Thursday, July 28, 2016

Crockpot Chicken and Gravy

Summer is here in full force and it has been a never-ending trail of 90+ degree days.  It's so hot that I can barely handle going outside at all.  I usually love to cook on my grill, but that would be downright torture.  So, when it's this hot, I make use of the Crockpot.  It keeps my kitchen cool and leaves me free to sit with my feet up (possibly drinking a daiquiri) instead of manning a hot stove.  Here's a simple, yummy recipe for the Crockpot.


5 chicken leg quarters (or 10 bone-in pieces such as legs and thighs)
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots (or a handful of baby carrots), chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 packet dry chicken gravy mix
salt and pepper

Place chopped celery, carrots and onion in the Crockpot.

Place the chicken on top and season with salt and pepper.

Mix the broth and gravy well and pour on top of the chicken.

Cover with the lid and cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours (I did 5 hours).

Be sure the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Skim the grease off the top of the gravy.  If you use skinless chicken you won't have nearly as much excess grease.

Spoon the gravy over the chicken and garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

I like to serve this over rice with biscuits to sop up the gravy!  Yum!

The chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender and absolutely delicious!  When you slow cook chicken on the bone, it imparts so much flavor.  The gravy is on the thinner side, I don't like really thick gravy in a dish like this.  It's more like a sauce and goes great over rice or mashed potatoes.

This recipe is so easy and tasty that you just have to try it.  Let me know how it turns out.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Fig Cobbler

I want to start today's post on a somber note.  I woke up this morning to news that 7 police officers were shot in Baton Rouge, 3 were killed.  My brother and nephew are cops in Baton Rouge so this hit way too close to home.  They are OK, but my prayers go out to the officers and families who are not, who are dealing with unimaginable sadness.  These officers were just doing their job, protecting all of us, and they were ambushed.  It's a horrific situation.  Please join me in praying for all of our men and women in blue and their families.


I have a fig tree in my back yard, a gift from my Daddy.  It's loaded with big, beautiful figs.  The variety is called LSU Purple Figs, really, a variety of figs named for a college football team.  Welcome to the South.  Anyway, these figs are so pretty I just had to make them into a delicious dessert.


4 cups chopped figs
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1 cup milk
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the chopped figs with 1/4 cup sugar.

Let them sit, covered for at least 30 minutes, or until juices form.  You can do this the night before and let them sit in the fridge overnight.  That's what I did.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter and pour into a 9 inch square baking dish (or a cast iron skillet).

In a big mixing bowl, mix milk, self-rising flour, 1 cup sugar and vanilla extract just until lumps are gone (do not over mix).

Pour the batter over the butter in baking dish.

Pour the figs and the juices over the batter, evenly distributing the figs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Let cool slightly before cutting and serving.

Look at the yummy, buttery, crispy edges!

And the delicious, tender figs!

Serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (I love Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla).  Perfect!

You can substitute any fruit you like for the figs.  I've made this with peaches, blackberries, strawberries, and cherries.  It's a great basic cobbler recipe.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Broccoli Salad

Summer is here in full force!  It is so hot and humid here in South Louisiana that it's hard to go outside at all.  The other morning I foolishly tried to sit outside and drink my coffee.  My hubby walked outside, looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Why?"  I don't know why?  It felt like the air was mad at me.  Like it was physically attacking me.  Time to go inside and stay there.  Til October.

One way to stay cool is to eat cold foods.  Here is a great summer salad recipe that's easy to make and great for a party.  You can make it the day before and it tastes even better the next day.  Plus, it's really delicious.  Leave it to the South to smother healthy broccoli in a mayo dressing, bacon and cheese.  Oh well, as long as you don't eat it everyday you'll be alright.  But it's so darn tasty you just might want to.


4 slices bacon
1 head broccoli, chopped
3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 of a Vidalia onion (any sweet onion), diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 TBS red wine vinegar
1 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Cook the bacon until crisp.  Drain.  Crumble.

In a large bowl, combine bacon, broccoli, cheese, diced onion, cranberries and sunflower seeds.

Prepare the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, mayo and lemon juice.

Toss the dressing with the broccoli mixture and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

This recipe is so simple, but so good!  It's cool and refreshing, a perfect summer salad.  It will keep for several days in the fridge and goes with just about everything.  This is a great recipe to have on hand.  The next time you have to bring something to a potluck or need a side dish for your BBQ, this is the one to make.  You'll enjoy this cool salad all summer long!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Herb Marinated Chicken Breasts

I heard on the radio today that Americans purchase 700 million pounds of chicken in the week leading up to July 4th.  That's a lot of chicken!  Since America loves it so much I thought I would share a really yummy chicken recipe to grill up this Independence Day (If you don't have a grill, don't worry, you can totally bake this in the oven).  This recipe makes 4-6 servings but it's really easy to double or triple if you're feeding a crowd.


1 handful each of basil, parsley and green onions (any herbs will do)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 TBS vinegar (red wine, white wine, whatever you have)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp honey (or sugar)
4-6 boneless chicken breasts (I like to use cutlets, they're cut thinner and cook faster)

Chop the herbs.

Mix oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and honey with a whisk until well combined.

Add the herbs and stir well.

Place the chicken in a large zip top bag and add the marinade.  Close the bag and turn to coat all the chicken.

Let the chicken sit on the counter for 30 minutes (you can also do this the night before and let it sit in the fridge over night.  Just be sure to remove it from the fridge and let it sit on the counter long enough to take the chill off.  Putting ice cold meat on a hot grill makes it tough!).

If you are grilling, place the chicken on a hot grill and cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken, you may need to cook a few minutes longer.  When they are ready to flip, the meat will easily release from the grill.  If it's sticking, it's not ready to flip.

Flip and continue to grill for 5 more minutes or until cooked through.

If you don't have a grill, you can bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, again, depending on the thickness of your chicken.

This marinade is easy and super flavorful!  It's a nice change from the usual chicken dripping with barbecue sauce (not there's anything wrong with that).  This recipe is healthy, too.  There is very little sugar compared to what's in barbecue sauce.  I hope you'll give this chicken recipe a try this July 4th.  Enjoy your holiday and God Bless America!

Friday, July 1, 2016

No Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Cookies

It's July 1st.  My son just said to me, "Mom, the year is half way over already".  I had to stop and think (oh wow it really is!).  Man, that went fast!  The cliche is so true, time really does fly.  That's why we should savor every minute we get because before you know it our kids are grown and we're old and gray (I'm closer to that than I'd like to admit).  My son will be a senior in high school this year.  A senior!  I feel like he's still my baby boy but nope.  I still like to take care of him, though.  He really likes these no bake cookies.  My Aunt Sue made some and he couldn't stop eating them!  So, I had to make him some more (I had to).


1 cup sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter (I like creamy but you could use crunchy)
6 cups corn flakes (I used Honey Bunches of Oats)

In a small pot, heat corn syrup and sugar over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.  

Remove from the heat.  Add the peanut butter and stir well.

Measure the 6 cups of cereal into a large bowl.

Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal and stir well.  It will get thick and be kind of hard to stir but make sure it's well incorporated.

Form into balls and place on wax paper (or a silicone mat).  I used an ice cream scoop to keep them uniform in size, but you can just use your hands and roll into balls.  You can make them as big or as small as you want.

These are really yummy and like I said, my son loves them!  Even though they're sweet, they also have peanut butter and cereal so they're better for him than a lot of other snacks!  My hubby liked them, too.  You can substitute any cereal you like, Rice Chex, Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Wheaties, etc.  Give these a try and see if you're bunch loves them as much as mine.