August 26, 2010

Chocolate Fudge Pie

I have been on a mission lately to use up a bunch of stuff in my freezer.  My deep freezer and my regular freezer are so full that I could not fit even a single feather in it if I wanted to.  I stock up on things when the current sale matched with a coupon makes the price unbeatable.  One of the many things that I have accumulated are Pillsbury pie crusts.  What a great excuse to bake a pie!  I was wanting something with chocolate, so what better to make than a Chocolate Fudge Pie!  

Chocolate Fudge Pie's are SO good, and the ingredient list is very short & very simple.  Other than a pie crust (of course!), all you need is 2 cups of sugar, a heaping 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 8.5oz of evaporated milk, 3 beaten eggs, 7 tablespoons of melted butter, & 2 tablespoons of vanilla.  You will need to grease & lightly flour a 9 inch pie dish before laying in your pie crust to prevent sticking.  

Sift the sugar & cocoa powder into a large bowl.

Dump all of your other ingredients into the sugar/cocoa mixture - and give it a good beating with a whisk.

Pour your pie filling into your prepared, uncooked pie crust.

Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for one hour.

After your pie has been cooking for about 20 minutes, it's a good idea to remove it from the oven & cover the edge of the pie crust in aluminum foil to keep it from getting too brown.  

I beat some heavy whipping cream, vanilla, & confections sugar together to top our pie with.  And as Natalie Dupree used to say - it was just luscious!!  

Chocolate Fudge Pie

  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • Heaping 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 8.5 oz evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 7 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract


Grease & lightly flour a 9 inch pie dish, and lay out your unbaked pie crust inside.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Sift sugar & cocoa powder together into a large bowl.  Add the rest of your ingredients & beat well with a whisk.  Pour chocolate pie filling into prepared unbaked pie crust.  Bake for 1 hour.  Check pie after 20 minutes, and wrap the pie crust edge in a little bit of tin foil to prevent excess browning.

August 23, 2010

Purple Hull Peas a.k.a Fresh Blackeyes

I love my farmers market.  I really, really do.  It's just a small little thing that operates 3 times a week during the prime growing season by our local farmers - but I always come out with way more than I ever did living in bigger towns.  This is what I came out with in my last trip.

As you can see, I got white potatoes, sweet potatoes, yellow squash, okra, cabbage, green & red bell peppers, purple hull peas, cherry tomatoes, brandy wine tomatoes, & strawberry fig preserves (oh, and 13 ears of corn!).  And the best part?  I paid less than $15 for everything & it all was grown within the same county that I live in.  Just love it!

The purple hull peas in the Ziploc baggie in the photo were in the hull when I bought them..but the girls & I had already shelled them before this photo was taken.  My girls love shellin' some peas!


Little man was happy to sit & watch :)

After we shelled all those peas, I just plopped them into a Ziploc baggie until dinner.  To cook them, I boiled them (in a covered saucepan) for about 15-20 minutes, drained the water off of them, & set them to the side.

Then, I diced up about 6 ounces of bacon & fried it in a pan for a few minutes.  Then I added in 1 large diced onion into the yummy bacon grease & let it cook along with the bacon for about 5 minutes.

After that, I simply tossed the cooked peas into the bacon/onion mixture - gave it a good toss..and let it simmer for about 5-10 more minutes.  Sprinkle on some salt & pepper, and you're good to go.

I ate 3 helpings.  Sure did.  Now, my belly hurts.  Oh well - it was worth it.  

August 20, 2010

No Recipe Friday - Fried Okra, Potatoes & Onions

My mother does a lot of things with her church, and one of those things is having lunch with a group of ladies that call themselves the 'Joyful Pioneers'.  Each time she has gone, she always raves about a dish that one of the ladies brings...a concoction of fried okra & potatoes.  I had just bought a bunch of fresh okra & potatoes at the farmers market on Thursday & decided to try my hand at making something similar to what I've heard my mother talk about. 

This dish is really quite simple - and it is really, really good!  My husband couldn't even wait til  I set the completed dish down at the dinner table before he had already started nibbling at it.  I'm not sure if I can get away with plain ol' fried okra anymore because he just loved this so much more.  And, that's saying a lot if you know my husband & his infatuation with fried okra!!

You will need some sliced okra, sliced onions, & diced potatoes (small dices!) - along with some cornmeal.  Pour your cornmeal into your veggie mixture & toss to coat evenly.

Heat some oil on medium-high in a deep skillet.  Cook your okra mixture in batches until nicely browned.

Transfer your cooked okra, potatoes, & onions onto a large plate covered with a paper towel & salt to your tastes.  I prefer a good bit of salt.  

Boy - is this GOOD!

August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

August 16, 2010

OAMC/Freezer Prep Day

Today was my OAMC (Once a Month Cooking) day.  I was going to do this Friday, but I thought it would be a little easier to do so with my husband home to help with the kids - more importantly, our 4 month old baby boy.  Well, I was wrong!  My son is quite the Mama's boy.  When I leave the room, his little bottom lip starts poking out...even if he is on his Daddy's lap!  I've got to tell you though, I love it!!

I made:

4 batches of Berry Baked French Toast.  (Thanks OnceAMonthMom!)
1 batch of homemade poptarts.  (Thanks OnceAMonthMom!)
A batch of my recipe for CornDog Muffins.  (I baked mine in square muffin tins)
2 Batches of Pizza Croissants that I sprinkled a little Italian seasoning on (Thanks again OnceAMonthMom!)
I also made up 7 bags of marinated chicken breasts.  Boneless chicken breasts were on sale, so I bought up a bunch of them for future dinners.  Each bag has 4 chicken breasts in them, and different marinades poured in.  This time I used Herb, Garlic, & Lemon - Honey Teriyaki - Allegro - & Italian Dressing.
I think that I may do a 'mini freezer prep' day in a week or so for some homemade bread, pizza doughs, & homemade baby food.  But this is what I was able to accomplish today :)

*NOTE*  To reheat precooked freezer meals, it is really best to use the oven for the best flavor.  Things like the corndog muffins & pizza croissants will be warm in 5 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven.  


August 14, 2010

Italian Pepperoncini Shredded Beef on Onion Rolls

I made a trip out to the store earlier & found an awesome deal on Sirloin Tip Roast.  I have been craving some Italian Pepperoncini Beef Sandwiches for a while now, so I immediately picked out a nice roast, & went to check out - hurrying home so I would have time for it to slow cook.  I adore these sandwiches, and so does everyone else that has tried them.  Every time I prepare these, my oldest daughter exclaims 'Now, that's a sandwich!'.  Gotta love her!  And, you just gotta love these!!

For the Italian Pepperoncini Shredded Beef, you will need 1 (2lb) Sirloin Tip Roast, 1 cup of beef broth, 1 (16oz) jar of pepperoncini, 1/4 cup of Italian dressing, & my recipe for Italian Spice blend.  The Italian Spice blend consists of 2 tbsp garlic powder, 2 tbsp onion powder, 1 tbsp sugar, 4 tbsp Italian Herbs, 1 tsp celery salt, 1 tsp black pepper, & 2 tbsp salt.

Sear the sirloin tip roast on both sides for a couple of minutes in a hot skillet.

Place the roast inside of your slow cooker.  Stir in 1 cup of beef broth into the Italian Spice Blend.  Pour the combined mixture over the meat.

Pour in the juice from the jar of pepperoncinis & 1/4 cup of Italian Salad Dressing.  Pull off - or cut off -the stems of the peppers & add those in the mix as well.

Cook on low heat for 8 hours, or until meat starts to fall apart when poked with a fork.

Now, while the meat is slowcookin' - let's make those Onion Sandwich Rolls!  My husband swears they are what make the sandwich, & I have to agree.  It just wouldn't be as good without these!

First, dice up one large onion & saute it in a few tablespoons of butter on the stove top.

Put the sauteed onions to the side while we work on the dough.  I use my bread maker for this because it makes the job much easier.  Place 3/4 cup warm milk, 1/4 cup warm water, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 2 tsp salt, 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp onion powder, 1/4 cup ground oats, reserved sauteed onions, 3 cups of all purpose flour, & 1 (.25oz) packet of yeast into the pan of your bread maker in the order suggested by the manufacturer.  I have the ingredients listed in the order that I put them in mine (a Sunbeam bread machine). 

Set your machine to the dough setting.

When it is done, remove the dough & place on a lightly floured surface.  Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces & shape into oblong hoagies or big round rolls.  I use a pizza cutter to easily slice through the dough when dividing it (a trick that my lovely mother uses for her mind-blowing biscuits!).  Place the dough on a baking sheet sprayed with Pam (I use 2 baking sheets so I don't overcrowd the buns), & place in a warm place for an hour to rise.

After the dough has risen - slice up a medium onion & saute until nice & browned.

Combine 1 egg white with 1 tbsp of water - brush on top of the risen rolls.  Then top with the sauteed onions.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at in a 325 degree oven.  Remove & let cool before slicing in half.

When you are ready to serve these awesome sandwiches, slice open the rolls & top with the shredded meat & a couple slices of white cheese.  I have used Monterrey Jack, Provolone, & Swiss - and they are all delightful.  I also saute up another large onion to go on top of the meat.

Serve it by itself, or along side a bowl of the Au Jus.  Either way, this is delish!

Italian Pepperoncini Shredded Beef Sandwiches


For the shredded beef:
  • 1 (2 pound) boneless sirloin tip roast, seared on each side
  • Italian Spice Blend (recipe below)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar pepperoncini, undrained

For the Italian Spice Blend:
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Italian Herbs (Italian Seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 tablespoons salt

For the Onion Sandwich Rolls:

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 5 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 large onions, (1 diced & 1 sliced) sauteed - and divided
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water


Place the milk, water, butter, salt, sugar, onion powder, diced sauteed onion, oats, flour and yeast into the pan of a bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle, and press Start.

When the cycle has completed, remove the dough from the machine & cut into 8 equal pieces, and form into balls or oblong hoagies. Place on a baking sheet, and cover loosely with a towel. Set in a draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (175 degrees C). Whisk together the egg white and water in a cup. Brush over the tops of the risen rolls, and sprinkle with remaining sliced sauteed onion.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Cool completely, then slice in half horizontally before using.

For the beef:

Place roast in slow cooker. Combine the Italian Spice Blend & beef broth; pour over roast & add in the pepperonicis.. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until meat is tender. Remove meat; shred with a fork and return to slow cooker.

Pile on sliced Onion Rolls & top with sliced white cheese, sauteed onions, and pepperoncini from the slowcooker if you wish.  

August 5, 2010

Cooking with Cantaloupe - Cantaloupe Sherbet & Cantaloupe Bread

There is an older man that lives near my husband's work.  Every year, he plants a large garden full of all sorts of produce.  This year, he planted cantaloupe, and  his crop went out of control!  He was used to just getting a few cantaloupes, but he ended up with dozens.  He had so many, that he didn't want anymore & decided just to let what was left of the abundant crop to rot on the vines.  My husband & his coworkers asked if they could pick some of them since he wasn't going to, and the older man told him to go ahead and do so.  So, I ended up with several cantaloupes sitting on my counter!

What to do with them all?  I had NO idea.  We all like cantaloupe, but we can only eat so much.  I had to do something!  I sat... and pondered.  Hmmmm.  Why not cook with it somehow?  So, my cooking with cantaloupe experiment began!  I'm going to share with you my top 2!  

I pureed 3 cantaloupes in my food processor for the following 2 recipes.  I divided it & used 3 cups in the bread, & 4 cups in the sherbet.

Cantaloupe Nut Bread was my first successful attempt!  It turned out tasting similar to pumpkin bread, & was very tasty.  This recipe makes 2 loaves.  

In a large bowl, beat together 3 eggs, 1 cup of vegetable oil, 2 cups of sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, & 3 cups of pureed cantaloupe.

Mix in 3 cups of self rising flour & 2 tablespoons of cinnamon.  

Stir in 1 cup of chopped pecans.

Pour into 2 loaf pans, & bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Cantaloupe Nut Bread


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups pureed cantaloupe
  • 3 cups self rising flour
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans


In a large bowl, beat together eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, & vanilla.  Mix in pureed cantaloupe - then flour & cinnamon.  Stir in pecans.

Pour into 2 loaf pans & bake at 325 for 1 hr.

*Note*  Put filled loaf pans on a baking sheet just in case there is overflow!


Cantaloupe Sherbet!  This is so refreshing & yummy!

You will need 3 to 4 cups of pureed cantaloupe, 2 cups of milk, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 (.25oz) pack unflavored gelatin, & 1/3 cup honey for this.  

Blend cantaloupe & 1 cup of milk until smooth.

Mix the remaining cup of milk & sugar in a pot on the stove.  (no heat yet)

Sprinkle on the package of unflavored gelatin & let it sit for a couple of minutes.  

Heat over low heat & stir until the gelatin is dissolved.

Stir in 1/3 cup of honey.


Pour in the pureed cantaloupe/milk mixture.  Stir to combine.  Pour into a 13x9 inch baking pan, & partially freeze for about 3 hours. 


After the 3 hours, scoop out the partially frozen mixture & place it back into the food processor & process until smooth.  Pour it back into your dish, cover, & freeze for 1 more hour.  


Serve, & enjoy!

Cantaloupe Sherbet


  • 1 ripe cantaloupe, pureed
  • 2 cups cold milk, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 (.25 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/3 cup honey


Cut cantaloupe in half; discard seeds. Scoop out pulp (there should be about 4 cups of melon). Place cantaloupe and 1 cup milk in a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth.

In a saucepan, combine sugar and remaining milk. Sprinkle gelatin over top; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is complete dissolved. Stir in the honey and pureed cantaloupe. Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. pan. Cover and freeze until partially frozen, about 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Place cantaloupe mixture in a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth. Return to the pan. Cover and freeze until almost frozen, about 1 hour.


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