Heather's Foccacia Bread

My friend Heather gave me this recipe, and we swear it is like the foccacia they give you at Macaroni Grill - perfect for dipping with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Not too tough to make, either!

1 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
1 C. warm water
(mix and let sit until bubbly)

1 t. salt
2.5 C. flour

Mix well then knead for 10 minutes, or put in food processor for 15 seconds so it's nice and mixed. Place in covered oiled bowl and sit in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled. Punch down, let dough rest for a few minutes. Divide dough into 2 flat rounded loaves, place on greased cookie sheet. Brush with 2 T. melted butter and 1 T. coarse dried salt and 1 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary (totally optional). Let rise for about 45 min. or until doubled. Preheat oven to 450. Bake 9-10 minutes or until light brown. Perfect w/ Spaghetti Bake.


Rosalie's Pork Chops 'n' Baked Apples

This will be a new family favorite - we had it first at Christmas, and again for Sunday dinner tonight. It is scrumptious! Some people prefer the apples on the side...but not me. Slop 'em right on top and smear it all together...Delish. Oh, and you can bake them both in the oven at the same time!


2 cups finely crushed Ritz cracker crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teasponns garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
6 boneless pork chops
1 cup plain yogurt

In a medium-sized bowl combine cracker crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and sage; set aside. Coat each pork cutlet with yogurt, then dip both sides into crumbs. Place in greased baking dish. Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes or until tender. Makes 6 servings


6 apples, peeled, pared, and sliced
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine ingredients in an 8X8-inch baking dish and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until tender. Serve as a side dish or atop the pork chops. Makes 6-8 servings


Baked Coconut Chicken

2/3 c. bisquick (or similar baking mix)
2/3 c. coconut
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375.

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 TBS. dijon mustard

Dip 6 chicken breasts in wet mixture until well coated. Dip in dry mixture and place in greased 9x13 pan. Pour remaining wet mixture over coated chicken. Pour any remaining dry ingredients over that. Melt 1/2 stick of butter, pour over dry mixture. Place in over for 35-45 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through).


Blue Ribbon Gingersnaps

Got these from Becky, just modified them a bit. They are GOOD, soft, and go wonderfully with hot chocolate!

3/4 c shortening
1 c packed light brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
1 large egg
2 c flour
2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t allspice
1 t ground ginger
1/2 c sugar (for rolling)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream shortening, brown sugar, molasses and egg in mixer 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. Cool on sheet one minute before transferring to rack.Makes 3-4 dozen.

Best Breakfast Casserole

I cannot believe that I have not yet posted this winning recipe. It is by far our favorite breakfast meal - and we love it so much we sometimes make it for lunch or dinner. It's also a great meal to bake ahead of time and freeze in individual portions.

24 oz. frozen Southern style (little cubes) hashbrowns
1/2 c. butter (I use less, unless I am trying to fatten up skinny guests)
8 beaten eggs
2 c. half & half (or you can use milk for thinner consistency, or cream for thicker)
1/2 tsp. season salt
1 c. fresh chopped mushrooms (optional)
2 small green onions (split in half and chopped)
2 c. grated Swiss cheese
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1.5 cups diced ham (I've also used shredded ham, bacon or nothing at all)

Place butter in 9x13 pan and set in oven to preheat at 375. When butter is melted, add frozen hashbrowns and bake for 20 min. While hashbrowns are baking, mix remaining ingredients in bowl. Remove hashbrowns from oven and pour egg mixture over top. Return to oven and bake an additional 35-45 minutes (until cheese browns).


Split Pea Soup w/ Ham

Found this gem on Southernfood...

1 (16 oz.) pkg. dried green split peas, rinsed
1 meaty hambone (you can usually get these for under $8 at Honeybaked Ham, and they are delicious, with tons of extra meat left on)
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 chopped vidalia onion
3 ribs of celery plus leaves, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. seasoned salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
1 1/2 qts. hot water (that's 6 cups, people...)

Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order given; pour in water. Do not stir ingredients. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off bone. Remove bones and bay leaf, shred meat, and return shredded ham to soup. Mash peas to thicken more, if desired. Serve garnished with croutons or crusty bread. Freezes well.Serves 8.


Divine Deep Dish Pizza

I stole this recipe (and the pictures, thanks Krista) from one of my favorite food blogs. It is amazing - and better than any order-out pizza you can get! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

2 1/3 – 3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp yeast
1 cup warm milk
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil

In your mixer combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Mix well. In a separate bowl combine warm milk, sugar and olive oil. While your mixer is on low, slowly pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Let the machine knead the dough for 5 minutes. Put in a greased bowl and let rise. After dough has doubled in size put dough on lightly floured surface and divide in half. Roll each half into a 7 inch circle. Place over your knuckles moving the dough around in a circle so that the middle is thinner than the sides. Place each dough ball into 2 separate cake pans that has 1-2 Tbsp olive oil (or vegetable, whichever flavor your prefer) in the bottom. And press out to the sides of the pan, trying to avoid getting the oil on top of the dough. I probably only used about 1-2 Tbsp. You need enough so that it will fry the bottom of the dough. Let the dough rise 10 minutes. The put on your favorite toppings.

Bake on bottom rack of oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.


Crock Pot French Dips

Sorry, I'm lacking pictures lately....Promise to be better.

That said, no picture for this one, sorry.

2-3 lb. chuck roast
2 cans beef broth
1 packet Au Jus seasoning
1 onion, chopped how you like it
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 can chopped mushrooms (optional)

Place roast and ingredients in crock pot on low for 8-10 hours. 30 min. before serving, shred and return to juice.

Serve shredded meat on broiled/toasted hoagie buns (broil with your favorite cheese, we like provolone or gruyere), and use the remaining sauce for dipping.

We use all the leftover juice to have French Onion soup the following day. All you need to do is add 1 can of condensed French Onion soup. Warm the mixture together, top with croutons and broil gruyere or swiss cheese on top. Serve with bread.


Get You Going (literally) Bran Muffins - 6 Week Mix

This makes a huge batch - or you can leave the mix in your fridge for up to 6 weeks so you have fresh dough every time you want warm muffins.

Make the mix and it actually gets better with time in the fridge. I just make 1/2 dozen or so and keep making them until the batter is gone (since they're better fresh).

1 C. oil
1 C. sugar

4 eggs beaten
1 quart Buttermilk

2 C. water
then add:
4 C. whole bran cold cereal (All-Bran)

Take off heat and let sit for 5 min.

Mix:2 C. 40% bran flakes (Raisin bran is good, remove raisins)
1Tbsp Salt
5 tsp. Baking soda
2.5 C flour
2 C Whole wheat flour

Drop in muffin tin (3/4 full). You can add raisins each time you cook them (although they are great without).Cook for 15 to 20 minutes at 400. Serve warm.

Yields 60 muffins.


Best Roast Marinade

We had this on pork roast (thanks Audra), but I am sure it would be divine on beef roast, or even chicken or fish. It's delicious and easy.

1/2 cup light vegetable oil (Canola)
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
1 c. soy sauce
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 to 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp. fresh ground ginger

Combine with a whisk. Add roast in ziploc bag refrigerate for several hours or overnight, turning once or twice to cover well. We cooked our roast in the crock pot all day on low and it was tender and tasty!


Heavenly Easy Breadsticks

4.5 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 cups warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees), divided
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups all-purpose flour (give or take)

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 cup warm water and let sit about 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add the oil, egg, salt, 2 cups flour, and remaining sugar and water. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Punch the dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; divide into 36 pieces (I usually make huge breadsticks and get about 18) . Shape each piece into a 6-in. rope. Place 2 in. apart on heavily buttered (I melt about 1/2 stick and spread it in the bottom) large baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.

Bake at 400 for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with seasoning and parmesan if desired.


A new year, a new me, and most of all NEW RECIPES!

Thanks for your patience while I took a little siesta.