Friday, March 30, 2012

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I am sure many of you have this recipe.  I have been enjoying it for years.  My mom makes Strawberry Pretzel Salad often -  a new favorite at many of our holiday gatherings.  If you have not made this salad, or indulged in this "salad" - I highly recommend giving it a try.  The combination of the sweet, salty, creamy is amazing!



Strawberry Pretzel Salad

1/4 cup sugar
11/2 sticks butter
2 cups crushed pretzels

Melt butter, mix with sugar and add crushed pretzels.  Spread in 9x13 buttered casserole.  Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees....let cool completely.

1 8oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 (8oz.) cool whip


Mix cream cheese, cool whip, & sugar.  Spread on cooled crust.

16 - 20 oz of frozen sweetened strawberries, with juice
2 pkgs. (3oz.) strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.  Add strawberries including juice.  Refrigerate gelatin mixture until partially set.  
( place in freezer for 20 minutes or so for faster thickening).  When partially thickened and a little "globby",spread over the cream cheese layer.  Chill several hours or preferably overnight before serving.


Printable Version

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cowboy Corn Casserole

This is a great recipe from a cookbook called "Cooking the Cowboy Way" by Grady Spears.   Grady is an amazing TEXAS chef.  This particular recipe was in the newspaper and I believe my mom sent me this recipe.

My family loved this recipe.  They ate every bite.  I didn't use jalepenos  - instead I used a can of chopped green chiles.  I was worried the jalepenos would be too hot for the girls even though I know Chris would have loved it. There was no zip to this recipe with the green chiles - good flavor but no zip.  You might try a combination or do what you think would work best for your family.  Chris also thought it needed a little salt - the rest of thought it was perfect!



Cowboy Corn Casserole


1  15 oz can creamed corn
1  15 oz can whole kernal corn, undrained
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp sugar
1/3 to 1 cup corn bread mix ( I used a cup or even a little more)
1/4 cup butter,melted
2 jalepenos, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Stir together in a bowl the corn, eggs, sugar, corn bread mix, melted butter jalepenos and just 1/2 cup of the cheese.  Transfer mixture to a buttered 8 x 8 baking pan.  Bake for 40 minutes, sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes longer.  Allow to cook 5 minutes before serving

Printable Version

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Prom 2012

Elkhorn South High Prom 2012 - My girls had a wonderful evening.  We were so blessed with amazing March Prom weather here in Omaha - 75 and sunny and with..... NO WIND!

 Cole and Annie (senior)
Danny and Jenna and Abbey and Jay (juniors) 
 Brittany, Annie and Alyssa

 Jenna and Jake at Coronation
Jenna and Annie

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sweet from Scratch - here in Omaha

I am actively planning Annie's graduation open house.  I love to cook as you know but just don't think I can do it all by myself.  This sweet southern lady from my church, Corie, has a business out of her home - "Sweets from Scratch".  She has taken all of her family's yummy cake recipes and turned them into a wonderful business.  Corie brought 3 small cakes over last week for us to try.  She has an amazing variety - from Georgia Peach to coconut to a fresh strawberry cake.  We went for the chocolate ones to try - Cookies and Cream, Reese's peanut butter and of course - Red Velvet.  They were all amazing!  I think we all had our favorite!  I especially loved the Reese'e peanut butter cake.  After we had samples, I decided to take a few pictures to share with you.  I know this information only benefits my local Omaha friends but I just had to share Corie's contact information.

Corie Johansen, Owner/Cake Designer for SWEETS FROM SCRATCH
Email or call order to johansencorie@netscape.net or call 402-445-4114

**Again, I apologize that these pictures aren't great.  I wasn't planning on taking pictures when we cut them.  I made kind of a mess!  :)

 Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
 Cookies and Cream Chocolate Cake
Red Velvet  Cake

Monday, March 19, 2012

Easy Sausage-Shrimp Gumbo Soup

When I was home Christmas, my sister-in-law Stacy, was making this for a New Year's Even Party.  I have never made gumbo before and since this was such an easy version, I decided to try it for my family.  A few loved it - maybe too many chunky vegetables for two of my girls.  It was quick and easy so that is always a plus.  I did add a little precooked chicken and probably too many veggies so I had to use two cans of broth.  Also, I had difficulty finding a frozen gumbo mixture of vegetables.   I just used a blend I found in the store and threw in some frozen okra.  I also used raw, frozen, peeled and deveined shrimp to throw in the last minute or two.  Enjoy!



Sausage-Shrimp Gumbo Soup


1 (16 oz) pkg smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (16 oz) pkg frozen vegetable gumbo mixture
1 (14 1/2 oz) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1  (14 oz) can chicken broth
2 tsp creole seasoning ( I used Tony Chachere's)
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb peeled, medium size fresh shrimp
1 Tbsp file' powder
hot cooked rice

Cook sausage in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until browned.  Add garlic, stirring for one minutes.  Add vegetables and next 4 ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered 5 minutes.  Add shrimp, cook 3 minutes or just until shrimp are pink.  Remove from heat and stir in file' powder.  **Can always add some extra hot sauce if desired....Serve over rice.

Printable Version

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Mounds" Brownies

My mom knows I love coconut so she recently sent me this recipe from a friend of hers.  It is quick and easy and perfect for a coconut lover like myself.  I am not a huge fan of canned frosting.  The bars still taste yummy but next time I would probably make a quick chocolate frosting.



"Mounds" Brownies

1 family size (9 x 13) pan of brownies
5 1/3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 can chocolate frosting

Directions:
1.  Prepare brownies according to directions, allow to cool completely
2.  In a mixing bowl, combine coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and powdered sugar.
    Mix with mixer until all ingredients are incorporated.
3.  Spread coconut mixture over brownies.
4.  Place can of prepared frosting in microwave for 10 seconds or until pourable.  ( please be
    sure to remove foil liner & lid)
5.  Pour frosting over the coconut mixture.  Let cool to set up.


Printable Version

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Baked French Toast

When my girls were little, any time we had breakfast for dinner, they called it "Backwards Night".  We did this on occasion with pancakes, waffles, breakfast tacos, etc.  I thought we would have "Backwards Night" tonight with Baked French Toast and bacon.  This meal was a huge hit with everyone.  They LOVED the french toast!  I got this recipe from my good friend Michelle  - we should have tried this sooner!

**The recipe says to bake it in a 9 x 13.  I followed the directions and flipped and moved the pieces around at 10 minutes.  I had two layers in my 9 x 13.  I moved the pieces around so each piece would get that crunchy edge.  I might bake it in a jelly roll pan next time so I could just flip them once.



Baked French Toast


3/4 stick butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup brown sugar
6 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 loaf French bread, sliced 3/4 -1 inch thick

Melt butter in 9 x 13 pan.  Mix milk, sugar, eggs and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.  Soak bread slices in milk mixture and place in melted butter.  Sorinkle lightly with cinnamon.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes and flip slices. Bake until brown on both sides.  Less crunchy, bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Served with maple syrup.

Printable Version

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Amish Cream Pie

We have been fortunate to have great neighbors.  When the girls were young, we spent so many hours outside getting to know our neighbors.  I hate that life has gotten busier, the girls are older and we never see our neighbors.  I miss my great Texas neighbors  - from Dallas and Houston.  They were like family!

Some of my Omaha neighbors have also moved away.  I have referred to Pat or "Miss Pat" on occasion.  Another great cook in my life was a next door neighbor here in Omaha - Missy.  I know I have shared recipes from Missy before.  Missy is a busy mom with a husband and 4 children.  They have since moved back to Indiana.  Missy was one of those neighbors that you felt you could sneak in her kitchen when they weren't home and borrow and egg when you needed one.  We got along beautifully and both had a passion for great food!

Missy made this pie weekly I think.  She knew the recipe by heart and it was her standard quick dessert. I remember my Jenna thinking it was the best when Missy brought over a warm Amish Cream Pie.  You will love it!

Thank you Missy for sharing this recipe - I know you still make it often.  We miss all of you - Hugs to your family!


Amish Cream Pie

1 baked pie shell, cooled
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
2 cups half and half
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon

Cook sugar, corn starch and half and half on medium-medium high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 10 minutes). After nice and thick, remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.  Stir til butter is melted.  Pour into cooled pie crust and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Printable Version

Monday, March 5, 2012

Another Casserole - Don Meredith Casserole

My friend Diane gave me this recipe about 25 years ago.  I have made it consistently over the years as it is easy and a different spin on a quick spaghetti night.  I usually serve it with a green salad and garlic bread.  My family enjoys this different version.  This is a great addition to a busy week night.

I did "Google" the recipe.  Being from Texas, I know who Don Meredith is. I just wanted to make sure this was the name of this casserole... and it is.  I did see it also referred to as "Mrs. Don Meredith's Cowboy Casserole".  If you don't know who Don Meredith (1938- 2010)  is, he grew up in Mt. Vernon, TX, played football  for SMU then for the Dallas Cowboys.  He then went on to be a commentator! I always so enjoyed "Dandy" Don Meredith.




Don Meredith Casserole

8 oz thin spaghetti
1 onion, diced ( I used minced onion)
butter
1 1/2 lbs ground round,
salt/pepper to taste
garlic powder,  Lawry's seasoned salt, chili powder
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of tomato soup
dash of Worcestershire sauce
grated sharp cheddar cheese



Cook spaghetti until just tender. brown onion in butter. Add ground round and cook until browned. Add salt, pepper and seasonings to taste. Add mushroom soup, tomato soup and Worcestershire sauce together, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Put into a casserole,top with cheese and heat in oven until cheese melts.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Coconut Creme KISS Macaroon Cookies

LOVE these new Coconut Creme Hershey Kisses!!  I just love coconut and knew this recipe for Coconut Creme KISS Macaroon Cookies would be amazing.  I saw the recipe on the back of the package, and I knew I had to make them... NOW!  I made them last night and they are oh so yummy - if you like coconut.  I followed the directions but decided to bake them a little longer to get that crunchy coconut outside.  I would start with baking them 12 minutes but I think I baked most of mine at 14 minutes.  Also, the instructions say to put the kisses in warm cookies.... and I did.  BUT my kisses melted and didn't stay all pointy like the kisses on the Hershey's website.  They still tasted wonderful!  My husband loves the macaroon part more than the chocolate part so I did make a few without the kiss in the middle.  Either way, they are heavenly!