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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Scotty's Basic Tomato Sauce

Is there anything better than finding a new friend? Yes, finding a new friend willing to share her fabulous recipes with you. Scotty is sharing three recipes, but you only get one today. This is fabulous!

I will tell you more about Scotty later since I haven't ask permission to talk about her. I know she is very pretty from her Face Book pictures, and very kind from her emails, and has wonderful recipes. What more could you ask.

Have you canned tomato sauce in the past? It takes forever. Not with this recipe. And the flavor is unbelievable.

Scotty's Basic Tomato Sauce
the recipe is per quart jar
print recipe

Place in each quart jar
2 fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon chopped garlic, the jar kind is fine

Place basil and garlic in bottom of each quart jar. Fill each jar with peeled and quartered red or yellow tomatoes. Push them down so the juice comes out enought to cover the tomatoes. Leave 1-inch head space. Cap with lid and rings. Process in pressure canner for 20 minutes at 10 pound pressure.

When ready to use, dump jar or jars into your processor and blend until smooth, basil and all. Serve with pasta, with or without meat.

Scotty had used a yellow tomato sauce with shrimp and leeks, and a dab of sour cream over spaghetti the day she sent me the recipe.

I had made Porcupine Balls and used the sauce instead of the tomato juice. Excellent.

Scotty, if I have done anything wrong jump on the comments and correct me. Thanks.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Manic Monday With A Little Spoon Bread

Today is going to be crazy so I'm throwing in the spoon bread recipe because it's quick and easy and the one I always go to when in a hurry. Made this yesterday with My New Favorite Pot Roast. This is really a moist cornbread.

Today is Pear Butter day. Twenty pounds of those babies just waiting for my attention. My kitchen looks like its been decorated in Mason jars.

Spoon Bread
8-9 servings
print recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 eggs beaten
1 stick butter
1-12 ounce can Niblet corn
1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1-8 ounce carton sour cream

Melt butter in 9x9-inch pan while oven is preheating. Mix all ingredients together including the melted butter. Bake until golden brown, about 50-60 minutes. Delicious reheated.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saint and Scriptures Sunday-Pray about Everything

Philippians - This is Pauls' happiest letter. Paul and Timothy, both committed servants of Christ Jesus, write this letter to all the followers of Jesus in Philippi, pastors and ministers included. We greet you with the grace and peace that comes from God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.

Phillippians 4:6-7

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, Letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

See Dianna at The Kennedy Adventures for more Saint and Scriptures Sunday.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sweet Potato Pudding

Why don't I cook more sweet potatoes, I love them. I would much rather have a baked sweet potato than a regular baked potato. It is so easy to get into a food rut. Don't let that happen, your children and grandchildren need the opportunity to experience all foods.

What a wonderful versatile dish this is. It makes a fabulous dessert served with a simple sugar cookie on the side and a dollop of whipped cream, or as a side dish for those wonderful big holiday dinner.

Please don't omit the grated rind of the lemon and orange. I have, and it really is not the same.

Sweet Potato Pudding
8 servings
print recipe

4 cups grated sweet potato
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Grated rind of 1/2 orange
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup molasses
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup good bourbon
1/2 cup melted butter

Mix sweet potatoes, lemon and orange peel. Beat eggs and sugar and stir into potato mixture; then add the spices, molasses, milk, bourbon, and butter. Mix thoroughly and put in buttered 2-quart casserole. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 1 hour. This can also be baked in individual custard cups. Reduce your cooking time accordingly.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Really Big Feel Good Friday

I'm all for this idea of a month for your birthday, one day is just not enough. What a great birthday this has been. Lunches with friends and family, out of town friends visiting, new recipes sent by blogging and Face book friends, cards galore. It never ends. My sister is sending me a new cook book. I can hardly wait. Maybe they all think I might not be here next year, boy are they in for a surprise.

Speaking of surprises. The biggest one was from my niece, Angie@ Ballard Boys. Did you guys see those awful pictures? I was ready to shoot her, until I read all the sweet things she said about me. If you have a minute take a look. That was enough to make anybody "feel good". Except now everyone knows I'm not a "natural" Blondie. I really wouldn't mine being gray if it would turn a beautiful silver gray like so many women do, but mine looks like an old grey mouse left on its own.

Thanks to all of you for making my birthday very special.

For more Feel Good Friday vist The Girls Next Door Grows Up.

Charleston "Old Jail" Chili Beans

If you have never visited Charleston, S.C. you really should put it on your "bucket list". There is so much history in that "Holy City", when the church bells start ringing you will swear you're already in heaven. Charleston is a walking city, so take comfy shoes. Don't forget to visit the "Old Jail".

Charleston "Old Jail" Chili Beans
makes 6-8 servings
print recipe

2 cups dry beans
6 cups water
2 cups red chili sauce (I use Heinz)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 pound ground beef, or sausage or your choice

Wash beans and boil in water for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour or longer. I prefer to soak my beans overnight in water to cover by 2-inches. Drain the next morning and proceed. Cook beans 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on kind, until tender. Simmer the chili sauce with the spices, onion and garlic clove for 15 minutes. Brown meat while chili sauce is cooking. Gently mix drained beans, chili sauce and meat. Boil gently a few minutes longer.

These are better made a day or two ahead of serving.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Grilled Swordfish

There are two types of Grilled Swordfish, 1. really good, cooked to perfection, 2. really bad, overcooked and dried out. I hate to say that a lot of the time the latter is what will happen in most restaurants. A properly prepared piece of swordfish will have your taste buds singing.

Grilled Swordfish
2 servings
print recipe

2 (8-ounce) swordfish steaks
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley

Combine olive oil, garlic,, dill, pepper,parsely, and salt in a large bowl and whip until well blended. Add swordfish steaks and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Pour marinade in saucepan and heat with butter. Place fish o grill, cook 4 minutes on each side, basting frequently with marinade butter mixture. Serve hot.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Easy Pita Chips

For those of you that don't subscribe to or purchase Real Simple I thought I would share this with you. Making your own pita chips, or bagel chips are so much better and cheaper than store bought.

Feel free to change the herbs to your liking. Or for a healthier spin use wholewheat pitas instead of plain. These are just plain wonderful.

Not to mention the fact that I'm exhausted from too much birthday. I'll do better tomorrow

Easy Pita Chips
Serves 6
print recipe

4 pitas
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and black pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Split the pitas horizontally to make 8 rounds. Brush the insides of the pitas with the oil. Cut the rounds into wedges and divide between 2 baking sheets.

Sprinkle with the Parmesan, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. The chips can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

All gumbos start with a roux. Well, most of the time. I find that a gumbo made with okra doesn't need a roux because the okra acts as a thickening agent. This one is rich, thick, and full of flavor as a gumbo should be. Be sure not to cook gumbo made with okra in a cast-iron pot; it will turn black. It's also important to cook the okra until all of the slime disappears. Summer is the time to make this when the okra is young and tender and shrimp is in season.

Make a pot of this and sit outside on the porch to enjoy it.

Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
6 servings
print recipe

2 pounds small okra
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups chopped, peeled, and seeded fresh tomatoes, or 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
5 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 quarts water
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Wash the okra in cool water. Remove the caps and tips and cut into 1/4-inch rounds. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Fry the okra, stirring constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until most of the slime disappears. Add the tomatoes, onions, and celery and cook, stirring often for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the okra and other vegetables are soft and the slime has completely disappeared. Add the salt, cayenne, bay leaves, thyme, and water. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, sirring occasionally for 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and serve in deep bowls.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me

On this day 65 years ago there was a very special event. I was born! There are people that would disagree with that statement but that's their problem. This is the real date even though I'm celebrating all month. I feel really bad for people that hate getting old. It seems the older I get the happier I am. The wrinkles don't bother me or the occasional stiff shoulder. I have long ago stopped caring what people thought of me because I know I'm a good person, a little strange sometimes maybe.

What bothers me is when everything in the garden is gone and I have nothing else to can or freeze. But then it's time for apples, pears and pumpkins and I'm happy again.

There are a lot of people, mostly older, that think blogging and face book, etc, are silly and a waste of time. I have met wonderful people from both and do consider them friends.

My friend Dulcie, from blogging, is a free lance editor, I hope I have that right, and had ask for a recipe suggestion to make for her office. I believe they rotate bringing something weekly. My suggestion was the Extra Special Zucchini Bread. It is in the top five of my most requested bread recipes.

She made the bread last night and sent me a picture. They were beautiful. Dulcie you worked so hard I hope everyone enjoyed your bread.

I would never have thought at age 65 that I would be blogging and having such a wonderful time doing it. You can have friends all over the world. Stay open to anything new and different, that helps keep you young and involved with life.

Do something special for yourself today, act like it's your birthday also.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saints and Scripture Sundays-Not Living In Perpetual Crisis

Hope no one minds that I'm not writing about a certain scripture today. But it is my birthday month so I'm writing about whatever I want. This actually was my favorite meditation for this week. have a crisis and act upon it is one thing. To dwell in perpetual crisis is another. Barbarbara Grizzuti Harrison

Exaggerating the negative element in our lives is familiar behavior for all too many of us. But this obsession is our choice. We can stop at any moment. We can decide to let go of a situation that we can't control, turn it over to God, and be free to look ahead at the possibilities for happiness.

Perhaps we can learn to accept a serious situation in our lives as a special opportunity for growth first of all, but even more an opportunity to let God work in our lives. We learn to trust by giving over our dilemmas to God for solutions. With patience, we will see the right outcomes, and we will more easily turn to God the next time.

Crisis will lessen in number and in gravity in direct proportion to the partnership we develop with God. The stronger our dependence on God, for all answers and all directions, the greater will our comfort be in all situations.

Serenity is the gift promised when we let God handle our lives. No crisis need worry us. The solution is only a prayer away.

For more Saint and Scriptures Sunday please visit The Kennedy Adventures.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The World's Best Tuna Salad

Well that's what Chef Dirt says from the Outer Banks. It really is a great tuna salad. I will say if you ever make tuna salad with fresh tuna you will not be buying Star Kist in the near future.

This recipe does make about 4 pounds of salad so unless you are having a party you might want to cut it in half. It will keep in the refrigerator for 7 days however.

The World's Best Tuna Salad
4 pounds
print recipe

2 pounds fresh tuna, steamed well done
16 ounces sweet salad cubes, drained
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon capers (don't omit)
3/4 cup mayonnaise (Chef Dirt uses Dukes)
4 ounces diced pimentos, drained

Flake tuna and mix well with all ingredients, use your hands. Store in refrigerator up to 7 days. Every one's favorite.

Sliced Tomatoes With Pesto

This is the perfect time for this recipe with the tomatoes and basil growing like crazy. The pesto here is a little different because it really does need to set 8-12 hours. I have made it and used it right away but it really does not have the flavor as if you let it set.

Sliced Tomatoes with Pesto
6-8 servings
print recipe

5 large peeled and cored tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onions with tops
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh basil leaves

Combine lemon zest, onions, parsley, garlic and basil in food processor. With processor running gradually add olive oil and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 8 hour (overnight is better). Arrange tomato slice on serving plate and spoon pesto mixture over tomatoes. Let set at room temperature for 30 minutes and serve.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Feel Good Friday", Again

The summer is flying by! All this week I have been able to open the windows at night and wake up to the beautiful crisp air in the morning. No air-conditioning for 4 days, that really makes me feel good.

This past Sunday we had our last Vacation Bible School of the summer at church. Yes, I had the little ones again, ages 2,3,4. I could just eat them up they are so sweet. We studied "Moses in the Basket". We had the Nile (plastic pool) and Moses (baby doll) floating in the basket in the pool. They were all afraid Moses would fall out of the basket so everyone had to get in the pool to make sure he was safe. We didn't have just wet feet this time but wet bottoms and all. Thank goodness Linda remembered to bring towels, and her sister, Gay. I could not have done it without them.

When those little angels started to sing "Jesus Loves Me" with the biggest smiles I have ever seen I thought I would cry. Why can't they just stay that age?

For those of you that missed "August Needs a Holiday" you might not know that this is a BIG Birthday coming up for me next week. Take a peek!

As my friend Lucy says, "At your age any time you have another birthday it's a reason to Feel Good". I think she's my friend?

For more Feel Good Friday visit The Girl Next Door Grows Up.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chili Burgers

This has nothing to do with chili the way you are thinking of chili, we are talking about chili sauce. I don't always have time to make a complicated or marinated burger. The chili sauce and the Italian sausage give these burgers a tremendous amount of flavor without a lot of fuss. Quick and Easy!

Chili Burgers
8 patties
Print recipe

1 1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Italian Sausage (Hot, mild or spicy, your choice.)
1/3 cup tomato-based chili sauce, I use homemade or Heinz)
Salt and Pepper or House Seasoning to taste

Preheat the grill for high heat. Mix all the ingredients and make into 8 patties. Place on grill and cook 5 minutes per side.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Porcupine Balls

A couple of weeks ago I had posted a Red Rice recipe and Shari Sunday had mentioned Porcupine Balls. I haven't made these in a hundred years and have no idea why, they really are so good. Shari I hope these remind you of your mother-in-law's recipe.

Porcupine Balls
approx. 18 balls
print recipe

1 tablespoon grits
1/4 cup of tomato juice
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 pound ground beef (raw)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon paprika
dash of pepper
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup soy sauce

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Soak grits in 1/4 cup tomato juice for 15 minutes.

Combine cooked rice with beef, egg, onion,salt, marjoram, paprika, pepper and grits-tomato mixture. Mix lightly.

Shape mixture into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Place in shallow baking dish. Combine 1 1/2 cups tomato juice, honey and soy sauce. Pour mixture over meatballs and bake about 35 minutes in preheated oven.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Grilled Portobellos

Everyone knows how to grill portobellos but I can't think of anything to post this morning. These are so good served with your favorite steak, chicken or whatever. To be honest I don't think you need meat when you serve these. Grill some other vegetables and corn on the cob with sliced fresh tomatoes and make a batch of the Celebration Bread that Jaz has posted on October Farm that is more addictive than heroin and you have a fabulous meal.

Grilled Portobellos
Serves 6
print recipe

6-6-8 ounce fresh portobello mushrooms
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Preheat grill to medium. Cut off the mushroom stems even with the caps. Discard stems. Lightly rinse mushroom caps. Gentley pat them dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. Lightly brush the tops of the mushrooms with the soy mixture. Grill the caps, top-side down, for 5 minutes. Brush with the soy mixture and turn. Grill for 5 more minutes.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saints and Scripture Sundays-Being Yourself

For years I was avid about my daily meditations but like a lot of things I have let this habit slip away a little at a time. This morning I decided it was time to get back to some "good stuff" for me. This is bits and pieces from a couple of my favorite meditation books.

Being Yourself

Often when we're being tough and strong, we're scared. It takes a lot of courage to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to be soft.

We've developed defenses for protection because we have felt the need for protection from the abuses of others, parents on occasion, bosses,spouses, even strangers. And in certain situations, our defenses served us well for a time. However, they have taken their toll. Hiding behind them for long makes them habitual, and we move farther and farther away from our center, from the woman each of us needs and wants to be.

Exposing who we really are invites judgement, sometimes rejection, oftentimes discounting. It's a terrible risk to take, and the rewards are seldom immediate. But with time, others respect us for our vulnerability and begin to imitate our example. We are served well by our integrity, in due time.

Letting others see who we really are alleviates confusion, theirs and ours. We no longer need to decide who we should be; we simply are who we are. Our choices are simplified. There is only one appropriate choice to every situation-the one that is honest and wholly reflective of who we are at that moment.

Rewards will be forthcoming when I am honest.

Please visit The Kennedy Adventures for Saints and Scripture Sundays.

August Needs a Holiday

Do you realize that the month of August is the only month that has no major holidays? We are about to give it one! Of course it's my birth month and since there are no other holidays to interfer I'm taking the whole month as my birthday and if you have a birthday in August you should do the same.

I will write about anything I please, I do anyway, and post a profile picture and recipes that I really love, even if they are from the archives.

My Mom would always ask what I wanted for my birthday dinner when I still lived in Lexington and could come for dinner. Every year it was the same; Chicken and Dumplings, Brown Beans, Collard Greens, sliced tomatoes and cottage cheese, corn on the cob and of course corn bread. And my birthday cake was always a Jam Cake with Caramel Frosting, made with her Blackberry Jam. I can taste it now.

Birthdays are the only holiday of the year that are truly our very own day, unless of course you were unlucky enough to be born on Christmas, New Years, St. Patrick's Day or Elvis's Birthday, etc. But we Virgo and Leo's don't have that problem in August.

All birthdays are special but this year is a really special one for me. I can not believe I have actually survived to be 65 years old, in good health, happy and blogging. That is why I've always liked the saying, "Thank goodness God doesn't give us what we deserve", I would have been long gone.

I have a few more things on my "bucket list" and plan to do them all.

Wishing anyone with an August Birthday a very Happy Birthday this year. May we have many more.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thank Goodness for Air Conditioning - Feel Good Friday

A wonderful friend has been suggesting(bugging) I write about "air-conditioning for Feel Good Friday. It's not that I'm not grateful for air-conditioning, it's just boring to write about. I guess I feel good because I have it but I think it's one of those things I take for granted.

Our whole nation has has an unusually hot and humid summer. Here in the country in Lexington, Ky, we have had over 25 plus days of temperatures over 90 and the pass week over 100. Normally I'm not a big fan of lots of air conditioning but this week I am very grateful for it.

I don't care how hot it is there is a limit to the cold I need to be comfortable. There is something wrong with having to take a medium weight jacket to the grocery so you don't freeze to death before you come out to the 95 degree temperature outside. That is just not healthy! What happen to conserving energy?

When I was growing up, about the time Moses was 9, we didn't have air conditioning. Granted we lived in the country with lots of shade trees around the house and we did have fans. But I never remember being really hot or uncomfortable. We played outside all day and had little rubber swimming pools to cool off in. We are all so spoiled!

I really believe the reason the heat doesn't bother me as much as some people is because I don't have my air cranked down to 69 degrees. A nice comfortable 78 degrees is just fine with me and if the outside temperature drops to 65 at night the air goes off and the windows go up.

Yes, having air conditioning makes me "feel good", but remember too much of a good thing is not always healthy. For more "Feel Good Friday" please visit The Girl Next Door Grows Up.

Are you happy Lucy?

Duncan Hines and Clara Hines Apple Pie Recipes

Today is the Duncan Hines Festival in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Mr. Hines, a native of Bowling Green, is known throughout the world for his books on cooking and eating. With his wife, Clara Hines, permission here are their recipes for apple pie. No, they could not agree on the best recipe.

Clara Hines Apple Pie
6-8 slices
print recipe - this will print both recipes

1 1/2 cups sifted flour
pinch salt
2 tablespoons poultry fat
2 tablespoons butter
3 3/4 tablespoons ice water

1/4 pound butter
1 cup sugar
1 heaping tablespoon sifted flour
6 to 8 Winesap apples

Sift together flour and salt. Cut in poultry fat and butter, add ice water, and mix gently. Roll thin and place in a 9-inch pie tin that has been heavily buttered. Save the leftover pastry to make strips for the top.

For filling, slice half the butter over the crust. Mix together sugar and 1 heaping tablespoon flour; sprinkle half this mixture over the buttered crust. Peel and chop enough apples to fill the pie tin, heaped up. Cover with remaining sugar mixture. Top with strips of pastry and slice remaining butter over the top. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes; lower temperature to 350 degrees F and bake 25 to 30 minutes.

Duncan Hines Apple Pie

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sifted flour
1/2 grated nutmeg
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 to 8 Winesap apples thinly sliced

Combine all ingredients except apples. Add apples and stir gently but thoroughly. Butter a 9-inch pie tin heavily before putting in you pastry. Fill the shell with the apple mixture and place pastry strips over the top. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes; then reduce heat to 250 degrees and bake 35 to 40 minutes longer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Old Fashioned Blackberry Ice Cream

It is so hot let's make ice cream. Since the blackberries are still plentiful let's use them. Growing up we had homemade ice cream every Sunday. Thank goodness for electric ice cream makers. I don't think I'm up to cranking the old fashioned maker.

This recipe is well over 60 years old. I have changed the directions to make it a little easier.

A big glob of Kentucky Delight on top of this ice cream will make your toes curl.

Old Fashioned Blackberry Ice Cream
Makes 2 1/2 quarts
print recipe

4 cups blackberries
2 cups sugar
4 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Crush blackberries and sugar in a food processor until sugar dissolves; add lemon juice and pulse a couple more times. Force the pulp through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Stir in cream until well blended.

Let this set in refrigerator until well chilled. Place in ice cream maker and follow manufacturer directions.

Don't over fill your maker. I have to make two freezings with my ice cream maker.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spicy Tomato Preserves

This is the other Tomato Preserves recipe that I promised. Try this one morning with My Sausage Gravy and Black Pepper Drop Biscuits. My Oh My!

Spicy Tomato Preserves
Yield: about 6 half-pints
print recipe

1 1/2 quarts small yellow, green or red tomatoes (about 2 pound)
1 tablespoon mixed pickling spices
1 (1/2-inch piece fresh ginger
4 cups sugar
1 cup thinly sliced and seeded lemon (about 2 lemons)
3/4 cup water

Wash and peel tomatoes; drain. Tie spices and fresh ginger in a spice bag. Combine spice bag, sugar, lemon and water in a large sauce pot. Simmer 15 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook gently until tomatoes become transparent, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 12 to 18 hours in a cool place. Remove spice bag. Remove tomatoes and lemon from syrup. Boil syrup 3 minutes or longer to thicken. Return tomatoes and lemon to syrup; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 20 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Harvest Sweet Bread

It's very hard for me to find "real" stone ground corn meal or grits. so when anyone is traveling to the Carolina's I always request a bag or two of each. However I have recently found a company that I really like, that is available locally, yes they are from Four Oaks, N.C., House-Autry Mills has been the choice of Southern cooks since 1812. That's good enough for me. This recipe was on the bag of Yellow Self-Rising Corn Meal Mix. Just wait until you try it!

Harvest Sweet Bread
12 servings
print recipe

1 cup House-Autry Self-Rising Corn Meal Mix
1/2 cup self-rising flour
2/3 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups carrots, finely grated
2 whole eggs
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Cream oil and sugar. Blend eggs and add to oil and sugar mixture. Combine Corn Meal Mix, flour and cinnamon and add to mixture. Add carrots, nuts and raisins. Mix thoroughly. Pour into a well-greases 8 x8-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees F. for 45-50 minutes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Black Pepper Drop Biscuits

All I know is another biscuit recipe on the blog is all I need. But this one is very different from the others, it's a drop biscuit and it only makes 4. You can double the recipe if you need more.

I particularly like these drop biscuits, seasoned with black pepper, with stews or dishes with a thick gravy. They're great for sopping up every last drop. These have a little kick to them. If you prefer regular biscuits, don't add the black pepper, or just use half for a milder flavor.

Black Pepper Drop Biscuits
4 biscuits
print recipe

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon solid vegetable shortening
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Lightly oil a pie tin.
3. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. The dough will be slightly sticky.
4. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and drop into the pie tin. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
5. Serve right from the oven.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Jesus Doesn't Change - Saints and Scriptures Sunday

Hebrews 13:1-9

Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it's needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you.

Don't be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, "I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you," we can boldly quote,

God is there, ready to help;
I'm, fearless no matter what.
Who or what can get to me?

Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn't change - yesterday, today, tomorrow, he's always totally himself.

Don't be lured away from him by the latest speculations about him. The grace of Christ is the only good ground for life. Products named after Christ don't seem to do much for those who buy them.

Please visit Dianna at The Kennedy Adventures each Sunday for more Saints and Scriptures.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bacon-Topped Okra and Tomatoes Over Rice

OMG! How Southern can we go, tomatoes, okra and rice, we are talkin' Deep South. I really am on a tomato and corn kick this week. I think it's because our season for both will shortly be coming to a close.

Use a large can of good quality tomatoes, chopped, out of season. I also use tomatoes I have chopped and frozen with great results.

Bacon-Topped Okra and Tomatoes Over Rice
8 servings
print recipe

4 bacon slices
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 pound fresh okra, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
Hot cooked rice

1. Cook bacon in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.

2. Saute' onion in hot drippings over medium-high heat about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes and next 4 ingredients. Reduce heat, and cook, stirring often, 10 minutes or until okra is tender. Serve over rice, and sprinkle with bacon.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Feel Good Friday

Sometimes I wonder if I feel good 90% of the time because I don't have enough sense to feel bad. Why bother to feel bad anyway, unless you are in physical pain and have no control over the situation. Was it Abe Lincoln that said, "You're only as happy as you make up your mind to be"?

I stay away from negative people, they are just not allowed in my space. Just another perk of getting older. There are still people that piss me off, but what can you do about family.

Over the pass 8 or 9 years I've learned to find something good in every bad situation. I know that sounds corny, but it works. If someone rear-ends you, try being grateful they didn't hit you head-on doing 60. If you burn dinner, be thankful there is a pizza place that delivers quickly and you have enough money to pay for it. You get the idea! Try it I promise it work.

What you all should really be "feeling good" about is that I didn't write about canning, freezing and dehydrating this week.

We all know that when you're happy you automatically "feel good".

For much more interesting posts than this one please visit The Girl Next Door Grows Up-Feel Good Friday.

Fresh Corn Cakes

These are not your ordinary corn cakes. These are so good I could have them with a bowl of hot water and call it supper.

Golden brown and hot off the griddle, these corn cakes are loaded with bits of melted mozzarella.

Fresh Corn Cakes
about 3 dozen
print recipe

2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 5 ears)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plain yellow or white cornmeal
1 (8-ounce) package fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Pulse first 4 ingredients in a food processor 3 to 4 times or just until corn is coarsely chopped

2. Stir together flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in corn mixture just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon 1/8 cup batter for each cake onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or large nonstick skillet, forming 2-inch cakes (do not flatten or spread cakes).

3. Cook cakes 3 to 4 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Turn and cook other sides 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes

Everyone has their own favorite Fried Green Tomato recipe and if I see a new one I'll try it, but this is the one I normally use.

Soaked first in buttermilk and then dipped in a flour-and-cornmeal coating before frying, these tomatoes come out hot, crispy,and jucy.

Fried Green Tomatoes
6-8 servings
print recipe

4 large green tomatoes
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
3 cups vegetable oil
Salt to taste

1. Cut tomatoes into 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick slices; place in a shallow dish. Pour buttermilk over tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Combine flour and cornmeal in a shallow dish or pie plate. Dredge tomatoes in flour mixture.

3. Fry tomatoes, in batches, in hot oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain tomatoes on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Another Zucchini Casserole

Listen, I'm all for any recipe that will help use up some of this zucchini that everyone is just dying to give you. They are sick of it too.

This is a wonderful recipe that can be frozen for the long winter months. This works well with summer squash or a mixture of the two.

Zucchini Casserole
Serves 6
print recipe

6 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons bacon grease, yes, I said bacon grease
1 medium tomato, peeled and chopped
1 small onion (more if you like), chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
salt and pepper
pinch (1/8 teaspoon) of oregano or Italian seasoning
buttered bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese

Slice zucchini about 1/4 inch thick but do not peel. Heat bacon grease in a heavy frying pan' add tomato, onion, celery, zucchini and seasonings, in the order. Cover and steam until vegetables are crisp tender. (If you plan to freeze the dish, stop at this point and put the vegetables in a freezer container. Cool, then freeze.)

For immediate use, drain off excess liquid (it makes good broth), put vegetables in a greased casserole, and top with buttered crumbs. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until top is browned and vegetables are bubbly.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Southern Tomato Sandwich

I must be getting senile. How could I forget to post my favorite summer sandwich ever! Maybe I posted it and forgot. It doesn't matter it needs to be posted now with all the wonderful tomatoes at their peak. This is truly a Southern favorite.

The secret here is tomatoes fresh from the garden, never refrigerate your tomatoes, and a soft white bread, the kind that sticks to the roof of your mouth. If you want to get fancy you can peel the tomatoes but it's not necessary.

The fresh basil leaves are something that have been added in the past few years and were not in the sandwich I had growing up.

Southern Tomato Sandwich
2 Sandwiches
you don't need a printed recipe for this

1 Large ripe tomato
3 tablespoons mayonnaise, more if you like
4 white bread slices
8 small fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice tomato into 8 slices; spread mayonnaise onto 1 side of each 2 slices of bread. Layer with tomato slices and basil leaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining 2 bread slices.

Monday, August 2, 2010

She-Crab Soup

This is a recipe that I came by when I lived in Charleston, S.C. I may have gotten it from the local newspaper. They always had such fabulous local recipes. The locals will tell you that you have to have she-crab and the roe to have really good She-Crab Soup, but I find absolutely nothing wrong with this recipe. I'm lucky to find crab meat without worrying about if it's a he or she with roe.

You don't have to have the sherry but it sure adds a lot of flavor.

She-Crab Soup
Serves 6
print recipe

1 quart half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 pieces lemon zest
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup crushed oyster crackers
salt and pepper to taste
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 pound white crab meat
2 tablespoons sherry

Put half-and-half in top of a double boiler with nutmeg and lemon zest and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes at simmer. Steam should rise from milk, but not boil. Then add butter and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Thicken with cracker crumbs; season with salt and pepper and Tabasco sauce. Add crab meat that has been looked over twice for shell particles.

Allow to stand on back of stove for a few minutes to bring out the flavor. Just before serving, add sherry.

This can be made with shrimp, which should be ground.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lot's Wife

Today is a good day for a little Bible Study Humor, don't you think?

The Sunday School teacher was describing how Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when little Jason interrupted. "My Mommy looked back once while she was driving," he announced triumphantly, "and turned into a telephone pole!"

Okay I said a little humor!

In Charge of Everything

I thought of Kim @ Kim's Dancing Eyes when I read this passage. She always ends her post with God's Got It, and does he ever. Let's all remember to keep Kim and Joe in our prayers.

Matthew 12: 15-21
In charge of Everything

Jesus, knowing they were out to ge him, moved on. A lot of people followed him, and he healed them all. He also cautioned them to keep it quiet, following guidelines setdown by Isaiah:

Look well at my handpicked servant;
I love him so much, take such delight in him.
I've placed my Spirit on him;
he'll decree justice to the nations.
But he won't yell, won't raise his voice;
there'll be no commotion in the streets.
He won't walk over anyone's feeling,
won't push you into a corner.
Before you know it, his justice will triumph;
the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even
among far-off unbelievers.

Please check in with Dianna at The Kennedy Adventures for more Saints and Scriptures Sunday.