Storm the Cassoulet

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken

cc chix


3 lbs chicken pieces

1 (2/3 ounce) package Italian salad dressing mix

4 tablespoons melted butter divided)

1 small onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of chicken soup

8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup chicken broth


Place chicken pieces in crock pot and sprinkle Italian seasoning over chicken. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan and saute onion and garlic. Add Cream of Chicken Soup, cream cheese, and chicken broth. Stir until smooth.

Add this mixture to crock pot and cook on low for an additional hour.

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Baked Orange Donut Holes



For Donut Batter:

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup tightly-packed brown sugar
2 eggs
zest from one orange
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon orange juice
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk

For Glaze:

2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 Tablespoon orange juice
1 cup powdered sugar

Notes: Yields about 3 dozen mini donuts


Preheat oven to 425. Grease the cups of a mini-muffin tin and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until smooth. Add eggs and zest, and mix to combine. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix until well-combined.

Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and spring back when you press them gently. Let sit for 5 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely. You might need to eat a few while they cool.

While they cool, whisk together glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Glaze should be fairly thick (almost like frosting) – add more powdered sugar if needed.

Dip the tops of the cooled donut holes into the glaze and let sit for a couple of minutes to set before serving.

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Jello Shots


1 cup water
1 small box (3 oz.) of Jello, any flavor
1 cup vodka
Makes around 16 shots


2 cups water
1 large box (6 oz.) of Jello: any flavor you like
2 cups vodka
Makes around 32 shots


Boil water in a bowl or large measuring cup for 4 minutes on High in microwave.
Add Jello and mix together for 2 minutes.  LET IT COOL.
Add vodka and stir for another minute.
Lay out Wilton paper (1.25 inch) nut and party cups on a serving tray.
Fill with the Jello shot mixture.
Carefully place in refrigerator for 3 hours.

Options:  add fruit, layer colors (let each layer set in fridge for 30 minutes).

Notes:  For a 6 oz. box of Jell-O, you will need alcohol and water, however, the higher the proof of the alcohol, the more water is needed, according to Drink Street.  For 13 oz. of 30 proof to 50 proof alcohols, you will need 3 oz. of cold water. For 10 oz. of 80 proof to 100 proof, you need 6 oz. of cold water. For 6 oz. of 150 proof to 200 proof, you need 10 oz. of cold water. Divide these measurements in half for the 3 oz. box of Jell-O.

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Polka Dot Cake

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Polka Dot 22 w blog link-001

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Purple Ombre Layer Cake


2 boxes white cake mix
water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix boxes
purple neon gel food color


1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
3 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla


Heat oven to 350°F. Generously spray four 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
Make cake batter as directed on boxes. Divide batter equally among 4 bowls. Add food color to make 4 different shades of the same color. Pour batter into pans.

Bake and cool as directed on box for 8- or 9-inch rounds.

In 2-quart saucepan, heat sugar and water to boiling. Cook to 245°F on candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat eggs whites, cream of tartar and salt with electric mixer on high speed until peaks form.

Reduce speed to low; slowly pour sugar syrup into egg whites. Increase speed to high; beat about 7 minutes or until sides of bowl are cool to the touch. Beat in vanilla.

Spread 1 tablespoon frosting on cake plate to act as glue. Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread with thin layer of frosting. Repeat to use all layers. Frost cake completely with remaining frosting.

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Baked Honey Glazed Ham



One 7-9 pound bone-in ham, fully cooked

3/4 cup honey

Canola oil

1 tablespoon fruit juice, such as apple, cranberry, orange, or pomegranate

10-12 whole cloves or GROUND CLOVES

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons dry mustard

Pineapple slices

Optional:  baste with ginger ale


1.  Heat the oven to 325°F. Place the ham on a cutting board fat-side up and make 1⁄4″-deep diagonal cuts in 2″ intervals to create a diamond pattern.  Sprinkle ham well with the ground cloves, or add whole in step 3.

2.  Grease a roasting rack with a little oil and place the ham on the rack, fat-side up. Set the rack into a roasting pan and bake until the internal temperature of the ham registers 110°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 to 21⁄2 hours.  COVER LOOSELY WITH FOIL.  Pour a little ginger ale on the ham, if preferred.

3.  While the ham is baking, whisk together the honey, brown sugar, mustard, and fruit juice in a small bowl.

4.  Remove the ham from the oven and increase the temperature to 425°F. Stud the center of each diamond with a clove.

5.  Brush the entire ham with the glaze, pour 3⁄4 cup of water into the bottom of the roasting pan, and place the pan back in the oven until its temperature reaches 125°F, about 15 minutes longer.  (Can also used jarred ham glaze – cover ham with glaze for the last 30 minutes of baking.


7.  Remove the pan from the oven, and transfer the ham to a cutting board. Tent the ham with foil and let it rest until its temperature reaches 135°F to 140°F, 20 to 30 minutes.

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Carrot Cake



1 pound carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 4 medium carrots), for the cake

3 large eggs, for the cake

3 cups walnuts (divided), for the cake

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, for the cake

2 cups all-purpose flour, for the cake, plus more for flouring the pans

1 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut, for the cake

2 teaspoons baking soda, for the cake

1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained (about 1 cup pineapple), for the cake

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, for the cake

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, for the cream cheese frosting

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, for the cake

1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature, for the frosting

1 teaspoon kosher salt, for the cake

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, for the cream cheese frosting

1 cup vegetable oil, for the cake

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, for the cream cheese frosting

2 cups granulated sugar, for the cake

Optional:   use 2 cups grated carrots instead


To make the cake: Fill a saucepan with a couple inches of water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Place the sliced carrots in a steamer basket and set over the saucepan. Cover and steam the carrots until very tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. (You can also bring a pot of water to a boil, add the carrots, cover, and cook until tender.) Place the carrots in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée until smooth. You should have 11⁄3 cups puréed carrots. Alternatively, you can purée with an immersion blender or with a food mill. (Don’t use a blender or you’ll need to add liquid.)

Heat the oven to 350°F and place a rack in the center. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Chop the walnuts and set aside.

Meanwhile, grease the bottom and sides of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or two 9-inch cake pans with butter, oil, or nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom(s) with parchment paper and grease the paper (Love Note 2, page 351, Devil’s Food Cake). Sprinkle in a little flour and turn the pans to evenly coat the greased areas. Turn the pans over and tap them against the bottom of the sink to remove the excess (Love Note 1).

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a medium bowl.

Place the oil and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed until combined. Add the eggs one at a time and beat at medium speed until well incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla and carrots and beat for 1 minute more. Reduce the speed to low and add the sifted dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Stir in the coconut, 1 cup of the walnuts, and the drained pineapple.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake in the center of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (crumbs can cling to it, but no streaks of batter) and the cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan(s). Remove the pan(s) from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. After 15 minutes, place a cooling rack(s) over the pan(s) and invert (so the cake falls out of the pan and onto the rack). Peel off the parchment and continue to cool the cake for at least 1 hour before frosting.

To make the frosting: In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the sugar, 1 cup at a time. Stop the machine and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and whisk at medium-high speed until very smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop the machine and scrape down the bowl again, and then mix for 1 minute more. Set aside.

To frost a 13x9x2-inch cake: Place a serving platter on top of the cake and invert it again so the cake is sitting on it (Love Note 2). Tuck a few strips of parchment paper under the bottom edges of the cake (this keeps the serving plate clean as you frost). Use an offset spatula to scrape one-third of the frosting onto the top of the cooled cake. Spread the frosting over the top and sides (this is a thin coating called a “crumb coat,” which fixes all the loose crumbs in place). Wipe your spatula clean and scrape the remaining frosting onto the top of the cake. Spread evenly over the top and sides.

Press the remaining chopped toasted walnuts around the sides and over the top of the cake. Refrigerate if not serving immediately.

To frost a two-layer cake: Place a serving plate on top of one cake and invert it again so the cake is sitting on it (Love Note 2). Tuck a few strips of parchment paper under the bottom edges of the cake (this keeps the serving plate clean as you frost). Use an offset spatula to scrape one-third of the frosting onto the top of the cake; spread it evenly over the top. Carefully set the other cake on top, with the flat side facing up, and scrape one-third of the frosting onto the top of it. Spread this frosting over the top and sides of the cake (this thin layer of frosting is a crumb coat, which will adhere the crumbs to the cake so they don’t end up on the surface of the final layer of frosting). Clean off your spatula and scrape the remaining frosting onto the top of the cake. Spread evenly over the top and sides.

Press the remaining chopped toasted walnuts around the sides and over the top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


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Chicken Bombs

chix bombs


5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts-makes 10 bombs:
5 jalapenos, sliced in half lengthwise and cleaned
20 slices bacon
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup of colby jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 C Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Suger BBQ  sauce


Slice chicken breasts in half (like a hamburger bun), place between wax paper and pound until it’s 1/4″ thick.

Season with S&P.

Mix the two cheeses together and smear about 1 Tblsp into each pepper half (just use up the cheese between all of the peppers).
Place the pepper on the chicken breast and wrap it up as best you can. I suggest placing the pepper cheese side down so it gets completely covered by the chicken.

Wrap each chicken breast completely with two pieces of bacon. Start at one end, wrap half the breast and finish the second half with the other piece of bacon.

For grill:  Cook on a preheated 350 degree grill over indirect heat for 30 minutes or until chicken is done. Turn every 5 minutes and baste with BBQ sauce each time you turn it.

For oven: Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until chicken is done. Baste a couple times and finish under the broiler to set the BBQ sauce. **Try a 400 degree oven and no BBQ sauce for the first 20 minutes, turning once to help cook the bacon. Then reduce heat to 375, change pans to loose some of the bacon fat (if you don’t have a broiler pan), cover in BBQ sauce and finish baking.

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Roasted Asparagus with Mint Butter



1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, plus additional sprig for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

2 pounds fresh asparagus, ends trimmed


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a medium bowl stir the mint and butter together until combined. Place in a small ramekin.

Place the asparagus on 2 baking sheets and toss with the olive oil. Roast the asparagus about 15 minutes until soft and slightly charred, turning once. Remove from the oven and place on a serving dish, dollop with the mint butter and garnish with mint sprig. Serve warm.

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Carrot Souffle



2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into -inch-thick rounds

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup saltine cracker crumbs

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup minced onion

3 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 2-quart soufflé dish or baking dish and set it aside.

Put the carrots into a large pot and cover with about an inch of salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat, and simmer the carrots for about 10 minutes, until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.

Strain the carrots, puree in a food processor, and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the milk, cracker crumbs, cheese, onion, butter, salt, cayenne, and black pepper.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer or wire whisk to beat the eggs until they are foamy, and then whisk them into the carrot mixture.

Transfer the carrot mixture into the prepared soufflé dish and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until puffed and light golden brown on top. Serve warm.

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