Monday, December 20, 2010

Crock Pot Candy

Has it really been almost a month since my last post?  Where did the time go?  Well, I'm back and I have a recipe that is worth the wait.  With Christmas almost here, I seem to spend most of my time in the kitchen stirring, standing and stirring some more, getting goodies ready to give to friends and family.  Not any more!  Crock Pot Candy to the rescue.  You're gonna love this one!

Crock Pot Candy

1 jar (16 oz.) dry roasted peanuts, UNSALTED
1 jar (16 oz.) dry roasted peanuts, SALTED
1 package (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 bar (4 oz.) German chocolate (broken up)
3 pounds or 2 planks white bark or Loghouse vanilla flavored candy coating or Almond Bark broken in pieces.  (I used the white bark)

Put ingredients into a 4 or 5 quart crock pot IN ORDER listed.  DO NOT MIX TOGETHER.    Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.  DO NOT REMOVE LID, turn off.  Cool slightly (about an hour).  Mix thoroughly and drop by teaspoons onto wax paper.  Let cool thoroughly.

I added some snowflake and candy cane sprinkles to some of mine to give them a little color.  The plain ones did kind of look like reindeer poop and thought you might could put a few candies in a baggie with a note attached that reads:

I hear that you've been naughty,
So listen, here's the scoop.
All you get for Christmas
Is this Reindeer Poop!

I think that would make cute (and quick) gifts to give. 




 Merry Christmas from our house to yours!
Sweet Addy and McKinley in their Christmas dresses!
Aren't they precious?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nacho Cheese Dip

We have really enjoyed watching college football on TV this season.  GO COCKS!  Our favorite football snack is my nacho cheese dip with tortilla chips.  It's actually the Rotel tomatoes recipe.  So easy and so delicious.  Last week when the Gamecocks crushed Clemson (YES!) we put out some cooked ground beef and some black beans and mixed it with the dip.  Mmmmm!  How sweet it is--especially when USC wins, which we seem to be doing a lot of this year.  GO COCKS!  Let's annihilate Auburn this Saturday for the SEC championship crown.

Nacho Cheese Dip

1 can Rotel Tomatoes
16 oz. Velveeta Cheese

Put in a mircowavable dish and mircrowave for about 6 minutes.  Stir and mircowave a few more minutes until cheese is completely melted.  Stir and serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Roasted Apples with Red Onions


Apples and Onions!  I know that sounds gross, but it is delicious.  My friend Lynn shared this recipe with me.  She found the recipe at www.marthastewart.com/recipe/pork-tenderloin-with-roasted-apples-and-onions.  Who would have thought--apples and onions?  My family really enjoyed them.

Roasted Apples with Red Onions

3 - 4 medium red apples, halved and cored (I peeled mine), cut into 8 wedges
1 large red onion, halved and sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper

On a baking sheet, toss apples and onions with the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Arrange in a single layer and roast (uncovered) until golden, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and toss again.  Put back in oven for about 10 minutes or more to finish roasting.  The onions should be tender and the apples soft.  Serve and enjoy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cracked Pepper Tilapia with Lemon

I was telling my friend Danna about my delicious Chilli Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus and Lemon and she shared her favorite tilapia recipe with me--Cracked Pepper Tilapia with Lemon.  It is quick, easy and delicious.  I made it when I went to Utah to visit my grands.  I served it with my Perfect Rice Pilaf.  Everyone loved it!

Cracked Pepper Tilapia with Lemon

4 - 6 frozen Tilapia filets
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/8 teaspoon cracked pepper (I used more)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of one lemon
Juice from half a lemon

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with Pam.  Put frozen tilapia in pan, dark side down.  In a bowl mix together the olive oil, cracked pepper, salt, zest of lemon and lemon juice.  Pour over tilapia and sprinkle sliced almonds on top.  Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for about 18 minutes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mini Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips

I've found that some of the best recipes I have come from friends.  So, for the next few posts I will share some delicious recipes with you that my friends shared with me. 

Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, here is a quick and easy pumpkin muffin recipe that my friend Tara shared with me.  They are so moist and delicious.  I'm sure you could make pumpkin bread or regular size muffins if you adjust the time.  I think you're going to love this recipe.  I'm planning to make it this Thanksgiving for sure.

Mini Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips

1 box Spice Cake Mix (I use Duncan Hines.  It's the best!)
1 small can pumpkin
1 cup applesauce
1 package (12 oz.) chocolate chips

Mix the above ingredients together (I used my hand mixer, but you don't have to).  Spray a mini muffin pan with Pam or Baker's Joy.  Spoon mixture into each muffin tin (I did heaping Tablespoons) and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weight Watcher's Vegetable Soup

 Well, I went back to the doctor for my recheck.  Guess what!  Everything is back to normal.  My triglycerides are good, so I don't have to worry about eating a low carb diet.  Yes!  However, I do want to eat right and eat healthy.  Therefore, I'm back on Weight Watchers.  I love it!  You can eat what you want and don't have to worry about the carbs.  You focus on portion control and of course, count your points--which isn't too bad, especially when you can eat this delicious vegetable soup for 0 (yes, zero) points.

Weight Watcher's Vegetable Soup

2/3 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup diced onion
2 minced garlic cloves
3 cups fat free chicken broth (you can use beef or vegetable broth)
1 1/2 cups diced green cabbage
1/2 cup green beans
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced zucchini

Spray a large sauce pan with nonstick cooking spray, heat.  Saute carrots, onion, and garlic over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add broth, cabbage, beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, covered about 15 minutes or until beans are tender.  Stir in the zucchini and heat for 3-4 minutes.  Serve hot.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Stuffed Bell Peppers

The only other vegetable that grew in our garden this year besides cucumbers was bell pepper.  As a matter of fact, it's the end of October and we still have bell peppers growing.  Here is a delicious stuffed bell pepper recipe that my family really enjoyed.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

6 green bell peppers, tops cut off and seeds removed so they are hollow inside
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (can use canola oil or olive oil)
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
1 pound ground beef
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups cooked long grain white rice (you can use Quinoa or brown rice)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers about 2 or 3 minutes until just tender.  Remove and dry on paper towels.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and chopped bell peppers and cook until soft (about 3 minutes).  Add beef, garlic, parsley, salt and black pepper.  Cook until the meat is browned.  Remove any grease and add the rice and tomato sauce.  Stir well.  Remove from heat and add more seasoning to taste.

Pour enough water into a baking dish just to cover the bottom about 1/8 inch deep.  Stuff the bell peppers with the rice and meat mixture and place in the baking dish.  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through.

Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Ghosts Pops

My friend, Marietta, shared these precious Halloween Ghosts Pops with me.  They are so simple and yummy!  Here's what you need:

Double Stuffed Oreo Cookies (use the orange Halloween ones)
White Melting Chocolate (you can get this at AC Moore or Michael's)
Melted Chocolate Chips for eyes and mouth
Sucker Sticks

Just put the sucker sticks through the Oreo center.  Dip in the white chocolate.  Let it set and then add eyes and mouth.

Mmmm!  SPOOK-tacular!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Low Carb Cranberry Nut Bread

The worst part about a low carb diet is not having any bread.  I really miss my bread, but I did find a cranberry nut bread recipe that is worth sharing.  It's made with almond flour.  It is good, but I still want real bread!

Low Carb Cranberry Nut Bread

2 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
2 1/2 cups almond meal/flour
1/3 cup powdered egg whites
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar or the equivalent with artificial sweetener
1 stick butter, melted (1/2 cup)
3 eggs
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of a large loaf pan and butter the bottom and a little way up the sides.

Chop cranberries or pulse in a food processor.  Be careful--not too fine or they get lost because they shrink during cooking. (I just left mine whole.)

Mix dry ingredients together (almond meal, egg white, baking powder, salt, sugar or sweetener if it's powdered).

Add the wet ingredients and mix well.  Fold in cranberries.

Pour batter into pan and bake about 40 to 50 minutes until top is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Low Carb Ranch Hamburgers

Here's another low carb recipe I found at www.lowcarbfriends.com.  Too bad I couldn't eat these delicious burgers with fries or mashed potatoes.  I'll be glad when this diet ends :-) 

Low Carb Ranch Hamburgers

1 pound ground beef
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
1 cup shredded cheese

Mix all above ingredients and make into hamburger patties.  Broil, bake, grill--however you like your hamburgers cooked.  The ranch dressing and cheese add lots of flavor.  Oh, the ranch dressing packet has only 2 carbs.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chili-Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus & Lemon

I went for my yearly check up and found out my triglycerides were up.  The doctor put me on a low carb, low sugar diet for the next two months.  So I've been searching the internet for some good low carb recipes.  If you have any, please share them with me.  I found this delicious tilapia and asparagus recipe at www.kitchendaily.com and it is one of the best tilapia recipes I have ever made.  I don't even like spicy foods, but I loved this.  Of course, my son-in-law says it's not spicy, but it is to me.  Spicy or not, it is out of the world!

Chili-Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus & Lemon

2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (I left mine whole)
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 pound tilapia, Pacific sole or other firm white fish fillets
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons lemon juice

Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Put asparagus in a steamer basket,place in the pan, cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.  (I didn't have steamer basket so I just put asparagus in the boiling water.)  Transfer to a large plate, spreading out to cool.

Combine chili powder, garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt on a plate.  Dredge fillets in the spice mixture to coat.  heat oil in a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the fish and cook until just opaque in the center, gently turning halfway, 5 - 7 minutes total.  Remove tilapia when done to a plate.  Immediately add lemon juice, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and asparagus to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the asparagus is coated and heated through, about 2 minutes (I covered the pan while they cooked).  Serve the asparagus with the fish.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jill's Summer Salad

Well, it's official--Summer is over!  Tomorrow is the first day of Fall.  I thought a great way to end summer would be with this delicious summer salad my friend Jill shared with me.  It's light and scrumptious, and I know you're going to love it.

Jill's Summer Salad

2 bags of spinach leaves or Spring Mix (I used the spring mix)
Small red onion, chopped
2 small cans of mandarin oranges, drained
Craisins

Put above ingredients into a large salad bowl.

Dressing
3/4  cup white vinegar
1 1/2 cups canola oil or olive oil (I used olive oil)
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup sugar

Blend dressing ingredients in a blender.  Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds.  Pour dressing over salad ingredients.  We also added some sliced almonds to the salad---mmmm, so good!

**This makes a ton of dressing!  I only used half of it or less, so I had enough to make another salad (I'm not complaining).  If you want to half the recipe, here are the measurements:
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
3/4 cup canola or olive oil
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoons dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 + 2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon poppy seeds

When I made my 2nd salad (with the tons of dressing left over), I did not have spinach or spring mix.  So I used my romaine lettuce and it was just as delicious!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lemon Feta Cucumber Salad


This year our garden has not done as well as in the past.  I think the weather has been too hot, even though my husband has been faithfully watering and trying to keep it going.  The one thing that is growing though is the cucumbers.  We're glad because we love to make my Cucumber Cooler recipe.  Last Sunday I was just too busy to make it, so I tried to make something quick.  My husband loves feta cheese and I have seen recipes with feta and cucumbers together.  I added some fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and had a delicious cucumber salad.  I call it "Lemon Feta Cucumber Salad".  My husband loved it!

Lemon Feta Cucumber Salad
1 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
(When I peeled it, I left a little green skin on it.  Then I took a fork and ran the prongs up and down the cucumber to make it look pretty and have a little color to it before I sliced it.)

2 - 3 teaspoons olive oil
juice from 1/2 of a lemon (about 1 - 2 Tablespoons)
1/4 cup feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Put cucumber slices in a small bowl.  Add lemon juice and olive oil.  Mix together.  Sprinkle with feta cheese and mix again.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cucumbers grow so fast and they will get too big if you don't check on them often.  Every day I remind my husband to pick the cucumbers and every day he tells me he picked them all.  I think he forgot this one!
McKinley thought Papa had planted some watermelons.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Very Strawberry Cake

A few weeks ago I went to a baby shower for a good friend.  We had a great time.  One of the foods that they served was a strawberry cake that was out of this world.  So, I had to get the recipe. (Thanks, Jennifer!)  Here it is.  Enjoy!

Very Strawberry Cake

1 (18.25 oz.) white cake mix
1 (3 oz.) package strawberry jello
1 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup mashed strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 9 x 13 pan.  In a large bowl combine cake mix and jello.  Add oil and milk, beating at low speed.  Add eggs separately, beating after each addition.  Blend in strawberries.  Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool and frost cake with Strawberry Icing.

Strawberry Icing

1 (16 oz.) box powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup mashed (or finely chopped) strawberries

Cream butter.  Add sugar and strawberries, mixing well. 

**You can add 1 cup chopped pecans and/or 1 cup coconut to cake batter if you'd like.  Also, you can add 1/2 finely chopped pecans and/or 1/2 cup coconut to icing.  Personally, I like it without the nuts or coconut.  My grandchildren like it better without it too.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Best Barbecue Ribs on the Grill

It's almost Labor Day and I'm sure many of you will be getting out the grill.  This Labor Day you'll have to try these Barbecue Ribs.  Your family and friends will ask you to make them again and again.  My family certainly does.

Best Barbecue Ribs on the Grill

1 - 2 racks of ribs (baby back, pork, beef--your choice)
Favorite Barbecue Sauce  (I love Sweet Baby Ray's on the ribs)

Put ribs (I sprinkle a little salt and pepper on them) in a baking pan and cover with foil.  Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  Remove from oven and place ribs on your grill. (If you cool them a little bit before putting on grill, the ribs are easier to work with.)  Grill about 3-5 minutes on each side.  Then baste with your favorite barbecue sauce and grill for about 3-5 minutes more on each side.  Be sure to watch it because once you put the sauce on the ribs, they can easily burn.  Of course, my husband thinks the best part is the burned part!

Can't wait to make these again this Labor Day.  Hey, Brian and Brandi, do you want to drive in and join us?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Awesome Agave Avocado Smoothie

When I was reading my Family Fun magazine (September 2010 issue), I came across an avocado smoothie recipe.  It sounded interesting, so I changed it up a little bit (using almond milk and agave) to make it more healthy.  Mmmm, it was delicious!  Rich, creamy, refreshing!  Tricia, you need to try this one. 

Awesome Agave Avocado Smoothie

1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 cup vanilla almond milk
1 cup crushed ice
4 teaspoons agave nectar (add more if you want it sweeter)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cranberry Almond Coleslaw

We had a get together for a friend who was retiring.  Everyone brought a salad and each salad was so tasty.  I had wished I could have gotten all the recipes, but I did get one recipe for a delicious coleslaw.  It's a Paula Deen recipe so you know it's got to be good.  It's called Rene's Coleslaw. 

I brought it to a cookout at a friend's house.  Everyone loved it and you will too.

Cranberry Almond Coleslaw

5 cups shredded cabbage (I used a 1 pound bag)
1/2 cups almonds, toasted ( I used sliced almonds.  My friend used whole almonds.)
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 Tablespoon honey mustard
1 Tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine cabbage, almonds, cranberries, celery, green onions, and green pepper in a large plastic bowl with a snap-on lid.  Combine all dressing ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Pour dressing over the slaw just before serving.  Stir well. 

**I mixed the dressing  with the cabbage mixture and then let it sit in fridge until ready to serve.  It was so good.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.   

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cheddar Chicken Spaghetti

Now this is a recipe my son Jonathan is going to love.  It's like the Chicken Spaghetti Casserole he loves, but without all the fuss.  Jonny, this one's for you. 

Cheddar Chicken Spaghetti

1 (8oz.) package spaghetti, broken into 3 parts
2 cups cooked chicken (I used 3 chicken breasts)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the chicken, 1 cup cheese, soup, milk, salt and pepper.  Drain spaghetti and add to the chicken mixture.  Mix well and put in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until heated and cheese is melted.

This was so easy to make that my 3 year old granddaughter, McKinley, helped me. Here she is wearing her chef's hat. She had to wear it while she was cooking.
Isn't she precious!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Boiled Peanuts

One of the staple foods in the South is definitely boiled peanuts or as they say in the South "bald" peanuts.  It is definitely easier to buy them than to make them yourself, but they are so good when you make them fresh.  If you have a pressure cooker, you can make them in half the time.  I don't have one so I boil my peanuts 7 to 8 hours.  It's very simple to make boiled peanuts because you all you do is boil them, duh!  It just takes time to boil them.  So start them early in the morning so you're not waking up in the middle of the night to check on them.

Boiled Peanuts

2 pounds of fresh green peanuts
8 - 10 cups water
1/2 cup salt

Put green peanuts in a large pot.  Add water to cover the peanuts.  Add the salt and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low or medium low.  Boil for 7 - 8 hours until peanuts are softened.  You will need to add more water when you check them since the water evaporates ( and you need to check them often).  You can add a little more salt if needed, but be careful--you want the peanuts salty, but not too salty.  After about 6 hours of cooking, I will taste a peanut to see if it is soft or if it needs a little more salt.  You just have to keep checking and tasting until they are cooked they way you like them.  When done, pour into a colander to drain off water.  Let cool.  Of course you have to eat some while they are cooling, and if there are any left, store in refrigerator :-)

**Remember:  You must use fresh green peanuts.  You can't boil roasted peanuts.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

That's Nacho Chicken

I found this recipe for nacho chicken and it reminded me of this joke:  There were three boys who stole some cheese from a store.  When they met up, the first boy said, "I got some cheddar cheese."  The second boy responded, "Well, I got some Swiss cheese."  The third boy said, " That's nothing, I got some nacho cheese."  "Nacho Cheese!" yelled the first two boys, "How do you know it was nacho cheese?"  "Well", explained the third boy, "The man from the store was running after me shouting, 'That's nacho cheese, that's nacho cheese!' "    

So I decided to name this chicken recipe "That's Nacho Chicken".

That's Nacho Chicken

4 -6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place chicken in baking dish.  Slice 3 cuts in the top of each breast.  Mix the salsa and sour cream together and put on top of breasts.  Put crushed tortilla chips on top of salsa mixture.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese and cook another 5 - 10 minutes until chicken is done.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Cini De Pepe Salad / "Frog-Eye Salad"

My son-in-law's mom gave me this recipe.  I made it when our whole family went to the beach.  It makes a lot of salad and we have a lot of family, so it was the perfect fruit salad to make.  Plus, it was delicious.  It takes time to make it, but it is worth it, especially if you have a lot of mouths to feed.  Be prepared--this salad needs to chill overnight, so plan to make this the day before you plan to serve it.

A Cini De Pepe Salad / Frog-Eye Salad

1 package A Cini De Pepe pasta (16 oz.)
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup pineapple juice (use juice from pineapple)
3 cans (11 oz.) Mandarin oranges, drained
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 carton (9 oz.) Cool Whip
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 cans (20 oz.) pineapple tidbits, drained
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained

Cook acini in 3 quarts water with 1 teaspoon oil and 2 teaspoons salt.  When tender, rinse in colander and cool. (see package directions)

In a saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt.  Add pineapple juice and beaten eggs.  Cook stirring until thickened and smooth.  Add lemon juice and cool.

Place cooked pasta in a large bowl.  Pour thickened mixture over macaroni and cool well.  Add other ingredients and blend well.  Chill over night.

If everything is chilled well before you mix it, you get a fluffier dessert and it tastes better.  It also must be allowed to chill over night to set.  If you're a coconut lover, you can add 1 cup coconut.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Broiled Chicken

When I was growing up, my family was a meat and potatoes family.  I don't ever remember my mom making us a casserole.  We always had steak, chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, peas. . . . never a casserole.  Of course, I live on casseroled now, but sometimes I just want meat and potatoes.  Here is my mom's broiled chicken recipe.  It is easy and so delicious.  It's great left over, cold , right from the refrigerator.   I made it last night and as soon as I'm finished with this post I'm raiding the fridge!

Broiled Chicken

1 whole fryer, cut into parts (or buy chicken legs, split breasts or any other parts of the chicken you enjoy)
salt
pepper
garlic powder
butter

Wash chicken and remove most of the skin.  I always leave a little bit of skin on the chicken because it gives it such good flavor.  Pat dry and put on a broiler pan (or line a baking pan with aluminum foil).  Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder all over chicken pieces.  (I'm always heavy handed with these spices, but it makes it that more delicious!)  Place a small dab of butter on each chicken piece.  Place under the broiler for about 15 minutes on each side until each side of the chicken piece is browned (almost burnt).  I even turn it over again and let it stay under the broiler for a few more minutes.  Remove chicken from pan, place on a plate, serve and enjoy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tanji's Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Black Bean and Corn Salsa, Black Bean, Corn
We went to Brian and Brandi's for a 4th of July cookout and Brandi made a delicious bean and corn salsa.  She got the recipe from her good friend Tanji, so I'll call it Tanji's Black Bean and Corn Salsa.  Thanks Tanji and thanks Brandi for sharing the recipe. Yum!

Tanji's Black Bean and Corn Salsa
In a large bowl put:
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained and rinsed (I used white corn)
2 large chopped tomatoes (I used a can of petite diced tomatoes)
1 chopped purple onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, chopped (add this right before serving)

Marinade (mix together, then add to salsa)
3 - 4 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
(Add more salt and lime to taste if you like)

Serve with you favorite tortilla chip.  Brandi said this salsa is great with lime chips but they break easily.  Hey, a broken chip tastes just as good as a whole one.  Right?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

I've had a wonderful summer vacation with all of my children and grandchildren.  We went to the Isle of Palms and enjoyed every minute of it.  Can't wait til next year. 

 In the meantime I have some great recipes to share with you.  I'll start with these delicious blueberry muffins

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk (plus 2 Tablespoons)
1 cup fresh blueberries

Topping:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line muffin pan with liners or grease muffin cups.  Make the topping for muffins in a small bowl by mixing all topping ingredients with a fork until crumbly.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons baking powder.  Add the 1/3 cup vegetable oil, beaten egg and milk.  Mix together.  Gently fold in blueberries and fill muffin cups.  Sprinkle top with crumb topping and bake for 20 minutes until done.

Enjoying the beach and each other!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Artisan Bread

I love to eat out at Carrabba's or Macaroni Grill because I love their bread.  Here is a delicious bread recipe that is just as good if not better.  My daughter-in-law, Brandi, gave me the recipe.  You can find it in the book, Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes A Day.

Artisan Bread

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups flour
cornmeal for dusting

In a large bowl or plastic container mix yeast and salt into 3 cups water (about 100 degrees).  Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches.  Dough will be loose.  Cover, but not with an airtight lid.  Let rise at room temperature for 2  hours (or up to 5 hours).

Bake at this point or refrigerate covered for as long as 2 weeks.  When ready to bake, dust dough lightly with flour and cut off a grapefruit sized piece of dough with a serrated knife.  Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch the surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom.  Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal (or parchment paper).  Let rest 40 minutes.  Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

Place broiler pan on bottom of oven.  Place baking stone on middle or lower rack and turn oven to 450 degrees).  Heat stone for 20 minutes.

Dust dough with flour and slash top with serrated knife three times.  Slide onto hot stone, pour 1 cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven door quickly to trap steam.  Bake until well browned, about  20 - 30 minutes.  Cool completely before slicing.

Yields 3 - 4 loaves

**This is best eaten the day it is baked.  Serve with butter and enjoy!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Homemade Tartar Sauce

We had fish for dinner tonight and I had a taste for tartar sauce.  I hate the taste of tartar sauce you buy at the grocery store.  So I decided to make my own, and it was YUMMY!  My recipe only makes a small amount which was great because I thought no one else would eat it.  I was wrong.  I should have doubled it.

Homemade Tartar Sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sweet pickle cubes or relish (I used the cubes)
1/2 teaspoon pickle juice
1 teaspoon minced onion
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Set in refrigerator at least an hour before serving. (Mine was in the fridge for only about 20 minutes and it was still good.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Peanut Butter Icing / Frosting

We just had a family reunion for my husband's side of the family.  I love family reunions because there is always such good food.  Trouble is, I never get the recipes.  Well, next year we plan to bring the recipes along with the food.  I did get one recipe from my daughter-in-law, Brandi.  She made brownies (from a box) with Peanut Butter Icing / Frosting.  Man, it was the talk of the reunion--it was delicious!  So whether you call it Icing or Frosting, this recipe will be on your list of favorites.

Peanut Butter Icing / Frosting

1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup softened butter
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Beat peanut butter, butter, milk and vanilla together.  Add powdered sugar and beat well.  If necessary, add a "titch" (as Brandi says) of milk to consistency.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Dora's Delicious Spaghetti Sauce


I have one more recipe from my sister that I want to share.  Her mother-in-law, Dora, makes a delicious spaghetti sauce.  My sister, Cathy, will make this when I come to visit.  Everyone loves it.  Unfortunately, my sister doesn't really have a written recipe and neither does her mother-in-law, so I wrote down everything Cathy did.  When I tried to make it from my notes, it turned out really good.  Hope you can follow my directions and hope that your sauce turns out just as good.  My sister really is a good cook and I love her!  She's the best sister in the whole world.  Here's a picture of her cooking this delicious sauce.

Dora's Delicious Spaghetti Sauce

2 pounds lean ground beef
2 cans (14.5 oz.) stewed tomatoes
4 cans (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 cans (6 oz.) water (use the tomato paste cans)
2 - 3 large onions chopped (or use 2 (8 oz.) packages of chopped onion)
3 - 4 stalks of celery, chopped (or use 1 (6 oz.) package of chopped celery)
1 large bell pepper, chopped (or use 1 (8 oz.) package of chopped bell pepper)
Canola oil
2 - 3 Tablespoons minced garlic
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder
1/4 cup of Sugar
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon

Pour canola oil to fill bottom of a large pot (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup) on a medium-high to high heat.  Add the 2 - 3 tablespoons of minced garlic, onion, bell pepper and celery and cook until soft and onions are transparent.

While the above is sauteing, season the ground beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder (lots of garlic powder), onion powder--don't be stingy, season well--and as my sister says, "Mush it all together".  Then all meat to onion mixture and let it brown. (My sister says to make the meat chunky, not little pieces.)

While browning the meat, open the cans.  Add the tomato paste and tomatoes to the mixture.  Again, Cathy says to "Mush" the stewed tomatoes into the mixture.  Add the lemon and bring to a boil.  Now you will need to heavily add more salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.  HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY!  Especially the garlic powder--Cathy must have put in 1/4 to 1/2 cup.  Then add 1/4 cup sugar, bring to a boil again, stir and simmer for 2 1/2 hours, covered.
Here we are enjoying our delicious meal.  Thanks, Cat!

By the way, HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!  Sorry I didn't post any cookout recipes.  I'll try to do better next year.  I'm thankful for all those men and women who have served and do serve today protecting our country and preserving our freedom.  God Bless America!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cathy's Buttery Corn Bread

Here is the recipe for the delicious corn bread my sister served with her "Not So Spicy Crock Pot Chili".  She got the chili recipe and this corn bread recipe from her neighbor.  It is so sweet and buttery, and so easy to make.  Ummmm, I can taste it now.

Cathy's Buttery Corn Bread

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 2/3 cups milk
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  In a small bowl, combine eggs and milk.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with egg mixture.  (Or if you're like me, just put it all in the bowl and mix together!) Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 400 for 22 - 27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cut into squares and serve.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not So Spicy Crock Pot Chili

Lately I've been doing more traveling than cooking.  I visited with my children and grandchildren in Utah, Connecticut, and Charlotte, NC.  I also went to visit my family in Charleston, SC.  While in Charleston, my sister made some delicious chili and cornbread.  I loved the chili because it wasn't so spicy--hence the recipe name, Not So Spicy Crock Pot Chili.  Now you can make it spicy by adding 2 to 3 hot chili peppers of your choice, seeded and chopped.  Also, my sister used 1 pound of venison and 1 pound of  bison instead of the 2 pounds of ground beef.  It was so good, and like my sister says, "Healthy for you!"  So, here's to your health!

Not So Spicy Crock Pot Chili

2 pounds ground beef (or 1 pound venison, 1 pound bison)
3 cans (16 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 - 4 cups tomato juice

In a large skillet, cook meat over medium heat until no longer pink.  Drain and put into your crock pot.  Stir in beans, tomato paste, onion, green pepper, vinegar, seasonings and 2 cups of tomato juice.  Cover and cook on low for 4 - 6 hours.  Add more tomato juice if needed for desired thickness.

**My sister uses those crock pot liners in her crock pot.  Sure does make clean up easy.  You can find them in the grocery store by the plastic wrap.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Quick and Easy Skillet Garlic Chicken

Now I must admit, this garlic chicken is not only quick and easy, but it is delicious!  My family loved it and they keep asking when I'm going to make it again.  You have got to try this recipe.  Serve it with your favorite sides.  I think your family will add this to their list of favorites.

Quick and Easy Skillet Garlic Chicken

4 - 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon onion powder

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the chicken breasts and season with the garlic powder, seasoning salt and onion powder.  (I sprinkled half of the seasonings on one side and half on the other side.)  Saute over medium low heat, covered,  about 10 - 12 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.   Then I took the chicken out and added a little bit of flour to the juices to make a gravy (you can add chicken broth to make more gravy) and put the chicken back in.  I continued to cook it for a few minutes, then removed it from stove and set it aside to keep it warm until ready to serve. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Macaroni Salad

I have the best macaroni salad recipe.  It makes a lot, so make sure when you make it you are having friends over to share it with.  But then again, it is so good, you may not want to share it with anyone.

Macaroni Salad

16 oz. macaroni (can use rotini or ziti)
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons instant beef boullion granules
2 Tablespoons hot water
1 1/2 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Several dashes black pepper
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 small green peppers, chopped
1/3 cup sweet pickle
2 teaspoons dry dill weed

Cook macaroni in salted water and drain.  Toss macaroni in 1/2 cup milk and cover and chill. 

In a medium bowl, dissolve boullion in hot water.  Add mayo, sour cream, salt, pepper.  Stir into macaroni.  Add tomato, onion, green pepper, pickle, and dill weed.  Makes about 16 servings.