March 26, 2014

Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole

3-4 medium russet potatoes, diced (about 1.5 pounds or 4-1/2 cups)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream or milk
2 TBS butter, cut into small pieces

1.  Preheat oven to 350℉.  Lightly grease a 9x9 inch baking pan or casserole dish.  Spread half the diced potatoes in the bottom of the pan.  place the diced chicken breasts evenly on top.  Season chicken with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Sprinkle with half the bacon crumbles and 1/2 cup cheese.  Sprinkle with half the sliced green onions.

2.  Spread the remaining potatoes on top, followed by the rest of the bacon, 1/2 cup cheese, and the remaining salt, pepper, and green onions.  Pour heavy cream over top of casserole and then dot with butter. 

3.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.  Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes.  In the last few minutes of baking sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until melted. 

From Tips-Gardening

March 19, 2014

Reese's Brownies with Peanut Butter Buttercream

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cocoa
1-1/3 cup flour
24 mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 TBS milk, more if needed to reach desired consistency
1/4 cup peanut butter
7 mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped and chopped

1.   Preheat oven to 350℉.  Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl.  Add eggs and beat well. Add vanilla and salt and mix until well incorporated.

2.  Stir in cocoa and flour until mixed in but be careful not to over-beat.  (Stir in with a wooden spoon so you don't overbeat it if desired)

3.  Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and spread half the brownie mixture in it.

4.  Place unwrapped mini Reese's cups 6x4 evenly across pan.

5.  Carefully spread remaining brownie batter on top.  (Drop by spoonfuls evenly on top then spread out)

6.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until batter is cooked and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Don't overcook (make sure toothpick is in brownie not a Reese's).

7.  Let cool completely.

8.  While brownies are cooling make the Peanut Butter Buttercream.  Beat butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and peanut butter together until smooth and creamy.  Add more powdered sugar or milk to reached desired consistency.

9.  Spread frosting over cooled brownies and top with chopped Mini Reese's Cups.

from Chef in Training

March 12, 2014

Ultimate Grasshopper Cookies

1 box Devil's Food Cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
2 TBS brown sugar

Mint Frosting:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
2-3 cups powdered sugar
milk, if needed
green food dye, if desired

Chocolate Glaze:
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips or melts
4 TBS butter
Andes Mint Candies, roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.
2. Combine cake mix, eggs, butter (make sure you let it cool a little so it doesn't cook the eggs), vanilla and sugar. That batter will be stiff.
3. Make dough balls a little large than a Tablespoon and place on cookie sheets to bake. (You may want to pat each dough ball down a little bit because cake mix cookies tend to bake up tall.)
4. Bake for 7-9 minutes and let cool on cooling racks.
5. Mint Frosting: Beat butter for 2 minutes. Add peppermint extract and slowly add it powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Add 1-2 Tablespoons milk if it gets too thick. Add green dye for color if desired.
6. Chocolate Glaze: Melt chocolate chips and butter together in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave for about 30 seconds, then stir, then microwave in 10 second increments and stir until smooth.
7. To assemble: pipe on frosting, smooth over with a knife, spoon on your glaze and top with Andes mints.

From Your Cup of Cake and Annette