Let the season begin! I love these next few weeks. Decorations, lights, shopping, cooking, baking and counting the hours until every single one of my punks are home for Christmas day!! You may hear this a lot over the next few weeks. I haven’t had all of my punks home at the same time for 2 years. I said 2 YEARS!!!! I am counting the hours until I have them all under one roof. Good times are in my future for sure. I am sharing a side dish with you that my family really enjoys. We enjoy all things fresh and smothered in cheese. My punks definitely inherited my love of cheese. It is topped with panko crumbs to give it that special crunch. Try it before the holidays and then be sure to add it to your menu. You will love it!! Continue reading Broccoli and Cauliflower au gratin
Does your Thanksgiving dessert table need spicing up this year? Well this is the little cake that will do the job. This is a chocolate, pecan, spice loaf cake with cream cheese icing. Yes, you read that right. For such a little cake, it packs all things good and wonderful about the Thanksgiving season. This cake comes together really fast as it uses a cake mix for its base. I am one of those people who tends to go overboard on desserts when we get together, which is rare, so it is a treat when there is a cake that comes together quickly. You can adjust the pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg to your taste preferences. You may be feeling like spicy Sally, or just feeling a tad spicy. Me, I am pretty spicy…ask Sir Streusel. Now let’s discuss Cream Cheese Frosting. I don’t need to put this frosting on anything. Just hand me a spoon, then back away. Some of the frosting may actually find its way to the cake! So, to sum up this cake, start with a cake mix. Add chocolate, spices and top it with yummy cream cheese frosting and you have yourself a delicious little spice cake to be thankful for!
- 1 white cake mix
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces, finely ground
- 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter at room temperature
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour a bread loaf pan.
- On low speed, beat cake mix, 1 cup water, egg whites, oil and cocoa until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat for two minutes.
- Sit in ground pecans, pecan pie spice, and nutmeg.
- Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan. Place on middle rack in oven for 22-25 minutes.
- Place on wire rack to cool.
- On medium, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
- On low, gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, then milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
- Ice cake after cake has completely cooled.
A couple of days ago, I was making a grocery list and preparing to go to the grocery store. As I was making my list, Sir Streusel said, and I quote, “Are you going to bake me something sweet? If not, just buy me a bag a cookies.” After I counted to ten and did a few deep breaths, my reply was, “Of course I am going to bake you something this weekend. I already have all the ingredients. I will start as soon as I get home. You poor, pitiful baby. Your wife and Edna would never think of serving you a bag of cookies. Now come here and let me rub your back and make you feel special.” Nah, that was not my response. After a BIG eyeroll, my response went like this, “Don’t I always? I am going to start on it as soon as I get back from the store. Ok? Ok.” Seriously, I always bake him a goody on the weekend. He works so hard during the week he deserves a treat. Not to mention he has the same size waist as he did when we were first married. I guess he was panicking that he wasn’t going to get his baked goody on that weekend. He loves Pecan Pie. I love chocolate, no secret there. I merged the two and made heaven. This would be a great Thanksgiving pie to have on the table. The chocolate just gives it a little extra bit of gooey decadence…that can never be a bad thing! Continue reading Pecan Pie…with Chocolate
Well, it’s that time when we are all getting our menus together for the Thanksgiving feasts that we will be gorging on very soon. I will have one punk home with Sir Streusel and me. I will take what I can get when it comes to spending time with my punks. I am going to love on him so much that he may sneak out during the night and head back to Raleigh to get away from his “Smother Mother.” Then again he may stay a tad longer after being waited on hand and foot. It’s a good life for the punks when they come home to their Mama and Edna. I wanted to share a veggie dish that is perfect for Thanksgiving, Creamed Corn. I have a freezer full of fresh corn thanks to a cousin that has a huge garden next door to my Daddy and sweet Mama in Mississippi. Daddy picked it for me, Sir Streusel shucked and froze it for me. I must say, it’s a good life for me with my Daddy and Sir Streusel. This dish can also use frozen corn, no worries. Of course I had to sprinkle a little, who am I kidding…a lot of parmesan cheese on top. Life is just better with cheese. Don’t even attempt to tell me different. We can’t be friends if you don’t believe in the power of cheese! When you are making out your grocery list for the big day, add these ingredients. Whatever you do, don’t leave the cheese off the list….I want us to stay friends forever! Continue reading Creamed Corn
Don’t you love one pan dinners? Just put everything on a sheet pan, shove it in the oven, pull it out a little later and….dinner! I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t like roasted chicken. I had some chicken thighs in the freezer and potatoes in the pantry. It was pretty obvious what I was going to put in front of Sir Streusel for dinner. I whisked up some dressing to toss the chicken and potatoes with to make it even more spectacular. Threw some rosemary, my favorite herb, on the pan and shoved that baby in the oven. 40 minutes later, Sir Streusel was grunting and licking his fingers. WIN!! Join me in the love of sheet pan dinners and we all WIN! Continue reading Roasted Chicken Thighs and Potatoes
I was missing my Paige, my ballerina baby, her husband Joseph, and my sweet Mama and Daddy. I was missing them badly. I needed to see them, needed to hug them, needed to talk to them, and needed to laugh with them. So, Sir Streusel and I made a very quick to Mississippi to fulfill my need. I am a Mississippi girl through and through. There is nothing better than going home to my sweet Mama and Daddy’s house. I walk in and instantly feel all is right in my life. I also feel like the baby of the family again. Mama and Daddy have cooked for us for years when we have visited. Now, I take the meals for us to eat as well as meals for their freezer. This trip was so last minute that sweet Mama and Daddy cooked a meal for us. What a treat for me!! I normally do the cooking wherever we go, so, to have a meal cooked for me……heaven!!
We told Sweet Mama and Daddy goodbye with lots of hugs and kisses. I just miss them so much. I love them. Sir Streusel and I headed up the highway to Jackson, Mississippi to visit with our baby girl and her husband. We met them at a Barbeque restaurant for dinner.
We told them bye, it wasn’t easy. I didn’t like it one bit. I may have cried a little. When we arrived back at our home, I did feel much better. It is amazing what a little family time will do for the soul. I wish my punks lived near us, but they don’t. I don’t think I will ever get use to not having them near. I miss them, I love them.
A note to my punks: Come home when you can. I know all three of you are so busy. I remember those days well. But remember you have a Mama in Pensacola that misses you greatly. She even cries sometimes because she misses you so badly. I have no shame. I hope this made you feel so guilty that all of you are jumping in your cars and on airplanes coming to see me right now….I wish! I will cook your favorite meals and wait on you hand and foot. Just come home to Mama.
I love ya punks!!!
When it comes to desserts, this gal prefers chocolate. Chocolate makes me do cartwheels. Sir Streusel prefers fruit desserts. He gets happy when he comes home and Edna has prepared a cobbler or fruit pie for him. Now don’t hear me wrong about this, I love cobblers and pies. It would just make me do a football field length of cartwheels if I could drizzle chocolate on top of them….just sayin’. This has to be the easiest peach cobbler ever. I mean, it’s like, ya know, what I’m tryin’ to say is, uhm, well, how do I say this….it is so dang easy it’s embarrassing. Seriously, it’s the truth. The best part of cobblers is that we normally smother them in ice cream. So that makes this dish a ‘toofer’, you know, a ‘two for one’. Two desserts for one dish. I like ‘toofers’. In my mind I am eating a bowl of peach cobbler. In reality, I am eating a bowl of peach cobbler smothered in vanilla ice cream. So get your ice cream ready to enjoy the easiest cobbler ever.
This is hands down one of Sir Streusel’s favorite meals. The star of the dish is steak…red meat…beef…caveman food…his love. I don’t eat red meat so anytime I cook it for him, I can literally hear him ‘grunting’. I can also hear him saying between grunts, “Thank you, thank you, this is so good, I can’t get enough of it, what did you bake for dessert?” The steak is cooked in garlic, onion, wine and worcestershire sauce and then surrounded by peppers while it finishes baking. Sir Streusel tells me the flavor and tenderness is to die for, well, maybe to ‘grunt’ for. Let’s don’t die over this dish ok? I couldn’t take it!! The recipe is from Martha Foose. She is the ultimate guru of Southern cooking. She did all the cooking for the movie “The Help”. If you saw the movie, you will remember the food. That movie had me craving fried chicken for days. Prepare this dish and get it on your table. You are sure to hear some grunts. Trust me, that is a good thing.
Enjoy!! Continue reading Pepper Steak
It’s November! It’s fall! One day it is going to cool off in Florida and we will feel like fall! In kitchens everywhere, fall is the season to celebrate pumpkin. I am the first to run to Starbucks for ‘Pumpkin Spice’ coffee the day is appears on the fall menu.
What would fall be without a hot loaf of pumpkin bread? I don’t even want to imagine a world without pumpkin bread, or chocolate, or bacon, or heaven forbid….cheese. I don’t even want to go there, that’s a sad world. This is a great little recipe to share with neighbors. I have a wonderful neighbor that helps me all the time with little things around the house when Sir Streusel is out of town. He and his wife are often paid with goodies from Edna. A loaf of this bread is surely going to make its way to their home, because it’s pumpkin….and it’s delicious!!
Enjoy!! Continue reading Pumpkin Bread
My favorite way to eat vegetables is to roast them. I love the little bit of crispness that comes for tossing them in olive oil, seasoning them to taste, and letting Edna bring them to perfection. This could easily be a side or a main dish. My challenge is not eating all the veggies right off the baking sheet when Edna is done roasting. I love this cookbook. The author is Pam Anderson. No, not THAT Pam Anderson. Not the slow jog in a thigh high cut red bathing suit Pam Anderson. This Pam Anderson is a wonderful cook and author. This particular cookbook gives so many options to make dishes your own. You know, like you hear on “American Idol”? How many times have you heard the judges say, “Make the song your own”??? Well, Pam gives you options for everything to tailor your meals to your taste. Try this galette. It won’t disappoint. It might even make you want to put on a thigh high red bathing suit and run a slow jog on the beach. Yea, right.
Enjoy!!!! Continue reading Roasted Veggie Galette