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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Warm Lentils and Spinach

This is a wonderful dish to serve with grilled fish or chicken. To be honest I can have this all by it's self, well maybe a little cornbread.

Warm Lentils and Spinach
about 6 servings
print recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10 ounces fresh spinach, washed well, stemmed, and coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lentils and toss to coat with the oil. Add 2 cups broth and the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are just tender.

2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in another skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes, until softened. Add the spinach and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally about 1 minute, until it begins to wilt. Add the remaining 1/4 cup broth and cook until the spinach is tender and wilted.

3. Add the spinach and any cooking liquid to the lentils and toss together. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pork Scaloppine

Well I have been glued to the royal wedding happenings most of the morning and now it's time to think of something quick and easy for dinner. This should do the trick. It only takes 20 minutes and no one will know you have done absolutely nothing except pretend to be a princess today. We all deserve it.

Pork Scaloppine
Serves 4
print recipe

Slice 1 pork tenderloin (1 1/4 pounds) into 3/4-inch thick slices. Pound 1/4-inch thick. Season with salt and pepper, then coat in flour. In batches, brown in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 1 to 2 minutes per side; remove. To the skillet, add 2/3 cup dry white wine and 2 tablespoons butter; cook for 1 minute. Add the pork and toss. Serve with egg noodles and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

If you have time make a simple salad.

Didn't we have fun today!

Royal Wedding Day

I am sooo excited! You may or may not be watching the Royal Wedding today, but I am, all day if it's on. There has to be something wrong with someone not watching a prince/princess wedding. That doesn't include men of course, we all know how they are about stuff like that. I watched Princess Di and Prince Charles's wedding 30 years ago and now Prince William and soon to be Princess Katherine.

We have nothing close to royalty in the U.S. Sorry Donald! Money doesn't buy class.

I'm having a special brunch in honor of the wedding. I made homemade English Muffins. See October Farm - Whole Wheat English Muffins. Had to have these for my Eggs Benedict. Haven't decided if I'm having Asparagus with Curry Dip or Roasted Asparagus. I'm even thinking about a few Cheese Grits to go with this to keep it on the Southern side. Of course a Bloody Mary and/or Mimmosa are on the menu.

I wish you all could come. There will only be me and the two puppys, Annie and Mazzy. However, my friend Joyce at October Farm and my niece Angie at The Jammie Girl will be having their own brunch at their homes.

If you don't have time for all this cooking make a fried egg sandwich and grab a cup of coffee and join us. Let me know if you are watching and also if you're having your own party.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vidalia Onions Baked in Tomato Juice and Molasses

Is there anything better in the spring than that first Vidalia onion, well maybe asparagus. This is a perfect side dish with roast pork, ham, or chicken. For a slightly different flavor, us maple syrup instead of molasses.

I'm also linking this to Full Plate Thursdays at Miz Helens Country Cottage.

Vidalia Onions Baked in Tomato Juice and Molasses
Makes 6 servings
print recipe

4 medium Vidalia onions (about 3 pounds)
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons regular molasses (not blackstrap)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Halve the onions lengthwise, keeping the root ends intact, and peel. Arrange them, cut sides up, in a 9x13-inch baking dish.

3. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the tomato juice, water, butter, molasses, and salt and pepper to taste to a boil, stirring occasionally. Pour over the onions.

4. Bake the onions, uncovered, basting every 30 minutes, until browned and very tender about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mammaw's Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

When is comes to pineapple upside-down cake, I'm sure there are easier recipes, but I've never tasted one this delicious. Maybe it's the cast-iron pan or maybe it's the beaten egg white. I have no idea. Anytime I take one to any function there are never any leftovers.

Mammaw's Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
about 12 servings
print recipe

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Over a low flame, melt the unsalted butter in a cast-iron skillet. Spoon in the brown sugar. Turn off the heat.

One 20-ounce can pineapple slices (drain, reserving 1/4 cup juice )
Maraschino cherries
Pecan halves

Arrange the pineapple slices over the brown sugar mixture. Cut leftover slices in half, and use them to line the sides of the skillet, cut sides facing in. Stick a cherry in the center of every pineaple circle. Press the pecan halves between the pineapple slices.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks (reserve whites in a separate bowl)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, then run your hands through it. Or use a sifter. Plug in an electric mixer and beat the egg yolks until they are thick. Very slowly, add the sugar. Spoon in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the vanilla. Pour the mixture of egg whites into a deep bowl. Beat them with a mixer on high. When stiff peaks form, stop beating. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whites into the batter. Gently spoon the batter over the pineapple. Bake 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven and invert, without cooling, onto a serving plate. Being careful not to burn yourself.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rum-Tum Pie

This old South Florida favorite is as easy as pie to make. For the very best flavor, be sure to use dark Jamaican rum.

I'm sharing this at Tuesdays at the Table today. Come on over.

Rum-Tum Pie
8-10 serving
Print recipe

Chocolate Crust:
1-1/4 cups fine chocolate wafer crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

26 large marshmallows
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup dark rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whipping cream

To Prepare Chocolate Crust:
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; toss with a fork to moisten crumbs well. Pour mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and pat into bottom and sides of pan. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before filling.

To Prepare Filling:
Combine marshmallows and milk in top of a double boiler over rapidly simmering water. Cook until marshmallows are melted (10-12 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in butter. Cool completely. Stir in rum and vanilla, blending well. Whip cream until it holds stiff peaks; fold into cooled mixture. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Refrigerate until completely set (about 3 hours).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Savory Baked Beans

People keep telling me the weather is going to get warm, and I keep believing them. So I'm ready to start sharing some summertime recipes if that ever happens. We can get started with slow-coked baked beans from scratch. They are fantastic to serve with barbecue chicken, burger, steaks, etc. Don't forget to make your favorite slaw.

This dish only takes about 15 minutes to throw together, and bakes about 2 hours. These beans can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated; reheat before serving.

Savory Baked Beans
8 servings
print recipe

1 pound dried baby lima beans
3 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (28-ounce) can, diced plum tomatoes in puree, or use your home canned
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Dash hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth, plus more if necessary

1. Pick over the beans to remove any small stones or debris; rinse thoroughly. Place the beans in a large bowl, add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches, and soak 6-8 hours or overnight. Drain.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until lightly browned. Add the olive oil, onion, and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.

4. Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, mustard, thyme, hot sauce, and salt and pepper to taste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir well, and simmer 5 minutes. Add the beans and broth and stir well again.

5. Cover and bake 1 hour and 30 minutes. Uncover and bake, stirring in more broth if the beans seem dry, 30 minutes longer, until the beans are just tender. Remember the beans can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated' reheat before serving.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - The Resurrection

The Resurrection
Mark 16:1-8 From The Message

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they could embalm him. Very early on Sunday morning, as the sun rose, they went to the tomb. They worried out loud to each other, "Who will roll back the stone from the tomb for us?"

Then they looked up, saw that it has been rolled back-it was a huge stone-and walked right in. They saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished.

He said, "Don't be afraid. I know you're looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He's been raised up; he's here no longer. You can see for your selves that the place is empty. Now-on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You'll see him there, exactly as he said."

They got out as fast as they could, beside themselves, their heads swimming. Stunned, they said nothing to anyone.

Please continue reading in your Bible, Mark 16:9-20 . Have a wonderful Easter Day and please visit Dianna at The Kennedy Adventures for more Saint and Scriptures Sunday.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Asparagus with Fresh Chives and Mint

This time of the year I can't get enough asparagus. I have chives growing all over the place. Plus I was at the creek this morning and the mint is coming along beautifully. This is the perfect dish for one of your Easter dinner vegetables. It doesn't matter if your meat is salmon, ham, beef, chicken, turkey or lamb.

Asparagus with Fresh Chives and Mint
makes 6 servings
print recipe

3 pounds slender fresh asparagus
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
Freshly ground black pepper.

1. Cut or break off the tough woody ends of the asparagus talks and discard (young asparagus may not have tough ends). Using a vegetable peeler and starting just below the tip, peel the skin from each stalk.

2. In a large saucepan or skillet of lightly salted boiling water, cook the asparagus 3 to 5 minutes, just until tender. Drain well.

3. In a a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, 2 or 3 minutes, until transparent and softened. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and continue stirring until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in the chives and mint.

4. In a shallow bowl, combine the asparagus and butter mixture and carefully toss. Season with additional salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Garden Lasagna

I have not made this since I lived in Florida. For some reason people in Kentucky think you have to have meat in the lasagna. With the cremini mushrooms you don't even miss the meat. Plus it's another wonderful Lenten dish.

I have been known to eat this for breakfast, cold.

Spring Garden Lasagna
8-10 servings
print recipe

1 cup packed fresh bail leaves
1/2 cup raw baby spinach leave, plus 1 pound baby spinach blanched, squeezed dry
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick, cooked until golden brown
1 jar (16-ounce) roasted red bell peppers, drained, sliced 1/4-inch thick
6 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles, torn into rough 2-inch pieces
4 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a blender, combine basil, raw spinach, 1/2 teaspoon garlic and oil; process until thick sauce forms. Add Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and pepper. In bowl, combine ricotta, egg, salt and pepper.

In saucepan over medium-heat, melt butter. Cook shallots 4 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and flour; cook 1 minute. Stir in milk' cook on medium-high heat 8-10 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool 15 minutes. Stir in basil puree. In separate bowl, combine mushrooms, bell peppers, blanched spinach, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 3 1/1 quarter shallow dutch oven. Spread 1/2 cup sauce on bottom of pot; arrange single layer of torn noodles on sauce. Top with 1/2 cup ricotta mixture, 1 cup vegetable mixture, 1/2 cup sauce and 1 cup mozzarella. Layer noodles, ricotta, vegetables, sauce and mozzarella 2 more times, then add layer of noodles, ricotta, vegetables and noodles. Spread remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups mozzarella. Cover; bake 45 minutes. Uncover bake 15 minutes more.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Tzimmes is a traditional stew for Passover, made from a combination of sweet potatoes and dried fruit. It is also perfect for serving with your Easter Ham Dinner. The combination of flavors is outstanding.

about 10 servings
print recipe

9 medium carrots (about 1 pound), peeled
4 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1 cup of bite-size pitted prunes (about 6 ounces)
1 cup dried apricots (about 5 ounces)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut carrots into 2-inch pieces. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and lower heat to medium, add sweet potatoes in their skins, and cook for 20 minutes, adding the carrots after 10 minutes. Drain in colander, and set aside until cool enough to handle.

2. Peel sweet potatoes, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place in a large bowl along with carrots and remaining ingredients. Mix well, and transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.

3. Cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes, basting with pan juices after 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Asparagus With Curry Dip

This is a perfect appetizer for your Easter Dinner. Set this out with a pretty plate of deviled eggs and it should keep the crowd happy until you finish dinner.

Asparagus With Curry Dip
8-10 servings
print recipe

2 pounds fresh asparagus
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream (you can use all mayonnaise if you like)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Lay the asparagus on a cutting board and line up the tips, then cut off the bottoms evenly and discard. Fill a large skillet with about 2-inches of water. Add the salt and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus all at once and cook for about 3 minutes, until the spears are tender but still have texture. Drain immediately, roll in a tea towel, and store in the refrigerator until serving time.

2. Make the curry dip. Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream curry powder, and lemon juice in a small glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and keep chilled until serving time.

3. Serve chilled on a pretty platter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I can't believe I haven't posted a recipe for garlic mashed potatoes. Every restaurant in the country has been servings these for years. After a recent trip to Florida my nephew decided he just had to have garlic mashed potatoes at every meal that I cooked. In a month and a half I have made them about 20 times. I think that it's important that I point out here that he doesn't really like garlic and doesn't eat sour cream. Right!

I'm linking to Tuesdays at the Table. Come on over for more wonderful recipes.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
2-3 nice servings or 1 for my nephew
print recipe

3 medium-baking potatoes, in my case they have to be Yukon Gold, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick) at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic, I grate mine on the micro plane, about 3 cloves
Whole milk, start with 1 tablespoon, at room temperature
Salt and pepper

Cook the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan.

Add the butter, sour cream, and garlic. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or the back of a fork until the ingredients are blended. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the potatoes are the desired consistency. Taste, and add salt and pepper if desired.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rice With Chili Peppers and Cheese

Oh My! I haven't made this in years, but still remember how wonderful it is. This is an old (1961) New York Times recipe. Making it tomorrow to have with New York Strips on the grill.

Rice With Chili Peppers and Cheese
6 servings
print recipe

1 cup rice
2 cups sour cream
Salt to taste
1/2 pound Cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
1 six-ounce can peeled green chili peppers, drained and cut into thin strips
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook the rice until just tender, being careful not to overcook, 15-18 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Combine the rice with the sour cream and season with salt. Spread half the mixture in the bottom of a buttered casserole.
4. Sprinkle the rice mixture with the Cheddar cheese and strips of chili pepper. Top with the remaining rice mixture and dot with butter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake, uncovered, thirty minutes and serve immediately.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - Peace for the Restless

It takes time, love, and support to find peace with the restless one.

Restlessness is born of frustration. Perhaps we want to move ahead with our lives more quickly. Does a job have us trapped? Do past troubles haunt us still? Maybe perfectionism tarnishes every attempt to achieve. We can learn from our restlessness, if we let it guide us to our inner reservoir of peace and spiritual support.

The search for serenity often takes us farther from it. We mistakenly think a different job or home or relationship will answer all our needs. But we find that our restlessness has accompanied us to our new surroundings. Peace has its home within. And prayer opens the door to it. In the stillness of our patience, we are privy to its blessing.

Restlessness indicates our distance from God. It may be time for a change in our lives. Change is good; however, our relationship with God will vouchsafe any needed changes. Restlessness is self-centered and will only hamper the steps we may need to take.

Restlessness is a barometer that reveals my spiritual health. Perhaps prayer is called for today

Let's go visit Dianna at The Kennedy Adventures for more Saint and Scriptures Sunday. See you there.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fresh Eggs Baked with Grits and Ham

What a nice way to start the weekend. If you can't get hold of country ham, you can use "regular", but you'll miss the smoky flavor. A little fresh ground black pepper may help make up the difference.

Fresh Eggs With Grits and Ham
serves 4
print recipe

about 4 cups cooled cooked grits
Salt to taste, be careful if using country ham
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
3/4-1 cup chopped cooked country ham
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 35o degrees F.

Prepare grits according to package direction, remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 3-5 minutes.

While grits are cooling, combine the salt, eggs, milk, ham, butter, and cheese in a medium bowl and mix well.

Stir the egg-ham mixture into the cooled grits, mix well, then turn into a well-buttered 1 1/2 quart well buttered casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is lightly puffed. Allow to stand a few minutes before serving.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Baked Fish Parmigiana

It's Friday again, you don't feel like cooking, let alone thinking of something to cook. This should take care of it. Plus it's faster than ordering pizza.

Parmigiana means in the style of Parma and probably that Parmesan cheese is used as an ingredient.

Baked Fish Parmigiana
4 servings
print recipe

4 servings fish fillets or steaks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup tomato sauce, homemade or store bought
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the fish in a shallow buttered baking dish and season with salt and pepper.

Spread the tomato sauce over each fillet and sprinkle with the cheese. Drizzle with melted butter.

Bake, uncovered, until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, fifteen minutes or so, depending on the thickness of the fish.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Royal Wedding - Chicken and Rice Salad

Sorry, this is the recipe my computer ate earlier. Could have been operator error. This is said to be served in an up coming royal wedding luncheon. I'm so excited, and will watch every minute of it. This is adapted from a dish served when the Queen of England was crowned in 1953. I'm also linking to Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage. Come join us.

Royal Wedding - Chicken and Rice Salad
serves 6-8
print recipe

1 chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon tomato puree mixed with 1/2 cup water
salt to taste 2 slices lemon 1 tablespoon apricot jam
1/2 pint mayonnaise
1 chicken, cooked, boned, and cut in chunks

Soften onion and garlic in oil. Add curry powder, cook 2-3 minutes. Add tomato puree and water, simmer 8 minutes. Add salt and lemon slices, squeezing juice from lemons. Add jam. Boil for 1 minute. Strain. Cool. Add mayonnaise. Use this sauce to coat chicken. Toss very gently. Serve cold over rice which has been cooked, cooled and tossed with French dressing, chives, parsley, coarsely chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, peas and onions.


My computer ate my Royal-Wedding Chicken Rice Salad post. I'll re-post in a little bit. Sorry!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Southern Wilted Salad

I can hardly wait for the lettuce and spring onions to be ready. This will be the first thing I make. My grandmother made this every day in the early days of the garden. We all loved it. Wilted salads were created in the mountainous poor rural regions of the early South. Olive oil for dressings was not available or much to expensive in these areas, but bacon drippings were always on hand. The flavor of the ever-so-slightly wilted greens was so wonderful that the salad is still a favorite in most Southern homes today. I always loved to sop up the dressing left in the bottom of the bowl with a chunk of bread.

Remember: The salad must be served as soon as the greens have been tossed with the dressing.

Southern Wilted Salad
6-8 servings
print recipe

8 bacon slices
1 small head red or green leaf lettuce
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, chopped (optional)
5 green onions (including tops), chopped
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Cook bacon in a heavy 12-inch skillet until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels; crumble and set aside. Reserve drippings in skillet to use for dressing. Remove fibrous midribs from lettuce leaves, then tear leaves into bite-size piece. Place in a large salad bowl, add crumbled bacon and cucumber and toss well. When ready to serve, reheat bacon drippings over medium-high heat; add green onions and shake skillet 2 or 3 times. Carefully stir in vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper; boil 1 minute. Pour dressing over salad, toss quickly and serve at once.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Scallops Saute'

Scallops are one of my favorite seafoods. They are so easy to prepare and perfect for any occasion. This is my favorite way to cook them.

Scallops Saute
4 servings
print recipe

1 pound sea or bay scallops
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced parsley
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Wash the scallops and dry thoroughly. If sea scallops are very large, cut them in half.

In a large skillet heat two tablespoons of the butter and add the salt, pepper, paprika and garlic.

Add enough scallops to cover the bottom of the skillet without crowding. Cook quickly over high heat, turning or stirring occasionally, until golden brown, five to ten minutes. Transfer the scallops to a heated platter. Repeat the process until all the scallops are cooked.

In the same skillet place the parsley, lemon juice and remaining butter. Heat until the butter melts and pour over the scallops.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Asparagus on Toast - My Way

This time of the year I'm having as much asparagus as possible, and in as many different ways as I can think of. This is a favorite!

If you think you have to have meat, a thin slice of baked ham, turkey or chicken breast on the toast before the asparagus and sauce is a nice addition.

Asparagus on Toast
4 servings
print recipe

2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, minced
1 small bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken or veal stock
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 servings of good bread, toasted

Cook the asparagus until just tender. Drain.

In a saucepan heat three tablespoons butter, add the onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper and saute' until the onion is tender but not brown, stirring often.

Stir in the flour, gradually add the stock and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the nutmeg. Simmer five minutes and strain.

Beat the egg yolk until light and add the lemon juice. Combine with a little of the hot sauce and add the egg mixture to the remaining sauce gradually, while stirring. Cook the mixture over boiling water in a double boiler, or over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Add the remaining butter.

To serve, place the asparagus on toast and pour the sauce over the top.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - Psalm 121

Tonight is our last special Bible study for the Lenten season and we are studying Psalm 121 and John 12:20-30. I have so enjoyed these Sunday night studies.

Psalm 121 from God's Word Translation

A song for going up to worship.

I look up toward the mountains.
Where can I find help?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let you fall.
Your guardian will not fall asleep.
Indeed, the Guardian of Israel never rests or sleeps.
The Lord is your guardian.
The Lord is the shade over your right hand.
The sun will not beat down on you during the day,
nor will the moon at night.
The Lord guards you from every evil.
He guards your life.
The Lord guards you as you come and go,
now and forever.

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

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cake

This cake is so easy one of the kids could make it. You can frost this with your favorite frosting if you like. I really like it simply dusted with powdered sugar and garnished with those big beautiful sweet strawberries that are coming in season now.

Chocolate Chip Cake
12-14 servings
print recipe

1 (18 1/4-ounce) yellow cake mix
1 (3-ounce) package instant chocolate pudding
1 (3-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 (6-ounce) package chocolate chips
Frosting, powdered sugar or strawberries (optional

Combine the cake mix and puddings in a large bowl; stir until mixed. Add the eggs, water and oil; blend well. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add the chocolate chips and stir, using a spoon. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour, or until tested with a toothpick. Cool before removing from pan. Ice or not, your choice, but I would do the strawberries.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Glazed Bacon

Okay, so maybe we will not be eating this every weekend. But, for special ocassions, why not. We could always make the second Saturday of each month Glazed Bacon day. I think it goes without saying that this should be served with eggs, grits and homemade biscuits.

Glazed Bacon
8 servings or fewer
print recipe

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoons cinnamon, optional
1 pound good thickly sliced bacon

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper to keep from sticking. Combine flour, sugar and spices in a gallon zip lock bag. Add bacon, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat well. Place bacon slices on the cookie sheet so they are not touching each other. After baking, place on paper towels to drain.

Bake at 300 degrees F for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tuna Noodle Casserole - From Scratch

Please don't think for a minute that I don't still make tuna noodle casserole the old fashioned way, two cans tuna, soup and a partial box of noodles, but this is special. That's why I make it for special people, like my Bible study class last week. If I remember this is adapted from an old Gourmet recipe.

Your topping are of your choice; crushed potato chips, 1 1/2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs mixed with 4 ounces of grated Cheddar or French fried onions from a can.

I'll be linking to Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage, come join us.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
4-6 servings
print recipe

1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 of a red sweet pepper, chopped
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick (4 cups)
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 cup Sherry
1/4 cup -all purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or homemade
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 (6-ounce) cans tuna in olive oil, drained
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted

6 ounces egg noodles (I prefer the thicker Amish style; about 3 1/4 cups)

Topping of your choice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

Cook onion and pepper in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with a pinch of salt in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to moderately high and add mushrooms and thyme, then saute, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms begin to give off liquid, about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce and continue to saute mushrooms, stirring, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add sherry and boil, stirring occasionally, until evaporated. Remove from heat.

Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 2-3 quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat and whisk in flour, then cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add broth in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking. Whisk in milk and simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in mushroom mixture, lemon juice, and salt. Flake tuna into sauce, add defrosted peas and stir gently. Check for seasoning.

Cook noodles in a 5-6 quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain noodles in a colander and return to pot. Add sauce and stir gently to combine. Transfer mixture to baking dish, spreading evenly.

Top with your topping of choice. Bake until topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, 20-30 minutes.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Broccoli and Rice - Louise Charles Style

You all have heard me speak of my friend Louise Charles before. I should live so long and have the energy and good health that this sweet lady has. Louise is 91 and had her first cookbook signing a few weeks ago. They sold like hot cakes. All of her recipes are in her own beautiful handwriting.

I feel so honored to have her cookbook, and to have it signed by her, to me with love.

I chose this recipe because it is one I have made many, many times and one of my sister Sandy's favorites. Until recently I had not made this for more than 30 years.

I'm sharing this exactly as it appears in the cookbook.

Broccoli and Rice
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1 small onion - 1 cup rice -
1 stick butter - 1 can cream of celery soup
1 (10-ounce) package of frozen broccoli - 1 (8 ounce) jar of Cheez Whiz

Saute onion in butter - cook rice. Cook drain and chop broccoli. Mix all ingredients together.

Put in baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 30 minutes of just until hot.

Thank you Louise for giving me back a long lost recipe that has always been a favorite at my house also.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Baked Hominy Casserole

Hominy is just one of those things I could go on and on about. I have been known to open a can of hominy, drain it and eat it with a little salt and pepper. That might be a little tricky to serve to your family however. Did you know that hominy was the first corn-based dish taught to the colonists by the native Algonquin Indians. Bet you couldn't have lived without knowing that.

This is excellent, almost like a corn pudding.

Baked Hominy Casserole
6 to 8 servings
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about 1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 green onions, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can whole yellow or white hominy, drained
1 (8-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 eggs, beaten until frothy
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish; set aside. Melt butter in a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add green and red pepper and green onions. Cook until vegetables are slightly wilted (about 5 minutes). Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, combine hominy, corn, sugar, salt, Tabasco sauce, black pepper, eggs, milk, cream and cornstarch mixture. Stir to blend. Add bell pepper mixture; stir well. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish and bake in preheated oven until custard is firm and a knife inserted in center comes out clean (about 1 hour). Serve hot.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Glazed Onions

You will not believe how good these are! Southerners eat onions, raw, cooked into soups and stews, grated on tops of casseroles, and yes, even onion sandwiches. These small onions coated with a mahogany colored glaze are wonderful with any simple meat dish.

Glazed Onions
4-6 servings
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1 1/2 pounds small white boiling onions, each no more than 1-inch in diameter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup brown stock, or canned beef broth

Using a sharp knife, cut root end from each unpeeled onion; set aside. Half fill a 4-6 quart saucepan with water and bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Add onions and parboil 1 minute. Drain in a colander; place under cold running water to cool quickly. When onions are cool enough to handle, peel them: grasp each at the stem and between your thumb and forefinger and squeeze lightly. The outer peel should slip off easily. Discard peels. Melt butter in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium heat; add oi. When butter-oil mixture is hot, add onions, salt and pepper. Cook gently, shaking the skillet back and forth often, until onions are tender and evenly browned (about 15 minutes). Meanwhile bring stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and sprinkle brown sugar over onions; stir gently to blend. Cook, shaking skillet constantly until sugar turns deep brown (3-4 minutes). Add boiling stock and stir to blend with sugar syrup. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, shaking skillet, until liquid is reduced to a thick glaze (6-7 minutes). Serve hot.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Breakfast Oats Parfait

This is a wonderful bed and breakfast recipe from a friend. I love oatmeal, and I love anything that can be made ahead. And a big plus here, is no cooking. You could have this made in 10 minutes, go jump in bed, and breakfast is ready when you wake up.

Breakfast Oats Parfait
4 servings
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1 cup quick cooking or old fashioned oats, uncooked (not instant)
2 (8-ounce) cartons nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 cups sliced fresh or frozen strawberries
Whipped cream, optional (I have to have it)

In a medium bowl, combine oats, yogurt, pineapple and almonds. Mix well; cover and refrigerate overnight. To serve, layer oat mixture and strawberries in 4 parfait glasses. Garnish with additional strawberries and add a little whipped cream if desired.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tuna Croquettes/Patties

My grandmother made the best salmon croquettes in the world, with a buttery medium white sauce to go with them. And if the green peas were ready in the garden she would add some of those to the sauce. My my, I can taste them now.

Tuna works just as well with the only difference being a smoother consistency. No one will no the difference if you don't tell.

Tuna Croquettes/Patties
4 servings
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2 (6-ounce) cans tuna drained
2 large eggs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ginger teriyaki sauce (or 1 teaspoon soy sauce plus a pinch of ginger)
1/8 teaspoon round red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, eggs, onion, bell pepper, flour, teriyaki sauce, red pepper and salt.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat until the oil bubbles when a little bit of the tuna mixture is tossed in. Drop the tuna mixture by soupspoonsful into the oil to make patties about 3 inches in diameter. Fry until browned on the bottom, for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and fry until browned on the other side, for 1 or 2 minutes more. Drain on paper towels. Continue until all the patties are cooked, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.

These make great sandwiches also.