Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chocolate Chess Pie

Once again, Mamaw gets the credit for this fabulous recipe.  I have tried several recipes for homemade pie crusts and I still like store bought the best.  I even like Kroger brand better than name brand.  This recipe is really quick and easy and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand, except for may be the evaporated milk.  Which, by the way, you don't want to use a large can of evaporated milk, because it will be too runny.  I know from experience. :)

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 uncooked pie shell

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix sugar and cocoa.
3. Pour in melted butter and eggs.
4. Beat well with electric mixer for 2 minutes.
5. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
6. Pour into pie shell.
7. Bake for 40 minutes.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Nana's Banana Pudding

This picture so doesn't do this dish justice!  My Nana made this recipe famous, and once you taste it you will never want cafeteria style banana pudding again.  Ugh!  I made this for Grant the first time I ever cooked for him.  It was before we were married, at my parent's house, and before tasting it he asked if we needed to refrigerate it for a little while first.  No way!  This kind of banana pudding is best warm.  If you have leftovers in the refrigerator you can always warm it up before eating.  Or, if you're like my husband and didn't grow up eating warm banana pudding, you can eat it cold.  But I wouldn't recommend it. :)

1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup can evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 ripe bananas
box of vanilla wafers

1.  Combine sugar and flour in pot.
2.  In separate bowl, mix milk and eggs (yellow only!) well.  Pour into sugar mixture.
3.  Add vanilla and cook on stovetop approx. 10 minutes on med/low heat stirring VERY often.
4.  Layer wafers and sliced bananas in 8x8 dish.  Start with bananas and end with bananas.  Probably won't take the whole box of wafers.
5.  When the pudding on stovetop is medium thick, pour over the layers of bananas and wafers.
6.  Make meringue topping with egg whites.  Beat for a while, spread on top, and place in oven to slightly brown.
7.  Cover immediately to keep moist.

*It's just personal preference how thick you like the pudding.  I like it to run between the layers and get all the wafers moist.

7 Layer Taco Dip

1 oz pkg taco seasoning
16 oz refried beans
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz sour cream
16 oz jar salsa
1 large tomato, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
6 oz can sliced black olives, drained
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1.  In a bowl, blend the taco seasoning and refried beans.
2.  Spread the mixture in a large serving platter.
3.  Mix the sour cream and cream cheese.  Spread over the refried beans.
4.  Layer the salsa, tomato, bell pepper, green onions, lettuce, and cheese.
5.  Garnish with black olives (not pictured above).

Fruit Pizza

My mom made this dessert for us when we were young and she made it on a round pizza baking dish.   I made this recipe for the first time recently and put it in a 9 x 13 dish so that I could store the leftovers in the refrigerator.  The fact that there is a lot of fruit on top makes you not feel so guilty for eating a dessert. :)

Roll of sugar cookies
8 oz cool whip
8 oz cream cheese
6 bananas, sliced
small can pineapple tidbits
2 cans mandarin oranges
pint strawberries, sliced
2 kiwi, sliced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp cornstarch

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Slice entire roll of sugar cookies and line bottom of pan.  Do not press together.  Cook per directions.
3.  Combine 8 oz cool whip and 8 oz cream cheese.  Spread over cooled cookie crust.
4.  Layer all fruit according to preference.
5.  Mix orange juice, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch.  Cook on stovetop until thick.  Cool and drizzle over fruit.
6.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Cereal with Fruit

Last November, right before the holidays, Grant and I watched several Netflix documentaries on eating healthy.  Since then, we've made some changes to our diet.  Our new breakfast routine involves this bowlfull of yumminess that we eat most mornings and it is so good I actually look forward to it.  

Shredded Wheat Cereal
Grape Nuts Cereal (we use Kroger brand, which is called Nutty Nuggets)
dry oatmeal
organic whole ground flaxseed meal
sliced strawberries
sliced bananas
*any fruit of choice
plain almond milk (it doesn't taste as good with dairy milk!)

Layer ingredients in order listed.  Enjoy!

*The Nutty Nuggets soak up the milk, so you may want to add extra.

Sausage, Egg and Cheese Casserole

The official name for this dish is Breakfast at Williamsburg, but I like titles that explain what you are about to eat, so I titled this post accordingly.  I first made this casserole in 2009 and we have been eating it for our Christmas morning breakfast along with Cream Cheese Danish ever since.  The recipe is from the Bellevue Baptist Church Women's Ministry cookbook, Seasoned With Grace, which was my go-to cookbook until Pinterest came along.  I have enjoyed everything I have tried from that book, and this recipe is our favorite breakfast casserole.

1 lb sausage
6 slices bread, crusts trimmed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
5 eggs
2 cups milk (can use half-and-half for a richer version)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard

1.  Brown and crumble sausage on stovetop and drain.
2.  Butter bread and break or cut into cubes.
3.  Place bread cubes in bottom of greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
4.  Cover with cooked sausage.
5.  Sprinkle with cheese.
6.  In a bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt, and mustard and pour over cheese.
7.  Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake 45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Danish

The last few years our Christmas morning breakfast has consisted of this cream cheese danish recipe I got from Mamaw and the Breakfast at Williamsburg casserole from the Bellevue Baptist Church Women's Ministry cookbook (which was my go-to cookbook as a newlywed, and still is whenever I break away from Pinterest).  This recipe should probably be classified as a dessert rather than breakfast dish, but on Christmas morning we are celebrating so a little sugar (okay, may be a lot) won't hurt, right!?!

2 pkgs crescent rolls
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
16 oz cream cheese softened
1 egg
1 stick butter

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Grease 9 x 13 baking dish.
3.  Unroll one can of crescent rolls and press into bottom of dish closing perforated areas.
4.  Combine the cream cheese, one cup of sugar, egg, and vanilla.  Spread over crescent rolls in dish.
5.  Unroll remaining can of rolls and place over the cream cheese mixture, pinching perforation together.
6.  Combine melted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 tsp cinnamon.  Spread over top layer of crescents.
7.  Bake 30 minutes. Serve slightly warm

*Makes 16 servings.  You can also add 1 cup chopped pecans to topping.

Spinach Dip

In an effort to try to eat healthier, I have recently found some recipes using healthy ingredients that are actually quite good.  When we are eating out, my family likes to get chips and dip for an appetizer and spinach dip is one of our favorites.  Spinach is healthy, but all of the other ingredients that are usually in the dip are not the best for you.  When I came across this recipe at Plant-Powered Kitchen I wanted to try it out and it was SO good!  It doesn't take long to make and has only healthy ingredients, so it was a win all the way around.

3/4 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk (can also use soy)
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dry ground mustard
black pepper to taste
2 cups frozen artichoke hearts
2 cups (loosely packed) spinach leaves

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  In blender, add all ingredients except artichokes and spinach and blend until very smooth.
3.  Add artichoke hearts and spinach and PULSE through until desired chunky texture is reached.
4.  Transfer mixture to baking dish and bake 20 minutes.