Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why I Love My Nordic Ware & Bacon Parmesan Monkey Bread

Note:    The boys and I are busy baking cakes, cookies and treats for the guys at his office.     The only way we can possibly get this much baking done is to have plenty of baking supplies and our good quality bakeware.    This year we are baking chocolate cakes in bundt pans.     Having more than one bundt pan is a must!   I have Nordic Ware bundt pans and I LOVE them.     First of all, they are made in America.    Buying made in America products is very important to me.     I have the traditional bundt pan, but Nordic Ware has many shapes and sizes.     Little Guy and I have looked at many of them and considered buying a few of them.   Like...

Don't you LOVE this Christmas tree shaped bundt pan?    I think it would be pretty with a pound type cake and fresh fruit over the top of it.


With as much as we love football around here you know we would get a LOT of use out of this bundt pan!   

One of our favorite things to make in a bundt pan is Bacon Parmesan Monkey Bread

Ingredients
12 pieces of bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup onion, very finely chopped
3 cans refrigerated biscuits, cut into quarters
1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions
Mix together bacon, parmesan cheese and onion.     Dip one can of biscuit quarters and layer in bottom of the pan.    Sprinkle 1/3 of bacon mixture on top.    Dip second can of biscuit quarters and layer on top of that.    Sprinkle second 1/3 of bacon mixture on top.     Dip last can of biscuit quarters and layer.    Sprinkle remaining bacon mixture.       Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Crockpot Broccoli Casserole

Note:    I love broccoli.    Raw, steamed or in a casserole.    However, my husband and oldest son will only eat it like this... covered and smothered.    ha!     I love that I can throw this in a crockpot before going to church!

Crockpot Broccoli Casserole

Ingredients
2 -10 ounce packages of frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 -10.75 ounce can of cream of celery soup, condensed and undiluted
1½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup onion, chopped very fine
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
2 Tbsp of butter

Directions

Combine the soup, worcestershire sauce, pepper and onion.   Add 1 cup of the shredded cheese and the broccoli.  Pour the mixture into a well greased 3 quart slow cooker. Top the mixture with the crushed crackers and dot with butter. Cover and cook on low for 2½ - 3 hours.    About 10 minutes before serving, sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheese evenly on top and place lid on top to melt the cheese.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pecan Pie Muffins

Note:   While I wouldn't necessarily consider these a "tailgating" food, after I made these one Saturday for a football game the boys have asked for them a lot.    

Pecan Pie Muffins

Ingredients
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten

Directions
Mix together the wet ingredients.    Add in the dry ingredients.    Spoon into a well greased muffin pan.    Bake at 350 degrees.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Caramel Apple Sauce

Note:   It is fall.    Something about this time of year just screams apples and caramel to me.      Last week I went to the Fresh Market and bought some of the most delicious apples.    After eating the first one I knew I had to make some caramel sauce to dip them in and enjoy while watching football.     I will admit that when I ran out of apples I baked a cake just so I had something to drizzle the sauce on as well.
Caramel Apple Sauce

Ingredients
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup whipping cream

Directions
Melt the butter in a saucepan.   Add the corn syrup and mix.     Stir in the sugars.      Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a full boil.       Remove from the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes.    (Just enough time to slice up a few apples.)    Stir in the whipping cream.     Pour into a container and store in the refrigerator.    

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fried Rice

Note:   Little Guy received a wok from his Aunt K and Uncle T for his birthday.    Boy are we enjoying all the delicious things he has been making!      One of the basic things he makes that we enjoy is fried rice. 

Fried Rice

Ingredients
3 cups cooked white rice (boiled - great way to use leftover rice)
soy sauce
2/3 cup chopped baby carrots (we like carrot strips)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 eggs
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
sesame oil, to taste

Directions
In a small saucepan, boil carrots for about 3 minutes.   Pour peas into boiling water.    Drain vegetables.   Heat wok over high heat.    Pour in oil and stir in carrots and peas.     Cook about 30 seconds.   Stir in cooked rice.   Shake in soy sauce.     Toss to coat.   Drizzle with sesame oil and toss again.     Serve.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Robert E. Lee Cake

Note:    Since we were cooking for Little Guy's reading of Little House on the Prairie, I couldn't leave out Big Guy who is reading a book on Robert E. Lee.    Did you know that there is a Robert E. Lee cake?   There IS!   And it is good!


Robert E. Lee Cake

Ingredients

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
8 eggs, separated and room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (peel)
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Lemon Filling (see recipe below)
Lemon-Orange Frosting (see recipe below)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cream of tartar, and baking powder; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat beat egg yolks until very thick and creamy. Gradually add sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, and continue beating until mixture is smooth and pale yellow. Stir in lemon zest and lemon juice; gently fold in the flour mixture until well incorporated.

In a large bowl of your electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk batter, then fold in remaining egg whites until no streaks remain.

Spoon batter into prepare cake pans. Bake approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until cake begins to pull away from sides of the pan. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in the pan. Loosen edges with a knife and turn out onto wire cooling racks to finish cooling.

Prepare the Lemon Filling and Lemon-Orange Frosting.

When cake is completely cool, with a long-blade serrated knife, cut each layer horizontally in half to make four (4) layers.

Spread Lemon Filling between layers of the cooled cake. To keep cake from sliding to one side, insert a long wooden skewer into the middle and all the way to the bottom. Spread Lemon-Orange Frosting on sides and top of the cake.

Store cake in the refrigerator until serving time.

Makes 8 to 10 serving.


Lemon Filling

Ingredients
3 tablespoons grated lemon zest (rind)
1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 2/4 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten

 Directions
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar. Bring just to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until it has melted. Remove from heat and let mixture cool to room temperature.

When cool, beat eggs into the lemon-sugar mixture until well blended. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Remove from heat.

Cool in refrigerator until ready to use.


Lemon-Orange Frosting

Ingredients
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (peel)
3 to 4 tablespoons grated orange zest (peel)
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
6 cups sifted powdered (confectioners') sugar
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice

Directions
In a medium bowl, beat butter until it has the appearance of thick cream. Beat in the lemon zest, orange zest, and lemon juice. Stir in the powdered sugar and orange juice, a little at a time; continue beating until mixture is very smooth (stir in enough orange juice to make a spreadable frosting).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Heart Shaped Christmas Cakes

Note:  Mary and Laura pulled out two small packages. They unwrapped them, and each found a little heart-shaped cake. Over their delicate brown tops was sprinkled white sugar.” - Little House on the Prairie      You may remember the the Little House pilot which included the scene where Mr. Edwards walked through a snow storm to deliver Christmas presents to the Ingalls. The story ends with Ma finally warming up to the uncivilized Mr. Edwards and Laura and Mary finding heart shaped Christmas cakes in their stockings.


Heart Shaped Christmas Cakes

Ingredients
½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Flour for sprinkling
Granulated (white sugar) sugar for sprinkling

Directions
Heat the oven to 325°.
Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla together until they are light and fluffy. Stir in the flour.
On a floured board, pat the dough out in a circle about 1/3″ thick. Cut out shapes with the cookie cutter. Sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar. Put the heart shapes on the cookie sheet and bake them for about 15-20 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Take them out of the oven and sprinkle more granulated sugar on the tops. Carefully remove the cakes from the cookie sheet with the spatula and put them on the wire rack to cool.  Makes about 12 cakes.
 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Little House Popcorn Balls

Note:    This is the most fun recipe we have tried so far.    "Laura kept popping corn and Ma made it into balls until the large dishpan was heaped with their sweet crispness." (These Happy Golden Years, Laura Ingalls Wilder) These bite-size popcorn balls are just the right size for "Half-Pint", Mary, and little sister Carrie. 

Little House Popcorn Balls

Ingredients
20  cups  air-popped popcorn (from 2/3 to 1 cup kernels; see Notes)
1 1/4  cups  butter, cut into chunks, plus more for your hands
1 1/4  cups  honey
3/4  teaspoon  salt
2  teaspoons  vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 325°. Put popcorn in a large roasting pan. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper.In a medium saucepan over medium heat, use a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to stir together 1 1/4 cups butter, the honey, and salt until butter is melted. Increase heat and boil honey mixture gently 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla.   Carefully pour honey mixture over popcorn in roasting pan and stir gently to coat. Bake popcorn, stirring every 5 minutes, until deep golden all over, about 25 minutes.   Let popcorn stand 5 minutes, or just until cool enough to handle. Working quickly with lightly buttered hands, press small handfuls of the mixture into 1 1/2-in. balls, occasionally loosening popcorn from bottom of pan with a spatula. If mixture cools too much to be malleable, return it to oven for about 45 seconds to soften.   Put popcorn balls on prepared baking sheet and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Apple Butter

Note:  The next recipe in our Little House on the Prairie reading series is apple butter.   "Then Laura gathered up all the paper wrappings, and she helped Ma set on the table the big platter of golden, fried mush, a plate of hot biscuits, a dish of fried potatoes, a bowl of codfish gravy and a glass dish full of dried-apple sauce." (By the Shores of Silver Lake, Laura Ingalls Wilder) This recipe uses fresh apples instead of dried, but we think Laura would have liked this on her biscuits.

Apple Butter

Ingredients
4  pounds  Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
1  cup  apple cider
1/4  cup  packed dark brown sugar
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
1/4  teaspoon  salt
Dash of ground cloves
2  (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1  star anise
Directions
Combine apples and cider in a large stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes or until apples are tender.   Place apple mixture in a food processor; pulse 6 times or until chunky. Return to pan.  Stir in sugar and remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat 1 hour or until thick, stirring occasionally. Discard cinnamon and star anise. Cover and chill.   Note: Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes

Note:   "Caroline (who later became known as "Ma") waited impatiently, trying hard not to look at the tall, steaming stack of hotcakes. The very last thing Mother put on the table was the sugar syrup. Now they all sat down." (Little House in Brookfield, Laura Ingalls Wilder)        This next recipe inspired by Little Guy's reading of the Little House books is buttermilk pancakes.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Ingredients
1  cup  all-purpose flour
2  teaspoons  baking powder
1  teaspoon  baking soda
1  teaspoon  sugar
1/2  teaspoon  salt
3/4  cup  buttermilk
1/2  cup  milk
1  large egg
2  tablespoons  butter, melted and cooled

Directions
Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine buttermilk, milk, egg, and butter in a separate bowl; add to flour mixture, and whisk just until blended. Transfer to a large measuring cup, and let stand 10 minutes.   Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or nonstick pan. Cook until pancakes are covered with bubbles and edges turn brown. Turn and cook other side 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fried Pork Chops with Gravy

Note:   Little Guy is reading the entire Little House on the Prairie series which means he has become interested in the foods that they mention in the books.     We are making things that we find in the books as he finds them.    Pa needed a "stick to your ribs" when he came in from the fields.     Fried pork chops with gravy would have filled his big appetite.

Fried Pork Chops with Gravy

Ingredients
1  cup  all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon  Cajun seasoning
1/4  teaspoon  garlic powder
1/4  teaspoon  pepper
8  (4-ounce) boneless center-cut pork chops
1  cup  nonfat buttermilk
Vegetable cooking spray
3  tablespoons  vegetable oil
1  cup  fat-free milk
1/4  teaspoon  salt
Garnish: coarse ground pepper

Directions
Reserve 2 tablespoons flour, and set aside. Place remaining flour in a shallow dish.  Combine Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper. Rub pork chops evenly on both sides with seasoning mixture.
Dip pork in buttermilk; dredge in flour. Lightly coat both sides of pork with cooking spray.
Cook pork, in batches, in hot oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.  Add reserved 2 tablespoons flour to pan drippings in skillet; stir in milk and salt, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Serve immediately with pork. Garnish, if desired.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar GIVEAWAY!

I am doing a NAKANO seasoned rice vinegar giveaway prize package over on my family blog.   I hope you will come over and enter to win.

The prize package includes a $25 visa card, a NAKANO seasoned rice vinegar and a coupon booklet with coupons and recipes.




Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Pasta

Note:    Who can be hungry when it is so hot?  Apparently my guys.    I just don't know how.  This 105 heat has zapped all my energy and appetite, but they keep saying, "What's for lunch/supper?"     I put together a bunch of salads tonight and put them in the refrigerator so that I know the boys aren't starving, but so I don't have to actually cook.      My guys love pasta salad so I made this one up to put with the tuna salad and ham salad.    If you need me I'll be standing in front of the freezer!

Summer Pasta

Ingredients

2 packets italian dressing mix
1/2 c. vinegar
6 Tablespoons water
1 c. oil
16 oz. garden rotini pasta (cooked)
1 c. mozzarella cheese (shredded)



Directions

Mix dressing according to package using vinegar, water and oil. In a large bowl combine dressing, pasta, and cheese, and onion. Chill.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cheesy Broiled Fish

Note:    I found this recipe on a blog and wrote it down.   I wish I could remember which blog I found it on so I could give them credit.     If you know where it comes from please let me know!!    My guys love fish and this is delicious and so quick.   


Cheesy Broiled Fish

Ingredients
2 pounds fresh fish (we like tilapia)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (fresh or from a Kraft jar)

1/4 cup butter,softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt

dash of hot sauce

Directions
Preheat oven on broil.   Place fish in a single layer on a broiler pan lined with parchment paper.  Brush lemon juice over the fish.   Broil on high for 4-6 minutes or until fish flakes easily.   While fish is cooking, combine Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise, salt, and hot sauce if desired in a small bowl. When fish is done, spread cheese mixture over the tops of the fish and broil for an additional 30 seconds or until cheese is brown and bubbly.

Monday, August 2, 2010

TMTT: Fruit Tea Punch

Note:   Baby, it's HOT outside!!    It is 101 in the shade and that isn't even including the heat index.     The weathermen are eating popsicles while telling people to stay inside and drink lots of water.     We are all babying our air conditioners and running fans in every room to help keep the air moving.     This fruit tea punch just sounded sooooo good.     Why?    Because it is served really COLD!
Fruit Tea Punch

Ingredients
Pineapple Juice
Pineapple Orange Banana Juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
2-3 cups of sugar
fresh pot of fresh steeped tea
2 liter ginger ale

Ingredients
While the fresh pot of tea is still pot, add the sugar and stir to completely dissolve.     Allow the tea to cool to at least room temperature.     Add the fruit juices and lemon juices.     Put in the freezer until slushy.    Put the ginger ale in the freezer at the same time so it will become slushy as well.      Open slightly before freezing so it won't explode!     When you are ready to serve mix in your serving container.    You mix 3/4 fruit juice to 1/4 ginger ale.     

It makes a lot, but won't last long on these hot August days!

Join me over at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday for more heat beating recipes.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cucumber Dip

Note:   I can't believe summer is almost over and I haven't made cucumber dip.    I am solving that today.    Cucumber dip is one of my favorites.     So simple, so refreshing, so addicting.    
Cucumber Dip

Ingredients
3-4 cucumbers (firm not soft)
2 8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp mayonnaise
Garlic salt, to taste

Directions
Peel your cucumbers and cut them in half.    Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds.    Take paper towels and pat down your cucumbers really well to absorb the moisture.    Don't skip this step or you will have soggy dip.     Chop your cucumbers into bite sized pieces.    Sprinkle with salt.     Place softened cream cheese in a medium bowl and sprinkle with a little salt.    Add mayo and garlic salt.   Mix until creamy.     Fold in cucumber pieces.    

Yummy served with baquettes, Wheat Thins or on bread for a sandwich.

Friday, July 16, 2010

12 Bones Blueberry Chipotle BBQ Ribs

Note:   Everyone said we had to eat at 12 Bones while we were in Asheville.   They have won all kinds of awards for their ribs... specifically their blueberry chipotle bbq ribs.     We went and gave them a try and they were as delicious as everyone said.    Good Morning America recently had a "best bites" contest and they won.    I found their recipe on the GMA website.

Blueberry Chipotle BBQ Ribs


Ingredients:
2.5 lbs. blueberries (Dole or similar quality product)
8 7oz. cans chipotle peppers
2 cups honey
2 qts. tomato bbq sauce (any brand)
1Tblsp. ginger powder

Procedure:
Puree chipotles and blueberries. Combine all ingredients and slather on ribs.   Cook!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tomato, White Bean and Shrimp Salad

Note:   Another great restaurant in the Asheville area is the Early Girl Eatery.    This is southern food at its best.   Biscuits with tomato gravy.    Peanut butter pie.    Apple stack cake.   Grilled pimento cheese sandwiches.      This is a southern girl's food heaven!

Tomato, White Bean and Shrimp Salad

Ingredients

2 Cups White beans (cooked)
2 Large tomatoes (sliced)
15 Large shrimpv
2 Stalks celery (fined diced)
2 Carrots (fined diced)
1 Red pepper (fine diced)
2 Tbs Fresh Basil
3 Bay leaves
2 Tsp Paprika
1 Tbs Olive oil
Salt
White pepper
Mixed greens


Directions
Poach shrimp in pot of boiling water with the bay leaves and paprika. Drain and cool. In mixing bowl combine white beans, celery, carrots, red peppers, salt, white pepper and olive oil. Add shrimp and basil and finish tossing. To set up plate, put down bed of mixed greens, topped with tomato slices and white bean and shrimp mixture.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Biltmore's Bread Pudding

Note:  We visited The Biltmore on our vacation.    There were so many wonderful little restaurants, cafes and shops to eat at.     However, if I see bread pudding on the menu I so want to try it because it is just one of my favorite desserts.    


Biltmore's Bread Pudding

Ingredients

8 cups cubed day-old bread
9 eggs
2-1/4 cups whole milk
1-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon




CARAMEL SAUCE:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

Place bread cubes in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour evenly over bread.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water and lemon juice to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture turns a golden amber color. Stir in butter until melted. Add cream. Remove from the heat.

Serve with bread pudding.

Monday, July 12, 2010

TMTT: Sweet Potato Pancakes with Spiced Pecans and Peach Butter

Note:   My hubs and I just returned from Asheville and celebrating our 20th anniversary.     We ate at so many great restaurants, but one was the Tupelo Honey Cafe.     I seriously have never had a better tomato sandwich.    And these sweet potato pancakes are to die for.... or at least worth driving back to Asheville to eat!

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Spiced Pecans and Peach Butter

Ingredients
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 cups buttermilk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large sweet potato, roasted and cooled
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Spiced Pecans, recipe below
Peach Butter, recipe below

Directions
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter, and then add this to the dry mixture. Peel and mash the sweet potato, place it in a bowl, and then add the honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix it well. Add this mixture into the pancake batter. Let the batter stand for 1 hour (or you can make it a day ahead of time).

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add batter by the ladleful and cook the pancakes, in batches, until golden brown on each side. Serve immediately with Spiced Pecans and Peach Butter.

Spiced Pecans

Ingredients
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon tupelo honey
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add all the ingredients and cook until the pecans are lightly brown and caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and store in an airtight container.


Peach Butter

Ingredients
1/2 cup peaches, peeled and diced
1/2 pound butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
Pinch sea salt

Directions
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.


Join me over at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday for even more delicious recipes.    It is always my favorite stop when making my grocery list for the week!     Say hey to Lana and Lisa from me.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Coffee Filters... More Than For Just Coffee

Someone sent me these tips through email and I thought they were too great not to share!     I was hooked after the first one.     Paper towels always seem too big for placing over items in the microwave, don't they?


1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave.  Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome... Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China - separate your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skilletto absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filterto prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping.    Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows?   Use strips of coffee filters..

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries,chicken fingers, etc. on them. It soaks out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."

15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backingfor embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18. Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.

19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20. Hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies.. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.

21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter,place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a plastic baggie until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers.  Place flowers between two filters and put them into a phone book.

25. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Easy Blueberry Cake

Note:    My next door neighbor loves this blueberry cake.     About once a week he says, "If you feel like making a blueberry cake, I sure would eat it!"       I also gave this recipe to my sister-in-law and she has gotten a lot of mileage out of it using it for Sunday School breakfasts and giving it to friends.       I love the fact that it is so easy and turns out delicious every time!

Easy Blueberry Cake

Ingredients
1 yellow cake mix
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
16 ounces of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tsp vanilla


Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the cream cheese.   Add eggs and then oil.     Mix in yellow cake mix.     Fold in blueberries and vanilla.        Spray a bundt pan VERY well with nonstick spray.    Sprinkle pan with sugar.     Pour mixture into bundt pan.   Bake for about 40 minutes or until done.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blueberry Bread Pudding w/ Bluebery Vanilla Sauce

Note:   I love bread pudding.    If it is on the menu at a restaurant I want to order it.    Just thinking about it makes me want to drive downtown to a little kitchen run by three sisters who make the best bread pudding you will ever put in your mouth.     Hard to believe such a wonderful dessert is made out of day old bread, isn't it?

Blueberry Bread Pudding

Ingredients
3 cups milk
3 large eggs
5 to 6 cups of day old bread (french bread)
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 cups fresh blueberries
3 Tbsp powdered sugar

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees.    Butter a casserole dish.    Whisk together the milk, sugar, eggs, extract, and zest.     Pour over bread and let sit for 15 minutes.  Toss berries with powdered sugar.    Stir into bread mixture.      Set the casserole dish inside a large baking dish.     Pour hot water (approximately 4 cups) into the large baking dish.    This will create a steam affect while it is baking.    Bake for about 1 hour or until the pudding is set.

Blueberry Vanilla Sauce

Ingredients
2 cups whole milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/4 cup blueberries, crushed

Directions
Mix first four ingredients.    Heat to a boil.    Add vanilla and blueberries.    Pour over bread pudding.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Note:    I love this blueberry sauce warm on top of pancakes or cold on top of pound cake.

Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Ingredients
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Wash blueberries and crush.    Add sugar, lemon juice and salt.    Bring mixture to a boil for about one minute.     Add vanilla.      Serve warm or chill.

Monday, June 14, 2010

TMTT: Grilled Potato Packet

Note:   Summer weather has hit Mississippi in full force.   It seriously feels like August instead of the beginning of June.    It is tough to heat up the kitchen cooking so we are trying to use our grill so we can leave all the heat outside!    

Grilled Potato Packet

Ingredients

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

Directions
Spread your potatoes on top of a very large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil.     Season with salt and pepper.   Top with onions.    Dot with pats of butter.      Combine the remaining ingredients (except broth) and spread on top.      Fold up aluminum foil and pour in broth.   Seal the foil well.    Grill with top down over medium heat for about 35-45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  

Note:   Do not test by poking through foil or you will lose your steam!


I am so excited to be joining Tempt My Tummy Tuesday again this week.    I have missed my friends Lisa and Lana.    

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mmmmmm.... Blueberries

One of my husband's co-workers owns a blueberry farm.      He let us know that they are all ready and asked if we wanted some.     YES!    Watch out for a ton of blueberry recipes coming soon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Peanut Butter Burger

Note:   The craze at all the burger restaurants around here right now is the peanut butter burger.     My initial response was, "WHAT?!?", but my taste buds said, "Oh my... MMMMM!"    I don't know who decided to give this a try, but the results are mmm, mmm, good!

Peanut Butter Burger

Ingredients
Hamburger patties
Season salt
Black pepper
Mayo ( Don't leave this out! And for me it is only Blue Plate!)
Onions (red or white!)
Lettuce
Creamy peanut butter
Bacon
Buns or rolls of choice

Directions
Cook bacon until it is nice and crispy.     Season patties with season salt and black pepper and grill until desired doneness.     Put some peanut butter in a microwave bowl and heat for about 30 seconds or until smooth enough to spread.    Toast the buns on the grill.     Put mayo on both sides of the bun then top with meat, lettuce, and onions.    Pour peanut butter (you decide the thickness) over meat.     Layer a few bacon slices on top.     Enjoy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Butterfinger Ice Cream

Note:   Big Guy turned 13 this week.    Amazing, I know.     Last weekend, hubs' family was in town and came over for a visit so we had cake and ice cream.   Big Guy asked us to make butterfinger ice cream.    It turned out so yummy that we will definitely be making this again this summer!      We may try a different candy bar or even oreo cookies next time.

Butterfinger Ice Cream


Ingredients
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 can Pet milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz Butterfingers (we used the fun size bars)
whole milk

Directions
Beat eggs.   Add sugar and beat well.     Add Pet and sweetened condensed milk and mix.     Take the fun size Butterfinger bars (do not unwrap) and beat them with a hammer to crush them.    Open the packages and dump them into the ice cream mixture.      

Put your ice cream paddle in before you pour the ice cream mixture in or all the butterfingers will settle at the bottom and you won't be able to put the paddle in.     Fill to the "fill line" with whole milk.    Stir WELL to mix all the ingredients.     Make according to your freezer directions.    Once finished, remove and put in your freezer for a couple of hours.   


Serve!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

National Doughnut Day!


Nothing says doughnut like that "Hot Now" sign at Krispy Kreme!     I imagine that sign will stay lit all day long tomorrow for National Doughnut Day.    Krispy Kreme intends to give away not just one but TWO FREE doughnuts in honor of this special day (June 4th).

We only go to Krispy Kreme maybe once or twice a year but we'll be making a special trip tomorrow for two FREE doughnuts!

Happy Doughnut Day!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Cookbook: Emeril Celebrates 20 Years



Emeril is celebrating 20 years of cooking with a FREE ecookbook which you can download here!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Little Guy's Chicken Pasta

Have you tried Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken?    Talk about a great solution for quick suppers that still taste great!      I love the fact that this chicken taste yummy whether it is hot in a soup or pizza recipe or cold in a sandwich or salad.
Grilled Fully Cooked Chicken Breast Strips
(frozen)

•Strips are from 100% whole breast fillet
•Fully cooked, prepared in minutes
•100 calories per serving calories and 1.5 grams of fat per serving
•19g protein per serving
•98% fat free
•No preservatives
•Gluten Free



Healthy, tastes delicious and perfect for any night of the week.   What busy mom wouldn't LOVE that combination?    


We used our first bag (notice I said first bag) after grabbing it in Walmart one night after a baseball game.   It had been a crazy day and in addition to a baseball game, Little Guy had photos.      When we walked in the door, Little Guy offered to make us supper.  



He made this amazing chicken pasta for us.     Soooo wonderful!   



Little Guy's Chicken Pasta
(As told to me by Little Guy)

Ingredients:
1 bag Tyson's Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Strips
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 pinch rosemary
1/2 tsp. italian seasoning
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 box penne pasta
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt
pepper

Directions:
Put pasta on to cook in boiling, salted water.     Make a mixture out of rosemary, italian seasoning and worcestershire sauce.   Set aside.   Put olive oil and butter in skillet.     Heat and then add chicken.      Pour worcestershire mixture on top.    Cook according to package directions.      Heat heavy cream and add parmesan.       Don't let it boil or it will become too thick.      Drain noodles and mix with pasta sauce.      Top with cooked chicken.    Serve to your hungry family.    

Leftovers?   There were NONE!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easy Strawberry Lemonade

Note:    My sweet boys went out yesterday and scrubbed down the front porch and back patio furniture from all the winter dirt and pollen.      Now we can sit out and enjoy this beautiful weather.      It also means that we can stir up some great beverages to sip on while we are sitting out there.    My boys love lemonade.      They drink it year round.     I hope they don't mind me adding a few strawberries.


Easy Strawberry Lemonade

Ingredients

Country Time lemonade mix
water

1 package of frozen strawberries (thawed a bit)

Directions

Decide how much lemonade you want to make.   We usually make 2 quarts at a time.   Make lemonade according to the container directions.   Divide strawberries in half.   Puree one half.   Stir all strawberries into the lemonade.    Serve chilled.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Slowly but Surely

I haven't quit cooking or disappeared from blogging, but about a week and a half ago I had an unexpected detour in my life. I had been sick for quite a while and had been to several doctors, but on this particular day my doctor sent me to the ER where they discovered that my lungs had multiple blood clots (pulmonary embolisms). This sent the ER doctors and nurses into a fury of activity. I spent five days hooked up to ICU being monitored while receiving shots and other various medicines.

Thanks to my wonderful husband who was willing to learn how to give me my injections in my stomach they allowed us to come home as long as he drove me back each day for daily lab work. I am on a very restricted schedule. I can't lift things. I can't do housework and have to be very careful not to get bumped or cut.

We are still unsure as to the cause of these PEs, but we are working on it. I intend to use this time to go through some of my cookbooks and find some of my tried and true recipes that I want to post for you guys.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. Mine was amazing even in a hospital bed. My precious husband and sweet boys treated me amazing.

Be patient... I'll be back cooking up a storm... slowly but surely!

Monday, March 29, 2010

TMTT: POM Wonderful!!

My Tempt My Tummy Tuesday isn't the normal recipe tonight.     I have been under the weather fighting the same crazy problem I have been fighting since February.       I am trying to drink more water and eat healthy to keep my immune system up and I have fallen in love with this...

When I am struggling with nausea, I splash some POM into my ginger ale to give it some flavor and to give me a little exra nutrition.     

You can add it to all types of drinks (lemonade, tea, or soft drinks) or add it to your fruit smoothies.    That is another great way to enjoy POM wonderful.... fruit smoothies.

The POM Wonderful site includes recipes for beverages, salads, snacks, veggies, meats, etc....   

Have you ever tried POM Wonderful?     How do you enjoy it?


For GREAT recipes join me at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.   

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Simple Sugar Cookies

Note:   Are you going to make sugar cookies for Easter?    I plan to try to make some with the boys in the next little while.    There are a ton of sugar cookie recipes out there.   I have lots and fluctuate between which one I like the best.     This one is very simple and makes big, fluffy cookies which is what we want for the flowers we will be cutting out.

Simple Sugar Cookies

Ingredients
1 1/2 C. Sugar
1 C Melted Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 C. Sour Cream
5 C. Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder

Directions
In one bowl, beat sugar and butter until creamy.   Add vanilla and eggs (one at a time).   Then add sour cream and mix until creamy.      In a separate bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients.     Add dry ingredients gradually to the wet ingredients.     

Form your dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.    Put into the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Make a mixture of 2 parts flour and 1 part sugar.      Dust your surface with this mixture and then roll your cookie dough out on it.     Don't roll to thin!

Cut out with cookie cutters and place on parchment paper (my newest LOVE!) or on greased cookie sheets.

 Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.     You don't want them to get brown.    Just firm to the touch.   Always remember that cookies continue to bake on the cookie sheet after you remove them from the oven.     

Eat plain or frost!

Monday, March 22, 2010

TMTT: Deviled Eggs

Note:    Deviled eggs just seem to be one of those things that you have to have at Easter.      Probably because so many people are dying them and they don't know what else to do but make salads and such so they won't go to waste!   ha!     I grew up eating deviled eggs, but I didn't really love deviled eggs until I started making them this way. 

Deviled Eggs

Ingredients
5 eggs
1/2 cup Mayo
1 Tbsp. Mustard
1 Tbsp. Vinegar
Tabasco, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon, fried crispy and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
paprika

Directions
Boil your eggs.   Don't be intimidated... just place those eggs in cold water, pop them on the stove and turn on the eye.    After about 15 minutes, turn off the stove, cover the pan and let them sit while you make your filling!      Mix together your mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, tobasco, salt and pepper.    Rinse your eggs under cool water, peel them and slice in half lengthwise.     Remove the yolk and place in a small bowl and put the whites on a plate.   Dump one of the "white" halves in with your yolks.    Mash up the yolk mixture.      Mix your mayo mixture in with your mashed eggs.     Mix well.     Fold in bacon and shredded cheese.    Spoon into the egg whites.     No deviled egg is complete without a sprinkle of paprika on top!      Refrigerate until ready to serve.      What am I talking about?    Why wait... just eat those delicious babies!


I need some recipe inspiration.   I am headed over to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!    Come on, let's go!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Every Cupcake Needs A Carrier

And THIS is the carrier for me!

Isn't is beautiful?     

It carries 36 cupcakes safely and comes in four pretty colors:  sky blue, lemongrass, petal pink and saffron yellow.     

It also does double duty because you can take out the inserts and transform it into a double decker cake carrier too.
I don't have one, but it is definitely going on my "wish" list!    You can find these beauties at Amazon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sunday Dinner Crockpot Pork Tenderloin

Note:  I like coming home after church and having dinner as a family.    I just do not like going out to eat on Sundays.     Of course, when we get home from church the boys are usually "starving" so I need to have our lunch already partially started.      This tenderloin is a double duty dish.   We can eat it for Sunday dinner with some saffron rice and salad, but then slice it up for au ju sandwiches on Monday before going to baseball practice.

Sunday Dinner Crockpot Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients
pork tenderloin (about 2 pounds)
1 envelope dry onion mix
1 cup water
1 cup leftover cold coffee
3 Tablespoons minced garlic
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
freshly ground pepper

Directions
Stir together onion mix, water, coffee, and soy sauce.   Place pork tenderloin in the crock pot.   Pour liquid mixture over the tenderloin making sure it is covered well with the liquid.     Sprinkle minced garlic over the top of the pork tenderloin.    Sprinkle with pepper.     Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.  

Monday, March 15, 2010

TMTT: Porches' Lemonade Green Beans

Note:    In Wesson, Mississippi, sits a little restaurant called Porches who considers themselves southern hospitality from an era gone by.     They have signature dishes that people keep returning for over and over and lemonade green beans is one of them.      This is a wonderful make ahead dish for Sunday dinner!

Porches' Lemonade Green Beans

Ingredients
2 (16 oz) cans green beans
1/2 stick margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 oz lemonade concentrate
1 small onion, thinly sliced

Directions
Combine all the ingredients and add water to cover.   Bring to a boil and mix well.   Simmer on medium for 10 minutes.    Cool and refrigerate overnight.     Warm before serving.


Are you like me and planning for your Easter dinner?   Join me over at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday for more recipe ideas!

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

Note:   Are you planning on celebrating St. Patrick's Day?    Then you need some corned beef and cabbage soup, don't you!    

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

Ingredients
8 cups water
3 Tbsp beef base
5 medium potatoes
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 can corned beef

Directions
Bring water and beef base to a boil.   Add potatoes.   Simmer for about 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Add cabbage and cook for another 5 minutes until it is tender.   Cut up corned beef and add to soup.    Bring to boil.   Remove from heat and serve.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cookbook: The Science Chef



The Science Chef
Joan D'Amico and Karen Eich Drummong



Note:   Why does popcorn pop?    Why do onions make you cry?   Why does toast brown?   What makes an apple turn brown?        This is all KITCHEN SCIENCE!!    This has been a fun book for the boys to do on rainy days.     I think this would be a really fun summer science camp!



With the Science Chef you'll learn loads of basic science by doing fun, easy-to-perform cooking projects. The best part is you get to eat your results! You'll discover the answers to such scientific questions such as, why do onions make you cry? How does yeast make bread rise? What makes popcorn pop, whipped cream frothy, and angel food cake fluffy? These are kid-tested recipes for everything from cinnamon toast and baked potatoes to stromboli pizzoli and monkey bread.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lemon Icebox Pie (No Bake)

Note:    My Aunt Wilma makes a ton of lemon icebox pies.    She makes them because her boys loves them.   Isn't that why all moms cook?    I don't have her recipe, but I love a good lemon icebox pie too.   I am sure that mine are not as good as hers, but every time I make one I think of her.


Lemon Icebox Pie

Ingredients

1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions
Cream all ingredients together and pour into prepared graham cracker crust.      Refrigerate overnight.   

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Try This: TownHouse Bistro Cornbread

 

We had some family coming over to watch Little Guy watch basketball a few weekends ago.   I decided to make up several different salads to put in the refrigerator so that everyone could come to the house and have lunch.      I always like to have a variety of crackers and I picked up a box of these TownHouse Bistro cornbread crackers.

They were a HIT!     Hubs and I really loved them.   In fact, we have bought two boxes since then to eat with soup as well as with the rest of the salad.    

The downside is that there are not many crackers in the box and unless you catch them on sale they can be on the pricey side.

Have you tried these?   What did you think?

Monday, March 8, 2010

TMTT: Chocolate Rolo Cookies

Note:   We have been doing a lot of baking for sick friends lately.      Lots of friends hurting and going through so much right now.      It is tough when it feels like the only thing you can do is make a plate of cookies.    Well, that is not the only thing.    We are praying and that is no small thing.     In God's hands it will be much.

Chocolate Rolo Cookies

Ingredients
1 pkg devils food cake mix
1 egg
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Rolo candies, unwrapped
pecans, finely chopped

Directions
In a bowl, mix cake mix, egg, water and vegetable.    Scoop mix by teaspoonful and roll into balls.    Press one Rolo into the center of a cake ball and reshape the ball around the Rolo.    Press top of ball into pecan pieces.   Place uncoated side down on cookie sheet.    Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.


For more ideas and recipes to share with your friends and neighbors, join me over at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cookbook: The Math Chef




The Math Chef

Joan D'Amico and Karen Eich Drummond
 John Wiley & Sons / 1997 / Paperback

Note:    I knew mixing Little Guy's math lessons with his natural love of cooking would be a home run.     This cookbook includes a little bit of it all:  measuring, multiplying, dividing, fractions, percents, geometry, and more!     Plus, good grief this math tastes good!!

Here is a sample lesson:    



 
 
 
 


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Recipe Swap with Simply Modern Mom

Over-used Recipes Swap


Simply Modern Mom is trying to collect 365 recipes as part of her "Over-Used Recipe Swap".   What is an over-used recipe?   Something you just keep making over and over again in your kitchen.

Here are the recipes that I linked up to her recipe swap:







What recipes will you link up?

Easy Praline Pecan Cake

Note:     The hardest part about this cake is waiting the time it takes for it to bake.    That is why I try to keep the ingredients on hand so I can bake one when I need one for a new neighbor, someone in the hospital or a potluck.      I would think these freeze well, but to be honest I have never kept one to know.  

Easy Praline Pecan Cake

Ingredients
1 package butter pecan cake mix
1 container coconut pecan frosting
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Prepare a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.     Combine the cake mix with frosting (no, I am not kidding!), eggs, oil, and water.     Mix well until combined.    Mix in half of the pecans.     Pour half of the cake mixture in the bundt pan.    Sprinkle the rest of the pecans over the cake mix and top with the remaining cake mix.      Bake for about 50 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Still No "Ace"

Little Guy and I finished our cake decorating class.    We had a blast despite the pounds of icing that I had to make in that  month long period.       Decorating the cakes was nothing compared to trying to keep up with making all the types of icing we had to have for each class.     For that reason alone I am kind of glad that we are finished.

We had to make a cake for our "final".     Little Guy and I were allowed to make our cake together.     We had to make a cake that was two layers, iced in the middle.   Flat on the top (some people really struggled with this).      It had to have at least four icing colors and use at least four techniques.      


Our cake looks simple, but it took us almost two hours to complete.    Both Little Guy and I loved our bumble bee and hated our butterfly.    Live and learn.    


For now we are celebrating the end of our class.... with CAKE!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Skor Cake

Note:     I made this for the final night of basketball.    Get it?   Skor --- Score.     I know.    It is a stretch, but I didn't want to make basketball cookies again.    *smile*   Anyway, chocolate is always a winner whether Mom is being corny or not!

Skor Cake

Ingredients
chocolate cake mix
sweetened condensed milk
1 large Cool Whip
2 Skor bars

Directions
Prepare the chocolate cake according to the box directions.      Let your cake cool completely.     Take the end of a wooden spoon and poke rows of holes along the cake about 1 inch apart from each other.     Pour the entire can of sweetened condensed milk over the cake.      Cover with foil and let sit for 2 hours.

When ready to serve, top with Cool Whip and crushed Skor bars.

Store in the refrigerator.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cookbook: Emeril's There's A Chef In My World





Emeril's There's A Chef In My World
Emeril Lagasse

Illustrated By: Charles Yuen
HarperCollins Publishing / 2006 / Hardcover
 
Note:   I ran across this cookbook in the after Christmas sales.    I know Little Guy is going to love it.    I bought it and have put it away in my gift closet to tuck into his Easter basket.     I hope I can wait that long!   It is going to be fun cooking all the great recipes from around the world.

Chef Emeril brings you a taste of the world! He helped younger kids take their first steps into the kitchen with Emeril's There's a Chef in My Soup! Recipes for the Kid in Everyone and then kicked it up a notch for older kids and adults, too, in Emeril's There's a Chef in My Family! Recipes to Get Everybody Cooking. Now Chef Emeril is back with a cookbook that really takes you places!
You can start your travels in your own kitchen by exploring the meals, ingredients, and cooking styles enjoyed in different countries and regions. Hey, Chef Emeril knows that we're all part of one global family, and a great way to learn about other cultures is through their food! Once you're cooking international-style, you'll be ready to hop on a plane to China, Portugal, England, Greece, or Africa, just for a start!
This cookbook is for kids of all ages and adults to use together, with 75 recipes for daily meals, special occasions, and everything in between, along with cooking tips and safety precautions. You can make a meal with dishes from one region or mix it up for a truly international feast! Plus, Chef Emeril includes "Did You Know . . ." tidbits of cultural information behind some of the recipes.
  • Try breakfast English-style with Toad in the Hole -- and discover what the "toad" is!
  • After tasting Mexican Broiled Corn, you might never go back to plain old corn on the cob again!
  • Instead of going to a Chinese restaurant, cook your own Kung Pao Chicken and find out how this popular dish may have received its name!
  • BLT Hot Dogs are a perfect twist of two American classics! But just how American are hot dogs, anyway?
  • And don't forget to leave room for dessert! One bite of No-Bake Caribbean Rice Pudding and you'll want to know more about the flavors of the islands!
So, get ready, pack your bags -- here's your passport to a whole new world of food!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cake Boss is Safe

Back in January I told you that I wasn't making New Year's resolutions, but I wanted to challenge myself to learn a few new things this year.     One of the things on my list to learn has been to decorate cakes.     I always thought it would be fun to just learn some basics.    

Little Guy and I ran through Michaels a few weeks ago and there was a Wilton demonstrator there and they were having a special on their classes which allowed you to sign up for 50% off plus they gave you a coupon for an additional $5 off.     We decided that we would jump in and take Course 1.

We have a few classes left.      We have really enjoyed taking this class, but trust me when I say that the Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes are very safe with their business!   Ha!


Little Guy took this picture of his first cake.     He decided to put his initial on it as well as stars, clouds, meteors, the moon and a planet.


Here is my first cake.    I went with basics to try to practice some of the techniques she was teaching us in class.    Boring, but finished.


 



We decided to challenge ourselves a little.     When it was our turn to take snacks for Little Guy's basketball game we made sugar cookies and decorated them to look like basketballs.      We had so much fun doing this!   (Sorry this is such a bad pic.   I took it with my cell phone.)




Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Skillet Lasagna

Note:   I love lasagna, but I rarely make it because I don't want to mess with it.     Finding this skillet version of lasagna  over at Sisters' Stuff was quite a score.     It gives you the taste without the time and prep.     I don't think it replaces really good lasagna, but what could replace that?  

Skillet Lasagna

Ingredients
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/4 cups water
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups bow tie pasta, uncooked
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dash basil, pepper



Directions

In large skillet, brown beef with onions and garlic; drain. Add tomatoes, water, tomato sauce, parsley, basil, oregano, and salt. Mix well. Stir in uncooked pasta. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; cover, simmer for 20 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring once. Stir in cottage cheese. Cover with and Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle in basil and pepper to taste if desired. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

IHOP National Pancake Day Celebration

 

IHOP is giving away free pancakes for National Pancake Day  TODAY! 
IHOP has been celebrating National Pancake Day since 2006 and has raised $3.25 million to support local charities.    This year they will be taking donations for local Children's Hospitals.    What a great opportunity to support our local Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital!
Go here for all the details! 

Monday, February 22, 2010

TMTT: Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

Note:    Saturdays are crazy with basketball games.    Sunday mornings are very busy trying to get us all out the door to church.    Monday is very busy with my sweet twin nieces coming over to play for the morning.    Right now the crockpot is getting a workout because I am using it to even help out with breakfast occasionally!         

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients
1 pound bag frozen hash browns, partially thawed
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 dozen large eggs
1 cup milk
salt and pepper

Directions
Spray the inside of your crockpot with a nonstick cooking spray.     Pour half of the hashbrowns evenly into the bottom of the crockpot.   Top with half of the cheese.    Repeat with the rest of the hashbrowns and cheese.

Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper.   Pour on top of the hashbrowns and cheese.    Cook on low overnight (about 8-9 hours).

If you like meat in your breakfast casserole, you can add cooked bacon, sausage, or ham after the hashbrowns and before the cheese.   


I am heading over to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday to see my friends, Lisa and Lana, and check out this week's wonderful recipes!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cookbook: Southern Living Annual Recipes 2009



Southern Living
2009 Annual Recipes

Oxmoor House,  November 11, 2009
368 Pages, Hardcover, 0848732855


Note:  I wait every year for Southern Living to release their annual recipe book.     I don't always have the luxury of purchasing the book, but I love going to the local bookstore, buying a cup of coffee and just casually going through each and every page.      No matter what recipe you pick, you can be assured it will be delicious.  


Praline Pull Apart Bread

Ingredients
1  cup  granulated sugar
4  teaspoons  ground cinnamon, divided
1  (2-lb.) package frozen bread roll dough
1/2  cup  butter, melted
1  cup  chopped pecans
3/4  cup  whipping cream
3/4  cup  firmly packed brown sugar

Directions

1. Stir together granulated sugar and 3 tsp. cinnamon. Coat each roll in butter; dredge rolls in sugar mixture. Arrange in a lightly greased 10-inch tube pan; sprinkle with pecans. Cover and chill 8 to 18 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 325°. Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; stir in brown sugar and remaining 1 tsp. cinnamon. Pour mixture over dough. Place pan on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes; invert onto a serving plate, and drizzle with any remaining glaze in pan.
 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Not "Just" Baked Beans

Note:    I made baked beans for supper the other night.    The boys came into the kitchen and saw the pot sitting on the stove.     "What are we having for supper?" one of them asked.     "Baked beans."   I said.   I giggled when I saw the "that's all?" look that passed between them.      Hubs said, "Not JUST baked beans.   Mom's baked beans."     


Not "Just" Baked Beans

Ingredients
1 (28 oz) can pintos beans, drained
1 (28 oz) can white kidney beans, drained
1 pound bacon, diced
1 pound hamburger meat, browned and drained
1 sweet onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Tabasco
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions
Drain and rinse beans well. Combine the beans in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Pull out the bacon and remove 1/2 the bacon grease. Drop in onions and cook until translucent, then add the peppers and the garlic. Cook just to wilt the vegetables, 5 or so minutes. Add the vegetables to the beans, along with remaining ingredients except the bacon. Mix, taste, and adjust to suit you. Pour into casserole dish, cover, and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Remove the cover and place cooked bacon on top. Bake uncovered for another 10 minutes.