The Best Strawberry Bread Ever!

 

 

Warm strawberry goodness sounds pretty good right about now! A friend suggested I share this recipe with y’all again – just in case you’d missed it the first time (2 years ago)! I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on this one, it makes Winter a little more “bearable” by giving you a taste of Spring – something we could all use right about now!    😉  

This is some of the moistest, most amazing Strawberry Bread you will ever eat. Smothered with a Cream Cheese spread, it is a little slice of Heaven – and you don’t even have to use fresh strawberries to make it! Good eats at any time of day – breakfast, snack, dessert – doesn’t matter! Just be sure to stash it where it’s not in open view when you are not around – otherwise it will be all gone when you come back for seconds!!  😉 

Very easy to make with only a few ingredients required, and about an hour of your time, makes this a quick and scrumptous treat!

Shady’s Southern Strawberry Bread

*Makes 2 Loaves

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees

2 sticks butter

1  1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs – lightly beaten

1 cup strawberry jam or preserves

1 cup sour cream

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. lemon extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

Line 2 loaf pans with wax paper and set aside. You can trim the paper down to fit the pans better – just make sure that you leave enough “overhang” to be able to grasp and  lift the loafs out of the pans when they are done!

In a large mixing bowl, cream your butter, sugar and eggs together.

In second mixing bowl, fold sour cream into jam.

In third mixing bowl sift flour, baking soda and cream of tartar together.

Now, add the flour mixture  ( 1/3rd at a time)  to the butter mixture while alternating with the jam mixture while mixing on LOW speed.

Now fold in the lemon extract and the vanilla with a spoon.

Pour into wax paper lined loaf pans – dividing batter evenly between pans, and place in preheated oven at 325 degrees on middle rack of oven. Bake for 1 hour. (Don’t worry – the wax paper WON”T burn, and it IS necessary for the success of this bread)  

While bread is baking make Cream Cheese Spread – if desired:

Cream Cheese Spread

1 pkg (8 oz.) softened cream cheese

1/2 cup milk

 1/2 cup powdered sugar (can up this to 3/4 cup if sweeter, thicker spread desired)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all together on Med-High speed until well blended. Place in fridge until ready to use. (Please forgive my stained bowl – it’s around 17 years old and has been well-used)  🙂 

Now – when baking time is done, insert a toothpick into the centers of the loaves and check for doneness – it will come out clean when they are done. Remove loaves from oven, set pans on trivets or wire racks to cool for 5 minutes, then lift loaves out of pan by wax paper.

Peel off wax paper, slice loaves into hunks about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, spread with Cream Cheese spread (if desired – if not butter or plain is yummy too)!!

However – BEWARE – a hand will “magically” appear and snatch the first plate of strawberry goodness away before you even get done plating it all up!!

Guard the rest of the loaf wisely young grasshopper, guard it wisely!!!!

Enjoy!!  🙂 

Shady

 

 

 

Cure-All Hamburger Soup

It seems that there are some nasty “Bugs” going around right now, and I’ve had several requests for the recipe for my Cure-All Soup (because it WORKS!!).  So, I’m reposting the recipe here for you so you don’t have to search for it – and for those of you who’ve never seen it before.   🙂   

Make yourself (or a sick friend) up a quick batch of this and you WILL be 100% better in 24 hours! Miracle stuff!!

Enjoy!!   🙂    

 

Shady’s Cure-All Hamburger Soup

 

 

The main benefit to this soup is that No matter what cold/flu/sickness you are afflicted with, eat 2 – 3 bowls of this soup and it cures whatever ails you within 24 HOURS!!! Everytime!!! I’m not sure how – and I don’t care, I just know by personal experience – IT WORKS!!

*NOTE: Recipe can easily be doubled (this is how I normally make it now, I also will use bags of mixed frozen veggies when I can) or you can even triple the recipe for freezing leftovers. Recipe freezes wonderfully, and will keep up to 6 months this way – just thaw and reheat*

1 1/2 to 2 lbs ground beef , browned and drained

2 cans corn (drained)

2 cans green beans (drained)

1 can carrots or mixed veggies (drained)

1 can peas (drained)

2 cans stewed tomatoes (do not drain) (optional)

1 large can tomato juice (or 2 cans plain tomato sauce mixed with 1 can water if you are out of juice)

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp (or more to taste) ground black pepper (this soup LIKES pepper)

2 tsp Italian seasonings (or 1 tsp each Oregano and Basil)

1/2 tsp. onion powder (optional)

*if more soup broth is desired, you can add 1 can plain tomato sauce to above ingredients*

Dump all into large pot and simmer on med-low heat until heated thru, stirring occasionally.

Serve and enjoy! I occasionally top with shredded cheddar cheese if I have some on hand, and a dollop of sour cream tastes great too!  :)

 This soup warms your insides, makes a nice change from chili on really cold days, and I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t like this one!     :)

Hope y’all enjoy!

Shady

 

 

 

BBQ Pulled Pork or Beef

Okay, I know this is not a traditional Pulled Pork recipe. However, sometimes you need to “fudge” on long-cooked items for today’s crazy lifestyles. This is my “I-Don’t-Have-Time-To-Do-It-The-Way-They-Say-To” Pulled Pork recipe so that you can throw it on before you leave for work, and have dinner ready when you get home. Shhhh – just don’t tell them you cooked it this way and “they” will never know!!  ;)   

Here’s what you need to do:

Grab your Crock-pot, plug it in, set it on LOW.

Grab a 4 – 6 LB FROZEN  Pork Roast out of your freezer, unwrap it, throw it in Crock-pot. Sprinkle on some Garlic Powder and lots of Black Pepper.

Grab a bottle of BBQ Sauce outta the cupboard and dump it over Roast, Refill bottle 1/4 full of WARM or Hot water, swish around to clear bottle, and dump it over Roast.

Now cover crock-pot and walk away. In 8 hours you will have a Falling-Apart, Melt-In-Your-Mouth BBQ’d Pork Roast! 

Now take Roast out of crock-pot and place into a large mixing bowl. Take 2 large forks and pull roast apart – at this point it will fall almost completely apart on its own!!!

Now, you have 2 options – you can either dump the BBQ sauce cooking mixture back over roast and stir to serve – OR – take a new bottle/batch of BBQ sauce and pour it over the shredded meat, mixing in well (I prefer the later method since the sauce the meat cooked in is a bit “watery” at this point, but either method works well! I then use the sauce that is remaining in the crock-pot as gravy for smashed potatoes that I serve on the side of this dish – sounds weird, but tastes GREAT!!). 

Now, scoop meat out of the bowl onto buns for Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

Enjoy! 

Shady

P.S. This also works for BBQ Beef  for sandwiches as well – same instructions, just a different meat.  ;)

P.P.S.  This is an awesome recipe for the “Game Day” buffet. Just return the shredded meat/bbq sauce mixture to an empty (no cooking liquid remaining) crock-pot,  and set crock-pot to “WARM” or “LOW” once you reach your destination to watch the game.  Just be sure to stir the meat every so often while watching game so the sauce doesn’t burn to the sides of the crockpot.    🙂

Chocolate Treasure Cupcakes

Okay – who’s ready for a massive chocolate fix????

This kind of warm, gooey chocolate fix???

Mmmmmmmm……Cheesecake middles…….

Well then, here you go:

Chocolate Treasure Cupcakes 

preheat your oven to 350 degrees 

prepare muffin tins for 24 cupcakes (either use liners, or grease and sugar; or grease and cocoa powder – if you REALLY love chocolate – the tins) 

Filling: 

1 – 8 oz. pkg softened cream cheese 

1 egg, beaten 

1/3 cup sugar 

1/8 tsp salt 

1  (6 oz.) pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips (1/2 a regular size pkg) 

 

Combine cream cheese, egg, sugar and salt. Beat with mixer on medium speed until well blended. 

 

Now stir in chocolate chips, using a spoon. Set aside for later. 

 

Cupcake Batter: 

3 cups flour 

1/2 cup cocoa powder 

2 cups sugar 

2 tsp baking soda 

1 tsp salt 

2 cups water 

2/3 cup vegetable oil 

1 tblsp white vinegar 

2 tsp vanilla extract 

Combine first 5 ingredients (dry team) in a large mixing bowl. 

 

Mix thouroughly – I use a whisk for this part. 

 

Assemble the rest of the ingredients (wet team). 

 

Now, SLOWLY add (in order) water, oil, vinegar and vanilla while mixing on LOW speed with electric mixer (otherwise you will be consumed in a dust cloud of chocolate…..sounds good, breathes bad).  🙂  Mix well. 

 

Now, fill cupcake tins 2/3 full of Batter, then drop heaping teaspoons full of cream cheese Filling in center on top of batter. Don’t worry – it will sink into batter while it bakes.  😉  

  

Arrange pans on center oven racks so that they are not touching. 

 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes. 

Remove from oven and place on trivets or wire racks to cool before removing cupcakes from pans. 

 

You must let them cool a bit before eating – you don’t want to hurt yourself! But, most importantly of all…….BEWARE that blasted Hand Monster thief!! 

 

Because you are going to want all of this yummy goodness for yourself!!! 

 

Although, in order to avoid possible over-consumption and extra “jigglies” where you don’t want them, you MIGHT want to consider sharing….. Notice I only said “might” though.  🙂   

Enjoy!! 

Shady

Today’s Experiment: LUNCH

The Challenge:  Lunch for a boy with a Wisdom Tooth coming in that is going to have to be pulled (this means only soft food for now) that is nutritious, and easy.

The Solution:  Create a soup he will actually eat.    😉   

Hmmm….. what to throw in the crock-pot today……..

Step #1)  Peruse pantry

Step #2)  Grab crock-pot

Step #3)  Throw in crock-pot:

2 cups dried, rinsed Lentils

1  1/2 cups dried split peas, rinsed

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 cup sliced baby carrots

1 medium chopped onion

1 tblsp chopped/crushed garlic

3 splashes Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

Set crock-pot on HIGH and walk away for 4 to 4 1/2 hours.

10 minutes before done, I will add 2 cups of chopped, cooked ham.

How’s it taste? Don’t know yet.    😉  

We shall see……

Don’t y’all just love being Guinea Pigs??    🙂

Okay – NOW it’s time to “panic”

WOW! Where has the time went?!?!?

Only a little more than a week until Christmas!!!!! YIKES!!!

Do you have everything done yet???

Nope.

Me either!!!

In fact, I’ve been so busy with the “day job” that I JUST finished decorating the Christmas Tree!! Like – a few hours ago finished!!! UGH.

At least the presents are “in the works”. Not finished – but at least I’m making progress. That’s something – right????    😉   

However, three of them have actually been “in the works” for almost a year now! I guess that kinda deflates that “making progress” balloon, huh???     🙂   

Going to work before sunrise, and getting home after dark, with a day filled with strenuous activity outdoors (in nasty cold weather) doesn’t leave you very motivated in the evenings to do much! A hot meal, a hot bath and curling up under some warm blankets while calling it a day is about it!!

I’m ready for Spring!!

How about you?????

In the mean time…..

Here’s a quick recipe I thought you might like to try if you are in a hurry for a last-minute get-together:       

Super Simple Cheesecake
Filling:
2 blocks of cream cheese (do NOT use low-fat) – softened
2 cups of powdered sugar (sifted)
16 oz tub of Cool Whip
Crust:
2 1/4 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup  sugar
9 Tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To make the crust:
Mix your graham cracker crumbs, your sugar, your melted butter, and cinnamon until well blended. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
To make the filling:
Mix the cream cheese with mixer until smooth. Then add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix until smooth. Add in the entire tub of cool whip and  mix until smooth.

****Please do not add items out of this order or your mixture will be lumpy.
Put it in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.
When ready to serve:  drizzle with chocolate, or sprinkle with nuts and caramel, or add your favorite pie filling on the top.     🙂   

Have a piece for me!!!

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Okay – it’s officially that time of year. Cold weather = warm, hearty Comfort Food!!! You know – the kind that warms you up from the inside out. A wonderful thing after spending all day outside in the cold, bone-chilling, wind howling weather.    🙂   

This is one of my son’s favorite foods, and I “developed” this recipe one day when I was in a hurry and had no time, or inclination, to make dinner that night. It has become one of our Go-To recipes, and one that he even has written down to take with him to college. It is perfectly EASY enough for ANYONE (take notice here teenagers and hubbys!), with or without any cooking abilities, to make at a moments notice.

Now, keep in mind – this recipe is custom tailored to a busy, exhausted mom; a college student; or starving man with no time to cook. Which means that there are  no  “Made From Scratch”  parts to this recipe.

GASP!!! SHOCK!!! AWE!! The Horror!! Blasphemy!!

Get over it!   🙂   

We don’t all have the time on a daily basis (if ever) to chop, skin, peel, roll, mix and bake EVERYTHING that we make/cook from scratch. And spending hours getting dinner on the table after a long day is just not my idea of a good time!    😉   

So, here ya go.

Quick. Easy. Hearty. Warm. Filling….. and best of all – it can also use up the previous nights leftovers!

What more could you ask for?    😉   

SHADY’S EASY CHICKEN POT PIE

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

13″ x 9″  Baking Dish, spray with non-stick cooking spray

2 pkgs store-bought ready-made pie crusts (4 crusts total)

4 cups cooked, de-boned, skin free, diced Chicken meat ( approx. 2 cans or 3 leftover chicken breasts +/- )

1 – 1lb. bag of Frozen Mixed Vegetables (do not thaw)

1 large (or 2 small)  cans of Cream Of Chicken Soup (can substitute Cream of Mushroom if necessary)

1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk (depending on how thick you want your filling/gravy)

Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Paprika to taste (all optional)

Line your baking dish with 2 of the pie crusts (they will overlap in the middle of the dish – this is okay).

Place chicken meat in pan on top of the bottom crusts. Level it out.

Dump bag of Frozen Veggies over top of chicken and level out.

In a small bowl combine the soup and milk to desired thickness, then pour over veggie layer as EVENLY as possible.

Sprinkle pepper, garlic and paprika over top of soup layer – if desired. (I use approx 1/4 tsp. of each spice on ours)

Top dish with the remaining 2 pie crusts, overlapping them slightly in the middle and crimping/sealing the edges all the way around the dish.

Take a fork and poke several holes thru the top of the pie crusts to let the steam escape and prevent overflows.

Place dish on a cookie sheet (just in case of overflow) on CENTER oven rack.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 50  minutes (until crust is golden brown like any good pies should be).    😉   

Pull from oven and let sit for 5 – 10 min (the roof of your mouth will Thank You for this) then serve with biscuits/buttered bread for a great meal!

Recipe easily feeds 1 hungry boy for 2 days – or a family of 4 for 2 meals!

    😉   

Enjoy!

Oh – and please forgive my lack of photographs in this post……. Pot Pie was consumed too quickly for photos the other night.    🙂