Monthly Archives: January 2013

Just a word…

I would like to offer an apology to all my readers.  I have known that occassionally ads pop up on my blog posts, but as I don’t normally read my own blog, I don’t ever see the ads.  However, it has been brought to my attention that some of the ads are rather…unsavory, shall we say.  I am very sorry if anyone has been offended (or disgusted, as the word might be) by these ads.

I have looked into having an “ad-less” blog, but it costs money that Nicholas and I don’t really have right now.  I do not get paid for any of the ads, nor do I endorse anything they are advertising.  The ads are put up by WordPress, not me, and apart for paying WordPress money for this blog, I cannot make them go away.

I sincerely apologize, and I will try to go through and edit the vocabulary of some of posts that are attracting these particular ads.

Thank you for being such loyal readers.  God bless you!

-Crystal

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Chocolate Gravy

chocolate gravy

Oh, warm biscuits and chocolate gravy…..If you haven’t had it, you haven’t lived.  I’m sorry; it’s just the plain truth.  Growing up, I had chocolate gravy on occassion from my mom and my step-mom.  Personally, I always liked my mom’s recipe better (not that your’s isn’t good, Deanie), but that’s a moot point because I don’t know either of their recipes, which means I’ve been chocolate gravy deprived for several sad years (because as previously discussed, life without chocolate gravy now and then just isn’t really living).  [You do know I’m exaggerating, right?  But only by a hair.] Anyway, back to my lack of a recipe….Fast forward to my discovery of Pinterest.  Thanks to this rather incredible site (Seriously, it’s almost like having a pictorial index for the internet!), I now have a delicious recipe for this decadent breakfast sauce.  You can find the original recipe here:  http://varmintbites.com/2007/10/21/chocolate-gravy-yes-chocolate-gravy/.  I, however, didn’t use the actual recipe from the site.  Some previous pinner had quoted the ingredients on the comment line of the pin on Pinterest, and I wrote that down and went from there on my own, which may make a tad bit of difference in the outcome of the gravy.  Whether it did or not, doesn’t really matter, though, because I thought this gravy was wonderful!

Now, I guess you can put chocolate gravy on lots of stuff, but nothing beats warm biscuits fresh from the oven.  Several in my family add a dollop of butter on top of the gravy, which is generously covering the palm-size biscuits, and it’s always washed down with a tall glass of cold milk!  Mmmmm!  My dad would say something along the lines of “That’ll make your tongue slap your teeth out of your mouth trying to get to it!”  By the way, if you need a good biscuit recipe, I can personally vouch for this one:  https://crystalpoe.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/biscuits/.  😉

That’s enough tantalizing.  Here’s the recipe!

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Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over high to medium heat.
  2. While you wait, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, and sugar in a small mixing bowl until well combined.
  3. Add milk and vanilla to melted butter.  Whisk well.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients, whisking constantly as you pour it in.
  5. Continue to whisk the gravy until it thickens.  This will only take a minute or two.
  6. Remove from heat immediately, and serve warm!

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Baked And Boiled Potatoes

twice cooked taters

Now here’s a fun little side that could be a good addition to your Super Bowl Party menu.  I found this idea on Pinterest as well.  It’s really simple and really versatile.  Not to mention, it makes a nice presentation.  I use roasting size potatoes, which worked, but it would probably be even better if you used tiny potatoes (fingerlings).  That’s just my thought.  There’s not really a site (that I know of) with an exact recipe for these, but they’re so easy, they really don’t need a recipe.

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  1. Wash and boil potatoes whole.  (Just make as many as needed.)
  2. Once the potatoes are soft, remove from water and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Using a spoon or spatula, squish the potato.
  4. Season as you see fit.  (I put a dollop of butter on each potato, and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley flakes.)
  5. Cook until tips and edges are crispy in a 350-degree oven.
  6. Serve!

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Seasoning Suggestions:

  • drizzle on your favorite cooking oil
  • chopped green onion (the green part)
  • bacon bits
  • chives
  • sour cream (added after baking)
  • shredded cheese (added after baking)

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Italian Dressing Pork Chops

Italian dressing roasted pork chops

As you have probably already guessed, I am a bit of a fan of Pinterest, and it is thanks to this unique site that I got to try this particular recipe.  There isn’t really an actual web address to go to for the original recipe, but I can tell you it uses chicken and is baked, rather than slow cooked in a crock pot.  Either way, this is incredibly simple and  tasty.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 breakfast pork chops (2 regular chops)
  • 1 can green beans, drained
  • 5-6 fingerling potatoes
  • 1/2 packet dry Italian dressing
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Place green beans, chops, and potatoes in a crock pot, side-by-side.
  2. Sprinkle Italian dressing over all ingredients.
  3. Pour melted butter over all ingredients.
  4. Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 4-6 hours.

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To bake this in the oven, place the ingredients side-by-side in a 9×13 baking dish.  Sprinkle on dressing; pour on butter; cover with foil, and bake at 350-degrees for one hour.  You can also try it with chicken.  The orginal pinner suggested 4-6 chicken breasts with 2 cans of green beans, 10-12 potatoes, a whole packet of dressing, and a whole stick of butter.

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Other suggestions:

  • Swap out the green beans for broccoli or carrots or make a vegetable mixture.
  • Use new potatoes, rather than fingerlings.
  • Use small, eye-of-round steaks (or some other lean meat) rather than pork chops or chicken.
  • Also, try fresh vegetables rather than canned.

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Taco Bake

taco bake

While scoping out Pinterest recently, I ran across this little taco recipe.  As you know, My Honey is a little particular about his food, but when I read this recipe, I figured he would be just fine with it, which he was.  It’s a very simple, meat, cheese, and tortilla shell recipe; it’s like a taco in lasagna form.  You can find the orginal recipe here:  http://www.thecountrycook.net/2012/05/taco-bake.html.

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Brown and crumble ground beef.
  2. Drain excess grease.
  3. Add taco seasoning and water.  Mix to coat all the beef with seasoning, and allow water to boil off, stirring occassionally.
  4. Turn off heat, and add in salsa con queso.
  5. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Spray 8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, or coat lightly with oil.
  8. Layer the bottom of the pan with a flour tortilla.
  9. Spread about 1/3 of taco meat on top of tortilla.
  10. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the cheese on top of meat.
  11. Continue until you are done with all the layers:  tortilla, meat, cheese, tortilla, meat, cheese.
  12. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the edges are slightly browned.
  13. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
  14. Slice and serve.

Topping and/or side ideas:

  • sour cream
  • diced tomatoes
  • chopped lettuce
  • your favorite salad dressing
  • guacamole
  • black olives
  • refried beans
  • Mexican rice

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Pecan Refrigerator Cookies

pecan refrigerator cookies

Here’s more Christmas cooking!  I found the recipe for these cookies on the back of a Kroger flour bag.  It actually called for using walnuts, but all I had was pecans.  I made them for church and for gifts.  Sadly, I burned the second batch, so some people missed out on cookies for gifts; they got candy instead.  However, these little cookies do taste good, but I would recommend finely chopping the pecans in a food chopper.  I left them in large peices, which worked, but it would have been better if they had been smaller.  Also, watch them closely when you cook them because they burn quickly in a hot oven.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Thoroughly cream butter, both sugars and vanilla together.
  3. Next, add egg and beat until fluffy.
  4. Then, stir in remaining dry ingredients and milk.
  5. Finally, add nuts and mix well.  (The dough will be crumbly.  Just use your hands to pack it together.)
  6. Shape into two rolls 1 1/2 inches in diameter and about 6 1/2 inches long.
  7. Roll in wax paper and chill overnight.
  8. Slice into 1/4 inch sections and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 375-degrees.
  10. Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.
  11. For extra crispy cookies, bake an additional 2 minutes.

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Blueberry Cream Cheese Loaf

blueberry cream cheese loaf

I found this little recipe on Pinterest, and I thought it might make a good Christmas present.  You can find the original recipe here:  http://thekeenancookbook.com/dessert/blueberry-cream-cheese-bread.  Now, I must admit, I have not tried this dessert, but it certainly looked and smelled good when I cooked it.  I’d say that it’s probably not too bad at all, especially if you’re like me and like blueberries.  I managed to make four tiny loaves of this for Christmas presents from the orginal recipe.  I hope you like it!

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Ingredients:

Bread:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups whole blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Filling

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest (*Note:  I did not have any of this, nor did I have an orange; therefore, I omitted it from the recipe.*)

Glaze

  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. water

Directions:

Filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine, cream cheese, sugar, flour, egg, and orange zest.  Beat until smooth, and set aside.

Glaze:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, vanilla, and water.  Set aside.

Bread:

  1. Cream together butter and 1/2 cup of sugar until fluffy.
  2. Add salt and vanilla.
  3. Add egg yolks.  (Be sure to save the whites to use later.)  Beat until creamy and set aside.
  4. In another bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour and baking powder.
  5. Add flour mixture alternately with milk to the egg yolk and butter mixture.
  6. Coat berries in 1 tblsp. of flour and add to batter.
  7. In a seperate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form.
  8. Fold egg whites into batter.
  9. Pour half of the batter (or a little less) into a greased and floured loaf pan.
  10. Layer the filling over the batter, and cover with the remaining batter.
  11. Pour glaze over the top of uncooked loaf.
  12. Bake at 350-degrees for 55-60 minutes.

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