Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sweet Little Pigs

This is one of my family & friends favorites!  I make a plate of these and they are gone in five minutes... literally.  And I have requests for them regularly.

You will need:
2 packages of Hillshire Farms Little Smokies (I've tried other brands, I don't recommend it)
2 lbs. bacon
2 cups of brown sugar
tin foil
tooth picks

Preheat oven to 400.
While preheating, cut the pound of bacon lengths into thirds. 
Dump some toothpicks onto your counter or in a bowl.  This is so you don't cross contaminate and get all of your toothpicks gross with bacon.  Measure out the brown sugar and place in a bowl, a cereal bowl works great.  Line a cookie sheet with sides with tin foil, trust me if you skip this part and just bake these babies on your cookie sheet, you will regret it when it's time to wash your dishes!

Wrap each Little Smokie in a piece of bacon and secure them with a took pick.  Then dredge them in the bowl of brown sugar.  The more the brown sugar the happier you and your guests will be.  And place on the tin foil.  Repeat this until all of the little smokies and bacon have been used... if you need more than 2 cups of brown sugar, use more. 
Place in the oven, it usually takes about 20 minutes but I've never set a timer for this... because everyone likes their bacon cooked differently.  I like mine to start to get a little crispy.  I know they're done or just about done when I smell the delicious aroma filling my kitchen. 

Carefully take them out of your oven.  Using some tongs place the sticky sweet little pigs on a serving dish and serve warm.  They're not near as good when they cool off. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Check it out... Meal Makin Momma was featured on a super awesome SPUNKY blog!  So EXCITING!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Orange You Happy You Are Going To Make This Delicious Banana Orange Bread

 This is my Great Grandmothers' Banana Bread Recipe that I've spiked with orange flavoring... I was a little worried about this experiment but I am SO happy I tried it... It is DELISH!  And for a twist on your Plane Jane bread loaves I've decide to bake it in canning jars for a fun way to gift them, this also allows you to bake more at a time if you'd like.

You will need:
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 4-5 teaspoons orange zest
  • 4-5 wide mouth pint canning jars

First preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the shortening, sugar, and brown sugar.  Then add the eggs one at a time and mix well.
Measure in baking powder, baking soda, & salt.  Slowly while mixing add the flour.

 And mix well.
 Next peel and break up the bananas into a bowl.
 With a fork mash the bananas well.
 Wash and zest an orange with micro grater or the smallest holes on your cheese grater.  I like my micro grater! 
 Dump bananas and zest into mixture and mix again.
 Spray your clean canning jars with Pam or Crisco spray.  You will need 4-5 jars for this recipe.
 Fill them 1/2 full with the batter...DO NOT FILL FULLER!  Wipe off the threads and top of the jar so they are clean.
 Now place in your preheated oven directly on the oven racks.  They may not bake evenly if you bake them on a cookie sheet.  Just make sure there is space between them.  Bake for about 40 -45 minutes.  Be sure to use a toothpick to check them.  While baking, start simmering the canning jar rings and lids. 
I am not taking any other picture of the inside of my oven... It's as clean as I could get it, I promise and it's probably twenty years old.

Once your bread is cooked take them out of the oven and immediately place lids and rings on the hot bottles.  This should seal them as they cool. 
Once cooled complelty decorate till your little hearts desire.  (Mod Podge cute paper around them, wrap with a ribbon and put a bow on top,... whatever you can imagine.) 
Stick a gift tag on it and gift it away.
But don't forget to keep one for yourselft!!!

They will slip right out of the jar with no problem.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stuffed French Bread

This is something my mom made growing up and now I make for my family.  It is easy & pretty fast as long as you're not having a night like I did making this... you will see I had a few issues.

Ingredients needed:
1 loaf of French Bread (the fatter the better!)
1/2 medium Onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon butter
1 lbs. Ground Beef
Garlic Powder to taste
Season Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup Evaporated Milk
1 can Mushrooms (OPTIONAL!!!)
1 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat your oven to 350.  Start out by Sauteing your Onion in the butter over a medium high heat.  Once you have the onions going good add your burger and start breaking up.  When it starts browning season with Garlic Powder, Season Salt, & Pepper.
While the meat is cooking cut the end off of the French Bread then with your fingers begin to hallow it by pulling out the insides.  The entire loaf needs to be empty.  This is why the fatter the loaf the better.  This loaf was not so thick so I ended up cutting it in half to be able to hallow it entirely.

When the meat is fully cooked mix in the Cream of Mushroom Soup, Evaporated Milk, & Mushrooms if you wish... I DO NOT WISH.  Also, break up some of the bread's guts you have pulled out and mix them in the meat mixture.

 I will tell you something that I wish my family did not know about me... I have a phobia.  Apparently it is called Mycophobia, it is the fear of mushrooms.  Why do I wish my family didn't know about this??? Because they are ruthless and chase me around with them or stick them in my face to make me cry... this does NOT help with my fear, it only makes it worse.

 Now, please, please, please add the cheese! I forgot to add the cheese and started stuffing the bread.  But I did notice and had to dump it out into the pan, add the cheese, and re stuff the bread.

 This is when you will want to start stuffing the loaf.  Use a large spoon, it's not too hard.

 This is what you don't want to see! My husband made a MESS in my oven (I know it's gross!) and I forgot about it.  There was smoke billowing out of the vent and door... So, I turned the oven off, opened a window, and started the BBQ.

Now once the loaf is stuffed wrap it in tinfoil and stick it in your oven (or BBQ).  You're not cooking it you're just warming the bread. 

 While it's in the oven clean up... start out with what is left in the pan.
It's quite yummy so make it disappear!

Yep, lick the spoon.


About 10 -15 minutes is good in the oven.  Serve with some cooked veggies!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey Taquitos

Last night was a super easy dinner night.  I took out the bag of leftover turkey, some corn tortillas, and a box of Spanish Style Rice A Roni (shhh... don't tell I used a box).  I started the rice first according to the directions and then got another pan on the stove and poured vegetable oil in the bottom, about a 1/2 inch is enough.  Turn the burner to a high medium.  Then I started to roll a little turkey into the tortillas.  It only takes a little bit, if you use too much meat the tortillas will rip and break apart.  When the oil is hot (you can test by dropping a piece of meat or tortilla in it.  If its hot enough it will sizzle rapidly.) use two sets of tongs to place the taquitos into the oil with the "seam" down.  Line a plate with paper towel.  You may need to turn the taquitos to cook the other side depending on how much oil you poured.  When taquitos are crispy, use tongs to remove from the oil.  Tilt over the pan and let any excess oil drain out then set on paper towel and soak up extra oil. 
Set the table with sour cream, salsa or hot sauce and the rice.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Perfect Pie Crust

This recipe comes directly from my very most favorite cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond.  Pie crust is something that really intimidated me, I had never tried it before and I probably never would have had I not bought this book.  I decided to try it and it acctually worked out wonderfully.  It's not too dry but is flakey.  It was quite simple to make and I love the fact that this one recipe makes 3 crusts and you can easily freeze the extras for a super fast and easy pot pie next time.


  • 1-½ cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 5 Tablespoons Cold Water
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions

In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.
With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.

Turkey Pot Pie

Okay, the first pot pie recipe I ever tried to make was The Pioneer Woman's pot pie.  Yes, I do like her... I really really do! ALOT!  I've never tried a recipe I didn't love of hers.  So this is very close to her recipe, though it does have a few variations.  I will be making this in single serving pie tins this time. But the recipe is perfect for a 9" pie dish or an 8x8 baking dish. 
Before you get too carried away with the pot pie... what will you do for a crust?  You have a couple options, I guess you could buy an already made crust in the freezer section of your supermarket or  you could make an amazing crust that you could really be proud of.  And here is how... The Perfect Pie Crust (click on this link).

You will need:
  • 3 celery stalks, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)    
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled & diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
  • 2-3 cups fully cooked turkey, shredded or cut into bitesized pieces (I like more than less)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • Perfect Pie Crust

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute your diced celery, carrots, onion, & peas until they start turning translucent.  This should take just a few minutes.
  3. Add the turkey and stir to combine.  Sprinkle the flour over the mixture evenly and stir to combine.  Cook for a few minutes stirring gently.
  4. Pour in chicken broth stirring constantly, add the bouillon cube. This will make a gravy.
  5. Stir in cream and reduce your heat to low.  Allow the cream to thcken your mixture for 4-5 minutes.  Season with Thyme, Salt, & Pepper.  Remove from heat and make sure it is adequately seasoned especcially with salt.
  6. Now pour into a pie dish.
  7. Roll out the crust about an inch larger than the pie dish.  Place ontop of chicken, tuck excess dough underneath, and press into dish along the edges a little. 
  8. Cut slits into crust to vent while baking.  I like to make hearts or other shapes.
  9.   Remove from oven when crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. 
  10. Let stand for ten minutes and serve.
Note: Double this recipe to make two seperate pies. Line two pie dishes with plastic wrap, 2 layers puts me at ease.  Assemble pies as usual.  Instead of baking, freeze.  When pie is completely frozen remove pies from dishes with help from the plastic wrap.  Wrap pies with more plastic wrap and place in seperate gallon freezer bag and freeze for another day. Don't forget to use a marker and write the contents of the bag and the date on the bag. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers...

I play soccer on an indoor women's league, we had a game tonight and I hadn't planned anything for dinner...  we got home and my husband went strait to the fridge and threw together a meal with only Thanksgiving leftovers in literally about two minutes... I hadn't even gotten my shoes, socks, or sweat shirt off yet and it was in the oven.  But the real neat thing about this, it was SO delicious!.

He got out a pie tin, put about 2 Tablespoons of butter in first, then covered the bottom with turkey pieces, covered the turkey with mashed potatoes, then crumbled stuffing (dressing) on top of that, and finally poured  gravy over the top.  He then put it in the oven at 400 for about 20 minutes or until warmed through.