Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Crispy hashbrowns

With all of the celebrating that is going to be going on tomorrow night, I figured we might need a hangover helper (I'm not going to claim that this is a cure!) for the morning after.  Hashbrowns are very easy to make, have a really nice crunch, and are simply perfect with a hot cup of coffee, a fried egg, and lots of ketchup.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Nutella Truffles

I really enjoy making candies and little confections, but there are a couple of times per year where this love really shines - Valentine's Day, and the Holidays.  I love to play in the kitchen, and give homemade gifts, so I try to make something really special if I'm going to give it as a gift.  As much as I enjoy doing this, though, there are just some times where your pantry is running low, you don't want to break out the candy thermometer, or you just don't feel like destroying your kitchen trying to put together something impressive.  Believe me, I've been there.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


For years and years, I have wanted to try to make a croquembouche (a fancy, French term for a cream puff tower), but I always talked myself out of it, saying that they were just too big to make, and no reason special enough to go through the effort of making one.
Well, this year, I decided that I wasn't going to talk myself out of it anymore!  I was, however, going to scale it way back, and do a very small tower, so that I wouldn't be wasting anything.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Easy peasy broccoli and cheese soup

I love broccoli and cheese soup.  And I mean llloovvveeee broccoli and cheese soup!  I love broccoli, I love cheese, and I love soup!  What's not to love??  I love to curl up on the couch with a big bowl, grab some oyster crackers and dig in!
The problem that I have, is that I'm the only one in my house that likes it.  The easy solution I have, is that since my husband travels often, I get to eat this a few times every winter!  The best part, is that this takes less than an hour to put together, and I get to eat off of it for days!
This one is going to go by pretty quick, so let's get started!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows

Hello everyone!  I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but the cold weather has officially come to stay here, and I couldn't love it more!  I love the whole snuggle under a blanket on the couch with a dog (or two...or three...or, in our case, five...), with a hot cup of either tea or hot chocolate.  While there's nothing wrong with the powder mix, they tend to be a little bit grainy and gritty, and just a little bit flat.  Which can be disappointing, especially when you are wanting hot chocolate for a special occasion, like Christmas morning, a winter party, maybe a kids sleepover or something along those lines.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pressure cooker beef stroganoff

Like I was saying on Tuesday, I love stick to your ribs meals during winter, and it is hard to find a meal that fits into that category more  than this one!  I love beef stroganoff, but my husband doesn't care for it (he doesn't like mushrooms or sour cream), so I usually make it when he's out of town.  Just so happens, he's out of town!
That being said, with trying to keep up with a 3 year old, and putting her to bed while getting supper together for myself...well, if it weren't for my pressure cooker, beef stroganoff would just not happen.
However, I do have a pressure cooker, therefore, I do have beef stroganoff!  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chicken pot pie

Hello, everyone!  Happy Tuesday!  I'm a big time seasonal cooker, and I don't just mean cooking with foods that are "in season" (although I do that, too); I mean, I cook certain foods more during certain seasons.  For me, winters are filled with soups and stews, and some heavier comfort food!  Chicken pot pie certainly fits that bill!  This hearty, rustic dish is flavorful and stick to your ribs comfort food!  This pot pie comes together very quickly (not including the time it takes to cook the chicken), feeds an army, and is very impressive looking, making it great for entertaining!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies

Baking cookies during the holidays are a common family tradition, and that certainly held true in my house, while I was growing up.  We usually baked chocolate chip cookies, my chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, and these, just to name a few.  These may seem a little bit more involved, but, once you have made them, they really aren't that difficult.
My Dad and I saw Alton Brown make this recipe on his show, "Good Eats" many, many years ago, and we decided to make these together, and they have been a staple ever since!  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Turkey and kale soup

I love soups in the winter!  They're a great way to stretch your protein, and a wonderful way to clean out your fridge of veggies that need to be used.  If I'm rummaging around the fridge, and notice that I have some veggies that need to be used up, I just toss 'em into a pot with some chicken stock, and simmer until done.  Boom!  Healthy, easy, and yummy!  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Every year, for Christmas, I make eclairs from scratch.  They're relatively easy to make, and can be done the day before, so Christmas morning, a special breakfast is ready while we open gifts!  The only problem with them, is that my husband doesn't eat them.  I always feel guilty that we're tearing into the eclairs, and he's sitting there watching us (I do offer to make him something else, but he usually isn't worried about it).  However, this year, I think these little lovelies will be joining my eclair breakfast table....

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chicken enchiladas with homemade tortillas

I know, I know, Thanksgiving is in 2 days, what am I doing posting a chicken enchilada recipe??  Well, I figured with turkeys, and all of the fixings would be every where over the next few days (not to mention the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving), I'd do something a little different.
I never ate enchiladas growing up, mainly because they have onions mixed into the meat, and as we're aware, I don't like onions.  But one day, I  wanted to try something different than our usual "Taco Tuesday", so I made up some enchiladas!  ...and I have never looked back.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Traditional Apple Pie

Hello, everyone!  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I would do a post on a beautiful apple pie!  I know that different areas of the country do different types of pies for dessert after Thanksgiving, my favorites are pumpkin and pecan, but my husband prefers apple; since I'm not too terribly picky about pie, apple is what we have!  This pie really is very easy to put together, and comes together very quickly.  I'm not good at crimping pie crusts and all of that fancy edging, so I go with a lattice pie top.  Weaving the top pie crust is very simple to do, looks very homey and rustic, in a good way!  Looks like you took some major time to put together an honest to goodness homemade pie.  Who has time for that nowadays?  You, that's who!  This literally gets put together in about 30 minutes, if that, and bakes for 1 hour.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Flourless chocolate cake

Okay, okay, confession time!  I wasn't going for a flourless chocolate cake, I was working on a chocolate souffle.  This is a beautiful cake that did rise, but since I don't have a true souffle dish, it didn't rise as much as I would have liked.  The rest of the cake did preform like a traditional souffle, so I really can't complain too much!  
Souffles get a really bad reputation, people say that they are too fragile, easily fall, and are too difficult to make all around.  The only thing that is remotely true is that they easily fall, but really, that's only as they cool.  You don't have to walk around on egg shells as they bake, and all it takes is a souffle dish, and some very basic know-how, and you have a beautiful dish that people will be astounded that you made.  At home.  By yourself.  And, if you're like me, and don't have a traditional souffle dish, you can just call it a "flourless chocolate cake", and it is still impressive!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sweet Potato Casserole....ice cream

One of my favorite dishes for Thanksgiving is sweet potato casserole, however my husband doesn't care for it.  For years, I made it anyway, just to eat a serving or two for myself, then it would get lost in the fridge and I'd end up throwing out the rest a week or so later.  This went on for years.  Years!!  Then I started thinking, "How can I still have my sweet potato casserole, that will keep for awhile without going bad?"  I thought that maybe I could freeze some, and thaw it out....and the more I thought about freezing it, I thought, "Hey!  I could just turn it into an ice cream!!  Yes!  A sweet potato ice cream, with layers of toasted marshmallow ice cream!  Oh!  Even better, I'll make up some candied pecans, swirl them into the sweet potato ice cream!"
I'm not going to lie, I was really on to something with that thought..

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Perfect-every-time Eye of Round Roast

Beef roasts can be an intimidating dish to make for a lot of people, because, really, how do you get it to be medium-rare in the center, while nicely browned on the outside, without the entire roast being tougher than shoe leather?  Have no fear, I have the perfect-every-time recipe for an amazing roast beef.  This is one of my favorites that I make for company, because the taste is amazing, and it really does come out looking impressive (if I do say so myself!)  Honestly, this is such an easy recipe to make, that after making it once or twice, you'll have it memorized.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pumpkin sandwich cookies with Maple buttercream filling

Welcome to our first cookie of the month!  On the first Thursday of the month, every month, I'm going to post a new cookie blog!  As I have stated many times over, I love baking, and who doesn't love cookies?  So why not marry the two, and do a cookie of the month?
The cookie I have chosen to post about today is a pumpkin sandwich cookie, with a really lovely, smooth buttercream filling!  These cookies are more cake-like than cookie, but I still think they fit the bill for a "cookie of the month" post!  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rose apple tartlets

Have you ever wanted to make a pastry treat that looks mind blowingly difficult, but could not be easier?  You've found it!  There is no technical know-how involved with this at all, and yet, everyone will be scratching their heads, wondering when you had time to go to culinary school.  As I previously mentioned, my family went to an apple festival, and I brought back tons of apples!  So, I had to figure out ways to use them before they went bad.  These apple tarts are all over Pinterest, so I figured I'd give them a try!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Southern Cheese Straws

There are two things that I think of when I think of Holidays in the South.  First, my mom's stuffed dates (SO GOOD!), and secondly, cheese straws.  Cheese straws are all over the South.  They are baked little bites of cheese with just the slightest hint of spice.  Think of it as a bumped up Cheez-It.  I swear, I could eat an entire batch of these without giving it a second thought.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Spiced Apple Butter

I really feel like the art of canning goods is going by the wayside, and that makes me really sad.  Canning is a really easy to do, but a lot of people get intimated by it.  So far this year, I've canned strawberry jam and some homemade tomato sauce!  Last year I made an amazing peach butter, that honestly tasted like summer in a jar.  I wish I had made more of that, or at least, made some this year.  But, I'll make some for sure next year!
Fruit butters are something that I never paid much attention to growing up; as a matter of fact, my husband was the one that really brought my attention to them.  He grew up with his mom making apple butter, and it was (and still is!) a favorite of his, so I figured I should make some up for him!  I've been making this for a few years now, and there is always a jar of it in the fridge!  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sinful Potato Gratin

Happy Thursday, everyone!  I don't know if you're aware or not, but the Holidays are coming.  Fast.  I don't know about you, but I am a huge planner.  The second I get an idea, I grab a pen and paper and start planning everything, down the the last detail.  You don't even want to know the amount of lists, and thoughts, and ideas I had while I was thinking of starting this blog!  My goodness!  It's funny, though, you would think that as much as I love to plan, that my house would be uber organized.  Nothing could be further from the truth, but I digress.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Homemade mac and cheese

I have professed my love of all things cheesy, like in my cheesy chicken quesadillas post, from mac and cheese, to my super cheesy husband.  I joke, I joke...sort of.  Anyway, in tune with all things cheesy, we go through a lot of mac and cheese in my house!  Sadly, I don't always go with homemade, being in a rush most nights, I'm guilty of grabbing a box of mac and cheese and just going on with supper.  However, this is a recipe that my family has been making for years, and it is so easy!  It just takes a little bit of time in the slow cooker, and makes enough to feed a hungry family!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gourmet Caramel Apples

Gosh I love fall.  Who doesn't?  Fall gives us beautiful leaves changing colors, open windows, a touch of crisp in the morning air, football....I could go on and on.  Fall also gives us perfect apples!  Now that I'm thinking about it, apples perfectly reflect the characteristics of fall.  They come in reds, golds and greens, they're crisp, and....and....well, that may be were the similarities end.  But, when I think of fall, I think of apples, that's for sure.  Apples and pumpkins.  However, that's for another day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Lemon garlic green beans

I am a firm believer in a standard dinner plate: A protein, a starch and a veggie (usually green).  This makes for pretty standard side dishes in our house, but one of our favorite veggies is garlic lemon green beans.  These beans are gently boiled, then sauteed off in garlic with lemon juice and zest, creating a zippy sauce while the beans maintain a slight crunch.  These beans are great to entertain with, and require very minimal effort.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fluffy yeast rolls

Alright, in part 3 of this "fancy pants supper" series, we're looking at yeast rolls!  When I was writing my post about fresh bread, I spoke about how much I love the smell of fresh bread, just out of the oven.  There is only one smell that I can think of that can compare is the smell of yeast rolls baking in the oven.  I suppose since it is still a type of bread, but the smell of yeast baking in the oven is something just magical.  
The fact that these are easy to make just makes them that much better!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fancy potatoes

Welcome back everyone!  On my last post, I showed how to make an amazing Ribeye steak, and for me, when I eat a steak, I want a potato to go with it!  I love potatoes.  There are a million different ways to cook a potato (okay...maybe not a million, but it has to be close!), but I was a little tired of home fries, and baked potatoes.  So, I figured I would shake things up a little bit!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pan seared ribeye

If you want to see me do a happy dance in the middle of the meat department of a grocery store, just let me see a steak (ideally a ribeye) that has been marked down to some ridiculous price.  I will break out my tap shoes every time!  Since my husband travels for work quite a bit, I'm often on my own for my supper, and I can usually find an amazing steak that has been marked down to about half off, so the tap shoes come out, and that steak comes home with me!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Broiled blackened catfish

Hi everyone!  If you ask my husband what his favorite fish is, he'll say, hands down, catfish.  Followed, probably, by salmon.  But yeah, he loves catfish.  For years, I would fry it, but I'm not a huge fan of fried catfish; it usually turns out kind of greasy, in my opinion.  So it wasn't something I would make very often.  However, one day, I just decided to pop it under the broiler, and we haven't looked back!
Putting the catfish under the broiler gives it the same effect as frying it, without all of the greasiness that frying gives.  Since I tried this, we've been eating catfish way more often!  I like mine with a squeeze of lemon juice, but my husband just eats his straight up, as is.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Roasted garlic chicken alfredo fettuccine

Hello everyone!  Yes, this is another chicken post...what can I say?  I love chicken!  It is affordable, and versatile and healthy and....and....and I just like it!  When I was a teenager, I also loved alfredo, until I woke up one day and realized it has no flavor.  So, one day, I wondered if I could figure out a way fix that.  Let me ask you this, what can garlic not fix?  They even have garlic ice cream, for goodness sake!  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pressure Cooker Boiled Peanuts

Hi y'all!  College football season is in full swing down here in the south, and if you ask me what says college football, my instant first answer is going to be: bourbon.  But, a close second would be boiled peanuts!  I have many, many memories of watching football, while shoving boiled peanuts into my mouth as fast as I could shove them in!  
As much as I love them, though, they do take quite awhile to cook on the stove top, and when I want boiled peanuts, I want boiled peanuts now!  What's a girl to do?  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lime garlic shrimp

I love shrimp, but beyond scampi and frying it, I'm usually at a bit of a loss as to ways of cooking it.  I love garlic with shrimp, so when I was thinking of this meal, there was no doubt that garlic was going to be involved!  I was rummaging through the fridge, and stumbled across some limes that I honestly had forgotten about!  Oops!  So, yes, I had limes and a lot of garlic...sounds good to me!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Spatzle with jager sauce

I love cooking foods from different areas in the world.  As much as I love to travel, I don't often get a chance to do so; however, I can travel through food.  And I do that way more often!  As I said in my pork schnitzel, my husband gets to travel to Germany about once per year, and he comes home raving about the food.
The first time he came back, he told me about the schnitzel, and the spatzle.  I had no problems whipping up the schnitzel, but I had no idea how to go about making spatzle.  I asked him to help me find a recipe, but nothing ever came of that.  I could find recipes, but I wasn't sure how things were supposed to look, taste, or cook.  Not helpful.  Thankfully, after a few trial and errors, I have it figured out, and am excited to share a few tips and tricks that I have picked up along the way!  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Roasted garlic, lemon chicken soup

Hello everyone!  I'm sure school has started in your neck of the woods, and as we all know, when school starts, your child starts to bring home illnesses along with mounds and mounds of paperwork!  This has been the case in our house, as our daughter brought home a cold last week.  Great.  When someone in our house has a cold (or whatever else), my go-to is instantly chicken soup.  I have a couple of variations of it, but this is one of my favorites.  Why?  It has lemon.  It has roasted garlic.  It has orzo.  What's not to like??

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Banana Pudding Cake

Hi.  I have something that I need to admit.  I love baking cakes.  I may have mentioned this here in my Chocolate lavender cake, and here in my Nana's carrot cake  They are so much fun!  Once you have the base recipe down, you can change things up any way you want!  A couple of weeks ago, my sister tagged me on Facebook about a banana pudding cake, and, as a good Southern girl, I knew this had to be in my life.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Banana Bread

One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen, is bake.  I love reading over a recipe, and adding a little of this, taking a little of this out, thinking, "Hum...this is good, but how would it be if I changed this??  I'm going to try this next time!"
And, yes, you could do that with any recipe, to do it with a baked good, to me, is to really make it your own.  
Baking does need to be an exact science, with the basics.  You can't take out a cup of flour, and expect the recipe to behave the same, but you can, for example, add chocolate chips, and have a whole new experience with a recipe!  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Brined, Bone-in Chicken Breasts

In case you can't tell by now, I love to cook chicken.  I know I've mentioned it a few times, and have posted some of my favorite chicken recipes in the past, and have quite a few more in the works!  However, I know that bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts can present a bit of a problem to someone who is unfamiliar with cooking them.  A couple of the pros of cooking with bone-in meat, are that the meat has more flavor and the meat tends to be more moist; however, one of the cons is that it takes longer to cook, and while the end result is worth it, it is easy to want to cook it for a really long time, with the end result being a dried out, sad piece of meat.  
However, I'm going to share with you a step that I do almost every time I cook a piece of meat that has a bone left in.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Baked portobello mushroom omelet caps

Wow!  That title is a mouthful, isn't it?  However, it is a delicious and healthy mouthful, that's for sure!  The other day, I was walking through the grocery store, and as so often happens to me, I found some great veggies that they had marked down for quick sale.  Among them, as a pack of two big, beautiful portobello mushroom caps!  Needless to say, those babies jumped in my cart and came home with me!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fresh bread!

When you think of a comforting smell, what comes to mind?  I mean, something that you'd love for your house to smell like 24/7?  Vanilla?  Cookies?  Flowers?  All good answers, but for me, I'd say my favorite smell is fresh out of the oven bread.  Smear some butter on it, and forget about it...I'm in heaven!  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Beef Stock

I love my pressure cooker.  I went for years without using one, but boy oh boy was I hooked after my first experience, that's for sure!  There is almost no limit to the things you can do with a pressure cooker, but I use mine most often for making stocks.  I've already shown you how easy it is to make chicken stock in a pressure cooker, but today, we're going to see how easy it is to make beef stock!  The process is very similar, however, there are a few extra steps.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Marshmallow Fondant

Okay, this is the third (and final) installment of my mini series on my Chocolate Lavender cake how-to!  I broke this up into three posts, because each of these items on their own would be great!  Or mix and match for an entirely different taste!  Do a store bought frosting on the cake, or use the Earl Grey buttercream frosting on a different cake (a spice cake would be lovely!), and this marshmallow fondant would be great on any cake, cupcake, or even cookie!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Earl Grey Buttercream Frosting

Alrighty, today we're going to continue with our cake building posts, picking up from baking our chocolate lavender cake!  We're going to make a really lovely, smooth Earl Grey buttercream frosting!  This frosting would pair beautifully with any cake, really, and while there are a few steps to it, it is pretty easy (especially if you've made any of these ice creams, like my Brown sugar peach ice cream or Caramel ice cream....the process of making the base is the same!)  Are you ready to get started??  Let's go!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chocolate Lavender Cake

Okay, I've been on a bit of a lavender kick lately.  First, I made lavender tea scones, and figured since I had so much lavender leftover, I would make a chocolate lavender cake!  I also figured I would go ahead and post it, since the coupon code so generously given to me from Herbs & Everlastings, for 10% off of your total order of $5 or more (not counting shipping), good through 9/30/2014, so if you need to get some lavender, this is a great place to get some, and you may as well use the coupon code and get a discount!
This chocolate cake is so moist, and decadent!  It is rather time consuming, but its really not too bad!  This cake process I'm going to break up into three segments, because there are quite a few steps.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Smothered chicken

Hello, everyone!  As you probably know by now, I love chicken.  It is probably my favorite proteins, yet, every time I go to cook it, my mind goes blank.  There are a million ways to cook chicken, and I can't think of one.  However, this smothered chicken is so easy, and such a crowd pleaser every time I make it, that I probably make it more often than I should!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Lavender Earl Grey Tea Scones

I remember when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, my teacher had a chef come in, and show the kids how to make scones.  I was fascinated.  I'd never heard of scones, but they were pretty easy to make, and I loved the process, and, of course, I really loved eating the finished product!  
Flash forward to the other night, I was catching up on "Downton Abbey", and thought that it would be fun to make some scones!  Now, what kind of scones to make....hum....lavender Earl Grey tea scones sound fancy enough to be served to Lady Grantham, and if they're good enough for her, they're good enough for me!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti sauce is one of those things that I grabbed while I was grocery shopping, for years.  Until one day it dawned on me, I could just as easily make mine at home!  All you need is some tomato sauce, some herbs (dried and fresh, if you can!), and a protein of your choice, or just leave it as a meatless sauce, and that's just one step closer to goodness!  I also have a secret ingredient that is subtle, but will leave you scratching your head, going, "Well.....why didn't I think of that?"

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fresh pasta

Fresh pasta is a dish that you can easily entertain with.  If you tell someone you're having spaghetti for a special supper, they may think you're copping out, just opening a box of spaghetti and pouring some sauce over it....really?  But, when they hear that you're making a fresh spaghetti from scratch, all of sudden you're doing something really special, because it must be difficult and time consuming, right??  Wrong!  Fresh pasta is very easy, and can be done in a relatively short amount of time!  And, its cheap!  Like, super cheap!  What could be better?  An impressive dish (that could feed an army) for less than $5??  Bring it!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Caramel Ice Cream

As I have stated before (in my Brown Sugar Peach Ice Cream post), ice creams are something that I love to make in the summer.  Once you have learned the techniques, it is very easy, and usually, a lot better than the store bought stuff (which is saying something....store bought ice creams have really come a long way!!).  Another really fun part of making ice cream at home, is you get to make whatever flavor you want!!  You can take a base flavor and add in different mix-ins, and have a whole new family favorite that you would never see in the store! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mushroom Risotto

For years, I was intimidated by the thought of making risotto.  I watch a lot of cooking TV (a lot of cooking TV...I think I may have an addiction...), and you always hear that risotto and souffles are the most difficult things to make.  Not true.  Yes, risottos require a little babysitting, but you don't have to hover over it every second or else the world will end.  And, it only takes about 30 minutes, so its really not that bad.  You can easily make this side dish with the rest of your supper, and impress others who watch the cooking TV shows that I watch, and buy into the preaching that it is super difficult to make!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pork Schnitzel

As much as I enjoy playing in the kitchen, I also really enjoy trying to cook foods from other countries.  The problem I have with that, is that I don't get to travel that much, so I don't know what these foods are supposed to taste like, or, in some cases, even look like!  This poses a slight problem, although, with food being a very popular subject on TV and in magazines (and online!  Ha!), the world is getting much smaller, and cultural foods are getting more popular!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I love making breads from scratch, it makes me feel very accomplished, and this is one of the easiest breads to make!  Aside from being easy (or, maybe because it is so easy!), cornbread is a southern staple.  This bread is a little bit sweet, and the corn taste really shines through, from the cornmeal.  Start to finish, it takes just under an hour to make a 12" skillet of bread.  I always make mine in a cast iron skillet, partly because its tradition, and partly because I have yet to find another baking dish that will develop a perfect crust on the bread.  And, its nonstick!  Let's get started!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Canned homemade tomato sauce

One thing I really wanted to tackle this year was making canned, homemade tomato sauce.  I even planted two tomato plants, in hopes of getting some for sauce (I knew I wouldn't get enough off of two plants to can, but I had hoped to toss one or two of my own in there!), alas, no luck.  My tomato plants look good, but I haven't gotten any tomatoes off of them.  Yet.  However, the local farm in my area is selling pecks of tomatoes for $10 each, so I took my daughter out to the farm, and we bought two pecks for this adventure!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Brown sugar peach ice cream

Ice cream is far and away my favorite treat, year round.  I don't care if it is 30 degrees outside, I'm going to be curled up on the sofa, with a bowl of ice cream.  However, every summer, I figure, "I have an ice cream maker, why buy it at the store??", and with all of the beautiful fresh produce in my area, seriously, why buy it at the store?  
My local farm stand sells what they call, "ice cream peaches"; basically peaches that are too ripe and need to be sold quickly.  Which works out beautifully for me!  They sell them for $1 per pound, and I swoop in, buy some, and make ice cream!  It's delicious!  The texture is smooth and creamy, and bursting with peach, but the brown sugar flavor really comes through, too.  This flavor may just be my new favorite!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Strawberry Jam

Every year, around summer time, my fingers start to get itchy for all of the amazing produce that I know is flooding the farm stand in my area.  They have a fairly large variety of fruits and vegetables, but one that almost always comes home with me is strawberries.  My daughter and husband will eat their weights in the berries, and I have to fight them off so I can have enough to make jam and can it!  I love, in the middle of fall or winter to just open up a jar and get all of the flavor of summer, without any heat or humidity!  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Patriotic Potato Salad

There are very few things that say "4th of July" more than potato salad.  To me, anyway, and I love themed foods, so if I'm going to make potato salad (my version of it, anyway), I'm going to make it as patriotic as possible!  I don't like mayonnaise, so I went for years not eating potato salad, which made me sad, because I love almost all variations of potatoes!  About eight years ago, I heard about doing potato salad a different way, with a vinaigrette base, in place of a mayonnaise base, which makes this perfect for all of those 4th of July BBQ's, and picnics!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nana's Carrot Cake

I love cake.  Who doesn't?  However, I don't make cake all that often, mainly because my husband is very particular about desserts.  There are only a couple of desserts that he likes to eat, and goodness knows I don't need a whole cake staring at me after I bake it, begging me to eat it.  Normally, when I get a hankering for cake, I just go to the store and buy a slice.  And it makes me sad.  So, since today is my sister's birthday (happy birthday, Laura!), I'm going to make THE birthday cake that my family uses.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fall apart short ribs

One of my favorite things to do when I go to the grocery store, is to look for meats that have been marked down for a quick sale.  We are a one income household, so I try to do whatever I can to keep the grocery budget well in check, and as we all know, meat can be painfully expensive.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Chocolate chip oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwiches

Hello, everyone!  With the first official day of summer coming up on Saturday, I figured I would make up one of my favorite summer treats!  Ice cream sandwiches are always great, but ice cream sandwiches made out of homemade cookies really make it a special treat, and no one will know how simple it is to whip up!  You can use whatever kind of cookie you like, but I always like to use chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  I've been using this recipe for many, many years.  In fact, it was one of my first recipes that I ever made.  It's that easy! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Homemade English Muffin egg sandwiches

Hello everyone!  Or, should I say, good morning, everyone!  Who here has time, every morning, to make a healthy breakfast for our families?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  No, most of us just end up grabbing a fast food breakfast on our way to school or work and end up feeling a little guilty the rest of the day.
What would you say, if I could tell you how easy it is to make those English muffin sandwiches not only at home, but you can make a weeks worth in a matter of an hour or so, and freeze it, so you can grab and go in the mornings!  Not only will this save you calories, but it will save you lots of money, too, because these are so affordable!  So, boys and girls, without further ado, lets get started with breakfast!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Easy cheese danishes!

Hello everyone!  Let me just start off by admitting my deep love of puff pastry.  I consider it one of the best hidden gems in a grocery store.  It is the easiest thing to use, and the results are always amazing and impressive.  Today I had a hankering for some cheese danishes, and these are so easy to make, it’s almost embarrassing.  Nowadays, I usually make it for breakfast the morning of Christmas Eve, although every time I make it, I vow to make it more often! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chicken stock

Hello, everyone!  As you may recall, I (somewhat) recently made a roasted chicken for supper, and one of my favorite things to do after I cook a whole chicken, is make chicken stock.  I use chicken stock in ALL kinds of recipes, and if I'm constantly having to buy it, that gets expensive!!  I can buy a box for about $5, and a box may last a day or two in my house.  Since I'm already buying a whole chicken for about $8, why not make a supper (and use leftovers for lunch) AND make a fair amount of chicken stock for the freezer??  Yes, I am cheap, but this just plain makes sense.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Chocolate coconut bites

Hello, everyone!  Since I'm in a sweet mood today, I figured I would make one of my favorite candies!  Chocolate coconut bites!  I prefer homemade candies...I know what's in it, and how much of everything is going in (not to mention the quality of the ingredients...not that I use super high end ingredients, but I have know what the quality is!  Ha ha!)
These are so easy, and pretty affordable, you'll not want to buy store bought again, I promise.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Roasted chicken!

Roasted chicken is far and away one of my favorite suppers to make.  Throw in some potatoes to cook in the juices of the chicken while it roasts, well...I can’t think of anyone turning their noses up at that.  
People get somewhat intimidated by having to roast a whole chicken, and I can understand that.  If you get beef that’s a little underdone, that’s okay; even the thought of pork temperatures have changed over the last few years.  But, serve undercooked chicken, and you have a problem.  And quite possibly a hospital bill.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cheesy chicken quesadillas!

It's nearing the end of the week...you can see it, almost smell it (You may ask, "What does the weekend smell like?" - Let me tell you, it smells like sunshine and happiness!) its so close, you can almost touch it!  However, its only Thursday, so you're wanting a delicious quick supper to put on the table.  I get it.  I can help.
Tonight, we're having cheesy chicken quesadillas!  If that doesn't scream "hang in there, it's almost Friday" comfort food, I'm not sure what does!
A lot of this can be made ahead, during a day off, or over the weekend, so this the time it takes to make this quick meal can be whittled down to next to nothing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Just a quick hello!

Hello everyone!
I'm going to take a few minutes here and just explain a couple of things about what's going on here; first of all, what the "hold the onions" means.
I don't like onions.  I don't like the smell, I don't like the texture, I really don't like the taste.  I'm not overly fond of even having them in the house, but I know that's my problem, not the onions!  I've had people try and sneak them into my food, but I can always find it, smell it and taste it, and I don't like it.
Also, people say, "You don't even taste it!" (which I do), and my thought is, "If you can't taste it/tell its in there, why have it in at all??"
So, I say, "Hold the onions!"

I do 99% of the cooking in our house, and because of that, there are no onions in our food.  My husband suffers through, because he loves me, but if you read through my recipes and posts, you'll not find onions (or scallions, chives, or spring onions) in my recipes.
What I will do, however, is tell you when and where I think onions would be good in a recipe, if you like that kind of thing.  And, if I miss a place, please feel free to let me know!  Sometimes I just won't think about it, since its not a high priority for me!
My plan for this blog is to post twice per week (I'm thinking Tuesdays and Thursdays) recipes with pictures and step-by-step instructions.  A little of this, a little of that, and I'm open to requests.
I'm not a professional, by any means, I've had no professional training, but its just food, so there's no harm in playing!  

Welcome aboard, please subscribe, and let's try and have some fun!