Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday Recipe: Easy Crockpot Queso Dip

Time for some Reader Mail: 
"Dear Southern Fried Bride, What is your favorite Super Bowl Sunday recipe? Love, Connie in Oklahoma" 

One of my favorite wedding gifts we received is a crock pot. At one of our wedding showers, Craig and I received seven crock pots as gifts from loved ones and what treasured memories of us opening up each of those crock pots at that shower. I love the ease and convenience a crock pot can bring to preparing meals and appetizers. For Super Bowl Sunday, I will be making and serving up this game day crowd-pleasing favorite: an easy, cheesy crockpot queso dip made with lightened-up sausage.     

"Southern Fried Bride's Easy Crock Pot Queso Dip" 

1 lb. Jimmy Dean light sausage, browned and drained

2 lbs. American cheese, sliced in cubes

1 (10 oz.) can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies 

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Brown sausage. Drain. Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Place crockpot on LOW heat setting. Cover with lid and heat one hour. Keep on LOW setting until ready to serve. Serves 8-10. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

"Be Yourself, Together" with Target Wedding- Sponsored Post

I am a Target fan. It is my go-to website for gifting across the miles and I can be found perusing my local store on any given day. One of my common gifting pursuits at Target is shopping for an ideal wedding gift for a special couple in my life. 

"Influencer Network asked me to talk to you about this year's Target Wedding theme, which is "Be Yourself, Together". I love that this theme celebrates the distinct personalities of each person in the relationship and combines to make something truly unique for the couple. 

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target.

One of my favorite ways to personalize a couple's wedding gift is by choosing a gift they have chosen on their registry, choosing a stylish home storage basket to place the gift, then filling it with smaller favorite household gifts. Target Wedding makes this so easy and fun.

I went to my local Target store and shopped for a special engaged couple in my life. This is the gift basket I assembled for this couple.

Here is how I chose this gift basket:

-The couple chose this fun wall picture on their registry and I was immediately drawn to it as my gift choice. I love the sentiment! Target has such a collection of fun and functional wall art. 

-I then chose a home storage basket that would be large enough for the picture to be displayed in for gift-giving. Target has an amazing collection of stylist home storage baskets, a fun accessory in the home. I like to chose a basket in a brown color because I love the look when it is paired with so many other colors.  

-Since the picture has a fun shade of blue along with the classic brown, I chose to fill the basket with some of my fun household accessory picks in this shade of blue. I chose my go-to Target brand of kitchen towels, Room Essentials in a fun blue print as well as a classic blue towel. I also chose measuring cups, a can opener, tongs and baster to finish out the basket. This gift basket was a big hit with the couple. 

Among the countless possibilities available to register for at Target, here are my Top 5 Wedding Registry Picks:

1. KitchenAid Ultra Power 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer- KitchenAid has a brand reputation that has been passed down in my family for generations. This appliance is my top pick because it is a multi-use kitchen tool that can be used for countless cooking and baking projects with lasting durability and ease of use. 

2. Olde Thompson 16 Jar Spice Rack- This is not your mother's spice rack! I love this space-saving design and it comes complete with 16 go-to spices with easy-to-read labels.
3. Calphalon Kitchen Essentials Hard Anodized Non-Stick Cookware Set- I am a Calphalon fan because of the durability, non-stick ease and even-cook quality of this brand. 

4.Keurig Elite Single Cup Home Brewing System- I can't say enough about the convenience and the ease of a Keurig for coffee lovers. Endless possibilities allowing each cup to be a personalized cup of coffee.
5. Room Essentials Solid Kitchen Towel- Target's line of Room Essentials kitchen towels are my go-to towels for drying my dishes and glassware for in my opinion, one of the most important accessories in my kitchen. A soft yet durable kitchen towel that dries clean without lint residue and has a great price point.

What is the best, most unique wedding gift you have given or received? Do you see any products on the Target website that could help with recreating that gift? You can find lots of ideas at #TargetWedding

FTC Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Target as an Influencer Network- Sponsored Blogger. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Remembering Elvis: "Peanut Butter and Banana Delight Cake"

I was brought up in an Elvis-loving household and I was taught full-well that January 8th was his birthday. Every year, this day doesn't pass that I don't reflect on my fond memories of his music and movies from my childhood years into adulthood. My favorite movie was "Blue Hawaii". Another favorite is "Viva Las Vegas". My favorite songs, well then this would be a very long post, so I will share a few at the top of my list: "A Little Less Conversation", and "Viva Las Vegas" and "It's Now or Never". I was a very little girl when Elvis died in 1977, but I remember how the grown-ups in my family were so sad. 

I see peanut butter and banana dessert combinations that tend to have a peanut butter frosting. I serve up my peanut butter and banana cake with a banana buttercream frosting and a light, fluffy peanut butter layer cake. 

Warning: Be advised, serving this cake to your loved ones may have the same effect it has when I serve this cake to my family and friends, making them "All Shook Up". 

"Peanut Butter and Banana Delight Cake" 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter chips, melted
2 large eggs

1 teaspoon Rodelle pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups 2% milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and dusting of flour. In mixing bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In separate large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add vanilla. Add dry flour mixture in thirds, alternating with milk, until all of dry mixture and milk have been added. Set aside. Melt peanut butter chips on top of stove by placing chips in small saucepan over low heat and stir often until chips are melted OR in microwave by placing chips in microwave-safe bowl and microwave at Medium (50%) for 1 minute and stir. If chips are not melted, microwave at Medium an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth when stirred. Add melted peanut butter chips to mixture and mix until well combined.  Divide batter evenly into baking pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. 
"Banana Buttercream Frosting"

1/2 stick butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons 2% milk
1 teaspoon banana extract

Place butter in mixing bowl. Blend with mixer on low speed until fluffy. Gradually add confectioner's sugar, banana extract and 3 tablespoons milk until all ingredients are blended. Increase to medium speed and beat 5-6 minutes until light and fluffy. If mixture becomes stiff, add additional 1 tablespoon of milk. Spread frosting over cooled cake. Enjoy!