Pecan Pie Muffins

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This Pecan Pie Muffins recipe is quick and easy and the result really is reminiscent of pecan pie. Great for Christmas morning or a holiday brunch!

Here's a sweet and very tasty treat that's particularly suited for the holiday season and goes well on a brunch menu. I came across the recipe in a magazine recently and couldn't wait to try it. Fortunately, since I had all the ingredients on hand, I didn't have to wait very long.

This muffin recipe is quick and easy and the result really is reminiscent of pecan pie. The batter mixes up quickly with only five ingredients, so this would be a fun item to bake up fresh on Christmas morning.

The recipe I found calls for using a mini muffin tin, but since I don't currently have one I used my regular-sized muffin tins. Since the muffins don't rise much, I should have filled the tins nearly full, but since I hadn't made them before and filled the tins about 2/3 of the way, my 11 muffins came out looking a little flat. Filling the tins almost full should yield closer to nine large muffins. I've added a mini-muffin tin to my wish list since I think that bite size would be preferable, though they probably won't last very long around our hungry family.

Since the result is rather addictive, you might want to double the recipe so you'll have plenty on hand.

Pecan Pie Muffins Recipe


Ingredients: 

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins (or spray with non-stick spray) or use paper liners if you prefer. 

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, and pecans. Set aside. 

In a small bowl, melt butter then whisk in the eggs. Add this mixture to the sugar mixture in the large bowl and stir together gently.

Fill muffin tins almost to the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Cool muffins on  a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Makes about nine large muffins or 2 1/2 dozen mini muffins. 

So, what do you think? Might these pecan pie muffins grace your family's holiday brunch table this year? Enjoy!



This Pecan Pie Muffins recipe is quick and easy and the result really is reminiscent of pecan pie. Great for Christmas morning or a holiday brunch!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

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Homemade chicken nuggets taste so much better than drive-thru nuggets. They're easy to prepare and bake in just 20 minutes. Here's the recipe.

I remember the first time Mawie, my grandmother, fixed homemade chicken nuggets, Parmesan noodles, and peas for me. Since then I've prepared this recipe dozens of times for my family and we all love it.

I actually simplified Mawie's original recipe by using store-bought seasoned bread crumbs instead of adding the thyme, basil, and salt to unseasoned crumbs, as called for in her original recipe. The most recent time I baked chicken nuggets I had panko bread crumbs on hand and used those along with a few good shakes of Italian seasoning and a touch of garlic powder.

Homemade chicken nuggets taste so much better than what you get at the drive-thru. In my opinion, baked really is better than deep fried! Most importantly, when you make them yourself you know exactly what's going into them. For me, that's very important as I try to avoid food with a high sodium content and flavor-enhancing ingredients.

Here's the recipe.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets


3 boneless chicken breast halves or a package of fresh chicken breast tenderloins (20 ounces)
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (or panko bread crumbs and added Italian seasoning, see above)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Cut chicken into pieces about 1 1/2 inches square. Combine crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip nuggets in melted butter, then in crumbs. Place on foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (watch that the bottoms don't burn). 

Serves 3.


Most recently I used parchment paper to line the baking sheet and the chicken didn't stick at all as it tends to do with foil. The panko crumbs that I used didn't get as brown as the regular bread crumbs, but to remedy that you could turn the chicken halfway through baking. I just don't like to take the extra time. Just be sure not to overcook or burn the bottoms while you're waiting for the tops to brown.

I serve chicken nuggets with Parmesan noodles and peas, like my Mawie did. To make Parmesan noodles, just cook egg noodles as directed on the package, drain and return to the hot pan. Add a good-sized dollop of sour cream and a good sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and stir it all in. If I don't have sour cream on hand, I just stir in some butter and the cheese. To borrow a phrase, ummm, ummm, good! Kid- and husband-approved, too!

Do you like chicken nuggets? Do you drive thru or make your own? Think you'll try this recipe? I'd love to read your comments!


Originally published 11/20/06. Updated 10/7/16

Classic Pumpkin Pie

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Everyone should have this classic pumpkin pie recipe and prepare it often.

For Thanksgiving, Christmas, a crisp, autumn day, or just because you love the fragrance of pumpkin baked with traditional spices, everyone should have this classic pumpkin pie recipe and bake it often.

I always wonder why companies change tried-and-true recipes that they've printed on their label for years. I can understand updating ingredients to improve the nutrition of the recipe, but changing the method alone has always puzzled me. At one point that happened with Libby's pumpkin pie. This is the classic pumpkin pie recipe as I copied it off the pumpkin can label years ago. This method is the simplest and still makes the pumpkin pie that my husband and my kids love best.

Chances are, this is the pie you grew up eating. And loving.

Classic Pumpkin Pie Recipe


2 eggs, slightly beaten
16 oz. can pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
12 ounce can evaporated milk

Combine ingredients in order given.
For two 9" frozen pie shells: Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes on pre-heated cookie sheet.
For one 9" homemade pie shell: Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 45 minutes longer.
Pie is done when table knife inserted off-center in the pie comes out clean.

Recipe Notes:


  • I know that cans don't hold as much food as they used to, so if the can of pumpkin that you buy contains a bit less than 16 ounces, that's fine. These proportions still bake up perfectly. 
  • I use a 10-inch glass pie pan when I bake this and the timing is perfect. If you use a stainless steel pie pan, check the pie at 40 minutes instead of 45. It could take up to 50 minutes. Trust your nose and the knife test.
  • I use the Pillsbury refrigerated crusts, the kind you unroll at room temperature. Substitute your own homemade crust if you prefer. 



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Skillet Smoked Sausage Pasta Dinner

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If you love skillet meals that go together easily, cook up quickly, and satisfy a hungry family, try this Skillet Smoked Sausage Pasta Dinner.

Recently I came across my friend Barbara's recipe for Stove-Top Broccoli and Sausage Pasta. It looked and sounded so good, I knew I'd have to try it. Try it I did, though with a few small changes, and we love it.

If you love skillet meals that go together easily, cook up quickly, and satisfy a hungry family, then I urge you to give this recipe a try. I think you'll find that both Barbara's version and my own are "keepers." Whichever one you choose to keep probably depends on whether you have broccoli or bell pepper on hand. Like both? That's smart! Prefer yet another vegetable? Substitute as you please! That's the beauty of skillet dinners; the variations are limited only by your family's taste buds and the contents of your refrigerator.

I call my version Skillet Smoked Sausage Pasta Dinner. Here's the recipe:

Skillet Smoked Sausage Pasta Dinner


Ingredients:

8 ounces rotini pasta

1 12 to 16 ounce package smoked Polish or similar sausage

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained
OR used unseasoned tomatoes and add
1 T minced fresh basil or 1 t. dried basil and
1 T minced fresh parsley or 1 t. dried parsley flakes

1 can corn, drained or about 1 cup frozen cut corn

1 bell pepper, green or whatever color you prefer, cut into 1 to 2-inch chunks

Crumbled Feta or grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions: 

Slice the sausage into quarter-inch rounds then place in a large, cold skillet. Over medium heat, cook and stir long enough to brown the sausage and let the juices flow, scraping the bottom of the skillet as the sausage cooks.

As the sausage is browning, cook the pasta to al dente as directed on the package (about 7 minutes). Drain and set aside. (Or cook and drain pasta ahead of time.)

Add tomatoes, seasonings (if using), corn, and the bell pepper to the sausage mixture. Stir together well. Cover, reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat for about 5 to 8 minutes until pepper is almost as done as you like it (we like it still a little crispy).

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and stir together well. Cook and stir just until everything is heated through.

Serve topped with a bit of the feta or Parmesan cheese, if using.

Serve with salad or homemade applesauce on the side.


Do you like skillet meals? What changes would you make to the recipe to suit your family? I'd love to read your comments and suggestions.

Skillet Smoked Sausage Pasta Dinner recipe from RecipesForRealPeople.com

Cheesy Potatoes With Ham

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This cheesy potatoes with ham recipe certainly qualifies as comfort food. It's great for when you have so much leftover ham you don't know what to do with it. Families love it!


Don't you just love comfort food? This cheesy potatoes with ham recipe certainly qualifies for that category. It's also a good recipe to use when you have so much leftover ham from Christmas or Easter that you're not sure what to do with it. No leftovers available? Do what I do and buy a ham slice to use instead.

Don't like ham? Leave it out!

This recipe is similar to my favorite mac and cheese recipe. Instead of macaroni, I use potatoes that I've diced into cubes and partially cooked on the stove. Pre-cooking the potatoes reduces overall preparation time and is much faster than slicing potatoes, layering them, and baking for an hour or more à la scalloped potatoes.

If making your own cheese sauce scares you, stop worrying! White sauce is very easy to make from scratch and, after adding your favorite cheese, tastes so much better than jarred cheese sauce. I'll explain how to make it in the steps below and show you in an excellent video tutorial.

Are you hungry yet? Here's the recipe:

Cheesy Potatoes With Leftover Ham


Ingredients:

about half of a 5-pound bag of potatoes (I use red or russet potatoes; both work)
about 1/2 pound ham (use leftover or part of a purchased ham slice)
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese, cheddar or your favorite, divided
salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter or spray the inside of a 2.5-quart casserole dish.

Wash and dice potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes. No need to peel the potatoes! Place the potatoes in a 3-quart pan, add water to cover plus a shake of salt, then cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes or until potatoes are almost done. While the potatoes are cooking, dice the ham into pieces about the same size as the potato pieces. 

When done, drain the potatoes in a colander; set aside while you use the same pan to make the cheese sauce. 

Melt the butter in the pan over medium-low heat, then stir the flour into the melted butter, stirring constantly until well combined, making a light roux. Continue stirring as you cook the roux for about two minutes. Remove from heat for a minute or two to cool slightly, then place back on heat and slowly stir in the milk. Cook over medium to medium-high heat, continuing to stir, for three to five minutes or until the mixture thickens. Turn off the heat and stir in about 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Save the rest to use later. 

Add the potatoes and the ham to the casserole dish. Pour the cheese sauce on top. Stir just slightly to allow the cheese sauce to drip down into the potatoes. Cover the dish, then place into the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid from the dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the top. Return to oven and bake for 10 more minutes or until hot and bubbly. 

Remove the casserole from the oven and let set for about five minutes to settle, then serve. 

Serves 4 hungry adults. 

I like to serve cheesy potatoes and ham with baby lima beans. The color contrast is pretty and the tastes complement each other very well.

Still worried about making cheese sauce? 


Watch the short video below which shows how to make roux. It's the same method described above and a very good video for visual learners.



Sound good? Think you'll try this recipe? Don't forget to save and share it!

Leftover ham? Try this comforting cheesy potatoes with ham recipe. Families love it!


Family Favorite Coleslaw Recipe

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This family-favorite coleslaw recipe is easy, quick (takes less than 5 minutes) and requires only two ingredients. What could be better than that?

Looking for the most delicious, quick and easy coleslaw recipe around? My husband says mine is the best. In fact, he prefers my coleslaw to any other because of my not-so-secret ingredient, revealed below. It's what makes this our family's favorite coleslaw recipe.

This slaw recipe is easy, quick (make it in less than 5 minutes) and requires only two ingredients. What could be better than that?

Serve this tasty side dish with your favorite barbecue or pulled pork or with your preferred picnic fare. It tastes great piled on top of a hot dog.

So, enough chitchat. I'm hungry, how about you? Let's get on with it.

Here's the recipe:

Family-Favorite Coleslaw

Ingredients:
About a pound of shredded cabbage or cabbage/carrot mixture (or as much as you need)
About a cup of Marzetti's Slaw Dressing (see below)

Instructions:

Put the cabbage or cabbage/carrot mix in a bowl. Pour the dressing over top. Stir gently.
Serve immediately or chill for a few hours. 

Notes and Tips:
  • I usually make this an hour or two before dinner then add some additional shredded cabbage just before serving to keep it crispy. If you prefer creamy coleslaw, let it chill for a bit or add more Marzetti's as needed.
  • I almost always use packaged pre-shredded coleslaw mix. It's fast and easy and fairly cheap. If you're serving a crowd or just love to shred stuff, buy a head of cabbage and do it yourself.
  • I don't measure the ingredients when I make coleslaw. After you've made it a time or two, you just know how much cabbage you need and how much dressing to pour on it. So, adjust the amounts to your needs and your family's preference or taste. 
  • Cooking for a crowd? Increase ingredients accordingly.

Now, The Secret Ingredient


I use Marzetti's Slaw Dressing to make the best coleslaw, but that's not all. It makes the best potato salad in the world, too (just ask my husband). I even use it when I make deviled eggs. (Now I have no secrets.)

You'll find Marzetti's Coleslaw Dressing in the salad dressing aisle of your local grocery store, not in the refrigerated section. If you don't see it, ask for it. Marzetti does make refrigerated products that you'll find in the produce department, too, but this is version that sits all alone on the top shelf in our Walmart store, so check yours if you can't find it anywhere else.

Use Marzetti's in any of your potato salad, macaroni salad, or other recipes that call for mayonnaise. You'll love the tangy taste and texture. Refrigerate after opening.

On the jar that I currently own, the ingredient list is: Soybean oil, sugar, corn-cider vinegar, water, egg yolk, salt, mustard seed, xanathan gum, and natural rosemary extract. I verified this on the Marzetti's website.

Oh, and it's gluten free!


Our family-favorite coleslaw tastes great on a hot dog, with pulled pork, or as a side dish at any picnic.
Coleslaw tastes great on hot dogs!

I love "slaw" on a good hot dog. How about you? I hope your family enjoys our family's favorite coleslaw recipe.

(This post was adapted from an old Squidoo lens/Hubpages hub. Photos and contents ©Susan Deppner, All rights reserved.)

Celebrate National Grilling Month With a New Apron

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July is National Grilling Month. Celebrate with a new apron. Here's a coupon code with a great discount and free shipping!
"My Grill's Hotter Than Your Grill"
I've done it and you probably have, too.  I've leaned up against the edge of the grill or walked into a utensil hanging from the grill and ended up with tough-to-remove food or grease mark on my clothes.

Why do I do that? Obviously, it happens accidentally, but to eliminate the possibility in the first place, you and I both need a grill apron!

In honor of National Grilling Month (July), Flirty Aprons is offering an awesome coupon for 40% off plus FREE SHIPPING on any apron when you use the code BBQ40.

Note that this offer is for ANY apron, not just grilling aprons. But why not choose a grilling apron? Here's a cute one. Okay, well maybe "cute" isn't the right word. The "My Grill's Hotter Than Yours" apron would be a great griller-guy gift.

July is National Grilling Month. Celebrate with a new apron. Here's a coupon code with a great discount and free shipping!
Moroccan Pattern Apron in Teal








Or maybe you're more interested in a feminine apron in teal, like this one which definitely is cute and would make an awesome hostess gift.

The offer's good through the end of July, but don't put it off. Remember, aprons make great gifts! Browse the complete selection of aprons here.



P.S. The coupon code is not available on the website, so copy it here and remember to use it at checkout: BBQ40  Then share this post with friends who love aprons, 40% off, and free shipping.





P.P.S. Fellow recipe bloggers take note: Join the Flirty Aprons Affiliate Program


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