Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Last night, Jimmy and I arrived home after being gone for 10 days. We were visiting my daughter, Kelly and her family, in Kansas. We had so much fun and we actually had snow for Christmas. That was great! We even went sledding Christmas. I had so much fun playing with the grandkids - Samantha and Austin. I miss them terribly when we aren't together.

Jimmy helping to shovel out on Christmas morning!

Kelly and I did some baking and cooking.

Samantha and Austin taste testing the Choco Cherry Nut Drops! The recipe is on my previous post.
By the look on their faces, I say they like!

Kelly made fudge. Her first time trying it and it came out delicious!
Samantha helped me make Paula Deen's Mexican Wedding Cakes. I made these last Christmas.

We also did cut out cookies. Not sure if there was more eating or frosting going on!

My son-in-law digging in to our Christmas Eve goodies

Saturday, December 19, 2009

More Baking!

Thursday was our Holiday Breakfast at work. It's when all of us employees get together, each bringing a breakfast dish and we exchange gifts (we draw names the end of November). It's alot of fun and we are stuffed the rest of the day! So much good food!

Wednesday, I came home from work and made sausage gravy for my contribution. Then, I made fudge, Hidden Kisses (Paula Deen!), and Choco-Cherry Nut Drops. (The same night I made the Star Sugar Cookies, I also made Magic Cookie Bars.)

Fantasy Fudge

I have not made this in a few years. I absolutely love it. It's not too sweet like some fudge. The first time I made it was in 1982 with my first mother in law, Betty. I remember me scooping the marshmallow creme into bowl, and her stirring!

3 cups sugar
5 oz evaporated milk
1 1/2 sticks butter
12 oz Baker's semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
7 oz marshmallow creme
1 cup walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract


Line 9 inch square pan with foil, letting foil hang over edges.

In heavy sauce pan, combine sugar, milk and butter. Melt over medium heat, bringing to boil. Stir often to prevent scorching for approximately 4 minutes or until candy themometer reaches 234 degrees.

Remove pan from heat. Add chocolate and marshmallow creme. Stir until melted. Add vanilla and walnuts.

Pour into pan. Refrigerate til set.

Makes 3 lbs.

Hidden Kisses

The recipe was from Paula Deen's The Lady & Sons, Too! cookbook. I was looking for something else to make and these looked yummy. Another recipe I had all the ingredients for! That is always a big plus! These were really good - like a pecan sandy with a Hershey's kiss in the middle.
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
9 oz package of Hershey's Kisses
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla and almond extracts. Stir in the flour and blend well. Add the pecans and blend well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for one hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Unwrap the Kisses. Press a scant tablespoon of dough around each Kiss, covering it completely; shape into balls.

Place the cookies on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Cool slightly, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Roll the cookies in the confectioners' sugar (I skipped this step; and they still tasted great).

Yields: 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 dozen

Choco-Cherry Nut Drops

These are one of my absolute favorite cookies that get made at the holidays. I remember my mom making these back when I was young. I didn't make them for some reason last year, but I vow to always be sure I make them every year!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp. salt

Cream: 1 cup butter

Gradually add 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup sugar

Blend in 1 unbeaten egg adn 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Add dry ingredients, blending well.

Stir in 1 cup (6 oz pkg) semi-sweet semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/4 cup copped marashino cherries.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Girl Paula: Star Sugar Cookies

I found this recipe in the magazine" Paula Deen's Holiday Baking 2009." I love sugar cookies. I don't like to ice them and decorate them, but sprinkling the sugar on them before baking is right up my alley!

I made these Monday night. I actually had all the ingredients, which was a big deciding factor! I didn't just make stars, tho; I made bells and trees, too.

These are really good. Hard to have just one!

Star Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar

1 cup confectioners sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
colored sugar sprinkles


In large bowl, beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, mixing well. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Divide dough in half; chill 1 portion until ready to use.

On a lightly floured surface, roll remaining portion of dough to 1/8" thickness. Using a 2 1/2 inch cutter, cut dough and place on prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Decorate as desired with colored sugard.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Yield: 4-5 dozen

Barbecue Quesadillas

For an early Christmas present to my son, Jimmy, I bought him Better Homes and Gardens Anyone Can Cook - Step-by-Step Recipes Just for You. It even comes with a dvd. Jimmy likes to cook when he takes the time to. He swears his sausage gravy is the best. No one else, but me, is allowed to make it in the family. He even does most of the cooking for his patrol when his Boy Scout troop goes camping.

Last night, Jimmy decided he wanted to make dinner. So after looking in his book and seeing what we had available in the kitchen, Barbecue Quesadillas is what we made. (Find ingredients is not easy right now since we are going to my daughter's for the holidays and I haven't shopped this week.)

These were very good, I must say. Not time consuming at all. We didn't have the tub of shredded chicken in bbq sauce, so we used Tyson's frozen diced chicken and mixed in some Open Pit BBQ sauce. I think I would add more cheese next time.
nonstick cooking spray
Four 7 or 8 inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)
4 oz can diced green chiles, drained (omitted)
18 oz tub refrigerated barbecue sauce with shredded chicken (2 cups)
1 cup bottle salsa
1/4 cup dairy sour cream (omitted)
1/4 cup sliced green onion (omitted)
1. Coat one side of each tortilla with cooking spray. Place, coated side down, on cutting board or waxed paper. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese over half of each tortilla. Top with green chiles and barbecue sauce with chicken. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a hot 10 inch skillet, cook quesadillas, two at a time, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Place quesadillas on a baking sheet. Keep warm in preheated oven for up to 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 3 wedges. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and green onion.
Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Girl, Paula: Barbecue Meatloaf

This week's My Girl, Paula recipe was to make something with beef. I choice the Barbecue Meatloaf. I have had my eye on it and decided to go for it. It was so yummy! I will definitely make this one again. I split the meatloaf into two small loaves since my son doesn't like onions and I wanted some. But, I did not like the one the onions stayed so crunchy. Next time, I will make the meatloaf without the onions.

I loved the sauce that was made. I put both loaves together in one pan and basted both a few times. Yummy!


1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 onion, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
two 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
3 T vinegar
3 T brown sugar
2 T prepared mustard
2 T Worcestershire sauce


Mix together the beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce. From the mixture into a loaf and place in in a shallow pan.

Stir together the remaining tomato sauce, water, vinegar, sugar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Pour the sauce over the meatloaf.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, basting occasionally with the pan juices.

Serves: 6

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Girl, Paula: Banana Gooey Butter Cakes

This week's My Girl, Paula recipe was Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes. I was so NOT in the mood for anything else pumpkin. Luckily, the recipe came with three other variations - Pineapple, Banana, and Peanut Butter. I had the bananas that were very ripe, so I made that instead.

The cake was good, but not my favorite. It was very sweet and gooey. Gooey isn't bad. The cinnamon and nutmeg were yummy in it. It was easy to put together. I made it while cooking dinner and stuck it in the oven as soon as dinner came out.

The recipe can be found here.
The cake layer.
Before sticking in oven.
Right after pulled out of oven.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Crunch Top Apple Pie

For this week, I decided to make an apple pie from Paula Deen for Thanksgiving. My son wanted apple pie, so I decided Paula Deen since I didn't have plans on making the vegetable soup. This was the first crust that I made from scratch in a long time.

The recipe was very easy to follow and can be found here. The filling tasted good, but I'll have to let you know tomorrow how it tastes.

These are before baking.


Monday, November 23, 2009

My Girl Paula: White Chili

Last week's recipe for My Girl, Paula was ANYTHING GOES. I spotted this recipe in the January/February 2008 edition of the Cooking With Paula Deen magazine. Both Jimmy and I thought this sounded good.
I used a bag of Tyson chicken that was cubed cooked chicken. I simmered the chili all day on low. It was very yummy and I will definitely make this again. We topped the chili with cheddar cheese and jalapenos.


5 cups chopped cooked chicken
3 (15 oz) cans Great Northern beans, drained
1 (32 oz) box chicken broth
1 (16 oz) jar mild salsa
1 (8 oz) package Monteray Jack cheese with Peppers, cubed
2 tsp ground cumin
Garnish: cheddar cheese, sour cream, and jalapenos


In a 6 quart electric slow cooker, combine chicken, beans, broth, salsa, cheese and cumin. Cover, and cook on high for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Garnish with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and jalapenos, if desired.

Serve with corn chips.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Microwave Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo - Pampered Chef

My friend Lysa just recently became a Pampered Chef consultant. She sent me this wonderful booklet of recipes after I ordered the Deep Dish Baker.

I decided to make this dish since it sounded easy and I hadn't had alfredo in ages. It was super simple and so yummy. My son had two huge helpings!
1 - 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 clove garlic
uncooked fettuccini noodles
bottle alfredo sauce
fresh block parmesan cheese (I used Kraft grated cheese)
dried parsley
Drizzle oil on bottom of deep dish baker. Cover with chicken breats. Season chicken heavily with salt and pepper. Press garli on top of chicken using Garlic Press. Cover with lid and microwave on high for 12-14 minutes or until chicken is done.
While chicken is cooking, prepare fettuccini according to package directions on top of stove. Drain well.
Once chicken is done, drain liquid. Dice chicken; put back into Baker. Add in alfredo sauce, noodles, mixing thoroughly. Microwave covered for 2-3 minutes until heated through. Grate fresh parmesan cheese on top. Sprinkle with parsley.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Cookie Carnival: Pecan Pie Cookies

This month's Cookie Carnival challenge was Pecan Pie Cookies. Since pecan pie is one of my favorites, of course, I had to try it! Boy, where these delicious! Sweet, but yummy! Definitely need a glass of milk with them!

The recipe was chosen from Jen at Beantown Baker. She made an excellent choice!

Pecan Pie Cookies - from Land O Lakes - makes ~3 dozen

Cookie Ingredients:

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Filling Ingredients:
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
Heat oven to 350°F.
Combine all cookie ingredients except flour and baking powder in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.
Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in each cookie with thumb; rotate thumb to hollow out slightly.
Combine all filling ingredients in small bowl; fill each cookie with 1 rounded teaspoon filling.
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ruby's Crispy Oven Chicken

This is the last recipe that I wanted to make from the September/October 2009 Cooking With Paula Deen Magazine. This was from the Light & Luscious section. My son didn't think he would like it because of the cornflakes, so I made it into chicken tenders, and ha! He liked it and even had seconds!!! This was very good and I would make this again.


2 cups crushed cornflakes cereal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
2 egg whites
3 lbs split chicken breasts (used boneless


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a shallow dish, combine cornflakes, salt, and red pepper.

In a separate shallow dish, lightly beat egg whites.

Dip each chicken breast in beaten egg white; dredge in cornflake mixture, pressing cornflake mixture gently to adhere to chicken.

Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers 165 degrees. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4-5

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Girl, Paula: Pepper Steak

This recipe can be found on page 77 of "The Lady & Sons, Too!" Cookbook. It was good, not my favorite of Paula's recipes, but good. We made the dish Thursday over at my mom's. My parents both loved it. My son decided it was okay and wrapped it up in tortillas. Not a bad idea.! We ate it over rice.
My mom bought cube steaks. She was worried the round steak wouldn't get tender.

Sorry the pictures aren't the best quality. They were taken with my camera.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs round steak, trimmed of fat and cut in strips
1 cup water
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 medium green bell peppers, cut into strips
2 T soy sauce
2-3 tsp. sugar
1 T cornstarch
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot. Add the meat and brown for 5 minutes. Stir in the water, onion, garlic, salt and ginger. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the peppers.
Stir together the soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch. Pour this into the pot and stir until the liquid thickens. Place tomato wedges on top of the meat and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 mintues longer.
Serve over rice.
Serves 4-6.

Paula Deen's Spicy Orange Grilled Chicken

This is another recipe from the September/October 2009 edition of "Cooking With Paula Deen". I believe there is only one more recipe that I want to make in this edition.

I was going to make this for dinner Wednesday, but never got to. I can't make it Thursday night either. I had the meat in the refrigerator marinating. I got home too late from work and then had to turn around to go to a Boy Scout committee meeting. I went ahead and cooked the meat inside.

I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts since that is what I had. It worked good. I used Coke Zero and low sugar marmalade.

I tasted a small bite of chicken. It was very good and spicy! This was very good in a salad and I put some in a tortilla...real good that way too.


1 1/2 cups cola flavored carbonated beverage
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup cider vinegar
4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 T adobo sauce from chiptole peppers
2 1/2 lbs chicken legs
2 1/2 lbs chicken wings


In a large resealable plastic bag, combine, cola-flavored beverage, marmalade, vinegar, chiptole peppers, and adobo sauce. Add chicken. Seal, and refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Spray grill rack with nonstick nonflammable cooking spray.

Removed chicken from marinade, reserving marinade. Grill chicken, covered with grill likd, for 12-15 minutes, turning frequently, or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of leg registers 180 degrees.

Pour reserved marninade into a grill-safe saucepan. Grill for 15-20 minutes, or until marniade is reduced to 1 cup. Brush sauce on chicken before serving.

Serves 10-12

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Oven-Crisp Potato Wedges

I got this recipe from one of those recipe cards you get in the mail. This one is from Time Life Family Favorites Made Easy. This was easy to make. I baked it a little too long, though, and didn't have to cook under the broiler. I made these with cheeseburgers. Tasty side dish!

1 1/2 lbs small red potatoes (I used yukon gold)
1 T olive oil
4 tsp finely minced garlic
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper


1. Preheat oven to 525 degrees (my oven doesn't go this high). Quarter potatoes and place in large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and toss.
2. Sprinkle garlic, salt, paprika, and pepper over potatoes; toss to coat well.
3. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Arrange potatoes on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking.

4. Raise heat to broil. Broil potatoes until crisp, watching closely not to over brown., about 1-2 minutes.

Serves 4

Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Girl, Paula: MIni Mummies

Happy Halloween everyone! My son had a party last night. It was me and a bunch of teenagers! They were all good kids. Last one left about 11:30 (not counting the one that spent the night).

Along with setting out a bunch of other food, I made Paula Deens' Mini Mummies that was one of this month's My Girl, Paula's recipes. I used the lil smokies sausages instead of hot dogs. These were so yummy made with the little sausages and the pie crust. I will definitely make them again! There weren't many left. I used almost the whole package of sausages, too.

Sorry about the pictures. They are from my cell phone. I took a couple on the digital, but camera is in my son's room. The boys are still sleeping!

1 package hot dogs, each cut in two
1 package prepared pie dough

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap the pie dough and cut into 1/8" strips. Wrap strips around the hot dog halves in a mummy like pattern. Pinch the ends together on the bottom side of the hot dog. Place on the lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown. Approximately 10 minutes. Serve with mustard and ketshup.
Before baking:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Girl, Paula - Crispy Rice Candy Corn Treats

This is my 100th post for 2009! Yay!

I'm a little late on this entry. I decided to wait until later in the month to make. My son is having some friends over for a party on Friday night, so I decided to make this for the party. The look so good. I hadn't made Rice Krispy Treats in years. It's so simple and versatile!

The recipe can be found here.

Marshmallow goodness!

This is what my son was doing while I was cooking tonight: