Pinwheels- Turkey

More party food recipes. This one was a big hit at the party too. I forgot to post it a while back. So yummy!

8 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
4 oz diced green chilies, well drained
4 oz chopped black olives, well drained
1 c grated Cheddar Cheese
1/2 c chopped green onion
a few drops of hot sauce
2 pkgs turkey (container w/red top)
10 (10-in) flour tortillas
Salsa, to serve on side

Mix all ingredients together, except turkey. Divide the filling and spread evenly over the tortillas; add turkey to each one covering the tortilla evenly and then roll up tortillas. cover tightly with plastic wrap, twisting ends; refrigerate for several hours.

Unwrap; cut in slices 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Discard ends. Lay pinwheels flat on serving platter. Leave space in center for salsa.


Keylime Tarts

These were a big hit at the party. I had no leftovers.

24 key lime cooler cookies ( I used key lime twists from target and made a crust)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbls lime juice, preferable key lime
1 tsp lime zest
fresh sweetened whipped cream
mint leaves or lime zest, for garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Fill 2 (12 muffin) mini muffin tins with paper cups and spray with cooking spray. Place 1 key lime cooler cookie in the bottom of eac. cup flat side down.

Prepare filling. beat together cream cheese, egg, sugar, lime juice, and zest until well mixed. Fill the cups to the top. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove tarts to cool. When completely cool, fit a star tip in a pastry bag and fill with the whipped cream. Pipe the whipped cream on top of the tarts. Garnish with tiny mint leaves or lime zest.



7Up Pound Cake

I made this last night cause we had so much Sprite left over from our party. It's not Markus' favorite, but I like it. His mom makes it a lot. In order to make Markus eat it I'm going to make a trifle with it. Can't go wrong there.

1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbls lemon extract
1 cup 7Up (room temp)

Cream the margarine, shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the flour, then beat in the extract and 7Up. Blend well.

Pour batter into a well greased and floured tube pan (bundt) and bake at 325 degrees for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Enjoy!


Party Time

The White Elephant Party Menu
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Pinwheels (Turkey)
Pig in the blanket
Sugar/Cinnamon Almonds
Peppermint Bark
White Chocolate Cake Balls
**There might be more there, I just can't decide. I'm pretty set on all of these things though**


Zesty Italian BBQ Meatballs

I just love to make these for pretty much anything. They are so easy and taste great. One day I will try them with ground turkey.


2lbs. ground beef
1 med onion, chopped (finely)
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2 eggs, beaten


1-1/2 cups bottled BBQ sauce
3/4 cup tomato paste (1 6oz can)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cups water, as needed
1 tsp liquid smoke

Combine the meatballs ingredients. Form into walnut sized balls. Bake the meatballs in a shallow baking dish at 350 degrees for 20 min or until browned. Drain off any fat. Transfer meatballs to crock pot. Combine all sauce ingredients in bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour over meatballs. Cover and cool on low for 4 hrs or on high for 2 hours. Stir once in the middle of cooking to baste meatballs with sauce.
From my Crock Pot Cookbook

* I experiment with the sauce but this is something to go by til you find something you like :)


Estimating Quantities of Hors d'Oeuvres

When estimating quantities of hors doeuvres for a party, keep these guidelines in mind. As a rule of thumb, most guests will consume 8 to 10 bite-size pieces for every 60 to 90 minutes of a party. However, the larger the variety of offerings, the more hors doeuvres that will be consumed because everyone will want to try at least one of each item. At the beginning of a party, especially if it is in the early evening, the pace of eating will be faster and then will slow as people satisfy their initial appetite.

If your party lasts longer than 90 minutes and is intended to replace dinner, the pace of eating will speed up again after 2 hours. In this case, it is important to have enough hors doeuvres ready and waiting in the kitchen to replenish empty platters.

For an average-size party, with 8 to 20 guests, plan on 2 hot and 2 cold passed items and 1 or 2 buffet itemsa total of 5 or 6 selections. If you will be hosting 30 to 40 guests, add 1 more of each hot and cold item plus 1 more buffet selection.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Hors d'Oeuvre, by Brigit L. Binns (Simon & Schuster,2001) .

Mascarpone Cheesecake with Almond Crust

Let me just preface this recipe with this, IT'S THE BEST CHEESECAKE I'VE EVER MADE!!!! I absolutely love it. The mascarpone made all the difference in the world for me.


  • 1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted


  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature


  • 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Tightly wrap the outside of a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil. Finely grind the almonds, cracker crumbs, and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (not on the sides of the pan). Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

For the filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold). Transfer the cake to a rack; cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

For the topping: Combine the chocolate-hazelnut spread and cream in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave until warm, stirring every 20 seconds to blend, about 1 minute.

Cut the cake into wedges. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the wedges and serve.

*I didn't do the topping cause this cake is great alone, but just thought I'd include it for anyone interested in it.

From: Giada De Laurentiis: Everyday Italian

The Menu

I'm almost ready to post the Menu for the party. So stayed tuned to find out what we'll be eating.


Tailgate Cake

We had this cake out a tailgating this year and I just had to get the recipe. Super moist. Love it, Thanks Shelley for sharing. One day I'm going to raid your MILs kitchen!

1 Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker German chocolate cake mix

1/2 cup oil

1 cup water

1 can German chocolate frosting

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put all ingredients in an electric mixer bowl and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Pour into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan or tube pan. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes in the 9-by-13 pan or 55 minutes in the tube pan, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

From: Lynette Bingham's Kitchen which came from Elizabeth Pudwill


Poinsettia Sipper

This will definitely be served at my holiday party this year. It looks great, haven't tried it yet though.

1 (64oz) bottle 100% cranberry juice, chilled
1 cup thawed orange juice concentrate
1 (1-liter) bottle sprite
1 lime, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cranberries

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a large pitcher; garnish with lime slices and cranberries.
Yield 16-1/2 cups

from 2008 Christmas with Southern Living


Egg rolls

Holy cow I think these are the ones me and my sister made at her place. I didn't realize I had this recipe. Markus begs me to make these for him, but I didn't think I had this. Very good. We made them for the first time and we couldn't stop eating them :)

1 tbls sesame seeds
1 tbls dark sesame oil
2 green onions with tops, sliced
1 tbl minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups shredded napa cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
4 oz fresh or canned bean sprouts, rinsed
1 can (15-oz) chick peas, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
Black pepper (optional)
1 egg, beaten
12 egg roll wrappers
peanut or vegetable oil
Plum Dipping sauce (recipe follows)

Combine sesame seeds and sesame oil in large skillet. Cook and stir over low heat 2-3 min or until sesame seeds begin to brown. Add green onions, ginger and garlic; cook and stir 1-2 min. Add cabbage, carrots, celery, mushrooms and bean sprouts; cover. cook 8 min or until cabbage is wilted. Stir in chick peas and soy sauce; season to taste with pepper, if desired. Cool 10 min; stir in egg.

Place 1/3 cup vegetable mixture near one corner of egg roll wrapper. Brush edges of egg roll wrapper with water. fold bottom corner of egg roll wrapper up over filling; fold sides in and roll up. Repeat with remaining filling and egg roll wrappers.

Heat 1-inch peanut oil in large, heavy saucepan over med-high heat until oil is 375 degrees; adjust heat to maintain temperature. Fry egg rolls 3-5 min or until golden. Drain on paper towels; serve hot with plum dipping sauce.
makes 12 servings

Plum Dipping Sauce

2/3 cup plum sauce
2 green onions with tops, sliced
3 tbls low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbls rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tbls grated fresh ginger
1 tbls honey
3-4 drops hot chili oil (optional)

Combine all ingredients in med bowl; mix well. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.

*we never tried the dipping sauce, so if anyone does, let me know what you think

Fresh Lemonade

One day I will have a lemon tree and just run in the backyard so I can have this everyday. Until then it will be a special thing in my house. I'm a sucker for FRESH lemonade.

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (5-6 lemons)
1/2 cup- 3/4 cup superfine sugar, to taste
1 cup crushed ice
4 cups water

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth. Serve over ice.
Barefoot Contessa

Sugar and Spice Pecans

I love these around the holidays. Package these coated pecans in little gift bags, or set them out as hors d'oeurves at a holiday gathering.

1 cup sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp grated orange rind
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 cups pecan halves

Stir together first 4 ingredients. Beat egg whites at high speed with mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar mixture, beating at high speed until soft peaks form. Fold in melted butter and pecan halves. Spread coated nuts in a single layer on a large jellyroll pan lined with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Bake @ 250 for 45min or until nuts are toasted, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool completely on pan. Remove from pan. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.
Yield: 4 cups.
from Christmas with Southern Living 2005


Enchilada Pie or Casserole

My best friend gave me this recipe and it comes straight from her momma's kitchen. We love it for an easy quick dinner. Seasoned just right, it tastes pretty good too.

1 lb. ground beef (can subsitute chicken)
1 union, chopped (saute with meat)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can petmilk
1 pkg flour tortillas (10ct)
2 cups shredded mozeralla & cheddar cheese

Place 5 tortillas or enough to cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish. Mix together all ingredients (except cheese) and pour 1/2 onto tortillas. Take 1 cup of cheese and put on meat mixture. Continue with the next layer and end with cheese on top.

Bake @ 350 until bubbly and heat through.
from Karen Throckmorton

Pineapple Salsa

Nice and fresh just the way I like it. Yummy and very colorful too.

1 pineapple
1 large red onion
1 bunch of cilantro
2 cloves garlic
Tonys or other cajun seasoning

Finely chop all & mix. Go easy on the Cilantro cause it can overpower the salsa very easily.
from Miranda Guillion


Nanny's Punch

This stuff is awesome.  Markus' nanny made this at our engagement party a few years ago.  Yum Yum

6 ripe bananas mashed
4 oz pineapple juice concentrate frozen
6 oz lemonade concentrate frozen
12 oz orange juice concentrate frozen
2 cups of sugar
40-60 oz of lemon lime soda

Blend bananas, juices (frozen) in blender.  Add sugar, mix well.  Separate in containers or bags and freeze.  Thaw until mushy but still somewhat frozen.  When ready to serve, add soda


Heber's Mom's Bread

I wish I knew Heber's mothers name, but I don't. Heber & Helen are crazy about this dough recipe/bread. It's yummy. They got us hooked.

1-1/2 c water
2 tbls olive oil
4 tbls sugar
1 tsp salt
4 c flour
2 tsp yeast

Put in breadmaker in order they appear and put on dough cycle. Once completed, form into loaves, bread sticks anything you want.

*parmesan cheese, or cinnamon & sugar can be added to create something yummy too.
Given to me by Heber Tuft


Greek Bread

Oh yummy. This bread is awesome. Great thing to bring to a pot luck. No one will ever guess what is in it. Enjoy!

1 loaf French or Italian bread, cut lengthwise
1 can chopped black olives
1 bunch (approx 6) green onions, chopped fine
1 stick margarine, melted
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
2 c mozzarella cheese
1/2 c mayo

Melt margarine + add all other ingredients. Spread on bread. Bake 350 degrees for approx. 20 min. Leave in longer if you prefer crispy, but watch closely.
From J. Benard a friend from BRWC


Peanut Butter Cookies

Just tried these today and Markus and I both ate 5 each straight out of the oven.  Yum Yum

1 c sugar
1 stick butter, room temp
1 egg
1 c smooth peanut butter, it's always crunchy for me
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 c flour
*I added 1/2 c peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease baking sheet.  In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter.  Beat in egg mixure.  Mix in PB and vanilla until smooth and creamy.  Stir in salt, baking soda, and flour until well combined.  Roll dough into 1-in balls.  Place on baking sheet and flatten with fork.  Bake for 12-15 min (I did mine for 8.5 min)
From Food Network.com


Ricotta Pancakes

These are awesome and oh so easy to make too. My fav time to eat these (other than Saturday morning of course) is on a weeknight.

1- 2/3 c water
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c pancake mix
1 c whole milk ricotta cheese
2/3 c frozen blueberries
melted butter

Stir water and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the pancake mix and stir just until moistened but still lumpy. Stir in the ricotta into the pancake mixture, then stir gently to incorporate the ricotta but maintain a lumpy batter. Fold in the blueberries.

Heat a griddle over medium heat. Brush with the melted butter. Working in batches, spoon 1/4 c of batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with syrup.


Ina Garten's (Barefoot Contessa)'s rules for Entertaining

1. Make it really easy. The best parties are the ones where the host has fun.
2. Make in advance. The more you do ahead the less you will have to do when guests arrive.
3. Buy as much as you can. Just make a few things, they go a long way.
4. Make food that is familiar & comforting. Now is not the time to show off.
5. Have a really good time. This should be a no- brainer, but it needs to be stated.

She was giving these tips on one of her shows and I jotted them down because it made quite the impression on me. I'm good at going all out, but for a dinner party these are good to keep in mind.

Jenn's Red Beans & Rice

1 lb kidney beans
1-1/2 lbs Manda Spicy Hot Sausage
6 cups of water
1 tsp onion powder (if you don't have real onions)
Hot sauce, to taste
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
Cajun seasonings, your choice

3 cups cooked rice

Soak beans overnight in crockpot (not turned on) in the 6 cups of water. When ready to cook, add all ingredients to crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hrs or high for 4-5 hrs. Add more water if needed. For thicker gravy (which I love) mash some beans & cook a bit longer. Stir occasionally.

*low for 7-8 hrs I add about 1/4-1/2 cup of extra water if I won't be stirring it or watching it.
It doesn't hurt anything if you cook it for longer. Just blends the seasonings in more

Mushroom Canapes

1/2 c mayo
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
2 oz canned mushrooms/ drained
1/2 of an 8oz can of french fried onions
1 loaf (8oz) party rye bread, sliced

In a bowl stir together mayo, parmesan cheese, mushrooms & onion rings. Spread on lightly toasted party rye or pumpernickel. Place canapes on baking sheet & broil until bubbly.

These are awesome right out of the oven and are easy and perfect for parties.
From Paula Deen's Home-Cooking Show



This takes a while, but I think it is worth your time. It's sooo good if you love spinach & cheese, lik me.

1/2 c olive oil
1 bunch chopped scallions, white & green parts
2 (10-oz) boxes frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
2 tbls chopped fresh dill
3 xlarge eggs, lightly beaten
7 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
40 sheets (1 box) frozen phyllo dough (Pepperidge Farm), defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c plain dry breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the scallions. Cook for 5 min or until soft. Meanwhile, squeeze most of the water out of the spinach and place in a bowl. Add the scallions, dill, eggs, feta, salt and pepper and mix together.

Keep phyllo dough sheets covered with a damp kitchen towel. Unfold 1 sheet of the phyllo dough. Brush the sheet with melted butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Repeat the process by laying a second sheet of phyllo dough over the first sheet, brush it with melted butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs until all sheets have been used. Spoon 3/4 cup of spinach mixture into a sausage shape along one edge of the phyllo dough. Roll it up. brush the top with butter and score the roll into 1-in rounds. Place it on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat until all the pastry and filling have been used.

Place in the oven and bake fore 12 min or until the edges are lightly browned. Serve warm.

from Barefoot Contessa

Stuffed Mushrooms

These came from my best friends MIL.

2 lbs. mushrooms
1 chub Jimmy Deans sausage
6 oz. cream cheese

Remove stems from mushrooms and chop. Brown sausage. Add mushroom stems & cream cheese. Stuff mixture in mushrooms. Bake @ 400 degrees for 10-15min.


Jello & Pudding Poke Cake

I had this at church when I visited Gonzales Ward and had to get the recipe from one of the ladies who swore it was so easy to make.

1 box yellow cake mix (butter recipe is my fav)
1 small box of jello (your flavor of choice), make according to directions on box
1 container of cool whip
1 box instant pudding (I guess vanilla), make according to directions on box

Make yellow cake per instructions on box in 9 x 13 pan.. Once out of oven and still warm, poke holes in cake and pour jello mixture on top of cake. Spread pudding on top of cake, refrigerate for a couple of hours. When you refrigerate the cake the JELLO will set up and form in those holes that were poked in the cake. Top with Cool whip before serving.

*I hope I got everything right. I haven't made it yet, so I'll let yall know when I do. Just wanted to share and put on this blog before I lost the sheet of paper I scribbled it on. :)


Banana Pudding

This recipe I got from a dear old man I used to work with of whom practically taught me how to cook all things good.  He made the best banana pudding and I begged him for the recipe of which he gave me in his own handwriting or his moms' who the recipe derived from.  I miss working with ol' Mr. TC, but here's to his yummy legacy of great food.

2/3-3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 tbls butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 bananas
Jacks Vanilla Wafers

Mix eggs, sugar, flour & salt until smooth.  Add milk & butter, cook in double boiler until desired thickness.

From Mr. TC (mom)


Brown Sugar-Banana Muffins

I forgot how yummy these were til I decided to make them for breakfast cause we actually have bananas!  A morning must.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans (almonds are also yummy)

Beat butter on med speed until creamy.  Gradually add brown sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.  

Stir mashed bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour, and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed JUST UNTIL BLENDED.  (Do not overbeat.)  Spoon batter into 12 lightly greased muffin cups, filling two-thirds full.  Sprinkle evenly with pecans.

Bake 350 for 20-25 min. or until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove and cool.

**If you don't have buttermilk (who does) stir 3/4 tsp lemon juice or vinegar into 1/4 cup milk.

**Bananas get softer and sweeter as they ripen.  Make sure yours are ripe enough (almost black) for this luscious treat.

Southern Living Magazine, April 2006

Crawfish Corn Chowder

My beloved best friend Lea-Lea gave me this one.  Her mommy makes it all the time and I think of the two of them often while cookin this one up.   Love to you both!

1 or 2 pkg crawfish tails
1/2 stick margarine (never have in my house)
1 (8oz) block cream cheese
1 cups half and half (1 pint)
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cream of potato soup
2 tbls crab oil
1/2 bunch of green onions

Melt margarine, cream cheese, & half and half together on low heat.  Stir continuously.  Add cream of mushroom and potato soups.  Once blended, in a separate saucepan bring to boil the crawfish tails & crab oil in water.  Drain, but don't rinse the crawfish.  Add crawfish to soup mixture along with the corn & simmer 20 min on low/med heat.

*Also forgot to mention you can use shrimp too and it's just as good.
from Karen Throckmorton to Leanne Nelson  to me :)

Baked Potato Soup

5 large baking potatoes, baked
1/4 cup butter or margarine (i don't keep margarine in the house)
1 med onion, chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart half and half
3 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 cups (8oz) shredded cheddar cheese
8 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

To bake potatoes in the microwave, prick each several times with a fork.  Microwave 1-in apart on paper towels at high 14min or until done, turning and rearranging after 5  min.  Let cool. (The bigger the potato the longer it takes to cook)

Peel potatoes, and coarsley mash with a fork.

Melt butter in a dutch oven over med heat; add onion, and saute until tender.  Add flour, stirring until smooth.  Stir in potatoes, half and half, and next 3 ingredients; cook over low heat until thoroughly heated.  Top each serving with cheese and bacon.
Makes 12 cups

Southern Living Magazine, January 2003

Shrimp and Corn Soup

I can't believe I'm sharing this one, but since someone I love dearly was nice enough to share it with me I guess it's not a secret.  Thanks Kay-Kay for sharing, I'm not always the best at sharing a good thing.

2 cans cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can rotel tomatoes
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley, (has to be fresh)
1 (8oz.) can tomato sauce
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cups water
1 can cream of celery soup
2 tbls Worchestershire sauce
Tony's to taste (I never use this spice, I use something diffferent)
1-1/2 lbs. shrimp, peeled
1 bunch of green onions

Put all ingredients in slow cooker, EXCEPT the shrimp and green onions.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Add shrimp during last hour of cooking and put slow cooker on high for the last hour.  Garnish with green onions.  It's just that easy!

*This makes soooo much soup and it's wonderful to freeze.  Don't make the mistake however of cutting the cooking time.  I wouldn't suggest that.


Triple Chocolate Cake Balls

I made up the triple part, but read on and you will see why.  I made these last night for the first time and love love loved them.  So Chocolate Lovers listen up... It's not my fault if you become addicted to these things.  Make at your own risk.  I am not a chocolate person and these are excellent.

1 box Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake Mix
1-1/3 c whole milk
1/2 c sour cream
1 (4oz) pkg chocolate pudding
2 large eggs

1/2 to 1 c Nutella
Dipping Chocolate

Mix on low one minute.  Scrap sides.  Mix on med high 2 min.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and Bake @ 325 degrees for 35 min or until toothpick comes out clean.

Once cake has cooled remove from pan into a large bowl and crumble.  Add 1/2 to 1 cup of Nutella or another binder (Chocolate syrup or anything gooey) until you can form into a ball without it falling apart.  Place cake ball on a fork.  Melt dipping chocolate and spoon over cake ball.  Let dry (I put mine in the freezer) or harden.  Eat and enjoy.
Courtesy of Janell Smith @ Janellscakes.com

I begged her for this recipe which she briefly told me how easy it was and was like just use my chocolate cake recipe (above) and use a binder with dipping chocolate, it's that easy.  Hope you find it just as easy as the professional cake decorator.


Mexican Layered Dip

In honor of football season starting up this weekend I thought I would post a favorite of mine to eat at my football parties.

3 ripe avocados, peeled and mashed
2 tbls fresh lemon juice
Pinch of garlic
Pinch of black pepper
Dash of hot sauce
1 c sour cream
1 c mayo (I sometimes use less)
1 pkg taco seasoning
4 (90z) cans of Frito-Lay bean dip (a can of refried beans is cheaper)
1 (16oz) jar of salsa, drained
1 c chopped onion or green onion
3 tomatoes, chopped (sometimes omit if I don't have)
1 (60z) can pitted olives (optional is Markus is eating)
Sliced Jalapenos peppers (optional)
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, grated

In a bowl, stir together the avocado, lemon juice, garlic salt, black pepper, and hot sauce; set aside. In another bowl mix, sour cream, mayo, and taco seasoning; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl layer the bean dip, avocado mixture, sour-cream mixture, salsa, onions, tomatoes, olives, and jalapeno peppers to taste, and top wit both cheeses. Serve with tortilla chips.
Serves 20 (depending on who's eating it of course)

This recipe is from the great Lady & Sons Too! from Paula Deen.

*substitutes: taco seasoning can be substituted for Chili Powder and Cumin (you hardly notice the difference), Frito-Lay bean dip is practically the same as a can of refried beans (which is cheaper anyways), the cheeses I usually use whatever I have on hand.


Aunt Linda's Mac N Cheese

I had been thinking about this for a while and I was so excited when I saw my Aunt Linda yesterday to get her recipe.  I bought elbows to make it and everything I just wanted her recipe, not anyone else's.  So here goes...

1 lb elbows
1 (2lb) pkg of velveeta, cubed
1 stick butter
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
2 eggs
Salt & pepper

boil noodles according to direcions on pkg.  Drain noodles.  In the same pot melt stick of butter.  In a bowl, mix milk, use same can to for 1 can of water, 2 eggs,  salt & pepper.  Mix together the pot of butter.  Layer in a 9 x 13 pan starting with liquid mixture, then noodles, next cubed cheese, continuing until ingredients are finished.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


Chicken Tortilla Casserole

We made this at my Pampered Chef Party a few months ago.  It was surprisingly pretty good.  Just wanted to share what's on our plate tonight.

1  poblano pepper
1 1/2  lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2  tbsp Southwestern Seasoning Mix (Taco Seasoning)
1/4  tsp salt
1  can (15 oz)  black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2  cups thick and chunky salsa
4  cups broken tortilla chips
1  cup (4 oz)  shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
Snipped fresh cilantro (optional)

Remove stem and seeds from poblano pepper; slice into thin strips. Arrange poblano strips. Combine chicken, seasoning mix and salt in a bowl. Arrange chicken over poblano strips.  Cover baker (stone) with 15-in. square of Parchment Paper,tucking corners of paper under baker. Microwave on HIGH 4 minutes; stir to separate chicken strips. Cover; microwave an additional 4-6 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Drain and rinse black beans. Stir beans and salsa into chicken mixture.  Gently stir in tortilla chips. Grate cheese over baker using. Microwave,uncovered, on HIGH 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. If desired, snip cilantro and sprinkle over casserole.

Yield 6 servings

I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and it's yummy.


Chocolate Chip-Pecan Cookies

This one is for you Suzette, cause you couldn't believe they were from scratch.  

1-1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c unsalted butter (1 stick), room temp
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 eggs
1-1/2 c chocolate chips
1-1/2 c pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  (i always do 350 haha)

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt.  set aside.  In large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and vanilla.  Using mixer on high beat until light and fluffy.  beat in the egg.  Reduce to low and add flour mixture, mix until just incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans until evenly distributed.

Spoon rounded tablespoons of batter onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 2 in apart.  bake until just firm to the touch and beginning to brown. (about 15 min)
Makes about 2 dozen, Williams-Sonoma The Best of the Kitchen Library: Desserts

P.S. I never let the butter get to room temperature, I find it just works better that way.  Oh and I use whatever chips and nuts I have on hand.  It's good with anything


"Old-Fashioned" Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Just for the record, Markus claims this is his favorite cake I make.  So I'm making it for our Anniversary.  I found this recipe and immediately thought of my mother who used to make it all the time for my sister Angie's (I think) Birthday.  So I made it for her bday a few years ago and also this year for Mother's Day.  Which the Mother's Day cake was the best one yet.  So if you dare, try it, but beware it might become your husband/wife/family's favorite and oh boy look out.  It's not a quickie.

1/2 c butter
1 c dark brown sugar
1 large can sliced pinneapple, drained, reserve juice
Maraschino cherries
Pecan halves
1-1/3 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c sugar, divided
4 eggs, separated
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c shortening
3 tbls pineapple juice (I use more cause momma said so)
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees.   Melt butter in a 10-in iron skillet.  Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter.  Arrange pineapple slices in a pattern over butter-sugar coating.  (I have a cake pan especially for pineapple upside-down cakes so it does it for me).  Place a cherry in the hole of each pineapple and pecan halves between each pineapple piece around the outer edge.

To mix cake, sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together and set aside.  Beat egg yolks until lemon colored.  Add shortening and mix throughly.  Add 1/2 cup sugar, milk, pineapple juice and flavorings.  Mix well.  Add dry ingredients to egg mixture.  Beat egg whites until firm and add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until fluffy.  Fold beaten eggs whites gently into batter.  Pour over brown sugar and pineapple slices.  (Pour left over juice on top- that's what momma said to do)

Bake 40-50 minutes.  Immediately turn upside down on serving plate.  Leave pan over cake for a few minutes.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.


Spinach Balls

My new favorite appetizer to make, courtesy of my husband looking in the newspaper. Gotta love it!

2 (10oz pkgs) chopped spinach, drained well
6 eggs
2-1/2 to 3 c Italian bread crumbs
1 Large onion chopped
¾ c melted butter
½ c Parmesan cheese
1 ½ tsp garlic salt

Mix all ingredients, cover and refrigerate overnight. Form into small bals 1-1/2 in balls. Pre heat 325 degrees for about 15 min or lightly browned.
The Advocate: Best of 2007


Mr. Ronnie's Snack Crackers

These by far are one of my favorite things to eat out at tailgating on Saturdays. A nice kick to ordinary saltines.

3 sleeves regular saltine crackers
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Mix
1 tbls red pepper flakes
1/3 c canola oil

Mix ingredients together & pour over crackers. Let sit for 24hrs or so. I usually pour my mixture over the crackers in a gallon ziploc bag and make sure all the crackers have the mixture on them and store them in the bag too.

Granny's Potato Salad

My granny makes the best potato salad. It's something I loved to eat at her house and even with her recipe I still can't make it just like her. She likes a lot of eggs in hers, but I don't ever have enough to do it her way

5 medium red potatoes
2 eggs per potato (hard boiled)
mayo (as much as needed)
2 tbsp oil
1 heaping spoon sweet relish

Cut potatoes in half and boil with peeling on until a fork can go in. Chop potatoes & eggs. (I'm pretty sure hers didn't have the skin on the potatoes, seems like I remember her saying when she gave me this recipe that the potatoes are easier to peel) Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well. Serve & Enjoy!


Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

These babies will NEVER disappoint you.  Perfection every time.  I would advise they are best eaten when warm, but you will consume more that way.  I made them last year for a football game and brought them out there in the morning fresh from the oven and I swear it was brownies for breakfast.  There were none left to eat after lunchtime.

6 oz cream cheese (I always use 8oz)
1/2 c smooth PB (I always use crunchy for an extra bite)
2 1/4 c sugar, divided
4 eggs
2 tbls whole milk (2% for me, but if I don't have it, oh well never notice the difference)
1 c (2 sticks) butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c cocoa
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c milk chocolate chips (never semi-sweet)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the cream cheese, PB, 1/4 c of sugar, 1 egg, and mil in a mixing bowl until creamy, set aside.  Combine the remaining 2 c sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl and mix well.  Stir in the 3 eggs.  Add he cocoa and mix well.  Stir in the mixture of flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the chocolate chips and mix well.  Reserve 1 c of the batter.  Spoon the remaining batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Spread with PB mixture.  Drop the reserved batter by tspful over the prepared layers and swirl with a knife.  Bake for 30-40 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.   Junior League at Home: Meals and Menus for Everyday and Special Ocassions


Easy Chicken and Dumplings

I found this in hopes to make something familiar for my husband who loved his grandmother's chicken and dumplings.  Tonight it's dinner.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

1 (32oz) container low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14 1/2 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 1 1/2 lb)
1 can reduced fat cream of celery soup
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 can refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.  Place biscuits on a lightly floured surface.  Roll or pat each biscuit to  1/8 inch thickness; cut into 1/2 inch wide strips.  Return broth mixture to a low boil over med-high heat.  Drop strips, 1 at a time, into boiling broth.  Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 min, stirring occasionally to prevent dumplings from sticking.
Southern Living Magazine, November 2006

**I know this might probably be a wintertime dinner, but I love it any time of the year and I also season it up.  This recipe came from the South but it's bland just with poultry seasoning.  Don't be afraid to add to it.


Mom's Saturday Morning Pancakes

3 c flour
1/4 c sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
3 c milk
1/2 c oil

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat together eggs, milk and oil in a small bowl. Add all at once to flour mixture and stir just until mixed. It should be lumpy. Drop by large spoonfuls on a hot, greased griddle and cook until surface of pancake is bubbly. Turn and cook on other side until golden. Makes 2-1/2 dozen 3-in pancakes.

This came from River Road Recipes II and the only thing that I'm aware my mom does with this recipe is butter both sides of the pancake. Oh and she also warms the milk up too. For a twist try adding pecans (my fav) or fresh fruit. That's always a treat.


Spinach Madeleine: A Classic

2 pkgs frozen chopped spinach
4 tbls butter
2 tbls flour
2 tbls chopped onion
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup vegetable liquor
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp celery salt
3/4 tsp garlic salt
salt to taste
6 oz jalapenos cheese
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Red Pepper to taste

Cook spinach according to directions of pkg.  Drain and reserve liquor.  Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Add flour, stirring unitl blended, but not brown.  Add onion and cook until soft but not brown.  Add liquid slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.  Cook until smooth and thick; continue stirring.  Add seasonings and cheese which has been cut into small pieces.  Stir until melted.  Combine with cooked spinach.  This may be served immediately or put into a casserole and topped with butter bread crumbs.  The flavor is improved if latter is done and kept in refrig overnight.  This may also be frozen.   Serves 5 to 6.

*I of course alter this to fit whatever crowd I'm making it for.  But this is a good base to go by.  From River Road Recipes


To all my family and friends

I am often asked for recipes when I bring something over to a function/party or when I have someone over to my place.  So this is for all of you who from some point or another have asked me for a recipe.  This is where I'll post it.  I'm also creating this blog in a effort to have more consistent possibly weekly menus going.  Hope it works!  So here goes nothing.  Hope you enjoy!


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