Garlic Red Potatoes

I’ve written about the swiss steak we made for Christmas, but I don’t think I mentioned how amazing the garlic mashed potatoes were that my dad made.  I don’t know what he did (well, I do and it’s typed out below), but this recipe was some of the best garlic mashed potatoes I have ever eaten.  My dad knew I was taking a photo of the potatoes, but then I snuck into his binder of recipes to find the recipe so I could share it with all of you.  He did note when he saw me take the photo of the potatoes that he wanted full credit for making them and didn’t want me to try and pass them off as having made them myself.  So…full disclosure.  I didn’t make these potatoes.  My dad did.  They were amazing.  Between him and my mom, there’s no question why I love to cook and make food for those I love.

Garlic Red Potatoes

Garlic Red Potatoes

3 1/2-4 lbs red potatoes
12 oz Top the Tater
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
whole milk
salt and pepper to taste

Clean the potatoes, peel, and boil to fork tender.  Leave about half of the skins on.  Mash the potatoes and mix in the top the tater, granulated garlic, and enough milk to make the potatoes pretty creamy.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

These can be made a day ahead and rewarmed in a 170 degree oven for 2 hours before serving.  Be sure to stir a couple times during the rewarming process.


Chocolate Chipotle Brownies

In my cupboards, I found multiple cans of chipotle peppers…were they on sale or did I grab them and then find myself using them with some frequency at some point earlier this year, I’m unsure, but I remembered this recipe hanging out in my to-make pile.  The only problem is that they use powdered chipotle instead of cans, so I ended up setting the cans aside for a bit of time and instead I made these brownies.  Besides overcooking them a little bit, the brownies tasted great.  It seems to be part of my missing-the-boat with baking lately, like I did with the Daim bars and some other cookie options earlier this year.  Mostly, this meant that I was not doing much baking in preparation for the holidays this year.  This recipe is from Emeril Lagasse’s cooking show.

Chocolate Chipotle Brownies

Chocolate Chipotle Brownies

1 teaspoon plus 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 tablespoon plus 1 cup all-purpose flour
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
4 eggs
1 cup chopped Mexican chocolate or semisweet chocolate morsels

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease and flour an 11 by 7-inch baking pan or dish with 1 teaspoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the flour. Heat the remaining butter and the unsweetened chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted. In a medium bowl, stir together remaining flour, sugar, cinnamon, and ground chipotle. Add sugar mixture to melted chocolate mixture, stirring to combine. Add eggs, mixing until smooth. Stir in chopped chocolate or chocolate morsels.

Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan or dish. Bake until the center is set, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely and then cut into small squares.


Brussels Sprouts

For our immediate family dinner celebration, my dad asked if I would be willing to make brussels sprouts.  Obviously, since I make them all the time, I was excited to make some for the family.  I had this recipe from the Mile End Cookbook tucked away and it seemed like a fitting recipe, with some apples in it as well.  I wish I had roasted the sprouts a little bit longer because while they were cooked appropriately, they could have used just a little more char on them.  But, as with the other recipes I’ve tried from this cookbook, this turned out great.  I added a bit more salt and pepper after cooking and another drizzle of honey, but overall, I was highly satisfied with the sprouts.

Brussels Sprouts.jpg

Brussels Sprouts

For Candied Walnuts
1 Tbsp unsalted butter or canola oil
1/4 c walnut pieces
1 tsp kosher salt
leaves of 2 sprigs of rosemary
2 Tbsp honey

For Sprouts and Apples
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, cut in half
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
juice of 1 lemon

Make the candied walnuts: Heat the butter or oil in a small skillet over medium heat and add the walnut pieces and salt.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the walnuts start to take on a light golden color; add the rosemary and cook for one minute more.  Add the honey, stir, and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Make the sprouts and apples: Toss the Brussels sprouts with the canola oil, salt, and pepper.  Spread them out on a 10×15 inch baking sheet and roast them until crisp-tender, 12 to 15 minutes.  Set aside.

To finish the dish, heat the butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the apple pieces, and cook them until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Add the candied walnuts, Brussels sprouts, and lemon juice, and toss to combine.  Adjust the seasoning if needed.

Honey Braised Brussels Sprouts

I haven’t made much in terms of brussels sprouts this fall, but came across this recipe when I was putting together the maple ribs from last week.  The recipe was in the St. Paul Farmer’s Market Cookbook.  It tasted okay overall, but fact that the sprouts were steamed first made them a little softer than I would have preferred.  I’d like to try this recipe again where they are roasted, instead of steamed.

Honey Braised Brussels Sprouts

Honey Braised Brussels Sprouts

2 lbs Brussels sprouts
1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
juice of 1 lemon
cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Steam brussels sprouts until tender.  In a bowl, combine olive oil, honey, garlic, and lemon juice.  Add Brussels sprouts and coat well.  Spread the coated Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and cayenne.  Roast in oven for 20 minutes.

Sweet Potato and Rice Soup

For our December potluck at work, I was up for making some soup and had some sweet potatoes in my house that I had harvested earlier in the fall.  I started looking at different soup recipes that looked to be inspiring and this one, from the Good Neighbor Cookbook, looked to fit the bill.  I assembled the soup the night before and then refrigerated it overnight.  The rice had absorbed a lot of the broth overnight, so I ended up adding more broth the next day when I put the soup in my crockpot to take to the office.  I was nervous that the soup was missing some flavor or wouldn’t be flavorful enough with the limited salt and other items, but I found that it was flavored quite nicely.

Sweet Potato and Rice Soup.jpg

Sweet Potato and Rice Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8 c low sodium chicken broth
1 c long grain white rice
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, celery, and salt and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes more.  Add the broth, rice, thyme, and pepper and bring to a boil.  Decrease the heat and simmer until the rice is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Swiss Steak

This year for Christmas, my mom and dad decided to make some swiss steak.  It’s been years since I’ve had swiss steak and I found myself pretty excited about the dinner.  We were joined by a couple of aunts and an uncle, and because one of my sisters has a new baby, she and her family didn’t make the trip to Minnesota.  This recipe was in our recipe box and might be in the family cookbook — I just didn’t take a minute to look it up.  According to the recipe card, the recipe first arrived in our family from a high school friend of my mom.

Swiss Steak.jpg

Swiss Steak

3 lb minute steak or pork cube steak
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cans water
1 can mushrooms
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 onion

Brown meat with flour-salt-pepper mixture.  Mix together other ingredients and pour over the meat.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  If making a big batch, it will likely take 2 hours or longer.

Maple Country Ribs

The night before Thanksgiving, I wanted to make something that was a little different from the turkey that we’d be eating the next day.  I’d seen this autumn-inspired dish in the St. Paul Farmer’s Market Cookbook, and while I prefer to eat ribs at home because they are messy, with my family seemed to be the perfect group.  I could have started these a little earlier, because they weren’t quite fall-off-the-bone done, but the flavoring did taste great.

Maple Country Ribs

Maple Country Ribs

3 lbs country style pork ribs
1 c maple syrup
1/2 c applesauce
1/4 c ketchup
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Put ribs in pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to simmer for 10 minutes.  Drain ribs and place in greased 13×9 inch pan.  In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients and pour over the ribs.  Cook, uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally with remaining half of marinade.