Friday, December 31, 2010

Cherry Nut Bread

This is the same recipe I use for making cranberry nut bread but I just bought some candied cherries and pineapple because they had a screaming deal on those items after Christmas.  I considered making a fruitcake until I read how much work it is to make one.  So I used the candied cherries in place of the cranberries and he loved it. It's an easy recipe and I'll be making it again!

Cherry Nut Bread
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 TBSL baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.
1 cup candied cherries

Grease the bottom and sides of  loaf pan. Mix dry ingredients. Add egg, milk, oil, nuts & cherries to mix. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate Covered Marshmellows w/Coconut

This is a made-up recipe.  I had leftover almond bark I needed to use up so I dipped marshmellows in it and then rolled them in flaked coconut and let them harden. 

It's a new kind of YUM! And they're so cute!

Microwave Peanut Brittle (Easy!)

I had never made peanut brittle before but a friend encouraged me to try the microwave recipe.  It turned out perfect and was so easy & inexpensive to make. I bought the raw shelled peanuts in the bulk section at the grocery store.  If you love peanut brittle, I hope you'll try this easy recipe.

You'll need:
1 cup raw shelled peanuts, skins on
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda

  • Stir together peanuts, sugar, syrup and salt in a 1 1/2 quart microwave-safe container. Cook 8 minutes on high in microwave oven, stirring well after 4 minutes.  
  • Stir in butter and vanilla. 
  • Microwave 2 minutes longer on high.  Add baking soda and quickly stir until light and foamy. Immediately pour onto lightly grased baking sheet.  Spread to 1/4 inch thickness.  When cool, break into pieces. Store in airtight container.  Yields about 1 pound.
  • NOTES: you can add cayenne pepper or jalapeno pepper to this to make it spicy. I advise also adding a few drops of food coloring to distinguish the spicy candy. Not everyone loves sweet, hot brittle!

Habanero Pepper Jelly

I do not have a recipe for this awesome jelly but I had to add it here because I don't want to forget it exists.  One of the paralegals in our office bought some at the Templeman's Meat Market next door to our office last week. She put a little cream cheese on a cracker & topped it with this jelly.  It makes my face so happy!  I wonder what it would taste like on top of salmon?  Anybody got any other ideas?  Let's hear em!
P.S.  Jeremy is getting a jar of this in his goody bag for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oven Pan Fried Red Potatoes

Our son-in-law made these for Gene's 60th birthday party and I came home with a hankering for them. I've made them 3 times since then so I felt they were worthy enough for my 'favorites' blog. A great side dish to go along with anything else you might be baking in the oven.  Great for breakfast, too! Also, a special shout out to Sandra Firestack whose cooking blog inspired me to start my own blog for my favorite things to cook.  You should visit Sandra's blog!!

  • Slice up your red potatoes. You can make them thick or thin, you choose.
  • Spray Pam in the bottom of your cast iron skillet or cookie sheet.
  • Spray the tops of the potatoes with Pam after you lay them in the pan.
  • Sprinkle with Oregano and salt & pepper or whatever seasoning you like.
  • Bake in 375 oven for about 20 - 25 minutes. Turn them over and bake for as long as it takes to cook them through.  These thins ones took a total 40 minutes. 

The beauty of these oven pan fried potatoes is you don't have to use any oil or grease.  They are heart healthy taters.  Enjoy!

You're gonna love these!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz

I don't recall who showed me how to make these, but I would give them a hug if I could remember. This easy recipe is a favorite of all the men in my life.  It's so simple, (blank) could make them.

You need:
Ritz crackers
Creamy Peanut Butter
Almond Bark
Wax Paper

All you do is spread the peanut butter on Ritz cracker, smack it together and dip it in melted Almond Bark. Place it on wax paper and let them set. You can put them in the fridge to speed up the process.

You can add stuff to top like drizzle white almond bark quickly for a really fancy look or add sprinkles. We like 'em plain.


Scones (from New Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook)

2 1/2 cups flour
2 TBLS sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs
3/4 cup whipping cream (or half & half)
1/2 cup craisins (or try different options)

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder & salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture is coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, combine milk, eggs and craisins. Using a fork or spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour just until moistened.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently press dough for 10 or 12 storkes. Pat into a round circle and cut into 8 wedges.  Brush tops of scones with a little milk and sprinkle sugar on each one.

Place wedges on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1" apart and bake for 10-12 minutes in 400 degree oven.

You're going to love these! I served them with a little piece of fried ham. Mmmm .. sweet & salty meet!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Caramel Corn

Gene, my dad, and Justin love this recipe. You'll never want to buy expensive caramel corn again after you try this easy recipe.

Caramel Corn

1 cup margarine or butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup (light)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Boil the first 4 ingredients for 5 minutes (set the timer when it comes to boil)
Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.
Pour over a big bowl of popcorn (2 batches of popcorn and make sure to remove unpopped seeds)
Spread on a big cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven at 250 degrees for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Cool completely and store in zip lock bags. Very addictive ~ you may not even need zip locks because this won't last very long.

Optional:  you can add peanuts to make this even better!

Cathy Jean's Deep Fried Chicken Legs

I wish I had a photo to post of the delicious mess we made in my kitchen last weekend while making this recipe Gene's daughter brought to my home. I couldn't help saying "beautiful" about a million times after seeing the big pile of deep fried chicken legs we produced with a deep fryer and my dutch oven filled with oil on the stove. This is so easy, I don't know how I've known Gene for 9 years and never had this before but I can tell you we'll be having it again if I have my way about it.


You'll need:  Chicken legs, buttermilk, flour, and oil. Use a deep fryer or a dutch oven filled with enough oil to at least cover 3/4 of the chicken.

1)  Chicken Legs: wash 'em up and place them in a big pan of water and bring to boil. Simmer for a good 20 minutes to cook the legs thoroughly. Drain water from chicken. (Note: you gotta cook the chicken before you deep fry it or you will have raw chicken in the middle.)

2)  Place buttermilk in a pie pan and coat the drained chicken in buttermilk and then place in a zip lock bag full of flour & seasoning and shake it up.

3)  Using tongs, place the coated chicken in hot, hot, hot oil and watch it turn to a golden brown.  Place it on a paper towel to soak up excess oil and serve it to a hungry crowd.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kawaii Banana Bread (Adelle handed this down to me)

2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening (or 1 cup vegetable oil)
6 ripe bananas
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda

Mix.  Bake in greased pan for 45 to 50 minutes, depending on what kind of pan you use.  I like to make Bundt cakes or bake in a regular cake pan. You can make loaves with this or muffins. Adjust cooking time.

(Freeze your brown bananas)
 TIP:  When you have old bananas, simply throw them in the freezer right in their skins. They keep a really long time that way. When you have enough to make banana bread, set them out on the counter for an hour and then simply cut off the top of the banana and slide the fruit out. It looks very gross and slimy but TRUST ME the browner the banana, the more flavorful the bread.

NOTES: I have always made this with shortening but I recently tried it with vegetable oil and it turned out beautiful. I would replace the shortening with oil as it is much healthier. I also baked this in the convection oven and discovered I need to shorten up the baking time when using that the convection oven. Need to check the bread at about 37 minutes.

HISTORY OF THIS RECIPE: Adelle was my mother-in-law. She was one of the most wonderful women I've ever known. This recipe came from one of her relatives who live in the Hawaiin islands.  I don't know why it's called Kawaii bread. She passed on many recipes to me and we spent a lot of time in the kitchen together. She was a fabulous cook and often my son and I laugh when we think about how much she loved her butter. We miss her very much and wish we could see and hug her just one more time.

Mom's Sugar Cookies (Grandma Palmer's recipe)

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cubes butter (softened)
1 cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
4 1/2 cups flour

Mix.  Chill.  Roll into 1" balls. Optional: Roll in cinnamon sugar.  Mash with a fork or potato masher. Bake @ 375 degrees for 8 or 9 minutes.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Russian Tea Cakes (my all time favorite cookie!)

1 cup butter
2 cups flour
1 cup nuts
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar (hold out for rolling baked cookies in)

Mix all ingredients and cool dough in fridge.  Roll into bite-sized balls and bake at 350 degrees for 9 or 10 minutes.  Roll hot cookies in powdered sugar.  Cool.  Roll in powdered sugar once before serving.  Yum!  

Note:  You can freeze this dough.  I like to make a big batch and then I can bake a pan of cookies in a hurry. These are also commonly referred to as Mexican Wedding Cakes or snowballs.

Ginger Snaps (Grandma Palmer's recipe)

Ginger Snaps

2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar
3/4  cup oil
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg

Mix, roll into 1" balls, roll in sugar, bake on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 minutes.  Yum!
                                                      12/18/10 Just made some of these today. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 can chicken, or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked & shredded
1 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans chicken broth
1 can diced green chilies, undrained
1 can hominy, drained
1/2 pkg. large pkg. frozen corn (optional)
1 pkgs. taco seasoning (or a package of chili seasoning)
1 pkg. Ranch-style salad dressing mix
1 5.5-oz. can spicy V08 juice (optional)
Mix all ingredients together and simmer for 30 minutes or heat on low in crock pot.   Enjoy!!  P.S. This freezes very well.

Condiments:  Serve with tortilla chips, grated cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions.  I like to serve it with corn bread.

Notes: Made this 3/27/11. Didn't have taco seasoning so used a packet of "Hot" Chili Seasoning. Oh mama ... it turned out so good! I may not go back to taco seasoning ever again.

Oct. 14, 2012: made this today. I left out the corn and the pinto beans. I used a container of chicken I had previously baked, cut up and froze.  This is going to make a nice Sunday afternoon lunch and provide me with a hearty lunch once or twice this week. I may even have enough leftover to freeze for dinner another night.

January 2017: I've learned to add cumin to this soup. It increase the flavor so much that it should not be left out. Also, squeeze lime into soup right as you serve it.  So fresh an yummy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Texas Cow Chips aka Steve's Cookies

This recipe was just given to me by a friend we all know as "Cookie Steve".  It makes the absolute best cookies I've ever had. This recipes makes a wagon-load and they are not for weight watchers. You'll need a huge bowl or pan to mix these in.

2 cups butter                                    2 tsp.  baking powder
2 cups white sugar                            2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups brown sugar                           2 cups oats

4 eggs                                               2 cups bran flakes
2TBLS. vanilla                                  1 cup raisins / 1 cup pecans / 1 cup coconut
4 cups flour                                      1 12-oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. salt                                       1 6-oz. pkg. peanut butter chips

Beat butter and sugars together until blended.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.  In a separate bowl combine flour, salt baking power and soda; gradually add to sugar mixture and still well. Stir in remaining incredients. Drop cookies with a 1/4 cup measuring cup onto lightly greased cookie sheet. 6 to a sheet  Bak eat 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.  Store in containger between sheets of wax paper.

Note:  Cookie Steve died just before Christmas, 2010. He will be most remembered for his gift of cookies on birthday night and his generousity with his time and patience. I'll always think of Cookie Steve when I make this recipe.  Rest in peace good buddy!