It looks as though the baking aisle in every grocery store in Charlotte has exploded onto my kitchen island. I think I have more chocolate chips than Nestle and Hershey’s combined. I have nibs, pieces, chips, sprinkles, icings, and drops. I have flour, flour, and more flour. Sugars and spices and butter and eggs and a 2 quart jar of homemade vanilla extract. (more…)
I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen the last couple days and it doesn’t look to be ending until sometime tomorrow after I get done baking some cookies. I am in the mood for some giant molasses cookies. Or maybe some sugar cookies. Chocolate chip? See, I haven’t decided yet. And yes, even though I have 3 different pies in the house right now, I have a hankering to bake cookies. It’s kind of a transition between Thanksgiving and Christmas for me, I guess.
On the topic of Thanksgiving…
There are only 4 of us in the house so a whole turkey didn’t make sense in a lot of ways. For a few years now, I’ve done turkey breasts. Once, I roasted it in the oven, but last year and this year I cooked it overnight in the slow cooker. Oh. My. Goodness. Yum city! There are a variety of websites and blogs that have slow cooker turkey breast recipes, but the one I used this year is from Six Sisters Stuff… (more…)
Two things I love. Two things that make me happy. Throw in some coffee and I’m over the moon.
So, once a month, on the 3rd Thursday, I’ll be showcasing something I’ve baked and what I’m reading, or writing.
December might get more posts in regards to this, but that’s only because I bake up a storm for the holidays.
If you want to join in, you can do so on a blog if you have one, or send me your information in an email and I’ll post it here on my blog. I know I’m not the only one who likes to play around in the kitchen for fun… Am I?
Okay. Let’s talk something sweet, gooey, easy, not very messy, but very very tasty. It’s called Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring. I adapted my version from the original post which can be found on The Jones Way.
Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring
1 1/2 tubes Pillsbury Grands buttermilk/Southern style biscuits
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 C. maple syrup (I used Pure Maple Syrup, but you can use any kind you like)
1/3 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. chopped pecans, optional
1/4 C. chopped almonds, optional (more…)
This is definitely a different type of hop than what most of us are used to participating in and maybe different than what most of you may be used to hopping along to…
This hop is full of author swag which will be given away at the end of each day during the hop, holiday recipes, author spotlights, foodie romance excerpts, and a grand prize drawings for yummy gift baskets from Harry and David, which will be announced on author Amanda Usen‘s blog at the end of each hop!
As I mentioned, this is a different type of hop. There are 3, week long hops: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year…
To be entered for the Grand Prize, fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway form at the bottom of the post.
So, how ’bout we get on with the food. I know that’s what you’re here for… Don’t even try to deny it!
Sausage and Cheese Balls.
Yes, you read that right. I thought about giving up my Peanut Butter Pie recipe, or my Broccoli Casserole recipe, or the recipe for Apple Pie in a Pan (several recipes into one… this hasn’t been tested yet…). But Sausage and Cheese Balls are a tradition at Thanksgiving in our house. I’m usually the designated cook, that being passed down from my grandma, so how I cook it, if I cook it at all, is entirely within my discretion and power.
Of course, if things go wrong… *shudder* Luckily, nothing ever has.
I usually make 3-4 batches of Sausage and Cheese Balls, but they must last from appetizer on Thanksgiving Day, to snack times on Black Friday, and on thru game time of the Florida/Florida State football game on Saturday. It is imperative that we not run out of these savory devils.
I also, steer away from the official Jimmy Dean recipe. Nothing against it, I simply add to and take away as my taste dictates.
Sausage and Cheese Balls (the recipe is easily halved)
2 pkgs. Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage Rolls (I use the one flavored with sage, but you can use whichever makes you happy)
3-4 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I use sharp)
2oz Cream Cheese (for creaminess)
1-1 1/2 cups Bisquick (or other all purpose baking mix)
up to 1/4 cup Buttermilk (for moisture)
This is a messy recipe too. No mixers, food processors, blenders, or forks. Get your hands dirty, people! The only thing I use a utensil for with these, is a 1″ or 1 1/2″ cookie scoop, and that’s only for uniformity. We don’t want odd size balls. (Get your minds out of the gutters people! And that includes you *points* in the corner… I KNOW what you’re thinking…)
Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
Once cool, I plate them in the proper dish and we dig in.
Of course, in our house, the serving dish or dishes is just as important as the sausage balls themselves.
This is the set I use (because yes, Thanksgiving weekend is the prelude to football on Saturday):
They basically look like meatballs, but can taste like a sausage and cheese biscuit. We mostly eat them plain, but mustard works really well as a dip.
They’re easy, messy, and delicious. We’ve been making them in our family for as long as I can remember and they’re as important in our Thanksgiving celebrations as the turkey and pies are.
This recipe has nothing to do with any of my books. It’s a personal tradition for my family and no one I’ve written in yet. But, because this is not only for delicious recipes, but for us to get our books in front of possible new readers. I write books with coffee and cakes and cookies. None, however are set around Thanksgiving. The best I can do at this point, is my latest release (which came out Wednesday). Here’s the cover and the blurb:
Once Brax traded in his suit and law degree for part ownership in his best friend’s tattoo parlor, Love and Tattoos, he never looked back. Inked from head to toe, full of business smarts, and an affinity for classical music and hard sex, he’s got life right where he wants it.
Until the woman he can’t stop craving comes home. She’s full of luscious curves, looks a little unsure of herself, and has taken to acting a little odd around him. Brax can’t help but wonder why.
The corporate advertising firm in Philadelphia that Annie buttoned up her carefree personality for has laid her off. Now, back in North Carolina, she’s trying to find her sparks again. Her career is changing direction, her sex life is nearly dead, and the one thing worth having in the midst of it all is supposedly off limits.
Brax’s cockiness and Annie’s own desire to for the tattoo artist, dares her to believe he might know her better than she thinks he does. And when he promises that he can help her find what’s missing in her life, she agrees to his little after-hours game.
The challenge he lays out comes with a few strings, the suggestion of stripping, confessions, and the temptation of ink. But, they’ve never been that close, so how could she possibly lose?
Here are the Spotlight Authors for the Thanksgiving portion of the Hungry Hearts Holiday Hop. They are being hosted on Amanda Usen’s blog! :
Meg Lacey – 11/1
Gina Gordon – 11/2
Rachel Harris – 11/3
Christine Warner – 11/4
Kate Meader – 11/5
Karen Stivali – 11/6
Liz Everly – 11/7
‘); // ]]>
I was supposed to have a release this week, Love and Tattoos. However, some family things have come up that have pushed it back a few days. I hope to have it out to my readers within a few days, no later than Tuesday, October 29th.
When I’m upset, for whatever reason I am, I cook or bake. This week was no different.
One of the recipes I made, Graham Cracker Streusel Coffee Cake. It’s delicious and a definite family favorite.
1 pkg graham crackers, (9 full ones)
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick, plus 3 Tbsp melted, unsalted butter
1½ cups pecans (optional)
2 tsps cinnamon
1 box (18¼ oz) white cake or French vanilla cake mix
1 box of instants (3.12 oz) French vanilla pudding
¼ cup oil
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 350
Streusel: Put your graham crackers in a Ziploc bag, close it and roll with rolling pin until crushed, put in large bowl. Add other dry ingredients for Streusel. Melt butter pour over and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Cake: Beat ingredients for cake together until thoroughly mixed. Pour half into a greased 13”X9” baking pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel mixture. Carefully spread the remaining batter on top of the streusel and then top with remaining streusel. I usually like to swirl the topping into the batter
Bake 30-45 minutes. Test with a cake tester or toothpick.
If you try it, let me know!