Seafood Boil

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2 small lemons, quartered

2 boxes crab boil

a few tbs of old bay seasoning, optional

6 quarts of water

2 cups chicken broth

2 medium onions, quartered

1 stick of butter

salt and pepper

garlic and creole seasoning

1 tbs minced garlic

Boil for about 10 minutes until all the seasonings are smelling strong. Then add 2 lbs of tiny red potatoes. (I leave them whole) then add a pack of frozen corn on the cob (they come in half pieces, I use 8 of the halves) and boil for 5 minutes. Then add your seafood. What ever you like really. Here in California I use Mussels and Shrimp. Back in Alabama we use crawfish and shrimp. Either way, I always use shrimp, leave the skins on but make sure there are no heads. When you add your seafood to the pot, it boils for maybe 5-10 more minutes and its done. (check the potatoes) If you use mussels, when they are opened, they are done. (Note: do not eat the ones tat do not open) When the shrimp is pink, it is done. At this point I turn it off and put the lid on and let it sit for about 5 more minutes. Then serve in a large bowl! Also, what I like to do is melt some butter, sprinkle some garlic salt in it and place the boiled red potatoes in it and toss around before serving. The potatoes don’t absorb the flavor as much as the seafood does. Sometimes we like to cook the mussels on the side in a white wine cream sauce to give them more flavor as well. Just some extra ideas. =)

NOTE on the picture: As you can tell in my pic, I over boiled my potatoes. Therefore they ended up all over everything. Yes, try not to do this LOL. I adjusted the times in the recipe so you should not have this issues.

Biscuits and Gravy Casserole

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1 lb sausage, cooked and drained

1 package of Pioneer Brand peppered sausage gravy

2 cups cheddar cheese

6 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 (8oz) can of biscuits (Pillsbury Grands)

Dash of salt, pepper and garlic

Preheat the oven to 350*

Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray. Cut the biscuits into bite sizes and place in pan. Scatter the cooked sausage over the biscuits. Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese on top. Whisk the eggs, milk and seasoning. Pour it over the cheese. Make the gravy (follow the directions on the back) and pour on top of the egg mixture. Top with remaining cheese and bake 30-45 minutes. If the biscuits start getting too brown before the eggs are ready, cover the top with foil. Let sit a good 10 minutes when it comes out of the oven so the eggs harden up and don’t end up runny.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 
2 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

Combine in a bowl and set aside.

Then cream together:

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup softened butter

1 tsp vanilla

Beat on medium speed until combined then add:

2 eggs

Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar mix. Stir with a wooden spoon. Do not over mix or the cookies will not rise. Then add 14 oz of chocolate chips. I use a combination of half milk chocolate and half semi sweet chocolate. Fold them into the batter.  Drop spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake at 375° for about 8 minutes. This recipe makes about 3 dozen medium sized cookies. These cookies are soft and yummy! My husbands favorite cookie! 🙂

Chicken and Corn Casserole

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2 lbs chicken breast, diced and cooked

1 can whole corn, drained

1 can cream of chicken

1 box of yellow rice, cooked

1 stick of butter, melted

1/4 fresh mushrooms, diced and sauteed, optional

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

1.5 cups cheddar cheese

Mix together all ingredients Except 1/2 cup of cheese and place in a casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.

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Peanut Butter Pie

  

Any pie crust you want

(I like the graham cracker crust or the oreo crust)

The Pie Filling

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 (8oz) cream cheese, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs butter, softened

8 oz heavy whipping cream and beat it until its fluffy.

Beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and PB until smooth. Add the sugar and mix well. Fold in the fluffy whipped cream until all smooth and then pour in the pie crust. Chill for an hour or so.

I like to top mine with a 2-3 crushed Oreos!! Yum! 

Pumpkin Spice Cake

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This recipe could be considered a semi-homemade recipe and I say this because I used a box spice cake. My reason was mostly because it was faster and also because our local grocery store was out of pumpkin pie spice. Also, using the box cake is cheaper than collecting the ingredients for an original pumpkin spice cake. Nevertheless, it is amazing and a huge hit in our family! Super moist, great flavor and just all around tasty!

For the Cake

1 box Betty Crocker spice cake

2/3 cup white sugar

4 whole eggs

1/3 cup veggie oil

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup sour cream

1 (15oz) can of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

For the Frosting

2 (8oz) cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup butter, also room temperature

5 cups confectioners powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

I used two 9 inch cake pans for our cake. You may use smaller ones if you want, or how ever many layer you want. Preheat your oven to 350* and spray your cake pans with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, beat all of the cake ingredients together.

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You can use a mixer, I didn’t. Divide the batter in the pans and bake it for 25-30 minutes.

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Use a tooth pick to make sure it is done in the middle. Let it set on the counter for about 10 minutes before you try to remove it. If you can, place it on a cooling rack. If you don’t have one, do like me and just flip it out onto a platter and let it set for 30 minutes to cool.

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While the cake is cooling make your frosting. Mix the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until mixed well. Add the vanilla. Then slowly add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Until all combined. Continue beating it until you reach the consistency you want.

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When the cake is cool, place one layer (top down) on a plate or platter, add frosting to the top, then add your other layer (top up). Then spread the frosting on the top and sides. I like to sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.

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Store the cake in a closed container in the frig so the frosting and pumpkin does not spoil. Don’t worry, it still remains moist!

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Semi Homemade Pizza

 
Semi-homemade Pizza
You wanna know my secret to a perfect pizza every time!? I’ll tell you. I use a simple FROZEN pizza. Yes I said frozen. I prefer the extra thin crust or the flat bread pizzas. Only the white sauce ones. I make sure there are only a few toppings. Just cheese works or even the chicken one like pictured below!

 

This works as a good base for the pizza. (Hince the name: semi homemade) Now this is what you do. Place that frozen pizza on a cookie sheet. I cut up some mushrooms, red onions and jalapeño. Then I sautéed them in butter and Worcestershire sauce until the onions start getting soft.
Next I cut up some left over chicken tenders we had. Or you can use pepperoni, sausage, left over steak, ribs, pork… You name it, you can use it!! Oh yeah, olives, bell peppers and tomatoes are a must, I just didn’t have them tonight. And of course you can’t go wrong with BACON!

I put the veggie toppings on the frozen pizza, then the meat, topped with a three cheese shredded cheese. And pop that baby in the oven according to the pizza box.
I swear you can’t go wrong. Some people like to make homemade pizza crust, being a mom and wife, I don’t always have time. So this is what I came up with one night and everyone fell in love. I like that the sauce and crust is already there and I can add pretty much whatever toppings I want. You just gotta make sure the frozen pizza is simple already and not packed with a bunch of toppings.

Simple. Quick. Perfect!

Enjoy!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

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Better picture coming soon!

2 lbs chicken

1 box of elbow noodles, or any kind you want

6 slices of cooked bacon, chopped

3 tsp minced garlic

2 tbs flour

1 cup milk

3/4 ranch dressing

4 tbs butter, melted

2 cups mexican blend cheese, sometimes I use monterey jack instead

1 small can green chilis

Dice up the chicken and cook in a pan until done and no liquid is left. Make sure you season the chicken while cooking! Cook your noodles as it says on the box. Add the flour to your chicken and add the butter and garlic. Cook for about 1-2 minutes on medium while mixing it all together. (the flour will stick to the chicken) Pour in the milk and ranch. Mix well over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes until it thickens a bit. Then add in 1 cup of the cheese. Mix it all together and fold in the noodles and the chilis. You can use less than a whole can if you don’t want spicy. Dump it all in a large casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and cook for 15 minutes at 350* or until the cheese is all melted on top! Goes great with fresh crisp green beans! OH… sprinkle with even more bacon if you dare!