Devious Deliciousness

If any of you have those picky kids that will-not-eat-anything-no-matter-what, I promise I can trump.  I have two darling babies – one that eats anything and everything, and one that refuses all food.  My little precious daughter hates literally everything….well almost.  She will eat bread, cheese, pasta, butter, cheese, more bread, and even more cheese.  Oh, but wait, how could I ever forget, french fries.  She tries to convince me that she’s eating veggies because they’re potatoes. 

Of course… I guess that’s kind of like me justifying wine because its actually a fruit, or because it’s heart-healthy in moderation?  I love that kid.

I have done this MANY, MANY times unbeknownst to her.  She enjoys her dinner every time, and as a mom, I get the satisfaction of knowing she’s getting veggies full of Vitamin C and A-  *tee-hee* –

Macaroni and Cheese (with a little secret – Butternut Squash)

1 pound macaroni pasta

1 stick (real) butter

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes (if you get one of those big ones, just save 1/4-1/2 of it for later)

1 12 oz bag mild shredded cheddar cheese (plus more if you think it needs it; this was JUST enough)

1/2 cup milk

garlic salt

coarse pepper

Prepare two large pots of water for the stove; turn one pot up to high and when it starts boiling, add the squash.  After about 10 minutes, turn up the other pot to high as well.  (The squash will need to boil for about 30 minutes, until tender.)

Add the pasta when the water is boiling in your second pan.  Boil the pasta for about 8-10 minutes, until al dente.  Drain and return to pan.

When the squash is done (very fork tender), drain and return to pan.  Using a potato masher or large fork, mash completely until mush, or it resembles mashed potatoes.

Drain the macaroni, and return to the pan.  Add the butter, cheese, squash and milk.  Stir vigorously.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve and feel proud of your little deception.  😉

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Cilantro Shrimp

Simple and quick.   Sometimes you just need easy, fast go-to dishes.  It’s those nights when you get home from work, you’re extremely tired, it’s dark outside (because of daylight savings time, its really late; or whatever), you and your family are very hungry, and you need something that is NOT pizza delivery or Taco Bell because you actually care about your arteries.  Not to mention the fact that these nights come up more often than not because this is real life.  Am I right?

Ok, onto the easy-peasy shrimp that you can pair with really anything. 

Cilantro Shrimp

1 pound shrimp, deveined and peeled

1 stick butter, melted

Juice of one orange

Juice of one lime

1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine the juices, cilantro and butter; add shrimp and give it a stir.

Coat a large pan with cooking spray.  Over medium heat, add shrimp and juice mixture.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously until shrimp is pink.  Done! 

You could put this over rice or polenta; maybe over a big Greek salad and some garlic bread.  Or wait, maybe smothered on TOP of some garlic bread and sprinkled with fresh parm (using the Pampered Chef rotary grater, by chance?).  That would be good…..Shrimp Bruschetta???

Or you could just eat it by itself with a big fat glass of Chardonnay.


Dixie Chik

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2nd Thanksgiving Giveaway

Don’t you love Holiday time?  It gives you every reason to cook, and bake and cook some more. 

It’s time for the second Thanksgiving Giveaway!  Thanks to Jenny-Lyn Carden, our newest Dixie contributor and a Pampered Chef consultant, for sponsoring this awesome prize.  Please visit Jenny’s site   and check out all things Pampered Chef.  I absolutely adore everything I have from them.  Just let me give you my faves:

The 1-cup bowl prep set.  I SWEAR you will use these daily.  What you can do with them are limitless.  I set them out while I’m chopping and preparing and it makes my cooking so organized.  I make homemade pudding and jello cups with them, I even poach eggs in the cute little things in the microwave.  I couldn’t go on living without them.  They complete me.

Classic Batter Bowl.  A must-have.  You can mix, measure, then put the lid on and put it in the fridge if you need to.  It’s definitely a staple.

Measure-All® Cup.  Again, its something that will complete your kitchen.  It’s one of those things that just makes life (cooking) easier.  You can measure liquids and solids both. 

Check her site out…I’m sure you’ll find a few things that interest you. 

OK…onto the giveaway

Isn’t she pretty?

She’s the Pampered Chef Rotary Grater.  To enter-

1)  For one entry, comment here about what recipe you would make that would involve this grater. 

2)  For two entries, comment +twitter your dish on Dixie’s profile here.

3)  For three entries, comment + twitter + like us on Facebook and tell us your dish.

If you win, I’ll have you send me an email with the entire recipe….I’ll make it and put it on my site….pics and all.  Contest ends Friday, November 12th at 8:00 PM CT. 

Good luck!!  I just love all things Pampered Chef. 

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Mario Batali Baster Winner

Congratulations to ….

Heather!  Put it to use sister!  Please let us know what wonderful things you did with this pretty little prize.

I just got finished plucking 1,000  about 50 rosemary sticks of their little rosemary leaves because I’m making PW’s Rosemary Skewers for a *wink wink* Tupperware party tomorrow night. Get it?  – silence- I don’t really mean Tupperware? 

HAHA…….ha. ha.  Ok sorry I’ll get to my point.

I now have a huge quart ziplock bag full of fresh rosemary.  I guess I know what flavored infusion my turkey will be getting this year!

Congrats Heather and Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Hearty Vegetable-Beef Soup

Yay! It’s soup/chili/stoup time of year!  I do NOT like cold weather, but I do like to make cold weather food.  I would be happy living in south Florida where I could wear flip-flops and shorts year-round. 

This soup is something I adapted from a recipe my mother made when I was growing up.  When I was really young and I would find out that she was making this for dinner, I moaned, groaned, bitched, and begged her not to make it- but I would give in eat it everytime anyway.  Then as I got older, I started looking forward to it.  Now it’s something I make a good bit during the cold months.   And Yes, even though I’m in Alabama, it DOES get cold……very cold – but we never get the snow.


3/4 lb of rotini pasta (or seashells, or whatever your favorite is)

1 lb ground round

2 cans beef broth

2 cups water

1 can tomato soup

1 can petite diced tomatoes

1 can diced potatoes

1 bag frozen mixed vegetables

Ketchup (just have a bottle on hand; how much you use is up to you and your tastebuds)

In a large dutch oven, brown the ground round; drain.  In a bowl, combine the soup, broth and water, then add to the pan with the meat.  Stir over medium-high heat until starting to bubble.  Add the veggies, tomatoes and pasta and cover.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until pasta is tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add about 1/4 cup ketchup, combine and then recover, cooking for about another 5-10 minutes.  Taste and add more ketchup, salt and pepper if you think it needs it.  I always add more!

Just a little tip -make cornbread with this and crumble it up in your bowl with the soup.  I can’t eat it any other way.

I actually made corn muffins to go with this, but they were gone before I could take a picture 🙁

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