Cheesy Potatoes

Perfect cheesy potatoes recipe for brunch, lunch or dinner. 

These cheesy hash browns are like the Mac 'N Cheese of potatoes—basically universally delicious.. The recipe is so easy to make that it continues to surprise and delight me every time I pull out the cookbook. My friend Jessica prepared this for a holiday brunch and I was instantly hooked—I think every one of us hounded her for the recipe and I made it several times last winter. I was again reminded of this gem during the holidays last week, where I whipped up a batch of these cheesy hash browns to go with Christmas brunch. This is the perfect dish to serve at a wedding shower, bridal luncheon or at the post-wedding brunch. Did I mention how easy it is?

Cheesy Potatoes Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs hash brown frozen potato squares
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 c onion
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c melted butter
  • 2 c crushed cornflakes

Mix all ingredients together (except for butter and flakes) and put in 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. The last 15 minutes, put 2 cups crushed cornflakes on top and pour melted butter all over. Make the night before so the potatoes thaw out—which is also great for the flavor and the cooking time. Might need a little bit longer depending on your oven and if the potatoes are thawed in advance. Feel free to get creative and mix in bacon pieces and green onions to add some extra flavor.

Enjoy!

Photo credit Kraft. For another variation of the recipe, view here

A Gourmet Shower Menu

Impress your guests with this sophisticated, totally gourmet shower menu.

Sometimes a shower deserves an extra special attention to detail when it comes to the menu. So if you're interested in flexing your culinary muscle, try this combination to impress even the most sophisticated tastebuds. From a custom drink to a beautiful salmon, your guests will talk about this shower for years, just based on the food selection alone.

Red Sangria Recipe

To start, serve your guests a refreshing glass of Sangria. Using a pitcher or a large jug, prepare this easy to make drink, and take advantage of an opportunity to make the presentation shine with the fruit garnish.

Beverages_red_apple
Beverages_red_apple

Ingredients: 1 Orange, peeled and cut into small pieces; 1 Lemon, peeled and cut into small pieces; 1 Granny Smith Apple, cut into small pieces (skin can stay on); 1 bottle of either red or white wine; 1 tbsp sugar; 1 shot Brandy; 1 shot Triple Sec; 2 Cups Club Soda.

Pour wine in a large pitcher and add the sugar, brandy and triple sec. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add half of the fruit. Chill for several hours. Add the club soda before serving. Pour into glasses and top with remaining fruit.

Sausage Stars Recipe

Nothing will set the stage for what's ahead like the amazing Sausage Stars Appetizer. Filled with savory, cheesy goodness, the blend of flavors is pretty much unstoppable. Just make sure to make enough for everyone to have more than one.

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italian-sausage-wonton-appetizer

Ingredients: 2 cups cooked and crumbled sausage; 1 ½ cup grated cheddar cheese; 1 ½ grated monterey jack; 1 cup prepared Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix; 1 Can Sliced Ripe Black Olives; ½ cup chopped red pepper; 1 package wonton wrappers

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Blot sausage dry and combine with cheeses, salad dressing, olives and red peppers into a large mixing bowl. Line muffin cups with won ton wrappers. Fill each cup with mixture and bake 5-10 minutes. Serve hot. 

Bibb Pecan Salad Recipe

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IMG_0248

No shower menu is complete without a salad course. When in doubt, include the Bibb Pecan Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing. It's simple to make and the tangy dressing is absolute perfection.

Ingredients: 2 heads Bibb lettuce wash, pat dry; 1 cup pecan halves – roasted and salted; ½ cup crumbled blue cheese. Dressing: 2 cups olive oil, 1/3 cup wine vinegar; 1/3 cup seedless raspberry puree; 1 tbsp dill; 1/2 tsp dry mustard; 1/4 tbsp white pepper; 1/2 tsp salt; 2 tbsp sugar.

Wash and pat dry lettuce. Combine all dressing ingredients in a separate container and shake well. Toss with lettuce, top with pecans and blue cheese. 

Broiled Salmon with Tarragon Butter

To go the extra mile with the main course, stray away from mini croissant sandwiches and opt for something healthy and delicious, like the Broiled Salmon with Tarragon Butter. 

king
king

Ingredients: 3 tbsp unsalted butter; 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice; ½ tsp black pepper; 2 large salmon fillets; 1 tsp dried tarragon or 1 ½ tbsp, fresh, minced (multiply based on number of servings)

Melt butter with lemon juice in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and add pepper. Place salmon, skin side down, on broiler-proof pan. Brush with half of butter mixture. Season with salt to taste. Broil 5 inches from heat source for 8-10 minutes or until fish is no longer pink inside. Stir tarragon into remaining butter mixture and serve over salmon.

Bon appétit!

3 Tasty Shower Salad Recipes

Amazing shower salad recipes.

When hosting a wedding shower or baby shower, including  a salad is one of the staple aspects of planning the menu. We put together a list of three of our favorite shower salad recipes that run the gamut from healthy and sophisticated to crunchy and full of flavor. Enjoy the spinach salad, mexicali salad and a broccoli salad that will make your guests drool.

Spinach Salad

To impress guests with a healthy and sophisticated second course, try this homemade spinach salad.

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IMG_2861

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh olive oil
  • 1 cup cider vinegar (slightly less than a cup…)
  • 1 Tbsp. Dry Mustard
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Poppy Seed
  • 1 tsp Grated Onion
  • 6 Strips crumbled and cooked bacon
  • 2-3 hard boiled eggs
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 3 cups lettuce

Mix olive oil, cider vinegar, dry mustard, sugar, poppy seed and onion in a large mixing bowl. Cook bacon until crispy and set aside to cool. Add the dressing to the salad consisting of ½ spinach and ½ lettuce, all torn into bite size pieces. Mix together. Add the crumbled bacon and eggs. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with Croutons.

Mexicali Salad

This fun and crunchy salad is full of flavor. So this fun salad is one of the greatest recipes that you forgot you loved. It's a golden oldie that blends taco flavoring and Doritos to create an amazing flavor explosion in your mouth. What else could you ask for? Splurge, it's worth it!

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4573854538_fdca84ddba

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef, browned with taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 lb shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1/2 bottle Catalina dressing
  • 2 cups crushed Doritos

Combine all ingredients and toss in large bowl with 4 cups chopped lettuce. Top with Doritos and serve. 

Broccoli Salad

This Broccoli Salad is the perfect recipe for a luncheon baby or bridal shower. The flavor is absolutely incredible and it's actually pretty healthy. Your guests will beg you for the recipe.

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img_2081

Ingredients

  • One Bag Pre-packaged Broccoli Slaw
  • One bunch of Green Onions (Chop‘em)
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cub Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Packet Chicken Flavored Ramen Noodles
  • 1 Packet Oriental Flavored Ramen Noodles
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds—no shell
  • 1/4 Chopped Almonds (buy it sliced)
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Mix the Broccoli Slaw Salad with the green onions in large bowl. Add the vegetable oil, apple cider, sprinkle on the seasoning packets from the Ramen Noodles—wait for the noodles—add sunflower seeds, cheese, and almonds. Mix together. Crush Ramen noodles—just from one of the packages—and add as topping. Chill for an hour before serving.

Amazing Shower Appetizer Recipes

Delicious and amazing shower appetizer recipes to try right now. 

Hosting a wedding or baby shower can be a truly enjoyable process, but planning the menu can be a challenge Relax, get creative, and remember that the one area of a menu where you can have the most fun is with the appetizers. It's the perfect way to try new recipes while also impressing your guests. To give you some inspiration, we put together a list of some amazing shower appetizer recipes that will have your guests begging you to share the ingredients. Have fun, enjoy, and don't let your mouth water all over your keyboard.

Brie En Croute with Fig Chutney

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Flank_steak_salad_with_chili_avocado_drsg_008

1/4 pound dried figs, chopped

1/4 pound dried apricots, chopped

1/4 pound dried peaches, chopped

1/4 pound raisins

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons toasted pistachios

2 tablespoons toasted almonds

1 tablespoon crystalized ginger

1 teaspoon minced green chile pepper

Sea salt and pepper to taste

1 lemon, zest and juice

Combine the dried fruits, onion and vinegar in a medium saucepan, and add enough water to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the mixture achieves the thickness of honey, stirring frequently. Puree the pistachios, almonds, ginger, chile pepper, salt and pepper in a food processor, or with a mortar and pestle. Add with lemon zest and juice, stirring well.Spread fig chutney on top of brie wheel, wrap in puff pastry and bake at 400 degrees until golden, about 20 minutes.

Goat Cheese Marinara

baked-goat-cheese-marinara-1-500
baked-goat-cheese-marinara-1-500

1 Package goat cheese (in a block or round, not crumbled)

1 Jar of your favorite marinara sauce (or make your own, see page ___)

Optional: pine nuts and/or herbs of your choice for garnish (such as basil, oregano, or your favorite Italian blend)

Preheat oven to 350. Place goat cheese in an oven safe baking dish (that can also be used as your serving dish). Morph goat cheese into whatever shape you prefer. Cover with marinara sauce. Sprinkle with pine nuts and herbs (optional). Bake in oven until goat cheese is heated through. Serve with toasted pita, or any dipping mechanism of your liking

Simple Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

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0031

1 pound ground pork sausage or sausage links

2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened

2 8 ounce packages fresh mushrooms, stems removed

1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Dash of Paprika

DIRECTIONS:

Set oven to broil. Cook sausage over medium high heat until brown. Drain skillet and add sausage to a medium sized bowl. Mix cream cheese with the sausage. Stuff mushroom caps with the cream cheese and sausage mixture. Top each mushroom with a dash of paprika. Sprinkle Parmesan over the top. Arrange stuffed mushroom caps on a medium baking sheet. Broil in the preheated oven 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned.

June Shower Menu Inspiration

Create a crowd-pleasing shower menu with these simple and gourmet recipes

It's wedding season! If you're not attending shower after shower, you're probably the one hosting — and creating the menu takes a lot of work. To give you a head start on planning, we put together a sample menu of some mouthwatering recipes that we love. From easy appetizers and dessert, to a gourmet mushroom lasagna, this is one shower menu that has something for everyone.

Chicken Spread

If ever there was a party pleaser, it's this totally addictive chicken dip appetizer. My grandmother used to make it and now my mother brings it to almost every event and family party. It's perfect for showers because of it's unique (and delicious!) flavor, and the recipe makes more than enough to go around. Ingredients: 1 c. mayo; 1 c. sour cream, 2 tbsp crystallized ginger, finely chopped; 10-12 oz deli chicken, finely chopped; 1 8oz can water chestnuts, drained and finally chopped; 2 tsp soy sauce; 2 tbsp minced green onions Directions: Mix first 5 ingredients together, then add water chestnuts and chicken, and mix well. Chill for at least an hour or overnight. Serve with crackers.

Broccoli Salad

What would a shower be without a good broccoli salad? This one is simple and fantastic - not to mention a staple crowd favorite. Healthy substitutions like light mayo make this a great choice. And if you're feeling extra creative, add 1/2 c. of chopped walnuts for some texture. Ingredients: 3-4 cups of broccoli flowers; 2/3 c. sliced green onions; 1 1/2 c. of crisp bacon crumbed (can sub for real bacon bits); 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese; 1 c. light mayonnaise; ½ c. sugar or Splenda; 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar Directions: Combine broccoli, onion, bacon and cheese in a large mixing bowl. Separately mix mayo, sugar and red wine vinegar and pour over the other ingredients. Mix well.

Mushroom Radicchio Lasagna

This main dish is a new twist on an old favorite. Because there are a lot of steps, make sure to give yourself enough time, or make it the day before and bake before the party. Follow each step, starting with preparing the sauce and then move onto the cheese mixture. From there? Layer and bake. The result is a smokey and delicious lasagna that will impress even the toughest critics. Ingredients: 4 tbsp. vegetable oil; 1 ½ lbs radicchio (chopped);  2 ¼ lbs mushrooms, sliced/quartered; salt and pepper; 1 stick unsalted butter; ¼ c. flour; 2 ½ c. milk; 2 garlic cloves (minced—carefully chopped); 1 c. fresh flat leaf parsley; 2 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice; 2 c. grated smoked mozzarella; 1 cup grated mozzarella; One package oven-ready (no-boil) noodles Directions: To make the sauce, heat 2 tbsp. Oil in 14 inch skillet. Add radicchio and cook until wilted (5 minutes). Finely chop half of the mushrooms and add to mix, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook for Five more minutes. In a heavy sauce pan melt butter, whisk in flour, and add milk slowly. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in mushroom mixture. To make the cheese mixture heat 2 tbsp oil, add garlic and cook; then add remaining sliced mushrooms. Stir in parsley, salt and pepper and let cool. Add 1 c. smoked mozzarella and 1 c. regular mozzarella Coat 9x13 baking dish with 1 cup sauce, then layer with lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, and sauce. Continue to layer, top with remaining cup of smoked mozzarella. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes

Fab & Easy Shower Recipes

We love hosting showers - but sometimes finding delicious and easy shower recipes is a challenge. Until now.

Shower season is upon us! Well, it's upon me at least. Between the wedding bells and baby bells, this spring has been a shower bonanza. But hosting a shower can be overwhelming because there are so many things to think about — like favors, games, and not least of all, the actual party menu. Because when you're working and planning parties, every little bit helps, I thought I would share one of my recent shower menus that was a total crowd pleaser.

Enjoy!

Baked Brie 

1 Brie Cheese Wheel

1 Pillsbury Croissant Roll

baked-brie-a
baked-brie-a

Preheat oven to 350. Unroll croissant dough onto cookie sheet in one large sheet. Pat out the seems. Cut three slices on each side of the brie wheel, then place in the center of the dough. Spread a thin layer of plum jelly on the surface and sprinkle with cinnamon. Fold dough over the brie so it's fully covered.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until croissant is golden brown. Serve with crackers, grapes or apples.

Pasta_salad_closeup
Pasta_salad_closeup

Pasta Salad

1 box Rainbow Rotini

1 whole peeled and chopped cucumber

1 small jar diced pimientos

1 c. Kraft Italian/Parmesan Dressing

¼ c. low fat Hidden Valley Ranch dressing 

1 c. reduced fat crumbled Feta Cheese

¼ c. Parmesan Cheese (shakeable)

Cook and drain noodles according to directions. Let cool slightly, then add all ingredients and chill overnight. 

Grandma's Chicken Casserole

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chicken-casserole10

1 box Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice (Cooks in 5 minutes)

1 can cream of celery soup

1 can chicken broth

1 can sliced water chestnuts: chopped

Medium to large onion; chopped

1 can french style green beans; drained

3/4 lb thick sliced deli chicken; chopped

1/2 cup mayo or miracle whip

2 cups plain cubed stuffing

Stir all ingredients together in large bowl and add to greased 13x9 casserole dish. Sprinkle lightly with plain cubed stuffing. Bake at 350 covered for 1 hour, uncovering for the last 15-20 minutes. Needs full hour to cook. 

And because it never hurts to have a signature drink....

Fruit Water

This is one of my sister's favorites. To start combine an assortment of 2-3 cups sliced fruit, such as apples, oranges, cucumber, watermelon and strawberries. Add to water pitcher and let sit refrigerated for about an hour. Then serve! Your guests will love this refreshing and pretty drink.