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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ricotta Dumplings with Dole® Raspberry Sauce

I am so honored to be a part of the fun with Dole Packaged Foods ‘Live on Green’ Food Blogger Blast Party 2016 Rose Parade where Dole California Cook-Off Champion Ally Phillips of What's for Dinner, Ally's Kitchen will perform live cooking demonstrations and share quick and fun recipes featuring Dole Packaged Foods’ products. She will showcase this recipe and several others at the Dole Bistro where she'll be cooking 'live on green' December 29 and 30th as part of the Tournament of Roses Parade.

On January 1, tune in to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade where Dole Packaged Food’s float, “Soaring Over Paradise,” explores the world’s rainforests. The float includes four waterfalls, a zip line that travels through the rainforest canopy and a flock of Macaws that appear to take flight over the floral gardens.

3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 package (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup DOLE® Frozen Raspberries
1/4 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine ricotta, mascarpone, vanilla and powdered sugar in a bowl.  Stir to combine.

Roll out the crescent roll and press into a muffin tin.  If using a crescent roll sheet, roll out the sheet and cut into eight squares.   Drop 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture into the center.  Pull up opposite sides to make a pouch.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat, and add butter, raspberries and jam.  Cook for 5-7 minutes.  Dust dumplings with additional powdered sugar, if desired.  Serve sauce with dumplings.

These dumplings are light, fluffy, sweet and tart! Dole California Cook-Off Champion Ally Phillips of Ally’s Kitchen will prepare these warm, golden brown Ricotta and Marscarpone cheese dumplings topped with a DOLE® raspberry sauce. They’re so DOLE-ightful.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Miniature Dole® Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

I am so honored to be a part of the fun with Dole Packaged Foods ‘Live on Green’ Food Blogger Blast Party 2016 Rose Parade where Dole California Cook-Off Champion Ally Phillips of What's for Dinner, Ally's Kitchen will perform live cooking demonstrations and share quick and fun recipes featuring Dole Packaged Foods’ products. She will showcase this recipe and several others at the Dole Bistro where she'll be cooking 'live on green' December 29 and 30th as part of the Tournament of Roses Parade.

On January 1, tune in to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade where Dole Packaged Food’s float, “Soaring Over Paradise,” explores the world’s rainforests. The float includes four waterfalls, a zip line that travels through the rainforest canopy and a flock of Macaws that appear to take flight over the floral gardens.

2 cans (20 oz. each) Dole pineapple slices
1/3 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 package (18.25 oz.) yellow or pineapple flavored cake mix
9 maraschino cherries, cut in half 

Drain pineapple; reserve juice.

Stir together the butter and brown sugar. Evenly divide sugar mixture into 18 (2/3 cup each) muffin cups* coated with cooking spray.

Lightly press well-drained pineapple slices into sugar mixture. Place cherries in the center of the pineapple, slice side up.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions, replacing amount of water called for with reserved juice. Pour 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup.

Bake in a preheated 350 oven 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Loose edges and invert onto cookie sheet.
*Note - If muffin cup is smaller than 2/3 cup, it will not be large enough to hold pineapple slice and batter. I used some small rounded ramekins to make mine fit perfectly!

These mini cakes are moist and delicious! Everybody was coming in the kitchen asking me what smelled so delicious! They won't sit around long no matter what occasion you make them for this new year!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Southern Whole Hog Bar-B-Que & Rice and Hash

The Elliott family always has a big BBQ for big occasions around the holidays. Years back they were held at "The Cabin", way back in the swamp behind my parent's and Grandparent's homes. Oh, the memories that it all brings back. The men would get together early in the morning and BBQ a whole hog over live coals.  

That's what we call a "Pig Pickin"!

Whole Hog BBQ

 The "good" meat under the ribs!

When I was growing up we had hog head hash. It is made with the head, heart, and the liver... no part of the hog was wasted. Now, I use Boston Butts. (which is a cut of pork that comes from the upper part of the shoulder from the front leg and may contain the blade bone)

In pre-revolutionary New England and into the American Revolutionary War, some pork cuts (not those highly valued, or "high on the hog," like loin and ham) were packed into casks or barrels (also known as "butts") for storage and shipment. The way the hog shoulder was cut in the Boston area became known in other regions as "Boston butt".

3lbs pork butt*
1/2lb liver, cooked (optional)
1lb peeled potatoes
1 onion
juice from cooking the pork
and a great BBQ sauce (like "Daddy's Bar-B-Que Sauce")

Bake pork (seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder), covered until it falls apart. (about 3-4 hours at 350 degrees) Save the renderings/broth. In a pot, boil your potatoes and a finely minced onion seasoned with salt. Run meat (fat and all), liver, potato and onion mixture through a meat grinder. (Or grind in food chopper or processor) Place ground mixture back in the broth, add BBQ sauce to consistence of a very thick gravy. Let simmer at a low temp for another hour or two. Serve over white rice.

* Reserve or cook an extra couple of pounds of meat to shred and add sauce to for the BBQ plate or for sandwiches.

If you don't have the sauce or don't know how much seasoning, try this recipe for making it in the crockpot... what can be easier? I still prefer to grind the meat and not chop to get a smoother texture, but that's just me!

CrockPot Hash

5 to 6 lbs Boston butt roasts
1lb. liver
3 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
3 medium onions, peeled and diced

Seasonings: (use only as a guide...)
5 Tbl white vinegar
2 Tbl spicy brown mustard
2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 Tbl tomato paste
1 stick butter
2 Tbl worcestershire sauce
salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Step 1: In a 5 quart crock pot on high. Rub both roasts with salt and cracked pepper, then place in the crock pot. Add the diced potatoes and onions, and then fill the pot with hot water or stock and cover. Let it cook 6 to 7 hours until the meat falls apart. Keep check on the water level

Step 2: Remove the meat from the pot and pull apart to let cool. Next remove the bone, fat, and connective tissue. Pull the meat apart in small pieces and then give it a light chop. Break up the potatoes and onions in the pot with a potato masher. Return the meat to the pot. Add the butter and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Let it cook another hour or until it is the consistency you like.

Step 3: Add your seasonings one at a time and taste as you go. Add a little BBQ sauce for a kick or...

Step 4: Serve over your choice
 of white rice pour sauce over the rice and hash.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Dark Chocolate Fudge Crinkle Cookies

I wanted to do something different with the cake mix I had on hand. I researched how to turn cake mixes into cookie dough. I decided to turn them into crinkle cookies. They are very easy, pretty and festive looking for the holidays!

1 box Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup Oil
Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cake mix, eggs and 1/3 cup vegetable oil using a hand mixer or wooden spoon.

Form teaspoon size balls or scoop with a cookie scoop and roll in powdered sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet or baking pan about 2 inches apart. Cook for 8-10 minutes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Collard Greens and Pork Shanks... Farm Trips with my BFFF Mary!

Yesterday, my BFFF Mary and I went to meet her friends at Russell's hog farm, Sunny Cedars Farm located in Sumter, SC. They got the full tour and bought some yummy pork products free of nitrates, steroids and antibiotics! He gave me some of his new cut shanks! I used one to season some collards! (recipe below) Then Mary and I were off to Willard Farms to pick up some Organically grown Collard Greens!

Collards** and Shanks... Score!
Jay Willard and his son looking for the perfect
bunches of Certified Organic Collards for Mary and me!
Willard Farms is located in Gable, SC.
Their market is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Fri/Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m.

Rows of Organic Collards

These plants are HUGE! Beautiful!


A huge bowl/tote cooked down to one skillet full!

Sauteed Collard Greens **
seasoned with a pork shank slice!

Collards, washed, stemmed and torn into pieces
Grease from frying bacon*
1 Onion, chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
Kosher salt, pepper, all to taste
and a dash of hot sauce
Fry bacon until crisp and remove from pan. Add onions and saute until soft. Add garlic and collards. Cover and cook until wilted a bit (about 5 minutes).
Sprinkle in the bouillon, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cook covered until tender. 
* I used a pork shank from Sunny Cedars Farm. I rendered some of the fat out of the Shank by browning it in a hot cast iron skillet. I moved it to another pan and finished it off in the oven. I pulled the meat out and tore it into chunks and tossed into the collards.
** These collards need NO sugar! They are not bitter at all! These are some of the smoothest, freshest and biggest collards I have ever had! If you are in the area go to Jay Willard's place *Certified Organic* Willard Farms! You will not be disappointed!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

This is a new favorite Thanksgiving side dish at my house now! This is like a sweet potato souffle in a sweet potato skin. It is sweet and extra creamy! The little kids especially loved them. It was as if they were eating dessert for dinner! Yay!

4 sweet potatoes
¼ cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon*
½ teaspoon salt
1 pinch black pepper, or more to taste
Mini Marshmallows

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Lightly poke potatoes 2-3 times with a knife. Bake in the preheated oven until a sharp knife easily pierces the potato, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool sweet potatoes until easily handled, 10 to 15 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop insides into a large bowl. Add butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, salt, and black pepper. Mix using a stand mixer or hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Spoon mixture back into the sweet potato skins and top each with marshmallows. Place sweet potatoes back onto the baking sheet. Bake in the oven until warmed through and marshmallows are toasted, about 15-20 minutes.

* For an even better taste, substitute Pumpkin Pie Spice for the cinnamon!

Ben with his mouth wide open. More please!!! Good stuff!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Snickerdoodle Pinwheel Cookies

I know! Snickerdoodles are rolled in sugar and cinnamon. I made these inside-out. I covered the dough and then rolled them into pinwheels!

1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
½ cup shortening
2 eggs
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350ºF.
Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt.
Roll dough into a rectangle. Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle the dough with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll dough tightly into a log and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for a few hours or overnight. The dough can also be frozen until needed. Cut into rounds about ¼ inch think. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I usually try to do most of my cooking from scratch, but let's face it, we need a quick fix sometimes. I while back, I did a giveaway for Krusteaz. They have some of the best quality mixes available. The hubby found a pumpkin muffin mix and brought it home. It had an alternative recipe for cookies! I needed a little dessert for my boxed dinners tonight. It worked out perfect!

Krusteaz Pumpkin Muffin Mix
1 stick of Butter, softened
1 egg

In a medium size bowl, blend ingredients together. Using a cookie scoop or teaspoon drop mix on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Country Sausage Biscuit and Gravy Breakfast Casserole

I found a recipe for a biscuit and gravy breakfast casserole. It looked so good, but when I got into the recipe it was obvious that the recipe did NOT match the picture. That is the problem with some food sites. They take a picture from someone and just find a recipe with the same ingredients! That is why so many people get frustrated when their dishes look nothing like the pictures online! As I have said, "My food might not be pretty, but it usually tastes pretty good!" LOL

2 cups Sausage Gravy, recipe below
1 lb. pork breakfast sausage
1 cup Cheddar Cheese
6 eggs
½ cup milk
Salt and Pepper
1 can Pillsbury Grands Biscuits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 13X9 pan with non stick cooking spray.
Cut the biscuits into 1" pieces and line bottom of pan.
Brown the sausage and scatter over biscuits, reserving the grease for the gravy below. Sprinkle with Cheddar Cheese. Ladle in the sausage gravy.
Whisk eggs and milk with salt and pepper, and pour it over the pan.
Bake in the oven for about 30-45 minutes or until golden brown and set.

Sausage Gravy

1 lb. pork breakfast sausage* 
3 T grease rendered from the sausage 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
3 cups milk 
2 T black coffee OR 1 beef bouillon cube 
1 T Worcestershire sauce 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp black pepper

Brown sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon leaving the drippings in the pan. Stir the flour into pan with 3 T of sausage drippings and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Gradually whisk milk into pan.

Cook until mixture begins to simmer, then add sausage*, coffee/bouillon, 
Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to pan. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened.

*When Making the Casserole, do not add the sausage to the gravy. Top the biscuits in the 13X9 pan with the sausage.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mexican Pizza Casserole

1 pound Ground Beef
1 package Taco Seasoning, or use your own blend
4-8 lrg Flour Tortillas, torn into four pieces
1 can Black Beans
1 can Pinto Beans
1 can Diced Tomatoes
1 can Corn
1 can Green Chiles
Salsa (about a cup)*
2 cups Shredded Colby~Jack Cheese **

Possible Toppings... Lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole and/or scallions

Brown hamburger, drain and season with a couple of teaspoons your favorite taco seasoning. Drain all the cans corn, tomato, chiles and beans. Combine with meat mixture, and add salsa. Season with more taco seasoning if needed. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
In a 13X9 Casserole dish, layer meat mixture, cheese, tortillas and repeat ending with cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until cheese is melted and starting to get golden brown.
Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

* Add enough salsa to moisten the mixture, but not enough to make it soggy. I used about a cup, maybe a little less.

** I always use more cheese than called for. Use as much or as little as you want!

Shared on Meal Plan Monday 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

BLT Recipes!

Who doesn't love a good BLT? Well, you can get that great flavor in a variety of ways, shapes and sizes! We have our favorites, but it also depends on the occasion. Salads are great for a dinner party. Dips are great for munching during the game. Sandwiches and wraps are great for sandwich night or a quick lunch! Check out these BLT recipes! All Pictures have a link to the recipes below!

And as always, back to simple original
BLT Sandwich! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bacon Cheddar Biscuits

I have made the Cheddar Bay Biscuits, and I've made Bacon Puffs! I've tried a lot of combinations including biscuits with bacon, but I've never been satisfied with the bacon flavor in the biscuit itself. Well, last night the light bulb went off! Take out the oil and substitute the grease/oil rendered from cooking the bacon! No one can yell at me about this one, because you are only subbing one oil for another! Nothing wrong with bacon "oil"! :-)

2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoons Salt
1/4 cup Crisco Shortening
2/3 cup Milk
1/4 cup Bacon Grease*
1 Egg
1 pound Bacon, fried and crumbled**
1/2 cup Onion, diced small
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a fork or your hands, cut in shortening until all combined. Add the bacon, onions, and cheddar cheese to the flour mixture and stir to coat with flour.
Combine milk, bacon grease, and egg in a separate bowl. Whisk together.
Combine flour mixture and milk mixture in a large bowl. Stir gently until all combined.
Spoon batter into greased mini muffin tins. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes on 375 degrees until golden brown. Remove from pan onto a wire rack. Cover with a towel and serve warm.

* Reserve the grease after cooking the bacon and cool.
 ** I only use one cup of crumbles bacon, but the guys eat some every time. So, I cook the entire package!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Vidalia Upside Down Cornbread

Here's a twist on your usual cornbread. It's great with a big ole bowl of chili or chowder! Yum!!!

I didn't quite let the onions cook long enough.
I should have put them on the
bottom rack to get more color.

1 stick butter, melted
3 large vidalia onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
   (or enough to cover the bottom of the pan)
3 (8 ounce) packages cornbread mix
3 egg, beaten
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a 13x9 pan, add melted butter and onion slices. Bake for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the cornbread
 mix, egg, milk, sour cream, cheese, and salt. Remove the onions from the oven and add the cornbread mix over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, until set and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean. Loosen the edges with a knife and invert on a serving plate. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into squares.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Just For Fun ~ What it takes to make 15 Gallons of Mama's Slaw

30-32 large heads of Cabbage
5 lbs of Carrots
3 or 4 gallons of Mayonnaise
(Depends on the yield from the cabbage)
1 bottle Lemon Juice
1 bag Sugar
Salt and Pepper
Multiple Coolers and Zip-Loc Bags

3 stations:
Peeling and cutting Carrots and Cabbage
Grinding Carrots and Cabbage
Mixing (Notice that I had to use one of the babies' chairs
 as a stool because the bowl/tote was so big! LOL)

Elliott took the pictures, 
but he was on the Cutting and Peeling Station.
The hubby was grinding and I was mixing.

And, THIS is the look I get 
when I try to tell him how to do something! LOL

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Strawberry Cake with Powdered Sugar Glaze!

My house smelled totally AWESOME when this cake was baking! It smelled like sweet, hot strawberries!!!

1 package white cake mix
1 small package strawberry gelatin
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup mashed strawberries

Powdered Sugar
Milk or Water

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix, gelatin powder, water, oil and eggs. Beat on low speed 1 minute or until moistened; beat on medium until well blended. Don't over mix or the cake will be tough. Fold mashed strawberries into cake batter. Pour into greased and floured 9X13 baking pan. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Slowly poke holes in the cake, as many as you want. Remove from pan and place on serving tray.

Mix powdered sugar and water (or milk) to make a glaze. Generously pour over the cake, filling the holes! Cool completely and cut and serve!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Best Ever Cinnamon Rolls

This is a monster 12" cake pan!

For the dough:
1 package active dry yeast
¾ cup warm water
1½ cups warm milk
½ cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon salt
4½ cups flour, divided
¼ cup shortening, melted

For the filling:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

For the glaze:
1 cup 10X sugar
1 tablespoon milk

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir until dissolved. Add warm milk, ¼ cup of the sugar and salt. Stir in 3 cups of the flour. Mixture will be very wet. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
After the first rising, stir in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and melted shortening. Add remaining 1½ cups of flour. Dough will still be wet. Let rise until double, about an hour. 

Mix together the cinnamon, sugar and flour and set aside.
Mix the sugar and milk in a small bowl and set aside.
After the second rise, the dough will be very wet. Dump dough on a well-floured surface and divide in half. With a floured rolling pin, roll each half into a large rectangle, about 18 inches long. Spread each rectangle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll them up tightly. Cut into 1 inch slices. Place them in well greased cake pans and let rise until doubled.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle with any of the sugar mixture that escaped when rolling and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and all puffed up in the center. Drizzle glaze over hot rolls!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Hot Pepper Jelly

Hot Pepper Jelly

2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
8-10 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 teaspoon butter
1 package Sure-Jell
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Stem and seed the peppers. Cut them into chunks and put the peppers and the vinegar in a food processor and chop them to small pieces. Pour the puree into a large pot and add the butter and sugar. Bring to a boil, and boil for 4 minutes. Stir in the pectin, and continue boiling for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes. Pour into hot sterilized jelly jars. Place them in a hot bath for 10 minutes. Store in a cool place.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Brown Box Veggies and a Pick-up at Four Oaks Farm Store!

Last month I won a Farm Photo Contest in two categories. The prize for winning was a gift certificate to Brown Box Veggies. Since I won two categories, I received two gift certificates! This post is about the first certificate.

Since the closest pick-up point was over 50 miles away, I got my step-daughter to go pick it up from Four Oaks Farm Store for her and her family. They are in love now! They plan repeat trips! It is awesome and only about 6 miles from their house! How is that for convenience? Their young son Jack was amazed at the colors, textures and FOOD! They didn't get a chance to see everything, but they plan an extended visit next time! Thanks for a great experience for them Four Oaks!

Brown Box Veggies

"Having an affordable service that allows folks to purchase fresh produce, being able to buy as much as we can find from local farmers, and teaching families good eating habits is what Brown Box Veggies is all about."

Corn, Potatoes, Onions, Cabbage, Zucchini, Apples, 
Peaches, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Bell Peppers, 
Green Beans, Okra, and I believe Parsley...

Jack at the pick-up location
Four Oaks Farm Store!
It is an awesome/fun store!

Their bounty!
All at an awesome value... $27
But FREE through my gift certificate!!!