Recipes             Menus              Entertaining             About

Starred Recipes

3 Stars - A Family Favorite
2 Stars - Really Good, Will Make Again
1 Star - Good Recipe, Probably Won't Make Again

December 31, 2011

Warm Cranberry Brie

Mississippi Magazine
Warm Cranberry Brie

I found this delicious recipe in the November/December 2011 edition of Mississippi Magazine. 
My friend Ginger had the girls over right before we all left for the holidays.
I decided this dish would be perfect to take to a girls night.

It's very easy and is great served with green apple slices and Triscuits.

You mix whole berry cranberry sauce, nutmeg, and brown sugar.
Remove the top from a Brie round and place it on a baking dish.
Top with the cranberry mixture and chopped pecans.

Bake at 475* for 5 minutes and serve.

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.

Bon Appetit!

December 21, 2011

Bourbon Balls

Lora's Bourbon Balls

We attended John's 50th birthday party a few weeks ago, and our friends Lora and Rob presented him with the most delicious Bourbon Balls.  As you can tell from his birthday present pile, Bourbon Balls were a perfect idea.

Lora happily shared her recipe with me and I made some for Christmas.
I believe I have two brothers-in-law who might enjoy them.

I liked 3 things about this recipe.  First - they weren't covered in powdered sugar that get all over the clothes.  Second - I had all the ingredients on hand except the Vanilla Wafers.  And C - simple & delicious!

You crush a box of Nilla Wafers and a cup of pecans.
I did this in the blender and it worked well.

Then you add in other ingredients, including Makers Mark bourbon.

Roll them into balls.  This recipe makes 4 dozen.

Then roll those into granulated sugar.

Resist the urge to taste any more than one and pop in an air-tight container for 3 days before serving or sharing.

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.

Happy Holidays!

Chicken and Tortellini Soup

Chicken and Tortellini Soup

Sometimes the simplest meals end up becoming a "family favorite" - as my youngest calls those meals he'd like me to serve time and again. 
It's always a treat when all 4 of us love a dish.
So is the case in this spur-of-the-moment weeknight soup I "created" last night.

This is very similar to the Turkey Noodle Soup I posted after Thanksgiving.

I had all of the items on hand, and decided to make a soup.
I served it with leftover Steamed Broccoli from the night before.

I put 10 cups of chicken broth in a large soup pot and turned it on while I cleaned and chopped celery and carrots.  I put the vegetables in.
Then I turned the soup to high and, once boiling, added in packaged cheese tortellini.

I let that cook on medium high for 7 minutes.
Then I added shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken (or you could use 3 cooked chicken breasts) and cooked for another 5 minutes on simmer.

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.

Soup's On!

December 19, 2011

Cranberry Chicken

Barb's Cranberry Chicken

Last week I attended our preschool board's annual Christmas luncheon, hosted by the preschool director. She has the board over for a short meeting and lunch to thank everyone for their service to the church's preschool. Barb is a fantastic cook, and the luncheon is always a treat.

This year Barb served a wonderful chicken dish that everyone just loved.
Barb cooks "easy dishes only" and was happy to share the recipe with us.
I couldn't get over the ingredients.

I made it last night.  Can you tell what's in it?

What a surprise!
The chicken is really moist and delicious.
The only change I would make is to use half an onion soup packet instead of a whole one.

You just mix the 3 ingredients together and spread it on top of trimmed chicken breasts or tenders.
Great for make-ahead and then pop in the oven for 30 minutes when you're ready for dinner.

Simple, delicious, and different!

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.


December 18, 2011

Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake

Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake

I'm not a big cake person, or a baker really, but I was so excited to make this cake.
I have had it a few times and really liked it.
It's so moist and rich, and is truly Southern.

I pinned this recipe (on Pinterest) a few weeks ago, originally from May Flaum at her blog.
I modified it slightly.
David asked me early last week if I would make a dessert for a board Christmas party he was attending.
Perfect time to try this out!

You start by mixing dry ingredients in a bowl and then cooking the butter, cocoa powder, Coke, and milk over medium-high heat.

Then you mix the two together and add eggs and vanilla.
Bake in a greased 9x13 pan at 350* for 30 minutes.

While the cake is baking, you bake a glaze on medium heat - butter, cocoa, and more Coke.

You remove it from the stove top and add confectioner's sugar until it's dissolved.

Then pour it right onto the piping hot cake!

You can serve the cake hot, at room temperature, or chilled.
It's all fantastic!

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.


December 15, 2011

Cheddar Baked Chicken

Clover Lane's
Cheddar Baked Chicken

Like the recent Feta Dip, this recipe comes from Sarah at her cooking blog Cooking on Clove Lane.
It sounded delicious and I have all of the ingredients on hand so I decided to try it out earlier this week.

You take a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and trim them. 
I then usually cut them into smaller sizes.  They bake faster and they are more child (and diet) sized.

Then you set up a station with three bowls.
The first combines flour, salt & pepper.
The second a beaten egg with 1 Tbsp milk.
The third bread crumbs and Rice Krispies.

You dip each chicken breast into the flour, then the egg wash, then the bread crumbs/cereal, then lay in a 9x13 dish. 

Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle 1 Tbsp melted butter over the top and bake at 350* for 35 minutes or so, depending on the size of your chicken breasts.

I left one uncovered so you could see what it looked like.

I thought this dish was delicious.
Leftovers for lunch were great too!

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.


December 14, 2011

Christmas Cake

Mama's Christmas Cake

This is a cake that my mom has made many times over the years.
I was pleased to learn that it wasn't that hard to assemble, and it makes quite an impression.
I made it for my international cooking club a couple of years ago and they were thrilled to learn to make something so unique for the holidays!

I served it at our Wine Club dinner Sunday night, and I got several "oohs" and "it's lovely!".

Start by laying a piece of wax paper on a 15x10 pan and then spraying Pam on the wax paper.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.

In the mixer beat eggs until thick, then add sugar and beat on high for 5 minutes until thick and creamy.  Add orange juice and combine, then add in flour mixture.

Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly.  Bake at 375 for 12 minutes.

Lay a clean dish towel on the countertop and sprinkle it with confectioner's sugar.
Remove the pan from the oven and invert it onto the towel.

Remove the wax paper and cut off 1/4 inch around all sides of the cake.
Feed the "cake strips" to your hungry helper.

Roll up the cake and towel and allow to cool completely.

Drain the cherries well.
Combine heavy cream and confectioner's sugar in a mixer and beat on high until thick and creamy.  Stir in vanilla.

Unroll the cake and spread half the whipped cream onto the cake and all but 3 of the cherries.
Twice I've forgotten to hold back 3 cherries and kicked myself.
 Note: You'll notice I didn't spread half the whipped cream on the cake because I was afraid I wouldn't have enough leftover to frost the cake. Fear not! You'll have plenty, so use 1/2!

Then roll the cake back up and place, seam down, on your serving platter.

Then frost with remaining whipped cream and garnish with the remaining 3 cherries and holly leaves from your front yard :)

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.

Happy Holidays!



Last year at Christmas my mom made a delicious batch of Glühwein for our family.
This weekend our Wine Club was over so I made it for everyone.

When I was young we lived in Germany.  In the 7th grade my class took a trip to Nürnberg at Christmas and we visited the Christkindlmarkt (outdoor Christmas market).  There I saw this huge batch of Glühwein for sale by the mug to adults needing a hot toddy while they shopped. 

While it didn't look delicious then, I think it would hit the spot now on a snowy December shopping day outdoors in Germany!

Glühwein is also known as Mulled Wine.
It's served warm and can be garnished with a cinnamon stick or thin slice of orange.

I made a double batch last weekend and it was just about gone.

Here is the recipe for the single batch.

You heat water in a pan and add the cinnamon sticks, honey, and spices.

Then you cut the orange in 8ths and poke the cloves in and add to your pan.
Add the wine and heat to almost boiling then remove from the heat.

Once it's cool enough to taste, check for sweetness and add sugar to your liking.
I added 1 Tbsp and stirred it to dissolve completely.

Mine was simmering so could be served in mugs or glasses.

Note:  I did not have whole clove so I used ground gloves.  They don't dissolve well so I will use the whole clove next time.

December 13, 2011

Asparagus Casserole

Asparagus Casserole

This is one of my favorite holiday dishes from David's side of the family.  I absolutely love it.
I'm going to share with you two ways to make it.

When we lived in Mexico I made a big Thanksgiving meal one year and we had several American families over.  In addition we asked our nanny, Nahila, and her three sisters to join us.  They were really excited to see what an American "Dia de Gracias" was all about.

Nahila's sister, Raquel, fell in love with Asparagus Casserole.  Asparagus isn't plentiful in Mexico, so I surprised her for her birthday with a double batch of Asparagus Casserole instead of a cake.  She was so excited!

Raquel (expecting at the time) is on the left with her sisters Elisa and Nahila

For a party Sunday evening, I made a large batch.  You can easily halve this recipe.

Start by draining two cans of asparagus and laying them in the 9x13 baking dish.
Have your helper slice boiled eggs and arrange them on top of the asparagus.

Crush two sleeves of Ritz crackers and season with salt and pepper.

At this point you can make a white sauce (my preference) or open 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (David's preference).  You'll then alternate layering 1/2 crackers, 1/2 cheddar cheese, and 1/2 white sauce/soup.  Then you cook for 40 minutes at 350.

The white sauce takes a little longer to make, but I love the flavors together.
David shakes his head and says it wouldn't be Asparagus Casserole without cream of mushroom soup.

Your choice!

To make a white sauce, melt 6 Tbsp butter in a saucepan.  Add 6 Tbsp flour and mix well.  Add 2 cups milk and whisk constantly over medium high heat until it becomes a thick sauce.  Season with salt & pepper and a little nutmeg.

As always, my photos don't do the delicious dish justice. 
Also because I had 20+ people over and I'm surprised I even remembered to snap a photo!

Try it sometime - it's really good.

Double click to print recipe as a 5x7 card.

Happy Holidays!