Breakfast or for snack- just make it

Oh my – this bread. This wonderful delightful bread. Peanut Butter Bread. Toast it and slather it with more peanut butter – or Nuttella spread – or more peanut butter! Or plain, good old jelly or jam! It’s like eating a PBJ piece of toast! It is good just by itself. Trust me on this …. it is why I am getting it out of the house!!

Peanut Butter Bread
1 cup milk (any kind will work – fat free, regular, 2%)
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter (I used creamy not the kind with nuts)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 3/4 cups plain flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put milk, eggs, sugar and peanut butter in a mixer bowl (or you can use your blender if you have a good one for this) and mix until blended (if using a blender put on “batters” setting-since mine is 30+ years old I am sure mine does not have a “batters” setting!).

In another bowl, stir flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to mixing bowl with peanut butter mixture (or blender if using it) and mix until combined. (on blender, pulse a few times until combined).

Pour batter (will be somewhat thick) into a prepared 9×5 inch loaf pan.
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Look how pretty that batter is! And the smell is so incredible – even before baking.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Mine took exactly 50 minutes.
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I just can’t tell you how good this is. Hope you try it soon.

Weddings and food

There’s a wedding in our family on the horizon and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Our oldest granddaughter and her “intended” will be saying the “I do’s” late spring and we love her fiance. He is already part of the family and calls us Grammy and Paw Paw. A true sign that he just may like us a little!

One of the items that will be on the menu are these:
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And little old me gets to be in charge of making these! And I couldn’t be happier! These are easy, fun, and don’t fall apart like some cheese straws. But what makes these so good is that they are “Smokey Cheese Straws”, not just your regular cheese straws. We made a recipe for taste testing and they were so good. I wanted to make sure the bride loved them. And what made these a “plus” for her was that the store was out of the “smoked Cheddar cheese, but had the “smoked bacon cheddar cheese” of which I kindly obliged her bacon likings and used it. The recipe, according to her, was great. So I may just make a batch of regular and a batch using the smoked cheddar with bacon. Serve these at your next shower, get-together, or tailgate party!

Smoky Cheesy Straws Makes close to 5 dozen
1 (8-ounce) block of smoked Cheddar cheese, shredded (or the smoked bacon cheddar cheese like I used)
1 (8-ounce) round of smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (more or less for heat to your taste)

In a medium bowl combine the cheeses and butter. Beat at medium speed with a mixer until well combined.

In a small bowl, combine flour, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and red pepper. Gradually add flour mixture to cheese mixture until just combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. (It took two baking sheets for my recipe)

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. (err on the thinner of 1/4 inch. Mine were a bit too thick and were not as crisp as we wanted them to be). Using a pizza cutter or ki=nife, cut dough into 6inchx1/2inch strips, and place on prepared pans (I plan on making my next batch 3 inch x 1/2 inch) and place on prepared pans. bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove to racks to let cool completely. Store in air tight containers.

Stay warm and enjoy the rest of your week.

Feeling a little “punchy?”

I had a question about recipes for punch. There are so many recipes out there that it can get confusing. I have several basic and good recipes that we have used at my previous church that are so good and versatile and appropriate for weddings, receptions, baby showers, and family get-togethers. If you have one to share with a request, post your favorite punch recipe below! We all could use a new punch recipe!

A good basic recipe is ginger ale and sprite. Then add whatever color/flavor sherbet you want. Makes a great simple punch for any kind of a gathering.

Here are a few recipes.

Strawberry Punch
1 large can pineapple juice
2 pkg pink lemonade kool aid (regular packages)
1 gallon water
1 small frozen lemonade undiluted
1 pint frozen strawberries
4 cups sugar

Blend thawed strawberries in a blender. Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Freeze. Remove from freezer several hours before use. Will be a slushly punch.
Makes 2 gallons and serves 40-50 people.

Fruit Punch (yellow)
1 large can pineapple can pineapple juice
3 small cans frozen orange juice (add water as directed on can -or i substitute for 72 oz of juice)
2 quts water
1/2 cup frozen lemon juice or 1/2 dozen lemons, juiced
1 (6 oz) pkg lemonade mix (dry)
2 1/2 cups sugar
mix well and freeze. Makes 1 1/2 gallons. serves 40-50 people. Remove from freezer, let thaw at least 3 hours. Before serving, add 1 qt ginger ale.

Passion Tea (this would be great for a bridal tea)
3 cups water-bring to a boil – add 4 family size tea bags – cut off burner and steep for 30 minutes.
Add:
1 1/2 cups sugar and stir until dissolved
then add 1 large frozen lemonade, thawed and
1 6-oz. can pineapple juice

stir – garnish with orange or lemon slices – serve over ice.

So… If you have one to share, let’s hear it! Have a great week, y’all.

Peanut Butter No Bake Bars

Peanut Butter in anything is a win-win for us. And with no flour, 3 ingredients, and no baking, you can’t go wrong. And if you want to get really creative, throw in some nuts, dried cranberries or raisins or other dried fruit, and you have a great afternoon pick-me-up! Or a wonderful breakfast bar.

Keep these in the refrigerator for a firm bar. Or if you prefer, let sit out for a short time for a more softer, chewier bar. But even in the refrigerator, these are still good and chewy. Enjoy and create your own version.

Peanut Butter No Bake Bars

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey

( halved everything since there are only two of us and used an 8×8 pan and made a really thin bar – that way hubby doesn’t get much honey in each bar)

Line a 9×9 inch pan with foil and lightly spray with non-stick spray.

Melt the peanut butter and honey together in a microwave until smooth. (doesn’t take long!)
In a medium size bowl mix all ingredients together. Press into pan. I find that if I place a piece of saran wrap on top to use to press the mix down, it makes it much easier and less messier on my hands and the mix doesn’t stick to my hands nor to the saran wrap. Works for me!
Place in refrigerator until set. Cut in squares and enjoy!

Here are mine!

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(please overlook the grandkids’ almost 20 year old melamine plate that I just can’t seem to throw away!)

Let me know what you plan on throwing in to your concoction! I just may have to give yours a try!

A bunch of healthy nuts

There’s going to be two more healthy nuts running around! The winners of a 5-month e-gift card to “Naturebox” who will get to personalize their selections to their liking is:

First drawn by random.org:

#2 – Karen Goad – congratulations, Karen – I hope you enjoy what you select – I will email you to make sure the email is the one you want your e-gift card sent to!

and the second drawn by random.org:

#6 – Maddie – congratulations, Maddie – I will also contact you for a correct email –

I want to make sure you both get these e-gift cards!

Have a great week, everyone!

Naturebox and all the good things to munch

Have you heard of Naturebox? I have had friends tell me that their munchie healthy snacks are the bomb! The flavors, the quality, are the best. So today, because it is Friday and because I am a newly retired person loving every day of this, I am giving two people to try these wonderful products.

Each of the two winners selected will receive a 5-month subscription to Naturebox which means once you receive your e-gift card from me you will get to go to their site and customize your box to your preference and dietary needs. In the meantime, go to http://www.naturebox.com and have a look around. Read all about it!

When you are through, come back and leave a comment and tell me what you think would be your favorite snack you would like to try. Two winners will be selected Monday. Have a wonderful weekend and get out and enjoy this beautiful weather!

Oh, Nuts!

Hubby loves peanuts – roasted, raw, boiled peanuts. He loves mixed nuts and he loves Cajun roasted or seasoned.

I also like to make him a “trail mix” as he also loves raisins. This recipe has a bit of all that he loves. And this recipe would be a great one to serve at receptions, family gatherings, tailgating, or just healthy snacking. Try some soon.

And come back Friday – there may be a quick giveaway – I have been remiss…I blame a wonderful enjoyable retirement life! You should try it sometime!

Mystery Mix

2 cups whole almonds
2 cups pecan halves
2 cups roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
2 cups sunflower seed kernels
1 (15-ounce) box golden raisins
1 (10-ounce) bag dried cherries (I will probably use cranberries as that is what I like)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground red pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees (nuts need to roast slow). Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisin, and cherries.
In a small bowl, whisk the melted butter, honey, curry powder, salt, and red pepper until combined. Pour this mixture over the nut mixture and toss until all is coated. Spread the coated nut mixture in an even layer in the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour, and stir every 15 minutes. Remove and spread in a single layer on parchment paper to cool. Sprinkle with kosher salt and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container. I like to use my large Ball Jars.

Enjoy!

Sausage Gravy Biscuit Casserole is just what you need

This casserole rolls Sausage Grave (some call it sawmill gravy) and your biscuits into one dish casserole that makes it both delicious and great for a crowd pleaser. It is a great dish to take to a morning breakfast crowd, when you are having the family over for breakfast, or taking it to a Sunday School breakfast.

It comes together quickly and easily so make it and see how your family likes this dish. And I even remembered to take pictures this time! The airhead was gone this time! HA

Sausage Gravy Biscuit Casserole
Gravy:
1 lb breakfast sausage (bulk-mild or hot – your preference)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 Tbsp all purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Drop Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup cold butter cut into cubes

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees ( I baked mine at 400 degrees – I believe the 450 gets the biscuits done but doesn’t allow them to absorb all the gravy)
For the gravy:
1. In a 10 inch oven safe skillet (I actually put my stuff in an 11×7 inch pam sprayed glass dish since I took this dish to Sunday School so keep this in mind if you are not going to just use the skillet for cooking) and serving) brown the sausage until just lightly brown on medium high heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from skillet and set aside. There was very little oil left so I did not remove it from the skillet – great flavor in that stuff!

While the sausage is browning, get your drip biscuit dough ready – and y’all, these drop biscuits are good just making and baking by themselves so keep this recipe just for the biscuits alone! In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix with a fork until combined. I added about a quarter cup of shredded cheddar cheese at this point and stirred. Add the 1/2 cup cold butter and cut in either with a cutter or a fork until the butter is about the size of peas. Small chunks ensures tender biscuits! Stir in milk and stir with a fork until just mixed – mixture will be sticky don’t overmix dough!

Now for the gravy – add the butter to the skillet – when melted add the 4 tbsp flour and whisk together. Allow mixture to bubble for about 2 minutes to get the flour taste out. Whisk during this time to get all the bits off the bottom of the skillet and to get the lumps out of the flour mix. Add the milk and whisk to combine. Let the mix bubble for about 3 minutes. It will thicken as it bubbles. Add the pepper, (I also added a small bit of salt to mine as the brand of sausage I had bought was not salty at all and I also sprinkled in a couple of more pinches of pepper – salt and pepper is all to your own taste. And it all depends on the saltiness and spiceyness of the sausage – so be sure and taste your gravy before adding extra seasoning so that you do not over season.

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I poured the gravy into my 11×7 inch pan and used a spoon to drop tiny biscuits (for ease of serving at SS) on top.

oven ready
Bake 10-12 minutes or until biscuits are browned. Actually mine cooked a bit longer since I baked mine at 400 degrees. But next time I will bake mine at 450 degrees and for about 12 minutes.

done

Finished product! Yummy! Have a great week and have some gravy and biscuits!

Jalapeno Dressing….oh yes!

This will make your skirts fly up and your pants legs flap in the breeze – even if there isn’t a breeze! I made this yesterday and I can’t wait to have it on my salad tonight. I must say, I wish my jalapeno peppers had been a bit hotter. I like heat and apparently right now the jalapeno peppers I am getting are not that hot. I even left the seeds in and just didn’t get as much heat I wanted but the flavor – oh my. the flavor is definitely still there – so incredibly good. But less heat makes it easier for hubby to eat the dressing – or not! More for me!

This will definitely be one of my favorites. Serve on a bed of field greens, some marinated chicken breasts that have been grilled (marinated with my homemade taco seasoning of course) and if you like, add a couple of slices of avocado. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Try some and see what you think.

Jalapeno Dressing
1/2 jalapeno roughly sliced (or use the whole jalapeno -why not?) (with or without seeds – your choice)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar (and yes, I did use my Splenda Sugar)
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped (I threw mine in whole and the blender chopped it up just fine)
1/2 cup blended oil (1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup vegetable oil – or if you would rather, use 1/2 cup all olive oil – but use a light olive oil so the flavor of the oil does not overpower the dressing)

Place the jalapeno slices, lime juice, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic in a blender and blend at low speed, using the quick on/off pulses, until the jalapeno and garlic clove is finely chopped. Now with the motor running, slowly pour in the oil in a thin stream.
Pour into a container (a canning jar works great-makes about a cup so an 8-ounce works great) and store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Give the jar a good shake to make sure all is blended well.

Ranch Chicken Tenders

We eat a lot of chicken in these here neck of the woods while we try and eat healthy and low carb. I tried to make a new version of one recipe we tried while at a meeting in Destin and finding these Ranch Wings (of all places) at Winn Dixie Wing Bar (man do they have some good wings!).

These were great! We both liked these and with the leftovers we are slicing and putting on our salad for supper tonight. And they couldn’t be easier. So bake these up tonight and see how your family (especially the kiddos) like these. After all, with Ranch Dressing Mix who wouldn’t like them??

**Note: I poured out about 3/4 of my coating into a bowl and saved the rest to use on some wings I will be making for supper for another meal. I will keep the remainder in the refrigerator since I used the finely grated parmesan cheese you get in the package in the deli section where all the other grated cheeses are)

Ranch Chicken Tenders
1 pkg chicken tenders (my pack had 8 tenders in it) (you could use chicken breasts if you want but personally I think you get more of the flavor with the tenders
1 stick butter, melted
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
1 cup plain bread crumbs (you could also use crushed cracker crumbs, or crushed corn flakes, or panko bread crumbs-crushed ranch flavored doritos may be just the ticket if you have kiddos!)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I used the finely grated parmesan cheese in the package)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I lined a pan with foil and sprayed it with pam spray but you could skip the lining the pan thing and just spray the pan.
Combine the Ranch dressing mix, bread crumbs (or whatever you choose to use to coat) and parmesan cheese in a plastic bag. I then put about 3/4 of the mix in a bowl and coated this way in case it didn’t take all of it, which for the tenders, it didn’t.
Put the melted butter in a shallow bowl. Dip the tenders in the butter, then in the coating, and place on the prepared pan. When all tenders are coated, if you have a bit of the coating left in your bowl, sprinkle it on top of the tenders for a little extra crust.
bake for about 35-30 minutes or until they are done- this will determine on how thick your tenders are and your oven. Mine were done in about 25 minutes. You want the crust crispy also. Let cool on pan for a couple of minutes. Enjoy!
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I bet these would be good with some homemade ranch dressing for dipping. Give them a try and see how you like these. Have a fun weekend!