September 28, 2006

From Paula's Kitchen to Ours

As many of you can tell from my blog I am a huge Paula Deen fan. I think she is just the most “real” person on tv and Food Network. I guess the main reason I love her and her lovely recipes is because they remind me of cooking with my mother and grandmother so very much!

She has that lovely southern draw like my family and she cooks only with the good stuff….with that I mean butter and her recipes are real that real people can cook. By real, I mean food that us normal everyday people would cook. Some of these tv cooks today most be out of their minds if they think we have time to make their fancy and expensive dishes that take about 3 hours to prepare everyday, plus I don’t keep items like hazelnuts, pancetta, sesame seeds or watercress in my kitchen at all times. Sometimes we get home in a rush and have to throw a meal together and with other cooks I’ve noticed it’s not that easy to use their recipes and do this.

Now, that I’ve said that – I will say that I do however go and buy the special items every once in awhile when I plan on making a special meal. But, my pantry usually has the traditional all purpose flour- not cake flour, or I might have plain ole milk, but not buttermilk…you all get my point.

Now, I don’t mind cooking over a stove all day on the weekends, but through the week I work and then get home, work out and then have to come up with a meal to cook for my family. Paula makes that possible, fun and her food always suits your taste buds!

I have three of her recipes to share today. The first one is a knock off from her Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake, but this time it’s cookies not a cake! And for an easy and fast dinner sandwich try this Santa Fe wrap, it’s something your family will love. Also, I’ve included her recipe for Herbed Cornbread…that any southerners will love!

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies
From Paula Deen

1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.

Bake 12 minutes.
The cookies will remain soft and "gooey." Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Santa Fe Wraps
From Paula Deen

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 1/2-ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 (4 1/4-ounce) can chopped olives
1 cup (4-ounce) shredded pepper jack cheese
2 tablespoons salsa, plus salsa for dipping, optional
1/2 cup green onion tops, sliced
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
2 packages flour tortillas

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy. Then add sour cream, green chiles, olives, pepper jack cheese, salsa, and onion tops. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer. Stir in spinach. Spread mixture evenly over the surface of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas tightly and cut each tortilla crosswise into 6 slices. Skewer each wrap with a wooden toothpick. Serve immediately or chill. Serve with salsa for dipping, if desired.

Herbed Corn Bread
From Paula Deen

1 1/4 cups self-rising cornmeal
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine eggs, milk and butter in a separate bowl, and add to the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened. Pour batter into a lightly greased 9-inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

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