Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spicy Tuna Melt

A classic, open-faced tuna melt sandwich of tuna, celery, sweet onion and tarragon and dressed with mayonnaise, gets a spicy kick from Cajun seasoning, hot sauce and jalapeno and is served on a toasted English muffin, topped with fresh, sliced tomato and melted cheese.

Spicy Tuna Melt

Okay, so yes. It's a simple open-faced tuna melt sandwich. But a reader recently asked me for my recipe, which of course gave me a craving for one, so I made them and I'm sharing it with y'all, because that is what a blogger of food does. Besides. It's too darned hot to cook much, or at least often, and when is the last time you had one yourself? I think it's time!

To make a melt, you could certainly use whatever type of tuna salad you usually make for the standard sandwich, and mine is fairly close to that, with the exception of a few different seasonings and the absence of eggs. I don't serve the tuna hot, though you can certainly warm it if you like. I just assemble them and pass them under the broiler, only long enough to melt the cheese on top. Since that's all the oven time you need for these, pair one of two of them up with a nice cucumber salad, or a simple green salad, maybe some fresh seasonal fruit and iced tea, and you've got a nice, light supper for these busy, hot weather days.


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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Southern Slaw Dogs with Slawsa

Slawsa Original - the gourmet topping... for everything! Perfect for those southern slaw dogs y'all!
I recently had the chance to give a condiment product called Slawsa Original a try & let me tell y'all, it is really some kind of good! If you enjoy a good ole southern slaw dog, I think you will really LOVE your hotdogs with Slawsa.

It's kinda hard to describe really, because while it's a little like Chow Chow, it's also not like Chow Chow at all, though I think it'd be perfect for beans too. A crunchy cabbage based condiment, also containing mustard, green bell pepper, onion and carrots, it's essentially a cross somewhere between a vinegar coleslaw and salsa, and it has a nice healthy kick to it too. Great for hot dogs and hamburgers, I could easily see serving it as a condiment for grilled meats, fish and chicken as well.


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Friday, May 25, 2012

Apple Julep Sangria

Apple Julep, a refreshing drink made with apple juice, pineapple, orange and lemon juice, is bumped up to a sangria with the addition of white wine and rum for a refreshing adult drink.

Apple Julep Sangria

If you've ever been to the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant in the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge area of Tennessee, chances are you've had their signature Applewood Julep. The restaurant, a renovated farmhouse, serves good ole country cooking and is so homey that it even has a great sittin' porch - if you're so inclined. It's been awhile since I was up that way, but isn't that area of the country just beautiful?


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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chocolate "Frosty" Ice Cream

A quick and easy ice cream using chocolate milk, or Yoo-hoo chocolate drink, with sweetened condensed milk, chocolate syrup, and a small tub of Cool Whip. It tastes remarkably similar to those Wendy's Frosty milk shakes we all love.

Chocolate "Frosty" Ice Cream

I'm gonna tell you a secret. Like with iced tea, we Deep South Southerners never really stop eating ice cream. Even north Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama get a little bit of a winter most years, but except for a very few, and very temporary, winter cold flashes - that frankly exit just about as quickly as they showed up - the climate down here along the Gulf Coast is such that all of those frosty treats are pretty much a year round thing.

As far as homemade ice cream goes, I am, of course, like most everybody else, a huge fan of custard ice creams - I mean y'all know how I feel about custard anything right? But custard ice creams do take a little bit of advance planning, and with the newer freezer bucket types of ice cream makers, we can now get a decent ice cream going in no time, without fooling with all the ice and salt. Those makers cry out for the easy versions of ice cream using sweetened condensed milk, like this one.

Many of you are familiar with this ice cream in some variation already, but I thought it'd be a good time to bring it out with the upcoming holiday weekend. It's just a few ingredients, it's quick, easy and fun, and I like to call it "Frosty" ice cream because it really does taste like a homemade version of a Wendy's Frosty. The most wonderful thing about this recipe, is that once you process it in your ice cream freezer, you can either pour it right into a cup, stick in a spoon and a straw, and treat it just like one of those Frosty milkshakes we all love...


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Monday, May 21, 2012

Mandarin Orange Fruit Salad

A simple and classic fruit salad made with mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks, marshmallows, sweetened coconut, maraschino cherries and dressed with sour cream.

Mandarin Orange Fruit Salad

This fruit salad has been around a very long time and is another one of those recipes that falls back to my old Bell's Best cookbooks. Those books and that trusty red Betty Crocker binder is literally where many of us southern gals, and often our mothers, picked up a lot of the familiar recipes you see on your favorite southern sites and food blogs today. They were certainly key cookbooks in my learning experience as a young bride in the 70s.

It's very similar to the Old Fashioned 5 Cup Salad, and, in fact, if you're a fan of the movie The Help, set in the early 1960s, this is the very salad that Sissy Spacek, aka Mrs. Walters, ate while she watched The Guiding Light during the bridge parties - though in the movie she calls this recipe ambrosia, as do some of you. So funny the part where Skeeter walks through the room, and with her bubbly personality and big ole smile says "Hi Mrs. Walters!" who promptly responds by pointing to the television with her fork and saying only "I'm watching my story." Reminds me so much of my Mama and my Nanny Rosalie. You simply did not interrupt them during their "stories," or if you did, the house, or your hair, better be on fire. Seriously!


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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fresh Peach Sweet Iced Tea

Sweet southern iced tea enhanced with a puree of fresh peaches and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Fresh Peach Sweet Iced Tea

It's gettin' to be southern peach time and we've got the early Georgia peaches already showing up in our markets down here in south Mississippi. The first batch I picked up were nice and ripe and supremely juicy, so I thought it'd be a good time to use some for peach tea.


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Monday, May 14, 2012

Pork and Sausage Jambalaya

This nicely seasoned jambalaya, a rice-based dish similar to a low country purlow, starts with the classic trinity of vegetables, contains bacon, spicy andouille smoked sausage, and cubes of pork loin, and is baked to a fluffy perfection.

Pork and Sausage Jambalaya

We enjoy jambalaya year round down here along the coast because it's a perfect party dish and take-along for picnics, reunions and those potluck gatherings that still remain popular in the south. Sort of a deep south take on purlow or even a paella, jambalaya is a rice central dish, but from there it can meet with a wide range of ingredients – usually some kind of pork, shrimp or chicken, and often accented with andouille, a spicy smoked Cajun sausage.


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cherry Limeade

Cherry limeade, made with lemon-lime soda, cherry syrup, a splash of maraschino cherry juice, and fresh squeezed lime juice, is a refreshing and delicious summer drink.

Cherry Limeade

After that nice little cool spell we had, it sure has warmed up here in a hurry on the Coast. And with all that rain, it's left behind a lot of humidity. Already. Perfect weather for one or three of these. The homemade sno-cone syrup I shared recently is what I use to make these, and while I am not even going to try and say that this is a copycat of the beloved Sonic cherry limeade, personally, I like mine better. You can, of course, use any commercial syrup and I've left a few suggestions in the recipe.


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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Southern Style Lady Cream Peas

Lady cream peas, seasoned with smoked meat, onion, garlic and fresh herbs, served with a side of cornbread and pictured here, with broiled chicken.

Southern Style Lady Cream Peas

Even though white beans and red beans and rice are common weekly features here in the Deep South, I love beans of all kinds, and all I need is a good rainy day like we had yesterday to have an excuse to make some, no matter the temperature outside. Most often served as a side dish to other foods, southern peas are another love of mine, and I absolutely adore Lady Cream Peas for their buttery flavor and super creamy texture.

Known as field peas, cowpeas, and simply southern peas - though calling them peas is a bit of a misnomer, since they are all actually beans - they are identifiable by their small size and by the seed-eye you'll find on them, that tiny little familiar spot most of us immediately recognize from black-eyed peas the most.


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