About Me

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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.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fudge Brownie Pie also known as Ireland's Killarney Pie

When I was in college (waaaayyyyy back in the dark ages) back in Nashville, Tennessee, my friends and I would occasionally get a chance to eat out at a little restaurant called Ireland's.  Supposedly Ireland's served Irish pub food, hence the name Ireland's.  Since I've never been to Ireland, I can't attest to that fact.  I can, however, say that their food was simple and delicious and even a poor college student could afford it occasionally.  My two favorite things from their menu were the steak and biscuits and their Killarney Pie.  I have tried many times over the years to come up with the recipe for their steak and biscuits.  The biscuits were airy and light and the steak melted in your mouth like butter.  I haven't succeeded as of yet, but I'm not giving up.   If I succeed, that will be a future post.   As for the Killarney Pie (which should've been named "Sin On A Plate", because it's that good), this recipe tastes exactly the same as what I had way back when, in the good 'ole college days.  Of course, that was, never mind how many years ago, but my taste buds remember a good thing.  Hope you love it as much as I did!  

Killarney Pie
Ingredients:
6 Tablespoons Cocoa
½ cup of Self-Rising Flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 stick of melted butter
½ cup of chopped pecans OR walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray pie dish with non-stick cooking spray . Mix all ingredients (except nuts) together in bowl, until smooth, add in nuts and stir just until mixed.  Pour into pie dish and bake for about 30 minutes.   Knife inserted into center should come out clean.    This pie is best served warm with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup (like Hershey’s).

  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Parmesan Ranch Chicken

I was born and raised in the South and have been surrounded by AMAZING cooks all of my life.  My mom was an amazing cook.  My grandmother was better than my mom and that's saying a lot!  All of my Aunts are amazing cooks, my sisters are phenomenal in the kitchen and then there's me.   They all made cooking seem effortless.  My mom NEVER had "bloopers or blunders."   She worked all day, then would have a fantastic meal on the table and she never seemed to think too much about it.   Now, my Mom grew up during the depression and was married and cooking for a family in the 1940's.   Food during WWII, was not always plentiful and certain items like sugar and flour was even rationed.   Maybe that's how she got to be so creative in the kitchen.  It's like that old saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention."  Anyway, the one thing that I remember most about my mom's cooking, is that she was never afraid to try something new in the kitchen.  She would just "throw" stuff together and it would turn out like something from a 5 star restaurant.  As I have started being more adventurous with recipes, I am learning to take more chances.  This recipe is something that I came up with based on a garlic bread recipe that I make that is melt in your mouth delicious.  So, I decided to take a walk on the wild side and my family said it was THE BEST chicken they had ever eaten.  Since I have a VERY PICKY teenage daughter, that was the highest praise.  It is very flavorful and very moist, which can be a problem with boneless/skinless breasts.  It's sure to be a winner in your family too!  Hope you enjoy it!

Parmesan Ranch Chicken



Parmesan Ranch Chicken
*This recipe will make enough for 4 chicken breasts

Ingredients:
Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breasts 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon dry Ranch dressing mix (If you are using bottled ranch dressing, decrease mayonnaise to 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup bottled ranch dressing)
Grated Parmesan Cheese to sprinkle on top of mayonnaise mixture (about 2 Tablespoons)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place chicken breasts in baking dish.  (I lined mine with aluminum foil for easy clean up).   Mix mayonnaise and ranch dressing together.  Brush on chicken breast with pastry brush coating really  well.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top of mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken breasts).  Cook until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork or if using a meat/poultry thermometer (like the one below), until internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.