Fried okra… I could live off this stuff.

okra

 

 

This is an ‘approximate’ but very close recipe. 

3 cups okra sliced a little less than 1/4 inch thick

1/2 cup flour

A little over 1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

Cast iron skillet if you have it, if not I guess that’s ok too. ;)

Heat oil on med/high heat. While your oil is heating up, pour cornmeal and flour into a gallon baggie. Add okra and shake until completely coated. Drop one piece of okra into skillet and it will sizzle when the oil is hot enough. Add okra one handful at a time shaking off excess flour/cornmeal. Stir okra really well and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir occasionally until crisp. Lower heat a smidge if you need to as it cooks. I like mine just this side of burned, but that’s me.  Enjoy. I could seriously eat the whole skillet full. I won’t… but I could.

Honey BBQ Meatloaf (or Beefloaf as my 5 year old calls it)

 

I was really surprised at how good this was for being so easy.  Lane has decided that Beefloaf isn’t that bad after all. :)

 

1 lb Ground Beef

1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp Dijon or Spicy Mustard

1 Cup BBQ Sauce

3 Tbsp Honey

1 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Pepper

 

Mix together beef, crumbs, 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce, 1 Tbsp Honey, Mustard, Salt and Pepper.  Once combined, form into a loaf in a casserole dish.

In separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients and brush over meatloaf before baking in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

I removed mine 1/2 way through and added more sauce on top.  Serve with additional sauce. Yum!

 

Cowboy Casserole

Have you ever had one of those days… the kind of day where you would rather take a beating than to have to stand at the stove and cook dinner?  The kind of day where you are tempted to throw a loaf of bread on the table and call it good?  Well, that’s me on MOST days.

We eat out probably just as much, if not more than I cook.  My Grandmother and Grandma would be so ashamed, I know.  Well, faced with that dilemma AGAIN (like I said, it’s pretty much a regular thing :) ) I went to Pinterest and looked through, trying to find something easy.  Well, I happened upon this Cowboy Casserole from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary. She has got many other good recipes so be sure to check them out.

It’s pretty hard to find something my son Lane will eat.  His diet pretty much consists of PB&J, chicken nuggets.. well, anything chicken for that matter, grilled cheese, and chocolate chip cookies.. you get the idea.  Anyway, he choked this down quite easily. No gagging, crying or anything.. I was impressed.  My husband and I really liked it.  Simple, yet good.

 

Ingredients

2 lbs Ground Beef

1 Medium Onion Chopped

3 Cloves of Garlic Minced

1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 15 oz Can of Whole Kernel Corn, Drained

2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1/2 Cup of Milk

5 Tbsp of Sour Cream

1 Bag of Tater Tots

 

It works best if you let the tater tots thaw for a bit before starting, I actually forgot to do this, so I stuck them in the microwave for a minute or so.

In a large skillet cook the onion, garlic, and ground beef until cooked thoroughly.  Drain and transfer to large bowl.  In a separate bowl combine together sour cream, soup, and milk.  Add to hamburger meat and mix well.  Mix in 1 cup of cheese and corn.  In 9 x 13 casserole dish layer 1/2 of tater tots on the bottom of the dish, then spread the mixture over them.  Top it off with remaining tater tots and cover with leftover cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until tater tots are browned. Serve with a dollop of sour cream to finish it off. :)  Enjoy!

 

Peanut Brittle

Ingredients

2 Cups Raw Peanuts

2 Cups Sugar

1 Cup  White Corn Syrup

1 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Tsp Vinegar

½ Cup Water

 

Add ½ cup water, 2 cups sugar and 1 cup white corn syrup in a large skillet (I used a 12” cast iron).  Cook until sugar has completely dissolved, about four minutes.  Then add the 2 cups of peanuts.  This is the hard part.  If you cook too long the peanuts will burn and if you do not cook long enough the peanut brittle will not have the correct flavor. Cook until the mixture starts to turn brown.  Usually about 8 to 9 minutes.  You can watch the peanuts to see when they start to turn brown.  When it is done cooking add the teaspoon of salt, Baking soda, and vinegar.  Stir the mixture.  This will causes air bubbles to form in the brittle.  The mixture will double in size this is why you need a large pan.  Now pour the mixture into 3 disposable buttered pie pans and let if flow out do not spread the mixture out.

A lot of recipes call for the mixture to be spread.. to me that makes peanut brutal, not brittle. :)  It’s a matter of preference, by not spreading, the air bubbles stay in… giving it more of an airy crispy texture.  When it is spread out, it removes all of the air bubbles, making it really hard.

Also, you can also use pecan pieces in place of peanuts for pecan brittle.. very good too!

 

You will want to have you baking soda, salt, and vinegar ready to go so you can add it quickly to the mixture.  Make sure your pie pans are buttered and ready before you start. 

 

Pumpkin Roll

 

Ingredients:

3 Eggs

1 Cup Sugar

2/3 Cup Libby’s Packed Pumpkin

1 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

2/3 Cup Flour

 

Preheat oven to 350. Cover a jelly roll pan with wax paper and lightly cover with cooking spray.  Beat eggs, sugar, and pumpkin.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour batter into pan and spread to sides.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned.  Lay a tea towel out flat and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Flip the pan onto the towel directly out of the oven.  Carefully remove wax paper and roll into the towel, lengthwise. Cool in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.  Unroll and fill with pumpkin roll filling below, then re-roll and chill for 1 hour.  When firm, slice into desired thickness.

 

Pumpkin Roll Filling:

8 Ounce Cream Cheese

2 Tbsp Butter or Margarine

1 Tsp Vanilla

1 Cup Powdered Sugar

Mix cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until nice and creamy, then add powdered sugar and beat well.

Armadillo Eggs

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My husband made these and they are WONDERFUL! Our first experience with Armadillo Eggs was this past Summer at a local festival and we have been craving them ever since.  Thankfully, he came up with this recipe… man they are good!

 

Ingredients:

2 Cups Mild Cheddar

1 Cup Sharp Cheddar

1 Cup Monterrey Jack

10 Jalapeno Peppers (diced, with seeds removed)

1 lb Hot Sausage

1 lb Regular Sausage

McCormick Golden Dipt All Purpose Batter Mix (this is the one we use, but any general purpose batter should work)

 

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Saute peppers in large skillet then remove.  Using the same skillet, brown sausage until cooked thoroughly.  While sausage is cooling, mix 1/2 of batter according to box directions for dipping and reserve some dry batter in a separate bowl.   Mix together sausage (while still warm), cheese, and peppers.

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Form mixture into egg sized balls.  Dip in wet batter, then roll in dry batter.  Let set for 5 minutes.  Deep fry at 350 degrees, making sure they are completely submerged in oil, for 2 1/2 minutes.

 

 

 

Rudolph Hot Chocolate Bags

I got this idea from a picture I saw on Pinterest, which led me to the blog Little Wonders’ Days… This blog has a lot of absolutely adorable ideas for crafts.  Check it out for directions on making your own Rudolph Hot Chocolate bags, and much more. :) If you haven’t experienced Pinterest, you are really missing out. You need an invite to join, so leave a comment with your email address if you would like one!

(Sweet) Cornbread Recipe

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1 Cup Flour

1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal

2/3 Cup Sugar

1 Tsp Salt

3 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1 Egg

1 Cup Milk

1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil

 

I think cornbread is best made in a cast iron skillet… just a personal preference of mine.  It can be made as muffins or in another pan, but cast iron is the way to go.

Preheat oven to 350 and put a small amount of oil in a cast iron skillet.  Put skillet in the oven and leave it in to heat before you begin mixing.  In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients.  After about 10 minutes, remove skillet from oven and move it around to let oil coat the bottom and a little up the sides.  Remove extra oil with paper towel.  Sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal in skillet for dusting the pan.. shake cornmeal around to coat the bottom and sides of skillet really well, then pour the rest out.  Pour cornbread batter in skillet and bake for 15-20 minutes until browned on top.

Remove from oven, then take a knife and run it around the edges of the pan.  Grab a large plate and place it on top of the skillet, hold it tight..then gently flip.  Now, cut a big ‘ole slice with butter….  It’s so good!

 

Paula Deen’s Goulash (the best EVER)

 

goulash

This really is the absolute BEST goulash I’ve ever had. It is really simple, and is even better reheated. My 4 year old actually ate it, and anyone who knows him knows that he is a SUPER picky eater.

Ingredients

2 lbs lean ground beef

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 cups water

2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce

2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (I didn’t use this)

3 bay leaves (I didn’t use this either)

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Paula Deen’s House Seasoning (Again, didn’t use this in mine)

1 tbsp salt

2 cups elbow macaroni

*I added garlic powder, seasoning salt, and a little pepper to mine.

Get recipe for Paula’s House Seasoning HERE

 

In large pot, cook ground beef over medium heat until browned, spoon off any extra grease.  Add onion and garlic, saute until transparent.  Add 3 cups of water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, all seasonings, soy sauce, and bay leaves (if you choose to use them).  Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Add macaroni and allow to simmer an additional 20 minutes or until tender.  Remove bay leaves before serving.

This stuff is GOOD!!!

 

***** SOME PEOPLE HAVE COMPLAINED THAT THE RECIPE IS TOO SALTY. THIS IS THE RECIPE THAT IS DIRECTLY FROM PAULA DEEN. I DIDN’T THINK IT WAS TOO SALTY, BUT I LOVE SALTY FOOD. YOU CAN CUT DOWN ON THE SALT THE RECIPE CALLS FOR IF YOU’D LIKE.. TASTE AS YOU GO AND ADD MORE IF NEEDED****

 

 

Ice Chest Tea…

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I realize it is now Fall.. but don’t store those ice chests away just yet. A great glass of iced tea is good anytime of year and this recipe is wonderful!

 

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What you will need:

1 – 4 gallon ice chest

2 cups instant Lipton Iced Tea

6 cups sugar (more or less depending on taste)

5 oranges

3 limes

3 lemons

1 bag crushed ice

 

Begin by filling ice chest with 1 gallon of water.  Bring 6 cups of water to boil then add sugar and tea mixing until dissolved.  Add to ice chest.  Add bag of ice, sliced oranges, limes and lemons to the ice chest.  Continue filling with water until the ice chest is full.   Mix well. The longer the tea sits the more the  flavors of the fruit will come out.  Also, all of these measurements are to my taste.  Use more or less depending on yours.