Monday, November 27, 2006

Apple wait! Blueberry Cobbler

This summer we had a peach pie at my grandmother's house. My brother asked if it was apple. I told him it was peach but would he eat apple. He said, "Yeah, I like that." Sister remembers these things! Fast forward to November. I asked Philip if he still liked apple pie because I wanted to make it for Thanksgiving dessert. Surprise, surprise! He said what he really wanted was that "blueberry pineapple stuff with the cake on top...Yum!" If you knew my brother, you would know that this is rare. SO, being the doting sister that I am, I informed my mom that blueberry cobbler would be one of the desserts on the table.
During the summer we use those delicious fresh blueberries that are available. However, as it is November, we used frozen. This still works perfectly. This is a pretty sweet dessert. In fact, I had several people comment on its sweetness and I had already cut down on the sugar that it called for! You could probably get away with using only 1/4 cup of the 3/4 it calls for! Philip doesn't like nuts, so I always put nuts on half and leave the other side plain. This dessert is pretty simple. I didn't even realize it until I was typing, but it is fairly dump-and-bake. Only one dish to wash! Even though this is a sweet dessert, it contains LOTS of antioxidant rich blueberries, so it is my submission for Sweetnicks ARF Tuesday. Stop by her place for other delicious recipes.
Blueberry Cobbler
1 12-14 oz. (whatever the large size is) crushed pineapple
3 cups (I use more than this, about 1.5 bags frozen) fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 cup sugar (probably use less unless you REALLY like it sweet or are afraid your berries are sour)
1 box yellow or butter cake mix
1 stick margarine, melted
1/4 cup sugar (This gives the top a little crunch, but you don't have to use it)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour undrained pineapple into 13 X 9 pan. Put berries on top of the pineapple. Sprinkle with sugar. Open cake mix and sprinkle over the berries. Pour melted margarine over the cake mix. Top with chopped nuts and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25 minutes. Open oven and use a spoon to poke holes in the top of the cake mix so that the juices from the fruit come through. Return to oven for 10-15 more minutes (a TOTAL time of 35-40 minutes) or until browned and bubbling. Serve warm with ice cream.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Green Beans Take 2 - Mushrooms

This is one of my favorite ways to have mushrooms. I decided to do these last Thanksgiving becuase I don't like having ONLY casseroles as the vegetable choices...this is how my family works! After the meal, my cousin said that they were the best green beans he had ever had...WOW, what a complement for such a simple dish! Since then I've taken them to prayer group and been asked multiple times how to make them. I have come to the conclusion that the simpler a dish is, the more impressive! I cook these a little longer than some people might. In the South we like our veggies tender. If you like more crunch to your beans, you could probably cook them according to package directions! :-)
If you use Kroger, use their normal sized bag of beans for these instruction (2) and the mushrooms in the bag. Also, this can easily be halved for a smaller family.
Green Beans with Mushrooms
2 packages frozen green beans (or one LARGE bag)
one bag/carton mushrooms

Put a large pot of water to boil. When boiling, put beans in and cook until tender (or the texture you desire). Drain green beans. Saute mushrooms using PAM/cooking spray for oil. When tender, add green beans and season with garlic powder, Nature's Seasoning, etc. Eat up!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Christmas Meme

This isn't really a food post but it's a fun meme and includes food questions! I got this meme from Stacy at Hambones. Back early next week with recipes!!!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Neither really...spiced tea
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? He puts them on the couch in piles for the right person. Sometimes little presents are wrapped. Every once in a while Rudolph gives presents, too!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Well, we have two trees. The one with the colored ornaments has colored lights. It is in our den. The other tree is a pencil tree with a gold, white, and silver theme. It has white lights.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Maybe that's my problem, ;-), we have no mistletoe!

5. When do you put your decorations up? We put them up today at home and I"ll put them up tomorrow at my apartment. So, the weekend after Thanksgiving is when we do it traditionally.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Hmmm...I think cornbread dressing or squash casserole.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: I think one of my favorites is trying to stay awake with my cousin one night to see Santa. We were on the fold out couch in the den, next to the living room where Santa would come. She said she alread "knew" about Santa, but played along. I fell asleep VERY quickly! However, I think one of the best Christmases was when we livied in Kyrgyzstan. That was the first year that I bought my mom a present on my own; I was in fifth grade. It was just a little crystal swan, but I guess I realized how much joy GIVING can bring!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I honestly have NO IDEA!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Nope! We wait until Chrstmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? The tree in the den has more "homey" ornaments. They are ornaments that my mom's preschool students gave her, our childhood ornaments (although, I have now claimed mine for my own apartment tree), "tacky" ornaments, anything with color. The tree in the front foyer is a pencil tree with crystal, white, and gold ornaments. It's a little fancier. A lot of the ornaments are balls and angels.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it! However, we haven't had snow since New Year's Eve 2000! I think it's time for some more! Anyone want to send me one good snow for the year?!

12. Can you ice skate? Yep! In fact, that sounds like a good idea. Maybe I'll round up someone to do that with me the week before I go home for Christmas.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I don't really know what my favorite gift was from Christmas but last year the whole time was good because just about everything was a surprise. My mom has me figured out! Last year, I wanted a Nativity Scene to put out. Mama said that after Thanksgiving she had a surprise for me. We went shopping that Saturday and I saw a nativity scene that I really like and couldn't decide if I should buy it. Mama told me to hold out until we checked another store. That night she gave the the was the EXACT SAME nativity scene that I had picked out at that store. She had bought it 2 weeks earlier at Mistletoe Marketplace! That was SO MUCH FUN!

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Family, friends, and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, a precious gift from God sent to redeem us for Himself...the only way to eternal salvation.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Hmm...this one really is hard. I guess I just like traditional Chrstmas cookies and candies. I don't really have a favorite Christmas cake or pie.

16. What tops your tree? The den tree has a crocheted angel and the living room tree has a white pointy thing with gold sparkly on it.

17. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Giving...especially when I know it's a surprise for the person receiving.

18. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I just LOVE all Christmas music...I don't think I have a favorite.
19. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?? Yum.

20. What do you serve for Christmas dinner? We usually have (edit, I have been corrected) rib roast and Thanksgiving type sides. However, this year, I think it's just going to be the four of us, so I don't know what we'll do.

Once again, I'll tag some of y'all but if you don't get to do it, don't worry about it!
1. Alicat of Something So Clever
2. VeuveClicquot of Sugar Delirium
4. Paula of Cookbook Junkie
5. Jennifer of Weekly Dish
6. Erika of Tummy Treasure

Friday, November 24, 2006


Well, Thanksgiving is over and it was a GREAT holiday! We have 23 adults, 3 children, and one baby in our house for the past 2 days. LOVED IT! Here's a round-up of what we had:

Smoked turkey

Cornbread dressing

Green beans and mushrooms

Sweet potato casserole and broccoli casserole

Squash casserole

Salad, cranberry salad, and rolls. Desserts included pecan pie, chocolate chip pound cake, and blueberry cobbler. Recipes for some of these will come later, but for now just enjoy the eye candy!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

It's been about three months since I had stuffed peppers and I decided it was time to have them again. However, I tried something different this time and REALLY liked it. I make a Mediterranean style pepper. I splurged and got a red bell pepper (I think those are my favorite!). Then I cooked some eggplant, mushrooms, and shrimp. This was combind with brown rice and feta for a delicious and healthy dish! Because of all the veggies, this is my entry for Sweetnicks ARF-Five-A-Day Tuesday! Check there tomorrow for other healthy dishes, just perfect for detoxing after Thanksgiving or just enjoying as a healthy meal or snack.

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers
3 bell peppers of your choice
1 globe eggplant
handful of mushrooms
1 small can of salad shrimp*
feta cheese
Nature's Seasoning
garlic powder
1 cup brown rice, or more if you like a lot of rice
fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the tops off the peppers and cut them in half lengthwise. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, put the peppers in, and par-boil for 10 minutes. Remove and put the peppers in a baking dish. Cube the eggplant. Put eggplant and mushrooms in a saute pan. Season with Nature's Seasoning and garlic powder. Cook until tender. Add shrimp and cook until heated through. Add hot rice and a handful of feta cheese (Sorry! I didn't measure, just used my eyes!). Stir until blended well. Scoop the filling into the peppers. If there is extra you can either freeze it for later use or let it overflow into the baking dish; some people, like my brother, only like the filling and will eat it for you! Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the peppers. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

I served this with salsa. You could also add canned tomatoes to the dish prior to putting the peppers in the dish. Enjoy!
*This can be made vegetarian easily by leaving out the shrimp.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Do Monkies Live Here?

I know, I know! Somehow I keep posting banana bread recipes. This one is also very good. It comes from a Guiltless Desserts Class that I attended a couple of years ago and The Everyday Gourmet. The recipe is acually for a Banana Cake but I put it in a loaf pan and omitted the frosting...viola...banana bread!! Because the recipe is actually for a cake, this is extremely moist. This time I decied to try it with a bit of Splenda instead of all sugar. I think it turned out find; you couldn't really tell the difference. Roomie liked it, too. I'll include the topping directions in case you want to use this in its original cake form. I've never actually made the topping but it looked good at the class.

Banana Bread (or Cake with Macadamia Nuts and Coconut)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/2 cup Splenda and 1/4 cup granulated sugar)
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
sprinkle cinnamon (I KNOW I use more than a sprinkle!)
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Spray 9X4 loaf pan. Whisk flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together in a bowl. Combine the banana and the next 6 ingredients (through egg) and beat for 1 minute or until well blended. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until blended. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool and serve.

Spray 9 inch round cake pan and line with wax paper. Spray the paper as well. Follow mixing instructions above. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove from pan, and peel off wax paper.
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon water
2 teaspoons butter
2 Tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts (toasted)
2 Tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut

Combine brown sugar, water, and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, sitr constantly. Remove from heat and stir in nuts and coconut. Spread over cake and serve warm.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Bran"d new Recipe...So Good

I'm not sure where this recipe is from except that it is in my mom's recipe box. I have been using wheat bran on my yogurt at breakfast and have been meaning to use some to make bran muffins. I finally decided to use it when I realized that I had this recipe. These muffins were VERY good. They are not the typical sweet muffin that you would get in a bakery, but these muffins have a lovely "scent" of maple syrup that makes it just right. These are good to start your day with some fiber or to go along with soup. Just try and enjoy!

Top-Notch Bran Muffins
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup toasted wheat bran (I didn't see the part about toasting it, so I didn't do it)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
Raisins (optional, I didn't use)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Add wet to dry until moistened. Stir in raisins, is using. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20-22 minutes or until brown. Makes 24 mini-muffins or 12 regular.

Add 1/4 cup banana and 1/4 cup nuts

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Bushel of Fun...and Apples

WOW, last post was my 100th post! I didn't realize it until I switched to Beta! Thanks for all of you who have joined in and have commented! It's really an encouragement to me and makes me want to keep trying new things. Now on to the recipe!
Okay, so I didn't really have a bushel of apples, but I did have a Sunday School fellowship last night and the girls were responsible for desserts. Normally I would just make a cookie or cake, but this time I decided to make an apple crisp. This recipe is from the Quaker Oats site. When I pulled it out of the oven, I was in LOVE with the smell. It was so cinnamony and just like a fall dessert should smell! It taste just as good, although I think it was just a tad too sweet. The recipe below is with the changes that I made. I think next time, I might decrease the sugar in both the topping and the filling. If you want a good smell in your house and a dessert that's not so bad for you, it's made from fruit isn't it, try this one out! With the apples in this recipe, it is my entry for Sweetnick's ARF-Five-A-Day Tuesday. Check out all the other recipes and pick one out to try for yourself.

Autumn Apple Crisp
4 cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced baking apples (I used 2 small gala apples and 2 large Granny Smith. As you can tell, I didn't peel them. To core, but in quarters then cut out the core on a slant. This is super easy to do)
2 T lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used Splenda)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine
1/2 cup Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 2-quart baking dish.
In large bowl, combine apples and lemon juice. Stir in granulated sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; toss to coat. Spoon mixture into baking dish.
In medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and remaining cinnamon; mix well. Cut in margarine with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in oats. Sprinkle over apple mixture.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Melt in Your Mouth

For some reason these cookies make me think of Christmas. I don't know why because there is nothing "Christmas-y" about them. Maybe it's because they are a sugar cookies. They just have more of a crisp but melty texture. I decided to make them last night and take them to the press box for the last football game. I've been calling the tackles all season for the home games of my Alma Mater, Mississippi College. When the game was over, one the, this is said with all respect, "pressbox rats" (a college administrator who probably shouldn't be in there officially but we traditionally let just about anyone in there, we're only D-2) asked why I hadn't been bringing cookies all season! There were no cookies left and this makes a LOT of cookies. I think they were a success!

Melt Aways
1 cup butter I used 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup margarine
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
4 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla (!)

Beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugars. Add oil gradually. Beat until light yellow and fluffy. Add dry ingredients and vanilla. Chill 1 hour. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on sheet and flatten with fork. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Easy as Pie...but not!

As I mentioned last night, we had friends over for dinner and I made tilapia. Although I don't have pictures of them, I'm going to give the recipe for the potatoes we had as well. The recipe is from In Good Company, a cookbook from the junior league of Lynchburg. Tilapia is one of my favorite fish and it is so easy that ANYONE can do it! So, here goes!

Mustard Roasted Potatoes
6 medium sized red potatoes, cut into chunks
1/3 cup spicy mustard (I used yellow because that's all I had)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T olive oil (I used less)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (I used parsley and oregano b/c I didn't have Italian seasoning)
Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine mustard, olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning in a bowl and mix well. Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Add the mustard mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and shake the bowl gently to evenly coat the potatoes with the mustard mixture (I just stirred it!). Arrange the potatoes in an even layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes (mine took about 40) or until the potatoes are tender. Put in a serving dish and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Fresh tilapia filets (you could probably do with frozen as well, just thaw)
desired seasonings: I use garlic powder, Tony's or Natures seasoning, and Parsley

Preheat the oven to 425. Season both sides of the fish with the seasonings. Spray a broiling pan or glass dish and place the fish on the pan. Bake for 12 minutes (this is the perfect time!). Remove and sprinkle with fresh parmesan if desired. Enjoy!

*This last time I tried to do a breaded form with fresh bread crumbs, parsley, and Parmesan. I don't think I really liked it that much. I'll probably stick to the original form from now on! If tomatoes are in season, they are really good spread over the fish before baking but canned tomatoes don't work.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dinner with Friends

Just a quick update in later posts. We had friends over tonight for dinner. It was M's birthday a couple of weeks ago, but I was visiting my parents. So, J and M came over tonight. I made baked tilapia, probably my favorite, with a new roasted potato recipe, fresh baked bread, and squash. It was a really nice meal. Then roomie made a chocolate oreo pudding dessert. We had a nice visit and break from studying. If you had been a fly on the wall you would probably wonder how some of our conversations started! Anyway, I'll be back tomorrow with a recipe and pictures. For now, I'm going to bed! Tomorrow I have class and a meeting with my preceptor so that I can start learning how to be a doctor! :-)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mexican Baked Fritatta

One of my favorite summer meals is a garden fritatta. It has summer squash, zucchini, onions, and tomato baked in eggs with some mozzarella cheese and feta. It is YUMMY! However, right now, squashed as quite expensive, but I was in the mood for fritatta. Since my diet has consisted of soup and grits over the weekend due to a lovely, appetite suppressing cold, I figues I should come up with something that would fit the bill! I did have single TINY zucchini to use but needed more veggies to add. Open the freezer door and, tada, I see a bag of Mexican veggies. I wouldn't use this particular mix just to eat, so it was the perfect thing to use for the fritatta.

I wanted to use the right seasonings to make it Mexican. My original recipe uses more Italian type seasonings. So, I decided to use some cumin and red pepper. However, I wasn't sure of amounts and think that I could use more of both next time. Needless to say, it was still good. I would also use more salsa than I did. Because of all the wonderful veggies in this dish, it is my addition to Sweetnicks ARF Five-A-Day Tuesday. Check out her blog Tuesday for the other wonderful entries!

Baked Mexican Fritatta
1 small zucchini
1 bag Mexican style veggie Mine contained corn, red pepper, broccoli, and cauliflower. I still have some corn left over but used all of the broccoli and cauliflower.
4 eggs I actually used 3 eggs and 3 T egg substitute (trying to use it up)
1 cup milk
1 clove garlic, minced
onion flakes, sprinkle
red pepper, oregano, cumin, Nature's Seasoning "to taste" Sorry I don't have measurements, I just put some in until it "looked right!" Trust your cooking instinct!
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese or marbled cheese I didn't use this much cheese, probably more like 1/2 - 2/3 cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook veggies in a microwave safe container, covered but not sealed, for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Drain veggies. Whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, onion flakes, and seasonings. In a pie pan sprayed with cooking spray, put cooked veggies. Sprinkle with cheese (reserve a little for the top). Top with salsa. Pour egg mixture over this. Sprinkle with reserved cheese for a little color. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Friday, November 03, 2006

"Cup"cake Walk

My church has a Harvest Carnival every year on halloween. This year, they asked people to make cookies, brownies, or cupcakes for the cake walk. Well, I have been really wanting to make cupcakes but didn't know what to do with them, so this was the perfect opportunity to satisfy my craving. I don't know that I've ever made homemade cupcakes and wanted to do that, not that any kid would really care! So, I went in search of a non-chocolate cupcake. I decided that I probably shouldn't do anything with peanuts in it because of allergies. Pretty soon I found the perfect simple recipe from Sara Moulton on the Food Network site. I decided not to do the homemade icing, opting for a simple vanilla from the store topped with a couple of caramel-chocolate swirl chips. This cupcake has a nice vanilla taste (I made mini cupcake to taste) but I'm not sure of the true texture. They looked good to me! If you want to use the icing originally with the cupcakes, click on the link to Sara Moulton. It's buttercream type icing.

Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing: Vanilla Buttercream, recipe follows (I used store bought)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.
In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Yield: enough for 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 (9-inch) layer cake

If you would like to make a layer cake instead of cupcakes, divide the batter between 2 (9-inch) round cake pans and bake the layers for 30 to 40 minutes.

9 Weird Things meme

I have been tagged for a meme by Gail at Hambones. I'm doing this during a recipe post will come later today! Okay, the meme is 9 weird things about me. Here goes...

1. The middle toe on my right food is smaller than all the looks like it only has one joint. Okay, looks weirder than it sounds!

2. I (like Gail) like soggy cereal.
3. I'm from the south but HATE sweet tea!
4. I DESPISE stink bugs but they seem to like me...I've been ATTACKED while picking blueberries!
5. I'm a Cubs fan...if you know baseball, you know that's wierd...especially since I don't live in Chicago!
6. When I was little, I liked to mush up cake and mix it together with the ice cream. Mama told me it was gross and tried to stop me...I usually figured out a way to do it anyway.
7. I think that almond extract is gross but love almonds.
8. I can't snap my fingers or whistle. Well, I can whistle one note but that's all!
9. Raw pork (especially loin cut) grosses me out, yet I'm going to be a doctor! Beleive it or not, doctors do get grossed out, they just learn to hide it well.

I tag Erika, VeuveClicquot, and Peabody. If anyone else wants to participate, feel free! If I tagged you and you can't or don't want to do this, no pressure! Also, feel free to make it as "foodie" or not as you want.