February 28, 2007

Working Women Meals

Being a working woman isn’t always the easiest life, especially if you have children. Then life is even more hectic with juggling dinner, school functions, your job, house chores, ect.

Paula Deen did a show awhile ago that was meals for working women, which I thought was perfect for today. Ms. Paula includes recipes for Baked Shrimp & Crab Salad, Easy Corned Beef & Cabbage and Hoe Cakes.

Corn Beef and Cabbage is one of my all-time favorite meals, as Paula’s hoe cakes are. Corn beef is one of the easiest meal to prepare and can be excellent leftovers that will last.

My recipe is much different than Paula’s, but I think it’s just as good and perfect for us that are on the go. Here’s my own recipe for Corn Beef & Cabbage.

Corned Beef & Cabbage

Corn Beef & Cabbage
By Lane

1 corned beef (I usually get a 3-4 pound one)
1 head of cabbage
2 T. butter
1 red onion, chopped, coarsely
1 parsnip, chopped
4-5 new potatoes, quartered
Seasoning packet with corned beef
Plus add 1 T. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf

Place all veggies in large crock pot on low setting. Place corned beef on top and add all seasonings (including the packet that comes with the corned beef.)

Cook on low for about 9 hours. I usually put the crock on around 7:30 and turn it off when I get home about 5:00 pm. The meat will be so tender it will fall apart.

I like to serve this with a simple salad and dinner rolls.

February 26, 2007

Fair Food

Missouri State Fair logo

County and state fairs are my favorite times of the year. Usually beginning Late May and ending early September, these fairs are what agriculture is all about.

Many youngsters get their first real taste of healthy competition in showing in competing in their county fair events. From raising the prize-winning show heifer, to selling their hogs, or even entering flowers and vegetables in the fair, many young children learn about all the fun events and pleasures at their local county fairs.

Ag youth are an important part of carrying on the agriculture traditions their parent and even grandparents work in. County and state fairs are a vital part of these traditions.

I grew up showing cattle at fairs, entering fruits and vegetables that I grew in the garden at the local contests and enjoying the great fair food. Every year at the Missouri State Fair there are three things I must do: 1.) Catch up with old friends that show at the fair, 2.) Get a big ole glass of lemonade and 3.) Eat a corn dog.

So, today to celebrate county and state fairs across the country, I’m sharing some old fashioned fair recipes. I am also including a recipe that I got from Silver Dollar City for their Deep-fried Oreos.

This year get out to your local fair and enjoy the wonders of the fair.

County Fair Lemonade
8 lemons
1 cup sugar
10 ice cubes

Bring lemons to room temp.

Roll lemons, then slice and half and squeeze into a gallon container. Toss lemon rinds into a container. Pour sugar over rinds and let sit for 30 minutes. Add ice cubes and enough water to fill container. Stir and serve. Add more sugar if desired.

State Fair Corn Dogs
½ cup yellow corn meal
½ cup flour
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. baking powder
A pinch of salt
½ cup milk
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
1 T. melted butter
6 skewers
6 hot dogs
Vegetable oil

Mix corn meal, flour, sugar, dry mustard, baking powder and salt in bowl. Add the milk, beaten egg and butter. Mix well.

Place hot dogs on skewers and dig each hotdog in the batter, making sure you coat it well. I like to coat a couple of times.

Deep fry for about 2 minutes and until the corn dogs are golden brown. Drain on paper towel and let cool.

Cotton Candy Cookies
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
2 T. granulated fructose
2 tsp. orange oil
1 tsp orange rind, grated

Beat granulated fructose, orange oil and rind into the stiff egg whites. Drop onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from pan immediately before cooling.

Deep-fried Oreos
1 cup of pancake mix, buttermilk if you have it
¾ cup ice water
1 quart vegetable oil
14 Oreo cookies
Powdered sugar

Freeze cookies for three hours.

Heat oil in a heavy 3 quart saucepan.

While oil is heating up, lay out a cookie sheet with paper towels for draining. In a medium bowl mix water and pancake mix completely.

As soon as batter is smooth, dip each cookie, one at a time. Place coated cookie in oil and cook until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar.

February 23, 2007

Something Fun for the Weekend

Blueberry desserts are one of my favorite indulgences. I love to make blueberry muffins for breakfast or breads when company comes a’knocking.

One of the websites I go to quite often for new dessert recipes is Joy of Baking. I love the set-up of the website. It’s organized so that you can easily search through the wonderful assortment of recipes to find what “tickles your fancy.”

I found this recipe for Blueberry Coffee Cake a couple of months ago and tried it about two weeks ago. It’s very yummy and makes a great addition to a weekend breakfast or brunch.

I’m making this cake tonight to take over to my friend Kala tomorrow night.

Blueberry Coffee Cake
Joy of Baking

Streusel Topping:
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Cake Batter:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
2 cups fresh blueberries (I used frozen)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch spring form pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

For streusel topping: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and ground cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside while you make the cake batter.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the flour mixture, alternately with the milk, and beat only until combined. Spread the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula.

Evenly arrange the blueberries on top of the cake batter and then sprinkle with the streusel topping.

Bake for about 45 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.

February 21, 2007

Grilled Pork Loin

Quick and Easy recipe today for all....

Grilled Pork Tenderloin
by Lane

1 pork tenderloin
1 T. Ground Sage
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 oranges, juices
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 chopped scallions

Combine all ingredients, except the loin in bowl and stir. Place loin in plastic bag and pour in marinade, marinate overnight in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Remove loin from bag and pat dry. Keep your marinade. Brush loin with olive oil and roast for about 40 minutes, or until done.

While loin is cooking, heat up over the stove the marinade and cook until it has reduce by half. I like to serve the cooked marinade with the loin and drizzle a little bit over the meat at the table.

Let your meat rest for about 15 minutes. (Means: Do not cut into meat. If you let your meat sit awhile before cutting into it, the meat has time to redistribute the juices all over.)

February 20, 2007

Scallops Tonight

Seafood is one of my favorite foods to cook. Seafood is also a very healthy food, and we all need to probably put a little more healthy food in our diets.

So, today I’ve pulled an old recipe out of my recipe box. This recipe is from Food Network’s Alton Brown, who has become one of my new favorite cooks on the network. I’ve made this meal many, many times. I like it served with a nice garden salad, mixed veggies and dinner rolls.

Seared Scallops
By Alton Brown

1 to 1 1/4 pounds dry sea scallops, approximately 16
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. Add the butter and oil to a 12 to 14-inch saute pan on high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Serve immediately.

February 15, 2007

Cooking with Venison

Today I have a little something different on the menu from my usually recipes. It’s all about venison, that’s deer meat for those who don’t know what it is.

One of the greatest things about living in the country and growing up on a farm is “reaping what you sow.” We always had plenty of deer, wild turkey, crappie, farm-raised beef and on occasion pheasant in our deep freeze at home. My father and brothers are hunters and fishermen, as my husband is. They always fill their farm tags every deer and turkey season and we are able to stock up on meat for the year.

My family always grows a very, very large garden also. My father always says, “Nothing tastes better then when you grow it with your own hands.” I remember as a young child our whole family in the garden picking okra, green beans, corn, watermelons, potatoes…every vegetable your could imagine. On the farm we grew, raised or hunted much of what we ate.

Some might have never had the opportunity to try a wonderful marinated deer roast in a red wine sauce, deer chili, deer sausage, stuffed pheasant or even a roasted wild turkey, but in my home these meals were part of everyday life.

Cooking deer meat is tricky…you have to cook it slow, so to not make the meat tough. Deer roasts are best marinated overnight, to get rid on the “gamey” taste the meat can have sometimes. Here is one stand-by recipe my mother could cook all day and it would be ready at dinnertime.

Deer Chili
1 lb. venison, browned with salt and pepper
2 tsp. cumin
2, 49-oz. cans tomato juice
1 can tomato paste
½ small onion, diced
Additional salt and pepper to taste
1 T. garlic powder
2, 15-oz. cans of kidney beans, drained
2, 15-oz. cans of chili beans, drained
Dash Tabasco sauce
Chili powder to taste

In a crock pot combine all ingredients and cook on medium for about 6-8 hours. If you prefer thicker chili add more beans and meat. The longer this chili simmers, the better it is.

February 14, 2007

Learfield Bake-Off Results

Happy Valentine’s Day to All!


To celebrate Valentine’s day at Learfield we are holding the 3rd annual Learfield Bake-Off today. More than 25 entries in five categories (Cakes, Cookies, Candy, Pies, and Sweet Breads/Pastries). There were about 25 entires.

The judging took place at 11 am and the entire company was invited in the taste testing at noon.

I’ve been busy since Monday night getting everything prepared, cooked and garnished. I’m entering my Super Duper Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, Amish Bread, Smooth as Silk Chocolate Pie and a Double Chocolate Cake.


The Smooth as Silk Pie recipe I got from my mother-in-law. This pie is totally rich and delicious! She makes it every Thanksgiving. It’s takes a lot of beating with a hand mixer though. I tried making it with my Kitchen Aid mixer once, but I didn’t get the light and fluffy texture as I do with a lot of hard hand mixing.

The Double Decadence Chocolate Cake is another rich dessert. The best part of this recipe is the combination of chocolate and coffee. These two ingredients are a match made in heaven!


Below are my pie and cake recipes. I’ve also posted the results of the entire contest. Each fist place winner received a $20 gift certificate, second place winners receive a cookbook and third place winners a Learfield cooking apron. Congrats to all the winners!

Smooth as Silk Chocolate Pie
6 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks), room temp.
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 T. powdered sugar
1 square bitter sweet chocolate (shaved for curls to garnish)
I baked pie shell

Bake pie shell and cool completely.

Place chocolate bits in bowl over hot water to melt, set aside to cool.

In mixing bowl, combine butter, sifted powdered sugar and salt; beat at high for 10-15 minutes. Mixture should be think and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating three minutes after each addition. Add vanilla.

Fold cooled chocolate into creamed mixture to complete the filling. Spoon into a baked pie shell. Beat whipping cream and powdered sugar and place on the top of filling. Place pie in refrigerator.

Serve small portions- very rich pie.

Double Decadence Chocolate Cake
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups hot coffee or espresso
3 cups sugar
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
1 ¼ tsp. salt
3 large eggs
¾ cup oil
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat 300 degrees.

Spray 2 (9x2) round cake pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with wax paper and spray again.

Combine chocolate chips and coffee in small bowl. Let mixture stand, whisking occasionally, until mixture is melted and smooth.

In a medium bowl whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl beat eggs for 3 minutes, slowly add buttermilk, oil, vanilla and melted chocolate to eggs, beating well. Add dry ingredients to mixture and beat until smooth. Divide batter between pans and bake for about 48 minutes.

Shiny Chocolate Icing
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 T. sugar
2 T. light corn syrup
¼ cup butter flavor Crisco

In saucepan whisk together the cream, sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate chips, whisking until mixture is smooth.

Cut Crisco into three pieces and add to mixture, whisking until smooth.

Transfer icing to a bowl and chill until spreadable (30 minutes). Spread icing between cake layers and all over. Keep cake covered and chilled and bring to room temperature to serve.


Learfield 3rd Annual Bake-Off Results
Sweet Breads and Pastries

1st: Lane McConnell
2nd: Clarice Brown

1st: Marcia West
2nd: Katie Bellers
3rd: Julie Harker

1st: Lane McConnell
2nd: Clarice Brown
3rd: Julie Harker

1st: Clarice
2nd: Lane McConnell
3rd: Shelly Voss


1st: Sandy Dulle
2nd: Patti Rackers
3rd: Myra Versules

February 13, 2007

Manicotti for All

The Baked Manicotti

I think manicotti is one of the easiest dishes to make. Simple ingredients and about 15 minutes and this dish is in the oven.

One special ingredient that makes this dish so good is fresh basil. I grow basil and freeze some for wintertime use. If you can’t get your mits on fresh basil, dried works fine too, but fresh really makes this dish pop. I’ve found that when cooking dishes with few ingredients, it’s always best to use the freshest herbs and higher quality ingredients because they really make a dish full of flavor.

Enjoy! Tomorrow I’ll have recipe for the entries in my company’s bake-off.

McConnell Manicotti
By Lane

12 lg. manicotti shells
2 tsp. dried sweet basil
½ tsp garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
2 scallions, chopped
* 1-26 oz jar spaghetti sauce
2 C. ricotta cheese
½ C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cool water.

Let pasta dry on paper towels. For filling, in medium bowl, stir together 3 cups mozzarella with the ricotta cheese, basil, egg, scallions and garlic powder.

Using a teaspoon, carefully stuff pasta shells with prepared cheese mixture. Spoon 2 cups spaghetti sauce into prepared baking dish. Arrange stuffed pasta over sauce. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over top of pasta.

Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake manicotti for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan; bake for 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

To spice up a jar of spaghetti sauce: Place sauce in a medium saucepan, add Italian seasonings, chopped garlic cloves, 1/3 of a chopped onion and whatever other ingredients you like. When I am in a hurry I use prepared sauce, but nothing beats homemade spaghetti sauce.

February 12, 2007

Wintry Meal

Well the weather in Mid-Mo is supposed to get nasty by late tonight. It’s cloudy and raining as of now, but by 6 P.M. the rain is supposed to turn over to snow and 2-4 inches is expected between tonight and Tuesday night.

I love snow, but this winter I’ve had my fill of it.

The good news is that Valentine’s Day is Wednesday, as well as the 3rd annual Learfield Bake-Off. This year there are some new categories: Sweet Breads/Pastries and Candy. I plan on entering the cake, cookie, pie and sweet bread categories. I’ll post recipe on Wednesday, as well as some photos from the bake-off and the winning recipes.

Today, I’ve got a rib-sticking meal from Paula herself. This is a great meal for a cold wintry night.


Farmers Pork Chops
By Paula Deen

8 medium potatoes
½ medium onion
Salt and pepper to taste
White sauce (see recipe below; you may also use your own)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
8 pork chops, about ½ inch thick
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel potatoes; slice ¼ inch thick and cover with cold water. Slice onion into very thin slices. Cut slices in half. Drain potatoes; layer half the potatoes in a well-greased 15x10 inch casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Scatter half of onion slices on top of potatoes. Repeat with remaining potatoes and onions.

Cover potatoes with white sauce. Cover casserole dish with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes on high or bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Mix together flour and seasoned salt and dredge pork chops in flour mixture. Lightly brown chops in vegetable oil. Do not cook them completely. As chops are removed from frying pan, lay them on top of potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. The juices from the pork chops will drip down into the potatoes. Delicious!

White Sauce
8 tablespoons (1 stick of butter)
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
½ to ¾ teaspoon pepper
4 cups milk
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or chives (optional)

Melt butter; remove from heat. Stir in flour; add salt and pepper. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly. Add milk, 1 cup at a time. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, then let stand at least 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in parsley or chives, if desired.

February 9, 2007

Making your own Rock Candy

I’ve got something really special for you all today. It’s a little project you can do over the weekend with your kids.

When I was little my parents introduced me to so many neat projects like making stalactites and stalagmites, cooking, knot tying, paper mache, preserving leaves….you get the idea.

We usually did these types of fun activities during the winter months. I am sure many of you with children are having a hard time finding activities for the kids to do inside the house, besides watching tv.

Rock Candy

Here is a great activity that your kids will love because they can make their own sweet treats with you in the kitchen.

My mother and I used to have so much fun making rock candy in her kitchen. As a kid I thought it was the coolest thing that my mother knew the exact ingredients to make the candy.

Now you and your children can have some fun this weekend making your own rock candy!

Rock Candy Recipe

1 Glass jar or drinking glass
1 Piece of cotton string
1 Pencil or stick
1 Paper clip
1 Food coloring (optional)
1 c Water
2 c Sugar
Additional sugar

Tie a short piece of cotton string to the middle of the pencil or stick. Attach a paper clip to the end of the string for a weight.

Moisten the string very lightly, and roll in a bit of sugar (this will "attract" the sugar crystals from the syrup to the string). Place the pencil or stick over the top of the glass or jar with the string hanging down inside.

Heat the water to boiling, and dissolve the 2 cups of sugar into it. For the biggest crystals, heat the sugar-water solution a second time, and dissolve as much additional sugar as you can into it. Add a few drops of food coloring to the solution if you want colored candy.

Pour the solution into the prepared glass or jar and leave undisturbed for a couple of days. Depending on how much sugar you were able to dissolve into the water, you should start to see crystals growing in a few hours to a few days.

February 8, 2007

Sweet Rolls from Sarah

My friend Sarah is a foodie, like me. She enjoys cooking for her family and friends and I really enjoy reading her blog; View from the Porch. If you haven’t been on her site, I would highly recommend you checking it out.

Sarah works with my husband and is a fellow MU graduate. I appreciate the openness and conversation-like writing of her blog. She shares many great family recipes on her site and talks about traditional family recipes which I really enjoy reading about.

A couple weeks ago my husband came home from work and said that Sarah had brought in these sweet rolls and I had to get the recipe from her. He bragged all night about these rolls, so I found that Sarah had posted the recipe on her blog, plus the history behind the recipe.

From her blog post:

This recipe dates back many years. As far as I know, it came from my great-great Aunt Madolyn who was known for both her cooking and her gardens. I’ve written about Nanny and her incredible patience, gorgeous gardens, and wonderful cooking before. I’ve made a simple addition of cinnamon to this recipe and occasionally omit the raisins so my husband will eat it. The recipe can also be prepared as a coffee cake.

Sweet Rolls
By Madolyn Baldwin (Nanny)
From View from the Porch

1 c. sugar
1 c. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 c. mashed potatoes ( I used instant)
2 eggs
2 packages yeast dissolved in 2 c. warm water
1 c. raisins
7- 7 ½ c. flour
2 tbsp. melted butter
Brown sugar

Caramel Icing:
1/3 c. butter
½ c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. corn syrup (clear)
Nuts (optional)

Rolls: Cream the sugar, butter, salt, potatoes, and eggs together in a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add to the mixture and beat well. Add the raisins. Beat in the flour one cup at a time. After the first couple of cups have been added, you will need to knead the remaining flour in.

Cover with loose plastic wrap or a towel and let rise, until it has doubled. Roll out until it is 1 inch thick. Spread with melted butter and then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Carefully roll the dough into a spiral. Slice with serrated knife into 1 inch slices. Put in buttered pans, cover loosely and allow to rise again. Bake until lightly browned (30 minutes or so) at 350F.

Icing: Melt butter. Dissolve the brown sugar and syrup into the butter. Add nuts if desired. Pour on top of rolls as they cool. You may also pour the mixture in the bottom of the pan and place the rolls on top before baking. This gives the rolls a lovely brown coating when you invert the pan to serve.

February 7, 2007

Berry Bread

The Red Raspberry Bread

One of my favorite things to eat is breads. French bread, beer bread, sweet breads, muffins, homemade rolls…I guess you could say I love my carbs!

I was in a “berry” mood over the weekend and decided to use up some red raspberries that were just sitting in my freezer. I love raspberries, although many people don’t appreciate the berry’s tartness. If you don’t like tart berries, then I would suggest using blueberries in this recipe. Other choices I like are cranberries, black berries (when in season), mixed berry assortment or even strawberries.

You can view a LARGER PHOTO of the bread also.

Red Raspberry Bread or Muffins
By Lane

1 stick melted butter
½ c. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 ¼ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 c. berries, thawed
Sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl mix together butter, milk, eggs and vanilla. In a larger mixing bowl sift all dry ingredients. Pour liquid mix into dry ingredients and mix. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Add berries and fold in gently.

You can either bake this as a loaf of bread or as muffins. Grease whatever baking utensil you decide to use, place mixture in and sprinkle the top of the batter with more sugar. I like to use sugar in the raw to dust with also, but white sugar is fine.

For muffins: bake 12 minutes or until done.

For bread: bake about 1 hour or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

February 6, 2007

Super Bowl Party was a Hit

The Party Gang

We had a small intimate gathering at our house for the big party Sunday. There was so much food I think everyone had plenty to eat (and drink) and then some.

Last week in my post, Football Party Recipes , I provided the recipes for a lot of the party food, but I didn’t have the recipe for a dip that my friend Jeannie brought over.

The Girls at the Party

Her Pizza Dip was a hit! When she was explaining how easy it was I couldn’t wait to try it out. She brought sliced French bread to serve with the dip and it was delicious. I made these little mini sandwiches with the dip.

This recipe is great for those friendly get-togethers and summer bbq’s that are not too far away…

Pizza Dip
By Jeannie

2 blocks of cream cheese (softened)
Mix with 1-2 Tbs. Italian Seasoning (optional)
Spread in stone baking dish

Top with:
Pizza Sauce
Shredded Cheese (any kind will work)
Pizza Toppings (olives, pepperoni, hamburger, etc)

Bake on 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (watch for the cheese to be bubbly)

Serve with sliced bread, crackers, or chips!

February 5, 2007

Cooking with Cola

In one of my Paula Deen magazines I came across a recipe for Cola Basted Ham. This recipe caught my attention because there were only two ingredients: the ham and 2 cokes.

Now, I work full-time, so anytime I can find a recipe that has only two ingredients, I am going to try it. I wasn’t convinced about the recipe though. I am “old-school” when it comes to cooking: meaning it takes lots of great seasonings, time and effort to make a great meal. But I proceeded to give it a try.

I am so glad I did because this ham is number 1 in my book. Try it the next time you have company over, the cola makes a perfect sweet and tasty glaze.

Cola Basted Ham
By Paula Deen

Yield: 20-30 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 to 18 minutes per pound

1 18-pound cured ham
2 cans cola

Place ham in a shallow roasting pan. Baste ham with cola and cover ham with foil. Cook at 325 degrees for 15 - 18 minutes per pound (internal temperature of 140 degrees). Spoon baste with cola every 30 minutes or so until done.

February 2, 2007

Football Party Recipes

A small group of friends are gathering at my house this Sunday for a Super Bowl party. I love entertaining my friends and cooking for them, but instead of just me doing the cooking everyone is bringing along a dish.

I am making chocolate covered pretzels, a Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake, Cheesy Potato Casserole and probably a red pepper dip. I’ll also have plenty of mixed nuts and chips around for the boys to munch on.

Tyne is bringing chili and a shrimp dip, Shelly is bringing a spinach artichoke dip, Jeannie is bringing a pizza dip, chips and crackers and Kala is bringing along about 40 chicken wings and some little smokies.

There will be plenty of beer on hand. I am planning on bringing a couple of coolers and sitting them in the living room for easy access.

If you are still looking for some great Super Bowl party ideas or recipes, the Food Network has them. Go Bears!