Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Annual MOPS Recipe Swap!!

Here it is... the fabulous Great Recipe Post of 2014! Thanks so much for sharing your tastiness with us!

Saltine Toffee Bark (from Margaret B)


  • 50 saltine crackers (approximately)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup topping - M&M's, sliced almonds, sea salt, or anything you like


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 9x13 jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil with cooking spray & line pan completely with saltine crackers. You may have to break some in half to fit, but try to fill the pan.

Place butter & sugar in a medium pot over low-medium/low heat. Stir until butter is melted. Once melted, bring to boil for exactly 3 minutes. Stir constantly. Once it's nice & bubbly, remove pan from heat & pour evenly over saltine crackers. Spread mixture with a knife... however, it doesn't have to be perfect. Try to move fast during this part so the toffee doesn't harden.

Place pan in oven & bake for 7-8 minutes. The toffee mixture will spread evenly over the crackers as it bakes. Remove pan from oven & then sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the toffee while it's still hot. Let the chocolate chips melt for a few minutes & then spread all over the toffee with a spatula.

Sprinkle topping on top & then place in fridge for 30 minutes. Once chocolate has hardened, break pieces off the foil & store for up to 2 weeks


Potato Salad (from Jenine A)


  • 10 lbs russet potatoes
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup dill relish or large dill pickles, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 can black olives, chopped
  • 3/4 jar real mayonnaise (more if necessary)
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tbsp salt 


Boil potatoes about 45 minutes, then cool completely. Peel & chop potatoes into large chunks. Chop & pour all ingredients onto potatoes; mix well. 


Lemon Icebox Pie or Dip (from Emily W)


  • 16 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup lemon juice (adjust depending on how strong you want lemon flavor to be)
  • graham cracker crust, if making a pie
  • graham cracker quarters, if making a dip


Whip cream until stiff. Stir in condensed milk & lemon juice. Pour into crust or bowl & chill. If prepared as a dip, serve with graham cracker quarters.


Fudge (from Jayla V)


  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa


Mix milk, brown sugar, granulated sugar & salt in heavy pan. Cook at medium heat until boiling. Boil exactly 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat & add vanilla extract. Pour into mixing bowl; add cocoa & confectioners sugar. Beat with mixer until smooth & thick. Pour into buttered pan & freeze 20 minutes. Cut into pieces. Makes 1 pound of fudge.


Easy Egg Casserole (from Becca H)


  • 6-10 eggs, beaten
  • 6-8 slices of bread, leftover hotdog buns, etc, torn into pieces
    **if you use more eggs, use more bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 2 - 9oz Jimmy Dean precooked sausage
  • salt to taste (approximately 1 tsp)


Night before: Pour eggs, milk & salt in 9x13 casserole dish. Add torn pieces of bread. Stir. Add cheese & sausage. Stir. Cover & refrigerate overnight.

Next morning: Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. When knife comes out clean in center, eggs are done. 


Vegan Banana Bread (from Jamie L)


  • 4 medium ripe or over-ripe bananas
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cup coconut oil or sunflower oil (more oil results in softer texture)
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar or cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds (optional)
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt (optional) 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pan with coconut oil. Mash bananas well or puree them with hand blender. Add oil, sugar & vanilla to banana & blend well. Sieve flour with baking soda & baking powder. Fold sieved flour very well (this folding step is important because you want the bread to be evenly mixed). Add sunflower seeds (optional).

Pour bread mixture into pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm. Leftovers can be stored at room temperature or chilled. If stored in fridge, warm before serving.


Buffalo Dip (from Kassi A)


  • 8 oz cream cheese, farmer's or neufchatel cheese 
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (or low-fat sour cream)
  • 1.5 tbsp spicy ranch dry salad dressing & seasoning mix (or regular ranch dry mix)
  • 1/2 cup wing sauce (more or less depending on desired heat)
  • 1.5 cup chicken, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or blue cheese)


Place chicken in slow cooker with buffalo sauce. Cook until chicken can be shredded. Once shredded, add all other ingredients except mozzarella cheese. 

Cook in slow cooker until creamy & then spoon into baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese (or blue cheese), then bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve with veggies or chips.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Ham & Cheese Sliders

These little ham & cheese sliders go really well with the potato soup from last week's "Tasty Tuesday"! If you need to get a head start on dinner, the sandwiches can be assembled ahead of time & refrigerated... then just add the sauce & pop in the oven about 20 minutes before you're ready to eat!

The Ingredients:

  • 12-pack sweet hawaiian rolls 
  • 1 lb thinly sliced cooked deli ham
  • 1 lb thinly sliced swiss cheese
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried minced onion

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Without separating the rolls, slice through the middle horizontally to separate the roll tops from the bottoms. Place the bottom half of the rolls in the prepared baking dish. Layer half the ham, the cheese, & then the other half of the ham. Top with the upper half of the rolls.

In a bowl, mix together butter, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds & dried onion. Pour the mixture evenly over the rolls.

Cover with foil & bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil & bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown & slightly crispy.

Slice between individual rolls & serve while hot.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Slow-Cooker Potato Soup

This potato soup is actually a combination of several recipes. It's easy & one that my family has requested be on the menu again!

The Ingredients:

  • 5-lb bag of russet potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 2-3 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 (14-oz) cans chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp white pepper 
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 cups heavy cream or half-&-half
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 can evaporated milk (optional)
Topping options:
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Sour cream
  • Green onions or scallions, sliced
  • Pickled jalapenos, sliced (these are my favorites!... you can find them at publix) 
  • salt & pepper

The Directions:

In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter & add chopped onions & celery. Stir until they are slightly browned & softened. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker.

Add diced potatoes to slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth, salt, dill weed, & white pepper. Cover & cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Check potatoes with a potato masher... cook until they're soft enough to be easily mashed. Mash potatoes until they reach the desired consistency (some people prefer chunkier potato soup, or use an immersion blender if you prefer completely smooth soup).

30 minutes before you plan to eat, whisk flour into heavy cream or half-&-half in a medium bowl until completely dissolved. Pour into soup, cover & cook on low for 30 more minutes. If too thick, add evaporated milk until you reach desired consistency. Before serving, add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese & stir until melted.

Serve with toppings. YUM!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Dump Cake

This cake was a "Tasty Tuesday" recipe last November, & the week of Thanksgiving just seemed like the right time to share it again! It's good. So, so good.  And easy. So, so easy.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 10-oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 cup graham crackers or pecans, coarsely crushed
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits (optional... if you like toffee, you NEED to add these!)

*If you don't have 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice, substitute the following:
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of nutmeg

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, egg, & pumpkin pie spice. Stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan.

Sprinkle the entire box of cake mix on top of pumpkin mixture, followed by pecans or graham crackers & toffee bits (if desired). Then pour melted butter evenly on top.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until center is set & edges are lightly browned. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or as is... it's delicious any way you eat it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Slow-Cooker Pecan Pie

This recipe was featured in our Nov meeting newsletter... looks delicious!

The Crust:

  • 1 stick butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

The Filling:

  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped

The Directions:

For the crust, place the butter, flour, brown sugar & salt in food processor. Pulse a few times until well-mixed. For the filling, whisk together corn syrup, sugar, eggs, salt & pecans in a medium mixing bowl.

Line the bottom of a slow cooker with foil so that the pie will be easier to remove. Spray well with cooking spray. Using the bottom of a glass, press the crumbly dough into the bottom of the slow cooker & up the sides about a 1/2-inch. Pour the pecan mixture into the crust & cook on high heat for 3 hours.

After 3 hours, turn the heat off & remove the crock from the slow cooker. Let cool completely. once completely cool, use the foil to lift the pie out of the crock. Slice & serve.

Friday, November 14, 2014

courage to be generous

At our November MOPS meeting yesterday, we talked about having the courage to be generous! Our fabulous craft team organized a service project for the Anderson Care Pregnancy Clinic (known until recently as the Anderson Crisis Pregnancy Center). With your help, we collected 1000+ diapers & wipes, as well as other baby supplies for local moms who depend on the ACPC. Thank you, thank you, thank you, MOPS mamas!

Julie Dixon from the Pregnancy Clinic joined us & spoke for several minutes about the needs among young mothers in our area. Through several stories, she shared the importance of compassion for these moms & encouraged us to become involved, whether through volunteering as a mentor mom, donating time to the Clinic, or monetary contributions. The ACPC is funded strictly through donations, so every little bit helps.

If you're interested in learning more about the Anderson Care Pregnancy Clinic, please check out their website & Facebook page.

Our moms also watched a MOPS International video featuring Alexandra Kuykendall on the topic of generosity. She shared that she wants to live a generous life, but fear of scarcity — that there won’t be enough for her or her family — often gets in the way. Another factor that often prevents generosity is insecurity... you may feel like what you have to give isn't good enough, especially in comparison to others. 

So how do we work toward living a generous life & teaching our kids to do the same? Alexandra recommends that we:
  • surround ourselves with people who offer perspective
  • challenge ourselves to give past the comfortable... to give until it hurts
  • identify material things in your life that hold you back from being generous. Are there things that you care TOO much about? (example: freaking out when the kids track mud in your fabulous new car? or not being willing to lend an item because it's too expensive?)
  • identify the areas or gifts that allow you to be generous. Generosity isn't only monetary... it can be giving of your time, inviting someone for dinner, or sharing something that you have in abundance. Do you have a special gift — like baking or hosting playdates or creating beautiful art — that you could share with others?
  • teach your kids about generosity through your own behavior. Too often we fall into the trap of setting up a "service project" activity for our kids & then checking it off our to-do list. Kuykendall suggests that while these one-time projects are great, it's the everyday attitudes & actions of generosity that truly teach children to serve

Mark your Calendars!
  • MOPS on the Town (MOTT) - Wed, Nov 19 at 10-11am. Time for your kids to get their wiggles out at Electric City Gymnastics! The cost is $5 per child, & a waiver will need to be signed for each child participating. Click here to download & fill out the waiver ahead of time. (Address: 502 Camson Road, Anderson 29625)

  • Moms Night Out (MNO) - Mon, Nov 24 at 7pm. Join us for coffee & a delicious dessert at Sullivan's Metropolitan Grill! (Address: 208 S Main St Anderson 29621)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

We went to the apple orchard this fall & ended up with tons of apples to use... which was the perfect excuse to make this recipe multiple times! It's delicious as a dessert or for breakfast with coffee... not that I would ever eat cake for breakfast, of course ;)

The Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (substitute: 1 cup milk & 1 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups apples, peeled & chopped or sliced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees & spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oil, egg & buttermilk (or milk/lemon juice substitute). Then stir in baking soda & vanilla. Lastly, mix in flour & apples. Pour batter into prepared pan.

In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients, mixing gently with a fork. Spread it evenly over the batter.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown. (If your oven is like mine, you might want to check it a few times toward the end by sticking a toothpick in the middle & seeing if it comes out clean). Serve warm or at room temperature.