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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Heavenly Cheesecake Brownies

I remember finding this recipe a long time ago on a brownie mix box.  Cheesecake brownies really appealed to me.  The combination of chocolate and cream cheese delighted my taste buds.  This became a favorite to take when I was asked to prepare a dessert for different occasions.

                                                    Heavenly Cheesecake Brownies

1 pkg. (19.8 oz.) Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix
1 pkg. (8 oz) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Prepare brownie mix as directed on package.  Pour into greased 13 X 9 in. baking pan.  Beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Add sugar, mixing until blended.  Add egg and vanilla, mix just until blended.

Pour cream cheese mixture over brownie mixture, cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min. or until cream cheese mixture is lightly browned.  Cool; cut into squares.  Makes 24.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tater Tot Casserole

When I was in the 9th grade at Young Jr. High School in Dothan, I had to make a recipe box of recipes for Home Ec.   I remember finding a number of recipes in a cookbook that my mother had bought for me.  The cookbook was "Favorite Recipes of Alabama Vocational Home Economics Students".  Most of the recipes were very simple and some are recipes that I still use today. 

Young Jr. High School was my favorite school.  It was a very old school with open courtyards.  All of the hallways were open to the courtyards.  It was so nice to be exposed to the outside each time that you had to change classes.  It's no longer a school but the memories will last forever.

                                                    Tater Tot Casserole 

1 lb. ground chuck
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 lb. pkg. tater tots

Brown ground chuck and onion in skillet.  Drain.  Stir in soup and then pour into a 9 X 13 baking dish  Place tater tots side by side on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 min. 

Little kids will love this but so will big kids (adults).  I like to eat this with ketschup.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sand Tarts

My sister-in-law, Angie, gave me this recipe.  She had made Sand Tarts for Brent and Joy's wedding reception and I actually did not eat any of them while at the reception.  We brought home the leftovers and it was the next day before I tried some of them.  The Sand Tart melted in my mouth.  I knew she had told me that they were very delicate and to handle them carefully but I had no idea of how wonderful they were.  At that time, she was living in Atlanta and I got on the phone to thank her again for making them for the reception and to tell her how delicious they were.  I then asked her for the recipe for Sand Tarts.  She said that she believed that it was the cold water that made the Sand Tarts so delicate.  I make these for some of my friends at Christmas time and give them as gifts.  They are always appreciated. 

                                                              Sand Tarts

1 cup Land O Lakes Real Butter
1/4 cup confectionate sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cold water
2 cups sifted plain flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and cold water.  Add flour and mix well.  Stir in chopped pecans.  Shape into small balls and flatten slightly.  You can shape them round or crescent shaped. 

Bake at 325 degrees for 18 min.

Allow to cool for 5 min. and then roll gently in confectionate sugar.  Place on a plate for serving or in an airtight container.

These are very delicate and have to be handled with care or they will crumble.  If I am giving them for a gift, I always put them in a tin nestled in tissue paper.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Peach Cobbler

Friday is our last FarmersDaughtersMarket at Dothan Nurseries on Montgomery Hwy. until September.  I will be selling fresh peaches and blackberries as well as peach preserves, hot pepper jelly. mayhaw jelly, and blackberry jelly.    We will be there from 9 to 1.  Don't forget there will be fresh vegetables, homemade bread, frozen casseroles, pecan treats, slices of cake, fresh honey, and satsuma marmalade.  Summertime is definitely here.  Come join us. 

I know that I posted another recipe for Peach Cobbler and it was called Peach Cobbler To Die For but this is just a good basic peach cobbler to make.  It's the one that all of us made when we were in the Young Married Class at Cloverdale Baptist in Dothan.  Back then, everything that we made was very basic as we were all just learning to cook.  It's always nice to have a recipe that you usually have all of the ingredients in your pantry. 

                                                        Peach Cobbler

1 large can of sliced peaches
1 cup sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 stick of melted butter

Pour peaches with juice into a large baking dish.  Stir together milk, sugar, and flour.  Pour over peaches.  Pour melted butter on top.

Bake at 350 degrees until crust is golden brown.

This is always delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Halloween Cake

I know it's not fall of the year or time for Halloween but this is the name of the cake that one of our nurses brought for a clinic lunch many years ago.  You may know it by another name and it certainly does not have to wait until Halloween to be made and enjoyed!  It was a big hit with all of our staff.  The combination of the german chocolate cake mix with caramel topping, cool whip, and crushed butterfinger candy bars is yummy. 

                                                   Halloween Cake

German Chocolate Cake Mix
Caramel Topping
12 oz. Cool Whip
3 Butterfinger Candy Bars, crushed

Prepare and cook cake mix according to box directions.  Bake in a 13 X 9 inch pan.  Allow to cool.  Poke holes in the cake.  Warm caramel topping and then spread over cake.  Spread Cool Whip over caramel topping.  Sprinkle crushed butterfingers on top.  Refrigerate.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

My sister, Debra, and I were talking about homemade ice cream recently and she said that she still thinks about all the times that we sat on top of the ice cream churn while our Daddy turned the crank to make the ice cream.  On a hot summer day, homemade ice cream is such a treat.  My favorite is vanilla ice cream.  You can make the vanilla ice cream and add your choice of butterfingers, fresh peaches, oreo cookies, chocolate, strawberries, etc.  You don't have to hand churn the ice cream anymore but it sure brings back memories of when we did have to do it this way.

                                                            Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

6 eggs (we use Egg Beaters)
2 Tbsp. self-rising flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 can Eagle Brand Milk

Mix all of the above together in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer.  Pour into ice cream freezer.  Finish filling ice cream freezer with whole milk.  Plug in your electric ice cream freezer.  Alternate crushed ice and rock salt to fill the tub around the ice cream freezer.  When the ice cream freezer slows down and stops, unplug the ice cream freezer.  You are ready to eat your homemade ice cream. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cream Cheese Cherry Tarts

        Sweet Week*****Sweet Week*****Sweet Week*****Sweet Week*****Sweet Week
I have so many dessert recipes that I decided to do a week of just desserts!   I will probably do this from time to time. 

On a Saturday morning in the fall of 2002, I was making breakfast and started flipping channels on the TV to find something for us to watch.  I flipped through a couple of shows and Phillip said I might like one that I had just passed.  It was Paula's Home Cooking and I commented to him that I don't know if I like her personality.  Phillip had been home since the summer recuperating from an accident and had seen her program several times.  He commented that I would like how she cooks.  I turned the channel back to Paula's Home Cooking and have been hooked ever since!  I fell in love with Paula, the way she cooks, her boys, and her wonderful town of Savannah. 

Cream Cheese Cherry Tarts is a recipe that I got from Paula Deen.  I watched her prepare them on her show and couldn't wait to try them at home.  I have made them for a wedding shower and all of the ladies at the shower loved them and left with a new recipe.  I have also made them for our family at Christmas.  It is an easy and delicious dessert.

                                                   Cream Cheese Cherry Tarts

2 - 8 oz. pkgs. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
12 Nilla Vanilla Wafers
1 - 21 oz. can cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place a paper cupcake liner in each cup of muffin pan.  Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy.  Add sugar and vanilla, beating well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Lay a vanilla wafer, flat side down, in each muffin cup.  Spoon cream cheese mixture over wafers.

Bake for 20 min.  Allow tarts to cool completely.  The tarts will sink in the middle.  Spoon pie filling into tart.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Red Velvet Cake

One Sunday as I was leaving church, I noticed my friend and co-worker, Vickie, waiting in the parking lot for me.  As a surprise, she had baked a Red Velvet Cake for our family.  I have learned to not be bashful when it comes to asking for a recipe, especially when it's as delicious as this Red Velvet Cake was.  I took the recipe and tripled the amount of icing for the cake.  I found with doubling the icing it was still not quite enough.  Tripling the amount is too much for just the cake, so you have leftover icing that you can use for cupcakes. 

I will be baking a birthday cake for Phillip in a few days and this is the one that he has requested for me to cook for him.  My daughter-in-law, Joy, likes this cake for her birthday, too.

                                                      Red Velvet Cake

1 cup Wesson Oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 oz. Red Food Coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. Hershey's Cocoa
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp. vinegar

Cream oil, sugar, and eggs.  Make a paste with coloring, cocoa, and vinegar.  Add to mixture.  Sift flour and add to mixture.  Add buttermilk and vanilla.  Do not beat hard.  Bake in four 9 inch cake pans at 350 degrees for 22 min.  All to cool in pans.  Place in freezer for 7 min.  Remove from cake pans and frost.

Frosting:

3 - 8 oz. pkgs. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
3 sticks Real Butter
3 tsp. vanilla extract
3 boxes powdered sugar
3 cups chopped pecans

Combine softened cream cheese and butter.  Add sifted sugar and vanilla and mix well. 

Place one cake layer on cake plate.  Cover with frosting and then sprinkle on a layer of chopped pecans.  Repeat with all cake layers.  When all layers are stacked, spread frosting on the sides of the cake. 

I like having the extra icing, so that I can spread a generous amount between each cake layer and on the top and sides of the cake.  It is easier to spread the frosting without adding the chopped pecans to the frosting.  You can add a layer of chopped pecans on top of each cake layer that has been frosted.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cheese Straws

My friend, Renae, has had a lot of experience preparing Cheese Straws for different occasions.  She has even surprised me on my birthday with enough Cheese Straws to keep me happy for several days!  She believes that you must use New York State extra sharp cheese for the best flavor.  Most recently she brought two makings of her Cheese Straws for the opening day of our new clinic for all of our employees.  I guarantee that I was the most excited when she revealed what she had baked.  I made Symphony Brownies and I went home with an empty plate, too. 

Southern girls do love their Cheese Straws.  You will always find Cheese Straws at our bridal and baby showers as well as our weddings. 

                                                                Cheese Straws

16 oz. New York State extra sharp cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. margarine, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Crumble or grate cheese into a mixing bowl.  Add margarine which has been softened to room temperature.  Cream together cheese and margarine.  Add flour and cayenne pepper.  Mix all ingredients together either by hand or on slow speed with mixer.  Place dough in a cookie press; roll out in 3 inch strips using the ribbon disc onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  (Never use dark cookie sheets).  Bake in a pre-heated 325 degrees oven for 10 - 11 minutes (12 min. max.).  Remove from cookie sheet and store in plastic or metal containers using only waxed paper (never aluminum foil).  Yields approximately 3 dozen Cheese Straws)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Symphony Brownies

I have made Symphony Brownies several times over the past few years.  Most of the time when I prepare them I am taking them somewhere for a dessert.  They are always a hit.  Our favorite brownie mix is Betty Crocker Original Supreme.  When you add Symphony Candy Bars to the brownie mix, you have a delicious combination.  The person getting a brownie will be pleasantly surprised when they bite into the brownie and in the center is a candy bar.  Yum!

                                                             Symphony Brownies  

Betty Crocker Original Supreme Brownie Mix
3 - 6.8 oz. Hershey's Symphony Candy Bars with almonds & toffee chips

Prepare the brownie mix following the box directions.  Pour half of the brownie mix into a baking dish.  Place the Symphony Candy Bars side by side on top of the brownie mix.  Add the other half of the brownie mix to cover the Symphony Candy Bars.  Follow baking directions on box.  Allow to cool and then cut into squares for serving.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Green Beans & New Potatoes

Our fruit orchard and garden are producing now.  We have already gathered all of the mayhaws and now have begun to gather blackberries, nectarines, and peaches.  Our garden has produced new potatoes, squash, cucumbers, bellpeppers, and banana peppers.  It won't be long before we will have tomatoes to gather.  We eat our new potatoes cooked several different ways.  We slice them thin and fry to make home fries.  We boil them, thicken with flour, pour into a casserole dish and cover with shredded sharp cheddar for Cheesy New Potatoes.  We also melt butter in a dish, add new potatoes that have been quartered, sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover, and bake.  My mother has cooked Green Beans & New Potatoes for as long as I can remember.  She would always add ham hocks when she cooked hers.  She would always bake cornbread, too. 

                                                 Green Beans & New Potatoes

14.5 oz. can Green Beans or
 fresh green beans
New Potatoes
1 Tbsp. corn oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Open can of green beans and drain liquid.  Pour green beans into a boiler.  Add new potatoes, salt, and pepper.  Add enough water to cover beans and potatoes.   Add corn oil.  Boil for 1 hour over medium heat.   

Monday, May 16, 2011

BBQ Chicken Breasts

When I was growing up, my Mother would cook the dark meat as well as the white meat when cooking chicken.  I only use the white meat for any dish that we may want that calls for chicken.  One day, my Mother was at my house and I was cooking a whole chicken that I was going to put in a casserole.  I mentioned that I was only going to use the white meat and she wanted to know what I was going to do with the dark meat.  I told her I was going to feed it to my kitty cat and she was not amused!  You can cook only the chicken breasts or a mixture of dark and white pieces.  It's your call when you're doing the cooking!

                                                       BBQ Chicken Breasts

4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
Bulls Eye Original BBQ Sauce
salt
pepper

Pour 1/4 cup of water in a baking dish.  Add 4 chicken breasts.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cover each piece of chicken with BBQ Sauce.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake at 300 degrees for 3 hours.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Praline Grahams

Lavirty's friend, Gina, only lives about 5 minutes from our clinic.  She called Lavirty and told her that she had made a dessert for us and it was still warm right out of the oven.  We almost hurt ourselves eating Praline Grahams.  Make sure when you make these, you stop and try a couple while they are still warm.  It will be a deeeelight!

                                                         Praline Grahams

1 sleeve Nabisco Honey Maid Honey Graham Crackers
1/2 cup sugar
2 sticks of Land 'O' Lakes Real Butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Layer a single layer of graham crackers on a large cookie sheet that has been sprayed with Pam Spray.  All of the graham crackers should be touching.  Sprinkle chopped pecans on all of the graham crackers.

Bring butter, sugar, and pecans to a boil; cook for 3 min., stirring frequently.  Spread hot mixture over graham crackers.

Bake at 300 degrees for 12 minutes.

Allow to cool and break apart into small pieces.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Roasted Ears of Corn

My Mother and Daddy love fresh field corn.  Daddy would always find a farmer with field corn and buy a dozen ears for Mother to make a pan of roasted corn.  I love it as much as my parents do.  It's a little work to clean the corn and then prepare it but it's worth it.  Field corn is the corn of choice for this dish. 

                                                  Roasted Ears of Corn

1 dozen ears of field corn
bacon drippings - 2 Tbsp.
water
salt - 1 tsp.

Remove husks and silk from each ear of corn.  Skim the top of the kernels and then scrape the ear of corn.  Pour into a 9 X 13 baking dish.  Add water until you get a creamy consistency.  Add bacon drippings and salt.  Stir.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr. and 15 min.  Stir every 15 min.  Continue to add water as needed.

*Note:  My favorite way to eat field corn is with fresh butterbeans, fried cornbread, and a glass of sweet tea.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Blackberry Jelly

Our mayhaws have been gathered and now we have peaches, nectarines, and blackberries getting ripe.  I saw our first ripe blackberry this week.  I will soon be gathering blackberries until dark each evening and I am not complaining.  I love coming home from work, eating a quick supper, and going to the fruit orchard.  We turn the radio up loud enough for me and the deer, squirrels, cardinals, and other critters to hear it.  I fill my bucket and then pour them into a gallon bag either for my freezer to make jelly later or for someone else to make jelly or a blackberry cobbler.   Last summer, we gathered 75 gallons of blackberries and that's a lot of berries! 

My mother-in-law taught me to make jelly.  We would take a empty gallon tea pitcher and pick berries along the side of a road.  This could take all morning to fill the pitcher.  There would be stickers on the bushes and we were always looking for snakes.  It is certainly a pleasure to be able to pick berries in our fruit orchard that grow on thornless bushes!

                                                      Blackberry Jelly

1 gallon of blackberries

Wash berries and place in a large pot, dutch oven, etc.  Cover the berries with water.  Allow berries to come to a full rolling boil.  Remove the pot from the heat and allow the berries and water  to completely cool.  I place a second large pot in my sink.  I put a large colander in the top of the pot.  I place a pillowcase in the colander and roll the excess down from the top.  I pour the blackberries into the pillowcase and the water that the blackberries cooked in drains through the pillowcase into the pot.  Next, I squeeze the blackberries that are in the pillowcase and allow the juice to run into the pot.  When I am through squeezing the blackberries to remove the juice, I throw away the pillowcase with the blackberries in it.  The blackberry juice as well as the water they cooked in will be the juice that you use to make the blackberry jelly with.  The juice will make several makings of blackberry jelly.  The juice can be kept in the refrigerator for several days to use to make jelly.

                                                      Blackberry Jelly

3 1/2 cups blackberry juice
5 cups sugar
1 pkg. Sure-Jell

Bring juice and Sure-Jell to a rolling boil.  Add sugar.  Bring to a rolling boil again.  Boil for 2 - 3 min.  Pour into jars and seal.  Makes 6 - 7 half-pints.

Note:  I run my jelly jars through the dishwasher before I use them for the jelly.  I place a towel on my counter top with the jars ready for use.  I place the lids and rings for the jars in a boiler and bring to a rolling boil.  I leave them on the heat until I place them on the filled jelly jar.  After a short time, you will hear a slight pop as the jar seals.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mississippi Mud Cake

Our Mother gave my sister and me a recipe book called "Favorite Recipes of Alabama Vocational Home Economics Students" before either of us married.  Debra found the recipe for Mississippi Mud Cake in this recipe book and it's been a family favorite for a very long time.    She said that when they were going to church at Cloverdale Baptist in Dothan she used to have requests every week from the teenage boys and youth group for her to make Mississippi Mud Cake for them to snack on while watching Monday night football with her husband, Bob.  This was also a favorite when we would all gather at our parent's house in Tallahassee for the King reunion.   It's rich but so good!  

                                                      Mississippi Mud Cake

2 cups butter, melted
1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
miniature marshmallows

Mix together butter and cocoa.  Add eggs and sugar to butter and cocoa mixture.  Blend flour, vanilla, and salt into the above.  Stir in chopped pecans.  Bake 35 min. at 350 degrees in a greased 9 X 13 baking dish.  Cover with a single layer of miniature marshmallows.  Brown in oven for 8 - 10 min.  Drizzle warm cake with Chocolate Frosting. 

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 - 16 oz. pkg. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted.  Cook, stirring constantly 2 min. or until slightly thickened; remove from heat.  Beat in powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until smooth.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Butter Chicken

When I was a little kid, my family lived in Camilla, GA.  Our Daddy worked at a Colonial Grocery Store and our Mother worked at a sewing factory.  Jessie was hired to take care of us as well as prepare supper for our family.  Butter Chicken was Jessie's recipe.  She gave Mother her recipe and it's been a favorite of our family for years.  Mother still cooks it for Daddy and herself.  I cook it for my family, too, but in a different way.  Mother bakes chicken breasts and then makes the butter gravy to go over the whole pieces of chicken.  I boil the chicken breasts and then shred the pieces to go into the butter gravy.    Mother always cooked rice and homemade biscuits to go with her Butter Chicken.  I combine the chicken, butter gravy, and rice.  I usually have fried okra as a side dish.   Different methods but great tasting results.

                                                           Butter Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 1/2 sticks butter
8 Tbsp. self-rising flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk

Boil chicken until done.  Save chicken broth.  Allow chicken to cool and then pull apart into shredded pieces.  Melt butter in a large saucepan.  Add flour, salt, and pepper.  Stir over medium heat until smooth and bubbly.  Add broth and milk.  Bring to a boil stirring often.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 min.  Add shredded pieces of chicken.  Serve over rice, noodles, biscuits, etc. 

Note:  I cook 1 cup of rice before I make the butter gravy.  Once I have finished making the butter gravy and added the chicken, next I add the cooked rice.  After stirring to combine all together, you are ready to eat.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Peach Preserves

Our peach trees are laden with peaches.  Phillip is having to selectively remove some of the peaches to enhance the size of those that remain and hopefully give some relief to the tree branches.  It hurts me to see peaches removed!  I do love fresh peaches with whipping cream!  We have made so many peaches in past years that I could not possibly eat all of them fresh.  I try to share them with friends and family but there still seems to be an excess of peaches.  My bestest friend in the whole wide world, George Ann, gave me her recipe for Peach Preserves.  It is so yummy on homemade biscuits with butter.  My friend, Jan, likes to put it on her pancakes.  I also like to put the Peach Preserves in the recipe for Peach Cobbler To Die For that's on my blog.    I am sure you can find a delicious way to use the Peach Preserves.

                                                          Peach Preserves

4 cups sliced fresh peaches
4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
wooden spoon for stirring

Bring peaches and 2 cups of sugar to a boil.  Cook for 10 min., stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Add 2 cups of sugar and lemon juice.  Cook on medium high for 10 min., stirring often.  Pour into sterilized jars.  

Yield:  6 - 7 half-pints 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nana D's Tea Cakes

Tomorrow is FarmersDaughtersMarket.  We had a new vendor last week.  Chad makes homemade cakes and had slices of red velvet cake, hummingbird cake, sweet potato cake, and lemon pound cake.  We have samples of what we are selling, so come by and graze on the goodies.  This week, I will have peanut brittle in addition to my jellies - hot pepper jelly, mayhaw jelly, and blackberry jelly.  Fresh vegetables, homemade bread, local honey, frozen casseroles, tea cakes, glazed pecans, and pecan trail mix. 

I found this recipe for Tea Cakes in our Wiregrass Co-op Magazine many years ago.  I have tried so many recipes for tea cakes.  I have wonderful memories of every tea cake that I have had the pleasure of eating!  This recipe is simple (you don't have to roll the dough out and cut the cookies) and the corn oil gives the cookie a rich, buttery taste.  I also renamed the Tea Cakes to fit the name that my grandchildren call me.  When you make a recipe your own, you can do that!

                                                 Nana D's Tea Cakes

1 cup corn oil
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 cups self-rising flour
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Mix oil, sugar, and egg.  Add 1 Tbsp. vanilla.  Mix well and then add one cup of flour at the time until all of the flour is added.  Spray baking sheet with Pam Spray.  Pat out a tsp. of cookie dough for each cookie.  I use a fork to make a criss-cross design on the top of each cookie.  Sprinkle each cookie with sugar.    Bake at 350 degrees for 14 min. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cheesy New Potatoes

Phillip always plants new potatoes and we know that they will be ready to cook for Mother's Day.  Phillip's Mom loved to tease him about his garden and told him that he might not be able to grow other things but could always grow potatoes!  He carried her a bucket of potatoes to cook as soon as they were ready.  Her favorite way to eat them was boiled.  Once they were done, she would remove a few from the boiler and place them in a bowl.  She would mash them with her fork and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  She said her family's favorite way for her to prepare them was to make Cheese Potatoes, especially for her grandson, Woody.   Mother's Day is Sunday and I will carry on the tradition of cooking Cheesy New Potatoes for our family, too.

                                                    Cheesy New Potatoes 

New potatoes fresh from the garden
(can be bought at the grocery store, too)
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. self-rising flour
shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Place potatoes in a boiler and cover with water.  Add a tsp. of salt.  Boil over medium heat until done, about 40 min.  Pour a cup of water into a bowl, add 1 Tbsp. of self-rising flour and stir with a whisk.  Once incorporated, pour into the boiler of potatoes and water.  Stir often while it thickens over medium heat.  Pour the potatoes into a casserole dish.    Cover with a layer of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.  Place in the oven and allow the cheese to melt.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Salad or dessert?  Dessert or salad?  The name implies that it is a salad but my taste buds say that it is a dessert.  A very good dessert!  One of our nurses, Johnnie, brought this to one of our clinic lunches.  None of us had ever heard of a Strawberry Pretzel Salad.  After having some for dessert, we all went home that day with a new recipe.  I began making this dessert for our Annual Herring July 4th BBQ.   It was a winner with our large crowd.  Next time you need a dessert to serve to your family, co-workers, or church family, give this one a try.    


                                                   Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 2/3 cups pretzels
3 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup margarine, room temperature
8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 pt. Cool Whip
2 small boxes Strawberry Jello
16 oz. frozen strawberries

Place pretzels in a zip-loc bag.  Use a rolling pin to crush pretzels.  Pour pretzels into a bowl and add 3 Tbsp. sugar and softened margarine.  Press mixture into a 13 X 9 inch baking dish and bake 10 min. at 350 degrees.  Cool thoroughly. 

Mix softened cream cheese and 1 cup sugar.  Add to Cool Whip and spread over cooled pretzel crust.

Dissolve jello in 2 cups boiling water.  Add frozen strawberries.  Chill until partially set and pour over cream cheese. 

After the strawberry layer has been added, return the salad to the refrigerator to allow strawberry jello mixture to congeal firmly.  Store covered in refrigerator. 

This can be used as a salad or dessert, as it is very rich.  This is a real crowd pleaser!

Note:  The pretzel crust will lose the crunchy texture after a couple of days. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spanish Rice

I have the uncanny ability to remember where I get recipes from whether it's from my mother or mother-in-law, friends, family, food network, or magazines.  I remember reading a magazine at my parent's home in Valdosta, GA (where they lived before moving to Tallahasse, FL and after leaving Dothan, AL) and seeing this recipe for Spanish Rice in a magazine. Phillip and I had only been married a couple of years and I was still adding new recipes to my recipe box.  I read the recipe to my Mother and she thought it sounded good, too.  Our bellpepper plants already have baby bellpeppers growing on them and we enjoy adding our own peppers to recipes that call for them.  We enjoy certain foods in different seasons of the year and this is a recipe that I tend to cook more in the summertime.  

                                                           Spanish Rice

1 lb. ground chuck
2 - 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup diced bellpepper
1 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. yellow mustard
dash of pepper

Prepare your rice first.  Bring  3 cups of water to a boil.  Add a tsp. of butter and salt to boiling water.  Add rice, reduce heat to low, and stir several times during the first 5 min. of cooking.  Cover with a lid.  Set timer to 20 min.  Remove a tsp. of rice to check for doneness.

Cook ground chuck with onion and bellpepper and then drain.  Add tomato sauce, water, butter, salt, sugar, mustard, and pepper.  Simmer for 30 min.  Add cooked rice.  Stir together and serve.