Tuesday, December 27, 2011

French Toast Strata

1- cups french bread (I used one loaf)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup cream  (I used whipping cream, but the original recipe called for half&half)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound Jimmy Dean Sausage
powdered sugar
more maple syrup

Eight hours before:  Brown the sausage and crumble.  Drain and set aside.  Cut one loaf of french bread into 1" cubes.  Spread evenly into a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan. Pour the sausage over the bread.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth.  Add eggs, one at at time, whipping in between each egg.  Add milk and cream, syrup, salt and vanilla.  Mix well.  Pour egg/milk mixture over the bread and sausage. Cover and put in the refrigerator overnight. 
In the morning, remove from the refrigerator, and let it sit on the counter, at room temperature, for thirty minutes.  Bake in preheated oven, at 350 for 40 minutes or until golden brown and a knife comes out clean.  Pour maple syrup over the baked strata and then sprinkle powdered sugar over top of that.  (I didn't pour the syrup on the baked strata.  I served it with syrup on the side, so that everyone could have the sweetness that they preferred.  Being married to GranolaMan, this works.)  SO SO NUMMY!  ENJOY!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Creamy Cheesy White Chili

I made White Chicken Chili as a mistake. I've been craving it for days. I'd checked my recipe on my iPhone while at the store to make sure I had what I needed to make it a few days ago. Then, when I made it this morning, I opened my cookbook. Oops. Later, I realize that I'm using two recipes ~ one from memory and one from my cookbook. Once I realized my mistake, I had to merge the two and figure out what to do because they were definitely different...one had cheese, one didn't. One used a bottle of Italian dressing, one didn't... Here's what I created using what I had and what I'd put into the crockpot before realizing the problem. It was the best White Chili I've yet to taste. Loved it!

2 chicken, skinless, boneless chicken breast

4 cans great northern white beans

5 cups chicken broth

16 ounces half and half (instead of cream)

16 ounces sour cream (I used low-fat kind)

1 bag frozen corn

4 jalapeno peppers (seeded and chopped in food processor)

1 packet of italian dressing mix no-name brand,just the powder, don't make the dressing)

3 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar)

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 large purple onion chopped

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

Put everything, except the cream, sour cream and cheese, into the crockpot. Cook on high for about six hours. Remove the chicken breast and shred with two forks. Add the chicken back to the crock pot and then add the dairy ingredients. Cook for another half an hour or so and serve. Salt and pepper to taste. SO SO GOOD! Great with cornbread! Note: I can't wait to try it with limes, avocados and corn chips all garnishing this soup. Enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Southern Chow-Chow

This is my new favorite southern style food. It's not really a food. It's a condiment. I've been asked by everyone in the west, what is it? My answer is that it's a cross between salsa, sauerkraut and pickle relish. Sounds strange but it's so tasty. My family in North Carolina serve it on hotdogs, beans, soup, you name it. We ate it as it was cooking with corn chips. I liked it better than salsa! And it's not an expensive food to make, nor is it a lot of work like salsa. Try it, you'll love it! Note: My first attempt, ZJ was reading the recipe to me and gathering the goods because I was also canning salsa at the time. She misread the peppers and gave me eight jalepenos. I used all eight. It was on fire to taste but was so so good! I'll probably use four, instead of the called for three next time. A good mistake, if you like things spicy!

2 heads of cabbage
5 or 6 large cucumbers

5-6 green tomatoes

7-8 ripe tomatoes

3 jalepeno peppers or 6 bell peppers or a mix

2 Tbsp. pickling spice

vinegar (I used cider vinegar)

2 cups of sugar

1/3 cup salt

Chop the cabbage really fine. (I used my food processor.) Put in large kettle. Peel the cucumbers, slice them lengthwise and seed them. Then dice them up and add to the kettle. Dice the green tomatoes. Mix into the large kettle. Add the pickling spice, either wrapped and tied up in cheesecloth or in a metal teaball to the cabbage mix. Then, add enough vinegar into the pot until it is 1/2 - 1/3 from the top of the cabbage mix. (So, if the pot is about six inches deep with cabbage mix, add enough vinegar until the vinegar is about 4 inches deep. Does that make sense?) Start cooking on medium high until you can begin to smell the pickling spices. Pour in the sugar and stir. Turn it down and let it simmer. In the meantime while it's heating up, drop the ripe tomatoes in a separate pot of boiling water for a few seconds until the skin splits on them, then peel the skin right off. Dice the ripe tomatoes and put them into a separate bowl. Use your food processor to dice up the jalepenos, leaving the seeds in. Add the peppers to the red tomatoes and it will begin to have a pink cast to it. Add the pepper/tomato mixture into the cabbage mixture and cook until the cabbage is cooked. Add more vinegar or sugar to taste. (I added about half a cup of sugar and it was perfect.)

When the cabbage is cooked, use a slotted spoon to lift it out of the pot and into the canning jars. After all the jars are packed, pour the liquid mixture over the cabbage. Seal and process. (I pressure canned mine for 15 minutes.) (Cousin Ronda did hers in NC for about 20 minutes with a cold canner. Aunt Verlie just lets it seal with the hot mixture in the jar and doesn't process them at all...but she's in her 80s and that's how they used to do it, so that's how she continues to do it.) Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mexican Chicken Haystacks

(not my photo)

This is one of the most simple recipes I've ever seen! Carol made it for Sunday dinner last week and it was a hit!

boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders

2 cans diced stewed tomatoes with green chilies

1/2 - 1 cup brown sugar

Place the chicken in your crockpot, added tomatoes and brown sugar. Cook the chicken until it's done and then shred it with a fork. Serve over a bed of lettuce, rice, fritos, cheese and your traditional taco type toppings. MOST tasty! AND SO SIMPLE! Enjoy!


about 4 quarts of cooked popcorn

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

5 Tbsp. butter

1 tsp. salt (not needed if using microwave popcorn)

1 tsp. vanilla1 cup peanut butter

1-2 cups milk chocolate chips

Mix the syrup, sugars and butter in a sauce pan. Stir while the butter melts and bring to a boil. Boil exactly one minute. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, salt and vanilla. Pour over popcorn and toss gently until mixed well. Once it's mixed will, toss in the chocolate chips and stir again. MMMM! ENJOY!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Carrot/zucchini/banana Bread

My sister-in-law, Anne, served this tasty Banana bread at our family reunion. Everyone asked for the recipe. I had to share!

Sift together:

2 c flour
2 c sugar
2 t cinnamon
2 t soda1 t salt

1 c oil (these days I'm subbing applesauce)
4 eggs
1 c grated carrots
1 c mashed bananas
1 c chopped zucchini

Mix together and fill 3 bread pans ¾ full. Bake 45 min @ 350. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fruit Velvet Salad

If Carol shares a recipe, it's worth trying! Here's an example of what I'm talking about!

8 ounces softened cream cheese

1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix

18 ounces blueberry yogourt

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form and set aside. Beat cream cheese with the pudding mix and add yogourt and blend well. Fold in whipping cream and fruit.

2 cups strawberries, washed and sliced

2 cups grapes

1 fuji apple, diced

2 bananas sliced

Carol used about twice this fruit to serve with the topping. A perfect combination of fruit and it was divine. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Syrup

Carol shared this recipe with me recently and we're in love! I find myself thinking about pancakes for dinner, just to have this syrup! She shared "Buttermilk Syrup", a family favorite years ago. This stores much better and is so so nummy!

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 cups sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup water

1 cup half and half

Whisk together the cinnamon and sugar. Add corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the half and half. Can be stored in the fridge for two months. Enjoy!

Sara's Salad

Carol's niece, Sara brought this recipe to a family party a few weeks ago and Carol has been raving about it ever since! Simple, no specific measurements, quick, the best kind of salad! SO nummy! A must try!


Spring Mix Lettuce

Blue Cheese Crumbles (find it in the cheese section at the grocers in a little tub)

Glazed Pecans (You can do your own or buy them in the nuts section of your grocer)

Red Onion, thinly sliced

Blueberries (fresh or thaw a bag of frozen berries, to save a bit of moolah)

Mix 1 part Brianna's Poppy Seed Dressing and 1 part Raspberry Vinaigrette.

Toss just before serving or serve the dressing along side of the salad. Enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Baked Cheesy Veggies

Carol made this last year and I'd forgotten all about them until yesterday. Oh, how glad I am that she made them again so that I can keep the recipe for good! This is so simple and so dang good! (Sorry, it's a stock photo because I didn't think to take my camera over last night. I'll photograph this dish when I make it, for sure!)

Boil or steam fresh carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. Use enough to fill a 9x13" casserole dish. Layer the veggies in the pan and then top with fresh sliced mushrooms. (I imagine you could use whatever fresh veggies you'd like.

Then, mix:

One stick of butter

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

8 oz velvetta

Melt the above ingredients together. Pour over top of the mushrooms and bake 350 for 30-40 minutes. Carol said that if you make this ahead, refrigerate it and then bake it before serving, it takes the full 30-40 minutes. But, if you make the veggies and pour the sauce over the top just before serving, you only need to bake it until the sauce is hot. I'll be adding fresh garlic to the veggies, some salt and lots of pepper too. Enjoy!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Buttermilk Hush Puppies

After a wonderful and perfect week visiting my dad and family in North Carolina, I've rediscovered my deep Southern roots! While there, I couldn't get enough hush puppies. I was anxious to come home and find a better recipe than the one I'd tried in the past. Before I'd even left NC, my blogging friend, Pam, sent me this recipe. It's the best I've ever tried at home, although, I made a few changes. Loved it! My kids have now decided that we all need to go back to North Carolina to discover more of our roots and to try more southern cooking!

2 c. self-rising flour

2 c. self-rising white cornmeal (I used yellow cornmeal. Mu local stores did not carry self-rising.)

1 tsp. sugar (I used 2-3 Tbsp. because we like our cornbread sweet!)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 large onion, finely grated (I used only half the onion.)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional) (I opted not.)

2 c. buttermilk

1 large egg

Combine first 5 ingredients; stir in onion and, if desired, jalapeno. Whisk together buttermilk and egg; add to flour mixture. Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches in a dutch oven; heat to 375 degrees. Drop batter by level tablespoonfuls into oil (the smaller the drop, the better the cook); fry in batches 5-7 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Yield: 5 dozen


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Whole Wheat Pancakes

One of my favorite stories about being married to my GranolaMan husband took place the week that I gave birth to our second child, Kelly Lynn, in 1980. I was recuperating in the family room on the sofa so that I could keep a close eye on our then 19 month old son, Dale. Doug was in the kitchen, just off the family room and willingly made breakfast. I made these whole wheat pancakes often, as they were one of our favorites, so I had the recipe permanently recorded in my head. From the sofa, I called the recipe to Doug, one ingredient at a time, as he mixed the batter in the kitchen. He brought me a plate of pancakes and they were delish! I praised his good work in the kitchen, "These are wonderful, Babe!" Doug, proudly confessed, "Thanks, Babe. I'll tell you my secret. I cut the sugar in half." I smiled in response, knowing my husband well, and said, "That's okay, I knew you would so I doubled it when I told you the recipe." ;)

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup oil

Mix the dry ingredients. Mix the eggs, milk and oil, then blend in well. According to Doug, cook on a buttered griddle until five holes/bubbles pop before turning. This is a thick pancake batter. If you like them thinner, add a little more milk. MMMM! Enjoy!

Monday, February 28, 2011

March "Welcome Spring!" Table

On the day after a foot of fresh snow fell, I set my March Welcome Spring table anyway! With Easter so late in April this year, I decided it's still Springtime, even though in Utah, we'll enjoy snow through May. So, I let my table says spring anyway!
I used three of my little Hummel figurines that were bearing flowers as gifts. We're so ready for flowers!
Not being much of a St. Patty's Day gal, I still wanted to use lots of green for the table. The green vase with soft green flowers, green dishes and sage green napkins all came together well for not being even closely related.

This, being a spring tablescape, didn't need lots of candlelight, so I opted for an ivy garland woven with a garland of twig patio lights just to give it some pop!

I love this garland with the dew drops on the leaves!

No placemats, just a simple doily across the table.

This is the first tablescape that I've created, in which, I've loved the daytime photos better than the nighttime candlelit shots. The morning sun shining and reflecting off the foot of snow in the front yard was perfect!

Even with all that snow, this table screams "SPRING!!"

I really want to open the windows!

For years, I've kept my Hummels stored in the Curio cabinet, but tablescaping has given me an opportunity to take them out and enjoy them even more! LOVE IT!

It may not bring spring any sooner, but it was my own way of welcoming March in like a Lamb.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February Table

My Valentines Day table underwent a metamorphosis while being created. It started out red and black and white, then went red and black and pink and then changed again to red and pink and white. In the end, I love it!I gathered many red accents from around the house and the Valentines storage bin.
Lit a few candles!

Added some pink candies... if you haven't tried Strawberry Whoppers, you're missing out. BUT. Do not set a tablescape with Whoppers in a south facing window or they'll look like this on your first mid-winter sunny day.

Red silky napkins tied with hearts that are meant to hang but made for cute little "napkin rings".

Some hearts and a few cinnamony heart candies... which are excellent in a wintry south facing window, if you like gooey chewy jellied candy. MMMMM!

Those yellow looking candles really are RED.

I love the look of the cream on pink on red plates. None belong with the other but don't they look great together?

A little shabby chic box filled with handmade hearts was a perfect accent!
The pretty red round placemat took the place of a charger this time and I love it! Bought after Christmas for 75 cents each.

This table didn't have as many candles as I usually like but the little lamp with it's red shade gives a romantic feeling to the table without.

This table calls for a little romantic evening! Don't you think?

January Table

Since I got my lovely table last year, I've anticipated my January tablescape. I couldn't wait! I'd had ideas of white and snow and silver-looking pretties everywhere for months. I could hard wait to take the photos. And then. It was done. And I didn't like it. Not at all. Ironically, several friends came in and said that it was their favorite yet. For me, not so much. I needed a string of lights with white wires. I only had green wired lights. So, after Christmas, I was shopping with Doug and, being that what he does for a living involves LEDs, he thought that we should only buy LED. To Doug, fine, if we're talking about car headlights, but for my tablescapes, never again. I didn't care for the blue tint of the lighting on the LEDs. I much prefer the softer, gentle looking lighting from the old-fashioned traditional Christmas lights. Enough said about that.

But, I did love using the silver chargers and white plates and white napkins and rings. White on white on white. You have to love that!

Liza bought me the little lantern, Carol bought me the snowflake cake pedestal, Denise bought the snowflake tin candle holder. So, the table was filled with goodies from my favorite people! What's not to love about that?

The little garlands and snowballs and snowflakes in silver and clear glass were also things that I absolutely love!

My cute little Arby's (of all places) goblets from the 80s are still some of my favorite things to use during the winter months. They're lovable too!
In looking at it, it will never be my favorite, but, I do love this table.
EXCEPT for those darn lights!

December table

My December tablescape was, by far, most most favorite yet! So much that I took photos of and spent every night looking at it and didn't realize that I'd not posted it on the blog! OH NO! I loved it so much that, for the first time in our lives, we didn't put the Christmas tree in the front window, but in the corner, so that the table could remain at home in the bay. It was simple, a bit rustic, a bit elegant, just the way I like them!The idea for this table was to make it elegant and yet keep it a bit primitive. I think I accomplished the goal.
It's only during the winter that I can use my Johnson Brothers Friendly Village dishes. So, I was thrilled to have them out every day in December! My first set of 8 was a gift from my favorite Uncle Bobby when I graduated from High School. My next set of 8 were inherited when Uncle Bobby passed away. He'd bought mine to match his all those years before. They are truly one of my most precious worldly possessions!

Believe is our "theme" for Christmas each year. I pulled the torchaire lamp in my living room from the corner and made it a part of the tablescape this year. Since the tree wasn't in the front window, we needed that extra holiday lighting and it did the trick!

Mom had a set of 12 little red dessert dishes that I also inherited last summer. I couldn't wait for Christmas to use them! And that red bell... I bought it from AVON with babysitting money when I was a teen. (It's sitting on top of a light, so that it really pops.)

After putting a few different candlesticks on the table, ironically, Go-Go, our puppy pulled a fur garland from the Christmas bins into the room to play. I cut it into pieces and wrapped the candlesticks for a little extra. I think that, besides the lights, it was my favorite thing on the table.

The lights! WOW! I purchased a new box of fifty white lights ($2) and left them semi-coiled, the way that they come out of the box, then placed this holly garland over them. Honestly, I think I spent more time looking at the table than I did the tree! I love lights anywhere, but on the table, this was the best!

I love this antique table. It gives me a perfect place to tablescape but I love the roughness of the wood that keeps things old and the tableware makes the statement that it's new. It's warm and inviting and welcoming. It's truly my favorite thing in my home!

Merry Christmas! (or memories as it may be!)