Posts Tagged ‘side dish’

Bloomin’ Loaded Baked Potatoes

Your boring baked potato just got all kinds of sexy with this Bloomin’ Loaded Baked Potatoes recipe!  Crispy skinned potato wedges all covered in melty cheese and crispy bacon.  Yeah, life just got a whole lot tastier!

For all of you newbies that found your way recently to the TKW Family, WELCOME!  Now there are a few things you need to know about me and my personality.  The way I write my posts and describe my recipes is I envision you’re sitting with me in my kitchen either watching me cook/bake or you’re helping me.  We’re chatting and laughing like we’ve been friends for decades – like the kind of friends who don’t judge you if you wear your sweats pants on inside out, your hair is a hot mess or if you trip will laugh til they cry all the while helping you up. When I write I open up my home and life as I want you guys to relate to me and to feel like you’re with me as I’m cooking or doing something. You feel at home here, even if you’re half way across the world, you still feel like family.

Something else you need to know about me – my husband is Mr. Fantabulous who has the metabolism of 967 people.  No seriously it’s unreal. I, on the other hand, have a negative metabolism (if there’s such a thing) meaning I don’t even have to eat food to gain jiggle.  I’m obsessed with pigs but I love bacon.  My logic is simply this – bacon is made from ugly pigs, not the uber cutsie ones that are dressed up.  I want a mini teacup pig, a cat and a dog but since our house is still being remodeled (9+ years now – we’re doing it ourselves) it’s not safe to have pets. I loathe anything cherries – I mean we’re talking not even cherry lip gloss. Pizza is my all time favorite food and my favorite veggie is the potato.   Thus this recipe… an ode to the glorious spud.

I’m sure at some point in your lives you’ve had some facet of a “Bloomin’ Onion” either from Outback Steakhouse or some other restaurant.  And even if you haven’t, you’ve had to have heard of them. Right? So these bloomin’ onions were cut in a way that, when batter dipped and deep fried would ‘bloom’ in the hot oil thus making the onion to look like a blooming flower.
These potatoes will dress up any dish. Turn a bland tater into something mouth watering!

Grilled Italian Salad and Pizza = Perfection!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RealTasteForRealLife #CollectiveBias

So anyone who knows me knows that pizza is the greatest thing in the world to me.  I mean it even trumps bacon and to me #baconislove but there is just something purely magical about pizza. It’s the perfect food for me.  It’s that one food that everyone asks “If you were trapped on a deserted island and could only have one food for the rest of your life what would it be?”  It’s always been the same answer for the past 25+ years… pizza.  Don’t care what’s on it, don’t care if it’s hot or room temp – heck I love it straight out of the fridge cold.  I just puffy heart pizza.

When the folks from Freschetta asked me to come up with great accompaniment to go with their pizza I went with something I’ve been making gosh, 15 years or so. Now their pizza by itself but I always feel that when you have pizza as a meal, you need something with it (other than a drink). You need a side dish.  Now sure I could have gone with wings but that’s pretty standard.  You’re probably going to say “but Lor, you’re making a salad, what’s so different with that?”  Well I’ll tell you guys – it’s not your typical salad.  First it’s grilled.  Yes, grilled.  Next I’m taking some of the same toppings that are on the pizza and using those also as an accompaniment to the pizza plus a few other items.
Grilled Italian Salad Collage


Your pizza deserves something equally as awesome on the side! This salad is PERFECT!

Perfect Pressure Cooker Wild Grain Rice

For years rice was something I just simply hated.  Mom only ever made the white stuff which always, ALWAYS was either chewy or gummy and BLAND.  So I hated it. Yes I tried adding salt, pepper and even butter to hers but that was just one thing she simply couldn’t master – kinda like me with a true New York cheesecake.  I can make absolutely beautiful ones but the taste – nope, not right.  Even when I use Mama Fantabulous’ recipe for hers which is heavenly (and she’s from New York as well), I just fail at it every single time. Anyway about 15 years ago or so I made brown rice and OMG it was incredible. I mean so flavorful and just perfect.  Now the trick to making amazing flavored rice I’ll share in a bit but after that day I decided to explore more with various types of rice.  Anyway I always made my rice on the stove but I found as I started to get into wild grains and so forth that it took upwards of an hour to make.  I don’t have time for that!  The box says ‘minute’ so it should take a few minutes… not an hour.  LOL  But then along came my dear friend, the Pressure Cooker!!! I mean why not, right?!

pressure cooker wild grain rice6

Out came my pressure cooker and in went the first batch…
You’ll never make rice any other way once you make it in a pressure cooker!

Buttery Oven Roasted Loaded Mashed Potatoes

So if you recall back when I shared with you how to make perfect homemade potato skins I promised to share with you some ways to use up the tater filling (don’t worry, I’ll share with a proper stuffed potato skins recipe soon).  I had every intention in making something elaborate and fancy with it extra potato centers but honestly when I smelled those warm potatoes and saw how light and fluffy they looked I wanted mashed potatoes.  It was like I was craving them like a pregnant lady craves foot long hot dogs with pickles at 3am (my Mom ate that for 3 months straight).  Before you even ask, no I’m not pregnant either.

Potatoes are one of my all time favorite veggies.  Maybe it’s because it’s one of those things Mom always made – it’s a comfort food, it’s super inexpensive and can feed a crowd.  It keeps you satiated for hours and just is.. it’s just um… I don’t know, I’m at a loss for words.  Mashed taters just rock.  LOL

Roasted Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Now working with roasted potato filling is really different than regular boiled potatoes.  One, the texture is completely different. Second, is the taste.  The potatoes have that true roasted baked potato taste.  The texture of the potatoes are flakier, drier, stiffer but more richer (if that makes sense).  They have such a great depth of flavor.

Elevate your mashed potatoes to something more robust!

Baked Creamy Corn Casserole

This dish is one my Mom didn’t make often as I can only recall it a few times her making it but when she did make it I went nuts over it.  Now her recipe was pretty basic and it didn’t call for heavy cream – she used condensed milk and onions.  Now I’ve grown to appreciate them and even love them in some dishes but not in this.  No, not in this. Well due to her not making it that often I honestly forgot about it. It wasn’t until a month or so ago I saw on Pinterest something similar to what Mom used to make by Chef-In-Training (love her site btw!) Immediately all those childhood memories came back and I had to make it. I looked through my old family recipes and found Mom’s and went to town.  The only real difference between the two was one used all milk and the other used condensed milk. This type of casserole is pretty universal and standard – 2 eggs, 1 cup liquid, flour to make the slurry and butter.  The change-up comes with the add-ins meaning corn, seasoning, cheese, crispy bacon and so forth.  The base recipe is one to keep in your recipe files as you can go nuts with it on the variations you can make with it. Baked Creamy Corn Casserole4 Since I wanted that creamy texture I opted for half cream and half milk though you could most certainly go with half and half.  I don’t like it with just milk as it doesn’t quite have that creamy consistency I prefer in my souffle-type-casseroles. Go grab a fork, I’ll share!

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