Friday, September 29, 2017

Easy Chicken Gumbo

An easy way to make Chicken Gumbo? That’s right. This southern food is a specialty your family can enjoy on any night of the week.

(Please click the link for more information, tips, and photos.)


2 (3-pound) broiler-fryers, cut up
1 quart water
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 (10-ounce) package frozen cut okra
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup finely shredded cabbage

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine chicken, water, chopped celery stalk, salt, and pepper in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from broth; cool. Bone chicken, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Strain broth, and return broth to Dutch oven. Discard celery.
Step 2

Add next 4 ingredients to broth; cook over low heat 15 minutes. Add cabbage; cook an additional 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, and bring mixture to a boil. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Late, Local, #Vegetarian

The farmers market is winding down, but we got some good stuff, anyway.

 Local corn. Local summer squash. Local sausage. Store-bought feta cheese.

The squash was one of those with the tough, bumpy skin, so I peeled it, cut it up, and cooked it in the same pan with the sausage. This local sausage is very lean; I may have had to add a little vegan margarine, in fact.

For my friends who keep kosher: Would it be permitted to use, say, pastrami or corned beef (a spicy meat, in other words) AND top it with feta cheese? Can you mix meat and dairy AFTER it's cooked?

Anyway, for those of us who don't have restrictions against it, this was delicious!

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

Friday, September 22, 2017

Southern Green Beans with Bacon

Here is a terrific recipe from I Wash You Dry. It's a green bean casserole with a difference. Bacon and almonds toasted in browned butter are added to the beans. This could become a family favorite.

Southern Green Beans with Bacon

(Please click link for photos and additional information.)


4 strips, thick cut bacon
2 lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed
3 cups water
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 tbsp Challenge Butter, unsalted
1/3 cup sliced almonds


Cook the bacon in a large dutch oven or pot until crisp then drain on a paper towel lined plate. Cut into pieces.

Reserve the grease and add the beans, water, broth, garlic powder, seasoning salt and pepper to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the beans are tender. 

Drain the beans into a strainer and return the pot to the stove top.
Add the butter and almonds to the pot and cook over medium heat, swirling the pot, until the butter becomes golden brown and gives off a nutty aroma.
Stir the beans and bacon into the butter and heat through, making sure to coat everything with the butter. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Yes, I'm using Allenspeak again. "Panchookies" is what we used to call pancakes. ~whispering~ I still do. ~/whispering~

We don't have them often. Charlie doesn't much care for them, but I get a real craving for them sometimes. I like 'em best with fresh blueberries, but I also like these, which our niece Anna Ruth put us onto.
That's pancakes, any recipe you like, made with vanilla almond milk and with pecans and chocolate chips in. Topped with powdered sugar instead of syrup and a dollop of vegan margarine -- MMMMM.

Yes, I used a real egg, not egg substitute, from the chickens up the road, but egg substitute would be okay, I guess, if you don't have neighborhood chickens. I realize not everybody lives in Mayberry. Or wants to.

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie

A creamy filling of chicken and vegetables and a flaky crust makes for comfort food at its absolute finest.

(Please click the link for photographs and additional tips from My


1/2 cup butter 
2 medium leeks, sliced 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
1 (14.5-oz.) can chicken broth 
3 cups chopped cooked chicken 
1 1/2 cups frozen cubed hash browns with onions and peppers 
1 cup matchstick carrots 
1/3 cup chopped fresh at-leaf parsley 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
1 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed 
1 large egg 


Preheat oven to 375°. 

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add leeks, and sauté 3 minutes. Sprinkle with our; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chicken and next 5 ingredients. 

Roll each pastry sheet into a 12- x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Fit 1 sheet into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate; spoon chicken mixture into pastry. Place remaining pastry sheet over filling in opposite direction of bottom sheet; fold edges under, and press with tines of a fork, sealing to bottom crust. Whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water, and brush over top of pie. 

Bake at 375° on lower oven rack 55 to 60 minutes or until browned. Let stand 15 minutes

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Charlie's Tofu

So I got some Extra-Firm tofu, which I like. I sliced it thick and pressed out some of the liquid. There wasn't much, because it was extra-firm. I sprinkled it with soy sauce, Jane's Crazy Mixed-up Salt, and a little flour. I fried it in a non-stick pan with a thin coating of sesame seed oil.

And Charlie? He did this with it.
Sez he: Not bad, with ketchup.

Sez I: Whatevs.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Sour Cream Pound Cake

This is a dessert that appears at many family dinners in the South. Holidays wouldn’t be the same without a pound cake.

Check out this video from Southern Living.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Man-Cooked Meal

I've been busier than a bird-dog lately, and Charlie has been stepping up to the plate in the kitchen (see what I did there?) and cooking.

He makes great soup, and he makes great over-easy eggs. But this is one of his favorite summertime suppertime dishes.

Blue Lake green beans from the farmers market and potatoes (also from the market, if possible). He just boils them in salted water, both together, until the potatoes are soft (about 20 minutes), drains them, and butters them.

Pretty plain fare, but freshness is great seasoning.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Caramel Cake

A moist and sweet tradition, Carmel Cake is a southern staple. This is one of the recipes you will want to keep handy for future family gatherings.

Caramel Cake
From My


1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Caramel Frosting

How to Make It
Step 1
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine sour cream and milk.
Step 2

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Step 3

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at medium-low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
Step 4

Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and let cool 1 hour or until completely cool.
Step 5

Spread Caramel Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.