Vickie’s Mississippi Caviar

Mississippi Caviar is one of my tried and true appetizer recipes.  This recipe makes a lot and it keeps well in the refrigerator.  It’s good anytime of the year.  I like to serve this with tortilla chips.


Vickie's Mississippi Caviar
 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • 2 15 oz cans Black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped and drained
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup bottled Sweet Italian Dressing ( I use Lonzerottis brand)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the dressing.
  2. Pour dressing over the top and toss to coat well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

Combine all ingredients except the dressing:

Pour dressing over top and toss to coat well.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Vickie’s Mississippi Caviar

Great Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry shortcake is one of my favorite summertime desserts.  Some people like a spongecake base for the strawberries but I prefer this sweet shortbread version.  The shortbread dough is very easy to mix up – even if you have never worked with dough before.  Just remember my success secret for the sugared strawberries – let them set out at room temperature for about two hours to develop that wonderful syrup.  This recipe is sure to be a hit at your house!  Enjoy!


Great Strawberry Shortcakes
 
Serve these with Homemade Whipped Cream for a real treat! The recipe and how-to instructions for Homemade Whipped Cream can be found under another post.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 to 10
Ingredients
  • 6 to 8 cups sliced strawberries
  • ½ cup sugar plus ⅓ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Homemade Whipped Cream for topping
Instructions
  1. Combine the strawberries and ½ cup sugar. Toss and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours to develop a wonderful syrup.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Combine ⅓ cup sugar, 2½ cups all purpose flour, ¾ cup cake flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder and ¾ teaspoon salt in a large bowl; cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  4. Add ¾ cup milk and mix with a fork just until the dough holds together, adding more milk if needed. Dough should be soft.
  5. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently 8 to 10 times.
  6. Pat it out ¾ inch thick and cut into rounds, using a 2½ inch biscuit cutter. Place on a greased shiny baking sheet.
  7. Combine egg and water, beating well; brush on tops of shortbread. Sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
  9. Split and serve with the sugared strawberries, lots of the juice, and whipped cream.

For the Strawberries:

Watch my video with the secret trick for making great sweetened fresh strawberries with a wonderful syrup!

Video: Sweetened Strawberries


This Southern treat will make your taste buds dance with delight! Learn the secret trick for making that yummy syrup with Sugared Strawberries!

 

Combine the strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar.  Toss and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours to develop a wonderful syrup.

For the Shortcakes:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Combine 1/3 cup sugar, 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 3/4 cup cake flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder and the  3/4 teaspoon salt .  Cut in the chilled butter pieces with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

 

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently 8 to 10 times.

Pat out 3/4 inch thick and cut into rounds, using a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. ( I used a flower shaped cutter )  Place on a greased shiny baking sheet.

Combine egg and water, beating well;  brush on the tops of the shortcakes.  Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack.

To serve:

Split the strawberries in half and top with the sugared strawberries ( remember to include some of that wonderful syrup).  Top with Homemade whipped cream. ( You can find that recipe under another post).  Garnish with a mint leaf if you really want to get fancy.

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Great Strawberry Shortcakes

 

Meal In One Salad

Summer is in full swing and what better time for a main dish salad! I’m making this for lunch – it’s quick and easy and really good!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Meal In One Salad
 
Recipe type: Main Dish Salad
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 head lettuce, chopped or torn in pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 4 oz grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 15 oz can Dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small bag tortilla chips
  • 16 oz Thousand Island dressing
Instructions
  1. Crumble and cook the ground beef in a skillet until done. Add the drained dark red kidney beans and the salt. Simmer 10 minutes. Drain any excess fat and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the salad.
  2. Toss together the chopped onion, chopped lettuce, tomato wedges, diced avocado and shredded Cheddar cheese. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the salad.
  3. Crush small bag of tortilla chips.
  4. At serving time, toss together the meat and bean mixture, the lettuce mixture and the Thousand Island Dressing.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Crumble and cook ground beef in skillet until done.  Add drained dark red kidney beans and salt.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Drain any excess fat and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the salad.

Toss together the chopped onion, chopped or torn lettuce, tomato wedges, diced avocado and shredded Cheddar cheese.  Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the salad.

 

When ready to serve, crush a small bag of tortilla chips and combine with the meat and bean mixture and the lettuce mixture.  Pour the Thousand Island dressing over the salad and toss.

Enjoy!

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Meal In One Salad

Vickie’s French Onion Drop Biscuits

Easy French Onion Drop Biscuits

French Onion Drop Biscuits

Looking for quick and easy drop biscuits recipes?  

These tasty morsels are great to serve with dinner or an appetizer cheese tray.  I teach my culinary arts students how to make both the rolled biscuits and drop biscuits.  If you are just beginning to learn how to work with dough, you will find that drop biscuits are the easiest to make.  The dough will be very soft but that’s alright because you will just drop the dough by spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet.  You can watch my video and see just how easy these are to make!  And, they only have 4 ingredients!  Easy….peasy! 

Here is the YouTube How-to Tutorial for this recipe:    

 

Vickie's French Onion Drop Biscuits
 
Author:
Serves: 6 to 8
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Biscuit mix
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 8 oz French onion dip
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, finely minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.
  4. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with Pam.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.

Only four ingredients….what could be easier!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine Bisquick, milk, French Onion dip and sliced green onions in a bowl.

Stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.  Remember….it’s supposed to be a soft, sticky dough!  You don’t have to roll this – just drop it by spoonfuls on the cookie sheet.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a sprayed baking sheet.  ( For best results, use a shiny baking sheet.  If you use a dark cookie sheet, the bottoms of the biscuits will get too brown.)

Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Here they are in the oven…..

Serves 6 to 8.

“Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!” 

Video: French Onion Drop Biscuits

 

Here is a quick and easy biscuit recipe that only has 4 ingredients!

Homemade Whipped Cream

I like to use Homemade Whipped Cream on my Mounds Chocolate Brownie Pie and my Date Pudding.  I also keep it on hand for my ABC Coffee.  It’s easy to make and really ramps up a dessert!  You can half the ingredients if you need a smaller amount of whipped cream.


Homemade Whipped Cream
 
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 16 oz Heavy Cream (Whipping cream)
  • ½ cup sugar
Instructions
  1. Chill mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  2. Whip 16 oz of whipping cream until soft peaks form.
  3. Slowly add ½ cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Chill mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  Whip 16 ounces of whipping cream until soft peaks form.

Add 1/2 cup of sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

Enjoy!

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Homemade Whipped Cream

Disappearing Ice Cream Dessert

Wow! The hot weather is here and I decided it was time for a quick, cool ice cream dessert.  This is a great summertime dessert to have on hand in your freezer.  Everyone loves it and no one will ever guess how simple this is to make.  You can have this ready for the freezer in 5 minutes!  I like to make this and have on hand for unexpected guests.  We named this the Disappearing Ice Cream Dessert because when I make this and put it in the freezer — it just seems to disappear!


Disappearing Ice Cream Dessert
 
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 12 ice cream sandwiches
  • 1 tub Cool Whip, thawed
  • 3 large Butterfinger candy bars, crushed
Instructions
  1. Line the bottom of a 9 X 13 glass dish with ice cream sandwiches.
  2. Spread whipped topping thickly and evenly over the ice cream sandwiches.
  3. Place candy bars in a zip lock bag and pound with a mallot to crush. Sprinkle the Butterfinger crumbs over the top.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil and freeze until ready to serve.

Line the bottom of a 9 X 13 dish with ice cream sandwiches.

Spread Cool Whip  thickly and evenly over the ice cream sandwiches.

Place the candy bars in a large zip lock bag and pound with a mallot to crush.  Sprinkle the Butterfinger crumbs over the top.

Cover with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil and freeze until ready to serve.

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Disappearing Ice Cream Dessert

To view the complete video recipe, click here:http://youtu.be/HJnfc8bDzF8

Southern Peach Iced Tea Recipe

Here is an iced tea recipe with a real Southern flair!  

It’s not hard to brew iced tea.  In fact…it’s one of the easiest drinks you can make at home.  You can almost always find  a big pitcher of either this Southern Peach Tea or my  Southern Sweet Tea on my kitchen counter — ready for my family to enjoy.      

My friend, Oma, gave me this recipe and I make it all of the time.  I did have trouble finding the Bigelow Peach Tea in our grocery stores so I had to order it off of the internet.  But, it was worth the effort…I make this tea all of the time!

 

Southern Peach Tea
 
Recipe type: Beverage - non alcoholic
Ingredients
  • 5 Regular size tea bags
  • 1 Bigelow Peach tea bag
  • 1 Cup of sugar ( yes, that's right )
Instructions
  1. Microwave water in a glass jar for 5 minutes, or until boiling. If you don't have a glass jar, then you can boil the water in a pan on the stove.
  2. Place the 6 tea bags in the hot water and cover with a lid. Steep the tea bags in the hot water for 5 minutes.
  3. Place a spoon into a glass pitcher - this will help protect your pitcher from cracking when you pour in the steeped hot tea. Add the sugar.
  4. Pour the hot tea brew into the pitcher. Remove the spoon and fill with cold water.
  5. Serve over crushed ice.

 

Microwave about 2 cups of water in a glass jar for 5 minutes, or until boiling.  OR, you can boil water in a pan on the stove as well.

Place the tea bags into the hot water and cover with a lid.  Steep the tea bags in the hot water for 5 minutes.

Place a metal spoon into a glass pitcher.  This helps to absorb some of the heat and protects your pitcher from cracking when you pour in the hot tea brew.  Pour the hot tea brew into the pitcher.  Add the sugar to the pitcher.

Fill the pitcher with cold water.

Stir well and serve the tea over crushed ice.

This will give you a great taste of the South!  Enjoy!

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Southern Peach Tea

 

Video: Southern Peach Tea


Freshly brewed and sweetened…A real taste of the South!

Homemade Cracker Recipe

Make Something Special…A Homemade Cracker Recipe

This homemade cracker recipe is so good served with savory cheese balls, spreads, artisan cheese trays,salads and soups.  For a special touch, instead of cutting these into strips, use a cookie cutter to cut the tortilla into festive shapes before brushing with butter.

 

Homemade Cracker Recipe
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 4 10-inch flour tortillas
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • Garnishes: sesame, poppy and/or caraway seed ( I use all three), onion powder, cayenne pepper or dried cumin to taste, sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grate the Parmesan cheese.
  3. Brush butter lightly over one side of each tortilla; sprinkle evenly with cheese and press down lightly.
  4. Carefully turn tortilla over. Brush the other side with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with desired seeds and seasonings.
  5. Cut each tortilla into 4 strips with kitchen scissors. Place strips cheese-side down on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray. Note: For best results, use a shiny baking sheet - not a dark baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees on the middle rack of the oven for 8 to 9 minutes, until golden brown. Watch carefully because these will burn easily.
  7. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  8. Makes 16 cracker strips.

Grate the Parmesan cheese.

Brush butter lightly over one side of each tortilla;  sprinkle evenly with grated Parmesan cheese and press down lightly.

Carefully turn tortillas over.  Brush other side with egg white and sprinkle with desired seeds and seasonings.

Cut each tortilla into 4 strips with kitchen scissors.  Place strips cheese-side down on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray.  Note:  For best results, use a shiny baking sheet – not a dark baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees on middle rack of oven for 8 to 9 minutes, until crisp and golden.  Watch carefully because these will burn easily.

Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Makes 16 cracker strips.

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Vickie’s Homemade Crackers

Remember…”Let’s Make Life Special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!”

 

Mounds Candy Bar Pie

I love chocolate…but chocolate and gooey coconut together in a pie is just about as good as it gets!  This is my go – to recipe for dessert .  When you warm each piece in the microwave a few seconds and top with homemade whipped cream – it is absolutely delicious!  This is something like a Mounds candy bar — but warm and full of gooey goodness!

 

Gooey Coconut Chocolate Brownie Pie
 
Serve this with Homemade whipped cream. You can find that recipe under a separate post.
Recipe type: Dessert, Pie
Ingredients
  • 2⅔ cup coconut
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 stick margarine ( I use unsalted butter )
  • 3 squares unsweetened chocolate
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Mix the coconut and sweetened condensed milk together; set aside.
  2. Microwave the butter and chocolate together for 3 minutes in a microwave bowl. Remove from microwave and add the sugar and flour to the hot mixture. Stir well.
  3. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time and stir until the chocolate mixture is smooth.
  4. Add vanilla and stir.
  5. Continue stirring to blend well. Pour into a greased pie pan.
  6. Put spoonfuls of the coconut mixture around the top of the pie.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  8. Store pie in the refrigerator.
  9. When ready to serve, microwave each piece 15 seconds and top with homemade whipped cream.

 

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Mix together the coconut and the sweetened condensed milk;  set aside.  This will make the gooey coconut part of the pie  🙂

In a separate microwave safe dish, microwave the butter and unsweetened chocolate squares together for 3 minutes.  Remove from the microwave and add the sugar and flour to the hot mixture.  Stir well.  Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, and stir until the chocolate mixture is smooth.

Add vanilla and stir.

Stir well to blend.  Pour mixture into a greased pie pan.

Put coconut mix around top.

Bake the pie at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

 

Whipped Cream:

Whip 16 oz of heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form and then add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Continue whipping until you have stiff peaks.  For the step-by-step how to on making Homemade Whipped Cream, look at my post for Homemade Whipped Cream   It will be filed under my “Everything Else” section.

Store the pie in the refrigerator and heat each piece about 15 to 20 seconds in the microwave and top with the Homemade Whipped Cream.

“Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!”

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click hereGooey Coconut Chocolate Brownie Pie

 

Cheese Ball Recipe

Need a great cheese ball recipe?  Once you start eating this cheese ball …. you can’t stop!  It’s addictive! 

I make this cheese ball recipe for every party and holiday and everyone loves it.  When I make it for just the two of us, I divide the mixture in half and make two smaller cheese balls.  They will keep several days in the refrigerator so this is a good make-ahead recipe when your schedule is really busy.

 

Vickie's Cheese Ball
 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz pimiento cheese spread
  • 4 or 5 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 small package honey ham
Instructions
  1. Add the cream cheese and pimiento cheese spread to the mixing bowl.
  2. Chop the green onions and add to the mixture.
  3. Chop the ham in a food processor and add to the cheese mixture.
  4. Mix with an electric mixer until blended.
  5. Scrape the cheese ball mixture onto a sheet of waxed paper. Shape into one large cheese ball or two small cheese balls.
  6. Wrap the cheese balls in the waxed paper and place in a large zip lock bag. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The cheese balls will firm up as they chill.

This cheese ball recipe only has 4 ingredients…cream cheese, pimento cheese, green onions and chopped ham.

Add the cream cheese and pimiento cheese spread to the mixing bowl.

Chop the onion and add to the mixture.

Chop ham in food processor and add to the cheese mixture.  Mix with electric mixer.

Scrape cheese ball mixture onto a sheet of wax paper.  Shape into one large or two small cheese balls.

Place in a large zip lock bag and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Vickie’s Cheese Ball

Remember, “Let’s Make Life Special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!”

Make Life Special
2 Cypress Rd Litchfield, IL 62056 US
Phone: 217-556-8297 Website: http://www.makelifespecial.com