Monday, August 31, 2015

Vidalia Onion Chicken

I am a distributor for Tastefully Simple products and one of my favorite products is their Vidalia Onion salad dressing.  I use it more as an ingredient than as a salad dressing.  This Vidalia Onion Chicken recipe is my favorite way to use it.  It makes the chicken juicy and is so easy.  I also add a little bit of it to my mashed potatoes for a great flavor combination. 

All Tastefully Simple products use no more than 2 ingredients to make them.  They have cheese balls, dips, spices, etc.  If you are interested in any Tastefully Simple products, check them out on line at and then let me know by emailing me at

Vidalia Onion Chicken

4 to 6 skinless chicken breasts
1/2 bottle Tastefully Simple Vidalia Onion Dressing (you can also buy this at the 
                grocery in a different brand)
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. real butter

I use a cast iron skillet to make this, but you can use any baking dish.  Melt the butter and put in the bottom of the pan to keep chicken from sticking.  Place chicken breasts in pan.  Mix 1/2 bottle Vidalia Onion salad dressing and 1/2 cup water in a bowl.  Pour over chicken breasts making sure all get covered well.  Immediately flip the chicken breasts over to make sure both sides get coated.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is done.

Serve with mashed potatoes and I put about 2 Tbsp. of the Vidalia Onion salad dressing in my mashed potatoes....or pour the sauce from the chicken over them like a gravy.  Delicious!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Tomato Basil Bisque Soup

I admit it, I am a soup junkie!  I love them in the winter, love them in the summer, love them anytime!  I enjoy creating new soup recipes.  This has become one of my favorites.  It has just a little kick to it, but the most fabulous flavor.  When I make this soup, I make home croutons to go along with it.  (See previous recipe on blog). 

Tomato Basil Bisque Soup

1 can petite tomatoes
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
1 can chicken broth
    *if you are making  large batch, you can double and use 2 cans of each above)
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/2 small white onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp. Basil
2 tsp. real butter
1 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1/4 cup evaporated milk

In large pan over medium/high heat, melt butter and add diced celery and onion.  Saute' for about 5 minutes, just to cook the onions a little.  Add the can of chicken broth and seasonings.  Puree the petite tomatoes and the Rotel tomatoes together in a blender or food processor.  *If you prefer your soup a little chunkier, you can just pulse them together quickly, leaving chunks.

Reduce heat to medium and allow soup to simmer, uncovered, for approximately 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally to make sure it does not scorch.  Remove from heat and immediately stir in 1/4 cup of evaporated milk.  This is what makes this soup a bisque instead of just a tomato soup. 

Serve with homemade croutons.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Seafood Boil with Casey Grant

                                       Seafood boil with Casey Grant

This meal is one of my favorites, I can’t make it very often, as it costs a lot to make. I will say that it is worth every penny spent. This makes a lot, so be sure that you have guests over when you make it. You could also ask people to pitch in to save a little money. There will not be many leftovers when you make this.

There are a few things that you have to have when you are going to make a seafood boil.

*A very big pot. You can get a large stockpot at Walmart or almost anywhere that sells kitchen pots and pans
*Old bay seasoning
*Crab legs- I use frozen, but you can use fresh if you want to spend a little more money. You will need at least 2 bags, depending on how many legs you want your guests to each get.
*Shrimp- again you can use frozen and thaw out before you cook it or you can buy fresh, you will need about 4 pounds
*Crayfish- These are so good and you only get a small piece of meat out of them so I buy two large bags of frozen crayfish.
*Smoked sausage- I use all beef sausage and I get the skinless kind. I cut up about 3 packs and keep them in about ½ inch links
*Small corn on the cob- I buy fresh corn for this and just cut it into small sections. Make enough for everyone to have 2 or 3
*Red potatoes- I make enough for everyone to have 3 or 4, this is normally 2 bags
*Clarified butter- This is very easy to make and I will post the recipe at the end
*Towels- Be sure to have a bunch because you will need them!
*A large table or large bowls- you can dump the food right on a covered table or place in bowls.


Old bay seasoning- at least 2 packs unless the crayfish have seasoning in them
Crab legs- 2 bags or 6 pounds
Shrimp- 4 pounds
Crayfish- 2 large frozen bags
Smoked sausage- 3 packages cut into about ½ inch links
Corn- 6-10 ears cut into 3 small pieces
Red potatoes- 2 bags
Real butter- 8 sticks
Salt and pepper

In the large pan place the old bay seasoning and put 3 cups of water in to mix together. Add the corn, potatoes and smoked sausage first and let boil for about 5 minutes then add the crab legs and crayfish, cook for about 10 minutes and add shrimp. Let boil for a few minutes until shrimp is done. I always let mine boil for a few minutes after just to let the seasoning soak in. You will want to drain the liquid before serving. I always keep a little for dipping in case someone does not want butter.

 Clarified butter

In a sauce pan cook the butter over very low heat until melted (do not boil). Let simmer for about 2 minutes. Skim the foam that floats up to top. Let the butter sit for a few minutes (5-10), this will give the milk solids time to settle to the bottom of the pan. Next slowly pour the liquid into a dish, making sure to leave the milky layer on the bottom. The butter is now clarified and ready to use.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cheesesteak Sandwich

These sandwiches are great on a night when you don't want to make a big meal.  Generally I use left over roast or steak, so the cooking time is very quick.   Serve with some rather large steak fries and you have a hearty meal!

Cheesesteak Sandwich

Leftover steak or roast
1/4 cup beef broth
2 Tbsp. real unsalted butter
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1 whole onion, sliced thinly
1 bell pepper, sliced thinly
8 slices provolone or mozzarella cheese (your choice)
2 green onions (optional)
4 Tbsp. Ranch Dressing + 2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
4 Kaiser Buns

Slice leftover steak or roast into thin strips or pull into thin pieces.  In deep skillet with lid, add butter, beef broth, salt and pepper.  Add in the bell pepper slices and onion slices.  Cook over medium heat until onion slices become partially cooked.  Add in green onions and meat.  Cover and let cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove lid and cook until juices reduce down and you have a thick broth on the meat. 

Mix 4 Tbsp. Ranch Dressing and 2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip).  Spread on Kaiser buns and top with meat mixture.  Add 2 slices of cheese per sandwich to top of meat.  Cover with a bowl for just a few seconds to melt the cheese or pop it into the microwave.  Serve immediately.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Peach Cobbler

Any sort of cobbler is such a treat!  This recipe doesn't contain much sugar, and I use peaches that are in 100% juices instead of a heavy syrup.  I think you will enjoy this easy Peach Cobbler.

Peach Cobbler

1 1/2 cups Bisquick Baking
4 Tbsp. sugar + 1 Tbsp
1/4 cup evaporated milk (more or less)
2 Tbsp. melted real butter
1 Tbsp. real butter (not melted)
2 lg. cans of peaches in natural juices and NOT syrup

In large bowl, mix Baking mix, 4 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. melted butter and slowly add the evaporated milk.  It may take more or less to get the right consistency.  The mixture should be gooey, but not runny. 

Spray a 9x13" pan with cooking spray.  Drop pieces of the dough into the bottom of the pan by spoonfuls.  You won't need to completely cover the bottom, but there should be enough in the bottom so that it spreads out when baking.

You will only need the juice from 1 of the cans of peaches, so you can drain the other can of juice off.  Drop the peaches all over the top of the baking mix and then evenly distribute the juice from 1 can over the top.  Dot with the remaining 1 Tbsp. of butter and sprinkle an additional 1 Tbsp. of sugar lightly over the top using your finger.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes (until baking mixture starts to brown on top).  This is delicious served warm with a scoop of ice cream.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Double Fudge Pecan Brownies

These brownies are decadent and easy.   I refrigerate mine afterwards because they are so fudgy and chewy that they just melt in your mouth.  I like them cold out of the fridge.  They have a light powder sugar icing that isn't too heavy.  Try these, you'll make them over and over again.

Double Fudge Pecan Brownies

1 box your favorite brownie mix (get the fudge or chewy type)
    Bake to directions on the box.  - Usually calls for 1 or 2 eggs, oil and water
4 Hershey's chocolate bars (no almonds) (full size) or 8 of the snack size - broken into chunks
1/4 cup pecan pieces

2 cups powdered sugar
3 or 4 Tbsp. water (use 1 at a time so it isn't too thin)
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix.  Make sure it is slightly thin and not too thick.  You want to be able to drizzle it over the top.

Mix the brownies according to box directions.  (I use the Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix - Ultimate Fudge).   Add in 3/4 of the pecans, reserving some for the top of the brownies.  Spray a 9x9" pan with cooking spray.   Spoon 1/2 of the brownie mixture into the pan.  Top with broken pieces of Hershey's Chocolate bars.  Top with the remaining half of the brownie mix.  Bake according to package directions. 

When these come out they will be very, chewy.  Let sit for about 20 minutes and top with Icing.  Icing should be thin so you can just drizzle it over the top and spread it around.  Sprinkle remaining pecan pieces on top of icing.   I refrigerate mine immediately so the icing sets up and the brownies become more solid.  But, I usually have to steal one while they are warm!

My husband said these are the best brownies he has ever had!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

It is great to have quick and easy recipes for ground beef on hand.  We never know these days when we will be running late and an easy dinner becomes necessary.   Try this recipe for Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs.  They are juicy and flavorful. 

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
1/4 small diced white onion
8 Ritz Crackers - crushed
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. catsup
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. sea salt
8 to 10 chunks of fresh mozzarella (or rounds)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl (except mozzarella).  Form ground beef into large balls (a little smaller than a baseball) with a chunk of the mozzarella in the center.  Form the meat completely around the mozzarella or they will burst open and the cheese will ooze out during baking.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet in a 375 degree oven for approximately 18 to 22 minutes. 

Serve and Enjoy!  Smaller versions of these can be made for appetizers and served with a BBQ sauce on the side.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Orzo Salad

I find that most people don't even know what Orzo is.  I was looking for it in the grocery store recently and asked the clerk where it would be.  She looked at me as if I were speaking a foreign language.  Orzo looks like rice, but it is actually a tiny pasta.  It is great for filler in soups and as a side dish, but I just came up with a great way to have it as a cold pasta salad and it's pretty healthy for you!  Give this one a try.

Orzo Salad

1 1/2 cups Orzo
Small chunks of whole mozzarella (or balls cut in half)
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tsp. Basil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 Tbsp. of the Easy Vinaigrette (see below)
2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 green onion, diced (optional)
1 can chicken broth

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a sauce pan.  Add Orzo and cook for approximately 6 to 8 minutes until pasta is done.  Drain and cool completely.

Easy Vinaigrette:  2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar,  6 Tbsp. Olive Oil, sea salt and ground pepper.  Place into a sealed jar and shake to mix well. 

Add 4 Tbsp. of the Vinaigrette and the Basil to the Orzo and mix well.  Add shredded mozzarella and mix.  Add in sunflower seeds, green onion (if desired), cherry tomatoes and chunks of mozzarella.  Toss.  Taste and if it needs a little more, you can add some more of the Vinaigrette.  Refrigerate. 

This is so good and is a great meal for a healthy lunch.  Will keep in the refrigerator for several days.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pork Shoulder Steaks

Pork Shoulder is my absolute favorite cut of meat.  The way I make it, it is very lightly breaded and so juicy.  I think I get my love of pork from my mom.  She has always preferred pork over any other meat.  I hope you enjoy this easy recipe.

Pork Shoulder

4 Pork Shoulder steaks
2 Tbsp. real butter
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil (more may be necessary)
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp. ground pepper
2 tsp. salt

In a small bowl, mix flour, salt and pepper.  On a flat griddle melt the butter and olive oil together.  The butter adds a little flavor to the pork shoulder, but you can leave it off if you prefer.

Place the pork shoulder steaks on the griddle.  You will use your fingers to lightly flour each side of the meat (twice).  You will NOT dip them in the flour.  This way, you don't have a heavy breading.  It makes it light and crispy.

Lightly flour (using your fingers) 1 side of the pork shoulder.  Allow it to cook until it starts to crisp up on the other side and then flip.  Using your fingers, lightly flour the second side.  You will do this twice for each side.  Flip and flour - flip and flour.

You may need to add more oil to the griddle to keep the meat from sticking.  Allow about 5 to 8 minutes per side so that it crisps up.


Monday, August 17, 2015


Hummus is made from Garbanzo Beans or chickpeas, as most of us call them.  Hummus is something relatively new to me.  A lady at work brought some in about a year go and I wasn't too sure about it.  But, I tasted it and loved it.  This is an easy recipe that you can whip up in no time for unexpected guests or just a late night snack.


1 can Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic
4 Tbsp. (more or less) of olive oil. 
1 tsp. Badia Complete Seasoning (if unavailable use Italian seasonings)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
2 - 4 Tbsp. water to thin if needed

Completely drain the chickpeas and rinse in cold water.  Drain on a paper towel.  Add all ingredients except olive oil into a food processor.  Pulse to mix and slowly drizzle in olive oil until the hummus is the consistency you want.  It should be thick like the consistency of guacamole.

I like to buy Triscuit Rosemary and Olive oil crackers to eat this with. The flavor of those crackers enhances the flavor of the Hummus.

For a variation, add chopped basil leaves and spinach to the processor.  (1 cup spinach leaves and 1 cup fresh basil leaves.

Also, if you like a kick to your hummus, you can add a few drops of Hot Sauce.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Home Fries

I have never been a big fried potato fan, however two things I do like are hash browns and Home Fries.  Home Fries are easy and hearty.  They are good for breakfast or for dinner....or lunch for that matter.  I think you will enjoy these.

Home Fries

4 to 6 Yukon Gold potatoes (or any other if you prefer)
2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
1 tsp. real butter
1/4 small white onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. sea salt

Whether you peel your potatoes or not is totally up to you.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.  Cut potatoes into small cubes.  Heat oil and butter in skillet and toss in the potatoes.  Add pepper and salt.  Cook for approximately 10 minutes, tossing once or twice to prevent sticking.  Add diced onions and cook another 5 to 8 minutes (or until the potatoes are fork-tender, but still maintain their crispness.

Can be topped with shredded cheddar cheese right before serving.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Garbanzo Beans (ChickPeas) Snack

This snack is semi-healthy and so good.  It is fried, but if you fry it in good oil, it maintains the healthy aspect.  I mix a variety of seasonings, quickly deep fry these little beans and season them.  They are full of protein, lightly coated and full
of flavor!  These are really good in a salad!

Garbanzo Beans (ChickPeas) Snack

1 can Garbanzo Beans - drained completely
1 cup flour + 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1" Sunflower or Vegetable Oil heated for frying

Seasonings Mix:  (Mix in large bowl)
    1 Tbsp. Lawry's Seasoned Salt
    1 tsp. ground pepper
    1/4 tsp. chili powder
    1 tsp. Badia Complete Seasoning

Drain Garbanzo Beans completely.  Spread out evenly onto a paper towel to drain.  In a separate bowl, mix flour and cornstarch.  Drop the beans into the flour mixture and shake lightly to coat.  (I do 1/2 can at a time). 

Shake the excess flour off lightly in a colander and drop into about 1" of oil.  Fry for about 4 or 5 minutes, just long enough to get them lightly browned and crispy.  Remove onto a paper towel for just a minute and then drop them into the seasoning mix and lightly toss to coat.  Leave in the bowl until you add the second batch so that the seasonings are distributed evenly.

To Store:  place in a covered bowl in fridge.   They won't be as crispy once they are refrigerated, but they still taste wonderful.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Today's Guest: Casey Grant - Chicken Burrito

With us today is Casey Grant.  Casey is a culinary graduate of Sullivan College in Louisville, Ky.  Thanks Casey for being with us today.  This sounds wonderful.

Chicken burrito

This is a healthy option but one that is a very filling meal. We have been trying to eat some meals that are better for us and this was one that we will make again. The recipe is very easy and the kids even loved it. You can use whatever kind of tortillas that you would like, we used regular flour tortillas but I have used spinach before, as well. This makes a lot; we had leftovers but my husband likes the filling so much he just ate in from the bowl for breakfast.

Tortillas burrito size
2 pounds of shredded chicken
Chicken broth 2 boxes
Taco seasoning pack
3 cups of cooked brown rice (there are precooked bags of uncle beans rice that are pretty good, I always just add a few seasoning when I use them)
1 can of diced tomatoes or 3 medium fresh tomatoes, blanched, peeled and diced
1 can of black beans
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Cumin 1 teaspoon
Garlic powder 2 teaspoons
1 block of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded ( I only used half of this but feel free to add or leave out to make it even healthier)

Place the chicken broth in a large stock pan and add the chicken, cover and let boil until the chicken can be easily shredded with a fork. (you may have to add more chicken broth or water)

After the chicken is cooked take ¼ cup of the broth and wise the taco seasoning in and pour over chicken and mix together.

Cook the rice (if your using the precooked rice just put it in a large skillet).  Add the salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder mix well.  Add the beans and tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes until the mixture is heated through.  Add the chicken and mix together, heat through and add the cheese and cover until its melted.  

Add about ½ cup of the mixture into a tortilla and wrap

Cook in a nonstick pan for a few minutes until the wrap is sealed and lightly browned

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Egg Salad

If you love eggs as much as I do, then you will love my Egg Salad.  It is creamy and perfectly seasoned.  I like to eat them with Triscuit Rosemary and Olive Oil crackers.  They are my favorite!  Sometimes, I make myself a sandwich with a toasted croissant.  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Egg Salad

6 to 8 hard-boiled eggs (see directions below)
1/4 cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing (more or less)
1 Tbsp. Dijonnaise mayonnaise/mustard blend
1 tsp. Dill
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper

How to make the perfect hard boiled egg:  Place eggs in a pan of COLD water.  Make sure the water is cold and don't turn the burner on until the eggs are in the pan.  Turn heat to high and once the water comes to a boil, boil the eggs for 10 minute.  Turn off the heat and let eggs sit in the hot water for another 10 minutes.  Drain water and cool under cold water.  Once eggs are cool to the touch, place them back in the pan and shake, shake, shake!  This will loosen the shells so that they peel right away.  This process works about every time and will make it so much easier to achieve the perfect hard-boiled egg.

OK, so now you are ready to make your egg salad.  Slice eggs in half, then half again and then chop into rough chunks.  Place into a deep bowl and add salad dressing, Dijonnaise and seasonings.  Mix well.  If the mixture seems a little thick, you can always add more salad dressing until it is the desired consistency.

Serve with crackers or on a toasted croissant.  Enjoy!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Peanut Butter Walnut Cookies

Peanut Butter is one of the staples of our life.  It is such a good snack for kids and for adults as well.  I love this peanut butter cookie recipe.  When I created it, I added walnuts and used creamy peanut butter.  They go very well together. 

Peanut Butter Walnut Cookies                                 Makes a large batch!

1 cup oil                                                            2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup creamy peanut butter                           1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup white sugar                                            1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup brown sugar                            
2 beaten eggs                                                  1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. hazelnut flavoring (or vanilla)

Mix oil, peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs and flavoring together.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Slowly stir into the wet ingredients, about 1/3 at a time.  When well mixed, stir in the walnuts.

Roll into balls and place about 2" apart on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 12 to 15 minutes.  Watch closely so they don't burn.  Take them out when they are lightly browned on top and let sit on the hot cookie sheet for a couple of minutes.  Remove to a cooling rack.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Easy Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup is hearty and really good for you.  It is full of vitamins and richness.  Try my easy Vegetable Soup.  And remember, during the growing season in the summer, any of these vegetables can be replaced with fresh ones for an even healthier soup.

Vegetable Soup

1/2 lb. lean ground chuck
1 20 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz. can of green beans 
1 can of whole potatoes, cut into large cubes
1/2 small white onion, diced
1 15 oz. can of mixed vegetables
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can beef broth
1 can chicken broth
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. Badia Complete Seasoning

In deep Dutch Oven, brown ground chuck with the celery and onion, but leave it as chunky as possible.  Remove from pan and drain in colander.  Add back to pan and add crushed tomatoes, cans of vegetables and broths.  Add seasonings.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. 

Badia Complete Seasonings are available at Aldi and on  You can use Italian Seasonings if you don't have it, but the Badia is fabulous! 

Serve and Enjoy!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Crispy Cod Filets with Rosemary Garlic Mashed Potatoes

You are getting the "Full Meal Deal" today!  This Crispy Cod Filet is very lightly breaded and seasoned with Rosemary to compliment the Rosemary Garlic Mashed Potatoes on the side.  Enjoy!

Crispy Cod Filets

4 Cod Filets - thawed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumb
1 tsp. Rosemary
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. real butter + 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Mix flour and Panko on a paper plate or deep/wide bowl.  Add rosemary, sea salt and ground pepper and stir well.  On Griddle or flat skillet, melt 1 Tbsp. real butter and 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Gently press the fish filets into the flour/panko mixture.  Coat lightly on both sides and shake off any access. 

Fry in hot butter/oil mixture until crispy on both sides.  Takes about 10 minutes. 
Note:  For a lighter, healthier recipe you can omit the butter, but it does take away from the taste.


Rosemary Garlic Mashed Potatoes   

4 to 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
2 quarts water
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1 tsp. Rosemary
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
2 Tbsp. real butter
Evaporated Milk (appr. 1/4 to 1/2 cup)

Boil potatoes over high heat until they are fork tender.  Remove and drain.  Add butter and seasonings to the dry pan and readd the potatoes.  Let them sit for about 2 or 3 minutes for the butter to start melting.  With mixer on low, start adding the evaporated milk 1/8 cup at a time.  Continue to beat and add milk until potatoes are creamy and lumps are gone. 

There are two main reasons why cooks end up with lumpy, thick mashed potatoes.

1.  Their potatoes aren't fully cooked.  You should be able to mash them 
     easily and completely with a fork.
2.  They don't use enough milk.  Add your milk a little at a time making sure that
     your potatoes don't look dry. 

Most people love my mashed potatoes because they are so creamy.  You can do it too!

Enjoy this Crispy Cod and Rosemary Garlic Mashed is a meal that will truly please even the pickiest eater in your house!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Decadent Dessert

I was given this recipe years ago and I absolutely love it, however I have changed it slightly over the years.  I've heard it called Better Than Robert Redford Dessert, but I make it a little different.  I don't make this often because it is my favorite dessert and is so sinfully good!  It takes a little while to make all the layers of this dessert come together, but oh my it is fantastic!

Decadent Dessert

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts + 1/4 cup for garnish
1/2 stick real butter, softened

1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (8 oz. container French Vanilla Cool Whip
1 tsp. hazelnut flavoring (or vanilla)
2 cups whole milk
2 (3.5 oz. boxes instant pudding, any kind  (I use Hershey's Chocolate)

Combine flour, 1 cup of walnuts and butter.  Mix well and pat into the bottom of a 13x9x2" pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 12 to 15 minutes or until crust starts to very lightly brown.  Remove from heat and cool completely.  (I put it in the freezer if I am in a hurry).

In large bowl with mixer in low, mix cream cheese, and sugar until smooth.  Gently stir in 1/2 the container of whipped topping.  Spread over completely cooled crust. 

Mix both boxes of chocolate pudding and 2 cups of whole milk.  Beat until pudding firms up.  I generally chill it in the refrigerator just about 5 minutes to help it set up completely. Spread over cream cheese layer.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup walnuts.

Finish by spreading the remaining container of Cool Whip topping over the top of the dessert and sprinkle the 1/4 cup of walnuts over the top for garnish.

Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before cutting to make sure it is completely set.  Overnight is best.  Cut into squares and serve.

Oh my, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!  You will see why this is my favorite dessert.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Skillet Fried Hominy

It doesn't seem to me that many people eat hominy anymore, unless it is in the form of grits.  When I was growing up, my Mamaw loved hominy and made it quite often.  Of course, I have kicked the recipe up a notch.  I hope you enjoy this recipe.  If you have never had hominy, give it a try!

Skillet Fried Hominy

2 cans white hominy
2 Tbsp. real butter
1/4 stalk celery, diced into very small pieces
4 - 6 baby carrots, diced into small pieces
1 Tbsp. minced onion flakes
4 Tbsp. Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup + 1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper

Drain hominy completely.  In skillet over medium heat, place butter, celery, carrots, onion flakes, and sauté until they are softened.  Add the drained hominy and sauté for about 5 or 6 minutes more.  Add salt and pepper.  Beat the Cream of Chicken + the 1 Tbsp. of water together and pour into the skillet.  Continue cooking until it is heated through and the soup has cooked down and thickened.  It will stick to the hominy and give it a full, rich flavor.  Remove from heat and serve.

Fun Fact:  Hominy is hulled corn with the germ removed.  The early pioneers in North America soaked the kernels in weak wood lye until the hulls floated to the top.  They can be pureed and served as grits, fried whole, or shaped into patties and fried.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Twice Baked Potatoes

Oh my!  Twice Baked Potatoes....yum yum!  Years ago, there was a small local restaurant in the area called Cliff Hagan's.  It had a fabulous salad bar and the best twice baked potatoes. Oh my, I can still remember those big fat potatoes stuffed with all sorts of good ingredients.  Those potatoes are the inspiration for my own version of twice baked potatoes.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Twice Baked Potatoes

4 large baking potatoes
2 - 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 stick real butter
4 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. Italian seasonings
1/4 cup sour cream
3 green onions, finely diced

Poke holes in potatoes with a knife and cover with clear plastic wrap.  Place all 4 potatoes in the microwave and cook on high for about 6 to 8 minutes more or so.  Check after 4 minutes by pushing down lightly on the tops to see if the potatoes have give.  Once they feel soft to the touch, they are ready.  Remove from microwave and take off plastic wrap (be careful it will be steamy). 

Slice off a thin piece of the peeling from the top of the potato.  Score the potato insides with a knife and remove by spoonful into a bowl (see below).  You should have four peels with sparse bits of potato in them ready to stuff.

In a large bowl, place milk, sour cream, butter and seasonings.  Add potato insides, green onions and let sit for just a minute so that the butter can start to melt from the potatoes.  Using a mixer, beat these just as if you were making mashed potatoes.  Add cheese and stir in.  Scoop the potato mixture back into the skins, heaping them up over the top.  Top with more cheese and place back into the microwave just long enough to melt the cheese.  Sprinkle tops with the Italian Seasonings and serve.

You should have potatoes left over that you can use the next morning to make Potato Pancakes. 

*Hint:  If you want your potatoes to be fluffier inside, while they are still in the plastic wrap, gently tap them on the counter on all four sides at least once or twice.  Careful not to break them, so be gentle.  It will release the insides of the potatoes from the peels and be easier to scoop out.