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Monday, November 29, 2010

Baked Flounder Stuffed With Crabmeat

Tired of turkey and dressing or ham and potato salad? Here's a change up from the same ole, same ole holiday fare...

8 flounder fillets
1/2 pound fresh crabmeat, picked through for shells
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup oil
1 cup fine break crumbs
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
8 pats butter
8 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Simmer peppers, onions, celery and garlic in oil until soft. Remove from heat. Add bread crumbs, eggs, pepper and parsley. Add crabmeat and toss with fork.

Place 3 tablespoons of stuffing into the middle of each fillet. Top each with a pat of butter and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Close ends of fillet over middle and insert toothpick. Place in greased baking dish and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cinnamon Buns

1 pkg.  (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted 
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped Pecans
1 1/2 tsp.  ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Unroll crescent roll dough; separate into 2 rectangles. Press perforations in each rectangle together to seal. Mix brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough rectangles. Spread butter on top of sugar mixture and rub onto dough. Roll up each rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at one short end; cut each into 4 slices. Place, cut-sides down, in prepared pan. (Sprinkle with any sugar mixture that may have fallen out of rolls.)

Bake 17 to 20 min. or until lightly browned. Immediately invert pan onto plate; remove pan. Cool slightly.

Glaze: Mix 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tbsp melted butter and 2 tbsp milk or enough milk for desired consistency. Spread over warm buns.

French Toast Muffins

I took my casserole recipe and made it muffin style. The is perfect for a Mother's Day brunch buffet!

I think this would be the perfect breakfast for Christmas morning. You fix it the night before and pop it in the frig. Take it out the next morning and pop it in the oven. By the time all the presents are opened, the casserole is done! Yum!

12 sliced bread, cubed
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
8 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
Additional maple syrup

Arrange half of the bread cubes in a greased shallow 2-qt. baking dish.* Top with cream cheese and remaining bread. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and syrup; pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until golden brown. Serve with additional syrup. You can also sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon!

*Arrange the recipe the same, but in muffin tins.

My son's french toast...
He was mad because the bread was so fresh
that it fell apart in the egg! LOL

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mashed Potato Pancakes

Do you still have some leftover mashed potatoes? Try turning them into mashed potato pancakes! You could even change them up and use sweet potato pancakes too! Just change the seasoning to brown sugar and cinnamon and top with a little apple butter! Hmmm! I think I just changed my own mind :-)

2 cups leftover cold mashed potatoes
2 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp flour
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil

Combine potatoes, eggs, flour and seasonings; mix well. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add pancake size dollops of potato mixture. Cook until bottom is crispy. Flip and brown other side. Serve with butter and sour cream.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cranberry Orange Dipping Sauce

Do you have turkey left over from Thanksgiving Dinner or Supper? This sauce is an awesome addition to those turkey and dressing sandwiches or just a plain turkey sandwich! It is also a great for a glaze on a pork loin or turkey.  

3 tsp cornstarch
3 tsp packed brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 (16 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce*
2 dashes of ground cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg

In a cold heavy saucepan, combine the cornstarch, brown sugar and orange juice until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened, Remove from the heat; stir in the cranberry sauce and cinnamon until blended. Cover and refrigerate. Serve cold.
*Use jellied if you prefer a smooth sauce.

Southern Spoon Bread with Apple Butter

I thought, to celebrate Thanksgiving, I would post a very old recipe that was my Grandmama Elliott and Great-Uncle Perry's favorite. It's very old and very basic. Something that could be made on the farm out of items on hand. Probably part of some of the oldest Thanksgivings in the south...

1 cup Yellow Cornmeal
1 ½ t Baking Powder
½ t salt
2 Eggs, beaten
3 T Butter, melted
2 ¼ cups Milk

Stir dry ingredients together. In a greased one quart casserole pour eggs and butter. In a medium-sized pan heat milk to a boil. Stir to avoid scorching. As it starts to boil, sprinkle in the dry ingredients, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes as it thickens. Mix with eggs in casserole. Bake at 425 for 45 minutes. Serve from casserole with a spoon. Eat with a fork!

And what better condiment to go with this than Good Old Fashioned Apple Butter!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cheese Pockets

Do you serve appetizers with your Thanksgiving Feast? Or does the food stand alone? Well, if you do, these might just be the thing... maybe even serve them instead of rolls or other bread.

2oz cream cheese
1 tbsp Mayo
1 tsp mustard
4 slices turkey or ham, chopped
1/4 c mozzarella cheese
1 can biscuits

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix cheese, mayo and mustard. Add meat and mozzarella cheese. Mix well.
Pull apart each biscuit. Place 1 tsp mix in the center of on halve and cover with the other half. Press edges together. Place on ungreased baking dish. Coat with mixture of melted butter and garlic salt. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Watergate Salad

Remember that 'green stuff' on your Grandmother's Holiday Table?
This is it!
1 can (20 oz.) Crushed Pineapple, in juice, undrained
1 pkg.  (3.4 oz.) Pistachio Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup Miniature Marshmallows
1/2 cup  chopped Pecans
1-1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip
Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Stir in Cool Whip. Refrigerate for 1 hour

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stuffed Cranberry Sauce

Here's a new idea for that big can shaped blob of cranberry sauce!

8oz Cream Cheese, softened
2 tbsp Mayo
1/4 c Pecans, chopped
1 (16oz) Cranberry Sauce (jellied), chilled

Slice cranberry sauce 1/4" thick. Mix the other ingredients. Spread on a slice and top with another slice.

Broccoli Casserole

Here's another good side dish for Thanksgiving!

2 cups cooked white rice
5 tablespoons margarine
1 cup chopped onions
1 (10 ounce) package chopped frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
8 oz Velveeta

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt margarine in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until tender. In a 2 quart casserole dish combine onions, cooked rice, broccoli, mushroom soup and cheese; mix well.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cornbread Dressing

This is very basic. You can add or remove veggies or the eggs. You can also add 1 t poultry seasoning. I don't use it because sage causes a heartburn problem in my family, but you can add it if you like!

2 (8.5 ounce) pkgs Jiffy corn bread mix
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch celery, chopped
6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 cups turkey stock
salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare cornbread according to directions on package. Cool and crumble. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Saute the onion and celery in 1/4 cup butter.
3. In a large bowl, combine the crumbled corn bread, onion, garlic, celery and eggs. Gently stir. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Add the chicken and turkey broth 1 cup at a time until the cornbread becomes moist but not wet.
5. Place stuffing into a casserole dish. Bake for 1 hour or until stuffing reaches a temperature of 175 degrees.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Green Bean Casserole

What could be more qualified as a holiday recipe than the good ole green bean casserole? My only change is the butter and cracker topping... I never cared for the fried onion topping. Oh! And you have to have cheese! So simple, but delicious!

2 (15 ounce) cans cut green beans, drained
1/3 cup milk
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed buttery round crackers
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir soup, milk, salt, pepper, and beans in casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot. Top with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Mix crackers and melted butter sprinkle on top of cheese and bake for 5 minutes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Christmas Tree In Every Room

Each year, we had at least two Bar-B-Ques, one at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas. The Bar-B-Que at Thanksgiving was on Saturday and was for all the employees and business associates of Mama and Daddy. The one at Christmas was on Christmas Eve and was for family and friends. We had about a hundred people at each. We would spend all week getting the house ready and two days getting all the food ready. Mama would take some of the guys from the shop (Central) and put them to work at the house. One year, Al Miller (a young black guy that worked at Central) told Mama, “You’ve owned slaves before, Haven’t you?” It was always a busy and exciting time.

At one of the Christmas Bar-B-Ques, someone came out of the bathroom and I heard, “Oh my goodness, she even has a Christmas tree in the bathroom!” Mama had a Christmas tree in every room. The kitchen... living room... bathrooms... bedrooms... everywhere... We kids even had our own trees in our rooms. The trees ranged in size from 2 feet to 6 feet. Mama had a tree with seashell ornaments. One had dove ornaments. One had all homemade ornaments. One had all Victorian ornaments. One had all red and white ornaments. One had all Santa ornaments. She had a tree made of holly decorated with ornaments. She even decorated some of the houseplants!

Mama loved it. Holidays were another reason for parties, gifts and food with family and friends! Christmas was especially magical. Mama went all out. I remember one year Mama came home with Christmas sweatshirts. Mine read, ‘I Believe in Santa Claus.' Mama’s read, ‘I Want It All.' Charlie’s read, ‘Bah Humbug!’ Mama’s one requirement for Christmas morning presents was that you believe in Santa. Mama and I even had our picture taken with Santa.

One year when Charlie was about 6 years old, he came in and told Mama that there was no Santa Claus. She questioned him and then called everyone in the room. She said, “Listen up! Charlie has come in with the idea that there is no Santa Claus! That is not true! There is a Santa and anyone who does not believe in him...well, Santa won’t bring them presents. Is that clear? And I mean it! Clear?” Well, later Mama pulled us (except Charlie) aside and said that it didn’t matter who Santa Claus was or where the presents came from. It was the love and giving of the Christ-mas season. But the presents did come and as long as we said we believed we’d get presents. It didn’t matter if we were married or 50 years old, Santa would always come for us. What a concept! And she meant it. Jim and I got married (now my ex-husband) and she told him the same thing. That first Christmas, Santa brought Jim a recliner! The next year Jim told Mama at Christmas time, “I believe!”

Chicken and Dressing Casserole

Me and Granddaddy Bradham
Thinking about the Holidays coming up got me thinking about family and loved ones past. I wanted to include this partial story from my short-stories book... Crazy People...  Philosophy 101 

"Mama included several pages of the 'Philosophy of Perry H Bradham'   in the book she was writing for me. In Mama’s eyes, Granddaddy Bradham, was all-knowing. Very seldom in life does a little girl look to her father as a hero, ‘the greatest man that ever lived’ and keep that image with her throughout her life, untarnished. Mama used to say that she worshipped her father. ‘The sun rose and set on him. My eyes were never big enough to see him.' She could not bare the thought of ever disappointing him. She would get in trouble as a child and Granddaddy would come in to punish her. He would start to talk to her, “Honey, I am very disappointed in you.” Mama said that she would sob, “Daddy please just spank me! Please!”

Granddaddy Bradham was a simple yet complex man. He made homemade wine. He cooked a pretty mean Bar-B-Q Pig! (A recipe which my Daddy combined with his own to come up with the bar-b-que he cooks today.) He used old fashioned know-how and common sense to be a successful businessman, a husband and a father who helped raised five children.

Here are some of the thoughts of Perry H. Bradham, as written by his daughter:

°A little prayer is like a spiritual glass of iced tea on a hell of a day.
°We do not solve other people’s problems; we give them confidence so they can solve their own.
°What a great world this would be if we would forget our troubles as easily as we forget our blessings.
°In a way, to be criticized is to be complimented; it shows that you were doing something too important for the critics to ignore.
°If a hypocrite is between you and God, he is closer to God than you are.
°Be careful how you live; you may be the only Bible some people will ever read.
°To act is easy; to think is hard.
°The people whose company I enjoy most are the ones who know that I don’t always enjoy company.
°Love is like an onion. We taste it with delight; but when it’s gone we wonder whatever made us bite.
°Love is like lightning. It would just as soon strike the outhouse as the church..."
With that said... I wanted to share a very simple, but tasty Chicken and Dressing Casserole recipe. When mixing you may think that the mixture is too wet, but it cooks perfectly! This is a dressing casserole that is so moist it doesn't even need gravy... but I love gravy, so I fix some on the side anyway!

1 chicken, boiled, deboned and cubed
1 (9x9 inch) pan cornbread, cooled and crumbled
8 slices day-old bread, torn into small pieces
4 eggs, beaten
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup

Combine all ingredients and place in a 13x9 baking dish. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until set.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars

1-1/2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 pkg. (8 squares) Semi-Sweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped
1-1/3 cups Coconut
1 cup chopped Pecans

Heat oven to 350°F.
Mix graham crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan.

Pour condensed milk over crust; top with layers of remaining ingredients. Press nuts lightly into coconut layer.

Bake 30 min. or until lightly browned. Immediately run knife around edge of pan to loosen dessert from sides of pan. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole

1- 16 oz can sweet potatoes or yams
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup low fat margarine
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 pinches ground cinnamon
1 (10.5 ounce) package miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Drain sweet potatoes and blend until creamy. In a large bowl, add potatoes and stir in the butter, brown sugar, orange juice and a dash of ground cinnamon. Spread the sweet potato mixture into a 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle the miniature marshmallows over the top and bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown.

Peach Cobbler

2 – 29oz cans sliced peaches
¼ cup juice from peaches
1/3 cup sugar
2 T all purpose flour
1 t vanilla
¾ t cinnamon
1 T butter, cut into small pieces

Yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 pan with vegetable oil. Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Pour in greased pan and level the peach mixture out.
Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the peach mixture… get it nice and level. Melt the butter and pour over the cake mix, making sure to cover the entire cake mix. (You made need a little more butter. Cover it, but don’t drowned it.) Sprinkle it with a little sugar and cinnamon.
Bake 25-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

This is a good time of the year for your pecan recipes. Pecan pies usually accompany the holiday meals. Here's a recipe that combines pecans and cheesecake. I haven't always had good luck with cheesecakes and for a long time used 'no-bake' recipes. I made myself, last year, bake different cheesecakes... and I realized that it's takes a good recipe and a lot of practice! Now, I like to bake cheesecakes. That is the only way you will achieve the texture and richness of a good cheesecake! Yum!!!

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup pecan halves
2 - 8oz pkgs cream cheese
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/4 caramel topping

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter and press into the bottom and side of a 9 inch pie plate. Finely chop and toast 1/2 cup pecans and sprinkle in the bottom of the pie crust.

Blend cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add in eggs and blend again until smooth. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Combine remaining pecans and caramel topping. Drizzle over each piece before serving.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rolled Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely.


1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
assorted food coloring

In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.

Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush. Let cookies dry well before storing them.

Pumpkin Roll

For the Cake:

3 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger

For the Icing:

1 cup 10x sugar
6 oz cream cheese
4 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Re-roll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Turkey's in the Bag!

This is a very easy way to make a Thanksgiving turkey using an oven bag. The bird will be perfectly moist when done, and you can make gravy out of the juice that forms in the bottom of the bag. Plus, cleanup is a snap!

12 pound turkey
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 stalks celery, cut in chunks
2 large onions, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved
1 turkey size oven bag

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Rinse turkey and remove giblets. Pat dry. Rub with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle the oven bag with flour and shake to coat. Place turkey, celery, onions and garlic in the bag. Seal bag and poke several holes in it with a fork. Bake 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature of the thigh meat reaches 180 degrees F .

Bacon-Cheddar Pinwheels

1 can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
1/4 cup cooked real bacon pieces
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Unroll dough; separate into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal.

Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, Cheddar cheese and onions.

Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. Put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes before cutting to make them easy to slice. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Million Dollar Pie and Mock Apple Pie

Million Dollar Pie

1 can condensed Milk
1 can crushed Pineapple, drained
1 large Cool Whip
1 cup chopped Nuts
¼ cup Lemon Juice

Mix in order. Pour into graham cracker crust and chill.
Makes 2 pies.

Mama's Notes: “This is a big hit at all the church socials. Every family has they’re own version…”

Mock Apple Pie

2 cups water
1 ½ cups Sugar
25 Ritz Crackers
2 t Cream of Tartar
Pie Shell

Bring water, sugar and cream of tartar to boil, drop in crackers. Place in an uncooked pie shell. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Put dabs of butter on top. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Mama's Notes: “I’ve made this…good…tastes like apple pie."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Russian Tea

My Mama made this every year around Christmas time. It even smells like Christmas to me. She mixed batches of the mix and wrapped it up in a pretty jars with a recipe card attached. It makes a great gift!

1 t Cinnamon
½ t ground Cloves
1 ½ cups Sugar
½ cup Instant Tea
1 large jar Tang
1 t whole Cloves

Mix all ingredients together; store tightly in covered jar.

Use 2 to 3 teaspoons of mix in large cup of boiling water.

Note: Wrapped up in a pretty jar with a recipe card attached makes this a great gift!

Smoked Turkey Bites

These smoked turkey rolls are not your usual appetizer. The layers of flavor will have your guests bombarding you with questions as to what is in there. They are smoky, slightly spicy and sweet, with a savory tang from the capers and worcestershire, combined with the mellow richness of cream cheese.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 pound shaved smoked turkey deli meat
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon small capers, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper jelly
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 loaf of bread
1/4 cup (about) grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a shallow baking sheet with nonstick foil.

Place melted butter in a shallow dish for dipping.

Coarsely chop the shaved smoked turkey and place in a medium bowl. Add cream cheese, sweet onion, mayonnaise, capers, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper jelly, and mustard. Using a large fork, stir and mash until thoroughly combined.

Trim crusts from the bread. Place 6 slices at a time between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Roll flat to 1/8th-inch thickness with a rolling pin or a tall water glass.

Spread each slice with the smoked turkey mixture. Roll into a cigar-shape. Dip each into the melted butter, and place seam-side down on prepared pan. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden. Serve as whole rolls or cut in half for bite-sized pieces for appetizer.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Retro Fondue Party Menu

A fondue theme dinner party is easy to put together and something that will provide fun for all ages. Fondue comes from the French language meaning "to melt." Fondue can be made in a special fondue pot but can also be created in a crock pot, microwave or saucepan. If using the microwave or saucepan place pan or microwave bowl on a electric hot plate. Set on low and stir often.

Use your Fondue pot as your centerpiece. Include sticks for your food and have each family member or guest pick out a dipper to bring to the party. Ideas could be bread cubes, ham chunks, chicken cubes, fresh vegetables or one of the dessert dippers below.

Gourmet Cheese Fondue

1 cup chicken broth
1 clove garlic minced
1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese or Monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth
French bread cut in cubes, sausages, cubed cooked chicken, whole mushrooms

In saucepan add chicken broth and garlic together. Allow to heat. Turn heat to medium-low and add cheeses. Stir constantly until melted. Add salt and Worcestershire sauce. In separate glass or bowl add cornstarch with cold chicken broth. Whip together. Blend into cheese mixture and stir until well blended. Pour into a fondue pot or crock pot. Serve with French bread or other dippers.

Quick & Simple Cheese Dip

Melt in a microwave bowl:
8 oz. of Velveeta cheese
1-2 Tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, optional

Serve immediately with French bread or sourdough bread cubes and cut up vegetables.

Cheesy Pizza Fondue

1 (30 ounce) jar meatless spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (1 pound) loaf unsliced Italian bread,cut into cubes

In a 1-1/2-qt. slow cooker, combine the spaghetti sauce, cheeses, oregano, onion and garlic powder. Cook for 4-6 hours or until cheese is melted and sauce is hot. Serve with bread cubes.

Dessert Fondue Theme Dinner Recipes

Chocolate Fondue

6-ounce semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sliced fruits such as strawberries, bananas, peaches, etc.
Angel food cake cut in cubes

Melt chocolate chips and half and half in a microwave safe dish. Stirring often. Add vanilla extract and pour mixture into a fondue pot or crock pot. Serve with dippers.

Chocolate Fondue in the Crock Pot

1 1/2 teaspoon butter
8 oz. chocolate candy bars with almonds
1 1/2 Cups mini marshmallows
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 Cup whipped cream

Rub crock pot with butter. Put in candy bars, marshmallows and milk. Cook for 30 minutes until melted. Add cream and keep lid on to keep warm until serving. Dip strawberries, pound cake, bananas, apple slices or marshmallows.

Caramel Fondue

14 oz. caramels unwrapped
2/3 Cup cream
1/2 Cup mini marshmallows

Mix caramels and cream in crock pot. Cook for 2-3 hours Add marshmallows 30 minutes before serving. Stir to combine. Dip apple slices, marshmallows, pound cake or bananas in fondue.

Strawberry Fondue

1 teaspoon grated orange
1 lb. fresh strawberries, smashed
4 oz. plain yogurt

Mix ingredients together and warm in crock pot or saucepan on low. Serve with small pieces of angel food cake.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Easy Black Forest Cake

1 pkg devil's food cake mix
8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 box 10X sugar
1 can cherry pie filling
8oz Cool Whip

Prepare the cake according to the directions on the mix using a half sheet pan. Mix together the cream cheese and sugar. Set aside in the refrigerator. When the cake is completely cooled, spread with cream cheese icing. Cut cake into serving pieces and plate. Add a spoonful of cherry pie filling. Finish with a dollop of whipped cream.

Oven Roasted Vegetables

6 new potatoes, halved
1 container large button mushrooms, halved
2 red onions, quartered
2 med zucchini, cut into chunks
2 med yellow squash, cut into chunks
1 container cherry tomatoes
1 8oz bag baby carrots
1/3 cup oil
House seasoning*

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss vegetables with oil and a generous coating of seasoning. Dump vegetables onto a large baking pan. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

*House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix together and pour in a shaker.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

4 chicken thighs
2 chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 ( 28oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.

In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve.