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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Browned Butter Cowgirl Cookies - Guest Post by MiMi


   I created this recipe to combine my love of my cowboy cookie recipe and the way browned butter makes things taste.  I thought it would be quick to make because you don't have to wait for the butter to soften, but that backfired because it takes a while for it to cool down enough to cream with the sugar.  I have decided that it is worth the wait.  I cooled it in a glass bottom storage container so that it would cool quickly.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Why I Am Loving Yummly

    Have you discovered yummly yet?  It is my newest way to waste, err I mean spend time!



Grandma Rees' Frosted Pumpkin Squares


    My grandma turned 80 a couple of days ago!   It is hard to believe she is 80.  She is still so vibrant!  After raising six kids, it is amazing she has any energy left. She drums in an Irish band and always has something fun going on.  She grew up on Lake Michigan and goes home for a class reunion almost every year.  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Garlic Grilled Mushroom Skewers

    We absolutely love mushrooms here.  Well, Matt and I do anyway.  Jax did.  Then he didn't.  So, who knows?  Anyway, we had a pound of mushrooms to use and a fire going, so I sprung into action.  We put our newest set of metal skewers to use and made a delicious treat.  The flavor is warm and deep and goes great with the mushroom and the smoke from the grill. I love the combination of garlic, soy sauce and mushrooms so I kept it pretty simple. The two of us had no problem taking care of all of them!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Easy Two Tone Fudge for the Fourth of July - Guest Post by MiMi


     This is a quick and easy recipe for fudge.  I have been making other quick fudges that include chocolate chips and a tub of frosting for holidays.  This recipe is just as easy as those and I usually have all the ingredients in my pantry.  I look forward to changing it up a bit for another occasion.
-MiMi

Friday, June 26, 2015

Layered Fruit Salad -Made by MiMi

     MiMi offered to bring something for our Father's Day french toast breakfast. You certainly wouldn't know from the blog posts she contributes, but she keeps a rigid diet.  So, I suggested she bring a fruit salad so I would know there was something here she would eat.  Little did I know she would come up with this delicious creation (that in fact, she wouldn't eat!)  Either way, the rest of us were all happy with the fruit salad.  Though it took Jax a little convincing that it was ok to eat his beloved grapes with pudding on them.  You never know what might trip a toddler up!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pops' Bul Kogi Backstrap

   This recipe is amazing!  We originally got the marinade recipe from my Great-Aunt Nancy.  If I remember correctly it was when I was in the eighth grade.  So it was (ahem) a few years ago.  We went to visit them in Virginia and she marinades thin strips of steak in this and cooked them on the grill.  It was delicious and unlike anything we had tasted before.  So of course we asked for the recipe.  It was my job to jot it down.  I still have the recipe written in my grade school handwriting!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

White Texas Sheet Cake - A Guest Post by MiMi

The simplicity of a Texas Sheet Cake made with white cake and white icing, my dad's favorite combination! It is great for feeding a crowd and will be perfect at your next BBQ or potluck!


   I'm not quite sure what got me started looking at sheet cake recipes, but I spent an entire morning pinning different ones to my Pinterest page.  Father's Day was coming up so I asked Pops to choose one.  He really likes a white cake with white frosting so it didn't surprise me when he chose this one.  Most cake recipes require softened butter and room temperature ingredients.  I don't always plan ahead when making cake so I was really happy to find that most of the sheet cake recipes were started in a pan on the stove.  No planning ahead required and most of the ingredients are staples in our home.  The icing is cooked also.  Again, no softened butter needed.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Scrumptious Shrimp

   Matt loves to cook food over a fire.  I think it is a primal man thing.  We have a grill too, but it almost never sees the light of day.  He prefers to build a wood fire, throw on a grate and go to town.  I have to admit, it is a really tasty way to make food.  It takes a lot longer to be ready, but I think Matt enjoys that part too.  He loves building the fire, tending the fire, stirring the fire, feeding the fire.  I love eating the food! ;-)

   We already had a fire going for the campfire french toast breakfast we hosted for Father's Day.  So, giving Matt something to grill that evening gave him an excuse to babysit the fire all day long.  He didn't complain.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fire, French Toast and Father's Day

   Matt loves cooking over a wood fire.  He really loves doing french toast over the fire, but we haven't had a chance to do that in a while.  The last time was on a camping trip with Matt's siblings a little over 3 years ago.  French toast and maple syrup are great over a fire!  It adds that very slight smoky background.  I knew both of our dads would love having a campfire breakfast, so I have been planning to do it for Father's Day for a few years now.  However, life keeps getting in the way and we haven't had the chance to follow through.

   Until today!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Banana Bread

   We have been on a real banana baking kick around here.  Between the whole grain banana and yogurt pancakes, the banana oat muffins, the whole wheat chocolate banana cupcakes and the fact that we have baked the Di's banana cake recipe at least 3 times since February, you would think we would be sick of banana baked goods.

   But then you should think to yourself, can you ever really be sick of banana baked goods?  Never!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

3/4 Old Fashioned Honey Maple Pecan Pie - Made by MiMi

    This is the pie recipe MiMi originally created to go toe to toe with the BBQ Bacon Pecan pie from the Cupcake Project.  It is very similar to your traditional pecan pie, but the filling is sweetened with honey and maple syrup instead of corn syrup.  She got going on a 3/4 measurement theme and it worked!  She decided to enter the brownie pecan pie, figuring she might need chocolate to go against the bacon.  But the funny thing is, this is the pie that people were still talking about.  It starts out tasting a lot like what you would think pecan pie would taste like, but is finished with a really nice honey flavor.  It would be a hit at your Thanksgiving table, for sure!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Honey Almond Granola

 


    Jax and I have been having a lot of fun playing around with granola lately.  It is nice to have a helper around when it comes to eating it.  This stuff is addictive!  Matt won't be much help with this one, as he doesn't eat nuts.  Which is fine, it's more for me and Jax!!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Healthy Whole Grain Banana Yogurt Pancakes


     Sometimes you just want pancakes. Or is that just me? I have been really wanting to turn some of our fresh strawberries into pancake topping since they started ripening.  But we don't ever sit down for breakfast.  I certainly don't have the time to make a full breakfast during the week.  On weekends it always sounds nice, but we don't follow through.



   So, I decided if I wanted to have my pancakes, it was going to have to be for dinner.  The problem is, with all of the junk food we have had around lately I was feeling guilty about having all that sugar for dinner.  So, I made a healthy pancake instead.  The only sugar in these pancakes themselves comes from a banana.  The topping was mostly fresh strawberries, with just enough real maple syrup to make them the right consistency.  Add to that yogurt, whole wheat flour and oatmeal and there really isn't much to feel guilty about.  Except the bacon.  But hey, isn't it worth it for bacon?!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Shrimp Boil



  Last year we thought it would be fun to host a shrimp boil for some of our family and friends.  I bought our town out of fresh shrimp and mussels.  (That might be a slight exaggeration, but I did buy at least 2 grocery stores out.)  We lit a wood fire and cooked the mussels in a tomato and beer sauce as an appetizer.  They were good!  Then we set the pot on to boil for our main event.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Honey Chess Pie - Made by MiMi

   Kristie was in Nashville, Tennessee recently and was lucky enough to go to the Loveless Cafe.  I asked her to bring me home their cookbooks.  For our family dinner this week, I decided to make the entire meal out of those cookbooks.  The recipe for this honey chess pie is in the book titled "Desserts From The Famous Loveless Cafe."  I chose to use my regular flaky pie crust recipe for this.  The filling is taken directly from the cookbook.
-MiMi

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Braised Pork Chops

   This is one of the recipes MiMi picked to make for her Loveless Cafe inspired menu for family dinner.  We all love pork chops, so she knew this would be a hit.  The braising liquid was full of wonderful flavors that really complimented the pork, and of course the low and slow method of braising the chops left them super tender.  We each enjoyed our large pork chop and Matt enjoyed two!  I don't normally think of braising my chops (unless it is in mushroom soup gravy), but I may have to try some more variations on this!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Loveless Cafe Inspired Menu - Family Dinner at MiMi's

   So by now, most of you know that we have family dinner at MiMi and Pops' house every weekend.  Whoever is available comes.  We eat too much, we catch up on the goings on and we then we eat a little more.  This past week, my sister Kristie and a few friends went to Nashville.  While there they made a stop at the famous Loveless Cafe.  MiMi was in heaven shopping the internet store and directing Kristie what to buy for her while she was there.  Her shopping list ended up including a couple of cookbooks (surprise, surprise), an apron, biscuit mix and a variety of other items.  I won't name them all in case Pops is reading ;-).

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Kickin' Corn Dip

This corn dip is creamy, cheesy, gooey and good! There is just a little bit of kick and of course a little bacon never hurt anything either. Grab a tortilla chip and dig in. 



   Beware: this dip is addictive!  I knew I wanted some sort of fun dippy appetizer for our pecan pie throw down and shrimp boil.  I didn't want people to exhaust themselves playing yard games and have nothing to eat but pie. Wouldn't that be terrible?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pecan Pie Throw Down: The Results


    As the sun began to set on our pecan pie throw down, I brought Jax in to go to bed and took a quick peek at the judging sheets.  It was funny to see just how subjective such a venture is.  One sheet said "crust just ok" and another said "best crust ever" for the same pie!  So, it just goes to show you that everyone has different tastes and it is hard to please everyone.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Brownie Lover's Pecan Pie - Guest Post by MiMi

    I was talking to my dad, Paw Paw, on the phone shortly after I read a post by Stefani of The Cupcake Project.   Her post was titled three reasons why her pecan pie was better than yours.  I told him that for some reason I felt I needed to challenge that.  And I did just that.  I just might be a little competitive that way.  It just so happens that pecan pie is one of his favorite desserts.  I was shocked when he suggested that I add chocolate to the pie.  He especially likes it that way.  Who knew?  I would have bet on the fact he would like it the old-fashioned way.  I had already decided to make a regular pecan pie, but created this recipe to honor my dad's request.  I wish he was here to try it.  I guess he will have to enjoy it through here!

-MiMi


Monday, June 8, 2015

BBQ Bacon Pecan Pie


   This is the pie that started it all!  Stef from the Cupcake Project  posted her recipe and boasted about how it is better than your pie.  She made a fun twist on the classic pecan pie.  A BBQ-y bacony smoky sweet pie that taunted MiMi and inspired her to enter Pecan Pie Throw Down 2015!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Pecan Pie Throw Down

    Do you want to know one of the differences between myself and MiMi?  When a pretty famous food blogger who has a blog about some of the best sweet treats (and also just so happens to be a recipe developer for Paula Deen among others) tells me three reasons why her pecan pie is better than mine, I figure she is on to something.  After all, I haven't made all that many pecan pies.  I certainly haven't made one with a bacon shortbread crust.  So, I drooled a bit over her pictures, thought about how I should make one like that someday and moved on.

Not MiMi!

No, that would not be her style at all.

    Rather than just going with it, MiMi took umbrage that somebody would have the audacity to challenge her pecan pie making skills.  So she taunted back and asserted her pie making prowess.  No, really.  She did.  Here is the Cupcake Project's post on her pecan pie.  Scroll down and read the comments.

   So, the gauntlet had been thrown.  Now there had to be a bake-off.  A pecan pie throw down.  A battle of epic proportions!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Honey Glazed Carrots

   As you can probably tell by now, we eat a lot of frozen vegetables with our meals.  Warm them up, add a little salt and pepper and plop them on your plate.  Nothing too exciting, but it gets the job done.  I thought it would be fun to do something a little different with our ham the other night.  So, I glazed some carrots in honey, coconut oil and spices.  The sweet carrots were a perfect accompaniment to the salty ham.  A few potatoes and the meal was done!



Thursday, June 4, 2015

Jess's Enchilada Sauce

 

    I have made homemade enchilada sauce before, but it was not like this!  My sister-in-law Jess sent me this recipe.  She asked her husband what her signature dish should be for a contribution for the blog and this was part of his vote (the enchiladas will come tomorrow!)   She said it is slightly different each time she makes it because she rarely measure, she adds what looks and tastes right.  I can sympathize, that is how I normally cook as well.  I tried it using the measurements she sent and it was delicious!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Eggs in Purgatory

   

    When it come to how we like things cooked, Matt and I are polar opposites.  I like my steaks rare, he likes his medium to medium-well (and that is an improvement to the well done steaks he ordered when I met him).  I order my tuna steaks pan seared... he actually once ordered his well done. I can only imagine the chef rolling his eyes when he got that order!  I like my yolks runny and he likes his eggs over hard.  So, when Matt and Jax were off on a date with Sam and K (Jax's betrothed), I took full advantage and made runny eggs in purgatory with so I could sop up all that yolky goodness with some garlic herb bread.