Friday, December 28, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

My Mom made this growing up and she got this recipe from my Aunt Nana!  It's ohhhhh so easy, all you do is melt the butter and peanut butter then pour it over the cocoa,  powder sugar and vanilla! After that you stir until combined, pat it down in a pan place it in the fridge or freezer until it sets!

Seriously so easy! 

The original recipe didn't call for you to melt the butter and peanut butter but one day I found the recipe online when looking for another recipe.  It called for the same exact ingredients but called for the butter and peanut butter to be melted.  The recipe I used before had you use softened butter and then peanut butter, they both work but I do prefer the melted method.

This fudge is so creamy and has just the right balance of peanut butter and chocolate!

Here is what you will need, I had a 1/2 jar and a whole jar so that is why you see 2 jars of peanut butter.  It only takes 1 cup for a single batch!

melt butter in a heavy pan

add peanut butter to the melted butter

after peanut butter melts let it cool for about 10 minutes

pour butter- peanut butter mixture over dry ingredients once it has cool

stir until incorporated

I made a double batch...I used different sizes because I wanted them to be thicker, normally you would use the size on the right for a single batch. 

Peanut Butter Fudge

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe Creamy Fudge

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup butter

1 pound powdered sugar (3 ¾ cup)
4  T cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Line a 9" square pan with wax paper.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat, add the peanut butter and stir well making sure to fully blend. Remove from heat and cool.
3. In a large bowl, mix the powdered sugar, cocoa and the vanilla.
4.  When the peanut butter/butter mixture is cooled, add it to the powdered sugar and mix thoroughly until smooth.
5.  Pour the mixture into the square pan. Cover with waxed paper. Refrigerate for 30 mins to an hour or in freezer for about 15 minutes.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Italian Cream Cake

This has been a Drennan family favorite for years!  I can't believe I haven't put this on the blog yet.  I make this pretty often throughout the year.  I have several friends who ask me to make it for their birthday.

This cake has coconut and pecans in the cake with a cream cheese icing.  I add coconut on top and a few chopped pecans. 

The only thing that is different about this cake then most is you add the egg yolks to the main mixture then you whip the egg whites separately and fold them into the main mixture. 

Cream together butter and sugar

add egg yolk and mix well

add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately then add pecans and coconut

whip your egg whites until they form a peak

this is what they should look like

fold in egg whites to cake mixture by using a spatula

evenly pour into 3 cake pans that have been greased and floured and bake

I ice the cake between the layers and then I ice the sides and top

Ice with the cream cheese icing recipe below and if you like top with coconut and pecans

Italian Cream Cake

1 stick of butter
½ cup of Crisco
2 cups of sugar
5 egg yolks
2 cups of flour
1 tsp soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 small can of coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
5 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease (shortening) and flour 3 9” round pans

Cream butter & shortening add egg yolks and sugar.
Add flour & soda alternately with buttermilk add vanilla, coconut
And pecans.

Whip egg whites until stiff then fold in to mixture above by hand.

Pour into 3 pans using equal parts

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes

Cream Cheese Icing

1 8oz cream cheese softened
2 sticks of butter softened
Powder sugar about 2/3’ of a bag
1 tsp vanilla
Chopped pecans

Cream together softened cream cheese and butter then add powder sugar
A little at a time then add vanilla.

You can add 2 T of milk if it’s too thick.

After cake is completely cooled ice cake and then add coconut to top and
Sides and a few pecans (chopped) on top if you would like.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Southwestern Cheese Appetizer ~ Marinated Cheese

This appetizer is perfect for Christmas with the green and red but can be eaten all year!  I found this recipe in the Southern Living magazine at least 6 or 7 yrs ago!  They actually have two different recipes on their webiste and I have made both, I like this one the most!  The other one has balsamic vinegar in it and so it changes the color of the cheese which I didn't like as much.

Just buy 8 oz bars of cheese and slice them 1/4 inch thick and then in half.  You can see by the picture below the size the cheese should be.  It's kinda amazing how many slices you end up with with just 3 bars of cheese. 

It's very important to let it marinade over night or at least 8 hours.  This will last 3 to 5 days but it's in it's prime the 2nd and 3rd day!

I made this twice last week and didn't take step by step pictures but you can see by the picture below what it should look like.  Just whisk the marinade in a bowl and pour it over the cheese.  I do 3 lines of cheese and place it in a plastic container where the cheese fits snug so that it's not to large of a container, that way the cheese is able to be coated in the marinade.

Here is the plastic container I use and then I just put the lid on it and put it in the fridge!

*also I found the the roasted sweet red peppers at The Dollar Tree!  They are just as good as the ones I buy at the grocery store!

Southwestern Cheese Appetizers

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 (7.5-ounce) jar roasted sweet red peppers, drained and diced
3 green onions, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (8-ounce) block sharp Cheddar cheese, chilled
1 (8-ounce) block Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, chilled
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, chilled

Whisk together first 3 ingredients until mixture is blended; stir in diced red peppers and next 6 ingredients. Set marinade aside.
Cut block of Cheddar cheese in half lengthwise. Cut halves crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Repeat procedure with Monterey Jack cheese and cream cheese.
Arrange cheese slices alternately in a shallow baking dish, standing slices on edge. Pour marinade over cheeses. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Transfer cheese to a serving plate, and spoon remaining marinade over top. Serve with assorted crackers.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hot Turkey and Cheese on a Croissant ~ Hot Ham and Cheese on a Croissant

This is a simple sandwich to make but it is so good!  I should call this the Kirsten sandwich in honor of my niece Kirsten!  This is her sandwich, she has made it for years!  One day I made us both one but didn't eat mine until later and it was still really good so I added it to my menu of sandwiches to some of the teachers I cater lunches for and it is becoming the top seller! 

Heating the croissant in the oven changes it, which is a good thing ;).  It brings out the butter and makes it even more delicious than it is, if that could be possible!!

I like to buy my ham and hickory smoked turkey at Sam's.  I get it over by the bakery, the brand is Castle Wood and I get the thin shaved sliced one.  It's really good and has a great flavor and it's good quality.  My friend Jeanetta told me that Costco has sliced chicken lunch meat that they really like, so I am going to have to try that on this sandwich soon.

I just slice the croissant in half and this sounds weird but I put Hellman's Mayonnaise on both sides.  Hellman's has a buttery taste to it and really goes well on the hot sandwich.  My niece actually like it on there and she doesn't like mayo!  Then just add your turkey (I add 3 slices) then cheese, I use colby jack but you can change it up.  Bake at 350 with the top off until the cheese starts to melt then add the top part of the croissant and bake another 5 minutes or so until the cheese is totally melted.

Sam's has 12 croissants for $5.99 and actually Costco does too.  They freeze very well too!  I find that the croissants at the grocery store are A. expensive, you get 4 for like $4 and they are B. too soft to cut well they kinda crush when you are trying to cut them.  If  am using a croissant out of the freezer I just set it out 30 minutes before I need it  or I pop it in the microwave for less than 30 seconds.

Ham and Cheese

Turkey and Cheese

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I really do love divinity!  My Great Aunt Dot made the best and always had it at my Grandparent's house every Christmas!  It was the first thing I looked for when I would go to visit!

I made Divinity many years ago but haven't in a long time.  I decided I would make it today and see how it would come out.  So often people say it's soooo difficult to make but if you do exactly what the steps say it's actually not that hard.  Just make sure you read the directions twice and have everything ready to go before you start.  It's also actually cheap to make.

I was given a large bag of pecans over the weekend which to me is a goldmine!  Yay

Add sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves (becomes clear) and a candy thermometer registers 248 degrees (about 15 minutes).

This is almost at 248 degrees it starts to boil some and the liquid gets clear.  Remove syrup from the heat that this point when it reaches 248 degrees.

Beat egg whites until stiff and then add 1/2 of the hot syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating constantly at high speed about 5 minutes. 

While beating on high speed place syrup back on stove stirring occasionally until candy thermometer registers 272 degrees (about 4 to 5 minutes).  Slowly pour hot syrup and vanilla extract over egg white mixture, beating constantly on high speed until mixture holds its shape (5 to 8 minutes). You will hear it change textures in bowl.  I used a kitchenaide and it was done at about 5 minutes.

 Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans or I just simply put 1 pecan on each piece of candy as I did below.

Drop mixture quickly by rounded teaspoonful onto lightly greased wax paper ( i used crisco).

One of my all time favorites!!


2 ½ cups sugar
½ cup water
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ tsp salt
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pecans (optional can just us 1 for the middle)
Garnish : toasted pecans halves

Cook first 4 ingredients in a heavy 2- quart saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves and a candy thermometer registers 248 degrees (about 15 minutes).  Remove syrup mixture from heat.
Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Pour half of hot syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating constantly at high speed, about 5 minutes.
Cook remaining half of syrup over medium heat, stirring occasionally until a candy thermometer registers 272 degrees (about 4 to 5 minutes).  Slowly pour hot syrup and vanilla extract over egg white mixture, beating constantly at high speed until mixture holds its shape (about 6 to 8 minutes).  Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans.
Drop mixture quickly by rounded teaspoonful onto lightly greased wax paper.  Garnish, if desired.  Cool

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping

I made this on Monday night and it was really good!!!   I didn't get any pictures but thought it was good enough until I make it again with pictures to post! 

The praline has a nice buttery taste which just enhances the sweet potatoes so nicely!!!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

                                Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping

4 cups mashed sweet potatoes
½ cup white sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
¼ tsp salt
½ pint heavy whipping cream
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350
Butter a 2 quart casserole dish.
In a mixing bowl,  combine the sweet potatoes, sugar, vanilla, eggs and cream.  Blend well and spread evenly into casserole dish.
Prepare the topping  by combining the butter, brown sugar, flour and pecans.  Mix until crumbly , and sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Herbed Tomato Tart

This is very delicious and easy!!  I made it for the first time last week and will  be making it again! 

You start with a Pepperridge Puff Pastry sheet which you bake for 15 minutes then you just add mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, salt, olive oil  and herbs. Oh and feta cheese if you like feta cheese!  I don't nor did anyone else I was making it with so we left it off! 

This would be great at Thanksgiving or a Christmas Party for an appetizer! 

Simple yet looks so beautiful.  I bought red tomatoes, some that weren't red yet and then some small yellow cherry tomatoes.  I also used the chives and then I just added basil but you can use more herbs.

I will have to say I am giving Sprouts another chance.  I had bad luck like 3 or 4 times in a row so I stopped going over a year ago.  There is a great place in Duncanville called Cox Farm's and their produce is just always fresh, like you see them constantly throwing stuff out that isn't good.  The times I went to Sprouts I just seemed to get things that weren't good.  Like the garlic was rubbery the cucumbers had no flavor and a onion was molded inside but looked fine on the outside. 

I was in a hurry and was trying to decide where would be the fastest to get in and out of and I thought Sprouts!  So I got my chives there and was pleasantly surprised that they had a section of .99 cent fresh herbs!   I had already gotten basil at Kroger (for $1.89) but I could have got a smaller one for .99 too.  I found a few more things and decided I would give them another chance.  We shall see!

You really should try this Herbed Tomato Tart!  I even was thinking this would make a good pizza!  Puff Pastry, cheese pepperoni, veggies or whatever you want!!!  The pastry is so light and flaky!  I love using puff pastry anyway so this was a great!!

This can be pricey, I paid $4.57 at Kroger then saw it the next day at Heb for $3.38! 

I didn't even roll it out like it says since it just folds right out!  You can roll it out then put it on the cookie sheet,  I just took a short cut.

Now you will think, man that is a lot of tomatoes!  I was also making a pasta dish with fresh tomatoes so I didn't use all these for the tart.

I really like to grate my own cheese but you can do whatever you want ;)

Bake the puff pastry for 15 minutes, the oven I was using doesn't always get things brown so later I thought I should have kept it in there a few more minutes.  After I baked it the 2nd time it was brown.

This really does look beautiful in person!

You can cut it like this or smaller slices like strips even.

Herbed Tomato Tart

Medium Tomatoes thinly sliced (about 3/4 lb)
1/2 pint assorted small tomatoes, halved
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 (17.3 oz) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 (8oz) mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 4oz feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup assorted fresh herbs, chopped
1 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place tomatoes in a single layer on a paper towel; sprinkle with 1/2 tsp.  Let stand 30 minutes.  Pat dry with a paper towel.

Meanwhile, roll 1 pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface; place onto an ungreased baking sheet. Cut 4 (12X1 inch) strips from the remaining pastry sheet, and place strips along outer edges of pastry square, forming a border.  Reserve remaining pastry for another use.

Bake at 400 degrees for 14 to 15 minutes or until browned.

Sprinkle pastry with mozzarella cheese and next 3 ingredients.  Top with tomatoes in a single layer.  Sprinkle tomatoes with herbs and remaining 1/4 tsp of salt; drizzle with olive oil.

Bake at 400 degrees for 14 to 15 minutes or until cheese melts.  Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stock Up- Deals of the Season!

This time of year I stock up on Campbell's Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom Soup along with Chicken Broth!  I honestly stock up for the year!  I had 1 can left from last year!

Kroger right now has all three for .50 when you buy 10 which is a great deal!  They can run up to $1.39 other times of the year.  Wal Mart also has some great prices on these items and most stores will up to Thanksgiving and then Christmas.  Sometimes the deals after Thanksgiving aren't as good but they are still better than the full price!!!

For me Campbell's is the only brand to buy for Cream of Chicken and Mushroom.  The others have a weird after taste to them (a plastic taste).  I buy all brands of Chicken Broth doesn't seem to change too much but when I can get Swanson's at a good price I buy that.  Right now Swanson's is .50 a can at Kroger!!

Also this week Land O Lakes butter is $1.99 at Kroger!!!!!! 

Green Giant Green Beans and corn are also .50 a can and Stove Top  Dressing is .75.

I happen to like Stove Top Dressing, I know but I actually love it!

Just fyi  ;)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Classic Chess Pie

Chess Pie is one of my all time favorites!  It's super easy to make especially if you use a frozen pie crust which is what I did.  I make my own crust but I also buy them to save time.  I like to buy Pet Ritz brand, Sarah Lee's or Marie Callender's.  You want to get the deep dish so that the filling doesn't run out while baking.

Honestly it was after I made this pie for the first time years ago I realized why they say "it's as easy as pie"!  Takes minutes to put together and about 50 to 55 minutes to bake.  You want to make sure it does bake for the whole time so that it sets.  A little under might make it a tiny bit runny.  Now if your oven bakes faster than usual then just check it and make sure it doesn't giggle.

I used a frozen pie crust you can take this out of the tin and put it in your own pie plate ;)
I do have a good pie crust recipe on here if you want to make your own.  I was just in a hurry!
Bake the crust like it says for 4 to 5 mintues before pouring the pie filling in.

add dry ingredients then the butter, eggs, milk, vinegar, vanilla and stir until combined

pour into pie crust and bake for 50 to 55 mintues

after 10 to 20 minutes cover the edges with foil...I usually wait unitl 20 mintues so it can set alittle so when I pull it out it doesn't spill out of the pie.  You can also use pie shields which I have but the foil was right there!

Truly delicious and easy as pie!

Classic Chess Pie

1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Fit pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.
Line pastry with aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
Bake at 425° for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove weights and foil; bake 2 more minutes or until golden. Cool.
Stir together sugar and next 7 ingredients until blended. Add eggs, stirring well. Pour into pie crust.
Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes, shielding edges with aluminum foil after 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Coconut Chess Pie: Prepare filling as directed above; stir in 1 cup toasted flaked coconut before pouring into pie crust. Bake as directed above.

Yield:  1 (9-inch) pie

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

I got this recipe about 8 years ago at the Texas State Fair.  Southern Living had a cooking show in the auditorium of The Hall of State building.  I was super excited because I love Southern living magazines and cookbooks....oh and website! 

This recipe has great flavor to it and is pretty easy to make.   You use a box of Zatarian's Jambalaya rice then I also add two bags of the plain rice that I cook then put in with the pot with
everything else. Even if the Zatarian's isn't done I still put the cooked rice in because it just gets so tender. 

If it seems to need more liquid add more chicken broth or water.  You want it to have enough liquid to cook the Zatarian's rice and in the end it will absorb all the liquid.  I think in the end I might use more than a can of chicken broth... just fyi

Goes well with cornbread!  You have to try this cornbread recipe I have on the blog!  You use bisquick, cornmeal, sugar, milk, eggs one of the best cornbread I have ever made!!  It also taste good the next day, for real!

Saute onion, green pepper (oops, I forgot green pepper) then add summer sausage

Cut chicken, I used 2 1/2 chicken breasts that I had baked the day before

Add Rotel

This little box really has some good flavor in it!

You can make your rice the regular way but I find this so easy to just boil the bag!  Now when I make spanish rice or etc I do it the regular way.

Boil your rice as directed on box or make your own rice

Once you add the rotel and chicken broth add the Zatarian's and stir

Add chicken and cover.  Add the other rice once it's done and let it simmer along with everything else

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Look at all that flavor!

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

1 rotisserie whole chicken
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices or I prefer bite size
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove minced
2 (10-ounce) cans ROTEL Milder Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 box of Zatarain’s New Orleans Style Jambalaya mix
2 bags of cooked rice (equals 1 cup each when cooked)

Remove chicken from bones; cut chicken into bite-size pieces, and set aside.
Sauté bell pepper, onion and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes in a dutch oven over medium heat, then add sausage, stirring occasionally , another 5 minutes

Stir in Rotel, broth, 1 cup water, garlic powder, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken, box of Zatarian’s uncooked rice along with the 2 bags of cooked rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until rice is tender.

Yield:  Makes 6 servings

If you don’t have Zatarain’s you may use 3 cups of uncooked rice and 1 tsp of Cajun seasoning to the boiling liquid then cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

*I always use bag rice but if you don’t have any you may just add 1 cup (equals 2 cups when cooked) of uncooked rice along with the Zatarian’s.  I just think the cooked rice get’s tenderer and adds texture…

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