Deedles Dish in a Nutshell

I am a Midwestern girl from a long line of cooks who doesn't think cooking needs to be complicated. Enjoy the recipes!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve Dinner Purdy Style

Christmas truly is my favorite holiday.  It maybe used to be a favorite because of the presents but that's definitely not the case anymore.  The times when all five of us (mom, dad, Jeremy, Josh and I) are all together at the same time are becoming few and far between.  Life and miles have gotten in the way.  Christmas has become one of the few times where we can all spend some good family time together.  Every time we prepare for Christmas, my mom sends out the traditional "food" email.  What snacks, drinks, meals, etc. does everyone want to request? It isn't a Purdy gathering without food.

Here we go with another non-traditional holiday dinner for the Purdy family.  Growing up, I actually remember our Christmas Eve meal being pizza from Godfathers.  This is what we did for years.  One year, my oldest brother Jeremy complained that we weren't cooking together anymore so we started taking suggestions.  This can be tough with my family because Josh is a really picky eater.  (He's not so bad anymore but back then it was difficult to get him to try anything new. On an interesting note, he just texted me that he ate frog legs.  I think hell froze over.)  What does he suggest? BLOW-UPS! Our Christmases have never been the same.

I was really young when we started making blow-ups.  I know that we first had them at a family friends' house in Knoxville, IA and they were such a huge hit that we started making them at home.  Keep in mind that these take a lot of prep work and we actually only make them once a year...on Christmas Eve. 

Blow-ups are eaten with any taco toppings that you like so feel free to include anything I don't put on here.  I like mine kind of minimum but you could really include anything you want.  I'm going to include the recipe for the cheese dip we make as a side as well as my dad's bean dip, famously known as "Randy's Poo."  All you need to know about that nickname is that involves the Big 12 Basketball tournament in Kansas City, 4-6 college males and copious amounts of alcohol.

All right folks, here it is, creme de la creme...the famous Blow-Up!

2 loaves frozen bread dough
1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 package taco cheese
sour cream
shredded lettuce

Make sure to put the frozen bread dough in the fridge to defrost about 12 hours before you're ready to start cooking.  Keep the loaves in the plastic wrapping as well, otherwise the bread will dry out and get a crust on top and you won't be able to work with it.  Also, do not let the bread rise all the way.  It's better to work with when it is just defrosted and not risen. 

Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning according to directions.  Plug in deep fryer and heat to 400 degrees.

Butter your work space so the dough does not stick to the surface.  Slice each loaf into 10 pieces. 

Work each piece into a circle as shown below.

Next, spoon 1-2 tbsp of taco meat in the middle of each dough circle.

Press and seal in a pocket and close with two toothpicks.

Drop into hot oil.  Do not put more than 4 or 5 blow-ups in the deep fryer at once.  Watch closely and flip the blow-ups when the bottom side is a golden brown.  When both sides are golden and crispy, remove and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. 

See why they're called blow-ups? :) Remove toothpicks and put your favorite taco toppings inside.  Eat like a pita or taco.  These are definitely a finger food.

Now on to the other two staples of Christmas Eve.  You can't have a family gathering at the Purdy/Menefee house without having cheese dip and Randy's Poo.  (Sorry, I have to call it that because "bean dip" doesn't do it justice.)

Cheese Dip
1 lb ground beef
1 large Velveeta (do NOT use cheddar cheese...gross)
2 cans Rotel tomatoes and green chiles

Brown hamburger and drain excess grease.  Heat Velveeta and tomatoes and green chiles in a microwave safe bowl for about 5 minutes on 60% heat.  Stir.  Return to microwave and repeat.  Stir in ground beef.  Continue to heat and stir until the cheese is fully melted and very liquidy.  It is a pet peeve of mine and my mother's when people add other things to this recipe.  Why mess with a good thing?

Randy's Poo
1 can traditional bean dip out of a can
1 cup Pace, medium, original salsa with the yellow lid
1/4 cup chopped white or yellow onion
1/4 cup sour cream

Combine ingredients.  This has always been a huge hit at tailgates and also at my housewarming party this fall.  People who don't normally eat bean dip raved!

Grab a bag of tortilla chips and dig in to the cheese dip and Poo! Be brave and put them both right in your blow-up...who's going to stop you??

It almost pains me to post this because it's such a Purdy family classic but who am I to keep the deliciousness a secret? It is actually an honor to share this tradition and remember, it doesn't matter what you eat on Christmas Eve (it can even be Godfather's pizza, Jeremy).  All that matters is that you are with the people you love celebrating the bond you all continue to share.  Happy holidays!

Good eatin',


Quick and Easy...Sweet Potato Fry Seasoning

This is just a quick note I'm throwing on here.  I bought sweet potato fries from the store and was thinking about what I could do to jazz them up a little bit.  This little seasoning recipe that I put together was definitely a success!

Sweet Potato Fry Seasoning
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp garlic salt
pinch onion salt
pinch cayenne pepper

I fried the fries until very crispy and mixed the seasonings all together before putting it on the fries.  If you're baking, I would drizzle them with olive oil and add half the seasoning before baking and half after.  Enjoy!

Um, also take a second and look at my awesome bowl and dishes I got for Christmas! Awesome food pics to come with those for sure.

I was neck deep in a marathon of Chopped All Stars on the Food Network when I made and ate dinner.  Such a great show!

Good eatin',


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Giant Molasses Cookies

And the holiday cooking continues!!! Once again, I surprised myself with the baking skills.  My team at work was definitely excited to see these cookies walk in the door the meeting before Christmas and they did not disappoint.  Chewy, gooey, delicous-y...such a good holiday treat.

Giant Molasses Cookies
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
3/4 cup sugar (separate from above to roll cookies in prior to baking)

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and molasses.

Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a separate bowl.  Gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Fold in pecans if using.

Shape into 2 inch balls and roll in sugar.  Place 2 1/2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 400 for 16-18 minutes or until tops are cracked.  Remove to wire racks to cool.

For those of you in high altitude, I had to alter a few parts of this recipe to make sure it didn't fall apart here in the Mile High City.  Apparently, after some research, I discovered that water boils at a different tempterature in high altitude which is why baking can be a bitch.  They recommend increasing the cooking temperature and cooking for longer as well as adding a little more flour.  Here's what I did: Add 1/2 cup of flour to make it an even 5 cups.  Cook at 420 degrees and watch the bottoms carefully.  Mine ended up baking for approximately 15 minutes.  I also baked the cookies on partment paper to avoid burning the bottoms.

Here they are in all their glory! These were so soft and yummy and a hit with my family over Christmas as well.


Good eatin',


Monday, December 19, 2011

Crock Pot French Onion Soup

There may be nothing better than a good soup on a cold winter day....except being able to use your Crock Pot or slow cooker. It is one of the easiest things on earth.  I was lucky enough to get my Grandma Ruth's crock pot after she passed away so I get to think about the wonderful memories I have of her every time I pull it out.

I don't think I tried French Onion soup until I was about a senior in high school.  My mom ordered French Onion soup at Friday's and let me try.  I was hooked! The cheese...the bread...the broth...what's not to love??? I remember coming back from studying abroad in Sicily and requesting an immediate trip to Fridays.  Among several other things (honestly, I ordered about 6 different things), French Onion soup was one of the cravings I had to satisfy!!!

Crock Pot French Onion Soup
3 large yellow onions, sliced
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
4 14.5 ounce cans beef broth
(1/4 cup red wine, brandy or ale can be added as well)
Cheesy Broiled French Bread:
8 slices French bread 1 inch thick
shredded mozzarella
shredded or grated Parmesan

Mix onions and butter in a 3.5 to 6 Qt slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high 1 to 3 hours or until onions begin to brown slightly around the edges (it will depend on your crock pot).  Whisk flour, Worcestershire, sugar and pepper as well as wine, ale or sherry if included.  Stir flour mixuture and broth into onions.  Cover and cook on low heat 7 to 9 hours or until onions are very tender.  Top sliced bread with cheese and place under broiler.  When cheese is melted, remove from oven and place in bowl with soup, either on top or bottom. 

Mmmmmm, hot cheesy and delicious!!

OMG I forgot that I have not been including my TV shows on my recent posts! What a travesty.  Well, back to the important things.  I was watching a marathon of Scouted while the soup simmered in my kitchen, interspersed with Criminal Minds and Law and Order: SVU...regulars in my household!!

Good eatin',


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ultimate Comfort Food...Chicken and Dumplings

I have a confession to make...I've never actually had chicken and dumplings before.  I know, right?!!! I came across this recipe in Taste of Home's October issue and tore it out with hopes of being brave sometime this winter and attempting the recipe!!

Boy, was I glad I did just that.  I had no idea how easy and delicious chicken and dumplings could be and it is a perfect winter comfort food.  I suggest adding or adjusting the vegetables as you or your family prefer.  Go ahead and spring for all of the spices and herbs because it really makes the dish unique and excellent. 

Chicken and Dumplings
6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
3 bay leaves
5 fresh thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup frozen peas (I omitted this from my recipe bc I don't like peas)
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup minced chives

In a large saucepan, combine the first five ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.  Strain and set aside.  While broth simmers, heat chicken if needed according to directions.  Tear apart. (I just went in and used my was much easier and more fun.)

In a Dutch oven, saute carrots and celery in oil and butter until tender.  Add minced garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Stir in flour until blended; gradually add prepared broth.  Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.

Add peas, return to a boil.  Cook 3-5 minutes or until peas are tender.  Stir in chicken and cream; heat through.

For dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne in a large bowl.  In another bowl, combine buttermilk and eggs; stir into dry ingredients until just moistened.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto simmering chicken misture.  Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a dumpling comes out clean.  Garnish with chives before serving.

This is such a great meal for a cold winter evening that the whole family will enjoy.  The spice in the broth and the dumplings gives it just the extra kick it needs. The leftovers are also amazing.  Enjoy!

Good eatin',


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Spicy BBQ Chicken Pizza

Creativity is so important in the kitchen.  A lot of times, I try to look through my pantry and fridge to see what is available to me and use what I can find to make something amazing.  I had leftover gouda from the Butternut Squash Mac 'n Cheese that was posted a few weeks ago and I thought it would work great with a BBQ Chicken Pizza. 

BBQ Chicken Pizza is nothing new these days.  I remember back in the day when I was scared to try pizza outside of the box but it is now something I love (i.e. the homemade taco pizza).  I wanted to push it a little farther so I thought..."How can I make this spicy?"  The answer: add Sriracha.  It's my answer to most things. :)

Spicy BBQ Chicken Pizza
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup BBQ sauce of choice (I used Big Daddy's classic)
Appx 2 tbsp Sriracha sauce (start small and work up to taste preference)
2 pieces bacon
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup to 1 cup shredded gouda depending on preference
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
handful sliced green onion
chopped cilantro to taste
1 pizza crust

Heat oven to 400 degrees and prepare crust according to directions.  Mix Sriracha and BBQ sauce.  Baste chicken breasts with BBQ sauce using enough leftover for pizza sauce.  Bake chicken or grill until cooked thoroughly.  Chop into small pieces. 

While chicken is cooking, cook bacon to desired crispiness.  Tear gently into small pieces when cooled.

When pizza crust is ready, top with prepared spicy sauce.  Spread chicken.  Sprinkle bacon and chopped red onion.  Top with mozzarella and gouda cheeses.  Sprinkle green onion and cilantro on top.  Return to oven until cheese is melted thoroughly.

Slice, serve and enjoy this easy spin on what has become an American classic in the pizza world!

Good eatin',


Bacon and Scallion Pesto Flatbread

What am I thankful for, you ask? Holiday parties!!! Even though this time of year is hectic and crazy with the holiday shopping, weather, dinners with friends and all of the above at the same time, I love that people take time out of their lives to sit down and spend time with the people they care about. 

A holiday dinner in Longmont was the perfect place to try out a new appetizer recipe I found on  I'm a big proponent of eating while you're cooking and this "appetizer" is perfect for just that. 

Bacon and Scallion Pesto Flatbread
4 thick strips of bacon, thinly sliced
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
1 tsp capers
1/2 cup fresh parsley
Grated zest 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sour cream
1 lb frozen pizza dough, thawed, or 1 large Boboli crust

Preheat oven to 450.  Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and crispy.  Transfer to paper towels to drain; keep warm.  Add the onion slices to the drippings in the skillet; sprinkle with the sugar and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until light brown and tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Taste for seasoning.

Combine the scallions, capers and parsley in a food processor.  Add salt and pepper to taste and half of the lemon zest; pulse gently to chop and blend.  Turn the processor on and add the olive oil in a steady stream.  Transfer the pesto to a bowl; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and remaining lemon zest until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured surface into an 8x14 inch rectangle.  Roll the dough around a rolling pin and unroll it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place in the center of the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  I used a large Boboli crust.  I brush the bottom with olive oil and heat directly on oven rack until crispy.

Spread the sour cream mixture on the crust.  Dot with the onions and some of the bacon drippings from the pan; sprinkle with the bacon.  Slice into pieces and drizzle with scallion pesto.

Enjoy with friends and family!

Good eatin',


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Baked Brie

It is that time of year again! Dinner parties, work parties, holiday much to do, so little time! For an easy, delicious treat that will impress your friends, try this Baked Brie.  I got the recipe from a dear friend during Thanksgiving last year.  It was one of the many things we stuffed our faces with, but it stuck out because it was so delicious.  Your friends will think that you spent hours on this but it is actually easy and doesn't take too long. 

Baked Brie
2 tbsp grated parm (approximately)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 round Brie (about 14 oz)
1/2 package of Pepperidge Farms Pastry sheets (freezer section)

Defrost pastry sheet according to package instructions.  Heat oven to 400.  Mix basil and parmesan and set aside.  Cut Brie in half horizontally and sprinkle the basil/parm mixture evenly over the open Brie.  Place the other half on top and press down to put back together.  Roll puff pastry on floured surface.  Cut two circles out (larger than the actual Brie).  Place the Brie on the puff pastry circle and then place the other cut circle on top.  Pull the bottom circle up and over the Brie and mold the puff pastry together.  Brush the edges with water to seal the pastry together.  Make sure it is thick on the side so that the cheese doesn't leak out when baking.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Place on a wire rack for about 15-20 minutes before serving.  Serve with crackers or bread or BOTH! :)

Enjoy this decadent dish with friends and family over the holiday season!

Good eatin',