Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cooking With Alicia and Annie Contest: Cheesy Sausage Muffins

This is my second entry into the Cooking with Alicia and Annie Contest. I thought these muffins sounded really good. I omitted the green onions...not my favorite. The taste reminds me of the Impossible Cheeseburger Pie by Bisquick.

I made the muffins using the regular muffin pan, not miniature sized. They came out yummy and I would definitely make them again.


1/4 lb of ground pork sausage - cooked and drained
1 cup Bisquick baking mix
3 oz cream cheese - cubed
2 large eggs - lightly beaten
1/2 cup cheddar cheese - shredded
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup green onions - chopped (I omitted)


Combine eggs and milk. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.; make a well in center of mixture. Add eggs and milk to sausage mixture, stirring just until moistened. Spoon into greased miniture muffins pans, filling 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Remove from pan immediately. (I baked mine 30-35 minutes).

Makes 2 dozen miniture and 9 regular size.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Peace River Weekend

I know this has nothing to do with cooking or baking, but I thought I would share a few photos from this past weekend. My son, boyfriend and I went with my son's Boy Scout troop camping and canoeing. We had a lot of fun. We had record breaking temperatures Friday night - in the 30's. We woke up to frost...I live in Florida. We were in Arcadia, FL at the Peace River, about 3 hours nw of Fort Lauderdale. The first night we sleep in Arcadia in the parking lot at a boat ramp. The second night we were in Brownsville at a camp site.

The canoeing was great. The Peace River lives up to its name. We canoed with the current. The only bad thing was the water was low and we had to jump out a few times to push our canoe to deeper water. Sunday, before we were done, we saw one alligator about 10 feet away. It wasn't very big and it ignored us. We did 16 miles in the two days.

I still feel like I'm recuperating....arms are sore, sunburned (my earlobes peeled)...but, it was worth it!

These pictures are only from my cell phone. I'll have more later.

Peace River. Picture taken during a break.
Our resting spot.
Jimmy eating lunch.
One of our dads, Bob, caught a catfish on Sunday with his bare hands. He put it back.

Red Beans and Rice

I am constantly looking through all my cookbooks. I found this recipe in Christmas Cookbook by Gooseberry Patch (I know...Christmas!). It looked delicious and it was. My son did not want to try it, so I halved the recipe. I omitted the green pepper and oregano. Oregano is not my favorite spice and the diced tomatoes had oregano in it. It was very simple to make which is a plus for me. I enjoyed it and have a bunch left over for lunch tomorrow.


1 lb. kielbasa, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 (16-oz) cans dark kidney beans, drained
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. black pepper
4 c. hot cooked rice


Cook sausage in a Dutch oven over low heat 6 minutes, stirring often. Add onion, green pepper and garlic; cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add beans, tomatoes, oregano and pepper; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cooking with Alicia and Annie Contest: Easy Chicken Tacos

I had looked at Tami's Kitchen Table Talk site and saw these easy crockpot tacos. It was the second time I'd seen them. I thought....hmm...they look delicious and easy. What could be better.

What a super simple recipe! Just what I need for a week night, especially scout night! My son and I loved them.


4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package taco seasoning packet
1 cup water


Mix ingredients togehter in crockpot. cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Shred chicken with fork until evenly shredded.

Put mixture in hard or soft tortiallas. Add shreded cheese, lettuce, sour cream or whatever other ingredients you want.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

BBQ Beef Sandwiches

Again...another recipe from Jennifer at Cooking for Comfort. This one has a whopping 3 ingredients and cooks in the crock pot. The hardest part of this meal was shredding the beef. But, the beef was so tender, it almost shredded itself.

As usual the recipe came out delicious. I put some up in the freezer for another evening. There is a lot of juice. It's really good to dip your sandwich in.


2 pounds beef stew, cubed
18 ounce bottle barbecue sauce (I combined 2 different kinds)
12 ounce can Coca Cola (I used Coke Zero)
6 to 8 sandwich bun, split, buttered and toasted


Mix together first three ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours. Shred the beef with two forks. Serve on buns.

Makes 6 to 8 sandwiches.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

Again, I made a wonderful recipe from Jennifer at Cooking for Comfort. Everything I've tried has been great so far! This is another yummy one! Thanks, Jennifer! I had a piece straight from the oven....awesomely delicious!
I made 1 large and 2 small loaves. They are a must to make again!
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at a low speed until just blended. Stir in mashed banana, pecans and vanilla. Spoon batter into 2 greased 8×4 inch loaf pans or 5 mini loaf pans.
Bake at 350 for one hour(8×4 pans) OR 45 minutes for mini loaves, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Cool bread in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on racks.

Burrito Grande

I found this recipe looking through one of those Pillsbury magazines you buy at the check out stand of the grocery. This magazine was Make It Easy Mexican from January 1998. Yes, I said 1998! This was the one recipe that I wanted to make. Now I will pass the book on to my daughter.

When I asked Jimmy how it tasted, he gave me thumbs up since he had his mouth full!

I didn't have the 10 inch tortilla shells, but the smaller ones. I layered 5 on the bottom, put the filling and cheese on and layered 4 more on top without rolling. It was very good!


1/2 lb ground beef, or chorizo (I used ground pork)
15 oz spicy chili beans, undrained
1 tsp cumin
4 10-inch flour tortilla shells
10 oz taco flavored cheese blend (I used a 2 cup package)
1 cup mild taco sauce (I used 1/2 hot; 1/2 mild)
3/4 cup sour cream (I skipped)


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In large skillet, cook beef over medium high heat until well browned. Drain. Add chili beans and cumin; mix well.

3. Place tortillas, overlapping, down one side of the sprayed pan. Spoon mixture down center of tortillas; sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Roll tortillas over meat mixture to create one large burrito, seam side down. Sp;oon taco sauce over burrito; sprinkle with remaining one cup cheese. (I added some black olives I had leftover)
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. To serve, cut burrito into slices. Serve with sour cream.

Yield: 6 servings

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Barefoot Mailman Hike and Apple Dump Cake

Yesterday and today was the annual Barefoot Mailman Hike (45th annual to be exact). It's about 35 miles of hiking from Pompano Beach to North Miami Beach. The first day is 25 miles. Everyone participating has the carry their gear on their back - tent, sleeping back, food, drinks, clothes...It's a long hike but hundreds participate. My son joined his troop this morning for the 10 mile part of it, called the Big Toe. After 9 miles, all troops meet up and get their flags out (troop and American). Everyone hikes the last 1 mile together up the beach. I drove down to Miami about noon today so I could help drive everyone home. (You know...the one with the van always drives!) We stood on the beach waiting for the troops...what a sight! From a distance you can see flags coming your way. Many, many flags. It was so awesome. Then behind the flags were all the walkers. Everyone was cheering. It was so neat to see. I was proud of our walkers from our troop.

Parade of Flags

Our troop after the hike (Jimmy is standing on far right)

When we got home, I still had to go to the store. I decided to pick up chicken wings for dinner. But, so it wouldn't seem like I was totally lazy, I made an Apple Dump Cake for dessert. This recipe is so simple. We make it a lot camping in a dutch oven over coals. You can use whatever cake mix flavor you want and pie filling. I added some walnuts to half of it.

In a 9 x 13 baking dish dump one large can apple pie filling. Sprinkle with one box of dry white cake mix over the filling. Pour 1 stick of melted butter over the cake mix.

Bake uncovered for approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Cookie Carnival: The Ultimate Chewy and Soft Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I know this recipe is from the November posting. But....I never got around to making them. My loss! These cookies are YUMMY and CHOCOLATELY! Awesome with a glass of cold milk! I made these to take with me tomorrow. My son is walking the second part of the Barefoot Mailman with the boy scouts. I am one of the rides back home so I thought I would bake some cookies for a treat at the end of their walk. Especially for the boys who walked over 20 miles the first day and slept out. The boys are hiking with their back packs loaded with sleeping gear, clothes, food and drinks.

I used chocolate chunks and some regular semi-sweet chocolate chips.


1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups, plus 2 T all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
16 oz flavorful bitter or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or lightly butter them, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or stand mixture fitted with paddle attachement, or a large bowl if mixing by had, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each additon. Beat in the vanilla.

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Using your hadns, shape knobs of dough about the size of a large walnut and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Stagger the rows of cookies to ensure even baking. Bake 12-15 minutes for smaller cookies, 14-17 for larger ones or untile the tops are a light golden brown. If the cookies are neither firm nor dark when they are removed from the oven, they will cool chewy and soft. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

If somehow they don't get inhaled immediately, they may be stored airtight at room temperature for up to one week.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken

I found this recipe in a Family Style Magazine that our grocery store Publix sends out. It may have been the summer 2006 issue, or 2007. It was the only recipe in the little magazine that I wanted to try. Since I had all the ingredients I thought I would try it since my boyfriend was coming over dinner and I hadn't seen him all week and wanted to make a nice meal.
It was delicious. I halved the recipe since it makes 12 servings and there was only three of us. I still had plenty of leftovers. I would definitely make this one again. I used boneless thighs and breasts for mine.


Nonstick cooking spray
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup fat-free milk (I used 1%)
3/4 cup fine dry Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
5 lbs meaty chicken pieces, skinned
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
Snipped fresh oregano (optional) - I skipped


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat two large shallow baking pans with cooking spray; set aside. In a small bowl, combine eggs and milk. In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, paprika and pepper.

2. Dip chicken pieces into egg mixture, then dip into crumb mixture to coat. Arrange chicken pieces in prepared baking pans, making sure pieces don't touch. Drizzle chicken pieces with melted butter.

3. Bake, uncovered, on two separate oven racks for 45-55 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Do not turn chicken during baking. If desired, garnish with fresh oregano.
before baking
After baking - sorry so blurry!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Italian Style Stuffed Peppers

I made another recipe of Jennifer from Cooking for Comfort. I think she has some of the best looking stuff!! Love, love her blog!

I was looking at her blog and spotted this one for stuffed peppers. Now, I'm not big on peppers, but I've also loved the stuffed part. I made mine with green and red peppers. I did eat about half of my pepper! It was a big hit with the boyfriend and son. I will definitely make this recipe again.

3 large green peppers
1/2 pound italian sausage, sweet or hot (use ground sausage or links. If you use links, remove sausage from the casing.)
1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 cup minute rice
1 cup chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes, seasoned with basil, garlic and oregano
1 (8 ounce) package of fresh mozzarella, sliced into 6 pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 13×9 inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Fill a stockpot with water and bring to a boil.
Slice the tops off of the peppers, scoop out seeds. Cut peppers in half. Remove white membrane and discard. Put peppers in boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Using tongs, remove peppers from water. Drain on clean kitchen towel.
Saute onion and sausage in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until onion is translucent and sausage is browned. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. In the same skillet, bring broth to a boil, add rice, cover. Turn off heat. After 5 minutes, stir rice. Turn heat on medium, add sausage, onions, and garlic to rice. Pour in can of tomatoes, stir. Cook until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Place the peppers cut side up in casserole dish. Fill with rice mixture. Top with a slice of cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and turns a spotty brown. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.