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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chicken Stuffed Mushrooms

A few months ago Allrecipes asked me to develop a recipe using Diamond Crystal Salt and I came up with super yummy (and easy) Roasted Asparagus with Sea Salt and Parmesan.  I loved how it turned out- and that my daughter loved it too!

Well, since I helped them out over the summer they asked the other Allstars who created recipes and me to make a recipe from their collection.  There were a lot of yummy recipes on that list- everything from Easy Cashew Sea Salt Toffee to Salted Naan Sticks with Mango Chutney.  The choices definitely ran the gamut, but they all sounded so tasty!

In the end I decided to go with Chicken Stuffed Mushrooms- I was trying to stay at least a little bit on the lower carb end of things... and I'm a sucker for a stuffed mushroom.  :-)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Mastering The Perfect Southern Breakfast Gravy

Once upon a time, 14 years ago, there was a girl in California that had never heard of biscuits and gravy.

In fact, she didn't even know gravy existed in any shade other than brown, and generally only ate it on Thanksgiving over mashed potatoes.

I know, crazy, right?

When I was 18 my best friend and I got our first apartment.  Literally two weeks after my 18th birthday we were out on our own.  It was then that I was first introduced to the idea of biscuits and gravy.

Sometimes she would make them for us on Saturday mornings.  Goodness we felt so grown up back then...we were babies!  But when we would have "the guys" grill for us on our itty bitty balcony, get dressed up and make lasagna and drink Arbor Mist (ugh), or sit around in our pajamas eating a real meal of biscuits and gravy on a Saturday morning we felt SOOOO grown up.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

An Ode to Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese is one of those things that I don't know that I'd even heard of before moving to the South.  Do they even sell it in California?  I dunno.  Much like sausage balls, it was an amazing part of southern cuisine I missed out on for a large portion of my life.

Anyway, for years my husband has been dumbfounded by the fact that I've never tried it.  I've just never had the desire to try it...it looks funny.  It's orange and goopy looking.
Then came Tupelo Honey Cafe.

Tupelo Honey is a small, popular regional chain of restaurants that originated in Asheville, NC- one of my all-time favorite towns.

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I kicked off our anniversary weekend by having lunch at one of their locations.  Remember when I said I'd gone way off the diet wagon for a couple of weekends? Yeah...this didn't help.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

Ginger cookies are a favorite of mine, whether they're crinkles, gingerbread, or even the kid-friendly mild variety.
I just love that spicy, deep flavor.
Does any cookie really scream Fall more than a ginger cookie?

I think not.

I love to bake for people, I really do, and I seize pretty much any opportunity I can get to do it- especially if it means I get to try out a new recipe while doing it!

Every once in a while there's a request in our church bulletin for cookies for the Kairos prison ministry, and this week I baked up a few dozen cookies to contribute.

The guidelines required a sturdy, fairly simple cookie sans icing or frosting.
:-) Good thing I've been eyeing this recipe for Big Soft Ginger Cookies for awhile now...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Best Cornbread In The World

It wasn't until I moved to the South that I realized what a divisive subject cornbread is.

Here, it is baked in a cast iron skillet.  The crumb of the bread is more coarse than I am used to, it is slightly more dry in texture, and it is far less sweet.


Not to say that there is anything wrong with that!  It's fantastic with soup beans or chili, since that dry crumb really stands up to pretty much any broth.

It's just not what I grew up with.
I've made several varieties of cornbread over the years, but the one recipe I keep returning to is my mother's.

EVERYONE loves it.  It's a little addictive...though it wasn't until I grew up and started making it myself that I realized why.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Super Simple Homemade Tartar Sauce

Growing up, for years and years and years, I had a best friend who lived across the street from me.

When her family first moved to town her grandparents came too- and I loved them.
Her grandparents were awesome.
They introduced me to fried eggs, Bing Crosby, and- being from Ireland- all things Irish.

I spent a lot of time with my friend and her grandparents, and one of the things that sticks out in my memory is that they ate fish on Fridays.

More than 2 decades later I can't see a fish filet without thinking of them.
Weird.  I know.
Anyway, I say all of that to say this- I made fish the other day.  It reminded me of them.

The end.

Ok, not really, I know I'm really tangenting today, apologies!

So back to the fish I made...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chilly Weather and Warm Meals

Around this time every year I suddenly remember that I own a slow cooker- three of them actually.  We had a bit of a yours, mine, and ours situation with kitchen gadgets when my husband and I got married, with neither one of us willing to get rid of our slow cookers. :-)

You would think I'd remember my small army of Crock Pots during the Summer when I don't want to heat up the house, but no, that would just make too much sense, right?

Instead, when the weather turns chilly and the skies go gray the thought of warm, filling meals entices me to drag the slow cooker(s) out of their warm-weather hibernation and put them to good use.

This month I was asked by Allrecipes to make a couple of slow cooker recipes from the Reynolds recipe collection on their site.  Of course I was happy to help!