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10lbs of Potaoes: 2 Pizzas, 23 Twice Baked and 45 Skins

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Today’s post is going to be about potatoes. I know that I’m a dessert blog, but I cook as well and have come up with a great way to get the most out of a 10 pound bag of potatoes and I want to share it. Continue on for 3 recipes that will make 2 Baked Potato Pizzas, 23 Twice Baked Potatoes and 45 Potato Skins.

In our house we eat potatoes a lot. They’re the perfect side to most meals, but they also start to get boring after a while. Boiled, baked, mashed and repeat. I needed to switch up our potato routine. Then in came Baked Potato Pizza. We discovered it at my sisters wedding rehearsal. It was amazing, delicious and everything a potato should be.

So after we got home I put it on our Menu for the week. I did some Pinterest research to get an idea of how to put it all together and got to work. An Alfredo base, piled with potatoes, cheese, broccoli and potatoes. The first couple times it turned out okay, but I knew that it could be better. One thing that I really wanted to change was that I just threw the potato skins away. I like to try and find how to use everything when cooking and baking. So the next time that I put Baked Potato Pizza on the Menu I bought a 10lb bag and made 2 Pizzas, 23 Twice Baked Potatoes and 45 Potato Skins. Talk about getting the most out of a bag of Potatoes!

Alright, lets get to the recipes.

Baked Potato Pizza:

  • 10lb bag of potatoes
  • 2 Pizza crusts, pre-made or homemade
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Alfredo sauce, homemade or jar
  • Cheese (I used colby and cheddar)
  • Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Bacon grease
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • Heavy Cream, a couple tablespoons or so

Twice Baked Potatoes:

  • Potato Skins
  • Sour cream, to your preference
  • Heavy Cream, just enough to make it fluffy
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Potato Skins:

  • Potato Skins
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Cheese
  • Bacon, leftover from what wasn’t used on the pizza

Baked Potato Pizza Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash the potatoes and then stab each one with a fork three times. Put them into the oven and bake until they’re cooked. (Smaller ones took about 40 minutes and the bigger ones around 1 hour)
  2. While the potatoes are baking cook the bacon. There’s many ways to make bacon, but I prefer doing it on the stove top. Start with a cold pan, cut bacon pieces in half and put them into the frying pan. Flip often to cook evenly. Then keep adding more bacon until the whole package is cooked.
  3. After the bacon is done check how the smaller potatoes are doing. If they’re baked, set them on the counter to cool a bit. When they’re easier to touch cut them in half and scoop the potatoes out of the skins and put them into a very large bowl. Do the same to the big ones once they’re done.
  4. Chop up the bacon.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Every crust has different instructions. (I like to use pre-made crusts because there’s already so may steps involved that making a homemade crust would just be too much.) Before assembling the pizza, mix together the olive oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Use a pastry brush and brush it on each crust. Cook for 5 minutes.
  6. While those are cooking get started on the potato mix. There’s not really exact measuring for this because the amount of potatoes varies. So add in some bacon grease, stir, add in some heavy cream, stir and keep repeating until it becomes a bit wet. By wet I mean just enough for it to stick together a bit, but not so wet that there’s a lot of liquid in the mixture. Basically, the bacon grease and heavy cream are working as a glue so the potatoes can stick together when put onto the pizza.
  7. Now it’s time to assemble the pizzas. Spread the Alfredo sauce, then add the potato mix, cheese, bacon and broccoli. (note that not all of the potato mix will be used)
  8. Bake the pizza’s at whatever temperature the crusts instructions say. Bake it long enough for the cheese to melt and broccoli to cook.
  9. Slice it up and enjoy!

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Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe:

  1. Put the leftover potato mixture into a stand mixer bowl.
  2. Mix together, adding sour cream and heavy cream until it’s nice and fluffy.
  3. Add salt & pepper
  4. Scope out the bigger potato skins and fill them up with the mixture
  5. Continue doing that until all the mix is gone.  The rest of the skins will be used for the Potato Skins.

I made 23 Twice Baked Potatoes and froze them. When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake until they’re done. (about 20 minutes or so) Once they’re cooked I like to broil them at 400 degrees for just a minute or two. This creates a nice golden color and a bit of a crunch on top. Yum.

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Potato Skin Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Melt the stick of butter and then mix in the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Brush the inside and outside of each skin with the butter mixture. Place each one skin up on a cookie sheet
  4. Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until the outside of the skin is crispy. Then flip them over and bake the inside until they’re golden.
  5. Cool on a baking rack until completely cooled.
  6. Once they’re cool fill them with cheese and then top them off with bacon.

This made 45 potato skins and they also freeze well. When ready to make preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 10-16 minutes. I have to say that these Potato Skins are fantastic. They’re better than any that I’ve ordered from a restaurant, which says a lot! Sometimes the skins are forgotten about when making Potato Skins. Which is too bad, because the butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper add a lot to the outside layer. I really like that these are freezer-friendly. That way whenever I need some sort of food item to bring to a party they’re there. Speaking of parties, these would make a great appetizer for the Super Bowl!

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What a great way to get the most out of a 10lb bag of potatoes!  Sure, it takes an 1.5-3 hours to get it all done. But that’s two Baked Potato Pizzas, 23 Twice Baked Potatoes and 45 Potato Skins. That’s a whole lot of delicious food that can be made in an afternoon.

Plus, we’re no longer in a potato rut!

Thanks for sticking around with me as I blogged about something other than a dessert.

Mrs.Hess, out.

P.S.: Anyone count how many times potato was said in this post? A lot. I said it a whole stickin’ lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Puppy Chow (also known as Muddy Buddies)

Every week I try to have some sort of snack item in the apartment. Mostly for me because I crave foods all too often and running to the store 20x a week isn’t practical, ya know? So this week while I was scrolling through, “Easy Cookies” on Pinterest I came across Puppy Chow. I had forgotten all about this chocolate-peanut butter-powdered sugary-chex mix goodness.

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There’s a lot of Puppy Chow Recipes floating around the internet these days. I found one that barely covered the Chex cereal. It was basically the cereal with a dusting of mixture. Not really my cup of tea. I just wanted the classic Puppy Chow that has tons of chocolate, peanut butter and powdered sugar.

It had been three years since I’ve had Puppy Chow. That’s just not okay. This needed to be fixed pronto. Luckily, we were going on our weekly grocery shopping run soon.

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I found what I was looking for over at Show Me The Yummy.

Puppy Chow Recipe:

  • 1 box Rice Chex (12.8oz)
  • 1 bag chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 Cup peanut butter (or an overflowing 3/4 cup..)
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2-5 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Pour the Chex into a very large bowl.
  2. Melt the butter, peanut butter and chocolate together in the microwave. Start with 60 seconds and then stir. If the chocolate isn’t fully melted yet continue microwaving in 30 second intervals, stirring well in between until chocolate is melted.
  3. Add the vanilla to the chocolate mixture.
  4. Pour the chocolate mix over the Chex. There’s multiple ways that you can stir it in. (stirring with a spatula, mixing in a clean garbage bag are some) I have fun memories of making Puppy Chow as a kid and mixing it with my hands. So, that’s how I do it and how I’ll teach our kiddos to do it.
  5. Lastly, pour in the powdered sugar. I didn’t even measure. Instead, I just kept pouring a bit in at a time and mixing it until I had the amount of powdered sugar I wanted. (which I must admit was a lot. I really like powdered sugar.)

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There you have it, the classic Puppy Chow recipe! Or Muddy Buddies. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious. And really hard to set down once you take a piece.

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Mrs.Hess, out.

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The Silk Grasshopper & French Silk Pie

Happy 2016 Snowstorm!

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As two Minnesotans now living in Maryland, we’re pretty excited about this storm. What’s even better is that we’re getting a ton of snow without the bitter cold temperatures. That’s a win. As long as everyone stays safe, this is one exciting storm!

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Alright, onto these two recipes. They have the same base, so this recipe is a 2 for 1 deal! I found the recipe for the French Silk Pies over at The Pioneer Woman. I doubled it, which ended up making a lot of pie filling. It ended up being  a bit runnier than I wanted it to be, so the recipe I’ll be providing is altered to make it more double-recipe-friendly. 

French Silk Pie Recipe:

  • 8 oz Unsweetened Baking Chocolate, still creamy, but cooled
  • 2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 whole medium eggs, fridge temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, fridge temperature
  • 2 Pie shells, either homemade or store bought (I was in a rush, so I used store bought)
  • Bonus: A package of Grasshopper cookies.

Whipped Cream

  • 1 (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Melt the baking chocolate either over a double broiler, or in the microwave according to packaging instructions. Cool, but make sure that it hasn’t started to harden. I found that it cooled off pretty quickly, within a couple of minutes.
  2. Starting with the batter attachment, In a mixing bowl beat the room temp. butter and sugar until nice and fluffy. (1-2 min.)
  3. When the chocolate is cooled, add it into the butter and sugar mixture. Then add the 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
  4. Switch the mixer attachment to the whisk. Then turn the mixer to a medium speed. Add 1 cold egg at a time, making sure to leave 5 minutes apart between each egg. This is really important! The cold egg helps smooth out the sugar and makes the pie nice and smooth. (note that the mixture will remain grainy for a while, but don’t stress! It will become smooth.)
  5. After all the eggs are in slowly add in the heavy cream. Mix on high to add a firm texture to the mix.
  6. Pour into a pie crust. I used Keebler chocolate and regular graham cracker shells. I actually had enough mixture for three pies, but only two crusts. (bonus recipe below)
  7. Set pies to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours before decorating.

For the Whipped Cream mix together the cream cheese and sugar. Next, add the vanilla in. Then set the bowl and whisk attachment into the fridge for a couple minutes. Lastly, slowly pour in the heavy cream while on medium, scrape down the sides and then mix on high until it peaks.

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Bonus recipe time! So I had two pie crusts and enough filling for three. What was I to do? There was no I was going to waste any of the filling. So I went over to the pantry and found a bag of Grasshopper cookies. 

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So I whipped up the Whipped Cream (corny baker puns, anyone?), crushed half a package of Grasshopper cookies and mixed it all together in a Corningware dish. It was SO good. I now happily call this creation The Silk Grasshopper. We brought it, along with one of the French Silk Pies, to a Board Game party on MLK day.  It’s always  awesome to get a second dessert that was effortless to make out of one recipe. So when you’re getting ready to make French Silk Pie I would highly suggest having Grasshopper cookies on hand. Plus they were both a huge hit! (Quick note that I only used some of the Whipped Cream in this. Make sure to save enough to decorate the pies with.)

Onto decorating the French Silk Pies! I chose to pipe the whipped cream onto the pies, but you can decorate it anyway that you wish. I’ve become very fond of making chocolate curls. They’re effortless, yet look so fancy. 

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There’s a lot of ways to make chocolate curls, but I’ve found that the easiest way is to put the chocolate bar on a microwave safe plate and heat it just enough to soften it up slightly. (5-30 sec.) Then flip the chocolate bar over, take a vegetable peeler and start curling. It takes a bit of practice, but after getting the feeling of it they become easier to do and prettier. Also, let the curl sit for a couple of seconds before moving it. This will help make the curl more stable so it won’t crack when touched.

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So there we have it, a recipe that makes 2 French Silk Pies & The Silk Grasshopper. Two absolutely delicious desserts with just one base recipe! I’d consider that a dessert win.

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Stay safe out there folks! For us, being snowed in gives us a much needed time of relaxing inside, getting some projects done and to just enjoy the snow as it peacefully comes down. Oh, and make sure to set a couple bowls out to collect snow for some Snow Ice cream!

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Mrs.Hess, out.

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles. Pinterest made me believe that they would be easy to make, but they ended up being quite the labor of love. I decided to double the recipe, which made 112 truffles! So, maybe it was my ambition that made them take longer than anticipated.

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I used this recipe for the truffles. I saw a lot of recipes that used condensed milk, but I didn’t have any on hand so I went for a recipe that called for water instead. This caused the texture to change quite a bit if they were left out of the fridge for too long. Personally, I prefer a creamy truffle so this was a problem for me. However, they did hold a classic truffle texture if they were eaten right of the fridge or freezer.

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I forgot to take a picture of the inside during the food shoot. Forgive me for the poor quality photo, but they were tasty! I have a bag in the freezer with the “oopsie” ones. They’re the perfect size to satisfy a sweet tooth craving.

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Well that’s it for now. Hope everyone is enjoying the rest of their summers!

Mrs.Hess, out.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie

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This Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie from Joanne over at Eats Well With Others is so stinkin’ good.

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Tomorrow we’re going to a church picnic, which is what I made this pie for. However, I knew that I couldn’t wait until then to dig into it.

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So I made a small pie for Sam and I. It was a very very smart decision.  I had a bite of it about ten minutes ago and the tangy sweetness that’s looming on my taste buds is begging me to go back for more. I really wish I hadn’t told Sam that he could finish that piece..

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My wonderful mother-in-law sent us 5.5 lbs of Rhubarb from her garden a week ago. Rhubarb is a pretty special vegetable in the Hess family and it sort of feels like she passed on the Hess Rhubarb Baton when she sent it to us. I absolutely love how food can bring people together by memories and traditions.

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On that thought, this pie is just full of hand picked love. About a month ago Sam and I went Strawberry picking for the first time together and it was so much fun.

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Anywho, what ever you have planned this summer make sure to pencil in making this Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie. I definitely plan on making this a summer tradition for us.

Oh! A couple Sunday’s ago we came across a little Farmer’s Stand and Sam picked me up a bouquet of my favorite flowers. I love my husband!

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Mrs.Hess, out.

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Peanut Butter Cookies Drizzled with Chocolate & Peanut Butter

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How do you make a simple Peanut Butter Cookie better with little effort?

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By melting some chocolate and peanut butter and drizzling it over them. Really, it’s that simple and oh so creamy and delicious.

Let’s get right to the recipe:

Oven Temperature 350 degrees.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature.

1 cup peanut butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

For Drizzles:

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 bar milk or dark chocolate

First, cream the butter and peanut butter together until creamy. Then mix in the sugars until the mixture turns fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix well.

Second, mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and then add it to the mixture until blended, making sure to not over beat it.

Third, roll into 1 tsp balls and then roll them into sugar. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Pull them out when they just begin to turn color on the edges. They continue to cook on the cooling rack, so make sure to move them onto the cooling rack not later than 1 minute after removing them from the oven.

As the cookies are cooling start to melt the chocolate and then use another pot to melt the peanut butter. I use the double broiler method.

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Pour each of them into separate bags and clip a tiny corner off.

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And then just drizzle away, starting with the chocolate first.

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Within 1-1.5 hours you can have a couple dozen of these delicious and beautiful cookies ready to take to a Potluck or BBQ.I hope that you, your friends and family enjoy them!

Mrs.Hess, out.

Cannoli Cake.

Well, it sure has been a while! I’ve got quite a few desserts to post, but I’m going to begin with the most resent cake that I made for a friends baby shower: A Cannoli Cake!

  

  
I had been dreaming of the design immediatley after being asked to make a Cannoli Cake for my friend’s baby shower.

  
Do I make a cheesecake with ribbons of Cannoli filling and then wrap it with Cannolis? (One day I’ll do that.) 

Do I make a cake and wrap it with a whimsical chocolate lace topped with a tower of Cannolis? (A little too dramatic.)

So I settled on a design that would showcase these beautiful homemade Cannolis. Which, by the way, were made during a fun day of baking with two friends. 

  
This cake took a lot of love, time, patience and steps. Because of that I won’t be adding a list of steps or ingredients. 

  
I did, however, have some mishaps along the way. Like tiredly deciding that pouring milk chocolate on top of dark chocolate was a good idea. Instead of being a silky combination of milk and dark chocolate running together down the cake it turned into how Sam described as, “Poop.” Which he continued with, “If you put a baby topper on it it would be perfect for a baby shower.” That would have been a much better joke if I hadn’t been on the kitchen floor crying.

Sam did talk me out of my melted state and I put the cake into the fridge to cool as Sam amazingly brought me to the grocery store to buy more dark chocolate. When we returned home I just pulled all of the chocolate off and refrosted it.

  
A blank space baby! (Taylor Swift anybody?)

I’m only sort of sorry for that last sentence.

  
Well that’s it for this cake. I loved making it to celebrate my friend and the welcoming of her critter! Congratulations Lysney and Matt. 

Mrs.Hess, out.