Monday, December 31, 2012

Southern Living "Cooking for Christmas"

I was given the pleasure of cooking for 12 people over the Christmas holiday! And yes, I volunteered. I was actually given this cookbook from my Mother-in-Law, and I really wanted to try the recipes out. Only having 4 in my little family, most of these recipes call for 8 to 12 serving size, so this was a perfect opportunity to really test them out! 5 meals for 12 people cost about $700 in groceries, and that is considering I have all the spices and basics (like sugar, flour, ect...). The book uses expensive cuts of meat, which can be substituted for a "cheaper" cut, which I will make note of when I post the recipe. I also appreciated the fact that they use winter veggies, things that would be in season at this time of the year!
I highly recommend buying this cookbook if you plan to make a lot of these recipes. The cookbook includes a lot of cooking tips and trick and more advice that I haven't included on my posts. There is also a few more recipes in each of the meals I used that I won't be posting, so to get the full effect of the meal, again, I recommend buying the book.

The five different meals were put together in separate chapters, and there were more meals, but the 5 were the ones I chose to use over the short time I had to cook. The book also has individual recipes in the back half if you don't want to cook the entire meal. There were several recipes I looked at in the meals that I was really iffy about and not sure if we would like it, but I am so glad that I took that leap of faith. These meals were professionally put together to compliment each other and so no dish would dominate another. 

There is also drinks and desserts included with each meal....which we took advantage of as well. Like the meat, the alcohol needed for them can also be pricey, so if there is a good substitute for it, I'll will make note of that as well, but if the "fancy" alcohol is recommended, please take my word for it that its worth the extra penny.

The meal choices I made:
(the images are all my own!)

"Fondue Fun"
~Two-Cheese-and-Honey Fondue
~Tomato-and-Herb Fondue
~Mixed Salad Greens
~Mississippi Mud Fondue

"Easy Supper Club"
~Bacon-Arugula-Apple Bite
~Herbed Pork Roast
~Roasted Fall Veggies
~Puffed Mashed Potaotes
~Basil-and-Blue Cheese Salad
~Brandy Alexander Cheesecake

"An Elegant Holiday Dinner"
~Cherry-Pecan Brie
~Tossed Greens-and-Grapes Salad
~Easy Asiago-Olive Rolls
~Pancetta Wrapped Beef Tenderloin
with Whipped Horseradish Cream
~Crispy Potatoes with Fennel
~Lemon-Garlic Green Beans
~Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

"Feast with Friends"
~Quick Winter Pickled Veggies
~Deviled Ham Terrine
~Kumquat Martini
~Fennel-Crusted Rib Roast
~Roasted Asparagus
~Warm Greens with Cornbread Croutons
~Buttermilk Panna Cotta
with Zinfandel-Poached Figs
"Casual Texas Holiday"
~White Bean-and-Black Olive Crostini
~Sparkling Sipper
~Citrus-Walnut Salad
~Roasted Green Beans with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
~Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes
~Roasted Turkey Stuffed with Hazelnut Dressing
~Upside-Down Apple Tart
Please see disclaimer

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pin-trosity! Pork loin & Apples

Crock-Pot Pork Loin & Apples

I have seen this particular "pin" many many times on Pinterest, and of course I pinned it to try it out. Lets just say, it was not a hit with the family. In fact, if we had a dog, I'm pretty sure the dog wouldn't want it either.

Maybe that was a little extreme. I love being able to taste the favors in my food, and this recipe had none. There was a "lot" of work put into it too--cut the slits, slice the apple, stuff the apple in the pork...cover with cinnamon yada yada yada. I was just really disappointed. It was awfully dry and apple did NOTHING for it. I could taste a little honey and cinnamon around the edges, but that was pushing the limits.

So what would I do differently? Not really sure that much could be done. Seriously.

I took a "pretty" picture before I let it cook....

....but that won't do me any good. I won't post a recipe that I don't approve!

Anyone else try this? Have ANY luck??

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Creamy Nutmeg Chicken [crock-pot]


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tblsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 (10-3/4 oz) cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 Tblsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed

  • Brown chicken in skillet in the oil. Reserve drippings and place chicken in the slow cooker.
  • Saute onions and parsley in dripping until onions are tender.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour over chicken.
  • Cover. Cook on low 3-4 hours, or until juices run clear.
recipe from "Fix-It and Forget-It" Christmas Cookbook @2010

Friday, December 21, 2012

FBF: Snowmen & Reindeer Donuts


click on image to see full post from 12/17/2011

Thursday, December 20, 2012

GP: Blueberry Buckle w/ Cinnamon Bourbon Glaze

Guilty Pleasures has done it again....[this has to be my favorite so far....]


1 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten [I used egg replacer and it worked just fine!]
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 pints blueberries

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 9x11-in pan.
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg. 
  • Sift flour with baking soda. Stir dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk into cream mixture. 
  • Spread mixture in prepared dish. Cover with berries.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger

  • Combine all ingredients [use a food processor] until crumbly. Crumble over berries.
  • Bake 1 hour until brown.

1/2 cup butter
2/4 cup sugar
2 eggs [again, I used egg replacer and it worked the same!]
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tblsp very hot water
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup bourbon

  • Melt butter over simmering heat in a double boiler. Beat sugar, eggs, and cinnamon in bowl, then add to butter; add water, stirring until mixture coats back of spoon (7 minutes). 
  • Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. 
  • Beat in whipping cream and bourbon. 

Serve squares of Blueberry Buckle topped with warm Cinnamon Bourbon Sauce. Serves 10-12.

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To purchase this cookbook, Go to Quail Ridge Press.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday {{w/ linky}}


We had our Batallion Ball last weekend. We had a lot of fun, like always!

We LOVE photo-booth props!!

Have a holiday "Sweets" recipe you'd like to share? Link it up here! A few will be featured at the end! 
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...and add your "Wordless Wednesdays" up below!

Curried Chicken & Veggie Stew [Crock-Pot]


1 (16 oz) package of frozen stew vegetables [I just used about 6 carrots, 1/2 onion and a few potatoes]
4 large chicken thighs, skinned [I also used boneless]
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup
2 tsp curry powder
1 Tblsp cilantro

  • Place [frozen] stew vegetables in a 3-1/2 or 4-qt slow cooker. Top with chicken. Sprinkle with pepper. 
  • In a small bowl, stir together soup and curry powder. Pour soup mixture over all in cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low-heat for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat for 3 to 3-1/2 hours. 
  • Remove and discard the chicken bones and, if desired, break meat into large pieces. 
  • Sprinkle each serving with cilantro.
recipe from Better Homes and Gardens "Diabetic Slow Cooker" Fall/Winter 2012 edition

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Smoothie


10oz Frozen Strawberries, slightly thawed
1/4 cup water
2 cups vanilla frozen yogurt
1 candy cane, slightly crushed, and one to garnish
green food coloring gel

  • In a blender, process strawberries and water. Move to another cup
  • Placed crushed candy canes on a place. Cover rim of the glass with green food gel, then invert over crushed candy cane.
  • Pour the strawberries in the glass at the same time as the frozen yogurt to create swirl.
  • Garnish with candy cane and serve immediately. 

Don't forget to hop over to the Holiday Sweets Round-Up to link up fabulous Christmas desserts!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Sweets Round-Up! {linky}

Trying something new this weekend! So many Christmas parties and gatherings, I could use all the help possible with deciding what to bring! I've partnered up with Ground Beef Budget Cooking and More and Noshing with the Nolands to participate in the fun! Please visit their pages with sweets and show them some blog-love! =)

Quick Eggnog Pie

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rocky Road Chocolate

So now help us out with some delicious dishes! 
This is a blog hop! Link up your "sweets" recipes! Please limit to only 3, thanks!

Friday, December 14, 2012

FBF: Peanut Butter Cookies


click on image to see full post from 12/13/2011

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Guilty Pleasures: Cappuccino-Chocolate Coffeecake

This recipe is really simple and the flavor in the end isn't overly sweet and the coffee-flavored chocolate swirls in the cake give it a great touch. I especially love the coconut mixture on the top! This is a great dish to bring to a brunch or coffee event!


1/3 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 Tblsp butter, melted, divided
2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
2 tsp powdered instant coffee

  • Heat over to 400 degrees F.
  • Grease an 8x8-inch square pan.
  • Mix coconut, nuts, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon butter. Set aside.
  • Beat remaining ingredients (including remaining sugar and butter), except chocolate chips and coffee, in a large bowl on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on medium speed 4 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into prepared pan.
  • Stir together melted chocolate and coffee; spoon over batter. Lightly swirl chocolate mixture through batter several times with knife for marbled effect. 
  • Sprinkle coconut mixture evenly over top.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
  • Serves 6-8.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday {w/ linky}


Markle, our Elf on the Shelf, hasn't been too mischievous this year, but rather creative!
Make a paper chain to count down to Christmas!

Going to a ride!

Make a wish-list for Santa!

Kids didn't keep their rooms clean, so the toys took him hostage!

~Please follow Cookin' for my Captain via GFC, FaceBook or Networks Blog!
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Christmas Cookies Review


Here are a few of the cookies I made last year. I did a "25 Days of Christmas Sweets" every day. For 25 days. I'm not going to do that was a LOT of work.

But here, enjoy them again this year!




Monday, December 10, 2012

Guilty Pleasures: Sweet Potato Custard Pie

Another FANTASTIC delight from the book "Guilty Pleasures." I haven't been disappointed in anything that I've made so far! I can tell that this cookbook will stay out front in my cookbook collection.


1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes [I found this in a CAN--made the process much faster!]
1 cup sugar
2-1/2 tblsp butter, melted
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups scalded milk
Pinch of nutmeg
1 (9-inch) deep dish pie shell or 2 (9-inch) regular pie shells

  • Mix potatoes, sugar, and butter; beat well. 
  • Add egg yolks, vanilla, milk and nutmeg; beat together well. 
  • Beat egg whites stiff, adding them last; stir well. Pour into pie shell(s). 
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F for 20 minutes (deep dish may take longer).  [I used deep dish, and increased the time to 40 minutes and 30 minutes]
  • Test for doneness with a knife. Serves 8.

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To purchase this cookbook, Go to Quail Ridge Press.

Friday, December 7, 2012

FBF: Eggnog Pretzels

What a perfect Flash-Back this week since publishing the Quick Eggnog Pie!


click on image to see full post from 12/7/2011

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Guilty Pleasures: Quick Eggnog Pie

I was given the pleasure to review a wonderful cookbook called "Guilty Pleasures" by Gwen McKee and Barbara Mosely. I was like "ohhh time to bring out the fat pants"! There are so many fantastic recipes ranging from cakes to pies to breakfast sweets and anything in between for any occasion that you might want to have a sweet. Recipes are well written, easy to follow and you know that when you make one of them in the book, that it has been perfected.

I choose an easier recipe to start out. This pie has a very rich flavor, absolutely amazing. However, if you don't like eggnog, you will NOT like this pie. I used rum instead of vanilla flavoring and it added another level of flavor, almost a kick. A small piece was definitely enough!


1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 tblsp cold water
2 cups commercially prepared eggnog
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla or rum flavoring [I used rum!]
1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie shell
Nutmeg for garnish
  • Soften gelatin in cold water. 
  • Warm eggnog over direct low heat. Stir in softened gelatin, and continue heating until completely dissolved. Chill until partially set, then beat until smooth.
  • Into stiffly whipped cream, beat sugar, salt and flavoring. 
  • Fold into eggnog mixture. Pour into pie shell. 
  • Chill 2-4 hours. Garnish with nutmeg. Serves 8.

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To purchase this cookbook, Go to Quail Ridge Press.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday {linky}


The little Elf on the Shelf has become a huge sensation this year. We started our Elf, MARKLE, a couple years ago, and he has gotten into many funny situations! Here are a few of my favorites from the past!

See more of his mischief by clicking any of the pictures. =)
Don't forget to enter the fabulous 2012 Holiday Gift Extravaganza!
~Please follow Cookin' for my Captain via GFC, FaceBook or Networks Blog!
~Leave a comment if you're a new follower, so I can return the follow!
~Grab the WW button if you want to...
...and add your "Wordless Wednesdays" up below!
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