Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans


  1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in confectioners' sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  2. Shape chilled cream cheese mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Roll the cheese ball in finely chopped pecans before serving. But it can be hard to form a ball so I skipped the nuts and just put the mixture in a bowl. (I think it's better that way!)

Chicken Breast Supreme

4 chicken breasts
4-8 strips of bacon
16 oz sour cream
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of sliced mushrooms
1 jar of dried beef (this is found near tuna or spam)
Wrap the chicken in bacon and put in pan
Mix up all the other ingredients. Tear up the dried beef into small pieces (this is what gives the meal the real flavor)
Pour mixture over chicken and bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours
I always serve with white rice and pour the extra sauce on top. If we had company - we would add vegetables or a salad and rolls - but since it's just us - we just had this. TASTY!

Coffee Punch

I like to make this punch in the winter. It's really kind of like a milkshake. I'm sure at some point - I had an exact recipe but I don't like to follow recipes so feel free to adjust the measurements to your liking.

You take one box of vanilla ice cream and one box of chocolate ice cream and put in punch bowl
And then you add a little coffee. If you like coffee - you may add one or two cups. If you only like a small hint of coffee - just add a little bit.
Then add milk - I poured about 3/4 of a half gallon jug. I did use skim milk - so it's a healthy low fat drink. :-)
Then the best part - hershey's syrup. This gives it the flavor - I put in a whole bottle.
Then you just stir up
And stir

And enjoy - it's a dessert on it's own

Cake Balls

This is super easy and you can make it any kind of variety you like. I've seen yellow cake and chocolate icing and chocolate and chocolate. But being the good Southern girl I am - I LOVE red velvet cake so I thought this would be good. (Jamie - you would LOVE these!)
All you do is bake the cake mix according to directions
When it's still warm - crumble it up in a bowl and mix in a can of frosting (I used cream cheese with the red velvet!)
IMPORTANT STEP: Refrigerate the cake and frosting for about an hour before you start making balls!
I used this handy little scooper from Pampered chef to scoop balls
Melt almond bark (either vanilla or chocolate - depending on your cake) and dip balls in the bark. You could use toothpicks or a fork - but I used this egg separator and it worked GREAT!
And voila - one of the yummiest things you will ever taste!!!

Carmelized Onion Dip

I made this dip last summer and it is so good - I could get in the bowl and just swim around in it! 

2 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Cut the onions in half and then slice them into 1/8-inch-thick half-rounds. (Yielding about 3 cups of onions)
Heat the oil and the butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat (it works better to NOT use a non-stick pan). Add the onions, cayenne, salt and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook for 40 more minutes, stirring occasionally (but not too often-the onions should start to stick to the pan) until the onions are browned and caramelized.
Add the Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar and continue to cook for about 10 more minutes. Allow the onions to cool.
This is what you want the onions to look like. Note that they are really dark because of the balsamic vinegar.
In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, sour cream and the mayonnaise. Whisk until smooth. Add all of the onions, reserving about a tablespoon for garnish, into the cream cheese mixture. Stir to combine and mix well. Transfer to a serving dish and top with reserved onions. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to combine. Serve at room temperature with potato chips.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

This is one of our favorite meals. It's easy and SO good!!!!!

1/2 cup soy sauce 
2 oranges, juices 
1 lime, juiced 
1/2 cup tamarind concentrate (I have NO idea what this is and I have never been able to find any - so I just skip it)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
1 teaspoon ground ginger 
1 clove garlic, crushed 
1 tablespoon chopped scallions1 pork tenderloin (about 12 ounces)
Olive oil, for brushing
Combine marinade ingredients in measuring cup and stir to combine. Place the pork tenderloin in a plastic, sealable bag. Pour marinade over the tenderloin and seal bag. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.Preheat an outdoor grill or preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove pork tenderloin from marinade and pat dry. Brush olive oil onto grill and over meat for extra flavor. Reserve marinade. Grill tenderloin until cooked through, about 30 minutes to 40 minutes over medium heat. Or roast in oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Allow meat to rest about 10 minutes before cutting into 2-inch serving pieces.
While meat is grilling, bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan, then lower the heat and gently simmer until it is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Stir occasionally. Drizzle a small amount of marinade over each piece of meat.

The meat always stays so tender! This is my favorite recipe to use for pork tenderloin.

The BEST spinach Dip

This is my signature spinach dip. I make it all the time and it is soooooo good. To me - it's the best spinach dip recipe I've ever found so I have to share.
Spinach Dip
1 pkg frozen spinach
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz Monterrey jack cheese
6 oz Parmesan cheese
1 can Rotel
Cook the spinach according to package. Add cheeses and melt in microwave for 3-5 minutes until liquid form. Add rotel and mix together. Serve with crackers or bagel chips or melba toasts.

Poppyseed Chicken

If you are from the south, or have ever had a baby, or had a family member die, or have gone to a church potluck -you have probably had or made poppy seed chicken. But in case you haven't - I thought I would share the recipe. There are lots of versions - but this is the one I use:

Poppy seed chicken

2 or 3 chicken breasts, boiled and cut in small pieces
1 16 oz sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken
2 tbls of poppyseeds (I don't measure - I just shake a ton in)
Ritz crackers
1 stick of butter

Mix the first 4 ingredients and put in a baking dish. Cover with crushed up ritz crackers. Melt a stick of butter and pour on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350.

Swiss Stuffing Chicken


4 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
6 oz. Mozerella or Swiss cheese slices
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/4 cup white cooking wine
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup herb-flavored crushed up Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix
1/2 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place uncooked chicken in shallow buttered casserole dish. Layer cheese on top. Mix soup, wine, salt, pepper; pour over cheese. Sprinkle stuffing mix on top and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 1 hour.

Artichoke Chicken

  • 1 (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbls garlic salt
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, and garlic salt. Place chicken in a greased baking dish, and cover evenly with artichoke mixture.
  3. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and juices run clear.

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

This is one of my favorite desserts. I crave it ALL the time!!!!!! Try it - you will LOVE!!!!

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries
  • Whipped topping or whipped cream, to garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.
In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.
To serve, cut slices and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.

Green Bean Bundles

This is something I make that I don't have an exact recipe for and I'm one of those people who doesn't fully measure out everything so I'll do my best ........these are SO yummy!

2 or 3 cans of whole green beans
Bacon slices
1 stick of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
tsp of garlic salt

Wrap a handful of green beans in half a slice of bacon. That makes one bundle - keep going for as many bundles as you would like to have. Melt a stick of butter and stir in one cup of brown sugar (more or less depending on how sweet you would like it). Add a teaspoon of garlic salt. Pour over bundles. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Then put under the broiler for 4-5 minutes at the end. DELICIOUS!

Ranch Oyster Crackers

My mom used to always make these at the holidays. They are SO addictive. She used to send me back to college with a huge tin of them and I won't tell you how long they lasted. They are the BEST snack.


  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry Ranch-style dressing mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (12 ounce) package oyster crackers


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, ranch-style dressing mix, dill weed, lemon pepper and garlic powder. Pour this spice mixture over the crackers in a medium bowl, and stir until the crackers are coated. Arrange the crackers on a large baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the preheated 275 degrees F (135 degrees C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cheese and Pesto Layer Dip

I found this recipe by Paula Deen and used it at Harper's birthday party. I thought it was really good.

Cheese and 
Pesto Layer Dip

2 8oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
16 oz smoked provolone shredded (I used mozzarella instead)
1 5oz parm cheese
1 cup Pesto
1 cup toasted pine nuts

Beat cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Add cheeses and beat until combined.

Line a 9x5 loaf pan with heavy plastic wrap allowing edges to extend over sides of pan. Spoon 1/3 of cheese mixture into pan. Spoon 1/4 of pesto on top and repeat layers twice.

Cover and freeze for 4 hrs & up to 2 wks.

Before serving - unmold onto a platter, remove plastic and let stand for one hour. Press pine nuts on side (this takes a lot of work and I got lazy and just did a row instead of covering the whole thing).
Top with remaining pesto.
Serve with crackers

Turkey Piccata

1 lb boneless turkey cutlets
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp butter, divided
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp drained capers
6 lemon slices, halved
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge turkey cutlets in flour mixture. Melt 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olvie oil in a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the turkey and cook 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove turkey from skillet and place on a wire rack in a jelly roll pan in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining turkey, butter and olive oil.
(NOTE - I didn't remove the turkey - I kept it in and just made the sauce with the turkey in the pan and it turned out great.)
Stir wine and next 3 ingredients into skillet and cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in remaining butter.
Place turkey on a serving platter and pour sauce over it. Sprinkle evenly with parsley.

Chicken Enchilada Ring

Chicken Enchilada Ring


2 cups cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped block olives
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 small can chopped chilies, undrained
1/2 cup sour cream
1 package taco seasoning
2 rolls of crescent rolls
1 small chopped tomato
1 lime (juice)
2/3 cup finely crushed tortilla chips

1. Chop chicken and add olives, cheese, chilies, sour cream and taco mix. Seed and chop 1 tomato and add 2 tablespoons lime juice; add to chicken mixture. Reserve 2 Tblsp. crushed chips and add remaining chips to mixture.

2.Unroll crescent dough and separate triangles. Arrange on round baking stone or cookie sheet making a circle with wide ends OVERLAPPING in the center and points toward outside. ( I did lightly spray oil on the cookie sheet I used). There should be a 5 inch diameter opening in the center.

3. Spread chicken mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangle.

4. Bring points of triangles up and over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at the center of the ring.

Sprinkle with 2 Tblsp. crushed chips. ( I put shredded cheese all on top!)

5. Bake @ 375 for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with tomato and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

This is a favorite around here!

1 pkg dark chocolate cake mix
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
1 16 oz sour cream
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preaheat oven to 350. Grease a bundt pan. Mix together ingredients and pour in pan. Bake for one hour and then cool. Top with powdered sugar!

Coca Cola Cake

This is a VERY rich and sweet dessert (and not low fat in way, shape or form) but it is SO good!

Ingredients for cake:
1 cup coke
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter, softenened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350. Combine coke and buttermilk. Beat butter at slow speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs and vanilla/ beat at low speed until blended.
Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with coke mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in marshmallows. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13x9 inch pan.
Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 10 minutes.
Pour Classic Coke frosting over warm cake. (Sprinkle with toated pecans - optional)

Classic Coke Frosting (the best part)
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup coke
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 16 oz pkg powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar and vanilla. Use immediately.

Chicken Chow Mein

When I was in college - I would spend a lot of weekends with my grandparents and every time my mam-ma would make me chicken chow mein and her famous chocolate pie. I haven't had that in probably 15 years and all the sudden it's all I can think about. I have been craving it for weeks. My mam-ma passed away several years ago and neither my mom or I could find the recipe but we think this is pretty close.

2 or 3 chicken breasts
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 diced red pepper
1 4 oz can of sliced mushrooms (or fresh mushrooms)
1 can water chesnuts
1 can baby corn (I used half the can)
1 can bamboo shoots
Sesame Seed Oil
Soy Sauce
Chow mein noodles or white rice

Boil the chicken breasts. Save the chicken broth. In a large pan - put a tbsp or two of sesame seed oil over medium heat and saute all the vegetables for 10 minutes or so. Cut the chicken into small pieces and add in. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and soy sauce to taste (I added quite a bit). Leave on medium heat and cook another 10 minutes or so. Serve over chow mein noodles. (or white rice if you prefer).

Taco Soup

This is my all time favorite soup. It is so good and Scott loves it (and he's not a soup person).  And my girls LOVE it.  I make it a lot in the winter. 

2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 14.5 oz can whole kernel corn
2 16 oz cans of ranch style beans (I only used one can because I'm not a bean lover & it was fine)
* Maybe not everywhere but I know here - you find cans at the grocery store of ranch style beans. If you don't have those - substitute pinto or black or whatever you like. 
3 cans of diced tomatos (maybe substitute 1 can rotel if you like spicy) (I got the garlic/onion kind and I think it gave it great flavor)
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 pkg Hidden Valley dressing mix

Brown and drain meat. Saute onions for a few minutes.  Combine all ingredients in a large pot.  Add chili powder, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 1-2 hours. I topped it with shredded cheese!

My Mam-ma's Chocolate Pie

My sweet mam-ma made the BEST chocolate pie. We used to request it at every holiday dinner or family gathering and it was a fight to see who could eat the most. I have never tried to make it until this weekend. It tasted good but I have a long way to go on being able to make a good meringue. I don't know what the secret it is but I hope one day I can get mine to fluff up like hers always did.

Pie filling: 
Frozen or refrigerated pie crust
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
3-4 tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 cups milk
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter

4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
6-8 large marshmallows

Bake pie crust according to directions. Mix first 3 ingredients. Beat 4 egg yolks and save the whites. Sprinkle salt on eggs. Add milk in eggs. Add to dry and cook on stove top - stir until thick. Add vanilla and butter.
Pour in pie crust when done.

Take egg whites and beat until stiff. Take sugar and a "tad" of water and boil until it makes a syrup. Add marshmallows and melt.  Add to egg whites already beat. Add on top of pie.

Bits O Brickle Bars

These taste a little like pecan pie.  They are so good!!!! 

1 yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/3 c. butter
1 (14 oz.) Eagle Brand milk
1 c. chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1/2 c. Heath Bits O' Brickle
Mix first 3 ingredients until crumbly. Pat into 9x13 pan. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour over cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.