Saturday, March 30, 2013

Paula Deen's Baked French Toast

I figured if Paul Deen says this french toast is absolutely delicious, then it must be.  However, everything she makes she says is absolutely delicious, so I needed to try this to see for myself.  What I liked about this was that you prepare it the night before and cook it in the morning.  Well, Paula was right, this was absolutely delicious!!  My husband said it doesn't even need syrup because it is so good.  I liked mine with syrup though mainly because I love syrup!!  Give it a try, and like Paula says, "so good ya'll"!


1 loaf french bread (I actually needed about 1 1/2 loaves) to make about 20 1 inch slices.
8 eggs
2 cups half and half
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
dash of salt
Praline Topping:
1 lb. butter (2 sticks)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

The night before you want to serve this prepare the french toast by doing the following:
Grease the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish.  Slice the french bread into 1 inch slices to make about 20 slices.
Layer the french bread in the casserole dish in two rows, overlapping each other.  Place the bread slices standing up in the dish.  Beat the eggs, milk half and half, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together.
Pour over the bread making sure to get in between the slices so that they all are covered by the egg mixture.
Cover with foil and place in the fridge for the night.  
In the morning, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Make the praline topping by combining the ingredients together and then spreading over the top of the french toast. Make sure to spread it evenly.
Bake for 40 minutes, until puffy and lightly browned.  (You may need to check it to see if it is cooked in the middle section, if not, cook it just a little longer.) Serve with syrup!
Serves 8


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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chickadee Cupcakes

While standing in line at the grocery store I saw a glimpse of some adorable cupcakes on the front of a magazine that looked like little chicks.  I thought they looked easy enough to make and so I thought for a fun Easter treat I would try duplicating what I saw.  These would be fun for the kids to help you make, and would spice up your Easter dinner by adding a little festive treat.  Sometimes it more about having fun then serious cooking!
- Robin


1 box favorite cake mix (Yellow cake mix works well)
Eggs, water and oil to make cupcakes
1 container of vanilla frosting
cupcake liners
Chocolate chips for eyes
Orange Slices candy
2 cups flaked coconut (can substitute with yellow sprinkles)
yellow food coloring

Make cupcakes according package directions.
Mix yellow food coloring into vanilla frosting, add enough drops to get desired color.
(I didn't dye the frosting and it would have been better dyed yellow FYI)
Frost cupcakes.
Place coconut in a large ziploc bag and drop abouat 8 drops of yellow food coloring into the bag.
Shake the bag until the coconut is completely covered yellow.
Top the cupcakes with the yellow coconut.
Place a chocolate chip with tip side down for each eye.
Cut the orange slice into small triangles and place for beak.
Cut larger triangles for the feet.
You can dye some extra coconut green for grass to have the cupcakes sit in, or put them in easter grass.
Have Fun!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Loaded Smashed Potatoes

I saw this recipe on website, and knew immediately that I had to try them.  What I found that I loved about this recipe was that it was really easy to make. These are like a loaded baked potato, but all smashed together.  I don't think my family will let me go back to making mashed potatoes any other way after sampling these delicious potatoes!


6 large red potatoes
1 cube butter
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 lb to 1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 green onions chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup french fried onions and more for topping

Cook the red potatoes in the microwave till soft. (I have a button for baked potatoes on mine and it cooks them perfectly.) If you don't microwave them, bake them in the oven.  Leave the skins on.
While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon and drain on paper towels.  ( The more bacon the better for me, so I used a pound package.)  Cut the bacon into pieces.
When the potatoes are done, put them in a large bowl and smash them, skin included, with a potato masher.  (Hence smashed potatoes)  Add the butter, sour cream, onions, salt and pepper, and mix in.  Add the bacon and french fried onions.  Serve warm.  Simple and delicious!!!

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lemon Cream Oops Cake

This is one of those posts where I have to admit that everything didn't turn out just the way I planned.  In my efforts to make a delicious Lemon Cream Cake, I found myself with what I thought was going to be a big disaster!  The cake was made, and as I attempted to move it and frost the middle, the whole thing fell apart right before my eyes.  In my dissapointment I threw the whole thing on to a plate and was really feeling bad about wasting it. Oops!  I tried to think of a way to salvage this dessert, since it was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS, yes my husband and I nibbled at it.  I pulled out one of my glass dessert cups and layered the crumbled mess and frosting into the cup, and I was pleasantly suprised that it didn't look too bad!  So I basically ended up with something similar to a triffle!  Yeah, I served the dessert cups and in reality no one really knew that it was supposed to be a beautiful cake instead!!  Thus, this is now what I call a Lemon Cream Oops Cake! After all, taste is most important to me and believe me, this was sooo yummy!


1 package white cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare
1 package lemon cake mix
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup whipping cream
1 package cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. melted butter
Lemon zest from 1/2 the lemon

Make the white cake according to the directions on the box, adding the sour cream and vanilla.
Bake in a 10 in round baking pan.  Cool the cake completely.
For the lemon cream filling, mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest of half the lemon and whipping cream.  Mix until creamy and smooth.
For the crumb topping, combine 3/4 cup of the lemon cake mix with themelted butter to make a crumb topping. 
To assemble the cake, cut the white cake in half so you can spread the lemon cream filling between the 2 layers of the cake.  (THIS IS WHERE DISASTER STRUCK ME) 
Frost the top of the cake with a thing layer of cream filling and sprinkle the crumb topping on top.

For the oops cake dessert, layer the cake and frosting in a glass dessert cup or triffle dish.  Make sure to add the lemon cream filling in between layers and top with the crumb topping.  Serve with a spoon!
Tastes just as good!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Breakfast Tacos

We are big egg eaters in our family, so we like to spice them up to give some variety.  These tacos are one of  our versions of adding a little umph to breakfast.  Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!  My boys absolutely love these!


8 eggs
1/2 red pepper finely diced
1/4 cup chopped green onion
a couple of shakes of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese, or pepper jack
6 1/2 oz. pkg. sausage links (10 links)
1 lb. shredded hash browns
8 Taco shells

Heat a small skillet and cook the hashbrowns according to package directions.
Set aside, keeping warm.
Cook the sausage links according to package directions. (We cook ours in the microwave and they turn out great) Cut into small pieces.  
Beat the eggs in a medium bowl.  Add the pepper, onion and garlic powder. (Don't add the salt and pepper till the eggs are cooked, that is the trick to fluffier eggs.)
Cook eggs in a skillet with about 2 Tbsp. butter. (This is how I always cook eggs, with butter)
Salt and pepper the eggs before adding the cheese.
Add the cheese just as the eggs are about done, lower the  heat and cover with a lid so the cheese melts.
Heat up the taco shells and assemble by layering 1/4 cup hash browns, 2 diced sausage links, then eggs.
Serve with Salsa and avacado and ENJOY!
Makes 8 tacos

Friday, March 22, 2013

Steak and Everything Sandwich

This has been one of my favorite sandwiches for as long as I can remember.  In my early years of marriage, I made these but used hamburger instead of steak because it was more budget friendly.  This is good using hamburger, steak or roast beef which gives you options if you are watching the budget.  Easy and delicious!!


2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. sliced sirloin steak strips, or sliced roast beef, or hamburger.
1 green pepper diced
1 onion sliced 
1 pkg. (about 9 oz.) sliced mushrooms
Hoagie Rolls
1 cup swiss cheese shredded, or 6 large slices
2 Tbsp. mayonaise
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the sirloin strips till cooked through.  Add the mushrooms, green pepper and onion.
Cook and stir until they become tender, about 5 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste, add the Worcestershire sauce and heat through. 
Turn the heat on low and spread the cheese over the top of the meat.  Place a lid on skillet and let the cheese melt, about a couple of minutes.  
Toast your hoagie bun in the toaster, or lay it on a buttered pan and lightly brown.
Spread mayonaise on the bun and  cover with meat and veggies. 
Soooo good!  Enjoy!
*If using sliced roast beef, cut the roast beef  into pieces and cook the vegetables first in about 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil. When the veggies are softened, add the roast beef and heat through.
*If using hamburger, cook the hamburger first.  Cook the vegetables in the olive oil and combine together after the vegetables are softened.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cake Mix Dinner Rolls

Cake mix in my rolls?  Oh yes, I knew these had to be good and for the record they weren't just good, they were AMAZING!  Cake mix, flour, yeast and water are all you need to make these delicious rolls. My family was absolutely in love with these, and I know they are going to be a regular request in our home!


1 (9oz.) pkg. "Jiffy" Yellow Cake Mix
1 (.25 oz.) active dry yeast package
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted (to brush on rolls)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Stir in flour and cake mix.  Beat until smooth. (I use my kitchenaid with my dough hook)
Add some flour to a pastry board (or your counter) and knead any additional flour into the dough until it is no longer sticky.
Lightly oil another large bowl and place the dough in the bowl, turning over to cover all sides with the oil.  Cover with a wet towel and let rise in a warm place till double in size, about an hour.
Once risen, punch down and place on a pastry board and roll into a large rectangle.  You want to cut the rectangle into smaller rectangles that are 2"x4".  Make an "L" with your thumb and pointer finger and that will show you how wide and tall to cut them. 
Brush each rectangle with the melted butter, then roll them up shorter end to shorter end. Lightly spray the cookie sheet and lay your rolls seem side down.  Cover with a towel and let rise till double in size, about 25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the rolls for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. (I always check them after the initial cooking time, then cook for another 2 minutes till they look right)
Brush tops with butter after removing from oven.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mom's Tamale Pie

I was looking through some old recipes the other day and I came upon another recipe that my mom had written years ago.  It was for Tamale Pie.  I remember my mom serving this quite often as we were growing up and how delicious it was.  It just flooded me with so many wonderful memories and it is so fun to have something written in my moms handwriting.  It is kind of a lost art, writing recipes, since we put so much on to the computer these days.  I think I should write a few down, just so someday my kids will have it in my handwriting.  Give this recipe a try, it was just as good as I remember it being!


1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 Tbsp. fat (that was on the recipe card, I used olive oil)
3/4 lb. ground beef (I used 1 lb. since it is sold in pound packages)
2 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn, drained (1 can)
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
dash of pepper
1 1/4 grated sharp american cheese (I used a mexican blend)
1 recipe corn meal topping (I used a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix prepared according to package directions, but not cooked.  My mom used to make hers from scratch, but she didn't include the directions so I substituted the corn muffin mix)

Fry onion and pepper in the oil till soft.  Add hamburger and brown.  Drain any excess fat from the meat.  Add tomatoes, corn, olives, garlic and seasonings. Simmer 30 minutes or until slightly thick.  
Add cheese and mix well.  Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish.
Pour muffin mix batter on top and spread to cover the top. 
Cook in a 375 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and cooked through.  
Check to see if it is done at about 30 minutes and go from there.
Happy Memories!

The Original Recipe

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Creamy Ranch Crock Pot Chicken

Many years ago my neighbor brought my family a version of this dish when I had been sick with a bad flu.  I fell in love with it and so did my family.  The crock pot version just makes the chicken melt in your mouth.  I love to serve this over rice or mashed potatoes with a big spoonful of the creamy sauce on top!  Sooooo delicous!!


6 chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream (or more if you like, I sometimes use 1 cup)
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
Lawry's Season Salt

Place chicken in the bottom of your crock pot.
Sprinkle chicken with Lawry's salt and pepper.
Mix soup and sour cream together pour over the chicken.
Sprinkle package of ranch mix over the top. Cover with lid.
Cook on low for about 6 hours.
Serve over rice or potatoes.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Pistachio Shortbread Dessert

I've made this dessert for years, but this time I changed the base of my crust.  I decided to go easy and use shortbread cookies in place of the traditional flour crust.  This made for a little more crumbly and flavorful crust which I loved.  My daughter always asks for this dessert for her birthday because she loves it so much.  I have to say, this is another one of those desserts that you have to be careful with because you will want more than one piece!


1 (13 oz.) pkg. Keebler shortbread cookies
3 Tbsp. butter melted
2 small pkgs. (3.4 oz. each) instant pistachio pudding 
2 3/4 cup milk
1 (8 oz.)  pkg. cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 carton cool whip (1 1/2 cup to use with cream cheese, the rest to spread on top)

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees.  Crush the cookies in a ziploc bag, till finely crushed.
Mix the melted butter with the crumbs and press into a 9x13 pan. Cook for about 10 minutes in the oven till lightly brown.  Let cool.
Mix cream cheese, sugar and 1 1/2 cups cool whip together till smooth.
Layer over the top of the crushed cookies crust.
Mix the milk and pudding mix together till it thickens.
Pour over the top of the cream cheese layer.
Spread the rest of the cool whip over the top and refrigerate.
(You could save a few of the cookie crumbs to sprinkle on the top of the cool whip)

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