Cooking with my Ronco Rotisserie

I don’t know about many others, but we get sucked into watching those late-night infomercials on the weekends.  Perhaps if we didn’t pretend to be vampires and stay up all night we wouldn’t, but we do.  Not all of the ads get to us, usually just the food those devils are preparing.  Why?  Because we love food!  Who doesn’t?

That and kitchen gadgets.  When we consolidated all of our things, we didn’t have enough space for all of our kitchen “stuff” even though our kitchen was twice the size either of us had previously.  And while we did get rid of the things we never really used or had duplicates of, that didn’t stop us from constantly adding new and FUN things over the years.

Like our Ronco Rotisserie.

Ronco Rotisserie

First off, it’s huge.  We really didn’t have the space for this; and despite my never wanting to store anything on top of the refrigerator, we had no other choice thanks to its size.

Secondly, pretty much every accessory that comes with the Ronco claims to be dishwasher safe.  However, after washing everything prior to its first use, some of the stuff rusted.  Not cool.  That tells me it’s not *really* dishwasher safe.  But, after unsuccessfully reaching out to the company for replacement warranty items (maybe we waited too long to use for the first time… or maybe they lost the email… regardless, they never responded), we were able to rub off the rust (and a lot of the coloring) and it is now right as rain.  Because we hand wash.

Ronco Rotisserie
If you look closely, you can see all of the accessories that come with it – two baskets, skewers, etc) stored inside the unit…

Now, we can overlook these first two things.  Why?  Because every single food item we prepare with our Ronco Rotisserie is delicious.  And we’ve tried a lot.

Ribs…

Rotisserie ribsChicken – what we probably prepare the most with a side of fresh guacamole…

Rotisserie chickenAnd Shish Kabobs.  The before…

KabobsAnd after…

Rotisserie KabobsNothing takes too long in the rotisserie and the meat is cooked perfectly.  Every time we try something new, we just pull out our little cooking manual and use their recommended time frames for the meat. And voila!

Heck, we even like ours so much that we’ve since given both sets of parents one.  They may not use theirs as often as we do ours, but what they have prepared they have loved.

Your turn – do you rotisserie?  What other kitchen appliances can you not live without?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Advertisements

Great Winter Recipe – Banana Nut Bread

Growing up, my grandmother baked every single holiday season.  And she baked a lot: kolachen, a secret family recipe—so secret, I’m not even sure I’m spelling it right; lizzies, little cookies with candied cherries and alcohol; sugar cookies; chocolate chip cookies; and banana nut bread.

Banana BreadSince her passing, I’ve enjoyed a slice of banana nut bread here and there at Starbucks, but I’ve been missing the moist and delicious bread during the holiday months.  And since I found my grandmother’s bread pans in my cabinet, I decided this year I would revive the family tradition.

There was only one problem: I had never made banana nut bread before, nor did I have a recipe.

So I hopped online and found a quick and easy recipe, or so it claimed, via Simply Recipes.  So simple in fact, this recipe doesn’t even require the use of an electric mixer.  Needless to say, this was the one I decided to go with after reading a few other variations of ways to make banana nut bread on the web.

First, what’s needed:

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed (we went with 4 and smashed them easily with a fork)
1/3 cup of melted butter
1 cup of sugar (the recipe says you can reduce this to ¾ of a cup, but why do that?)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of walnuts, chopped (or pecans, really; we used both at one point or another this December)
Pinch of salt

Now let’s cook:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

With a wooden spoon, mix the butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.

Stir in the sugar, egg, and vanilla.

Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and stir in.

Add the flour and mix well.

Stir in the chopped nuts.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 4X8 loaf pan.

Bake for one hour.  If baking more than one at a time, add a little bit of time to ensure the loaves cook through (we did three at a time and added thirty minutes—the bread was not overcooked).

Cool on a rack.  Remove from the pan and slice.

Best served warm with butter.

Are you a banana nut bread fan?  Have any other easy bread recipes to share?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original recipe found on this site:

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/banana_bread

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Great Winter Recipe – Thai Spicy Coconut Soup

My guy loves Thai food.  Loves.  To be honest, I don’t actually think I ever had Thai food until we started dating… and now I’m a big fan too!  However, eating out every time one of us wants Thai food can get very expensive, so I figured I better learn a few recipes I could make at home.  Enter Pinterest…

I’ve already tried a Tom Kha soup recipe, and it was good, but one can never have too many variations to try until they find the one their family loves.  So when we were iced in a few weeks ago, I tried a new one—Thai Spicy Coconut Soup.

Spicy Coconut SoupThe ingredients were almost exactly like the Tom Kha recipe we’ve tried before, with the exception of a few things that we will add next time around.  But I’ll get to that more in a bit.

First, what’s needed:

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 ½ cups of mushrooms (we like to use straw mushrooms)
Diced red bell pepper (we used green because the store didn’t have red)
1 inch peeled and minced ginger
4 cloves of minced garlic
Half a stalk of lemongrass (we like to use the Gourmet Garden lemongrass paste)
2 teaspoons of red curry paste
3 cups of chicken broth
1 can of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of sugar
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 – 1 ½ cups of cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
Sliced green onion (we like a lot…)
A handful of cherry tomatoes
Cilantro
Rice or Ramen noodles

Now let’s cook:

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.

Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, mushrooms, and bell pepper.  Cook for 3 minutes.

Add the curry and cook another minute.

Transfer to a stock pot and add the coconut milk, chicken broth, sugar, and soy sauce.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the chicken in a separate pot and add once the base is ready.

Finally, add the green onion and tomatoes.  Heat through and serve.

Best served with rice or noodles (we like to use Ramen noodles) and fresh cilantro…

Now, as with any dish you prepare, it is important to taste test before serving.  Especially with Thai soup.  The end product may not be spicy enough, not salty enough, not sweet enough, or the other ends of these spectrums.

For us, this soup base was not any of the above.  So we added another can of coconut milk, chopped dried chili pepper, more sugar, and more soy.  Even then, we decided the soy just wasn’t right and next time we’d try with fish sauce.

And basil.  For whatever reason, the recipe did not call for basil and we both agreed basil would add a ton of necessary flavor to this dish.

But don’t get me wrong, this soup was yummy.  We enjoyed it for three nights until it was all gone.  The dish proved perfect for a cold winter night.

And the Thai food lover approved.

Are you a Thai soup fan?  Have any Thai recipes to share?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipe found on this site:

http://joansfoodwanderings.blogspot.com/2013/10/spicy-thai-coconut-soup.html

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Great Holiday Recipe – Pecan Pie Cobbler

My guy loves pecan pie.  Loves.  And every year I try to make him at least one around his birthday in November.  However, a lot of the time my pies don’t set for whatever reason.  Not like my mom’s do, anyway (even though I use her exact recipe).

So this year I decided to try something different—pecan pie cobbler.  I figure since my pies don’t set the way they are supposed to, I might as well make something that is understandably a little runny.

Pecan Pie CobblerWhat’s needed:

2 rolled, refrigerated pie crusts (I used the Great Value brand – one package comes with two)
2 ½ cups of light corn syrup (I used the dark Karo syrup)
2 ½ cups of brown sugar
½ cup of melted butter
4 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
6 eggs
2 cups of chopped pecans
2 cups of pecan halves
Butter flavored cooking spray

Now let’s cook:

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Grease a 13X9 glass dish with the butter flavored cooking spray.

Roll one of the crusts into the pan, trimming the edges to fit (this is a lot easier than it sounds).

Now mix the syrup, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs with a wire whisk.  I beat the eggs first and then slowly added each of the other ingredients, stirring while I went.  The mixture will get a bit thick.

Stir in the chopped pecans.

Spoon about ½ of the mixture/filling onto the crust.

Remove the second pie crust and roll it into the pan, topping the filling, trimming the edges to fit (this time it’s a bit messy with the filling already in the pan, but manageable).

Spray the top crust with the butter flavored cooking spray.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until the top crust is lightly browned.

Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.

Carefully spoon the remaining mixture/filling over the baked pastry.

Arrange the pecan halves on top.

Bake 30 minutes or until set (I went for 35 minutes just to be safe).

Best served warm with vanilla ice cream…

This dessert really is delish.  Not only did my guy and I both love it, but his sister’s family came to visit that weekend and also enjoyed it very much.  So much so, I decided to make a second cobbler for his family’s Thanksgiving dinner.  The second time around, I used the light Karo syrup and I couldn’t tell a difference (and more pecans).

Are you a pecan pie fan?  How about cobbler?  Have any fun holiday dessert recipes to share?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipe found on this site:

http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/pecan-pie-cobbler/0f1c55a8-eb92-4158-94e6-212f142f7dc3

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Great Fall Recipe – Stuffed French Toast

My guy loves French toast, and I like fruit with my breakfast.  So one morning I decided to make a small mess in my kitchen and try my hand at a stuffed French toast recipe.  That way, we both got what we loved!

Stuffed French Toast finished productWhat’s needed:

Loaf of French or Italian bread
Eggs
Milk
Butter
Package of Cream Cheese
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Jam or fresh fruit, preferably of the same flavor (strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
More fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, etc.)

Now, let’s cook!

Start with the loaf of bread.  We used French.

Sliced Bread for Stuffed French ToastSlice the loaf into 2-inch pieces and then cut a deep slit across the top in the middle of each slice, forming a “pocket” of sorts.  Set the bread aside.

Ingredients for Stuffed French Toast fillingTake one package of softened cream cheese and add a few tablespoons of jam or fresh fruit.  I used Simply Fruit Strawberry Spreadable Fruit.  Mix in a pinch of sugar (maybe a teaspoon).  Stir until the cream cheese mixture looks a bit like strawberry yogurt.  Set aside.

Grilling Stuffed French Toast bread mixtureMix an egg (or two, your choice; I used two), about half a cup of milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon together.  Set the “egg bath” aside.  *Keep everything out because you may want to make more of this mixture, depending on how many pieces of French toast you’re grilling.

Grab a slice of bread and add about a tablespoon of the cream cheese filling to the pouch.  Add more if desired.  Pinch the opening closed by gently pressing the bread together.  This will help make less of a mess in the skillet.

Preheat the skillet on the stove, using medium to high heat.  While the skillet is heating up, dip the stuffed bread into the egg wash for about twenty to thirty seconds on each side.  I learned my guy likes it to absorb quite a bit of the “egg bath.”  Note: I only dipped one piece at a time and only fried one piece at a time.  I let my next piece soak while I grilled the other.

Add a little butter to the skillet to prevent the bread from sticking and fry the stuffed bread on each side until golden brown.

Remove from the heat and serve with the traditional syrup, fresh fruit, and powdered sugar.

Stuffed French Toast finished productIt really is delish!

Are you a stuffed French toast fan?  Have any fun breakfast recipes to share?  I’d love to hear from you!

Pinteresting – October’s Recipes

It’s time for this month’s Pinteresting post where I share a few Pinterest ideas I have borrowed from other users and share whether or not they work.

Today, we’re taking on a few of the recipes…

*****

Skillet EnchiladasRotel Chicken Enchilada Skillet

I made this dish the week that my family stayed with us.  I asked my nephew what types of food he and his brothers would like, because feeding nine is always cheaper at home, and Mexican made the list.  And since I can’t make my mom’s enchilada casserole as well as she can, I decided to try something new.

Enter Pinterest and the Rotel Chicken Enchilada Skillet recipe.

Man, I love this site.

All you need is:

No stick cooking spray
12 corn tortillas, torn/cut into bite size pieces
3 cups of shredded, cooked chicken (we used cans of white chunk chicken, drained)
1 – 10 ounce can of diced tomatoes and green chilies (Rotel!), undrained
1 – 10 ounce can of enchilada sauce (we used green)
1 – 8 ounce can of tomato sauce (we used garlic and lime tomatillo salsa instead)
1 cup shredded cheese

Spray the skillet or Dutch oven with cooking spray.  Add the tortilla pieces and chicken, mix well.  Cook over medium to high heat five or so minutes, stirring frequently.

Poor the undrained tomatoes and chilies, enchilada sauce, and other sauce over the chicken mixture and mix well.

Sprinkle half the cup of cheese over the mixture.  Cover and cook five minutes until hot, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle the remaining half of cup of cheese on the top and serve.

It’s that simple!  And it’s pretty good.  Everyone gave it a thumbs up!

*****

Crock Pot Coconut Chicken CurryCrock Pot Coconut Curry Chicken

My guy LOVES Thai food.  LOVES.  But unfortunately, I’m not all that great at cooking it for him.  I have found one recipe of Tom Kha soup that he definitely liked but that’s really about it.  So when I found this Crock Pot Coconut Curry Chicken recipe, I decided to give it a go.  After all, it’s a crock pot recipe… and I can’t turn a good crock pot recipe away!

No stick cooking spray
2 frozen chicken breasts
1 bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables (we used two because we’re big veggie eaters)
1 – 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk
1 – 14.5 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of curry (we used the red curry paste)
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 minced clove of garlic (we used two because we’re big on fresh garlic)
¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
salt/pepper

Spray the crock pot with the cooking spray.  The recipe says this is very important.  I thought it odd because of all my years cooking in the crock pot, this is the very first time I’ve had a recipe tell me to coat it with cooking spray.

Place the chicken at the bottom of the crock pot and pour the vegetables on top.

In a side bowl, mix the remaining ingredients, except the cornstarch, until smooth.  Pour over the veggies and chicken.

Cover and cook on high for three to four hours or low for five to six.

Ten minutes before serving, scoop out the chicken and cut into bite size chunks before putting it back into the crock pot.

Mix the tablespoon of cornstarch with three tablespoons of water.  Add the cornstarch/water mixture to the crock pot and stir.  Cook five more minutes.  *Use additional cornstarch mixture to reach the desired thickness.

Serve over rice.

I felt this recipe was missing something… maybe cashews… maybe pineapple… but definitely something.  Honestly, it was probably a spice.  But my guy really enjoyed it and we will make this one again.

*****

Your turn—have you tried any Pinterest recipes that you would like to share?  Did it taste as good as its picture looked?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipes found on these sites:

http://www.ro-tel.com/recipes-Chicken-Enchilada-Skillet-2273.html?utm_source=pinterest

http://www.wifessionals.com/2012/10/coconut-curried-chicken-crockpot.html

And, feel free to follow me on Pinterest.

Fall Foods – Hot Dog Casserole

When I posted my Football Food recipes a few weeks ago, my dad thought I missed something.  And while I don’t consider today’s recipe a must have during our favorite pigskin games, it is the perfect fall food… Hot Dog Casserole.

Hot Dog Casserole
Hot Dog Casserole

Every time I post about having Hot Dog Casserole for dinner on Facebook (yes, food is very popular on social media), I have multiple people reach out wanting to know more.

So between my dad and everyone else intrigued by my mother’s recipe, today I am sharing it with the world.  Well, The Ooo Factor readers…

I have no idea where this recipe originated, but my mom has made it for as long as I can remember.  I wasn’t a HUGE fan of Hot Dog Casserole growing up; all I needed was a boiled hotdog on a mustard and ketchup covered bun.  What kid wants more than that?  But now as an adult, I find myself enjoying the White Family Classic at least three times a year—Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day—and the occasional fall evening.

So what is Hot Dog Casserole?

Boil however many hot dogs…
Heat chili with or without beans on the stove…
Meanwhile, pull out a large baking dish and prepare the buns with mustard, ketchup, and relish.

Getting the buns ready...
Gettin’ the buns ready…

Once the dogs are ready, place ‘em in the buns.

Ready for the fixin's...
Ready for the fixin’s…

Cover with chili, cheese, and chopped onion.

Ready for the oven...
Ready for the oven…

Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until the buns have reached your desired level of crunchiness.

The finished product... ready to eat!
The finished product… ready to eat!

Hot Dog Casserole is a Man’s Man Recipe. All the men in our family LOVE it.  I hope yours do too!

Do you make anything special once the weather cools down?  If so, please share!  I’d love to hear from you.