Thursday, January 29, 2009

Seafood Appetizer Bread with Crab and Shrimp

French bread, topped with a creamy white sauce with Parmesan and Swiss cheeses and tossed with shrimp and crab, baked and then finished with a sprinkle of pepper jack cheese.

Seafood Appetizer Bread with Crab and Shrimp

This is just a bit of a different take on my Beefy Pizza Bread by bringing in some seafood elements with the use of crab and shrimp. Now if you have access to fresh shrimp and crab, absolutely use those, but I wrote the recipe with canned seafood to make it more accessible to everybody. I decided this one needed a creamy base to it though, so the sauce is much different from the pizza bread. This would be an unexpected and delicious surprise for any party menu, so include it on your menu and watch it disappear! If you were a fan of the crab bread at the now gone Catch of the Day restaurant, I think I've come pretty close with my version. Be sure to check that out too!

Beefy Pizza Bread

French bread, topped with a mixture of ground beef, onion, bell pepper, Parmesan cheese & pizza sauce, and topped with mozzarella cheese for gooey goodness!

Beefy Pizza Bread

Another great party food! Arrange slices on a platter and watch 'em fly off at your next football party or other gathering. Look at all that gooey deliciousness on that platter. French bread, topped with a mixture of ground beef, onion and green bell pepper, that has Parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings, and pizza sauce stirred in to it. Bake it, top it with slices of Mozzarella, return it to the oven just long enough to melt, then slice and serve.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Roast Pork with Spicy Sweet Onion Pan Sauce

A garlic studded pork roast recipe, with a butter based mustard rub, caramelized onions, and a basting sauce made from mango jam with hot pepper jelly.

Roast Pork with Spicy Sweet Onion Pan Sauce

I just love a good pork roast, and this one truly fits. Moist and full of flavor, this has been one of my most favorite ways to cook a pork roast for years, and I just happened to have a pork loin in the freezer.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bacon and Egg Pasta - Southernized Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Bacon and Egg Pasta - Southernized Spaghetti alla Carbonara. A simple combination of bacon, country ham or andouille sausage and pasta with cheese, this is a wonderful main dish meal, or even a late night snack!
Bacon and Egg Pasta - Southernized Spaghetti alla Carbonara. A simple combination of bacon, country ham or andouille sausage and pasta with cheese, this is a wonderful main dish meal, or even a late night snack!

Bacon and Egg Pasta

Although we have southernized this by suggesting the use of country ham, bacon or andouille sausage in place of the traditional pancetta, yes, I understand that this is not a "southern" dish. Nonetheless, I absolutely love it and prepare it on occasion for that very reason. This is just enough for two pretty hungry adults, though to be honest, I can pretty much finish it off all by myself, if not in one sitting, at least over the course of a couple of days. Hey, don't judge. The Cajun isn't huge on pasta dishes, well... unless they are covered in meat sauce, so usually this is reserved for just me around my house.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mixed Bean Soup

A full flavored soup made with mixed beans, ham, the trinity and dried herbs.

Mixed Bean Soup

I had a couple of 1-pound packages of mixed bean soup mix in my pantry that I'd gotten from a food box, and to be honest, I had never been much fond of these mixes. Just too many different beans going on for me and I'm never quite sure what to do with them, or even how to season them.

Parmesan Garlic Toast

A garlic bread butter blend with Parmesan cheese.
A garlic bread butter blend with Parmesan cheese.

Parmesan Garlic Toast

This is based on a garlic bread butter blend that I've been using for years, with the addition of Parmesan cheese. The blend is fantastic all on its own, but the Parmesan just gives it a little extra zip.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Orleans Style Muffuletta

A classic New Orleans Italian sandwich with layers of meat and cheese buried in a thick, dense bread and dressed with olive salad loaded, with olive oil.

New Orleans Style Muffuletta

If you don't like a lot of cold cuts, olives, or olive oil, but especially if you don't like olives, you'll want to skip this post, because the olive salad is the real star of the New Orleans Muffuletta. By the way - there are many ways to say muffuletta - even around here there are predominately two, "muff-uh-LEHT-tuh" or "moof-fuh-LEHT-tuh."

Crispy Southern Fried Hot Wings with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Chicken wings, marinated in a highly seasoned dry rub marinade, dredged in a seasoned egg wash and deep fried for crispy, crunchy, spicy goodness.

Crispy Southern Fried Hot Wings

Adding to the repertoire of Sticky, Sweet & Spicy Wings, Gooey BBQ Wings, and Hot Buffalo Style Wings, we now have Crispy Southern Fried Hot Wings to add to your party fare! If you don't have a deep fryer, you need one if only for these deep fried wings - though you'll use it for many more things. These fried wings are crunchy and crispy and have a nice spicy kick but believe it or not, despite all the peppers, not over-powering. I think that you will love these!

Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce

A blend of mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, chili sauce and Cajun seasoning, to use as a dipper, a spread on sandwiches such as my fabulous roast beef sliders, or as a wing dipper.

Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce

I developed this sauce specifically to serve with my Roast Beef Sliders, made from a 3 Envelope and Picante Slow Cooker Pot Roast, but it is equally as delicious on a fried egg BLT sandwich, a turkey club, classic patty melts, or really any sandwich made with deli meats. It really makes that sandwich pop y'all! It's also great as a dipping sauce for hot wings. Not overly hot, but you can certainly bump up the heat to your own taste.

Here's how to make it.

Chorizo Sausage Gravy

Chorizo sausage gravy is a change of pace from the usual. Doesn't that just look yummy?

I make my sausage gravy with Jimmy Dean bulk sausage - the kind that comes in the chubby roll. It's the best bulk sausage in the South, in my little ole humble Southern opinion. That pretty orangish-red color in that picture up there is a result of the Mexican chorizo I used this time. You won't have that color with the regular Jimmy Dean sausage.

Today, however, I had some Mexican chorizo sausages in the freezer, so thought I would use those instead. Now I really love my Jimmy Dean, but I gotta say, with some hot from the oven biscuits, whether homemade, from a mix, or even from the freezer (yes! biscuits freeze wonderfully!), this shore 'nuf was delicious!

Baking Mix Yeast Biscuits

A modern throw back to Bride's Biscuits, sometimes called Angel Biscuits, using baking mix, buttermilk and yeast.

Baking Mix Yeast Biscuits

Now, we Southerners love yeast breads, no doubt, but biscuits ... light, fluffy, lovely biscuits are just near about a staple down South and by default, my most favorite biscuit is my own homemade. Trust me when I say this - if you think you can't make perfect, fluffy biscuits, you can! Go here and put my biscuit secrets to work, and you'll have perfect biscuits every time.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Homemade Southern Sausage Gravy

Delicious milk-based sausage gravy, sometimes called sawmill gravy, is a southern favorite. Serve this delectable goodness over some hot homemade buttermilk biscuits for a little piece of heaven.
Delicious milk-based sausage gravy, sometimes called sawmill gravy, is a southern favorite. Serve this delectable goodness over some hot homemade buttermilk biscuits for a little piece of heaven.

Homemade Southern Sausage Gravy

Southern biscuits and sausage gravy - talk about some good ole comfort food. I've made my gravy this way for as long as I've been cooking, but it's not like there's really much of a secret to it really. To be honest, I'm guessing just about all of us southerners make it pretty much the same way.

Step by Step Tutorial for Homemade Southern Banana Pudding

A true southern classic, no event would be complete without somebody bringing a big bowl of banana pudding with homemade custard.

Homemade Southern Banana Pudding

Banana pudding is a mainstay here in the south. It shows up at just about every single event there is.

Homemade custard is not absolutely necessary but it really is a huge difference from the shortcut version, so I highly suggest that you give the custard a try. If you use a double boiler it makes easy work of it and it really doesn't take any longer than whipping up some instant pudding to be honest.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Amish White Bread for the KitchenAid

A fantastic recipe for homemade white bread.
A fantastic recipe for homemade white bread.

Amish White Bread

I know that it's a bit of a contradiction in terms to put the words Amish and KitchenAid together, but this is an Amish bread recipe from a clipping that I adapted for the KitchenAid. I know a lot of folks love their bread machines, and I own one. It's in the garage. Frankly using a KitchenAid stand mixer really makes the process of bread making so much more simple and the result is two large loaves instead of just one small one. Of course if you don't own a stand mixer you can certainly still make this by hand - with a little more elbow grease.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Orange Chocolate Chip Biscotti

This recipe is based on one I found in a Woman's Day magazine last year. I thought that since Valentine's Day isn't too far off, I would make the biscotti with that theme, so I drizzled chocolate all over them and then tossed on a mixture of some red, white and pink sprinkles and heart sprinkles that I had. Aren't they just sweet? And you know what - this combination with the orange zest is just downright delicious too!

Why don't you make some for your sweetie? Or heck ... just make some for yourself! You deserve it. You know you do.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pigs in a Blanket

Little dogs or cocktail sausages wrapped in dough and baked. I think when you have a gathering of any kind, you pretty much have to have pigs in a blanket in attendance, don't you?
Little dogs or cocktail sausages wrapped in dough and baked. I think when you have a gathering of any kind, you pretty much have to have pigs in a blanket in attendance, don't you?

Pigs in a Blanket

These are without a doubt a great snack food whether just for the two of you for snacking, for family movie night, or as a party finger food and since you can cut the hotdogs into four pieces, its a snacker that you can really stretch out. I like them with tender hot dogs the best - and since I always stock up on dogs when they go on sale, it's very budget friendly, especially when you make your own dough. Y'all know I rock the Lil Smokies here too though they aren't my favorites, but those tiny smoked cocktail sausages also work great and save a little cuttin' up time, but their more costly too.

Seriously, this dough is super easy to make, especially using a standard baking mix most all of us keep on hand for things like quick biscuits or those good ole standby sausage cheese balls. Course, you can absolutely shortcut that too with a can or two of good ole crescent rolls. Since those are a little on the pricey side, you can even stretch those by cutting each little triangle into several strips.

I don't have to tell you these are just little bite size pieces of yum, do I? Good warm or even served at room temperature, making them the perfect carry-along food for tailgating and potlucks. The Cajun loves them - but really, who doesn't? And they are a perfect game day snack. You know you love them too - let's go make some!

Seafood Omelet with Shrimp and Crab

A two egg omelet chocked full of sweet Gulf shrimp and lump crab.

Seafood Omelet with Shrimp and Crab

I love a good omelet of any kind really, but it's a real treat when I have a bit of seafood on hand for this. Whenever I make up a pot of boiled shrimp, I sneak a few away just so that I use them for one of these omelets, and though I've used crab from cans to pouches to make it, whenever I buy a container of lump crab, I make sure to set aside a pinch just for this egg omelet.

MMmmmm... so good and not at all hard. Here's how.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Baked Crab Cakes with Creamy Jalapeno Sauce

A lighter version of crab cakes, made with whole wheat bread crumbs, baked in the oven and served with a light jalapeno cream sauce.
Being from the south, I'm used to crab cakes that are delicately pan-fried in a bit of butter, but this baked version is really delicious too... and a little lighter!

Jalapeno Cream Sauce

Jalapeno Cream Sauce thinned with milk and shown on Baked Crab Cakes

Healthy Whole Wheat Waffles

Yummy and healthy ... and only 2 points!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Crockpot Beef Chili with Beans

This small batch, basic ground beef and tomato chili with beans, made in the slow cooker. Can be doubled.

Crockpot Beef Chili with Beans

A slow cooker is a perfect vehicle for cooking chili. Although most chili can be made on the stovetop in not a lot of time, something about the process of cooking it low and slow makes the flavor just pop. This slow cooker recipe is quick, easy, delish, and, actually for those of you trying to tone down a bit right now, with a lean ground beef (90/10) it's actually even Weight Watchers friendly! (Yeah, I do have a few of those hanging around here.)

Cooking Tip - How to Adapt Recipes to Crockpot Cooking


If it normally simmers for:

15 to 30 minutes = 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours on High; 4 to 8 hours on Low

35 to 40 minutes = 3 to 4 hours on High; 6 to 10 hours on Low

50 minutes to 3 hours = 4 to 5 hours on High; 8 to 18 hours on Low

Tips to Remember:

Liquids do not evaporate in a slow cooker, so reduce liquids to about one-half of the original recipe, unless you're cooking rice, then leave the liquid the same.

Any dairy products like milk or sour cream should only be added at the end, no sooner than about an hour before the end of cooking time.

Herbs are stronger and more pronounced if they are added in toward the end of cooking time; if added with the other ingredients they blend in better and are not as strong.

To thicken a sauce, add in flour or cornstarch near the end of cooking time, increase the temperature to High and cook for another 15 to 30 minutes (due to lost heat from having the cooker opened) or until it reaches desired thickness.

To shorten cooking time a bit, start a recipe off on high for 1 hour, then switch to low. One hour on high is the equivalent of two hours on low, so you can shortened your total time accordingly.

Cooking Tip - Breaking up Ground Meats

To easily and quickly break up meat in the skillet while browning it, don't trouble yourself with trying to mash it with a wooden spoon. What a hassle and it never breaks it all up uniformly. You have some pieces that are small, some that are large, what a pain.

Instead, break out your potato masher!

Mush it down on the meats as you're cooking and watch how fast they break up into perfect uniform size - so fast and easy ... give it try next time you're browning ground meat or sausage in a skillet.

Make Your Own Homemade Greek Yogurt

How to make your own homemade Greek style yogurt, a little less expensively!

Homemade Greek Yogurt

The first time that I tasted Greek yogurt I was hooked. Super tangy, rich and ultra creamy - I tell ya I fell in love right away.

Now Greek yogurt is not like the yogurt most of us Americans are accustomed to - that creamy, sugar laden, super sweet stuff with the fruit mixed in. Greek yogurt, like plain yogurt here, is tart, so you do have to sweeten it yourself, but isn't that better for you anyway? My favorite sweetener of choice for yogurt is honey. Some Greek yogurt, topped with a bit of chopped walnut and drizzled over with some honey - just delightfully yummy!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chicken & Spinach Cups

This is an adaptation of a recipe I pulled from a magazine a year ago. The ad was for Heinz Home Style jarred chicken gravy and Wyler's beef bouillon. Why the combination of beef bouillon with chicken gravy, I don't know but that's what it was.

Pretzel Biscuits

When I was making the Chicken & Spinach Cups, I used the Bisquick mix I purchased over the holidays to make the cups. Once I got the dough rolled and cut I had just a bit of dough left over. Now I was gonna just shape it into a biscuit and stick it in the oven the same time as the cups but instead, I decided to play around with it instead. Don't ask me what possessed me to do this, I have no idea.

I rolled the leftover dough into a long tube shape.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ground Beef Casserole II

A nicely seasoned, basic casserole made with macaroni, ground beef, bell pepper, onion, garlic, Rotel tomatoes, Velveeta and topped with cheese.
A nicely seasoned, basic casserole made with macaroni, ground beef, bell pepper, onion, garlic, Rotel tomatoes, Velveeta and topped with cheese.

Ground Beef Casserole II

I had thawed out some nice bone-in ribeyes tonight, but ended up just cooking The Cajun's for him because I wasn't really in the mood for a steak. I know... crazy, huh? No, instead, me ... I wanted some comfort food tonight, and to me tonight that meant a casserole! Meaning, leftovers for him for dinner tomorrow too.

Anyway, the first time that I made this casserole dish I used a box of macaroni and cheese but this time, I only had plain elbow macaroni, Velvetta leftover from when I made Queso Dip, Rotel tomatoes, a few slices of Provolone cheese, so I figured I could work with that! If you don't like spicy, just stick with regular diced tomatoes instead, and adjust the chili powder to taste.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Hot Chocolate

I made these last night - which is where my other bananas went before the oatmeal earlier today. These are really super delicious cookies. Bananas, chocolate chips and oatmeal? How can you go wrong? (Hmmmm.... apparently I am on an oatmeal kick here lately ... must be the weather!)

Eat up 'em up pretty quick or refrigerate them though - I'm not too sure how well they will hold up on the countertop. Just treat 'em like you would banana bread.

Classic Hot Chocolate and Hot Chocolate Mix

Classic Hot Cocoa

1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (like Hershey's)
Dash salt
1/3 cup hot water
4 cups of whole milk
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
Miniature marshmallows or sweetened whipped cream (optional)

Whisk together sugar, cocoa and salt in medium saucepan; whisk in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat to a warm serving temperature, but do not boil.

Remove from heat; add vanilla. Beat with rotary beater or whisk until foamy. Serve topped with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired. Makes about 5 (1-cup) servings.

Hot Chocolate Mix
Perfect for gift baskets!

Large box of dry milk (use the box
that makes about 8 quarts)
1 pound of Nestles instant cocoa mix
1 pound powdered sugar
1 (11.5 ounce) regular Coffee Mate coffee creamer
1 small box of instant chocolate pudding mix

Mix together.

Makes about 12 servings. Use 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup mix per 8 ounce cup of boiling water per serving.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lemon Banana Oatmeal with Honey Graham Crumble


Well, so far, I'm still workin' out of my pantry folks! This is solid proof how great it is to keep a well-stocked pantry and especially a well-stocked freezer. While I am beginning to run out of basic things like milk and yellow onions, we've still got plenty to choose from to build great meals right out of the pantry.

Today I had exactly one banana left and just a little bit of walnuts, so I thought I would add to my Oatmeal Chronicles by doing an oatmeal with banana today. Now I just love
my banana bread that has a bit of citrus in it, including fresh lemon juice, so I thought that I would try a little bit of lemon with the banana in my oatmeal and I'm so glad I did. It adds just a wonderful bit of tartness that was just delicious with the sweetness of the honey. Don't have fresh lemons this time? Well here's a tip that will ensure that in the future you always do!

In the pantry I also had one sleeve of honey graham crackers left in an opened package, so I decided to take one-half of a cracker and crumble that up to top off the oatmeal. Lemon with banana, topped with a little honey graham and finished with a nice drizzle of honey ... a really great way to start the day!

Nutritional Factoid: Did you know that flaxseed is extremely high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids, the good fat? And, doctors are looking at it for its possible effects on lowering cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar, lowering the risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancers, and reducing the inflammation of arthritis, as well as the inflammation that accompanies certain illnesses such as Parkinson's disease and asthma? (Source: WebMD) So when you can, add it into your foods!

Lemon Banana Oatmeal
with Honey Graham Crumble

Posted at

One whole banana, cut into slices, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup of Quaker Old Fashioned Oatmeal
1-3/4 cups of water (or can substitute milk)
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts, divided
1 teaspoon of flax meal or crushed flaxseed
About 1 tablespoon of honey, divided
1/2 of a honey graham cracker, crushed
Drizzle of cream, optional

Slice the banana and toss with the lemon juice; set aside.

Combine the oatmeal, water, salt, most of the chopped walnut and the flax meal in a large microwave save bowl. Microwave for between 3 to 5 minutes, or until oatmeal is creamy. Microwaves vary so it may take more or less time with your microwave.

Remove, stir in most of the banana with the lemon juice, reserving a few slices for garnish and drizzle with about 1/2 of the honey; gently stir to combine. Transfer to serving bowls. Top each serving with a couple of banana slices, sprinkle with the crushed honey graham cracker, and drizzle the remaining honey all over the top. If you're not watching your fat and calories, melt a little bit of butter and drizzle that over the top of those graham crackers and around the top of the oatmeal too. Finish with just a drizzle of cream right around the edges of the bowl, if desired.


Serves 1 or 2

The Quaker package lists this serving size as the "Heart Healthy Serving Size" providing 3 grams of soluble fiber, but it is quite a lot and certainly enough to split into 2 servings.

5 Weight Watchers Points for 1/2 of recipe, not including cream


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Crockpot Chicken and White Bean Taco Chili

A classic chicken based chili made with white beans and loads of spicy goodness!
A classic chicken based chili made with white beans and loads of spicy goodness!

Crockpot Chicken and White Bean Taco Chili

I don't know about you, but cooler weather brings out the desire for soups, stews, gumbos and chili in me! And, everything for this belly warmin' chili today came from out of the pantry and fridge/freezer - nothing new was purchased. Now that's the kind of throw together meal that I love!

Apple Pie Oatmeal with Walnuts

Oatmeal, seasoned with apple pie spices and cooked with pieces of fresh apple.

I love oatmeal - and it is so good for you, heart healthy and well, honestly warms you up from the inside out. It also seems to stay with me longer than other breakfasts do, I guess because of the whole grain fiber you're gettin' from it. Usually I just do my oatmeal pretty basic without a lot of fanfare, but I've decided that I want to get a bit more adventurous so I thought that I would chronicle any different types of oatmeal that I decide to try. Today, I have apples I want to use up, so it was still pretty basic - apples and cinnamon with some walnuts tossed in. Let's call it apple pie oatmeal.

Nutritional Factoid: Did you know that walnuts are an extremely high and most excellent source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, and that they are great brain food?

Apple Pie Oatmeal with Walnuts
From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

3/4 cup of quick cooking or old fashioned oatmeal
1-3/4 cups of water (or substitute milk)
Dash of salt
One whole apple, unpeeled, cored and cut in chunks
Cinnamon Sugar*
Dash of allspice, nutmeg and ginger
1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts
Drizzle of cream, optional

Combine the oatmeal, water, salt and apple in a large microwave save bowl. Microwave for between 3 to 5 minutes, or until oatmeal is creamy and apples are tender. Microwaves vary so it may take more or less time with your microwave.

Remove, transfer to serving bowls. Mix the cinnamon sugar with the allspice, nutmeg and ginger, sprinkle the top of each serving generously with the mixture, top with walnuts and stir to mix it all together. Taste for sweetness and top with additional cinnamon sugar as desired. Drizzle a small amount of cream just around the edges of the bowl.


Serves 1 or 2

*Cinnamon Sugar: Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1 heaping tablespoon of cinnamon and pour into a shaker bottle. I use an emptied cinnamon spice jar that has a shaker insert in the top and a screw on cap to store mine.

The Quaker package lists this serving size as the "Heart Healthy Serving Size" providing 3 grams of soluble fiber, but it is quite a lot and certainly enough to split into 2 servings.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Diet Cabbage Soup with Turkey

Diet Cabbage Soup with Turkey from Deep South Dish blog, often referred to as zero point or free soup, because it is low calorie and primarily tomato and vegetable centered.

Diet Cabbage Soup with Turkey

Good ole Cabbage Soup. It's the dieters friend isn't it? Filling, satisfying, tasty and low calorie.

Apple and Spice Oatmeal Muffins

Apple and Spice Oatmeal Muffins.

Apple and Spice Oatmeal Muffins

A nice basic muffin made with oatmeal, apples and apple pie spices.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pan Seared Honey Soy Salmon

Simple pan seared salmon is drizzled with a sauce of honey, ginger, soy and hot sauce or wasabi, adding just a bit of heat and lots of flavor.

Pan Seared Honey Soy Salmon

Don't you just love salmon? It's such a quick and easy meal, and delicious, so long as you don't overcook it. A lot of folks like it near raw, but unless I'm eating sushi, I'm not in that camp, and frankly, I'm more of one of those mostly cooked sushi kinda gals anyway. I prefer my salmon just barely cooked through.

Oven Roasted Hen or Turkey with Buttery Pan Sauce

How to oven roast a large hen or turkey.
How to oven roast a large hen or turkey.

Oven Roasted Hen or Turkey with Buttery Pan Sauce

This post was written for open roasting (meaning not covered or wrapped) and using a 7 pound hen, but it is the same basics for roasting a turkey, so everything pretty much applies to a bigger bird.

While you're here, be sure to check out my other posts for how to brine, how to truss a bird, and also click here for some holiday side dishes like, Homemade Herb DressingParslied Corn, Carottes Glacées, Maple Glazed Baby Carrots, Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese, Traditional Southern Sweet Potato Casserole and other southern favorites.

Cooking Tip - How to Truss a Chicken or Turkey

How to truss a bird.

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How to Truss a Chicken or Turkey

Trussing a chicken or turkey helps it to hold its shape together better and cook more evenly, making for a nicer looking bird and one that is easier to carve. There are lots of ways people do this, and some get rather complicated! To me, this way is the easiest and personally, I'm all for easy!

Homemade Herb Bread Dressing (Stuffing)

For those who aren't fond of cornbread dressing, and yes, there are some even here in the Deep South who don't, this bread and herb stuffing mix will fill the bill!

Homemade Herb Bread Dressing (Stuffing)

Is it stuffing? Or is it dressing? Does it really matter? Course not!

It's really the same to me - just depends on the presentation, as far as I'm concerned. I say if it's cooked in the bird, it's "stuffing;" if it's cooked in a separate dish, its "dressing." Whatever you call, we sure love it!

Bell's Seasoning Copycat

A great combination of seasonings, perfect for dressing and stuffing, but has a multitude of uses also.

Bell's Seasoning Copycat

You can purchase Bell's seasoning at a variety of stores across the nation, yes, even in the south (yes, now even in my south) or online from a number of sources, but if you've forgotten to pick it up, this is a copycat version that you can get by with in the meantime. Use it to season burgers, meatloaf, chicken, soups, stews, and more, but especially stuffing!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies

A good sturdy basic peanut butter cookie.

My Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies

I love peanut butter cookies and every once in awhile I get a craving for some. I can say two things for sure - that I do not like the 3 ingredient, flourless peanut butter cookie recipes, though I've included that one for those of you who do. We used to make those back in my low carb days, using Splenda. Second, I have to have the right balance between the sweetness and the nuttiness, and not too much of the one or the other. I really like this recipe because it seems to have a nice mix of the two.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Grilled Tomato Basil Chicken Wrap with Bacon

This is one of my old Weight Watchers standby recipes.  The fat has been lowered, so it's all about adding in some flavor pops here. A little Tiger sauce or your favorite hot sauce infused into some light mayo. A boneless skinless chicken breast enhanced with a generous sprinkling of some tomato, basil and garlic seasoning and grilled, and just a bit of salsa at the end, and you got yourself a flavorful wrap here.  Now, even when I'm trying to eat lighter, I still prefer to use real bacon many times rather than turkey bacon. And while I don't mind light mayonnaise, I don't care for most fat free foods at all. So I prefer to use certain "regular" products and just less of them, but to reduce points, you can certainly change those things and use a low fat tortilla instead of the spinach one I used.

Now, let's get to buildin' a wrap!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Leftover Brisket Meat Sauce with Rigatoni

A ragu made from tomatoes and leftover brisket and tossed with rigatoni pasta.

Leftover Brisket Meat Sauce with Rigatoni

I made this dish using the last of the leftover oven-braised brisket that I made for New Years. I'm actually surprised there was any brisket at all leftover because while it was a huge brisket, it was a dish The Cajun totally loved and devoured, but I'm glad we did have some leftovers because this pasta dish was excellent!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pork Schnitzel

Boneless pork chops, pounded thin, dredged in an egg wash and crushed saltines, pan fried and finished with a lemon and butter garlic sauce.
Boneless pork chops, pounded thin, dredged in an egg wash and crushed saltines, pan fried and finished with a lemon and butter garlic sauce.

Pork Schnitzel

A schnitzel is basically a thin slice of meat - like a cutlet - that is breaded and sauteed or fried. The origins are based on the German Wiener Schnitzel, meaning Viennese cutlet, traditionally a thin piece of veal that is coated in breadcrumbs and fried. Nowadays a schnitzel might be made of some other meat, chicken, or like here, pork.

Here's how to make a pork schnitzel with a nice lemon butter and garlic sauce to drizzle on top.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry

This stir fry has a nice bite to it thanks to the seasonings - which I think is key when you are lowering your fats - but substitute your favorite seasonings here if you don't have access to those.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Shrimp and Crab Mixed Garden Main Dish Salad

A mix of lettuces with vegetables, and a little crab and shrimp, tossed with a good olive oil and vinegar dressing makes this a light main dish salad.
A mix of lettuces with vegetables, and a little crab and shrimp, tossed with a good olive oil and vinegar dressing makes this a light main dish salad.

Shrimp and Crab Mixed Garden Main Dish Salad

This is one of my favorite salads. Nice and light, fresh and just delicious, perfect for ushering in spring! A mix of lettuces with vegetables, and a little crab and shrimp, tossed with a good olive oil and vinegar dressing, makes it a healthy and filling choice. Substitute already cooked shrimp from the freezer section of your store, and a pouch of crab or a good canned crab product and you can have this salad anytime. Here's how to make it.

How to Construct an Oyster Po'Boy, Mississippi Style

Fresh Gulf oysters, dredge in cornmeal, fried deep and crisp and piled high on po'boy bread, dressed and pressed.

Oyster Po'boy

I just love my Paw-in-Law! My in-laws called the other night to see if we wanted some fresh-out-of-the-Gulf-just-last-night oysters. Well, um... YEAH. You know we do!

Dad had gotten himself a couple of sacks of those oysters and is so sweet that he had 'em shucked already and gave us a whole full quart of those delectable little bad boys all cleaned up and ready to go. Some of those went into my seafood gumbo of course, but I told The Cajun to pick us up some french bread on his way home so we can honor those babies properly! So here, my friends, is how we construct a po'boy, Mississippi style.

Fresh Apple and Pear Crostata

A rustic, free form tart made with apples, pears and a cream cheese and grape filling.

Fresh Apple and Pear Crostata

I was watching the Food Network channel the other day and saw Sandra Lee making a crostata - which is really pretty much just a tart. Well, a free form tart. Okay, if we're gonna get authentic here, I think it's an Italian low-rise free form tart, though technically I think the authentic Italian crostata has a totally different type of pastry crust and is presented a bit differently than this one here or what Sandra Lee was doing.

But anyway...

Although Sandra's was more of a jam tart since she did not use any actual fresh fruit - only the grape jelly with some ricotta cheese - I thought I could work with this general idea and use up some leftover fruit I had on hand. So apples with pears and a bit of grape with some cream cheese sounded like a match made in heaven to me!

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