Foodie related Christmas gifts!

December 29, 2007 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Fun, kitchen utensils, wine | 3 Comments

I love Christmas!!! : ) I love buying gifts and I love receiving new things as well, especially new things for my kitchen since that is my latest obsession. I received a couple of gifts that I was really excited about so I wanted to share those.



I asked my mother in law for a food processor. I don’t know exactly how often I will use it but I really thought I needed one. I chop up a lot of veggies so I am thinking this will make things a lot easier for me. I was so excited to get it!! I used it last night for the first time. Will loves it. I think it is his favorite kitchen tool of mine. HA!

I love cookbooks. I love just looking through them. I get so excited when I get my new Cooking Light in the mail and getting a new cookbook is 10 times that excitement. Tommy and I came home late from his parents on Christmas Eve and there was a package waiting at our door. It was from my good friend and fellow foodie Clara!!! I couldn’t wait to open it!! The gift was so perfect for me – a wine lover’s cookbook!!! It doesn’t get any better than that for me! She was so sweet to send it…thank you Clara!!!!!!


My other two favorite gifts that relate to my kitchen are a Linens N Things gift card from the kids and a Winestyles gift card from Tommy. Now I need to decide what to buy at those stores…mmm… : )

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!!! : )

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Banana Pudding

December 29, 2007 at 9:57 pm | Posted in Dessert | Leave a comment

I had some bananas that I needed to use in something and when I asked Tommy if he would rather have banana cake or banana pudding, he said pudding. However, in his usual Tommy fashion, he said that he only liked “his sister’s banana pudding”. He always seems to only want his sister’s or mom’s recipes so I have learned to make several things like they do. : ) I have made banana pudding before, but never like this. This is his Granny’s recipe so this is about as homemade as it gets. Sheridan, Will, and I whipped this up together one night and had a good time doing it. : )

This is one of those recipes though that has been passed down several generations so the measurements aren’t all exact. When it calls for flour and sugar, apparently these measurements are meant to be heaping, not exact. Very heaping is what I’m told. : ) Also, I really struggled with getting it to thicken. I added some corn starch to it and that thickened it up quicker.

Ingredients
2 eggs beaten
1 c. sugar
2 tbs. flour
dash of salt
2.5 cups of milk (his Granny used evaporated)
1 tsp vanilla
4 bananas
vanilla wafers

Directions
Mix eggs, sugar, flour, salt, and milk together. Cook it on medium low heat in a saucepan until it thickens. Do not leave it unattended and continually stir it as to not scorch. Cook it until it thickens. Line a bowl with vanilla wafers. Pour some of the pudding mix over them. Add a layer of sliced bananas. Continue this pattern until finished.
You can top with whipped cream if desired.

Pig Rating: The pig is the one who wanted this exact banana pudding so that is what the pig got. : ) He really said it was good and he went on about how all the church ladies always talked about his Granny’s banana pudding.

Mrs. Pig Rating: This was pretty good. Different than I am used to, but really good nonetheless. A little more time consuming than most banana puddings that I have made, but I will probably make this one from now on.

Recipe from Tommy’s Granny via his sister and mom. No picture…the picture I took was horrible so I will just not even post it. You know what banana pudding looks like. : )

Breakfast Casserole

December 29, 2007 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Breakfast, ham | Leave a comment

We always do Christmas morning breakfast at my parent’s house and there is always a variety of things to eat – homemade muffins, ham, casseroles, etc. This year I decided to brave a breakfast casserole to take. I cook breakfast all of the time but casseroles have historically freaked me out a little bit…I was never one to have a bunch of food mixed together. I grew up a very picky child and some habits die hard even though I have broadened my horizons quite a bit as an adult. Anyway, I found this recipe and decided to try it. I wanted one that I could make the night before and just pop in the oven Christmas morning so I wouldn’t have to get up super duper early to fix it.

Ingredients
1 pound ground pork sausage (I used ham per Tommy’s request)
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
6 slices white bread, toasted and cut into cubes
8 ounces mild Cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions
Crumble sausage into a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown; drain.
In a medium bowl, mix together mustard powder, salt, eggs and milk. Add the sausage, bread cubes, and cheese, and stir to coat evenly. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Cover, and bake 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover, and reduce temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until set.

Pig Rating: The pig ate two or three servings of this so I think it was a hit with him. : )

Mrs. Pig Rating: I am not a big ham fan so I wasn’t huge into this one, but I made it for my family so I figured I’d do something that they all like. This was okay though. Next time I want to find a casserole that calls for something other than bread though – maybe crescent rolls? It seemed to be missing that breading to me…

Recipe from www.allrecipes.com, picture from my kitchen

Taco Dip

December 29, 2007 at 9:46 pm | Posted in appetizer, Mexican food | Leave a comment

I was asked to bring some appetizers for Christmas at my grandmother’s house. In my mind, you can never go wrong with bringing a taco dip somewhere. Nearly everyone likes it and I personally could eat an entire pan by myself. I’m sure of it. : ) So, any excuse to make it and I will.

Again…no picture unfortunately. It wouldn’t have been very pretty anyway since I just made it in a 9×13 pan. : ) I found this recipe on www.allrecipes.com. You can pretty much not go wrong with a taco dip, but this is a good starter recipe – you can add or take away whatever you want from it.

Ingredients
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 large tomato, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


Directions

In a medium bowl, blend the taco seasoning mix and refried beans. Spread the mixture onto a large serving platter.
Mix the sour cream and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Spread over the refried beans.
Top the layers with salsa. Place a layer of tomato, green bell pepper, green onions and lettuce over the salsa, and top with Cheddar cheese. Garnish with black olives.


Tip: Several people added this tip on the review and I agree – do not add the salsa until last or just serve it on the side. It tends to make the dip kind of runny.

Pig Rating: The pig liked this one okay. He isn’t a huge taco dip fan (can you believe this?!). He would rather just have chips and salsa. I worry about him sometimes…. : )

Mrs. Pig Rating: I love this. I could eat it until I am sick. Oh wait, I think I did. : ) This is a yummy one and easy to make. Great for parties.

Recipe from www.allrecipes.com

Spicy Chicken Quesadillas

December 29, 2007 at 9:41 pm | Posted in appetizer, Chicken, Mexican food | 1 Comment

I haven’t updated my blog in so long it seems like! Christmas is such a busy time for us with all the running around and having the kids all week. Fun, but busy. I did manage to make a few new things over the past week though. However, I wasn’t so great at remembering to take pictures. Usually by the time I had dinner ready I was ready to just eat and didn’t really care about a picture, so sorry about that. : )

My friend Mary made these awesome quesadillas one night when we were at their house for dinner and I had to have the recipe.

Ingredients
1/4 C thinly sliced green onions (about 2)
2 T chopped cilantro
1 T chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
1 C chopped cooked chicken
4 (8″) flour tortillas
3/4 C reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
Cooking spray
3/4 C salsa

Directions
1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; stir until blended.
2. Pace 1/4 C chopped chicken over half of each tortilla. Sprinkle each with 3 T cheese and 1 T onion mixture; fold tortillas in half.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place 2 quesadillas in a pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla in half. Serve with salsa.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 quesadilla and 3 talbespoons salsa).

Recipe from the Cooking Light cookbook

Pig Rating: Tommy really liked these a lot. He loved them with dipping them in the salsa. I made these and tacos and he didn’t even touch the tacos.

Mrs. Pig Rating: I really loved these! They were easy to make and they tasted so good for something different. I recommend this recipe if you like chicken quesadillas.

Next Week’s Menu

December 19, 2007 at 3:16 am | Posted in Menus | Leave a comment

So, I’ve been slacking on putting my menus on here. I have been making them still, just not posting them. Oops. : ) I know, it’s only Tuesday and I already have next week’s menu…crazy right?! But, next week is crazy with Christmas, both of us being off of work, having the kids the whole week, etc. so I have to get a few things organized now or I’ll go nuts. LOL : )

Sunday:
Lunch – Christmas at my Grandma’s
Dinner – Christmas at my Grandma’s (Okay, this is at 2pm so really, it will be lunch and dinner?!)

Monday:
Lunch – ??
Dinner – Christmas at Tommy’s parents house

Tuesday (kids):
Lunch – Christmas at my mom’s house
Dinner – Baked ziti, salad, garlic bread

Wednesday (kids):
Lunch – Soup and sandwiches/leftover baked ziti
Dinner – Chicken piccata and pasta, bread (chicken strips for the kids)

Thursday (kids):
Lunch – mini homemade pizzas (kids can pick ingredients and help)
Dinner – Tacos (Sheridan’s fave!)

Friday (kids):
Lunch: Hot turkey and cheese sandwiches, salad, chips
Dinner (my parents coming down): Kat’s Fancy Fast Chicken, fried potatoes, corn

Saturday:
Probably out and about all day so eating out

Okay, so not the healthiest, but cooking for kids…well, I’m still learning. : )

This one is for you Mom : )

December 19, 2007 at 3:10 am | Posted in Cookies, Fun | Leave a comment

My mom and I love to bake. One year, we both had entirely too much time on our hands and we baked literally for about 48 hours straight. We made everything so pretty and perfect and we had so much fun. Life gets busy now, but we love to bake still. This year I baked a ton of stuff and I tried to make it somewhat pretty like we did that year. We have so many pictures from all of our goodies that year and they make us tired just looking at them. HA!
Anyway, I took a picture of everything I made on Saturday and Sunday and it’s kind of pretty like the stuff mom and I baked. : ) Anyway, this picture is for you mom – not quite as good as the team effort, but no too bad, right?
I ended up making truffles, spiced nuts, chocolate covered cashews, hard candy, snickerdoodles, buckeyes, chess squares, gingerbread men, puppy chow, and peanut brittle. Not too bad for my first year of really being into baking! : )

Monkey Bread

December 19, 2007 at 3:02 am | Posted in Breakfast, Dessert | 5 Comments

Isn’t the name just great?! I mean, “monkey bread”? Doesn’t it make you smile? : ) It does me. And I used to make this with my Granny all of the time so that makes it even better.

Last week at work I was telling everyone to put in their requests for my baking weekend and my boss’ only request was monkey bread. I hadn’t made it in so long but it sounded great so I made it. I took it into work Monday morning and it was so good! đŸ™‚

Ingredients
3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (I omitted these)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube pan.
Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and raisins, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.
In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Mrs. Pig Rating: I LOOVE this stuff. It’s almost too sweet for me first thing in the morning but I’m not used to super sweet in the morning. Put a piece of it in the microwave though and it’s sugary heaven….

Pig Rating: The pig didn’t get any since I took the whole thing to work. : ) Although, he did think this picture was a must for this blog udpate….

Mrs. Pig’s CW Rating: I think my co workers like this one : ) They keep eating it for breakfast so that is a good sign right?

Recipe from allrecipes.com, pictures from my kitchen

Peanut Brittle

December 16, 2007 at 9:44 pm | Posted in Candy, nuts | Leave a comment

My Granny makes the most awesome peanut brittle – it is on the things I always look for when I go home for Christmas. I decided I would give it a shot this year. I thought it would be really hard – it wasn’t that bad at all really! : )

Ingredients
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 cup peanuts
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions
Grease a large cookie sheet. Set aside.
In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a boil sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peanuts. Set candy thermometer in place, and continue cooking. Stir frequently until temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.
Remove from heat; immediately stir in butter or margarine and baking soda; pour at once onto cookie sheet. With 2 forks, lift and pull peanut mixture into rectangle about 14×12 inches; cool. Snap candy into pieces.

Tip – make sure that you have all of your ingredients measured out beforehand – there is not time for you to measure ingredients between steps – this one moves fast!

Mrs. Pig Rating: This is really good!!! Maybe not as good as Granny’s but she does have a few years on me. And everything always tastes better when a Granny makes it right?? : )

Pig Rating:

Recipes from allrecipes.com, picture from my kitchen

Chocolate Truffles

December 16, 2007 at 9:05 pm | Posted in Candy, chocolate | 1 Comment

I love the rich taste of a truffle – I can never eat that many at a time, but the chocolate is always so yummy! My friend Clara has been into making truffles this year so I thought I would give it a shot. I found a good, easy recipe that I wanted to try. I love truffles because you can coat them with so many different things according to your tastes – sprinkles, cocoa, coconut, nuts, etc. So fun to make!!!

Ingredients
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Coatings (optional):
Finely chopped toasted nuts, flaked coconut, chocolate sprinkles, colored sprinkles, unsweetened cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar or colored sugars

Directions
In heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with EAGLE BRAND®. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Chill 2-3 hours or until firm.
Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in any of the listed coatings.
Chill 1 hour or until firm. Store tightly covered at room temperature.
Tip – Quite a few people that used this recipe felt that the chocolate was too hard after chilling for 2-3 hours and they just left it out at room temperatue. I refrigerated for about 1-2 hours and I didn’t have much of a problem.

Mrs. Pig Rating:

Pig Rating:

Recipe from allrecipes.com, picture from my kitchen
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