The in-laws strike again!

I get a call from Momma Coffin last week saying I have a package there from Aunt Jackie and Uncle Richard. What have they done now? Well, I will tell ya... they sent me, Momma Coffin and my sister-in-law, Lynn a set of beautiful cookware! I have never owned a matching set of cookware! The best part? Not only is it oven-safe and microwave-safe, IT IS DISHWASHER-SAFE! Cause my momma knows I HATE hand washing dishes! If running it under the faucet doesn't get it off, then the dishwasher better!

So, my goal was to make a meal using every piece of bakeware at once so my table would have a beautiful, matching spread! I took it a step too far and decided to make all new recipes. Before I get into that, let me show you the outcome:

Doesn't that just look like a photo right out of Southern Living magazine? I know, right? Too freakin cute! What is on the menu? Meatloaf, Hashbrown Casserole, Warm Corn Salad and Ceasar Salad.

So, I started looking on for new dishes to whip up. I found a recipe for meatloaf that used herb-stuffing instead of bread crumbs, ranch dressing mix and french fried onions. Sounds delish, right? Well, it was eh. So, I am not sharing the recipe. But if you want a good meatloaf recipe, look up Paula Deen's Cheeseburger Meatloaf.... yummmmmmm.
But here is a photo of the so-so main dish. It actually looks more gross than it was. Is there such a thing as an appetizing picture of meatloaf? How can a loaf of meat look enticing? Nonetheless, its a blog, so I must share:

I always make some form of mac and cheese so I was looking for an equally-as-yummy alternative. A few years ago a friend of mine, Kim, made Hashbrown Casserole and I still dream about it. So, I found a recipe for it on and threw it all together. Look at all this cheesy-goodness, believe me, JUST look:

Well, mine and Pete's tastebuds agreed that it looked and smelled better than it actually tasted. We described it as cheesy, mushy nothingness. Take from that what you will. But again, I am not sharing a recipe that I didn't LOVE. If you are looking here for an idea of what to cook for dinner, see "My Favorite Dinner" post. That mac and cheese is unbeatable (at least, for now).

If you know me well, you know that I hate most vegetables. So, this is always a challenging dish for me to come up with. I only like corn. But I thought my new bakeware was too special for just any old plain corn. When I have left over corn on the cob from a bbq, I usually cut it from the cob and put in a pan with chives, parmesan cheese, garlic and lots of butter. The result? Something that tastes nothing like a vegetable... the only way I eat them! Well, this time, I happen to have some bacon in the fridge so I threw that in there too:

It was "aight." Pete and I agree that the bacon over-powered everything else. I highly recommend the recipe though, sans the bacon!

So, at this point, I was 0 for 3. Pete did compliment me on the awesome, bagged caesar salad! Hey, I will take what I can get! 

When I started this blog, I emphasized that I like to PRETEND to be a cook/baker. This is proof. But with bakeware THIS gorgeous, at least it LOOKS good!
All thanks to Aunt Jackie and Uncle Richard! And by the way guys... there were PLENTY of leftovers, so there is a meatloaf in the mail on its way to you, just my little way of saying thanks. Aren't you guys excited?

Sommer and Meg team up!

As promised, I hunkered down in the kitchen on Saturday with Meg. We produced a bunch of cookies to send my awesome Aunt and Uncle, who were responsible for bringing Meg into my life! When I asked Uncle Richard and Aunt Jackie their favorite cookies, they both responded "Chocolate Chip." My first thought was "how boring." But then I realized I have never made a good 'ol plain chocolate chip cookie. So, why not? If there is someone in this world that doesn't like chocolate chip cookies then I sure haven't met them! So, to add to the menu, I also decided to make some peanut butter cookies (with a twist) and some lemon cookies to stay with the spirit of Easter. All growing up, my mom always made lemon meringue pie on Easter. I have always been too afraid to attempt a meringue, so I found a recipe for cookies instead. Plus, I couldn't even begin to compete with my momma's cooking skills! She always tried to get me in the kitchen with her, but I always thought "Why should I slave over stuff in the kitchen? That's what mom's are for!" Well, now my momma is too far away to be in my kitchen often, so i decided to send her a box of cookies too so she can see how far my cooking skills have progressed!

Here is the outcome:
(and by the way, I will NEVER AGAIN attempt to make 3 different types of cookies in one day. 8 hours in the kitchen on a Saturday is way too exhausting!)

First, the chocolate chip recipe. I got this one from Bakerella. I figured she knew her cookies, and I figured right!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk and set aside.
  • With a mixer, beat butter and both sugars until well blended.
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture in two additions until combined.
  • Stir in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips.
  • Use a mini ice cream scoop to drop cookie dough on a parchment covered cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Tip: About half way through baking, sprinkle reserved chips on top of cookies. This is just to make them prettier so, some of the chips are seen on top.

YUM! Look at that in all its glory. I heard the angels sing when I bit into this. mmmmmmmm....

Next, the Lemon Cookies with Lemon Icing


  • 7 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • ICING:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel


  1. In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Combine honey, yogurt, lemon peel and lemon extract. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with honey mixture.
  2. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Brush over the warm cookies; sprinkle with lemon peel.

I had some trial and error with these. I bought some new dark cookie sheets and the first batch I had too close to the bottom. They burnt right up! I never claimed to be a baker, it's all about experimenting. So, I have to expect a few batches in the garbage.
But that icing? OH-MY-GAWD! Without the icing, my brutally honest husband said they tasted like animal crackers (thinking that was a compliment) so I dredged the cookies in that tangy icing. Heavenly. Just heavenly.

Next, the peanut butter cookies. I just used a plain old peanut butter cookie recipe:
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg

  • Preheat oven to 325. Mix peanut butter, sugar and egg until well blended.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Remove and roll mixture into 18 balls.
  • Place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  • Flatten each ball by using a fork to make a criss-cross pattern.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet and then cool completely on a wire rack.
THEN... I melted 8 squares of semi-sweet bakers chocolate squares. Dipped one end in the chocolate and the other in a candy bar. Here is the result:

You have MY version of SNICKER-doodles.

and then Peanut-BUTTERFINGER cookies. (even tried to shape them like a finger, which makes for great milk-dipping capabilities for the other end)

And this is why Pete hates when I attempt to cook anything. He shows up in the kitchen about every 30 minutes to say "Why can't you clean as you go? Are you TRYING to make a mess?"

So, Uncle Richard, Aunt Jackie and Momma... your packages are on their way! Hope they make it there okay!