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, November 30, 2011

Turkey Club Casserole

Do you have Emeril's new cook book Sizzling Skillets. Wonderful! All the recipes are done in our favorite kitchen things, skillet, casseroles, baking dishes, big pots, slow cookers, etc. You get the idea. This recipe was shared on the Rachel Ray show a few weeks ago. Fabulous! A cross between French Toast and a club sandwich.

This looks long and involved. Not. All the instructions are telling you how to put the sandwich together. The Bechamel Sauce takes about 10 minutes to make and should be made first. The sauce can be made up to five days ahead. Don't get in a panic over the Bechamel Sauce, it's only a normal white sauce.

Turkey Club Casserole
8-10 servings
print recipe

8 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
Two 1-pound loaves very thinly sliced sandwich bread, preferably Pepperidge Farm
1 recipe Bechamel Sauce (recipe follows)
1 pound thinly sliced oven-roasted turkey breast
2 medium tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
1 pound bacon, cooked until crisp and drained
8 ounces thinly sliced honey-glazed ham
8 ounces thinly sliced sharp cheddar cheese

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, salt, mustard, cayenne, and nutmeg. Set the egg-cream mixture aside while you prepare the sandwiches.

2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch glass baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.

3. Using a serrated knife, cut the crusts off the bread. Assemble 16 sandwiches by combining the ingredients for each sandwich in this order, from the bottom up; 1 slice bread spread with 1 teaspoon of the bechamel, topped with 1 ounce of turkey, 1 slice of tomato, and 1 piece of the bacon (broken to fit on the sandwich); another slice of bread spread with 1 teaspoon bechamel, 1/2 ounce of the ham, and 1/2 ounce cheese; and one more piece of bread spread with 1 teaspoon bechamel (bechamel side down). As sandwiches are assembled, place 8 of them in the prepared casserole dish. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches, placing them directly on top of the first layer.

4. When all the sandwiches are positioned in the casserole, pour the egg-cream mixture evenly over the top. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on top of the casserole and place a second casserole dish on top of the paper to weight the casserole. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. The bread should absorb most of the egg mixture.

5. Preheat the over to 350 degrees F. and remove the casserole from the refrigerator, slice the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick of butter into 8 pieces, and place one piece on top of each sandwich stack. Bake the casserole, uncovered, until puffed and golden, usually about 40 minutes.

6. Set the casserole aside to cool briefly before serving. Serve warm.

1 1/2 CUPS

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 2 minutes, do not allow to brown.

2. While whisking constantly, add the milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened and any floury taste is gone, about 8 minutes.

3. Remove the sauce from the heat and transfer to a small heat-resistant bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface and then set aside to cool. The bechamel can be stored in a resealable container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Creamy White Beans with Smoked Turkey

Several years ago while living in Charleston, S.C. I learning the joys of cooking with smoked turkey legs and wings. It's a nice alternative to the more commonplace ham hocks. Economical, easy, and delicious beyond words would be my description of this stew.

Creamy White Beans with Smoked Turkey
4-6 servings
print recipe

2 pounds smoked turkey legs
8 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
3 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups small-diced onion
3/4 cup small-diced celery
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon crush red pepper
1 pound dried white beans (great norther or navy is fine), rinsed, picked over, and soaked overnight
8 ounces butternut squash, diced (2 generous cups)
6 ounces fresh spinach, cleaned and any tough ribs removed (See Note)

1. Place the turkey legs, 4 cups of the stock, the water, 2 of the bay leaves, and the cayenne in a 6-quart Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat so that the liquid just simmers, cover, and cook until the meat is falling from the bones, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove the turkey legs from the broth and, when cool enough to handle, shred the meat into bite-sized piece. Discard the bones and skin. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve and discard any solids. Set the broth and turkey meat aside.

2. Clean the Dutch oven and dry well. Add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Drain the beans and add them to the pot, along with the reserved turkey broth and the remaining 4 cups chicken stock and 1 bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Partially uncover the pot and continue to cook until the beans are nearly tender, about 30 minutes longer. Add the squash and continue to cook until the beans and squash are tender, about 30 minutes longer.

3. Remove the lid and smash some of the beans against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until reduce and slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the reserved turkey and the spinach and heat through. Serve hot, in shallow bowls.

Cook's Note: You can substitute kale or chard, but these tougher greens should be coarsely chopped and added a bit earlier than the spinach so that they're tender by the time the stew is done.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Ultimate Cheesecake

Who doesn't love cheesecake? This is an old Tyler Florence recipe and the only cheesecake that I make because it's perfect every time. Use whatever topping you like or leave it plain. I'm giving you my favorite topping Warm Lemon Blueberry.

Don't worry about all the instructions. It's mostly stuff you already know.

The Ultimate Cheesecake
6-8 servings
print recipeCrust:

2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
1 lemon, zested
1 dash of vanilla extract

Warm Lemon Blueberry Topping,, recipe follows

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate while preparing filling.

For the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 or 2 minutes. Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well mixed but not over-beaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours, longer if possible. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate. Using a spatula spread a layer of Warm Lemon Blueberry topping over the surface.

Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.

Warm Lemon Blueberries
1 pint blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 lemon zested and juice
2 tablespoons sugar

In a small saucepan add all ingredients and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes or so until fruit begins to break down slightly. Leave to cool before spreading on cheesecake.

Cook's Note
If you will not be serving the entire cheesecake at one meal, simply spoon some of the blueberries on each slice as you serve.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ham Hock and Cabbage Soup

After you have eaten all the turkey you can stand to even think about, make a pot of Ham Hock and Cabbage Soup. Dig some of that cabbage out of the freezer from the summer. And everyone knows a good Southern cook always has ham hocks on hand. This will warm the soul in the awful damp, cold, rainy weather. At least it's not snowing, yet.

While the soup is cooking make your favorite cornbread or My Favorite Cornbread.

Ham Hock and Cabbage Soup
8 main-course servings
print recipe

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1 ham hock (about 1 pound)
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
6 cups chopped cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
4 cups chicken/turkey broth
3 cups peeled and cubed red potatoes (about 1 pound)

1. Heat the oil in a large deep pot over high heat. Add the bacon and fry until it is slightly crisp. Add the ham hock, onions, and carrots. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the onions are slightly wilted.

2. Add the cabbage, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, salt, and cayenne. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the cabbage is slightly wilted. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes. Cover and cook for 1 hour, or until the cabbage and potatoes are soft and tender.

3. Remove the ham hock from the soup. Pick off the meat and add to the pot. Skim off any fat that has risen to the surface and remove the bay leaves.

4. Serve in large soup bowls.

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Favorite Cornbread Plus Turkey Leftovers

I was sure I had posted this before, but I can't find it on the blog. I've made this at least 20 years. This is perfect to serve under your Turkey Hash or with your Turkey Bone Gumbo or Hearty Turkey Noodle Soup. Yes, you will have enough turkey and bones left from your Thanksgiving turkey to make one or all of these dishes.

My Favorite Corn Bread
1 - 9-inch square pan
print recipe

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

Mix everything together and pour into a 9x9-inch greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 40 mintues. Delicious reheated!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Do you remember all that food that Edie and I prepared last year for 2010 T-Day ? No one needs that much food, or should have to prepared it. Whoops, I forgot my brother deep fried the turkey.

Larry and Edie are going to Virginia to be with her Virginia family this year. My niece Angie, (the jammie girl) always likes having Thanksgiving with just her family, because Christmas is so hectic for them. Yes, I was invited, but everyone deserves a break from me. I'm sure she will be filling you in on her menu.

Sooo, that leaves my nephew and the puppies for me to cook for. Randy really doesn't like Thanksgiving dinner except for the green bean casserole recipe on the back of the cream of mushroom soup can. Yuck! I'm still baking a turkey and making stuffing and gravy, with basic vegetables. You have to have leftovers, plus the puppies love turkey.

Given a choice of anything he could think of for his Thanksgiving dinner this is his menu.

Randy's Thanksgiving Dinner 2011
Chili - seasoned hot enough to take paint off a car
Tossed Salad (no tomatoes) with Italian Dressing (Wishbone, not homemade)
Shrimp Scampi Pizza

Dessert: Little Debbie Peanut Butter Bars. This could change, but it still has to be Little Debbie something.

I could cry. I really thought I had taught him better.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Be thankful you don't have to have dinner with Randy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Plum Pudding by Joyce

Have you ever had Plum Pudding, I mean real Plum Pudding. That is what arrived today from my friend Joyce at October Farm. This woman can make anything. This thing is packed with currants, dark and light raisins, orange peel, citron and pecans, walnuts and almonds. This is the real deal made with suet, not butter. Not in any way related to a fruit cake. She has all kinds of stuff in this box that I haven't even opened yet.

Joyce told me to let it ripen in the refrigerator until Christmas. Right! The only ripening this baby got was from her house to mine. Okay, I only cut a few slices and will save the rest for the Christmas holidays. I whipped up a little Hard Sauce to have on the warmed pudding. Also, I had made a batch of Boiled Custard that I could not resist trying with the pudding. Awesome!

You better hope you're on my "Special Person List" this holiday or there will be no Plum Pudding for you.

Joyce thank you so much for your kindness, my witchy friend. I have to go now and have one more little tiny piece.

Grand Marnier Cranberry Relish

I think at one time I had a more complicated version of this that I got from one of the Food Network shows, but this is so much easier and just as tasty. Plus the Grand Marnier is not absolutely necessary, except for me.

Grand Marnier Cranberry Relish
8-10 servings
print recipe

1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup sugar, more if you like
1 orange with zest
2-3 tablespoons Grand Marnier, more if you like, or none at all

Pulse cranberries in processor about 6-10 times. Keep them chunky. Dump in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in sugar. Zest the orange and add to bowl with the juice from the orange. Add Grand Marnier. Mix well and refrigerate several hours. I make mine several days ahead.

This is wonderful on your turkey sandwiches also.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Twice - Baked Potato Casserole

Yes, you have seen this before, and you will see it every holiday. It is the only mashed potatoes I make when I'm cooking for more than 4 people.

This can be prepared the morning of the day before serving and refrigerated. Remove from refrigerator about an hour before baking and serving. Any leftovers make fabulous potato pancakes

This is the "big" recipe for holidays, but cut everything in half and you have a just right recipe for family meals.

Twice - Baked Potato Casserole
Serves 10-12
print recipe

8 medium baking potatoes, about 4 pounds
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 cups (1/2 pound shredded sharp cheddar cheese, or half Parmesan cheese
1 pint sour cream
2 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped chives, for garnish
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained, (save the grease for another use) and crumbled, for garnish

1. Preheat the over to 350 degrees F. Pierce the potatoes and place on a baking pan. Bake the potatoes for 1 hours and 15 minutes, until very soft.

2. Peel and mash the potatoes in a large bowl with a potato masher or the back of a fork. Add the cream cheese, butter, 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese, and the sour cream. Stir well. Add garlic, salt, and pepper and stir again.

3. Spray a 19 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Place the potatoes into the dish. The casserole may now be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use, 24-36 hours.

4. When ready to bake, set casserole out of refrigerator for 30 minute. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until hot. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese over the top of the casserole and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Garnish with the chopped chives and crumbled bacon.

Stand back from the table and be ready to take your bows.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Breakfast Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

Do you host a breakfast or brunch during the holiday season, or maybe something special for your family Christmas morning? This is wonderful and needs to be prepared the night before. This is really a very easy recipe, just long instruction.

Breakfast Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce
8 servings
print recipe

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 pound cinnamon raisin bread, torn up into bite size pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 cups half-and-half
2 tablespoons vanilla (preferably Mexican, or you can use 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste)

Mix the cinnamon into the sugar until well combined; set aside. Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass baking pan and place the torn-up bread into it.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until it is creamy. Mix in the cinnamon sugar and beat until very creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined. Mix in the half-and-half and vanilla, and beat well. (The mixture will be thin and will not be completely combined; this is normal.) Stop the beater and use a spatula to mix as well as possible.

Pour the butter mixture over the torn-up-bread. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, remove the pan from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake the pudding for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and stir with a wooden spoon. Place the pudding back in the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until it is puffed and golden. While the pudding is baking, prepare the rum sauce (see below)

Place the pudding on a rack and carefully pour the rum sauce over it. Allow the rum sauce to soak into the pudding (2-3 minutes, and then serve. Pudding will be very hot.

Rum Sauce
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup best quality rum
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 large egg

In a medium-size saute' pan, melt the butter. Add the sugar, rum, and nutmeg, and stir with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is well blended.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, still in the pan.

In a small bowl, beat the egg until it is very frothy. Beat the egg into the butter mixture until well combined. Place the saute' pan back on the stove and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and immediately pour over the pudding.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - Gratitude

October and November are both gratitude months, depending on you you talk to. I think every day should be Gratitude Day.

We learn the magical lesson that making the most of what we have turns it into more.

Say thank you, until you mean it.

Thank God, life, and the universe for everyone and everything sent your way.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Gratitude makes things right.

Gratitude turns negative energy into positive energy. There is no situation or circumstance so small or large that it is not susceptible to gratitude's power. We can start with who we are and what we have today, apply gratitude, then let it work its magic.

Say think you, until you mean it. If you say it long enough, you will believe it.

Today, I will shine the transforming light of gratitude on all the circumstances of my life.

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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sweet Potato Cake with Brown Sugar Icing

This recipe for sweet potato cake (Ipomoca batatas), perhaps descended from the many traditional recipes for sweet potato pudding, and was probably handed down for several generations. This is the kind of dessert you would find at local Southern diners in years past.

Be grateful I couldn't find a recipe for turnip cake.

Sweet Potato Cake
1 Three layer 8-inch cake
print recipe

1/2 cup butter or shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup cooked, peeled, and mashed sweet potatoes
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon maple or vanilla flavoring

Grease and flour 3 8-inch round cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and sweet potatoes. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to sweet potato mixture. (If batter seems to stiff, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk.) Fold in nuts and flavoring. Spoon batter into cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn out on racks. Cool and frost with Brown Sugar Icing.

Brown Sugar Icing

1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

Sift confectioners' sugar into medium bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir brown sugar, whipping cream, and butter until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Boil 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour brown sugar mixture over confections' sugar, whisking. Whisk until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Cook icing until lukewarm and icing falls in heavy ribbon from spoon, whisking often, about 15 minutes. Stack layers, thinly icing between. Spoon icing thickly over top, allowing it to drip down sides of cake. Serve after icing is firm, at least 1 hour.

I like to let the cake rest overnight.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Islander Chicken

We can pretend we are in the islands and it's not 50 degrees outside. Did you know that cumin has only become popular in the states in the past 30 years. It has always been a principal ingredient in chili powder, but not so much on it's own. I love the wonderful warm smoky flavor it brings to this dish.

Islander Chicken
6 servings
print recipe

1/3 cup olive oil
1 three-pound frying chicken, cut into pieces, or your favorite pieces
3/4 cup diced raw ham
1 cup sliced onions
2 cloves garlic minced
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups raw rice
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/8 teaspoon saffron if you have it. Don't mortgage the house to buy some.

1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven, add the chicken, ham, onions and garlic and brown the chicken on all sides.

2. Add the tomatoes, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer slowly until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Add more liquid if necessary.

4. Remove the chicken. Heap the rice mixture in the center of a large platter and surround with the chicken. Garnish with strips of pimento, if desired.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stuffing a la Gourmet

Well, I guess it's time I started thinking about Thanksgiving dinner. Gathering up old recipes, looking for new ones I want to try. Normally I don't change the basics, but sometimes I will mess around with the stuffing and side dishes. Actually this is an old recipe, (1968) that I haven't made for a few years. This is also excellent with roasted chicken and roast loin of pork.

Let's go see Amy at A Little Nosh and see what is going on.

You can stuff the turkey or bake the stuffing in a casserole.

Stuffing a la Gourmet
6-8 servings approx.
print recipe

1 onion chopped
1 apple chopped
1/2 cup seedless grapes
1 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 carrot chopped
1/2 pound ground pork or sweet Italian sausage
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 cups toasted bread cubes
1 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup Grand Mariner
Enough chicken broth to make a moist stuffing

Mix well and stuff the turkey.

If baking outside the turkey; lightly brown the ground pork in a large skillet; add butter and saute onion, apple,carrot and celery, just until limp, not browned; add spices, grapes and walnuts. Add remaining ingredients and toss with bread cubes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pineapple Casserole

Truly an old Southern recipe! You will see this at funerals, Thanksgiving, and everything in between. My friend, Lillian Plummer shared her recipe with me at Bible study. I believe if she made a tub of this there would not be one bite left. Perfect served with ham,turkey, roast beef or anything else.

Pineapple Casserole
Hard to say it goes so fast. Maybe 8-10 servings
print recipe

2 - 20 ounce cans pineapple tidbits, drained, reserving 6 tablespoons of juice
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tube Ritz crackers

Mix drained pineapple with shredded cheese. Put in lightly buttered 9x13-inch (or close) baking dish.

Mix sugar, flour and reserved pineapple juice and pour over pineapple and cheese mixture.

Pour melted butter over pineapple mixture.

Top with crush Ritz crackers.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sorghum-Glazed Turnips

You have to admit I've not mentioned turnips in a few week. Not that I haven't been cooking them.

If you have your Southern Living Magazine for October this recipe is on page 98. It was just too good not to post in case someone missed it.

Sorghum Glazed Turnips
4 servings
print recipe

1 pounds small turnips (about 2-inches long)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons sorghum
Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs

1. Peel turnips and cut in half. Vertically.

2. Place turnips in a single layer in a 12-inch heavy skillet; add water to reach halfway up turnips (about 1 1.2 cups). Add butter and next 3 ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until turnips are tender and water has evaporated. Cook, stirring often, 5 more minutes or until turnips are golden. Stir in sorghum and 3 tablespoons water; toss turnips to coat. Serve immediately. Garnish, if desired.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stuffed Pork Chops with Sour Cream Gravy

What could be better than a big thick stuffed pork chop. When I lived in Florida I had a fabulous meat market, Ray's Meat Market, down the street. I could run in on the way home and buy already stuffed pork chops. This is their recipe and The New York Times Sour Cream Gravy recipe.

I wonder how many times I've made this for dinner! Well tonight will just be one more time.

Stuffed Pork Chops With Sour Cream Gravy
4 servings
print recipe

4 double rib pork chops
2 tablespoons dripping or other fat
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup bread cubes or course crumbs. May favorite was rye bread cubes.
1 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sage or poultry seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons sour cream, approx.
1/4 cup water

1. Have butcher cut pockets in the pork chops. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a skillet heat the drippings, add the onion and saute' until transparent. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add the bread crumbs, parsley and seasonings and stir together well. Add enough sour cream to moisten the mixture.

3. Stuff the chops with the mixture and close the opening with toothpicks. Sprinkle lightly with additional salt, sage and pepper.

4. Arrange the chops in a baking pan, add one-quarter cup water and bake, covered 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake until brown and tender, about 30 minutes longer. Serve with sour-cream gravy. (below)

Sour Cream Gravy
Pork drippings
1 1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Pour the drippings from the baking pan into a bowl. Add the water to the pan and scrape loose all the brown particles.

2. Skim the fat from the drippings and place 3 tablespoons fat in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and brown. Slowly add the water from the pan and the drippings from the bowl and coo, stirring, until thickened.

3. Add the sour cream and heat gently, while beating with a whisk or rotary beater. Do not boil. Correct seasonings.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Butter-Pecan Cornbread Muffins

Are you looking for something to add to your Thanksgiving bread basket? These should work just fine. These are also heavenly split and add a couple of very thin slices of country ham and serve with your favorite soup. I could eat these things ice cold!

Butter-Pecan Cornbread Muffins
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen
print recipe

1 large egg
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups plain white or yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-pourpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
vegetable cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Stir together egg and next 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir together cornmeal and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in egg mixture until combine.

2. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in pecans, and cook, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat 2 (12-cup muffin pans in oven 3-5 minutes.

4. Stir pecans into cornmeal batter. Coat hot muffin pans with cooking spray; pour batter into muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. I use a large ice cream scoop.

5. Bake at 450 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Get out of my way because I'm having one now before they ever reach the table.

Cook's Note: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare batter as directed, toasting pecans in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Pour batter into cast-iron skillet. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Now you have a skillet of cornbread!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Caramel-Nut Pull-Apart Bread

November 11, 2011, (11/11/11). That will not happen again It is also Veterans Day. Take a few minutes to remember our veterans and also the men and women still serving in all branches of the service. Where would we be without them? God Bless them all, past and present.

I can almost taste these while I'm typing! Gooey pull-apart bread goes well at any breakfast table. Or if you're having a bad day, sit down and eat the whole thing. Someone said it relieves stress. This is especially wonderful over the holidays.

Caramel-Nut Pull-Apart Bread
12 servings
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1 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits. I use Pillsbury Golden Layers Flaky.
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine brown sugar and walnuts in a small bowl. Stir in butter. Spoon half of brown sugar mixture in bottom of a greased 12-cup Bundt pan.

2. Cut each biscuit in half, and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, toss well to coat. Arrange half of biscuits over brown sugar mixture in Bundt pan. Spoon remaining brown sugar mixture over biscuits in pan; top with remaining biscuits.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 36 minutes or until browned. Turn out onto a serving platter immediately, spooning any sauce in pan over bread. Serve warm.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pumpkin Stew in a Pumpkin

There is no doubt in my mind that not one person will bother to make this. If by chance you do, you will make it again and again. Unbelievable wonderful!

Come on, let's go see what we can find at Miz Helen's Country Cottage - Full Plate Thursday.

Pumpkin Stew in a Pumpkin
4-6 servings
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1 medium sugar pumpkin (Make sure it's nice and fresh)
1 large onion, diced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups fresh bread cubes, cut into 1-inch cubes from a French loaf
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups mixed fresh mushrooms (button, portobello, chanterelle, oyster) cleaned, stems removed, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
1 container (7-8-ounce) creme fraiche or 1/2 pint heavy cream

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Cut the top off of the pumpkin as you would if you were going to carve it for Halloween. Scrape out the seed and loose pulp, being careful not to remove the pumpkin flesh itself, since pumpkin is the basic flavoring of this dish. Save the top of the pumpkin, which will be placed back on during cooking.

In a large skillet, saute the onions and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat for a few minutes, and then add the fresh croutons and toss. Stir and cook the croutons for another few minutes and then add the garlic. Toss the mixture and cook until the croutons begin to brown. Add more butter as needed to keep the mixture from drying out. Set aside.

In a separate pan, saute' 1 tablespoon of butter with the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have released their juices and begun to reabosrb them. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

To assemble the pumpkin for cooking, put in layers of the bread mixture followed by a dash of salt and pepper, then a layer of the grated cheese, a layer of mushrooms, a bit of the crumbled bacon, and a thin layer of creme fraiche or heavy cream. Keep layering until the pumpkin is filled. End with a layer of cheese.

Put the pumpkin lid back on. Set the filled pumpkin in a casserole dish that will support its sides. Fill a roasting pan with 2 inches of water, and place the pumpkin,in its casserole dish, in the water. Bake for about 3 hours, checking from time to time, until the pumpkin pulp is getting soft enough to scoop up/

To serve, gently remove the pumpkin from the water bath and place on a large platter. Scrap out some of the pumpkin flesh with a large, sturdy spoon as you dish out each bowl.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Broken Teepee - From Kitchen to Table

I am thrilled to be featured on Broken Teepee - From Kitchen to Table today. Please take time to have a look. It is always an honor to be ask to guest post.

As a matter of fact I was so excited about being ask to guest post that I forgot to mention it in my first post today. Don't forget to drop by and see Patty today.

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

Every winter it seems I find a new favorite soup of the year and keep making it until everyone is sick of it. I do believe this is the one for this year. Let me just say this does not resemble Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup in the least.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
6-8 servings
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1 ounce dried wild mushrooms (porcini, cremini, or morels)
2 1/2 cups spring water (it does matter)
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus an additional 2 tablespoons, if needed
1 shallot, finely diced
8 ounces fresh button mushrooms, gently rinsed, patted dry with paper towels, and finely diced
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups homemade chicken stock
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup dry sherry
sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the dried mushrooms in a large heatproof bowl. Bring the spring water to a boil and pour over the dried mushrooms. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Remove the reconstituted mushrooms with a slotted spoon, pat dry, and chop finely. Set aside. Strain the mushroom water through cheesecloth and set the water aside. You should have about 2 cups of mushroom water.

In a large stockpot, melt the butter over low heat. Place the diced shallot and diced fresh mushrooms in the pot and allow to cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Raise the heat to medium, sprinkle in the flour, and stir constantly until the mixture bubbles and the flour is cooked, about 3 minutes. (If the mixture is completely dry, add up to 2 tablespoons of extra butter. Stir the mixture until the butter is completely melted, then stir and cook until the flour is cooked.)

Using a 1/2-cup measuring cup, add the chicken stock and reserved mushroom water 1/2 cup at a time. Bring the heat up to medium-high, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Lower the heat and add the chopped wild mushrooms, the cream, the sherry, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

When the soup has cooled slightly, spoon it in batches into a blender, and puree. Place the pureed batches into a large heatproof bowl. When soup is completely pureed, pour it back into the stockpot, taste, and correct the seasoning. Bring the soup back to a simmer and serve.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blueberry Sweet Muffins

What a wonderful little recipe this is. Not often do you find a muffin recipe that makes only six. I would much rather be tempted by 6 muffins than 12-18 hanging around. Every summer I pick and freeze loads of blueberries for pie, cobblers, muffins, etc.

I think this will be a favorite for you!

Blueberry Sweet Muffins
6 regular muffins
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1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

2. Stir together milk, oil, and egg; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into greased or paper lined muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Sprinkle batter with 2 tablespoons of sugar.

3. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans immediately, and cool on wire racks.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chicken Fried Steak

How long has it been since you made Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes and cream gravy? I can taste it already. This is the perfect meal for a cold snowy or rainy night.

Authentic chicken-fried steak is crunchy outside, tender inside, and served with plenty of cream gravy made from pan drippings. Bring it on!

Chicken-Fried Steak
6 servings
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2 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
6 (4 ounce) cube steaks
38 saltine crackers (1 sleeve), crushed
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
4 3/4 cups of milk, divided
2 large eggs
3 1/2 cups peanut oil

1. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon, each salt and black pepper over steaks.

2. Combine cracker crumbs, 1 cup flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper.

3. Whisk together 3/4 cup milk and eggs. Dredge steaks in cracker crumb mixture' dip in milk mixture, and dredge in cracker mixture again.

4. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Pour oil into a 12-inch skillet; heat to 360 degrees F. (Do not use a nonstick skillet.) Fry steaks, in batches, 10 minutes. Turn an fry each batch 4-5 minutes more or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack on a jelly-roll pan. Keep steaks warm in a 225 degree oven. Carefully drain hot oil, reserving cooked bits and 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet.

5. Whisk together remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 4 cooks milk. Pour mixture into reserved drippings in skillet; cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Serve gray with steaks and mashed potatoes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - The Journey

On any journal, we must find out where we are before we can plan the next step.

Our lives in all aspects are a journey toward a destination, one fitting to our purpose, our special gifts, our particular needs. Each day contributes to our journey, carrying us closer to our destination. However, we often take a circuitous route. We get stranded or waylaid by our selfish desires, by the intrusion of our controlling ego.

We can reflect on the progress we've made toward our destination, the steps we've taken that have unknowingly contributed to our journey. Our easiest steps have been the ones we took in partnership with God. It's in God's mind that our path is well marked.

We are just where we need to be today. The experiences that we meet are like points on the map of our journey. Some of them are rest stops. Others resemble high-speed straightaways. The journey to our destination is not always smooth, but the more we let God sit in the driver's seat, the easier will be our ride.

I will plan my journey today with God's help, and my ride will be smooth.

Please visit The Kennedy Adventures!, for more Saint and Scriptures. Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Breakfast Anytime Potatoes

These really should be called "Anytime Potatoes". They certainly are not just for breakfast. I always seem to make these anytime I am making breakfast for dinner or for a brunch. The perfect potato to serve with Eggs Benedict or plain scrambled eggs.

Breakfast Anytime Potatoes
Serves 4
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1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, well- rinsed, cubed with skin on, and place in a zip lock bag
2-3 tablespoons olive oil (more if needed)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 sweet yellow or white onion, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place all of the ingredients in the baggie with the potatoes. Shake VERY well to coat potatoes with the other ingredients. Place on large cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Do not layer potatoes; have one even layer. Bake for 45 minutes or until brown and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. If they don't brown enough during baking, use a kitchen torch for a few seconds over the potatoes just until they are crispy and browned.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Breakfast Anytime Eggs

We all have our favorite scrambled egg recipes. Fresh herbs and diced tomato give these eggs a punch of flavor that's great anytime.

Come back tomorrow and I'll give you the perfect Breaskfast Anytime Potatoes to have with this.

Breakfast Anytime Eggs
6 servings
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1 tomato, chopped
12 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 up chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1. Let chopped tomato stand on paper towels. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl until blended.

2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.

3. Add egg mixture; cook, without stirring until eggs begin to set on bottom. Gently draw cooked edges away from sides of skillet to form large pieces. Cook until eggs are thickened but still moist. (DO NOT over stir.) Remove from heat, and transfer to a warm platter.

4. Sprinkle eggs with tomato, chives, and parsley; serve immediately.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cabbage Noodle Casserole

This was inspired by the Bourbon County Extension Service newsletter this month. If you see the (optional) after an ingredient, you know I've been working on the recipe. Either way it is very good.

I hate to start using my frozen and canned goods this early, but we have had a short summer this year and first frost has already been here. I used some of my frozen cabbage for this. Wonderful served with kielbasa, ham or pork roast.

Cabbage Noodle Casserole
6 One cup servings
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5 strips turkey bacon (I used regular bacon)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used butter)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, more if you like
6 cups cabbage, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 small green sweet pepper chopped (optional)
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped (optional
1 small onion, chopped (optional)
1 large tomato, chopped (optional)
3 cups, cooked, whole grain egg noodles
1 cup sour cream (reduced fat is okay, no fat is not okay)
1 teaspoon paprika

1. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove and set aside.

2. Add oil or butter, salt and pepper to the skillet with the bacon drippings. Add chopped cabbage, peppers, onions, and tomato, if using and stir until coated. Cover and cook 7-10 minutes.

3. Crumble bacon and add to cabbage. Stir in noodles.

4. Spoon into a greased 2 quart casserole dish; cover and bake 25-30 minutes at 325 degrees.

5. Remove from oven. Spread sour cream over the top and sprinkle with paprika.

6. Bake 5 minutes more.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

National Deviled Egg Day

Bet you didn't know that today was National Deviled Egg Day! Everyone has their favorite way to make deviled eggs, but don't get stuck in a rut. Remember deviled eggs are a year-round favorite.

Chopped barbecued pork is the filling's secret ingredient in this old-fashioned Southern favorite. If you want to omit the chopped pork, add a drop of liquid smoke to provide a barbecue flavor.

Barbecue Deviled Eggs
12 servings
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12 large eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
1/3 cup finely chopped barbecued pork (without the sauce)
Garnish with paprika, chopped dill pickle

1. Place eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan; add water to a depth of 3 inches. Bring to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes.

2. Drain and fill pan with cold water and ice. Tap each egg firmly on counter until cracks form all over shell. Peel under running cold water.

3. Cut eggs in half lengthwise, and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise. Stir in mustard and next 3 ingredients; blend well. Gently sir in pork. Spoon yolk mixture into egg white halves.

4. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish, if desired.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Turnip Casserole

Sorry! These turnips are so beautiful and tasty I can't stop making them in some form or the other. They are delicious even raw.

Turnip Casserole
4 to 6 servings
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3 cups mashed cooked turnips (yellow or white)
3 tablespoons butter
4 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups soft bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten
1 tablespoon butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine the turnips, butter, sugar, salt, pepper, 3/4 cup of the crumbs and the eggs. Mix well. Turn into a buttered one-quart casserole and top with the remaining crumbs mixed with the melted butter.

3. Bake until the top is browned, about 35 minutes.