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.

Monday, February 16

Crock-Pot Bananas Foster

For those of you wanting something a little yummy and a lot decadent! Enjoy over Vanilla Ice-Cream :) Or you could layer it with a piece of vanilla pound cake.... yummy!

  • 4 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rum or 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Layer sliced bananas in the bottom of a slow cooker. Combine butter, brown sugar, rum, vanilla and cinnamon in a small bowl; pour over bananas. Cover and cook on Low for 2 hours. Top bananas with walnuts and coconut during the last 30 minutes of cooking. If you have any left over another idea is to re-heat in the microwave and serve over pancakes with whipped cream :)

Sunday, February 8

Cajun Chicken Pasta

We recently tried and LOVED this dish! This is melt-in-your-mouth, slap-your-spouce, get-in-my-belly, DE-LI-CIOUS! Did I mention that we LOVED this dish? Next time your in a pinch for something for dinner and don't know what to make, try this- it's got a little bit of heat, a creamy sauce and is WONDERFUL! Suggestions for a complete meal: Hearty Salad, Garlic Bread & Bananas Foster for dessert.... YUMMY!

  • 4 ounces linguine pasta (or fettachini)
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
  • 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced, 1/4" thick
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced, 1/4" thick
  • 1 small package fresh mushrooms, sliced (Try Portabello!)
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Place the chicken and the Cajun seasoning in a plastic bag. Shake to coat, add more seasoning if neccissary, but be warry of the heat! In a large skillet or dutch oven, over medium heat, saute the chicken in butter or margarine until almost tender (5 to 7 minutes). Add the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, mushrooms and green onion. Saute and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat. Add the cream, basil, lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder and ground black pepper. Heat through. Add the cooked linguine, toss and heat through. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

Thursday, January 22


Have you ever noticed how people come together and work together when there is a life on the line? It never ceases to amaze me how compassionate people can be when times get tough. Take today for an example, we have a small school farm and have a first calf heifer that became a cow today. This is her story.... at 8:30 am- no sign of going into labor, really and truthfully there wasn't much sign of her milking even coming in. 11:15 am- spotted by a construction worker who noticed that she was in labor and was having difficulties who called the office. The secretary (love to Rebecca here) told Chopper who happened to be in the office who RAN the mile or so (okay, maybe not quite that far, but it seems like it!) from the office to my room where my 3rd period class had just walked in the door. All 28 of us went to the farm where we found Annabelle in the lower pasture, where we found Annabelle with a dead calf that was "stuck" for lack of a better turn and couldn't come out. After getting everyone to work together (and finding a cow halter) we were able to get her up to our new squeeze chute (Thank you VIC committee!) where we were able to try to pull the calf. One of my students tried first (he has cows at home and is cow smart) but he couldn't quite get to where he needed to to make it work, I then tried and realized fairly quickly that I lacked the strength to do it. God bless two of our area producers who sent supplies for us to borrow and one was able to come out and pull the calf keeping the cow safe. I have to not only praise these producers, but brag on these students as well. Today is the 2nd day of this semester, and although these are 2nd level students- this is the first time they had witnessed something like this (it's hard to catch an animal giving birth on campus). These students stayed calmed, did whatever we asked of them and were truly helpful. Several even went the extra mile of helping to pull the calf- I can honestly say that this is a day I will never forget in the classroom. I am proud of my students and proud to say I am a member of the community. The producer who was able to help us explained to them what he was feeling and what he was doing so the kids really got a great lesson. What had happened is that when the calf started to present itself, his left leg got twisted underneath his body so that we he "presented" it was only partially correct, because of his shoulder being in the way, she couldn't pass him naturally. Although it would of been nice to have a healthy bull calf born today, and I can honestly say I wish this post was celebrating his birth, I want to emphasize the sense of community and compassion that I witnessed today and say that I am proud to be around and have the opportunity to teach such wonderful students who are going to go far in life. I am so thankful to live and work in a community where being a neighbor means not only being there when times are good- but helping in times of an emergency. These two cattlemen are true examples of those everyday heroes that go unsung, and I feel as though that was brought to light today. Back to the beast (Annabelle), who is unbelievably gentle- we were able to foster a calf of the producer who was able to pull her calf so that her milk doesn't go to waste and that she doesn't (hopefully) get sick. We are fostering this calf until she is weaned, at which time we will return her to the producer. Isn't an amazing thing that even in tragedy, there is good to be celebrated?

Tuesday, January 13

Exam Week...

D0 you remember when you were in high school or in college and how horrible you thought exam week was.... cramming for those test, the stress about doing well (or at least passing in some cases).... worrying if you were going to finish the test in time? I can honestly say :-p that's nothing compared to the boredom of sitting there, WATCHING a room full of students take a test and making sure they don't cheat. You can't talk, you just sit there (or walk around the room) and make sure that they are staying focused... it is really a mindless task and will about drive you to being put into a room with rubber walls. Yes, for all of you non-teachers out there- it is exam week for my students. I feel like I am the one who is being graded based on their performance (which of course you have those who excel and those who don't care and those who care but don't preform well on a written test)- then you have to face your principal (think along the lines of the ULTIMATE FATHER/MOTHER FIGURE of your school) and share your results- its worse than bringing home a report card! This father/mother figure is usually someone you admire and they are your BOSS meaning they SIGN YOUR PAY CHECK. So the next time you hear a kid complain about a test... just think about the poor suffering teacher who has to administer it, grade it, post it and tell their boss how well his/her class performed on it.... I salute all of my fellow educators and wish you a happy and successful testing season!

Wednesday, January 7

More than you ever wanted to know!

Here's the rule: Bold the things you've done & post on your blog!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band- As long as Recorder's in 5th Grade Counts!
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower-- On top of a mtn, near the New River during a cookout
6. Given more than you can afford to charity-
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain-- I worked one summer on trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway- fun stuff!
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo- So low that nobody heard me! ;)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris- Our school's dog? Does that count ;)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch- I've done several pieces of Chicken Scratch, no puns intended!
15. Adopted a child- Does my students count? I'm around some of them so much it feels like it!
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb- Even better- used to raise them... better yet... out of that business!
26. Gone skinny dipping- Does the bathtub count?
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse- I remember watching one from on top of the mtn several yrs ago!
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset- Although my husband likes to pick on me about being a whimp, I have even seen this site from a tree-stand!
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors- Daddy was born in the house next door to where we grew up!
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied- As long as there's enough to pay the bills!
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt- This was our honeymoon trip- breath taking!
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight- With my sissy- one of my favorite memories from college!
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted- A friend of mine that thought we were dating... I thought we were pen pals, had one created of the two of us- which I forgot about until my fiance found it in my closet at the house in the mtns when were cleaning out the house! Try to explain that one!
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain- And danced in it too... on a dirt road... very romantic memory!
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie- The great P___ Family Christmas Movie from 1988!
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check - I learned a valuable lesson about being a state employee in January!
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy- I still have my teddy bear- it survived college and is one of my most prized possessions! (LONG story)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car- I love the Pass-it! ;)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper - Gotta love the A______ News!
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year's Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating- Thanks Carm!
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous- Once, a long, long time ago- I was a g/f of a member of a band and would go behind stage and got to meet a lot of pretty well known bluegrass stars!
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Been swept off your feet

Monday, January 5

Holiday Fixings....

I hope that each of you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years! It's hard to believe that 2009 is already here! May the new year be full of Blessings and love- remember that through God all things are possible!

This past holiday season definitely was a time of celebrating together- and for Brian and me a time of celebrating what's important in life, our Faith (as we celebrated the true meaning of the season)- our family (it was wonderful to get to see them) and our friends (how blessed we are to have such amazing people in our lives!). The season was filled with new memories as we picked out our tree in the snow (since a few flakes did fall on us as we were attempting to pick out the perfect tree!), decorating the tree with my tin snowflakes.. and since we got to celebrate in our home with family and friends throughout the season... including hosting several holiday parties!

We hosted my Daddy's family here right before Christmas- and I learned an awesome secret to making a tender, juicy and succulent turkey.... Cook the thing UPSIDE DOWN! It makes since when you think about it, but I want to know who first thought of cooking the bird upside down, or did someone just stick it in the oven without paying attention as they wiped the sleep from their eyes trying to get the bird done in time for a holiday lunch? This is a question I will probably never know the answer to, but I did want to share this little tip (and recipe) with any of you who feel the need to try your hand at cooking a 19 lb bird (that can be used as a weapon if someone is mugging you at the grocery store when your loading your car when you buy one!)

Upside Down Turkey

  • Butter

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Fresh "Poultry Seasoning Packet" or Bay Leaves, Rosemary & Thyme

  • Onion (quartered), Celery (split) and garlic

  • Aluminum foil

Thaw turkey according to package directions, remove "innards" and clean with cold water. Pat down with paper towels. Take a stick of butter and either a melt it and baste your bird or use a stick of cold real unsalted butter and rub all over bird (inside and out). Next season with salt and pepper to taste. Put onions, celery and garlic inside cavity and "cap" with an aluminum foil ball. Next, put bird breast side down in your roaster and sprinkle your poultry seasoning packet around the bird. Next bake according to package directions- turning bird over the last 45 mins to 1 hr of cooking to brown the breast. Baste your bird when you do this! I had a hard time flipping the bird (okay, no pun intended) and you may need either another set of hands or one of those fancy smancy bird lifters and a spare plate to transfer the bird to and from the pan! I promise this is well worth the work and effort, the juices baste the breast as you cook since they will flow down, preventing this meat from drying out (praise the Lord- dry turkey isn't very pleasant for the masses!)

Since we traveled over Christmas, and didn't get to share a special meal together, Brian and I celebrated the New Year with a wonderful home cooked meal full of the foods a mountain gal's been taught to eat to bring luck and prosperity for the New Year! For those of you unfamiliar with this tradition, here is what to eat on New Year's day: Ham/Pork Products= Health, Collard Greens= Prosperity (money), Black-Eyed Peas= good luck and cornbread= for family. We did lots of ham products (ham biscuits by Brian that morning) and ham steaks for lunch (super good grilled, and there is enough in a pack for 4 ppl easy!) I made a black-eye pea salad (after trying one at a bistro that was delicious) but mine was a disaster! It ended up, uneaten, in the woods behind our house- if anyone reading this has a good, tried and true, recipe for this dish, please pass it on- purtty please with sugar on top! Thank goodness that I made the world's best collard greens that took the nasty taste of the failed black-eye pea salad from our mouth (see recipe below). I highly recommend this (it is a modified Paula Deen recipe, now that is a gal that knows how to fix a meal!) and my husband went all ga-ga over it! We both usually "season" our collards/greens with vinegar (me) and mustard (him) after they come out of the pot, but we didn't touch these they were so good! I promise you need to try these... even if you don't eat greens, they are THAT GOOD! Finally, a Jiffy cornbread muffin mix to make the corn muffins (oh so good!) to top off the meal (which all that ended up on our plates was the ham, collards (large portion) and the muffins (warm, with cholesterol free butter to offset all of the other cholesterol in this meal ;)) YUMMY! This will definitely be our New Year's Day Staples for years to come (and several days throughout the year just because it really is that good... I wonder if we can celebrate the first day of the season... or month... or week... without getting tired of the collards????)

The Greatest Collard Greens I have Ever Eaten...

God Bless Paula Deen!


  • 1/2 pound smoked ham hocks, rinse really well to remove excess salt!

  • 1 tablespoon House seasoning, recipe follows

  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt

  • 1/2 sweet onion (cut into 6 wedges)

  • 1 large bunch collard greens

  • 1 tablespoon butter

In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add smoked meat, house seasoning, seasoned salt and onion wedges. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 hour. Wash the collard greens thoroughly. Remove the stems that run down the center by holding the leaf in your left hand and stripping the leaf down with your right hand. The tender young leaves in the heart of the collards don't need to be stripped. Stack 6 to 8 leaves on top of one another, roll up, and slice into 1/2 to 1-inch thick slices. Place greens in pot with meat and add butter. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When done taste and adjust seasoning.

Paula Deen's House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Note- this is really good on any meat- we use this alot on different things- Boston butts, chicken, steak, venison, asparagus, baked potatoes... yummy!

Okay- so I think I've probably bored any of you who have made it this far... but I did want to put these on here so that I could find them when I want to make them again! I promise that my next post a- will not be so long and b- will be sooner than 4 weeks from now!

Sunday, January 4


I promise that I will have a couple of really great recipes up soon- including some that I want to remember for next Christmas! Hope that your 2009 if full of peace, happieness, love and excitement!