Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Blast

4 rectangles Honey Maid® Graham Crackers, crumbled (I omitted this part!)
1 16-ounce container Betty Crocker® Whipped Vanilla Frosting
3/4 cups peanut butter cups (the teeny tiny ones work great!)
1 18.4- ounce box Betty Crocker® Premium Brownie Mix—Original Supreme (oil and egg, see brownie mix box)

Heat oven to 350°F.
Line a 9x9x2-inch pan with foil, allowing foil to extend over pan edges. (I just greased the pan well & left them in the pan after cooking!)
Prepare brownie mix according to package instructions. Stir in 1 cup of the peanut butter cups. Spread batter into pan. Bake according to package instructions. Cool.
Spread frosting, top with graham crackers and remaining peanut butter cups.
Use foil to lift brownies from pan. (If you went this route!)

Paula Deen's Symphony Brownies

I made these brownies for Thanksgiving. I promise you, they are addictive but at least I'm telling you up front!! The bad part is that they are TOO easy to make!!!

All you do is buy a brownie mix with walnuts - large size or two small ones and then two family size Symphony bars with toffee and almonds.

Mix the brownie mix as directed, pour half into a greased 9x13 pan. Break apart the candy bar & place on top of the mix then pour the other half on top. Bake according to package directions.

Before I poured the other half on top, I added miniature marshmallows & coconut. As soon as the brownies were done, I covered with whipped fudge icing, pecans & toffee pieces. I read on one of my favorite recipe blogs that you can add chopped Milky Way bars rather than the Symphony bars or even chopped Twix.

I kept them in the pan so they wouldn't dry out but you could cut them, if you wanted. They are better the next day nuked in the microwave. Goodness gracious!!!

Pumplin Cobbler

My sister-in-law made this for Thanksgiving. I do not like pumpkin so I was afraid to taste it originally. I ended up getting a bite & surprisingly, I wasn't disappointed!! According to Mendi, it's best when served warm with some whipped cream!!!

In case you're wondering, this picture was of a piece I fixed for Colton (Mendi's son). As soon as I sat it on the table, my mother-in-law said, "he'll never eat all of that." So I said, "whatever he doesn't eat, I will!" He did a pretty darn good job of putting it away and when he was just about done, he said, "you remember what you said you'd do if I couldn't eat all of this?" I said, "yes, slide it to me!" I never did eat it!!

1 large can pumpkin
4 large eggs - beaten
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1 - 13oz can evaporated milk
1 pkg yellow cake mix

1 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp brown sugar (more or less, depending on your taste buds!)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Blend together pumpkin, eggs, sugar, salt, spices and canned milk. Pour into greased 13x9 pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over top of mixture. Drizzle melted butter over dry cake mix. Sprinkle brown sugar over butter. Sprinkle nuts on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 mins.

I have some new recipes I'm going to share - eventually!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cajun Pasta

(Picture borrowed from BlogChef; where I found this yummy recipe.)


2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into small strips) - I used Tyson boneless, skinless tenderloins (already in strips!)

4 oz linguini (cooked all dente) - I used regular spaghetti since that's what I had on hand!

2 tsp Cajun seasoning (I used "Slap Yo Mamma")

2 Tbsp butter

1 green onion (thinly sliced)

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp dried basil

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp garlic powder

¼ c parmesan cheese

Step 1: Place chicken strips and Cajun seasoning in a bowl, toss the chicken with the seasoning until the chicken strips evenly coated with the seasoning.

Step 2: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add chicken and sauté the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Step 3: Reduce heat to low. Add green onions, heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Cook until heated through. Pour over hot linguini and toss with parmesan cheese.

(Makes 2 Servings)

Seriously folks, hubs said this was one of the best things I've ever made. Simple & satisfying...can't beat that!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Poor Man's Lasagna

The other day, I found a recipe on Pinterest that linked me to Mommy's Kitchen. As I was browsing through all of the recipes, I ran into one called Poor Man's Lasagna. Larry loves any kind of pasta with sauce & cheese so I thought I'd give it a try. Sure enough, it was a hit! I am adding it to "My Favorites" since it is SO easy & he loved it!!

2 - packages (7.25 oz) Macaroni & Cheese
1 - lb ground beef
1 - Jar Spaghetti Sauce (use your favorite)
1 - (8oz) package mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the macaroni and cheese according to package directions.
While the macaroni is cooking, brown and drain the ground beef.
Add the ground beef to the prepared macaroni and cheese.
Mix in the spaghetti sauce and add to a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
Top with mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil sprayed with baking spray and bake for 25 minutes until heated through and bubbly.

Another way she posted to assemble the lasagna: Spoon half of the prepared macaroni and cheese into lightly greased 9 x 13 inch square baking dish. Add half of the spaghetti sauce and then the remaining macaroni and cheese. Add the rest of the spaghetti sauce and top with mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

I made corn for a side & could easily see this being added as a layer to the "lasagna". Next time, I may add pepperoni and black olives. Maybe even some green onions!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

I am in the process of making Presley a recipe book of "My Favorite Recipes" just as my mother made me in 2002. I love my little book of Mother's favorites all handwritten in no particular order. Love it. Treasure it! One recipe that I want to make sure Presley knows how to make is home-made gravy just like Momma's. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, Bryan had home-made biscuits and gravy every-single-morning for breakfast growing up and randomly on weekends his whole life. It's not the best thing in the world for you but it is NO DOUBT what I call a comfort food.

Mother always made cream gravy because Bryan & Daddy didn't like sausage in theirs. When you know how to make cream gravy or even sausage gravy, you learn how to adjust it accordingly to go with....fried chicken & mashed potatoes; fried deer steak & mashed potatoes; fried pork chops & mashed potoates....you get the picture already? Good because I'm getting HUUUUNGREEEE!!!

Dylan & Presley both love biscuits & gravy. Most every weekend, when Dylan is home, I make biscuits & gravy for them. Most every morning, I make it for Dylan before school. I make it homemade on the weekends but I cheat during the week!!

You see, Tennessee Pride has two products that I love and Pilsbury has the other. Tennessee Pride makes a frozen sausage gravy & sausage balls and Pilsbury has frozen biscuits. During the week, I pop a couple of frozen biscuits in my little oven and throw the frozen gravy in the microwave and in less than 15 minutes - VIOLA - biscuits & gravy!

Here's the recipe for Sausage Gravy followed by how to make cream gravy.

1 lb pork sausage

1/2 c oil

1/2 c flour

4 c milk

Salt & Pepper to taste

Scramble sausage in a heavy skillet. Drain fat into a measuring cup & add oil to make 1/2 cup. Return oil to the sausage in the skillet. Sprinkle on the flour or you can sift it into the pan slowly too. Stir & cook sausage, oil & flour over low heat, scraping browned particles loose from skillet (with wooden spoon or spatula) for 4 or 5 minutes or until flour is a very pale brown. Gradually add the milk, stirring rapidly to prevent lumping. Turn heat up to medium and bring to a boil. Cook until gravy gets bubbly and thickens. (If gravy gets too thick, just add more milk!) Season with salt & pepper.

-- If you prefer cream gravy (without sausage), just measure out 2 Tbsp of oil or drippings and 2 Tbsp of flour for each cup of milk you use in the recipe.

-- If you've just fried a chicken, pork chops or any other meat that makes crumples, you'll follow the recipe above, scraping the particles loose to incorporate into your gravy.

-- Mother always used part water and part milk. You can always use 2% or even evaporated milk too.

Biscuits....really, it's not hard to make home-made biscuits. Once you get the hang of it, you'll make biscuits for everything! I just don't want to make them at 4 in the morning so I buy the frozen ones. Mother used to make up over-sized batches & freeze them. I'm domestic but apparently not THAT domestic!!

2 c flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 stick cold salted butter, cut into 1/2 inch slices

3/4 c milk

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder & salt. Use a pastry blender or two butter knives to cut the butter into the mixture until it has a course, pea-size texture. Add milk & stir the mixture until it forms a shaggy dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Use your fingers to gently flatten it into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle or circle. Fold the dough over and flatten it once more. Repeat 3 or 4 times, working quickly so the butter remains solid.

Flatten the dough a final time & use a 3 inch biscuit cutter or a drinking glass as Mother did to cut out 10 dough rounds. Transfer them to a 12x17 baking sheet & bake them until golden brown in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes. (Make your gravy while biscuits are baking!)

About the other product made by Tennessee Pride...Larry & my FIL love Sausage balls so I keep these little fellers on hand at all times. They go in the oven and VIOLA - no one knows that they are not homemade and the process is not near as messy!

What's your favorite breakfast and/or comfort food?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

I made Brown Sugar Meatloaf for supper last night. I am not a fan of bell peppers - red, yellow or green - raw or cooked but I am a fan of meatloaf! Many years ago, Mother gave me a recipe book she bought from the First Baptist Church in Nashville that I've used over and over and over for many meals; one of them being meatloaf. The one in this book has a glaze made up of ketchup, mustard, brown sugar & vinegar that you pour over the loaf before baking. I made it one time for my Mamaw & Papaw Hicks and it quickly became our favorite. I've made it that way for many years but sometimes, a little change up doesn't hurt.
More recently, I found a recipe for Hawaiian Meatloaf (find recipe here) that includes pineapples and let me tell you, it's out of this world!! (You won't regret visiting her entire blog either!)
As I was going through some of my recipes yesterday, I found this recipe for Brown Sugar Meatloaf and will add this to my top meatloaf recipes!

Brown Sugar Meatloaf
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c ketchup
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
3/4 c milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 c finely crushed saltine cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 5x9 loaf pan.
Press the brown sugar into the bottom of pan & spread with ketsup.

(Here's what I used & what it looked like when I packed in the brown sugar)

In a mixing bowl, thoroughly mix all remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf.
Place loaf on top of ketchup.
Bake for 1 hour or until juices run clear.

I topped mine with ketchup right before it was completely done & stuck it back in the oven to finish up. I didn't shape into a loaf because I like mine spread-out evenly.

I made twice baked mashed potatoes, green beans & rolls to go along with this very tasty dish!

Know what I look forward to? Meatloaf sandwiches! YUM-O!

Tell me, how do you like your meatloaf?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

I always seem to get in a habit of cooking the SAME OLD THING week after week so the other day, I went out searching for some new dinner ideas. I ran across this Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada recipe and decided to give it a try. Larry is not a fan of sour cream and I remembered that about half way through my baking time. I decided to go ahead with it...

I didn't get any pictures (naturally) but because they turned out SO good, I wanted to share the recipe with you. I served ours with Mexican Rice & chips/queso. Larry all but licked his plate & told me this was one of the Top 5 best dishes I've ever made. He went on to say, this would be a dish he'd pay up to $30 if he had to order it in a restaurant! (Silly boy!)

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
2 c chicken breast, diced
1/4 c margarine
1 lb Montery jack cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp flour
1 med. onion
2 c chicken broth
8 (8-in) flour tortillas
1 c sour cream
1 (4-oz) can green chiles, chopped

- In a frypan, cook chicken & onion together in oil over medium heat until chicken is just done.
- Divide chicken evenly between 8 tortillas; add 1 1/2 Tbsp cheese to each tortilla.
- Roll enchiladas & place seam-side down in 9x13 baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Melt butter in medium saucepan; stir in flour to make a roux; stir & cook until bubbly; gradually add chicken broth & bring to a boil - stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat; stir in sour cream & green chiles; mix well then pour evenly over enchiladas.
- Top with remaining shredded cheese & bake on 350 for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce near edges are bubbly.

I actually had some chicken fajita meat and used it. I buy the Mexian rice or Spanish rice in the Lipton sides packages & add about a half can of corn. Once the rice is done, I top with shredded cheese. Love it!

While this is easy to assemply & deliciously creamy - you don't want to eat it all the time. This should serve 8 and contains almost 492 calories per serving! YIKES! I told you it was good! (HA!)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Corn Salsa

I saw this recipe the other day & decided to give it a try for our food day today. How do you like my picture? You guessed it - I forgot to get a picture of it until it was sitting on my desk waiting to be consumed! So obviously, the picture doesn't do it justice but it really is yummy! You will be glad you tried it.

Corn Salsa -

1 can white shoepeg corn (drain)
1/2 can yellow corn (drain)
1 can chopped green chiles
1 can black beans (drain and rinse)
2 cans rotel (drain most, but add about 1 tbs. of juice) juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch of green onions
1 head of cilantro (except for stems)
3 or 4 shakes of lemon pepper
drizzle of olive oil
Mix and enjoy!

This was the first time I've ever worked with fresh cilantro so I just broke off a couple of "springs" from the bunch & added them. I guess you can add as much as you like.

Here are some variations I thought you might enjoy instead of or along with:

Add chopped avocado (I am doing this next time!)

Use Italian-style tomatoes rather than rotel

I do not like celery or bell peppers but those are other additions

Chopped red onion rather than green onions

Taco Seasoning or even Cumin for seasoning. I actually did not use lemon pepper in mine - I used Paula Dean's House Seasoning that includes black pepper, onion powder & garlic powder. I also added a little sugar to mine and think it turned out wonderfully!

I say brave it out and add mango to it too sometime. What would you change up about this?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Girl Scout Casserole from Your Little Birdie

A couple of weeks ago, Kelly's Korner hosted a blog where other bloggers posted their favorite Main Course recipe. Of course, I LOVE recipes & blogs so I was all over stalking me out some new recipes! I found this recipe for Girl Scout Casserole from yourlittlebirdie and was not disappointed! I have also fallen in love with this blog so I added it to my favorites!

Of course, I was a little late getting the picture & it's not the best one ever but....it's a picture - right?!!!Girl Scout Casserole

2 lbs ground beef
1 small chopped onion
2 small cans tomato sauce (I added the 20 oz size can)
1 can corn, drained
6-8 slices, American cheese (I used shredded Cheddar)
2 cans (whop 'em) biscuits

Brown beef & onion. (I added salt, pepper & garlic to taste) Drain & return to pan. Place on low heat. Stir in tomato sauce & corn. Top with American cheese & biscuits with sides touching. Place lid on top & cook for 15 minutes. The steam will cook the biscuits like dumplings.

I'm actually laughing at myself right now as I type this recipe! Want to know why? Well, I pre-heated my oven to 350 and once I stirred in the tomato sauce & corn, I transferred everything to my baking dish AND THEN covered with shredded cheese & biscuits. (Obviously I do not follow "recipes" very well because no where does it say do that!!) Oh well!!

I only used 1 can of large size biscuits & stretched them thinly across the top.

AND THEN....I covered with aluminum foil and placed in the oven for 20 minutes. I removed aluminum foil and stuck back in the oven until biscuits were brown. (Again, no where does it say do this but it did turn out pretty darn good!)

I served this with macaroni & cheese because that's what I made for Presley. I also added some hot pepper jelly (courtesy of my uncle Herbert) to the top. It was really easy and really good!

Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

I realize this is not the best picture, I took it with my phone because I've not cooked for so long, I forget to take pictures of new things until it's on my plate!

Notice the name is baked potato dip but not one potato in the recipe!! It's good cold or hot. Yum!

1/4 pound thick cut bacon (I use pepper bacon)
1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used a cheese blend and it was still cheesy and delish)
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons hot sauce
waffle fries, potato chips or Ritz crackers

Put everything in the bowl. (I save a little bacon and chives to garnish with.)
Mix well. Pour it into your container and let chill for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
Garnish with the reserved bacon and chives.
Serve with some chips, crackers or even raw veggies.

Here's the deal...most of you know the "drama" we've had over the last couple of years - no need to go into all the details but I say that to say this....I tend to put things I love on hold when there's too much excitement in other areas. I love, love, love cooking for others - seriously, I love to cook for others but when an area in my life is unhappy, it makes me unhappy all over. (Does that make sense?) Well, I am slowly coming out of that shell these days and can't WAIT to get back in the swing of cooking & all the activities around it!