Friday, December 18, 2015

You can't go wrong with cheese, potatoes or soup...

I don'the know about you, but to me cold weather just screams, "Eat Soup!" It's funny, Mother Nature decides what's for dinner in our household quite often! I don't like to cook when it's hot outside because it makes the house hot, and I despise being hot unless I am laying by the pool and have a quick means to cool off, so we grill a lot and order our fair share of pizza over the Summer! I figure it all evens out since I cook the majority of our meals during the other 3 Seasons! Cheesy Potato Soup is one of our Fall/Winter family favorites, I like to serve it with fresh baked French Bread(Okay, so it's a Take and Bake Loaf from Kroger) My FAVORITE pairing with this soup is actually a recipe my best friend makes-Pretzel rolls! They are delish! I believe she got the recipe from pinterest, but I haven't made them myself, yet! Luckily, there is plenty more cold weather to come...maybe next time I will try to make them! (Or wrangle my best friend back from Atlanta, bribe her with soup and convince her to make rolls...hmm)


Cheesy Potato Soup

Ingredients:

6-7 Red or Yellow Potatoes, peeled and diced into bite size pieces

1 stalk of celery, chopped or minced(I prefer minced in a creamy soup)

1 small onion, chopped or minced

1 32oz. carton of Chicken Broth(4 Cups)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup(I used Cream of Chicken and herbs)
1 tsp. garlic powder(or more or less to taste)
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2-3 Tbsp. Real Bacon Bits or Pieces
12 oz.(3 Cups) Finely shredded Cheddar Cheese(I used 1 Cup Sharp and 2 Cups Mild, you can use whichever kind you like)
2 1/2 cups Milk, warmed up (2 minutes in the microwave)
5 Tbsp. flour
*Optional: 2 green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

Directions:
Add the first 9 ingredients to the Slow Cooker, stir and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, bacon bits and cheese and stir.
Warm up the milk, sprinkle and stir in the flour until smooth. Add mixture to the Slow Cooker and stir.
Cook on HIGH and additional 30-45 minutes.

Serve with a sprinkle of cheese, green onions, and bacon bits.

The easiest Chicken Tacos ever!


Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Ingredients:
Taco Seasoning (I use a local spice mix called Sazon, but any taco-like seasoning will do!)
6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts(thawed, if frozen)
1 16-ounce jar Salsa (My favorite is Chi-Chi's Original Recipe Medium Salsa)
*Optional: ½ can of whole kernel corn and Can of black beans-drained*

Directions:
Lay chicken in bottom of crock pot, pour all other ingredients in on top of it, place lid on crockpot and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. When done, the chicken should shred easily when stirred with a fork.


Serve with taco shells, on taco salad or burritos. We like to top them with cheese and sour cream, but you can add any toppings you prefer!

(Any leftover chicken and the leftover ½ can of corn is great to use in Tortilla soup!)

These are a family favorite in our household, and definitely my "go-to" meal for an easy dinner! On days that I know I will be out running errands/volunteering at the kids' school, etc. it's great to just toss this in the crockpot and it is done when we get home, no fuss-no muss! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The World's Greatest Hot Cocoa Mix (Seriously!)


The World's Greatest Hot Cocoa Mix
(Hands down, no lie, THE greatest.)
yields 60+ servings

Ingredients:
1 25.6 oz. container powdered milk
1 21.8 oz container of Nesquick Original Mix
1 15oz container French Vanilla Coffee Mate Non-Dairy Creamer
3 C. powdered sugar

Directions:
Whisk together all ingredients in a very large bowl. Store in airtight container or package individually as gifts with a handful of marshmallows. To Serve: Add 5 TBSP of Hot Cocoa Mix to 8oz. hot milk or water(I prefer milk!) Sip and enjoy!

*Story behind it: My husband and I were engaged in the coziest, most quaint little coffee shop in town...Harvest Moon. It was picture perfect, comfy couches, jazz music, local art and a very "Central Perk" Friends vibe to it...and best of all, they had the greatest hot chocolate known to man! Well, someone new bought out the little coffee shop and turned it into an Organic, Garden Herb Shop/Restaurant and, quite cruelly, kept the "Harvest Moon" name...One day I went in, seeing the new look and thought, "Oh well, time marches on..." and went inside to order my favorite drink...the young girl at the counter goes to make my hot cocoa and realizes the mix container is empty. No biggie, she'll just go mix up some more..."Ms. Deville(we'll just use that name because it sounds nice and cruel) where did the hot cocoa mix go? I need to mix up some more." Ms. Deville, "Ugh, we aren't serving that anymore, go grab a box of dirt(okay, maybe she said, "organic hot cocoa") if you KNEW what was IN that stuff you wouldn't WANT to drink it!" Me, wide eyed and on the brink of smacking Ms. Deville: "When I go to a coffee shop and order a LARGE hot cocoa, I'm obviously not shooting for 'healthy'..." Ms. Deville: "Sorry, we won't be serving that anymore." Me, after trying said dirt in cup: "Well, I'm sorry to hear that, this stuff tastes horrific. I won't be back." And the wonderful saint of a young woman who saw the slight glimmer of a tear in my eye, reminiscing on the wonderful memories that were and joy of a good cup of hot cocoa, slipped me a tiny slip of paper she had torn off of a piece of a to-go menu and on it she had scribbled the Recipe. ♥ After a few years, I changed it up just a little, the original recipe called for Original Coffee Mate Creamer, however I liked the creaminess of the french vanilla much better, so that is what I've stuck with! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! It is fantastic topped with whipped cream topping! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Deliciousness...


I don't know about anyone else, but every year around the holidays, walking through festivals or the mall my husband and I always get sucked in by that amazing cinnamon-sugary aroma that makes you smile and drool a little...it draws you in and you can't help but follow it to see where it's coming from, well-we know where it's coming from...the amazing roasted-candied almond/pecan stand! My husband lived in Germany with his family as a child and they had a Christmas market every year called Striezelmarkt, he recalls the sights, smells, and tastes-and the candied almonds were his favorite, so every year at Christmastime we always buy them when they are being made fresh at an event.
The bad thing is, come January-they are nowhere to be found! Sad day! Well, now you don't have to be so sad...this recipe is perfect! Not only is it perfect, but it makes your house smell ahh-mazing. I promise-you will be one drooling, happy fool just waiting on them to cool so you can eat them up! They are delicious to chow down yourself, but they also make for fantastic gifts for neighbors, teachers, or anyone else you can think of! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Picture Perfect (and oh-so soft and delicious) Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Please forgive the delayed posting of this recipe, I very wrongfully assumed(yeah, yeah, we all know the saying...) life would slow down after Christmas and I'd be able to catch up my blog with all the great recipes I've been dying to share...but I'm here now, and I'm updating, so enjoy!! :)
A few great friends and myself wanted to get together and do something "festive" at Christmas time, so we decided on baking and decorating sugar cookie cutouts! Abbey and Katie offered to provide the dough, claiming it was perfect for cutouts...boy, were they right!! It was beautiful, it rolled out nicely, was not sticky, didn't tear easily, and baked to perfection in 10 minutes exactly. Abbey was kind enough to share the recipe from her friend over at "Food, Friends, and Fun!" http://foodfriendsandfun.blogspot.com/2008/07/sugar-cookies.html and Beth was kind enough to let us invade her kitchen(and spread the powdered sugar love! Haha!) I provided the Fluffy Buttercream recipe(shared below) that paired with cookie decorating perfectly!(Also great for anything else that needs frosting, but that's for another post!) These recipes are not just for Christmas! Valentine's Day, St. Patty's Day, Spring, Easter, Fall, Halloween, all great excuses...err-opportunities, to make some awesome cutouts! Enjoy!
Perfect Sugar Cookie Cutouts

1 lb.(4 sticks) Margarine
2 Cups Sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
6 Cups Sifted Flour 

*Make sure you sift first, that way they don't get hard during rolling and re-rolling
Cream margarine and sugar. Mix well. Add eggs and vanilla. Add baking soda to flour and then add 1 cup at a time to the sugar and margarine mixture. Wrap dough in waxed paper (I separate into 2 halves), then refrigerate for at least an hour (I do overnight). Roll out on floured surface, cut into shapes.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes- exactly. Let cool completely on cookie sheet! Transfer when cooled and frost and decorate with buttercream frosting(recipe to follow) 

Enjoy! Seriously, these are the easiest to make, and our family and anyone we have made them for just love them. They turn out to be a softer cookie, so sometimes they break when you frost them, but it is worth it!
This makes about 6 dozen or more, depending on the size of your cutter. I have halved this recipe before, and used 2 eggs (everything else divides evenly). Cute and easy!

Fluffy buttercream:

*Roughly....* (I say this because sometimes my TBSP's are heaping and not just a true TBSP but close)
4 TBSP butter(we used salted)
4 TBSP Crisco
1tsp vanilla
2-3 TBSP Milk
Powdered sugar until you get the consistency you want(Probably 3-4 cups?)

In a mixer, cream butter, crisco, vanilla. Add milk, then slowly add powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.
The Betty Crocker Momsters, sporting our awesome new, coordinating aprons, made with love by Katie! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Oven-fried Chicken 
(Great when served with Barilla mini farfalle "Bow Tie" pasta tossed with garlic butter and steamed broccoli!)

1 lb boneless skinless thin cut chicken breasts
2 Eggs, lightly beaten-add a pinch of salt/pepper/garlic powder
Breading: 
1/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs 
(can also add grated parmesan to the breading mixture for a good Italian dish!)
Salt/Pepper/Garlic Powder/Onion Powder

Cookie Sheet coated generously with Olive Oil

Preheat Oven to 375
One at a time, dip chicken breast in egg mixture, then dredge through breading mixture and place on prepared cookie sheet. Lightly drizzle with a little melted butter for extra flavor.
Bake 10 minutes, flip chicken over, bake 10 more minutes or until middle of chicken is white when cut into. (Times will vary with thickness, some may take 12-15 min. on each side)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Brownie Cut Outs


                   4th of July festive brownies!

 Follow baking instructions on brownie package, allow to cool completely-overnight is best, but not necessary...cut out shapes, use piping bag(or a ziploc baggie with the corner just barely snipped off to allow for piping) and pipe zig zag's on brownies, sprinkle immediately(before frosting hardens) with festive sprinkles! (Can be cut in any shapes and decorated with any colors for different holidays! i.e. heart cutouts with red/pink heart sprinkles for V-day)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Spaghetti Sauce




Grandma Scurlock's Spaghetti Sauce

This makes A LOT.


20 oz. Can Tomato Paste + 2 cans water
20 oz. Can Tomato Sauce + 2 cans water
20 oz. Can Tomato Purée + 2 cans water (more or less to your desired consistency)
Large onion, chopped
4-5 Stalks of Celery, chopped
5-6 bay leaves (do not eat these alone-grandma's words exactly)
Oregano, Salt, and Pepper to taste
1 C. Sugar

Bring to a boil then simmer with lid on for 4-6 hours, remove lid for last hour to thicken. Stir and pay close attention so it doesn't burn!

Grandma's Cheeseball



Grandma Scurlock's Cheeseball
Everyone's favorite cheeseball, she's asked for the recipe everywhere we take it!

2 - 8oz. pks philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
½ C black olives, chopped
2-3 green onions, chopped
1 C dry cottage cheese...or 1 C small curd cottage cheese, rinsed and dried in a paper towel(much cheaper)
3 pks Dried Beef, chipped...1½ pk mixed in cheeseball mixture, 1½ pk to roll the finished cheeseball in.
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 -4 dashes of hot sauce (Grandma uses Texas Pete's)


Chop olives, green onions, and dried beef all seperately in a food processor

Mix all ingredients except 1½ pk dried beef, form cheeseball- it will be gooey and soft, refrigerate until cold and workable so you can roll cheeseball in chipped dried beef.

Refrigerate, Serve with Sociables, Club, or Wheatable crackers


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cakes I've made! :)

I dabble in baking/cake decorating when someone I know needs a birthday cake...store bought cakes get old after a while and they always seem to look the same! I enjoy baking and getting creative, but lack a lot of knowledge in the area! if anyone has any helpful tips for how to better my cakes, feel free to comment, I love input and appreciate any help!