Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Copy Cat: Cracker Barrel Baked Macaroni & Cheese

A while back I had seen there was a copy cat cooking club. I wanted to join, but when I went to, the postings had stopped. I'm really hoping that Tia of Buttercream Barbie will start it back up. Cross your fingers. I'm trying to stay away from the clubs that are strictly baking. Not good for the blood sugar! Anyway, I had emailed Tia and she said that she may start this club back up. Therefore, I found a recipe to make to let her know that I want it started up! (sounded like a spoiled child!)

The recipe was Cracker Barrel's Baked Macaroni and Cheese and can be found here. This site,, seems to have fantastic looking recipes. This macaroni and cheese was super good. Ooey goodness! I will definitely make again. It was not hard to make at all. You must try it!

Foodie Fanatics: Chocolate Malted Milkshakes

I'm a little late on posting this recipe for Foodie Fanatics. With the holidays, I just have not had the time, or desire, to sit at the computer at home. I hope everyone had a happy holiday. Ours was very nice, but hectic. I really enjoyed having my daughter and family here for the holidays without having her leaving.

The week before Christmas, the recipe for Foodie Fanatics was Paula Deen's Chocolate Malted Milkshakes which was Kelly's choice (What's Cooking Kelly). Man, were they scrumptious! Very easy to make. Kelly and I made these one evening with the kids. Kelly actually did all the work...I only smashed the malted milk balls to sprinkle on top (which were left over from Halloween!).

I highly recommend trying this milkshake. You will not be disappointed! The recipe can be found HERE.

It's not the best picture, but you get the idea of it's yumminess!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Foodie Fanatics: Mini Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders

This past week was my choice for Foodie Fanatics. I saw these on someone else's blog and thought they sounded really good.

I was right. They were easy and delicious. Another excellent and quick meal from Paula Deen.

My daughter, Kelly, and I made these at her house last night. They were quick. We had other stuff in the oven (tiny tator tots to go with the mini hamburgers...get it?!), so we fried the burgers. They came out great.

I wasn't a big fan of the slider sauce, but it's a matter of preference. My daughter and son-in-law loved it.

Mini Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders


2 lbs ground chuck
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Parker House-style rolls, split and toasted (we used slider rolls, untoasted)
Slider Sauce
Caramelized Onions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the ground chuck, bacon, cheese, pepper and salt.

3. Form mixture into 25 (2-inch) patties. Place on cooling rack. Bake 20 minutes.

4. Spread Slider Sauce on bottom half of each roll; top with 1 burger.

5. Spoon Caramelized Onions evenly over each burger, cover with top half of each roll. Serve immediately.

Slider Sauce:
1/2 cup mayo
2 tsp sweet pickle relish
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Greek Seasoning (see below)
1/4 tsp sugar

Mix together in bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Caramelized Onions:

2 T butter
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, and cook, stirring frequently, 10 to 12 minutes, or until caramel colored.

Greek Seasoning:

2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

  1. slider sauce

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Apple Coffee Cake

This recipe was off the Mr. Food site and can be found here. It was pretty simple to make. It would have been easier if I knew where by apple slicer/corer was. Found it after I was done! I really recommend trying this. You will not be disappointed. It is filled with chopped apples in every bite. The topping has pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. Yum!

just poured into pan

the topping

first piece fell apart, but no worries...still delicious!

Peppermint Brownie Parfaits

This recipe is found in the 2011 Paula Deen's Christmas magazine. It's one of those recipes that you keep going back to look at. My mom had everyone over for dinner Wednesday night, so I had to make it! I made up the whipping cream mixture and baked the brownies the night before. After dinner, I just had to put the parfaits together. Everyone loved them as you can see by the pictures of my grandkids!

I didn't crumble my brownies; I cut them into tiny cubes.

It's a definite must make. The whipping cream mixture is light, not too heavy or sweet. Perfect!

Peppermint Brownie Parfaits

1 (22.5 oz) package brownie mix (the 13 x 9 size)
4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
2 (4 oz) bars white chocolate, chopped
30 round peppermint candies, crushed
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
Garnish: peppermint candies


1. Prepare and bake brownie mix according to package directions; cool completely and crumble.

2. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup cream and white chocolate. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cool for 45 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, beat remaining 3 cups cream at high speed with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Whisk in cooled white chocolate mixture and crushed peppermints until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

4. In parfait glasses, layer crumbled brownies, peppermint mixture, and chocolate chunks as desired. Store, covered, in refrigerate. Garnish with peppermint candies.

white chocolate and 1 cup whipping cream

brownies fresh out of the oven.

whipping cream with white chocolate mixture and peppermint candies

Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken

I found this recipe on Jamie Cooks it Up. I reminded me of a recipe my mom made a few times growing up. It was easy to make on a weeknight and tasted awesome. My son had two big helpings! I will definitely make this one again! and again!

Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken

5 chicken breasts cut into strips
1/2 C flour
1 t salt
1 T lemon pepper
3 T olive oil

1 can pineapple chunks
1 1/4 C pineapple juice (use the pineapple juice from the can, there won't be enough to equal 1 1/4 C. Just add a bit of water to make up the difference.)
3/4 C apple cider vinegar
1 t soy sauce
1/4 t ginger
1 chicken bullion cube
1 C sugar
2 T cornstarch
green onions (optional, but tasty)

1. In a dish mix the flour, salt and lemon pepper.

2. Cut your chicken into strips with some kitchen scissors. Dredge the chicken through the flour mixture.

3. Into a large HOT skillet add the olive oil. Place each piece of chicken into the hot pan. Over medium heat cook the chicken until it is golden brown. Turn each piece over and repeat. Lay the golden brown chicken in a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

4. Pour the juice from the pineapple can into a measuring cup. Add enough water to the juice to equal 1 1/4 C.

5. In a medium sized sauce pan mix the ginger, sugar and cornstarch. Add all other sauce ingredients to this dry mixture and stir.

6. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat. Let it boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then pour 2/3 of the sauce over the top of your chicken.

7. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

8. Take the chicken out of the oven and pour the pineapple chunks over the top. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the chicken and return it to the oven. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle a bit of green onion over the top if you choose.
Chicken after browning


baking after adding pineapple

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Foodie Fanatics: Mexican Chicken

This was the 3rd recipe we made for Foodie Fanatics. This week's Paula Deen choice was made by Michele at Makin' Cakin' Weekends. It was delicious. I had seen the recipe before and wanted to make it. Finally I did. I wish I did what Michele did and added Rotel tomatoes instead of regular can of potatoes. We did add salsa, and it added the necessary kick.

Kelly and I made the recipe together. Took us no time to whip it up. It would make an awesome weeknight meal.

The recipe can be found here. It was really good. I substituted the cream of mushroom soup for another can of cream of chicken. I can't stand the taste of mushrooms!

This should have been posted Sunday. Sorry, Michele!

After mixing ingredients

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Reindeer Chow

Thursday night, our Daisy Girl Scout troop made goodies to take to SOS Children's Village. SOS Children's Village is a foster care neighborhood near me. It's a wonder place with wonderful volunteers and kids. Saturday there were about 100 volunteers hanging lights and decorating the neighborhood. I asked if my Girl Scout troop of 5 and 6 year olds could help and they suggested making baked goodies for the works. So, we made brownies, cupcakes and Reindeer Chow to take over. The girls had a blast decorating cupcakes, mixing up the batter for brownies and making the Reindeer Chow. We also learned about being Honest and Fair (the first part of the Girl Scout Law).

The Reindeer Chow is from the Gooseberry Patch's Christmas 2009 recipe book. It's basically trail mix, but since it's Christmas time.....

I adjusted the recipe some to fill up the baggie I put it into. I gave SOS a bowl to put it in. I did not use the dates and swapped the sunflower seeds for mini pretzels.

Sorry about the picture. I didn't want to dirty the bowl!

Reindeer Chow

4 cups salted peanuts
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup red and green candy-coated chocolate pieces
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; store in covered container.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs

I get an email every day from Mr. Food. On the 29th, I received one that included this recipe. I knew I had to try it. It looked so delicious....and it was! Both my son and I really enjoyed it. I served Ragu with it, spaghetti noodles and cheesy garlic bread. I will definitely make this one again. In fact, one of my Girl Scout moms spotted it and took my recipe home with her!

This was a good week night meal. It goes together fast. The longest part was rolling the meatballs and waiting impatiently for the meatballs to cook!

Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs

Yields: 20 meatballs

Preparation Time: 10 min

Cooking Time: 15 min

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) block mozzarella, cut into 20 (1/2-inch) cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except mozzarella cheese; mix well.
  3. Divide mixture into 20 meatballs, then form each meatball around a mozzarella cube, making sure to cover cheese completely. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Serve immediately.
Before baking

Straight from the oven.