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Saturday, June 30, 2012

4th of July at "The Cabin"

The Elliott family always has a big BBQ for the family reunion on the 4th of July. Years back it was held at "The Cabin", way back in the swamp behind my parent's and Grandparent's homes. Oh, the memories that it all brings back. The men would get together early in the morning and BBQ a whole hog over live coals. 

That's what we call a "Pig Pickin"!

The women would bring the side dishes. 
I remember Mama and I rolling lemons and making the fresh lemonade.

  At the end of the meal, you could hear
Cousin Mac yelling, "Ice Cream! Come get your ice cream!"

Some of this was before my time or I just missed out on the fun. My cousins, Kathy, Deepy and David remember most of this. I do remember the cabin and the hill going down to it. The hill was so steep that you couldn't see down it until you had crested the top. That hill could be fun, especially if it rained. More than once after a good rain storm, a car would come sliding sideways down it. One year, the kids were sliding down the hill. It was Deepy’s turn to slide. He started down the hill and Kathy noticed a car coming and hollered at Deepy to lay down. He did and the car ran over Deepy. One year, Cousin Kenneth was driving Uncle’s El Camino. He had Tommy, Deepy and David on the tailgate, when he hit a mud hole and threw them out the back.

There was Uncle Louie, who fell out the boat. 
He had to be towed back to the bank because
he was too big for them to pull back into the boat.

There was Cousin Ann trying to teach Kathy how to smoke...

After Daddy put in the pool at the house, we made it a tradition to go back to the house after the reunion and go swimming. Mama used to make a big plastic gallon pitcher full of her poolside lemonade in the summertime. She would put it in the freezer and it would turn to slush. It was like a lemon-lime daiquiri, but slushy not icy. She’d get her raft and a big glass of ‘Lemonade’ and float for hours.

One hot summer afternoon, Deepy and Charlie were swimming. Mama was floating on her raft soaking up the sun. Her lemonade was over by the side of the pool. Everybody was enjoying the water and the lemonade. About that time Charlie said, “Hey, Uncle!” Mama looked up and Uncle (Dargan, who never drank) was walking over to her glass. She paddled as hard as she could, but he already took a gulp. He set it down and said, “Now, that’s the best lemonade I’ve ever tasted! Got any more?” Mama said, “Well, thank you! But Sorry! That was the last glass!”

Mama in the poolhouse... Notice the yellow pitcher
in the freezer, that's her lemonade!

Judy’s Poolside Lemonade

1 12oz can frozen Lemonade Concentrate
1 6oz can frozen Limeade Concentrate
36 oz 7-Up
1 fifth Bacardi Rum

Mix ingredients in gallon pitcher. Freeze until slushy (at least 24 hours).
To serve: Stir with large metal spoon (mixture will freeze on top, but the center will be soft). Spoon into plastic glass.

Judy's Poolside Lemonade... perfect!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grandmama Elliott’s 1000 Island Dressing

I remember spending wonderful times with my Grandmama Elliott. I even got to spend the night from time to time. I remember one night I was startled awake by a deep voice. "Do you want me to make you some breakfast? How bout some pancakes?" It was my Grandmama talking in her sleep. She was already planning our next day in the kitchen.
 When I was little, she would allow me in the kitchen to watch her cook. She moved slowly and purposefully around the small country kitchen. She taught me how to make this dressing in a small coffee cup... just enough dressing for the two of us. 

Grandmama's Thousand Island Dressing
In a coffee cup combine about 2 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise and 1 Tablespoon of Ketchup. Mix. Add mayo or ketchup depending on color. 
Add about a 1/2 teaspoon of sweet pickle relish. Mix, cover, and refrigerate.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Herbed Butter and Honey Mustard Chicken

I'm always looking for new ways to cook chicken, and I've just about tried them all... Today I had frozen chicken breasts and wanted a way to cook them with flavor but keeping in the moisture. I was just going to used the herbed butter and turn it into Chicken Kiev, but I read a post by Ann from Fountain Avenue Kitchen and decided to add honey mustard to the recipe.

Herb Butter

1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix ingredients in a bowl until well combined.

I took the chicken out of the freezer but didn't let it thaw completely. (This helps it stay moist inside) I tossed it in honey mustard dressing, placed it in a baking dish and added a dollop of the butter on each chicken breast. I baked it at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. I turned the broiler on and left the chicken in the oven to get some color.


Elliott didn't like the smell of the honey mustard,
so I made him one with just the herbed butter.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Twisted Take on Ally's Spicy Eggs Boho

I saw my friend Ally's post on Spicy Eggs Boho, and I was in love! I went to the pantry and frig, and I was saddened to find that I didn't have all the ingredients. Those of you that know me, know that is not going to stop me! She started with an English Muffin... I was out, so I toasted white bread that I cut into rounds. I didn't have the red peppers (frankly, they give me heartburn so I don't keep them on hand), but I am a bacon nut. I subbed bacon for the peppers... don't judge me :-) I made a spread with the cream cheese, basil, garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper (I also added cheddar cheese). I steamed the eggs the way Ally described in her post... and I love them that way. For the entire recipe, click on the link above! Remember, recipes are suggestions. You can change them and add to them until your hearts content!!!

Toast round, cream cheese spread, bacon and egg... 

I steamed the eggs to long... not runny enough for me.

...but very tasty!!!
Thanks for the inspiration Ally!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Blogger Inspiration - Sunshine Award

I am so honored to be given the Sunshine award by one of my favorite foodie friends! Debi at Recipes For My Boys. She is always so very helpful, kind and loving. Her comments bring a smile to my face and make my day! She is a light that shines on those around her. Thank you my dear, sweet, beautiful friend! 

The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: "Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogoshere." The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer 10 questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favorite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award! Don't forget to copy and paste the award on your blog!

10 Questions

1. Favorite color: Blue and Pink

2. Favorite animal:  Horses

3. Favorite number:  24

4. Favorite drink:  Coke

5. Facebook or Twitter:  Facebook

6. Good Book or a Good Movie:  Cookbooks, I read them like novels.
Movies... Arthur, While You Were Sleeping and The Holiday.

7. My Passion:  Recording my memories of my Mama... like her recipes, being in the kitchen, hostessing a party or just doing for others. I love being in the kitchen recreating all the foods she cooked and inventing new recipes using the knowledge that she shared with me.  

8. Giving or getting presents:  Giving... naaaa! BOTH :-)

9. Favorite day of the year:  Christmas... 

10. Favorite flowers:  Tulips.

Fish Fry

I've been craving fried fish for a while now. When I took Craig to the hospital for his kidney stones, I saw a sign at the IGA (independent grocers association) announcing that they has Tilapia on sale. They were selling it frozen, individually wrapped (vacuum sealed) and by the 3 pound bags. I had to get a bag. I've already made 2 meals out of it (baked and fried), and I have enough left for another meal. In this picture... I had to go watch Elliott do a jump on his dirt bike, and Craig wasn't watching the temp... so they got a little brown, but they were very delicious, not burnt at all!!!

Easy Fish Fry
  • Fish... catfish, brim, etc (This time I used Tilapia)
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
Mix flour, cornmeal and seasonings in a plastic container with lid (big enough to fit fish inside). Place fish in one at a time and carefully shake. Remove fish and fry in deep fryer set at 350 degrees until golden brown and fish floats.

My plate... with two sauces!

Cocktail Sauce

1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
dash Worcestershire sauce
few drops hot sauce
salt to taste

Combine and blend all ingredients well.

Tartar Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon minced onion (optional)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

I made this for the first time this week for a crowd of 160 at VBS. If you serve this to a bunch of kids, and they like it... it must be good. When a teenager asks for the recipe... GOLD!!!

4 Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded
1 can Cream of Mushroom (or Chicken) Soup
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1 sm pkg real bacon bits
1/2 t salt (to taste)
1/4 t pepper (to taste)
1/4 t garlic powder (to taste)
1/4 t basil (optional)
2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix all ingredients except the cheese. Spray a casserole dish with oil and pour chicken mixture in the dish. Bake at 350 degrees until warmed through. Top with cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese melts and begins to turn brown.

Optional biscuit topping...
Mix ALL the ingredients together and warm. Top with biscuit dough and cook until golden brown.

Optional Cracker Topping...
Fix as directed above, until cheese is melted. Combine 1 sleeve of crushed Ritz crackers and 1 stick of melted butter. Toss, then sprinkle cracker mixture on top of the casserole. Bake for an additional 5-8 minutes... watch so the crackers don't burn.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cooking Rib Eyes in the Oven

My grill is history. It is just plain worn out, and I have rib eyes to cook. This is how I did them after some research. 
My Dad always had a stick of butter in the frig that was just for steaks. When he flipped the steaks on the grill, he folded back the paper on the butter and with his hand, rubbed the end of that stick all over the steak. Those were the best steaks in the world. Lightly seasoned and perfectly cooked!

  • 1 boneless rib eye steak, per person
  • Vegetable oil, to coat
  • Worcestershire Sauce (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 T butter
  • Place a grill/griddle pan in the oven
  •  and heat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  • Bring the steak to room temperature in a plastic bag.
  • I went ahead and added my seasoning,
  • oil and Worcestershire sauce to the bag
  • and let it sit until room temp.
I didn't get a picture of this step... it moved to quickly!
But this is the best way to clean the pan after searing... 
just add some water to the hot pan and place it back on the stove.
Use a wooden spoon to loosen bits from the bottom.

  • While the oven reaches temperature, place a skillet on the stove over high heat. Coat the steak lightly with oil and Worcestershire (if desired) and sprinkle both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Grind on black pepper and sprinkle lightly with garlic powder.
When the skillet is very hot, place the steak in the middle of the hot, dry skillet. Cook 30 seconds without moving. Turn with tongs and cook another 30 seconds, then put the steak straight into the oven on the grill pan for 2 minutes. 

Flip the steak, place a dab of butter on top,
and cook for another 2 minutes.
(This time is for medium-rare steak. If you prefer medium, add a minute to both of the oven turns.)
Remove the steak from the pan, cover loosely with foil
  • and rest for 2 minutes. Serve whole or slice thin and fan onto plate.
Serve with a nice tossed vegetable salad
and maybe a baked potato or steak fries.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Easy Peasy Cinnamon Rolls

Yesterday, in-between rain showers, I went shopping for my usual catering job on each Wednesday night. While rambling around the grocery store, I thought I'd like to make some orange rolls or cinnamon rolls. I thought that while looking at the cans of the pre-made dough... the kind my hubby likes to buy and bring home to cook. I decided to go a step farther (Remember now, I always tell you... I'm not a baker!). I picked up a container (ok...yeah! It was a can!) of crescent rolls.  I knew that I had everything else at home. As a matter of fact, I picked up two cans, in case I goofed! I am not a baker... LOL

1 can Crescent Rolls
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon flour
1- 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup 10X sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Mix the sugar and milk in a small bowl and set aside...

I unrolled the sheets (on wax paper) in two sections,
mainly because it fell apart. Press the seems together.

Mix together the cinnamon, sugar and flour. 

Generously cover the dough sheets with the cinnamon mixture. 

Then, roll them up as tightly as you can,
but don't mash them or the seams will come apart. 

I put them in a small cake pan (6") lightly sprayed with oil.

I mashed them down a bit... 

...and sprinkled them with a little of the
cinnamon mixture that was left on the paper.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes
or until golden brown and all puffed up in the center.
Drizzle glaze over hot rolls!

Done... picture with flash.

Done... picture without flash.
I can't decide which picture I like best...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Baked Fish with Lemon and Onion

This recipe is wonderful! Even kids will love this flavor. I don't like a strong fishy taste, so this is perfect! It's a quick recipe to put together, leaving time for family and friends while it bakes... and it smells heavenly! You don't have to worry about the smell of fish filling your house!

2 fish fillets per person
Talapia, Bass, Catfish or Whitefish (all white meat fish will work)

Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 Lemons, sliced thin
1 bottle Zesty Italian or Balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the Flour, Salt & Pepper and dredge the fish. Place them in a shallow baking dish so they fit snug. Place lemon slices on the fish, then sprinkle with onions. Pour dressing over the fish (use about 1 cup of dressing). You can add your favorite spice such as dill, basil or garlic to the dressing if you like... just taste it and adjust the flavor. The flour will bake with the dressing and thicken into a wonderful sauce! Bake fish uncovered for about 30 - 45 minutes or until fish is firm and flaky.

Ready for the oven... I didn't have any lemons
so I used lemon juice.

...after 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

The Hubby's plate...

 Mine!!! So much better with lemon slices.
I love to eat the baked lemons! YUM!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Elliott's Strawberry Ice Cream Pops

A while back, I wrote the post on how to make Homemade Ice Cream in a bag. My son, Elliott loves the way it tastes and loves to make it himself. I thought by now my 14 year old son would think that this is no longer cool to do... Last night, he got out the strawberries (which he wrote on his part of the grocery list) and decided to make his own ice cream.

Of course he turns away!
He's "churning" the ice cream.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons Rock Salt or Kosher Salt
  • 1 pint size plastic bag
  • 1 gallon size plastic bag
  • Ice

What you do:
Put sugar, milk and vanilla in the small bag and seal it good and tight. Fill the big bag half way with ice and the salt. Put the small bag inside the big bag with the ice and salt. Shake and roll the bags around for about 5 minutes. Wipe the salt water of the top of the small bag and open carefully. Voila! Ice Cream

The ice and salt gets really cold, so give the kids oven mits or a towel to handle the bags.

Next, he cut up the strawberries... 

Taking the ice cream bag
out of the salt and ice bag... 

Make sure you wipe off the bag
so you don't get salty water in the ice cream.

He layered the popsicle mold
alternating strawberries and ice cream.

He piped in the ice cream
by clipping the corner of the bag.

To the freezer...

Strawberry Ice Cream Pops... by Elliott!