Thursday, August 13

Gluten-Free Southwest Breakfast Casserole

I modified this recipe which was featured in the Taste of Home Prize Winning Cookbook when my sister who has celiac disease came to visit us for the weekend. Although it was great following the original version, we all agreed that this modified version is awesome- whether or not you have to watch out for the "evil gluten!"

Gluten-Free Southwest Breakfast Casserole
  • 15 corn tortillas (8"), cut into 1/2- inch strips
  • 4 cans (4 oz each) chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1 lb bulk pork sausage, cooked & drained (I used Neese's Hot Country Sausage)
  • 2 cups (8 oz) Shredded Cheddar/Monterery Jack cheese
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. garlic salt
  • 1/2 t. onion salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • Paprika
  • Sour Cream & Salsa

1. In a greased 13-in x 9-in baking dish, layer half of the tortilla strips, chilies, sausage and cheese. Repeat layers. In a bowl, beat the eggs, milk and seasonings (not the paprika) and pour over the cheese. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. Remove from the refrigerator 20 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 1 hour to 1 hour & 15 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

This breakfast casserole goes well with a fruit tray or fruit salad to balance out the meal :)

Monday, July 6

Aunt Dot's 14-Day Sweet Pickles

Growing up our Great Aunt Dot made the best 14 Day Sweet Pickles that were always a treat for us. Her pickles and her beautiful roses (and love of Days of Our Lives) are things that I will never forget about her! Aunt Dot kept my sister and I when we were little- and spoiled us rotten! These take a little while to make, but the old saying is true- good things come to those who wait! Enjoy!


  • 2 gallons sliced cucumbers
  • 1 pint salt
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 tbsp. alum (heaping)
  • 2 1/2 pints vinegar (white)
  • 10 c. sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons of Whole Cloves
  • Sterilized jars

Into sterilized stone jar, put 2 gallons of cucumbers, washed and sliced into 1/4" pieces. Regardless of size, they must be sliced or they will shrivel. Dissolve salt in 1 gallon boiling water and pour, while hot, over pickles. Cover and weight down the pickles and let stand (have water cover plate) and cover with a cloth for 6 days.

On the seventh day, drain, then pour 1 gallon boiling water over pickles; let them stand 24 hours, repeat this step for days 8 and 9.

On the 10th day, drain. Pour 1 gallon of boiling water with 1 heaping tablespoon of powdered alum over the pickles; let stand 24 hours.

On the following day (11th day), drain again and pour pickling mixture (see below) over pickles. Let stand 24 hours, and on day 12, drain the mixture into a pot to reheat to boiling and pour over the pickles. Repeat this process of draining the mixture and reboiling it and re-pouring it over the pickles on day 13. On day 14, collect mixture and reboil while you pack the pickles in hot, sterile mason jars, leaving ~ 1/2" headspace in jars. Pour boiled mixture over pickles and seal. (With the hot liquid and hot jars, they should seal without having to be processed in a hot water bath.)

For the pickling mixture, combine 2 1/2 pints of vinegar, with 10 cups sugar, and create a cheesecloth pouch for your cinnamon sticks and whole cloves); bring this to a boil and pour this over the pickles.

Tuesday, June 2

Cheerwine BBQ Sauce

I found this recipe several years ago and it is my signature go-to BBQ sauce recipe! I have used it on chicken (marinate and grill- top w/ diced onions, tomatoes, bacon and Colby-Monterrey jack cheese and bake at 400 til cheese melts is awesome), pork (ribs, chops, Boston butts, and chopped BBQ), beef and deer and it has never failed to "hit the spot". Experiment with your own favorites to tweak to your personal taste :)

  • 1 (12 ounce) can Cheerwine
  • 5 ounces of good molasses
  • 6 ounces brown sugar
  • 10 ounces prepared tomato-based barbecue sauce (My favorite to use is Kraft Mesquite for a smoky taste or Sweet Baby Rays for a sweeter taste)
  • 2 ounces distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 ounce Liquid Smoke

Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into a container and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 1/3 gallon. To thicken, stir in 1/4 c. of fruit jelly (grape, cherry, or apple would probably be best) and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Saturday, May 30

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad...

Thank you to my sissy for telling me this is a recipe to share... I promise its YUMMY and great for a crowd (or for a first date!) I made this for my husband the first time I ever cooked for him almost 4 years ago. He looked at it and I asked him if he had ever had it before and he said yes, it's just like my Momma used to make (his mother had passed away 2 years before). Needless to say, when he tasted it (after putting a conservative portion on his plate) he went back for more- he just didn't want to tell me that he had never had it before. It is one of our favorites and is something that I usually take to family/friend gatherings (simply because I can make it a day ahead of time and with all of the pretty colors in it- it's a STUNNING side dish! I like it so much better than any I can buy premade or get in a resturant! The dressing itself is awesome on salads or to make a sweet cole-slaw with as well!

  • 3 broccoli crowns, cut into small pieces
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 1 bag bacon bits (or fresh fried bacon)
  • 1 cup raisins (purple)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • chopped1 bag Colby-montery jack cheese, shredded

  • 1 c. mayo
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar

mix dressing before mixing in with the rest of the salad, the longer it sets - the better it gets.(ideally, 1 day ahead of time)

Tuesday, May 19

Hash Brown Casserole

Gotta love a good casserole and this one hits the mark- especially if you enjoy the Cracker Barrel version! Enjoy!

SERVES 10 -12


Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 11 x 14 baking dish with cooking spray. Mix the above ingredients together, place in prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until brown on top.

Monday, March 2

Asparagus Bacon Quiche

Brian and I have enjoyed this dish a couple of times- and today was no exception! I think that the next time I make it that I'll have to use a deep dish pie crust (we had a little spillage) but the taste is amazing and it's so easy to pull together and although it looks fancy! Would be great for breakfast, brunch or even a shower :) Yummy!

  • 10 bacon strips, diced

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed

  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shell

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream

In a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels; drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. In the drippings, saute onion until browned; drain. Next cut eight asparagus spears into 4-in.-long spears for garnish. Cut remaining asparagus into 1-in. pieces. In a saucepan, cook all of the asparagus in a small amount of boiling water until crisp-tender; drain. In a bowl, toss the bacon, onion, asparagus pieces, cheese, flour, salt and pepper. Pour into pastry shell. In a bowl, beat eggs and cream; pour over bacon mixture. Top with asparagus spears. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and crust is golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Saturday, February 21

Chicken & Biscuits...

Okay, so this is one of my most requested of recipes but it's the kind that you add a little bit of this and a little bit of that to make it work. My hubby and Grandpa can sit down and eat a whole pan full if they are left to fend for themselves and Grandma has made a batch of this! The "recipe" comes from Grandma M. who has made this dish for us for most of our lives- I can't even begin to tell you how many times this was on the table at her house, especially when one of us would request it for our "birthday meal"... since I'm so spoiled rotten she and Momma even came down a couple of years ago to help me make it for the first time for our FFA officer team. They still talk about it and request the recipe! This is one of those comfort foods that is easy to fix ahead of time and have in the freezer to pull out and reheat :)

  • 1- Whole Chicken (Cut Up)- ~ 6+ lbs
  • Bay Leaf
  • 2 Chicken Bullion cubes
  • 1- Bag of Frozen Biscuits
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Corn Starch
In a large stock pot or crock pot, boil your chicken with the bay leaf and bullion cubes. (You can add an onion and celery to your stock to add additional flavor if you wish). Cook until the chicken falls off the bone. Cut off heat to stock and reserve to make "gravy"- freeze left overs to use for other recipes. Using tongs, pull out all of the pieces of chicken and put into a bowl to cool off until it's cool enough to handle without burning your hands. De-bone and pull off the skin and excess fat from meat and put shredded chunks into another bowl or in the bottom of a 9x13 glass casserole dish. Preheat oven here to 425. Take approximately 2 cups of stock and put in a sauce pan. Add 1 stick of butter, approximately 1 t. salt & 1 t. pepper and 1-2 cups of milk to make a gravy mixture. Add corn starch and heat until thickened. Tweak this until you get a creamy chicken gravy that you think taste good! If you want extra gravy to serve on the side, increase stock and milk as needed to get the amount you desire. Poor hot gravy over hot chicken and place frozen biscuits down on top of the gravy. Bake until the biscuits done- time varies depending on the temperature of your chicken and gravy. Serve with veggies on the side for a complete meal. Another idea is to take and make in smaller disposable casserole dishes (say an 8x8 or even a loaf pan) and bake all and freeze leftovers. Simply thaw and reheat for an easy meal down the road. This is especially helpful for smaller households.