Sunday, December 3, 2017

Cranberry Pistachio Blondies

Who says Blondes have more fun?  I've never believed that until I made these delicious goodies!  I read this recipe while I was traveling this month and I kept coming back to it so here 'tis!  I recommend serving this warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or with a cup of hot coffee!  Tis' seasonally delish!

You'll need:

1 cup White Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
14 Tbl Softened Butter
1 tsp Salt
1 Tbl Vanilla Extract
4 Large Eggs
2 cups Self Rising Flour
1 1/4 cups Dried Cranberries
1 1/4 cups Raw Pistachios (chopped)
1 1/2 cups White Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350*, grease a 9x 13 baking dish.

Mix butter, eggs and salt until well combined.  Add vanilla, then flour.  Fold in 1 cup cranberries and 1 cup pistachios into the batter.  Add 1 cup white chocolate chips. 

Spread mixture into a well greased baking dish.  Top with remaining cranberries and pistachios

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the center is well set.  Sprinkle with remaining white chocolate chips.  Allow to set and cool completely.

These are sooo - OOO GOOD!  Super yummy alone, with ice cream or coffee!

I'm still not sold that blondes are more fun but these are sure delicious!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sweet Potato Cobbler

Sometimes you just want to do something different for Thanksgiving.  I like sweet potatoes but I've never been a fan of casseroles topped with burned marshmallows!  This recipe is my friend Brenda Owen's creation.  Brenda is a wonderful southern lady form Hico, Tennessee (Henry County).  She posted this recipe a few weeks ago and I hurried to ask her if I might use it.  Thank goodness, she said yes!  This was so easy and the end result is delicious.

You'll Need:

2 to 3 sweet potatoes (about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of sliced cooked sweet potatoes)


1 stick (4 ounces) butter
1  cup plain flour or  all-purpose flour* (about 5 1/2 to 6 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk

Syrup for Filling:

3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat the oven to 350*

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Peel the sweet potatoes. Slice them into rounds about 1/2-inch thick and add them to the boiling water. Cover the pan and cook for about 12 to 14 minutes, or just until they are tender but still firm in the center when pierced with a fork.

Put the butter in a 2 1/2 to 3-quart shallow baking dish and place it in the oven until the butter has melted.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Spoon the batter over the center of the melted butter. Do not stir.

Combine the 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, hot water, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Arrange the sweet potatoes over the batter and pour the syrup mixture over the sweet potatoes.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Serve with ice cream,  whipped cream, or whipped topping.

*If you use self-rising flour and omit the baking powder and salt.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Apple Pancakes

OH MY GOODNESS!  This makes everything better in my life!  If you could smell my kitchen right now, you'd faint with the scent of fall goodness!!!

This is a twist from an old German recipe that looked more like a cobbler than a pancake.  I took a twist and omitted the cloves....and it's DELISH!!!

You'll need:

2 cups pancake mix (use your favorite or make from scratch) prepared as directed
1 stick butter (halved into pats)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
6 red delicious apples (peeled and diced)
powdered sugar
warm maple syrup

Melt 1/2 stick butter, add peeled diced apples, 3/4 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cups white sugar 1tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.  Fry apples for approximately 15 minutes or until golden and tender.  Remove apples and set aside to cool.

Mix pancake batter as directed, add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg to the batter and mix well.

Add 1 pat of butter to a skillet on medium heat. Add 1/2 cup seasoned pancake batter, top with 1/4 cup sliced apple mixture.  Flip pancake when bubbles begin to appear.  When the pancake is firm in the center, remove and set aside to cool.

You  may serve these as you wish but my money is on powdered sugar and syrup!  Honey butter would also be amazing or even vanilla maple syrup!  Frankly, I had one with nothing on it and it was delicious!

Put a little fruit and a whole lot of YUM into your fall!  They will love you for the effort!!!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Dumplins' Chicken or Not!

It's fall, the temperatures are dropping and let's face it - sometimes you just need something comforting in a bowl to make your day better!  There are at least a dozen variations on dumplings - my version drops a G and goes straight to dumplins'!  G's are optional in Tennessee so I hold no harm on dropping one here and there!

You'll need:

Meat and Broth

1 boneless skinless chicken breast per person
1 envelope Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix
4 C water
Salt, Pepper to taste
Red Pepper flakes (just a tiny pinch_
Chopped Parsley (fresh is preferred but dry is fine)
1 bag peas and carrots (frozen)

2 C Flour
1/2 t baking powder
1 pinch salt
2 T Butter (softened)
1 C Milk

Make your chicken:

You can boil boneless skinless chicken breasts until they are done through the center.  Shred them with two forks and add salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle lightly with parsley and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Set Aside.

Make your broth:

Mix 4 cups of water with one envelope of Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix, bring to a boil.

Make your dumplins

Mix flour baking powder and salt together.  Cut the butter into the dry mix with a fork or a pastry cutter.  Stir in milk and mix with a fork until a dough ball forms.  Flour your work space liberally.  Roll out your dough into 1/4 inch thickness and cut into 1x1 cubes (eye ball it - irregular sizes are fine - smaller is better than bigger).   I toss my dough cubes in the excess flour on the cutting board - it makes my broth thicker and I really like that.

Build your dish

As your broth comes to a boil, add your shredded chicken, peas and carrots,  Return mixture to a full boil.  Drop in dumplins just a few at a time - always retuning your stock pot to a full boil before adding more.  Continue to add dumplins (no more than 6 at a time) until all your dumplins are in the broth pot.  Cook for 15 - 20 minutes until the dumplins are no longer doughy. 

Add salt and pepper to taste along with 2T fresh or 1T dried parsley flakes and just a pinch of red pepper flakes.

In case of dire need - here are the Cheats!

Purchase a deli chicken (deboned and skin off) or use Canned Chicken Breasts
Use canned buttermilk biscuits instead of making dumplins from scratch.
Resist the urge to use boxed broth stock.  The sodium is so high and it is an overpowering flavor to your dish.  Use your favorite envelope dry soup mix- the seasonings are almost always better!


This was my first attempt to do this without meat but WOW did this work out great!  Make your broth, add dumplins and season to taste.  This was A-MAZINGLY good!  This was my very first attempt without the meat and I an SO Happy at how yummy this is!

Happy Fall Ya'll!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Derby Bourbon Bread Pudding


It's May and I have a ridiculously large hat at the ready!  It's Derby time in Kentucky and the celebrating has already started!  This is a fantastic dish that whips up in just a few minutes and had a dash of Kentucky in it to make this a true southern treat!

You'll need:

2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
1 loaf French bread
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
4 T white sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Butter ramekins or baking dish and set it aside.  Cube bread into one inch cubes.  Toast bread at 350* for 6 minutes. 

In a small sauce pan, bring bourbon and raisins to a simmer until the bourbon is absorbed.  Set aside to rest.

Whisk eggs, 1/2 cup cream, milk and cinnamon together.  Pour over bread cubes and mix in raisins and pecans.  Cover and let sit for 15 minutes to that all the liquid is absorbed. Place in your baking dish and bake at 350* for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. 
Mix your glaze while your pudding is in the oven.  One cup cream, 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Whisk frequently - you just want this to simmer.  Add 2 tablespoons of bourbon and whisk for 30 seconds.  Allow the glaze to cool slightly then drizzle over pudding.
You may omit the spirits from this dish and it will be equally delicious!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Strawberry Yogurt Cake

This cake is so light and refreshing that you can serve it for brunch, lunch or any occasion. Ya'll know that I'm all about finding the easy and quick way to make most dishes.  There are occasions in life that call for a traditional full effort and this one is SO worth it!  I sifted, zested and whisked - and it was fabulous!!!  This particular recipe is dedicated to my dear friend Charlotte - it's one of her favorites! 

You'll need:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
Zest of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces plain or vanilla, Greek yogurt
12 ounces fresh strawberries, diced
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat your oven to 375*. 
Do  yourself a favor and zest your lemon, juice your lemon and chop your strawberries before you begin.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix in lemon zest then set aside.
Cream together softened butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Stir n one Tablespoon lemon juiced then bend in yogurt.
Slowly blend wet batter into flour mixture.  Mix completely after each addition.
Chop strawberries and toss in 1/4 cup flour.  Carefully blend strawberries into batter.
Add batter to a well greased Bundt pan.  Place in the oven and immediately reduce heat to 325*.  Bake for 60  - 75 minutes or until set completely.  Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for at least an hour the flip out onto serving dish.
Mix 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice with one cup of powdered sugar.  If your mixture is too thick, you may add water to form a glaze consistency.
Drizzle glaze over cake and allow it to sit for half an hour.
Refrigerate overnight - cover well with Saran Wrap.
Slice and Serve!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sheppards Pie

Saint Patrick's day is upon us and the 1/4 Irish in me springs alive this time of year! In my searching for recipes for this month, I combined two old ones into one new one with a very traditional Irish dish in mind.

The bonus is this sweet blessing before your meal.
"May this food restore our strength, giving new energy to tired limbs, new thoughts to weary minds. May this drink restore our souls, giving new vision to dry spirits, new warmth to cold hearts, and once refreshed, may we give new pleasure to You, who gives us all."

You'll need:

3 pounds beef roast (cut into 1 inch cubes)
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper 
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter
1  Guinness or stout beer
1 3/4 cups beef broth (low sodium)
2  shakes of Worcestershire Sauce

1 bag frozen carrots
1 bag frozen corn
1 bag frozen English peas
1 large batch of mashed potatoes
1 small sweet onion (diced and sautéed in butter)
2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350*,

Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a large (gallon or bigger) zip lock bag.  Shake to season the meat well.  Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 10 -12 minutes.  Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a small pan and sauté onions until they are soft.

Add the Guinness and beef stock, scraping up any browned bits  from the bottom of the pot - add sautéed onions. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes, then cover and transfer to the oven to braise for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and mix in the frozen vegetables.  

Mix shredded cheddar cheese in with your mashed potatoes. Fill your baking dish 1/2 full of the beef/veggie mix then top with mashed potatoes and return to the oven for an additional 20 - 30 minutes.  The tops will be a light golden when finished baking.
I have a sweet friend that is a vegetarian so her portion was made with broth, flour roux, beer and just veggies.  (No Sheppard's:)!
Garnish with parsley or green onion slices.  Serve with a crusty bread toasted and buttered.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

It's a holiday weekend (okay, it's the Superbowl but that qualifies at our house) and I need something for breakfast that will be ready to serve quickly.  Plus Valentine's day is just around the corner and this would be the perfect "Sweet for your Sweetie" as breakfast in bed! 

This was super easy!  Only 10 minutes to put it together then it sits in the fridge overnight.  Pop it in the oven the first thing in the morning, then drizzle with syrup and you are a Kitchen STAR!

You'll Need:

For the Casserole -
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 ounces day-old brioche bread cut into 1 inch cubes, (soft dinner rolls are fine too, I am fresh out of brioche! :) 
1 1/3 cups fresh blueberries
powdered sugar for sprinkling (optional but do it)!
For the Streusel -
2 tablespoons cold butter (real butter)
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Now let's get started!  Whisk together your eggs, milk, maple syrup and vanilla.  Spray your casserole dish with cooking spray then layer 1/2 of your bread cubes and sprinkle with 1/2 your blueberries on top.  Repeat for a second layer then pour the egg mix on top.  Let this sit on the counter for a few minutes for that egg mix to start to soak into the bread cubes.  Cover with saran wrap tightly and put in the fridge.  You can let this sit as little as an hour but I let it wait overnight.
While your casserole is hanging on the counter, whip up your streusel.  Get a small bowl and combine the butter with sugar and flour.  I just used a fork to make this crumbly.  Cover tightly with saran wrap and put it in the fridge beside your casserole.
When you are ready to bake, unwrap the casserole and sprinkle the streusel mix on the top.  Bake in a 350* oven for about 40 minutes.  It will puff up a bit and the top will start to turn gold.

The longer you allow the bread to soak, the softer your casserole will be end the end. On the other hand, less soaking time means a crispier top.
I sprinkled this with powdered sugar and even drizzled some warm syrup on it to serve. 
You can make the streusel just before baking, but it's better to make it ahead of time so the butter can chill again. That way the streusel bits stay crispy and don't "run away" in the oven. I doubled this recipe as I have a lot of hungry folks waiting.  It filled a 9x13 inch casserole dish.  If you are making  a small batch an 8x8 dish will do fine.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Hot Crockin' Corn Dip

I've seen a lot of variations on this dip, Cowboy Dip, Dixie Caviar and just plain Cheesy Corn Dip but I think they are all pretty close to the same thing.  I'll warn you this.....this tastes better than it looks.  I'll be honest and give the photo credit to Pinterest as I'm not making this until tomorrow and I wanted to share the recipe with you today so that you can make it too! I'm down to my last jar of corn salsa and a lady just has to "make do" sometimes!

You'll Need:

1 pint Spicy Corn Relish
2 bars of Cream Cheese
2 cups of Shredded Cheese (Coly, Jack or a blend of both)
1 can of Rotel (mild or spicy)

Brace yourself, here's where this gets hard!  Mix everything together in your crock pot and turn it on!  When everything melts, Serve with Fritos or Tortilla chips!  Voila!

Now if you are crock pot challenged (how can that be?) or if you don't have one (bless your heart!) you could bake this in a casserole dish at 350* for 25 - 30 minutes.  Just keep an eye on it so it doesn't over cook.  You want it golden on top but not crispy.

This is seriously one of the yummiest things I've had in a long time.  I got my corn relish at a local gourmet shop - it's Stone Wall Kitchen Spicy Corn Relish. Target has some good brands of Corn Relish too and I'm sure your grocer has some options. I found this as a sample item on Shop Local Saturday and I kept circling back around the goodie table to this tasty  treat. 

I have absolutely zero interest in this year's Superbowl game but I can't wait to throw the party!  Ya'll enjoy, I gotta get this house decorated! 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Creamy Tortellini Soup

It's about zero degrees outside.  Not one single degree came to Kentucky this morning.  We sure invited them but they were a total no show.  So in the complete absence of an outdoor temperature, I am forced to make something warm and delicious while holding up inside the house.  I am grateful for the warmth of my home and hubby, now we just need something warm in our tummies! 

This took me a grand total of 30 minutes from the first mince to serving it.  TOTALLY worth it and an easy after work comfort meal.  Cooks in one pot too!

You'll Need:
1 stick of  butter
1 small yellow onion, minced
2  garlic cloves, minced
1 10 ounce package shredded carrots
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups vegetable broth (chicken broth would be fine too)
1 package (12-ounces) frozen tortellini
1 bag (5-ounces) fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 cup cream OR milk OR half and half
Parmesan Cheese for Garnish

Optional - 1 pound protein of your choice - I picked Sausage.  Shrimp, Chicken or Italian Sausage would be excellent too!

Melt your butter in a large soup pot add 1/3 cup vegetable broth.  Add your minced onion, garlic, carrots, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Cook over medium-low heat for 6 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Whisk in flour; whisk until crumbly. It won't look pretty but it will come together soon. Slowly add broth and continue to vigorously whisk until everything is well combined and there are no clumps.
Bring soup to a boil.
Add frozen tortellini and spinach and your protein (if you choose to add one).  Continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until tortellini is tender and heated through.  Stir in cream or milk; bring back to a steady boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth and thickened.
Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan Cheese and serve with a slice of crusty garlic baguette!  Yummmmmm!
 This will easily serve a family of 4 hearty eaters.  Very economical and easy clean up too!  What more could a busy lady want!  Ya'll Enjoy!