Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Goodness Gracious Great Balls of...Chocolate

I've always been impressed with Granny's ability to work her magic without using a measuring cup or a measuring spoon. I so desperately want to be like my Granny and have the measuring eye.  Unfortunately I don't.  Things usually turn out to be disastrous when I attempt to make anything without an exact measurement
However, there is one thing I happen to be able to make without measuring a single ingredient (never mind the fact that all of the ingredients I just take the whole package).  So I thought I'd show off my newly acquired skill here. Especially since they were such a hit yesterday at school.
So without further ado I present:

Oreo Balls (with no measuring)
1 pkg Oreos ( I use double stuffed)
1 -8oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. White candy coating
1 Hershey's chocolate bar (I like to use a Symphony bar) *optional

1.Dump the whole package of Oreos into the food processor (no measuring :-) )
2.In a large mixing bowl combine cookie crumbs and cream cheese.
Opting to be lazy and just add the cream cheese to food processor can result in a mixture that's a tad bit too juicy. Or it could result in a broken blender (luckily this one passed the test)
3.Roll the mixture into balls (average cake pop size). ...or be lazy and use a cookie scoop.
These were a little big, but I was able to shape them after they were colder.
4. Stick the balls into the freezer for about 20 minutes.
5. In the meantime, melt the candy coating in the microwave according to package directions.
6. Use a toothpick to dip balls into candy coating.
7. Place covered balls on a cookie sheet or wax paper to harden.
8.If desired, melt chocolate bar and drizzle Oreo balls.
9. Try to eat just 1. And give the rest of these things away ...QUICKLY!
All I can think of lately is Mickey and his friends since I'll be going to the Food Blog Forum in Orlando this spring.  I'm so excited!
Even though I can make these without measuring or even looking at a recipe, I didn't develop the recipe.  Two friends told me about them in the same week, and I've been making them ever since.  I wish I knew the genius who first made these. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Houston, We have PROBLEMs

So what's the problem?
The problem is with one of the contributers of this blog...and it ain't the girl!
I've never had a lot of will power, but I've been doing pretty good lately.
The cupcakes that were not eaten by this girl.

The Qdoba Taco Salad shell  this girl did not eat.

 That is, I was doing pretty good until this happened:
I admit when Granny (Problem #1) first told me of her plans to make the Cowboy Banana Split Cobbler (which I shall refer to henceforth as Problem #2) I was super excited, mainly because Problem #2 didn't seem appealing in the slightest. So I assumed I would have no problem staying away from Problem #2. 
Unfortunately, as the aroma of Problem #2 soon began to fill my nose. That's when I said to Granny, "Houston, we have a problem!"
I kept telling myself I wouldn't eat any....but that smell

I was still determined not to eat any....but then strawberries and pineapples started peer pressuring me.
I was losing this battle, and then the bananas (not a huge fan) got me back on track.
So again I began reciting my new mantra: I will not eat it.....but then Granny started sprinkling crushed 'Nilla Wafers!!!!
I will not eat it, I will not eat it, I will not eat it!
Granny put the cobbler in the oven.  And the wonderful aroma started creeping back into my nose (as the cobbler began creeping out of the dish).
 Just when I thought I couldn't take any more....
Yep, those are mini Hershey Kisses!
And that's when it got me!  I got a bite of it!....Ain't nobody got time for that!
Ok, so it was more like a couple of bites.
I urge, don't be like me. Stay away from Problem #2 (I'll keep Problem #1 for a while).
...But just in case, here's a link to the original recipe: Cowboy Banana Split Cobbler.

Here's the recipe with the G-touch (Granny's special touches to make the recipe her own):

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar (+ more to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 - 20oz. can crushed pineapple
2 cups sliced frozen strawberries
1 banana
1 stick butter, melted
1 bag Hershey Chocolate Kisses Minis
1 cup 'Nilla Wafers, crushed

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine pineapple, strawberries and sugar to taste in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients, in order. Grease the sides of a 9x13 dish. Pour melted butter into the dish. Next, add batter. With a slotted spoon, evenly spoon peaches and strawberries onto batter. Take 1 cup of remaining juice and pour over batter. Reserve the excess juice to add after baking if you like a juicer cobbler. Slice bananas about ¼-inch thick and layer on top of berries & pineapple mixture. Crush cookies and sprinkle a light layer on top of cobbler. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. When cobbler is approximately 10 minutes from being done, remove from oven, add a thicker layer of crushed vanilla wafers and top with Hershey Kisses. Continue baking until done and kisses shiny.

*Note - After trying it out, we decided that it some nuts might send Problem #2 over the edge.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Some folks call it stuffing, I call it dressing

I'm baaaaack!!!
It's been forever since I've cooked with Granny. But I was finally permitted back into her kitchen and just in time since she was cooking chicken and dressing.
Some folks call it stuffing or cornbread dressing or turkey and dressing, but we call it chicken and dressing. No matter what the label it's still an American classic.  I feel pretty sure that the Native Americans and Pilgrims ate this at the very first Thanksgiving.  We only get it a few times a year at Granny's house. One of those being Thanksgiving and the other being our annual Super Bowl Family Dinner and perhaps once or twice more depending on Granny's mood.
Of course I tried to blog Granny's Chicken and Dressing for Thanksgiving, however, she all but put me out of her kitchen as she told me in her best Sweet Brown voice, "ain't nobody got time for that!"  So here we are some three months later and she welcomed me back into her kitchen to so I could clook Chicken and Dressing.

Granny starts by slicing and dicing some celery and onions.  The veggies are then tossed into chicken broth and simmered.
In the meantime, Granny prepares a few made from scratch biscuits (hardly ever, she usually uses some freezer biscuits) and her skillet cornbread (click here for cornbread recipe).

Once both breads are cooked up nicely, Crumble them up in a large bowl.
Add seasonings, veggie/chicken broth and mix it all up. Continue adding broth until the mixture reaches the right consistency. 

Transfer the mixture to a large casserole dish and bake at
425° approximately 25 -30 minutes (or until golden brown).
Serve with chicken (or turkey) and top with Giblet Gravy (recipe coming soon).
Unfortunately, I always forget to take a picture of the finished product!

2½ cups Chicken broth
2 ribs of celery
1½ onions

1½ Tbsp sage
3 tsp poultry seasoning
dash of garlic salt
sprinkle of thyme

½ tsp. of ground black pepper

I'm excited to share someone has finally done their homework....My cousin Tosha made her very first pie.  She made a Brown Sugar Chess Pie that served as one of the desserts at our Super Bowl Family Dinner (and it was really good).  Way to go Tosha!!!