Monday, February 13, 2017

Cajun Guacamole

Guacamole, made with a little Deep South regional influence, incorporating some spicy Louisiana flavor.

Cajun Guacamole

I love avocados and I especially love that they have moved into the mainstream of eating everywhere nowadays, even here in the Deep South! I can remember a time back in the day, when finding a fresh avocado wasn't so easy around here. Mostly we were forced to that neon green, pre-made guacamole in a plastic container from the dairy case, when building things like our layered Mexican dip. Fresh is certainly so much better.

Now... right out of the gate, I want to say that I know somebody reading this will likely get all up in arms about this being called "Cajun Guacamole." Just relax and roll with it y'all. In fact, go ahead and Google it... turns out it really is a thing.


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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Turkey Chili with Beans

An easy chili, made leaner with ground turkey, more hearty with vegetables and beans, and gets a flavor boost from basic pantry seasonings.

Turkey Chili with Beans

You may have noticed that boneless, skinless chicken breasts are not my favorite piece of chicken to cook... but of course, they're on sale often enough that I still buy them. With a little help, they can make for a quick and inexpensive meal.

While I very much love a brined and roasted turkey, I don't use a lot of ground turkey either. Though it is less fatty and therefore more attractive to those dieting and trying to cut back on fat, the lack of fat also means lack of flavor. In my dig through the New Year Freezer Cleanse however, I found a pound of mixed (85/15) ground turkey I had picked up at some point to make something that I've now long forgotten. With winter in the Deep South waning, and the Big Game coming up, I thought I would give some turkey chili a spin.


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Friday, January 20, 2017

Cheesy Noodles

Egg noodles, seasoned simply, tossed with butter, Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.

Cheesy Noodles

Growing up, I'm guessing that your mom, like mine, had a few, very simple, go-to side dishes that made it to the table. Buttered egg noodles or chunks of boiled potatoes or corn, usually from frozen at my house, seasoned simply with salt and pepper, tossed with butter and often, a bit of parsley were pretty common for us.

Add some cheese to those egg noodles, oven roasted potatoes when the weather isn't too hot, dressed up canned southern peas and my quick fix green beans to the repertoire, and you've got my most common, easy fix, side dishes today.


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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Smothered Cabbage with Sausage and Tomato

Chopped cabbage, smothered down with the trinity of vegetables, ground sausage and tomatoes.

Smothered Cabbage with Sausage and Tomato

Well hey y'all - wow, it's 2017 already... Happy New Year! Okay we're more than a week into it now, but what can I say? I've been busy with life.

Mercy was it cold enough for everybody lately though? I know that in comparison to the rest of the country, here on the Gulf Coast we had it pretty easy. No snow, but the cold rain that rolled in right when the temps started dropping sure would have made for a pretty blanket of snow. We did have three nights in a row where things were freezing, two of which were hard freezes, and with the high winds, daytime temps weren't a whole lot better, so for us here in the Deep South, it was cold!


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Friday, December 30, 2016

Homemade Coconut Sheet Cake with Divinity Icing

Tender, homemade coconut cake made easy in a sheet cake, finished with a 7-minute, divinity icing, shredded coconut and here, with a sugared cranberry and mint leaf garnish. 

Homemade Coconut Sheet Cake with Divinity Icing

I love a coconut layer cake during the holidays. It's a beautiful presentation on a holiday dessert table, covered in a perfect divinity icing and dusted all over with fluffy, white coconut. I just looks like heaven on a cake stand!

Unfortunately, while I think I'm a fairly decent cook overall, I am definitely not a baker, and though I can pull off a pretty good pan of brownies, cookies even, or a snack cake, well... layer cakes aren't my forte.


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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Southern Pecan Tassies

Little bite sized pecan desserts, made with a cream cheese pastry crust baked with a brown sugar based pecan filling.

Southern Pecan Tassies

These little bite-sized treats are popular on the Christmas tray because they are easy to make and, even better, delicious to eat!

Internet bloggers often confuse them as mini pecan tarts or pies, though us southerners know them as pecan tassies. They're similar, of course, to pecan pie, although most pecan pies have a syrup base - most often corn, cane or sorghum are used - but tassies always have a brown sugar based filling.


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Monday, December 5, 2016

Southern Pork Chop and Rice Casserole

Seasoned pork chops, seared and baked over toasted rice with beef broth, herbs, onion and bell pepper.

Southern Pork Chop and Rice Casserole

This recipe is a pretty classic preparation of a common baked pork chops and rice dish we all enjoy in some form here in the south.

There are some variations as always among cooks, but it typically involves very basic seasonings, some kind of liquid - sometimes a cream soup, sometimes a consomme or French onion soup, sometimes just a simple broth and water added to double the ratio of rice, and sometimes a packet of onion soup mix and water is used. I've done them all. Most often, at least here in the south, there's also the addition of fresh onion and sweet bell pepper, sometimes sliced, sometimes chopped.


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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cranberry Chicken Salad

Cranberry Chicken Salad, made with shredded chicken, dried cranberries and pecans, and tossed with a honey mayo dressing, perfect on a cracker, over shredded lettuce or made into sandwiches.

Cranberry Chicken Salad

I do love me some chicken salad! Anytime I have a little bit of chicken leftover from a meal, I pull it and whip it into some form of chicken salad for lunch the next day. I even get the larger rotisserie chickens when I buy them just so I can make some chicken salad the next day. Might be a good basic deli style chicken salad, which I love. Might be a slightly fancier grown up chutney style version served on some still warm croissants. It might just be this one!


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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Foil Packet Cabbage Wedges

Wedges of cabbage, seasoned, sprinkled with bacon, and wrapped tightly in foil packets, great for the oven, campfire or grill.

Foil Packet Cabbage Wedges

Oh my, isn't foil packet cooking just too cool? Of course, it's really intended to be campfire cooking, or even outdoor grill cooking, but they're just as easy to bake right in your oven.

The advantage of cooking in foil, is that the flavor really intensifies in whatever you tuck away in those little squares. Remember that foil packet corn? Oh my gosh is that stuff good or what?! And yes, wrapping things individually is different than putting everything in one pan and just wrapping the pan - trust me. I've tried it! Not the same at all.


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Saturday, November 12, 2016

South Your Mouth Some More Cookbook Review


Many of you already know Mandy Rivers from the release of her first cookbook South Your Mouth and her blog of the same name, but available now, is her follow up cookbook and newest release, South Your Mouth Some More! If you're already a fan of Mandy's blog, and have the first, you'll love adding this cookbook to your collection too, but even if you're new to her blog, if you like the way that I cook, I know you'll enjoy a copy.

Though Mandy and I have never actually had the opportunity to sit across the table from one another, I've liked her from the moment we met across the net. We've shared many conversations via email over the years of blogging and I find her to be not only funny, but very down to earth and authentic.


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