Thursday, December 31, 2009


Well hello there all you young whipper-snappers! This is the last blog for the year! Wow time has flew huh? I hope you have found this blog useful and entertaining. Do you realize by reading daily, you have added 58 recipes and 40 craft ideas to your collection (Not including today’s)? Seems like a lot for a little over a month huh? Well it is! LMAO! I hope you have enjoyed them… I know I’ve enjoyed sharing things with you and getting to know you and you to know me.

OMG, you should have seen (and smelled) my house yesterday! Bodies everywhere and pots of everything going… the house smelled absolutely delish! I had Creamy tortellini soup, homemade chili (reg.) and chili (super fire hot), a chicken base that turned into homemade chicken & dumplings, and a tomato based veggie soup. It was one of those crazy experiment days! And let me tell you OMG I should be a scientist LOL! I made some cornbread- both regular and jalapeno cheddar and some garlic toast to go with them all and then there was crackers, etc. It was like a soup kitchen literally… they all made rounds at the different pots. This was in between my lovely hubs sitting there tattooing my baby brother all day (and into the night LOL). And my brother brought a friend of his, so we had a "new" person here too! Its interesting to watch all the different things that go on in my house at the same time… cooking, computers, crafts, engraving, tattooing, you name it! To the outsider, it may seem too busy to keep up with, but I love it! Its what I call home.

Ok, let’s address the title… Do you resolu? Resolutions… do you believe in making them? I, personally, do not believe in making “New Years resolutions.” People will say “oh yes this is a resolution…” and then they don’t stick to it… empty promises if you will. Now I do set goals… things I would like to accomplish during the year but if I don’t get it accomplished, I don’t feel as if I failed. For example- if I set a “New Years resolution” to lose 50 pounds and then I don’t lose that much or none or I gain weight, then I am gonna feel like I failed. But if I set a goal to get in shape and with that I lose weight… hey that is inspiring to me. But I can’t get discouraged because when you exercise and you lose weight, you can actually GAIN because you gain muscle mass. Normally I just set goals I would like to accomplish throughout the year. If these are resolutions… so be it but I am not gonna call them that LOL!

What about the old “food superstitions”? I mean we DO discuss food a lot, so it would be fitting to discuss it now LOL. Pork, Cabbage, and Black eyed peas… Health, Wealth, and Prosperity is what I’ve always heard. My mother called me yesterday, as a matter of fact, to “remind” me to eat them tomorrow LOL! There are many stories about New Years foods… Black-eyed peas are typically accompanied by either ham or another pork product. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many because cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day. In addition to the aforementioned lucky foods, there are also a few to avoid. Lobster, for instance, is a bad idea because they move backwards and could therefore lead to setbacks. Chicken is also discouraged because the bird scratches backwards, which could cause regret or dwelling on the past. Another theory warns against eating any winged fowl because good luck could fly away. There's one more superstition—that is, guideline—to keep in mind. In Germany, it's customary to leave a little bit of each food on your plate past midnight to guarantee a stocked pantry in the New Year. Likewise in the Philippines, it's important to have food on the table at midnight. So wherever you are in the world… there’s a belief for you! I wish you health, wealth, and prosperity in the coming New Year.

OK here's another Dutch oven recipe for my friend... last one of the year... lol! But I'm not gonna post the recipe because its too long LOL! BUT I can link you to where I found it! Its for Pina Colada Cake! YUMMY! This is another great website page with tons of Dutch Oven recipes... Check it out- Its called Byron's Dutch Oven Recipes! Enjoy!

Now as for your party foods for today or tomorrow or anytime… Start out with these adorable additions to your table…

Cream Cheese Penguins


18 jumbo black olives, pitted
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
18 small black olives
1 carrot


Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each jumbo olive. Carefully insert about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each olive. Slice the carrot into eighteen 1/4 inch thick rounds; cut a small notch out of each carrot slice to form feet. Save the cut out piece and press into center of small olive to form the beak. If necessary cut a small slit into each olive before inserting the beak.

Set a big olive, large hole side down, onto a carrot slice. Then, set a small olive onto the large olive, adjusting so that the beak, cream cheese chest and notch in the carrot slice line up. Secure with a toothpick.

Ok, gotta have your veggies lol, so here is a delicious recipe for some light corn fritters…

Corn Fritters with Caramelized Onion Jam


1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Crisco® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup apple jelly
1/3 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash salt and pepper

2 cups biscuit/baking mix
1 can (11 ounces) gold and white corn, drained
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Oil for frying


In a small skillet, saute onion in oil until golden brown. Add vinegar; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the jelly, tomatoes, tomato paste, curry, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until heated through. Add onion mixture. Cook and stir for 3 minutes; set aside and keep warm.

In a small bowl, combine the baking mix, corn, eggs, milk, sour cream and salt just until combined.

In a deep-fat fryer or electric skillet, heat oil to 375°. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into hot oil; fry for 1-1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with jam. Yield: 2 dozen (3/4 cup jam).

And one last one for today… another “basic-but-add-anything-you-want” recipe!

Mini Bagelizzas

8 miniature bagels, split
1 cup spaghetti sauce with miniature meatballs
32 slices pepperoni
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


Spread the cut sides of bagels with spaghetti sauce. Top each with two slices of pepperoni; sprinkle with garlic powder and cheese. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

By now, your table should be covered in tons of yummies! What time are we crackin’ the bottles my friend? LOL! Well I’ve made this a super long blog… so I will end for now. Be safe in your celebrations and I’ll see you next year! (LMAO oh come on… you KNEW it was coming!)… Until tomorrow… HUGS!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Good morning my dear friends… how are you today? I am tired… so very tired LOL! My feet are sore from the mass amount of shopping that we did yesterday! Everyone had gift cards that were burning holes in their pockets (I must admit mine were getting a little warm too LOL!) so we made a day of shopping our cards with CONDITIONS of course! LOL… gotta hate those “strings attached deals” right? I told them we would shop til we drop today ONLY IF 1. They used no extra cash… only what money they had on the cards (It had to be a free shop day!) and 2. if ALL of them helped with housework and taking down decorations both inside and out! LOL… They had to agree to be my little slaves for the day! The sad part is… they had no problem with it??! Ugh… why can’t they be normal sometimes and hate housework like every other red-blooded American? LMAO no, I’m kidding… I am grateful they are so helpful. It makes life much easier. Anyway, so here are some pictures to share with you of our day out…

The gang getting ready for our adventure LOL!

The goodies after stop number 1!

The 2nd Hobby Lobby goodies!

We just hit Barnes & Nobles!

Alex after Toys R Us!

Joann's loot!

Target goodies!

Walmart load... can you tell I was starting to really hurt?

The final talley...

Okie dokie… whatcha think of that haul? I was pretty impressed if I do say so myself! And I was so proud! Nobody broke out any extra dinero for our “family day of shopping fun”. Believe you me… Momma hawk was watching LMAO! We hit Walmart, Target, JoAnn’s, 2 Hobby Lobbys, Sports Authority, Barnes & Nobles, Starbucks, and Toys R Us. It was fun, but by the end of the day I just wanted to go home and relax as I was in a lot of pain. If you are saying OMG she's in almost all the pics... yes I know and Frank was loving it cause I usually don't take pics! I had the most cards cause everyone gets me cards so I can buy exacty what I want/need. Its easier and causes no hard feelings. No worries about regifting, or something not fitting, etc. I'll admit I'm hard to shop for and I love gift cards! LOL... ok looking at the loot from all the craft stores brings me to a craft idea to share with you-

BLANKETS… Its never to late to think “gifts”… be it for a Birthday, Christmas, you name it. Chances are sooner or later you will need one! Well I am gonna tell you about an easy, no sewing idea! Fleece blankets… have you ever seen those blanket “no-sew” kits in craft stores? Try one… they are easy! Or if you see a fleece that you like, grab 2 yards of it and 2 yards of a solid color. Place the 2 pieces “wrong sides” together and lay it flat where there are no gathers. Then go along all the edges and cut strips about 4 inches long. Tie the 2 strips together in a knot. When you get around the whole piece of fabric and it has frills on all sides… that means your done! And warm… OMG are they soft and warm! You see this blue camo one I made last night with fleece I got yesterday during our shop (mind you its folded in 4ths)… its our school color (blue & white) so I will use it during football season too! But I slept with it and actually was sweating last night LOL and it was in the 30’s here! My family all have blanket fetishes LMAO and my husband alone has like 5 olr 6 blankets on his side of the bed! Same with my kids… and they each got one for Christmas this year. Alex got toy story, Madison got music notes, and Michael got John Deere. Now Frank wants a fishing one from fleece he saw yesterday LOL! I picked up 2 clearanced Christmas ones (at 70% off) to make and sell in my craft shows. Figured I would make a few extra and throw them in with everything else! If they don’t sell… I’ll have some cozy blankets for us LOL!

Alrighty, so now that I am sitting down and letting my fuzzy massager whisk my feet into bliss (btw THANK YOU MEMA! Its absolutely heaven!), its time to eat! All that shopping made me super hungry! Here’s another dutch oven recipe for my dear friend…

Acorn Squash Soup

4 Acorn squash
3 Carrots, sliced
1 Onion, sliced
1/3 c Water
2 tb Butter
1 tb All-purpose flour
1 ts Salt
1/2 To 1 tsp pepper
29 oz Chicken broth
1/2 c Sherry
1/2 ts Ground nutmeg
1/8 ts Paprika
1 ds Of ground allspice
1 ds Of red pepper
1 c Half-and-half
1 1/2 tb Sherry (optional)
Kale leaves

Cut squash in half lengthwise, and remove seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a broiler pan. Add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Spoon pulp from squash to create a serving bowl, reserving pulp.

Place carrots and onion in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Drain; combine vegetables with reserved pulp and 1/3 cup water in container of an electric blender or food processor. Process for 30 seconds or until mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over low heat; add flour, salt and pepper, stirring until smooth. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add pureed vegetable mixture, chicken broth, and next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in half-and-half and, if desired, 1 1/2 Tbsp sherry. Cook until heated. If desired, serve in squash shells on a bed of kale. Sprinkle with paprika.

Now, let’s cover some more yummy party foods… I want to start with mini empanadas. They are the greatest little thing and the best thing is, you can put anything in them and they are SUPER easy to make!

Mini Empanadas

Ingredients- a can of biscuits and your imagination!

First off, your filling must be in essence pre-cooked (ready to eat). That and the biscuits are what make these so easy! Say for instance you have leftover taco meat… make mini taco empanadas! Roll out the biscuit til its about 4 inches or so in diameter. Place a spoonful of your filling in the center and fold the biscuit in half over the filling. Crimp the edges with a fork and bake in the oven until golden brown. I told ya, simple huh?? And you can fill them with anything! Taco meat, spaghetti, chicken/broccoli/cheese, sloppy joe meat, you name it!

Now this next one is another recipe that is very versatile. You could really marinate the chicken in anything and it would be delicious. So feel free to tweek to your own liking! Remember everything I share with you… feel free to change and make yours. It’s just a guideline!

Appetizer Chicken Kabobs

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch pieces
6 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, stems removed
In a mixing bowl, combine first five ingredients. Stir in chicken and onion; allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Soak 6 inch wooden skewers in water. On each skewer, thread a piece of chicken, onion, mushroom and another chicken piece. Place on a broiler rack. Broil 5 in. from the heat, turning and basting with marinade after 3 minutes. Continue broiling for another 3 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve immediately.

Now my family is a huge mushroom fanatics… and these are always a sure-fire winner! Again, another versatile recipe because you can stuff with all different kinds of things!

Stuffed Button Mushroom Caps

24 whole fresh button mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.

3. When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.

4. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps. Garnish/sprinkle with chopped green onion or bacon bits.

Well there you go kiddies… a few more appetizer ideas I thought you would enjoy! I’m off to start the crocks with some delicious supper one dish wonders to warm the gangs tummies on this rainy dreary day! Gonna make a couple of blankets as well. Plus I have to put them to work on some cleanup too! LOL… Keep safe and I’ll meet you back here tomorrow! HUGS!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Well, a big Hi there and hello to all my loyal readers. I hope you enjoyed a look into my world with all the pictures yesterday! And I hope you are all having/had a wonderful holiday season. We are fixing to have some friends over for a New Years Bash… and with only 2 days left… you’re probably saying there is no way I can put together a New Years party after just having a huge Christmas right? WRONG! New Years food is all about the munchies and alcohol LOL! Finger foods my darlings… easy finger foods! We have a New Years, Super Bowl, and Valentine’s Day party planned/coming up… and 2 of the 3 are going to be finger foods!

However, I got an email request from a follower asking if I had any Dutch oven recipes cause she got one for Christmas. So before we get to the party preps, I’ll share some Dutch oven recipes for a few days as well. I happen to have a few stashed away for good measure LOL! Plus I happen to know a website filled with over 2,600 different Dutch oven recipes. is a great site! I don’t have my Dutch oven anymore, so I don’t use these recipes as much, but I would love to share a couple over the next few posts!

Belgian Meatballs Braised in Beer (for the DUTCH OVEN)


1 c Fresh white bread crumbs
1/4 c Milk; or more
1 lb. Ground beef, lean
1/2 lb. Ground pork or veal
1 lg Egg
1 tbsp. Shallots; minced
1 tbsp. Parsley, fresh; fine minced
Salt & pepper to taste
1 pn Nutmeg; grated
2 tbsp. Flour
2 tbsp. Unsalted butter
1 tbsp. Vegetable oil


1 medium Onion; thinly sliced
3 Belgian endive; cored/cut in 1/4-inch rounds
1 tsp. Sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 tbsp. Flour; up to 2 tbsp.
1 c Blond Pilsner-style beer
1/2 c Beef broth; or chicken
2 tbsp. Parsley, fresh; garnish

To prepare meatballs, soak bread crumbs in milk until thoroughly moistened; squeeze dry with hands. Combine bread crumbs, ground meats, eggs, shallots, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg in medium bowl. Form mixture into 6 to 8 balls or patties (2 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick); dust with 2 tablespoons flour.

Heat butter and oil in deep, heavy Dutch oven, until hot but not smoking, over high heat. Add meatballs; cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes, making sure butter does not burn. Remove meat balls to platter; keep warm.

To prepare sauce, discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat in pan. Add onion and endives. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. Add sugar, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons flour to vegetables; cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add beer and broth; heat to quick boil, scraping up all brown bits from bottom of pan.

Reduce heat to simmer; return meatballs to pan, placing them on top of vegetables. Simmer, partly covered, until meat is cooked through, 45 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

I used to pair this with a warm loaf of beer bread and the guys would just rave about it! Now party time! Lets talk finger foods… The holidays are just about over, so its no craft and food a day… so what to do now? Gotta make you want to stay around right? Well until New Years I’m gonna share with you some Fabulous Finger Foods Fit For Parties! I’m gonna give you a bunch of appealing appetizers LOL! Let’s start off with:

Crab Dip Cups

1 cup cooked crabmeat or one 6-ounce can crabmeat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion or green onion
1 tablespoon snipped fresh dillweed or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel or lime peel
1 teaspoon lemon juice or lime juice
Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
Dash cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and black pepper
Finely chopped red or green onion (optional)
Assorted crackers and/or vegetable dippers


1. In a small bowl stir together crab, mayonnaise, sour cream, the 2 tablespoons onion, the 1 tablespoon dill, the 1 teaspoon lemon peel, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, and, if desired, cayenne pepper. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

2. Transfer dip to a serving dish. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. If desired, garnish wtih finely chopped red or green onion. Serve with crackers or vegetable dippers.

3. Makes about 1-1/3 cups

4. Crab Tartlets: Prepare dip as above through step 1. Spoon dip into 30 miniature phyllo dough shells (two, 2.1-ounce packages). For a hot appetizer, place the 30 miniature phyllo dough shells on a large baking sheet. Spoon dip into phyllo shells. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until heated through. If desired, garnish with finely shredded lemon peel and fresh dill sprigs.

Here’s one of my favorites… shrimp! YUMMY! Being a Gulf Coast baby, I have a passion for seafood of all kinds! I love clams, crab, fish, shark, gator, and more. But my absolute favorite… SHRIMP! YUMMY! And they are so very versatile. You can find TONS of great recipes for shrimp in all kinds of dishes! But here is a great basic appetizer:

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce


1. In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, diced tomatoes, sweet chili sauce, and red wine vinegar. Season with basil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Pulse in a food processor until smooth and pureed.

2, Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice.

3. Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Baste shrimp with remaining marinade or use marinade in angel hair pasta to accompany shrimp (if making a meal). Discard any unused marinade.

4. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

Oh geez… I am so incredibly drooling! I want to run out right now and get some shrimps LOL! No, seriously… I think I want shrimp for dinner! LOL… Ok so anyway, you can also make some sure-fire finger foods like chicken wings, mini corn dogs (yes I make these homemade too), finger sandwiches, cocktail wieners in BBQ sauce, chips and dips, and cheese & crackers. As a matter of fact, I would recommend them as they are pretty much staples at parties like Super Bowl, New Years, etc. People expect these to be on the table and I’ve actually seen a couple get upset when they weren’t there! LOL So, those are the things I always plan on making… but I try to find new ways to spice them up. I can’t make enough of the mini corn dogs ever… they eat them too fast!

Mini Corn Dogs with Sweet & Spicy Relish (courtesy of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade)

For Relish:
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup pickled hot peppers, diced
1/4 cup pickled sweet peppers, diced

For Corn Dogs:

1 egg
1 box of Jiffy Corn muffin mix
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 package of cocktail franks
Vegetable oil, for frying
20 (6-inch) wooden skewers


1. In a small bowl combine ketchup and pickled peppers. Mix well and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, corn muffin mix, garlic powder, onion powder and milk. Let the batter sit or a couple of minutes to thicken. In a separate shallow dish add flour. Insert wooden skewers half way into cocktail franks.

3. Heat oil to 350 degrees F in a deep-fryer. Dredge each cocktail frank in flour, dust off excess then dip into cornmeal batter. Fry 2 to 3 corn dogs at a time for about 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with the relish.

Well folks, I think that’s plenty for today… be on the lookout tomorrow for some mini empanadas, and whatever other goodies I dream of to share with you LOL! Also feel free to leave a comment on ideas you’d like to see in future posts. So until next time… HUGS!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Mornin’ everyone! Excuse the bloodshot eyes you see before you… we didn’t get home last night till about midnight, maybe later? I’m exhausted but we had a great time. I didn't know it gets so hot behind the pyro-technics LOL! The girls' eyes all night were as big as half dollars LOL... they had a great time! Sadly, they did not allow cameras or such inside, so I don't have great pictures to share, but once the girls finally wake up I am gonna get a picture with them with the signed posters they got last night. Yes, we bought them these cool 3D posters and each one of the band members signed it for them. Think the girls were in heaven LOL!

Got an email from one of my fans saying "more pictures" LOL! Well, sadly I am not in most of them cause I am always the one TAKING them... but here are some of the Christmas snapshots to share with those of you who are addicted to my life LMAO!

First is the present load for the kids...

next is the overflowing stockings...

Here's my son Alex (14) with his plush Woody and Buzz Lightyear dolls (they came with little fleece blankets too...

And here is a picture my brother snapped of me and him (I look absolutely wreched! No makeup, not feeling well, and tired as all getout!) Can you believe that is my BABY brother (9 years younger?) Gosh, I feel so old... and small! LOL...

Here is me with the newest 3 crock pot toy I got as a present... I absolutely LOVE these things... if you do ALOT of cooking or entertaining... I recommend one of these for sure... I have multiples!

And here you have me greeting my mother and her gnome (if you don't know about TG... omg go back and read about him LOL!)... and yes, I got those jammies from Santa! They are warm and super comfy... my new favorite pair! LOL...

And here are my kids scared spitless by the gnome! LMAO!

And finally here is a picture someone requested to see me with my husband...

So there ya go... a virtual photo album of some candid shots... now lets get to some yummy foods... I'm firing up the crock pots and making some fantastic dishes I don't have to fuss with!

Cabbage Patch Stew


1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can ranch-style beans
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups chopped cabbage
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup picante sauce
1 cup water
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste


In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef with the onion. Drain fat.

Combine ranch-style beans, cumin, garlic, cabbage and green pepper in crock pot. Stir in stewed tomatoes, celery, picante sauce, water, and beef mixture. Salt and pepperr to taste.

Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours.

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup


1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 fluid ounce) can chicken broth
2 (10 ounce) cans Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
4 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)


Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, broth, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, garlic, and cumin, and stir to blend.

Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.

Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled and shredded.

Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours.

Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

And in the 3rd pot will be the awesome pot roast, which I have shared with you previously. So I guess that's all for today kiddos... Now that most of the fun and festivities are over, its time to get back to business and first way to do that is cleaning! Granted I won't take down the tree until after the first (tradition my mom always did- you end the year with Christmas and begin the year with Christmas... because that's the time if year that brings out the best in people!), but all the excess junk everywhere can find a home! NO excuses anymore LOL... so I'm off! See ya tomorrow! HUGS!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


HI there everybody! How are you doing this chilly morning? Its about 39-40 degrees here but it looks like the sun is coming up. Tonight is the night for my daughter and I to receive our present from my brother... the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert! Trouble is, I'm not feeling real well. I fell asleep at 4pm yesterday and just woke up about an hour ago! For me, that's not good... but at least I succeeded in not going to the store to go shopping with the crazy people! LMAO!

I did manage yesterday to get 6 homemade TV dinners made and the calculated cost of each was about 43 cents... not too shabby huh?

I specifically fixed one the way I like it and marked it as mine, so the little piggies better leave it alone! LOL! I think when they go back to school on the 4th, I'm gonna cook a bunch up... gonna start planning those meals now. I want to do some Chicken Fried Steaks I know, but the rest I'm not sure...

Are you hungry? I know I am and I'm sure as soon as an aroma of food starts traveling through the house, the rest of the people will begin moving around and flocking to the kitchen LOL! Who needs an alarm clock when you have the scent of cinnamon in the air LMAO! OK so this morning I am making egg cups and pumpkin waffles with apple cider syrup... that's sure to get them up and moving!

Egg Cups

The fun thing about these is you can add lots of things you like or just stick to the basic... here is the "basics"


sliced luncheon meat/cold cuts
shredded cheese
refrigerated shredded hash browns


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin tin lightly with butter flavored non-stick spray.

2. Line each muffin well with the sliced luncheon meat (it should take about 3-4 pieces for complete coverage). Next add about 2 tablespoons of shredded hash browns. Then add 2 oz. of shredded cheese. Finally crack one egg ontop in the cup (or you can crack one egg in a small bowl, scramble it, then pour it on the top).

3. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the egg is cooked and the meat on the sides is crispy. Serve immediately.

I don't remember where I saw this idea, but I tweeked it and made it my own. I've added fresh diced veggies to my husbands, cooked bacon to them, salsa, you name it. That's what makes them so fun! You can add whatever you want really! Now time to try out the new waffle iron with some yummy pumpkin waffles with apple cider syrup!

Pumpkin Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 cups milk
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter


Preheat a waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.

Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, salt, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin, milk, and egg yolks. Whip the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form.

Stir the flour mixture and 1/4 cup melted butter to the pumpkin mixture, stirring just to combine. Use a whisk or rubber spatula to fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, stirring gently until incorporated. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Cook waffles according to manufacturer's instructions.

To make the syrup, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Stir in the apple cider and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil; boil until the syrup thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the 2 tablespoons of butter until melted. Serve warm.

Now that you can hear your stomach screaming at you to go eat LOL... I'm gonna go start my breakfast buffet for everyone. Keep your fingers crossed that I get to feeling better so that I can go to the concert tonight with my brother and the girls. If I can't I know it would break his heart! If you go out today, be careful! Some people have to deal with crazy traffic, some with crazy weather, and some with BOTH! So be safe and I'll see you tomorrow! HUGS!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Well good morning everybody! Or should I say good afternoon? LOL I finally got some much needed rest and let me tell you it felt great! My home looks like the aftermath of a tornado LOL! A mountain of paper, leftover food, sweets as far as the eye can see... WOW! Gonna need some merry maids to help me clean up! But it was an absolutely wonderful night full of family, friends, and fun! I think the funniest thing is when my brother Mark gave my DS18 his gift- a baseball hat wrapped in 5 different boxes LOL! Look... it was hysterical!

OMG I have to tell you about my mom's gnome. LOL you are gonna roll laughing! She found this resin gnome at Hobby Lobby and had to have it (I guess it helped that it was 50% off lol). See, she watches amazing race and every so often the contestants find a gnome (the Travelocity Gnome) and they have to carry it with them to the finish line. Well mom has decided she is gonna take TG (Travelocity Gnome) everywhere she goes and take pictures of her Amazing "walk" (she calls it that cause she can't "race" anymore LMAO!) and email it with a little story blurb to the family each time. OMG she is totally cracking us up as she even has got my Dad to take a couple of pictures with it LOL! But she is having fun (which she doesn't do much anymore- especially since they lost everything during IKE) so that's what counts! At least its a way to get her to take pictures (which she rarely does LOL)! I'm thinking about making little outfits for each holiday for her gnome LOL! Ya know like people dress up those geese in their yards? Yea it would be Gnome clothes LMAO! Well, we got the "Special Holiday Addition" of her Gnome emails this morning and OMG I laughed for a good 20 minutes! It was so hysterical! I love my mom and dad! They're the best!

So how did your holidays go? How well were your homemade gifts received? I would love for you to comment and let me know. Santa was very nice to me this year! I got another 3 crockpot buffet, 2 new waffle makers, a Texas Longhorns Jersey I've been wanting, some camo PJ's and thermal tops, 2 movies (including the new Julie & Julia that my mom and I went to see in the theater), kitchen stuff, and a bunch of other things including a ton of gift cards to places like Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, Walmart, Target, and some other places. (Notice how almost everything is kitchen and craft related? LOL they know me too well!) All these gifts were greatly received, but I honestly was just happy with all my family and friends under the same place having a great time! Everyone loved the homemade gifts we made them. Many shed tears and many were very excited. And the food... OMG everyone was so stuffed when they left here and I have enough leftover to where I think I can get 5 meals together to freeze LOL! Yes I am always thinking about things like that... ALWAYS! I put the leftovers away (will make the meals today) and passed out from a food coma last night LOL! I want to share a recipe with you today for something to do with your turkey leftovers... gotta put a new spin on the same old thing right?

Terrific Turkey Salad


3/4 pound cooked turkey meat
2 stalks celery
2 green onions
1/2 red bell pepper
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt


Place cooked turkey meat, celery, green onions and red bell pepper in a blender or food processor. Finely chop using the pulse setting.

Transfer the turkey mixture to a medium bowl. Mix in mayonnaise, prepared Dijon-style mustard, cider vinegar, white sugar and salt. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight, before serving.

OK, so I'm debating going out today to fight the crowds in one of the best shopping days ever... BUT I know I should go home and clean... UGH! What to do what to do... LOL! If I give in and go, my family will say I am a shopaholic like they have been all morning LOL! If I don't I could miss some great after Christmas clearance finds! HMMMM what to do, what to do!? LMAO... guess I should start by making up those homemade TV dinners huh? Then I'll go from there. Well, I bid you all a good day and until tomorrow... HUGS!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Good morning and a Merry Christmas to you! Hope your festivities are going well… and for those who may not celebrate Christmas, well then I hope this day finds you in good health. We are doing wonderful here… I think Santa’s workshop exploded in my house LOL! We’ve opened presents and stockings and cleaned up the paper mess. I’m stopping in to say hello and wish Merry Christmas and/or Good day to everyone before I must begin cooking AGAIN! LOL… we cooked until 10:30pm last night… the kids went to sleep and then about an hour or so later, Santa dropped in on us. I guess he thought we were all pretty good this year. LOL I could argue with him on this point.

Our house is full of more food than a local restaurant I think! LOL… Here’s our menu for today (keep in mind there is at least 2 of everything): Turkey & Gravy, Ham, Stuffing, Corn Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Sauce, Homemade white & wheat breads, Mashed Potatoes (regular AND sweet), Homemade Mac & Cheese (for my 14yo), Raw veggies with dip, Bread Cornucopia, Pumpkin pie, Sweet Potato pie, Pecan Pie, Caramel Apple Pie, Buttermilk Pie, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie, Butterscotch Spice cake, Ultimate Coffee Cake, Southern Chess Squares, Flavored breads, fudge, and tons of various cookies and other sweets. I just hope there is enough to feed everyone!

We’re expecting almost 50 people today… family, friends, more teens than a local sports game LOL! But the best thing is the house will be filled with love! Its already been a great morning and the day will only get better! I’ll post some pictures tomorrow (maybe I’ll get to sleep in? LOL Probably not!) of food and festivities from today! I love you all and have a wonderful day! Until tomorrow… HUGS!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Hola! Como estas? Muy Bien, Gracias! LOL… Morning everyone! It’s Christmas Eve and everyone is a buzz waiting on Santa Claus to come to town. The house is full of pies, cakes, crepes, and cookies and soon it will be honoring the guest… some 24 pound birds and all their side childrens LOL! We are expecting 47 people for dinner on Christmas night… the ovens have been in overtime the last few days LOL! Turkeys, Hams, corn and green bean casseroles, homemade bread, mashed regular and sweet potatoes, bread cornucopias, raw veggies and dips… You name it and it will probably be on our tables! I get so excited, I can hardly contain myself when I know everyone is gonna be here! I love it!

Yesterday I had 15 kids over all baking goodies to give to their families. Some needed more guidance than others LOL, but we all had fun. They knocked out a 25 pound bag of flour and a 25 pound bag of sugar and they made more sweets today than we knew what to do with! But they had got containers (however many each person needed) so we filled them and bagged them up! They had so much fun… some were even covered head to toe in flour LOL! Hope their families realize the love these kids put into their gifts. I was so proud of all of them! Well, this is the last day you can get those gifts ready… so if you still need one, here is the last gift idea I can give you in time…

Craft Idea of the Day: Decorated Picture Frames

Take a fairly inexpensive picture frame and give it new life with a coat of paint and some decorations such as different kinds of buttons or seashells, flowers, or beads. Use your imagination and cater to the gift recipient’s likes. Add a photo and wrap it up! Memories are a gift that keeps on giving 365 days a year!

Alrighty, tonight is the last night of a normal dinner for a few days… after tomorrow (hopefully) it will be leftovers for a few days (mom needs a break LOL!). But if not, there will be more great recipes to share! I need something to fix and forget… while I finish up the last of the holiday cooking preparations. Nothing better for that than a slow cooker! How about this… RIBS… with some potatoes and steamed broccoli… oh yea that sounds yummy!

Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

4 pounds pork baby back ribs
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups barbecue sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot sauce
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow baking pan. Brown in oven 15 minutes. Turn over, and brown another 15 minutes; drain fat.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat.

4. Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours, or until ribs are tender.

Oh yum… just gimme a bib right now and let me loose on some ribbies! YUMMY!!! LOL yes me likey some ribs lol! OK, I’ve decided to surprise the DS18 with one of his favorite sweets… and I’m gonna share it with you! So here is your sweet treat for the day…

Southern Chess Squares


1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 box confectioners' sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. Mix together the cake mix, melted butter and the egg. Stir in the chopped pecans. Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the confectioners' sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time until blended. Add the vanilla.

3. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Cool in the pan, then cut into squares before serving.

Now BEWARE! These are very dense and very rich/sweet! But as we say down south… there can never be too much sugar or butter! LOL! Now just in case you don’t come on over tomorrow… I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. There will be a post tomorrow… may not be as long, but I will make time for my online friends! To all a good night… until tomorrow… HUGS!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Bonjour Mes Amis! How are you doing this wonderfully dreary morning? LOL! I am good… it’s my anniversary today, so I am making a special country breakfast for my husband. He gets steak, eggs, bacon, potatoes, grits, biscuits and gravy, and pancakes. Hey he is a big boy (and spoiled to boot LOL!). Not sure what the day has in store for us, so its gonna be interesting.

Last night the DD and I stood in the kitchen for almost 2 hours frying up crepes. They are a French item that I only make once a year, despite my brother nagging for them all year. It’s a Christmas “tradition” if you will. The guy can eat 5 pounds of filling plus the crepes by himself! Everyone goes crazy for them. I have to admit, they are delish… but yowch… rich and filling! I’m good to eat 3 LOL! Matter of fact, my DD and I were in the kitchen all day making pies! YAY! Its pie week! I love pie week… we made 3 buttermilk pies, 3 pumpkin pies, 3 sweet potato pies, 3 pecan pies, and 2 caramel apple pies! Tomorrow is more pies and some cakes! YAY!

Ok, so if you are still needing a craft to make some gifts… ya only got a few days sweeties, so here is one of the last few ideas to squeeze in before the big day-

Craft Idea of the Day: Fabric Covered Visors

You can buy those foam visors at the hobby stores for like a buck I think and the visor only requires a small amount of fabric, so it’s a fairly inexpensive craft to make. Simply cut a fabric piece in the shape of the visor. You can do both sides, or just one… your choice. I use spray adhesive to attach it to the visor to hold it in place. Then I line the edges with bias tape and sew it on. That’s it… a cute visor in any theme you want! Here is a music one… we did a bunch for the band kids for when they go to competitions and they have to sit there in the sun all day.

Ok, ok… I’m going as fast as I can… I know its early and you are hungry so lets whip up something yummy for breakfast. I am gonna share the famous “Crepe” recipe with you that my family drools over!


1 cup flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
2 eggs

Mix all ingredients well and let the batter sit for 2 hours to allow the flour to rise. Grease a skillet on medium heat until a droplet of water dances. Pour ¼ cup of batter in the skillet and swirl to make a large “pancake like” area. Cook slightly till air bubbles form on the upside. Flip and cook till firm and golden. Refrigerate overnight.


1 pound of rolled breakfast sausage
1 8oz. Package of cream cheese

Brown sausage in a pan and drain off any excess fat. Mix cream cheese into sausage until completely melted and coating the meat. Place one warm scoop in a cold crepe and enjoy!

My family goes absolutely bonkers over these. I can’t ever make enough. Last year I made over 12 POUNDS of meat and over 200 crepes and they STILL wanted more! Now for dinner, I’m putting the slow cookers to good use. I’m feeling a Mexican feast today! I think a soup, a main entrĂ©e, rice and beans for sides, and a dessert are in order… and of course homemade tortilla chips and guacamole and salsa dips! I’m gonna have a lot of people over today… a lot of the kids are coming over to bake their presents to their families. I’m helping them with tins of cookies, brownies, etc. to give to their parents, siblings, etc. One of the dishes I’m making is this tummy warmer:

Crock Posole


2 14-1/2-ounces cans golden hominy, drained
1 4-ounce can chopped green chili peppers, undrained
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 14-1/2 ounce can tomatoes, undrained and cut up
2 14-1/2 ounces cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
Fat-free dairy sour cream (optional)


Place hominy, chili peppers, onion, garlic, chicken, tomatoes, chicken broth, oregano, and cumin in a 3-1/2, 4-, or 5-quart crockery cooker. Cover and cook on low setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Stir in cilantro. Garnish each serving with fat-free sour cream, if desired. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Our main course is some fajitas with all the fixings (onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc.) with a side of Spanish rice and refried beans. And to finish off the night, I wanted something interesting… something different… something fresh and exciting! So let’s try this on for size…

Margarita Cake


1 (18.25 ounce) package orange cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup tequila
2 tablespoons triple sec liqueur
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon tequila
2 tablespoons triple sec liqueur
2 tablespoons lime juice


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.

2. In a large bowl combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, water, lemon juice 1/4 cup tequila and 2 tablespoons triple sec. Beat for 2 minutes.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove to rack and pour glaze over cake while still warm.

4. To make the glaze: In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar with 1 tablespoon tequila, 2 tablespoons triple sec and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Mix until smooth.

**If you can’t find orange cake mix, use a white cake mix and orange juice instead of water.**

OMG so incredibly yummy! I’m drooling… no wait… still the dang tooth LOL! Anyway, this meal definitely has that fiesta factor going on! YAY! Now I want to take a moment and thank each and every one of my readers for your comments and your time. Without you, I would have no reason for this blog. I love reading your comments and emails as well. I hope you enjoy what you find here and that it helps you in some way. I would love to hear how the blog has helped you, so please feel free to leave a comment. Also I want to let you know that I have some great surprises planned for 2010, so if you are just passing through, become a follower and sit back & enjoy! If you are a follower already- be on the lookout for giveaways and much more great things in store for the New Year! Thanks to everyone and I hope you are having the happiest of holidays! Until tomorrow kids… HUGS!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Morning my peeps... hows it be? LOL... I'm relieved to be finished with my shopping (unless I need something I am cooking with and run out- which always happens LOL!) and I can just relax and stay home and bake! I don't even plan on getting out of my PJ's the next few days! Until I have to go to my Christmas present from my brother that is... can't go to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert in pj's! LOL! Yes, my brother knows I love them and he went last year. He said it was an awesome show and I "HAD" to go, so he wanted to take his 3 favorite girls to see it and that was our Christmas present this year (the tickets are expensive... I should know- I had to rat-race buy them while he was at work LMAO!). So he is taking my daughter Madison, her BFF Katie (like my other daughter) and myself! WOOHOO! Gonna have a blast! Its on the 27th so be ready to hear all about it Monday morning LOL!

Alrighty folks... its the 22nd... and Christmas is just around the corner! Its literally creepin' up on us! Are you ready? Well if not, I got another idea for you for a present!

Craft Idea of the Day: Video CD's

One of the best gifts you can give someone is the gift of love and memories. Do you have some pictures of yourself or that loved one and some music on your computer? Well, if you do, you can make a slideshow set to music and burn it onto a disk or cd and give that for Christmas! The program I use is called PhotoStory3 and its really easy to use. I also used avery's Christmas CD labels and printed a pretty label for the disk. I picked out a specific song for each person and had plenty of photos set to the music. It was awesome! For some reason it brought tears to my eyes for each one I did! Think about it... like I said it makes a great gift!

Okie dokie... I just got home with all the last minute stuff I needed from the store (milk, eggs, etc.) and looking at all that food made me hungry! Sooo.. what to make, what to make, what to make! I think I am gonna do some bacon wrapped steak fingers, mashed potatoes, and asparagus casserole. Yea that sounds good!

To make the bacon wrapped steak fingers, you sinply take one of the thin cut steaks and slice it into strips. Strips should be finger size... about 3-4 inches long each. Season the meat on both sides (for this I use my own version of Emeril's Essence". Around each "Steak finger" wrap 1 slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Fry in a skillet with vegetable or olive oil (I use veggie most of the time) until the bacon is crisp and the meat is cooked. Remove and drain on a paper towel then remove your toothpick. These are my DS18's favorite little "snack" dinner lol! I'll assume you know how to make mashed potatoes, LOL, so let me share the asparagus casserole with you... (courtesy of my favorite lady- Mrs. Paula Deen!)

Asparagus Casserole


1/3 cup butter
3 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) package sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (6-ounce) can french-fried onions


1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add asparagus, onion, and mushrooms; cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add flour; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened. Stir in cheese, sour cream, salt, lemon zest, and pepper.

3. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, and bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Top with onions, and bake for 5 minutes longer.

Absolutely delish! Now I would say I have a sweet tooth, but right now, teeth are a "sore" suject with me LOL! So here is your sweet treat for the day...

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie


1 (9 inch) deep dish pie shell
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
4 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees F).

2. In a small saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter or margarine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter or margarine melts and sugar dissolves. Cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl combine eggs, bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Slowly pour sugar mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Pour mixture into pie shell.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until set and golden. May be served warm or chilled.

Doesn't that sound like a tummy warmer? So how's that recipe book coming? LOL! Told you there would be tons to share! Anyway, I'm off to outbake Mrs. Edwards pie company LOL! I'll meet you here tomorrow for another exciting adventure in crafting and cooking! Til tomorrow... HUGS!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Howdy partner! Welcome to my world on this very sunny and chilly morning! It's about 39 degrees here, so we're all bundled up. But I'm gonna start some baking soon, so I just know I will lose a few pounds... of clothes that is! LOL. Today is gonna be another busy day... gonna start pies and cakes these next few days and I also have to go back out with mom today to finish her shopping. And sometime (maybe before Christmas LOL) I need to call my dentist and see if he will take out this major pain of a tooth! Its killing me (and I can take alot of pain LOL) so it needs to go!

Ok, so my anniversary is the 23rd and I have no clue what to do for the hubs. Last year he took me to the Nutcracker Ballet, a nice dinner, flowers, and a gift. Let me tell ya, I was eatin' it up! How in the heck do I one-up that? I have no clue yet, but I know it will come to me LOL! So whilest I ponder upon my problem, I give you the...

Craft Idea of the Day: Quilted Stockings

Cut 4 pieces of material in the shape of a stocking. You will also need a piece of batting the same size. Then with a contrasting piece of solid color material (traditionally white), cut 2 strips to the same size of the width of your stocking and about 6-8 inches down in length. This will be your cuff. Hem the bottom edge of the cuff and attach it to one side of your stocking. Make sure you use the outside piece of the other side to attach the second cuff. Layer the 2 outside pieces together (right sides together), then the 2 layers of batting (one on each side), and then the 2 inside pieces (one on each side). Sew them all together and then flip right side out. Hem the top edge of the stocking. You can stuff these with homemade cookies or goodies and give as great gifts!

OK, now call me oblivious, but I didn't realize until a little bit ago, that all the recipes I want to share with you today share a common ingredient... GINGER! SO, the theme for today boys and girls is GINGER LOL! I'm gonna share a breakfast, dinner (or lunch too), and a sweet all containing ginger in them and all taste tested to tempt your palate LOL!

Ginerbread Waffles with Vanilla Cream Sauce


1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
3/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 Tbs. molasses
1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs, separated


Heat the waffle iron. Beat the egg whites in a mixer bowl until stiff peaks form.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the molasses and milk to the melted butter, then beat in the egg yolks. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined.

Fold the egg whites into the batter until just combined. Put about 1/2 cup of batter into the waffle iron and cook until done.

For the Vanilla Cream Sauce:

2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs. cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 Tbs. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Put the 2 cups of milk in a saucepan and heat it over medium heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt together. Gradually add this to the milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken a bit. Don’t boil it. Pull it from the heat and add the butter and vanilla.

It’s best to make the sauce first, then fix the waffles. It will stay warm while the waffles cook. If you don't like the cream, you can always use maple syrup... its divine with that too!

(**This recipe is courtesy of Eat at Home cooks**)

Now for lunch (or dinner) how about some soup to warm the bones?

Ginger Pumpkin Soup


2 Tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups homemade chicken broth or 1 15 ounce can chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin, or 2 cups pureed pumpkin
1 cup Carnation Evaporated Milk


1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add in the chopped onion and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until begin to turn opaque. Add the chicken broth, water, brown sugar, ginger and salt and pepper. Stir ingredients together.

2. Whisk in the canned or fresh pureed pumpkin and the Carnation Evaporated milk. Cook over medium heat, or at a rolling bubble, for 15 minutes.

3. Pour soup into blender or food processor and blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until soup is pureed.

4. Return the soup to the saucepan and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

5. Garnish each serving bowl with a dash of cinnamon and/or ground ginger.

(**Courtesy of $5 dinners**)

Now for some yummy dessert!

Crispy Gingersnaps

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

2. In a large bowl, cream the shortening and sugar. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy, then stir in the molasses. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Add to the egg mixture and stir until well blended. Roll bits of dough into 1 inch balls. Dip each ball in sugar and place on cookie sheet, sugared side up about 2 inches apart.

3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies have spread and tops have cracked. Let cool on wire rack.

OKie dokie, well kids that's all she wrote for today LOL! Time to get the oven going and make the house smell like a neighborhood bakery! Will let you know what all kinds of yummy goodness we end up with in the morning! Until then... HUGS!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Morning everyone! Just woke up from an awesome Christmas Cookie Party last night and you would think I am gonna spend the day recovering right? NOPE! I am going out with my mom today to help her get some of her shopping done. Yes she is one of those “Last-minute-OMG-how-many-people-have-I-forgot” shoppers LOL! The party, let me tell you, was wonderful! Everyone looked so nice and we sat around enjoying each others company. We laughed, we cried, ya know the way things should be. Remember the blanket I made my BFF? OMG You should have seen her face when she recognized Gram’s patches! We both started crying… darn her! And I found out that my BFF is getting married! YAY!!! I also made my youngest brother a pie as his “party” gift to exchange… his favorite. A buttermilk pie (I put the recipe in one of my previous posts). He was in heaven and he sat there with a fork and the pie LOL! It was as near a perfect night as you could get!

OK so we just have a few days left… have you made or bought everything you need? Well, just in case you haven’t… here is the

Craft Idea of the Day: Stamped Tile Coasters (Courtesy of Melissa @ Thrifty Fun)

Approximate Time: 15-30 minutes
4x4 inch tumbled tiles (found at hardware store)
Staz-on Ink
Rubber stamps
Small felt pads or cork
Optional: Decorative chalks
Clear acrylic spray

Clean your tiles by wiping them with a damp paper towel to remove any manufacturing dust. Allow to dry. Ink your stamps with StazOn. Stamp image on your tile. Be very careful as you stamp as the surface may be slippery and your stamped image might smear. Stamp with a background stamp first (example- the black script stamp). Using sandpaper, gently sand the tile to soften the first stamped image. Ink your main image stamp with Staz-on. Stamp your image on your tile.Allow the ink to dry. You can also heat set the ink with a heating gun or in the oven. If your main image needs color, you can use Decorative chalks to color in your image. Use a tissue or q-tip to blend in your colors. If colored with chalk, lightly spray a coat of clear acrylic. When dry, attach the felt or cork bumpers to the bottom of your coasters to prevent scratching of your furniture.

Alrighty, so I heard what you just said… you’ve got the munchies LOL and are looking for something yummy to make. OK so how about for dinner I make you some

Garlic & Rosemary Cornish Hens

4 Cornish game hens
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, quartered
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil
24 cloves garlic
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

2. Rub hens with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly season hens with salt and pepper. Place 1 lemon wedge and 1 sprig rosemary in cavity of each hen. Arrange in a large, heavy roasting pan, and arrange garlic cloves around hens. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a mixing bowl, whisk together wine, chicken broth, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; pour over hens. Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.

4. Transfer hens to a platter, pouring any cavity juices into the roasting pan. Tent hens with aluminum foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan and boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Cut hens in half lengthwise and arrange on plates. Spoon sauce and garlic around hens. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve.

Pair this with some of your favorite veggies and maybe some potatoes or noodles… we love asparagus and mushed spuds LOL! Now, to finish off that yummy dinner, lets have some dessert…

Old Fashion Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
1 ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter. Put batter in refrigerator for 1 hour.

3. Roll into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern.

4. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Do not over-bake.

Oh not into peanut butter? LOL then try these on for size… they were a huge hit last night!

Cappuccino Spice Cookies


2-1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon boiling water
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cloves
3 cups double chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Dissolve coffee in boiling water.

2. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, coffee mixture and vanilla; beat until well blended.

3. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in medium bowl. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Let stand on cookie sheets 1 minute; transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

You’d think I wouldn’t want to see another cookie huh? Wrong… I love baking and love the faces of everyone when they try out the new creations… and some of the old faithful ones too LOL! Hubby was calling me “Betty Crocker” all day yesterday LOL! It was a lovely day and it made many great memories. Well I’m off to help my mom shop… I will see you in the morning- the start of cakes and pie week! LOL! Sweet dreams… until tomorrow- HUGS!