Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Before my family got too into our New Year's Eve celebrations, I wanted to take a second to wish all of you a Happy New Year!

It has been so fun meeting other people who love to cook and experiment with food as much as I do.

I wish for you a 2009 full of new recipes, succesful baking, no additional pounds for all of our efforts and always friends and family around our tables because that is the reason why we all cook to begin with!

Happy New Year!




Here is the appetizer my family is munching on right now while waiting for our New Year's Supper to be ready:

Spicy Shrimp Dip

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled, and deveined
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
4 scallions (green onion), chopped fine
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tbsp. Tony's Creole Seasoning
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Directions:
Boil peeled and deveined shrimp just until cooked. Chop into small pieces. Fold shrimp, scallions, jalapenos, garlic, seasoning and lemon juice into softened cream cheese. Let mixture stand overnight for flavors to blend. Serve with your choice of crackers.

Non-Alcoholic New Year's Drinks

Note: Ring in the New Year the non-alcoholic way! No designated driver needed.

Non-Alcoholic White Sandria

Ingredients:
4 cups white grape juice
1 cup pink grapefruit juice
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 2 litre Sprite

Directions
Mix together grape juice, grapefruit juice and lime juice in a pitcher. Just before serving adding Sprite and garnish with pink grapefruit slices.

The Shirley Temple

Ingredients:
3 ounces of Sprite
3 ounces of ginger ale
splash of grenadine
ice

Directions:
Mix Sprite, ginger ale, a splash of grenadine and ice in a glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Cosmopolitan

Ingredients:
4 ounces orange juice
1 shot of cranberry juice
1/2 ounce pomegranate juice
2 drops of vanilla extract
1/2 ounce sparkling water with ice
wedge of lime

Directions:
Mix orange juice, one shot of cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, vanilla extract, half an ounce of sparkling water with ice. Squeeze a wedge of lime into the drink and use it to garnish the glass.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Black Eye Pea Soup

Note: Not eating black eye peas on New Year's day is a no-no! Getting my boys to eat them is sometimes impossible. Maybe this soup I found at Blessed with Grace will be the key!

Black Eyed Pea Soup

Ingredients:
1 box Velveeta
1 pound browned ground beef ( I usually also cook a chopped onion with the meat for added flavor)
2 cans of black eyed peas
1 can pinto beans
1 can rotel
1 can stewed/diced tomotoes

Directions:
Put all in large pot and cook until cheese is melted. Don't forget to make some cornbread to add to this meal. We like cheap and easy. Jiffy cornbread is a favorite for us!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Favorite Strawberry Pretzel Salad



Note: Having this salad in my refrigerator is dangerous for me. I can eat this salad for breakfast, lunch and supper and nothing else. It is a very pretty color red which makes it perfect for Christmas (or Valentine's Day or 4th of July!). To me, it is perfect anytime.

My Favorite Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Ingredients:
2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix
2 cups boiling water
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple (Optional – I usually leave these out!!!)
Whipped topping or whipped cream, to garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled. In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving time. To serve, cut slices and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.

I hope that you will Tempt My Tummy Tuesday one of your New Year's resolutions! Spending Tuesday with Lana and Lisa is one of my favorite parts of the week!

RecipeCurio

I found a new (to me) cooking website. Why does it appeal to me so? Because it focuses on saving vintage handwritten recipe cards and newspaper recipes. I love looking through all the handwritten recipe cards. I think they speak to me because most of my recipes come from ones that I grew up watching my own Mom and Grandmother prepare in their kitchens.

It has inspired me to go home and scan in my Mother's recipe cards (if you will dare let me... you know how Southern cooks are) so that I can have them forever as keepsakes.

In addition to handwritten cards, there are also vintage booklets from Jell-O, Bisquick, Kerr, Betty Crocker and more.

There is just something about having a recipe not only the one your Mom used, but having it written in her handwriting. I think that Mom has one of my Mammaw's cookbooks too and I definitely want to scan those.

Check out RecipeCurio!

Here is one of the recipes I found from the 1930's vintage booklet "55 Recipes You Can Make With Hershey Chocolate"

Chocolate Butterscotch Pie

Ingredients:
2 cupfuls milk
6 tablespoonfuls HERSHEY’S Syrup
1/2 cupful flour
3/4 cupful brown sugar
2 tablespoonfuls butter
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoonful salt
1/2 teaspoonful vanilla.

Directions:
Sift the flour and salt together and mix to a paste with a little cold milk or water, and add Hershey’s Syrup to this paste. Bring 2 cupfuls of milk to the boiling point, add the flour mixture and cook till thick. Meantime, cook the butter and brown sugar together just till well blended, add to the flour and milk and mix well. Pour over the well-beaten yolks of the eggs and stir over boiling water for a few moments, then pour into a previously baked pie shell and cover with a meringue made by beating the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth with 4 tablespoonfuls of granulated sugar. Flavor delicately with vanilla. Brown in a very slow oven and serve cold.

Deanna's Red Beans & Rice

Note: I had never had Red Beans & Rice until I got married. We were invited to supper and that is what they were serving. They ladled the red beans and rice over a bowl of rice and I began to eat. My first thought was, "This was good, but it was be so much better if I added..." I came home and started playing. What developed is nothing close to authentic Red Beans & Rice, but it is what my boys love. As Tim Allen would say, "It has MORE POWER!"

Deanna's Red Beans & Rice

Ingredients:
2 cans dark kidney beans
1 ½ lbs. ground round
1 lb. hot link sausage
½ cup chopped bell pepper
½ cup chopped onion
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can Hunts special sauce
1 large can stewed tomatoes
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper (to taste)
Oregano and parsley (to taste)

Directions:
Brown meat and onion and drain. Drain one can of the red beans and then add both cans to the ground beef. Add the rest of the ingredients in large pan. Cook 2 hours on medium heat stirring occasionally. Lower heat and simmer another 2 hours. Serve over cooked rice (or my boy's favorite, baked macaroni & cheese).

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sausage Cheese Muffins


Note: These would be great to freeze if they lasted that long at my house. This recipe makes 24 muffins at a time and they are gone before the muffins have a chance to cool.

Sausage Cheese Muffins
Ingredients:
1 (1-lb.) package ground pork sausage
3 cups all-purpose baking mix
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can condensed cheese soup
3/4 cup water

Directions:
Cook sausage in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain and cool.

Combine sausage, baking mix, and shredded cheese in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

Stir together soup and 3/4 cup water; add to sausage mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon into lightly greased muffin pans, filling to top of cups.

Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Morning Egg Casserole

Note: You know my boys favorite part about this casserole? It has to cook 35 minutes which means they can treasure hunt for baby Jesus!

Christmas Morning Egg Casserole

Ingredients:
10 slices of bread
2 cups milk
6-8 eggs
ham, onions, green pepper, mushrooms, etc.
6-8oz Shredded Cheese
1/4 cup. butter (Melted)
salt & Pepper

Directions:
Grease 9x13 pan. Put bread cubes in pan. Beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Place ham and whatever vegetables you like on top of bread cubes. Pour Egg mixture over entire pan. Add shredded cheese over the top. Refrigerate over night (or at least 2 hours). Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 35 minutes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Morning Coffee Cake

Note:    Christmas morning is special so it should have a special breakfast.    I love that you can put this together before you go to bed and when you wake up it is ready to put into the oven.   

Christmas Morning Coffee Cake

Ingredients:
1 small box butterscotch pudding mix (not instant)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans (optional)
1 bag frozen dinner rolls (Parker House style)

Directions:
Grease Bundt pan.   Drop frozen rolls in pan.   Sprinkle all pudding mix over rolls.   Mix remaining ingredients in a saucepan.   Bring to a boil.   Pour over rolls in Bundt pan.   Cover tightly with Saran Wrap.   Let set overnight, covered.  Next morning, uncover.   Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.   Let stand for 5 minutes.    Flip onto plate.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Aunt Raye's Best Ever BBQ Meatballs


Note: We went to visit my husband's aunt for Thanksgiving last year and while the meal was cooking she had a crockpot full of these delicious meatballs. My SIL and I sat at the kitchen counter chatting, laughing and eating, eating, eating these meatballs. We begged Aunt Raye for the recipe before we left and she gave it to us. Aunt Raye is the best ever!!


Aunt Raye's Best EVER BBQ Meatballs

Ingredients:
1 bag frozen meatballs
2 c. brown sugar (not packed)
2 c. ketchup
2 tbsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 c. chopped onion
Directions:
Heat in sauce pan stirring until it boils. Pour over meatballs and bake for 1 hr.
Grab a recipe and go wish a Merry Christmas to my friends Lisa and Lana!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Chocolate Kiss Tree


Note: Today is 60% day for the boys at school, but since Big Guy was able to take today's exam yesterday he doesn't have to go. Little Guy's teacher gave them all of their tests yesterday so he asked if he could stay home too. I will probably get in trouble with some of you educators out there, but I just can't pass up on time with my boys. Making these Chocolate Kiss Trees are one of our traditions and the boys love it.

Christmas Chocolate Kiss Tree

Materials:
One 12" X 4" Styrofoam cone
1 yard red or green 1" wide ribbon
Aluminum foil
toothpicks or mini-glue dots
7 (8 oz) bags of HERSHEY KISS®* Chocolates -- Holiday colors

Instructions:
Cover foam cone with foil. Use toothpicks or glue dots to attach green HERSHEY KISS®* Chocolates against the foil covered cone. For ornaments, use the remaining silver and red HERSHEY KISSES™*.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Note:  The boys love honey mustard with their chicken nuggets, french fries, shrimp, burgers, etc....    Making it homemade is quick, easy and really good!

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce



Ingredients:
1/3 cup spicy brown mustard
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon TABASCO® brand Original Pepper Sauce

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Serve as a dip with fried or grilled chicken pieces.  Makes about 3/4 cup.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crawfish & Corn Chowder

Note: I received this recipe over email. This is a chowder that is easy to cook, easy to double and freezes great! It is a winner.

Crawfish & Corn Chowder

Saute 1/2 bunch chopped green onions in 1/2 stick of butter, then melt 8 oz. of cream cheese. Add to that:
1 can whole kernel corn (partly drained)
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups half & half
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 tablespoon Tony's seasoning
2 pkgs. of Bernard's frozen crawfish tails

This doubles really well and freezes well too!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Divinity

Note: It isn't Christmas if you don't eat or at least see one piece of divinity!

Christmas Divinity

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1 egg white stiffly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup broken nut meats (optional)
Pinch of salt
Food coloring (optional)

Directions:
Beat the egg white in a large bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, boil the sugar, water and syrup while stirring gently. The mixture is done at 235 degrees or if it forms a soft ball when a tablespoon full is dropped into cold water.
Pour the mixture over the beaten egg white, beating continually. Add vanilla, nuts and a pinch of salt. Add a few drops of red or green food coloring if desired. Beat this mixture until it is almost hard, then drop by the teaspoonful onto waxed paper.
Makes about 35 - 40 pieces.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Easy Caramel Cake

Note:   Caramel cakes are very popular around here, but for some reason people are afraid to make them and tend to buy them from the specialty shops.     If you have ever bought one from the specialty shop and paid the $35 price tag then you should at least try this easy recipe.   

Easy Caramel Cake

Directions:
Make a butter recipe cake from a mix, according to package directions. Bake in a 9-by-13 pan. Allow to cool completely.

Caramel Icing

Melt 2 sticks butter in a heavy saucepan. Add 2 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup milk. Mix together. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and let sit for exactly 5 minutes. Whisk in 2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar. (For best results, sift it first.) Stir until lumps are gone. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour over cooled cake. Slice and serve.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Captain Rodney's Cheese Bake





Note: Remember that question on the TAG that was going around a few weeks ago that asked, "Would you be a pirate?" Well, I originally answered NO, but I have decided that I could be a pirate if I were married to Captain Rodney. He has amazing recipes! Ha! Amusing had a surprise party for her husband and her MIL made this appetizer. I barely got two bites because it was gone so quickly. I was really happy when this was among her recipes last week at her jewelry party. It is DELICIOUS! (If you live here in Mississippi, you can buy Captain Rodney's glaze at the Apple Annie's in Brandon or the Everyday Gourmet in Ridgeland.)


Captain Rodney's Cheese Bake

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
8 ounce package of cream cheese
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 Green onions (Chopped)
6 Butter Crackers (Crushed)
8 Slices of Bacon (Cooked and Crumbled)
1/2 cup of any Captain Rodney’s Glaze

Directions:
Mix mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar and onions in greased quiche pan. Top with crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Top with bacon and any Captain Rodney’s Pepper Glaze. Serve with crackers.




For more amazing and delicious recipes, go to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday! Tell Lisa that Deanna sent you... we are sisterchicks! And while you are there tell Lisa and Lana...
Happy Birthday!

Eggnog Bread

Note: What? You say you have never had eggnog bread? Try it!! It is a wonderful Christmastime treat.

Eggnog Bread

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup dairy eggnog
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. rum extract
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of bread pan. Beat eggs, add sugar, eggnog, butter, rum and vanilla. Blend well, add flour, baking powder and nutmeg.
Stir until just moistened. Pour into greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool bread completely before slicing.

If serving immediately:   make an icing of 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp. egg nog and enough milk to make it "stirable".

Friday, December 12, 2008

Coca Cola Barbecue Sauce

Note: If you have some frozen meatballs, you can make this barbecue sauce and pour it over those and have a great quick appetizer for a last minute invite to a party or as a side to a platter of chicken nuggets.



Coca~Cola Barbecue Sauce



Ingredients:
1 cup Coca~Cola
1/2 cup butter or margerine
2 Tbsp worstershire sauce
1 1/4 cups ketchup
4 tsp. sugar
1 T. salt
1 T. pepper



Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer & cook, stirring often for 30 minutes. Use as you would any barbecue sauce, brushing onto meat or chicken as it"s grilled.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Coca Cola Cake

Note: I will never forget the day I walked into a bakery here in town and saw that they were selling Coca Cola cakes for $24.

Coca~Cola Cake

Ingredients:
1 cup Coca-Cola
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 stick margarine
3 T. cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
Preparation - In a saucepan, combine Coca-Cola, oil, margarine, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour and salt. Add the mixture from the saucepan and beat well. Add eggs, buttermilk, soda, and vanilla, then beat well. Pour into a greased and floured sheet cake pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350ยบ for 20 to 25 minutes.


Frosting for Coca-Cola Cake

Ingredients:
1/2 cup margarine
3 T. cocoa
6 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup pecans - chopped
1 lb.confectioners sugar

Directions:
Preparation - In a saucepan, combine the margerine, cocoa, and milk. Heat over medium heat until the margerine melts, while stirring to mix together well. Add the remaning ingredients and beat hard. Spread on the cooled Coca-Cola Cake.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Peppery Gingerbread

Note:   Must. try. this. to. appreciate. it!  

Peppery Gingerbread

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light molasses
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tablespoon Original TABASCO® brand Pepper Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
Confectioners' sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.  In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat flour, molasses, milk, sugar, butter, TABASCO® Pepper Sauce, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and egg until well blended and smooth. Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle top of gingerbread with confectioners' sugar.

Makes 12 servings.

Macadamia Biscotti

Note: Biscotti is perfect to have with coffee. It also freezes really well so if you make too much you don't have to feel obliged to eat all of it... unless you want to!

Macadamia Biscotti

Ingredients
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a baking sheet. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend to combine. Stir in the nuts. Halve the dough and, with lightly oiled hands, roll each half into a log about 2 inches thick and 12 inches long. Place the logs on the baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a rack to cool. Transfer the logs to a breadboard. Using a serrated knife, slice them about 3/4 inch thick at a 45 degree angle. To avoid crumbling, use firm, decisive strokes. Place the slices flat on a baking sheet and return to a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes, turning once, to dry them. Cool on a rack. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for two to three weeks.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Butternut Squash with Pineapple Topping

Note: This is something delightfully different for the holidays. It is also a great way to get your kids to try a new vegetable!

Butternut Squash with Pineapple Topping

Ingredients:
Butternut Squash, 4 cup, cubes
2 large Eggs
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. margarine

Topping:
1 cup pineapple, canned, crushed, sliced, or chunks
1 large egg
1/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup Sugar

Directions
Cook the squash. One of the best was is to cut it in half, scoop out seeds and wrap in plastic and then microwave until tender. However, you can use whatever method of cooking squash you prefer. Once cooked, place squash in a casserole dish and mash. Add sugar, salt and margarine. Beat eggs well and add to mixture while beating well. (If you are making this while the squash is still hot, you don't want the eggs to cook before mixed together.) Set casserole to the side.

Topping: Mix all topping ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over the top of the squash.
Bake, uncovered for about 45 minutes. The dish will become light and fluffy (slightly souffle-like)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chocolate Layered Delight

Note: This is one of my family's favorites. We had it at Thanksgiving and the aduults barely got a bite because the kids scarfed it down so fast. We may have to start making two -- one for the adults and one for the kids. Ha!

Chocolate Layered Delight

INGREDIENTS for Crust:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup flour
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

INGREDIENTS for Filling Layer One:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup Cool Whip
1 cup powdered sugar

INGREDIENTS for Filling Layer Two:
1 large box chocolate instant pudding mix
2-3/4 cups of milk

INGREDIENTS for Topping:
Remainder of Cool Whip
1 or more of the following –
chocolate bar
Heath bar chips
Chopped nuts

TO PREPARE Crust:
Melt butter, mix with flour, nuts, and sugar. Pat firmly onto bottom of 8 x 11 inch glass baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes in 350 degree oven. Cool well.

TO PREPARE Filling Layer One:
Mix softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add Cool Whip and mix well. Spread over cooled crust.

TO PREPARE Filling Layer Two:
Mix following pie directions on pudding box. Spread over layer one.

TO PREPARE Topping:
Spread with Cool Whip making swirls. Sprinkle with chocolate curls (with vegetable peeler shave along edge of chocolate bar), Heath bar chips, and/or chopped nuts. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.


For more delicious recipes to add to your Christmas table, visit Lisa at Blessed with Grace

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Ingredients:
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken ("lighten" by using reduced fat)
1 16 oz. jar salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
1 8 oz. container sour cream ("lighten" by using reduced fat)

Directions
Place chicken, soup, salsa, and taco seasoning in slow cooker. Cook on low 4 hours.
Add sour cream. Cook on low for another 30 minutes. Shred chicken. Serve over rice, wrap in tortilla, place in a taco shell, or dip with corn chips.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Gingerbread Muffins

Note: Since building our gingerbread houses, my hubs and boys have developed a new love for gingerbread. I don't think any of the gingerbread snowmen ended up on their houses because they were eating all of them. These muffins should satisfy their new enjoyment of gingerbread.

Gingerbread Muffins

Ingredients:
2 C All Purpose flour
1/4 C sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 egg
3/4 C milk
1/4 C vegetable oil
1/4 C molasses

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375*. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cloves. In another bowl, whisk the gg, milk, oil and molasses until smooth. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes (mine only took 15 so be careful not to overbake). Toothpick should come out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan before removing to wire rack. Serve warm.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Slow Cooker Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

Note: With new babies in the family, I am spending a lot of time going back and forth to the NICU. (That is definitely NOT a complaint!) But it means that I am going to give my crockpot a workout.

Crockpot Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs 98% fat-free ham, cut into 8 pieces
8-10 medium sized potatoes, thinly sliced
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, or more according to taste
1 cup fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
10 3/4 oz can 98% fat-free cream of celery soup
paprika

Directions
Layer half of ham, potatoes, and onions in slow cooker. Sprinkle with half the salt and pepper, and then half the shredded cheese. Repeat layers. Spoon undiluted soup over ingredients. Cook on low 8-10 hour or high 4 hours.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

1/4 lb butter (1 cube)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup pecans

Directions:
Mix #1-5 in a large bowl, beat till creamy. Combine #6-8 in a separate bowl and blend slowly into large bowl. Stir in milk and chocolate chips with a large spoon. Grease bread pans and fill with batter, 1/2 to 3/4 full. Combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle over top of each loaf and bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes. Test by sticking a knife into the center of a loaf. If it comes out "clean", it's done!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's A Girl and a Girl!

If you read my family blog you know we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of my twin nieces. The girls decided they just couldn't wait anymore and decided to make their grand entrace to the world yesterday morning.

To say that I am excited is an understatement. If you want to see my post about their arrival, click here.

Me? I'm headed back to the hospital as soon as I drop the boys off in carpool. Cooking just doesn't appeal compared to holding to sweet baby nieces. Take-out is just fine for right now!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rudolph Cupcakes


Note: These cupcakes are perfect for class party treats. They are sure to be such a hit that you'll go down in history!


Rudolph Cupcakes

Ingredients

A baked and cooled cupcake (your favorite recipe)
Chocolate frosting
Round, red lollipops (Charms Blow Pops are our favorites)
M&M's candies
Black decorators' gel frosting
Pretzels
Red shoestring licorice (as in Twizzlers)


Directions:
To make one, first frost a cooled cupcake (baked from your favorite recipe) with chocolate frosting. Unwrap a round, red lollipop. Trim the stem slightly, and stick it into the center of the cupcake for Rudolph's very shiny nose. For eyes, set 2 M&M's candies in place, then dot them with black decorators' gel frosting. Carefully break large thin pretzels into antler shapes and insert them into the top of the cupcake. Finally, add a short piece of red shoestring licorice for a mouth.

Snowman Soup

Note: Well of course it is just hot chocolate, but the kids love it when I bag it up and give it to them as treats at school before the holidays!


Snowman Soup Recipe


Ingredients:

3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup nonfat dry milk
2 cups instant NesQuik
1 large (6 oz.) box instant chocolate pudding
3/4 cup non dairy creamer


Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and store in air tight containers. To enjoy, add 3 T to a cup of boiling hot water. (Use more or less mix depending upon size of mug and your taste buds).

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mock Eggnog


Note: Eggnog is such a traditional drink at Christmas time. Since I do not drink it is not something I have traditionally served at our home, but when I ran across this recipe we decided to give it a try. Yummy!

Mock Eggnog

Ingredients:
2 quarts Cold Milk
1 package (3.4 oz size) Instant French Vanilla or Vanilla Pudding Mix
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Nutmeg -- Ground
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Additional Nutmeg, Optional

Directions:
In a mixing bowl, beat milk and pudding mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Beat in the sugar, nutmeg, and vanilla. In another mixing bowl, beat cream until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir into pudding mixture. Refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with additional nutmeg if desired.
Find more delicious recipes to add to your holiday menu at Lisa's Tempt My Tummy meme! Be sure and bring a recipe with you to share.

Bacon and Egg Bundles

Note: My boys enjoy cooking with me and during the holidays we enjoy spending time in the kitchen. Breakfast is one of our favorite meals to cook together. This recipe is easy and combines two of their favorite foods.

Bacon and Egg Bundles

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon butter or margarine
12 to 18 bacon strips
6 eggs
orange slices

Directions:
Lightly grease six muffin cups with the butter. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until cooked but not crisp. Drain on paper towels. Cut six bacon strips in half width-wise; line the bottom of each muffin cup with two bacon pieces. Line the sides of each muffin cup with one or two bacon strips. Break an egg into each cup. Bake, uncovered, at 325°F for 12-18 minutes or until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not firm. Transfer to a serving plate; surround with orange slices.

Cheerios Christmas Trees


Note: Every year the boys and I make gingerbread houses. Wouldn't these look cute outside our houses?


Cheerios Christmas Trees


Ingredients:

6 cups Honey Nut Cheerios® cereal
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Green food color
Red cinnamon candies or sliced gumdrops


Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Pour the cereal into a 4-quart bowl. Set the bowl aside.
Place the butter and marshmallows in a 3-quart saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Stir in the food color until the mixture is evenly colored. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and stir until the cereal is evenly coated. Lightly spray your hands with cooking spray. For each tree, shape about 1/4 cup of the cereal mixture into a Christmas tree shape on the cookie sheet. Press the candies into the trees to decorate. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store the trees in a loosely covered container.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Cocoa

Note: This is the perfect cocoa to make while decorating the tree!

Christmas Cocoa

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups milk
3/4 cup marshmallow creme

Directions:
In 2-quart saucepan, heat sugar, cocoa, water, cinnamon and nutmeg over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in milk. Heat over low heat. Pour cocoa into 6 mugs. Top each with 2 tablespoons marshmallow creme.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Peppermint Mocha Coffee

Note: When I met Dr. Wifey at Borders today, I ordered a Peppermint Mocha coffee. It was very yummy. Maybe it was the company that made it so great, but I thought I would look for a recipe. I found several and took bits and pieces until I found one that I thought I could work with. I knew that my Little Guy would love this! BUT, if you don't want to go to this much trouble, you can always just buy the Coffee Mate Peppermint Mocha creamer and put a little in your coffee. I assure you it isn't as good, but it is a nice little treat during the holidays!



Peppermint Mocha Coffee

Ingredients
6 cups freshly brewed coffee
4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate (4, 1 ounce squares)
1 1/2 cups milk (already heated)
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
8 peppermint stick candy

Directions
Pour coffee into large saucepan. Add chocolate; cook on low heat 5 minute or until chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally. Add milk and extract; stir until well blended.
Garnish each serving with a peppermint stick.

Deanna's Special Coffee

Note: This is my special cup of coffee. I make one when I want to bundle up in a blanket and read a book. It is my "comfort" cup of coffee.

Deanna's Special Coffee



Ingredients:

1 cup medium brewed coffee

1 tsp. Sugar

1 tsp. Light brown sugar

1 heaping Tablespoon french vanilla creamer

Dollop of Cool Whip

Cinnamon


Directions:

Mix all together and top with cool whip, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve. Yum!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Butterbean Hummus

Note: Diane Lovelady, a lady who lives here in our small town, recently wrote a cookbook. Our local newspaper wrote a newspaper article and included a few samples recipes from her new book. This is one that really caught my eye. I am going to be going to check out her new cookbook. I love cookbooks and I especially love locally written cookbooks by good Southern cooks!

Butterbean Hummus

In food processor, combine:
2 cups butterbeans, cooked and drained
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Refrigerate and serve with crackers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Copycat Chicken Tenderloins

Note: I found this recipe at Southern Plate. It is a copycat recipe of Cracker Barrel's grilled chicken tenderloin. The crazy part about that title is that this recipe doesn't require a grill. After the first time I made this chicken, the boys said, "This is a KEEPER!" I have made it several times since.

Copycat Chicken Tenderloins

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips.
1 cup zesty Italian dressing
2 tsp lime juice
3 tsp honey (I used corn syrup once when I ran out of honey.)

Directions:
Place chicken in gallon ziplock bag. Combine all other ingredients and pour over. Seal and marinate for at least an hour (or if you are me you prepare it in the morning and let it sit all day long.) Pour all ingredients into a large skillet and cook over medium heat until liquid evaporates and remaining marinade becomes thick and caramelized. Coat each piece of chicken in marinade by rubbing it around on the bottom of the pan before removing it.

Delicious served with twice baked potatoes or baked macaroni & cheese.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wild Rice Soup


Note: This is a great soup to make after the big meals of Thanksgiving when you are stuffed and couldn't bear to look at another BIG meal. This is perfect to eat with a simple turkey sandwich.

Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients:
3 cups chicken stock
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
9 slices bacon in small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup cooked wild rice
2 pints half & half
8 oz. American cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
chopped green onion to garnish

Directions:
Cook potatoes in chicken stock until tender. Puree in food processor. Sautee bacon, add onion and cook until tender. Combine bacon mixture with wild rice in saucepan. Add half and half, potato puree and cheese and heat gently, stirring until cheese melts. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped green onions.

Note: Three cans of cream of potato soup can be substituted for potato-chicken stock puree.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tag + Orange Rolls = Yummy Saturday

Note: I was tagged by Real Mom Kitchen for this meme. Part of the meme is to do a recipe. Real Mom Kitchen's meme included a recipe for orange rolls. They looked so delicious that I decided to try them. Oh, yummy! Yes, those are my hips you hear expanding.

First the recipe..

Orange Rolls

Ingredients:
2 pkgs. yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup hot water
2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, well beaten
4-4 1/2 cups flour

Directions:
Combine yeast and warm water and let sit. Combine margarine, sugar, hot water, and salt. Add to yeast mixture. Add eggs and then flour. Cover and put in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and divide into two equal balls of dough. Roll out into rectangles. Melt 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter and the rind of 1 orange. Mix. Spread over rectangles of dough. Roll dough up from long size. Cut each rectangle up into 12 pieces and put into greased muffin tins. Let rise for 3-4 hours. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Top rolls made with icing from powdered sugar and orange juice.

To see Real Mom's gorgeous photos of her rolls, click here.


Now for the tag.... 7 weird or random things about me.

1. I hate having my photo taken. I don't know how to expand on that or explain it. I just hate it.
2. I am very affected by my environment. If my house is clean, I am very motivated, but if it becomes cluttered and dirty I find my energy level getting lower and lower. Just waking up in a clean bedroom motivates me to get moving in the morning, but if I let things get out of control then I find myself getting overwhelmed.
3. I am addicted to books. VERY addicted. I cleaned off my shelves to take fiction books to my church for our library and gathered up nearly 75 books. I read books as a reviewer for a Publisher so I don't buy all of my books (thank goodness), but still, I have a ton of books.
4. I love college football. Especially Alabama football. My sister and I are nuts and when we are together we are insane. Our boys tell us: "It is just a game!" No... it is FOOTBALL! We believe there is an end zone in heaven. (Just kidding!)
5. When I was in first grade, they asked me to give a speech to all the kindergarteners telling them how great it was. One of the first things I told them was I loved the corn dogs in the cafeteria. I have always have a weird love affair with food!
6. As much as I love books, I haven't read the Twilight series. The thought of someone sucking on my neck.... *shiver*. Plus they wouldn't want to go to the beach which leads me to...
7. If someone would just give me a vacation house, I would want it to be at the beach. I think watching waves early in the morning while reading my Bible with a cup of coffee is simply hypnotic and reminds of my God.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries


Note: French fries are one thing, but sweet potato fries are amazing! They are sweet, crispy, delicious, but most of all, addictive.


Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries


Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoons ground red pepper
1 tablespoons
vegetable oil
2 large (about 1 1/2 pounds) sweet potatoes


Directions:

Prepare the sweet potatoes: In a small bowl, combine cumin, salt, and pepper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel potatoes, cut each in half lengthwise, and cut each half into 6 wedges. In a large bowl, combine the cut potatoes, oil, and spice mixture. Toss until potatoes are evenly coated.


Bake the fries: On a baking sheet, arrange potatoes in a single layer and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake until edges are crisp and potatoes are cooked through -- about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vanilla Cafe Au Lait


Note: I know what you are thinking. I thought it too. Can something this simple be delicious too? Yes it can!


Vanilla Cafe au Lait


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 cups hot, strong brewed coffee


Directions:

Combine the half-and-half, milk, and sugar in a small saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk mixture and add the bean to the saucepan. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk mixture and whisk for 1 minute. Fill each mug with 1/2 cup of hot coffee and 1/2 cup milk mixture. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chocolate Chip Walnut Pie


Note: I love pies at the holidays. Hubs is not a big pecan pie fan so I like making a pie that he will really enjoy. Chocolate and walnuts seem to make him happy.

Chocolate Chip Walnut Pie

Ingredients:
1 unbaked 9 inch deep dish pie crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 to 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Directions:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter with an electric mixer and gradually beat in the sugars. Add the eggs individually, beating well each time. Beat in the vanilla extract and then the flour and salt until well blended. Blend in the milk (don't worry if the filling looks a little lumpy at this point). Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the filling into the shell, smoothing it with a spoon. Bake the pie on the center oven rack for about 50 minutes, turning it 180 degrees halfway through. When done, the top will be dark golden brown, and the filling will be set except for the very center, which may jiggle slightly when you tap the pan. Cool the pie on a wire rack. This pie is equally good served slightly warm, at room temperature, or chilled (for 1 or 2 hours). Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Turkey Cookies #2

Note: These are so fun to make to take to school to hand out at lunch or give as treats to teachers. Make a few extra to take to neighbors with a little tag that says "Thankful to have you as a neighbor."



Turkey Cookies


Ingredients:
two chocolate-striped cookies
one chocolate bon bon
a piece of candy corn
chocolate icing



Directions:

Using the icing, attach the cookies to one another at a right angle. Add the bon bon and hold or prop until they stay together. Then attach a candy corn piece for a beak.


Note: These are fun to use as place markers for your Thanksgiving meal too!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Turkey Cookies


Note: Look at these adorable cookies I found. Can't wait to make these for Little Guy's class!!

Turkey Cookies

Ingredients:

1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated sugar cookies

1 container (16 oz) chocolate creamy frosting

Candy corn

Orange decorating icing

Black decorating gel

Miniature candy-coated chocolate bits.....mini-M&M's




Directions:

Heat oven to 350°F. Bake cookies as directed on roll. Cool completely, about 20 minutes. Spoon chocolate frosting into resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag. Cut small hole in bottom corner of bag. On each cookie, pipe frosting on outer edge of half of cookie. Arrange candy corn over frosting for feathers. Pipe orange icing onto each cookie to resemble turkey face and feet. Use orange icing to attach baking bits to turkey face for eyes. Pipe black gel on baking bits for centers of eyes.
Be sure to go visit Lisa for more Tempt My Tummy recipes!

How to: Make Vanilla Extract

Note: Vanilla beans come from various countries - Madagascar, Mexico and Tahiti. Each one lends its own flavor for a unique extract.

Vanilla Extract

Ingredients:
3 vanilla beans
1 cup vodka
1 glass jar with tight fitting lid

Directions:
Use kitchen scissors or a sharp paring knife to cut lengthwise down each vanilla bean, splitting them in half, leaving an inch at the end connected. Put vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid (mason jars work well). Cover completely with the vodka. Give the bottle a good shake every once in a while. Store in a dark, cool place for 2 months or longer.

This will last for years. You can keep topping it off with vodka once in a while as you use it, just remember to give it a good shake.

For Vanilla Sugar:
You can also make vanilla sugar by putting a split vanilla bean into a jar of white, granulated sugar. Great way to infuse the sugar with vanilla flavor for baking.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Amy's Biscuit Mix

Note: I found this biscuit mix at 160 Acre Woods. It is just wonderful to mix up a bunch of batches of these and store them in the freezer for biscuits anytime you need them! Thanks, Amy!


Amy’s Biscuit Mix

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons baking powered
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk powder

Directions:
Put the above ingredients in to zip lock bags (Amy usually makes 10 bags at a time.) When ready to use, heat oven to 450F. Pour mix into bowl, add 1/2 cup shortening, and 3/4 cup of water. Mix and cut into 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are light brown.

* For an extra flavor add a cup of cheese and 1/4 cup of garlic for cheesy-garlic biscuits, or roll out with some brown sugar and cinnamon for tasty cinnamon buns!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Praline Pecans


Note: One of the best part of the holiday season is the family and friends that visit and that you get to visit. When we have visitors I want them to feel comfortable. We don't have a separate guest room per se. We usually let our guests stay in Big Guy's room and all the kids have a slumber party in Little Guy's room using our Aerobed mattresses. One of my favorite things to do when we have guests arrive is to have a "welcome" tray or basket on the bed. I like personalizing the items for the likes of my friends. Favorite drinks or snacks. Favorite books or magazines. Even a surprise or two like a homemade snack. The praline pecans below are definitely a hit and something yummy for some of the males in our family who tend to get the munchies late at night!

Praline Pecans

Ingredients:
2 cups whole pecans
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Spread into a square baking pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until coating is dry, and slightly crystallized, stirring once. Remove from oven to cool and stir once more. If not serving immediately, store in an airtight container.
Visit Lisa for more Tempt My Tummy Tuesday recipes.

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

Note: There are so many variations of Rice Krispie Treats... this one is just decadent!!

Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients:
8-9 Cups Rice Krispies
6 Tbsp butter
16 oz. Marshmallows
50 Caramels
1/2 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup butter

Directions:
Melt 6 TBSP butter and marshmallows together. Stir in Rice Krispies. Divide mixture evenly between two buttered pans. Melt caramels, sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup butter together and spread over one pan of Rice Krispies. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove second pan of rice krispie treats and place on top of the caramel layer.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Muffins

Note: I like banana bread, but sometimes I am the only one who will eat it. I don't want to feel like I have to eat an entire loaf of bread so I like making muffins instead. I love these delicious muffins.

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Muffins

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanilla. Spoon evenly into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

White Chocolate Oreos

Note: These are so quick and easy to throw together. They are perfect as a last minute to take to a party or as a treat for a new neighbor. Decorate with the appropriate colored decorations to give them that holiday flair.


White Chocolate Oreos


Ingredients:
1 pkg. white melting chocolate
1 pkg. Oreo Cookies
Decorations
Sprinkles
Mini Chocolate Chips
Colored Sugar


Directions:

Melt white chocolate coating in either a double boiler, or in the microwave. When melting in a microwave glass bowls work the best. When chocolate is melted, use a spreader knife and frost the chocolate coating over one side of the Oreo. Then decorate with toppings of your choice.You may also wish to dunk the Oreo cookie completely into the chocolate as well. Let cookies cool on waxed paper.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Buttermilk Bicuits

Note: This is just memories of home in my mouth! When baking always make sure your baking soda is fresh or your biscuits (or whatever you are baking) won't be as fluffy and flaky as you want them to be.


BUTTERMILK BISCUITS


Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 tsp bacon grease
2/3 cup buttermilk



Directions:
Preheat oven to 450°. Mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add shortening, buttermilk and stir just until dough holds together. A more buttermilk if needed. Knead lightly until dough is smooth. Roll out to one-half inch thickness. Cut into two-inch rounds. Bake approximately 12 minutes or until golden.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What's for Supper on Election Day?

I love to eat theme suppers on special days, but I just can't figure out what to cook for supper. There are too many good options no matter who you are voting for today.

The options I am considering:

McCain's Babyback Ribs
Palin's Alaskan Salmon
Obama's Chicago Hot dogs
Biden's Favorite Oatmeal Cookies
No seriously...
I think our menu is going to look more like this..


Pigs in a Blanket

Ingredients:
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
6 all-beef hot dogs
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the pastry into 6 equal strips and cut each strip into 3 pieces. Cut the hot dogs into 3 equal pieces. Place 1 hot dog piece onto a piece of the pastry and roll until the pastry meets itself. Press gently to seal.
Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs and pastry. Brush the pastry tops with the cream and sprinkle half with the cheese and half with the poppy seeds. Place in the top half of the oven until the pastry is puffed and golden, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove, let cool 5 minutes, and serve with the dipping sauce on the side.

Ham Salad

Ingredients:
Baked whole ham
Blue Plate mayonnaise

Directions:
Let ham cool. Grind ham (preferably using an old-fashioned grinder). Mix to desired consistency with 1 pint of mayonnaise. Serve on crackers.

Quick Apple Cobbler

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick of butter
3 peeled and sliced apples (or can of apple pie filling)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; use 8-by-8-inch or 9-by-13-inch). Add butter and place in oven to melt the butter. When melted, remove from oven and tilt the dish so the butter coats the entire bottom. In a bowl, mix well sugar, flour, milk, baking powder and salt. Pour into baking dish. Top with apples or apple pie filling and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake 40 minutes.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Candy Bar Stuffed Apples


Note: Wasn't it bad enough that we had candy left over from last week? What was I thinking when I was at the store and saw all of that candy 50% off? I was thinking... SCORE! Now I am thinking: "A moment on the lips. Forever on my hips." I have been baking treats for neighbors, friends, and to put in the freezer. Tonight I am baking these stuffed apples to eat with our pork chops at supper.

Candy Bar Stuffed Apples

Ingredients:
4 medium apples
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Heath bars
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Snickers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped Heath bars
1/4 cup finely chopped Snickers
3/4 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions:
(The double listings of candy bars is intentional. You need both coarsely chopped AND finely chopped.) Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the apples on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, carefully cut the top 1/2-inch from each apple. Using an apple corer or a small melon baller, scoop out the stem, core, and seeds from each apple, leaving the bottom intact. Stand the apples in a 9-inch square baking dish, cut side up. Divide the coarsely chopped candy bars among the apples, about 2 tablespoons of candy per apple. Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of the butter inside each apple, on top of the candy bar pieces. Again, divide the finely chopped candy bars among the apples, about 2 tablespoons of candy per apple, placing candy on top of the butter inside each apple.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cider and sugar and pour the cider mixture over and around the apples. Using oven mitts or pot holders, place the baking dish in the oven and bake the apples uncovered until tender, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Using oven mitts or pot holders, carefully remove the apples from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve hot or warm, spooning the pan juices over the apples, and add vanilla ice cream if desired.

Warning: These apples are very hot when coming out of the oven, and there is a lot of hot juice. Be careful not to spill any on you!

AFTER you go VOTE, be sure and go visit Lisa at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday for more recipes. Spending the day cooking will be more fun than spending the day listening to election results.

After all, no matter who is elected to manage our county today. God is still on the throne. Yesterday. Today. Forever.

Candy Bar Brownies

Note: Do you have a ton of leftover Halloween candy? There are a lot of great ways to use it to bake up some delicious goodies.

Candy Bar Brownies

Ingredients:
1 german chocolate cake mix
3/4 cup melted butter
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 large bag chocolate coated nougat or peanut candy bars

Directions:
Mix cake mix with melted butter and condensed milk, Spread out 1/2 of the mixture into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350F degrees for 10 minutes. Slice candy bars into little slices. Lay these on top of the baked crust. With the remaining batter-crumble it on top of the candy bars. It will have a crumbly texture. No need to spread it on top to make it smooth. Put it back into the oven and bake it at 350F for 20 minutes until melted. Let cool before serving.

Wondering What To Do With Your Halloween Candy?

Check out these recipes....

Elvis Presley Cake


Note: My Little Guy has a fascination with Elvis Presley. He has bought his CD's. Read books about him. I found this recipe over at Southern Plate and knew I had to try it for my guy. When I tell him what it is called he will be all shook up! (Sorry. I couldn't resist!)


Elvis Presley Cake

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box vanilla pudding (not sugar free!)
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil (Photo from Southern Plate)
1 cup milk
1 (16-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup sugar


Directions:
Mix cake mix, pudding, eggs, oil, and milk. Beat until smooth.Bake in greased 9x13-inch pan in 350F preheated oven for 45-60 minutes (or until center springs back).While cake is baking, boil pineapple and sugar on top of stove until sugar has melted. While cake is still hot, punch holes in cake and pour hot pineapple over cake. Let cool.

FROSTING:


Ingredients:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)


Directions:
Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually and beat until creamy. Add pecans, if desired, and mix well. Drop by dollops onto cake until top is mostly covered, then smooth and spread to frost cake.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Top 10 Casseroles

Southern Living posted a Top 10 list of casseroles. Oh, the cheese grits and several others that you just will want to try!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Candy Corn Bark

Note: We love making this to send to teachers as a treat during the fall holidays. We usually tie a few pieces in a bag with fall ribbon and attach a note that says: "Not a trick, just a treat to tell we think you are really sweet!" This is a perfect happy not just for teachers, but for bus drivers, mail carriers and hair dressers!


Candy Corn Bark

Ingredients:

16 Halloween-colored chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped
1 1/2 cups broken small pretzels
1 1/2 pounds white chocolate, broken into squares
2 cups candy corn
orange and brown sprinkles


Directions:

Spread the cookies, pretzels and raisins evenly onto a lightly greased small baking sheet. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave, stirring frequently until melted. Remove from the heat while there are still a few chunks, and stir until smooth. White chocolate burns easily. Drizzle chocolate with a spoon over the goodies in the pan, spreading the top flat to coat evenly. Top with candy corn and sprinkles. Let cool until firm. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Candy Corn Snack Mix

Note: We love snack mix. And we are really enjoying our fall snack mix using candy corn. The boys are particularly enjoying the caramel corn candy corn that we found.

Candy Corn Snack Mix

Ingredients:
1 cup candy corn
1 cup salted peanuts
1 cup M&M's
1 bag popped popcorn

Directions:
Mix together and store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spider Cupcakes

Note: Live, Love and Eat told me she was going to make this seriously cute scarecrow cake. I started looking around the website and saw this cute spider cupcakes and thought that they fit my spider theme really well. I'll be honest though. I don't think I am going to go to the trouble of making spiders out of gumdrops. I will probably just buy some of those spider rings and put those on top. The kids can wear those after eating the cupcakes!

Spider Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® devil's food cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 container Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
3 drops red food color
4 to 5 drops yellow food color
1 tube (0.68 ounce) Betty Crocker® black decorating gel
48 large black gumdrops

Directions:
Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Make and cool cupcakes as directed on box for 24 cupcakes. Tint frosting with red and yellow food colors to make orange frosting. Spread frosting over tops of cupcakes. Squeeze circles of decorating gel on each cupcake; pull knife through gel from center outward to make web. To make each spider, roll out 1 gumdrop and cut out 8 strips for legs; place another gumdrop on top. Place spider on cupcake. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Spider Pops

Note: I am the room mother for Little Guy's class. There isn't a class party for Halloween, but I will be sending a little "happy" for the kids to enjoy at snack time and to take home with them. I am basing my treats on spiders since that is what they are studying in school this week.

Here is their take home "happy":

Spider Pops

Ingredients:
Black pipe cleaners
Tootsie Roll pops
Googly eyes
Glue

Directions:
Hold all four pipe cleaners, center them at the base of the pop and wrap them around the stick once so there are four legs on each side. Bend the pipe cleaner ends to form eight feet. Glue on googly eyes.





Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Recipe Blog

I found a new recipe blog. I haven't had a chance to really explore, but I LOVE the concept: