Friday, May 30, 2014

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

11 vanilla or chocolate ice cream sandwiches
1 (16 ounce) container of whipped topping (Cool Whip)
1 (16 ounce) jar hot fudge ice cream topping
1 cup chocolate chips, Oreo cookies, M&Ms, diced peanut butter cups, crushed Butterfingers
Chocolate syrup for garnish

1. Layer an 8x8-inch pan with foil. Make sure that the foil folds over the sides of the pan. This will make it easy to remove the cake from the pan when cake is frozen.
2. Layer 5 ½ ice cream sandwiches on the bottom of the pan. Spread a layer of hot fudge topping on top of the ice cream sandwiches. Then spread half of the whipped topping on top with half of the fudge topping.
3. Top with the additional ice cream sandwiches and remaining fudge topping.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for about an hour. Remove from freezer and remove the cake from the pan.
5. Lift the cake peeling it off the foil and place it on a serving plate. Frost with remaining whipped topping.
6. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and garnish with candy toppings of choice.
7. Place back in the freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kickin’ Chicken and Vidalia Onion Pizza

· ¼ cup olive oil
· 1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
· 1/3 each: red, yellow, and green pepper, finely chopped
· 1 large clove garlic, minced
· 2 cups shredded grilled chicken
· ½ teaspoon southwestern seasoning or chili powder
· 12 inch pizza crust
· 1 tablespoon each: finely chopped rosemary, oregano and thyme
· 1 cup barbeque sauce
· 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oil in large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add sliced Vidalia onion, peppers and garlic. Sauté just until onions are golden, about 5 minutes
Sprinkle grilled chicken with seasoning, mix well and set aside.
Place pizza crust on pizza pan or baking sheet. Brush crust with oil from skillet. Sprinkle herbs over top.
Spoon barbeque sauce over herbs.
Top with Vidalia onion and pepper mixture. Add shredded chicken and top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until crust is heated through and crisp.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

V is for Vidalia

Check out Crevolyn's latest article in The Gainesville Times here about everything Vidalia!

Baked Vidalia Onions

· 4 small Vidalia onions
· 4 cloves of garlic
· 4 tablespoons butter
· 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
· Salt and pepper, to taste
· Cajun seasoning to taste
· 8 slices of bacon

Preheat to 350 degrees. Trim and peel the onion but leave the root intact. Cut a very thin sliver off the root end if needed to level the bottom of the onion. Cut a 1-inch core out of the top of the onion.
Peel the garlic and cut into slivers. Stuff each onion with a glove of garlic.
Place the onion on a square of foil large enough to wrap and enclose the top. Double wrap if cooking on the grill. Drizzle each onion with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and then place a tablespoon of butter in the center of the onion. Season lightly with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning. Wrap each onion with two slices of bacon, securing with a toothpick if needed. Seal foil tightly around the onion.
Bake on a baking sheet for 1 hour. Carefully open the tops of the packets and return to the oven for 20 minutes, to crisp the bacon.
Remove to serving platter and drizzle with juices.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vidalia Onion Relish

· 2 Vidalia onions, diced
· ½ cup mayonnaise
· ½ cup apple cider vinegar
· 2 tablespoons brown sugar
· 2 tablespoons chopped chives

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and over.
2. Let marinate for a few hours.
Serve with pork, beef or on sandwiches.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Shrimp, Vidalia Onion and Roasted Corn Tacos

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I would like to take this opportunity to thank and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to serve our country. I know that I have no idea what some folks and their families have had to go through to make sure that our freedom has remained in tact. What I do know is that for some, it has been huge. How can we ever say thank you enough for that?

Today, our family will go to our community's annual Memorial Day Parade. I look forward to sitting with my friends and family including my 88-year old mother. My daddy served in WWII and Mother often tells of that time in their lives. How heart broken and scared she was when the love-of-her-life went off to war. Thankfully, he came back. Many did not.

So today, enjoy your family and of course, eat some good food. But please don't forget that all gave some but some gave all.

2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 Vidalia onion, cut into small slices
1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into ½ inch pieces
Ole Bay seasoning, to taste
1 cup pico de gallo
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
Flour or corn tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Toss corn with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and transfer to a baking pan. Roast for 20 minutes or until corn is browned.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and onions. Sauté until onions are caramelized. Remove from skillet. Add shrimp to skillet, sprinkle with Ole Bay and sauté until shrimp are pink.
4. To assemble tacos, layer shrimp, corn, onions, pico de gallo, cilantro and cheese in tortillas.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Red, White and Blue Berry Trifle

· 1 angel food cake, cut into cubes
· 1 (3.4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix
· 2 cups cold milk
· 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
· 1 cup powdered sugar
· 8 ounces Cool Whip
· 2 pints blue berries, rinsed
· 2 pints strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced

1. Prepare the cake and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla pudding mix with the milk and whisk for two minutes; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined and smooth.
4. Add the prepared pudding to the cream cheese mixture and gently stir with a spatula until completely combined. Add the Cool Whip and fold it into the mixture until completely incorporated.
5. To assemble the trifle, alternate layers of cake, blueberries, the pudding mixture, strawberries until you get to the top. Add the final layer of pudding mixture, then arrange the remaining strawberries and blueberries in a decorative pattern.
6. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The trifle is best served within 24 hours of making it.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lemonade Ice Box Pie

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup thawed lemonade concentrate
1 (8 ounce) carton Cool Whip, thawed
1 graham cracker crust

1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Beat in lemonade concentrate.
2. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust.
3. Cover and refrigerate until set.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pizza Pasta Salad

1 pound spiral macaroni, cooked and drained
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 (16 ounce) package mild cheddar cheese, cubed
1 to 2 bunches green onions, sliced
3 ounces sliced pepperoni
¾ cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Croutons, for garnish

1. In a large bowl, combine macaroni, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, onions and pepperoni. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine oil, Parmesan cheese, vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the macaroni mixture and toss to coat.
3. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. Top with croutons just before serving.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad

1 pound cucumbers (about 2-3 cucumbers), peeled and thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
½ Vidalia onion, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large serving bowl, toss all of the ingredients together.
2. Let stand for about 10 to 20 minutes before serving.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bacon BBQ Relish Cheeseburgers

Memorial Day is coming up next weekend! Are we ready for a 3 day weekend? Oh, yes. So if you're planning on cooking up a great weekend meal, check out this recipe and all of the recipes this week.

1 pound ground beef
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup BBQ sauce
½ cup pickle relish, drained
4 slices cheddar cheese
½ French fried onions rings (canned), crumbled
4 hamburger buns

1. Divide ground beef into 4 parts and form into patties. Cook on the grill or in a grill pan until cooked completely.
2. In a medium bowl, combine bacon, BBQ sauce and relish. Set aside.
3. As soon as the burgers come off the grill, lay a cheese slice on top of the each patty and let melt. Once melted, place a patty on each bun. Spoon relish onto top on each patty. Then sprinkle with onion rings.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Strawberry Banana Pie

1 prepared pie crust, baked and cooled
3 ounces cream cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
1 ½ cups sugar
1 (12-ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
2 bananas, sliced
1 pound strawberries, sliced with stems removed

1. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, lemon juice and sugar with a spoon. Fold in Cool Whip.
2. Lay sliced bananas across the bottom of the pie crust. Top banana slices with the Cool Whip mixture.
3. Lay strawberries across the top. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours (if not, the sugar won’t dissolve in the mixture and it will taste grainy).
4. Slice and serve.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sunday Dinners

Check out Cooking with Crevolyn's latest column in the Gainesville Times here.  It's all about Sunday dinners!

Grilled Steak with Blue Cheese and Berry Glaze

4 (9-ounce) beef tenderloin fillets
Steak seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups red wine (can substitute 1 ¼ cup grape juice and ¼ cup red wine vinegar)
1/2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 pint raspberries
1 pint blueberries
1 pint blackberries
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Blue cheese crumbles

Preheat a grill to high.
Season the fillets with steak seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste. Put on the grill and cook desired doneness.
Add the red wine to a medium saucepan over medium heat and reduce it by half. Add the water, then add sugar and berries and cook for about 5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and stir until thickened.
Remove the steaks from the grill to serving dishes and top with sauce and blue cheese crumbles.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Strawberry Bruschetta

½ cup balsamic vinegar
12 slices Italian bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound strawberries, washed and diced
2 teaspoons fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 cup goat cheese, room temperature
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat vinegar in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Simmer until reduced by about half, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
2. Prepare a grill for high heat or preheat oven broiler. Place bread slices on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
3. Combine strawberries and basil in a small bowl and set aside.
4. Grill or broil until browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.
5. Spread goat cheese on toasted bread. Add black pepper, salt and reduced vinegar to the strawberry mixture. Spoon over the goat cheese topped bruschetta. Garnish with additional basil.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes

· 12 slices bacon
· 2 cups all-purpose flour
· ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
· 2 cups white sugar
· 2 teaspoons baking soda
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· ½ teaspoon sea salt
· 2 eggs
· 1 cup strong brewed coffee, cold
· 1 cup buttermilk
· ½ cup vegetable oil
· Chocolate frosting of choice

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook in batches over medium-high heat until evenly browned. Drain, crumble and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil. Stir just until blended. Mix in ¾ of the bacon, reserving the rest for garnish. Spoon batter into prepared cups, dividing evenly.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange cupcakes on a serving platter. Frost with chocolate frosting and sprinkle with remaining bacon pieces.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Can’t Have Too Much Chocolate Cake with Fudge Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients for Cake:
1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food or chocolate fudge cake mix
1 large package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Ingredients for frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup hot fudge topping
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions for Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well-greased 12 cup bundt pan.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate. Frost with Fudge Buttercream Frosting or dust the cake with powdered sugar.

Directions for Frosting:
Cream together the butter with the shortening.
Sift the cocoa with the powdered sugar and add to the creamed mixture. Mix together adding 1 tablespoon at a time of milk to keep mixture smooth. Don't add more than 1/4 cup of milk.
Add the hot fudge topping and the vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Grits and Sausage Bake

1 (1 pound) package milk pork sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
3 cups water
¾ cup quick cooking grits
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2/3 cup evaporated milk
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
2. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan; slowly stir in grits. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1 ½ cups cheese, evaporated milk, garlic powder and hot sauce; stirring until cheese is melted. Add sausage and eggs; stir well. Pour into prepared baking dish.
3. Bake for 1 hour. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
4. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

Note: Mixture can be prepared the day before. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

Overnight Baked Caramel French Toast

Ingredients for Topping:
· 1 cup packed brown sugar
· 6 tablespoons butter
· 1/3 cup heavy cream
· 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
· ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Ingredients for French Toast:
· 3 eggs
· ½ cup milk
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 3 (3/4 inch thick) diagonal cut slices French bread

1. Spray a 9x13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a 2 quart saucepan, mix topping ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Do Not Boil! Spread topping in baking dish.
3. In a shallow bowl, beat eggs with a fork. Stir in milk, vanilla and salt. Dip bread slices in egg mixture, making sure all egg mixture is absorbed. Arrange over toppings in baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
4. When ready to bake, heat oven to 400 degrees. Uncover dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and toast is golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand about 5 minutes.
5. Place large heatproof serving platter upside down over baking dish. Turn platter and baking dish over. Scrape any remaining caramel topping onto toast. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Brown Sugar Body Scrub for Mom (Gift from the Kitchen)

· 1 cup dark brown sugar
· 1/2 cup olive oil
· 1 teaspoon Vitamin E
· 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extra
· 1 tablespoon honey, optional for dry skin

In a medium mixing bowl, combine oil, vitamin E and vanilla. Add the brown sugar and mix well.
To Use: In the shower, apply Brown Sugar Body Scrub into skin and rinse. Can be used daily.
Word of caution: Please be aware that oils can make the shower and bath surfaces very slippery.
Package in a pretty container, tie with some ribbon and attach a label.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

· 1 can of refrigerated crescent rolls
· 1 tablespoon butter, melted
· 1 cup Nutella
· 2 teaspoons cinnamon
· 2 teaspoons milk
· 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
3. Unroll the crescent roll sheet and press the edges together to make a rectangle of dough.
4. Spread the butter across the dough and then the Nutella on top of that. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
5. Roll the dough into a log and slice into 6 or 8 pieces. Lay on the prepared baking sheet.
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
7. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepared the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the milk and powdered sugar with a fork. Add more milk it the glaze is too thick and more sugar if it’s too thin.
8. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and drizzle with glaze. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Churro Cheesecake Bars

Let me tell you a little bit about these bar shaped slices of heaven otherwise known as Churro Cheesecake Bars.  As you may or may not know, churros are a popular Spanish dessert, similar to a doughnut as they are fried and sweet.  Sounds good right?  I've had churros on several occasions but never really felt like this was something that I could replicate in my own kitchen.  And then Emily sent me this recipe and I thought, well, yes, I could definitely do this. 
However, I feel the need to make everything with my own twist so I decided that using a puff pastry was a better way to go than to use the crescent rolls as was in the original recipe.  Please know that I don't have anything against a crescent roll; they are fabulous on so many levels.  However, churros are traditionally very light and flaky so I just thought a puff pastry would be better.  I made two batches, one with crescents and one with puff pastry and the jury is still out on which was the winner.  My vote was the puff pastry; however my husband and son seem to think they were both equally good.  You all just feel free to choose amongst yourselves.  It's all good. 

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar divided
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls  or 1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, egg and ½ cup sugar until smooth.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ½ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon. Set aside.
3. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and sprinkle ¼ cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.
4. On a piece of parchment paper, roll out the dinner roll dough into a 9x 13 inch square and press the seams together so the dough is completely sealed. Set the dough in the bottom of the baking dish on top of the cinnamon sugar.
5. Spread the cheesecake mixture evenly on top of the dough. Unroll the other can of crescent dough and place on top, making sure the seams are sealed.
6. Sprinkle the top with the remaining ¼ cup of cinnamon sugar and bake for 30 -35 minutes or until golden brown.