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February 28, 2017

As most of you probably know, kale is considered a super food, but I confess that I have avoided it until now.  I had tried it mostly in salads before this recipe and found it to be bitter.  Thankfully, my family convinced me to try this recipe, as I was very uncertain about using kale.  The kale stuffing is absolutely delicious!  I am very glad that I made this recipe.  If you are leery of this green (like I was), I encourage you to give this steak and kale combination a try.

This is a great recipe for entertaining because it is fairly easy, and it looks very impressive.  The taste is amazing!  It is hard to describe how yummy these pinwheels are, but I will do my best!  Flank steak is a naturally lean cut of beef.  You don't have to worry!  It tastes just like steak - meaning delicious!  When you combine the steak with the recipe's marinade, you have perfection.  The marinade increases and compliments the flavor of the steak perfectly.  It also helps that...

February 23, 2017

Here is another awesome recipe!  I am not sure where I acquired it, but I am so happy to have it.  There are a lot of cornbread recipes out there, and it can be overwhelming to try to find the right one.  This recipe is (in my opinion) a perfect balance of sweet and buttery.  I was raised in Illinois, and generally northerners (in America) like their cornbread sweet, while those in the south prefer their cornbread buttery (and not sweet).  It depends on the recipe, but I often found that the northern cornbread was sometimes so sweet that it was like eating cake!  In the south, the cornbread seems to have an incredible amount of butter that (in my opinion) overwhelms the taste.

I really like this cornbread, because it compliments savory meals.  If you still are not certain about making this cornbread, here is an example to get your thoughts going - would you prefer to take a bite of cake and then a bite of something savory (like our White Bean and Spicy...

February 22, 2017

Here is a wonderful basic banana bread.  It is super moist and delicious!  I like this recipe, because there is nothing fancy about it, and the bananas are the main star in this bread.  It is truly a classic banana bread. 

I found this gem in a church cookbook many years ago.  While living in Kansas, my husband and I were invited to a friends house in the town of Pretty Prairie.  Our host had quite the collection of church cookbooks, and as a newlywed, I felt that I needed a good banana bread recipe.  This one caught my eye.  It was tucked in several pages of banana bread recipes, and it had 'moist' in the title.  I thought to myself, "There you go!  Look no further."  The ingredients were listed and the directions only said, "Mix well and pour into greased loaf pans.  Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes."  I had to figure out how to do the recipe from there.  Don't you love church cook books!?!  I have given you a little more detailed instructions, but it is...

February 21, 2017

In honor of Mardi Gras (Tuesday, February 28th), I used Cajun Style Andouille smoked sausage in this soup.  I buy the all natural brand that has no nitrates and no artificial ingredients.  The sausage lends a nice kick to the soup, but I find that it does not overwhelm the overall flavor of the dish.  I love to make corn bread (look for it on Thursday's post) as it complements the soup.  It is a great pairing!  So this Fat Tuesday (also known as Mardi Gras Day or Shrove Day), go and celebrate by spicing up the holiday with this awesome soup!

Bon Appetit Chéri

Useful Tips:

1.  As you cook and sauté your vegetables, you may need to adjust the heat level on your stove-top.  If the bottom of your Dutch oven (very large heavy pot) is browning too much, you need to lower your heat.

2.  After browning your sausage, drain the excess fat on paper towels.

3.  Be careful of splattering grease when browning your sausage.  Ouch!

4.  This soup is great doubled...

February 16, 2017

If you love bacon and cheddar cheese, you are going to love this savory pie!  I have had this recipe for many years.  I do not know where I got it, but I am very glad that I have it!  Bacon and cheddar cheese compliment each other (taste-wise), so they are perfect in this pie.  I like to say that everything is better with pie! (I certainly think so.)

This bacon cheddar pie tastes good and works for any meal - breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  You can even eat it as a snack if you want.  It is an easy meal for company when served with either fresh fruit or salad (depending on the time of day).  When I make a sweet pie using my water whipped pastry shell (click 'pastry shell' to go to that blog post), I often use the extra shell for this recipe. Here is the perfect pie recipe for those bacon and cheddar cheese lovers!  Enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

Some helpful tips before you start:

1.  The way I scald the milk is by pouring the milk in a small saucepan o...

February 14, 2017

It's Valentines Day, and here is my gift of love to you - the recipe for a fantastic Chocolate Cream Pie.  You're welcome.  Seriously, this pie is absolutely the best chocolate pie that I and my family have had so far.  In fact, I have never been a fan of chocolate cream pie, until I came across this recipe.  As a bonus, it is easy to make too!  The filling makes a rich chocolate pudding.  This pudding is so yummy that it is very hard to resist.  I'm sure you will love this pie!

The whipped cream topping is a great compliment to the rich chocolate filling.  I really like this topping because all you taste is the sweetened whipped cream and not the cream cheese.  This topping will hold for days.  It will not turn into a liquid mess like a typical whipped cream topping.  I love it!  You can present your beautiful pie with additional chocolate shavings, sprinkled on top of the whipped topping to dress it up a little.  I think I'm in love with a pie....

February 9, 2017

This recipe comes with a warning - if you make these delicious cupcakes, you may eat them all!  These cupcakes are rich and moist.  They also have a classic red velvet taste that people love.  The half cup of cocoa powder adds the right amount of chocolate balance in this recipe.  This recipe makes 24 to 30 cupcakes.  I usually do 24 as the cupcakes are bigger (so more bites in every one).  I also adapted this recipe from McCormick Holiday.  I made a minor change in their recipe and (I hope) improved on an already classic recipe.

Even though the cake scores high in yumminess, the frosting is what truly pushes these cupcakes from great to extraordinary!  It tastes so good that to describe it is often beyond words (especially when you have a mouthful of cupcake).  These cupcakes are an amazing Valentine's Day treat or great for making any occasion even more special.  The most challenging thing about these cupcakes will be trying to stop at eati...

February 7, 2017

I have been making this pasta dish for many years.  It has my favorite red meat sauce.  It comes together quickly, but the sauce tastes like I slaved over it all day.  This pasta recipe is one to keep!  The recipe seems to make a lot of sauce for 1 pound of pasta, but believe me, it definitely works!  The spaghetti is flavorful and has an old world Italian flair that I love.  It is a wonderful dinner to prepare for special occasions, but is still simple enough for a weeknight meal too.  If you are looking for something that is fun, easy and delicious, I highly recommend this recipe.  I'll end with a quote by Sophia Loren, "Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti."

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

1.  If you have a large enough pot, this is a great recipe to double.  The sauce freezes well, and you can divide it into freezer bags or containers.  You can defrost the sauce in your refrigerator overnight or in the microwave.  Once defrosted, I...

February 2, 2017

I love making pies.  Pie-making is one of my favorite ways to bake.  Through out the years, I have tried many ways of making pastry dough.  This recipe is by far the easiest, no-fail method that I have used for over twenty years now.  When baked, the crust is surprisingly light and flaky - the way a good pie crust ought to be.  I mainly use this recipe for single pre-baked pie recipes, such as pumpkin pie or lemon meringue pie.  The recipe makes two pastry shells, so I usually use one shell for a pie and the other for a quiche.  You can also do two pies instead of one if you'd rather do that!  When I make a two crust pie - like apple, I use a different recipe that is also easy to put together.  If you are interested in this recipe, let me know, and I will put it on a future posting.

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can make the dough and refrigerate it up to a week before using it.  I love the flexibility this gives me.  Even thou...

February 2, 2017

Is it your first time making a pie crust?  Or perhaps you have tried making pastry shells in the past, and it just did not turn out how you thought it would?  Check out these tips!  The tips here are specific to my water whipped baked pastry shell, but some of them are generic.  If you haven't seen my pastry shell post check it out here!

Twenty useful Tips:

1.  For many years, I used Crisco shortening when making pastry dough.  Crisco uses hydrogenated fats in their shortening, so I stopped using this product.  Hydrogenated fats have proven to be detrimental to your health, so I try to avoid these fats as much as possible.  That's not to say that you shouldn't use it if that's the only product you can find.  It is just my preference.  I use Spectrum, a non-hydrogenated all vegetable shortening that I found at the health food store.  The texture is a little softer than Crisco, but it works just as well.  You can also buy it at Amazon....

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