Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Cocoa

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

Christmas Cocoa

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

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

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

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


1 cup medium brewed coffee

1 tsp. Sugar

1 tsp. Light brown sugar

1 heaping Tablespoon french vanilla creamer

Dollop of Cool Whip



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

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.)

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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


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


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's


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 pkg. white melting chocolate
1 pkg. Oreo Cookies
Mini Chocolate Chips
Colored Sugar


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.


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

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

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

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

Baked whole ham
Blue Plate mayonnaise

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

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)

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

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

(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

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

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


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

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.


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

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!