Friday, December 31, 2010

100. Black-Eyed-Pea Dip

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I'm finishing this challenge (woot!) with a recipe that's perfect for a New Year's Day gathering.

I used the Glory brand of black-eyed peas, which are seasoned Southern-style, and they lent this dip a great smoky/meaty flavor. The diced bell pepper gave it a nice texture and pop of color.

I couldn't find garlic ranch dressing, so I just used the original version and added in some garlic powder.

I saw (too late) that SL suggests serving this with cornbread crackers, which I think is a great idea...adds another Southern element.

1 (15-oz.) can black-eyed peas seasoned with pork, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
3 tablespoons garlic Ranch dressing
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Stir together first 6 ingredients. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

99. Peanut Butter and Jam Oatmeal Bars

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

What's better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Well, throw in some oatmeal and yellow cake mix...and you've raised the bar on a classic.

These are perfect for breakfast, snack or dessert...and they're easy to make. They're a little crumbly (a lot of the topping fell off when I was cutting them into bars). And, I think I may double the peanut butter and jam mixture next time to really make that flavor more pronounced.

1  (18.25-oz.) package yellow cake mix
2 1/2  cups  uncooked quick-cooking oats
3/4  cup  butter, melted
1/2  cup  creamy peanut butter
1/2  cup  strawberry preserves
1/2  cup  chopped roasted peanuts

Line bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.

Stir together cake mix and oats in a large bowl. Stir in butter with a fork until mixture is crumbly and dry ingredients are moistened. Press half of oat mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared pan.

Stir together peanut butter and preserves in a medium bowl. Gently spread peanut butter mixture evenly over oat mixture in pan. Sprinkle peanuts and remaining half of oat mixture evenly over peanut butter mixture.

Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 1 hour or until completely cool.

Lift baked bars from pan, using foil sides as handles. Place on a cutting board, and cut into 24 bars.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

98. Spicy Oven Fries

From 2002 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I made these fries to go with my chicken sandwiches with white BBQ sauce slaw.

Let me say this...I love spicy food. But, these were almost too spicy to eat. My lips were burning from the Creole seasoning. This was an easy and quick recipe...but I would definitely scale back on the amount of seasoning.

  • 3 large baking potatoes (about 2 pounds)
    2 tablespoons  olive oil
    2 tablespoons  Creole seasoning
    Vegetable cooking spray

    Cut each baking potato lengthwise into 8 wedges.

    Combine olive oil and Creole seasoning in a zip-top plastic bag; add potato wedges. Seal bag, and shake to coat. Arrange potato wedges, skin sides down, in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with vegetable cooking spray.

    Bake potato wedges at 450° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

97. White Barbecue Sauce Slaw

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I am a HUGE fan of white barbecue sauce, and my favorite way to eat it is on a Hawaiian roll with pulled rotisserie chicken.

I always keep a bottle of Big Bob Gibson's sauce on hand, and I've never made my own. So, when I saw this recipe that used homemade white BBQ sauce within slaw, I knew I had to try it out.

I loved the crunch and texture the slaw gave to my typical sandwich, and the horseradish gave the white sauce a nice punch of flavor. It didn't taste anything like what I'm used to...but I'm hanging on to this recipe!

1 1/4  cups  mayonnaise
1/4  cup  horseradish
3  tablespoons  cider vinegar
1  tablespoon  lemon juice
1  teaspoon  coarsely ground pepper
1/4  teaspoon  salt

Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour until ready to serve.

For Slaw: Combine 1 (16-oz.) package shredded coleslaw mix with carrots, 1/2 cup White Barbecue Sauce, 1/4 cup chopped red onion, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Toss gently; cover and chill 1 hour. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

96. Barbecue Pizza

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

Living in Birmingham, there are no shortage of amazing BBQ joints...but I'm partial to Full Moon for one solid reason: the chowchow they put on their sandwiches.

For those unfamiliar, chowchow is a Southern pickled relish made with green tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, etc. It's full of vinegar, crunch, and punch. I could eat it with a spoon.

So, when I saw this pizza recipe using chowchow as the sauce base, I was all in. Here's what chowchow looks like:

This had all of the components of a fabulous BBQ sandwich, with a pizza crust and cheese twist. Delicious!!!

1 (12-inch) prebaked pizza crust
1 cup chowchow
1/2 pound shredded or chopped barbecue pork
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup warm barbecue sauce
Spread crust evenly with chow-chow; top with pork and cheese.
Bake at 450° for 12 to 14 minutes or until cheese is melted. Drizzle evenly with warm barbecue sauce.

95. Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

When I woke up this morning, it was still snowing (more than 24 Birmingham!), so I felt like cocooning...and cooking. 

I picked these cookies because I had all of the ingredients on hand, and even though I'm not a big sweets eater, I love a PB cookie.

While these were yummy, they had a little bit of a different consistency (because of no flour?)...crumbly and a little grainy from the sugar.

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Stir together ingredients in a large bowl until combined; shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets, and flatten gently with tines of a fork. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes about 30 cookies.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

94. Tiny Cinnamon Rolls

From 1997 Southern Living Annual Recipes

My family always has breakfast at my sister's house on Christmas morning to watch my three nieces with their gifts from Santa. I thought these would be a great contribution...and they were.

I actually woke up about an hour later than expected...and still had time to put these together. That's how easy they are to prepare.

And they certainly are tiny. Bite size. They're perfect for someone like me...who likes cinnamon rolls but doesn't have enough of a sweet tooth to generally eat a whole one. They're also the ideal size for kids.

I ended up doubling the icing after the initial drizzle because it just didn't look like they were coated enough.

1 (8-ounce) can refrigerated crescent rolls
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon milk
1 drop vanilla extract
Unroll crescent roll dough, and separate into 4 rectangles; pinch seams to seal.
Stir together sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over rectangles.
Roll up, jellyroll fashion, starting with a long side; press edges to seal. Cut each log into 5 slices, and place in a lightly greased 8-inch round cakepan.
Bake at 350° for 12 minutes.
Combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, stirring until smooth; drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls.

93. Marinated Cheese

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

For Christmas Eve at my parents' house, we always have soup/chili and a bunch of nibbles, so I brought these to share with the group.

The flavor from the Italian dressing wasn't as strong as I anticipated, but these still tasted great. And, with the three different colors of cheese, it made for a pretty presentation.

I put the cream cheese in the freezer for about 30 minutes, which made it much easier to slice. However, those slices broke down a little in the marinade...but they're the ones that soaked up the most of the flavor.

1 (0.7-oz.) envelope Italian dressing mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 (8-oz.) block Monterey Jack cheese, chilled
1 (8-oz.) block Cheddar cheese, chilled
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, chilled
1 (4-oz.) jar chopped pimiento, drained
Assorted crackers
Whisk together first 6 ingredients. Set aside.
Cut Monterey Jack cheese in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Repeat with Cheddar cheese and cream cheese.
Arrange cheese in 4 rows in a shallow 2-qt. baking dish, alternating Monterey Jack cheese, Cheddar cheese, and cream cheese. Pour marinade over cheese. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

Drain marinade; arrange cheese on a platter in rows. Top with pimiento, and serve with assorted crackers.

92. Quick Shrimp Chowder

From 2004 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I settled in at home for wrapping presents on Christmas Eve Eve and put on this pot of soup. It starts with a can of potato soup with layers of flavor added. It tastes more complex than it actually was to and creamy and delicious.

Don't leave out the red gives it a great kick. Also, I doubled the cheese just to thicken it up to my desired consistency at the end.

Serve with crusty bread for dipping! YUM!

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of potato soup, undiluted
3 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/2 pounds medium-size fresh shrimp, peeled
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, and sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in cream of potato soup, milk, and pepper; bring to a boil. Add shrimp; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Stir in cheese until melted. Serve immediately. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

91. Spicy Beef and Black Beans

From 2004 Southern Living Annual Recipes

In the course of this year, I haven't had many recipe misses, but, unfortunately, this was one.

For starters, the meat was really tough, which probably had to do with the cut of beef. Also, cut into strips, it was harder to eat in "nacho" form. I'm thinking it would have been better cut into bite-size chunks.

Also, this ended up being kind of a soupy mess in the oven bag. I scooped out my portion with a slotted spoon, but the presentation was pretty unappetizing. I'm wondering if both cans of tomatoes being drained would have helped with that. It was also very heavy on the black beans...I think one can would have been plenty.

Overall, I think this dish could work with a few tweaks...or you could just make standard nachos.

1 oven bag (Large size - 14- x 20-inch)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (10 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound boneless beef sirloin, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
Tortilla chips
Garnish: tomato slices, chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place oven bag in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Add flour to oven bag; twist end of bag, and shake.

Drain 1 can tomatoes. Add tomatoes and remaining undrained can tomatoes to bag; squeeze to blend ingredients. Add beans and next 3 ingredients to bag. Arrange ingredients in an even layer.

Close oven bag with nylon tie; cut 6 (1/2-inch) slits in top of bag.

Bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, and serve over tortilla chips. Garnish, if desired.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

90. Brunch Eggs

From 2003 Southern Living Annual Recipes

Want a delicious, make-ahead Egg McMuffin at home? Then you've got to make this recipe.

I halved the recipe and prepared it the night before, letting it sit out for about 30 minutes before baking. I served over half of a toasted English muffin.

The whipping cream/cheese mixture was rich and decadent, cut by the hard-boiled consistency of the egg yolk. It was a beautiful, easy recipe with TONS of flavor.

12 thin Canadian bacon slices

3 (4-ounce) packages shredded Swiss cheese
12 large eggs
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place bacon in a single layer in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with Swiss cheese. Cover; chill up to 8 hours, if desired.

Break eggs over cheese, spacing evenly. Pour whipping cream over eggs; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425º for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and paprika. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from oven; sprinkle with parsley. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

89. Avocado-Ranch Dressing

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

My friend Jenny had me over for dinner the other night (chicken and dumplings!), so I put together this dressing, knowing how much we both love guacamole, for a wedge salad to accompany.

You better love avocados, because the flavor is predominant. I thought it was a little thick...I should have thinned out a little with more milk. It's definitely a nice and different twist on ranch dressing...worth a try!

2 ripe avocados

1 cup Ranch dressing
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Cut avocados in half; scoop pulp into a food processor or blender.

Add 1 cup Ranch dressing and remaining ingredients to food processor. Process until avocado mixture is smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

Friday, December 17, 2010

88. Shrimp-and-Artichoke Quiche

From 2003 Southern Living Annual Recipes

With only two eggs, and a cup of Bisquick, this was more like a casserole than a quiche. It almost had the consistency/feel of grits.

I got the extra small artichoke hearts, but even still, they were kind of unwieldy in size. I ended up pulling them aside and cutting into smaller portions to have with each bite. I think that it would work better to chop them up instead of halving them.

I also think this recipe would be great as individual quiche cups, baked in muffin tins.

Be sure to do the knife test instead of just pulling it out of the oven at the suggested time...mine ended up needing to be cooked about 10 minutes longer to be "set" in the center.

3/4 pound frozen cooked shrimp, thawed and coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)

3 small green onions, sliced
1 (4-ounce) package shredded Swiss cheese
1 (4-ounce) package shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup BISQUICK Original All-Purpose Baking Mix
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 (14-ounce) can small artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half lengthwise

Sprinkle shrimp and green onions in a lightly greased 9-inch pieplate.

Combine Swiss and Parmesan cheeses; sprinkle half of cheese mixture evenly over shrimp mixture.

Whisk together baking mix and next 3 ingredients until blended. Pour evenly over cheeses in pieplate; top with artichoke heart halves, cut sides down, and remaining cheese mixture.

Bake at 400° for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

87. Microwave Chocolate Fudge

From 2002 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I think my co-workers are loving this challenge...brought in another treat for them today with this recipe.

The SL site said, "The milk chocolate morsels give this fudge a Tootsie Roll-like flavor," and I can see that. They had a nice chewy texture with a creaminess, as well. I think it's the milk chocolate that makes these not as rich, which I enjoy. I'll add nuts on the next batch I make.

I'm not a "baker," so I especially enjoyed how easy these were to make by using the microwave.

3 cups milk chocolate morsels

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces

Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart glass bowl. Microwave chocolate mixture at MEDIUM (50% power) 5 minutes, stirring at 1 1/2-minute intervals. Pour into a greased 8-inch square dish. Cover and chill 8 hours; cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Store in refrigerator.

86. Southwestern Vegetable Soup

From 1997 Southern Living Annual Recipes

It's frigid here in Birmingham, so it was a great night to break out the soup pot. This is my favorite kind of soup...dump a bunch of cans, cook for a few hours (and make house smell good), and enjoy.

I left out the ground beef because I wanted it to be a true vegetable soup. I loved all of the different kinds of veggies in here. It made for a hearty, yet healthy, meal. I cut up the stewed tomatoes in the can so there wouldn't be big chunks in the soup. The chili seasoning gave it just the right amount of kick, and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese at the end lent a creamy component.

1 pound lean ground beef

5 cups water
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained

1 (16-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (8-ounce) can cut green beans, drained
1 (1 3/4-ounce) envelope chili seasoning mix
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced

Brown ground beef in a large Dutch oven, stirring until it crumbles; drain. Stir in 5 cups water and next 10 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 hours. Serve with cheese.

Monday, December 13, 2010

85. Macaroni-Mushroom Bake

From 1997 Southern Living Annual Recipes

There are two schools of thought when it comes to baked macaroni and cheese: eggy and creamy. I fall into the eggy category, but this screamed comfort food on a very cold night, so I gave it a try.

Talk about easy to make...and a sure crowd-pleaser. I ate it as a meal, but it would make a great side dish for any kind of meat. It's very rich, from the mayo, and the mushrooms give it a nice texture and twist on a classic dish. Plus, it's well-documented how much I love anything topped with Ritz crackers.

8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup round buttery cracker crumbs

Combine first 7 ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish; top with cracker crumbs.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes.

Friday, December 10, 2010

84. Sausage Bread

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

So...I'm afraid of dough.

I don't work with it much...I've certainly never made my own from scratch...and I just approach handling it with trepidation.

All that to say that I probably didn't roll this out as thoroughly or evenly as I should have, and it was so thin in places that I was worried the filling would pop through during baking.

However, this recipe must be fool-proof because it turned out perfectly. It was beautiful coming out of the oven, and it really held its shape when it was sliced.

The French bread dough was crunchy and chewy, and it's hard to beat the spicy, gooey combination of hot sausage and cheese.

My family loves sausage balls on Christmas morning, but I think this dish needs to make an appearance instead this year!

1 (1-lb.) package ground hot pork sausage

1 (11-oz.) can refrigerated French bread dough
1 1/2 cups shredded pizza cheese blend

Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink. Remove from pan; drain well, pressing between paper towels.

Unroll dough into a rectangular shape on a lightly greased baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with sausage and cheese. Beginning with 1 long side, roll up, jelly-roll fashion. Turn, seam side down, on baking sheet, and pinch ends to secure filling inside. Cut 3 (1/4-inch-deep) slits across top of dough with a sharp paring knife.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

83. Tropical Banana Bread Muffins

From 2008 Southern Living Annual Recipes

A two-ingredient recipe? Sold! I love recipes that start with a box...and then have a twist.

These are blinged-up banana nut muffins...the chewy pieces of fruit are like little jewels inside. I loved the sweetness and texture it brought.

I brought these to my office, and one co-worker suggested adding coconut to the mix next time, which I think is a great idea.

1 (17.1-oz.) package banana-nut muffin mix

1 cup dried mixed tropical fruit, roughly chopped

Prepare batter and muffin pans according to package directions for 1 (17.1-oz.) package banana-nut muffin mix, stirring 1 cup dried mixed tropical fruit, roughly chopped, into batter. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake and cool muffins according to package directions.

82. Pesto Dip

From 1997 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I had pesto left over from the lasagna, and an SEC Championship party to attend, so I made this very flavorful dip. If you're looking for something quick and easy to put together, this is a good go-to recipe. It's simple, light, and delicious.

I actually left out the buttermilk because I didn't want to buy a big carton for only 1/4 cup. I can't imagine that small of an amount making a difference in the recipe, unless it's just to thin it out, and I liked the consistency without it. 

1 (7-ounce) container pesto

3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk

Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl until blended. Cover and chill. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables.

Friday, December 3, 2010

81. Easy Lasagna

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

My friend Jenny cut and colored my hair (red!) last night, so I had made this the night before for us to have for dinner.

I loved the idea of flavoring the ricotta with pesto...and it gave this dish a really distinct and different taste.

I always make my lasagna with ground beef...but I'm using hot Italian sausage from here on out. Delish!

I also cut the amount of cheese in half. I didn't put any within the layers, just two cups on top along with some Parmesan cheese. And, I used spaghetti sauce with mushrooms.

We both agreed this was a keeper!

1 pound mild Italian sausage

1 (15-oz.) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup refrigerated ready-made pesto
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 (26-oz.) jars pasta sauce
9 no-boil lasagna noodles

4 cups (16 oz.) shredded Italian three-cheese blend or mozzarella cheese

Remove and discard casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain.

Stir together ricotta cheese, pesto, and egg.

Spread half of 1 jar pasta sauce evenly in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Layer with 3 lasagna noodles (noodles should not touch each other or sides of dish), half of ricotta mixture, half of sausage, 1 cup three-cheese blend, and remaining half of 1 jar pasta sauce. Repeat layers using 3 lasagna noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, remaining sausage, 1 cup three-cheese blend. Top with remaining 3 noodles and second jar of pasta sauce, covering noodles completely. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 cups three-cheese blend.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until cheese is melted and edges are lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes.