Shrimp and Grits Casserole

Kent found another shrimp recipe he wanted me to try in “Cook Illustrated Skillet Dinners” magazine.  I made it this evening. Personally, I do not like shrimp so I did not try this one.  I know I should but I couldn’t.  Kent really enjoyed it and wants me to make this dish more often. Rachel popped over with Franny.  She also thought it was delicious and really enjoyed the grits too.  This was a very simple and delicious meal to make in under 60 minutes.  Here goes;

Shrimp and Grits Casserole

January 020


January 012

2 Tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup old fashioned grits (NOT quick) I used Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits.  After running around town I finally found them at Festival Foods.
6 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 scallions, sliced thin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds extra large shrimp (I used 20), peeled, deveined and tails removed (I bought peeled and deveined.  Kent told me it was okay to leave on the tails.  Against my better judgement I did not remove the tails.  Guess what, he said “next time remove the tails!”  Moral to the story, go with your gut!! 🙂


1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2.  Melt butter in 12 inch oven safe skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and salt and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in garlic and chipotle and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3.  Stir in water and cream, increase heat to medium high, and bring to boil.  Slowly whisk in grits until grits are thick and creamy, about 15 minutes.January 016
4.  Off heat, whisk in cheese, eggs, scallions and pepper.  Arrange shrimp in pinwheel formation over grits, press lightly to submerge about half way.  January 017Transfer skillet to oven and bake until top is browned, grits are hot and shrimp are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Didn’t I tell you that was easy?  Enjoy!!

Triple Brownie Bar Cookies

I forgot about this one.  I think this would be a great treat for Super Bowl Sunday.  I guess I am making Dawneo’s for Friday!!  I first made these last February 2014.  Guess I will make again this February!!

I checked with Eric to see if there was any different cookie/dessert he wanted me to bake this weekend.  I really love to bake and am getting bored making the same things over and over.  I really want to try some different recipes.  He found a recipe for brownie bars that I thought would be fun to make.  I have a Faux Oreo recipe that I love to make.  Kent calls them my Dawneo cookies.  🙂  I made my Dawneo cookies in the morning and the brownie bars in the afternoon.  You could also make your life easy and buy a package of Oreos at the store.  Here is a simple and very delicious treat I am sure every person in your life will love!!

Triple Brownie Bar Cookies

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For the brownie layer02092014 014

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour

For the Oreo layer; buy one package of Oreos or bake the ones I made.  They are awesome and freeze great too!

For the Cookie Dough layer02092014 016

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips)

Directions (Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

1.  Brownie layer;  In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat.  Once melted, remove from heat and add sugar and cocoa, whisk together.  Add salt, vanilla and eggs.  Whisk until eggs are combined with mix.  Add flour and mix well.  Set batter aside.

2.  Cookie Dough layer;  Cream together the butter and sugars in mixer.  Add the eggs and vanilla, make sure to scrape down side of bowl.  Add dry ingredients until mixed together.  Mix in chocolate chips.

3.  Line bottom of 9×9 baking pan/dish with parchment paper.02092014 020

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4.  Assemble as follows;  Layer the cookie dough on bottom of pan.  Single layer as many Oreos that will fit on top of the cookie dough. 02092014 021 It is not necessary to overlap.  Pour the brownie mixture over top of Oreos and spread evenly.02092014 024
5.  Bake 30-35 minutes.  (I baked 40-45 minutes)  I checked by using a toothpick.

These are delicious!!  Eric wanted to take all of it home.  I explained I needed to keep some here for us and the Martin’s.  He conceded reluctantly!  He just stole more Dawneos. 02092014 026 I am just happy he enjoys them so much.  Gets them out of my reach that is for sure!!  😉

Baked Potato Wedges

Sometimes I just don’t want to fry.  Too messy.  Here is a simple and delicious recipe to go with your hamburger, shrimp burger, chicken parmesan sliders, steak or to eat all by themselves.  Give it a try!!

Baked Potato Wedges



4 baking potatoes, cut into wedges
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried rosemary


1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2.  Scrub the potatoes, cut them in half lengthwise, then cut each half in thirds lengthwise. You will have 6 long wedges from each potato. Place the potatoes on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together, making sure the potatoes are covered with oil. Spread the potatoes in a single layer with 1 cut-side down.
3.  Bake the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes, turning to the other cut side after 20 minutes. Bake until they are lightly browned, crisp outside, and tender inside. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

These potato wedges are AWESOME!!  Enjoy!!

Rooney Doggie Biscuits – Cookies for Your Pup

Since everyone else in the family gets baked goods I thought Rooney would enjoy some too.  Here is a Simple and Delicious (according to Rooney) biscuit for your pup!  I checked a few different recipes I found online, took a few ingredients from each and whipped these up for Rooney.  Pinterest is a great place to look for all kinds of recipes, including dog biscuits!!

Rooney Doggie Biscuits



2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup oatmeal (steel cut or rolled oats)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix together above ingredients until a stiff dough has formed.  (I used my stand up mixer.)
3.  Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and no longer sticky.  Roll out to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut with cookie cutter and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
4.  Bake 25-35 minutes until golden brown.  Cool before serving.  Store in ziploc bag.

King Rooney enjoys these scrumptious treats!! january 022

Pineapple Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

We enjoy a glaze on our ham.  I used this glaze at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We buy a Roundy’s ham from Copp’s, which is a local grocery store.  For many years I would buy the Honey Baked Ham from the Heavenly Ham store.  I bought a ham one day from Copp’s when it was on sale.  Hey, why not!  Well, now that is all we buy. Of course, I could try a Kirkland ham from Costco.  (I am a Costco fan!) 😉 For now, a Roundy’s ham with or without this glaze is Simple and Delicious!!

Ham Glaze


2 cups brown sugar
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
Juice of one lemon (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard (you can use yellow too.  I would use 1 Tablespoon)
2 Tablespoons corn starch mixed with 4 Tablespoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon clove (or not)


1.  Place all ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan.  Mix well, heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until sauce thickens.  Remove from heat.
2.  Pour some glaze over ham, 30 minutes before you will remove from oven.  You can put glaze you did not use in a bowl and serve at dinner.


Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars

Today, Martin, Martin2 and I went on a road trip to Milwaukee.  We happen to enjoy shopping together.  Our goal was to go to Pleasant Prairie Outlet Mall.  On the way there we stopped at the Milwaukee Public Market. Believe it or not in the 13 1/2 years I have lived in Wisconsin I have never been to this market.  Martin2 thought I would enjoy this pit stop.  It was wonderful.  There was lots of different restaurants and food entertainment for my pleasure.  There was a spice place, flower place, odds and end kitchen place, cheese place, lots of food to enjoy and my most favorite – Oro di Oliva.  If I have a weakness, this is it. A place with different oils and balsamic vinegar.  I tasted almost every single flavor they have.  I ended up getting their Popular Pairing Sample january 005and a large bottle of the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil.  So delicious!!

We went to Pleasant Prairie Outlet Mall.  Very much fun and enjoyed our window shopping with a touch of purchases.  Being able to walk outside, with the sun shining, fabulous company, lots of chatting and laughter was a perfect day.

Ending the evening with Kent and I having a couple of beers and a homemade pizza was wonderful.  Our pizza was a combination of the Tuscan Herb Olive oil and 18 year Balsamic Vinegar, a dash of dried oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, “my seasoning“, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. january 003  Now that is Simple and Delicious!!

Baking Powder Biscuits

We LOVE these biscuits.  I make them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  They are super simple and really delicious.  Just bake them.  They take no time at all!!

Baking Powder Biscuits
(compliments Cook’s Country)


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3 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter (or not unsalted), cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
4 Tablespoons shortening, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (don’t have any buttermilk?  Whisk 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into 1 1/4 cups of milk and let it stand until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Voila, buttermilk!)


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, and shortening in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in buttermilk until combined.
2. On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth, 8 to 10 kneads. Pat dough into 9-inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Using 3-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut out rounds of dough and arrange on prepared baking sheet. (I use a 3 inch wide juice glass) Gather remaining dough, pat into 3/4-inch-thick circle, and cut out remaining biscuits. (I get about 12-14 biscuits)
3. Bake until biscuits begin to rise, about 5 minutes, then rotate pan and reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool.



Beef Stew

It was midnight. I was checking out Pinterest and saw some slow cooker recipes, which reminded me of beef stew.  I remembered I had a 2 1/2 pound chuck roast in my freezer.  That thought got me thinking about what I could make for dinner the next evening.  I decided to take the chuck roast out of the freezer, get up a little earlier the next morning and make beef stew.  It took me 30 minutes to get this ready this morning.  I either use my crock pot or dutch oven for this recipe.  If you decide to make before going to work the crock pot works.  If you have a couple hours on a Sunday then the dutch oven works.  Either way this beef stew is simple and delicious!!

Beef Stew

December 014

2-3 pounds chuck roast, cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions (2 cups), chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
32 ounces beef broth or stock (If I don’t have beef I use chicken)
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
4 medium potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
4 large carrots, sliced
1 cup frozen peas

(If slow cooking in dutch oven, preheat your oven to 300 degrees)

1.  Heat 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil in 12 inch skillet or dutch oven over medium heat.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of chuck roast.  Place chuck roast in utensil.  Brown meat, 5 minutes each side.  Take meat out of pan and place on plate.
2.  Add 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil to skillet or dutch oven.  Add onions and saute for 5-8 minutes, until opaque.
3.  While onions are cooking, cut the chuck roast into 1 1/2 inch bite size pieces.
4.  Add garlic to onion and saute 30 seconds.  Add 3 Tablespoons flour and mix well together.
5.  Add 32 ounces of broth and thyme. Mix together, add meat.
6.  If using dutch oven, bring to simmer and then put dutch oven with lid on in 300 degree oven for one hour. After one hour add potatoes and carrots, cover and return to oven.  Simmer until meat is tender, about 1-1 1/2 hours.  Remove stew from oven.
7.  If using crock pot you can add the carrots and potatoes and cook on low 8 hours.  Add the peas last 60 minutes of cooking time.  I do not add the carrots and potatoes until 6 hours after cooking on low.  I then add the veggies and turn up to high for 2 hours.  I add the peas the last 30-45 minutes of cooking in the crock pot. (I don’t like my veggies mushy so that is why I do that.)

That is it.  So, you can use your dutch oven (which I do often) or your crock pot.  Serve with a green salad and biscuits!!

Pear Bundt Cake – Simple and Delicious

There were some pears sitting in a bowl on the counter.   I knew they were either going to be used or thrown out today.  Waste not, want not.  Why not make a Pear Bundt Cake?  Simple and Delicious!!

Pear Bundt Cake

january 018


3 large pears, chopped (about 4 cups)
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites
2/3 cup vegetable/canola oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup chopped pecan


1.  Combine pears and sugar.  Let sit for one hour.  (I did not let sit for one hour. I let sit for as long as it took to mix other ingredients)
2.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray 10 inch bundt pan with cooking spray.
3.  Slightly beat egg whites and combine with oil.
4.  In large bowl whisk together dry ingredients.
5.  Add pecans to bowl with egg whites and oil.  Add to pears and sugar. Mix together
6.  Add pears, sugar, egg whites, oil and pecans to flour mixture.  Blend together.
7.  Pour batter into bundt cake pan.  Bake in oven for one hour. (One hour was perfect.)
8.  Take out of oven and cool for 10 minutes.  Remove from cake pan.  Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.  (You could use a glaze but I was too lazy!!)

This was a very moist cake.  We all enjoyed this simple and delicious cake!!