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Monday, December 26, 2011

Updates soon!

I'm going through and making all these that don't have pictures and will be updating so you can see what they look like once finished and while cooking.
Anyway, I'll be updating with some more recipes soon too. Been busy with the holidays recently, but I'll be trying to post a new recipe at least once a week starting at the new year!
Thanks to all who have stuck by! :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chicken and Bacon Wraps

This are so simple and delicious. The perfect appetizer for BBQing! I figure it's so cold everywhere (but where I live SE Texas), that it would be nice to put something up that's for warmer weather. We make these one days we're just lazing around by the grandparents pool, or days on the water.

1 pkg of sliced chicken breasts
1 pkg of thick sliced bacon
1 can of pickled jalapenos

1. Open chicken package and wash and peel off skin lining.
2. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, around 3 to 4 per sliced breast.
3. Wash hands, cut open bacon package and cut all in half.
4. Open jalapeno can.
5. Wrap bacon around chicken and one slice of jalapeno. Stick a toothpick in to hold it in place.
6. Continue until all chicken is wrapped.
7. Put all chicken on grill and cook until bacon is done.
8. Let cool, and enjoy!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pannini's made easy!

We made these over Thanksgiving. They are so delicious and easy to make. It's not something I would eat every day, but it's quick!

Kosher salt

1. Slice tomatoes, and mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices.
2. Spread pesto on each pannini.
3. Place tomato slice and sprinkle salt. Then add mozzarella and second slice of bread.
4. Place on grill and squish. Flip and when mozzarella is oozy, you're ready to eat!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Holidays are coming!!

The Holidays have arrived. With that comes parties and get togethers, with family or friends, or new/old acquaintances, or even people you are meeting for the first time.
What are some dishes you might take to a pot luck get together? What are some dishes you might make for your family Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Years dinner? Any old and tired recipes you want to steer clear of?
There are also traditions in families. Do you always have your holiday dinner with the same people at the same place? Do you travel? Do you host? Do you do anything special for your holidays?

My family celebrates Christmas. Here are some of our traditions:
1. We always have some sort of Advent calendar (Advent doesn't always start at the beginning of December. This year it started the Sunday following Thanksgiving!). This year, we have an interactive calendar. We have had a different activity every day. We've made Christmas chains where the inside of each loop has a tradition written on it. We've made a pine cone tree, and we've gotten things together to donate.
2. We eat tamales for Christmas Eve dinner.
3. We open one gift Christmas Eve, and it's always pajamas.
4. We watch "Holiday Inn" with Bing Crosby.
5. We read (usually) some form of Night Before Christmas (typically the Cajun version).
6. Christmas morning, all the kids have to wait to come down until the adults are ready.
7. Everyone opens their stockings together, the presents are handed one by one by "Santa". (One of the kids wears a Santa hat to pass them out.
8. We have coffee cake for breakfast in between stockings and gifts.

Some things my little family does for New Years:
1. For dinner New Years Eve, we go all out. Buy steak, lobster and have shrimp cocktail.
2. We stay up until midnight and have a toast with champagne.
3. We burn a green candle all the next day (on the 1st).
4. We eat at least one black eyed pea.

I'll post again soon, some ideas for pot lucks and family dinners!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chex Mix

Every Thanksgiving and sometimes at Christmas, I make my "famous" chex mix. I used to send it to my husband while he was overseas with every care package (twice monthly) too. He loves it, as does the rest of my family. I make it a little different than the recipe on the box...spicy, and it's super delish. In fact, I'm making a batch right now to take with us to Thanksgiving. It smells so good. :)

3 cups corn chex
3 cups wheat chex
3 cups rice chex
1 cup cheese squares
1 cup peanuts (if you like them)
1 cup pretzel sticks (again, if you like them)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon season salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chipotle tabasco sauce
1/4 cholula hot sauce

1. Heat oven to 250F.
2. Combine chex, cheese squares, peanuts, and pretzels in a large bowl.
3. Melt butter.
4. Add garlic powder, season salt, onion powder to butter, and stir.
5. Add Worcestershire sauce, tabasco and cholula to butter and stir.
6. Drizzle over chex mixture, making sure it's all coated.
7. Spread evenly onto 2 cookie sheets.
8. Bake in oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sweet Potato Souffle

I know everyone has their traditions on Thanksgiving, everyone has their own way to make sweet potatoes. This is how my family does it, and has been since I can remember. We don't use marshmallows, like so many other families. This is seriously the best thing ever. It's like a dessert, so deliciously delicious!

Sweet Potato Souffle

3 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

1. Mix together potatoes, sugar, eggs, 4T butter, and vanilla.
2. Put in a 9x13 baking dish.
3. Combine brown sugar and flour.
4. Mix with melted butter.
5. Sprinkle on top of potatoes.
6. Bake 30 minutes at 350F.

Fudgy Pecan Pie

Not only do we make pecan pie at Thanksgiving, we also make fudgy pecan pie. This one we started only about 8 years ago. It's so delicious, we keep making it!

Fudgy Pecan Pie

3/4 cup sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup hot water
2 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups pecan pieces
1 unbaked pie shell, 9"

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In medium saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and butter.
3. Stir in condensed milk, hot water, and eggs. Mix well. Remove from heat.
4. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pastry shell.
5. Bake 40-45 minutes or until center is set.
6. Chill 3 hours.

Pumpkin Bread

I apologize, I have not been posting lately. We've had some set backs recently, but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things soon. The holidays are coming up, in fact, we just passed one! Thanksgiving is next, so I have a few recipes I will share that my family and I like to make on or around Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, no gifts to buy. Just time to be thankful and to spend with family. Plus, awesome turkey sandwiches the next day for lunch!
Anyway, here is my first holiday post. I make this around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it's really good any time of the year.

Pumpkin Bread

3 cups sugar
1 cup cooking oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup water
1 15-ounce can pumpkin

1. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans; set aside. In a very large mixing bowl beat sugar and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add eggs and beat well; set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Alternately add flour mixture and water to sugar mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Spoon batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake in a 350F oven for 55 to 65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pizza Bagels

Every kid, and (who am I kidding?) adult loves pizza. They especially love little pizzas that they can hold without issue. We've made this twice already since getting the book, they are so good!

1/2 cup store-bought tomato sauce
1/4 cup White Bean Puree
3 Tablespoons Orange Puree
4 mini bagels, sliced in half
1 cup grated part skim mozzarella cheese
16 pepperoni*

*I added the pepperoni

1. Combine tomato sauce with White Bean Puree and Orange Puree. Mix well.
2. Spread 1 tablespoon of sauce on each bagel half and then top with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese.
3. Toast on high for 5 to 6 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.*

*I broiled on high for about 5 minutes. Works the same!

White Bean Puree

1-15 ounce can white beans (great northern, navy, butter or cannellini)
2 to 3 tablespoons water

1. Rinse and drain the beans and put in the bowl of your food processor. Pulsing in on/off turns, puree the drained beans with two tablespoons of water in processor until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. The goal is a smooth, but not wet, puree.
Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze in 1/4 cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers. Makes about 1 cup of puree.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

Ok, I know it sounds a little odd, but they are super duper yummy delicious! I made this one this morning, with a little hesitation on my part (trying to be honest!). My husband asked for them specifically and he's never had them before, so I tried. My son loved them too, and he's only 13 months!

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup Orange Puree
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
8 heaping teaspoons favorite jam*

*Note: Jelly doesn't work as well as the thicker variety of jam; jelly just disappears into the muffins

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined, then whisk in the oil, Orange Puree, and peanut butter.
4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until flour is just moistened (don't over-mix or the muffins will be dense).
5. Scoop about two tablespoons of batter into the large muffin cups until half full. Place a heaping teaspoon of jam in the center of each muffin. Cover the jam with another 2 tablespoons or so of batter, filling the cups just over the top.
6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

French Toast

Here is another recipe from The Sneaky Chef Cookbook. I made this one twice last week for breakfast because we liked it so much.

2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup Orange Puree
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 slices bread
Butter for pan frying
powdered sugar for dusting

1. In a large shallow baking dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, Orange Puree, maple syrup (or honey), cinnamon, and vanilla.
2. Dip bread until soaked through, then flip and soak the other side.
3. Cook on a moderately hot, well-greased skillet or frying pan, turning to brown each side.
4. Dust lightly with powdered sugar.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

French Toast and Oven Fried Drumsticks

These are the two new recipes I made today. It may seem weird to put vegetables in your breakfast, I admit I was a little weirded out by it. However, you couldn't even tell! Exact words from my husband this morning "This was the best french toast I've ever had". :) That has to make you smile!
I will be posting these recipes along with 2 more new ones by the end of the week.
The french toast was super delicious, and gobbled down by my husband, the little man, and myself. For dinner, I made Oven Fried Drumsticks, and the were also a hit! This was easy, and delicious, and I can't wait to get the recipe for both of these awesome meals on here so you can try them too.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Maxed Out Meatloaf

Here is that super meatloaf recipe I was talking about in my previous post!

1/4 cup Green Puree or Orange Puree*
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
4 Tablespoons ketchup, divided
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 medium onion (about 1/2 cup), finely minced or pureed in a food processor
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup rolled oats, ground in a food processor
1/3 cup wheat germ, unsweetened (I did not use, and it came out fine)
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
Cooking spray for baking sheet or bread pan

1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a baking sheet or bread pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine the Green or Orange Puree and tomato paste, mixing well (with the back of a fork) until the green color turns brownish. Mix in 2 tablespoons of ketchup, egg, onion, Worcestershire, oats, wheat germ, and salt. Add the ground meat to this mixture and mix with your hands until well combined, then shape it into a single rectangular loaf, or 4 mini loaves, on the prepared baking sheet. Glaze the top and sides of the loaf or loaves with the remaining ketchup, adding a little more if needed to cover the top and sides of the loaf.
3. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.

*Orange Puree and Green Puree

orange puree (carrot and sweet potato mixture)

Mix with ketchup and tomato paste

Add egg and onion, mix

Add oatmeal

Mix in the ground beef

Add in to greased loaf pan

For my first try, I used the Orange Puree, and it was lovely. :)

Green Puree

This is an add in for recipes I will post from the Sneaky Chef cookbook. Refer to this recipe when I post that a recipe asks for it. This recipe can be used with the Maxed out Meatloaf.

2 cups raw baby spinach leaves
2 cups broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
1 cup sweet green peas, frozen
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3-4 Tablespoons water

1. If using raw spinach, thoroughly wash it, even if the package says "prewashed." Using a vegetable steamer, steam broccoli and spinach in 2 inches of water in a tightly covered pot for about 10 minutes. Add the frozen peas for the last minute of steaming.
2. Once cooked, drain the vegetables and place them in the bowl of your food processor along with 2 Tablespoons of water and lemon juice. Puree on high until as smooth as possible.
3. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze in 1/4 cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

*Instant substitute- baby food peas, and garden vegetables.

Orange Puree

This is an add in for recipes I will post from the Sneaky Chef cookbook. Refer to this recipe when I post that a recipe asks for it. This can be used with the Maxed Out Meatloaf.

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
3 medium to large carrots, peeled and sliced into thick chunks
3-4 Tablespoons water

1. In a medium pot, cover carrots and sweet potatoes with cold water and boil for about 20 minutes until yams and carrots are very tender.
2. Drain the yams and carrots and put them in the food processor with two tablespoons of water. Puree on high until smooth; no chunks should remain.
3. Store in refrigerator up to three days, or freeze in 1/4 cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

*You can also use the instant substitution of baby food sweet potato and carrot. It will taste exactly the same.

The Sneaky Chef

My mom has used this cookbook to help get my siblings the vegetable/fruits they need when they didn't like eating them. They still don't, and she sneaks a little something in every once in awhile, but it's much better now. I decided to get this cookbook to check out the recipes, and of course use it in the future.
My husband and I decided to go ahead and try some of the recipes during this 2 week period to try and help out Bobby getting some more veggies in him, as well as us. Sometimes, we don't have a problem eating veggies, but sometimes, like everyone, we do. Last night, I made "Maxed Out Meatloaf". It was absolutely amazing. You couldn't even tell there were veggies sneaked in there. I highly recommend getting this book if your children have issues eating vegetables or fruit. There are some really great recipes, and I for one, cannot wait to try more.
Of course, I will be posting these recipes as I make them. I hope you will try them too. Please leave feedback when you do!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Coffee Cake

This is a recipe that we make every year on Christmas eve for Christmas breakfast. It's very enjoyable and the whole family will love it! :)


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking soda, nutmeg and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon; sprinkle over coffee cake. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Combine confectioners' sugar and milk; drizzle over warm coffee cake.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I used to love making the chocolate chip cookies on the back of the Nestle Toll chocolate chip bag. I ran across this recipe, and now only make it. They are so fluffy and good. It's nice to get perfect cookies every time.


  • 1 cup butter flavored shortening or butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter flavored shortening, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Adjust the amount of chocolate chips to your liking, then stir them in by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Clumps of dough should be about 3 inches apart.
  3. Bake for 7 minutes in the preheated oven, until brown around the edges. Let cool for 20 minutes. Eat and enjoy!

Buttermilk Pancakes

These are my go to pancakes. I have tried many different ones, and homemade is always better to me. I hope if you choose to make them, you enjoy them as much as we do.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/8 cups buttermilk**
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Preheat and lightly grease a large skillet or electric griddle.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl. Add the egg, buttermilk, and butter; stir together lightly, but keep it lumpy. The batter should look thick, spongy, and puffy.
  3. Drop 1/3 cup of the batter onto the cooking surface, spreading lightly with the bottom of the cup. Cook until lightly-browned on each side, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

**If you don't have buttermilk (often in our house), I mix 1/8 cup vinegar and 1 cup milk for a few minutes. Works almost the same and tastes just as good!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mimi's Spaghetti

This is my grandmother's recipe for spaghetti that I've changed a little over the years, because I don't have the original. It's pretty close to, if not almost exactly how she used to make it.

Mimi's Spaghetti
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 can diced tomatoes
8 oz noodles of your choice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
sprinkle of salt
sprinkle of pepper
olive oil
1. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into a pan. Add meat and brown. Drain when browned.
2. Add tomatoes to meat. Stir.
3. Add all seasonings, and bay leaves. Taste, let simmer.
4. Boil water, add noodles and cook as directed.
5. Drain noodles.
6. Serve.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mom's Pie Crust

This is my grandmother's pie crust. We make this in bulk every Thanksgiving, and use it for every pie that we make. Enjoy.


1 stick butter
1 cup flour
dash of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
ice water, about 4 Tablespoons


1. Cut up butter into flour, salt and sugar mixture until pea size balls.
2. Sprinkle ice water and use fork to mash into a ball.
3. Chill and roll.
4. Can put into pie pan and freeze.

Buttermilk Pie

This is a pie my grandfather made, and then passed down. We make it every Thanksgiving. It is so yummy, very sweet, but tasty. It makes two pies, perfect to make if you're going to someone's house, or if you're having a crowd over! We use my Grandmother's Pie Crust with this and every pie we make.


1/2 cup flour
3 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted and mixed into flour mixture
6 eggs barely beaten
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla

1. Blend flour, sugar and salt.
2. Blend the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk to add to the flour mixture.
3. Fill two unbaked pie shells.
Bake in 350F oven for 45-50 minutes.

Serves 16.

Dark Chocolate Cake/Mocha Frosting

I posted a chocolate cake a little while ago. While it's tasty, it's a little dry to me. When I found this recipe, I was nervous to try it, but I went ahead. I topped it with a mocha icing. This was/is THE BEST chocolate cake recipe I've ever found and made. Seriously amazing. If you are looking for a chocolate cake, look no further. This is the one to make. You can put any icing you want on top, I was wanting mocha, but I know the buttercream would taste just as good.

Dark Chocolate Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cold brewed coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, milk, oil and vinegar. Mix until smooth, batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Mocha Frosting


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • 1 cup hot water


  1. To make the Mocha Frosting: In a large bowl, combine shortening with vanilla. Blend in half of the confectioners' sugar. Blend in 2 tablespoons milk. Repeat with remaining confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix in approximately half of the cocoa.
  2. Dissolve the 1 tablespoon instant coffee into 1 cup of hot water. While still warm, pour two tablespoons of the coffee into the frosting mixture. Mix in remaining cocoa. Add coffee mixture, a tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. Fill and frost cake.

Cake Balls/Pops

This recipe is for cake balls or cake pops, whatever you feel like making and have the supplies for. Whenever I make them, I end up not having the "pop" part, but I'll include the directions. These are favorites, and easy to make. You can use whatever cake mix you want, they all taste good. You can also use whatever icing you want as well, although I usually use cream cheese. :)


Cake mix (choose your flavor)
sucker sticks
Whatever ingredients are on the box to make the cake
chocolate chips
vegetable oil

1. Bake the cake in the way it says on the box.
2. Let the cake cool, then crumble it in a bowl.
3. Add half of the icing to the crumbled cake, and mix.
 4. Roll the cake into golf size or tablespoon sized balls.
5. Stick the balls into the fridge to cool them.
6. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time, add a tablespoon of oil to thin it. Stir.
7. Place wax paper down in your work area. Take balls out of fridge.
8. Dip one end of the sticks into the chocolate, and stick that end into the cake ball.
9. Stick back in fridge for 10 minutes.
10. Remove cake balls, and dip into the chocolate. Set on wax paper to dry. Sprinkle (if you want), your choice of sprinkles, oreo crumble, graham cracker dust.
Once they're dry, stick them in the fridge until ready to eat! :)