What makes something "Chewly Awesome"? Any type of food can achieve this status whether it be something sweet, savory, spicy or succulent. When it comes to amazing food, it's not just truly awesome; it's "Chewly Awesome!" This blog is about a mom who wants to feed her family the best and doesn't want to be a slave in the kitchen in order to make that happen. My promise to you is that you will never find a single recipe for Tuna Casserole on this blog! Now that is "Chewly Awesome!"

If you have a dish that is "Chewly Awesome", and you would like for it to be featured on the blog. Email the recipe to talietiger@gmail.com!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Crash Loaded Baked Potatoes

This is a recipe that, from what I can tell, originated in Australia.  Wherever they are  from, they are cooking in my oven right now as I type this little paragraph out, and they smell delicious!  (Don't worry, I will get them out of the oven, take pretty pictures, and taste them before I finish this post!)  I love potatoes, but I hate washing potatoes...this little dish seems to solve all my problems - plus I added bacon and cheese which is bound to make it delicious!

Crash Loaded Baked Potatoes

10 to 12 red potatoes
Olive Oil
1 stick of  Butter sliced into 10 tabs
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1 cup cheese
Chopped Chives
Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 450

Boil your red potatoes until they are fork tender

Drizzle a baking sheet with olive oil

Place your potatoes on your sheet and mash down with potato masher
Make a quarter turn and mash again

Brush generously with olive oil (This is what will make it good and crisp)

Place a tab of butter on top of each crashed potato

Salt and Pepper each potato

Bake for 15 minutes

Remove from oven

Add about a teaspoon of bacon to each potato
Sprinkle with cheese

Bake for another 10  min or until cheese is nice and melted and potatoes are golden brown

Top with sour cream and chives.  - Enjoy!

Homemade Bruschetta

What do you do on a hot summers day when you have homegrown tomatoes, fresh basil from your new basil plant, and homemade french bread?  Why, make Bruschetta, of course! Did I mention my new Basil plant?  Early this past Saturday (before the scorching heat cooked us), a friend and I made our way down to the farmers market at Pepper Place (My favorite Saturday morning spot!), and I found a beautiful Sweet Basil plant for only $4.00. Considering that I was paying $2.00 every time I needed to buy a little bit at the store, I found this to be a big bargain. Needless to say, I have been making everything I can that calls for fresh basil, and when I run out of ideas, I just go grab a leaf and nibble on it (true story).  I really love basil.  Not only does it taste wonderful, but some types act as  an anti-inflammatory which really help with my bronchitis and asthma (Basil acts as an antacid if eaten raw before meals).  You won't regret buying a basil plant. Anyway, on to the yummy, garlic infused Bruschetta :)  Enjoy!

Homemade Bruschetta
10 servings

10 Slices of French Bread  (Click here for Homemade French Bread recipe)
5 Tomatoes - Diced
5 or 6 fresh Basil leaves chopped
4 cloves of garlic minced (or a heaping tablespoon of garlic from a jar...if you must!)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (plus more to brush on bread)
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix your Tomatoes, Basil (Reserve a bit to sprinkle on top), Garlic, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic powder and Pepper together in a bowl.  Let all these ingredients mingle and fellowship while your bread is toasting. ;)

Brush sliced bread with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder and toast until golden brown.

Put bread on your serving platter
Using a slotted spoon to drain juice, place tomato and basil mixture on top of bread.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper and extra chopped Basil

Serve immediately and Enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sugar Crusted Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

This cake brings back so many memories!   During my teenage/early twenty years (last week...haha) I spent many summer weeks in California. While there, a dear, sweet lady from Oklahoma (Mumsie) taught me how to make this wonderful moist cake that literally melts in your mouth with each bite.  The sugar crust gives it a good crunch when you are biting in to it, but then you get to the soft, yummy center...heaven!    This cake is so easy; it only takes 7 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to bake.  You get a dessert that goes great with coffee, or a cold glass of sweet tea in under an hour.  You can either use a box moist yellow cake mix, or you can make a homemade box yellow cake mix and just have it on hand for whenever you need it.  I will include the recipe for the homemade box yellow cake mix just in case you want to try it (It will keep well in the pantry for months!)  Remember, homemade is always Chewly Awesome!

Sugar Crusted Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

Preheat oven to 350 F

1 Yellow Cake Mix (Homemade Recipe will follow)
8 oz Sour Cream
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup sugar (Plus more to coat pan)
4 large eggs (beaten)

Mix all ingredients with a mixer on medium to medium high speed for 4 minutes.

Grease pan well and coat with granulated sugar

Pour mix into pan and bake 45 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan


Homemade Yellow Cake Mix (18. 25 oz Box Substitute)

2 cups AP Flour
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 cup non fat dry milk

Combine and save in pantry until ready to use

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pecan Peach Cobbler

This is a great homemade dessert that is pretty easy considering that it's made from scratch!  We had this tonight when company came over, and it was a hit. The only hitch I had was that there was a piece missing from my ice cream maker so the guys had to run to the store and buy some vanilla ice cream.  I know it would have been better with homemade, but it was still delicious.  Enjoy!

Pecan Peach Cobbler

10 peaches chopped (I leave the skin on - just wash them!)
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tablespoons corn startch
1 cup chopped pecans

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter - chilled and cubed
3/4 cup milk
1 egg white
1 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375F
Mix filling together (except pecans) and cook on your stove top until bubbly
pour into a 9x13 pan and sprinkle chopped pecans on top.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together
Cut the butter in with a fork or your fingers until you get a sandy mixture (No big clumps of butter)
Pour your milk in a little at a time and mix together until it forms a ball (I use my hands)

Knead the dough into a rectangle shape to fit over the 9x13 inch pan.

Put on top of filling and tuck the edges in. 

Brush with egg white and sprinkle sugar on top

Bake 40 minutes or until golden .


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Savory Shrimp and Grits with Sausage

Here in Alabama, a restaurant owner by the name of Frank Stitt made the dish Shrimp and Grits famous.  His version is pretty fancy, but here is a down home version that is easy to make and delicious to eat!  Your family will think you are a gourmet chef when they taste this dish!

Shrimp and Grits with Sausage
Serves 6

1 lb medium size shrimp peeled and veined (You can even buy the precooked frozen shrimp!)
1 lb kielbasa
8 strips of bacon chopped
1 cup chopped scallions
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 lemon
1/4 tsp thyme (crushed)
Garlic Powder
1 cup chicken Broth
salt/pepper to taste


1 1/2 cup old fashion grits (or quick grits, but not instant)
6 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 stick butter
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

In a large sauce pan, bring 6 cups of water and tsp salt to a boil
Add grits and stir until they thicken
Add milk, cream, butter, garlic powder and pepper flakes
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add cheese, stir and serve with shrimp.

Start this step when the grits have about 20 minutes left.
Fry bacon on medium heat
Remove bacon pieces, but leave grease in pan.
Brown kielbasa and remove
Add shrimp and cook until pink
Add juice from lemon
Add chives, chopped garlic and crushed thyme, bacon and sausage
Add chicken broth
Simmer one minute. Serve over grits.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Kickin' Chicken, Broccoli and Rice

I wasn't going to cook tonight. Really.  I even told my husband to grab him something on the way home, because this kitchen is closed! Then, I got this craving for rice, and of course I couldn't just eat rice. Something had to go with it! Something....hmmm...well, chicken, of course...and I have these water chestnuts...and this broccoli that I really need to use... Oh, I will just go ahead and make a casserole.  Why not? This is going to be easy and delicious. I opened the refrigerator and found  the ''Why not" - no cheese, no sour cream, no crackers for toppings; but my taste buds were already committed to the idea therefor, off to the store I went - no small feat when you live in the boonies like us!  The pressure was on.  If I was going to go through this much trouble for my taste buds, it had better be worth it!   Gladly, it was. :)

Kickin' Chicken, Broccoli and Rice
Serves 6

2 cups cooked rice

2 cups cooked broccoli
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (3 or 4 chicken breast boiled for about 30 minutes until tender)
1 onion chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 can water chestnuts (give them a rough chop)
1 can cream of celery
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning (Such as Tony's)
1 cup of crumbled butter crackers

Preheat oven to 350F

Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray

In a large bowl, mix:
1 cup cheese
sour cream
water chestnuts
cream of celery
garlic powder
cajun seasoning

Layer cooked rice on the bottom of the pan, and layer cooked broccoli on top, followed by your chicken mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes in oven.

Mix crumbled crackers and 1 cup of cheddar cheese together and sprinkle on top of casserole.
Cook for an additional 10 minutes (Til the crumbs are nice and golden)


Saturday, June 9, 2012


Somedays, I am faced with making really hard decisions. Choices that will effect my whole family. I am talking about a tough, impossible, life altering, mind blowing, heart stopping, Sliding Dooresque choice.  Brownies or cookies?  Well, today, I answered that question by creating a cross between the two...The Crownie!  It is made like a cookie, but it has more of a brownie thickness and texture.  Whichever you may think they are more like, I do hope you enjoy them! These are a new favorite for us, and they are Chewly Awesome!

White Chocolate Chocolate Crownies

2 1/4 cups AP flour
2/3 cups Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 cup (2 sticks) Butter - melted and cooled slightly
1/8 cup oil
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Makes approx. 2 doz.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl

Cream the cooled butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth

Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth

Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated

Fold in your white chocolate chips

Spoon by large tablespoon fulls or ice cream scoop fulls onto prepared baking pan - six Crownies per pan because you don't want to over crowd them.  Have a good 2 inches between each spoonful  (I use parchment paper)

Bake in oven for 15 minutes.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan.  Transfer to a cooling rack.