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

 

Don’t “FALL” Apart, Get Prepared

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

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS

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.

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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.

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Reflection

People come and go in your life but a true friend is always there.  No matter how long it has been since you have seen them or spoken with them.  Take time to make that phone call or drop them a letter.  Do it now while they are still here!!!

Today, I am sharing two of my favorite holiday recipes for you to share with your friends and family.   I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and friends do.

Holiday Eggnog

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 egg whites

INSTRUCTIONS:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg yolks until they light in color. Gradually add  1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.

Place the egg whites in the bowl and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve. Top with a sprinkle of nutmeg and cool whip (optional).

eggnog

Milk Gravy and Biscuits

INGREDIENTS:

INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat bacon/sausage drippings in a skillet over medium heat; whisk flour into drippings until smooth. Reduce heat to low and cook the flour mixture until it turns a caramel brown color, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes. Be careful, the roux burns easily. Stir in salt and black pepper.

Whisk 1/2 cup milk into the roux until thoroughly blended. Continue whisking milk into the gravy, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking in each amount of milk completely before adding more. Bring gravy to a simmer and whisk constantly until thick, smooth, and bubbling.

Add crumbled bacon or sausage then serve over biscuits or toast and enjoy.  I have this for any meal of the day!!!

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Creamy Beef Stroganoff

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..

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • 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.

beef strognaoff

 

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

 

 

Quick & Easy Apple Crisp

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

INGREDIENTS:

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)

INSTRUCTIONS:

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.

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