One meal that really hits home with my husband and I are purple hull peas. It was a staple meal that my mother cooked quite often and was a great meal that lasts for days.
The purple hulls were grown in our very large family garden that our entire family cared for and harvested each year. My mom would freeze a large amount of peas so that we would have plenty to last us until the next gardening season.
My husband had never had purple hulls until a couple years ago when my mother had made a pot while we were visiting my folks. He was hesitant to try them at first, but my mother has a way to get anyone to try anything once.
Since that first taste he was fan.
Purple hull's are similar to Black Eyed Peas, but have double the flavor. Plus, there is something magical that happens when you combine smoked ham hocks and purple hulls.
Be sure to soak the peas for about an hour or so if you are using dry beans. If you don’t have any ham hocks on hand throw in some salted pork or bacon stripes. But you have to use bacon grease….it’s one of the important ingredients to making purple hulls “oh so good!”
My Mother’s Purple Hull Peas
4 cups shelled purple hull peas
1 - large hunk of smoked ham hocks or some bacon stripes
2 cloves of minced garlic or garlic powder
1 onion chopped
Throw in some dried parsley flakes
Enough bacon grease to cover the bottom of the pot
Salt, to taste
Black or White Pepper, to taste
Sauté the onions until they are lightly browned from the bacon grease. Add the hocks and cover with water and boil for about an hour. Cut away all the meat and return the meat back to the pot. (If using bacon add when you add the peas.)
Add the peas and cover with water, cover. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium-high heat, simmer for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add parsley, garlic and stir. Cook uncovered. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 2 hours.
Note: You will probably have to add water occasionally to the pot during the cooking process. Peas are done when they are soft and tender. I like to mash some up around the sides of the pans to thicken the mixture up a bit.
March 29, 2007
One meal that really hits home with my husband and I are purple hull peas. It was a staple meal that my mother cooked quite often and was a great meal that lasts for days.
March 27, 2007
The recipe they're talking about, "No-Knead Bread," was published in the Nov. 8 New York Times in a column by "The Minimalist," Mark Bittman.Bittman authored
the straightforward recipe book "How to Cook Everything," but based in the popularity of this recipe he could have made a career off bread alone.
He adapted the bread recipe from a Manhattan baker, Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery. The innovative "no-knead" technique attracted the food-blogging community - a massive network of online diarists who trade recipes and product reviews.That group turned the idea from an easy-to-bake bread into a phenomenon, moving the recipe for a simple loaf onto the New York Times' most-e-mailed stories list.The loaf takes 24 hours to make, but very little work.
Yields a 11/2 pound loaf
Recipe time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours of rising
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
11/4 teaspoons saltCornmeal or wheat bran as needed
In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at room temperature, or 70 degrees, for at least 12 hours (up to 24 hours is OK). Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.
Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) or Silpat mat with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal.
Cover with another cotton towel and let rise 2 to 3 hours.
When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats.
When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up.
It may look like a mess, but that's OK. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned.
Remove from oven. Cool on a rack.This recipe was adapted for the New York Times from Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City.
Notes: Be sure yeast is labeled instant or rapid-rise. Use King Arthur flour.
The recipe works with up to 20 percent rye flour, up to 30 percent whole-grain flour and up to 50 percent whole-wheat flour, according to Mark Bittman of the New York Times.
Want to add seasoning or other ingredients? Bittman recommends putting in herbs, nuts, dried fruits, olives or other additions after mixing the dough, but they can be incorporated during the folding, before the dough's second rising.
March 26, 2007
I posted about my Beef-licous casserole a while ago and received some great comments from everyone.
My friend Cyndi had a great story to go along with her family’s version on my dish. I think we all probably have our own family versions of every meal.
Mom used to make a hamburger dish we called "goulash." Doesn't every family have their own version? It was a popular Friday supper after school and before basketball games. My cheerleader sister and basketball playing boyfriend loved it. It was also a hearty dish after we had all been out working cattle or hogs. There are variations, depending upon what you have on hand, and I often improvise just as she did. My husband loves it and it makes great leftovers.Recipe:Boil water and get macaroni started.Brown 1 pound of hamburger in a skillet.Add chunks of Velveeta cheese and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Once the meat and cheese mixture is warmed through and the cheese melted, your macaroni should be ready to drain. Mix drained macaroni into the meat/cheese mix. Salt and pepper. I usually add a drained small can of mushrooms.Best served
with a glass of milk that has been in the freezer for about 10 minutes. . .
Thanks for sharing Cyndi!
March 22, 2007
As I've said before I love experiementing with recipes and trying new ways to make a good recipe GREAT.
I did just that with a shrimp dip recipe from Paula Deen. I turned a good recipe into a GREAT one. I made this recently at my work's St. Pat's Pot Luck. It was a hit adn I've been asked for the recipe....here you go.
Shrimp and Crab Dip
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large chopped red bell pepper
1 8oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 pound medium fresh shrimp, peeled coarsely chopped
3 small cans of crab meat
1/3 cup sliced green onion or 1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 T. lemon juice
¼ tsp. red pepper
½ tsp. basil
1 T. parsley
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
Assorted Crackers or bread for serving
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add red bell pepper, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in shrimp, salt, parsley and green onion; cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until shrimp are firm and barley pink. In a large bowl mix cream cheese well add the sour cream, cheeses, seasonings, and mayonnaise and mix well. Add crab meat and mix in. Add shrimp, red bell pepper, and onion mixture to bowl. Spoon mixture into a large baking dish. Bake 50 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly. Serve with assorted crackers or bread.
March 19, 2007
I’m pulling a recipe from the archives today. It’s a recipe I use about twice a week and is a family favorite. The best part: Takes 1 minute to prepare and makes great leftovers.
I adapted my cheddar biscuit recipe from Paula Deen’s Garlic Cheddar Biscuits. Paula makes garlic butter, but I have found that I like to just put everything into the biscuit mix and I like to add different cheeses.
Many of my friends and family say these biscuits are better than the ones served at Red Lobster, but I’ll let you be the judge yourself. Serve these with just about any meal you want.
Cheesy Garlic Biscuits
By Lane, adapted from Paula Deen recipe
1 1/4 cups biscuit mix
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine all ingredients and mix, not to over mix. If using cooking sheet, be sure to line sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
Spoon out on to a baking stone or cooking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
March 16, 2007
March 15, 2007
Have you ever eaten a fish taco? Lane’s Fish Tacos
I have and I will say they are a little different, but can be mighty tasty. Especially if you have had your fill of traditional beef or chicken tacos.
I like trying new recipes at least twice per week. I actually stumbled onto fish tacos one night when I was in college. I had no hamburger meat and had a few tilapia filets in the freezer, so I thought I would give it a whirl and try to make fish tacos.
They turned out pretty good for a first time, but I’ve changed around this recipe to suit my own preferences. You can add whatever seasonings you like.
Try mixing your family’ supper around tonight and adding a new family favorite: Fish Tacos.
2 lbs red snapper or other white flaky fish cut into 2 oz pieces
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon paprika
Dash of pepper
12 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce or cabbage
1 cup chunky salsa
1 cup oil for frying
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, cornmeal and a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, seasonings, cream, lemon juice and Tabasco.
Heat oil to 375 degrees and dip fish into batter and fry until golden.
Drain on paper towels. Heat each tortilla on a hot griddle and place 3 pieces of fish on each tortilla. Top with lettuce and drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of sauce on each. Serve with salsa.
Lane’s Fish Tacos
March 14, 2007
How To Store Chocolate
Chocolate should be stored in a cool, dry place at a temperature of about 60F. If the chocolate becomes too warm, the cocoa butter rises to the surface and forms a dusty gray film known as "bloom." This "bloom" is not harmful and, once the chocolate is melted, it returns to its natural rich brown color. If you do store chocolate in the refrigerator or freezer, take in out and let it stand until it returns to room temperature before you use it in a recipe. Chocolate is very sensitive to sudden changes of temperature.
Chocolate scorches easily, so always melt it over hot - not boiling - water. It is best to use a double boiler, but you can improvise by using a bowl in a small saucepan over very gentle heat. The water must be kept below simmering to prevent steam from curling up and hitting the chocolate. If steam gets into the melted chocolate it will immediately thicken the mixture to a stiff mass. If this does happen, however, you can rescue the chocolate by softening it again.
To do this, add 1-2 tb of vegetable shortening (never use butter as it contains moisture which will cause the chocolate stiffen even more!) to the chocolate and stir vigorously. You can also melt chocolate directly over very low heat in a heavy gauge saucepan, but you must watch the mixture carefully.
Cake, Quick Decorating Idea
For a fast topping, place a paper doily on top of the cake. Sift confectioners' sugar over it. Lift the doily off gently.
Cake, Removing From Pan
Cake will be less like to stick to the pan if you put it on a wet towel to cool as soon as you take it from the oven.
Cake, Stuck to the Pan
If the cake sticks to the pan and threatens to split, hold the pan over a low flame for about 5 to 8 seconds and the cake will come out nice and firm.
Celery, Quick Crisping
To make celery more crisp, put it in a bowl of water and add ice. Leave it in the refrigerator a few hours.
Cookies, Dough Too Soft
When cookie dough is soft and difficult to handle, place it between pieces of wax paper that have been floured. Roll to desired thickness, remove the top paper, and cut cookies.
Cookies, Special Touch
For an extra touch, roll chilled dough in colored or cinnamon sugar, ground nuts or flaked coconut before slicing and baking.
Cookies, Perfectly Round
Put dough for refrigerator into empty frozen juice cans, then chill. When you are ready to bake, cut the bottom off the can and use it as a pusher to move the dough out as you slice the cookies. This makes perfect round slices every time.
Cookies, Spreading Too Much
Cookies will spread if your dough is too pliable by allowing butter to get too soft. If your cookies are spreading too much, try refrigerating the dough for a couple of hours before baking.
Crispy Fried Potatoes
Sprinkle a little flour on potatoes before frying them and they will be extra crispy and crunchy.
Fudge won't "sugar" if you add a dash of Cream of Tartar to it.
Hardened Brown Sugar
A slice of soft bread placed in the package of hardened brown sugar will soften it again in a couple of hours.
How To Carmelize Onions
Combine a blend of about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter per 4 cups of thinly sliced onion. Brown the onions slowly and steadily in the melted oil/butter over medium heat for about a half hour. Toward the end, add a generous pinch of salt. They should be a reddish brown color.
Lettuce - Keeping It Fresh
Store lettuce in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator. If the bag becomes damp, simply dry it out or replace it. Lettuce will keep much longer!
When measuring shortening, first line the measuring cup with plastic wrap. Spoon shortening into the cup, pack it tightly to the rim and pull out by tugging on the plastic wrap. The cup stays clean and the shortening can be used immediately or refrigerated.
Miracle Whip - What you can do with it
Condition your hair. Apply one-half cup Miracle Whip to dry hair once a week as a conditioner. Leave on for thirty minutes, then rinse a few times before shampooing thoroughly.
Remove a ring stuck on a finger. Smear on some Miracle Whip and slide the ring off.
Give yourself a facial and tighten pores. Miracle Whip helps moisten dry skin when applied as a face mask. Wait twenty minutes, then wash it off with warm water followed by cold water.
Remove white rings and spots from wood furniture. Wipe on Miracle Whip, let stand for an hour, wipe off, and polish the furniture.
Remove tar. Spread a teaspoon of Miracle Whip on tar, rub, and wipe off.
Soothe sunburn and windburn pain.
Use Miracle Whip as a skin cream.
Remove dead skin. Rub a dab of Miracle Whip into your skin and let it for dry a few minutes. While the skin is moist massage with your fingertips. Dead skin will rub off your feet, knees, elbows, or face.
Remove chewing gum from hair. Rub a dollop of Miracle Whip into the chewing gum.
No kitchen twine?
Use unwaxed, unflavored dental floss.
If you've over-sweetened a dish, add salt. A teaspoon of cider vinegar will take care of too-sweet main dishes or vegetables.
Place overripe tomatoes in cold water and add some salt. Overnight they will become firm and fresh.
Add cut raw potatoes to soups or vegetables and then discard once they have cooked and absorbed the salt. A teaspoon each of cider vinegar and sugar added to salty soup or vegetables will also remedy the salty situation.
March 13, 2007
What to do with hamburger meat? Endless possibilities….you could make some burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, patty melt sandwiches, lasagna, lot lots of pasta dishes….
Last night I had to come up with a dinner and just didn’t feel like standing in the kitchen all night. I was tired and wanted a quick meal. So, I went through my refrigerator and cupboard and started pulling out ingredients to make a beef casserole. As I’ve said before I’m not a huge casserole fan, but every once in awhile I enjoy making easy casserole dinners. They are easy, quick and can feed a lot of people, or just my husband and me for a couple nights.
So, here is what I came up with last night for my quick beef casserole. I will say, it turned out pretty darn good. I included a lot of garlic (garlic powder, plus fresh garlic), but I love garlic and it’s healthy.
But, don’t be afraid to add your own touches to this meal. You can add whatever seasonings you wish and maybe even more chopped veggies. There are endless possibilities!
1 cup sour cream
12 ounce bag egg noodles
1 medium white onion, chopped
½ tsp basil
1 bell pepper, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. butter
1 1/2 pounds ground round beef
Salt and pepper
1 T. Garlic powder
½ tsp. Ground Sage
1 T. Parsley Flakes
1 28-ounce can tomatoes
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 15-ounce can of black olives, chopped
1 pound cheddar cheese, grated
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large, heavy bottomed pot heat some olive oil and 3 T. of butter. Add the onions, pepper and garlic and sauté until soft. Add the tomatoes, and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Season the mixture with seasonings. Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water for your noodles.
In another skillet heat a little bit of oil. Add your meat. Be sure and do not stir the meat around, let it get nice and browned before stirring. I like to add more garlic powder and salt to the beef, while it is cooing. After meat is completely browned strain and then add to tomato mixture.
Add the egg noodle pasta to the boiling water and be sure to salt your water to flavor the noodles. Only cook noodles for about 5 minutes and strain.
In a large bowl add egg noodles, corn, chopped olives, tomato mixture, sour cream and about 1 cup of cheese. Very lightly mix everything together.
Butter a very large casserole dish and pour mixture into it. Cook for about 35 minutes.
March 12, 2007
I have something to share that is so yummy today it’ll make your head spin!
I’ll tell you there is some shrimp, some crab meant and some butter and cheese…but there is also wine and milk…..Mix it all together and you have one great casserole from Ms. Paula herself.
My company’s annual St. Pat’s Potluck is coming up the end of the week and this is a perfect dish to serve, being it’s Lent and all.
Try serving this with some rolls and a salad. Easy and quick meal when you are on the go, but makes the best leftovers to enjoy the next couple of days!
TIP: DO NOT OVERCOOK THE SHRIMP. Many people overcook shrimp. It is very important you do not in this recipe because the shrimp are going to cook in the oven also.
[Photo from Food Network]
From Paula Deen
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound small or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound claw crabmeat, picked through for shells
1 1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over very low heat. When the butter is completely melted, stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 1 minute over low heat, stirring constantly. Slowly add the milk. Using a whisk, stir briskly until you have a smooth sauce, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and cayenne and whisk again. Switch to the wooden spoon and keep stirring the white sauce until it is completely smooth and thickened, about the consistency of mayonnaise. Remove from the heat.
Bring 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan and add the shrimp. When the water returns to a boil, cook the shrimp for 1 minute. Drain immediately. Roughly chop the shrimp and put in a large mixing bowl. Add the crabmeat and, with your hands, toss gently to mix.
Pour the sauce over the seafood. With a large spoon, gently combine, taking care not to break apart the crabmeat. Top with cheese.
Grease 11 by 7 casserole dish. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbly. If serving immediately, bake in a 350 degree F oven uncovered, for about 25 minutes, until bubbly.
March 7, 2007
It was about after Christmas I realized it was time to get on a diet. Now, when I say diet I don’t mean a (I can’t anything diet). I’m talking about a healthy way to diet where you can still eat the foods you enjoy and shed those extra pounds.
Here is what works: eat breakfast (start with a piece of toast or oatmeal and a piece of fruit), next have another small “snack” around 9:30 or 10 am (a piece of fruit or yogurt or a small handful of reduced fat Wheat Thins), now’s it’s about lunch time (salad or turkey sandwich or any other sensible meal, but a smaller one) have another “snack” around 3pm and then comes dinner.
Now, this is where things can get tricky. At dinner do not fill your plate and then go back for a second helping. BE SMART! I believe you can still eat the foods you want, but it’s all about proportions….a small piece of meat or fish (make a fist…that is the size of protein source you should have on your plate). Next fill your plate up with all the veggies you want and maybe a small portion of rice or a roll. DO NOT EAT AFTER 8PM. You body’s metabolism slows down and you won’t burn off that handful of chips or Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies you just ate. (I had to use the Thin Mint example because my husband just came home with four boxes the other day).
Word to the wise: If you don’t have “junk food” in your house you won’t be tempted to eat it!
Get your exercise! I workout three to four times per week. Sometimes that means taking a hike for 30-45 minutes for my cardio with my dogs or riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes and then weight lifting for 15 minutes. Many of us burn calories in our daily activities. I like to clean house once a week for an hour straight….I can burn up to 250 calories just cleaning house.
But, the key to a good healthy diet is small proportions and exercising. You’ll be amazed in how much better you feel. It’s hard when you work full-time and live a hectic lifestyle. So, I like to keep healthier meals by my desk, that way I won’t be tempted to run to the vending or soda machines. Speaking of soda: cut your sodas out of your diet and I guarantee you’ll see a difference. DRINK WATER! I drink almost 3 liters of water per day. I bring a 1 liter bottle of water to work with me, so then I can keep track. If you are tired of water, try some of the flavors of Crystal Light.
The healthiest way to cook is with olive oil and herbs. Now, I don’t always follow this because like Paula Deen I LOVE my butter! But, if you are looking for options try using fresh herbs. The Food Network has a great page that tells you everything you want to know about a wide variety of herbs.
Eat little and often - there's evidence that eating small, regular meals throughout the day, rather than one or two large meals, may help to keep your metabolism ticking over. Surprisingly, around 10 percent of the calories we use each day go on digesting and absorbing food - so the more times you eat, the greater this effect is likely to be.
Truthfully, when it comes to losing weight I believe it’s about a lifestyle change more than anything. Yes, you can still eat ice cream, cake, pie, etc., but in moderation. You have to incorporate your food groups: Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Dairy, Meat & Beans, Oils and Physical Activity. Eat your food groups, drink lots and lots of water and exercise and you’ll be on your way.
March 2, 2007
Yesterday I got an email from a lady at Hoffman Media, a company that handles public relations for Paula Deen. The lady thanked me for my enthusiasm for Paula Deen and asked me if I would be interested in receiving a care package of all of Paula Deen's magazines. “Of coarse,” was my reply back.
I was very surprised to be offered such a nice gift. I will say Paula has some very good people working for her.
I also started planning a trip to Savannah, Georgia for June. I plan on surprising my mother with a vacation for the two of us in Savannah for her birthday. The vacation is more like a “Paula Deen Getaway.”
I’m planning on taking in lunch at the Lady & Sons Restaurant and Uncle Bubba’s, taking a tour of old Savannah (the Paula Deen Tour) and hopefully getting tickets to one of the tapings of Paula’s Party. I sent in my request yesterday for tickets to one of the tapings for the end of June.
If anyone has any other great suggestions for a Savannah trip please let me know. It will be my first visit to Georgia and I’m very exciting. There is nothing that would make the trip better then getting tickets to the television show, I know that would really make the trip a "hoot" for my mother. I’ll keep you posted and let everyone know something when I hear back!
Today’s recipe is one from a fellow co-worker of mine, Myra. This is another great quick and easy meal for us working women and men. I do however make a couple of additions to this recipe. I like to also add thinly sliced red bell pepper and I use fresh garlic instead of the powder. I also add fresh parsley from my herb garden. I love the taste of fresh herbs…they really make any dish “pop.”
Enjoy…until next time.
by Myra Verslues
Grill Chicken breast – use salt, pepper and garlic powder for seasoning.
Cook noodles – I usually use Angel hair pasta but any will work.
Cook/Steam either asparagus or broccoli.
In a large skillet, add cut-up chicken breast, cooked noodles and vegetables, 1 tablespoon of butter, one tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 can of sliced mushrooms or fresh mushrooms.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese – I usually use quite a bit. Sprinkle with a little more pepper and garlic powder to taste.
Pour approximately 1 cup of olive oil over everything and stir together…. If you need more oil add more because this is the “good” oil. Season to taste. Simmer and serve.