Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Desserts Round-Up

Just wanted to pop in and share a few of the goodies Big Brother and I made for Christmas. We both enjoy baking, so we decided to bake a few favorites and I experimented with doctoring a Sour Cream Pound Cake and transformed it into an Eggnog Pound Cake.  I discovered Sugar Cookie Eggnog from Hood last week and initially thought I'd make cheesecake, but I’m really glad I opted for the pound cake instead.  And  another pleasant surprise from the eggnog carton—a recipe for Sugar Cookie Crème Brulèe, which I’m making for New Year’s Eve.  We didn't make the Key Lime Coolers, they’re from Byrd Cookie Company in Savannah, GA.  Hope you enjoy our round-up!!

Sugar Cookie Eggnog Pound Cake

Ginger Snaps

 Peanut Butter Cookies


What goodies did you bake or purchase for Christmas?

Sheila Denise

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tis The Season For Cookies!!

Please don't fall out of your chair.  I know you're probably in SHOCK that I'm actually posting, but over the past several months, I've been forced to focus on a few other things.  I haven't forgotten you and I hope you haven't forgotten me either. 

I baked Ginger Snaps tonight.  Actually, I've been baking cookies almost all week, but I keep getting requests for Ginger Snaps, so back to the kitchen I went.  I've used this recipe for many, MANY years.  When it was shared with me, there was no indication of where the recipe came from, but as I've researched, it's the same recipe  listed on Blue Ribbon Baking.  I always want to credit the proper person, so just in case the recipe I received is indeed from this site, all bases are covered.

 Ready to roll

Cookie sheets #2 & #3 awaiting their turn in the oven

Finished product

Ginger Snaps (Printable Version)

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed (light or dark)
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup sugar (for rolling)

*I always add a bit more of the spices and I don't chill the dough.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream shortening, brown sugar, molasses and egg in large bowl. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, blending until mixed. Dough can be chilled for easy handling.

Shape the dough into balls the size of whole walnuts. Roll balls in sugar, place on baking sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool on sheet one minute before transferring to rack.

Makes 3-4 dozen.

As you can see, this is a super easy recipe and these cookies are absolutely delicious!!  If you try them, I'd love to hear your feedback. 

Sheila Denise

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Revisiting An Old Friend {Miracle Mix Cake Release}

Have you ever tried something that worked really well, only to stop using it for no apparent reason? Yeah, me too and I was reminded recently when flipping a cake out of an intricate cake pan. As I held my breath, I remembered that I had brought this apprehension on myself because I was no longer using a tried and true cake-won't-stick-to-the-pan method that I'd used a few years ago. When I employed this method, I never had concerns about cakes sticking, so I decided to go back to something that had never failed me before. I wanted to be sure I remembered the correct proportions, so I did a little searching online and the first to pop up was a blog entry from Apron of Grace.

If you're a baker, you probably already know about this "Miracle Mix", but those of you who need to be in on the secret--trust me, you need to whip up a batch of this stuff PRONTO!! All you need is shortening, vegetable oil and flour in equal quantities (I used 1/2 cup each), whipped to death.

Oh and to show you just how much I trust this stuff, I used it with a new recipe, in a much thinner pan than I normally use and the cake plopped out perfectly. Not a single spot even thought about sticking to the pan. See--

With the holidays bearing down upon us, I'm committed to eliminating all breath-holding situations when it comes to baking cakes for friends and family by cozy-ing up to my old friend Miracle Mix.

Happy baking!!

Sheila Denise

Friday, August 12, 2011

Today I Made A Pie {Creamy Peanut Butter Pie For Mikey}

Today, I made a honor of someone I never knew, at the request of someone I've never met. You see Jennie, a fellow foodie blogger, is experiencing tremendous loss. Her husband, Mikey passed away suddenly and her request was that we honor his memory and support her by making his favorite pie today--Creamy Peanut Butter Pie. The loss of a spouse, I can only imagine the devastation; but the loss of a father...I get that completely. At 16, I was handed the shoes that Jennie's & Mikey's daughters are wearing now and my heart breaks for them. I've kept my thoughts on those two little girls, knowing the depth of the pain of losing your father all too well. I pray that the wonderful memories of their father will surround them with comfort and peace.

Today, I made a pie.

Sheila Denise

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cocktail On A Fork {Pies For Grown-Ups}

While alcohol-infused desserts are really nothing new, I thought I'd share a few cocktail pies from an email I received recently from Pillsbury. These would be a great way to beat the intense summer heat. For the recipes, click on the title of each pie. While you're there, check out many more super-easy, delicious Pillsbury recipes.

Do you have a favorite grown-up pie??

Sheila Denise

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Latest Snack Discovery {Sweet Potato Chips}

I've fallen in love with a new snack...Clancy's Sweet Potato Chips from Aldi. My sister & brother-in-law introduced me to them yesterday and I wasn't about to let another day go by without purchasing my very own bag (or three). When I tell you they are absolutely 100% delicious, I truly mean just that. Perfect sweet potato taste with just a hint of sea salt. They're tagged as a "special buy" so I'm not sure how long they'll be around. If you love sweet potato chips, you should give these a try.

Sheila Denise

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Creme Brulee Round-Up {Foodie Holiday}

If only I had my blow torch...LOL!!

Creme Brulee is one of my all-time favorite desserts. From cracking that crunchy, torched sugar topping with my spoon to tasting the creamy deliciousness of the custard, I love absolutely everything about this dessert. The last one I made was Ginger-Lemon and it was to die for!! Just the thought of it makes me want to get my fix the moment I'm back on my home turf.

Happy National Creme Brulee Day!!

Sheila Denise

Photo Credits: Foodgawker

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Happy Peach Ice Cream Day!! {One Day Early}

Today is a perfect day. The weather has been rather bearable, instead of scorching hot and I'm writing from the country, from Mother's back yard deck to be exact. I could sit here for hours with nothing but the sounds of nature to entertain me. Obviously, I'm kidding myself, because sooner of later I'd have to go inside to eat. ;-)

Speaking of eating, tomorrow's foodie holiday involves one of my favorite foods in the universe--peaches. It's it great that, National Peach Ice Cream Day, falls right in the middle of National Ice Cream Month? Now, I must confess that I've only become a fan of ice cream over the past few years. Prior to coming to my senses, it was never something that I remotely thought about eating. Lately, I've been enjoying quite a few fabulous flavors, and Sunday night I saw a photo from a post by the fab foodie blogger duo Kevin & Amanda that grabbed my attention--easy, no machine required ice cream. I have no problem admitting that I made that ice cream on Monday morning before my coffee started brewing.

You only need these two ingredients to get started and the rest is up to your imagination (or you can use one of the recipes from Kevin and Amanda). Just make sure your add-ins are prepped and ready to go, because the quicker you mix, the sooner you'll have ice cream.

Now, here we go. Whip 2 cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks form. I didn't bother to pull out mistress Kitchen-Aid, I used her handheld little sister with the whisk attachment. In a separate bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk with the add-ins of your choice, then fold in the whipped cream. Guess what?? You're done!! Well you do need to freeze it, but you have just made a little batch of ice cream filled with very own your hand-picked ingredients. After about six hours (or until firm), you can enjoy your ice cream.

Here's a peek at the ingredients I used to create what I'm calling Cinna-Vanilla Peaches & Cream with Pecans Ice Cream. I was kinda sad that I didn't have graham crackers to add. It truly would have been cheesecake in ice cream form, but there's always a next time.

All mixed up with nowhere to go:
Ready for the big chill:
In honor of National Ice Cream Month & National Peach Ice Cream Day, I've managed to kill two birds with one stone!! Yay me!! But there is a sad part to this story. The ice cream isn't here with me, so I only have "before eating" photos to share. My weekly plans changed and I've been out of town, but I'm eager to get back to my peachy concoction. I can tell you this, that ice cream will not be safe around me when I get home.

What are some of your favorite homemade ice cream flavors or what flavor combinations are on your list to try?

Sheila Denise

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's Pecan Pie Day Y'all!!

When I discovered this pecan pie recipe, I filed it away to share with you today. I'm out of town for a few days, and I'm not sure if I'll spend any time baking, but this one is definitely on my "to bake" list. If you know anything about me, you know I'm a lover of pecans, cream cheese and caramel, so combining these three flavors in a pie crust is something I'm really looking forward to. I have a wonderful Pecan Pie Cheesecake recipe that I usually make for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but this one is so much easier and faster. According to stats from The Georgia Pecan Commission, my home state produces 88 million pounds of pecans each year--enough to make 176 million pies. I'm now wondering how many of those 88 million pounds can be directly connected to me. Very likely, many more pounds than I'm willing to admit!! LOL

In honor of National Pecan Pie Day, here's the recipe. I know I'll be making a couple of changes by using salted caramel and making my own crust. Enjoy!!

Caramel-Pecan Cheesecake Pie

Sheila Denise

P.S. While you're checking out The Georgia Pecan Commission's site, browse through their great recipes.

Monday, June 27, 2011

McDonald's Summer of Cool Promotion

These mid-90's temperatures have been hanging around for a while, so I'm very happy to share that McDonald's is doing their part to help us cool off a bit, by offering a buy one get one free coupon for their frozen McCafe drinks.

Here's the link for your coupon, which is valid through July 31. Grab a friend and enjoy a Smoothie, Frappe or Strawberry Lemonade. Tomorrow is thrift shopping day with Big Sister and I'm planning to stop by McD's for us to try the new Mango Pineapple Smoothie.


Sheila Denise

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dollar Tree Find

I'll warn you now. This may be one of my most random posts, but I'm so happy to share it that I don't mind if you give me funny looks. I won't keep you any longer than necessary, so this is what I found at Dollar Tree yesterday!!

Isn't is snazzy and cutalicious?!?!?! I'm not one to drag around brightly colored/patterned luggage, so this little tag is as wild as I'm going to get, but is will definitely assist me in identifying my luggage on the belt at the airport.

I need to plan a trip just to show it off!! Tell me about some of your favorite warm weather getaway spots??

Sheila Denise

Oh, I'm sure you're wondering about the QR Code up top. It's for a those of you who access the blog from your mobile devices. It's designed to give you the perfect layout for mobile viewing, so scan away and enjoy!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Open-Faced Blackened Tilapia Sandwich {Cooking Light}

I just finished wolfing down my lunch. It was a late lunch and I was STARVING! In my excitement to eat, I forgot to toast the bread for the sandwich, but I can't imagine that the sandwich could taste any better with it toasted. Shoot, you don't even need to bother with the bread!! It's just THAT good!! I happened upon this recipe in the June 2011 issue of Cooking Light and decided to switch it up a little bit. The original recipe is Open-Faced Blackened Catfish Sandwiches, but I swapped the catfish for tilapia, which I almost always have on hand. I made my slaw from scratch and doctored it up a bit, by swapping the lime juice for apple cider vinegar, for a tangy bite, then added red onion, diced pickled jalapeno and crumbled blue cheese. My cilantro looked like a train wreck, so it didn't make it to the party.

TSE's Open-Faced Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Jalapeno Blue Cheese Slaw

If you're not familiar with Cooking Light, I suggest you get with the program. They have FABULOUS lighter-fare recipes and most of them are extremely simple to prepare. This recipe, gets FIVE stars!!

This sandwich is incredibly delicious!! I really think you should try it...tonight.

Sheila Denise

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

100 Degrees In The Shade {Frozen Treats}

I'm almost ready to run naked through this water at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park and I assure you this will not be a pretty sight. LOL

As I started writing this post at 6:00PM, the temperature was a steamy 96° in Atlanta. It seems like a few weeks ago we were wishing for warmer weather, but now that it's here, some of us may be changing our minds. This little heat wave has me thinking about inhaling as much water and as many cool drinks and treats that I can stand, while trying to keep those options as healthy as possible. My afternoon snack today was a small bowl of sorbet, but I wanted to have other options on hand. I pulled out my popsicle molds, and started searching for great treats to make. There are so many to choose from, but here are a few that you may like. The good news is you don't need molds to make these easy treats, so if you don't have them, don't worry. Take a look at these frozen delights. Links to the recipes are listed in the credits below.

Frozen Banana Pops. Dipped in white or dark chocolate or slathered in peanut butter--totally up to you. Little ones may like them garnished with Cheerios.

Frozen Banana Bites {No equipment required}

Lemon Strawberry Yogurt Pops

Watermelon Popsicles {Simply pureed watermelon--no additives}

Pineapple Granita

I hope you'll give some of these treats a try or create your very own frozen concoction, but whatever you do, please remember to remain hydrated. What are some of your favorite frozen homemade treats?

Sheila Denise

Credits & Recipe Links:
Banana Pops: Savoring Time In The Kitchen
Banana Bites: Kraft Foods
Lemon Strawberry Yogurt Pops: Shop Cook Make
Watermelon Popsicles: The Family Kitchen
Pineapple Granita: Souvlaki For The Soul

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Support Our Troops With Just One Click {Memorial Day}

As we embark on the weekend that kicks off Summer for my fellow American readers, it's important that we focus on the true reason for Memorial Day. Let us remember those men and women who gave their lives while giving service to our country, as well as those who served, are currently serving, and are planning to serve our country.

In efforts to support our troops, Taste of Home Magazine is pledging 10 cents (up to $100,000) for every "unique" click on this link to their red, white and blue flag cake. Too bad we can't just click forever. Please join me in supporting support our troops across the world with just one click. This effort runs through July 4, 2011. Please share this information with your friends.

While I was browsing, I discovered a great offer from one of my favorite magazine subscription sites, Discount Mags. They're offering a 3-year/21 issues subscription for only $9.99 (regularly $50.97)! Just select the 3-year option and use code MEMORIAL to receive your discount. I have no idea how long this offer will last, so if you're a fan of or are interested in this magazine, I'd get on it PRONTO.

Wishing you a safe Memorial Day weekend!!

Sheila Denise