Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dad's Corn Chowder

This recipe is another family favorite. Dad ordered this at a restaurant several years ago, went home and decided that he could re-create the dish. Not only did he re-create it, but his version tasted better than the restaurant's! Before I list the ingredients, though, a note from Dad: "All measurements are approximate. I usually 'eyeball' when cooking and taste for final judgment as to what is needed." See, I told you he doesn't measure anything! Enjoy.

1/8 lb. salt pork (or smoked bacon), diced into small pieces
1 lb. potatoes, diced (approx. 1/2" cubes)
2 cans corn, (1 cream-style and 1 whole kernel, drained)
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. flour
1 can chicken broth
Salt, tobasco sauce, and Worcestire sauce to taste

Brown pork in the vegetable oil.
Add diced potatoes and cook until tender.
Add corn.
Add seasoning.
Add flour for thickening. From this point everything must be stirred frequently to prevent the chowder from sticking to the bottom of your pot. A heavy-bottomed pot will work best (Dad usually uses a cast-iron pot).
When flour is cooked and blended, add chicken broth and then milk. Use enough milk to get to desired thickness.
Mixture must come to a boil before attaining full thickness.
Helpful hint:If broth and milk are heated before adding to the mixture, it will boil more quickly and won't be as likely to lump.
When desired thickness has been achieved, taste for seasoning and simmer for approximately 15 minutes.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lemony Chicken

I have been making this for a few years now and it is truly one of my favorite dishes to make. The sauce is simply divine (especially if you are a fan of all things lemon like I am!) I got this recipe here:


The only thing I do differently is I like to soak my chicken tenders in buttermilk for at least 4-6 hours if possible in order to help them become even more tender. My aunt taught me that trick years ago and it really does make a difference! Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mama's Cherry Dump Cake

This is another treasure from Mama's recipe box that she made countless times for family gatherings and church potluck dinners. It's called a "dump cake" because you literally just dump everything into a dish and bake it. I am not a fan of coconut (it's one of my LEAST favorite things!) so I never ate this very much but it was definitely a favorite dish in our family. My aunt makes it without the coconut so you can do that as well if you prefer. Hope you enjoy!

1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 can cherry pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix (again, we're a Duncan Hines family so Mama always used Duncan Hine's Butter Recipe yellow cake mix)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut
2 sticks butter, very cold

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Pour pineapple into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
Pour cherry pie filling over pineapple.
Sprinkle cake mix on top of cherries.
Sprinkle pecans and coconut over cherries.
Cut butter into slices and put slices all over the top of the pecans and coconut.

Bake for 1 hour to an 1 hour and 15 minutes and you're done! See, told you it was simple! ;)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bacon-Wrapped Apple Chicken

I haven't posted very many slow cooker dishes on here but don't take that as a sign that I am not a fan of using them! My slow cooker is my friend, especially on those days when I work later. It is so nice to have dinner waiting at the end of the day! I tried this slow cooker recipe just a couple of nights ago and it was SO delicious that I knew I had to share it with you guys! Hope you enjoy.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (on this particular night I used 8 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins because that was what I already had on hand), lightly salted
1 cup sweet barbecue sauce (my favorite is Sonny's but of course use whichever brand you like best)
1/4 c. brown sugar (dark or light, whichever you have in your pantry)
1/8 c. lemon juice, fresh or bottled
5 small apples, peeled and chopped (I used red delicious but Gala apples would also work very well)
4-8 slices bacon

In a small bowl, combine barbecue sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and apples.
Wrap each piece of chicken with a slice of bacon and place in greased slow cooker.
Pour barbecue/apple mixture over chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours (4-6 if you use the tenderloins) or until chicken is done.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

So I decided that since I featured a comfort food yesterday for Tax Day, I would continue that theme today. You can't EVER go wrong with chocolate, can I get an amen? I have made this recipe so many times (it is a standing request for one of my friend's birthdays every year) and it has impressed even my "foodie" friends. I love telling them that I used a boxed cake mix and seeing their response! Even cakes made from boxed mixes can be quite yummy if you tweak the ingredients a bit. Enjoy!

1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Devil's Food cake mix (You can use the mix of your choice, but I am a Duncan Hines girl 100%!)
4 eggs
Vegetable oil
1 sm. pkg. JELL-O chocolate instant pudding mix

Prepare the cake mix according to package directions, except you will use milk in place of the water and 4 eggs instead of 3.
Stir in chocolate pudding mix.
Pour into two greased 9" round cake pans. Bake as directed.

While cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. You will need:

2 sticks butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 c. smooth peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 lb. powdered sugar

Cream the butter with your mixer on low speed, then add cream cheese and cream them together.
Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy.
Once the cake has cooled, frost it and enjoy!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Comfort Food Special: Tina's Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

In honor of Tax Day, a day which strikes fear and dread into the hearts of many, I thought I would post a recipe for some good old-fashioned comfort food! This is a recipe that my BFF Tina has made many times and it is always requested at her family dinners. Hope you enjoy!

2 Tbsp. corn starch
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard (optional)
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. butter
2 c. shredded American or cheddar cheese
8 oz. Mueller's macaroni elbows (about 1 3/4 c.), cooked 7 minutes and drained

1) In medium saucepan combine corn starch, salt, dry mustard and pepper.
Stir in milk. Add butter.
Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium high heat and boil for one minute.
Remove from heat.

2) Stir in 1 3/4 c. cheese until melted.
Add cooked macaroni.
Pour into greased 2-quart casserole dish.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 c. cheese.

3) Bake, uncovered, in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes 6 servings.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Salmon Patties

Here's another Southern classic. Their proper name is "Salmon Croquettes," but when I was growing up my family always just called them "Salmon Patties" and I'm going with that. I have fond memories of eating these at Granny's house and whenever I have them it takes me right back to being a kid sitting at her table. Hope you enjoy!

Two 5-oz. cans salmon, drained
2 eggs
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. chopped onion
1/2 c. bread crumbs
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil

Combine all ingredients except oil. Form into patties.
Put oil in a medium-sized skillet and fry patties on medium-high heat until golden brown on each side. Place on a paper towel-lined platter to drain.

As you can see in my photo, it is important to keep an eye on these while they're cooking because they brown pretty quickly! Ah well, we can't all be Martha Stewart, now can we? LOL

*My mom always liked to put cane syrup on these because that's what she always did when she was growing up. I've never tried that because I'm kind of a purist on some things but if YOU want to, let me know how it tastes!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chicken Ranch Tacos

These have quickly become a favorite dish at my house! They are so simple to make and are perfect for those weeknights when you just don't have a lot of time to prepare a fancy meal. Enjoy!

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. low-sodium taco seasoning (very important because this dish will be too salty if you use the regular)
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
Chicken broth
Taco shells
Ranch dressing

Boil chicken and then shred it.
Heat a skilllet over medium-high heat. Add chicken.
Sprinkle on the dry taco seasoning and Ranch dressing mix.
Be sure all of the chicken is coated with the seasonings.
Add chicken broth until desired consistency.

Serve in taco shells with all of the fixings you love - plus an extra squirt of Ranch!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Tina's Chicken and Yellow Rice

I have a confession: I am in love with Spanish cuisine. Having lived in the Tampa, FL area for many years I was able to sample many Spanish dishes and fell in love with the food. Give this girl some palomilla steak or a fresh Cuban sandwich and I am in heaven on earth! Chicken and yellow rice is another one of my favorite Spanish dishes and I am so excited to share this recipe with you! It is fabulous! The recipe is supposedly very similar to the chicken and yellow rice dish at the famous Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, FL, but I have never been there to compare the two. (Whenever I had a craving for Spanish food, which was often, I usually went here:http://laseptimacafe.com/).That being said, I HAVE tasted this dish many times and it is one of my favorites! This particular recipe makes a fairly large quantity but you can always cut the ingredient amounts by half. Hope you enjoy!

5 lb. chicken
6 c. chicken broth or water
1 1/2 c. tomato juice
1/2 green pepper, chopped into small pieces
1 med. jar pimiento
2 tsp. tumeric
2 Tbsp. salt
3 bay leaves
1 med. onion, chopped into small pieces
3 cups rice
3 cloves garlic, minced

Boil chicken and debone it.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine all ingredients except rice in large baking pan.
Put on stove top and bring to a boil.
Add rice. Stir well.
Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Peanut Butter/Butterfinger Rice Krispies Treats

I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Easter holiday weekend and were able to spend time with those you love! Did you try any of the Operation Easter Dinner recipes? Let me know if you did and how they turned out!

Today's recipe falls into the category of, "Make this once and be prepared to have cravings at any time. Do not keep ingredients on hand lest you are tempted to succomb to those cravings on a weekly basis and thus look like a house." It is a mouthful, I know, but they are really that good. Promise. Enjoy!

5 cups crisp rice cereal
5 Tbsp. butter (the real stuff, NOT margarine!)
10-oz. bag of marshmallows
1/2 c. peanut butter
8 miniature Butterfinger candy bars, crushed

Melt butter over low heat, then add marshmallows.
Stir until marshmallows are completely melted and then remove from heat.
Stir peanut butter into melted marshmallows until throroughly combined (at this point the stuff smells so amazing that you want to eat it right then without adding anything else!)
Add cereal and candy bars and stir until cereal is completely coated.
Pour into a greased 13x9-in. pan and press down with a spatula that has been coated with cooking spray.
Let cool completely (that's the hard part!), cut into squares and serve.