Tag Archive: Potatoes

Spicy Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole for Saturday Dishes

I am happy to be co-hosting this blog hop with Savannah from Hammock Tracks and Paula from Call Me PMC.   Each week we have a theme.  This week it is casseroles.

I am in Austin and visiting with my oldest daughter.  We invented today’s casserole together for dinner tonight.  We call it Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole.

Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole

If you are a foodie blogger share your favorite casserole with us this week.  If you are a food creator and looking to whip up a cozy family meal find your favorite recipes, and create your grocery list before you head out to the store.

To view all of the upcoming “Saturday Dishes” themes, click here.

Be sure to visit Hammock Tracks and Call Me PMC as we will each feature different posts from the previous week party.

Saturday Dishes

Also, please provide a link back to this post either on your parties page or in the post itself.  You can grab the button above if you like.

My featured blog for this week is: Miss Information’s Fish Friday Po’Boy.    My husband loved NOLA too and my oldest daughter is crazy about it.  What a fabulous recipe and I agree with her husband.  Mayo on both sides. But to each their own!

This party starts Saturday morning at 8AM.

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I feature all of my favorites from around the blogosphere at Weekly Rays of Sunshine on Saturday mornings.  Also, don’t forget to come to my Monday linky party to tell me what you did this weekend.
What'd Ya Do This Weekend Button



Olympics IV

Cześć (hello),

Today we are eating in Poland.  Their food is hearty and comforting.

Polish cuisine (kuchnia polska) is a style of cooking and food preparation originating from Poland. It has evolved over the centuries. Polish national cuisine shares some similarities with other Central European and Eastern European traditions as well as French and Italian. It is rich in meat, especially pork, chicken and beef (depending on the region) and winter vegetables (cabbage in the dish bigos), and spices. Generally speaking, Polish cuisine is hearty and uses a lot of cream and eggs. The traditional dishes are often demanding in preparation. Many Poles allow themselves a generous amount of time to serve and enjoy their festive meals, especially Christmas Eve dinner (Wigilia) or Easter breakfast which could take a number of days to prepare in their entirety.  Take a look at this site.  I am fascinated by the food we know today and how it has evolved.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_cuisine

These would be my kind of people.  Hearty food that is very involved to prepare.  I love holidays when I can plan and cook for a week!  The two recipes I chose for today are a little involved and very hearty.  I hope my friends are hungry.

Poland first participated at the Olympic Games in 1924, and has sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games since then, except for the 1984 Games, when they participated in the Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics. Poland has also participated in every Winter Olympic Games.

Polish athletes have won a total of 261 medals in both the summer and winter games, with track and field events are the most successful. Poland is the third most successful Eastern European country (after Hungary and Romania) of these who have never hosted the Olympics.

62 gold medals, 80 silver medals and 119 bronze medals.

This looks like a very good dessert or breakfast bread.  Not too sweet, but the dough and filling together with a cup of hot tea would be perfect.  Give it a try.  I can see a little Polish grandmother (babcia) kneading the dough and patting it into a perfect rope to bake for her family.  Actually I can see my mother’s mother (Grandma Pilk) doing that very thing.  She could make homemade noodles in one sweep of a knife have them cut and flipped on the back of a chair to air dry.  She was such a sweet little lady.  And she made good food.  From good German stock!

Cheese Babka


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 pinch white sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110°)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

Cheese Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups farmers cheese (a dry cottage cheese)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Sprinkle the yeast and the pinch of sugar over the warm water; stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Combine the 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, milk, and 3 eggs in a bowl with 1 cup of flour and mix well. Add the yeast mixture and beat for 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding small amounts of flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Shape the dough into a round, and place it in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.


Beat together the farmers’ cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, sour cream, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and almond extract in a bowl until smooth. Set the filling aside. Lightly oil a 10-inch fluted tube pan (such as a Bundt®).

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 10-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Spread the cheese filling evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, starting from the long end; twist the dough 6 to 8 times to form a rope. Pinch the seams and ends closed and arrange the rope of dough in the greased pan. Cover loosely and let rise 1 hour.

Preheat an oven to 350°.

Bake the babka until deep golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes; invert the babka onto a wire rack and remove the pan. Allow the babka to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.


  • Use a farmers’ cheese that resembles very dry cottage cheese; do not use the      slicing cheese that is also called farmer cheese or Amish farmer cheese.  Put in a strainer or colander lined with cheese cloth to allow the liquid to drain.  You should do this overnight.
  • If you have a silicone Bundt® pan, it will work wonderfully in this recipe


Potato Pierogies [peer-Oh-Gees]

Potatoes.  Yummy.  What can be wrong about this Polish tradition?  Potatoes wrapped in a dough?   A great way to use leftover potatoes. And very inexpensive to make.  They do go fast.  If you are late to the table you may get a few scraps.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • water, as needed depends on how dry flour is

Filling (traditional)

    • your favorite mashed potatoes
    • sautéed onions
    • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme minced
    • sour cream

Use a food processor with the blade and pulse flour and salt.  Add eggs and cream cheese and run processor till crumbly about 20 seconds.  Then through tube slowly add lukewarm water till dough comes into a ball.  Process 6 seconds. If sticky just add a little more flour. Let rest 20 minutes.

Roll half the dough on floured surface to about 1/16 inch thick.  Cut out 5 inch circles using a glass or cookie form.  Fill each circle with about 2 tablespoons of filling.

Fold over making sure edges are sealed.  If dough won`t seal lightly brush water on edges and pinch together.  Continue till all dough and filling is used up.

Cook in salted boiling water with olive oil. Cook no more than 10 at a time do not over crowd.  Stir to avoid sticking. About 3 minutes.

Remove with slotted spoon and place in bowl. Add sautéed onions and butter to coat. Repeat till all are cooked.

You can serve with sour cream.

After boiling you can also pan fry in butter and onions and thyme till golden brown.

Now I didn’t actually make these.  I browned them in a skillet with butter and served them the sautéed onions and sour cream.  They were originally frozen.  I believe the fresh made would be more tender and the mashed potatoes could have been flavored with bacon.  But they were good anyway.  I even tried one with Grandma Jo’s Salsa.  Yum!  Blending of cultures, you know what I mean?

Szczęśliwy Gotowanie  (Happy Cooking)

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!

I’m rather patriotic.  I tear up at the Star Spangled Banner unless some twit is singing it on tv at a football game or NASCAR.  A certain amount of dignity is required, I think.  I love 4th of July parades, fireworks displays and bands.  The Boston Pops can keep me in tears. My high school band was a very special group of students.  We all felt pride when it came to the National Anthem and our school song.  I’m going to get to be a part of that in September at a high school reunion at homecoming.  (Hanky alert!)

I had to come up with a food for the 4th and chicken is my “go to” food.  Plus it is white.  Blue potatoes.  I never thought I would cook blue potatoes, but what better opportunity to use some of those little things.  Paula and I agree – potatoes are one of our favorite foods.  These little tiny things can’t have too many carbs in them.  Red is for tomatoes and red onions.  This is a simple recipe.

Red, White and Blue Chicken Skewers

  • 1 package of chicken tenderloins cut in half or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in strips lengthwise
  • 4 medium tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 large red onion, cut in 8ths
  • 8 small blue potatoes, left whole
  • Salt and pepper
  • Low-fat salad dressing or your favorite marinade

I pre-cooked the potatoes in the microwave for about 4 minutes on a glass plate. Spread  the chicken with low-fat Italian salad dressing.  You could certainly make your own dressing.  Then I used metal skewers or you can pre-soak some wooden skewers for the kabobs.

To assemble the kabobs:

  1. Onion
  2. Chicken
  3. Tomato
  4. Chicken
  5. Potato
  6. Chicken
  7. Tomato
  8. Chicken
  9. Potato

This should make 4-5 kabobs depending on the length of your skewer.  Mine were about 10” and it made 4 very full kabobs.

After assembling salt and pepper and add an additional herb.  I chose a garlic/herb seasoning with no sodium.

I put these on a hot grill and cooked for about 7 minutes on one side and about 6 minutes on the other.  Only turning once so the tomatoes don’t fall apart.  Use tongs and turn them by using a piece of the chicken to hold on to as you turn.

Additional salad dressing can be added to one side before you turn and on the other side after turning.   Remove to a platter and allow to rest while you assemble your salad.

Fancy Dinner-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

What to cook when I want a nice Sunday dinner but I don’t have the big crowd that a BIG MEAL would require?   A pork tenderloin is a nice size for just one or two and the leftovers are perfect for lunch on Monday.  Tenderloin is also the perfect sponge for any flavors you might want to add.  There is a spice shop in Austin at the Arboretum called the Savory Spice Shop.  They have the most interesting spices and spice blends and their prices are the same as the grocery store.  Not only that,  the flavors are potent!  On even the basics I can use just a small measure and taste the full flavor. I panic when I run out of cumin and have to buy it at the grocery.   I go there whenever I go to visit my daughter in Austin.  It is our favorite shopping spot and just around the parking lot is The Cheesecake Factory in time for lunch!  Click Here for their Facebook Page.  They always have interesting events going on in the store and Alicia and Michelle are always there to show you around and give you good suggestions for what you need.

One Sunday I was in the mood for spicy-sweet.  I rubbed down my tenderloin after church and cooked it up for dinner.  I added some roasted potatoes, asparagus and a salad for the perfect post-gardening dinner.

Spicy-Sweet Pork Tenderloin

Prepare the tenderloin by trimming all the fat and patting dry.  Then rub the spice mix into the meat (rub recipe below).  Put in the refrigerator for at least an hour, overnight if you think of it. 

Pre-heat the oven to 400°



When you are ready to bake, pre-heat a medium pan that is oven safe over medium high heat.  Depending on how your tenderloin trims up it will be square or triangle shaped.  Sear the tenderloin on all sides until brown about 4 minutes a side.  Place the pan in the oven and let cook until a meat thermometer registers 150°.  Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

For lunch the next day slice the left over pieces into thin strips and serve over salad or with a cup of brown rice.

For the rub:

  • 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of Hungarian Sweet-Spicy Paprika (Savory Spice Shop)
  • 2 tablespoons of Black Canyon Chili Powder (Savory Spice Shop)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice
  • Salt and Pepper

Irish Feast

Top o’ the mornin to you!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow.

From BigSister

The Contessa gave me a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for Christmas.   I am not a baker.  So, mostly she got it for when she comes to visit me.  It seems I always have a project or two that require her really good baking skills.  I have no patience for measuring and letting things rest.  That being said, I can’t just let it sit there.  So, for a good cause I put it to use.  I made this Irish Soda Bread for the ladies of the Austin Junior Forum March meeting.  The other members of my team made the Shepherd’s Pie and cupcakes.  We made too much and had too many leftovers.  We took them to a local fire company.  They already liked us.  Now they love us!  The Austin Junior Forum works with local first responders to bring a little love to children in traumatic situations.  Every year we have a benefit to raise money for the Teddy Bear program.  The Teddy Bear program gives Teddy Bears to fire and policemen to carry with them and give to children when they arrive on the scene.  These bears bring some comfort and hopefully help those first responders a little bit and we are happy to do it.  Click here to read more about it.

The ladies loved this stuff!  So, here is a way to celebrate besides wearing your green and using the green food coloring.

Irish Soda Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a jelly roll or cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt and stir well to mix.

Add the butter and rub in until the butter disappears into the dry ingredients.

Stir in the caraway seeds and the raisins.

In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk and egg together and mix into the dough mixture with a rubber spatula.

Turn the dough out on a floured work surface and fold it over on itself several times, shaping it into a round loaf. Transfer the loaf to one cookie sheet or jelly roll pan covered with parchment or foil and cut a cross in the top. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes more, until well colored and a toothpick plunged into the center emerges clean.

Cool on a rack and wrap in plastic wrap.


Chocolate Stout and Irish Cream Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups Irish stout (recommended: Guinness)
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Irish Liqueur Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a cupcake or muffin pan with 24 regular-size cupcake liners.

Place the stout and butter in a medium-size saucepan and whisk together on medium heat until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat. Sift the cocoa powder into a medium-size bowl and add the sugar. Slowly whisk into the stout mixture. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and lightly whisk until smooth. Add this mixture to the saucepan and whisk thoroughly (it may appear lumpy). Sift the flour and baking soda together in another small bowl and then add it to the saucepan, mixing a final time until the color is even.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter and bake until the cakes spring back after touching, about 27 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in their pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

To assemble: Pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes using a large plain tip or spread with a frosting knife. Dust with cocoa powder.

Irish Liqueur Frosting:

  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur (recommended: Baileys)
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar


Shepherd’s Pie

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup canned low sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, optional

Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic, half the salt, and oregano. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until mushrooms are soft and tomato paste has turned brick red, about 8 minutes more. Stir in the beef, the broth, the remaining salt, the Worcestershire, and some pepper, breaking up any large clumps of meat, cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the meat and vegetables to a 2-quart oval casserole dish and spread the mashed potatoes over the top, leaving a 1/4-inch boarder around the edge. Make a decorative pattern on the top of the potatoes, if desired. Sprinkle with cheese, if using, and dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake until potatoes brown and the juices bubble around the edge, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

PS-Meat free friends a package and 1/2 of veggie meat crumbles works too.  I made mine at home that way.

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four

One potato, two potato, three potato,

four.  Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more!

Do you remember this song from when, as children, we sang it to make a choice about what we wanted to choose or who we wanted to pick for our team?  I don’t know what made me think of that when I decided to have a stuffed baked potato for dinner.  But it just popped into my mind.  Whoa!  Whatever!  I decided to see how many different stuffed baked potatoes I could come up with.  These are some of my favorites.

Of course, they are basically the same.  You start with a baked potato Idaho or sweet potato are my choices.  Do you bake yours in the oven or the microwave?  My mother always baked hers in the oven smeared with a little Crisco to make the skins crispy.  A baked potato and meatloaf was my favorite birthday meal.  With 4 children in the family you didn’t get your very own of anything very often, but you got your own baked potato.  I usually cook mine in the microwave.  My husband said he thought the microwave was the most expensive potato baker he’d ever bought.

I just found this on a blog.  I had never thought about a slow cooker for baking potatoes. Why not?

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
technique adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking

Wash, scrub, and dry any number of potatoes that you need (or as many that will fit in your slow cooker). Prick each potato with a fork a few times. Place into slow cooker and cook on Low for 10 hours or High for 6 hours or until desired tenderness.

Then you cut it open and fluff the potato and little before you stuff it with all sorts of things.  Cheese, butter, sour cream, bacon are the typical stuffing ingredients.  But why not mix it up and make the baked potato the entire meal?  Works for me.

My favorite is steamed broccoli, cheese and a little butter.  I stuff this in a good old Idaho baker. (4-6 ounces)

Next, would be a sweet potato.  I like the broccoli in this one too, but no cheese please.  My favorite stuffing in a sweet potato is one slice of the pre-cooked bacon made extra crispy in the microwave for 1 minute with 1 teaspoon of Splenda Brown Sugar and a little cinnamon.  This reminds me of the Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole a little.

A baked potato with sliced chicken (rotisserie from the deli) stuffed in it with a dollop of sour cream is good.


Chili con carne (your style) ladled into the baked potato and topped with your favorite chile toppings is a warm and very hearty meal. I like green onions and cheddar cheese. I get a cup of chili from the deli and use this for my potato.  A little sour cream would be good if you like it.


And last, a taco stuffed baked potato.  I add sliced chicken breast meat for a chicken taco touch, fresh salsa made with tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, and a little lime juice, grated jack cheese, cilantro and a wedge of avocado and tomato on the side with a few tostado chips. It makes it taste like a (chicken) taco.

Wait….one more idea.  St. Patricks Day is coming.  How better to honor the Irish than with the potato.

Twice Baked Potatoes – Lightened up

  • 4 medium russet potatoes ( 2 1/4″ – 3 1/4″ diameter ) , scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 wedges of Light Creamy Swiss Laughing Cow Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon Bits
  • 2 green onions (whites and greens), chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fat free half and half, if needed to thin out potato mixture (optional)
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheese (Swiss, cheddar, colby…your choice),
  •  and a sprinkle of Hungarian Sweet Paprika from the Savory Spice Shop is good.

Allow potatoes too cool enough to handle. Unwrap a potato and slice down middle long ways. With spoon, scoop out insides leaving about a 1/8″ potato in skin all around.

Place scooped out potato in large bowl. Set “potato shell” on baking sheet lined with foil. Repeat with all potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper and set aside.

To the scooped out potato in the bowl, add the Greek yogurt and Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges. With electric mixer, whip until fluffy. You might need to add a bit of fat free half and half or skim milk at this point to thin them out enough to fluff…maybe not. Depends on the potato. Stir in the turkey bacon bits, green onion, and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon mixture evenly into the 8 potato shell halves. Top with remaining shredded cheese and sprinkle with paprika.

At this point you can cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate until you are ready to bake them or you can bake them right away. Set oven at 350°. Place potatoes uncovered in oven and bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 30 min for refrigerated potatoes and about 15 minutes for unrefrigerated ones.