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My name is mud

13 May

Every other week a few girlfriends of mine  and I have a ladies night. We meet at someone’s house and usually there is a theme of sorts: Mexican/margaritas, Italian, we even had a Leonardo DiCaprio night after the oscars. However, over the last month or so, we’ve all had a TON of things going on. Trips to other states, doctoral graduation (me!), weird school schedules, and the end of the school year for our children. 

So tomorrow we are putting together an impromptu gathering at the home of the ravishing Kelsea (whose eyebrows are always amazing). She’s doing a flank steak and we are all to bring stuff to go with it. The main difference with this gathering is that kids are welcomed. Usually we just meet with the ladies, but we changed it up a bit. 

Anyway, my son decided we should take a cake. Not just any cake either…a Mississippi Mud Cake. Basically it’s a cake version of rocky road ice cream: chocolate, nuts, marshmallows. Once he decided on the cake, he thought we should make them into cupcake form. 

So, we gathered what we needed and proceeded to do a live Facebook broadcast while we made it. What a blast! 

While talking to our viewers, a few folks wanted the recipe. So I came here and did a search and couldn’t find that I had it. So…a new blog post it is.🙂

This cake is amazing. It was the cake my grandma made for all three boys for their grooms cakes and it was a common go-to for many family gatherings. In other words, a great cake.

And I’m going to be lazy and post a photo of the recipe, instead of typing it out. While making these tonight, I squatted down to look in the oven and my favorite jeans split at the butt. I was over being an adult after that. Ha ha. 

Once these cooled, we tried one. They were perfect! 

To make these as cupcakes, bake for 10-12 minutes and then check them. I did so by lightly touching the tops to see how springy they were. I decided to turn the oven off and leave them in another couple of minutes before adding the marshmallows. All you really need to do is make sure you don’t wait until they are all the way done. 

I tried to get a photo, there was only one tiny bite left. 


How yummy do these look?!?

Potbelly Men Pie

22 Feb

I can totally imagine my grandma with me this evening as I made dinner. We had some extra chicken left from dinner last night and I had it in my head to make a pot pie. I never have, but was wanting to nonetheless. 

I got some groceries today and in that trip I also purchased some Banquet brand frozen, individual pot pies…just in case mine turned out poorly. Ha ha. 

Needless to say, the frozen pies are still frozen. 

This was one of the simplest recipes I’ve done in a long time. AND it is my own. Although, I’m sure there are many other recipes the same or similar, but I digress. 

This is a two-crust pie. You could make it in a ceramic baking dish and just have one crust on top, but I think the two crusts make a huge difference. 

It’s simple: veggies, chicken, cream of (insert mushroom, chicken, or broccoli here), some broth and that’s it! 

diced or pulled chicken, mixed veggies, cream of chicken

I decided to be a little creative with my top crust and use shapes instead of slits to vent the heat. 

mr. potbelly man (no gingerbread here) with my newest preserves in the background

 
The final result was beautiful:

the edges were a little more brown that preferred, but yummy anyway

 
Potbelly Men Pie

  • 1.5 cups chicken, cooked and diced or pulled
  • 1.5 cups frozen mixed veggies, thawed
  • 1 can cream of xxxxxx soup (I used chicken), regular sized can not family size
  • 3/4 cup of stock (veggie or chicken), I used veggie made from bouillon cubes, PLUS three tablespoons of flour
  • Two pie crusts

Preheat oven to 400°.  Mix the chicken, veggies, soup and stock. Pour into pie plate lined with first crust. Place second crust on top and either make shapes with cookie cutter or poke holes in top to vent.  Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until the middle/top is golden brown. Keep an eye on the edges and cover with foil if they get too brown. 

Serve with a salad or applesauce. Anything light to balance the heaviness of the pie. Serves 6-8

Trash talk

29 Nov

So this Friday will mark a new chapter in my family’s Christmas traditions. We are hosting our inaugural ugly Christmas sweater party. I’m super stoked. 

With a holiday party comes all the food stuffs too. So of course I went directly to the best source of holiday recipes: my mom. Oh my goodness y’all. My mom used to throw some killer Christmas parties. I’m pretty sure she spent an entire month’s grocery budget on the food for said parties too. The smells that wafted through the house, from December 1-25 were heavenly. 

One of my favorite things she’d make was Texas Trash. Basically a homemade Chex mix. I’m sure she included a small amount of questionable ingredients because it was so addictive. Ha ha. And whatever didn’t get consumed at the party would be leftover and only got better with time. It’s great to gift and even better to “taste test.”

Sow without further ado, I give you Cheryl’s Texas Trash  

right out of the oven

   

  • 3C corn squares cereal 
  • 3C rice squares cereal
  • 1C of wheat squares, “Os” cereal (Cheerios), or Kix – I use store brand Tasteeos
  • 1C mixed nuts 
  • 1.5C mini pretzels 
  • 6 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP Worstchestershire Sauce 
  • 1.5 tsp seasoned salt

Preheat oven to 250°F. Melt butter and combine with salt and sauce. Pour over cereals/nuts and toss until coated. This may seem like not enough butter/seasoning, but just keep tossing. On a sided cookie sheet or roasting pan, spread mixture in single layer (it probably will make two pans). Bake for 60 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes. When done, transfer to countertop on paper towels to cool and to allow for any additional oils to drain off. Once cooled, transfer into an airtight container. 

Christmas tins are perfect to put them into and then gift. 
I wish I had some smell-o-vision for you right now. 

It never happened. 

26 Nov

Picking a recipe from Grandma, I mean. I didn’t have pie crust, I didn’t want to thaw any fruit, and I just didn’t want to spend forever in the kitchen. 

So, I opted for a fruit salad with homemade vanilla whipped cream and a honey simple syrup. The plan is to let the kids (and older “kids”) use waffle cones for cornucopia sand fill them with fruit, whipped cream, and/or vanilla pudding. 

I also wanted to make sangria. No particular reason, I just wanted to. It’s a SUPER simple recipe and I used an info graphic from Wine Enthusiast to guide me. Yeah, sure, sangria is basically a wine Hunch Punch, but I am a fairly snobby person when it comes to the red concoction. I tried to find the link to the graphic, but could only find it on Pinterest. 

 
  

I’m not above buying premade Sangria either! Why try to make something that’s already been perfected?! Needless to say, those were my ingredients: $5 Argentinian red wine, $4 sparkling peach wine, $5 Brandy, and $3.98 peach schnapps. I also added pears, apples, oranges and lemon juice, along with a 1/4 cup of OJ. Let’s just say that it smelled much better this morning after it being in the fridge all night.  
Anyway, we are now en route with the least amount of food I’ve ever had to take to someone’s house for a holiday…ever! Whoop! 
Amber’s notes: Be thankful all year, not just during this season. Give generously, love unconditionally, and never be afraid to dance in the rain. 

Grandma would be proud

19 Jan

I tried my hand at merengue last night. Let’s just say that in the world of baking, a stand mixed would be worth it’s weight in gold if I made these types of pies regularly.

In an effort to become a healthier family, we are starting to cut back on refined sugars and processed foods. So, to use what we already had, I gabbed the cookbook and did. Quick search. I’m not sure why chocolate, but I’m glad I started making it.

It was delicious.

8/31/96- George with his tractor is mowing around my house and chicken house. Lance visited; sprayed wasp nest in carport. 9/3/96- all my 85 3/4 yrs, my family grew sweet potatoes, but I never saw or heard of these beautiful orchid colored blooms w/reddish purple colored throat until this year. YOU LORD ARE MASTER OF THE EARTH. GIVE STRENGTH TO YOUR PEOPLE.

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Thank you, thankyouverymuch

26 Sep

I tried to type that in my best Elvis accent.

 

I finally got off my keister and made the canned goods I planned to make!  My two recipes yielded 4 jars of Pickled Squash and 5 of Pear Honey.  If you remember, the pear honey made it into the county fair back in 2012 and sold for $70.  Not Texas State Fair worthy, mind you, but a start for someone who had only been canning/preserving for less than a month!

Anyway, it’s been one of the most popular amongst my friends and was a natural choice when deciding what I wanted to give away as thank you gifts.  The second choice seemed the least time-intensive of most of the pickle recipes and I had yet to conquer the pickle realm.

 

And so, I give you…my goods!

photo(5)Yeah, I know, not the best photo…but it will have to do.  The squash was surprisingly easy to make and I did it first since it took the longest.  You can find the pear honey post here.  I’ll share the pickles recipe because I think canning/preserving is a lost art (though there are many who still do it) and it it easy to do.  You need no special canning equipment other than pots and pans!

 

Pickled Squash

  • 8 Cups sliced squash (think pickle chips)
  • 2 TBSP salt
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 bell peppers (green or red give the best colors)
  • 2 tsp mustard seed

Sprinkle squash with salt and let stand one hour.  Except for the squash, mix everything else and bring to a boil.  Drain water off squash; add to boiling liquid.  Bring to boil again and cook an additional minute.  Then put in jars and seal.  Yield: 5 pints.

Grandma’s Notes: 10/1/99- 52 degrees at 8:45; walked to Lance’s driveway and back.  The four-o’clocks are so pretty since the rain.  10/3/99- Zach came; visited and talked about some of his future plans.  Crocheted, read, and picked up pecans.  I BRING MY LIFE TO YOU LORD BECAUSE I KNOW WHATEVER IS WRONG IN IT, YOU CAN FIX IT, AND I WILL BE WHOLE AGAIN.

 

I just realized that the above journal entries are almost right back where I needed them for the time of year.  I guess I planned that just right.

Back in the Saddle Again…

8 Jun

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know it’s been a while, ok a LONG time, since I last posted anything. I apologize.

Upon returning from a date night with my hubby, I thought it would be fun to make cookies with the rug-rat.  He didn’t really seem too enthused, until I started asking for a “special cookie maker.”  That got him excited, go figure.  So, I started looking at the ingredients I had on hand and Grandma’s trusty recipes.  I was missing a key ingredient for a cookie I thought looked easy enough: Mincemeat Cookies.  I ran out of pear mincemeat at Christmas and didn’t have any other jars on hand.  However I did have three jars of fig preserves from my Aunt Barbara.  She and her daughter, Haley (my oldest cousin), are always good for a few jars of this and that when I’m home.

So, I used chopped fig preserves.  If you have never had mincemeat, I suggest you try some.  Unless your great-aunt Gertrude still makes it the “real” way (with the meat of a hog’s head), a jar of modern mincemeat is usually a mix of spices, sugar and various “hearty” fruits like pears and apples.  While figs are a little softer in texture, their flavor is a similar profile and mincemeat.  In other words, it worked.

There was no indication as to the yield in the recipe.  It made about 48-60 cookies I think (give or take the “tester” cookies).  So here it is, the first recipe of the year.  Better late than never!

Mince Meat Cookies

  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 cup shortening (I used butter)
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs (well beaten)
  • 1 cup of mince meat, or preserves of your choice

Sift the flour, salt, and soda together.  Cream butter and sugar then beat and add eggs.  Stir in mince meat.  Add the dry ingredients and mix.  Drop by the spoonful (or see option below) onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 400* for about 12 minutes, or until cookies are golden.  Option: make bake in thin sheet and cut into bars.

photo(3)

Gave him a cookiephoto(2)

First biteHe likes them!He liked it!

The mix seemed a little dry while mixing, so I poured in some of the fig preserve liquid to moisten it up a bit.  It worked well and the cookies taste amazing!  The hubby just came out of the kitchen exclaiming, “Wow, that made a lot of cookies!”  Another note: The hubby is not a fig eater but enjoyed these cookies, so they must be good!

photo

Grandma’s Notes: 9/20/98- Went to church; crocheted some.  THANK YOU LORD FOR YOUR CLOSENESS TO ME IN MY EVERYDAY LIFE.

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