For Dutchie: Peach Cobbler

So, back home in the good ole' MT, I have a friend. We'll call him Dutchie. Dutchie is my tech-hubby, as in we only communicate via MSN messenger or text, and he is a tech geek- but not a loser tech geek like Wallowitz or Sheldon, but a super awesome tech geek- like Chuck!

Anywho, Dutchie loves himself a Southern Belle. When I lived in Mississippi, I kept my eyes open all the time, trying to find him the perfect young spritely lass (preferably in a huge hoop skirt and a big day-at-the-horseraces hat), but sadly, all the locals reminded me more of hookers or whitetrash bumpkins instead of a plantation princess! Because I have failed horribly on the 'find your friend a good girl' part of our friendship pact, I have resorted to making tasty southern dishes and rubbing his face in it. Oh... thats not nice either? Dang it. Sorry Dutch.

Whenever Dutchie finds out I'm making anything peachie... or cobblerie.... he sends me a text asking how it is, asking for the recipe, asking for pictures, etc. So, my dear friend... here you go... a southern treat thats just as good as a belle.... if not better... because it won't cause you grief or spend your money :)

Eat your heart out, Dutchie

Peach Cobbler
From the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook


* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 cup butter
* 5 cups fresh or frozen peaches
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup water
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 egg
* 1/4 cup milk
* Vanilla ice cream to top!

To Make:

* Preheat oven to 400.
* For topping: stir together flour, 2 tablespoon sugar, baking powder, salt, and if desired, cinnamon. Cut butter into mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
* For filling: in a large sauce pan combine 2/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, and 1 tablespoon corn starch. Cook until sugar starts to dissolve, then add peaches. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly
* In a small bowl, mix egg and milk. Add this to the flour mixture, stirring until just moistened.
* Transfer hot fruit filling into 2-qt baking dish. Using a spoon, immediately drop topping into six mounds on top of filling
* Baking for 20-25 minutes, or until topping it golden brown. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for about an hour. To serve, heat and top with cold vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy Dutchie!

Chili & Cornbread

The guests have gone... the routines have once again begun... and it is just the three (ahem, four) of us in the house, once again. Joy! I loved having guests for Alex's bday, but I really enjoy our boring normalcy we have going in our family. This meant that it was back to cooking dinners for two (and a half) and eating whatever we wanted! I vowed to do the cooking if husband picked out the menu for an entire week- something he's never done before. I told him to pick five meals and I would make the grocery list, do the shopping, do the cooking, and the clean-up, if he would just PICK.

Ladies... don't let your husbands pick the menu for an entire week. Seriously. Especially if your husband believes he's the 'all-that-is-man' type and doesn't eat anything healthy like my husband. Gulp. Here is what he picked...

Spaghetti with homemade meat sauce and garlic bread. (no need for salad I guess)
Spicy sausage jumbalaya with cheese (out of a box... sigh....it actually worked since I wasn't feeling well that night and he had to make it after his busy work day and he was really the only one who ate it)
Hearty homemade chili served over fritos and cornbread (no need for salad again I guess)
Calzones with salad (yay- he actually mentioned salad!)
Smokey chicken, cheese, and potato casserole (left over salad maybe?)

Is it any wonder I truly believe husband may kick the bucket by the age of 30? All meat, cheese, starch. No veggies, fruit, or anything remotely healthy. Don't worry mom, I'm eating all my fruits for breakfast, and my veggies at lunch!

I also need to add he requested I make him Puppy Chow, and when I asked him to pick a dessert he wanted a chocolate peanutbutter pie. Yeah... no. Instead, I made him reason with me and pick something with fruit- so he picked peach cobbler... with ice cream....

Anywho, his menu did make me slightly happy because it wasn't our normal five dishes we eat every week- I actually get to try and cook some things I've never made before! I have never made chili from scratch, so I was eager to try, and it was delicious! May I take a minute to stop and toot my own horn? TOOOT... TOOOT!!!!!!!!! Not only was it fast, but it was simple- just the way I like it :)

This chili was amazing. Even Chris, who rarely compliments my dinners-from-scratch, and is a HUGE chili fan, said it hit the spot and was very very good! :) Also, it was nice that I didn't have to make it in my crockpot- just so I didn't have to smell its delicious aromas all day :) Oh, and I had all the ingredients without going to the store- whoop!

From the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook

* 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
* 2 cups chopped onion (2 large- I only used one)
* 1 cup chopped green pepper (1 large)
* 4 gloves garlic, minced
* 2 15 oz cans of kidney beans, pinto beans, blackbeans rinsed and drained. I used a half can of black beans and a can of chili beans- Chris isn't a huge bean fan so I decreased the amount to appease him.
* 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
* 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes (I used one regular, one fire roasted) undrained
* 1 cup water
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* shredded cheddar cheese to top
* sour cream to top
* fritos for under chili if you are like Chris and enjoy the 'frito pie' thing

To Do:
* Cook ground beef, onion, green pepper, and garlic over medium heat until meat is browned and veggies are tender. Drain fat.
* In dutch oven (or large boiling pot like I have), combine beans, undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, chili powder, basil, black pepper. Add meat and veggie mixture.
* Bring chili to a boil and then reduce heat so a simmer. Cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occassionally. I let ours cook for about half an hour.
* Ours did seem a little more runny than we were used to, so I did thicken ours up a bit with some cornstarch- but didn't add too much.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook

* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup cornmeal
* 2-3 tablespoons sugar (use 3 if you like sweeter stuff)
* 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1 cup milk
* 1/4 cup cooking oil or melted butter (I used butter)

To Do:
* Preheat oven to 400. In medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
* Add 1 tablespoon to 9 in. round baking dish, and place in oven for 3 minutes, or until butter is melted. Remove pan from heat and coat bottom and sides of pan with melted butter (perfect that swirl motion!)
* Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine eggs, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture and stir until just moistened.
* Pour batter into hot buttered skillet and return to oven for 15-20 minutes (mine needed 20). When toothpick comes out of middle clear, its done!
* Cut into wedges and serve warm. Feel free to whip up some tasty honey butter to serve on the side :)

Streusel Coffee Cake

It was the morning of my son's first birthday, so I had to make something special for breakfast.

Ok, that's sort of a lie... it WAS his birthday, but it wasn't the true reason I made this tasty breakfast.

It was mostly just because I really wanted sweets for breakfast, didn't want to drive to Wallieworld for donuts, and knew my mother and other houseguests would judge me for driving to Wallieworld for donuts.

Oh yeah, and my little boy deserves a special breakfast on his first birthday... that too!

Yes, its not a very creative picture. I'm so glad I took a picture of it hot from the oven because when I tried to flip it over, it crumbled to pieces. Dang.

Streusel Coffee Cake
Found on the Southern Food section of About.com

Ingredients for streusel topping:

* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Ingredients for cake:

* 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 egg, beaten
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1/3 cup melted butter
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla

To Make Delicious Coffee Cake:

* In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the topping. Mix it with a fork until its nice and crumbly
* Combine flour, baking powder, and salt for cake in a medium bowl.
* In another bowl, mix beaten egg and sugar. Slowly add the melted butter. Add milk and vanilla.
* Stir egg mixture into flour mixture.
* Pour batter into a greased 9 inch layer pan. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the batter.
* Bake at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes
* Partially cool on a wire rack before serving. (I did not bother with this step as we were all starving- hence the whole 'not flipping over and just crumbling out' part. Who cares... worth it!)


Pumpkin Cheesecake


The day is finally here! What day you ask? Only the best day in the history of all the days in fall (sorry Thanksgiving, but it may even be greater than you!)

Its National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

'Who decided that?' my husband sarcastically asked. My response was a simple, 'who cares!' I have made a mental note of his poor attitude regarding such a magnificent day, and do not plan on sharing any of the cheesecake with him (if there are leftovers in two days- probably not).

Holy Mother of Cheesecake... here it is...

Bow down... worship the cheesecake....

This recipe comes from Food Network Magazine. It is Emeril Lagasse's Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon-Spike Cream. I passed on the bourbon-spiked cream because of my current state of preggoness, and the fact that we in no way have anything remotely close to resembling bourbon in our house. (Because I didn't use the bourbon cream, I won't include it in this recipe, but if you feel like getting your buzz on, you can find it at foodnetwork.com... but I can tell you... you don't need the bourbon... it'll get you drunk enough on delicious flavor alone!)


* 1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (about 45 wafers)
* 1 cup pecans, ground (I didn't include these)
* 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
* 2 lbs cream cheese, cubed and softened
* 1 cup packed light brown sugar
* 6 large eggs
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*  pinch of salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 cups canned pumpkin

To Do:

* Preheat over to 350.
* Combine the wafer crumbs, pecans, and melted butter in a bowl. Press into a 12-inch springform pan.
* In mixer, mix cream cheese until it is smooth. Add the brown sugar and mix until blended.
* Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in heavy cream.
* Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla and blend until smooth
* Lastly, add the pumpkin and mix until well incorporated.
* Pour the filling over the crust in the pan. Bake for 1 hr 15 mins or until cheesecake is set.
* Remove from oven and use a knife to loosen the cake from the side of the pans.
* Let cheesecake cool completely before slicing- this may take up to four hours.
* Before serving, top with whipped cream (I just mixed whipping cream with granulated sugar)

Yes, it is heavenly. It is soft, pillowy, spongey, and light. Mindy and I sat tonight in awe of what we had just created. I took a small bite, and melted into it. Mindy on the other hand, took a small bite, said "oh my god, holy crap, oh my god this is good, oh mannnnn'' and devoured half of her piece.

Can I get an 'AMEN' ?!

Pumpkin Seeds

Some people (cough cough Mom cough cough) hate carving pumpkins for one reason- the innards. Oooey, goooey, and squishy are just not some people's forte. Call me gross, whatever, but I LOVE scooping out pumpkins- probably more than I love actually carving them. I have no artistic talent, or enough patience, to sit and carve out a beautiful or truly scary pumpkin. One year I tried to make Chris a Texas Longhorns pumpkin- it just looked like a fat peanut with two bugles coming out to the top of it. He laughed at me. So did all his friends. I digress....

I wasn't really a huge fan of pumpkin seeds until Kristin Lynn made them for me. Every year she makes the most delicious seeds, in so many flavor combos, and she gets me hooked on them to the point where I feel I should enter a rehab center. I wish she could have been here with us today as I was making mine!

Ok, so instead of harassing Kristin for her recipes, I resorted to Food Network Magazine's newest fall issue. They have a whole middle insert on making them.

Basic instructions:

* Clean out pumpkin. Put pumpkin guts into bowl. Sort through the guts and extract as many seeds as you can from the goo. Place seeds in colander and rinse seeds well to clean them. Do not dry with paper towel (FN Mag suggestion).

* Place seeds on oiled cookie sheet and place in 300 oven for 30 minutes to dry the seeds unseasoned.

* Place dried (and slightly oily) seeds in a bowl to season. I made three different varieties today. I have them listed below with the seasonings I used. To start all three, I drizzled a small amount of olive oil over the dried seeds...

Variety #1: Basic Salt
After drizzling with olive oil, sprinkle seeds with salt. I didn't have sea salt (I wish I had) but the basic table kind worked just fine!

Variety #2: Sweet
After drizzling with olive oil, sprinkle with cinnamon and granulated sugar. Do not salt (FN Mag stressed this)

Variety #3: Italian
Drizzle with olive oil. Toss seeds with grated parmesan and dried oregano.

Once you have seasoned your seeds, they will need to go back onto the cookie sheet and into the oven for another 20 minutes. Be sure to have a few right out of the oven- nothing better than a nice and toasty pumpkin seed... its a perfect fall snack!


Red Sherbert Punch

Alex's birthday party went off without a hitch! It was full of family, friends, fun, and good food. It was Dr. Seuss themed and the entire dining room was bright blue and red! For the adults, we made teal margaritas, and for those who couldn't have it (aka pregnant me) we made a special red punch!

It was delicious! I probably drank half of it (shame on me). It reminded me of the lime green punch Jaren specializes in, which was good because we really wished she could have been there :)

Kristin found the recipe online somewhere, but I have no idea where, and it took her forever to try and find it again, so we kinda just guessed and threw it all together from what we remembered after seeing it for the first time! Whether it was spot on or not, it tasted great!

 * 1 package cherry kool-aid powder
 * 1 can frozen pineapple juice concentrate
 * 1 liter gingerale
 * 1 container sherbert of your choice (we used raspberry to keep with the red color theme)

To Do:
 * Thaw pineapple juice concentrate
 * Mix pineapple juice with kool-aid packet
 * Before serving, add gingerale and scoop however much sherbert you want on top of the punch, letting is slowly melt, and give it a stir! Easy peasy!


Banana Bread

My son eats everything.


Except avocado. And italian dressing for pasta salad.

With a boy who eats everything, who knew I'd find his absolute all-time favorite food ?!

Well, I've found it. Banana bread. Good thing I could eat an entire loaf a day if I wanted to because I plan on having some on-hand at all times. Although, I won't eat an entire load a day- I have a son to share with now (shoot).

Banana Bread Recipe
Source: My little red recipe box in my dining room


* 1 cup granulate sugar
* 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 large eggs
* 3-4 ripe bananas (I always use 4)
* 1 tablespoon milk
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt

To Do:

* Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter loaf pan.
* cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy
* add eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition
* mash bananas with fork in bowl. Mix in milk and cinnamon
* mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl
* add banana mixture to creamed sugar/butter mixture. then add dry mixture 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition
* Bake for 1 hour, then remove from loaf pan and cool on baking rack for 15 mins

Serve warm with butter... Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm


Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Finally, a sidedish that steals the show and puts the main dish to shame. I do not have a witty story to share with this recipe- I'm not going to waste your time with useless words when you could be in your kitchen making these NOW. The only thing I can say is that it worked perfectly for our 'Mock Easter Dinner' we had a few nights ago. Ham? Good. Green Beans? Good. Crescent Rolls? Good. Scalloped Potatoes? Amazing!

This original recipe is from Emeril Lagasse. Usually, I will admit, his recipes seem to intimidate me, but this one stands on its own with few ingredients, none of which are fancy, and all of which I had in my kitchen already! I did make a few adjustments, which I have noted below....

Emeril Lagasse's Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
(as found on FoodNetwork.com)


* 1/4 cup chopped onion (I omitted this so Alex would eat them)
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons flour
* 1 1/4 cup milk
* 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used mild)
* salt and pepper
* 3 potatoes (scrubbed clean, peeled, and thinly sliced)

To Do:

* Preheat oven to 350
* Cook the onion in pan on medium-high heat with butter until tender. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes.
* Whisk in milk and cook until thick and bubbly
* Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper
* Layer half of the sliced potatoes in a casserole dish. Cover with half of the cheese sauce. Add second layer of potato slices and top with remaining sauce.
* Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top
* Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.

Additional notes:

* Potatoes always take longer to cook in the oven than you think they will. I had to leave mine in the oven for almost an additional 30 minutes, and I sliced my potatoes fairly thin. After about half an hour, keep checking back on them- do not pull from oven until they are fork tender. Mine were a bit crispy, but Chris said they were just as they were supposed to be. Liar.

* We also, to add to our wasteline (our favorite activity), cooked up two strips of super thick cut pepper bacon in a seperate pan and chopped it to add to the cheese sauce and sprinkled some on top. This MADE the potatoes! Nothing like smokey bacon to pep up a dish!


Crockpot Sunday: Classic Potroast with Garlic-Thyme Gravy

First of all, thank you to my friend Emily for sending me a subscription to Cuisine at Home magazine. I like this for many reasons. I like this because I've known Emily since kindiegarden and we were BFFs throughout our youngin' years and its awesome she still thinks of me from time to time! I also like this because I love me some magazines in the mail (I get that from my mama), food magazines the most! I also especially like this because this months issue came with a 'Back by Popular Demand Slow Cooker' magazine! Jackpot!

I decided to start out my new series of Crockpot Sunday recipes with the cover recipe because it looked Oh-So-Good. I made this last Sunday and not only did it make my entire house smell of delicious beef (because we all know thats one of the best smells on earth- Yankee Candle Co. should make a potroast candle... I'd buy it...), but it was fall-apart tender and reminded me of a middle of winter dinner.

It did steer away a bit from the tradition potroasts I've grown up with in one way: the gravy. The gravy includes tomato paste, which I'll tell you, isn't a bad thing at all. It adds a sweet tangy quality to the dish that you don't get with regular gravy!

P.S. I also apologize for the picture. I was in such a hurry to sit down and eat it, I forgot to make it 'pretty' on my plate for a picture. Instead, I just threw it all on the plate and smothered it with gravy. Sorry. Wait, I'm not sorry. It was delicious, and I refuse to apologize for delicious food, no matter how off-putting it looks.

Truly unappetizing photo,
but truly mouth-wateringly good!

Cuisine Slow Cooker Potroast with Garlic-Thyme Gravy


* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 3-4 lb. boneless chuck roast, trimmed, seasoned with salt and pepper
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 1/2 cup dry white wine (I omitted because I was cooking for 2 preggos and you can never be too sure)
* 1 1/2 cup beef broth
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (just as hard to spell as it is to say!)
* 2 cups sliced onions
* 6 medium carrots, cut into 2-to-3 in. pieces
* 3 large celery ribs, cut same was as carrots
* 5 cloves garlic
* 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
* 2 dried bay leaves

To Do:

* Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown roast on all sides, about 10 minutes total (I kept mine on a litttttttle longer to create more browning in the pan to make a richer gravy). Transfer roast to slow cooker.

* Stir flour into pan and cook for one minute. Add tomato paste and cook for one more minute.

* Deglaze saute pan with wine (I just used addition beef broth since I didn't cook with the wine), cooking until liquid evaporates. Stir in beef broth and Worcestershire and bring mixture to a simmer. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the roast.

* Transfer broth mixture to the slow cooker. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves.

* Cover and cook on high setting for 4-5 hours or on low setting (I used this one) for 8-9 hours.

* I pulled the roast onto a serving plate (well, tried, it was so tender it kept falling out), as well as the veggies. I discarded the thyme and bay leaves. To thicken the gravy I added a cornstarch mixture (2 tablespoons cornstarch, two tablespoons water mixed together and then added to the hot liquid in the crockpot), and mixed it with a whisk until it was the right consistency.

My usual potroasts include small red potatoes in the crockpot, but this time I opted to make mashed potatoes for on the side. I mean, come on- I had a crockpot full o' gravy... mashed potatoes are mandatory in situations like that!


Apple Pie Dip

Thank you, Pinterest, for making my life complete. Without you, I never would have found this amazing Apple Pie Dip by thepeachkitchen.com! It was a perfect fall snack/dessert! It was super easy-peasey and if you doubt how good it is, just ask Alex: he ate it up by the fist-full. Ok, so my son eats pretty much anything and everything, but he only says MMMmmmm after the really really good things :) I also loved this recipe because it reminded me so much of my Grandma Ann's applesauce!

In her recipe, she made homemade cinnamon-sugar chips for it, but I was lazy and figured cinnamon graham crackers would do the trick- I was right! They were also a lot easier for Alex to snack on! The recipe can be found by clicking on the link above to the website. I have since checked out a few more recipes on it, and I'm convinced it may be my new favorite cooking blog!

Tasty Fruit Pizza

The first time I ever had an extremely delicious fruit pizza was about a year ago. It was Girl's Night with a few of my favorite CAFB ladies: Jaren, Clara, and Mindy Loo. Jaren made a fruit pizza, and we ate it after we ate various other homemade pizzas she made. Afterwards, they took me to see my first fireflies. We told ghost stories, talked about how screwed we would be if we broke down in the middle of the night in the middle of the woods on base, and it was one of the most fun nights I had with those ladies! Also, being as I was pregnant and the others weren't, I got the pleasure of watching them take shots of liquor out of breast-milk measuring tubes. God, I miss nights like that. :)

Last night was another fruit pizza night, although noone was drinking shots out of baby bottles, but the guys were drinking cherry whiskey and talking guns (zzzzz). Our saving grace? This dessert. I made it in an attempt to be 'healthier' but lets be real, there really isn't anything healthy about dough, cream cheese, butter, and sugary fruit. Ok, wait. Fruit is supposed to be healthy right? :)

.: Yum :.
A huge shout-out goes to Sandra Lee for this recipe. I adore her and her semi-homemade recipes. I am also a huge fan of 80% store bought, 20% homemade, especially when I'm in a time crunch!


* Store bought refrigerated pizza dough (I found a Pillsbury one for thin crust and it was perfect)
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 2 tablespoons hot water
* 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
* 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
* 2-3 cups powdered sugar
* Fresh or frozen fruit of your choice

To Do:

* Unroll pizza dough onto greased cookie sheet. Mix honey and hot water together in a bowl, and brush over top of the dough to add sweetness. Cook dough in oven according to package directions. My thin crust baked at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Let dough cool completely.
* In a bowl, combined cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. I started with a cup of powdered sugar and worked my way up. I only used about 2 cups total - I didn't want it to be overly sweet. Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled dough. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
* I thawed frozen fruit (berry mixture, peaches, strawberries), and used canned mandarin oranges. You can slice your the fruit of your choice- kiwis are also very good on a fruit pizza. I let my guests top their own, so I put the fruits in various bowls, but you can load the pizza up with whatever you want.
* We sliced ours with a pizza cutter on a cutting board and then everyone topped theirs with what they wanted. It was a crisp, cool dessert with a ton of fruit flavor and just enough sweetness to call it a treat!