Julia's Simply Southern: November 2015 >

Monday, November 30, 2015

Stuffed Zucchini


The family requested a dinner of grilled peppercorn beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, and zucchini. While I was thinking about the preparations for dinner my mind started wondering - how should I prepare the zucchini. Cause you know, sometimes you just want something a little different. I decided to make a stuffed zucchini and OH M GEE it turned out so good that I had to share it with y'all! The stuffed zucchini that I used as a side dish, honestly could have been a meal itself. This recipe serves four. It takes about 15 minutes to prep and bakes for 45 minutes.

Ingredients:
  • 2 small to medium Zucchini
  • 1/4 lb Country Breakfast Sausage, I used Neese's but any brand will work
  • 1 fresh stack sleeve of original Ritz Crackers, crushed. If you do not have fresh stack sleeves, just use half of a regular sleeve.
  • 2 tbs grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbs Sour Cream
  • 1/8 tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c Shredded Cheese, I used cheddar
  • Chicken Stock or Broth


Start by cutting your zucchini in half and scoop out the middle with a spoon, leaving about 1/4" of the shell. Reserve the zucchini you scoop from the shell, it will be used in the filling.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a small skillet scramble cook the sausage. Chop up the zucchini you scooped out and add to the sausage when it's browned and saute for 3 or 4 minutes.



In a small mixing bowl crush a fresh stack sleeve of Ritz crackers. I used crackers because I didn't have bread crumbs on hand. If you prefer to use bread crumbs, use 1/4 cup of bread crumbs instead.
Add the browned sausage & zucchini mixture to the bread crumbs. Add the grated Parmesan, sour cream, salt, pepper and onion powder. Stir to combine. Add egg and mix everything together.


Add your zucchini "boats" to a baking dish and fill each one with the filling mixture.

 Add 1/4" of chicken stock or broth in the bottom of the dish. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the foil, top with shredded cheese and bake uncovered for another 10 - 15 minutes until the cheese is melted.


Let stand 5 minutes before serving. They are incredibly delicious! You'll be wanting these again!










Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cranberry Relish


Making your own fresh cranberry relish is easy and delicious. The perfect accompaniment to your holiday dinner turkey. I don't know if the holidays would be the same without it. 

I will sometimes look for taste testers when I work on a recipe. Often it's my family. They tried it and liked it, then said but we want the canned kind. Lawd! I then asked a kind neighbor to be my taste tester so I could get a better opinion, other than my own. My neighbor thought it was quite good, so did I. Neighbor approved, Yay!

Ingredients:

1 10 oz pkg Fresh Cranberries 
1 c Orange Juice
Zest of 1 Orange
2 tsp Ginger, fresh grated
1 c Granulated Sugar
1 c Dried Cranberries 
Dash Salt
1 crack of Black Pepper
1 small Shallot, diced (optional)


Combine all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer stirring occasionally. Simmer 20-25 minutes. Mixture will thicken as it cooks. Chill before serving. It's so good  y'all! It has the right amount of sweetness and a hint of tart. 



See it at:

Southern Cornbread


Real Bona Fide Southern Cornbread! It seems like everybody in the South has their favorite way of making cornbread. Cornbread is a southern staple, just like biscuits. I grew up eating it as did generations before me. One thing for sure, we like it savory, not sweet! Sweet cornbread is a preference of our Northern neighbors, respectably.

I remember my grandmother even having leftover cornbread covered in buttermilk, eating it like cereal. There's nothing like having a piece of cornbread with soup or a bowl of beans. That's a meal! 

This basic cornbread recipe is what I mainly use. Sometimes I will switch it up and add onions, cheese, or jalapenos too. This is also the basic cornbread that I use in my Southern Cornbread Dressing for holidays.



Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Self Rising Cornmeal (I prefer stone ground, white cornmeal but yellow will work fine too)
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Eggs Beaten Lightly
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 1/4 Cup Buttermilk, more if needed to get a batter consistency
  • Butter, Shortening, or Bacon Grease to oil skillet
  • Cast Iron Skillet preferred but you can make it in a baking/cake pan or muffin pan
  • Melted Butter to brush the top of the cornbread after it comes out of the pan.


Combine all ingredients well, pour batter into an oven heated cast iron skillet. I put the skillet into the oven while it's pre-heating. Once I remove the skillet from the oven, I coat in butter, shortening, or bacon grease then add the batter. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. 

If you're using a muffin tin, adjust cooking time as the muffins do not take as long to brown. 

If you do not have self rising cornmeal on hand and your using plain cornmeal, add 1 tsp baking powder to recipe so that the cornbread will rise.

Here are some other cornbread recipes you might enjoy:
Cheesy Jalapeno Corn Muffins
Vidalia Upside Down Cornbread
Honey Jalapeno Cornbread




Friday, November 20, 2015

Amicalola Falls - Georgia

Photo: Source

At 729 feet, Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi, located in Dawsonville, Georgia. It's known as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia. The word Amicalola is Cherokee, meaning "Tumbling Waters". 

Before the 19th century, there was little information about the waterfalls. The area was controlled by the Cherokee tribe until 1838. The discovery of gold in North Georgia eventually led to the forced removal of the Cherokee from their lands due to the Treaty of New Echota. This was the beginning of the Trail of Tears. The Cherokee had to give up their lands and migrate to an area now in present day Oklahoma.

In 1911, the falls were purchased by Georgia and a state park established in the area surrounding the falls.  

Photo: Source




The waterfalls are a stunning, natural beauty. The Amicalola State Park is one of the most popular in the state. 

Photo: Source

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Crown of Southern Cooking - Cookbook Review



I've spent the last two weeks going through a wonderful cookbook ~ "The Crown of Southern Cooking", by Evelyn Roughton, published by Quail Ridge Press. Evelyn and her family own and operate The Crown Restaurant in Mississippi. The Crown is a well known landmark. They've been serving up lunch for over 40 years. A restaurant and store all in one. They leave their famous desserts on the table for guests to help themselves. You can learn more about Evelyn in this Interview Video.

The book is so charming. You'll love the personal stories that are shared throughout the book. The pages are filled with wonderful recipes. You'll have plenty to choose from, the book is categorized into:
 Appetizers, Beef, Beverages, Bread & Brunch, Cakes, Candies, Chicken, Cookies, Desserts, Pies, Pork, Salads, Sauces & Seasonings, Seafood, Soups-Stews-Chilis, and Vegetables & Sides.
The recipes are simple and easy to follow. I read the book cover to cover, and here are a few of my favorites:

Chunky Cold Artichoke Dip
B.B.'s Pickled Black-Eyed Peas
Open Faced Crab Sandwiches
World's Best Catfish Salad
Delta Cheese Grits
Mississippi Mud Cake
The Crown's Bourbon Sauce
The Crown's Plantation Pie

Photo: Plantation Pie - The Crown Restaurant

I could go on all day, there are so many great recipes! A couple weeks ago I had a giveaway and part of the entry was to answer a question - What do you look for in a cookbook. The number one answer was "I just love cookbooks", followed by "simple recipes". You will get both those in this book. Your mouth will be watering with every turn of the page. 

Evelyn was also the author of a cookbook on Catfish. She shares several delicious catfish recipes in this book as well. 

In addition to the delightful stories, there are helpful tidbits offered. A great book for anyone's collection.













Spinach and Artichoke Dip : Duke's

Photo: Duke's Mayonnaise

Find more recipes from Duke's Mayonnaise at Duke's Mayo Recipes


Ingredients:
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
½ cup frozen chopped spinach, drained 
1 cup Duke's Mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375°F.  Chop the artichoke hearts.  Combine all ingredients and pour into a small baking dish.  Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes.    

Monday, November 16, 2015

Southern Stays: 1842 Inn Bed and Breakfast



Turkey Talk & Tips


The holidays are near so time to think about the turkey! No one knows exactly how the turkey earned it's place of honor at the holiday table but it's here to stay. Not everyone eats turkey during the holidays, but most people do. There are things to consider however when deciding which bird is right for you.

Frozen Turkey - frozen turkeys are perfectly fine. A lot of them, such as Butterball, are already brined. Check your label before brining the turkey. Do make sure you buy your frozen turkey well in advance. They take 4-6 days to thaw in the refrigerator and the refrigerator is the safest way to thaw. The frozen turkey is the most popular and sold in the U.S. 

Fresh Turkey: fresh turkeys are wonderful but you do not want to buy it too far in advance but you will want to reserve one in advance if buying it from the grocery store. You can order fresh turkeys too. Ordering them will probably costs you a more than the grocery store. When buying a fresh turkey you will want to brine it. Turkeys tend to be dry unless brined. Brining is similar to marinating, but is primarily focused on moistening the meat. Here are a couple of brine recipes:

Smoked Turkey: Smoked turkey is delicious, moist, and flavorful. You can order turkeys that are smoked, which will arrive a couple days prior to the holiday. You can store it in the refrigerator and all you have to do is heat it up. They are naturally smoked the old fashioned way. I discovered the smoked turkey several years ago. After that first time, I decided I would always order a smoked turkey. No more thawing for a week and roasting a bird for 3-4 hours for me. A smoked turkey - usually takes 45 minutes to heat up. Ordering a smoked turkey will cost a more than your grocery store frozen turkey.
This is my favorite smoked turkey I order every year:


If you do decide to cook your turkey, you have several options. Roasting is the most common. Fried turkey has also become very popular. If you fry a turkey please take great precautions and follow all directions exactly. There are lots of fires related to turkey fryers. 

Roasting the Turkey: It's recommended not to stuff the bird. Ignore the pop out timer's that come with the turkey! Use a thermometer. Coat the outside of the skin with butter or oil before roasting. Do add aromatics to the cavity - such as lemon halves, rosemary, thyme, onion, carrot, celery. Make sure you remove the neck, giblets etc if present. I must confess I have forgotten that step myself at least twice. Roasting pans with a rack are recommended. Plan accordingly, turkey takes a while to cook depending on size and you have other dishes you probably need to bake too. I have two ovens and have lots of dishes that I need all of my oven space for. That's another reason I went to the smoked turkey, because it only requires 45 minutes of oven time. That's a BIG time saver! 
Here's a look at cooking times:

Turkey Cooking Times - Unstuffed 
 Pounds Hours
 8 to 12 2-1/2 to 3-1/2
 12 to 16 3-1/2 to 4
 16 to 20 4 to 4-1/2
 20 to 26 4-1/2 to 5-1/2

Start the oven on a hot higher temperature when roasting, then lower for the remainder of cooking. Starting at 475 degrees for 30 minutes helps crisp the skin. Turn the heat down to 350 for the remainder of cooking. Let the turkey rest at least 15 minutes after it comes out of the oven before carving.

Carving the Turkey: Video - How to Carve a Turkey

Thanksgiving Recipes: Southern Thanksgiving Recipe Collection

Turkey Facts


  • Wild turkeys are native to North America and are only found on this continent
  • Wild turkeys can fly, domestic turkeys cannot
  • A baby turkey is called a poult

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Southern Thanksgiving Recipe Collection


There are a lot of similarities in the southern menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I mean we practically have the same thing for both occasions. Here you'll find a collection of holiday recipes from myself, as well as recipes from some of my favorite bloggers, cookbook authors and tv personalities. Happy Holidays Everyone.

Turkey:
Turkey Brine - Alton Brown's Roast Turkey & Brine Recipe
Herb Roasted Turkey - Julia's Simply Southern Herb Roasted Turkey
Turkey Brine - The Pioneer Woman's Favorite Turkey Brine
Top 10 Turkey Tips - Deep South Dish - Turkey Tips
Oven Roasted Turkey - Deep South Dish - Oven Roasted Turkey
Jive Turkey - South Your Mouth - Brined & Herbes Slow Roasted Turkey with Perfect Pan Gravy
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast - Southern Plate - Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Upside Down, Inside, Outside Turkey - Syrup and Biscuits Upside Down, Inside, Outside Turkey
Roasted Turkey Breast - Damaris Phillips/Southern at Heart - Roasted Turkey Breast
Southern Fried Turkey - Jamie Deen / Deen Brothers Thanksgiving - Southern Fried Turkey
Smoked Turkey - Julia's Favorite Smoked Turkey - Just Heat & Serve
Instant Pot Turkey Breast - Soulfully Made - Instant Pot Turkey Breast

Ham:

Cajun Glazed Ham - Deep South Dish - Cajun Ham
Ham Salad 3 Ways - Julia's Simply Southern - Leftovers - Ham Salad 3 Ways
Coca Cola Glazed Ham w/ Brown Sugar & Dijon - South Your Mouth - Coca Cola Glazed Ham with Brown Sugar & Dijon
Old Fashioned Glazed Ham - Paula Deen - Old Fashioned Glazed Ham
Baked Ham with Easy Glaze - Southern Plate - Baked Ham with Easy Glaze
Deviled Ham - Southern Bite - Deviled Ham
Country Ham - Alton Brown's Country Ham
Rustic Ham & Potatoes - Soulfully Made - Rustic Ham & Potatoes

Dressing:

Southern Cornbread Dressing - Julia's Simply Southern - Southern Cornbread Dressing
Southern Cornbread Dressing with Sausage - South Your Mouth - Southern Cornbread Dressing with Sausage
Stuffin' Muffins - Julia's Simply Southern - Stuffin' Muffins
Southern Cornbread and Oyster Dressing - Deep South Dish - Southern Cornbread & Oyster Dressing
Southern Style Cornbread Dressing with Sausage, Apples & Fresh Sage - Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen - Southern Style Cornbread Dressing w/ Sausage, Apples, & Fresh Sage
Old Fashioned Buttermilk Cornbread Dressing - Syrup and Biscuits - Old Fashioned Buttermilk Cornbread Dressing
Cornbread Dressing - Southern Plate - Cornbread Dressing
Country Cornbread Dressing with Pecans - Jamie Deen / Deen Brothers Thanksgiving - Country Cornbread Dressing with Pecans
Cornbread Dressing - The Southern Lady Cooks - Cornbread Dressing
Ham Dressing - Julia's Simply Southern - Aunt Betty's Famous Ham Dressing
Oyster Dressing - Stacy Lyn's Game & Garden Oyster Dressing

Breads:

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits - Julia's Simply Southern - Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
Old Fashioned Pull Apart Rolls - Deep South Dish: Old Fashioned Pull Apart Rolls
Butter Dip Biscuits - The Country Cook - Butter Dip Biscuits
Easy Biscuits - Julia's Simply Southern - Easy Biscuits
Southern Spoon Rolls - Southern Plate - Southern Spoon Rolls
Angel Biscuits - Julia's Simply Southern - Angel Biscuits
Momma's Yeast Rolls - South Your Mouth - Momma's Yeast Rolls
Angel Biscuits -  Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen - Angel Biscuits
Authentic School House Rolls - Syrup and Biscuits - Authentic School House Rolls

Starters:

Southern Deviled Eggs - Julia's Simply Southern - Southern Deviled Eggs
Cornbread Salad - Southern Bite - Cornbread Salad
Fully Loaded Hot Pimento Cheese Dip - Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen: Fully Loaded Hot Pimento Cheese Dip
Everything Salad - Deep South Dish - Everything Salad
Pumpkin Pie Dip - Southern Plate- Pumpkin Pie Dip
Sriracha Bacon Deviled Eggs - South Your Mouth - Sriracha Bacon Deviled Eggs
Traditional Deviled Eggs - Deep South Dish - Traditional Deviled Eggs
Pepper Jelly & Cream Cheese Appetizer - A Southern Soul-Pepper Jelly & Cream Cheese Appetizer

Sides:

Holiday Cranberry Salad - South Your Mouth - Holiday Cranberry Salad
Cranberry Relish - Julia's Simply Southern Cranberry Relish
Cranberry Orange Sauce - Mommy's Kitchen - Cranberry Orange Sauce
Fresh Cranberry Sauce - Deep South Dish - Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Pineapple Orange Cranberry Sauce - Big Bear's Wife:Pineapple Orange Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Crunch - Southern Plate - Cranberry Crunch
Pineapple Casserole - Julia's Simply Southern-Pineapple Casserole
Roasted Carrots - Julia's Simply Southern - Roasted Carrots
Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots - Deep South Dish - Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
Honey Glazed Carrots - Sunny Anderson - Honey Glazed Carrots

Sweet Potato Casserole with Oatmeal Pecan Crumble - Syrup and Biscuits - Sweet Potato Casserole with Oatmeal Pecan Crumble
Sweet Potato Cobbler - Southern Bite - Sweet Potato Cobbler
Sweet Potato Souffle - Jamie Deen - Sweet Potato Souffle 
Sweet Potato Casserole - Southern Bite - Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Praline Topping
Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole - Deep South Dish - Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole
Baked Sweet Potato Casserole - The Southern Lady Cooks - Baked Sweet Potato Casserole
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes - Soulfully Made - Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Savory Quick & Easy Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole - Back to my Southern Roots - Savory Quick & Easy Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole 

Southern Potato Salad - Julia's Simply Southern - Southern Potato Salad
Cheese Grits Casserole - A Southern Soul-Cheese Grits Casserole 
Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes - Southern Bite - Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes  
Hash-brown Casserole - Julia's Simply Southern - Hash-brown Casserole
New Potatoes with Parsley Butter - Julia's Simply Southern - New Potatoes with Parsley Butter
Hashbrown Casserole - Deep South Dish - Hashbrown Casserole
Becky's Hashbrown Casserole - Served Up With Love - Becky's Hashbrown Casserole 
Broccoli Apple Salad-A Southern Soul Broccoli Apple Salad
Easy Spicy Southern Corn Casserole - Grits & Pinecones - Easy Spicy Southern Corn Casserole

Flavored Up Green Bean Casserole - Julia's Simply Southern - Flavored Up Green Bean Casserole
Southern Style Green Beans - South Your Mouth - Southern Style Green Beans
Country Green Beans - Julia's Simply Southern - Country Green Beans
Southern Style Green Beans - Spicy Southern Kitchen - Southern Style Green Beans
Classic Green Bean Casserole - Deep South Dish - Classic Green Bean Casserole
Cheesy Green Bean Casserole - Spicy Southern Kitchen - Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Tasty Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Garden Veggies - Julia's Simply Southern - Tasty Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Garden Veggies
Roasted Brussels Sprouts - South Your Mouth - Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Ritzy Brussels Sprouts - The Southern Lady Cooks - Ritzy Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Mushrooms - Southern Bite - Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms

Special Occasion Macaroni & Cheese - Deep South Dish - Special Occasion Macaroni & Cheese
Pimento Mac & Cheese Squares - Southern Bite - Pimento Mac & Cheese Squares
Shells & Cheese w/ Bacon - Big Bear's Wife - Shells & Cheese with Bacon
Southern Style Crock Pot Macaroni & Cheese - South Your Mouth - Southern Style Crock Pot Macaroni & Cheese
Baked Macaroni & Cheese - Southern Plate - Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Southern Baked Macaroni & Cheese - Julia's Simply Southern - Southern Baked Mac & Cheese
Melissa's Macaroni & Cheese - Served Up With Love - Melissa's Macaroni & Cheese 
Creamed Corn Macaroni & Cheese - Big Bear's Wife-Creamed Corn Macaroni & Cheese

Desserts:

Pineapple Casserole - Julia's Simply Southern - Pineapple Casserole
Classic Pecan Pie - South Your Mouth - Classic Pecan Pie
Bourbon Pecan Pie - Big Bear's Wife-Bourbon Pecan Pie
Southern Sweet Potato Pie - Deep South Dish - Southern Sweet Potato Pie
Honey Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie - Southern Plate - Honey Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie
Old Fashioned Banana Pudding - The Southern Lady Cooks - Old Fashioned Banana Pudding
Hummingbird Cake - Big Bear's Wife - Hummingbird Cake
Sweet Potato Rum Bundt Cake - Cooking w/ Mary & Friends - Sweet Potato Rum Bundt Cake
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake - Norine's Nest - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
German Chocolate Cake - Cooking With K: German Chocolate Cake
25 Thanksgiving Pies - Served Up With Love: 25 Thanksgiving Pies
Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie - Big Bear's Wife - Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie
Candied Pecan Dessert Bars - Back to my Southern Roots - Candied Pecan Dessert Bars


Beverages:

Southern Sweet Tea - Julia's Simply Southern - Simple Cold Brew Sweet Tea
Wicked Autumn Apple Sangria - South Your Mouth - Wicked Autumn Apple Sangria
Mint Julep - Deep South Dish Mint Julep
Crock Pot Mulled Cider - The Southern Lady Cooks - Crock Pot Mulled Cider
Served Up With Love - Autumn Harvest Punch

Thanksgiving Recipe Collections:

Southern Bite - Thanksgiving Sides to be Thankful For
Served Up With Love - 50 Recipes Perfect for Thanksgiving
Three Southern Thanksgiving Menus
Southern Plate - 10 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dishes
The Southern Lady Cooks Thanksgiving
Deen Brothers Thanksgiving
Deep South Dish - Southern Thanksgiving Recipes & Menu Ideas
South Your Mouth - Southern Thanksgiving Recipes
Taste of The South : 7 Divine Dressing Recipes
Southern Bite Thanksgiving Smorgasbord
Cooking With K - Old Fashioned Thanksgiving
Julia's Simply Southern - Southern Thanksgiving Recipe Collection
Syrup & Biscuits - Three Southern Thanksgiving Menus
Grits and Pinecones - 31 Best Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes
Julia's Simply Southern - Thanksgiving for Two




Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Holiday Kitchen Hazards & My True Story



Most holiday kitchen accidents happen because of inattention. I learned this the hard way last year while working on Thanksgiving dinner the day before "Turkey Day".

I had been fortunate in my years (notice I didn't say how many years) to have avoided a serious kitchen accident where I ended up in the emergency room. Let's face it, time is precious and I didn't have time to spend hours in the ER the day I needed to work on a big holiday meal. Well it happened anyways and there was nothing I could do about it.

Why did I have an accident that sent me to the hospital? I wasn't paying attention while dicing celery and cut the tip of my finger off. What was I distracted by you may be wondering? I was looking at the television - Gone With the Wind was playing. I couldn't believe it happened. Fortunately I remained calm. I knew immediately something bad happened, then the blood started to flow. I grabbed a towel wrapped my finger up and took off for the doctor's office. That's right, the doctor's office. I was hoping my doctor would be in but no such luck. I ended up taking myself to the emergency room anyways. UGH!

Of course it took forever at the hospital. The entire time I'm there, I'm thinking about how I must get back home to finish all the work I needed to do for Thanksgiving dinner. Well after shots in the wound, cleaning and putting a protective cover over the area I cut off, I ended up with a club finger.


In addition to the monstrosity of bandages on my finger, I couldn't get it wet, couldn't bend my finger, and worst of all - I wasn't going to be able to make the dinner. Doctor's orders! Not without help anyways. I remember the hospital staff kept asking if I'd cut myself with a mandolin slicer. Nope, not me just a plain ole knife while cutting celery to make dressing......and watching television instead of paying attention. I lost part of my fingernail too along with that tip of finger! So much for trying to have nice nails for the big dinner.

Thankfully I had some family members who came to help me with the dinner. They did all the physical work as I gave instruction. That may sound like it's not such a back thing but believe me I would have rather done the work than have that club finger for many weeks. You would be surprised how not having your finger for use can affect everything you do. Typing, bathing, holding things, and the list goes on. I remember it affected me in so many ways.

It took quite a while to heal and thankfully doesn't look so bad today. In fact when my nail grew back you can't really see where the injury was unless I point it out to you. I do have some mild nerve damage however. Could have been worse and I'm very thankful that it wasn't. 



The two most important things to consider with knife cuts are depth and what part of the hand was injured. Dr. Renk explains that because the hand is such a complex structure, its important to be aware of where youve cut yourself and how deep because you may have punctured a tendon or an important muscle. Cuts on the tips of fingers and tops of knuckles will not cause too much serious damage, whereas anything to the palm or finger could be detrimental to your hand movement and have long term effects. Source: The Daily Meal 

Even the most experienced cooks have accidents, just try to stay focused so you can avoid accidents.

Tips:
  • Clean up Spills Immediately - forgotten spills are fall hazards
  • Use Sharpened Knives - dull knives are actually more dangerous than sharp ones
  • Keep Cutting Boards Stable - if needed place a damp paper towel or hand towel to prevent slipping around the counter
  • Burning Yourself - it happens occasionally but always be on alert when cooking. Use pot holders, turn off burners and ovens immediately upon finishing
  • If you have children in the kitchen while cooking, keep an eye on them at all times to avoid accidents
Other Links:
Consumer Reports Scariest Kitchen Accidents
Cooking Safety Tips for the Holidays

Laura Plantation


 LAURA PLANTATION ~ The plantation is significant for its raised Creole plantation "big house" and its rare collection of outbuildings, including six slave quarters, that illustrate the development of a sugar cane plantation from the antebellum period well into the 20th century. The land on which Laura plantation stands was originally owned by André Neau, who obtained it through a French royal land grant in 1755. In the late 1700s, the plantation became the property of the Dupare family and was divided between two family members in 1876. Although Creole residences once dominated the rural landscape of central and southern Louisiana, today perhaps only 300 to 400 examples of these buildings remain standing outside New Orleans. Laura Plantation is best known for the West-African stories the home’s former slaves related to folklorist Alcée Fortier. Recorded at the slave cabins here in the 1870s, they were later popularized in English and became the “Tales of Br’er Rabbit.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Green Bean Casserole


The famous holiday green bean casserole. The original recipe made it's debut in the 1950's. It makes it's appearance at social gatherings and holidays. In fact, it's a dish that most people expect to see at holidays. My family however prefers to have my Country Green Beans during holidays so I don't make a green bean casserole often. I always thought the original casserole to be a bit bland. So like with a lot of recipes, I had to put my own twist on things. I will occasionally make this for dinner and it's easy to make. So here's my flavored up version.

Ingredients:
  • 1 large can Green Beans - 3 lb, 2 oz, drained and rinsed
  • 1 10.5 oz Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 10.5 oz Cream of Onion Soup
  • 1/4 c Country Sausage, scramble cooked (optional)
  • 1/4 c Onion, diced
  • 1 c Cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 6 oz French's Fried Onions, divided (regular or white cheddar) If you don't care for the fried onions, use 1 c crushed Ritz Crackers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine soups, sausage, diced onion, cheese, salt and pepper and 1/3 or so of the fried onions. Add the green beans and fold everything together.

Spray a baking dish and add the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

The remaining 15 minutes of baking add the rest of the fried onions, or crushed crackers if you prefer, return to the oven to bake the remaining cook time. I like using the white cheddar fried onions for a little extra "zing". They are quite good.

Remove casserole from oven and allow to stand 10 minutes before serving. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Stuffin' Muffins


In the south, we eat dressing. For this recipe Dressing Muffins just doesn't have a good ring to it, so we're calling these Stuffin' Muffins. Yes much better! These are so simple to make. If you don't have a large gathering that requires a full pan of Southern Cornbread Dressing , this is a good alternative. It's even perfect for everyday meals. 

Ingredients;

  • 1 tbs Butter
  • 1/4 c Celery, diced (2 stalks)
  • 1/4 c Onion, diced (half large onion)
  • 1 box Stove Top Stuffing (any flavor)
  • 1 c Chicken Stock
  • 1 large Egg, lightly beaten
  • Dash Salt and Black Pepper

In a small skillet add 1 tbs butter, diced celery and onions, salt and pepper and saute until translucent. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a small mixing bowl add contents of 1 box of Stove Top Stuffing, add the sauteed vegetables and butter, chicken stock, and egg. Mix well to combine.  Spray 6 trays of a muffin tin and add stuffing mic, about 4 tbs to each section.  Makes 6 muffins. Cook 350 degrees 13-15 minutes, or a little longer if you prefer more of a crunch.



How to test yeast, baking powder, and baking soda for freshness - Flourish - King Arthur Flour



"The holidays are coming. You’re on a tight schedule. You want everything coming out of your kitchen to be absolutely perfect.
What’s the first thing you need to do? Test your yeast, baking powder, and baking soda for freshness."  -PJ Hamel
Click the Link Below:

How to test yeast, baking powder, and baking soda for freshness - Flourish - King Arthur Flour

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Cookbook Giveaway ~ The Crown of Southern Cooking


The Winner Is: Barbara Watkins
Congratulations!

Cookbook Giveaway! Why? Because we love giveaways and we love cookbooks.

The prize is the new cookbook "The Crown of Southern Cooking"
by Eveylyn Roughton, the chief cook and creator at The Crown Indianola, Mississippi's famous and beloved landmark.

The Crown opened in 1972 as an antique shop. It's now a gift shop, art gallery, bookstore, and restaurant. Sounds like a dream! Visit them online at /The Crown Restaurant

Look out soon for my review of this much-anticipated cookbook! I can't wait to receive mine. 

Only the first 50 Entries Accepted ~ Enter Below to Win a Copy of Your Own. One random winner will be chosen and contacted by email. Winner will be announced. 
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