Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013


Happy Thanksgiving to all!


I hope everyone enjoyed their turkey day with friends and family! We "gobbled 'till we wobbled" as is the grand tradition.

We have a lot to be thankful for this year, outside of the usual health and wellness factor.

1. My parents were able to visit for the first time (both of them) in a lot of years and spend the holiday. (we also celebrated Christmas amongst us on Thanksgiving)
2. A young family member had a horrible accident a few days prior. After a big scare, and a lot of surgeries, pins, and plates later, he is alive and well. Recovery will be a long haul, but we still have him!
3. There has been a new birth, and another on the way this year in the extended family

Being able to prepare my portion of Thanksgiving with my mother by my side makes my heart sing.

We made: 
(* will link when posted)
Scalloped Sweet Potato*
Dill Salad
Mashed Potato
Carrots
Orzo Italiano*
Corn Casserole
Pecan Pie
Key Lime Pie

And my mom made her brownies (yum!)

I hope your Thanksgiving was as memorable as mine...


Now we are headed out on, as is tradition to do the only "Black Friday" shopping we need... our Christmas tree!!!

This post was shared on: Your Homebased Mom and Simply Gloria

Friday, November 22, 2013

Chicken Pie

We love chicken pie. It's a comfort feel good food.
Being a small family, we always have half a pie left over (oh darn, lunch tomorrow) which is why I do not have a gravy inside my crust.
Keeping the pie drier while cooking makes for a better reheating the next day.


Ingredients:
1 Lb cooked chicken (cut up)
1-2 Cups mixed vegetables
½ Cup hot water
1 Chicken boullion
1 Pie crust
Garlic powder
Pepper
Italian Seasoning


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Put one crust on bottom of greased pie plate, poke holes with a fork

3. Bake bottom crust for 10-15 minutes

4. Add chicken and vegetables

5. Dissolve bouillon in hot water and pour over chicken mixture

6. Season to taste

7. Place top crust, crimp edges, and cut air holes

8. Bake for 45-60 minutes
9. Serve with gravy

Print


Basic ingredients

I want some now!

This recipe was shared on: Love Bakes Good Cakes, Sweet Bella Roos, Sugar and Dots, Crafty Allie, Livin the Mom Life,  Thirty Handmade Days, Cooking with Curls, Simply Gloria, A Peek into my Paradise, The Chicken Chick, Kathe with an E, Inside Bru Crew Life, Frugal Foodie Mama, Pioneer Momma, Anyonita's Nibbles, Pint Sized Baker, Mandy's Recipe Box, Chef in Training, Our Table for Seven, Wine and Glue, Mom's Test Kitchen, Lambert's Lately, Buns in my Oven, Sweet Haute, Saving 4 Six, Will Cook for Smiles, and My Personal Accent

Monday, November 18, 2013

Banana Bread

If I had it my way, bananas would be banned from my house.
The girl child and hubby dearest don't see eye to eye with me on this matter, so they keep insisting that we keep buying them.
:::gag:::

That being said...those who happen to live with me, and force bananas into my fruit bowl...they NEVER eat all of them.
So, all those over ripe bananas work their way into a bag in my freezer until I have enough to make this bread. (which (funny enough) I do really like this bread!)

The more I think about it, they might do this on purpose to ENSURE that I make this.
Hm...do I smell a conspiracy?





Ingredients:

3 Bananas

1 Cup sugar

1 Egg (beaten well)

2 Cups flour (sifted)

1 Tsp baking soda

1 Tsp baking powder

¼ Tsp salt

3 Tbsp melted butter


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Grease and flour loaf pan
3. Mix all ingredients
4. Bake for 1 hour

Print


I would suggest bananas that are a bit more ripe, but these worked OK

I like mine with cream cheese, the girl likes hers with butter

This recipe was shared with: Flour me with Love, Pioneer Momma, Jam Hands, A Peek Into My Paradise, Frugal Foodie Mama, A Bright and Beautiful Life,  A Southern Fairytale, Inside Bru Crew Life, Chef in Training, Mandy's Recipe Box, Pint Sized Baker, Anyonita's Nibbles, The Tasty Fork, Buns in my Oven, A Peek Into my Paradise, Mom's Test Kitchen, Lady Behind the Curtain, Sweet Haute, Lamberts Lately, Saving 4 Six, Life After Laundry, and Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms, Future ExPat

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pear Bread Pudding

My great grandmother made bread pudding all the time. It was a standard dessert, and I can pick it out by smell alone.
I have never tried making it myself, which of course, translates into "I HAVE to make one, just to say I can".
What is the problem with all this? There is not one single person in my house that will eat bread pudding.
Hm.

Problem solved. I made it for last Easter and brought it to my family's get together.
They all ate the pudding (as we watched on) and gave rave reviews. Yay!

Later that evening, my Nana called me to tell me that she ate more of the bread pudding than she did anything else that day. A few of you know how much those words mean to me.

Notable mention: I went to 4 stores looking for pear brandy. I finally came across it, and the only bottle they had was $40. Seriously? For something I am going to need so little of? The cheap me wouldn't let the chef me buy it. I settled on a caramel apple liquor, thinking the flavors would blend well with the pears. It is my understanding that it did.


Ingredients:
¼ Cup brown sugar
¼ Cup white sugar
1 ¼ Cup all purpose flour
1 Tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tsp salt
½ Cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp vanilla extract


8 Eggs

1 Cup white sugar

1 Cup half and half cream

1 Tsp vanilla extract

¼ Cup pear brandy

½ Tsp salt


2 (1 lb) loaves sliced artisan bread, cut into ¾ inch strips with crusts removed

4 Pears, peeled, cored and sliced

2 Cups heavy cream

1 pinch ground cinnamon


Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Mix in the butter and 1 tablespoon of vanilla just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1 cup white sugar, half-and-half, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, pear brandy and salt.
  4. Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish with a layer of bread. Top with a layer of pear. Pour about 1/4 of the custard over the layers followed by about 1/3 of the heavy cream. Sprinkle with some of the crumb topping. Repeat layers until you are out of ingredients, ending with the crumb topping on top. Press down on the layers as needed to help them absorb the liquid. Cover the pan with parchment paper then seal with aluminum foil. Place another baking pan on top or two dinner plates to keep it from puffing while it bakes.

Print

Um, we can ignore the papers on top of my microwave, right?





Adapted from: Here

This recipe shared with: Love Bakes Good CakesMy Personal Accent, Sugar and Dots, The Country Cook, A Peek Into My Paradise,  Missy Homemaker, Thirty Handmade Days, Cooking with Curls, The Better Baker, Will Cook for Smiles, The Grits Blog, Dessert Now Dinner Later, Your Homebased Mom, The Chicken Chick, and The Best Blog Recipes

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tomato Brie Pie

Brie can be very popular.
We have friends who always serve it cold with cranberry chutney.
Someone on my aunt's side (never remember exactly who brings what) brings to parties hot brie wrapped in puff pastry.

Either way, I like it.
Hubby...eh...not so much. I think he finds it a little too "dainty" for his manly self.

Until now.

As you know, Diane Mott Davidson writes mysteries, and includes the recipes from her main heroine. This (I am told) is one of those.

I made it knowing the girl child and I would enjoy it...and surprisingly enough hubby ate two helpings!

I will advise the following: If you do nothing else, please, please, please don't forget to let this pie rest before serving! "Someone" cut into it too soon and it was an ooey-gooey mess! Once cooled a bit, it's still gooey, but holds it's shape much better.

P.S. I will admit to using store bought crust. Time was not my friend that day.


Ingredients:

Crust:

1 ¾ Cups all purpose flour

¾ Tsp sugar

¼ Tsp salt

¼ Cup chilled lard, cut into pieces

6 Tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1-3 Tbsp ice water

FIlling:
1 ½ Lbs ripe tomato (about 5 medium). Trimmed, but not peeled. Cut into 8ths, seed pockets removed
5 oz brie cheese, rind scraped off, cut into cubes
2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
1 oz Fontinella cheese, cut into small cubes
⅓ Cup chopped fresh basil
3 Large eggs
⅓ Cup heavy cream
⅓ Cup milk

DIrections:
Crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Place flour, sugar, and salt into food processor. Process 5 seconds.
3. Add lard. Process until mixture is like cornmeal.
4. Add butter and process until mixture resembles large crumbs
5. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time, pulsing quickly, just until the mixture holds together.
6. Roll the dough out between two sheets of wax paper to fit into 9-inch pie pan.
7. Prick the dough and flute the edges.
8. Bake the crust for 5-7 minutes.

FIlling:
1. Drain tomatoes thoroughly on paper towels
2. Place the cheese cubes evenly around the crust.
3. Place tomato on top of the cheese, top with basil.
4. Beat eggs, cream, and milk. Pour this mixture over the tomato.
5. Bake for 35-50 minutes, until center is set.
6. Allow pie to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Print


Ingredients

Make sure you let this set before cutting!

This recipe was shared on: Wine and GlueMom's Test Kitchen, Sweet Haute, Lambert's Lately, Saving 4 Six, Gooseberry Patch, Embracing Change, The Bitter Side of Sweet, and Buns in my Oven

Monday, November 11, 2013

Man Log

During one of my many recipe searches online, I found this.
I think I read it three times before I realized it wasn't a joke!

I actually made this as a main dish, served with some mashed potato on the side.
Hubby and the girl went NUTS! (it is pretty delish!)

Hubby told me I needed to make this for a future party. Then he corrected himself and decided I was never to introduce this to our friends. He wants it to be his private secret to enjoy.

Selfish man! BUT...luckily he did not tell me that I needed to keep it off the blog!

When making the lattice, the tighter the better. I also built mine on a sheet of wax paper to make the rolling aspect easier.

See my notes in red below:


Ingredients:
1 Lb of bacon
1 roll of sausage I used Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage
Cheese of your choice I used about a cup of cheddar


Directions:

1. Breakup and brown sausage

2. Build bacon lattice (weave like a basket, approx 7 strips long by 7 strips wide)

3. Place filling in blanket, but do not overfill

4. Add cheese

5. Tightly roll the bacon around the mixture Folded the ends in before I rolled the outside
6. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes
I used a baking rack over a baking sheet so the heat would circulate and the grease drip down. By the end of the 25 minutes, I did not find it crispy enough all around. I flipped it (carefully) and cooked for another 20.

Print

Breakfast or Dinner? BOTH!

My bacon lattice. Pretty proud!

This might be the 8th deadly sin



This recipe was shared on: Flour me with Love, Call Me PMC, Six Sisters Stuff, This Ole Mom, The Craftiest Allie, The Chicken Chick, Uncommon Designs, Jam Hands, Inside Bru Crew Life, Chef in Training, Mandy's Recipe Box, O Taste and See, Kathe with an E,  Mommy on Demand, Anyonita's Nibbles, Pint Sized Baker, Table for Seven, Livin the Mom Life, and Pioneer Momma

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Rotini

Weeknight dinners are a wicked pain. I do try to plan ahead, make freezer meals, etc, but it just does not always work!

This recipe has been in a commercial for so long now that I just forgot about it, and it became background noise.
One day at work, my coworker told me that she had been out visiting her daughter. She mentioned this awesome meal that was made one night.
Oh course, I want to know all about it.

She looked a little sheepish when she was describing it, like it was simply too easy, so it must be frowned upon. Silly, silly friend...we love those super easy meals!

I made mine slightly different than the actual recipe (shocker!). I cooked my pasta separate, and 2 minutes before it would have been done, I tossed my veggies in with the pasta. Drained it as a whole and added the rest of the ingredients.
Oh...and I also bought the fresh bag of veggies, not the frozen one.

Try it, no sheepish looks going on here!


Ingredients:
1 ½ Lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Cups water
3 Cups rotini pasta, uncooked
1 (16 oz) package frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot blend
1 (10 oz) can diced tomato with chilies
8 oz Velveeta, cubed


Directions:

1. Cook chicken in a large skillet until no longer pink

2. Bring water to a boil, cook pasta according to package
3. Add all ingredients, stir, cook (covered) 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted

Print


I chose pre packed fresh veggies over the frozen

Easy!

This recipe was shared on: Love Bakes Good Cakes, Livin the Mom Life, Craft Dictator, A Peek Into my Paradise, The Grits Blog, Cooking with Curls, Will Cook for Smiles, Your Home Based Mom, The Chicken Chick, and The Best Blog Recipes

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Boeuf en Croute (Beef in Puff Pastry)

New recipes are my crack. I gather them, store them, dream of making them, and make sure I bring something new to every event.
Someone like me married the most unadventurous eater ever.
What is it they say about opposites attracting?

He likes what he likes, and is more than OK with that. He could eat the same menu for years and never think it was boring or odd.

Then I found that magical "happy medium"...he likes meat. Meat and potato.
I can make all sorts of new items and he happily eats them, and sometimes even asks me to make them again....if it includes MEAT.

That being said, when I saw this recipe here, I knew it was going to be a hubby-approved winner.

Little did I know just HOW much he was going to love it.
He ate leftovers for a week. I had no need to cook, he just wanted leftover roast! He called all his friends to tell them about it.
We went to a family function, every time I wandered near him and heard his conversation, it was about this meal. SCORE!

Don't let this intimidate you.
Make it tonight. You will be glad you did!


Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups chopped mushrooms (sliced about 1/4 inch thick)
1/4 Cup finely chopped shallots
2 Cloves garlic (minced)
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 Cup Madeira wine
2 Tbsp whipping cream
1 Tbsp snipped fresh parsley
1 (2-2 1/2 Lb) beef tenderloin roast (trimmed)
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 (17.3 oz) package frozen puff pastry
1 egg (lightly beaten)


Directions:

1. For mushroom mixture: in a large skillet, cook and stir mushrooms, shallots, and garlic in hot butter about 5 minutes until mushrooms are soft. Add wine, cook and stir for about 5 minutes until wine is almost all evaporated. Stir in cream. Cook for 1 minute, or until thickened. Stir in parsley, set aside.

2. Sprinkle tenderloin with salt and pepper.

3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add tenderloin, brown on all sides. Remove from skillet and set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 425

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. On a lightly floured surface place puff pastry pieces next to each other (overlapping if necessary, moisten seams with water). Roll pieces out to create an 18 x 10 inch rectangle.

7. Spread mushroom mixture lengthwise down middle of pastry

8. Place tenderloin on top of mushroom mixture.
9. Wrap pastry up and around tenderloin.
10. Brush entire top with egg and place on prepared baking sheet.
11. Reduce oven temperature to 400
12. Roast tenderloin for 50-60 minutes.


Print



Hubby COULD NOT get enough!

This recipe was shared on: Mommy on Demand, The Tasty Fork, Buns in my Oven, Mom's Test Kitchen, Lady Behind the Curtain, Lambert's Lately, Sweet Haute, The Bitter Side of Sweet, Saving 4 Six, Whats Cooking Love, and Chef in Training

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pepperoni Dip (Crock Pot)

When my grandmother passed away, my parents had to fly in from out of state.
Due to scheduling, the only day they could travel here happened to be on my mother's birthday.

Not only was my dad crazy busy at work trying to get everything situated in order to take the time off, but she was headed to her mother's funeral. On her birthday.
This, my friends, is the definition of "not fair"!

One of my fantastic aunties decided that we should hold a surprise party for her.
Since the plane wasn't landing until later, we would all be up sort of late, with a big day (the wake) the next afternoon...but it was going to be worth it to make my mother feel like she hasn't been forgotten.

The deal was, all the aunties and uncles would be waiting at my house for us to bring them in from the airport.

One aunt was bringing a cake, one was bringing ice cream, and one was bringing some sort of snack. Not enough really since they would have been flying all evening with no dinner.
I had to find something quick, easy, and something I could leave alone while headed to the airport.

A quick scan of recipes later, and this one jumped out at me.

I used all the pepperoni in the package. Some people fell in love, some said it was a bit too spicy.
Maybe (if using regular pepperoni) half or three quarters will do. I usually use turkey pepperoni, which isn't as spicy, that is maybe the whole package type.

Either way, it's delicious! I wasn't sure about the cream of celery soup, but it just gives it a creaminess, no celery flavor.

So...off to the airport we went, leaving the aunties to handle the rest.

We pick them up and my dad says "Can we stop somewhere for food, we are starving".
I answered a little too quickly "no, it's late, I brought you some food in the car"

They were all, um, OK, about it...but thankfully didn't argue.

Got to the house, sent my mother in first under the guise that the girl child didn't take the ride with us because she had too much homework.

Imagine her surprise to open the door and find all her siblings, spouses, and some of the nephews there singing to her.

She cried. Lots. Happy tears.


Ingredients:
1 (8 oz)
block of cream cheese

1 Can cream of celery soup
1 Pkg sliced pepperoni
Bread, crackers, etc for dipping


Directions:

1. Cut desired amount of pepperoni into quarters

2. Combine all ingredients into crock pot and mix

3. Cover and let cook on low for one hour, stirring occasionally
4. Serve with dippers

Print


Do not be afraid of the cream of celery!

I served with tortilla chips, but sliced bread would be great too!

This recipe was shared on: Flour me with Love, Tumbleweed Contessa, Lemoine Family Kitchen, This Gal Cooks, Six Sister's Stuff,The Craftiest Allie, The Chicken Chick, Jam Hands, Mandy's Recipe Box, Anyonita's Nibbles, Chef in Training, Pint Sized Baker, Table for Seven, Dizzy Busy and Hungry,  Townsend House, Gooseberry Patch, and Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms