Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Pineapple Fluff!


This "Pineapple Fluff" is one of those yummy dessert salads we love so much in the south!  I really liked this one, because it wasn't overly sweet and little lighter!   My husband loves anything pineapple, so he really liked it!  I served this for Easter!   It's also perfect for warmer weather, when you want something sweet, but don't want to turn the oven on!  Here is what you will need;

1 (8 oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla 
1 (20 oz.) can of crushed pineapple, drained well
1 (15 oz.) can of  mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, divided
1 (8 oz.) container of frozen whipped topping, slightly thawed

Beat the cream cheese with the confectioner's sugar until it's fluffy.  Add the vanilla and blend it in. Add the mandarin oranges and the pineapple and beat on low just to combine and break up the orange segments a little.  Add half of the nuts to the mixture.  Fold in the whipped topping until the it is all combined.  Pour into a serving dish or bowl and sprinkle the other half of the nuts on top.  Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving!  

This will be great for Spring and Summer events!  

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

BLT Dip!


My Aunt Mary, Aunt Ann, and I hosted a bridal shower this past weekend for my nephew, Sumner and his fiancee,  Ana so you know we had a lot of really yummy food!  Our family is all about the food!  This "BLT Dip" my Aunt Ann made was so good!  Everybody just loved it!  This would be great for game day or any type of gathering and it's really easy!  Here is what you will need:

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
3-4 green onions, sliced and including the green blades
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 lb bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix the cream cheese with the mayonnaise until smooth.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese.  Spread in a shallow dish.  A pie plate works well for this.  Sprinkle the shredded lettuce on the cream cheese evenly.   Sprinkle the lettuce with the green onions.  Next add the diced tomatoes.  Sprinkle the bacon evenly next.  To finish, top with the shredded cheddar cheese!   

Serve with toasted French Bread slices, crostini, or assorted crackers!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Parmesan Ranch Chicken!


This "Parmesan Ranch Chicken" is a yummy oven fried chicken!  The crust is made from cornflakes and it's nice and crunchy on the outside and so moist on the inside!   It's a good alternative to fried chicken and it's super easy!  This is one of my families favorites!  Here is what you need:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (could also use thighs)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) divided and melted
2 cups crush corn flake crumbs
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt 1/2 of the butter in a shallow dish, like a pie plate.  Place the crushed cornflakes in a gallon size zip lock bag. You can crush the cornflakes right in the bag by closing it and rolling a rolling pin over it or you can do them in the food processor.  Just don't over crush them.  Leave a little texture to them.  Add the dry ranch dressing mix, seasoned salt, black pepper and the Parmesan cheese.  Close the bag and shake to mix all of the ingredients.   

Dip each chicken breast in the butter then place two at a time in the bag with the crumbs.  Seal it and shake to coat on all sides.   Place on a baking sheet covered with nonstick foil and sprayed with nonstick spray.   After they are all coated.  Put the extra crumbs on top of each piece.   Melt the other 1/2 of the butter and drizzle it over each piece of chicken.  

Place in the preheated 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.  They should be nice and browned!

I served this with Three Cheese Mac & Cheese with Bacon , Sweet and Sour Green Beans , and tossed salad!   It was so good!  Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pinto Bean Casserole!



This "Pinto Bean Casserole" is one of those one dish meals I just love, because they are easy and the clean up is quick!  This one even has the cornbread in it!  You could add a tossed salad to this and dinner is served!   If your family likes beans and cornbread, they will more than likely love this!  Here is what you will need:

1 lb. breakfast sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 (15 oz.) cans pinto beans, drained
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix (plus ingredients called for on the box)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, brown the sausage and onion together.  Drain any excess grease. Add the black pepper. Add the pinto beans, Rotel tomatoes with green chilies, cream of mushroom soup, and the shredded cheddar cheese.  Stir together and pour into a 9"x 13" baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

In a bowl, mix the Jiffy cornbread mix according to the package directions, except slightly thinner. Use 1/2 cup milk instead of 1/3.  Pour over the top of the bean mixture, making sure to spread it to the edges.  Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.

This is so tasty and very filling!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Three Cheese Mac & Cheese with Bacon!


This is my baked Macaroni and Cheese, dressed up just a bit with a few additions. This is creamy and delicious and the addition of bacon is never a bad thing!  I used Gouda, Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses in this and it was so creamy and good. The bacon gives it a nice smoky flavor.  Overall, this is a bit lighter sauce than my other traditional recipe.  Everybody loved this!   I served it for a side dish, but you could serve it as a main course also.  Here is what you need:

2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
6 Tbs. butter, divided
3 Tbs. flour
3 cups milk
2 cups shredded Gouda cheese
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Creole seasoning ( I used Tony Chachere)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6-7 slices of bacon, cooked crisp

Cook the macaroni in salted water according to the package directions and drain well.  After it's drained place it back in the pan off of the heat and add half of the butter to melt.   I like to cook the pasta the full recommended time for baked macaroni and cheese, because if you leave it al dente, it will take in the sauce and be dry.

Now to make the cheese sauce, I do this in the microwave, because it's much easier.  You can do it on the stove top though.   Melt the other 3 tablespoons of butter in a glass mixing bowl in the microwave...about 1 minute.  Whisk in the flour until smooth and microwave for 30 seconds.   Add the three cups milk and whisk again.  Microwave for about 3 minutes.  Remove and whisk until smooth.  Add the 2 cups of Gouda cheese, 2 cups of Cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Add the Creole seasoning and black pepper.  Microwave for another 3 minutes.  Whisk until smooth.  This should be thickened at this point.  If it seems too thin, microwave for another minute or two.   

Pour the sauce over the macaroni and mix to coat it all.  Spray a 2.5 to 3 quart baking dish with nonstick spray.   Pour the macaroni and cheese into the dish and sprinkle the top with the other 1 cup of cheddar cheese.   Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.  Crumble the bacon and sprinkle over the top!  

This was a big hit with my family and it's a great side dish with most anything!  

Monday, March 7, 2016

Caramelized Brown Sugar Chicken!



This "Caramelized Brown Sugar Chicken" has only 3 basic ingredients!   This is definitely 'easy peasy', but it tastes wonderful!  It was a huge hit at our house!  I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you could also use boneless, skinless thighs, if you prefer darker meat.  Here is what you will need:

5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup brown sugar
1 envelope of dry Italian dressing mix

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a shallow dish, I used a pie plate, mix the brown sugar and the Italian dressing mix.  I used a fork to mix it all up and break up the brown sugar.  

Line a baking sheet that has sides to it, because this runs and spreads out some, with foil.  The Reynolds Wrap nonstick foil is best.  If it is not that type, spray it with nonstick spray.   It's best too use a double thickness of foil and wrap it around the sides of the pan, so the sticky caramel doesn't run under the foil.  

Rinse the chicken with water, shaking off excess, then dip in the brown sugar mixture, covering both sides.  Lay each one on the foil lined sheet.  Sprinkle any excess over the top.   Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes.  Flip each piece over.  Use a spoon to drizzle the sauce that is on the pan over each piece.  Bake for another 20 minutes.   You should not see the brown sugar is thickened. Spoon it from the sheet pan back over each breast and turn the oven to broil.   Broil for about 2 minutes, but watch it very carefully, because it can burn a second!  

Remove from the oven and plate!  This would be great with most any side dish!  I serve mac & cheese, green beans and a salad!  I think rice would be excellent with this also!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Easy Oven Barbequed Pork Chops!


These "Easy Oven Barbequed Pork Chops" turn out fork tender and so flavorful!  The sauce is really delicious with just a few ingredients!  I like to use bone-in pork chops for this, because I think they have more flavor, but you can use boneless pork loin chops also.  Here is what you will need:

6 bone in pork chops
seasoned salt
black pepper
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the pork chops in a single layer in a baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray.   Sprinkle both sides of the chops with seasoned salt and black pepper.

In a bowl stir together the rest of the sauce ingredients.  Pour evenly over the pork.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 40- 45 minutes.  Uncover and turn each pork chop over and spoon the pan sauce back over each one.  Place back in the oven, uncovered and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened some.   I usually go about 10 minutes.  The thicker your pork chops the longer baking time.

These are so tender and delicious.  I served them with Cheesy Potatoes, pinto beans, Cole Slaw, and cornbread!