part – the birthday cake! This is our favorite layer cake so far, but I decided the next celebration cake may need to be a different recipe. To make frosting the cake easier and less messy, I always wrap and freeze the cooled cakes overnight. It really does make a difference, and waxed paper squares underneath the cake help keep the cake plate clean. This buttercream icing is so yummy and not too sweet and the cake is rich and perfectly chocolatey. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Double Layer Chocolate Cake – adapted from Smitten Kitchen

** This became a “triple layer” cake because I only have 9″ cake pans**

The recipe below is for 2 10-inch layers filled and coated in chocolate ganache. My adaptations were to split the layers to create a four-layer cake and use raspberry filling instead of chocolate. To do the same, use half the frosting and all of the raspberry filling, recipe at the end.

For cake layers

  • 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
  • 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Make cake layers: Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature

Quick Chocolate Buttercream – adapted from Williams-Sonoma

  • 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 6 Tbs. milk, plus more, if needed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions –

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Put the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler set over but not touching simmering water in the bottom pan. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, the 6 Tbs. milk, the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, then reduce the speed to low. Add the chocolate and beat until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute more.

If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks. Makes about 4 1/2 cups.

Citrus and Herb Roast Chicken

 

WP_20140429_17_34_52_Pro

This was so amazing! Perfectly seasoned and juicy – and not at all coconutty! I will make this again and again – even my daughter who practically drinks ketchup, said it was good without it! That’s a win in my book. I served this with steamed carrots and green beans, seasoned with salt, pepper and my fave Kerrygold butter. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Citrus and Herb Roasted Chicken – adapted from Practical Paleo

  • 1 – 3 to 4 pound whole chicken, rinsed and dried
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • Zest of one orange
  • Half that orange, sliced into fourths
  • One small onion, quartered
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (*or butter or bacon grease*)
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Kitchen string for trussing
  • Half sheet pan
  • Foil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Remove and gizzards or organs from inside the chicken. Stuff the chicken with the onions, garlic, and the citrus, truss the chicken if desired. Brush the chicken with melted coconut oil, and sprinkle it with the chopped rosemary, kosher salt, orange zest, and black pepper, and roast about 55-65 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees. Cooking time depends on the size of the bird but is approximately 20 minutes per pound.