Monday, April 18, 2011

Lemon Cream Bars

Mmm lemon bars. Mmm creamy lemon bars. Mmm tart creamy lemon bars.

Baby Cakes loves these. I like them a lot. Honesty is important.

Lemon Cream Bars
recipe from Tasty Kitchen

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened, condensed milk
½ cups lemon juice
1-½ cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
⅔ cups butter, melted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine milk and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside for a moment.

Mix remaining ingredients until crumbly.

Press half of the streusel (dry) mixture into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish. Pour the lemon mixture over top. Finish by sprinkling remaining streusel over the top of the lemon filling. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely then store in the refrigerator.

It’s a nice change but I have to say that I prefer tart when it’s just tart (aka Strawberry Lemonade Bars) and not so much creamy. However, it did get the job done and I can’t say I would pass on it if offered.


Turkey Day Meatloaf

This evening we are playing with our food.

I cannot take the entire credit for this recipe as I did adapt it from the original recipe found here. But, I can take credit for turning it into what it is on our plates. Yes burgers sound good but why not make it heartier and more like a substantial dinner (not to say that a burger can’t be substantial, no in fact I have had some substantial burgers in my lifetime) but I want sides. What can I say I am a side dish kind of girl. Honestly though, I didn’t want to fire up the grill as I haven’t gotten a gas one yet (hint, hint Baby Cakes) so I did some thinking and figured a meatloaf would solve quite a few problems.

This is my new favorite dish ever! Do I say that every time? I don’t care. This is really is my new favorite dish. It is super moist and flavorful. I need more adjectives.

So without further ado…

Turkey Day Meatloaf
adapted from Lauren's Kitchen

1 pound ground turkey
2 cups stove top stuffing mix, dry
1 egg, beaten
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 can turkey gravy, set aside

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all of the ingredients together (except for the gravy) and form into a large loaf on a baking sheet or in a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, pausing at 30 minutes to top with a thin layer of gravy.

I highly recommend serving this with cranberry sauce.

Our entire meal consisted of the meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and I served it with the leftover gravy warmed up. It was a lot like Thanksgiving dinner. All that was missing was the crazy loud conversations and the cheek pinching (Yeah, there’s no one in my family who does that; thankfully. Well not the cheeks on my face anyhow. That sounds oddly perverted but for the record my Mom and sisters and I aren’t shy about poking and pinching each other. I can’t make it sound any better, it is what it is. I am not ashamed). Well, how did we get from meatloaf to that conversation? Awkward. Now when you make this you’ll be thinking about what I just typed. Let’s start again shall we? It was a fabulous meal, the only thing missing were the rolls (okay, I am making it too easy here, but I’ll be good. I won’t touch that one).

Oh and for dessert Lemon Cream Bars, OMG! (Hence why I truly never have a meal without rolls, yeah I went there. I had to.)

I cannot not wait to make a sandwich with the leftovers tomorrow for lunch. Yum.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Shredded Pork with Mushrooms

Today has been torture. The aroma in my house all day long has been so intense and well, just heavenly. Honestly, it has made me walk into the kitchen a dozen times searching the cabinets for something to eat that could come remotely close to the scent of this deliciousness. I couldn’t find anything and instead snacked all day but, the time has finally come to try today’s supper. I am so ready to eat this let me tell you.

Wow. This recipe reminds me of my Mothers Goulash, slightly sweet and with great depth of flavor. Baby Cakes and I both ate two servings and then lounged on the couch babying our bellies out of over eating. It was great, is great, I am going to eat it again tomorrow. Not to mention how easy it was to make. I love easy. I love delicious. I love my crockpot.

Shredded Pork with Mushrooms
recipe from

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into large pieces
2 (14.5 ounces each) cans stewed tomatoes, with juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 package pork gravy mix
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 package or 6 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover; cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, high for 4 to 6 hours or until meat is tender.

I served ours over mashed potatoes with some green beans, one of the only green vegetables Baby Cakes will eat. I should be off work more often, I was rather productive today. Wink.

Nom, nom, nom,

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I was not well prepared for last week’s grocery trip. I am a couponer, and sometimes I spend so much of my nonworking week prepping for couponing that I kind of forget about planning out a meal. I’m still new and it’s hard work saving money. Luckily this week I remembered in time to grab a cookbook on my way out the door and thumbing through it I came across this recipe. This isn’t a new cookbook; in fact when Baby Cakes and I were first dating we would often hit garage sales together on Saturday mornings. (We we’re so exciting huh? It worked for us.) That is where I picked up a copy of Best Recipes From the backs of Boxes, Bottles, Cans and Jars by Ceil Dyer. Truth be told I hadn’t even looked in it, in four years of it sitting on my shelf, moving with us and countless recipe searches I just always passed this book by. Not anymore. I’ve only made it to page 74 out of 578. Yes, I’ll be cooking from this book for quite some time to come.

One thing I really enjoy about this book is that it explains when and where the original recipe came from. For example today’s recipe, Souperburgers begins with this brief description: “Back in 1959 Campbell’s test kitchens developed this “souper” easy hearty main dish. Good cooks around the world still write in for this recipe. The results never disappoint them.” If nothing else it’s an interesting read but luckily it's a great recipe too.

Baby Cakes was treated to lunch at work and wasn't hungry (although he didn't tell me that until after I toasting the buns) but after he saw what I made he said he wanted one. He and I agree that they are amazing. They have so much flavor. The gumbo soup really makes it in this recipe. I would have to say that this recipe is better than Sloppy Joes. This is the new offical Bennett house sloppy-esque sandwich recipe.

from the Best Recipes Cookbook

1 pound ground beef
½ cup onion, chopped
1 can Campbell’s Chicken Gumbo Soup
2 tablespoons catsup
1 tablespoon mustard
6 buns, split and toasted

Brown beef and cook onion in skillet until tender (use shortening, if necessary); stir to separate meat. Add soup and seasonings. Heat; stir often. Cook until the majority of liquid is cooked down. Serve on toasted buns. Makes about 3 cups.

Now don't be put off by the fact that there is rice in it you don't even notice and who knows that might just be what takes it over the top.

Yum! Really that's all there is to say about that.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Corn Pudding

Um okay. I can't even put into words how in love I am with this dish. I can think of so many people right off the top of my head that will just love it to death. Side dish meet dessert. Not the only recipe out there that could easily pass for both but one of the best for sure.

I happened upon this recipe while try to find a way to cook some chicken thighs, last post Apricot Chicken, and saw a curious picture (because when I search I do search by picture) and clicked just to see what it was. Am I ever so glad that I did. It is creamy and swee. The corn adds a little crunchy sweetness. Keeper. Total keeper!

Corn Pudding
recipe found on Closet Cooking

2 ears worth of corn kernels
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon of melted butter
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix everything in a bowl.

Pour into a baking dish.

Bake until it is golden brown on top and set like a custard, about 30 minutes. (A knife inserted into the center should come out clean.)

I could not be more serious, y'all have have have to make this. Baby Cakes loves it so much that he ate some for breakfast this morning and I already snuck a little dish of it for a snack today. Bad. So bad. But oh so good.

One more thing, it is just as wonderful cold from the fridge as it is warm from the oven.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Apricot Chicken

I have to be honest I wasn't sure about this one. While making it I even told Baby Cakes I think that the italian dressing just might be overkill but it was a pleasant surprise to learn that it wasn't. This is quite good and super easy sprinkle it all on and bake it off. Easy peasy.

Apricot Chicken
recipe found on

6 Skinless Boneless Chicken Thighs
Packet of Onion Soup Mix
10 ounce Jar of Apricot Preserves
8 ounce bottle Italian Salad Dressing

Preheat the oven to 350.

Place the chicken in a baking dish and sprinkle the onion soup mix evenly over the top.

Spread the preserves over the chicken and squirt the italian dressing over the preserves.

Bake for 1 hour or until the chicken juices run clear.

I know this post is a bit short but I am exhausted and the week has only just begun! Thank the Lord for easy meals. Frozen veggies and Uncle Ben's Ready Rice, dinner is served.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kona Inn Banana Muffins

We don’t buy bananas very often, we just don’t eat them. Instead they sit on the counter and turn black. Because of that I truly only buy them when I have an intention for them (see Grandma Lolly’s Banana Pudding, Not Yo Momma’s Banana Pudding, Banana Apple Bread, Meg’s Sweet Banana Bread or Chunky Monkey Pie) but every once in a while something comes over me and I buy them because well, the price is right (I should probably look into freezing them). This was one of those occasions when I had over ripe bananas about to go bad on the counter and I am not just going to let them waste oh no not when they can create something amazing.

Luckily, I have a bookshelf of cookbooks at my disposal so I sat down and searched through all there index’s and finally, after searching I came across this recipe.

How had I never heard of these before? Why isn’t everyone making them? I am at a loss. All I know is that this is the moistest banana bread I have ever tasted. I’ve made it twice, each time handing some out to friends and family and every person who has bitten into one has said how good it is.

Now a few changes I made to the recipe are that instead of shortening I used vegetable oil and I left out the walnuts because I am allergic to them but other than that I followed the recipe to the letter. You’ll notice that the ingredient list is fairly simple as in no cinnamon or even vanilla and although at first this kind of had me uncertain I am now convinced that they don’t need a thing.

Kona Inn Banana Muffins
recipe from The 150 Best American Recipes Cookbook

½ cups vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
5 very ripe med. bananas
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Smear the cups of a muffin pan with shortening and sprinkle with a little flour and shake the pan to distribute. Turn the pan upside down over the wastebasket and shake out excess flour.

Peel the bananas, place them in a large bowl and beat them well with an electric mixer. The riper the bananas and the more you mash them, the tenderer your muffins will be. Don’t expect absolute smoothness, there will always be a few lumps. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add sugar, shortening, eggs and walnuts to the bananas and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir just until the batter is thoroughly blended.

Fill muffin cups to about two-thirds full. If you’ve reserved some walnuts, dot the tops of the batter with them.

Place pan in the lower third of the oven. After 15 minutes, check the muffins for doneness. A toothpick should come out clean. If not, cook 5 minutes longer and check again. When toothpick comes out clean, remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Run a knife along the edges of the muffins and transfer them to a platter serve warm.
These can be a cake. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and divide the batter between them. Bake for about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes in the pan for 10 minutes. Dust completely cooled cakes with powdered sugar.

These ones look fairly puny but let me tell you that the first batch I made I only filled one muffin pan, 12 muffin cups, and that is how I will be making them in all future sessions. I thought that I should only fill them as much as the recipe called for but they don't really rise, probably because I used vegetable oil instead of shortening. Either way it’s a win-win, smaller ones equal more of them and larger ones means more in one serving.

Once again, amazing!

Low Country Boil Chowder

Hold on to your socks girls because this recipe is going to try and blow them off. It is our new hands down favorite soup, no contest. Baby Cakes said that he would gladly eat it every day and I say that I will have to show willpower in not eating the entire pot full in one sitting. Just give me a ladle seriously.

I found this recipe on, which is a grocery store chain that is exclusively in Texas. You might notice that this is not my first recipe to come from there and I guarantee it won’t be the last either. Just about every recipe they post or share in their store has flavor, hmm, maybe it’s a Texas thing? ”We got spirit and ambition all we now is a little competition…” (Back from my cheer days). I did change a few ingredients and the name to relect the changes.


Low Country Boil Chowder
adapted from

1 lb. large peeled and deveined shrimp, frozen
4 - 6 slices thick-sliced bacon; coarsely chopped
¼ lb. ground chorizo
1 bag (20 oz.) diced frozen hash browns
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon seafood boil seasoning blend
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups frozen corn kernels
2 cups heavy cream

Cook bacon and chorizo in a large skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Sauté potatoes in remaining bacon drippings about 3 minutes, scraping bottom of pan to release browned bits. Stir in flour and seafood boil seasoning until blended well.

Gradually stir in broth; bring to a boil and simmer over Medium heat 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Spoon half of the potatoes into a bowl; mash with a fork or potato masher and return to pot.

Stir in cream and corn; return chowder to a boil. Add shrimp; simmer 2 or 3 minutes or until shrimp just begins to curl. Stir and season with coarse salt and pinch of ground white pepper. Ladle chowder into serving bowls; top with a dollop of sour cream and a bit of the crispy chorizo and bacon crumbles. Serve with a crust garlic bread or croutons.

Imagine how amazing this would be with crawfish tails. Yum. I just found yet another reason to host a crawfish boil this year, leftovers. So coming soon Crawfish Boil Chowder.

I took advantage of what probably is the very last cold snap in my area, it dropped to about 40 degrees two nights ago and I have to say I am going to miss the cooler weather come sweltering summer. This was the perfect recipe to go out with a bang.


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