- Heat 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onions and carrot; cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up sausage, until sausage is no longer pink. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant.
- Stir in broth, beans, tomatoes, oregano and bay leaf. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Add pasta; simmer 8 to 9 minutes or until pasta is tender. Remove bay leaf, and discard.
- Stir in spinach; cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes; stir.
- Meanwhile, in 8-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat Add bread crumbs; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until toasted and golden brown. Remove from heat.
- Divide soup among serving bowls; garnish each with cheese and toasted bread crumbs.
Makes about 8 servings. Takes 35 minutes for prep and 60 minutes to cook. Soup is always great on a cold day with a fire and glass of wine.
1 (15 oz) can sweet potatoes, drained * (2 Tbsp liquid reserved)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash sweet potatoes in *2 Tbsp of reserved liquid.
- Add sugar, water, oil, and eggs to mashed sweet potatoes and mix well.
- Add flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and baking powder. Mix well.
- Stir in chopped pecans.
- Pour evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
*Apple pie spice or cinnamon can be substituted for pumpkin pie spice.
You can add sliced pecans on top before cooking for more flavor or a thin maple glaze frosting after the bread has cooled.
Maple Glaze: 1 cup confectioners sugar and 1/2 cup pure maple syrup; blend well drizzle over cooled loaf.
This recipe makes one loaf of bread, but it is delicious. Consider doubling this recipe – one loaf will be gone before you know it! This recipe is a perfect start to a Fall morning – enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
In the summer it’s hot. We want foods that are light and crisp and cool. When the weather turns cooler in fall and winter, people look towards warmer foods to make them feel better and raise their temperature. This means more soups and casseroles, breads and comfort foods. Is your pantry ready to handle the change in meal choices? Make a list of what you will need. What types of meals do you typically make at this time of the year? Account for those ingredients in your shopping list for your pantry.
Most of the items you have are probably common staples that any pantry needs. There is nothing wrong with having two bags of flour or sugar. Dry staples will last a while when kept in a dry, cool and dark place.
Stock up on beef or chicken stocks or bouillon cubes. Vegetable, beef and chicken stock or broth add flavor to dishes without adding salt. It is easier than straining and making your own broth. Choose low sodium, gluten free or organic varieties if that is better for you.
Make room for grains. Quinoa, couscous, oats, oatmeal and barley are great sources of fiber and also create a filling dish. You can eat well and feel full without gaining excess weight.
Don’t forget some common filling staples such as potatoes, garlic, a variety of spices and onions. Store them at the lowest level in your pantry. Keep them hanging in the bags they were purchased in if you want. They provide a wealth of meal ideas. Dried herbs and canned or frozen vegetables from your garden are also great staples to have an abundance of for fall/winter recipes.
Be prepared for a great season of “comfort food” cooking. Happy Fall Y’all!!
6 cups chicken stock
3 – 4 cups cooked shredded chicken
2 (15-ounce) cans beans of northern beans or 1 big jar
2 cups (16 ounces) salsa verde
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Optional toppings: diced avocado, shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, crumbled tortilla chips
- Stir together chicken stock, shredded chicken, beans, salsa and cumin in large pot.
- Cook on high heat until it simmers. Then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the simmer.
- Serve immediately, garnished with your favorite toppings.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 tsp cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup chopped Kit Kat candy bar pieces
- Optional: add semi-sweet chocolate chips after adding Kit Kat pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients except candy bar pieces. Set aside
- Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars on medium speed until combined. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined
- Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients; mix just until combined. Do not over mix
- Gently fold in chopped Kit Kat candy bar pieces; cover bowl and refrigerate dough for about an hour
- Place a rounded scoop of dough on an ungreased baking sheet, or silicone mat/parchment paper lined baking sheet. Keep dough chilled in between batches.
- Bake 7-9 minutes or until barely golden brown around the edges. Do not over bake. The tops will not brown. Do not bake longer than 9 minutes. Cookies may appear to be soft and undone, but they will set as they cool.
- Cool cookies on baking sheet on wire rack for 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Option: can use an 9×13 square pan and make bars. Just add 2 eggs instead of 1, 2 sticks of softened butter instead of 3/4 cup and add a small box of instant vanilla pudding mix. Bake for 35-38 minutes or until cooked through.
This is a great recipe for movie night.
1 – 2 cups un-popped popcorn
3 cups of granulated white sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Pop the popcorn on the stove with oil. Place popped popcorn in a large bowl.
- Cover one to two sheet pans with aluminum foil.
- In a large saucepan, combine sugar, rum, butter, vanilla, and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring very often. Cook until sugar melts and caramel becomes a dark caramel color, careful not to burn because it scorches fast. Takes about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the baking soda and keep stirring. Be careful as it bubbles up quickly and almost doubles in quantity. Quickly remove from heat, pour over the popcorn and stir quickly to coat all the corn.
- Spread the caramel corn out on foil lined sheet pans and allow to cool.
Option: You can add your favorite nut to this, just add them before you coat the popcorn so they can be coated also.
Another option: Bourbon Caramel Corn, use your favorite Bourbon instead of rum or Salted Whiskey Caramel Corn, use your favorite Whiskey and sea salt instead of rum.
This was my Mom’s recipe, so quick and easy and very tasty!
- 1 1/2 cup Bisquick
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 stick of butter, melted
- 3 – 5 oz can of Peaches
- Vanilla ice cream
Mix butter and vanilla in pan, add Bisquick, sugar, and milk in butter. Pour peaches over the top of the mixture, do not stir. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Fits a 9 x 9 pan! Serve warm with ice cream.
With the warm weather finally here in Wisconsin, thought I would share one of my favorite lemonade slush recipes with you.
- 1 1/2 cups ice cubes, crushed
- 3 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate
- 2 tablespoons coconut rum (such as Malibu)
- Lime wedge or toasted coconut flakes (optional)
Place ice, concentrate, and rum in a blender; blend until slushy. Garnish with lime wedge or toasted coconut flakes, if desired. Enjoy!!!
You could also do this over ice and not blended, which is how I like it the best.
I always try to keep some type of appetizers on hand for unexpected company. This is a quick and easy one to pair with a good Moscato or a cold beer.
- 2 blocks (8 ounces each) white cheddar cheese
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Crackers or small bread
- Slice each block of cheddar cheese into twenty 1/4-in. slices. Cut each block of cream cheese into 18 slices; sandwich between cheddar slices, using a knife to spread evenly. Create four 6-in.-long blocks of cheese; place in a 13 x 9 dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the roasted peppers, oil, vinegars, onions, herbs, sugar; pour over cheese.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning once. Drain excess marinade. Serve cheese with bread or crackers.
I love to make finger foods, especially if they are sweet. So, with the season being Thanksgiving I thought I would share an easy Mini Pumpkin Pie recipe. Serve with a dollop of cool whip on top and enjoy.
In thinking about Halloween and carving pumpkins, thought I would share my favorite pumpkin soup recipe. Hope you enjoy it.
– 2 lbs pumpkin, skin and seeds removed, chopped into small cubes
– 1 small onion finely chopped
– 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
– 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
– 1 tsp crushed garlic
– 4 cups chicken broth/stock
– 2 chicken bouillon cubes crumbled
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 1/2 cup half & half
– 1/2 cup cooked, chopped bacon
Place all ingredients, except cream, in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until vegetables are tender.
Remove from heat, use a stick blender and blend until smooth. Add the cream and stir through (do not boil after adding cream). Add any salt or pepper if needed, and serve with bacon sprinkled on top (can put parsley or roasted pumpkin seeds on top if desired).
My Mother passed away on August 11, 2018 and the last month has been hard. We know she is in a good place but I miss her dearly. She was a great cook, had a gentle heart and was very much a Southern gal! She taught me everything I know about cooking and the love of food. She had many recipes so I can’t say I had a favorite cause they all were good. To name a few: red velvet cake, pumpkin poll, oyster dressing, biscuits and gravy (with scratch biscuits), hot dog sauce, peanut butter fudge, orange cake, cornbread and beans, pickle relish (which she canned every year), apple butter (made outside over an open fire in a kettle), and I could go on forever. Thanks Mom for helping me become the woman I am today and for showing me how to cook!
So, in memory of Mom, aka Mollie B., aka Mammie, here is her Orange Cake recipe:
- 1 box Duncan Hines Orange cake mix
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 8 oz sour cream
- 1 large tube of Cool Whip
- Mix cake according to directions using milk instead of water and bake accordingly
- Bake in 2 round cake pans
- Once cooled, split in the middle to make 4 layers
- Mix icing ingredients until smooth
- Ice each layer on top only, not on sides and stack on top of each other
- Sprinkle the top with crumbs left in the pans or from the bottom of a section
- Serve and enjoy
Fall is here and the first step to getting ready is prepping your kitchen. It is good to clean out your pantry and kitchen at the beginning of each season. I am not saying, throw everything away, but it is smart to reorganize and take inventory of what you have – you don’t want to be caught baking a pie and realize you are out of a main ingredient. Here are fall pantry staples I know you will be using the entire season.
- Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger, cardamom, turmeric
- Almond butter
- Canned pumpkin
- Whole-wheat flour
- Old-fashioned oats
- Nuts: pecans, walnuts, and almonds
- Brown sugar
- Dried thyme, rosemary, sage and bay leaves
- Your favorite whole-wheat pasta
- Root vegetables
- Chicken stock – canned or homemade
- Winter squashes
Make sure you keep a collection of hearty recipes close by for those cool fall nights to keep you cozy.
Here is one that is filling and light that everyone will enjoy:
BUTTER PECAN MASHED SWEET POTATOES
- 4 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds) – peeled, diced and cooked to be tender
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter – I use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter or Country Crock
- 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Mash sweet potatoes until desired consistency, put into a serving dish and set aside. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Stir butter, milk, and salt into potato mixture and top with pecans. You can use a small amount of natural brown sugar mixed in to add a little sweetness. Serve warm with your favorite meat.
With summer winding down and gardens producing great veggies, I thought I would share one of my favorite summer salads. It is quick, easy and very filling. You can serve it with just about any kind of meat. I hope you enjoy!
- 1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, cut in half
- 3/4 lbs of fresh, trimmed and snapped green beans
- Chopped fresh basil
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, I like raspberry flavored
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce, I just about 1/3 a cup
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place the potatoes in a large pot, and fill with about 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add the green beans to steam after the first 10 minutes. Drain, cool, and cut potatoes into quarters. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with fresh basil, red onion, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. Pour over the salad, and stir to coat. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Summer is always a fun time of year, and it’s full of great food and friends. It’s a time to unwind, enjoy the sunshine and be grateful for all that God has blessed you with.
When I prepare meals or socials I like to do quick and easy recipes; so here is one for you to enjoy and it is somewhat healthy.
1 container Mozzarella balls
1 package Old Wisconsin Honey Brown Sausage Snack Bites
1 small package of Spinach leafs
1 small package Cherry Tomatoes
Balsamic Vinegar (I used Raspberry flavored)
1 package skew sticks
Alternate placing 1 of each item on the skew until the skew is half full. Once all ingredients are used, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and let set in refrigerator until ready to serve. Can also be put in a dish without the skews and served as a salad.
Enjoy!!! Thanks Marcia L. for the recipe.
It’s been a cold and long winter but Spring is just around the corner, fingers crossed. With that in mind, thought I would add a grilling recipe. Hope you enjoy!
- 4 tomatoes (1 pound), quartered
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes (10 ounces)
- 1 pint small mixed heirloom tomatoes, halved if large
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup Feta cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large garlic clove
Once grill is ready, arrange large sheets of heavy-duty foil on a work surface, layered. Mound the tomatoes in the center the sheets, drizzle with the olive oil and season with sea salt and ground pepper; then place garlic clove on top. Fold up the foil to create tight packet. May have to divide into two packets.
Set the packets on the grill and cover. Grill over moderately high heat for 18 – 20 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to soften and burst. Carefully cut open the foil packets. Serve over a toasted crostini or grilled ciabatta bread and sprinkle feta on top before serving.
As the holidays grow closer it reminds us to stop and enjoy life. Talk with family, reunite with old friends and appreciate what you have.
I recently lost a life-long friend to cancer. It really puts life into prospective. People come and go in your life and you may have a lot of acquaintances but how many true friends do you really have? Something to ponder.
My Dad taught me growing up to always find the good in people; be positive and truthful; remember that when others are mean or sad there is something going on in their lives that is making them that way; and most of all, always take time for friends and family!!!
So my recipe I am sharing today is one that you can share with your friends and family anytime of the year.
PEANUT BUTTER PIE
- 1 graham cracker crust
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding (or white chocolate)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup + 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 8-oz block cream cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts, chopped fine (optional)
- Chocolate syrup for drizzling (optional)
- Whip the pudding and confectioner’s sugar together. Set aside.
- Whip together the peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.
- Sprinkle a little of the peanut butter mixture on the graham cracker crust. (less than 1/4 cup)
- Fold in half of the whipping cream into remaining peanut butter mixture and mix until blended.
- Pour into the graham cracker crust.
- Top with whipping cream.Optional: Sprinkle nuts on top when ready to serve and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Or you can reserve some of the peanut butter and sugar mixture and put on top (see picture below). Store in refrigerator.
One of my favorite, fast, comforting dishes is beef stroganoff. So, thought I would share this one with you. This takes about 20 minutes to make and is very filling..
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1-1/4 cups milk
1 cup water
1 pkg. (11.6 oz.) VELVEETA CHEESY SKILLETS Dinner Kit Creamy Beef Stroganoff
Brown meat with mushrooms in large skillet; drain. Return meat mixture to skillet. Add milk, water, Seasoning Mix and Pasta; stir. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover.
Simmer 8 to 10 min. or until pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Stir in VELVEETA Cheese Sauce.
I serve with garlic bread or a bread stick.
I recently attended a frozen meal workshop which I loved. Although the up front cost is a lot, you do get 10 meals so if you do the math, it is very much worth it. I selected the One Stop Crock-Pot plan and so far have loved every meal I prepared.
One of the best recipes I prepared was the Beef Enchilada Stew so I wanted to share this recipe with you.
1½ pounds beef stew meat
1 yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 cups frozen cubed butternut squash,
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce, no salt added
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt added
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup Enchilada sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Spicy Carne Asada Seasoning
Shredded cheddar cheese (for topping) – optional
Sour cream (for topping) – optional
Garnish with Cilantro and avocado slices – optional
Place all ingredients except optional items in crock-pot and cook on medium for 6 – 8 hours or until meat is cook through and vegetables are soft. Serve warm with toppings and crackers if desired.
You can also add a bag of frozen corn or black beans
Tortilla chips and japalenos for a garnish
Or you can substitute shredded chicken for the beef
One of the best recipes I have for apples is one of the easiest. With Fall upon us, I thought I would share it. Hope you enjoy……
Quick Apple Crisp
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 – 9 oz. pkg. yellow cake mix
2 tbsp. sugar
1 – 2 tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sliced apples in greased and floured pan. combine remaining ingredients. Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over apples. Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until apples are tender. Can add Vanilla ice cream or thawed whipped topping when serving. Great served cold or warm. For a change, use any fruit like peaches, strawberries, etc.; quick and easy recipe.
Great for a game day or party dish.
- 1 lb of lean ground beef or turkey
- 8 oz package of cream cheese, cubed & softened
- 2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 10 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chiles – do not drain
- 6 oz package of real bacon bits, divided
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Nacho Chips
- Brown meat, drain and place in large skillet
- Over low heat, stir in cheeses, tomatoes and bacon bits except for 2 tablespoons
- Cook while stirring frequently until well blended and heated
- Pour mixture into a 2-quart crock pot
- Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours stirring occasionally
- Stir in parsley and sprinkle with remaining bacon bits just before serving
Serve as an appetizer or main dish with Nacho Chips.
I found out yesterday that a true Summer Hummer drink is made with Lime Vodka. So, thank you Carrie D., I had to share this today. Hope you enjoy it!
- 2 oz. Absolut Citron®
- 4 oz. Lemonade
- 2 oz. 7-up
Chilled Lime Vodka is preferred but drinks may be served “on the rocks” if desired. Strain lemonade if necessary. Combine ingredients in an 8 Oz. glass. Stir and serve. Great for Hot summer evenings – hence the name.
I just read an article that today (July 27) is National Creme Brulee Day. What a great day!!! So in honor of this, I am sharing a delicious recipe; hope you enjoy it.
Chocolate Creme Brulee
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 ounce chocolate liqueur (recommended: Godiva Liqueur)
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 ounces dark cocoa powder
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (the better the quality, the better the taste)
11 large egg yolks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add heavy cream, sugar, liqueur, and vanilla. When mixture is warm add cocoa powder and chocolate and whisk until blended.
Place egg yolks in large stainless steel bowl.
Slowly add warm chocolate mixture to eggs a little at time while whisking.
Strain and pour into individual porcelain ramekins.
Place ramekins in a large baking pan.
Pour enough hot water into pan to come half way up sides of ramekins.
Bake until firm in center, about 30 minutes.
Remove ramekins from water bath and let cool completely.
Place in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Dust with sugar and caramelize with propane torch. Serve immediately.
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
Stir all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Taste and season with more pepper as needed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!!!!
Had to share this; love anything with “jerk” spice. I have to give credit to the Margaritaville website. One of my favorite recipes for entertaining.
1 – 8 oz package Margaritaville Jammin’ Shrimp
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 loaf sliced grilled or toasted French bread
- Cook shrimp according to package. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, green peppers, basil, salt and pepper to same skillet. Heat through for 1 minutes.
- To serve, spoon tomato mixture on slice of French bread and top with shrimp.
Love smoothies in the morning especially if coffee is involved.
- 1 frozen banana (if banana not frozen, add ice)
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ cup almond milk
- Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
- On the weekend for a late breakfast, sometimes I put in a little Irish Creme Liquor for flavor…..
Thought I would try a healthy blog for this one; hope you learn something and enjoy it!
Craving sweet flavors is something we all have from time to time but there are alternatives to conquer those cravings without the calories!
A lot of the way highly processed sugars such as granulated sugar and high-fructose corn syrup have popped up in foods where we do not expect them like breakfast cereals, dairy products, salad dressings and nut-butter spreads. These sugars are highly processed and have been zapped of nutrients during refinement.
Luckily, there are a variety of foods that contain natural, unprocessed sugars you can enjoy.
This is honey from flowers that still contains healthful vitamins A, C, D, E and K, various B vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium and live enzymes that are removed when honey is heated, filtered and processed.
Raw honey is also rich with bifidobacteria, a group of bacteria associated with digestive and immune health. An effective probiotic, raw honey stimulates bifidobacteria growth in the intestine and aids in digestive health.
Similar to honey, maple syrup contains antioxidants, vitamins and phytonutrients not found in refined sugar. Maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees and also contains trace minerals absorbed from the ground by the trees.
Not all chocolate bars are created equal, and dark chocolate — containing more than 70% cacao — has a higher quantity of superpowered cacao than chocolate bars, which contain more milk and sugar. The cacao portion of a chocolate bar is made by grinding the nibs in cacao beans. The nibs are dried, then fermented and ground for making chocolate. The percentages you see on a chocolate bar wrapper are indicative of how much cacao is in each bar out of 100% by weight. So, if you read 45% on the bar, it means the bar is 55% milk and sugar and only 45% cacao. But a 75% bar contains only 25% milk and sugar, making it a lower-sugar choice. A bar that reads 100% would be made entirely of cacao nibs and cacao butter without added refined sugar or milk solids.
COCONUT PALM SUGAR
Similar to the way that maple syrup is harvested, coconut palm sugar is made by harvesting the sap of a coconut plant. Then, the sap is dried to evaporate the liquid out, leaving the natural sugar crystals behind. Coconut palm sugar is lower on the glycemic index than both honey and maple syrup and is a great substitute for granulated sugar in baking recipes.
Dried blueberries, cherries, peaches, apples, dates — even kiwi and mango — are all great options when you’re reaching for something sweet. Dried fruits are made by evaporating the juices out of fresh fruit, leaving concentrated flavors and natural, unprocessed fruit sugars behind. But be warned that in addition to being a concentrated source of flavor, dried fruit is also concentrated in calories, so once again, a little goes a long way.
One of my favorite sweet potato recipes is a Sweet Potato Casserole. Ruth’s Chris Restaurant has one of the best but my Mothers is just as good. So I am sharing my Mother’s recipe with you today.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup melted butter
SWEET POTATO MIXTURE:
- 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I use canned to save time but make sure you drain them)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs (well beaten)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 bag mini-marshmallows
- Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Mix thoroughly.
- Pour mixture into buttered baking dish.
- Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Put marshmallows on the top then cook for another 5 – 8 minutes to melt them.
- Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.
I recently visited my parents in Kentucky and we made the most fabulous chicken kabob. It was a hit and I will make it again.
Chicken Kabob on the grill
2 – 3 lbs cubed chicken breasts
1 Yellow Pepper (cubed)
1 Red Pepper (cubed)
1 Green Pepper (cubed)
1 Medium Onion (cubed)
1 package large Mushrooms (cleaned and dried)
1 package Cherry Tomatoes
Wooden Skews (soak in water for 20 minutes prior to using)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Place 1/2 the chicken in freezer bag with Italian Dressing and the other 1/2 in a freezer bag with Teriyaki Marinade and let marinade for 24 hours. Once grill is ready, put meat and vegetables on skews alternating until all is used except the cherry tomatoes. Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Put cherry tomatoes on skew and grill for the last 5 minutes of the chicken cooking. Season all with salt and pepper to taste. We served with Texas Toast and a side of Sangria. You can use any vegetable you like that taste well with chicken.
Great recipe and very filling!!!
Did you know that more than 200 million pounds of spices are consumed annually? Spices are what makes food more piquant and appetizing. Storing spices properly will help you bring out the best flavor in each spice to ensure a delicious, aromatic dish.
Step 1: Purchase whole spices, not ground
Step 2: Dry and dark is best
Step 3: Know when to throw them out
Even though storing spices properly helps maintain freshness and flavor, everything does expire eventually and it’s important to know when to throw old spices out. A good rule of thumb is once a year; an easy way to remember when you need fresh spices is to throw them out every year during spring cleaning; or write the purchase date on top of each spice so you can track it. If the spice begins smelling musky or has no odor, or changes color, replace it, it has expired.Hope you enjoyed and learned from this blog; flavor is very important for all recipes.
This Memorial Day weekend, I want to take a moment to say thank you for our freedom and to remember all who have served and are serving in the military so we may have that freedom!
Made this last night and it was awesome!
Perfect BBQ Ribs on a Charcoal Grill Recipe
- 1 rack Pork Back Ribs
- 2 lbs boneless Country Ribs
- 1 Bottle of Sweet Baby Ray BBQ Sauce
- 1 jar Rodeo Rub (or your favorite rub)
- Heavy Duty Foil or a foil pan can be used
It’s a cold, rainy day here in De Pere, Wisconsin so I thought I would share a quick and easy rainy day comfort food recipe with you. Hope you enjoy it. Had this dish (although they made it from scratch) at a local restaurant and it was fabulous.
Pulled Pork BBQ & Gnocchi
- 1 package Jim Beam pulled pork (found in most stores in the meat section-see picture below)
NOTE: You could make a boneless pork roast in the crock pot and flavor with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ and it will have the same affect.
- 1 package Gnocchi (see picture below, you can use any brand)
Note: Dried gnocchi are found in the pasta aisle at the supermarket. Do not use fresh or refrigerated gnocchi, or they will become too soft during cooking.
- Heat pulled pork per the directions on the package.
- Heat gnocchi per the directions on the package
- Combine 1 & 2 into a casserole dish. Stir to completely cover gnocchi with BBQ sauce.
- Serve with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
So, it did not take 5 days for my cookbook to appear on Amazon. Here is the link:
Hope you enjoy it!! Thank you to everyone that help; can’t wait to start the next book.
My book is now available for sale. So Excited!!
You can order through www.createspace.com now or on Amazon in 5 business days. You can message me if you wish for me to order one and get it to you.
Thank you everyone for all your support through this process.
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats (not instant)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, I use more for stronger flavor
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set rack in the center of the oven. Prepare the topping by placing all of the topping ingredients into a food processor. Pulse or mix until the mixture is crumbled to the size of small peas; do not over process. Set aside. Pour the rhubarb directly into a large, shallow baking dish and sprinkle with 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and 3 tablespoons of flour to coat evenly. Spread crisp topping over entire surface. Bake until fruit is bubbly and the top is golden brown, approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature, plain or a la mode.
According to the History Channel:
Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day most commonly falls on the second Sunday in May and traditionally involves presenting mothers with flowers, cards and other gifts.
To all the Mother’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you enjoy your day.
And to my Mom, love you to the moon and back. Thank you for all you have done for me and teaching me to be the woman that I am today.
So excited to announce my new cookbook is at the publishers and will be available toward the end of the month! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did putting it together. This has been a dream of mine for a long time and so glad I am able to follow my dreams!
Here is a picture of the cover. The cake on the front is my Mom’s Orange Cake and was made by my sister, Marcia Layne.
Received my new logo this week and love it!! Thank you B.J. Emmick for all the hard work. It is FABULOUS!
According to the History Channel: Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.
According to Time Magazine: For many Americans, Cinco de Mayo means enjoying Mexican food and probably a few margaritas. But Cinco de Mayo, which means May 5 in Spanish, is probably one of the most misunderstood Mexican holidays. Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s independence day. Mexican independence is celebrated Sept.16. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla. Mexico had trouble paying back war debts to European countries, and France had come to Mexico to collect that debt. Today, Cinco de Mayo has become more of an American holiday than a Mexican one. But most non-Mexican Americans have “no idea” about the day’s history, said Carlos Tortolero, president of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.
In honor of Cinco de May, I thought I would share a recipe with you:
Frozen Margarita Pie
Crust: 1 cup finely crushed pretzels, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
2 tablespoons tequila, use a good tequila…better flavor
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
3 drops green food coloring, or as needed (optional)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 lime, sliced (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Mix pretzels and sugar together in a bowl; stir in margarine until evenly incorporated. Spoon mixture into a 9-inch pie plate; press into bottom and up sides of plate to form a firm, even crust.
- Bake crust in the preheated oven until edges are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- Mix sweetened condensed milk, limeade concentrate, tequila, orange liqueur, and green food coloring in a large bowl.
- Beat cream in a glass or metal bowl until soft peaks form. Lift your beater or whisk straight up: the whipped cream will form soft mounds rather than a sharp peak. Fold whipped cream into sweetened condensed milk mixture. Spoon filling into cooled crust.
- Cover pie with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 4 hours. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving; garnish with lime slices.
This is one of my favorite grits recipes:
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded or as much as you like; I use more
Place the milk, water, and salt into a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once the milk mixture comes to a boil, gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once all of the cornmeal has been incorporated, decrease the heat to low and cover. Remove lid and whisk frequently, every 3 to 4 minutes, to prevent grits from sticking or forming lumps; make sure to get into corners of pot when whisking. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is creamy.
Remove from the heat, add the pepper and butter, and whisk to combine. Once the butter is melted, gradually whisk in the cheese a little at a time. Serve immediately.
The Kentucky Derby is May 6, 2017. With that, I thought I would add the song that makes me cry every time I hear it yet brings great pride to me. I love “MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME” and miss it everyday!
In the world of sports, there is not a more moving moment than when the horses step onto the track for the Kentucky Derby post parade and the band strikes up “My Old Kentucky Home” and 160,000+ people sing along.
Although there is no definitive history on the playing of the Stephen Foster ballad as a Derby Day tradition, it is believed to have originated in 1921 for the 47th running. The Louisville Courier-Journal in its May 8, 1921, edition reported, “To the strains of ‘My Old Kentucky Home,’ Kentuckians gave vent their delight. For Kentucky triumphed in the Derby.” The story refers to the popular victory of the Kentucky-owned and bred Behave Yourself.
“My Old Kentucky Home,” by Stephen Foster — Lyrics
The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home,
Tis summer, the people are gay;
The corn-top’s ripe and the meadow’s in the bloom
While the birds make music all the day. The young folks roll on the little cabin floor
All merry, all happy and bright;
By’n by hard times comes a knocking at the door
Then my old Kentucky home, Good-night! Weep no more my lady. Oh! Weep no more today!
We will sing one song for my old Kentucky home
For the old Kentucky home, far away.
Made this last week and they are awesome!!
Heat over to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the cheddar cheese and parsley. Mix well and divide into 12 pieces. Wrap piece around a cheese cube and place on pan. Bake 16 – 18 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Place on serving tray and sprinkle with parsley. Better served warm.
One of my best memories growing up was going on hikes near our home in the hills of Kentucky (Siloam Bottoms near the Newberry Estate) and picking persimmons to eat along the way.
The Persimmon is native throughout Kentucky in dry woodland settings. The fruit is an important wildlife food and is edible. The fruit is edible, but it is not ripe until the skin is wrinkled. Ripe persimmons are said to taste a great deal like dates. They are used to make cakes, puddings and beverages. Native Americans used the fruits to make bread, and also dried them. Fruit is an important wildlife food. However, the fruit can present a litter problem in the landscape. It is slimy, so when used in the city the tree should be planted where fruit will not fall on sidewalks, where it can cause people to fall. The plant is dioecious, so a male (fruitless) tree would be a much more acceptable landscape plant than the female.
Immature fruits contain a large amount of tannin and are astringent. They have been used to make tea for use in gargling for sore throats. The tea was also used to treat warts, cancers, heartburn, diarrhea and stomach aches.
Cooking oil, with a flavor like that of peanut oil, can be extracted from the seeds. Confederate soldiers boiled persimmon seeds as a coffee substitute during the Civil War.
Persimmon wood is very hard and nearly black. It is used to make golf club heads, billiard cues and parquet flooring.
information source: www.uky.edu
This recipe is from my brother-in-law, Rick:
Southwestern Hot Dogs
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
3 tbsp. salsa
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
10 hot dogs
In a bowl, combine all ingredients except dogs and buns. Cut a 1/2″ deep lengthwise slit in each hot dog. Spoon 2 tablespoons of mixture into each hot dog. Broil in oven for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve on buns.
Mango Green Tea Smoothie
Pizza Snack Cups
1 pkg. refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits)
½ lb. ground beef
1 – 14 oz. jar pizza sauce
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In 12 cup muffin pan, evenly press each biscuit in bottom and up sides of each cup; chill until ready fill. In skillet, brown ground beef over medium high heat; drain. Stir in pizza sauce and heat through. Evenly spoon beef mixture into prepared muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden. Let stand 5 minutes, gently remove pizza cups from pan and serve.
#recipes, #cooking, #food, #southerncooking
Refined Flours: all-purpose, bread, cake, self-rising
- Place your flour in the freezer for 48 hours to kill any weevil or insect eggs that may be present.
- Transfer it to a food-grade container (plastic, glass, etc.) with a tight-sealing lid. This will keep your flour from absorbing moisture, and ensure that insects and other pests cannot get to it.
- Tight-sealing containers also prevent the flours from absorbing odors or flavors from other foods in the same area.
- Store your flour in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Flour will keep up to six months in the dark pantry.
- If you wish to keep your flour longer, store it in the freezer instead. It will keep there for several years, but is best used within a year.
To use: just scoop out whatever you need. There’s no need to thaw it out or bring it to room temperature.
Did you know it is important how you store your foods: eggs, baking soda, flour, vanilla extract and more.
Speaking of vanilla extract: you should store it at room temperature in a dark place, such as the pantry. Good quality vanilla extracts often come in darkened glass to protect the vanilla from light. So take a look in your baking supplies and make sure your vanilla stays fresh longer.
Hello and welcome to my site.
I was born and raised in Northeastern Kentucky in the hills of Greenup County. It’s an area full of families with many traditions that love God, family, horses, food, Nascar, bluegrass & country music and their Kentucky Wildcats. Good food!!! Strong southern style food with family traditions and heart put into each recipe. I lived in Greenup until I was 20 years old and have now lived in the Midwest for the last 20 years. So, I have had the privilege of learning new Midwest traditions, food, and love the Green Bay Packers.
I hope you enjoy following my blog. Feel free to share and comment; add recipes, stories, traditions.