Summer Squash and Onions with Brown Sugar

The other day I went to my parents house and in an offhand way, my dad mentioned that he had cooked some squash.  I glanced at the dish and sure enough, yep looked like squash.  I started getting ready to go out to dinner with some friends and before I left, I snuck a taste of the squash, just a bite for the road.  And I immediately did a double-take.

That’s right.  This unassuming dish (see photo below) is full of amazing flavor.  Apparently the pairing of this ingredient list results in magic.  The picture doesn’t look like much I know, but really, give this a try.  You won’t be sorry.  The only thing you’ll be sorry about is that you didn’t quadruple the recipe!

(Note:  I have no idea where my dad got this recipe from)

Summer Squash and Onions with Brown Sugar

Summer Squash and Onions with Brown Sugar

Summer Squash and Onions with Brown Sugar
Recipe shared by my dad, before that I don’t know!

Ingredients:
4-6 medium yellow squash, sliced into rounds
1 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1.5 tbsp. brown sugar

Method:

In a pot, melt the butter, then add the chopped onion.  Saute’ until onion is starting to get tender, then add the sliced squash rounds.  Add the rest of the seasonings and stir well.  Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until the squash is soft.  Remove the cover and continue cooking, until the liquid makes a thicker glaze.  Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

Amazing Chicken Rolls

Early in the spring my daughter and I got to go to Florida to visit our good friends, Tiffani, Mike and Mariska.  We spent a long weekend, it was great.  We went to the beach, went to Disney World.  The best part was just hanging out with our friends, we had missed them so much!  One night for dinner Tiff said she would make chicken rolls.  I had been hearing about these chicken rolls for ages and was eager to try them.  In a word – amazing.

We came home and I told my husband James about them (he didn’t get to go on the trip).  I made them myself a few days later and he loved them.  Since, I’ve seen a chicken roll recipe floating around Facebook and I have to say, I don’t think it’ll be as good as Tiffani’s!  I want to DRINK the sauce!  Also, while it does make a lot, it also reheats great.  So it’s a great dish as leftovers!

Chicken Rolls

Chicken Rolls

Amazing Chicken Rolls
Recipe slightly adapted from Tiffani M.

Ingredients:
shredded chicken (I use a store-bought rotisserie)
2 cans crescent rolls
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken with Herbs soup
1/2 cup milk
Creole seasoning to taste
finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Method:
Preheat oven to 375 and spray nonstick spray on a 9×13 casserole.  Place some chicken on each crescent triangle and roll up as you would a regular crescent roll.  Place in the casserole and repeat with the remaining 15 rolls.

In a bowl, mix the two soups, milk and seasoning.  Pour over the top of the chicken rolls, making sure to cover them all.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and cover with foil.  Bake 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown.  Serve hot.

 

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

I’m really behind in submitting some posts, and this is one of them.  A while back I had some fresh organic strawberries from our nearby farmers market, Inglewood Farms.  We were having a crawfish boil so I wanted to do something with the strawberries as dessert.  Nothing beats something cold and sweet after hot and spicy boiled crawfish so I decided on strawberry shortcakes.  Only we were having a bunch of people and I didn’t feel like standing around assembling things.  Then I found this recipe.

The recipe was really easy.  I admit I cheated and used a box cake mix.  So sue me.  Anyway, the cake turned out fantastic, everyone loved it.

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Recipe adapted from Glorious Treats

Ingredients:

1 white cake mix, baked per directions on box

Strawberry filling:
1 pint strawberries
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
3 tbsp. water

Whipped Cream Frosting:
1.5 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Method:

Set cooked cake aside to cool.  While it is cooling, coarsely chop half the strawberries and add them and the water to a food processor.  Next pour this blended mixture through a mesh strainer over a bowl.  In a small pan, mix the sugar and cornstarch.  Slowly add the strained liquid, whisking until all combined.  Bring to a boil for one minute, then remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Chop the rest of the strawberries and fold them into the mixture.

In another bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer until it begins to stiffen, then add the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Spread the strawberry gelatin as the filling of the cake, then use the whipped cream as the frosting on the cake.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms

I’ve been seeing pictures of stuffed squash blossoms in the foodie world for a while now, and I’ve been intrigued.  I love squash and really had no idea what in the world this might taste like.  So when my brother-in-law planted a ton of squash, I kept my fingers crossed that I could persuade him to let me have some blossoms.  And he did!

I found a recipe in Cooking Light for the stuffed blossoms, and that magazine has never steered me wrong so I went with it.  They are stuffed with a homemade pimiento cheese, how yum!  I love pimiento cheese, but only if it’s homemade.  The store-bought junk is awful so if you think you don’t like it, and that’s all you ever had, then try again.  This recipe was pretty easy to make, I think it makes a difference to roast the peppers yourself, rather than the jarred kind.  The blossoms themselves really didn’t have much of a taste, they were primarily a vehicle for serving up that delicious pimiento cheese!  This would be a great (visually impressive) appetizer for a small dinner party.

Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Recipe from Cooking Light, June 2013

Ingredients:
1 small red bell pepper, halved and seeded
1/2 cup fat-free cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp. minced green onions
1 tbsp. mayo
1/2 tsp hot sauce (I used Tabasco garlic flavor)
dash of ground red pepper
2.5 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used a Cabot Vermont white)
1 slice bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 fresh squash blossoms, thoroughly washed

Method:

Set the broiler to high and place the bell pepper halves skin side up on a pan covered with foil and sprayed with nonstick spray.  Broil until they are blackened, then place in a paper bag, closed well for five minutes.  (I had never heard of this approach but it worked well!)  Peel the blackened skin off and dice the bell pepper.

In a bowl, combine the diced bell pepper and all of the rest of the ingredients (except the squash blossoms) until well-mixed.  VERY carefully (use a very small spoon) stuff the mixture into the squash blossoms and serve.

Pan-Seared Balsamic Tender Baby Squash

I think the title of the recipe takes longer to say than it took my husband and I to eat this entire dish.  I cooked this with every intention of having it as a nice little side dish.  Sometimes things don’t go as planned – it ended up being done earlier than the other dishes, and I tasted it.  Then I said “oh James, taste this, it’s so good!”  And within minutes, all the squash was gone.  I can’t blame him though, I had a part in its’ demise.

We are members of a local CSA (crop share) and with each weeks’ produce, they give a recipe on how to use some of the stuff.  I try to use their recipes because they are usually quite tasty, and this was no exception.  The little baby squash were just perfect.  I should note that I did use this recipe for regular squash and it was just as good, you just might need to add a little more balsamic vinegar.  This is a great side dish, if it lasts that long!

Pan-Seared Balsamic Tender Baby Squash

Pan-Seared Balsamic Tender Baby Squash

Pan-Seared Balsamic Tender Baby Squash
Recipe from Inglewood Farms

Ingredients:
1 bag (about a pound?) squash
1 bunch green onions, chopped
olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar (more if desired)

Method:

Gently wash and dry the squash, cut in half lengthwise.  If using fully grown squash, you can cut it into circles.  Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, then place the squash in it, pressing down gently with the spatula to sear the bottom.  When all squash are brown, sprinkle salt and toss to coat.  Add the balsamic vinegar and green onions and let it reduce, coating the squash.

Pan-Seared Balsamic Tender Baby Squash

Pan-Seared Balsamic Tender Baby Squash

 

No Peek Beef Tips

I know some people who know me really well will be shocked by this, but I love beef tips!  I generally do NOT like rice and gravy but for some reason, I cannot get enough of this.  Our church has Parish suppers on Wednesday nights and if it is beef tip night, you will see me there!

I saw a recipe on Pinterest but I was skeptical.  Could this really be as good as those little old ladies cook?  I just didn’t know.  But there was only one way to find out.  I added a few ingredients, and will include that in my adapted version, but they are totally optional.  This cooks low and slow and makes your house smell fantastic and guess what?  It was amazing!  The meat was so tender and the flavor was JUST like the one at Parish supper!  And you can’t deny how simple this was to make!  Definitely going to be making this again.  Soon.

No Peek Beef Tips

No Peek Beef Tips

No Peek Beef Tips
Recipe adapted from Mommys Kitchen

Ingredients:
2 lbs. beef stew meat
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet Lipton Beefy Onion soup mix
1 packet dry brown gravy mix
1 4 oz. can mushrooms
1/2 onion, chopped
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup red wine (you can omit the wine and just use water if desired)

Method:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 casserole with nonstick spray and place stew meat inside.  In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.  Pour over the beef, making sure all gets covered.  Cover with foil and bake 3 hours.  Do not peek.  Serve over rice, potatoes or pasta.

 

Chocolate Chip Pie

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a Pinterest junkie. If I ever won the lottery, man would my dream house be awesome! And maybe then I could afford a personal trainer from eating all these yummy desserts I see on there!

I try to make things when we are invited somewhere, or when we have friends over. That way I’m not just making myself sick on all the goodness! We recently had a crawfish boil and invited friends over, so I made this chocolate chip pie I had been eyeing. I was unsure of how it would come out because it just didn’t seem to call for much. But I didn’t need to worry, it was delicious! Even my ultra-picky daughter ate it. She popped a pecan into her mouth and as she was doing it she said “what’s this? caramel?” and she ate it before I could tell her. When she found out she ate a pecan she was amazed, her response was “but it was so good!” well yeah, kid! The pie was great eaten as is, but even better heated up with some ice cream and chocolate syrup on top!

Chocolate Chip Pie

Chocolate Chip Pie

Chocolate Chip Pie

Recipe by Bakerella, originally from Nestle

Ingredients:

1 9-inch deep dish pie shell, unbaked
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1.5 sticks butter, softened
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Method:

Preheat oven to 325.

In the bowl of the mixer, beat the eggs until foamy. Beat in the flour and sugars, then the butter.

Stir in the chocolate chip morsels and pecans and spoon into pie shell. Bake 55-60 minutes, then cool on wire rack. Serve warm, with optional ice cream.