Super Delicious Easy Overnight Crusty Bread

I absolutely LOVE bread, especially a good crusty bread!!! I have always been intimidated by bread making. I have tried several times and things usually turn out “okay” but not “super”. I was on a mission the other day to … Continue reading

Hot Ham and Cheese Sliders with Poppy Seed Dressing

Do y’all have left over ham from New Year’s? Are you tired of the same ol’ rewarming over and over again? Here in the South, ham is a traditional New Year’s dish. But of course I’m still not used to … Continue reading

Mouthwatering Mississippi Pot Roast

If you are tired of the same ol’ pot roast have I got something to not only shake it up, but absolutely ROCK your world.

I know I know, that might be overdoing it a bit, but honestly this little ol’ recipe truly excited both my family and myself.

You see, I am kind of a creature of habit when it comes to some things. Sadly, one of those things was my “Pot Roast”. I always fixed it with the tried and trued onion soup mix, cream of mushroom soup, throw it in the slow cooker method. Don’t get me wrong, it was and still is delicious this way. That being said, I don’t think it was doing anything fantastic for my family.

On my son’s birthday this year, I happened upon a recipe from Sweet Tea and Cornbread . 

I wanted to do something really spectacular for this dinner, seeing as my son was turning 18. Boy howdy, did I find it!!! Now I will admit that I tweaked this just a bit, but it is basically the same recipe.

There is one thing that I want to explain before y’all start looking at the ingredients thinking we’re nuts. It calls for not only pepperoncini rings but also jalapeno rings. Don’t let it freak you out and absolutely do NOT leave them out. These do not give hardly any “heat” to the dish and they basically melt into the gravy. If you are concerned about the jalapenos, use just a few less but make sure you use at least some. I bought the bottled, already sliced jalapeno and pepperoncinis and just divided them up among some small zip lock bags based on what I use for each roast and threw them into the freezer.

I can’t wait for y’all to make this roast. Please please please come back and let us know what you thought of it!!!

Make it a great day!!!

Tracey

Mouthwatering Mississippi Pot Roast

ingrediants in slow cooker

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 pound Pot Roast (I use Chuck)
  • 1 envelope of ranch dressing mix (I just get the store brand)
  • 1 envelope of au jus mix
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 – 2 cloves minced garlic (I use the already minced in a jar that I keep in my icebox)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
  • pepperoncini pepper rings (start with 8 to 10 rings and adjust based on your preference)
  • jalapeno pepper rings (start with 5 to 6 rings and adjust based on your preference)
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

Spray your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray or use a slow cooker bag.

Place roast in slow cooker

Add ingredients on top of roast in this order

  1. Pepper
  2. Garlic
  3. Ranch Dressing packet
  4. Au Jus packet
  5. Both types of Peppers spread out over roast
  6. Place the stick of Butter right on top

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Half way through the cooking process I flip the roast and add a half cup of water. If you are making this in the morning and will not be home to flip, no worries. Just add the water in the bottom of the cooker before placing the roast in and just spoon the gravy over the roast before taking it out of the slow cooker to serve.

This will be so tender and falling apart. The gravy is to die for so be sure to spoon some over the meat when you serve it.

I just made some mashed potatoes and peas to go with ours but this would also be good over egg noodles or even rice.

Enjoy!!!

pot roast plated

“Derby” Style Pie

piece

The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner, or if you live here in the Raleigh NC area, The Clayton Derby!!

When I was growing up, my Mama and Daddy had race horses.  Now they were pretty good, but of course never made it to the “Derby”.  My parents loved going to the track to watch our horses run. Heck, my daughter Brianna, was just a baby when we would get her all dressed up and go to the track to watch the horses. Needless to say, the Kentucky Derby was sort of a big deal in our house.

This “Derby” style pie is a must for any Kentucky Derby party.

It couldn’t be easier to make and even better to eat.

Make it a great day!!

Tracey

 

ingredients

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon (spend the money and get the Makers Mark, it’s worth it!!)
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 ready-made pie crust

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.

Add the eggs and butter; mix to combine.

Stir in the bourbon, walnuts, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt.

Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust in a 9 or 9 1/2 inch pie plate.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

Let cool before slicing.

 

pie

* The name “Derby Pie” has been trademarked and the owners protect it!!! This is why our pie is a Derby style pie.

**The original recipe came from About.com

Baked Fried Pickles

I love me some deep fried pickles!!!

If you have never had them, you have to try them at least just once. They are a little slice of heaven!

I have made a conscious effort to watch what I am eating this year, and no I don’t mean watch it go into my mouth LOL. So when I found a recipe for Baked Fried Pickles I just had to try it.

Well after a bit of revamping, (ok a LOT of revamping) I got what I was looking for. One of the things that I did was add a package of Ranch Dressing mix, that way you are getting the taste of the Ranch Dressing without the calories that come from dipping them into the creamy dressing.

Put this recipe in your arsenal and blow your friends and family away!

Enjoy!!

Make it a great day, you deserve it!

Tracey

baked fried pickles

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 7-10 min

Serves: 1 selfish fried pickle lover or 4 picky eaters

Ingredients:

3 Large Kosher Dill Wholes

3 Eggs

3 TBLs Milk

1 cup Flour (All Purpose)

Dash Cayenne Pepper

1/2 cup Bread Crumbs

1/4 cup Panko Crumbs

1 Packet Ranch Dressing Mix

1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese Grated (You could switch this out for Parmesan as well)

Prep & Cooking Directions –

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice your Dills into “chips” about 1/4 inch in thickness.
  3. Take 3 small mixing bowls and put the flour and Cayenne in 1, the eggs and milk in the second(and beat them together), and combine the bread crumbs, panko crumbs, Ranch Dressing Packet and the shredded cheese in the third bowl.
  4. Coat each pickle chip with flour, then the egg/milk mixture, and then the cheesy bread/panko crumb mixture, and place on to an oiled cookie sheet.
  5. Bake @ 425 degrees for 7 – 10 minutes or until desired “crispiness” is reached.
  6. ENJOY!
  7. Now make more!

Okay, okay…………. so sometimes I do still dip these into prepared Ranch Dressing LOL, but the fact that these have not been deep fried and baked instead, still means less calories. Try using light Ranch to dip into 😉

Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Homemade Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

If y’all like Fresh Mozzarella Cheese like we do, you are going to LOVE this recipe!!!

Have you purchased Fresh Mozzarella Cheese in the grocery store lately? The price is out of this world. This recipe will cost you approximately $3.00 for a big ol’ ball of cheese, depending on the price of your milk.

Fresh Mozzarella is actually very easy to make and the ingredients are readily available. Cheese is a staple in our homes (somewhere along the same lines as water LOL).

I saw an episode of The Pioneer Woman on TV one day and they were making this, it looked so EASY (and fun).  I ran out a couple days later and purchased everything I needed. The one thing that was not available at our grocery store was Vegetable Rennet, I easily found it by doing a search for a Brewery supply store and found the one closest to us (there were several in the area).  Let me tell y’all, this was the coolest store!!! Okay, more about that later LOL.

I followed the recipe and before I knew it, I had Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, and it was delicious!!!

Since that first time, I have tweaked the recipe and feel that the recipe below is the best thus far.

Never again will we be intimidated by Cheese LOL.  Go on, give it a try

Make it a great day, you deserve it!!!

Tracey and Aileen

fresh mozzarella

Homemade Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Ingredients

1 Gallon Whole Milk (Raw milk works best but pasteurized works also. We used pasteurized)

1/4 teaspoon Vegetable Rennet or 1/2 tablet added to 1 Cup Water

2 teaspoons Citric Acid (if this is not at your grocery store, they will have it at the Brewery supply)

1/4 cup Water

1/8 cup Salt

Directions

1. Add Citric Acid and Water to a large pot (We used a soup pot). Swish around to dissolve.

2. Add Milk to Citric Acid mixture

3. Warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, to a temperature of 90 degrees on an instant read thermometer. (Don’t worry if milk begins to curdle, it’s suppose to)

4. Remove from heat and add Rennet and Water mixture.

5. Stir with an up and down, motion for about a minute.

6. Place a lid on the pot and go find something to do for 10 minutes

7. After 10 minutes take a knife and cut down through the curd to form a checker board pattern. Make sure you cut all the way to the bottom of the pan. (Don’t worry if you do not have really firm curd at this point. I freaked out because mine was no where near firm LOL. It will all work out in the end)

8. Return the mixture to Medium heat and warm until it reaches 110 degrees.

9. Using a slotted spoon move the curd to a colander. What you will have left in the pot is the “whey”. This is great to save and use when making bread as it is full of nutrients.

10. Squeeze as much of the whey out of the curd as possible and place into a microwave safe bowl.  At this point you may find that your cheese has the texture of a Ricotta cheese if you used pasteurized milk. Don’t worry, that will change quickly.

11. Add Salt working it through the curd (Just a note about the salt. Do not use course salt as it will make your cheese grainy.)

12. Place in the microwave for 1 minute. Remove, squeeze and stretch the cheese working as much water out of it as possible. Pour off the water in the bottom of the bowl.

13. Place in the microwave for 35 seconds. Remove, squeeze and stretch as before.

14. Repeat one more time for 35 seconds and squeeze and stretch.

15. Form cheese into a ball and place into an ice bath to cool for about 10 minutes.

Enjoy!!!

At this point, you now have Fresh Mozzarella Cheese!!!

We prefer ours with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh basil on top. Of course when I went to make this batch I didn’t have any fresh basil LOL, so I used dry and it worked out just fine.

This will last for several days in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap. In our house, however, it doesn’t last for longer than about 5 minutes LOL. Everyone loves this.

Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Crock Pot Chicken

This lil recipe is an absolute winner!!

I had this recipe years ago and some how misplaced it. Luckily, I was able to find it again online.

I have had so many people ask me about it lately after posting it on Facebook, I thought I would actually put it on our blog.

Make it a great day, you deserve it!

Tracey

crock-pot-chicken-cooked

Crock Pot Chicken

Ingredients

Combine the following ingredients in a bowl for the rub

• 3 tsp salt
• 2 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp thyme
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 An Onion

1 Whole Chicken Cleaned

Directions

Cover chicken with combined rub mix.

Seal in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 24  hours (If you do not have time just proceed to the next step, it will still be just as good)

Cut up onion and place in bottom of the Crock Pot

Place chicken on top of onion and place cover on Crock Pot

(There is no need to add any liquid, it will produce plenty on it’s own)

Cook on Low for approximately 8 hours or until a thermometer inserted into thigh reaches 180 degrees (wiggle the leg, if it seems loose it’s done)

Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Nana’s Snickerdoodles

My daughter Brianna absolutely LOVES Snickerdoodles!!

This year I added this awesome cookie to my list of Christmas cookies.

This recipe comes from my Mama, or Nana as my children call her. She is the absolute best cook I have ever met. So when she told me she had this recipe for Snickerdoodles I KNEW they would be fantastic ………….and boy was I right!!!!!

I wanted to share Nana’s recipe with y’all  so that you too could add it to your Christmas Cookie list.

Make it a great day, you deserve it!!

Tracey

 

snickerdoodles

Ingredients

1 cup softened butter You can use 1 stick butter and 1 margarine
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2-1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Topping
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 deg. ( if your oven runs hot 375)

Mix butters, sugar and eggs thoroughly.

Sift together flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt and stir into above mixture.

Chill dough 1 hour or more.

Form dough into balls about the size of a walnut.

Roll in mixture of sugar & cinnamon.

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 9 minutes

Enjoy!!!

Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Shrimp Scampi Risotto

Looking for something delicious, easy and warming for dinner tonight?

Well here it is…..Shrimp Scampi Risotto!!

Now don’t freak out. I know many people hear the word “risotto” and think it is difficult to make. I promise, it’s not at all. It does require you to be an active participant however, so this is not a good idea for dinner parties.

For those of you that don’t know, risotto is made with Arborio rice. This can be found in most any grocery store and even at Target.

Feel free to add all different types of things to this. I usually add frozen peas, however, I figured out during the cooking process that I was out of them LOL.

Once you make this recipe and get the hang of risotto you will be making up your own delicious combinations and recipes in no time.

Make it a great day, you deserve it!

 

Tracey and Aileen

 

shrimp rissoto

 

Ingredients

6 Cups Chicken Broth

4 Tablespoons Butter

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Cup Minced Onion

3 -4 Tablespoons Minced Garlic

1 Cup Parmesan Cheese

½ to ¾ Bag Frozen Cooked Salad Shrimp

1/2 Bag Frozen Peas, Corn or Green Beans (or any other frozen veggie you want)

Salt and Pepper To Taste

 

 

Directions

 

  1. Heat broth in medium saucepan over Medium heat until hot but not boiling.

 

  1. In a separate larger pan (I use my soup pot) heat butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir until tender.

 

  1. Add rice and stir for about 3 minutes

 

  1. Add 1 cup of heated broth. Continue stirring until liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes.

 

  1. Stir in remaining broth 1 cup at a time making sure liquid is mostly absorbed before adding the next cup.

 

  1. Stir in Parmesan cheese

 

  1. Add shrimp, stirring to mix them throughout the risotto. (This is also where I would add my frozen peas, corn or green beans)

 

  1. Remove pan from heat, cover and let sit for approximately 5 minutes to warm shrimp through.

 

  1. Add salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. Enjoy!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Make-Ahead French Toast

We are always on the look out for awesome recipes to share with our friends.

We found this Make-Ahead French Toast recipe on Grandparents.com and boy is it delicious!! This is just perfect to make for Christmas morning as most everything is done the night before so you don’t have to give up too much of your “family” time slaving away in the kitchen. It also works well for a nice Sunday morning breakfast.

 

We hope you enjoy this yummy French Toast and will share your thoughts with us.

 

Make it a great day, you deserve it!

 

Tracey and Aileen

 

Active Time: 7 min
Total Time: 1 hr 7 min, plus overnight soaking

Ingredients:
1 (12 1/2 oz) loaf of favorite bread (such as challah), cut into 1-inch-thick slices
3 cups whole milk
7 large eggs
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup, plus more for serving
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Directions:
1. Generously butter a 13 x 9–inch casserole. Arrange bread slices in dish, staggering in rows.

2. In large bowl, beat together milk, eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over bread and press down, making sure slices absorb liquid. Cover with foil.

3. Refrigerate overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove foil and bake casserole 55 minutes to 1 hour, until puffy and golden. Serve with more maple syrup, if desired.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information Per Serving: 450 calories, 62g carbs, 17g protein, 17g fat, 325mg cholesterol, 580mg sodium, 1g fiber

 

 
Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms