Friday, September 27, 2013

Tried and Tested by Carol Jones

For full disclosure I received a copy of this cookbook in exchange for an honest review.

This little cookbook is well organized and the recipes are easy to follow. I have made 3 of the recipes before doing this review and I was not disappointed a bit. My husband, youngest daughter, and I all chose 1 recipe for me to try and all three turned out delicious. I made the bacon wrapped potatoes (can you guess who chose that one?), marmalade chicken, and the deviled drumsticks. The potatoes were yummy, the addition of  of the mustard made them extra tangy. In the deviled drumsticks recipe I substituted brown sugar for the muscovado sugar that the recipe called for and it still turned out great. The marmalade chicken was sweet and sticky and a big hit. I will definitely be adding all three recipes to my rotation. Tried and Tested is only $0.99 at Amazon and that is a price that I love! These three recipes alone would be work that each. The measurements are metric so there is some conversion to do but if you have a food scale they are a snap. I don't have a scale and I just used the conversion chart that is provided in the book, or you can use the handy dandy internet and no math is involved at all!  Don't let the conversions scare you off of this book, they still use Tbsp., tsp., etc. the only difference is with the weighted measurements, for example 500 g. of potatoes works out to be around  1.1 lbs so I rounded down to 1 lb. If you enjoy fish recipes there are 16 of them that I counted, that's a lot for any size book. I haven't made any of the sweet recipes yet but the lemon cake and chocolate dream pots are on my to do list. 

You can find Carol at her own blog Tried and Tested by clicking here

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Christmas Freebie

I know, I know, it's not even October yet but when you see a freebie you grab it! Who knows how long this freebie will last.I've looked through it and it looks like a little gem!

Marinated Pork Chops

This is the marinade that I use for both pork chops and steaks. It's a little sweet and is made up of ingredients that I always have around so it can be thrown together without any special trips to the grocery store.


1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. minced garlic


I put everything in a mason jar and shake until it's thoroughly mixed . 

I like to use these boneless loin chops they tend cook evenly . 

Put chops in a resealable bag and pour in marinade. You can do this in the morning and they are ready for dinner time, but if you are in a pinch marinating for just an hour gives plenty of flavor too.

I cook them on my handy dandy electric griddle. Ya'll I love this thing, if you don't have one you don't know what you're missing. I was able to cook all 8 chops at once. I cook them at 350* for about 6 minutes on each side.

Voila! I put them on a platter, cover them with foil and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving and they will be nice and juicy. No dry chops here!


Hamburgers From Beginning to End

Grilling burgers is something that we do pretty much year round around here. The hubby has been talking about grinding our own meat for awhile now and we have finally started experimenting and it's been a success so far. So here's what we do: 


 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 tsp. Worcestershire black pepper blend
3 lbs Chuck Roast
3 slices bread soaked in bread

If you can't find the pepper blend try Lowry's Seasoning Salt instead, it's very good as well.


Cut roast into sections and then chunks.

Send through grinder. I also put the soaked bread through the grinder after every few batches of the beef.


Mix in the soy sauce and pepper. Form into patties. This should make 12 patties.

Grill to desired cooking temperature. We like ours medium, not really pink but before they turn to hockey pucks. 

Top as you like. I don't add too much because the actual burger is soooo good! Very few ingredients, but lots of flavor. 


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Freebie Muffin Cookbook

A little booklet that's a freebie from Amazon right now, it says it's an estimated 19 pages, but it free!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Whoopie Pies Freebie

If you love whoopie pies, and who doesn't, you may want to grab this little freebie from Amzaon!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen

Thielen has a new show on FoodNetwork and her cookbook is due to be released on September 24th.  Did you see the premier of the show? I think that it's going to be another hit show for FoodNetwork. Here's the description from Amazon:

Amy Thielen grew up in rural northern Minnesota, waiting in lines for potluck buffets amid loops of smoked sausages from her uncle’s meat market and in the company of women who could put up jelly without a recipe. She spent years cooking in some of New York City’s best restaurants, but it took moving home in 2008 for her to rediscover the wealth and diversity of the Midwestern table, and to witness its reinvention. 

The New Midwestern Table reveals all that she’s come to love—and learn—about the foods of her native Midwest, through updated classic recipes and numerous encounters with spirited home cooks and some of the region’s most passionate food producers. With 150 color photographs capturing these fresh-from-the-land dishes and the striking beauty of the terrain, this cookbook will cause any home cook to fall in love with the captivating flavors of the American heartland. 

There are also 3 recipes at Amazon with the description of the book that you can download for free. 


Loaded Mashed Potato Bake

This is a super easy but yummy potato recipe. It's really decadent so this is not for the feint of heart!


4 Russet potatoes
1 small head of broccoli-divided into smaller florets
3 green onions-diced
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
1/2 c. sour cream
4 oz. cream cheese-softened
1/2 stick of butter-softened
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper


Cut potatoes into fairly small cubes so that they cook faster. Boil until fork tender. Once done mash potatoes to the consistency that you like, I leave mine slightly chunky for texture. Mix potatoes and the remaining ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a well sprayed casserole dish. Bake in a 350* pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes or until it starts to bubble. 

Yes, that's the butter bubbling through the top...

Friday, September 13, 2013

My Twist on a Whisky Sour

(Never mind the half empty whisky bottle-don't judge!)

This is so easy and you can tweak the measurements to fit your personal tastes. 


2 oz. Whiskey
1 Tbsp. Simple Syrup
1 c. Pineapple-Orange Juice
1/2 tsp. Grenadine
Maraschino cherries for garnish

 I put all of the ingredients in a mason jar with ice and shake like crazy-no fancy shaker needed!

This is a slightly weaker whisky sour so if you like the bite of the whisky you may want to use up to 3 oz., but be careful the sweetness of the juice will fool you and Jack loves to sneak up on you from behind!

This makes 2 small glasses or 1 decent size mason jar all depends on what kind of day you've had.

I take 2 cherries in mine thank you...


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Miss Kay's Duck Commander Kitchen

I am unashamed of the fact that I am a fan of Duck Dynasty and I love Miss Kay and Phil. I hope that hubby and I are blessed with the years and love that they have had. This cookbook is due out November 5th and the link that I provided is for the paperback version that is listed for $13.79. I swear I don't know how they come up with the pricing for these books. It looks like the book will also be available in eBook and hardback.Here's the description from Amazon:

The sassy, country-cookin’ matriarch of the Robertson clan and star of A&E®'s Duck Dynasty® dishes up her fabulous recipes and stories in this irresistible family cookbook.
From fried chicken to fried frog legs, sausage gumbo to crawfish étouffée, and buttery biscuits to red beans and rice, Miss Kay is a master of the back-country, home-cooked meal. She has been cooking ever since she was a little girl and has perfected her skills through years of practice on the Robertson clan. Now she shares her mouth-watering meals, drinks, desserts, and more, and her love shows in every recipe.

Since family is of utmost importance to the Robertsons, each section of Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen is organized around different family members and special events, featuring insider stories and colorful dinner table conversations that will keep you laughing. Miss Kay also reveals the favorite recipes of each of the Robertson men—and their wives—as well as the famous meals she cooks for extended family, friends, and church members. In addition to more than 100 recipes, beautiful full-color photos and family pictures make this book a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. And true to their faith, you’ll find scriptures sprinkled throughout Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen.

With a backwoods country flair, the cookbook that Duck Dynasty fans have been waiting for is finally here. And true to her down-home style, Miss Kay doesn’t disappoint: “Food is the language, and I know how to speak it!”

Let's just say that the news of the imminent release of this cookbook makes me happy, happy, happy!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Amazing Pioneer Woman

If you haven't seen her amazing cooking show The Pioneer Woman on Food Network, been to her blog The Pioneer Woman, or seen and drooled over one her cookbooks I just don't know where you've been. Ree Drummond is one of my favorites and she seems so down to Earth and is so relatable that you recognize her as just another mom raising her family and loving the process. She currently has two cookbooks available:

This was her first cookbook and it's great. I love that she has photos of each step of the recipe for every single recipe. The recipes are simple to make, unpretentious, and most of all yummy. My family's favorite from this cookbook is the Chicken Spaghetti recipe on page 130. I have made this recipe so often that when I open the book and try to lay it flat it automatically goes to this page! This recipe is so rich and filling and is the perfect fall meal. oh the Huevos Hyacinth!! if you like egg dishes, this is the one to try. I love when a recipe is this simple and delicious. I have made every recipe in this book except for the burgundy mushrooms, onion strings, and the maple pecan scones but I'll get to those too. 

I haven't made everything in this one yet, but I'll eventually make my way through it. I can, however, vouch for regularly making the Chicken Apricot Panini from page 56 and the Honey Plum Soy Chicken on page 197. Sooo good! 

And now here's the best part-her new cookbook will be released on October 29th! Oh happy days! I will definitely be getting this one as soon as it's available. The link to pre-order the physical book from Amazon is provided below.

Pulled Pork

I love pulled pork. Being a military wife I have lived in a few places and I have eaten pulled pork in Oklahoma, Texas, and naturally my home state of Arkansas. I've only had one not so great pulled pork and it was at a Texas chain that shall remain nameless. The only thing that I enjoyed in that place was the sweet tea and that's just sad... Anyway, I have a super simple pulled pork recipe that is very similar in flavor to the Pioneer Woman (Goddess) Ree Drummond's pulled pork recipe. Ree has 2 versions of her pulled pork and her one with the soda and adobe peppers is great if you like a lot of heat. My version is a little tamer in the spiciness department, I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to heat. You can use either Dr. Pepper or Coke (NOT DIET!!) in this version. My husband hates Dr. Pepper but he loves this recipe because it does not have a cola taste at all after it cooks. You can also use this same recipe but substitute a whole large chicken for the pork butt. 


5 lb pork butt (bone in)
1 small onion-chopped
Chicken Fajita Rub-enough to generously cover entire pork butt
1 can Dr. Pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

Okay guys, if you haven't heard of or tasted Bolner's line of spices are you in for a treat. I stock up every time I go to Texas because I can't imagine life without it. I had family mail it to me when I lived in England. Yes, they are that good. I am not being paid or compensated in any way for these statements, I just love this product that much. But if  someone at Bolner's happens to see this and wants to send me a lifetime supply I wouldn't turn it down! Okay, I'd accept even just 1 free bottle! Now if you're interested in giving these a try click on the link here and you can check out their web site where you can order your own. The brisket, carne guisada, and fajita seasonings are all awesome too. Alright,enough of the free infomercial. 

Now here's the hard part. Pour the soda in the slow cooker, throw in the onion and garlic and stir around. Very generously season the pork butt and then put into the liquid. That's it! Leave in the cooker for 6-8 hours and it will literally fall apart in the pot. 

In my house we eat this two ways. One day it will be on a buttered and toasted bun with BBQ sauce like this:

Most of the time I also have homemade coleslaw, but it was just more than I could manage for last night's dinner. It was just one of  those nights...On the second go round we eat it as a pork taco with pico de gallo, lettuce, and sour cream. 

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Slow Cooker Beans

This is one of my family's favorite meals. I love it because it's one of those throw in the slow cooker and let it work it's magic recipes that doesn't take too much effort but tastes amazing. This makes your whole house smell like a southern wonderland. If you are home for a good deal of the day while this is cooking let me apologize now because the delicious smell may just drive you a little batty! Just try to refrain from eating hard half cooked beans because you couldn't take it any longer. 

The star of the show:
It's important that you get the package with the ham flavor packet.

I like to soak my beans in enough water to cover about 2 inches for about 5 minutes just to see if anything floats and then remove the floaters. Strain then put in slow cooker.


1 small onion diced
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic (not pictured)
1 whole jalapeno (cut 3-4 slits in it)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 pork jowel/ham hock or if you're lucky the ham bone from a previously cooked ham
2 chicken bouillon cubes (not pictured)
Flavor packet from bean package
8 cups of water


Put beans in and pour water over them. Add all of the ingredients in and give it a good stir to dissolve the flavor packet. Place the ham bone or jowl in and cover. 

Let it cook for 6-8 hours on low. I have never tried it on high for a shorter time so I can't vouch for how quickly these will cook on low but I would guess around 4 hours. 

Yummy-ness in a pot! We eat this with cornbread every time. It's a requirement. Hubby and the girls also have to have it over rice. I also fry turkey kielbasa to have on the side. 

Hubby's way 

My way...


Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunny's Kitchen by Sunny Anderson

I have been a fan of Sunny Anderson's for years and I am so glad that she is FINALLY has a cookbook coming out. It's due to be released on September 17th and I can't wait to see the deliciousness that she has in store for us. Here's the book description from Amazon:

Sunny draws on her family roots in the Carolinas, her travels across the globe in a military family, and her years catering while a radio DJ. Her recipes are as bold and spicy as her palette and she welcomes you into her kitchen with an array of comfort foods. Sunny gives you the whole world in just a few bites: her southern Slow ‘n’ Low Ribs, a bit of Germany in her currywurst-inspired Pork Burgers with Spicy Ketchup, Asian influences in Spicy Noodle Bowls, and a classic Shrimp and Andouille Boil from New Orleans. Drawing on store-bought shortcuts and always relying on affordable, easy-to-find ingredients, Sunny shows you how to make every meal a homecoming.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Egg White Cups

This is a quick, easy, and fairly healthy breakfast that I like. I know that there are a ton of these type of egg cups out there and you can change this one up in a lot of different ways. I usually use fresh green onions in this, but as luck would have it I was out when I made this recipe this morning and a trip to the store was just out of the question. Thankfully a trip to the cupboard saved the day. The dehydrated chives don't have as much flavor as anything fresh, but it still did the job. I used a bit of left over grilled chicken today, but I have used diced deli turkey, ham. and  Canadian bacon. I've also used sauteed mushrooms in the mix. Mozzarella cheese is also good to use. Mix it up and let me know the combos you come up with. This version makes 6 egg cups.


Liquid egg whites
1 green onion-diced
1/3 c. seeded and chopped tomato
1/3 to 1/2 cup diced grilled chicken
Enough cheese to sprinkle over each cup


Preheat oven to 350*. Spray 6 cup muffin pan very generously with cooking spray-I mean spray those suckers to death! I spray all over in case some egg white spills over, it will make for much easier clean up. Fill each muffin cup a little less than 1/2 full with egg whites. Add green onion, tomato, and chicken to each. Fill cups to the top with more egg white. Sprinkle with cheese. Salt and Pepper to taste. Cook for about 20 minutes, start checking at around 18 minutes, the cups should start puffing up and setting. Once they are done immediately remove from pan.