Sunday, October 31, 2010

Berry Good Kielbasa

After taking the day off from cooking yesterday and preparing for an exciting evening of trick-or-treating with my kids, I was anxious to get back to the kitchen today. I was in the mood for some finger foods, perfect for sitting around and watching ghost story marathons. One recipe that had been calling my name for a while was this one for Berry Good Kielbasa from Gooseberry Patch's Autumn with Family and Friends, copyright 2009. Plus, the name Berry Good Kielbasa made me think of Frankenberry - perfect for Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Fiesta - Burritos

This is one of my favorite recipes. The dish blends together the flavors that I hold near and dear to my heart -garlic and cilantro. But, I'm not going to mislead you. This dish is a labor of love. The ingredients are simple; the process is simple. But, it can be a little time-consuming. Not to deter you, though. It is wonderful and well worth the time you put in it. It's definitely my idea of a weekend dish since it takes a little while to prepare. I like to cook it on special occasions like tonight, because it's Friday night, just an uneventful but glorious Friday night. And, since Friday is the most highly anticipated day of the work week, it deserves to be celebrated. It deserves a fiesta. Ole!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

BBQ is one of the most subjective foods out there. Whenever a new BBQ joint opens up in town, it's hard to trust anyone else's opinion on the quality and taste of the food. My husband and I are the only ones in our house who eat it and even we disagree on the subject. I prefer pulled pork while he prefers chopped. I don't like my meat to taste smoked but he loves the smoked taste so much that, at one point, he smoked three different kinds of meat on his smoker just to see which one he liked the best. We both like a mustard-based sauce but I tend to lean toward tangy while he prefers the sweetness.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Savory Garden Casserole

In the second installment of the Casserole Chronicles, I will explore the myth...the legend...that is the traditional green bean casserole. Yes, there are some haters out there. But, there must be a lot of lovers, too. How else can you explain the successful fried onion industry? No, it is not the most vibrant casserole in the world, but I have learned to accessorize with sunny whole kernel corn and fluffy white rice to complement the sage-colored beans, creamy beige soup, and golden crunchy onions. The only thing that makes this casserole even better is to throw in some cooked chicken which takes this recipe from side dish to main dish, from supporting role to super star!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bacon-Topped Veggie Bake

Fall is the season for apples, pumpkins, county fairs, trick-or-treating, and...casseroles. I have a few casseroles that I've cooked many times over the years and will be highlighting them here soon. But, I thought I would look for something different so pulled out my Gooseberry Patch's Fall, Family and Friends, copyright 2006.

Now, when I see the word "bacon" in the title of a recipe, I must stop and read carefully. The ingredients and directions were simple. Plus, with the bacon topping, I knew I couldn't go wrong.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Solving the Mystery

When I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Mennonite Girls Can Cook, I thought it would be perfect for my husband. He doesn't like ooey, gooey, heavily frosted, ultra sweet desserts. I do, of course. I have, in my desperation for something sweet, eaten chocolate frosting out of a can with a spoon. And, with my head held down in shame, admit that I even let my son who was about two at the time have a scoop, too. We loved it, but we don't do that any more. Honest...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday with Friends

Some days, you just need your friends. Friends you can count on to be there when you need them. And, being with these friends makes everything all right. I want you to meet my friends - baked chicken and roasted asparagus. Don't laugh...I needed them this evening after a long week at work and they came through providing me with the familiar comfort I so desperately craved.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

It's funny how things work out sometimes. Two days ago, I was discussing cookie recipes with a friend of mine at work. She told me about one of her favorite cookie recipes and about how she had lost it somewhere along the way. The recipe replicated the chocolate cookies made by Gottlieb's bakery in Savannah, GA. The very next day, our other co-worker brought in a new cookbook, Savannah Celebrations, copyright 2010, by local cookbook writer Martha Nesbit that contained...drumroll, please...the recipe for Chewy Chocolate Cookies, Ms. Nesbit's version of the cookies from Gottlieb's. Since tomorrow is my day to bring in snacks, I decided to surprise everyone with the cookies.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book Relections: "The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen" by Teri Edwards and Serena Thompson

My cookbook shelves were overflowing. I have a small cabinet that is filled with cookbooks, cooking magazines, and cookie cutters. Frankly, it had become an abyss filled with forgotten, but seemingly "necessary" items. So on Friday, I decided to delve into the depths of the cabinet and eliminate anything that (a) I didn't truly love, and (b) I had no clue what it was or where it even came from. So, I now have a stack of cookbooks that I will be donating to some needy folks, also known as my coworkers.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Apple-Cinnamon Bars

I am absolutely in love with the combination of apples and cinnamon. I love it in candles, lotion, ice cream, and especially in desserts!!! I've made several apple cinnamon dishes this fall, but I think this one may be my favorite...for now. This recipe is from Gooseberry Patch's Jolly Holidays, copyright 2002. I've made these bars many times and love that the ingredients are so simple and, except for the apples, always in my pantry.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Slow Roast

I love being able to have the whole day to plan a meal, to get up in the morning and plunder through the freezer until I find the perfect thing for the night's dinner. I had that luxury today as I was home on fall break with my kids. So, seeing the roast in the freezer, I decided to make a "man's meal" tonight since I had the time and ingredients. Call your man to the computer screen. Men just like to look at meat!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tuna Macaroni Salad

Don't you hate it when you think you're going to get away with not cooking one evening and then, wham!, things change and you're trying to pull something together for a meal? I know - it's frustrating. After the panic subsides, my mind always turns to my pantry. And, sitting there like an unsung hero is my savior, a small, unassuming can of tuna. Next to that, its sidekick - a box of elbow macaroni. And, just like that, I've pulled off another meal as if it had been planned since morning.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Reflections: "Southern Plate" by Christy Jordan

I am new to the blogging community not only as a writer but as a reader as well. Within a brief amount of time, I have seen how powerful the blog can be as a vehicle for both communication and creativity. But, as much as I enjoy visiting other blogs and cooking sites, I still love the feel of a cookbook - smoothing my hand across the jacket and turning it over to read the back cover, the spine - anything to prolong the excitement I feel as I open the front cover and step into the writer’s kitchen.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Roasted Broccoli

This is my family's favorite way to eat broccoli and it's so simple to make that I'm almost embarassed to even post it here. But, I didn't want you to think that the only way I eat vegetables is fried in bacon. Not that I see anything wrong with that...

Super Sausage Bites

I didn't name them but I do agree with the title. These sausage bites are indeed super. The recipe is from Gooseberry Patch's Taste of Autumn, copyright 2004. I've been making this dish for almost six years now. It the first Gooseberry Patch recipe I ever made and it's still a winner! These sausage bites are perfect for your tailgating and Halloween party needs. If you try them, I think you'll be hooked, too.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chocolate Pound Cake

This recipe for chocolate pound cake was my first endeavor into the baking world about twenty years ago. I was introduced to it by a lady named Debbie Morris whom I worked with when I was a college student. I've made it numerous times over the years, usually for my little brother who admits to an addiction to chocolate. I've even frosted it but that's really overkill if you ask me. This cake needs nothing but a plate and a quiet spot where it can be savored.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Exciting News!!!

My blog will be featured on the Gooseberry Patch blog as part of their Featured Friday series on October 8, 2010. I feel honored that the Gooseberry Patch staff has chosen a beginning blogger like me to highlight on their blog. I have been a huge fan of this company for years now because of their wonderful cookbooks. But, they have gone out of their way to make me feel more like a friend than a customer. Please stop by and visit their gorgeous site.

I also want to thank all of my friends and family who have supported my blogging venture and offered me encouragement every day. It means so much to me.

Black-Eyed Pea Dip

With tailgating season in full swing and Halloween party plans in the works, I've been asked to include some party foods on my blog. So, I thought that I would start a party food series to run through October for those of you who are looking for ideas.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fried Cabbage

I know what you're thinking. "First, sauerkraut salad - now, fried cabbage...what will she think up next?" I've loved this dish since the moment I tried it years ago when Eric introduced it to me. He cooked it for me one day and I've been hooked ever since.

One time, when we were vacationing in Mt. Pleasant, SC, we went to a restaurant called Shem Creek Bar and Grill. When the waitress came over to take our order, I asked about the vegetable of the day. She left to go to the kitchen to find out what the day's vegetable was. When she returned, her nose was turned up and she said with a grimace, "It's fried cabbage!?!" I almost squealed with delight. "Are you serious? That's my favorite!" "Really?" she said incredulously as she left to place our order. The cabbage was delicious that day and so is this recipe.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Seafood Chowder - Another Saturday Night Special

It actually felt like fall had arrived this morning here in Georgia. I opened the windows to allow the cool morning breeze to sweep through the house. The kids enjoyed the day by going outside on an hourly basis to ride their bikes and scooters. With the change of seasons, I thought it would be fitting to welcome fall with a big pot of seafood chowder.

Toffee Apple Dip

I'm still on an apple kick here. And, my friend, Julia, informed me that no apple recipe collection would be complete without my Toffee Apple Dip. I've made this dip for numerous parties and showers at the request of the hostesses and honorees. Although I always serve it with apples, I also like to include some graham cracker sticks or teddy grahams. I've also seen people simply eat it with a spoon...