Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hot Chicken Salad Casserole

For my lunch for two, I used my colorful rooster, my covered hen dish and a pretty plant. 
My Kohl's black and white check tablecloth was used along with the gingham check napkins that I made.
The rooster luncheon plate came from Ross, along with the matching mug.  Red salad plate is from Target and the red flatware is from Homegoods.
These are perfect for a big mug of coffee or tea!
I needed to use some leftover chicken and decided to make this casserole.  I have another favorite for leftover chicken, which is Hot Mexican Chicken Salad found here .  Both recipes come from Southern Living Cookbook Classics. 

4 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 (2-ounce) jar diced pimento, drained (I omitted)
1 T. finely chopped onion
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 T. lemon juice
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper (my addition)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl; mix well.  Spoon into a lightly greased 12 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish; cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with cheese; top with almonds.  Bake, uncovered, 3 additional minutes or until cheese melts. 

Makes 6-8 servings.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Orange Rolls in Cast Iron Skillet

I saw the picture of these rolls on the cover of Taste of the South, annual cast-iron issue,  and knew I had to give the recipe a try.  Somehow I've been on an orange kick lately and am so glad that my hubby has been freezing the zest for me.  It sure has come in handy.  I've adapted this recipe for a Kitchen Aid mixer.   The flavor of these rolls is exceptional!!  Here's the recipe:

My bloggy buddy, Marsha, from The Better Baker, sent me some
Orange Spice tea to try.  Thanks, Marsha! It was perfect with
these rolls.  My daughter gifted me with the cute mug
 several years ago.
1 cup warm water (about 120 degrees)
3 1/2 cups flour
6 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 package. active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 t.)
3 T. sugar
2 t. salt
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
2 T. orange zest
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/2 t. ground ginger


4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 T. butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar

1.  In the bowl of the mixer, combine warm water, flour, butter, yeast, sugar, salt, dry milk powder, and orange zest.  Beat at low speed until combined and then use the dough hook and mix for about 4 minutes.  Spray the sides of the bowl with nonstick spray and lightly spray the top of the dough.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, until doubled for about 1 hour.

2.  Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.  Roll into a 20 x 12-inch rectangle.  In a small bowl, stir together the marmalade and the ginger.  Spread evenly over dough.  Beginning on one long side, roll tightly into a log.  Slice into 8 rolls (I made 12 rolls in order to not have such large ones.)

3.  Spray a 10-inch cast- iron skillet with nonstick spray.  Place rolls in pan; cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake rolls until light brown, about 35 minutes.

5.  In a bowl, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed of mixer.  Add powdered sugar on low speed and then beat on high until fluffy.  Spread icing over warm rolls.  (This is a very thick icing.  If you like a thinner one, add a little milk.)

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Chicken cordon Bleu (slow cooker)

I don't know where I got this recipe,  but it's a tasty and easy one.   If you love using your slow cooker, then I hope you'll try this delicious  recipe.

6 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4"
  (If the chicken breasts are very large and thick, I will use only 3 and cut them in half horizontally and get two thinner ones from each breast.)        
6 slices prosciutto (or ham)
6 slices Swiss cheese
salt and pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup white wine, or chicken broth
a sprinkle of fresh or dried thyme

On each breast, place meat and cheese.  Roll up and secure with a toothpick.  Season with salt and pepper. Place in the slow cooker.

Whisk together the soup, milk,  wine and thyme.  Pour sauce over the chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

You can serve with rice or noddles.

NOTE:  Put the chicken breast inside a food storage bag to pound, or between pieces of plastic wrap.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Citrus Sugar Cookies

My centerpiece for Kathleen's party at Let's Dish! is the chubby snowman that I made out of a towel.  I made one for my sister out of an old cable knit sweater.  You can check out how I did it here.  It's a fun project and really easy.  I set Mr. Chubby Snowman on some batting and added some pine cones.  

My sweet sister bought me these blocks years ago and I have them for every season.  Aren't they cute?

Here's the kitchen table decked out for the Winter theme.

I bought these snowflake plates after Christmas at Kroger's for 75% off.  They ended up being $1.75 and the salad plates were $1.25.

The snowflake placemats came from Kohl's at 80% off.  I think they were $1.59, but I had a %-off coupon.   I used some blue napkins that I had.

I made some snowflake cookies from a cookie cutter that a sweet friend sent me that was filled with the most delicious peppermint bark.  I enjoyed every bite!!

Citrus Sugar Cookies

I got this recipe at the hairdressers from a sweet lady that passed them out to all the clients.  I love the hint of citrus in the cookies.    Here's the wonderful recipe if you'd like to give them a try:

2/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 t. orange zest (see NOTE)
1/2 t. vanilla
1 egg
4 t.. milk
1 and 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 cups sifted flour

Cream the shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the zest, vanilla, egg and milk and mix together.

In a small bowl, mix together the baking powder, salt and flour.  Add to the creamed mixture mix until all the flour is mixed in.

Chill the dough for at least an hour.  (I chilled the dough over night).

Roll the dough out onto a floured cutting board. (You can roll the dough however thick you like your cookies).    Cut with cookie cutters and bake at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  

NOTE:  My Tip for Yvonne's TTT is that my hubby zests oranges for me and freezes it for when I need some.  You can spread it out flat and then break off chunks.


3 T. softened butter
2-3 T. milk
about 2 cups powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together until the right consistency.  Frost the cookies and decorate as desired.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Cranberry Nut Bread

I received this gorgeous tea set from some dear friends this past Christmas.  Isn't it so soft and feminine with the pretty roses?  I'm displaying it on my Mom's tea wagon that she gave me years ago.  She bought this piece in Pennsylvania when I was in the second grade.  I just love it!

Here's a close-up of the teapot, sugar and creamer.  The set has six teacups and saucers and also teabag holders.  Isn't it perfect for Sandi's 3rd year blog anniversary party at Rose Chintz Cottage?

I'm having some White Chocolate Obsession tea today from Bigelow.  It sure satisfies the chocolate fix!

A book on tea is always fun to read!  Aren't the little teabag holders sweet?

How about some cranberry nut bread with a cream cheese spread?

I used some clean cans like I did in the olden days!

Cranberry Nut Bread

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
2 T. vegetable oil
1 T. orange zest
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 5 -inch loaf pan.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Stir in the orange juice, oil, orange zest and egg.  Mix until well blended.  Stir in cranberries and nuts.  Spread evenly in loaf pan.  Bake for 55  minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes before removing from pan; cool completely.

NOTE:  For the tin cans, I baked them for about 35 minutes and I got 3 and 1/2 cans out of the recipe.

Tip:  I always have a few extra bags of cranberries in my freezer.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

My New Blog Look

I was forever wanting a new look to my blog and after seeing my friend Debbie's, from Mountain Breaths, she told me who I could contact.  Well, I already knew Linda from Life and Linda as I receive her blog emailed to me.  She is such a talented lady, not only with decorating, tablescaping, cooking but clogging, too!! I wrote to Linda and she said that she would be happy to help me.  Just like that, with her magic computer wand, she created this new look for me overnight.  Linda is such a dream to work with and I admire her savvy computer skills. She even seems to have ESP because she picked my favorite color red.  If you could hear me jumping up and down and squealing all over Blogland, you know how happy I am with this new design.   If you would like an updated look for your blog, please click on My Fairy Blogmother's picture on my sidebar and she will with a few abracadabra's and some fairy dust,  work some magic for you, too!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chubby Snowman

After Christmas, I was in the mood to make a snowman and searched the web for some ideas.  I found this tutorial for a chubby snowman and went with it.  I made the first one from a white towel, because I wanted some texture.  I'm keeping him out for awhile for the winter time.

The second one I made from an old white sweater.  I used the bottom of the sweater for the body and one of the arms for the snowman's head.  This is being sent to my sister for her birthday.

For the towel snowman, I cut the banding off one of the ends.  The towel is the perfect width to make the snowman.  All you need to do is then cut up 15-16 inches.  

My tip is when you are gathering, double your thread and make a secure knot.  Also, take a few stitches at the very beginning to secure the thread even more to reduce the chances of breakage when you are pulling the thread while gathering (not that I would know anything at all about this!!).  To add stability, some pebbles are added to the bottom of the snowman, and then stuffing fills in his body.

I used a dinner plate to measure around for the head of the snowman.

When you sew the eyes on, again make a secure knot in the back of the head.  You want indentations for the eyes of the snowman.  I marked where the nose should go with a pen, and then you make a small cut and hot glue is applied and then nose is inserted with a little more hot glue.

I use a Dollar Tree lint roller to clean off my cutting board and also on myself.  Why do I always seem to have on black when I sew???!!!

Mr. Chubby and Mr. Chubbier all finished!  I chose to leave off the arms from the tutorial.   The  hat is made from the toe end of a sock and rolled for the brim and hot glued on the head.  Buttons are hot glued down the front.  The scarf is made from a strip of homespun ( no need to sew, just fray the edges).  Even the head is hot glued on!!  Apply a little powdered blush to the cheeks and there you go! 

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Brownie Pudding

My dear daughter gave me this darling mug!  It's perfect for me.

This recipe comes from one of my first cookbooks that I purchased  when I was a new bride, which is the Better Homes and Gardens Dessert Cookbook.  I have made this Brownie Pudding for over MANY years and it always hits the spot for a chocolate fix.  It's one of those recipes where you make a batter, sprinkle brown sugar and cocoa powder on top and then finish with hot water.  MAGICALLY while baking the pudding ends on the bottom and the cake on the top.  Here's the recipe:

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 T. cocoa
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 T. oil
1 t. vanilla
1/2 - 1 cup chopped nuts

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cup hot water
Chocolate and tea always hits the spot!

Sift together the first five ingredients.  Add milk, oil and vanilla and mix until smooth.  Add the nuts.  Pour into a greased 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan.

Mix brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa.  Sprinkle over batter.

Pour hot water over batter.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

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Here's the back of my Hello Kitty mug.
 I'm drinking some Constant Comment.

On the Menu Monday

Mix It Up Monday

Make It Pretty Monday

Tea Time Tuesday

Table Top Tuesday

Friends Sharing Tea

Let's Dish!

Ingredient Spotlight

Full Plate Thursday

Tablescape Thursday

Foodie Friday

Seasonal Sundays

Weekend Potluck

Pink Saturday


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Artichoke Bread

For our son, who has a New Year's Eve birthday, we celebrated a week later.   I used an empty Chianti bottle as a candle holder.  I topped my beige tablecloth with an old checkered one that was my Mom's.

This cute Italian chef comes from Ross.

I made place cards by cutting a slit in the top of a cork with a serrated knife.

I had these towels that have the design on the top and bottom.  I cut them in half, right through the middle and then was able to get eight napkins from the four that I had.  

I just machine hemmed the tops and they really turn out to be a nice size and they're great to just throw in the washer.

I first saw this recipe last Spring At Nann's Table and knew that I wanted to try it. Our son asked for spaghetti and meatballs, found here.  I thought this bread would be great with it, and it was!!  We also had Italian chopped salad, found here.  Dessert was a Brownie Pudding that I will share soon.

Artichoke Bread

1/3 cup butter
1 T. minced garlic
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
4 oz. shredded Mozzarella cheese (about 1 and 1/3 cups)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 loaf French bread
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (I used about 1/2-1 cup of Mexican blend)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds.  Add artichokes, mozzarella, Parmesan and sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to blend.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Slice bread in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the center.  Spoon the artichoke mixture into the shell and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.

Place the halves onto a baking sheet.  Cover lightly with foil (I sprayed the foil with cooking spray) and bake for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake 5-8 minutes.

Cut into slices and serve warm.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Cinnamon Eggnog Scones

My bloggy buddy, Debbie, from, and I both LOVE Bigelow's Eggnogg'n tea.  We've been exchanging tea bags back and forth from Texas to New York and vice versa.  The Eggnogg'n is our favorite for Winter time.   It's like drinking eggnog in tea form.  I love it so much that my dear hubby told me to order a case because it's a seasonal item and long gone from the local stores. 

This adorable teapot was sent to me from Ohio from my sweet sister.   She found it at a thrift store for $1.99 and it had never been used.  Isn't it the prettiest teapot for a Wintry tea?  The wooden slab is from Sur La Table, years ago. The pinecone votive holder is from Hobby Lobby.

I found four of these pinecone plates at our local Trade Days that is held once a month.  The lady was asking .50 a plate and I asked if she'd take .25, and she said, "sure".  I just love them with the teapot!! 

Debbie and I are having a virtual tea and I'm making these delicious scones that I found at the King Arthur website. These are crunchy on the outside and so tender on the inside. If you don't have eggnog, you could use milk and they'd still be delicious.  The scones are delicious with the tea.   Here's my adapted version.

Cinnamon Eggnog Scones

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used freshly grated)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup cinnamon chips (King Arthur says 1-2 cups, but 2 cups would be too much)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 t. rum extract (my addition), optional
3/4 cup cold eggnog (I used Silk all natural soy milk Seasonal Nog)

1 tablespoon eggnog
2 tablespoons sparkling white sugar

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the cubed butter and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter pieces are roughly the size of peas (some may be slightly bigger or smaller, that's fine). Mix in the cinnamon chips.

In a medium measuring cup, whisk together the egg, vanilla extract, rum extract  and eggnog. Add to the mixer bowl and beat on low speed just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough comes together - just don't over mix.   

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide it in half and shape each half into a circle that's roughly 6 inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick. You can either slice each circle into 6 wedges, or use a 2 1/4-inch round cutter to cut 6 rounds from each (you'll have to re roll the scraps if you go this route). Transfer your scones to a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you've cut rounds, put them close together (about 1/2-inch between them). If you've cut wedges, leave them in the circular shape and just slightly pull them from the center to separate the edges about 1/2-inch.

The pinecone mug is from Walgreens.
Brush the tops of the scones with eggnog using a pastry brush, then sprinkle with the sparkling sugar. Freeze, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 F.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown and feel firm to the touch. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the scones cool for a few minutes before removing them to the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12 scones

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Pork and Sauerkraut

For my 2013 New Year's Day table, I used my sugar mold as a centerpiece with some greenery, extra pinecones and my sledding figurines.

My dear Dad bought me these sledding Goebels back around 1980.  Aren't they so sweet?  I love to keep them out all winter.

Oops, I forgot the glasses!

My new placemats from Kohl's, marked down from 7.99 to 1.59... and then 20% off, but with my $10.00 Kohl's cash,  they were FREE...gotta love free, plus they're reversible.  I love the pinecone design as it's perfect for after Christmas. 

Yes, I'm still using my Christmas dishes as they look so pretty with my placemats.
It is tradition both in my family and my hubby's to have pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day.  We were both born in Pennsylvania and I don't know if that's where the custom comes from, but my Mom said that my grandfather always requested it.  I'd love to know where the tradition actually started. Here in Texas, black-eyed peas are traditionally served for good luck in the New Year.   I know some people cannot stand the taste or smell of sauerkraut,  but we LOVE it and two out of my four children love it, too.  We serve it  over mashed potatoes and it's SO heavenly.  If you DO like the taste, here's how we do it:

Shhh...don't tell anyone there are only 2 ingredients!
2-3 lbs. of pork, such a loin or shoulder
4-5 cans of sauerkraut

Season pork with salt and pepper.

Brown the pork in a little hot oil on all sides.  Add the sauerkraut and maybe two cans water.   Season with salt and pepper.   Cover and bake  in a 250 degree oven for 6-7 hours or longer.    You can also put this in a slow cooker and cook all day. 

Break up the pork and serve over hot mashed potatoes.  You'll get rave reviews from people who love sauerkraut!!

Happy New Year from my kitchen to yours!!
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