Sunday, March 30, 2014

Red Delicious Apple Crisp

I love my apple pie, but Amy always begs for apple crisp, without the bottom crust. My recipes are very similar. I just use brown sugar in the apple crisp topping and do not add any extra sugar to the apples. Red Delicious apples are so sweet that they do not need extra sugar when baked in this recipe. Granny Smith's are my favorite for pies, but sweeter apples that breaks down a little more are just fine when prepared in a cobbler or crisp. This is such an easy recipe and is great to prepare with your children or grandchildren

Combine 1/3 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 6 tbs butter in a bowl. Cut the butter into pats, and mix together sugar, flower and butter with a fork or even better, a cook's favorite tools, clean hands.
  Select 5 or 6 Red Delicious apples, peel and chop.
Place in baking dish that is not too deep. There is no need to oil dish- apples will make plenty of juice. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over apples and bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until apples are tender and juice is bubbly.
Yummy goodness in just a few minute! - Delicious served with ice cream while still warm or if you live alone - keep a fork handy and take a bite when you walk by! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Comfort Food - Updated Hamburger Pie

When the kids were growing up, one of our easy weeknight meals was Hamburger Pie - It was very generic - seasoned hamburger meat topped with my homemade mashed potatoes - cheese sprinkled on top and then baked until heated. Some of my friends added tomato soup and green beans to the meat - others added cream of mushroom soup and canned mushrooms. This is a recipe that is a little more flavorful with a saucy tomato kick and topped with my cheesy mashed potatoes. Amy came up with the filling, trying to find a more hearty flavor that both Mike and Parker would enjoy

Updated Hamburger Pie

1 pound ground chuck
1/2  cup onion chopped
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup milk
1 16 oz can VegAll

Brown meat with onion and salt, pepper, garlic salt or powder. Drain grease from hamburger meat and mix in tomato paste, tomato sauce, milk and Veg All - Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with Pam and spoon in hamburger mixture

Mashed Potato Topping

3 cups Homemade mashed potatoes or (heaven's forbid) instant mashed potatoes for six- HOT
1 cup sour cream
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1/4 cup milk
salt, pepper and garlic powder
2.8 oz can of  French Fried Onions
1 cup shredded cheese

Mix mashed potatoes , sour cream , milk, and garlic powder
Spoon half of the mixture over the meat layer
Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese and  2/3 cupFrench Fried Onions
Top with remaining mashed potatoes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until hot
Top with remaining cheese and French Fried Onions.
Bake 5 minutes until onions are golden - they will burn quickly, so keep an eye on oven.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pork Chops Sorrento - 30 minutes or less

Life is always hustle bustle, especially if children are part of the scene. Pork Chops Sorrento were always a weekday favorite at our house. Skillet to table in 30 minutes or less. The simmered pork chops had slices of green pepper and were topped with mozzarella cheese - Who wouldn't be a fan? - Here is the super easy recipe

Weeknight Pork Chops Sorrento

4 or 5 thin cut boneless center cut pork chops
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 large green or yellow bell pepper - cut in rings
Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Salt and pepper pork chops - add any other seasonings that you love -  Italian seasoning for example
Brown pork chops in skillet  in 1 to 2 tbs oil - (vegetable or olive)
Place one bell pepper ring on each pork chop
Pour 15 ounce can of tomato sauce over all
Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until pork chops are tender
Place one slice of mozzarella on each pork chop and cover with lid until cheese melts

Dinner is ready - We love to serve this on rice and have baby limas as a side.
Very easy and kid friendly - Dad friendly too!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chicken Salad - A Matter of Preferences

I have known lots of South Georgia ladies who thought that their Chicken Salad was the best, and were highly guarded with the ingredients. I've tried them all - the whipping cream version, sour cream add-in, pasta recipe, new fangled low fat types, and hot chicken salad. Of course, our family thinks ours is the best. That is because I have always molded it to the individual - Michael - no onions - Jenny, a little mustard mixed with the mayo - Walter- lots of onions, celery, boiled eggs- Amy - no onions or eggs plus olives and grapes

Here is the recipe for my favorite chicken salad - My friend Sophie likes it pretty good too!

As in most recipes, the secret is in the seasonings. Stew 3 or 4 chicken breasts, bone-in, in salted water in a stock pot- Bring to a good boil, turn to a slow boil and simmer for about one hour or until meat is no longer pink, but is still tender and juicy.  You will have some really good chicken broth also - Don't be afraid to use any of your favorite seasonings in the water - Remove breasts from pot and let cool in a bowl. Pick the meat off of the bones and place in a large bowl. You will want at least 3 1/2 to 4 cups of cubed chicken breast. Add to breasts, 2 tbs finely chopped green onions,  1/4 cup chopped celery,  sweet salad cubes ( relish is a little too vinegary for my taste), 2 chopped boiled eggs, chopped green olives with pimientos, and red seedless grapes, quartered and salt and pepper to taste.  Start with around 3/4 cup mayonnaise, a good pour of pickle juice and a little juice from the olives. Mix well and taste - You will need plenty of clean spoons - It is a taste until it's great procedure. When it tastes so good that you can't stand it, open a package of Ritz chips or make little crustless sandwiches on white bread.
photographed and prepared by Amy Fladell

Secret to good Chicken Salad
Make sure the stock water is seasoned - It is very hard to season after the chicken has been stewed
Don't boil the chicken to death - and don't use boneless breasts - (dry and flavorless)
Use a good mayonnaise - I prefer Duke's - Some swear by Hellman's-
Add what you love to your chicken salad - My mother and her sisters always put red delicious apples in theirs - Some people use mandarin oranges or pineapple-
Taste as you add your mayonnaise and use any seasonings that you like - I think a little horseradish might even be good-

Please comment on your favorite chicken salad ingredients

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I received a call from Amy today - she was experimenting in the kitchen and came up with a cookie dough, brownie recipe that is a version of one that she saw on Pinterest.. Parker called them Wowies! I am sure that they have plenty of Wow and calories too- A pure treat -

A cookie dough crust, Oreo layer,prepared brownie mix, and swirled cream cheese topping combine for pure decadence - Parker went to bed in a sugar trance. Mike might be right behind him. Here is the recipe for the brave and daring.

Cookie Dough Crust

1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup self rising flour
1 cup semi sweet chocolate  chips

Spray the bottom of a 9 X13 inch pan and spray with Baker's Joy.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the butter and sugars in a mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla, making sure to scrape down the sides of the mixer. Add the flour and mix on low until everything is incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Press cookie dough into prepared pan using the back of a measuring cup.

Layer Oreos evenly on top of the cookie dough crust.

Brownie Layer

Prepare one Deluxe Fudge Brownie Mix - Duncan Hines- according to package directions and spread evenly over cookie layer.

Mix 8 ounces of softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and dollop on top of the brownie layer. Swirl cream cheese into Brownie layer with knife, working around the Oreos.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Test with knife for doneness - If knife comes out clean, remove from oven and let the brownies rest- If knife is still gooey with batter, bake another 5 minutes and recheck.
For even more decadence, serve with ice cream while still warm.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

I didn't get to cook our traditional corned beef and cabbage recipe that Walter loved and expected on St. Patrick's Day.  Amy took over the helm and adapted my recipe from stovetop to crock pot. Here is her delicious Corned Beef and Cabbage remake.

Coarsely chop two onions into wedges and quarter 6 to 8 larger red potatoes. Peel 5 or 6 carrots and cut them into large chunks. Place vegetable in bottom of a large crock pot. Salt and pepper vegetables pretty heavily.
Pour 3 cups of water over vegetable and place 4 pound corned beef brisket in pot, reserving spice packet.
Add 12 ounces of beer and sprinkle spice packet over all. 
Cover and cook on high 8 hours. It takes this long for the meat to get really tender, therefore keep those vegetables in large pieces. 
Add one whole cabbage cut in wedges for last hour of cooking.
Yummy! I wish I had some instead of my rotisserie turkey sandwich. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mile High Peanut Butter Pie for PI Day

My daughter, Amy, called me earlier in the week to ask if I knew that today was PI 3.14 Day. Of course, I had no idea that such a day existed, if it does. Her husband works for a glass company and he has recently been transferred to the coating department. They have developed a new coating for glass used in skyscrapers. He is in production, but works with a group of design engineers. They were all excited about PI day, as engineers would be. Their tradition is to bring a variety of pies to work on 3.14. Mike volunteered his favorite Mile High Peanut Butter Pie - Amy sent me the recipe and a photo of the finished product.

Mile High Peanut Butter Pie

35 vanilla wafers, finely crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 3.9 oz box instant chocolate pudding
2 cups cold milk divided
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 3.4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups thawed Cool Whip - divided
1/2 oz Bakers semi sweet chocolate

Mix Vanilla Wafer crumbs and butter until blended - Press onto bottom and up the sides fo a 9 inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes and cool.

Beat chocolate pudding mix and 1 cup milk with whisk 2 minutes. Pudding will be thick. Spread onto bottom of crust.
Add remaining milk to cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add vanilla pudding mix; beat 2 minutes. Add peanut butter to vanilla pudding mixture; beat until blended. Stir in one cup cool whip. Spread over chocolate layer to within one inch of edge. Spoon remaining Cool Whip onto center of pie.

Refrigerate 3 hours. When ready to serve, melt chocolate as directed on package. Drizzle over pie. Store in refrigerator.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Florida Strawberry Freezer Jam

The markets are overflowing with Florida Strawberries this week. Sweet Bay Grocery has them on special - 2 - 16 ounce packages for $4 - It's a great time to make Strawberry Freezer Jam - so good with biscuits or on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It's super easy also. In the 70's and 80's we used butter tubs to store our freezer jam. Now, everyone has gone back to the traditional Ball Mason Jars. This recipe is so great because the traditional sterilization and canning process is not needed. We just cook our jam and store in the freezer until needed. My friend, Mary K brought a pint of freezer jam to the store today and everyone was delighted. She is quite the homemaker and can do anything in the kitchen and is equally as handy around the house - We even accuse her of ironing her husband's underwear, but she adamantly denies it.

Strawberry Freezer Jam

4 cups fresh crushed strawberries
4 cups sugar
1 (1.75 ounce) package dry pectin
3/4 cup water

Mix crushed strawberries with sugar, and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the pectin into the water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for one minute. Stir the boiling water into the strawberries. Allow to stand for 3 minute before pouring into  jars. 

Place tops on the containers, and leave for 24 hours. Place into freezer, and store frozen until ready to use.

Terrific on biscuits - I love Pillsbury frozen biscuits - or even butter flake canned biscuits- but, the jam is especially good on extra short South Georgia biscuits. 

or makes the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Monday, March 10, 2014

1950's Tuna Noodle Casserole with Potato Chip Topping

Here it is! This is the traditional tuna noodle casserole that we all ate as children and then fed to our children.  I still love it ! - I may not be a gourmet, but all of the ingredients in this recipe combine to produce my idea of true comfort food. I found this recipe in my mother's recipe box - It was cut out of a magazine and was an advertisement for egg noodles. It was probably in the late 50's or early 60's. Momma made this a lot for me on Saturdays at lunch. Daddy would not touch such as this - He said that you might as well eat cat food. I loved it then and love it now!
Almost every ingredient can be found in your pantry or refrigerator today. Bring back some memories and make it for your family - Tell the kids that this is what your grandma used to eat as a child - Who knows? They may like it or beg for processed chicken nuggets.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

1 16 oz package egg noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cans tuna - 6 ounces each - drained
1 1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices American cheese - the good old yellow kind
1 1/2 cup potato chips

Boil noodles in salted water until al dente - about 10 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray a 1 1/2  quart casserole with cooking spray
Mix tuna, cream of mushroom soup, cream of celery soup, milk and salt and pepper to to taste
Mix tuna mixture with noodles
Spread 1/2 the noodle mixture in dish
Arrange 2 of the cheese slices over noodle mixture
Spread remaining noodle mixture over cheese
Lay two remaining cheese slices on top
Top with crushed potato chips
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees 20 to 30 minutes - until casserole is hot and and potato chips start to brown

Of course you can use any kind of grated or sliced cheese - but let's stay true to the 50's.
No cheating, only original greasy Lays for the topping!

I would love to read your comments about your childhood tuna casserole memories.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

My mother would always use Duncan Hines cake mixes if she didn't bake from scratch. She would never buy any of the other brands, except for the Jiffy yellow cake mix that came in the little one layer box. That was what we usually had for strawberry shortcake. Last year, we were all meeting for the 4th of July in New Smyrna Beach, Fl. I had been googling for a good add on to our breakfast casserole and found this delicious Sour Cream Blueberry Coffeecake at We even used the canned icing- it melted easily and made a great glaze. This is a good Sunday morning treat before church. It is pretty easy to put together. Bake while you are in the shower and then wake the kids and daddy with smiles on their faces. Your house will smell great -

1 package Wild Maine Blueberry Muffin Mix
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup blueberry preserves
Duncan Hines classic vanilla frosting

Grease 9 inch round cake pan
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Rinse blueberries from mix with cold water and drain
Combine mix, sour cream, milk, eggs in medium bowl. Stir until moistened
Spread half the batter in pan
Combine blueberries and preserves in small bowl. Spread half of the blueberry mixture on top of the batter. Spread remaining batter over blueberry mixture. Spread remaining blueberry mixture on top, avoiding edges.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden
Place frosting in microwave bowl. Microwave on high 10 seconds at a time, stirring, until melted.
Drizzle melted frosting over coffee cake-