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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Michele's Gigi's Turkey A La King

I am continuing my project today where I cook and photograph a signature dish from my mentor and beloved friend Michele Wynn Gerhard of La Belle Cuisine! In the spirit of "Julie and Julia", I am featuring one of her family recipes, once a week. We will feature these special segments both on Southern With A Twist and La Belle Cuisine!  I figured with Easter coming up, a lot of people will be having ham. I like to make turkey for a change sometimes. We have kids that travel back and forth from in-laws and Grandparents to us. By the time they get here, they are tired of the traditional stuff. I talked with Michele this week, and we decided that this is a perfect time to choose...Gigi's Turkey A La King! (Click the link for her recipe) I'll have leftover turkey, and this is a great way to put it to good use!
Let's get cookin' Michele! :-) ♥ ♥ ♥
~ Lynn

I started with the roux and added the stock and cream.

Whisk until smooth.

Next was the turkey, mushrooms and peas.

When you read Michele's recipe, you will notice that she adds the scallions and mushrooms in the butter at the beginning. I had leftover sauted mushrooms from my smothered chicken so I used them and added them later in the recipe.

... and last was the chopped boiled eggs.

I cooked some mini cornbread muffins.


The hubby wanted corn with his plate.

I have made Chicken A La King before, but this Turkey A La King is awesome! The richness of the stock, if you reserve it from cooking the Turkey, is just so much better than any other canned or bouillon stock or broth. I think the leftover mushrooms I had complimented the  sauce very well. I know I didn't follow the recipe to the letter, and I hope Michele will forgive me for that... living so far out in the country, I have to improvise from time to time. I handed the hubby a plate. (He is in the bed with a bulging disk in his back.) I waited for a response... "Mmm! Oh yeah! This is good!" I told him that I never put egg in mine. He said, "Yeah, but I think that is what just makes it sooo good!" Well, Michele... my hat is off to you and Gigi! Another success!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dill Pickles... Easy Canning!

I got inspired when we visited Old McCaskills Farm when I peeked in their canning room...

I stopped and bought about 15 pickling cucumbers...

Dill Pickles

30 pickling cucumbers
1 pickling mix package (I use MrsWages dill mix)
7 1/3 cups water
3 1/3 cups white vinegar
1/8 tsp dill weed per jar
1 tsp chopped garlic per jar

Boil mixture. Pack jars with dill, garlic and sliced pickles. Pour mixture over cucumbers leaving 1/2 inch. Then follow canning instructions.

My son is such a pickle expert. LOL  He loves them and eats at least a gallon jar full each week. He kept asking me when they'd be ready. I kept telling him in 24 hours! I went to town, and when I got back (before the 24 hours were up!) this is what I found!

He also adds extra garlic to his!

I guess they are good! LOL

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Foodies On a Farm Day Excursion and my Tuscan Soup!

Yesterday my foodie friend, Mary from All Things Food ~ Cooking with Mary and Friends and I went with four of her friends to two local farms, Old McCaskills Farm and Sunny Cedars Farm! What a fun time! We had lunch at Old McCaskills Farm... Marinated Grilled Pork Chops, Rosemary Rice, Green Beans, Rolls and Coconut Cream Pie! Awesome! We wandered around looking at all the animals. When we first got there, one of their calves had gotten out and was wandering about. I walked over and she came straight up to me and let me pet her :-)

Oops! Who let the calf out? :-)

Kathy McCaskill led her back into the pasture.

This little fellow needed his hoof cleaned out.

I have a feeling I'm being watched!

A bunny!

I'm thinking the canning room. :-)

The Store on the right and Kitchen on the left...

 Come on in... I didn't get pictures of the food.
Sorry, but I was hungry! I forgot! ;-)

Kathy McCaskill waiting on us in the store. 

I love the glass sign!

Cathy found some friends... baby lambs!!! 

 I love the feeder!

The Garden Shed...

 The back of the Garden Shed

My buddy :-)

 Itty Bitty Goat!

Cathy's new buddy! 

I purchased a Sheep Tape Measure and
Eco-Friendly Wool Dryer Balls! Awesome lunch also!
If you'd like to have lunch or just visit the farm,

Cathy and I get in the last few pictures,
while the rest of the girls discuss our next stop...
Sunny Cedars Farm!

We have arrived at Sunny Cedars Farm!
Mary, Russel and me!

He let the pigs out into
the pasture when we got there.
I could not get the videos to load,
so if you want to see them, please visit me on
Facebook at Southern With A Twist. They really are
a must see... "The Running of the Pigs!"
If I can find out why the blog is not loading,
I'll add them here as soon as possible!

  Big Girl! :-)

BP, the pig and her babies!


BP getting a drink of water! Awesome waterer Russell! 

Gathering eggs...

 Mary found a big one! 

Ten eggs in one roost...

Russell grinds his own feed here. 

Time for some shoppin' ladies! :-)

My Goodie Bag!
Sweet Italian Sausage, Bratwurst, Garlic Bratwurst,
Mild Pork Sausage and Country Style Ribs!
I held out the Italian Sausage from the freezer for this Tuscan Soup! Let me tell you that I noticed a difference immediately. The sausage didn't stick to the pan like the sausage I cooked for the Paella the other night! The hubby hollered, "What are you cooking? That smells amazing!" I told him and he said that it didn't smell like the Italian Sausage that I usually cook! He said, "If you need somebody to sample that... bring me a piece!" (He's in the recliner because his back it out.) The verdict? Sooooo good! It does make a difference the way a product is raised, fed, treated and processed! If you don't believe me, go see Russell at Sunny Cedars Farm and try some for yourself!!!

Tuscan Soup

6 cups chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
4 links of Italian sausage
3 large potatoes, cubed
1 bunch fresh spinach, washed and chopped
1/4 cup evaporated milk
salt and pepper to taste

Remove skin from sausage and crumble into a 2qt sauce pan. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic and continue to brown the sausage a little. Add stock and potatoes. Boil until potato is cooked. Add spinach. Continue boiling until spinach is lightly cooked. Remove soup from heat, stir in evaporated milk, and season to taste.

What an awesome outing!!! I urge all you to seek out your local farms and try to do what we did. Ask to come out and take a look at the working farms and fresh local products. It is well worth it in the experience and the quality products you'll find. From the farm to the table... know where your food comes from and how it gets there! Thanks so much to Kathy McCaskill and Russell Singleton for letting us come out and visit! I'm already looking forward to another visit!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Broccoli Casserole

I cook this for my church crowd. I leave out the onions when I cook it for them, because I have some people with "onion issues". You choose to add them or not; it works either way!

2 cups cooked white rice

5 tablespoons margarine
1 cup chopped onions
1 (10 ounce) package chopped frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
8 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt margarine in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until tender. In a 2 quart casserole dish combine onions, cooked rice, broccoli, mushroom soup and cheese; mix well. 
Bake for 35 minutes.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Maui Maid Teriyaki Marinade and my Teriyaki Crunchy Chicken

A couple of days ago, I received a sample bottle of Maui Maid Teriyaki Marinade. To say I was excited is an understatement! I love teriyaki and so does my son! We do teriyaki wings, teriyaki bacon wrapped chicken livers, teriyaki pork loin, teriyaki beef tenderloin... I think you get it. (I was beginning to feel like Bubba Gump! LOL) We love teriyaki! One problem that we have had is that our favorite sauce is sometimes hard to find. I was excited to try this sauce. 

After trying this one... I want more! The hubby started out with "Mmmm!" which changed to, "Oh WOW!" and finally, "OMGoodness! This is perfect! The perfect balance of sweet and salty!"

I made chicken two different ways. I made teriyaki pan seared nuggets, for my son, and teriyaki pan fried crunchy chicken cutlets, for the hubby. Here we go...

I marinated skinless, boneless chicken breasts and cut some up into nuggets. I let them marinate for a few hours. When the hubby got home with the breadcrumbs, I mixed up some breadcrumbs and flour. I didn't add any seasonings, not on purpose, but because my step-son came in with his daughter, Kendal. (((SQUIRREL!))) I'm easily distracted! AND thus no pictures of the coating process or frying! :-(

Ok... One picture of pan searing the nuggets that were coated in sauce. Be careful with the temperature when cooking teriyaki. The sugars can burn if the temps are to high, and that it not good!

I set up a dipping station with just two pans. (Sorry, no pics) I put the flour mixture in one and more marinade in the other. I dipped the breasts in the flour mixture, then in the marinade, and back in the flour mixture again. This gives the chicken a thick crust and the teriyaki helps the flour mixture really stick to the chicken. I fried them in the pan until golden brown, then I transferred them to a 350 degree oven so the marinade in the coating wouldn't burn. After a few minutes, I turned the oven to warm so the chicken wouldn't dry out.

I made a sauce reduction by making a little slurry of cornstarch and water. I added that to about 1/2 cup of the marinade and 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar and some black pepper. I simmered it until it thickened a little.

I spooned a little over the fried chicken breast, and voila! Using the marinade as the liquid in the battering process is so awesome! What could be better than a crunchy teriyaki crust??? I had my step-son and his wife try it, and they loved it. As a matter of fact, my step-son said, "OMG Lynn! You are such an awesome cook!" Well shut the front door! That kid is hard to please so... 'nough said!

Surprisingly, (since the kids had eaten before they came over) I had some leftover, and the hubby says, "You're putting that up right?" I asked if he wanted more. He said, "Heck yeah! Tomorrow!"

Now... I want the spicy and the onion flavors!!! You can buy them from Maui Maid's Website and on Amazon. Click the link in the first of this blog and visit Maui Maid on Facebook. Be sure to tell her I sent you, and be sure to give her a like!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Michele's Gigi's Quick Chicken Paella

I am starting a project today where I will cook and photograph a signature dish from my mentor and beloved friend Michele Wynn Gerhard of La Belle Cuisine! In the spirit of "Julie and Julia", I will feature one of her family recipes, once a week. (NOT 500+ in a year! LOL) We will feature these special segments both on Southern With A Twist and La Belle Cuisine! Michele is selecting the recipes for me, which was a daunting task for me... one I am glad she accepted to do for me. Michele has been such a blessing and mentor to me. Her guidance, advise and willingness to just listen to me has been such a blessing in my life! I hope you all will follow us on this journey and visit our blogs to keep up with the fun! She is starting me out on an easy one (she says) this week... Gigi's Quick Chicken Paella! (Click the link for her recipe)
Let's get cookin' Michele! :-) ♥ ♥ ♥
~ Lynn

I made sure that I had all my ingredients, which included the hubby stopping by the grocery store several nights on his way home! As in all undertakings that I try to pull off... I had no turmeric. I don't even know much about it,  because I have never used turmeric. I did research it and found out that you may be able to sub some dry mustard, but I had no dry mustard or saffron to even remotely try to substitute anything for it. Oops... well, continue!

I almost forgot the garlic... Can't forget the garlic.

The first step is to brown the sausage on medium. I had Italian sausage, which does tend to stick or fall apart. It started to stick and brown in the bottom of the pan, which does impart some yummy flavors.

I set the sausage aside, and browned the chicken in the drippings. However, I didn't brown it as long as I should have because I was afraid the sausage bits and drippings were getting a little too brown!

I took out the chicken and set it aside... onions and garlic were next!

I got a little excited and lost focus (no pun intended) on taking pictures. This is where I added the broth to the onions and garlic. That released all those little bits of brown goodness off the bottom! Oh! I added the rice, sausage, carrots back to the pot and topped with the chicken pieces. It simmered for about 20 minutes.

Next were the artichokes, which were jarred, not frozen, peas and black olives. I wish I had whole olives, but all I had was sliced... no biggy! :-) Back to simmer for another 20 minutes.

The final touch was adding the tomatoes and letting them heat through. Very colorful and very fragrant! I just wish I had a little more color on the chicken... I know! I am my own worst critic.

As I am writing this, (we ate  a couple of hours ago) the hubby is dipping  another helping out to sit down and snack on while watching tv... I guess it's a hit! :-)

The final plating!

Thanks to my friend Michele at La Belle Cuisine for agreeing to let me do this... and for helping me do this, risking her reputation! Only if you could be here to help me NOT mess it up! LOL

OH! And thanks for NOT starting me out on a baking recipe! LOLOLOLOL

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