Thursday, July 31, 2008

Deviled Eggs

Note: In the south, there is no such thing as a picnic, a church potluck or a holiday without deviled eggs. It's just not done, ya'll. Being a southern girl means they must be served whether anybody eats them or not!

Deviled Eggs
12 hard cooked eggs, cut in half
6 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. bacon chopped fine
3/8 tsp. paprika
Remove yolk from egg whites using teaspoon. Press yolks through sieve with back of spoon or mash with fork in medium bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, salt and bacon; mix well.
Spoon mixture into egg whites. Arrange on serving platter and sprinkle with paprika.
Cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

How to: Boil An Egg

Note: Don't laugh. Someone I love very much says they can't boil an egg - ever. Here you go -- you know who you are.

How To Boil An Egg

Place the number of eggs you want in a sauce pan.
Fill saucepan with about 1 inch of cold water over tops of eggs.
Put saucepan on the stove and bring to rolling boil.
Turn down the heat to low heat.

Continue to cook.

If you want softboiled eggs cook for 2-3 minutes. If you want hard boiled eggs cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour eggs into a colander and run cold water over them.

To peel your eggs, place inside a napkin and crack against a hard surface. Roll it around applying enough pressure to cause the shell to "crackle". Once the entire egg is crackled find a loose spot and peel away!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Taco Pie

Note: I always seem to have mashed potatoes left over when I make them and this is the recipe I found to make good use of them. The potatoes make the shell for this pie.

Taco Pie

2 cups mashed potatoes
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 package taco seasoning
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1/2 cup taco sauce
1/4 cup water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine potatoes, milk, butter and 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix in bowl. Press over bottom and sides of 10 inch pie plate to form a shell. Brown ground beef and onion in skillet. Drain well. Add remaining taco seasoning, beans, taco sauce and water; mix well. Spoon into potato shell. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shrimp, Peppers and Cheese Grits

Note: I received this recipe from my friend Shane. I love anything with grits, but then again, I am a Mississippi girl! We are G.R.I.T.S..... Girls Raised In The South!! Oh, shoot. I should have named my blog that!

Shrimp, Peppers and Cheese Grits

1/2 cup chopped Canadian bacon
1 cup red bell pepper strips
1 cup green bell pepper strips
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and devained
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 2/3 cup milk
1 (16 oz.) can chicken broth
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add bell peppers; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes; cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes. Stir in green onions and keep warm. Combine milk and broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir in grits. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 5 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese. Serve shrimp mixture over grits.

***NOTE: I used yellow and orange bell peppers instead. Also, it would be good without the shrimp but adding more Canadian bacon. The Rotel tomatoes makes it a little spicy but not bad but it would be good with just diced tomatoes too. :)

For more Tempt Your Tummy recipes.. head over to Blessed With Grace's blog!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hot Garlic Artichoke Dip

Note: I found this great appetizer at Live. Love. Eat. blog. Sounds so easy and wonderful?

Hot Garlic Artichoke Dip

1 14oz can QUARTERED artichoke hearts, drained and cut up
1 can ORIGINAL Rotel (diced tomatoes and chiles), drained
1/2 cup mayo or light mayo
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 375. To minimize cleanup, drain artichoke hearts in one side of the colander and the Rotel in the other side. Let sit. In the round casserole dish you will be baking this in, combine mayo, parm cheese, garlic and worcestershire. In the colander, roughly chop up the artichoke hearts. Add artichokes and rotel to casserole dish and mix up. Bake for 30-35 minutes until nice and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with Scoops!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I Choose...

The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decision to be made and deadlines to be met. For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the days demands so it is now that I must make a choice. So I choose...

I choose love…
No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. Today I will love God and what God loves.

I choose joy…
Today I will invite God to be the God of my circumstances. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical… the tool of a lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less as a opportunity to see God.

I choose peace…
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I choose patience...
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I will invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for the moment to pray. Instead of clenching my fists at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I choose kindness…
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. I will be kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I choose goodness…
I will go without a dollar before I accept a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I boast. I will confess before I accuse. I choose goodness.

I choose faithfulness…
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife/husband will not question my love. And my children will never fear that I will not come home.

I choose gentleness…
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it only be in praise. If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer. If I make a demand, may it only be of myself.

I choose self control…
I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot rules the eternal. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my God. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control…
I commit my day to these things.

If I succeed, I will give thanks.
If I fail, I will seek grace.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Seven Week Bran Muffins

Seven Week Bran Muffins

Pour 2 cups boiling water over
2 cups 100% Bran Flakes
4 cups All Bran

Mix Together until creamy:
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
4 eggs
Then stir in 1 quart buttermilk. Add this to the Bran flake mixture.

In a separate bowl, mix:
5 cups flour
5 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
Stir this into the Bran Flakes mixture.

Spoon desire amounts into muffin tins and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

The batter can keep in a sealed container for up to 6 weeks or you can bake them all at once and freeze them. Just pop them in the microwave as needed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Crock Pot Round Steak & Gravy

Crock Pot Round Steak & Gravy

1 1/2 lbs round steak (cut into serving size pieces)
1/4 cup water
1 pack dry onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Put meat in crockpot. Empty contents of dry onion soup over meat. Dump in can of soup and add 1/4 cup of water. Turn crockpot on low and cook for 8 hours. Serve over rice.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Baked Spaghetti Casserole

Baked Spaghetti Casserole

1 onion
1/2 bell pepper
2 cans diced tomatoes (roasted garlic, Italian herb)
2 cans (4 oz.) mushrooms
2 cans of Hunts ready tomato (one chunky garlic, one Italian Herb)
1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
12 ounce spaghetti noodles (I use whole wheat)
8 ounce shredded cheddar & mozzarella combo
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
package or pepperoni

Saute onion and green pepper in butter. Add tomatoes, mushrooms and sauce. Add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste. Simmer on low while browning hamburger meat. Drain hamburger meat and add to tomato mixture. Spray 9 x 13 pan with Pam. Cook spaghetti noodles according to directions. Layer mixture in pan: 1.) Half of spaghetti noodles, 2.) half of soup mixture, 3.) pepperoni, 4.) sprinkle cup of cheese and 5.) repeat layers.
Mix mushroom soup with water and pour over casserole. Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Overnight Coffee Cake

Overnight Coffee Cake

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Butter a 13x9-inch baking pan and lightly dust with flour. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and sour cream. Mix well. Combine flour and nutmeg. Add to batter and mix well. Pour into pan. In a separate bowl mix the brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon. Mix well and sprinkle evenly over batter. Cover and chill overnight. In the morning, uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake tests done.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blueberry French Toast Bake

Note: Today is "Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays" at Blessed with
Grace's blog. Stock up recipes by visiting her site too!


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salty
6 eggs
10 slices (1-inch thick) French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup chopped nuts
powdered sugar
blueberry or maple syrup

Generously grease a 2 1/2 quart casserole or 9/13 baking dish. Beat flour, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and eggs in a large bowl by hand until smooth. Stir in bread cubes until coated. Pour bread mixture into pan. top evenly with cream cheese, blueberries and nuts. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Uncover and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with syrup.

Yield: 8 Servings

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bacon Breakfast Strata

Bacon Breakfast Strata

12 slices white bread
1 2 cup chopped onion
1 / 2 cup chopped mushrooms (optional)
10 strips thick bacon
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
12 eggs
4 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
softened butter

Trim crust off bread; spread butter on both sides and place six slices in bottom of a 9x12 pan. Place the other 6 slices aside. Sauté onions and mushrooms. Set aside. Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble. Set aside. Spoon half the mushrooms, onions and bacon over the bread, covering evenly. Cover this with half the grated cheese. Repeat the layers again, starting with a layer of bread and ending with the grated cheese.
Beat together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour over the casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes covered, then for 30 minutes uncovered. Cut into squares and serve hot.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Strawberry Orange Popsicles

Strawberry Orange Popsicles

1 cup pureed strawberries (strain through a fine sieve if you don't want the seeds)
1 cup orange juice concentrate (from frozen)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
lime or lemon juice to taste

Combine fruit puree and concentrate in a medium bowl. Heat water and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add to strawberries with lime or lemon juice to taste. If you have popsicle molds, fill them, leaving some room at the top to allow for expansion, set the lids in place and insert the sticks through the holes. If you don't have popsicle molds, fill small cups or empty yogurt tubs about 3/4 full, stretch plastic or foil across the top and make a small slit to insert sticks. Freeze until firmly set, 3 to 4 hours. To remove the pops, first remove the lids or wrap, then squeeze the sides of the molds, twisting them slightly, to dislodge the pop. If necessary, rinse the outside of the molds under hot water first.

Orange Creamsicle Popsicles

Orange Creamsicle Popsicles

2 small boxes Sugar Free Orange Jell-O
2 packets Splenda, NutraSweet or Sweet "N Low
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups boiling water
1 cup crushed ice

Add 2 cups boiling water to Jell-O mix as per package directions and mix well till fully dissolved. Add crushed ice to the mixture and stir to melt ice and cool mixture. Add sweetener and heavy cream. Mix well. Pour into freezer pop holders to make a creamsicle treat.

1 Corinthians 13 for Moms

I can read bedtime stories till the cow jumps over the moon and sing "Ten Little Monkeys" until I want to call the doctor, but if I don't have love, I'm as annoying as a ringing phone.

I can chase a naked toddler through the house while cooking dinner and listening to voice mail, I can fix the best cookies and Kool-Aid in the neighborhood, and I can tell a sick child's temperature with one touch of my finger, but if I don't have love, I am nothing.

Love is patient while watching and praying by the front window when it's 30 minutes past curfew.

Love is kind when my teen says, "I hate you!"

It does not envy the neighbors' swimming pool or their brand-new mini van,
but trusts the Lord to provide every need.

Love does not brag when other parents share their disappointments and insecurities,
and love rejoices when other families succeed.

It doesn't boast, even when I've multi-tasked all day long and my husband can't do more than one thing at a time.

Love is not rude when my spouse innocently asks, "What have you done today?"

It does not immediately seek after glory when we see talent in our children, but encourages them to get training and make wise choices.

It is not easily angered, even when my 15-year-old acts like the world revolves around her.

It does not delight in evil (is not self-righteous) when I remind my 17-year-old that he's going 83 in a 55-mph zone, but rejoices in the truth.

Love does not give up hope.

It always protects our children's self-esteem and spirit, even while doling out discipline.

It always trusts God to protect our children when we cannot. It always perseveres, through blue nail polish, burps and other bodily functions, rolled eyes and crossed arms, messy rooms and sleep overs.

Love never fails.

But where there are memories of thousands of diaper changes and painful labor(s), they will fade away.

Where there is talking back, it will (eventually) cease. (Please, Lord?)

Where there is a teenager who thinks she knows everything, there will one day be an adult who knows you did your best.

For we know we fail our children, and we pray they don't end up in therapy, but when we get to heaven, our imperfect parenting will disappear. (Thank you, God!)

When we were children, we needed a parent to love and protect us. Now that we're parents ourselves, we have a heavenly Father who adores, shelters us and holds us when we need to cry.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Note: Chocolate chip cookies and a pie in one dish? Can you say delish? Well, not until you top it with a little ice cream.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell*
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped pecansServe with ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high until foamy.
Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter.
Stir in morsels and nuts and spoon into pie shell.
Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm.

Recipe from Nestle Classic Recipes, 2003

* If using frozen pie shell, use deep dish style and thaw completely. Bake on baking sheet and increase baking time slightly.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Happy National Ice Cream Day

Note: Homemade ice cream is just a part of summer. It is sitting and talking as you wait for your bowl of cold, sticky, sweet goodness! Why not make some for National Ice Cream day?

Orange Sherbet

2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
6 (12 fluid ounce) cans or bottles orange-flavored carbonated beverage
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, with juice
1/4 cup orange juice

In the canister of your ice cream maker, combine milk, orange drink, pineapple and orange juice. Chill 8 hours or overnight in refrigerator. Then freeze in your ice cream maker.

Daddy's Vanilla Ice Cream

Note: This is my favorite ice cream. It is my Daddy's recipe for vanilla ice cream.

Daddy's Vanilla Ice Cream

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. vanilla
2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 gallon milk
1 small can Pet milk

Mix all ingredients really well except the gallon of milk until it has a smooth consistency. Pour in freezer can. Fill to "fill" line with milk. Stir to mix and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Peanut Butter Pinwheels

Note: Don't tell the boys, but I am already digging for after school snack recipes. This is one they will love!

Peanut Butter Pinwheels

4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 flour tortillas (8 inches)
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup granola without raisins


Spread peanut butter over each tortilla; drizzle with honey and sprinkle with granola. Roll up; cut into slices. Serve immediately. Yield: 16 appetizers.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pita Bread

Note: When hubby and I got married most of our sandwiches started with pita bread. We would stuff it with tuna, chicken salad, various meats, even peanut butter, but we just preferred it to traditional bread. I ran across this recipe at the Fresh Loaf for making homemade pita bread and decided to give it a try. Oh, yum!!

Pita Bread
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
1 packet yeast (or, if from bulk, 2 teaspoons yeast)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water, roughly at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, or shortening

If you are using active dry yeast, follow the instructions on the packet to active it (see the note on yeast above). Otherwise, mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon. All of the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water (I had to add an extra 1/4 cup).

Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, such as a cutting board, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes (or until your hands get tired). If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes.

(The purpose of kneading is to thoroughly combine the ingredients and to break down the flour so that the dough will become stretchy and elastic and rise well in the oven. A simple hand kneading technique is to firmly press down on the dough with the palm of your hand, fold the dough in half toward you like you are closing an envelope, rotate the dough 90 degrees and then repeat these steps, but whatever technique you are comfortable using should work.)

When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. I use canola spray oil, but you can also just pour a teaspoon of oil into the bowl and rub it around with your fingers. Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.
When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it'll be easier to shape.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.

After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

If you have a spray bottle in the kitchen, spray a light mist of water onto your baking surface and close the oven for 30 seconds. Supposedly this step reduces the blistering on the outside of your pitas. I've skipped it many times in the past and still been pleased with my breads, so if you don't have a bottle handy it isn't a big deal.

Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes. If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn't necessary.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Homemade Playdough

Note: I hate the way store bought Koolaid smells. I have found these recipes which I the boys have enjoyed playing with being able to make the dough adds to the fun.

Koolaid Playdough

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup salt
3 teaspoons oil
2 cups boiling water
2 packages Kool aid

Mix the dry ingredients. Add water and oil. Knead. Be careful because it is hot!

Edible Peanut Butter Playdough

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 cup powdered milk

Knead until smooth.

Gingerbread Playdough
I love this dough at Christmas time especially when we are reading Jan Brett's story the Gingerbread Baby.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tsp. veg. oil
lots of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, whatever!

Mix the dry ingredients. Play with the spices till you get the scent you want and the color. Mix water and oil together first and Then add them to the dry ingredients and stir. In a pot, cook the mixture for two to three minutes, stirring frequently. The dough will start to pull away from the sides of the pan and clump together. Take the dough out of the pan and knead the dough until it becomes soft and smooth. Allow to cool and store in an air tight container.

"Salt" Playdough
I love this recipe for making ornaments, handprints, or for making creations you want to last.

2 cups plain flour
1 cup salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups cold water
2 tablespoons cooking oil

Stir ingredients together. Knead well until it forms a soft ball. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil, make the shapes you want, and bake in the oven at 300 degrees or until hard (about one hour). You can use food coloring to color dough before you bake it, or paint it afterwards. For the best results, you should coat your items with a clear coat to make them last.

No matter which recipe you choose...
Pull out your cookie cutters, old pairs of school scissors, cover your table and enjoy some fun! Most kids can spend

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pancake Cups

Note: I found this idea on Sycamore Stirrings.

Pancake Cups

Make your favorite pancake batter but add a few extra tablespoons of water. Add 1 tablespoon at a time to make sure the batter doesn't get too thin. You want the batter thinner than usual but not watery.

Use a 1/4 c. measuring cup to add the batter to the pan or griddle. Cook pancakes.

Lightly grease your muffin cups with butter. Don't forget the sides

Gently press pancakes into the muffin cups. Remember to press around the bottom edges of the muffin cups.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 5-8 minutes. Let pancakes cool in the muffin tin.
When ready to serve, remove your pancake cup, place on a plate and reheat in the microwave (if desired.) Fill with yummies and eat!

Filling suggestions for your Pancake Cups:

Fruit: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, etc...
Whip cream (to top fruit)

Scrambled Eggs

Bacon or Sausage

Peanut Butter

Lemon Curd

Syrup: maple, chocolate, fruit


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad

2 bunches spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup candied walnuts or almonds

In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat. Top with candied nuts. Serve.

Blackberry Spinach Salad

Blackberry Spinach Salad

3 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried
1 pint fresh blackberries
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green onion, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or almonds

In a large bowl, toss together baby spinach, blackberries, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, green onion, and walnuts.

Smoky Mountain Chicken

Smokey Mountain Chicken

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
BBQ Sauce
18 oz.Swiss Cheese-sliced
Dash of pepper

Bake however many chicken breasts you need in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. The last 10 minutes of baking smother BBQ sauce all over chicken. The last 5 minutes of baking top chicken with sliced Swiss cheese and a dash of pepper.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy Pecan Pie Day!

Note: My sister made this pecan pie at Christmas and I fell in love. She told me it was the recipe that Char uses for their pecan pie. I don't know how she convinced them to give her the recipe, but I am so glad she did.

Char's Pecan Pie

1 1/4 cups sugar
6 tablespoons lightly salted butter
1 cup light corn syrup
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked

Place sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a small pot, and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a bowl, mix eggs, pecans, vanilla, and salt, and blend with a whisk. When the syrup mixture has cooled, combine with pecan mixture. Add white chocolate chips, and mix well.
Pour into prepared pie crust. Bake at 300 for 35-50 minutes. (Note: it took me much longer than that!) Remove from oven, and allow to cool at room temperature. Wrap pie with plastic wrap, and place in freezer until frozen or until ready to serve. Remove from freezer, and allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before cutting. Heat each portion of pie, and top with ice cream.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lemonade Cookies

Note: These wonderful cookies just scream summer and picnics! Plus these are a great option if you kids are like mine and not particularly crazy about lemon icebox pie.

Lemonade Cookies

1 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 (6 ounce can) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Sift the flour and soda together. Add alternately to the creamed mixture with 1/2 C of the lemonade concentrate. Drop by teaspoon 2 inches apart on cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake at 375 degrees until cookies are lightly browned around the edge. While the cookies are hot, brush with remaining lemonade concentrate and sprinkle immediately with sugar. Remove cookies from cookie sheet to a cooling rack. Makes about 3 dozen.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Note: Whether you are camping or just don't want to heat up the kitchen in the summer, cooking over fire gives your food a delicious taste!

Grilled Corn on the Cob

8 medium ears sweet corn
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt

Soak corn in cold water for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the butter, basil, parsley and salt. Carefully peel back corn husks to within 1 in. of bottoms; remove silk. Spread butter mixture over corn. Rewrap corn in husks and secure with kitchen string. Grill corn, covered, over medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Cut strings and peel back husks. Yield: 8 servings.

Campfire Potatoes

Campfire Potatoes

5 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chicken broth

Place the potatoes and onion on a large piece of heavy-duty foil (about 20 in. x 20 in.); dot with butter. Combine the cheese, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper; sprinkle over potatoes. Fold foil up around potatoes and add broth. Seal the edges of foil well. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Grilled Vegetables

Grilled Vegetables

1/2 pound medium fresh mushrooms
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash pepper

Place mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Combine the remaining ingredients; drizzle over vegetables. Fold the foil around vegetables and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Yield: 6 servings.

Homemade Pam

Note: I hate how much it costs to buy items on your grocery list that you don't actually eat. Nonstick sprays are needed but so expensive. I also hate the chemical spray that I feel enveloped by every time I use it. I found this recipe on The Grocery Cart. Saved enough money doing this to buy a 2 liter coke, popcorn and $1 movie for our movie night! That in itself was worth it!

Homemade Pam

½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup flour

Beat with mixer until it becomes white and fluffy. Store in an airtight container in your cupboard until ready to use. Brush onto your pan with a pastry or silicone brush. Your stuff will NEVER stick again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Sometimes when you have been cleaning house, doing laundry, playing with your kids and running around all day. Supper doesn't need to be anything more complicated than this.

Just prepare the jambala according to the directions adding the chopped sausage. Other items that make great additions are fajita chicken and mexicala corn.

Leave it on the stove while you are taking a hot shower to wash off the day's dirt and craziness and when you come back you will be ready to sit down with your family.

Great served with some crusty bread.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Old Fashioned Snacks for Olympics - Ha!

Our family is really enjoying watching the Olympic Trials. We have been watching everything that we can find: wrestling, swimming, gymnastics, track and field, diving... There is a girl from our local town who is competing in track and field so that is one of the reasons why we wanted the boys to watch. Plus, watching the Olympics is like a family tradition. My baby sister was hugely into gymnastics (even Olympics material herself) so we always watched the Olympics.

When doing a little grocery shopping they had a big sale on some of our favorite sodas and so I told the boys we would pick up some of our favorite flavors to enjoy during our Olympic watching. While there I also saw a Jiffy Pop popcorn. My boys have never seen popcorn made any way but in the microwave so I thought this would be fun. (Over to the side is a coconut juice... I posted on that earlier!)

You should have seen their eyes and the Jiffy Pop started popping and rising and steaming. They thought it was the best thing ever. That was definitely a $1.39 well spent.

While snacking one of my boys said: "Old fashioned popcorn is the BEST!"

Monday, July 7, 2008


Note: Donald and I both adore the Crepe Maker restaurant in Memphis. Recently when the boys were gone to the beach with my parents (Nana and Papa), we sat and discussed driving up there just to get crepes. Oh, those stupid gas prices! (Sorry, boys, I know I said the "s" word!)


2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 cup flour

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Heat a small, crepe size, nonstick pan to medium low heat. Pour in enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan. Flip with fingers because a fork will tear the crepe. Avoid browning. Browning will mean the crepe becomes brittle and you won't be able to roll your crepe.

It won't be the same but we'll be trying to recreate some of our favorite Crepe Maker's crepes.

To Die For - cheesecake topped with strawberries, bananas, nutella spread, and whipped cream

Red & Black - nutella chocolate and sliced strawberries

Apple Pie - nutella, caramel, sliced apples, walnuts, and whipped cream

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Praline Sauce

Note: Pralines... they are a Southern staple. I love this sauce because you can put it over ice cream or pound cake... or both. Yummy!

Praline Sauce

3 tbsp butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla
Ice cream

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; add sugar. Cook 5-8 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and gradually stir in half-and-half. Cook 1 min. and remove from heat. Stir in pecans and vanilla. Serve over ice cream.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Food and Freedom

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:12-13

You know what amazes me about living in America? Planning for our July 4th day celebration is as simple as...

Opening the crisper, grabbing up all the veggies, slicing them up and seasoning them with lemon and pepper...

Chopping a roast into kbob size pieces and marinating it in McCormick's meat marinade and Italian dressing overnight...

Grabbing a package of sausage, chopping it into sections and throwing it onto a plate...

Finding a few chicken breasts, defrosting them, baking them for a while to cut down on the grilling time. (Because after grilling them, we will be smothering them with BBQ sauce, topping them with some leftover ham and swiss cheese and calling it Smoky Mtn. Chicken....

But that isn't what is amazing. What is amazing is that we pulled ALL of that food out of refrigerator without having to go to the grocery store. That much food.

Today on July 4th, among all of the others, I am thankful for that freedom. With the ever increasing gas, food, house, school, and many other prices.... I am glad that I am able to feed my family and friends today out of our abundance.

Praise God from whom ALL blessings/freedoms flow!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

This is a Test: Coconut Juice

My Little Guy loves to try new things. Once he decides he wants to try something he won't quit talking about it. About two years ago he discovered coconut soda at the store. He found it in the Mexican section of our grocery and he LOVES it. Now, my husband who loves coconut detests it, but Little Guy thinks it is the greatest treat when I buy him a couple of bottles and put them in the refrigerator. A few weeks ago he saw a can of coconut juice and he just decided he wanted to try it. So when we were buying snacks I told him that we would buy a can for him to try. When we poured it into the cup he was very surprised that there were little pieces of coconut floating in the cup.

The moment of truth....

"Mom, this is definitely not coconut soda! Do they really drink this stuff on Survivor?"

So where is the can of coconut juice? Here... in the door of the refrigerator. You know how I feel about wasting. So any ideas on what you can cook with coconut juice?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Homemade Febreeze

Note: I found this on The Grocery Cart blog. I am so glad that I did because I recently received a sample of fabric softener but didn't know what I was going to do with it since I am allergic to all but certain ones. This is a great way to use it!

Homemade Febreze

2-4 Tablespoons fabric softener
25 ounces of water
My old Febreeze bottle or another spray bottle

Mix together and spray on carpets, furniture, pillows, etc.

Pepperoni Rolls

Note: I found this on WFMF at Don't Give Him Crackers blog. Another great one for the boy's recipe box.

Pepperoni Rolls

2 packages of pepperoni (or 1 if you want to make less)
4-pack of biscuits in a can - dont get the big fluffy kind, get the small biscuits
a bag of Mozzerella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Take one biscuit and flatten it out, put a bit of mozzerella cheese on top (I do a pinch and judge from there), then 2-3 pepperoni slices. Then roll up the biscuit into a crescent roll kind of shape, place it on a cookie sheet. If you use all 4 cans of biscuits, this will make about 40 pepperoni rolls. Cook these for about 12-15 minutes.

Graham Cracker Cookies

Graham Cracker Cookies

20 to 25 graham crackers
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup candy-coated chocolate candies

Place graham crackers in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with non-stick vegetable spray. In a medium saucepan, melt sugar, butter and margarine; boil for about 4 minutes. Pour mixture over graham crackers; sprinkle with remaining toppings. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on wax paper.

WFMW - Five Ingredients or Less!!

This week's WFMW challenge is to post recipe with five ingredients or less. This is right up my alley because I am all about recipes and meals that are quick and easy, but delicious!! Below is a set of recipes that if you add a simple salad, you've got supper!

Quick and Easy Shrimp Alfredo

1 stick butter
1 pint heavy cream
8 ounces Romano cheese, shredded
1 can cheddar soup
4 cups cooked shrimp, crawfish tails or chicken (whatever you have on hand)

Add the cream, butter and soup in a saucepan over medium-high heat, a little at a time. Add the seafood or chicken and blend. (If you want some color and a little extra flavor, you can toss in some chopped green onions.) Serve over tortellini.
Parmesan Rolls
12 frozen Parker House rolls
¼ to ½ cup butter, melted
¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese (the powdery consistency)
Dip each frozen roll in butter, then in cheese (on all sides). Place on greased cookie sheet and let defrost and rise for 6-8 hours. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Quick Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 Duncan Hines White Cake Mix
3 medium eggs
½ c. sugar
½ c. oil
1 (6 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together until smooth (except chocolate chips). The batter will be very stiff. Stir in chocolate chips. Place by tablespoon on cookie sheet. Bake only until lightly brown. Keep in airtight container.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Char's Crab Cakes with Tartar Sauce

Note: Al Roberts gave our school this recipe for our cookbook when we were doing a fundraiser.

Char's Crab Cakes with Tartar Sauce

1 lb. fresh jumbo lump crabmeat, shells removed
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 tsp zest of lemon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 Tbsp. Creole mustard
1 egg
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
1 Tbsp. capers, finely diced
1 1/2 cup crushed Saltine Crackers

In a bowl place all ingredients. Toss gently to prevent crab from breaking into small pieces. The bigger the crab lumbs remain the better. Always keep ingredients cold as crab will spoil easily. Form cakes into desired shape and size, typically not larger than 3 to 4 ounces each.

Utilizing extra virgin olive oil in a saute skillet pan, sauce on medium high heat until golden brown. For crispier cakes, dredge the cakes in more cracker crumbs before cooking. Note: Cracker crumbs burn easily. Make 10 to 12 crab cakes at 3 1/2 ounces each.

Char House Tartar Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp dill pickle relish
1 Tbsp capers, diced
1/2 tsp dried taragon
1 Tbsp Creole mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate. Plate presentation: Place desired amount of baby greens or fresh arugula in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss greens and mound in center of round plates. Place sauteed crab cakes on each side of greens (two cakes per person), top with tartar sauce or serve on side in ramekin. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve with crusty garlic bread.


Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Layer One Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups pretzels, crushed
1/4 cups sugar
1 stick of margarine

Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Layer Two Ingredients:
8 ounce package cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 medium carton Cool Whip

Cream together cream cheese and sugar. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over cooled crust.

Layer Three Ingredients:
1 large package strawberry Jell-O
10 ounce package frozen strawberries
2 cup boiling water

Mix together boiling water and Jell-O. Stir in frozen strawberries. Set in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Pour over cream cheese layer.

Put entire salad in refrigerator until ready to serve. Cut into squares to serve.

Fruity Chicken Salad

Note: I developed my love of chicken salad from my friend, Sheri. She taught me how to make it the best way. I measure all others by hers.

Fruity Chicken Salad

4 chicken breasts, bone-in or boneless
1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced
2 cup red seedless grapes, quartered
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup margarine (to toast the pecans)
1 to 1 1/2 cup Blue Plate mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil the chicken breasts for 30 minutes or until tender; chop. Toast the pecans by placing them on a cookie sheet with 1/4 cup of margarine. Bake at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally, until teh margarine is absorbed and the pecans are crisp. Mix all ingredients together. Chill for several hours and serve on croissants.

Spicy Potato Soup

Note: My friend Sheri makes the best soups. This is one of hers. Soup is comfort food.

Spicy Potato Soup

2 lbs. ground beef
4 cups peeled potatoes, cubed
2 small onions, chopped
3 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
4 cups water
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tp 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce

In large pot, brown ground beef; drain. Add potatoes, onion and tomato sauce. Stir in water, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened.

Hidden Valley Ranch Crackers

Hidden Valley Ranch Crackers

12 - 16 oz plain oyster crackers
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Recipe Original Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 to 1 cup salad oil (or) 1/3 of this amount of olive oil

Combine Hidden Valley Ranch mix and oils. Add dill weed, garlic powder and lemon pepper. Stir well with whisk. Place crackers on a cookie sheet. Pour mixture over crackers and stir to coat well. Place in 250 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Stir once or twice during the cooking process to coat well.

Todd's Apple Dip

Note: When my son's school published a cookbook, he wanted to put a recipe in too. This is the recipe he submitted.

Todd's Apple Dip

1 (10 oz.) pkg butterscotch chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Heat in a microwave or a double boiler until melted, stirring frequently. Serve with sliced apples.

Mississippi Sin

Note: What a appetizer to serve while burgers are cooking on the grill or while cheering for your favorite football team.

Mississippi Sin

12 oz pkg. ham (lunch meat)
1 lb. bacon, fried crispy
8 oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 oz carton sour cream
2 small cans green chilies
3 cups Colby/Monterey Jack cheese
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
Loaf of French Bread

Chop ham and mix in bowl all of ingredients. Cut out center of French bread to make bowl. Pour mixture in bread. Wrap in aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with Fritos or leftover bread.

Crockpot Brown Sugar Chicken

Crockpot Brown Sugar Chicken

2 lbs. boneless chicken pieces
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup lemon lime soda
2 to 3 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. black pepper

Place chicken pieces in your slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the top of chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Serve with rice. Serves 4.

Crockpot Beefy Burrito Casserole

Crockpot Beefy Burrito Casserole

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 envelope burrito or taco seasoning mix
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (or use 1 can chopped mild green chiles)
1 1/2 to 2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
6 to 8 corn tortillas, cut in strips

Brown ground beef with onion, jalapeno pepper with bell pepper. Stir in burrito seasoning and refried beans. Spray cockpot lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Spread about 3 tablespoons of salsa over the bottom of the pot. Place a layer of tortilla strips over the salsa, then a layer of ground beef and bean mixture, a sprinkling of shredded cheese, then a few tablespoons of salsa. Repeat layers, ending with salsa. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours. Serve with rice. Makes 6 servings.

Donald's Favorite Orange Salad

Note: Since this salad is frozen, it is great to make ahead for special occasions or for those unexpected visitors. This salad is so sweet that many often comment that it can also be a dessert!

Donald's Favorite Frozen Orange Salad

60 Ritz crackers, finely crushed
1/4 lb. margarine, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 (6 ounce) can unsweetened frozen orange juice
1 (12 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
8 ounce carton Cool Whip, thawed

Mix together the crushed crackers, margarine and sugar. Reserve a few crumbs for garnish and press remaining crackers into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Blend thawed oranged juice with condensed milk. Fold in mandarin oranges and thawed Cool Whip. Pour mixture over crust. top with reserved crumbs. Freeze until serving. Return to freezer to store.