Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Review - The Southerner's Cookbook from Garden & Gun

From David DiBenedetto and the editors of Garden & Gun magazine, comes their heirloom quality, newly released, first cookbook, The Southerner's Cookbook, Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories, already joining the ranks on the best seller list.



Now that we've finished up Thanksgiving and opened the door on Christmas shopping, I want to tell you about a fantastic book gift that celebrates the best of Southern culture, in recipes, traditions, tales and techniques.

On the heels of the widely successful and New York Times Best Selling Garden & Gun Book of Southern Know-How, The Southerner's Handbook and Good Dog: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Loyalty, comes Garden & Gun's newly released, first cookbook, The Southerner's Cookbook, Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories, already joining the ranks on the best seller list.


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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Classic Oven Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy

My classic oven roasted turkey begins with a brine, then is left uncovered in the fridge overnight, is trussed, then stuffed with aromatics, and basted with a turkey or chicken stock or broth that is infused with apple cider throughout the roast.

Classic Oven Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy

It took me a few years to get the Cooking of the Holiday Turkey down, but this method has worked out so well over the years that it is how I have finally settled on doing my holiday birds. I would love to show you step by step pics, and the finished slices, but they are currently being held hostage by my iMac, thanks to me stupidly doing an OS update, that I should have waited on. I promise I'll come back and update with pictures if I can recover them.


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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Cream Sauce

Green Bean Casserole made with a homemade, butter roux based cream sauce, enhanced with bacon, fresh vegetables and mushrooms.

Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Cream Sauce

Let me first clarify here before anything else, that I have no opposition to cream soups. None. Nada. I have them in my pantry and I use them all the time - always have, always will.

And, like bacon, sausage, deli meats, bologna, hot dogs, red meat, grilled and otherwise, and all those other things somebody else is always trying to tell us that we shouldn't be eating, I love the cream soups! They are convenient and tasty and Southerners have been using them as a shortcut cream sauce in recipes since they were created, somewhere around the early 1930s. I suspect we always will. There's a reason our southern béchamel has been around for this long y'all!


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Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

A casserole made with fresh broccoli and cauliflower, in a simple butter roux-based white sauce made with The Trinity, a little cheese in the base, and topped off with those buttery crackers we all love so much... and a little more cheese.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

I believe that there are far more people who love broccoli and cauliflower than who don't, although those who don't are certainly more vocal about their dislike of one, or the other, or both. Okay by me, because they don't know what they're missing if you ask me, and that means more for those of us who love them.


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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Slow Braised Country Style Ribs

Boneless country style ribs are browned and cooked down with a mirepoix of onion, carrot and celery and slow braised in a vinegar, stock and mustard cream sauce. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or cheesy grits.

Slow Braised Country Style Ribs

A lot of us prepare country style ribs by cooking them in the oven, or on a smoker or a grill with some kind of sauce, typically barbecue sauce, and I love them that way too, of course... but I'm here to tell you if you have never slow braised them like this, you must!


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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Spaghetti Lover's Soup

Spaghetti Lover's Soup is easily made either from scratch, or using leftover meat sauce and spaghetti noodles or store-bought pasta sauce. Starting with The Trinity of southern cooking and adding carrots, provides intense flavor to this broth and tomato based soup. Spoon over pasta, sprinkle with a bit of parsley, torn fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan for a nice finish. Pair it with some garlic bread or slices of a crusty, whole grain bread.

Spaghetti Lover's Soup

Do you find it hard to find balance in your life anymore? Seems that there are so many demands on moms and dads and even grandparents these days, that it's hard to get everything done that needs to be done. Children and chores - just those two topics encompass so much on their own... I honestly do not know how all of y'all do it with more than one child. I have a lot of respect for you, that's for sure, and that includes my son and daughter-in-law. Their lives literally exhaust me.

Besides raising good citizens for starters, there's all the events, programs, parties, activities, athletics, cheer, ballet and dance that come with children. Then there's the mounds of constant laundry and dishes (dishes, dishes and more dishes if you're a food blogger too), housework, dusting, polishing, cleaning, decluttering, meal planning, grocery store trips, finding time to cook at home (instead of drive-through eating)... nevermind all the organizing and paperwork we all have to keep up with in our lives now - insurance matters, legal stuff, taxes, medical appointments and health needs, home upkeep and repair, and lord knows what else I'm missing.


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