My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rice Piemontaise

This started out as a very French dish and I guess still is, but I have made some changes. It is excellent served with veal, chicken, beef, lamb, almost anything.

Rice Piemontaise
Serves 6
Printer Friendly Version

1 cup long grain rice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth or beef consomme
1/4 teaspoon saffron (optional)
2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon chopped pimiento
6 tablespoons ham, chopped fine
4 tablespoons chopped onion
1/4 stick of butter
Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onions and cook until they are transparent. Add the broth and rice and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and lower the heat to warm. Let rice steam for 18-20 minutes. When done, uncover and add another 1/3 stick of butter, and with a spoon, gently mix together so that the rice will not stick together, but will be firm and fluffy. Add the chopped green pepper and pimientos and mix again. Serve hot.

COOK'S NOTE: I also like to saute 1/4-1/2 cup of pine nuts to sprinkle over the top before serving.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cabbage and Potatoes

Why do I always think of Cabbage and Potatoes as a winter dish? Now is the time when the cabbage is fresh in the garden and the new potatoes are just coming out of the ground.

Cabbage and Potatoes
2 servings
print recipe

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (about 1-inch)
3/4 pound green cabbage, sliced thin
1/2 +4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup milk
3 green onions, chopped
3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened

Cook potatoes in salted water; drain and mash and set aside. Combine cabbage and water in a large skillet. Cook about 15 minutes or until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Combine potatoes and cabbage. Combine milk, onions, and 3/4 of the softened butter in a medium saucepan and heat to a boil; stir and pour over cabbage and potato mixture. Stir to combine all ingredients. Place in a bowl. Make a well in the center of mixture; melt remaining butter and pour into well. Serve hot.

Fresh Creamed Peas

Fresh peas from the garden have to be my favorite vegetable. I don't even mind shelling them because I know the wonderful end result.

Fresh Creamed Peas
4-6 servings
print recipe

2 cups fresh shelled peas (you can use frozen)
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick of butter, more if you like
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 1/2 cups milk

Combine peas, salt and water in a 2 quart saucepan and cook over medium high heat until peas are tender. This could take 10-20 minutes depending on the type of peas. Drain and set aside. Melt butter and whisk in the flour and onion cooking for about 1 minute, do not brown, over high heat, whisk in milk and continue whisking until slightly thickened. Add peas and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Good Basic Buttermilk Cornbread

There is something about summertime fresh vegetables and good cornbread that just say "Welcome to my home". Fresh from your favorite produce stand or farmers market is the only way to get truly fresh vegetables unless you grow them yourself.

Cornbread is like your favorite jeans, it goes with anything. Keep it simple and casual or dress it up.

I probably have ten cornbread recipes that I just love, but when in doubt go with the basics. Any left over can be buttered and fried for breakfast with homemade jams or used as the base for you Sausage Gravy.

Basic Buttermilk Cornbread
6-8 servings
print recipe

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
2 cups self-rising corn meal

Preheat oven to 425. Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in oven for 8 minutes.

Whisk together buttermilk and egg in a large bowl; add melted butter from skillet, whisking until blended. Whisk in cornmeal until smooth. Spoon into hot skillet.

Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden. Cut into wedges to serve with plenty of butter.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Damn These Are Good Fried Banana Peppers

Fried Banana Peppers and summer just go together, and if you have a family member,my nephew Randy, as I do that grows enough of these in his garden to supply the next 5 counties you need to know how to make "damn good fried banana peppers".

This is not something I have learned overnight, this is years of trial and error. If you don't believe me try making these and not following instructions. This is one example of the technique being as important as the ingredients.

This is NOT a batter, that normally slides right off, this is a light crispy crust. The important ingredient is the crushed saltine crackers. The important technique is to let them set in the refrigerator after you have breaded them for at least 2 hours to overnight before frying. A suggestion is to double bread them for lots of crunch, I normally do.

Did I mention that making fried green tomatoes like this is also damn good.

Fried Banana Peppers
10 peppers (not servings)
print recipe

10 banana peppers (washed, sliced lengthwise and seeds removed)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup saltine cracker, crushed
vegetable or peanut oil for frying

1. In a medium bowl, mix together equal parts cornmeal and crushed saltines.
2. Prepare shallow bowl of buttermilk
3. Place prepared banana peppers in bowl of buttermilk. Let rest for 10-20 minutes. Let excess buttermilk drain from pepper.
4, Coat with cornmeal/cracker mixture. I use a plastic bag.
5. Re dip and coat now if that is your plan.
6. Place coated peppers on a plate or pan and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.
7. Heat oil in frying pan or deep fryer to medium heat. Fry until golden brown.
8. Drain/cool slightly on paper towels
9. Serve as is or with your favorite dipping sauce.

Please let me know is you find a better "Fried Banana Pepper" recipe.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Empty Promises - Saints and Scriptures Sunday

How many times have we heard someone say, "I'll keep you in my prayers, bless her heart or I'll add you to our prayer list at church". You know they have forgotten it as soon as they walk away. This is basically what Matthew had to say about that.

Matthew 5:33-37

"And don't say anything you don't mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying 'I'll pray for you,' and never doing it, or saying 'God be with you'. and not meaning it. You don't make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say 'yes' and 'no'. When you manipulate words to get your own way, you are wrong.

More Saints and Scriptures at The Kennedy Adventures - Saints and Scriptures Sunday.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Baked Vidalia Onions

It's hard to believe that this is only the second vidalia onion recipe I've posted. When vidalia's are in season I use them for everything, including a slice of vidalia on a cold biscuit with tomato and a dap of mayo.

Baked Vidalia Onions
6 servings
print recipe

6 large Vidalia onions
1 (6-ounce) package cornbread stuffing mix
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Peel onions and cut a small slice from top and bottom. Cut each onion into wedges, cutting to within 1/2 inch of bottom. Set aside. Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Cool and stir in cheese. Fill onions with stuffing mixture and wrap each onion in aluminum foil. Place onions in a baking pan large enough to give at least 1 inch clearance around each onion. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. These are great for cookouts.

Friday, June 25, 2010

OMG! It's Feel Good Friday Again

If time doesn't slow down I'm going to be 75 by next Thursday. What a great week but moving to fast. I've had 3 mental health days this week. That doesn't mean I've sat on my butt and read Gone With the Wind again, it means I've gotten so many things done that I haven't taken the time to do lately. Yes, I've pissed people off and said no to several that I don't normally do that to, but sometimes it takes what it takes. Why is it that people think you have nothing to do because you don't have a "job"?

I have sparkly clean freezers ready for fresh veggies, fruits and berries. Clean windows I can actually see out in the yard and fields. A really good start on my canning with sauerkraut and beets , blueberries and raspberries in the freezer. My tan is even coming along from running to the garden and walking the puppies. Speaking of Annie and Mazzy, they are also sparkly clean.

The vacuum is in the middle of the floor and the Get Well Cards are still out, my little office looks like I've been robbed. I'll get to all that stuff when I have time. I have Pickled Beets to make today because David said that beets were the harvest of the day. I'm posting the recipe for The Best Damned Fried Banana Peppers Ever this week, please stop by and see me.

Before you do that stop by Feel Good Friday and see what is making other people "feel good" this week.

Simple Boiled Custard

Why has this always been called "boiled custard". The last thing you want to do is let this boil.

Boiled custard normally would bring up thoughts of Christmas in many families. Simple Boiled Custard with a plate of your favorite Christmas cookies or simply served plain.

Okay I know it isn't Christmas, I haven't totally lost my mind, yet. I have been noticing all these recipes for "sweet cream" to spoon over fresh berries, so I thought why not this beautiful simple custard, because that's really all they are, except sweeter and heavier. The simple custard allows the fresh taste and sweetness of the berries to shine through. Use any berries you like or mix them up. I used peaches, blueberries and raspberries the last time.

This is not thick and heavy like a pie filling, but very pourable like old-fashioned cream.

Simple Boiled Custard
makes 4 cups
print recipe

4 cups milk or half-and-half
6 egg yolks (save the whites for an angel food cake)
3/4 -1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Dash of salt
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract

1. Pour milk into top of a double boiler, and bring water to a boil. Heat milk until tiny bubbles begin to appear around edges of pan. Remove from heat.

2. Whisk egg yolks until frothy. Add sugar, cornstarch, and salt, beating until thickened. Gradually stir about 1 cup hot milk into yolk mixture; add to remaining milk, stirring constantly.

3. Cook custard in double boiler over low heat, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes or until thickened and a candy thermometer register 180 degrees F. (DO NOT BOIL) Stir in vanilla.

4. Pour custard through a mesh strainer in case there are lumps or a tiny piece of egg shell.

5. Serve warm or cold, over berries or plain.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Breaded Tomatoes

If you are not from the South or have never visited here than maybe you are not familiar with Breaded Tomatoes, Scalloped Tomatoes or Stewed Tomatoes. They are basically the same. A rich, sweet tomato dish that is perfect served with almost anything.

This is the recipe given to me by my friend Janice Price and originated at the Claudia Sanders Dinner House, in Shelbyville, Kentucky. Yes, Claudia was the wife of Colonel Harlan Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame.

The recipe calls for canned tomatoes and toasted bread, however I use fresh tomatoes when they are in season and left over biscuits from breakfast, because that's what my grandmother did. These are heavenly!

Breaded Tomatoes
6 servings
print recipe

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained, use fresh if you have them
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 slices bread, toasted and cut into 1/4-inch cubes, or biscuits

In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender, stir in flour until blended. Add the tomatoes, sugar, oil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in toast cubes or biscuits.

Outer Banks Corn Muffins

Remember a couple of weeks ago I talked about Chef Dirt (Jerry G. Smith), Outer Banks N.C., this is a recipe from him. This is definitely not your ordinary corn muffin.

This makes a big batch(24), they freeze beautifully, if you are so lucky. Serve these with a big glob of My Country Sausage Gravy one morning with fresh sliced tomatoes out of the garden, or use in your next Cornbread and Turkey Salad.

Outer Banks Corn Muffins
yield: 24 muffins
print recipe

1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
1/4 cup diced sweet bell pepper (green or yellow)
2 tablespoons diced jalapeno pepper (seeds removed, or not)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup oil
1 tablespoon bacon fat
1 1/2 cups blue cornmeal (white or yellow cornmeal may be used)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 cup chopped country ham

Saute peppers and onion in bacon fat until tender; set aside. Combine butter and shortening in a small saucepan; melt over low heat, set aside to cool. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well and set aside. Combine eggs, milk, half-and-half and ham. Stir in sauteed vegetables and melted butter mixture. Add to dry ingredients (to include ham) stirring just until moistened. Spoon into greased and floured muffin pans, filling about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Makes 24. You may use yellow or white cornmeal instead of blue.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lucy's Chicken Breast

Thank goodness I have my friend Lucy or I would never have anyone to do a guest post for me. My niece has wonderful recipes but she post them on her blog - Ballard Boys, she has had some wonderful ones lately and more coming up.

Today is Lucy's day and she has received the highest praise there is in my family. Three compliments on the chicken breast from my nephew Randy, yes the ravioli in a can, king. He said, "How did you get the chicken so moist? The seasoning is really good. Can I take some home for lunch tomorrow." He does not give higher praise than this. I wasted all that time making mashed potatoes for him, his favorite, and he didn't say a word about them.

Lucy's Chicken Breast
4-6 servings
print recipe

4 to 6 boneless skinless chicken breast (depending on the size I've used 8)
8 ounces of sour cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (More if you like the taste)
2 teaspoons celery salt
1 stick of butter (melted)
Pepperidge Farm stuffing (herb flavor)

Mix together sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce an celery salt. Dip chicken in mixture and then roll in stuffing. Place in 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Pour melted butter over chicken. Bake covered for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Uncover for last 15 minutes for crunchiness.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Simple Beet Salad

I love beets, anyway there is to make them, pickled, roasted, raw, I really don't care. This recipe was in Southern Living some time ago, what a nice refreshing salad. When my dear friend David called to tell me he had a few beets ready to eat I knew what I was making.

Simple Beet Salad
6-8 servings
print recipe

2 pounds assorted medium beets
1/3 cup bottled balsamic vinaigrette
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Garnish: fresh parsley leaves

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Divide beets between 2 large pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil; drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette, and sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper. Seal foil, making 2 loose packets.
2. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes until fork tender.
3. Let cool 1 hour in packets, reserving accumulated liquid.
4. Bake walnuts at 400 degrees F. in a single layer in a shallow pan 8-10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
5. Peel beets, and cut into slices or wedges. Arrange beets on a serving platter or in a bowl. Drizzle with reserved liquid, and sprinkle with walnuts. Garnish, if desired.

Grilled Summer Squash

There is really no recipe to this, just directions. I love summer squash, raw,baked, grilled and it is so good for you.

Plan on 1/2 medium to large squash per person. Wash and drain. Cut in half lengthwise. Spray inter side with cooking spray, I prefer the olive oil spray. Sprinkle with lemon pepper and salt (House Seasoning is better). Place face down on top grill rack over medium heat. Cook about 10 minutes.

House Seasoning

1 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup course ground black pepper
1/4 cup granulated garlic (not salt, not powder)

Blend well. Store in airtight container (Mason jar). Use in anything calling for salt and pepper.

Monday, June 21, 2010

June is National Candy Month

A whole month of candy. I knew June was my favorite month for some reason. Most people would think February or December, me I really don't care as long as we have a National Candy Month.

I'll suggest a few of my favorites and you make anything you like.
Bacon Candy
Pecan Caramel Clusters
French Chocolate Bark
Chocolate Bourbon Fudge

With the strawberries in season now why not simply dip strawberries in white or dark chocolate. That works for me.

Kentucky Delight

My Aunt Millie use to make this, but I think she called it something else. Anyway I found this in my Kentucky Hospitality cook book and it is the same thing. She and Uncle Jimmy and the kids (5) would come to visit almost every summer. Mom would make the angel food cake, Aunt Millie would make whatever she called this, Dad and Uncle Jimmy would sip bourbon and supervise all us kids making homemade ice cream. I'm talking turn the crank kind of freezing ice cream. It really wasn't to bad with 8 of us to churn. Not once do I remember Dad or Uncle Jimmy taking a turn churning.

No one thought anything about the fact there was bourbon in this, everyone ate it.

Kentucky Delight
12-16 servings
print recipe

1/2 pound marshmallows
1/2 cup bourbon
2 dozen almond macaroons, crumbled
1 pint heavy cream, whipped

Soak marshmallows in bourbon for 1 hour. Try to keep 8 kinds out of this. Add macaroons and whipped cream. Chill slightly or serve immediately over angel food cake or ice cream or both. It can be kept refrigerated for 2 -3 days or can be frozen.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Potato-Mushroom Casserole

There is nothing better than make ahead dishes. If you are having a holiday dinner or just family or friends in for dinner, anything that can be done and the mess out of the way ahead of time is great with me. I always make and cook the whole recipe because leftovers freeze beautifully. Not that you'll have that to worry about because one of the kids will take them home anyway.

This is perfect for your Father's Day dinner.

Potato-Mushroom Casserole
(may be prepared ahead of time)
8-10 servings
print recipe

8 or 9 medium boiling potatoes cubed
1/2 cup butter
2 medium onions, chopped
2 (3 ounce) cans mushroom slices, drained, reserve liquid
Salt, pepper, and hot milk for mashing potatoes
1 cup sour cream

Peel and boil potatoes about 15 minutes, until tender. While they cook, prepare other ingredients. Heat butter in skillet; saute onions slowly about 5 minutes don't let them brown. Add drained mushrooms; saute about 2 minutes. Remove onions and mushrooms with slotted spoon; set aside, leaving the butter in the skillet.

When potatoes are done, drain return to hot pan, cover and let set 5 minutes. This will help them to absorb the butter and sour cream better. Whip potatoes lightly, adding the mushroom liquid, hot milk, and seasonings. Beat in the butter left in the skillet. Spread a thin layer of potatoes in shallow baking dish, cover with a thin layer of sauteed onions and mushrooms, then a layer or sour cream. Repeat; top layer should be potatoes. You should now have three layers of potatoes and two layers of vegetables and sour cream. Brush top with a little melted butter, sprinkle with paprika and bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.

May be made ahead and refrigerated before baking. You may have to increase your baking time for the cold casserole 15 minutes or so.

Saints and Scriptures Sunday - Relationships

Those of you who still have your father's, count your blessing. It really doesn't have to be your biological father, it can be any man that has given you guidance and support through your life. I have been blessed with a few of them.

Ephesians 6: 1-4

Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. "Honor your father and mother" is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, "so you will live well and have a long life."

Fathers, don't exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.

Happy Father's Day and check out more Saints and Scriptures at The Kennedy Adventures.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Caramel Cake with Whipped Cream Caramel Frosting

Just saying the name makes my mouth water. As long as I can remember this has been one of my 3 favorite cakes, and the one I always ask for for my birthday. When Caramel Cake is on the menu there is only one thing to say: It's all about the frosting!

Caramel Cake
8 servings
print recipe

1 (8-ounce) container of sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Caramel Frosting (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sour cream and milk

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at medium low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and let cool 1 hour or until completely cool.

Spread Whipped Cream Carmel Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Whipped Cream Caramel Frosting
makes 3 3/4 cups

1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in whipping cream and vanilla; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let cool 1 hour. Transfer frosting to a bowl.

Sift powdered sugar into frosting. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until creamy and spreading consistency.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Feel Good Friday

Do you think I'm excited to get this week started, it's Sunday evening and I've already started Feel Good Friday. The reason being it is fresh veggie and berry time now.

I have chopped and frozen almost enough cabbage to get me through the winter, fresh peas have been shelled and frozen, mustard greens and kale, blanched and frozen. This takes a little planning because my veggies are never refrigerated from the time they are harvested until they hit the freezer. That only gives me about a 4 hour window. My friend David at my favorite produce stand calls early in the morning to tell me what will be harvested that day and I plan accordingly. Yep, my whole life revolves around David in the summer and fall. Don't worry his wife doesn't mind. There are also a few green beans ready for canning.

Like I don't have enough to do, Jaz at Octoberfarm posts a recipe for the most beautiful blueberry pie that I have ever seen and I have to make something for Bible study this week, so off to my favorite orchard I go tomorrow. More on the orchard later.

Maybe I should take a little break here I'm starting to sound a little manic.

Okay, now it's Thursday the magic day to finish my "Feel Good Friday". Blueberries and raspberries are in the freezer and the blueberry pie made and consumed to rave reviews.

I had other things to write about but this is way more important and has actually made me feel the best of anything all week.

My niece Angie at Ballard Boys and I have always talked about our "dream jobs, both include living on the beach and she would work in a small book store and I would have a little cafe and neither of us would work full time. This is wonderful , please take the time to read it, this could be your dream job also. We could all live on the same beach and have little stores next to each other. How much fun would that be!

Pasta With White Clam Sauce

We are all not lucky enough to be able to walk to the beach and dig a bucket of clams for dinner, or even to the local fish market .

When I was working I made this at least once a week. The perfect dinner if you're running late, don't feel like cooking, or simply want something quick and easy and yummy. Everything is right on the pantry shelf.

Pasta With White Clam Sauce
4-6 servings
print recipe

2 (4-ounce each) cans chopped or whole baby clams
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 stick butter (1/2 pound)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced very fine
8 ounce linguine or spaghetti
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, more if you like

Cook pasta according to package direction. Drain clams and reserve liquid. Combine olive oil, melted butter, garlic, salt and clam juice in food processor and mix for 15 seconds. Pour into a 1 quart saucepan. Add clams and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes. Place warm pasta on a warm serving platter and pour clam sauce over pasta. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and parsley over top and toss. Serve with crusty French Bread and salad.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Swiss Cereal

I know summer is not the normal time for oatmeal, but I happen to like it all year round. A nice big bowl of this and you will not be looking for a snack by 10:00 in the morning. The kids will love it because it has dried fruit and not just plain old oatmeal. It doesn't have to be tart dried cherries, choose what you like or have on hand. The best part is that everything is done the night before except the few minutes of cooking the next morning.

Swiss Cereal
Make 4 one-half cup servings
print recipe

1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon very finely chopped orange zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons dried tart cherries
2 cups skim milk (I use whole)
Brown or granulated sugar
Cream, butter, or milk

The night before you plan to serve the dish, in a glass bowl, combine the oats, zest, cinnamon, and cherries. Stir well, then stir in the milk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

The next morning, place the mixture in a medium-sized saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the oats are tender and the mixture is thick. Serve immediately, either as it is or with brown or granulated sugar, and cream, butter, or milk.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Perfect Roast Chicken

In my opinion The Barefoot Contessa is the best show on the Food Network and this recipe was adapted from her The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Copyright 1999. It really is the Perfect Roast Chicken. Ask Jeffery, Ina makes it for him every Friday night.

Perfect Roast Chicken
8 servings
print recipe

1 (5 to 6 pound roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt and pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken and serve with the vegetables.

Monday, June 14, 2010


You really don't have to have baked beans just because you are grilling. These wonderful beans are really a nice change for summertime cookouts as well as winter comfort food.

6-8 servings
print recipe

1 pound of dried pinto beans
2 medium onions
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
About 1/4 pound diced salt pork
1 to 3 teaspoons chili powder (optional, but very good)
1/2 cup canned chopped green chiles (optional)
Salt to taste

Have you heard the old country expression "look your beans"? It just means to check the pinto beans for stones and faulty beans and remove them. After you have looked your beans wash through several changes of water. Put into a large kettle, cover with water and soak overnight. The next day, drain the beans and cover with fresh water. Add whole onions, garlic, diced pork, chili powder and green chilies, if using. Cook until tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Mexican Cornbread

There must be a hundred Mexican Cornbread recipes floating around. I have several that I use, but this is the one I seem to go back to. I think other than the fact it is so good, it doesn't make so much that you're eating the same pan of cornbread for days.

Mexican Cornbread
4-6 servings
print recipe

1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1 cup milk
1 egg
Small can cream style corn
1 chopped onion
3 or 4 jalapeno or chili peppers
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Chopped bell pepper and celery may be added

Combine all ingredients. Bake in greased casserole at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes.

This may be baked in a large ring mold and filled with beef stew, chili or chicken a la king.


Spring and summer just demand Sangria. This is the best and prettiest Sangria I have ever had. This recipe comes from someone we all know and love, Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman Cooks. If you don't own this book, stop right here and go get one.

As Ree tells us, "Feel free to make your sangria all your own: use all white wine, half white, half blush, or all red. Add in flavored liquor, too. There are no rules! Just maintain some combination of wine and fruit and you're good to go."

I followed her recipe and I wouldn't change one thing, except the way she dissolves the sugar, which I have.

3 liters
print recipe

i cup water
1 cup sugar
2 Granny Smith Apples, cored and cut into cubes
1 cup green seedless grapes
1 cup red seedless grapes
2 cups pineapple chunks
1 small unpeeled orange, thinly slices
2 unpeeled lemons, thinly sliced
2 unpeeled limes, thinly sliced
1.5 liter red wine (such as Cabernet Saugignon, Merlot, or Pinot Noir), chilled
1.5 liter dry white wine (such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Grigio), chilled
1 cup orange-flavored rum
1 cup orange-flavored vodka

1. In a small saucepan simmer water and sugar until sugar dissolves, about 4-5 minutes. Place in refrigerator to cool while you chop and slice fruit.
2. Chop and slice all the fruit and place in a large container, I mean large.
3. Next, start pouring in all the liquids.
4. Finally add in the chilled sugar/water mixture. Stir well, then cover and refrigerate for several hours giving the fruits and liquids time to meld.
5. Serve in glasses over ice, and have tongs nearby so guest can help themselves to the delicious fruit treat.

Please drink responsibly.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Story of the Lost Lamb - Saints and Scriptures Sunday

This was the scripture we were studying in Sunday School a couple of weeks ago and I was amazed at how many people just didn't get it. I've worried over this for two weeks and it's very clear to me as to God's word.

Luke 15:1-7
By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not please, not at all pleased. They growled, "He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends." Their grumbling triggered this story.

"Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn't you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, 'Celebrate with me!. I've found my lost sheep!' Count on it- there's more joy in heaven over one sinner's rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.

This is God's word.

For more Saints and Scriptures, visit The Kennedy Adventures.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Feel Good Friday

This week I'm not going to wait until Thursday to start my Feel Good Friday, I forget too many things. I loved my Tuesday post, Happy Anniversary, I always smile when I think about my sister. We always had so much fun together in our "wilder" days. No thank you I would not want to go back there, or even 10 years ago. I love today.

Before I forget one of our regular friends on Feel Good Friday may be missing today, she is having a Treasure Sale. Stop by and leave a good luck message, and a few words of encouragement for Mommy On The Spot, she is so sweet and funny.

This week I'm going to recommend that everyone schedule a Mental Health Day in the near future. Mine was Wednesday this week. I cannot begin to tell you how good I felt on Thursday and how much stuff I got done. Really, I got Wednesdays and Thursdays "to do list" completed. My niece, Angie, and I are talking about a "mental health" week end. That could be a little dangerous with the two of us, but so much fun.

Today or tomorrow I'm getting my first blueberries and raspberry of the season. Stop by next week and I'll have a few great recipes for these wonderful berries.

This really is the most boring post I've ever read, sorry, I'll do better next week.

Tiger Butter

Not only is this delish it is absolutely beautiful. Place these pieces in a pretty glass bowl lined with a napkin and it will be the talk of your dessert table, coffee table, desk at work or the arm of your favorite chair. If you really poke around, it might take you 15 minutes to make this.

Tiger Butter
about 24 pieces
print recipe

1 pound vanilla almond bark coating
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Line a 15 1/2x10 1/2-inch jellyroll pan with non-stick aluminum foil.

Break the almond bark into 1-inch pieces and place in a 1 1/2-quart microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted. Stir until smooth.

Add the peanut butter and microwave on high for 2 minutes or until melted. Stir again until smooth. Microwave an additional 30 seconds if needed and spread the mixture into the pan.

Melt the chocolate morsels in a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring, cup on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter mixture and swirl through with a knife.

Cool and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Vegetable Sandwich

With the weather getting warmer by the day and the garden growing like crazy this is the perfect sandwich for brown bagging or use as an appetizer or dip. I used this for whole wheat wraps a few days ago, fabulous.

Vegetable Sandwich
about 3 cups
print recipe

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped onion - white sweet onion or green onions
1 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped cucumbers
6 chopped radishes
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Chop all vegetables very fine. Blend cream cheese and mayonnaise together. Add the chopped vegetables and mix well.

How easy was that.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mental Health Day

Yesterday I actually took a "mental health" day, they might refer to them now as personal days. Whatever they are called I highly recommend them. I have make a decision to take one a month. You don't have to have an out of the house job to take care of your mental health.

The day was perfect for it, that wonderful light rain with a few rumbles of thunder and a flash or two of lightening. You know the kind I'm talking about, it makes your grass grow 6 inches overnight.

I had my usual list of "things to do" all ready to go and just said "no not today". If I'm behind this week so what, most of it is for other people anyway. Today is mine.

This was my day: shower, walked puppies between showers,10:30 nap and a 2:00 nap, reading between naps, soup for lunch and dinner.

At 9:15 when the puppies went for their last walk of the day I have never seen so many fire flies. They were beautiful and the puppies loved chasing and trying to catch them. I'm sure they are there every night I just don't take time to see them. I think I'll pay more attention to the beautiful things around and not worry so much about my "to do" list.

I did not blog, email or talk on the phone. My day was drama free.

Please take time for a "mental health day". It is so worth it.

Avocado-Shrimp Boats

If I had to choose one food item that I could eat everyday it would have to be avocados. I love them plain with a little salt and pepper or all dolled up as in this recipe. Everyone always says, "but the fat content". Honey, this is good healthy fat. I bet you don't think about the fat content when you are in a hurry and drive through McDonald's. That is bad fat content.

Avocado-Shrimp Boats
6 servings (1 "boat" per serving)
print recipe

about 10 ounces thoroughtly washed chilled inner leaves of a head of romaine lettuce
3 ripe avocados
30-36 cooked, shelled small to medium-size shrimp, chilled (I prefer to roast shrimp)
9 ripe cherry tomatoes, chilled
1 cup Champagne Dressing recipe follows

Prepare salad just before serving

Tear the romaine into bite-size pieces and make a bed of them on a serving platter.

Carefully peel the avacados, discard the pits and skin, and cut the avocados into halves. Trim a small disc from the bottom of each avocado half so that each one sits flat. Eat the disk trimmings. Arrange the avocados, cut side up, on the bed of greens. Arrange 5-6 chilled shrimp in a sunburst patern in the hollow of each avocado half. Hav

Champagne Dressing

Years ago there was a fabulous restaurant in Lexington, Ky, owned by Stanley Demos. Yes, the Couch House on Broadway. Stanley made the most heavenly Champagne Dressing and you could even purchase it at the grocery. You can buy it on line now, but it doesn't taste the same to me. Well things change and I have a new favorite Champagne Dressing that I would like to share with you.

Use this for Avocado-Shrimp Boats or simply over Bibb Lettuce or anything in between.

Champagne Dressing
about 1 cup
Print recipe

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup best-quality champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 medium-size onion (3 to 3 1/2 ounces)cut in eighths
3/4 cup canola oil

Into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, place the sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery seed, salt, pepper, and onion. Processing until thoroughly emulsified. Dressing should not be kept more than 3 days.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sausage, Rice and Mushroom Casserole

This is the perfect make ahead dish, from my friend Lucy. I made this on Monday of this week for Tuesday night supper. Don't you love having something already made and ready to pop in the oven. It's like having a day off from cooking. All you really need with this is a salad and bread.

Lucy uses hot sausage or sausage with sage or a combination. Whatever you like. I happen to have Chorizo and used that. I just love her because she pays attention. She also said, "It is great to take to someone for funeral food."

Sausage, Rice and Mushroom Casserole
6 servings
print recipe

1 pound bulk sausage
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 6 ounce can of mushrooms undrained (I used fresh, that's what I had)
1 envelope of dry chicken noodle soup
3 cups of water
1 cup rice - uncooked

Cook sausage until just done. Drain off fat and add celery and onion. Cook 5 minutes more and then add mushrooms, 2 1/2 cups of water and the dry soup mix. Bring to a boil and add rice. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Pour into a 2 quart casserole, refrigerate over night. When ready to cook; preheat oven to 325 degrees; pour 1/2 cup water over all and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happy Anniversary - 25 Years

It is so hard to believe that my sweet little sister, Sandy has been married to her wonderful husband, Mac, for 25 years today. I have always heard that if it storms during a wedding the couple will have a long and happy marriage. It must be true, because we had a terrible storm with lights flickering and all just as they were taking their vows at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Daytona Beach, Fl. They renewed their vows a couple of weeks ago in California where Mac is the minister of Grace Episcopal Church.

The reason for selecting this recipe today is very simple. This is the recipe that "hooked" Mac. You have heard me mention Sandy's culinary skills in the past, she has greatly improved over the years, but she still holds the "Best at Making Reservations" title.

When they were dating and she had invited Mac for dinner, I would hurry and make this dish and run it over to her apartment and all she had to do was make Hal's Salad and bake the Crab Stuffed Flounder. He was so impressed and just loved the dish. He even had "her" make it one night for his dad, Dr. Mac. We were so devious.

Cheers guys, here is wishing you at least 50 more years of happiness. Love you both.

Crab Stuffed Flounder
4-5 servings
print recipe

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.

3/4 cup minced celery
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup minced green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 ounces fresh crabmeat (lump is always best)
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon each salt, and pepper
8-10 flounder fillets

Mornay Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk or fish stock
Pinch cayenne (1/8 teaspoon)
3 tablespoons each of grated Parmesan and Swiss Cheese

Saute' vegetables in butter and garlic until tender. Add flour and cook one minute, stirring constantly. Add milk and wine and stir till thickened. Remove from heat and add crabmeat, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper. Place half the fillets in large shallow baking pan, spoon about 1 cup of crabmeat stuffing on each fillet. Cut remaining fillets in half lengthwise, place a fillet half on either side of stuffed fillets, pressing gently into stuffing mixture. Top each with mornay sauce and sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Mornay Sauce: Melt butter, add flour cook one minute, stirring constantly. Add fish stock and or milk slowly, cooking and stirring until thickened. Add cayenne and cheeses. Stir to blend.

Yes, she finally learned to make it all on her own.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Carrots and Zucchini

Do you have trouble getting the kids, old and young, to eat their veggies. This might help. Kids seem to love this because of the julienned vegetables and the hint of sweetness from the orange marmalade. Its not like you are trying to get them to eat little round slices of carrot.

This is a great side dish with Viva la Chicken.

Carrots and Zucchini
6 servings
print recipe

1/2 cup butter
4-5 carrots, julienned
4 zucchini, julienned
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons orange marmalade

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the carrots and zucchini. Sprinkle with seasonings and cook on high for about 3 minutes, or until just tender. Add marmalade and stir constantly until melted. Adjust the seasonings and serve.

Mustard or Kale Greens

Would you believe you can make mustard or kale greens WITHOUT bacon grease or salt pork? I would never have belived it. These are sooo good make plenty because they are even better left over.

The whole secret is fresh greens, I mean produce stand fresh. Of course mine came from my favorite produce stand owned by Pat and David Biddle, only a mile from the house. This is the time of year here in Kentucky that the greens are tender and beautiful.

Mustard/Kale Greens
6-8 servings
print recipe

1 cup thinly sliced onions
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 pounds mustard greens, washed well and torn into large pieces
3-4 tablespoons chicken broth or vegetable broth
House Seasoning to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil for finishing

In a large skillet, saute' onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begins to brown and caramelize, 5-10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Kale will take a little longer to cook. Toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season with House Seasoning or salt and pepper.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Story of the Tax Man and the Pharisee - Saints and Scriptures Sunday

We have all known people like this in our life. Most of them I can get rid of in a hurry, but no matter how hard you try one will sneak back in from time to time. Who knows maybe they will be reading the post this morning.

Luke 18:9-17

Jesus told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and looked down their noises at the common people "Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: "Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people - robbers, crooks, adulterers, or heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income."

"Meanwhile, the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, 'God, give me mercy, a sinner.'"

Jesus commented, "This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God If you walk around with your nose in the air, you're going to end up flat on your face, but if you're content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself."

People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. "Let these children alone. Don't get between them and me. These children are the kingdom's pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in."

For more Saints and Scriptures - Sunday please visit The Kennedy Adventures.

Blackberry Sherbet

This is fabulous! I stole this recipe right out of Taste of Home magazine. I did change the directions so I could use my ice cream maker, and I used blackberries that I had frozen last summer. Raspberries and blueberries will be ready for picking this week. This would also be great with peaches. I think I have found my new favorite summer dessert. A dish of this with a slice of Elegant Pound Cake, also from the freezer, and you are ready for company or a party at anytime.

Blackberry Sherbet
Yield 1 quart
print recipe

4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed
2 cups sugar
2 cups of buttermilk (not low fat)

In a food processor, combine blackberries and sugar; process until smooth. Strain and discard seeds and pulp. Stir in buttermilk.

Pour into a prepared ice cream maker and freeze according to manufactures suggestions. Transfer to a plastic storage container and freeze until ready to serve.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My New Favorite Pot Roast With Vegetables

There is something very comforting about walking in the house after church on Sunday to the smell of a slow roasted beef roast in the oven. Make your coleslaw before you go and bake the bread when you get home. Yummy! I can smell it already. You have already made your Strawberry Pie the day before.

The cola, I use Coke or Dr. Pepper, not diet, instead of broth, adds a slightly sweet flavor note to the meat and vegetables. Grind some fresh pepper over the roast before serving, if desired.

My New Favorite Pot Roast and Vegetables
6-8 servings
print recipes

1 (12-ounce) can cola soft drink
1 medium onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 (3-4-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 large carrots (about 1 1/2 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
7 Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 1/4 pound) cut into quarters
2 large onions, cut into eighths
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
Garnish: fresh oregano or thyme sprigs

Combine first 5 ingredients and 2 tablespoons oil in a large zip-lock plastic freezer bag. Add Roast, turning to coat. Seal and chill 8 to 24 hours. Remove from marinade; discard lemon slices, and reserve marinade. Sprinkle the roast with pepper.

Brown roast 4 minutes on each side in remaining 1 tablespoon hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove roast from skillet, and transfer to a large roasting pan. Add reserved marinade to skillet, stirring to loosen particles from bottom. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Arrange carrots, potatoes, and onions around roast in pan; pour hot marinade over the roast and vegetables.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 4 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Transfer roast and vegetables to a serving platter. Skim fat from juices in roasting pan.

Whisk together cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl until smooth. Whisk cornstarch mixture into juices in pan; cook over medium, high heat 3 minutes or until thickened, whisking to loosen particles. Serve gravy with roast and vegetables. Garnish if desired.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Feel Good Friday

Well here it is Thursday afternoon and I haven't written one word for Feel Good Friday. I just hate it when I do that, now I have to try to remember what happened this week. Of course the most important thing was Aaron's graduation from high school. Check out his mom's blog Ballard Boys for all the details, I think she will have it posted today, if not, soon. I really think he liked the Red Velvet Cake I made for his party. You always feel good when people like your cookin'.

Do you ever have days or weeks when you are just overwhelmed with all the stuff there is to do? I didn't say stuff that had to be done, that can wait. I mean the really good stuff that you want to do. That is the way my week has been. New recipes and fresh vegetables will certainly get my attention before the vacuuming and dusting. Keep reading I have a new tip for cleaning/or not .

Finally I cleaned out an old chest that had been neglected for years, threw away 3 pieces of paper and put everything else back. How can you throw away your grandfathers birth certificate and wedding pictures from your sisters wedding in 1985. Yes, she and her wonderful husband are celebrating their 25th June 8th.

My grandfather was a country doctor, his prescription ledger was among the stuff. Amazing how often he prescribed two tablespoons of "whiskey" every four hours. Why can't I find a doctor like that! I really loved the payment ledger...Paid with 2 chickens, 4 dozen eggs, bacon, there were money transactions also, $2.00-$10.00. Cleaning out a old chest will certainly make you "feel good".

My new hint for not cleaning. Buy a box of "get well" cards, sign them with different names and place them around the family room, keep your robe or sweats on. It is optional to pull out the vacuum. Everyone stopping by will think you have been too sick to clean.

I know I have left out a bunch of things this week but the point is it doesn't matter what you do as long as you feel good doing it and have something to write about on Feel Good Friday.

Thanks for stopping by, see you next week with more useless information. It's 3:00 a.m. and I'm going back to bed.

Dandelion Greens Sallet

Really wasn't sure about posting this recipe. Most people call in the "beautiful yard people" to get rid of their dandelions. If you are one of those you can use spinach. The young tender leaves of the dandelion are wonderful. Don't worry, I'm not going to give you a Poke Sallet recipe unless you write and ask for it. I did make Poke Sallet a few days ago, wonderful stuff. Both are just good country food.

Dandelion Greens Sallet
6-8 servings
print recipe

2 quarts young dandelion leaves (or spinach)
1 cup diced raw ham
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup rich milk (half and half)
1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
Salt and Pepper or House Seasoning to tasts

Wash greens thoroughly, dry, and shred coarsely. Fry ham lightly. Add vinegar. Stir beaten egg with milk; add to mixture in the skillet. Lastly add greens and seasoning. Cook, stirring constantly, until greens are wilted.

You really should have some cornbread with this or better yet Sour Cream Corn Pone..

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bombay Rice Salad

Bombay Rice Salad is simple to prepare and always a hit. If you are not a big fan of raisins add something else, dried apricots, cranberries whatever you like. Raisins are traditional but who cares. Serve this with a simple roast chicken or grilled fish, maybe lamb chops.

Bombay Rice Salad
Serves 4-6
print recipe

3 cups cooked rice (1 cup uncooked)
1/2 cup raisins (or dried fruit of your liking)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup of good mayonnaise or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon curry
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped peanuts for garnish

Combine the cooked rice with all the ingredients (except the nuts) while the rice is still slightly warm; this helps it to absorb the flavors. Refrigerate, and when ready to serve, garnish with peanuts. This salad is at its best served just slightly cool, not over chilled.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

House Seasoning

Every few days I will refer to House Seasoning and someone will ask " What's that? The only reason I'm giving it its own post is to refer back to it and not have to re-type it all the time.

Every chef I'm ever known has had their own "house seasoning", or chef's salt, but basically they are all the same unless you get a chef that is just trying to show off. It is a quick way to salt and pepper your food before or during cooking, and a little garlic powder never hurt anything.

Once you get in the habit of having this on hand you will never be without it. You can use plain old table salt and black pepper out of a can, but I think you will be happier doing it my way.

House Seasoning
yield 1 1/2 cups
print recipe

1 cup Kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly ground coarse black pepper
1/4 cup of garlic powder (not garlic salt)

Mix all together and store in an air tight container. One with a shaker top if you have it. Anything asking for salt and pepper use this.

You will not believe the difference it makes in your chicken, burgers, chops, etc. if you sprinkle them will this seasoning and let them sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Grilled Tuna Salad

When I tell you this is beyond wonderful, you are just going to have to believe me until you make it. This will become a favorite, I promise.

Grilled Tuna Salad
4 servings
print recipe

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 pound ahi or yellow fin tuna, 1-inch thick
8 red-skinned potatoes, cut in half
4 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
2 yellow sweet peppers, cored, seeded and cut into wedges
1 red onion, sliced
2 heads romaine lettuce
1 bunch basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper or House Seasoning to taste

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a dish. Add the tuna, cover and set aside for 15 minutes. Heat the grill to medium-high. Take the tuna out of the marinade and place on grill. Dip the potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers and onions in the marinade and place on grill. Shut lid and cook for 7 minutes. Turn and brush with marinade. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes more. Combine all the ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Red Velvet Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

There are many red velvet treats today, but the three layer cake reigns supreme. Plus I'm making this for a very special person and a very special event. My great-nephew, Aaron Ballard, is graduating from high school on June 1st, today, and his favorite cake is Red Velvet. He is just the kind of great guy that you want everything to be perfect for him. Of course he's having a party, If I mess this up I'll be in big trouble. Lots of family at this party.

It really would be hard to mess up something that has a half pound of butter, 6 eggs and 5 cups of cream cheese frosting. Of course I could always drop it.

Red Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
12 Servings
print recipe

1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
5 cups Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

2. Stir together flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla; stir in red food coloring. Spoon cake batter unto 3 greased and floured 8-inc round cake pans.

3. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and let cook 1 hour or until completely cooled.

4. Spread 5-Cup Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

5-Cup Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 (16-ounce) packages powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until fluffy. Stir in vanilla.