Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Neapolitan Refrigerator Sheet Cake

Here's another of my Grandmother's goodies out of her recipe file. Every time I look through the cookbook I made of all her recipes, it brings back memories. Good memories of good food. We always called this a "poke cake". I loved fixing this for the boys when they were little. I hope one of these days they will look back on the food I prepared with as much fondness.
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pkg. strawberry gelatin (4 serving size)
  • 1 package Duncan Hines Deluxe II Fudge Marble Cake Mix
TOPPING:

  • 1 envelope whipped topping mix (2-2-1/2 cup yield)
  • 1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix (4 serving size)
  • 1-1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Dissolve gelatin in 3/4 cup boiling water. Add 1/2 cup cold water; set aside at room temperature. Mix and bake cake as directed in a 13x9x2 pan. Cool cake 20-25 minutes. Poke deep holes through top of warm cake (still in pan) with meat fork or toothpick; Space holes about one inch apart. With a cup, slowly pour gelatin mixture into holes. Refrigerate cake while preparing topping.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter 
  • 2 ¼ cups bread flour 
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt 
  • 1 tsp. baking soda 
  • ¼ cup sugar 
  • 1 ¼ cups brown sugar 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 2 T milk 
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
DIRECTIONS:
Heat oven to 375. 


Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside. 


Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 T. milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. 


Chill the dough, and then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Quick Rolls

Here's a roll recipe that is so easy, you can whip these up and  have them on the table in 15 minutes. I've got a dough cutter that makes the nicest square rolls.
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. sugar
DIRECTIONS:
Combine all ingredients; mix well, knead lightly on a floured surface. Roll out, fold in half and cut into small squares with dough cutter. (Another alternative is to spray the insides of a muffin pan and drop a big spoonful into cup.) Place on a lightly greased baking pan and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.


Yeast Rolls

Every time I turn around, I'm seeing these yummy yeast roll recipes on Pinterest. Yeast rolls require plenty of effort and you can't just throw them together on a whim. Last night we had fried chicken, green beans canned from the garden, sliced baked potatoes and homemade yeast rolls. They smelled heavenly while they were baking and you know Andy and I were digging in the minute they were taken out of the oven...Along with a stick of butter. To die for!

Here's a "copy cat" recipe that circulated my email years ago which I have used several times. Allow a minimum of three hours to make the batter, let it rise, cut them out and let them rise again. 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 envelope Active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup very warm water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup scalded hot milk, cooled to lukewarm
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups sifted all−purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (brush tops of rolls)
DIRECTIONS:
Sprinkle the yeast over very warm water in a large bowl (HINT: Very warm water should feel comfortably warm when dropped on wrist.) 

Stir until yeast dissolves. Add sugar, the 1/4 cup butter or margarine and salt to milk and stir until the sugar dissolves and butter or margarine is melted. 

Add milk mixture to yeast, then beat in egg. Beat in 4 cups of the flour, 1 cup at a time, to form a soft dough. Use some of the remaining 1/2 cup of the flour to dust your work surface. Knead the dough lightly for 5 minutes, working in the remaining flour

Place dough in a warm buttered bowl; turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. 

Punch dough down and knead 4 to 5 minutes on a lightly floured work surface. Dough will be sticky, but use as little flour as possible for flouring your hands and work surface, otherwise the rolls will not be as feathery light as they should be. 

Pinch off small chunks of dough and shape into round rolls about 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 inches in diameter. Place in neat rows, not quite touching, in a well−buttered 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Cover rolls and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes. 

Brush tops of rolls with melted butter or margarine, then bake in a 375 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve warm with plenty of butter. This recipe yields about 2 dozen rolls.

Sliced Baked Potatoes

Recipe adapted from: SeasaltwithFood
I'm like probably every other woman out there who likes to browse through Pinterest. Ooooh! That looks good!!! So, I've got a board titled "Foods I've Got To Make". The pictures always look so pretty...and I believe we "eat with our eyes". This weekend I decided to put the written recipe to the test on a couple of them. This is one recipe well worth keeping, but I've got a few ideas for the next go around. The original recipe calls for sliced garlic between the slices and since we keep minced garlic by the vat, I substituted with that. A few of the pieces of garlic tuck to the top got a little extra roasted...but they were still really good.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • Butter
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lay the potato on your cutting board and find the flattest side. Cut vertical slices as thin as possible without cutting all the way through to the bottom. I spaced them around 1/8" thick.

Place them on a baking tray and carefully insert garlic between the slices. It is a little tricky to get this in between the cuts.  Melt 1/2 stick butter and drizzle over the tops. Drizzle olive oil on top of the butter. Sprinkle with sea salt & black pepper to taste on top.

After 40 minutes, check to see if potatoes are tender. (Check the middle slices). If not, let them bake until done.

The next time I fix these; I will be inserting sliced onion between the slices in place of the garlic.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chicken Stew

There's nothing better than a big bowl of chicken stew on a cool night. The sun was shining; but that wind was quite cool. The rich broth is so good you could sip it through a straw. Bake up a skillet of cornbread to serve with it. I like to cut my bread in half and spoon the stew on top of it; soaking up that broth.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 lbs. chicken thighs* (or 1 large hen)
  • 1 large or 2 small onions cut into big chunks
  • 1 can green and white lima beans
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 can young, small peas
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can sliced carrots
  • 1 can sliced potatoes
  • 3 jars canned whole tomatoes (or 2 cans store bought)
  • 8 oz. jar Cheese Whiz
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Place chicken thighs in a large soup pot and totally cover with at least an additional 1" of water on top. Bring to a boil. As fat forms on the top of the water, spoon it off. Season with salt & pepper. Let it cook at a medium boil for at least 1 hour. Remove chicken from pot and set to the side to cool slightly.

Open and drain all vegetables and pour into broth along with chunks of onion. Bring up to a medium boil. Spoon in Cheese Whiz and stir until blended well. (The secret to that pretty colored broth!) With a teaspoon, taste broth and determine if it needs additional salt, pepper or bouillon. Remove skin and bones from chicken. Mash the chicken with your fingers to break it down and return to the pot. Allow it to cook on medium-low, uncovered for at least an hour

*Thighs will make the richest broth. If you choose to use chicken breasts or a whole fryer, add chicken flavored Better than Bouillon for a better tasting broth.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Easy Cobbler

I was taught how to fix this easy cobbler by my boys' Grandmother. She was a wonderful "country cook" and I'm thankful she shared her extensive knowledge with me. This one is so easy to remember...it takes "one" of all the ingredients. 

If fresh fruit isn't available, you can whip this up in no time flat with your choice of canned fruit. The first time I fixed one with fresh pears, Andy couldn't believe how good it tasted. 
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 quart of fruit* or 2 cans of fruit with syrup drained (add more or less to your taste)
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt stick of butter in 9"X9" casserole dish in oven. 
Mix flour, sugar, vanilla and milk in a small bowl.
When butter is melted and bubbly, pour fruit in dish and then pour batter on top. Do not mix! 
Bake until top of cobbler is a very light brown and fruit is bubbly.

*We are fortunate to have a couple of cherry trees that produce quite a bit of fruit and the birds tend to ignore. Around Memorial Day weekend, cherries are ready to pick; stone (remove pits) and freeze. We use a vacuum sealer which guarantees what is frozen keeps a good taste.

When I use frozen cherries or pears, I will pour them, after they have thawed and been rinsed, into a small bowl and cover with approximately 1/4-1/2 cup sugar.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Stuffed Shells

This is one of the dishes Momma fixed when we were growing up that had all of us kids drooling at the mere mention of stuffed shells. When I went off to college and finally drug my butt home from time to time, this is what I would always ask for. 
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 box jumbo shells
  • 1 lb. hamburger meat*
  • 1 lb. pork sausage
  • 1 large can** of spaghetti sauce, seasoning your choice
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large colored bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:
In a large pot, cook shells as directed on the box.

In a skillet cook meats until browned. Drain grease and pour into a bowl. Saute onions and peppers until almost tender and add mushrooms. Stir in minced garlic. Heat through. Mix veggies with meat mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Lightly cover the bottom of a 9x13 and a 8x8 baking dish with spaghetti sauce. Fill each shell with a large spoonful of the meat and veggie mixture. Place in dish and continue filling until done. Divide remaining spaghetti sauce over tops of stuffed shells. Sprinkle shredded cheese over both baking dishes.
Heat  until cheese is melted. Serve with a salad and garlic bread.

*Substitute beef and pork with ground turkey meat for a healthier version!
**Keep another can handy in the event you want more sauce than we like.

Cole Slaw

Pulled pork, pork chops, meatloaf, fried chicken, roasted chicken, turkey, beef stew, roast beef, smoked sausage, ribs....the list goes on and on. Everything tastes good with a helping of slaw on the side. I have eaten it every way imaginable and got it narrowed down to the only two ways I like it. This one and this hot version. One mistake most people make is adding too much salad dressing. Mine looks almost too dry when I first fix it. By the time you add salt and it sits in the fridge for 20 minutes or so; it's right! I'm a Hellman's nut, but when it comes to slaw you've got to use salad dressing.


I'm sure someone will be offended when I tell them I cheat and buy the bags of the already shredded cabbage with carrots and purple cabbage. Come garden time, we grow all of the above, including the onions and I do make it fresh. 


INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 bag of shredded cabbage (slaw mix)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup salad dressing 
  • 1 /2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
DIRECTIONS:
In a large bowl blend onion, salad dressing, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix in 1/3 of the bag. Once it's all blended well, add in another third and repeat until the whole bag is mixed. Cover and set in refrigerator until ready to eat.


Again, it will look like you aren't adding enough salad dressing, but I promise it will be right. If you do like it overloaded, go ahead and add more...but don't say I didn't warn you! :-)

Beef Stew

Andy makes the best beef stew hands down. Sunday he put a pot full together and let it simmer all afternoon. That's the secret to good beef stew...slow cooking. The meat gets so tender! Coating the meat in flour and searing it does wonders for the broth thickening and the tenderness too. Since he was head chef for the night; I peeled potatoes and carrots; made the slaw and cornbread and we sat down to a really good meal.


INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 lbs. beef roast, trimmed and cut into cubes
  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • 6 large carrots, peeled and cut into big pieces
  • 1-1/2 onion, quartered
DIRECTIONS:
Put potatoes, carrots and onion in a large pot and barely cover with water. Mix in 1-1/2 tbsp. Beef Better Than Bouillion and salt and pepper to taste. Turn on to medium heat.


In a large skillet heat 2 tbsp. oil to medium-high. 


Add flour to a one gallon ziplock bag. Drop in pieces of beef; shake and coat well.


Drop into skillet and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.


Sear meat on all sides. As it browns, drop the meat into the pot. Continue until all beef has been seared. 


Cover pot with a lid and let simmer for 2-3 hours before eating. Check and stir frequently. 


Serve with cornbread and slaw!

Cornbread



Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
A black iron skillet is a must. My favorite skillet is the one that serves up 8 triangles of cornbread. The outsides are nice and browned and perfect with soups and beans.
Coat the bottom of the skillet vegetable oil and let it preheat with the oven. The oil is hot enough when a drop of batter sizzles when it hits it.
In a small mixing bowl mix:
  • 1 cup of Martha White self-rising cornmeal*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of buttermilk 
Make sure mix is thin. If too thick, add a little more buttermilk. Pour in hot skillet. Bake at 450 degrees for around 20 minutes. 
*I do all of my measuring by eye. To fill my triangle skillet, I have to use a little more meal and buttermilk. 

When Andy's the chef, he uses 2 cups of meal, a 1/4 cup of flour and a tbsp. of sugar with buttermilk.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stuffed Pork Chops

Momma night at the Grisham house was a hit. I served up stuffed pork chops, Mahatma yellow rice and steamed broccoli. Stuffing was made and chops were wrapped up last night; popped it in the oven this morning and all I had to do was fix the sides when I got home.  The directions are going to be how I fix these every time I make the dish. You can cook these quicker if you don't want to start the night before, but they won't be as tender.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 5 pork chops 2" thick
Stuffing Mix:
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup margarine
Recommended spices:
  • 1/8 tsp. thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Lawry's Season Salt
  • Good On Anything Sauce (or Dale's or Johnny's Sauce)
  • 1/2 cup water
DIRECTIONS: The night before...

Carefully cut a slit/pouch into the pork chops. Line a small casserole dish with a big piece of long aluminum foil.

In a small bowl mix the stuffing mix ingredients and recommended spices until well blended.

Stuff chops with stuffing. Insert toothpicks to keep them together. Stand up in dish side by side.
Season the tops and sides of the pork chops with additional salt, pepper and seasoning of your choice. We keep our Good on Anything Sauce in a spray bottle which makes the next step easier. Lightly spray sauce all over exposed chops.
Pour 1/2 cup water around the bottom of the chops. Fold aluminum foil in on the sides first. Gather the ends to the center and then tightly roll up the aluminum foil. Refrigerate overnight.


DIRECTIONS: The morning...

Place dish into cold oven. (6AM) Turn oven on to 250 degrees. I am fortunate to have a job where I or Blair can come home at lunch and turn the oven off at 12 noon. Bake for a minimum of 6 hours. Leave the pork chops in the oven and do not unwrap until you are ready to eat.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Taco Salad


Tonight's dinner, taco salad, was quick and easy! Everyone puts what they want in the bowl...and then some!

We finished up a few frozen margaritas. We were eating "Mexican" after all!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 lb. hamburger meat
  • 1 pack taco seasoning
  • 1 box Azteca Salad Shells (Johnson's Foodtown in P-town, TN)
  • Salad
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Cheese
  • Salsa
  • Ranch Dressing

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let shells sit out at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.

Put the supplied cardboard frames together to drape the shells over.  Place shells on top and lightly squeeze around frame to shape.
Place in oven and let bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown. DO NOT OVERBAKE!

While shells are baking, brown 1 lb. hamburger meat. Drain excess grease; add water and taco seasoning per package instructions.

I like to layer my shells with salad, taco meat, tomatoes, salsa, cheese and top with ranch dressing. 


Monday, February 20, 2012

Spinach Cheese Dip

This spinach dip is so good it'll make your tongue beat your brains out!! 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 box frozen spinach, squeeze water out with hands
  • Or 1 bag (9 oz.) fresh spinach (remove big stems and give a rough chop)
  • 1.5 lbs Queso Blanco Velveeta and ½ pound regular Velveeta cheese
  • 2-3 small Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp. jalapenos, chopped
  • 4 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 C milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • Tortilla chips

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Sauté onions, garlic and jalapenos in butter in a large skillet. (If you use fresh spinach, wilt it in this mixture)  Remove from heat, add flour. Stir until blended well. It will not be a pretty clump of stuff. 
  2. In a double boiler* combine cheese, lemon juice, cream and milk. Stir constantly. 
  3. After cheese is completely melted add tomatoes and sautéed mixture and spinach.
  4. Cancel any plans you have to eat anything else for the rest of the evening because you won't be able to quit eating this.
*I use a soup pot; put about 2-1/2 to 3 inches of water in it and set a large stainless steel mixing bowl on top instead of a double boiler. Works just as well!


Mommacitas™ Real Enchiladas

There is a really sweet lady named PJ who has been by the printing company I work for several times regarding an awesome product she is selling called Mommacitas™ Authentic Enchilada Sauce. Recently, she shared her special sauce with fellow co-worker Betty and I. On the back of the label she has her "Real Enchilada Recipe" and we recently fixed it for supper. I followed it the best I could, but you know me...I have to veer slightly. :-)

Her website is in the process of being designed (www.Mommacitas.com) but you can order by texting PJ at 931-309-3862.
INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 1/4 cup Mommacitas™ Dry Sauce
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 12 oz. deboned chicken
  • 6 oz. onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 12 black olives

Mix 1/4 cup Mommacitas™ Dry Sauce with 2 cups cold water. Heat until thickened; let cool.

Saute chicken with 1 tbsp. dried sauce, onions, garlic and black olives.

Dredge each tortilla though the sauce in a 9" baking tray, spread enough sauce to cover pan. Place 2 oz. of this mixture and 2 oz. of grated cheese on each tortilla. Wrap and place seam side down. Cover with remaining sauce, and 3/4 cup grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 25 to 30 minutes until cheese is really melted.

I substituted with 1 pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs sliced thin and 1 small can of sliced black olives.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pickled Eggs

Ok. Now I'm showing my redneck side. For decades, every country store I'd walk into would have, I swear, a 5 gallon jar of pickled eggs on the counter where you'd check out. The sight of them would make me snarl my nose and just about gag. 


Several times, this good-ol'-boy I work with, Rickey, brought a jar of "rooster eggs" he'd make to share in the break room. Countless times I'd walk by and be like, "No Thank You!" On one occasion, I saw my boss, whom I consider to be fairly picky when it comes to strange and different foods, eating those eggs like they were potato chips! Seriously? If he's eating them, then I've got to try one. Well, I have to admit, I've been hooked since.


Rickey shared his recipe with me and Andy and I have been making pickled eggs to nibble on at the river for years. We like to cut them in half, sprinkle a little black pepper on them and eat 'em up!


Word to the wise: Don't fix more than you'll eat in a several month period. They're easy to make and they taste better if you eat them fairly quickly. 


INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 dozens large eggs
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • White vinegar
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • Quart canning jars or other glass containers
   (I used a 1/2 gallon and a 1 quart jar)
DIRECTIONS:
Carefully place half of the eggs in a large pot and cover with an additional inch of water. Hard boil these on high for 15 minutes. Pour into sink and cover with cold water while you hard boil the other eggs.

Peel shells and rinse. With a toothpick, insert about 1/4" in each end of the egg. Drop into a glass jar. Put a few slices of the onion into the jar along with 1 tbsp. of crushed red pepper flakes. Cover eggs with vinegar, seal and turn a few times to spread pepper flakes throughout. Let them set for a week before you eat.
Have I mentioned I have several packs of red-hot wienies sitting on the counter ready to be pickled?

Bloody Mary's II

When I was a very small child I loved to stay at my Meme's and Pepe's house. They'd have a few cocktails in the evening and my Grand-mere would fix me one too...minus the alcohol. I realize this might sound a little odd, but at that time (40 or so years ago), I thought a V8 with olives on a toothpick was the best tasting drink you could have. I can only imagine this exposure is what led me to enjoy an occasional Bloody Mary in the future, but thank goodness it's not a habit!

This version you fix in a blender and the other Bloody Mary post you mix by the glass.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 quart tomato juice 
  • 6 oz. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. horseradish

Combine all ingredients in a blender and let it do it's thing for a minute or so. Serve in a glass with plenty of ice, and green olives, lemon slices or celery.

Bloody Mary's

In honor of Mardi Gras 2012, I'm posting my two favorite Bloody Mary recipes. When I think of New Orleans, Bloody Mary's come to mind...along with a bowl of Gumbo, Jambalaya, Muffalettas and beignets. Just mentioning Cajun food makes me wish I was there...but not this week! I'm a little too old for that much out of control.


Last summer I canned tomatoes. The flavor was so good you could literally open a jar and drink the juice from it. If they turn out as good as last year, I'm going to put up several quart jars of tomato juice strictly for these two recipes.


Version one is by the glass and version two will be by the blender.


INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 oz. Vodka
  • 6 oz. tomato juice (I prefer V8, Andy prefers Campbells tomato juice)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 squeeze of lemon
  • 1 dash of Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • Green olives*


DIRECTIONS:
In a cocktail shaker, mix vodka and tomato juice. Add spices, squeeze of lemon and Worcestershire sauce. Shake again and pour into a glass with a couple of olives skewered on a toothpick.


*A small spoonful of olive juice is a nice addition too!





Snicker Cheesecake Squares With Oreo Crust

Ya'll know I don't consider myself to be a "baker". But I do bake and make sweets from time to time. You know by now what I fix is going to be easy, easy, easy and heavenly to your tastebuds. If it requires a homemade crust that gives you an option to use Oreo cookies instead of graham crackers, I'll probably do that too. Oreos are one of my weaknesses!
This recipe came to me from my son Dale. He was sitting in the orthodontist's office one day flipping through a magazine and found it. He proceeded to write it down for future use. Andy ran into him at W-Mart one evening and found him buying ingredients and even a 9x13 baking pan. Dale was planning on making this dessert for his girlfriend and now wife Amanda for her birthday or Valentine's Day or some other special occasion. Andy assured him I'd let him use one of my baking pans, but for some reason he was going to leave the dish and all with her. Around here we say if you leave a dish with someone, they're supposed to bring it back filled with something equally good. In our case, visitors just return them empty and ask for a refill...which we gladly do!


CRUST INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 cups Oreo Sandwich cookie crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted


FILLING INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese blocks, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 bars (2.07 oz.) Snicker bars, chopped, divided


DIRECTIONS FOR CRUST:
Mix crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom of 13x9 baking pan


FILLING:
Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix until blended. Gently stir in 1 cup of the chopped candy bars. Pour into crust. Sprinkle with remaining chopped candy bars.


Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.

Bacon Egg Muffins

My husband loves the kitchen just about as much as I do. There was a half pound of bacon in the refrigerator I wanted to use to make bacon egg muffins. While Andy was frying the bacon, we debated on scrambled or fried and he decided to pop the eggs in the microwave so they would come out in neat little circles.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 4 eggs
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • 4 English muffins
  • 2 slices of cheese (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Cut bacon slices in half and fry. Set to the side. 

Whisk 4 eggs with a little milk. 
Momma brought this by the house yesterday. She knows we love to cook, and thought it was just too cute!
Butter the sides and bottom of a 3.5" ramekin/bowl.
Pour 1/4 of the egg mixture in the bowl. 

Microwave for 40 seconds.(1000 watt)

Split and toast English muffins. Make a layer of 4 pieces of bacon, egg, and 1/2 slice of cheese. If cheese doesn't melt enough, stick back in microwave for 5 seconds. I like a little mayo on my bread, but Andy ate his plain.




Saturday, February 18, 2012

Foodie Blogroll

Woo hoo! I'm excited to announce my food blog  has been approved by www.foodieblogroll.com! Foodie Blogroll is a community of over 13,500 food blog sites of every variety imaginable. Sign up today and explore all the resources available through promotions, contests and giveaways!

Chicken and Cheese Flautas

Got left over chicken? Shred it and put it to use with this quick and easy recipe.
INGREDIENTS
  • 6-6 inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup finely shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1-2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup chunky salsa
  • 4 tsp. vegetable oil
  • Toppings: Salsa, guacamole or sour cream

DIRECTIONS
Heat tortillas.

In a small bowl, mix cheese, chicken and cumin.

Place about 1/4 cup chicken mixture on each warm tortilla. Top each with a tablespoon of salsa. Roll up tightly and secure with a toothpick. Brush with oil.

In a medium-hot skillet, cook filled tortillas for 4-6 minutes, turning occasionally until filling is hot and tortilla is lightly browned. Remove toothpicks before serving.

Cheesy Corn Spoon Bread

This bread takes a little more effort than most, but it's well worth it. I found this one in a woman's magazine I've subscribed to for years and the only thing I changed was the cornmeal from yellow to white. I personally do not know of one person in the south who uses yellow cornmeal. Don't make this too far ahead of serving your meal. You'll want this to be the last thing that goes on the table.
Cheesy Corn Spoon Bread looks so pretty when it's baking in the oven and is good to eat. The first time I fixed it, I was a little disappointed because it "fell" when I took it out of the oven. In my opinion, this one falls into the bread AND vegetable category. It's more like a souffle, so you won't be cutting up slices to put on your plate. Just grab a spoon and dig in! Might as well get a big serving spoon, or you'll be going back more than once. 


INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1.5 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
  • 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 cup shredded mild Cheddar/Colby cheese
  • 4 large eggs, separated


DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray oval baking dish (or 9x13) with cooking spray.


In a large saucepan, combine milk, salt, white pepper, cayenne, nutmeg and butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.


Reduce heat to medium and add cornmeal; stir constantly. Cook until mixture thickens. Be sure to stir constantly. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Blend in corn, 1/2 cup cheese and egg yolks.


In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Carefully fold into cornmeal mixture with a rubber spatula. Do not over mix! The less you disturb the batter at this point, the better it will be. Pour into baking dish and top with remaining cheese.


Bake until it is golden brown; about 30 to 35 minutes. Serve immediately.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is a simple soup to put together after work. Pick up a rotisserie chicken and it's even easier! This one does have several ingredients, but if you keep your pantry stocked, it shouldn't be a problem. Grilled pimiento cheese sandwiches are really good with this! The original recipe called for kidney beans and I just can't make myself like eating them. Black beans are a great substitution.


INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 pack of boneless, skinless chicken (breast or thighs)
  • OR
  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 cans chicken broth (14.5 oz. each)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 black & 1 pinto bean)
  • 1 can yellow corn, drained
  • 1 can Mexican/chili stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
  • 1 can chopped green chilies (4 oz.)
  • 2 corn tortillas cut into 1/2 inch strips


SPICES:
  • 2 tsps. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Stew chicken in a pot until cooked through. Remove and let cool a little. With a fork, shred chicken into bite-size pieces. OR, pull chicken from rotisserie chicken.

In a large soup pot, saute onion and garlic in a very small amount of olive oil until tender. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, chilies, shredded chicken and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tortilla strips on an ungreased baking pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes; or until crisp.

Pour soup into bowls and top with tortilla crisps.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Drunk Chicken

 If you want to see four happy people, just cook a drunk chicken on Wednesday night. Grilling one this way means ALL the meat is moist and tender...even the white meat. Andy and I could eat legs and thighs all day long, much to the dismay of Blair and Momma. With a whole chicken, Andy cuts the breast meat for Momma and Blair and they're happy. I eat a leg and a thigh and Andy eats everything else. We usually figure one chicken for every four people.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 whole fryer
  • Seasoning
  • 1 can of beer with a big drink removed

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat grill to 300-350 degrees.
Rinse off chicken and pat dry.
Open can and take a big swig of beer. Season outside and inside of chicken with your favorite seasoning. We chose Lemon Pepper as tonight's choice.
Carefully insert can into chicken and prop up on an aluminum pan.
Grill chicken until internal temp reaches 165 degrees. Check after one hour. Typically it takes an hour and ten to twenty minutes depending on the size of the chicken.

Grilled Corn

One of our favorite vegetables is corn. It doesn't matter how it's fixed...we gobble it up! Last night we took a dozen ears of corn we vacuum sealed from the garden last summer and cooked them on the grill. When it's been really cold outside, I've fixed it in the oven and it's just as good!
INGREDIENTS:
Fresh corn
Butter or margarine
Seasonings of your choice


DIRECTONS:
Pre-heat oven or grill to 350 degrees.


Remove husks and silks and rinse off corn.


Tear off strips of aluminum foil about 8" in length.  Lay corn on a diagonal on the foil. 
Slather butter or margarine on all sides of corn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or, our personal favorite, Lawry's garlic salt with parsley flakes. 
Fold in sides first; then wrap the side closest to you over and roll the corn up so that the butter won't ease out when it's cooking.


Grill or bake (on a baking sheet) for approximately 15 minutes. I recommend rolling them every five minutes.
We like to move them to the top rack when we turn off the grill and let them stay warm until we eat.