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Friday, December 30, 2011

Daily Recipe Challenge

I have challenged myself to try to make a new recipe every day. This morning, I looked through some old recipes and came up with a cookbook from the Groesbeck Study Club, probably published around 1990, that I got from a good friend, Kay Driscoll. I found a recipe for a quiche, but wanted to add a few things. It turned out pretty good, and I will note what I added at the end of the recipe.


1/2 cup flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 eggs, well beaten
3 cups grated Monterey Jack Cheese
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
2 4-oz cans chopped chiles, drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add eggs and mix well.
Fold in cheeses and chiles.
Turn into a greased 9x13 dish.
Bake 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and let stand 10 mins.
Cut into small squares and serve hot.

Looks good, doesn't it? But NO, I had to have MORE. I added about 1/2 cup of sauted onion and 5 slices of cooked bacon, 2 of them crumbled into the recipe, and 3 cut into pieces and laid on top, after it was in the pan.
(If there's ever a time to add bacon to a recipe, my dogs suggest that I do it. They got the two leftover pieces today.)

Tomorrow: Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies! My niece, Reeci, has spoken!

My Favorite Breakfast Daddy Makes

As I've said before, my mom and dad ran a B&B for several years here in Wharton, Texas. The breakfasts they created were varied, and each more wonderful than the last. In fact, if you stayed at the B&B for a full 7-day week, you'd never have the same breakfast twice; even the biscuits were different from one day to the next! And the biscuits weren't canned by that fat doughboy on TV. They were homemade from scratch every morning! Those biscuit recipes may still be closely guarded secrets--I'll look into that one day.

My favorite breakfast is what I'm posting here:

(from my dad, Royce)

6 eggs, beaten
2 Tbs butter, melted
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk
8 oz cottage cheese, small curd is best
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 4.5-oz can chopped green chiles, drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-inch deep dish pie plate generously.
Combine eggs and butter in medium bowl.
In small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and milk until there are no lumps.
Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
Add all the other ingredients and stir.
Pour into the pie plate and sprinkle with paprika.
Cook 10 mins at 400 degrees. (Dad says he usually leaves it in a little longer.)
Reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook 20-30 mins more, until the eggs are set. (I start watching it at 20 mins, and it's usually done in about 24 mins.)
Cut into wedges and serve with picante sauce.

Christmas Treasures

The Jacks came to my house to spend 3 days at Christmas. That's my sister Diana's family. What a blessing! One of the best parts of their visit was that I learned about their family traditions during the holiday. One of the BEST is the Christmas morning breakfast!

The night before Christmas, while no-one-is-stirring-not-even-a-mouse, Diana is, with Dennis at her side! They're putting together the cinnamon buns the family will enjoy after opening stockings on Christmas morning.

(shared by Diana Jack, who got it from, Leanne Ely, CNC)

20 unbaked frozen dinner rolls (Bridgeport or something similar)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

Lightly grease a 10-inch bundt cake pan. Place frozen rolls in the pan and sprinkle with brown sugar, the pudding mix, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over the top. If you don't have a bundt pan, you can use a muffin tin, but they turn out better in a bundt pan.

Cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight at room temperature to rise.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 25 mins, until golden brown. Turn rolls out onto a serving plate and dig in!

(note from Deb: I heated the leftovers in foil 2 days later, and they were still awesome!)

An Old Favorite

This is my standby, stand-alone, stand-and-salute Taco Soup recipe. I've used it for years, and it's so easy! I don't know who to credit with this recipe; it's just always been there....


2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, diced & sauteed
2 cans Rotel, mild or hot
1 28-oz can tomato sauce
2 14.5-oz cans white or yellow corn
2 14.5-oz cans beans (ranch, black, chili--any you like)
2 pkgs taco seasoning
2 pkgs Ranch dressing mix

Brown and drain ground beef.
Add all veggies, with liquids.
Boil, then add seasoning packages and let simmer.
Garnish with cheese and sour cream.
Add tortilla chips, if you like a crunch in your soup.

Chicken Enchiladas!!

I found the end-all, be-all chicken enchilada recipe. I got it from Pinterest, which was pinned from the "Joyful Momma's Kitchen" blog, which was first pinned by Kathy Sellers (thanks, Kathy!). This is the recipe, Karon Woolet, that tastes like Tamale Inn's (in between Groesbeck and Mexia, Texas!)!


10 soft corn taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 4-oz can diced green chiles
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13 pan.
Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Put some of this mixture into each tortilla, roll up, and place in pan. (I had to use toothpicks to keep them rolled until I added the sauce, then removed the toothpicks.)
In sauce pan, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth, then whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
Stir in sour cream and chiles. DO NOT BOIL (it will curdle the sour cream).
Pour over the enchiladas (remove toothpicks, if necessary!), and top with remaining cheese.
Bake 22 minutes and then under high broil for 3 mins to brown the cheese.

Pie, Pie, Me oh My!

I love the song that Andie McDowell sings in the movie "Michael," called "Pie:"
Me oh my
Nothing tastes sweet, wet, salty, and dry..."

I've made several pies lately, the most recent being just yesterday, my mom's birthday. We ended up having this pie as her birthday "cake" because of a cake mix-up in the Johansen House kitchen. This Blackberry Cream Pie recipe was in an old cookbook that my dad had, and it was meant to be made with dewberries. Well, I didn't have dewberries! I changed berries and kept the recipe the same:


Blackberries or Dewberries, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 unbaked pie shell
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sour cream
pinch of salt
8 Tbs flour
8 Tbs sugar
4 Tbs butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Fill unbaked pie shell with berries.
Mix next 5 ingredients and pour over berries.
Mix last 3 ingredients with a fork until butter is pea-sized. Sprinkle over pie and bake at 325 for 30 mins, then at 350 degrees for 15 mins.

I made two chess pies at Thanksgiving and they came out perfectly; used this same recipe a couple of weeks later, and had to throw out the pie! I will try again some day, because when it's right, it's very, very good!


1 Tbs cornmeal
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 Tbs flour
3 eggs
1 stick butter
1 Tbs vanilla
1 Tbs vinegar
1 unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in microwave.
Mix cornmeal, sugar, and flour.
Add eggs and butter. Cream thoroughly.
Mix in vanilla and vinegar.
Pour into pie shell and bake for 45 minutes.

A Thanksgiving A"side"

I moved into my new (1960's) home in October. I've never been the cook in the family: I have 3 sisters who cook, and my mom and dad are gourmet cooks! I entered this game late and lately, and I'm using this blog to chronicle the things I've cooked in this enlarged (for me!) kitchen, as well as to record family recipes.

I invited the whole family to Thanksgiving this year! It was a combined effort: we can't live without Mom's chicken and dressing, Dad's pound cake, or my sister Ricki's "green salad" (not lettuce!) and sweet potatoes. I've rarely contributed since I have always come in from out of town, but this year, I'm local! I've always made the mashed potatoes, but I needed a signature side dish. I think I found it in this Corn Casserole recipe, below. We had it for Thanksgiving at my home, plus I made it for my sister Becca's celebration the next day. It was a favorite for several, so I'll keep it in my repertoire in the years to come! I even shared the recipe earlier that week with the phone service representative as I waited on hold!

(found online, and it looked good!)

1 can cream corn, undrained
1 can corn, drained
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix (see ** below if you can't find Jiffy)
2 large eggs
1 stick butter, melted
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all but half of the cheese in a bowl.
Pour into a large, greased 9x13 baking dish.
Bake at 350 until center is set and casserol is slightly golden, 35-40 mins.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake 5-10 more mins.
(You could also sprinkle with paprika for color.)

**If you can't find a box of Jiffy cornbread mix, use
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs baking powder
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup cornmeal

Noshing Notes

When guests want a little something to nosh on, I find that there are lots of fun snacks out there! When I serve something like these spicy pecans, I make sure to put a spoon in the bowl so that no one puts hands into the food--yuck!

These are easy to make and a real crowd-pleaser. They were a hit at Thanksgiving this year.
(Am unsure where I got this recipe, and they're named for some other Debbie, not me! I sure like them, though!)

4 cups pecan halves (I bought mine in Wharton, Texas, at Southern Select Nut Company. Yum!)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp Tobasco sauce
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs garlic salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix all ingredients and spread on a cookie sheet.
Bake 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Drain on a brown paper bag. (I put three layers of paper towels in the bottom of my sink and let them cool there.)

The SPICY SALTINES that I posted earlier today (at the end of the "Friends for Lunch" post) are really good for noshing as well!

Cake for Friends

I mentioned in the last post that I had made a soup lunch for five of my friends. My dad provided the dessert! My parents had a B&B for several years, and Dad was the main cook. (Mom was head bottle washer and hostess with the mostest!) Here's the family recipe he gave me:

This is a wonderfully moist--almost gooey--chocolate cake!
(a recipe handed down from my mom's mom, Velma Wiley, and my dad's mom, Maggie Johansen)

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup water
1 cup oil
4 Tbs cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix sugar and flour together.
Bring butter, water, oil, and cocoa to a boil.
Add sugar and flour to the liquid mixture. Mix well.
Add beaten eggs, buttermilk, soda, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Mix batter well and pour into a greased and floured 9x13 pan.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Frost as soon as it is taken from the oven, using this recipe:

1 16-oz box powdered sugar
4 Tbs cocoa
6-8 Tbs milk
1 stick butter, melted
1 Tbs vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients except pecans. Add pecans before spreading on the hot cake.

Friends for Lunch

I had a group of friends, all teachers, come to my house when school was out for the Christmas break (yes, it's called Christmas). I invited them for lunch, and decided to have choices for them. I made 3 different soups (recipes below) and my sister contributed Corn Chowder. The lunch was a great success!

This was the biggest hit:
(found on the blog "Rita's Recipes")

2 chicken breasts, still frozen
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can corn, do not drain
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 package Ranch dressing mix
1 Tbs cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese

Put chicken in the slow cooker. Top with Rotel, corn, beans, Ranch mix, and spices. Stir to combine, then top with the cream cheese.
Cook on low 6-8 hours, stirring once or twice to blend in the cheese. Shred the chicken and serve over rice.

Another choice of soups was a copycat recipe of
(found on

2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 28-oz cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 16-oz can red kidney beans, drained
1 16-oz can white kidney beans, drained
3 10-oz cans beef stock
3 tsp oregano
2 tsp black pepper
5 tsp parsley
1 tsp Tabasco sauce (optional, but I used it)
1 20-oz jar spaghetti sauce (I used Hunt's)
8 oz pasta (I used elbow macaroni, like Olive Garden uses)

Brown beef in a skillet.
Drain fat from the beef and add to slow cooker with everything except pasta.
Cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 4-5 hrs.
During last 30 mins on high or 1 hr on low, add pasta.

This is a large amount of soup! It serves 12-14.

This one was a favorite of my friend, Ann's, who told me she would add some worcestershire to hers when she made it. I thought that was a nice addition!
(on, but misspelled: Decandent)

2 8-oz cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 6-oz can evaporated milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 cups water
4 Tbs flour
1/3 cup rich, mild hard cheese (optional. I put parmesan on the table for individual tastes)

Melt butter in heavy skillet.
Add chopped onions and saute.
Add the flour and poultry seasoning to the onions and cook until brown and tender.

In a heavy pot, combine water, milk, tomatoes with juice, bouillon cube, (and maybe some worcestershire?) and bring to a low boil.
Reduce heat and add flour and onion mixture to the liquid.

For a really rich soup, grate and drop in the cheese.

Simmer for 20 mins.

Everyone enjoyed this type of dining. I served three types of crackers, including some spicy ones. Here's that recipe:

(I am unsure where I found this recipe, but I know they taste like the ones served at my favorite tea room, The Texas Tearoom, in Friendswood, Texas!)

Box of Saltines
1 1/2 cup of oil
Ranch dressing packet
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp crushed red pepper

Mix last 4 ingredients, then pour over the saltines in a container. Mix carefully, coating each cracker with some of the mixture. Serve after 48 hours of coating.

(I put 2 sleeves of crackers and poured half of the mixture, then added the other 2 sleeves and the rest of the mixture.)

New House, New Kitchen!

I moved to a new house in October, and with it was a most awesome kitchen! I've lived in apartments almost my entire adult life, and to have a large kitchen with lots of storage was a dream! On this blog, I plan to post recipes I've made for my family and friends.
All of these recipes came from somewhere else: either a family member, a friend, or from somewhere online. I will give credit where credit is due, when I can!