Baked Potato Casserole

September 25, 2011 16:29 by Suzy

Baked Potato Casserole

Everything you want and love in a baked potato, but pre-mixed and with a crunchy top.  Mmmmm...carbs...

Baked Potato Casserole (Potatoes Romanoff)
adapted from Tasty Kitchen

3 large russet potatoes
1/2 pound bacon, diced
3/4 cup minced shallots
2 1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Scrub potatoes well and wrap in foil.  Bake for about an hour.  Remove foil and let potatoes cool to room termperature.  You can bake these ahead, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until you are ready to make the casserole.

Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat until crispy.  Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grate cooled potatoes, including skins.  Combine grated potatoes, bacon, shallots, 1 1/2 cups grated cheese, and salt and pepper in large bowl.  Gently fold in the sour cream.

Spoon potato mixture into a  1 1/2 quart baking dish/au gratin dish.  Be careful not to press the potatoes into the pan.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.



Chocolate Toffee Bars

September 18, 2011 12:48 by Suzy

Sometimes you just want something indulgent.  Chocolate, butter, toffee, butter, shortbread, butter...I think it's safe to call these bars indulgent.  Three layers of goodness to satisfy any craving.  Make these and you will find yourself with lots of new friends.  Or enemies, if you decide to eat them all yourself.

Chocolate Toffee Bars
adapted from Cookies and Cups

Crust:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed shortbread cookies (I used LornaDoone cookies)
3/4 cup toffee bits (my store was out, so I used chopped up Heath bars)

Middle Layer:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon butter

Top Layer:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the crust, combine melted butter, shortbread cookie crumbs and 3/4 cup toffee bits in a 9" x 13" pan.  Press evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Bake crust for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

While the crust is baking, make the top layer:  Beat butter and sugars until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.  Add flour, salt and baking soda and stir until just combined.  Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips and and 1 cup toffee bits.  Set aside.

Now make the middle layer:  Combine chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter in a saucepan.  Heat over low heat until melted, stirring frequently.

Pour the middle layer over the crust and spread evenly.  Drop spoonfuls of the top layer evenly over the top.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until top layer is set.  Let cool completely before cutting into squares.



Lasagna

September 13, 2011 10:40 by Suzy

Lasagna

Like many food bloggers, I am a huge fan of Ree Drummond over at The Pioneer Woman.  She always makes me laugh, she takes beautiful photos (food, family, and life around the ranch) and I have yet to try one of her recipes that wasn't delicious.

So although I first reviewed this recipe with trepidation, I had faith in Ree's culinary wisdom and made the lasagna exactly as written.  Many foodie snobs would turn up their nose at this...a lasagna made with dried herbs and Kraft parmesan cheese and breakfast sausage?!?!?  Blasphemy!  And yet, The Pioneer Woman was right.  This is really the most delicious lasagna I have ever had.  Hands down.

"From the Pantry" Lasagna
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 pound ground beef
1 pound hot breakfast sausage (I used Bob Evans)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 ounces) whole tomatoes (I used a quart jar of homemade canned tomatoes)
2 cans (8 ounces) tomato paste
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used good ol' Kraft in the green jar)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
1 package (10 ounces) lasagna noodles
more grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt and olive oil to the water.  Cook the lasagna noodles, following package instructions, until al dente.  Don't overcook.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, brown the ground beef, sausage, and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Drain off most of the fat, but leave some behind.  Fat is yummy.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons dried parsley and 2 tablespoons dried basil, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Stir to combine, bring to a boil, then reduce heat.  Simmer 45 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, the other 2 tablespoons dried parsley, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In 9" x 13" or similar pan, arrange 4 lasanga noodles at the bottom of the pan, overlapping if necessary.  Spoon half of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the noodles and spread evenly.  Arrange half of the mozzarella slices over the cottage cheese mixture.  Spoon a little less than half of the meat sauce mixture on top and spread evenly.  Repeat one more layer:  noodles, cottage cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese, and meat sauce mixture.  Sprinkle more Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.  Let the lasagna sit for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving.



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