Ice Storm!!

Sorry I’ve been silent!! We are having an epic ice storm right now, so I have been juggling my jobs and trying to figure things out around here!! The police are telling people to turn around and go home and 67,000 people are supposedly without power!! It’s pretty crazy out there!! If you are in the area, stay safe and conserve your power! With that I am signing off and doing the same!!!

3 Ingredient Chocolate PB Sammiches: On the Sixth Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me, a ridiculously easy but impressive looking cookie recipe!!

Yes, ’tis the season for cookie exchanges, holiday get togethers laden with treats, or if you are like me…graduation parties for one of our best friends named Cookie!!

In fact I am typing this on my way to surprise him with a cookie bar party!!! It’s going to be epic! I wish I had time to give you all of the recipes I used for cookies, but this is one of my favorites so I will at least share it with you!! Simple, a classic flavor combo that is super popular…and pretty cheap too I must say!! Without the hassle of measuring flour or firmly packing sugar or not over mixing!! I can sum it up in 3 steps:

Spread, squish, dip!!

So, here’s what you need:

*Ritz crackers (I used 2 rolls and ended up with about 30 sammiches)
*Peanut Butter (1/4-1/2 of an average size jar)
*1 package Chocolate Almond Bark

And here’s how you do it:

1) Smudge a generous amount of peanut butter on the flat side of one ritz.
2) Using the flat side of another ritz, smoosh it down till the peanut butter reaches the edges of the crackers!
3) Put almond bark in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds, stir. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring each time, until there are no solids left.
4) Dunk each sammich in chocolate until coated. Shake off excess chocolate and place on wax paper. If you are in a hurry like I was, place in your freezer for a couple minutes until coating is set.

And you’re ready!! Easy peasy!!!

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Brown Sugar Orange Sweet Potato Casserole. On the Fifth Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me the best sweet potato recipe!!  Seriously, this sweet potato casserole cannot be topped!  It’s so good that we usually all agree that it should be served with the desserts its so tasty…and then we just keep eating it with the entrée haha!!  Warm, soft but crunchy, sweet with a hint of citrus…yay!!

Just a heads up…I will soon have photos of the process, because I am going to make it for Christmas!!  But I figured if you guys need this recipe for YOUR Christmas, you can’t wait for the photos!!  So I am going to post a few pictures of people enjoying this beauteous treat, and add the pictures of the process later for ya!!   Because seriously…you don’t want to let Christmas slip by without making this!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 C Mashed Yams
  • 3/4 Stick of Butter, Melted
  • 1 C Canned Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 C Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

For the topping:

  • 3/4 C Butter, melted
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 C Corn Flakes, Crushed
  • 1/2 C Pecans, Chopped

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Mix together yams, butter, milk, and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. Add spices and vanilla.
  4. Pour into greased baking dish and slide in oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400* and bake 5 more minutes, or until set in the middle.
  5. Add topping and bake until pecans look toasted but NOT BURNT!!  5 – 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm!!!

I see on the original here that it can even be made the day before…just warm up in the oven, put the topping on, and heat!!  🙂

Pretty easy, huh?!  You gotta try this!!  Let me know what you think!!

photo 3 (1)Here is my dear brother Gabe, about to dig into the casserole!!

photo 2 (1)And here it is, next to the mashed potatoes and Fresh Cranberry Relish!

photo 4My mommy always makes such a pretty holiday set up!!!

Cornbread Buttermilk Biscuit Stuffing. On the Fourth Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me a buttery Southern stuffing recipe!!

Stuffing, my friends, does not come out of a bag.  I am so sorry if I offend you when I say that.  But that fact was driven into me at a young age.  I had never even tried the bagged stuff until I moved to New York.  Now that I know how to make the traditional Kirkwood/Gilliland recipe (our friends that are proud of their southern cooking!!)…I hope to never have to eat it again, or make my family do so either.

Because this stuffing.  Is.  So.  Good.

I mean, it is most of my favorite things.  Butter.  Biscuits.  Cornbread.  Butter.  Did I mention there is a lot of butter in this recipe?!  😀  You can’t get any better than this.  Soft, but crispy…herby and a little hint of sweet.  Perfection.  I’m drooling.  So let’s get to it!!

Note:  There are a few different steps, but do not be afraid.  None of them are complicated, and while you wait for one thing to bake is the perfect opportunity to be working on your other dishes!!

Here’s what you need:

Buttermilk Biscuits:

  • 1/4 C Shortening or Oil
  • 2 C All Purpose Flour
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 C Buttermilk

Cornbread:

  • 1 C Yellow Corn Meal
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 C Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 C Buttermilk

Stuffing:

  • 3 Sticks Butter
  • 8 Stalks Celery, Diced
  • 2 Medium Onions, Diced
  • Sage
  • Poultry Seasoning

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450*.
  2. Start your biscuits.  Cut shortening or oil into flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Stir in just enough milk so dough balls up and leaves the side of the bowl.  It should not be too sticky…but also not too crumbly!
  4. Turn the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Pat down into a 6 inch square with floured hands.  Cut into 2-inch squares.
  5. Brush with melted butter.  Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.
  6. Now for the cornbread!!  When your biscuits are done, turn the oven down to 400*.
  7. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  8. Stir wet ingredients into dry mixture until just blended.
  9. Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove top with a small amount of oil in the bottom.  Pour batter into pan and transfer to hot oven.  Bake for about 25 minutes, or until done and starting to brown.
  10. When breads have cooled to a manageable temperature, crumble them both into a large bowl.
  11. Using same cast iron skillet, melt 3 sticks of butter over medium heat.
  12. Add onions and celery and cook until tender.  Dump buttery veggie mixture over breads and stir till coated.  Add sage and poultry to taste (original says “to smell”) about 2 tsp.  Season with salt and pepper, stir, taste, adjust.
  13. Stuff in turkey, or bake for 20 minutes!  I actually love it even more not stuffed, because the breads get moist and buttery but still hold together!!  Up to you!!  Let me know what you think!!!

Photo (10)Starting the butter milk biscuits!   Cut shortening or oil into flour, baking powder, and salt.

Photo (11)Stir in just enough milk so dough balls up and leaves the side of the bowl.  It should not be too sticky…but also not too crumbly! Turn the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Photo (12)Pat into a 6 inch square with floured hands.  Brush with melted butter.  Cut into 2 inch squares (yes, I forgot that step…doesn’t really matter if you are just using it for stuffing, but kind of important if you want actual biscuits!)

Photo (13)Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

Photo (14)Start your cornbread (after you turn the oven to 400*).  Combine dry ingredients in a bowl…

Photo (15)And wet ingredients in a different bowl…

Photo (16)Add wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir till JUST combined.

Photo (17)Heat a small amount of oil in the bottom of a cast iron skillet.  Pour in batter then transfer to hot oven and bake until done and golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Photo (18)

Photo (21)Melt three sticks of butter in same cast iron skillet your cornbread was in…

Photo (22)Dump in your veggies and cook, stirring until tender…

Photo (24)Buttery goodness!!

Photo (25)Then pour on top of your breads…season with salt, pepper, thyme, and poultry seasoning.  Stir to combine!

Photo (26)

Now you are ready to either stuff your turkey, or simply bake this mixture for 20 minutes and devour just how it is.  BEST STUFFING EVER!!!  Let me know how you like it!!

Cranberry Orange Relish. On The Third Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to meeeee, a sweet and tangy classic recipe!!

 

Yes, that’s right!! I gave you two fun new recipes to freshen up your Christmas season and bring the “wow” that you probably won’t see anywhere else.  Now I am going to change it up and show you how to make those classic “it’s not Christmas without this” foods!  And make them dang good.  How can I guarantee that?!  Well, because I grew up eating them, they didn’t come from a bag or can…and because I tried them out for our Rodgers family Thanksgiving so I could share them with you for Christmas!!  Yay!! So…our first classic???

CRANBERRY RELISH!

You put down that can of jiggly jelly stuff!!  This will blow your mind!!  And if you are a weirdo like me and am not a huge fan of turkey OR gravy…this is a great way to bring a pop of flavor, texture, and moisture to your turkey! However, at our house, we started eating it with our turkey…and ended eating with a spoon.  Yes it’s that good.

 

And you know what the best part is?  It is 3 ingredients…and they’re all pretty cheap ingredients that you may already have in your house considering the season.  🙂

 

SO….here’s what you need…ever so slightly adapted from oceanspray.com!

  • 1 Orange, NOT PEELED, Cut into eighths (seeds removed if it had them)
  • 12 oz Bag Fresh Cranberries, Rinsed
  • 1/2C- 3/4C Sugar

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Place 4 of the orange slices in a food processor, then dump in half the bag of cranberries.
  2. Process until finely and evenly chopped and dump into a bowl
  3. Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange.
  4. Sprinkle on your sugar and stir in.  Taste and adjust sugar amount.

 

How fantastic is that flavor?!  Citursy…tart but so sweet, somehow refreshing and rich at the same time!!  Just so good!!  Yay!!  ENJOY!!

 

Peectures!

Photo (5)Slice orange with the rind still on!!

Photo (6)Rinse your cranberries….

Photo (8)Place in a food processor, half of each at a time, and whiz until finely and evenly chopped…

Photo (9)And dump into a bowl, stir in sugar, taste, adjust, and enjoy!!! I wish I had a pretty picture of it on our turkey, but I was too excited about eating to think of taking pictures haha!!!

 

Colorful Winter Salad. On The Second Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me…a light and healthy salad recipe!!

I know those aren’t usually words you would associate with Christmas.  But our Kirkwood Christmas feasts ALWAYS had a salad!!  And it really is nice to have the lightness to break up all the fantastic other goodies you will be eating.  It will make you feel better about your meal too.  😉

This salad is a recent addition to our collection of deliciousness at the Rodgers household.  It.  Was.  Amazing.  In fact, I brought it to the church so I could leave some for Mr. Rodgers!  I walked out of the room for a minute and came back to both secretaries saying “OH MY GOSH WHAT IS THIS?!” and “Tabby that salad looks amazing!!!”  Hehehe.  Those moments make me happy!!  I also brought a big plateful to my manager, who loved it!!

I got this lovely little recipe from simplylovefood.com.  I was so intrigued by the title.  “Winter Salad.”  Salads usually seem so…summery.  So the thought of a winter salad made me excited!!  And it definitely didn’t disappoint!!  A few alterations and I had a huge, fantastic, delicious salad!!  And did I mention that it was beautiful?!  It adds such color and prettiness to your spread!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 Romaine Hearts, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 Large Handfuls of an Herb Mix, Spring Mix, Spinach…your choice!
  • Seeds from one Pomegranate
  • 1 Pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 Apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 Avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/4-1/2 Red Onion, thinly Sliced
  • Feta Cheese To Taste
  • 1/4-1/2 Toasted Pecan Halves

Dressing: (Depending on the size your salad turns out you may need to adjust the amount of dressing)

    2/3 C Olive Oil

  • 1/2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp Agave Nectar or Honey (I’ve heard some iffy things on agave lately.  Sad face.)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Pepper

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Rinse and prep your veggies.
  2. Put the romaine and your “mix” or spinach in a large bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Top with all the other salad ingredients.
  4. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and drizzle over your serving of salad, or over the whole thing if you are serving to a group!

Bam!!  How easy is that?!?!

Photo (4)How pretty is that?!

photo 1Don’t you want to eat it?!

photo 3Yummy!!!

Photo (3)

🙂

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