About Me

My photo

I am a retired nurse and currently enjoying being a stay-at-home Mom and Wife.  I am the blessed mother of two and the proud grandmother of two. Cooking for me has always been a Love/Hate relationship.  I used to HATE to cook and anything to do with the kitchen yet I LOVED to eat good food.  A few years ago I got hooked on the Food Network channel.  The only thing that was wrong with that was, that I'd see all this amazing food and I can't cook like that.  My repertoire consisted of stuff like Sloppy Joe's and Hamburger Helper.  Well, one day, I had a crazy moment and decided I'd try one of the easy recipes from that Southern Queen of the kitchen, Paula Deen.  Now, to be honest, my first few forays into the unexplored territory of completely homemade recipes didn't always turn out as planned but most of them tasted pretty good.  As time went on, I got a little braver and started tweaking recipes to make them my own.  Sometimes they turned out beautifully and well, sometimes they didn't.  Sometimes I just had to shake my head and laugh...it was either that or cry (as a nurse, I can attest to the fact that laughter is the best medicine.)  Anyway, my Momma didn't raise a quitter so I keep trying and I even amaze myself sometimes when whatever I've cooked comes out amazing (like my Skillet Apple Pie).  Since my kitchen is not like the Food Network where you can have multiple "do overs" (and yours probably isn't either) I decided to share the fun on this blog.  I hope you enjoy sharing the journey with me, in the beauties that turn out, the blunders that don't and the bloopers that are just funny.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Goof Proof Casseroles!

Well, I hope all of you have survived the Black Friday sales and are well on your way to enjoying the Christmas season.  My husband and I braved the mad house at our local Walmart, but I am pleased to report that even with the crowds, everybody had a great attitude.  It seems that the Christmas spirit is alive and well, at least in my little part of the world.   I am sharing a couple of recipes today that are wonderful to take to those holiday gatherings.  I made these two casseroles for our family Thanksgiving this year and they were both hits.  They're also really good leftover (which some casseroles aren't).  The best part is that they are also goof proof (even for the culinary challenged) which is always a BIG PLUS in my cookbook.  Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Pineapple Casserole
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 15 oz. cans of chunk pineapple (do NOT drain)
2 Tablespoons of flour or cornstarch (mixed into pineapple juice)
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1 stick of butter melted
1 pkg. of Ritz or Townhouse crackers (crumbled)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour both cans of pineapple with juice into mixing bowl.  Add flour or cornstarch and stir until dissolved.  Add sugar and cheese and mix well.  Pour into casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Mix crumbled crackers and butter together in separate bowl with melted butter.   Sprinkle cracker mixture on top of mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until golden brown.  *Note:  This is an excellent side dish for Baked Ham.  The sweetness of the pineapple goes really well with the salty ham.

Baked Bean Casserole
1 lb. cooked Hamburger or Ground Chuck
½ lb. bacon – cooked and diced up
1 Tablespoon Onion powder
1 ½ teaspoons Garlic powder
½ cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/3 cup white granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
1 15 oz. can Pork and Beans (do not drain)
1 15 oz. can Kidney Beans (do not drain)
1 15 oz. can Butterbeans (drained)

Crock Pot Directions:  Mix all ingredients in crock pot and turn on high for 4 hours.
Oven Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together and pour into 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Bake for 45 minutes.