Tuesday, December 29, 2015


This dinner is quick and easy and of course delicious. Both my husband and I are huge fans. This is a better the next day meal. So make it ahead of time and then heat it up when you need it.

Best Meatloaf
1 ½-2 lbs ground beef
¾ c quick oatmeal
¾ c whole milk
1 egg
½ c onion finely chopped
1 ¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1/3 c ketchup
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp mustard

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  3.      Combine ground beef, oatmeal, milk, egg, onion, salt, and pepper in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  4. Using your hands to incorporate everything into the meat. (Do not over mix)
  5. Transfer meat into a large loaf pan and press it down evenly into the pan.
  6. Mix ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard in a small bowl. Pour oven meatloaf.
  7. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and drain off excess grease.
  9. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip is a hit in my household and always a hit wherever I take it. This recipe is dangerous! I promise you cannot stop eating it. It's easy to put together and take anywhere. I make mine less spicy but that is an easy adjustment, just add more Frank's Hot Red Sauce (this is the only hot sauce I use in this dip).

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 8oz packages of cream cheese, cut into cubes
2 cans of chicken, drained
1/4 c Frank's Red Hot sauce (you can add more this is just the right heat for me)
1 c Ranch Dressing
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese 
1 bag of Tostitos Scoops

1. With the crockpot on high, add the cream cheese, chicken, Frank's, Ranch, and 1 c of cheese. 
2. Stir occasionally until it is all mixed. (All crockpots cook differently, mine takes about 1hr and 30 minutes.)
3. Once all cooked together and the 1/2 c of cheese mix and serve with chips. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sweet Potato Casserole

This is the sweetest, most delicious casserole you will make. It really should be a dessert. The topping is so perfect. I made this for my Thanksgiving dinner but I can see me making it again for dinner one night (I will just cut the recipe in half.) This would be great with any holiday meal or if you have to take a side.

Sweet Potato Casserole

4 medium sweet potatoes
1 c sugar
1 c milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 c brown sugar
1 c pecans
1/2 c flour, all purpose
3/4 stick butter

1. Wash the sweet potatoes and bake them at 375 for about 30 to 35 minutes. (You will want to be able to insert a fork into them.)
2. Slice them open and scrape out flesh into a bowl.
3. Add granulated sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Mash up the sweet potatoes and mix in the ingredients. (Don't mash them too much.)
4. In a separate bowl, add brown sugar, pecans (take 1 c of pecans and chop them), flour, and butter. With pastry cutter or forks, mash them together until combined.
5. Spread the sweet potato mix into a 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle the crumble mixture on top.
6. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

This get better over night (it's hard to believe)
If you are making it for a dinner, you can make the everything and wait to bake it until the day you need it. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Southern Pecan Pie

I think every southerner loves pecan pies. It's a staple at every get together. This recipe has quickly become my favorite!

Southern Pecan Pie
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup (2/3 stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 unbaked easy as pie crust, rolled out and prepared in a pie pan

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a large bowl, combine syrup, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, butter, salr, and vanilla. Whisk together until completely combined.
3. Place pecans in the bottom of the pie crust (the will rise to the top) and pour the syrup mixture over top.
4. Cover pie tin foil and place it on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
5. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes.
6. Let the pie cool (the hardest part)
7. Slice into wedges and enjoy. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Easy as Pie Crust

I know I cannot be the only one who was / is terrified of making a pie crust, especially when its so easy to just buy it. For Thanksgiving when we (me) were planning the menu and I brought up pies, my husband asked if I was going to make my crust? I'm not going to lie, I was terrified. I even went out and bought store pie crust just in case. That was a waste of money it turned out perfect. The crust was flaky and delicious and the best part... make it ahead of time and freeze it. I am thinking that (of course when things slow down a little) I will make more and store in the freezer for when I need it. **Allow about 30 minutes to adjust to room temperature before rolling.

Easy as Pie Crust

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup lard (you can substitute shortening)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, but into pieces

1 large egg
1 Tbsp white vinegar
5 Tbsp cold water

1. Combine flour, salt, lard, and butter in a large bowl. using a pastry cutter, gradually work it all together until mixture resembles coarse crumbs
2. Beat the egg with a fork and add it to the mixture along with the vinegar, and water
3. Stir it all together until it comes together (add a tablespoon of water of so if it needs moisture)
4. (Optional) Form the mixture into two balls and wrap them individual plastic bags, seal and place in freezer. Remove them 30 minutes before you need them.
5. Fill with your favorite pie and bake

**Helpful tips: 
*Roll the crust out on a lightly floured surface about 1 inch larger diameter than the top of the pie pan
*Fold it in half carefully, transfer to pie pan, then unfold so that it covers the whole pan

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Rye Bread

I don't know why I have never tried rye bread, but it is so good. And believe it or not super easy to make. I was so intimidated to attempt that this Thanksgiving but I can see myself making this again. 

Rye Bread

2 Tbsp whole caraway seeds
1 1/2 cups dark rye flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp salt
1Tbsp (package) active dry yeast

 2 Tbsp whole caraway seeds
1 1/2 cups dark rye flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp salt
1Tbsp (package) active dry yeast


1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, combine the warm water and sugar. whisk to combine. sprinkle yeast on top of water and let sit for five minutes until the yeast blooms and becomes frothy.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, caraway seeds, and salt. add the flour mixture along with the milk and olive oil to the mixer

3. Mix on low until the dough starts to come together. once the dough starts to form, turn the speed up to medium/high and knead for 8-10 minutes. add additional all-purpose flour to the dough if it seems too sticky

4. Place dough in a lightly oiled large bowl. cover with a towel and let rise in a warm area for approximately an hour and a half, until it has doubled in size.

5.  Lightly flour a work surface. place the dough on the floured surface, punch down, and allow to rest for five minutes. form the dough into a loaf shape and place in a loaf pan. cover the pan and let the dough rise for another hour until it has doubled in size again

6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. bake the loaf for 45 minutes until golden brown and crusty. the loaf should sound hollow when done

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Buns

I love coffee. I also love sweet breakfast treats with my coffee and there is nothing better than a warm cinnamon bun. These were a huge hit and didn't last very long. I guess I will be making more soon. Also, be prepared to fight over the leftover icing. 

Cinnabon Cinnamon Bun Copycat Recipe

1 package active dry yeast
1 c warm whole milk
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/3 c butter, softened
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 c flour
1 c brown sugar
3 Tbsp cinnamon
1/3 c butter, softened
*Cream Cheese Icing
6 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

1. In large bowl, dissolve yeast in the milk.
2. Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour to mixer bowl and mix together. 
3. Pour yeast mixture in, using a dough hook mix well.
4. Place dough into oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. It should double in size
5. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 16 by 12 and 1/4 inch thick.
6. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9 inch pie pan or baking sheet.
7. Make filling by combining the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl.
8. Spread mixture evenly over dough. 
9. From the long edge, roll dough tightly.
10. Cut into 1 1/2 inch slices using fishing line. 
11. Place rolls into prepared pan. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for another 30 minutes. 
12. Bake fr 20 minutes or until golden brown.
13. While rolls are baking, make the icing by combining all ingredients with mixer until fluffy.
14. When done spread generously with icing. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Best Cranberry Sauce

I was going to wait until after to post some of the recipes I used for Thanksgiving but this one is too good to share. I will add more pictures later. This is an easy to put together meal. I made mine two days in advance so the flavor a can mix and I might make another batch!

 Best Cranberry Sauce

1 12 oz bag of cranberries, washed
2 large oranges
1 cup maple syrup 

1. Zest oranges and add to a medium saucepan
2. Add cranberries
3. Squeeze the juice from the oranges
4. Pour in the maple syrup
6. Bring mix to a gentle boil over medium heat
7. Reduce to low heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until it is nice and thick
8. Transfer to a dish and cover. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

You can make and store for up to 2 days in the fridge.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Carrot Cake Muffins

I remember growing up and there being carrot cake at some place we were eating. I also remember thinking why would I want to eat cake that has a vegetable in it!?! So up until now, I had never eaten carrot cake but when you get a wheelbarrow full of carrots, it's time to try it. It turned out better than I could imagine and it went so well with the buttercream icing. Now, I just need to make more and practice icing them. (Darn the bad luck)

Carrot Cake Muffins

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 c apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c shredded carrots
1/2 c chopped nuts or chocolate, optional


**Pre-heat oven 350
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and sugar. Stir until mixed evenly.
2. Add beaten eggs, apple sauce, and vanilla. Stir until mixed well. (Dry ingredients should be all mixed in.)
3. Fold in carrots.
4. In a greased muffin tin or lined with liners (I used the silicon reusable ones), fill with batter until 2/3 full. A ice cream scoop works great.
5. Bake in oven for 22-25 minutes.
6. Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes and then move to rack to cool completely. 
7. Add icing if you would like.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Carrot Soup

Other than a wood stove, one of the best things about colder weather is soup (okay, maybe a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows). There is something comforting about a nice warm cup of soup on a cold day. I found this recipe to help use some of the wheelbarrow carrots. I will not lie, I was not thinking this would be really good. But it was and is even better with a nice bread bowl. 

Be careful when asking your husband to hand you the hot sauce... always read the label!

Carrot Soup


3 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 Tbsp minced garlic
32 oz chicken broth
2 strips bacon, cooked
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp hot sauce


1. Heat oil in a pot.
2. Add carrots, onions, and garlic and cook for 15 minutes, until carrots are tender.
3. Put the vegetables into a blender and puree.
4. Add broth and continue to puree.
5. Pour back into the pot and heat.
6. Add bacon, season with salt and pepper, and hot sauce. 
7. Simmer until ready to serve.