Category Archives: Recipes

Glenda’s Breakfast Casserole

In honor of LanaBob! visiting this week, here is her mom’s breakfast casserole which sits somewhere between eating cheesecake and an omelet for breakfast. I love breakfast dishes like this and I’ve made tons of them but this one with 14 lbs. of cheese in it is my all time favorite. The best part is it reheats well in the microwave.

8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 dozen eggs
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
12 oz. cottage cheese
small can mushrooms
1 lb. cooked sausage

Blend eggs and cream cheese in mixer. (I’ve found the best way to do this is to have cream cheese at room temperature or a bit warm and then beat it for several minutes with the mixer and then add the eggs one at a time.) Mix in the rest of cheeses and mushrooms. Spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray and then spread the cooked sausage on the bottom. Pour egg and cheese mixture over the top. Bake 350° for 1 hour or until done. This can be made the day before, refrigerated and then cooked the next morning, in fact, that’s what I recommend.

Mississippi State Sin Dip: Southern Cooking Part 1

Vika asked for specifically southern foods. Besides grits (which I’ll do at a later time) this is just about the most southern recipe I have. Part of it is that it is named after a college in the South and part of it is that it is meat, cream cheese and Worcestershire sauce baked in a bread bowl. Our friend, Rick, (who incidentally is from Mississippi) loves this so much I often save the bread bowl after the dip is gone just for him because he loves it so much. This is a geek party staple at our house. A friend from church gave me the recipe and I don’t know where it came from before that.

1 loaf round French bread
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped ham
1/3 cup chopped green chilies
Dash Worcestershire sauce

Slice off top of bread and hollow out inside. Mix all other ingredients with a mixer. Pour dip into hollowed bread and put top back on bread. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. (The original recipe calls for the bowl to be wrapped in foil but I can’t ever get it to cook if it is.) Serve as a dip with hollowed out pieces of bread, crackers, and/or chips.

Fresh Spinach Salad

This isn’t so much a salad recipe as it is a way to get the poppy seed dressing into your mouth and to also increase your DBI (daily bacon intake). The spinach and mushrooms are just there so you get to call it a salad. This recipe comes from a Southern Junior League cookbook that I got as a wedding shower present. I think from the whole cookbook, I make this and one other recipe but I’ve saved the whole book just for this dressing.

1/4 c sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1 T onion flakes or juice
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1 c olive oil
3/4 c cottage cheese

Mix in a container that you can shake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Keeps up to 1 week in the fridge.

Serve over fresh spinach mixed with crisp bacon, sliced hard-boiled eggs, fresh mushrooms and croutons.

Snickers Cake

This is a recipe that came in my family book from Stephen’s mom. The first time I made the cake here for the locals they consumed it like they had never had chocolate before. I think I made Jeff feel bad about eating the last piece. Jeff, I still feel bad about that but it was only because I selfishly wanted the last piece for myself.

1 package chocolate cake mix (mix as directed on box)

1 bag 14 oz. caramels (these can sometimes be hard to find when it’s not fall/Halloween)
1 stick butter
1/3 c milk

3/4 c chocolate chips
1 c dry roasted peanuts

Caramel Sauce
Melt unwrapped caramels with butter and milk in double boiler.

Place 1/2 cake batter in 9×13” pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Pour caramel sauce over baked cake. Sprinkle nuts and chocolate chips over caramel sauce. Pour remaining batter over nuts and chocolate chips. Bake at 250° for 25 minutes, then 350° for 10 minutes.

Pesto Orzo with Chicken & Pinenuts

When we lived in Durham there was a Mediterranean sandwich shop that made a pesto orzo dish with pinenuts. I think I might have been addicted to the stuff because I wanted to eat there all the time. This was my attempt to recreate it so that Stephen would stop gripping about having to take me there for dinner.

1 lb package of orzo
2 packages of Knorr Pesto Sauce Mix
1 2.25 oz package of pinenuts
2-3 broiled cutup chicken breasts

Cook orzo according to package directions. Mix Knorr pesto according to directions, you don’t have to cook it if you are adding it to the hot pasta. Add in pinenuts and chicken. Add copious amounts of black pepper, and by that I mean grind pepper until your hand is tired and stir and then add pepper again. Sometimes I add in some variety of white cheese. It can be served hot or cold.

Salsa Chicken Soup

This is my easiest soup recipe. As long as you have the chicken cooked, it takes no time to throw together. I also monkey with the numbers depending on how many people I’m going to feed. This recipe originally came from a BH&G dieting cookbook. I’ve changed a few things thought to make it fit with our love of all things cumin encrusted.

2 cans chicken broth
2-3 broiled chicken breasts or a package of precooked fajita chicken
2 cans sweet corn or 3-4 ears of fresh, cut off the cob
1-2 c chunky garden-style salsa
chili powder, cumin, onions and garlic to taste (If you use fresh onions and garlic, cook those slightly in a bit of oil first. I often use powdered garlic and onions when I am in a huge hurry.)

grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
broken tortilla chips

Add all ingredients to a soup pot. Heat. Top with chips and cheese.

Polenta Gratin with Tomato, Fontina & Rosemary

This is a combination of a about three recipes that I liked pieces of so I decided to combine them. We love the smell of this in the oven and Stephen all but licks the plate after the meal. The sauce, while not completely homemade, does a decent impersonation of sauce made from scratch but much, much faster. If you’re really lucky Kat or Sean will post in comments how they have changed this yet again to include some sort of sausage.

Tomato Sauce
1/4 c olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 14 oz. cans of Italian stewed tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
salt, chili powder, black pepper to taste
fresh rosemary & oregano to taste
dash Worcestershire sauce

Brown onion and garlic in oil. Add all other ingredients and simmer 1/2 hour -1 hour. Add a bit of water if sauce is too thick.

3 c milk
1 c cornmeal
1 c cold water
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c grated Fontina
2 T butter

In a saucepan heat milk to simmering. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl stir together the cornmeal, water and salt. Gradually add cornmeal mixture to simmering milk, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture begins to simmer again, reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, over low heat about 10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. During last few minutes of cooking, stir in 1/2 the Fontina and butter. Mixing spoon will almost standup in cornmeal mixture by itself, that’s how you know you’re done. On flat tray covered with wax paper, spread cornmeal mixture and let stand in refrigerator at least 1 hour (the longer you let it rest at this stage the better it is). It can sit up to 24 hours in the fridge, just cover it with plastic wrap so it won’t get too dry. Cut into squares.

1/2 c Gorgonzola
fresh rosemary
chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400°. Spread some tomato sauce in 3-quart gratin dish, then overlap the pieces of polenta with the remaining fontina. Spoon sauce in bands over the polenta, leaving the edges exposed. Repeat. Crumble Gorgonzola over top and sprinkle with rosemary and parsley. Bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until the gratin is hot and bubbly.