Welcome to my kitchen! Sit right down and join me for something yummy!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mom's Deviled Eggs

Here's another of my Mom's recipes that I want to save. Again, this one is not very exact, but I can figure it out....I hope you can!

Hard Boiled Eggs (6 eggs would make one dozen)
sweet pickle relish
vinegar (optional)
paprika (optional)

Slice eggs in half length-wise. Scoop out yolk and put yolk in bowl. Set aside hollowed out egg whites. Mash egg yolks and mix with a bit of sweet pickle relish, salt and pepper to taste, enough mayonnaise to hold egg mixture together, and vinegar if you wish to add it. Using a spoon or a pastry bag, add egg yolk mixture to hollowed out egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

Cornbread Stuffing

I absolutely LOVE my mom's cornbread stuffing. This recipe is not exact -- or even close to it. I want to write this down so I have it on my blog, but it may be difficult to follow. This is how my mom gave it to me though!

Mom's Cornbread Stuffing

3/4ths pan of cornbread (Mom's cornbread is not sweet, and she makes it in a 10 inch cast iron skillet)
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped fine
8 slices of toasted white bread, broken into bite-size pieces
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
sage, to taste
Turkey Broth, enough to saturate the cornbread mixture

Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 40 minutes in a sprayed casserole dish, covered.

(I called Mom while typing this and she helped me be more exact with the recipe...you should have seen it before that!)

Fat Ladies

I got this recipe from Linda's blog. I made these last week and took them to our homeschool moms night out. I saved the rest for company yesterday. They are a big hit! I cut them small since they're so fattening, and they go a long way!

1 roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
16 oz. package chocolate chips
32 caramels, unwrapped
¼ c. half & half
1 c. chopped pecans (or your choice of nut)

Cut dough into ¼ inch thick slices and press into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Melt caramels in half & half and spread over top. Sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate. Indulge!

Carrot Casseroles

I'm not a big fan of cooked carrots, however I have had a couple of recipes that I think are really good. These are good dishes to take to family or church gatherings.

They are not healthy...except for the carrots! ;o)

Sweet Carrot Casserole

2 lbs carrots
1 stick butter
1 lb Velveeta
Frosted Flakes

Peel and slice carrots. Cook until barely tender. Drain and place in casserole dish. Cut up cheese and butter -- melt together. Pour mixture over carrots. Top with a layer of Frosted Flakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Carrot Casserole (given to me by brother's wife, Jan)

1 medium onion, diced
4 to 5 cups diced carrots
3 stalks celery, diced
1 stick butter
1 cup Velveeta
1 sleeve Ritz type crackers

Boil carrots, celery, and onion for 5 minutes. Drain veggies. While vegetables are cooking, combine and melt butter and Velveeta. Add veggies to butter/cheese mixture. Pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle crushed Ritz crackers on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, uncovered.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Christmas Present

I have wanted a stand mixer for probably the past 10 to 15 years, at least. A good stand mixer. My mom gave me her old Sunbeam stand mixer a long time ago, and it was okay for light stuff, but it didn't cut it for heavy-duty mixing. There have been several times when Neal has wanted to get me one, but for one reason or another we didn't get it. Usually because I couldn't stand the thought of spending that much money on a mixer! Well, it has finally happened. We made the leap and Neal purchased this mixer for me! I am so excited. I haven't gotten it yet, but it has been ordered and will be delivered to my home in less than two weeks! WooHoo!!

I always thought I'd get a Kitchen-Aid, but after doing some research on-line I decided to go with this one. Just like the Kitchen-Aid it has all kinds of attachments I can purchase separately. Right now I'll be happy with the three attachments it comes with! The two things that persuaded me to get the Cuisinart were the stronger motor (800 watts for the 5 1/2 qt mixer), and the timer. I think that will come in quite handy!

Neal, if you're reading this: Thank you so much! I can't wait to make my bread dough in this instead of my bread machine!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nourishing Holiday Food Carnival

The Nourishing Gourmet is hosting a healthy holiday food carnival! Although this recipe is not one we eat regularly at our house, we do eat it at least once over the holidays....usually at our Thanksgiving meal. So, although I make it a bit healthier than I used to, it still has a lot of calories! Oh, but it is good!
So, without further ado, here is my favorite side dish at Thanksgiving!
Sweet Potato Casserole
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sugar (I use either Demerara or Sucanat with Honey)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
dash of nutmeg
Combine all the above ingredients and mix well. Place in greased 2-quart baking dish.
Then mix together the following for the topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar (I use dark brown)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 T flour
1 1/2 T melted butter
Sprinkle the topping on top of the sweet potato mixture. Cover and bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Tip for making sweet potatoes: the easiest way is to bake your sweet potatoes and then scoop out the middle. You can also peel and boil, but it takes longer.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall into Flavor -- No Bake Cookies

Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee (one of my favorite blog reads) is hosting Fall Into Flavor. It's been going on a while now, but this is my first time (and apparently last time, since this is the last one) participating. This is one of my favorite comfort foods. It must be Ben's too, because he asked me to make them for his birthday and I still haven't made them. Maybe today...

No Bake Cookies
(or if you live in the south, they're called Preacher Cookies)

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa

Combine in pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add:

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups rolled oats

Drop by teaspoonful onto waxed paper. Cool. Eat. Enjoy. Stop eating or you'll get sick. Okay...one more! Now STOP!

Favorite Kitchen Gadget #1

I'm not saying that this is my #1 favorite gadget, I'm saying that out of all of my favorite kitchen gadgets, this is the 1st one I'm going to talk about here. :o) I know there are many different brands of rice cookers out there, and I'm sure there are many good ones. This is the only rice cooker/steamer I've ever had, so my knowledge on these appliances is very limited. That said...I love my rice cooker!

Neal bought this for me a couple of years ago when we started growing our own asparagus. There is a steamer basket that fits in the top of the cooker (it's in the dishwasher right now, or I would have taken a picture of it). This year I only used it with the asparagus a time or two because our new favorite way of fixing asparagus is to grill it; however, I do use this a lot for cooking rice.

My favorite rice is Brown Basmati. As Rachel Ray would surely say "it has a nutty flavor." Does she say everything has a nutty flavor, or is it just me? Well, this does have a nutty flavor, and the aroma is to die for! I'm cooking some for breakfast right now, and I wish I could make this an "aromatic post" so that you could appreciate how wonderful it smells!

Speaking of having it for breakfast, I want to share how we make our "Breakfast Rice Pudding."

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 Tbsp butter
real maple syrup

After my rice has finished cooking, I add the butter right away. Stir until the butter is melted, and then add maple syrup to taste. Spoon into individual bowls, and add a bit of milk. I like to add a dash of cinnamon to mine, as well.

I've tried this with pancake syrup, but real maple syrup has a much better taste. I buy a bottle to keep on hand just for this breakfast.

What is your favorite rice to cook? Any favorite recipes?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Broccoli Casserole

I will be making this dish for our Thanksgiving meal. This is one of my favorite holiday dishes from my childhood. I'll add a picture when I make it on the 27th!

1 cup cooked rice (I use brown basmati rice)
1/2 stick butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I used reduced fat)
1 small can fat free evaporated milk
1/2 lb Velveeta, diced (it's not healthy, but it tastes good!)
2 pkg (10 oz each) frozen, chopped broccoli
Ritz (type) crackers, crushed (approximately half a sleeve)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cook broccoli until thawed and broken apart. Drain. In large skillet or pan, brown onion in butter. Add soup, milk, and cheese to onion, and cook until cheese melts. Add broccoli and cooked rice to onion mixture. Transfer to greased casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes. Take out and sprinkle cracker crumbs on top. Bake another 15 minutes or until edges are bubbly.

Nutty Barley Bake

(Picture taken from Taste of Home website)

I found this recipe a couple of years ago in a Taste of Home magazine, and fell in love with it. This is a wonderful recipe to make for big gatherings during the holidays. I think I first made it for Easter a couple of years ago. It was a big hit!

1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup medium pearl barley
1/2 cup slivered almonds or pine nuts
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley (I omit this)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (I use fresh chives)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) beef broth (I use low sodium)
In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onion, barley and nuts in butter until barley is lightly browned. Stir in parsley, green onions, salt and pepper. Transfer to a greased 2 qt baking dish. Stir in broth. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the barley is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fridays Fave 5

For those of you who came here from my visit to your blog for Fridays Fave 5, I'm sorry! I put the wrong blog address on my comment. You can check out my Fave 5 at my regular blog: http://vaqueenbee.blogspot.com


Dinner Rolls

I make just about all of our bread, and have been doing so for about a year and a half. I make sandwich rolls that we use in place of sliced bread for sandwiches, I make muffins for breakfast, and I make pizza dough. I make other things from time to time, but these three things are what I make most often. Every once in a while I make dinner rolls. I made them this week, but decided to play around with the recipe. So, I took two of my recipes and combined them to make a new recipe. They turned out yummy! Here's how I made them:

3/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup cold milk
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups freshly milled flour (I used hard white wheat)
1 T yeast

Right now I use a bread machine to mix it and go through the first rising (is that how you say that?). So I put my ingredients in the machine in the order listed above. It takes my bread machine an hour and a half to go through the dough cycle. Then I take out the dough and make my rolls. This time I did two different shapes. One is where I roll a small amount of dough into a log and then tie in a "knot." Those are the ones that kind of look like the shape of a cinnamon roll. The other shape I made was a clover shape. I took three small balls of dough and put them in a mini muffin cup. Then I heat my oven up to the lowest setting (170 degrees). I put the rolls in the oven and turn it off. I let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes. I remove them from the oven, and set the temperature to 400. When the oven is preheated I bake the rolls for 15 minutes.

The clover shaped rolls were a big hit, and I plan on making them again for Thanksgiving.

Sausage Balls

Although these are not the most healthy breakfast food in the world, Ben loves them and always requests them for his birthday breakfast! His 11th birthday was yesterday, so I made them up on Wednesday night and baked them Thursday morning. They were a huge hit -- as always -- and he finished them off by noon! :o)

1 lb sausage (I used Jimmy Dean's Regular Sausage)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups Bisquik (I use the low-fat Bisquik)

Combine all three ingredients. This is a very stiff consistency and you will most likely have to use your hands to get it mixed well. Roll sausage mixture into 1-inch balls. On a greased cookie sheet, place sausage balls side by side (I was able to get all of these sausage balls onto one large cookie sheet). Bake for 15 minutes in a 375 degree oven.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sausage Potato Casserole (again)

I posted this recipe earlier, but I made it on Tuesday and took pictures...actually, my daughter, Beth, took the pictures. So "thank you, Beth!"

Here is the recipe from my cookbook. This is a recipe that my Mom used to make when I was growing up. I now use either turkey kielbasa or lite beef kielbasa.

Saute the onions and peppers. I also sauteed some mushrooms this time and threw them in.

I used Yukon Gold potatoes. I like these potatoes because they have such a thin skin. I was able to scrub them quickly, and then they're really easy to slice, as well. Boil them and then drain them. I usually save some of the potato water and add to the potatoes so that they don't get dry, but I forgot this time.

Spray your baking dish and put your potatoes on the bottom of the dish. Then layer your onions and peppers.

Next put your layer of cheese on top of the potato mixture.

Cut up your sausage and lay on top. I added some chicken broth since I forgot to save the potato water. It didn't really change the flavor, but it added some extra moistness. Then cover with foil and bake about 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

And there you have it! This was enjoyed by my entire family. I made some homemade rolls and green beans to go with it. I hope you enjoy this family dish sometime soon!