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Cake Balls

My kids made fun of me last Saturday.  They thought mom had lost her mind.  See I baked a cake, made icing and then mixed it all up again in the mixer.

But they sure ate the results.

Cake Balls

1 Cake Mix, baked according to directions

1 tub icing or one recipe of icing

1 package Almond Bark

I used a fudge cake mix and baked it, then refrigerated the cake over night.  The next day I made chocolate cream cheese frosting and then crumbled the cake into the icing in the mixer.  Mix until crumbly and moist.  Some recipes called for refrigerating the mix but mine was cool and I could easily make balls from the mixture.  I made bite size balls of cake and placed them on wax paper in a baking pan.  Then I froze the cake balls for a couple of hours.

Melt the almond bark (I used chocolate).  I melted a coffee cup full in the microwave at a time.  Now to make the Almond Bark easier to dip into I added about 1/4 tsp of vegetable shortening.  Using a toothpick I dipped the frozen cake balls into the almond bark.  After twirling to smooth the chocolate over the ball place them on wax paper.  They will harden quickly.  The hardest part is removing the tooth pick when hard but not so hard that it cracks the ball.  Dab a drop of almond bark over the toothpick hole.  The cake balls that begin to thaw while dipping the others were hard to dip so I suggest not removing all of the balls from the freezer at once.

The cake balls were crunchy chocolate outside and very very moist inside.  The insides seemed to be more moist then when I started but the effect was nice.  These were really good but it isn’t something I would make regularly due to the time it takes.  One thought I had is that this would be a good use for leftover iced cake that would make the amount of time much less.

This will be a special treat not a regular treat.

After making these I’ve seen them advertised for $14 – $25 dollars.


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Mexican Cornbread Salad

I had an extra pan of Mexican Cornbread that I was looking for an idea of how to use.  My folks all liked it.  Others it depended on which ingredients they ate.  We only brought home a little of the bottom layer of Mexican Cornbread.

Mexican Cornbread Salad

1 pan Mexican Cornbread, cooked and cooled

2 cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained

2 cans Whole Kernel Corn, drained

2 large cans Rotel Tomatoes, drained slightly

16 ounces Sour Cream

2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Salsa

Spicy Ranch Salad Dressing

Other items if available:

Lettuce, shredded

Diced Tomatoes

Diced Bell Peppers

Drained, Sliced Black Olives

 

Starting with 1/2 the Mexican Corn Bread, crumble and layer in the bottom of a large glass dish.  (I used a punch bowl.)  Add each item in layers.  Half way up use the remaining Mexican Cornbread.  Continue to layer with sour cream and cheese being the last items. Seal the salad with the sour cream like icing a cake.  This will keep in the moisture.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and refrigerate.  Serve with salsa and spicy ranch dressing.


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Watergate Salad

I was trying to recreate the “Green Stuff” salad that my grandmothers used to make. This is one recipe that I found, Watergate Salad, but the ingredients are all so different in each recipe. This is how I’ve been making it. So easy!

Watergate Salad

2 16 ounces Cottage Cheese containers

1 8 ounce Cool Whip

2 pkg Pistachio Pudding Mix

1 small pkg Marshmallows

1 can crushed Pineapple (I don’t bother draining it.)

Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate.


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Marinated Ham and Cheese Rolls

Marinated Ham and Cheese Rolls

(This is what I actually do instead of following a specific recipe. Of course, I still don’t actually measure; that means a new creation every time.)

Sandwiches:

1 Package of Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
1 package Ham or turkey slices
1 package Cheese slices

Marinade:

1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Mustard, (Yellow, Spicy, Horseradish)
Garlic powder to taste
Onion powder to taste
Minced Onion
Poppy seeds (I usually don’t bother they really only add to the appearance.)

Heat marinade in sauce pan or microwave until sugar is dissolved. Slice whole package of dinner rolls in half. Brush the cut bottom of rolls with marinade. Cut meat and cheese to fit rolls. Stack up meat and cheese on rolls. Brush the cut top of the rolls with marinade. Replace top portion of rolls. Brush the top and sides with marinade. Pour remainder of marinade over the rolls. Wrap with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Can refrigerate rolls and place directly into oven. Increase baking time for cold rolls. Serve warm.

 


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Green Bean Bundles

This is a way to fancy up green beans for company or special occasions.  As my husband says if it has bacon it can’t be bad.

Green Bean Bundles

Fresh whole green beans

Package of bacon

1/3 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup French Salad Dressing

dash of garlic powder

dash of salt and pepper

 

Fry bacon until just slightly done, it should not be crisp.  Drain.  Take four to six whole green beans and wrap them with a slice of slightly cooked bacon to make a bundle.  Some use toothpicks to hold them closed, I don’t.  Just place loose ends down in a baking dish.  Continue to wrap bundles until all the bacon has been used.

Mix brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, French salad dressing, garlic, salt and pepper.  I always taste and play around with it at this point adding more of this and more of that.  So mine are never exactly the same.  Of course I never measure the ingredients to begin with. 😉

Pour sauce over green bean bundles.  Bake at 350 – 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.  You want the bacon to begin to crisp and the green bean to be tender yet not too soft and gooey.

 


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Nanner Puddin

When I was a child no ‘dinner on the grounds’ was complete without the southern classic ‘Nanner Puddin’.  But because nanner puddin was such a staple at church and family get-togethers, I never really made it.  Why make it and risk a flop when every grandmother could make a perfect nanner puddin.  Well, guess what?  The grandmothers are passing away and I’m quickly moving up closer into those slots. 🙁

If you’re from the South the name nanner puddin needs no splainin. 🙂

So after a request of Banana Pudding, I had to find a good recipe to get started.  Honestly, I never really follow a recipe.  Typically I find two or three recipes of the desired item and mix them up as I see fit (or have the ingredients).  So this is my recipe, but with the disclaimer I tend to not measure anything much.

Nanner Puddin

4 – 5 Eggs, room temperature and separated

1 cup sugar

6 Tablespoons Flour

3 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 Bananas

1 Box Nilla Wafers

6 Tablespoons Sugar

Sprinkle of Cream of Tartar (only if available, don’t go get it)


Mix together 1 cup sugar and flour until the flour is smooth and not lumpy in sauce pan.  Whisk in egg yolks.  Whisk in milk.  Heat over medium heat until warm stirring constantly.  {Note: Stir constantly is important if you don’t want it burned or lumpy.}  Continue heating until the mixture is thick like pudding. Takes a while.  Stir in vanilla.

Layer in a casserole dish the Nilla Wafers and slices of bananas.  Add a layer of pudding.  Then more Nilla Wafers and Bananas.  Top with the remaining pudding.

In mixing bowl beat egg whites until foamy.  Sprinkle in sugar and Cream of Tartar.  Beat on high until it forms stiff peaks.

Spread Meringue over pudding, sealing up to the edges of the dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until top of meringue is lightly browned.  Watch close because it browns quickly when it starts browning.

Refrigerate.


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Great Minds Think Alike

Today during our fellowship meal at church we had something occur that happens surprisingly often.  It is amazing how many times we ladies are bringing in our lunch in the morning and someone else has brought the same item.  Today was macaroni and cheese day!  Three families prepared and brought macaroni and cheese for lunch today.  Considering how many children as we have, they went over very well.  There is just something about children and macaroni and cheese.

This afternoon my husband said it reminded him of an old link I had shared on the website over two years ago.  At least we aren’t quite this bad, yet. 🙂  But great minds think alike.  We had plenty of variety and plenty of food that was devoured quickly by children in a rush to get outside and play.   Maybe it had something to do with our almost 70 degree temperature today!

Churchgoers Survive Potluck Nightmare

Tragedy struck Langley Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon when every covered dish at the church’s monthly potluck was a green bean casserole. Stunned onlookers watched in horror as family after family arrived with the same popular side dish in tow. By the time grace was said over the meal, there were over twenty-five green bean casseroles lining the buffet table with no meat dish in sight.

Continue reading



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Southern Potato Salad

There is one particular family get together where I’m regularly asked to bring potato salad.  The funny thing is over twenty years ago, when asked the first time, I didn’t even know how to make potato salad!  I’ve learned, although I don’t make it at home often since my husband doesn’t like potato salad.  The kids and I eat potatoes in any format.  Must be my grandmother’s Galloway blood.

Southern Potato Salad

6 – 8 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

6 large eggs, boiled and diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 onion, diced

Sweet pickle relish or even better Salad cubes

Mayonaise

Mustard

Celery Seed

Pepper

Salt

Tablespoon Sugar


Boil potatoes until tender but not too soft, you don’t want mashed potatoes.   I cheat and boil my washed eggs right in the potato water.  Saves on clean up.   When tender drain and rinse with cold water gently.  While potatoes are cooling dice the eggs, onion and bell pepper.  Mix in a very large bowl.  Often my spare punch bowl fills in here.  Most of the rest do not have measurements.  They work better to taste.  Add enough mayo to moisten well, add a little extra if not serving right away otherwise it will dry out.  Add sweet pickle relish.  We like alot but some people don’t.  Mustard is added probably no more than a couple of tablespoons.  I usually judge by the color of the potato salad.  Add in the remaining celery seed, pepper, salt and sugar.  Refrigerate right away.  Although I enjoy fresh potato salad the best, just cool and not real cold.

Now off to finish mine. 🙂



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Brr! It Has Been Cold

For some reason we here in Alabama have had cold temperatures for at least a week.  Our temperatures have been highs in the upper 30’s and lows in teens and twenties.  I know that isn’t cold for much of the US but for the Deep South it is rather cold.  Makes little boys more stir crazy also when they can’t run and play outside for hours.  But like normal we have no snow just cold. 🙁

I have made hot drinks the last few days for church / school get togethers.  Most of the children liked the hot drinks although there were a few that didn’t like the chai.  My children all loved both, but then we are tea drinkers.

Hot Spiced Cider

1 Gallon Apple Cider or Apple Juice (Cider is better if you can find it.)

2 oz bottle Cinnamon Red Hots (Often in the cake decorations.)

Cinnamon Stick

5 – 6 Whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Cloves

1/4 teaspoon All Spice

You can heat the cider in the Crock pot for a few hours to get warm.  I cheat though and heat the cider in a large pot and then pour it in the crock pot set on high.  Pour in Cinnamon Red Hots.  Stir well to get them dissolved.  Add Cinnamon Stick to Crock pot.  Combine remaining spices in a cloth tea bag or wrap in a coffee filter and tie.  Simmer cider with spices for a few hours.  Cider will continue to get a stronger flavor the longer you cook it with the spices.

The spices are really just estimates.  Play around with the seasoning and when it is strong enough for you remove the spice bag.

Some recipes call for some added sugar but I don’t add sugar.  We thought it was sweet enough.


Hot Chai Tea

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk ( I used 1 1/2 cans for my largest crockpot)

10 Tea Bags regular black Tea  (More if you like a stronger tea flavor)

1 stick of Cinnamon

5 – 6 Whole Cloves

1 Tablespoon Vanilla

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Cloves

1/4 teaspoon All Spice

Few Dashes of Ground Cardamon (Warning this is expensive so only use if you have it or really like the taste.  Cardamon gives a unique flavor but it takes very little.)

Heat a crock pot full of water and stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.   I heat the water on the stove and then pour it into the crock pot.  Combine spices in a cloth tea bag or wrap and tie in a coffee filter.  Simmer with the spices for a few hours.  I haven’t yet had the tea simmer to the full effect of the spices because it disappears to quickly.  The children like it milder, while personally, I’m a strong tea drinker.  I have added some honey to the crock pot but honey tended to make the bottom of the pot too sweet despite how well we stirred.



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Cranberry Salad

Cranberry Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 small packages raspberry Jell-O, I actually used sugar free.
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce
  • 3/4 cup cranberry juice, or water works

Topping

  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions:

  1. Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water.
  2. Add crushed pineapple, cranberry sauce, jello, and cranberry juice. Mix it all together well.
  3. Mix well. Pour into a 9″x12″ glass dish and refrigerate until firm.  Really firm, so you can spread the topping over the top.
  4. Cream together cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until smooth.
  5. When the first mixture is firm, spread the creamed ingredients on top.

Serve as a side salad or dessert. Can add crushed nuts to the jello mixture and sprinkle on top if desired.  I didn’t.

HT: Lisa 🙂  It’s a keeper.


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