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Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Tree Monkey Bread (Pull Apart Bread)

I saw this idea in a video online and decided to give it a try. I didn't like their choice in spices so I changed things to our taste. It is very easy and you probably have all the ingredients on hand. You can change the spices or the type of cheese. I want to add pepperoni or sausage next time! My best advice with this recipe is preheat your oven and start at the lowest time range and keep your eye on them. If you walk away and let it go to long, you'll have a tray of hollow bites and melted cheese all over the place! You can see that mine already started to melt and hollow.

1-2 packages refrigerated canned biscuits (depending on how big you want your tree)*
1 block mozzarella cheese, cut into small chunks
Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp water)

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 Parmesan cheese
1/2 t garlic powder

1/2 t basil
1/2 t oregano
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Cut mozzarella into 1” pieces. Cut each biscuit in half. Wrap biscuit halves around each piece of mozzarella, forming a tightly sealed ball. Place biscuits seam-side down on the baking sheet in the shape of (any style or size) Christmas tree you would like (biscuits should be touching). Brush brush egg wash on biscuits and bake until golden 12-18 minutes. Watch to make sure the cheese doesn't begin to melt out of the biscuits!
Whisk together melted butter, Parmesan and herbs. Brush on baked biscuits. Serve warm with marinara for dipping.

*This tree took 15 biscuits cut in half.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Lemon Pepper Wings

It is game day here, and the hubby requested Lemon Pepper Wings and Raw Fries! Sounds good to me! Finger food and football! Always a big hit! 

Lemon Pepper Wings

Roast or fry a batch of wings or drummettes. Mix up some lemon pepper sauce. Toss and Serve with Raw Fries. (Recipe for raw fries is linked under the picture below.)

Lemon Pepper Sauce

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
lemon pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for a couple of minutes. Toss wings in sauce and serve.

Shared on Meal Plan Monday 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sausage and Spinach Pasta Bake

Pasta, Green Beans, BLT salad and Garlic bread!

1 (12 ounce) package pasta*
1 pound ground sausage, cooked and drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil

5 cups tomato and roasted garlic pasta sauce
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Place the cooked pasta in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil. Toss the pasta with the cooked spinach, egg mixture, and sausage.
Cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish with 1/3 of the pasta sauce. Pour half of the pasta mixture into the baking dish, and cover with another 1/3 of the pasta sauce. Sprinkle with half of the Cheddar cheese and half of the mozzarella. Layer with remaining pasta mixture, and top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the rest of the Cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.
Bake 45 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

*I used spaghetti pasta.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Cheeseburger Slider Casserole

  • We have been having a rough time in the South/Southeast after Hurricane Matthew. North Carolina is continuing to have flooding issues. Here in South Carolina, many people remain in the dark with no power. I am lucky. I have my power back on, but just 2 miles down the road they are still without power. It is possible that they will be without power for a few more days! With that being said, we got a little tired of the grill. I have never missed my stove more! You might think casseroles are boring, but when you even have to grill water, you may understand why a new casserole recipe brings me so much joy!

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 slices cheese (your choice)*
  • 12 dinner rolls**


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Place hamburger in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned and onions are cooked. Drain off fat. Stir in drained tomatoes and cook until heated through. Season with salt, pepper.

Place bottom half of buns in prepared pan. Top with beef mixture & sliced cheese. Finish off with the top half of the bun.

Mix all the ingredients for the glaze in a saucepan over medium heat until melted, smooth and combined. Pour over the buns.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

* I used American Cheese.
** Use Plain Dinner Rolls and not sweet dinner rolls.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Taylor's Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

I was talking to one of my son's friends last night on Facebook. She asked me if I had tried crinkle cookies. I told her about mine, and she shared the way that she makes them. She mixes in whipped cream! She said it makes them extra light, fluffy and delicious! Wow! I've never seen someone use Cool Whip in cookie batter. I love it when a teenage can teach me a thing or two in the kitchen... ESPECIALLY when it involves BAKING! LOL You rock Taylor! 

1 box of cake mix 
8oz of cool whip (2 cups)
1 egg
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, egg and whipped cream. Form teaspoon size balls or scoop with a cookie scoop and roll in powdered sugar. Place on an ungreased (she lined it with parchment paper) cookie sheet or baking pan about 2 inches apart. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Cool and plate.

Add a glass of milk and 
you have your late night snack!

Thanks for sharing with me last night Taylor!
You rock that oven girl!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Chicken and Pasta with Roasted Tomato, Onion and Garlic

I was looking for a casserole recipe using chicken and pasta. After looking through dozens of recipes and searching my freezer and pantry, this is what I came up with last week. It is very simple and the roasted vegetables add the perfect smokey flavor.

1/2 to 1 pound pasta, spaghetti or linguine
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
4 cloves garlic, left whole
1 yellow onion, sliced thick
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
4 cups Colby Jack cheese, shredded
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne*
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4 cups shredded cooked chicken

Lightly grease a casserole dish, and line a baking sheet with foil.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted water. Drain and transfer to casserole.

Place the tomatoes, skin side up on the baking sheet, along with the whole garlic cloves and onion. Broil, for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the tomatoes, garlic, and onion are softened and have begun to blacken. Remove from the oven, cool and, dice. Turn the oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour until well combined and slightly browned. Slowly pour in the milk and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens just a bit. Once the sauce thickens, turn off the heat and slowly stir in 2 cups of cheese, a little at a time, until melted. Stir in the chicken broth until the sauce is the consistency of gravy. Stir in the diced vegetables, along with the cumin, and cayenne. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Add salt and black pepper to taste, and stir in the shredded cooked chicken. Pour the sauce into the cooked spaghetti. Cover with the remaining cheeses.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Serve with Garlic Bread and a side salad for a nice complete meal.

*For an added kick add a couple of jalapeno peppers halved and added to the roasting vegetables.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Taco Seasoning Mix

My son loves Tacos... soft tacos. I planned to make him some tonight and did not realize that I was out of seasoning mix. I figured it couldn't be that hard to make some. I researched it and found the ingredients. I adjusted it to my families taste and this is what I came up with tonight. My son was satisfied so I guess it's a keeper! LOL

2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Dried Oregano

Mix seasoning together in a small bowl. Add to 1 1/2 - 2 pounds of cooked, drained hamburger meat and add 1/3 to 1/2 cup water and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

My hubby liked it too for his salad!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Maple Bacon Monkey Bread

I saw a post earlier using biscuit dough, maple syrup and bacon to make a wonderful looking Maple-Bacon Biscuit Bake. I thought, "I'll turn that into monkey bread." Yeah! I know a few spots got a little to browned, but that's because I had the oven on 400 instead of 350. It yours starts to brown to quickly, lay a piece of aluminum foil over it. Don't cover it tightly, just lay a piece over the top.


1/2 pound bacon, cooked until medium-brown
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter

4 tubes refrigerator biscuits
1/2 cup Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chop the cooked bacon into 1/2" pieces. Combine the bacon with the remaining syrup ingredients, stirring until well combined. Set aside. Cut biscuits into fours and roll into balls. Roll biscuits in sugar. Butter or spray a loaf pan. Stack biscuits into loaf pan. Pour syrup over biscuits and bake at 350 for 40 to 50 minutes. When partly cool, turn out onto serving platter. To serve, let each person pull pieces off.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon Butter

For the first time since I was a child, I have Blue Lake Green Beans in my garden! Yesterday, I went out and picked enough for supper! I only have five plants, but they are loaded and doing well! I wanted to cook them in a unique way, something other than boiled with salt and pepper. I sauted them in butter. I added garlic, a touch of lemon, and finished them off by steaming them in chicken broth. Even my teenage son said, "Those are pretty good!"

Green Beans
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chicken broth

Saute green beans in butter. Add garlic and lemon juice and cook until the lemon juice is absorbed or cooked off. Turn heat to medium/medium high and add chicken broth. Cover pan and let steam until the beans are tender. (or until they are your desired texture.) Add salt and Pepper to taste. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Red Velvet 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 and pretty!

1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet 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 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Homemade Fajita Seasoning & Southern Bite's Fajita Chicken Casserole

My foodie friend Stacey over at Southern Bite shared a recipe for Fajita Chicken Casserole back in February, and I like many people pinned it and forgot about it. I was looking for something different to cook for Tuesday's Casserole Day last week, and I remembered his casserole. I quickly got word out that this one was on the menu! It smells heavenly as it cooks and tastes delicious! Click on the link above for his recipe and gorgeous photographs of this yummy casserole! Also, check out my recipe for homemade fajita seasoning mix below! It is super simple and might save you a dollar or two!

Mine is not as pretty as his, but boy howdy is it good!!!
I admit that I do not follow direction well,
but I do play well with others! LOL
I misread the recipe and used regular rice that I had cooked,
so I had to change things up. 
Follow his direction, and you will be fine!

My seasoning mix!

Homemade Fajita Seasoning

¼ cup Chili Powder
2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
2 tablespoons Paprika
1 tablespoon Onion Powder
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Cayenne Powder
1 tablespoon Cumin Powder

Mix in a bowl, and store in an airtight container until ready to use. Use about 1 teaspoon, or to taste, per chicken breast or steak when making fajitas.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Chicken Wing Drummettes

It is that time of year! Time for graduation, end of the school year parties, bring on summer parties and picnics! These chicken drummettes are a favorite for kids of all ages

6-8 chicken drummettes 
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce
2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Oil for frying

Make an egg wash by beating the eggs, buttermilk and hot sauce together in a shallow dish. Mix flour and spices in another shallow dish. Dip drummettes in egg wash then dredge in the flour mixture. For a thicker crust on the chicken, repeat that step again... egg then flour. In a heavy skillet, heat about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of oil to 365 degrees. (Or heat a deep fryer to 365 degrees) Place chicken in hot oil. (If the oil is not up to temp, the coating will not stick. Do not crowd the chicken in the pan or it will boil in the oil and not fry crispy.) Fry for about 5 minutes per side or until golden brown and no longer pink inside.

Lemon Pepper Sauce

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
lemon pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for a couple of minutes. Toss wings in sauce and serve.

Teriyaki Sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Mix all but the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of cold water, in a sauce pan over medium heat. Mix cornstarch and water. Stir til dissolved. Add to sauce pan. Heat until thickened. Toss wings in sauce and serve.

BBQ Hot Sauce

1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp oil
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Texas Pete hot sauce***
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Saute onion and garlic in oil in a large pan. Drain any excess oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes. 

*** Add more or less. Adjust to your taste. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Vidalia Onion Rings

Well, this has been a challenging week. My laptop screen got cracked and nobody knows how it happened. OK! I ordered a new laptop and it should be here Wednesday. In the meantime, I am working through the cracks in the screen. I got to show the hubby something and didn't realize the camera was still attached to the USB. Down the camera goes to the floor! Long story short? Camera doesn't work now! My son took the pictures for this post. Not my usual look and angles... thanks for helping Mama out Elliott!

I used some of the Vidalia Onions that I got a couple of weeks ago! I cut thick slices and dredged them in flour. I made a tempura batter (click for the link). Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Dip the floured onion rings in the batter and completely coat. Let them drip off a bit. Drop into hot oil. when brown on the bottom, flip with a couple of wooden skewers and brown the other side. (Like a donuts) Drain on paper towels. Season and serve with your favorite sauce!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Strawberry Jam 3 Ways!

My friend Mary at All Things Food~Cooking with Mary and Friends brought me two gallons of strawberries the other day from Willard Farms. They are beautiful, fragrant and delicious! I decided to make three different types of jam. One regular batch of Strawberry Jam. One batch of Strawberry Jalapeno and one batch of Strawberry Basil Jam.

I washed and trimmed the stems of one gallon of strawberries. That yielded about 6 cups of chopped strawberries. It would have been a little more, but my hubby and son kept sneaking strawberries from the bucket! LOL

Strawberry Jam Base:

6 cups chopped strawberries
8 cups sugar (more or less depending on the sweetness of the berries)
1 pkg Sure-Jell fruit pectin

Add the strawberries to a large pot and mash a little with a large spoon or potato masher. When some juice has been extracted, add the pectin and stir to dissolve. Bring to a boil and add the sugar. Bring back to a rolling boil for at least one minute. I cooked mine a bit longer. Remove from heat. At this point I added the jam to 4 half pint jars.

For Strawberry Jalapeno:
Add 1~2 tablespoons chopped jalapenos to each of three jars, and add the jam leaving 1/4" head space.

For Strawberry Basil:
Add 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dried basil according to taste in each of three jars or tear or mince fresh basil and add to jars.

Process jars in a hot water bath for ten minutes. (according to manufacturer's directions) Or if you are not sure how to or need a good reference when canning check out Ball's Step-by-Step Guide.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Southern Pickled Okra

I made pickled okra last summer, but I never realized I didn't make a blog post about it. I was trying so hard to baby the 4 plants that made it in planting and processing the yield, that the post just never occurred to me! Funny! Pictures and posts are usually first in my mind! LOL


Makes 6 (1/2-pt) jars 
1 pound okra (3 1/2 to 4 inches long)
3 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
6 teaspoons dried dill
6 garlic cloves, peeled
3 cups cider vinegar (24 fluid ounces)
1 cup water
3 tablespoons kosher salt

Sterilize jars and lids. Put 1 garlic clove, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon dill in each jar. Tightly pack jars with okra, stem ends up. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil in a 2-quart nonreactive saucepan, stirring until salt is dissolved. Divide pickling liquid evenly among jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top. Tap jars or run a knife or skewer around the jar to release air bubbles.

Seal and process jars. Wipe off rims of filled jars with a clean damp kitchen towel, and then firmly screw on lids and bands. Put sealed jars on rack in canner or pot and add enough hot water to cover. Bring to a boil. Boil pickles 10 minutes. Carefully transfer jars with tongs to a towel-lined surface to cool. Jars will seal (if you hear a ping, this signals that the vacuum formed at the top has made the lid concave).
Let pickled okra stand in jars at least 24 hours for flavors to develop.

Pickled okra (in sealed jars) keeps 6 months in a cool dark place.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Mama's One Minute Icing

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix sugar, cocoa, butter and milk together. Over medium heat, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Add vanilla. Cool partially, then beat with a mixer for 3 minutes or until spreadable consistency.

This is not a fluffy kind of frosting that you use to decorate a cake. I did use it on the layer cake in the picture, but this is more of a icing that would go on a sheet cake. The mixture will harden some, but it definitely shouldn't be soupy. Be careful not to heat it over too high a heat, or the sugar will start to turn to candy, which will make the mixture grainy. Spread on the cake quickly and let it set until completely cooled.