Feb 5, 2015

The Best Broccoli Salad In The World EVER!

I love a good salad!
Whenever I get a chance to visit my mother and sister in Houston, we go to a great salad bar restaurant called Sweet Tomato.

They have everything you could ever dream of putting on a salad!
But they also have some prepared salads.
This one is my favorite of all time!
Even the kids love it!
There is the crunch of the broccoli, combined with sweetness from the dressing and plump raisins....
Combined with cashews and some crumbled bacon.

I do not usually enjoy raw broccoli, but I can eat this salad by the feedbag full!

Dana's Best Broccoli Salad In The World EVER!
(inspired by Sweet Tomato)

  • 3-4 heads worth of broccoli florets , cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, diced finely
  • 3/4 cup salted cashew halves, broken
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 6 slices bacon, crisp-cooked & crumbled
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (or 1/2 cup mayo & 1/2 cup plain yogurt)
  • 5 Tablespoons vinegar (I like salad vinegar)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • Dash of freshly ground black pepper
Directions -
  1. Combine all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  3. Pour dressing over salad, mix to coat.
  4. Refrigerate for a few hours to develop flavors. It's best when made the day before!
  5. Enjoy!!
**TIP** Kimmie emailed a wonderful suggestion for those unable to eat nuts.
Substitute water chestnuts for the cashews! YUMMM!
Thanks, Kimmie!!


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Dec 21, 2012

BEST Christmas Cookie In The World EVER!!

I've had my share of cookies in my lifetime.
And Ding DING DING!!!
I think we have a WINNER!!!
These may possibly be the BEST cookie I have ever had!!

The picture says it all...
Rich, Decadent, Soft chocolate cookie.
Topped with a cherry and smooth-as-silk frosting.
Whats not to love??

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2  cup butter, room temperature
  • 1  cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons vanilla
  • 1  (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained, reserve juice  
  • 1  (6-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2  cup sweetened condensed milk

  • Directions:

     In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and soda, blending well; set aside.
     1. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter or margarine and sugar on low speed until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; beat until smooth and well blended.  

    2. With hands, shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on ungreased baking sheet. Press down center of dough with thumb. 

     3. Drain Maraschino cherries well, reserving juice. Place a cherry in the center indention of each cookie.

     4. In small saucepan combine chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk; heat over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the reserved cherry juice. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the topping over each cherry, spreading to cover cherry. If frosting seems too thick, thin with a little more cherry juice.
     **I was worried that I read my original recipe wrong when it told me to put the frosting on BEFORE baking. I thought it would melt and run all over. But I did as it said and it is amazing! this super-silky chocolate frosting does not melt or run anywhere! it seals in the cherry beautifully!** 

     5. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, or until done. Remove to wire rack to cool. Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.

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    Sep 18, 2012

    The Best Oyster Cracker Snack Mix

    This past weekend, I hosted a baby shower for me niece on the farm.
    She is preparing for the arrival of "Baby Stetson"!
    There is NO way we could celebrate this joyous occasion without including some great food!
    Over the next few days, I'll share a ton of yummy recipes that are each sure to please the pallet of any party guest!
    We'll start with the easiest and most irresistible munching food!

    It's crunchy,
    And addictive!

    "Ranch Snack Mix"

    Dana's Ranch Snack Mix

    Preheat oven to 250°.

    1 (1 oz) package dry Ranch salad dressing mix
    1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon dried dill weed
    1 teaspoon garlic powder 
    1 box or bag oyster 

    In a large mixing bowl, combine first 5 ingredients and mix well. Stir in oyster crackers mix to coat. Pour crackers onto a large cookie sheet.
    Bake 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

    Cool and store in a covered container. (I use a gallon size Zip-Lock Bag)

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    Aug 23, 2012

    Perfect Pot Roast (Crock Pot and Oven Method)

    Pot Roast....

    It is definitely at the top of my "Comfort Foods" list!

    • Cooking a good pot roast usually takes quite a bit of time & work to get it right.
      Then you add the stress & worry of wondering if it will be tough or dry or seasoned correctly, a lot of people just wait until they can go to Grandma's house for Sunday Dinner to enjoy this wonderful meal.

      Today I'm gonna share my secrets to making a Perfect Pot Roast every darn time!
      I'm going to include the instructions for using a crock-pot and oven, it's your choice!


      Here we go!

      Dana's Perfect Pot Roast
      1 (4 -5 lb) beef roast, (Whatever cut is your favorite, or on sale)
    • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package brown gravy mix, dry
    • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package dried Italian salad dressing mix
    • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package ranch dressing mix, dry
    • 1 cup water


    Grab your Crock Pot.
    Preheat your Oven to 300 degrees f.
    And grab a large roasting pan.

    1.) Plop your Roast into your Crock-Pot or Roasting Pan.
    2.) Mix together all the dry seasoning packets and rub the mixture all over the roast.
    3.) Add your water around the roast (NOT on the meat or you'll rinse off seasonings!)
              Crock Pot = add 1/2 cup water 
              Oven = add enough water to submerge the bottom 1/3 of your roast.
    4.) Add Your Veggies - (I like to use Baby potatoes, baby carrots, whole mushrooms, 
                                                          Onions and Garlic)
         Don't forget to season your veggies too! salt and pepper is fine, 
           but I often just use one more package of Italian dressing mix sprinkled on them.
             Crock Pot - toss veggie into the crock pot on top of and around your roast. 
             Oven - Wait until your roast cooks for an hour to add veggies, 
                           unless you are using big potatoes and big carrots, 
                           to avoid over-cooking them and ending up with mushy veggies!
                  After one hour of your roast cooking, add the veggies arranging and 
                  tucking them around all sides of the roast.
    5.) Cook Your Pot-Roast!
              Crock Pot - 6-7 hours on low, Or, 2 hours on High then 3 hours on Low 
                    (Crock Pot cooking times vary.  My HUGE crock pot cooks slower, so I just leave it on
                         High for about 5 hours and it's perfect.)
                 Oven - Cover (foil is fine!) and cook for 3-4 hours at 300 degrees f.
    6.) Test the veggies by poking a bigger potato or carrot with a fork...  
              if they are tender, you are ready to eat!
    7.) Serve with the yummy juices from your crock pot or pan, 
               (I often thicken it with some flour to make a gravy instead of juice, 
                   it's totally up to you!)
    8.) Enjoy!

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