Easter Onion Madness!

Monday, April 13th, 2009

I was invited to a lovely Easter brunch this year with some friends and decided to take the opportunity to do some cooking. I’ve not really had much time to cook lately, but I love a brunch and wanted to bring something tasty as a thank-you for the invite.  A little birdie told me that something with potatoes were missing from the menu so I decided to whip up a hashbrown casserole I found online.  I modified a few things, though and dubbed it the Heart Attack Hashbrown Casserole.

I also made some absolutely delicious savory muffins… both got rave reviews, so I thought I’d share the recipes I found/modified. I realized after the fact that both of these recipes were chock  full o’ onions of one variety or another… I should have included post-muffin mints.

Heart Attack Hashbrown Casserole

  • 1 – 32 oz.  bag of diced hashbrown potatoes (not shredded, Ore-Ida will do)
  • 2 cups of grated fiesta-blend cheese
  • 1 cup of diced white onions
  • 1 – 16 oz. tub of sour cream
  • 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup (no water)
  • 1 stick of butter (salted or unsalted, whatever you’ve got), melted and cooled
  • 6-8 slices of crispy center-cut bacon, crumbled or chopped into small pieces
  • 1 bunch of fresh chives, chopped finely
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
Hashbrown casserole

This is the big one, Elizabeth!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Get a big bowl — like big, bigger than you think you need big.   Big like you’re going to feed popcorn to a room full of ravenous ‘tweens — that big.  Throw in all the ingredients, get a big wooden spoon and fold it all together.  Takes only a few minutes.

Spread it all into a 9×13 ungreased Pyrex dish or rectangular casserole pan.  Bake for an hour until the top is all bubbly crunchy crusty on the edges.

Let it sit for a few minutes before serving unless you want your guests to consume the potato equivalent of the sun’s surface.

Serves: 4-6 hungry people, 8-10 peckish folks
Calories: 1 miiiiiiiiiiiillion grams of everything.
Source: Modified slightly from an original recipe found on The Wooden Spoon

I also made some muffins that were a HUGE hit… in fact, I might need to make them again today because they were easy, as well as delicious:

Herbed Scallion Goat Cheese Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste (I like kind of a lot, but that’s me)
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temp
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
  • 5.5 oz goat cheese, crumbled (I chose to use the herbed variety)
  • Sea salt, for garnish
scallion & goat cheese muffins

Nom nom nom.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bust out your 12-cup muffin man… or pan, whatever. The typo amused me to much to change it.

You can either grease the cups or use the little paper liners, but in my experience, if you use the paper liners, give each one a quick schpritz with some non-stick cooking spray in the very bottom anyway.  Otherwise, the cheese sticks a bit to the paper and you have guests scraping their teeth along the paper liners.

If you have a sifter, sift the dry ingredients:  flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper into mixer bowl. If you don’t have a sifter, you can use one of those little net-strainers or you can just make sure you mix up the dry ingredients really well.  I don’t have a sifter and mine came out just fine.

Lightly beat the eggs, then pour them into the dry ingredients. Add buttermilk, melted butter, scallions, and goat cheese. If you have a hand-mixer, mix on medium for a few minutes until all combined. I was too lazy to dig mine out so I just mixed by hand and it took no time at all.

Scoop the batter into the muffin tins.  The consistency is kind of sticky, more like a biscuit that your usual sweet muffin, but it comes out muffin-y.  Sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt, but be mindful to not make it too salty.

Bake for 20 minutes until the tops are golden brown and they feel firm n’ bouncy when you press on the tops.

They cool rather quickly, so if you want to serve them warm, leave them in the pan for 5 minutes, then pull them out and serve.   Otherwise, let them cool completely on a rack and store in a sealed container or whatever for up to 3 days.  But my guess is they won’t be around that long.

Serves: Makes a dozen muffins
Calories: Seriously, who cares?
Source: Confessions of a Foodie Bride

Categories: noshes, sociable

I Don’t Think You’re Ready for This Jelly

Friday, August 1st, 2003

So I’m pondering my dinner tonight and decide I want a PB & J.  It’s hotter than hell, I’ve already got the oven fired up doing some more baking and I just don’t feel like cooking an actual meal, so a peanut butter and jelly sammich seems like the easiest thing.

There’s an art to the PB & J, I think.  Sure, you can slap each on some bread, smoosh and you’re out the door, but one can craft a truly beautiful PB & J with the proper ingredients.  For me, peanut butter and jelly perfection consists of JIF.  Not Skippy, not Peter Pan and sure as hell not that Old-Fashioned-Oil-at-the-Top-Gotta-Stir-It-Reminds-Me-of-Olestra Laura Scudders crap.  It’s JIF and JIF only in this house.  Of course, I’m not inflexible.  I oscillate between crunchy and smooth—occasionally extra-crunchy.  More often than not, it’s smooth, though.

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Categories: noshes, quirks