One of my favorite things to do, besides gardening, is cooking. I love it. I enjoy everything from the planning, the gathering, the preping, the cooking all the way down to the actual eating...lol. My Hubby and I enjoy trying new foods and we both enjoy coming up with our own recipes. We work well together in the kitchen, each of us contributing something to the meal. I am pretty sure that there are other out there that are like us and take great pleasure in cooking. So, I thought that I would bring some of our recipes here to share with other like minded folks. Just a little note...some of our recipes will not have measurements and some will. This because some of our recipes can be made as small or large as you need. You just have to decide how many people you want to feed. I will do my best to give you as close measurements as I can, but, I rarely measure anything. A bad habit, I know, but, I come from a long line of "old fashioned" cooks who stored everything in their heads. Like my Pop's home made Potato Bread & Cinnamon Roll recipe. It had been passed down from my Great Grandma, to Grandma, to Pop, then to me. I am the only one in my entire family besides Pop that has it. And that is because I caught Pop making bread one day and made him put each ingredient into a measuring cup or spoon so that I could write it all down. It took forever but it was well worth the effort.
My first batch of cinnamon rolls from a passed down family recipe. They came out wonderful. The only thing that I forgot to figure in was that tricky little thing called "elevation". The original recipe came from up in the back country of Washington State and I was in Texas. I was on the verge of panic when my bread dough failed to start rising in the time frame that it should have. I set it on a rack on top of our wood stove and, finally, slowly, it started to raise. I was so proud of these Cinnamon rolls. LOL!
The first recipe I am going to share (sorry... no bread recipe. Family secret..lol.) is actually a Cajun recipe and unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of it as it is usually eaten too quickly to get a pic. It is super simple and very tasty. My Pop, ever the skeptical food critic, has me make it every time we get up to their house in Washington State. It's a casserole and Pop can't stand casseroles.... until this one.
"Cajun Baked Potato Casserole".... I usually feed 4 to 6 people with this. Peel 5 lbs. (+/-) potatoes of your choice (Yukons, Baby Reds, Russets, etc.) and cut them up in chunks. Place them in a large pot to boil. When they're done, drain completely and mash them just like you would do for your mashed taters. *Note....make sure the taters are a little stiff*. Set the taters aside to cool a bit while you gather the rest of the ingredients. For these, I will tell you how much of what that I use and you can adjust it to your own tastes. 1 full bunch green onions, chopped (including the greens)
2 1/2 lbs. bacon - I usually cut the bacon into "bacon bit size" and then brown it well. You'll want it crispy but not hard. Then I put it on some paper towels to drain. Pat it dry if you need to to get all the grease.
1 large tub fat free sour cream
Shredded Cheddar Cheese - I prefer to use Tillamok White Cheddar. And you decide how much cheese you want to use. My family members are huge cheese fans, so, I use quite a bit. I prefer to use block cheese instead of pre-shredded as the flavor is so much better with the block.
It's pretty simple from here. I use cake pans (the deeper, the better). I spray lightly with Pam. In your pot, mix all your ingredients together, reserving some cheese & onion greens for the top. Once it's all mixed together really well, put it into your cake pan(s). Spread the cheese & onion greens across the top. Pop it into your oven, pre-heated to 350*, and bake covered for 20 minutes. Then uncover and bake another 10 minutes. Let it stand for 5 minutes and dinner is served.
It is simple and really nothing more than Twice Baked Taters done casserole style. You can add anything more you want to it to personalize it. It has become a huge family favorite passed on from Louisiana.
Well, now that I am starving and need to go find something to sink my teeth into, I will say goodbye for now. Be watching for my next recipe.... Redneck Macaroni & Cheese.