Wednesday, March 31, 2010

White Chocolate Cheesecake

18 cream filled vanilla sandwich cookies
¼ cup butter
3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk - not evaporated milk!
1 (10 - 12-oz) package vanilla or white chocolate chips
4 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Crush cookies and mix with melted butter.
Press on bottom of a 9" springform pan. Wrap aluminum foil around the pan to catch the butter drips while baking. Melt chips (1 minute in a > microwave in a glass bowl should suffice). Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, mix well.

Bake 70 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool to room temperature. Chill. Refrigerate leftovers. Cut pieces can also be individually wrapped and frozen.

Note: use chocolate chips and chocolate sandwich cookies for a chocolate
cheesecake.

From whence it came: Remember me mentioning Janice Luncford...one of the best cooks I know? Well, she gets the credit for this one, and you're gonna want to thank her after you try it. I didn't think anyone could make cheesecake as good as The Cheesecake Factory (one of my favorite restaurants) but this recipe proved me wrong.

Why it's blogable: It's just plain delicious! It got the nickname "Satanic Cheesecake" because we all think Janice is the devil for making this irresistible dessert! It's worth every calorie!

I have to admit: I've never actually made this recipe, but I have tried it plenty of times. I normally won't post a recipe I haven't made myself, but I am making an exception for this one. I know what you're thinking...if she loves it so much, why hasn't she ever made it? Two reasons, The Spy Who Loves Me isn't a fan of cheesecake, which would force me to eat way too much of it, which would force me to have to butter my thighs to get through the door. That would be a real problem. So I just choose to eat it when Janice is nice enough to make it for some sort of gathering. And when I do, I smile!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pretzel Jello Salad


First layer:

2 c. crushed pretzels
½ c. melted butter (real butter, people!)

Mix and press into 9x13 pan. Cook at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool.

Second layer:

1 8oz. cool whip
1 c. sugar
1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Beat sugar and softened cream cheese until fluffy. Fold in cream cheese and spread over pretzel layer.

Third layer:

1 large package strawberry or raspberry Jell-o
2 c. boiling water
2 10 oz. packages frozen strawberries or raspberries, with juice

Mix all ingredients then let this gel in the fridge until slightly thickened. Spread over 2nd layer.

Chill until set and enjoy!

From whence it came: This recipe was given to me by a fabulous woman who I just loved named Nora Hurst. Some people come into your life and leave you better than they found you. Nora was such a person. Way back when, before I had my kiddies, I worked for Citizens Bank of Costa Mesa and Nora was my boss. She was a hoot. She was a Texan, through and through, and boy was she spunky. Nora had breast cancer, but never ever did she let it get her down. She passed away about 20 years ago. She was feisty and fun and a fabulous cook. She published a cookbook, written in her very own handwriting. I treasure my copy. Nora treated me like family. Come to think of it, Nora treated most everybody like family. She had true Southern hospitality and charm. Thanks for the recipe, Nora. I think of you every single time I make it!

Why it's blogable: Jello with pretzels? Has somebody lost their ever lovin' mind? Nope, not even close. This recipe is to die for, and I know a bunch people who would tell you I'm right. Even the hubby (remember that I told you he doesn't always like fruity stuff?) yep, even the hubby is crazy about this one. You might think it's weird, but you'd be wrong. Give it a try, I dare ya! You're gonna love it!

Just so ya know: This salad (yes, in our family it's a salad, not a dessert, although it's as good as any dessert you've ever sunk your teeth into)...where was I? Oh yeah, this salad is best made the day it is served. It's still pretty good the next day, but the pretzels get a bit soft and they're better when they're crunchy. They mix with that heavenly butter and come out of the oven with a nutty flavor that'll make you drool! Oh, and make it in a glass pan cause the layers are just as purdy as they are yum-e!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chicken Crescent Roll Ups


Makes 8 Roll Ups

2 pkg. crescent rolls
2 c. cooked chicken, chopped
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
½ c. finely minced onion
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix chicken, cream cheese and onion. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Pinch two rolls together to form a square. (It’s not really an exact square, but close.) Each package of rolls will make four roll ups. Place large spoonful of chicken mixture in center of square. Bring all four corners up to center and pinch sides together. Brush with melted butter and bake as directed on package.

These are not very good left over. If you make extras you can probably freeze them before cooking and then thaw them later and cook them. I’ve never tried it, but I bet it would work. Also, you can cut the recipe in half or double it if you need more.

From whence it came: My sister-in-law, Lynn, used to make these and every time I make them I think of her. She passed away over 17 years ago, but she had some great recipes and I'm happy to share this one with all of you. I still think of Lynn often, and I'm so proud of her children and the wonderful people they have become. Stephani, Davey, Joshua, Greg and Samantha, I love you all!

Why it's blogable: This is one of my kid's favorite dinners. My hubby doesn't do back flips when I make these, but he's not in love with cream cheese so that kind of explains that. He will eat them, but he would never say, "Hey, can you make those chicken roll up thingies?" Most everybody else really likes 'em!

A little tip: They are just as good with low fat crescent rolls and low fat cream cheese. Not non fat, low fat. Non fat is yucky!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

World's Best Pasta Salad

12 oz. cooked rottini noodles (rinse well)
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
2 c. finely chopped broccoli
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 can black olives, cut in half
1 lb. cooked bacon, cooked well and crumbled

Layer all in a large salad bowl. Toss with dressing just before serving.


Dressing:


Mix the following:

1 1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. sugar
3 T. vinegar

From whence it came:
This super yum-e recipe came from a super great friend, Shelley Dahlin. You're gonna love me for sharing this with you, just like I love Shelley for sharing it with me. I remember the first time I tried it, in Shelley's beautiful kitchen in Springville, Utah. I've known Shelley for a long time and she and her family mean so much to us Andersons. Thanks for your friendship, Shelley, and for the yum-e pasta salad recipe. It's always a hit!

Why it's blogable:
Because it is a 10 on the yum-e scale! It really is one of the very best pasta salads I've ever had, and whenever I make it people always ask for the recipe. And, like so many of my recipes, it's easy!

FYI:
We love this recipe so much that I even made it to serve at my daughter's wedding luncheon last summer. That'll tell ya how good it is!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Comet vs Ajax


Every now and then I'll put a little tip that involves spending time in the kitchen on my blog. Today I'll tell you about a little discovery that I made after 49 years of living and 28 years of married living. When I was growing up my mom always used Ajax to clean the kitchen sink. I did as most girls do, and when I got married I continued to use Ajax, just like my mama did. I even silently stuck my nose up to those who used Comet. Ajax was superior, in my opinion, and I just couldn't understand why anyone would scrub their sink with Comet.

Last week I spent some time with my friend, Super Walmart. By now you probably realize that Super Walmart and I are involved in a serious relationship. I was driven to the depth of despair last summer when I realized the grand opening of Super Walmart, which I had been looking forward to for months, was taking place while we were in Chicago attending my daughter's second wedding reception. For a few minutes I contemplated skipping the reception, knowing I had already attended the one here in So. Cal., but in the end the Super Walmart Grand Opening was trumped by a wedding reception on a beautiful lake in Libertyville, IL. Just to letcah know, I'm pretty sure I made the right decision.

Anywho, there I was in Super Walmart, on the cleaning aisle, when I discovered they were out of Ajax. Not good, considering I was also out of Ajax. After thoughtful consideration, I bent down and did something I had vowed years ago that I would never do...I picked up a container of Comet with bleach. I looked around to make sure no one was watching, buried it in my cart to make sure it couldn't be seen, and smuggled the contraband back to my kitchen.

I'm not a fan of being wrong, in fact, it's one of my least favorite things. So, it's with a humble heart that I tell you COMET with bleach ROCKS! It cleaned my sink so much better than Ajax ever did. My reaction was similar to that of Operation Desert Storm...shock and awe! I love a clean white sink, and thanks to Comet with Bleach, that's just what I've got. I also have to give thanks to my BFF, Super Walmart, for running low on that inferior product.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies


Chocolate Truffle Cookies

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
approximately 1/3 cup cocoa powder (for rolling)
approximately 2/3 cup powdered sugar (for rolling)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar, adding the sugar in slowly so that it doesn’t puff everywhere and transform your kitchen into a white mess. In a fine mesh strainer/sieve, place the cocoa powder and salt and sift this mixture into the butter/sugar and mix until well combined. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, blend in the flour until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the chocolate chips.

If your kitchen is very warm and the dough is hard to handle, refrigerate the dough for 30 to 60 minutes before rolling.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball lightly in the cocoa powder and place on the baking sheet. Do not flatten the cookies. The cookies will not spread very much if the dough is chilled, so they can be placed fairly close together.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. They will just barely be set but you don’t want to overbake or they will be dry. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cookies have reached room temperature, after about 30-45 minutes, roll each cookie in powdered sugar until completely coated. Store in an airtight container.

From whence it came: I found this recipe while blog stalking My Kitchen Cafe. You can print the recipe there if you want to.

Why it's blogable: Here's the funny thing, I made this recipe to take to a friend's party and after the hubby and I tried the cookies, I decided the recipe wasn't blogable. They weren't bad, I just didn't think they were all that great. And they are really messy to make, so I didn't think they were worth the trouble. I put them on a platter, covered them in cellophane and they sat on the table overnight. The hubby took them to the party and came home and said they were a big hit. He said the consistency changed from when they were first out of the oven, and they were better after sitting for a while. Who knew? So, I guess this recipe is blogable after all.

One more thought: They don't look exactly like the picture. I wish I'd taken my own picture, but I didn't because I wasn't planning on posting it to my blog. The outside looks the same, but the inside looked a little bit different. Who cares how they look...it's all about how they taste!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes




2 c. flour
3 T. sugar
1 t. soda
1 t. salt
3 eggs
2 T. melter butter
2 c. buttermilk

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, soda and salt. In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, butter (which has been cooled to room temp so it doesn't cook the eggs) and buttermilk. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix just until blended. Bake on a flat, lightly oiled griddle.

From whence it came: For many years my husband has worked as a private investigator. A girl named Tamera, who worked in the accounts payable department for one of our clients, gave me this recipe. As a cool side note, when we first started working for these large insurance companies we had difficulty getting our invoices paid on time. Sometimes it would take 60-90 days to get paid for a surveillance assignment. I got to know Tamara by calling and asking about the payments. We discovered that we both loved to cook, and started exchanging recipes. Not long after, our invoices seemed to make their way to the top of the pile and we began getting paid on time. Just one of the blessings of loving to cook!

Why it's blogable: This my favorite buttermilk pancake recipe. They turn out fluffy, not flat, and they have a great flavor. And, as most of my recipes are, they are easy.

More info for ya: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can mix 2 c. milk with 2 T. vinegar and let it set for a few minutes. I don't think the pancakes are quite as good with this substitution, but they are still really good. I have made them this way many times. I think they are a little bit flatter when I don't use real buttermilk, probably because buttermilk is thicker than the substitution. Also, I spread butter on the griddle before pouring the pancakes. I think it gives them even better flavor! My weird family loves spreading them with peanut butter and then pouring on the syrup. I don't like peanut butter on pancakes, but I'm not weird like them.

Our family is a pancake lovin' family. We eat them for breakfast, and sometimes for dinner. I have a couple of other great pancake recipes that I will post at a later date. I even have one that's healthy and really good! Look for that one soon.

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Strawberry Ice Cream

1/2 gallon pineapple sherbet, softened
8 oz. coolwhip
1 c. chopped walnuts
10 oz. package frozen strawberries, thawed with juice
2 bananas, diced

Mix and freeze.

From whence it came: I told you that you would see my sister-in-law Geralene's name on here more than once. She gave the the yummy brownie recipe and this one, too. Thanks for sharing it with all of us, Geralene.

Why it's blogable: Guys, this is a winner! Could this recipe possibly be easier? No way! Every time I make this people go crazy for it. It's also a semi-healthy dessert. You have my permission to include it as one of your servings of fruit for the day. We love it so much that I served it at my daughter's wedding luncheon last summer. And the hubby, who normally isn't into fruity stuff, is a big fan of this ice cream. You simply must try it!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yummiest Chicken Ever

1 c. Italian bread crumbs
1 c. Parmesan cheese
1 package dry Italian salad dressing mix

Mix all three dry ingredients together

Melt 1/2 c. butter

Dip six chicken breasts in butter then roll in dry mixture. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle remaining breadcrumb mixture over chicken. Bake at 35o degrees for 1 hour.

From whence it came: This is my very own recipe. Yep, I made this one up myself, and just let me tell you that I am pretty stinkin' proud of me. It's the only recipe I've really every created. Darn, I have such a guilty conscience, I have to confess something now or I won't be able to sleep tonight. Janice Luncford (you might remember me mentioning her in my original post as one of the very best cooks I know) well, Janice gave me a really great recipe called Chicken Pesto that was a bit complicated and a bit more expensive to make. It was so good, but I wanted to find a way to simplify it, so I took some of the ideas from her recipe and made my own. So Janice does get a tiny shout out on this one.

Why it's blogable: Because it's just what the title says, the yummiest chicken ever. My kids love it! And people, any recipe that has five ingredients and takes five minutes to put together is a good thing.

A tip for ya: I really like to make it with chicken tenders rather than whole breasts. It cooks faster, and you get more breading in each bite. I'm a big fan of chicken tenders!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

That's the Best Frosting I've Ever Had

Ingredients

* 1 cup Milk
* 5 Tablespoons Flour
* 1 teaspoon Vanilla
* 1 cup Butter
* 1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)

Preparation Instructions

Bake your favorite chocolate cake and let it cool.

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add the cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

From whence it came: I found this recipe on the Tasty Kitchen web site. It sounded so weird...flour in frosting...that I almost didn't try it, but the name of the recipe grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. I just had to take it for a test drive!

Why it's blogable: Because it took every ounce of strength I had not to sit down with the bowl and a spoon and eat the entire batch! It is really good! Very light, like whipping cream, and yet very buttery. It really is so so good! I put it on red velvet cupcakes. The hubby and teenage son both gave it two thumbs up! Once the cupcakes were frosted I put them in the fridge. I think this frosting requires refrigeration. You've just gotta try it!

As a side note: I'm making a cookies and cream wedding sheet cake in April and I think I'll use this for the filling, mixed with Oreos. I'll let you know how it turns out. I'll have to make a practice one before the wedding. You NEVER experiment with a wedding cake. That's just way to risky.  


P.S.  I chickened out and just didn't use this recipe for the Cookies and Cream Cake, but I still have big plans of giving it a try.  It's on my bucket list! 

Click here to get the printable:
That's the Best Frosting I've Ever Had

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spice Advice

Here's just a little tip about spices. They can be so expensive! If you buy them from the grocery store, or even Super Walmart, they are really pricey. They are so much cheaper if you buy them in bulk. Recently I made a recipe that called for an entire little container of celery seed. It was about $4 at the store, and it was well under a dollar for twice the amount when I bought it in bulk at Henry's. I love Henry's! If you don't have a Henry's Marketplace near you, look for a store that sells bulk spices. You will save a bundle. I also buy steel cut oatmeal, regular oatmeal, coconut, sunflower seeds, and cocoa powder in bulk at Henry's. When you don't pay for the container, you save a bunch. You're welcome! :)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

6 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

(My favorite way to cook chicken is in the crockpot. Just toss it in (even if it's frozen), pop on the lid and crank it to high. No water necessary. It cooks perfectly every time and is never dry. If you're going to be gone most of the day, set the crockpot to low. Baking the chicken is also a great way to cook it. I am not a fan of boiling and I never microwave chicken.)

Place chicken in the crockpot with the following ingredients:

1 large bottle V8 hot and spicy juice
Fill the empty juice bottle with water and add to the crockpot
3 chopped green onions
2 cubes chicken bullion
1 jar thick and chunky salsa
1/2 T. seasoned pepper
1/2 T. chili powder
1 1/2 T. seasoned salt

Simmer for a few hours until hot. (You can also do this on the stove.)

This is how we serve it:

We put tortilla chips in a soup bowl (I like Padrinos low fat chips) then put grated cheddar cheese on top of the chips. Add the hot soup on top of the cheese and chips and enjoy! Sprinkle with fresh cilantro, if desired. (I do not like cilantro! It is one of my least favorite foods on the planet, so I never use it, but that's just me.)

From whence it came: My wonderful friend, JoDee Glazier, gave me this wonderful recipe. JoDee and I have made so many great memories over the years. Even though I don't see her nearly often enough these days, she is a forever friend, with some very yummy recipes. Her aunt owns a company called Wild Coyote that makes my favorite salad dressing in the whole wide world. As far as I know, it's only sold in Utah, so when we travel to the Beehive State I always bring some home. Wild Coyote also makes really yummy salsa. Thanks for the great recipe, JoDee!

Why it's blogable: It's a rare occasion when I feel that you can truly say something is DELICIOUS and NUTRITIOUS! Let's just be honest here, way too often the food that is good for your body isn't necessarily taste bud friendly. This recipe is an exception to the rule. The original recipe called for a cup of butter to be added, if you can even believe that, but I never tried it with the butter. Don't get me wrong, butter is my friend. I use butter often in many recipes. Paula Deen and I both have a close personal relationship with butter. But butter does not belong in this recipe. It just doesn't. Another reason this recipe is blog worthy is every single member of my family gets a big smile on their face when they find out it's Chicken Tortilla Soup night. It is a huge family favorite, and everyone I've ever made it for has loved it. Two more blogable reasons, it's so very easy to make and it freezes perfectly. I have a batch frozen in my freezer right at this very moment. Perfect for those hectic days where making dinner is the last thing on my frazzled mind.

One last thing: This soup is not spicy. To make it more spicy, use hot salsa and/or add more chili powder. I use mild salsa and make it just the way it says and it really isn't spicy at all. I normally serve it with a green salad, corn bread and honey butter. See, we did end up using butter after all!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Favorite Brownie Recipe


Sand Art Brownies


In large bowl combine:

2 ¼ cups sugar

2/3 cup cocoa

½ cup chopped nuts

1 ¼ cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt


Add:

¾ c. butter or margarine, melted

4 eggs

1 c. walnuts (optional, but they make them even yummier!)


Bake in greased pan in preheated oven set at 350 degrees:

Pan size Baking Time

9 x 13 - 30 minutes

9 x 9 - 50 minutes


From whence it came: At first I couldn't remember who gave me this heavenly recipe, but I'm happy to tell you that it came from my sister-in-law, Geralene Beckett. You will see Geralene's name again on this blog because some of my favorite recipes have come from her. She is a great cook, and an even better sister-in-law. They are called Sandart Brownies because it was one of those recipes you layer in a jar to give as a gift and then have the person you gave it to add the eggs and butter.


Why it's blog worthy: It's such an easy brownie recipe, and they turn out great every time. Also, it has basic ingredients and you don't have to melt chocolate because it calls for cocoa powder.


Tips: I often double the recipe to make extra thick brownies. If you double it in a 9x13 pan, cook them for 50 minutes. Also, they are amazing if you frost them with chocolate butter cream frosting. This is how I make it:


In a bowl mix:

1 box powdered sugar

1/2 c. cocoa powder (more for darker chocolate frosting)

1 cube butter

1 T. vanilla (yep, that's right, a whole tablespoon!)

Enough milk to make the proper frosting consistency. Add the milk slowly because you don't need much.


Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Best EVER Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


1 lb. butter
1 ½ c. sugar
2 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ T. vanilla
6 c. flour
1 ½ t. salt
1 ½ t. soda
3 c. chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients. Cook 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

From whence it came: My daughter, Jessica, gave me this recipe. She got it from her college roommate, Alyssa, who is such a fun and great girl. Thanks, Alyssa! (The original recipe only had three eggs, but I recently starting adding four because the dough is so stiff and sometimes it's difficult to incorporate all the ingredients.)

Why it's blog worthy: It was not difficult to decide which recipe would be the very first recipe I posted on my cooking blog. This one had "perfect first recipe" written all over it. First, it's divine. The cookies turn out perfect every time, never flat, and if you accidentally over cook them they are still divine when dipped in a glass of ice cold milk. Also, because these are the most basic ingredients ever. If you don't have these ingredients in your pantry and fridge right now, at this very moment, then I don't know what to say. You just might be beyond help if you are not consistently stocked up on chocolate chips and butter. Last reason, easy schmeazy. A four year old could make these cookies.

Warning: The dough is a problem! My husband won't touch raw dough of any sort because he has cootie issues and is afraid of raw eggs and their possible deadly effects. He will, however, make an exception to his no raw egg rule for this cookie dough. He LOVES it! Sometimes I have to slap his hand with the spatula to get a few scoops onto the cookie sheet. The dough is delish!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Blogs I Stalk

As promised, here is a list of blogs I love to stalk:

http://missysuechalk.blogspot.com/
This blog belongs to Melissa Chalk, the creative daughter of the creative friend who named this cooking blog. I love Melissa's blog because 1)she totally cracks me up, and 2)she has amazing taste and finds and makes the coolest stuff. Just the name of her blog is so cute and creative: Life, Love and a Lil' Sauce...and sometimes she is saucy...and I like it!

http://toddjessica.blogspot.com/
This one belongs to my daughter, Jessica, and her husband, Todd. (Or, if you prefer, you can call them by their celebrity name, Toddica!) I love to stalk it, but am regularly disappointed because she doesn't post often enough for my taste, which is everyday. Someday I will stalk my adorable grandchildren on this blog, hopefully before am am sitting in a wheel chair, uncomfortable because my depends need to be changed! (But no pressure, guys!)


http://briandadam.blogspot.com/
This blog belongs to a friend of Jessica's, named Bri, who I have never met. But let me tell you this girl has amazing taste and ideas and boy can she write. I also recently stole a super easy, super yummy recipe from her blog and I will post it on this blog very soon, giving her full credit, of course. I hope to meet her someday and thank her for creating such a stalkable blog.

http://crapivemade.blogspot.com/

OK, I'm not a fan of the word crap, and I certainly didn't want the word crap in my cooking blog title, ie: Crap I've Cooked, but this blog is fun. And, I must admit, the name is hilarious!

http://www.nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/

Every single solitary day I read Nie Nie. If you haven't read Nie Nie's blog you simply must. She will change the way you think about life, and life's problems and trials. And she is a hero because she really did make it onto Oprah's show and sat on Oprah's couch. She is a hero for reasons much bigger than that, but you will have to read her blog to find out what I'm talking about.

http://thepioneerwoman.com/
This is the newest addition to my blog stalking obsession. Her blog is pretty famous, but someday my blog is gonna take her blog down in the famous department. At least that's my blog's goal! Check it out!

There are a few others I stalk, mostly the ones with my married nieces and nephews and their darling children, but that's about it. Blog stalking...it's like a drug...in a happy way!

Welcome to Stirring It Up With Pam

I'm so happy you are visiting my blog. In doing so, you are helping me to achieve my small yet worthy goal of creating the most famous cooking blog in the world. Don't misunderstand, I personally have no desire to be famous, it's my blog that aspires to fame and glory. Food glory! Is there any better kind of glory than food glory? I think not!

I'm just a mom who loves to cook and bake. It's a hobby that has become a passion slash obsession. And then, somewhat recently, I added another obsession to my life...blogging! I just love everything about blogging. I enjoy my own blogs, but mostly I LOVE to stalk other blogs. You can stick your nose in the air and say it's a waste of time, that's fine with me, but you have no idea what you're missing out on if you don't stalk at least a few amazing blogs on a regular basis. I'll put the links to some blogs I love in a separate post.

So, for a little while now I have wanted to combine these two passions of mine, cooking and blogging. I have some really great recipes, many of them given to me by really great people. I plan to have this little blog obtain world notoriety by posting my really great recipes, and then also telling you about the really great people who shared them with me.

Which brings me to another topic... sharing recipes. I share every single recipe I have, except one. I don't believe in not sharing recipes. If you are someone who has recipes you don't share, I hope you don't take offense, but I just don't get it. Why would you keep a perfectly wonderful recipe to yourself? So you can be the only one who makes this perfectly wonderful thing? What's the point of that? I don't see one. Whenever I make something and people compliment me on it, I will always say, "Oh, so and so gave me this recipe." I'm more than happy to give credit where credit is due. Someone who I love and is probably one of the three...no, maybe even two...best cooks I know, Janice Luncford, said to me once, "Good recipes are meant to be shared so that more people can enjoy them." I completely agree!

I'll bet you're wondering about that one recipe that I won't share. It's not that I won't, it's that I can't. It belonged to someone who really wanted it to remain a secret. And that someone is someone who I dearly loved! She passed away the end of last year, and it's up to her family to decide if and when the secret BBQ Brisket recipe will be made public. It is really yummy, but trust me, we can do without it on this blog because I have a huge unorganized folder full of very smudged and well worn recipes that we can all enjoy.

Here's the plan...I will never post a recipe that I haven't first tried out and deemed completely delicious. Also, I'm not a fancy cook. I'd much rather make something that tastes fabulous than looks fancy. Every now and then you can combine the two, but for the most part I just love great tasting recipes. I also don't cook with weird and fussy ingredients. Just regular stuff that you probably have in your pantry, unless of course you are Old Mother Hubbard, in which case, you can pick up the stuff at your local grocery store, or, if you're blessed enough to live near a Super Walmart, you can find it there. (You should know that I am a fan of Super Walmart. I do not like to shop, and Super Walmart meets many of my needs under one humongous roof, which makes me happy! I'm also cheap, and Super Walmart was designed for those of us who begin to perspire every time we open our wallets.)

I have just one small favor to ask in return for some really terrific recipes, please forward my link to EVERYONE YOU KNOW so this little blog can obtain it's goal of becoming the world's most famous cooking blog. Now let's get stirring!

Oh, stirring, that reminds me. I need to give a big shout out to my fabulous friend, Laurie Chalk. I had a contest on Facebook to see who could come up with a fun title for my blog and Laurie was the winner. I owe her a homemade treat as her prize. Just in case you are wondering, here were the top five titles, in no particular order...

Pam's Buns and Other Goodies
A Sprinkle of Pam
Green Eggs and Pam
The Original PAMpered Chef
Stirring It Up With Pam