A Tribute to Mom

Mom

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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:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Orange cake mix
  • Milk

Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 large tube of Cool Whip

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • 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

 

Moms Orange Cake

 

Family & Friends

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

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Instructions:

  1. Whip the pudding and confectioner’s sugar together. Set aside.
  2. Whip together the peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Sprinkle a little of the peanut butter mixture on the graham cracker crust. (less than 1/4 cup)
  4. Fold in half of the whipping cream into remaining peanut butter mixture and mix until blended.
  5. Pour into the graham cracker crust.
  6. 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.

peanutbutterpie1

 

Frozen Meal Workshops – Beef Enchilada Stew

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.

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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.

OPTIONS:

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

beef enchilada stew

 

 

Homemade Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Shrimp cocktail sauce

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

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!!!!

PEANUT BUTTER ESPRESSO SMOOTHIE

Love smoothies in the morning especially if coffee is involved.

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!
  3. On the weekend for a late breakfast, sometimes I put in a little Irish Creme Liquor for flavor…..

Peanut-Butter-Banana-Smoothe

 

Sugar Alternatives to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

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.

RAW HONEY

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.

raw honey

MAPLE SYRUP

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.

maple syrup

DARK CHOCOLATE

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.

dark chocolate.jpg

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.

coconut palm sugar

DRIED FRUIT

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.

 

dried fruit

Sweet Potato Casserole

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.

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST:

  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Put marshmallows on the top then cook for another 5 – 8 minutes to melt them.
  8. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

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