Golden Skillet Potatoes

This recipe, from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, makes a great side dish. I love me some potatoes. 

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold or red potatoes (peeled if using Yukon gold potatoes), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

Directions

  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Microwave uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring every 1-2 minutes, until the potatoes soften but still hold their shape. It is really important to stir every couple of minutes or the potatoes might not cook evenly and you’ll end up with some pieces that are super tender and others that are hard. Drain any excess liquid from the potatoes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until very hot. Don’t add the potatoes until the oil is sizzling. Add the potatoes (cut side down if using red potatoes with the skins on) in a single layer and cook them without stirring for 5-6 minutes until they are golden brown on the first side.
  3. Gently stir the potatoes, rearranging them again into a single layer and flipping so the unbrowned side is down. Cook until the potatoes are golden brown on the second side, another 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Combine 1 teaspoon oil, minced garlic and rosemary. Clear the center of the pan and add the mixture, cooking and mashing the garlic into the pan for about 30 seconds. Take care not to let the garlic burn. Stir the potatoes with the garlic/rosemary mixture. Serve.

Yield: Serves 4

Chef’s note:  You can easily leave out the rosemary/garlic mixture. Just omit that step at the end and serve the potatoes after seasoning with salt and pepper. (But I’m warning you, you’ll be missing out on some extreme deliciousness.)

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Fudgy Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

You really can’t go wrong with this recipe. Its decadent goodness makes a special treat for family gatherings and parties. After the bars cool, make sure to let them set up in the refrigerator—this will make cutting easier and it melds the flavors together. Word of warning: you have to share, otherwise you’ll be like me and eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner until it’s gone and you’ll have to deal with all sorts of fudgy toffee chocolate chippy guilt. Recipe courtesy Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, a fabulous recipe site.

INGREDIENTS

Crust:
  • 2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
Fudge Layer:
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 package (12 oz.) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
Cookie Layer:
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 package (12 oz.) milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and butter until evenly moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. For the fudge, in a microwaveable bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips and butter. Microwave for one minute at 50% power. Stir. Microwave for another minute and continue stirring and microwaving until the mixture is smooth and melted. Pour the fudge mixture over the crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with the toffee bits (1/2 cup).
  4. For the cookie layer, in large mixing bowl with an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer), beat together the butter, milk, vanilla, and brown sugar. Add the egg and mix. Stir in the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in the chocolate chips. Dollop this mixture by tabespoonfuls across the fudge layer and spread to form an even layer. Sprinkle with the toffee bits (1/2 cup).
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until edges are puffed and the top is golden brown. Don’t overbake or the bars will be tough and dry. Pull them out when the top is golden but the cookie dough still looks a bit soft. Cool completely and cut into squares.

Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken BBQ

Easy and quick recipe for the cook who is feeding a crowd. And if you’re not feeding a crowd, then you’ll be able to feed your family the rest of the week. Sandwiches, salads, with corn on the cob—yum! From allrecipes.com.

  • 6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  1. Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.
  2. Cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This cake is delicious and sweet—a fun way to use up extra zucchini from your garden! Found at allrecipes.com.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil, mix well. Fold in the nuts and zucchini until they are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting with your favorite frosting.

**I omitted the walnuts and added chocolate chips… and ended up with half the cake still in my bundt pan. It tasted amazing, but wasn’t quite the presentation I was going for. Next time I’ll grease and flour the pan, and then I’ll coat the chocolate chips in flour before adding them to the batter.