Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Recipe Swap 2015

Here it is...   
The Great Recipe Post of 2015!
Our ladies outdid themselves at our December meeting and brought all kinds of yummy goodness.
Keep reading to see recipes our moms have shared and to tantalize your tastebuds!

-- Grape Jelly & BBQ Sauce Lil' Smokies --

(Arianne G.)

  • 18 oz. grape jelly
  • 18 oz. BBQ sauce
  • 2 packages of Little Smokies Cocktail Links
Add a slow cooker liner to your crock pot before adding any ingredients, if you use them. They make for super easy cleanup!
Pour grape jelly and BBQ sauce in the crockpot. Stir to combine well.
Add little smokies and stir to coat well.
Cook on high 4 hours or until done. 

-- Cherry Cream Cheese Bake (Sara C.) --

  • 1 can cherry pie filling  (or any other fruit filling)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tube crescent rolls
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish. 
Take half of the crescent rolls and lay them out on the bottom of the baking dish.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, blend cream cheese until smooth.
Once smooth, add powdered sugar and vanilla and blend.
Once blended, spoon onto the crescent rolls in baking dish and spread evenly.
Top with can of cherry pie filling. 
Top with the last half (4 triangles) of the crescent rolls. 
Melt butter and pour on top of crescents. 
Top with granulated sugar and bake for 25 minutes or until browned.

-- Ian's Perfectly Adequate Pimiento Cheese (Emily W.) -- 

  • 8 oz shredded Sharp White Cheddar
  • 8 oz shredded 4 Cheese Mexican Blend
  • 4 oz Jar Diced Pimientos with liquid
  • +/- 1 cup Mayonnaise 
  • 3 Tbsp Malt Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Hot Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Sugar

Combine all ingredients in no particular order and mix well. Refrigerate at least overnight, and up to 48 hours before serving, as the liquids with absorb and the flavors meld with time. For a firmer spread, use a bit less Mayo. For a creamier dip, a bit more. Enjoy!

P.S. My husband likes to make this into a Grilled Pimiento Cheese Sandwich!

-- Red Velvet Cheeseball (Sonia R.) --  

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups red velvet cake mix, dry
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • assorted cookies and crackers (my favorite was Vanilla Wafers)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the red velvet cake mix, the brown sugar and the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and combined.
  2. Turn the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap up into a ball and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  3. Put the chocolate chips on a plate or in a shallow dish. Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and unwrap. Roll in the chocolate chips. (This might get messy!) Place on a serving plate and serve with cookies or graham crackers.

    -- Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball (Kori B) --

    • 2 packages of cream cheese
    • (2) 1 oz packets of ranch salad dressing mix 
    • (1) 3 oz bag of real bacon bits*
    • 1 bag of finely shredded cheese
    • 1 tsp Worcester sauce
    • 1-2 boxes of thin wheat crackers

    In a medium size bowl mix the cream cheese, ranch salad dressing mix, 1/2 to 3/4 of the bag of real bacon bits, 1/2 to 3/4 of the bag of shredded cheese, & Worcester sauce together. (You can use a mixer but it's best to use the spatulas or bread dough ends on the mixer.) 
    After it's mixed well, put mixture on a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper & wrap it into a ball.  Use what's left of your bacon bits & cheese to coat outside of the ball.
    Serve with the thin wheat crackers. Refrigerate any leftovers. 

    * You can substitute the premade bacon bits for bacon you've cooked yourself just make sure to chop it up real fine & drain all grease. 

    -- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread --

    (Jennifer H.)

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 cups canned pumpkin
    • 1-1/2 cups canola oil
    • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
    1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.
    2. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each). 

    -- Cranberry Pecan Cheese Wafers --

    (Margaret B.) 

    1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
    1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped sweetened dried cranberries
    2 cups butter, softened
    4 cups (16 oz.) freshly shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground red pepper
    4 cups all-purpose flour
    Parchment paper 
    1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 15 minutes).
    2. Meanwhile, soak cranberries in boiling water to cover 15 minutes; drain and pat dry with paper towels.
    3. Beat butter and next 3 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended. Gradually add flour, beating just until combined. Stir in cranberries and pecans. Shape dough into 4 (12-inch-long) logs; wrap each log in plastic wrap. Chill 8 hours to 3 days.
    4. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheets to wire racks, and cool completely (about 20 minutes).

    -- Christmas Crack (Jessica H.) --

    • 50 saltine crackers (approx.)
    • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, cubed
    • 1 cup soft light brown sugar, packed
    • 2 cups chocolate chips
    • 1/2 to 1 cup M&M's,
    • Pretzels


    Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
    Line a large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and then line the pan with saltine crackers.
    Place the butter and sugar in a medium sized pot over low medium-low heat. Stir until the butter is melted. Once the butter has melted, bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly.
    Once it's nice and bubbly, remove pan from heat and 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 the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes. The mixture will spread evenly over the crackers as it bakes.
    Remove pan from oven and then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the toffee while it's still hot. Let the chocolate chips melt for a few minutes and then spread all over the toffee with a spatula. Sprinkle M&M's & Pretzels on top and then place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Once chocolate has hardened break pieces off the foil and in an container. It will stay fresh for 1 - 2 weeks.

    -- Sweet Potato Souffle (Tiffany C.) --

    • 4 1/2 cups cooked & mashed sweet potatoes
    • 3 T butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    Topping Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
    • 3 T butter, softened
    • 1 cup chopped pecans

    Preheat oven to 350 and grease 9 x 13 baking dish.
    In large bowl, mix together mashed sweet potatoes, milk, sugar, vanilla and eggs.
    Spread in baking dish.
    In small bowl, mix together brown sugar and flour.  Cut in 1/3 cup butter until mixture is crumbly, then stir in pecans.
    Sprinkle topping on sweet potato mixture.
    Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.  


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Amelia Bedelia's Sheet Cake

My daughter brought an Amelia Bedelia book home from her school library which contained a cute little story about Amelia Bedelia winning a cake contest.  In the back of the book was the following recipe, and in an uncharacteristic fit of maternal niceness, I agreed to to help the girls try out the recipe that afternoon.  Now I normally just bake cakes according to the directions on the back of the Betty Crocker box, but that Amelia Bedelia is really on to something!  This cake was SOOOOO delicious!  We ate the whole cake without even frosting it.  The ingredients are a little different (no eggs?) and it requires sifting (sifting = effort for slackers) but it's kinda fun to make because you make it right in the baking dish and mix it with a fork.  The kids can help and it is just.so.good.

Move over Betty, there's a new cake in town!


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Throwback edition

Next week at our December meeting we are having a RECIPE SWAP.  This means all our hot mamas are bringing some sort of edible item to share... some will be homemade, others will be drive-thru delicacies, but all will be DELICIOUS! 

You do not have to be some sort of culinary wonder to participate in this meeting!!!  Just bring something, ANYTHING, that we can eat!  And then enjoy some good company and good eats! 

Need some inspiration?  Well this week's Tasty Tuesday is a blast from the past.  Here are the links to our tasty dishes brought in past years to our Recipe Swap meeting.  Click the links and discover recipes for Peppermint Punch, Breakfast Casserole, Apple & Brie Toasts, Buffalo Chicken Dip, Burrito Bites, Sausage Balls, Lemon Cookies, Nutella No-Bakes and much, much, more!  Enjoy!!!

November Meeting Recap: Notice Goodness

In November, we chose to explore the theme of "Noticing Goodness" in our MOPS meeting.  When we notice the goodness all around us it reminds us that we have so much to be thankful for!  Here's what went down at our meeting...


Jayla led us in a game that is a fun little twist on Scattergories.  The premise is that you choose one letter of the alphabet and list as many things as possible that you are thankful for that begin with that letter.  This might be an activity you could do with kids once they start learning letter sounds.  Our group played with the letter "R" and let's such say that some of the answers were Rather Ridiculous!  My favorite was when someone said, "Romantic husband... just kidding!"


Kelly spoke to us about Noticing Goodness in our every day lives and shared some insights from a Bible study she's been doing on Gideon by Priscilla Shirer. You can click here to read her devotional. 

Thanks for sharing Kelly! 


Nancy Snowden, fellow mom and MOPS guru from the Charleston area, came and spoke to us this month. Nancy is mom to 3 girls and has been a part of MOPS for 11 years.  It's clear that God has gifted her in imparting wisdom to other moms, and she encouraged us to be intentional about our own growth and development (not just our kids!)  She reminded us that you don't stop growing when you have a baby.  Have an end-goal for how you want to grow and develop as a person.    

As she addressed Noticing Goodness, Nancy first shared with us an important definition.

  1. affirmation of goodness
  2. recognition that the source of goodness is outside of ourselves

Noticing goodness and gratitude go hand-in-hand, and when we recognize that the source of goodness is outside of ourselves it enables us to be grateful in any situation.  

The Bible tells us that God is good.  Therefore, when we notice goodness we are noticing God.  We are seeing the divine in our everyday lives.  Not only does Scripture tell us that God is good, it also instructs us to "give thanks IN all things."  It is important to distinguish that we are not told to give thanks FOR all things, because really terrible things happen, but we can be thankful IN all things because God is with us when good or bad things happen.  

Nancy identified two barriers to noticing goodness: distraction and discontentment.  Because we live in a society addicted to distractions (electronics/social media), we often do not pay attention to our reality... we are distracted and cannot fully notice the goodness in our lives.  The other barrier, discontentment, comes from not being okay with our reality.  It takes a fierce guarding of your thought life to notice goodness.  

One of the best ways to notice goodness is to write it down!  And get your kids involved too!  Nancy shared several ideas to help us (and our kiddos) do this... 
  • Write thank you notes for non-gift items.  Teach our kids that anything is something to be thankful for...  the smile that greets us from the lady at the library, the dedication of the crossing guard who stands out in the cold every morning, the hard work of the sanitation workers each week.  
  • Gratitude journals.  You can number it to really see how much you have to be thankful for, and can look back and refer to the goodness you've previously recorded when thankfulness is a struggle!  It even helps to write down your crazy... you can go back later to find the goodness in it.  Sometimes we have to sift through the ordinary to find goodness and that's okay.  
  • Thankful Fours.  Nancy has each of her girls decorate a big paper cut-out of the number 4 and then each day in November the girls write something they are thankful for on a strip of paper.  The paper strips are taped together to make links in a chain attached to the 4, and when completed they hang the paper strip links on their Christmas tree for a garland.  Super cute idea and a great way to prepare for the Christmas season!   
We appreciated Nancy coming from Charleston to share with us!  Thank you Nancy!   


Cuteness alert!  This month's craft was simple and fun.  Click here for the burlap panel tutorial.

Service Project 

Thank you to all who contributed to the Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes!  Our group was able to put together 20 boxes which will bring smiles to 20 little ones around the globe!  If you're interested in more information about Samaritan's Purse (the ministry that created Operation Christmas Child) please click here

(for Psalm 136:1 photo source, click here)