The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. -- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin --

Friday, December 12, 2014

Faithy's Holiday Favorites...

HOWDY friends...
Just popping in to share a few of my holiday favorites, and to wish each and every one of you a wonderfully blessed holiday season.

Our family Christmas involves LOTS of people, so buying gifts for everyone is a bit challenging, since we never seem to know exactly what folks want or need, AND because buying gifts for that many people can get pretty expensive.  The past few years, I've started making baked goods, jams & jellies for folks, and I really enjoy it.  Eventually I'm learning each person's favorites, and gearing towards those, but generally, most folks are willing to try new stuff too, and they appreciate the time spent on a homemade gift.

Anyway...not much time to post these days, but I thought I'd share some of my favorites.  I hope you'll give some of them a try, and report back to let me know what you thought.

1.  Faithy's Quick & Easy Microwave Peanut Brittle - My hubby & I have been making and sharing this recipe for more years than I can count.  Sooooo very easy, and ALWAYS a hit!


2.  Oatmeal Brittle - We tried this for the first time last year, and oh boy was it good!!  It's definitely on  our tried & true list now!


3.  Magic Mint Chocolate Bark - This is another one I've been making for quite a few years now.  It really doesn't get much easier than this, and it's very adaptable...you can change the mint-chocolate chips to any flavor of chips you like, and change the almonds to some other nut or topping of your choice.  (I often use regular, dark or white chocolate chips topped with crushed peppermint, but the original is still my personal favorite!)


4.  Apple Cider Caramels - These require a little extra effort (mostly in wrapping each one individually), but they are sooooooooo worth it!  I can't even describe how good these are!!

 
5.  Quick & Easy Cranberry-Orange Scones - These are definitely one of my "go-to" recipes anytime I have overnight guests.  Easy & delicious...AND if you really want to make things painless during the holidays, they can be made ahead and frozen, then baked whenever you're ready.  BIG THANKS to my awesome sister-in-law Brandy for sharing this recipe with me years ago!!


6.  Faithy's Poppin' Pepper Jelly - I started making this several years ago, and it's always a hit as well.  (A lot of the guys on my list really like this one!)  It's also very colorful and festive to serve over the holidays.



7.  Gig'em Red Velvet Cookies - I found this recipe in a mystery book by Joanne Fluke quite a while back, and it's a great cookie recipe to use ANY time of year!!


8.  Oatrageous Cookies - I found a bar cookie recipe in a magazine years ago, and adapted it to make large cookies (4" diameter or so) that can be individually wrapped and given as gifts or used as place markers at parties.  You can also make them regular sized if you want.  They're ALWAYS delicious!!


9.  Steph's Pecan Bars - I found these on another blog a while back, and they've definitely become a favorite!


10.  Faithy's Favorite Cranberry Orange Waffle Mix - This makes a beautiful mix that can be given as a gift.  I also like to keep some stored in my freezer for some yummy waffles without too much effort.


11.  Faithy's Favorite English Muffin Bread - This one is probably the recipe I've used most in my life!  It is so easy to make, and makes a great gift, along with some homemade jam or jelly (or even a nice store-bought one if you don't have time to make any).  It's also great to have on hand to serve guests.  If you've ever spent a night at my house, you've probably had some!  It's also a treasured recipe passed along to me from one of my very favorite relatives, so it brings her to mind every time we make it.


12.  Fruit & Nut Bars - If you like mincemeat (which I do), you'll LOVE these delicious bar cookies.  I just used the recipe straight off the mincemeat jar, but I'm sharing the link for the recipe on the None Such mincemeat website.  I may never make another mincemeat pie...but these are definitely on my holiday list!


13.  Chocolate Pretzel Rings - for some reason I don't have a picture of these, but I've been making them for my nephew for more years than I can count.  I've also made variations with different flavored chocolate "Kisses" or "Hugs", as well as one using "Rolo" candies & pecan halves in place of the "Kisses" & "M&M's".  SUPER easy and always appreciated.  The hardest part is unwrapping the individual candies.  (HINT:  If you can find the unwrapped Kisses or Rolos, use them...they'll save a lot of time, especially if you're making quite a few!)

14.  Potato Candy - I don't have a picture of these either, but this is a favorite recipe I learned from my German Dad as a kid.  I didn't have it typed up, so I'm linking you to a version I found online (just ignore the Irish part and think German, LOL!).  I've never actually measured my ingredients...just used one potato and enough powdered sugar to get my dough to the consistency I want.  Be warned though, it takes plenty of powdered sugar for even a small potato, and the potato will liquify as you start to add it.  You can use smooth peanut butter if you prefer, but I like the crunchy for more texture.

Anyway...I gotta go so I can actually get started on making some of this stuff!  LOL!  I hope you can find something new to try with your family this year.

May your Christmas be filled with love, laughter and the great blessing of family, and may we never forget the TRUE REASON behind all the celebrating...JESUS CHRIST our SAVIOR!!!

Blessings,
--Faithy

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Faithy's Quick & Easy (Microwave) Peanut Brittle


Just popping in to share one of my favorite holiday recipes.  My hubby & I have been making this for so long, I have no idea where we originally found the recipe, but it is definitely on our "tried and true" list!

It's VERY easy, and not even very messy.  If you like peanut brittle, you can have a batch ready to eat in no time at all!  We make LOTS of it to give as gifts every year, and it's ALWAYS a hit.  People think we've worked so hard making it, but there's really nothing to it!


If you've always wanted to try making peanut brittle, but were afraid it would be too hard, this is the recipe for YOU!  (I don't even use a candy thermometer!)

You'll need to keep moving with this recipe, because you don't want the mixture to cool until you're finished, so be sure to READ THE RECIPE ALL THE WAY THROUGH BEFORE STARTING...so you know what's coming.  I always have my ingredients pre-measured before I start, so I can just dump and stir quickly.

Anyway...all you do is...

Mix 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup light Karo Syrup in a large microwaveable bowl with handle.  (I use an 8-cup Pyrex measuring cup - helpful, because the mixture gets REALLY hot.)  


Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Stir in 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts(I prefer to use raw, unsalted peanuts.  Spanish peanuts, in the skins, are my favorite, as they add a touch of color.  I watch for sales year round - especially AFTER Christmas - then stock up and store them in my freezer.)

Microwave on high 3 to 5 minutes or until light brown.  Stir in 1 tsp. butter and 1 tsp. vanilla.  (Be careful, as the mixture will be very hot, and may spatter.)   

Microwave on high 1 to 2 minutes more.  Peanuts will be light brown and syrup very hot.  (No matter how tempting it may be...DO NOT lick the spoon, or attempt to wipe the mixture off with your fingers...trust me...it's like napalm at this point!)

Add 1 tsp. baking soda, and stir gently until light and foamy.  (You need to work quickly here, because the mixture will harden fast as it cools.)  Pour mixture immediately onto lightly greased cookie sheet and spread to desired thickness.  (I recommend using a flexible cookie sheet if you have one...it's much easier to remove the cooled peanut brittle once it's done by just giving the pan a little twist...and DON'T FORGET to grease the pan first!)  Let cool for about 30 minutes, or until cool to the touch.  Break into pieces & enjoy!

Depending on the power of your microwave, you may have to adjust the times a little, but don't change them much...burned peanut brittle isn't so good.  

I hope you'll give this recipe a try, and let me know what you think.  Maybe it will become one of your family favorites too!

Happy Holiday Cooking my friends!!
Blessings,
--Faithy 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Apple Chai Muffins revisited...

HOWDY friends...
Just popping in to let you know I'm still alive & well, just too busy to stop and post any recipes lately.  I'm hoping that will change soon.  I've missed it! 

Anyway...I hope you're enjoying the beginnings of cooler weather as much as I am.  It's been wonderful to be able to sit on the porch for my morning devotion time without the sweltering heat!  Thanks God!

These cooler temps have me thinking of my favorite fall recipes, so even though I don't really have time to post anything new, I thought I'd re-share one of my favorites so you can try it too.

These Apple Chai Muffins are soooo good, you'll want to try them as soon as you can!  Click here for my version of the recipe.


I found the original recipe over at Modern Mrs. Cleaver's blog site, and tweaked it just a little.  You can find her original recipe here.  Why don't you live on the edge and try both versions...then let us both know what you think!

Get outside and enjoy the lovely weather and God's incredible creation whenever you can.  It's good for the soul.

Blessings,
--Faithy

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mango/Kiwi-Green Tea Smoothie -- Bon Appetite!!!


Remembering Julia Child on what would have been her 102nd birthday today!  She was a great model of how to be fearless in the kitchen.  Never be afraid to try new things...if something doesn't work out...just try again.
 
Not much time to write today, so I'll just share this single-serving Mango-Green Tea Smoothie recipe I came across on Joy Bauer's website.  I only altered the original recipe a little bit...my version is below.  Yum!
 
Mango/Kiwi-Green Tea Smoothie
 
Ingredients:
1 green tea bag
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt (the original recipe called for vanilla)
1 cup mango chunks, fresh or frozen (I’ve made it with both…if you use the frozen, you won’t need as many ice cubes as you would with the fresh, but either way is are delicious!)
1 whole kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
3 to 5 ice cubes
 
Directions:
Pour the boiling water over the tea bag, and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes.  Remove the tea bag and let the liquid cool to room temperature.
 
Combine all ingredients in your blender and pulse until it reaches smoothie consistency.  Pour into a glass and serve immediately.
 
If you're looking for some more healthy recipes...be sure to stop by Joy's recipe page and check out more of her nutritious AND yummy stuff!!
 
Bon Appetite and happy cooking y'all!!
 
Blessings,
--Faithy
 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Faithy's Favorite Coleslaw

HOWDY again friends…
Just making a quick stop to post my favorite coleslaw recipe.  I found it many years ago, in one of my favorite cookbooks (The Best of Country Cooking – 2nd Edition) by Reiman Publications.  It was published in 1995 and is filled with yummy stuff.  Look for it.  If you can find it (I’ve seen it on Amazon) you’ll be glad you did!   The original recipe is on page 239, listed as Cabbage Slaw.
 
I generally just buy some pre-shredded cabbage (red & green mixed) in a bag (if it doesn’t come with shredded carrots in it, I add some).  Then I use the dressing recipe found in the book with a few minor adaptations to lower the calorie count. 

I’ve found that it makes a lot if you use the recipe as-is, so my version is a half-batch, because I don’t like my coleslaw too soupy.  It’s best if you make it several hours ahead of time so it can sit in the fridge and absorb all the flavors.


Faithy’s Favorite Coleslaw

8 to 12 oz. shredded cabbage (you can shred your own or use the bagged kind like me)
1 small carrot, shredded (if the shredded cabbage doesn’t come with some already in it)

Dump all this in a large bowl, and mix well.

Dressing
1/2 cup real mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip)
1 Tablespoon skim milk (or regular milk, if you prefer)
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1-1/2 Tablespoons Whey-Low Type D (or regular sugar)
1/4 teaspoon salt (I don’t use as much as the original recipe)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed

Whisk everything together until smooth.  (I usually do this in a 2 cup measuring cup.) Pour over cabbage/carrot mixture and stir until all the cabbage is coated.  Cover & refrigerate until ready to serve.

That’s all there is to it!  Super simple and really good.  Give it a try with your favorite grilled meat or some yummy fish tacos.

Good night my friends…
Blessings,
--Faithy

Fish Tacos

HOWDY friends!  Sorry it’s been so long since I checked in.  I have been crazy-busy with real life, and just haven’t had time to blog.  I have been doing some recipe testing though, so hopefully I’ll have a chance to catch up on posting some of those soon.

I started a new job today, and I believe it will be a true blessing.  I should have a much lighter work schedule now, and hopefully more time to spend with my family…and you.

Anyway…I celebrated getting home early today by cooking dinner for my husband, Mom and step-father.  My darling hubby has been doing most of the cooking during the week for a while now because of my crazy schedule.  I’m hoping I’ll get to do more of that now as well.

I made some yummy fish tacos, one of our favorites, and I thought I’d take a minute to share my recipe…if you want to call it a recipe.  I don’t really measure anything, just mix it up and cook it.  I made these up based on my father-in-law's fried catfish recipe...with some panko added for extra crunch.

We eat these pretty often.  They are soooooo easy to throw together in a hurry, and even good left over to take in your lunch the next day.

Give these a try…you’ll like ‘em, I’m sure!


Fish Tacos
fish (I prefer a mild white fish – I’ve used Swai and Mahi Mahi)
hot sauce (I prefer Frank’s Red Hot)
yellow corn meal
panko
lemon pepper
hot oil
coleslaw (your favorite…or mine…)
corn tortillas (recently I’ve been using HEB’s Mixla corn & flour blend tortillas…they have a good corn taste, but don’t break as easily when bending)
salsa (any kind will do, but I love Zaasschila Salsa Guacamole and Habanero)

Basically, I just cut the fish into bite-sized pieces, dip it into the hot sauce, then dredge it in a mixture of cornmeal, panko (about 2 parts cornmeal to 1 part panko) & lemon pepper (to taste), then fry it in hot oil, and drain on paper towel before serving.  You can deep fry it or just fry it in a skillet on the stove.  If you do it on the stove top, just be sure to turn the fish so that both sides get nicely browned.

I don’t really know how long to say you should cook it…just until it starts to brown on both sides.  It cooks very quickly, and the whole meal comes together in no time.

Fill warm corn tortillas with fish, and top with coleslaw and salsa.  Enjoy!

I’ll post my coleslaw recipe too, just so you’ll have it.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends!
Blessings,
--Faithy

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

HOWDY!
Just thought I'd pop in and revisit my Cinco de Mayo Cookie recipe.  They're colorful, festive and fun to make, not to mention yummy.  It's also fun to get reactions from folks when you tell them the ingredients!  LOL!

You can find the recipe on my earlier blog post by clicking on this LINK!

May your day be filled with joy overflowing!!
Blessings,
--Faithy

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ooooh Sooooo Gooooood Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins!!



HOWDY friends!  I hope that this beautiful Lord’s Day finds each of you well and happy.  I got my morning off to a GREAT start by trying out this delicious new recipe I found on one of my favorite blog sites…Manila Spoon.  Abby has LOTS of great recipes, so if you haven’t checked out her site…DO IT NOW!!  You’ll be so glad you did!

I knew when I saw this one, that it HAD to be good, and boy was that an understatement!  These yummy muffins are so good, they’re sure to become one of your favorites.



Ooooh Sooooo Gooooood Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins!!

Ingredients
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup packed Whey Low Gold (or regular brown sugar)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup regular oats (not quick-cooking)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (the original recipe used 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 large eggs)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup fresh raspberries (I think fresh are best, but frozen would certainly work too)
1 cup miniature chocolate chips (you can use less if you want…I think I’ll try white chocolate chips next time)
1-2 Tbsp. white or brown sugar (I like to use a coarse sugar-- like Turbinado sugar -- for this part – my favorite is Sugar in the Raw)
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375F.  Spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
Melt the butter with the Whey Low Gold (or brown sugar) in a small sauce pan over low heat.
Combine the flours, oats, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl.
Whisk the egg substitute with the Greek yogurt until combined.  Add the vanilla.  Mix well.
Whisk the brown sugar-butter mixture into the yogurt mixture.
Pour in the flour mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon, until just incorporated.  Fold in raspberries and chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into muffin cups (using a large cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop).  Sprinkle generously with the turbinado sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-28 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Cool in the muffin tin for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 You can probably guess that I DID NOT wait for these to cool before taste-testing…the smell while they were baking was AMAZING!  I can honestly say that these are delicious hot or cold…with not added butter or anything when served. 

Run...don't walk...to your kitchen and make these NOW!  And don't forget to stop by Manila Spoon and say hi to Abby!
Enjoy this beautiful day that the Lord has made my friends!
Blessings,
--Faithy