Spanish Rice

A warm and flavorful side dish!

Spanish Rice
Adapted from {Favorite Family Recipes}

2 Tbl butter
1 cup dry long grain rice
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1 can petite diced tomato, drained
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
fresh cilantro, chopped to taste
fresh lime

In a large skillet melt butter
Add dry rice and continuously stir until lightly brown
Stir in garlic, onion, salt, and cumin
Add tomato, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cilantro
Bring to a boil and cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes
Remove from heat and squeeze on juice from half a lime

Banana Bread

When I was little and the bananas would start to get little black spots on them, no one would eat them.  My dad nicknamed it the speckled death.  So my mom would use them to make banana bread.  I LOVE the way baking banana bread makes my house smell!  It is a classic recipe with my own little trick thrown in to make it extra good.

Banana Bread

5 Tbl unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar, plus 4 Tbl for crust
2 eggs, beaten
4 really ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F
Spray two loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray
Place 1 Tbl of sugar in the bottom of each pan and cover bottom and sides
In a large bowl beat butter and sugar together
Mix in eggs, bananas, and vanilla
Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
Divide batter equally between both loaf pans
Sprinkle each of the tops of batter with 1 Tbl sugar
Place in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Recipe Swagger Featured

Recipe Lion asked me if they could include our Crescent Breakfast Casserole in their upcoming "12 Overnight Breakfast Casseroles for Christmas Morning eCookbook" and of course I was excited to accept!

So take a look and download the eCookbook for my and other yummy breakfast casseroles for Christmas...or anytime!

Strawberry Chiffon Pie

Now that summer is beginning to come to a close, I thought I would post a light and fresh pie as a so long to summer.  My mom use to make these every summer.  My favorite is strawberry, but she would also make them with raspberries as well.  They are great because there are only a few ingredients.  Just whip them up and stick them in the fridge until you are ready to devour them.

Strawberry Chiffon Pie
Courtesy of {Linda Sackett}

2 (9-inch) frozen deep dish pie crust
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups strawberries sliced in sugar, drained
8 oz cool whip

Bake pie crust according to package instructions and cool completely
In a large bowl mix together condensed milk, lemon juice, and cream cheese
Stir in strawberries
Fold in cool whip
Divide evenly in both pie crust and refrigerate at least one hour

Blonde Brownies

This is another sweet treat my mom would make us often.  They are simple and delightful!

Blonde Brownies
Courtesy of {Linda Sackett}

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts (if desired)

Preheat oven to 325°F
In a mixer, blend butter and brown sugar
Add eggs and vanilla and blend until fully incorporated
Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt
Stir in chocolate chips
Pour into greased 9x13 pan
Bake for 30-35 minutes

Poke Cake In A Jar

This is such a fun and different way to give a gift or bring a treat to a gathering.  The recipe I used was my favorite Heath Cake.  But instead of making a full cake, you just make cupcakes and divide them in half and layer them however you like.  This one was cake, caramel, cool whip, and heath.  Here are a couple others I want to try next.

Strawberry Swirl Poke Cake by Kraft
Coconut Cream Poke Cake by Dessert Now Dinner Later
Key Lime Poke Cake by Love Grows Wild
Banana Pudding Poke Cake by The Country Cook

The possibilities are endless!

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Butter Pecan Whoopie Pies with Caramel Cream Cheese Filling

I have made Whoopie Pies before, but this time I decided to play around with some different flavors and these turned out really yummy.  The filling could also be used as a frosting for cupcakes too!

Butter Pecan Whoopie Pies with Caramel Cream Cheese Filling

3 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil

1 bag caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup evaporated milk
2oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 jar marshmallow creme
1 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray
Beat cake mix, eggs, water, and oil in large bowl with an electric mixer
Drop batter onto prepared cookie sheet with cookie scoop
Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until center is set and cool completely

In a small sauce pan put caramels and evaporated milk over medium-high heat
Stir constantly until caramels are melted and cool slightly
In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese and butter
Stir in marshmallow creme and caramel
Cool completely
In a separate mixing bowl whip cream on high until stiff peaks are formed
Fold cream into caramel mixture and store in refrigerator

Place half of pies flat side up
Spread with filling in center of each
Top with remaining pies rounded side up
Press gently to spread filling

Enchilada Skillet

This is just a simple but really flavorful dish.  I love it when you only have to clean up one pot!

Enchilada Skillet
Adapted from {no.2 pencil}

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 pkt taco seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
2 cans (10oz) red enchilada sauce
2 heaping cups of dried rotini pasta
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese, divided
sliced black olives to taste

In a large skillet on medium-high heat add ground beef, garlic, and onions
Brown ground beef and drain off excess fat
Add taco pkt to beef (do NOT add water)
Stir until beef is fully coated
Add broth, enchilada sauce, and pasta to beef
Simmer for approx. 20 minutes or until pasta is tender and liquid is reduced
Stir in 1 cup of cheese and spread remaining 1 cup of cheese on top
Top with olives if desired
Serve warm in skillet

Sweet Thai Chili Pork Sandwich

My husband and I went to have lunch at one of our favorite sandwich shops Firehouse Subs.  They were having this sandwich for a limited time and we decided to try it and fell in love.  So when Father's Day rolled around my husband wanted to see if we could try our own version.  It was so good with a really great balance of smoky, spicy, and sweet!  I think this is one of my new favorites.

Sweet Thai Chili Pork Sandwich

6-8 lb pork shoulder
onion powder
lowery's season salt
garlic salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
liquid smoke

sub rolls
sliced pepper jack cheese
sweet thai chili sauce

Place pork in a large pan, spread generously liquid smoke over meat and rub it evenly.
Sprinkle spices and sugar generously.
Repeat on other side.
Cover and refrigerate 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 250 and cook for 8 hours.
Pull or slice pork
Serve sandwich on sub roll with mayonnaise, sliced pepper jack cheese, sweet thai chili sauce, and pork.