Sunday, November 25, 2007


I love this time of year. The air is getting a chill...everything smells like cinnamon...and lets not forget the lights! I was able to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to put up our Christmas tree. Tons of garland...pretty cider and cookies....whats not to love :) Happy Holidays!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Caramel Pie

I have always loved O'Charleys caramel pie. It has to be one of my favorite desserts. A while back a friend of mine emailed me this recipe. It is a dead ringer for the original. It is also one of the easiest recipes I have ever made. It may be a slap in the face to some of the hard core cooks out there....but oh sure is good ;)

2 cans Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 ready made graham cracker pie crust
cool whip to top

Boil the 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk in pot for 3 hours. Make sure that water always convers both cans. After 3 hours take cans out of pan. Let completely cool. Place in pie crust and top with cool whip!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Holiday Spiced Nuts

I found this great recipe in one of my many Rachael Ray cookbooks. I made a huge batch for my husbands teacher's Christmas party and they were a huge hit! I love all the great spices in this recipe!

2 cups walnut halves
1 cup peeled hazelnuts
1 cup whole unsalted cashews
1 cup whole pecan halves
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon ground anise
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
1 cup smoked almonds (recommended: Diamond Smokehouse Almonds)

**Heat a large skillet and cook nuts over moderate heat 7 to 8 minutes until golden and well toasted~your nose will know when they are done. Transfer nuts to a plate and return pan to stove top. Add butter to the pan in small pieces. Melt butter and spice it with anise, cinnamon, pepper, and nutmeg. Let butter infuse a minute then pour over nuts. Turn off heat. Add smoked nuts to the skillet and turn to combine evenly with butter.

Yields about 6 cups.

Quick and Spicy Tomato Soup

I saw this recipe on an episode of Everyday Italian. It looked so good...and was so quick and easy to make. I just had to give it a try.

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (26-oz) jar marinara sauce (recommended: San Marzano brand)
2 (14-oz.) cans chicken broth
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, and garlic and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the jar of marinara sauce, chicken broth, cannellini beans, red pepper flakes, pasta, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Paula Deen's Pineapple Casserole

My husband's Aunt made the best treat for Thanksgiving last year....a pineapple casserole. Her computer crashed and she lost the recipe before I could get my hands on it. I found this one in my trusty Lady and Sons cookbook. I think it is even better than his Aunt's :P This can be served as a dessert or a side dish.

1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 20-oz. cans pineapple chunks~drained (reserve 6 tablespoons juice)
1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and flour. Gradually stir in cheese. Add pineapple and stir well. Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish. Combine cracker crumbs, butter, and pineapple juice and spread on top of pineapple mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes...or until golden brown.

Chess Squares

This recipe is so great. My hs friend Jenny's mom use to make these squares for our christmas party. I ran across this recipe a while back and just had to post it on the blog. It is comfort food to the max :)

1 box super moist yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 stick room temp butter
**Mix well. Spray baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and pour mixture in pan.

1 8oz. package cream cheese (room temp)
2 eggs
1 box powdered sugar
**Mix together and pour on top of cake mixture. Bake at 350 for 50 min. or until golden brown!

Shoepeg Corn Casserole

My Aunt Charlotte always made her wonderful corn casserole for our Thanksgiving dinner. I finally stole her recipe a few years back! It is so creamy and good. You just can't have a holiday meal at my house without it!

2 cans white shoepeg corn (drained)
1/2 to 1 stick butter (I use 1/2 stick and it's plenty!)
1 sm. carton whipping cream
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper to taste

First melt butter in pan. Add corn, cream, salt, and pepper. Slowly mix in flour.
Place in small baking dish. Bake at 350 for 45 min. or until top is golden brown.