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Monday, July 30, 2012

Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue Sandwiches

Allrecipes is a goldmine for awesome recipes and this recipe for BBQ chicken sandwiches is just one example of it. I have made this wonderful sandwich three times, including as a main dish for a family reunion.  Each time I make it, I get wonderful compliments. It is so simple to make, it frees up a lot of time and gives a ton of flavor. In my humble opinion, it is restaurant quality. With 5 ingredients AND a slow cooker, you can't go wrong!!

I have served this sandwich on plain hamburger buns, Kaiser rolls and high quality bakery rolls. Although, it went well on all, my favorite was the high quality bakery rolls.

So, here we go!:


6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (12 ounce) bottle barbecue sauce
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


1) Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.
2) Cover, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
3) When finished, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with 2 forks until thoroughly shredded. Return to crock and stir well to coat.

How easy is that?

Malibu Rum Cupcakes

I never said I was a frosting pro!! It didn't effect the taste and that is all that matters! ; )

Original Recipe Link: (

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I am a tropical kind of girl. Love any and everything having to do with the tropics. When I came across these bad boys posted by "Under the Table and Dreaming by Stephanie", I knew I had to make them. We recently had a family reunion and it was the perfect time to do so! They were received well and almost all were gone by the end of the event.

Couple of points...first, I increased the rum in the frosting. I thought it was kind of weak and only gave the hint of rum which could barely be tasted. It did make the frosting a tad bit more watery than what is in the original posting. The original rum amount is in red. I also limited my frosting because it was incredibly sweet as prepared and I am not a fan of really sweet frosting. Second, I only like mini cupcakes, so that is what I made. Forty two cupcakes were produced. Bake them in the oven for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees to sheer perfection!! Stephanie Lynn had massive cupcakes which looked awesome, as well.  I served them extremely chilled and one of the attendees told me that they almost tasted like ice cream. Next time I make these...and there will be 1/2 cup coconut added to the cake mix. I think it really would have made it pop!

So, here we go!


Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix
3 Large Eggs
1 1/3 Cup of Water
2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon of Malibu Rum

Ingredients Needed for Icing:
1 3/4 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, softened
8 cups of Confectioners Sugar
1/4 Cup of Milk
1/2 Cup of Malibu Rum (1/4 cup)
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla

For the cake:

1) Mix the Duncan Hines Cake Mix with eggs, water and vegetable oil.

2) Once completely combined, stir in the vanilla and rum. Bake as directed as to what style cupcake desired.
For the icing:
3) Mix the softened butter and vanilla with an electric mixer on low for one minute.

4) Continue mixing on low speed and add the milk and rum. This will look very watery until blended.

5) Gradually add in 6 cups of the confectioners sugar until the mixture is creamy.

6) Continue to add last two cups of sugar until a thick creamy consistency is achieved.

"The Best" Steak Marinade

OK...I love steak. I have a passion for a great marinaded steak that is done medium rare. I can devour it. So, when I saw a recipe poster on Allrecipes claim to make the BEST steak marinade, I knew I had to try it! I must say that I agree with him, this was some great steak that was produced by this marinade. I must admit I did make 2 changes. First, the original recipe calls for dried basil and parsley. I prefer fresh from my garden so I switched that out and increased to 1/4 cup for both to adjust for that. Second, the original recipe had the minced garlic and hot sauce as optional. To me, the boosted up the recipe so they are included in my twist! I did put the original measurements in red. I served these with my crock pot potatoes and corn on the cob as sides. Yummers!!

It does take a little bit longer to prepare, but it is oh so worth it.

So, here we go!


1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup FRESH lemon juice (none of the concentrated stuff!)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped (3 T. Dried)
1/4 c parsley, chopped (1.5 T. Dried)
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
8 steaks of your choice, I used thinner cut rib eye steaks


1) Place first 10 ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

2) Place steaks in a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour marinade over steaks.
3) I marinaded for 8 hours, flipping back several times through out marinading process
4) Grill, as desired!

Sue D.'s Super Easy Quick Rolls


On Sisterhood of the Traveling Book, we have a recipe thread where members can post some of their tried and true recipes. Sue D., one of our moderators, blessed us with this tasty lil gem that has become a staple in the Blackburn kitchen. These tasty little morsels have just four ingredients in them and no eggs. To boot, they are versatile...I have added cheese and green chilies to serve them with chili and swirled brown sugar/cinnamon to serve them for breakfast. Feel free to add your own twists. I would love to hear your combinations! My husband's favorite way to eat them is slathered with butter and honey.

So, here we go!


2 cups self rising flour
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon sugar


1) Combine all ingredients, mix well, and spoon into lightly greased muffin tins.

2) Bake at 4:50 for 10 minutes: or until brown

How flippin' easy is that, huh?

Cookbook Review: The Sweet Magnolia Cookbook

Special Note: The Pub and Grub Forum will be testing several recipes from this cookbook in the month of August!

Book: The Sweet Magnolias Cookbook: More Than 150 Favorite Southern Recipes

Author: Sherryl Woods and Chef Teddi Wohlford

Release date (if applicable): August 28, 2012

Synopsis: A collection of excellent recipes "based" off the author's The Sweet Magnolias series.

My rating: 5 Stars

My opinion: OK, I have to be honest...I have never read a Sherryl Woods book, so I don't know about The Sweet Magnolias series and can't refer to it in this review. I focused much more on the recipes given. I happen to love when authors do recipes and/or cookbooks for their works. I must admit that I have found some rockin' recipes that way and, in my humble opinion, this book will not be an exception.

I loved this book though. I swear I am a misplanted Southern girl cuz I love Southern influence in my recipes and this book has it. Not only does it have it, but it presents it in an excellent variety of recipes. In this book, one will find libations, appetizers, main dishes, veggie/side dishes (farmer's market), ethnic, desserts, and my favorite, a low fat section with yummy looking dishes!

Source:Harlequin through Netgalley

Would I recommend? : All I can say is that it is already in my Amazon preorder cart!

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Not sure!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Pioneer Woman's Spinach Salad

This recipe is a bit more work, but boy was it worth every little morsel that went into it. My husband couldn't get enough of this tasty salad.

Hard to believe that less than a year ago, I had no clue who The Pioneer Woman was. Now, I can't get enough of Ree Drummond's recipes!

This is going to take a bit more explanation so I am going to get going! As usual, I made a couple of changes.

So here we go!


3 whole eggs
10 slices center cut bacon, RESERVE BACON GREASE
1 whole small red onion, halved and sliced
1 package mushrooms, sliced
1 package (8oz) baby spinach, washed and dried
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 dash Salt


1) Hard boil eggs. Cover with cold water when finished.

2) Fry bacon until just beginning to crisp. Remove to a paper towel. SAVE THE GREASE! Remove 3 tablespoons and set aside for dressing.

3) In a separate skillet, add 2 additional tablespoons of bacon grease to a separate skillet over medium heat.

4) Slice red onions very thinly, then add to skillet. Cook slowly until onions are caramelized and reduced. Remove to a plate and set aside.

5) Slice mushrooms and add them to the same skillet. Cook slowly until caramelized and brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.

6) Chop bacon.

7) Peel and chop eggs.

8) For hot bacon dressing: Add the reserved 3 tablespoons bacon grease, vinegar, sugar, and Dijon to a small skillet over medium-low heat. Whisk mixture together and heat thoroughly.

9) Add spinach to a large bowl. Add onions, mushrooms, eggs and bacon on top and toss gently. Pour hot dressing over the top; toss to combine.

Paula Deen's Mahi Mahi with Zesty Butter

I love a lot of things, but some of my favorites in the kitchen are a tasty fish and Paula Deen. When I came across this recipe, it was an opportunity for those two favorites to come together and, as usual, Ms. Paula did not disappoint.

Now, this recipe is a bit different. Ms. Paula calls for Mahi-Mahi in her recipe, but I am a fan of Tilapia and find the portion size to be just perfect for me. So, I swapped it out for the Mahi-Mahi. I am sure any firm white fish would do! This was SO simple too and took only 15 minutes to prepare.

One other change that I made was that I substituted out the simple salt and pepper she called for to her Paula Deen House Seasoning, which is hands down my favorite seasoning in the kitchen. I make a pound or so of this stuff at one time! Look under "My Favorite Seasonings" for my revamped, less salty version.

I served this with a nice Riesling wine, The Pioneer Woman's Spinach Salad and fresh tomatoes from my garden. My tummy was smiling after this dinner! Even my husband didn't complain about the fish!!

So, here we go!


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 t. Paula Deen House Seasoning, revamped (see my favorite seasonings), DIVIDED
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
4 fillets Mahi-Mahi or any firm white fish
3 tablespoons olive oil

1) Combine the butter, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 t. PDHS and basil in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring until the butter melts. Cover and REMOVE FROM HEAT TO AVOID BURNING BUTTER.

2) Spray pan liberally with cooking spray and then heat the olive oil in a large pan (Paula used a grilling skillet on her show and I used a regular skillet) over medium heat. Season the fish with the other 1/2 t. of PDHS. Cook the fish for 3 minutes; turn and cook until just opaque, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the fillets to plates.

3) Spoon the warm basil butter over the fish and serve. EASY PEASY, BABY!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lemon Almond Cake Balls

I do huge baking for holiday trays. It started off for my library to say thank you for all the wonderful things they do and spread to other recipients. Last year, one of the librarians had asked me about adding cake balls to the trays because she had them at one point and loved them. Not wanting to disappoint her, I went on a recipe search, and true to form, came through for me!

I love this recipe. It is so simple and uses few ingredients. The results were fantastic. I continue to get requests for these lil gems and have used multiple combinations of cake and frosting to come up with some unique finger desserts.

What I loved about this recipe that can be added is that we did a white chocolate stripe that had almond extract added. It made the recipe a bit more special!

Some of my most requested:
  • Devils Food cake and Vanilla frosting rolled in either nuts or mini chocolate chips (chocolate almond bark)
  • Red Velvet cake and Cream Cheese frosting (vanilla almond bark)
  • German Chocolate cake and German Chocolate frosting sprinkled with chopped coconut and pecan pieces (chocolate almond bark)
  • Carrot cake and Cream Cheese frosting (vanilla almond bark)
  • Lemon Cake and Vanilla or Cream Cheese frosting (vanilla almond bark)
  • Lemon Cake and Chocolate frosting (chocolate almond bark)
Some decorations:
  • finely chopped nuts
  • drizzled chocolate
  • colored sugar
  • cake sprinkles
  • melted chocolates
It is really hard to screw these bad boys up!!

So, here we go!


1 box cake mix, your desire
1 container prepared frosting, your desire
1 package almond bark, your desire
Ball decorations, see examples above


1) Bake cake according to package directions for 9x13 pan. Allow to cool for 1 hour when finished.
2) Remove from pan to large bowl. Break cake up to very tiny crumbs.
3) Add canned frosting and stir until well blended. Place bowl in refrigerator of 1 hour
4) Remove and scoop mixture into 1 inch or larger balls (the smaller ones are better) , place the scoops on a cookie sheet and return to refrigerator for another hour.
5) Prepare a water bath for melting the almond bark by placing a pan with water, bringing it to a boil and placing another pan or large bowl over the steaming water. Place bricks of bark in pan and allow to melt. If the bark thickens, it can be thinned using small amounts of canola oil to desired consistency.
6) CAREFULLY dip the chilled balls in the warmed bark. Allow excess to drip off.
7) If desired in a second water bath, melt white chocolate chips. color with yellow food coloring and almond or lemon extract (use sparingly and add to desired taste..extract sneaks up). Drizzle with desire designs.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sticky Chicken Breasts

From: Christy Jordan's Southern Plate

I stumbled upon this tasty lil dish totally by accident and am thrilled I did. It has a sweet barbecue taste to it, yet it is baked in the oven. I used bone-in, skin on chicken breasts I had, but easily could have used a cut-up chicken or my bone-in chicken thighs. It was such a simple dish to make. The sauce was a perfect compliment to white rice.

So, here we go!:

5 bone in chicken with skin (folks usually use legs and/or thighs)
1 cup ketchup
1 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) In a sauce pan, combine ketchup, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, and garlic powder over medium heat.
3) Bring it just to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat.
4) Arrange chicken pieces in 9x13 dish. Pour entire amount of sauce over chicken, turning pieces with tongs to coat.
5) Place in oven, uncovered, for 90 minutes, turning after 45 minutes.
6) Fifteen minutes before cooking time is up, flip pieces once more and baste with sauce. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Paula Deen's Honey Wheat Beer Bread


I made this bread to go with my Father's Day meal and it was a perfect companion to the Cheeseburger Meatloaf! I couldn't believe the simplicity in making this bread. It went together easily and baked up perfectly!


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 12 ounces honey wheat beer , I used Leinie's Honey Weiss beer
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

  • Directions:

    1) Preheat oven to 350.

    2) Spray a  9x5 inch loaf pan liberally with cooking spray.

    3) In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.

    4) Add 1/4 c honey and beer, stirring well.

    5) Pour into the prepared loaf pan.

    6) Combine 1 tablespoon honey and melted butter  and brush over dough.

    7) Bake 50 minutes.