Thursday, April 6, 2017

Kielbasa Potato Skillet

This is a super easy dinner! Most of the ingredients you can find right in your pantry! My husband made this for me for the first time over 5 years ago! This is a great meal to make in a hurry. Nothing too crazy that gets your heart-rate going and makes you start sweating. I think the most expensive item on the menu is the bacon!

**Just as a friendly reminder, nobody pays me to use their ingredients. All my opinions are my own. I am not being reimbursed for this post. All photos are personal unless otherwise noted.**



Ingredients you will need! The best way to start is by prepping all of your ingredients first. 

Start by peeling, cutting and rinsing your potatoes. Put them into a microwave safe bowl. Add to the potatoes ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper, stir or toss to coat. Microwave the potatoes for 4 minutes, stir and microwave an additional 2-4 minutes until tender when pierced by a fork. They may need longer depending on the size of your potato chunks.

Cut your bacon into small lengths. In a large skillet over Medium heat, pan fry your bacon until crisp, but not burnt. Remove bacon to paper towels. Remove oil from pan, reserving 1-2 Tablespoons of the drippings.

Add onion to 1 Tablespoon bacon drippings (or olive oil) and saute until just starting to brown. Then add Kielbasa and minced garlic. Cook until kielbasa lightly browns (about 3 minutes).

When potatoes are tender, add them to the skillet. Tossing to coat, adding a drizzle of bacon drippings (or olive oil) if necessary. Cook 2-3 minutes. Stir and continue to cook until the potatoes are lightly browned.

Add cabbage, season with remaining salt and pepper (or to taste). Toss to coat. Add 2 Tablespoons water, reduce heat to Medium-Low, cover, and cook for approximately 2-4 minutes. Cook until cabbage is bright green and wilted as preferred. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed. 

Serve and enjoy! The leftovers are super tasty next day as well.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Margarita Mini Cheesecakes!

Just close your eyes and imagine: sitting a the beach, drinking your ice cold margarita. Then open your eyes and realize you live in Wisconsin and it's FOOTBALL SEASON! I must admit, I'm not in the highest of spirits right now as my Green Bay Packers were completely obliterated by lost to the Atlanta Falcons. But on the upside, these little babies were given 4 out of a possible 5 stars by my husband and friends! 

Just think of this little devil this way: margarita in hand-held cheesecake form. Hold the phone, back it up! Margarita in hand-held cheesecake form?! You betcha! This little cutie even has the tequila and triple sec in it!

So, what the hell are we waiting for?! Let's chow!

To start off with, I'll let you know I'm cheap and buy store-brand everything. The only items I picked up from the store were limes, heavy cream, graham crackers, and cream cheese. I also need to say: all pictures and opinions are my own (unless otherwise stated). I am not receiving compensation to use these products.

Ingredients for the cake: Tequila, Triple-Sec, graham crackers, eggs, cream cheese, lime (zest and juice), vanilla extract, butter, flour, and sugar.

I guess the only thing I'm a real snob about is my vanilla. I use Penzey's Pure Vanilla Extract (Double Strength). That stuff is amazing. There's an actual vanilla bean in there it's so real. It is a bit pricey, but you only use 1/2 the called for amount, so there's that.

So, let's get started. We need to make the little graham cracker crumb crust in the bottom of the cupcake liners. I used liners for easy removal and easy transport once they were finished. In retrospect, this was a brilliant idea because the graham cracker crust was falling apart. So, I dumped 7 whole graham crackers plus the butter into a gallon baggie and rolled that around for a while. Then distributed it evenly between the cups and pressed it into place with the bottom of shot glass! Then bake that for 5-10 minutes.

Then, time to make the batter. Of course, I had to break out my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer I received from all the ladies on my mom's side at my bridal shower. It's so pretty.
Ain't she pretty?!

Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature. If your cream cheese isn't, try nuking it for 10 seconds per 1/2 block. I also cream only 1/2 a block at a time. When you beat in the eggs, first crack them into a separate bowl and dump them in one at a time. That way (heaven forbid) if you get shells in it, it's easier to get out! Same with everything else, actually. Don't measure over your bowl, always do it separately in case of over pour and such.

Now, you'll need to juice your lime, but before you do that, you need to zest it and get your lime juices flowing. The easiest way to do that is to roll your lime on your counter for a few 30 seconds. 

A good trick for juicing your lime is to do it with your hand under it to catch all the inners.

Add your tequila after taking a shot, triple sec, and flour and mix to combine. Then pour the batter evenly onto your prepared graham cracker crust. Fill it to the top, it won't rise. While they're baking, make sure to do your dishes!

After you pull them out, let cool completely on the counter. Then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I did overnight. In the morning, or 4 hours later, pull out your stand mixer bowl and whisk and put it in your freezer for at least 30 minutes to make whipping the cream easier. In the meantime, make yourself some coffee.

After chilling your bowl, grab out your ingredients: powdered sugar, vanilla, lime (zest only), and heavy whipping cream. I doubled the recipe. So, I dumped 1/2 cup whipping cream in the bottom of my bowl, cranked it to 6, and let the magic happen until I had soft peaks.

Once you have soft peaks, add your vanilla and powdered sugar. Mixing until hard peaks form. In the meantime, remove your cupcake liners if your displaying them on a platter or move them to your cupcake carrier if you need to transport them (like I did). Once you have hard peaks, go ahead and frost your cupcakes (I used Wilton tip 2D), garnish with lime zest, and a wedge of lime. And do your dishes!

Lastly, enjoy!

For the Cheesecakes:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • zest and juice from one lime
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 2 tablespoons triple sec
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
For the Whipped Cream:
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • lime zest and slices, for garnish


For the Cheesecake:
    1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
    2. In a small bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until moistened and clumpy. Press down into the bottom of each paper liner and bake 5-10 minutes.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg then beat in the vanilla, lime zest, lime juice, tequila, triple sec, and flour.
    4. Spoon the batter into each liner and bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    5. Cool completely at room temperature then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Garnish with whipped cream, zest, and slices before serving.
    For the Whipped Cream:
    1. In a large mixing bowl (preferably a stand mixer with the whisk attachment), beat the cream on high speed until it thickens and soft peaks form (when you pull the beaters straight up, peaks will form but fall over).
    2. Gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla then continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (peaks will form but not fall over).

    (Recipe adapted from FoodFanatic)

    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    Bacon Egg Cups

    Alright, I decided to make bacon egg cups for breakfast this morning. I looked at a bunch of different recipes. Unfortunately, most of them called for just cracking an egg in the middle. I like eggs, but I have to have my eggs combined. I do not want to see the separated yolk from the rest of the egg.
    Egg Image Source. Photo shop by Me.
     The eggs must be either scrambled or in omelet form for me to enjoy them.
    Image Source.
    Alright, here is my recipe that I was using. I decided to halve the recipe because 6 is way more than enough cups to feed Mr.Potatoes and myself quite comfortably. It's from the blog Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body. Here is what they are supposed to look like. I have no idea how mine will turn out (because they are not done yet).

    .Image Source

    Images from here to the end are all personal unless otherwise noted
    First, you'll want to mix up your eggs, salt, pepper, and cheese

    Then, grease your muffin tin and wrap your bacon in each cup. If you're not filling all 12 cups, make sure to space out the ones you use and add 1/4" water in the bottom of the empty cups. Then pour egg mix in bacon cups.

    Put pan in oven with a baking sheet under it (to keep bacon grease from from spilling in the oven). When done, cut out with knife, remove to paper towels, and serve.


    So that's it. Pretty simple. For the work that it was to make it, we'd rather have the bacon and eggs separate. I made hash browns too. I think those were better than the bacon egg cups. We gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

    The original recipe calls for:

    Makes 12 servings.

    12 slices bacon
    8 eggs
    1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    pinch of salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Whip the eggs, salt, pepper and cheese with a fork. Spray non stick spray in 12 muffin tins. Wrap each piece of bacon inside the sides of each muffin cup.

    Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the egg cups are golden brown and don’t jiggle. Use a knife to scoop them out of the tins. Serve immediately.

    Par-baking the bacon may not be a bad idea. It would make the bacon a bit more crispy. But make sure not to over cook the bacon. It still needs to be flexible to put in the cups.

    Fill each bacon lined muffin cup 3/4 of the way with the egg mixture.

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

    Carrot Cake with Orange Frosting (A.K.A. Tony's 37th Birthday)

    For Tony's birthday I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. My exact message was:
    What kind of cake would you like me ot make you for Thurs? don't try telling me no. just tell me what you want otherwise Dana will pick for you and you may not like it.
    I had to be harsh otherwise he would have said something along the lines of don't make me anything special or whatever you want, etc. So, he responded with German chocolate cake with coconut frosting or carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

    I like the options because A) I do not like coconut and refuse to have it in my house and B) I'm not a huge fan of Carrot cake. However, I did make carrot cake for Sam's birthday and it was not terrible, but for 3 people? I didn't want to make that whole cake again. Remember that awesome cake? So, anyhow, I decided, what the hell, I'll make another carrot cake (different recipe, of course).

    All pictures are personal unless otherwise noted.

    This Recipe is from the cookbook 1 Mix, 100 Cakes.


    Start by shredding your carrots. I found putting a box grater on top of a measuring cup to work great!

    Then sift your dry ingredients into a bowl, then add your wet ingredients; beat well.

    Then add your OJ, carrots, and pecans and stir together.

    Pour the batter into a prepared 9 inch round pan and bake for 1 hour. Take out and cool for 10 minutes and invert onto wire rack.

    Let cool completely. In the meantime, beat all your frosting ingredients together. When cool, frost your cake and decorate with pecans. Cut and serve!

    Carrot Cake with Orange Frosting

    1 1/2   c   flour
    1         T   baking powder
    1         t     cinnamon
    1         t     ground ginger
    3/4      c    butter, softened
    3/4+    c    brown sugar
    3               eggs, beaten
    2         T    orange juice
    1 1/2-  c     coarsely grated carrots
    1/2+    c     chopped pecans

    1/4      c     whole-fat cream cheese
    2 1/4   c     powdered sugar
    1+       T    orange juice
                      finely grated rind of 1 orange (optional)

    1. Preheat oven to 325 deg F. Grease and line a 9 inch round, deep cake pan
    2. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger together. Add butter, sugar, and eggs. Beat well until smooth. Then stir in OJ, carrots, and pecans
    3. Pour into pan, spread to level. Bake 60-70 minutes until well risen, firm, and golden brown.
    4. Let cool 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to finish cooling.
    5. For frosting, beat all ingredients together adding enough OJ to make it spreadable. Spread over the top of cake, and decorate with pecan halves.