Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Slow Cooker red beans & rice made with dried beans, and cooked with a ham bone, bacon and smoked sausage.

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Though it's a tradition in the Deep South, we don't have red beans and rice every single Monday of every week at my house, but, I admit that when we don't, things do seem to feel a little out of sorts for me!

It's just a routine that has been part of the culture down here for all of my life really. Even as a career woman working outside of the house, red beans and rice were the special of the day, every Monday, at local restaurants we frequented for lunch.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Oscar Menu Inspired by The Help

The 84th Annual Academy Awards are on Sunday, February 26th and while I'm not one to beat down the theater box office doors to catch every new movie on the big screen, I usually do watch the Oscars... very often without much knowledge about the films that have nominated. Not this year!

Y'all know that with The Help being up for Best Picture, Viola Davis for Best Actress in a Leading Role and both Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain up for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (and frankly I thought the film should have been up for Costume Design too, just sayin'), well... I'll sure be hanging around watching and rooting for my gals this Sunday! I loved The Help so much that I own not one, but three copies of the book - the original hardback, the paperback movie tie-in version, and the e-book on Kindle/iPad - and of course, as soon as it went on sale, I uploaded the movie on my Kindle too. What can I say? I loved everything about The Help.

Whether you're having a party or just want to honor The Help with a classic southern menu, here's a great collection of some of my favorite recipes from the site. Oh, and just in case you can't hang around a television on Sunday, of course, yes, there is an app for that too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Old Fashioned Biscuit Bread

A quick biscuit bread, sometimes called hoecake bread, fried in bacon drippings in a screaming hot, cast iron skillet on top of the stove.
A quick biscuit bread, sometimes called hoecake bread, fried in bacon drippings in a screaming hot, cast iron skillet on top of the stove.

Old Fashioned Biscuit Bread

Though skillet bread has been around since pre-Colonial times, this biscuit bread was likely a staple during the Great Depression and probably most often eaten for breakfast, typically just torn from the cake, rather than cut.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lattice Topped Cherry Pie

Cherry pie, with a filling made easy by canned cherries, and finished with a lattice topped crust.

Lattice Topped Cherry Pie

I love a good homemade cherry pie, but I'm not too likely to pit cherries for an hour to make one, and yes, that's pretty much how long it takes to hand pit enough fresh cherries for a single pie. Okay, I might do that exactly once so I could blog about it, but I doubt it and I'm pretty sure there aren't many of us who would. Plus, it's messy, and believe me when I say, I make a big enough mess in my kitchen as it is.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Creole Mashed Potatoes

Creamy mashed potatoes containing the not so typical ingredients of onions and egg, here served with green beans and my Hamburger Steak with Creamy Onion Gravy.

Creole Mashed Potatoes

There is nothing remarkable about a photograph of mashed potatoes. It really just looks like a pile of mashed potatoes! What sets this recipe apart though, is the use of both onion and egg in the potatoes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Homemade Beef Chili with Beans

A ground beef chili, made with ground chuck, onion, peppers, basic chili seasonings, and beans.

Homemade Beef Chili with Beans

Chili, like gumbo, is a recipe that I am always playing around with, and this past weekend with the temporary winter chill that visited The Deep South was no exception.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Homemade King Ranch Casserole

A Tex-Mex favorite, this homemade from scratch version of King Ranch Casserole is made using a highly seasoned shredded chicken, and a butter roux-based cream sauce, seasoned with a medley of veggies and peppers, and layered in with cheese and corn tortillas. Yum y'all!
A Tex-Mex favorite, this homemade from scratch version of King Ranch Casserole is made using a highly seasoned shredded chicken, and a butter roux-based cream sauce, seasoned with a medley of veggies and peppers, and layered in with cheese and corn tortillas. Yum y'all!

King Ranch Casserole

King Ranch Casserole is more Tex Mex than it is Deep South, but since I have roots in that region too, I'll claim it over here as a Mississippi favorite as well!

It's a simple layered casserole, typically made using seasoned, shredded chicken, fresh veggies, and layered with a sauce, in between corn tortillas and shredded cheese. Really, what is not to love about that?!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Stuffed Pizza Bites

Puffs of tender dough filled with cheese and pepperoni, and served with a side of homemade spicy Rotel marinara sauce, are perfect little bites for entertaining or just for snacking.

Stuffed Pizza Bites

QVC host David Venable was noshing on some little stuffed pizza bites during a recent Sunday In the Kitchen with David show in late January. The show was centered around appliances and tools for making recipes that were football centric for the Super Bowl.

I already have a terrific sausage bread that can be varied to make pizza bread, but those little bites just looked so darned good that I knew I had to make them. Of course, as always, I took quite a few liberties with his recipe, but David was certainly the inspiration behind these little bite sized jewels pictured here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Creole Meatball Po'boy

Meaty, garlicky, beef and pork meatballs served on po'boy or sandwich rolls, dressed with a Creole sauce made from The Trinity and tomatoes, and topped with shredded Mozzarella cheese.

Creole Meatball Po'boy

Seriously, who doesn't love a good meatball? I have a stand-by, no-frills, meatball recipe that I've been using since the beginning of time, but when I had the chance to review Emeril's newest cookbook, Sizzling Skillets, awhile back, I saw this gargantuan beef and pork meatball he had in there for a recipe called Big Boy Meatballs and Spaghetti. You can see those pictured in my sneak peek review post with the Chicken Sauce Piquante I featured back in October. The meatballs looked and sounded so good, I knew that I had to give them a spin, well, with my own spin on them of course!

The original recipe was very heavy on garlic, like 12 cloves heavy, or what would amount to 1/4 cup of minced garlic. While I do love me some garlic, I just had a feeling that would be way more garlic than even this girl could handle, so I cut that way back. As the meatballs were baking, a very distinct smell of garlic filled the house, and so, I was sure glad I did! One tablespoon provided more than enough garlic flavor, and, in fact if you are not a big garlic fan, feel free to reduce that even further. On the other hand, if you're adventurous, hey, go all full out with garlic gusto I say!

Although I chose to oven bake the meatballs, you can certainly pan fry them - you'll need between 2 and 3 tablespoons of olive oil or a vegetable oil. I also rolled mine to get an even twelve meatballs, four for each po'boy, but you can roll them larger or smaller, depending on what you intend to use them for. In fact, these will make amazing, little slider bites for the Super Bowl game this weekend. Men will love them for their meatiness, women will love them because they are small and a little neater to eat than say, a whole meatball sandwich, which I will tell you I certainly did eat. For party po'boys, just put the meatballs on individual pistolette rolls or use small dinner rolls, dress them in the same manner and I think you'll have a winner on your hands!

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