Fall Favorite #4

Growing up in Tennessee, family gatherings were not sparse. We got together for any occasion and then just to get together. With sixteen, grandchildren I can only imagine the chaos we caused my grandmother.

My Aunt Sue always had a Christmas morning breakfast. It wasn't just family, it was neighbors and friends gathering to celebrate the holiday. As kids that was the best morning. We opened presents, then got dressed to head to her house for the most amazing breakfast.

She has gorgeous Christmas china. I have had a fascination with it ever sense. Maybe that's why I now have not one set, but three. She had powdered donuts on the tiered platters. I know it doesn't seem that special, but when those little white rings are on Christmas china, they look pretty darn good.

One thing she always had was sausage balls. My mom didn't like them, so she never made them. Aunt Sue always had them. She would make them ahead of time and freeze them. So they are ready in a jiffy.

This is one of those foods that bring back memories, smells, and feelings of Christmas morning at her house. Try them today

You can find a ton of different recipes for sausage balls on the web. The pioneer woman has a spicy variety that is delicious. This time I just made the basic. To be honest, I don't measure. I just dump it in. Here is my best guess.

Sausage Balls
1 of of sausage
1 -1.5 cups bisquick
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix all in a large bowl. Using a cookie scoop to make them the same size, scoop out a ball and roll with your hands.

Bake at 375 until brown and the sausage is cooked.

Enjoy!

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Hot and Creamy Jalapeño Dip

I found a recipe Saturday morning to take to a little party friends where having. It was a jalapeño Dip that was served warm with bread.

Having never made it before, I had no idea what to expect. It was okay! Nothing great, not really terrible, but not what I wanted.

Today I made it again and added all the things that I thought would amp it up and make it an amazing Dip.

It turned out perfectly spicy and delicious. I put it on allrecipes as my first submission. Check it out.


http://allrecipes.com/personal-recipe/64660174/hot-and-creamy-jalapeno-dip/

Enjoy!

Fall Favorites #2

The air is cooler, the grass is getting crunchy, and the leaves are turning. That can only mean fall is here!

In Wyoming fall isn't only cooler, sometimes it is downright cold. There has been rain and drizzle for three days. So there is only one thing to do, make soup!

I love making soup. Any kind will do. There is something about chopping and mixing that creates a soulful concoction.

Today it was chicken noodle. This is the easiest soup to whip up in no time at all.

Ingredients:
Chicken
Frozen peas
Carrots
Frozen noodles
Watkins chicken broth mix
Celery

I don't really measure this out. It's more of a toss and see what it looks and tastes like.

In a large pot mix the chicken mix and water. Add the mix according to the package directions for the amount of water you added.

Let it come to a boil. At this point add the chicken. You can use any kind you like. I sometimes you leftover rotisserie chicken shredded. If using fresh, you can chop and sauté in a pan, boil in water then shred, or bake breasts in the oven sprinkles with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. Either way works, just chop or shred and add to the broth.

Next add the carrots and peas. I use dehydrated carrots. They are one of my top pantry items. Just drop a handful or two into the pot. They will plump up to perfect pieces. If using raw dice to bitesize pieces and add. Also add peas to your desired tastes.

Finally add the frozen noodles. Let them thaw on the counter until they are soft. I sometimes put them in the microwave for 25 second bursts. Drop one at a time into the soup. It is time consuming, but if you drop the whole thing it will be one big lump.

Let cook for 20-25 minutes at a simmer. When the noodles are plump and thick, taste the broth. Watkins contains no salt. So you will need to adjust to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Fall Must Haves #1

If you know me even just a little, you are overly aware of my fascination with fall. I just love everything it brings.

September – January, I consider to be a magical time. It just oozes family, cooking, and magic is in the air.

One of my favorite things to do is celebrate fall. As soon as it starts getting cooler, I feel the need to begin baking. I simply can't hold out. Now pumpkin spice everything is not what I'm talking about here. I'm meaning applesauce, pumpkin roll, and anything that smells of cloves and cinnamon.

Last year when I went up to New York for the yarn festival at Rheinbeck, I had the most glorious apple cider. It was different from anything I had every tasted. It was sweet and fresh! Not like the other stuff typically found.

After getting back to Wyoming, I knew I needed to share this great with my family. I began the search. I found it on Amazon. Well of course I did, I think you can find anything on there.

This stuff is magical. It arrives frozen or in some form of cold. Slushy is fabulous. I always order two, one in the fridge and the other goes into the freezer to save for the holidays.

Drink it cold or drink it warm, either way you will not be disappointed!

You can also order it from Their website at
http://kauffmansfruitfarm.com

Enjoy!

Pancake Sausage Muffins

I have been stuck in bed for a week now due to having surgery. Therefore I have been spending a lot of time on the Internet, mostly Pinterest. I have found some pretty fun recipes most I cannot try due to taking too much time on my feet, but they will be coming soon. 
This recipe is quick and easy and so fabulous.


Grab sausage patties and your pancake mix. That’s basically it besides a muffin tin and some nonstick spray. 


Cook the sausage until done. Mix up some pancake batter. 


Cut each sausage patty into four pieces. (crumbled sausage would probably work also)
Spray the pan with nonstick spray. Pour in just enough batter to cover the bottom of each muffin. Place 1-2 pieces of sausage in each spot. Pour batter just until the sausage is covered. 



Bake at 350 degrees until done. The tops will stay white. It will depend on how thick your batter is. I would say 10-12 minutes. But check with a toothpick. 


Serve with warm syrup. Great make ahead for camping!


I used my best dishes for these!! Since I’m out of the kitchen, I’m making cleanup easy for my family. 

Leftover Yummies

We all have a few foods that we enjoy as leftovers. Some are not as good as others, but there are a few that stand out. 

When I make mashed potatoes I always think about the leftovers. We of course have to heat them up for whatever meal they went with, steak, pork chops, fried chicken, etc. However sometimes the only thing left is the potatoes. In that case, I look forward to transforming this morning staple into something wonderful. 


Potatoes cakes are truly fabulous. They are whipped up in no time at all and are great alone or with the next days dinner. Growing up we had these quite often. 

Make these the next time you have leftovers. They are great with a meal, breakfast, or as a snack.  

Potatoes Cakes

Leftover mashed potatoes

1 egg

Chopped onion 

Flour

Salt/pepper

Oil
Mix mashed potatoes with egg. Add enough flour to be able to handle the potatoes. Stir in the onion. (Sometimes I add garlic salt and cheddar cheese). Make into patties and fry in a nonstick skillet with a little oil. Cook until brown on both sides and heated through. 


Enjoy!

Quick, Easy, and Oh, So Yummy!

I recently returned from a visit to my family in Tennessee. I always enjoy my visit and come back with lots of great memories. I also usually have lots of stuff from taking advantage of stores we do not have here in Wyoming. This year I also came home with a great recipe. 

Now recipes are swapped back and forth between my mother and I all the time. The significance of this recipe is it came from my little sister. She is not a cook. By that I mean she doesn’t try new recipes very often. She keeps it simple. She does basics! She could cook very well if she wanted but as she says cooking is not her thing. 

Well she shared this recipe and at first I was reluctant. The ingredients, all three of them, just didn’t seem to be a good mix to me. Then she popped over to mom’s and proceeded to whip this up. 

I was wrong it’s wonderful. Not only does it only have three ingredients but it is done in about 10 minutes, Maybe less! It is also addicting. 

The other reason I love it, is that it makes just enough. You don’t end up with a huge pot of dip. It is a rather small amount compared to my regular sausage dip with velvetta. So if making for a crowd you will need to double or triple. 

Here it is. You must make this! Chances are you have everything you need in your fridge right now!

Easy Sausage Dip

1lb sausage- swaggerty

1 pkg of cream cheese

1 can of original rotel
Brown the sausage and drain the grease. 

Then add the cream cheese and rotel. Mix throughly. 
Serve warm with tortilla chips or crackers. 

You will thank me for this one. I couldn’t resist. Had a bite immediately!

At Last… Gas!

When my husband and I were looking at homes and picking out appliances I was asked gas or electric.  Well I had never really been around a gas stove so I went with what I knew electric. Isn’t that what most of us would do?

I mean I watched my mom cook on an electric flat top. I watched my grandmother cook on an electric stove. So that must be the norm. 

Let me date myself a little. This was in 1997. Before major cooking shows on foodnetwork appeared on my satellite dish. To be frank we didn’t have satellite so I didn’t even watch those shows. I knew who Julia Child was, but I had never really watched one of her shows. At this point in my life I cooked mostly what I learned from mom and from foods in high school. I just didn’t see that many people using gas until I began to watch food network. 

As the years tickled by I became aware of the popularity of a gas range. The usefulness of a convection oven. I began to desire them both. However my stove of 17 years was working fine and there was no upcoming need for me to upgrade in the near future. At least I thought. 

When I cook pulled pork in the oven using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe, it never fails. There is going to be a problem. I don’t know why. There just is. Usually no biggie. It boils over every time.  

When the fire starts in the bottom of the oven. I try not to panic. I of course always remember baking soda is for grease fire. Or was that baking powder. Or was it salt. By this point I have a fairly large white hill that should put out the fire. However it’s changing. Somehow the element got bent has burnt completely into. The fire is now looking like a welders arc and it is coming out of the element. I am trapping it under a mound of well, all white matter. Let’s just say we are now moving into destruction of stove mode. My hubby is now on the scene helping to throw more white stuff at this point baking soda onto the arc. We have unplugged but the damage is not fixable. 

I’m devastated.  I mean I was cooking. It was done but I need to brown it. Looks like I’m getting a new stove.

  Yes, you guessed it I’m going to upgrade to gas. Well this is on Sunday and I am having knee surgery on Thursday. We pick one out in Casper which is 1.5 hours away. Then go back to pick it up on Wednesday. Who knew that stores don’t keep ovens in stock? We buy all the gas parts and JJ assures me while I’m bedridden  on Thursday and Friday he will get this bad boy in. 

  
I’m home from surgery on Thursday. JJ and my son work to get this hooked up. I can hear commotion but I am incapable of movement out of my bed. 

They get it all in place. I hobble in to take a gander and it’s perfect. I can’t wait to cook. However I can not be on my feet very long. 

I get to listen as JJ and the kids begin to contemplate what to cook. He is going to cooks on my new stove. He is the first one. I’m so mad and jealous. Life just is not fair sometimes. I hear the sounds of excitement and ooh dad. They cook 2 pizzas at once in the convection oven. Works like a charm. I’m drifting off to sleep and dreaming of what I will cook. 

It has been almost two weeks and I absolutely love it. It cooks like a dream. The convection is wonderful. I plan to cook two pans of cookies tomorrow at the same time just to try it out further. If I had known I would have set that other stove on fire purposely. Just kidding!

  
Is it crazy to be that excited about a stove? Yeah I think so. 

From A Movie To The Plate

I love a good movie. I love a movie even more if it includes Meryl Streep. Just love her. How can you go wrong with one of her movies?

 I have watched her in the movie It’s Complicated more times than I can count. I just love it. Her and Alec Baldwin are hilarious together. Now if you haven’t seen it rent it ASAP. I even have it downloaded on my phone so I can watch it if I get bored on a plane or car ride or I just want to watch it in bed at night. I know I’m weird. But sometimes, okay most of the time, JJ is watching some awful show upstairs and Loganne is downstairs. There really is no other option. So I watch a movie and knit. What’s more fun than that!

  

Now in this movie she is a brilliant cook. This is what draws me to this movie besides the humor aspect. I just love movies about cooking. 

 I have wanted to make the Croque Monseir ever since I saw her cook it. I had no idea what it was,  I just knew it came out of the oven smothered in cheese. 
  
Basically it is a fancy ham and cheese sandwich that you will hug yourself after making!!! I found a recipe by Ina Garten. It includes a cheese sauce that will allow you to make about 6 sandwiches. Maybe even one or two more. Trust me you will want to!
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/croque-monsieur-recipe.html

Give this recipe a try soon. You will thank me. 
  
I added roasted Parmesan and garlic potatoes. 
Enjoy!