Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!

I remember when the year 2000 seemed so far into the future and here we are in 2014! New Year's Day at our house - our traditional waffle breakfast, lots of football, a big pot of chili in the crock pot and, of course, some black eyed peas. I don't really think about the "why" of black eyed peas - it's just what I've always done. So...I decided to do a little research and found this article on this New Year's Day Tradition!
This year, my tradition is served in the form of a "Black Eyed Pea Dip". Some people call this "Texas Caviar" and there are several versions out there. Here's the one I have tweeked for my own.
Black-Eyed Pea Dip
2 (15-oz) cans black-eyed peas, well drained
1 (15-oz) can whole kernel corn, well drained
2 cans Rotel tomatoes, well drained
1 small or ½ large red pepper, chopped
1 T. chopped jalepeno pepper, fresh or from a jar
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. sugar
Pinch dried oregano
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. vegetable oil
In a large bowl, stir together the black-eyed peas, corn, Rotel, bell pepper, jalapeño and onion. In a jar fitted with a tight lid, mix together the vinegars, oils, salt, pepper, mustard, sugar and oregano. Pour the dressing into the bowl, adding just enough to coat the vegetables but not drench them.
Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips.
My Favorite Crock Pot Chili
2 pounds ground beef
2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed and well drained
2 cans chopped tomatoes, well drained
2 small onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T. chili powder
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
Brown the ground beef and drain. Place ground beef in a large slow cooker. Add all other ingredients. Stir until blended. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8-10 hours. Garnish individual bowls as desired – cheese, sour cream, chips, etc.
Note: I used one can of regular chopped tomatoes and one can fire-roasted tomatoes so it is a bit spicy! This is a very "hearty" chili!
So, my research reminded me that black eyed peas symbolize prosperity! Wishing you a day of fun traditions, good food and a year of happiness and prosperity! Happy 2014!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Football Fare - Game Day Party Loaf

If you need a simple Game Day recipes to make for your family or friends, here you go! You just have to remember the let the bread thaw out in plenty of time! You any kind or as much cheese as you like! I used cheddar and mozzarella. You could spice it up with some Monterrey Jack. I have seen something similar to this with onions and green peppers included. For my Game Day loaf, I just stuck to the cheese and bacon with ranch dressing for the dipping sauce. A keeper!
Game Day Party Loaf
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
Cheese Slices or Shredded Cheese (Your Choice)
6 slices crisp cooked bacon, chopped
You favorite dipping sauce
Roll loaf into a circle and place into the bottom of a sprayed Bundt pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size. Remove wrap and bake at 350 degrees 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Slice all the way around without cutting through the bottom crust. Place on a baking sheet.  Stuff the cheese and bacon between the slices. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. You can place the sauce in the middle of the ring.
May your team win this week unless you just happen to be an Aggie! :) Roll Tide!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

OK, it's not officially fall until September 22, but there have been a few mornings this past week that their was an ever so slight touch of fall in the air! So...... that means I bring out my pumpkin recipes! I even have a Pinterest board just for pumpkin recipes!
I found this recipe at and it definitely got pinned to the pumpkin board! I used pecans instead of walnuts for my recipe. Either one would be great!
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup wheat flour
1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 t. all spice
1 C. butter, softened
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 egg, room temperature
2 t. vanilla
1 C. chopped pecans
1 C. raisins
Combine flour, oats, baking soda and spices in a medium bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and mix until well combined. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla and stir until well combined. Slowly add flour mixture stirring just until combined. Stir in pecans and raisins. Chill dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350. Using a cookie scoop (mine is from Pampered Chef), drop cookie dough onto lightly greased baking sheets or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press dough down slightly with back of spoon. This dough does not spread much when baking. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until cookies are just lightly browned. Cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Make up a batch or two of these cookies for your family, your neighbors, or your friends at work! I packaged my in Ziplock snack bags and made a "bag topper" with my message.....
Happy Fall Yall! (Even if it is a wee bit early!)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Football Fare - Cheesy Ranch Dip

Football season is just getting started and it's time to get back into the tailgating mode! For a very quick and easy (and most of all, tasty!) dip for your Game Day menu, try this dip!

Cheesy Ranch Dip

2 cups sour cream

1 packet ranch dressing mix

1 cup shredded cheddar

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

4 slices bacon, cooked crispy, and chopped
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Serve with your choice of chips or fresh veggies. I used Tostitos Scoops!

Printable Version

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back 2 School Breakfast

Wow! Is it really time for another school year? Is my firstborn really in 7th grade? Is summer really over?
All true!! In keeping with our family tradition, we had our usual "Back 2 School" Breakfast to celebrate or mourn (depending on personal perspective)!
The Table - I use my zebra print napkins with any bright colors - it kind of ties in the chalkboard, too. The flowers were a mixture that I have collected from different parties over the years. The pencils - a collection that I recently gathered while cleaning out drawers, closets, backpacks, purses, etc. Elle could even identify some of them from specific years, like the one given to her by her 3rd grade teacher - a little unexpected stroll down memory lane! I secured the pencils around a glass vase with a rubber band and tied with a ribbon - that's all!

The Spread - it really wasn't much of a spread at all - just chocolate chip muffins and assorted fruit. The muffins were yummy! HERE is the recipe!

The Banner - very simple to make - I just cut the flags from a pattern I made on Microsoft Word, wrote the letters in chalk, punched 2 holes in each flag and ran twine through each one before tying to my buffet lamps! HERE is the pattern!
The Note - each daughter has a composition notebook at their place with a personal message from me......just expressing how proud I am of them and all they have accomplished and how much I believe in them and will be supporting them this year! Praying for an awesome year for both girls!
To everyone starting back to school, at all levels, as student or teacher, may you be blessed with your best ever!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

War Eagle for Katherine

Yes, I said "War Eagle" - I really did.... just for Katherine. Our sweet cousin is headed to Auburn this fall so we had a family party to send her off. Yes, my family wore orange and blue, too! Believe it or not!
It all started with this invitation found on!

 The décor included Aubie, of course, Katherine's Auburn cheerleader Barbie from childhood and some shakers!!
And we even had our own version of Toomer's corner! (A tree from my Halloween decorations)
I made the "straw flags" on Microsoft Word using Toomer's Corner - Go Tigers, Auburn and War Eagle. I would love to share but I guess I didn't save them. Oops! But they weren't hard to make at all! I ordered the
chevron straws on Etsy!

What would an Auburn party be without Toomer's Corner Lemonade? We actually used the recipe I posted last week. Here is the recipe!

The idea for the fruit salad of blueberries and cantaloupe came from Amy has some really cute ideas!
 Just like a tailgate party on Game Day!

 A for Auburn - these iced sugar cookies were quite tasty although I am not an expert in decorating cookies! By the way, have you seen the fabulous cookies from Whimsy Cookie Company in Memphis? Check them out! If you saw the movie "Blind Side" you will remember Collins Touhy, the daughter in the Touhy family who adopted Michael Oher - this is her cookie company!

Tiger Brownies - cream cheese brownies with the cream cheese mixture tinted with orange!
Katherine is part of the 3rd generation in her family to attend Auburn University! What a fun celebration it was for the family of aunts, uncles and cousins to celebrate with Katherine by showering her with orange and blue! She got lots of fun Auburn gifts to take to Auburn in a few weeks!

Congratulations, Katherine, on your graduation from high school and best wishes in your future at Auburn and....... 

just for you......War Eagle!
You can find the War Eagle Banner in the soon to open Etsy Shop -

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Best Pimento Cheese

I love pimento cheese - if it is on them menu wherever I go, I am very likely to try it. This recipe came from my Mom and it is definitely a favorite!
Hope you like it, too!
Pimento Cheese Spread
4 oz. chopped pimento
1 C. mayonnaise
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. cayenne
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1-2 gloves of garlic, crushed
8 oz. Colby cheese
8 oz. cheddar cheese
Mix thoroughly all ingredients except cheeses. Add cheeses last and mix until well combined. Enjoy with your favorite crackers or as a sandwich spread on your favorite bread! It is a bit spicy so beware!