Wednesday, June 30, 2010

firecracker mac & cheese...

I'm okay... It's just that I'm a huge, gigantic, enormous lover of mac & cheese.
Seriously, it doesn't matter if it's fancy, homemade, simple or from a box...
you put it in front of me, I'll eat it up. Mmmm... I'll even lick the fork!

Several weekends back, JB, baby boy, and I loaded up in our SUV
and made the trek to a cozy, hilly little town south of Nashville
to have a reunion with some of my dearest friends from high school.

It was peaceful,




and memorable.

There's nothing else in the world that can warm your heart
and soul like getting together with life long friends.

Well, of course, unless it's this.
My good friend, Tammy, served her mac & cheese
after a day of sun and swimming... Of course, it wasn't the only
dish she and her accommodating hubby served, but
it was the first one I tried... then I promptly asked for the recipe.

After returning home I had an uncontrollable urge to make it.
After an ingredient check of my pantry, I discovered I didn't
exactly have what Tammy had described... so, I improvised.

She used the creamy boxed Kraft Macaroni & Cheese... You know
the one with the foil packet of soft cheese you squeeze out.

I used two boxes of regular ol' Kraft Macaroni & Cheese... It's all I had.

She used an entire bag (2 cups) of Shredded Cheddar Cheese.

I used 8 ounces of Cream Cheese and about 3/4 of a bag
of Shredded Authentic Mexican Cheese...
And home toasted bread crumbs.

Oh, and I renamed it, "Firecracker Mac & Cheese" in honor of my dear friend.
Firecracker because it's the perfect summertime dish and it's got a little kick...
Not to mention, Tammy is quite the firecracker, blonde, bombshell herself...
and I love her.

Thanks for having us out... and thanks for sharing
your awesome shower and your mac & cheese!

*Firecracker Mac & Cheese*

2 boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese... prepared according to directions,
using a little extra butter and milk.
8 oz. cream cheese.
1 jar salsa... even a can of Rotel would work.
1 bag (2 cups) Your Favorite Shredded Cheese
1 cup home toasted bread crumbs... or even smashed croutons
would do in a pinch.

~Spray a baking dish with a non-stick spray.
~In a large bowl mix together the prepared mac & cheese, cream
cheese and salsa until blended.
~Pour into baking dish.
~Top with shredded cheese and bread crumbs.
~Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until browned and bubbly.


My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings
they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!
~Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

grilled corn on the cob...

This is the first post of my 4th of July series.
I sure hope I can keep up
with myself this week...
I'm already exhausted!

This here is a Paula Deen recipe...
Man, I tell ya, that woman sure knows what she's doing.

I actually made this this past weekend...
And, Oh me, Oh my, was it ever good.
It should be on everyones table in honor of Independence Day.
Start with fresh corn... peel the husks off, wash and pat dry.

You'll need about 1/2 cup "real" mayo... it's the good stuff.

Some Chili Powder.

Shredded Parmesan Cheese... mmm.

Cut the foil in squares per ears of corn.

Now, take a moment to meditate and make peace with your thighs.
It's all good.
Then, brush a thin layer of mayo on each ear of corn.

Sprinkle on the chili powder.
Add the Parmesan cheese... and a little salt and pepper.

Wrap 'em up.
Place on the prepared grill for about 20 minutes.

Unwrap... be careful not to burn your lips... and enjoy.

Oh, and be sure you have a supply of dental floss on hand.

"Where liberty dwells, there is my country."
Benjamin Franklin

Monday, June 28, 2010

prelude to a 4th...

July 4th.
Independence Day.


I'll be busy this week preparing for all of the above.

Here's a peek at what I'll most likely be cooking...
some you've seen, some are new.

I'll share every yummy detail with you...

Grilled Corn on the Cob... Oh me, Oh my!

Tie-dying... a fun family tradition.

Deviled Eggs... It's the hidden surprise that make these babies scrumptious.

Firecracker Mac & Cheese... *faint*

Grilled berries in brandy served over ice cream... Delightfully dreamy.

Lemony Ice Tea with Basil... A refreshing sweet treat.

Texas Style Grilled Cheese... *faint*

Dr. Pepper Chocolate Cake... Sinful.

Curbside flag wavin' at the parade... A fun neighborhood
tradition to kick start the day.

Late night fireworks with my homies under the full moon... Perfect.

So, be sure to check back often.

"There, I guess King George will be able to read that."
John Hancock, after signing the Declaration of Independence.

Friday, June 25, 2010

if only...

If only




I might could get a good photo of his sweet face.

If only.

Happy Friday Friends,

Monday, June 21, 2010

shrimp & pasta with roasted red pepper alfredo...

Are you a shrimp lover?
How 'bout a pasta lover?
What about a cream sauce with roasted red peppers lover?
*Raises hand* Oo, Oo, Ooo, Pick me, Pick me! I'm all of the above.
Are you? If yes, then you'll most definitely want to make this.

I made it last week, and let me tell you it was yum, yum, yummy.
It was so good. It was delicious. It was lip smackin'.
And, it was yummy. Did I say that already?
Just looking at the photo is making my mouth water... and my thighs ache.

Oh, and the best part was, it was super-de-duper easy...
because I used a jar sauce.

And now, I'm on a mission to recreate my own homemade version.

Here's all you do for the jar sauce version...

*Shrimp & Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo*

Saute about 2 pounds of shrimp in a little olive oil, butter
salt and pepper
... Right now (in my hood anyway) seafood prices
haven't skyrocketed yet because of the oil spill.
I felt lucky to find these beauties on sale.
~Cook 1 pound of angel hair pasta according to package directions, drain.
~Add 2 jars of Classico Roasted Red Pepper Sauce to the shrimp.
Bring to a simmer over medium to low heat for about 5 minutes...

Serve the shrimp and sauce over the pasta with some
fresh bread and watch it disappear... fast.

Make it soon... you'll be a hero.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

banana cream cheesecake...

Lover of Banana's?
Lover of Cheesecake?

Then this is for you my friend.

Creamy, dreamy... Moist, marvelous.

A cinch to make.

Surprise someone.

*Banana Cream Cheesecake*

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs... reserving 1/4 cup for topping.
1 1/4 cups Nilla Wafer crumbs... reserving 1/4 cup for topping.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound (2 8oz packages)
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup mashed banana's (about 3 medium size banana's)

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Mix the graham cracker and Nilla Wafer crumbs with the
melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. Blend well.
~Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and partly
up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan.
~In a large bowl beat together the cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice.
~Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each.
~Stir in the sour cream and the mashed bananas and blend well.
~Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and bake for 1 hour.
~Cool in the oven, with the door propped open, until the cake is at room temperature.
~Chill in fridge until ready to serve.
~Top with leftover graham cracker and Nilla Wafer crumbs for serving.

Now... slice yourself a piece... turn off your phone...
log off facebook... hide out in the bathroom if you have to...
take a bite... try not to faint...
enjoy your slice of heaven... don't tell your thighs.

Your partner in cellulite crime forever,

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

sweet summertime sangria...

In honor of all of us Mama's and Papa's out there who
and pray
during the school months... This is for us.

Us parents who are too busy applauding our children
and teachers for a job well done...
and don't get me wrong, they deserve it...
but so do we.

So, kick back, sigh with relief, pat yourself on the back and relax.

Oh, and have one of these...


(sorry for the photo guys... not! hee hee hee)

*Sweet Summertime Sangria*

~1 bottle red wine... merlot, cab, etc.
~2 cups ginger ale
~1 large lemon, sliced
~1 medium orange, sliced
~2 small limes, sliced
~1/2 c. raspberries
~2 teaspoons sugar
~2 shots brandy... more or less, depending
on how "hammered" you want to get. JB's words! True story.

Pour the red wine in a pitcher.
Add the ginger ale.
Add the lemon, orange, and lime slices.
Add the raspberries.
Add the brandy followed by the sugar and stir for a minute or two.
Place the pitcher in the refrigerator and allow it to chill for
1 hour to overnight before serving.
Serve over ice.

Love ya,

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

texas style grilled cheese...

Hey Friends!
Did y'all enjoy that
Pepper Brisket the other day?
I know I did.
I realize you might not have any leftovers around... BUT, just in
case you do, you're gonna want to make this...

Oh Baby!
A "real" Texas Style Grilled Cheese Sandwich!
Now we're talkin'.

I've even been known to make the brisket just for this sandwich.
You can make it with Texas Toast, Hoagies, Buns... whatever
your favorite sandwich bread is, just as long as it's not puny.
Puny bread won't stand a chance.

Ok, so, go grab your leftover meat from your fridge
and lets make this thing...

Heat your meat up in a skillet.
You could even add more barbecue sauce if you want.

Saute up some sliced onions.
Heaven help me.

Have your Texas Toast ready... or whatever your favorite
sandwich bread might be.

Your favorite sliced cheese... I chose this. ;)

And, a little mustard sauce.
Oh. So. Good.

Ok... I'm sure you know this drill.

Place the bread, butter side down, in your hot pan
and lay on a slice of cheese.
Please excuse my pan... it's old. You know, the kind of pan
that your grandmother has. It's well seasoned and
she uses it for everything from sauteing onions, to making
scrambled eggs to making grilled cheese. It's a great little pan...
it's one of my favorites.

Now, pile on the meat... Pile it on good.

Remember those onions you sauteed?
Add them on now... yum.

Squirt a little, or a lot, of the mustard sauce on.

Top with another slice of cheese.

Add the second piece of bread and cook.
Will you look at that. See how the cheese is already melting?

Don't get too caught up in your drooling and forget to flip it over.

*Double Drool*


And there you have it. Now if you'll excuse me,
I'm gonna finish this last bite and faint all over again.