Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A "Big Easy" Meal

I decided that to take a trip down to the "Big Easy" for tonight's dinner, so I prepared some jambalaya. Ken has been asking for this dish for a while and I've just been forgetting to make it. But tonight, that all ended. Unfortunately, he didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped he would. His taste buds get off track sometimes as a result of the chemo, so tonight, he was extra sensitive to the cheese flavor in the jambalaya and didn't get to enjoy it as much. I thought it was quite tasty, but next time I make it, I'll be sure to omit the cheese flavor.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Dinner 2008

I have been anticipating Christmas all year because I knew it would be the first time Ken and I hosted Christmas dinner. I've spent weeks trying to plan every little detail...from the decor to the dinner rolls. LOL. But after all of my blood, sweat, and tears (smile), I am so happy to say that the day was perfect and so enjoyable! Although it was definitely a LOT of hard work, my first holiday dinner turned out to be a huge success. With a successful holiday meal under my belt, I think I can say that the baton has officially been passed from my mother down to me. =)

Christmas Dinner Menu
Baked Turkey Wings
Cornbread Dressing
Corn and Rice Casserole
Collard Greens
Potato Salad

Christmas Dessert Menu
Sweet Potato Pies (4 total - 2 deep dish, 1 shallow, and 1 shallow with pecan topping)
Red Velvet Cake
German Chocolate Cake

Holiday Family and Friends Dinner

Last Saturday, Ken and I hosted our First Annual Holiday Family and Friends Dinner here at our house. We decided on a pretty simple menu so that I wouldn't have to be stuck in the kitchen the majority of the day. So after much thought and consideration, we decided on the following menu:

Sweet and Tangy Meatballs
Fried Asparagus with a Creamy Cajun Dipping Sauce
Deli Spirals
Apple, Pear, and Walnut Salad
Cheese and Grape Tray
Lime Punch

Italian Romaine Salad
Sweet Tea


The event was a big success and we had so much fun spending time with our friends and family. It was a great jump start to Christmas week and we look forward to doing it again next year! =)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pies for Santa!

Ken and I were so excited to have all of our family arrive on Christmas Eve to jumpstart the holiday celebration! In preparation for Santa's arrival, I decided to try my hand at making two sweet potato pies as opposed to the traditional cookies and milk. =)

Ironically enough, as much as I LOVE sweet potato pies, I had never tried to make one of my own. So for this being my very first time, I'm sooooooo pleased with how they turned out! I made a traditional one and one with a pecan topping. I hope Santa liked his late night treat! =)

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping
Recipe Courtesy of Eagle Brand


1 pound sweet potatoes, cooked and peeled
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 (14-ounce) can EAGLE BRAND Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 (6-ounce) frozen pie crust

Pecan Topping
1 egg
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter


1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. With mixer, beat hot yams and butter until smooth.
3. Add EAGLE BRAND milk, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, salt and egg; mix well.
4. Pour into crust and bake 20 minutes.
5. Prepare Pecan Topping (recipe below).
6. Remove pie from oven; reduce oven to 350°F.
7. Spoon Pecan Topping on pie.
8. Bake 25 minutes longer or until set.
9. Cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pecan Topping
1. Beat egg, dark corn syrup, brown sugar, and melted butter.
2. Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans.

Where's the Beef?

...why in the Beef Stroganoff of course! Ken and I have always liked beef stroganoff. But up until a week ago, we had only ever had the hamburger helper version (I know, I know). So after catching an episode of "Paula's Home Cooking", I decided to give a try at making an "authentic" version of the dish. My mom, dad, and Ken were all my taste-testers, and according to them, it passed with flying colors! =)

Beef Stroganoff


1 1/2 pounds cubed round steak, cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon cup salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
All-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, sliced
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can beef broth
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
Salt and black pepper
1 cup sour cream
Cooked egg noodles


1. Season the steak strips with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
2. Dust strips with flour.
3. In a large skillet, quickly brown them on both sides in the olive oil and butter.
4. Remove the steak from the pan and add the onion slices to the pan drippings.
5. Saute the onions for a few minutes, until tender.
6. Sprinkle onions with 1 teaspoon flour.
7. Put the steak back into the pan with the onion.
8. Add the mushroom soup and beef broth.
9. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, covered.
10. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt and pepper, as needed.
11. Stir in the sour cream the last few minutes, right before you serve.
12. Serve over cooked egg noodles.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sloppy Sunday!

Surprise, surprise! I decided to go a "non-traditional" route for dinner today! Instead of my usual Southern-style dishes, I threw caution to the wind and opted to prepare a simple and quick meal today. So what was it you ask? Well....(drum roll please)....it was good old fashioned Sloppy Joes!!! =)

I had some ground beef in the fridge that had been thawed in hopes that I would make this meal on Friday night, but that never happened. So in efforts to salvage the ground beef and not let it go to waste, I figured sloppy joes on Sunday night would be just as good as sloppy joes on Friday night. Bon appetite! =)

Sloppy Joes and Potato Chip Fries

1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powderhttp://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=5640881567564468101
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons brown sugar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onion, and green pepper; drain off liquids.
2. Stir in the onion powder, mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar; mix thoroughly.
3. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Southern Tradition

In keeping with the tradition of having a good old fashioned Southern dinner on Sunday, this evening I decided to make Creamed Corn, Green Beans, and Fried Pork Chops. The green beans and pork chops I've made many times. But the creamed corn was a first for me. I'm a HUGE corn lover, so I'm surprised it's taken me this long to take a stab at it. But now that I have, it is definitely something that will be a repeat performer! It was sooooo yummy and really simple to make.

Sweet Creamed Corn

1 large bag of frozen corn (thawed)
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons bacon grease
1 tablespoons butter

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt and pepper.

2. Add the corn and stir to combine.

3. Add the heavy cream and water and stir to combine.

4. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat bacon grease.

5. Add corn mixture and turn heat down to medium-low, stirring until it becomes creamy and the corn become tender, about 30-40 minutes.

6. Add the butter right before serving.