A Green Birthday Present

Today is my sweet husband's birthday,

and here is his birthday present

This would be an adequate description to describe him picking up this gift--

Happy Birthday, Rick!!!
I hope you have the best birthday ever!!!

Peach Pies Y'all

Every so often my husband makes a short trip to Ruston, LA for work.  
This last trip luckily coincided with prime peach season.
I hinted that I would really like for him to stop by Mitchum Farms for some peaches.  

(They are the best!!)

So, the husband did not let me down.
He came home with an entire case--25 pounds

The main issue now is---what do I want to make with these juicy, delicious peaches??

I knew that I definitely wanted to make a peach pie with some of the peaches.
(I usually make a cobbler and we just eat the rest.)

I thought that it would be fun to make individual peach pies or hand pies.
I opted for baking instead of frying.

Individual Peach Pies
(adapted from smitten kitchen)

2 packages of refrigerator pie dough (I used I package pie and 1 package of puff pastry)
2 pounds of peaches--4 cups
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)

Peel and chop the peaches into small bits (approximately 1/2-inch dice, much smaller than you'd use for a regular sized pie.  Mix the pieces with the flour, sugar, salt, vanilla, and ground cinnamon.

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut the pie dough into four equal parts.  Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons of the filling onto half of the dough triangles.  Quickly brush the egg wash around the edges of the dough and fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling creating a triangle.  Seal the pie and make a decorative egde by pressing the edges of the dough together with the back of a fork.  Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Cut a small slit in each and lightly brush with the egg wash.  Place the pies in the oven to bake.  Bake until the pies are golden brown and just slightly cracked, about 25 minutes.  Remove the pies from the oven and let stand to cool slightly before serving.


I'm linked up with

I'm so excited to share a new addition to LouLou Sucre {the shop}.
Custom monogrammed necklaces and earrings.
Order yours today!!


A Few New Changes

First, I must apologize for my sporadic postings over the last week or so--it's been a crazy week.
I'm having a little maintenance done on my shop ( and it's been so much work.
(So if you click on the link, rest assured, I have not started selling electronics.)
My new host has promised me that I should be up and running in the next day or so.
I've got some new, really exciting things coming to my little shop.

Here's a few little sneaks---

I have also been working on a recipe index--I'm really excited about this!!
More on this to come soon, also.

Since I feel that I have been sitting at a computer 24-7,
I really haven't had the time or energy to get my stuff together. 
I thought that I would share a few things that I've been up to recently...

a few projects---

and a few new recipes---

(Please excuse the crappy iphone pics---I promise to post better pics and full posts on all, soon).
I wouldn't want to leave you hanging...

  Be back soon,

Chicken Spaghetti

On of the things that I fondly remember when I was a little girl was that my school cafeteria served
Chicken Tetrazzini (spaghetti) about once a month
(and I always loved it).

I was actually one of those kids that really liked school lunches, until middle school, of course.
By then I was way too cool to eat in the cafeteria!!)
I was always one of those kids that ate all kinds of foods.
I was not picky at all.

I grew up in a small town without any fast food or restaurants (the closest was 30 minutes away),
so my Mom cooked most nights.
Also, my grandparents only lived a block away so we always had some type of home-cooked food for all of our meals.

I always ate my peas and carrots.  
I also ate my cabbage and spinach.

My Mom never, ever cooked chicken tetrazzini or spaghetti, though.
My Dad completely refused to eat any type of noodle.

I know, I know, there is something really wrong with that statement.
I wish that I had inherited that dislike.
My hips would be a whole lot happier.

But, oh well, my love of noodles is strong.
Therefore, I often make chicken spaghetti when I want good creamy, cheesy comfort food.

Chicken Spaghetti

1 pound of chicken breast tenderloins
2 tablespoons creole seasoning (I used Tony's)
1 package spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can diced rotel tomatoes
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Place the chicken tenderloins and 1 tablespoon of the creole seasoning in a large pot of water and bring to a boil.  Cook for 15 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.  Remove from the broth and allow to cool.  Shred the chicken.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bring the broth back to a boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente.  Remove, from the broth and save at least 2 cups of the broth.  Meanwhile, in a large pan sauté the onion and garlic until softened.  Add the soups and rotel tomatoes.  Mix well.  Add the chicken, cooked spaghetti, seasoning, 1 cup of the shredded cheese, and the broth.  Mix well and place in a prepared casserole pan.  Top with the remaining cheese.

Cook until all the cheese melts and the the center is bubbly, about 30 minutes.


Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I'm a definite sucker for chocolate.  
I always wasn't.

I used to pass on desserts all of the time.
I don't really know what was wrong with me.
Maybe I had some type of vitamin deficiency or maybe fell off of the monkey bars one too many times.

There is one thing that I do know now----
Even though I really need to, I rarely pass up dessert.
Especially if it's chocolate!
Life is just too short!!!!!

So, yesterday I was telling you about how my daughter, P, and I made a boat load of mini-cupcakes for a baby shower. 
They were delicious and just the perfect size.

We made Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting----
(just to remind you)

and my favorite---

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 box of Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
3 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add 1/2 of the cake mix and beat until just combined.  Add the milk and another 1/4 of the cake mix.  Mix well.  Add the sour cream and the remaining cake mix.  Beat until just combined.  
Fill a prepared mini-muffin pan with 1 tablespoon full of the cupcake batter.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Transfer the cupcakes to a rack and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon milk

Mix together butter and sugar until they are blended and creamy.  Add the cocoa and the milk.  Beat for another minute.  Add more sugar or milk until desired consistency is reached.  Add more cocoa to taste.


Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Some friends and I hosted a baby shower a little while ago for a very special friend.  
One of my contributions was mini-cupcakes.  
Well, since one of my daughters works at a bakery, 
she lovingly consented to help me make the cupcakes.  
This was a blessing from above.  
(cue music)
She is a well-oiled cupcake machine. 
 I was schooled on the art of cupcake baking and in no time flat we had over
90 mini-cupcakes!!

We decided that it would be great to make a vanilla cupcake and a chocolate cupcake.
Realizing that not everyone likes the same, but most like at least one of these flavors.
We also decided to alternate the icings too.
Something for everyone--we aim to please.

I think that they turned out really sweet!!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting
 (slightly adapted from

Makes 48 mini-cupcakes

1 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream, full fat
1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine the sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean.  Make sure to combine well, breaking up any clumps.  
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
Add the butter and mix well.  Add the eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract mixing after each addition.  Add the milk and mix until just combined.  The batter will have a liquid consistency.

Using a prepared mini-muffin pan, fill each cup with 1 tablespoon full of the cupcake batter.  Bake for 15 minutes.   Transfer to a rack and allow to cool completely.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 vanilla beans
1 teaspoon milk

Mix together butter and sugar until they are blended and creamy.  Add the seeds from the vanilla beans and the milk.  Beat for another minute.  Add more sugar or milk until desired consistency is reached.

*** We added a little bit of red food coloring for the pink bud on top of each.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for my favorite mini-cupcake---Chocolate Fudge!!


Guess What I'm About To Do

I think that one can never have too many projects. 
( I'm sure someone really smart or famous said that once, not just me.)

One of my friends ventured to the southern part of our state last weekend and picked me up some  

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. 

 I couldn't wait to get it and then the stomach bug hit. 
 I was delayed for three solid days.  
I knew that it was sitting on my desk at work and I was horizontal in my bed making frequent bathroom trips instead of checking off my next project.

So now I've got it and I can't wait---

Goodbye 1970's side table

Say "Hello" to my little friend.

More to come soon...

Blue Cheese Stuffed Filet Mignon

If you are looking for something super delicious to make this weekend you should definitely check this out.  

This recipe idea came from one of my fabulous foodie friends at work .
She was showing me an article in this month's  Traditional Home magazine.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Filet Mignon
My interest was peaked.  
It sounded so good.

Now, I'm not usually a steak person.
I usually always choose fish or chicken, but a steak sounded perfect to me for dinner the other night.

The recipe in the magazine was for the steak to be marinated in Guinness Beer,
but I decided to take a different route for the marinade.

I just love the combination of blue cheese and roasted garlic.
Throw a little bacon and filet mignon in and you've got yourself a winner!!

Blue Cheese Stuffed Filet Mignon
(for 2 steaks)

2 teaspoons roasted garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
2-8 ounce filet mignon
4 pieces of center cut bacon
2 tablespoons blue cheese

In a small bowl, mix together the first 4 ingredients into a paste.  Liberally coat the steaks with the marinade and allow them to sit for at least 1 hour.  Allow your steaks to come to room temperature.
Cut small slits on two sides of the steak and stuff with the blue cheese.  Wrap with the bacon and secure with toothpicks.

Preheat the grill to 500 degrees (you want it this hot to sear the outside and make the inside a nice medium-to medium-rare).  Reduce the heat to 450 degrees and cook the steak for about 7 minutes total on each side for medium-rare and 10 minutes total for medium, flipping each twice.

Yummy cheesy goodness!!!


Squash Casserole

Summer squash is one of my favorite vegetables.
It is so good grilled or sautéed.
But, my favorite way to eat squash is in a squash casserole.

My Mom and Grandmother always made this casserole and it is just so good.
It's also very easy.

Squash Casserole

1 pan of mexican cornbread, crumbled
(I usually make a double serving)
1 pound yellow squash, sliced
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the onions, squash, and garlic until very soft.  Add the cornbread, eggs, and the chicken broth to the vegetables and mix well.  Add the salt and pepper to taste.   Pour the entire mixture into a prepared pan and cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until cooked thoroughly.