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Showing posts from May, 2013

Dutch Oven Bananas Foster Cake

My husband and I love to go camping. Whether it is tent camping in the nation's capitol, taking the popup camper to Pigeon Forge, or renting a cabin in Cherokee, camping is our choice of vacation methods. The great thing about camping is that you have the time to just sit around a warm campfire and enjoy the beauty of nature around you. Another thing we love about camping is campfire cooking. My husband has been cooking on campfires for years and I have found a great appreciation for the art as well. I say "art" because you really do have to understand the coal ratios and heat distributions in order to successfully cook and not burn your food. As we prepare for our first camping trip of the summer, "Dutch Oven Fever" has begun to take hold. Tonight, we decided to experiment with a new recipe. With a large number of ripe bananas on hand and a cake mix in the cabinet, it was time to create a Bananas Foster Cake. The result was surprisingly moist and perfectly

Sweet Heat Grilled Chicken

Summertime means a return to the grill and enjoying the company of family and friends around a picnic table. A staple at cookouts is grilled chicken. Tonight I wanted to experiment a little and combine some of our favorite flavors to create a finger-licking-good grilled chicken. There is absolutely nothing bland about this chicken recipe. All of the pieces are tender and juicy while still crisp on the exterior. By marinading for 2 hours in the dry rub, the flavor reaches all the way to the bone. I am definitely keeping this recipe close at hand. While we were enjoying this wonderful meal, I actually said "This is the best barbecued chicken I have ever eaten!" For a Southern girl, that is a BIG statement! 1 Whole Chicken, Cut-Up FOR THE DRY RUB 2 teaspoons Salt 1 teaspoon Black Pepper 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder 1 teaspoon Paprika 1 teaspoon Dried Mustard 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper FOR THE SAUCE 1 1/2 teaspoon Vegetable Oil 1/2 Medium Yellow Onio

Garlic Lime Chicken Wraps

One night last week, I decided to make up a quick garlic lime marinade for some chicken that needed to be cooked. I quickly threw together various items from the cabinet and the result was delicious! Since that time, this is actually the second time I have made the wraps because they are SO GOOD! Feel free to customize the toppings to your taste. I like my wrap with avocado, tomato and lettuce while my husband likes the chicken on a bun as a club sandwich. The real key to this recipe is the marinade. Even just plain chicken breasts grilled and served with summer vegetables are great with this quick and easy combination. 6 Uncooked, Breast Chicken Tenders FOR THE MARINADE 1 Lime, Juiced 1 Clove Garlic, Sliced 1/2 teaspoon Salt 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper FOR THE WRAPS 4 Soft Tortillas  4 Strips Bacon, Cooked 4 Slices Provolone Cheese TOPPINGS Tomato, Thinly Sliced Lettuce Leaves Avocado, Sliced 1. Combine marinade ingredi

Cajun Seasoned Oven Fries

On this hurried Monday night, I find myself very thankful to have leftover pulled pork in the refrigerator.  Although the meat and slaw is ready, I still need another side. I consider baked beans, corn on the cob, or even baked potatoes, but I am just not excited. Suddenly, the idea of a french fry comes to mind. While I do LOVE a good fry, I am not very interested in a deep fried potato, at least not tonight. So what to do? Suddenly I remember a particular french fry recipe my husband made one night. He was treating me to a wonderful steak dinner with fries; even better than the food (which was amazing) was the fact that he was making the meal for me! While he used frozen fries (which also work GREAT), this recipe starts from scratch, because I have plenty of potatoes in the bin. The fries come out crisp without being fried while the seasoning adds a nice flavor with a little kick of spice. This recipe will please husbands, wives, kids....even in-laws! 3 Medium Russet Potatoes

Giving from the Heart

Although I love to cook and am in the fifth year of my small bakery, many of you may not know that my actual day job is as a high school counselor. I am fortunate enough to be able to work with some amazing young people. I fill my days with one-on-one sessions discussing future plans, academic endeavors, college aspirations and social resolutions. The relationships I form with my students is not only beneficial for them, but it also inspires me to continue to aspire towards my dreams on a daily basis. With it being the end of the school year, it is that time when students start to give their teachers small tokens of appreciation. This past week, I was lucky enough to receive such a gift; I have to say, it is probably the best teacher gift I have EVER received. Was is flashy and expensive? No. Was is thoughtful and personal? Yes. So what was this amazing gift? A lovely young lady and her family gifted me a watering-can flowerpot filled with freshly picked strawberries. Although sim

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Andouille Sausage

Last night I was looking for something different for dinner. I happen to LOVE cauliflower, but my husband, not so much; he does, however, love andouille sausage! In order to please both pallets, I combined the two. Roasting the cauliflower gives it a nice sweet flavor that balances the slight spice of the sausage perfectly. Running short on time? This recipe cooks in only twenty minutes! I simply served it with an ear of boiled corn on the cob and dinner was served. 1 Head of Cauliflower 3 Andouille Sausage Links, approximately 5-inches long each 1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil 1/4 teaspoon Salt 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 2. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the cauliflower into bite-size flourettes. 3. Slice the andoille sausage on a bias into 1-inch lengths. 4. Place the sausage and cauliflower in mound on a baking pan. Drizzle with oil and seasonings. Use your ha

Meatloaf Muffins

I know we have all been there. You get home from a busy day at work and have 30 minutes to get something on the table for the entire family to eat. Meatloaf is definitely a family favorite, but how can you make it to the table with meatloaf in 30 minutes???? Well why not mix up the routine, break out a muffin tin, and make personal meatloaf muffins?!?! These mini-meatloaves are tender, tasty, and flavorful, and, best of all, on the table in 30 minutes! Kids love them because they are small and more fun than a typical loaf. 1 Pound Ground Beef 1 Egg 1/2 Cup Quick Cooking Oats 2 teaspoons Salt 1 teaspoon Black Pepper 1 Tablespoons Yellow Onion, Minced 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce 4 Tablespoons Ketchup 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 30 mins 2. Combine all ingredients, minus ketchup, in a large mixing bowl. 3. Lightly spray the muffin tins with non-stick spray. 4. Using your hands, make small balls of meatloaf mix and place in the tins. The meat

Cherry Cream Pie

With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, it is time to begin outdoor entertaining with family and friends. After a cookout on a hot summer day, a cool, refreshing dessert is the best way to finish the meal. I first made this recipe as a twist on the classic Cherry Yum Yum, a classic Southern dessert. This pie was such a hit that it is now expected at family gatherings. You can change up the pie filling for different berry flavors and have a large dessert spread in no time! 15 Graham Crackers, Crushed 4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted 21 Ounces (weight) Cherry Pie Filling 1 Ounce (weight) Instant Cheesecake Pudding Powder 8 Ounce (weight) Cool Whip Topping, Thawed 14 Ounces (weight) Sweetened Condensed Milk 1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pudding, whipped topping and condensed milk. Using a mixer, whip the ingredients for 2 minutes. 2. In a separate bowl, combine 2/3 of the crumbs with the melted butter. Spread into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan.

Sloppy Jane Potato Boats

To be perfectly honest, I do not really consider this a "recipe." Instead, this is a round two meal using leftover Sloppy Jane filling. However, it is so quick and easy, you might just make this a round one meal instead. This hearty yet light meal fills you up without making you feel as though you have eaten a 4 course meal. A one pot dish wonder for a complete meal. The additional toppings I listed are merely a suggestion and reflect what I like to eat with mine. However, if you like it a little spicier, you might consider adding some hot sauce or peppers to the mix to give it a little Tex-Mex flavor. Mix it creative. This easy and inexpensive meal feeds 6. 3 Large Russet Potatoes, Washed Sloppy Jane Filling Toppings 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, Grated 1/2 Cup Green Onion, Sliced 1/2 Cup Sour Cream 1. Wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil and place in a 425-degree oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until soft to the touch. 2. Slice each potato in half lengthw

Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salsa

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, it was time to break out the black beans and make a little salsa. This is not the normal, tomato based salsa. Instead, it is filled with fresh corn, lime, cilantro, and onion. Roasting the corn, tomato, and onion adds an extra sweetness to the recipe. This light and refreshing salsa is great for the upcoming warm months. For an added bonus, it is great for getting ready for swimsuit season.....if you are into that kind of thing!  ¡OlĂ©!   2 Ears Fresh Corn, Shucked and Kernels Removed 1 Vine Ripe Tomato, Halved 1/4 Large Yellow Onion, Peeled 15 Ounces (weight) Canned Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed 1 teaspoon Fresh Cilantro, Chopped 1/2 teaspoon Salt 1 Lime 1. Place the corn kernels in a pile on a baking sheet. Place the tomato halves, flesh side down on the pan. Lay the onion along side the other vegetables. Place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes or until just starting to brown and the tomato skin is pulling away. Remove from the ov

Triple Chocolate Cake

I am about to reveal the recipe for one of my most secret cakes. This cakes is requested all the time the birthday parties and special occasions. Sometimes I make it as a layer cake with a rich chocolate buttercream, other times I serve it piping hot with a scoop of ice cream. Today, I have a birthday party for my younger cousin so it was time to decorate for a 9 year old. Love this cake! 1 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour 2 Cups Sugar 1 Cup Cocoa Powder 2 teaspoons Baking Soda 1 teaspoon Baking Powder 1 teaspoon Salt 1 Cup Buttermilk 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil 1 teaspoon Vanilla 2 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten 1 Cup Hot Coffee 1/2 Cup Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix 1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips (dusted with flour) 1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder. 2. In a large measuring cup, combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs. 3. With the mixer on low, slowly add the buttermi

Sloppy Janes

Ok. We have all heard of the Sloppy Joe, but did you know he had a sister, Sloppy Jane? These sandwiches are a combination of vegetables, beef, and spices for a messy but flavorful dinner. I love to use the leftovers for my Sloppy Jane Potato Boats. However, you could also make a wonderful nacho appetizer for a party! 1 Pound 80/20 Ground Chuck 1/2 Cup Yellow Onion, Chopped 1 Clove Garlic, Minced 1 teaspoon Salt 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder 1/4 teaspoon Ground Mustard 3 Tablespoons Spicy BBQ Sauce 1 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce 2 Tablespoons Ketchup 1/2 Cup Canned Diced Tomatoes 1/4 Cup Button Mushrooms, Chopped 1. In a large skillet, combine the ground chuck, onions and garlic over medium heat. Use your spoon to break the meat into small pieces as it cooks. Continue to cook until the meat is browned. 2. Add the dry spices to the pan. Stir. Allow to toast fo