Sunday, November 29, 2020

Chicken with Artichokes & Mushrooms (Slow Cooker)

· 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
· 2 chicken drumsticks
· 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
· 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 1 teaspoon salt
· ½ teaspoon pepper
· 3 Tablespoon olive oil
· 2 4-ounce packages mushrooms
· 2 ½ cups vertically sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
· 1 cup chicken broth
· 1 (12-ounce) jar artichoke hearts

Rinse chicken, pat dry. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large zip lock plastic freezer bag. Place chicken in bag, seal bag and shake to coat. Remove chicken.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot; add chicken.
Cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Place chicken in a large 5 quart slow cooker, reserving drippings in skillet.
Cook mushrooms and onions in hot drippings for 5 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms, onions, broth and artichokes to slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken is tender.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Brown Sugar Smokies

1 (16 ounce) package little smokie 
1 pound bacon
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (or to taste) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large resealable bag, put sausages, bacon and ½ cup brown sugar. Shake to cover bacon and sausages. Cut bacon into thirds and wrap each strip around a little sausage. Place the wrapped sausages on wooden skewers, several to a skewer. Arrange the skewers on a baking sheet and sprinkle them liberally with brown sugar. Bake until bacon is crisp and the brown sugar melted; about 45 minutes. Can be prepared the night before and cover tightly; then bake when ready to serve.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Five Flavor Pound Cake

Ingredients for Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon rum flavored extract
1 teaspoon butter flavored extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening
3 cups white sugar
5 eggs, beaten

Ingredients for Glaze:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon rum flavored extract
1/2 teaspoon butter flavored extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the milk and 1 teaspoon each coconut, lemon, rum, butter and vanilla extracts; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and 3 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat until smooth. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
Bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, or until cake tests done. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.
Turn cake out of pan onto wire rack. Place waxed paper under rack to catch glaze drippings. Slowly spoon Five Flavor Glaze onto top of hot cake. Cool completely.
To make the Five Flavor Glaze: In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, water and 1/2 teaspoon each coconut, lemon, rum, butter and vanilla extracts. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

· 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
· 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
· 1 cup milk
· 1/2 cup sour cream
· 1/4 cup butter, cubed
· 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
· 1/4 teaspoon pepper
· 1/8 teaspoon salt
· 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
· 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
· 1 cup shredded provolone cheese

1. Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine soup, milk, sour cream, butter and seasonings; cook and stir over medium-low heat until blended. Stir in cheese until melted.
3. Drain pasta; transfer to greased 3 quart slow cooker. Stir in cheese mixture. Cook, covered on low 1-2 hours or until heated through.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Green Bean Casserole

1/3 stick butter
½ cup diced onions
½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups sliced fresh green beans
3 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can French fried onion rings
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter until vegetables are tender.
Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain.
Add the green beans, mushroom soup, onion rings, and salt and pepper to taste to the onion mixture. Stir well.
Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the cheese and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.

Friday, November 20, 2020

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.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Happy Birthday Crevolyn!

Happy birthday to Crevolyn, our favorite resident cook! We appreciate all you do for J&J! And we love you!

Good for Everything Marinade

3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Whisk all ingredients together. Pour marinade over chicken, steak or pork.
2. Cover and chill meat for at least 5 hours.
3. Remove meat from marinade, discarding marinade. Pat meat dry and cook as directed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Best Strawberry Cake

Ingredients for Cake:
1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

Ingredients for Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioners' sugar
Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional 

Directions for the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 3 8-inch round cake pans.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Directions for the frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) 
Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth. 
Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. 
Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

·1 (32-ounce) bag frozen shredded hash browns
·1 pound ground chuck, cooked and crumbled
·½ pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
·2 pounds Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
·32 ounces chicken broth
·1 teaspoon pepper
·1 tablespoon dried, minced onion flakes
·1 teaspoon garlic powder
·2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.
2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. Serve with crumbled potato chips, if desired.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

Pastry for one deep dish pie
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
1 ½ cups chopped pecans


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Unroll pie crust into pie plate if using refrigerated pie crust.
3. Blend together the butter, sweet potatoes, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, salt, corn syrup and evaporated milk. Pour filling into crust and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until inserted knife comes out clean. Cool completely.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Tuna Melts

5 ounces white tuna (Albacore, preferred), drained
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 whole fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
2 whole hard boiled eggs, chopped
6 whole sweet pickles, diced
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
Splash of pickle juice
Salt And pepper, to taste
6 whole English muffins split
12 slices cheese (Swiss, Provolone, Muenster)

1. Combine tuna with onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, eggs, and pickles. Stir in mayonnaise, Dijon, and pickle juice. Add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. Place English muffin halves on a large cookie sheet. Place a large spoonful of tuna salad on each of the twelve English muffin halves. Use the spoon to spread/flatten.
4. Put pan into the oven for five minutes, then briefly remove and lay a slice of cheese on each muffin.
5. Return to oven and turn on broiler. Watch carefully to avoid burning; bake until cheese is melted and bubbly.
6. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Zucchini Boats

4 large zucchinis
4 tablespoons minced garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
16-18 grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and trim a little off the bottom so it will lay flat in the baking dish.
Scoop out the seeds in the center of the zucchini with a spoon.
Mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Brush over the surface of the zucchini.
Arrange halved grape tomatoes into the groves; sprinkle with about a 1/8 cup of bread crumbs and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove and sprinkle mozzarella cheese between the tomatoes. Place them back in the oven under the broiler until golden and bubbling.
Remove and drizzle with olive oil and grated parmesan.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Chicken Bacon Pasta Casserole

6 strips bacon
4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 teaspoon garlic powder
, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 box spiral pasta
2 cans cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
2. Cook and crumble bacon in a medium skillet. While bacon is cooking, cut chicken into bite-size chunks.
3. Set bacon aside. In the same pan, cook chicken in bacon drippings. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
4. While chicken is cooking, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and return to pot.
5. Add chicken, soup, and 1 cup of Monterey jack cheese to pasta and stir well. Pour chicken mixture into prepared casserole dish.
6. Top with remaining cup of cheese and bacon crumbles.
7. Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

The Cast of Characters:
Seriously, cheese, bacon, chicken, pasta and garlic - this may be the best combination ever.

Frying it up in the pan.

Mixing the chicken and the pasta.

This is the epitome of comfort food. Delicious.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Cashews

1 ½ pounds fresh broccoli crowns, cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons white vinegar
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced.
1/3 cup chopped salted cashews

Place the broccoli into a large pot with about 1 inch of water in the bottom. Bring to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes, or until tender but still crisp. Drain and arrange broccoli on a serving platter.
While the broccoli is cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper and garlic. Bring to a boil, and then remove from the heat.
Mix in the cashews and pour the sauce over the broccoli. Serve immediately.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Jalapeno Corn Casserole

2 (11 ounce) cans shoepeg corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup evaporated milk
¼ cup chopped jalapeƱo peppers
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter and milk until smooth. Stir in corn, jalapeno peppers and ¾ cups bread crumbs.
Transfer mixture to the prepared dish and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup bread crumbs. Cover with lid or foil.
Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 40 to 50 minutes.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Pork Roast with Apples & Onion

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 whole Pork Shoulder Roast (also Called Pork Butt)
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups apple juice
1 cup beef stock
3 apples, cored and cut into wedges
3 whole medium onions, Sliced
1 whole bay leaf
2-1/2 cups wild rice
4 cups water
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. If you want to cook onions before adding, brown them in a medium skillet. Or you may just add them raw to the roast.
2. To make the pork roast, heat olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Salt and pepper pork roast, then sear on all sides to give it some color. Reduce heat to low. Add apple juice, beef stock, apple slices, onions, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 3 hours. (Or you may place in a 300 degree oven if you prefer.)
3. Toward the end of the cooking time, make the rice: melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add pecans and saute for a couple of minutes. Add wild rice and liquid, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until all liquid is cooked out.
4. When the roast is done, remove the roast, apples, and onions to a platter. Raise heat to medium-high (to high) and boil liquid, reducing it until thick and rich.
Spoon thick sauce over the roast, then cut the roast into slices. Serve with apples, onions, and wild rice.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake

1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened (about 3/4 cup)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups chopped peeled apples (about 2 large)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 4 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the sugar/cinnamon mixture and combine with apples in a bowl, and stir apple mixture into batter.
Pour batter into an 8-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack, and cut using a serrated knife.

Note: You can also make this cake in a 9-inch square cake pan or a 9-inch springform pan; just reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Cinnamon Apple Pork Chops

4 boneless pork loin chops
2 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 medium tart apples, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped pecans

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook pork chops in 1 tablespoon butter for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Remove chops and keep warm.
Add the apples, pecans, brown sugar mixture and remaining butter to the pan; cook and stir until apples are tender. Serve with chops.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Strawberry Avocado Salad

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons olive 
  • 4 teaspoons honey 
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice 
  • 2 cups torn salad greens 
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced 
  • 10 strawberries, sliced 
  • ½ cup chopped pecans 

1.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, olive oil, honey, vinegar, and lemon juice. Set aside.
2.  Place the salad greens in a pretty bowl, and top with sliced avocado and strawberries.
3.  Drizzle dressing over everything, then sprinkle with pecans.
4.  Refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving, or serve immediately.