Fruit and Cream Cheese Breakfast Pastries

Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry will absolutely steal the show at breakfast or brunch when baked into quick and easy Fruit and Cream Cheese Breakfast Pastries topped with deliciously tangy cream cheese filling and piled high with the season’s freshest fruits such as strawberries, kiwi, and blueberries all topped with orange marmalade.

It’s late spring and this year I had to wait a little later than usual to enjoy some of my favorite fruits but I am totally excited to show off these super cute, super easy Fruit and Cream Cheese Breakfast Pastries that I made in almost no time with Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry this morning. Can you believe in less than 25 minutes I was sinking my teeth into a delicious flaky fruit topped pastry?I love fresh blueberries and strawberries and will totally find any excuse to eat them, so topping a light airy flaky Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry with them was a total no-brainer this gorgeous May morning. Continue reading

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Southern Creamy Crab Dip Recipe

Southern Creamy Crab Dip is one of the snacking staples found in my house during late spring and early summer. Made with a big heap of traditional Southern love and delicious tasting ingredients; such as imitation crab meat, cream cheese, mayonnaise, minced celery, red onions, spring onions, diced pimento peppers, diced jalapeño, fresh chopped parsley, dill, and Cajun seasoning.

I know many of y’all have had the pleasure of tasting a hot crab dip, but if you haven’t had a cold Southern Creamy Crab Dip you have been missing out on a good thing. This dip is perfect for entertaining during poolside parties, family picnics, and even card night with the besties.

This Southern Creamy Crab Dip really should be called a Creamy Crab Spread but somehow over the years this cold, creamy, decadent, southern deliciousness became known as Creamy Crab Dip. Don’t ask me who did it or how it happened, somewhere along the way someone decided spread was not in the cards and just renamed it. Continue reading

Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna

Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna is one of my childhood favorites made with comforting layers of long tubular pasta, a delicious homemade Mediterranean meat sauce spiced with ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves,  nutmeg, this classic Greek dish is topped with creamy béchamel and Kefalotyri cheese and guaranteed to be a family favorite for the dinner table.

Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna is one of those wonderful Mediterranean pasta recipes that take me back to my teen years in Ohio. It reminds me of two things, the holidays with my friends and one of my favorite festivals in Warren, Ohio that Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church hosts every year; The Greek Fest. This year will be their 50th Annual hosting of the Greek Festival, one of the largest Greek festivals in Ohio.

Pastitsio is one of the cherished classic Greek recipes I used to beg my friends to ask their mom’s for. In the beginning, no one was budging for my request of their cherished recipe for that delicious baked pasta, it actually took me years to earn the rights to the recipe. That request of mine required me to watch a few amazing women make their traditional family recipes several times to get this recipe on point. Moral of the story, if you want something special you need to be willing to put the labor and time in to make it properly. Continue reading

Beginners Guide to Dried Herb and Spices- How to Use Them

Knowing how to use spices can greatly enhance the flavor of all your favorite recipes. Spices can transform any dull meal by adding a range of delicious flavors, from a just hint of heat to a mild more subtle flavor. Seasoning with spices is often intimidating for beginners if you’re not familiar with their uses. I decided to share a simple Beginners Guide to Spices – How to Use Them so that you beginners will feel more comfortable with using them in your recipes.

Have you ever wondered what types of cuisines or recipes that certain dried herbs and spices are commonly used in? You are definitely not alone in this area of the kitchen. Often I receive emails or messages on the blog asking about dried herbs or spices and their uses, and I honestly should have shared this a long time ago with all of you. So let’s get started today with a Beginners Guide to dried Herbs and Spices – How to Use Them.

I am a huge ambassador of fresh herbs, so let’s let’s talk about a few dried herbs I’m not keen on due to the flavor changing once they are dried. Some herbs really are best used when fresh versus dried and you may notice they are missing from below.
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Southern-Style Bean Salad

This sweet yet Tangy Southern-Style Bean Salad is the perfect side dish for potlucks, Church gatherings, and family picnics. It’s a super easy recipe to make; combining fresh flash steamed green beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, white beans, black beans, chickpeas, red onion, cilantro, and a deliciously fresh tasting simple to make homemade dressing.

Southern-Style Bean Salad is my a spinoff of the 60’s generation of Three Bean Salad. The great salad revolution began in the early 1960’s like so many other cultural cuisines in America. In the decade of more natural and organic ingredients; many Americans were first introduced to bean salads in the sixties, not to mention rice, Bulgar, wheat, all of which were destined to become increasingly popular in the near future.  The original 3 Bean Salad of the 60’s consisted solely of the combination of marinated or pickled kidney beans, chickpeas, and green beans.I know it’s been a good deal of time since I have even thought of that bean salad, so I decided that a good old-fashioned Southern update was in order for this recipe. I decided that three measly types of beans were not going to cut it. I wanted to pay more of a Southern homage to my Bean Salad and decided white beans, black-eyed peas, and black beans would combine really well with the fresh flash steamed green beans and kidney beans. Continue reading

Funeral Potatoes Recipe

Whether you’re  hailing from Utah and refer to the recipe as Funeral Potatoes or a Southerner from Mississippi that calls it Hashbrown Casserole, this recipe is pretty darn delicious if you ask me or any of the folks I have made it for. It’s really the perfect casserole for the holidays, work potlucks, church functions, any gathering that requires a covered dish. Just simply combine shredded hashbrowns, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded Colby-Jack cheese, cream of chicken soup, cream cheese, sautéed onion, and minced garlic.

The list of names for this casserole dish that uses those famous frozen hash browns is almost endless depending on where you live in the United States. I have heard them called, Church Lady Potatoes, Christmas Potatoes, Heartstopper Hashbrown Casserole, Ward Potatoes, Cheesy Potato Casserole,  Pittsburg Potatoes, as well as  Church Social Potatoes by some.
You might ask, “How did this casserole ever became known as Funeral Potatoes in Utah?” It seems about 15-16 years ago  Funeral Potatoes became a staple served at dinners given for bereaved friends and family after a Latter Day Saints funeral. I’m sure they were being served up in Utah long before they were fondly nicknamed, “Funeral Potatoes” Continue reading

Southern Baked Bean and Ground Beef Casserole

Southern Baked Bean and Ground Beef Casserole is another iconic Southern covered dish our family loves to share at family functions, Church Potlucks, picnics and even on some of the spring and summer Holiday gatherings.

This Casserole is a total cinch to make; combining VanCamp’s pork and beans, crisp bacon, lean ground beef, sweet red bell peppers, Jalapeno peppers, sweet onions, BBQ sauce, spicy brown mustard, and brown sugar.

If you have ever resided or visited the South and you’ve been to any gatherings at all where the community shares a covered dish aka casserole, then chances are you have tried a variation of Southern Baked Bean and Ground Beef Casserole. If not you are missing out on one of the best tasting Southern casseroles.What are you waiting for?

Let me just tell you this recipe is so darn good you will even find this being served at the homes of Trisha Yearwood,  Paula Dean, and Ree Drummond, just to name a few who know a good Southern covered dish at family gatherings. Now if one of y’all tell me you have no clue who these lovely women are; I am just gonna cry myself to sleep tonight. Continue reading