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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Roasted Vegetables with Meyer Lemons

Last March, I won a Meyer Lemon Tree in a giveaway sponsored by Simply Citrus Nursery, and it has been an adventure! The lemons are finally ripening, and I am having a blast with all the possibilities! Find the giveaway story in the link above.

Beautiful Meyer Lemons, and they taste delicious!

I decided to start with what I had on hand. I love roasting and caramelizing vegetables in the oven, especially root vegetables! I had carrots, potatoes and onions on hand so I threw in some lemon juice and lemon slices. OMGoodness!!! We already ate one lemon by itself, but roasting the slices and eating them rind, pith and all was more than delicious! My mouth is watering as I think about it!

Roasted Vegetables with Meyer Lemons

Carrots, peeled and sliced into sticks about 2-3 inches
Potatoes, peeled and cubed
Onion sliced thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Dash of pepper
Dried basil, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium sized bowl add carrots, potatoes and onion.

In a small bowl, add the vinegar, lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil. Whisk until combined.
Pour the vinegar mixture over top of the vegetables. Toss until well coated then pour them onto the cookie sheet.

Place in oven and roast for about 30 to 45 minutes until golden brown and caramelized. I like a good bit of color on my roasted vegetables, as you can see. Remove from oven. Transfer to a bowl. Serve warm.

Served on a pretty platter.
It tastes better than it looks, if that is possible!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Homemade Pretzel Bites

I was looking for some easy recipes for baked goods. I've always said that I'm not a baker. I do bake, but it's not my specialty. I ran across a recipe for pretzel bites from King Arthur Flour. The instructions seemed a little daunting, but they are really easy when you understand the steps. I wasn't aware that boiling the dough for about 30 seconds was the way they achieve their golden brown color. I really had fun with this recipe. It's easy and really a quick recipe!  Pretty good for my first time, I think.

I love pretzels!

 The dough came together quickly
and needed no adjustments.

I let the dough rest for 30 minutes,
while I prepared the water bath. 
I had to work quick with the boiling water process,
so I didn't get a picture.

Sprinkled with Kosher Salt and then
baked at 400 degrees for 18 minutes.

 They are crunchy on the outside,
and soft on the inside. Delicious!

Pretzel Bites

3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soft unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup water
Water Bath:
1 1/2 to 2 quarts water
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup baking soda

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) a large baking sheet.

Mix and knead the dough ingredients together. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the water bath. Combine the water, salt, and baking soda in a saucepan. The water should fill the pan at least 1 1/4" deep.

Punch down the dough on a lightly greased work surface, then divide it into 24 pieces. Cover and bring water bath to a boil.

Drop the pretzel bites, about six at a time, into the water bath. Cook for 30 seconds, then return them to the baking sheet using a slotted spoon or spider, and sprinkle with salt.

Bake the pretzel bites for 18 to 22 minutes, until they're a deep golden brown. Remove the pretzel bites from the oven, and serve with your favorite mustard, honey mustard or cheese sauce.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Mama's Cookbook (ebook) on sale!

All this month, I will be offering my cookbook, "Mama's Cookbook" for sale as an ebook. It is a PDF file that includes many bonus links to recipes. You can print a single recipe from the file or print your own copy of the book. It has many pictures and extra stories behinds the recipes. Just leave your email address where prompted when you pay for your copy, and it will be emailed to you. From there, you can download the file and have a great cookbook as a resource to over 100 recipes for only $4.99! Just click the "Buy Now" button below!

***Also! You do NOT have to have a PayPal account. You can use any debit or credit card to make your purchase!***

Monday, October 30, 2017

Pizza Toast

Mama called it Cheese Toast, but my son calls it Pizza Toast. It is such a simple, easy and tasty treat. Whether it'd for an after school snack or add meat for a meal, it's sure to please kids of any age! I used my own homemade Pizza Sauce, but you can use your favorite brand. I also used a Colby Jack Cheese blend, but again use your favorite. The possibilities are endless!

1 French Bread Loaf, cut in thick slices
Pizza Sauce (or spaghetti sauce)
2 cups Colby Jack Cheese blend
(optional) pepperoni, onion, peppers, olives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread slices of bread with a tablespoon or so of sauce. Top with the toppings of your choice, or simply top with cheese. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. If serving to children, be sure to let them sit until the cheese has cooled enough to be safe. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fried Chicken Caesar Salad

I used leftover fried tenders and made myself a Fried Chicken Caesar Salad for lunch! I love Caesar Salad of all kinds. Adding fried chicken, shrimp or crab to a Caesar Salad is a real treat on a hot summer day! 

Fried Chicken Tenders

6-8 chicken Tenders 
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce
2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Oil for frying

Make an egg wash by beating the eggs, buttermilk and hot sauce together in a shallow dish. Mix flour and spices in another shallow dish. Dip chicken breast pieces in egg wash then dredge in the flour mixture. For a thicker crust on the chicken, repeat that step again... egg then flour. In a heavy skillet, heat about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of oil to 365 degrees. (Or heat a deep fryer to 365 degrees) Place chicken in hot oil. (If the oil is not up to temp, the coating will not stick. Do not crowd the chicken in the pan or it will boil in the oil and not fry crispy.) Fry for about 5 minutes per side or until golden brown and no longer pink inside. 

Fried Chicken Caesar Salad

1/4 - 1/2 cup Classic Caesar Dressing, to taste
6 fried chicken tenders, sliced
6 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 cup seasoned croutons
1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese 

Toss lettuce, croutons and dressing in large serving bowl. Top with chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Roasted Vegetables!

Living in South Carolina all my life, I went through the eye wall of Hugo all those years ago, and I remember it all to well! The storm, the eerie calm and starry sky as the eye passed over, and the aftermath of the other side of the eye wall are still fresh in my mind with every passing storm. We are watching Irma and hoping for the best! I have a wedding Saturday to prepare for, and then we will decide what to do next. We are as prepared as we can be here in this ancient double wide mobile home. (that I hope does NOT become truly mobile!)

In the mean time, I'm cooking some foods that might perish if we are left without power for any significant time. Today I roasted some vegetables I had sitting around. Awesome flavors!

Potatoes, Carrots, Onions and Garlic Cloves
Cut into chunks, except the garlic. Leave it whole.

Tossed in oil and a little lemon.
Seasoned with basil, Kosher salt and pepper, to taste.
Roast on a baking sheet for about 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees.

My kitchen smells amazing!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hamburger and Potato Casserole with a Bechamel Twist

I was trying to figure out what to cook for supper with the things I had on hand. The cabinets are getting pretty bare, and those that know me, know that "running to the store" is not an option out here. I need a couple of hours to be able to do the shopping. Well, I had ground beef in the freezer and thawed it out. I had a few potatoes, a couple of onions and some cheese. Most recipes would call for some cream of mushroom or broth next, but I didn't have any on hand. I decided to go with a bechamel with a garlic kick. Here's a step by step, and the recipe is at the end.

Layer potatoes and onions.

Next combine hamburger, spices and bechamel,
then top the potatoes and onions.

Next Cheese!

Another layer of potatoes and onions.

More meat mixture.

Continue layering.

After 4 hours cooking on high.

All plated and ready to gobble up! It went fast!

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
2 garlic cloves, run through a garlic press
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
3 lbs. peeled russet potatoes, sliced
1 sliced onion
3 cups shredded sharp cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Brown the ground beef on the stove top. Remove meat and reserve grease. Add flour to grease and stir to cook the flour to make a roux. Add a little butter if needed. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Bring to a boil. Sauce won’t thicken until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in meat and seasonings.

In a Crock Pot* base, layer 1/3 of the potatoes. Salt and Pepper the potatoes, to taste. Add 1/3 of the onions, 1/3 of the meat mixture, and 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat the layers ending with cheese.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or until the potatoes get soft.
*If you don’t have a crock pot, layer as instructed in a casserole deep dish and cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until potatoes are fork tender.