Aunt Janis’s King Ranch Chicken

I’ve always loved casseroles for a quick meal and when Aunt Janis sent me this recipe a while back I couldn’t wait to try it.  Now it’s a family favorite and I’ve made it more times that I can count.  With a few minor changes, here’s the recipe…


Aunt Janis's King Ranch Chicken
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • 1 (10.5-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10.5-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10-oz.) can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ⅓ c. picante sauce
  • 12 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 2 c. grated Cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook onion and bell pepper in butter until softened. Add chopped, cooked chicken, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, Rotel tomatoes, chili powder, garlic powder and picante sauce, mix well.
  3. Place a layer of the chicken mixture in a greased 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Top with a layer of tortillas and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese.
  4. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
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Key Lime Cupcakes

I’m gearing up for St. Patricks Day by making these Key Lime Cupcakes.  My mother never used a cake mix when I was growing up.  Scratch baking was the only way to go as far as she was concerned.  These cupcakes, like other cupcakes I have posted, start with a cake mix.  I will never be the cook that my mom is,  but I think these cupcakes are delicious and my family loves them.

If you like key lime pie I think you’ll like these.  They are better made a few days before serving, stored in the refrigerator, and taken out about 30 – 45 minutes before serving.  They are good slightly cool, but not so cold that the icing is hard.

Key Lime Cupcakes
  • 1 box lemon cake mix with pudding
  • 1 box (4-serving size) lime-flavored gelatin
  • ¾ c. ginger ale
  • ⅓ c. Key lime juice (I use Nellie and Joe's)
  • ⅓ c. vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 or 3 drops of green food color, if desired
  • White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 12-oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1½ sticks butter, room temperature
  • 9-oz. white chocolate
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-lb. powdered sugar
  • (This is enough frosting for a 3-layer cake, but you can adjust the recipe)
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cups in each muffin cup.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, gelatin, ginger ale, key lime juice, oil, and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add green food color, if desired, and mix until well blended.
  3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake 15-18 minutes for standard sized cupcakes or 10-12 minutes for mini cupcakes. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely. Frost with completely cooled.
  4. For Frosting:
  5. Microwave chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. Do not overheat!! If it is almost melted with just a few solid pieces you can stir continuously for the pieces to melt.
  6. Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until fluffy and completely blended.
  7. Slowly beat in melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. If frosting is too thick you can use heavy whipping cream, adding 1 tbsp. at a time, to reach spreading consistency.
  8. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes.
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Wes doesn’t ask for a lot.  He’s a very content person and I could learn much from him.  When he requests something as small as cookies I have to come through for him.  Besides, what mother isn’t thrilled when there is something that you do that they like.  Especially when they’re teenagers!  I made one of his favorite, Snickerdoodles.  (or if Jimmy is reading this…Snuckerdoodles)  This is a great recipe that produces a tender cookie.  When Wes recently asked for something sweet I made one of his favorites, Snickerdoodles.  (or if Jimmy is ready this…Snuckerdoodles)  This is a great recipe that produces a tender cookie.  Watch closely, you don’t want to dry them out by overbaking.


  • 1 c. butter flavor shortening (original works fine too)
  • 1½ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 lg. eggs, room temperature
  • 2¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 - 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
  1. In a large bowl sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl of an electric mixer beat together shortening and 1½ c. sugar for about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract.
  3. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing just until well blended.
  4. Transfer dough into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours, or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. In a small bowl mix ½ cup granulated sugar with 2 - 3 tsp. cinnamon.
  7. Shape about 2 tbsp. of dough into balls. Roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture and place on ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake at 375 for 8 - 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes on pan. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
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Buttermilk Creams with Strawberries

“Yummy”, is the word that my mother-in-law used to describe this dessert.  Other words that I can think of would be heavenly, blissful, divine and oh so good.

I saw this made years ago on Martha Stewart and was intrigued enough to make it the same day.  I do not care for buttermilk alone, but it makes such a lovely addition to some dishes.  This is great with the strawberries, but I like it without them too.


Buttermilk Creams with Strawberries
  • 1¼ tsp. unflavored gelatin (from a ¼-oz. envelope)
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1½ c. heavy cream
  • about 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and quartered (I cut mine smaller)
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • some sugar for strawberries
  1. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 3 Tbsp. cold water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Heat over low, stirring, until dissolved, about 30 seconds.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk ¾ cup sugar with buttermilk until dissolved. Whisking constantly add gelatin mixture in a very thin stream. In another large bowl, beat cream and about 3 Tbsp. sugar until soft peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently stir half of the whipped cream into the buttermilk mixture; fold in remaining whipped cream. Divide among eight 6-oz. ramekins. Refrigerate until set, about 6 hours (or up to one day), covered with plastic wrap. When ready to serve toss strawberries with lemon juice and a little sugar. Let stand 5 - 10 minutes. Run a paring knife around ramekin and dip briefly into hot water. Invert on plate and top with strawberries...or serve in ramekin like I did.
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