Friday, November 28, 2014

Sweet Potato Pie with Streusel Topping

Ingredients for Pie:
· 1 ½ cups mashed sweet potatoes
· ½ cup brown sugar
· 1 can sweetened condensed milk
· 3 eggs
· 1 teaspoon cinnamon
· 1 pie shell (I used Pillsbury refrigerated)

Ingredients for the Streusel Topping:
· ¼ cup brown sugar
· 2 tablespoons flour
· 2 tablespoons butter, slightly softened and cut into pieces
· 1 teaspoon cinnamon
· ½ cup pecan pieces, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer beat together the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, milk, eggs and cinnamon. Pour mixture into the pie shell and bake for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 20 minutes. Add Streusel Topping and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
3. To make streusel topping, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. The topping will be crumbly.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole

· 3 cans cream of mushroom soup
· ½ cup milk
· Black pepper, to taste
· Onion powder, to taste
· 10 (14.5 ounce) cans cut green beans, drained
· 2 (6-ounce) containers French fried onions

1. In a large bowl, combine the soup, milk, pepper and onion powder; whisk until smooth.
2. Add the green beans and one container of the onion rings to the soup mixture. Fold together gently.
3. Spray a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray and add the green bean mixture. Cook on high for 2 ½ hours.
4. When finished cooking, sprinkle casserole with the remaining container of onions. Remove the pot from the heating element and take off the lid. With oven set to 350 degrees, cook for about 10 minutes or until onions are browned.
5. Return the pot to the heating element, replace the lid and set on warm setting until ready to serve.

Serves approximately 20 people.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Easy Parmesan Rolls

· 8 rise and bake frozen rolls
· ¼ cup butter
· ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (refrigerated)

1. Put butter in a microwave safe dish and melt. Place grated Parmesan in a separate dish. Dip each frozen roll completely in butter then roll in Parmesan until covered.
2. Put rolls on a greased pan and allow to rise until doubled (following directions on package).
3. Bake according to package directions until rolls are golden.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Roasted Lemon and Herb Turkey

· ½ cup butter, melted
· 3 tablespoons lemon juice
· 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
· 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
· 1 turkey (14-16 pounds) (thawed if frozen)
· 2 teaspoons salt
· 2 teaspoons pepper
· 1 medium lemon, halved
· 1 medium onion, quartered
· 12 garlic cloves, peeled
· 24 fresh thyme springs
· 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
· 1 turkey size oven roasting bag

1. In a small bowl, combine the butter, lemon juice, lemon peel and minced thyme. Pat turkey dry.
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper over skin of turkey and inside cavity, brush with butter mixture. Place the lemon, onion, garlic and thyme inside cavity of turkey. Tie drumsticks together.
3. Place flour in oven bag and shake to coat. Place bag in a roasting pan; add turkey to bag, breast side up. Cut 6 1/2-inch slits in top of bag and close with tie provided.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 2 and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 180 degrees. Remove turkey to a serving platter and keep warm. Let stand 15 minutes before carving. If desired, thicken pan drippings for gravy.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Caramel Pecan Pie

· 1 refrigerated pie crust
· 28 caramels
· ¼ cup butter
· ¼ cup water
· ¾ cup sugar
· 2 eggs
· ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
· ¼ teaspoon salt
· 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

1. Place pie crust into a 9-inch pie, fold edges and crimp. Prick bottom and sides with a fork.
2. Bake pie crust at 400 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned; cool on a wire rack.
3. Combine caramels, butter and ¼ cup water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 7 minutes or until caramels and butter are melted. Remove from heat.
4. Stir together sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Stir into caramel mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in pecans. Pour into prepared crust.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 20 more minutes, shielding edges of crust with foil to prevent excessive browning.
6. Remove pie to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Glazed Carrots

1 pound baby carrots
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter, cut into 4 pieces
½ cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut carrots in half lengthwise on the diagonal.
Bring carrots, salt, 1 tablespoon sugar and chicken broth to boil, covered, in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until carrots are almost tender, about 5-8 minutes.
Uncover, increase heat to high and simmer rapidly, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduce to about 2 tablespoons, 1-2 minutes.
Add butter and remaining sugar to skillet, toss carrots to coat. Add dried cranberries and cook, stirring frequently, until carrots are completely tender and glaze is light gold, about 3 minutes.
Turn off heat, add lemon juice and toss to coat. Transfer carrots to a serving dish, scraping glaze from pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

· ½ cup brown sugar
· ½ cup white sugar
· ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
· ½ cup orange juice
· ½ cup water
· 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries

1. Combine all ingredients except the cranberries in the slow cooker. Stir well. Add cranberries and evenly coat.
2. Turn slow cooker on high for 3 hours, stirring every hour. After 3 hours, mash the cranberries. Continue on high heat with the lid off for 45 minutes.
3. Let cool and transfer to serving dish. Can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cranberry Fruit Salad Cups

· 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, in juice, undrained
· 2 (3-ounce) packages raspberry flavor gelatin
· 1 (16-ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
· 2/3 cup chopped pecans
· 1 apple, chopped (peeled and cored)

1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough water to reserved juice to measure 2 ½ cups, pour into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add to dry gelatin mixes in a large bowl, stir in 2 minutes until completely dissolved.
2. Stir in pineapple, cranberry sauce, nuts and apples. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.
3. Refrigerate 2 ½ hours or until firm. Remove fruit cups from liners before serving.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Salted Caramel Bacon Brownies

I've been thinking about bacon ... and chocolate ... and caramel. So when we were talking about our tailgate menu for the big Georgia-Auburn game today, I knew I wanted to make something with those ingredients. I really like brownie mixes because they are easy and tasty. But you know you can always improve on things so in addition to the ingredients listed on the box I added a teaspoon of vanilla and chocolate chips. Then the caramel, sea salt and bacon. Brownie perfection.

You'll really want to try these.

Salted Caramel Bacon Brownies


1 (18.4 ounce) brownie mix ( I used Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate mix)
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 jar of caramel ice cream topping
Sea salt, to taste
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Mix together brownie mix, water, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla and chocolate chips until smooth.
3. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Drizzle half of caramel sauce over batter; sprinkle with sea salt and 1/2 of crumbled bacon.
4. Pour other half of batter on top of bacon; drizzle with remaining caramel sauce, sea salt and bacon.
5. Bake for 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Slow Cookin' some Sweet Potatoes

Check out this week's article in the Gainesville Times as we prepare for Thanksgiving with a delicious sweet potato recipe.

Pumpkin Butter Cake

Ingredients for the crust:
· 1 box yellow cake mix
· ½ cup butter, melted
· 1 egg, slightly beaten

Ingredients for the filling:
· 1 (15-ounce) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
· 1 (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
· ½ cup melted butter
· 3 eggs
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
· 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
· 1 (1-pound) box powdered sugar
· Whipped cream and toasted chopped pecans, for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Mix crust ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. Press crust into the bottom of the baking dish evenly.
3. Beat pumpkin, cream cheese, melted butter and eggs until creamy. Add vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat well. Spread filling over crust.
4. Bake for 50 minutes (center will still be slightly giggly). Let sit in pan for about 30 minutes before serving.
5. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted chopped pecans. 

This Pumpkin Butter Cake is delish!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Roasted Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme

· 16 evenly sized mushrooms, stems cut level with cap
· 3 tablespoons olive oil
· 2 tablespoons minced garlic
· 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
· 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
· ½ teaspoon garlic powder
· 5 tablespoons breadcrumbs
· 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
· Salt and pepper, to taste
· 5 tablespoons breadcrumbs


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly fry mushrooms in a skillet in hot oil for 2-3 minutes, cap side down.
2. Arrange the mushrooms in a 9x13-inch baking dish with cap side down.
3. In a small bowl, mix together garlic, butter, thyme, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture on each mushroom. Lightly press the breadcrumbs on top.
4. Either refrigerate for later use or bake immediately in the oven for 15 minutes or golden around the top.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sweet Potato Sausage Balls

· 2 teaspoons olive oil
· 1 tablespoon minced onion
· 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
· 1 ½ cups plain yellow cornmeal
· 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
· 2 teaspoons salt
· 2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
· 1 (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
· 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
· 1 ½ pounds ground mild sausage

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add sweet potato and cream cheese, stirring to combine. Add cheddar cheese, sausage and onion, stirring to combine. Shape mixture into 1 ½ inch balls; place on prepared pans.
4. Bake until browned and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes.

Note: These can be made up to 6 weeks before Thanksgiving. Prepare through Step 3 and freeze on pans until solid. Transfer to heavy duty resealable plastic bags and place in freezer. To prepare frozen, increase baking time 20 to 25 minutes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Crab Dip with Fire Crackers

Crab Dip:


· 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
· 1/3 cup sour cream
· ½ cup chopped onion
· 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
· ½ teaspoon garlic salt
· 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
· 1 pound crab meat or about 2 cups

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Mix together cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add onion, Worcestershire, salt, and lemon juice. Mix well. Gently stir in crab meat.
3. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Serve with Fire Crackers.

Fire Crackers:

· 4 sleeves unsalted saltine crackers
· 1 cup canola oil
· 1 (1 ounce) packet ranch dressing dry mix
· 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
· ½ teaspoon garlic powder

1. Line crackers on the ends in an air-tight container.
2. In a small bowl, mix oil, dressing mix, pepper flakes and garlic powder. Stir until all ingredients are well mixed. Continue to stir to prevent the pepper from settling on the bottom of container.
3. Spoon mixture evenly over crackers, like drizzling icing on a cake.
4. Close lid tightly and flip the container over every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes. Lightly shake back and forth to be sure all crackers are coated. Can store up to a week.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Southwest Egg Bake

· 1 (2-pound) bag frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
· 1 pound mild sausage, cooked and drained
· 1 (4.5 ounce) can green chilies, undrained
· 3 cups shredded Mexican style cheese
· 6 eggs
· 1½ cups milk
· ½ teaspoon salt

1. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the potatoes on the bottom of the pan. Add the sausage, green chilies and 1 ½ cups cheese.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage. Top with the remaining cheese.
3. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Friday, November 7, 2014

German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

· 3 cups pecan halves
· 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
· ¾ cup powdered sugar
· ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
· ¾ cup cold butter, cubed
· 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
· 3 eggs
· ¾ cup light brown sugar
· ¾ cup light corn syrup
· ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
· 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Arrange pecans in a single layer of a baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Stir hallway through baking.
3. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two short sides. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
4. Whisk together flour, sugar and cocoa. Add cold butter and combine with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small pebbles. Press mixture into bottom and up about ¾ inch sides of prepared pan.
5. Bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over crust. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
6. Place eggs in a large bowl and beat lightly. Add brown sugar, corn syrup and melted butter. Whisk together until smooth. Stir in coconut and pecans. Pour evenly over partially baked crust.
7. Bake 28-32 minutes or until edges are golden and filling has set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Then refrigerate for at least an hour.
8. Using the foil overhang, lift bars from pan and place on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Southern Praline Bars

· 18-20 whole graham crackers, about 2 sleeves
· 1 ½ cups butter
· 1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
· 2 cups roughly chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large sheet pan (13x18-inch) with foil allowing the sides to overhang pan by a few inches on the long sides.
2. Place graham crackers in a single layer on the pan making sure to cover the entire pan. Some crackers may have to be broken to fit.
3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add brown sugar and whisk together over medium heat. Stir continuously until sugar is fully incorporated and smooth. Bring mixture to a rolling boil, add pecans and continue cooking, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Be careful when adding the vanilla as mixture will bubble up. Pour mixture over graham crackers and spread to cover with a knife.
4. Bake for 12 minutes. Entire surface should be bubbly. If not, bake a little longer. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
5. Using the foil sides, transfer bars to cutting board and cut into squares. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Slow Cooker Candied Pecans

· 1 cup sugar
· ½ cup brown sugar
· 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
· 1 egg white
· 2 teaspoons vanilla
· 4 cups pecan halves
· ¼ cup water

1. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg white and vanilla until it becomes a little frothy.
3. Place pecans in a slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray. Pour egg white mixture over pecans and stir until nuts are evenly coated.
4. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over pecans and stir until nuts are all coated well. Cook covered on low for 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. Depending on the slow cooker, be careful not to burn. When 20 minutes are left, pour ¼ cup water into the slow cooker and stir. This will make the nuts crunchy.
5. When cooking time is up, spread nuts out on a cookie sheet to cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Store in an airtight container.

Great Christmas gift!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pecan Waffles

· ¾ cup chopped pecans
· 1½ cups flour
· 1/3 cup sugar
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· ½ teaspoon baking soda
· 1 egg
· 1 cup whole milk
· ½ cup buttermilk
· 2 teaspoons vanilla
· 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
· Syrup, butter and/or powdered sugar for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes until toasted.
2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
3. Combine egg, whole milk, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients together. Beat in dry ingredients with a whisk. Then whisk in butter. Batter will be lumpy.
4. Preheat waffle iron and spray with cooking spray. Spoon the batter into the waffle iron (amount will depend on the waffle iron). Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans. Cook until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter.
5. Serve immediately with syrup, butter and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Honey Pecan Chicken

· ¾ cup pecans, finely chopped
· ½ cup honey
· 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
· 1/3 cup Panko crumbs
· 1 teaspoon paprika
· 1 teaspoon garlic salt
· Lemon pepper to taste
· 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
· Olive oil cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans on cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes until toasted.
2. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Place a cooling rack coated with cooking spray on top of a foil lined baking sheet.
3. In a small bowl, mix together honey and mustard. In another bowl, mix together pecans, Panko crumbs, paprika, salt and pepper.
4. Dip chicken breasts first in the honey mixture and then in the pecan mixture. Place chicken breasts on the cooling rack and spray with olive oil spray. Bake for 20 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and turn the chicken over; spray with cooking spray. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes.