Broccoli Salad (Video)


2 bunches of broccoli, broken into florets (cut off all stems)
½ cup raisins (golden or regular)
½ cup pecans 
½ cup purple, chopped (or less to taste)
1 to 2 cups grated cheese (Cheddar, Mozzarella, or mixed)
10 slices of bacon cooked crisp and crumbed
Toss all the above together in a large bowl and add dressing
½ cup sugar (may use sugar substitute)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Mix together and chill at least 1 hour before tossing with salad
Recipe from Shelia McDaniel (Chattanooga Realtor and friend)



Caramel Crunch Squares

1 cup plain flour
½ cup raw oats
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup (I stick) butter or margarine
½ cup chopped pecans
12 ounce jar caramel ice cream topping
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
Combine flour, oats and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts.  Pat into an oblong pan and bake at 350-degrees for about 15 minutes or until light brown. Stir while mixture is still warm to form crumbs. Cool. Pat half of crumbs into a 9-inch square pan. Drizzle half of the ice cream topping over crumbs then evenly spread with ice cream. Top ice cream with remaining crumbs and drizzle with remaining caramel topping.  Freeze until firm. (If you want to be really decadent, substitute butter pecan or pralines and cream icecream for the vanilla).

Caramel Frosting (Video)

1 stick butter or margarine 
1 cup of packed light brown sugar (or half light and half dark) 
¼ cup whole milk 
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the butter and brown sugar in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat.  Stir and cook until mixture comes to a boil, about 2 minutes.  Add the milk, stir, and bring the mixture back to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.  Stir with a whisk or beat with a wooden spoon until the frosting is smooth.

Use immediately (while still warm) to frost the cake of your choice or the frosting will harden.  If it does harden while you are frosting the cake, simply place the pan back over low heat and stir until it softens.

I usually bake a two-layer cake from a cake mix (Duncan Hines Butter recipe is my favorite), and use only one of the layers for this frosting recipe.  I split the one layer, put frosting between and on top, then freeze the second layer for later.   Also great on cupcakes.  This cake is simple and wonderful.  



Carrot Cake

1 ½ cups finely grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans
1 small can crushed pineapple (not drained)
(Mix together and set aside)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons soda
Mix sugar and eggs until fluffy. Add remaining ingredients, blending well. Add carrot mixture. Pour into 3 cake pans that have been lined with wax or parchment paper, greased and floured (cake sticks easily). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in 350-degree oven. Cool in pans for about 5 minutes, remove from pans and let cool completely before frosting.
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar
½ cups chopped nuts (optional)
½ cups coconut (optional)
Mix until smooth and frost cooled cake.
Note: I don't use the nuts or coconut in the frosting, but I garnish with nuts. Also, this cake is actually better a day or two after you make it. It gets gooier.



Cherry Dump Pie (Video)

2 cans cherry pie filling
1 small can crushed 
pineapple (drained)
1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) softened butter
1 cup chopped almonds or pecans
Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pyrex dish. Spread cherry pie filling in pan, then top with crushed pineapple. Cut softened butter into cake mix until it resembles cornmeal, add nuts, then sprinkle mixture over cherry filling. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until top becomes golden brown. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
Note: You can also use apple or blueberry pie filling (omit pineapple) and any kind of nuts.