Wednesday, December 28, 2011

garlic crusted prime rib..

prime rib is my all time favorite meal.. when i was growing up in my tween and teen years for my birthday every year my mother and i would go to california shopping.. we would stay at the beverly hilton.. ohh it was so luxurious and fun to stay there.. once i met andy gibb.. swoon i was about 14 it was a big deal.. (well to me anyway.. i wont tell you that moments before meeting him i had stuck myself in the eye with a needle trying to separate my mascara and that my eye would not stop running or that my cousin andi had just shoved an entire banana in her mouth from his fruit basket and had banana oozing out the side of her mouth.. because then the magic of meeting him is well ruined by that story.. ha ha) anyway we would stay in beverly hills then go to the la garment district and do our shopping.. it was so much fun.. during our trips we always went to a fancy restaurant.. and one of my all time favorites was Lawry's Prime Rib... the menu can be found here.. now growing up in vegas you could get a prime rib dinner at basically any bar or hotel for 5 bucks.. but nothing compares to the prime rib at Lawry's.. (they now have a Lawry's restaurant in vegas but if you can believe i have never been.. still only want to go to the one in beverly hills ha) so whenever a special occasion arises i make prime rib.. and well what better special occasion than Christmas dinner or New Years Eve dinner.. over the years i have made it so many ways.. this time i made a garlic paste and slathered it with that and it was amazing!! i served it with garlic mashed taters, yorkshire pudding and sauteed spinach.. yummm..

Christmas Eve prime rib

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 1 hour 40 minutes
servings: 6

5 lb prime rib roast
10 cloves of garlic
1 tbls. salt
olive oil

crank your oven up to 500 degrees (c) rub olive oil all over the roast.. pepper real good.. then take 10 cloves of garlic and salt and mix in a mini food processor until it becomes a paste.. ice the roast with the paste.. in a shallow casserole dish put your roast in and then put in the oven at 500 for 20 minutes.. after 20 minutes turn down to 325 for one hour and 20 minutes.. (basically your cooking it for 20 minutes a pound) your looking for an internal temperature of 125 for rare and 135 for medium rare (remember it will keep cooking once removed so you want to remove it when its about 10 degrees less than your desired doneness).. remove from oven and tent with foil for 20 minutes.. remove the garlic crust before you slice..

take my word for it wednesday.. this is the best cocoa!!

on wednesday i do a segment where you have to take my word for it.. either because i forgot to take the picture or the picture doesn't do the item justice.. or just because.. well last week on friday pete's admin. staff had a pot luck.. my niece works for him so she gave me the heads up.. i sent with him crock pot hot cocoa, marshmallow stir sticks and bacon, potato, egg casserole.. everyone loved it and said it was all wonderful.. i have a few photo's before it left the house that morning so i will share those... but the recipes are stupendous and guess where i got all three!! pinterest! yep you guessed it.. ha.. i love that place..

this recipe inspired from here via pinterest...

crock pot hot cocoa


1 cup heavy cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
8 cups whole milk
3 cups chocolate chips (more if you like it chocolaty)
1 tsp. vanilla

mix all ingredients in your crock pot cook on low for 2-3 hours.. whisk every now and again.. i sent it with chocolate dipped marshmallows, mini marshmallows and peppermint chips..

this idea inspired from here.. via pinterest..


melting chocolate
candy sticks or stir sticks
sprinkles (or crushed candy canes..)

melt chocolate according to package directions, insert candy stick into marshmallows and dip in chocolate then roll in holiday sprinkles..then place on wax paper or parchment paper until the chocolate has hardened..

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

toffee squares

my grandmother always made these toffee squares.. they are sooo scrumptious.. you must try them this year.. i am going to the post the recipe straight from a magazine as my grandmother cut it out about 40 years ago.. and used it every year.. it will certainly be a different Christmas this year without my grandparents..

tip* don't use margarine only use butter..

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

grandmommy's christmas snow balls

every year my grandmother would bake a ton of holiday treats.. and one of my all time favorite was the snow balls.. they are so simple and easy and delish.. now if you want to try and change it up add chocolate chips instead of nuts.. yummy..

making these reminds me so much of my grandmother and assures me Christmas is on it's way..


2 cubes of softened butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup chopped pecans
extra powdered sugar for dusting

preheat oven to 350 degrees (f) cream butter and sugar in a medium mixing bowl, add flour and blend.. add vanilla.. blend... then add nuts.. roll into small balls, bake on the top rack on a lined baking sheet for 18-20 minutes.. when done roll in powdered sugar while hot..

did you really say oreo truffles??

shelby had mentioned these one day last week.. she had had them at school they were made by the culinary students.. she said they were wonderful so i googled them friday night and thought ok that is to easy i must be something missing here..i am almost embarrassed how easy it is to make these.. but they are so good and there are endless possibilities on how to decorate them!! you could drizzle red frosting over them you could decorate them to look like snowmen or santa or even an ornament.. you could take different colors and drizzle over for different holidays!! they are so simple to make and so versatile!!


1 package or oreos, crushed 
1 package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 package of white almond bark, vanilla flavored 
holiday sprinkles

crush oreos in your food processor.. add cream cheese and blend.. make into balls place on a lined cookie sheet... put in fridge for about 30 minutes.. right before you take them out of the fridge melt your almond bark according to package directions.. take your truffles out of the fridge and dip in the almond bark.. using a fork to allow the excess almond bark to drip through.. place on a lined baking sheet (use foil, parchment paper or wax paper).. then sprinkle with your holiday sprinkles or whatever your using.. they are awesome!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

oreo snowmen..

i did alot of baking this weekend.. above are toffee squares, oreo truffle balls, white chocolate dipped double stuffed oreo snowmen and dark chocolate orange truffles..

first off let me say sometimes things other sites make look so easy for whatever reason are NOT easy for me.. i tried to put the lollipop stick in my cookie like some sites had .. nope didn't work.. my cookies broke.. even the smallest stick and double stuff cookies.. so i ditched that idea now the above cookies i made for my husbands work.. i didn't think they would want snowmen cookiesm (like below).. ha

they are very cute and fun to make.. if your in a hurry hurry just buy the white fudge covered oreos and decorate them.. that would be super simple and fun too.. :)

 this is what I used to decorate my cookies.. several recipes called for using an orange tic tac or candy corn as the nose and i thought that sounded just awful.. so i opted for little colored candies and i picked out the orange ones.. some recipes called for using red licorice whips for the ear muffs that seemed like way to much work... if you google white chocolate dipped oreo snowmen you will get 100 ideas!!  I also found places that sell them for 1.50 each.. that's CRAZY!!

1 package double stuffed oreos
1 package of white almond bark, vanilla flavored
black sparkle gel frosting in the tube
red sparkle gel frosting in the tube
orange sugar candy

melt your almond bark according to package direction.. (i used the microwave) using 2 forks dip each cookie in the almond bark allow the excess coating to drip through the fork.. place on a wax paper covered baking sheet.. the decorate.. using the red it would have been cute to make a hat instead of ear muffs.. be creative.. they are soooooooo good the kids and adults loved them..

got fudge??

Happy Holidays it's now time to get your baking on!! (i know i am a little late but with Pete being sick I lost nearly 2 weeks) this past weekend i baked all day saturday and all morning sunday..  i made very easy and simple fudge.. it's very very good and very easy and you can add so many different things to it and change up the chips.. be unique and create your own.. this year I made peanut butter, chocolate, chocolate with walnuts, chocolate with peanut butter chips and white chocolate with peppermint's a basic recipe then you change it up to what you want..

this one was semi sweet chocolate no additions


3 cups chips (semi sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut butter, white chocolate) *i didn't like it when i used milk chocolate..*
1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

over low medium heat in a heavy bottom sauce pan melt all the ingredients ..once smooth and silky remove from heat and pour into your prepared casserole pan**.. cover with foil and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours..after it has set up in the fridge remove/peel the foil off then cut your fudge to the desired size..  you can add things too.. after you have removed it from the heat but before you put in your casserole dish you can add walnuts, or other flavored chips, etc..
** i took a sheet of tin foil placed it in my casserole dish with the edges hanging over like a handle.. when it came time to cut it simply lifted the foil up and placed my fudge on a cutting board..**

the one above was semi sweet chocolate with walnuts..

this one was semi sweet chocolate with peanut butter chips added after I took it off the heat..

this one was peanut butter chips.. i also did some where i added chocolate chips after i took it off the heat before i put in the casserole dish..

one that i totally love is dark chocolate i add a tsp. of orange extract instead of the vanilla and i add the zest of one orange.. it's sinfull!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

pinterest thursday!

so we were having lunch with tina and lo at bww a few weeks back when tina tells me about pinterest.. which is about the neatest thing since sliced bread!! it's a community where you pin things to your boards.. crafting ideas, cooking ideas, baby shower ideas, etc.... i could go on and on.. it's awesome.. so the following 2 recipes are from tina's boards.. she pinned them i follow her i loved the recipes and adapted them to work with my family.. genius.. i think it might be better than facebook.. ackk did i just say that.. :o) either way i love love it..

if you type in green smoothie either on pinterest or google your going to get a 1000 different recipes.. they are all basically the same thing.. and well they taste super yummy..

green monster smoothie

prep time: 10 minutes
servings: 1

1 banana chunked
1/4 cup oj
1/4 diced mango
4-5 strawberries cut in half
i added 4 ice cubes..
2 big hand fulls fresh spinach rinsed and dried

blend until a crazy green color.. here is shell's it's in a to go cup because she takes it with her to school..

(the pictures are dark because it was about 5:30 in the am.. )

(as far as fruit goes you can add more or even change it up, like banana, pineapple and blueberries.. be creative.. from what i read most the recipes all basically start with bananas though.. also freezing your fruit and adding that gives it a nice texture..) what's great about these smoothies you get your daily requirement of fruits and veggies in one delicious drink.. and tina has noticed it curbs her appetite when it comes to lunch.. so it's a win win.. i say sold.. gimmie a green smoothie..

so a few days ago on pinterest like 4 or 5 people pinned this sandwich with avocado, tomato and pesto.. my sis in law even emailed and asked did you see that avocado sandwich on pinterest today.. i first saw it pinned to tina's board then when i checked again later that day i noticed several people had pinned .. very popular sammy!! now sadly i am allergic to avocado.. i love it.. but can't eat it.. so shell got this sandwich.. and i added grilled chicken to hers.. i changed mine up a bit..but i always do.. ohh how about a tomato, mozzarella and pesto then grilled.. that would be scrumptious too.. i could eat that.. yumm.. now the original recipe came from this site here.. the site has one heck of a funky name don't let it fool you it's actually a nice recipe site..

 avocado, tomato, pesto and chicken sammy

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 10 minutes
servings: 1

2 slices of bread, i used french
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
1 grilled boneless/skinless chicken breast or thigh.. i took a boneless skinless chicken thigh sprinkled with salt and pepper squeeze of a little lemon on both sides and grilled in my grill pan until done.. or store bought roasted chicken would good too
store bought pesto

i put a little spread of the pesto on one side of the inside of the sandwich too then added tomato, chicken and avocado then topped with the other slice of bread.. on the top piece that's facing you i added a spread of pesto.. heated up my non stick pan to medium and put the sandwich pesto side down.. then on the part that is now facing up i added another spread of pesto.. cook until the pesto starts to get a little brown.. flip and do the same on the other side.. make sure you cook it long enough or it will be soggy.. according to shell it's the "bomb!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

take my word for it wednesday.. it's been a crazy 2 weeks..

i seem to be apologizing alot for my lack of posts and for that i am sorry.. december has been a little crazy.. my last post was December 1, 2011 and well that night went to hell in a hand basket and the next 2 weeks have been a blur..we had the kids over that night for dinner.. and pete wasn't feeling well complained of back ache and neck ache.. well by 1:30 that night/morning he was in so much pain it was almost unbearable.. but i have a stubborn husband and he wouldn't let me call an ambulance or take him to the er..he just kept saying let me sit in my chair i want to sit in my chair.. (oddly enough that's a preference to him when he is hurting, case in point.. memorial day weekend 1997 he wrecked his motorcycle and all he kept saying was let me sit in my chair but my brother in law wouldn't let him and took him to the er, 3 in fact because the others were either full or closed for the holiday.. wtf.. but anyway he ended up that time with a fractured skull, torn rotator cuff, bit through his tongue clean through you could stick a pencil through it.. ewwww.. but anyway on to this er story) so that morning the pain had now moved to his chest and he was having severe chest pains and could not catch his breath.. i got shell off to school friday morning around 6:15 and said we are going to the emergency room he tried to convince me to wait until our family dr's office opened but that was not happening.. so we get there they admit him and to make an extremely loooooong story short we were living an episode of House for the next 4 days.. bottom line he contracted a virus which caused water to fill up around his heart which then caused his heart to go into a fib.. he had monitors, iv's, cameras in his room, round the clock nurses it was c r a z y!! he is home now and doing good saw the cardio dr yesterday and they want to do some more tests to make sure there will be no long lasting effects.. his poor heart was pretty beat up..  he doesn't have to take heart meds anymore (which really freaked us both out!) and that pesky little virus that caused this whole broo ha ha they believe was legionaries.. the tests came back super high so they had to run it again.. seriously legionaries.. augh.. i tell you crazy..other  than getting tired more easily he is fine.. but what a 2 week whirl wind let me tell you!! now i actually did some cooking.. i haven't had a chance to write the recipes but i will post some photo's of what you can look forward to over the next week or so..

ohh and be sure to check back i will be starting my holiday baking tomorrow.. yummy!!!

since pete was off an entire week he did the shopping for me.. see that ginormous can of sweetened condensed milk.. *eyeroll*

got alot of cuc's in my bountiful basket and decided to make quick refrigerator dill pickles.. so quick in fact i did them last night after i made dinner for pete and i and shell (she of course wanted something different than what I was making so i made her the sandwich below..creamy avocado, tomato, grilled chicken and pesto.. holy cow)

I totally got the idea from pinterest.. someone had pinned this sandwich here..

you put the pesto on the outside and grill it and the oils and what not in the pesto form like a crust.. shell's only complaint was it scratched the roof of her mouth..

for shell's breakfasts I have been making the green monster smoothie that's been making the rounds on pinterest.. (i joined but haven't quite figured out how to put the follow me link or pin link on my site anyone who knows help would be appreciated.. :)

(the picture is a little dark.. but guess what!! it's flippen dark at 5:30 a.m. ha)
original recipe gotten from here.. now she adds blueberry which makes the finished product brown i didn't put blueberries in shell's and it came out a very pretty green color.. it looks weird but it's totally delish..

so be sure to check back tomorrow and the following days to get the above recipes.. and for my holiday baking recipes!! :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

day after thanksgiving turkey tetrazzini

sorry it's been awhile since i posted.. but last week as i am sure same with you was c r a z y!!! i went to 3 different full thanksgiving dinners.. one of which was at my house.. and then chili night at my house as well.. it was alot of fun!! so i had planned on making turkey tetrazzini with all my left over turkey.. well guess what i barely had enough for a few sandwiches so i ended up substituting chicken.. ha but it was very very good.. the recipe was inspired  by simply recipes turkey tetrazzini..and i pretty much followed it (well except for the switching turkey for rotisserie chicken and a few other little changes..) i did have alot of left over mashed potatoes so i made my spicy potato pancakes.. and they were heavenly.. and i of course made all my family favorites.. recipes found here.. i did add bourbon spiked whipped cream to my pumpkin bread pudding.. which my dad declared the best thing he has ever eaten.. recipe for the whipped cream found here..

(augh the pictures are horrible i think i had something set wrong on my camera.. sorry.. we are having leftovers tonight maybe i can get a better picture i will try)

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 40 minutes
servings: 6-8


12 oz. box or bag of linguini, cooked according to package directions
12 oz mushrooms, sliced (4-5 cups)
1/2 cup unsalted butter ( divided and 1/4 cup reserved)
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup cream
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
3 cups coursley chopped cooked turkey or chicken
1 cup frozen peas
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan (divided and 1/3 cup reserved)
1/3 cup shredded swiss cheese
juice of one lemon
zest of one lemon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper
1/3 cup panko

preheat oven to 350 degrees (f). Cook your pasta according to package directions, taking out about 2 minutes before the package says.  melt in a medium size sauce pan over medium low heat 1/4 cup of butter.. add mushrooms.. sook until all the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated 7-9 minutes.. remove mushrooms and set aside.. melt remaining butter.. add flour and cook over medium-low heat stirring for 3 minutes..then slowly whisk in milk.. it will starten to thicken up.. if it's not crank the heat to medium or medium high.. once it's thickening up addd cream, broth and sherry.. keep whisking.. lower heat to low and keep stirring for about 5-8 minutes.. when pasta is ready drain and in a large bowl combine pasta, white sauce, mushrooms, turkey and peas.. then stir in 1/3 up parmesan and 1/3 swiss cheese.. stir in lemon juice and zest.. add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste..then transfer the mixutre to a buttered or pam sprayed casserole dish.. in a small bowl combine the remaining parmesan and panko.. sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tetrazzini.. bake in the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly..

Thursday, November 17, 2011

super easy cheater indian tacos..

we went out of town with tina and lo this past 3 day weekend.. we drove to northern nevada to tina's family cabin.. it was about a 6 hour drive.. and usually when tina and i sit in the back our conversations span from what the kids are doing to swapping recipes.. i had been seeing on the internet food blog world recipes for indian tacos.. and tina said she used to make them all the time.. they sounded yummy so i thought i would try them.. now i call mine cheater ones because i improvised with what i had and not how others i have seen make them.. you see we didn't get home from our trip until late in the afternoon on sunday and i had no time to go to the store for the week for meals so i had pete go on Monday after work and he will only go if the list is very short and doesn't call for anything to complicated.. so pizza dough and taco seasoning made its way to the list and that's what i used to make these indian tacos.. now you may be asking yourself why would packaged taco seasoning make its way onto my list. well let me tell you why.. ha last month for my birthday one my best friends, helene  hosted bunco and her mom was in town and i just love her cooking!! so her mom made enchiladas and tacos.. i love love her tacos.. i love them so much that when it came time for dessert that night even though she had bought me 2 of my favorite kinds of pies i had another taco instead of pie.. *which i really wish i had at least taken a piece home* so i emailed my friend and asked how her mom made her tacos.. and i am thinking i am going to be let into some mexican family tradition that if i repeat to anyone they will have to kill me... and believe me i was prepared for that type of sworn secrecy type agreement.. but nope she emailed back lawry's or shilling taco seasoning!! umm hello what?? the heck!! but yep that's what she used.. i had never used package taco mix for my tacos.. ha.. go figure.. i've used it for my chili but never tacos.. so i decided i would try it and well then the convo of indian tacos came up and well the rest as they say is history and let me tell you they were so good.. i will definitely be making these again.. the pictures don't have shredded cheese but i had it for everyone else to use i guess mine didn't have any on it :( now i am sad i forgot to add the cheese on mine..

indian tacos

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 15 minutes
servings: 3


1 premade purchased pizza dough (i used wheat)
1.2 lb ground turkey (or beef)
1 package shilling hot taco mix
1/4 cup of water
canola oil
refried pinto beans (recipe below)
shredded cheddar cheese
onion, diced
tomato, diced
cilantro, chopped
sour cream

in a medium pot over medium low heat brown meat until crumbly.. add package taco seasoning and water and combine and turn heat to simmer.. while its simmering take your pizza dough and cut off a chunk...on a well floured surface roll out your "chunk" to about a 1/4 inch thick and mine were like a 6" by 3" rectangle.. then i took my flat iron skillet i use for tortilla's and put it on a medium-high heat and then added a very light coating of oil and "fried" my shell that way they kinda puff up.. but there really wasn't that much oil at all.. i repeated that until i had made six shells.. then spread refried beans, layer on meat mixture, top with cheese, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and sour cream.. yummyyyy.. we ate it like a tostada..

refried beans

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 1 hour
servings: approx. 6

1 large can of pinto beans (we like sun vista)
3 slices of bacon cut into lardons
cheese (optional)
fresh rosemary (optional)

cut up your bacon and cook in an iron skillet until tender but not crispy.. add pinto beans juice and all.. simmer for about an hour or until most of the liquid is evaporated.. about 10 minutes before serving mash with a potato masher.. i keep some beans still whole because I really don't like totally creamy smooth beans.. just unappealing to me.. top with cheese if desired.. my mom used to chop fresh rosemary from our back yard and stir that in at the last minute too..

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

take my word for it wednesday.. thanksgiving edition..

well can you believe thanksgiving is only a week away.. i can't.. seriously where did the year go? and it's been one heck of a year that's for sure.. my son turned 21, my daughter turned 16 and i lost both my grandparents in a 2 month span.. definitely a year of highs and lows.. but it is the time for giving thanks and i wanted to share with you a couple of my families favorite thanksgiving recipes.. but your going to have to take my word for it that they are good... because not until after thanksgiving will i be able to post pictures.. but seriously if anyone reads this besides my mother take my word for it these recipes are awesome!! (she already knows they are good so she doesn't need to take my word for it.. ) i will start off with the best recipe of all.... grandmommy's sweet potato casserole.. their legendary.. their amazing.. their everything thanskgiving should be baked in a casserole dish.. are they a dessert?? are they a side dish?? you be the judge.. it will be bitter sweet making them this year but i know in my grandmothers 94 years (she died just short of 95) hundreds of people enjoyed this dish.. how do i know that? because my mother has thanksgiving every year and we have had as little as 20 people and as large at 65 at my mothers house on thanksgiving day and every year people rave about my grandmothers sweet potatoes.. here is the recipe as written by my grandmother..

sweet potato casserole

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 40 minutes
servings: 8-10


1 40 oz. can of yams, mashed (or 3 cups mashed sweet potato or yams)
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla


1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 stick of butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans

mix casserole ingredients together in a glass casserole dish (not sure it has to be glass but my grandma always liked it in the glass) then in separate medium mixing bowl combine topping mixture and pour over yams as a topping.. (don't mix in) bake at 350 degrees (f) for 35-40 minutes or until light brown..

jalapeno cornbread stuffing

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup apple, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 jalapenos seeded and chopped (more if you like more heat or you could even leave the seeds in.. and remember these little babies are hot so wash your hands when done and don't touch your face or eyes before washing.. been there done that.. no fun)
1 cup chicken broth
2 6 ounce packages of mrs. cubbison's seasoned corn bread stuffing (one box)
salt and pepper to taste (i like alot of pepper in mine)
in a large mixing bowl combine all the above ingredients.. if it seems dry add a little more chicken brother and/or melted butter.. i let mine sit over night.. then in the morning i stuff my bird.. now if not cooking in the bird then place stuffing in a greased baking dish, cover and bake in a 350 degree (f) oven for about 45 minutes.. remove cover (check again to make sure its not dry.. if it is melt a 1/2 a stick of butter and pour over the stuffing) and bake another 10 minutes longer uncovered..

(picture borrowed from

overnight pumpkin bread pudding

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 45 minutes
servings: approx. 12

10 croissants, ripped into small pieces
1/2 cup butter, melted
6 large beaten eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups half-half
1 cup pure canned pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tsps. pumpkin pie spice


1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup coursley chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light karo syrup

melt butter and pour into a 9x13 casserole dish.  put ripped up croissant pieces into buttered casserole dish.. in a large bowl add milk, half and half, beaten eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. mix well.. pour mixture over the croissant pieces.. gently press down croissant pieces so the milk and egg mixture is absorbed.. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

when you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees (f).  to prepare topping, mix melted butter, brown sugar, pecans and karo syrup in a small bowl.. pour over top of croissants.. bake uncovered for 45 minutes.. serve immediately..

Thursday, November 10, 2011

{45 by 45} chicken fried steak with pan gravy

growing up i disliked chicken fried steak with a passion.. i now regret all those times i wouldn't eat my grandma's :( we would go to her house once a week for lunch and she would make chicken fried steak usually once a month.. she also would make roast once a month and if you read my previous post i really hate roast.. so i must gone for the company because i remember bringing my own lunch on those days.. ha ha well after years of refusing to eat  the chicken fried steak she one time put it on a peppridge farm sour dough roll with a little miracle whip (she loved her miracle whip) and actually i really liked that and for years that's how i ate it.. probably about 15 years ago (sadly when she stopped making our lunches) i discovered i truly liked chicken fried steak.. for breakfast with an egg and country potatoes or for dinner with mashed potatoes and green beans.. i truly do love me some chicken fried steak *now*.. unfortunately up until now i have never been able to make it.. i did give it the ole' college try about 25 years ago.. it was a disaster and i never tried again.. now this isn't my grandma's recipe, however i do believe she would have been proud of me for this dish.. i plan on making hers one weekend real soon, well hopefully.. i found this one here.. at eating well.. it's a little on the less fat side.. and i know what your thinking chicken fried steak low in fat?? well not really but this recipe is a lot less calories than your standard recipe.. i did discover why mine never worked before.. i used to much oil in my pan and my oil was way to hot!!! a small amount of oil, about 1 tbls. spoon and at medium heat is the ticket!! i followed this recipe pretty darn close since i had never made it successfully before, but now that i know how boy oh boy will i be adventurous with this dish!!

(someone asked why i put a black background on some of my photos.. i don't its my black granite counter tops!)

chicken fried steak with pan gravy

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 35 minutes
servings:  4

1/4 cup ap flour
2 large eggs whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tbls. cornstarch, divided
2 tsp. smokey paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 lb. cube steak cut into 4 portions
salt and pepper
2 tbls. canola oil
1 14 oz. can of reduced sodium beef broth
1 tbls. water
1/4 cup half and half

preheat oven to 350 degrees (f).. coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.. place ap flour on a large plate.. place egg whites in a shallow dish.. whisk cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, 1/4 cup corn starch paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in another shallow dish.. season both steaks with a little salt and pepper.. dredge the steak in the flour, shake off any excess.. dip steak in egg whites, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture..heat 1 tbls. oil in a large nonstick skillet (another thing i was doing wrong i used an iron skillet and burned mine) over medium-high heat.. reduce heat to medium (key super important ha) and add 2 pieces of the steak.. cook until browned on both sides, turning once, 3-5 minutes total.  transfer steak to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining 1 tbls. of oil and 2 other pieces of steak.. transfer the baking sheet with your 4 steaks to the oven and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes.  while its cooking add broth to the pan you just cooked your steaks in and boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.. getting up all those yummy bits and pieces that stuck to the pan from frying the steaks.. cook until reduced to about 1 cup.. 3-5 minutes.. whisk water and remaining tbls. of corn starch until smooth..remove pan from heat and stir corn starch mixture.. return pan to heat and cook, stirring until thickened, 1-2 minutes.. stir in half and half and season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.. serve the steak topped with the gravy..

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

take my word for it wednesday.. brrrr it's cold outside.. you need clam chowder

this is a segment where sometimes you have to have a little faith.. ha i will either not have a picture or the picture will be awful, like in this case.. so you have to take my word for it when i tell you something was good or i might tell you a book was a great read.. ect..soo take my word for it this past weekend was a whirlwind.. my niece got married.. i will actually do an entire post about that awesome event.. it was "perfect".. but on sunday.. i was running a little low on energy.. we got up and had breakfast with tina and lo to plan our veteran's day trip.. we are going up to tina's family cabin.. it's 10 degrees there right now.. yikes!! but with that in mind i decided to make clam chowder for sunday supper.. ohh it was so good like a warm hug for your tummy.. but like i said the pictures are horrible :( so your going to have to take my word for it was good!! alot of folks think chowders are hard.. let me tell you they are not.. with a few simple ingredients you can have a wonderful stick to your ribs supper.. i jammed packed mine with chunks of potatoes, celery, clams and onions..

creamy chunky clam chowder

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time:
servings: 6


2 slices of bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
7-9 white rose potatoes, chopped
4 cans of clams, drained and juice reserved (i used 2 minced and 2 chopped)
4 cups skim milk (you can use whole milk i didn't have any, it would make it thicker also with whole milk or even half and half would be ideal)
2 tbls. corn starch (optional)
salt and pepper

take your reserved clam juice and add to a pot and add your potatoes.. if it doesn't cover your taters add water until it does.. cook the potatoes until fork tender.. while they are cooking start your soup, so in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat cook your bacon, not until crispy but cooked, about 5 minutes.. then add your onions, celery and salt. cook until tender.. another 5 minutes.. your potatoes are probably done about now.. (don't drain them) with a slotted spoon remove 2 cups of the potatoes and 1 cup of the claim juice they were cooked in.. using a food processor (if you have one, if you don't then use a blender or hand mixer or even just a regular hand potato masher will do) cream the potatoes.. add your milk to the bacon, onion and celery mixture.. then add the creamed potatoes.. then with a slotted spoon emove the remaining potatoes and add to the party .. stir.. now add our clams and salt and pepper.. i like alot of fresh ground pepper but some like white pepper because the clam chowder is white.. i however like the look of the fresh ground pepper against the white creamy soup.. ok now you might be happy with the consistency.. i know i was.. but pete likes his much thicker and creamy.. so i took 2 tbls. of corn starch and 1/4 of a cup of the clam/potato juice whisked it together and added it to the clam chowder.. cranked the heat to high until it started to thicken up then turned to low and let it simmer for about a half an hour.. i served mine with crusty rolls..  some folks like crackers.. etc.. i like bread and dip the bread in the hot soup.. *sigh* soo good.. you have to add more pepper (well because i said so and remember this is "take my word for it wednesday"  also add tobasco.. its simply delish!!