Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Cheesy Potato Bar & Easy Pumpkin Molasses Beans
I'm not much of a chips person. Never have been. I am more of a potato person. My family loves chips, so sometimes I serve nachos. But I would much rather have my refried beans on top of chopped romaine lettuce. Not because I know it's healthier, but because I really am not a big chips eater.
I love a good potato. Never get tired of them. Baked, steamed, boiled, sauteed, there are so many ways to eat a potato.
I got caught up in making a fancier version of apple crisp yesterday, and realizing I didn't have a lot of energy left to make dinner, I decided to throw some potatoes in the oven.
They could bake, while I finished the apple crisp.
I am so glad I don't have to rely on dairy cheese to please family and friends. Thank you, basic cheese sauce.
That everyone seems to just love.
I was gonna' make a fancy pumpkin molasses baked beans recipe. There was too much going on. So I opened a can of organic baked beans, instead. Threw in some pumpkin to make it festive. Adjusted the seasonings to taste.
My pictures aren't fancy today.
You know those days where everything around dinner seems to be chaos? Where everyone's needs are suddenly voiced, and there are a million things that need to be taken care of, all at once?
Well, last night was one of those nights. It was busy, but I loved it. My sister loved it. We grew up in a family of seven kids, so a little bitty chaos kinda' feels like home.
Needless to say I was lucky to get a picture. At all. Mom world.
I served up some potatoes for my kids, and poured cheese sauce on top. After fixing up my own plate I looked up. I couldn't believe it.
Their potatoes with cheese had been completely devoured. I had to smile, albeit an inward smile so they couldn't see that I was happy. Children are always suspicious if Mom is happy that they ate something.
It must be healthy.
For the Baked Potato Bar, you will need:
2-3 baked potatoes for each person (I baked about 12 potatoes, but I wish I had baked more. We are pretty good at eating them for leftovers.)
1 Recipe Basic Cheese Sauce
Steamed vegetable, some good options are (pick your favorite(s)):
Tofu Sour Cream
Green onions, chopped
Red pepper flakes, if you like it hot
For the Easy Pumpkin Molasses Baked Beans:
1 15 oz can of organic baked beans (check to make sure it is vegan)
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
Heat on the stove and mix together well. Serve hot.
A trick I learned with baking potatoes.
I used to buy those little pre-cut foil pieces, until I ran out. I didn't use them enough, so I didn't want to buy them again.
I do not like tearing foil. I do not like wasting excess foil. Maybe that's just me.
If you take a large piece of foil, and fold it into fourths, it creates a crease.
Tear along that crease and it will tear evenly. Ta-da! No wasted foil, and perfectly shaped little foil squares.
Wrap your potatoes in the foil squares, and place directly on the middle oven rack. Bake for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees. I used gold potatoes. If they are a larger kind of potatoes, like russet, they may need to bake for longer.
I thought I would go ahead and add the Basic Cheese Sauce recipe here, so you wouldn't have to go to other pages to get it.
A potato bar is another great way to use it.
Simple Cheddar Cheese Sauce
From Neva Brackett's, "Seven Secrets Cookbook."
Note From Ashlee: I've had quite a few taste testers try this cheese sauce. Family and friends have all stated that it tastes exactly like the dairy nacho cheese sauce. Or better. It's ALWAYS been gobbled up. Sometimes I have to go back and make a second batch. Amber has incorporated it into her home, and met with great success. Her kids STILL don't know it's dairy free.
If you follow the directions EXACTLY, you will find yourself with a really good cheese sauce. Best for Mexican types of dishes, but also good on kids' pizza.
1 cup raw cashew nuts
2 cups water
1/2 large or 1 small red bell pepper, or 1/4 cup canned pimentos or roasted red peppers (I ALWAYS use the jarred, roasted red bell peppers, also called pimentos.)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 tablespoons food yeast flakes (nutritional yeast)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Blend smooth (about 2 minutes) and then bring to a boil, stirring until thick. Use for pizza, lasagna, burritos, etc.
Lite Cheese Option: Use only 1/2 cup cashew nuts plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
*Makes 3 Cups*
Remember how we kept trying to get a decent appraisal on our house so we could buy the old cottage with 7 acres across the street? We switched banks, and got a great appraisal. We close with the bank on Friday.
Paul came home from work yesterday and showed me a typed note that had been fixed to the cottage gate.
It was from an "area scout." She wrote that they are filming a movie with Ed Harris and Eva Longoria, and that our cottage was the perfect location. Left her number, and asked that the owner of the cottage would please call her.
So Paul called her. $1,000 dollars a day, they want to give us. To use the property for five days.
I am not even kidding. No joke.