Sunday, January 30, 2011

I've got a new attitude

That is putting it MILDLY. As most of you know, I was in a near fatal car wreck exactly 1 week ago today. I remember everything about it. I swerved to miss a car that darted out in front of me at the very last second and I ended up rolling my car 3 or 4 times (4 according to the state patrol). NO SEATBELT. I am religous about my seatbelt, but not that day. I ended up laying across the thrid row seats, in the back, my feet hanging out of what used to be the back hatch window. It's a miracle that I am alive for sure, and to boot I have not one broken or cracked bone in my body. Simply God's grace.

Needless to say, I am sore. I won't be able to cut hair much for now, so I have decided to start baking. REAL baking. Cakes and cupcakes to be exact. I've talked my Granny Hicks into passing down her "secret recipes" to me and I am excited! She's been cooking her special cakes for close to 40 years or so and now I am going to keep it going. I'm going to start out pretty simple, just making the basic 10 for now. I may get into specialty cakes later, but for now I'm sticking to the standbys. These are the favorites I will make, either in Cake form ( 2 layer and 3 layer both round) or in Cupcake form (half dozen or dozen,  or a two dozen variety)




-Red Velvet

-Italian Cream

-Butterfinger Poundcake

-Fresh Apple

-German Chocolate


-Classic Yellow (Icing flavors vary)

Everything about them is homemade, down to the butter. My Granny still churns her own butter, and so will I. I will be starting out slow, but hope to grow little by little. I will post pictures of them as I make them. Email me if you have any questions or orders. I can take credit cards through Paypal also. Pray for me girls, I'm gonna be up to my knees in kids and Crisco here!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients needed:

3-5 russet potatoes, depending on size, peeled and cubed (or you can used the canned potatoes instead)
1 cup of baby carrots, chopped
1/2 white onion, diced

1 can italian style green beans ( or can of sweet peas if prefered)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 cup all purpose flour
1 package chicken breasts
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup half and half or milk
1 prepared Pie Crust, or Perfect Pie Crust from scratch
1-2 cups of reserved chicken broth from cooking chicken, depending on thickness desired
Garlic salt
Dried Basil
salt and pepper to taste

Pre heat your oven to 400.
In a large pot, add potatoes, carrots and onion to a boil, reduce heat to low. Boil for approx. 10 minutes.
Have your dough option prepared and ready, laid to the side. While the veges are cooking, In a shallow cassarole dish or baking dish, place the chicken breast side by side. Cover each breast with garlic salt, dried basil, salt and pepper.
Fill the dish with water, just covering the chicken.
Cover with tin foil and bake at 400 for 25-35 min depending on the thickness of the chicken. Remove from oven and take off the tin foil, letting it cool. Remove chicken from water,KEEPING it to use later. It is amazing in the pot pie!
Rinse of any remaining spices from the chicken, and cube or pull the chicken apart.

While the chicken is cooking,
drain your veges. Melt your butter in the same pot and then add the flour. Stir well, then add the cooked veges back to the pot, add your mushrooms and green beans or peas. Stir well. Add your milk, chicken broth AND the broth from the cooked chicken to the pot with spices included. simmer on low until the chicken is finished.

Combine veges with Chicken and pour into a cassarole dish or deep pie plate. Cover with your pies crust, crimping the edges. Also, puncture the crust with a toothpick randomly so that the hot air can escape. Reduce the heat of your oven to 350 and place in the oven (with a cookie sheet on the rack below to catch spilage) for 20-25 minutes.
This is honestly the best pot pie I've every made, even the kids ate seconds! Enjoy :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winner Week 1

Since I have only a few votes to count this week, I'm going to post both recipes! Chicken Pot Pie and Corbin's Cajun Pasta. I will post them separately so it will be easier to access. Please be sure to tell me how it all turns out!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Recipes week 1

Chicken Pot Pie * Bananas Foster French Toast * Corbin's Cajun Pasta * Old Fashioned Cornbread Ok y'all, post your votes in my comments and the recipe with the most votes will be posted on monday morning!
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Caramel Apple Mini Tarts with Cream Cheese

Honestly, I went into this one blind. It was day five of being snowed in, literally, with very little left in the house to cook and three kids to feed. I noticed the apples on the kitchen counter and thought "boy, a caramel apple sure would be good right now..." and from there a tart was born. Get it? A TART was born instead of a STAR? . . . Moving on, I had left over dough from my Perfect Pie Crust that I had whipped up to make a fresh Chicken Pot Pie the night before. And I have to brag a little here, my kids ate every bite and even my non-chicken eating man ate a second helping. Maybe he know how hard I worked on it and didn't want to hurt my feelings, but I don't care! It was dang good. Now, what you've been waiting for!

1st rule in cooking: Before you start, make sure that you have all of the ingredients needed and read through the enitire recipe. Sounds simple, but even I've messed this one up.


2 or 3 apples, sliced thin and NOT peeled
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1/8 cup white sugar
smidge of cinnamon (whatever you prefer)
1/4 block of cream cheese, cut into small cubes (2 each tart)

1 Pie Crust, either frozen kind thawed out as directed,
or make your own Perfect Pie Crust (my favorite one)

1 12 cup muffin tin, sprayed with Pam cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry your apples, core them, and slice into thin slices. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat (I use 6 on my stove dial). Once all the butter is melted, add your apples and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium low (Dial # 4), and simmer for2-3 minutes. Add in your brown sugar and Karo syrup, stirring to coat. Reduce heat again to low (Dial #2). Let simmer, uncovered, while you prepare you dough.

Depending on which dough you choose to use, follow the directions accordingly and prepare your dough for cutting.

Use a large glass or biscuit cutter like I've used here to make your crusts. It should make between 8 and 12, which is enough to fill a muffin tin.

Place your dough discs down into the coated muffin tins, just so they fit into the cups. You dont have to mash them, just let them rest like a basket. Remove the apples from the heat and add your cinnamon, stirring well. Carefully (because it's hot!) scoop your apples into the cups. Once the cups are full, distribute the caramel sauce over each tart equally.

Sprinkle with a splash of white sugar on top of each tart, this will make them shiny and a little crunchy (so good!)
Bake for 10 minutes and then REDUCE the heat to 325 degrees. Cook for another 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately place 1 or 2 cream cheese squares on top of each tart. Cool for 5 minutes and then with a fork, scoop out each tart. 

So what do you think? Using this scale of toast, what do you give this recipe?
 Toast o' the Town ~ Toast worthy ~ Edible ~ Too Toasty ~ Burnt Toast
Post your vote in my comment section and let me know what you think!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Southern Measurements 101

Everybody settle into your seats, class is about to begin...Oh I'm just kidding! The purpose of this list is really to cover my tail and hopefully eliminate your frustrations. Hope it doesn't make it worse! What isn't listed here will be specifically added as a precise measurement, but don't get your feathers ruffled if you have to stretch a bit to make something work. Remember, these are estimates, and in my kitchen cooking is not an exact science. Let's begin:

a pinch or splash (herbs, salts, dry items)= 1/4 teaspoon
a smidge = 1 teaspoon
a dollop or pat (butter, sour cream, etc.) = 1 tablespoon
a splash (milk, water, liquids) = 1/8 cup
a dose = 1/4 cup
a big dose = 1/2 cup
eyeball amount = til it looks right :)

Now, that wasn't so bad right? I will add things here and there as I go, so check back here as much as you need to. Email me if you have questions!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Let the cooking begin!

I made it! Well, I'm going to give it good try at least. With inspiration and encouragement from a few friends like Tara, Kimberly, Annie, Carrie, and Lindsey *(this is not ALL of you, but they have blogs too and I wanted to show off their pages) I am venturing out into the blog world to talk about.....drum roll please.....FOOD. Glorious food! I want to hopefully encourage my blog buddies to try things you've never tasted before, prepare old "stand bys" in a way you never dreamed before, and maybe just maybe find something between us that will work it's way into your routine cooking habits. 

My plan here is simple-I will post pictures of our meal choices with my crazy little spin on them throughout the week. On Friday, I'm going to let YOU pick the recipe winner aka the "Toast o' the Town". I will then post the winning recipe for all to try and hopefully enjoy. If your recipe doesn't win, keep voting for it! I will pick a new one each week, maybe two if I can get all the kids to bed early! If you have any recipes you want to share, bring 'em on!

First things first though, I'm going to make a post designated wholly to measurements. Why you ask? Well, if you read my profile, you already know why. I am a southern girl, born and raised in Hollywood....Georgia that is, and southern is as southern does my friend. I will convert my estimates as closely as I can for you super-measure rs out there. There will always be a link in the Archive section so you can refer back to it whenever necessary. You may just want to print it.

Oh! Almost forgot, I've already promised the first recipe out to a few gal pals of mine. It's Caramel Apple Mini Tarts with Cream Cheese. Hence the enormous Mini Tart up above...

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