Texas Caviar

So I’ve had this post on deck since New Year’s…but, honestly, life events seem to intervene every time I think about posting.  It has been an eventful 2017 so far…some good, some not always so good.  But, nevertheless, busy.  I won’t bore anyone with details…sickness, life changes and decisions that we all deal with when it comes to our aging parents, lots of work related events and oh, my husband’s grandmother celebrated 100 years!  That was a good time.  The whole family gathered here for a surprise party to honor her.  Anyway, better late than never.  Hope your 2017 has treated you well.  And, by the way, this recipe is good for any occasion, including a summer cook out.                                           We’ve all heard that for good luck in the new year, you are supposed to have your serving of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.  I didn’t necessarily just want to have a pot of beans on the stove, although, that’s never a bad thing.  So, we found this cold dish using the peas in a type of salsa years ago.  We have it every year.  I usually make it on New Year’s Eve, and if we’re going to a party at someone’s house, it’s the perfect thing to take.  Then, I have more leftover at the house so we can snack on it the next day while we’re watching football.  Not sure if the “good luck” superstition holds true…but we don’t chance it!  LOL. Continue reading “Texas Caviar”

Green Bean Bundles

I have to say that when I first heard of this dish, I though it was one of the most unusual combinations of flavors ever.  We were visiting my husband’s family for Christmas, and my mother-in-law was preparing the big feast.  I started to smell the most amazing aroma coming from the kitchen.  I went exploring to find a mixture of brown sugar, butter and garlic warming on top of the stove.  This was the start of what I would later learn was something called green bean bundles.  They were these elegant little bundles of fresh green beans, wrapped up in bacon and baked in this luxurious sauce that was bubbling away on the stove.  We always serve these bundles alongside our stuffed tenderloin for Christmas.  They appear super fancy, but come together very easily… making them perfect for a holiday gathering, or anytime you want a slightly unique veggie side dish.   Continue reading “Green Bean Bundles”

Stuffed Tenderloin

So…I had this post written before Christmas, and I had the best of intentions to share it way back then.  However, a combination of the busy craziness of the holidays, a post Christmas trip to New York, family illness and trying to re-enter the atmosphere of back to work afterward kept me away from my usual posts!  So, maybe you will be able to enjoy our traditional Christmas meal next year for yours…or just any special occasion you might have coming up in the new year.  And…FYI, in all the chaos, I forgot to snap a photo of the finished product…so, you’ll see all the steps up to that point!  LOL.  But trust me, it’s amazing!  On with the original post!   Continue reading “Stuffed Tenderloin”

Breakfast Casserole

Everyone needs a yummy go-to make ahead breakfast casserole…for special occasions, weekend guests, a random Saturday!  Whatever the reason, this is the one I always lean on.  You can make it ahead, and the next morning, you just pop it into the oven.  Your guests will think you’re a rock star or a magician…because they’ll never see you work!   Yet, a wonderful dish will magically appear.  Most of these casseroles are similar.  Some kind of breakfast type meat…sausage, bacon, ham.  Then there’s eggs, bread and cheese.  The difference in this one is instead of bread, we use seasoned croutons.  Tons of flavor, and it’s easy!  This is our Christmas morning breakfast every year.  Enjoy! Continue reading “Breakfast Casserole”

Santa Faces

I used to love getting those little holiday themed mini magazines/cookbooks at the grocery store checkout.  I got one many years ago when our son was little that had ideas to make treats for Santa.  They were super easy, and the kids could even help make them.  I ran across these Santa faces, and not only were they cute and easy, they were really yummy.  So, we made them every year.  I even remember the year my mom was supposed to come visit us in North Carolina, but had a stroke the first weekend in December…so, change of plans.  Instead of Christmas in our home, we loaded up our 4 wheel drive sleigh and headed to Texas.  Our son was just 4…and I didn’t want his Christmas to be disrupted in the least.  So, in addition to all the presents, I packed up all the supplies and ingredients I would need to carry on with our traditions of baking and decorating everything as usual.  And, that included all the items necessary for Santa faces. Continue reading “Santa Faces”

Reindeer Treats

From the time my son was probably 2 or 3 years old, I can remember making these treats every year to leave on the plate for Santa.  I had already found a recipe for Santa faces, which we will discuss in the next post.  However, I hadn’t seen a reindeer treat that I really liked.  So, I played around with some ideas until I found one that worked.  It’s basically just graham crackers, pretzels, chocolate candy coating or chocolate chips and candies or chocolate morsels for eyes and a red hot candy for a nose!  You can get chocolate bark, so it’s already brown.  I have done that, but I didn’t want it that dark.  So I mix a little of both white and chocolate for a light brown.  I first toasted coconut to a golden brown and pressed it into the chocolate coating to mimic his furry texture…and it was cute and tasty.  But, most kids, and some adults, don’t like coconut.  So, I gave that up.  But feel free to add it if you like!  The “Twelve Weeks of Holidays” continues. Continue reading “Reindeer Treats”

Peppermint Bark

We love peppermint bark at Christmas.  We usually make a trip to a fancy gourmet kitchen store to browse during the holidays.  That is my happy place.  For some people it’s the beach…for me it’s Williams Sonoma!  Just sayin’.   It is there that we usually pick up a tin or two filled with the peppermint goodness to munch on throughout the holidays.  Confession…it tends to be a budget buster.  So, I decided to try and make it myself…and it worked!  For a fraction of the price.  Another confession…I saved all the beautiful tins the original stuff was packaged in, and now I put my own in there.  I don’t think anyone will know the difference!  Shhhhh!  So here’s how easy it is.  Another treat in my “Twelve Weeks of Holidays” series. Continue reading “Peppermint Bark”

Christmas Cookies

Years ago, every time we would go to Texas to visit family, my mother-in-law made sure to welcome us with these amazing decorated sugar cookies.  It was usually in the summer time, so they would be cut outs of beach balls, umbrellas and even the cutest flip flops.  They were bright and colorful, perfectly shaped and decorated…and delicious!  They came from a lady at a bakery in town, and we looked forward to them.  But, there came a time when that sweet miracle worker of a baker was no longer at the store, or decided to quit making them…not sure of the story…but all I knew was that delicious treat would no longer be a part of our lives.  It was devastating for the family.  Ha!  But really.  I was determined that I would do my best to recreate them.  That’s how important they were.  So I tried recipe after recipe…mixing, baking, eating…on and on…until finally one day…AHHHH…this is as close as it gets! Continue reading “Christmas Cookies”

Eat Mores

When I was welcomed into my husband’s family in 1994, I was given a wonderful little cookbook by my mother-in-law.  It was a 1977 publication that was a result of a joint effort of all the ladies in the neighborhood woman’s club in Houston, Texas.  I love looking through old recipes handed down from generation to generation.  It’s as if you’re reading a culinary history book.  You come to know the trends, styles of cooking and even the products of the times that may, or may not, still exist.  Among the contributions my mother-in-law made to this book was a delicious treat called “Eat Mores.”  I was told it was a childhood favorite of my husband and one of Santa’s preferred Christmas Eve munchies.  I can certainly understand why.  They are so decadent!  It originally came from his grandmother, who made a batch every Christmas.  His Nanny Lucy is turning 100 in January and is still going strong and lives a happy, active life.  So through the years, she has made a lot of “eat mores”.  For a little bit of Christmas nostalgia, it’s such a fun treat for your family and friends.  They make great gifts!  So here’s the next addition to my “Twelve Weeks of Holidays” series…and you’ll certainly want to “eat more.” Continue reading “Eat Mores”

Marinated Flank Steak

I was introduced to this dish by my mother-in-law.  I was told early on in my marriage that this was my husband’s favorite birthday dinner, and I would need to learn how to make it for him.  I happily accepted the challenge, and it has become a favorite of mine as well.  It presents itself as a fancy dish that looks like you worked really hard…good news…it’s quite simple.  Even better news…it’s special enough for company or a celebration, but it’s perfect for just high-fiving the fact that the whole family was able to make it to the table to share a meal together on a week night!   Continue reading “Marinated Flank Steak”