Saturday, December 31, 2011

Eggnog and Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

I LOVE eggnog and when I saw this recipe I really wanted to try it. It is not a heavy eggnog flavor and even non eggnog lovers liked this! :-) This will be on our holiday menu every year.
Eggnog and Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup eggnog
1/4 cup butter
1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 egg, room temperature, slightly beaten
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup chopped fresh cranberries

Heat the eggnog and 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan until butter is melted. Remove from heat. Let cool until temperature is about 110 degrees F (like bathwater warm).

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggnog mixture with yeast, egg, and 2 cups of the flour and the salt; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. (Alternately, just use the dough hook on your mixer and let the mixer knead the dough for about five minutes)

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a clean damp towel. Allow dough to rise until double, about 1 hour. In the mean time, in a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll out the dough into a 12X9 inch rectangle (I like to do this on my Silpat). Spread the dough with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Sprinkle with chopped cranberries. Roll up the dough from the long side and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal sized pieces and place into a greased 9X13 inch pan. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Bake rolls at 375 ° for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and frost with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting while warm.

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons eggnog
2 cups powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese and the butter in a medium bowl. Add the nutmeg, vanilla, and eggnog, blending until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat to desired consistency.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cranberry Bliss Bars

This is a copycat recipe for Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars. My friend Janet gave me a piece from Starbucks to taste and I KNEW I had to make them. This recipe is wonderful. Don and I LOVED these bars. I now know I need to make them for a party, not just for us. They kept calling my name until I put them in the freezer! :-)
Cranberry Bliss Bars


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
/2 cup dried cranberries
6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

Prepare the blondie layer: In a medium bowl, melt butter for one minute in the microwave; stir in brown sugar. Scrape the butter & sugar into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (the batter will be thick).

Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack.

Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until well-blended. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

*If you'd like to add an orange flavor to these bars, add 1 tablespoon grated orange zest to the frosting(Beth added about 1 tsp)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cherry Coke and Jalapeno Meatballs

I saw this recipe and knew we needed to try this. We liked these, but they were a bit dry. I think we needed to double or triple the sauce. I kept the meatballs warm in a crockpot for a football party. Next time, we WILL add more sauce to them.
Cherry Coke and Jalapeño Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1 large egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs


1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
pinch of cayenne


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cherry coke
3 jalapeños

Preheat your oven to 400F° (200C°).

Mix up all the spices listed under seasoning.

Add an egg and the breadcrumbs and dig in. Mix it all up.

Make medium-sized meatballs using an ice scoop.
Give them 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 400F°.

Time to make the glaze. Use a skillet or saucepan with a thick bottom and mix the sugar and jalapeños.

Pour 1/2 a cup of  cherry coke in with the sugar.

Bring it to a boil  and then cook for 7 to 10 minutes over medium heat.

Flip those meatballs after 15 minutes, and give them an extra 10 minutes.

As soon as it stops bubbling fiercely after you’ve stirred, it’ll be the perfect consistency. It took 8 minutes straight for me.
After the last 10 minutes you brush the meatballs with the glaze. Pop them back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cranberry Streusel Cake

I made this recipe to take to Sunday School for treats a few weeks ago. Everyone asked if it was a cheesecake since it kind of had that texture to it. It was very good.

2 ½ C. Flour
2 t. baking powder
1 stick salted butter, softened
1 C. sugar
3 large eggs
½ t. Vanilla extract
¼ t. almond extract
1 ½ cups sour cream
2 cups fresh cranberries
3 T. sugar


½ C. Brown sugar
1 ½ Flour
1 1/2 stick salted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl mix together flour and baking powder. Butter a 9 inch spring form pan. Cream butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, stir well. Add vanilla, almond extract, sour cream and the flour mixture. Beat until combined.

Fold the cranberries  and 3 T sugar into the batter and spoon the batter into the spring form pan. For the topping, in a small bowl work together sugar, flour and butter until crumbly.

Sprinkle crumbles on top of cake. Bake until golden brown, about 50 to 60 minutes. Test with a knife to ensure it is cooked thoroughly. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Crockpot Turkey Broth

I cooked the bones from our 20# Thanksgiving turkey. I was able to freeze 20 cups of broth in 2 cup freezer bags. I had enough left over to make a big pot of soup, too! I let the bones cook all night long.
Crockpot Turkey Broth

3 -4 lbs chicken bones ( raw or cooked, boiling fowl or chicken or carcasses)
onions, chopped or quartered leave the skin on it gives nice color to the stock
celery, chopped
carrots, chopped
10 black peppercorns, approx
1 garlic clove ( to taste)
1 bay leaves
boiling water

Preheat the crock-pot on high. Try breaking up the bones as small as possible, place with all the other ingredients in the crock-pot. Cover with as much boiling water your crock-pot can take, I can add approx 6 cups of water.
Switch to LOW and cook for 12 or up to 24 hours. Strain, cool, skim of the fat, use the stock or freeze. If there is any meat on the bones, remove it and use for the soup or other dishes.

Monday, December 26, 2011

30 Minute Rolls

We have made these rolls three times now. They are super easy to make and taste great. They really ARE done in 30 minutes. Try them and you will really like them.
30 Minute Rolls
Recipe from Real Mom Kitchen

1 C plus 2 Tbsp warm water
1/3 C oil
2 Tbsp yeast
1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3 1/2 C flour

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In your mixer bowl combine the water, oil, yeast and sugar and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Using your dough hook, mix in the salt, egg and flour. Knead with hook until well incorporated and dough is soft and smooth. (Just a few minutes)

Form dough into 12 balls and then place in a greased 9 x 13 pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Shrimp Ceviche

From our family to yours, we pray you have a Merry Christmas. We have a tradition of having fondue on Christmas Eve. My parents and one sister, Karen were able to be with us in Texas this year for Christmas. We ate our fill and enjoyed ourselves.

My friend, Karen Womble had me put this recipe together for a housewarming party. She eats this all the time at Mexican restaurants. I had never had it before, but OH MY GOODNESS! This is wonderful. I didn't want to share! If you have kids that are not seafood lovers, leave the little shrimp out! This makes a wonderful appetizer.
Shrimp Ceviche

6 medium avocados
6 tomatoes   
1/4- 1/2 c onion
1/2 tsp garlic
1 tub of salsa
3 jars of cocktail sauce
small shrimp
large shrimp

Chop avocados, tomatoes, onion and garlic.    Put in a bowl and add salsa, cocktail sauce.  Stir in small shrimp--about 1 cup.  Mix well and pour into serving dish.  "Hang" large shrimp to make a pretty presentation.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Homemade Essential Oil Air Fresheners

Kathleen found this 'recipe' on Pinterest(our new addiction)She wanted an air freshener for her closet where the cat litter pan is. We had enough ingredients in the house to make half a batch of this. Next time we will add more of the oil to make a stronger scent. A fun 'recipe' to make!
Homemade Essential Oil Air Fresheners

1 ounce, weight Unsweetened, Unflavored Gelatin (equivalent To 4 Envelopes Of Knox Powdered Gelatin)
2 cups Cold Water, Divided
1 Tablespoon Salt
20 drops To 30 Drops Essential Oil(Kathleen used cinnamon oil)
Food Coloring To Tint The Air Fresheners

Bring one cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the boiling water and whisk until smooth and all the gelatin is dissolved. Add the salt and the second cup of cold water and whisk. Set aside.

Add the desired amount of essential oil and food coloring, if using, to the jar(s). Quickly pour the hot liquid gelatin over the essential oil and food coloring. Stir until evenly colored.

Allow to cool, uncovered on a heat-proof surface. When it reaches room temperature, place wherever you want a lovely scent.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cranberry Sausage Balls

These were a quick appetizer to put together. Everyone liked them. The sweet cranberries and the crunch of the pecans made for a great taste!
Cranberry sausage balls

1 pkg. Pork Sausage Roll
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup all-purpose baking mix
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 375. Mix ingredients just until blended.

2. Shape into 36 (1-inch) balls; place in single layer in 2 lightly greased baking pans.

3. Bake 10-12 minutes or until done  Beth had to cook them for 25 minutes

You can heat them in the micro before serving, or they are good at room temperature

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Homemade Gravy

I have never made gravy ahead of time. I saw this recipe and thought we would try it. We doubled the recipe and then pureed it with a hand blender so we had a thinner gravy. We all liked it. It made a great thickener for turkey noodle soup the week after Thanksgiving!
Homemade Gravy
Yield: 3 cups

½ cup unsalted butter
1½ cups finely chopped yellow onion
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups turkey or chicken stock, heated
1 tablespoon Cognac or brandy (optional)
1 tablespoon heavy cream

1. In a large (10- to 12-inch) saute pan, cook the butter and onions on medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. (Don’t rush this step; it makes all the difference when the onions are well cooked.)

2. Sprinkle the flour into the pan, whisk in, then add the salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock and Cognac, and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes, until thickened. Add the cream and serve. (Alternatively, you can cool the gravy and transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and warm up over low heat before serving. Add a splash or two of chicken or turkey stock to thin out, if needed.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Frozen Cranberry Banana Salads

My cousin Kim gave me this recipe and I KNEW I had to make this. It was a great accompaniment to Thanksgiving, and the morning after and the afternoon after.....really! These are THAT good. I think I got 32 of these out of this batch.  I tasted as I mixed this up and didn't need the sugar.

Frozen Cranberry Banana Salads
Kim Anderson

1 lg can (20 oz) well drained crushed pineapple
1 pint sour cream
1- 9 ounce cool whip
4 mashed bananas
1/2 cup sugar (Beth didn't use)
1 cup nuts (optional)
2 cans WHOLE cranberry sauce (mash with potato masher)

Mix all ingredients well and spoon into cupcake papers placed in a muffin pan. Freeze. When frozen, remove from muffin pan, leaving them in their papers until time to serve and place in Ziploc bags. Keep frozen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

I combined 2 different recipes I found on website I frequent--on the cooking forum. These made THE best mashed potatoes and I will definitely make these again. It was so nice to have dishes made ahead for Thanksgiving--especially when the Packers were playing! :-)
Make ahead Mashed Potatoes

5 lbs. potatoes
6 oz. cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp onion salt (don't omit)
1.5 sticks butter
2 tsp chives
2 heads of roasted garlic

Peel, cook and drain the potatoes. Mash and add all ingredients. Place in casserole dish and dot with butter. Cover & bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
You can make this a couple of days ahead and keep in the refrigerator.  When ready, you can put this in the crockpot(Beth did this)

****  If completely cold, 5 lbs will take 3 hours to reheat in the crockpot and can then sit on warm for a couple more hours. I stir them close to the 3 hour mark to make sure they are heated through.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Crockpot Stuffing

My friend Verda, from Green Bay, WI, gave me this recipe a few years ago. Last year I totally FORGOT to make stuffing. I wish I wouldn't have waited so long to try this. It was WONDERFUL. Jenna requested that I make it again before next Thanksgiving. I used Turkey Stuffing Bread that I made in the bread maker to make the bread for this stuffing. It was so very good.

Crockpot Stuffing
Verda Vaness

1 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp. sage
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
12-13 cups unseasoned bread cubes
3 1/2 - 4 cups chicken broth 
2 well beaten eggs
1# pork sausage (with sage), cooked and crumbled

Mix butter, celery, onions, and spices.  Mix this with the remaining ingredients adding enough broth until the bread cubes are moist.   Lightly pack into crockpot and cover.  Cook on high for 45 min., then switch to low and cook for about 6 hours.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Perfect Turkey in an Electric Roaster

This is year 2 to make our turkey this way. Last year I only had one oven, so really NEEDED to make the turkey in the roaster. We LOVED how moist it was, so even though I now have a double oven, I decided to do my 20.5# turkey this way again. It was quite moist and tender.

Perfect Turkey in an Electric Roaster Oven
By Squirrel Gone Wild on

1 whole turkey, thawed up to 20 lbs
1/4 cup olive oil or 1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon seasoning salt

Take the insert pan out of the roaster and pre-heat the roaster to its highest setting

Prep the turkey by rinsing and patting dry. Sprinkle salt in the cavities Place the bird in the roasting pan on top of the wire rack that comes with your roaster. Make sure the handles are up, not tucked below.

Rub the entire bird with olive oil or butter.  Doctor up your bird with whatever special seasonings you wish. I always use poultry seasoning.

Finish with a good sprinkle of seasoning salt and black pepper. The olive oil and seasoning salt will help the skin brown nicely Put the insert pan with the bird into the roaster oven and cover. I never add water or other liquid to the pan, but some people do.

Roast at highest setting for 30 minutes. The oil, seasoning salt and the searing time will make the skin beautifully browned and perfect!

After 30 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 325.

The bird will self-baste if you do not lift the lid, so you don't have to baste it every 20 minutes like you do in your conventional oven. DO NOT LIFT LID during cooking time! Lifting the lid will increase cooking time because roaster ovens lose their heat unlike regular ovens

Check your Bird - Figure your total cooking time from the time you first put the bird in the roaster. FINAL TEMPERATURE FOR SAFETY AND DONENESS IS: 180 DEGREES IN THIGH AND 165 DEGREES IN BREAST AND STUFFING. Juices should be clear, not pink.

Your turkey will almost certainly be done at the earliest of the suggested times on the chart. Lift lid only slightly and quickly to check the pop-up thermometer or use your meat thermometer. If necessary, check after another 30 minutes, but I doubt you'll have to do that. If the pop-up thermometer isn't popped, double check with your regular meat thermometer because those little plastic things stick sometimes. I say check after 30 minutes because it's really OK to let the bird roast a little extra - you won't dry it out using my method if you let it go for 1/2 hour.

Figure your total cooking time from the time you first put the bird in the roaster. Check your bird at the EARLIEST of these times:.

8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours.
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours.
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours.
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours.

When done, remove the bird from the roaster, tent with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes. This allows the juices to really seep into the meat, so they say.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings

We made these for a football party we had. They were very good and a bit different from the regular hot wings. I made the blue cheese dressing, but next time would do without it. We used 4.5 # of wings so we tripled this recipe.
Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings

1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (1/2 tsp table salt)
2 1/2 pounds chicken wings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or melted butter)
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt (like Lawry's)
1 cup blue cheese dressing
1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 425F. In a small bowl, mix together the oregano, rosemary, cumin and salt. Lay the chicken wings on a baking sheet and season the chicken wings with this mixture.
2. Bake the chicken wings for 20-25 minutes. While the chicken is baking, mix together the oil, fresh basil, garlic, parmesan cheese and seasoning salt.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the blue cheese dressing with the mustard (this is your dipping sauce)
4. When the chicken is cooked through, toss the wings with the garlic/cheese/olive oil (or butter) sauce. Serve with the blue cheese/mustard dressing.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cheesy Skillet Scalloped Corn

This was a delicious side dish. We liked it even better as leftovers. We served this for a Thanksgiving side. Loved the tang that the Swiss cheese gave to the dish.

Cheesy Skillet Scalloped Corn

for the crumb topping:
4 T. butter
2/3 c. crushed buttery round crackers, such as Ritz

for the Swiss cheese sauce:
2 T. butter
2 T. all-purpose flour
1-3/4 c. half and half
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. Frank’s Red Hot Original hot sauce, optional
salt and pepper, to taste

for the corn:
1 15-oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
2 11-oz. cans corn with red and green bell peppers, drained
1 11-oz. can white shoepeg corn, drained
2 scallions, thinly sliced

For the crumb topping, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter to melt, then add the crushed crackers. Cook and stir about 3 minutes, or until light brown. Remove crumbs to a plate to cool.

In the same skillet, prepare the Swiss cheese sauce. Turn the heat down to low, then melt the 2 tablespoons butter. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the half and half. Turn heat back up to medium and whisk fairly constantly until mixture is thickened and bubbly hot. Add shredded cheese, onion powder, optional Frank’s hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted throughout.

Add all the corn to the Swiss cheese yum, stirring to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times, to warm thoroughly. Stir half of the crumb topping into the cheesy corn and then transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle the remaining half of the crumb topping on top of the corn, followed by the sliced scallions.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Beef and Broccoli

This was SOOOOO yummy! We doubled the meat and sauce(not the broccoli) and still would have liked more sauce. We all gave it 2 thumbs up. Love a great crockpot recipe!
Beef and Broccoli
Tracy Chandler Altman

1 lb. beef cubed
1/2 C. beef broth
1/4 C. soy sauce
1 T. minced onion
1 T. brown sugar
2 large garlic cloves, minced
8 oz mushrooms(Beth didn't use)
16 oz. broccoli thawed
2 T. Water
1 T. cornstarch

Combine broth and soy sauce in crockpot. Add onion, brown sugar, and garlic. Stir in beef. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours (4-6 high) 1 hour before serving combine water and cornstarch and blend well. Stir cornstarch mix in crockpot, add broccoli and mushrooms cook on low for additional 30-60 minutes until broccoli is crisp-tender. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spicy Pulled Pork

This was an easy to put together recipe that feeds a crowd! It is low carb, too! It is a different slant on BBQ pulled pork.
Spicy Pulled Pork
Low carb

1 medium onion, chopped
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
14 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 chipotle pepper, chopped fine
1 tbsp tomato
chili sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
sweetener equivalent to 1 tbsp
3 1/2 lbs whole pork shoulder

Combine all ingredients except pork in crock pock. Add pork and turn to coat. Cook on high 6 hours or low 8 hours.
Remove pork and use two forks to shred. Return to pot and coat with sauce before serving. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pesto Dinner Rolls

Two things intrigued me about this recipe....pesto and they are baked in a cast iron skillet. We love pesto here and make it frequently. These are dense rolls--we made 8. Maybe making 12 rolls would make them a bit lighter. I think they would be great turkey sandwich rolls!

Pesto Dinner Rolls                                        

3 - 3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon oil
4 Tablespoons pesto

Mix 3 cups of flour with salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl.

Add oil and warm water to dry ingredients and mix.

Stir in pesto. (Use store bought pesto...or make your own.)

Continue to add flour as necessary to make a soft dough.

Knead until smooth and elastic.

Allow to rise until doubled in bulk...about an hour.

Divide dough into eight portions.

Form eight rolls and position in a well-oiled cast iron pan. (Or make12 smaller rolls.)

Cover with a clean towel and allow them to rise in a warm place for at least an hour...until doubled in size.

Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cajun Seasoned Chicken

This was easy to throw together and tasted great. I was out of bell peppers, and had some dried veggies that I threw in. We liked it!

Cajun Seasoned Chicken
Crockin' girls on facebook
3 slices bacon -- chopped
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
14 1/2 ounces diced tomatoes -- undrained
1 1/3 cups long-grain white rice -- uncooked
1 1/3 cups water

Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.
Add bell pepper, onion and celery; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until

With slotted spoon, spoon bacon and vegetables into a 3 1/2 or 4 quart slow cooker.
Sprinkle chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning.Place in small skillet.
Cook chicken 4 to 5 minutes or until browned on both sides, turning once.

Arrange chicken and any remaining drippings over vegetables in slow cooker.

Pour tomatoes over chicken.  Stir in remaining teaspoon Cajun seasoning.
Cover; cook on low setting for 8 to 9 hours.

About 30 minutes before serving time, cook rice in water as directed on

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Jenna was able to come home for Thanksgiving a whole FIVE days early and surprised her sister by walking in the door at dinner time. I made these for dessert that night and since Jenna loves raspberries, I used raspberry jam. These were excellent!

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
For the base:
1 1/4 cups graham crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
2 Tablespoons sugar

 For the filling:

16 ounces (2 packets) cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
about 2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup strawberry jam(Beth used raspberry jam)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

For the base:

Grease the bottom of an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with butter. Then place parchment paper over the top, pressing down at the corners. Mix the sugar, crumbs and butter together. Press into the lined baking pan and gently pat down with the base of a glass. Set it aside

For the filling:

Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and lemon juice in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition, just until blended. Pour over crust.
Warm strawberry jam slightly in the microwave or on stove top. Gently drop jam by small spoonfuls over top of batter. Cut through batter several times with knife for marble effect.

Bake 40 min. or until the center only slightly jiggles. Cool. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars. Or 16 smaller square bars.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I have been trying to eat low carb lately. I found this recipe on a bulletin board on line and the girls and I LOVED it! It did taste like mashed potatoes.  We baked it in the oven.  Next time I will mash the cauilflower with a potato masher.

16 ounce package frozen cauliflower
8 ounce cream cheese, softened
8 ounce cheddar cheese, shredded
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 pieces bacon, chopped and fried until crisp
Paprika, optional

Cook the cauliflower until soft, about 8-10 minutes; drain very well and break up the florets a bit with a spoon.  Put in a greased 8 x 8" baking pan or a 2-quart casserole. Mix in the cream cheese, cheddar, green onion, salt, pepper and bacon. Dust the top with paprika, if desired. Bake at 350º for 20-40 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Or, microwave, loosely covered, for about 40 minutes on 50% power, turning the dish after 20 minutes.

Makes 6 servings
Can be frozen

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bread Machine Turkey Stuffing Bread

I made 3 loaves of this bread in the bread maker and then froze it to use for stuffing on Thanksgiving. I got 13 cups of cubes from 1.5 loaves. It made THE best stuffing. I will make this again for sure!

Bread Machine Turkey Stuffing Bread
John(Wolverine) on Taste of Home bb

2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon active dry yeast

Add ingredients to the bread pan in the order they are listed. Select setting to Basic or Rapid .
Note: This makes a very dense bread. Fresh herbs can be used in this bread. Try using fresh sage, rosemary, minced onion, or garlic.
To make stuffing:  I just slice the loaf into slices, tear them into bite sized pieces and let them sit on a cookie sheet on the counter over night to dry out some.  ***Beth cut and cubed 13 cups(1.5 loaves) and let the cubes sit on the counter over night....Next time give them 2 nights.  Made excellent crockpot stuffing!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chicken and Bacon 3000 Poppers

Austin, TX just recently got a Penzey's spice store. Cindy and Mark Halle were here and we went. They told me about this recipe and I bought the 3000 spice. This is a great appetizer! From the picture, you can see I did not use the toothpicks. When serving for a party, I would have toothpicks available, but a spoon worked just fine! :-)

Chicken and Bacon 3000 Poppers

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lb. sliced bacon
2 TB. BBQ 3000  (From Penzeys Spice store)
1/2 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a flat roasting rack with non-stick cooking spray, place on a foil-covered roasting or broiling pan and set aside. Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. It is easiest to do this before you separate the bacon into slices. Wrap a piece of bacon around each chicken cube and secure with a wooden toothpick. Combine the BBQ 3000 with the brown sugar. Drop each meat skewer into the mixture and toss gently with your fingers until completely coated. Arrange the poppers on the rack and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the topping browned.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ultimate Cajun Burgers

I made these to go on the onion rolls from yesterday. We all liked these burgers.

Ultimate Cajun Burgers

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 tbs. Tabasco sauce
1 tbs. liquid smoke
1 tbs. prepared horseradish(Beth used horsey sauce)
2 tbs.'s minced garlic

1/2 cup green onions, chopped fine(Beth used chopped onions)
1 or 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped(Beth used pickled jalapenos)

1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp.'s salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 large burger buns
3 tbs.'s butter, melted

Place meat and all other ingredients in large bowl and mix gently, but thoroughly. Shape meat mixture into 6 patties and cover with foil and chill for one or more hours. Preheat gas grill on medium- high heat or charcoal grill on medium- high and cook for 7 to 10 minutes on each side, for medium. Baste buns with melted butter and grill to the side for 5 minutes to toast. Garnish with lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Onion Sandwich Rolls

These rolls made great hamburger buns. The only problem was that they were HUGE. Quarter pound hamburgers looked very tiny on these buns. We loved the flavor, so next time I will make 12 buns instead of 8. There WILL be a next time! :-)
Onion Sandwich Rolls

3/4 cup lukewarm milk
5 tablespoons lukewarm water
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 large onions, diced, sauteed - and divided
1/4 cup oats
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

Place the milk, water, butter, salt, sugar, onion powder, diced sauteed onion, oats, flour and yeast into the pan of a bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle, and press Start.

When the cycle has completed, remove the dough from the machine & cut into 8 equal pieces, and form into balls or oblong hoagies. Place on a baking sheet, and cover loosely with a towel. Set in a draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (175 degrees C). Whisk together the egg white and water in a cup. Brush over the tops of the risen rolls, and sprinkle with remaining sliced sauteed onion.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Cool completely, then slice in half horizontally before using.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

Thanks to my cousin Kim Anderson for this recipe. I made it for breakfast on a Sunday and it got 2 thumbs up. I purposely bought more pumpkin so I can make this many more times before next fall!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

⅓ cups Water
1 can Pureed Pumpkin (15 Oz)
2 whole Eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 box Yellow Cake Mix (18 Ounce Box)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Brown Sugar, Divided
½ cups Flour
⅓ cups Walnuts, Chopped  Plus extra for IN the cake batter
4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
¼ cups Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¼ c heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl mix together the water, pumpkin, eggs, 1 Tablespoon of vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. (Cousin Kim’s suggestion….add walnuts here, too)Add the cake mix and baking soda and mix until just combined.

Grease a 9×13 pan with butter and pour batter into pan.

In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, walnuts, and melted butter. Use fingers to sprinkle over the top of the cake. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

For the glaze, combine the other 1/2 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and heavy cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir until all sugar is dissolved.

When cake is finished baking, poke holes in the top with a toothpick. Pour glaze over the cake, making sure to cover all surfaces. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Grilled Pork Loin with Bacon

This was a most excellent way to cook pork tenderloin. I had a two pack--each a bit over 1 pound. I put the bacon, garlic and rosemary between the two tenderloins and then tied them together. We all loved this recipe. It was very tender and moist.
Grilled Pork Loin With Bacon
By Sharlene~W

4 slices bacon
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 lbs boneless pork loin

Chop bacon. Mince garlic.

Crush rosemary and combine with bacon and garlic.

Cut pork loin lengthwise almost all the way through middle, leaving 1/4 inch uncut meat along one side.

Open and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Spread the bacon mixture over the cut surface of meat; close and tie.

Sprinkle outside of pork loin with salt and pepper.

Prepare coals for indirect heat with drip pan in center.

Sear meat at edge of grill directly over coals.

Move to center, over drip pan.

Cover the grill.

Cook meat until cooked through (160°F) (45-60 minutes).

Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Watch temperature and be sure not to overcook.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars

I think these are my new favorite lemon bars. I LOVED them as did everyone else that had them. I think the crust made with the lemon cake mix really added to the recipe. I will be making these again at Christmas since my dad loves lemon desserts!
Cream Cheese Lemon Bar

1 box lemon cake mix
1/3 c butter, softened
1 egg
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 lemon rind grated
2 T lemon juice or 1/2 fresh lemon squeezed
2 eggs
1 t vanilla

In a mixing bowl, blend dry cake mix, butter and 1 egg.  Press into a 9 x 13 ungreased pan.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Gradually blend in the powdered sugar.  Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice until smooth.  Reserve 1/2 c of this mixture and refrigerate it for later use.

Beat the remaining 2 eggs, add the vanilla and then beat this mixture into the remaining cream chesse mixture until well blended.  Spread over the cake mixture.

Bake at 350 until set---about 25-30 minutes.  Cool completely.  Spread the reserved cream cheese mixture onto the bars.  Refigerate until firm.  Cut into squares and serve.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mac and Cheese Corn Casserole

Mark and Cindy brought me a cute 2 qt crockpot when they were moving down here. It was the perfect size to try out this recipe. This was super easy to put together and we all like it. Makes a great side dish for any meal.
Mac and Cheese Corn Casserole
Molly Vickers Gallick

1 can of Cream Corn
1 can of regular Corn(do NOT drain)
1/2 loaf of Velveeta--Beth used 4 oz
1 stick of butter
1/2 box Macaroni noodles(uncooked)

Cut the Velveeta into cubes and slice the butter, then mix all ingredients together in the crock pot. Cut on low for 3-4 hours.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Delightful Lunch and Fall Apart Brisket and Gravy

Yesterday I was privileged to meet up with a fellow blogger for lunch!  What a treat to get to sit and visit in person.  This was the 2nd time I have visited 'live' with Linda.  Stop in and check out her blog.  She reviews mainly Christian Fiction books and has met MANY of my favorite authors!  You will get many book recommendations from her blog.  Happy reading!

This was very good and very easy to make. The gravy was good, but we liked it just as well without it. Will make this again.
Fall Apart Brisket and Gravy
Merry Dunsmore

4lb Brisket
2 med onion (sliced thin)
1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp Catchup
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar(Beth used balsamic since she didn't have this)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/3 c water

2 Tbsp flour

Slice onion thinly place in bottom of crock cover onion with water put brisket (fat side up) on top of onion bed. Rub garlic on brisket (fatty side).

In separate bowl mix catchup, vinegar & brown sugar together mix well. Pour over brisket evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on low covered for 8 -10 hours.

Remove Brisket put on plate and wrap tight in foil. Turn crock on high add 2 Tbsp flour and whisk until thickened (add more water if needed). Salt and pepper to taste.