Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Fruit Fluff Salad

· 1 cup vanilla flavored Greek yogurt
· 1 (3-ounce) package orange gelatin
· 1 (16-ounce) container Cool Whip, slightly thawed
· 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained
· 1 (20-ounce) can peach slices, drained and slices cut in two
· 1 (20-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
· 1 ½ cups pastel mini marshmallows

1. In a large bowl combine the yogurt and gelatin powder and mix well. Add the slightly thawed Cool Whip and mix well. Add fruit and stir until just blended.
2. Fold in the marshmallows and cover. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pineapple Casserole

· 1 cup sugar
· 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
· 2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained, and 6 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved
· 1 cup cracker crumbs, recommended Ritz
· 8 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a medium size casserole dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the cheese. Add the drained pineapple chunks, and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
3. In another bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter and reserved pineapple juice; stirring until evenly blended. Spread crumb mixture on top of pineapple mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Best Ever Carrot Cake

Ingredients for cake:
· Butter and flour for coating pans
· 2 cups all-purpose flour
· 2 cups sugar
· 2 teaspoons baking soda
· 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 4 eggs
· 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
· 3 cups grated carrots
· 1 ½ cups chopped pecans, optional

Ingredients for frosting:
· 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
· 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
· 1 (16 ounce) box powdered sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
· ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions for cake:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans; Line bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
2) In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Stir in carrots and pecans.
3) Pour into pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Directions for frosting: 
1) Combine all ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer. Spread frosting between each cake layer and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle nuts on top of cake.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Green Bean and Shoepeg Corn Casserole

· 5 tablespoons butter, divided
· ½ cup chopped onion
· ½ cup chopped celery
· ¼ cup chopped bell pepper
· ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
· 1 (11-ounce) can shoepeg corn, drained
· 1 (11-ounce) can French-style green beans, drained
· 1 (11-ounce)can cream of celery soup, undiluted
· 1 cup sour cream
· 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2) In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter and add onion, celery and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft. In a large bowl, combine cheese, corn, green beans, soup and sour cream. Add sautéed vegetables. Pour into the prepared dish.
3) Melt the 4 tablespoons butter in the microwave and mix with the crushed crackers. Spread over the top of the vegetables and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Creamy Hash Brown Potatoes

· 1 (30 ounce) package frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
· 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted
· 2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey jack cheese
· 1 cup sour cream
· Salt and pepper, to taste
· 1 (8 ounce) carton spreadable chive and onion cream cheese


1. Place the hash browns in a lightly greased 4-quart slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine the soup, cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over the potatoes and mix well.
2. Cook and cover on low for 3 ½ to 4 hours or until potatoes are tender. Stir in cream cheese and serve.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday Tip: Perfect Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs look prettiest when the whites are smooth and unblemished, so the shells need to slip off easily and cleanly. Properly cooking and cooling the eggs help this. To begin, place eggs in a single layer in a stainless steal saucepan. (Non-stick is not recommended). Add cold water to a depth of about 3 inches. Bring to a boil of high heat. As soon as the water begins to boil, remove the pan from, cover, and let stand 12 minutes. Drain immediately and fill the saucepan with cold water and ice. Let stand until some of the ice melts and the outside of the eggs feel cool.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Cola Glazed Ham

· 1 6-7 pound fully cooked ham
· 30-32 cloves
· 1 (16 ounce) package of dark brown sugar
· 1 cup spicy brown mustard
· 1 cup cola soft drink
· ½ cup apple juice

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove skin from ham and trim fat. Make ¼ inch deep cuts in a diamond pattern and insert cloves at 1 inch intervals. Place ham in a foil-lined roasting pan.
2) Stir together brown sugar, spicy mustard, cola and apple juice. Pour mixture evenly over ham.
3) Bake on lower oven rack for 2 hours and 30 minutes, basting with pan juices every 20 minutes. Remove ham and let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls

· 1 cup sugar
· ½ cup dark corn syrup
· ½ cup white corn syrup
· 2 cups crunchy peanut butter
· 4 cups rice cereal

1. In a large saucepan, stir together the sugar and syrups over medium heat. Once smooth, remove from heat and quickly add the peanut butter, continuing to stir until the mixture is fully combined.
2. Add the rice cereal and mix well. Shape the mixture into palm-sized balls with your hands. Transfer to waxed paper. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 12-15 balls.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spicy Nacho Bake

· 1 pound ground beef
· 1 large onion, chopped
· 1 jar mild salsa
· 1 can (16 ounce) hot chili beans, undrained
· 1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
· 1 can (11 ounce) whole kernel corn, drained
· 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
· 1 envelope taco seasoning
· 1 package tortilla chips
· 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a Dutch oven, cook the beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the salsa, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
3. In a 9x13 inch baking dish, layer about 2-3 cups tortilla chips; half of meat mixture and 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cheesy Spinach and Bacon Dip

· 1 (10 ounce) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
· 1 (16 ounce) package Velvetta cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
· 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
· 1 (10 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
· 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
· Tortilla chips and/or fresh vegetables


1. Microwave ingredients in a medium bowl (appropriate for the microwave) on high for 5 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted. Stir after 3 minutes and blend well.
2. Serve with chips or vegetables
Dip can be transferred to a small slow cooker to keep warm.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

· 1 can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
· 16 slices deli pepperoni or 32 small packaged slices
· 4 mozzarella string cheese
· 2 tablespoons butter
· 1 clove garlic
· ½ teaspoon dried parsley
· ¼ teaspoon onion powder
· Pizza or marinara sauce, for dipping

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Unroll the crescent rolls and separate into 8 triangles.
3. If you’re using the large deli slices of pepperoni, place two slices along the wide end of the crescent roll. If you’re using the smaller packaged pepperoni, place 4 slices along the wide part of the crescent roll. Place half of a string cheese in the center of the pepperoni and roll the dough up. Repeat the process with the remaining crescent rolls.
4. Melt the butter in the microwave. Finely chop the garlic and stir into the butter along with the parsley and onion powder. Spoon over the crescent rolls
5. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot with pizza or marinara sauce.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Blueberry Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Talk about the best breakfast for supper (or anytime) food ever, this just might be it.  I've always loved Monkey Bread and this recipe is delicious.  I've used frozen or fresh blueberries and either work just fine. 

Ingredients for Monkey Bread:
· 2 (7.5 ounce) cans country-style biscuits
· 80 blueberries
· ¼ cup sugar
· 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
· 5 tablespoons butter
· ¾ cup brown sugar
· 1 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Ingredients for Topping:

· 1 cup powdered sugar
· 3 or 4 tablespoons milk
· ½ teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bundt pan generously with cooking spray.
2. Pat out each biscuit on a board and cut in half horizontally.  Add two blueberries to each biscuit half and roll into a ball.
3. Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and roll each biscuit ball in the cinnamon. Put ½ the nuts in the bottom of the bundt pan; add half the cinnamon balls on top of the nuts.
4. Melt the brown sugar and butter on the stove, just until it dissolves together. Pour half the mixture over the first layer of cinnamon balls. Add the other half cup of nuts and the rest of the cinnamon balls. If you have any of the cinnamon mixture left over, sprinkle this on top and pour over the rest of the brown sugar mixture.
5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove and let cool about 10 minutes before removing from pan. Drizzle topping over bread.
6. Whisk together the topping ingredients and drizzle over the monkey bread.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Fresh Berry Salad

· 6 tablespoons orange marmalade, melted
· 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
· 4 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
· 2 cups fresh blueberries
· 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the marmalade and lemon juice. Gently stir in strawberries and blueberries.
2. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 2 hours.
3. Sprinkle with coconut just before serving.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Food brings people together

Check out Crevolyn's latest article in the Gainesville Times here:  Food brings people together.

Pimento Cheese Breakfast Casserole

· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
· ½ pound smoked sausage (I used Kielbasa sausage), chopped
· 1 (30-ounce) package frozen shredded hash browns, slightly thawed
· 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
· 1 (7-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained
· 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
· ½ cup milk
· 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 2 large eggs, slightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 ½ quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add half of sausage and half of hash browns to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Spoon into a large bowl.
3. Repeat the process with the remaining oil, sausage and hash browns. Add to mixture in bowl. Stir in sour cream, pimento, cheese, milk, mustard, salt and eggs. Spoon into prepared dish.
4. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesday’s Tip: The Perfect Scrambled Eggs

There are lots of opinions as to what constitutes the perfect scrambled egg. So this is mine but feel free to share in the comments how you make yours. I’d love to know!

In a small bowl, whisk together 3 large eggs, a pinch of salt and black pepper and 2 tablespoons milk (I use skim but you can use whatever you like) until light and foamy.

In a medium skillet, add 1-2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, pour the eggs in the middle of the pan (that will force the butter to the edge so that it will be incorporated more into the eggs). Stir the eggs with a rubber spatula. As soon as the lumps of the eggs start to form, turn the heat to low and begin folding the lumps over on themselves and shake the pan gently at the same time. Just as soon as there is no more liquid part of the egg, turn off the heat and transfer to a plate. Some folks say that you should let the eggs rest for about a minute because they’ll continue cooking. I’m not a fan of a cool or overcooked egg so I don’t usually wait even that long to eat it.

I love to sprinkle a little grated cheese on my eggs or top my grits with them. Maybe even sprinkle them with some bacon or ham. Now you’re talking.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Easy Buttermilk Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy

Ingredients for Biscuits:
· 2 cups self-rising flour (recommended White Lily)
· ¼ cup shortening
· ½ to ¾ cup milk

Ingredients for Chocolate Gravy:

· ¼ cup butter
· ½ cup sugar
· 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 1/3 cup natural sweetened cocoa powder
· 2 ½ cups milk
· 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions for Biscuits:

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees and lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Place flour into mixing bowl and cut in shorting with a pastry blender or fork until well incorporated. Stir in just enough milk until dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead two or three times. Roll dough out to ½ inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter or small glass that has been dipped in flour. Place biscuits with sides touching onto prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake 8—10 minutes or until golden brown.

Directions for Chocolate Gravy:

1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar, flour and cocoa, stirring to combine.
2. Add milk and vanilla, whisking until no lumps remain. Simmer until thickened, about 4 minutes. Serve hot over biscuits.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Grasshopper Pie

· 1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
· 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
· 1 (1/2 gallon) container mint chocolate ice cream, softened slightly
· 2 ready-made Oreo pie crusts
· Mini chocolate chips for garnish

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Cool Whip and cream cheese with an electric mixer until just combined.
2. Add the ice cream to the Cool Whip with a large spoon.
3. Divide the mixture between the pie shells. Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips before serving. 

EDITED TO ADD: When I made this pie for Emily's birthday, I added Mini Mint Oreos and used a chocolate pie crust.  I garnished with Keebler's Grasshopper Cookies.  These Oreos came in a box and can be found next to the regular Oreos at J&J. 

The Grasshopper cookies are a first cousin to the Girl Scout's famous Thin Mints.  Yum!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup

· 4 large baking potatoes
· 12 slices thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon
· ½ cup all-purpose flour
· 6 cups 2% low-fat milk, heated
· 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus some for garnish
· Salt and pepper, to taste
· ½ cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot, leaving the drippings in the pot. Add the flour to the drippings and stir to combine. Cook, without browning, until the flour and drippings are combined, about a minute. Pour in milk and whisk to incorporate. Cook over medium heat until bubbly and thickened, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.
4. Scoop out the potato pulp from the skins and add to the milk mixture. Mash with a potato masher leaving it a bit chunky.
5. Add the bacon (leaving some for garnish), 1 cup cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese has melted. Remove from heat.
6. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with sour cream and sprinkle with remaining bacon bits and cheese.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

One Pot Chicken Enchilada Bowls

Talk about the best "one-pot wonder" ever, this one may be it!  It is a great combination of flavors with just the right amount of everything. 
I served it along with these brand new Tostitos Rolls (right next to the regular Tostitos at J&J) and it was perfect!
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces
· Salt and pepper, to taste
· 1 cup white rice, uncooked
· 2 cups chicken broth
· 1 (14.5 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies
· 1 (10 ounce) jar enchilada sauce
· 1 cup whole kernel corn
· 2 teaspoons chili powder
· 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
· 1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
· Toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced green onions, sour cream, guacamole


1. Add the olive oil to a large skillet or Dutch oven and place over medium-high heat over 1 minute. Add the onion, chicken, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until onion softens and chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the rice to the pot and stir. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth, Rotel tomatoes, enchilada sauce, corn and chili powder. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover.
3. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
4. Remove from heat. Add the black beans and stir to combine. Top with cheese and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. Serve warm with toppings.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tuesday's Tip: Time Saving in the Kitchen

Time Saving Tip: Always keep a garbage bowl nearby when you’re cooking. I saw Rachel Ray do this on her show and I thought it was a great idea. I started keeping one close and realized all of the steps it saved me. Give it a try!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Baked Pasta with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

· 1 (7-ounce) jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped , oil reserved
· ½ cup all-purpose flour
· 2 cups milk
· 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
· 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 teaspoon pepper
· 2 cups fresh baby spinach
· 1 (16-ounce) package rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large Dutch oven, heat sun-dried tomatoes with reserved oil over medium-high heat. Add flour, stirring well to remove any lumps. Cook until flour mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add milk, stirring to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and is smooth, 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Add mozzarella, feta, salt and pepper; stirring well. Add spinach and stir. Add pasta and combine well. Spoon into prepared dish.
4. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.