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S’mores in a Skillet? Yes, Please

By Amy Poore


If your idea of a perfect fall evening involves hanging out in the backyard with friends and family cheering on your favorite teams and enjoying tasty treats, this is a recipe just for you. Did you know that you can make S’mores at home, without a campfire? Yep, you can. You can make them in a skillet! Enjoy this recipe – it is always a huge hit.


Happy fall, y’all, and bon appétit!


Skillet S'mores

1/2 Tablespoon melted butter
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
7-10 jumbo marshmallows, cut in half
Box of graham crackers

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Swirl butter around the bottom and sides of an 8 inch iron skillet.
Evenly spread chocolate chips in the bottom of skillet.
Arrange marshmallow halves on top of chocolate chips (cut side down).
Place on middle rack and back 6-10 minutes or until the tops of marshmallows are browned.
Let sit for five minutes; serve immediately with graham crackers.

*Caution - skillet and dip will be hot.

Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com.  

Photo: Amy Poore


Article sponsored by A Touch of Love.



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Cooking with venison (deer meat) can be challenging at first. Proper tenderizing and seasonings need to be added to enhance the flavor and cut down on the "gamey" taste that comes along with wild game. We first started cooking with venison as a way to cut costs at the grocery store meat department when prices started to skyrocket. I also found that I liked the fact that the meat was all natural, with no steroids or other additives. The following five recipes have become family favorites over the years.

Slow Cooker Venison Roast

3 pounds boneless venison roast

1 large onion, sliced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

½ cup Red Wine


Put cleaned meat in slow cooker and cover with onion. Sprinkle with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and pepper. In a small bowl combine the soup mix and the soup; mix and pour mixture over venison. Add red wine after cooking for two hours. Cook on Low setting for 6 hours. Instead of adding carrots and potatoes to the roast, coat them with olive oil, season to taste, and roast them on a cooking sheet in the oven.


Cajun Sauce Piquante

2 lb. of venison strips

1/4 c. cooking oil

1/3 c. flour

1 lg. can tomato sauce

1 can tomato paste

1 pkg. fresh mushrooms, cleaned & sliced

4 ribs celery, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 or 4 onions, chopped

Parsley, chopped

1/2 c. white port wine

6 pack of 7-UP soda

Jalapeno pepper, chopped (to taste)

Salt & pepper



Make roux with oil and flour, add chopped vegetables, and cook until tender. Add all other ingredients, using the 7-UP instead of water as the sauce is cooking. Cook 6 or 7 hours, in crock pot, adding meat after 3 hours, so that it will be tender but not overdone. Serve over noodles or rice.


 Brunswick Stew

3 lb. deer meat chunks (best to chop a roast into cubes)

1 cup chicken broth

2 cans of corn

½ pound dry lima beans, cooked and mashed

2 large cans of tomatoes or tomato juice

1 cup ketchup

¼ cup Tabasco sauce

2 red peppers

Black pepper to taste

2 tbsp vinegar

Salt to taste

1 onion, chopped fine





Brown meat in skillet, don't overcook. Add chicken broth. Mix all other ingredients together in large pot. Cook 3-5 hours on stovetop, checking meat often to make sure you don't overcook it.


Venison Chili Mac

3 lbs. ground deer meat

2 med. onions, chopped

2 fresh tomatoes, chopped

2 16 oz. Cans tomato sauce

1 can tomato puree

1 tsp. honey

2 tsp. mustard

1/2 c. ketchup

1 can beer

2 cans red kidney beans, drained

2 packs chili seasoning

2 tsp. chili powder

Pepper to taste

Elbow macaroni



In large skillet, brown deer, 1 chopped onion, 1 pack of chili seasoning, and 1/2 can tomato sauce. Pepper to taste. Put in large pot or crock pot, and stir in chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato puree, honey, mustard, catsup, beer, beans, chili seasoning, chili powder, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, simmer covered for around 1 hour or to desired consistency. If using the crock pot, set on low and cook for 6 hours. Stir occasionally. Add cooked macaroni just before serving. Great served with cornbread.


Deer Meat Stroganoff

1 lb. deer steak

1 tsp. flour

2 tbsp. butter

1 1/2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 c. chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. flour

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. instant beef bouillon

1 c. dairy sour cream

2 tbsp. dry white wine

Hot cooked noodles



When meat is still partially frozen, thinly slice across the grain into bite-size strips. Combine 1 tablespoon flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Coat meat with flour mixture. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in skillet and brown meat quickly on both sides. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic, and sauté 3-4 minutes. Remove meat and mushroom mixture from pan. Add 2 tablespoons butter to pan drippings, stir in 2 tablespoons flour. Add tomato paste, bouillon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in 1 1/4 cups water. Cook and stir until bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute longer. Combine sour cream and remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Return meat and mushroom mixture to skillet. Stir in sour cream mixture and wine. Heat through, but do not boil. Serve over noodles. Serves 4.


These are just a few of my family's favorites. One of the best ways to find out which way you like your venison is by trial and error. However, there are a few tips that novice venison cooks need to know. Do not overcook venison. Venison is leaner than beef; therefore, it requires extra tenderizing prior to cooking. Spices are your friends. Without seasoning, venison meat will have an aftertaste and taste "gamey." Try some of your favorite beef or chicken recipes using venison. This way you know your family likes the beef version, by swapping out the beef for venison, see if your family still loves the dish. Using venison is a great way to save on the grocery bill. I know I have saved a lot of money and removed harmful food additives at the same time. So, do not be afraid to experiment and have fun cooking.


Article sponsored by Med Center.

Find them on the web at: www.medcenterurgentcare.com


                                                                                                                                      Sponsored by: 

By Amy Poore


Whether you’re attending a tailgating party on the Quad or hosting a backyard gathering at home, this is a recipe that is sure to please any football fan. The Mini Pimento Cheese Ball Bites are perfect for tailgate gatherings, and the prep time is super quick. You can make the pimento cheese well ahead of time.


Bon appétit!


Mini Pimento Cheese Ball Bites


8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated

1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained

18 ounces bacon, cooked until crisp and finely diced 

1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped

1 jalapeños, minced (seeds & membranes removed)

Pretzel sticks


Start by making the pimento cheese ahead of time.


With a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese until smooth, add in mayonnaise and continue to beat until it's all incorporated and smooth.


Add Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic salt, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Once again, beat until evenly mixed throughout, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go.


Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight or for at least four hours.


Once chilled, combine bacon, pecans, and jalapeños in bowl.


Remove pimento cheese from refrigerator, scoop out a tablespoon and roll into balls. Roll each ball in the bacon mixture, pressing it into cheese.


Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill.


When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator and stick pretzel stick into top center of ball.


Note: This can also be made into one large cheese ball and served with pretzel chips or crackers.


Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com.  

Photo: Amy Poore



Article sponsored by Lakeside Dental

Find them on the web at: http://www.lakesidedentalsmiles.com


By Tori Linville


The best game days are marked by the football and the food. If your last tailgate wasn’t one that your taste buds remember, it’s time for a change. Revamp your table with these classic dip recipes on us.


The Perfect Guac


(photo/recipe: gimmesomeoven.com)


What you’ll need:


3 ripe avacados

1 minced jalapeno (stem and seeds removed)

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1 tbsp. lime juice

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt

dash of cumin
(optional/: 1 roma tomato, cored and chopped)


What you’ll make:


Mash together ingredients. If you’re adding tomatoes, stir those in at the end. Cover with plastic wrap so that the wrap directly touches the guacamole, and refrigerate.


The Best Bean Dip



(photo/recipe: the-girl-who-ate-everything.com)


What you’ll need:


1 can refried beans

1 cup picante sauce

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

3/4 cup sour cream

1 pckg. cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

tortilla chips


What you’ll make:

In a bowl, combine first eight ingredients and serve with chips and salsa.


Ways to cook it:

Slow cooker: cover and cook on high for two hours

Oven: bake dip at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes

Microwave: heat in bowl for five to eight minutes


Mississippi Sin Dip


(picture/recipe: amandajeanbrown.com)


What you’ll need:

1 loaf French bread (Italian loaf)

1 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar

1/2 cup chopped smoked ham or prosciutto

1/3 cup green onion, chopped fine

4 oz. can of chopped green chilies, undrained

1/4 cup jalapeno pepper, chopped fine

couple shakes of Worcestershire sauce


What you’ll make:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the bread by cutting off the top of the bread 1/2 inch deep. Hollow out the bread, leaving about a one inch shell. Set top aside and cut inside bread into cubes for toasting and dipping later. Mix all ingredients in mixer until blended.

Place a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap around the whole loaf onto a baking sheet. Pour cheese mixture into hollowed-out bread. Sprinkle top with meat if desired. Return the top piece of bread to close the bread bowl.

Wrap completely in foil and place baking sheet in oven. Bake for one hour.



Article sponsored by the following: South’s Finest Meat’s, Nationwide, and Fincher & Ozment.

Find South’s Finest Meat’s on the web at:  http://southsfinestmeats.com

Find Nationwide on the web at:  http://www.nationwide.com

Find Fincher & Ozment on the web at:  http://www.fincherandozment.com

By Tori Linville


So the new of summer has just about worn off and the local fro-yo store has been visited so many times, they know your name. Sound familiar? Don’t panic! We have some game changers for you. All of these easy-to-make summer treats can be made in the comfort of your judgment-free home. Sure enough, these will become your summertime staples in no time.


Homemade Slurpee


Though this recipe takes some time, it’s only in the beginning and then you have your slurpee in minutes. The best part is that it can be made with different sodas, but the freezing times might change.


            What you’ll need:   

                        500 mL of your favorite soda


            What you’ll make:

                        Shake the bottle heavily for five to 10 seconds to increase pressure. Then, put it in the freezer for about three and a half to four hours. Here’s where you get experimental. This recipe says for three hours and 50 minutes is the ideal slurpee time – as in to where it’s almost frozen, but not really.


                        Remove the bottle from the freezer and in one continuous movement, unscrew the cap and quickly tighten it back up. Turn the bottle upside down and return it upright. Ice crystals should immediately start forming.  Pour into a glass and enjoy.


For more explanation into the recipe, find it here.


Homemade Slushee


The difference from the slurpee? Many things. Mainly texture. Which is why by the end of creating this sweet treat, you’ll be a slushee-slurpee expert. You’re welcome.


            What you’ll need:

                        4 cups of ice

                        1 cup of sugar

                        1 1/2 tsp. of raspberry extract (or any other flavor you’re feeling

                        4-6 drops of food coloring (any color, really)


            What you’ll make:

                        Mix water and sugar. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Then add in the extract, stirring well. Add in the food coloring until you get the color you want.

Pour into a blender until roughly blended for perfect slushee texture.

We changed things around a little bit, so check out the original recipe here to get an idea of what’s really going on.


Fruity Flops


From Betty Crocker herself, these cute little treats will have you looking at your summer shoes in a whole new light. Rice Krispy bars in the shape of flip flops? Definitely.


            What you’ll need:

                        1 crispy marshmallow bar – homemade or store bought should be fine needs to be at least four by two inches colored candy sprinkles

                        1 roll of Fruit Roll Ups (one roll up per flop)

                        2 Fruit Gushers (one gusher per flop)


            What you’ll make:

                        First, cut the marshmallow into the shape of a flip flop, then press candy sprinkles onto the sides of the flip flop shapes.        


                        Then unroll Fruit Roll-Up and remove the paper. Cut two strips to form a V-shape to create the flip flop straps. Place Fruit Gusher a the tip of the V.


See the recipe here.


Banana Split Bites


These don’t actually have ice cream in them, making them healthier but just as sweet. This recipe takes a little bit more TLC, but what results will be appreciated by your taste buds.


            What you’ll need:   

                        1 inch pieces of pineapple (one per bite)

                        bite-sized un-ripe pieces of banana (one per bite)

                        medium sized strawberry pieces (one per bite)

                        2.5 oz. dark chocolate

                        1 tsp. coconut oil

                        chopped nuts/coconut (if you feel like it)


            What you’ll make:

                        First cut the fruit and assemble so that each bite has a piece of each fruit.  Skewer with a popsicle stick and freeze. Melt chocolate with coconut oil and stir frequently so it doesn’t burn. Once melted, dip the fruit in the chocolate and sprinkle with optional nuts/coconut then place on baking sheet to harden. Freeze again until ready to serve.

We simplified the recipe slightly, so look here for reference if needed.


Article sponsored by Lakeside Dental.

Find them on the web: http://www.lakesidedentalsmiles.com

Independence Day Vanilla Infused Peach White Chocolate Ice Cream


Serves: 2 quarts




·      5 cups fresh peaches, diced

·      2 tablespoons of Vanilla extract

·      1 cup of granulated sugar  (you may add instead vanilla flavored sugar)

·      1 cup white chocolate morsels

·      1 (12 ounce) can of evaporated milk

·      1/2 package of instant vanilla pudding

·      1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk

·      4 cups of half and half

·      Large bag of ice

·      Rock salt (for ice cream machine)

·      Electric ice cream machine


Note:  The ambient air temperature will determine the amount of ice and salt used in the ice cream machine.  Be sure to follow instructions on machine.




Place peaches into a bowl, add sugar, stir.  Allow mixture to sit for 1 hour. 


Place peaches into a food processor and pulse 3 times or until mostly pureed.  Set aside.


Whisk the evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and pudding mix.  Add the diced peaches, white chocolate morsels, sweetened condensed milk, and half and half, and whisk well.


Pour mixture into the ice cream machine and process.  Afterward, transfer to a container of choice and place into freezer.


Article Sponsored by Willcutt Block and Supply.  


Find Willcutt Block on the web:http://www.willcuttblock.com



By Amy Poore

love to cook, I love to eat and I love my new little baby girl most of all. The problem with this was two weeks after bringing her home, the thought of cooking anything beyond throwing a jar of spaghetti sauce on top of a pot of noodles was completely overwhelming.

~Fast Forward two months~

After the realization that I would not be Martha Stewart anytime soon, a little sleep, and a handful of simple, yet tasty recipes, my two worlds collided happily under one roof. Let me tell you - my husband was beyond thrilled. Eating out and take-out was getting old and expensive! Here are a couple of his favorites:

Italian Skillet Pasta


12 oz Italian sausage, cut into bite sized pieces

1 can (14.5 oz) Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, undrained

1 can (8 oz) Tomato Sauce

1-1/4 cups hot water

8 ounces pasta of your choice

1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning

1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

1 pkg (6 oz) baby spinach leaves

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Brown the sausage in a non stick skillet.

2. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, seasoning and pasta. Bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir in spinach until it wilts. Stir in cheese until melted.

5. Serve with more cheese sprinkled on top.


 by Elizabeth Branch

Red velvet is one of my all-time favorite cake flavors! It is basically a less-intense version of chocolate cake, so you can pair it with many, many other flavors. It doesn't always have to be topped with cream cheese frosting, but when in doubt, that is definitelya good choice. But why not switch it up for your next big party? Red Velvet goes well with peppermint, raspberry, white chocolate, and in this case, Oreos. 

This Red Velvet Trifle is similar to Dirt, a dessert made with alternating layers of crushed Oreos and a cream cheese based pudding. This dessert is made up of layers of red velvet cake, cheesecake filling, and chopped Oreos with red filling. 

By Amy Poore

Well, guess what? Spring is almost here - though I'm sure after the recent wintry weather it's hard to believe it. But look at the calendar - see? It IS going to happen, and that means now is the time to start thinking about swimsuit season. That means, of course, that healthy recipes are in order.

It’s tough to keep up a healthy eating regimen, but it’s mucheasier if you have recipes that are also really, really good. Honestly, up until this past year, I haven’t found many recipes that were both healthy and delicious. But I did find a few, and I’m sharing one with you this month! This chopped kale salad is satisfying and nutritious.

Bon appétit!


Chopped Kale Salad

  • 6 cups of chopped kale (chopped into small bites)
  • ½ cup toasted almonds
  • ½ cup Craisins
  • 1½ cup cooked, whole grain quinoa
  • Dijon vinaigrette (recipe below)

Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 2 teaspoons prepared Dijon mustard (store bought is great)
  • 3 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad: In a large bowl, toss together the kale, almonds, Craisins and quinoa. Stir in dressing.

For the vinaigrette: Whisk together the mustard and the vinegar, slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve alone or with a protein of your choice.

Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com

Photo: Amy Poore

By Amy Poore


If you’re planning the perfect spring dinner at your house this year, I’ve got a recipe for you: the best ham ever. I’m serious, the orange slices and the Coke and the mustard just give this ham the most incredible flavor. You’ll be glad you made this one – and your guests will too.

Bon appétit!


Best Ham Ever

  • 6-8 lb. bone-in, cured ham
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup prepared Dijon mustard
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1½ cups of Coke
  • 1 large turkey baking bag

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Score the ham 1/4 inches down in a diamond pattern.

Place the ham in the baking bag on its bottom (cut side out). Place bag on a roasting pan.

Mix mustard and sugar together in a small bowl until combined. Spread mixture over the whole ham (in the bag).

Place orange wedges around the base of the ham and pour coke around the bottom on the ham (not over the top – you do not want to wash your sugar mixture up).

With a puff of air into the bag, close the opening tightly and with a sharp knife, cut three, 1-inch slits on the top of the bag.

Cook for 1.5 – 2 hours.

Let ham rest for 30 minutes before serving.


Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com


Photo: Amy Poore

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