Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sweet Potato Balls!!!

LOVE these!! I will be making them tomorrow, but thought I would post the recipe today...insert pictures later. I will say that I will be baking the potatoes today to save time. Last year's finished product is in the post above!

4 large sweet potatoes
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons orange juice-I use fresh because you will need the actual orange for...
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large marshmallow per potato ball

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Bake the potatoes until tender, then peel and mash them. I use a fork and this nifty Pampered Chef masher.
Stir in the brown sugar, orange juice, zest and nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, toss the coconut with the sugar and cinnamon.
Press mashed potatoes around each marshmallow, creating a 2-3 inch diameter ball.
Roll the balls in the coconut mixture. Place on a baking sheet or baking stone.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Watch carefully for the last few minutes of cooking; the expanding marshmallow can cause the potato balls to burst open---which I think is kind of cool :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Foodie Friday Cookies & Calamari...

I love the idea of planning Thanksgiving over drinks at Matt's Casbah in downtown Melbourne! Although the girlfriends were photo-shy, the calamari appetizer and the warm goat cheese salad just sat there and smiled! Fabulous food.
We quickly decided on the menu...fried turkey, sweet potato balls, pies, green bean casserole, rolls. You can bet I will have photos of those! Here is a photo of the Sweet Potato Balls from last Thanksgiving! I'll post the recipe before Thanksgiving so ya'll can try it too!

On to today's recipe! this started out as Chocolate Chip Cookies only to find out that i didn't have enough chocolate chips but did have an extra bag of Butterscotch chips hence the name change...Chocolate Scotchies. Catchy. I also didn't have any baking soda...thank you Jennifer for the ingredient...again. Hate going to the store. Anywho...
Here are the ingredients:

I doubled this recipe. Almost more that 'Kevin' the KitchenAid could take. That's right. I named my mixer.
I whisk my dry ingredients TOTALLY against my mom's good judgement. I'm just lazy and it works well.
Meanwhile the shortning (do not use oil, yuck), brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond are getting work out from Kevin.
Then the dry ingredients are added...
Speed was set a little high and Kevin gave that flour mix the ride of it's life!

This should make a beater licker H-A-P-P-Y!!
I'm a southern girl and LOVE pecans...not those Yankee walnuts. It's destiny that pecans are my favorite mom went into labor with me wilst picking up pecans in our backyard :)
Look! See that bag? It's from my mom. I love my mom. Chop them up and hand stir them into the batter!
A bag each of the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips...the anticipation in the kitchen is growing...
Hand stir the chips into the batter too!
I use stones for baking. They are great for even cooking! I also use a scoop so the cookies will be the same size and will bake evenly.

Ready for the 350 degree heat for about 10-15 minutes.
mmmmmmm! Can't you smell them from there???
Disclaimer for those who do not use stones...this stone is not grungy!
This cookie has a meeting with destiny...
If you would like the recipe just post to my comments and I will send it on to you!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Autumn Gifts!!

I entered a contest over at and won some fun autumn gifts! Thanks Jennifer!!! How cute is the note card and gift bag?! I have to do that soon on this site, but now...I have to go pick up Will at school. Then to Office Depot, then to the grocery. Boo. Hiss.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Recipe Friday: Miss Fluffy Rice...

Let me just start out by sayin that I was NOT Miss Fluffy Rice of Arkansas County 1979.
I was
2nd place Miss Fluffy Rice Arkansas County 1979. "Lynn's Cheesey Chicken and Rice" won 1st place in 1979. Not that I remember. Not until my mom gives me a box of high school trophies.

Background: I grew up in the Grand Prarie of southern Arkansas. Arkansas ranks No. 1 in the US in rice production, therefore Miss Fluffy Rice is a cooking contest using rice as an ingredient. There are county contests and then the statewide contest. The purpose of the the contest (I Googled it...)
The purpose of the Miss Arkansas Rice Contest is to promote interest in rice cookery and rice
promotion among the youth in Arkansas and to focus attention of the general public of Arkansas on the importance of the rice industry to the economy of the state. The purpose of awards in the contest is to recognize superior achievement in rice cookery, rice promotion and basic knowledge about the rice industry.
All high and mighty now days calling it "The Miss Rice Contest". Guess there were some who were offended by "fluffy" Geez.
Anywho...I cooked this recipe for the entire neighborhood until I had it dooooooooown. Weeks of preparation, people. Even had a cute apron to wear courtesy of my mom. Well, APPARENTLY my dish was too exotic--Spanish Chicken and Rice and did not have Velveeta as the 2nd main ingredient! Not that that was a requirement, but "Lynn's Cheesy Chicken and Rice" was the winner. Hell, I think it had potato chips in it too! Lynn (smarmy Lynn) bragged that she 'threw it together last night for the first time'. Not that I remember. It was not my first encounter with a smarmy girl, but an epiphany into the 'over preparation doesn't pay' life rule. Or maybe it was the Velveeta that was the clencher. Hell, who knows. Anyhow, she didn't win the state title that year with processed cheese. That's not being Snarky, that's Karma, people.

Here is the recipe. It is handwritten by my mom who has BEAUTIFUL 1st grade teacher handwriting. The red ink is my addition...
She even has me add "Serve with Salad" in the upper right corner. My mom is the BEST cook.
Here are most of the ingredients:
...and the full list:
1 four lb. chicken cut into pieces (I cooked mine whole this time because an intact chicken was cheaper than a cut up one and I am not the greatest at cutting up a dang chicken!)
2 T. cooking oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (I have to use onion powder because my youngest thinks I try to slide the real ones into everything and won't eat them--says he can't help it and is sorry about that)
1 clove garlic minced (I threw it in with the chicken)
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped (not in the pic...refer to onion commentary)
Heat the Oil in a large heavy pot. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook 5 minutes. (Didn't have a photo...again, see above comment)

OK...let me stop here and explain this picture:
See that little pin feather on the right facing wing? GAG....
and pull that sucker right out! Now, we can carry on with civilized 21st century cooking!

3 cups boiling water (I just cover the chicken with as much as it takes. Then the chicken floats..)
Add that 2 t. of Salt

1/4 t. pepper and 1/2 tsp. dried basil

1 t. Paprika (I always think of Baby Paprika from Blues Clues...)

Cover and cook over low heat until chicken is tender...My mom says about 50 minutes.
Take the chicken out---DO NOT DRAIN THE BROTH. KEEP IT!
Remove the meat from the bones (I guess you say 'Debone' because saying 'Pick' sounds gross)
1 cup uncooked brown rice (you may want to use more depending on how much liquid you used to cook the chicken. The ratio is usually 1 cup rice: 2 cups liquid)
Add rice and continue cooking over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Add 1/4 cup chopped pimento

Heat for 5 minutes and then add the chicken and combine!

Just look at the anticipation in the room!!!!!

No salad...that's why my mom reminded me. She knows I "forget" the salad!

Enjoy Spanish Chicken and Rice, 2nd place in the 1979 Arkansas County Miss Fluffy Rice Contest !!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halloween Party and an Octomom...

So...Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday. Well, then there is Christmas and Easter for all of the baking. I also feel I have to give a shout out to Thanksgiving since I feel it gets short changed by Christmas. Anywho...back to Halloween. We had our 5th annual pumpkin carving party this year! Seems like I just couldn't get started with the decorating until the last few days of October! I also like to make something new every year that I can reuse the following years! This year I made this awesome spider web out of leftover pool screen from the previous owners of our house. I say "I" made it when actually I sucked my friend Jen into helping me make it! God love her...she gets pulled in every year. I know my friend Dani knows how she feels. :) I was so busy/distracted that I didn't get a photo of it before I took it down! I did, however, make some pretty cool lanterns and took pics of them...Thank you to my good friend Cindy for donating the large paper for them!
Loved these! They turned out so well. There were flickering electric tea lights suspended in them to give the lantern effect! Don't know where the heck I'm going to store them though...ALWAYS the problem.
I made this huge Owl face last year! It's about 20 inches in diameter! It's suspended from the ceiling by fishing line...still. Again... where to store it.
My husband is convinced if the lanterns and the owl stay up another week that we won't see them anymore. You know, he is right. That happens to many things in this house, but that is another post.
Oh yeah...Octomom. She visited our party. Geez. (That's my Engineer Man...)

Also, a couple of nuns...

Good friends dressed as OUR boys...

...and friends carving pumpkins by the pool!

We had a great time! I just spent all of my time hostessing and not taking photos...As I am known to say in my house, "My life goes undocumented."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese! This is what 56 looks like. Happy birthday to me!
OK. I lied up. Really only 46, but I am just practicing the art of "Lying Up about my Age". So far it has worked liked gang busters!! "Wow! You look great for 56!". "I would have thought you were 10 years younger!" One lady apparently under the influence of narcotics post-op thought I was in my late 20's!!! What? I advised she back off on the Dilaudid. She smiled and said 'OK'.
My sweet boys bought me a cannoli and stuck a couple of candles in it! I loved it! I was dipped in chocolate on the ends! Yum! My sweet Engineer Man gave me a card with Steven Jobs photo in it and said"It's time..." 'Who the hell is Steven Jobs?' I asked. "The creator of the Mac!!", he and my oldest said a little deflated. "Oh....oooooooooooooooooooooooooh!!!!!! Woo Hoo! Are we finally crossing over to the world of puppy dogs and rainbows and Apple computers???! Yeeees!
"Where is it?" I said...panting now and anxiously looking around. "Well, I don't have it yet. Not sure which one to hemorrhage the bank account on." Ok. He didn't exactly say that, but that's what he meant. God love him. Well I don't know either, but Lisa knows. She has what she calls her Mac Daddy. It's pretty darn sweet too. She is so in love, that she is buying her 12 year old one! Geez. He loves hers. It practically does his homework.
I want one. I want it to be hip while it vacuums my floors.