Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beer Bread Grilled Cheese Sandwich

So, maybe this isn't all that kid friendly. 

But it sure is yummy!

The recipe for the beer bread is simple.  I highly recommend using a darker beer.  You are going to get much more flavor than if you use a light beer.  If a grilled cheese isn't tickling your fancy, try spreading some honey butter over it. 

Let's Get Started:

Beer Bread
adapted recipe from

1 (12 ounce) can or bottle dark beer (I used Sam Adams Octoberfest)
3 cups self-rising flour
1/3 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients may have to use your hands.  The bread hook on the kitchen-aid works great too! 
Pour into greased 9 x 5 loaf pan.
Let dough sit for about 30 minutes for best results.  Dough will rise a little and the finished product is lighter.  But you can bake right away if you'd like.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 50 minutes.  About half way through I like to brush the loaf with melted butter.

Allow bread to cool.

Grilled Cheese

Several slices of your favorite cheese
I used fontina and shredded cheddar

2 slices of beer bread
2Tablespoons butter-divided

Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Generously butter one side of a slice of bread. Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet bottom and add cheese. Butter a second slice of bread on one side and place butter-side-up on top of sandwich. Grill until lightly browned and flip over. Continue grilling until cheese is melted.

I added a few sauted onions to this one!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Key Lime Pancakes

I was lucky enough to find a bottle of Key Lime juice at my local commissary.  I had to buy it!

I went on a cruise a few years ago and one our stops was Key West, FL.  Unfortunately , we were on there for a few hours and the only place I got to visit was Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.  I still loved Key West though. And I left with

I pondered for a few days what make with this great find.  There are so many choices.  Expect to see a few more recipes including key lime juice.

These pancakes are light and fluffy with a slight key lime flavor.

Let's Get Started:

Key Lime Pancakes
basic pancake recipe adapted from

1 1/4 cups AP flour (sifted 2-3 times)
3 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder (fresh is best)
1 egg
2/3 cups milk
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup key lime juice
Zest of one lime

In a small bowl whisk together milk, egg, oil, and key lime juice.

In a large bowl, combine sifted flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and lime zest.

Slowly whisk wet ingredients into dry until well combined.

Spray pan with cooking spray and heat to medium-low heat.

Once pan is hot, pour about 1/2 cup of pancake batter on to pan.

Flip pancake once bubbles have begun to form.

Cook until both sides are a light brown.

Serve with whipped cream, powdered sugar/milk glaze, and maple syrup.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mexican Layer Dip

This is one of my husband's favorite dips.  

Quite possibly, his #1 favorite dip.

I'm sure he'll ask me to make it at least every other weekend so he can snack on it while watching football.

Usually have to double it and make one side light on the tomatoes and without the black olives for my kiddos.

It's always gone by the time football comes to an end for the day!

Let's Get Started:

Mexican Layer Dip

1 (16 ounce) can of refried beans
1 pound of ground beef
4 ounces cream cheese--softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 packet taco seasoning (divided)
Shredded Lettuce
Shredded Mexican Flavored Cheese
Diced tomatoes
Sliced Black Olives
Taco Sauce

Additional toppings if desired
Avocado, Jalapenos, Banana Peppers

Brown ground beef, drain grease, add taco seasoning, reserving 1 tablespoon, add water according to package directions.

Mix softened cream cheese, sour cream, and reserved taco seasoning in a small bowl and set aside.

Spread refried beans on the bottom of an 8x8 pan.
I like to heat my beans in the oven or microwave for a few minutes.  Not to get them hot, just a little warm (optional step).

Layer taco meat on the top of beans, lightly press meat down into the beans.

Evenly spread taco flavored sour cream/cream cheese mixture over meat.

Spread taco sauce over sour cream/cream cheese layer.  I use Taco Bell's taco sauce. You could use salsa if you prefer.

Layer lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and black olives on top of taco sauce layer. Layer additional toppings if using.

Serve with chips.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Granny's Coca-Cola Marshmallow Cake

My late Granny used to make this cake every time we went for a visit.  I love it because it reminds me of her.    

My mother and I found the recipe in a shoebox that my Granny kept most of her recipes in.  It was hand written on a piece of paper that had turned yellow from age.  We were both so excited to make it for ourselves.  And I'm excited to share it with you.

Let's Get Started:

Granny's Coca-Cola Marshmallow Cake


2 cups of AP Flour
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 sticks unsalted butter
3 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup Coca-Cola
2 eggs-slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

Grease 13 x 9 x 2 pan

Sift flour and sugar into large bowl and add marshmallows.

Heat butter, cocoa, and Coke in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over flour, sugar, and marshmallows.

Stir in beaten eggs and vanilla.

Combine baking soda and buttermilk in a small bowl.  This combination should fizz and expand a little so make sure you allow for this. Let sit for about 20-30 seconds.

Add buttermilk to other ingredients and stir to combine.

Pour into greased pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until inserted toothpick is clean.


1 stick of unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
6 Tablespoons Coca-Cola
4 Cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

In a medium sized saucepan, bring butter, cocoa, and Coke to a slight boil.

Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and pecans if using.

Spread icing over hot cake--really you just pour it over the cake while it's still hot.

Allow the icing to soften so that you can spread it entirely over the cake, if needed. 

Allow cake to cool before cutting. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Roll-ups

The idea for these Jalapeno Popper Chicken Roll-ups came to me in the shower.  Most of my best ideas do.  When I made them a few weeks ago I thought they were an original idea.  Thanks to Pinterest , it has come to my attention that
I'm not the first person to come up with this great idea.

Oh well, I'm going to keep taking showers and maybe someday I'll have a brilliant original idea of my own.

Let's Get Started:

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Roll-ups

1 pound of chicken tenderloins
8 ounces of cream cheese
1 (4 ounce) can of diced jalapenos-drained
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
Bacon slices (same amount as tenderloins)
About 2 Tablespoons of liquid smoke
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix cream cheese, diced jalapenos, and Worcestershire sauce together until combined.

You can roast your own jalapenos if you'd like.

Spread about 1-2 Tablespoons of cream cheese mixture over one side of chicken tenderloin.

Use a basting brush to dab a little liquid smoke onto each piece of bacon.  Don't over do it because liquid smoke can be over powering if too much is used.  I dabbed each piece of bacon three times with the liquid smoke.

Roll each piece of cream cheese layered chicken and surround with bacon, secure with a toothpick.

Top the chicken roll-ups with any extra cream cheese mixture.
Salt and pepper as desired.

I baked these for about 25 minutes on 350 degrees F.  Next time I think I will be grilling them. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

S'mores and Turtle Kiss Pies

This is my kicked up version of the kiss pie.  A Hershey's kiss and a little pie crust just wasn't enough to statisfy my sweet tooth.  If a little bit of caramel, pecans, and chocolate sound good to you then we're on the right track.  If marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, and chocolate are more your style, I've got something for you too!

Let's Get Started:

Turtle Kiss Pies

1 refrigerated pie crust (I rolled mine out to make it a little thinner)
Caramel bits
Hershey kisses
3 Tablespoons of melted butter
1 Tablespoon sugar

I didn't give exact measurements because it's going to depend on how much you want to put into each kiss pie and how large you cut your squares or circles from the pie crust.

I placed a Hershey kiss, several caramel bits, and a couple of pinches of pecans on top of the pie crust and then cut a square big enough to be able to pull the sides together.  Using a glass and cutting a circle out will work too. 

Pull the sides together above the kiss to seal everything in.

This step is optional--Melt butter and stir in sugar to combine. Brush the top of each kiss pie with melted sugar butter. 

Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes on 400 degrees F .

S'mores Kiss Pies

1 refrigerated pie crust (I rolled mine to make it a little thinnner)
Hershey kisses
graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons of butter
1 Tablespoon of sugar

I didn't give exact measurements because it's going to depend on how much want to put into each pie and how large you cut your squares or circles from the pie crust.

I placed a Hershey kiss, a few marshmallows, and a couple of pinches of graham cracker crumbs on a section of the pie crust and cut squares around it, allowing enough space to fold the edges together.

I added 4 marshmallows to each kiss pie but will add more next time.  Four just didn't seem to be enough.

Bring the edges together above the kiss and seal.

This step is optional--Melt butter and stir in sugar to combine.  Brush the tops of each kiss pie.

Bake for about 15 minutes on 400 degrees F on a greased cookie sheet.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cocoa Chili and my very first award!

I'm so thrilled to announce that I have been award The Versatile Blogger Award! It is absolutely amazing to be recognized by another blogger. 

Dawnie, from The Coach's Wife's Kitchen extended the honor to little 'ol me!  She's got some great stuff on her blog, so head over and check her out. Be sure to tell her congratulations on her upcoming new addition!   

So here is how the award works...I pass it along to 15 other bloggers that I think are  super duper and tell you guys 7 random things about myself. 

Let's Get Started:

Seven Random Facts about Me

1. I'm addicted to Diet Coke.  I always have one....always!  I will leave my house at midnight and run to the store to make sure I have one in the morning, I sleep with one beside my bed, and there is an on going joke that I will be buried with a 12 pack!

2.  I work for a small catering company called The Silver Spoon Cakes and Catering.  My best friend for the last 16 years, Jennifer, owns it.  The days can be long but I love it!  I'm surrounded by obsession!

3.  I'm a real life Army wife, and mother to three children.  We are stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, home of the 101st Airborne Division. We live on post which has it pros and cons. The housing is a little old, my kitchen is so out dated that I will never show you guys a picture! :) But, my children are around other kids that have parents that deploy.  My husband just returned from his 4th deployment so having that support system or common bond for them is worth more than a stellar kitchen. At least that is what I tell myself :).

4. I'm a TV junkie.  I'm positive that I couldn't live without my DVR.  It even has a name...Dave.  I'm a big fan of Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, NCIS, all the CSI's, Modern Family, and so many more.  In the past when my husband has been gone these shows have been my escape from reality or my "me" time.  Oddly though, the only food show I watch is Masterchef (I have a crush on Gordon Ramsey).

5. I have a couple of food related quirks.  I don't like fruit and meat combos, or meat and nut combos.  The thought of it is just weird to me.  The only exception, I think, is tomatoes.

6. I grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  I've lived in North Alabama, Tennessee, and now Kentucky.

7.  As soon as I log into Blogger to start typing away about something I've made I lose just about all of my confidence.  I type and type and then feel like a complete goofball about some of the things I've said. I tend to get a little long winded at times and then delete the majority of what I've said.  I've found it a little difficult at times to put myself out there. Each time it gets a little easier though.

Now it's time to pass The Versatile Blogger on to some deserving bloggers.

These wonderful blogs are in no particular order.

Drumroll please.......

12. My Fiance Likes It So It Must Be Good
13. What Is Cooking Now
14. Steph's Bite By Bite
15. I Heard It's Yummy

Ready for some chili?

I'll keep this short and sweet, considering I've already said so much. This is my adaptation of a previous neighbor's chili recipe. 

It has unsweetened cocoa powder in it!!

Don't worry, it won't taste like chocolate.  In my opinion the cocoa powder gives the chili a rich taste. 
 We love it!  And it's perfect for those chilly days that are on their way! (Hopefully sooner than later)

Cocoa Chili

2 pounds of ground beef-cooked and drained
1 (16 ounce) can of chili flavored beans (do not drain)
1 can (14.5 ounce) petite diced tomatoes
1 small onion-chopped
3 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon butter
2 (8 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons Oregano
3 Tablespoons Cumin
1 1/2 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
2 Tablespoon chili powder

Add butter and chopped onion to a large pot, cook over medium low heat for about five minutes.  Add minced garlic and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes. 

Add browned ground beef, beans, tomato sauce, spices, vinegar, and cocoa powder.

Stir until combined.  Bring to a slight boil and reduce heat to simmer.  Continue to simmer for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Top with cheese, onions, and/or sour cream.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Your Team Football Rice Krispie Treats

You can have rice krispie treats with your favorite team colors with just a little kool-aid!  The possibilities are endless!

These are red and black because we are Arkansas Razorback fans in this house.

Woo Pig Sooie!

Okay....enough cheering for my team, which did great this past weekend by the way. 

A friend gave me this great little tip of using kool-aid to help achieve the desired color and mask the taste of food coloring.

Let's get started:

Your Team Football Rice Krispie Treats
adapted from

3 tablespoons of butter
4 cups of miniature marshmallows
6 cups of rice krispies cereal
couple of pinches of desired color/flavor powdered kool-aid (I used strawberry)
food coloring as needed to achieve color (I used red)

Melt butter and marshmallows in a large pan over low heat until melted.  Remove from heat and add kool-aid and food coloring to achieve desired team color. 

Don't use too much kool-aid, the rice krispie treats will have a very strong flavor if you do.

Combine cereal and colored marshmallows in a large bowl and stir to combine. 

Let cool for 20-30 minutes or until it's easily shaped.

Spraying bowl, spoon, and hands with non-stick cooking spray will help to keep everything from sticking to you.

Shape cereal mixture into a football shape.  I rolled my into a ball and spread it out with my hands to make the shape.

Allow rice krispie treats to set. 

I used Wilton's pre-made black icing to make the stripes.  Melted white chocolate with food coloring (and kool-aid if desired) should work great too.  Spoon icing into a pastry bag with tip and apply stripes.  A sandwich bag with a small hole cut out works great too.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pralines and Cream Ice Cream Bread

I'm addicted to food.  Seriously, all things food.  I've come to terms with it and accept it. I love to look at it, look up recipes, make it, talk about it, and eat it.  Lucky for me, if you are reading this, you probably have a bit of an obsession too!  It's okay, we're in it together!

I'm glancing through Pinterest and came across this recipe for Ice Cream Bread.  It caught my attention immediately.  I headed over to this website to check it out.  Three minutes later I was leaving for the store to buy ice cream.  This is one of those stop what you are doing and make this now recipes.

I'm not sure you can make anything simplier either.  There are only two ingredients!  Seriously, only two.  And you can use any ice cream flavor you want! The ice cream sweetens the bread ever so slightly. I expected it to be a little sweeter but it's still awesome! I can't wait to make it with other ice cream flavors.

So, read the rest of this post and make this bread!

Let's get started:

Pralines and Cream Ice Cream Bread
slightly adapted from here

3 cups of softened ice cream (I used Pralines and Cream)
Best results if you use regular ice cream, not light or reduced fat

2 1/4 cups of self rising flour

That's it!  That's all you need!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Mix ice cream and flour until combined.  Pour into an 8x4 greased loaf pan.

Bake for 45 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from pan and allow bread to cool.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bacon Swiss Cheesecake

It's a cheesecake....

But it's not for dessert my friends!

I have just recently discovered savory cheesecakes.  It's like a whole new world.  I'm not very fond of the traditional dessert type cheesecakes....I'm weird huh?  My family loves them though.  But, they only want plain or strawberry cheesecake.  That's it...they're weird huh? 

This cheesecake is made after one of my favorite dips.  You can probably use any kind of cheese you like though.  If you're not a fan of swiss, try something else.

Let's get started:

Bacon Swiss Cheesecake


1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
1 teaspoon horseradish
½ teaspoon of kosher salt
Dash of black pepper

****Ideally all ingredients for the filling should be at room temperature to produce a better cheesecake.


 shredded swiss cheese
 crumbled bacon
 diced green onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
To prepare crust

In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients together with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray. Firmly press the mixture over the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the pan, the bottom of a measuring cup works great for this.

Bake for 10 minutes

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees

To prepare filling

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute just until smooth and free of any lumps.  Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to slowly beat until combined. Stir in the sour cream, cheese, bacon, chives, horseradish, salt and pepper with a spoon. The batter should be well mixed, but not over beaten. Pour filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
To Prepare the Water Bath

Wrap the bottom of the spring form pan in aluminum foil.  Place spring form pan into a larger oven proof pan that will be able to hold 2-3 inches of water.  Fill larger pan with 1 1/2-2 inches of hot water. 

Place into pre-heated oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Do not open oven door.

Cheesecake will be jiggly in the center when you pull it out.  It is done and will set.

Let it cool in the spring form pan for 30 minutes.  Release from pan, wrap loosely and chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Remove cheesecake from the refrigerator at least 30-45 minutes prior to serving.

Top with shredded cheese, bacon crumbles, and chives.

Serve with pita chips.