Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Good googly is this pie gooooood! This is basically a quick and easy cheesecake substitute. It doens't taste just like cheesecake, but it is along the same lines. My son helped me make this, that is just how easy it is.

  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
  1. Place softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl; add condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  2. Beat until well blended.
  3. Pour mixture into the pie crust.
  4. Chill for 5 hours.


I prefer to serve the cherry topping in a seperate bowl, instead of putting directly on top of the pie. Some people prefer the pie with out the cherries, so by putting it in a bowl people can add the cherries if they would like. I think the tartness of the cherries really helps add to the taste of this pie, though. This pie is the perfect mix of sweet, tart and creamy!

This recipe must be followed exactly for it to
work correctly. No low-fat substitutions or
omissions of the lemon juice.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Other Recipes I recommend!

Is that Title long enough for ya?


Is everyone beginning to think of your Christmas dinner menu like me?

Well let me share a few things I LOVE along with my Cheesy Scalloped Potato recipe!

First, the potatoes!

Start by making a white sauce.  Put about a half stick of butter in a sauce pot over medium heat.  Once that is melted, add all purpose flour a spoon at a time, mixing after each addition.  Keep adding until this forms a soft dough that will immediately spread out and start to bubble as soon as you stop stirring.  It should take about equal amounts of butter and flour.  Let this cook for just a few minutes to cook out the raw taste.  This cook time will also bring out a nutty flavor that will really add depth later! 
After a few minutes add in some heavy cream that you have brought to room temp.  I used a pint.  Whisk this all together until smooth.  Having the heavy cream at room temp makes this WAY easier.  If it is cold, it will cause the butter to stiffen up and you will have to fight clumps!
Now add Milk.  I used 2%, but you can use whatever you like.  How much depends on how much sauce you need.  I used about 4 cups, sorry didn't measure!  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Let this simmer, slowly, until nice and thickened.
While that is simmering, slice up your potatoes into thin slices.  You can use a knife or a Mandolin.  
I also chopped up 6 Green Onions.
Once the sauce has thickened taste it!  Add more salt and pepper if it needs it.  Keep in mind that the potatoes will suck up alot of that salt while baking, so be sure that the sauce is nicely seasoned.

Next comes assembly...
Start with a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan.
Top this with a layer of potatoes.
Drizzle sauce over the potatoes.

Then Add the cheese!  I used Colby Jack, for it's melty-ness!

Sprikle on some green onions...

And repeat until full!

Cover with foil and bake at 375 until a knife inserted in the middle slides into the potatoes easily.  This took about an hour.  When it's close to done, take the foil off and add a bit more cheese.  This will brown and become a nice crust!

This was SOOOOO GOOD!!!

Now, here's the rest of what we had!

From closest to farthest:
PW's Stuffing
Good 'ol Green Bean Casserole
Mom's Lasagna (to die for!)
PW's Sweet Potato Casserole
...lets change angles for the last two.

Fresh Corn Casserole
And my Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes!

I wanted to try out some new recipes and loved them all, so here they are for your tummy's enjoyment!
(click the name for the recipe)

Noticing a trend?  This woman has AWESOME recipes!!!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This dish is one my mom made for my little sisters birthday a few years ago. It was a hit! Usually you see pulled pork done up BBQ style. I really liked this twist and it is really versatile. I made enchiladas with this too and they turned out great.

I cooked my pork roast in the crock pot. I cooked it until the meat was basically falling apart. If you touch it with a fork and it doesn't start to peel apart, it hasn't cooked long enough.

Can of Green Chilies
Cumin Powder
Onion Powder
Chile Powder
(all are to taste, depends on the size of meat and your personal tastes!)

This was my meat straight out of the crock pot. See how it is falling apart - that's the way you want it.

This was the liquid I had left. Be sure to strain out your green chilies to add back to your pork.

Once you pull the the pork apart using forks or fingers, put it back into the crock pot.

I added some onions and mushrooms I had on hand. I sauteed them in a pan before adding them to the pulled pork in the crock pot.

I also added some butter to help feed my butter addiction. What??? Like you don't have one too??
Turn the crock pot on and heat thoroughly, it shouldn't take long.

I like to fry my corn tortillas. You can use which ever you prefer, flour or corn.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I have a confession to make, I ran out of vanilla extract. Not only did I run out of it, but I haven't used it in the last three recipes that called for it, and I DON'T MISS IT! All three dishes have turned out tasting very good, and I honestly didn't feel like the flavor was lacking in the least.

So I took to the all mighty internets, and found this Q & A:

Q: Almost all of the baking recipes I have used have called for vanilla extract. Is vanilla only included to add to the sweetness of a dessert? If I choose to substitute another kind of extract, such as almond extract, will the recipe not turn out correctly?

A: Have you ever tasted vanilla? If you have, you know it does not add any sweetness. In fact, it is one of the best smelling/foulest tasting items in your kitchen.

What it does add is an indescribable quality, a poetic quality, a depth, a richness – we would say a "je ne sais quoi," if it didn't make us blush so visibly.

You might have to compensate in the dish for the small amount of liquid your vanilla represents, but just leave it out of a recipe and you should be able to tell the difference right away. Or do as you suggest and substitute almond extract – we think you'll be shocked by the difference. It may turn out wonderfully and you may love it, but the difference between using vanilla and almond extract can be bigger than the difference between using butter and margarine. (We're not making any value judgments, just noting that there is big difference.)

On the one or two occasions we have forgotten to add vanilla extract to our semi-weekly batch of chocolate-chip cookies, we noticed right away that something was missing. They're still delicious, but they're much more one dimensional.

Vanilla functions a little like salt – it makes the other ingredients in your dish more interesting.

Hmmm, really? Are my taste buds failing me? If I ate two cookies, one with vanilla and one without would I be able to tell which was which? Would you? I don't know, but the next batch of cookies I make I'm going to be really tempted to put it to a test. Er, that is if I ever get to the store and buy me another vanilla.

* * * * *
So I ask you all to leave your comments on vanilla and take a moment to answer the poll on vanilla in the upper left hand corner of this blog.


I made these to go on top of my CARROT CUPCAKES I made. But these can be made to just put in a bowl and let people snack on too. This is the first time I have ever made these and they were surprisingly easy and good. This didn't take anytime at all to make. You could use any kind of nut you wanted with this too, not just walnuts.


  • 1 pound walnut halves
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread nuts in a single layer over a baking sheet. Roast for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until the nuts start to turn brown and the smell of roasting nuts fills the kitchen.
  2. Stir together sugar, cinnamon, salt, and milk in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage of 236 degrees F (113 degrees C). Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla immediately. .
  3. Add walnuts to sugar syrup, and stir to coat well. Spoon nuts onto waxed paper, and immediately separate nuts with a fork. Cool, and store in airtight containers.

Start the walnuts in the oven and watch them. I set my timer for 10 minutes and it was too long, luckily I caught them before they burned at all. Also, I halved this recipe since I just had a little bag of nuts, so that might explain why it didn't take as long to roast my nuts.

Start cooking the sugar mixture. Get a thermometer for this, no if ands or buts, just get one. They are cheap and easy to find! This didn't take hardly any time at all to reach the required temp. When it does, add your roasted nuts to the pot and stir. I could see that I had more sugar mixture than nuts so I kind of just stirred it in the pot for a few minutes letting the mixture cool and coat more of the sugar on the nuts.

This is where I didn't follow the directions. I dumped all my mix out when it says to spoon the nuts out of the pot and place on wax paper. You really don't want to just dump it because then you have a pool of sugar mixture.

While they are still warm, separate the nuts and let cool.

Ta da! You now have candied nuts made in the span of about 10-12 minutes.

The best part though, you can have lots of fun saying things like, Keep your hands of my nuts or Get off my nuts, or Get my nuts out of your mou......well you get the idea. Believe me I had tons of fun last night with my nuts, see, there I go again . . . lol :)


Not everything has to be home made, besides Martha Stewart, who really has the time? So I took a page from Sandra and made these cupcakes semi-homemade. I used a boxed cake mix but made the icing from scratch.

So to start off, I made the cupcakes according to the package directions. I used a Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe cake mix. My review at the bottom.

I picked it because it had a pouch of real carrots and raisins. You had to rehydrate the carrots and raisins in hot water. There really weren't all that many in the package either. If I used this again I would definitely add more real carrots and raisins to the mix.

They cooked up really nice and the house smelled really good and Christmasey from all this baking I was doing!

Next, it was time to make the icing. I changed up the original recipe I found for this, and I have to say I personally liked the changes I made.


  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tbl Milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy.
  2. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Really simple recipe and it tastes so much better than store bought. This recipe has a nice strong cream cheese flavor. If you don't like a strong cream cheese flavor, simply add more confectioners sugar and a little milk if it is too thick.

All you have left to do now if frost those cuppies and enjoy! I used an icing bag and tip to decorate mine and it is so much easier than trying to ice them with a knife in my opinion, plus it looks a ton better. You just squeeze it right on and you are done. I added sprinkles and CANDIED WALNUTS to the tops of my cup cakes.


3 out of 5 Spoons

I think it is a nice base mix, but could really use a little sprucing up with a dash or two more cinnamon, maybe some nutmeg. I also think the package of carrots and raisins were nice, but needed more, so I would add those next time I used this mix.

However, this is how my boyfriend feels about them, and I quote "it tastes like heaven ,i thought about them n my sleep".

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christy's Cajun/Creole Turkey

Hello All!

Today I'd like to show you my absolutely favorite way to make turkey!  I've always liked turkey but never found it particularly exciting.  2 years ago we decided to fry our turkey for the first time and let me tell you it was DIVINE!  Sadly, the peanut oil costs around $30 to $40 bucks, and I just dont like spending that much money on something I get to use then throw away. So this year I decided to flavor the bird the same way, but instead to just bake it.

Here, we have your 2 new best friends:

Last year I used the "Cajun Injector" Brand, but this year all I could find was Tony Chachere's.
Doesn't matter really, just get Creole or Cajun Butter and an injector!

Fill the inject and go to town!  I used just shy of the whole bottle.  When I inject, I do it every 2 inches or so and I do it at 90 and 45 degree angles, to make sure I am really getting alot of flavor in there!

(please disregard the obxoniously delicious Pumpkin Cinnamon rolls in the background.  My sister made them and they were criminally delicious!

Next part freaked my Mom out!  I separate the skin form the meat so I can add more flavor in between in a second.  Gently slide your fingers between the skin and the breast, and loosen it up.

I got distracted trying to keep my arm out of the way and ripped the skin a bit, don't be like me, be careful!  LOL
Next, slide your fingers down the side of the breast and loosen the skin on the drumstick too.

Now comes the fun!  Melt a half stick of butter just until soft, mine got a bit too runny.  Now add a TON of the Creole or Cajun dry spice mix.  If you think you've added enough, add more.  Seriously, I bet I used about 1/4 cup.   Massage this between the meat and skin like so(yes, you get a video!):

So odd, none of us actually sound like we do in the vid!  That doesn't even sound like me or Rob or Mom!

Now, it should look like this:

Now dust on a very generous amount of that creole spice.  Yes, really, add more, trust me here!

It probably could have used twice this much!

After baking it should look like this beauty:

It was De-lish!

Hope I gave you guys another idea on how you can zest up your next bird!
If you feel like going the fried route, I HIGHLY recommend it!  Just be sure to dry that bird out with about a half of a roll worth of paper towels before you fry and you will be fine!

I'll fry mine next time, maybe Christmas, and Share the pics!