Attention Family! I've been saying it for years, now I am preparing you for when it happens, I am retiring from cooking in less than 5 years. The only thing I will make is my morning coffee, and that is only because I am too lazy to get dressed and go out for it!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fruity Braised Chicken

This is my version of a recipe for Bistro Braised Chicken from Cooking Light magazine.

Fruity Braised Chicken

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons butter
2 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sage
2 teaspoons good mustard
1 14-ounce can low sodium chicken broth
1 good-sized apple or pear, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Spray large non-stick skillet with cooking spray, heat pan over medium heat. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper, add to pan, and brown on both sides. Remove chicken to plate. Add two teaspoons butter to pan, along with carrots, onion, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add thyme, sage and mustard. Add chicken broth, scraping pan to loosen any brown bits, bring to a simmer. Add chicken back to pan, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Let cook for 30 minutes. Cook egg noodles or rice to serve with the chicken. Do the usual, you know, unload the dishwasher, make tea, set the table, call your mother. Uncover, add fruit, let sauce reduce for 10 minutes. Taste to see if it needs any more salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Split Pea Dal with Cauliflower and Spinach

One of the great things about getting K. in the kitchen to expand her cooking repertoire is that I just supervise!  This meal is easy, inexpensive, and flavorful.  Serve it with rice and nann bread, slice up a mango for dessert, and Bob's your uncle!

Split Pea Dal with Cauliflower and Spinach

1 cup dried yellow split peas
1 bay leaf
2 cups chopper cauliflower
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder
4 cups torn fresh spinach, or one package frozen, chopped spinach

Wash the peas and put in a large pot.  Cover with 2 and 1/2 cups water, add bay leaf.  Cover pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, with lid slightly ajar, for 50 minutes to an hour, until peas are tender.  Add cauliflower, 1 cup water, and salt.  Simmer 15 minutes.  While cauliflower is cooking, saute the onions, garlic, and ginger in the butter in a small frying pan.  When onions are translucent, add the curry powder to the pan.  Cook for another minute or two, then add onion mixture to peas.  Simmer, uncovered 15 minutes until thickened.  (Side note: start the rice, set the table, make ice tea, heat the nann bread.) Stir in fresh spinach and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.  Taste for seasoning, you may need to add more curry powder or salt.  If using frozen spinach, add block of spinach when you add the cauliflower, omitting the added water.  Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light magazine, trying to make it simpler and more suited to a limited spice cabinet.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Red Beans and Rice with Turkey Kielbasa

K. will be living off campus in the fall for the first time, and she will be cooking some for herself instead of depending on a meal plan.  This is easy to prepare, will provide lots of meals, and it is a dish she loves (and knows how to make!), so I am posting this especially for her!

Red Beans and Rice with Turkey Kielbasa

1 pound dry red kidney beans
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 cloves garlic
32 ounce carton chicken broth (low sodium)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 package (14 to 16 ounces) turkey kielbasa or smoked sausage, cut into 1 inch chunks
Salt to taste

Rinse beans.  Place them in a large pot and add water to 2 inches above beans.  Cover and bring to a boil and boil for two minutes.  Turn off heat and let sit for 1 hour.  Drain and rinse beans.  Return to large pot, cover with chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Chop vegetables.   Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic.  Cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add vegetables to beans, along with the seasonings and tomato paste.  Using the same skillet, brown the kielbasa over medium high heat.  Cook beans for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  After 1 hour and 15 minutes,  add kielbasa to beans and start the rice.  When rice is done, taste test a bean to check for tenderness.  Add salt to taste.  Serve beans over rice, with hot sauce on the side.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Party Pork Barbeque

This recipe is from Grandma Katie.  I haven't got a clue why it is called Party Pork Barbeque, it should be something like Sweet and Sour Pork, but its not.  You can really stretch this by adding more veggies and pineapple, or more pork.  Cook plenty of rice to serve it over and you should have some for leftovers!

Party Pork Barbeque
1 to 2 pounds lean pork
1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 vegetable oil
1 large onion
1 bell pepper
3 stalks celery
3 carrots
3/4 cup catsup
2 tbsps mustard
1 large can pineapple chunks or tidbits in pineapple juice
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Wow, it looks like a lot of ingredients, but it is an easy recipe.  Put the flour and spices in a lunch size paper bag or gallon ziploc bag, close the top and shake to combine.  Cut the pork into bite size pieces, drop them into the flour mixture.  Close the bag of pork and flour, shake well to coat the pork with the flour mix.  Add the oil to a large skillet and let it get hot.  Add the pork, cook over medium heat, throw out the bag with flour mix.  Keeping an eye on the pork, start cutting the veggies into bite size pieces and add to skillet.  When pork is browned and veggies have cooked for 5 or so minutes, add the remaining ingredients, including the juice from the can of pineapple.  Cover and let this cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Start the rice, set the table, make tea, start a load of laundry. And there you have it, dinner!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blonde Brownies

I love Blonde Brownies!  This recipe makes some of the best brownies ever.  It came from a 1954 Carolina Farmer magazine that I found in my Grandma's house (along with some fabrics and handsewn nine-patch blocks) long after she passed away.  The magazine was quite musty, so I copied down the recipe and threw the magazine away.  Now you know what I want for Mother's Day!

Blonde Brownies

1/4 cup shortening, melted
1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup nuts, chopped (pecans are the best!)

Mix shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients.  Stir in nuts.  Bake in greased 7 x 11 pan at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream whenever you need a favor from me!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Banana Cupcakes

This recipe came from my mom, I don't really remember her making them, but I know the recipe came from her!  To me, they taste more like muffins than cupcakes.

Banana Cupcakes
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp cinnamon or apple pie seasoning
3 ripe bananas
Mix shortening, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla together until smooth.  Add flour and spices, add bananas. Mix for 2 minutes. Butter cupcake tin and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Makes 12 large cupcakes.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Irish Soda Bread

I love Irish Soda Bread. I never had it before I meet your Dad, but now consider it a must have food! Its easy and quick to put together, we've made up to 8 batches a day before for St. Patrick's Day church suppers, and no telling how many batches for kids to take into to school. Have plenty of butter on hand for serving. This recipe comes from Pat O'L., whose husband Joe was one of Grandma's cousins.

Irish Soda Bread

5 cups self-rising flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups buttermilk

Mix flour, baking soda, and sugar. Add raisins and stir, Add buttermilk and mix well. Knead on a floured surface, adding flour until dough is not sticky. Cut dough inn half. Shape each half into a round loaf. Put on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cut an x into the top of each loaf, about half way into the loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Stick a knife into the loaf, if it comes out clean, the bread is done. Pass the butter!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Molly's Cheese Muffins

This recipe is from the paper. These are really good muffins, but they are best when they are hot!

2 sticks very soft butter
1 cup sour cream
2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups grated sharp cheese

Add ingredients to a big bowl in order, hand stirring after each one. Spoon into muffin cups lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until tops are browned. Serve immediately. These are really terrific baked in smaller muffin tins 'cause you can just pop them into your mouth!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sausage and Egg Casserole

There are many variations of this casserole around - try any community cookbook and you will probably find one. This version was given to your Grandmama by her next door neighbor, Ann C. I am making this on Monday, cooking it on Tuesday, for a teachers breakfast at B.'s school.

Sausage and Egg Casserole

8 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp ground mustard
1tsp salt
1 pound bulk sausage
6 slices of bread
1 to two cups grated cheese

Brown sausage in large skillet, breaking it up as it cooks. While sausage is browning, crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat with whisk. Add milk, salt, and mustard to eggs (a little black pepper wouldn't hurt). Drain sausage on paper towels. Coat a 9 x 13 glass baking pan with cooking spray. Place bread slices on bottom of pan. Sprinkle sausage on top of bread crumbs. Pour egg mixture over sausage. Sprinkle grated cheese on top of eggs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The next morning, bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. I put my casserole in the oven without preheating, so that the baking dish warms up as the oven comes up to temperature.

Monday, February 6, 2012

True Grits

Okay, as Southerners, you should know how to make grits, real grits, not instant, ever. The ratio for grits is 4 to 1, as in 4 parts liquid and one part grits. Pretty simple right? However, grits need to cook for a least 15 minutes and are better if cooked for 20.(And these are quick grits I am talking about, the package says 5 minutes, but I am telling you how to make good grits.) For really good grits, use half water and half milk, with a blob of butter along with the salt. Add plenty of black pepper. For extra special grits, add Lil' Smokies (keep some in the freezer) and/or cheese. So, bring the liquid and salt to a boil, add grits while stirring. Turn down heat to low, and stir occasionally. You can add the Lil' Smokies about 5 minutes into the cooking time, right out of the freezer, 3 or 4 per serving. Add cheese at the end, and stir until melted. There you have it, don't forget to make something else for A., as hard as it is to believe, not everyone eats grits.