What I Learned This Week – Pepperoni Rolls

I learned something very important this week. I learned  that I will never again buy pepperoni rolls from anyone because I can make better ones.

I’ve purchased pepperoni rolls recently as a fund-raiser. They were hard and nasty.  On several occasions, I’ve purchased pepperoni rolls at the grocery store and every single time, I am sorry that I purchased them.

In another words, my pepperoni rolls are the bomb dot com.

I have both made friends and influenced people with my pepperoni rolls. Last week, while sharing my menu board on Facebook, several people asked me for me pepperoni roll “recipe.” I thought I’d share it here with all eight of you, too.

Here’s how to make the Bomb dot com pepperoni rolls.

First, you’ll need these ingredients:

 

1. First, you’ll need to follow the directions on the back of the frozen rolls. Basically, spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place rolls in the muffin pans and cover the pans with saran wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray so that the wrap doesn’t stick to the rolls.

2. Let the rolls raise 3-5 hours.

They will swell like ankles during pregnancy. Don’t panic. This is normal.

3. You can flatten the rolls in either of two ways. You can do it the fancy way and use a rolling pin, or save time and frustration and use your hands. Just know that you’ll have to pull it carefully so as not to put a hole in the roll or else all of your goodies will ooze out during baking.

4. Once you flatten the roll out, place 4-5 pieces of pepperoni and a pile of mozzarella cheese on it.

 

5. Fold each corner toward the middle, making sure you close the roll completely.

6. Bake pepperoni rolls for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Best when served WARM.

 

Here’s what I learned this week.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Easy enough?

GO!



Peach Cobbler Crisp

After running errands earlier this evening, McDaddy, the boys and I stopped for dinner at Bob Evans. Did you know they offer a free kid’s meal for every adult meal purchased in July? (And no, before you ask, this is not a sponsored post.)  Anyway, dinner. At Bob Evans. When the waitress came over to take our drink order, she said five words that left me in shock.

We.

Are.

Out.

Of.

Coke.

Seriously, how can we as a nation put a man on the moon, yet, allow ourselves to get to a point where we run out of coke.

In forty years on this earth, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced an emergency situation like this one in a restaurant.

As it turns out, this particular Bob Evans was also FRESH OUT OF baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese, ice cream, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, chocolate chips, bananas, and the COKE.

Ya’ll, that is A LOT of food for one Bob Evans to be out of. I’m thinking maybe there might be a management position open at the Bob Evans on Alex Lane today.

I love Pinterest.

What? My mind hops around like a jack rabbit.

And by I love Pinterest, I mean I triple puffy heart type of love.

A couple of weeks ago, I found a recipe over there that I just have to share.

As you will recall, I have  three requirements for any recipe I share here on the blog:

  • fast
  • easy
  • fail proof

(Though if I’m being honest, the words fail and proof are laughable when you consider that I once burnt a cup of instant macaroni and cheese in the microwave because I forgot to add the water.)

Here are the short cast of characters.

 

PEACH COBBLER CRISP

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large can of peaches*
  • 1 Yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick of butter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a 9×13 backing pan, dump the peaches and the juice.
  3. Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the peaches.
  4. Melt the stick of butter and pour it evenly over the cake mix.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until it is bubbly.

*You may also substitute pears, apples, cherries OR fruit pie filling.

 

See how easy that is?

Dump peaches and juice into your 9×13 baking pan. (You don’t even dirty a bowl) If you are not a fan of big chunks of fruit, you could cut your peaches in half.

Pour the cake mix over the peaches.

If your OCD is offended by the cake mess, use a fork to spread the cake evenly amongst its peach friends.

Next, melt a stick of butter of pour it evenly over the cake mix.

Now, just imagine a great picture of a crispy piece of peach cobbler fresh out of the oven.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take that particular picture.

Like I said, easy, quick and fail-proof.

 

 

 

 

 

Mexican Casserole

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook of some Mexican concoction. It looked yummy, so I asked if she’d share the recipe.

I made it for dinner a few nights ago and it was really good. I named it simply, Mexican Casserole.

If you’ve spent any amount of time around here, you know I have three requirements for any recipe I share here on the blog:

  • fast
  • easy
  • fail proof

(Though if I’m being honest, the words fail and proof are laughable when you consider that I once burnt a cup of instant macaroni and cheese in the microwave because I forgot to add the water.)

So anyway, here’s the recipe, (I am sorry to say that I forgot to take the customary pre-recipe ingredient picture, but here’s one of the finished product).

  • 1 lb. hamburger (or a little more if you like your casserole meaty)
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • tortilla chips
  • salsa (I prefer mild, but accidentally picked up medium at the grocery store. Like I said, FAIL PROOF)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Lettuce, tomato, sour cream and any other Mexican toppings that your family enjoys

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Brown hamburger. Drain and then return to skillet.

3. Add taco seasoning packet, along with enough water to mix the seasoning and meat.

4. In a 9×13 pan, spread a layer of tortilla chips, meat, salsa and cheese and repeat until ingredients are gone.

5. Place casserole in oven long enough to melt the cheese (approximately 15 minutes)

6. Once casserole is finished, top with other ingredients.

This is also a great party dish because it serves a bunch.

Enjoy!

A Sweet Weekend

We had a crazy, busy weekend.

For starters, we kicked off Baseball season with opening day. Between our two boys, we are geared up for 53 ball games over the next 10 weeks. On opening day it was approximately 40 degrees, but thank the good Lord there was  NO FRIGGIN’ SNOW, so I’ll take the cold and not complain about it.

Later that day, Alex played in his first game of the season. He played first base the entire game and got eight or nine outs. I was a proud baseball momma.

Unfortunately, Stevie had to miss his first game because our Scout blue/gold banquet and father/son bakeoff was the same time as his game. Stevie will be crossing over to Boy Scouts in a few weeks, so this was his last father/son bakeoff hoo-rah. With two sons in cub-scouts, the father/son bakeoff is a lot of work for McDaddy.

With McDaddy having Drill all weekend, it was a busy Friday evening trying to get two cakes with two kids baked and ready.

Alex chose to bake the same cake that Stevie won first place with at the father/son bakeoff two years ago.

And he had so much fun working in the kitchen with his Daddy.

His Best Ever Banana Cake was delightful!

Stevie decided to bake his Pawpaw K’s fresh apple cake.

I just loved watching them work together in the kitchen.

My dad has made this cake for many years. I was excited that Stevie wanted to bake it with McDaddy.

FRESH APPLE CAKE

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup grated peeled apples
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup confectionary sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease and flour Bundt pan
  3. Sift flour, soda, salt and spices into large measuring cup
  4. Cream sugar, oil and eggs together on medium speed in mixer.
  5. Add all dry ingredients, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix thoroughly until well blended.
  6. Remove from mixer, add apples and nuts and stir until well blended.
  7. Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan
  8. Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour

When cake comes out sift confectionary sugar in small bowl and add orange juice. Mix with wire whisk and drizzle over top of cake slowly while still hot and still in pan.

Cool completely before removing from pan.

Slice (heat in microwave for several seconds, if you so desire) and enjoy!

OH, and you might also enjoy a first-place trophy, just like my fellas did in the father/son bakeoff!

 

 

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Much to the delight of my family, I have been trying at least one new Pinterest recipe each week. I have more than 250 pins on my “What’s For Dinner?” Pinterest board, so I have plenty of options. Earlier this week, I tried a new chicken recipe that was off the hook.

In fact, it is my favorite recipe so far.

Normally, the recipes I post here are simple and easy. This one? Not so much. But well worth the time you’ll spend putting the chicken together.

You will need these ingredients:

 

Chicken:
4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup milk
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used cheddar on half and mozzarella on the other half)
Sauce:
1   10-ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp butter
DIRECTIONS:
1. To start, line up three bowls in a row on your counter. One for milk, one for cheese and one for Ritz crackers. Also, grease a 9×13 shallow baking pan.
2. Next, place one sleeve of Ritz crackers in a Ziploc bag and then seal it. Bang the heck out of the bag with a tenderizer OR you can just crush the crackers with your bare hands (which is what I did). Once the first sleeve is crushed up, add the second sleeve. (I didn’t get the crackers crushed as fine as I should have. I will next time, though.)
3. Add the salt and pepper to the Ritz cracker crumbs and mix it up.
4. Dip each piece of chicken in milk to coat it.
5. Next, dip the chicken in the cheese and pat the cheese onto the chicken.
6. Finally, press the cheese coated chicken into the Ritz cracker crumbs and press it onto the chicken. (Your Ritz cracker mixture will be messy and cheese filled, but fret not. Eventually, it’ll all melt together anyway.) Place each piece in the baking pan.
7. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until the chicken is brown.
If you’re like me you’ll have a messy counter.
Once you have that area cleaned up, you can make the sauce.
8. Use a medium sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce begins to boil.
9. Take the chicken out of the oven
10. Pour the cream sauce over the chicken.
Serve over rice. Or beside it.
Your choice.
Enjoy!

Crescent Roll Breakfast Casserole That I Made For Dinner

Here in Charleston, we are bracing for yet another snow storm.

Yes, I said, a-n-o-t-h-e-r-s-n-o-w-s-t-o-r-m.

Hearing those words make me want to shove toothpicks straight through my eyeballs.

The boys are making some serious snow tunnel plans and I’m just sitting here hoping that school officials make the cancellation call before bedtime so I don’t have to set the alarm on my phone.

My mind is focused on the snow, and the storm (and the two boxes of Thin Mints on the kitchen counter which – by the way – I had no business ordering), so I thought this would be a good time to share a simple recipe that I prepared last week.

It’s a tasty breakfast casserole that I made for dinner.

And, before you ask, you should know that it meets my three simple requirements for a recipe:

  • fast
  • easy
  • fail proof

For this breakfast casserole, you’ll need these ingredients,

 Ingredients

  • 1 can crescent rolls

  • 1 lb. pork sausage

  • 6 eggs

  • 1/2 c milk

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Brown sausage. Drain grease.

3. Spray a 9×13 Longaberger pan with cooking spray (except it doesn’t have to be a Longaberger dish)

4. Unroll crescent rolls and press seams together to cover the bottom of the dish

5. Spread sausage over the crust.

6. Whisk together the eggs and milk. Add a dash of salt and a dash of pepper, or more if you so desire.

7. Pour this mixture over the sausage.

8. It will look gross, but stay with me.

9. Top with cheddar cheese and then mozzarella cheese, or, you can top with mozzarella first, and then cheddar. If you’re feeling frisky, you could use Cheddar Jack instead of just plain ol boring cheddar.

10. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until casserole looks like this.

11. While you’re waiting for the casserole to cook, clean up this nonsense.

** You can substitute the sausage for bacon (though I think that would be nasty), or you could add green peppers and / or onions to the sausage mixture.

This is one of my favorite dishes and I promise your people will love it.

Have a great week, y’all.

Cheesy Brown Sugar Pork Chops

For the past month or so, I have been trying at least one new Pinterest recipe each week. I have more than 250 pins on my “What’s For Dinner?” board, so I have plenty of options. Tonight, I tried a new pork chop recipe.

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of the ingredients before I prepared the dish. Nor did I get a picture of the finished product, but that’s because they smelled yummy and my gang was hungry.

As is normally the case around here, this recipe is a simple one.

Cheesy Brown Sugar Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 4 – 5 pork chops
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Colby-jack cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Combine the brown sugar and garlic salt and rub both sides of pork chop with mixture.
  • Place pork chops in a square baking dish
  • Drizzle with melted butter
  • Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper
  • Bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes (internal temp should be at least 155 degrees)
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese (Use more if you LOVE cheese!)
  • Return pork chops to oven for 5-7 more minutes.

OPTIONAL: Use barbecue sauce for dipping

We enjoyed these with left over baked beans and dressing.

Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate on a Cold Night

On the off-chance that you haven’t been watching the National Weather Reports for the state of West Virginia, here’s where we are.

We have been OUT OF SCHOOL for so many days this month, I have honestly lost count. The boys went to school on Monday at normal time, (although our hill and road were snow-covered and horrible!) but were released an hour early. School was canceled yesterday and is canceled today because temperatures are in the single digits with a crazy wind-chill.

So.

There’s been a lot of this the past few days.

[NOTE: He is not wearing his glasses, because they broke while sledding earlier this week.]

At 10:30 PM this evening, this is what we were having.

You know, because WHY NOT?

I have seen more snow in the past month, than I have seen in the past three years. I am so OVER the snow, it wouldn’t matter to me if I never, ever saw another snowflake for the rest of my life. While on Facebook a few days ago, I saw a recipe for Snow Ice Cream. In my forty years of life I had never heard of snow ice-cream and thought the boys might enjoy it. When my fellas were out clearing off our front steps and driveway, I looked up the recipe and asked McDaddy to fill up a large measuring cup with clean snow. The boys loved it!

Sadly, it was all gone before I got a picture of the actual ice cream, but here’s the recipe.

SNOW ICE CREAM

  • 4 cups of fresh snow

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla

The boys added sprinkles and then asked for more. It’s safe to say it was a hit and I’m sure they’ll be asking for it the next time we have a good snow. (Which will probably be tomorrow if the past week has been any indication.)

It is two degrees here in WV at the present time. Try to stay warm, y’all.

Christmas Cookie Exchange

I had every intention of coming back here to report on my friend Becky’s annual cookie extravaganza.

Because of our ski trip, I had to choose a cookie that I could bake within the time constraint I was under. In other words, after our three-hour drive home, I would have no more than three hours to bake seven dozen cookies.

After scouring the internet and Pinterest for a cookie that fit my criteria (quick, easy, fail proof) I settled on the Andes Mint Cookie Recipe. I did a test run while we were on our Ski trip.

ANDES MINT COOKIES

  • 1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package of Andes  Mints

Mix cake mix, oil, and eggs together.

Drop small balls of dough onto baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 6-9 minutes.

Do not over-cook. Take cookie sheet out of oven and place 1/2 an Andes Mint on top of each cookie. Within minutes, the mint will melt. Use a sharp knife to swirl the mint around on the cookie like icing.

Be prepared to make friends and influence people.

And I’ll just tell you now, they are best served hot and gooey.

And it helps if you like mint.

Within an hour, my cookies were done and my kitchen looked like a cyclone had gone through it.

For as many years as I have attended Becky’s annual cookie extravaganza (which at this point I think is eight or nine) I have taken my cookies in a beautiful Christmas Longaberger basket. I decided that my beloved Longaberger baskets have not brought me any luck in winning the crown in the past, so this year, I decided to take my cookies in a Dollar General cardboard Christmas container.

I used red sprinkles on this batch to make them more festive.

Remember, presentation is everything.

Or something like that.

This was the official 2013 cookie exchange extravaganza spread.

It always looks so fancy.

(My cookies are just above the white platter in front.)

After catching up talking smack and filling up on this mess,

we all gather round the cookie table to eat A BITE OF EACH COOKIE. (This is the point where I start praying that MY COOKIE WILL WIN!) It may sound crazy, but, THERE IS A CROWN AT STAKE, and y’all know how I feel about a crown. Not to mention bragging rights for the entire year.

So, imagine, if you will, thirteen women gathered around a table getting pieces of each cookie.

And then getting a sugar high.

Once we have a sample of each cookie on our plate, we gather in Becky’s living room for the official vote.

We close our eyes (at least I guess everybody else does!) and Becky calls out each cookie. We vote by raising our hand and we get to vote for two.

When the voting was completed, Becky announces there is a three-way tie.

AND ONE OF THEM IS MINE!

Sweet hallelujah. I can’t believe it.

Because Becky only has one CROWN, we had to vote again.

This time there was a two-way tie.

AND ONE OF THEM WAS STILL MINE!

OH MY HEAVENLY DAY. I CAN’T BREATHE.

This was it. The final vote.

After counting the votes for a final time, Becky announced the winner.

It was not mine.

As it turns out, I lost by ONE vote.

Which means I was the runner up first loser for the second time in three years.

Meet this year’s winner…. Lee.

She made some nutty Mounds bar, which for the record wasn’t really a cookie.

The only thing I went home with this year was a prize for the cookie with the least amount of ingredients.

So at least there’s that, right?

Next year, though? IT. IS. ON.

Be warned, girls.

Falling Into Christmas

Last time we spoke, I was scurrying around preparing for Thanksgiving. Truthfully, I was scurrying around getting cabinets cleaned out because now that I have a fancy new wall-unit in my mud-room, I have plenty-o-space to store all of my serving dishes and serving baskets, which is fabulous because yay for LOTS OF EXTRA SPACE!

Then, there was the annual day-before Thanksgiving prep day with my parents where they spend the day in our kitchen cooking and I spend the day in my kitchen keeping the dishes and kitchen cleaned up.

In other words, the only turkey I prepared on Thanksgiving was this one.

He turned out so cute. I didn’t even want to cut into it.

My dad made the chipped-beef cheese ball. I used a Slim-Jim for the neck. I hot-glued the candy corn nose onto the Slim Jim, and I also hot-glued the M&Ms to the Slim Jim. Lastly, I used a Sharpie to draw the pupils on.

CHIPPED BEEF CHEESE BALL

2 pkgs. chipped beef (found in the lunchmeat section)

2 (8 oz.) packages of softened cream cheese

1 tsp. Worchester sauce.

1/2 cup chopped onion (more if you don’t mind onion breath)

Combine all ingredients, form into a ball and refrigerate.

Our Thanksgiving was wonderfully low-key. I decided weeks ago that for the first time in as many years as I can remember, I was not going out to shop on Thanksgiving evening or even on black Friday. There was no stress to get out at a decent hour. There was no worry about getting *the* item. I just stayed home, relaxed, and *might* have asked begged McDaddy to start getting my Christmas décor down despite his “no Christmas décor until after Thanksgiving rule.” To my surprise, he did agree to get two Snowman totes down from the loft.

I am always so happy to change out fall for Christmas.

And just for the record, these three Christmas scents are FAB-U-LOUS!!! I wash my hands several times a day just so that my hands will smell yummy!

On Friday, I hit the ground running, excited to get my Christmas stuff out, especially since (after years of searching) I found a snowman tree-topper at Cracker Barrel.

I know!

I went crazy when I saw this one sitting atop a tree in Cracker Barrel, especially since I had spent the past two weeks searching online and Pinterest to find one.

I had to ditch the gold beads I have used for the past ten or so years for the red/lime green ribbon-like stuff they had on display there. I know it sounds absurd, but I absolutely love sitting in the dark looking at a lighted Christmas tree, especially now that all of my gift-wrap matches the red/lime-green theme on my tree.

Be still my beating OCD heart.

This looks even more fabulous in person than it does right here.

And of course, my ornaments are so very special to me. I even added a couple of Longaberger tree-trimming baskets this year.

While it is true that I HATE snow, I happen to LOVE snowmen.

In fact, most of my Christmas décor (and for the record, I don’t ever use the term, décor… I would use the term decorations, instead) is snowmen.

Even in our bathroom.

My goodness, I love the holidays and everything that goes along with them.

Except.

I hope these next nine days C-R-E-E-P by because HOLY COW Y’ALL, FORTY.

Have a great week, folks.

As for me? I’ll be busy running Santa’s Workshop at Alex’s school trying to enjoy what’s left of my thirties.