Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Soft and chewy oatmeal cookies with coconut and pecans.

Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

I'm not much of a baker. Never have been, and that's perfectly okay because there are plenty of bakeries around town that have very talented people making gorgeous and tasty creations that I can't, and frankly worth every penny spent. Just like any other gal, I do enjoy desserts occasionally though, and of them all, freshly baked cookies are right at the top of the list.


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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Stuffed Pork Chops

Thick cut, bone-in, pork loin chops, filled with a simple cornbread and mushroom stuffing and baked.
Thick cut, bone-in, pork loin chops, filled with a simple cornbread and mushroom stuffing and baked. Shown here with sour cream sauce, succotash and a side salad.

Stuffed Pork Chops

I rarely buy thick-cut pork chops, but it's really an absolute when you want to stuff them. Chops already are fast cooking, but when you create a split pocket in them it's essentially like creating two thinner cut chops with goodness stuffed in the middle!

Although there are a multitude of stuffing mixtures that can be used, I chose to make a simple trinity enhanced, cornbread based stuffing using some leftover cornbread and mushrooms I had on hand. Whether you choose to brine your pork chops or not is a personal decision, though it does provide a little bit of insurance against overcooking, should you not have an internal thermometer.


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Sunday, October 4, 2020

Instant Pot Honey Glazed Carrots

Fresh carrots, steamed in the Instant Pot, then tossed with a honey based butter glaze.
Fresh coin cut carrots, steamed in the Instant Pot, then tossed with a honey based butter glaze.

Instant Pot Honey Glazed Carrots

I tell y'all what. I am sure enjoying my Instant Pots {affil link} and I've used them an awful lot. To be fair, I have also enjoyed the other brands of electronic pressure cookers that were born before the IP brand was all the rage, all of which I still have, but what I'm saying is that you just cannot beat the ease of preparation and time savings with this appliance.


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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Smoked Sausage and White Bean Chowder

A quick and easy small batch chowder, made with the trinity, smoked sausage, beef stock, stewed tomatoes, potatoes and white beans.
A quick and easy, small batch chowder, made with the trinity, smoked sausage, beef stock, stewed tomatoes, potatoes and white beans.

Smoked Sausage and White Bean Chowder

I sure love a good soup and even better when it's one of those quick and easy versions, but one that still tastes great!

Soup is pretty easy to make, no doubt about that, and you don't really even need a recipe. In fact, some of the best soups come out of refrigerator or freezer leftovers thrown together! Trouble is though, trying to recreate the same flavor the next time. While they are all usually still good, it's hit and miss on capturing the same taste you got before. That's where soup recipes come in handy.


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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Apple Cider Boneless Pork Chops

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Center cut, boneless, pork chops, lightly seasoned, pan seared or grilled, and finished with an apple cider, brown sugar and mustard glaze.
Center cut, boneless, pork chops, lightly seasoned, pan seared or grilled, and finished with an apple cider, brown sugar and mustard glaze.

Apple Cider Boneless Pork Chops

Pork chops are so lean today and fast cooking, which makes them a great weekday meal that doesn't require a lot of work. Because pork is so lean though, it can be bland. This finishing glaze fixes that and makes for a tasty, fast and easy dinner. The only thing to remember is that they cook very quickly and to take care not to cook them to death!


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Sunday, September 6, 2020

Smoked Chicken with Alabama White Sauce

Chicken thighs and legs, rub marinated, then smoke cooked, brushed with Alabama white sauce and served with additional sauce on the side. May also be grilled or baked.
Bone-in chicken thighs and legs, rub marinated, then grilled over indirect heat or smoke cooked, brushed with Alabama white sauce and served with additional sauce on the side.

Smoked Chicken with Alabama White Sauce

I have to admit, I don't cook outside as much these days. The heat is just too hard on me as I've gotten older, and it gets hot as a match in the summertime here! I mean, I was filling bird feeders yesterday and just in that short time I thought I was gonna die!

Though I haven't let go of my stack smoker, Weber, Lodge Sportsman, or my gas grill, of all of the cookout tools I have, I still love my Traeger pellet cooker {affil link} the most.


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Thursday, September 3, 2020

Classic French Onion Dip

A classic homemade version of French onion dip, with a twist on the original!
A classic homemade version of French onion dip, with a twist on the original!

Classic French Onion Dip

I love onions! I use them for seasonings in most cooking, though my preference is and always has been sweet over the harsher yellow onions, and certainly Vidalia onions, when they are in season. I'll even eat those raw on burger and dogs or with beans.

I have a couple of favorite onion dips using Vidalias that are marvelous! One is made with onions and pepper jack cheese, topped with buttery crackers and bacon, and served hot. The other is a cold dip, but made with caramelized onions. This classic onion dip that most everybody knows, and loves, is actually pretty simple in its origins. An envelope of dry onion soup mix combined with a large carton of sour cream, done and done. And, it's pretty darn delicious in and of itself!


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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Old-Fashioned Tomato and Saltine Cracker Salad

A salad of fresh, garden tomatoes and sweet, summer Vidalia onions, mixed with a salt and pepper mayonnaise dressing and finished with broken saltine crackers, right before serving. It's reminiscent in flavor, of a tomato sandwich!
A salad of fresh, garden tomatoes and sweet, summer Vidalia onions, mixed with a salt and pepper mayonnaise dressing and finished with broken saltine crackers, right before serving. It's reminiscent in flavor, of a tomato sandwich!

Old-Fashioned Tomato and Saltine Cracker Salad

Okay, okay... I know that if you've never heard of this before, you're thinking that just doesn't sound right! I get it.

Crackers? Mixed with tomatoes and mayonnaise? It does sound a little odd, and I know, you're thinking mushy, soggy, wet crackers right? Truth is, it's a salad that has been around, at least in the south, for a long time, and, it's actually very, very good.


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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Skillet Squash

Sliced squash and chopped onions, caramelized in a skillet with bacon drippings and finished simply with salt, pepper and a pat of butter.
Sliced squash and chopped onions, caramelized in a skillet with bacon drippings and finished simply with salt, pepper and a pat of butter.

Skillet Squash

You don't really have to wait for summer to prepare summer squash because it's pretty much available year round these days. Still, it's one of my favorite, abundant and inexpensive, summer veggies, whether it's in a casserole, a dressing, in a gratin, or creamed. Heck, I even slice it up and snack on it raw!


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Sunday, August 16, 2020

Small Batch Blackberry Ice Cream

A small batch churned version of ice cream, made with a fresh blackberry puree.
A small batch churned version of ice cream, made with a fresh blackberry puree.

Small Batch Blackberry Ice Cream

Let's just start off by saying that it took a few experiments to get to this version of blackberry ice cream. I made three batches, so it's a good thing that I have a blackberry vine that puts out quite a lot of berries every season!

Since no churn ice cream seems to be all the rage here lately, I thought I'd give it a try. I started with the standard base of whipped heavy cream with sweetened condensed milk, but thought I'd add some cream cheese and swirl in the blackberry puree instead of blending it in.


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Monday, August 10, 2020

Small Batch Shrimp Boil

A flavorfully seasoned boil mix to use for a smaller batch of 1 to 2 pounds of jumbo shrimp, with sausage, potatoes and corn.
A flavorfully seasoned boil mix to use for a smaller batch of 1 to 2 pounds of jumbo shrimp, with sausage, potatoes and corn.

Small Batch Shrimp Boil

Most shrimp boils around here are done on a back porch, in a propane boiler set up {affil link}, and on a huge scale with often at least 20 pounds of shrimp (or more), and sometimes crabs or crawfish too. Hopefully out of that, we can sneak away a pound or two of peeled shrimp for those dishes we all love that call for already cooked shrimp.

Although I've certainly pan sautéed plenty and grown quite fond of using roasted shrimp when I just need to season a pound or two of shrimp, every once in awhile, I also want those highly seasoned potatoes, corn and sausage that come along with it. Enter the small batch version of my shrimp boil!


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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Peach Butter

Fresh peaches, softened, pureed and stewed for a fruit spread that is summer in a jar.
Fresh peaches, softened, pureed and stewed for a fruit spread that is summer in a jar.

Peach Butter

When it comes to preserved fruit, I am generally much more of a jam or preserve gal, because while butters are usually pureed and have a smooth texture, I rather enjoy the presence of some chunks of fruit, so I guess it's a texture thing for me.

My Mama never canned, well anything, not that I can recall at least, so I never knew much about the subject and had little interest. Since starting a blog about food however, I've certainly seen a lot and as "butters" go, apple butters are featured all over the place with bloggers in the fall.


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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Cowboy Candy - Candied Pickled Jalapenos

Sliced fresh jalapenos, lightly blanched, then stacked in a quart jar with sliced garlic and brined in an apple cider vinegar and sugar brine.
Sliced fresh jalapenos, lightly blanched, then stacked in a quart jar with sliced garlic and brined in an apple cider vinegar and sugar brine.

Cowboy Candy - Candied Pickled Jalapenos

I used to grow lots of vegetables, including sweet and hot peppers, but haven't grown any in quite a bit. Haven't really grown much of anything other than tomatoes, and maybe a few herbs here the past few years. Just can't take the heat enough to keep the garden in good shape. But, peppers are in abundance and pretty cheap during the summer months, so you don't have to be a gardener to grab a bunch!

This is a variation of a Bell's Best cookbook recipe from the 70s that uses both sweet and hot peppers, but primarily sweet peppers. I decided to make it using only jalapenos. It's often referred to as Cowboy Candy across the net, but it's simply a pickled jalapeno that's a little bit heavier on the sugar, and somewhere along the line of those candied Fire 'n Ice pickles, we all love so much.


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Sunday, July 19, 2020

Classic Fresh Purple Hull Peas

A basic recipe for fresh purple hull peas, simply seasoned with bacon, onion, garlic and salt and pepper.
A classic recipe for southern peas, in this case, fresh purple hulls, simply seasoned with bacon, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, perfect as a side dish or as a feature on a vegetable plate. Pictured here with my whiskey glazed baked ham, Dr. Weil's steamed broccoli and the cornbread from my cookbook {affil link}, made with stone ground cornmeal from the Smoky Mountains.

Fresh Purple Hull Peas

If I had to pick one of my favorite southern peas, it'd have to be purple hulls. I just love them, and they are super easy to grow and easy to find, even if you don't grow your own.

Purple hull peas get their name from the color of the hull, and it used to be that if you ever shelled any from the pod, your purple stained fingers would be a dead giveaway. It might be that most shelling takes place in an air conditioned home these days, rather than in a rocker on the front porch in the heat and humidity, but I've shelled several pounds at a time and didn't have issue with those colorful fingers.


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Friday, July 10, 2020

Bacon and Tomato Macaroni Salad

A great summer salad made with garden fresh tomatoes, veggies and bacon, tossed in a flavorful mayonnaise dressing and macaroni.
A great summer salad made with garden fresh tomatoes, veggies and bacon, tossed in a flavorful mayonnaise dressing and macaroni.

Bacon and Tomato Macaroni Salad

This year, I only planted tomatoes, and although there are a few stragglers out there, they've all just about played out. I've had a few small baskets of them going at any given time this summer though, and I sure have been enjoying them, in every form possible! This macaroni salad is among the definite summer favorites of mine and one that's been sharing space in my fridge throughout this heat wave.


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