Thursday, December 23, 2010

Amaretto Hard Sauce

My Nanny, Green Nanny as I’ve heard her called in the past being as her last name is Green, is down from Idaho for Christmas this year and that means that my Mother’s side, part of them- really just sisters and Mother, are joining in the Jones side festivities. Would you like to know what else that means? It means that I do not have such a heavy work load when it comes to the list of items I am to make (for this particular Christmas party- 2 more to go) and carry over. Whew. This also means that I will be feasting on my Nannie’s Apple Pie and Sweet Potatoes. Yum! I rarely share recipes from that side of the family because like I’ve said in the past I really got the majority of my culinary experience from my Daddies side of the family. However, I have blogged one recipe from the Green side of the family, Goulash O’Neil. So although y’all have no idea to what amazing dishes my non-southern side of the family serves let me tell you that it could very possibly rival some southern dishes, just sayin’.

Anyway, I ramble, so because I haven’t any baking to do for Christmas Eve and because I wanted to contribute something and cannot possibly go somewhere empty handed, I wracked my brain trying to think of something to share with everyone, other than the Eggnog Fudge, and recalled seeing this Hard Sauce recipe on The Pioneer Women’s blog during Thanksgiving. Ta-da, I’ll bring Hard Sauce for Nannies Apple Pie. I contributed and can rest easy. GRIN.

When I saw the ingredient list I thought this is exactly like buttercream frosting, or my Momma’s version of it anyway but it’s not. The difference being that butter cream is mostly powdered sugar and this sauce is mostly butter. Paula Deen would eat it with a spoon and truth be told so could I. It is really good. I had no problem using my finger to clean the mixing bowl.

Everyone who tried it liked it, once I told my Nanny what was in it she asked "could you pour me a glass?", lol.

Amaretto Hard Sauce
recipe from

1 stick softened (not room temperature) Butter
1 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Amaretto

Beat butter in mixer with paddle attachment until fluffy. Add powdered sugar gradually until incorporated, scraping sides of the bowl twice during the process.

Add whiskey and beat again, scraping the bowl to make sure everything gets mixed together.

Spoon into a bowl and serve, or keep in the fridge (it will last for days covered in plastic wrap) until you need it.

NOTE: The hard sauce will harden in the fridge, so be sure to remove it at least a couple of hours before you want to serve. Hard sauce should be smooth and easily spooned onto desserts.

Serve on warm pie. Yum!

Merry Christmas to you and yours,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Polish Potato and Sausage Bake

I don’t think I have ever had this happen before- I held on to a recipe before making it for so long that the blog that I got it from is no longer an active blog. This morning I tried going to it and low and behold it’s gone so I can’t really link to it. However, I can share what is what called and pay her homage in that way, I don’t know where she went or why because apparently I have been a bad blog follower but she had some good recipe while she was around and this is one of them.

I actually made this last night, prepared it and then stuck it in the fridge so that tonight’s supper would be a breeze. If I had known how amazing it is it wouldn’t have lasted through the night. The vinegar adds something, a certain bite, to the potatoes and the sausage it perfect for this dish, it gives it a warmth that you wouldn’t get from ground hamburger (but if that’s all you have on hand certainly be my guest). There is not one thing I would change about it. I plan on making it again and again and always following the recipe exactly how it is now.

The Cakes give this one a 8.7, what his scale is based on I don’t know but I disagree with him and say that it is a 10 without question. This is very, very good and I hope that you’ll try it.

Polish Potato and Sausage Bake
adapted from the extinct Napoleon Ice Cream Complex

4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. olive oil
8 oz. fresh spinach
1 log breakfast sausage, broken into small pieces
1 onion, medium, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 large russet potatoes, washed, 1 unpeeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup half and half
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
dash of nutmeg and paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided into 1 cup each

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Butter an 8 x 8 inch or round baking dish.

Heat one tsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer it to strainer and drain. When cool, squeeze out liquid and roughly chop the spinach. Set aside.

Add the sausage and onion as well as the last tsp. olive oil to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until browned.

Meanwhile, place the potatoes into a large pot and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring them to a boil, lower heat, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and put them back into the pot, and mash with butter, cream, garlic, vinegar, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir in spinach and 1 cup of the cheese.

Transfer the potato-spinach mixture to a prepared baking dish and top with sausage-onion mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and top with paprika for color. Bake until potatoes are very hot and cheese gets golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.

3 more days until Christmas,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eggnog Fudge

My littlest brother Daniel, who isn’t so little anymore, he is the father of my niece Hailey, loves Eggnog. In fact out of the 8 of us, before spouses and baby’s came along, My Mother, Daniel and I were the only ones who even liked Eggnog and to this day I think that that is still a fact. A few years ago I began collecting Eggnog themed recipes and putting them aside to one day make for him. This is the one I chose to make for various reasons, one being that it is actually quite easy compared to the Merry Cherry Fudge and the second reason being below.

My Father-in-Law is the Fudge maker in my family, since I began dating Baby Cakes his father has been the one making and sharing fudge with everyone. His is the traditional chocolate fudge with pecans, the recipe you find on the back of the Marshmallow Fluff Jar. It is wonderfully rich and creamy and how I do enjoy it but this year I wanted to play a hand in spreading Christmas Cheer as well so I began searching for ways to do just that, enter Eggnog Fudge. Now I can kill two birds with one stone (which isn’t very Christmas-y now that I think about it, "two partridges in a pair tree…”), make some fudge and make something Eggnog for my youngest baby brother.

Eggnog Fudge
recipe from

2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup dairy eggnog
10.5 ounces white chocolate bars, chopped into small pieces
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus a little more for the top of the fudge
One 7 ounce jar marshmallow creme
1 tsp rum extract

Butter a 8 or 9 inch square glass pan.

In a heavy, 3-quart saucepan combine sugar, butter and eggnog. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat or until a candy thermometer reaches 235°F, soft ball stage, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.

Using a wooden spoon, work quickly to stir in white chocolate chips and nutmeg until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the marshmallow creme and rum extract. Mix vigourously until well blended and then pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle a little freshly ground nutmeg on top. Let stand at room temperature until cooled. Refrigerate if you’d like to speed up the process.

When completely cool, cut into squares. Store in a covered container.

I left a taste for Baby Cakes on the spatula and he raved about it. This tastes exactly like eggnog, in fact when you’re cooking it, the exact moment during the mixing process that the rum extract is added you can smell it, it smells exactly like eggnog. I've already eaten 2 peices! I love it, you'll love it and I can't wait for everyone to try it.

5 More Days...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Cherry Fudge (Homemade Gifts)

This is the first year that Baby Cakes and I have owned a house during Christmas and because of this we decided to make gifts for the extended family instead of purchasing them. So I began buying all the special magazine publications for homemade gifts, so much for saving money right? The funny thing is after dog earring so many delicious looking goodies I found “the one” in the December issue of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine. The moment I saw it I decided that this was the gift I was hand making and handing out to everyone, all 31 attendees. Only I didn’t know…

When I think fudge I think thick sweet creamy goodness and this recipe reminds me more of divinity than fudge. Once it has been brought up to soft ball temperature and then back down to the needed temperature you have to hand whip it with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes. The only problem? I am a weakling and it is really thick and hard to stir “vigorously”. Perhaps I should have waited for the hubs to be home. Oh well, you should see my guns now. lol.

Even though it isn’t necessarily fudgy, actually it has more of a grainy texture, it is very good and I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks about it. If only I could have thought of a different name to call it, something more of a candy than a fudge.

Baby Cakes loves it, but there isn't a sugar the man doesn't love, and has assured me that everyone else will love it too. Oh bless him. XOXO.

Merry Cherry Fudge aka Candied Cherry Opera Fudge

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half or light cream
1 Tbsp. light-colored corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. amaretto
1/3 cup coarsely chopped candied red cherries
Halved candied red cherries (optional)

Line a 5-3/4x3x2-inch loaf pan with foil, extending foil over the edges of the pan. Butter the foil; set aside.

Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In the saucepan combine the sugar, milk, half-and-half, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer to sides of pan.

Continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 236 degrees F, soft ball stage, (about 20 minutes). Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.

Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, vanilla, and amaretto but do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to 170 degrees F (about 20 minutes). Remove thermometer from saucepan. Beat mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes. Add 1/3 cup cherries. Beat mixture vigorously for 1 minute more. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Let stand until firm. Use foil to lift fudge from pan; remove foil. To serve, top with additional cherries. Cut fudge into thick slices.

To make the tin gifts I simply prepped them with butter and parchment paper and when the mixture was still warm scooped some in and tapped the tin on the counter until smooth and spread out.

I highly recommend this recipe although as I said above it isn’t very fudgy but it is ohhhh so good.

Make some and share. Merry Christmas,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

If Ya Can’t Stand the Heat Chili

As a child I always knew when winter was on its way because on that first cold snap my Daddy would come home from work and make a giant pot of his chili. Now let me tell you that his chili is not for the faint of heart, he likes heat in his bowl and sometimes forgot that the majority of his children and his wife (god love my Yankee Momma) were wimps in regards to the Scoville Scale. Yes, winter was on its way when chili was served for dinner in the Jones house.

The thermometer right now reads 52 degrees and falling and although I do love a break from the sweltering heat I am not a fan of the bitter cold, no thank you. Mother Nature can keep the bone chilling cold weather that is on its way to my front door as I sit here typing this. (Shiver) This “winter” has been a few cold days with a few comfortable fallish days and even a warm day thrown into the mix for good measure. God Bless Texas, right? Right.

Anyhoo, due to the cold weather I decided that chili was on tonight’s menu, being the carbon copy of my father that I am, so I called my Daddy to ask him how he makes his version. Now the recipe that follows isn’t really a verbatim copy of his his but it’s my variation because as I stated above I am a wimp. It’s also not his because with just two mouths to feed versus 8 mouths it would take us weeks to eat it all so I’ve scaled it down a bit. Oh, and I didn’t have all of his ingredients on hand so I improvised. Okay, so maybe this is actually Megan’s version of Ronnie’s (a.k.a. Daddies) Chili. Oh well. Either way his is my inspiration for the recipe that follows.

Baby Cakes LOVES this chili and I must concur, it is amazing. There is a subtle sweetness to it and the heat level is finally more on my level. However, there is enough heat for the BCakes to enjoy it as well, plus he added some extra chili powder. I would have eaten a second bowl but kept thinking about how nice it would be to come home from work tomorrow to another Frito pie for supper. I really can’t say enough about it, it’s wonderful.

If Ya Can’t Stand the Heat Chili
highly adapted from my Daddies recipe

1 lb. lean ground chuck beef
1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tbs. chili powder*
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 large onion, diced
1 can Rotel, regular, chunky*
1 small can tomato sauce
1 can ranch style beans, with liquid
2 cans dark red kidney beans, with liquid
1-2 cup(s) frozen corn

Measure in the olive oil into a large dutch oven, turn the heat up to high and add the ground beef and onion and sauté until cooked completely.

Add the chili powder and ground cumin and stir, cook about a minute longer. Turn the heat down to medium/medium high and add the rest of the ingredients, stir. Bring the chili to a low boil and then turn the heat down to low. Let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The longer it slowly heats the more the flavors will marry.

*If you want more heat try adding HOT Rotel or 3 Tbs. of chili powder. It won't take much to take the heat up a notch.

(I do keep saying how wimpy I am but in all honesty I can handle quite a bit of heat, my idea of the perfect amount might truly be too much for some other people. So although this recipe isn't spicy it isn't mild either. Just a heads up.)

Now Daddy always served his over rice or with crackers and one of my sister Kayla always insisted on a slice of American cheese on top but I prefer a warm bowl of Frito pie. Fritos, shredded cheese and a huge dollop of sour cream, Yum. No matter how you serve it just serve it because it really is so flavorful. There’s something about chili, it warms the soul.

"Baby, it's cold outside",

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spicy Sausage and Tortillini Soup‏

Whew, what a day. I have just spent from about 9 am this morning until 6 pm this evening making fudge, fudge and more fudge for Christmas for Baby Cakes' extended family's get-together this Saturday. The only thing I've had to eat all day is Merry Cherry Fudge (recipe coming soon!) and a bologna sandwich, yes I like bologna infact it happens to be my favorite lunch meat. Blame my Mom. So I need something other than sugar quick, fast, and in a hurry, enter Spicy Sausage and Tortillini Soup.

Let me just let you know right away that this soup had so much bite to it that my eyes were watering the entire time that I was eating it. Wow and ouch seriously. Next time I will either skip the mustard all together or not use spicy sausage. Too much heat, wow!

It is the perfect cold night supper. Baby Cakes said "It's good baby, I like it, I like those little tortillini deals". He also referred to the broth of the prepared soup as "liquid gold". So apparently he loves the heat, shrug, as if I didn't already know he would love it. Just call me wimp.

Spicy Sausage and Tortillini Soup‏
from Tasty Kitchen

1 lb. hot sausage, ground
2 cloves garlic, minced
46 oz. chicken stock
2 cups water
10 ounces bag frozen cheese tortellini
14 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1-2 cups frozen veggies, mixed
⅓ cup dijon mustard
oregano, to taste
½ teaspoons black pepper
1 cup fresh spinach leaves

Brown the sausage and garlic in a stock pot; drain and return to pot.

Add the chicken stock and water and bring to a low simmer.

Add the tortellini and cook about 5 minutes or until tender.

Add the tomatoes, frozen veggies, dijon mustard, oregano, and pepper. Stir thoroughly and heat through.

Add the spinach and cook until wilted.

This pairs wonderfully with some crusty garlic bread. Overall, it was/is a wonderful quick weeknight meal. Next time I'll play with it a bit and see what we get.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Corn Bread Topped Spicy Sausage Pie

I am sick and therefore should be exempt from cooking dinner today but we are all out of leftovers and BCakes has worked in the cold and rain all day and deserves a hot meal. To the recipe files I go and find this, I know that it can easily be adapted with venison sausage and he will be thrilled, he loves it when I cook with venison. (He is man, he provide for family.) So he's happy, wonderful and I am happy because it seems fairly simple and foolproof (or sick proof as were the case). It’s a win-win.

This recipe comes from a blog that I frequent named Jenn Cooks, she has been blogging for 3 years and has yet to disappoint. I thought I might note that she takes step by step photos while she is making the recipes that she features, what an overachiever she is. Lol. Honestly, I am jealous, I am lucky if I remember to take one picture of my dishes. Get familiar with her because I will be making more of her yummy recipes in the future and you will too if you go check her out.

Baby Cakes is in love with this one and I must admit I am too. It is very hearty and flavorful. The perfect weeknight meal for a cold and wintery evening spent inside snuggled on the couch. The best part about it is after he ate he started wrapping all the Christmas presents, he knows I despise that one things about Christmas, I know I know just call me Scrooge.

I have a habit of adding things to make a meal stretch, blame it on my watching my parents cook while growing up. Once upon a time my parents were on a tight budget and had 6 little mouths and 2 adult mouths to feed, adding a can of corn here or some beans there often did the trick and even though in my household it's only the BCake man and myself I still find myself adding extra cans of this or that to almost every meal. So the point I am making is that I added a few extra things and made one small little change other than the venison/hog sausage.

Corn Bread Topped Spicy Sausage Pie
recipe adapted from Jenn Cooks

1 lb. spicy sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) sliced stewed tomatoes
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 jar (4.5 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can (15 oz.) dark red kidney beans
1 tbs. garlic powder
1 tbs. salt
1/2 tbs. pepper
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese
corn bread mix, prepared per package directions
1/4 cup shredded cheese

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In 10-inch skillet, cook sausage, onion, bell pepper and garlic over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until sausage is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in tomato sauce, corn and mushrooms. Heat to boiling; remove from heat.

In medium bowl, stir cheese into prepared cornbread batter.

Spoon the sausage mixture into an ungreased 2 qt. casserole dish and sprinkle with the 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese.

Pour and spread the cornbread mixture over the top and spread evenly.

Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

Like I said above delish. The cornbread works as a buffer to the spice in the sausage and the corn adds a touch of sweetness. I love it and absolutely will be making it again soon.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies

Okay so this one is really a joke to be honest but it's funny and it's holiday-ish, you know funny if every year you drink through the holidays (and let's face it who doesn't want to at some point during the craziness? Oh, that's only me? My bad).

At first when I got this in my inbox I thought that it might be a real recipe but the ingredient list clears that notion up right away, I did soldier on and I read through. It is too funny. It kind of reminds me of that drunken Christmas song that comes on during this time of the year.

Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup or brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila

Sample the Cuervo to check quality.

Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality and then pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one peastoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still ok, try another cup just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy.

Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.

Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who geeves a sheet. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

Add one table.

Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.

Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the wishdasher.

Cherry Mistmas!

I have to agree, Cherry Mistmas, lol,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Trailer Trash Pot Roast

The thing that got my attention about this recipe is the name, Trailer Trash Pot Roast, how could I not make this? Originally I thought this was a crock pot recipe and on Sunday night I pulled out all the ingredients to prepare for in the morning and thankfully I read through the recipe start to finish only then realizing that it is not infact a crock pot recipe. "Well, this one will just have to wait until I have a day off". Today is that day off, well at least from my 9-5 job that it. It could easily be made into a crockpot recipe and I might actually make it again using that method.

Let me just tell you that this roast made the entire house smell so delicious! I had never even heard of chili sauce before now but am already trying to come up with other ways to use it. I love being introduced to new products and especially new recipes. I did change one tiny thing about this recipe and that was the cooking time. I wanted to start it in the morning and have it be ready when Baby Cakes gets off work so I started it around 9:30 am and am letting it cook through until about 4:00 pm. I’ll let you know how it turns out, obviously.

I’ve made recipe from here before but I will give credit where credit is due and share her blog, as this recipe is from there, Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy. If you haven’t been there before go check her out now. Her entire blog is full of recipes that give the reason for her blog name, stop by and find some things to make.

Trailer Trash Pot Roast
revised from Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy

3 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 lb. beef chuck roast
salt and pepper to season roast
12 oz. Coca Cola
1 packet dry Lipton Onion Soup
1 bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and quartered
3 large carrots or 5 small carrots, scrubbed and chopped into chunks
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup Coca Cola
2 cups water

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the roast on both sides with salt and pepper and sear the meat until browned, again on both sides. It took about 6 minutes per side to get a good brown crust. Remove from heat and set aside for just a moment.

Whisk the soup mix, chili sauce and coke together in a bowl. Pour about half of the mixture into the dutch oven and use it to deglaze the pan. Place the roast back into the dish and cover with the remaining sauce mixture. Cover and bake 3 hours.

Add the chopped onions and carrots into the pot with the roast, cover with 1 cup of water and continue baking for another 2-3 hours or until the vegetables and meat are fork tender.

Once it is done scoop out the roast, carrots and most of the onions and set aside in a bowl or on a platter. Set the pot over medium/low heat and add the coca cola to the pan, deglaze and then whisk in the brown sugar and remaining water. Bring to a boil and thicken a bit. Place the roast and veggies back into the "gravy" and heat through.

Serve it with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles and enjoy.

We had ours with mashed potatoes and let me tell you Baby Cakes ate 2 bowls of his own plus my leftovers. He loved it. I on the other hand wasn't so sure. Maybe I'm just used to my Mom's roast or maybe it was the chili sauce, hence why I doctored it up and added brown sugar at the end. So overall we have one person who LOVED it and one person who wouldn't order it at a resturant but doesn't hate it. You'll have to make this one and judge for yourself.

Nom, nom, nom,

Monday, November 29, 2010

Buffalo Turkey Dip

I have leftover turkey (who doesn't?). I don't feel like cooking dinner tonight. The only way I will even walk myself into the kitchen is if I hardly have to do a thing. (Although now that I'm in here I see that I still need to clean the dishes from last night. Ugh!) Enter Buffalo Turkey Dip.

Originally I made/make this recipe using canned chicken, (it's another one of those recipes that I've made a million times before becoming a blogger) but I have turkey on hand to use so turkey it is. If you like hot wings, which we do, then you will love this dip. It is simple to make and easy to serve plus its hearty enough to be an entire meal. Yum! Oh and to brag on it a bit more I actually took this dip to my first Thanksgiving with BCakes' family and it has been requested by his cousin every year since. I think it is one of those "the way to a man's heart" dishes.

Baby Cakes always gives this one "10.5 thumbs up" and last night was no exception. So if you’re looking to use up turkey and are kind of tired of sandwiches give this one a try.

Buffalo Turkey Dip
recipe from

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup chunky blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup hot wing sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 cups diced turkey
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the first 5 ingredients together until combined well.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and then top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and bake until melted.

Serve with crackers and celery.

I thought I would throw in a picture of what the dip looks like without cheese on top...

I really can't describe this dip well enough for you other than by saying it tastes like buffalo wings. Use a celery stalk to scoop some up and it really is uncanny. Enjoy, because I know that once you taste it it'll stay in your recipe files forever.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Twice Baked Sweet Potato Casserole

For the last couple of years I have been the bringer of the sweet potatoes during any family get together and this is not something that I take lightly. Anyone who loves to cook knows the satisfied feeling one gets from making a dish that everyone loves. There is something about bringing a dish over full and then seeing that it is the one dish empty by meals end that makes slaving in the kitchen worthwhile. This year after making the same recipe time and time again I thought I would make a tiny adjustment. I had no idea what a difference that tiny adjustment would make.

The above said adjustment are fresh sweet potatoes. I never gave them much thought in the past for many reasons; the number one reason is that I was raised on canned and the second reason was I was under the impression that it would be too much hassle. Now that I have had it this way I will never go back to the canned version again.

I would also like to note that in the past I have always just added a bit of this and a bit of that, I honestly had no idea of even the slightest measurements so making it yesterday took a bit longer but alas it is done and I now have a recipe to share.

Twice Baked Sweet Potato Casserole

8-10 lbs. sweet potatoes
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/3 block of cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
¾-1 cup light brown sugar
1 bag mini marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes directly on the wire rack and bake for 60 minutes or until done. Think baked potato but a bit softer. After they are done set them on a heat proof surface and cool until comfortable to touch. I find that it is easier to melt the butter and cream cheese into the mix if it is still slightly warm.

Scoop the sweet potato flesh into a large bowl and add the cream cheese and butter, stirring until completely melted.

Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ¾ cups brown sugar and vanilla extract. Taste and add the last ¼ cup of brown sugar as needed.

Put into a 9x13 dish and bake for 15-20 minutes. Top with mini marshmallows and bake for 15 minutes longer or until the marshmallows are browned.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the casserole, during all the hoopla and lending a hand it just slipped my mind, so that post will just have to borrow a picture until a little later. The picture I borrowed looked exactly like mine except I use more marshmallows and baked it in a rectangle dish. I found the picture here. Not to worry I will be making this again, soon and posting the picture, my picture.


Pumpkin Cobbler

How was your Thanksgiving? Lovely I hope. Baby Cakes and I spent most of our day on the road going from point A to point B but at the end of the day but it was worth it. It was great to catch up with those family members who we only see during the holiday season. It was also great to have some quiet time with the hubby between families to reflect and share some couple time. I would have to say my favorite part was sitting around the table after eating lunch and listening to all the old stories about my Mother and Father in Law that I had never heard before. It was such a good time and so nice to hear the funny memories, it made me feel even more like family.

So now on to the Pumpkin Cobbler, I had to give this recipe out 3 times during the day, not to mention I got a recipe for a wonderful green bean dish to be blogged soon from Baby Cakes’ Aunt, it was a raving success. Baby Cakes’ Nanny asked “is this the dish from the church cookbook that I made and we had at my birthday?” and then it hit me that it is a lot like that dessert in the sense that it too was pumpkin and is topped with cake mix. However, it is actually a variation that I got from here so I guess what I am saying is that there are a millions of sites with this dish out there so although I can't take credit for inventing it this is my variation of it.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important person’s opinion, most important person to me anyway. Baby Cakes loves this recipe so much that he was trying to talk me out of taking the second dish to my families Thanksgiving dinner.

Pumpkin Cobbler


15 oz. can pumpkin
12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/3 of an 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs, slightly beaten

In saucepan over low heat, slowly stir in the cream cheese, pumpkin, milk and all of the spices together. Reserve the lightly beaten eggs for the time being.

Once the cream cheese is incorporated into the pumpkin mixture remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes or until cooled. Whisk the eggs into the mixture as well.

Pour the mixture into a 9x13 dish.


1 box of yellow cake mix
2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup pecans, chopped

Sprinkle the entire box of cake mix over the top of the filling, top with pecans and then drizzle the melted butter all over the top.

Bake on 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream.

It really is a fairly easy dish and I promise you will get cheers from everyone who tastes it.

Next up, Sweet Potato Casserole.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Brown Sugar Pork Roast

There seems to be a common theme with almost all of the recipes I make, have you noticed? They are either smothered in cream sauce or made with brown sugar in some variation, and I wonder why I have so much weight to lose. Ok I don't really wonder. Or really care. (I am women hear me roar! GRIN.)

Just recently I have come across some new blogs, not new per say but new to me and this recipe came from one of them. The Girl Who Ate Everything is a blog by Christy who happens to be a blogger after my own heart; she has two times the desserts on her blog than any other type of recipe. Love. I implore you to go check her out and certainly to try some of her recipes out for yourself.

Now I didn't read the recipe very well before the day came, today, to make this so I was a bit rushed on time and had to improvise and cross my fingers hoping that it worked. It worked, sort of. Mine ended up having an awful lot of liquid left and I couldn't get the deep brown color that hers had. Check out her original recipe and yummy picture Café Rio Sweet Pork over on her blog. I will be making it again and hopefully with a new crockpot (wink wink) because the only setting that works on my hand me down version is high. Luckily, even though I had to accelerate the cooking time, not to mention cook with a broken crockpot, it turned out tasting wonderful. I am thinking that shortening the cooking time is what made it not turn out “right” but I did cook it for the full 4 hours after the saucy stuff was added so I am kind of at a loss here. Oh well, the taste is really what matters for us anyhow.

Baby Cakes loves it and all he really said between bites was this meat is so versatile and that "seriously, you have to make this one again Megan". lol. He's the boss (or so I let him think). Wink!

Brown Sugar Pork Roast
original recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything

2-3 lbs. pork roast
2 cups root beer
15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tbs. honey
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. cumin
pepper to taste

Salt and pepper the roast on both sides and place in a crock pot. Pour over 1/4 cup of water and turn the heat up to high. Cook in the crock pot for 6 hours.

Remove the roast from the crockpot and shred it into large chunks using a fork, removing any fat. Drain all the water left in the crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot and stir. Add in the shredded pork and cook another 4 hours on low heat.

We ate ours like nachos. What can I say? I have a ton of baking to do yet and I have to work all day tomorrow. The name of the game for tonight and tomorrow night is quick and easy supper. However, Christy serves it in a salad form, that looks wonderful by the way. I really hope that you try this one in either salad, nachos or even sandwich form and I know that you are going to love it.

See y’all after turkey day and that reminds me I recently came across this picture, Norman Rockwell's A Mother and Son Peeling Potatoes, 1945, and instantly teared up. It makes me think of my brother who couldn't make it home for Thanksgiving this year.

So no matter who will be missed or who will be there I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cream Cheese Corn

This year I am having a hard time narrowing down what it is I would like to bring to our Thanksgiving meals. I know I am bringing a dessert dish to both places, actually the same dessert, Pumpkin Cobbler (coming soon!) but what side dish to bring for Baby Cakes' side of the family? My family requests, every single year, my sweet potato casserole (also coming soon!) so atleast I don't have to think about that dish...

For the last two years my co-worker Sherry has been telling me about a sweet corn and cream cheese dish that her mother-in-law makes. I have wanted to try it for some time but it always seemed to slip my mind. Last week Sherry reminded me about it again only this time I took action and asked her for the recipe. You guy's, this is a entirely diffrent version of "candy corn".

Baby Cakes say's that he could eat this everyday. I say that this is almost certainly the dish that I am taking to his side of the families Thanksgiving meal. It is so very good, lightly sweet and it has so much flavor. Truth be told I have a confession, we ate the entire bowl between the two of us. Yes, the ENTIRE BOWL!

Cream Cheese Corn
recipe from Sherry McShan's MIL

8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 bag frozen corn
1/4 cup sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium size saucepan over low heat melt the butter and cream cheese. Stirring to combine, they want to seperate so stir until smooth and creamy and completely melted.

Stir in the frozen corn and sugar. Heat over low heat until corn is cooked and the cream cheese mixture is thin. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm.

This dish is going to be made time after time. It is wonderful.

Turkey Day is almost here! Gobble Gobble,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Salmon Chowder

Let me go ahead and share that this recipe started out as a soup from Mr. Food BUT after tasteing I decided that it was not worthy of my blog. This is the 3rd recipe now that I've made from that site that was bland, apparently he doesn't believe in seasoning. His original recipe called for only potato, milk, butter, dill, salmon, salt and pepper but I was hopeful. It tasted like lightly seasoned warm milk, pretty yucky. It really was not good. I knew I had to try try again so here we are today.

I started with his basic recipe and just played with it until it was perfect, according to me. So it's ended up kind of like an everything but the kitchen sink chowduh. It really is very good. It's not creamy per say but it is chunky and flavorful. It was actually Baby Cakes who gets the credit for the crawfish boil seasoning, he said he wanted spice and we had some left over from a crawfish boil we a had a few months back so TADA! It really worked with this dish. (Probably because the seasoning is made for seafood.) But no worries it's not spicy with the amount I added. It just lends some extra saltiness and flavor.

Baby Cakes loved this one and it has joined the list of recipes that I am allowed to make again. (lol, he's so cute thinking he has all the pull here, wink.) So either he'll eat anything, true, or I'm just a dang fine cook, also true (to toot my own horn).

Salmon Chowder

4 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
2 cans salmon, drained and flaked (skin and bones discarded)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen carrots
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried dillweed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon hot sauce
4-6 tablespoons seafood boil seasoning, powder not liquid

1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


In a soup pot, over medium heat, combine all ingredients except for the cheese and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are done, stirring occasionally.

Right before serving stir in 1-2 cups of shredded cheese.

Serve up with some crusty garlic bread and a a bit of seafood boil on the side to season a bit more with, if you'de like. Yum!

This was a lovely finalization to the end of a long, cold, rainy day. It is simple to make, warm and is so very good. Even if you don't like fish you'll have to try this one at least once. XOXO.

Mmmmm Chowduh,

Monday, November 1, 2010

Creamy Pumpkin Dip

When I came across this recipe my first thought was that it looks so easy to make and I was right it is very easy to make. The perfect quick recipe for Halloween or just the fall in general.

This recipe says it's supposed to be a mousse, as in Creamy Pumpkin Mousse and it is mousse-y, lol, but lacking in flavor or sweetness. Lacking in something. Perhaps next time I'll add some ginger or nutmeg, perhaps a bit of powdered sugar to the mix. Something. Anyhow, it's perfect to serve with a sweet cookie for dipping. So from now on in my eyes this recipe will be known as Creamy Pumpkin Dip. Hence my renaming it as such.

In all honesty I've noticed that this year I'm not really a fan of pumpkin dishes. I've had pumpkin candy, poptarts, ice cream, dips, cake, etc. and not been crazy about any of them except for Maggie's Luscious Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake which surprises me. My point being that I might not be a good judge of this particular recipe because I wasn't crazy about it.

However, Baby Cakes was. Everytime he would open the fridge he would use his finger to scoop some out and eat it. Also when it was on the counter, in his bowl, in my bowl... Needless to say "this is a keeper" says the hubby.

Creamy Pumpkin Dip
recipe from Mr. Food


1 can (16-ounces) solid-pack pure pumpkin
1 package (6-serving size) instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
1/4 cup low-fat (1%) milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups frozen light whipped topping, thawed


In a medium bowl, with an electric beater on medium speed, beat the pumpkin, pudding mix, milk, and cinnamon until well blended.

Fold in the whipped topping until thoroughly blended, then spoon into a serving bowl. Cover loosely and chill until ready to serve.

I served mine topped with some pumpkin seeds and nutmeg along with some gingersnaps and vanilla cookies. Baby Cakes dipped a Snickers in it. To each his own, right?

All in all a super quick and tasty treat.

Trick or Treat,

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