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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sweet Italian Sausage, Onion and Potato Bake

I still have sausage in the frig from the Johnsonville Italian Sausage Party I had last weekend. So I decided to put it to good use! There really isn't a recipe... I just used the what I had on hand!
  • Sweet Italian Sausage, cut into chunks
  • Red Potatoes, cubed
  • Yellow Onion, large chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Basil
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Kosher Salt
Cube the Sausage and Veggies...

 Coat with a little Oil...

Add Seasonings...

 Mix and bake at 400 degrees for about 
45 minutes stirring occasionally 
so everything gets golden brown.

Done!... and it was gooooood!

Reuben Passion

Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE a good Reuben Sandwich! I have been so aggravated that all the deli shops in Sumter have stopped carrying Corned Beef! I've even been tempted (when money is available) to purchase an entire Deli Corned Beef (about 6 -8 pounds)! I do have my own meat slicer, so why not?!?! Right? I guess I need to go to Sam's or some wholesale store and buy gallon jugs of Bavarian Sauerkraut and German Mustard! Not to mention several loaves of Jewish Rye and a couple of pounds of Swiss Cheese! Are you getting that I love, love, love Reubens?!?!?!

Well, I received a picture from a follower on Facebook of a Reuben, Green Chili Cheeseburger and Green Chili Fries from the High Desert Brewing Co. and Speck's Wine and Liquids! This looks so good that I had to share it with you... and if I ever get to Las Cruces NM... I'm going straight to High Desert Brewing Co!!! I'll tell them Gigi sent me :-)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mama's Coconut Cake

My Mama made a coconut cake that was a favorite at any and every event! It was so moist and delicious that everyone that tasted it wanted her to make them one personally. Very few asked for the recipe, because their's never came out the same as hers. I don't even have the recipe and as much as I have searched through every scrap of paper, recipes and cookbooks, I've never found her recipe. I do however know what the difference was between hers and all the look-a-likes out there... This is a good basic coconut cake recipe: Basic Coconut Cake Recipe

Mama made a filling that was very light and simple, then kicked up the outer icing and coated it with shredded coconut. BUT the main kicker was, she always sprinkled Coconut Amaretto on the trimmed layers to add a completely elevated flavor and incredible moisture!

One day, I'll get it right... I hope! I sooooo miss her coconut cake!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Southern Banana Pudding Shots

These are soooo cool!!! And the perfect size for a one-bite finger food party, shower or reception. You can also make an adult version using a banana rum or liqueur. You can take some shortcuts with pudding instead of custard if you like, but the custard is worth the work!


2 cups half-and-half
3 tablespoons corn starch
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, split
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar


1 package vanilla wafer cookies (about 30), crushed
1 banana, chopped

For the vanilla custard: 
Whisk 1/2 cup half-and-half with the corn starch in a heat proof medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in the eggs and set aside.

In a heavy, medium saucepan, heat the remaining 1 1/2 cups half-and-half, the granulated sugar and vanilla beans over medium-low heat until a thin skin forms on the top, about 8 minutes.

Slowly whisk the hot half-and-half mixture into the egg mixture to temper it. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly until it is just thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until combined. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour the custard into a clean bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

For the whipped cream: 
Beat the heavy cream and the confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl until soft peaks form.

For the shooters: 
Put 1 teaspoon wafer cookies in the bottom of each shot glass. Top with  a few pieces of chopped banana. Top with 1 teaspoon custard. Add a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with crushed cookies or chopped banana. Serve cold.

For an extra treat and a fancier presentation, serve shots in milk chocolate cups... No glasses to wash!

Spring Fever

Since we brought our new dog home, I've had no choice but to spend more time outside. YAY! She is a German Pointer and is very laid back, but she really needs a lot of exercise so she doesn't get bored. I haven't been able to cook as much as I'd like, but I've started taking the camera out on our walks. I've been stopping to take a good look around the yard and the fields, noticing what's in bloom and what's budding out... Yesterday I took pictures of the Lemon Balm growing around my fish pond...

If you have your own lemon balm, here are a few recipes for it's use...

Lemon Balm Butter

6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons lemon balm, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped

Combine the butter, lemon balm and chives. Using a piece of waxed paper to help mould, shape into a log. Cover and refrigerate overnight to blend the flavours. May be frozen. Use on seafood or vegetables.

Lemon Balm Spread 

Combine 1/4 cup finely chopped lemon balm leaves, 1 teaspoon lemon rind and   8 oz cream cheese. Use on crackers or to stuff celery sticks.

Lemon Balm Lemonade 

1/2 cup sugar 
3 lemons
1 1/4 cups boiling water
2 large sprigs lemon balm
Peel the rind thinly from the lemons and add, with the sugar, to the boiling water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and then add the chopped leaves of lemon balm. Cool, then add the freshly squeezed juice of the lemons. Stir well, strain and chill. Dilute to taste with chilled seltzer or soda water and garnish with the lemon curls. Serves 2.

Honey and Lemon Balm Biscuits 

1 cup butter
1 cup honey
3 eggs
3 cups self-raising flour
1 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 springs lemon balm, chopped

Cream the butter with the honey, add eggs, beat well. Add remaining ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees.

Other interesting uses and facts:

It helps relieve anxiety attacks, palpitations with nausea, mild insomnia and phobias, and when used as a sedative it is good for children. It combines well with peppermint to stimulate circulation, and can also be used for colds and flu and is most effective in the early stages of a cold. The tea is used to treat headaches and tiredness, mild depression, laryngitis, colic and dizziness, and is reputed to enhance the memory. It calms a nervous stomach, controls high blood pressure, relieves menstrual cramps, promotes menstruation and treats insomnia. Fresh juice is used to treat goitre and Grave's Disease. It is especially suitable for children, and makes a good substitute for chamomile. A crushed fresh leaf applied to insect bites eases discomfort. As a poultice it treats sores and tumours. In ointment, it is good for cold sores.

Lemon Balm attracts bees to the garden. Use in Potpourri. An infusion of leaves makes a refreshing skin toner and can be used in rinse water for clothes. A stronger infusion makes a good rinse for oily hair. Use as a facial steam for dry skin and to treat acne. Use in furniture polishes, or just rub a handful of crushed leaves on wooden furniture for a beautiful shine. Rub on a fresh leaf to soothe insect bites. Use in sleep pillows, and add to soaps. Used to bathe discharging eyes in puppies. Used to bring down retained afterbirth in farm animals. It has also been used for farm animals for eye ailments, nervous and brain disorders, heart abnormalities, uterine disorders, to increase milk yield and to prevent miscarriage.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Reviving Crystallized Honey

If you keep pasteurized honey stored in a moisture-tight container, it can be safely stored at room temp for about two years. Honey might become cloudy or crystallized, but that doesn't mean it has gone bad. There is an easy way to reverse this. Place the opened jar of honey in a saucepan filled with about an inch of water. Place over low heat and stir until the crystals melt. You can also heat the jar in the microwave (make sure the metal lid and ring are removed!) in 10 minute intervals, stirring in-between, until it melts.

Whipped Honey Butter

8 T Butter, at room temp

1 T Honey
Pinch salt

Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip butter on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add honey and salt, and whip until combined. Increase speed to high and whip until very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as you go.

Cucumber-Honey Toner

This isn't exactly a food recipe, but a recipe it is... This is facial toner using honey! :-) Happy Honey of a Day to you!

Makes 1/2 cup
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons honey
Puree cucumber in a blender. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and set the sieve over a glass bowl or measuring cup. Pour the cucumber puree through the sieve and let it stand for 15 minutes for the juices to drip into the bowl. Pour the clear juice into a clean bottle and add honey. To use, shake the bottle and saturate a cotton pad with the lotion. Sweep over face, neck and chest morning and night, and let it air dry (about 3 to 4 minutes). Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Honey of a Day Party!

Here at my website and on my Facebook Page, I'm having a Honey of a Day Virtual Party! My foodie friends and I are showcasing a lot of recipes that include HONEY! Come join the party and try this incredibly easy, yet tasty snack!

  • 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 large Granny Smith or 
  • Red Delicious apples, sliced

    Mix the honey and peanut butter in a small bowl and serve with the apple slices for dipping! Voila! 

Asparagus with Honey Garlic Sauce

I found this one at the National Honey Board!

Asparagus with Honey Garlic Sauce
Makes 4 servings
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup dark ale or dark beer
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Add asparagus to boiling, salted water (about 1-inch) and cook, covered, about 2 minutes or until barely tender. Drain. Combine mustard, ale, honey, garlic, thyme and salt; mix well. Pour over cooked asparagus.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Crab Rangoon Dip

Have you ever eaten Crab Rangoon at a Chinese Restaurant and wondered what's inside those wonderful little golden brown packages? Well, that's what this dip tastes like... This filling for Crab Rangoon! In the picture, it's in the metal round chafer dish and it is oh so yummy!

2 cups Crab meat
1 8oz cream cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 T Mayo
2 1/2 T Sour Cream
2 T green onion, chopped
1/2 t basil
dill (just a sprinkle... optional)

In a crock pot, mix ingredients well. Heat until warm. Serve in a chafer or your crock pot to keep warm.
Serve with crackers, toast points or chips!


This recipe can be used in a lot of different ways. Use it as a dip for crackers, chips or toast points. Use it as an appetizer mixing everything together except the tomato and stuff cherry tomatoes with the dip, or use it as a spread on subs, sandwiches and even burgers. There are all kinds of ideas for this tasty recipe! Enjoy and have a safe weekend!

Here I used cored, seeded tomatoes 
sliced into chunks to eat with the dip!


6 slices cooked Bacon, crumbled
1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup chopped, seeded plum Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Crackers for dipping

Mix bacon, sour cream, mayo, and tomatoes. Cover and put in frig for about an hour. Hollow out a tomato and spoon dip into it. Place on the lettuce leaves and surround with Crackers.

Note: You can substitute a 3 oz jar of real bacon bits for sliced Bacon.

Here is another cute way to serve this dip! :-)

***You can also use canned diced tomatoes to thin the 
mixture down and use it as a salad dressing!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

PBC Revival

If you missed our Revival Suppers and Services this week, you missed some good food and fellowship. However, if you still want to join in the fun, we have supper every Wednesday night. Come join us at PBC (Pinewood Baptist Church)... 

Here's some of what you missed...

Greek Potatoes

Meatloaf !

Punch Bowl full of Slaw

Mushrooms, Onions and Garlic for the Smothered Chicken

Red Beans and Rice

40 pounds of Tater Salad

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Greek Potatoes

This recipe is so delicious!
The lemon, spices and herbs make my house smell so good! 

• 1/4 cup oil
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• Cavender's Greek Seasoning
• 2 lemons, juiced or 1/4 cup juice
• 4 or 5 baking potatoes, cubed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

In a plastic bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, 1 tbsp Cavender's (I use more like 2 T, but we like more spice.) and lemon juice. Pour mixture over potatoes. Bake uncovered for 45 min to an hour or until potatoes are golden brown and tender.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Baby Brudder's (Charlie's) World Famous Pizza

A lot of people have asked my brother why he hasn't tried to sell his pizza commercially, or in a restaurant... His answer, "It costs so much to make, I'd have to charge at least $20 a slice!" Take a look at the pictures I took the other night and tell me if you can figure out why... and tell me you wouldn't pay $20 to try a slice of that!?!?!?! Heaven on a plate!!!

My baby brudder... the crust first...

Fixin's... slicing the Swiss

Notice a layer of Swiss cheese
on top of the crust
and then the home-made sauce!

and more fixin's...
bacon and sausage...

... top with Hamburger,
Canadian Bacon and fried Bacon

... and Johnsonville Italian Sausage

... and bell pepper, onion and black olives

Two types of mushrooms and
then Pepperoni...

... and "Cheese! Glorious Cheese!"

15 toppings later...
FINALLY! Ready for the Oven :-)


Almost done...


Mine, Mine, Mine!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Reuben Recipes

I figured that Reuben Recipes are a good subject around St Patrick's Day. These are a few variations of the classic Reuben. Enjoy!

Reuben Soup

Could you get anymore twisted than Reuben Soup? This sounds so weird, but the flavor is outstanding! Unique and delicious!

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups water
4 cubes beef bouillon
8 ounces shredded corned beef
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
3 cups half-and-half cream
3 cups shredded Swiss cheese
8 slices rye bread, toasted and cut into triangles

In a large saucepan, cook onion and celery in butter until tender; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in water and bouillon, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in corned beef, sauerkraut, cream, and 1 cup of the cheese. Cook and stir for 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into 8 ovenproof bowls. Top each serving with a slice of bread and sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese on top of each slice of bread. Place in oven under broiler until the cheese melts and lightly browns.

Twisted Reuben

1/2 cup Coleslaw blend
1 Tbsp. Horseradish Dijon Flavored Mayonnaise
2 slices Rye bread
6 slices Deli Cracked Black Pepper Turkey Breast
1 Swiss Cheese Slice

Combine coleslaw blend and mayonnaise. Fill bread slices with turkey, cheese and coleslaw.

Take Along In A Picnic:
Prepare as directed, but do not add coleslaw to sandwich. Wrap sandwich; place coleslaw in small covered container. Refrigerate both until ready to pack in insulated lunch bag. Add coleslaw to sandwich just before serving.

That being said... There is still nothing better than the original Reuben, a hot sandwich of layered corned beef, Bavarian Sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese, Spicy German Mustard and Thousand Island dressing, grilled between two slices of rye bread!!! YUM!!!

Cocktail Reubens

36 slices party rye bread (1 mini loaf)
Thousand Island salad dressing
2 pkgs (4oz each) cooked, sliced corn beef
German spicy mustard
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
6 slices of swiss cheese

Spread each slice of bread with salad dressing. Top with 2 slices of corn beef. Add mustard, and then 1 teaspoon of sauerkraut. Cut each cheese slice into 6 pieces; place 1 piece on each appetizer. Broil at 425 degrees 4 to 5 inches from heat, for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Bubble and Squeak by La Belle Cuisine

I was attracted to this recipe more by the Wow-Wow Sauce than anything. I have never made Bubble and Squeak before either, so I had to give it a whirl. I am so glad I did! This was really yummy and both my reaction and my husband's to the sauce was, if fact, "WOW!"

Sauteing the onion and cabbage in butter... 

Add the meat and potatoes...

Normally, you brown the bottom and invert onto a plate,
but mine stuck to the pan .
So, I put it under the broiler to get some color...

While it was in under the broiler, I made the sauce...

And Voila!
Bubble and Squeak
with Wow-Wow Sauce!

Click on the link below for the recipe and instruction, or just to visit an amazing site!!!
Bubble and Squeak with Wow-Wow Sauce by La Belle Cuisine

Lodge Logic Skillet - 12" - Lodge Logic (Google Affiliate Ad)