Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Cookies Make Me Smile!

Christmas cookies make me smile.  Not only are they delicious, but beautiful and colorful, too.  Call me corny, but there is nothing better than blaring some Christmas music and baking up a big batch of cookies.  It just makes me happy!  Some of my fondest memories involve baking Christmas cookies.  I used to make them with my Mama when I was a little girl.  When my kids were little, they loved helping me bake cookies (now they just want to eat them). They would help measure the ingredients (that's how I taught them about fractions) and then they would sprinkle the colored sugar onto the cookies before we baked them.  They also helped me bag them up in pretty cellophane bags.  We always gave Christmas cookies as gifts to their teachers, neighbors, family, etc.  Since December is right around the corner (and I had volunteered to send a snack to my son's school), I decided to put on some Christmas music and bake some cookies.

These are basic sugar cookies.  I like this recipe because I always have the ingredients on hand (nothing weird involved).  You can either sprinkle them with colored sugar before you bake them or "paint them" with an egg yolk cookie paint (recipe to follow).  I used colored sugar.  This recipe yields about 4 dozen (depending on the size of your cookie cutters).


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (leave it on the counter for about an hour)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a mixer (if you don't have a big stand mixer, use a hand-held electric mixer) beat softened butter and sugar for 3 minutes (until fluffy and light).  Beat in egg.  Then, beat in vanilla.  Reduce the mixer speed to low (or you'll have flour everywhere, trust me) gradually add in the flour, a little at a time.  Mix just until incorporated.  Shape dough into 4 disks.  Put each disk between 2 pieces of wax paper.  At this point, you can stop and freeze the dough. (if you want to make them ahead to save time later on)   Just wrap each disk in wax paper then put in a freezer bag.  Freeze them until you need them.  Then, you can just take them out, let thaw, and follow the directions from here on out.

Roll each disk between 2 pieces of wax paper to 1/8 inch thick.  This makes clean up easier, plus you don't have to worry about flouring a board or your rolling pin.

After you roll them out, chill them in the fridge for 30 minutes (or freezer for 15).  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!  If you try to cut the cookies out now, before chilling, the dough will be too sticky and you won't be able to get them off the wax paper.  It'll be a big ole mess!  Chill the dough!

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Using floured cookie cutters (I dip them in a bit of flour to keep them from sticking), cut out cookies.

Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet (you can line your cookie sheet with parchment paper if you like).  I like to use a nonstick cookie sheet.  These cookies don't spread too much, but don't crowd them.

The scraps that are left after you cut out the cookies can be gathered together and rolled out again(don't forget to chill the re-rolled dough).

Sprinkle each cookie with colored sugar.

 Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until very light golden on the edges.

Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*Variation:  If you don't want to use colored sugar, you can make "cookie paint".  Separate an egg.  You just need the yolk.  Mix food coloring with the beaten yolk to get desired color.

Paint the cookies (with a pastry brush) before they go in the oven to bake.  This gives them a shiny, transparent look.

You could even do both.  Paint them and sprinkle sugar on them.  Have fun with it!

So, give yourself a shot of Christmas Spirit.  Blare some Christmas music and bake up these cookies.  Whether you give them away as gifts or eat them yourself, you're guaranteed a smile!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Got Leftover Turkey? Make a Gumbo!

One of the joys of the holidays is leftover turkey.  It's so delicious!  Somehow, it tastes even better the next day between two slices of bread.  How does it do that?  It's a mystery.  But, if you get tired of turkey sandwiches (heaven forbid!), then try making a gumbo.  If you're not from around here, you may be thinking "Gumbo?  How do I do that?"  Well, that's what I'm here to tell ya.  It's easy, but it takes time to do it right.  Sure, you could use a boxed mix.  But don't!  A real gumbo, made from scratch, is one of life's great pleasures.

If you really want to go authentic, you can make your own turkey broth.  If not, just use store bought chicken broth.  (If you have leftover chicken instead of turkey, that works fine, too!)

To make turkey broth:

Get a big pot.  Put some bones leftover from your turkey (strip the meat off first) into the pot.  Add an onion (cut into quarters), a large carrot (cut in half), a stalk of celery (cut in half) some fresh parsley (a great use for the stems) and some salt (not too much).
Fill with cold water till the water level is a few inches above the bones and veggies.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour.  The longer you simmer, the better the broth.  Let it cool a bit, then pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer.  Voila!  Homemade turkey broth!  Put it in a big jar or zip bag and keep it in the fridge till you need it.


2 cups leftover cooked turkey (or chicken)
1/2 lb smoked sausage, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 small cloves garlic (or 1 big), minced
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup canola oil
cajun seasoning
hot sauce, optional
4 cups homemade turkey broth or store bought chicken broth

The first thing I do is cut everything up.  I want the meat and veggies to be ready before I start making the roux.  If you don't know, a roux is a mixture of flour and fat used to thicken a sauce or stew.  There are various degrees of a roux.  You use a light roux in a basic white sauce.  If you've ever made homemade mac and cheese, you've made a roux.  But, a roux used in a gumbo has to be a deep caramel color.  This is what gives the gumbo it's signature flavor.  This can take a while and you can't walk away from it (don't go answer the phone!).  It has to be tended to, but it's so worth it.  Trust me.

Here's how to make the roux:  In a large pot over medium heat, add 1/2 cup oil and whisk in 1/2 cup flour.  Keep whisking until smooth.  Then, continue to whisk slowly.  This is how it will look to start:

Continue to cook this, whisking slowly, until it turns a deep, beautiful caramel color.  Like this:

This will take a while, about 25 - 30 minutes or so.  As some Cajuns say, "Long enough to drink a beer or two."

Once the roux is done, add the onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic and green onions.  Season with salt/pepper/cajun seasoning.  Cook for a few minutes to soften them a bit.

Add the sausage.  Stir.  Then, whisk in 4 cups broth.  Season again to taste.  Add hot sauce if you want more spice.  Bring it to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour.

Then, add the turkey.  If you add it before, it will get stringy and gross.  The turkey is already cooked, you just need to heat it through.  So, once you add the turkey, just simmer for a few minutes.  Then, it's done!  Enjoy the fruits of your labor!  Serve the gumbo over rice.

I'm not going to pretend this isn't a lot of work.  But, great things take time.  So, pick a day when you've got the time and make some gumbo!  It's worth the effort, I guarantee!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

As stated in my earlier post, I love Thanksgiving!  Getting all of the family and friends together to eat (and not worrying about buying the right gift for everyone) is my idea of a perfect holiday.  Every year we go to my Mama's house for Thanksgiving.  We have a big extended family.  There's always a lot of people coming and going.  It's never a formal sit-down.  I used to hate that growing up.  I always wanted the "Norman Rockwell painting" of Thanksgiving Dinner.  You know, a giant table filled with a spread of food, set with fine china and a beautiful centerpiece.  My Daddy at the head of the table ready to carve the glorious, perfect bird.  Everyone dressed in their Sunday best with perfect hair and table manners.  But, the reality was very different and so much better.  My Mama would be up at the crack of dawn cooking.  I would wake up to the smell of turkey and dressing.  We always had Thanksgiving at lunch time because my Daddy and brothers were anxious to get to the hunting camp.  That weekend was always the start of deer season, a very big deal in the South!  Plus, we always had extended family dropping by at different times.  So, it was sort of like a Thanksgiving buffet that lasted all day.  The table was filled with so much food you could hardly fit it.  And everyone who came over had a smile on their face.  I'd say that's a perfect holiday.

Since I talked about the turkey last time, I thought I'd share some recipes for Thanksgiving side dishes.

This recipe is my daughter's absolute favorite.  It's plain and simple and came from the back of a soup can, but if I don't make it on Thanksgiving, I get an earful!


2 cans green beans, rinsed and drained
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
dash of pepper
1 small can (6 oz) french fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together soup, milk, Worcestershire sauce and pepper until well combined.  Stir in green beans and 3/4 of the can of french fried onions.  Transfer to a casserole dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Stir, then sprinkle with remaining french fried onions.  Bake an additional 5 minutes.

When I was in college, Southern Living magazine came to my university and put on a cooking show.  I was lucky enough to get to help out backstage.  Afterwards, all of us were given cookbooks as a thank-you for helping.  This next recipe came from that book.  It tastes like a dessert.  But, since it's made with sweet potatoes, technically it's a vegetable (that's what I tell myself anyway).  Whenever I make this, everyone loves it and wants the recipe.  So, here it is.


3 2/3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes*
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
3 TBS butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

3 TBS butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine first 7 ingredients.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium until smooth.  Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish.  Set aside.  Make topping by combining softened butter, brown sugar, pecans, coconut and flour with a fork.  It should be crumbly.  Sprinkle this on top of the sweet potato mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

*The best way to make the cooked sweet potatoes - Get 4 medium size sweet potatoes.  Clean and dry them.  Put them on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake in a 400 degree oven until soft.  When you can easily stick a knife in, they are done.  Cool them.  Peel them.  Mash them.

You can use canned sweet potatoes.  I have done this in a pinch.  But make sire you rinse them well!  they come packed in syrup and that will make your dish too sweet.  Bake them yourself if you can.  It really does make all the difference.

I don't have a pic of this yet, but I know I will be making it for Thanksgiving, so I'll add it later.  If I don't make this one, my daddy and husband will not be happy.

*Here it is.  (told you I'd have to make this for Thanksgiving)

The great thing about this recipe (other than the taste) is that you can make it the day before and keep it in the fridge.  Just take it out and let it come to room temperature, then warm in the oven.  I've even served it at room temp.  It's yummy either way.

The last recipe I want to share is very special to me.  It's my Maw Maw Fannie's cornbread dressing.  Well, this is a modified version of it.  She used to put oysters in hers and my Mama puts chicken in hers.  This is a faster version that uses chicken broth, but no actual chicken.  I get that familiar taste, without it taking all day to make.  Make sure you season this well.  Use more salt and pepper than you think you'll need.  The cornbread can be bland if you don't.


1 9x9 cornbread, baked and cooled (don't use sweet cornbread)*
2 Tbs butter
1/2 bunch celery, diced fine
1 bunch green onions, diced
1 bunch fresh parsley, diced
about 3 cups chicken broth (you may need more or less)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, crumble cornbread into fine crumbs.  Saute celery, green onions and parsley in butter until softened.  Salt and pepper.  Add this to the cornbread crumbs.  Mix well.  Add enough chicken broth to make the cornbread very wet, but not soupy (about 3 cups).  Season with salt and pepper (a little more than you think you need).  Transfer into a greased casserole dish (or cast iron skillet) and cover with foil.  Bake 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until brown on top.

*Corn bread recipe - Honestly, I use Martha White Self-rising Yellow Cornmeal Mix and there is a recipe on the back of the package.  But I do have a scratch recipe:


1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix milk, beaten egg, and oil.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Stir only enough to combine.  Transfer to a greased pan or cast iron skillet.  Bake at 425 degrees about 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Here's what the finished dressing looks like:

So, there are some of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.  I hope you make and enjoy these with your family and friends.  Even if you don't have the perfect Norman Rockwell holiday, you'll look back, like me, and realize that you didn't need all that.  My Daddy may have been in a hurry to go hunting on Thanksgiving day, but he always bowed his head and gave thanks for what he had.  That's the memory I truly treasure, not a perfectly set table.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey with Creole Butter

Thanksgiving is without a doubt my favorite holiday!  First of all, I love to cook.  Second of all, I love to eat. This holiday was made for me!  I love the sight of a big bountiful buffet.  The smells are great, too.  Pumpkin and cinnamon and nutmeg, oh my!  But, my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey!  My son (aka pickiest eater ever) will not eat most Thanksgiving foods, but he's a turkey junkie!  So, I must make turkey and make it good!

People have a tendency to freak out about cooking a turkey!  Maybe because it's so easy to mess up.  You don't thaw it out properly, or you over cook it and it's too dry, or it's just plain bland.  I am no turkey expert, but I have figured out how to make a delicious, flavorful bird that my family loves.  Here are some of my tips.

The first thing you have to do is make sure you thaw the turkey properly.  Give yourself several days.  Put the turkey on a platter in the fridge.  Do not thaw it on the counter!  Depending on the size of the bird, it should thaw in 3 to 4 days in the fridge.  If you don't have the time for proper thawing, buy a fresh bird that hasn't been frozen.

If, after thawing several days in the fridge, you find yourself on Thanksgiving Day and the turkey still feels a bit frozen, I have a tip.  Get yourself a clean (new) 5 gallon bucket from the hardware store.  Put the turkey in the bucket (still wrapped in the original packaging) and slowly run cold water over it.  Let it sit in the cold water for about half an hour.  This should finish the thawing process.  But, don't try this if it's completely frozen solid!

The next thing you need to do is make sure you remove the neck and giblets.  I've made this mistake before! I left the bag of giblets in the turkey when I cooked it.  Ugh!  Anyway, make sure you remove everything that the store stuffed inside the cavity of the bird.  Sometimes, they even put a packet of gravy in there.  I don't like to use that.  Throw it away.  I'll give you a very easy recipe for homemade turkey gravy.  So much better!

Now that you've removed everything you don't need, it's time to start seasoning.  I know this is a no-brainer but I'm going to remind you to wash your hands thoroughly.  I am a freak about salmonella!

But before I talk about seasoning, let me mention that I use an oven bag to cook  my turkey.  I know that is heresy to some people, but I find it cuts the cook time so much and really keeps the turkey from drying out.  The skin still comes out crispy.  I love them.  I use Hefty brand because they open from the top and are self-venting.  Easy to use!  Here's what they look like:

Get a large roasting pan and put the oven bag into it.  Open it up and add 1 Tablespoon of flour to the bag.  Shake it up to coat the entire bag with flour.  Set it aside until the turkey is ready to go in it.

I like to keep seasoning simple.  I like to enhance, but not overpower the taste of the turkey.  I have a Cajun injector needle.  You can get these in many supermarkets or online.  I have the Tony Chachere's brand.  Here's what it looks like:

It's basically a giant syringe and needle used to inject a marinade into the turkey (or you can use it for chicken or roasts, etc.)  The first time I bought it, I used the marinade that came with it.  It's good and you can use that if you want.  But, I decided to start making my own.  Once you have the injector, you can make up any flavor marinade you want.  I made my own creole butter.  Super simple.


Cajun Seasoning
ground thyme
ground sage
onion powder

Melt some margarine (real butter tastes better, but can burn).  Add in all seasonings to taste.  That's it.  You can make as much or as little as you want.  Just make sure it tastes good to you.  Simple.

Then, you just inject this Creole Butter into all parts of the turkey.  I make sure to do a little more into the white meat, to keep it moist.  It's easier to get the marinade into the injector if you pour it into a narrow glass.  This just makes it easier to suck it up into the injector needle.

After you inject the turkey, rub any remaining marinade all over the bird.  Then, salt and pepper the turkey inside and out.  Put it inside the oven bag and seal it up.  Tuck the corners of the oven bag into the pan so they don't stick out.

Bake times can be found on the information inside the box of oven bags.  It all depends on the size of the turkey.  I cooked one the other day (as a reward for my son) and a pre-thanksgiving warm-up.  It was almost  9 lbs and it took about two hours.  Most birds come with a pop-up timer.  Make sure you put the turkey in the oven with the timer facing the window of your oven, so you can see it.

Once the turkey is done, take it out of the oven and set it somewhere to rest.  But, carefully cut open the bag right away (don't let the steam burn you!).  I find it can get soggy if you leave it closed while resting.

There will be lots of juice in the bottom of the bag.  Take out about a cup of this.  It's like liquid gold!  So flavorful!  And you'll need it for the gravy.


2 TBS real butter
2 TBS flour
1 cup reserved juice from turkey
1 cup chicken broth
ground thyme
ground sage
salt and pepper

In a saucepan, melt butter.  Whisk in flour.  Keep whisking and cooking flour for a few minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle in a little ground thyme and sage (not too much, you can always add but you can't take away).  Add in turkey juice, whisking constantly.  Add in chicken broth, whisking constantly.  Turn up the heat and bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally, until thickened.  Taste it and see if you need to add more seasoning.  That's it.  Serve over turkey or mashed potatoes or both!

I wanted to take a picture of this grand, beautiful turkey that I made, but my son got a hold of the turkey before I could snap a photo.  So, I went ahead and carved it.  But, here is a pic of it on the plate. My husband says this pic looks like an ugly TV dinner.  Oh well!  I promise it came out beautiful.  Plus, hungry kids are more important than pretty pictures (don't you think?)

So, I hope I've helped to take a little anxiety out of making a Thanksgiving turkey.  Remember, it doesn't have to look perfect, as long as it tastes good.  Besides, Thanksgiving is about being together with family and friends giving thanks for all of your blessings.  That's all that really matters.  That and sweet potato pie, of course.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Big Italian Dinner (including homemade bread!)

Today's post is about a big Italian meal!  Who doesn't love that!  Let me start by saying I am a carb-lover!  I don't care how fattening it may be.  My philosophy is I'd rather eat a little bit of something delicious, than a lot of something diet!  So, if you are afraid of carbs, look away! (not really, keep reading please)

The title of this post does not lie.  I made homemade Italian bread from scratch!  It wasn't as hard as I imagined.  In fact, it was empowering!  It made me feel like a super woman.  If I can make bread from scratch, I can do anything.  I can rule the world!  Ok, maybe not, but it felt great!

I'm going to start with the bread because, although it's easy, it does take time.  The dough has to rise twice.  So, do this on a day when you've got a few hours to spare.


1 cup warm water (use a thermometer to check that it is between 105 - 115 degrees)*
1 envelope (.25 oz) active dry yeast
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (you may not need it all)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cornmeal

*if you don't have a thermometer, use hot tap water - not boiling!  If it's not hot enough, the yeast won't rise and if it's too hot, it will kill the yeast.

Place 1/4 cup of the warm water in a large bowl.  Sprinkle yeast over the water.  Let stand 5 minutes or until the yeast is dissolved.  Add remaining water, 1 cup of the flour and salt.  Mix until well blended.  Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough (not too sticky, not too dry).

Sprinkle some flour onto a board (or your counter top) and place dough on board.  Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  (you knead by pressing the dough out, then folding it over on itself, then pressing it out again, give it a 1/4 turn and repeat)

Place dough in a bowl with a little bit of oil in it, turning dough to coat all over with the oil.  Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place (I run my microwave empty for 2 minutes to warm it up, then put the dough in there to rise) until double in size, about 30-45 minutes.

Grease a baking sheet.  Sprinkle cornmeal on sheet.  Punch down the dough.  Place the dough onto the baking sheet and press it out into a (12 inch) circle.  Starting on one side, roll the dough into a loaf.  Pinch the seam to seal.  Taper the ends to form an oval loaf.  Cover with the clean dish towel and let rise until almost double in size, about 20 minutes. (your baking sheet probably won't fit in your microwave, so just set it on your stove top to rise)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Make 3 slashes in the top of the loaf with a knife.  Bake until browned, about 25 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool a little bit.  I like to brush the top with a little melted butter before serving.

You can also use this recipe to make Dinner Rolls.  On the step where you form the circle of dough, form 8 rolls instead.  Then put them onto the prepared baking dish, cover and let rise.  You wouldn't bake them as long, just until browned, maybe 15 minutes or so.  I've never tried rolls, so not sure of an exact bake time.  Just keep an eye on the them.

On to the spaghetti.  Since I made the bread from scratch, I took a little help on the meat sauce.  It uses store bought marinara as a base.  But, don't worry, I doctor it up so it tastes homemade!


1/2 lb ground beef
2 links mild Italian sausage (remove the casings)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jar marinara sauce (your favorite spaghetti sauce)
1 (15oz) can crushed tomatoes (or diced)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sugar (I like a sweet sauce-if you don't, just use 2 TBS sugar - you still need a little to balance the acidity of the tomatoes)
salt and pepper
3 big leaves fresh basil
1 lb spaghetti

In a large skillet or pot, brown ground beef and crumbled sausage.  Drain fat.  Add garlic and cook for a few minutes.  Add jar of sauce, can of crushed tomatoes, 1/2 the tomato can of water, sugar and Parmesan cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, cook spaghetti.  When sauce is done, take off the heat and stir in the torn fresh basil.  Stir a bit of the sauce into the cooked and drained spaghetti (this will keep it from sticking together).  Serve sauce over spaghetti.

Easy and delicious.  Tastes like it took all day.


1 pkg Romaine hearts, washed and chopped (or use the packaged pre-washed romaine)
1 large can sliced black olives
Italian dressing
Parmesan cheese

Place romaine lettuce and olives in a large bowl.  Dress with Italian dressing and toss.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  That's it.  Quick and easy!

So, if you're in the mood for a big Italian dinner, give these recipes a try.  Put them on the table, gather the family and (as my old school Italian husband would say)   Mangia!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dole Whip!

If you've ever been to Disney World, you probably know what a Dole Whip is.  It is a pineapple soft serve ice cream (maybe more like a mix between ice cream and sherbet) that is so delicious and refreshing!  You can get it at Magic Kingdom in Adventureland.  There is a little stand called Aloha Isle, which sells this yummy creation that it is a must-have whenever we go to Disney World.  I don't know which I love more, The Pirates of the Caribbean ride or a Dole Whip.  It's a toss up.

Here's a photo of a Dole Whip:

Well, we are planning our next trip to Walt Disney World so I went online looking at various websites for info and tips.  Imagine my excitement when I found an easy recipe to make a Dole Whip at home!  Woohoo!  I couldn't wait to give it a try.  Especially since it didn't require an ice cream maker (mine is broken).

Here's how I did it:
First of all, let me say that I cut this recipe in half.  I didn't know how it would turn out so I didn't want to waste.  But, it came out so good, I wish I would have made the whole recipe!  You can cut it in half very easily if you want.  (By the way, half of 1/3 cup is 2 1/2 Tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon - I had to look that up so I thought I'd share)


2 (20oz) cans Dole crushed pineapple with juice
2 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS lime juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

Drain pineapple and reserve 2 TBS of the juice.  In a blender, place pineapple, reserved pineapple juice, lemon juice, lime juice, and sugar.  Cover and blend until smooth.  Pour into 2 quart size freezer bags and store flat in the freezer.  Freeze for 1 1/2 hours or until slushy.  In a large bowl, beat cold whipping cream until whipped.  (Tip:  if your bowl is chilled, the cream will whip faster)  GENTLY, stir pineapple slush into whipped cream until slightly blended.  Return to freezer until completely frozen.  If you like it soft (like soft serve) don't freeze as long.  If you do freeze it solid, let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before scooping out.

It may not be as pretty as the swirled Dole Whip from Aloha Isle, but it tastes just as good!

So, try this recipe and pretend you're in Disney World.  It reminds me of a perfect summer day with the family.  We just rode Pirates of the Caribbean and then we stroll over to get a Dole Whip, sit on a bench, and I drink in the family time.  People ask "Why do you keep going back to Disney year after year?"  That's why.  I get to see my teenage daughter act like a little kid again because she sees a princess.  I watch my son and husband acting silly while wearing Goofy ears.  No calls from work.  No dentist appointments.  No did you eat your vegetables.  Just pure family time.  I call it being in the "Disney Bubble".  It won't be long until the kids have grown up and moved away and family time will be a rarity.  I'm just trying to drink in as much as I can.