Monday, February 2, 2015

Baking Powder Drop Biscuits

This is my go-to recipe for biscuits and it's from my favorite cookbook...Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (we call it the red & white cookbook).  This is the perfect time of year for biscuits because of all the soups, stews and pots of chili we all make when it's cold and dreary.

Baking Powder Drop Biscuits
recipe courtesy
Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening (sometimes I substitute butter)
1 cup milk

1.  In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Make a well in the center of the dry mixture. Add the milk all at once.  Using a fork, stir just until moistened.

2.  Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, drop dough onto greased baking sheet.  Bake in a 450 degree oven* for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.  Remove biscuits from baking sheet and serve hot.  Makes 12 biscuits.

*I bake the biscuits in a 425 degree oven for 11 minutes because my oven tends to run hot.

Happy Baking!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sausage & Swiss Chard Stew

Recently, hubby and I decided that we needed to add some new recipes to our repertoire.  I had heard about and thought we'd give them a try. is a subscription meal service that provides it's members with 3 meals (regular and vegetarian) per week delivered right to your front door.  Each box contains 95% of the ingredientsn you'll need for each recipe (you have to provide oil, salt and pepper) and detailed recipe cards for each meal.  It's all very can choose which weeks you want meals delivered and you are only charged for those weeks.  Right now, we're having meals delivered once per month.  This past week's meals were fabulous, but I think this one is my favorite. Hope you enjoy!

Sausage and White Bean Soup
with Swiss Chard
(recipe courtesy of
makes 2 servings

6 oz Sweet Italian Sausage
1 can Cannellini Beans
1 carrot
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 pkg. stock concentrate (can use Swanson's chicken stock concentrate)
1 bay leaf 
1 bunch Swiss chard
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. red pepper chili flakes
1 tbsp. olive oil

  1. Peel and finely chop the carrot. Halve, peel and finely chop 1/2 cup onion. Slice the chard leaves and stems (I omitted the stems). Mince the garlic. Drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Remove the sausage from its casing and cook, breaking up the pieces, for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside.
  3. In the same pot, add the carrots, garlic and onion and season with salt and epper.  Add as many chili flakes as you dare.  Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until softened.
  4. Add the bay leaf, stock concentrate, 4 cups water and beans and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes before adding the sausage and the chard.  Cook for an additional 2 minutes, until chard has wilted.
Finish:  Serve the soup in bowls with the parmesan cheese on top.

Nutrition facts (est. per serving):
Calories:  633
Carbs:  50g
Fat:  39g
Protein:  33g
Fiber: 17g

I followed the directions explicitly and this recipe makes much more than 2 servings.  Hubby and I each had a bowl at dinner and there was still enough leftover for 3 lunches.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Sauce

Last fall, my son sent me a text with a link to these cupcakes telling me that these sounded delish. Who knew that my son was a foodie?!  It took my husband and me forever to get him to eat something other than chicken nuggets and hamburgers. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to make these.  They are to die for (to quote a sweet friend).  These cupcakes would be perfect for Thanksgiving dessert!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Sauce

1 3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
6 Tbsp salted butter, melted
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened well
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 recipe homemade caramel sauce, recipe here
Coarse or flaked sea salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together crushed graham crackers with 2 Tbsp granulated sugar. Pour in melted butter and stir mixture until evenly coated. Divide graham cracker mixture among 24 paper lined muffin cups, adding about a heaping Tbsp to each. Firmly press mixture into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool while preparing filling.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, flour,
cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger until no clumps of sugar remain. Add cream cheese to a large
mixing bowl, then pour sugar mixture over cream cheese and using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, blend together until smooth, about 30 seconds. Mix in eggs one at a time. Blend in pumpkin and vanilla, then mix in heavy cream. Tap bowl forcefully against countertop to release some of the excess air bubbles, about 30 times. Divide mixture over graham cracker crust in muffin liners, adding about 1/4 cup to each cup and filling nearly full. Bake in preheated oven until nearly set (no longer very giggly), about 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack at room temperature, 30 minutes. Then transfer to refrigerator and chill 3 hours until set. Top with caramel sauce and a pinch of sea salt just before serving. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Caramel Sauce
  • 1 1 /2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp water
  • 6 Tbsp salted butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Maldon or coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Gather all of your ingredients and have them nearby ready to add to the mixture as needed. In a heavy-bottomed 3 quart saucepan, heat sugar and water over moderately high heat whisking constantly to dissolve sugar. Once mixture reaches a boil, stop whisking and allow mixture to boil until it reaches a dark amber color, carefully swirling pan occasionally. Once mixture reaches a dark amber color, immediately add butter and whisk until butter has melted then immediately remove from heat. Wait 3 seconds then carefully pour in cream and immediately whisk to combine (it will bubble vigorously). Whisk until mixture is smooth. Allow caramel to cool several minutes then pour into a glass jar to cool. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt after spooning caramel over cheesecakes.

Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Navy Beans with Ham Hocks

It's been AGES since I've made navy beans with ham hocks. So when this week's weather turned rather wintry, I decided it was time to make some.  The recipe I used is adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Ham Hocks with Navy Beans. It turned out better than I imagined.  I served it with cornbread muffins.

Navy Beans with Ham Hocks
(recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse)

1 ham hock, scored
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onions
1/4 cup minced celery
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound navy beans, rinsed, picked over, soaked overnight and drained
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt

In a large, heavy stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the ham hock, onions, celery, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, and thyme, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the navy beans and stir. Continue simmering over medium-low heat for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the beans are almost cooked and ham hock is very tender. Season with salt and continue cooking 15 to 30 minutes, until beans are done and ham hocks are beginning to fall apart.

Remove from the heat and serve.  You can leave the ham hock whole or remove the meat from the bone and stir into beans.  Serve with cornbread.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mom's Pumpkin Pie

This recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember.  My grandmother always made the pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas and then one year, my Mom decided that she'd take over making pies.  While I lived with my grandparents and until Richard and I moved to North Alabama, I made the pies at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I hope that one day my kids will carry on this tradition.

Mom's Pumpkin Pie
(makes two pies)

1 can (29-oz.) Libby’s Solid Pack Pumpkin
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon allspice
2 12-oz. cans evaporated milk (I use Carnation brand)
2 9” unbaked piecrusts (I make mine from scratch using the Better Homes & Gardens recipe in the red & white cookbook.)

Heat pumpkin thoroughly in large saucepan (do not boil).  Remove from heat and add next 8 ingredients, mix thoroughly.  Pour into pie crusts. Cover pie crust edges with foil or pie crust ring to prevent burning.

Bake 15 minutes at 450*.  Reduce temperature to 350* and bake an additional 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool completely.

Makes two 9” pies

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hershey's Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

This has to be my family's FAVORITE chocolate dessert.  It's wonderfully moist without being heavy.  I bake it in a bundt pan, however, you could bake it in cake pans and ice it.  Though, we think the cake is perfect without the icing.  Hope that you enjoy!

2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup boiling water
One Bowl Chocolate Frosting (Below & optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour one bundt pan, two 9-inch cake rounds or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the first six ingredients (sugar through salt); add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin); pour into prepared pan(s) and bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes our clean.

If baking cake rounds, allow rounds to cool slightly before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. If using rectangular baking pan, allow cake to cool completely before icing.


6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
2 2/3 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a medium-sized bowl, mix and beat all ingredients using an electric mixer. If icing seems too thick, add a touch more heavy cream until desired consistency is reached, taking care not to over-thin the icing. I have found these amounts enough to frost the top and center layer of two, stacked, 9-inch cake rounds (but not the sides) or the top of a 13x9x2-inch rectangular cake. If you are looking to frost the sides of the stacked cake rounds as well, consider doubling these amounts.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Mexican Meat Mix (aka Green Chili Burro filling)

I love this recipe!  My mom has been making MMM for as long as I can remember. We use it to make green chili burros and chimichangas.  YUM!!!  Hope that you enjoy!

Mexican Meat Mix

2-3 pound Chuck Roast, no bone
3 tablespoons Crisco
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 (14 oz) jar of green chili salsa (aka salsa verde)
¼ tsp. garlic powder
4 tsp. flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
Juice from Roast

Cook roast in crockpot on low for 6 hours…do not season roast. Drain meat, save juices, cool meat, shred and set aside.  Melt shortening in large skillet.  Add onions and green chilies; sauté 1 minute.  Add salsa, garlic flour, salt and cumin.  Cook 1 minute over med-low heat.  Stir in meat juices & meat.  Can add packaged (Swanson) beef stock, if more liquid is needed. Cook 5 minutes until thick.

Use filling in tortillas to make green chili burros or chimichangas (fried green chili burros).

*Can be frozen – use within 6 months.