Peanut Butter Cookies

I made these this morning for hubby…xoxoxo…he deserves them!
image
And what’s best about these are they are diabetic friendly, weight management friendly, and oh so good!  And oh so easy!

The secret to these is leave them on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes after removing from the oven to finish crisping up.  These are addictive, I promise and if you are a peanut butter fan you will love these!

Miracle Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy

1 1/3 cup Splenda sugar substitute

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the above together in a mixing bowl.  Form into balls and place on greased cookie sheet.(I use a small cookie scoop) and flatten with a criss cross pattern using the back of a fork dipped in a little bit of Splenda to prevent sticking to dough.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  You can sprinkle them with a smidgen of Splenda once they come out of the oven if you wish.  Don’t forget to let cool a couple of minutes before removing from cookie sheet to finish cooling!

Happy weekend!

Mexican Fiesta

Rounding out the Mexican theme (sorry for the delay in posting – retirement is a busy job!!) is this Mexican Fiesta recipe that is a simple, flavorful recipe that can be made on a week night.  This is also a great casserole dish for a pot luck affair.   Make this and watch it disappear!   Great for leftovers.

Mexican Fiesta

2 Lbs ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 pkg Taco seasoning

1 can whole kernel Mexicorn

1 can (14.5 oz) Hunt’s Chili tomato sauce

1 cup water

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic salt

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

16 oz. carton sour cream

1 1/2 cups crushed fritos

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.  In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the salt, pepper, garlic salt, and taco seasoning.   Drain well.  Add all remaining ingredients to meat EXCEPT sour cream, chips and 1/2 cup cheese.  Mix well and pour into the prepared pan.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.   Remove and top with sour cream, remaining cheese, and crushed chips in that order.  Return it to the oven for 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

I hope you will make this soon along with the other South of the Border recipes!   Have a great week!  And I am waiting for September for some new items to become available for some giveaways.  So keep checking back and happy cooking!

Nacho Chicken…easy peazy!

What a great week night dish to accompany the black beans and yellow rice side dish.  And so easy and quick and one the kiddos can help with.  This nacho chicken dish goes together quickly and you can change the flavor with the type of nacho chips you choose to use.

Try and see how your family likes this!

Nacho Chicken (the below amount serves 2 – for more just double or triple the quantity)

2 Tbsp mayonnaise (can use sour cream if you don’t like mayo)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning

2 skinned and boned chicken breast halves

3/4 cup crushed nacho cheese-flavored tortilla chips (about 30)

1 Tbsp butter, melted

Combine the mayo, salt and Italian seasoning and spread on both sides of the chicken.  Dredge the chicken in the crushed chips.  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and drizzle with the melted butter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is done.

See how easy?  Try and let us know how you liked it!   Have fun cooking!

Let’s talk side dishes

Having trouble thinking of side dishes?  Here’s one that I believe you will enjoy serving AND eating!  we have even served this as our main course as it is full of protein and the flavor is out of bounds!

Try this and see if you don’t think so!   It would also be good as a filler in your burritos, on top of nachos, alongside your tacos, fajitas, or just with some tortilla chips and grilled pineapple!

Black Beans and Yellow Rice

1 (5-ounce) package saffron rice mix (yellow rice mix)

1 (15-ounce) can black beans

3 Tbsp fresh lime juie

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, divided

For garnish: sour cream, sliced green onions

Cook rice according to the package directions and keep warm.  (do you know a good way to keep rice, mashed potatoes, veggies warm while preparing other foods:  place in a bowl and set over a pot with just simmering water in it.  It will keep the veggies warm till ready to serve!)

Drain the beans, reserving 2 Tbsp of the liquid.  Combine the beans, reserved liquid, lime juice, chili powder and cumin in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated then stir in 1 Tbsp cilantro.  Serve beans over the rice, and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp cilantro.  Garnish each serving with a bit of sour cream and a sprinkle of green onions.

More Mexican to come.Ole!  Enjoy what’s left of the week.

Breakfast Panini…How do you like yours?

It is the last Sunday of the month…which means…we eat!

I made these….

Breakfast Paninis and Monte Cristo Sandwiches!   So easy and quick and since there is such a variety at our Sunday Breakfasts, I cut mine in to quarters so that everyone could partake of everything!

Make your Breakfast Panini and flavor yours with your favorite breakfast items.   These seem to be a hit.

Bacon and Egg Paninis

(serves 4 or if you quarter them like I did, a SS class!)

4 eggs

4 egg whites

2 Tbsp cream

1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic salt – to taste

6 slices of bacon (but I actually used more to make sure I filled them up – I actually had 4 half slices on each panini so 2 whole slices per panini)

3/4 cup shredded cheddar (I didn’t measure – just piled some on each one but not overpiled)

4 refrigerated Grand biscuits, sliced in half through the thickness of the biscuit)

Fry bacon till done – (I like to do mine in the oven!)

Once biscuit is sliced in half through the center, roll biscuit halves out on lightly floured surface until thin.

dough roll onerolled two

Mix eggs, egg whites, cream and garlic salt.  Scramble eggs until light and fluffy and just cooked through.

Fill one side of flat biscuit with 1/4 egg, strips of bacon and about 2 Tbsp. cheese and top with other half of flat biscuit.

Spray panini press; cook until done.  Watch and don’t let burn.  Here is one that is all done with another one ready in the background to go on the panini press.

panini cooked

Yummy!

The Monte Cristo Sandwich was not made in the panini press but was just as equally easy.   Since it calls for thick sliced baked ham, I decided to use the Carving Board brand Ham and it worked great plus made for a pretty hefty filling sandwich.  I also cut this sandwich into fourths.

Monte Cristo:

2 eggs

4 slices bread (sturdy)

2 Tbsp mustard

2Tbsp mayonnaise

1/2 lb thick sliced baked ham (I used one pkg carving board ham and the bread I used was large sliced

Gruyere Cheese, shredded (I used about 1/2 of an 8 oz. pkg grated)

2 Tbsp Butter

Beat eggs with salt and pepper, to taste.

Assemble sandwich with mustard, mayo, ham, cheese, salt, pepper.  Compress sandwich.

monte cristo prep

Over medium heat, melt butter in skillet.  Dip sandwich in egg. (see my little line-up in the pic?  Sammy, egg to dip in? and skillet to throw them in!)

Brown till crisp on one side, turn and crisp on the other side.  (I added a smidgen more butter after I flipped mine but it may be because I used my gynormous skillet and my butter went all over the place). Serve and enjoy.

And here’s my platter of paninis and sammies!

sunday plate

Nice and crispy and warm and ready for Sunday School.   Make something different this week.  Maybe even throw a panini in there somewhere.    Have a great week!

Pea…can or Pah..kahn..

However you say it a pecan pie is still a pecan pie and a southern tradition that everyone loves.   This take on a pecan pie is one that one of my peeps found and sent me – I knew I would have to try making these…Deep Fried Pecan Pies!

These did not disappoint.  Ask those who taste tested them.   The best of both worlds.  Pecan Pie…fried…and, well, portable!  One said they liked it even better than the traditional pie.  So go fry some pies and see how you like them.

Don’t they look yummylicious?

pies

Deep Fried Pecan Pies

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 large eggs

5 Tbsp butter

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups chopped pecans

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 (14.1 oz.) packages Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts (there should be two pie crusts to each package)

Vegetable oil for frying

powdered sugar for sprinkling on pies after frying

1. Set crusts out on counter to bring to room temperature.

2. In a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, eggs, butter and salt.  Bring to a light boil over medium heat, reduce heat to a simmer and stir in pecans.  Simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

3. Unroll one crust at a time on a lightly floured surface and cut circles using a 4 inch circle cutter (I found a top that was 4 inches wide and used it). Don’t forget to dip the cutter in flour!  I got 5 circles out of each of the 4 rolls – Then re-roll all the scraps and roll out with your rolling pin to same thickness as the others and cut 4 more.  You may be able to roll and get one or two more.   I say this as I had enough filling to make at least 26 pies.

4.  Place a tablespoon (I used a level tablespoon amount and not a heaping tablespoon so as not to overfill) of the pecan mixture in the center of a pie circle.  Lightly moisten the circle edges and fold over to a half moon shape.  Press down and use a fork to crimp the edges to completely seal the edges down and the filling in.  Do all the circles.

Heat the oil(about an inch) in a dutch oven to no more than 325-350 degrees (watch the temp of the oil so it doesn’t go over 350 degrees or it will cook the pie too quickly and the dough on the inside will be, well, doughy!)  If the oil starts to rise higher, just cut the fire down and wait a minute or two before putting in the next batch in.  Make sure you don’t overcrowd -I fried three at a time – If you use a skillet you may be able to fry four – fry for 1 to 2 minutes on each side till golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  When all have been fried, dust with powdered sugar.

Try this new take on pecan pie.   I think it will be a crowd pleaser!

It’s Fresh Veggie Season

And I couldn’t be happier! An all-veggie meal with fresh vegetables from our local farmer’s market is what makes the summer worth it!
We had fresh snapped green beans, fresh field peas, fresh squash cooked with a Vidalia onion sliced and cooked in it, rutabaga ( for hubby) and fried squash and fried okra! No room for fresh sliced tomatoes!

squash

See those fried slices of squash?

okra

And this fried okra?
Man, those were some of the best we have had. And here’s what made them so good, or what I believe made them so good.
First I sliced the amount I wanted to fry and put the squash in a small bowl and the okra sliced and in a separate bowl. For each, I beat an egg and mixed with about a half to 3/4 cup of buttermilk for each one-you may need a full cup of buttermilk if frying more than what I did- it just needs to cover them-pour this over each bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour before frying.
In a bowl, mix together ( you can use the same mix for both but if only making one or the other just decrease the amount of dry ingredients by half or just eyeball it for the amount of veggies you are frying) 1 1/2 cups plain flour, 1 1/2 cups cornmeal, about 3 Tbsp of creole seasoning (use homemade or store bought), 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir the dry ingredients together.

When ready to fry, add about an inch of oil to your frying pan and let it get hot. Drain the squash and okra. Dredge the squash in the cornmeal mix and fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Do the same with the okra. And then chow down!

What is your favorite veggie plate must-have? Hope you have a great week!

A great summer salad

Hubby cooked on the grill for us yesterday and I wanted a fresh veggie salad to go with it.  This is what I made:

salad

Since it is just the two of us, I made a smaller quantity – amounts are in parenthesis.

What a refreshing, tasteful salad this was with our grilled chicken and grilled sausage!  Give it a try soon with your backyard BBQ!

Veggie Salad with Pepper Jack Cheese

4 medium Roma tomatoes (I used 3 very small Roma tomatoes)

4 skinny zucchini (I used 3/4 of a zucchini as this was a good size zucchini!)

3/4 lb pepper jack cheese, cubed (I used the whole 8-oz block of the cheese – what can I say??!)

2 Tbsp veg. oil (I used 1 Tbsp of olive oil)

3 Tbsp Sugar (I used 2 Tbsp of Splenda sugar)

3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (I used 2 Tbsp)

1 1/2 Tbsp fresh basil, minced (I used about 1 scant tbsp minced)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp coarse black pepper

Wash and chop tomatoes into small chunks.  Wash and slice zucchini in slices.  I sliced my zucchini in half then sliced in slices.  Slice block cheese in half.  Slice each half into long slices and cube.  Place all into a bowl.  Whisk together the oil, sugar, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.   Refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour before serving.

We will be making this again…real soon!  But first, we will be enjoying the leftovers today!   Happy Wednesday.

Banana Bread good and simple

Don’t you love banana bread? And a simple delicious recipe makes it that much more tasty! I made this for my sister recuperating from her second knee replacement surgery so she can have a slice with a slather of cream cheese smeared on it for her breakfast or snack or whenever she has a hankering! This recipe is easily adaptive to flavors you would like to add for your tastes! Let us know what you put in your banana bread and inspire us all!

Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs. Lightly beaten
4 ripe bananas, mushed
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I use kosher)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs and crushed bananas and combine. In a separate bowl blend the flour, baking soda and salt, stirring to combine and add to the banana mixture; add vanilla and combine. Pour in a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
This recipe keeps well in the refrigerator.

Try adding chopped walnuts or pecans, a pinch of cinnamon, or some flaked coconut or a combination of any of these! Even a bit of crushed pineapple would be good but I would drain it.
Happy baking!

Last Sunday means food

First thing, thanks for all the opinions on the cheesecake issue!   By the way – so far it is a tie!!!  I just may have to make one of each for the auction at this rate! HA!

Yesterday was the last Sunday of the month and yep! We ate in Sunday School.  It is a given. Last Sunday of the month…bring food!

This cheesy, grits filled goodness of a casserole was a hit!   A crowd pleaser if you are have company over for the 4th weekend.  Or not.  Make it for your family.  You won’t be disappointed.  I used the good old Conecuh sausage in mine.  But feel free to use whatever link sausage you wish – turkey sausage even!  But for my SS class, I wanted to give them the best flavor I could!  So get your aprons on and get the pots ready.

Grits and Sausage Casserole with cheese (can’t get any more Southern than that!)

1/2 Tbsp oil

1 pkg sausage (link) – I used 16 oz pkg of Conecuh smoked sausage – next time I am using the hot and spicy!

about 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (I keep the tri-colored bell peppers – frozen pkg in my freezer – just grabbed a hand ful – let sit on the counter for a bit, and chopped away – hubby said the combination was great in this dish – and I may have chopped a bit more than a quarter cup – it’s up to you!)

4 green onions, sliced

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup quick cooking grits

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 tsp garlic powder (I may have put just a smidgen more)

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (1/4 cup of this saved back to sprinkle on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or spray an 11×7 inch baking dish.

Heat the 1/2 Tbsp of oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet.  Add sliced sausage and saute for a few minutes (3 or 4 minutes should be fine) then add the bell peppers and onions and saute for 3 more minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside. (I actually did this step the night before and then put in microwave for about 20 seconds the next morning before using to knock the chill off of it. saved me time Sunday morning!)

In a medium saucepan bring water and chicken broth to a boil.  Add salt and then slowly stir grits in.  Simmer grits for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.    In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and garlic powder.  Slowly stir in about 1 cup of the hot grits to temper the eggs (don’t want scrambled eggs)  Then pour the milk/grits/eggs mix into the saucepan with the rest of the grits, stirring constantly to combine.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese and half of the Cheddar cheese (the 1/4 cup), reserving the other 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese.  Mix in the sausage mixture.  Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Mine actually came out after 40 minutes.

No, I did not take a picture.  I forgot.  Sorry!  It sure was purty!  I hope you will try it.

Have a great week.