Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Breakfast --Quiche Lorraine & Fruit Salad

Christmas Breakfast 

Quiche Lorraine & Fruit Salad

Once again I am a twelve hour, night shift working nurse in a big hospital where
the doors never close.  I was scheduled for Christmas Eve.  I ended up getting lucky
and the census dropped so I got to be off.  I never know that until 30 minutes before time
to walk out the door.   I have had to learn do-ahead, simple ideas for Christmas Breakfast.
I may be there at home or I may be coming home in the morning with my backside dragging.   I almost never know ahead of time.

This year I decided to do something different. I had not made Quiche Lorraine for about a decade.  I found out from the old Betty Crocker cook book that there is a do-ahead way of preparing Quiche.

I fixed the fruit salad that day and since my fridge was so full and I no longer have
an extra fridge in the basement......... I set it out on the back porch on the table in the cold!   The screen door keeps the varmints off the porch so it works well. My mom has done this for a number of years.

Extending the capacity of the fridge by making use of the back porch and the cold weather!

Fruit Salad Recipe

2 cups fresh pineapple
1 pint fresh raspberries
3 navel oranges sliced and chopped into sections
2 cups red seedless grapes left whole
1 cup black seedless grapes halved

2 cups Simply Orange orange mango juice
2 Tbsp. Grenadine syrup
1 can Bacardi Fuzzy Navel mix--slightly thawed (no alcohol in this)

In a large bowl or tupperware

combine all the fruit
in a separate container or pitcher combine the Fuzzy Navel mix, juice and Grenadine.
Stir well to mix for the dressing.

Pour over fruit and stir to mix gently.

Cover and chill.

Serves: 12

The trifle bowl belonged to my Grandma Edna who helped teach me to cook.
Sadly I have never made Trifle in that bowl. Perhaps that should be a New Years Resolution for 2013?

Quiche' Lorraine Recipe

1 Cup grated swiss cheese
2 cups half and half
12 strips bacon fried and crumbled
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. red cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 onion chopped finely
4 eggs

1 pre-prepared crust for 9 inch pie
9 inch pie plate
Pre-heat oven to 425* 
Place pre-made crust into 9 inch pie plate-I used a glass one,  but anything works.
Bake crust @ 425 for 10 min. or until browned.
Remove from oven and place shredded swiss cheese, chopped onion, and crumbled bacon into crust.
Beat eggs, half and half and seasonings together in a large bowl.
Pour over other ingredients in crust.  
Lower oven temp to 300*
Bake in 300 degree oven til done. Test for doneness by inserting a butter knife half way between crust and center. Done when the knife comes out clean.
Do ahead Method

Place pre-made crust in pie plate
Put shredded swiss cheese, bacon crumbles, and onion into pie plate on crust.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Mix eggs, half and half and seasonings in large tupperware and seal and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning preheat oven to 300*
Pour egg mixture over pie plate ingredients
Bake for 45 minutes in 300* oven.

Allow quiche to sit for 10 minutes before slicing to serve.
Serves 8

Quiche' Lorraine hot out the oven!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Baking a Spiral Sliced Ham

I am posting this blog for myself for future reference as a How To Guide.

   Until today I had never baked a ham all by myself. I have before with my mom standing over me to tell me what I needed to do.   Kenny came toting in with a Christmas ham from his work the other day and I decided quickly it was time for me to figure this out.
I phoned my mother to ask her what I needed to do and wrote it down in my glyphs and shorthand.    It turned out to be easy, delicious and perfect!

One spiral sliced bone-in ham
the little packet of glaze mix comes with these hams and it is not nearly enough.
1 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg
large roasting pan
4 cups orange juice divided
2 cups Sprite
1 cup water
2 Tbsp Yellow mustard


Preheat oven to 350*
Place ham in roaster
Mix 2 cups orange juice , 2 cups Sprite and 1 cup water and pour over ham.
Cover with lid to roaster and place in pre-heated oven for 20 min. per pound
For my 9 lb 37 oz ham figure 180 minutes= 3 hrs
I set my timer for 2 hrs 30 min.
Ham or any roast pork should be cooked to 170* to be done and safe to consume.
I always use a meat thermometer.

While ham is roasting in a 2 quart sauce pan place contents of glaze packet
All the spices, flour and brown sugar
Add in 2 cups Orange juice and mustard
Stir thoroughly and bring to a light boil to dissolve all sugars completely and
mix well til smooth and rich brown. Don't allow it to scorch but boil lightly til it bubbles good and you can see the glaze has a smooth, rich, thick consistency.

Set aside off heat and allow to cool and thicken

When your timer goes off  bring the ham out of the oven.
Pour off some of the excess liquid if there is much in the bottom of your roaster
Pour and brush glaze down over your ham. Allow some of the glaze to go down between the slices.

Place back in oven for remaining 30 min.
Bring out and cool slightly before serving.

Beautifully cooked spiral sliced ham.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Savory Autumn Veggies

Savory Autumn Veggies

 Butternut Squash

   I have been on a quest to learn to cook some of those healthy, supposedly delicious, 
and odd looking varieties of squash I've seen in grocery stores.  I have always liked and eaten yellow squash, zucchini, white squash. I've even grown, eaten and like spaghetti squash!  It occurred to me that I had no idea how to cook them or if I liked them?  I actually have not found one yet that was not good and I've got a couple more kinds to go.
The following recipe is my favorite thus far. I need to find out if anyone has Aunt Nina Koogler's squash casserole recipe. That was some mighty fine stuff! I think next I'll try to prepare a recipe with delicatta squash!

one small butternut squash
one large yam or sweet potato
two large red potatoes
one medium white potato
one medium Bermuda Purple onion
three green onions
1 tsp coarse sea salt
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
large bowl
13x9 cookie sheet


Preheat oven to 425*
To prepare a butternut squash to cook it must be peeled.
Cut it in half, then cut each half into four to six pieces.
scoop out seeds and discard, remove peeling
dice the peeled slices into 1 inch cubes
peel yam and dice into 2 inch cubes
wash and dice red and white potatoes
peel and slice purple onion into rings
wash and dice green onions
toss all veggies in large bowl with olive oil to coat
add seasonings, add brown sugar and toss well
toss with bread crumbs to coat. 
The bread crumbs help with the flavor, texture and roasting.
Spread this mixture over a 13x9x1 cookie sheet
Bake 45 min. at 425* in oven.
Smells so good roasting it will make you very hungry!  

Finished recipe ready to eat!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Baked Acorn Squash

Baked Acorn Squash

I always saw acorn and butternut squash prepared as Fall veggies. I never tried 
any of it until this Autumn. I prepared the acorn squash and found I had been missing out
on an easy, yummy and healthful veggie. Lots of vitamin A in those yellow veggies.
I'll try the butternut squash next and fill you in on how that goes!

one acorn squash
baking dish 
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
*1 slice of onion coarsely chopped -Optional


Preheat oven to 400*
Put 1/2 cup water in baking dish so the squash skins won't burn
Wash exterior of acorn squash
Slice squash in half with cleaver
Scoop out seeds in middle
Put squash halves in baking dish with cut sides up.
Place the next ingredients in hollows of the squash.
 2 Tbsp butter 
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 onion slice per half of squash if desired.
Dash of Salt and pepper
Take the 1/4 cup of plain bread crumbs and divide between the two squash halves.
 Bake at 400* until tender all the way down to the skins.
The skins of the squash become tender and thinner.

Allow the squash halves to cool and you can use them as individual servings  and eat them right out of the skins. 

Baked Acorn Squash ready to take out of the oven.
This smelled so good and tasted even better! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mess O' Greens--Collards!

Mess O' Collard Greens

    I was surprised recently to learn that my mother-in-law who is an outstanding cook
and expert baker and all around A plus gold star homemaker material did not know what collard greens were!   I suppose its a regional thing.  We are from Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and mountain region where there is a heavy German and Scots Irish influence.
We take for granted that everyone should know what souse and scrapple are, but it is not the case.   Collard greens are in the cabbage family, but don't form a head like cabbage.
They are wonderful tasting and packed with vitamins and nutrition.  I struggled for years to learn to like greens without much success until I tried collards.  Yum! I could sit down and eat them all by themselves.  They are Southern goodness at its finest.  Sweet P's Barbeque and Soul House prepares them sauteed with other veggies and they are manna from Heaven!  My brother-in-law, Doug Graham prepares them with ham and onions and they are perfection!  I am pleased  with myself that I did not give up on greens when turnip greens did not really do it for me.  Oh what I'd have been missing!  A "mess" of something is a big batch.  Southerners don't know how to fix a little bit of anything.

The recipe below to prepare them is simple and basic. Taught to me by a man I'd never met before in Food Lion grocery store.  The secret to fixing and liking collards or any greens is getting rid of the "grassy" taste by par boiling.

Here is me holding a bunch of fresh collards in the kitchen. You can find them in most produce sections of good grocery stores.

Big kettle
Large bunch of collard greens
ham or fat meat

unbundle greens and wash thoroughly in kitchen sink to remove
any mud, sand or grit.
Chop greens on cutting board removing the tough center stalk.
I cut that out and use all the rest. Chopping my greens by rolling up the leaves
and using a large kitchen cleaver to chop into medium pieces.

Par boil greens in water for 10 min or so then pour through a colander to strain out greens
in sink. This is the key to getting rid of the "green, grassy" taste that can be unpleasant.
*Edited to say:  Doug has a recipe that cuts out the par boil without being "grassy" and preserves 100% of the nutrition and vitamins poured off in the first draining. I'll learn it and repost later.

Replace greens in kettle with fresh water, salt to taste, pepper, chopped onion and ham or fat meat.  I fixed this mess like Doug does with peppers and onions and a few carrots for colors.  Tasty and pretty too!

Bring greens back to a boil for 5 min. reduce heat and boil for 15 min.
Then simmer slow for an hour to allow them to become tender and soak up the flavors.

Great served with corn bread for pot likker. 

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for cake:
One box Duncan Hines Spice Cake
3 large eggs
1/2 cup butter milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 cup shredded Angel flake coconut

Ingredients for frosting:

1 8 oz cream cheese softened to room temp.
1/2 stick butter softened to room temp.
3/4 box or bag ( 12 oz) of powdered sugar
1 cup Chopped pecans for topping-optional

Directions for cake:
Pre-heat oven to 325*
Grease and flour or spray with Bakers Joy 13x9 no stick pan
Beat all ingredients together for cake for 2 min. and pour into pan.
Bake for 35 min or til cake springs back when lightly touched and a butter knife inserted through center of cake comes out clean.

Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely on rack.
Frost with cream cheese frosting and top with chopped pecans

Directions for cream cheese frosting:

Blend 8 oz cream cheese, butter together in large bowl.
Blend in powdered sugar in portions til all included and creamy.
Use to frost cake.

Keep cake stored in fridge to keep fresh.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Broiled Salmon

Broiled Salmon

   I have always loved fish, but have been making a more serious increase my intake
of fish to at least three times each week.   Talking to my daughter and others it has surprised me to learn how folks think preparing fish is very complicated.  It is simple
and filled with omega threes! 
Serves 2

l lb salmon fillet
Italian dressing
aluminum foil


Preheat oven to 450*
Cover cookie sheet with foil & turn up the edges
Place salmon filet skin side down on foil.
Marinate with Italian dressing.

Place in oven for approx. 30 min or until fish flakes and is browned.

Spicey Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Spicey Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Nothing makes fried chicken have a prettier crust than dipping it in cold buttermilk.   It is rich and flavorful, nutritious, and so thick it guarantees the breading to hold. Adding cornmeal to the breading mixture makes the chicken nice and crisp. I am still old school and use lard and a cast iron skillet real often.  I am from the rural south.
Serves 4


 1 cup Kentucky Kernel seasoned flour
1 cup Mexican cornbread mix
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup shortening to fry the chicken in
1 lg sheet waxed paper
large cast iron skillet


Lay out a large plate and cover with sheet of wax paper
Bowl with 2 cups buttermilk
Bowl with combination of seasoned flour and cornbread mix.

Dip all chicken tenderloins in buttermilk to coat.  Let stand 5 min.
Dip each piece of chicken in flour/cornmeal mixture and coat completely.
Lay each piece on the wax paper covered plate.
Allow to dry for 5 or 10 min.

Heat oil or lard in cast iron skillet and fry chicken til golden brown, crisp and juices are clear.

Place chicken on paper towels to drain.


Chicken dipped in buttermilk.

Chicken all breaded.

Frying chicken in my cast iron skillet. This skillet was a wedding gift to me from my Aunt Katherine Brooks-Berry. It was hers and she gave it to me already cured! It is very old. It was made at the Loth Cast Iron Co. in Waynesboro, VA.

Chicken is all done and ready to eat! We had it with some great bbq sauce!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

Winter is time for hot soups for comfort and good nutrition.
This chicken noodle soup has a rich broth and is full of protein, carbs, and vitamins from the herbs and veggies. It is easy on the tummy during cold and flu season in particular. The garlic, onion rosemary and other herbs are especially good for the immune system during this time of year.  It has been proven that chicken soup really does heal and contains anti-inflammatory properties!


 1 whole chicken
6 medium carrots washed, peeled and sliced
6 ribs of celery washed -Dice three of them thinly
and leave three whole
salt-to taste
pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. poultry seasoning
Swanson broth 16 oz.
rosemary 3 sprigs
sage two sprigs
cheese cloth and kitchen twine small piece
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon garlic finely minced
1 medium onion finely chopped
16 oz pack of No Yolks Med.Sized Egg noodles


Wash chicken and remove innards
place in large cooking pot with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning

Make a Bouquet Garni for the herbs by placing them on the cheese cloth scrap and tying them up in there snugly. Toss the Bouquet Garni in the pot with the boiling chicken. If the Bay leaves will not fit don't worry about it. Just toss them in the pot separate.
Garlic, Onion, carrots, celery, and ALL ingredients except noodles and reserve 2/3 of the Swanson broth for later.
Bring to a full boil then turn heat down to Med. High and cook for several hours
until the chicken is falling off the bone.

Take chicken out of the pot and allow to cool slightly.
Pick good white meat off the bone cube and add back to broth.
Toss out three whole ribs of celery from broth.
Discard bay leaves and bouquet garni
Add noodles
Add remaining Swanson broth

Boil until noodles are soft and tender, but not overcooked. About 7 minutes at a rolling boil.

Cooking the chicken slowly and using an entire hen makes a rich, flavorful broth.
The herbs, veggies, and chicken fat are just the thing for cold weather and promote good health. Be sure to remove the bouquet garni from the pot along with any loose bay leaves before serving.

Lemon Tea Bread

Lemon Tea Bread 

This recipe is something light and Summery and different. 
A little touch of sophistication with tea. 


 3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon balm
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon thyme
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

 Butter a 9x5x3-inch pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the milk with the chopped herbs and let steep until cool.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. In another bowl, cream the butter and gradually beat in the sugar. Continue beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the lemon zest. Add the flour mixture alternately with the herbed milk. Mix until batter is just blended.

Put the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and dry.
Remove from the pan onto a wire rack that is set over a sheet of waxed paper
. Pour Lemon Glaze over the still-hot bread. Decorate with a few sprigs of lemon thyme.

Lemon Glaze

Juice of 2 lemons
Confectioners' sugar

Put the lemon juice in a bowl and add the sugar, stirring until a thick but still pourable paste forms. Pour the glaze over the hot bread.

Conjured Pork Roast

Conjured Pork Roast

   con·jure (knjr, kn-jr)
a. To summon (a devil or spirit) by magical or supernatural power.
b. To influence or effect by or as if by magic:
The recipe came into existence in the kitchen of my friend, Harry Jones.
We'd been hiking all day. He had purchased a pork roast to fix for dinner.
I got in the kitchen with him to try to help prepare it.
He asked me to see what I could do to make it taste good.
He put the roast in his wonderful $275 Williams Sonoma Dutch oven.
I dug in the refrigerator and cabinets and tossed in a little of this and a little of that.
Turned out the BEST pork roast of all time!
The secret ingredient is the Lea & Perrins Steak Sauce.
I cooked the very first one  in Harry Jones' dutch oven from Williams & Sonoma.
I now have and use a dutch oven for this recipe though it's not an expensive one like his!


Aluminum foil
Olive Oil 1/4 cup
2 -3 lb. boneless pork tenderloin
15 oz bottle Lea & Perrins Traditional Steak Sauce
1 large Vidalia Onion quartered


Preheat oven to 350*
Fold foil into a "dish" that will hold the juices for cooking the roast
Place pork roast in foil on baking sheet
Mix olive oil and 1/2 bottle of steak sauce and pour over roast
Slice or quarter onions and surround roast
Cook in oven for 20 min. per pound
2 lb pork roast should be done in 45 min.
Check doneness with meat thermometer if possible
Should read 170* for pork
Roast should be moist and golden outside and juices run clear
Meat should be tender and white.. not pink!
Slice and serve

Company Cheesecake

Company Cheesecake

 New York style cheesecake made from scratch.
Great with a variety of toppings or plain. I made this one with strawberries for Crystal's birthday.
Not the easiest dessert you'll ever make, but it is yummy! Not one morsel left over afterwards.  Serves 12


1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp melted butter

2 8 oz packs plus one 3 oz pack. cream cheese softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream


 Heat oven to 350 *
Mix cracker crumbs, 2 tbsp sugar, and melted butter. Press in bottom of 9" spring form pan
Bake 10 min. Cool

Heat oven to 300*
In large bowl or food processor beat cream cheese and sour cream.
Add 1 C. sugar gradually until fluffy. Add lemon zest and vanilla.
Beat in 1 egg at a time. Pour over crumb mixture.

Bake until center is firm. Approx. 1 hr.
Cool to room temp.
Refrigerate at least 3 hrs and no longer than 10 days.
Loosen edge of cheesecake with knife before removing pan.

To top with strawberry glaze.

Use sliced fresh ripe or frozen, partially thawed whole strawberries and arrange on top.

Strawberry Glaze:

1 bag or quart whole strawberries
2/3 cup strawberry jam
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp Grand Marnier liqueur
1 tsp grated orange zest

Melt strawberry jam in sauce pan on low-med. heat
add in lemon juice, Grand Marnier, and orange zest

Stir until smooth and melted
Spoon over top of cheesecake topped with berries
Just before serving

Pineapple Ginger Grilled Chicken

Pineapple Ginger Grilled Chicken

Fresh pineapple and ginger contain antioxidants and enzymes which aid digestion and are healthful for the body.
A Summery dish.


1 fresh cored pineapple sliced into rings with juice reserved
1 small lobe of fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons Jack Daniels Black Label
4 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup teriyaki marinade
1 teaspoon white table sugar


 Parboil 4 chicken breasts in pressure cooker for 5 minutes
This will thaw them perfectly straight from the freezer, tenderizes
the meat, and helps them grill up moist.
Allow chicken breasts to cool to where they can be handled.
While the chicken cools down--
Slice the lobe of fresh ginger into thin slivers
Puree' 1 sliver of fresh ginger root with 1 or 2 slices of fresh pineapple using a blender, food processor, or Braun handimixer adding 1 teaspoon of sugar until it is a lemony yellow liquid the consistency of thin pudding.
Mix the following in a tall cup or deep bowl:
fresh reserved pineapple juice --should be about 1/4 cup
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Jack Daniels whiskey
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce or marinade
pineapple ginger puree' as prepared above
This will make a golden brown glaze
Coat your chicken breasts with the glaze
Grill on aluminum foil
with slivers of ginger atop each piece.
Grill 4 pineapple slices to use to top the dish
Grill until golden and done and pineapple is seared hot all the way through. The ginger slivers may be eaten or can be discarded.

Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread

Traditional yummy banana bread recipe.

 6 mashed bananas
(over ripe bananas work best)
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup veg. oil -- any shortening works
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)


 Pre-heat oven to 350*
Grease loaf pan

Mix all ingredients in bowl at once
Pour into loaf pan and bake approx. 1 hr. 15 min
or until knife inserted into banana bread comes out clean.
Cool for 10 min. then remove from pan.

Rosemary and Lemon Roast Chicken

Rosemary and Lemon Roast Chicken

  I always loved seeing and smelling those roast chickens in Kroger's or other grocery stores. They looked perfect and smell so good. I determined I was going to learn how
to prepare one at home that would be better than one you could get in a store!

My favorite type of roaster to use is when I can find a capon.
For those who don't know what a capon is........ Let's just say its the "steer" of the chicken world.


One large family roasting hen or capon
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 lemon halved
olive oil
Durkee Chicken and Rib Rub
aluminum foil
2 toothpicks
8" kitchen twine
Meat thermometer


 Preheat oven to 350*
Wash chicken outside and remove innards
wash body cavity and salt inside
Tuck 1/2 lemon inside chicken
Place a small slit in edge of breast skin and
slip 2 sprigs fresh rosemary beneath skin
Lightly coat chicken with olive oil
Place on aluminum foil on baking sheet
Truss up legs with kitchen twine if desired
Secure wings to sides with toothpicks
Rub chicken lightly with Durkee Chicken/Rib Rub
Bake breast side up in 350 * oven
for approx. 2 hrs or until
golden brown and meat thermometer
reads 180*
Remove twine and toothpicks when cooked
You may leave the rosemary beneath the breast skin
and lemon half inside or discard per your own preference.
The rosemary is fragrant and stimulates the appetite
It may be eaten with the chicken and tastes tender and good!
This recipe serves 2 -3 depending upon the size of the hen.
A capon (rooster) of 5-6 lbs serves 4
To use smaller hens of 3-4 lbs I double the recipe

Leek and Potato Soup

Leek & Potato Soup

   Warm, comforting, nutritious, filling. A great boost to the immune system. The carbs from the potatoes are easy on the tummy for cold symptoms. Leeks provide an outstanding blend of flavor, variety, and nutrients for boosting the immune system. We can all use that during the cold Winter months! 

3 lb potatos ( I used Yukon Gold this last time)
1 leek chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 ribs celery sliced finely
1/2 large sweet onion chopped
1 very small spring rosemary minced finely
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups whole milk
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp. celery seed (optional)

 Peel potatos and cube them into large chunks
Rinse them and start them boiling until tender
Add onion, celery and season to taste
Add butter and chicken broth

While this is boiling:
Saute' leeks until tender in the olive oil
(Make sure you wash the leeks well before cooking)
Add sauteed leeks to boiling pot after draining excess oil.

Drain off excess potato liquid if necessary
Add milk and stir
Celery seed can be added now if desired.

Pot Roast and Taters with Kettle Gravy

Pot Roast & Taters with Kettle Gravy

    Hearty, comfort food especially good on cold Winter days, but a family favorite always. 

  3 lb. Eye of round roast
3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
2 lbs carrots
3 ribs celery
1 vidalia sweet onion

Kettle Gravy:
1/2 stick butter (4 Tbsp)
Beef broth
1 cup flour

Place beef roast in crock pot at night with enough
water to cover completely.
Set crock pot to high.
Add salt, pepper and seasonings.

In the morning wash and peel carrots and taters
Cut taters in half
Cut carrots into coarse chunks
Peel onion and quarter
wash celery and cut into coarse sections.
Add them to the cooking beef.

Allow to cook until veggies are tender.
Roast beef should be done and cooked to a turn
after about 12 hrs.
Veggies should be tender now, but not falling apart.
Yukon Gold potatoes have a buttery taste and look good too!

Remove roast from crock pot
Slice and place into serving dish
Arrange taters, carrots and other veggies in dish

Kettle Gravy Preparation:

Using a 2 quart sauce pot
place on burner on high setting
Add 1/2 stick butter and stir til melted
Add flour a little at a time
I don't REALLY measure the flour
Just add it stirring constantly
until the grease of the butter is taken up
and there are no lumps and the mixture or roux is brown
Add salt and pepper to taste
Add 1 cup cold water to roux
Stir until smooth and then add 2 cups reserved beef broth
strained through a slotted spoon to remove any veggie pieces

Pour Kettle Gravy over Roast beef and veggies.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Obey Works on His Tricks!

Obey Works on His Tricks!

    At our house cooking is not the ONLY thing that goes on in the kitchen!  Everyone knows that the kitchen is the heart of the home. One of the things that happens in my kitchen is training the dog to do tricks.  We're working on sit, stay, come, shake paws, speak softly, speak loud.
The key it seems to success and cooperation is B-O-L-O-G-N-A!  
I'll have to work on a routine with Obey. He can sing the Oscar Mayer Baloney song with me. :-D 

Here is a very short video clip of his progress in my kitchen.

Tater Cakes

Tater Cakes

Good ole, greasy American comfort food. I consider this Southern cooking.
This is part of my Planned Overs Repertoire. Ways to use up food a second meal and present it in a tasty fashion. Not something we eat often behind the fact of the high HIGH  grease content on they cookin' but once in awhile they are delicious!
I cook for Coxey's Army .. don't know how to make a little bit of anything.
In order to keep from being wasteful........ you have to get creative. 
Part Deux of the Big Fat Wimmens Who Cooks Thangs series.


Leftover mashed potatoes. -approx. 3 cups
Put them up the night before in the bowl they were served in,
and cover with plastic wrap. Makes for easy mixing the second time around 
when preparing  tater cakes.
1 egg
Grease or lard


Add approx. 1 cup of flour
1 egg and salt and pepper to taste to the leftover mashed potatoes.
Mush them up with clean hands.
Pat them out into potato pancakes and flour the outside.
Have you a skillet of hot grease on the stove. Add the tater cakes to the grease carefully. Turn them only once or they'll fall to pieces. Brown each side in hot oil.
They are rich, but delicious and satisfying. 

Foil Pouch Potatoes

Foil Pouch Potatoes

  I've learned to embrace my white traysh side. Work smarter not harder!
It often doesn't make things taste any better!  Why work for 2 hours making a dish it takes 10 minutes to consume!?   Our family loves au gratin potatoes, but 
the recipe I had been using took forever and made a huge mess.  This one is far superior and takes 1/4 the time!  Serves 6

potatoes about 3 cups washed and thinly sliced with peeling on
one large onion peeled, sliced thick and separated into rings
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
*1/2 pack Roasted potato seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
Large sheet of aluminum foil
Bakers Joy cooking spray
Cookie sheet

Pre-heat oven to 400*
Fold foil into a pouch on the cookie sheet and spray lightly with Bakers's Joy.
Combine potato slices and onion rings in a large bowl.
Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and mix.
Add *Roasted Potato seasoning 1/2 pack  and mix.
Add sour cream to potato and onions and mix.
Add shredded cheddar cheese to potatos and stir.
Dump out on the foil pouch and roll up.
Bake at 400* for 20 minutes.
Open the pouch slightly and bake for another 10 minutes to brown.

* Roasted Potato Mix can be purchased at most grocery stores in the produce section. It  is with a wide assortment of things like Wiley's Collard Green Season, Yam seasoning, Corn Boil and Baked Potato Toppings, Slaw mix and the like.

If you cannot find this where you live.. you can improvise your own using
salt, pepper, celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder.

Or you may use Shake and Bake or some other commercially prepared mixture.

Chicken Gravy

Chicken Gravy
   Another one on my Planned Over Routine. Two leftover chicken breasts and 
three people to feed. What to do? They'll be dry and maybe tough heated up in the microwave and not enough to go around. Another comfort food that isn't eaten often due to da fact of HIGH HIGH GREASE CONTENT on dey cookin!
Good candidate fer Big Fat Wimmens Who Cooks Thangs.. my new show. 


 2 leftover fried chicken breasts--Sliced thinly across the grain and set aside
3 Tbsp Lard or crisco
Powdered chicken bouillon
Poultry seasoning
About 16 oz cold water.....?? I don't measure
Flour.. I don' t measure it
Large Iron Skillet


 Put that big ole black iron skillet on the burner and turn it on high
Drop in your lard and allow it to melt.
Start adding flour a handful at a time and stirring constantly make a smooth reaux. Remove from heat if it starts getting too brown.. Just scoot it off the burner. Keep adding flour until all the grease is taken up in a smooth, light brown reaux. Add dash salt,2 dashes pepper, 2 dashespoultry season and approx. 2 tsp. chicken bouillon powder. Easy on the salt since you can always add more later and there is some in the bouillion powder.
Continue to stir constantly and brown the reaux to a medium golden brown.
Add cold water and continue to stir until smooth consistency is reached and excess water is cooked off. You can always add a splash more water if you need to. Add sliced chicken breast to mixture and heat through. Serves up well with tater cakes! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 I hit upon a really good chocolate chip cookie recipe about 15 years ago and I've been using it ever since.   I found it on the back of Food Lion's brand of chocolate chips.    While the recipe is great I will make one final modification I did not expect to make:  I will no longer use Food Lion's brand of chocolate chips.
I will use either Nestle Tollhouse Morsels or Ghirardelli premium chocolate chips. The cookies tasted fine, but the chocolate chips were sub-standard. Everyone knows chocolate chip cookies should have melty, gooey chips when they are hot out of the oven!  

1 16 oz bag of premium brand chocolate chips
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 lb butter softened
1/2 lb butter flavor crisco
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Bakers Joy Spray
Pre-heat oven to 375 *
Lay out cookie sheets and lightly spray with Baker's Joy to prevent sticking. 
Sift dry ingredients together in separate bowl
Cream crisco, butter and sugars together in large bowl
Add vanilla & eggs to mixture and continue to cream together til well blended.
Add in dry ingredients a little at a time to wet mixture til all blended
Stir chocolate chips into cookie dough by hand.
Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto sprayed cookie sheets.
Bake @ 375* for 10 minutes til lightly browned and set.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for one minute before transferring to cooling rack or counter.
Once cookies are set  place in an airtight container or cookie jar to preserve freshness. Make sure you eat some right away to test them!

Hickory Dickory Dock. The mouse ran up the clock! The clock struck one and down he run. Hickory Dickory Dock! The clock cookie jar has been the cookie jar at my house since I was a little girl. Still seeing lots of use after at least 48 years!

Grandma Edna's Fried Chicken

Grandma Edna's Fried Chicken

Paprika gives this dish a pretty dash of red color to the usual golden brown.
It also adds a little mild flavor variety. 


 1 Whole Fryer or
3-4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
Washed and parboiled

1 1/2 cups seasoned flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal

Large skillet

Enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the skillet
and coat the sides.

Allow parboiled chicken to cool enough to where you can handle it.

Mix the seasoned flour and cornmeal well.
Roll chicken in the mixture to coat

Place in skillet and fry.
Shake paprika over both sides of the frying chicken to
give it flavor and make it look nice.

Southern Sweet Tea

Southern Sweet Tea

South of the Mason-Dixon Line you don't ask if you want tea hot or cold, sweet or unsweet. The only question is lemon or no lemon?
Everyone in our family makes excellent tea. Alot of folks who didn't like it before they tried it this way are now hooked!
Do not substitute any other brand of tea for the Lipton.
Its the best!


 6 LIPTON tea bags
small sauce pan--4 cup size
3 cups cold water
2 cups sugar
Gallon pitcher

 place 3 cups water in sauce pan on burner and turn on HIGH
place 6 tea bags in the water
Bring to a good rolling boil.
Turn burner off and remove from heat.
Allow to steep for 5-10 minutes
Place sugar in bottom of gallon tea pitcher
Pour hot tea over sugar and stir well to completely dissolve
Add cold water to fill pitcher to within 2 " of the top
Stir well and chill
Serve over ice with or without lemon slices depending on personal preference

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Fresh and tangy lemon poppy seed muffins are great for Spring time!
Excellent for breakfast or Sunday Brunch.
Serves 12


* 1/3 cup milk
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 2/3 cup nonfat lemon yogurt
* 1 egg
* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
* 1 tablespoon lemon zest
* 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
* 2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease the bottoms only of 12 muffin cups.
2. Beat the milk, oil, lemon yogurt and egg together. Stir in the flour, white sugar, poppy seeds, lemon zest, lemon oil, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until just combined. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups.
3. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). For 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle with glaze immediately and let cool.
4. To Make Glaze: Stir the confectioners' sugar with the lemon juice and mix until smooth and of drizzling consistency. Add drops of milk if thinning is necessary.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Garlic and Wine Herb Turkey Breast

Garlic & Wine Herb Turkey Breast

I always have to work the weekend before Easter. Everyone wanted me to fix Easter dinner so I had to come up with something tasty, simple that could be partly prepared ahead of time. I prepared it all but the cooking part and placed it in the refrigerator on Saturday. Roasted it today after I got up from sleeping. It was ready in time and much less trouble than basting and roasting an entire turkey. 
Serves 8

 7 lb Turkey Breast --completely thawed
Reynolds oven roasting bag
2 Tbsp. flour
3 Teaspoons minced Garlic
1/2 cup Riesling wine or other dry white wine
1/4 cup Olive Oil
several leaves of sage minced finely
2 Teaspoons Mediterranean Basil minced
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 *
Shake flour to coat inside oven roasting bag-use Large size
Wash turkey breast and rub with olive oil
Shake kosher salt on turkey from underside
and a little bit on top surface of turkey breast
Place meat in roasting bag
Mix olive oil, wine,garlic, pepper, and herbs and blend throughly to make a marinade.
Pour marinade over turkey.
Seal bag with tie.
Place on a cookie sheet.
Puncture a very small vent hole in top of bag.
Roast in 350* oven for approx. 3 hrs or until golden brown outside
and meat thermometer reads 180*

Blackberry Cobbler

Blackberry Cobbler

  A delicious, super easy dessert that is always a hit. It can be varied with any fruit you care to add such as peach, cherry, apple ... whatever you have on hand or prefer. This was part of the key to a successful Easter dinner when Mom works the nightshift before Easter morning! I hadn't had nary a winka sleepz!

 1 can Comstock Blackberry fruit pie filling
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4 cup milk
1/2 stick butter

 Pre-heat oven to 350*
Place 1/2 stick butter in 9x9 baking pan and put in oven as it preheats
Leave it in just until butter is melted to coat the bottom of the pan
Mix all ingredients except pie filling in a small bowl until just blended
Do not over mix or your crust will be tough
Pour batter into baking pan over melted butter
Place the fruit filling over the batter until distributed over the entire pan
Bake in 350* oven for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown
Test for doneness by using a toothpick to see that crust is no longer runny in the middle

Serve with Vanilla Icecream

Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes

Part of a wonderful tasting and filling Easter Dinner. I always work nightshift before Easter morning. We planned ahead so we could enjoy a home-cooked family meal for the day. Twice baked potatoes are a family favorite and can be done ahead. They are NOT what I would call quick and easy if not prepared ahead of time. I do not measure most of the ingredients for this recipe. I just throw stuff in. I have found mayonnaise works much better than sour cream and our family prefers it over sour cream for taste. NOT a low calorie, low cholesterol food. This worked wonderfully as a do-head and left me with enough filling for about 4 more taters this week. The filling can be stored covered tightly and refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Serves 8 plus
 8 large baking potatoes
Large Kettle of potatoes sliced up and boiled to mash
1 lb. brick of cheddar cheese about half of it grated into shreds
1/2 stick butter
Large cookie sheet
Preheat oven to 400*
Wash, pat dry baking potatoes and slice a skinny flat spot on each one.
Place cut side down on cookie sheet and bake for 1 hr or until done in 400* oven
Boil up your kettle of taters for mashing while the big taters bake.
Drain boiled potatoes when they are done
Mash with salt, pepper, butter, mayonnaise and add just enough milk to mash them and keep them moist. It won't take much, but I don't ever measure. Stir in cheddar cheese. Set aside.

Take baked potatoes out and allow them to cool to where they can be handled safely.
Cut the flat spot on the crust into an X
Peel the tater back to expose the inside.
Scoop out the inside making tater shells.
Stir the insides you scoop out into the mashed potato mixture you already prepared.

Use this mixture to spoon back into your tater shells to OVER FILL

You can place these covered with waxed paper on a the large cookie sheet in the refrigerator and bake the following day.


Bake in 400 degree oven for 1/2 hr. Tops should be browned lightly and
middles piping hot.