Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pies

These pies are a favorite at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The name sounds strange, but it's just a pumpkin cheesecake in a pie crust.

2 - 8oz packages Cream Cheese
2 Eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
12oz Pumpkin

2 Homemade Pies Crusts, uncooked

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and mix until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Pour into the two pie crusts. Bake 35-45 minutes or until set.

Mama's Macaroni and Cheese

There were certain dishes that my Mama made especially for her Daddy for Sunday Dinners. The most requested was her Chicken and Dumplin's, but the runner up was her wonderful Ole Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese! This one will be on my Thanksgiving table this year for sure!

1 cup Macaroni, uncooked
2 Eggs, beaten
2 cups, Milk
½ pound, Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Salt & Pepper
2 T Butter

Cook macaroni, drain. Combine eggs and milk in a large bowl. Stir in macaroni, cheese and seasonings. Spoon mixture into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with oil. Dot with butter and bake at 325 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes or until set. You can try the knife method. Stick a knife in the center. It should come out clean. Mainly just check that it's not watery. (I use the giggle method. I shake the pan gently, and if it barely moves in the center, it's done... If it's set hard and doesn't move, it's over-done and hard. It takes a while to get this method down, but after you've made as many as I have, you can just look and tell!)

Note: Add a little extra cheese on top, if you like the ‘Crunchy Cheese Top’.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Big Hunk of a Sandwich!

No matter what you call it... Sandwich, Submarine, Hero, etc., it's a big ole hunk of a sandwich!


Red Onion strings
Oil & Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Basil, Oregano and Garlic
French Bread, or any other large bread hollowed out

No matter what you call it, we called it supper tonight! :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pizza Monkey Bread

Pull-apart bread, which we call Monkey Bread, is perfect for parties, showers or just a great supper. They can be sweet or savory. This one is made with pepperoni and cheeses, but you can add anything you want to it. There are no limits to the combinations that you can make. I made this one very simply using Krusteaz Garlic and Onion Flatbread mix. I highly recommend it. It was delicious in this recipe!

Pizza dough or canned biscuit dough
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 tbsp. basil leaves
1/2 tsp. fresh minced garlic
1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 (8 oz.) package of mini pepperoni
1 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pan well.

Cut pizza dough or biscuits into small pieces.

Add all the ingredients in a bowl, except the dough and toss. Add the dough pieces a few at the time and toss so that the oil is spread evenly on each piece of dough. If you add them all at once, they stick together and just make a huge ball... I found that out the hard way! LOL

Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is cooked. If the middle is still not cooked thoroughly, leave it in the oven for another 5 minutes at a time until it’s done. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with marinara, pizza or spaghetti sauce for dipping.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Chicken Parmesan

This recipe is as old as the hills. Some people will scoff at using mayonnaise, but it really helps to keep the chicken moist and tender. This is also a recipe that I think you have to be willing to get a little messy in the kitchen. I've never been able to do the "wet hand, dry hand" method of breading chicken, and believe me, when you've worked in a kitchen frying chicken by the 5 gallon bucket loads... you'll try every method available... So get in there and get your hands dirty! I like to prepare the chicken for the Chicken Parmesan this way, so it stays nice and juicy. 

4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking pan or large casserole dish with oil. In a flat dish, combine bread crumbs, cheese and seasonings. Place mayo on a plate. Coat the breasts with mayonnaise (I actually used my fingers), and then roll in the bread crumb mixture. Bake chicken for 25 minutes or until no longer pink inside.

To assemble and prepare the Parmesan you'll need:

Spaghetti Noodles
32 oz Spaghetti Sauce, make your own or use your favorite store brand
½ t Basil, dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 cups Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded

Cook spaghetti noodles in boiling salted water until done and put in a greased casserole dish. Combined sauce and spices and pour over noodles. Remove chicken from oven and place on top of the noodles and sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of chicken then top with the Parmesan Cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Serve with a Caesar or Garden Salad and Garlic Bread.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Braised Shanks in the oven

I received some pork shanks a few weeks back from my friend Russell at Sunny Cedars Farm. I cooked two in the crock pot. That way is easy and effortless. Just throw them in and put whatever spices, herbs and stock/wine/water that you want in with it. This time, I tried a braising method in the oven. I put them in the pot and sprinkled them liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder. I poured in some stock and let them cook away at 350 degrees for several hours. When you can pull the bones out clean, they are good to go!

I drained off the liquid and put it in the refrigerator to chill. I pulled out all the meat from the skin and bones. When the fat and broth separated and chilled, I spooned off 2 tablespoons of fat and put it in my cast iron pan along with 2 tablespoons of flour. I browned the flour in the fat until golden brown, then added the stock. Add more water if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

It literally fell off the bone! Yummy, juicy and tender!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Southern Green Beans and Potatoes

I cook a lot of green beans for my Wednesday night supper crowd at church. After a while I get really tired of the same old, same old. I'm on a VERY tight budget, so I can't get too fancy. But with just a few extras, you can jazz up some boring old sides. I was cooking hams so I borrowed some of the fat and a little meat and used it for seasoning... browning it in a sauce pan.

I sliced up some onions and added minced garlic. I added a stick of butter a little at the time. You need to remember (before you gasp at the butter) that this is enough for 50 people. I also added salt and lots of pepper.

I used small potatoes, peeled cut into small, bite sized pieces and cooked. I added them to the green beans in the buffet pan. Then I stirred in the seasonings and covered them with foil. I let the heat through.

After they cooked for a while, I added a little more butter and pepper. I covered it and let it simmer on top of the stove. From the remarks I received, they were VERY tasty! :-)

You need...

Meat and fat for seasoning... Ham, bacon or fat back

1 onion, sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 stick of butter
Green Beans

Salt and Pepper to taste