Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Party Hot Sausage

This is an appetizer that is served at most parties we have.  It is a recipe that my sister-in-law Darlene shared with me in a cookbook that she made for me as a shower gift (over 21 years ago).  The sausage is sweet and spicy. 
  • 5 lbs. of Bryan Cajun Smoked Sausage
  • 2 C. dark brown sugar
  • 2 C. ketchup
  • 1 C. of barbecue sauce with onion bits
  • ¼ C. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ C. dry mustard
  • ¼ C. Crystal hot sauce
  1. Slice the sausage into thin slices and place in a large pot with a cover
  2. Mix all the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl
  3. Pour the liquid mixture over the sausage
  4. Cook covered for 1 hour on medium heat
  5. Stir occasionally
  6. Uncover and cook for an additional ½ hour
  7. Chill overnight and then remove the grease from the top
  8. Place sausage in a crock pot and heat, when they are hot they are ready to serve
Tips and Tricks:
  • I use Kraft barbecue sauce with onion bits or Jack Miller has a good sauce with onions as well.
  • A 1 lb. box of brown sugar is just a little over 2 C.  Just add the box!
  • I have used 1/4 C. of Dijon mustard in place of the dry mustard.
  • This freezes great!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sour Cream Cheesecake

This is not a traditional heavy cheesecake.  It is light and fluffy.  It doesn't need toppings or other flavors with it because it is just that good.  It is a recipe from my mother-in-law, Dotty.  She is the baker in the family, but even I can make this dessert.

  • 16 ounces of cream cheese, 2 blocks
  • 16 ounces of sour cream
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 9 inch graham cracker crust
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Let cream cheese soften
  3. Using a mixer, blend the cream cheese and gradually add 2/3 C. of sugar
  4. Add eggs one at a time and then ½ t. of vanilla
  5. Pour mixture into the graham cracker crust
  6. Bake for 30 minutes
  7. While the filling is baking, whip the sour cream with 1/3 C. of sugar and ½ t. of vanilla for the topping
  8. Remove the cheesecake from the oven
  9. Preheat oven to 500 degrees
  10. Spread the sour cream mixture over the cheesecake and return to the oven for 5 minutes
Tips and Tricks:
  • This can be made with light or fat free cream cheese and sour cream.  I use light and it tastes great.
  • You might need to wrap the edge of the pie pan with foil so the graham cracker crust doesn’t burn.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is too easy not to make it yourself.  
  • 1 C. olive oil
  • ½ C. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. sugar
  • ½ T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 t. garlic salt
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  1. Combine all ingredients using an immersion blender or traditional blender and blend until thick and creamy
  2. Can be refrigerated and used for 2 weeks
 Tips and Tricks:
  • Different types of vinegars can be used in the place of the balsamic vinegar.
  • The Dijon mustard it what allows this vinaigrette to “stay together”.

Berry Good Shrimp Salad

What a beautiful salad for a nice Spring meal.  I bought what looked fresh and pretty on the day I made it.  The balsamic vinaigrette recipe follows this one.  It is easy to make and so good with this salad.
I used yellow cherry tomatoes and blackberries this meal.
  • Baby Greens
  • 3 lbs. of fresh jumbo shrimp
  • 1 T. Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning
  • ½ of a Vidalia onion
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pint of blackberries or raspberries
  • 6 boiled eggs
  • 8 oz. of crumbled feta cheese
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  1. Boil eggs, then peel and cut them into circles with an egg slicer
  2. Rinse the berries
  3. Cut the onion into thinly sliced semi-circles
  4. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves
  5. Grill the shrimp, that have been seasoned with Creole Seasoning, for about 2 - 3 minutes on each side on medium-high heat in a grill pan
  6. Toss the greens, tomatoes, onions, and berries with about ¾ C. of dressing
  7. Divide evenly to six plates
  8. Top each with sprinkles of cheese, 1 egg, and 5 – 6 shrimp
  9. Serve the vinaigrette on the table for those who like additional dressing
Tips and Tricks:
  • Boiling eggs that peel easy is tricky.  Click on my link in the ingredients list to see MY tricks.
  • This salad can be made with any lettuce, but the baby greens have a great flavor with the vinaigrette and berries.
  • My balsamic vinaigrette recipe is attached through a link.  Click on the balsamic vinaigrette link in the ingredients list.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


This is a great drink option for those who are not cocktail lovers.  It is light and refreshing.  My friend Missy served this Sangria at a Super Bowl party and we drank MANY pitchers full.
  • Juice of 6 lemons
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 2 bottles of red or white wine, chilled
  • 4 C. soda water, chilled
  • Fruit to float
  1. Combine lemon juice, orange juice, and sugar in a small pitcher
  2. Stir until the sugar is dissolved
  3. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours, then chill in the refrigerator overnight
  4. When ready to serve, combine ½ of the mixture with one bottle of wine and 2 C. of soda
  5. Float fruit on top, your choice (orange slices, lemon slices, or strawberries)
Tips and Tricks:
  • I like my Sangria over ice, but everything in this recipe is chilled, so it is not necessary.
  • I have tried this recipe with both red and white wine.  It is important to use a full bodied wine like a Merlot or a Chardonnay.  I made this with a Pinot Grigio and it wasn’t heavy enough to stand up to the fruit.
  • I made this with a ½ C. sugar and 12 packets of Splenda to cut down on the sugar. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

C.C. Cookie Kisses

These are big hit with the kids, well with the adults, too.  With Chocolate Chip cookie dough and Hershey's Kisses it's hard to go wrong.
  • 1 roll of Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1 bag of Hershey’s Kisses
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut the roll of cookie dough into eight slices and cut each slice into four pieces
  3. Press the pieces into a mini-muffin pan, making a hole in the center to fit the kiss
  4. Place the kiss in the center of each
  5. Bake for 12 minutes
Tips and Tricks:
  • If you are using a bigger roll of cookie dough or if you have a tub, each piece needs to be ½ ounce.  A traditional roll is 16 ½ ounces, that’s why you cut it into 8 slices, 2 ounces per slice, then cut it into 4, ½ ounce per piece.
  • Watch these carefully when they are baking.  They get really hard if you bake them too long.  The outside edges should look brown, but the center should look soft.  They firm up while they are cooling.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

B-B-Q Beef

This is a recipe from my friend Karen.  It serves a bunch of people and is so easy to make.  It's great for parties or for sitting around and watching the game. 
  • 6 lbs. of rump or chuck roast
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 envelope of Lipton Onion Soup mix
  • ½ C. water
  • 2 bottles of Kraft Spicy Honey barbecue sauce
  1. Cut rump roast into cubes and stuff each with a garlic clove
  2. Place cubes of beef, soup mix, and water in a crock pot
  3. Cook for 6 hours on high heat
  4. Drain the beef and return to crock pot
  5. Use tongs to shred the beef
  6. Add B-B-Q sauce and cook for an additional hour
  7. Serve with rolls
Tips and Tricks:
  • You can prepare this the night before and let it cook on low for 10 hours.
  • White Mountain rolls are great to serve with this.  They are small yeast rolls.  Yum!
  • It’s ok if the roast has some fat on the edges or even running through it.  It gives the roast flavor, but it cooks off and you won’t even see it when it is served.
  • This freezes great!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Boiled Eggs

Boiling a egg shouldn't be this hard, but it isn't as easy as people think.  Getting those suckers to peel is the problem, but here are my suggestions to help.
  • Eggs
  • Water
  1. Place eggs in a pot with a cover, where each egg touches the bottom of the pot and has a little room to move.
  2. Cover with cool water
  3. Cook on high heat until the water starts to boil
  4. Remove from the heat and cover the pot
  5. Allow to sit for 15 minutes
  6. Drain the hot water and cover the eggs with cool water
  7. Allow the eggs to sit until they are able to be handled, then crack and peel
 Tips and Tricks:
  • I think that peeling the egg while is still warm is THE key to getting the membrane off of the egg with the shell.  Don’t be tempted to let them sit in that cool water too long.
  • I usually add about a teaspoon of salt to the pot with the eggs and water.  I read that the salt helps the membrane of the egg to release from the shell so peeling is easier.  I don’t know if this is true, because sometimes they peel easy and sometimes they don’t.
  • Some people say you should use eggs that aren’t as fresh if you want to use them for stuffed eggs and they need to look pretty.  Not sure how accurate this is either, I’ve boiled eggs that are near the expiration date that have not peeled well, and I’ve boiled eggs that I bought the day I’ve boiled them that have peeled fine.

Kicking Potato Salad

This is not my Mom's potato salad. I have that recipe to share at a later date.  This potato salad gets it's kick from crab boil and green olives.  I have my one and only roommate to thank for this one.
  • 5 lb. bag of red potatoes
  • 3 T. concentrated liquid crab boil
  • 10 boiled eggs
  • ½ C. olive juice
  • 1 (16oz.) jar of green olives with pimentos
  • ½ T. kosher salt
  • ½ T. Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning
  • ¾ C. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. yellow mustard
  1. Boil potatoes with crab boil for 20 minutes on a rolling boil
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, boil the eggs
  3. Drain potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl
  4. Cut eggs into eighths and add to the mixing bowl
  5. Sprinkle salt and Tony’s on the eggs and potatoes
  6. Give the green olives a rough chop
  7. In a separate bowl, combine the mayo, olive juice, mustard, and the chopped olives
  8. Combine the wet ingredients with the eggs and potatoes
  9. Refrigerate overnight
 Tips and Tricks:
  • Do not use russet potatoes for this recipe.  You really need the texture of the red potatoes.
  • I like to add about ¼ C. of chopped chives.  I LOVE chives with potatoes.  Many people don’t, so that’s why I don’t include them when I am making this for a big group.
  • Boiling eggs that peel easy is a trick.  Click on my link in the ingredients list to find out MY tricks.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Crack Dip

Yes, that's what it is called.  My friend Paula blessed us with this lovely recipe.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
  • 2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 C. chopped pecans
  • 1 C. chopped green onions
  • 1 C. mayonnaise
  • Pepper jelly
  1. Mix all ingredients except the pepper jelly together.
  2. Put Saran Wrap in a shallow bowl and pour in mixture
  3. Refrigerate for at least one hour
  4. Invert bowl on to a serving platter and peel away the Saran Wrap
  5. Scoop pepper jelly over the base
  6. Serve with crackers
Tips and Tricks:
  • I use Tabasco red pepper jelly.
  • I use Sharp Cheddar cheese.
  • If you bring this dip to a party, have copies of this recipe ready to hand out.  People WILL ask you how to make it, that’s why we call it CRACK Dip.  It is addictive!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Jell-O Shots

Hey, it's Mardi Gras time!  There is no better way to make friends on the parade route, then to pull out some Jell-O shots! 
Who's ready for a shot?
  • 6 oz. Jell-O (pick your flavor)
  • 2 C. boiling water
  • ½ C. cool water
  • 1 ½ C. vodka or rum
  1. In a large bowl with a spout, pour the boiling water over the Jell-O
  2. Stir for about 2 minutes until the Jell-O is fully dissolved
  3. Add the cool water, then the vodka or rum
  4. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels and 33 cups
  5. Pour the Jell-O into the cups and refrigerate overnight
 Tips and Tricks:
  • I get the Solo brand 1 ½ oz. plastic cups with the plastic cap.   I get them at Party City.
  • Don’t try to cap the cups until after they set.  I have made a big mess trying to cap them while they are still warm.