January 30, 2006

Here She is...Miss Lizzy

As promised here is a photo of our new little girl...Lizzy. We picked her up Saturday morning in Franklin, KY. She is definitely going to be a handful....Her and Rudy play very nice together and enjoy each other's company.

If anyone is looking for a great family pet, I would highly recommend a rat terrier from Pocket Puppy. We have bought both our dogs from Nicole Langman and have been very impressed with our dogs.

We love our Ratties.......Until next time. Check back tomorrow for a new bread roll recipe.

January 26, 2006

Cooking for Our Pets III

This is a photo of Rudy the night we picked him up...what a sweet face.

I know I recently posted an addition to "Cooking for Our Pets," but I just had to share this recipe. My pup Rudy just loves this...This is rich, so please only feed it once or twice a week.

I will be taking a little break from blogging starting today. I'll be traveling to KY with my husband to pick up our new little female puppy. We will also be taking a mini-vacation, but I'll have lots of new recipes next week to share.

Rudy's Pet Frosting

1/2 stick of butter
1/4 c dry cat or dog food
1/2 c sugar
1-2 T milk or water
1 T flour if needed for thickening

Put everything in a food processor and mix well until desired thickness. Spread on pet's favorite cake or cookies. This is for occasion treating only. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

January 25, 2006

Where's the Crab?

Cheesy Crab Dip
from Pampered Chef

(I double this recipe for parties)
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
½ C. mayo
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 can ( 8 oz) crabmeat
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese
½ C. thinly sliced green onion and tops
¼ C. diced red bell pepper
¼ C. diced green onion
1 juice of a lemon
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 loaf of canapé bread toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combined cream cheese and mayo in a bowl; mix well and press garlic into batter, mix well.

Add crabmeat, cheese, green onions, peppers and lemon juice to mixture and mix well. Add hot sauce and mix.

Spoon into a baker (I use a square stoneware baker) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve with French bread slices.

January 24, 2006

Look at those Babycakes

This is another great chocolate crazed recipe from Farmgirl. These are very easy to make and are great to make for company functions and kids parties.

Farmgirl's Chocolate Babycakes With Mocha Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick/4 ounces) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup yogurt or sour cream (or a combination)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternating with yogurt. Beat just until smooth. Turn batter into prepared pans. Bake mini muffin size 10 minutes and baby loaf size 15 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool in pan. Frost cooled cakes and top with mini chocolate chips or sprinkles if desired.

Mocha Buttercream Frosting
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) butter, softened
1/4 cup (about 3 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (or not)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
About 1 Tablespoon milk

Melt chocolate chips and a small amount of the butter in the microwave. In a small bowl, beat remaining butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla, then cocoa powder, espresso powder, melted chocolate, and enough milk to make desired consistency.

January 23, 2006

Pass the "Ghetti" Please

A favorite dish at my house growing up was my mother's spaghetti and meatballs. Anyone that knows me will tell you that I love Italian food....any type, any sauce, any kind. My mother's lasagna (which I am planning on posting soon) and her "ghetti" as we called it around the house were my all-time favorites.

This recipe is super easy for you cooks-on-the-go and taste like you spent all day in the kitchen. I have also made my own tomato paste with my own home-grown tomatoes and the taste is out of this world too...Enjoy.

Baldwin Spaghetti and Meatballs

Combine ½ lb. ground beef
1 egg well beaten
½ small onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbs. parsley
¼ C. bread crumbs
¼ tsp. salt
pinch of pepper
1 tsp. Oregano
2 tbs. of water
Mix and form balls. Brown in bacon grease (This is the key to great tasting meatballs.)

2 tbs. olive oil
3 (6 oz.) tomatoatoe paste
4 ½ C. water
Pinch of baking soda
1 small onion (finely cut)
3 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground sage
2 Thymethyme
1 tsp. pepper

Heat oil, add onion and brown. Add paste, mixed with water, sugar and seasonings. When sauce comes to boil, add baking soda. Add browned meatballs and simmer slowly for at least 1 hour.

Serve plate garnished with fParmesanmesan cheese.

January 20, 2006

Cooking for Our Pets II

This is the second edition to cooking for our pets. As you know I'm adding to our family with another little puppy. The following is a great dog treat of bad breath. Rudy doesn't usually have bad breath, but every once in awhile he needs one of these yummy treats. Not that I've ever ate one. Just wanted to clear that up. You can also make a lot of these and freeze them that always have them on hand.

Bad Breath Banishers
2 cups brown rice flour
1 Tablespoon activated charcoal (find this at drugstores, not the briquets!)
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2/3 cup lowfat milk

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Combine flour and charcoal. Add all the other ingredients. Drop teaspoonfuls on oiled sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake 15-20 minutes. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

There Goes the Cake

Mexican Monkey Cake
from one of my favorite blogs Farmgirl Fare

This cake is one that will fulfill your chocolate craze and you all know we get them. I've had this recipe from Farmgirl in my "To Do" List of Recipes for awhile now. I'm always finding new recipes from my cookbooks, friends and farm newspapers and magazines. This recipe has been sitting there for months and I finally needed some sweets the other night and this made life perfect. Don't laugh, we all need sweets and chocolate...

Makes One 8-Inch Square Cake
1-3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 ounces) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1-1/4 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (they cannot be too ripe)
2 Tablespoons yogurt or sour cream
1 Tablespoon milk
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 if using a glass pan such as Pyrex). Grease an 8"x8"x2" baking pan.

In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips, brown sugar, walnuts (if desired), and cinnamon; set aside.In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and egg with an electric mixer until fluffy (I use a hand held mixer). Add bananas, yogurt, and milk, and mix well. On low speed, beat in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt just until blended.Spread slightly more than half of the batter in the pan. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon streusel. Carefully spread the remaining batter over the streusel and then top with the rest of the streusel.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.This cake tastes even better the next day, and it freezes beautifully. You can freeze the cake whole or cut it into pieces, wrap them tightly in plastic, and place them in a zipper freezer bag. Defrost at room temperature.

January 19, 2006

Rat Attack

A Rat Terrier that is. My husband and I have decided on a puppy from Pocket Puppies. She is a darling blue fawn and white female that is out of the same male as our Rudy. Take a look at her here. She is puppy #1. Now, we have to wait to find a time to go and get her since the breeders are from KY. I need names for her...I was thinking about Izzy.

While I'm on the topic of purchasing a registered dog I have heard some negative comments lately from a co-worker regarding me buying a puppy instead of going to an animal shelter and adopting one, and I would like to address this.

First, it is my decision to spend my own money on a registered animal if I choose too because it is My Money and My Choice.

Second, I enjoy registered animals for a couple of reasons:
1.) They are registered and purebloods, therefore will hold true to the breed's standards.
2.) The animals temperament and attitude is exactly what the breed says it is, therefore I don't have to worry about getting an animal that is not what I wanted.
3.) They are beautiful in conformation and coloring and smart as a whip.

Third, don't try to make me feel bad for buying a puppy and telling me there are hundreds of dogs I could adopt at a shelter and tell me that I am making the pet problem in this country worse. I am not. I neuter and spay my pets and I'm not the person dumping puppies because I wasn't a responsible pet owner.

Fourth, it's nobody's business what choices I make on my pet. A pet is part of the family and if I want an expensive registered animal then that is what I will get. People need to mind their own business and keep their mouths shut sometime.

I apologize for getting on a soap box, and if the person I am referring to ever reads this I hope they learn one thing: There is a time to talk and a time to bite your lip. My mother taught me that I long time ago, what's your excuse?

January 18, 2006

Family is Going to Grow

Well today I'm not posting a recipe, but informing everyone that my family is going to be growing by one. No, it's not what you think....my husband and I are adding another toy Rat Terrier to our family. Rudy, who I have talked about before needs a playmate, so we are trying to make a decision between three little bundles of joy from Pocket Puppy, who we purchased Rudy from.

Very soon I will have a new little joy and I'll be sure to post photos of he/she soon. Does anyone have any good names? Until next time.

January 17, 2006

French Coconut Pie

My husband loves French Coconut Pie, not just any though, his mother's famous pie. My mother-in-law just passed this famous recipe along to me recently and it is very interesting how the pie is cooked. Most pies are baked at a constant temperature at 350 degrees, but this pie is baked in three rounds of three temperatures. My husband's mother is originally from Madrid, Spain and she is a wonderful cook. I have learned so much from her, and this recipe she brought over with her from Spain.

French Coconut Pie

1 unbaked pie crust (use the pie crust that is features in the December 2005 archives)
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. melted butter
1 C. coconut

Brush a little egg wash on the unbaked pie crust (you will find the egg wash in the December 2005 archives also) bake at 400 degrees for 1 minute. This prevents a soggy crust.

Beat eggs slightly, add all other ingredients and mix. Pour mixture into pie shell.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, and finally at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

January 16, 2006

Some Soup to Warm You Up

Here is a great little soup that takes no time to make and goes perfect on a cold and windy day. There are many versions of this soup. Add whatever veggies you like and serve with some buttery French bread...

Italian Wedding Soup

1/2 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons minced onion
5 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
1 cup spinach - packed, rinsed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup seashell pasta
1/2 cup diced carrots

1. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil and onion. Shape mixture into 3/4-inch balls and set aside.
2. In a large stockpot heat chicken broth to boiling; stir in the spinach, pasta, carrot and meatballs. Return to boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, at a slow boil for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente, and meatballs are no longer pink inside. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

January 13, 2006

That's What I Call Southern

I love the south for the friendly people, beautiful land, and that good ole' Cajun food. I have quite a few friends that are the true Cajuns and the food they cook up is out of this world.

Two of my parents friends come up every May to my family's cattle sale with crawfish and we make the best jambalaya ever. This recipes for jambalaya is for chicken, but you can substitute whatever meat you want. My all-time favorite meat to use is fresh crawfish. You can find crawfish tails in just about every grocery store around in the frozen section.

Hold on though, cause this jambalaya will open every sense and tastebud in your mouth - it will have you warmed up in no time. I like hot food, but if you like it a little milder I would use 1/2 tsp less of the cayenne and chili powder.

Also, I use an extra kick to my own jambalaya- sassafras root (it will be in a seasoning called Gumbo File). It's a natural thickener and make the juices of the stew perfect. A trick I learned from my southern friends in Louisiana- The Whipple Family.

Chicken Jambalaya
This is a traditional Cajun dish in which rice is used to sop up the rich juices of the stew.

2 tsp canola oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into ½ inch cubes or shredded lightly
2 tsp each dried thyme leaves and oregano
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp of peppercorns
1 can (28oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can (15ozl) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup brown rice
1 bay leaf
¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook celery, garlic and onion for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add chicken, thyme, oregano, chili powder and cayenne; cook stirring for 5 minutes.

Add chicken broth, green bell peppers, tomatoes, kidney beans, rice and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Stir in parsley before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Turkey Option: You can use boneless skinless turkey for the chicken.

Seafood Addition: Add 8 oz of small raw shrimp, peeled and deveined during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

January 12, 2006

Warm Chicken Soup to Get Over a Cold

It's the cold season...Sneezing, coughing, headaches, all the symptoms. I'm sure you have heard to eat chicken soup to get over the cold. My mother was a true believe that chicken soup had healing powers to get over a nasty cold. It was the breathing the aroma of the soup that made you feel warm and toasty inside she would say. She would always make the tastiest soup for my brothers and I when we were sick. Nothing is better than a cup of good homemade chicken soup to give you that kick to start feeling better.

Campbells is what consumers usually purchase as part of their cold remedy, but nothing gets you feeling better than a great big pot of the homemade stuff in my opinion. Don't believe me? Then try this recipe out when that next cold hits you. I bet I'll make you a believer.

This is a Paula Deen soup (hint: "The Lady's Chick Soup"). Hope that it gets you over that cold.

The Lady's Chick Soup

Stock: 1 (2 1/2 to 3-pound) fryer chicken, cut up
3 1/2 quarts water
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 bay leaves
3 chicken bouillon cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery, with leafy green tops
2 1/2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I omit this)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/3 cup cooking sherry
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup grated Parmesan, optional
3/4 cup heavy cream, optional
Seasoning salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Crusty French bread, for serving

For the stock:
add all ingredients to a soup pot. Cook until chicken is tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Remove and discard bay leaves and onion. You should have approximately 3 quarts of stock. When chicken is cool enough to touch, pick bones clean, discarding bones, skin, and cartilage. Set chicken aside.

For the soup:
bring stock back to a boil, add carrots, and cook for 3 minutes. Add celery and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add egg noodles and cook according to directions on package. When noodles are done, add chicken, mushrooms, parsley, sherry and rosemary. Add Parmesan and cream, if using. Cook for another 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning, if needed, by adding seasoning salt and pepper. Enjoy along with a nice hot crusty loaf of French bread.

January 11, 2006

Magical Peanut Butter Cookies

Do you know someone that can't have much sugar in their diet, then these cookies are perfect. I watched Paula Deen make these on a show last week as part of a "Healthy Eating" episode. These peanut butter cookies take no time to whip up.

Magical Peanut Butter Cookies
From Paula Deen

1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1 1/3 cups baking sugar replacement (recommended: Splenda)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, 1 cup sugar replacement, the egg, and vanilla, and stir well with a spoon. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. With a fork, dip in Splenda and press onto top of cookie to make the traditional x-shape on the cookies. Bake for 11 minutes.

January 5, 2006

Here Chick, Chick, Chick

How many of you have ever cut-up a whole chicken before? Whether its the traditional eight piece or the 12 piece fryer before? Not many I'm guessing.

Today with the convenience of precut chicken in supermarkets people just buy the already pieced chicken. What many individuals don't realize about doing this is that the precut pieces are usually not uniform size, contain shattered bone particles and are typically more expensive.

My mother taught me how to cut up a chicken (or any poultry) a long time ago. Being a farm kid we never buy precut meat, mainly because of the price and the quality of the meat.

If you have never cut up a whole bird I have found a great website that explains the proper steps in cutting up a chicken and it includes great photos of each step. Cooking for Engineers has a segment on the "Kitchen Notes" regarding the steps to cut up a bird, take a look at this page and see how easy it really is to cut up a chicken and give it a try. I promise it's not as difficult as you thought it was...Happy cutting.

January 4, 2006

Paula Deen Does it Again

Have you ever watched Food Network before? If so I'm sure you've seen Paula Deen. She's a southerner that cooks just like my mom does. Her show on FN, Paula's Home Cooking is all about my personal favorite food- southern.

Ms. Deen started her cooking empire by selling sandwiches during lunch out of her kitchen to now operating The Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah. She has published many cookbooks and can be seen daily on her cooking show.
Tune in cause this lady knows her stuff and is a joy to watch in the kitchen.

I saw her make this wonderful recipe on a show a couple of months ago. It's like the traditional Gooey Butter Cake, but with a twist of chocolate and lots of sugar. I made this for a New Year's Eve party I recently had....it was a hit with everyone!

Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus 8 more tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus additional butter, for greasing pan
1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 egg, plus 2 eggs
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 egg, and 1 stick melted butter, and stir until well blended. Pat mixture into prepared pan and set aside.

In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining 2 eggs, and the cocoa powder. Lower the speed of the mixer, and add the powdered sugar. Continue beating until ingredients are well mixed. Slowly add the remaining 1 stick of melted butter, and the vanilla, continuing to beat the mixture until smooth. Stir in nuts with a rubber spatula. Spread filling over cake mixture in pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the cake; the center should still be a little gooey when finished baking. Let cake partially cool on a wire rack before cutting into pieces.

January 3, 2006

Bread that Looks Like It's Homemade

Here is another great recipe that Clarice passed along to me. I love new bread recipes and this one is sure to be a new favorite around my house.

Savory Brunch Pull Apart

1/4 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese
3 tablespoons sesame seed
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried basil
One 30 oz package (24) frozen unbaked rolls
1/4 C. melted butter
2 tablespoons real bacon bits

Thoroughly grease a 10-inch fluted tube pan (Bunt Pan). In a small bowl combine cheese, sesame seed & basil. Add about 1/3 of the mixture to greased pan, lift and turn pan to coat the sides and bottom. Plane 10 frozen rolls in the pan, drizzle with half of the remaining mixture on top. Sprinkle with bacon bits. Add remaining rolls. Drizzle with remaining butter and sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture.

Cover, let rolls thaw and rise overnight (12 to 24 hours) in refrigerator. The next day let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Cover with foil and bake 10-15 minutes more or until golden brown. Remove bread from pan onto a wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 12 servings.