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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Real Carrot Cake

This is without a doubt the best Carrot Cake I've ever eaten. The gooey cream cheese frosting has been replaced with a simple rum-infused glaze.The cake will store at room temperature for up to 5 days. The longer it sets the better it gets.

It is said that in 1783, George Washington was served Carrot Cake in a tavern in lower Manhattan to mark British Evacuation Day. It was not until the 1960's that this cake was slathered in the frosting we know today.

You will be sending me hugs for this one.

Serves 12
print recipe

3 cups plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup raisins
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and rated, use your food processor

1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon rum, light or dark

1. For the cake: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. Whisk 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Toss the walnuts, raisins, and 2 teaspoons flour in a small bowl until well coated.

2. With an electric mixer at medium high speed, beat the eggs and granulated sugar until combined. Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the oil until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is light and creamy. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture, the walnuts and raisins, and carrots until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour.

3. For the topping: Brush the vermouth over the cake until it is absorbed. Whisk the confectioners' sugar, buttermilk, and rum in a medium bowl. Drizzle over the cake. Serve. (The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

French Onion Baked Rice

I know this is going to be your favorite rice dish and will be perfect to add to your fresh garden vegetable meals. I've made this for 35 plus years. The recipe was from my dear friend Doris Mauldin. I'm so lucky to have so many of her wonderful recipes.

Serves 4
print recipe

1 cup chopped onion
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can beef broth
1 (10/34-ounce can condensed French Onion soup
1 (4 1/2-ounce) can mushroom pieces, drained
1 cup uncooked white rice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute' onion in butter until almost tender. Remove from heat. Stir in broth, onion soup, mushrooms, and uncooked rice. Pour into casserole dish. Bake for about 1 hour, or until done.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mile High Bologna Pie

I just love saying the name of this dish. Originally this was a frugal dish devised to stretch a tight food budget, and did not have a crust. Some of you will like only adding a top crust. However I like the double crust. Do what you like. The trick is searing the bologna first, which gives it a heartier flavor, much like kielbasa sausage. To be honest I pay less per pound for boneless chicken breast, pork loin, or ground beef than deli bologna. So much for frugal!

Serves 6-8
print recipe

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound deli bologna, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
2 large russet potatoes, peeled, halved length-wise, and sliced thin
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup water
1 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper
1 recipe for a 9-inch double pie crust, homemade or store bought
1 large egg, beaten for brushing the top of the pie
Ketchup or homemade chili sauce for serving

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering. Working in two batches, cook the bologna in a large skillet over medium heat until lightly browned on bother sides. About 6 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in the now-empty skillet until shimmering. Cook the onion until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook, tossing occasionally, until just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the water, cover, and cook until the potatoes and carrots are just tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the peas and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the vegetables cool until just warm, about 30 minutes.

2. Spoon the vegetables into the pie shell. Arrange the bologna over the top of the vegetables. Top with remaining chilled circle of dough and crimp the edges. Cut four 2-inch slits in the top of the dough, brush with the beaten egg, and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 5 minute. Serve, drizzling ketchup or chili sauce of the top.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pesto Bread

I know some of you were laughing your butt off the other day when I posted the Collard Green Pesto recipe. Now you will have to use the store bought pesto and I will be enjoying this bread made with the Collard Green Pesto. Don't ever under estimate and old southern woman.

Makes 1 loaf
print recipe

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3 tablespoons your favorite brand of pesto sauce because you don't have mine
1 loaf French or Italian Bread, homemade is best, but bakery is fine

Preheat grill to medium. Cut the bread into 1-inch slices without slicing completely through the bottom crust. Mix the first 5 ingredients and blend well. Spread on both sides of the bread slices. Wrap in foil and place on the edge of the grill. Grill, turning occasionally, about 10-15 minutes. Don't burn the bread.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Saint and Scriptures Sunday

Happy Memorial Weekend to everyone! Hope you are enjoying family, friends and lots of good food. But, we need to remember the reason for the holiday. Our prayers should be with all the men and women of our armed services. As long as we have one soldier fighting on foreign soil we should pray for them and their families and fly our flag to honor them.

Today is Pentecost Sunday - Don't forget to wear something red to church today

John 20:19-23
From The Message

Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house, Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you". Then he showed them his hands and side.

The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes,, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: "Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you."

The he took a deep breath and breathed into them. "Receive the Holy Spirit," he said. "If you forgive someone's sins, they're gone for good. If you don't forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?"

Have a Blessed week and stay cool.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Shrimp Deviled Eggs

This is a recipe from the archives. It's summer, we passed right over spring this year. In the 90's here today. We all know you have to have deviled eggs in the summer and for all cookouts. Right!

Deviled eggs, spring, Easter and summer cookouts just seem to go together. I love plain old deviled eggs but sometimes you just need to improve on them a little for really special occasions. This is a favorite. It also works great with salmon or crab meat.

Pray for leftovers, or make extra, and chop them up for a fabulous sandwich.

Shrimp Deviled Eggs
12 servings
print recipe

6 hard boiled eggs, please tell me you know how to boil eggs
4 tablespoons good mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 strips of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup diced cooked shrimp, canned is okay if rinsed and well drained
Black olives for garnish

Cut egg in half lengthwise. Scoop out yolks and blend with mayonnaise. Stir in lemon juice, bacon pieces and shrimp. Fill egg whites with mounds of mixture. Garnish with olive slices. Chill. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Spicy Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pimiento Cheese

This is sooo good! Fast fixin's-make ahead! You can use this on everything from hamburgers to celery sticks, not to mention it makes a fabulous grilled cheese sandwich. Perfect to have on hand for this long weekend.

Makes about 4 cups
print recipe

1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise
1/2 (12-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped, home canned if you have them
2 teaspoons finely grated onion
2 teaspoons coarse-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 (10-ounce) blocks sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded - shred your own
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Assorted crackers if using for an appetizer or snack

Use the large holes on a box grater to shred cheese or your food processor.

Stir together first 5 ingredients until well blended; stir in cheese and black pepper to taste. Store in the refrigerator in a airtight container up to 4 days. It will be gone long before then.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Country-Style Pork Ribs - Grilled

I promise these will become your favorite way to prepare country ribs. Most of the cooking is done in advance and while you sleep. Perfect for this long busy weekend coming up.

What meat item do you see on sale more than any other? Right, Country-Style Ribs. For years I never bought these things, too much trouble, takes to long to cook, too fatty, etc. Well, I don't know everything! Country-Style Ribs are better than any part of the piggy, except maybe the butt. Moist, tender and flavorful.

These are very easy, but do take a little planning ahead

Country-Style Pork Ribs - Grilled
Depends on the size package of ribs
Printer Friendly Version

1 package country-style ribs
1 large bottle Italian dressing
Garlic Salt or powder (I prefer powder or granulated)
Your favorite barbecue sauce

The morning before the day you will serve them, rub the ribs, with the garlic salt or powder. Marinate the ribs in the Italian dressing and wrap in foil. Refrigerate. Before going to bed, set the oven to 200 degrees F. and place ribs in the oven. Cook all night. As soon as you get up in the morning, take the ribs out of the oven. When you are ready to grill, baste the ribs with barbecue sauce and cook for 30 minutes.

Tell me these are not the best country ribs you have ever had.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tuna Tortellini Salad

How in the world did it get to be Memorial Day Weekend again! You know the saying, "The older you get the faster the time goes." I must a hundred. Well we all know you have to have a pasta salad for the official beginning to grilling season.

You can substitute 2 cups chopped chicken for the tuna if you like.

4 large servings
print recipe

1 (19-ounce) package frozen cheese tortellini
1 (12-ounce) can albacore tuna, rinsed and drained well
1/4 cup sliced green olives
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons good mayonnaise
1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence, or 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 cup canola oil
Salt to taste
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs

1. Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and place in a large bowl. Stir in tuna and next 5 ingredients.

2. Whisk together mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, and herbes de Provence. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour over tortellini mixture, tossing to coat. Stir in salt to taste. Cover and chill at least 25 minutes. Garnish and serve.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Collard Green Pesto

How do you know you're a redneck! When you make pesto from collards and pecans. Will I did and it's really, really, good. Use it just like your basil and pine nut version. But to keep the redneck thing going stir some of this into your pot of plain grits. Yum! Any leftovers may be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator for a week.

Makes about 3 cups
print recipe

5 cups packaged fresh collard greens, washed, trimmed, and chopped, Use fresh if you have them.
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt (taste before adding salt)

1. Cook greens in boiling water to cover about 4 minutes or until tender; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain well.

2. Process garlic and pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Add greens, oil, cheese, salt, and 1/4 cup water; process 2 to 3 seconds or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. (Mixture will be thick)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pickled Kohlrabi

Since I had never done anything with kohlrabi except peel, slice and eat, I was more than a little challenged when Larry and Edie decided to include this weird looking vegetable in their garden this year.

While searching the few sites online about kohlrabi I came across that is wonderful. All of my information and the recipe is from there. I'm very impressed.

This curious member of the Brassica genus and the Brassicaceae (or Cruciferae) family dates back to 1554 in Italy. Its name is a combination of the German words for cabbage and turnip. Despite its long history, kohlrabi has never quite caught on in the United States. On the other hand, northern Europeans have long, appreciated this vegetable. Kohlrabi is popular in Japan, China and Southeast Asia.

Kohlrabi is crisp, crunchy, and full of vitamins and powerful anti-cancer capabilities.

These got two thumbs-up from my family. Look for kohlrabi at your local farmers market or grocery.

Pickled Kohlrabi
1 quart

3 kohlrabi, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into stocks and parboiled for 3 minutes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
3 large sprigs fresh dill

Pickling mixture
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon dill seed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt

Combine kohlrabi and carrots; pack into 1-quart glass jar along with garlic, bay leaf and fresh dill.

In a saucepan, combine pickling mixture ingredients and heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and sugar dissolves.

Pour boiling mixture over kohlrabi and carrots, filling jar completely. Place lid on jar and allow to cool completely at room temperature. When cool, refrigerate for 3 to 4 days to let flavors blend before using.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - Attitude

"Women like to sit down with trouble as if it were knitting." We have all heard that saying.

How often we turn minor challenges into monumental barriers by giving them undue attention, forgetting that within any problem lies its solution! However, the center of our focus must be off the problem's tangle if we are to find the solution's thread. My best remedy for this dilemma is the short version of the Serenity Pray.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I can not change
and the wisdom to change the things I can.

I have been known to pray this 10 tens in one day. But it works.

We cannot change our children, our husbands, or partners, not even the best friends who we know love us. But with God's help we can change the attitude that has us blocked at this time. A changed attitude, easing up on ourselves, lessening our expectations of other, will open the door to the kind of relationships we seek.

We need not take life so seriously. In fact we shouldn't take life so seriously. We can measure our emotional health by how heartily we laugh with others and at ourselves. The day stretching before us at this time promises many choices in attitude. We can worry, be mad, depressed, or frustrated or we can trust God to see us through whatever the situation. So, we can relax. It is our decision, the one decision over which we have complete control.

I will be in control of my attitude today. I can have the kind of day that I want.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Southern Pork Sausage

You have never had good pork sausage unless you have made your own. Sausage in the South (USA) is most often a mixture of freshly ground pork and seasonings, the two most prominent flavors being sage and red pepper. There was a time almost every little corner meat market ground and seasoned its own blend, and there would almost always be a separate "extra-hot" batch. If that's your taste, triple (or more) the red pepper in this recipe. Some prize the sage and that, too, can be tripled. It is wonderful to create your own personal recipe; experiment with small batches and fry up a small piece for tasting. If it's too hot add more unseasoned pork.

This is my personal favorite blend.

Serves 4-6
print recipe

1 pound ground pork, not too lean
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, chopped
1/3 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage, or 1/3 teaspoon dried
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of ground allspice

Mix all the spice ingredients together in a small bowl; add to pork mixture and mix well. Refrigerate covered several hours or overnight so the flavors can develop.

To cook, form the sausage meat into small patties. Place in a cold skillet, turn the heat to medium, and fry until cooked through and well browned on each side, 5-6 minutes per side.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Oranges in Grand Marnier

Finding an old recipe is better than finding an old friend. When I found this the other day I forgot what I was really looking for. This is the most perfect thing to have on hand for a quick and elegant dessert. Served over ice cream or pound cake it is heavenly. The oranges will maintain their sunny appearance for months, if you can stay out of them that long.

Yield: 1 quart
print recipe

3 or 4 oranges, sliced, don't peel them
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Grand Marnier

Pack orange slices into a 1-quart jar. Set aside

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat.

Stir in liqueur, and pour over orange slices. Cover tightly, and store in refrigerator up to 2 months.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Skillet Asparagus

Have you noticed that most people have no idea how to cook asparagus. Mostly they steam or boil it, diluting the flavor. Not to mention over cooking. This will concentrate the asparagus flavor and it will be cooked perfectly.

serves 4-6
print recipe

2 pounds asparagus
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Rinse the asparagus in cold water, and trim off the tough ends of the stalks. Put the butter in a heavy skillet with a tight-fitting lid, and heat until the butter is foaming. Lay the asparagus in the pan, and shake it from side to side to coat the asparagus gently with the melted butter. Cover tightly,, and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Check the asparagus, and turn them as needed to make sure they cook evenly and don't burn. Continue cooking 5 minutes longer, or until the asparagus are tender but still scrips and bright green. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve hot.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Creamed Chipped Tuna

This is a wonderful variation of creamed dried chipped beef, or maybe tuna noodle casserole without the noddles. You can pretty this up with puff pastry shells for a ladies lunch, or serve it over toast slices cut in half for family dinner.

Yield: 4 servings
print recipe

4 frozen puff pastry shells or 4 slices toast, cut in half, for the pastry shells
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 (6-ounce) cans solid white tuna in spring water, drained and flaked
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup frozen English peas, thawed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Bake pastry shells according to package directions,; set aside.

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; add onion and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until onion is tender.

Stir in flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with wire whisk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.

Stir in tuna and next 5 ingredients, and cook, stirring constantly, until cheese melts.

Spoon tuna mixture over pastry shells, or toast, sprinkle with parsley.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Baked Beans and Fried Eggs on Toast

For 10 years, at least three times a week, this was my breakfast. Except mine was thrown on two pieces of Texas toast, wrapped in waxed paper and eaten in the car on the way to work. If I had time I would fry a sausage patty and crumble it in the baked beans. Good stuff!

I'm giving you the glorified version that you can eat with a knife and fork, and can actually add toppings.

Serves 4
print recipe

2 (16-ounce) cans baked beans with juices
2 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chili sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 eggs
8 slices bread (whole grain, country white, sourdough, cornbread, etc.)
Hot sauce for serving (optional)

Garnishes: green onion, or grilled red onions, grated Cheddar cheese or sour cream

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the beans and their juices, onion, thyme, and ketchup and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Crack the eggs into the pan, cover, and cook for about 4 minutes for medium-cooked yolks.

Toast the bread and spread the remaining 2 tablespoons butter on the slices. Place 2slices, buttered-side up and overlapping slightly, on each of 4 plates. Using a spatula, transfer 1 egg onto each of 2 slices of toast. Spoon the beans over the eggs and toast. Top with the chili sauce, dividing evenly. Garnish as desired and pass the hot sauce at the table.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Marshall Field's Oven Baked Meatloaf

Joyce is going to be so mad that she ever gave me this cookbook. It have turned into one of my favorites. A Marshall Field's classic for decades, this meatloaf gets its big personality from a few special Mediterranean-inspired accents: pesto, pine nuts, garlic croutons, and fresh spinach. Serve it with mashed potatoes and brown gravy mixed, Field's-style, with some diced roasted red bell peppers. Please save a few slices to make yourself an amazing meatloaf sandwich for lunch, or breakfast, the next day. This is special!

4-6 servings
print recipe

4 ounces store-bought or homemade garlic croutons, crushed
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons prepared pesto
2 1/2 tablespoons, toasted pine nuts (toast in skillet for 4-7 minutes until golden brown)
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds ground round steak
1 1/2 cups julienned fresh spinach
Red pepper gravy, for serving (see note)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the croutons and broth in a small bowl and set aside to soak for 10 minutes. Place a saute pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the onion and saute for 7-8 minute, until translucent.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the pesto, pine nuts, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add the crouton mixture, onion, ground steak, and spinach. Mix with your hands until just combined. Pat the mixture into a standard loaf pan (about 5 x 9-inches). Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until cooked through. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with a generous drizzle of gravy atop each slice.

Note: Red Pepper Gravy. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine 1 cup brown sauce or gravy and 2 tablespoons finely diced roasted red peppers. Simmer for a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saint and Scriptures Sunday

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms.

This was my meditation from yesterday and I thought I'd share with you. I really need a sign on my bathroom mirror saying, "Don't Do Anything Today Without Asking Your Spirit". Look at all the mistakes I could eliminate.

Every Human being has, like Socrates, an attendant spirit; and wise are they who obey its signals. If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do. - Lydia M. Child

Our Spirit is our inner guide. And our Spirit never, never, gives us wrong directions. Because we're human, it's all too easy to deny the voice from within. Some call it conscience. And our behavior, maybe frequently, maybe occasionally, belies what our conscience knows is right. We suffer for it.

We are trying to be healthy, emotionally, spiritually, physically. Each day we can make progress. With each action we take, we have a choice. Our Spirit, our conscience, should be consulted. Right choices make for right actions that will emotionally and spiritually benefit us and the other persons close to us.

It's comforting to rely on the inner voice. It assures us we're never along. No decision has to be made alone. No wrong action need ever be taken. A sense of security accompanies the partnership between each of us and our Spirit.

I will let the partnership work for me today.

Easy Eggs Benedict

Happy Mother's Day! This is a wonderful recipe anyone can make. If you have small children hubby can help them. If not hubby can make these. I love these made with thin slices of country ham rather than Canadian bacon, but whatever you like is fine. Remember you are the QUEEN for the day. Have everyone wait on you for a change.

Easy Eggs Benedict:

Toast buttered English Muffins. Top with warm Canadian bacon, hard cooked egg slices, and Mock Hollandaise Sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees, or until thoroughly heated, 5 to 8 minutes.

To pretty it up, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Mock Hollandaise Sauce
1 cup
print recipe

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared mustard

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook and stir until heated through. Do Not Boil.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Eggplant Relish

This is one of those recipes that I copied and put into Word before I started the blog. I have no idea where it came from, or if I changed anything. One thing I can promise is that if you make it once you will make it again. Don't worry about the fact it makes 10 cups. You can use a spoonful as a relish with meats, a larger portion as a side dish, and my personal favorite is over pasta as a main dish. Nothing wrong with having a spoonful every time you open the refrigerator door either.

Yield: 10 cups
print recipe

4 medium eggplants (4 1/2 pounds)
3 medium onions, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1 (16-ounce) can tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce

Peel eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Combine eggplant cubes and water to cover in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Cook chopped onion in oil in Dutch oven over medium heat 10 minutes, stirring often. Add eggplant and tomatoes; cook over low heat 10 minutes or until liquid is almost evaporated, stirring often.

Add parsley and next 7 ingredients; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red pepper and hot sauce. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 5 days.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Wild Rice Tuna Salad

What a wonderful salad this is! It could be my favorite for the summer, we'll see. Quick and easy and can be made well ahead. Don't forget the alfalfa sprouts, I know I'm showing them as optional, but I think they make the salad.

6 servings
print recipe

1 (6-ounce) package long-grain-and-wild-rice mix
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 (12-ounce) can solid white tuna in spring water, drained and flaked
1 cup salted cashews
Lettuce leaves
Alfalfa sprouts (optional)

Cook rice according to package direction; chill completely.

Add mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients, stirring well. Serve on lettuce leaves with alfalfa sprouts.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Skillet or Creamed Scallions

We all know that scallions (green onions) are wonderful as a garnish or for adding flavor. Who knew they also make a simple and delicious side-dish vegetable. Here and the following recipe are two ways to skillet-cook scallions-braised in butter until they are brilliant green and tender: or in cream, to coat them with a very light veil. Yes, I have a crisper drawer in the refrigerator full of garden fresh scallions.

Skillet Scallion
4 servings
print recipe

4 bunches scallions (about 40 scallions)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Trim the scallions, removing the root tips and about 1-inch of the green tops. Remove any damaged greens or skins, and rinse thoroughly under cool running water. Drain well, but leave some water clinging to the onions.

Put the butter in a heavy skillet with a tight fitting lid, and heat until the butter is foaming. Lay the scallions in the pan, and shake the pan gently back and forth to coat the scallions in the hot butter. Cover the skillet and cook over moderate heat. Turn the scallions over after 3 minutes, and cook 2-3 minutes longer. Be careful not to overcook; the white part should be a bit resistant and the tops tender, shiny, and green. No seasoning should be needed.

Creamed Scallions
4 hearty servings

4 bunches scallions (about 40 scallions)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste with a pinch of kosher salt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Put the trimmed and cleaned scallions (see proceeding recipe) in a heavy skillet with a cover, and cook over medium-high heat, shaking the pan from time to time to prevent scorching, for about 4-5 minutes, until the scallions begin to soften but remain bright green. Remove the cover, pour over the heavy cream, and add the garlic. Raise the temperature to high, and cook, uncovered, briefly, until the scallions are just tender through and the cream is lightly reduced. Taste for seasoning, adding a pinch of salt or grinding of black pepper if needed, though they seldom need additional seasoning.

Serve immediately with the parsley sprinkled over.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Barbecue Sundae

These are so much fun! After all May is National Barbecue Month and we need to do something fun and different than the norm. You can really cheat on this one. You can buy your shredded barbecued pork and sauce, as well as the baked beans and coleslaw. I still think homemade is best. Look on the sidebar for my favorites. This recipe is for 4 servings, but make as many as you need.

You will need wide-mouth 16-ounce Mason jars for these gourmet treats.

4 servings
print recipe

2 cups warm baked beans
2 cups coleslaw
1 pound warm shredded barbecue
Barbecue sauce
Dill pick wedges (optional)

Divide baked beans among 4 pint size Mason type jars, mugs or bowls; top each with 1/2 cup coleslaw, 1/4 pound warm shredded barbecue pork, and sauce. Serve with a dill pickle wedge, if desired.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Glazed Baby Carrots

It's to early here to be getting veggies from the garden, but today I got leaf lettuce, kale, green onions, radishes and baby carrots, from my friend David. I'm loving it! If you don't have carrots in your garden yet I'm sure the baby organic at the grocery will work.

6 servings
print recipe

1 1/2 pounds baby carrots with tops
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.. Cut tops from carrots, leaving about 1-inch of stems on each, gently wash and peel if you want. I don't peel. Bring marmalade and next 3 ingredients to a boil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; add carrots, stirring to coat. Bake about 30 minutes or until carrots are tender and lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Blueberry Chicken Salad

with Apples, Grapes, Hazelnuts, and Blue Cheese. You might not think of combining blueberries and chicken, but they are a happy match. I found this recipe in an old Marshall Field's Cookbook that Joyce@OctoberFarm sent me. I thought how interesting and gave it a try. This stuff is flat wonderful. It would make a great main dish or picnic item in the summer.

Blueberry Chicken Salad
Serves 6
print recipe

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 roasted chicken, meat torn into bite-size pieces (about 3 cups)
1 large Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 1/2 cups green grapes
1 1/2 cups blueberries, picked over
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and coarsely chopped (see note)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

In a small bow, whisk together the mustard, shallot, honey, lime juice, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, apple, grapes, blueberries, hazelnuts, and blue cheese and toss well.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss toroughly. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Service immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Note: Toasting and skinning hazelnuts: Preheat the oven to 30 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the hazelnuts on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake, shaking the pan once or twice, for 10 minutes, until the nuts are lightly browned and fragrant. Wrap the nuts in a clean dishtowel and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Rub the nuts in the towel to remove their papery skins.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Saint and Scriptures Sunday

This was in my monthly newsletter from St. Peter's Episcopal Church this month. Thank you Betsy Roark for including this. I loved it.

Prayer is so simple, it is like quietly opening a door and slipping into the very presence of God. There in the stillness we can listen to His voice or even petition.

What we have matters not...
Just to be there...
In His presence...
is Prayer.

Have a wonderful Blessed week.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

New Allison's Mambo Margaritas

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! It is still Derby Day first and foremost in my mind.

With a name like that I don't even have to tell you that this recipe came from the Favorite Recipes section of The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook. Tomorrow is Cinco De Mayo, you gotta have a margarita.

New Allison's Mambo Margaritas
Depends on who's drinking
print recipe

"This sounds weird, if not awful, but I promise, it will be your favorite margarita in the history of the world. You pour in 1 big can of Limeade (what is that, twelve ounces?), then 1 bottle of Corona beer, 12 ounces of Seven-Up (never Sprite), and 12 ounces of really good tequila. Do not attempt to mix this in a blender. You would think that would be obvious, wouldn't you, what with the beer and the Seven-Up? But we have all done it. Blown the top of the blender and sprayed this sticky mess all over our respective kitchen. Trying to make'em frozen don't you know."

These really are fabulous.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Kentucky Mint Juleps By The Pitcher

There is absolutely no reason to make Mint Juleps by the drink. I have used this recipe for 30 years and still hear they are the best Mint Juleps around. Whoops, sorry you may have never heard of a Mint Julep.

It is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, enjoyed by thousands as the thoroughbreds canter to the starting gate at Churchill Down to the strains of "My Old Kentucky Home" and a must have at any Kentucky Derby Party. It doesn't matter if drinks are being served in your Grandmother's drawing room, your patio or the in- field at Churchill Downs. There will be Mint Juleps. The whole secret to this drink is "brain freeze cold", and good Kentucky bourbon.

This is a sweeter drink, most people don't have but one or two. Have at least one just to get your host/hostess to shut up. Have a beaten biscuit with country ham with it. The salt in the ham helps cut the sugar in the julep.

Warning: Don't wait until the last minute to look for fresh mint. It will all be gone. I'm lucky that I have a big patch that grows on the bank of Goose Creek that runs right by my house. I have a supply from Derby Day to Thanksgiving.

Kentucky Mint Juleps By The Pitcher
5 juleps approximately

2 cups really good Kentucky bourbon
1 cup minted simple syrup (recipe below)
Crushed ice, lots and lots
Mint sprig, for decoration
Short straws for sippin'

Combine bourbon and minted simple syrup in a pretty pitcher or decanter. Chill overnight , or until needed. The mixture should be very cold. Fill julep cups with crushed ice, (packed down). What, you don't own any sterling silver mint julep cups. How'd your Mamma raise you? Okay use the rock glasses filled with crushed ice (pack down). Into each cup or glass pour the chilled minted bourbon. Decorate with mint springs. Sip through short straws, this way you will get a whiff of mint with each sip.

Simple Syrup: To make simple syrup, boil 1 cup of water with 2 cups sugar for five minutes. Cool. Add 1/2 cup packed mint leaves and let brew overnight or 12 hours, stirring once or twice. Strain syrup through a fine sieve, discarding mint. Makes 1 cup of syrup or enough for 5 juleps.

Mint Julep Ice Cream

This is not just for Derby Day. It is perfect all summer. Serve with your favorite pecan cookies.

Makes 8 servings
print recipe

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup good Kentucky Bourbon
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
8 large sprigs fresh min, plus several small springs for garnish

Combine the sugar, water, and the 8 mint sprigs in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, then add the bourbon.

Combine the milk and cream in a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. In a slow, steady stream, add the egg mixture to the hot cream mixture. Continue to cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Whisk the bourbon mixture into the cream mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down against the surface of the mixture to keep a skin from forming, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, longer if possible.

Remove from the refrigerator and pour the mixture into an ice cream machine. Churn according to the manufacturer's directions.

To serve, put a large scoop of the ice cream in the center of each serving dish and garnish with the remaining mint sprigs.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rhubarb Pie

I love rhubarb, and really love rhubarb pie. Decided to Google "Rhubarb Pie" the other day and came up with a zillion recipes. By the time I finished reading all the instructions and looked at at the pictures I went back to my favorite old recipe. This recipe is 35 years old that I know of, because that's how long I've used it.

6-8 servings
print recipe

3 cups diced rhubarb
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour

1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine rhubarb, sugar, and flour, mix well and spoon into a 9-inch unbaked pie shell. Combine topping ingredients; blend well with a pastry blender. Sprinkle over rhubarb. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Poke Sallet With Fried Salt Pork

There are several Poke Sallet Festivals coming up in May. In Harlan, Kentucky it will be May 31-June 2. Check the web for a location near you.

This year the poke is plentiful along the fence of my yard, and even in the yard. I had to make a pot the other day. It smells so fresh cooking, not like cabbage or even kale or mustard. I have never seen it sold at farmers markets so you may have to beg or steal from your country neighbors.

Although pokeweed grows from Maine to Florida, Southerners were the first to boil its leaves for a spinach-like salad. These days, poke salad lovers still mix the leaves with a little onion, bacon, and eggs for a side dish.

If you don't remember the song Poke Salad Annie, here you go!

Poke Sallet
Serves 4
print recipe

1 1/2 to 2 pounds poke greens and stalks
4 thick slices salt bacon
1/2 teaspoon salt
chopped onions
chopped boiled egg (optional)

Select tender young poke greens; include some tender stalks not over 6 inches high. Cut the stalks into pieces. Clean the greens well, rinsing several times. Parboil and discard the water. Add fresh water and cook until barely tender. Fry bacon until crisp, remove from skillet, and set aside. Add greens, salt, and chopped onions to the drippings. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. Serve with salt pork, recipe follows, and corn pone.

Fried Salt Pork

Select "fat back" or side meat" with a streak of lean. Slice thickly and cover with boiling water; return to a boil, then remove and drain the meat. Dip meat in cornmeal seasoned with black pepper and paprika. Fry in hot shortening until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Allow 3 slices per serving. A must accompaniment to poke sallet.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day White Cake With Strawberry Icing

Do you remember in elementary school when we would all dance around the Maypole and play games in the school yard. Okay I'm old. I don't even know if they do that anymore. I remember we tried to dress up and wear something pink and white the traditional colors for May Day. There would always be white cake for dessert in the cafeteria for lunch. That was back when school lunches were wonderful. This really is good even if it is made from a cake mix. This is the perfect cake to get the kids and grandkids involved.

Serves 12-16
print recipe

One 18.25-ounce package white cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines)
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs

4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, about 1 pound
6 ripe strawberries, hulled and mashed
8 whole strawberries, for garnish1.

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

2. Blend the cake mix, 2/3 cup water, the butter, and the eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well blended, about 3 minutes.

3. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 28-30 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back when pressed. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.
Cool completely before frosting.

4. Make the icing: Place the butter and 2 cups of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at low speed until blended. Add the mashed strawberries and mix at medium speed until well combined. Add the remaining 2 cups sugar and beat until creamy and smooth. The icing should be thick enough to stand up on a spoon. If too thin, add more confectioners' sugar. If too thick, add a teaspoon or two of milk.

4. Frost the cooled cake in the pan. For decorative effect, make swirls in the frosting with a cleaning spatula. Garnish with the whole strawberries. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.