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EASY CORN CASSEROLE




2 cans whole kernel corn (1 drained)
1 can cream corn
1 stick butter, melted
8 oz. sour cream
1 package of corn muffin mix (Martha White or Jiffy)
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
Optional: red pepper

How to make it


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease casserole bowl with a little butter.  In a large bowl, stir or whisk together the 3 cans of corn (1 can of the whole kernel corn is drained & the other can should still have the water),  corn muffin mix,  sour cream,  melted butter, and cheddar cheese.  Sprinkle with a little red pepper before baking.   Bake 45-55 minutes, until golden brown.  Serves 6

PINA COLADA RUM CAKE




INGREDIENTS:

1 box Duncan Hines Classic Golden Butter Cake mix (preferred mix) or Classic Yellow
1/4 C (4 oz.-1 stick)  unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
8-oz. can crushed pineapple in juice, drained (reserve juice to make 1/4 cup)
1/4 C reserved juice of crushed pineapple
1/4 C Malibu Rum (or any light rum)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray Pam for baking into a bundt pan.  Using an electric mixer, combine cake mix, butter, eggs, 1/4 C reserved juice and 1/4 C Rum, beat at low speed to combine.  Beat at medium speed for two minutes.  Fold in drained crushed pineapple.  Pour batter in prepared pan  Bake 33-36 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  While cake is baking, prepare glaze.

How to make it


GLAZE:

1/2 C cream of coconut (Coco Lopez)
1/2 C Malibu rum
1/4 C confectioner’s sugar
Shake cream of coconut can well before measuring.  Add cream of coconut to small saucepan and heat just until bubbles form.  Remove from heat and stir in rum.  Set aside.  When cake is done baking, set on rack.  Use a thin bamboo skewer to poke holes in cake.  Pour half of glaze over warm cake, letting it soak in.

When cake is cool, turn onto serving plate.  Whisk together remaining glaze with confectioner’s sugar until smooth and drizzle over top of cake.

(makes 1 bundt cake)

MANDARIN ORANGE PINEAPPLE ALMOND CAKE




1 yellow cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines Butter Yellow Cake Mix)

1 (11 oz.) can Mandarin Oranges with juice

4 eggs

1/2 C chopped walnuts

1/2 C canola oil

1 (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained

1 (12 oz.) Cool Whip (can use low-fat)

1 (5 oz.) instant vanilla pudding

1/2 to 1 tsp. grated orange or tangerine peel

Optional:  Extra whole Mandarin oranges and dry cherries for garnish, also 1-2 cups of sliced almonds, patted on the sides.

How to make it


Preheat oven to 325 for dark or non-stick pans.  Grease and flour 3 eight inch cake pans (can use Pam spray for baking).   Mix cake mix, Mandarine Oranges with juice, eggs, walnuts and oil until oranges are broken and mixture is fluffy, beat about 2 minutes.  Divide into 3 pans.  Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Set aside to cool on cooling rack.

Mix pineapple,  Cool Whip, zest and pudding until fluffy.  Frost between layers, sides and top.

Optional:  You can garnish with circles of Mandarine Oranges and dry cherries in the center and sliced Almonds patted on the sides.  This makes for a beautiful cake!

POTATO EGG CASSEROLE




6 eggs
1/2 c. milk
20 ounce bag refrigerated diced potatoes with onions (equal to 3 cups)
6 links of Jimmy Dean Brown-N-Serve Sausage Links 
1 c. Baby Portabella Mushrooms, diced fine
1/4 c. Red Pepper, diced fine
1 c. shredded Longhorn Cheddar Cheese
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Lets start with the basics:


1.  I find that 6 eggs and 1/2 cup milk works best for a 9 x 9 casserole pan.  That's pretty much a given, so don't change-it-up too much when it comes to the egg/milk basics.

2.  Refrigerated pre-diced Potatoes are perfect for this recipe.  No dicing and slicing necessary; which makes them ideal for a house filled with hungry mouths and a fast ticking clock.

3. Ditto with the Brown-N-Serve Sausage Links. No frying necessary. This just makes my life so much easier.

These are the refrigerated diced potatoes I'm using.  They already have diced onions in them which gives me more free ticks on my fast ticking clock.

But if you can't find the ones with onions....remember our little Change-It-Up Rule;  If you like em' add em' , if you don't, forget it.
The refrigerated potatoes are perfectly cut in cute little squares.  So handy.
Place your potatoes in a large bowl and set aside.

Dice up your mushrooms, or your Change-It-Up veggie, into one cup.

Make sure they are smallish in size. 

Set aside.
Now dice up the red pepper, also smallish, to 1/3 cup measurements.  Set aside.
If you're using a veggie that might be a bit stronger in flavor, like the red pepper, or onion or green pepper, I like to use only 1/3 cup so the flavor doesn't take over the dish.

That way the milder veggies, like mushrooms, tomatoes, or fresh spinach, or whatever change-it-up veggie you use, can be in 1 cup measurements.

Now for the meat portion. I use the Jimmy Dean Brown-N-Serve sausage links.  That way, no frying or prep time is taking up my ticking clock.

They come in a convenient 2-pack.  Not to be confused with Tupac.  6 sausage links to each pack.

Use only ONE pack, and toss the other pack in the fridge for another time. 
Dice up the 6 sausage in bite-sized pieces and set aside.
 In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and milk, and pour over the potatoes.
Add two nice sized pinches of Kosher Salt to the potato egg mixture and combine well.
In a frying pan, squirt in about 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil and on medium high heat saute the red pepper, mushrooms and sausage pieces.  Just until everything gets nice and warm, and tender.

Once done, combine with potato egg mixture.
Shred your Longhorn Cheddar cheese, or whatever Change-It-Up cheese you prefer, and toss with potato mixture and combine all ingredients.

Spray a 9x9 square casserole pan with non-stick spray and pour in your mixture.

Sprinkle top with a little black pepper. 
Toss in your pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes.  Keep an eye on it, as you're looking for the egg to not be jiggly in the middle.  Oh, I hate the word jiggly.  Which reminds me....I need to go to the gym when I'm done posting this.
Should look something terribly delicious, like this.
Quick little Egg Casserole Tip:

Always let your egg casserole (also goes for any sort of Quiche) sit at room temperature for a good 15 minutes before cutting.  20 minutes would be even better.  It cuts much easier, and for some reason, the flavors come together after it has set for awhile.

Once your casserole has finished his little 20 minute nap, cut into nice little squares.
Use the Change-It-Up Rule, and make this for dinner.

CHICKEN-BISCUIT BAKE




6 slices bacon, chopped

1 large red onion, chopped

1 cup chopped carrots

2 celery stalks, chopped

3 cups chopped deli-roasted chicken

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

6 tbsp butter

6 tbsp all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup half-and-half

3 tbsp sherry (yes, I used cooking sherry)

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 can biscuits (I used Pillsbury 8-count Flaky Layers)

How to make it


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly grease large baking dish

2) In large skillet over medium-high, cook bacon 5-6 minutes until crispy; add onions, carrots, and celery and cook 5 minutes until veggies soften; remove from heat

3) Evenly spread chicken over bottom of baking dish, followed by cooked veggies and peas; set aside

4) In same large skillet over medium heat, melt butter; whisk in flour and cook 1 minute; gradually whisk in chicken broth and cook 4-5 minutes, whisking often, until sauce thickens; whisk in half-and-half and, whisking often, cook 3 minutes; whisk in sherry and nutmeg and remove from heat

5) Pour sauce over chicken-veggie mixture; separate biscuits horizontally into 2 layers and arrange on top of chicken-veggie mixture (I used 5 of the 8 biscuits and also halved them vertically); bake in oven 20 minutes until filling bubbles and biscuits are browned; remove from oven and serve; yum!

Nancy's Cream Cheese Pizza Dip




Nancy's Cream Cheese Pizza Dip

24 oz cream cheese ( 3 - 8 oz. blocks)
1 green pepper, diced 
1/4 red onion, diced 
5 oz sliced pepperoni (or chopped will make it easier for dipping)
About 8 oz. (1/2 jar) Pasta / Pizza / Marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Pita Chips, Fritos or Tortilla Chips for dipping

How to make it


Slice the cream cheese into slices and pat into appx 9 x 13 baking dish so that it covers the bottom.  
Sprinkle chopped green pepper, onion and a handful of mozzarella over cream cheese.  Optional, sprinkle with some grated parmesan.
Next, layer the pepperoni over the veggies to cover completely (since posting this I have made this several more times and began using about double the pepperoni and grinding it or chopping it in small pieces so the dip is easier to scoop). Sprinkle with a little more grated parmesan and mozzarella.
Pour a thin layer of the saucer over the pepperoni and spread it out to cover completely.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until sauce begins to brown around edges of pan and looks a little dry.
Top with remaining shredded mozzarella and return to over for about 10 minutes to brown or Broil for a few minutes.  I broiled it here to get the cheese super bubbly.  Just be sure to watch closely if you broil it because it can burn so fast!
Serve it up with Pita chips (our favorite choice) Fritos or tortilla chips…or whatever you like to crunch on! 
P/S some of the kids and their friends liked it cold, the next day!
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did, and do!

Fresh Strawberry Pie




Ingredients

Crust

1 box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

Filling

3 pints (6 cups) fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
4 to 5 drops red food color, if desired

Topping

1 cup sweetened whipped cream

Steps


1 Heat oven to 450°F. Bake pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell, using 9-inch glass pie plate. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 15 minutes.
2 Meanwhile, in small bowl, crush enough strawberries to make 1 cup. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; stir in crushed strawberries and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. If desired, stir in food color. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
3 Place remaining strawberries, whole or sliced, in cooled baked shell. Pour cooked strawberry mixture evenly over berries. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours, before serving.
4 Just before serving, top pie with sweetened whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.


Expert Tips
Substitute 6 cups sliced peeled fresh peaches for the strawberries. Omit red food color.
Substitute 6 cups fresh raspberries for the strawberries.

Orange Raisin Cookies




2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsps. grated orange peel, optional
3 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups raisins

How to make it


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a baking sheet.

Mix together flour, sugar, and butter. Add orange juice, orange peel, eggs, baking powder, salt and vanilla and mix well. Turn in raisins. 

Drop on prepared baking sheet two inches apart; bake 12 to 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Zucchini Cake



Serves 8-12

The Cake

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups Granulated sugar
The Frosting

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon Mapleline or other maple flavoring
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted before measuring
1 cup Whole salted, roasted almonds - coarsely chopped 

How to make it


Preheat oven to 325 degrees 
In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, oil, zucchini, sugar and vanilla until well blended. 
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. 
Add the dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and stir just until combined. 
Divide batter evenly into THREE 9" cake pans. (Well-greased or non-stick). If you don't have three cake pans, 
bake the cake in batches. Bake cakes until they are light brown on top and set in the middle - 22 to 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. 
While the cakes are cooling, make the icing. In a medium sauce pan, combine the brown sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring constantly until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved - about 2 to 3 minutes. 
Pour in the milk. Continue to stir and bring to a boil. 
Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Mapleline flavoring. Set aside to cool slightly. 
Place the sifted powdered sugar in a large bowl. Pour the butter mixture over the powdered sugar and mix by hand for 2 to 3 minutes until the icing is smooth. 
While the frosting is still warm, but not hot, place one layer of the cake on a plate and pour icing over the center. Spred the icing out to the edges, then set the next cake on top. Repeat. Set the third cake on top and pour the remaining glaze over the cake. 
Spread the icing to the edges of the top layer and let it naturally drip down the sides, or use your spreader to frost the sides - your choice! Sprinkle the top of the cake generously with coarsely chopped candied pecans. 
Let the icing set for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Wonderful served with vanilla ice-cream. This cake will store well for a few days at room temperature, wrapped tightly.