Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chop, Pineapple and Bean Bake

Oh my goodness this is good. I didn’t expect it to be so yummy, I just thought it might be good and since I have some pork chops I need to use up it might be worth it. It surpassed my expectations.

Like always I did make a few tiny changes but for the most part I left this one alone. I can’t think of a single thing that I would change after tasting it.

Baby Cakes at first rated this dish a 5.5, then after taking a few bites of it sat back and rescored it an 8. By the end of the meal it was a solid 10. I think it’s a 10 (a 10, a freakin’ 10)!

Chop, Pineapple and Bean Bake
recipe from Food For A Hungry Soul

1/2 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
22 ounce can baked beans
4 to 6 pork chops
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 375.

In a frying pan add the oil and sauté the onions until they are a nice golden brown.

Remove from pan and mix into the beans. Also stir in the brown sugar. Spread the beans in the bottom of a 9x12 inch baking dish.

Rub the pork chops with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Brown the seasoned chops over medium heat until both sides are browned but do not cook through. Layer the chops in single layer on top of the beans.

In a small bowl combine the drained, crushed pineapple and the barbecue sauce. Pour mixture over the pork chop and bean layers.

Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and brown.

Like I said above, this is delicious.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Baked French Toast Casserole

You’ve all heard about my Grandma Lolly before, if you’ve followed this blog. I feature recipes I've been passed down from her often.

She is my Daddy’s Mom. She has Cajun roots and can cook me under the table God love her! I would go as far to say that she is the reason I love to cook. If she hadn’t have loved it my Daddy wouldn’t have and then neither would I. It all starts somewhere. Well, yesterday was my Grandma Lolly’s 73rd Birthday Party. It was a bingo potluck and it was a blast, as always. Every year all her bingo friends, most of her children and grandchildren get together to celebrate another glorious year owned and operated by Laura Lillian Jones a.k.a. Lolly Pop a.k.a. my Grandma. (And the picture below because Baby Cakes is a ham and can't let a camera flash go off without him being in it.)

(Speaking of hams I thought I would share a photo of my Daddy being a ham as well, that's why Baby Cakes fits right in, we're a family of hams.)

Well because of the above said party I was sent home with a bag full of leftover King’s Hawaiian rolls, now I could make breadcrumbs out of them, or croutons or french toast. Oh or bread pudding. That is exactly where my mind went but because I am reluctantly counting calories I couldn’t deem their fate to croutons or bread pudding for that matter (although I wish!). Nope, but I can be kind of naughty. Hello Baked French Toast Casserole.

If you haven’t had it before, and I suggest everyone try it at least once, then you are missing out. Now this is a Paula Deen recipe slightly adapted only I left off the praline topping because as I said above I am counting calories, and because I feel like it is a slight overkill, but whether you make it with or without the topping it still worth devouring.

Baked French Toast Casserole
adapted from Paula Deen

20-25 King Hawaiian rolls, torn into pieces
9 eggs
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups milk
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
½ stick butter, sliced

Place the torn pieces of rolls into a 9x12 baking dish and let sit on the counter for an afternoon to dry out the bread a bit.

In the evening, in a large bowl, combine the eggs, heavy cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the rolls, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Press the rolls down to soak up the egg mixture. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Top with butter pats evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.

Serve with maple syrup.

This is wonderful, better than wonderful and I loved that all the prep was last night and that I could bake it off this morning. Not to mention that it was a hit. I will be making this again and again and again.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Easy Peach Cobbler

Guess what guys, I was asked to do a guest post. My very first one! And this is the recipe I chose to share. It couldn't have been for a better blog, Mandy's Recipe Box, she has some great recipes over there. I have a ton saved in my files to make one day. Soon. But in the meantime go check her out and say hi. Oh and while you're there check out my post. Grin.

I had a request, I love requests. They take the guess work out of deciding what to bring. This request is from my Dad, asking me to bring peach cobbler as a dessert on Father’s Day. I couldn’t turn him down.

While shopping for all the things we needed for the very busy coming up weekend my Mother in Law told me about her family’s easy recipe for fruit cobblers. Perfect timing, this will work perfectly for the peach cobbler I am supposed to make.

Easy Peach Cobbler
slightly adapted from 2 family recipes

2-3 large cans sliced peaches in juice, drained
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350.

Put the stick of butter into a 12x9 baking dish and let it melt in the oven while the oven is preheating.

Meanwhile in a large bowl mix the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, milk and vanilla together.

Carefully pull the baking dish with the melted butter out of the oven and pour batter over the melted butter, do not stir.

Place peaches on top of batter and again do not stir.

Bake 45 minutes or until gold and bubbly.

I'm sorry for not taking a picture after it was served but I was at my parents house being social and didn't really think about the picture. Sorry. When I make it again I'll snap a photo. Promise.

My youngest brother said it was really good; he had 4 pieces, and told my sister in law that she had to get the recipe. He wasn’t alone, I thought it was great and so must have everyone else because later Sunday evening after we were home I got a message on Facebook from my Dad saying that the cobbler sure did smell good, too bad he didn’t get a piece. It must have been good if it was gone within the time span between me leaving and him getting out of the pool.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Crock Pot Baked Sweet Potatoes

This recipe proves to me that there really isn’t anything that can’t be cooked in a crockpot. Who would have thought to cook a baked potato or in my case a sweet potato in the crockpot? I wouldn’t have but am I ever so glad I came across someone who did.

They are airy and fluffy, just perfect. So much better than a microwaved potato and I didn’t even have to turn the oven on (Hallelujah!).

Crock Pot Baked Sweet Potatoes
recipe adapted from Coleen's Recipes

sweet potatoes
olive oil
assorted toppings**

Scrub the potatoes clean and then dry them and rub them with olive oil. Wrap them individually in aluminum foil and set in a single layer in the crockpot.

Cook in crockpot on high anywhere between 2 to 5 hours depending on the size of the potatoes and the amount that are being cooked*, when you are able to pierce with a fork easily they are done.

Remove the aluminum foil and top with anything that you would like**.

*I cooked 2 very large sweet potatoes and it took 5 hours.
**We topped ours with butter and cinnamon sugar.

This was an incredibly good side dish with practically no work. I swung by the Food Basket and picked up a roasted chicken, a bag of romaine lettuce and dinner was served.

I am certain this will become a staple recipe in our house.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Grape BBQ Meatballs

Keeping with the quick and simple recipe plan I thought I would try these little meatballs. I found this recipe on another blog that I frequent but didn’t want to turn the oven on so I adapted it ever so slightly to make it quicker in an attempt to keep the house cool.

I will admit. I am not crazy about them, there aren’t bad persay but they aren't great either. I could frankly take them or leave them. Although Baby Cakes does not agree with me. He insists that they are keepers, I wish that I felt the same way.

Perhaps making them with raspberry jam or blackberry preserves... Okay, these will be back at some point in the future with a different jam or even with pork instead of beef.

Grape BBQ Meatballs
recipe adapted from Taste and Tell

1 cup grape jam
2 cups prepared bbq sauce
a bag of frozen home-style meatballs

In a large saucepan bring the jam and bbq sauce to a low boil over medium heat. Add the meatballs and heat thoroughly for 20-30 minutes, stirring to coat often.

Serve over rice or potatoes.

Quick and easy, just how I like a weeknight supper to be.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Cherry Almond Pudding

It’s that time of year again. As you might know, if you read my blog this time last year, once yearly the town of Iola, Texas holds a family meeting and picnic. It more about the family cemetery than anything else, in fact I would say that it’s all about the family cemetery. But either way it is an amazing picnic that follows. Oh how I love a potluck.

Thinking back to what a hit the Pistachio Pudding was last year I knew I needed something as good. Only every time I ran searches to find something, and there are a ton of pudding/salad recipes out there, everything seemed like something that has been over served. I had an idea in mind I just needed to make it work.

I brought home an empty serving dish, enough said.

Cherry Almond Pudding

1 jar maraschino cherries, chopped, with juice
1 small tub whipped topping
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup finely chopped almonds
2 teaspoons cherry extract

Mix all the ingredients together and place in icebox overnight.

This pudding is cold and creamy, not to mention very cherry, all of which are very good things in my book. I dare you to try it, you’ll love it.

Stay out of the heat,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bar-B-Ranch Salad

It is 101 degrees today in my neck of Texas. You read that right its 101. In spring! (Those numbers are normally reserved for the end of July and the entire month of August, namely summer.) Sweltering, stifling, knock you out kind of heat, and sticky to boot (humidity).

Baby Cakes works outside in this all day so it is not unheard of that he A) doesn’t want supper at all when he arrives home or B) wants a cold crisp salad. Tonight is B.

Luckily we have a ton of leftover smoked Brisket and Sausage to use up. I’m going to wing it…

Bar-B-Ranch Salad

1-2 cups chopped brisket, heated
1 cup chopped link sausage, heated
1 can ranch style beans, drained
1 can sweet corn kernels, drained and rinsed
1 small tomato, diced
1-2 heads romaine lettuce, diced and rinsed
½ cup ranch dressing, homemade*
½ cup brown sugar b-b-q sauce
1-2 cups original Frito chips

Toss all of the ingredients together and serve.

*I don’t care for bottled ranch. In fact I have yet to find any brand, any bottle or jar that tastes as good as homemade, as in the result of following the directions on the back of a ranch packet. Even when I was a kid I would add milk and mayonnaise to the bottle of ranch and shake it up to make it thinner, it was too thick without doing that. It used to make my Dad so mad- everyone else in the family loved it so basically I was ruining it for everyone but me. Ahhh memories. Lol.

Baby Cakes gave this a Bad A$$ rating. I give it two very enthusiastic thumbs up. It isn't gourmet but then again what on this blog ever is? It is really good and it managed to keep us both cool and fill us up. Amen!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Sweet and Sour Sausage

I do believe that if I were stranded on a deserted island the one thing I would require having would be my crockpot. Is that lame? (Okay, not really, I could think of a million things I would actually rather have, a pina colada, my cellphone, a great book or better yet my kindle although it would evenly run out of power, my husband, matches, a pillow and blanket, bug spray, a water filtration system, sunscreen. The list could go on and on.) I guess by now it's pretty obvious that I am in love with my Crockpot.

Things you already know about me: My husband, Baby Cakes, is an avid hunter and because of this we always have sausage, link and ground. I love my crockpot. Why not marry the two and find some recipes for doing just that. I love Google Search. That is where I came across this recipe.

Sweet and Sour Sausage
Recipe from

20 ounce can pineapple chunks
2 pounds sausage links, sliced
1 large onion, quartered, sliced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

Drain pineapple chunks and reserve juice. Put chunks in the slow cooker.

Cut kielbasa into 1- to 2-inch lengths; add to the slow cooker along with the onion.

Combine reserved juice with the cornstarch, stirring until smooth. Stir in the vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Pour over the kielbasa.

Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.

I am crazy about this recipe. It was so simple, as any crockpot recipe is, and the outcome was very flavorful. I served these baby boys over mashed potatoes and it was a hit.

Baby Cakes gave these 9.5 out of a possible 10, I think the negative .5 is due to the fact that they weren't spicy, the man has to have spicy. I give them all 10 as I don't honestly care for spicy. Blasphemy I know, being as I am from a Tex-Mex state.


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