Friday, December 28, 2012

Deviled Ham Salad - Bologna Salad

Old School Deviled Ham Salad, made with ground ham, sweet pickles, pimentos and mayonnaise. My version adds in celery and onion, and a little horseradish, spicy mustard, hot sauce and Cajun seasoning with the mayonnaise.

Deviled Ham Salad

Back in the day, this deviled ham salad was made using an old fashioned countertop grinder - the cast iron kind, that clamped onto the edge of the kitchen counter or a table. Usually a slice or two of bread would be run through first, just to sort of clean it of any dried, leftover residue, since they were next to impossible to clean well. Everything else was added to the grinder in order, and then the salad mixed together with a homemade mayonnaise.


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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


Wishing you a beautiful Christmas Day,
filled with lots of food,
the love of family,
and the making of many memories
for years to come.

Thank you for being a part
of the Deep South Dish family.

I treasure you all. 

Merry Christmas!

.
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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken and Dressing

A super easy and moist crockpot chicken and dressing, made using a packaged stuffing mix like Pepperidge Farm, adding in sauteed onion and celery, cooked chicken and cream soup, blended with chicken stock.

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken and Dressing

The concept of slow cooker dressing certainly isn't unique to me - you'll find a multitude of recipes online and at other blogs and websites, all slightly different from one another.

This method actually dates back to the late 70s in my recipe box, a time when convenience products and crockpots were all the rage with us working women. I used to rely on my crockpot a lot back then, but then fell away from it for years because I got bored with the way they cooked. Then I started blogging, finally upgraded my slow cooker, educated myself a little bit better on slow cookery and slowly started to build up my collection of recipes again.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mississippi Mud Cake

Rich and decadent, dense and fudge-like, Mississippi Mud Cake is made with cocoa, topped with marshmallows, a buttery cocoa icing and salted, toasted pecans.

Mississippi Mud Cake

While there is some slight variation in recipes for Mississippi Mud Cake among us Southerners, they all contain flour, sugar, eggs, cocoa, butter, pecans, a layer of marshmallow and a buttery, powdered sugar and cocoa icing. Some folks use large fluffy marshmallows, some minis, and some use marshmallow creme. Some put all of the pecans in the cake, others of us put them on top, others divide them between. Some even add coconut. You can visit some of those varieties on our Facebook page. They are all wonderfully rich and decadent.

You'll notice that there is no leavening in this cake at all, just plain all purpose flour. That's because it's a cake that is intended to be pretty dense, more like a fudgey brownie really, and not at all fluffy like a typical cake would be.


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Browned Butter Green Beans with Bacon and Pecans

Fresh green beans, blanched then seasoned with onion, garlic and herbs, and tossed with bacon and pecans and a browned butter pan sauce.

Browned Butter Green Beans with Bacon and Pecans

When I'm putting a meal on my table, Mrs. George's voice still rings in my conscience when it comes to menu planning.


She was my Occupational Home Economics teacher at Biloxi High School and I truly loved her. The term "Occupational Home Ec" probably sounds odd, but it was the way that the Future Homemakers of America were addressing the fact that women had transitioned from being full time homemakers to working women - who happened to still run the home too. What that meant, was that I attended my core classes so I could still graduate, had several hours of OHE and then... I worked. And, until Hurricane Katrina moved my employer from the Gulf Coast, I never stopped.


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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Never Fail Divinity

Divinity, made a little easier by using marshmallow creme.

Never Fail Divinity

First things first. {pulls out hissy fit soapbox} Calling a recipe "no fail," or "never fail" is bound to be risky because without fail, somebody is gonna come along who doesn't follow the directions and yet, will blame the recipe, or even me, for their failure.

The truth is, this never fail version of divinity has been around at least as long as, or maybe even longer, than me, and it truly is no fail - if you follow directions. Thousands of folks have been making it successfully for many years, but like any divinity, shortcut or not, you must beat the hot sugar. You must beat it until it is no longer shiny, but begins to dull in appearance. You must beat it until you beat in enough air that it cools and begins to thicken. You will know when its ready, and if it's thin as syrup, it's not ready. Keep beating. Yes. You must beat it until you think your arm is gonna fall off! I you do that, I promise, it works. {tucking away the soapbox}


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Sausage Dressing with Apple and Pecan

A cornbread and bread dressing, made with tart apple, hot sausage and pecans.

Sausage Dressing with Apple and Pecan

I first made this dressing last Christmas, then again this Thanksgiving and I may even make it again this Christmas, though I'm actually still trying to settle between having a bread or rice dressing, since I'm going with a prime rib roast this year.

Yes, I'm moving away from the traditional turkey and dressing dinner for Christmas this year and going the route of a very expensive hunk of prime rib roast beef with au jus, that I have already warned The Cajun will not be cooked "well done." If he absolutely has to have it cooked more than medium rare, I'm pointing him directly to the microwave! Since a hunk of beef like this is not typically on my financial radar and I'm not solidly comfortable that I won't ruin it, I am planning to do the Cajun ham too. That way if I manage to ruin the roast, at least we'll still have some ham to fall back on.


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Monday, December 17, 2012

Old Fashioned Pull Apart Pan Rolls

An old fashioned yeast roll, baked in a round cake pan, for pull apart rolls.

Old Fashioned Pull Apart Pan Rolls

A lot of folks get scared off by the homemade yeast rolls, not so much for the mixing or even the rise time, as much as the process of having to shape them. This roll takes a little bit of that away since the rolls are just formed into balls and tucked into a cake pan, or if you prefer an oblong baking dish, slightly smaller than a 9 x 13 inch pan. You don't even have to be all that precise with that to be honest, but I've include a tip in the Cook's Notes of the recipe that might be helpful to get a more rounded top on your rolls.


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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tiger Butter Bark

One of the easiest candies to make, this Tiger Butter Bark is made using almond bark candy coating mixed with peanut butter, topped with chopped peanuts and melted semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Tiger Butter Bark

Even if you think you can't make candy, bark candy is probably one of the easiest and most versatile candies there is. It's always a nice addition to a holiday sweets tray but even better received as a gift. Add in some of those sugared nuts with your gift bag and you've got a great sweet and salty combo!

The basic recipe for Tiger Butter is simply a thin layer of melted white chocolate or the lesser expensive vanilla almond bark, mixed with peanut butter and poured into a jelly roll pan, over which melted semi-sweet chocolate chips are poured and then swirled into the almond bark layer.


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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chicken, Andouille, and Oyster Filé Gumbo

An oyster filé gumbo, made with the Trinity, oysters, a chicken and spicy andouille sausage.

Chicken, Andouille, and Oyster Filé Gumbo

My father-in-law has been buying full sacks of Gulf oysters the past few weeks and we have been the lucky recipients of several pints, stuffed with delicious, salty, freshly shucked oysters and plenty of liquor. Dad also makes this wonderful oyster gumbo and he usually sends a quart of that over too. I know. My in-laws are wonderful people, I love them to death, and yes. I am spoiled rotten.


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Monday, December 10, 2012

Creamed Spinach

Fresh baby spinach, blanched then chopped and cooked with butter, cream and a light sprinkle of shredded cheese. Garnish with chopped or sliced, hard-boiled eggs.

Creamed Spinach

This recipe is only going to appeal to the spinach lovers passing by, but if you enjoy fresh spinach like I do, and you haven't had the opportunity to try it creamed this way, you really don't know what you're missing.

I have always loved spinach. Fresh in salads, frozen, canned, doesn't matter to me. In soups, casseroles, and dips, sauteed in a skillet with a little butter, nothing like it. But... oh how much I love it creamed, especially with a beef entree, making it perfect for a holiday side dish.


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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

Classic Southern pecan pie bars with a touch of cocoa in the crust, a layer of melted chocolate, salted and roasted pecans, and a splash of bourbon in the filling... if you like.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

Most Southerners certainly have a pecan pie recipe in their recipe box, and really, these bars are simply an extension of that pie, made into convenient little bite-sized squares. Add a little chocolate to the mix, and, a splash of bourbon if you dare, and you've got some fantastic pecan pie bars.


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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Old School Ham Bone Beans

Somewhere between a soup and stew, all thick and creamy and soothing, this full bodied and flavorful pot of white beans is all due to the ham bone.

Ham Bone Beans

I don't know about the rest of y'all but I sure have had a difficult time getting back into the swing this week. I've been busy enough writing new recipes and even cooking, but it's the post writing part that has me pulling off my best procrastination act this week. For instance, I fully intended to have this recipe up on Monday... and here it is already Wednesday. I had it mostly done, I just kept putting off finishing the final cut and the coding that goes with all this website business.


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Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Tetrazzini

Transform slices of cooked turkey or chicken with this mushroom cream sauce, served over spaghetti noodles. Great casserole to use up leftovers.

Turkey Tetrazzini

This is just a basic tetrazzini, but it's sure a tasty way to re-purpose some of that leftover turkey from the holidays, or later on down the line, chicken and ham even. A simple, rich cream sauce, fresh mushrooms, chicken stock and a nice splash of white wine and you'll forget you're eating leftovers. If you're looking for a few more ways to use up some of those holiday leftovers, be sure to pop by this page for a little inspiration.


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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Everything Salad

Anything and Everything Salad - a mixture of lettuces and various toppings, here topped with broccoli, bacon, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, dressed with a sweet and sour dressing and topped with a buttery almond, pecan and ramen noodle crunch.

Everything Salad

I love this salad. It's sort of a hybrid of Ramen Noodle Salad and Broccoli Salad with a few extras thrown in.


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Monday, November 19, 2012

Cranberry Relish

Classic cranberry relish, made from uncooked, fresh cranberries, oranges, apples and pineapple.

Cranberry Relish

When I was growing up, there was one cranberry sauce at our house over the holidays. The familiar, cylinder-shaped, super sweet, jellied cranberry sauce, decorated with ridges molded right from the can it slurped out of. It's one thing in common from our holiday tables past, that so many of us Southerners still connect to nostalgically, no matter where we grew up.

Mama always served it in slices, on an oblong, etched glass dish that was used exclusively for the cranberry sauce every holiday. Almost inevitably, we'd all settle down to the table together, say grace and be digging in, when I would look around the table and notice it missing. "Hey... where's the cranberry sauce?" For me, it just wasn't a holiday meal without that cranberry sauce. It was, and still is, as much a part of our holiday as family.


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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pickled Onions

Strips of onion, pickled in vinegar, sugar, hot sauce and pickling spices, an excellent addition to sandwiches, burgers, beans and greens.

Pickled Onions

I had several requests for the recipe I use for the pickled onions pictured with my turnip greens, so I promised to squeeze it in here over the weekend, between all the holiday posts for turkey and dressing and all those side dish goodies we're all looking forward to here in a few days.

The British have their pickled pearl onions, often served as an appetizer at local pubs, but the South, well, we have our own version of pickled onions. You'll most often find ours served family-style at catfish houses, right alongside the all-you-can-eat fried catfish, turnip greens, coleslaw, fried okra, and cornbread.


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Southern Style Turnip Greens with Salt Pork

Southern style turnip greens, stewed with salt pork, beef base, a bit of sugar and cider vinegar. Serve with cornbread and pickled onions and pass the hot pepper sauces at the table.

Southern Style Turnip Greens

Now that fresh, already cleaned and chopped greens are so readily available, I find that despite the fact that The Cajun doesn't like greens, I can still get fresh greens in my diet a little more often. Taking away the cleaning process really helps to speed things up, though you do pay a bit of a premium for the convenience, of course.



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Monday, November 12, 2012

Muffin Tin Spoon Rolls

A batter style yeast roll that requires no kneading and no rise time - great for everyday use.

Muffin Tin Spoon Rolls

Homemade yeast rolls are my favorite, but let's face it. They do take an investment of time. In order for the yeast to fully develop and provide that fluffy, light roll instead of a biscuit, you need that nice, long double rise... and that takes time. It's definitely worth it, but for that reason, most of us reserve a good homemade yeast roll only for special occasions and holidays, or we buy them frozen.


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Friday, November 9, 2012

Ground Beef Hobo Stew

Hobo Stew, made with ground beef, a mixture of vegetables, canned tomatoes and V-8.

Ground Beef Hobo Stew

Pantry friendly and adaptable, I just love this stew. In some variation and often depending on the type of meat you use, you may know this dish by the names of Campfire Stew, Girl Scout Camp Stew, Hobo Stew, Ground Beef Stew, Beggar Stew, Mulligan Stew, or V8 Stew - just to name a few. I just settled on calling it a Ground Beef Hobo Stew.

Historically, a basic Dutch oven style stew that dates back to the early 1900s, it was slow cooked over the coals of an open campfire, often in a can (remember that from Girl Scouts?), or made up in a large casserole style foil packet. It was a communal dish, often enhanced by the next contributor who showed up through the woods, with whatever he had. If you were a Girl Scout, you may well remember this camp-out routine, where we were each asked to each bring along a can of some kind of vegetable from home, which then got added to our own campfire stew. Oh the memories of those days! We'll just keep it easy and take it stovetop or crockpot here.


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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Southern Fried Potatoes

Southern fried potatoes, also known as Southern style hash brown potatoes, or, simply soft fried potatoes, are cubed peeled russets, that are first steamed and then pan fried like hash browns, tender inside, but with crispy outer edges.

Southern Fried Potatoes

I can hardly believe this is my first post for November and yet, here we are, nearly a week in already, and whoa, is Thanksgiving really knocking on the door already?

It's been a, well... let's just say... challenging week around the ole household.The Cajun and I both managed to pick up a bug - me first, right on Halloween afternoon - and one that pretty much knocked us out of commission for days, something that never happens to my husband. It appears that we're on the mend... finally, and these soft fried potatoes, a favorite around here, really hit the spot when you've been on an involuntary fast.


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Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Chex Mix

                           A great sweet Chex Mix treat for Halloween.

Halloween Chex Mix

Can you believe that it's the end of October already? And... guess what? We finally got some cool temperatures y'all. I was so happy I made chicken and dumplings on Sunday! Gonna be a chilly Halloween this year and speaking of that, I decided I needed to make up a batch of Halloween Chex mix. You know, for the grandkids.


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

A creamy version of chicken tortilla soup, made with cooked chicken and fajita seasonings. Served with a garnish of crispy tortilla strips, shredded cheese, sour cream and served here with a side of sour cream cornbread.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Here's the soup I promised to you on the recent post for the Sour Cream Cornbread. Oh. My. Goodness. Y'all really must try this - I insist!


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Monday, October 22, 2012

Buttermilk Sour Cream Cornbread

Cornbread made with buttermilk, sour cream and creamed corn.

Buttermilk Sour Cream Cornbread

The cornbread that most of our grandmothers made was fairly straight forward - not much more than cornmeal, a leavening of some kind, a little salt, and some kind of fat which might be lard, or bacon drippings or even the addition of an egg, but often not. Sometimes there would even be a touch of buttermilk, but not always. The majority of the time, I keep my cornbread pretty simple too, but every once in awhile I do like a change, usually depending on what I'm serving, and this sour cream cornbread has been a reliable recipe handed down for years.


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

A moist meatloaf made with lean ground beef, onion, bell pepper, garlic and a crushed saltine binder, cooked in the crockpot. Served here with everyday mashed potatoes and southern green beans.

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

I know that meatloaf sometimes gets a bad rap, mostly I would venture a guess that it's usually based on past experiences with a dry, tasteless glob of meat. On the other hand, I actually enjoy a good meatloaf myself and so does The Cajun, and I've discovered that using the slow cooker is a great way to get it on the table, when you've got a busy day.


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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Vinegar Coleslaw with Apple

A basic vinegar coleslaw made with the addition of sweet apples and a touch of jalapeno for heat.

Vinegar Coleslaw with Apple

For those who were asking, this is the coleslaw that was pictured with the most recent pulled pork recipe I posted. There are essentially two basic schools of taste on coleslaw - one creamy and usually mayonnaise based, and others, like this, more heavily vinegar based. Considering that it's apple season and apples are plentiful right now, I decided to add in some grated apple to make it a little more seasonal.


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Apple Enchiladas

Stewed apples, seasoned with brown sugar and apple pie spices, wrapped in flour tortillas and baked in a buttery sugar syrup.

Apple Enchiladas

Okay, okay.... even though the weather down here isn't completely cooperating with the Fall season, I broke down and did something sweet with apples finally - well, besides just slicing and eating them, that is. Apples are one of my favorite snacking fruits, so I've certainly been doing my share of that! Sure wish the prices would come down some more, but that might be wishful thinking in this economy I guess.


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Monday, October 8, 2012

Skillet Red Beans and Rice

A quick skillet version of red beans and rice, made with canned kidney beans, the Trinity of vegetables and cooked with instant rice.

Skillet Red Beans and Rice

It's Monday and in this part of the Deep South, red beans and rice are a traditional Monday meal, so yes, this is yet another way to consume those favorite Monday red beans!

Now, I'll be the first to say that these are not traditional. The best red beans and rice are gonna come from a soaked dried bean that is slow stewed for a couple of hours on top of the stove. Hands down, that is my preferred method, even above the shortcut red beans and the slow cooker red beans, both of which are actually delicious too. But, even working from home now, I get stretched for time too.


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Friday, October 5, 2012

Slow Cooker Coke Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Coke Pulled Pork, often called Three Ingredient Pulled Pork, because it's typically made with a pork roast, barbecue sauce and most often, either Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper or root beer. Pictured here with homemade fries and my Apple Coleslaw

Slow Cooker Coke Pulled Pork

I know, I know, it's supposed to be Fall, well... according to the calendar at least, that is. Although we got another nice blast of slightly cooler air again this week here in the Deep South, blink and we're right back into mid to upper-80 degree temps during the days and, well... it's still hurricane season for us anyway. It's pretty much still summer here, far as we're concerned. The nice parts of summer though, that we love so much here - beautiful blue, sunny skies and warm temperatures - but with that highly coveted lower humidity. Finally come out of the house without melting, nice to be outdoors weather!


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Monday, October 1, 2012

Southern Living Home Cooking Basics

Southern Living Home Cooking Basics: A complete illustrated guide to Southern cooking - good food made simple.

If you think this sounds yummy, I'd sure it if you'd click to pin it, tweet it, stumble it, or share it on Facebook to help spread the word - thanks!

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Congratulations to Susan C. who said...
"Wow, would love to have a copy of this to share with my 13 year old daughter. She has taken an interest in cooking and is eager to try a lot of different things. Including things I don't usually cook."

Susan, please drop an email to me at mary@deepsouthdish.com before midnight Monday, October 8, 2012, and provide me with your name and mailing address information so I can get this wonderful book out to you as soon as possible!

Thanks y'all for checking out my review and for participating in the giveaway. If anyone would like to purchase a copy for yourself, or as a gift, please look for Home Cooking Basics your local bookstores, or you may also purchase it from online sources, including right here at Amazon.

--------------

So much about blogging about our southern recipes is about memories associated with the great cooks who came before us, but let's face it. Not everybody had the privilege of standing on a step stool in their grandmother's kitchen. Some of us may even have had mothers who were full time career women with little time for home cooking, or who may not have even liked to cook. Enter Southern Living's brand new book, Home Cooking Basics: A complete illustrated guide to Southern cooking - good food made simple.

Touted as a Southern style Joy of Cooking, this illustrated Southern cooking bible, shows, step-by-step, how to make some of the greatest Southern dishes. It’s approachable, comprehensive, and thoroughly covers many cooking techniques, going beyond-the-basics, plus for the more seasoned cooks out there, it comes with more than 200 reliable Southern recipes, all thoroughly tested by Southern Living.



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Friday, September 28, 2012

Hot Cheesy BBQ Ranch Chicken Dip

Hot BBQ Chicken Dip, is a crowd pleasing combination of chicken in a cream cheese, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce base. Seasoned with dry Ranch dressing, a little extra onion and garlic powder, shredded cheese and finished with green onion and crumbled bacon. Perfect for tailgating - yum!

Hot Cheesy BBQ Ranch Chicken Dip

Thank goodness for football foods, because I'm stuck in the middle of the seasonal blues with cooking right now.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Everyday Creamy Mashed Potatoes

A less decadent, homemade mashed potato recipe, intended for basic, everyday use, any day. Pictured here with my Mississippi Roast and gravy.

Everyday Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Roasted, baked, twice-baked, butter steamed, in casseroles - no matter how you make them, we sure do love our potatoes in The South and most especially... we really love them mashed and creamy.


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Crabmeat and Cheese Po'boy and The Old Biloxi Vancleave Special

A Crabmeat and Cheese Po'boy, known locally as a Vancleave Special, is made with seasoned, thin crab patties, served on po'boy bread with mayonnaise, cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes and pickles. Add a cup of gumbo and a cold Barq's root beer in the bottle.

Crabmeat and Cheese Po'boy

It rained long yesterday, ahead of a cold front that will be bringing some welcomed lower humidity and temperatures for a day or three again. I love a good rainy day though, especially now that I work from home and don't have to make that 60-mile, round trip commute on a dangerous interstate highway. Honestly, with a legal career that was already stressful enough, the stress started well before I got there with that drive most days. It was a fine paying job, and I really enjoyed my work until Hurricane Katrina took it away, but honestly, there are so many things that I really don't miss about it anymore.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Classic Southern Tomato Pie

Tomato pie, using simple fresh ingredients - juicy tomatoes and fresh herbs, layered in a flaky pie crust, with sweet onion and cheese. Dress the top with the traditional mayonnaise and cheese mixture, and you've got a classic southern tomato pie.

Classic Southern Tomato Pie

Yes! It really is still summer, I swear. If you don't believe me, c'mon down to the Deep South, and I'll show you what heat and humidity are like in September along the Gulf Coast. We were at the Biloxi Seafood Festival this Saturday with the grandkids, and it was as hot as it has been all summer, though we did have a nice cold front pass through Sunday. Temps have been down in the mid-80s with low humidity for a few days and it has been just gorgeous. Only those of us who live our lives in the South understand that is considered "nice and cool."


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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Southern Living Classic Southern Desserts

Southern Living Classic Southern Desserts: All-time Favorite Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Pudding, Cobblers, Ice Cream & More

The winner of the cookbook is...

Linda Wildenstein, who said... "I would love to be entered in this wonderful giveaway. The Grands love them some dessert....so keeping my fingers crossed. Oma Linda"

Congratulations Linda!! Email me at mary@deepsouthdish.com with your mailing address before 12:00 noon CST on Wednesday, Sept. 12th, 2012 to claim your cookbook!
Thanks for entering everybody! Be sure to visit regularly or subscribe by email to be notified about all future drawings for more great cookbooks. In the meantime, if you'd like to purchase Southern Living Classic Southern Desserts cookbook online, click right here to buy it at Amazon!
Please click to pin it, tweet it, stumble it, or share it on Facebook to help spread the word - thanks!

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As hot as it was this summer, and as much as people had sworn off their stoves, much less their ovens, I noticed across the interwebs that there was one outstanding exception. Desserts.

Share a supper recipe on Facebook in the midst of the summer heat, even one that required only a quick pass in the oven and people moaned about the thought of turning on an oven, but share a delectable dessert that had to bake an hour and it's Facebook Shares Go Wild!

Southerners overwhelmingly love their desserts, no matter the temperature outside, and we're clearly willing to turn on our ovens on a hot summer day to satisfy that sweet tooth. Was this you? Well, Southern Living has just the cookbook for you!


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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fruit Cocktail Salad

A classic favorite for years, this fruit salad is made with fresh apples, lite fruit cocktail, mandarin oranges, pineapple tidbits, and dressed with the fruit juices blended with instant vanilla or lemon pudding.

Fruit Cocktail Salad

Hey y'all... it's been awhile! Did ya miss me?? Well, in case you were wondering... you see, there was this pesky little hurricane named Isaac that interrupted our lives all of last week. After he barely by-passed the west coast of Florida, he was headed right to the Mississippi Gulf Coast - my backyard!

There were days of prep, checking supplies, filling gas cans for the generator that would keep our freezer and fridge going, bolting down the hurricane shutters, stuffing the garage and storage sheds with all those nice things like chairs, tables and grills that you want to make sure are still around afterward, and all the fun stuff that goes with preparing for a hurricane.


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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cheesy Loaded Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

A cheesy potato casserole, made with potatoes that are baked twice, and including all my favorite loaded baked potato ingredients - bacon, butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese and green onion - all in a simple casserole form.

Cheesy Loaded Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

Y'all pretty much know by now how I feel about potatoes. Being married to a meat and potatoes man, they are certainly a pantry staple in this house, making a regular appearance on the supper plate in some form. Truth is, being a lover of carbs, I love them too, and pretty much any way you can make them - including casseroles like this, that center around potatoes.

Recipes very similar to this casserole can be found everywhere, but mostly they come in a mashed potato form. When I set out to make my version though, I had some specifics in mind that I wanted it to have.


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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Green Tomato Casserole

Green tomatoes, seasoned with a pinch of sugar, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and lemon pepper, topped with onion, cheese, crushed Ritz crackers and butter and baked.

Green Tomato Casserole

It's still Hotter than Hot down here in the Deep South, but if you love green tomatoes and you're willing to crank down the air conditioner and use your oven, this casserole is very much worth it.

I know it's getting late in the green tomato season for some of us, but finding a green tomato in a grocery store around here anytime is a rarity really. Grocery stores buy the bulk of their produce en masse from all over the country, rather than promoting much locally. It's sad but true. You can find green tomatoes early in the season at some places, like Jerry Lee's over in Gautier. How can you not love a grocery store named Jerry Lee's, I mean c'mon?


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Garden Fresh Salsa

Garden Fresh Salsa, made with juicy tomatoes, sweet Vidalia onions, crisp sweet garden bell peppers, spicy fresh jalapeno, sweet corn on the cob and fragrant garden cilantro.

Garden Fresh Salsa

Here it is running up on mid-August already and I realize that I've got quite a few summer posts like this one to catch up on! So don't go fussin' at me for posting a series of non-traditional recipes that may not necessarily fit into the "Southern" recipe box. Besides our southern favorites and classic southern recipes, like everybody else, we also enjoy a wide variety of other foods too, like this.


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Monday, August 13, 2012

Pitcher Perfect Sweet Tea

Simple syrup sweetened iced tea - refreshing!

Pitcher Perfect Sweet Tea

Summers in the South mean high tea consumption and during this ever present heat wave these past few months, I've been going through ice as fast as kudzu growing on a hillside.


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Friday, August 10, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp and Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

Fried green tomatoes, topped with shrimp in a fresh tomato basil cream sauce.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp and Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

Recently, I was watching a feature on our local TV channel, where Lookout Steakhouse, a Gulfport restaurant, was featured. They showed an appetizer dish from their menu, of fried green tomatoes with shrimp, in a tomato basil cream sauce. Well, it looked so good, I knew I had to make my own version of it. I don't know if this is anything like what they have on their menu, but it sure is mighty good and makes a fantastic main dish too.


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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Baked Vidalia Onions

Sweet Vidalia onions, stuffed with garlic and butter and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, wrapped in bacon and placed in individual packets to be cooked on the grill or oven.

Baked Vidalia Onions

If you're a lover of Vidalia onions like I am, isn't that just a thing of beauty? I mean really! How I love these sweet Vidalia onions in the summer, and I cry, quite literally, when they are gone until the next season rolls around and I have to use those stronger yellow onions. Sometimes I have to step outside just to clear my eyes, but that never happens with my sweet Vidalias.


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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Old Fashioned Southern Tea Cakes

Old fashioned, authentic southern tea cakes are basic, simple sugar cookies in their list of ingredients - butter, sugar, flour and eggs - but they speak so much more to our history, heritage and memories.

Old Fashioned Southern Tea Cakes

Food and memories are so intertwined in southern cooking that just the mention of things like fried pies, drinking custard, picking blackberries for cobbler and preserves, or biscuit bread, can bring back a flood of memories associated with loved ones long past. If there is one single food that invokes that excitement for Southerners though, it surely must be a Southern Tea Cake.


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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes II

Fried green tomatoes dipped in milk, then dredged in a combination of flour, cornmeal and crumbled saltine crackers, then pan fried.

Fried Green Tomatoes II

I was looking for a sturdier coating for my fried green tomatoes to use with another recipe that I was working on, so I played around with the way I've been making them for years, and finally settled on this new combination. These green tomatoes turned out fantastic topped with the shrimp with fresh tomato and basil cream sauce I made.

The original coating is a basic blend of cornmeal and all purpose flour, that frankly the perfectionist in me has vacillated between adding to, subtracting from, and changing around anyway over the years. There is only a small window of time to experiment with fried green tomatoes and a gal can only consume so many, after all!


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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blackberry Preserves

Preserves, made from fresh, ripe blackberries, sugar and lemon.

Blackberry Preserves

Pick your own blackberries have pretty much played out down here in South Mississippi, though you may have a little more luck if you live in the northern part of our state. Of course, you'll still find California berries in the markets everywhere on through early fall, and probably even some from Central or South America too. Local, or as local as you can get, are always going to be the best.


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