Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dirty Rice

As my son spent some time down in the south, (Texas and Louisiana), he acquired a great love for southern food.  Needless to say, he is always asking me to cook some of his favorites. One of those favorites is Dirty Rice.  I found this recipe on  The only thing I changed was to add both ground beef and sausage to the recipe.  This was absolutely delicious!  He was absolutely thrilled that I made it and I was absolutely thrilled it was so good!!


4-5 cups cooked rice
1 lb. uncooked sausage or ground beef.  I used 1/2 pound each.
1-2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning (Tony Chachere's)
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. dried chopped parsley

In a large skillet, cook the celery, bell pepper, garlic, onion, parsley, sausage and ground beef.
Cook until the meet is thoroughly cook.  Drain excess fat.  Add the creole seasoning and mix in.
Stir in the rice and continue cooking over medium heat until the rice is heated through, stirring well the whole time.
(The Creole seasoning can be added slowly according to how much spice you like.)

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lemon Delight Jello

If you are looking for a perfect spring jello salad, then this is it! This isn't your plain old lemon jello, this is amazing lemon jello!  I found this recipe in an old college cook book that I pulled out from 1981 and was excited to try it.  This was an instant hit with my family and is now one of our family favorites!  I just can't figure out why it took me so long to make it!


2 (3 oz.) pkgs. lemon jello
3 bananas, sliced
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple-drain and save the juice
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Make jello as directed on packages.  Add drained pineapple, bananas and marshmallows.  Set in a 9x13 dish.  After the jello is firm, make the topping.

1/2 tub cool whip
2 Tbls. cornstarch
1 cup pienapple juice (add water if not enough juice)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten

Mix juice, sugar, cornstarch and egg in a medium saucepan.  Cook stirring constantly until thick.  Cool and fold in cool whip.  Spread over the set jello and leave in refrigerator until serving.
Serves 12-15

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Slow Cooker Apricot Pulled Pork

I found this recipe on, and was excited to try it since I am always looking for good slow cooker recipes. I seriously love my crockpot and depend on it to make my life a little easier.
The recipe didn't dissapoint and we made some absolutely delicious pulled pork sandwiches with it.  You could also roll it up in a tortilla if you want.  I will definitely make this again!


4 lb. boneless pork roast
16 oz. jar apricot preserves
1/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 can Campbells French Onion Soup
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 onion, chopped

Trim off the excess fat off the pork roast.  Place the roast in a 4-6 quart crockpot.  In a bowl, mix together the apricot preserves, apricots, garlic, salt, pepper, onion soup, mustard and chopped onion, then pour over the pork.
Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Remove the pork and shred.  Skim off the excess fat on the liquid remaining in the crockpot.  Add the pork back to the crockpot and stir well with the apricot sauce.  (If you don't want as much liquid in your pork, remove some before adding the shredded pork, then add any back after you have mixed the pork in.)
Serve on sliced rolls.
Serves 12-15

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding Dessert

This is a dessert that my dad has made for many years.  My dad is in his late 80's and still loves to cook.  He still makes this dessert, in fact he made it not too long ago when I stopped by to visit.  It is a pretty simple dessert, but so delicious!  I love the fact that not only is this yummy, but it brings back some wonderful memories of my dad!


2 small pkgs. instant banana cream pudding
4 cups milk
2 bananas, sliced
1 to 2 cups sliced strawberries
1 carton cool whip
1 box Nilla Wafers

In a triffle dish, (or you can use a 9x13 casserole dish) line the bottom with a layer of vanilla wafers.  Mix together the banana pudding and milk with a hand mixer until it starts to thicken.  
Put a layer of sliced bananas and strawberries on top of the vanilla wafers.  Pour half of the pudding on top, then repeat the layers.  Top off with cool whip.
Serves 8

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad

With spring just around the corner, I was excited to eating more salads.  I don't know why, but when the weather warms up I am always in the mood for salad!  This salad is perfect to serve for a brunch, or just to add as a side dish.  I like to use chicken that I cook and dice, but when I am in a time crunch, which seems to be often in my life, I just used frozen diced chicken chunks and thaw them in the microwave before mixing in.  I have to say this is absolutely delicious and definitely got me in the mood for spring!


1 tsp. finely chopped peeled ginger
1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 clove garlic or 1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1 box farfelle (bowtie) pasta
1 cucumber peeled and diced (remove seeds)
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup red onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes diced
1 carrot shredded
1 (6 oz.) bag baby spinach
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
2 cups diced chicken
1/2 cup sliced almonds
6 sliced cooked and crumbled bacon

For the dressing, peel and finely chop the ginger.  Mix together all the ingredients and whisk to blend well.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the salad, cook the pasta and drain.  Toss the pasta with the rest of the ingredients.  When ready to serve, pour the salad dresssing over the salad and toss until the salad is covered well.
Serves 12

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Brownie Waffles

I've said it before, brownies are my weakness!  When I saw this recipe from Zupas for brownie waffles, I knew that I had to make them.  Wow, I was thrilled because not only were they delicious, the were quick and easy!  I could seriously make these in less then 15 minutes!  That is a big plus for me, because when I have that brownie craving not having to wait is the best!  Serve these with a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream and caramel sauce and I couldn't be happier!!!


1 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar.  Stir in the eggs one at a time till blended well.  Add the vanilla extract.  Stir in the cocoa and then add the flour and mix just until combined.
Spray your waffle maker with cooking spray.  Add 1/4 cup batter to each waffle section.  (About 1 cup for my waffle maker will make one large round waffle).  Cook according to your waffle maker instructions, be careful however to not over cook!  Serve with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, or they are absolutely delicious just plain!
Yields 4 large round waffles or 16 small sections.  
Adapted from

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Ok, you could say I am a little obsessed with Peanut Butter M&M's!  With that in mind, I couldn't resist but to throw them into my cookies to make myself a double treat!!! These are so delicious that I have to admit that I am a little selfish and have to hide a few just for me from the rest of the family!


1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 (2 3/4 cups flour for a little denser cookie)
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 cups Peanut Butter M&M's

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Blend well.
Sift together the 2 1/2 cups flour with the baking soda and salt.  Add the sifted flour to the butter mixture.  Blend well.  For a little denser cookie add the other 1/4 cup flour. 
Fold in the M&M's.
Roll dough into 2 inch balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 9 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Yields 32 cookies

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