Friday, December 29, 2017

Lucky New Year's Meal

I'm not terribly superstitious but, as Michael Scott from The Office says, "I am a little stitious." If you're super or a little stitious and would like to prepare a traditional "lucky" New Year's Day meal, Southern Living has you covered.

In addition to providing the recipes, Southern Living gives you the symbolism behind some of the traditional foods. For example, cornbread is said to represent gold.


Wishing you all the best in 2018.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Festive #Vegetarian Casserole, Could Be #Vegan

So I went to a party at which we were to each bring a present that cost $10 or less, and played one of those swap-around games, and this is what I ended up with -- the very one I wanted!
Naturally, I wasted no time in making something from it. I tweaked it, though, to make it vegetarian, and I tweaked it more to make it vegan for Christmas.

Here's the recipe:


  • Two 15-ounce (417-g) cans Mexican corn with red and green peppers
  • One 15-ounce (417-g) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • One cup (225 g) chunky-style salsa

Put the Mexican corn, black beans, and salsa in the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.

ADD IT IN: Sprinkle 1 cup (115 g) shredded Mexican-blend cheese over the mixture 15 minutes before it's done and continue cooking until the cheese has melted.

--I also mixed up a pot of vegan taco "meat" and stirred it in after the veg had cooked. I did that again for Christmas, plus substituted vegan "cheese" and held the sour cream I topped ours with.

Yes, it's served over lettuce. We love food served over lettuce, especially spicy food. Mmmm.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Margaret's Southern Chocolate Pie

Take a piece of this scrumptious pie when you’re grabbing your main course because it will be the first dessert to disappear. This is chocolate heaven!

Margaret's Southern Chocolate Pie from AllRecipes


1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
3  tablespoons butter
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
3 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons white sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Sift together the cocoa powder and the flour and pour them into a saucepan. Whisk the egg yolks and 1 1/3 cups sugar. Gradually add the evaporated milk, whisking constantly; slowly pour the milk mixture into the saucepan, whisking until combined.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon or spatula, until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove the custard from the heat and stir in the butter until melted. Pour the filling into the baked pie crust.
To make the meringue topping: Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean glass or metal bowl; beat with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Lift your beater or whisk straight up: the egg whites will form sharp peaks. Spread the meringue over the chocolate filling.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the tips of the meringue peaks are golden brown.

Printed From 8/17/2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

This Cabbage Thang

Charlie is all about the cabbage. Now, I don't have a thing in the world against cabbage. If I had cabbage in my will, I wouldn't ever call a lawyer and disown it. But I can generally take it or leave it. So, Charlie loving it the way he does and me being indifferent to it, I like to cook it different ways.

This was a pretty good way, we both agreed.
I cut it into pieces and braised it, covered, in butter and water, with salt and dill weed. Then I drained it well and topped it with crumbled Feta cheese.

The leftovers went into a mushroom. See my blog on 12/20/17.

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

Friday, December 15, 2017

German Chocolate Cake

This remains a highly requested holiday and birthday favorite. German chocolate is a lighter flavored chocolate. A German Chocolate Cake is traditionally spread with a coconut pecan frosting.

Tori Avey's German Chocolate Cake

The recipe is below, but you absolutely must visit the link to get a full appreciation for this cake.

Chocolate Ingredients

4 ounces sweet (German) chocolate, coarsely chopped (115 grams)
1/2 cup boiling water or brewed coffee (4.15 ounces/120 grams)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Batter Ingredients

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour or 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (9 ounces/250 grams)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter or vegetable shortening, softened (65 to 67°F) (2 sticks/8 ounces/225 grams)
2 cups granulated sugar, or 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup packed light brown sugar (14 ounces/400 grams)
4 large egg yolks (¼ cup + 2 teaspoons/2.5 ounces/75 grams)
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice plus milk to equal 1 cup) (8.25 ounces/240 grams)
4 large egg whites (½ cup/4.25 ounces/120 grams)

Coconut-Pecan Frosting Ingredients

1 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream (8.5 ounces/245 grams)
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces/200 grams)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick/4 ounces/115 grams)
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten (3½ tablespoons/2 ounces/60 grams)
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups grated coconut (3.5 ounces/100 grams)
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted and finely chopped (4 ounces/115 grams)

You will also need
Non-stick cooking spray, three 9- by 1½-inch round cake pans, two 8-inch by 2-inch square pans, or one 13- by 9-inch pan, parchment or wax paper, sifter, mixing bowls, hand mixer, medium saucepan

See the full post: for step-by-step instructions.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Charlie's Secret Ingredient #soup #vegetarian

Charlie made this soup while I was out. When I came back and he served it up, he said, "I can't taste the potatoes, I can't taste the carrots, I can't taste the celery, I can't taste the cabbage, but I can taste the special ingredient I put in. See if you can identify it."

He was right, that all the ingredients had blended into one heavenly flavor, but he was also right that there was a little extra something.

"Salsa?" -- He often puts salsa in the soup.

"I did put salsa in it, but that's not it."

I gave up. He pointed to a bit of something.

It was a slice of olive!

He said, "I cut up four olives into the soup. And you can taste it!"

I could. It was subtle, but it was a definite addition.

So, cubed potatoes, sliced carrots, chopped celery leaves, diced cabbage, onion powder, water, Not Chick'n bouillon, egg noodles, salsa -- and sliced olives.

The result was those three little words that mean so much: Keep the recipe!

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

Friday, December 8, 2017

Scalloped Potato Casserole

Layer upon layer of thinly sliced potatoes and onions smothered in a buttery sauce will emerge from the oven a creamy and delicious delight.

Scalloped Potato Casserole from Deep South Dish

Please visit the above link for mouth-watering photographs and step-by-step instructions.


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 pounds potatoes, about 6 medium potatoes for 6 cups sliced
1 medium clove garlic, smashed
2-1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk) (NOT sweetened condensed milk)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon white or black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning, or to taste, divided, optional


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly smash and peel the garlic; rub all over a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Butter the dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside. Peel the potatoes and slice thin, about 1/4 inch. A mandolin works fantastic for this. Hold the potatoes in a bowl of cool water to which 1/2 teaspoon of salt has been added; set aside. When ready to bake the casserole, drain potatoes, transfer to a clean dish towel and pat to dry. Heat the remaining butter with the milk until the butter is melted and the milk hot.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion until cooked, but not browned. Layer 1/2 of the onion in the bottom of the baking dish. Add 1/2 of the potatoes on top of the onion. Split the remaining onion in half and set aside. Combine salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning and season potatoes with half; top with half of the remaining onion, then the remaining potatoes, seasonings and onions.

Pour the hot milk and butter combination evenly over the top of the casserole, cover tightly and bake in the upper third of the oven, at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes, uncover, and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until until milk has been absorbed and potatoes are soft. May pass under the broiler to brown top further. Serves about 4 - make two pans for a larger serving.

Read more:
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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fruit Salad With Bear-Whippin' Sauce

When #4 Daughter, the amazing Sara Marian, was wee, I made fruit salad and dressed it with a sauce that I found somewhere that was supposed to be for dipping fresh strawberries into. So I said, "I think this fruit salad would be good if I mixed in some berry-dipping sauce. And wee Sara said, "What did you say? Bear-whippin' sauce?!?!!"

So that's what it is.

Bear-Whippin' Sauce

Mix equal amounts of mayonnaise and brown sugar. The end.

This salad is apples, celery, pecans, and dates.
Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, December 1, 2017

Hush Puppies

Crunchy and flavor-packed Hush Puppies are a wonderful side dish to accompany a variety of Southern foods. Try them with catfish or a green bean casserole.

Buttermilk Hush Puppies from AllRecipes

Please click here for the video!

1 quart vegetable oil for frying, or as needed
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
 1/4 cup white sugar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup minced onion
4 green onions, minced

Heat 1 quart vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).
Whisk buttermilk, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and eggs in a bowl.
Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Fold buttermilk mixture, onion, and green onions into cornmeal mixture until just mixed.
Drop 6 to 8 tablespoon-sized balls of batter into the hot oil; fry until each hush puppy is golden brown, turning the hush puppies to cook evenly, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove hush puppies with a slotted spoon and place on brown paper bags to drain. Repeat with any remaining batter.
Transfer hush puppies to a baking sheet and keep warm in the preheated oven until ready to serve.

Printed From 8/17/2017