Sunday, October 28, 2012

Crock Pot mashed potatoes

Who knew you could make mashed potatoes in a slow cooker. I didn't. But then I saw a recipe on Pinterest, tried it and may never make mashed potatoes the traditional way again.


5 Pounds of Russet Potatoes
1 garlic clove minced
14.5-oz. can chicken broth
1/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes chunks
6-oz. container cup plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup milk, warmed
2 ounces of light cream cheese

Chop potatoes into 1-inch cubes or smaller. (I don't peel mine, but I'm weird like that, some people may prefer to).

Place potatoes, chicken broth and butter into the slow cooker. Cover, and cook on high for about 4 hours. (If you're around, you can turn it to low after the first 2-3 hours).

Stir potatoes. This should make them fall apart as if mashed. Add the other ingredients, stir som more and enjoy!

Famous brownies

These brownies really are famous, but their fame has absolutely nothing to do with me. I'm just copy-catting the recipe.

A woman in Great Falls frequently makes these brownies and gives them to all kinds of different causes. She's dropped them off at the Tribune before. Once I was offered some at the police station (I was there for work) and they were even served during the 100-mile bike ride I did over the summer. Else where in the world, these might be known as mint brownies or perhaps grasshopper brownies. Here in Great Falls, they're known as so-and-so brownies. (I'll leave her name out of it, but she's a very nice woman who makes delicious brownies).

We've published her recipe many times in the Tribune. I've made a similar recipe before, but I wanted to try the true so-and-so brownies. I didn't stick to the recipe entirely, since I made them gluten-free, but I they turned out well sans gluten.


1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
16-ounce can chocolate syrup
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
Combine sugar and butter. Add eggs and mix well. Add flour, salt, syrup, vanilla and nuts. Mix until combined. Bake in greased and floured 9- by 13-inch pan at 350° for 30 minutes. Do not overbake more than two or three extra minutes. Allow brownies to cool completely. Frost, and then glaze.
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 or 3 drops green food coloring
2 tbsp. milk
Combine sugar, butter, milk, peppermint extract and food coloring. Frost cooled brownies.
1 cup chocolate chips
6 tbsp. butter
Melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat. Let cool slightly, and spread over cooled, frosted brownies.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It must be fall

I tried to keep up with this blog over the summer, but somehow I just never found time to update it.

I was still cooking, and maybe at some point I'll find the time to post some of those recipes. But rather than trying to play catchup, I'll just start where I am now.

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the changing colors, the crisp air and I especially love fall food.

Today I baked three pie pumpkins for my first attempt at making my own pumpkin puree. I have big plans for my pumpkin puree, including curry, soup and perhaps a breakfast dish. In fact I'm planning to write a food page article for the Tribune about my pumpkin experiments.

Roasted pumpkin seeds

I started playing with pumpkin early. I needed to bring dessert to a dinner party and I hadn't yet made my puree, so I bought some and tried a pumpkin dump cake. Dump cake is my all time favorite camping dutch oven dish. Dump cake really can only be made in a dutch oven (by dumping a can of pie filling, a bag of cake mix and soda or butter over the top and baking it in the fire). So I'm calling this recipe pumpkin cobbler. (See below).

The recipe calls for a small can of pumpkin, but I could only find large ones, so I saved half and used it today to make pumpkin pie filling. (I make it without the crust and cut back on sugar, so it's almost a vegetable dish that way, right?)

That put me in the mood for cranberries, which I happened to have in the freezer, saved from last winter in case I was desperate for cranberries at some point over the summer. (I just followed the recipe on the bag).

Pumpkin Cobbler

(Found on Pinterest and adapted from The Picky Apple)


1 box yellow cake mix (I used gluten free)
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of 9-by-13-inch pan.

Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour mixture into greased pan.

Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture.  Slice butter over cake mix. Bake 50-55 minutes.