Friday, July 29, 2016

Macaroni and Cheese

Considered a classic comfort food, homemade macaroni and cheese won't last long on the dinner table. Rich, creamy, and delicious, baked macaroni and cheese is surprisingly easy to make. After trying this recipe from Trisha Yearwood, you will say goodbye to the boxed stuff.

Please click on the link for the recipe and a video tutorial!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Easy Peasy Mackaneasy Garlic Dill Pickles

I love pickles on sandwiches. For some reason, I like strips of pickles more than I like little round pickles; I think they commercial johnnies call them "sandwich pickles," which makes all kindsa sense to me.

Our #3 Daughter works with a woman who grows cucumbers, and she always sends sacks of cucumbers to us via #3. I make pickles, keep some, and send the rest to #3 and The Cucumber Lady.

This year, I couldn't find my regular recipe, but I found an even easier one in Irma S. Rombauer's The Joy of Cooking (1946 edition). You can find some of her recipes, with wine pairings, here.

You don't even have to brine the cucumbers first in this one; you just cut them however you want to (I cut them into wedges and chunks for #3 and TCL and sliced them longways for me) and pack them in sterile jars along with 1 clove garlic and 1 li'l bunch of dill weed. Irma says to also put in 6 peppercorns and 1 clove, but I'm like, seriously? Just no.

Mix:
  • 2 quarts vinegar
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup coarse salt
Bring it to a boil. Fill the cucumber jars and screw on the lids. Let them cool. I always keep them in the refrigerator. Irma says to wait 5 days before using the pickles, to give them time to "ripen."
Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, July 22, 2016

Cornbread



CornbreadIf a southern table doesn't have biscuits, more than likely a pan of cornbread or a basket of corn muffins will accompany the meal. Cornbread is a bit easier than biscuits for beginning bakers, and this recipe from Betty Crocker has been in circulation for generations.

Cornbread

(Please click on the link for expert tips, nutrition information, and more delicious recipes!)

Ingredients

Cooking spray to grease pan
1/4 cup butter or margarine (1/2 stick)
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1 1/4cups yellow, white or blue cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1 Heat the oven to 400°F. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan or 9-inch round cake pan with the cooking spray.
2 In a 1-quart saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until melted.
3 In a large bowl, beat the melted butter, milk and egg with a fork or wire whisk until well mixed. Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt all at once; stir just until the flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Pour batter into the pan; use a rubber spatula to scrape batter from bowl. Spread batter evenly in pan and smooth top of batter.
4 Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Summer-Lovin' #Vegan

My husband and I aren't vegans, but we eat that way most of the time, especially in the summer. Fresh vegetables are just SO GOOD!

Here's one of our feasts.

We had fresh cucumbers sliced in rounds and dressed with Zesty Italian Dressing. The dark greens are kale boiled with onions. The yellow-y things are summer squash sliced lengthways and thin, breaded and fried in vegan margarine until brown and crispy.

Mmmmmmmm!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, July 15, 2016

Buttermilk Biscuits

It doesn't matter where you're from, thinking about southern cooking can automatically make the mouth start watering. Known for being rich, filling, and delicious, there's a reason traditional southern foods are synonymous with "comfort foods."

Since my latest series focuses on southern cooking, I'll be sharing some of those tried-and-true recipes with you in the coming weeks. I hope you enjoy them.


(Below is the basic recipe. Please click on the link above to go to the site where you can find variations such as pimiento cheese biscuits, feta-oregano biscuits, black pepper and bacon biscuits, and cinnamon raisin biscuits.)

Ingredients

1/2 cup cold butter
2 1/4 cups self-rising soft-wheat flour
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Self-rising soft-wheat flour
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preparation

1. Cut butter with a sharp knife or pastry blender into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle butter slices over flour in a large bowl. Toss butter with flour. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, starting with 1 short end. (Fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter-size piece of paper.) Repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a 3/4-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).
3. Press or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased jelly-roll pan. (Dough rounds should touch.)
4. Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used White Lily Self-Rising Soft Wheat Flour.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Why Buy the Chicken When you can Dress Like a Cow and Get it for Free?

Yesterday, Chick-fil-A had their annual Cow Appreciation Day. Adults wearing any cow attire received free entrees. Children dressed in cow costumes received free meals. Such a fun promotion! May have to get in on it next year.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Chard Fry #Vegan

Some farmers' market slicker talked me into buying a mess of chard. And I do mean mess. Yeah, not a fan.

But I had a butt-load of it, so I had to use it a couple of times before I could rationalize shoving it to the back of the refrigerator and pretending I forgot about it until it was too far gone to even open the bag.

So I made this:
That's a stir-fry with chopped red-stemmed chard, snow peas, onions, leftover rice, and cashews. That stuff on the side is boiled and buttered (well, vegan margarined) cabbage. Not bad, actually. If somebody curses you with a bag of chard, you might try it.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes