15th Nov2012

Banana Bread with Cranberry Trail Mix Crust {On the Table}

by Daenel

My kids love bananas. In fact, they love them so much that bananas rarely last long enough for me to make banana bread. So on those rare occasions when the bananas do start to get overly ripe, I jump at the chance to put some bread in the oven. Only this time I didn’t have any baking soda or baking powder… What to do? What to do? How about use what you have on hand?

So, here you go, Banana Bread using self~rising flour…

 Banana Bread with Cranberry Trail Mix Crust {Living Outside the Stacks}

What Ya Need

  • 6 Very Ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 3 cups Self~Rising Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Cranberry Trail Mix

What Ya Do

  1. Preheat oven to 325º
  2. Cream together butter, eggs and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add bananas and vanilla. Beat well.
  4. Pour into a bread pan (this makes 2 loaves).
  5. Sprinkle with trail mix.
  6. Bake in oven for 1 hour.

Now Ya Eat

  • Can be eaten warm
  • My daughter puts peanut butter and honey on hers

If you make it, let me know how you like it!



08th Nov2012

Homemade Potato, Corn and Shrimp Chowder {On the Table}

by Daenel

Have you ever wanted to eat something so badly that you thought about it all day long? That’s how I was the other night. I wanted Shrimp and Grits with Fried Chicken. Desperately. So I quickly drove home and, guess what? No grits anywhere in the house. So I started thinking and thinking and thinking and when I finally accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to get in my car and drive back in to town just for some grits, I decided to make chowder. Best decision ever. Here’s the recipe, I hope you agree. Potato Corn and Shrimp Chowder {Living Outside the Stacks} What Ya Need

  • 1/2 lb Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cans Corn, drained
  • 6 strips Bacon, crumbled
  • 4 cups Red Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Milk
  • 1 tbs Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper

What Ya Do

  1. Place potatoes, corn and onions in a large pot with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  2. While potatoes simmer, combine butter, milk and flour in a saucepan over medium~low heat and cook until smooth and thick. Stir constantly.
  3. Pour milk mixture into the cooked vegetables, add the bacon and shrimp. Cook until the shrimp is no longer opaque.
  4. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.

Now Ya Eat

  • Can be eaten as is or you can add shredded cheddar cheese

If you make it, let me know how you like it!


25th Oct2012

Yummy Spoon Bread {On the Table}

by Daenel

I’m not a big baker. It’s a time thing. But i do love myself some bread. And I do I love to cook. I especially love to try new recipes. This hasn’t always been true, when the hubs and I first got married, I couldn’t boil water. Not kidding. Could not boil water. At all. As in I actually burned the pot that I was boiling the water in because I forgot about it. Then one day, I woke up and it was like I was seeing the stove for the first time…

Anyway, the other day I was planning to make some cornbread to go with our ribs and got to thinking, how about what if I do a little something~something to it? This is what I came up with…

Yummy Spoon Bread

What Ya Need

  • 2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 cans creamed corn
  • 2/3 c milk
  • 1/2 c Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 c Shredded Colby Cheese

Spoon Bread Ingredients {Living Outside the Stacks}

What Ya Do

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Stir until ingredients are wet, the batter will be lumpyDon’t over mix.
  3. Pour into a greased cast iron pan. Maybe I should have said that first, before you start on this recipe, make sure you have a cast iron panThey are the best pans ever.
  4. Let sit in the pan for about 10 minutes before putting in oven for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


Spoon Bread {Living Outside the Stacks}

Spoon Bread {Living Outside the Stacks}

Now Ya Eat

  • Serve warm. With a spoon. Because, well, it’s Spoon BreadGet it?
  • After it cools, you can slice it and serve just like cornbread.

Spoon Bread {Living Outside the Stacks}

It really is delish. Do you eat Spoon Bread? Have you ever made it before? What did you do differently?

16th Apr2012

Tortellini with Squash {Meatless Monday}

by Daenel

Tortellini with Squash {Meatless Monday}

Now, I’m not even gonna pretend that I’m one of those people who minces my own garlic and grates my own Parmesan. I don’t. I use jarred garlic that’s already been minced and I use a lot of it. I’m also not very particular about the measurements. Dump and stir is the only way to go. Add a little and just keep going ’til your eyes roll back in your head and a whispered “Mmmm” escapes your lips. Deal?

I made Tortellini with Squash for my family a few nights ago and we all agreed that it stays in rotation. It’s light, filling and can be eaten steaming hot or at room temperature. If you’re a mother, you know that’s generally the temp of your food by the time you get to eat. So let’s get to it:


1 package tri~color Tortellini

1 Yellow Squash (sliced)

1 Zucchini (sliced)

Minced garlic

Olive Oil


Freshly Ground Pepper (OK, this is the one thing I do insist upon, there is nothing like freshly ground pepper)

Parmesan Cheese


1. In a pot of salted water, cook tortellini according to package directions.

2. While the tortellini is cooking, coat the bottom of a saucepan with olive oil and heat on medium high. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 or 2 minutes), add the yellow squash and zucchini. Cook an additional 5 minutes (cook longer if you don’t like crunchy veggies).

3. When tortellini has finished cooking, drain but reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.

4. If you’re fancy, you can pour the tortellini into a bowl but my family is hard core, everything goes back into the cooking pot so….  Return tortellini to the pot, add in the veggie/garlic mixture, stir in reserved liquid to keep pasta from sticking. You may not need all of the liquid but you can keep it on hand to use to reheat the tortellini later if you need to do so.

5. Once you’ve placed the tortellini on a plate, add freshly ground pepper and Parmesan cheese.

If you try it, let me know what you think. I’d also be interested in knowing how you adjust the ingredients/recipe for your family.

21st Dec2011

On the Table: Parmesan Crusted Chicken

by Daenel

This is quite possibly the juiciest chicken ever. And I do mean ever. You will thank me for this. You will want to shower me with money and love and all sorts of accolades for this recipe. But, really, all I ask is that you come back and let me know how your family liked it.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Parmesan Tomato Pasta and Green Beans

Please note that I’m a dump and stir kinda cook, so I very rarely have exact measurements. Anyway, Big Momma always said “Real genuine cookin’ comes from the heart and the heart just knows…”


10 Chicken Thighs (you can use breasts or strips)

1/2 jar Hellman’s Mayonnaise (yep, I used half a jar, you may not need that much)

2 rows Ritz Crackers, crushed fine (I love Ritz Crackers as a replacement for bread crumbs)

1 package shredded Parmesan Cheese



Garlic Powder




  1. Preheat the oven to 450°
  2. Spray glass dish with nonstick spray
  3. In a large bowl, mix the mayo and the cheese
  4. In another large bowl, add crushed crackers and dry seasonings, blend well
  5. Dip rinsed and dried chicken into the mayo and cheese mix, make sure it’s well coated, then dip into the cracker and seasoning mix
  6. Place in glass baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes or until juices run clear
  7. Let sit for 10~15 minutes before serving

If you try this recipe, please let me know if you like it. Thanks and happy eating!

Disclosure: I didn’t receive any compensation for this post. I just think Ritz Crackers are ~ hands down~ the best substitute for bread crumbs and Hellman’s was my mayo of choice for this recipe.

01st Dec2011

On the Table: Italian Wedding Soup

by Daenel

Google Friend Connect is disappearing soon, but I’d love for us to stay together. You can read my blog in your favorite reader through my RSS feed, join the conversation on Facebook or chat with me on Twitter. Make sure you give a shout out and let me know you’re there!

For dinner tonight, I decided to surprise the hubs and make one of his favorite meals: Italian Wedding Soup. It’s an easy and inexpensive meal that’s both filling and comforting, especially on chilly evenings.

Italian Wedding Soup

1 lb ground beef
2 lightly beaten eggs
¼ cup crushed Ritz Crackers (I know, right? So good though)
2 tbs grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
4 cups thinly sliced Escarole
2¼ cups uncooked Stelline
⅔ cups sliced carrots

  1. In a medium bowl, combine meat, eggs, cracker crumbs, cheese, basil and seasonings; shape into ¾ balls.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the broth to a boiling; stir in Escarole, Stelline, carrots and meatballs. Return to boil, then reduce heat to medium.
  3. Cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

I usually serve my Italian Wedding Soup with garlic bread (a nice Caesar salad will also round out the meal quite nicely). Let me know how you like it.

03rd Oct2011

Meatless Monday: Spinach, Tomato and Cheese Tortellini

by Daenel

Spinach, Tomato and Cheese TortelliniRemember a while back I said that the family and I were going to try going meatless on Monday once we settled into our new environs?  Yeah, well, I’d totally forgotten about it too until I ran across a recipe for Spinach, Tomato and Cheese Tortellini in this month’s All You magazine.

The recipe was submitted by Lori Merrick (I don’t know who she is but darned if this wasn’t delish and the kids loved it).  Here’s the recipe as she submitted it, I’ll put in bold the changes that I made:

  • salt and pepper
  • 1 20 oz package dried cheese tortellini
  • 1 TBS olive oil (vegetable oil, no olive oil in the house)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (didn’t have any)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms  (family doesn’t like)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cups lightly packed baby spinach (used frozen)
  • ¼ cup low~sodium chicken broth
  • grated Parmesan (used shredded mozzarella)
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook tortellini for 10 minutes or as package label directs.  Warm oil in a large skillet over medium~low heat.  Add garlic and red pepper and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Raise heat to medium, until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add tomatoes and sauté 2 minutes.  Pile spinach on top and cover.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until spinach has wilted, about 3½ minutes.  Pour in broth, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  2. Drain tortellini, add to skillet and stir gently to blend.  Serve in bowls.  Sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired.

FYI:  I doubled the recipe so that I’d have enough for a side dish with tomorrow’s dinner.  I’ve found that when I make the standard serving size that I have leftovers but not enough for everyone so I end up making another starch and veggie.  This, I think, should be more cost effective.

I asked the kids how they enjoyed going meatless and if this is something they’d be willing to try for the rest of the month and they thought it was a great idea.  They’re very excited about the prospect of trying new foods while not giving up the family faves.  And I’m happy because my family will be eating more vegetables and shifting towards a healthier lifestyle.

Have you ever tried going meatless?  Do you have a favorite meatless dish that I can try with my family?

26th Jun2010

Fruity Bread Pudding Recipe

by Daenel

A few weeks back I mentioned that my children surprised me by loving bread pudding.  In fact, Miss 16 sent me a text requesting the bread pudding instead of cake for her birthday.  Anyway since my post, I’ve been getting requests for the recipe.  Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to make another one so there aren’t any pictures to go with the post but I wanted to share the recipe with you all anyway.

I tweaked the recipe a bit to fit my family’s taste (they love dried fruits) so I encourage you to do the same.  Please stop back by and let me know what you think after you’ve tried it.

6 Slices of day old bread (I use hard rolls)
2 TBS butter
1/4 Cup raisins and/or cranberries
1/4 Cup dried apples, figs, apricots (diced)
4 eggs (beaten)
2 Cups milk
3/4 Cup white sugar
1/2 TSP ground nutmeg
1/2 TSP ground cinnamon
1 TSP vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Break bread into pieces into a greased baking dish. Drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with dried fruits.
3. In a mixing bow, combine eggs, milk, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Pour over the bread. Using a fork, push bread down until it is completely moistened (if you don’t get it moistened completely, the bread will be hard!).
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Serve warm or cold. This is terrific as a breakfast food or a desert. You can also add walnuts or pecans for extra oomph.  And never ever forget the coffee!

This recipe was adapted from a combination of recipes in Live Longer and allrecipes.com

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