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Friday, September 30, 2011

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

I had heard several months ago from Amy, one of my co-workers, that I needed to get in touch with Starla, another co-worker, and get her recipe for Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert.  Starla is a wonderful cook and known for the delicious desserts that she brings to clinic lunches at our Eufaula clinic.  I promised Amy that when Starla shared the recipe with me, I would share it with her........and all of you!

Today is Farmers Daughters Market at Dothan Nurseries from 9 to 1.  Come visit for awhile.

                                                            Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

Ice Cream Sandwiches - 16
Cool Whip
Caramel Topping
Chocolate Syrup

Place Ice Cream Sandwiches side by side in a 9 X 13 baking dish.  Cover the sandwiches with a layer of Cool Whip.  Drizzle Caramel Topping over Cool Whip.  Drizzle Chocolate Syrup over Caramel Topping.  Repeat all layers beginning with another layer of Ice Cream Sandwiches. 

You may top with cherries or shaved chocolate.  Keep dessert in freezer.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Baked Pork Chops

One evening last week, Phillip had supper ready when I got home from work.  He had baked pork chops, creamed potatoes, and english peas.  It was a delicious meal and I enjoyed it so much.  and yes, I am spoiled!  There is only one way to cook pork and that is low and slow.  Low heat and a long cooking time.  The end result is tasty and tender. 

We are so excited about the number of visitors that we had to come to the Farmers Daughters Market last Friday at Dothan Nurseries.  We really have a nice variety of vendors.  Let's see, we have the Bread Lady, Blue Moon Blueberries, Yang Farms - beautiful cut flowers and vegetables, Fresh Honey, Gaucho Farms - organic vegetables and meats, the pottery lady, Southern Roots Farm, Shelley Catering - frozen casseroles and boiled peanuts, LeeAnn's beautiful beaded necklaces and bracelets, Amanda's Pecan Pies, Suzy's Sweet Mix and Tea Cakes, George's Satsuma Marmalade, and D's Jellies - hot pepper jelly, mayhaw jelly, blackberry jelly, and peach preserves.  Come by and taste samples!

                                                       Baked Pork Chops

Pork Chops

Rinse the pork chops.  Place in a baking dish in a single layer.  Sprinkle the tops of the pork chops with salt and pepper.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.  Remove pork chops from oven.  Uncover and then flip the pork chops.  Sprinkle this side of the pork chops with salt and pepper.  Cover the pork chops with foil and return to oven for an additional 30 min.  Remove pork chops from oven and uncover.  Cook uncovered for an additional 15 min.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bread Pudding

I had never tried Bread Pudding until we had a clinic lunch catered by Sidney Miller.  Sidney created a Bread Pudding just for our lunch and our staff loved it.  I knew after trying his creation that I wanted to make a Bread Pudding for my family for Thanksgiving.  Sidney is a kind soul and graciously gave me his newly created Bread Pudding recipe.

My niece, Carey, has a handsome curly-headed son named Cy.  After our big Thanksgiving meal at my Mother's house, we all went outside to walk around and visit.  Cy hunted me up to tell me how much he liked the Bread Pudding and wanted to know if he could take some home.  He certainly made my day and I was more than happy to share Bread Pudding with him.  Such a sweet memory and yes there will be Bread Pudding just for Cy this Thanksgiving, too.

                                                       Bread Pudding

1 loaf of white bread
1 can of Grand's Biscuits - 8 biscuits - cooked
1 can of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls - cooked
1 - 12 oz. can of Pet Milk
1 - 12 oz. can of water
3/4 stick of margarine, melted
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. of butter pecan flavoring
1 tsp. cinnamon
Caramel Topping, heated

Place all of the above, except for Caramel Topping, in a large bowl.  You may use your hands or a potato masher to combine.  Pour into a 10 X 12 pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 45 min.

Poke holes in bread pudding.  Heat caramel topping in microwave.  Pour caramel topping on bread pudding.

This is best when served warm.

Note:  Sidney adds raisins when he makes the Bread Pudding.  I don't add raisins but plan to add a cup of chopped walnuts when I make it again.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Baked Potato

I do love a baked potato with a grilled steak.  It's also a great side dish for grilled shrimp and BBQ chicken.  We also enjoy stuffed baked potatoes.  For our stuffed baked potatoes, we use leftover meat from a previous taco supper.  After baking the potato, we cut the potato down the middle lengthwise and add butter, salt, and pepper.  We then add the taco meat, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream.  It makes a delicious meal that's so easy. 

I usually buy a 15 lb. bag of baking potatoes at Sam's Club.  When I get ready to bake potatoes, I select a couple of potatoes and then give them a scrubbing.  I dry the potatoes and then pierce them several times with a sharp knife.  I tear off several pieces of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the potatoes in.  I cover each of the potatoes with cooking oil and then wrap in a piece of aluminum foil.  I place the wrapped potatoes in a baking dish.  I bake the potatoes at 350 degrees for 2 hours.

                                                             Baked Potatoes

Large baking potatoes
Cooking oil
Aluminum Foil 

Follow above instructions. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Grilled Hamburgers

Phillip is the griller in our family.  He has grilled the pork ribs for our Herring family BBQ's as well as hamburgers, chicken, pork chops, and shrimp for just the two of us.  We are fortunate that the weather is usually mild enough in our area that we grill year round.   

We have a Weber 22 inch grill.  He pours Kingsford Charcoal into 1/4 to 1/2 of the bottom surface of grill.  This is to cook 4 to 6 hamburger patties.  Spray lighter fluid over charcoal until covered well.  Let it soak in and then ignite with a match or hand lighter.  The charcoal will need to burn until the flame goes out and the charcoal is almost completely white.  Scrub the grill rack with a wire brush to clean where the charcoal has burned. 

We cook ground chuck from the Cottonwood IGA.   Phillip takes a portion of the meat and shapes into a round ball about the size of a tennis ball and then compresses it to about a half inch thick.  He then rounds the edges of the patty. 

Place the hamburger patties on the grill rack.  You do not want your hamburger patties to touch.  Place the lid back on the grill.  Slightly crack your air vent on the grill top.  Allow to cook for 8 to 10 min.  If the patties have a slightly cooked appearance on the top, the patties are ready to flip.  Flip patties and leave top off until the charcoal begins to flame.  Put top back on grill.  Cook 10 -12 min.  Remove lid and flip burgers.  You will continue flipping and checking burgers until they reach desired doneness.  We like cheese burgers, so when the burgers are well done, we add 1/2 slice of Velvetta cheese on top of each burger patty.  Put the lid back on the grill to allow the cheese to melt.  Place hamburger patties on platter and serve.

The only variation that we make with our burgers is the additional of a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix.  This is mixed well with the meat before making into patties.

                                                     Grilled Hamburgers
2 lbs. of ground chuck
Velveeta Cheese slices
Hamburger buns
Lays Potato Chips

Follow above directions for grilling.  You may add seasonings of your choice to the meat before grilling.  You may also have condiments of your choice to go on your burger.  I combine 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise and 1/2 Tbsp. ketchup to go with my burger.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Janinne's Cheesecake

Janinne came to Dothan, Alabama after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.  She lived in Slidell, LA but worked in New Orleans, LA.  Her home had very minimal damage but the dialysis clinic that she worked at in New Orleans was destroyed.  She came to work with us for about six months and she introduced us to her way of life in New Orleans.  We learned about beignets, chickory coffee, king cake, mardi gras, parades, beads, and a dialect much different from our southern drawl.  We were different but we were also the same......we both had a fierce love for our families and home towns. 

Janinne's Cheesecake recipe originally came from her maternal grandmother.  She said that she kept the recipe a secret for many years but decided to share it when her oldest daughter, Roberta, married and requested the recipe.  She said that many people request to purchase a cheesecake from her for events they plan to hostess.  She said she has felt so blessed to have such a successful product. 

Her granddaughter, Emma, likes cheesecake for her birthday and Mimi cheerfully supplies a cake for Emma.

Over the years, she says that many friends and family have raved about her cheesecakes.  They tell her that she should quit her job with DCI to bake cheesecakes professionally.  Others have told her that she should open a storefront and she says that she has seriously considered this and may attempt this venture.  She said that she has baked many varieties of cheesecake - plain, chocolate, pumpkin, turtle, caramel, praline, and even a savory (appetizer) crawfish cheesecake - but the all-time favorite is Janinne's Cheesecake.

                                                     Janinne's Cheesecake

3 - 8 oz. pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Graham Cracker crumbs
Butter or Pam Spray
1 - 16 oz. sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Bring cream cheese and eggs to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter or spray well bottom and sides of 9 or 10 inch springform pan.  Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs in pan and shake until all edges are coated.  Set aside.

Blend cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar well.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat thoroughly after each addition.  When thoroughly blended, add 1 tsp. vanilla extract.  Pour mixture into prepared pan, shaking side to side to level.  Drag spatula through batter to release air bubbles.  Bake 25 to 30 min.  If cake is not solid  in the center, bake an additional 5 minutes at a time until set.  Cool 15 min.

Increase oven temperature to 475 degrees.  Combine sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and vanilla; stirring until smooth.  After 15 minutes cooling time, beginning on outer edges, spoon sour cream mixture over cake, and gently level.  Bake 10 minutes at 475 degrees.  Cool thoroughly before placing in refrigerator.  This cheesecake is best well chilled, overnight or longer.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sausage Gravy

I was introduced to Sausage Gravy made with Pioneer Country Gravy Mix a long time ago when my friend, Renae, prepared it with biscuits for a Christmas breakfast that we had at our clinic.  Our staff loved it.  She brought Grand's biscuits to go with the gravy.  When I make it at our house, we have those cathead biscuits that Phillip loves to go with the gravy.  Sometimes we have the Sausage Gravy and sometimes we just have the country gravy with the biscuits. 

Sausage Gravy with biscuits makes a delicious breakfast or a delicious supper, too.

                                                         Sausage Gravy

Jimmy Dean sausage patties
3 - 2.75 oz. pkg. Pioneer Brand Country Gravy Mix
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups water

Cook sausage patties until done.  Drain.  Allow to cool and then chop in food chopper. 

Bring 4 1/2 cups water to a boil.  In a separate bowl, stir 3 pkgs of Pioneer Country Gravy Mix with 1 1/2 cups cool water.  Pour gravy mixture into boiling water.  Stir with a whisk until thickened.  Add sausage and stir.    Serve with biscuits. 

Note:  My first blog on 1/3/11 is Homemade Biscuits.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Manwich Sandwich

Sloppy Joes was a part of my childhood.  It's also been a part of my adulthood, too!  I always buy Hunt's Manwich Original Sloppy Joe Sauce.  Phillip and I enjoy it for supper from time to time.  I love the flavor of the sauce and combined with ground chuck on a fresh hamburger bun you've got a delicious sandwich.  This has been a hit sandwich for our employees at our clinic, too.  We prepare the meat and sauce at home.  We plug in a crock pot at work and pour in the prepared Manwich and come lunchtime the staff is ready for a Manwich Sandwich.   Yum!

                                                              Manwich Sandwich

1 - 15.5 oz. can Hunt's Manwich Original Sloppy Joe Sauce
1 lb. ground chuck
Hamburger Buns
Potato Chips

Place ground chuck in a boiler and cook over medium heat.  Press down on meat as it cooks with a fork.  This will eliminate clumps of meat and the meat will be pea-sized.  Cook until done and then drain.   Stir in Manwich Sauce and simmer for 15 min.  Spoon meat onto a hamburger bun.  Serve with potato chips.

Note:  I like my Manwich Sandwich to be real meaty, so I usually cook 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. of meat.  There is plenty of sauce for this.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pecan Tarts

The first time that I made these was about 17 years ago for a bridal shower for one of our nephews' fiance.  The cream cheese mixture makes a tasty crust for the filling that tastes just like a pecan pie.  

We rode our golf cart over our place this past Saturday morning and checked out our pecan trees to see if they were beginning to drop pecans.  We have tiny pecans called seedlings and they are beginning to fall.  Phillip cracked a few and said they are good pecans.  We are hopeful that a couple of our trees that have larger pecans will produce good pecans and we'll crack those and put them in the freezer for whatever baking I will want to do.  It is so nice to have pecans ready to use for all of the recipes that I like to cook that need pecans. 

                                                             Pecan Tarts

1 - 3 oz. pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt


1 egg
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter; blend in flour and salt.  Chill for 1 hr.  Shape into 1 inch balls, press into the bottom and up the sides of greased mini muffin cups.  For filling, beat the egg in a small mixing bowl.  Add brown sugar, butter, and vanilla; mix well.  Stir in pecans.  Spoon into shells.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 -30 min.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Yield:  About 20.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Country Fried Pork Chops and Gravy

Since Phillip retired, he has created a few recipes of his own and this is one that  I request for supper from time to time.  Country Fried Pork Chops and Gravy truly is a comfort food.  Comfort food for those of us in the deep south usually means that it's covered in gravy and delicious!  Cooking the pork chops in a crock pot on high for six hours is very important.  The pork chops become so tender that you don't need a knife.  They will pull apart with a fork.    Have a comfort food supper soon!

                                            Country Fried Pork Chops and Gravy

8 boneless, thick cut pork chops
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup of Crisco Oil
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
2 cups Martha White self-rising flour

Trim pork chops of any fat, if desired.  Rinse pork chops.  Combine flour, salt, and pepper.  Dredge pork chops in flour.  Cover completely with flour.  Heat oil in iron skillet to medium.    Place 4 pork chops in skillet.  Brown on each side and then place on platter lined with a paper towel for drainage.  Repeat process with next 4 pork chops.  Reduce heat to medium low, add chopped onions; stir and cook onions until clear.  Add the rest of the flour mixture that you used for the pork chops to the skillet.  You want this mixture of flour, oil, and onions to be thick.  If not thick enough, add additional flour.  You will need a large amount of gravy to cover and cook the pork chops in.  Move this thick mixture out of the skillet into a large pot such as a dutch oven.   Begin adding warm water, stirring quickly with a whisk, over medium heat.  The gravy will thicken quickly and you will need additional water.  Stir often with whisk.  You will add water until you get the gravy to a creamy consistency.   Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook for at least 10 to 15 minutes to be certain you do not need additional water to keep the cream consistency.  Pour half of the gravy into the crock pot.  Add pork chops.  Pour the rest of the gravy over the pork chops.  This keeps the pork chops from sticking to the sides and bottom of the crock pot.  Do not stir and do not remove lid of crock pot.  Cook on high setting for 6 hours. 

Serve with rice, peas, and biscuits or bread.  Phillip says that you have to have bread for sopping gravy.  Yes, I married a country boy.

Note:  He always trims the pork chops of any fat.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spinach Bites

We have had a gentleman from Books and More that has brought books to our clinic for a number of years.  He always has a couple of recipe books in the tub full of books that he brings.  Over the past year or so, I have bought a 5 ingredient slow cooker cookbook, a Philadelphia Cream Cheese cookbook, and a Velveeta Cheese cookbook.  Spinach Bites is the recipe that caught my eye when I sat down and read the Velveeta cookbook.  I think it's an impressive little appetizer.  Let's see what ya'll think.

                                                              Spinach Bites

4 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
4 green onions, sliced
1 - 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 Tbsp. flour
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 lb. (4 oz.) Velveeta Cheese Block, cut into 24 cubes

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cream cheese and onions in medium bowl.  Add spinach, bacon, and flour; mix well.  Stir in eggs.

Spoon into 24 greased and floured miniature muffin pan cups.  Top each with 1 Velveeta cube; press gently into center of filling.

Bake 14 to 16 min. or until centers are set and tops are golden brown.  Makes 12 servings, 
2 appetizers each.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Toffee Truffles

When Brent and Joy chose to get married in August of 2003, I hinted that if they would have an early afternoon wedding I could prepare a lighter menu for the reception.  They agreed to do so and I took off the week before the wedding to prepare the food.  I ordered the wedding and groom's cake as well as the cheese straws.  My sister-in-law, Angie, prepared Sand Tarts and I prepared the rest of the food.  We had a children's table as well as an area for the guys that had boiled peanuts and bottle Cokes.  I had found the recipe for Toffee Truffles in Southern Living and decided that it would be appropriate to have truffles at a wedding reception.  It was my first time making truffles and I was quite proud of the outcome.  Actually, I was very proud of the lovely wedding and reception that Brent and Joy had on August 16, 2003.  There was such a sweet, sweet spirit.

                                                                Toffee Truffles

1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup butter
2 Tbsp. whipping cream
1 1/2 cups almond toffee chips

Heat chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted.  Remove from heat; stir in cream.  Let cool for 5 min.  Stir in almond toffee chips.  Cover and chill until firm.

Shape chocolate mixture into one inch balls; roll in almond toffee chips.  Store in refrigerator up to one week.

Yield:  2 1/2 dozen.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pecan Dreams

Whenever I look at cookbooks, I am always drawn to dessert recipes that call for pecans.  And....
I love cookies, especially cookies with pecans!  With fall approaching, I am hopeful that I will be cooking this fall and winter with our own pecans from our pecan trees.  We won't know the quality of the pecans until they fall off of the tree and we crack them.  So, let me prepare you now for lots of recipes coming up that call for pecans.  Let's see there will be pecan pies, pecan rolls, toasted pecans, sweet potato casserole (pecan topping), divinity, fudge, pecan cookies, etc.

Pecan Dreams is a Paula Deen recipe and you know she knows how to cook!

                                                               Pecan Dreams

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 - 8 oz. pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup chopped pecans


1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 cup Heath Bits O' Brickle Toffee Bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9 X 11 inch square pan.

Stir together confectioners' sugar and flour in a bowl.  Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut cream cheese and butter into flour mixture until crumbly.  Press mixture into prepared pan, distributing evenly.  Pour nuts over mixture and press into dough.  Bake for 30 min.  Remove from oven and cool completely.

For topping, whip cream and granulated sugar together with a handheld electric mixer until stiff; fold in almond toffee bits.  Spread over cake.  Cut into squares.  Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zesty Italian Chicken

I was at the Painted Lady beach house in Panama City with my bestest friend, George Ann, and her two sisters, Judy & Sandy, who own the Painted Lady.  George Ann asked me if I had ever cooked Zesty Italian Chicken and I said that I had not.  She said that I would love how simple it was to do and she was right.  I had no idea of how tasty it would be and couldn't wait to make it at home.  I know I have mentioned this before but let me say it again,  we do enjoy good cooking at P.C. Beach when we all get together!

                                                          Zesty Italian Chicken

4 - 6 chicken breasts
1 bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing

Spray a baking dish with Pam Spray.  Place chicken breasts in baking dish.  Pour entire bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing over chicken breasts.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake at 300 degrees for 2 hrs.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Corn Pudding

I was on vacation Sept. 2 to Sept. 11 and I sure did enjoy my time off.  I did a lot of cooking the first weekend.  I made Chicken Paprikash, Homemade Bread, Nicholson Farmhouse Peanut Butter Pies, Spanish Rice, and Tamale Pie.  This past weekend I cooked Chicken Tenders, Home Fries, Corn Pudding, and Cream Cheese Pound Cake.  Phillip grilled burgers, too.  Our only trip was to Graceville to eat shrimp at Circle Grill unless I also count the two trips to Dothan for the Farmers Daughters Market.  We have more vendors at the Market now and it was wonderful to see shoppers leaving with beautiful bouquets of cut flowers. 

I had a carton of half & half and had only used a small amount for the chocolate topping for the peanut butter pies, so I decided to try to be resourceful and find another recipe that called for half & half.  Well, I found Corn Pudding and decided it would be a good one to make to go with Chicken Tenders.  The next time that I make it I will definitely cook butterbeans and fried cornbread to eat with it.

                                                                  Corn Pudding

1 cup cream style corn
2 eggs
1/2 cup half & half (cream)
4 Tbsp. sugar
pinch of salt & pepper
1 tsp. flour

Beat eggs; add corn.  Mix sugar, flour, salt, and pepper together, then add cream; mix well.  Stir in eggs and corn mixture and put in buttered baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 min.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sweet Potato Pie

Mrs. Herring gave me her recipe for Sweet Potato Pie shortly after Phillip and I married.  It was a favorite of her children, especially Phillip's twin sister, Phyllis.  She also introduced me to baked sweet potatoes.  They are so delicious right out of the oven with lots of butter on a cold evening.  The recipe for Sweet Potato Pie that she gave to me called for 3 large sweet potatoes.  Well, I either use a can of yams or a can of  mashed sweet potatoes when I'm making pies or sweet potato casserole.  You get the same end result but it's a simpler route!  

                                                           Sweet Potato Pie  

1 1/2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup of sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup chopped pecans
1 deep dish pie crust

Combine sweet potatoes, butter, vanilla, sugar, and egg yolks with a mixer.   Add pecans and stir by hand.  Pour into pie crust. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 min.   Lower temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 50 to 55 min.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cheese Ball

For years, I would always buy a cheese ball at the grocery store if I got a craving for cheese and crackers.  As I became a collector of recipes and took pride in making recipes at home, I found a recipe in Southern Living for a Cheese Ball that I felt would be a good one for our family.  The first time that I made it was for the Christmas holidays one year and the taste was what I was looking for.  I can make a meal off of Ritz crackers, Cheese Ball, and a glass of sweet tea! 

Let me personally invite each of you to the Farmers Daughters Market at Dothan Nurseries on Montgomery Highway tomorrow from 9 to 1.  There will be new vendors tomorrow, so come see what all the excitement is about! 

                                                         Cheese Ball

2 - 8 oz. pkgs. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
3 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 - 1 oz. pkg. Ranch Style Dressing Mix
1 tsp. Worcesteshire Sauce
dash of hot sauce
2 cups chopped pecans

In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, Cheddar Cheese, salad dressing mix, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.  Divide in half and mold to desired shape.  Roll in pecans.  Refrigerate at least 4 hrs. before serving.  May be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mother's Date Nut Cake

This is my Mother and Daddy's favorite cake.  This recipe calls for 5 cups of chopped pecans and that's a lot of pecans!  We have pecan trees and Phillip tries to gather and pick up those 5 cups of pecans just for the Date Nut Cakes each year.  Mother usually cooks one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas.  We have arrived at their house in Tallahassee several times just as the cake came out of the oven.  It's always a treat to get a warm piece of cake right out of the oven!  We usually come home with a couple of pieces of Date Nut Cake and we always warm a slice in the microwave before eating it.  Now that's a memory.
                                                    Mother's Date Nut Cake

2 cups Martha White self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup grape juice
5 cups chopped pecans
2 - 8 oz. boxes chopped dates
1 Tbsp. vanilla flavoring
1 cup coconut

Sift 1/2 cup of flour over pecans, dates, and coconut and then mix by hand.

Mix sugar, eggs, butter, grape juice, and vanilla flavoring with mixer.  Pour over first mixture and mix well with hands.  Pour into a large tube pan that has been sprayed with Pam Spray. 

Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hrs.

This is a wonderful cake to have a piece while it's still warm out of the oven.  At other times when you want a slice, place it in the microwave for about 20 sec. for a warm slice.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Honey Mustard

When downtown Dothan began a revitalization, Popular Head Mule Co. was a favorite restaurant  for lunch.  My favorite menu item was chicken fingers with homemade honey mustard.  Years later after the restaurant closed, I met the chef from Popular Head and asked if he would share his recipe for honey mustard.  He was so kind to do so and this is a simply delicious dipping sauce for chicken tenders. 

                                                                   Honey Mustard

1 cup yellow mustard
2 cups Hellman's mayonnaise
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp. minced garlic, optional

Blend all together.  Refrigerate. 

Note:  I never made it with the minced garlic.

Monday, September 5, 2011


It's several weeks before fall is officially here but already there are hints of fall.  Some of our trees are beginning to change colors and when the wind blows,  leaves are floating through the air to the ground.  It has been so nice to have a cool breeze when we sat on our porch.  College football kicked off this past weekend....Roll Tide!   I decided to update my blog picture of my kitchen since I removed my Blue Ridge platters from the mantel to make room for pumpkins and pilgrims. 

Our recipe for Chili is actually Phillip's recipe.  When he was growing up, his mother made chili with pork and beans.  After we married, I tried several recipes for chili and I always made our chili with red kidney beans but never found a chili recipe that we were real fond of.  We both agree that his recipe for Chili is just right.  When the weather gets a little cooler, I hope he'll make a pot of chili (with kidney beans, not pork and beans) for us to enjoy.  I hope you will do the same for your family.


3 lbs. ground chuck
2 - 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce
3 - 15 oz. cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 diced onion
4 - 14.5 oz. petite diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1 Tbsp. chili powder, flavor to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. hot sauce

Brown the ground chuck in a large stock pot with onion over medium heat.  Cook until done.  Using a fork,  crumble the cooked meat into pea-size pieces.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer over low heat.  Cook, stirring every 15 min., for 2 to 3 hrs.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pecan Macaroons

I don't know who is more excited about all of the pecans on our trees, us or the squirrels!  We have two squirrels who live in our pecan trees in our front yard.  They are entertainment for us when we are sitting on our porch.  They are so territorial and do not want the other one to be in their tree.  One of the squirrels comes up on our porch when we are inside and gets in one of the swings at the end of our porch.  The rascals are getting quite comfortable here.  We are beginning to notice leaves turning on the trees.  Surely, fall must be coming!  Can hardly wait for cooler days.

I love to eat pecans.  After we have a bucket or two cracked, we do enjoy eating fresh ones as we are picking them out of their hulls to go in the freezer.  It is so nice to have pecans in the freezer for baking.  If are pecans are plentiful this year, we will definitely restock our freezer.  This past year was the worst year that we have ever had with our pecans.  I have had to buy pecans for baking and the price of pecans has been very high.  Supply and demand. 

Pecan Macaroons are so delicious to snack on.  They also make nice gifts for someone.

                                                            Pecan Macaroons

1 egg white, slightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
2 cups pecan halves

Add sugar to stiffly beaten egg white and continue beating until well blended.  Add vanilla flavoring.  Stir in pecan halves and stir until nuts are completely covered.  Place nuts individually on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 250 degrees for 30 min.  Turn oven off and let nuts remain in oven 30 min.  longer.  Loosen nuts from cookie sheet with spatula while hot.  Store in tight container when cooled.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vanilla Wafer Crust

When you find a recipe that you know that you will one day make, write it down or cut it out of the magazine, and place it where you will know where it is when you get ready to make it.  Vanilla Wafer Crust is just one of those recipes.  I suggest placing it in a recipe box.  That is what I do when I find a recipe that I will one day cook.  Once I cook it and decide it's a keeper, I write it in my family recipe book.  When I blogged about my mother-in-law's Pink Pies on 6/21/11, I said that you could just place the vanilla wafers in the bottom of the pie plate and this would serve as the pie crust.  However, when I saw the recipe for Vanilla Wafer Crust in Southern Living this month, I knew I had to share it with ya'll, 'cause one day you will want to use this crust for a pie as I will do the next time I make Pink Pies.  I guarantee it!

The Farmers Daughters Market opens back up tomorrow, Sept. 2nd, at Dothan Nurseries on Montgomery Highway.  We have all been getting ready over the summer to get ready for the Fall Market.  I will be selling Hot Pepper Jelly (everyone's favorite), Mayhaw Jelly, Blackberry Jelly, and Peach Preserves.  I will also be selling jalapeno peppers, cayenne peppers, sweet banana peppers, and bellpeppers.  There will be new vendors joining us and some of their products are beef, lamb, chicken, eggs, boiled peanuts, and fresh cut flowers.  There will also be fresh bread, frozen casseroles, baked goods, fresh honey, pecans, fresh vegetables, and orange satsuma marmalade.  You can bet there will be samples to graze on while you shop.  Come see us!

                                                             Vanilla Wafer Crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together 2 l/2 cups coarsely crushed vanilla waters, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 cup melted butter; firmly press on bottom, up sides, and onto lip of a lightly greased 9 inch pie plate.
Bake 10 to 12 min. or until golden brown.  Remove from oven, and cool completely (about 1 hr.).