Monday, November 16, 2009

Two Holiday Desserts to Try Out!

I made these for our church's Harvest Dinner last weekend, and they were both a success!

First, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, a Paula Deen recipe. However, I've also seen it in "The Pink Lady's Requested Recipes," a cookbook by a Calera lady who ran a teahouse with awesome salads, veggie dishes, and desserts. So what I'm trying to say is that I think this recipe has been around the block in the South a few times. The buttery-pretzel crust gives the super-sweet cream cheese filling a nice salty contrast, and the top layer is loaded with frozen strawberries (buy the plain strawberries and cut them in half; don't do the syrupy ones).

It took me a few times to get this just right; the trick is that you have to let the pretzel crust cool really well before putting on the cream cheese-Cool Whip-sugar mixture, and then let that set up pretty good in the fridge before putting on the strawberry Jell-O topping. Otherwise, the crust is all crumbly and/or the white part stays goopy.

I also made a Caramel Pecan Pie for the dinner, and it was AMAZING! Seriously, I'm a fan of pecan pie, but this was even better. As Paula Deen would say, it took pecan pie over the top. The recipe calls for 36 caramels, but I just used a bag of caramel bits from the chocolate chip section, and it worked fine.

I bought one of those refrigerated pie crusts that comes with two, and I used the other one to make empanadas from leftover chili and pieces of cheese! That's a way to make leftover chili fun to eat!

Oh man, going on the Food Network site got me excited for some holiday cooking! Sweet potato casserole, cranberry-pear pie, caramel apple pie--yum yum!! Maybe I'll actually start posting on here sometimes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Best Green Beans!

My mom found these green beans at Sam's a few weeks ago. They taste exactly like fresh homegrown green beans. But, without the snapping and 45 min-1 hr of cook time. I cook them the same way that I do fresh green beans. Fry a little bacon in a saucepan or a little bit of olive oil and saute them for a couple of minutes, then add a few cups of water and some bouillon cubes lastly some finely chopped onion, salt and pepper. Then cook for about 10-12 minutes. We've been eating them almost nightly, they are so delicious. Check 'em out!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

22 Minute Cake

This is Phylliese Sawyer's recipe from the Edmond Church of Christ Cookbook:

2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 C. shortening
3 1/2 T. cocoa
1 C. water
1/2 C. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla

In a large bowl, combine sugar and flour. In a small pan, mix and bring to a boil: butter, shortening, cocoa, and water. Pour over flour mixture. Combine buttermilk, eggs, soda, and vanilla-add to other and mix all together. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 22 minutes. When cake has been in the oven for 18 minutes, combine icing ingredients except powdered sugar in a small pan and bring to a boil. Add sugar and beat well to remove the lumps. Pour over cake when it's removed from the oven.

1 stick butter
3 1/2 T. Cocoa
1/3 C. milk
1 lb. powdered sugar.

I love this recipe for church events. It makes a huge pan and I always get lots of compliments. Always giving credit to my friend Phylliese!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Baked Fudge

I want to try this so, I'm linking it here so I don't lose the recipe.

Here's the recipe. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Chili's Salsa


As you can see, I've adopted the recipe for our tastes!

1 (14.5 oz) can Tomatoes and Green Chilis (Rotel)
1 (14.5 oz) Whole Peeled Tomatoes with juice
1 T. + 1 t. Jalapenos (canned, diced, not pickled) I actually use fresh!
1/4 C. yellow onion (diced) I usually use more!
3/4 t. Garlic salt I like fresh, about one clove
3 t. of chopped cilantro This is just a guess. Add more or less to taste.
1/2 t. Cumin
1/4 t. sugar
2-3 t. lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

In food processor, place jalapenos and onions. Process a few seconds. Add tomatoes, salt, sugar, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and spices. Place in a covered container and chill for a couple of hours to blend the flavors. Serve with your favorite thin corn tortilla chips.

Savory Beef Stew

This is a delicious version of beef stew. It's from

* 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
* 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
* 2 cups water
* 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
* 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed beef broth, undiluted
* 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 6 small potatoes, quartered
* 6 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
* 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 3 tablespoons cold water


1. In a Dutch oven, brown meat in salad dressing over medium heat. Add the next 10 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Add the potatoes, carrots, green pepper and onion. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Combine flour and cold water until smooth; stir into stew. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Discard bay leaf before serving.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Oven-baked Caramel Corn

Here's a fun Paula Deen recipe from her Paula Deen Celebrates cookbook. I couldn't find the same one online. It's so addictive, and great for movie nights, game days, or food gifts!

This is for one bag of popcorn (obviously, double the ingredients for two bags, but I've found that one bag is enough for me and four friends on girls movie night!):

Bring 1 stick of butter, ½ cup brown sugar, 1/2 t. salt, ¼ cup corn syrup, 1 t. maple syrup, and 1 t. vanilla to a boil over medium-high heat.

Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. If it starts to boil really hard, I lift it off the burner for a few seconds. You can scorch this if you let it get too hot for too long. And it is HARD to clean out of a pan and to air out your house afterward! After five minutes, remove from heat and add 1 t. baking soda. Spread this over popped popcorn on a cookie sheet and stir it up as best you can, but don't worry about coating every piece yet. Bake at 250 for an hour, taking out to stir every 15 minutes or so. By the third or fourth time of doing this, every piece should be perfectly coated!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fall's Perfect Breakfast!

Oh you voluptuous fall fruit, how I desire your tasty innards! Being surrounded by jack-o-lanterns and decorative pumpkins only increases my love of all foods pumpkin. Here's a great way to get rid of that pumpkin craving first thing in the morning: Pumpkin Waffles! Jay and I have eaten these three or four times, and we love them! I might even double the recipe next time so I have leftovers to freeze for a quicker weekday breakfast.

Pumpkin Waffles
by the Taste of Home test kitchens

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, pumpkin and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until combined.

Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown.

Apple Bonanza!

I've been well-supplied with fresh apples since midsummer, thanks to a couple sets of very generous Maucks. I've frozen them thinly sliced with cinnamon-sugar for Diane's apple pie, and I've made apple cake and this week, I tried strawberry applesauce. Both are de-lish and worth sharing. I used tart apples for the cake, and Red Delicious for the applesauce.

Grandgirl's Fresh Apple Cake from Georgia
by Paula Deen

I've never seen a recipe title this long, OR so many positive reviews from Food users: 531 reviews with a 5-star average rating. If you've got apples, you've got to try this one.


Butter, for greasing pan
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease a tube pan.
For the cake: in a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, orange juice, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract; and mix well. Fold apples, coconut, and pecans into batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours.

Shortly before the cake is done, make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan, stir in the sugar, buttermilk, and baking soda, and bring to a good rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the hot cake in the pan as soon as you remove it from the oven. Let stand 1 hour, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Strawberry Applesauce
by Dave Lieberman

This one is very easy, and a flavorful change from regular applesauce. Last time I made homemade applesauce, I made it plain with cinnamon, and Claire didn't care for it too much. This one got her approval, though! Beware: I didn't get the heat high enough for a while, and had to cook it longer. It's okay, just make sure you add water to keep the sauce from getting too thick.

3 pounds McIntosh or other apple of choice (about 9 apples)
10 large frozen strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Peel, core and slice apples 1/4-inch thick. Place apple slices in a large saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until a sauce consistency, about 45 minutes. Use a potato masher, if necessary, to break up any lumps, but leave slightly chunky.