Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lime Pineapple Mold

  • 1 (3 oz.) package lime Jell-O
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts
Make Jell-O according to package directions. Pour half into 9-inch mold and leave the rest in bowl. Refrigerate Jell-O in mold until firm. Drain pineapple. Mix softened cream cheese with pineapple. Whip heavy cream until stiff, then fold in reserved Jell-O, cream cheese and pineapple and nuts. Pour into mold.

Cherry Fluff

  • 21 oz. can cherry pie filling
  • 8 oz. container whipped topping
  • 1 4-oz. can condensed milk
  • 8 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup nuts
Fold all ingredients together. Pour into glass serving bowl. Chill.

Strawberry Salad

First Layer:
  • 2 c. pretzels
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1-1/2 sticks margarine
Second Layer:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip
Third Layer:
  • 1 (6 oz.) pkg. strawberry jello
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 2 sm. pkg. frozen strawberries
Melt margarine and pour over pretzels; press in 12 x 10 inch pan for crust and bake 8 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and cool.

Cream the cream cheese and sugar and mix in Cool Whip. Pour over cooled pretzels.
Dissolve jello in boiling water, then add frozen strawberries. When jello thickens, pour over cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate.

**Use only the number of cups of boiling water used on box directions. Add strawberries straight from the freezer.

Jellied Waldorf Salad

  • 1 pkg. (6 oz.) Jell-O cherry flavor gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1-1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cups diced unpeeled apple
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.
Add cold water and lemon juice; chill until thickened.
Fold in apple, celery and nuts. Pour into a 5-cup mold. Chill until firm, about 4 hours.
Serve with salad greens and mayonnaise.

Cranberry Fruit Salad

1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, packed in juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 package (3 oz.) raspberry flavored gelatin
1 can (16 ox.) Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce or 1 jar (14 oz.) CranOrange Cranberry Orange Sauce
1/2 cup chopped celery
In a bowl, drain pineapple, reserving juice. In a  saucepan, mix together reserved juice, 1/2 cup water and lemon juice. Heat to boiling. Remove from heat and add gelatin, stirring thoroughly. Break up cranberry sauce with a fork and stir into gelatin mixture. Refrigerate until mixture begins to set. Stir in pineapple and celery, pour into 4 cup mold. Chill until firm.

Coffee Jello

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold coffee
  • 1-3/4 cup hot strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold coffee and then the hot coffee, sugar and vanilla. Chill until firm. Serve with cream.

Ambrosia Mold

Growing up, Momma was all about fixing jello for dessert. Now mind you, it wasn't just the garden variety, jiggly stuff you spooned out into a bowl. She had these "fancy" parfait glasses in which she created some of the most wonderful desserts you could imagine eating. I remember her pouring jello in them and placing the glass on an angle so it would set that way. Once it was properly chilled, Momma would spoon fruit cocktail on top along with a dollop of whip cream and a cherry. And who can forget the Tupperware jello mold? I would love to find one right now. I'm sure my friend Claudia still has the one her Momma used. I tried to pass the love of jello on to my kids. However, they would have none of it to my disappointment.

When I started organizing and typing my Grandmother's recipes for a cookbook made in memory of her; I found a great selection of jello recipes...including one for coffee jello. I'm sure I ate it several times as a kid.  I'm going to share several varieties of them in case my walk down memory lane makes you want to brush the dust off  your Granny's jello mold!
Ambrosia Mold
  • 1 can (8-oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 package (8 serving size) or 2 packages (4-serving size) Jell-O orange flavored gelatin
  • 1-3/4 cups thawed Cool Whip
  • 1 can (11 oz.) mandarin orange segments, drained
  • 1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup coconut
Drain pineapple, reserving liquid. Add cold water to liquid to measure 1 cup.
Stir boiling water into gelatin in large bowl 2 minutes or until completely dissolved. Stir in measured liquid. Refrigerate 1-1/4 hours or until slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites).
Stir in whipped topping with wire whisk until smooth. Refrigerate 10 minutes or until mixture will mound. Stir in oranges, pineapple, marshmallows and coconut. Spoon into 6-cup mold.
Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Unmold.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Veggie Quesadillas

Tonight's dinner choice came about thanks to my co-worker Darrell. He fixed one of his famous chicken, mushroom, artichoke and red pepper quesadillas in the kitchen next to my office. All I can say is...the smell of them cooking is torture!! I knew I had everything at the house with the exception of the fresh mushrooms and the right kind of artichokes. We were discussing how the last time we bought artichokes from Wmart, all they had were the plain ones. You'll want the marinated ones as they add a better flavor. The Dollar Tree keeps Fire Roasted and Roasted Red Peppers on the shelf. For $1 you can afford to keep plenty of jars in your pantry. I really wasn't feeling the chicken so I opted for refried beans instead. If I'm fixing refried bean quesadillas, I usually stir in about half a pack of taco seasoning after I warm the beans up. With the flavor of the roasted red peppers and artichokes, I thought cajun seasoning would be better. The hardest part of fixing these is chopping the veggies. It's worth it!

  • Ingredients

  • 1 can refried beans
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Chopped onions (red is better, but I had sweet white)
  • Sliced black olives
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Sliced roasted red peppers (from water-packed jar)
  • Sliced artichokes (marinated in can or jar)
  • Shredded Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheese, for each quesadilla
  • Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning
    Guacamole, sour cream or salsa 


    Sliced veggies. Warm refried beans in microwave to make it easier to spread. Pre-heat skillet on medium heat. 
    Brush bottom of tortilla with butter. Spread refried beans on one half of tortilla. Top with onions,  mushrooms, red peppers, black olives and artichokes. Top veggies with shredded cheese and season to your taste with Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning. Fold over tortillas, making a half moon. Place quesadillas in skillet and cook approximately 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and cheese melts. Let set on a cutting board until you get the next one started. With a large knife, cut into halves.

    Sunday, January 29, 2012

    Rice Consumme

     AKA: Dirty Rice

    This dish is good with just about anything…pulled pork, ribs, chicken, you name it. We've tried numerous versions of this southern side dish and this one is the best. Make sure you stir it a time or two while it’s baking so you don’t end up with crunchy rice.

    • 1 small can mushrooms (or 1/2 carton of sliced fresh--**BEST)
    • 2 cans beef consumme
    • 1-1/2 cups instant white rice (or instant brown rice)
    • 1 stick butter
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • Dash of Good on Anything sauce (or Dale’s or Johnny’s sauce)
    • Green onions, chopped
    Saute onion (and fresh mushrooms) in butter. 
    In a 9x13 casserole dish, blend rice and consumme and seasoning sauce. (Don't overdo the sauce or it will be too salty. I dip a spoon in the "juice" to test the taste.
    Stir in onions, mushrooms and green onions.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Stir a few times while baking so that all the rice cooks properly.

    *Updated with new pictures 12-29-13

    Turkey Sliders

    Talk about something quick, easy and good for you! These turkey sliders are so tasty you may quit using beef! The texture of ground turkey meat is pretty odd and it definitely will need a little boost to keep it together. I treat it like I'm making a meatloaf. You'll be surprised that one 2 ounce burger is so filling...but you'll go ahead and go for two since they taste so good!

    • 1 lb. ground turkey
    • 1/4 cup minced onions
    • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
    • Salt, pepper  & garlic salt seasoning to your taste
    • Baby spinach
    • Swiss cheese
    • Cooked onions (see below)
    • Wal-Mart brand Whole Wheat Dollar Rolls (from deli)
    In a small bowl, mix all ingredients well. Pat out 8 mini burgers. 
    (I ended up with 9 this time) Heat a large skillet up with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. 

    Cook approximately 10 minutes on each side. Top with 1/2 slice of aged Swiss cheese and cover until melted.
    While the sliders are cooking, fix the onions for topping.

    1 onion, sliced in rings
    1/4 stick butter
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 tsp. sugar
    Melt butter in a small skillet on medium heat. Break onion slices up into individual rings. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Cook until color turns to a little brown on the edge.
    Slice the rolls in half. We use a small amount of mayo and mustard; make a layer of baby spinach; place the burger on the spinach and top with cooked onions.

    Serve these with oven baked fries and you have a good, tasty meal!

    Saturday, January 28, 2012

    Drawn Butter

    Now that I've mentioned the garlic cheese biscuits in the previous post, the annual Christmas Eve lobster and shrimp boil isn’t complete without drawn butter to dip your lobster in. It’s easy to burn, so pay attention to what you're doing!

    • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature.
    Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Let it come to a boil. Boil for one minute and set the pan off the heat. You will see the white milk solids form at the top and then sink to the bottom* of the pan. With a ladle, spoon out individual bowls for each person. Keep warm until ready to eat lobster.

    *Or skim off as they settle at the top, before they sink.

    Garlic Cheese Biscuits

    Every Christmas Eve we have a lobster and shrimp boil with the kids. I always make a double batch of these “rolls” when the gang comes over.  If they aren’t hidden, they disappear before we can get all the food on the table! If you love eating at Red Lobster, you know a batch of these biscuits are a must!

    • 2 cups Bisquick baking mix
    • 2/3 cup milk
    • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    • ¼ cup butter, melted
    • 1 tsp. Lawry’s garlic powder with parsley flakes
    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

    In a medium mixing bowl, mix baking mix, milk and cheese until soft dough forms. Spray baking sheet. Drop dough by spoonfuls.

    Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until a nice golden brown.

    While biscuits are baking, mix butter and garlic powder. Brush this mixture over biscuits when remove them from oven. Serve warm.

    What's for Supper?

    If I had to guess, poor planning probably ranks high on the list of why people choose to eat fast food versus coming home and fixing a good meal. If you ever get in the habit of eating food you've prepared at home and then drop in for a burger at a fast-food joint, you'll understand what I'm talking about. Once my body got used to home-cooked, take out food literally makes me sick. Not from all places, but the majority of them. Who knows what's in the food and how they're cooking it? I know what I'm using and it just tastes better.

    Here are three ways that helped me get more organized in the kitchen. The first is to stock your fridge, freezer and pantry. If you always keep the basics on hand, you will always be able to throw a meal together in no time flat! (Scroll to the bottom for a recommended pantry list) Andy's rule of thumb: if you take it out, write it on the grocery list. That way you always have it.

    The second one may take a little while to get done. I found I was fixing the same old thing over and over when the boys were younger. They weren't really picky, I just got stuck in a rut. One weekend I sat down and made a list of all the main courses, grilled food and sides that ranked really high on our list and put it in a spreadsheet. It is still taped inside the cabinet door where I keep my spices. I can literally open that door and put something together in no time.
    Lastly, buy a chalkboard, dry-erase board or whatever medium works for you and hang it in a place so everyone can see it. That way, if one night will be leftover night and you have a family member who hates leftovers, they know they can pickup something on the way home that makes them happy and the chefs get a night off from cooking. The best way to accomplish this is to sit down on Saturday and prepare what you're going to fix every night. At that point, check your pantry and make a list of what you need for the week. 
    Below you will find a wonderful Free Pantry List and food storage guide I found online (and edited to represent what we would keep) filled with basic ingredients and storage staples for stocking your cupboard or food pantry with grocery basics in case of emergency.


    Butter or margarine
    Half and half
    Sour cream
    Cream cheese
    Mild cheese
    Sharp cheese
    Parmesan cheese

    Shredded cheese
    Sliced cheese

    Salad Dressing
    Yellow mustard
    Dijon mustard
    Worcestershire sauce
    Steak sauce
    Pickle relish
    Hot pepper pickles
    Green olives
    Ripe olives
    Assorted pickles
    Jellies or jams
    Apple butter
    Refrigerator biscuits
    Fat back or reserved bacon grease

    Better than Bouillion Beef
    Better than Bouillion Chicken

    Minced garlic


    Ground beef
    Whole chicken
    Boneless chicken breasts
    Boneless pork chops
    Bulk sausage
    Breads and rolls
    Prebaked pizza shells
    Fresh breadcrumbs
    Bread cubes
    Flour tortillas
    Corn tortillas
    Non-dairy topping
    Frozen fruits


    White potatoes
    Sweet potatoes
    Sweet peppers
    Fresh mushrooms


    All-purpose flour
    Granulated sugar
    Confectioner's sugar
    Brown sugar
    Baking soda
    Baking powder
    Unsweetened cocoa
    Biscuit mix
    Vegetable shortening
    Dried breadcrumbs
    Pasta (such as):
        Penne or ziti
        Angel hair
    Egg noodles

    Mahatma yellow rice
    Long grain rice
    Brown rice

    Pinto beans
    Great Northern beans

    Onion soup mix
    Dried corn

    Taco seasoning
    Ranch dressing mix
    Italian dressing mix
    Pepper gravy mix


    Whole tomatoes
    Tomato paste
    Tomato puree
    Tomato sauce
    Crushed tomatoes
    Chicken broth
    Condensed cream of mushroom, chicken and celery soup
    Canned fruits
    Worcestershire sauce
    Soy sauce
    Green beans
    Creamed corn

    Whole kernel corn
    Black beans
    Black eyed peas
    Lima beans
    Sliced potatoes
    Evaporated milk
    Peanut butter
    Canned chiles
    Assorted pickles
    Chopped pimentos
    Sesame oil
    Light corn syrup
    Pancake syrup
    Pure vanilla
    Almond flavoring
    Hot sauce

    Cocktail sauce
    Sweet and Sour sauce


    Olive oil
    Canola oil
    Peanut oil
    Olive oil spray
    Cooking oil spray
    Red wine vinegar
    Balsamic vinegar
    White distilled vinegar
    Cider vinegar


    Dry red wine
    Dry white wine
    Assorted liqueurs


    Rubbed sage
    Bay leaves
    Dill weed
    Dill seed
    Onion powder
    Minced onions
    Garlic powder
    Minced garlic


    Coarse salt
    Iodized salt
    Cinnamon sticks
    Ground cinnamon
    Ground nutmeg
    Ground cloves
    Whole cloves
    Ground turmeric
    Ground allspice
    Ground mace
    Pickling spice
    Mustard seed
    Dry mustard
    Cayenne pepper
    Celery seed
    Caraway seeds
    Fennel seeds
    Ground ginger
    Ground cumin

    Chicken Parmesan and Zucchini Pasta

    Every year Andy and I say we're going to start eating healthier. The food I fix generally leans to the healthier side. His is fried and seasoned to high heaven. I like his cooking, but  we really need to back off some of that. Several months ago I purchased a "Cook Yourself Thin" cookbook. Last night I finally fixed one of the recipes. A lot of the recipes require so many different ingredients or one or two veggies that require you to buy way more of. Since we have been steaming a lot of veggies lately, that isn't a problem for me.

    The book says this makes 4 servings at 350 calories per serving. It was good and we were both filled. It just makes me realize how my portion control is so out of whack.

    As usual, I ended up changing a few things. I baked my chicken instead of frying it. I also coated mine with the seasoning from a Shake and Bake box Andy brought over here when  he moved to town. The original recipe calls for white or wheat bread crumbs, dipping it in 1 egg white and frying in 2 teaspoons olive oil. I also used crushed tomatoes...totally forgetting the jars of plum (Roma) tomatoes I canned this summer. I won't make that mistake again!

    • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken (we used thighs)
    • 1/4 red onion
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 (28 oz.) can peeled plum tomatoes in juice, mashed
    • 4 zucchini (1-1/2 lbs.) trimmed at both ends
    • salt 
    • pepper
    • Ricotta cheese
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
    • 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat chicken with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Line a cooking dish with aluminum foil and place a rack in it for chicken to bake on. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
    Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Saute onion, garlic and 1/4 tsp. salt, stirring. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until veggies are soft. If they start to brown add 2 teaspoons water. Add the tomatoes , cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Season with 1/8 tsp. pepper.

    Carefully using a mandolin slicer (or vegetable peeler), slice zucchini long ways into thin strips. Slice only until  you get to the seeds and discard the centers.

    Pour tomato mixture into a bowl and set to the side. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet and add zucchini. Cook and turn often until slightly wilted. (We like a little crunch left to our veggies). Using your tongs, twirl up 1/4 of zucchini and plate four servings.Pour some of the sauce over the veggies. Place chicken on an angle. You can add more sauce on top of chicken if you'd like and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place 1 tablespoon Ricotta cheese on side.  

    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    Blueberry Salad

    Don't let the word "salad" fool you into thinking this is a healthy dish. Yes, there is fruit, but there is enough bad to make this one good!!

    Beef Macaroni Soup

    This is one of those dishes that are perfect for when you’re short on time and want to serve up a nutritious meal...and fast! Fix a pan of cornbread to complete it. If I don't fix cornbread, you will find my husband eating peanut butter and crackers or a pimiento cheese sandwich with it. 


    • 1 lb. ground beef
    • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 can (14.5 oz.) beef broth
    • 1 small can each: green beans or peas, carrots and corn
    • 1 tsp. pepper
    • 1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni*
    • *1 cup if you love more pasta


      • 1
        In a large saucepan, brown meat and drain grease. Stir in tomatoes, broth, veggies and pepper.
      • 2
        Bring to a boil; add macaroni. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until macaroni is tender.

      Baked Potato Salad

      Lauren and I were discussing my blog as she was cutting my hair today. I was sharing the story about Momma's Top Secret Potato Salad which reminded her of her Baked Potato Salad. Lauren's ingredients were similar to mine, so I thought I'd post my version. I have heard of people literally baking their potatoes, but I prefer to boil mine whole; leaving the red skins on. The name comes from what I'd load a baked potato with. My step-son Blake will eat the whole bowl by himself if you didn't watch him!


      • 5 lb. bag of red potatoes
      • 1 pint sour cream (you can add more if you like)
      • 1-2 cups mayonnaise (not salad dressing!)
      • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
      • 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
      • 1 bunch green onions chopped
      • Salt and pepper to taste


        • 1
          Boil scrubbed and unpeeled whole red potatoes until you can run a knife through them easily. Immediately pour off hot water and cover with cold water (several times as needed) to cool quickly.

        • 2
          In a large bowl, dump half of the sour cream and mayonnaise, cheese, bacon, green onions and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
        • 3
          Once you can handle the potatoes, chop into 3/4” pieces. If any of the skins come off, throw them into the bowl, too. Mix well.
        • 4
          Add the remaining sour cream and mayonnaise until you reach a creamy consistency. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.
        • 5
          **The above measurements are approximate. I add until it “looks right”. The rule of thumb is to make sure the potato salad is creamy, so add the sour cream/mayonnaise until you’re satisfied. For a little variety, stir in a little buttermilk ranch dressing!

        Wednesday, January 25, 2012

        Rattlesnake Pasta

        Here’s a quick and easy dish that just about anyone will love. The flavor of the sauce is unique and I mix in different veggies just about every time I fix it. Have a bag of spinach? Throw some in there! I typically start with peppers, mushrooms and onions because I always have them on hand. Use your imagination. 


        • 1 pack boneless, skinless chicken thighs
        • 1 lb. box penne pasta or bowties
        • 4 tbsp. butter
        • 1 tbsp. flour
        • 6-8 oz. cream
        • 6-8 oz. chicken broth
        • 3 oz. white vinegar (start here and add until you’re satisfied with the “bite”!)
        • 2 tbs chopped garlic
        • 1 small box of sliced baby Bella mushrooms
        • 1 small onion
        • 2 colored peppers (red and orange) or one big jar roasted red peppers (easier!)
        • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
        • 8 oz. shredded Colby-Monterrey Jack cheese
        • Salt, pepper, cajun seasoning to taste.


          • 1
            Grill thighs until cooked through. Season both sides of the chicken with salt, white pepper and Tony Cachere’s cajun seasoning. Let rest on cutting board for at least 15 minutes.
          • 2
            Cook pasta per instructions on box, drain and set to the side.
          • 3
            In a large skillet, melt butter and saute peppers, mushrooms and onions until transparent. (If you use roasted red peppers, add in with garlic) Stir in garlic and flour until blended well. Slowly add in cream, broth and vinegar. Mix well. Add in cheeses, stirring until melted.
          • 4
            Slice chicken into very thin pieces. Add chicken and pasta to sauce. Serve!

          Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies

          These peanut butter cornflake cookies were a hot item back in the junior high school lunchroom! Serious bargaining went on to have the luxury of more than one of these tasty treats. I recommend cutting these in very small squares or you may hurt yourself eating them.

          Homemade Pimiento Cheese

          Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner. That means no more football until SEC games get fired up in the fall. :-(  The weather this weekend is supposed to be pretty funky, but we’ll be indoors, so we really don’t care what’s going on outside.  Andy is making a huge pot of chili and I’m fixing a batch of pimiento cheese to go along with it. 
          What? You’ve never eaten pimiento cheese with chili? Shut the front door! It’s great in sandwich form, but this is what we do. Take a “Scoop” Tostito chip and add a spoonful of pimiento cheese, a spoonful of chili and top it with a jalapeno pepper slice. Trust me, you are so going to love this! The melding of the coolness of the cheese, the hotness of the chili and the heat from the jalapeno is unbelievable. I have to give full credit for this tasty combination to Andy. He introduced this to both me and the boys and we’re hooked!


          • 1/2 big block (1 lb.) Velveeta cheese (refrigerated)
          • 2 cups of any shredded cheese mixture
          • (I use Colby, Cheddar and Monterey Jack)
          • 1 small jar chopped pimientos (Do not drain)
          • Equal parts salad dressing and mayonnaise.
          • Salt and pepper to taste


            Over a large bowl, coarsely grate 1/2 of a big block of Velveeta.

            Pour in bag of cheese and undrained pimentos and mix.

            Start with adding 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1 cup of salad dressing. Mix with cheeses and add until very moist. (It’s better to add a little extra so that it will spread easier). Salt and pepper to taste.
            When Emilee Rae isn't chewing on the basting brush;
            she is tearing into her pimiento cheese sandwich!

            Tuesday, January 24, 2012

            Diet Sun-Drop Cake

            I can remember the first time I drank my first Sun-Drop. The year was 1975; it was a Friday night hanging out at the popular teen hangout at the Methodist Church. I put my money in the drink box and got a green 10 oz. returnable bottle with citrus pulp floating in it. The first sip was pure heaven and I've been hooked since. My kidneys thank them for coming out with a diet and caffeine-free version. Did I mention the caffeine level is extreme? 

            Have I mentioned my Mother makes a KILLER lemon pound cake that will make you cry? I'm sure it's no surprise to learn that I do not have the recipe for this one either. HOWEVER a Sun-Drop cake runs a close second. To cut back on the sugar for her, mine include about as much diet product as possible.

            • 1 box lemon cake mix
            • 1 small pkg.sugar-free instant lemon pudding mix
            • 12 oz. Diet Sun-Drop
            • 3 eggs
            • ¾ cup oil

            • 1 cup powdered sugar
            • 2 tbsp. water
            • 1 tsp. vanilla
            Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine lemon cake mix, lemon pudding, Sun-Drop, eggs, and oil in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Pour into a greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until well done.

            While baking, mix glaze ingredients together. Take out of pan. While warm (not hot!), pour the glaze over it.  

            Smooth'n Creamy Frosting

            I have to admit baking sweets doesn't rank high on my favorite things to do. But when I do, it's got to be EASY! Grandma gave me a couple of frosting recipes years ago I just have to include. They come in really handy when you don't have any "store-bought" on hand. Besides, they taste a lot better too!
            • 1 package (4-serving size) Jell-o Brand Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
                and Pie Filling
               (or any other flavor)
            • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
            • 1 cup cold milk
            • 1 container (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
            Combine pudding mix, sugar, and milk in small bowl.
            Beat slowly with rotary beater or at lowest speed of an electric mixer until well blended, about 1 minute.
            Fold in whipped topping. Spread on cake at once. Makes about 4 cups or enough for two 9-inch layers.

            Grandma's Poor Man Frosting

            Poor Man Frosting
            Cook: 1/2 cup milk with 2-1/2 tablespoons of flour until thick and cool it.
            Cream 1/2 cup Crisco or margarine and add 1/2 cup of white sugar. Beat until creamy and then add the cream paste mixture a little at a time.

            Grandma Gaudette’s Jewish Coffee Cake

            My Grandmother, who was blessed to roam this earth for over 103 years was a fabulous cook. Her desserts and love of desserts are legendary. My co-workers really loved her Jewish coffee cake and would quickly make it disappear when she and later, my Mother would bring one to the office. Paul, who can eat more food than any man I know, would spend tons of time talking to her when she visited. I honestly believe he really appreciated her, but I think he was really pushing for his own cake!
            Grandma, September 2010, holding her 6 month old baby picture.
            • 1 pkg. yellow cake mix with pudding
            • 1 cup sour cream
            • ½ cup oil
            • 4 eggs
            Mix the above ingredients and pour half into an angel food cake pan. Mix “swirl” ingredients and spread over first layer. Repeat layer and swirl with knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

            Ingredients for “Swirl”
            • ½ cup nuts
            • 3 T. brown sugar
            • 2 T. white sugar
            • 2 tsp. cinnamon

            Tomato Grits Casserole

            Recently retired co-worker Jenny introduced this delightful dish to our monthly employee dinners several years ago and I've been hooked since. This is good for breakfast or a side to just about any dish you fix. The texture is smooth and the heat from the Rotel mingled with the melted cheese is to die for.

            2 cups water
            • 1 1/4 cups milk
            • 1 teaspoon salt
            • 1 cup quick cooking grits (not instant)
            • 1 stick butter
            • 1 bunch green onions, diced
            • 4 oz. processed cheddar cheese, cubed (or Velveeta)
            • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
            • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
            • 1 (10 oz.) can Rotel
            1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
            2.  In a saucepan, bring water and milk to boil.
            3.  Add salt and slowly add grits, and return to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
            4.  Reduce heat and add 1 stick of butter.
            5.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, while stirring, until grits are thick and creamy.
            6.  Remove from heat and set aside.
            7.  Add onions, processed cheese and 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese to grits.
            8.  Stir until cheese is melted.
            9.  Add Rotel and mix well.
            10. Pour grits into a greased 8" x 11" x 2'' casserole and bake for 40 minutes.
            11. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese over casserole.
            The grits are ready to cook!