Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Corn Souffle

With Spring here and Summer right around the corner, you will probably be invited to lots of get-togethers.  Crawfish boils, potlucks, church suppers, backyard parties and barbeques abound this time of year.  With good weather comes good times.  So, I thought I'd blog about a dish you can take to your next outing.  Not only is it delicious, it's also versatile and perfectly portable.

I tore this recipe out of a magazine a few years ago but never made it.  I forgot about it, really.  But, I ran across it recently and figured I'd give it a try.  Glad I did!  It was so good!  And don't let the name fool you.  You don't need a souffle dish to make it.


2 TBS butter
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, cubed
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream corn
1 (8.5oz) package corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a big microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter to melt (about 30 seconds or so).  Add cubed cream cheese and continue to microwave 15-30 more seconds or until the cream cheese is soft.  Stir until well blended.  Add drained whole kernel corn, cream corn, muffin mix and beaten eggs.  Mix well.  Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish.  Sprinkle cheese on top.

Bake 40 minutes.  Cool slightly before serving.

If you are bringing this to a potluck, cover with foil after cooling slightly.  Cut into squares to serve.

This dish is always popular because just about everyone loves corn.  It's sweet and savory.  Delicious!

A spicier variation:  Use a can of Mexican Corn in place of the regular corn and replace the cheddar with pepper jack cheese.  You could even add some diced jalapeno if you like it extra spicy!

So, the next time you have to bring a dish to a party, give this one a try.  It won't disappoint.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pina Colada Cake - A Vacation On A Plate!

When I need a little break but can't take a vacation, I like to make an exotic dish.  It makes me feel like I'm travelling, without leaving my kitchen.  One example is this Pina Colada Cake.  When you take a bite, you'll feel like you're sitting on a beach with a cocktail in your hand.

The great thing about this cake is that it only has 3 ingredients!  The icing is pretty easy, too.



1 box yellow cake mix (disregard the directions on the box)
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple packed in juice
3 eggs


1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 cup vanilla flavored yogurt


1 cup shredded coconut, toasted
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a Bundt pan (or you can use a 9x13 pan or two 9-inch round cake pans).  Shake out any excess flour.

In a large bowl, mix cake mix, eggs and crushed pineapple (including juice) by hand until blended.  Then, mix with an electric mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes (for Bundt pan.  Bake about 30-35 minutes in 9x13 pan or 25-30 in round cake pans).  Or until golden and toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool 10 minutes in the pan before turning out.  Let cool completely.

Brush off any excess flour left on the cake.

Meanwhile, toast coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden.

Wipe out the skillet, then toast the pecans for a few minutes.  Cool, then finely chop.


Mix thawed Cool Whip and vanilla yogurt to blend thoroughly.  (Optional:  Add 1 tsp Rum Extract to icing)

Frost cooled cake.

Sprinkle toasted coconut, then chopped pecans on top of cake.

Refrigerate leftover cake.

So, there you have it, Pina Colada Cake.  Easy, pretty, and delicious!  The next time you need a little escape, make this cake.  It's like a vacation on a plate.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie!

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie...what's more American than that?  Major League Baseball Opening Day is like a holiday in our house.  We've waited all winter and finally, baseball is back!  You must understand, we are a baseball family.  My husband played in college, my son plays on a travel team, which my husband coaches, and my daughter used to play on an all-boys team when she was a little girl.  We never miss a New York Yankees game on T.V.  We even DVR the games if we're not home.  Some might say "obsessed".  I say "Passionate"!

But, to understand why we love Yankees Baseball so much you need the whole story.  My father-in-law, Sal Durante, was at a Yankee game with his girlfriend (at the time, now his wife) on October 1, 1961.  Yankee Roger Maris was on the brink of breaking Babe Ruth's single-season home run record.  He was tied with the Babe at 60.  In the 4th inning, Maris hit his 61st home run, breaking the record.  My father-in-law caught that ball.  He became a celebrity in New York and around the country.  He tried to give the ball back to Roger Maris, but Mr. Maris told him to keep the ball, sell it and make some money.  He sold it for $5,000.00 and used the money to marry my mother-in-law.  They've been together ever since, over 50 years!  Even though the record has since been broken by Mark McGwire and then Barry Bonds, many people feel, due to the steroid accusations, that Roger Maris is the true record holder.  My father-in-law still gets calls to do interviews and autograph signings.  He was even portrayed in the HBO movie *61.  People are still interested in his story all these years later.

Here's a photo of Roger Maris and my father-in-law, Sal Durante:

So, you can see why Yankee Baseball runs in the family.

When you think of baseball, you think of hot dogs.  So here's a recipe for chili that goes great on a dog and you don't need one of those packets of chili seasoning.  I'll tell you how to make your own packet.


1 TBS flour
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cumin

Mix everything together.  This equals 1 packet that you would buy at the store.

To prepare chili:

Brown 1 lb ground beef and drain off fat.  Add 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can red kidney beans, 1/4 cup water, and the seasoning mix.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.
*Add a little hot sauce for extra heat, if desired.

Tip:  Sometimes I use leftover red beans that I've cooked instead of canned beans.  Also, if you have picky eaters who don't like beans, zip them in the food processor until smooth.  That way you can't see the beans but you can still use them to thicken the chili.

Another use for this chili (that reminds me of baseball):  Make a Frito Pie!  If you're from the South, you know what I'm talking about.  If not, a Frito Pie is something you get from the concession stand at the ballpark.  They take a small bag of Fritos and cut it open along the side (lengthwise) and pour in chili.  They give it to you just like that!  Grab a fork and start eating!  It was my favorite thing to get at the ballpark when I was a little girl.  If you want to gild the lily, you can throw some shredded cheddar on top.  Try it.  Trust me.

Here's an easy way to make apple pie.  It kind of tastes like a McDonald's pie.


won ton wrappers (2 for each pie)
canned apple pie filling
melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix 1/4 cup sugar with 1 TBS cinnamon and set aside.  Pour pie filling into a bowl.  Chop the apples into small pieces and stir in a teaspoon of cinnamon.  Place a small spoonful (about a Tablespoon) of filling in the center of the wrapper.  Wet the edges of the wrapper with water using your fingertip.  Top with another wrapper and press the air out.  Seal edges by pressing with a fork all the way around.  Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place pies on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until golden.  Let cool a bit before eating.

*Sorry no pic on the pie-lets!  My camera batteries died.  I'll add in a pic soon.  Thanks!

So, I hope you make these recipes and watch some baseball.  You don't have to root for the Yankees (just don't root for the Red Sox.)  Enjoy!