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.


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