Category Archives: Side Dish

Grilled Sweet Onions Stuffed with Blue Cheese & Bacon

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I had this recipe pinned on Pinterest for a long time. I finally got around to trying it out last night and I am sure glad I did. It was very easy to prepare and really good.

I have never been a huge Blue Cheese lover, but I am learning to like it. This recipe definitely helped me like it even more 🙂

This recipe came from What’s Cooking Blog.

Grilled Sweet Onions Stuffed with Blue Cheese & Bacon

  • 4 large-sized sweet onions
  • 1 stick of butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup blue cheese
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Trim the ends off of the onions, and peel. Scoop out the inside of the onion to create a hole, but do not go through the bottom. I used a melon baller.

Mix butter, blue cheese, bacon, thyme, salt and pepper. I used a pinch of salt since blue cheese tends to be salty. I added a couple pinches of the pepper.

Stuff the onions with the blue cheese mixture. Wrap the onion in pieces of foil. Make sure to seal it at the top to keep steam inside.

Heat your grill on high. Reduce heat to medium low and place the foil pouches directly over the heat. Close the lid of the grill and cook for 30 – 40 minutes. (The Cooking time will vary upon size of onions). Try not to open the grill or the pouches while cooking.

Remove from the grill and let sit for 5 minutes in the foil. The steam from the pouches will be hot, so be careful when opening them. I found there was a lot of butter at the bottom of the foil, so I suggest using tongs to take out the onions….trust me, you do not need all that butter that is left at the bottom, but if you wish you can drizzle some of the butter on top of the onion 😉

Scoop out a hole in the top of the onion.

Scoop out a hole in the top of the onion.

Stuff the onion with the Blue Cheese mixture. Bring the foil to the top of the onion and make sure it is sealed.

Stuff the onion with the Blue Cheese mixture. Bring the foil to the top of the onion and make sure it is sealed.

After done grilling, let it sit for 5 minutes. Be careful when opening, the steam will be hot.

After done grilling, let it sit for 5 minutes. Be careful when opening, the steam will be hot.

Grilled Sweet Onion Stuffed with Blue Cheese & Bacon

Grilled Sweet Onion Stuffed with Blue Cheese & Bacon

Sorry for the photos, I took them with my phone and they did not turn out too good 😦 BUT I really wanted to share this recipe with you.

I made one for each of us. I think we each could have eaten 2 of them. Even this not too sure about blue cheese person LOVED them.

~Relish Food & Life

Truffle Brie Mac n Cheese

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I went to Sam’s the other day and saw this Brie, I had to buy it!

truffle

I have become addicted to Truffles. For those who do not know what truffles are,  truffle are rare, edible mushroom that is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. Truffles are among the most expensive of the world’s natural foods and the most valuable of the fungus family. You can find truffle oil and truffle salt in stores. I have never actually seen a whole truffle, just the oil and salt. A little goes a long way so be careful when adding it to a dish.
Uses for Truffle oil or salt:

  • eggs
  • popcorn
  • mashed potatoes
  • deviled eggs
  • truffle salt on French fries ♥
  • pasta
  • google it..ideas are endless
Ugly little things, but so tasty!

Ugly little things, but so tasty!

I started searching for a good recipe to use this Brie in. I found one from The Fifth Time blog,Truffle Brie Mac n Cheese. Seriously, how can this be anything but delicious?

Check out The Fifth Time blog by clicking above. There are some awesome recipes on it…I have a few picked out to try out soon. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

Truffle Brie Mac n Cheese

For the breadcrumbs:

  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread (or any bread you have on hand) I used 3 ciabatta rolls that I purchased at Sams
  • 2 4 teaspoons garlic, minced garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 3 tablespoons olive oil
Notes: I had the rolls and wanted to use those up. 3 made a lot of bread crumbs, so I increased the butter, olive oil and hey who doesn’t like a bit more garlic.

For the cheese/ pasta:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 ounces Marscapone cheese (or cream cheese) (I used Marscapone)
  • 1 pound grated Sharp Cheddar ( I used extra sharp)
  • 1 pound grated Monterrey Jack
  • 4 ounces Black Truffle Brie or 4 ounces plain Brie + 3 T truffle oil
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni

For the breadcrumbs: Cube your bread into medium size squares and put it in the food processor for a couple of pulses. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tbsp oil in large skillet overt medium heat. Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add bread crumbs to skillet a stir until crumbs are slightly toasted – about 5 minuets. Set aside. ***I added my whole garlic to the bread in the food processor, then added the bread/garlic to the pan of olive oil and butter.

For the cheese & pasta: Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than the al dente package directions. Make sure to salt your water. Drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan heat butter and olive oil until melted over medium high heat. Next, whisk your flour into the butter and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add cream and milk whisking in between to make sure there are no lumps. Bring mixture to a simmer and whisk until desired thickness (close to pancake batter). Remove from heat. Add grated cheese & marscapone and mix until melted. Season with salt & pepper. If using truffle oil – add this to the cheese mixture.

Stir in drained, cooked pasta to the cheese mixture. Transfer to a baking dish and top with sliced brie cheese & then sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Truffle Brie Mac n Cheese

Truffle Brie Mac n Cheese

Yep, I am having a big scoop of that for lunch, after I run 3 miles 😉

Relish Food & Life!

Fabulous Foodie Weekend & Roasted Brussel sprouts with pancetta and basalmic glaze

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About a month ago I came up with the idea of a surprise visit to see my daughter, Samantha in West Palm Beach, FL. Along with that surprise was 2 tickets for us to go to an event at Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival, Burgers on the Beach. We are both foodies, love to cook, entertain family & friends and can curl up on the couch with a great cookbook or food magazine. So, this was the PERFECT gift for her! wink wink

I could hardly wait to surprise her and surprise she was! We started the weekend off by heading downtown West Palm Beach to Clematis street. Clematis street is a definite stop if you are in WPB. Lots of great restaurants and different events going on all the time. We found out Cassedee Pope was making a hometown appearance that was being filmed for Mondays episode of The Voice. I have been watching it this season so that was pretty exciting for me. She sang a few songs and thanked everyone for their support. I will have to say, she sounds better on TV. She did mention they just found out that they were going to their hometowns and performing. I am sure being home, not having much practice and seeing all her family and friends had something to do with it….because Monday on The Voice, she sounded awesome. If you watched it Mondays night, when she was singing to a crowd, I was one of the them in the crowd.

palm beach the voice 2

After she was done singing, it was off to Rocco’s Taco’s. It is always a must eat place when I go to WPB. Great Margaritas, Sangria, and atmosphere! Unfortunately, I did not take any photos here. Just trust me, the food was really good. Here is their website,check out their menu. Roccos Tacos

Samantha had to work Friday morning, so I decided to head across the street to City Place for some breakfast and shopping. Whenever Sam has to work, I love going IL Bellagio’s for breakfast. I always order Nana’s Breakfast. It is Italian Bread Grilled with an Egg Cooked in the Center, Served with Roasted Pepper & potatoes and bacon. I had a nice surprise, Jeff, Samantha boyfriend joined me for breakfast.Check out IL Bellagio’s Website.

That afternoon I went back to Samantha’s apartment. She was back from working and asked if we wanted to do a little shopping at City Place. I said sure, so we shopped a bit when she said “Let’s check things out over this way”. She surprised me with a wonderful Spa afternoon 🙂 We had massages and facials. I do not get them often, but when I do, I wonder why don’t I get them more often. I think that is going to be a must for 2013!

palm beach spa day

After the spa, we hurried and got ready for dinner. Samantha made reservations at Max Harvest, Farm to Fork in Delray Beach. The best thing about this place is all of their ingredients are from local farmers. Their menu changes frequently according to what is available. We decided to order several things and share them. After scouring the menu, we decided on Ricotta Gnocchi with Short rib, Smoked Gouda & Pancetta Mac ‘n Cheese, Bacon-Sizzled brussels w/ Kimchee & Lemon and stuffed squash blossoms.The food was fantastic! Here is their website. Max Harvest.

palm beach Max harvest

Even though we did not need it, the waiter talked us into dessert! Yes, he twisted our wrist until we said uncle 😉

HOMEMADE donuts with 2 sauces. Needless to say, We brought Jeff home some left overs ;)

HOMEMADE donuts with 2 sauces. Needless to say, We brought Jeff home some left overs 😉

The day has come….Palm Beach Wine & Food Festival, but we needed to check out Samantha’s new apartment first. She will be moving the end of this week. It is just a couple blocks down from where she is now. It is a great apartment with a fantastic view from the pool. She has a good view from her apartment too, but love this one.

palm beach sam's apartment

Burger on the Beach, Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival, my one word to describe it would be Fabulous! It was held at Four Seasons Resort

I am not going to lie, I was a bit nervous going to this being from a small farm town. When we first got there, we spotted the bar. Free cocktails, champagne, beer or whatever you wanted. We got a cocktail and then I said Let’s just sit on this couch, take it in and see how this thing works etc. So we did, then I immediately spilled my drink! Damn…sunglasses with readers. So, embarrassed! There was a guy there within seconds cleaning it up for me. I apologized profusely. He said, Not a problem, anytime! Ha! I thought I was going to have to call him over a couple other times. I was a mess with those glasses. Funny thing, we were standing at a table and this lady spilled her drink. Her husbands said to us, “She has these sunglasses with readers and she is having a hard time with them.” I was never so happy to hear that! Note to self: Do not wear Sunglasses with readers next year or to a party!

The setting of the party was just off the beach. In the pool area. It was like I had held a party in my back yard. That is how small and intimate it was. We were up close to all the chefs. We got to chat and mingle with them. Samantha and I were standing at a small cocktail table and realized Marc Murphy, Chopped judge was standing there with us. She recognized several local celebrities. I heard several people and chefs comment that this is the one to go to, the others are too big.

You can ask anyone in my family, I always have Food Network, Bravo or The Cooking Channel on the TV…I was in heaven with winners of Top Chef and Food Network celebrities there. Here are some of the photos from the event.

palm beach sam processo by the beach

palm beach sam lobster burger

Marc Summers from Unwrapped, Food Network Channel. He was just hanging out everywhere.

Marc Summers from Unwrapped, Food Network Channel. He was just hanging out everywhere.

Jeff Mauro, winner Next Network Star. He has a show on Food Network, Sandwich King..

Jeff Mauro, winner Next Network Star. He has a show on Food Network, Sandwich King..

Pool area. Party was on the left of the photo.

Pool area. Party was on the left of the photo.

Ahhh, Fabio, my favorite. He was on Top Chef. He did not win, but has several restaurants and on tv a lot. When we got back from Italy, we made his gnocchi. It was soo good. His burger was not bad either!

Ahhh, Fabio, my favorite. He was on Top Chef. He did not win, but has several restaurants and on tv a lot. When we got back from Italy, we made his gnocchi. It was soo good. His burger was not bad either!

palm beach fabios burger

palm beach fabio

Another favorite, Robert Irvine from Restaurant Impossible.

Another favorite, Robert Irvine from Restaurant Impossible.

Our red carpet photo ;)

Our red carpet photo 😉

She was loving all the burgers.

She was loving all the burgers.

The Burgers we tasted were, Fabio’s short rib burger with caramelized onions in a balsamic glaze, brie and red raddicchio, Chef Irvines pimento cheeseburger sliders with pork belly, Jeff Mauro’s Patty Melt, Top Chef season 7 winner Kevin Sbraga’s Za’atar lamb slider (great, but when I took a bite it squirted all over my dress) and Four Seasons chef Darryl Moile’s lobster burger. There were truffle fries, sweet potato hash browns and all other kind of goodies floating around.

As we were taking everything in, Sam said “Mom, can we do this again next year?” my reply “You betcha!” Thank you to my wonderful husband for saying yeah, you should go. I hope he is ok with it now being a yearly event 😉

On Sunday, Samantha and I headed to the grocery store to load up on the ingredients we needed to make dinner that night. We decided we wanted to make Mussels with 2 different sauces and Lobster Mac N Cheese. I love cooking with my daughters, Samantha seems to be the one who likes it the most. Kate and Grace are beginning to jump on the boat with us. While cooking, we realized that it would probably be the last meal that Samantha cooks in that apartment. It lead to her thinking about the life lessons and experiences and people who gathered at her table while living in that apartment. She told me her first meal she made there, she was by herself and She made a dish that called for 2 adobe peppers….she put 2 cans in it. Needless to say, it went uneaten. She made a wonderful toast before we ate, it brought me to tears. I have a saying written in my kitchen; A good cook knows it’s not what’s on the table that matters, it’s what is in the chairs. She is a good cook! I am so happy that I was there for the last meal there and so sad I was not there for the first meal.

Thai Coconut Curry Mussels, Spicy Tomato Garlic Mussels, Lobster Mac n Cheese and for dessert Gooey Butter Cake.

Thai Coconut Curry Mussels, Spicy Tomato Garlic Mussels, Lobster Mac n Cheese and for dessert Gooey Butter Cake.

Ok, onward to a recipe.

The brussel sprouts at Max Harvest reminded me of a recipe that I have made a couple of times. I have always been nervous to try brussel sprouts. The word on the street was they were yucky! I took the plunge at Paulos at the Mansion a few years ago. Mark actually ordered them. I think I ate most of them. Mark and I both fell in love with them.

I am not sure how brussel sprouts got a bad rap, but it was not with the recipe I am going to share with you.

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Balsamic Syrup< I found this recipe on Just a Taste Blog.

½ pound pancetta (one thick slice), diced (You can buy packages of chopped pancetta at Dierbergs or Trader Joes. That is what I used.)
1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, stems removed, halved
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 cup balsamic vinegar

Toss Brussel sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 400ºF oven for about 40 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they do not get over done.

While they’re roasting, sauté the diced pancetta cooking until golden brown. Set aside.

Simmer 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until it reduces by half, about 10 minutes. It will be thick and syrupy.

Remove the roasted Brussels sprouts from the oven and pour the sauteed pancetta (plus any drippings) directly on top of the Brussels sprouts, tossing to combine.

Transfer the mix to a serving platter and drizzle with the balsamic syrup.

Another good brussel sprouts recipe to try is Ina Garten’s Roasted Brussel Sprouts.
It is basically the same recipe minus the Balsamic reduction.
~Relish Food & Life!

Chicken with 40 (43) Cloves of Garlic + Parmesan Mashed Potatoes = Delish.

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I have been eying this recipe for a long long time. It was in the a Sunday paper magazine (I thought that was a sign;) and I have an abundance of garlic, so I decided it was time. I go through a process when I choose a new recipe. I google it and check out at least 3 sites that have that recipe or close to it. I read the reviews and then I decide how I want to make it. If it has bad reviews, well then I do not make it.

I had this dish when I visited my brother in San Francisco at The Stinking Rose. It was delish. I have their cookbook, so I checked out their recipe in the book and online. Food Network also had a recipe. I went with Ina’s recipe on Food Network.


Chicken with 43 Cloves of Garlic

  • 3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves (43 cloves)
  • 2 (3 1/2-pound) chickens, cut into eighths (6 lbs chicken pieces)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac (Brandy), divided use
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves ( I may have used a tiny bit more)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • (1 cup Chicken Broth)

Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside. ( I did not do this. I just whacked with the flat side of a knife and peeled them)

Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven  over medium-high heat. In batches, saute the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don’t want to pierce the skin with a fork. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to saute all the chicken in batches. Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all of the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 2 tablespoons of the Cognac and the wine, return to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot. Raise the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of Cognac and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland. Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot.

Melt butter and oil in a skillet or dutch oven. Salt and Pepper the chicken on both sides. Make to really salt and pepper them! I bought 6 lbs of chicken pieces...the ones we like.

Put skin sound down; brown. Then flip over browning that side. Put in a bowl and do the next batch.

This is 43 cloves of Garlic. That is what I had peeled, so that is what I used. Grace came home from school and said what in the heck are you making? It burns my eyes. She loved the end results. Isn't this a great bowl? I made it in a pottery class and my niece Kelly glazed it.

Remove the chicken; add the garlic. Brown.

After browned, add the Brandy. I let it it sizzle for a minute.

I made an SOS text to Jim (my friend and cooking buddy)…the store did not have Cognac! He confirmed that I needed to substitute with Brandy. I read the email quickly and thought he said to let it reduce a little. Well, he actually said add a little more and reduce since cognac is stronger. I reduced, but did not increase the amount.

Then add the wine.

Make sure to scrap the bottom and sides to loosen up that yummy stuff stuck to the pan.

Return the chicken to the pan with the juices left in the bowl or platter; top with Thyme' cover. Cook approximately 30 minutes until down at lowest heat.

I decided to add some Chicken broth. We LOVE gravy and I wanted to make sure we had enough! I simmered it for a few minutes.

Whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and flour.

Whisk flour mixture into the sauce. Then add the brandy and heavy cream. For some reason I thought it said 1/2 cup cream. It was 2 T. I had already poured out the 1/2 cup and since I added the chicken broth. I thought what the heck. It turned out yummy! Simmer until thickened.

Make sure to take the back of your tongs or a spoon and mash around the garlic. One suggested to take some of garlic and blend it smooth and add to the sauce. Using the tongs to mash it up was my solution to get more flavor in the sauce.

Salt and pepper the sauce again. Taste and repeat if needed.

The gravy was a tad bit thin, so either I did not simmer long enough or maybe I needed to use a little more sauce/flour mixture. I decided the gravy would taste great on mashed potatoes. I was not wrong! I decided to stick with Ina and make Ina’s Parmesan Potatoes.

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

  • 3 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 2 teaspoons
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a 4-quart saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until the potatoes are completely tender. Drain

In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half and butter. Transfer the potatoes to an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix them for a few seconds on low speed to break them up. Slowly add the hot cream and butter to the potatoes, mixing on the lowest speed (the last quarter of cream and butter should be folded in by hand). Fold in the sour cream, Parmesan, the remaining salt, and pepper; season, to taste, and serve immediately. If the potatoes are too thick, add more hot cream and butter.

Keep the smashed potatoes hot in a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water.

NOTE: I did this pretty much to the recipe, except I used a different type of potato.

I guessed on how many potatoes was 3 lbs. I did not leave them whole.

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water.

Mix the potatoes for a few seconds.

Add the melted butter and heated half and half. Then by hand add sour cream and Parmesan cheese.

Are you ready for the photos. I could not just pick one 😉

Chicken with 43 Cloves of Garlic + Parmesan Mashed Potatoes = DELISH.

Look at those chunks of garlic....yum. The garlic was not overpowering. Well, at least I did not think so.

~Relish Life & Food

Parmesan Baked Potato Halves = Delish!

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Sorry for being MIA for a while. I have been traveling and just plan busy.!

I have a question: Does this happen in your home?

Please tell me it does!

When we remodeled, I even bought the easy holder!

I saw this sign in a catalog a couple of years ago.

I think my family thinks this is true! I was tempted to buy it, but I thought it might a be a little tacky to put that in the bathroom 😉

I love potatoes among other things that are bad for you 😉  When I see a yummy potato recipe, I have a to try it asap. This one did not disappoint me. It was easy and good. I found the recipe on Fav Family Recipes. It has now become one of our Family Favs!

Parmesan Baked Potato Halves

  • 6 small potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • garlic powder
  • other seasonings (to personal preference)
  • Greek Seasoning or any of your personal favorite seasonings.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter and pour into a 9×13 inch pan and spread evenly across the bottom. Generously sprinkle Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle seasonings all over the Parmesan/ butter mixture to your taste. I sprinkled generously. Place potato halves face down on the butter and seasonings. Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve on a plate with a side of sour cream for dipping.

*NOTE: I needed to use 8 potatoes to fill the pan. Next time I am going to try to decreased the butter a bit or use olive oil instead. Which means it will decrease the calories a bit 😉 Hey, every bit counts!

Update: I found that I do not need to use any butter/oil. I just spray the pan with cooking spray first. These are fantastic using baby potatoes and serving as an appetizer. You must decreased cooking time.

Pour melted butter onto a jelly roll pan. Update: I found you can skip this step and just use cooking spray.

Shred your Parmesan cheese.

Spread cheese over the butter.

Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings. I am partial to Greek Seasoning. Garlic powder and pepper would be good. The combination you could use are endless.

Place potatoes, which have been cut in half, cut side down on top of the Parmesan/butter. Pop it into the oven.

Seriously, how can this not be good?

Parmesan Baked Potato Halves. We served it with sour cream.

I really need to work on my photography skills! I get so excited to try the dish…that I hurry up to much.

You could use small potatoes and serve it as an appetizer. I am sure you would have to decrease the cooking time a bit.

Those who follow me, know I adore crispy foods. These potatoes have a crispy cheesy goodness on top. I also have a confession to make, the four of us ate all 8 potatoes. Grace and Kate were suppose to put the leftovers in the frig. Somehow, there were not any left after they got done cleaning up 😉 Need I say more?

Even though I have not been posting, I have been cooking and taking photos. I promise to post more often.

~Relish Food, Life & Potatoes

Upside Down Potato & Onion Tart

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Holy Cow….this potato recipe is really good. My favorite potato recipes right now are this one, Roasted Greek Potatoes  and Crash Hot Potatoes.  This is the second time I have made these. The first time Mark and I made our New Years Eve dinner together instead of going out and then last night. Grace would have eaten the whole pan if I would have let her. There was not much left and I ate the rest for lunch 🙂 Sorry Grace.

I found the recipe on Pinterest. If you have not been to the pinterest site….you need too! If you need an invite, just let me know and I will invite you. I followed the recipe from Hizzoners website. I really did not change a thing, which is rare. It looks harder than it really is. So simple. The hardest part is finding Gruyere locally 😉

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 12 sprigs thyme, strip the leaves from the stems
  • 1 large onion, sliced somewhat thickly ( a tad more than 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 lb. small red potatoes, washed and very thinly sliced ( I may have used a bit more than 1 lb. What you see in the photo is what I used.)
  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. Melt the butter in a 9-10 inch ovenproof frying pan (cast iron is great) over medium heat. Add the thyme and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Place the potato, oil, cheeses, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to combine.

Top the onion with the potato mixture and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Turn upside down to serve.

Ingredient Line up...for some reason I thought Fontina cheese was in it. It is not.

See my new handy dandy mandoline ♥ Slice potatoes thin. Leave skin on. I am not a potato peeler. So, I usually leave it on. I am sure all the vitamins are in the skin 😉 See the gloves? That is so I do not slice a finger off!

Melt butter in cast iron skillet. Add onions and thyme. I did not have big onions, so I used 2 medium size. Cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss potatoes, olive oil, cheeses, salt and pepper together.

After the five minutes, add potato mixture to the skillet.

Remove from the oven and turn up side down on a plate.

Oh, how I love crunchy things. Like I said I have made this twice and LOVED it both times. Both times, it looks a little brown after turning over….but it is still sooo good. I have a hot oven. I did not try to  make it until it looks like the original recipe’s photo and  deprive you of this recipe. So with that said…here is my photo.

Upside Down Potato Onion Tart....YUMOLA!

Oh, how I LOVE crispy potatoes!

I am heading to FL on Thursday to see my daughter, Samantha. I am so excited to see her and be in the warmth and sunshine.

I hope weather.com is right 😀

~Relish Food & Life!

Poblano Mac n Cheese

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These last 2 weeks have been a sad one. A friends 21 year old son lost his 2 year battle with Cancer. He started writing poems during his battle. They read several of them at his funeral. I want to share this one with you.

A new meaning of Thanksgiving

I used to think Thanksgiving was for my

Family to get together and eat pumpkin pie

Watch football games on the TV

And then take a nap around 3

This past year however I have found out

There are many more things to be thankful about

I thank God for my family, my life, and my friends

The people on who I can always depend on

I thank Him for mornings and thank Him for nights

And thank Him for giving me the courage to fight

the cancer I’ve had for nearly one year

And the bravery to not live in fear

So when you sit down to your Thanksgiving feast

Bow your head and say at least

“Thanks for my health, and thanks for this food”

And one last thing before I conclude.

Say a prayer for those less fortunate than you

So that they may have a good Thanksgiving too.

~Matthew

 
At Book Club last month we had to bring a sinful dish. I am more of a savory person than a sweet one. After thinking about if a while, I decided on something with pasta, cheesy and with a little spice. Poblano Mac n Cheese. This recipe was another find on Pinterest, which led me to Nutmeg Granny’s Blog.

Poblano Macaroni and Cheese

2 Poblano chiles
8 oz. elbow pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups grated white cheddar
1/2 cup Cotija cheese (I could not find this, so I substituted with Queso Fresco Cheese)

Roast the poblano chilies under the broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes per side. Place the chiles in a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close it tightly, and let the for 20 minutes. Take the chiles out of the bag and rub off the skin. Take the chiles out of the bag and rub off the skin. Remove the stem and seeds and chop the chiles into 1-inch long pieces.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to your package’s directions ad then drain the pasta. (You want the pasta to be cooked but not mushy; cook for 5 minutes.)

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a large baking dish or a large cast-iron skillet, and pour the drained pasta into the dish.

In a pot (you can use the pot the pasta cooked in or you can do this while the pasta boils), on low heat melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and cook until a light brown, toasty paste is formed, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and stir until it’s thickened a bit but still fluid, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the mustard powder, cayenne, cumin, lime zest, cilantro, and chopped poblano chiles. Adjust seasonings and add salt and black pepper.

Slowly add half of the cheddar cheese and stir until it’s melted and well combined into the sauce. (If the sauce has cooled too much and the cheese won’t melt, return the pot to low heat on the stove seems a little thick return it to the stove until soft again. If however, the sauce gets too thick, like a custard, you can thin it by stirring in milk, a teaspoon at a time.) Pour sauce over pasta and top with the remaining half of the cheddar cheese and bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until brown and bubbling. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese, and serve immediately.

Ingredient Line Up.

Roast your poblanos under the broiler.

After they are charred until the broiler. Place in a bag for 15 minutes. Then ready to peel off skin.

I got all my ingredients ready before I started the cheese sauce.

including grating the white cheddar cheese.

Get your pasta cooking in boiling water. In the meantime Melt butter and add garlic. Cook for one minute.

Whisk in flour.

Then whisk in the milk.

Remove pot from heat and then stir in the mustard powder, cayenne, cumin, lime zest, cilantro and chopped poblano peppers. Add salt and pepper.

I then put it back on the heat on very low. Slowly add half of the cheddar and stir until it is melted and well combined into the sauce. I did have to thin it a bit with some milk. Oh, that is looking yummy!

Pour sauce on top of noodles.

Sprinkle the other half of the white cheddar cheese. Pop it into the oven.

Top with queso fresco or cojita cheese. I turned off the oven and popped it back in few a minutes.

Poblano Mac n Cheese! Sinful!

I wish each one of you a blessed Thanksgiving filled with family and friends.

~Relish Food & Especially Life!


 

Yummy Corn Casserole

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We had a Mexican Food night at our house last week.  I made Cilantro- Lime Flank Steak Tacos with all the fixins to go with it.

I am sure everyone has made corn casserole one time or another. Just in case you have not, here is the recipe I have been making for 20 years.

Corn Casserole

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can cream style corn
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together all ingredients. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until set.

Ingredient Line Up.

 

Because I hate to do dishes. I spray the dish with pam and melt the butter in the dish I am using.

 

Add everything to the dish and stir until everything is mixed in thoroughly.

Since I was making this for a mexican meal, I choose to use this Mexican Cheese instead of plain cheddar. It gave it a wonderful flavor...I will probably use that from now on.

 

All ready to pop into the oven.

Corn Casserole ~ I should have taken a photo scooped out...but it did not last long.

This has been a family favorite for a long time. The girls love it!

Here is the recipe I used for the flank steak Cilantro Lime Flank Steak. The only thing I did different was added more garlic. It was good….especially with sautéed onions and poblanos, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, avocados and tortillas. Mark still prefers Asian Flank Steak when using flank steak! If you have not tried the Asian Flank Steak yet…it is fabulous!

Cilantro Lime Flank Steak with poblano and onions.

 

It was a beautiful night with great food and friends...what can more could you ask for?

~Relish Food & Life

Apple & Cabbage Slaw with Poppy Seed Dressing and Jalapeno Corn Dip

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We had a wonderful Sunday afternoon spent with  friends. The atmosphere was beautiful.

Big fish!

A person stopped by with these blackberries she just picked! I love Blackberries...they were super yummy!

They were huge!

They had a homemade wine tasting...this one was the Floor Wine...not sure what that meant 😉

It was a perfect sunday… floating in the lake, drinking homemade wine, eating freshly picked blackberries and good food prepared by everyone…doing all that with Friends = Perfect Sunday!

I purchased a HUGE cabbage from the Farmer’s Market in Edwardsville.

It was a whopper!

I was in search of a different slaw recipe. I found this one on Tasty Kitchen website. It was really good.

Apple & Cabbage Slaw with Poppy Seed Dressing

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ cups Honey
  • 3 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
  • 1-½ teaspoon Kosher Salt, More Or Less To Taste
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, More Or Less To Taste
  • I added 1/4 tsp Paprika

FOR THE SLAW:

  • 1 whole Medium Head Of Cabbage, Quartered, Cored And Sliced Thin
  • 2 3 whole Fuji Or McIntosh Apples, Quartered, Cored And Julienned
  • ½  Lemon, Juiced
  • 3 whole Medium Carrots, Peeled, Trimmed And Julienned (I purchased already julienned carrots)
  • 5  7 hole Green Onions, Trimmed And Sliced Thin
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped

For the dressing: Place all of the dressing ingredients into a small bowl, whisk until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed; chill until ready to use.

For the slaw: Quarter and core the cabbage. Slice thinly and add to a large bowl. Add prepared apples (squeezed with lemon juice to keep apples from turning brown), carrots, green onion and chopped parsley to the bowl as well. Pour the poppy seed dressing over and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to one hour before serving.

Ingredient line up minus Paprika and extra apple and green onions.

Mix dressing ingredients together.

I decided to add paprika. Refrigerate until ready to pour onto slaw.

Slice slaw. I just used half of that huge cabbage. I figure that was about the size of a regular head of cabbage.

Ready to be tossed with dressing.

Apple & Cabbage Slaw with Poppy Seed Dressing

When I was in Edwardsville I picked up a new kind of sour cream, they were flavored 🙂  The brand is Breakstones, they had jalapeno, chipotle and roasted garlic and herb…yummo! I had to get one. I bet these are tasty on a baked potato 🙂

There was a tag on the container with a recipe, Jalapeno Corn dip. It was really good and I think it could be also served as a side dish. Just do not over cook it. I put it in a crock pot and forgot that I had it on high…it was ok,  but a lot better right after I took it out of the oven. I double this recipe.

Jalapeno Corn Dip

  • 10 oz frozen corn
  • 1 cup of Four cheese Mexican shredded cheese.
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Breakstone Jalapeno sour cream
  • My addition 1 tsp Adobo seasoning (or cumin would be good also)

Mix it all together and put in a baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until heated through and top is lightly brown.

Ingredient line up. I double the recipe.

Mix it all together.

Ready to pop into the oven.

I forgot to take a finished photo…trust me it good! Super Duper Easy!

On our way home, I enjoyed the scenery in the country. I love when there are round bales in a field.

~Relish Food & Life

Crispy Hash Brown Potato Cups

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I love crispy hash browns. Whenever we go to a restaurant for breakfast and order hash browns, our whole family makes a request to the waitress that they are crispy. I seen this recipe on Food.com and knew I had to try it. I did it a little different. Here is my version:

Crispy Hash Brown Potato Cups

  • 1 bag Southwest Style Hash Browns found in the refrigerated section. At Super Valu here in Breese, they are located in the egg section.
  • Cheese (I used a cheddar cheese combo. You can use cheddar, Parmesan, Monterey jack or a cheese combo)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • I added a dash of Cajun seasoning. (The hash browns already have some spices in it. So, if you do not like heat…do not add this)

Ingredient Line up...minus salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning.

Mix all together. I really did not measure. You can see hear how much I put in. Next time I will measure.

You need to really spray your muffin tin well with Pam. Then fill the cups and pressing down to fill it up.  It will make approximately 14 – 15 cups.

Then pop it into a 350 degree oven for 40 -45 minutes or until edges are brown and crispy.

These were so good and so easy!

Crispy Hash Brown Potato Cups...yum!

I don’t think you can go wrong with the cheese you choose. Use what you have in the frig. That is what I did. I would say I used approximately 1/4 – 1/2 cup of cheese.

I really love the Simply Potatoes Southwest Hash browns. It has onion, green and red peppers, jalapeños, and spices already in it.  It deliver just the right amount of heat.

You could use regular,  but these were mighty tasty!

~Relish Food & Life