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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Southern Collard Greens and Ham Hock

Traditionally wild greens or greens from small gardens were seasoned with smoked meat such as ham hocks, fatback or a ham bone. Sometimes greens and vegetables with different flavors were mixed. Pot likker, the highly seasoned liquid that remains after greens are cooked, is rich in vitamins and minerals. When greens were served, the leftover pot likker and cornbread were often served the next day.

In slave kitchens, meat was often scarce. In the song “Ham Bone”. . .
"Ham bone, ham bone, where you been?
Around the world and back again”

. . .refers to the practice of sharing a ham bone to season greens. The ham bone was shared with different slave families and then returned to the owner. Even today many African American cooks would not think of cooking greens without ham hocks or fatback, but smoked turkey parts can be substituted producing the same type of smokey flavor with less salt and fat.

This recipe is for the beginner that may have never cooked or even eaten collard greens. It is a basic southern soul food method of cooking collard greens.



Ingredients:
4 pounds collard greens
2 ham hocks
1 teaspoon sugar
1 hot pepper pod
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
water

Cookware and Utensils:
1 Dutch Oven
1 cutting board
1 sharp knife

Recipe Instructions:
As always the key to great cooking is to be prepared and use quality ingredients.

Selection of collard greens is very important. Go to your local grocery store or farmer's market and select 5 pounds of young leafy collard greens. You will select more than the recipe calls for because some leaves will be unusable and the large stems will be cut off and discarded. Also, remember that the greens shrink at least by half in the cooking process. So you need more than you think.

Start off by cooking your ham hocks. You can find ham hocks in most grocery stores near the ham section in the meat department. If you don't see them, ring for the meat dept and ask for them. Place ham hocks in a Dutch oven. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover meat and simmer until tender. This should take about 1 hour. Don't allow the water to cook out.

While the ham hocks are cooking, go ahead and prepare your greens for cooking. Rinse your greens several times under cold water to remove dirt or sand. Trim away any hard thick stem ends. After greens are clean and trimmed, stack several leaves on top of each other. Using a cutting board and knife, roll the leaves together and cut leaves into 1 inch thick strips.

When your ham hocks become tender go ahead and add more water, the collards, sugar, hot peppers and garlic powder to the Dutch oven. Add greens to the pot until the pot is full. Most likely all of the greens will not fit. Just allow the greens to cook down and continue adding until all of your greens fit in the Dutch oven. Cover greens and continue to simmer for about 1 hour, until greens are tender. Stir your greens often and keep sufficient water level so all the collards simmer. About halfway through cooking, add salt and pepper to taste.



Eggnog Cake

You've got to have some eggnog handy for this one at this time of year! Some of the famous Rimini Eggnog would make it even better! Illegal but better! LOL

1 (18.25 ounce) yellow cake mix
1 cup eggnog
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Glaze:
2 cups 10X sugar
2 tbsp eggnog

In a mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Mix. Pour into a greased and floured 12-cup fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely.

Combine sugar and eggnog. You may need to add more eggnog to get it to the consistency you want. Spoon over cake.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Daddy's Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

I've done a few Oatmeal Cookie Recipes, but this one is my Daddy's favorite! He had me make 3 dozen for his small office party, and he complained that he didn't even have one left to bring home :-)


1 1/2 c oatmeal
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 c Craisins (dried cranberries)

6 T butter, softened
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c dark brown sugar
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and stir.
Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and beat til combined. Add dry ingredients and stir.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until batter is firm.
Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop dough by rounded tsp onto cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake at 350 for 12-16 minutes or until edges are golden brown.



Eggnog Cake

You've got to have some eggnog handy for this one at this time of year!
Some of the famous Rimini Eggnog would make it even better! Illegal but better! LOL

1 (18.25 ounce) yellow cake mix
1 cup eggnog
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Glaze:
2 cups 10X sugar
2 tbsp eggnog

In a mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Mix. Pour into a greased and floured 12-cup fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely.

Combine sugar and eggnog. You may need to add more eggnog to get it to the consistency you want. Spoon over cake.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pumpkin Butter

Have any cans of pumpkin left over from the holiday? Here's an idea... It's great on pancakes, biscuits, muffins and even ice cream!

29oz can Pumpkin
1 1/2 cups Apple Juice
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 1/2 t Cinnamon*
Pinch of Ground Cloves

Whisk ingredients together. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
*Add 2 t for more intense cinnamon flavor.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tip of the day... Powdered Buttermilk!

Have you ever bought buttermilk for a recipe and ended up throwing half of it away? I have! I buy buttermilk for about $2 or $3 for a small container. I use half and I throw the rest away. (After I find it in the back of the frig months later!) Here's a great money saver!!!

Saco Buttermilk Powder makes about 3.75 quarts of buttermilk and costs around $4! I found it at my local Piggly Wiggly grocery store for a little less than $4. When baking, you just mix the powder with your dry ingredients and add water where it calls for the buttermilk. I used it in my Mama's Red Velvet Cake and it worked perfectly!


Buttermilk Powder
4 tbsps powder = 1 cup buttermilk

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks

I bought some craisins the other day thinking that my son would love them. He and my husband like raisins, and they both like sour flavors. I had them try them, (proud of myself for finding something different that I knew they'd love) and I asked them, "How do you like them???" Their response was... "Eh, not so much." Sooooo, I decided to put them in a traditional Oatmeal and Raisin cookie recipe... With a Twist.
See what you think.



2/3 cup margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 5-ounce package Dried Cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Using an electric mixer, beat margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Home-made Pie Crust and Lemon Custard Recipes

A lot of people are afraid to make their own pie crusts. A lot of people will say, "Why bother when you can buy all the different ready made ones in the store?" (I've even used that one!) BUT... if you follow these directions and use COLD ingredients, you'll taste the difference and want to make them when you have the time. For those times when you just do not have time... use the pre-made stuff, but try this one when you have time :-)



Pie Crust

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 sticks *COLD butter, cubed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Pulse in a food processor until pea size.

Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup **ice cold water.

Pulse until dough forms when mashed together in your hand. Divide into 2 rounds and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 -2 hours.

* If the butter warms in your hands while cubing, sit it back in the frig until it is nice and cold.
** Fill a pitcher with ice and add water. Let sit until you are ready to make the dough to insure that the water is ice cold.

Lemon Custard

Whisk together in a medium size saucepan:
6 egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar

Add:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.

Add:
zest of 1 1/4 lemons

Stir with a wooden spoon.

Add:
1 stick of butter, cubed

Stir until melted. Cool and cover with plastic so a skin doesn't form. Chill for about 30 minutes.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Tummy Trouble?

Photo from:
http://brooksvillegardenclub.us/sage5.jpg
Many of us complain about over eating during the holidays. Some of us even complain that we really didn't overindulge and still have that nagging heartburn or indigestion! I had that problem for years until I started listening to my Dad. He always complained about dressing (or stuffing) giving him heartburn/indigestion. I started investigating, and I couldn't figure out what the problem was... until I noticed that the pre-packaged mixes always have the pungent aroma of sage. My Dad always complained about sage being the culprit. We had homemade dressing and had the same result... heartburn! Come to find out, the homemade recipes called for poultry seasoning which is loaded with sage. Smell the poultry spice in your spice rack or smell the pre-packaged stuffing mix (if you use it). That strong herb smell is sage. I'm not knocking sage. It's a lovely herb to use. It's just not the most friendly to the tummy!

If you've had this trouble and never have been able to find out what the cause is, try this recipe for homemade dressing (or stuffing if you like) and see if it helps your tummy troubles.
P.S. It will not help the over indulgence problem however!




Cornbread Dressing

This is very basic. You can add or remove veggies or the eggs. You can also add 1 t poultry seasoning. I don't use it because sage causes a heartburn problem in my family, but you can add it if you like!

2 (16 ounce) pkgs Jiffy corn bread mix
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch celery, chopped
6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 cups turkey stock
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare cornbread according to directions on package. Cool and crumble.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Saute the onion and celery in 1/4 cup butter. In a large bowl, combine the crumbled corn bread, onion, garlic, celery and eggs. Gently stir. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and turkey broth 1 cup at a time until the cornbread becomes very moist but soupy. Place stuffing into a casserole dish. Bake for about 45 minutes or until stuffing sets.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sooooo Ready for the Christmas Season!

A Christmas Tree in Every Room!

When I was growing up, each year we had at least two Bar-B-Ques, one at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas. The Bar-B-Que at Thanksgiving was on Saturday and was for all the employees and business associates of Mama and Daddy. The one at Christmas was on Christmas Eve and was for family and friends. We had about a hundred people at each. We would spend all week getting the house ready and two days getting all the food ready. Mama would take some of the guys from the shop (Central) and put them to work at the house. One year, Al Miller (a young black guy that worked at Central) told Mama, “You’ve owned slaves before, Haven’t you?” It was always a busy and exciting time.

At one of the Christmas Bar-B-Ques, someone came out of the bathroom and I heard, “Oh my goodness, she even has a Christmas tree in the bathroom!” Mama had a Christmas tree in every room. The kitchen... living room... bathrooms... bedrooms... everywhere... We kids even had our own trees in our rooms. The trees ranged in size from 2 feet to 6 feet. Mama had a tree with seashell ornaments. One had dove ornaments. One had all homemade ornaments. One had all Victorian ornaments. One had all red and white ornaments. One had all Santa ornaments. She had a tree made of holly decorated with ornaments. She even decorated some of the houseplants!

Mama loved it. Holidays were another reason for parties, gifts and food with family and friends! Christmas was especially magical. Mama went all out. I remember one year Mama came home with Christmas sweatshirts. Mine read, ‘I Believe in Santa Claus.' Mama’s read, ‘I Want It All.' Charlie’s read, ‘Bah Humbug!’ Mama’s one requirement for Christmas morning presents was that you believe in Santa. Mama and I even had our picture taken with Santa.

One year when Charlie was about 6 years old, he came in and told Mama that there was no Santa Claus. She questioned him and then called everyone in the room. She said, “Listen up! Charlie has come in with the idea that there is no Santa Claus! That is not true! There is a Santa and anyone who does not believe in him...well, Santa won’t bring them presents. Is that clear? And I mean it! Clear?” Well, later Mama pulled us (except Charlie) aside and said that it didn’t matter who Santa Claus was or where the presents came from. It was the love and giving of the Christ-mas season. But the presents did come and as long as we said we believed we’d get presents. It didn’t matter if we were married or 50 years old, Santa would always come for us. What a concept! And she meant it. Jim and I got married (now my ex-husband) and she told him the same thing. That first Christmas, Santa brought Jim a recliner! The next year Jim told Mama at Christmas time, “I believe!”


Ice Box Fruit Cake

My Mama made this every Christmas! I can remember sneaking in the frig and cutting a sliver off. It is so rich all you need is a thin slice... so this 'cake' goes a long way!

1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers, crushed
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (4 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved
2 cup chopped pecans

In a medium bowl, stir together the pecans, cherries, condensed milk and vanilla wafers. Dough will be very thick, you will need to use your hands.

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and place dough inside. Refrigerate overnight or until the cake is set and all the milk is absorbed.


Colonial Hot Buttered Rum
This recipe is hundreds of years old... dating back before Colonial Times!

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 pinch salt
2 quarts hot water
3 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
2 cups rum

1 cup whipped cream
ground nutmeg to taste

Combine brown sugar, butter, salt and water in a 5 quarts slow cooker. Add cinnamon and cloves. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. Stir in rum.

Ladle from slow cooker into mugs and top with whipped cream... dust with nutmeg.


Eggnog Cake
You've got to have some eggnog handy for this one at this time of year!
Some of the famous Rimini Eggnog would make it even better! Illegal but better! LOL

1 (18.25 ounce) yellow cake mix
1 cup eggnog
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Glaze:
2 cups 10X sugar
2 tbsp eggnog

In a mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Mix. Pour into a greased and floured 12-cup fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely.

Combine sugar and eggnog. You may need to add more eggnog to get it to the consistency you want. Spoon over cake.



Judy's Red Velvet Cake

There is no getting away from making this cake that Mama made famous in these parts. This is the most flavorful, moist and delicious cake I've ever made. I will say that to make this like Mama, you HAVE to follow the directions word for word... FOLD do not beat with a mixer at the end. It makes the cake dense and hard.


1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cocoa
3 tablespoons red food coloring
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs. Mix well. Mix cocoa and food coloring in a cup. Add to eggs and sugar. Add vanilla. Sift flour and salt. Add, alternating with buttermilk. Add soda and vinegar. Let foam and FOLD into mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Icing:

1/2 cup butter, room temp
8-ounces cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whip together until creamy. Spread on cake. Garnish with chopped pecans if desired.



Friday, October 7, 2011

Spicy Cheddar Cheesecake with Apricot Glaze

Being couped up for two months is starting to get on my nerves! I started looking through my bookcase (mainly cookbooks) and found Mama's set of books "The Spirit of Christmas". I remember getting tons of ideas from these books! They are full of decorating ideas, craft projects, gift ideas and recipes! They are very tastfully done also! This recipe is one that I found in this book years ago that I had to play around with a bit... Anyway, here is the recipe and a picture from the book.


Spicy Cheddar Cheesecake
with Apricot Glaze


Crust:

¾ cup finely crushed tortilla chips
½ cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 T melted butter

Process tortilla chips. Mix with cheese and butter. Press into the bottom of a 9in springform pan. Bake 10 minutes or until firm.


Filling:

2 pkgs (8 oz each) softened cream cheese
2 eggs
1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped green onion
1 tsp Worchester sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat cream cheese and eggs in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir in cheese, onion, Worchester, hot sauce and salt. Spread mixture over crust and bake 25 -30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan. Remove sides of the pan and cool for 2 hours to let flavors set.


Glaze:

1 T olive oil
2 T minced onion
1 clove minced garlic
2 jars (12 oz each) apricot preserves
¼ cup orange juice
2 T apple cider vinegar

Combine oil, onion and garlic in a medium saucepan. Sauté


To Serve:

Spoon about 1 cup of glaze over cheesecake. (All at room temperature)
Cut into about 20 small wedges and serve with remaining glaze.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cyndi's Artichoke Dip

A big thanks goes out to my friends, Cyndi McIntosh and her boys! They were sweet enough to take up the challenge I gave them to create a tasty dip recipe. I asked them to send me a picture and the recipe so I could share it with everyone here. I wish I could dig in right now! Yummy! Thanks again "Miss Cyndi", Cortland, Dawson and Walker!!!
Click on the picture to zoom in and prepare to drool! :-)

1 can artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 oz. Cream cheese
1 cup Breakstone's zesty blends roasted garlic & herb sour cream

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.


As a lot of you know, I've been absent for a while due to surgery and a long recovery. I'm trying to get back to my recipes. So, if you'll bare with me for a little while longer, I should be up and back to normal soon! Thanks to Cyndi and all my friends for sticking with me through this, and thanks for participating by passing along recipes to share!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beat the Heat Recipes

With the heat index this past few weeks reaching triple digits, I've been looking for things to make that won't heat up the kitchen. It's already too hot as it is... Here are a few refreshing recipes that WON'T make you break a sweat!

Southwest Wrap

3/4 cup corn
1/4 cup chopped red onions
3 Tbsp. Chipotle Flavored Mayonnaise
4 tortillas (8 inch)
4 lettuce leaves
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
16 slices Ham
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

Combine first 3 ingredients. Top tortillas with lettuce, cheese, ham, corn mixture and tomatoes. Fold up bottom edge of each tortilla, then roll up starting at 1 side.


Fresh Tomato Salsa

3 tomatoes (1 lb.), chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup Italian Dressing

Combine ingredients. Serve salsa with tortilla chips, crackers or assorted fresh vegetables.
 

 
Watermelon Cooler

4 cups chopped watermelon
1/3 cup Strawberry Sugar-Sweetened Drink Mix

Blend ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve over ice.
Add a splash of 7up or Sprite, if it needs more liquid.
It will depend on how juicy the watermelon is...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shrimp Dip

I love this dip! I eat it on crackers, toast points, chips... It's good on anything as far as I'm concerned!
It is quick and easy too! (My favorite kind :-)

2 cans sm Shrimp, drained
    or 12 oz fresh shrimp, chopped
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 sm Onion, minced
½ t Salt
Cayenne Pepper, dash
Lemon Juice

Mix and Chill.

Fruit Cocktail Cake

Here's another one of Mama's recipes that was written out more like a grocery list. I had to figure out the actual recipe... It's a good one!

Sift Together:

1 ½ cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 t soda
½ t Salt

Add:

1 stick butter, melted
1 Egg, beaten
1 can Fruit Cocktail, all of 1 pound can

Mix with spoon.

Pour into greased and floured pan (large sheet cake size)

Mix Together:

¾ cup Brown Sugar
¾ cup Coconut
¾ cup Nuts, chopped

Sprinkle in pan.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes at 350.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hot Crab Melt

Every time I post a recipe with Crab in it, I think about my Uncle Perry and our summer trips to Mitchum Creek!

Taken from my post on July 8th, 2010... "Soft Shelled Crabs from Mitchum Creek"

Uncle Perry... The Old Man of the Sea
"I always loved going to Uncle Perry's in the summertime. He lived in Topping, Virginia on Mitchum Creek. We would get up early in the morning, pack a lunch, and go fishing. I loved fishing with Uncle Perry. ( Helping gather bait... watching the crabs in the bucket blowing bubbles... watching Daddy on the front of the boat trying to scoop up the peelers on top of the water with the dip net... watching Uncle Perry cut up bait... Mama getting so tired from catching fish, but she wouldn’t quit. She’d just hook them then call Daddy to reel them in...) When we got in we would clean the fish and then get cleaned up ourselves. Usually, we kids could get in a good scavenger hunt before supper. Going through the crab boxes... pulling Periwinkles off the weeds by the water... playing on Uncle Perry’s boat... watching the hummingbirds from the porch... Grandmama having to walk so slow with the feeder because the hummingbirds would come to feed as soon as she opened the front door... Later that night we all came out on the porch to eat supper. In the usual family tradition, there was always mounds of food. Grandmama’s fried oyster fritters, fresh fried fish, fried chicken, Aunt Vashti’s pan fried squash, plates of tomatoes and cucumbers, biscuits and much, much more. And, of course, if Daddy had gotten a couple of peelers, we had soft shell crabs too! Uncle Perry was sitting at the head of the table, to my left. As usual we all over-ate. We sat for a rather long time talking about the day and the ones that got away. I noticed Uncle Perry push back his chair to stand. He leaned forward several times pushing his hands against the seat of the chair. But, he did not stand. After a moment, he smiled and looked over at me. He leaned over to me and said, “It’s awfully embarrassing after eating that much, trying and trying to get up, and you can't. And then you find out that your thumb’s in your hip pocket!”



Hot Crab Melt

6 oz Crab Meat
¼ cup Tartar Sauce
2 T Celery, finely chopped
2 T Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1 t Lemon Juice
2 English Muffins, Split and Toasted
4 slices American Cheese

Combine all ingredients except muffins and cheese. Mix well. Place spread on muffin halves. Bake at 350 for five minutes. Top with cheese and bake 5 minutes longer.

Notes: “Great with shrimp too!” (Mama's favorite :-)

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

Mama always said that you could make shortcuts all you want (as mentioned in her note below), but you have to know the right way to prepare a dish! So here's the real deal... Southern Old Fashion Banana Pudding recipe.

¾ cup Sugar
2 T Flour
¼ t Salt
2 cups Milk
3 Eggs, separated
1 t Vanilla
6 medium bananas, sliced
Vanilla Wafers


Combine 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler. Stir in milk. Cook over boiling water until thick. Stir constantly. Cook, uncovered 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Beat egg yolks. **Gradually stir into hot mixture. Return to boiler and cook 5 minutes. Stir constantly. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Line bottom of baking dish with wafers. Top with a layer of bananas, and then pour custard to top of bananas. Continue to layer cookies, bananas and then custard. Beat egg whites stiff, gradually add remaining sugar and beat to stiff peaks. Pile on top of custard. Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes at 425 or until lightly browned.

Note: “You can use instant pudding as a short-cut, but that’s not as good as the old fashion kind…”

**I will add that if you are a beginner, I'd temper the eggs before adding to the milk mixture. If not, you might risk scrambling them and having to start over.

Mama’s Date & Nut Bread

This is my Grandmama Bradham’s Recipe. Notice that I included the notes that my Mama wrote to me on each recipe. She always had little hints and ideas to give me on all her recipes. I know that those are the really good ones and sure to please!

1 ½ cups boiling Water
½ pound Dates, pitted and cut
3 T Butter
1 cup Sugar
½ cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 T Vanilla
3 cups Flour
2 t Baking Soda
¼ t Salt
1 cup Pecans, chopped

Combine boiling water, dates and butter. Cool. In another bowl, mix flour, soda and salt… then and sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Add date mixture and stir in nuts. Bake in 2 greased 9x5 loaf pans for 1 hour at 350.

Note: “Delicious sliced and spread with cream cheese”
Pineapple & cream cheese too!


Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread:

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 can (8 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

In a bowl, combine cream cheese and pineapple. Chill. 
(Remember to taste as you are combining, the pineapple may not be sweet enough for you. Add sugar 1/2 teaspoon at the time, until it is sweet enough.)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Black Walnut Pound Cake

This is another one of Mama's recipes that she made notes on and saved them for me. This one is Grandmama Bradham's Black Walnut Pound Cake.

1 pound 10X Sugar
¾ pound Butter
6 large Eggs
1 t Vanilla
1 T Black Walnut Extract
1 cup Black Walnuts
3 cups Flour
2 T Flour

Cream butter and sugar until light. Add and beat in one egg at a time. Add flour one third at a time. Add vanilla and walnut extract. Fold in the walnuts. Bake in a tube pan. Pan should be greased or lined with brown paper in the bottom. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes at 325. Let cool about 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool and spread with Cream Cheese Icing.

Note: Grandmama Bradham made this and served it with Cream Cheese Icing…

Cream Cheese Icing:
Whip 1 package Cream Cheese with 1 t Vanilla and about ½ box of 10X Sugar until smooth.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lemonade Pie

When I fix this, most people think it's cheesecake. It's so good and so easy! Great for summertime desserts!

1/2 cup cold water
1/3 cup lemonade drink mix
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
1 tub (8 oz.) whipped cream, thawed
1 graham cracker pie crust

Add water to drink mix in large bowl; stir until mix is dissolved. Add cream cheese. Beat with mixer until well blended. Add ice cream and blend. Spoon in whipped cream. Freeze, if necessary, until mixture is thick enough to mound. Spoon into crust. Freeze for 4 hours or until firm. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Let stand at room temperature until pie can easily be cut.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Milkshakes, Slushies and Smoothies!

Here are some great summertime cool-down drinks. I bet the kids would love to help with these! Help cure the summertime  "I'm bored!" blues!  How many of you remember the Purple Cow Drink?

Purple Cow

2 cups milk
1 cup grape juice
1 pint vanilla ice cream

Combine milk, grape juice and half the ice cream in a blender and blend. Pour into 4 glasses and top with remaining ice cream. Garnish with whipped cream and a cherry, if you wish.
** Pink Cow - substitute cranberry for grape juice


Lively Lime Drink

2 scoops vanilla ice cream
3 T frozen limeade concentrate
2 cups milk

Combine in a blender and blend. If you want, add some green food coloring for a brighter lime color.


Chocolate-Cherry Cooler

2 cups chocolate milk
2 cups cherry ice cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine in a blender and blend.


Orange-Pineapple Whirl

1 6oz can orange juice concentrate
2 cups milk
1 cup pineapple ice cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup

Combine in a blender and blend until creamy.


Maple-Pecan Milkshake

1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups skim milk
1 cup butter-pecan ice cream

Combine in a blender and blend until smooth.


Tutti-Frutti Blush

1 8oz can fruit cocktail
1/2 cup grenadine syrup
2 cups strawberry ice cream
2 cups milk

Combine in a blender and blend until smooth.


Peach Smoothie

1 8oz can peaches and syrup
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
1/4 tsp almond extract

Combine in a blender and blend until smooth.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mama's Squash Casserole Recipes

Here are two of Mama's favorite squash casserole recipes. I thought I'd share these since my squash is coming in now... Thanks to my little brother watching over them!!! I've been really busy starting a new job, training, and everything else that's going on!
I'll be making many squash dishes very soon :-)

Creamy Squash Casserole

2 pounds Tender Yellow Squash
½ cup Onion, chopped
¾ cup Saltine Cracker Crumbs
2 T Butter
1 ½ cups White American Cheese, grated
Salt & Pepper to taste
3 Eggs, beaten
½ cup Light Cream or Evaporated Milk

Slice squash. Cook in water with onion until soft. Drain. Add cracker crumbs, butter and 1 cup of the cheese. Add salt and pepper. Mix beaten eggs and cream and mix into squash mixture. Pour into greased casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 425 until done.


Squash Casserole

1 pint Squash
1 small Onion
2 Carrots, grated
1 cup Sour Cream
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 pkg Cornbread Stuffing Mix
1 stick Butter

Cook fresh squash until tender. Drain and mash with fork. Add onion, carrots, soup and sour cream. Mix stuffing and butter. Put some in bottom of a buttered baking dish. Pour in squash mixture and then the rest of the stuffing. Bake uncovered in a 350 oven for 30 minutes.
Mama's Notes: “Just another way to get ‘em to eat what they ‘think’ they don’t like! Ha!”

Monday, June 13, 2011

Zucchini Triangles

I think every southern cook that has ever held a dinner party has made these in some fashion. This is the way I make them.

3 c grated unpeeled zucchini (4 small)
1 c Bisquick mix
1/2 c finely chopped onion
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c vegetable oil
4 eggs, slightly beaten

Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom and sides of a good quality aluminum cookie sheets, 15x10. Stir together all ingredients. Spread in pan. Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into 2-inch squares; cut squares diagonally in half into triangles. Don't leave them sitting in the pan. They may get greasy. Place them on paper towels to cool slighty.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

S'mores Snack Mix

This is a favorite at Vacation Bible School. The kids love it and also love that it's in a bag that they can carry with them. I have had adults come back and ask if I have an extra bag that they can take with them too! It's a favorite for all ages! Simple, yet very yummy!!!

2 cups Golden Grahams cereal
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine cereal, marshmallows and chips. Scoop and put in snack size plastic bags.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Orange Salad

This is an old recipe, back when the ring mold and different decorative ring molds were very popular. Mama's was one of the round ones with a loop ring attached so you could hang it on display when not in use. This is still a very good recipe, even if you don't use the mold :-)

1 pkg Orange Jell-o
2 ¼ cups boiling Water
1 pint Orange Sherbet
1 cup Vanilla Ice Cream

Beat all ingredients with mixer or processor. Pour into mold that has been rinsed with cold water. Chill until set. When ready to serve, unmold and decorate with mandarin oranges, white grapes, sliced pineapple & cherries.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Salad Dressings

Now that summertime weather is here, a lot of people like to eat lighter, fresher and cooler meals. I love salads and wanted to share these salad dressing options.


Catalina Salad Dressing

1 cup sugar
2 Teaspoon salt
dash paprika
1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
1/2 Teaspoon celery seed
1/2 Teaspoon dry mustard
grated onion to taste
1/2 cup vinegar
2/3 cup ketchup
1 cup vegetable oil

Place all ingredients into blender and mix. Store in jar in refrigerator.



Green Goddess Dressing

2 oz. can anchovy fillets
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3 Tbs chopped chives
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Cup Sour Cream
2 Tbs tarragon vinegar
1/2 teas. salt
Dash of freshly ground pepper

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend for about 20 seconds. Cover and refrigerate until needed.


Thousand Island Dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon finely minced white onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash of black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well.
Place dressing in a covered container and refrigerate for several hours, stirring occasionally, so that the sugar dissolves and the flavors blend.


Creamy Pesto Dressing

1 cup salad oil
1/2 ounce sweet basil leaves
1/8 Teaspoon Tabasco
1/4 rounded tablespoon salt
1 rounded tablespoon granulated garlic
1 − 32 Ounce jar mayonnaise
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 Pound grated Romano cheese

Combine ingredients in order given. Store in refrigerator. Makes 2 quarts


Olive Garden House Dressing

8 ounces Paul Newman's Vinegar and Oil Dressing
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon Dried basil
1/2 teaspoon Dried oregano
3 packages Sweet and Low −− or 1 tablespoon Sugar

Put ingredients into the bottle of dressing and shake well. Refrigerate 24 hours before using.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fig Newtons

I have a fig tree that is loaded with little figs. I can't wait for them to rippen so I can make my own fig newtons! If you click on this picture, it will let you magnify it and you can really see the tiny figs!

They are hard to see, but if you look close,
you can see tons of tiny green circles.
Those are my figs :-)

1 lb. dried figs or 2 lbs. fresh figs
1 cup sugar
1/2 or 1 cup water (1 cup for dried figs; 1/2 cup for fresh)
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp cream or milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 cup flour

Dice figs, soak in water 1 hour. Add sugar & cook on medium heat until thin jam consistency.
Beat sugar, butter, egg, milk & vanilla until well blended. Add dry ingredients. Mix well and refrigerate for 1 hour. Place 1/2 on well floured dough cloth; knead about 6 times. Roll out to 1/4" thick. Line 13 x 9" glass dish; cover with figs. Roll remaining dough, cover figs. Cook at 350' 30 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hershey Sundae Pie

Here's the recipe for the famous BK Hershey Pie! It's so yummy, and now you can make it at home!

Crust:

Chocolate crust (store bought or Hershey crumb recipe*)

Layer 1:
8 Ounce cream cheese
3/4 c. powder sugar
8 Ounces cool whip
1 Teaspoon vanilla

Whip cheese till softened, add powdered sugar blend well, add remaining ingredients, blending well, place in crust.

Layer 2:
1 lg. box chocolate pudding milk
Milk

Make pudding as directed minus 1/2 c. milk. Add to pie.

Topping:
Cool Whip
Chocolate curls

Top with more cool whip and chocolate curls.


*Hershey Crumb Crust

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted (can use margarine also)

In small bowl mix together all ingredients until well blended. Press crumb mixture onto bottom of a 9-inch square pan. Chill to set.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stuffed Eggplant

Here's another one of Mama's recipes that I love. I can't wait for my eggplant crop to come in so I can make this again. Notice that Mama added a note to my copy of her recipe... Don't forget the cheese :-)

2 Eggplant
½ cup Onion, chopped
1 medium Bell Pepper
3 T Vegetable Oil
½ pound Ground Beef, lean
1 ½ cups Cooked Rice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
Bread Crumbs, seasoned
Butter

Place eggplants in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove, cool enough to handle, then cut lengthwise. Remove pulp within 1/2" of skin. Chop and reserve pulp.

Sauté onion and bell pepper in oil for 5 minutes. Add beef and eggplant pulp; simmer until meat is browned. Remove from heat. Add cooked rice, seasonings and Worcestershire. Fill eggplant shells, cover with bread crumbs and dot with butter. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 400.

Mama's Notes: “Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before baking…adds a great flavor…”

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cherry-Cheese Pie

When I was about 10 years old my family went to Summerton Methodist Church. Every time we had a covered dish meal, I would look for this dessert! Some people call this cherry yum yum... but my Mama called it cherry cheese pie.

½ cup Sugar
8 oz Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
1/3 cup Nuts
1 t Vanilla
2 cans Cherry Pie Filling
Pie Crust

Bake pie crust. Blend cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs and beat. Add nuts and vanilla. Pour in crust. Return to oven 10 minutes at 350. Spread pie filling over cheese layer. Chill. Decorate top with drops of Cool Whip.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mama's Homemade Mayonnaise

I found this note to me in Mama's recipes. Mama always had the opinion that you do what you need to do and take shortcuts when you need to... That doesn't mean that you tell everyone your shortcuts!

When my Grandmama Elliott turned 80 years old, Mama hosted a surprise party for her. She had me and my cousin, DP run to town and pick up two shefflera trees for the the dinning room where she had the food set up. "Miss Ruth" came over to Mama during the party and commented on the beautiful trees. Mama looked at her and said, "Actually, I owe those beautiful trees to the hard work and care of Lynn and DP!" Miss Ruth was flabbergasted, "You're kidding!" I looked at Mama with a puzzled look I guess because she leaned over and whispered, "Just say... I just did what I needed to do! Because that's the truth!" She backed up and smiled and winked at me before she returned to the party.

Judy’s Homemade Mayonnaise
"Duke's Mayonnaise at Piggly Wiggly!"

"Not worth the trouble to make, in my opinion."
"But if you have to try it.......this one's not bad...."

Pour 1/4 cup oil into blender. Add 1 tsp vinegar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 egg, dash salt, and 1/4 tsp dry mustard. Cover and blend. While blender is running, remove cover and add another 3/4 cup oil in slow steady stream. Remove to jar and refrigerate.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Swedish Meatballs

This is my Mama's original Swedish Meatball recipe that has now evolved into the big bag of frozen pre-made meatballs and a bottle of BBQ sauce and grape jelly. Try these and I bet you'll love them.

Meatballs:
1 pound Ground Beef
1 cup Bread Crumbs
½ cup Milk
1 t minced Onion

Sauce:
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
4 T Brown Sugar
1 cup Ketchup

Combine beef, bead crumbs, milk and onion. Roll into balls. Brown in margarine. In sauce pan, combine Worcestershire, vinegar, brown sugar and ketchup, then add meatballs. Simmer in sauce for 30 minutes.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Icings or Frostings

If you will notice by the ingredients and instructions, these are very old recipes. They are older than my Grandmother. I'm just not sure how much older. I love going through my Mama's recipes and finding recipes that were handed down through the years!





Chocolate Icing

Boil: 2T Water & 4 T Sugar
Add: 2/3 cup Crisco, melted
1 box 4X Sugar
1 t Vanilla
½ cup Cocoa
Condensed milk (add as much as needed)

Stir until smooth. Cool and spread on cake.


Peanut Butter Icing

2 cups Sugar
almost 1 small can of milk
½ pint Peanut Butter
1 t Lemon Flavoring

Cook sugar and milk over low heat until ball forms in water. Remove from heat and add peanut butter and flavoring. Stir until smooth. Spread on cake.


Seven Minute Icing

1 cup Sugar
¼ t Salt
½ t Cream of Tartar
2 unbeaten Egg Whites

Place all ingredients in top of double boiler over boiling water. Beat 5 minutes at #9 speed. Spread on 2 9-in layers.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Crab and Sausage Jambalaya

If you know me, you know that I hold off on the bell pepper. That's just me. Bell pepper doesn't agree with me, so I work around it. I had someone comment not too long ago about one ingredient that she didn't like. So, she didn't try the recipe. You don't have to sacrifice the entire recipe because of one ingredient that you don't like. Work around it and substitute something else that you do like.
As I always say, Play with your food! It's fun!!!



1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces andouille sausage or kielbasa, quartered lengthwise and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 1/4 cups jasmine rice (9 ounces)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound lump crabmeat
3 scallions, finely chopped
Hot sauce, for serving

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil. Add the andouille and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic to the casserole. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the Old Bay, rice and andouille and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, water, tomatoes and bay leaf, season lightly with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over very low heat until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in the crab and scallions. Cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the crab is hot; discard the bay leaf. Serve in bowls. Offer hot sauce at the table.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pecan Kisses

I thought that this is the perfect afternoon snack to have after all the Mother's Day Breakfasts, Brunches and Lunches. A sweet light snack, if you can stop eating them like popcorn! This is another one of Mama's favorite recipes/snacks!


1 Egg White
½ t Vanilla
¼ cup Brown Sugar
2 cups Pecan Halves

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Beat egg white until soft peaks form. Mix in brown sugar and vanilla. Fold in pecans. Place pecan halves on greased cookie sheet. Bake in 250 degree oven for 30 minutes. Turn oven off and let sit for another 30 minutes. Store in airtight container.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Healthy Soul Food

I received a request for some healthy southern soul food recipes. I thought I'd also share a little history of what soul food is and how it came about... I hope you enjoy!

"Soul Food"
The Southern-style cooking of Black Americans, labeled as “Soul Food” in the ‘70s, has its roots in American slavery. Most African slaves came from the countries along the coast of West Africa and were taken to North America, South America and the South Sea Islands. They arrived in America stripped of everything but their memories.

Meals put together by the women were often made from food the slave owners had thrown away—pig feet, ham hocks, and intestines (chit’lins). Wild greens, fruits, wild game and produce from small gardens were also used in meals. Using their cooking methods from Africa, the women put together savory dishes, which today are still traditional foods for many African-American families.

Slaves used large amounts of fat, salt and sugar to season their food because it was available. Salt was used as a preservative since they had no refrigeration. Unlike us today, slaves spent long hours in the hot sun working hard and burning off the calories of the foods they ate. Our lives have changed since then. While Soul Food is nutritious, it is often heavy in salt and fat. Too much fat and salt in meals can increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. The challenge is to keep the traditional flavor and “soul” of the meal while reducing the fat and salt.

Until recently African-American recipes, like folktales, were handed down by word of mouth. Traditional cooks did not use measuring cups, measuring spoons, timers or written recipes. They cooked by using their senses, using a pinch of this and a dash of that. They knew food was finished cooking by how it sounded or how it looked. Fried chicken was turned based on the sound it made in the frying pan and corn bread was cooked until golden brown.

African-American cooking varies from state to state depending on the African nation from which their ancestors came and the region of the US they settled. After the Civil War, freed slaves migrated to the north bringing their traditional cooking with them. Meals had ingredients based on the local availability of food as well as some ingredients that came from other cultures.
 
BBQ Shrimp

1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/4 cup fish stock or water
4 Tbsp. minced garlic , about 8 cloves
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. dry mustard powder
1 bay leaf
1 pound medium shrimp , peeled and deveined
12 metal or wood skewers*

*Note: If using wood skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before use to prevent burning.

Combine all ingredients, except shrimp and skewers, in a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool to room temperature. Put the shrimp in a container and pour the sauce over them. Cover and refrigerate for 3 1/2 hours or up to overnight, turning shrimp once halfway through. When ready to cook, drain the shrimp, reserving sauce. Return sauce to a small pot and heat until boiling. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature. Place 3 or 4 shrimp on each skewer.

Heat a charcoal grill or grill pan over medium heat. Cook the skewered shrimp about 2 minutes per side, or until the shrimp are pink and firm to the touch. Serve hot with reserved sauce for dipping.


Savory Triple Corn Grits

2 large ears fresh sweet corn , kernels scraped
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion , diced
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 cloves garlic , minced
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup stone-ground grits
Freshly ground white pepper

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Turn off heat, add corn kernels, and let sit for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.

In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, warm the oil; add onion, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes more. Set aside half of onion mixture in a small bowl. Add reserved corn to pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix cornmeal and grits well. In a medium saucepan, combine 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in cornmeal and grits until no lumps remain, return to a boil, then quickly reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent grits from sticking to bottom of pan, until grits have absorbed most of the liquid and are thickening, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water and simmer 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in corn-onion mixture. Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, until grits are soft and fluffy, about 30 minutes.
Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Garnish with onion mixture.


Southern Collard Greens and Ham Hock
Traditionally wild greens or greens from small gardens were seasoned with smoked meat such as ham hocks, fatback or a ham bone. Sometimes greens and vegetables with different flavors were mixed. Pot likker, the highly seasoned liquid that remains after greens are cooked, is rich in vitamins and minerals. When greens were served, the leftover pot likker and cornbread were often served the next day.

In slave kitchens, meat was often scarce. In the song “Ham Bone”. . .
"Ham bone, ham bone, where you been?
Around the world and back again”

. . .refers to the practice of sharing a ham bone to season greens. The ham bone was shared with different slave families and then returned to the owner. Even today many African American cooks would not think of cooking greens without ham hocks or fatback, but smoked turkey parts can be substituted producing the same flavor with less salt and fat.
 
This recipe is for the beginner that may have never cooked or even eaten collard greens. It is a basic southern soul food method of cooking collard greens.

Ingredients:
4 pounds collard greens
2 ham hocks
1 teaspoon sugar
1 hot pepper pod
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
water

Cookware and Utensils:
1 Dutch Oven
1 cutting board
1 sharp knife

Recipe Instructions:
As always the key to great cooking is to be prepared and use quality ingredients.

Selection of collard greens is very important. Go to your local grocery store or farmer's market and select 5 pounds of young leafy collard greens. You will select more than the recipe calls for because some leaves will be unusable and the large stems will be cut off and discarded. Also, remember that the greens shrink at least by half in the cooking process. So it's more than you think.

Start off by cooking your ham hocks. You can find ham hocks in most grocery stores near the ham section in the meat department. If you don't see them, ring for the meat dept and ask for them. Place ham hocks in a Dutch oven. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover meat and simmer until tender. This should take about 1 hour. Don't allow the water to cook out.

While the ham hocks are cooking, go ahead and prepare your greens for cooking. Rinse your greens several times under cold water to remove dirt or sand. After greens are clean, stack several leaves on top of each other. Using a cutting board and knife, roll the leaves together and cut leaves into 1 inch thick strips.

When your ham hocks become tender go ahead and add more water, the collards, sugar, hot peppers and garlic powder to the Dutch oven. Add greens to the pot until the pot is full. Most likely all of the greens will not fit. Just allow the greens to cook down and continue adding until all of your greens fit in the Dutch oven. Cover greens and continue to simmer for about 1 hour, until greens are tender. Stir your greens often and keep sufficient water level so all the collards simmer. About halfway through cooking, add salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Salmon Patties

Some of you may have heard me say lately that I had never cooked or even had salmon patties. My Mama never cooked them that I know of, so in turn, I didn't think to try them. I just figured they weren't any good. Well, I've had a few foodie friends that have encouraged me and inspired me. So, I went on a mission today to come up with a salmon patty recipe and try it out. That is just what I did! They turned out great! (Craig ate seconds!) So, without further delay... here's the recipe!

Salmon Patties

1 - 15 oz can salmon
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs, Parmesan flavored
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp butter

Drain and de-bone the salmon. Break apart with a fork and add egg and seasoning. Add the bread crumbs 1/4 cup at the time just until the patties can be formed, but do not add too much as to make it dry. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Dredge the patties in bread crumbs and add to the skillet. Cook until golden brown on both sides.




Lodge Logic Two Handle Cast Iron Skillet , 17-Inch - 17" dia. - Lodge (Google Affiliate Ad)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chocolate Trifle

This is the simplest dessert ever!

Chocolate Layer Cake
Chocolate Pudding
Whipped Cream
Caramel Sauce
Chocolate Sauce

Cut the cake into chucks and layer in a trifle bowl. Top with a layer of pudding, then a layer of whipped topping. Drizzle with chocolate and caramel sauce. Repeat layers, ending with caramel and chocolate sauce.
Add chocolate curls, if desired.
* You can substitute brownie for the cake, if you want.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Dinner from my Blog...

My friend Laurie at Food is Love has thrown down the gauntlet! She has challenged me to make the Easter Holiday meal from dishes I already have on my blog. No pulling out Mama's old notes on the traditional Easter Feast this time! (Unless I've unwittingly already got it buried in all these posts :-) Soooo... Ok Laurie! I'm on it! Let's get ready to rumble!!!


Yes! That's me in the polka dot pants!!!

When I think of Easter, I think back to Easter Hunts with all my cousins, family and friends. I also think of a big ole whole picnic ham that has been cooked to perfection by my Mama, of course... green bean casseroles, brown rice, potato salad and someone always brings the Watergate Salad that most Southerners, that don't care for it much, refer to as "that Green Stuff"! No meal would be complete without Mama's macaroni and cheese. We also loved to churn ice cream and Mama always had a cake or two on the counter.

Now... let's see what I can come up with from previous posts that could come close to my Easter Food Memories!



First of all, what can I replace the ham with... I cannot believe I haven't covered something as simple as ham! Ok, let's go with Chicken Cordon Blue that has some ham and, you might think, is a pretty fancy holiday kind of feel, but wait, remember this is 'with a twist'! This an easy version that is turned into a casserole! So, it's perfect to fix for a large family get-together. Whew! Main course... check! Now let's find those sides!

There is Mama's Macaroni and Cheese and the green bean casserole. Instead of brown rice, let's go with Grandmama Bradham's Greasy Rice.



I can't believe I don't have my potato salad on here either. So, we'll go with my new popular Cornbread Salad. We always have to have some nibbles lying around so, I'll put out some Dill Pickles, pickled okra, pickled carrots and Bread and Butter Pickles. And no meal is complete without Mama's Short Biscuits. Oh and don't forget the Green Stuff!


Now, desserts... As I said, we loved to churn ice cream. So, I'd like to have some of Mama's Orange Pineapple Ice Cream and, I had already bought the ingredients to make the kids an Italian Cream Cheese Cake.

Well that's the Challenge... My Easter Meal from my Blog...
Thanks to Laurie at Food is Love! This was a fun challenge! So it's my turn to challenge some of my foodie friends. Here goes...


Check out Laurie's Challenge Results too at Food is Love!