Family Pizza Night

We had the best time tonight creating our own little personal pizzas. A mixture of toppings made a great dinner idea become family memories.

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Cookie #3, Can you say Gingerbread

This is one that really was a surprise. I love making Gingerbread. The smell of the dough, the smell throughout the house as it bakes both make it worth making. However most recipes it is just too spicy and crunchy.

This recipe is amazing. It turns out a fabulously soft and chewy cookie. Plus it has great flavor. It's not spicy at all. Recipe will post tomorrow.

Christmas Cookie Number Two!

I decided to try Eggnog Cookies tonight. Overall they are a very soft cookie and with the icing, they are just delectable!

Eggnog Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp rum or rum extract
1/2 cup eggnog
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Combine butter and sugars in a bowl. Mix until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time. Then put in the vanilla, rum and eggnog.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add slowly mixing after each addition.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes of until lightly browned. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack.

When cool spread frosting on the top and sprinkle with additional nutmeg. Enjoy!

Frosting

1/2 cup butter softened
1 tsp rum or rum extract
3 tbsp egg nog
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Mix together to desired consistency.

Perfect for Date Night.

I shared pictures of these mushrooms awhile back, then never posted the recipe. I made these last night and I still think they are amazing.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Gruyere

Ingredients
Portables mushrooms- medium size
Garlic and herb breadcrumbs
Diced garlic-1 tsp
Gruyere cheese
Chardonnay

Wash and remove stems from mushrooms. Place caps in a baking dish and dice stems.

In a large pan, add a little oil. When hot add the diced stems and sauté until tender.

Add the garlic. Sauté a minute or so.

At this point add about 1/2cup of Chardonnay. Add bread crumbs I add enough to absorb the Chardonnay and create enough stuffing for the caps. Sometimes more wine and bread crumbs is needed.

Place enough of the stuffing mixture in each cap to fill.

Top with Gruyere cheese and pour about 1/4 cup of Chardonnay in the bottom of the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, then turn to broil and cook until the cheese is slightly browned.

Allow to rest for a few minutes.

Enjoy!

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!

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!

It’s what I dreamed about!

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I woke up the other day with a craving for this soup inside a delicious bread bowl. Luckily for me the local grocery store carries fresh made bread bowls, and I found a recipe for the soup.  Within minutes, yes minutes I had mouth watering soup steaming inside a delicious bread bowl.

My picky eater son would not touch the soup. However he would dip the bread into my soup and eat that.  Weird!!

This was perfect on a snowy blowy morning.  I think it will freeze well to be enjoyed many times through the winter.

 

Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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1/2 cup butter

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1-2 pkgs (16 ounces each) frozen chopped broccoli

7 cups of hot water mixed with Watkins Chicken soup base or 4 cans of chicken broth

1 pound (1 box) of processed cheese, cubed. (I used 1.5 boxes)

1-2 cups heavy cream

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 cup water

salt and pepper to taste

 

1. Melt butter in a large soup pan. Toss in onions and sauté until tender.  Stir in the broccoli (depending on how much broccoli you want add 1 or 2 bags)  and cover with the chicken broth.  Simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes.

2.  Reduce heat, and stir in the cubed cheese. Stir until completely melted. Paying careful attention that it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.

3.  Add the cream. Stir to combine.  Next mix the cornstarch and the water. Add to the soup mixture.  Stir to incorporate. Stir often until thickened to your liking.  Add the garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.

4. Pour into bread bowls.  Enjoy

 

 

 

 

Sausage Pinwheels! A breakfast Must

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I am from the south and one thing that you find everywhere around the holidays is sausage balls. These are made with sausage, cheese, and Bisquick. Then rolled into balls and baked. They can be stored in the fridge and popped in the microwave whenever you need a little snack or a quick breakfast.

My mother always detested these creations. She mentioned more than once that they tasted like flour. I however adore them. Mom changed things to her liking.  I don’t remember when she started making these pinwheels, but they are really delicious. When I make either this recipe or the sausage ball recipe I make a double or triple batch so that I can freeze them. If you have to make a mess it might as well be a big mess!

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Sausage Pinwheels

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 1 tube crescent roll dough
  • 6-8 Swaggerty’s sausage patties
  • 1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

Unroll the package of crescent rolls. Pinch all seams to create a large rectangle.Place and flatten the sausage onto the dough

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Sprinkle the cheese all over the sausage. Beginning at the long side roll it up. Go slowly and pinch any seams that are ripping open as you roll. Pinch the last seam to the roll securing it.

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Slice it using a serrated knife about 1/2 inch thick. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown about 10-15 minutes.

 

Mandy’s Shepard’s Pie!

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I have this great friend Mandy who can do everything. I swear if it amazes me sometimes. I am beginning to wonder if she is human. No normal person can know or have knowledge of that much criteria. I mean really. What is up with that!

Anyway I was never a fan of the Shepard’s Pie meal until I tried her recipe. Actually I was not even aware of her recipe until my husband wanted to it made for dinner one night and remembered when Mandy cooked for hunters one year and made her version. So I texted her right away and got the recipe.

Yes, it is good. Okay it’s not good it is amazing. The can of tomato soup adds a sweetness to it and it is just fabulous. I would love to take credit for it, but alas I can not. It’s hers. But I make it often and the kids insist on taking it in their lunches to school and then all the other kids tell my kids how they have the best mom who makes all the best meals and I feel awesome.

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Here is the recipe. The picture above was right before I put it in the oven to do its magic and heat up wonderfully. I was going to take a picture afterwards, but after everyone dug in, it wasn’t as pretty, plus i didn’t get it sealed on one side with the mashed potatoes and it kind of sprang a leak which wasn’t as pretty anymore. So you only get the pretty half cooked picture!

I also doubled the meat because our packages come in 2 pounds or 2.5 pounds. So I just cooked it all, added 2 bags of frozen mixed veggies, and 3 cans of tomato soup. Maybe 2 would have been plenty, but I love to just make things bigger and bigger. It is what I do. Not sure how or why, but I always end up with my pans filled to the top with whatever I am making. They just always seem to grow.

Mandy's Amazing Shepard's Pie

  • Servings: 12-14
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 5-8 potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • milk or cream
  • butter
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the ground beef and onion.  Season with salt and pepper. Add the mixed vegetables and the can of tomato soup.  Pour into a casserole dish.

Mash the potatoes. Add milk, cream, or butter to taste. Season with salt and butter.  Drop by large spoonfuls across the top of the casserole. Then spread to cover completely. Make sure edges are sealed with mashed potatoes. Top with the cheddar cheese.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

Enjoy!