Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Football Fare - Game Day Party Loaf

If you need a simple Game Day recipes to make for your family or friends, here you go! You just have to remember the let the bread thaw out in plenty of time! You any kind or as much cheese as you like! I used cheddar and mozzarella. You could spice it up with some Monterrey Jack. I have seen something similar to this with onions and green peppers included. For my Game Day loaf, I just stuck to the cheese and bacon with ranch dressing for the dipping sauce. A keeper!
Game Day Party Loaf
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
Cheese Slices or Shredded Cheese (Your Choice)
6 slices crisp cooked bacon, chopped
You favorite dipping sauce
Roll loaf into a circle and place into the bottom of a sprayed Bundt pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size. Remove wrap and bake at 350 degrees 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Slice all the way around without cutting through the bottom crust. Place on a baking sheet.  Stuff the cheese and bacon between the slices. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. You can place the sauce in the middle of the ring.
May your team win this week unless you just happen to be an Aggie! :) Roll Tide!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

OK, it's not officially fall until September 22, but there have been a few mornings this past week that their was an ever so slight touch of fall in the air! So...... that means I bring out my pumpkin recipes! I even have a Pinterest board just for pumpkin recipes!
I found this recipe at and it definitely got pinned to the pumpkin board! I used pecans instead of walnuts for my recipe. Either one would be great!
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup wheat flour
1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 t. all spice
1 C. butter, softened
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 egg, room temperature
2 t. vanilla
1 C. chopped pecans
1 C. raisins
Combine flour, oats, baking soda and spices in a medium bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and mix until well combined. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla and stir until well combined. Slowly add flour mixture stirring just until combined. Stir in pecans and raisins. Chill dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350. Using a cookie scoop (mine is from Pampered Chef), drop cookie dough onto lightly greased baking sheets or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press dough down slightly with back of spoon. This dough does not spread much when baking. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until cookies are just lightly browned. Cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Make up a batch or two of these cookies for your family, your neighbors, or your friends at work! I packaged my in Ziplock snack bags and made a "bag topper" with my message.....
Happy Fall Yall! (Even if it is a wee bit early!)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Football Fare - Cheesy Ranch Dip

Football season is just getting started and it's time to get back into the tailgating mode! For a very quick and easy (and most of all, tasty!) dip for your Game Day menu, try this dip!

Cheesy Ranch Dip

2 cups sour cream

1 packet ranch dressing mix

1 cup shredded cheddar

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

4 slices bacon, cooked crispy, and chopped
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Serve with your choice of chips or fresh veggies. I used Tostitos Scoops!

Printable Version

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back 2 School Breakfast

Wow! Is it really time for another school year? Is my firstborn really in 7th grade? Is summer really over?
All true!! In keeping with our family tradition, we had our usual "Back 2 School" Breakfast to celebrate or mourn (depending on personal perspective)!
The Table - I use my zebra print napkins with any bright colors - it kind of ties in the chalkboard, too. The flowers were a mixture that I have collected from different parties over the years. The pencils - a collection that I recently gathered while cleaning out drawers, closets, backpacks, purses, etc. Elle could even identify some of them from specific years, like the one given to her by her 3rd grade teacher - a little unexpected stroll down memory lane! I secured the pencils around a glass vase with a rubber band and tied with a ribbon - that's all!

The Spread - it really wasn't much of a spread at all - just chocolate chip muffins and assorted fruit. The muffins were yummy! HERE is the recipe!

The Banner - very simple to make - I just cut the flags from a pattern I made on Microsoft Word, wrote the letters in chalk, punched 2 holes in each flag and ran twine through each one before tying to my buffet lamps! HERE is the pattern!
The Note - each daughter has a composition notebook at their place with a personal message from me......just expressing how proud I am of them and all they have accomplished and how much I believe in them and will be supporting them this year! Praying for an awesome year for both girls!
To everyone starting back to school, at all levels, as student or teacher, may you be blessed with your best ever!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

War Eagle for Katherine

Yes, I said "War Eagle" - I really did.... just for Katherine. Our sweet cousin is headed to Auburn this fall so we had a family party to send her off. Yes, my family wore orange and blue, too! Believe it or not!
It all started with this invitation found on!

 The d├ęcor included Aubie, of course, Katherine's Auburn cheerleader Barbie from childhood and some shakers!!
And we even had our own version of Toomer's corner! (A tree from my Halloween decorations)
I made the "straw flags" on Microsoft Word using Toomer's Corner - Go Tigers, Auburn and War Eagle. I would love to share but I guess I didn't save them. Oops! But they weren't hard to make at all! I ordered the
chevron straws on Etsy!

What would an Auburn party be without Toomer's Corner Lemonade? We actually used the recipe I posted last week. Here is the recipe!

The idea for the fruit salad of blueberries and cantaloupe came from Amy has some really cute ideas!
 Just like a tailgate party on Game Day!

 A for Auburn - these iced sugar cookies were quite tasty although I am not an expert in decorating cookies! By the way, have you seen the fabulous cookies from Whimsy Cookie Company in Memphis? Check them out! If you saw the movie "Blind Side" you will remember Collins Touhy, the daughter in the Touhy family who adopted Michael Oher - this is her cookie company!

Tiger Brownies - cream cheese brownies with the cream cheese mixture tinted with orange!
Katherine is part of the 3rd generation in her family to attend Auburn University! What a fun celebration it was for the family of aunts, uncles and cousins to celebrate with Katherine by showering her with orange and blue! She got lots of fun Auburn gifts to take to Auburn in a few weeks!

Congratulations, Katherine, on your graduation from high school and best wishes in your future at Auburn and....... 

just for you......War Eagle!
You can find the War Eagle Banner in the soon to open Etsy Shop -

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Best Pimento Cheese

I love pimento cheese - if it is on them menu wherever I go, I am very likely to try it. This recipe came from my Mom and it is definitely a favorite!
Hope you like it, too!
Pimento Cheese Spread
4 oz. chopped pimento
1 C. mayonnaise
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. cayenne
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1-2 gloves of garlic, crushed
8 oz. Colby cheese
8 oz. cheddar cheese
Mix thoroughly all ingredients except cheeses. Add cheeses last and mix until well combined. Enjoy with your favorite crackers or as a sandwich spread on your favorite bread! It is a bit spicy so beware!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Romans 3: 3-5

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Lamentations 3: 21-24

21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”
Today, I am thankful for sweet friends that God places in our lives to go through the trials of life. These two verses were shared with me by a precious lady named Currie, when we were both Moms of an infant in the NICU at Children's Hospital 10 years ago! This piece of paper has been in my Bible since it was given to me way back then. Our baby girls experienced quite a few ups and downs in their time at Children's. Just like any life - their are good times and bad times. This crumbled piece of paper serves to remind me, even today, about perseverance, hope, faithfulness and God's mercies that are new each day. Sometimes in life, people come along at just the right time and place and impact your life forever. Thanks, Currie, for sharing that NICU experience with us and being an encourager then and now through sharing these two simple verses. Although we live across the country from each other, we have been able to watch these sweet girls grow up through Facebook. I know, without a doubt, that we are both thankful for the mercies shown to us through those difficult days!

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Sip of Summertime

One of my latest, greatest Pinterest finds is this quick and easy recipe for lemonade! We made it at the beach and it didn't last very long!

Pineapple Lemonade

1 C. Countrytime Lemonade

2 C. cold water

1 (48 oz.) can chilled pineapple juice

2 cans chilled Sprite

Mix all ingredients together and serve cold or over ice!
My suggestion is to double the recipe or it will be gone before you know it. Billed on Pinterest as "best lemonade ever", it certainly lived up to it's billing!  Very refreshing, even if you're not at the beach! Add an umbrella straw and pretend! You'll love it!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Baking with a Purpose

If you have read my blog at all, you know that I love to bake! The only thing that makes it better is when I bake with a purpose other than to satisfy a sweet tooth or add calories to our plate! Last week, a newly formed non-profit organization, Heart of Tuscaloosa, held a BBQ and Bake Sale as their inaugural fundraising event. The goal of the Heart of Tuscaloosa is to bring awareness locally and globally to issues affecting individuals with disabilities. As part of their goal, mission and values, they have chosen Annie's school, Sprayberry Education Center, to support through some issues with building and space with the goal of helping to provide the most optimal learning environment for our Sprayberry Students. For more information on the Heart of Tuscaloosa, go to
So.... loving to bake and loving Sprayberry..... here are my recipes that I used for the bake sale  - by request!
Chocolate Chip Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (3.9 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
½ C. sugar
¾ C. water
¾ C. vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 C. sour cream
½ C. milk chocolate chips
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Stir together the cake mix, pudding mix and sugar. Add the water, oil, eggs and sour cream, mixing until well blended. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes until cake tests done. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto wire rack to cool. When cool, dust with powdered sugar.

Chocolate Toffee Cake
8 oz. pkg. toffee bits
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
2 T. brown sugar
1 C. butter, softened
1 ¼ C. brown sugar
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
3 C. all purpose flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. salt
½ t. baking soda
1 ¼ C. buttermilk
Caramel Icing:
¼ C. butter, cubed
2 t. all purpose flour
1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 C. brown sugar
Combine toffee bits, chips and brown sugar; set aside.
Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, blending well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add to the cream mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended. 
Pour a third of the batter into grease and floured tube pan. Sprinkle with one third of toffee mixture. Repeat layers twice. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-56 minutes or until cake tests done.
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add evaporated milk and brown sugar. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until thickened. Cool. Drizzle over cake.
Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies
3/4 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
¾ C. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 ¼ C. all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
½ t. ground cinnamon
½ t. salt
3 C. rolled oats
1 2/3 C. butterscotch chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugars together. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating well. Stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the oats and the butterscotch chips. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges start to brown.

All American Apple Pie
1 unbaked pie crust
6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
¾ C. sugar
3 T. all purpose flour
¾ t. ground cinnamon
½ t. ground nutmeg
½ C. all purpose flour
½ C. sugar
½ C. butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place crust in a 9 inch pie plate and crimp edges. Mix together ¾ C. sugar, 3 T. flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle over apples to coat. Spread evenly in unbaked pie shell. Using a pastry cutter, mix together ½ C. flour, ½ C. sugar and butter until evenly crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.
Bake for 45 minutes, until browned.
These are "keepers" for my recipe collection! Hope you enjoy them!
Many thanks to Emmy Stockman, founder of the Heart of Tuscaloosa and her board for caring about individuals with disabilities and for the work they are doing to support them!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Market to Menu

Summertime! One of my favorite things about summer is shopping for fresh vegetables at the local farmer's market. Check out my "haul" - green beans, peaches, broccoli, sunflowers, homemade peanut butter cookies, strawberries, tomatoes and corn meal!
I love the new Tuscaloosa River Market located on the Black Warrior River. Great quality and great people! My only problem is that I want to buy something from everybody! The market is open on Tuesday and Saturday from 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.
From market to menu......I made all new recipes with my market finds...
Cornmeal Muffins
Marinated Grilled Pork Chops
Skillet Green Beans
Marinated Tomatoes
Steamed Broccoli
Peach Pie
Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake
Cornmeal Muffins
1 3/4 cups cornmeal
3/4 cups all purpose flour
4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/4 C. sugar
2 C. buttermilk
2 eggs
1/4 C. vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease or line 12 muffin cups.
In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs and vegetable oil; beat well. Pour buttermilk mixture into flour mixture; stir until blended. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean....... These muffins can be frozen! Just thaw and warm when you are ready to serve!
Marinated Grilled Pork Chops
4-6 pork chops
1/4 C. soy sauce
3 T. Worcestershire
2 T. vegetable oil
1 T. cider vinegar
1 T. brown mustard
2 T. brown sugar
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
Wash pork chops. Place in a large Ziploc bag. Combine all other ingredients and pour over the pork chops. Seal the bag and coat the pork chops well. Place in refrigerator for a few hours, at least, turning occasionally. Grill the chops over med-high heat for 5-7 minutes on each side until done.......I am not a huge pork chop fan but I will make these again in a heartbeat! The flavor of the marinade is wonderful. Combined with the grilled flavor, this was the perfect choice of meat to compliment my market items.
Skillet Green Beans
Oops! I forgot to get a picture of the green beans although they were "pretty"! You can find a photo from the recipe source The Pioneer Woman
1 lb. fresh green beans
1 C. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 C. chopped red bell pepper
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 C. chicken broth
Snap the green beans as desired. Heat butter and olive oil in skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for a minute. Then add green beans and cook for a minute or so until beans turn bright green.
Add the chicken broth, chopped red pepper, salt and black pepper. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid, leaving lid cracked to allow steam to escape. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until liquid evaporates and beans are fairly soft, yet still a bit crisp........Loved these green beans. I used a mixture of red, yellow and green peppers that I had on hand. That's why they were so pretty!
Marinated Tomatoes
3 large fresh tomatoes, thickly sliced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1 t. dried basil
Place tomatoes in a shallow dish. Combine all other ingredients and pour over tomatoes. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
Steamed Broccoli
1 bunch of broccoli
Options: Olive oil or butter
Lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
Toasted almonds or toasted sesame seeds
Rinse broccoli and break into florets. Place about an inch of water in a saucepan with a steamer. Add the broccoli to steamer and cover; reduce heat and let cook for 5-6 minutes. It is done when you can stick a fork in it. Place in a serving dish and dress to your taste.......I used olive oil and a homemade seasoning I had received as a gift. Yummy! Notice, there wasn't very much broccoli in my bowl as I am the only one at my house who will eat it!
Peach Pie

4-5 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
5 slices day old white bread, cubed
1 stick butter, melted
1 C. sugar
1 T. flour
1 egg
Butter a 9 inch pie plate. Place peaches in dish. Spread cubes of bread evenly over peaches. (I did not include the crust on the bread) Mix the melted butter, sugar, flour and egg together until well blended. Pour evenly over bread cubes, making sure all bread is covered. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown........This is a recipe that my Mother has made for years and is the perfect summer recipe for fresh peaches! SO easy! You might make want to make two - one won't last long!

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake
2 sticks butter, softened
2 C. sugar
3 eggs
3 T. lemon juice, divided
Zest of one lemon
2 1/2 C. all purpose flour, divided
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
8 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
12 oz. fresh strawberries, diced
1 C. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Sift together 2 1/4 C. flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 T. lemon juice. Alternate the flour mixture and the yogurt, until thoroughly mixed. Toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Gently mix into batter. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Place in the oven and reduce temperature to 325. Bake for ~ 60 minutes or until cake tests done. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then turn onto wire rack to cool completely. When cooled, whisk remaining lemon juice and the powdered sugar together and drizzle over cake........Delicious! I did not wait 20 minutes before removing my cake from the pan so it didn't turn out too well on top so listen to the recipe!!
Beautiful sunflowers! Flower arranging is not my talent but I loved having fresh flowers on the table!
Well, "Market to Menu" has been fun! Loved the shopping, the recipe search, the cooking and most of all the evening at the dinner table with my family! Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we did! Can't wait to go back to the market next Tuesday - look for another "Market to Menu" blog next week!