Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What's for Supper? Pizza Casserole

 
At "Bake at Midnite" where I found this recipe, it is called Easy Cheesy Pizza Casserole and it certainly lived up to it's name!
 
Pizza Casserole
 
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. ricotta
pinch of oregano
pinch of basil
 1 T. grated Parmesan
1 26 oz. jar of pasta sauce
Pepperoni slices
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 C. shredded Provolone
Herbed Parmesan Drop Biscuits
 
Herbed Parmesan Drop Biscuits
 
2 1/4 C. baking mix
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 t. Italian seasoning
2/3 C. milk
 
Brown ground beef in skillet; drain fat. Mix in pasta sauce and set aside; Mix ricotta cheese with the herbs and Parmesan in a separate bowl; set aside.
 
Mix the dry ingredients for the biscuits. Add milk and stir until combined.
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray. Drop biscuit dough by spoonful in the bottom of pan, spacing evenly. Top with ground beef mixture and dot with ricotta cheese mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes or until biscuits are puffed and starting to turn brown.
 
Top with provolone and mozzarella cheeses and distribute pepperoni slices over the top. Increase oven temperature to 425 and bake 10 minutes longer until cheese are melted and bubbly.
 
Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving. May top with additional Parmesan cheese.
 
I actually left out the meat because not everyone in my family likes ground beef. Italian sausage would have been a good substitute but that would have meant a trip to Publix, so I just left it out. I used slice Provolone and placed it on top of pizza sauce, then topped with mozzarella. For the seasoning in the biscuits, I used the Emeril's seasoning from my blog a couple of weeks ago.
 
This is definitely a dish that you can make anytime - these ingredients are easily kept on hand. That's the best kind of recipe! And especially when my children liked it so much!
 
 
 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Easter Sweet Treat

 
A pretty and sweet treat for Easter - White Chocolate Fudge. The best ever fudge recipe is the Fantasy Fudge located on the marshmallow creme jar. My Mom and I both have made this recipe for years, especially at Christmas. At other times, like Easter, I switch from the milk chocolate chips to white chocolate chips for a beautiful, creamy fudge that goes great with all the spring colors!
 
White Chocolate Fudge
 
3cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
5 oz. evaporated milk
1 7 oz. jar marshmallow creme
12 oz. package white chocolate chips
1/2 C. chopped pecans
 
Bring sugar, butter and milk to boil in heavy saucepan. Boil for 4 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees. Stir constantly to prevent scorching. (Trust me on this one!) When mixture reaches desired temperature, remove from heat and stir in white chocolate chips until melted. Stir in marshmallow creme until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Stir in  pecans before spreading into lightly greased 8 X 8 inch Pyrex dish.
Cool completely before cutting into squares. 
 
I sometimes double this recipe and use a 13 X 9 dish.
 
Like the cute bunny containers? They look antique, don't they? Actually, they are plastic - found at Dollar General for $1.50. Perfect for sharing with friends during this Easter season! They had other colors as well - I'm just very partial to the aqua!
 
Enjoy this sweet treat during your Easter season!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What's for Supper? BBQ Plate

 
Boston Butt with Sauce
Mashed Potato Casserole
English Peas with Mushrooms
Texas Toast
 
This week, we purchased a Boston butt from Robertson's BBQ, in a fundraiser for a local woman who is currently battling cancer. As always, Robertson's BBQ was fabulous. Texas Toast is often our bread of choice. I chose not make to the usual BBQ sides and go with something different.
 
English Peas with Mushrooms
 
1 can English peas or sweet peas
1 small jar mushrooms
1/2 stick butter
 
Drain peas and place in skillet. Add mushrooms and butter and saute until butter is melted and peas/mushrooms are thoroughly heated.
 
Mashed Potato Casserole
 
3 1/2-4 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1/2 block cream cheese
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. milk
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded cheddar, divided
8 slices bacon, cooked, chopped and divided
 
Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and return to pot. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mash potatoes. Add cream cheese, sour cream, butter, milk, salt and pepper. Continuing mashing until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of cheese and half the bacon. Spoon into lightly greased casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and bacon and bake for 5 additional minutes to melt cheese.
 
 
Let me just say..... Robertson's BBQ is top notch! Not only is the BBQ and all their other specialties so good, they are such warm, caring people! Over the past year or so, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with Renee on fundraisers and teacher appreciation events for Sprayberry. She has such a heart of service for the community. Where you see Robertson's BBQ, you usually see Renee  - always working, always smiling and always caring about others! My thanks for all she's done for Sprayberry and SO many others in our area. So, if you are in or around Tuscaloosa, contact Robertson's BBQ for catering, fundraisers or a great meal!
 
Check them out on their website!
Robertson's BBQ


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy 3/16


Enough said! Have a great 3/16 and a great weekend enjoying the beautiful spring weather and the promises of this verse! God Bless!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sugar Scrub - On Your Own



 
Goodbye Winter! Hello Spring! Get ready for springtime and flip flops with your very own sugar scrub that will soften your hands and feet in just a few minutes. Yesterday, I got a professional manicure and pedicure and she used her own scrub - it was wonderful! Another great Pinterest find!
 
Of course, I had to do it myself so I found a scrub with only 2 ingredients, Dawn Ultra Hand Renewal with Oil of Olay (Pomegranate or Lavender) plus Sugar - that's it!

















Fill the jar 3/4 full of sugar and add the Dawn until you get the desired consistency, stirring thoroughly - not too think or too thin! Perfect, now treat your self and a friend! A jar of sugar scrub will make a great gift and I plan to put a jar in each bathroom for us to use!
Source - Homemade Mamas

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Celebrating 13!

Carol Grace, Hope and Annie
 
Today is a special day for a special friend of our family! Carol Grace (above left) is turning 13! We first met Carol Grace when Annie started to school. Her Mom, Hope, was Annie's first teacher!
 
13 Reasons to Celebrate Carol Grace
 
1) When Annie started to school at Sprayberry, we were blessed with a wonderful teacher named Mrs. Bailey - what an awesome special education teacher she is - but I always felt like we got a bonus because she was also the Mom of Carol Grace and, because of Carol Grace, she was able to help me as a Mom, and Annie,  in ways beyond being a teacher. Carol Grace doesn't even know that we were learning from her then!
 
2) Her honesty! We once invited her to a birthday party for Elle - it was a cheerleader party and the invitation read "let's run, jump, kick" (or something like that) and Carol Grace told her Mom "doesn't sound like the place for me". I appreciated her honesty and it really made me be more sensitive about such things. (Carol Grace is in a wheelchair).
 
3) Carol Grace is a friend to Elle....one summer, during summer school at Sprayberry, Carol Grace and Elle planned (or schemed) a luau for the whole summer school. They had so much fun together! Sweet memories!
 
4) Carol Grace is a friend to Annie....when she and Annie were riding the bus together, she would text me when they were turning in the neighborhood. I always felt good about Annie being on the bus with a good friend!
 
5) What a great sister! And being Newman's sister comes with rewards! Carol Grace is always surrounded by cute boys! Not so long ago, while reading a twitter post by AJ McCarron, there she was with AJ himself!
 
6) I remember when this sweet girl gave her heart and life to Christ and what a proud moment it was for her and her family! And her friends!
 
7) What an awesome daughter! Her Dad and Mom are so proud of her!
 
8) Carol Grace is one of my favorite cookie making friends! Always part of Elle's Annual Christmas Cookie Party, she just goes with the flow in all of the chaos!
 
9) So glad that she got to meet and get her picture made with Lauren Alaina at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre! (We were only a little jealous!)
 
10) Carol Grace enjoys life - you may find her at church, at the beach, at the lake, a concert, at an Alabama football game, etc. - always having a good time!
 
11) I remember Carol Grace (before we actually knew her) from seeing her at Physical Therapy  - a cutie pie always working hard and winning the hearts of everyone around her!
 
12) She is a star! So proud when seeing her on billboards around town, representing children who had been served by Children's Hospital - what a good ambassador!
 
13) For her 13 years of overcoming, surviving, living and being who she is! An inspiration to many (whether she knows it or not!)
 
Thankful today for this sweet friend!
 
Blessings to you on your
birthday, Carol Grace!
 
 
 

Luck of the Lime

 
I don't do alot for St. Patrick's Day but I do usually try to include a touch of green somewhere in the day. So, I thought this key lime pie might be just the touch. I have made different versions of key lime pie but I this one is new. I think I'll have to remember this one.
 
Key Lime Pie
 
Crust
 
1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 stick butter (melted)
 
Filling
 
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup key lime juice
1 cup sour cream
 
To make the crust, combine all crumbs with melted butter and press into a 9 inch pie plate. Bake the crust in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until browned. Set aside to cool while you make the filling. Allow to cool completely.
 
To make the filling, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice. Blend well. Stir in the sour cream until completely smooth. Pour into cooled crust and chill for, at least, a couple of hours before serving. Garnish with lime slices.
 
I was searching for a pie to make using a vanilla wafer crust when I found this one. I thought the vanilla wafer/bread crumb combination was interesting and it turned out really well! Enjoy on St. Patrick's Day, Easter or any other occasion!
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hippity Hoppity - Thrift Store Style!

 
Hippity Hoppity! Easter is on it's way! This little bunny is ready for the occasion! I have tons of Easter decorations but, this year, I decided to do something new for my table. My plan to decorate my table in "thrift store style" was successful as the cute pieces came together from thrift stores around town.
 
 
4 White World Market Plates - $7.96
4 Lillian Vernon Bunny Plates - $4.00
4 Green Square Place mats - $4.00
4 Flower Glasses - $4.00
Bunny Planter - 79 cents
Flowers from Publix - $6
 

 
The napkins and silverware are the only things that weren't "new",

 
My DIY table runner - simply a piece of burlap (the length of the table plus desired drop length). I split the burlap down the middle to make 2 runners, then stenciled the bunny (I made stencil from a graphic in Microsoft Word) on each end, made a pom pom for the tail (how to make a pom pom using a fork) and hot glued the bow! Simple as that!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Happiness....


I always see these great quotes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and wonder where they originate so I spent a little time searching and found  lifelovequotesandsayings and this quote about personal happiness.
 
Like it says, God doesn't wish for anyone to suffer! You know, we don't always know what our friends are going through. Plato is quoted as saying "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." As I pray for a friend today who is demonstrating the kind of courage this quote addresses - being brave enough to make significant changes to get his life in order and pursue true happiness, I am reminded of this verse...........
 
I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.....Philippians 4:13
 
And, as my pastor always says, ALL means ALL!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

What's for Breakfast? Banana Pineapple Muffins


Banana Pineapple Muffins
 
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil
4 tablespoons  milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4  mashed ripe bananas
1 small can unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained 
 
In a small bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg, oil, milk and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and pineapple.
 
Coat muffin cups with cooking spray or use paper liners; fill three-fourths full with batter. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.   
 
The original recipe is found HERE at Taste of Home. I actually doubled the recipe and used the larger muffin pans, making 9 big muffins. These muffins are SO moist and the perfect breakfast with coffee and the newspaper - my every day routine!
 
 
 

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Cookie Sheet - Butter Pecan Cookies

 
Awesome new cookie recipe! At least, new to me. It's a keeper!
 
Butter Pecan Cookies
   
1-3/4 cups chopped pecans
1 tablespoon plus 1 cup butter, softened, divided
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup pecan halves
Place chopped pecans and 1 tablespoon butter in a baking pan.  Bake at 325° for 5-7 minutes or until toasted and browned, stirring  frequently. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, cream brown sugar and remaining butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Gradually add flour and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. Roll into 1-in. balls, then roll in toasted pecans, pressing nuts into dough. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Beat egg white until foamy. Dip pecan halves in egg white, then gently press one into each ball. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks. Yield: about 4 dozen
 
Notes: I chopped my pecans in a mini food processor, so they were finely chopped.  For the sake of time, I chose not to toast the pecans. I also chose not to dip the pecan halves into beaten egg white. I just discarded the egg white. Can't imagine them being any better, so I'll  probably never toast the pecans or use the egg whites!

 
We have a family friend who just moved to town so I packaged a batch of these delicious cookies to welcome her! I always keep cellophane, ribbon and some Dollar General containers!
 
Baking with pecans always makes me smile and sometimes a bit sad at the same time. Since I started baking, I always had pecans that were cracked and cleaned by either my Papa (my grandfather) or my Daddy. My Daddy had a pecan cracker and cracked pecans for everybody in town. I lost count of the people who told me (at his visitation) that he was their "pecan man".  And he always made sure that I had plenty! I can remember my Papa giving me pecans in a loaf bread bag (Sunbeam, to be exact!).
Sweet memories of two special men! Oh, how I miss them!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday - What are YOU thankful for?

 
Is it Thursday already? What a week! Spent some time tonight reflecting on ALL that I have to be thankful for and this hymn came to mind!
 
Count Your Blessings
 
When upon life's billows
You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged,
Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings,
Name them one by one
And it will suprise you
What the Lord has done.

Chorus:
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your blessings,
See what God has done
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.

Are you ever burdened
With a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy
You are called to bear?
Count your many blessings,
Ev'ry doubt will fly
And you will be singing

When you look at others
With their lands and gold
Think that Christ has promised
You His wealth untold
Count your many blessings,
Money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven,
Nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict,
Whether great or small
Do not be discouraged,
God is over all
Count your many blessings,
Angels will attend
Help and comfort give you
To your journey's end.
 
 
 
So, when it has been a long week or a bad day or a just so-so day, we can find comfort in counting our blessings - no matter how big or how small. As always, I am thankful for the "Big 3" faith, family and friends but I am also thankful for the little things - my new coffee pot (had to return 2 that didn't work!), my newly painted bathroom (thanks to my father in law) and that tomorrow is Friday!!
 
What are YOU thankful for today?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What's for Supper? Chicken Pie and Green Beans

 
One of our favorite meals that "Granny" (my Mother) cooks is Chicken Pie. We have both made this dish for many years. If I am not mistaken, she originally made this recipe from one of the recipe cards that came in the bank statement from Brundidge Baking Company each month.
 
Granny's Chicken Pie
 
1 pkg. boneless chicken breasts, cooked
4 sliced hard boiled eggs
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups of chicken broth
1 can crescent rolls
 
Chop chicken and put in  bottom of a casserole dish. Place sliced eggs over chicken. Mix broth and soup. Pour over chicken. Open crescent roll  package, unroll and place over chicken mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until browned, approximately 25 minutes.
 
 
 
 
Years ago, my Mom and a group of her friends came to Tuscaloosa to spend the day and I served them lunch at my house. I don't remember what else I served but I know that these green beans were on the menu. Here were all these ladies who were really good cooks and I was serving green beans from a can and they loved them! They loved them so much, they ended up in the first "Brundidge Bites" cookbook! They called them Carla's Green Beans in the book. They are tasty!
 
Carla's Green Beans
1 can cut green beans
1/2 t. dill weed
1/4 t. dry mustard
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3 T. vegetable oil
 
Place green beans in pot. Sprinkle with dill weed and dry mustard. Add vegetable oil and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook 25 to 30 minutes uncovered. 
 
 

 
Before I throw away my crescent roll package, I must clip the Box Tops Label for Sprayberry! Do you clip Box Tops for Education for your school? You will find them on all kinds of things like cereal, Pillsbury products, Ziplock bags and more. Twice a year, schools can send in Box Tops for Education and get paid for every one they send. If your school doesn't participate in the Box Tops Program or you don't have a school affiliation, and you want to support a great cause, feel free to send your Box Tops to:
Sprayberry Education Center
1324 Rice Mine Road
Northport, AL 35476
 
Annie and her friends will appreciate your support!
 
Hope you like the chicken pie and green beans! By the way, the biscuits weren't homemade - frozen Pillsbury Southern Style Biscuits!
 
 
 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bunny Rolls

 
Saw some cute bunny rolls on Facebook and just had to try them! How clever! First, I made them from memory so my ears aren't exactly like the ones I first saw. Nothing to it! Just a small snip with kitchen shears for each ear. Then I used the end of the scissors to make the eyes.
 
 
After I made them, I searched for the original post again to find that the ones I saw were made from scratch! Oh, well - I used these Bridgeford Parkerhouse Style rolls. Bake according to package directions.They weren't perfectly round like the others so (after they thawed) I tried to make them round before I made my "snips".
 
These rolls were great! They will definitely be served with an Easter meal.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Heaps of Peeps

 
Less than a month until Easter, there are heaps of Peeps in the stores. They are just the cutest things. I don't care for them to eat but they sure help make a cute flower arrangement for the Easter season.
 
For this arrangement, I put a layer of Easter M & M's inside a glass. Jelly beans would be cute, too. Then I put a small juice glass inside the bigger glass. Next, I placed the Peeps all the way around, filled the inside glass with water and added the flowers (from Publix, of course!).
 
I picked up my two glasses at the thrift store - just make sure that there is enough difference between the two glasses for the Peeps to fit between them!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Romans 12:12

 
This Bible verse in Romans really speaks to me. I've always heard that, if you've never been in a trial, you better watch out! Here's the good news - we always have hope in Christ, no matter what!...For me, enduring a trial means looking for God's purpose and plan for my life and being patient until it is found!... And it comforting to me to know that God is always present, always listening and that we can always pray. Being in an attitude of prayer is a necessity in facing the trials that life sometimes brings!
 
So, whether you are in a trial, coming away from a trial or heading toward a trial....rejoice in hope, be patient and always pray!
 
God bless you this week!
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What's for Dessert? Strawberry Delight

 
 
 
I call this dessert "Strawberry Delight" because the chocolate layered version that I have made before is called "Chocolate Delight". With spring just around the corner, this is the perfect light, cool and refreshing dessert! Or for Christmas or for Valentine's! Or really anytime!
Strawberry Delight
Crust
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
First Layer
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups Cool Whip, thawed
Second Layer
1 pkg (6 oz) Strawberry Jello mix
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 cups frozen strawberries (chopped)
Topping
2 cups whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
 
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9 x 13 pan lightly with cooking spray. Set aside. To make the crust:
Combine pecans, flour, and melted butter in a medium bowl until well mixed. Press firmly into prepared 9 X 13 pyrex dish that and has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. (I didn't spray my dish and the crust stuck a bit.)
Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
1st Layer - In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Stir in the 2 cups of Cool Whip. Carefully spread over cooled crust. (It helps to drop it by the spoonful over the crust and then gently spread it together.)
2nd Layer - Whisk together strawberry Jello and boiling water until Jello has dissolved. Stir in frozen, chopped strawberries. (I used fresh strawberries) Let Jello thicken slightly in fridge and then pour over cream cheese layer.
 
Topping - Whip cream, sugar, and vanilla with mixer until stiff peaks form. Spread over Jello layer.
Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
 
My pictures didn't really show the true beauty of this dessert. My whipping cream wanted to be a little runny. It still tasted great!
 
Be sure to visit Jo and Sue at the website where I found the yummy dessert!
 
 
 
 
 
 



Friday, March 1, 2013

What's in the Crock Pot? Cheesy Potato Soup

 
A couple of weeks ago, a friend called me and asked for my potato soup recipe. She is having some health issues and she remembered that it was homemade potato soup that sustained me after my transplant. The truth is that I don't really have just one "go to" recipe. I couldn't find the one I think she was talking about but I found this one and made it for her.
 
Crock Pot Cheesy Potato Soup
 
1 bag frozen diced hash brown potatoes
1/2 onion chopped
32 oz. chicken broth
1 C. water
3 T. flour
1 C. milk
8 oz. shredded cheese
1/4 C. real bacon pieces
 
Mix potatoes, onion, broth and water. Cover; cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. Mix flour and milk; pour into the potato mixture. Increase setting to high. Cover; cook 20-30 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in cheese until melted. Garnish with bacon and/or additional cheese. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
 
I love this because you can keep these ingredients on hand to make whenever! I used shredded cheddar but you can use the cheese of your choice. If you don't have fresh onions, you can use some onion flakes instead. Just fix it and forget it until it comes to the thickening part.
 
After having eating lots of canned soup in recent weeks, my sweet friend welcomed some homemade potato soup, no matter what recipe! This one is a keeper! I'll put it in a safe place this time - maybe Pinterest!