Recipes to impress your guests

pablo (2)While we often aim for simple and quick in the kitchen, every once in a while, it’s nice to bring out dishes that are both pretty and delicious. These recipes inspire us with their color, simple flavors, and top-notch presentation. Be sure to use your prettiest platters when serving.

Appetizer

Ham & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

These are a wildly popular restaurant dish. Oversized white mushrooms are usually available at the local grocery, often marked stuffing mushrooms. If not simply use more of the smaller mushrooms until the whole mixture is used up.

Ingredientsbrussels sprouts

8 large white mushrooms
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 ½ shredded cheese blend cheddar & Monterey jack
1 ½ C. Broadbent ham, chopped finely

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove stems from mushrooms, wash and place on a non-stick cookie sheet. In a large bowl, mix cheese and ham. Divide the mix between the mushrooms until are all full. Bake about 30 min. or until mushrooms are soft.

Side Dishes

Bacon Brussels Sprout Skewers

Two ingredients come together or color and design in this recipe.  These offer a completely different texture than standard steamed brussels sprouts.

Ingredients
1 lb. fresh Brussel Sprouts
1 lb. Broadbent’s peppered bacon
Skewer sticks

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. For easy cleanup, use a metal rack to elevate the skewers off your baking pan. Skewer on a Brussels Sprout then the strip of bacon, as you add on more sprouts twist the bacon weaving it around as pictured. Repeat until all sprouts and bacon are used. Roast in oven 20-25 minutes, until bacon, is slightly charred.

Herb Roasted Potatoes

These potatoes are a crowd pleaser as most everyone loves potatoes. Fresh herbs and delicate cutting create a unique look that will add a touch of restaurant quality.herb potatoes

Ingredients

1 lb. baby red potatoes
1 ½ T Olive Oil
1 T minced basil leaves
1 tsp minced garlic
1 T minced parsley leaves
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with nonstick parchment paper. Lay out potatoes and make fine slits across the potato without slicing through. In a medium bowl, combine oil, salt, pepper, and herbs stirring gently. Brush mixture over your potatoes. Roast potatoes for about 40-50 minutes until they are fork tender.

Dessert

Pineapple Whip

This is perfect for small or large gatherings as they are quick to make. Could top with cherries or any other berry if preferred. For children consider using smaller glasses for smaller portions.

Ingredients

1 can 20 oz. Crushed pineapple
1 pkg. Vanilla instant pudding
1 C. thawed whipped topping
Maraschino Cherries

Directions

In a large bowl mix pineapple and dry pudding mix well. Gently fold in the whipped topping. For elegance, distribute into glasses for individual servings. Consider a tall glass such as a highball glass. Top with an extra dollop of whipped cream and a cherry. Place in refrigerator to keep chilled until serving.

These recipes will bring elegance to any table. These are perfect for any season, and still, keep you from spending hours over the stove. For an entrée, we, of course, recommend a beautiful country ham or grilled ham steaks. Fruit and Ham are a perfect pairing. The colors will be beautiful across the table with this blend. What recipes do you turn to when trying to impress?

In Season Sweet Desserts

InSweetDesserts

Here in the south, we have several fruits that come into season during the summer. These 3 recipes utilize 3 of the most popular fruits. These recipes are also easy, as we know during summer long nights by a hot stove are the opposite of what we all have in mind. Prepare these recipes and compliment those ham steaks on the BBQ. After a salty yet savory dinner, a sweet treat is exactly what your taste buds are craving.

Watermelon Sorbet

Watermelons grow well in the South and offer a sweet yet light flavor. Adding a touch of yogurt, creates a creamy treat perfect for hot summer nights.

Ingredients
3 C. seedless watermelon cubes, 1 inch cubes frozen
½ C. vanilla yogurt

Directions

Place about half the watermelon cubes in a food process and whip until they become grainy. Then add half the yogurt to the processor and continue to whip. Remove from processor and place into a bowl. Process the other half of the ingredients and process the same. Freeze for 1-2 additional hours for a firmer consistency.

Baked Peaches

Eating fresh, ripe, sweet peaches baked takes advantage of their absolute freshness. Compliment them with cold sweet ice cream for a summer treat perfect for a decadent weeknight.

Ingredients
3 large peaches, halved pits removed
2 T salted butter
2 T light brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Layout the peach halves across the tray, put a small slice of the butter in the middle of each peach. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then sprinkle it on top of the peaches evenly. Bake 8-12 minutes. Serve immediately with a scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside.

Strawberry Cake Kabobs

These are a great dessert for outdoor parties and save on a lot of clean up. Simply choose your favorite white cake mix and prepare. This is a great recipe to get kids involved.

Ingredients
1 standard white cake prepared according to the box
2 1 lb containers of fresh strawberries
12 oz. milk chocolate chips

Directions

After preparing your white cake and allowing it to cool, cut into 1-2 inch cubes. Layer onto wooden kabob sticks strawberries and cake in a 1:1 ratio. Melt chocolate in microwave and drizzle with a spoon lightly across the skewers. Let cool completely and serve.

Share some of your favorite summertime desserts in the comments below. We can’t wait for the next farmers market.

Muffin Tin Mastery

muffintingraphic

Break out your trusty muffin tin for these perfectly portioned recipes that are quick and easy. Often during the week there is not much time for cooking. Using muffin tins allows you to cook in bulk when it’s convenient for you and enjoy home cooking during the busier days. It also allows for cute presentation and perfect portions.

Breakfast Bites

Soufflé Cups

Muffin tins create perfect portions and portability when it comes to breakfast. By combining your favorite ingredients along with eggs, you can make delicious soufflé cups. This recipe is great for family gatherings or special brunches.

Ingredients
6 sliced Broadbent Bacon, cooked and chopped
½ c. green onions chopped
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt
6 Eggs, large
4 Egg whites
1 c. low-fat milk

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine bacon, onions and pepper. Whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk and salt in a bowl. Coat your muffin tin with cooking spray (use muffin liners if you prefer). Pour eggs mixture even among the 12 cups, then top with bacon mixture. Bake until tops begin to brown around 25 minutes.

Mini-Pancakes

These mini-pancakes are perfect for small children or to take in the car. You can customize them and make them different flavors or all the same. These also freeze well after baking and can be reheated throughout the week.

Ingredients
Broadbent Pancake Mix
Water
Toppings (chocolate chips, blueberries, strawberries, etc)

Directions
Mix your pancake mix with water until you reach the desired consistency (per the package directions). Pour into your greased muffin tins and fill ½-3/4 way full, then put your desired toppings on (press them in slightly). Bake around 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

The sizes are perfect and any of your breakfast favorites can be basically be baked into muffin tins including other favorites such as oatmeal, breads and stuffed biscuits. This is a great way to use up what you have on hand, even if there isn’t enough to feed everyone in one sitting.

Lunch & Dinner Delights
Soups
Make up a big batch of your favorite soup(s) on a day when you’ve got time on your hands. Once it has cooled to room temperature ladle it into your muffin tin, then place directly in the freezer. I recommend a few hours depending on your freeze (deep freeze is usually quicker). Once they are good and frozen pop out the individual soups and store in a freezer safe bag.  Then when you’re ready to eat, pop out as many you want and heat them up in the microwave. This can be great for kids who are old enough to reheat their own foods as a simple snack, or to keep waste down. You can also always use this trick to save left overs for longer than a day or two.

*If you freeze soups with pasta in them, the pasta may break in the freezer but it won’t affect taste.

BBQ Bacon Burger Bites
Ingredients
1lb. ground beef (lean)
½ c. Broadbent Hickory Bacon, cooked & chopped
½ c. biscuit mix
1 egg
1 tsp BBQ seasoning
¼ c BBQ sauce
3 slices sharp Cheddar Cheese, quartered

Directions
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray your 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine beef, bacon, biscuit mix, eggs and BBQ seasoning. Divide it evenly among all 12 cups. Press down to create a firm connection. Bake 14-17 minutes or until the beef has been cooked to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Then brush with BBQ sauce, top with cheese. Bake a few moments longer allowing cheese to melt.

*If you wanted to freeze these simply stop once the meat is cooked, and add cheese with a touch of BBQ sauce during the reheating process.

Try these recipes to fill your freezer and keep your weeknights full of flavor. Try making your family favorites using muffin tins. I love how they create customizable portions and can let children feel more in charge. Be sure to customize recipes for your families likes and dislikes. Share below any recipes or items you know freeze well.

3 RECIPES STARRING CORN BREAD

3 Recipes Starring Corn Bread Graphic

January is a great time of year to use up all those pantry items, like corn bread mix. Corn bread is a southern staple that is often eaten alongside many comfort meals. It can often be an element that sticks the sidelines. We are sharing 3 recipes that will make corn bread a more memorable part of your dinner.

Corn Casserole

This is an easy casserole that makes a filling side dish for family gatherings. It only utilizes 5 ingredients keeping your kitchen cleaner and saving a lot of time. The ingredients are also common to the average household pantry, so you likely won’t need to make extra trips to the store.

Ingredients

1 can whole kernel Corn
1 can Creamed Corn
1 C. Sour Cream
1 C. Broadbent Cornbread mix
1 Stick of Butter (or Margarine)

Directions

Toss all 5 ingredients into a large bowl and mix until evenly blended. Put entire mixture into a greased 8 x 8 baking pan and bake for about 50 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Corn & Zucchini Casserole

This is another easy recipe that holds its own as a filling side dish but with the added benefit of Zucchini. It can be a sneaky way to feed the children an extra vegetable. These casseroles are also easy to reheat and travel well.

Ingredients

1 Stick of Butter or Margarine
1 C. Broadbent Cornbread Mix
1 Egg, large
1/3 C Milk
1 C Onion, chopped
1 can Creamed Corn
2 C. Zucchini, shredded

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl combine cornbread mix, egg and milk stirring well. Mix in onion, creamed corn and shredded Zucchini. Melt butter (can put stick in oven and let it melt while you mix the rest) pour in the bottom of an 9 x 9 baking dish, then place batter on top butter. Bake about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Taco Cornbread Casserole

This is a weeknight dish to savor. It brings together two comfort foods for a winning combination. Don’t be afraid to personalize it and let kids add whatever they normally enjoy on tacos. I great way to make this dinner recipe take less time is to cook your ground beef in bulk. I cook up 2-3 pounds of ground beef at one time and season it, then freeze it for our next night of dinners.

Ingredients

1 C Broadbent cornbread mix
3 C cooked taco seasoned meat
1 C sour cream, light
1 C Mexican cheese blend, shredded and divided
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 C shredded lettuce

Directions
Prepare cornbread mix per the package in a large bowl. Spread into a greased 8 x 8 pan.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Remove cornbread from oven and spread meat over cornbread.  Combine sour cream, 3/4 cup cheese and onion, then spread over meat mixture.  Bake for 15 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted.  Sprinkle with tomato, lettuce and remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.

These 3 recipes are an easy way to make use of that cornbread mix that usually sit and wait for Chili night. It can be very budget friendly to whip up one of the sides as a last-minute addition to a party with little prep work. If you do want to keep corn bread as a bread addition to your meal, try adding Broadbent’s peppered bacon (precooked & crumbled). They are a medley of sweet and savory together. Do you have a favorite meal that includes Corn Bread? Share in the comments below.