Sunday, August 28, 2011

(Carrie's Famous) Tater Tot Shepard's Pie

In the beginning of this month I had the pleasure of escaping on vacation with a group of dear friends of mine for a whole week to Cape Cod.  We were all of 15 - 9 women and 7 children (ages 7 months - 9 years old) in one lovely house over looking the water.....


We enjoyed one sunset after another...each one more beautiful and full of magic than the one before.

Watching the sun set each evening was just one of the many highlights of our vacation.  FOOD...absolutely scrumptious food was a huge part of our vacation too.  Making sure those kiddos were well fueled for all their swimming and low-tide adventures was very important.  Carrie, as seen below with her adorable little doggie named, Saki ....




....made 3 scrumptious, kid-friendly casseroles that were gobbled down with happiness by all.  One of the three casseroles that she made was a Tater Tot Shepard's Pie.  It was SO good!  When we came home from vacation it was one of the first meals I made for my family.  They loved it as I know you guys will too.

(Carrie's Famous) Tater Tot Shepard's Pie

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 can cream of corn
1 can sweet corn, drained
1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1  bag frozen Tater Tots

Directions:

1.  Over medium heat saute chopped onion until soft.  Add in ground meat and cook to brown. Turn off heat and then drain grease.  Stir in garlic salt, ground pepper and Worcestershire sauce.  Pour meat mixture into a 9x13 baking dish.

2.  Over ground meat mixture layer spoon can of creamed corn and drained can of sweet corn. Sprinkle a layer of grated cheese over corn.

3. Layer frozen tater tots over grated cheese.....


....and then sprinkle with more cheese to finish it off.  Pop into preheated 350 degrees oven.  Bake for 25-30 minutes (check after 20 minutes to make sure casserole is not getting too brown).


Serve up some yumminess!


Happy Tater Tot Shepard's Pie Baking!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Super Yummy Banana Crumble Cake

I know...not another recipe made with bananas! - sorry but I just have to share this one with all of you because it is SUPER yummy and full of delicious and fun ingredients.  White chocolate chips, sour cream, pecans  (or chopped nuts of your choice) and of course, ripe bananas are just a couple of mouth watering characters that come together to make this cake.  And it's not a small cake either. It feeds a crowd. It's a great cake to make to bring to a pot luck or any event that you want to share with others.

Banana Crumb Cake
(recipe from Julie's Eats & Treats...goodness this blog is a gold mine of wonderful recipes!)
Ingredients:
2/3 cup pecans (the original recipe asked for silvered almonds)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla extract (if you choose to use the silvered almonds you could do almond extract instead of the vanilla)
3 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 bananas)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vanilla or white chocolate chips (YUMMY!)
Directions:
1. In small bowl, combine pecans and brown sugar for the topping.  Set bowl aside for later.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add in vanilla extract.
3. In yet another bowl combine flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Add these dry ingredients alternately with the mashed bananas and sour cream to the creamed mixture of butter/sugar/eggs/etc.
4. Fold in the vanilla chocolate chips to the batter.
5. Spread batter into a greased 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle reserved topping mixture over batter.  Pop into a preheated 350 degrees oven for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
Cool slightly and serve.....
 Happy Banana Crumble Cake Baking!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Two flavors of New Hampshire in one muffin

I am always proud to say that I live in NH.  I love that not only does my state have direct access to the ocean but also to the majestic White Mountains. The best of both worlds. 

 Yes, NH has long, WHITE and cold winters but also has a soft and precious (sometime very wet) season of spring that is followed by a HOT and humid summer which then leads into a spectacular season of fall with colors of reds, oranges and yellows. NH is blessed with four seasons....some are easier than others...but usually we can find beauty and happiness at some point in all of them. 



Another special part of NH is what is grown and produced within our state.  Berries of many kinds are grown and cultivated in abundance.  In the dead of winter I will start counting down the days as to when the first day of berry picking will begin.  I live for berry picking! - in particular blueberry picking.  Strawberries are wonderful to pick but the duration of blueberry picking seems to last longer than the quick 2-3 week season of strawberries.  Another speciality flavor of NH is maple syrup.  Pure maple syrup is like gold in my eyes.  Its sweetness not only exists in its flavor but also in how it is produced. Long hours of gathering the sap from the maple trees which is then followed by even longer hours of boiling down the sap is what makes maple syrup come alive.  What a gift PURE NH maple syrup is!  

In my discovery of this muffin recipe I rejoiced that it combined two of my most favorite ingredients in the whole world...blueberries and the flavor of maple syrup.  And let me tell you my happiness was not in vain as the muffins came out AMAZINGLY delicous.  Delicous I say!  Thank you RECIPE girl for sharing this recipe.  Thank you VERY much.



Blueberry Maple Muffins
(recipe from the fabulous blog, recipegirl.com)

Ingredients:

2 cups AP flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
3/4 cup sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, at room temp
1/2 tsp maple extract
2 Tbsp AP flour (for tossing over the blueberries)
2 Tbsp sugar (also for tossing into the blueberries)
1 cup fresh blueberries (I am sure frozen blueberries could be used if you don't have fresh)

Directions:

1. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin (although my batter gave me a "bakers dozen" of muffins) with non-stick spray.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. 

3. In a medium bowl combine yogurt, 3/4 cup sugar, melted butter, eggs and maple flavoring.

4. In a third bowl combine blueberries with 2 Tbsps flour and 2 Tbsps sugar - toss gently to coat berries.

5. Combine dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.  Do NOT over mix...batter will be lumpy.  Mix just until flour is barely visible.  Add in blueberries, gently.

6. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins.  An ice cream scoop works great for this step.

7. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle of a muffin comes out clean.  Allow the muffins to sit for 5 minutes before removing from pan and goobling up serving.


Happy Blueberry Maple Muffin Baking!

p.s. NH is a great place to live if you are looking to relocate.... ;-) 


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