By day, Patty Millay is a training manager for U.S. Bank Home Mortgage.  By night, however, she is lacing up her apron and serving up delicious meals and desserts for family and friends.  And, even better, she's sharing them with us in her What's for Dinner with Patty? blog.  I checked out Patty's blog and, in between bouts of wiping drool off my chin, the keyboard and computer screen, I managed to pinpoint some of my favorite sounding and looking creations!  

But before we get to the recipes, check this out.  Patty stopped by the WBKR studio to chat about how she got started cooking and baking and shared some her secrets in the kitchen!

And, now . . . RECIPES!!

Photo and cake by Patty Millay

I love Red Velvet cake and Patty's looks AMAZING!  Here's her recipe straight from the What's for Dinner with Patty?

This isn't a "made from scratch" traditional recipe for Red Velvet Cake.  I'm all about making things as simple as possible and I take liberties to save time when I can. This is the busy lady's solution to a traditional Southern favorite.

2 boxes of white cake mix
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 oz almond extract
2 oz red food coloring
3 cans of white cake frosting

Prepare the cake mix as instructed plus one extra egg (for luck).  When well mixed, add the vanilla and almond extract and blend completely.  Turn the mixer off (trust me on this) and add the red food coloring.  Then SLOWLY mix until all your batter is a rich red color throughout.

Pour into three prepared 9 inch cake pans.  Pat the bottom of each pan of batter to break up the air bubbles.  Bake at 350* for approximately 30 - 40 minutes.  Cakes are ready when the center is completely baked through.  Test with a skewer or a twig of baking straw inserted in the center to make sure your cake is done (skewer should come out completely clean).  Place the layers on a cooling rack and allow plenty of time for layers cool completely.

To frost this, place the bottom of the layer down.  The tops are not as crumbly and this can be a hard cake to frost clean.  The minute you have a crumb on your frosting knife, switch to a clean one.  I know this makes for more clean up but once those red crumbs bleed through, your nice white appearance is shot!

As far as frosting, you can use traditional white frosting, cream cheese is equally delicious or you can use whipped topping (Cool Whip) to frost the cake.  Some people like to let the red show on the sides but I prefer to frost the entire cake.  The white of the icing is such a pretty contrast to the red in the cake.

You can refrigerate this cake overnight if you need to. The time and chill only make the flavors better!

This recipe has that authentic Southern taste but does not require cocoa.

I know that there are much more complex recipes for both the cake and frosting and they are quite good.  I just opt for the simpler approach,  I've never had a single slice left over!  Hope ya'll enjoy!

Hmmmm, Patty.  I would like to enjoy that right about now.  And thanks!

Patty's blog has lots of delicious dessert recipes . . . no doubt about it.  But I was intrigued by this recipe for Chicken Spaghetti.  I eat pasta ALL the time, but I have never heard of a dish quite like this.  It looks astonishing.

Photo and recipe by Patty MIllay

If you ever need to feed an army, this is the dish to do it!  Economical and reasonably few ingredients - a sure bet to please for everyone!

1 whole baked chicken, no skin, de-boned
   (I am not going to de-bone a chicken, I      used 1 lg. bag of boneless skinless
   chicken breasts - boil for 25 minutes then shred with fork and let cool)
2 1 lb. boxes of vermicelli noodles
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Rotel brand tomatoes (drained)
1/2 cup minced celery
1/2 cup minced onion
1 stick butter
2 boxes of chicken stock
1 1/2 - 2 lbs of Velveeta cheese (diced into small cubes)
salt and pepper

Like I said earlier, I'm not into de-boning a chicken so I just boiled a bag of boneless skinless chicken breasts (7 or 8 breasts).  You can bake them if you like but I find that boiled keeps the meat more moist.  Shred the chicken with a fork or chop it to a medium grade, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Boil the noodles in chicken stock until tender.  (I got caught with only one box of stock on hand so I did half and half with water -it was fine.)

Mince the celery and onion, sauté with the stick of butter over medium heat until translucent and tender.  You may need to add a bit of water to extend the cooking time if your veggies don't tender quickly.  This is best done in a covered skillet.

Mix the veggies, soup (I did two cans cream of chicken as I don't like mushrooms) Rotel, chopped cheese and chicken.  Divide into two large Tupperware boxes (9x13 or larger).

Drain the noodles and add them in small amounts and mix well until all are incorporated well with the cheese, chicken mix.  If you have a big strong man in your house, bribe him into mixing this - you'll be glad you did!  If not, I recommend asking a linebacker from your local team to dinner and getting him to do it!

Spray two 9x13 casserole dishes with cooking spray and add one of your Tupperware box mixes to each.  This recipe will fill two very large casseroles.  Don't try to squeeze it all into one dish as you want the cheese to melt evenly.

Bake 30 - 40 minutes at 350* until the cheese is completely melted throughout.

I recommend serving with Caesar salad and garlic bread with cheesecake or brownies for dessert!  I promise you that no one will leave hungry!

This serves 20 people!  Cut this recipe in half this for a large hungry family and freeze the left overs.  It reheats beautifully and will keep even the heartiest eater satisfied.

On her blog site, Patty actually dedicates this recipe to a dear, departed friend of ours.  And I will let you check out the blog for yourself to see the dedication.  It's these very personal and heartfelt touches that Patty adds to her recipes that give them that extra little kick . . . that extra little spice.

And proving that she is indeed Southern at heart in her cooking, Patty has a recipe for cornbread on her blog site and THIS cornbread looks sinful!!  And I want to commit sin right now on the steps of the courthouse for everyone to see.  How delicious does this look?

Photo and recipe by Patty Millay

If there is ever a cornbread contest - ya'll better get OUT of My Way!  Have Mercy, this is the BEST cornbread I've ever made and I have to feed a few dozen folks tonight so I made a double batch (I hope it'll be enough:)!

I saw this on the Internet and thought, Oh Why Not?!  I've made thousands of batches of cornbread in my life but this looked truly unique!  Results are gorgeous and delicious!

You're gonna' need:
2 boxes of Jiffy Cornbread mix
1 box of Jiffy* Yellow Cake mix
   *If you can't find the Jiffy Cake mix, you can only substitute with Duncan Hines Golden Butter Cake - you need a regular ole' yellow cake mix that does not contain pudding in the mix. 

Mix the cornbread mix and cake mix together and add ingredients according to directions on BOTH packages (throw in an extra egg for luck - ya'll should already know that)!  Mix everything all together in a big mixing bowl. I used my electric mixer as this is too big a batch to stir by hand.

Spray a big baking dish - these are 10x15 disposable baking dishes and Sugar, they are FULL.  If you are using a regular 9x13 casserole dish, this will easily split into two pans.  Just spray them down with baking spray as you sure don't want this to stick!

The original recipe said to bake half an hour at 350*- that might work for small pans!  I baked these beauties for a full hour (maybe even a few minutes more) at 350* - you just have to watch them - bake until the center sets firm.

I could NOT resist and I can't possibly serve my guests something that hasn't been taste tested .... Standing Ovation Corn Bread!  I hear this is what they serve at Disney....I don't know if that's true or not but I'd drive to Florida just to taste compare!  Grab some butter and get to it ya'll!

What's for Dinner with Patty? has over 100 delicious recipes complete with photos and fun anecdotes about each.  I highly recommend checking it out the next time you find yourself in the kitchen thinking, "What am I gonna cook for dinner tonight?"  Trust me.  My friend Patty has the answer for you.  In fact, she has dozens of delicious answers for you and they're right there at your fingertips.  Remember, if you're wondering what's for dinner . . . check out What's for Dinner with Patty?