Monday, December 31, 2012

Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls with a Dark Chocolate Drizzle

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic this evening, so I made Popcorn balls like my dad use to do for me when I was a kid, except I got a little fancy.
These are Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls with a Dark Chocolate Drizzle.
Happy New Year!!
I used:
Yellow popping corn (half a stick of butter and about 1/4 cup of veg oil to pop in)
stick of butter
Corn Syrup
1 can of sweeten condensed milk
Sea Salt
Melted Dark Chocolate(melt with a little milk for drizzle consistency)
You need to:
Pop your popcorn in a deep stock pot that has a lid. Let your oil and butter get hot before you pour in your popcorn. (How much popcorn to use? Enough to cover the bottom of your pot completely, eyeball it or follow the instructions on the bag.) Set your popped corn aside but make sure there are no un-popped kernels.(If there is, remove them, ya' don't want to break any ones teeth)
Melt your butter in a sauce pan then stir in the sugar until it's a syrup consistency. Continue to stir until it becomes caramel.(LOW HEAT) Add about 1/4 cup of corn syrup and your sweeten condensed milk and continue to stir. Pour the hot mixture evenly over your popcorn and mix together with a wooden spoon. Quickly form balls, I wore disposable gloves to protect my hands from the heat a little. Grind the sea salt over your balls and then drizzle chocolate over them. Easy right?
Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gumbo For The Soul

To me, Gumbo is the ultimate comfort food. This food warms you from within, so it's perfect for a cold winter night. Tonight, I'm feeling a little home sick, so I decided to try my hand at my mom's Gumbo recipe. Not to tut my own horn, but my Gumbo came out great! Check out my pictures.

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

This recipe is designed as a quick and easy Gumbo that can even been made during the weeks. From start to finish the total cook and prep time should be no longer than 2 hours. The key thing to make this Gumbo taste like it took 5 hours to cook is a good roux and flavor boosters. They key to making it in under two hours is team work.
2 (32oz) cartons of chicken broth (flavor booster)
1 satchel of crab boil (flavor booster)
3 tsp gumbo file powder (flavor booster)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup bacon drippings 
¼ cup of butter
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb quality sausage, sliced
2 quarts water
1 tlb white sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp Cajun seasoning blend (add more to taste)
4 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves and cayenne pepper
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 whole cooked roasted chicken
2 lbs dressed blue crabs
3 lbs uncooked medium shrimp,peeled and deveined
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1.  Take the meat off the chicken and set it aside but keep you larger bone. Place the chicken broth, the reserved bones from the chicken, the bay leaves, thyme and the crab boil in a large stock pot and allow to boil on high while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Make a roux by whisking the flour and 3/4 cup bacon drippings together in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat to form a smooth mixture. Cook the roux, whisking constantly, until it turns a rich mahogany brown color. This can take 20 to 30 minutes; watch it carefully and whisk constantly or roux will burn. If you see it getting to hot or cooking too fast remove the lift the pan for awhile while continuing to whisk. Remove from heat, add a pinch of salt and pepper; continue whisking until mixture stops cooking.
3. While you are working on the roux, have your gumbo partner do the following steps. Chop the celery, onion, green bell pepper, and garlic. Place the butter in a heated pot and allow it to melt. Place your veggies in the pot cook until softened. Place the sliced sausage in a heated skillet and allow to brown on each side. Once the sausage and veggies are done add them to your roux along with a half a cup of the soup liquid and mix well.
4. Remove the chicken bones from the stock pot. Mix in the sugar, salt, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning and stewed tomatoes; stir well. Add your roux mixture and allow the soup simmer low heat for 45 minutes.
5. Mix in crab, shrimp, and Worcestershire sauce, and simmer until flavors have blended, 15 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the cooked chicken meat and 3 more teaspoons of file gumbo powder. Serve with rice and enjoy. *NOTE; It taste even better on day 2*

Friday, December 21, 2012

Old Fashion Southern Style Tea Cakes (The way I remember them)

Seasons greetings! After today the kids will be on Christmas break, so I decided to bake something special for the teachers. It doesn't get any better than a fresh out the oven southern tea cake.

Now, on my quest to recreate my Big Momma's tea cake recipe, I've had quite a few misses as well as some hits that just didn't taste like a tea cake. The recipe that I am sharing with you today is an adaptation of several recipes mixed with extra flavors I remember tasting in my Big Momma's cookies. These cookies aren't as hard as you may think, but you must roll them and cut them for it to be an authentic southern style tea cake. If you make them, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Let me know what you think this recipe needs.

  • 1 1/2 cup of butter flavored shorting (to me this held the moister better than butter, also I used the pre-measured sticks)
  • 2 cups of sugar (trust me, you need all 2 cups, I tried with 1 3/4 cups and it wasn't sweet enough)
  • 3 room temp eggs
  • 5 cups of cake flour (cake flour makes the inside of the cookie softer to me)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp of lemon extract (this is that little something I added that none of the other recipes had, this is what was missing) (I've recently changed my mind about the lemon, omit this ingredient)
  • I also added a few sprinkle of cinnamon and a small dash of nutmeg, this is something the other recipes were missing as well. I'd same maybe 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and just a dash of nutmeg. The cookies really do need this hint of spice to me.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix it all together with a fork.

Cream your shorting and sugar until it well incorporated, then add your eggs one at a time mixing each egg in well. One at a time add your vanilla extract, lemon extract, cinnamon and nutmeg, mixing well after you add each ingredient. When all that is mixed well add your buttermilk one tbsp at a time. After mixing in the buttermilk stop your mixer. Fold in your dry ingredients by hand with a spoon until the mixture is wet, then you can mix it with your mixer without flour flying all over the place. Once everything is mixed well, form a ball with your dough in the mixing bowl, cover it and place it in the fridge for a hour or two. This is going to make your dough better to work with.

(1 or 2 hours later)Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. (this may seem high, but it will give you a crisp texture on the outside while remaining soft on the inside) Line your baking pans with parchment paper.

Sprinkle your work space with flour and have flour on stand by for your rolling pin and hands. Dump your dough on your workspace and sprinkle it with a little flour too. Work your dough from a ball to a disk type shape and then roll to a little under 1/2 inch thickness. Once you have the dough rolled out you are ready to start cutting. I used a small glass to cut mine into the round shape. (You will need to dip you cutter into flour from time to time) Place your cut cookie on the baking pan as you go leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake these cookies for 10 minutes.

It sounds like a lot, but it really goes fast and its well worth the effort.

PS. I'm going to learn how to post my temp and measurements in the European setting for all my UK buddies. :)

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why is Chicken Soup Good For Colds?

I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup for Kaylei Joi and some of the other kids in the neighborhood that have come down with the sniffs. With the threat of colds and the flu lingering around, it's a good idea to have chicken soup on hand.

What is about homemade chicken noodle soup that sooth the sick? Moms and Grandmothers around the world have been making homemade chicken noodle soup for their sick little ones for ages. I did a little digging to find out what is behind the healing properties of homemade chicken noodle soup.

It's a well know fact that some herbs have healing properties, it is also a well know fact that most vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrient our bodies need. Below is a list of some of the ingredients that you'll find in homemade chicken noodle soup along with some of the health benefits behind them.

Thyme - antioxidant and may help with respiratory issues
Garlic - helps boost immune system so you can fight off colds
Celery - full of just about all the alphabet, vitamin A, B, C and K
Carrots - can help with respiratory issues, full of B vitamins and A
Onions - high in vitamin C and B, also a great antioxidant
Parsley - parsley has properties in it that can help fight off fever naturally, also high in vitamin C
Rosemary - wonderful antioxidant
Black Pepper- also a great antioxidant

How can you not feel better after eating a good bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. With all the antioxidants and vitamins working to help your body fight off illnesses you are sure to feel better in now time.

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Friday, December 14, 2012

Easy Tender and Juicy Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker

As a mother, I realize there are times we do not feel like slaving over a hot stove for hours. That is why the Slow Cooker was invented. In the video below, I show you how to get your roast tender and juicy.


Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Creamy Layered Grits

I was asked to make a breakfast dish for the teachers appreciation gathering at my daughter's school. It took me a while to come up with an idea, but when I did it was marvelous.

I present to you, Creamy Layered Grits

To get my grits creamy, I added plenty of butter, milk, white cheddar, and half a block of cream cheese. I seasoned my grits with salt and a little garlic powder. Over the grits I put a layer of scrambled eggs. Over the scrabbled eggs I put a layer of breakfast sausage the I cooked, crumbled and mixed with onions, bell peppers, parsley and minced garlic. Finally I topped this with a layer of quality smoked Gouda.


Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

This is how I served it at the school to keep it warm.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sweet Potato Tea Cakes

Since I could not figure out my Big Momma's exact recipe for tea cakes I've decided to just come up with one of my own. I happen to LOVE sweet potatoes, so I often try new things with them. These cookies came out great. They were soft on the inside but with a nice crispness on the exterior. I think my Big Momma would be proud.

You'll need

1 cup butter (room temp)
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 block of cream cheese (room temp)
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of cooked & mashes sweet potatoes

Here is what you do:

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add in your sweet potatoes. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add in the vanilla. In a separate bowl combine all your dry ingredients and mix them together. Then, add your dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and mix well. Once everything is mixed well, sprinkle a little flour over the dough and form a ball. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
Preheat the oven to 325. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch in thickness. You'll need to put flour on your rolling pin, whatever you use to cut your cookies and some for your hands too. Cut the cookies and place them 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes before dusting them with powder sugar.

 Hungraciously Yours,
 MiMi J

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Germknoedel My Way

One of my fondest memories from childhood was visiting the Christkindel Market in Germany and partaking in the festivities. My absolute favorite thing at the Market was the Germknoedels. I have search far and wide here in Dallas to find this treat, but no luck, so, I made it myself. I came out wonderful!

I've noticed several spellings of this treat, Germknoedel (which seems to be how Europeans spell it) and Germknodel (I'm guessing that's the way us yanks spell it).

Here is the definition of Germknodel according to Wikipedia;
Germknödel ([ˈɡɛɐ̯mˌknøːdl̩], Austrian German for yeast dumpling) is a fluffy yeast dough dumpling with a mix of poppy seeds and sugar, filled with spicy plum jam and melted butter on top, often eaten with vanilla cream sauce. It is a culinary speciality of Austria, Bavaria, and Bohemia. The dish is served both as a dessert and as a main course.

Basically it's a steamed sweet dumpling, stuffed with a fruit filling and topped with a butter or vanilla cream sauce. The vanilla cream sauce is the best to me.

Check out my silly little video me and my kids did while making out Germknoedel.  This was a lot of work, but well worth the effort.


Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Monday, December 10, 2012

Peach Cobblets

This crowd please peach cobbler dessert is surprisingly simple. Now try saying that 3 times really fast.

I'm going to tell you how to make this in mini muffin tins and in a square baking pan. It's a lot easier in a baking pan.


1 box of golden recipe cake mix
1/2 stick of soft butter (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 & 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp and a dash of nutmeg
1 tsp corn starch
2 cans of peaches in the juice

In a bowl hand crumble your cake mix 1/4 tsp cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg and butter together. Set aside.
Drain the juice from your peaches into a small bowl, add your corn starch to the juice and mix well.
In a small sauce pan add your peach, sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and the vanilla and let it come to a simmer, then add your peach juice. Let this mixture reduce. Once your peach mixture gets thick, blend it. Once it's cool enough put your mixture in a pipping bag.(I used a freezer bag and cut the end)

Line your muffin tins and spray them with a non-stick cooking spray. Put your crumble at the bottom of the pan and then press it down, add your peach mixture and then add more crumble to the top. Repeat this in each muffin tin.

Bake at 350 until the crumble on the top browns.

If you are using a square baking pan, spray it with your non stick spray. Crumble your butter, dash of nutmeg,1/4 tsp of cinnamon and cake mix. On the bottom of your pan add your peaches with the juice (NO NEED TO REDUCE OR BLEND THEM). Sprinkle your nutmeg (1/4 tsp), sugar, cinnamon (1 tsp),  vanilla and corn starch directly in the pan and whisk well. Top your pan with the cake crumble mixture and bake at 350 until brown.


Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

This cake was a hit at my cookie exchange. The sweet potato really made for a moist cake and the cream cheese icing too it to the next level. The recipe is below, happy baking.

Sweet Potato Cake with Cheese Icing

For the cake:
2-3 fairly large red sweet potatoes (enough to make 2 cups cooked & mashed)
2 3/4 cups cake flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup soft butter
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat your oven to 350
Spray you baking pan
Sift your dry ingredients and set aside
Cream your butter and sugar, add your sweet potatoes and then your eggs one at a time
Once your wet ingredient are fold in your flour and mix well

Bake it- cool it- frost it and enjoy it

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday Cookie Exchange

Need items for a Christmas themed party? Check out this video from my first annual cookie exchange gathering. I will be posting recipes and pictures starting tomorrow. My guest brought some really tasty desserts, so I'll post pictures and recipes for their items too.

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kaylei Joi's Mini Soft Taco Creation

Nothing brings me joy like seeing the creative light shine from my baby girl. Tonight my daughter made mini taco's by cutting flour tortilla's in 4 and filling them with the meat and rice mixture and then, to add flare she folded the corners of the tortilla. She makes her mommy so proud!

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Friday, November 30, 2012

Chuck's Teriyaki Chicken

Check out the teriyaki chicken my hubby made. All he did was season the meat with salt and pepper, then let the meat sit over night in the marinade. He cooked it over the charcoal grill. I think using thigh meat is best with this because it stays so juicy. The sugar in the teriyaki marinade gave the chicken a nice crisp char, that's my favorite part.

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Setting the Table

I've learned that the place you eat should look as good as the food you are serving.

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cheesecake Cookies "by Abby Sweets"


I LOVE trying recipes out, I often put my own spin on them. I found a recipe for Cheesecake Cookies on a blog called Abby Sweets. I love all things cheesecake, so I had to try them out. I did not have graham crackers, so I got creative and used crush Frosted Flakes and pecans. The cookies came out very good, I put caramel and chocolate chips in the middle of my cookies, however, I would recommend a fruit filling instead. A fresh strawberry puree or even preservative would be great. You definitely do not want to over bake these cookies. I had a batch I left in a little too long and they came out dry, but my second batch was PERFECT!


Cheesecake Cookies

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
Graham Cracker Crumbs, for coating

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Mix in vanilla extract. Stir in the flour until well combined.

Scoop the dough and form into 1" balls. Roll in graham cracker crumbs so cookie is covered.

Place covered cookie balls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the tops are slightly puffed.


Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Crock Pot Jerk Chicken

When the temperature drops, it time to pull out the Crock-Pot. Nothing warms the body like this spicy taste of the tropics. Theres' a bunch of ingredients, but it's super simple and super yummy! As you can see in the picture below I use a big Crock-Pot(her name is Bertha), so you may adjust the amount if yours is smaller. Try it and let me know what you think.

4 lb pack of chicken legs
2 tsp rosemary
2 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and allspice
1 tsp each of thyme, ground ginger, salt & blk pepper
2 dashes each of nutmeg and cinnamon
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 (8 oz) can of pineapple slices
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup chopped veg blend
4 cloves of garlic
1 hot pepper (whole)
1 container of Lawry's Caribbean Jerk Marinade
2 cups of water or enough to cover


1) Place your washed chicken in your Crock Pot.

2) Add all dry ingredients

3) Add veggie blend, garlic, carrots, pineapple and pepper

4) Pour entire bottle of marinade, liquid smoke and add enough water to cover chicken

Cover and set timer for 6 hours


Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J


Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving leftover recipe 3


This will be the finally recipe using Thanksgiving left. Remember, by day 4 all leftovers should be eaten, already frozen or disposed of. We don't want a belly ache after all, right?

2 cup of leftover ham
4 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of flour
1 cup whole milk (warm)
1 1/2 cup heavy cream (warm)
I used 2 (7oz) bags of uncooked pasta
2 cup combined smoked gouda, smoke gruyere and cheddar cheeses
1/3 cup each chopped onions and red bell peppers
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Boiled pasta in salted water, when they were done drained them and put 2 tbsp of butter in. This keeps it from sticking and adds flavor.

In separate skillet sweat your onions and peppers in a little oil and then add the ham.

In a large pan melted butter (2tbsp) over a medium heat, then added flour. Continue cooking until the mixture is the color of peanut butter. (Congratulations! You've made a roux.) Add your warm milk, heavy cream and add some salt/pepper. Cook this for about 5 min or until it's thicker. Add your cheese and let it melt. Once your cheese is melted add it your pasta and ham mixture. Mix everything in well and season as needed.

**Once I got everything mixed I added more cheese and chicken broth for moisture. You can adjust as needed.


Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving leftover recipe 2

The recipe today is super simple and super delicious. I call this, Thanksgiving...on a bun.

The amount of the ingredients are totally up to you.

  • Leftover turkey
  • Leftover ham
  • Leftover dressing (mine was crawfish dressing)
  • Leftover cranberry sauce
  • Leftover rolls (I had Hawaiian rolls)
  • Smear of cream cheese
  • butter to toast the bread

I warmed my meat, dressing and toasted the buns over the stove. (I compressed and warmed my dressing in a small round bowl to give it a shape)

I smeared the cream cheese on the bottom bun since that's where I placed my turkey. (My son dipped his sandwich in leftover gravy as if he was eating a French dip sandwich)

That's it, enjoy!

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving leftover recipe 1

Tired of leftovers already? Try my fried rice recipe.

1 tbsp each of butter and vegetable oil
1/2 cup of leftover turkey (Chopped)
1/2 cup of leftover ham (Chopped)
1/2 cup of shrimp
about 2 cups of white rice cooked
3 beaten eggs
1/4 cup of chopped veg (onions, celery, peppers)
12 oz pack of steam in bag vegetables (corn, peas, carrots green beans, or what every you have)
I used 3 sauces; soy sauce, cholula chili garlic sauce, sriracha hot chili sauce,
The seasoning I used are garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, sea salt, roasted ground ginger, red pepper flakes, rosemary and tarragon.

In a large skillet add your butter and oil, once it melts add your chopped veg. Let your onions sweat then add your shrimp. Once your shrimp is nearly done, add in your eggs and scramble them in. Once that is done, add in your steamed vegetables, rice and meat. Pour in your sauces to your own taste, I like it spicy. Mix and season well. Comment below and let me know what you think?

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Friday, November 23, 2012

Going Ham

This year I made a ham with my own glaze creation. It was yummy! I used a blood orange marmalade, a brown sugar mustard sauce and a host of my own spice mixtures, including clover to keep it traditional.

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tips for an over crowded fridge.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It's 9pm, all your guest have gone home and you are left to figure out what to do with all the left overs, well have no fear, I have a few storage tips for you.

1) Ditch the plastic bowls- Let face it, our matching set of plastic bowls are perfect for storing every day dinner, but the bowls take up far to much space to store all the Thanksgiving foods. Instead try using freezer bags. They sell them in all sizes, In fact, I fit 1 and 1/2 hams in one gallon size bag.

2) Slice it up- You'll get more space if you cut your turkey and ham, then when you are ready to go digging for left overs, it'll be already slice. Win Win!

3) 4 days max rule- It's a good rule of thumb to eat your refrigerated left overs within a 4 day time frame, 3 days for seafood. If you have more food than you can eat within 4 days, freeze it instead of placing it in the fridge. (Example: Half the turkey in the refrigerator and the other half in the freeze.)

4) Trash it- So Aunt Hatty brought her green bean casserole that no one eats, everyone is gone home and you are left staring at a huge disposable pan of the monstrosity. Trash it!! You know good and well you are not going to eat it or make the kids eat it, so why take up valuable space in the fridge?

5) Doggy bags- If you are like me, you get tired of eating left overs, so send your guest home with plates. Buy a few packs of the Styrofoam plates with the lids. Not only will this save space in your icebox, but it will also make clean up a little easier on you.

That's all I have for tonight good friends. I have a chronic case of turkey-ritis.

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

5 Things To Do Wednesday to Make Thursday Easier.

     Thanksgiving is tomorrow and you should be pretty well prepped, but here are 5 more ways you can help yourself get done cooking Thanksgiving dinner swiftly.

1) Bake the cakes- Today is a great day to get all your cakes and pies baked and set aside. This will not only save time tomorrow, but it will also free up space in your oven.

2) Cut the cheese- Preshred your cheese for macaroni and any casseroles. This will save you tons of time.

3) Season your meat- Season and/or inject your turkey today. This will allow the meat to marinade and taste extra tasty tomorrow.

4) Fix your dressing- get all your dressing together in the pan so that all you have to do tomorrow is place it in the oven.

5) Set your table- Put your table together so that you'll have one less thing to worry about tomorrow. Have your table settings and decorations already laid out.

That's all I have for now because I got dressing to out together.

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J