Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Not so much everydayness…

So I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I haven’t been around so much lately…yeah, you know you did. Well there are several really good reasons for that. For one, I kind of overestimated myself. I wrote several posts and set them up to come out twice a week instead of once a week so they ran out quickly and I had nothing…I hoped I would have something interesting to say, but I just didn’t I’ve been cooking and baking, but just haven’t blogged it.

Another reason is getting into the swing of another semester of graduate school. I’m taking Public Personnel Management and an independent study that I will go into more detail about later when it’s a little more fleshed out. It’s just not there yet.

Of course life always gets in the way. Work has been excessively busy. We’re deep into a lot of changes and a lot of late hours. And can you believe that I’m actually working all day? I haven’t had time to keep up with a lot of my internet hobbies and pages that I used to read on a daily basis.

The most fun thing I’ve been doing is starting my own sweets business. It’s all about custom sugar cookies and I’m also going to be offering special treats throughout the year.

So once again I’m hoping to start posting again on a semi-regular basis if not regular basis and one of these days I’ll get caught up…eventually…

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Key lime goodness!

My mom loves sweets. So much that every year she gives them up for lent and it is seriously hard for her. She loves chocolate and she especially loves key lime pie!

I mean she really loves key lime pie…

Really, really likes Key Lime Pie...

Maybe more than her children.

But certainly not more than her grandchildren!

So I found this recipe in Southern Living and decided to make it for Christmas.

To make this pie you need one of these. Seriously, the whole thing is made in a blender. Isn't that fun? No, you don't share my joy in kitchen appliances? Fine, you don't know what you're missing!IMG_5051You just dump all your ingredients in a blender and blend away! All the condensed milk, lime juice, lime zest, egg substitute, all of it, in a blender.
IMG_5052 I just thought this was a fun picture. I love the vortex look of putting things in a blender. IMG_5057 Then you just dump it all in a pie shell and bake it.IMG_5060 Top with your whipped topping.IMG_5062 And there you have it! Super easy Key Lime Pie!!!IMG_5065

I have made this recipe both with full fat ingredients and with the reduced fat. Reduced fat is really just as yummy. If you go with the reduced fat you save about 100 calories per slice and about ten grams of fat! It's still yummy, I promise!!


  • 1  (14-oz.) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4  cup  egg substitute
  • 1/2  cup  fresh lime juice
  • 2  teaspoons  grated lime rind (about 2 limes)
  • 1  (6-oz.) reduced-fat ready-made graham cracker crust
  • 1  (8-oz.) container fat-free whipped topping, thawed
  • Garnishes: lime wedges, lime curls


1. Process first 4 ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture into piecrust.
2. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Let pie cool completely, and top with whipped topping. Garnish, if desired.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ham and Cheese Crescent Rolls

Very rarely do I ever strike out on my own and create an original recipe. It is this fact that keeps me from ever being the "Next Food Network Star" as they aren't allowed to use cookbooks or the internet. The horror. I know that people would of course want to see my face and bubbly personality on TV, who cares that I can't come up with an original recipe to save my life! Who cares that I have to google ingredients to figure out what to do with them. I have just as much right as anyone else. Right?
But I digress... I rarely ever come up with original ideas, so this was a first. I bought some crescent rolls on sale at the grocery store last week and wanted to do something with them. So I unrolled them and added a little shredded cheese.
A little chopped ham
Rolled them up and sealed off the edges so that nothing could sneak out
Baked in a 375 degree oven for about fifteen minutes and served with a little bit of honey mustard.
So brown and yummy
And easy for Jay to help with...that is had Toy Story not been playing again for the fifth time this weekend... But he was proud nonetheless
So if you tell me that you've had these before or that you've seen a recipe for these before I' not hearing any of it because in my mind, these are mine, all mine and I plan to substitute other meats and cheeses in these in the future.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chicken Tetrazzini

So recently I wanted to make a casserole for someone. You know how we do it here. Tragedy strikes and we bring food. It’s the way we comfort each other. So I love the “Freezer Pleaser” sections in my Simple & Delicious magazines and one of the neatest things about this magazine, is that once you’re a subscriber, you get access to their database of recipes online! The “Freezer Pleasers” are recipes that make two casseroles. You cook one for dinner and freeze the other. All of a sudden I had this beautiful dream of myself making casseroles and having them on hand in the freezer! And then when I need one to take to someone or need a quick dinner I could take one out and cook it and look like I had spent all this time and effort. Ohm and I want to be five foot six while I’m at it!!! Please wishing fairy???
Back from fantasy land here, and I just want to say that this is one dish I love and have always wanted to make. I’ve made the convenience version (using cream of mushroom soup) and was left wanting something else. I really missed the creaminess of a “real” chicken tetrazzini.
So you start out by cooking spaghetti noodle and melting some butter. Add flour, salt and pepper to the melted butter and stir until smooth. Then I added chicken broth, half and half and whipping cream. Heated that to a boil and then let it thicken for a few minutes.IMG_5067I used my favorite trick for cooked, cubed chicken which is to buy a rotisserie from the grocery store! One rotisserie chicken yields four cups of chicken.Then I drained some pimentos and mushrooms (I love mushrooms).  IMG_5069Added all that to the mix. IMG_5071Added the drained spaghetti noodles, divided the mixture between two casserole dishes and topped with shredded parmesan cheese.  IMG_5077 Did I mention that chicken tetrazzini is one of my favorite dishes!IMG_5079And so here’s where I fess up and say that when I made this, I was so focused on getting it to the table since in the evenings my children act like they’re starving and haven’t eaten all day so that’s the last picture I got! Not of it hot and steams and creamy on the plate with a little garden salad to the side. No, this came out of the oven and was immediately shoveled onto plates.
My husband thinks I’m crazy for taking pictures of food again anyways…
He says there’s medication for this….
Here’s the recipe…


  • 1 package (12 ounces) spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 3 cans (4 ounces each) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 1 jar (4 ounces) sliced pimientos, drained
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add the broth, half-and-half and whipping cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  • Remove from the heat. Stir in the chicken, mushrooms and pimientos. Drain spaghetti; add to the chicken mixture and toss to coat.
  • Transfer to two greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dishes. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 2 months. Bake the second casserole, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.
  • To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until heated through. Stir before serving. Yield: 2 casseroles (3-4 servings each).

Monday, August 30, 2010


I wanted to do a blog post about fondant because it’s something I recently learned how to do, and it’s way easier than I thought it was going to be!

You see, I volunteered to make a cake for my Grandaddy’s 90th birthday! Of course I had no idea what to do for a grown up birthday cake and I wanted it to be extra special, so I went online and I found this cool family tree cake, but I knew that it would be really hard to pull off with icing. So I began searching fondant.

I asked friends who all said most of it didn’t taste very good and that just wouldn’t do. One weekend I baked a cake mix into three small cakes and topped each with a different flavor of icing. Canned vanilla, canned chocolate and homemade cream cheese frosting (I’ll never eat canned cream cheese frosting again).

I put all three into the fridge and started working on fondant. I tried one kind that claimed to taste like buttercream, but it just turned out to be a sticky mess! Then I tried marshmallow. The first batch again turned out bad, but I tried again and this time it worked!

So how did I make it? Throw some mini marshmallows in a bowl with a little water (1 tbs). Heat in thirty second intervals in the microwave stirring after each heating. Finally when it’s all melted, start adding some powdered sugar. When it starts coming together, spread some Crisco on your counter and all over your hands. It’s best to keep this in a bowl on your counter because as it works into the fondant it will start sticking to your hands and the counter and you’ll need more!

Then you just knead it, adding more and more powdered sugar until it’s all like a soft modeling clay consistency. Then slap it in a Crisco greased container and put it in the fridge. I bought a fondant mat that I could use to roll it out and it really helps to measure how big a piece of fondant you’ll need. And a fondant roller that will help roll a consistent thickness.

Carefully drape it over your cake and use a fondant smoother. There are tons of tutorials on the net so just google it and have fun! I started with these cute cakes. Just a couple of white cakes, then decided to try to tint it with gel colors and stick fondant shapes on the outside.
I decided and consulted coworkers and Jack that the cream cheese frosting had the best taste with the fondant! So I made these cute cakes for Nell’s birthday!
Red Velvet cakes with cream cheese frosting and blue fondant with white fondant stars and red trim. For Nell’s “smash” cake, I just frosted a yellow cake with vanilla frosting and decorated it with blue fondant stars and red trim.

Here it’s served with some cake balls which I’m going to share in another post! 
So now I was ready for my grandaddy’s cake! I started with a chocolate sheet cake and homemade cream cheese frosting. Then I covered it with white fondant. I had some problems with tearing this time. I think maybe I didn’t use enough powdered sugar in this batch! I then tinted two balls of different shades of brown and mixed them together to create the marbled tree trunk. I used some dark green fondant and hand cut out all those little leaves! I was so tired of leaves. Then I used some brighter green fondant and made larger leaves. I used am edible marker and wrote each child, grandchild and great-grandchild’s name on a leaf. Then used the same edible marker to “carve” my Grandaddy’s initials into the tree. It was really a hit!
Some people want to know what’s next?

Well I’ll tell you, no fondant for quite some time!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Hot Dog Wrap

 A couple of months ago I was poking around on Facebook and saw my friend and former neighbor Rhonda posted this recipe. It looked like so much fun that I went out and bought string cheese no my way home from work and we tried it that night. You see, I have an almost four year old in my house and that child could eat hot dogs, cereal and macaroni and cheese every day! Seriously! I know some of you feel my pain, right? So I made this that night. It was so fun and easy that I'm sure it will be a staple in my house.  

Hot dog wraps. 

You need hot dogs, string cheese and tortillas (the small ones)
Cut your hot dogs lengthwise down the middle
Then place on your tortilla and roll it up
Place on baking sheet seam side down and bake at 375 for about fifteen minutes.
I served it with baked beans and a little ketchup and mustard! They were easy and really tasty. 

You can of course substitute any tortilla you want and light hot dogs if you want. My child doesn't know the difference!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Girls are just...different

Since I’ve been gone, this little girl turned one.She is really such a light in our house. Even her brother can’t resist her. The smile and those curls. She’s now walking all over! One thing about her that we never experienced as much with Jay is her separation anxiety. She really wants to be with me or Jack at all times. If we’re in the room, she hardly goes to anyone else. I spent her first birthday party running out of rooms so that other family members could enjoy holding her!
This child thinks about things. At this age, Jay was just banging things together. Dropping things, throwing. Nell really thinks about what she does. She puts things into things and takes things out. She looks and works at things. She most enjoys emptying her toy bin one item at a time!
She does not like the outdoors! Grass is not her friend. Notice the feet held aloft in this picture!I really thought this would make a cute picture…I was wrong.And she has attitude!!!
This little girl is growing. Last night she started crying in her sleep and I went in to comfort her. I sat on the bed and held her against me as she fell asleep and remembered all the nights that I laid in that bed with her hoping she would go to sleep. This year has gone by too fast. I want to remember each moment.