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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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Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is better than the typical pumpkin pie.  I got mixed reviews about it.  Some really liked it and some didn’t.  It still tastes like pumpkin so if someone doesn’t like pumpkin they still won’t like this.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust

2 cups crushed ginger snap cookies

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

Filling

4 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2  teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

or in place of the above use 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


Mix together crust ingredients.  You can always use graham cracker crumbs in place of ginger snaps if desired.   Press into bottom of pan.  Can use springform or 11 x 7 pan (this is what I use).  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cream together the cream cheese and the sugars.  Add in pumpkin and spices.  Play around with the amount of spices, some like lots of spice and some like light spice.  You can taste it at this point since it is before you add the eggs.  Spices tend to be just slightly stronger after the baking.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Don’t beat on high because you don’t want lots of air.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour.  Reduce heat to 300 degrees if browning too quickly on top.  Cook until center is set.  Let cool in turned off and vented oven to decrease chances of cracking.  Refrigerate.

I cook mine in a larger pan half full of water, or you can place a pan of water on the rack under the cheesecake.

Top with whip topping to serve, if desired.



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Muscadine & Scuppernong Jelly

We had the opportunity of picking Muscadines and a few Scuppernongs this past weekend.  Picking grapes was a new experience for us and it was a very interesting field trip.  I think the kids will have a much better understanding of the verses in the Bible that refer to the vine, vineyard and fruit.  Anyway since we had the grapes we made jelly.  It was simple and worked out very well.

Muscadine Jelly

  • approximately 1 gallon of Muscadine Grapes
  • ½ teaspoon of butter
  • 7 cups of sugar or less if using light or sugar free Sure Jell
  • 1 package of Sure Jell fruit pectin
  • Some recipes call for cutting the grapes in half. But we didn’t, most just burst on their own.  If I found a grape that didn’t rupture I just stabbed it.  We just brought the grapes, in a small amount of water, to a boil and then simmered for 20 minutes mashing the berries periodically as they cook.

    Pour mixture into small gauged wire strainer or into a cheesecloth or jelly bag over a large bowl.  Pressed gently. The harder you press the less clear the final product.  The key is to not break down the seeds because that can cause bitterness.

    Measure 5 cups of the juice into an 8-quart saucepan, if you have slightly less juice you can add a small amount of water or apple juice to get to 5 cups, muscadines have a strong flavor. Add ½ teaspoon of butter to reduce foaming and 1 package of Sure Jell fruit pectin. Stir in up to 7 cups of sugar (I used 4 cups and light Sure Jell in some)  while bring to boil and allow to boil 1 minute while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Ladle quickly into clean hot jelly jars to within 1/8 inch of the top and cover with lids.  Process in Water bath for 10 minutes.

    Scuppernongs can be done the same way or you can mix the grapes.  I like the Scuppernong Jelly the best!

    Muscadines make a deep dark purple jelly and Scuppernongs make a lighter jelly, similar to apple in color.  Mixed can be any color in between.

    When I finished draining the juice from the skins and seeds in the first batches, I boiled the original three gallons (from three whole batches of jelly) of grape skins, pulp and seeds in a small amount of water again. This made enough juice to make a whole ‘nother batch of jelly. (Waste Not, Want Not – Benjamin Franklin, not the Bible. :))


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