Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Caramel Pecan Pie

Oh, this pie is soooooooo good!  It's just as I imagined it would be....caramel, nutty goodness!

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and made it Saturday for a Thanksgiving meal.  It's delicious!

Caramel Pecan Pie

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust (I use mom's recipe that's posted on this blog)
36 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) In a saucepan over low heat, combine caramels, butter and milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Gradually mix in the melted caramel mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust. 3Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until
pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool until filling is firm.
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Friday, November 6, 2015

Magical Butterfinger Bites

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

Chicken lasagna has been one of my favorite things to make for large groups or to take to people for many years. The first recipe I created several years ago is good, but through the years, I decided to get away from condensed soups. That one has cream of chicken soup.  If you still like to use canned soups, then go ahead! It's very good!  But if you like Alfredo sauce and whole foods better, then go with this one.  It's not low fat, but uses whole foods such as real butter, whipping cream, and cheese. You could easily make it gluten free by buying gluten free lasagna noodles or serve the mixture over a different variety of gluten free noodles.  Anyway, it's delicious!  I had never written down the recipe, just eyeballed it, but recently I needed to make it for the football team, so took the time to measure everything.  If making for a large group, double the recipe. Three of each layer will fit well into the large catering disposable pans from Sam's Club.


1 - 2.5 lb. bag frozen chicken tenderloins
2 tsp. salt (divided)
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1 stick butter
6 cups grated Parmesan cheese (not the canned variety, but fresh)
3 T. granulated garlic
6 - 9 uncooked lasagna noodles (no need to buy the special no-cook variety)
2 lbs. shredded mozzarella, Monterey jack, or colby jack cheese

In large pot, cook frozen chicken tenderloins and 1 tsp. salt, covered, over medium-high heat.  Cook until chicken is white.  Leave lid on pot and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.  Remove lid and rinse chicken pieces. (I don't like the "goo" that the chicken collects!  I also remove the membrane at this time.)  Drain juices and return the chicken back to the pot.  With electric mixer, shred chicken.  Add to pot remaining tsp. of salt (or more to taste),  heavy whipping cream, butter, Parmesan cheese, and granulated garlic.  Cook until cheese and butter melts.

Depending on the depth of your 9 x 13 dish, you will have 2 or 3 complete layers. The disposable pans and lasagna pan types are deeper.  Layer 3 lasagna noodles,  a third or half of the chicken mixture, a layer of mozzarella, Monterey jack, or colby jack cheese.  Repeat layers.

Bake on 350* for 45-60 minutes, depending on how browned you want it. I usually cover it for the first half of the baking time.  For the larger pans, you can put in the oven several hours in advance, on 200*, then just turn it up the last hour or heat until bubbly and browned.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Minnie Mouse 21st Birthday Party

Our oldest and only daughter wanted a Minnie Mouse themed party to celebrate turning 21.  I didn't want it to be a "kiddie" party, of course, and neither did she. We ordered special sugar cookies from a friend.
Her grandmother made her a Minnie cake.
I did chocolate covered strawberry marshmallows with candy shred (it was yucky, in our opinion) and melted candy squiggles.
Cherry limeade punch, which is a favorite of ours. (Braum's sells the cherry lime sherbet and just add 7up.  I also put some maraschino cherries in there and garnished with a slice of lime.)
The chandelier light was transformed into a goofy Minnie-themed light.
The cheeseball was shaped into a Mickey head, then a fruit roll up bow made it a Minnie!
I had the polka dot pots for many other occasions, but spray painted styrofoam balls and created a Minnie head with a big pink bow.  Spray paint melts the styrofoam, but it worked, still.  Just in the back where I laid them to dry, they are flattened. I should have allowed it to dry stuck into the pot, standing up.
And see the balloon wreath with the right ear showing white?  Lauren had made this wreath to take to Disney World last summer when she worked there, but it broke.  I surprised her by getting new balloons and redoing the ears.  It's such a cute wreath and lots of work!  You can find directions if you search balloon Minnie Mouse wreath.

It was such a fun party! I haven't taken the decorations down just yet.  I don't want it to be over :).

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I'm Thankful for YOU!

I wrote more about using this fall themed tableware over on my other blog HERE, but wanted to share it as a decorating post on this blog. 

We are still in the process of putting together the cookbook.  Mom is doing a lot more of the work than I am, so far.  I have lots of catching up to do, so am thankful for her help!  We hope to have them ready by Christmas, if at all possible.
Now back to fall themed tableware....
This is at Hobby Lobby.  I can't remember what the lunch-sized napkins said, but I wanted the small ones for my event because of what they said: "I'm Thankful for YOU".  I realize the tablecloths don't match exactly, but my original plan was to do burlap.
The centerpieces were going to be wood slices (as I have in the picture above), but also using sticks and mason jars, more fall printed burlap and brown jute....but it didn't happen. 
Years ago that would have bothered me that it didn't all match exactly.  Now I don't care as much.  I also don't care that it wasn't quite fall when I used it. It's close enough! :)  Happy Fall, Y'all!  Have a great day!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hobo Dinners

Last week, instead of cooking for five or six, I was only cooking for three. That's always weird!  But also, I had just gotten the whole, messy kitchen cleaned up a little while before, so I wasn't wanting to make a mess.  Hobo Dinners came to mind!
The kids have just begun liking cabbage! I'm SOOOOOOOO excited!!  No one else liked it, but me, so a big head of it often went to waste.  Now I can use it all up quickly!
I used a square piece of foil and a few pie tins for the hobo dinners (just used the pie tin for fun).  Each one had a slice off chunk of cabbage, a thinly sliced potato, a thinly sliced carrot, salt, pepper, onion powder, and one or two hamburger patties. (Sprinkle on more salt, pepper, and onion powder (or use real onion) on top of the meat.)
Bacon slices were placed over the top, then the dinners were sealed with the foil.  Some people add Worcestershire sauce, but I didn't want that.
Baked at 350* for 1 1/2 hours.....eaten in 30 minutes (only because it had to cool off before we could begin eating! ha ha!)....and clean up in 5 minutes or less!  Woohoo!!!
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Monday, August 10, 2015

Cinnamon Roll Donuts

Last week we were on vacation. Instead of having a can of biscuits like I thought I had, we had an extra can of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. I decided to fry them like donuts. The results were DELICIOUS!

Put oil in medium saucepan, filling at least half way up. Heat oil to medium-medium/high (mine was too hot at first). Make a hole in the center of each cinnamon roll. Fry a few donuts at a time, turning to brown both sides. Drain on paper towels. Scrap icing into small bowl and thin it some with milk. Drizzle over the donuts. Serve warm. 

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