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Sassy's Southern Kitchen

Happy Belated Birthday Friar Tyst!

Happy Birthday Friar Tyst! You are a great brother! Thank you for all the work that you do each day by caring for the chickens, doing various outdoor projects, and helping me every day with all my cooking projects! One of my favorite things about you is your talent for making people laugh. Every time that I am sad or frustrated you always cheer me up by reminding me to not take life too seriously. Another thing I appreciate about you is your wisdom about life and dedication to the task at hand. As is customary for these posts, I would like to take the time to list out some of the qualities that make you all that you are!

Easygoing: You are an easygoing kind of guy. You take life at face value and tend to go with the flow. Not much bothers you. You are someone who can be relied upon.

Tasteful: You have an excellent taste in pretty much everything (you get this from Queenbee). You care about items having quality and integrity. You are also tasteful in your conversation and interaction with others.

Humorous: As previously mentioned, you have a way of finding the humor in every situation. You bring comic relief during tense situations and remind people of the importance of laughter. In short, you are full of it!

Active: You are always moving and shaking. If there is something to be done, especially if it involves the outdoors, you are the guy to do it. You enjoy playing outdoor games and sports, and you are enthusiastic about activities that have a physical element to them.

Noble: The dictionary defines a noble person as someone who “has or shows fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.” I believe that you are the very definition of this word. You care deeply about people and about doing what is right, regardless of the cost.

In short, you are a meaningful and valued member of this esteemed cooking team, and I could not do life without you!

Now, let’s see what the birthday boy had for dessert…..:)

Triple Chocolate Birthday Cake

The Ingredients: 1 Swiss chocolate cake mix, 1/2 yellow cake mix, 4 eggs, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 bag white chocolate candy melts, 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (optional, this will give the chocolate layers a dark chocolate flavor).

In a large mixing bowl, using your hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the chocolate cake mix, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup oil, 3 eggs, the cocoa powder (if using), and the sour cream. Mix until fully combined, or about three minutes on medium speed. Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula until just combined. Divide the chocolate batter between two cake pans lined with parchment paper, set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, using your hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together half a box of yellow cake mix with one egg, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/4 cup water. Mix until fully combined, or about a minute on medium speed. Pour the batter into a cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake all of the cake layers for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake layers onto a cooling rack and let come to room temperature. Melt the white chocolate and spread it evenly over the yellow cake layer, let the chocolate harden before moving on to the next steps.

Milk Chocolate Buttercream

The Ingredients: 1 1/3 sticks softened butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2-3 tbsp. milk of choice.

In a medium mixing bowl, using a hand mixer fitted with the beaters, beat the butter until it has a whipped consistency. Alternate adding one cup of powdered sugar and one tablespoon of milk, beating after each addition. The finished product should be thick, but creamy, not dry. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the bottom cake layer, top this layer with the yellow cake layer. Do not frost the yellow cake layer. Top this with the final layer and spread the icing evenly all over the outside of the cake. Feel free to decorate with addition white chocolate. If desired, place the cake into the freezer for thirty minutes before serving, or serve it as is, just know that this is a VERY soft cake. Serves 10 (or so).

Please disregard my sad attempt at cake decorating (some of the cake crumbled under my heavy-handed icing skills).

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Soft-Baked Monster Cookies


The monster cookie is a well loved treat that has been enjoyed by adults and children alike for as long as I can remember. I’ve noticed that there are many different variations of monster cookies out there today, some people like to add nuts or rice krispies, some enjoy peanut butter chips instead of peanut butter, and some people add pretzels for that salty-sweet kick. Consider this recipe as the base for greatness; this is the classic monster cookie upon which you can build a masterpiece. Not that these aren’t a masterpiece……they’re actually really good………………………..

Image result for this is awkward meme

Any-who, this is a great cookie recipe that you can tailor any way you want. Hope you enjoy it! I would have written my customary long post that praises every aspect of the recipe, but, college classes started back a few weeks ago, and…..

Image result for i ain't got time for that

Where was I? Oh yes:

Image result for cookie monster meme

Okay, enough memes, I’ll stop…..for now!;)

The Ingredients: 1 stick softened butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter, 1 1/2 (level) cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups quick oats, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, 3/4 cup milk chocolate m&ms, 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer fitted with the beaters, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter, mix until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and incorporate the dry into the wet slowly, until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and candy, mix until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to one hour. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. Serve warm. Makes two dozen cookies.

 

Happy Belated Birthday La Critico!

Happy belated birthday La Critico! You are a great brother! Thank you for “critiquing” my school assignments and for all that you do to help out around the house! One of my favorite things about you is your sense of humor; while somewhat dry and sarcastic, it is very unique. And another thing, since when did you get so old? Did you know that you have outlived animals such as the common shrew, the pelican, and quite possibly the deep sea angler fish? Wait a minute, if you’re getting old, that means I’m getting old too…..I have enjoyed growing up with you as an older brother and laughing with you throughout the years. In short, I am glad that God gave me you as a brother and could not do life without you! As is customary for these posts, I would like to take the time to list out some of the qualities that make you all that you are!

Sarcastic: As previously mentioned, you have a sarcastic sense of humor and often view situations in a sarcastic light. At times you bring a unique, valued perspective to situations, and at other times you bring comic relief.

Tenacious: You are tenacious in your beliefs and persistent in your pursuit of truth. You believe that people should follow the law and submit to God.

Educated: You have reached a level of education that is unattainable by most. You put a lot of time and dedication into earning a law degree and I am proud of your accomplishments.

Precise: You do not say a lot, but what you say is usually precise and well-thought-out. Nearly everything you say is based on your worldview.

Habitual: You are a creature of habit; you enjoy routine and seem to have a daily schedule. This is another way in which you are precise.

Economical: You are very frugal with money and do not spend any more than you have to. Dave Ramsey would be proud.

Nonconformist: I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist. You do not conform to society’s definition of how a person should act, dress, etc. This can be a good thing, especially in today’s world. I have always admired your ability to stand out from the crowd. You are most certainly following Jesus’ commandment to not conform to the patterns of the world.

Finally, you are a meaningful and valued member of this esteemed cooking team! Congrats on another year of life!

Well, now that that’s over with….onto the cake! Let’s see what the birthday boy had on his special day!

Almost Neapolitan Cake 

The Cake: 1 1/2 boxes Yellow cake mix, 4 eggs, 3/4 cup oil, 3/4 cup water, 1 pkg. strawberry Jello, 1 cup chopped frozen strawberries.

Begin preheating your oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, add one box of cake mix, three eggs, 1/2 cup of oil, 1/2 cup of water, and the strawberry Jello. Using a hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix on medium speed until fully combined. Fold in the strawberries with a rubber spatula until just combined. Divide the batter between two cake pans and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients to a mixing bowl and repeat the above steps. Pour the batter into a cake pan and place all of the cake layers into your oven. Bake according to package directions.

The Icing: 1 stick softened butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1-2 tbsp. milk.

Beat together the butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl using a hand mixer. Add the milk and mix until fully combined. This will create a stiff icing. When the cake layers have cooled, spread a thin layer of icing onto each cake layer and stack them up. Ice the outside of the cake and place it into your freezer for one hour. Serve whenever you wish.

 

 

Turkey Florentine Lasagna

Lasagna is always a steady recipe for us, it’s easy, inexpensive, and delicious! Turkey Florentine Lasagna is a variation on the old faithful Spinach Lasagna that we have made for years and years. I never realized how many different ways you can make lasagna! So be sure to look for more variations in the future.;) La Critico likes to replace the spinach with lettuce in this recipe, that just weirds me out, so I have not yet tried his experiment. Friar Tyst is the expert ground turkey cooker around here, so I’ll let him tell you about his special spice blend: The Chef: “Friar Tyst, do elaborate on your delicious blend of flavors.” Friar Tyst: “Well you add some cumin and Italian seasoning and salt and rosemary and basil and no salt seasoning and black pepper.” The Chef: “Any specific measurements?” Friar Tyst: “Just kind of sprinkle it in there until it looks good.” The Chef: “Well, that makes sense to me, but our readers might be confused.” Well, by watching his “sprinkling” I would estimate that he puts in about a half a teaspoon of cumin, salt, basil, Italian Seasoning, rosemary, and Garlic & herb seasoning. I’m glad we understand each other!

The Ingredients: 8-10 oven ready lasagna noodles, 1 large can of your favorite tomato sauce, 6-9 oz. spinach, 1 1/2 cups of Friar Tyst’s ground turkey, 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar or mozzarella cheese.

Break the noodles into halves, spread a tablespoon of pasta sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Top with a third of the noodles. Combine the cottage cheese and sour cream in a small bowl. Layer half of the dairy mixture atop the first layer of noodles. Top with half of the spinach and a few spoonfuls of sauce. Top that layer with half of the remaining noodles. Add the remaining dairy mixture and the ground turkey. Top this with the remaining spinach, pasta sauce, and grated cheese in that order. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve warm with Caesar salad and toasted Italian bread.

Asiago Cheese Loaf

This Asiago Cheese Loaf is something you make for a special occasion or as a special treat for you and your family. I won’t deny that it takes a little time to come together, but the results are sooooooo worth it. Think of the best cheesy yeast bread you could ever imagine. Imagine the aroma of aged cheese mixed with the nostalgic scent of freshly baked bread….that’s how good this bread is. I did not regret one minute of work when I tasted the crusty, yet soft finished product. I can say from experience that this bread is good fresh out of the oven with butter, or the next day as a sandwich! As the instructions are lengthy, I won’t waste time on chit-chat. Let’s cook!;)

P.S. Queenbee raves about this bread…and she doesn’t even like bread….just saying…..

P.P.S. Even La Critico ate this bread, and he only likes canned breads!

P.P.P.S. Friar Tyst actually tasted this bread! And he hates Asiago cheese!

Okay, I’m done (for now)

The Ingredients: 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 cups warm water, 1 1/4 cups grated Asiago cheese, 1 pkg. instant yeast, 1 tsp. sugar, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. Flavor Mate Garlic & Herb Seasoning Blend, 1 tsp. dried oregano flakes, 1 tsp. dried rosemary, 1 tsp. salt, additional tablespoon of olive oil.

In a large mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together half of the flour, the yeast, sugar, and water until just combined. The mixture should be sticky and wet. Oil a bowl with the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the dough to this bowl. Cover the bowl with a warm, wet paper towel and a dish towel to create two layers of warmth for the starter. Let the bread starter rise in a warm place for one hour. When the time is up, add all the remaining ingredients, except for the cheese, and stir together until just combined. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Knead in half of the cheese until just combined. Grease baking sheet and place the dough on it. Form the dough into the shape of a sub roll, cover it with the same dish towel, and let it rise in a warm place for two hours.

When you are ready to bake the bread, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pour boiling water into a cake pan until it is mostly full, and place it on the lowest rack in your oven. This will insure that your finished product is soft, not dry. Using a sharp knife, slice an inch-deep cut across the top of your bread dough. Pull the sides of the cut apart and fill the cavern with the remaining cheese. Brush the entire loaf VERY liberally with water. Bake for twenty minutes or until the bread is a rich golden brown. Serve this bread with any meal or use it to make a gourmet sandwich.;)

Recipes For College Students: Pecan Pie Oatmeal

Fall is almost here! I can’t think of a better excuse than that to make this delicious Pecan Pie Oatmeal! This recipe combines all the delicious spicy-sweet flavor of your favorite Autumn-themed comfort food and the nutritious yet delicious taste of homemade oatmeal to create something amazing! All you need are six basic ingredients, a small pot, and a stove-top. That’s it! Don’t get discouraged if your first attempts at oatmeal making turn out either too thick or too thin, it takes a couple tries to discover the perfect texture for your unique taste-buds. It took me quite a while to discover the best way to make a healthy-ish homemade oatmeal. At first I used water, and found that this produced a bland result. Next, I tried a mixture of water and almond milk, however, I found that this resulted in a rather grainy finished product. Finally, I decided to try using almond milk on it’s own….and found that this was the absolute best way to make a quick, lightened up breakfast. If you are partial to dairy products, feel free to substitute milk, half-n-half, or…..if you’re a particularly rebellious type…..heavy cream……….I’m just going to stop there and leave you to dream of the glorious possibilities…..;)

Onto the recipe!

The Ingredients: 1/3 cup quick oats, 2/3 cup vanilla almond milk or milk, 1-2 tbsp. dark brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg, 2 tbsp. chopped pecans, pinch of salt (optional), whipped cream (not optional;-).

Add oats, sugar, spices, pecans, and milk of choice to a small pot over medium heat. Cook until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Pour into a serving bowl and top with whipped cream and an additional sprinkling of pecans if desired. Makes one serving.

 

Happy Birthday El Gastronomo!

Happy Birthday El Gastronomo! You are a great father and role model to us kids! Thanks for always working so hard to provide for our family and for being a great spiritual leader! One of my favorite things about you is your caring heart for people, you truly care about their needs and well-being. Paired with this is your merciful attitude towards those in need, you have always been a great example to me of mercy. Another quality I admire in you is your ability to forgive, even when it is hard you do not hold a grudge, but love people unconditionally. In short, happy birthday Mr. Horse Doctor, we couldn’t do life without you! Lastly, I would like to list out some of the qualities that make you all that you are!

P.S. In honor of El Gastronomo’s birthday I will be sharing his birthday cake recipe with you all!

Admirable: Your integrity and high moral standards make you worthy of respect and admiration. You live your life to honor God and serve other people, there is nothing more admirable than that.

Loyal: The dictionary states that one of the definitions of the word loyal is “unwavering in devotion to a friend or vow or cause”. Your loyalty and commitment to your marriage and to your family is inspiring. You are someone who can be counted on no matter what.

Approachable: You are very easy to talk to, probably because of your care for others. Your gentle and understanding nature is a blessing to us all.

Noteworthy: Your character makes you worthy of recognition and praise.

In conclusion, you are a meaningful and valued member of this esteemed cooking team! Happy birthday El Gastronomo, we love you.

Okay, enough with the sentimental reminiscing, onto the recipe!:)

Easy Carrot Cake

The Ingredients: 1 cup grated carrots, 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/4 cup raisins, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp. molasses.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two small cake pans with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, eggs, oil, and molasses. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the carrots and raisins with a rubber spatula until just combined. Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the layers from the oven and let come to room temperature.

Creamcheese Frosting

The Ingredients: 8 oz. softened creamcheese, 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar, 1/8 cup milk or nut milk.

In a small bowl, using a hand mixer fitted with the beaters, beat the creamcheese until smooth. Alternate adding the milk and sugar until fully combined. Frost the cooled cake and serve.:) Makes one small two-layer cake.

 

 

 

 

Recipes for College Students: Blueberry Cobbler Muffin for One

If you want to combine delicious flavor, nostalgia, and convenience to create one easy, yet amazing breakfast, then you’ve come to the right place! This recipe may seem to good to be true, and you know what they say, if it seems to good to be true, then it probably is…..Wrong! This Blueberry Cobbler Muffin is everything you love about the texture of Southern fruit cobblers…combined with the the flavor of your grandma’s famous blueberry muffins! To all my fellow college students out there who are starting back classes soon and dread going back to the same old dorm room fare that mainly consists of Ramen noodles, instant oatmeal, and fast food…..this one is for you. And if you are an English major, you will have already found and mentally fixed the run-on sentence(s) in this paragraph.:) Yes, I am studying for an English CLEP exam, why do you ask? To all you students out there facing CLEP exams this semester, do not fear! Simply follow my three keys to success! (yes they are free) (1) Study hard (2) Try your best (3) Forget everything I just said and walk into the testing center with this attitude:

Image result for english clep meme

But really, who am I kidding…..wait a minute, why am I here? Oh yes! Onto the recipe!

The Ingredients: 3 level tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp. frozen blueberries, 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened applesauce, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, pinch or 1/8 tsp. salt, additional teaspoon sugar.

In a large mug, combine the dry ingredients and blueberries with a fork. Add the wet ingredients, stir until well combined. Sprinkle the additional teaspoon of sugar over the top. Place the mug into your microwave for anywhere from seventy-five to ninety seconds. The muffin is done when a fork inserted in the center comes out clean. Top with whipped cream (reddi whip) and more blueberries if desired. Serves one.

Total Calories: 260 calories for one recipe (not counting whipped cream)

I never count calories haha wait a minute yes I do….(awkward pause)…..(excessively speedy exit that involves getting your shirt caught in the clutches of an evil temptress)…. Wait, wasn’t that a Bible story? (crickets) (cough cough Joseph cough) Well I hope you all enjoy the recipe!

Your Awkwardly Brilliant Friend,

Sassy

P.S. I apologize if this glimpse into my confusing and elaborate mind has disturbed you. Wait, I’m not sorry! This is a lesson! Be who you are! Stand out! The last thing this world needs is another clone!

I’m really leaving this time,

Sassy

P.P.S. I tried to take a pic of this recipe and every one I took looked like barf…..but don’t let that scare you away!;)

 

Low Sodium Recipes: Dark Chocolate Brownie Protein Bites

Protein bites are a great little snack to have on hand in the house, especially during the summer when you and your family need to grab something from the fridge after a long morning of enjoying the summer sunshine. While I do not claim to be any kind of health expert, this is probably one of the healthiest recipes I have ever made. These protein bites are the perfect balance of salty and sweet flavors, and have just enough protein to make you feel full after only one serving. While they do have the traditional salty taste of peanut butter, these bites are quite low in sodium and will not make much of an impact on your daily limit. Basically, if you can accept a little fat and carbs, these are really good for you!;) I hope that you and your family enjoy these as much as we did!

The Ingredients: 1/3 cup rolled oats, 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (any kind), 1/4 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup chocolate chips,  2 tbsp. chunky peanut butter, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tbsp. vanilla almond milk.

Stir together the dry ingredients, then add the honey, peanut butter, and almond milk. Mix this together with a rubber spatula or your hands until fully combined. Using a cookie scoop, portion the mixture into 1 to 1.5 inch balls and store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. Makes 6 protein bites. Enjoy!

For those of you who are interested in a full breakdown of the nutritional value of this recipe, I have included a list of the nutrition facts below. Feel free to alter the ingredients in this recipe to suit your personal needs or desires.;)

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Per Serving % Daily Value*
Calories 156
Total Fat 6.8g 9%
Saturated Fat 2.2g 11%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 73mg 3%
Potassium 145mg 3%
Total Carb 21.7g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2.1g 8%
Sugars 16g
Protein 4.8g
Vitamin A 3% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 8% · Iron 5%

Here’s some cute little protein bites, even if they are different sizes:)

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