Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cheesecake Praline Squares

Back in the days when I lived a couple hours away from my parents, my mom would make this cheesecake often when I would come visit. Now that I've moved backed to my hometown and only 15 minutes away from their house, my visits aren't such a special occasion anymore. Not that I'm complaining about the mini candy bars that she keeps in the crisper but I really miss this cheesecake. Fortunately, she still makes it for holidays. See the picture above? That was my plate for Independence Day. And I'm not even sorry about it.

Cheesecake Praline Squares (originally from Taste of Home magazine)

2 cups flour
1 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
2 TBS powdered sugar

3 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/2 tsp lemon zest or juice

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine flour, butter, pecans and powdered sugar. Press into an ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the milk, vanilla and lemon. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

In a saucepan, combine brown sugar and cream. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pecans and vanilla. Pour over cheesecake. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.


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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dogs Like Bones. Who Knew?

Oh, the teething, the need for constant attention, the doctors visits, etc. I'm too old to have a ....

puppy. I took our stray pup, Indie, to the vet last week to update her vaccinations and to have her spayed BUT she tested positive for ehrlichia (tick fever). Now she has to take a pill a day for 30 days and then she can be spayed. And according to the vet, she's not as young as I thought. He thinks she's 1 or possibly 1 1/2 years old. That's good news--the older she is, the less time teething. She's already chewing up the picnic table and the rocking chairs and the skeleton that we keep on our front porch (don't ask) had to be moved to inside the house. Poor guy had to have his femur screwed back on. Unfortunately, his phalanges couldn't be saved.

Sigh...It's a good thing this pup is so cute.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Deep Fried Love

This past weekend WD and I hopped on the motorcycle and drove up to Arkansas' wine country for a Grape Festival. Oh, how I longed for a little Blush Niagara but at 3 bucks for just 1 ounce (and $6 for a cup) I set my sights on something else. Something that made walking around in hot motorcyle gear in the middle of the day worth it.

Deep Fried Snickers.

Something else that made it worth it was the entertainment. A band from one of Arkansas' state prisons performed songs by Don Henley, Lynyrd Skynyrd, CCR, etc. It was a lot of fun and seeing the prison guard reminded me of this embarrassing picture taken back in '96...

WD was a correctional officer at one time and I have a perfectly innocent and plausible explanation for why I'm wearing his shirt. Really. I do.

And I'll let you know what it is when I think of it.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sock It To Me!

When we were in Memphis last month we had a full intinerary. There were museums for the boys, a motorcyle shop for WD, the truck race for all of us BUT the one place I wanted to visit was Neely's Bar-B-Que. I just love watching Down Home with the Neely's on the Food Network. Know what else I love? Pulled pork sandwiches, that's what. But let's talk about what I had for dessert: The Sock-It-To-Me Cake.

Although I've never had this cake before it's a popular recipe that can be found on the box of Duncan Hines' butter recipe cake mix. The Neely's (or more specifically Mama Neely) has tweaked the recipe a bit and the outcome is delicious. The cake is so moist and the lemon glaze is an unexpected but welcoming flavor. And if you have any left over--and surprisingly, I did!--it's perfect for breakfast with a cup of hot tea.

Mama Neely's Sock-It-To-Me Cake (original recipe can be found here)

2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 package golden cake mix
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
For streusel filling, combine all ingredients and set aside. Blend glaze ingredients and set aside.
Combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream, oil, water, sugar and flour in a large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed for 3 minutes with electric mixer. Pour 1/2 of batter into a greased 13 by 9-inch pan. Sprinkle streusel filling on top and swirl the filing. Spoon remaining batter evenly over filling. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 25 minutes invert onto serving plate, cool completely.
For glaze:
Combine sugar, milk and lemon juice in bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Odds And Ends

We had a pretty busy weekend. We spent Friday and Saturday with WD's parents and visiting his grandma in the hospital. The boys discovered a magical place called The Snack Bar where animal crackers and Pepsi are dispensed with the touch of button. It was a wondrous thing.

The day before that, I had taken Little pup to the doctor for his Kindergarten check up. During the day leading up to his appointment, he kept asking if he was going to get a shot. I told him no, that the doctor wanted to look in his ears and mouth and listen to his heart. I left out the part where he would have to get his finger pricked and the blood squeezed out of it. He whimpered a bit when that happened but a sucker and a Scooby Doo sticker made up for it. BUT I still need to take him to the health clinic to update his vaccinations. I think that's gonna cost me more than candy and a sticker, though.

Yesterday I made the Neely's Sock It To Me Cake. Yum. Blog post and picture coming soon.

That was my weekend--hope you guys had a great one!

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Paula Deen's Squash Casserole

Get out the butter--it's time for another recipe from Paula Deen!

Our squash is coming in nicely this year and although my husband can eat fried squash for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I thought a little change was due. Since I had great success with Paula's Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich and her Cookie Dough Truffles, I decided to give her Squash Casserole a try. You didn't have to twist my arm, though. Sour cream...cheddar...that's right up my alley. And it turned out great--just as yummy as it sounds!

Squash Casserole (recipe from Paula Deen)

6 cups large diced yellow squash and zucchini (I just used yellow squash)
vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (I used half an onion)
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon House seasoning, recipe follows
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed butter crackers (recommended: Ritz) (I used Keebler's Club crackers)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Saute the squash in a little vegetable oil over medium-low heat until it has completely broken down, about 15 to 20 minutes. Line a colander with a clean tea towel. Place the cooked squash in the lined colander. Squeeze excess moisture from the squash. Set aside. (I guess I did something wrong--I didn't have any excess moisture!)
In a medium size skillet, saute the onion in butter for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and mix all ingredients together except cracker crumbs. Pour mixture into a buttered casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

House Seasoning:
1/4 cup salt
1 TBS black pepper
1 TBS garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thank You!

Wow--yesterday was some day! I had waited 6 long months to be featured over at SITS but it is well worth the wait. I'm still reading through all the wonderful comments and I'm sure it will take me 6 months to repay the visit but I will and I look forward to it! And since I'm still on an ego trip I'm going to post some awards I have received recently from some of my favorite bloggers.

These 2 awards are from Mrs. Cooper over at HangingWithMrs.Cooper.

This one is from Dawna at A Kiss And A Peck. I'm honored to be on her blog crush list!
Two fabulous bloggers gave me this award. Tracey from Aloha Monkeys, and Brandi from The Life of a New Mommy .

This one is from Heather at Mrs. Southern Bride. Love the music on her blog!
Isn't this cute? It's from Jen at Another Online Mom . Also known as the famous actress from the Trade Marker tape measure commercial!

Thank you ladies!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

I've Got A Secret...

...I'm the featured blogger at The Secret is in the Sauce!

SITS is an awesome site where bloggers get together and support each other through comments. I've found a ton of great blogs to read and have gotten to know so many wonderful new friends through SITS. Heather and Tiffany feature a different SITSta every day and today is my day!

So, welcome to my blog, Home of the Lazy Dog. I talk about food, mom stuff, food, dogs, food, poetry, and food. I hope everyone enjoys reading the featured posts--it was hard to pick just three--so here's a few more favorites:

Mom stuff: An ongoing compilation of Reasons Why I'm a Bad Mom
Dogs: Jennifer Aniston vs. Me
Poetry: How Do I Love Thee?
Food: I've saved the best for last, Paula Deen's Cookie Dough Truffles. Oh my.

Thanks for visiting!

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Favorite BBQ Sauce

While eating our traditional Fourth of July dinner last Saturday I asked my sister what she liked better: Fourth of July food or Thanksgiving food. With her mouth full of potato salad she enthusiastically pointed at her plate. I was in the minority at the table because I picked Thanksgiving food. It wasn't an easy decision to make though. Especially when there was platter of grilled chicken made with my favorite bbq sauce right in front of me.

My dad has absolutely no sweet tooth so this was the sauce that I grew up on. No ketchup or brown sugar here. It's a thin, tangy sauce that requires small cupfuls placed on the table for extra dipping. I hope you love it as much as I do!

BBQ Sauce

3 sticks butter
8 cups water
1 quart apple cider vinegar
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup salt
1/2 TBS black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Heat through until butter is melted. Set some aside for dipping and use the rest as a marinade for chicken.

P.S. Remind me at Thanksgiving, when my sister is enjoying buttered rolls, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie, what her favorite food holiday is!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Honorary Husky


I'm Indie.

I'm new here.

Look who showed up at my house the day before Independence Day last week. Isn't she adorable? I know, I know, I need a another dog like I need a hole in my head but I just couldn't turn her away. So for now she is renting out our front porch. I haven't introduced her to the huskies yet for a couple of reasons. One, she is covered in ticks and fleas and two, I need to brush up on my dog whispering skills to insure a peaceful introduction. So, if anyone has any suggestions on that I'd love to hear them. And, according to, it costs $7,000-$12,000 to care for a dog throughout its lifetime SO if anyone has a spare $10,000 bill lying around I'd love to have that too. Thanks.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Beware, Home Video Included

This is what the Fourth of July looked like here at the Home of the Lazy Dog, or I should say the Parent's Home of the Lazy Dog. It rained off and on all day and night. In between downpours the boys were able to play with the kiddie fireworks but we had to postpone the big show until the next night. It's Big pup's favorite holiday in the world so having it 2 days in a row was fine by him. And being able to have grilled chicken, potato salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, AND my mother's praline cheesecake twice in one weekend, well, I wasn't complaining either!

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Friday, July 3, 2009

spangle-noun-a small piece of bright metal sewn on fabric for decoration

Do you know what Big pup's favorite song is? It's The Star Spangled Banner. I'm not even kidding. He learned it in Kindergarten last year and it was love at first listen. When it would play on TV--for a sporting event--he would run into the living room and say, "Hey, it's my favorite song!"

His second favorite song is Life Is a Highway because of the Cars movie. I would like to tell him that Tom Cochrane did it so much better than Rascal Flatts but, meh, who wants to argue with a 7 year old?

Anywho, back to The Star Spangled Banner. It was originally written as a poem called Defense of Fort McHenry by Francis Scott Key back in 1814 (hello public domain!). And then it was set to music, renamed, and officially proclaimed as our National Anthem in 1931. There are 4 parts to the song/poem and the first part is what everyone knows but I kind of like the second one, too.

from The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Happy Fourth of July!

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

I love the classic mustard based potato salad full of hard boiled eggs and olives. My husband, well, he doesn't like it. At all. And since summer wouldn't be complete without potato salad I came up with this recipe for a Loaded Baked Potato Salad. The concept is pretty popular but after making this several times and trying different ingredients (chives, no chives, white cheddar crumbles, no cheese, more or less mayo, etc.) I think I've found the right combination. Now we just have to agree on whether it should be served hot or cold!

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

3 lbs. red potatoes, diced
2-3 TBS salt
pepper, to taste
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain and set aside to cool. Combine mayo and sour cream in a large bowl. Add pepper, onion, cheese and bacon and mix together. Add cooked potatoes and stir until combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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