M is for Monkey Bread- #AtoZChallenge

M” is for Monkey Bread! Yummmmmm!!

I tried this recipe last week. I had to make some adjustments since I didn’t have exactly what they called for. Also, since I am only cooking for myself now, I didn’t want to overload the place and wind up throwing most of it away. So, to start with, I cut their recipe in half. I only used 1 can of (Kroger brand) biscuits, and halved everything else except the walnuts and raisins (I like both of those things). 😉


1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers refrigerated Original biscuits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired
1/2 cup raisins, if desired
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted


  •  1 Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large -storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  • 2 Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.
  • 3 In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.
  • 4 Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.
I didn’t have a bundt pan (fluted tube pan), so I just used a round cake pan. It was just big enough to fit with the recipe cut in half. Mine may not look as good as theirs, but it still tasted wonderful and it made the whole house smell delicious for days. 🙂

Meyer Lemon Loaf with Blood Orange Glaze

Lemony slices of loaf cake with a sweet blood orange glaze. This Meyer Lemon Loaf with Blood Orange Glaze is the most amazing breakfast for winter.

Source: Meyer Lemon Loaf with Blood Orange Glaze

Capt Jills Favorite Beef Stew

I just got home from the ship Friday and the weather here has been cold and miserable. Damp and dreary, drizzling and gray. Yuk!

So, I decided to cook up a pot of my favorite beef stew. It’s great stuff to have when it’s cold outside. It’ll fill you up and keep you satisfied for a while.

It’s one of the very first things I learned to cook (if you don’t count sandwiches or macaroni and cheese from the box). 😉

I remember the first time I made it. I actually had quite a bit of help. I had recently moved out of my dads house and rented a little efficiency apartment from him across the street.

I was working on the party boats down the block and a couple of other jobs too, plus going to school so I wasn’t really into cooking all that much. One of my jobs was as a dishwasher at a Greek place on the corner. They let me eat there for free, so that took care of dinner most nights. The other job was as a galley hand on the party boats. I sold ready made sandwiches and drinks to the passengers when they wanted a break from fishing and helped with things like getting lines untangled, baiting hooks, and cleaning the decks. Part of the deal was I got to eat (and drink) for free. That was only on the weekends.

I was a lot more into partying back then and never thought too much about groceries (tho I sure never went hungry). I made enough to live on but had to live cheap. I remember I would buy a loaf of white bread, a small jar of miracle whip and a package of baloney and that would do me for the week. With maybe a couple of cans of soup (and some beer) in there too. 🙂

One day, some friends of mine, fishermen friends I knew through my dad, came by and asked me to cook them up a pot of stew. They asked me since most of the guys didn’t keep a full time place of their own. They stayed on the boats mostly and there’s not a lot of comfort to be had on those little snapper boats. Sometimes they would rent an apartment from my dad, but only if they were going to be in for a while (and if they felt like they had the money to spare from more important things like having a good time). My dad used to get so mad at me for letting them come over to clean up or store their stuff, but that’s another story…

So, they came by. Storm’n Norman, O’Brian (OB), Bucky, and Danny, with a hunk of meat, some potatos, carrots, onions, and a BIG bottle of Lambrusco (the secret ingredient). We would check out the progress, throw in some stuff, stir it up, add a shot of wine, then pass the bottle around.  I’ll never forget cooking up that pot of stew. It smelled so good! It was delicious! And I still make it the same way.

No recipe. Same secret ingredient. Maybe not quite so much of it tho. 😉

I think of my old fishermen friends every time I make it and wish they were still around, but I left Florida a long time ago and I never hear much of anyone over there any more. It’s all changed so much. Most of what I grew up with is long gone, including the people. 😦

If you want to try to make a pot. I’ll give you the start, but it’s mostly just a few basics and then throwing in whatever’s around.

Capt Jills Favorite Beef Stew

1-2 lbs beef (chuck roast works great) (cut into large pieces)

1-2 large onions (cut in half and then thick slices)

1-2 large Idaho potatos (cut into 1-2″ pieces)

6 carrots (cut into 1-2″ pieces)

2 stalks celery (cut into small pieces)

6 beef boullion cubes

1 tbsp (real) butter

1-2 pkgs brown or mushroom gravy mix (to taste)

1-2 pkgs frozen veggies (depending on what’s around)

1 cup (or more) red wine (I use Lambrusco)

Throw the butter in the pot with the onions and stir it around a bit. Then throw in the meat to brown. Season it up with some Worsteshire sauce, onion salt, garlic, celery salt, Mrs Dash, pepper, or whatever else you like for seasoning. Once the meat gets browned, add a little water (couple of tablespoons) and a couple of shots of the wine (I like to use Lambrusco). You can add the boullion cubes and celery any time.

Once the meat starts to get tender, add the carrots and potatos. You’ll need more liquid now, so cook up the gravy in a small pot and add it to the stew once it thickens up. From now on, you can add whatever you want. I wait to add the frozen vegetables til near the end, since I like them to still be nice and bright colored (and not mushy). I usually add a package of mixed vegetables, maybe a pack of cut green beans, maybe some green peas, just depends on what I have in the freezer. Sometimes I like to add fresh mushrooms.

I add a little more of the wine right before dishing out the stew, that way there’s a real taste of it in the stew. I may also have a glass along with the stew and not just in the stew. 😉


Apple Cinnamon Infused Vodka

Apple Cinnamon Infused Vodka recipe from Betty Crocker.

This looks really tasty. And simple too!

I like that. I’ll have to try it. The first comment there mentioned a drink recipe that sounds fantastic too. Looking forward to tasting that one (and making up more of my own). 🙂

I can throw this together before I go back to work and it should be ready by the time I get home again. 🙂

PS- I know some people this would be a great Christmas present for too (too bad I’ll probably be offshore for Christmas too)

Raspberry-Lemon Pie Recipe

Raspberry-Lemon Pie Recipe – Kraft Recipes.

This is one I will DEFINITELY have to try asap! I am not due to get off this rig for another 2 weeks. 😦

I wish I could teach the cooks on here how to cook some real American style food. They do OK with some local style stuff. Basic chicken and fish type things. But they sure as hell don’t know how to do dessert!

I have to say, I’ve never been on a rig with worse food. I don’t know if it’s because we’re working off Africa and they can’t get a lot of things here, or because their grocery budget is too low and they’re forced to buy things in Luanda where it costs $10 for a cup of coffee…

Usually the food on a rig is excellent. The companies figure it’s a cheap price to pay for good morale. We eat like kings out here. Not this time. 😦

This recipe (just click the link above the photo) looks very simple and delicious but they don’t have the ingredients to make anything like that here. 😦

I’ll have to wait until I get home to taste it. I wonder if its better then my usual raspberry whipped cream pie?

Rush-Hour Pork Stir-Fry

Rush-Hour Pork Stir-Fry Recipe – Kraft Recipes.

I’ve been busy since I got home working on my taxes. I’m trying hard to get them to the accountant before I leave again next week.

I’m about sick of that so taking a break and cooking tonight. I made a quick and easy stir fry for dinner tonight.

It only slightly resembles the recipe in the picture (but that one looks pretty good too). I fixed mine up with stuff I had around here. Substitute ramen noodles for the broccoli slaw and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what mine looks like. I didn’t have exactly everything the recipe calls for, but I’m very good at improvising. 😉

Basically, I just melted some butter and sauteed some onions (I almost always cook with butter instead of any other kind of fat/oil). I added some pork ‘medallions’ I had saved in the freezer from last time I was home. I just sliced them up real thin. I threw in some mushrooms (cause I always add mushrooms with onions and I like them). 😉

Then I boiled up a pack of ramen noodles. Drained ’em and threw ’em in the skillet with the seasoning packet. Then I added a few pieces of fresh pineapple I’d just got done chopping up for a smoothie (they’re on sale for $0.99). 🙂

I needed some green vegetables so I added some frozen broccoli to the mix. I was going to add some peas too, but the broccoli looked good enough.

I didn’t have the “Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing” the Kraft recipe calls for, but I did add the garlic and soy sauce to the pot. I like sweets, so I also added some honey.

All in all, it came out really good. It only took me about 15-20 minutes from start to finish. I’ve got plenty for leftovers I can have in a day or 2. I think if you make this recipe the way I made it, you can figure on feeding 2 people if they’re hungry, 4 if they’re not. 😉

You can easily scale it up or down depending on how many you want to feed. I don’t usually cook from a recipe or strict measurements, I throw in ingredients by look and by taste. If I think it looks or sounds good, like it’ll go together, I’ll try it.

I like to TRY and cook for 2, that way I always have leftovers and so if I don’t feel like cooking again soon, I can have the leftovers.

Twisted Strawberry Shortcake

Twisted Strawberry Shortcake Recipe – Kraft Recipes.

This looks SO good! Strawberries have been on sale and so I bought a bunch the other day. Too bad I didn’t see this recipe until after I went to the store. 😦

The only thing I have that the recipe calls for is the strawberries and milk. Oh yeah, and I always keep a can of whipped cream in the fridge (never know when that’ll come in handy). 😉

Since I’ll be leaving for work again so soon, I don’t want to go back to the store again now. I know I’ll buy way more stuff than I intended to and then wind up having to throw most of it away when I leave for work. I HATE THAT!

I guess I’ll just have to settle for strawberries and whipped cream and will try this recipe next time I get home (if the strawberries are still in season).

Cranberry Chocolate Cream Tart

Cranberry Chocolate Cream Tart « Go Bold with Butter.

Here’s another delicious looking dessert! The recipe looks pretty simple, but I would probably skip making my own crust and just go with a store bought one.

Do that and it looks REALLY quick and easy. I like cranberries, but it looks like it would be just as good using a can of cherry pie filling (which would make it even easier).

I could have fun experimenting with this one. The filling sounds perfect the way it is. 🙂

Darkest Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze

Darkest Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze Recipe | Epicurious.com.

Just in time for Valentines Day (in case you’re a late starter, like I am). 😉

I got this recipe in my email from Epicurious.com. It looked perfect for a sweet treat for a sweetie. 😉

Chocolate and wine, together, umm…

Lemon-Raspberry Whipped Cream Pie

I’ve put a few recipes on here before. Things I saw online and thought they were worth sharing. So far, I haven’t personally made or eaten any of those. This is my first recipe post that I actually HAVE made (and eaten) myself. 🙂

I actually do like to cook. When I have the time and I’m not in a rush. I haven’t been able to do much lately. It seems I’m always too busy.

I did have a little time this time home so I decided to make this pie. It’s one of my all time favorite desserts. It’s so fast and easy, and it’s SO good! 🙂

Sweet and creamy, with just the right amount of tangy lemon and raspberries.

It only takes a few minutes to make and it only has a few ingredients. It’s not my original recipe. I got it out of a magazine a long time ago. I think it might have been Womens Day.

Doesn’t this look delicious?

Lemon-Raspberry Whipped Cream Pie

Lemon-Raspberry Whipped Cream Pie


Here’s the recipe I use…

1 tub (12 oz) frozen whipped topping (thawed)

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (6 oz) frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed)

12 oz fresh raspberries (about 3 cups)

1 6-oz ready to fill graham cracker pie crust

options: 1/4 tsp liquid yellow food color, lemon twist and mint leaves for garnish

  1. Spoon 1/2 cup whipped topping into a decorating bag fitted with a star tip. Fold top of bag over and seal with a paper clip or tape. Refrigerate til needed. (I just used a plain old ziplock baggie with a corner cut off. It’ll look fancier if you do use the star tip (or spend more time fiddling with it). I didn’t really feel like bothering with all that. 😉
  2. Filling: Put condensed milk, food color (if using), and lemonade in a large bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula til completely blended. Add a large spoonful of whipped topping; stir until well combined. Fold in remaining topping.
  3. Set aside about 1 cup berries for garnish; gently fold remaining berries into the filling. Spoon into crust, smooth top, mounding filling slightly in the middle. Cover loosely with foil or a pot (or the plastic top that comes with the pie crust) and refrigerate at least 6 hours.
  4. Up to 1 hour before serving: Using topping reserved in bag, pipe a border about 1 inch from edge of filling and a dot in the middle. Garnish, as shown, with reserved berries. Lemon and mint go in the middle (if using).

All that’s easy enough. I never wait to add the garnish. I just put the berries and whipped cream on top as soon as I put it in the pie crust. I think next time I’ll make it even easier (and save a few calories too). Skip the pie crust altogether. I usually have a little extra and put it in any old lidded container. It might not look as pretty, but it tastes just as good. 🙂 

I’m pretty sure it would be just as good with some other ingredients, like trade the raspberries for blueberries? or maybe use limeade instead of lemonade with the berries? I think it would be easy and fun to experiment with this one. I have noticed that it is very forgiving (I have made it a few times without following the recipe exactly).

White Chocolate-Candy Cane Cheesecake

White Chocolate-Candy Cane Cheesecake Recipe – Kraft Recipes.

White Chocolate-Candy Cane Cheesecake recipe

Yum! I love cheesecakes! Any kind of cheesecake! This one sounds perfect for the holidays. The way it’s decorated even reminds me of firecrackers! If you’re good, make one for a present for friends or family. 🙂 If you’re baaaddd then eat it all up yourself! 😉

Lots of people tell me they have a hard time with cheesecakes. I’m not sure why. They’re usually pretty simple to make. I don’t usually even bother with making my own crust. I just use a store bought crust and that makes it even easier to make the cake.

The trick is to beat it enough, that will make it nice and fluffy like the picture here. The other big thing is to use the proper (‘springform’) pan. You need to use the springform pan and make your own crust if you’re making one that is going to be thick!

I have a whole cookbook just for cheesecakes. I love to make them. Now I can find tons more on the internet like this one. 🙂 I only wish I had the time at home to make them (and eat them). Last time I made something like this, I had to throw the whole thing out, I never even got to eat any of it. 😦

Crock-Pot Apple Pie Moonshine

Ziplist Sous Chef Recipe Clipper – Crock-Pot Apple Pie Moonshine.

Woo-hoo! OK, I have to get a crock pot now! This is one recipe that looks like it’ll be worth it. It’ll have to wait til I get home, but hey, worth a wait.

Or maybe I can start it before I leave and it’ll be almost ready by the time I get back?

If you try it before I get to it. let me know how it goes. 😉

The Grinch Stole Christmas Cookies

The Grinch Stole Christmas Cookies | Sugar Dish Me.

I don’t usually bake much but this recipe meets my requirements of

1. easy to make and

2. tastes great. 😉

I’m going back offshore in just a couple of days so I actually cooked my Christmas dinner tonight. I only just found this recipe so didn’t try it. Instead I made a few of those cookies that you just break off the huge bar and bake for a few minutes.

Next time I get some time, I might try this recipe. I like the whole green grinch thing. 😉

Melting Snowmen Cookie Balls

Melting Snowmen Cookie Balls Recipe – Kraft Recipes.

Melting Snowmen Cookie Balls recipe

These were just so cute, I had to look up the recipe. Looks pretty simple. If I wasn’t going back offshore in just a couple of days, I’d make a bunch of these. 🙂

Apple-Cranberry Crumb Bars Recipe

Apple-Cranberry Crumb Bars Recipe – Kraft Recipes.

Here’s another easy to make yummy looking dessert. It seems like the time of the year for cranberries (tho I like them year round). I really only see the fresh ones in the stores after Halloween. I haven’t tried this  recipe yet but I’m definitely adding it to my list! 🙂

Caramel Apple Mini “Cheesecakes” Recipe

Caramel Apple Mini “Cheesecakes” Recipe – Kraft Recipes.

Here’s another sweet and simple ‘cheesecake’ recipe. It looks easy enough and you can change around the toppings a little bit for variety. The fact that they are already separate makes it even better, easy to pack a few up for snacks at work or wherever. 🙂

Peanut Butter Cup Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Cup Pie Recipe – Kraft Recipes.

Ok, I have to admit, I got this from the same place I got the recipe for the peanut butter-banana monkey bread in my earlier post a while back.


I was looking at the pictures and practically drooling over them and found this other peanutty recipe. One more I’ll have to try when I get home.

I can see I’m going to have to invite some friends over. Oh yeah, peanut butter party! I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble with that one. 😉

Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Tart Recipe

Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Tart Recipe | Epicurious.com.

Here’s another yummy looking recipe! To add to its rating on my scale, it’s easy to make. To top it off, it’s CHOCOLATE!

Yummy!! 🙂

Salted-Chocolate Pecan Pie Recipe

Salted-Chocolate Pecan Pie Recipe – Kraft Recipes.

Yummy!  🙂

AND, easy to make! Two of my favorite things when it comes to food. So much of it looks and tastes delicious but when I look for the recipe, it takes too much work. 😦

I’m not much into things that take a lot of effort in the kitchen. I do like pecan pie. I think the extra ingredients will just add to it.

Salted-Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe

Peanut Butter-Banana Monkey Bread Recipe

Peanut Butter-Banana Monkey Bread Recipe – Kraft Recipes.

This one just looks yummy. And really easy to make. Monkey bread is so simple and so good. 😉

The peanut butter-banana is a good combination (especially when they say -add bacon), but they also have one that uses apples instead of bananas which sounds pretty good too.

Another delicious looking recipe I have to wait to get home to try. 🙂