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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pimento Cheese Filled Deviled Eggs - Southern with Style!

A party or get-together in the South almost always means "Who's going to bring the deviled eggs?"  This year, I was elected to bring them to a holiday get-together at my daughter's mother-in-law's house.  Now, folks, her family is serious about their deviled eggs!  I confess, I can't remember the last time I personally made deviled eggs, so I was glad to try my hand at them.

I chose to make pimento cheese deviled eggs and sought my daughter's mother-in-law's advice on what kind of pimento cheese to use.  She strongly endorsed Palmetto Cheese (a Southern favorite), which I found in the deli section of the grocery.  These stuffed eggs were gobbled up in no time...a true attestment as to how scrumptious they were!

So, If this recipe didn't make it in time for your New Year's Eve party...there's still time for a New Year's Day party or brunch!
                                         "They're So Pretty!" and...
                                  They're Deviled Egg-Expert Approved!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Have A Very Happy Chanukah Cookie House!

My son and his wife surprised us at our family Chanukah celebration this year with this gorgeous cookie house!  The decorated graham crackers which they chose to make, in addition to assembling the house, were scattered around the house on the platter and completed the scene. 

Though, admittedly, they found the house "a pain in the tuchus" to assemble, we thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed it; and I feel they actually had some fun making it!  The grandchildren and all the neighborhood kids loved it!

                                From Our Very Happy Chanukah House...
                                To You and Yours...Happy Holidays!                                                                                     

(This cookie house is from a kit is made by Manischewitz.)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Crunchy Naked Southern Pan-Fried Okra ~ Guilt Free!

The craving for fried okra overwhelms you, but the guilt holds you back.  Well no you can enjoy crunchy Southern fried okra guilt free with this super easy naked pan-fried okra!

This is a challenging time of year with my birthday and all the holidays; and this year was a big milestone for me, as I entered a new decade!  I feel the same...I refuse to age!   We enjoyed a wonderful celebration with family and friends.  Then my computer crashed...guess that's what a big birthday does!  As usual, with my son to the rescue, I'm back in business with only a few details to be completed (by him, of course)!

During the crazy holiday season, we need simple dishes like this scrumptious fried okra...great for family dinners or as a holiday side.  Why wait, let's satisfy that craving...

                                 I Think I Could Eat The Whole Pan...                                            
                                           This May Be My Dinner!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Savory Roasted Butternut and Acorn Squash Blend

Inspired by my daughter's fantastic roasted butternut squash, I developed a delicious and satisfying roasted blend of butternut and acorn squash, as I just happened to have both on hand.

You'll find this simple recipe an ideal, savory Thanksgiving side and a wonderful way to use your squash decorations after Turkey Day!  Of course, you can roast one or the other by themselves, and the squash may be peeled and cut a day ahead.

                                Festive Thanksgiving Colors with....
                                   Traditional Holiday Flavors!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Baked Apple Pie Pinwheel Dumplings or Rugelach Cookies ~ Super Easy and Super Good!

I'm so excited to share these incredibly easy and scrumptious apple pie pinwheels...they came out perfectly the first time I made them, and that's always a great thing!  Made with tortillas, these divine dumplings are a lighter version of apple pie and just as gratifying.  Tons of fun, this is a great recipe to make with the kids and also ideal for Fall festivals.

The best way to eat these fabulous pies is right out of the oven while they're crispy and crunchy; but they're still fantastic even after stored overnight or longer!  Serve them as a handheld dessert in cupcake papers, or individually plated with forks.  Enjoy them by themselves or with a premium vanilla ice cream on the side, with/or without a good caramel sauce, or with my Butter Pecan Glaze!

This is another one of my two-for-one recipes...for bite-size fun, you can roll a little differently for simple, delectable rugelach.  When I first placed the few rugelach I made into the pan, I had my doubts; but they came out incredibly good...just as good as the dumplings, only a different shape and also very pretty.

It's amazing how the texture of the tortillas becomes more pastry-like when baked in a dessert recipe.  I'll definitely be baking more with tortillas!
                                                   All For Me...

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Glazed Chunky Apple Coffee Cake Swirled with Brown Sugar, Cinnamon and Toasted Walnuts or Pecans!

Loaded with apples and swirled with a scrumptious mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and toasted nuts, this cake makes an ideal treat to enjoy with your coffee on these brisk Fall days!  For an awesome Autumn dessert, try it with my Butter Pecan Glaze and/or a premium vanilla ice cream.

This versatile coffee cake also makes a delectable quick, light breakfast, with or without a cup of your favorite's especially good with pumpkin yogurt!                                                                                                                                
                                       I Think I Need A Coffee Break...
                                                Care To Join Me?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tender Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Figgy Frosting

Cupcake connoisseurs will find these tender cupcakes a delightful departure from the norm.  Filled to the brim, their delicate peanut butter flavor and mildly spiced, sweet figgy frosting just seem to beckon Autumn.

I developed this recipe after I recently spotted a jar of fig preserves in the store and knew immediately that I wanted to pair the preserves with peanut butter!

                                            Figs And Peanut Butter...
                                         A Warm Welcome To Autumn!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Zesty Albacore White Tuna Salad Fused with A Distinctive Crunch!

Take tuna salad from boring to delightful with this easy and delectable albacore white tuna salad fused with a unique and zesty crunch!

When you need something light and uncomplicated for lunch, dinner, a snack or an appetizer, you'll love this distinctive tuna salad!

                     It's Unique and Zesty Crunch Makes This Definitely...
                                         Not Your Typical Tuna Salad!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Famous Two-Ingredient, Two-Step Barbecued Pulled Chicken In The Slow Cooker

If you need something uncomplicated and delicious for dinner or a cookout, you'll love this famous... okay, my famous...lip-smacking, super-easy barbecued pulled chicken!  It's made with only two ingredients in the slow cooker in only three hours, using incredibly simple methods of shredding and cooking the chicken.

Enjoy this laid-back, crowd-pleasing recipe for Labor Day, tailgating and effortless weeknight meals!

                                                        Oh Man...
                                                  I Can Taste It Now!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Retro Pineapple and Cream Cheese Congealed Lime Salad with Toasted Pecans

Congealed salads are back, and Southerners love their gelatin salads!  One of my favorite dishes at a Southern cafeteria is a creamy congealed salad...somewhat like a dessert, but served as a side dish, you know we Southerners like our sweets, y'all!

Cool and creamy with a little crunch, this pineapple salad is perfect for summer and very versatile.  Traditionally, it would be served as a side; however, with its beautiful layers, it would make a stunning presentation as an appetizer and served as a spread with buttery crackers.  Also, it would make a wonderful light dessert served with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. 

                                           However You Serve It...
                                              They'll Love It!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Light and Refreshing Orange Salad Enhanced with Pomegranate and Tossed with Toasted Pecans

Add a little zing to your entrees with this super easy, light and zesty side salad.  This salad is made with a savory spring mix and tossed with juicy, bright orange slices, tangy pomegranate dried cranberries, and crunchy toasted pecan halves.  A sprinkling of shaved Parmesan cheese adds a surprise piquancy and the orange flavor is intensified with a scattering of orange zest.  A drizzling of raspberry-pomegranate dressing perfectly completes the salad.

Delightfully refreshing, this salad is an ideal accompaniment to your summer meals.  Add chicken or turkey for a complete light lunch or dinner.  Also, this dish especially complements spicy entrees.  It was a big hit at our Fourth get-together, and I know you'll enjoy enjoy it as much as we did...make it for your next take-along! 

                                          Bright, Light and Refreshing...
                                               Just What I Want!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Delectable Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles with Enticing Coatings

Apparently I'm on a bite-size confection roll, literally!  When I recently picked up a jar of dark chocolate peanut butter, I didn't know what I'd make with it; but, for sure, I knew that it would be something for my peanut butter-loving son-in-law!  After a few ideas, I elected to develop a truffle recipe to give him for Father's Day.  Well, those empty paper cups, which occurred in a short amount of time, were a true testament that he loved these melt-in-your-mouth treats!

You know that I will experiment with a variety of options when developing some of my recipes.  I chose to enhance these confections with complementary coatings of cocoa, powdered sugar, crushed kettle jalapeno and regular potato chips and chopped peanuts.   I'm not sure if I have a favorite embellishment for this candy (unless, it's the crushed salted potato chips)...they're all scrumptious!  The jalapeno potato chip coating will provide just a slight surprise bite of heat; and the regular kettle potato chip coating will offer a delightful, more salty crunch to the truffles.

To make the candy sticky for better adherence of the peanut and potato chip coatings, the truffles will need to be first rolled in a mixture of cocoa powder and kosher sea salt and allowed to rest for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Salt is not added to those rolled only in cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

Though these delicious truffles make an elegant presentation, they are actually made using a simple technique and humble ingredients.  Therefore, they make a great recipe project for children; so get those little hands going and let them do the rolling!
                                                Embellished with...
                                                Enticing Coatings...

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Decadent Chocolate-Banana Bonbons with A Variety of Coatings ~ How-To Tips and Tricks!

These decadent chocolate-dipped banana bites with crunchy coatings make a fun treat or a marvelous party bonbon.  I've offered a variety of suggested coatings; however, you can be creative with your own coatings.  My favorite coating, of the ones I've tried, was the crushed cashews!

A recently diagnosed low potassium level prompted me to give it a boost with bananas.  All that other fruit I'd been eating, along with those horse-sized potassium pills, were just not enough!  Since I find eating bananas, outside of baked goods, not very appealing, I thought chocolate-dipped banana slices would be encouraging.  These chocolate-banana bonbons are encouraging all right...but so decadent, I can only eat one or two at a time.  Guess I'll save these as a treat and just eat bananas on my cereal, which is my second choice.

This chocolate-dipping and coating method should work well with whole strawberries also.

                                             Decadent Decisions...
                                      Which One Should I Try First?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Craving Crunchy Orange Chicken ~ Crowned with Crispy Green Onions and Toasted Almonds ~Asian Inspired

Do you ever have a craving for orange Panda Express'?  I love their orange chicken; so when I originally found this recipe on the internet, I was excited to make it.  Though I wouldn't say this is exactly like Panda Express' orange chicken (as the original recipe suggested), this Asian-inspired chicken is sure to satisfy your craving with its crunchy tempura-like batter, true orange flavor and crispy green onion and toasted almond toppings.  With this recipe, you can enjoy orange chicken takeout at home by taking it right out of your own oven with easily accessible ingredients.

Panda Express' orange chicken does have a little more heat than I like, so I adjusted the amount of red pepper flakes from the original recipe.  Of course, if you prefer more heat, you can add more red pepper flakes, or you can just omit the red pepper flakes altogether.  Like I generally do, I made quite a few changes to the original recipes...including increasing the orange flavor with the addition of navel orange pieces.  I preferred the more obvious flavor of navel orange pieces over mandarin orange segments.

As I typically do, I've tried to eliminate any guess work and be as thorough as possible with the directions.  I often say that I write a recipe as though my daughter were standing beside me.          

                                                 It's Take Out...
                                       I Took It Out Of The Oven!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pepper Jack Cheese Hamburger Skillet Pie with Triple Cheddar Cheese and Jalapeno Cornbread Topping

Not your typical hamburger pie, this one is crowned with a cozy cornbread topping that has a moist interior with a crunchy top.  The triple Cheddar cheese and jalapeno cornbread topping perfectly complements the slightly peppery ground beef base.

Though this dish isn't extremely peppery; if you have any family members who are a little pepper-skittish, of course you can omit the jalapenos from the cornbread topping and substitute the pepper jack cheese with Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese.

You and yours will enjoy this hamburger skillet pie as a satisfying and comforting weeknight meal.  I've also provided directions for using the topping recipe for an 8" or 10" skillet of just cornbread.

                                             It's Kinda Like A...
                                     Hamburger Skillet Pot Pie!     

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Indescribably Delicious Cherry Pie with Sour Cream

Oh boy, this scrumptious pie was a big hit at my son's recent birthday!  He loves cherry desserts, and I opted for this incredibly delicious, yet easy pie. 

I used frozen pitted dark, sweet whole cherries, rather than the tart cherries as recommended in the original recipe.  I did not adjust the sugar for the sweet cherries, and the pie was terrific.  So either sweet or tart cherries should work with the same amount of sugar as specified in the original recipe.  It should also be very good with other fruits, such as strawberries or blueberries...oh, I'll be experimenting with other fruits in this recipe!

It's supposed to be refrigerated before it's cut; but I didn't, since I wanted to photo before the birthday get-together.  However, it does slice better refrigerated.

This pie has an almost cake-like person described the flavor as similar to a cheesecake.  It's tempting to say it has a custard-like topping, but this recipe has too much flour for that.  Anyway you describe it, it's fantastic!

I included a link with great directions for cutting foil to cover the edges of the pie to prevent over-browning.  At one time I used a pie that made any more, or what is your preferred method?

I know you and yours will love this pie as much as we did!
                                     The Topping Is Kind of Cake Like....
                                           Maybe Like Cheesecake?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Luscious Lemon Layer Cake with Creamy Strawberry Frosting

Spring has sprung, and it's time for strawberry know my daughter loves them!  The last one I made for her was a couple of years ago for her birthday (my Strawberries In Rose Cake with Lemon Glaze).  Although everyone loved it, I thought I'd try something a little different for her birthday this year.

With no time for experimenting, I needed a reliable recipe.  I simply added fresh lemon juice and zest to one of my favorite pound versatile evaporated milk pound cake.  This produced a wonderful moist, dense and lemony cake, which easily sliced into three layers.  Using my trusted butter cream frosting as a basis, I developed a creamy strawberry frosting.

This cake actually improves with flavor after a couple of days.  You can make it ahead and refrigerate or freeze, then decorate and garnish with strawberry slices the day you serve it.

                                   Hey, Watch Those Fingers There...
                                     I Haven't Even Served It Yet!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hawaiian Mini Banana Split Bundt Cakes with Butter Pecan Glaze

The birth of baby cakes...My daughter and I were discussing what I should make for her husband's pending birthday, and my five-year old grandson excitedly chimed in "banana split cupcakes!"  That sounded like a great idea to us, and my daughter started listing all the goodies they should have...then, they became Hawaiian banana split cupcakes.  I said I wanted to top them with a butter pecan may recognize this glaze from my recipe for Fall Harvest Apple Cake.

Cupcakes were what I planned, until I spotted one of my vintage mini Bundt cake pans hanging on my kitchen wall...hmmm, even better.  Was I ever right...the little cakes slid right out of their pans (easier than cupcakes)!  The tunnels in the center of of each cake perfectly accommodated nice dollops of whipped cream...studded with a cherry on the top of each, and ta dah..adorable Hawaiian mini banana split Bundt cakes were born!

                                              All Dressed Up And...
                                                 Ready to Party!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Turkey Polska Kielbasa Sauté with Haricot Verts, i.e. Turkey Polish Sausage with Extra Fine Green Beans!

You're starving and you want something quick, but homemade.  I was recently looking for something like this at the grocery store and spotted turkey Polska kielbasa, i.e. turkey Polish sausage.  I took it home and, with other ingredients on hand, I developed a delectable one-dish sauté.  I was so excited with the ease and fabulous taste of this dish, I immediately wanted to share it!

This recipe offers the option of jarred or fresh mushrooms, frozen or fresh roasted potatoes and frozen or fresh haricot verts (extra fine green beans).  The jarred and frozen items just provide you the opportunity to throw the meal together a little quicker.  Whether you choose to use these items prepackaged or fresh, this dish will still be delicious.

With an array of colorful vegetables, you have a complete, healthy one-dish meal which is easily and quickly made on the stove top.

                                                I'm So Hungry...
                                      And This Looks So Good!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Melt-In-Your Mouth Cranberry or Blueberry Pikelets

I love crumpets and wanted to make my own.  However, they're made with yeast, and I wanted something a little quicker.  I decided pikelets were the answer...they're kind of a cross between a pancake and a crumpet.

Some of the pikelet recipes I found were made with self-rising flour.  Now, I know some the best biscuits are made with self-rising flour.  However, my mother didn't use it; therefore, I've never used it...until now.  Baking powder is added for a little extra boost.

These melt-in-your mouth little pikelets are the size of a large cookie and just firm enough to be handheld.  They have almost a cake flavor...perfect for breakfast, brunch or snack.  I added cranberries, but they're also great with blueberries...or, you can just make them plain.  I resisted the temptation to add nutmeg or cinnamon...sometimes you just want a simple flavor as these offer.

                              I'll Have Mine with Just A Smear of Butter...
                      But, You Might Like With A Dab of Jam or Preserves!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Salted Caramel Bread Pudding with Bittersweet Chocolate ~ Topped with Homemade Whipped Cream

My daughter's mother-in-law gave me a fabulous jar of Williams-Sonoma Salted Caramel Sauce for the holidays and said she was anxious to see how I'd use it.  I knew immediately that I wanted to use it in a bread pudding!

Large morsels of bittersweet chocolate dot this decadent caramel pudding.  You may think that 1/2 c. of these morsels may not be enough for the recipe; but, believe me, it's just the right amount.  Homemade whipped cream perfectly mellows the rich pudding.

Serve this sinfully delicious caramel pudding for Valentine's Day, and you'll be sure to leave them swooning!
                                                  It's So Good...
                                       I Just Can't Stop Eating It!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Crunchy Retro Turkey Casserole with Wild Grain Rice

It's comfort food weather, and you crave an easy and unpretentious hot this gratifying retro turkey casserole.  This is an ideal recipe to use up that leftover holiday turkey hanging around in your freezer.  With the water chestnuts inside and the crushed cracker topping, you'll find this casserole satisfies the desire for a little crunch.  And, yes, it's possible to enjoy a good recipe that includes a can of soothing, creamy soup (you know you have)!

Make this as your next take-along dish, and they'll be sure to ask you to bring it to future potlucks!

                          Be Sure To Give Me Lots of Crunchy Topping!