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Southern Fried Catfish

y y y y y y 8 (5 to 6-ounce) catfish fillets, skin removed Salt Crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay) 4 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup cornmeal Oil, for frying

Heat a fryer or a deep pot halfway filled with oil to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle both sides of each catfish with salt and crab boil seasoning. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and the cornmeal. Dredge the catfish in the flour mixture and place in fryer. Deep fry for approximately 7 to 8 minutes until done. Drain on paper towels.

Pork Ribs
y y y y y 2 1/2 pounds country style pork ribs 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 tablespoons salt 1 cup barbeque sauce Place ribs in a large pot with enough water to cover. Season with garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Bring water to a boil, and cook ribs until tender. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Remove ribs from pot, and place them in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour barbeque sauce over ribs. Cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature of pork has reached 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

Southern Fried Chicken


y y y y y y 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces 1 cup all-purpose flour salt to taste ground black pepper to taste 1 teaspoon paprika 1 quart vegetable oil for frying

Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and paprika. Roll in flour. 2. Add 1/2 to 3/4 inch oil to a large, heavy skillet. Heat to approximately 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Place chicken pieces in hot oil. Cover, and fry until golden, turning once, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
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Shrimp Scampi
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1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 1/2 pounds fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined without tails 1/2 cup olive oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 shallot, chopped 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed 2 tablespoons white wine 2 tablespoons brandy In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly. Dredge shrimp in flour mixture. In a large skillet, saut dredged shrimp in olive oil for 5 minutes over high heat. Toss shrimp often to prevent burning. Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a serving dish, leaving the oil in the pan. In the same pan, saut the garlic, shallot, parsley and oregano over medium heat for 3 minutes; stirring constantly. Spoon the mixture over the shrimp. Return pan to the heat. Preheat your broiler for medium heat. Pour the wine and brandy into the skillet and ignite with a match or lighter. When the flames die down, stir to loosen any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet; pour over shrimp. Place the serving dish of shrimp in a preheated broiler for about 2 minutes.

Deer and Bacon Burgers


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6 slices hickory-smoked bacon 1/2 pound ground venison 1/2 pound lean ground beef kosher salt fresh ground black pepper stout beer (such as Guinness) Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce 4 hamburger buns, split

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Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. 2. Combine ground venison and ground beef in a bowl. Divide into 4 balls, and flatten into patties. 3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place the burgers in the heated skillet and sprinkle each burger with salt, black pepper, a dash of beer, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Flip the burgers once a brown crust has formed on the bottom, about 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle the cooked side of the burgers with the salt, pepper, beer, and Worcestershire. Cook burgers another 5 to 10 minutes for well done. Top each patty with bacon and serve on hamburger buns.

Easy Rice Bake Casserole


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2 tablespoons butter, plus more for dish 1 small onion, minced Pinch cayenne pepper 1 package frozen spinach, thawed, drained and chopped 1 cup milk 2 eggs 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, plus extra for top 4 cups cooked rice 1 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley leaves 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves 1 teaspoon chopped basil leaves Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a large casserole dish. In a large pan over medium-high heat, saut onions with 2 tablespoons of butter and cayenne until translucent. Add the spinach and cook for 3 minutes. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Add the cheese, rice, parsley, thyme, basil and spinach mixture and combine well. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into prepared casserole dish and top with extra shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes and serve piping hot.

Beefy Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

Sauce:

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Beef:

1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 cup minced onion Kosher salt 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes 3/4 cup beef broth

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2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 pounds ground beef 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves 1 packet Spanish seasoning blend (recommended: Sazon) 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped 1/4 cup beef broth Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese 18 (5-inch) corn tortillas Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. For the sauce: In a saucepot over medium heat, add the oil, onions, and a pinch of salt. Saute until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the tomato paste at this point and turn the heat up a bit, if needed, to cook the paste. Stir and cook until it deepens in color, and then add the garlic, cumin, and thyme. Stir to blend and cook until fragrant, and then add the crushed tomatoes and beef broth. Raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil, and then lower to a simmer and cover, simmering for 20 minutes more. For the beef filling: Meanwhile, in a large pan with straight sides, add the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to swirl, add the onions and green and yellow bell peppers. Season with a pinch of salt and saute until the onions and peppers are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until tender, about 4 minutes more. Add the beef, onion powder, cumin, thyme, Spanish seasoning, tomatoes, and broth, allowing time between each addition to blend. Season with a pinch of salt and a grind or 2 of pepper (the Spanish seasoning adds salt content, so be careful to not over season). Stir and break down the beef into bits using a spoon or fork. Cook until the beef is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. To assemble the casserole: Toss the shredded cheeses together to blend; set aside. Add 1 cup of the red sauce to a baking dish and spread to coat the bottom evenly. Top with 6 tortillas, overlapping to cover the bottom of the casserole dish. Layer the dish by next adding 1/2 of the beef mixture and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheeses, spreading evenly in the casserole. Next, dunk 6 tortillas, one by one, in the warm red sauce and layer over the cheese and beef, overlapping where needed. Top with the remaining beef, another 1/2 cup of the shredded cheeses, and another layer of tortillas dunked in the red sauce. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top, spread evenly, and finish with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and the sauce bubbles, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Green Bean Casserole


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1/3 stick butter 1/2 cup diced onions 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms 2 cups sliced green beans 3 cups chicken broth 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup 1 (2.8-ounce) can French-fried onion rings Pinch House Seasoning 1 cup grated Cheddar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter. Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain. Add the green beans, mushroom soup, onion rings, and House Seasoning, to taste, to the onion mixture. Stir well. Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.

Potato Casserole
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2 cups mashed potatoes 1/2 cup sour cream House Seasoning 1 small onion, sliced thin 1 small bell pepper, sliced thin 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar 4 medium potatoes, cooked 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread mashed potatoes evenly on bottom of casserole dish. Layer sour cream evenly over top. Sprinkle House Seasoning, to taste. Saute onion and bell pepper in butter; evenly layer over top of sour cream. Slice potatoes and layer over onions and bell peppers. Add butter. Sprinkle House seasoning. Finally top with cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and crumble bacon over top. Cook's Note: Leftover mashed potatoes work wonderfully in this recipe.

Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole


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1 (8-ounce) package wild rice 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1/2 onion, chopped 1 (10 3/4-ounce can) condensed cream of mushroom soup 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar Salt and pepper

Cook the rice according to package directions minus 1/4 cup water. Drain and cool. Bring 2 cups water and 1/2 tablespoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan and cook the shrimp for 1 minute. Drain immediately and set aside. Heat the butter in saucepan and saute the pepper and onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the rice, soup, 1 1/2 cups of cheese, shrimp and vegetables. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well. Spray a 9-inch square aluminum cake pan or an 11 by 7-inch glass casserole dish with vegetable spray. Place the mixture in the pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Country Cornbread
y y y y y y y y y y y 1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 3 Tablespoons sugar 1 Tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup creamed corn, canned or homemade

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir well. In another bowl, combine the milk, yogurt, melted butter, oil, and eggs. Add this to the cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined. Then stir the creamed corn. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake in the center of the oven until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out just clean, 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Then remove the cornbread from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Cut it into squares to serve.

Blitz Buttermilk Biscuits


y y y y y y 3-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1-1/2 cups butter, unsalted, cold 1-1/2 cups buttermilk, cold

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together into a mixing bowl. Use a knife or pastry cutter to chop the butter into pieces about the diameter of a quarter. Toss them into the flour and mix with your hands, lightly rubbing the flour and butter into each other between your fingers (DO NOT let the fingertips rub against each other or the friction will melt the butter). Work the dough until the butter pieces are down to the diameter of a dime and are covered by the flour mixture. Stir the buttermilk into the flour mixture just until the ingredients are gathered and form a dough ball. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Lightly flour a surface with flour, and roll the dough in it. Dust the counter again and roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Peel the dough up from the counter and fold it, like a letter, into thirds. Give it 1/4 turn. Flour the counter and the top of the dough and roll it out again to 3/4-inch thick. Peel up again and again fold into thirds. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, roll it out again to 3/4-inch thick, fold in thirds one more time, and roll out again, at 3/4inch thick. Cut the dough into 2 x 2 x 2-inch triangular pieces or use a cookie or biscuit cutter to cut into rounds. Place the cut biscuits on the parchment paper, cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk or melted butter. Place them in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until LIGHTLY browned and golden all around. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve while still warm.

Banana Crumb Muffins


y y y y y y y y y y y y 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 bananas, mashed 3/4 cup white sugar 1 egg, lightly beaten 1/3 cup butter, melted 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Hot Cross Buns


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3-3/4 to 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 package active dry yeast 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3/4 cup milk 1/2 cup cooking oil 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 eggs 2/3 cup currants or raisins 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts) (optional) 1 slightly beaten egg white 1 cup sifted powdered sugar 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur or milk 1/4 teaspoon vanilla Milk

In a large mixing bowl combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour, the yeast, and cinnamon. In a small saucepan heat and stir 3/4 cup milk, the oil, granulated sugar, and salt until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F). Add to flour mixture along with whole eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a spoon, stir in currants or raisins, hazelnuts (if desired), and as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make moderately soft dough (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover and let rise until nearly double (about 1-1/2 hours). Punch dough down. Turn out onto a floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough into 20 portions; shape each portion into a smooth ball. Place balls 1-1/2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until nearly double (30 to 45 minutes). With a sharp knife, make a shallow crisscross slash across each bun. Brush with egg white. Bake in a 375-degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly. In a mixing bowl combine sifted powdered sugar, hazelnuts liqueur or milk, and vanilla. Stir in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it reaches drizzling consistency. Drizzle buns with icing. Serve warm.

100 Percent Whole Wheat Bread


y y y y y y y y y y y y y 1 3/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F (43 degrees C)) 1/4 cup honey 2 teaspoons instant yeast 6 cups stone ground whole wheat flour 6 tablespoons vital wheat gluten 1 tablespoon flax seeds 1 tablespoon flax seed meal 1 tablespoon rolled oats 1 tablespoon sesame seeds 1 tablespoon quinoa 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

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Pour warm water and honey into a large bowl, and stir to dissolve the honey. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the liquid, and let stand until the yeast bubbles and forms a creamy layer, about 10 minutes. In a bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, gluten, flax seeds, flax meal, rolled oats, sesame seeds, quinoa, sunflower seeds, and salt until the seeds are dispersed evenly. Pour the flour mixture into the yeast mixture, add the coconut oil, and mix everything together. Scoop the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead until smooth and springy, about 15 minutes. Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes, then knead for another 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, and turn the dough over several times to coat with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 30 to 45 minutes. Grease 2 9x5-inch loaf pans. Punch down the dough, and cut into 2 pieces. Form each piece into a loaf, place into the loaf pans, seam sides down, and cover the pans with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake the loaves in the preheated oven until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans about 10 minutes before turning out to finish cooling on racks.

Apple Crisp

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3 pounds tart apples 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup rolled oats 4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick) 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Peel, core and chop the apples; toss in a bowl with lemon juice. In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; add to the apples and toss to combine. In another bowl combine flour, sugar and oats. Cut butter into 8 small pieces, and cut butter into flour with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture is crumbly. Stir in the chopped nuts. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish. Spread apple mixture in bottom of baking dish then sprinkle with flour mixture. Bake at 375 for 30 to 45 minutes, or until apples are tender and topping is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream or a little heavy cream, if desired.

Easy Slow Cooker Applesauce

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8 to 10 apples, peeled, cored, and cut in chunks 1/3 cup apple juice or water 1 scant teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours. Stir to blend and mash lightly, if desired.

Cantaloupe Preserves
1/2 medium cantaloupe 3/4 pound granulated sugar 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

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Cut cantaloupe into sections. Remove seeds. Remove rind. Cut firm portion of pulp into uniform pieces (should have about 1 pound). In a non-reactive saucepan, add sugar to melon in alternate layers of melon and sugar. Let stand 24 hours. Add the juice of one lemon. Bring to boil and boil quickly until the fruit is clear and tender. Remove fruit to shallow dishes or trays with slotted spoon. If syrup is too thin, continue cooking until thicker. Pour hot syrup over fruit and allow to stand overnight so fruit will absorb some of the syrup. Next day, boil jars, seals, and rings to sterilize, following manufacturer's directions. Pack cantaloupe cold in sterilized jars. Seal and process at simmering for 30 minutes. Makes about 3 8-ounce jars.

Grandma's Pear Preserves

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6 cups peeled, cored, and sliced pears 1 cup water 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 (2 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin 8 cups white sugar 2 teaspoons ground allspice 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg 1/2 cup brown sugar

1. Sterilize jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Let simmer while making jam. 2. In a large saucepan, combine pears, water, and lemon juice. Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in pectin, and bring to a full boil. Stir in the white sugar, and continue boiling and stirring uncovered for 1 minute, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in brown sugar, allspice, and nutmeg. 3. Quickly fill jars to within 1/2 inch of the top. Wipe rims clean, and top with lids. Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes to seal.

Strawberry Preserves I
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2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled 5 cups white sugar 2 tablespoons vinegar 1 pinch salt

1. In a stockpot, combine the strawberries, sugar, vinegar and salt. Bring to a rolling boil, and cook stirring frequently for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the temperature of the mixture has reached 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). 2. Transfer the mixture to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process jars for 10 minutes in a water bath. Refrigerate jam once the seal is broken.

Asparagus
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1 bunch of medium sized asparagus, about 1 lb 2 Tbsp of the most exquisite extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon lemon zest - freshly grated lemon rind Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Prepare the asparagus by rinsing them thoroughly, break off any tough, white bottoms and discard. Cut into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal. 2 Fill a medium sized saucepan half way with water, bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and reduce heat slightly to a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water. While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon rind. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.

Maple Orange Glazed Carrots


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1 pound carrots, peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/3 cup orange juice 1/2 teaspoon orange zest Pinch cinnamon

1 In a large, wide saut pan, heat the butter on medium heat until melted. Add the carrots and toss to coat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the maple syrup. Cook for a minute more, then add the orange juice. Cover the pan and cook for 3 more minutes. 2 Uncover the pan and increase the heat to medium high. Stir the carrots occasionally, and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat. 3 Sprinkle cinnamon over the carrots, and stir in the orange zest.

Oven-fried Potato Chips


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4 russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and sliced diagonally 1/8 inch thick 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) of butter, melted Coarse salt to taste

Pat the potatoes dry between paper towels and arrange them in one layer in 2 buttered cookie sheets; if you have a non-stick cooking spray, this works fine for greasing the pans. Brush the potatoes with the butter, bake them in a preheated 500F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Sprinkle them with the salt.

Fried Green Tomatoes


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3 medium, firm green tomatoes Salt 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning (optional) 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk 1 egg 1/3 cup cornmeal 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs 1/4 cup peanut oil or other vegetable oil

1 Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt. Let tomato slices stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place in separate shallow bowls: the flour and Cajun seasoning (if using), buttermilk and egg, and bread crumbs and cornmeal. 2 Heat the peanut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Beat the egg and the buttermilk together. Dip tomato slices in the flour-seasoning mix, then buttermilk-egg mixture, then the cornmeal-bread crumb mix. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown. Set the cooked tomatoes on paper towels to drain. These are fantastic with a little Tabasco sauce or remoulade

Twice Baked Potatoes


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4 large russet potatoes, about a pound each Olive oil 1/2 cup sour cream 1/2 cup milk 2 Tbsp butter, softened 1 Tbsp cream 1 cup grated cheddar cheese 4 strips bacon 1/4 cup chopped green onion

1 Bake the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400F. Scrub the potatoes clean under running water. Poke each potato in several places with the tines of a fork so that when the potatoes are cooking they don't explode. Rub the potatoes all over with a little olive oil. Place directly on the middle or top rack of the oven. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. They should give a little when pressed. 2 If you are including bacon as one of your mix-ins, while the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon strips in a frying pan on medium low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Let cool. Crumble.

Pecan-Peach Cobbler
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12 to 15 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (about 16 cups) 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 3 cups sugar 2/3 cup butter 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 (15-oz.) packages refrigerated piecrusts 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted 5 tablespoons sugar, divided Sweetened whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 475. Stir together peaches, flour, nutmeg, and 3 cups sugar in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Spoon half of mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. 2. Unroll 2 piecrusts. Sprinkle 1/4 cup pecans and 2 Tbsp. sugar over 1 piecrust; top with other piecrust. Roll to a 14- x 10-inch rectangle. Trim sides to fit baking dish. Place pastry over peach mixture in dish. 3. Bake at 475 for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Unroll remaining 2 piecrusts. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. sugar and remaining 1/4 cup pecans over 1 piecrust; top with remaining piecrust. Roll into a 12-inch circle. Cut into 1-inch strips, using a fluted pastry wheel. Spoon remaining peach mixture over baked pastry. Arrange pastry strips over peach mixture; sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal Cookies


y 1 cup (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, at room temperature y 1 cup granulated sugar y 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar y 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter y 2 large eggs y 1 teaspoon vanilla y 2 cups all-purpose flour y 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder y 2 teaspoons baking powder y 1/2 teaspoon salt y 2 cups chocolate chips (12 oz.) y 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats y 1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped 1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. 2. In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips, oats, and peanuts. 3. Drop dough in rounded 2-tablespoon portions, 3 inches apart, onto buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. With a lightly floured fork, flatten slightly into 2 1/2-inch rounds about 1/2 inch thick. 4. Bake in a 350 oven until cookies are golden and tops feel set when lightly pressed, 12 to 14 minutes (they will feel underdone but will firm up as they cool); if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking. 5. Let stand 5 minutes on sheets, then, with a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on pan to firm up, 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Caramel-Marshmallow Brownies
y 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter y 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate y 3/4 cup sugar y 1/4 teaspoon salt y 2 large eggs y 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract y 1/2 cup all-purpose flour y 1/2 cup walnut pieces y 1/3 cup white-chocolate chips y 1/2 cup mini-marshmallows y 10 caramel candy cubes, unwrapped y 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with a 12-inch sheet of foil, then grease foil. Melt butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking lightly until smooth and glossy. Remove from heat. Whisk in sugar and salt, then beat in eggs one at a time until well blended. Stir in vanilla extract, then flour. Scrape into prepared pan and sprinkle walnuts evenly on top. Bake brownies until set and slightly springy to touch, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and turn off heat. Sprinkle chocolate chips and marshmallows on top, return pan to oven for 2 minutes, then transfer pan to a rack to cool. Combine caramels and cream in a small bowl and microwave on medium (50 percent) power for 1 1/2 minutes; stir with a fork until completely smooth. Drizzle caramel-cream over brownies, then let them cool completely. When cool, remove brownies from tray by lifting out foil, then transfer them to a board. Cut brownies into four pieces, then cut each quarter into four individual pieces.

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German Chocolate Cake


y 2 1/4 cups cake flour y 1 cup pecans, toasted, plus 1 1/4 cups pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped y 1 teaspoon baking soda y 3/4 teaspoon salt y 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped y 4 sticks (1 lb.) unsalted butter y 3 1/2 cups sugar y 4 large eggs, separated, plus 4 large egg yolks y 1 cup sour cream y 3 teaspoons vanilla extract y 12 ounces evaporated milk y 1 1/3 cups coconut y 1 1/3 cups heavy cream y 2 tablespoons corn syrup y 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 3 (9-inch) cake pans; line with parchment; grease and lightly flour. Process flour, 1 cup nuts, baking soda and 1/2 tsp. salt until nuts are ground. In a bowl, whisk bittersweet chocolate and 1/2 cup boiling water until smooth. Cream 2 sticks butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until fluffy. Add 4 yolks one at a time, blending after each. Stir in chocolate mixture. Mix sour cream and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add flour and sour cream mixtures alternately to chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with flour. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Add 1/4 cup sugar 1 Tbsp. at a time; beat until egg whites hold soft peaks. Fold whites into batter in thirds. Divide batter among pans. Bake until cake springs back lightly, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before inverting cakes onto rack. Whisk 3/4 cup sugar, evaporated milk, 1 stick butter, 4 yolks and 1 tsp. vanilla in a pan over low heat until smooth. Cook filling, stirring constantly, until thickened and just boiling, 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and 1 1/4 cups pecans. Bring cream, 1 1/4 cups sugar and corn syrup to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add unsweetened chocolate and 1 stick butter; stir until smooth. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 tsp. salt; pour into a bowl and set in a bowl of ice water to cool. Beat until frosting is shiny and thick. Place one cake layer on a plate; spread with half of filling. Top with second layer and remaining filling. Top with third cake layer. Frost cake; garnish with additional coconut and pecans, if desired. Chill for 30 minute.

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Chocolate Decadence
y Cooking spray y 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar y 1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk y 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa y 1 1/2 tablespoons butter y 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped y 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour y 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract y 1/8 teaspoon salt y 1 large egg white y 8 teaspoons semisweet chocolate chips

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Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat 4 (2-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray, and sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon sugar into each of the ramekins, shaking and turning to coat. Set prepared ramekins aside. Combine 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, milk, and cocoa in a small saucepan, stirring well with a whisk. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 30 seconds or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add the butter and 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cool chocolate mixture 10 minutes. Add flour, vanilla, salt, and egg white to chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk just until blended. Spoon 2 tablespoons chocolate mixture into each prepared ramekin, and top each with 2 teaspoons chocolate chips. Divide the remaining chocolate mixture evenly among ramekins, spreading to cover the chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until barely set. Cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto dessert plates. Serve warm

Basic Buttermilk Muffins


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2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 cup butter, melted 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 cup buttermilk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. 2. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. 3. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until mixed (the batter will not be smooth). Gently stir in fruit, if desired (see Cook's Note). 4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins; fill the cups almost to the top. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 18 minutes

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes


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1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon white sugar 1 1/4 cups milk 1 egg 3 tablespoons butter, melted

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth. 2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Scrambled Egg Muffins


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1/2 pound bulk pork sausage 12 eggs 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/4 cup chopped green pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1. In a skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. In a bowl, beat the eggs. Add onion, green pepper, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir in sausage and cheese. 2. Spoon by 1/3 cupfuls into greased muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Hashbrown Casserole
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2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup 1 1/2 cups sour cream 2 tablespoons butter, softened 2 tablespoons dried minced onion flakes ground black pepper to taste 1 (2 pound) package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed 4 ounces extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded 1/2 cup crushed cornflakes cereal

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. 2. In a large bowl, mix together the soup, sour cream, butter, dried onion flakes, and pepper. Stir in the hash browns and 1/2 the cheese. Pour into the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top with crushed cornflakes. 3. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Fluffy French Toast


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1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup milk 1 pinch salt 3 eggs 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon white sugar 12 thick slices bread

1. Measure flour into a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk. Whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth. 2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. 3. Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated. Cook bread on each side until golden brown. Serve hot