Featured

My 1st recipe with Grandma was Chocolate Candy

Welcome to Sheca Cooks!

Advertisements

 

Grandma's Chocolate Candy
My first candy recipe

 

This is my very first post! I’m so excited…this may seem trivial but it’s been a long time coming. I’ve been contemplating starting this blog for more than a year. I finally decided to do it with nudge from a great friend! Sometimes all it takes are a few kind words of encouragement to get going. Well let me be the first to tell you….if you have a dream don’t procrastinate…tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us…GO FOR IT! YOU CAN DO IT!  

My Grandma is very special! She has always encouraged me to do whatever I set my mind to. I think it is her that introduced me to how wonderful cooking is…especially with those you love.  Like my Grandma, food is the one thing that can bring us all together! We laugh, we cry, we dance, we talk about whatever is going on in our lives…all over great food! If it’s a huge planned get together or if it’s me stopping by and she is about to cook or already has…there’s always something for you at Grandma’s house.  She likes to make me think that she learns from me…however I can definitely say that I’ve spent my life surrounded by great women who have taught me love, patience, endurance, strength, and the ability to pick myself up when I fall. You know what I mean….the old adage about feed a man a fish and he eats for a day…teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry…..well let me say this…I’ve never been hungry.  I’m proud to have women in my life that I call mama, grandma, and aunt!  Okay….I’m tearing up…back to the task at hand…

The very first recipe we (Grandma & I)  ever made together was a super sweet, delicious, chocolate covered creamy, nutty bite of goodness! I’m sure other people have made it and have a name for it but we called it chocolate candy!  Her recipe included paraffin wax to melt with the chocolate to help it dry quickly and stay firm. My recipe is slightly different because I use candy melts or almond bark. 

Grandma’s Chocolate Candy

1 1/2 softened sticks of butter

1 lb of confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 pkg of chocolate almond bark or chips of choice

 

Directions

1. Cream butter and sugar first then add vanilla and condensed milk.  Mix together until smooth.

2. Stir in the nuts. Set bowl in refrigerator to cool and set for about 10 minutes.

3. Create balls or shapes of your choice out of the nut mixture. You may want to spray your spoon or scooper with some cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place pieces on a cookie sheet that has been lined with wax paper. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

4. In a large microwave safe bowl…melt the bark or chips according to package directions.

5. Remove the balls/shapes from freezer. Use a fork to dip the  pieces in bark and cover well. Let drain and sit back on wax paper to harden.

I hope you enjoy this treat! Of course it’s not something you will eat daily. However, it’s simple and quick.

 

Winter Breakfast Change-up….Baked Croissant Apple & Walnut French Toast!

Hey y’all! Long time no write…lol. You know I missed ya! Well I have some goodies to share with you. I know it’s been pretty cold here along the coast of eastern North Carolina and I personally want Jack Frost to leave me alone…lol. The routine of having to bundle up with layers of clothing isnt I deal however I do it and move on through my day. I hope you’re staying warm and trying new dishes. 

A few years ago I ran across a recipe that was similar to the one I’m going to share with you only it used bananas, which are easy to obtain anytime of the year. It was tasty but heavy. I wanted to simplify it and create something that was buttery and flavorful yet lighter. So a few days ago, I was on Pinterest looking at bread pudding recipes and ran across a recipe for an croissant french toast. I decided right then that this could work for me with a few tweaks of course.

I added some things and took away some things to make it quick and easy…or at least quicker to put it together. This is a recipe that requires some time for the bread component to absorb the custard part. Instead of using fresh apples, because I didn’t want to take the time to peel and core them, then cook them done like you would for a hand pie, I used a large can of apple pie filling and a single serving of cinnamon applesauce. It was the perfect match for this dish. I also used 12 small croissants because that’s what I had at home. Use what you have, no need to go out and purchase something if you have a perfectly good substitute.  Changing something up can give you the confidence to explore new things. Try it. What can go wrong  could be just right for you. 

Both the pie filling and applesauce are sweet, there isnt a need for additional sugar or seasoning unless you would like more  cinnamon.  The pie filling I used had some in it. No additional butter either.  The croissants are layered with butter during the process of making them. So making the custard is easy and quick. I mixed it in my measuring cup. It’s the 4 cup size. It consists of eggs, heavy cream, whole milk, and vanilla bean paste. I switched out the half and half for heavy cream and added an egg along with the vanilla bean paste. The other recipes I looked at used traditional vanilla extract. You can use either one. It’s something about the paste that let’s you see the tiny, black speckle of the ground vanilla seeds in your creations that make me oh so happy….lol. I love it! 

With all that let’s get the pre-party started! This dish does need several hours for the croissants to absorb the custard…at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. 

LET’S COOK!

Baked Croissant Apple & Walnut French Toast 

Ingredients

1 large (15-16 oz) can of seasoned apple pie filling

1 single serving of cinnamon applesauce

12 small croissants

5 large eggs

1 c heavy whipping cream

1/2 c whole milk

1 tbsp vanilla bean paste

1/2 c walnut pieces

 

1. The night before….or at least 4 1/2 hours before you want to have this cozy, warm, deliciousness…use a 9 x 13  baking dish and spray the sides with non stick baking spray.  Pour the pie filling in and spread across the pan. Then do the same thing with the applesauce.

 

2. Tear the croissants into small pieces and layer on top of apple mixture.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together  eggs, milk,  vanilla bean paste, and heavy cream until the eggs are well incorporated.  Pour over the croissants and push down to make sure everything is moist. Then spread the walnut pieces on top.

4. Cover and refrigerate!

5. Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Make sure you’ve allowed at least 4 hours to lapse…remove dish from fridge…its time for the magic to happen!

6. Uncover and bake for 35- 40 minutes. It should be golden brown and beautiful. It will rise and fall once you remove it from the oven.  Let it set for about 15 min before slicing into it. Top with maple syrup or maybe a dollop of cool whip.!

Let me know how it turns out!

I’ll post pictures soon…I’m having some technical difficulties….but I want you to enjoy this so I had to share!

Be kind to one another and remember Life is Good! It’s what you make it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sip & Shop…

Hey y’all! I hope you’re enjoying your Saturday! I know it’s been a while…i miss y’all! 

I have some new recipes and some new items that will knock your socks off! I’ve become a consultant with Tastefully Simple and I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed experimenting with these products! So simple and tasty of course and you can use given recipes or create some of your own. The spices are phenomenal and the beer bread mix is simply outstanding! All of you bread lovers out there will enjoy this quick and easy loaf. There are only 3 ingredients…the mix of course, one bottle of beer (your choice), and melted butter! You can’t go wrong with this! It’s amazing!

15315896263741146432635.jpg

There are lots of other products as well so don’t miss out on the easiest way to get in the kitchen. We even have meal kits!

I know, you’re dying to find out how to get your hands on these great products…come see me today at the Sip & Shop in Leland, NC at the Holiday Inn from 6-8 pm. I’ll have some free samples! I promise you don’t want to miss this event! There will be other vendors there as well. Paparazzi jewelry, a makeup artist, and several others. So join me this evening for a few minutes and see what all the fuss is about. You won’t be sorry! I have a website where you can order and have the products sent directly to your home as well if you can’t make to the event. You have options! It’s easy! 

https://www.tastefullysimple.com/web/mfurlow

See you soon!

 

It’s a journey not a trip!

Hey yall! How are you? I’m sure you’re as happy about this warmer weather as I am! Spring and winter had a fight and winter won…lol. I’m just saying… it’s been an unusually long winter and I for one am ready to enjoy this warmer weather.

And with that being said….its strawberry season again! I have been so busy at work that I haven’t gotten a chance to really enjoy them this season and it’s almost over. Ive made 4 pies. Enjoy them while you can!  Just as you should stop and smell the roses, enjoy, participate, be creative, do something different or out of your comfort zone…enjoy the moments of your journey. YOLO! You only live once! 

On a other note, gardens are planted and if not they will be soon. There is nothing better to me than fresh spring veggies from the garden. No worrying about what’s in your food. Simply because you or someone in your family has grown the best produce in the world right your backyard or in my cousin’s case…planters because she has extremely sandy soil. But she was determined to grow something and her garden boxes are looking great. 

I wish I had a green thumb.  Unfortunately I’m not so lucky when it comes to plants. However I have some exceptional gardners in my family and they always send me some goodies.

I’ve been working on several recipes with an Asian theme for my cookbook. I’ve also been creating a lot of cakes.  So bear with me during this time. I’ll have some new recipes for you soon. In the mean time….love your family and friends, be kind to strangers, and always extend a smile. You never know how your smallest kindness will impact another individual’s day/life. Cook for someone you love! 

These are some of my latest projects. Let me know what you think…enjoy life and each other! Talk to you soon!

Veggie Beef Soup

Hey yall! Happy New Year! I’m still trying to get all of this blogging tech down. I thought I set up an automatic posting for the leftover  recipes.  Unfortunately they weren’t posted nor were they saved. However, I’ll give you the scoop along with this comforting soup. 

My first leftover recipe was Turkey & dressing sliders. Use some sweet Hawaiian rolls, turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce/relish, and a little mayo. It sounds like a lot of bread but it’s ohhh so good. The other was a veggie stewp.  Basically you combine your leftover veggies…especially the green bean casserole…along with a little veggie stock and a can of your favorite condensed soup and voila you have stewp! A mix of a stew and  soup!

It rarely snows here in our little town. It’s usually a cool winter but it has definitely been a cold one this year. Temps have been in the low double digits. So what’s better than a nice pot of warm, delicious, soup….nothing! Add a nice hot grilled cheese. Woohoo! Warm and tasty.

I normally like to use frozen veggies but you can use canned veggies too. Frozen seems to hold up to the cooking process better. I use two different cuts of beef. It’s entirely up to you if you prefer the same or different cuts. The veggies are too. Just keep in mind if they’re fresh, it may take a longer time for some to cook. This means you want to cut them in similar sizes to cook evenly and some will go in the pot before others.

Veggie Beef Soup

1.5 lbs ground beef

1 lb stew beef

3 cloves of finely minced garlic

1 tbs Italian seasoning

Salt & Pepper to taste 

1 bag of mixed veggies

1 bag of white sweet corn

1 bag of French cut green beans (they’re cute)

1 bag of baby lima beans

1 bag of sweet peas

1 large can of diced petite tomatoes

1 cup of orzo pasta (looks like rice)

3 containers of 32oz boxes of stock (beef, veggie, chicken…your choice)

 

Instructions…very easy

1. Brown the stew  beef with half of the garlic and salt and pepper. Set it aside. Cook the ground beef and pour off the grease. Add the stew beef with the ground beef. Add remaining garlic.

20180103_194920

2. Add the frozen veggies, Italian seasoning, and the stock. Cover the pot and let simmer on medium heat for about 45 min or until stew beef is tender and veggies are done.

20180103_195730

3. Add tomatoes and orzo and continue to cook for another 15 minutes or so until pasta is done. Make sure you taste to check the seasoning and adjust as necessary.

 

Time to eat! Grill cheese, cornbread, or crackers are a great accompaniment to this hearty soup. This soup can be frozen or invite your family and friends to help eat it. Sharing is caring!  Enjoy and let me know what you think. Let’s cook!

 

20180103_211850

 

 

 

 

Giving thanks!!

Happy Thanksgiving yall! I hope you’ve enjoyed spending time with family and friends along with great food! I’m thankful for my family and friends and all of you that take a little of your time to read my posts. 

We can safely say that there were a lot of passed down recipes made today. Im sure they were delicious. Of course we all have a few recipe horror stories…that sweet potato pie was my thorn…lol. However, the way I see it…you keep trying until you get it just right or you leave it alone if it doesn’t live up to what you thought it could or would be. As for me…I keep trying until I get it right. I love to tinker with recipe ideas. Sometimes an idea is better than a recipe because it gives you freedom to try different things.

Some of the memes on Facebook had me laughing so hard today because some people feel that there are some traditional recipes that should not be altered. I am the queen of alteration when it comes to a recipe. Don’t misunderstand me, sometimes a subtle change can make all the difference in the world and there are times when a major overhaul is in order. You know what I’m talking about…that quick recipe that you found and it looked so good in the picture. You had all of the ingredients, you prepared it exactly as written and it was flat when you tasted it for the first time. Your first thought was it needs a little something to jazz it up or OMG…never again…lol. I think these are the times that stimulate your creative juices in the kitchen. You decide to try something that could potentially be the best thing you’ve ever created! Trying the old with the new and learning how to put flavors together is a good thing! Now on a side note…I don’t ever want to see hotdogs cut up in my collard greens! I love them both but not together! There was a video posted about this…seriously…lol.

Some of my favorite Turkey day dishes are ham, turkey wings (the flat piece), baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens, mustard greens, succotash, potato salad, green bean casserole, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, and all of the desserts that come along for the ride. The chocolate layer cake is always a hit and sweet potato pie, strawberry cream cheese pie, chocolate supreme (my mama’s is the best), walnut pound cake, let’s just say I could be here for a while listing desserts…lol. 

Over the next few days, I’ll remix some leftovers and share the recipes with you…heres that creative juice in action. You don’t want to miss it!

It’s late and I hope that you’ve had a beautiful day with family & friends surrounded by great food! Stay positive and continue to move forward. Your kind word or smile could be the turning point for someone! Thank you for stopping by and until next time…cook with and for those you love!

 

Sherry’s Pineapple Cake

I went to visit a friend to begin my month long birthday celebration a few months ago and boy did we have a good time…laughing, talking, catching up. We all need to do that sometimes.  You know how it is when girlfriends get together…and although she didn’t cook for me…lol…I made her a cake that she has been requesting for quite some time now. So I’ve decided to name it after her. Fortunately, her family enjoys a little more sugar than she does. I had to add that in there because she was so happy when she started eating her slice and although her intention was to only sample a little she ended up eating the whole slice. She strives to eat very little sugar and this cake was definitely more than her normal share. However, the family was so glad I made it and truly enjoyed it as did she!

I think a little indulgence is warranted every now and then. Moderation is key to anything in life. Life would be boring without awesome sweet treats! The summer gardens offer so many great healthy choices that make it a lot easier for me to eat healthier.  So after eating healthy all week please treat yourself to a slice of this heavenly delicious pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting. It will make your tongue slap your brains out….lol! Yes, it’s that good! Let’s cook! Let me know what you think!

 

Sherry’s Pineapple Cake

Ingredients

3 sticks of butter (unsalted)

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

3 cups of SRF (self rising flour)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or pineapple

1 cup of whole milk

1/2 cup of pineapple juice

 

Filling Ingredients:

1 can of crushed pineapple

1 tbs SRF

3 tbs sugar

2 tbs butter

1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350°F.  Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

2. Add eggs one at a time and mix until blended.

3. Add extract to the butter mixture.

4. Add a third of the SRF alternating with the milk and the pineapple juice. (for each cup of SRF add 1/2 cup of liquid) to the butter mixture.

5. Divide batter into three 8″ round pans that have been greased and floured or sprayed with Baker’s Joy(my fav). Bake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. Bake times will vary depending on your oven. Check the center with a toothpick to make sure its done. Normally it will pull away from the sides of the pan when it’s done.

6. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

7. While the layers are cooling you will need to prepare the filling.

 

Directions for Filling:

You need a small pot. Combine butter and flour into a rue. Cook on medium heat until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Cook until well mixed and it thickens slightly.

 

Preparing the cake:

One layer of cake then spread a generous amount of the filling on top. Make sure you leave a little space between the edge of the cake and the filling because it will ooze out the side of the cake if you’re not careful when you add the next layer. Once you have completed the layering process, you will use the cream cheese recipe from a previous post to ice the outside of the cake. Decorate the top with crushed pineapple.

Next step is to EAT!!!!  Thank you for reading and ENJOY!! Make sure to share with your family and friends! I’m super excited to be blogging again and I hope you enjoy the recipe! Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

Hey yall!

I know, I know, I know….where have I been? I had to take some much needed time to do some more research and learn more about this blogging business that I’ve jumped into! I do that sometimes. Sometimes you have to take the first step and learn as you go. I had only uncovered the surface to this enormous world of blogging. The possibilities are endless! So just to let you know…there will be a few changes coming. 

I love blogging and I want to make sure that I am able to give you, my readers, family, and friends the best of me! With that being said…I am looking forward to getting back in the swing of things and sharing more recipes, tips, and things I’ve learned along the way! I hope I haven’t lost y’all! I’m still ready to knock it out the box and I hope you’re ready to take the ride with me! Thanks for being here and taking the time out of your busy day to hang out with me! Until next post….get cooking and let me know what you would like to read about or learn to do in the kitchen. Enjoy life and move towards your dreams! I am!