Friday, December 4, 2009

Salted Caramel Strawberries

I first saw this recipe in my April 2009 Southern Living. It's been begging me to make them! Well, today is that day! I've made them for a Elf 'n Burritos. A night where our friends get together to eat burritos and watch the movie Elf. They are simple to make and very pretty. A perfect combination of sweet and salty. I think it's sure to be a crowd favorite! Sorry for the picture quality, it was taken with a phone.

Salted Caramel Strawberries

20 large fresh strawberries (rinsed and dried)
40 caramels
3 Tbsp whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup coarsely chopped mixed nuts
Wax paper

Pat strawberries completely dry with paper towels.
Microwave caramels, 3 Tbsp whipping cream, and 1/4 tsp salt in a 1-qt microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50%) power for 3 1/2 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals.
Dip each strawberry halfway into caramel mixture. Roll in nuts, and place on lightly greased wax paper. Let stand 15 minutes.
Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.

*I used the new Kraft Caramel bits, no wrappers!
*I would just use chopped peanuts next time.
*Definitely spray your wax paper. I know it's weird, but it'll keep the caramel from sticking.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bran Muffins

This recipe makes a ton. Seriously. I have a specific large tupperware for when I make this. This is an ESSENTIAL make some a lady having a baby...for many reasons. It makes a ton and lasts for 6 weeks. Plus, all those key benefits of fiber! Enough said, enjoy!

Bran Muffins

1 cup oil
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups sugar (or splenda)
1 quart buttermilk
4 cups bran flakes
1 tsp salt
5 cups flour (or whole wheat flour)
5 tsp baking soda
2 cups All Bran
2 cups boiling water

In a small bowl, mix together boiling water and All Bran. Set aside.
Mix sugar and oil. Beat in eggs. Add buttermilk, flour, soda, and salt.
Add water and All Bran mixture. Fold in bran flakes.
Bake in greased muffin pans at 350 for 18-20 minutes.
Can be kept in refrigerator for 6 weeks.

*I usually do a mixture of regular sugar and splenda and regular flour and whole wheat flour.
*These are great with cinnamon and cut up apples. Or butter and syrup!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lemon Curd Pound Cake

This is such an easy cake! And, absolutely beautiful. It has a golden color, light crust, and smells fantastic! Everything a pound cake should be. It's from my 2009 Southern Living Christmas Cookbook that my aunt gave me. I made it in two loaf pans and it still took the same time to bake. It's a must-make!

Look how the lemon curd drips down the side...

Lemon Curd Pound Cake

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until the yellow yolk disappears.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat batter at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla and lemon extracts.
Pour into greased and floured 12-cup tube pan.
Bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, carefully brush Lemon Curd over top and side of cake.

Lemon Curd

2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp grated fresh lemon peel
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Stir together first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan; add egg, stirring until blended.
Cook mixture, stirring constantly, over low heat, 10 to 12 minutes until mixture thickens slightly and begins to bubble on the edges. Remove from heat.
Brush it immediately on cake, it will continue to thicken as it cools.

Hashbrown Casserole

Not much to say except this is a family favorite. And, well, anyone who tries it, it's their new favorite too!

Hashbrown Casserole

2 pounds frozen hashbrowns
2/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup shopped onion
10 oz grated cheddar cheese

2 cups corn flakes
1/2 cup melted butter

Thaw potatoes
Combine all ingredientsin a large bowl, adding hashbrowns last.
Pour into a 13x9 greased baking dish.
Sprinkle with toppings.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours at 350.

Grape Jello Salad

Ms. Karen Clark brought this to our church's Thanksgiving dinner. It's a great alternative to cranberries for the holidays. But, I love anything with fruit and jello! This recipe can easily be halved.

Grape Jello Salad

2 packages grape jello
1 large can crushed pineapple
1 large can blueberry pie filling
2 cups hot water

Mix jello and water until incorporated. Add pineapple and pie filling. Congeal in the refrigerator

8 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar

Mix together. Spread over jello. Optional, can top with pecans.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Oh my! This could easily become a Thanksgiving staple! It's easy to make and delicious! We first had this at our Thanksgiving Rehearsal Dinner with our friends. Basically, it's an annual tradition where we try out new recipes with our friends! You should have one too!

Pumpkin Dump Cake

1 16-20oz can pumpkin
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, and spice.
Pour in ungreased 13x9 dish.
Sprinkle cake mix and pecans on top.
Pour melted butter on top.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

*You can easily make a half recipe.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Creamy Poblano Chicken with Cornbread Waffles

This is a keeper! Chris and my company thoroughly enjoyed them...even my son and nephews! This recipe is from my new Southern Living Christmas Cookbook that my aunt surprised me with!

Creamy Poblano Chicken

3 Tbsp butter
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 poblano peppers, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
8 skinned and boned chicken breast halves; cut into bite sized pieces
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
8-oz sour cream
8-oz shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Melt butter in a Dutch oven. Add onion, chili pepper, and garlic; saute 5 minutes. Add chicken, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in soup and sour cream until smooth. Add cheese, and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve over Cornbread Waffles.

*I only used 1 can of cream of mushroom.

Cornbread Waffles

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups white shoepeg corn
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together egg and next 3 ingredients. Add to cornmeal mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Bake waffles in a preheated, oiled waffle iron just until crispy.
Yields 12 (4-inch) waffles

*I used yellow corn verses white

Cinnamon-Pumpkin Dumplings

This is a great and different recipe. Pretty simple. And, pretty delicious! And, pretty!

Cinnamon-Pumpkin Dumplings

1 cup canned pumpkin
2 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
16 packaged won ton wrappers
cinnamon and sugar

Preheat oven to 400. Mix pumpkin, syrup, brown sugar, and spice.
Place a won ton wrapper on flat surface. Spoon 1 teaspoon of pie filling into center. Moisten edges of won top with water and fold in half to form triangles. Press edges to seal.
Arrange won tons on a non-greased baking sheet. Lightly coat won tons with non-stick spray. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.
Bake for 15 minutes. Turn and bake additional 2 minutes.

*I used egg roll wrappers instead and used 2 1/2 Tbsp of filling.
*I served these with vanilla ice cream!!!

Green Chili Grits

Yummy-to-my-tummy! These are delicious! And, great for guests or to take to a get-together. These were made for my sister-in-laws bridal brunch by Sara.

Green Chili Grits

6 cups boiling water
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups grits
1 lb Velveeta
1 can green chilis
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 eggs

Cook grits in boiling water and salt until done. Cut cheese in chunks and stir with grits until melted. Add chilis, butter, and eggs. *You can add pepper and garlic is desired.
Pour into a 13x9 greased pan.
Bake at 300 for about an hour.
Let cool slightly then top with sliced tomatoes. Or serve them on the side.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Banana Nut Muffins

Ok, I am totally devoted to my original banana bread recipe. But, I was needing to use some ripe bananas and needing to make mini-muffins. So, I found this one from one of my favorite chefs, Tyler Florence. It's simple and make beautiful, golden muffins. An added bonus is that your home will smell heavenly.

Banana Nut Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Mash 2 bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture.
With an electric mixer, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together like you mean it, for about 3 minutes. (yes, the recipe actually used this line!)
Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat well. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tins to fill them about halfway.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

I made about 36 mini muffins. I also always use salted butter. Still tasted great! Enjoy!

Blueberry Muffins

These muffins are so pretty! I actually didn't have enough blueberries, so I used blackberries instead. I was concerned the muffins would not be as good (because blackberries are bitter tasting), but Chris thought the streusel made the difference! Happy baking!

Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, combine oil, egg and milk. Mix with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
To make crumb topping, mix remaining ingredients. Mix with a fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 8 large muffins.

I made mini muffins. It made about 36 of them. They baked for 15 minutes. Perfect, beautiful domes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Dip

Ok, this recipe is delicious! This was made by my suite Anna at Tara's baby shower. She served it in a small pumpkin, with the stem on the side! It brought our food table to a new level! This is sure to be a hit at your next get-together!

Pumpkin Dip

3/4 can pumpkin pie mix
2 (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients and serve with gingersnaps and shortbread cookies.

Baked Potato Soup

Oh my! I usually don't like potato soups because, well, baked potatoes are my #1 favorite food and the soups don't usually have a lot of flavor. But, my, oh, my! This soup is fantastic! Make it today! My suite Tara made this the weekend of her baby shower. It's a crock-pot recipe, so you know, it's easy and dinner is ready without a lot of prep! Enjoy!!!

Baked Potato Soup

6 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
3 (14-oz) cans chicken broth with roasted garlic
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup whipping cream or half-and-half
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
bacon pieces
chopped chives
sour cream
shredded cheddar cheese

Combine first 6 ingredients in a crock pot.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, or until potatoes are tender.
Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soup in slightly thickened.
Stir in cream, and cheese.
Serve with bacon pieces, chopped chives, sour cream, and cheese.

*I couldn't find chicken broth with roasted garlic. So, I just used regular broth and added garlic powder.
*I made this with crumbled pepper bacon. The bacon adds some deep flavor!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thai Chicken Pizza

This pizza is delicious! A very different taste that will please your palete! Lots of flavors...plum sauace, peanut butter, lime! I made this for company last night and they all liked it. It was great paired with a green salad! The credit for this recipe is given to Ashley over at her blog.
Thai Chicken Pizza
Plum Sauce (I used 1/2 jar per pizza)
Package of mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 lbs cooked chicken (I cooked mine in olive oil, salt, and pepper), cubed or shredded
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 Tablespoons of reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon of hot sauce
2 Tablespoons of montreal steak seasoning
1 teaspoon of honey
1 teaspoon of lime juice
2 Tablespoons of peanut butter

Take your crust and brush with olive oil. Add the plum sauce & 1/2 bag of mozzarella cheese. Bake on 425 for 10 minutes. Take out and cool.
In pan heat the olive oil, soy sauce, hot sauce, seasoning, honey, lime juice, and peanut butter on low. Then poor in your chicken and mix. Once covered poor onto pizza and then cover with more mozzarella cheese. Place back into over until cheese is melted.
Here are my alterations:
-I used Pillsbury pizza crust, baked it for 13 minutes versus 10.
-I doubled the sauce mixture that coats the chicken (otherwise it was too dry looking!)
-I would only use 1 Tablespoon of the montreal steak seasoning, it is very powerful
-I would add chopped peanuts (for the crunch factor!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
You must make this now!
Plus, your home will smell A-mazing!

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

3 pounds Romanita tomatoes (or equal parts Roma and Cherry), cut in half
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano or basil leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400. On a cookie tray (or roasting pan), combine the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil or oregano, salt and pepper. Roast until the tomatoes begin to carmamelize, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
Place tomatoes in blender. Blend to desired consistency. If the sauce seems too thick, add a bit of water or chicken broth to achieve the desired consistency.
Use as a dipping sauce for vegetables, on toasted bread, pizza, or pasta.

Spicy Dipping Sauce

Here's the yummy spicy Ranch-like sauce...

Spicy Dipping Sauce

1 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons buttermilk
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
dash of hot sauce
salt and pepper

Add all ingredients into a serving bowl and mix until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and let flavors marinate for at least 1 hour.

Fried Zucchini

I'll admit. I'm a Food Network junkie. While at my parents home (b/c I don't have cable at my own house) all I want to do is watch channel 53! No matter how tired I am I can always make it through another episode! This recipe is from The Neely's.

Fried Zucchini

Peanut oil, for frying
3 large zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (I'm addicted to these!)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
Spicy dipping sauce (recipe posted separately)

Measure flour into a pie plate. In another pie plate combine panko, Parmesan, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, to taste. In a third plate add eggs and water. Dredge the zucchini in the flour, followed by the egg and finally in the panko.
Working in batches, place the breaded zucchini slices in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined sheet tray and immediately season with salt and pepper.

Oven Fried Chicken

Thanks Paula Deen for this tasty recipe! I didn't cook the chicken directly on the oven racks...but, it was still yummy! Plus, I'm a sucker for Panko bread crumbs!!!

Oven Fried Chicken

2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Tablespoons freshly minced thyme leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons water
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack over pan and spray rack with nonstick cooking spray.
In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, cheese, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper, to taste. In a separate shallow dish combine mustard, water, salt and pepper, to taste, and remaining olive oil. Coat each chicken breast with mustard mixture; dredge each in bread crumb mixture. Place on prepared rack in pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown.
Serve immediately.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Grape Salad

Katera and Susan went to Ouachita University to one of Kitty’s wedding showers. The next day, we went to lunch at a tearoom. This salad was served and Katera asked for the recipe. They would not give it to us, but needless-to-say, we prevailed. Kitty worked with someone at the OBU Business Office who had a friend that had worked at the tearoom. This lady gave us the recipe. We LOVE it. It will be a regular part of our special family dinners, as well as a wonderful time to remember the fun weekend we in Arkadelphia. (this is the text from our recipe)

Grape Salad

4 lbs. seedless green or red grapes

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

1 (8 oz) container sour cream

½ cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 ounces pecan bits

2 tablespoons brown sugar


  1. Wash and dry grapes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla.
  3. Add grapes and mix until evenly incorporated.
  4. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans, mix again and refrigerate until time to serve.

Note: To make the sauce taste more caramel, make the day before

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms

This recipe sends me immediately to family gatherings during the winter!  So fantastic...always a hit!

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 large package whole, fresh mushrooms
wash and de-stem, chop stems very fine
1 pound bulk sausage, mild or hot
brown and drain 

Add stems and sausage together in black skillet.
Add onion powder.
Add 1 block Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
Cook until cheese melts.
Stuff mushrooms.
Heat in oven (350) for 10 - 15 minutes.


Seafood Casserole

This is a delicious recipe from a missionary family from Mexico.

Seafood Casserole

Saute onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in 1 stick butter.  Add 1 can cream of mushroom soup and 1 cup raw shrimp and 1 pound crab meat.  Mix with 2 cups cooked rice.
Place in casserole dish sprayed with Pam.  Add bread crumbs or cheese.
Bake at 350 for 20 - 30 minutes.

We LOVE to eat this with french bread and salad!

Souffled Corn

This is super easy and yummy.  I'm making it for a church lunch this Sunday.

Souffled Corn

2 cans whole kernal corn
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
In medium saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter with 1/2 cup sugar until butter is melted.  Stir in flour.  Remove from heat.
Gradually stir in milk.  Add eggs and baking powder; mix well.  Fold in corn.  Pour into buttered 1 quart casserole dish.
Bake for 40 minutes.  Brush with melted butter.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Makes 6-8 servings.


This recipe was my Granny Kitty's.  Oh my.  These are amazing.  Especially warm.  With either coffee or milk.  Or coffee milk.


1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
*Mix well

2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
*Sift together.  Add to cream mixture.

Roll cookie dough balls in 2 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp cinnamon.
Bake at 400 degrees, about 8 minutes.

Do not double batch.  Make each recipe separate.
I made these this made 60 small/med cookies.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

This is addictive. So delicious! Thanks, Glenda!

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
Honey AND chocolate graham crackers.

In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Mix in sugars and vanilla.
Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
Shape chilled cream cheese mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic and chill for 1 hour.
Roll the cheese ball in finely chopped pecans before serving.
Serve with graham crackers.

Easy Crisp Cucumber Salad

This is very fresh and makes a lot. Great for summer gettogethers.

Easy Crisp Cucumber Salad

4 large cucumbers
8 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbed feta cheese (I use mozerrela)
1/3 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
1/3 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup chopped red onion

Peel and cut cucumbers into 1 inch thick cubes. Toss with remaining ingredients.

Hot 'N Cheesy Crab Dip

Hot 'N Cheesy Crab Dip

1 lb Velveeta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can (6.5 oz) crabmeat, drained, flaked
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 tsp ground red pepper

Mix first 4 ingredients in large microwaveable blow. Microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes, or until Velveeta is completely melted, stirring after 3 minutes.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Serve with assorted vegetables and crackers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lemon Lime Punch

This is a great punch - sweet and yellow! Most punches are pink and strawberry based...making this punch a hit! (No pun intended!)
Lemon Lime Punch
3 pkgs lemonade (unsweetened)
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
2 1/2 to 3 cups sugar (add to taste)
water (add to taste)
1 sliced lemon
1 sliced lime
Mix lemonade, pineapple juice, and sugar in punch bowl.
Add water to desired consistency and taste.
When ready to serve, add sliced lemon and lime. They will float at the top of the punch!
*To fill the container in the picture I doubled the recipe.
*I always freeze part of the punch and add it to the container at the party.

Banana Nut Bread

Every true Southern lady must have a staple Banana Bread recipe. It is perfect for hostessing, loving on your family, and taking to a friend. When I was a new bride I remember stressing about living up to my Mom's bread. I was living at my PaPaw's house at the time and wanted to use up the yucky bananas. So, I got a cookbook that was a wedding present and saw that I had all the ingredients. My PaPaw said it was some of the best that he'd ever had and that it reminded him of old-fashioned cake. So, since it was good enough for him, it would be forever more! And, I've stopped looking for another Banana Bread recipe!
I also call this "Poor Man's Banana Bread" - because the ingredients are simple. My Mom's calls for sour cream, making it "Rich Man's Banana Bread." On to the recipe...

Banana Nut Bread

3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 to 3 very ripe bananas
2/3 cups water
1 cup chopped nuts
3 1/2 cups self-rising flour
2 tsp cinnamon

Cream sugar and oil. Add eggs and bananas. Mix well.
Stir together flour and cinnamon and add this to sugar/egg mixture, alternating with water.
Stir in nuts.
Pour into two well-greased bread pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

*This will make your home smell divine! I've heard that making this (and making your home smell wonderfully) is a great tip for selling your home!
*The loaves also freeze very well.

Monday, May 11, 2009

PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps

This is the MOST delicious meal! If you're in a rut of same-ole, same-ole...this recipe has flavors that are refreshing! Plus, they make a whole meal versus the appetizer (that costs as much as an entree) at PF Chang's.

Lettuce Wraps

2 lbs ground turkey
5 cloves minced garlic
1/2 chopped onion
1 can water chestnuts (optional)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp ginger
dash of all spice
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 head of lettuce
Plum Sauce (at WalMart in Asian section)

Place turkey in crock pot. Dump onions, garlic, and water chestnuts on top of turkey.
Mix liquids and spices. Pour over turkey and vegetables.
Cover and cook 4-6 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low. Stir occassionally.
Serve over lettuce leaves.

*I've used purple onion and made it without allspice.
*For an American kick...add cheese and sour cream.
*You can also top with green onions.

BBQ Beef

I currently have this in my crock pot. It smells divine! I'll update the post with comments after we eat tonight!
Ok, yes! It is super good! I was a bit skeptical...but the meat was so tender and shredded easily! Perfect with cole slaw and lemonade!

BBQ Beef

3 lbs beef stew meat
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped green pepper
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
6 oz can tomato paste
sandwich buns

In slow cooker combine all ingredients except buns. Cook on low setting 8-10 hours or until meat is tender.
With wire whisk stir BBQ to break up meat pieces. Serve on buns.

*To prepare in oven, place all ingredients except buns in Dutch oven or large casserole. Cover; bake at 325 degrees for 4 hours
*I didn't have onion, green peppers, or dry mustard. I sprinkled in mustard seed.
*Instead of ground beef, I used round steak (for those with meat from the farm: 1 pkg of round steak)

Beef Stroganoff

Nothing says "Mom" like a meal that warms your insides! My Mom makes great stroganoff...and while at her house last week, I browed one of her cookbooks (Pots, Pans, and Pioneers - love the name!) and saw "good" written beside the stroganoff recipe. So, I made it. Sorry, no was consumed as soon as it was made!

Beef Stroganoff

1 cup minced onion
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup butter
2 lbs ground beef
4 Tbsp flour
4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can mushroom soup
2 cups sour cream
Egg noodles, cooked

Brown onion and garlic over medium heat, add beef and brown. Do not drain.
Add flour, salt, pepper, and soup. Cook 5 minutes, then simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Stir in sour cream. Heat through and serve over noodles.

*Since you don't drain the beef, use lean meet, or use less butter.
*I made this with 1/2 beef and 1/2 turkey.
*For color, top with green onions.
*This recipe is dynamic on top of a baked potato, add cheese (of course!).

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Laundry Detergent

***Taken, word-for-word from Our Simple Life.

4 Cups hot tap water
1 bar soap (Fels Naptha, Ivory, Sunlight, or Zote)
1 Cup washing soda
1/2 Cup Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to sauce pan with 4 cups hot water. Cook and stir constantly over medium low heat until soap is melted.
Fill 5 gallon bucket half way with hot tap water. Add washing soda, borax, and melted soap then stir until dissolved. Fill remainder of bucket with hot tap water.
Let bucket sit overnight to thicken. Pour detergent in a cleaned leftover laundry container half way, fill the other half with water.
*Shake before each use as the water and detergent will separate*

For top loading machine use 5/8 cup of detergent per load
For front loading machine use 1/4 cup of detergent per load

I timed myself and it literally took me 20 minutes to make the detergent. {Kitty: I can confirm, it took me 19 minutes!} I figure you can always find 20 minutes in your schedule to do something you consider important, and I consider saving this much money worth my time. Plus, you know my laundry will be expanding in another 6 months!

Here is a cost break down:

Washing soda $2.89
Borax $2.98
Ivory Soap $1.07 (3 bars)
5 gallon bucket $4.24
Bucket lid $1.27

Total: $13.15+tax

This makes 180 loads for a top load and 640 for a front load machine.

I had to purchase the washing soda at Harps since our Walmart did not carry it. {Kitty: I can also confirm to this.} You can find this and Borax with the laundry detergents.
I have enough ingredients to make two more batches and maybe enough borax and washing soda to do 4. The cost of the bucket is the most expensive thing and I won't ever have to purchase another one. So, if I can make three full batches of detergent from these three ingredients it will now only cost me $.04 per load!
{Kitty: SO FUN!!!}

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Veggie Pizza

Delicious, very pretty, and a great twist on crudettes.

Veggie Pizza

2 packages of croissant rolls
1 cup sour cream
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 package dry Ranch dip
1 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Finely chopped vegetables
Shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350. On a lightly greased baking sheet, spread the croissant rolls across it. Blend the seams together. Using a fork, poke holes throughout the dough.
Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Mix together sour cream, cream cheese, Ranch dip, dill, and garlic salt. Spread mixture onto croissant rolls.
Top with finely chopped vegetables. You can use any combination of: broccoli, cauliflour, carrots, bell pepper, radish, cucumber. Top with cheese.
Chill for up to 2 hours.
Cut into small squares and serve.

Hot Onion Dip

Another fantastic and easy recipe!

Hot Onion Dip

3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 onion, finely chopped*
2 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients together.
Pour into a lightly greased 9x9 dish.
Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, or until the top is brown.
Serve with assorted crackers and/or vegetables.

*I buy the pre-cut onion, bell pepper, celery package in the frozen section of WalMart. The taste is great and it adds a little color too!

Chicken Salad

I've been using this recipe for the past 4 years! I got it from Anna, a college roommate. Honestly, it is our family's favorite thing to eat. I used to have the quantities, but now, I make it from memory. Basically, I work it until I get the consistency that I like.

1 rotisserie chicken, pulled apart
grapes, quartered
2 small packages of slivered almonds
rosemary, to taste

Mix all ingredients until desired consistency.
Serve with crackers or as a sandwich.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing

I can honestly say that I get compliments on these cookies every time I make them. Using real butter (vs margarine) makes the cookies much sweeter!

Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter, milk, vanilla, and egg. Blend well.
Add flour, baking powder, and salt; mix well. Mix flour mixture with sugar mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 400. On lightly floured surface, roll out 1/3 of dough at a time to 1/8-inch thickness. Keep remaining dough refrigerated.
Cut with floured cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. If desired, sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 5 - 9 minutes.

Royal Icing
This makes the nice glossy looking icing.

2 egg whites
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups powdered sugar

In a medium sized bowl combine all ingredients. Beat until soft peeks form.
Use food coloring to make desired colored icing.
Use icing immediately or cover with plastic wrap.

Gingerbread Bites With Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting

Unfrosted muffins may be frozen in freezer bags up to 1 week. Frost and garnish in the morning and refrigerate until serving time.

1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 large carrots, finely grated (1 cup)
1 cup minced fresh ginger (1/2 pound)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting (below)
Garnishes: small pecan halves, crystallized ginger, orange rind strips

Beat sugar and vegetable oil at med speed with mixer for 3 minutes or until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in grated carrots and fresh ginger.
Combine flour and next 6 ingredients; gradually add to egg mixture, beating at low speed until moistened. Stir in pecans.
Pour batter into lightly greased mini muffin tins, filling two-thirds full.
Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes. Cook in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread tops evenly with Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting.

Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8 ounce) pkgs cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons orange liqueur (or orange juice)
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Beat softened cream cheese and orange liqueur at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy.

Creamy Peppermint Punch

This is a Christmas drink - but, I could enjoy peppermint flavors all year long!

1 quart eggnog
1 (1-liter) bottle club soda, chilled
1/2 gallon peppermint ice cream, softened
Hard peppermint candies, crushed

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a punch bowl or large bowl; sprinkle with peppermint candy, and serve immediately.

*Punch may be made ahead, without crushed peppermint candies, and chilled 2 hours.
*If you serve this in a large punch bowl, hang peppermint candy canes on the bowl's rim.

Dill Mini-Muffins

Makes about 3 dozen.
Baked muffins may be frozen in an airtight container up to 1 month.

1 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
2 cups self-rising flour
1 Tablespoon dill seed
2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Beat softened butter at medium speed with mixer until creamy; add sour cream, and beat at low speed until blended.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture until blended. Spoon dough into greased miniature muffin pans, filling three-fourths full.
Bake at 375 for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden.

Tex-Mex Salisbury Steak

1 pound ground round
1/2 pound hot or mild ground pork sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1 large egg
1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup mild salsa
2 Tablespoons taco seasoning mix
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 (2.64 ounce) pkg country-style gravy mix
1 (14.5 ounce) can beef broth
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained

Combine first 7 ingredients and 1 Tablespoon cilantro. Shape mixture into 6 (1/3-inch thick) patties.
Heat a lightly greased large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add patties; reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 8 to 10 min per side or until center is no longer pink. Remove from skillet. Wipe pan clean.
Whisk together gravy mix, broth, tomatoes with chiles, and remaining cilantro. Cook over med heat 1 min or until thickened. Return patties to skillet, and cook until thoroughly heated.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Dinner tonight? For the family: chicken nuggets, cooked carrots, and dirty rice. For Mom: baked potato with cheese, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, chow mein, and Ranch...with a Dr. Pepper too! A reward for completing Day 1 of 3 Day Potty Training!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Grasshopper Torte

Beautiful and delicious!

Grasshopper Torte

15 Oreos, plus some for garnish (can use low fat!)
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 jar marshmallow creme
1 Tablespoon milk
3 cups softened vanilla non-fat yogurt
8 ounces light cool whip, thawed
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
8 drops of green food coloring

Chop 15 Oreos finely, add butter.
Press crumb mixture into bottom of a spring form pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
Combine marshmallow creme and milk. Add frozen yogurt. Fold in cool whip, extract, and food coloring.
Pour over crust. Cover and freeze 8 hours.
Before serving, garnish with chopped Oreos.

This makes a beautiful green dessert. For Christmas, use red food coloring and garnish with chopped candy canes.


This is also from Mama Loyd. I live by this recipe. Yes, Stouffer's lasagna is great...but it's hard to beat homemade lasagna! It is easy to divide the recipe into two, leaving one to freeze for later! I kept many of these in the freezer for when both Eli and Abi were born.


1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound sausage (deer sausage is great too)
32 ounce thick spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cup water (less for a thicker sauce)
15 ounce Ricotta cheese
4 cups mozzarella cheese, reserve 1 cup to top lasagna
2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or dried)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounce oven ready lasagna
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Brown beef and sausage, drain.
Add spaghetti sauce and water, simmer about 10 minutes.
In mixing bowl, beat eggs and rest of ingredients, except lasagna.
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13 glass dish.
Pour 1 cup of spaghetti sauce in dish. Layer 3 or 4 pieces of lasagna. Noodles will expand to fill empty spaces.
Cover with 1 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce. Spread half of cheese filling over sauce.
Layer again: lasagna, sauce, and cheese mixture. Top with lasagna, sauce, and remaining cheese.
Cover with foil. Cook for 55 to 60 minutes.

Mama Loyd's Salad (Olive Garden Salad)

Mama Loyd is the dear mother of my dear friend Tara Loyd Kear. Tara made this salad and lasagna for one of our suite get-togethers. Love ya Tara!

Mama Loyd's Salad

Leaf lettuce
1 red onion, cut into thin rings
Green and black olives
Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon parsley
1 package zesty Italian dressing mix

Combine and add to salad.

Spicy Crackers

This has been a big hit to take to get-togethers. You can make them as hot or mild as you like.

Spicy Crackers

1 box saltine crackers
1 package Ranch mix
1 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 to 4 Tablespoons red pepper flakes

Line crackers in a plastic container.
Mix all other ingredients and pour over crackers.
Turn every 15 minutes until mixture is absorbed.

***Using oyster crackers:
2 packages oyster crackers
2 packages Ranch mix
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups canola oil
1 3/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1 to 6 Tablespoons red pepper flakes

Follow directions above.

Mexican Cornbread

This is a family staple!

Mexican Cornbread

1 cup yellow cornmeal (regular)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 can cream style corn
1/2 pound shredded cheddar cheese
1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 pound ground beef (I usually double this)
1 large onion, chopped
jalapenos (or green chilis)

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a large iron skillet with a little oil and place in oven to heat.
Brown beef and onion. Drain.
Mix cornmeal, milk, salt, oil, soda, corn, and eggs.
Pour half of batter in skillet.
Add meat, onion, peppers, and cheese.
Top with rest of cornmeal mixture.
Bake for 45 minutes or until brown.


I have wanted to make homemade pesto for a long time now, and I'm not going to lie. This recipe is A-MAZING! It will not disappoint! I got the recipe from Chef Curtis Stone.

1 1/2 bunches fresh basil leaves
4 oz toasted pine nuts (I didn't toast mine)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Grind the basil, nuts, and cheese with morter and pestil, or food processor, until smooth paste forms.
Slowly add olive oil. Continue to blend until incorporated.

With pasta
Add to any type of pasta. Note: if the pasta is hot, it will melt the parmesan cheese in the pesto. Add fresh tomatoes for a great burst of flavor and color.

With tilapia
Season 4 filets with salt and pepper on both sides.
Heate a large saute pan over med-high heat. Add 1 T olive oil and cook fish 1 to 2 minutes on flesh side. Flip over and spoon the pesto generously over the filets.
Transfer the pan to the broiler. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Remove fish and allow to rest on a plate before serving.

With chicken
Dredge chicken breasts in an egg and water wash. Coat with panko bread crumbs. Cook in skillet over medium-high heat. Dice and add on top of pesto pasta.

***You can also use the pesto for brushetta.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beefy Pizza Casserole

Yeah for the first recipe! I made this tonight with my sous chef, Eli. It was a hit!

Beefy Pizza Casserole
Makes 8 servings

2 pounds ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
4 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (26 ounce) jar tomato-and-basil pasta sauce
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (13.8 ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Cook first 3 ingredients and 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning in a large skillet over med-high heat, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain well, and return to skillet.
Add 1/4 cup flour, stirring until blended. Stir in pasta sauce. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 1 1/2 cups cheese.
Unroll pizza crust, and place on top of cheese. Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and remaining 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning.
Bake at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

My way:
I didn't have a refrigerated pizza crust, so I made my own with Bisquick. The recipe is 1 1/2 cups Original Bisquick and 1/3 cup very hot water. Mix well, roll to size.


Welcome to Miss Kitty Cooks! This blog is in honor of Miss Kitty and Mr. EP McDaniel. My grandparents. In our family, Grannie was famous for making delicious family sized meals. Legend has it that when they were first married and had their first guests over to eat, there were no leftovers. My PaPaw told my Grannie to always be sure there was enough food - you never knew how much your guests would really want to eat! So, there have been leftovers at our home ever since! One of my most treasured momentos from PaPaw is a Seasoned with Love cookbook from the Tangipahoa Baptist Church Women on Mission. Although I don't think I've used a recipe in it, it's the inscription that is so valuable:
"Christmas 1997
To Kitty Marie -
My prayer is that you grow to be a happy Christian lady - as you cook for your children - you will remember your Paw Paw that loves you so much.
Paw Paw"
This is the purpose of this blog. To share recipes that I enjoy cooking for my children, family, and friends. I often make alterations to recipes and welcome your suggestions as well!
Happy cooking!