Tag Archive | Recipes

Zucchini Casserole

Zucchini Casserole

1 extra large zucchini, or two to three small ones, sliced

1 large onion, sliced

Ham pieces, 1/4 – 1/2 cup

Olive Oil

Butter

Garlic Salt

Pepper

Worcestershire Sauce

Parmesan cheese, shredded

Italian Bread crumbs

 

Sprinkle large skillet with Olive Oil.

Layer Zucchini, onion and ham pieces.

Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper, and Worcestershire Sauce.

Add several pats of butter to top.

Simmer on medium to low heat until veggies turn translucent.

Cook off as much water as possible.

Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and Bread crumbs.

Serve.

This was surprisingly very good. The end flavor was much better than the individual flavors would lead you to believe. Which is a good thing since we have an abundance of zucchini. :O How about some zucchini brownies?


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Strawberry, Mint, Pepper Jam

I know this will sound really strange, but oh, so yummy!

We had an abundance of strawberries a month ago due to Aldi’s having quarts of strawberries for $.49 – $.79 each.  So we ate strawberries. We froze strawberries.  And we made lots of jam.  In looking for new strawberry ideas I found several recipes for Strawberry, Mint, Pepper Jam.  Interesting.  Since we had all the ingredients we gave it a try.

Most recipes are an unique why of making jams and jellies involving marinating the strawberries over night and cooking with a candy thermometer.  I didn’t want to do that so essentially I just made up my own version based off the way I make Strawberry Jam.

Strawberry, Mint, Pepper Jam

5 cups mashed or strawberry puree

7 cups sugar

1 box sure-jell

1 tbles butter (optional for foaming)

10 – 20 whole peppercorns fresh ground

10 – 20 mint leaves shredded finely

 

I throw whole strawberries into the food processor and give it a whirl for just a second.  Just enough to leave it chunky still.  Measure out 5 cups.  Follow the directions on the sure-jell box.  Add the mint leaves and pepper while heating up the strawberries.  Here is where you need to play around with the taste.  We added a lot of mint but still didn’t have enough noticeable mint taste.  (Mint’s flavor changes according to the rain and weather, so it is temperamental.)  We add a lot of pepper but next batch we will add even more.  Process jam as directed from instructions.

The pepper somehow makes the jam not quite as sweet and gives it a little surprising zest.  It was hard to notice the mint after the jam was processed and cooled.  But just Strawberry Pepper Jam is really good.  I think I’ll make my jam like that more often than just plain Strawberry Jam.  I like the extra kick.


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Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter Brownies

 

For the Brownies:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Peanut Butter Filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons milk or whipping cream

Ganache Topping:

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk or heavy whipping cream

 

 

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Using a 9 by 13 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Spray the parchment with Pam.
  2. Melt butter and add the sugar; stir to combine. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Mix in cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add flour and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack.  (Note: Don’t over cook.)
  3. While the brownies are cooling, make the peanut butter filling. Combine the ingredients and beat until smooth. Add more milk if necessary to make it spreadable.  Spread in an even layer over the brownies. Place in the refrigerator until filling is set, about 30 minutes.
  4. While the filling is setting, make the ganache, combine the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Melt together and combine. Pour the ganache over the top and spread gently. Return to the fridge until set.
  5. Lift out of pan and cut into pieces.  Store in refrigerator.

 


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The Everything Potluck Cookbook

I’m still enjoying my kindle that my son got me well over a year ago.  The opportunities for free kindle books just keep coming.

The Everything Potluck Cookbook is available for free for a limited time.  I have the Crockpot Cook books by the same author and look forward to finding a few new recipes for potlucks.  Our church has a fellowship meal each Sunday and often our Sunday night Bible studies include a light supper so preparing and transporting food is a regular occurrence around here.  Sometimes a little too regular! :0  A few weeks ago I had nine potluck type meals over an eleven day span.  Since some of the same people were involved I quickly ran out of ideas.  So I’ve been looking for more recipes to add to my list.

 


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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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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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