Hey ya’ll! It’s that time of year again! The most wonderful time of the year!! CHRISTMAS!!! It’s time for white chocolate covered Ritz, oyster crackers, boiled cookies, fruitcake, cornflake candy, and all the goodies that we never make except for at Christmas. It’s time for hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, cookie swaps, Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, and Christmas lights. It’s time for family and friends, Christmas vacations, hunting trips, and Christmas parties! It’s CHRISTMAS! I’m so excited! I can’t wait! I know we have lots of junky sweets coming up and I totally don’t need it which is why I’ve already ordered my next Advocare 24 Day Challenge to start the day that my family and I get back from our annual family hunting trip in Texas! But, in the meantime, I’ve got plans to make tons and tons of food. I’ll make my mamaw’s famous icebox fruitcake, boiled cookies, chocolate dipped peanut butter Ritz, cornflake candy, toffee bars, Ranch oyster crackers, Wassail, sausage balls, and lots and lots of other stuff!!! I know… you’re thinking, “Did she just say FRUITCAKE?!?!?” Why, yes I did, missy or mister because I love me some fruitcake! I’m going to be making some pretty easy dinners, if I make dinner at all, considering I’ve got so much going on! So I figured I would give ya’ll one more good, real meal before I start posting about Christmas food. I’ll probably make some chicken and dumplins one night and maybe a roast but I’m going to be posting about a lot of Christmas stuff so get ready!

Since we last spoke, I had a successful deer hunt with my dad and killed my biggest deer to date. I’ve sold a couple of houses, had some new clients, and done A LOT of online shopping! We’ve also had our office Christmas party where we were surprised by Front Gate with a CRUISE to Cozumel! I’m so excited and I just can’t wait! We’re going to have so much fun! We’ve also added a lot of people to our office over the past couple of months and I’m so excited to be able to spend some quality time with all of my co workers and get to know them better!! We are truly blessed to work for such a wonderful, generous, and supportive company!

my nebraska deer daddy's nebraska deer

These pictures sure don’t do the size of the deer justice! They were like small pony’s with huge racks!

cruisin to cozumel Merry Christmas ya Filthy Animal Front Gate Crew

Since I’ve been so busy, I’ve been eating out a lot! You know that means I have to give a little shout out to some awesome restaurants around here! I think I’ve mentioned that I love going to Canton on Friday nights and enjoying a humongous 22 oz. ribeye with sides for only $22.50 at Ratliff Ferry Trading Post. They have other stuff too but the steak is truly outrageous! It’s the best steak I’ve ever eaten and that’s including my own! And you know I think all of my food is better than anyone else’s so you know I’m telling the truth! Plus it’s a great price and they have alcohol so ya’ really just can’t beat it! 🙂 The owner also asked me to mention how sexy he is but I’ll let ya’ll make that decision for yourself 😉 I also had a divine pizza at the fabulous Pizza Shack recently that will knock your socks off! The Pizza Shack has been voted Best Pizza in Jackson for a couple of years now and it’s definitely worth it! I can’t forget though to tell you that my cousin’s husband just opened up a restaurant that I’m dying to try out called Lou’s Full-Serv… it’s been met with rave reviews from people all over the state and I can’t wait to make a trip over to see for myself.

Ratliff Ribeye  pizza shack pizza

As good as all of these places are though, there aren’t many that are better than a good old home cooked meal! Which brings me to the glorious food I have prepared for ya’ll’s reading pleasure! My very first time I went to Longhorn Steakhouse, I ordered chicken. Yep… chicken at a steakhouse… such a horror! But I will not ever regret it and neither will you my friends; because, I fell in love with the chicken and had to make it for myself at home! I fiddled around with ideas, looked stuff up online, and went back to have a second tasting of this heavenly chicken. I finally settled on a recipe and made it with bated breath for my family. Then I realized that as rich as it was I would only make it once a year on special occasions. It’s not hard, in fact it is very easy to make; however, it’s alfredo sauce covered chicken with a ton of cheese on top! 🙂 And you have to serve it with mashed potatoes and just so you don’t feel too guilty at least with one green veggie! Haha it’s worth it though for just one bite of heaven!

Now, this isn’t their exact recipe, only my version of it, but it’s really close! The recipe is really good for 5 or 6 chicken breasts but I never measure when I make the sauce so I always have some left over. In that case, I add the extra sauce to my mashed potatoes… wicked, I know, but DELICIOUS!!! 🙂 You’ll see 😉

Creamy Parmesan Chicken:

4-6 Chicken Breasts-boneless, skinless,

1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream,

1 stick butter,

6 oz. parmesan cheese,

1 cup shredded mozzerlla cheese,

1 cup shredded pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese,

Garlic salt, ground black pepper, Tony Chachere’s.

Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat. Once it’s melted, remove from heat and slowly add the whipping cream. It’s really important to do this slowly or your cream will curdle. You have to introduce the cream to the heat as carefully as possible. Place back over the heat and bring it to a boil. Add 4 oz. parmesan cheese and seasonings and stir occasionally until the sauce is thick. Just make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. This is pure deliciousness. Don’t worry about how much seasoning you add. Just taste as you go and make sure that it’s as tasty as you want! While that’s thickening, place the chicken in the bottom of a casserole dish. Once the sauce is thick, pour the sauce on top of the chicken.

alfredo alfredo 2 Parmasan chicken

Now, just sprinkle the rest of the parmesan and other cheeses on top. Don’t be afraid to add extra cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Here’s the tricky part…. trying not to eat it until it cools!!

parmasan chicken 2 Creamy Parmasan Chicken

So the only thing that I can ever eat with this is mashed potatoes. I shouldn’t…. it’s so starchy…. but I LOVE IT!! (Did anyone else just read that in Ricky Bobby’s kids voices?) Showing my redneck side 🙂 Anyway…. this is how I use my extra parmesan sauce leftover from my chicken!

Parmesan Mashed Potatoes:

1 bag of fingerling potatoes,

the remaining sauce,

a little salt and pepper to taste.

Boil the potatoes in water. Once they’re fork tender, add the sauce, and mash thoroughly. I like mine kinda chunky, especially when I’m doing it by hand (because I’m lazy!). Once you’re happy with the consistency, add the salt and pepper. Stir again and serve! This doesn’t make a ton of mashed potatoes. Definitely enough for about 4 people though. I like to add some purple potatoes to this or some red potatoes. Red potatoes are sweeter and go really well with the heavy cream in the parmesan sauce.

Potatoes Parmasan Mashed potatoes

So, I tried something new with my green beans. I was trying to cook less and without all my kitchen equipment. I was at a friends house and only cooking for two. I baked them instead of cooking them in a skillet so it was different but good. I did the same thing that I normally do with a skillet just in a throw away baking dish. Green beans are a simple and delicious side. You don’t have to do too much with them, yet you can do so much with them. This is how I did it and I’ll put instructions for the skillet version in the instructions 🙂

Green Beans:

2 cans French style green beans,

1/2 small onion,

1/2 cup Kroger brand Oil & Vinegar dressing,

3 strips of bacon,

Salt and Black pepper to taste.

Drain the juice off of one of the cans, NOT BOTH!!! It needs to cook in some of it’s own juices! Pour both cans into the baking dish. Chop your onion and mix it into the green beans. Pour the dressing on it and mix it again. Layer the bacon on top and sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Bake it at 350 for about 20 minutes. Stirring occcassionally. Now, when I do it in the skillet, I cut my bacon strips into smaller chunks. My mom likes me to cook it first but I see it as an unnecessary extra step…. again, I’m lazy haha. I let it simmer in my skillet on medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. This serves 2 or 3 people large portions or 4 people smaller portions. If you use more than 3 cans though I recommend doing a whole onion. Also, this works for whole green beans, I just tend to like French style. You can also use one bag of frozen green beans or a good bunch of fresh. Don’t forget to cut off any stem of the fresh green beans though!!

Well I guess that’s all for now! I’m just about done with my Christmas candies and treats so I’ll probably be back with ya’ll on Saturday writing about chocolate covered ritz, sausage balls, oyster crackers, boiled cookies, cornflake candy, toffee bars, and my mamaw’s personal favorite….. peppermint candy 🙂 I can’t wait to share these recipes with ya’ll. They’re so near and dear to my heart and I know ya’ll will love them. I’ll also include some pictures of the awesome light displays I’ve been seeing all over town. Tomorrow is steak night at Ratliff Ferry and I hope to see some of ya’ll there…. if  not I guess it’s just your loss 🙂 Ya’ll have a good night and check back in a couple of days!!