Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cookie "Surprise"

I am always looking for fun and easy treats. These cookies are so basic but so fun. I used premade dough this time but any dough could be used. I took the cookie dough and formed it around a mini Snicker's bar. I then baked them according to the dough directions. I have hidden Milky Way's inside and even Rolo's. You should be creative and give these a try - with your favorite dough and candy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sausage Pinwheels

This is a staple at our house or where ever we are on most holiday mornings. My family loves them - especially Jenna. I have been enjoying these for years. A tradition from when I was younger - we would gather at Libby and Ronnie's on Christmas morning as we were headed out of town to Texarkana, TX to my grandmothers. We did this for years - so great seeing friends on Christmas morning. Libby would always have sausage pinwheels for breakfast. Libby made the dough from scratch but I have found over the years that canned biscuit dough works great too. I love it that I can make these ahead and keep them in the freezer. My girls would love it if I made these on a monthly basis. I don't have an exact recipe as cans of biscuits tend to change sizes but I will share with you the best I can.

Sausage Pinwheels

2 cans Grands biscuits
1 lb roll breakfast sausage

Take one can of biscuits and flatten them, pinching all seams together forming a flat 14inch or so rectangle. Spread half a roll of uncooked sausage on top of uncooked biscuit rectangle; Roll up lengthwise - jelly roll style; Wrap in wax paper and freeze. Repeat this with the other can of biscuits and the other half of sausage; When ready to bake, soften slightly for about 15 minutes and slice about 1/4 inch thick and bake at 375 degrees for about 15 min or until lightly brown. Serve with your favorite jam or jelly.

* I know of friends that add cream cheese to the sausage mixture.. or parmesan cheese

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Family Thanksgving

Chris' mom and dad came from Florida for the weekend. We had a great visit! It was very relaxing - lots of sleeping, eating, jigsaw puzzles, more eating, movie, more eating - very nice visit!

Meg, Shelia (MeMaw), Annie, Jenna and Nick (BaBaw)
Routh Grandparents from Florida

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Bars

I have been making Gooey Butter Bars for years - my recipe is called Neiman Marcus Bars ... cause they are so "rich". However, I have found that most people call this recipe Gooey Butter Cake/Bars. I was in St. Louis for volleyball this past March and found out that this Gooey Butter Cake originated in St. Louis, Missouri. There is a coffee shop in downtown that has tons of different varieties - chocolate, strawberry, peanut butter and so on. I was searching online for a new variety and found this Paula Deen' variety on the Food Network. I think it turned out great - I sprinkled some powdered sugar on top for a nice finished look. This will be a fall staple in our house!

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Cake Ingredients

1 18 1/4 oz pkg yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 stick butter, melted

Filling Ingredients

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 15 oz can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
1 16 oz box powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. combine cake mix, egg and butter with an electric mixer. Pat mixture into a greased 9 x 13. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and pumpkin til smooth; add eggs, vanilla and butter.. beating together; Add powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. Spread filling mixture over cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake. Serve with whipping cream! I did sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar! Enjoy!

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Luau Bread

I am always looking for a new treat to make. I found this great bread over that Val made at ValSoCal. She has this fun tradition of making bread with her daughter once a week. Val lives in Southern California - you should visit her blog and see the pictures of her lovely home. I do enjoy Omaha but her pictures made me a tad jealous.

I made this bread - just cause - well just cause I love coconut. I shared some with preschool teacher friends and I did have pineapple cream cheese. I love it! The top was a little extra crunchy and the coconut smell and taste is perfect! If you enjoy coconut - you will love this Luau Bread! It is easy and the recipe makes 2 loaf pans -one to share and one to devour! Visit Val at ValSoCal for the recipe!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Iron Skillet Cornbread Recipe and Dressing Recipe

My grandmother always made the best cornbread. I make her recipe often - for soups, chili and of course - for dressing. I know every family has a favorite stuffing or dressing recipe but being from the south, ours is just a basic, yummy cornbread dressing. I highly recommend it - you can vary the amount of sage or other spices according to taste. I don't have a picture of the cornbread or the dressing just yet but due to a few friend requests, I couldn't wait to post the recipe.

Iron Skillet Cornbread

1 cup white corn meal
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 cup buttermilk or enough to make mixture reasonably thin ( I usually need a little more)
* to make buttermilk if don't have any, use 1 tsp vinegar added to a cup of milk

bacon drippings or oil

Preheat oven to 400. Put 2 Tbsp bacon drippings in iron skillet and heat oil in skillet in oven until oil is hot. You can use any oil if you don't have bacon drippings. Mix other ingredients in bowl and when mixed, pour into hot skillet- will sizzle around the side. Bake in your 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown on top and around edges. The cornbread should just flip or slide right out of iron skillet. Serve with warm with butter.

My Grandmother's Cornbread Dressing (a tradition for us at Thanksgiving and Christmas)

Recipe for one 9 x 13

1 pan cornbread, crumbled
2 slices white bread, dried and crumbled
small onion, finely chopped\
2 boiled eggs, chopped
2 raw eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/8 tsp sage (if choose to add more, add very slowly and taste - sage is strong!)
 12 oz bag Pepperidge Farm Herbal Stuffing (start off with adding 1/2 a bag and add more if needed)
3-4  14.5 oz  cans chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
salt/pepper to taste (check first)

Mix all together in a very large bowl. The consistency should be nice and moist. Use enough chicken broth to make it fairly liquidy. I taste mine to check the seasoning - I grew up tasting my grandmothers. Pour into a greased pan and bake at 350 for about one hour or until golden brown. Enjoy with your turkey, gravy and all the yummy side dishes!

Two 9 x 13 pans

2 pans cornbread, crumbled
3 slices white bread, dried and crumbled
medium onion, finely chopped
3 boiled eggs, chopped
2 raw eggs
3/4-1 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 tsp sage (if choose to add more, add very slowly and taste - sage is strong!)
12 oz bag Pepperidge Farm Herbal Stuffing (start off with adding 1/2 a bag and add more if needed)
5-6   14.5 oz cans chicken broth
1 1/2 cups  milk
salt annd pepper

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chocolate Toffee Trifle

I love chocolate and I love this dessert. I have been making this recipe for several years with different variations. I think this is my favorite. Feel free to change it up to your liking - use butterfinger pieces or pecans or any crunchy candy. You can use Cheesecake pudding as a layer or chocolate pudding. Also, I have used Kahlua on top of the brownies...... just be creative. Whatever you use will look awesome layered in trifle dish or a large glass bowl. Enjoy making your favorite combination.

**Please see notes below recipe as I made it again and changed a few things

Chocolate Toffee Trifle

1 lg.brownie mix for a 9 x 13 pan
chopped Heath Bar pieces
caramel ice cream topping

1 pkg instant chocolate pudding-3.9 oz
1/2 cup water
1/2 pint whipping cream
3 Tbsp sugar

1 12 oz container of Cool Whip

Prepare brownie mix according to directions in a 9 x 13 pan. Cool. Use hand mixer and mix the whipping cream with sugar until cream forms a peak. Mix pudding with water and fold in cream. Break the brownie into bite size pieces and place 1/2 of the pieces in the bottom of your trifle dish,drizzle with caramel ice cream topping and generously sprinkle with Heath pieces. Top with 1/2 chocolate pudding mixture then 1/2 Cool Whip and Repeat. Top final Cool Whip layer with Heath bar crumbles. Enjoy - I promise your guests will!

* I used the larger box of Instant pudding/3/4 cup water and mixed it with a full pint of whipped whipping cream. I didn't feel like this layer was chocolatey enough either time so I added Hershey's chocolate syrup til I felt it was perfect. (It was amazing!) I also used the larger container of Cool Whip. I did brownie, caramel syrup, heath pieces, chocolate mousse layer, Cool whip then repeat - topped the final Cool Whip layer with a sprinkling of Heath pieces. I liked the thicker layers - so YUM!

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Brisket

I am always looking for quick and easy meals that are flavorful and also healthy. I found this recipe several years ago. I think it is from Southern Living - but not totally for sure. I made it the other day with a brisket... as the recipe calls for but felt the brisket was pretty pricey. Everyone loved it so the meat didn't go as far as I would have liked. I may try it next time with a roast. We enjoyed this in flour tortillas with sour cream, salsa, cheese, sour cream,avocado and cilantro.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Brisket

1 – 2 medium onions

2 celery ribs

2 garlic cloves

1 (2 – 3 lb.) trimmed brisket

2 tsp. salt

1¼ tsp. Chipotle chili powder

Chopped cilantro

Flour tortilla

Favorite toppings – shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa,chopped fresh cilantro

Place first 3 ingredients in your crockpot. If you don’t have a trimmed brisket, trim the fat off now. Cut the brisket into about 3 individual pieces, rub each piece with salt and chipotle powder and place on top of the vegetables. Top with about a cup of chopped cilantro.

Cover and cook on high 6 – 8 hours or all day on low. Use 2 forks to shred the meat discarding any fat pieces

Serve with warm flour tortillas and your favorite toppings!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Asiago Cheese Dip

This is an awesome appetizer that I have been making for years. The asiago flavor with the sun-dried tomatoes is just one of my favorites. I recommend doubling this recipe if taking it to a party.

Asiago Cheese Dip

1 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms (I didn't use)
1/2 cup sundried tomato pieces( I used the ones in oil, drained)
8 oz. sour cream
grated Asiago for top
baguette slices

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a round or square pan with non-stick cooking spray. Mix ingredients and pour into pan. Top with a thin layer of Asiago cheese then bake for 30 minutes or til bubbly and browning around the edges. Serve warm with a baguette or favorite cracker.

Printable Version

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

I saw this recipe on a great blog.... LICK THE BOWL GOOD. Monica is a Texas girl too and has lots of great recipes and pictures. I highly recommend checking out her fun site.

I made her Pepperoni Pizza Puffs and they turned out awesome. I doubled the recipe as I was taking it to our Pitch Card Club. I was very pleased with how easy the recipe was and even better... how tasty these little puffs really are. My hubby suggested using ham and a few different spices and making these for a breakfast treat.

Please visit Lick the Bowl Good - Monica's has the recipe and great pictures of these little puffs!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mint Chocolate Bars

If you love mint, you will love this recipe. It kind of reminds me of an Andes mint. I love that it is served cold - so yum! I truly cannot stop eating it!

Mint Chocolate Bars

Cake Layer

1/2 cup butter,softened
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups Hershey's syrup
1 cup all purpose flour

Heat oven to 350. Combine butter and sugar, add eggs then syrup; Add flour slowly to avoid lumps. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until center of cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool completely in pan.

Mint Cream Center

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp mint extract (not peppermint)
3 drops green food coloring

Combine and beat til smooth. Spread over cooled cake. Chill.


2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 stick butter

Melt the two together in microwave. Allow to cool slightly and thicken, gently spread over mint layer. Cover and chill at least an hour before serving. Best if kept stored in the refrigerator! Enjoy!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Cream Cheese Danish

This is a great new recipe. I just made it for fun and took it share with my preschool teacher friends. My family and friends really enjoyed it. It is very easy and looks as good as it tastes.

Cream Cheese Danish

2 can crescent rolls (I used the new Crescent sheets)
2 8 oz can cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 -2 tsp lemon juice - ( I used one)


4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp milk
2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with Pam. If using regular crescent rolls, piece seams together and cover the bottom of the pan. Mix rest of ingredients and pour over dough. Pour mixture over the dough and top with the other sheet of crescent rolls.. sealing the edges. Bake at 350 until golden brown - think mine took about 15 minutes. Make frosting and frost while hot. I put my frosting in a quart ziploc bag, snipped the corner and drizzled the top of the danish. Cool completely.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Swiss Vegetable Medley

I got this recipe years ago from my mother in law. Shelia is a great cook -anything she has ever made for us has been very tasty. I decided to finally try this recipe. With Thanksgiving approaching, I think this would make a great side dish - a little twist to the traditional green bean casserole.

Swiss Vegetable Medley

1 large bag of frozen veggies-carrots, cauliflower and broccoli medley, thawed and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup ( 4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese (I used half gruyere - that was what I had :)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimento (optional - I didn't use)
1 (2.8) can Durkee Fried onions

Combine veggies, soup, sour cream, half of the cheese, pepper and half of the Durkee onions; Pour into a greased 1 quart casserole dish. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and Durkee onions and bake for 5 more minutes. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holiday Sweet Potatoes

My family had been enjoying these as long as I can remember and probably before I was even around. I have tasted many different types -some with marshmallows, some with a pecan crumble topping, some sliced with brown sugar/butter, etc. Our variety is whipped and then baked with the large marshmallows on top. It is sweet but not too terribly rich. I have not always loved sweet potatoes but can't imagine Thanksgiving or Christmas without them. Even if you have a spoonful, it is the perfect taste to go with your turkey, dressing, cranberries, rolls, etc. ENJOY!

Sweet Potatoes

6 sweet potatoes - all about the same size for even cooking
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk (can use half/half)
3-4 eggs depending on size of potatoes
little cinnamon - to taste
dash nutmeg-to taste
1 tsp vanilla
large marshmallows

Bake sweet potatoes at 350 until you can stick a knife through the potato and it slides right off; If some of your potatoes are larger - make sure all of them are done/soft so not to have lumps in your sweet potatoes; using a mixer - start with potatoes and then add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into a greased baking dish and top with large marshmallows; Bake at 325 until marshmallows are golden on top.

* I have made these ahead of time and frozen - without the marshmallows. Just bring to room temperature before baking. I often just make the day before and refrigerate.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

8 cup Fruit Salad - love this and perfect for holidays

As I start thinking about Thanksgiving, I reminded of some of my very favorite holiday recipes. I will share a few over the next few weeks. Being from Texas, we love to eat but we really like to eat on holidays. I especially love my mom's pecan pie and my grandmother's cornbread dressing.

This salad is one of those dessert like salads that is always a hit. We all love it and we love it leftover the next day. We have it every Thanksgiving -and usually Christmas too.

8 cup Fruit Salad

1 large can mandarin oranges, well drained
1 large can pineapple tidbits, well drained
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup coconut
1 cup sour cream
8 oz container Cool Whip
maraschino cherries
a little powdered sugar - to taste

Drain oranges and pineapple as much as possible - this will keep the salad from becoming runny-I actually have a silicone strainer that I can twist and get tons of the juice out; toast pecans; Rinse cherries, pat dry and slice in half; Mix this all together and add a little powdered sugar to reach the desired sweetness.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

I got this recipe from my Baylor friend - Belinda. She made it for us on a girl's weekend and we all loved it. I have since made it numerous times - for family, teacher conferences, etc. We like it with any yummy bread - beer bread, foccacia bread or just oyster crackers. I have to say I don't really enjoy tomato soup and I LOVE this soup!  We often eat this soup with the Mini Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches or a yummy baguette from Panera!

Tomato Basil Soup

32 oz can chicken broth
46 oz. tomato juice
2 medium cans of petite diced tomatoes
1 small container of basil leaves - 20 leaves or so
1 quart heavy cream
1 stick butter

Puree one of the diced tomatoes with the basil. Sometimes I puree it all - just depends on what texture you like.  Combine tomatoes, broth, juice in large pan over medium high heat. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat simmering 30 minutes. Add cream, butter, salt and pepper. Continue stirring over low heat until ready to serve.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Chris!

Chris and his 3 girls - we are fortunate at our house to have the BEST DAD ever!

I usually make the German Chocolate 3 layer cake recipe from the box of Baker's Chocolate. Jenna really wanted that one but Chris and I decided to make him a different one. My grandmother used to make a 3 layer pineapple cake for my brother every year. I decided to try my grandmother's recipe. I did use a different frosting but the cake was very yummy.

My grandmother uses this same cake recipe for her 3 layer coconut cake at Christmas. I was looking at her recipe and it is similar to the German chocolate cake recipe. Enjoy!

Pineapple Cake

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder

Sift flour, salt and baking powder in one bowl; separate eggs; Cream butter and sugar then add egg yolks one at a time; Add vanilla; add milk alternating with flour mixture. Beat egg whites to form a peak and gently fold into cake mixture. Line bottom of 3 eight inch round cake pans with wax paper and spray with PAM. Add cake mixture to pans and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until slightly brown and toothpick comes out clean. Use a knife to loosen cake from edge of pan - allow to cool 15 minutes and then turn over onto a cooling rack to continue to cool. Frost when cool.


1 large can of crushed pineapple in heavy syrup

1 lb of powdered sugar
1/2 stick softened butter
8 oz softened cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
Little milk to reach desired consistency

Place first cake layer on a plate. Spoon 1/3 juice and crushed pineapple all over first layer - slightly press down so juice will soak into cake; top with a layer of frosting; add next cake layer - spoon another 1/3 of pineapple and juice over this cake layer and frost this layer with 1/3 frosting; top with last cake layer, then rest of pineapple and juice and then rest of frosting.

* I couldn't find crushed pineapple in heavy syrup - only chunks so I crushed my own
* I like this cake COLD - so we kept in the refrigerator. My hubby doesn't love his cold - likes the cake a little more at room temperature.