Inner Chef

Enjoy your kitchen, your food and your inner chef


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BLT Pizza

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Don and I love BLT’s and we love pizza! So we decided to combine the 2 into one amazing dish. This works out great for company (I hate making toast!).

The ingredients are simple:

1 Pre-made pizza crust

Mayo or Miracle Whip

Fresh crisp bacon pieces

Lettuce and tomatoes

Toast the pizza crust, then top with mayo, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. Easy as pizza pie!

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Loaded Breakfast Biscuits

Loaded Breakfast Biscuits

Ingredients:

1 package Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Buttermilk biscuits

8 eggs

1 package Bob Evans pork sausage gravy

Colby-Jack finely shredded cheese

Bacon bits (NOT Bac-O’s)

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 8 jumbo muffin pans.

Prepare scrambled eggs with or without milk using salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat gravy and set aside.

Roll out each biscuit and lay in muffins pans. Bake for approximately 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon 2 Tbsp. gravy into each biscuit. You may have to press center of biscuit down with back of spoon.

Fill with scrambled eggs, top with shredded cheese and bacon bits.

Return to oven until cheese melts and bacon bits brown; about 6-8 minutes.

Remove from muffin tins and enjoy!

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Tracy’s Christmas Punch

Tracy’s Christmas Punch

Last year at our staff Christmas party, Tracy; our PK teacher made a delicious punch that I just could not get enough of! The taste was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. This recipe is extremely easy and will definitely make a lot! Here it is! The punch I am now addicted to! (Thanks to Tracy!)

Ingredients:
48 oz. Pineapple Juice

48 oz. Cranberry Juice

Red hots (cinnamon candies found in the baking isle)  (I used a 3.5 oz. bottle)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Directions:
Mix juices together and chill. In a saucepan, make a simple syrup by combining the water, sugar and candies. Stir constantly until candies have dissolved. Let cool and add to juice mixture.
That’s it. I divided mine in half because let’s face it….I am the only one drinking it around here.

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Artichoke & Spinach Dip

Artichoke Spinach Dip in Bread Bowl            Yields: 4 cups

Ingredients:

3 jars (7.5 oz each) marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

¾ cup mayo

3 green onions, sliced

1 package (10oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 cup (4oz) shredded Swiss cheese

1 round loaf (1#) rye or pumpernickel bread

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients. Cut a thin slice off the top of bread and hollow out the bottom half; leaving a ½” shell. Cut removed bread into 1” cubes. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Broil 6” from heat for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once.
  2. Place bread shell on an ungreased baking sheet. Spoon dip into bread shell. Bake uncovered, at 350˚ for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Serve with bread cubes.

 

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Sugar & Spice Pumpkin Bread

Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Bread   Makes 2 loaves

(BGH Fall Baking Magazine)

3 ⅔ cups sugar

1 cup finely chopped pecans

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

⅓ cup water

¼ cup bourbon or water (I used the water)

1 recipe Bourbon Icing (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease the bottom and ½ inch up sides of 2 9×5 loaf pans. Combine 2/3 cup of the sugar, the pecans, and 1 ½ tsp. of the pumpkin pie spice; set aside. In an extra-large bowl stir together flour, baking soda, salt and the remaining 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 cups of sugar, the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and bourbon (or water). Add egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir until combined. Spoon about 2 cups batter into each prepared pan. Sprinkle half the nut mixture over batter in pans. Carefully spread the remaining batter in pans. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture.
  3. Bake 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted, comes out clean. If needed to prevent overbrowning, cover loaves loosely with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then remove from pans and cool on wire rack. For easier slicing, wrap and store overnight. If desired, drizzle with Bourbon Icing before serving.

 

BOURBON ICING: Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 TBSP. bourbon, and enough milk (2-3 tsp.) to make drizzling consistency.

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Bacon & Egg Potato Salad

Bacon & Egg Potato Salad                            Serves: 8

6 cups cubed red potatoes (about 2 ½ pounds)

4 hard cooked eggs, chopped

1 small onion, chopped small

4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

2-3 stalks celery, diced small

1 cup real mayo

2 Tbsp. dill pickle relish

3-5 tsp. yellow mustard

½ tsp salt

½ tsp celery salt

½ tsp pepper

  1. Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool.
  2. Place potatoes in large bowl. Add the eggs, onion, and celery.
  3. In a small bowl, combine mayo, relish, mustard, and seasonings. Pour over potato mixture and toss gently to coat. Gently toss in bacon pieces. Refrigerate until chilled.

 

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Rosemary Spaghetti with Roasted Asparagus

 

Rosemary Spaghetti with Roasted Asparagus

(Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce)

Here is the original recipe, as in the book. I used a lemon-infused olive oil and added diced chicken. This serves about 4-6 people.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound asparagus, trimmed 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1⁄2 teaspoon coarse salt, such as kosher 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use (see Cook’s Note) 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped 5 medium cloves garlic, sliced 1 1⁄2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth 1 1⁄2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1 pound spaghetti, thick spaghetti preferred 1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus cheese for optional topping Salt and freshly ground black pepper Garnish: 8 sprigs fresh rosemary

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Adjust oven rack to upper third of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread asparagus on rimmed baking sheet in a single layer; brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until fork-tender, about 7 to 12 minutes, shaking pan halfway through cooking to redistribute stalks (roasting time varies depending on thickness of asparagus). Cut stalks into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. In large, deep skillet melt 4 tablespoons butter on medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add chicken broth or vegetable broth and chopped rosemary; increase heat to high and reduce by half.
  3. Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to boil on high heat. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions until al dente (tender with a little bite); drain, reserving 2 tablespoons pasta water.
  4. Add pasta and reserved cooking water to butter mixture. Add cheese, 1 tablespoon butter and asparagus. Gently toss. Season with salt and plenty of pepper. Garnish each serving with rosemary sprig.

Inner Chef Note: I made a homemade Roasted Garlic Butter:

Cut about 1/3 of the top of a large garlic bunch, drizzle a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the cut part and wrap garlic bunch in foil, open side up. Open foil just a bit so that the garlic can caramelize. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes, until garlic is tender. remove from oven and let rest. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from paper. Add to unsalted butter and enjoy.

 

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