Thursday, December 30, 2010

0 Happy Birthday Jesus and Billie's Italian Cream Cake

Due to the circumstances on Christmas Eve, I didn't have time to make Jesus his birthday cake! So I made it a couple days late! ;-) 
Nate's favorite cake is Italian Cream Cake (with Red Velvet Cake being a close second!) He loves Italian Cream Cake so much that instead of having a traditional chocolate groom's cake. . .Nate's groom's cake was white because . . . yes, you guessed it. . . it was Italian Cream Cake! 
(cake by Marleen Romero who was a DELIGHT to work with and picture by Michael Carr, also FABULOUS. . . have I mentioned how much we LOVED our vendors?) 
I normally buy my Italian Cream Cakes from Moeller's Bakery (which is the best bakery in all of Houston) but this year I wanted to make one! :-) So I consulted the always reliable Pioneer Woman and of course, she did not disappoint!    

1 stick Butter
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
5 whole Eggs (separated)
3 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup Coconut 
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup Buttermilk 
2 packages (8 Oz) Cream Cheese
1 stick Butter
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 package 2 Lb Powdered Sugar
1 cup Chopped Walnuts
1 cup Sweetened, Flaked Coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla, and coconut.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
Alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, then fold in egg whites.
Pour evenly into the three prepared pans, then sprinkle the top of each pan with 1 (at least) tablespoon sugar.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in chopped walnuts and sugared coconut. Spread between layers and serve.
Note: cream cheese frosting will soften at room temperature, so refrigerate if you won’t use it right away.
Pioneer Woman 
 This is how most desserts leave my house! :-)

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0 Baylor's Bowl Game!

Nate and I "waded through the torrential rainfall" to go to the Baylor Bowl game last night and had SO much fun seeing so many old friends! Cute Nate wore his green and gold, (but he didn't participate in the "sic 'em bears!") Even though the Baylor didn't win, it was great to catch up with amazing friends!
 My beautiful friends!
Clark got us some awesome tickets! Thanks, brother! 
Wishing you a VERY safe and wonderful New Years Eve! :-)
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

5 King Ranch Casserole

I thought I would give you a nice unhealthy (but, oh so good) recipe before the start of the New Year and all of the New Year's resolutions! (I have LOVED hearing all of your resolutions and am having a much easier time coming up with mine. . . since I am copying so many of YOURS!) I  was looking at my post about the Fresh Apple Cake, (another sinfully amazing item to partake in before the New Year . . . but it has apples in it, so it must be kind of healthy. . . right?) since I made it for my dad's office party, and realized I never posted this great King Ranch Casserole recipe! :-) Nate is a "King Ranch Casserole" snob and he put his stamp of approval on it! :-) 
Don't forget about the great CSN giveaway ending on New Year's Eve! :-)
How are you spending your day? I am putting away Christmas and getting ready for the Texas Bowl! Sic 'Em! 
Total: 4 hours, 10 minutes
Yield: Makes 6 servings
  • 4  cups  chopped cooked chicken
  • 1  large onion, chopped
  • 1  large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1  (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1  (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1  (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 12  (6-inch) fajita-size corn tortillas
  • 2  cups  (8 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1. Stir together first 8 ingredients. Tear tortillas into 1-inch pieces; layer one-third of tortilla pieces in a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker. Top with one-third of chicken mixture and 2/3 cup cheese. Repeat layers twice.
2. Cover and cook on LOW 3 1/2 hours or until bubbly and edges are golden brown. Uncover and cook on LOW 30 minutes.
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5 My Christmas Eve. . .

On Sunday, I ran into Buc-ees to take a "pit stop" while on the road to San Antonio and Nate waited for me in the car. And today, I went to lunch with some friend's and got my nails done. Why do I remember each one of these events so vividly? One reason is because every time I leave the car I tell myself, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Tim1:7) Another reason is that these are the only times Nate hasn't been by my side since Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve, I needed one more cake pan, a pie shell and wanted to pick up a Christmas card for Nate. . . so that morning, around 10:30ish, I ran to Randall's. I rushed into the store, headed for the baking aisle, grabbed a cake pan, raced to get a pie shell and then quickly picked out a card for Nate . . . this all literally took 2 minutes max. . . I rounded the corner of the aisle on a mission to go check out QUICKLY and heard some shouting. . . I paused, thinking there was something unusual going on. . . then I saw a guy drop to the ground and motion me to run. . . I turned on my heels and ran to the back of the store, telling the people I passed that there was someone harmful at the front of the store and that we needed to get back . . . I was in the back corner of the store with about 15 other people when I heard a rifle shot. . . My mind was racing thinking either that someone wanted to rob everyone or my other thought was that there was a mental person wanting to die on Christmas Eve and take others out with him. . . I turned to an employee and asked where could we hide. . . no response. . . everyone around me was in shock. Since we were "sitting ducks" at the back of the store, I knew that there was some place that Randall's stocked the milk behind the aisle we were on . . . so I followed the aisle in front of the milk until I got to the swinging doors that led to the "warehouse" part of the store. . . people started following me and we ended up at the back of the store where the trucks unload. . . we were all about to run out the back door when an employee said she just saw two men jump over the fence right in front of the door we were about to escape from. . . so, we stayed in the store. . .I didn't know if those were the gunmen or if those were just people trying to escape from the gunmen. My mind was racing and I had multiple plans. I kept thinking the gunman was going to come through those swinging doors and either rob us or shoot us all . . . I was going to either run out the back door, hide in the service elevator, hide behind the flats of grocery items, or last case scenario hide in the basement . . . but in the back of my mind, I was thinking there might be a hostage situation if the gunmen were caught in the store and the police were surrounding them and I didn't want to be "trapped" in the basement if it got to that point . . . so, I really wanted to just run out the back door and hope they didn't shoot me in the back.. . . there were about a dozen people hiding in the back with me including one dad with a girl probably in third grade, and one mom with a little boy who was around three. . . almost all the women were crying and the little girl was terrified. . .I was trying to keep my wits about me and I didn't have time to think about crying with all of the different thoughts that were going through my head. I would say a minute after we got into the "warehouse" we heard police helicopters . . . and about 10 minutes later,  6 police cars came racing to the back of the store, guns drawn, to look at a car we hadn't even noticed and to look over the fence the guys had jumped over. . . needless to say, the event was over. . . . . .
I went home and told Nate what happened  . . . Saying he was mad is an understatement . . . Luckily, no one was hurt. . . luckily, the men just robbed the bank at the front of the store, took the money and left. . . but, what if. . .the most terrifying part about the whole situation was hiding from someone willing to shoot a rifle in a crowded grocery store on Christmas Eve and not know where they were, what they wanted, and thinking they were going to come through the doors any minute  . . .

But, God is good and he is merciful! His angels were protecting all the people in the store. . .and Nate and I were especially thankful to spend Christmas together this year! :-)
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I am so excited to be given the opportunity to host another giveaway from CSN! CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from corner tv stands to fantastic fitness equipment to cookware! If Santa left something off your list.. . here is the perfect place to find it! :-) I especially love all the cooking tools, recipe books, pots, pans, and the list goes on! 
Here is how you enter the giveaway!
1. You must be an Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box follower to be eligible. So, if you haven't yet, just click on that Follow button! (either leave your email address or make sure I can see your blogger profile)
2. Leave a comment below telling me one of your New Year's resolutions!
3. The giveaway closes on December 31 at midnight!!!
I'll post the winner of the $35 gift certificate on January 1st!
Good luck and thanks to CSN for the giveaway!  

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Monday, December 27, 2010

0 Oven Baked Chicken

Here is a great quick dinner as we are cleaning up from Christmas and gearing up for New Years!
 picture and recipe from Back of the Box
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
2/3 cup Original Bisquick
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons salt (we thought this was WAY too much. . . I wouldn't even add salt and just salt as needed once served)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 to 3 1/2-pound cut-up broiler-fryer chicken (we just used two chicken breasts)
Heat oven to 425 F. Melt margarine in rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches, in oven.
Stir together Bisquick, paprika, salt and pepper; coat chicken. Place skin sides down in dish (dish and margarine should be hot).
Bake 35 minutes; turn chicken. Bake about 15 minutes longer or until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.
Makes 5 servings
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

0 Pumpkin Pie

 There is so much to share about this year's Christmas. . . but our holiday has not slowed down yet. . . so enjoy this pumpkin pie recipe (I know we did) and be on the lookout for another giveaway coming this week!

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
1 piece pre-made pie dough
Whipped cream, for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.
Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.
Paula Deen 
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

0 He is HERE!

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0 And the winner is. . . .

2. Melissa Jones!!!!!!!!!!

I loved hearing all of the delicious items that y'all are cooking today! 

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

0 Merry Christmas

 'Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14
So thankful for each of you!
Merry Christmas!

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2 Caramelized Nuts

The goat cheese medallion not enough "show-off" for your simple spinach salad??  Well, how about adding a couple caramelized pecans? The spinach salad that I threw together last week included spinach, thinly sliced purple onions, dried cranberries, goat cheese medallions, and these caramelized pecans topped with balsamic vinaigrette! It was amazing and even though the hubby isn't a fan of goat cheese, he sure does like sugary pecans! 
The perfect addition to a Christmas Day salad or just set them out for a lovely appetizer!

Only 2 more days before the GIVEAWAY end! :-) 

Picture and recipe by Our Best Bites

2 T brown sugar
1/2 T light corn syrup
1/2 T butter
1/2  C nuts
Optional: 1/8 tsp cinnamon (SO good)
Place brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter (and cinnamon if you're using) in a non-stick skillet on the stove top. Set heat to medium or medium-high. Stir the mixture as it comes together until it bubbles! Add nuts and stir to coat! Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly until nuts turn golden brown in color and smell toasted.
OR, after nuts are coated in sugar mixture, transfer from skillet to a parchment lined baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven. Stir occasionally (every 1-2 minutes) until golden brown and toasted.  It happens quick, so keep an eye on them! 
Transfer to foil, waxed paper, or parchment and cool completely.
Break them apart with your fingers and enjoy!
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

1 Baked Brie with Candied Pecans

My friend Christi, from P is for Party, introduced me to this lovely blog, Party Box Design! Party Box Design features all things "party" and has wonderful ideas for decorations, food to serve at a party, and specializes in invitations and thank you notes! Today I am honored to be a guest blogger on Party Box Design in which I am sharing one of my favorite desserts, Cherry Delight!

One of the main reasons I love Party Box Design is because Jessica shared a delightful brie recipe on the blog and I served it for Thanksgiving! I can't even describe how amazing this recipe is. . . cheese, fruit, brown sugar and nuts. . . how can you not love it? Believe me, the brie was gone before everyone sat down for Thanksgiving dinner!

(Don't forget the DBA Cookbook Giveaway closes Christmas Eve!)

Picture by Martha Stewart and Recipe from Party Box Design

Baked Brie with Candied Pecans
1 Round Brie
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup of chopped pecans (I like halved pecans)
1 box of fresh raspberries
2 tart apples(Granny Smith)
1 box of assorted crackers
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the thin white film off the top of the brie with a knife and place brie in a pretty baking dish(no need to transfer once heated as who needs more dirty dishes to clean). Spread the brown sugar and pecans over the top of the brie- then softly place fresh raspberries on as well. Bake approx 30 minutes, or until center is a gooey yummy mess.
While the brie is baking, cut the apples into thin slices(but not too soon, as the apples will turn brown, so shortly before its ready).
When the brie is done, remove and surround with apples and crackers!
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Monday, December 20, 2010

1 Goat Cheese Medallions

Isn't God good? I feel like HE has put such special people in my life in his perfect timing! This whole month of December has been so "relationally" driven. . .one of my most favorite things to do is have coffee with a good friend and I have been blessed with lots of "catch up coffees" this past week and look forward to many next week! Thank you Jesus for such amazing and incredible friends!
A couple weeks ago, I went to a bible study/cooking class and I was OBSESSED. . . Two incredibly godly women imparted such wisdom as they taught us how to navigate the kitchen as well as life! :-) One recipe we walked away with was this delicious Goat Cheese Medallion. I topped my spinach salad this week with the "show-off-y" medallions and it made the salad go from a boring salad to one worth eating on china!

Don't forget about the DBA Cookbook giveaway!
1 egg
1 tsp water
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
pinch of cayenne
2 tsp. butter, melted
10 oz. fresh goat cheese, cut into 10 small rounds
Place cheese rounds on wax paper and refrigerate at least 30 minutes Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together egg and water in shallow dish. Add pinch of cayenne to chopped pecans. Dip each piece of goat cheese in egg wash, then into seasoned chopped pecans. When both sides of cheese rounds are covered in pecans, place on a foil-lined baking sheet, drizzle with melted butter and bake for 3-5 minutes each side, or until pecans are lightly toasted. Place atop salad or entree of your choice.
Libba Madry and Ann Thompson
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

1 Simple Smores Bars

I love Saturday mornings, don't you? It was so cold this morning and we slept in and cuddled with the puppies!!! Gus some how always ends up sprawled out on half of the bed, while everyone else is squished. . . what a stinker! :-) Nate ran the "children" over to a play date at Granny and Grandpa's and picked up some Starbucks. . . so, I am wrapped up in a throw, Starbucks in hand, and am ready to bake the day away (with a coffee break this afternoon with a sweet friend)! I have lots of baskets to work on today and am so excited about the finished products!
 (this morning was the perfect time to wear the slippers Emily gave me! Thanks, sister! i love them!)

(don't forget about the DBA Cookbook giveaway! Only 7 more days!)

I went to a lovely recipe exchange on Thursday night and I was so caught up in talking to a new friend (for 2 1/2 hours) I forgot to take ANY pictures. . .but imagine, silver platters galore, a gorgeous home decorated exquisitely for Christmas, amazing appetizers, wassail, and wonderful friends! It was a great party and I SO look forward to next years!

I brought fudge and Simple Smores Bars! I had such good intentions to make the recipe in a mason jar and give it to Erin and Abbi when they came over on Wednesday and then to Heidi for hosting us on Thursday BUT you have to have quart sized mason jars and i just had pint sized ones and smaller. . . so, I'll have to do this another time!
Picture and recipe by Paula Deen

The first time I made this I went in the order of the ingredients listed on the recipe(not as if I was pouring the ingredients from the mason jar) and ended up with a gooey mess. So, I took it to school and decided I would just make something else for the recipe exchange. . . but after multiple friends raved about it. . . I decided to try again. THIS time I made it in the "direction" as if I were pouring it from a mason jar and it turned out beautiful! :-) 
(if putting in a mason jar go in this order. . . but if making from scratch, layer from the bottom up, butter, sugar, chocolate, marshmallows, teddy grahams.)
1 ½ cups teddy bear shaped graham cracker cookies
1 ½ cups miniature marshmallows
1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips
½ cup brown sugar
1 (quart) mason jar
Layer all ingredients in the mason jar and attach an instruction label that reads: “Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Prepare a 9” square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour contents of the jar along with ½ cup melted butter into the prepared baking dish and press firmly. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cut into bars.”
Paula Deen
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Friday, December 17, 2010

2 Caribbean Shrimp with Rice

 Every year my college roommates and I have a Christmas dinner! Normally it is just the girls and we stay up later than normal catching up, eating amazing food, and just loving the time we get to spend together! This year, the boys and "baby" were invited . . . and instead missing the quiet girl time we used to have, I was encouraged by the way the Lord has moved in each of our lives this past year. This has truly been an amazing year for all of us. . . from raising a child to starting a new career, God has been so faithful. As I was rinsing the china after everyone had left, I was overcome with gratefulness for such incredible people in my life. 

 I'll share the salad and goat cheese medallion "recipe" tomorrow but it was wonderful!
 What do you do with a one year old when the adults are having a nice dinner on fine china??? 
Wrigley babysits! 
We always exchange little gifts and this year Abbi got the most PERFECT gift for me. . . are these not the CUTEST measuring cups! I am obsessed and have already used them! :-)
Picture by Pier One

I made Caribbean Shrimp with Rice and everyone liked it! (everyone enjoying the main course was kind of a big deal because one person in the group doesn't eat red meat, one don't really like seafood, and one person is so finicky he doesn't like RANCH DRESSING! :-) So, calling all mom's of picky eaters. . . here is a good meal for you! :-)

Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY that ends Christmas Eve! Hope you are enjoying your Friday as much as I am!!!!!!

1 package (12 ounces) frozen shrimp, thawed
1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked long-grain white rice
1. combine shrimp, broth, garlic, chili powder, salt and oregano in Crock-Pot slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 2 hours.
2. add peas and tomatoes. Cover; cook on LOW 5 minutes. Stir in rice. Cover; cook on LOW 5 minutes longer, or until rice is heated through.
Makes 4 servings.
Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Bible
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

9 DBA Cookbook GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!

I am so excited about the DBA cookbooks. . .  

For those of y'all who are new readers: My friend, Lindsay and her husband, James, have a CUTE little boy named James Thomas! James Thomas has a very rare blood disease called Diamond Blackfin Anemia. A friend of Lindsay's has compiled a cookbook to raise money for research and for a week long camp for parents and their kiddos who have DBA! This camp is so important to Lindsay and has provided her with such a support system of parents. There are over 200 recipes in the cookbook (including Granny Grace's Pot Roast ) !!!!!! 
I bought one for myself, a couple more for Christmas presents. . . and then I decided to buy one for YOU. . . 
The giveaway will close Christmas Eve at midnight and Christmas morning, I'll announce the winner!
To enter, you need to be a follower of Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box and leave a comment telling me your favorite item to make for Christmas dinner! (Growing up I always had to make the Waldorf Salad = BORING, which I think is why I grew to "dislike immensely" chopping apples! :-) Now I love making desserts for Christmas dinner! I am so excited about one special dessert this year! No one makes mincemeat pie anymore and that is Gigi's favorite pie! SO I'm making her one! (shhhh, don't tell. . . it is a surprise!)

Enter below, I can't wait to hear all the fun things that y'all like to make for Christmas and MAKE SURE THAT I CAN ACCESS YOUR BLOGGER PROFILE OR LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!!! 
Merry Christmas! :-)
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

7 To Make. . .

I have a HUGE binder of recipes i have torn out or saved that I want to make . . . when I have cooked something that we like, I print it neatly on a recipe card and file it away (in alphabetical order, of course) in my recipe box! This process has served me well for the past couple of years. Even if I saw something (ever so often) on the Internet, I would just print out the recipe and into the binder it would go!
Now I follow so many amazing blogs and see different recipes I want to make DAILY! I have just been making mental note of really cute or delicious recipes BUT there are too many. . . which has led me to. . .start a list of "blog" recipes that I want to make on a word document. . . when I'm going through my daily list of blog posts, I just add any new recipes to my "to make" document! 
How do you organize the recipes you want "to make?" 

Here are some that are on my "oh my gosh, I cannot wait to make this. . . " list! 

I seriously could go on and on. . . but I'll stop there! Can't wait to hear how YOU organize your recipes!!!!
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2 Carnation Famous Fudge

Poor Nate hates to go to the store. . . like despises it. . . since we got married, he has gone to the store twice. . . This week has been crazy and I am inundated with a million different things. . . so, Nate offered to run to the store for me tonight . . . . sweet man. . .well, I asked him to pick up some goat cheese for me. . . and since it "hid" from him for thirty minutes, that will probably be last time he goes to the store for me! :-) 
Is your life as crazy as mine? If you need a quick dessert or easy co-worker gift. . . here is the perfect recipe for you! 
Carnation Famous Fudge 
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) Evaporated milk 
2 tablespoons butter or margarine 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
2 cups miniature marshmallows 
1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) Semi Sweet Chocolate Morsels 
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional) 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract  
LINE 8-inch-square baking pan with foil.
COMBINE sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
STIR in marshmallows, morsels, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into pieces.

recipe from
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Monday, December 13, 2010

2 Tex-Mex Beef Wraps

Do you feel like there aren't enough hours in the day?? I know I do! It is "final" crunch time at school, parties, gift baskets, Christmas cards, baking, baking, baking, and the list goes on! Days like today are perfect for a quick and easy slow cooker meal! I threw the pot roast in the slow cooker this morning as I was running out the door and it was ready when I got home tonight! Nate's first comment was "Buffy, this rub is really good!" (for those of y'all who don't speak Texan . . . he was talking about the spices on the meat! :-) And yes, the spices were amazing!
We are rushing to grab a quick date at Starbucks, pick up Gus Gus from Grandparent Day Care, and get more stamps for our Christmas cards!
So from my busy kitchen to yours, enjoy!
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 boneless beef chuck pot roast (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), cut into 4 pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup salsa, divided
12 (6 to 7 inch) flour or corn tortillas, warmed
1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 ripe avocado, diced
1. Blend chili powder, cumin, salt and red pepper. Rub meat all over with spice mixture. Place onion and garlic in bottom of slow cooker; top with meat. Spoon 1/2 cup salsa over meat. Cover and cook on LOW 8-9 hours, or on HIGH 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.
2. Remove meat from slow cooker; place on plate and use 2 forks to shred meat. Skim off and discard fat from cooking liquid; return meat to juices and mix well. Adjust seasonings. Place meat on warm tortillas; top with cheese, tomato, cilantro and avocado. Roll up to enclose filling. Serve with remaining salsa.
Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Bible
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

1 Pecan Nougat Cookies (Shortbread Snowballs)

This has been a wonderful weekend! Friday night, we went to my faculty Christmas party! As I have stated before, I am so thankful for the amazing friends I teach with and my incredible school! Every year at Thanksgiving/Christmas, I am even more appreciative of being blessed with such a great job! This year, I brought Texas Trash and Pecan Nougat Cookies to the party! 
Nate has loved eating these cookies for breakfast with his coffee (and they didn't last very long)!! :-)

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely ground nuts of your choice (I’m using pecans)
Confectioner’s sugar
Cream butter, sugar, and salt until fluffy. Add flour and vanilla, mix well, scraping down sides as needed. Add nuts and mix until well incorporated. Shape into one inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 325 for twenty minutes, but don’t let them brown.Cool cookies. When cooled, roll in confectioner’s sugar.
Recipe from Southern Plate
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    Friday, December 10, 2010

    2 Mexican Black Bean Bowl

    As you can tell from my meal choices, we love Mexican food! This is a wonderful, hearty, warm-you-up-on-a-cold-winter-night kind of soup! AND if you don't add the toppings, it is just chicken and vegetables!  Pretty healthy! :-)
    4 Bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
    1 cup finely chopped onion
    1 can (14 oz) fat-free chicken both
    1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with Mexican seasoning or diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
    1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 cup frozen corn
    1 can (4 oz) chopped mild green chilies
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    Optional toppings: sour cream, sliced avocado, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, fried tortilla strips
    1. Coat Crock-Pot slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add all ingredients, except toppings. Cover; cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours or until chicken is done.
    2. Remove chicken with slotted spoon. De-bone and chop chicken. Return to Crock-Pot slow cooker and stir well. Serve in bowls. Top as desired.
    Note: To skin chicken easily, grasp skin with paper towel and pull away. Repeat with fresh paper towel for each piece of chicken, discarding skins and towels.
    Rival Crock Pot Incredibly Easy Recipes
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    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    0 Fried Apples

    I have a confession. . . . (I hate peeling and slicing apples into tiny, thin, perfect slices for an Apple Brown Betty, Fresh Apple Cake, or an Apple Pie!) But to even complicate my dilemma MORE, I LOVE apples in desserts! Christy Jordan from Southern Plate has helped solve my problem! In this wonderful recipe, you can just use an Oxo Good Grips Apple Corer and Divider and throw them in the recipe! No peeling or slicing needed! Problem solved!
    I served these as a side at our Thanksgiving dinner and everyone loved them!
    Recipe and Picture from

    2 1/2 cups apple juice
    4 large golden delicious apples, unpeeled and cut into wedges
    3 tablespoons cornstarch
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 tsp allspice
    4 tablespoons sugar
    In a large skillet, combine the apple juice and sliced apples. Heat on medium until apples are fork tender, turning often to enable even cooking. Be careful not to overcook apples. Remove apples from juice with slotted spoon and place in large bowl. In another bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir with wire whisk until well blended. Pour hot apple juice into dry mixture. Whisk vigorously until lumps are gone. Pour this mixture back into the skillet and heat on medium heat, whisking constantly, until bubbly and thick. Remove from heat and pour over apples in bowl. Stir until apples are evenly coated.
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    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    0 Texas Trash

    This is spicy and bold snack mix that is great to have around the house for when guest stop by! It is simple to store and freezes well. . . so make plenty then just keep it tightly stored until friends and family come over for the holidays!!! Texas Trash is also a perfect gift for teachers or co-workers! Put it in a cellophane bag with a big red bow and you will be a favorite at the office! Watch out. . . it disappears quickly! :-)
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1/4 teaspoon celery salt
    1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
    1 1/4 teaspoons seasoning salt
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
    1 cup Cheerios toasted oat cereal
    2 cups Wheat Chex
    2 cups Rice Chex
    2 cups Corn Chex
    1 cup pretzel
    1 cup nuts
    1. Preheat oven to 250.
    2. Mix the first 7 ingredients in a cup with a spout.
    3. Mix all dry ingredients in a baking pan.
    4. Pour the butter and seasonings over the dry mix, stirring until each piece is coated.
    5. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
    6. Cool.
    7. Stir in an air tight container.
    8. Freezes well. 
    Recipe from

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      Tuesday, December 7, 2010

      0 Beautiful Boxes of Christmas Goodies

      Here is another beautiful option for a Christmas gift. . . 
      For more information visit the SHOP section of Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box!
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      1 Shortcut Cranberry Pecan Stuffing

      When deciding what to make for Thanksgiving, I knew that time would be a huge issue! I found this wonderful short cut at Good Housekeeping! My family's cornbread dressing is a huge undertaking so when I need a quick recipe, I use this amazing Cranberry Pecan Stuffing!  
      1 package(s) (14 to 16 ounces) seasoned corn-bread stuffing mix
      1 1/2 cup(s) (6 ounces) chopped pecans
      4 1/2 cups chicken broth
      1 package(s) (6 ounces) dried cranberries
      1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) margarine or butter
      Boil chicken broth and butter in a pan on the stove. Stir in contents of stuffing mix, cranberries, and pecans. Cover the pan. Remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. 
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      Monday, December 6, 2010

      1 Baskets Baskets Everywhere! :-)

      Something new and VERY exciting has entered into the world of Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box!
      GIFT BASKETS!!!!! Just in time for Christmas!
      A delightful assortment of homemade goodies put together in a beautiful arrangement. A perfect gift for a corporate client, a classy hostess gift, or a congratulations to a new mom; these baskets are an elegant display of your friendship or affection.
      For more information, visit the SHOP section of Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box!
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      Sunday, December 5, 2010

      3 Baker's Dozen Donuts

      This Saturday morning was a very special day in the life of a great friend of ours! :-) Julie Baker's dream became a reality when the lighted "open" sign was flicked on and the cars started lining up outside of Baker's Dozen Donuts in Caldwell, Texas. For those of y'all who aren't familiar with the area, Caldwell is right outside of College Station, so if you are in the neighborhood make sure to stop by Baker's Dozen Donuts! Julie's cake donuts seriously melt in your mouth! I couldn't decide which was my favorite. . .cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar!! But I know one thing, they were the best donuts I have ever had! :-)
      Julie and her husband, Keith!
      For more information about Baker's Dozen Donuts, visit their facebook page!
      On the intersection of Highway 21 and 36

      Caldwell, TX, 77836
      Mon - Sat:5:30 am - 11:30 am
      Sun:7:00 am - 11:00 am
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      1 Not Your Ordinary Green Bean Casserole

      My dad's side of the family are all AMAZING cooks. . . and since my Granny and Grandpa have gone on to be with Jesus, my two aunts have taken over the holiday meals! This is our "family" version of the traditional green bean casserole and there are NEVER any leftovers! (unfortunately! :-)
      Not Your Ordinary Green Bean Casserole
      3/4 c milk
      dash of pepper
      1 can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
      2-15 oz cans of green beans, drained and dried
      1 large can of French's French Fried Onions, divided
      1 - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
      1/2 to 1 cups pecans, chopped and divided
      In a large casserole dish (13x9), mix all ingredients together with 1/2 the pecans, cheese and onions. On top, place other 1/2 of the shredded cheddar cheese and the other 1/2 of the chopped pecans. Add the rest of the onions the last 5 min. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 min. Cheese will melt and the casserole will bubble when done. Serves 8. (if you double don't double the milk)
      Norma Jean Dalton
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      Friday, December 3, 2010

      0 World's Best Dinner Rolls

      Picture and recipe by Our Best Bites

      Look at these rolls . . . flaky, delicious, melt in your mouth. . . and another delectable recipe from Our Best Bites!
      Let me say this up front, I have not mastered yeast yet. Whenever I make anything with yeast it turns out too thick (still good, especially if covered in Honey Butter, but very thick!)
      So, I will continue in my quest for the ability to make flaky, light rolls . . . BUT if you HAVE mastered the art of yeast, then here is a wonderful recipe! (and if not, the only way to get better is to practice!)

      World's Best Dinner Rolls 
      2 c. whole milk
      ½ c. + 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
      1/3 c. (5 1/3 Tbsp.) butter
      2 tsp. Kosher salt
      2 pkgs. active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp.), preferably bread machine yeast
      2/3 c. warm (105-115-degree) water
      8-9 c. all-purpose flour
      3 beaten eggs
      Combine milk, 1/2 c. sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts.
      Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm. This step is really important because if the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast
      While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 Tbsp. sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. If the yeast hasn't bubbled, you'll need to repeat this step
      In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 c. flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes.
      Add beaten eggs. 
      Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft--it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it. Don't worry, it will firm up during the rising process. Part of what makes these rolls so good is that they're so soft and light; if you add too much flour, they will be heavy and dense. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel; allow to rise 1 hour
      Punch down dough. Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Divide in half.
      Spray 2 9x13 glass pans with cooking spray. Roll first portion of dough into a rectangle and then cut it into 12 equal-sized pieces. This dough should be very easy to work with, almost like play dough. Shape each piece into a ball and place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough in the second pan Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. When dough has about 15-20 minutes to go (depending on your oven), preheat oven to 375
      Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown
      When done, remove from oven. Rub a stick of cold butter over the tops of the rolls.
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      Thursday, December 2, 2010

      1 Parker and Emily!

      Here are some pictures from Parker and Emily's BEAUTIFUL fall wedding in Birmingham! Nate and I had so much fun spending time in the SOUTH! It was a wonderful weekend and I am so excited to have a new sister! We even got to see sweet friends Sunday afternoon who live right outside of Birmingham! Driving through the countryside was breathtaking!
      All the cute boys hiking the day before the wedding!
      Mom and Dad before the wedding!
      Samford's Chapel!
      The happy couple! :-)
      We love you!
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