The gift of giving…

I love to be sending out this prize package to these two winners as they help not only the winner for Thanksgiving but also another family who may need some extra help this time of the year.  The winners will keep one of the gift cards and will then pass one of the gift cards on to a needy family.  Why not “anonymously” pass it on?  How fun to let the recipient just “find” it or receive it in the mail with a “surprise” note for the holidays!  At any rate, it will be a treat to have a little help.

Thanks for all the posts – I loved reading all the comments.  And now…

The two winners that chose… and I have the pictures just not posting them here if any one wants me to post them…

Winner # one – #14 – Tiny Lemmond

Winner # two – #10 – Brooke M

Congratulations winners and enjoy sharing the extra card!  I will get these in the mail today to you both!  Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Thanksgiving, Turkey, and Oranges

Thanksgiving…my favorite time of the year! No matter how you slice it, I love the fall.  My mom loved Turkey and Dressing and all the trimmings, and she instilled that love of all the flavors in my sister and me.  I hope that we have instilled the same love in our kiddos and grandkiddos!

I made these candied orange rinds with all intentions of having some around at Thanksgiving to munch on but lo and behold I chopped some up and put in the best scone recipe (this was Pioneer Woman’s basic cream scone recipe and one of the best recipes I have ever tried and I have tried alot) and drizzled with some glaze and they were knock your socks off good.   The candied orange rinds are good to eat by theirselves or top on some pancakes, or as I did, dip some in some melted semi sweet chocolate chips – oh my!

Recipe will follow.  but first – A GIVEAWAY! and not just any old giveaway!

Since it is Thanksgiving, I want to give you the chance to show your thankfulness for all that you have been given.  Two people will be drawn and each will win two $25 gift cards – one to keep and one to “pay it forward” – pass it on to someone they feel it would benefit during this Thanksgiving season.  Is there someone in your church who could use a helping hand?  An elderly neighbor?  Know someone who has lost their job or who is looking for a job?   It could mean a Turkey dinner for someone.

SO…if you want a chance to win two gift cards (one to keep and one to give away) just leave a comment and let us know what your favorite Thanksgiving dish will be on your table this year!  And Happy Thanksgiving to all!  Winners will be selected Friday so I can get these in the mail hopefully Saturday!

And now the recipe for the Candied Orange Peels:

Candied Orange Peels

  1.  take 3 whole oranges and cut off the ends.  then make cuts down the peel to quarter the peel in sections.  Peel off the peeling.  I then make sure to remove any of the white pith off the inside of the peeling – it keeps it from being so bitter.
  2. Cut the peel into very thin long strips (about 1/8 inch thick strips) – you basically want long thin strips – they dry better.
  3. Take a heavy saucepan and add 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water and stir – bring to a boil and cut down to medium heat – add strips and cook for 30-45 minutes or until the strips are limp and translucent.  Remove from water and drain.  (sweeten your pitcher of tea with the orange sugar water – yum!)
  4. once drained, take a 9×13 glass pan and add 1 cup sugar and then put the drained orange peels on top of the sugar, making sure they are single layer.  Add another 1-2 cups sugar on top of the orange peels.
  5. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, giving the peels enough time to absorb the sugar and become completely coated.
  6. I then mix the peel and sugar up and remove the peels to a baking rack set on a baking sheet (helps to catch the sugar off the peels and less messy) and let air dry for 48 hours.  mix them up occasionally so that all sides air dry.

Listen, y’all.  This is so worth what little effort it takes.  Trust me on this.   You won’t be able to stay out of these.  Great for the holidays.  And so many uses!


Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win the Thanksgiving giveway!

Down the Rabbit Hole I Went

This retirement thingy….man oh man!   I have enjoyed it so much I just seem to forget to post new stuff on this here bloggy thing!

Anyhoooo…. with the holidays fast approaching, recipes should be floating in everyone’s heads… or at least they are in mine.  Both for Thanksgiving and for Christmas.

I think I am kicking up one of our recipes for Thanksgiving up a notch.  The standard green bean casserole may just have a couple of added ingredients to it.  While this is not an original recipe of mine, I am making a few changes to it to add a bit of spice to it for our crew.

What is your favorite dish at Thanksgiving?

Creole Sausage Green bean Casserole

1 pkg precooked Andouille sausage, sliced

3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 can (10.5 oz) Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup

6 to 8 slices bacon, cooked and rough chopped, (reserve 2 tablespoons for topping)

3/4 cups milk

2 to 2 1/2 tsp cajun or creole seasoning, whichever you have on hand (i have both…imagine that)

4 cans cut green beans, drained

1 can (I use the large size for more crispies) Crispy Fried Onions

heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the sliced sausage, cheese, soup, milk, and seasoning plus all but the reserved 2 tbsp of bacon in a sprayed 13×9 inch baking dish.  Stir in the beans and 1/13 cups of the crispy onions.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbling.  Stir, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbsp bacon, and the remaining onions, or however many you want on top (some may want less unless you get the regular size can).  Bake another 5 minutes longer or till onions are golden brown.

I also may chop up a jalapeno and throw in the pot.  Who knows??!!

Have a great weekend/upcoming week!  Shout out your favorite Thanksgiving dish.  You never know when a surprise drawing may just pop up among those who comment!!!

Buttermilk Chess Pie – made the healthy way

I know you get tired of all these healthy recipes… so for those who want the original recipe I will include it.  But since hubby is diabetic I do have to keep that in mind when cooking.  And he does like something sweet occasionally that is both low carb and that I can make up using sugar substitute.

I decided to remake a classic – Buttermilk Chess Pie and try it “his way”.  And it worked!  He ate the whole pie!  (not in one sitting although he probably could).  It was so good according to him.  I am not a custard pie eater so he was definitely safe with this one.   I just wanted to make sure it would work (1) without a crust and (2) with Splenda sugar and (3) still be good!

He said I could make it again for him!  So I guess it worked!

Here’s the handy dandy recipe I made and then below it the original for those who wish to make it with a crust.

Crustless Buttermilk Chess Pie using Splenda

1/2 cup butter, melted (plus about a tsp of butter not melted to grease the pie plate)

1 1/4 cups Splenda sugar

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup buttermilk

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

t tsp vanilla extract

dash ground nutmeg

dash salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly butter a pie plate.  Mix the Splenda sugar and flour in a large bowl.  Ad the beaten eggs and mix well.  Add the melted butter and buttermilk and mix well again (I mixed everything by hand).  Stir in the lemon juice, vanilla, pinch of nutmeg and salt.  Pour into the prepared pie plate.  Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.  Reduce the oven to 350 degrees and bake for between 25 and 35 minutes or until the pie is set and golden.  A butter knife stuck in center should come out clean.  Let cool before serving

chess pie

See how it bubbles from all that bubbly butter?  (hopefully you can see – I think my picture came out a bit on the dark side!) Hubby loved it! We will be making this again for him.

Now for the original one with the crust.

1/2 cup unsalted butter melted plus about a tsp to butter the pie plate

1/2 recipe of a home made double crust for pie or one purchased pie crust pastry placed in pie plate and edges crimped.

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

4 larg eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup buttermilk

t Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

dash ground nutmeg

dash salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly butter a 9-inch pie pan.  Roll out the pastry dough and fit in pie pan.  Mix the sugar and fjour together in a large bowl.  Add the beaten eggs and mix well.  Add the butter and buttermilk and mix well.  stir in the lemon juice, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt.  Pour in to the unbaked pie shell and bake for 15 minutes at the 400 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for another 30-40 minutes or until browned on top and set.  Remove the pie from oven and completely cool before serving.

So there you go- same pie – two ways.   Enjoy!

Jalapeno Cream Corn…yes, yes, yes!

What can you make from can whole kernel corn?  Why, jalapeno cream corn, that is!  This is so easy and versatile.

You can use a regular can of whole kernel corn but I (actually i halved the recipe since there are only two of us) used a can of the mexicorn and it sure was good.

Take 2 cans of whole kernel corn (or 2 cans of mexicorn or other mix of corn you want) and drain and place in a saucepan.  Add one 8-ounce cream cheese(the 1/3 less fat works just fine), 1/4 cup (1/2 of a stick) butter, 1/2 tsp garlic salt (adjust the garlic salt to your taste, more or less) and 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped.  Heat for about 10 minutes on low to medium low.  You can also sprinkle in a little cumin if you have a notion to or if you want, leave in a few of the jalapeno seeds if you want more heat.  When ready to serve, just throw on a little chopped cilantro.


This was so good.   We enjoyed it with our chicken hubby grilled out on the grill. So get in there and experiment with your favorite recipes this weekend!

Bacon Ranch Popcorn

For your football watching days to come, you just may want to have a bowl of this sitting by to munch on.  Yes, bacon, yes, popcorn, yes buttermilk ranch dressing mix, yes, some butter, yes some parmesan cheese, and yes, a sprinkle of black pepper.  Adds up to one great big bowl of wonderful stuff!

For this football munchie, you will need:

one (1.3 oz) bag of microwave popped popcorn

4 to 6 slices of bacon, fried crisp and rough chopped

2 tsp of buttermilk ranch dressing mix (you can add a little more if you like a little more of the ranch taste)

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

4 tbsp melted butter

1/4 to 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Empty the bag of popped popcorn in a bowl; toss in the chopped bacon, the ranch dressing mix and the parmesan cheese; drizzle in the melted butter and toss.  Add the ground pepper and toss one more time.  Enjoy!

This will become addictive, I am sure.  So go ahead, pop away and toss and have your snacks!  A great one to take tailgating and assemble at the site or enjoy at home.

Tailgating is here!

Football time!  We are officially in football frenzy.  Everywhere you look football is on tv.  Even still Classic Football games are still being played.  Reruns of the weekend’s games are being played (if you wish to watch the agony and defeat…again, unless yours was a winning team).  Also, the chase is on.  If you follow Nascar, the race for the chase is on.  So, there is plenty to get excited about.  Me, I just love to hear it on tv.  I don’t get too upset over a win or loss.  I just quilt, and cook, and try to train the dog for his obedience class (that’s another story for another day).

But this will definitely be on our table for tailgating at David’s games.  Me oh my.  Someone will have to help eat this because I could eat the whole bowl.  And the cheese, this type of cheese is what makes this.

There are cheese spreads, pimento cheese recipes, but then there’s this.  And I have fallen in love with this.  And there’s no turning back.  If you serve this, you will be the star.  Trust me on this.  But make sure they know there’s heat in it.  In a good way.  Man, oh man, oh man.  Is it good.

Call it Cheese Spread, call it Pimento cheese, call it cheese dip, or serve a big dollop on your tailgate burger. Make you a Panini out of it. Or a regular sammy – or just serve a dollop by the side of your chicken salad.  Dip it up with crackers.  Dip it up with chips.  Just serve it.

Hot Buffalo Wing Pimento Cheese

Here’s how I made it –

I bought this cheese –


I grated it up – it’s a softer cheese but it still will grate fine –

In the bowl with the grated cheese, I also grated about a teaspoon of onion.  Feel free to finely chop yours.  You don’t need much – just a smidgen to add another layer of flavor.   I added two ounces of chopped pimentos (you can get a 2 ounce jar – just drain – if you can’t find the 2 ounce jar just use half of the four ounce jar), added about 1-2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce (I usually add the 2 tbsp as we like the flavor), a pinch of salt and pepper (did you know adding a pinch of salt and pepper to your pimento cheese makes a big difference), and just enough mayonnaise to bring it all together.   Nothing else is needed.  It’s all in the cheese!  Just refrigerate till you serve – if you can wait that long!

cheese spread

Hope you will give it a try – I found this cheese in the specialty cheese section at the commissary.  You should be able to find it around town or something pretty close.  Have a spiffy super duper great week!

Winners and Spiced Applesauce

First, the giveaway winners….I know you would want to know that first!

The two winners who will be enjoying the Taste of Alabama BBQ are: first pick:  #16-Charlotte second pick: #13-Denise

I will get your prize to you sometime next week!  Congratulations! And let us know how you like your sauces!

Now…. This applesauce. Man.  Chunky, and oh so easy.  Crock pot easy!   No kidding.   Your kiddos will love it.

Serve it on toast, serve it on pancakes, Smear it on a big old biscuit, on top of some yogurt, or as a side dish with some grilled pork tenderloin.   Good stuff.  And you know I made mine healthy with Splenda so hubby and I could eat it.

Try it and I am telling you…you will love it.  So much more flavor than any you buy in the store and with the apple slices left chunky you are getting the best of both worlds.  Like eating apple pie without the crust.

If you want to make it the regular way, just leave out the splenda sugars and use 1/2 to 3/4 cup of regular sugar, and everything else is the same.  The recipe below is what I used.

Spiced Chunky Applesauce

12 cups peeled, cored ad thinly sliced apples = recommend using either Fuji or Golden Delicious apples and it will take about 9-12 apples depending on the size of the apple to get 12 cups out of the apples-

(a trick to keeping them from turning brown while slicing all these apples up is have a big bowl of salt water handy and put the thin slices in them as you slice them – won’t turn.   You can use this method to slice your apples and put in refrigerator overnight and then pack them for your kiddo’s lunch the next day.  Won’t turn. And the salt adds a great flavor to the apple.)

1/2 cup Splenda sugar (or 1/s cup regular sugar if you prefer)

3 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar (omit if you are using regular sugar – I used this to help thicken the sauce)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I used a little more and you can, too, if you want a little more spice flavor in it-i thought it needed it)

1 cup water

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Fresh ground nutmeg (optional, but I recommend a small bit- sure added just a bit more flavor)

Add apple slices to crock pot.  Combine sugar(s) and cinnamon and add to apple slices and stir to coat apples.

Stir in water, lemon juice and the nutmeg if using.  Cover and cook on high 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours or on low 5 to 7 hours.  Stir for a chunky sauce.   Serve hot or cold.


Doesn’t that look good?   I let mine cook 6 hours and it is perfect.  So good.   Try this. I can assure you it will please every member in your family.  Enjoy this beautiful weather this weekend!

I’m back! Along with a Great Alabama Giveaway!

I haven’t been sick or missing.  We went on a trip – a wonderful time in Colonial Williamsburg!  What history!  Now if I had just studied in school! HA!.  Really, if you have never been, you should plan a trip.  The Historical Triangle is something to be seen.  We also went to the Military Transportation Museum along with the Mariner’s Museum.  Great times and memories.

And since there were only three people that commented on the Pioneer Woman’s new line of kitchen ware, guess what??!!  ALL THREE CAN EXPECT A SURPRISE COMING SOON TO THEM! That would be Disney World Diva, grandmaappleton, and ChristiL! Thanks for commenting and thanks for reading and following! I will do a giveaway later in the year again on her items that are just heartwarming.

Now for this giveaway…. Alabama hails to have some pretty good eats – from BBQ to BBQ sauce to cheese biscuits to peanuts (go Birmingham – if you have never been to downtown Birmingham and smelled those peanuts roasting, you are missing out).

So… I am giving away two packages that contain…


It will contain a little of all Alabama has to offer – Jim & Nick’s biscuit mix, Birmingham’s peanuts, Wickles, Saw’s Sauce, Gibson’s Alabama White Sauce, well, you get the picture!  a bit of Alabama history!

Want a chance to win one of two packages of the above?   Just leave a comment and tell us your favorite BBQ joint in Alabama!   Two winners will be selected Friday.  Thanks everyone!

A breakfast casserole for any time of the day

Y’all.  This casserole.  Don’t just serve it for breakfast.  Serve it for brunch, lunch, supper, Christmas morning, Easter morning, your birthday, someone’s birthday you don’t even know!

Just serve it.  Throw it together the night before, bake it the next morning.  Done.  Enjoy.   What’s easier than that?   I am such an airhead I took no pictures.  None. Nada.  So that means you need to make it so you can see how beautiful it cooks up.

Steak and Eggs Breakfast Casserole

2 pounds sirloin (or ribeye) cut into 1 inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 tsp smokehouse black pepper (optional but I included it)

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped (or use tri colored mix of peppers!)

1 (14-ounce) package English muffins, torn into 1 inch pieces

1 (8-ounce) pkg shredded monterey jack/colby cheese blend

1 (8 oz) pkg shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

12 large eggs

2 cups half and half

1/2 cup whole milk

In a large bowl, combine steak, salt, pepper(s) and toss gently to coat.  I also threw in a small bit of garlic powder.  You can flavor yours as you wish.  You want the steak to sear with flavor.

In a large skillet, heat oil and add steak.  Sear for about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper and cook for a couple of more minutes.  In a 3 quart baking dish (I used a deep 9×13 glass dish place torn english muffins on bottom; top with steak mix and sprinkle evenly with cheeses. Sprinkle top of cheeses with italian seasoning.  I actually used probably about 2 tsp of italian seasoning.  This is a big casserole and a lot of eggs!

In a large bowl, beat all 12 eggs, the half and half and the whole milk until smooth.  I also added just a bit of salt and pepper to the eggs.  I like to flavor all layers.  slowly pour over the casserole.  Cover and let stand overnight or 8 hours (make in the morning, bake for supper!).  Remove and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes.   cover with aluminum foil if necessary to prevent over-browning.  I did bake mine the full hour and 20 minutes and I did cover with foil after about 50 minutes of baking.  It came out so golden brown and fluffy and beautiful.  It was a big hit at Sunday School.

Pioneer Woman has come out with her new line of kitchenware.  Gorgeous glassware, beautiful dishes.  If you have not seen them, go to her website and look at them.  Come back and leave me a comment on what is your favorite.  There will be a giveaway on some of her stuff.  I need to know what YOU are liking in her line of new wares!