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Country Kitchen

Country Kitchen

Friday, March 9, 2018

Cornedbeef and Brussel Sprouts

1. In a dutch oven place corned beef roast with spices and 1-2 cups water (depending on size of roast)
2. Roast in a 225 degree oven for a total of 6 hours.
3. Rinse mini potatoes and sprouts (and remove a few of the outer leaves).
4. Add to the dutch oven about 3-4 hours into the cooking process (depending on the size of potatoes they need to cook 2-3 hours)
5. Remove from juices and serve with Guinness mustard sauce

**Could also be cooked in a crockpot on low for 8 hours.

**Speed Method 
I forgot to put mine in at noon, so I bumped up the temp to 275 degree for 4 hours and it was still very tender.  Put the potatoes and sprouts in for around 2 hours for small or the full 4 for large.

Guinness Mustard Sauce
1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup dark Guinness Beer
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1-2 Tbsp cornstarch

1. In a saucepan over medium heat melt butter
2. Add brown sugar, mustard, dry mustard, vinegar and beer
3. Whisk until combine and sugar is dissolved.
4. Whisk in cornstarch and allow sauce to thicken.

**This would be great on bratwurst or soft pretzels.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Fancy Pants Valentine's Day Dinner Ideas

Seared Steak with Leek Mushroom Cream Sauce

1. I recommend using a filet or sirloin steak for this. Salt and pepper each side of the steak.
2. Melt 3-4 Tbsp butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the steaks for 2 min on each side
3. Place a wire wrack on a baking and sheet and put the steaks on top. Finish them off in a 400 degree oven for 8 min. This gives you a nice medium rare steak (depending on the thickness) If you like it more well done sear and bake for a few more mins.
4. Allow the steaks to rest for at least 10 min before cutting into them to keep the juices in.

Leek Mushroom Cream Sauce 
1. Clean and slice 5-6 button mushrooms and saute in butter over medium heat until soft, then set aside.
2. Thinly slice about 1 cup of leeks and saute in butter until soft and add to the mushrooms.
3. In a sauce pan melt 1 Tbsp butter and stir in 1 Tbsp flour to form a roux.  Let the roux cook a min or so to remove any floury taste.
4. Then add 1 cup milk and 1 tsp salt and stir.  Allow it to thicken.  Add the mushrooms and leeks and allow to thicken a little more.
5. Top your steak and enjoy!

**If you have left over sauce, it is really good over egg noodles! Just add a beef bullion cube and water or some beef broth to thin out the sauce and serve over cooked egg noodles.

Bacon Brussels Sprouts
1. Clean and cut the sprouts in half and remove a few of the outer leaves
2. Melt 1-2 Tbsp bacon grease and toss over the sprouts (Another great reason to always save your bacon grease. I keep a mason jar of it in my fridge for just such occasions) 
3. Spread the sprouts onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and bacon bits
4. Roast in a 425 or 450 degree oven for 10-15 min, until the edges start to brown. 

Stuffed Chicken, Artichokes with Hollandaise and Spinach Salad
Stuffed Chicken
1. Thaw a boneless skinless chicken breast per person. Place between 2 layers of plastic wrap and pound until flat. 
2. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.  At one end place a thin slice of cream cheese and a few leaves of spinach
3. Fold the other end of the chicken over the top of the cream cheese and spinach and try to seal the edges as best you can. 
4. Sprinkle the top with salt, pepper, basil and oregano.
**You can use toothpicks to keep it together while baking if necessary. 
5. Place in a buttered baking dish and top each with a dollop of butter
6. Bake at 350 until the internal temp is 165 (30 min or so depending on size and thickness of chicken breast)

Spinach Salad
1. Wash spinach leaves and add to a bowl
2. Boil 2 eggs, peel and slice and add to the bowl
3. Slice 3 button mushroom and add to the bowl
4. thinly slice 1/4 of a red onion and caramelize in an oiled skillet over medium heat until brown and add to bowl
5. Sprinkle in bacon bits
6. Make dressing - 1/4 cup oil, 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp sugar and a pinch of pepper, Shake and pour over salad.  Toss and enjoy!

Artichokes with Hollandaise. 
I got this method of cooking artichokes in the microwave from the site below

1. Cut off sharp points of outer leaves, the steam and the top.
2. Place prepared artichokes and peeled stems in a glass baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 10 min
3. Carefully remove the plastic wrap to avoid steam burns to your hands and face. The stems should be fork tender when they are ready. 

I use Julia Child's recipe from her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  For this recipe I'm making about 2/3 of the original recipe.  

1. Melt 1/3 cup butter in a sauce pan. 
2. In a blender add 2 egg yolks, 3/4 Tbsp lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Blend for a few seconds
3. Slowly add the melted butter (This tempers the egg yolks so they don't cook but mix with the butter to become smooth and creamy)
4. Serve warm! See video above on how to each fresh artichokes. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Touchdown Party Favorites

Are you having a party for Superbowl?  Here are some crowd pleasing game day recipes that are sure to tackle your hunger ;0)

Courtney's Hot Wings

1. fill deep fryer to max fill line with canola, vegetable or peanut oil and turn heat to 375 degree.  (Fry outside to avoid stinking up your house)
2. In a large bowl combine flour and seasoned salt
3. Add wings (40 count) and coat with flour or dredge
4. In a saucepan add 1/4 cup butter, 1 bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce and 2 Tbsp (or more) agave nectar or honey. Turn the heat to medium and stir until butter is melted and sauce is combined.  Turn heat to low to keep warm while wings are frying
5. When the oil it hot add wings (fry in shifts of 6-8 wings of similar size)
6. The wings are done when they float to the top and turn a golden brown color (anywhere from 4-7 or more min depending on size)
7. Remove wings and drain on a paper towel
8. Coat in sauce
9. Serve immediately with celery and ranch or blue cheese dressing.

World's Best Sugar Cookies
for video and recipe click here 

Yummy Ham Rolls

For video click here
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree
2. Melt 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter and add 1/2 Tbsp mustard, 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 tsp onion powder and 1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds
3. Place sandwich rolls on a baking sheet and layer ham and cheddar cheese
4. Brush some of the butter mixture on the top of each roll and place on the ham and cheese
5. Brush the remaining butter mixture over the tops of each sandwich
6. Cover in foil and bake for 15 min
7. Remove more and bake for another 10 min
Serve immediately

Main Dish #1 Mini Meat Loaves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine:  1-2 shredded carrots
    ½ of a small onion, finely chopped
     1/2 lb of ground beef
1 beaten egg
2 Tbsp breadcrumbs
1-2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp salt
¼ cup finely chopped spinach, sautéed (optional)
3. Mix together all ingredients and form patties
4. Place patties in a glass baking dish and bake for 15 min. 
5. Turn patties and squirt each with ketchup and bake for 15 more min. 

Main Dish #2 Homemade Hot Pockets

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Defrost 16 Rhodes frozen Texas rolls, but don’t allow to rise.  
  • Roll each out with a rolling pin until flat
  • Add whatever fixings you like 
  • Fold and seal dough around the fillings
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 min
  • Serve immediately or allow to cool completely and store in the freezer in a zip-lock bag.
  • Heat in microwave for 45 sec 

Courtney's Chili

1. Brown 1/2 lb ground beef (remove and discard grease) and add 1 Tbsp steak seasoning
2. In a dutch oven saute 3 sweet peppers and 1/2 small onion until tender
3. Add 1 can pork-n-beans, 1 can of red kidney beans, 1 jar of tomatoes and the ground beef. 
4. Stir in the following spices: 
2 Tbsp Chili Powder, 1/2 Tbsp season salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp oregano
5. Cover and let simmer for at least 10 min. 
6. Then serve with your favorite fixin's 


1. Chop 6 cherry or grape tomatoes, 2 slices of onion, 1-2 Tbsp cilantro and place in a bowl
sprinkle with 2-3 Tbsp lime juice and let soak for an hour or so
2. Mash 2 ripe avocados and add to the vegetables. 
3. Mix and add salt to taste.  

Shoestring Onion Rings
1. Cut onions into thin slices
2. Soak in milk
3. Dredge in flour mixed with seasoned salt
4. Fry until golden brown and enjoy!

Homemade Potato Chips

1. Peel and slice potatoes into very thin slices (rinse with ice cold water)
2. Deep Fry until golden brown
3. Place on a paper towel to absorb extra oil
4. Salt and enjoy!

Baked Beans

for video click here

1 large or 2 small cans Pork-n-beans
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
2-3 strips of cooked bacon (crumbled)
1/4 cup diced onion
Combine all ingredients and pour into a square glass baking dish.  Bake for 30 min at 350 degree

Monday, January 15, 2018

Roast with the Most - Classic Beef Roast

Classic Roast
Your favorite beef roast cut (or which ever is on sale ;0)
Salt and pepper
Several carrots
Several potatoes
1 onion
2 cups water
2 beef bullion cubes
1 tsp kitchen bouquet
2 Tbsp cornstarch

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees
  2. Peel and cut carrots potatoes and onions
  3. Put some oil into Dutch oven or skillet and turn heat to medium high
  4. Put salt and pepper on the roast and rub into the meat
  5. Sear both sides of the roast for a couple of min.
  6. Add your vegetables and bullion cubes
  7. Pour in 2 cups water
  8. Cover and place in oven for 3 hours
  9. Half way through check to make sure you have enough liquid, add more water if needed. 
10. Transfer your drippings to a skillet
11. Remove a small amount of the hot liquid and mix together with a couple of Tbsp of cornstarch.  Add that mixture back into the skillet and stir
12. Add 1 tsp kitchen bouquet, gravy will boil and thicken
13. Serve with bread and butter and enjoy!
**This could easily be cooked in a crockpot.  Just make sure to sear your meat and then cook low and slow all day. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

You say tomato, I say tomato: Canned Tomato Recipes

Courtney's Chili

1. Brown 1/2 lb ground beef (remove and discard grease) and add 1 Tbsp steak seasoning
2. In a dutch oven saute 3 sweet peppers and 1/2 small onion until tender
3. Add 1 can pork-n-beans, 1 can of red kidney beans, 1 jar of tomatoes and the ground beef. 
4. Stir in the following spices: 
2 Tbsp Chili Powder, 1/2 Tbsp season salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp oregano
5. Cover and let simmer for at least 10 min. 
6. Then serve with your favorite fixin's 

Chicken and Tomatoes

1. Using your choice of bone-in/skin-on chicken place in a glass baking dish, dot with butter and sprinkle with season salt. Bake at 275 degrees for an hour or until the internal temp reaches 165 degree. 
2. Remove the skin and remove bones. Dice chicken
3. In a dutch oven add 1 package of dry onion soup mix and 2 cups of water
4. Add 1 can of home canned tomatoes and 1 can of store bought canned tomatoes
1 tsp basil and the diced chicken
5. Cover and simmer for about 45 min or until the liquid reduces to form a stew consistency
6. Serve over rice. 

Slow Cooker Swiss Steak

1. Cut 1 lb or more of round steak into portion size piece, salt and pepper each side. 
2. Dredge in flour and brown for a couple of min on each side in hot oil. 
3. Thinly slice 1 medium onion and 2 bell peppers. 
4. In a crock pot layer steak, peppers, onions and tomatoes until all in in the pot. Salt and pepper
5. Allow to cook for 6-8 hours
6. Serve over mashed potatoes 

For a how to video on Mashed Potatoes see my Easter Feaster video

 Hats (Aka Macaroni and Tomatoes) 

1. Cook 1/2 lb of pasta to al dente, drain and put back in the pot
2. Add 1/4 cup butter and stir until melted
3. Add 1 jar of canned tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste
4. Can be served with or without shredded mozzarella cheese 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Healthy (er) Options

In this post I'm sharing several recipes that I would consider healthy options.  I like my food to taste good though, so hopefully you will see a healthy balance (pun intended) of both with these recipes.

Mango Flounder

1. Salt and pepper each side of your flounder fillets and lightly dredge (cover) with flour, fry in a small amount of hot oil on each side until lightly crisp and flaky.
2. For the Mango Salsa: dice sweet pepper (or jalapeno if you like a kick), onion, mango and cilantro. Combine in a bowl with lime juice and salt to taste.

Cilantro Lime Couscous
1. Make couscous according to package instructions
2. Add lime zest, lime juice and chopped cilantro
3. Stir to combine

Raspberry Pork 
1. Salt and pepper both sides of each pork chop and saute in a skillet until lightly browned.
2. Allow pork chops to rest 10 min before serving
3. For raspberry sauce: in a saucepan place 1 package of fresh or frozen raspberries, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 1 tsp sage.  Turn on medium and allow to simmer until reduced to a thick syrup
4. Strain seeds and pour over pork chops
**Substitute fresh raspberries for seedless raspberry jam to avoid straining seeds

Lemon Rosemary Quinoa
1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions
2. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and rosemary
3. Stir to combine

Bakes Zucchini and Tomatoes
1. Thinly slice zucchini, tomatoes and onions
2. Place in an oiled baking dish with lemon zest, lemon juice and salt
3. Bake at 350 for 30 min. (if you prefer roasted bake at 425 for 20 min)

What the Kale Salad
1. Rinse and remove kale leaves from center stem, shop into bite size pieces and add to bowl
2. Rinse and chop romaine lettuce and add to bowl
3. Add: chopped broccoli, broccoli slaw, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries
4 For dressing combine the following ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 sec.
       1/4 cup water
       1/4 cup white vinegar
       3/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
       1 tsp garlic powder
       1 tsp salt
       1/4 tsp pepper
       1 tsp celery seed
       1/2 tsp celery salt
       (pinch of onion powder for added flavor)
       2/3 cup sugar
       2 tsp horseradish

Pearled Couscous salad
1. Make basil and herb pearled couscous according to package instructions
2. Saute diced zucchini and onions until tender
3. Add to couscous and refrigerate until chilled
4. Add diced cherry tomatoes and Italian salad dressing
5. Stir and serve chilled

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sweet Sweets: Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake

I love to bake all the time, but especially at Christmas.  I have a whole roster of things I make each year, but I can't eat it all myself so I enjoy sharing it with family, friends and neighbors.  This recipe is perfect for sharing.  It's like my version of fruit cake that actually tastes good.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake

1. Mix together 1 cup oil, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 egg
2. Mix in 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp almond extract, 1 tsp salt, 
1/2 tsp baking soda and 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder 
3. Mix in 2 cups flour (can use glutten free flour)
4. Throughly mix in 3/4 cup milk)
5. Chop a 10 oz jar of maraschino cherries and mix in
6. Add 1 (or more) cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir a final time. 
7. Grease 4 mini loaf pans and divide the batter between them (about 1 cup in each)
8. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-45 min (until a toothpick comes our clean)

The Glaze
1. In a bowl combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract and 2 tbsp water
2. Stir until smooth
3. Drizzle over cooled cakes 
4. Enjoy, share or freeze.