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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Oven 'Fried' Chicken

Well, it's hot... darn hot here in the South! The kitchen table is hot enough to proof bread! The hubby decides that he wants fried chicken! REALLY?!?!?! That raises the kitchen temp another 10 degrees, at least! So I did some research and came up with this Oven Fried Chicken recipe. I did give him the choice whether I tried this or went ahead and toughed out the heat and deep fried it. He did give in to the oven recipe :-) He brought home 6 chicken thighs. I would have used a whole fryer cut up country-style, but use whatever cut of chicken you like with this recipe.

6 chicken thighs
1/3 cup butter or margarine**
2 cups flour
Salt, to taste (I use about 2 tsp Kosher)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. While oven is pre-heating, trim the fat off the pieces of chicken and make sure all pieces of feathers are pulled out. Mix flour and spices in a gallon size zip-loc bag.

**Important... Put butter, or margarine in a large casserole dish and melt it in the oven. The butter and the dish must be hot!

Place the chicken, skin side down, in the dish. Bake for 35 minutes, then turn chicken pieces over. Bake 15-20 minutes longer or until done and well browned.

My plate with mashed potatoes and green beans :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Watermelon Whale

Last night, we did a practice run on carving a 
whale out of a watermelon. 
It turned out really cute! Take a look...

Made a pattern and cut out the tail...

OUCH! Carving the eyes! I can't look!!!

Ewww! Do something about his eyes!

Seriously... do something about his eyes!

Much better looking eyes! :-) 

Now, he just needs fruit! 

Oooops! ... and finish his smile! :-)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Zucchini and Cheddar Tartlets

These little vegetable tartlets are so yummy and can be made with almost any veggies you may have on hand. I had yellow squash, so that's what I used!

1 cup zucchini or yellow squash, seeded and grated
1/4 cup grated onion
1/4 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
1/4 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded fine
1 large eggs, beaten
Basil, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper, to taste
Basil leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray mini muffin pans with cooking oil. Combine ingredients in a bowl and drop by spoonfuls into pans. Pat mixture down. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Pull tartlets from pans with the edge of a knife. If stuck, run a knife around the edges and they should pop right out. Arrange on a plate and sprinkle with basil leaves.
Makes 12 mini tarts.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


I love the idea from Betty Crocker for Greek Salad Kabobs! I would rather have a tzatziki sauce to go with it than a honey yogurt sauce. But that's just me... I never follow the rules! Tzatziki usually is finished off with mint... me? I use basil! Yeah! I'm twisted that way! :-)

1 (8 ounce) container sour cream, plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
1 cucumber

Pinch of Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 lemon, juiced and zest
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1-1/2 cloves garlic, peeled
5 basil leaves, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste

At least 8 hours before making the Tzatziki, place the yogurt in a paper towel lined strainer over another bowl and leave it in the fridge 8 hours or even  overnight. This makes the yogurt the perfect consistency. This step is not necessary if using Greek yogurt, but check the consistency to insure that it is thick enough.
Peel and seed the cucumber. Place the cucumbers on a tea towel sprinkle with Kosher salt. This will leech out a lot of the water and help assure you have a thick sauce. After the water has leeched out, squeeze the towel and ring out the water.
In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients. Process until well-combined.
Transfer to a separate dish, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for best flavor, over night is suggested.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mouss-sagna... A combination of Mama's Lasagna and Moussaka Recipes!

This recipe is a combination of two of my Mama's best loved main dish recipes. Judy's Lasagna (recipe coming soon on my blog) and Mama's Greek Specialty - Moussaka! 

It takes a good bit of time to prepare this dish in its original recipe form, but you can take short-cuts if you wish. However, you do owe it to yourself and your family to try these recipes both individually and in this combination recipe!

Meat Mixture:
2 pounds ground Lamb or Beef
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
8 oz Tomato Sauce
¾ cup Dry Red Wine
2 T Parsley, chopped
¼ t Oregano
¼ t ground Cinnamon
1 Egg, beaten

       16 oz uncooked Lasagna Noodles

       8 oz Cream Cheese
       1/4 cup sour cream
       1/4 cup parmesan cheese
       Greek Oregano, to taste
       1/8 tsp cinnamon
       salt & Pepper, to taste

Bechamel Topping:
¼ cup Butter or Margarine
¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
2 cups Milk
3 eggs, beaten

Cheese Topping:
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese
½ cup Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper

In large skillet, cook meat, onion and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain. Stir in tomato sauce, wine, parsley, oregano, cinnamon and 1 t salt.
Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Gradually stir mixture into 1 beaten egg.

Mix filling ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, melt butter. Stir in flour and salt & pepper to taste. Add milk; cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Slowly stir into 3 beaten eggs.

To Assemble:

In a 13x9x2 baking dish, place a couple of spoon fulls of sauce in the bottom, then place a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Next layer with the filling mixture then a layer of sauce. Repeat ending with a layer of sauce. Pour milk mixture over layers. Top with Mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and dust with cinnamon. Bake covered at 325 for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beef Stroganoff

When I cook this for my Wednesday Night Church Supper crowd, I am on a very tight budget. So, I substitute Ground Chuck for the Round Steak, but check the sales for your favorite cut of beef. You can sub any cut you want.

1 pound Round Steak 
Salt, Pepper & Flour 

¼ cup Shortening or Butter 
½ cup Onion 
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can sliced Mushrooms 
½ cup Sour Cream 

Cut steak in thin strips, salt pepper and flour. Brown in shortening or butter, add onions. Cook til tender. Add soup and mushrooms. Simmer 1/2 hour. Add sour cream and simmer 15 minutes. Serve over egg noodles. 

Vidalia Cornbread  is the perfect companion for beef stroganoff!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cinnamon-Vanilla Fig Topping

With all the figs coming in early, I'm putting a lot of them in the freezer for now. I'll make one big batch of preserves and then save some to experiment on with new recipes! 

This recipe is great as a topping for oatmeal, pancakes, biscuits and ice cream...
plus anything else you can imagine!

4 cups of figs, washed, stemmed and quartered
8 tablespoons of sugar (or honey)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
4 oz of water (for consistency)

Combine the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer until mixture is the consistency of a thick glaze.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Easy Corn Pudding

This is another recipe that Mama gave me. It was one of my Grandmother Elliott's favorites. If you have some corn-on-the-cob left over or if you just have canned... this recipe is wonderful. It's buttery, creamy and ever so slightly sweet!

Corn Pudding is a very easy recipe. If you have a problem with 'weeping' or watery puddings, pan fry or saute the corn in some butter until all the liquid is cooked off. This should give the pudding a better consistency.

2 cups Corn
2 t Sugar
1 ½ t Salt
1/8 t Pepper
3 Eggs, beaten
2 T Melted Butter
2 cups Milk

Combine corn, sugar, salt and pepper. Add eggs, butter and milk. Mix well. Pour into baking dish. Bake at 325 for 45 to 60 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

Notes: “Grandmama Elliott’s Favorite”

Either way, this is good stuff!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Watermelon Cooler

The hubby brought home a big watermelon for the 4th of July and put it in the frig. I was just going to slice it up, when I remembered the watermelon coolers! Well, we had some that could drink and some that couldn't. So, I made up two different versions of this yummy cooler!

Kid-Friendly Version

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

Blend ingredients in blender until smooth. Divide evenly in 4 glasses. Add a splash of 7up or Sprite... 
Serve over ice. Garnish with melon cubes and mint.

Adult Version

4 cups chopped watermelon
1/3 cup Strawberry Sugar-Sweetened Drink Mix
4 oz Triple Sec
4 oz Vodka
Splash of Lime 

Blend ingredients in blender until smooth. Divide evenly in 4 glasses. Add a splash of 7up or Sprite... Serve over ice. Garnish with melon cubes and mint.