Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bacon Cheddar Pasta Salad

Yes, I haven't posted a recipe since May and No, I don't have an excuse, except that life happens and boy has it been happening around my house. Good changes in life but changes that have kept me mucho busy. So now I have a stack of recipes that I need hope to blog soon. I will begin today with this wonderfully easy recipe for Bacon Cheddar Pasta Salad. I fixed this recipe for a covered dish dinner at church and it was a bit hit!


16oz Small Shell Pasta
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Large Can Chopped Chicken Breast
1 30z Package Real Bacon Bits
3/4 Cup Mayonnaise
2/3 Cup Diced Tomatoes
1 Envelope Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix (Can substitute Ranch Dressing Powder)

Cook pasta to al dente and drain. Mix in cheese while pasta is still hot. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and serve warm or chill and serve later.


Carolina Belle

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Streusel Topping

This cake is an old recipe with a new twist. I learned how to make this Pumpkin Spice Cake years ago at a Pampered Chef Party and it has always been a great go to recipe when you need a fast dessert/coffee cake. Today I decided to spruce up the recipe by adding a streusel topping along with a drizzled icing on top. The streusel topping and icing added to the flavor of the pumpkin and was a big hit.

Cake Ingredients:
1 Box Spice Cake Mix
1 15 Ounce Can 100% Pumpkin
3 Eggs

Streusel Topping Ingredients:
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
4 Tablespoons Butter (Cut into pieces)
2/3 Cup Pecans (Chopped)

Icing Ingredients:
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tablespoon Butter (Melted)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Coffee House Inspirations - Breve Creme - Vanilla Carmel Cream

Pumpkin Spice Cake
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. You can mix by hand or use a mixer. Batter will be thick. Pour into a greased 13" x 9" pan.

Streusel Topping
In a small bowl combine all ingredients. Blend to combine using a fork or a pastry blender. Evenly sprinkle the topping onto the cake batter.

Bake the cake for 25 – 30 minutes at 350°. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While cake is cooling, place the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir in enough cream so that the mixture is smooth but not thin. Drizzle over streusel topping.

Carolina Belle

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cheese-Garlic Biscuits

Yesterday when I fixed the Chicken and Wild Rice Salad I decided to make some Cheese-Garlic Biscuits to go with the meal. The best recipe is actually on the Bisquick box. It is so easy and taste almost like the Red Lobster Cheddar-Bay Biscuits. You can find the original recipe on the Betty Crocker website. Try them for yourself and see if you love them as much as we do!


2 Cups Original Bisquick® mix
2/3 Cup milk
1/2 Cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1/8 Teaspoon garlic powder

Heat oven to 450ºF. Mix Bisquick mix, milk and cheese until soft dough forms. Drop dough by 9 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

While biscuits are baking, stir together butter and garlic powder; brush over warm biscuits.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Chicken and Wild Rice Salad

The weather is getting warmer and that means it is salad time for dinner! Quick, easy and the best part is not heating up the kitchen. This recipe was given to me my a sweet young mom from our church and is a crowd pleaser! I substituted chicken breast tenders instead of chicken breast and did not use mushrooms this time.

2 Packages Uncle Ben's Wild Rice
4 Chicken Breast, Cooked, Cubed
2 Cups Chopped Celery
1 Cup Green Pepper
8 oz Fresh Mushrooms (Optional)

1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Package Italian Dressing Mix
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
6 oz Artichokes (Drained)

Prepare rice according to directions on the box but only use 1 packet of seasoning. While rice is cooking, place all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor and mix throughly.

Mix rice, chicken, celery, and green pepper in a large bowl. Add dressing and mix. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Add mushrooms before serving.

Carolina Belle

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Pecans and Poppy Seed Dressing

I went to a Mother's Day luncheon this past weekend and they served the most delicious spinach salad with strawberries and poppy seed dressing. I have been craving it ever since! So today I brought home some fresh strawberries and found an easy recipe for Poppy Seed Dressing. You can find the original recipe here. For the salad I used fresh spinach leaves topped with sliced strawberries and then sprinkled chopped pecans on top. I then drizzled the poppy seed dressing over the salad and enjoyed a great lunch!


1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
1 teaspoon grated onion
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and onion and process for 20 seconds. With blender or food processor on high, gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream. Stir in poppy seeds.

Carolina Belle

Sunday, May 8, 2011



Yesterday I made my Spinach Penne Rigate Pasta and added a new ingredient that took the recipe to a new level of taste. I received a free coupon for a sample of the new Philadelpia Cooking Cream a few weeks ago and decided to try it in my pasta recipe. I added it to the mixture of pasta and cottage cheese. I then layered the mozzarella cheese instead of including it in the pasta mixture. We had it for lunch today and the overall opinion was that it added to an already great recipe! Thanks Kraft! Hope you will try it soon!

Enjoy and Happy Mother's Day!
Carolina Belle

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tomato-Corn Pie

I love this time of year when the fresh tomatoes start arriving at the Pee Dee State Farmer's Market and I couldn't resist bringing some home from my last visit. About the same time I found this wonderful recipe for a tomato-corn pie and just had to try it with my fresh tomatoes.

3/4 Cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon ground pepper
1/3 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 Tablespoons cold water

3 Large eggs
1 Cup low-fat milk
1/2 Cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
2 Medium tomatoes, sliced thin
1 Cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 Teaspoon dried
1/2 Teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 Teaspoon pepper

1. To prepare crust: Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, add oil and water and gradually stir them in to form a soft dough. Wrap dough in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 400°F.

3. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan, preferably deep-dish, and press into the bottom and up the sides. Trim any overhanging crust. Line the dough with a piece of foil or parchment paper large enough to lift out easily; fill evenly with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil (or paper) and weights. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour.

4. To prepare filling: Whisk eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Sprinkle half the cheese over the crust, then layer half the tomatoes evenly over the cheese. Sprinkle with corn, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and the remaining cheese. Layer the remaining tomatoes on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour the egg mixture over the top.

5. Bake the pie until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

I will say that I was in a hurry so I used store bought pie crust but included the recipe for the crust. Because I only had regular frozen pie crust and not deep dish I ended up tweaking the recipe to make two pies. I can say that it is as delicious as it looks!

Carolina Belle

Friday, April 15, 2011

Easy Fruit Salad

I am always looking for quick and easy recipes and this one only took me about fifteen minutes to put it all together. Slicing the apples probably took the most time. I served it for lunch with our homemade pizza.

1 30oz Can Mixed Fruit - drained
1 20oz Can Pineapple Tidbits or Crushed - Drain but reserve 1 cup liquid
1 10oz Jar Maraschino Cherries w/out stems - Cut in half
2 Apples - any variety - Diced
1 Cup Pineapple Juice
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 Small Box Instant Vanilla Pudding

Optional: 1 Cup Small Marshmallows or 1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut

Drain all fruit, reserving 1 cup of the pineapple liquid. In a large bowl mix sour cream, pineapple juice and vanilla pudding. Stir until blended well. To the pudding mixture add mixed fruit, pineapple, cherries, apples and any additions. Stir until mixed. Chill and serve.

I happened to have some small marshmallows so I added those. Orange juice can also be substituted for the pineapple juice. The best part about this recipe is that you can use different types of fruit. So be creative!


Carolina Belle

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spinach Penne Rigate

I can't believe that it is April! I am not sure what happened to March and my lack of cooking/posting but I will try to do better in April.

I wanted an easy dish using spinach that I could fix in my crock pot. While I love the spinach lasagna, I never could get the noodles to fit without having to break them into smaller pieces. So I decide to experiment...this could be dangerous! Below is a recipe for my concoction. I served this dish with a simple salad and french bread. My family thought it was a keeper so I hope you enjoy it.

1 45oz Ragu or similar pasta sauce
1 16oz Box Penne Rigate Pasta
1 16oz Small Curd Cottage Cheese
1 8oz Mozzarella Cheese
11oz Container Baby Spinach (I used 3/4 of the container.)

First cook the box of pasta according to directions. I ended up only cooking the pasta 10 minutes since it would cook more in the slow cooker. Drain pasta and cool. Pour pasta back into pot and add cottage cheese. Mix and add 2/3 of the cheese. Mix and set aside.

Layer as follows:
One cup of sauce.
Spinach Leaves (enough to cover sauce).
One cup of sauce.
Half of pasta mixture.
One cup of sauce.
Spinach Leaves.
One cup of sauce.
Rest of pasta mixture.
Rest of sauce.
Cover with remaining cheese.

Cook on high for three hours or until done.

Carolina Belle

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fruity Sweet Potatoes

I just found this great recipe for sweet potatoes from the Fix-it and Forget-it Blog. I will have to wait and try them when I get some sweet potatoes. Click here for the recipe.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quick Rolls

This recipe was given to me by an old friend. Sarah lives around the corner and we have known her for years. I love this recipe because it is so quick and easy. The best part is no rolling or cutting to enjoy biscuits! They are best served warm with butter and fig jam.

2 Cups Self Rising Flour
1 Cup Milk
4 Tablespoons Mayonaise
1 Teaspoon Sugar

Mix all ingredient and spoon into a greased muffin pan. Bake 10- 15 minutes at 350°


Carolina Belle

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy Cookies are a favorite for most kids...even older ones. I found this recipe while looking through my recipe file the other day and it came from a friend who used to live in town. I have to admit that this is the first time in many years that I have made cookies. The great thing about this recipe is that you can add or subtract the add-ins.

Cowboy Cookies

2 Cups White Sugar
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Butter
4 Eggs
4 Cups Flour
4 Cups Oats
2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Baking Powder
2 Tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
2 Cups M & M's
Optional - 1 Cup Chopped Nuts or 1 Cup Coconut

Mix sugar, shorting and butter until creamy. Add eggs one at the time until mixed. Add Vanilla Mix dry ingredients together and add to mixture. Add chocolate chips, M & M's and nuts. Mix by hand. Spoon onto cookie sheet depending on the size you want your cookies. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 8-9 dozen.

Pound Cake

My neighbor across the street is 94 and still makes the most wonderful chocolate pound cake. She is also an old family friend so I was thrilled when she gave me the recipe. The wonderful part about the recipe is that you can also make a plain pound cake with a few changes. I promised my husband one for his birthday, which is Christmas day, but wasn't able to make it until last week. So Happy Belated Birthday! Enjoy

Carolina Belle

Mrs. Ashcraft's Chocolate Pound Cake w/ Plain Pound Cake Option

1/2 lb Butter
1/2 Cup Crisco
3 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Milk or Butter Milk
5 Eggs
3 Cups Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/c Tsp Salt
4 TBLS Cocoa
1 Tsp Vanilla

Cream shortening, butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add milk. Sift dry ingredients and add to the first mixture. Add vanilla. Bake in tube pan at 325° for 1 hour 20 minutes.

For the plain cake, leave out the cocoa and reduce the sugar to 2 1/2 cups. Also add one teaspoon almond extract with the vanilla. Bake the same.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade Granola Bars

I finally got around to fixing the Cherry Granola Bars that I posted at the beginning of January. They were so easy and the result was delicious! The recipe made about 32 granola bars and I packaged them in snack size baggies so that would be ready for lunch boxes. I have to admit that I used cranrasins instead of cherries and also added almonds. For the cereal I used rice crispies and honey bunches of oats. Hope you will try them and feel free to tweak the recipe. My next adventure will be making homemade granola. I will let you know how it turns out!


Carolina Belle

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Granola Muffins

We had another great Saturday morning where I actually was inspired to bake from scratch. That doesn't happen very often in this household but one of my goals for 2011 is to bake more from sratch. I found this recipe in my recipe file and decided to give it a try.

Carolina Belle

Granola Muffins

1 1/2 Cups Biscuit Mix
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Oats & Honey Granola Cereal
1 Tbls Oil
1/2 Cup Raisins (Optional - I left them out)
1 Large Egg
3/4 Cup Milk

Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl; stir in cereal and raisins. Make a well in the center; set mixture aside.

Combine egg, milk, and oil; add to flour mixture, stirring just enough to moisten (batter will be thin).

Coat muffin tin with cooking spray or use paper baking cups; spoon batter into cups, filling three-fourths full.

Bake at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Italian Seasoning Recipe

I found this recipe here and it was wonderful in the soup. I many never buy store bought Italian Seasonings again.

Italian Seasoning
By Chia on February 01, 2004

Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Yield: 7 tbsp

3 tablespoons dried basil
3 tablespoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients in a spice grinder. OR put in a small bowl and crush with the back of a spoon. Store in an airtight jar for up to 6 months.

Italian Bean Soup with Sausage

The last few days have been great weather for soup and I have taken full advantage of keeping my slow cooker busy. We even had a rare snow/ice storm today that makes the soup even more welcoming. Today's soup was Italian Bean Soup with Sausage and was adapted from a recipe found in The Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes. (Thanks Meg!) I also had to improvise on the Italian Seasoning since I didn't have any and going to the store was out of the question. I will post that recipe later. The family definitely thought this recipe was a keeper.


2 Cans Cannellini Beans (White Kidney Beans), drain and rinse
2 Cups Water
1lb Italian Chicken Sausage Links
2 14oz Cans Low Sodium Beef Broth
1 Tsp Dried Garlic
2 Tsp Italian Seasoning
3 Medium Zucchini, sliced 1/2" and quartered
1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
10oz Package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and well drained
1 14 1/2oz Can Low-sodium Diced Tomatoes
1 Cup Uncooked Small Penne Pasta
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook Italian sausage in a medium skillet until brown. Drain well on a paper towel and cut into 1/2" pieces.

In a 5 quart slow cooker combine the drained beans, drained sausage, the water, broth, garlic, Italian seasoning, squash and red wine vinegar. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Add penne pasta and cook an additional 30 minutes. Add spinach and cook until heated thoroughly. If desired sprinkle each serving with Parmesan Cheese. Serve with garlic bread.

Carolina Belle

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lazy Saturday Morning

We slept in this morning which is unusual for our family. When I got up to fix breakfast I wanted to fix something special. What started as Blueberry Streusel Muffins ended up as a Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake. Don't ask me how blueberry muffins morphed into coffee cake but the result was delicious and won a thumbs up from everyone.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Streusel Topping (Below)
Glaze (Below)
1 Egg
2 Cups Bisquick Baking Mix
2/3 Cup Milk
4 Tablespoons Cinnamon sugar
1 Tablespoon Oil

Streusel Topping:
Mix 3 tablespoons Bisquick baking mix and 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar. Cut in 2 tablespoons firm butter until mixture becomes crumbly.

1 Cup Powdered Sugar
3 Tablespoons Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Heat oven to 375°. Grease 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Prepare Streusel Topping. Beat egg slightly in medium bowl; stir in remaining ingredients until moistened. Pour into greased baking dish; sprinkle with topping. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes.

While the cake is baking, make the glaze. In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until glaze is of desired consistency. When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately pour glaze onto the hot cake. Let the cake sit for a few minutes os the glaze can set. Serve warm or room temperature.


Carolina Belle

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Red Barn: Tasty Tuesday: Cherry Granola Bars

I found this great recipe for granola bars and hope to try it later this week. Enjoy!

Carolina Belle

The Red Barn: Tasty Tuesday: Cherry Granola Bars: "For today's recipe tip, I wanted to suggest trying cherries or cranberries in your favorite raisin recipes. Cherries are high in antioxidant..."