Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes aren’t traditionally found on a Chamorro menu, but there are times when my family craves something other than rice with a meal.

We like mashed potatoes–GARLIC mashed potatoes, that is–with the “classics” like fried or baked chicken, baked turkey, ham steaks, and meatloaf.  If it’s prepared right, you don’t even need gravy.  Oh, I just cringed–me, who LOVES to drown my food in lots and lots of gravy!  Well, my mashed potatoes are delicious with our without gravy.  It’s light, creamy, and garlicky…it’s just plain YUMMY!

I made this with russet potatoes, but it’s also fantastic with red potatoes (leave some of the skin on if you use red potatoes).

Give my mashed potatoes a try.  It’ll go great with your next meal. 🙂

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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Ingredients:

  • 4 medium russet or baking potatoes
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free half and half
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.  Wash and peel the potatoes.  Cut into evenly sized pieces.

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2.  Place the potatoes into a medium sized pot then cover with cold water.  I also salt the water, about a teaspoon of salt will do.  Bring the water to a boil, keeping the pot uncovered.

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3.  When the potatoes are done, turn off the heat and pour out the water.  Keep the potatoes in the pot.  Why dirty another bowl?  Everything gets mixed in the same pot. 🙂

Slice the butter into small pieces then add it to the pot of potatoes.  Stir gently; the heat from the pot and potatoes will melt the butter.

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4.  Add the garlic powder and cheese to the pot; stir to combine.

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5.  Place the half and half in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl.  Heat for about 90 seconds.  Pour the hot liquid into the pot of potatoes.  This may appear to be too much liquid, but trust me…it’s just the right amount.

In case you’re wondering, those green flecks in the photo below are dried parsley (I used garlic powder with dried parsley in it). 😉

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6.  Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes.  Mash only to the point when you don’t have any large chunks of potatoes anymore.  A few small chunks are okay.

This is IMPORTANT:  DO NOT over mash, and by all means, DO NOT use a hand mixer to mix your potatoes.  Over-mixing or over-mashing potatoes turns the whole thing into a sticky, gummy mess.  If you stop mashing–as I stated above–when there aren’t anymore large chunks, I guarantee you’ll have light, fluffy, tasty mashed potatoes your family will love.

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7.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir (no more mashing), then taste again.  Adjust seasonings if required.

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Serve and ENJOY!

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Fudge Brownie Pizza

Brownies, Sweetened Pineapple Cream Cheese, Bananas, Strawberries, and Chocolate Sauce…need I say more? 😀

This is a delicious dessert pizza that’s sure to be a hit with your friends and family.  It’s so good that one of my daughters asked to have this as her birthday “cake” one year.

You can vary this recipe by adding your favorite toppings.  Sometimes I add chopped peanuts or almonds.  You can also try sprinkling peanut butter or toffee chips on top, or using caramel sauce instead of chocolate (or use BOTH!).  The possibilities are virtually endless.  Come up with your own spin on this recipe, or make it as directed below–it’s so delicious no matter what you add to it.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll absolutely LOVE it! 😀

Fudge Brownie Pizza

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Ingredients:

  • 1 box triple chocolate brownie mix
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained and squeezed (squeeze out as much juice as you can)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Fresh strawberry slices, as much as you like
  • 2 small ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Directions:

1.  Mix the brownie batter according to package directions.  Spread the batter onto a small pizza pan.  Bake for 15 minutes for a very moist, fudge-like brownie or 20 minutes for a less-moist, cake-like brownie.  Set aside to cool completely.

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2.  Place the cream cheese into a small mixing bowl…

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…then add the sugar…

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…and crushed pineapple.

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3.  Use a hand mixer to mix the ingredients together.

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Mix until well combined and the mixture is creamy.

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4.  Scoop the mixture onto the cooled brownie pizza.

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Spread the mixture evenly over the entire pizza.

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5.  Place the sliced fruit over the pineapple-cream cheese mixture.

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6.  Place the chocolate chips and milk or cream into a small microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir until smooth and creamy.

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7.  Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the pizza.

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8.  Cut into pieces, serve, and ENJOY! 😀

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Corn Soup

Chicken corn soup is a classic dish on Guam.  It’s made many different ways, from cutting corn kernels off fresh ears of corn to using canned or frozen corn.

As with most recipes nowadays, you can find fresh ingredients right in the freezer section of your grocery store–ingredients frozen right at the peak of ripeness so that we can enjoy them year round.

My version of chicken corn soup is relatively quick and easy to make.  On a side note, I have an even simpler version of corn soup that I’ll share soon.  In fact, it’s so super-simple that I call it “Cheater Corn Soup”.  Come back soon for that one. 😉

Cook a pot of my chicken corn soup.  It’s perfect when you’re craving comfort food, or if you want something to warm up your insides on a cold, blustery day.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

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Fresh Salmon Kelaguen

Kelaguen in Chamorro describes a dish that’s prepared by mixing the main ingredient (usually chicken, beef, deer, or seafood) with lemon or lime juice, onions, salt, and hot pepper.  Chicken kelaguen is usually prepared with cooked (grilled, broiled or boiled) chicken.  The other types of kelaguen–beef, deer, shrimp, and various types of fish–are most often prepared raw, with the meat or seafood getting cooked with the addition of an acid, usually lemon or lime juice.

Kelaguen is a staple dish at Chamorro parties.  Sometimes, especially on Guam, an entire table is devoted to several types of kelaguen.

Salmon kelaguen is a favorite in our house.  I know, I know…I’ve said a lot of the dishes I make are favorites.  But really…this one is a REAL favorite (after shrimp kelaguen, that is). 😉

I prefer fresh salmon with this recipe.  If you’re in a pinch, canned salmon kelaguen is also tasty, but I still prefer fresh salmon any day.

Give my recipe a try.  If you like sushi, ceviche, or any type of kelaguen, then I know you’ll like this. 😀

Fresh Salmon Kelaguen 

Salmon Kelaguen - Annie's

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh salmon (red salmon, preferably)
  • 4 stalks green onions, sliced
  • The juice of 5-6 limes, more or less, to taste (or you can use lemon powder, mixed with a little bit of water)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, diced
  • Hot pepper, optional

Directions:

1.  Rinse the salmon filet.  Pull out any salmon bones.  Remove the skin, or leave it on if you prefer.  I like the skin removed for kelaguen.

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2.  Cut the salmon into small pieces.

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3.  Thinly slice the green onions.

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4.  Mix the salmon and green onions together in a small bowl.

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5.  Squeeze about 1 cup of lime juice over the salmon and onions.  Sprinkle salt over the mixture; start with about 1 teaspoon.  Stir gently to combine all the ingredients and to dissolve the salt into the lime juice.  Add more or less lime juice and/or salt, to taste.

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6.  Stir in the diced tomatoes.  Optional:  Add hot pepper, as much as you like.  Serve with hot rice or titiyas.  ENJOY!

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Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

One our favorite appetizers when we eat out are crab-stuffed mushrooms.  Tender mushrooms, sweet crab meat, and melted cheese are sure to make these tasty morsels a hit at your dinner table.  With my easy recipe, you don’t have to wait until you eat out to enjoy them — now you can make these in your very own kitchen!

Don’t skimp on the crab meat and use that stringy imitation stuff.  Yes, I know real crab meat is pricey, but it’s worth it.  Trust me!  While imitation crab meat will do when you make sushi, you’ll do these stuffed mushrooms a great injustice if you don’t use the real thing.

Funny story…we made these for our appetizer for dinner tonight.  As my husband was popping a stuffed mushroom into his mouth, my daughter scolded him, stating that the mushrooms were a SIDE DISH, to be eaten with our meal.  “I thought they were appetizers!” exclaimed my husband.  “No…mushrooms are vegetables, and we’re having vegetables with our dinner” my daughter said, matter-of-factly.  Hahaha!  I love my kids! 😀

Give my recipe a try.  I KNOW you’ll LOVE it. 🙂

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I like using Best Foods or Hellman’s)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 stalks green onions, sliced
  • 15-20 fresh white mushrooms, more or less, depending on the size

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Directions:

1.  Place the crab meat in a small mixing bowl.  Pick out any stray crab shells.

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2.  Add the mayonnaise to the bowl…

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…and the Parmesan cheese…

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…and the black pepper…

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…and the garlic powder…

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…and the green onions.

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3.  Stir to combine all the ingredients.  At this stage, this is FANTASTIC as-is, as a dip or spread for crackers.  If you want to use it as a dip, place it into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, or just long enough to warm it and to get some of the cheese to melt.  Don’t microwave it too long or the mayo will break down and your mixture will be very oily.

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4.  Pull off the stems of each mushroom.  If the mushrooms are dirty, wipe them GENTLY with a paper towel.  DO NOT rinse the mushrooms in water–the mushrooms will soak up the water and become almost slimy (yuck!).  Trust me–a paper towel is all you need to clean these babies.

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5.  Stuff each mushroom cap with the crab mixture.  It’s okay to be generous.  You’ll have more than enough filling even if you overstuff the mushrooms.

This photo is just for comparison sake.  We bought rather large mushrooms at COSTCO. This shows one of the smaller mushrooms…it’s larger than a lime!

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6.  Place each stuffed mushroom onto a baking pan.  Top each mushroom with more grated Parmesan cheese.

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7.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (for smaller mushrooms) and up to 30 minutes for the larger mushrooms.  These were rather large mushrooms, so 30 minutes was about right.  Bake until the cheese and mushrooms are nicely browned.

Note:  There is NO NEED to add a drizzle of butter over the mushrooms prior to baking.  The mushrooms brown up quite nicely on their own without the added fat.  AND I’m sure you DO NOT want these beauties to swim in a pool of melted fat, do you?  No, no you don’t.

The liquid you see in the pan is the natural water from the mushrooms.  After you take the tray out of the oven, remove the mushrooms to a serving dish so they don’t sit in this liquid.

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Ahhhh….don’t you wish you had some of these delicious Crab Stuffed Mushrooms right now?  What are you waiting for?  Bake up a batch TODAY! 😀

ENJOY!

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