Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Football Fare - Simply a Cheese Ball

A little late with the "recipe of the week" for tailgating! Too much turkey, too much shopping and too much football prognosticating! Check out our family predictions for tomorrow's Iron Bowl. We missed a few and some are still thinking! It's a fun tradition for each of us to pick the score of the Alabama-Auburn game on the chalkboard wall in our laundry room!
It's really not too late to make this quick and easy cheese ball for your "Game Day" - only 4 ingredients!
Chicken Cheese Ball
1 can white meat chicken, drained
2 -  8 oz. pkg cream cheese
1 packet ranch dressing mix
Chopped pecans
With cream cheese at room temperature, mix chicken, cream cheese and ranch dressing mix with mixer. Chill, form into a ball and roll in chopped pecans! Cheese ball! I like to keep these ingredients on hand to "go to" when needed.
And look what this simple cheese ball became for Thanksgiving! Just added the pretzels, a Slim Jim and a pimento! Thanks to Pinterest for the inspiration!
Lots of rivalries this weekend and anything can happen! Cheer loudly and proudly for your favorite team! Roll Tide!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Blessings

"If you are traveling – please drive carefully. If you are hunting – please be sure of what you shoot. If you are shopping – don't get in a fight over low prices! IF you are just hanging low with the family – savor the time you get with each other!" (Borrowed from our middle school pastor)
Happy Thanksgiving 2012! So thankful for my family and friends - that includes you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Thanksgiving Prayer

I clipped this "Thanksgiving Prayer" from the newspaper a few years ago but lost it. "Dear Abby" printed it again today. It was written by her mother, Pauline Phillips. "No Thanksgiving would be complete without it", says Abby.
Oh, Heavenly Father,
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry,
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick,
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved,
May these remembrances stir us to service,
That Thy gifts to us may be used for others.
I'm hanging on to it this time and plan to frame it for my Thanksgiving table.
Remember the Thanksgiving Party Collection I shared last week from ? That's where the great banner printable came from - visit this awesome website for other entertaining ideas!
Blessings to you today!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Breakfast Treat

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup buttermilk
1¼ cups pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
For the Cinnamon-Sugar Coating:
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup granulated sugar
2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and pumpkin; set aside.  Beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the pumpkin mixture, beating until barely combined. Turn off the mixer and fold the batter a few times with a rubber spatula to catch any pockets of flour that weren't incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the muffins cups (about a heaping 1/3 cup batter). Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the muffins cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Make the Cinnamon-Sugar Coating: While the muffins are resting, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Working with one muffin at a time, remove the muffins from the pan, brush all over with the melted butter, then toss to coat in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Return to the wire rack and let cool completely.

Made these delicious muffins and everyone enjoyed them - they were especially good warm right out of the oven!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Not Just Pumpkin Pie

It's Thanksgiving week, and as everyone is preparing the pumpkin pies, here are few other pumpkin options - all good!
Glazed Pumpkin Pound Cake
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
3/4 C. granulated sugar
3/4 C packed dark brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
3 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 C. fat free buttermilk
1/3 C. fat-free buttermilk
1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 T. butter
2 t. cornstarch
1/8 t. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugars and butter, beating until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture.
Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for ~55 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Combine glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook one minute or until think, stirring constantly; remove from hear. Drizzle cake with glaze.
Pumpkins Snickerdoodles

3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
2 t. vanilla
For the coating:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In separate bowl, mix the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the pumpkin, the egg and the vanilla until mixed well. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Cover and chill for, at least, an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix together the sugar and spices for the coating. Roll the dough into balls and coat in sugar-spice mixture. Place on the baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Flatten the balls slightly with the bottom of a glass.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until just set and baked through. Let cool on baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Pumpkin Bread

2 cups of flour
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/3 C. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
 1 C. canned pumpkin
1/2 C. sour cream
Praline Topping
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 T. butter, softened
1/2 C. chopped pecans
Prepare loaf pan(s). Mix all topping ingredients and set aside. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. Place all wet ingredients, including the brown sugar, in a mixing bowl. Beat until well blended. Fold in the dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle the praline topping onto the batter, distributing evenly. Bake for 60 - 65 minutes (less if using smaller pans) until bread tests done.
I used mini loaf pans to give to some sweet ladies at church and other friends! Downloaded these cute printable tags last year and can't remember which website!
Happy Pumpkin Baking!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Football Fare - "It's Football Yall!

While out running errands today, I was listening to sports talk radio (our friends, Jim Dunaway and Ryan Brown, mostly) and everyone was talking about what a lousy weekend it was for college football! It doesn't matter who your team is playing, you can still enjoy some great tailgating food! Here are some favorites I made this week!
Hot Ham and Swiss Sandwiches
1 12 count package of Kings Hawaiian Rolls
12 slices Swiss cheese
12-16 oz. thin sliced ham
1/2 cup melted butter
1 t. ground mustard
1 t. poppy seeds
2 t. onion flakes
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
 Sliced all of the rolls in half and place bottom halves in a 9 X 13 baking dish. (I used the Kings Hawaiian Mini Sub Rolls which were already sliced.) Place ham and cheese on the bottom of the sliced rolls. Cover with top half of roll. Mix together the remaining ingredients and spoon over the tops of the sandwiches. Let sit overnight or a couple of hours. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for ~15 minutes or until warmed through and cheese is melted.
Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

2 cans refrigerated pizza crust
garlic salt, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste
1 C. sliced and chopped pepperoni
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
Pizza sauce for dipping (of Marinara)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each pizza crust. Season each crust with garlic salt and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle one cup of shredded Mozzarella onto each crust. Top each crust with 1/2 cup pepperoni. Roll up each crust tightly to form a log. Slice into 1" sections and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
S'mores Bars
1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla
1 1/3 C. flour
3/4 C. graham cracker crumbs (5-6 sheets of graham crackers)
1 t. baking powder
1/4  t. salt
4 (1.5 oz.) Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture, and beat until combined.
Turn the baking pan upside down and place a piece of waxed paper on top. Press half of the dough onto the waxed paper, using the bottom of the pan as a guide for the size. Set aside. Turn pan back over.
Press the other half of the dough evenly in the bottom of the pan. Spread marshmallow creme over the dough without going all the way to the edge. Lay the chocolate bars on top of the marshmallow creme. breaking apart as needed to create an even layer of chocolate. Take the preformed dough that you set aside earlier and invert onto the top of the chocolate and peel away the waxed paper. Spread gently to the edges if needed.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
I have made these before, but the tip from Amanda about preforming the top layer of dough is brilliant! Great tip!
So, there may not be any "big'" games this weekend, but there is always tailgating! It's football yall! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday - A New Tradition

This week, while waiting at the orthodontist (shout out to Dr. Haraway and the staff of University Orthodontics whom we are thankful for!), we found this great idea in an issue of Family Fun Magazine and decided to make it a new tradition at our house. After braces were taken care of, we headed straight to Hobby Lobby for the supplies....
Styrofoam wreath ring
Fall colored ribbon (2 rolls)
Heavy fall colored cardstock
 Solid ribbon for hanging
Colored pins
Gold pen
To make, we wrapped the ribbon tightly around the Styrofoam ring, securing at each end with hot glue. We cut a variety of leaves from the card stock - just cut without a pattern - no two leaves are the same anyway! We each used the gold pen to write on each leaf what we are thankful for this year, pinned the leaves onto the wreath (we folded the leaves slightly to add dimension) and hung with a sheer ribbon on the entertainment center (for now-will have to move for watching the parade!)
We just started it...we will be inviting the rest of the family to add to it on Thanksgiving Day! And then every year, we will continue to add our blessings! So far, we are thankful for Barry, Elle and Annie, Health, Family and Friends, Food and Water, Big Sister, Circle of Friends at Valley View, Sprayberry, Ginger (our cat)....I expect this wreath to "fill out" really fast because we are all so blessed!
The next "Thankful Thursday" will be Thanksgiving Day! Prayers for you all this week as you prepare for your celebration of blessings!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Thanksgiving Tablescape

I LOVE setting the Thanksgiving table, especially since I found these cool turkey dishes at T.J. Maxx a few years ago. Here are a couple of ideas - the Twig Vase (on either side of the pumpkin) - HERE
  are the directions. Thanks, Martha Stewart! For the pumpkin "vase" in the middle, I scooped out the inside and painted the pumpkin brown. Using an orange peeling tool, I scratched off the paint in the grooves of the pumpkin to make "stripes". I placed a water glass inside the pumpkin for the flowers. Of course, I just picked up a couple of fall mixed bouquets from Publix.


The napkin "ring" is just a gift tag cut on the Cricut, tied with a satin ribbon and using a Thanksgiving quote. You could use a Bible verse, a quote or make it a place card with a name!

Just a little over a week until Thanksgiving Day! Looking for new ideas form this year's table! I can't wait for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, German Chocolate Cake, Turkey, Ham, Dressing and Cranberry Sauce (Do you make dressing or stuffing?) and more, but most of all time to spend with family and friends!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thanksgiving Party Collection

Thanks to PIZZAZZERIE.COM for sharing this wonderful Thanksgiving Party Packet! I couldn't wait until I got it all done to share it with you. I've printed the pieces I plan to use but just haven't cut yet - will be using the banner for my mantel, the gift tags for my pumpkin bread for friends, framing the Psalms verse for my buffet, at least - will post pictures when I get them done. For now, click  HERE to go to Pizzazzerie to download your own personal party set and tell them I sent you!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What's in the Bread Basket? Praline Apple Bread

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar
large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped, peeled Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 1/2 cup pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 4 minutes.
Beat sour cream and next 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until blended. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Add to sour cream mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in apples and 1/2 cup toasted pecans. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chopped pecans; lightly press pecans into batter. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil after 50 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.

Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a 1-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, and spoon over top of bread; let cool completely (about 1 hour).

Note: I did not toast my pecans and it was great! A great bread for the fall - good for breakfast or dessert!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Encouragement Specialist"

For those of us living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 27, 2011, one of the first "faces of the storm" was Carson Tinker, the long snapper for the University of Alabama Football Team. Carson was hospitalized with injuries from the storm but the most devastating thing for Carson was that his girlfriend did not survive. If you don't know this story, you can listen HERE to an interview with Rick Karle on

Beyond the story of the storm is the story of this "specialist" (those skilled in kicking, punting and long snapping)  and how he has responded to this tragic time in his life. Some time back, when I signed up for Twitter, I started following Carson because his name popped up one day as a suggestion to follow. I am SO glad that I did. He has thousands of followers and what a testimony he shares even through his tweets!! Through reading messages that he has tweeted, I have seen him encourage fellow teammates, retweet young girls in a church group who needed a retweet for a scavenger hunt, support the gymnastics, softball, basketball and baseball teams, and wish people a happy birthday.  He encouraged voters before and after the election. He often tweets positive quotes and displays a great sense of humor! He thanks fans for their support, even posting photos of fans greeting the team at the airport when they arrived home after a game. He retweets messages sent to him, making those people feel special and important - he even retweeted the above picture with Elle and Annie that I shared with him, taken at the Nick's Kids Luncheon in the summer. Those are just the things I remember!

Carson shared his testimony at my church. I think everyone expected him to share his "story" - he chose, instead, to offer words of encouragement, sharing scripture that has helped him. I wish I could remember the scriptures he shared. It was a simple message of hope and an inspiration because of the path he has chosen. With life dealt him a difficult hand, he chose to play the game with amazing strength.

And NOW he is helping to build a home for a woman named Jackie. As part of the University of Alabama Business School, in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity and Calvary Baptist Church, students, faculty and staff are working together to raise funds and to actually build this home in time to get Ms. Jackie home for Christmas! Many donors have been inspired to donate because of the enthusiasm of Carson Tinker, I am sure. To find out more about this project or to donate to this worthy cause click HERE
God has really blessed this young man and he is using him to bless others! He is a football "specialist" by position but he is an "encouragement specialist" by heart and by the grace of God!
"For I knows the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you, not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Football Fare - Sweet and Savory

Sharing a few recipes that I have used recently that are perfect for "Game Day". Some people have missed my Friday Football Fare which is nice to know - have just been occupied with other things, but here are this week's recipes. All of them are "tried and true" as my Mother says! Didn't take photos so I am linking you to each one (just click on the title).............

Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken

Loved this chicken a bit spicy but very tasty - a "taste sensation" to quote a friend of mine. Found it on a "man tested" website. It sure passed the test at my house! Served it on kaiser rolls.

Ranch Potatoes

We had ranch potatoes at our recent "Tailgating with the Stars" fundraiser event for Annie's school, Sprayberry. Ranch potatoes were #1 request from staff when selecting the menu and the #1 talked about food item at the event. My girls loved them, so I had to make them! Searched and found this recipe - can't say they were as good as the ones Robertson's BBQ made for the event but they were yummy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Just can't beat a Paula Deen recipe! These were a hit at a Bake Sale we had last week. They are perfect for "Game Day" especially if your team colors are Crimson and White!

Happy Game Day!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Thanks and Giving

Today, I am sharing with you a blog from How Does She  about two components of the word "THANKSGIVING" - one calls for us to be thankful of our many blessings and one calls for us to be giving! Check out her blog and the great printable chart she has for keeping track of our "thanks" and our "giving". I can't believe the Thanksgiving Holiday is just 2 weeks away!

Today, I am thankful for:

1) My Daddy providing me with lots of tools and teaching me how to use them! Last night, Elle's antique bed had a piece come apart - the one that holds the slats! Today, I was able to put it back together using my drill. I did have to make one phone call about how to change the drill bit but, overall, I thought I did quite well. I guess I must tell the rest of the story - it came apart again so I'm taking it to an "expert" tomorrow!... still thankful for my Daddy showing me how!

2) The election being over! "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." .......  2 Chronicles 7:14 And that's all I have to say about that!

3) ESPN - Yes, I said ESPN! I love sports, especially college football! And, for those who are wondering, I liked sports even before I met Barry. I am thankful for ESPN because my husband gets to work for ESPN on a production crew, traveling to new places, doing what he loves and getting paid to do it! I love when the announcers sometimes mention his name because of some great statistic or some great "nugget" of information that he has given them. And you thought those announcers were really smart, didn't you?

4) The fall! It is finally sweatshirt weather - my favorite article of clothing. I've been wearing them for a while and they have really lived up to their name as I have been sweating in them until now! Love the fall - pumpkins (is their anything that doesn't come in "pumpkin" now?) - Halloween - Thanksgiving - Football - Friends - Family - Turning Leaves - just everything about it!

5) Pinterest - I just love Pinterest - the ideas are fabulous but I think the best thing about it is the organization. I can't lose my recipes or my instructions or my tips or anything when I've pinned them. It just makes it so easy! Have been working on my Christmas list with some great ideas from Pinterest!

Happy Fall! Count your blessings and don't forget the giving part!