Friday, November 25, 2011

Buttercream Thumbprint Cookies

Shannon, Bill's niece, brought this cookie to a Christmas gathering years ago, and it has been my favorite cookie since! I have just varied it a bit to make it look a little festive. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have. Thanks, Shannon!

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter (or margarine) melted
2 eggs (separated)
2 cups flour
chopped pecans
food coloring of your choice
a few chocolate chips

Butttercream Frosting:
1/4 cup melted margarine
3 cups powdered sugar
milk (the thickness you want it...Shannon and I make ours thick.)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix brown sugar, butter, egg yolks and flour.
3. Roll into 1-inch balls.
4. Dip in egg whites.
5. Roll in pecans.
6. Push center almost down to cookie sheet.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for 5-6 minutes.
8. Let cookies completely cool before filling with frosting. (Frosting does not have to be colored, but it makes it festive.)

Perfect Bacon

Thanks to Culinary Arts for sharing this easy way to make bacon...easy clean up too!

1.Line a baking sheet with foil. This will make cleanup easier later.

2.Arrange bacon slices on the foil and place the baking sheet on the center rack of a cold oven. Close oven door. Turn oven on to 400°F. Walk away.

3.Come back 17 to 20 minutes later. As soon as the bacon is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it's done. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature.

4.Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the bacon to another sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb the fat.

1.Don't pre-heat the oven! Make sure the oven is cold when you put the bacon in.
2.Keep your eye on the bacon during the final few minutes of cooking to make sure it doesn't burn. Also, remove the cooked bacon from the hot pan right away. The heat from the pan and the hot bacon fat will continue cooking the bacon.
3.You can slightly undercook the bacon, then cool it and freeze it in a zipper bag. Then, to reheat, cook two slices in the microwave on medium power for 30 seconds or so.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oyster Dressing

I'm posting this recipe in honor of my dear mom. She used to make oyster dressing for Thanksgiving. It was one of her favorites. I don't have her specific recipe, but this is a good one.

Cornbread Ingredients ~
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/2 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 TBSP. vegetable oil

Cornbread Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. To make the cornbread, combine all ingredients and pour into a greased shallow baking dish.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and let cool.

Dressing Ingredients ~
7 slices white bread, dried in warm oven
1 sleeve saltine crackers
2 cups chopped celery
1 large onion, chopped
8 TBSP. butter
7 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried sage
1 TBSP. poultry seasoning
5 eggs, beaten
2 pints or 1 quart oysters, drained

Dressing Directions ~
1. Crumble dried white bread slices, cornbread and crackers.
2. Mix together and set aside.
3. Saute chopped celery and onion in butter until transparent, 5-10 minutes.
4. Pour over cornbread mixture.
5. Add stock; mix well.
6. Add salt, pepper, sage and poultry seasoning.
7. Add beaten eggs and mix well.
8. Add oysters and mix.
9. Pour into a greased pan.
10. Bake for about 45 minutes.

Simple Sausage Balls

Makes 50 sausage balls.


1 lb. spicy pork sausage
10 oz. grated cheddar cheddar (mild or sharp)
3 cups Bisquick
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine sausage, cheese and Bisquick until well blended. (I usually put on plastic gloves and do this part with my hands, but it can be done with a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.)
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls and arrange 1 inch apart on a dry cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned.
6. Drain on paper towels, then serve hot or at room temperature.
***I have been known to make the balls, freeze them and pop them in the oven as I want to serve them.***

Pineapple Pecan Spread

This recipe was popular when I was growing up in the '70's! Yummy, too! Be ready to hand out the recipe. Someone is always asking for it!


2 - 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. seasoned salt (I use Lawry's brand.)
1 small can crushed pineapple, undrained
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
assorted crackers


1. Using a mixer, blend together cream cheese and seasoned salt on high speed until fluffy.
2. Add pineapple, green pepper, onions and pecans and blend well on low speed.
3. Cover and place in refrigerator at least 4 hours before serving (overnight is even better).
4. Serve with crackers.

Derby Tartlets

This recipe allows your Derby guests to have a taste of the Derby Pie without needing a fork. It makes 36 tartlets.


36 mini phyllo shells
1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 1/2 cups whipped cream (or Readi-Whip)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped milk chocolate


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly spray a large cookie sheet with Pam.
3. Arrange shells on prepared cookie sheet.
4. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips into shells.
5. In a small bowl, stir together pecans, brown sugar, bourbon, egg, and butter.
6. Spoon evenly into shells.
7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned.
8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
9. Top each tart with whipped cream and sprinkle with chopped chocolate.

The Oaks Lily

This is the recipe for the signature drink at The Oaks. Oaks Day is the day before the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Many Kentuckians attend the Oaks, and attire is about the same as it is on Derby Day. We always have fun at Oaks Day. We served this drink at our Derby Party, and it was a success.


For an individual Lily ~
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. sweet and sour mix
3 oz. cranberry juice
splash of triple sec

For a large group ~
32 oz. vodka
32 oz. sweet and sour mix
96 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. triple sec

Actually, I made this in pitchers and served it from a crystal drink dispenser. When the ingredients are mixed, place the pinkish cocktail in a stemless wine glass with crushed ice. Add a straw and garnish with an orange wedge and cherry.

Squash Casserole

A friend of mine made this recipe for a potluck luncheon we had at school years ago. I have made it several times, and it is always a crowd favorite. It is requested every Thanksgiving. It really is the best squash recipe I've ever tasted. It makes about 16-18 servings. Delish!


1 box cornbread mix
6 eggs
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
1 onion, diced
2 cans sweet creamed corn
3 lbs. (8-10) yellow squash, sliced
1/4 cup sugar
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil squash in water 8-10 minutes, but not more than 15 minutes.
3. In bowl, mix all ingredients, stirring well.
4. Add additional seasonings if needed.
5. Pour into 2 small greased (or 1 large greased) dish.
6. Bake for 45 minutes.

Bourbon Balls

This candy is a must for a Kentucky Derby party. Although the recipe calls for 5 tablespoons bourbon, you may add more if you want. This recipe makes 30 balls.


1/2 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
5 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
18 oz. dipping chocolate (I use semisweet.)


1. Cream together butter and sugar.
2. Add bourbon until well blended.
3. If the dough is too soft to form balls, put in refrigerator for 1 hour before forming the balls.
4. Form into 3/4" balls, and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheet.
5. Chill balls in refrigerator overnight.
6. Melt chocolate. (I use a double boiler if using semisweet chips.)
7. Dip balls to coat, letting excess drip off.
8. Return to refrigerator to harden.
9. Store in airtight container in refrigerator until serving time.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ham & Cheese Sliders

I adapted the Ham & Cheese Sliders from The Recipe Club. What a tasty sandwich to serve during today's football games! I also plan to serve these sandwiches sometime with my Cheese Potato Soup. The beauty of this recipe is that the sandwiches can be assembled a day ahead and kept in the fridge until ready to bake.


24 Hawaiian Bread Rolls (or good white rolls)
24 pieces of good honey ham
24 small slices Swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup Miracle Whip

Poppy Seed Sauce Ingredients:

3/4 tablespoon or 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 stick melted butter
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon worceshire sauce


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and Miracle Whip. Spread onto both sides of the center of each roll.
3. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll.
4. Close rolls and place them close together into a baking dish or cookie sheet.
5. Whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients in a bowl.
6. Pour evenly over all sandwiches.
7. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly.
8. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
9. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes.
10. Serve warm.

Mama Sherri's Jalapeno Poppers

Talk about easy...I made this recipe easy because I wanted to quickly put together some appetizers for today's football game. These poppers have just the right kick to them too. Yummy! Here it goes...


1 can crescent rolls
small amount of cream cheese (about 3 oz.)
sliced jalapeno peppers in a jar
bacon pieces (not "bits") in a bag


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Separate the crescent rolls into four rectangles.
3. Use pizza cutter to cut each rectangle from corner to corner. This will give you four triangles from each small rectangle (a total of 16 triangles).
4. Flatten out each triangle. (I do this on a styrofoam plate because the dough flattens out nicely and peels off easily.)
5. Put the following on each triangle: a dollop of cream cheese, 2-3 slices of jalapeno pepper, some bacon pieces.
6. Bring dough together to form a "ball". Be sure dough completely seals the cream cheese, jalapeno pepper and bacon pieces inside.
7. Bake on 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until browned.