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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

corn cakes



Soup and bread is the perfect combo...unless the soup is spicy.  When you add spice to the mix, you've gotta have corn to sweeten things up a bit!


These corn cakes are easy and delicious - the perfect accompaniment to your favorite spicy soup.  I like them with tortilla soup, but this week we had them with a black bean soup.  They contain green onions and cayenne, adding their own level of spice to the meal.  But the natural sweetness of corn rounds everything out.  They are a must for your next night of Mexican food.

Begin by combining an egg, buttermilk, and melted butter.


In a separate bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and cayenne pepper.


Combine the dry and wet ingredients and then fold in the corn and green pepper.  Heat a cast iron skillet and coat it with light layer of oil.  Fry up the corn cakes like you would pancakes!


Serve with sour cream, a little salsa, and some delicious soup - makes a terrific meal!


Corn Cakes
Adapted from Gooseberry Patch's Celebrate Year Round
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 T. butter, melted
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen corn

In a small bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and cayenne pepper.  In a separate bowl, whisk egg, buttermilk and butter.  Add egg mixture to cornmeal mixture and stir lightly.  Fold in green onions and corn.  In a heated cast iron skillet coated with oil, place heaping tablespoons of batter; brown and flip as you would pancakes.  Top with sour cream and salsa.  Serves 4.

Monday, April 22, 2013

"his" and "hers" strawberry sauces


Cookie Bandit and I had a fun, impromptu date night the other day.  We had some strawberries...we had some pork chops...so we decided to play a little game of Iron Chef and make our own strawberry sauces to spruce up our dinner.


I combined sweet, sassy, and savory to get a strawberry lime sauce.  It goes amazing on both pork and chicken.  Cookie Bandit went a bit more bold and created a hot and savory strawberry sauce.  At first you taste the strawberries, but it leaves some spice and heat lingering on your taste buds.  I couldn't get enough of the stuff!

Be sure to try one next time you need to spruce up grilled chicken or pork chops.  Or better yet, grab some fruit and try making your own!


"His" Hot and Savory Strawberry Sauce
  • 6 strawberries
  • 3 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/4 t. garlic powder
  • 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 t. prepared horseradish

"Hers" Strawberry-Lime Sauce
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 t. lime juice
  • 1/4 t. basil
  • 1/4 t. ground mustard
  • 1/4 t. savory
Puree all ingredients and spoon over meat.

Friday, April 19, 2013

gooseberry patch recipes | favorite things friday


Because I'm currently running a Gooseberry Patch giveaway here, I have been reminiscing about all of the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks that I've reviewed on this site...there's been several!  For today's Favorite Things Friday, I thought I would do a recap of our favorite recipes from each. 

Travel down memory lane with me, will you?  :)

We just loved this Creamy Corn Pudding from Slow Cooking All Year RoundThe fact that it was a slow cooker recipe made it even better!




Weeknight Dinners had a recipe for hands-down the BEST burgers we have ever made.  Oh my word.  I'm drooling just remembering how these Chicken-Apple Sliders tasted!


 

We love a good breakfast casserole, so it was a no-brainer to try this recipe for Wilderness Breakfast from The Harvest TableChock full of bacon, sausage, and cheese...it was delicious!

 

I can still remember when we made this Quick Brown Bread from Rush-Hour Recipes.  Haha!  For some reason, we always kissed each other whenever we made it.  Such a romantic recipe!



We reviewed 101 Hearty Recipes when I was pregnant with Pebbles but hadn't told anyone yet.  These 4-Layer Cookie Bars were a perfect remedy for morning sickness!




One of our favorite recipes of all-time (seriously, we make it at least once a month) has to be this Buttermilk Syrup from Quick and Easy Christmas.  So easy and sooooo good.



We aren't normally into cookies that don't have chocolate in them, but these ANZAC Biscuits from Best-Ever Cookies were winners in every sense of the word.  Moist, chewy, delicious - yeah...I think I'm going to have to go in the kitchen and make some right now.


And speaking of something I need to make right now...this Chocolate Chess Pie from Mom's Very Best Recipes is seriously one of the best pies I've ever had.  And it's so pretty!  I like busting this recipe out whenever we have company.


And finally, Cookie Bandit's most requested recipe.  It's what we served at Pebbles' first birthday party...it's what we brought to all of our holiday gatherings...it's what we make at home just for fun...Heavenly Warm Corn Dip from Homestyle in a Hurry.  There's no other word for this stuff than amazing.


That was fun.  I'm drooling now...are you?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

game-day fan fare - review and giveaway!

Game-Day Fan Fare: Over 240 recipes, plus tips and inspiration to make sure your game-day celebration is a home run!
It's that time of year again!  Gooseberry Patch has a brand new cookbook out, and my goodness is it amazing.  Game-Day Fan Fare is full of those perfect recipes for a night at home watching the football game on TV or for the best party you'll ever throw.  I just love it for its versatility in that sense.  It's got recipes for brunch, munchies, soups, salads, sandwiches, main dishes, sides, dessert treats, and for those times when you are feeding the whole football team!  
Like I do with most cookbooks, I immediately read it straight through to see what caught my eye.  For the first time, there was so much that I had to make a list!  Our breakfasts in the near future are going to definitely include the Blueberry Coffee Cake, Pumpkin Waffles, and Beer Bread Pancakes.  The Touchdown Toss looks amazing - a white chocolate covered snack mix that sounds perfect for movie night!  I can't wait to try making my own Pimento Cheese to go alongside Beer-Cheese Soup, some All-Season Coleslaw, and Creamy Bacon Corn-Fetti.  Next time I have a crowd coming over, I'll be whipping up some Chicken Strata and Mini Cheesecakes.  And I can't wait to try the Caramel Corn, Ooey-Gooey Popcorn, Banana Pudding Fudge, Coconutty Macaroons, and Skillet Cookies.  Phew!  I think I'm going to need to up my exercise with all of these recipes on my menu!

We did finally narrow down which recipes we wanted to try for this review.  We loved all of them and gave them all "awards"!

Most Likely to Be an Ice Cream Topping
Peanut Butter Pancake Syrup from the chapter Kick-off Brunches

We were excited to try this peanut butter syrup because we both love peanut butter and because it was so stinkin' easy...only two ingredients!  It did not disappoint.  It took me just minutes to whip up and provided a delicious topping for our Saturday morning waffles.  It's so rich that you really don't need much and probably wouldn't want it for every breakfast...although we could see putting it on vanilla ice cream in a heartbeat!  We'll be making it as an occasional treat.  This diner-style topping definitely appeals to the southerner in me. 

Most Unique
Sweet Chipotle Pretzels from the chapter Major League Munchies

These pretzels are definitely unique.  They're covered in a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and...yes...chipotle chili powder.  My taste buds really didn't know what to do with themselves!  Because of their interesting flavors, they definitely aren't the kind of snack you could over-indulge on.  They are, however, quick and easy to make...perfect for your next party or gathering.

Most Surprisingly Healthy
Slow-Cooker Cheesesteak Sandwiches from the chapter Souper-Bowl Soups, Salads and Sandwiches

The minute Cookie Bandit saw the name of this recipe, he requested that I make it instantly.  The man loves his cheeseteak sandwiches!  We decided that in the end, these really weren't much like the real Philly cheesesteaks - they aren't greasy at all.  In fact, these are kind of the healthier twin.  Great flavor, still a mess, but lighter on the calories.  They were definitely a nice change from cold sandwiches and burgers.

Creamiest Baked Mac and Cheese We've Ever Tried
Super-Easy Mac and Cheese from the chapter Slam-Dunk Mains and Sides

I almost didn't make this recipe because...I'll be honest...I'm usually not a fan of the baked mac and cheese.  I like creamy, and most baked mac and cheese recipes that we've tried are anything but.  Fortunately for me, I did try it and was pleasantly surprised - this was the creamiest baked mac and cheese ever!  It was also incredibly easy to make - you don't even have to cook the noodles first.  The one downside is that it didn't make great leftovers.  It tended to lose the creaminess, and the cracker topping got a little soggy by the second day.  That's okay, though...Pebbles loved it!


The Cookie That Just Gets Better
Pig-Out Cookies from the chapter Touchdown Treats


Oh my word, these cookies are something else!  We picked them because of their ingredient list - chocolate chips, peanut butter, chili powder, bacon, bacon grease!  I couldn't even imagine what all of those flavors would taste like together, but the answer is, "Magnificent!"  They actually taste better and better the longer they sit - by day 4, Cookie Bandit was just going nuts over them.  They are both sweet and salty, with a subtle touch of bacon flavor.  And one of my favorite things about them - they are seriously some of the prettiest cookies I have ever made, and I wasn't even trying.  They come out looking beautifully, with a texture like those Soft Batch cookies I grew up loving.  These are definitely cookies we'll be making again and again.

Heartiest
Bacon-Potato Chowder from the chapter Stadium-Sized Recipes for a Crowd

This was a nice hearty soup, excellent for a chilly day.  We particularly liked the addition of bacon.  As Cookie Bandit put it, bacon added that element that potato soup generally lacks. This really was a recipe for a crowd - it made 12 huge servings!

So that's the line up!  And it's probably no surprise that Cookie Bandit picked Pig-Out Cookies as his absolute favorites...so that's what we're sharing with you today!


First, you start with the pig!  Cook up some bacon in a skillet, reserving the drippings.


In a mixing bowl, combine butter and bacon drippings until smooth.


Beat in peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until creamy.


Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy.


In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, chili powder, and salt.  Combine with rest of batter and then fold in chocolate chips and bacon.


Roll dough into balls.  The recipe says roll into 12 balls - that makes some huge cookies!  We opted to make smaller cookies so that we could enjoy them for longer.  Place balls of dough on parchment paper and flatten slightly.


Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until golden.  Cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack.


Pig-Out Cookies
from Gooseberry Patch's Game-Day Fan Fare
  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/8 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. chili powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cook bacon until crisp in a skillet over medium heat.  Crumble and drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, chili powder, and salt; set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat together butter and reserved drippings with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in peanut butter and sugars until creamy, about 4 minutes.  Add egg and vanilla; beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce mixer setting to low; slowly beat in flour mixture until just combined.  Fold in chocolate chips and bacon.  Roll dough into 12 balls; arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Flatten balls slightly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden.  Cool cookies on sheet for about 2 minutes; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes one dozen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Below are some of my friends who are also participating in the Early Bird Reviews by Gooseberry Patch. Check out their recipes & more entries to the giveaway!

Old House Homestead
The Country Cook
Goodeness Gracious
Well Seasoned Life
Girl with Blog
Two Maids a Milking
A Recipe A Day
SusieQTpies Cafe
 

Monday, April 15, 2013

spinach casserole


This is one of those dishes that I grew up loving...I mean, I couldn't get enough of it!  Then I found out what was in it and was thoroughly confused.  It's got such an odd ingredient list, but it's so good!

I remember whipping up this dish when I lived in the dorms in college.  My friends saw me put spinach, cottage cheese, and cornbread mix into a bowl and thought I'd gone nuts.  A few vowed that they'd never try it.  And then they smelled it baking... :)

They tried it.  They loved it.  Just like I knew they would.


To make, thaw out a box of chopped, frozen spinach, and then squeeze it dry.  Combine it with a box of corn muffin mix (Jiffy is my favorite), cottage cheese, salt, eggs, and chopped onion.


Grab a 2-quart casserole dish and melt some butter in the bottom.


Pour the butter into the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  (Why do you have to melt the butter in the casserole dish first?  It greases your dish!)


Pour the batter into the casserole dish.


Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until it's golden.  When you insert a toothpick, it should come out clean.


Spinach Casserole
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 10 oz. box frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
  • 8.5 oz. box corn muffin mix
  • 6 oz. cottage cheese
  • 1/2 T. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 small onion, chopped

Melt butter in a 2-quart casserole dish.  Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl.  Pour melted butter into batter; mix and pour back into casserole dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.


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