Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mac & Cheese Omelette

Talk about a quick & easy weeknight meal?  And it's kid friendly, WAHOO!!!  Well, we had some leftover mac & cheese, a few slices of bacon and about 20 minutes before I had to be out the door on my way to teach dance, and so this was born.    Never before had either my hubby nor I, had a mac & cheese omelette.  And it was fantastic!!  Recently, I took a trip to Paris, France via the Food Network (they have the cheapest rates) & discovered that there is a restaurant in Paris, where they make their omelette's, open faced.  So, I decided to create a southern version with french technique.  I hope you will make this for your family, tonight, I know they will love it as much as we did.   

1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 jumbo eggs (or 4 large)
3 tablespoons half & half (or whole milk)
1 tsp dijon
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup mac & cheese
2 strips bacon, crumbled
Garnish with chives

Preheat oven to broil.  Whisk together the eggs, milk, dijon, salt & pepper, set aside.  Meanwhile, in a 9 inch cast iron skillet, over medium high heat, melt the butter.  Pour in egg mixture and allow it to begin to set, 2-3 minutes.  It will still be a bit running in the center.  Then add the mac & cheese and the bacon.  Transfer the skillet to the oven, on the top rack, it should firm up within 1-2 minutes.  But watch it carefully so that it doesn't burn.  Remove it from the oven, allowing it to cool for about 5 minutes. Then cut it in half & serve along side a salad.  

Makes 2 servings

Monday, August 22, 2011

Giveaway "A Southerly Course" by Martha Hall Foose - ENDED

Thank ya'll so much being a part of our family.  We reached 1000 family members, on Saturday night & I can not tell you how much I appreciate each & every one of ya. In honor of the accomplishments, I am giving away this autographed copy of 
"A Southerly Course" by Martha Hall Foose.

Monday August 22 - Monday August 29 (at midnight), you will have a change to win, here's what you can do:

1. Follow this blog 
(click on "join this site with google friend connect" button on right hand side of the page)
2.  Comment below telling us about your favorite Southern dish, with your email address 
3. Tell me you are part of our family page on Facebook

4.  Tweet this giveaway (if you have an account)

and you will be automatically entered to WIN!! Don't forget to leave me your email address in comments, so I will be able to contact you if you are chosen.  Using Random.org, on Tuesday at 3pm, a winner will be drawn & I will email the winner to let them know.  Then, I will announce it on our Facebook page.  The winner will have 24 hrs to respond back with their shipping info.


More on Martha...

We all want to meet people that make us feel like family, that's Martha Hall Foose.  She is amazing, not only is she a 2009 James Beard Award winner but she can been seen creating dishes behind the scenes of several restaurants here in Memphis.  She is also the food stylist for the new movie The Help & recently featured in our local paper, The Commercial Appeal.  All the southern food you see in the film, she styled with her own hands.  This is her second cookbook, this one was preceded by Sweet Tea & Screen Doors.  

Martha & I first met met back in April of this year, here's the original post, Meet Martha Hall Foose, please check it out.  Because I was unable to make her signing later that night, she agreed to meet me for a private signing, (pinch me, please) yes, you heard that right.   What an honor!! 

On Saturday, we headed down to the Memphis Farmers Market & there at the entrance, signing cookbooks, was Martha!!  The moment we laid on eyes on each, girly screams rang out over the entire market, probably why Beth Brock came running!!  We are still planning on having Martha be a featured author at our Memphis D.IS.H. Supper Club.  And we are so honored, to be able to call her a friend & look forward to seeing her again soon.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Butter Brownies

Here's a recipe, to print out, stick on your fridge & have your family so mesmerized by, that they will never again think of brownies in the same way.  There's a huge secret to this, they are not packed full of butter, as one might expect.  I asked my hubby how much he thought was in there & he replied, "2 sticks."  Then I revealed to him, there are only 5 tablespoons, you should have seen his face...it went down in the books for sure. ;)

These are by far the BEST brownies, we have ever eaten & I plan to make them again & again to share with everyone, especially as we get closer to the holidays.  Something tells me these are going to become a new holiday tradition, for our family & for yours.   

1 cup (140 g) all purpose flour 
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp salt 
6 oz white chocolate chips
5 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1/2 cup sugar 
1 jumbo egg, room temperature (can sub 2 large eggs)
1 tsp almond extract 

Preheat your oven to 350°F & grease (parchment lined) 8x8 square baking dish.   

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.

In a sauce pan over low heat, add the chocalate, butter & sugar, stir together until melted.  Remove from heat & allow to cook slightly. 

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, place the eggs & extract & whisk together. Slowly whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.  Then, add the flour mixture and continue whisking until combined. 

Using an off set spatula or similar, spread the batter evenly & place in the oven.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow them to cool for at least 1 hour.  Then remove from dish & cut into bars.

Adapted from Fat Witch Brownies

Makes 12-16 bars

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bayou Bound Jambalaya

Greetings from the bayou!!! 
The whole time this was simmer on the stove, I was singing the old Jambalaya song...
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and file gumbo, cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma cher amio. 
My cooking is much better than my singing, in case you were wondering ;)
My favorite childhood memory of this song, came from Steel Magnolias & the wedding scene, where Janis VanMeter was dancing around & one of the characters said "it looks like 2 pigs fighting under a blanket" which is one of my father's favorite lines. 

Tell me, what is your favorite memory of the song?  Please share in comments in below.

So, onto the reason we are here, this dish is packed with flavor, spicy heat & plenty of garlic. It's so easy to make and it's perfect, as we are slowly heading into Fall. We will definitely be making this for football games & family gatherings. It must be shared with everyone!!! 

1 lb chicken thighs, cooked & shredded (omitted in pic above, was just too much meat)
1/2 lb sausage, cooked & sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 small garlic cloves, grated
1 (4oz) can diced green chilies
2 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoon cajun seasoning (see recipe below)
2 tsp paprika
1 cup rice
salt & pepper (suggestion: 1 tsp of each)

In a dutch oven, over medium high heat melt butter & olive together.  Add onions, saute' for several minutes until soft. Stir in garlic & green chilies.  Add your meat & allow it brown for  about 2 minutes.  Then cajun seasoning, paprika & water.  Allow everything to simmer for at least 1 hour, covered.  Then bring it to a boil, add rice, season with salt & pepper.  Reduce temperate to low, cover then allow it to cook for about 20 minutes, or until rice is has absorbed all the water.    

Makes 4-6 servings


Cajun Season
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
*if you prefer heat, you can add 1 tsp cayenne to this (opt)

Combine in a bowl & set aside.  
Makes 3 tablespoons (enough for 2 batches)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday & Peach Jalapeno Chutney

Happy Birthday, blog, you are 1 yr old today!!!   Most people think of cakes to celebrate a birthday, well, not me.  We are celebrating this birthday with a recipe I couldn't have eating this time last year.  Jalapenos were on my naughty list, anything with spicy heat was out of the question but I tried them & everything went well, so I have been eating them like crazy.  Oh, how I have missed things like this.  It's spicy but sweet, with a little savory onion action going on.  We served this immediately, on a fantastic pork burger, you see above.  But it's even better the next day.  I also just learned the SECRET to the perfect pork burgers, are you ready?  In a food processor, process 5 strips of bacon with a clove of garlic.  Then mix in to 1lb ground pork.  The fat from the bacon, gives you that perfect juicy burger, there ya go!!

2 cups (16 oz) sliced peaches, thawed or fresh
3/4 tsp pectin
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tsp dried jalapenos (use more for fresh, depending on how much heat you prefer)
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar

In a saucepan, over medium high heat, add peaches, pectin, sugar & lemon juice.  Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes then reduce to medium heat.  Add jalapenos, stir occasionally until mixtures begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon (about 8-10 minutes).  Remove from heat & place peach mixture in food processor (blender) & pulse until the consistency is of chunky sauce.  Place sauce in a bowl, stir in red onions & red wine vinegar.  Cover & place in refrigerator for several hours to allow flavors to marinate.  

Makes about 1 cup

Big southern hugs, 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Slow Cooker Beef Tips with Gravy by my friend Brandie

Hey folks, Angie here & I am so honored to bring you a dish by one of my favorite foodie blogging friends, Brandie. Foodies tend to be a very close knit group & Brandie had me hooked on her food & personality, from the very beginning. She is about as sweet as they come & I just love her to pieces. She is consistently featured on FoodBuzz for her amazing dishes and currently, nominated for Best Blog by Parents magazine. So, let's get to the food stuff...Brandie, take it away!!!

Hello everyone! First let me start off by saying a big THANK YOU to Angie for letting me have some fun on her blog today. It is such a special treat to be here and to have a chance to share a recipe I hope y’all will really enjoy. Angie is an absolute sweetheart and I am so grateful to her for this opportunity to chat with some of her friends.

My name is Brandie, the cook over at The Country Cook.  I live in beautiful Southwest Virginia near the Appalachian mountains. I’m a jack-of-all-trades, like most women. I’m a momma and a wife. I also work part-time outside the home. I love to make comfort food and I like to eat it (who doesn’t?).  My food may not be considered gourmet or fancy but it feeds my family and it gathers us around the table each day. I cook a lot of the same foods my own Momma made and if my husband and son are real quiet while they eat– then I know I did good. And those are the recipes I share with everyone.

I am going to ask that you don't judge this recipe entirely on my picture.  Blame the photographer not the food.  I could have created a far more appetizing shot, but look, my husband was ravenous and I had to get to work so I took a quick picture, we ate, and I made a hasty exit.  And that brings me to why I am posting this recipe.  

The slow cooker is the busy person's best friend. You CAN get a good meal on the table for yourself and your family. Don't feel guilty because you didn't spend 2 hours chopping ingredients or slowly basting a turkey for 5 hours (save that for your days off when you have time and can enjoy the process).  Also, who needs all the dirty dishes cluttering their sinks on work days? Not me, I tell ya. I have enough to worry about and I actually want to spend time with my family rather than cooking and cleaning for the few hours a day we all have together. 

Plus, it is the perfect summer weather companion. No turning on the oven!
So dust off your Crock Pots if you haven't used them in a while and make a hearty meal and feel good that you did a good days work and managed to put food on the table for the people you love.

Slow Cooker Beef Tips with Gravy
1 1/2 lb. beef tips (or cubed beef stew meat)*
1 package of dry Onion Soup Mix
1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can of Beef Broth

Add beef to slow cooker. In a bowl, combine dry Onion soup mix, cream of mushroom soup and beef broth.  Stir to combine and pour over beef in slow cooker.
Stir all ingredients together.
Cook on low for at least 6-8 hours.  Give everything a good stir before serving. Serve on top of mashed potatoes or egg noodles.  Enjoy with your favorite veggies and salad.

Cook’s note: You can use a whole beef roast instead of cubed stew meat. If you don’t have cream of mushroom soup, you can substitute cream of chicken. Also, if you are sensitive to salt, I would suggest using a low sodium cream soup as well as a low sodium beef broth

A BIG thank you to my girlfriend, Amy, for sharing this recipe with me.  Some of the best recipes in my bulging recipe binder come from my friends.  Thank you!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Blueberry Almond French Toast

Greetings, good friends!!!  Thanks for stopping by.  We just celebrated 6 yrs of marriage & I wanted to make something special for breakfast this weekend, so this is what I whipped up.  This is the perfect use for day old bread or even bread that's been in your freezer.  It soaked up all the flavors in just a few minutes & made for a super quick, fancy looking breakfast.  We totally fell hard for this dish & I am sure your family will too.  The only thing I might add next time, it just a little lemon zest, to compliment the blueberry preserves.  Otherwise, it's absolutely perfect!!!  Can't wait for you try this, enjoy.

4-5 slices day old french bread (used a french batard)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons half and half
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon)
1/8 tsp almond extract
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup blueberry preserves

In a shallow pan, whisk together, eggs, half & half, pumpkin pie spice, extract, salt & pepper.  Soak bread for a few minutes on each side or until it soaks up the majority of the mixture.  In a cast iron skillet, over medium high heat melt butter. Place soaked bread in skillet & cook for 3-4 mins on each side or until it just begins to brown.  Top with blueberry preserves or jam & serve.  

Makes 2 servings 

Big southern hugs, 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Heavenly Chicken & Grits

Hello folks!  I am hoping to alter the way we think about leftovers, with this creation.  Because this dish was completely made up with just what I had on hand.  And it's one of the things I love most about cooking, being able to create something from nothing.  If that would make me a great competitor in a culinary battle, well then bring it on Bobby Flay ;)!!!  This dish is warm, inviting & would be great served at a dinner party (everything can be made in advance).  It would also be perfect for a crisp fall evening.  The creamy, lemony sauce really compliments the cheesy grits.  It reminds me a little of shrimp & grits.  We also poured it over noodles & made it into a comforting pasta dish, which we both went back for seconds & loved as well.  

2 chicken breasts, oven roasted & cubed
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 tsp garlic, grated (1-2 small cloves)
3 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
1/4 cup flour (optional, see below)
1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp white pepper
1 cup freshly grated asiago cheese 
Garnished with pepper jack cheese & parsley

Roast chicken in at 350F for 35 mins seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika & lightly drizzled with olive oil.  Remove when temp reaches 155F, cover with foil & let rest for 5 mins to allow juices to redistribute.  

In a dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter, add garlic, green onions, capers, lemon juice and saute for about 1 minute.  Then add stock and cream, bring to a boil to allow it to thicken.  

Optional:  If it's not thick enough for you here's a quick fix option, in a separate dish, ladle out 1/4 cup liquid from the pot and whisk in 1/4 cup flour til smooth.  Transfer it back to the dutch oven & continue cooking til thickened.  

Add chicken and asiago cheese.  Continue cooking for about 15-20 min to allow all the flavors to come together.  Serve over cheese grits cake (recipe to follow).  Garnished with pepper jack cheese & parsley. 

Cheese Grits Cake (this is my grandmothers recipe)
2 cups water
1/2 cup quick cooking grits
1/2 tsp salt & pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons butter
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese
1 garlic clove, grated

In a cast iron skillet, bring water to boil.  Add grits & stir til they begin to thicken, about 3-5 mins.  Stir in salt, pepper, butter, cheese & garlic til everything is melted and incorporated.  Turn off stove & let grits set up for about 20-30 mins.  Once they are firm, take a biscuit cutter or similar & cut out 4 round cakes.  You could make these the day before & just warm them right before serving.   If you have any leftover, after you cut out the cakes, serve as a side for your next meal (nothing goes to waste).   

Total dish makes approximately 4 servings

Big southern hugs, 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

MJP Cheese Spread

Good morning, ya'll!  Behind every dish, there's a story worth sharing & this one is very special to me.  Recently, I was given the opportunity to create a recipe for the amazing gals that founded Miss Jenny's Pickles.  And it was an incredible honor, to do so.  They have even been kind enough to feature us & this creation, on their website.  Ya'll have to go check them out, they are fantastic!!  My entire family got involved in this, we put our hearts & heads together, brainstorming all the ways to incorporate pickles into a dish.  We came up with some funny stuff, like Pickle Ice Cream (I am going to keep working on that one ;) but this recipe is my personal favorite.  This is my take on a classic southern dish, Pimento Cheese & I put a new twist on it, using their pickles.  Big thanks & hugs to Ashlee & Jenny at MJP, for everything, so honored to have met ya'll.

1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese
3/4 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons mayo
1/4 teaspoon garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons Miss Jenny's Bread & Butter pickles
Pinch of salt & dash of pepper

Mix everything together in a small bowl.  And refrigerate for at least an hour to let flavors comes together, overnight is even better.  Serve along side your favorite pita chips or spread on your favorite sliced bread for a quick & easy sandwich.  Serve warm or cold.  

Makes 1 cup

Big southern hugs, 

This recipe was created specifically for Miss Jenny's Pickles & is currently being featured on their website (follow the link to see more).
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