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Friday, August 18, 2017

Homemade Hush Puppies

 
      Ronny loves going to eat at a certain fast-food style fish restaurant mainly because he loves their hush puppies.  The nearest one of those restaurants to where we live is well over an hour away so naturally, he rarely gets them.  He was craving some the other night so I figured I'd give my hand at making some and by golly, they turned out pretty good.  I hope you like it as much as he does.

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Homemade Hush Puppies

2 c. cornmeal
1 c. buttermilk
1 large egg
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
a bit of finely diced onion (fresh is best)
vegetable oil for frying

      I did not put down the exact amount of onions to add because everyone's tastes are different.  I generally use dehydrated onions and if you are using them, I would add 1 T. of dehydrated onions.  BUT for this recipe, using fresh onions makes a HUGE difference on how these turn out.  The fresh onions really enhance the flavor so I recommend using fresh onions for this recipe.
    
      Now, on to how to make the hush puppies:
      In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients (except the oil of course)!  Whisk to make sure there are no lumps, but do not over mix) and then set the bowl aside and allow the mixture to rest for at least 10 minutes.

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      While the mixture is "resting", go ahead and heat up your oil in a skillet.  We actually have a nice big wok and we like to fry things in it so we added about 1 1/2" of oil to our wok and heated it up.

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     When the oil is hot, scoop up a bit of the cornmeal batter and drop by spoonfuls (carefully to not burn yourself) into the oil.

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     Turn as needed and fry until golden brown. 

      Remove and place on a paper towel covered plate.  Eat as a snack or as a side with fish and french fries.  :-)  


homemade hush puppies, how to make hush puppies, good side dish for fish and chips, southern recipe

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Beef Enchiladas

       
        My Beef Enchilada recipe is the perfect go-to weeknight entree.  My family really likes it and says it is better than we get at a local Mexican restaurant.  Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think of it.  
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Beef Enchiladas

1 lb. hamburger meat
1 jar salsa divided (we used mild)
1 can refried beans
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
12 flour tortillas (we used 10")
1 T. chopped onion 
1 tsp. salt

         Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Pour half the jar of salsa into the bottom of a 9"x13" cake pan.

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      In a large skillet, brown your meat with the onions.  Drain when done.  Return the meat to the skillet and stir in 1/2 the jar of salsa and 3/4 cup of cheese.  Add in the refried beans and stir well.  It may not look good but it smells and tastes delicious.

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         Spoon the meat mixture into the center of a tortilla and then roll up and place seam side down in the cake pan.  Continue making them until all the tortillas are used.

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       Top with remaining salsa and cheese. 

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       Bake for 20 minutes.

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      We love to serve ours topped with sour cream and a side of refried beans. 

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 If you love Mexican inspired dishes, try out some of my other recipes:  Mexican Chicken Casserole, Mexican Tater Tot Casserole, or making your own refried beans in the crockpot!



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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Mexican Chicken Casserole


       This is a delicious casserole that packs a ton of flavor into your meal.  My favorite casserole!

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     Mexican Chicken Casserole

1 1/2  c. Mexican style shredded cheese
4 flour (6") tortillas
2 lg. cans chunk chicken breast
16 oz. cream cheese
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 T. plus 1 tsp. milk

       Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9"x13" cake pan.  In a microwave safe bowl, microwave your cream cheese for 10 seconds to get it softened and pliable.  Remove and stir in the taco seasoning and milk.


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     I know it may not look too appealing but have a little taste and you can see how remarkable they are together.  

       In a separate bowl, stir together the chicken and diced tomatoes.

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         Now, take 1/2 of the chicken mixture and spread it onto the cake pan.  

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    Place 2 flour tortillas on top.

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    Spread the rest of the chicken mixture on top and then 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  Place down 2 more flour tortillas and then smear out the cream cheese mixture. 

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     Sprinkle on the rest of the shredded cheese.

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     Bake for 13 minutes.  

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      If you like this, you will also like Mexican Tater Tot Casserole.


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Monday, August 7, 2017

Mexican Tater Tot Casserole



      I'm sure you've seen Tater Tot Casseroles before and probably even made some yourself.  I have even shared one on this blog before but this time, I decided to go with a Mexican flair and make Mexican Tater Tot Casserole.  I hope you like it as much as we do! 

       It makes a delicious and hearty meal!

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Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. bag frozen tater tots
1 c. shredded Mexican style cheese
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 jar salsa con queso
1 T. dehydrated chopped onions

             Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
             Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add in your hamburger meat and onions.

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        Cook until the beef is no longer pink and onions are softened.  

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       Do not drain.  Stir in the taco seasoning (do not add water!).  

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         Spray a 9"x13" cake pan with cooking spray and then pour the meat mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly.

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     Pour the salsa con queso over the top of the meat and stir it up.

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      Sprinkle a half cup of the cheese over the top and then pour the tater tots over the top.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.  

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        Serve hot.

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Pumpkin Flavored Macaroni & Cheese

      My husband and teenage son loves pumpkin anything any time of the year and most people love mac & cheese, so why not combine the them?  It may sound weird but they really do go together to make a really savory dish.  Not only is pumpkin yummy tasting but adding it to foods boost the fiber and vitamin content.  This mac & cheese is very creamy and filling.

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Pumpkin Flavored Macaroni & Cheese

3 c. macaroni
2 1/4 c. milk
1 1/4 c. shredded cheese (we used a cheddar & Monterey Jack blend)
1/3 heaping cup of flour
1 can pumpkin
2 T. butter
1/2 tsp. sage
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste

       Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9"x13" cake pan.  Cook macaroni in salted boiling water, according to directions.

       While macaroni cooks, melt your butter in a medium pot over medium heat.  As soon as the butter begins to darken, add the flour and whisk it until you form a "rue".  Then, leaving the burner on, slowly whisk the milk into it, which will form a creamy and white sauce.

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       Continuously whisk the sauce for 3-4 minutes.  Slowly add in the pumpkin and stir.

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       Stir in 1 cup of your shredded cheese.

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         Season with your spices.  
    
         Drain your pasta and return it to the pot.  

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      Mix your macaroni and the sauce together until it is evenly coated.  Pour the mixture into your cake pan and smooth it out.  

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     Sprinkle with 1/4 c. of shredded cheese and salt and pepper the dish. 

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      Bake for 10-12 minutes.  

      Enjoy!

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Creamy Pork Chops in the CrockPot



        This is a super easy recipe to make and better yet, you get this DELICIOUS meal without hardly heating up your kitchen.  The pork chops come out so tender that you have to be careful dipping them out or they literally just fall apart.  They are so yummy that the flavor makes them melt in your mouth!  This is our new FAVORITE way to eat pork chops!!!

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Creamy Pork Chops in the CrockPot

4-6 pork chops
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 envelope Ranch Dry mix
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 c. milk

        Turn your crockpot onto low.

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       Layer your pork chops into the crock pot. 

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       Next, pour the cream of chicken on top of the pork chops.  

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      Finally, sprinkle a half of an envelope of the Ranch dry mix on top and then sprinkle on half of an envelope of the dry onion soup mix on top.  

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       Gently pour the milk into the crockpot and replace the lid.  They pork chops will be done in about 5-6 hours.  

     
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      We serve ours with mashed potatoes and homemade potato hot rolls.   The "juices" left over in the crockpot make a nice "gravy" for the potatoes!

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Canning Cherry Amaretto Jam

 
  I love to can and I love cherries so it was only natural for me to combine these two loves and make some cherry jam.  But, not just plain ordinary cherry jam but Cherry Amaretto Jam.  To me, it has so much more flavor and makes it taste more "grown-up".  :-)

      Even though it is only August, I am already thinking about Christmas and Christmas gifts.  Today, I am making these jars up to give out at Christmas time.  They make such wonderful gifts.


     I was lucky to be named a "Canbassador" by the Northwest Cherry Growers and they sent me some lovely Sweet Cherries.  They are big, sweet and so delicious.  Naturally we ate some but still have plenty to make this lovely jam.  

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      Please check out the Northwest Cherry Growers page.  They have lots of good ideas and recipes and even printable labels.  

 
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2 bags (16 oz.) of frozen sweet cherries
1 pkg. Sure-jell pectin
4 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. amaretto liqueur or almond liqueur
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves

   
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         Prepare your jars for canning.  You will need 7 half pint jars.  Finely chop the cherries.  Once they are chopped up into small pieces, combine the cherries, pectin, amaretto, spices and lemon juice together in a large pot.   Turn the heat on to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often.  Once it is at a boil, stir in the sugar and stir well.  Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture returns to a boil, let it boil for one full minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and skim the foam off the top.  Ladle the jam mixture into prepared jars and leave 1/4" headspace.  

         Put on the lids and place into your canning pot and water bath process them for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove the jars from the water and turn the jars over for 5 minutes.  After the time has elapsed, turn right side up and allow the jars to cool for 12 hours.  Check to make sure all the jars have sealed.  Remove the ring and store in a cool dry place.  

     If a jar did not seal, you can place it in the refrigerator and use within 3 weeks.  Sealed jars can be stored for up to 2 years.  

       If you prefer your jam to be more sour than sweet than reduce the sugar to 2 cups and use the low-sugar version of pectin. 

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easy recipes