Monthly Archives: September 2016

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese



Skillet Macaroni and Cheese

This was so easy to make and quick clean-up after.  My version is with ham and peas, but you can make it plain or with broccoli.  Delicious!

  • 3 1/2 cups water, plus extra as needed
  • 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 12 oz. (3 cups) elbow macaroni (small shells would work fine also)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 oz. diced deli ham
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 6 oz. shredded mild cheddar cheese (1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Bring water, 1 cup evaporated milk, macaroni, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to vigorous simmer in 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring often, until macaroni is tender and liquid has almost completely evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.

Whisk remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk, cornstarch, mustard, and hot sauce together in bowl, then stir into skillet.  Stir in ham and peas.  Cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Off heat, stir in cheddar and Monterey Jack, 1 handful at a time, until melted.  Stir in extra hot water as needed to adjust consistency.  Stir in butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4 to 6.

“To avoid drifting away from God, stay anchored to the Rock.”



Garlic Shrimp



Garlic Shrimp

These shrimp are delicious!  A crusty Parmesan-breadcrumb topping is dusted over these big garlicky shrimp before serving.  Grill or toast some French bread for sopping up the aromatic juices.  Yum!

  • 2 dozen large fresh shrimp
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I used dried)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I like the lesser amount)
  • 1/4 to 1/2  cup Parmesan cheese (I like the lesser amount)

Peel shrimp and devein.  Arrange in a 11 x 7 inch baking dish; pour oil over shrimp.  Combine parsley and next 3 ingredients; sprinkle over shrimp.  Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Turn shrimp over; drizzle with butter, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese.  Bake, uncovered, 5 to 10 more minutes.

Yield:  2 servings.

“God speaks through His Word when we take time to listen.”

Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana



Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana

My husband loves this soup at Olive Garden so I made this for him yesterday.  It turned out very delicious!  I am not one for too hot of sausage so I used mild sausage, but he would have preferred it hotter.  Use whatever you like for your taste.  If you like it more spicy, you can add some red pepper flakes also.

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage (I used ground)
  • 2 large russet baking potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices (leave skins on)
  • 1 small onion, diced (more if you like)
  • 3 strips thick sliced bacon, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups (4 oz.) kale (more if you like), washed, veins removed and chopped
  • 2 (14.5-oz.) cans chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream or half and half (heavy cream will make it thicker)

If you use sausage with casings, remove the casings and brown sausage in a large stock pot.  When sausage is browned, remove from pan and set aside.  Then put bacon and onion in pot and cook until both are done.  Add sausage back into pot and add garlic, chicken broth, water and potatoes.  Cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes until potatoes are done.  Add kale and heavy cream and simmer another 15 minutes.

Heat through and serve.

Serves 6.

“Serving shows our love for God.”


Scrumptious Orange Bites



Scrumptious Orange Bites

One bite of these cookies and you will know why they are scrumptious.  My husband loves anything with orange in it.  He loved these!

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted whole dates, chopped
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • Confectioners’ sugar, opt.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk flour, salt and baking soda together in bowl.

Bring dates, butter, brown sugar, orange zest and orange juice to simmer in saucepan and cook until mixture has thickened slightly and measures 2 cups, about 5 minutes.  Transfer mixture to large bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Whisk eggs into cooled date mixture, one at a time, until combined.  Fold in flour mixture until just combined, then fold in butterscotch chips and pecans.  Drop generous tablespoon-size portions of dough onto prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart.  Bake cookies until edges are set and beginning to brown but centers are still soft and puffy, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Let cookies cool on sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.  Repeat with remaining dough using cooled baking sheet.  Lightly dust cooled cookies with confectioners’ sugar before serving, if desired.

Makes about 4 dozen.

“God speaks through His Word when we take time to listen.”


Hot Fudge Sauce



Hot Fudge Sauce

This is so easy to make and so yummy!

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla, opt.

In medium saucepan, gently whisk together the cocoa powder and sugar.  Whisk in the cream, then turn the heat to medium and whisk it as it warms up.  When the mixture starts to heat up, add the butter and stir it in to melt.  Then when the mixture is nice and hot, add the vanilla and stir it to combine.  Let the sauce cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it to a mason jar.  Store it in the fridge (it will become solid as it cools).

To serve, scoop out the amount you need and place it in a microwave-safe bowl.  Heat it for 20 seconds, then stir and heat for another 10 seconds or until the sauce is warm.

Serves 8.

“Ask God to free you from your fears.”

Catfish Piccata with Browned Butter



Catfish Piccata with Browned Butter

Who says you have to fry catfish?  It works beautifully in place of chicken.  Really yummy!

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Thinly sliced lemon
  • 1 tablespoon capers (I didn’t use)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley (I didn’t use)

In a medium enamel-coated cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Cook until butter turns a medium-brown color and has a nutty aroma, about 10 minutes.  Skim foam from butter.  Whisk in wine and lemon juice.  Pour into a small bowl.  Cover and set aside.

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.  Wipe pan, and add oil; heat over medium-high heat. Add fish, and cook until fish can be easily turned with a spatula, about 3 minutes.  Turn fish; cook until fish is opaque and flakes easily, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Top with lemon slices, capers, and parsley.  Pour butter mixture over fish.

Serves 2.

“Followers of Christ have a brand-new identity.”


Stuffed Pepper Soup




Stuffed Pepper Soup

If you like stuffed green peppers, you’ll love this hearty soup.

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (28-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (28-oz.) can water
  • 2 cups chopped green peppers
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, opt.
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Brown beef in a Dutch oven over medium heat; drain.  Add tomatoes with juice and remaining ingredients, except rice.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until peppers are tender.  Add cooked rice and heat until hot.  Serve.

If you soup thickens and gets more like stew than soup, just add additional water or beef broth.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.”

Easiest-Ever Pulled Pork



Easiest-Ever Pulled Pork

  • Boneless pork loin
  • 1 bottle barbecue sauce (We like Bull’s Eye Original.)

Put your boneless pork loin in the slow cooker.  Pour your sauce over it.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Shred with two forks in the slow cooker and serve on buns.

Invite friends over and have a party.

“Christ at the center brings life into focus.”

Ranch Hash Brown Casserole



Ranch Hash Brown Casserole

I think half of this was devoured by my oldest grandson in one sitting.  Of course, he’s a big guy and I think it was comfort food for him with a broken collarbone.  He loved it!!

  • 8 slices bacon, chopped, optional
  • 1 1/2 (30-oz.) bags frozen shredded hash browns
  • 2 (16-oz.) containers sour cream
  • 2 pkgs. ranch dressing mix (not dip)
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter

In skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until golden and crisp.  With a slotted spoon, remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Combine sour cream and ranch dressing mix in a large bowl.  Add Cheddar cheese and hash browns, and stir to combine.  Hash browns can be frozen or thawed.

Add hash brown mixture to a sprayed 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Top with pats of butter.  Bake at 400 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

This recipe can be frozen and cooked later.

“God’s training is designed to grow us in faith.”

Strawberry Scones



Strawberry Scones

My husband went crazy over these sweet buttermilk biscuits with fresh strawberries.  I’m going to have to make these again real soon.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 3/4 cup whole buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with baking spray with flour.

In the work bowl of a food processor, combine first six ingredients, pulsing to combine.  Add butter, and process just until mixture is crumbly.  Pour mixture into a medium bowl.  Add strawberries and buttermilk, stirring to combine (do not over mix).

On a lightly floured surface, shape dough to a 7-inch circle, 2 inches thick.  Using a knife, cut dough into eight triangles.  Arrange in prepared skillet, spacing slightly apart.  Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

“Brokenness can lead to wholeness.”