Friday, November 30, 2012

Italian Anise Cookies

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Williams Sonoma Dresden Stollen with Cranberries

My gosh you guys, if you like giving out baked goods during the holiday season, you need to add these to your list of things to make. Dried fruits are soaked overnight in Brandy to give a wonderful flavor.

Now if you are familiar with the Williams Sonoma catalog you may be thinking why not just buy a Stollen from them directly. Well for one, they are expensive! $35-$55 per loaf is pretty pricey. Secondly, homemade is fresher and you get three loaves instead of one.

Initially I was afraid the bread might come out dry, but it has such a great texture and best of all it has so much flavor. I had a lot of doubts about how this would turn out and I was taken aback at how delicious and perfect it turned out. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Crock Pot Oniony Pork Chops With Creamy Mustard Sauce

The new favorite dinner at our house are these delicious pork chops. The combination of onions, wine and dijon make the most amazing sauce. Two quick notes: This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so I prefer making six pork chops so none is wasted. Secondly, I recommend cooking it on low and not high. While it is tempting to save time and cook it on high, the pork chops definitely came out tough. Low and slow is the way to go with this one.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cranberry Pineapple Sauce

Cranberry Pineapple Sauce
Makes 6 cups

  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages cranberries (fresh or frozen, preferably fresh)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar 
  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts, chopped (optional- I did not use)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove

1. Drain the pineapple thoroughly in a fine sieve set over a large measuring cup (push the pineapple against the sieve to drain out any extra juice). Add enough water to the measuring cup (with the juice in it) to make 2 cups liquid.

2. Place the liquid in a saucepan. Add in cranberries and sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to boil until most of the berries pop (you might want to keep a splatter screen or a lid over until the berries are finished popping) and the mixture is thick, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes) remove from heat.

3. Add in drained pineapple, walnuts, lemon juice and cloves; mix until well combined.

4. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Recipe from

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How to make your house smell like Christmas...

  • Simmer a few cinnamon sticks, a pinch of cloves and orange peels over the stove. Add more water as it gets low through out the day. It makes your house smell like the holidays. Enjoy!

Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving just wouldn't be complete without the classic Pumpkin Pie. Serve with whipped cream and enjoy!

Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie
Makes one 9" pie

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
  • Whipped cream (optional)

1. Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.

3. Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Recipe by Libby's Pumpkin

Buttermilk Pie

Guys and girls I have a new holiday traditional and it is the amazingly delicious Buttermilk Pie. If you have never tried it, please bookmark this recipe and give it a try for your next get together. Many thanks to The Hidden Pantry for this recipe. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Casserole with Crunchy Pecan Topping

One of my favorite side dishes for Thanksgiving is Sweet Potato Casserole. I wanted to try an alternative to the standard marshmallow topping so I tried out this sweet recipe from Mommy's Kitchen. It was delicious and very easy to put together. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Casserole with Crunchy Pecan Topping
Makes several servings

  • 4 cups cooked sweet potatoes, peeled (approx 5-6 large)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 large egg, beaten or two small eggs
  • 1/2  cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crunchy Topping:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal (rice krispies)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

1. Boil sweet potatoes whole with the skin on. When the sweet potatoes are cooked and fork tender. Remove from water and cool completely so you can remove the peeling. Alternatively, bake them in the oven at --- until fork tender. Let cool & peel off skins.

2. Add cooked sweet potatoes, butter, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and spices together. Blend everything together with a mixer until smooth. Pour into a greased baking dish. Set aside and prepare topping.

3. Mix all the topping ingredients together. Add the topping evenly over the top of the sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350-f for 40-45 minutes.

Recipe from Mommy's Kitchen.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cheesy Tuna Casserole with Crumbled Potato Chips

What can I say about Tuna Casserole? It is rich and delicious, and if you grew up with it like me, it prompts a feeling of comfort. Feel free to omit the eggs or cheese if you prefer, but I highly suggest taking the time to saute the fresh vegetables as they add a nice crunch and flavor. Enjoy!

Cheesy Tuna Casserole with Crumbled Potato Chips
Makes about 8 servings

  • 4 cups cooked egg noodles (cook until al dente)
  • 1 six ounce pouch Tuna
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 4 oz. diced Velveeta 
  • salt & pepper to taste (I used roughly half a teaspoon of Foxpoint which has many different seasonings)
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • splash of milk (optional)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • dab of butter for cooking onion & celery
  • shredded cheddar for garnish
  • crumbled potato chips for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375-f degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked noodles, tuna, eggs, Velveeta, soups and a splash of milk. Set aside.

3. In a small saute pan combine the diced onion, celery and a bit of butter and saute for 3-4 minutes until slightly translucent. Do not brown. Add to the noodle mixture.

4. Pour noodle mixture into a large greased baking dish. Top with a handful of shredded cheddar. Then top with crumbled potato chips, as many as you prefer. Bake about 30 minutes, covering half way through so the chips don't burn.

Recipe by me

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - Ten Tasty Food Blogs Part 3

The time has come for the third installment of my "Tasty Food Blogs You Should Be Reading." I'm excited, are you excited? These are some of my favorite food blogs and I hope you give them a visit and subscribe.

You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here, and there is also a list at the end of this blog post with all the previous featured blogs.

1. Sunflower Supper Club. Recipes you need to see: Creamy Cheese Chicken Enchiladas (I made those are they are super delicious), Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole, Chicken Artichoke Florentine Penne Pasta Bake.

2. The Domestic Rebel. Recipes you need to see: Donut Bread Pudding Pie, Eggnog Toffee Twix Popcorn, Biscoff Cookie Popcorn.

3. Mis enPlace. Recipes you need to see: Bayou Pasta, Crawfish Fettuccine, Blackened Bacon Shrimp on Cheesy Garlic Grits.

4. Something Swanky. Recipes you need to see: Pralines and Cream Fudge, Better Than...Christmas Poke Cake, Caramel Caribou Popcorn.

5. Breanna's Recipe Box. Recipes you need to see: Caramelized Onion Burger, Broiled Tilapia  with Thai Coconut-Curry Sauce,  Buttermilk Pie.

6. Cookies and Cups. Recipes you need to see: Strawberries and Cream Bars, Fluffernutter Sandwich Krispies, Hot Chocolate Popcorn.

7. Saving Room for Dessert. Recipes you need to see: Cheesy Jalapeno Bread, Lemon Ice Box Pie, Lemon Chess Pie.

8. Jamie Cooks It Up. Recipes you need to see:  Soft Pretzel Bites, Crispy Cheddar Chicken, Ground Beef Enchilada Casserole.

9. Sumptuous Spoonfuls. Recipes you need to see:  Crab Artichoke Dip, Peach, Pistachio & Chicken Salad, Chicken & Blueberry Salad.

10. Lovely Little Snippets. Recipes you need to see: Asian BBQ Chicken, Grilled Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce, Raspberry Coconut Jello Cake.

Previous Ten Tasty Food Blog Features:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Oyster Dressing

I'm salivating as I'm typing this. Oyster Dressing has got to be the best part of the Thanksgiving meal, in my opinion. I don't eat a whole lot of oysters through out the year, but when November rolls around I'm craving them like mad.

I know, oysters in stuffing sounds just..weird. I grew up with this, so it never seemed weird to me, just  delicious! Please, give it a try if you are an oyster fan. My favorite way to serve them is with some homemade brown gravy on top. I could eat an entire plate of them served this way...and I just may.

Oyster Dressing
Makes many servings

  • 1 extra large loaf of white bread (1 1/2 loaves if using regular sized loaves)
  • 1 (8ox.) can whole oysters, do not drain (either canned or refrigerated)
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • 1 med. onion, small dice
  • dried Sage to taste (I used roughly 1 or 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 stick of butter
  • splash of veg. or olive oil

1. Add oil and melt butter in saute pan. Add the celery and onions and cook until soft, but not caramelized (this takes 5 - 10 minutes, approx). In a large bowl tear up bread into bite sized pieces. Add the butter, onions and celery mixture and toss lightly. Add oysters to bread, breaking them up with your fingers into small pieces. Add sage and toss until incorporated. Heat at 350-f until warmed through.

Note: You can also add a bit of melted butter on top of the stuffing so it does not dry out on top while cooking. I covered the stuffing with tin foil while heating to avoid the drying out factor.

Recipe from my mom

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

You read the title right folks. Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies! I dedicate this post to Ron Swanson. So anyhow, you may be wondering how these cookies came about. I saw the recipe over at Adorkable Recipes, which by the way is such an amazing title for a food blog, and I immediately pinned them.

Back when I was preggo cravings had driven me to make peanut butter and bacon grilled sandwiches, which were delicious. Putting this in cookie form I knew would work well and I thank Adorkable for her recipe. If you dig salty/sweet combinations of food and aren't scared to try something a bit different, give these a try. I thought they were delicious.

One issue that I have is I tend to make cookies way over sized because I don't like babysitting the oven all evening to make small cookies. So that is the reason my cookies are gigantic and Adorkables are much smaller.

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies Recipe
Makes 3-1/2 dozen cookies

  • 3/4 cup Jif Creamy Peanut Butter 
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1-1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 6-8 bacon strips, crisply cooked and crumbled

1. Heat oven to 350-f degrees.

2. In a large bowl, cream together peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla.  Add in the egg and beat to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add in 3 increments to the creamed mixture, stirring after each addition. Mix just until blended.  Fold in crispy bacon crumbles. Scoop into tablespoon size balls of dough and place 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown.  Cool completely on cooling racks.

Recipe from Adorkable Recipes  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Veggie Ranch Dip

Happy Friday! Today I have a very simple but addictive appetizer that would be perfect for a holiday meal. What I love about this recipe is that you can prep all of the vegetables up to a few days before hand to save on time. Load it up with lots and lots of vegetables and enjoy!

Veggie Ranch Dip
Makes many servings

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 envelope ranch dressing mix
  • 1 can (15-1/4 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped (reserve a 1/4 cup for garnish) (I scooped out the seeds)
  • 1 or 2 large bell peppers, color of your choice, chopped (reserve a 1/4 cup for garnish)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped (reserve a 1/4 cup for garnish)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Mix the mayo, sour cream and ranch dressing in a large bowl. 

2. Add the corn, tomatoes, peppers, green onions and cheese to the ranch mixture, reserving some veggies for garnish. 

3. Add to your serving dish and garnish with chopped vegetables. Serve with crackers or Frito Scoops chips.

Recipe by me

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Creamy Dreamy Fudge

Are you guys getting excited for the Christmas season? I know I am. I have been saving this recipe for a while now for when we got closer to the holiday season and it is finally time. This is the best fudge recipe I have ever tried and it comes from an amazing blog, Jamie Cooks It Up!

It is my definition of the perfect fudge. It is sweet, a great consistency and the best part perhaps is that you don't have to use a cooking thermometer. Makes lots and pass it on to your friends this Christmas season. Enjoy!

Creamy Dreamy Fudge
Makes one 9" x 13" pan

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 large can evaporated milk (12 oz)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 large Hershey Chocolate Candy Bars (they are about 4.4 oz each)
  • 1 12 oz package milk chocolate chips
  • 1 7 oz jar marshmallow cream

1. Put the sugar, milk and butter into a large sauce pan.

2. Stir it all together over medium high heat. Bring it to a boil while you continue stirring. Once the mixture has reached a "hard boil" (this means it keeps boiling, even while you are stirring) continue cooking for 5 minutes while you stir.

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the Hershey Chocolate Bars, chocolate chips and marshmallow cream. Mix it well so that all the ingredients are well combined.

4. Pour the fudge into a buttered 9"x13" pan.

5. Let the fudge set and cool for about 1 hour. After it has cooled down you can cover the pan with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. It also freezes really well.

Note: If not eating right away, wrap it tightly. (I keep mine wrapped in plastic wrap and inside of a container)

Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pork Chops with Gravy and Apple Pecan Cornbread Dressing

Winter has arrived where I live up north. A few days ago it was nearly 70 degrees and today we have over a food of snow. Comforting fall flavors are the big craving around here and this delicious dinner fits the bill. Prepare pork chops and gravy however you prefer, and serve this on the side.

I try to be very prepared when I start a recipe, but for this one I had a whoopsie and had no cornbread. I subbed a white bread but I have to say, use cornbread! It is absolutely delicious in a dressing like this. The white bread was good don't get me wrong, but it doesn't compete with a yummy sweet cornbread. Ready for the recipe?

Apple Pecan Cornbread Dressing
Makes several servings

  • 1 large pan of prepared cornbread, cooled and crumbled in a large bowl (prepare 9"x13" pan worth of cornbread)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 1½ cups diced celery
  • 3 cups peeled, cored, and diced apple, such as Cumberland Spur or Fuji
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dry rubbed sage
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1½ cups toasted pecans
  • 4 ½ cups reduced-sodium chicken or turkey broth
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, 8 to 10 minutes or until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, cool slightly, chop and set aside. Add onion, celery and apples to the skillet and sauté 1 minute. Add garlic and thyme and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened.

2. Spoon onion mixture into bowl with cornbread crumbles. Stir in sage, salt, pepper, cayenne, pecans, and reserved bacon. Whisk together broth, butter, and eggs and pour over cornbread mixture, tossing until well moistened.

3. Spoon dressing into a lightly greased 11 x 15-inch (about 5 quart) baking dish and bake covered at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes. Uncover and cook and additional 10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve hot.

Recipe adapted slightly from Sugar & Spice and Homewood Gourmet