Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Celebrate the Season with Chex and Southern Fried Bride's "Half Moon Chex Mix"

I'm a big fan of Chex Mix snacks, both savory and sweet, especially this time of year. Recently, I received a wonderful prize pack provided by Chex through MyBlogSpark. I set out to create a new Chex Mix recipe and I chose a take on a favorite Southern treat, Moon Pies in banana flavor. I had so much fun shopping at the grocery store for my ingredients. Marshmallow... graham cracker... and banana goodness in a Chex Mix. I paired this recipe with Rice Chex cereal.

It made the perfect snack, as well as the perfect excuse to host a party with loved ones. I boxed the mix up and served it to guests in holiday red boxes.  

                Take a look at what the guests found inside the box:

"Half Moon Chex Mix"

8 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
4 graham cracker squares, crushed
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon banana extract
1 drop yellow food coloring

In large microwaveable bowl, place cereal. Set aside. In medium microwavable bowl, microwave marshmallow creme uncovered on High about 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds, until creme is melted and can be stirred smooth. Add graham crackers and stir until well-blended. Stir; pour over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave uncovered on High 3 minutes, stirring after every minute. Pour mixture on wax paper-covered cookie sheet to cool. In small microwavable bowl, microwave white chocolate chips uncovered on High about 1 minute or until white chocolate can be stirred smooth. Add banana extract. Add 1 drop of yellow food color. Stir until well-blended. Drizzle over cereal mixture. Refrigerate until set. Enjoy! Store any remaining mixture in airtight container.

Chex Mix can make the perfect snack for yourself, your family or party. You can go to the Chex Mix website here to find  a multitude of recipes, both savory and sweet, with endless flavor possibilities for making special memories.

FTC Disclaimer: The product, prize pack, information, and giveaway have all been provided by Chex through MyBlogSpark.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Card time!

It is the time of year for holiday cards and pictures! In recent years, more and more people are choosing to incorporate their holiday pictures into their cards they send to friends and loved ones. I remember the joy and excitement as a little girl of getting ready for my Christmas portraits each year.

Here is The Southern Fried Bride in my Christmas 1978 portrait:

I've never outgrown the excitement of holiday picture time. Here I am with The Southern Fried Husband as we look forward to Our First Christmas as Mr. and Mrs.

One of my favorite photo greeting card companies is Tiny Prints. According to their website, the company was started by three friends with big dreams and a passion for beautiful paper and began with birth announcements, photo books and baby shower invitations. It has has grown from a tiny, self-funded company specializing in unique baby stationery into a booming online retailer of stylish designs for every occasion. One of those occasions is exemplified in their Holiday 2011 card line. When I first saw this collection, I was taken with countless designs.

This is one of my favorites. The "Wizard of Oz" fan in me was instantly drawn to the Joyful Heart design that uses such unique rainbow detail, plus it conveys the message of Joy, which I believe is what this season is all about!

This one is another favorite design, perfect for a newlywed couple!

I asbolutely love it that they offer a service where they will address, stamp and mail your cards for you! Today is the last day to receive their discount on your holiday card order with free standard shipping and 15% off an order of $49 or more and 20% off an order of $149 or more with code "decfs20". Ends tonight at 11:59 pm PST.

Here is how we are displaying our holiday cards that we are already receiving in our home.

Our holiday card holder proclaims "Joy, Peace and Love", which is what we wish to everyone this holiday season!

FTC Disclaimer: Tiny Prints is providing me with 50 holiday cards in exchange for writing this blog post about their 2011 holiday card collection. The opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. I was in no way financially compensated by Tiny Prints.

A Review and a Recipe: Browning's Country Ham and "Southern Fried Bride's Easy Holiday Quiche"

Browning's Country Ham had its beginnings in the Browning Family's smokehouse on their farm in Kentucky. In 1970, enough hams were being cured in their smokehouse for their neighbors who requested them to serve in their homes. The hams soon found their way to a family member's restaurant, and community members began requesting being able to buy one to serve to their own family at home. This year, they debuted a new website. Word of mouth about their wonderful hams began spreading and soon customers from other parts of Kentucky began requesting the hams. The company has continued to grow through the decades and they ship nationwide.They not only offer ham, they also offer bacon, cheese and country biscuits.

This year, they debuted a website that features their products that can be shipped directly to your home. Recently, I received a wonderful shipment of their products to review. The first Browning's Country Ham product The Southern Fried Husband and I tried is the Country Cured Ham, cured in brown sugar.

With so many commercially-produced hams available today, so many of their flavors tend to have a flat taste. We loved the flavor of this ham because you can taste the care and preparation that goes into creating the wonderful cured ham flavor, as if we had made the trip to Kentucky and brought it home straight from the smokehouse. We enjoyed a dinner of Browning's Country Cured Ham, and then I used the leftover ham to create this:                                                         

Are you wondering what to do to change up your ham on the holiday dinner table this season or a great way to make use of your leftover ham? I made an easy quiche recipe that makes use of several traditional holiday dinner leftovers such as ham, scalloped potatoes and an extra pie crust left behind after all that holiday baking. Any kind of leftover potatoes will do good for this recipe. I used leftover scalloped potatoes in this one. This recipe can be eaten immediately and does not have to be refrigerated overnight. It is great for breakfast, brunch and also for a fun spin on lunch or dinner. It tastes great straight from the oven to the dinner table. I was impressed that leftover Browning's Country Cured Ham was just as wonderful as when it is served as fresh ham and held it's original flavor so well.

"Southern Fried Bride's Easy Holiday Quiche"

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

4 eggs

1 egg white

1 cup Browning's Country Cured Ham, cooked and chopped

1 cup potatoes, chopped

1/2 cup shredded cheese

1/2 teaspoon parsley

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake pie crust according to package directions. Line rim of crust with aluminum foil to avoid burnt crust edges. Remove baked pie crust from oven and place on cooling rack. In large bowl, whisk eggs until well beaten. Stir in ham, potatoes and cheese. Mix well. Add parsley and paprika. Stir until well-combined. Pour into prepared pie crust. Bake 40-45 minutes or until quiche is golden brown. Enjoy!

If you would like to know more about Browning's Country Ham, you can visit their website here or visit their Facebook page here.

FTC Disclaimer: Browning's Country Ham provided me with a package of their Country Cured Ham for the purpose of my honest review. The opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. I was in no way financially compensated by Browning's Country Ham for this review.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My pumpkin cake and I..."we" won!


My divine fellow blogger Kerry of Monograms and Martinis shared about a Thanksgiving recipe contest Cape Madras was having on their Facebook page. I had never entered one of my recipes in a "most votes wins" contest like this before, but I have been encouraged and inspired by so many wonderful new friends since I began this blog and most recently my Facebook page, so for the first time, I entered one of my recipes in a "most votes wins" contest. This newlywed far from home in a new place relied on my pumpkin cake recipe I created back home in my Oklahoma kitchen with my baking mentor, my late maternal grandmother sitting in her rocking chair watching me because I had met a wonderful man who liked pumpkin desserts and I wanted to create a dessert to wow him that Thanksgiving because I was going to take him a plate to the hospital because he was working on Thanksgiving. I don't say "I" won, I say that my cake and I, "we" won.

Voting closed on Thanksgiving night and the winner was announced. Thanksgiving night when Cape Madras announced that I was the winner, was a time of glorious excitement for me! The Southern Fried Husband is so proud of me! For the first time, I felt my late Grandma Cleva and my late Mother's presence right there in the room with me SO close, as if I could almost reach out and touch them. For the first time ever, I have won a "most votes" contest and I am incredibly thankful and grateful for every single person who voted for me and my cake to get "us" there.

Here is the winning recipe, one of my favorite cakes to bake this time of year:

“The Southern Fried Bride's Pumpkin Delight Cake”

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 package (4-serving size) Jell-O pumpkin flavor instant pudding

1 cup canned pumpkin OR fresh, mashed pumpkin

1/2 cup cooking oil

1/2 cup water

3 large eggs

Optional Garnish: 1/4 cup chopped pecans

                           1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat two 8-inch round pans with cooking spray. Place all ingredients into large mixing bowl. Blend with mixer on low speed for one minute, then increase to medium speed for two minutes. Pour batter into pans and place in oven. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and place on cooling racks. Frost cooled cake. Garnish, if desired, with chopped pecans and sprinkled cinnamon. Enjoy!

"Delightfully Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting"

1 stick butter, softened

3 cups confectioner's sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons milk

Place butter in mixing bowl. Blend with mixer on low speed until fluffy. Gradually add confectioner's sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and 3 tablespoons milk until all ingredients are blended. Increase to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy. If mixture becomes stiff, add additional 1 tablespoon of milk.