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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno Poppers would be a good appetizer or snack for Super Bowl Sunday.  We grow our own jalapeno peppers but there are none in the garden in January!  I went to Winn Dixie and bought peppers for around $1.50.  This past summer, I picked a 5 gallon bucket of jalapeno peppers and took them to work to share with my co-workers.  Everyone talked of making Jalapeno Poppers, except for Sonia who said that her boys called them armadillo eggs!  I decided it was time that I learned to make Jalapeno Poppers, especially with an abundance of jalapeno peppers.  I used a recipe that I found in Good Taste Magazine and tweaked it to one that I thought we might like.  My fear was still the heat!  However, the article said that cooking the jalapeno dampens the heat and leaves behind a smoky flavor that contrasts deliciously with the cheese.  Well, the article was right.  I baked them in the oven and after allowing them to cool for about 10 min., I gave them a try.  Phillip and I had agreed that I would try them first as we are both scared of heat!  After I finished off my 4, he gave them a try and liked them as much as I did.  Who would have thought that we would be eating jalapeno peppers at our house?  Try 'em.  You'll like 'em.

 Jalapeno Poppers 

8 large jalapeno peppers
1 - 8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices of bacon

Cut stems off of jalapeno peppers.  Cut peppers lengthwise in half.  Remove all seeds and white membranes - this is where your heat comes from.  Place all pepper halves in a pie plate that has been lined with aluminum foil. 

Combine cream cheese and cheddar cheese.  Spoon into pepper halves.

Cut slices of bacon into pieces that will fit the length of each pepper halve.  Place a slice of uncooked bacon on top of each pepper that has been stuffed with cheese.  (The picture shows that each pepper was wrapped with a piece of bacon.  I prefer placing a slice of uncooked bacon on top of each pepper lengthwise).

Bake at 450 degrees for 35 min. or until bacon is crisp.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Chicken Tenders

Chicken Tenders

The Super Bowl will be this Sunday, so I thought I would share recipes this week that would be fun for a Super Bowl party. 

We love our Chicken Tenders all year long but we also have a football tradition.  We eat Chicken Tenders every Saturday when College Football begins and we watch our Alabama Crimson Tide.  (2011 National Champions!)  We began this tradition when Brent was a teenager and it's a tradition we still continue.

I buy frozen chicken tenderloins for my chicken tenders.  They are not breaded.  I usually take 6 to 8 chicken tenderloins out of the bag to cook for just Phillip and me.  I allow them to partially thaw and then cut each piece of chicken into 3 pieces, removing the white tendon and discarding.  I then place the cut up chicken into a bowl and pour buttermilk over all of the chicken.  I allow it to soak in the buttermilk for one hour.  I place 3 cups of self-rising flour into a separate bowl and add a Tbsp. of salt.  Stir together.  I remove one piece of chicken at a time from the buttermilk and place into the bowl of flour.  I completely cover the piece of chicken with flour by turning it over several times in the flour, shake off excess flour, and then place on a pie plate.  I continue this process until I have all of the pieces of chicken coated in flour.  I have a large iron kettle that I fill half full of Crisco Oil.  I heat the oil to 300 degrees.  When the temperature reaches 300 degrees, I add the chicken pieces to the hot oil one piece at a time until I have 1/2 of all of the chicken pieces in the hot oil.  I will have two cookings of chicken pieces.  I turn the chicken pieces over several times while cooking until they are golden brown.  You will need to watch the temperature of the oil and not let it get above 300 degrees.  You can control this by turning down the heat of your stove eye, if necessary.  I remove the golden brown chicken from the hot oil and place on a platter.  I like to eat chicken tenders with honey mustard.

For many years, I made my own Honey Mustard and the following is the recipe that I used to make it by.  This will keep in the refrigerator for a month or two.  Since I have found O'Charley's Honey Mustard at Wal-Mart, I now buy it instead of making my own as the taste is very similar.

Honey Mustard  

1 cup yellow mustard
2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp. minced garlic, optional

Blend all together.   Place in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. 


Friday, January 27, 2012

Grilled Cheeseburgers

                                                               Grilled Cheeseburgers
When I was growing up, I thought my Daddy grilled the best hamburgers.  They were cooked well done and were still juicy.  Phillip is the griller in our family and I think he cooks the best cheeseburgers.  They are cooked well done and are still juicy.  Buying good meat is crucial and we buy our ground chuck from the Cottonwood IGA where our favorite butcher, Ed, works. 

We have a Weber 22 inch grill.  Phillip pours Kingsford Charcoal into 1/4 to 1/2 of the bottom surface of the grill.  This is to cook 4 to 6 hamburger patties.  Spray lighter fluid over charcoal until covered well.  Let it soak in and then ignite with a match or hand lighter.  The charcoal will need to burn until the flame dies down and the charcoal is almost completely white.  Scrub the grill rack with a wire brush to clean where the charcoal has burned.

Phillip takes a portion of the meat and shapes into a round ball about the size of a tennis ball and then compresses it to about a half inch thick.  He then rounds the edges of the patty.

Place the hamburger patties on the grill rack.  You do not want your hamburger patties to touch.  Place the lid back on the grill.  Slightly crack your air vent on the grill top.  Allow to cook for 8 to 10 min.  If the patties have a slightly cooked appearance on top, the patties are ready to flip.  Flip patties and leave the top off until the charcoal begins to flame.  Put top back on grill.  Cook 10 to 12 min.  Remove lid and flip burgers.  You will continue flipping and checking burgers until they reach desired doneness.  We like cheese burgers, so when the burgers are well done, we all 1/2 slice of Velveeta cheese on top of each burger patty.  Put the lid back on the grill to allow the cheese to melt.  Place hamburger patties on a platter and serve.

The only variation that we make with our burgers is the addition of a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix.  This is mixed well with the meat before making into patties.  (The burgers pictured above were made with the Lipton Onion Soup Mix).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sausage & Egg Quiche

                                                                    Sausage & Egg Quiche

The first food spread that I did for Good Taste Magazine was a brunch.  I cooked Sausage & Egg Quiche, Homemade Biscuits, Country Ham, Toasted Pecans, Cheese Crispies, Cream Cheese Danish, and Apples with Brickle Dip.  The Quiche can be made the night before you wish to cook it. or you can cover the uncooked quiche and place in the refrigerator overnight.   I came home from work on Tuesday and after supper decided to make Quiche.  I cooked the sausage patties and then combined all of the ingredients together.  It makes two Quiche pies, so we have a delicious breakfast for several days just waiting for us in the refrigerator.  I usually share the second quiche pie with Brent and his family.   I went ahead and baked the Quiche on Tuesday night.  I then placed each pie in a gallon zip-loc bag.   It's nice having Quiche ready to be heated in the microwave for breakfast.

                                                                       Sausage & Egg Quiche 

1 lb. Jimmy Dean pork sausage patties
8 eggs, beaten
salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups milk
1 cup bread crumbs
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Mrs. Smith's (2) Deep Dish Pie Crusts

Brown sausage patties.  Drain, allow to cool.  Tear sausage patties apart or place in food chopper.  Place sausage pieces in a large bowl.  Add beaten eggs, salt, pepper, milk, bread crumbs, and cheese.  Stir together and then pour into 2 deep dish pie crusts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min.  Check center for doneness.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fried Okra

                                                                        Fried Okra

On Sunday, we rode in our yellow golf cart over our plantation (several acres) to see how much rain (3.2 inches) that we had gotten on Saturday night.  We also wanted to check on the pink ruffle azaleas that had been planted along the edge of the woods beyond our fruit orchard as well as the nectarine, apple, and pecan trees that had been planted in our yard and fruit orchard.  Winter is a good time for planting.  The milder temperatures and winter rains give the plants a good start.  When we rode by our upper and lower gardens, we talked about what Phillip was planning to plant in each.  You can bet there will be okra planted.  We love having okra in the freezer for cooking anytime we get ready for fried okra. 

Pint of frozen okra
J. T. Pollard's Fine White Corn Meal
Crisco Oil
Gallon zip-loc bag

When I get ready to cook okra, I remove a pint bag of okra from the freezer and place the bag on the kitchen counter to thaw.  I pour the thawed okra into a colander and run cool water over it.  I allow it to drain well and then put it into a gallon size zip loc bag that I have already added a cup of Pollard's Corn Meal.  After closing the bag, I shake it well and it coats each piece of okra.  I fill an iron skillet about a third full of cooking oil and heat it to 300 degrees.  I use my hand to remove a couple of pieces of okra at the time and place in the hot cooking oil until the skillet is full of okra.  You do not want to overcook the okra.  You want to cook it until it's golden brown.  I lightly salt the okra after I have removed it from the hot oil and placed it on a platter.                                            

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Macaroni & Cheese

                                                              Macaroni & Cheese

This is my Mother's recipe for Macaroni & Cheese.  The recipe has passed down to my generation as well as a third generation.  My sister, Debra, and I as well as our husbands, children, and grandchildren think this is a pretty special dish.  This past Sunday, I cooked fried chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese, and fried okra.  After we filled our bellies, Phillip said that we needed to go to the den and pretend to watch football as we got a Sunday nap!  Sounded like a good plan to me.

                                                       Macaroni & Cheese

1/2 bag of elbow macaroni
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Velveeta Cheese slices

Bring water to a boil and then add macaroni and salt.  Cook for 7 minutes and then drain in a colander.  You can place the macaroni back in the boiler that it has just cooked in and add pepper and beaten egg.  Stir together quickly.  Place a layer of macaroni in the bottom of a casserole dish that has been sprayed with Pam Spray.  Add a layer of Velveeta Cheese slices and a layer of shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese.  Add another layer of macaroni and then cheeses.  Pour enough milk in the casserole dish that it will reach to just above the halfway mark.  (I always cook my macaroni & cheese in a glass dish, so that I can see when I have poured in enough milk). 

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 min.  You will want to watch closely near the end of cook time, so that the top layer of cheese does not scorch.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Brunswick Stew

                                                                   Brunswick Stew

Last Saturday as we were picking up pecans, our friend, Ed the butcher, stopped by.  He wanted Phillip to help inflate a tire with his air compressor.  I asked Ed when he would be cooking Boston butts and he said whenever I wanted him to.  I told him that I wanted to cook Brunswick stew and would need a Boston butt for the stew and one for sandwiches.  I went by Larry's BBQ on Friday after work and picked up two whole chickens, one for supper and one for the Brunswick Stew.  We picked up the Boston butts this past Saturday and I came home and made a big pot of Brunswick Stew for us.  Don't you wish you could dip a bowl from the pot pictured?  I let it simmer for about 4 hours and it was just right.  You can modify this recipe.  The Boston butt was lean and there was a large quantity of meat to go along with the chicken, so I doubled the other ingredients.  Just more to enjoy and share.

I shared this recipe last year on my blog on 1/10/11.  My sister, Debra, and niece, Katie had mentioned several times that I needed to also post pictures with my recipes.  On Thursday of this past week, my friend, Kassie, came by the clinic and mentioned to me how much she enjoys my blog.  She said that her daughter likes to cook and she had told her about my blog.  Her daughter also had said that she liked to see a picture of the recipe results. I cook my favorites as we go through the year, I will make pictures and post them. 

The original recipe came from the Cottonwood High School Civic Club Annual BBQ.  This was a fundraiser for many, many years.  The plates would include BBQ, Brunswick Stew, 2 slices of bread, and a homemade cinnamon roll. 

                                                              Brunswick Stew 

1 - 2 lbs. chopped pork
1 whole smoked chicken, torn apart
1 - 15 oz. can english peas, drained
1 - 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
4 - 14.5 oz. petite diced tomatoes
1 - 14.5 oz. can diced new potatoes, drained
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. hot sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup Bulls Eye Original BBQ Sauce

Add all of the above to a large pot.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for several hours.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Butter Rolls

We do love our bread in the south!  Make a batch of these and then watch them disappear.

                                                   Butter Rolls

8 oz. sour cream
2 cups self-rising flour
2 sticks margarine,melted

Mix and shape into small rolls.  Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 15 to 20 min.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vidalia Onion Pie

There is only one place that can call their onions Vidalia onions and that's Vidalia, Georgia.  The soil that they are grown in there makes the difference.  This produces a sweet onion that's known as a Vidalia Onion.  The onions are harvested in the spring of the year.  News travels fast where the onions can be located for sell in our area.  Grocery stores will advertise if they have them for sell.  Last year, I remember buying our Vidalia onions at Sam's Club.  It won't be long now and we'll have our sweet onions for recipes.  How about a Vidalia Onion Pie?

                                                         Vidalia Onion Pie

1 1/4 cup Ritz crackers
6 Tbsp. melted butter
2 cups Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

Mix crackers and butter.  Press into an 8 inch pie pan and chill.  Saute onions in 2 Tbsp. butter and put in crust.  Add cheese.  Mix eggs with milk, salt, and pepper.  Pour over onions and cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Buffet Potatoes

There are times in our life when we need to prepare for a crowd.  It's even more helpful when you can prepare some of the dishes ahead of time.  This is just one such dish.  Buffet Potatoes will be a crowd pleaser as well as a time saver for you.  Double winner!

                                                    Buffet Potatoes

5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cooked
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter
1/2 pint heavy cream
salt to taste
pats of butter

Beat all ingredients until smooth, adding 1 stick of butter and heavy cream until consistency of mashed potatoes.  Turn into a lightly greased 5 qt. casserole dish.  Refrigerate overnight or freeze.  Thaw before baking.  Put pats of butter on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 min.  Serves 12 to 15.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sausage Macaroni Skillet

We have had some cold winter days recently.  We have had several evenings in the 20's.  This past Saturday morning, there was frost everywhere.  To those of us in lower Alabama, this is our version of a light snow!  Sausage Macaroni Skillet is comfort food.  On a cold winter evening, Sausage Macaroni Skillet is just right for you and your family.

                                                            Sausage Macaroni Skillet

1 lb. pork sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bellpepper, chopped
1 - 16 oz. can tomato chunks
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk

In a large skillet, over high heat, brown sausage, breaking into small pieces with onion and bellpepper.  Spoon off all fat.  Stir in tomatoes, macaroni, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 min.  Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and milk.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Islander Cheese Ball

We celebrated my Mother's 76th birthday this weekend.  Her birthday was on Friday, Jan. 13th, but we celebrated with her on Saturday.  Mom and Dad drove over from Tallahassee and we took them to eat seafood in Graceville, FL at Circle Grill.  My sister, Debra, joined us at the restaurant after visiting with our friend, Barbara, in Chipley.  The salad buffet always has the freshest ingredients along with homemade thousand island dressing.  Phillip, Debra, and I had the jumbo fried shrimp and Mom and Dad had fried oysters.  We all left with full bellies and a smile! 

After Mom and Dad left for home, I wanted to get outside and move around, so I picked up pecans.  I had cooked Toasted Pecans friday night to have for a snack on Saturday.  Mom and Dad could not stay out of the Toasted Pecans.  The Toasted Pecans are on the blog on 3/17/11. 

The name "Islander Cheese Ball" caught my eye when I was looking for recipes.  I felt certain there was probably some crushed pineapple in the recipe and there is.  This might be a good recipe for a Super Bowl Party.  Only wish Tebow was going to be in the game!

                                                       Islander Cheese Ball

16 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
2 Tbsp. chopped green onions
1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp. seasoned salt
2 cups pecans, finely chopped

Mix cream cheese and pineapple with mixer.  Stir in onions, green pepper, salt, and 1 cup of pecans.  Roll into one large ball, 2 logs, or fill a scooped out fresh pineapple half.  Roll or top with remaining pecans.  Serve with crackers.

Friday, January 13, 2012

French Toast Casserole

My sister, Debra, told me earlier in the week about making French Toast for breakfast.  I laughed and told her that I had already planned to blog a recipe for French Toast this week.  One of my former co-workers, Johnnie, had given me a copy of First Family Favorites for my birthday in 1994 and it's another excellent cookbook for good food.  This is where I found the recipe for French Toast Casserole.

                                                  French Toast Casserole

6 slices bread
2 - 8 oz. pkgs. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, cubed
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup maple syrup

Take crust off of bread and cube.  Place 1/2 in bottom of 9 inch casserole dish.  Put cream cheese on top of bread.  Put remaining bread over cream cheese. 

Beat eggs and combine with milk and maple syrup.  Pour mixture over bread.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 min.  Serve with extra syrup or fruit.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mexican Dip

I love dip and chips.  There are so many different types of dips.  While looking through a cookbook called First Baptist Family Favorites from First Baptist Church of Dothan, AL, I found this one and it's different from any type of dip that I have had.  The addition of eggs was the biggest surprise. 

                                                          Mexican Dip

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup or more Salsa verdo or chunky salsa
3 eggs

Combine cheeses.  In a bowl, beat eggs and salsa together.  Put 1/2 of cheese mixture into an 8 inch pan or baking dish and pour sauce over, then put remaining cheese on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.  Serve with chips.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pork Chop Casserole

When I got home from work last evening, Phillip had cooked smoked pork chops, creamed potatoes, baked potatoes, and english peas for supper.  He knew that Brent would be stopping by after being in a meeting in Marianna all day, so he fed us and Brent and his family.  He's a good husband, father, and PawPaw.  We are so blessed.

My parents gave me a recipe book called Feeding The Flock by Mt. Hebron Baptist Women from Cuthbert, GA in 2004 for my birthday.  There are some good country cooks that contributed to this cookbook.  I have a number of recipes from them that I will be sharing with you. 

                                                       Pork Chop Casserole

Pork Chops
Potatoes, sliced
1 pkg. Lipton Onion Soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can hot water

Dredge pork chops in flour.  Pour enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of a skillet.  Brown pork chops and then place on a platter.  Place sliced potatoes in a casserole dish that has been sprayed with Pam Spray.  Place browned pork chop on top of sliced potatoes.  Mix onion soup, cream of chicken soup, and water.  Pour soup mixture over pork chops and potatoes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr.  or until done.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Icebox Rolls

I found this recipe in Southern Living Magazine in 2004 and had it safely tucked away in my lovely recipe box.  I have found over the years that Southern Living is an excellent place for good recipes.  I can honestly say that I have never cooked a recipe from Southern Living that was not as good as I had hoped it would be.  If you don't want to try this recipe right now, put it away in your recipe box for safekeeping until you are ready to make Icebox Rolls. 

                                                               Icebox Rolls

1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup shortening
1 (1/4 oz.) envelope active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
1 tsp. sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
5 cups bread flour
1/4 to 1/2 cup butter, melted

Pour 1 cup boiling water over shortening in a large bowl, stirring to melt shortening.  Let stand 30 min. or until completely cooled.

Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tsp. sugar in a glass measuring cup; let stand 5 min.  Beat eggs at medium speed using a heavy-duty stand mixer, add 1/2 cup sugar and salt.  Add shortening mixture and yeast mixture.  Reduce speed to low, and gradually add 5 cups flour, beating until blended. 

Cover and chill dough 12 hrs. or up to 5 days.

Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and roll to 1/4 in. thickness.  Cut with a lightly floured 2 1/2 in. round cutter.  Make a crease across the middle of each dough round with a knife, and fold in half; gently press edges to seal.  Place rolls on lightly greased baking sheets.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 1/2 hrs. or until doubled in bulk.  Brush rolls evenly with melted butter. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 min. or until golden brown.  Brush again with melted butter, if desired.

Yield:  Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Chicken Pasta Salad

It has been an incredibly beautiful, warm weekend.  Just a glimpse of spring-like weather sure helps to get us through the cold days.  Our pecan trees were loaded this year with pecans but they have been slow to release the pecans.  We were able to pick-up several buckets of pecans this past weekend to sell today.  It sure makes you feel like you're being a good stewart of God's blessing of bountiful pecans. 

It was a pleasure for me to cook pancakes and bacon for breakfast Saturday morning.  We grilled burgers for lunch and I baked a cream cheese pound cake for our Sunday dessert.  We got to sample the pound cake on Saturday, too.  Sunday, we cooked a sirloin tip roast, creamed potatoes, white cheddar carrots, green bean bundles, and yeast rolls.   Phillip and I picked up more pecans as we visited with Brent and his family.  Joy and Brooke got Sunday naps.  We even got a shower of rain and had to retreat to our porch.  Eli came out and sat with us in the swing and got to see a beautiful rainbow. 

I am trying real hard to not post any desserts for at least a little while.  As I have shared in the past, I have enough dessert recipes to post on my blog f-o-r-e-v-e-r!  Let's try Chicken Pasta Salad for a lighter meal choice.

                                               Chicken Pasta Salad

1 small box macaroni shells
1 - 13 oz. can chicken breast or 1 cup cooked chicken breast
1 to 2 cups red or green grapes, cut in half
1 small bunch green onions
salt & pepper to taste
mayonnaise to taste

Mix all ingredients together.  Refrigerate and serve cold.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Campfire Chicken

Phillip introduced me to Hobo's, made with ground chuck, when we were dating.  Campfire Chicken reminds me of Hobo's, except they are made with chicken breasts.  I love that each packet is a complete meal.  

                                                               Campfire Chicken 

4 chicken breasts
4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups diced carrots
4 small ears of corn
1 medium onion, sliced
4 tsp. margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place one chicken breast, one diced potato, 1/2 cup carrots, several sliced of onion, one ear of corn, and 1 tsp. margarine in a large piece of aluminum foil.  Fold into a packet.  Repeat until you have 4 packets.  Place packets on baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Three Cheese Pasta Bake

The recipe for Three Cheese Pasta Bake came out of my recipe box.  I don't think I will ever run out of recipes in my lovely recipe box.  You see, adding recipes to my recipe box is an ongoing ritual.  I have collected recipes and will continue to collect recipes all of my life.  It brings me joy and that makes it worthwhile. 

                                          Three Cheese Pasta Bake

1 - 16 oz. pkg. ziti
1 - 16 oz. jar Alfredo sauce
1 - 8 oz. container sour cream
1 - 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

Prepare ziti according to package directions, drain, and return to pot.

Stir together Alfredo sauce and sour cream; toss with ziti until evenly coated.  Spoon half of mixture into a lightly greased 13 X 9 in. baking dish.

Stir together ricotta cheese and next 2 ingredients; spread evenly over pasta mixture in baking dish.  Spoon remaining pasta mixture evenly over ricotta cheese layer; sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. or until bubbly.  Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tiny Cream Cheese Biscuits

Just 3 ingredients!  How hard can these Tiny Cream Cheese Biscuits be?  You will be tempted to eat the whole batch but don't forget to share!

                                           Tiny Cream Cheese Biscuits

1 - 8 oz. pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup self-rising flour

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed of an electric mixer for 2 min. or until creamy.  Gradually add flour, beating at low speed just until blended.

Spoon dough into ungreased miniature muffin pans, filling full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 min. or until golden brown.  Serve immediately.

Yield:  1 1/2 dozen.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pecan Chicken With Creamy Dijon Sauce

My sister and I have talked about my blog for a day or two and she reminded me of the wonderful meals that were always associated with church.  I immediately thought of the number of cookbooks that I have that were put together by ladies of the church.  The first cookbook that I pulled out and looked at is from Westside Baptist Church of Jasper, AL.  My bestest friend, George Ann, grew up in this church as well as her sisters, Judy and Sandy.  As I was reading recipes, I recognized names of people that I have met or heard about from George Ann and her sisters.  I met some of the ladies when I attended the Christmas luncheons with all of the beautifully decorated tables several years ago.  George Ann told me that the recipe for Pecan Chicken With Creamy Dijon Sauce came from a retired Home Economics teacher.  She said that Mrs. JoAnn is a wonderful cook.

                                                 Pecan Chicken With Creamy Dijon Sauce

2 uncooked chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
3 Tbsp. melted butter
4 Tbsp. Dijon style mustard, divided
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix melted butter with a Tbsp. of the mustard.  Coat the chicken breasts with the mustard butter sauce, then roll in the chopped pecans.  Place on baking dish.  Bake the chicken breasts for approx. 45 min. or until cooked through.  Combine the vegetable
oil, remaining mustard, sour cream, salt, and pepper.  Heat over very low heat until sauce is hot.  Ladle the sauce onto a warm serving plate.  Place the chicken breasts on top of the sauce and serve immediately.  

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

In November 2011, I renewed my domain registration for for another year.    I began my blog on 1/3/2011 and had made a committment of doing the blog for one year.  I wanted to share the recipes of my mother, mother-in-law, and myself and by doing so encourage others to make family memories, too.  As the year came to an end, I knew that I had to make a decision about my blog.  I have shared all of the recipes that I had originally planned to share as well as some new recipes that had been placed in my recipe box for safekeeping.  It was nice to get those recipes out and try them and then pass them on to you.  The recipes that I have shared will remain on my blog.  They will be listed monthly with all of the recipes for that month.  Just look on the right side of the blog to find all of my recipes for my first year of blogging for 2011.  

I am grateful for the opportunities my blog has given me.  I was able to do two food spreads for Good Taste Magazine.  The second food spread will appear in Good Taste's March/April 2012 issue.  It will be packaged with Wiregrass Living Magazine.  I also prepared food gifts for Christmas gifts and packaged them for a photo shoot for Wiregrass Living Magazine's November/December 2012 issue.  The pictures taken by Brian McDonald for Good Taste and Wiregrass Living Magazine are incredibly beautiful.  Thank you, Brian.

I know that my sister, daughter-in-law, and bestest friend made my recipe for Chicken and Dressing for the first time for Christmas.  Have any of my recipes encouraged you to cook something special for your family, too?  Please share your comments with me.  I would love to hear from you.

The plan for my blog for this year is to continue to share recipes with you. They will be recipes that I find in my collection (that continues to grow) of recipe books (remember I enjoy looking at recipe books as much as I do magazines) as well as recipes that are shared with me by my friends and family.  I don't ever want to stop learning in this area of my life either. 

I still dream of one day having a recipe book printed with all of my beloved recipes that will be available for sale to the public.  I want it to be a hardback book with beautiful pictures (taken by Brian McDonald!).  I might as well dream big, right?  If anyone believes this could be a real possibility for me, please share your thoughts on this with me. 

Best wishes for 2012.  May we seek to have a personal relationship with a loving God who seeks to have a personal relationship with us.