Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quick Curry Chicken

For many years before Eric was born, his parents lived and worked abroad. One of the places where they lived for was India. While in India, Eric's mom was introduced to regional cooking and spices. One of the spices that she adopted and adapted to her cooking when she returned to the States was curry. If you've never cooked with curry, please give it a try. Curry powder itself is not spicy, but the flavor and aroma are very distinct. The first time I made this recipe, Eric took one whiff and was transported back to his mother's kitchen. For him, and I hope for you, this is truly comfort food.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Grandmother's Pound Cake

I've decided to challenge myself this week by limiting my cooking to items that are already in my pantry. My pantry is actually overflowing. But for some reason, I find the need to go to the grocery store every weekend even when I don't really need anything. It's a habit really and one habit that needs to be broken. So, I pulled out my cookbooks to see what I could whip up tonight. I was in the mood to bake. So, I found this recipe for Grandmother's Pound Cake. It only required five ingredients, all of which I had on hand. The recipe came from 5 Ingredients or Less by Gooseberry Patch, copyright 2002. This cookbook is perfect for a pantry challenge. I plan to cook a few more recipes from it this weekend.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cocoa Brownies

Sometimes, I get nostalgic for my stay-at-home mom days. And, even though I do miss being able to isolate myself from the world with my two little boys, I also miss being able to cook from scratch on a daily basis. There is something so earthy and fulfilling about cooking from scratch, not being a slave to grocery stores and convenience foods.

Brownie mixes can be bought fairly cheaply at grocery stores. I usually do keep a box or two on hand. But, this afternoon, I was feeling nostalgic as I tend to do on Sunday afternoons when I need to prepare for the upcoming work week and don't want to. So, I pulled out a recipe that I have used numerous times, and as I mixed the batter, I thought back to a time when two bald-headed baby boys ran around and screamed all day long. Oh, there's still screaming going on around here, but they both have hair now.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sauerkraut Salad

Since our county is celebrating Oktoberfest in September for some reason, I thought I would celebrate in my own way and make some sauerkraut salad.

Now, this recipe takes me back to the beginning of my relationship with Eric. Ah, the good old days!! Soon after we started dating and Eric found out that I liked sauerkraut, he asked me if I had ever had sauerkraut salad. When I told him that I hadn't, he decided that he would make some for me. Up to that point, my only experience with sauerkraut had been eating it on a hot dog, but I was game. And, to my surprise, the salad was quite good. So, if you're feeling adventurous, give this salad a try. You may be surprised.

Golden Onion and Orzo

If you've never tried orzo, you don't know what you're missing. Orzo is wonderful. Eric has fought eating it for a long time but he has finally conceded that he does like it. He thinks it's a type of rice which is just as well. It can be cooked in the same way that rice can, but it is, in fact, a form of pasta. This is an excellent recipe to use if you're giving orzo a try for the first time. It's easy and delicious.

Fried Squash

Lest you think that I never cook vegetables, you would be wrong. I do cook them...occasionally. Now, they may not be particularly healthy but I do cook them. And, they are delicious. Tonight, I decided to break away from the usual potatoes that we cook with our steaks and made some squash instead. Here's how I threw them together.

Finally Fall and Apple Cookies

Every year, Gooseberry Patch releases a fall cookbook. Last year's cookbook was Autumn with Family and Friends. I have all of the fall books and consider this one of the best fall books ever. Because fall finally arrived this week, I decided to make a recipe from this cookbook. Yes, I love apples and cinnamon. It's probably one of my favorite flavor combinations. This recipe is from Autumn with Family and Friends, copyright 2009.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Low Country Boil

Eric - for sale or rent! He loves to cook and eat Low Country Boil. He's always looking for an excuse to whip up one of these pots of shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn. So, when his co-workers were considering a Low Country Boil for their rehearsal dinner, Eric immediately volunteered his services. He cooked for a group of about fifty people and, even though I wasn't there for the event, he assured me it was a success. So successful, in fact, that he wanted to share his cooking methods with my blog readers.

Cocktail (Sauce) Anyone?

Cocktail Sauce

Eric makes his own cocktail sauce which is so much better than anything you can buy in a bottle. It's so simple, too. It only has four ingredients: ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Make it far enough ahead of time so it has time to chill so the flavors to blend.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Coming Soon...Low Country Boil

Eric's speciality is Low Country Boil. It's a well known dish here in the south, but it is a regional thing I realize. He cooked some Low Country Boil tonight for his friends' rehearsal dinner. Now, I'm guessing there were some folks there who "weren't from around these parts" and they were mighty pleased with what they ate. So, Eric feels there is a demand out there to see him in action on my blog. So, he will recreate the meal Sunday afternoon on our patio so that I can post the process here. Oh, and he makes his own cocktail sauce, too. I'll throw in that recipe, too. So, if you're interested, please come back on Sunday afternoon to see Eric in action. He needs the love, people. Please show him some!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Apples to Apples

According to the calendar, fall begins next week. We've yet to feel autumn in the air here in southeast Georgia. But, fall is my favorite season and I'm holding out hope that the crisp blue morning skies are close at hand. It's also apple season, up north, somewhere. I think so anyway. So, I'm celebrating the change of seasons with some apple bread. This apple bread recipe is from one of my most cherished cookbooks, Coming Home with Gooseberry Patch, copyright 2007.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Creamy Salsa Dip

What happens in Snack Club, stays in Snack Club. Tomorrow is my day to bring a dish to Snack Club. I had planned to do a simple veggie dip but couldn't find the soup mix I needed at the local grocery store. So, I gathered up a few ingredients and decided I would just wing it when I got home. I added a little of this and a little of that and came up with my newest appetizer.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bridal Shower RSVP

Yesterday, I found out that my little cousin is engaged. I say little because she was born a few months after I graduated from high school. What is this world coming to when they're allowing children to get married?!? Okay, so maybe she's not really a child and may have recently graduated from college but that's as far as I'm going to reveal her age which, therefore, reveals mine.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September is Birthday Month

I have a large extended family. We're kind of like the Waltons but we have Shawn Boy instead of John Boy. September is a big birthday month for our family. Including both of my parents and myself, there are about five or six more birthdays this month. This year is a big year for my cousin, Alicia. She turns 30 today! That came as a surprise to my 7-year-old. He thought she was a teenager.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cookbook Corner

I love Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. No, I mean it - I love them. I started collecting them about six years ago right before the birth of my second son. In a way, they're like my children to me. I don't know how many I have. I think it would be dangerous to know the truth because then I might have to tell the truth - admit to an addiction.

If you're not familiar with Gooseberry Patch cookbooks, you may want to try one out. Not one of mine, mind you. You would have to get your own. These books are great for the beginning or home cook like myself. The recipes are submitted by people from all over the country. Most of the recipes are easy and comforting.

The fall and Christmas books come with heartwarming stories of family and tradition. I devour these books like novels and they always succeed in putting me in the mood for fall festivals, trick-or-treating, Thanksgiving, and decorating for the holidays.

Later in my blog, I will introduce you to more of my cookbooks. I hope you'll find a new cookbook or two or twenty to add to your collection.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

I won't go into all of the gory details. Suffice it to say, all of us have been sick for the past four days or so. We had been looking forward to Labor Day weekend for a couple of months now. We had plans to go to Charleston for the holiday weekend. Our favorite destination spot - our home away from home.

Coney Island Hot Dogs

Fall is on my calendar this month but it's not in the air yet. But, I'm trying to ignore the 90 degree temps and celebrate the fact that sweet September has finally arrived. Football season is here and watching games on Saturday evenings means food on the grill. One of my favorite grill meals is hot dogs. They're simple, cheap, and delicious, and one of the few foods that the whole family can enjoy.

Over the weekend, we grilled hot dogs and I cooked some Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce. The flavors are similar to chili but it's not as saucy. It is delicious.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Brotherly Concern

Little Brother C (left) and Big Brother B (right)
I've always hoped that even though my boys don't get along very well - they spend a lot of time arguing about important issues like who's smarter, who's right, and who smells worse - that they would at least show a united front in public. Yesterday, I saw the smallest glimpse of concern between brothers.