Nov 25, 2010

Missing in Action and a Souffle

For all of my faithful followers--- I am sorry that I have neglected my blog lately. My life has been so full in the past few months that I haven't spent much time on the computer. I have been traveling a lot for my job, we moved and honestly every time I look up another week has passed by.

Because it's Thanksgiving and a day of refection... I thought I would blog about what I'm thankful for (and of course share a recipe with you). We have been through so much this past year---both good times and bad. But through them all... I am reminded that contentment is what I strive for more than anything. I am working hard to remind myself that I don't need a specific day during the year to reflect on the things that I'm thankful for---that I should be thankful EVERYDAY.

Just for fun times sake---Here are the some things I'm thankful for:
Butter
Cheese (all kinds)
Le Crueset Pots
Chicken Pot Pie
My Cookbook Collection
Wine
Mexican Food
Facebook
My Husband who now is: my seamstress, my hairdresser and my assistant in the kitchen. I married someone just like my Dad---and couldn't be more blessed.
My Dog who: is the cutest pup around...but is BAD and challenges me daily. He is training me for Children.
My Parents: who still let me be their little girl and call home when I need something. But more than anything---who support us and love us in all the decisions we make.
My In-Laws: who have showed me that the simpler things in life are sometimes the best.
My Job: Which allows me to "go somewhere" new everyday.
Our Church: Which has challenged us and has brought new and encouraging people into our life.
You: Who read my blog and give me a reason to write.


In Honor of the Season, I thought I would share with you a FANTASTIC Recipe that was given to me by Caroline Allured who catered our rehearsal dinner. It will be on our table today.

Butternut Souffle

2 c cooked, pureed butternut squash

¼ c maple syrup

2 T brown sugar

1 t salt

3 T cornstarch


Mix to smooth then add:


1 stick melted butter

1 ¼ c heavy cream

3 egg yolks


Mix well and then fold in 3 egg whites beaten to soft peak stage.


Pour into buttered soufflé dish and bake at 350 till set and browned on top, about 1 hour.



*To Cook the squash; cut in halve and scoop out the seeds. Butter the insides and salt and pepper, then place face down in a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees for 45 minutes (or until soft). Then scoop out insides and puree. **

Aug 25, 2010

Gama, The Giving Tree and Grits

In Honor of Gama:

"Once there was a tree..... and she loved a little boy. And every day the boy would come and he would gather her leaves and make them into crowns and play king of the forest. He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples. And they would play hide-and-go-seek. And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade. And the boy loved the tree.......very much. And the tree was happy.

But time went by. And the boy grew older. And the tree was often alone. Then one day the boy came to the tree and the tree said "Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy"

"I am too big to climb and play", said the boy. "I want to buy things and have fun. I want some money. Can you give me some money?" "I'm sorry," said the tree, "but I have no money, I have only leaves and apples. Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in the city. Then you will have money and you will be happy." And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered her apples and carried them away. And the tree was happy.

But the boy stayed away for a long time.. and the tree was sad. And then one day the boy came back and the tree shook with joy and she said, "Come, Boy, climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and be happy." "I am too busy to climb trees," said the boy. "I want a house to keep me warm," he said. "I want a wife and I want children, and so I need a house. Can you give me a house?" "I have no house," said the tree. "The forest is my house, but you may cut off my branches and build a house. Then you will be happy." And the boy cut off her branches and carried them away to build his house. And the tree was happy.

But the boy stayed away for a long time. And when he came back, the tree was so happy she could hardly speak. "Come, Boy," she whispered, "come and play." "I am too old and sad to play," said the boy. "I want a boat that take me far away from here. Can you give me a boat?" "Cut down my trunk and make a boat," said the tree. "Then you can sail away...... and be happy." And so the boy cut down her trunk and made a boat and sailed away. And the tree was happy....But not really.

And after a long time the boy came back again. "I am sorry, Boy," said the tree,"but I have nothing left to give you----" "My apples are gone." "My teeth are too weak for apples," said the boy. "My branches are gone," said the tree. "You cannot swing on them------" "I am too old to swing on branches," said the boy. "My trunk is gone," said the tree. "You cannot climb--------" "I am too tired to climb," said the boy. "I am sorry," sighed the tree. "I wish that I could give you something------ but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump." "I don't need very much now," said the boy. "just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired." "Well," said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, "well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest." And the boy did. And the tree was happy."

-Shell Silverstein (The Giving Tree)

-------------



The Giving Tree is such a simple book, yet it means so much to me at this stage of my life.

Upon looking back on my relationship with my Gama---It's amazing how much of an impact this book has made on my life. This the the first book I ever remember receiving (and oddly enough it was from her).


My Gama was my very own "Giving Tree". Just as the tree, she too has provided for me during ALL the stages of my life---she provided me with a place to play, a place to eat and learn to cook, a place for me to seek refuge and strength, a place of support and comfort, a place of guidance and a place of love. And just as the tree, in the final days of her life---though she was weak and tired and didn't feel like she had anything left to offer---she provided me with a smile and a memory that will last a lifetime.


Because I always have to leave you with a recipe, I will leave you today with one of hers. As I'm sure she is in Heaven whipping up a mean meal...and ringing the dinner bell for all those there with her to come to the table.


Baked Grits Casserole

1 Cup Grits
8 oz. Cheddar Cheese
3 Eggs
1 c. Milk
2 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Pound Sausage

Cook Grits and add salt. Grate Cheese, stir in 3/4 reserving 1/4 to put on top. Beat eggs, add milk to eggs then to grits and cheese. Brown Sausage. Add all ingredients to grits and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Top with cheese.

Jul 25, 2010

Heirloom Tomato Salad, Birthday's and Babies


I could write a love song to Heirloom Tomatoes. I seriously LOVE them! My dad is growing me some in his garden this year---and I can't wait for my delivery next weekend. They cost a ridiculous amount at the grocery store---but it's something worth splurging for. Brian who normally hates tomatoes...LOVES Heirlooms.

Tonight we had my brother and his fiance over for dinner. We were celebrating Chad's 30th Birthday, which is this week. I know I'm just the sister in this situation---but man do I officially feel old! I'm sure my parents are going to get hit hard with this one! It's like time is flying bye and the years just get shorter and shorter. I served this salad featured on today's blog as part of our dinner tonight. It was loved by everyone!


Beth's Heirloom Tomato Salad

2 Large Heirloom Tomatoes (Whichever color you want... I did 2 different varieties)
2 Medium/Small Heirloom Tomatoes (Again, whatever color you'd like... I did yellow and orange)
1 Jar of Buttermilk Dressing
1 Ripe Avocado
4-5 Strips to Bacon
Salt and Pepper to Taste (I used Jane's Mixed up Salt and freshly ground pepper)

Cut tomatoes into diced pieces and salt and pepper to taste. (Allow to sit while doing other things)
Fry Bacon and crumble into pieces
Cut Avocado open and use a teaspoon to carve out balls of Avocado. (Don't do this too early or it will turn brown)

To assemble:
Put 2-3 Tablespoons of Buttermilk Dressing on a Salad Plate.
Pile Tomatoes, Avocado and Bacon on top of Dressing.
Serve at Room Temperature.

Makes 4 Salads.


I have to end the blog by telling you a funny story---so it's the time in our lives where all of our friends are having babies (and it makes you want one for about a day...then you change your mind when you hear a screaming kid at Walmart!). Growing up, we did this test with a necklace and a wedding band---where you rubbed it up and down on your wrist and then held it up above your wrist and whatever way it moved, it told you what the gender of your kids would be and how many you'd have. We'll for the last 15 years, I've been believing I was have 2 kids... a boy and then a girl..well tonight I was in for the shock of my life! The test reveled for BOTH Brian and I, that we would be having not 2, but 3 kids! Ugh, I can't even begin to imagine us with 3 kids! The test said we would have a girl, then a boy, then another girl...and the first thing out of my mouth was... "Babe, we need to start a wedding fund...otherwise our daughters will never have weddings!" All I can say is... Thank God for Birth Control! (and Heirloom Tomatoes...because tonight turned out to be great food with great company and whole lot of fun!)

Jul 14, 2010

Peg's Layered Salad


This is a Classic Augusta Recipe. It comes from the T-Time at the Masters Cookbook. It is a great addition to any BBQ.

Peg's Layered Salad
Serves 8-10

1 Head Lettuce, Broken
1/2 cup Green Pepper, Chopped
1 Onion, diced
1/2 Cup Celery, diced (I omited..as I HATE Celery)
1/2 Cup Chopped Tomatoes (I added this to the original recipe)
1 10-ounce Package Frozen Green Peas, thawed but not cooked
2 Cups Hellmann's Mayonnaise Mixed with 2 Tabelspoons Sugar
1 4-ounce package Cheddar Cheese, Grated (I used 1 block of Seriously sharp White Cheddar)
6-8 strips Bacon, fried and crumbled
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan Cheese, Grated


In a bowl, layer the first 8 ingredients in order given, Chill for 24 hours. When ready to serve, salt and pepper to taste, toss and top with Parmesan Cheese.



The original recipe says to make a day ahead--but I have made it the same day of serving it and it turned out completely fine. I also don't always toss it before serving---either way you choose to serve it is fine. You can really add anything you would like to this salad. I have added cauliflower and broccoli before--and both are great additions.

Tomato and Corn Pizza


I love Summer! One reason is because of fresh produce. I have found some great summer recipes this past year using a lot of local fresh produce---I swear things taste better when it comes straight from the garden.
This recipe is out of Southern Living's latest Edition. I made it to take to a dinner party last week and it was a hit!

Tomato and Corn Pizza
Makes 4 Servings

3 Small Plum Tomatoes, Sliced (I used cherry and heirlooms mixed together)
1/4 tsp. Salt (I used Jane's Mixed Up Salt)
1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
1 Boboli Pizza Crust (I used Thin)
1/3 cup store bought Pesto
1/2 Cup fresh Corn Kernels (1 ear of corn)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp. Sugar
8 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
Fresh Basil Chopped (I used Italian Seasonings)
Olive Oil (to drizzle pizza with)

1. Preheat oven to 450. Place tomato slices on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; let stand for 20 minutes. (Since I used Cherry Tomatoes I just mixed in a bowl with Salt and Pepper and didn't let them stand for 20 minutes)
2. Place Pizza Crust on a parchment paper -lined baking sheet; spread with pesto. Stir together corn, Parmesan, and Sugar. Top Pizza with Corn Mixture, Tomatoes and Mozzarella Slices. (I added Italian Seasonings then drizzled the entire thing with Olive Oil before baking).
3. Bake at 450 for 14 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Remove from Oven and top with basil.

Houston's Thai Chicken Salad


I'm not a fan of chain restaurants---but Houston's is Amazing! Whenever I'm traveling and there is a Houston's Restaurant nearby... I'm running to eat there. On the first night of our honeymoon, we ate at Houston's and I had the most amazing salad and I've been craving it ever since. Tonight I decided to google it and make it. It's amazing what you can find on the internet! I found a lot of great restaurant recipes. Brian had NO complaints tonight---nothing he'd change about it. This my readers is monumental! He ALWAYS has something to say about what I can do to make things better!

Make this one---you won't be sorry!

Houston's Thai Chicken Salad
Makes 3-4 Servings

Dressing:
3 Tablespoons Lime juice
1 Tablespoon Fish sauce
1 Tablespoon Water
1 Large clove Garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha
1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Sesame oil
2 Tablespoon neutral flavored Oil (like Canola or Grapeseed) (I used Vegt. Oil)

Wisk all Ingredients Together and let Sit.

Salad:
1 Rotisserie Chicken (Cut into chunks)
1 ounce dried Rice Noodles, cooked for 2 minutes in boiling water- rinse in cold water and drain
1 Bag of Mesclun Mixed Lettace or Chopped Lettuce
1 Bag of Shredded Cabbage (For Coleslaw)
1 Mango Chopped into Pieces
1/3 cup Seeded, diced Tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes)
2 Scallions (thinly sliced)
1/2 Cup Chopped Cilantro

Put all Ingredients into a large bowl and toss with Dressing.

Plate Salad and Top with Chopped Toasted Peanuts before serving.

Serve Immediately.

Jun 12, 2010

Peach Sangria

White Peach Sangria - Adapted from allrecipes.com

I made this for a pool party and it was a hit. So much so that Brian passed out after we returned home! Be careful---you will drink it really fast and then all the sudden you are needing to find a DD to get you home! Enjoy!


Ingredients (makes 6 servings)

  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 3/4 cup peach flavored vodka (I used Absolute)
  • 6 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 pound white peaches, pitted and sliced (I used Frozen)
  • 3/4 cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 3/4 cup seedless green grapes, halved (I used blueberries instead)

Directions

  1. In a large pitcher, combine dry white wine, peach vodka, lemonade concentrate and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add sliced peaches, red and green grapes.
  2. Refrigerate sangria until well chilled, at least 2 hours, or overnight to blend flavors. Serve over ice, and use a slotted spoon to include sliced peaches and grapes with each serving.





May 26, 2010

Not in Season Peach Cobbler

It happens every year... I want Peach Cobbler in the dead of winter when there are NO fresh peaches. This year I found the trick...store bought mix that calls for canned peaches! I thought I would share it with you---as It's a great trick and actually VERY yummy! I found the mix at Bi-Lo in the baking aisle next to the biscuit mix. It was easier than making brownies and will satisfy your sweet tooth. Serve it with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

May 25, 2010

I should be on a Diet... Boston Cream Pie


As I write this blog today... I'm sitting here sucked into watching an infomercial on a new weightless plan. How convenient!
Brian and I have been talking about which route we want to take in loosing weight...as we both have put on weight since we got married in January. He blames me and the fact that I cook so good for the reason he's gained weight. I would have to agree with him. I cook because it's an outlet for stress for me. But Unfortunately, when I cook...we eat!
We celebrated Brian's 33rd Birthday last week with a Boston Cream Pie! It is a dessert favorite of both of ours...so I thought I'd attempt making it for him. It was sinfully good! I was a little fearful at first to make it...as I've never made custard before. But it was surprisingly easy.

Boston Cream Pie

Recipe from Food Network

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hr 30 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Level:Easy
Serves:8 servings
Ingredients:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
Pastry Cream:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons instant flour (recommended: Wondra)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Ganache:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Bake 2 cakes according to package instructions in a 3-inch deep cake pan. Once baked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, take a long serrated knife and slice each cake in half to form 4 separate disks.

Pastry Cream:

Pour the milk, 1/4 cup sugar and the vanilla bean in a saucepan over medium heat. Combine the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl and whisk until light in color. Add the flour, vanilla extract and the salt to the egg yolks and mix to combine. When the milk just begins to boil, remove from heat. Very slowly temper the hot milk into the yolk mixture, stirring constantly. When about half of the milk has been added, pour all of the yolk mixture into the saucepan over medium heat. Using a whisk, mix as it heats, making sure to reach all of the corners of the pan when stirring. Bring the mixture to a boil. Let it boil for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. The mixture will be thick. Remove from heat and add the butter. Strain the pastry cream through a fine strainer. Put it into a bowl and cover directly with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the cream. Refrigerate to chill for at least 1 hour before using.

Ganache:

In a small saucepan, over low heat bring the cream to a boil. Add the chocolate to a small bowl and pour in the hot cream. Stir until smooth, then allow to cool slightly.

Pie:

Spread cooled pastry cream on the top of 3 of the cake layers. Put each disk of cake on top of each other, leaving the last cake disk untouched. Press the cake firmly. Put the cake on a wire rack with a sheet tray underneath. Pour the slightly cooled ganache on top of the cake being sure the ganache covers the whole cake. Allow to cool in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Put any remaining pastry cream in a piping bag with a star tip and use to decorate the top. Slice the cake and serve.

May 24, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Spread

Yum, Yum, Yum... I LOVE me some Good Pimento Cheese! I decided to make some tonight but with a few twists...and I gotta tell ya...it's AMAZING!

I have really been on a white cheddar kick lately..so I thought I would incorporate it into this recipe...and I must say, I think it really adds some character. I also used chopped roasted red peppers instead of pimento's. It's a great twist to an old classic.





Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Spread

1 8oz. Block of Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
1 8oz. Block of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup chopped Roasted Red Peppers (in the jar)
3/4 cup Mayo (I used Duke's)
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Black Pepper (to taste)

Grate Cheese.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed.
Chill overnight or for several hours before serving.
Serve with Crackers, as a Sandwich or on a Burger.

Apr 7, 2010

Hampton, Easter and Pineapple Cheese Casserole


Dear Blog, I've missed you!
Where have I been you ask? ....well we got a puppy!

About 3 weeks ago, I talked Brian into letting us get a dog. His name is Hampton, he is a Cavapoo (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle Mix) and he is adorable. But with that being said, he's taking over our lives. Everyone warned me that it would be like having a kid...and I'm officially agreeing. I keep telling myself that it won't always be this way...just as a kid grows...so will Hampton.

I haven't been cooking much in the past few weeks...our refrigerator broke last week and we've been living out of two coolers. It's been hilarious actually.... I felt like we were camping in our own home. Thankfully, Lowe's delivered our new white beauty yesterday...and it's much bigger than our old one.

Brian knows how much I love to fill up a refrigerator and has already warned me that I'm not allowed to stock this one full! One of our weekly spats is always that I need to go grocery shopping and that he thinks we have enough food in the pantry. Last week he started calling off everything I had (flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, etc) I just started laughing....do men really think you can make a meal off of those things? A true southern cook ALWAYS needs their staples... butter, cheese, milk, cream of chicken and mushroom soup, rice, onions, potatoes, chicken and pork! If I'm out of one of those, then I think we don't have any groceries...and off to the store I go!

Easter is my favorite Holiday. Everyone thinks I'm funny for saying so...but I love everything about it (Hats, Dresses, Flowers,Church, Time with the family, Cadburry Mini Eggs, etc) . Spring is a time for renewal and a fresh start. I have my staple Easter Dinner Casseroles that I bring along with me to family dinners.... Sweet Potato Souffle and Pineapple Cheese Casserole (they both go great with ham). I thought I would share with you a Southern Favorite... Pineapple Cheese Casserole! I mean who doesn't love pineapple and cheese?!


Pineapple Cheese Casserole

3 (15 ounce) cans pineapple chunks
2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
16 tablespoons pineapple juice
8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 Sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).


In a large bowl combine pineapple chunks, cheese, pineapple juice, flour, sugar and butter. Spoon into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with crushed crackers.


Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
(Or until Hot and bubbly)

Mar 23, 2010

Treado's Town House

Here is a rare photo of my grandparents restaurant... Treado's Town House. It was located on Hwy 301 in Sylvania, GA. I must brag for a minute and tell you that it was once world famous. (Jimmy Carter dined there during his campaign). But whether it was or wasn't really famous...it was always famous in my eyes!
Inside that building (which is still standing today (but is closed)) are some of my fondest memories of my childhood. It is there, that I fell in love with food! We (being Baptist) would rush out of church on Sunday's to try and beat the Methodist to be the first in line for the buffet! Not a Sunday went by that we didn't eat there...and if we did miss lunch...we were there for Sunday night dinner.
Once you opened the door at the Town House, you were hit with the smells of home. Everyone knew one another and everyone walked away happy. My grandparents created a legacy through their restaurant... places like the Town House are a rarity these days. I miss it and what it represented to our family.

Before restaurants bought all of their salad dressings pre-made... restaurants like the Town House would actually make them from scratch. I thought I would share the famous Town House Thousand Island Dressing in honor of today's blog.


Town House Thousand Island Dressing

1 Cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
1/2 Cup Chili Sauce
1 Chopped Boiled Egg
1 Tablespoon Chopped Pickles

Now is the guessing part: (use your taste buds)
Worcestershire Sauce
Tabasco Sauce
Lemon Juice
Small amount of Grated Onion

Mix All Ingredients and chill until ready to serve.



**Note to those of you from Sylvania who read my blog: Sorry... but the famous Cinnamon Rolls Recipe will never be revealed on my blog...I was sworn to secrecy upon birth! ** I will put other great recipes from the restaurant in the months to follow...leave me a comment and let me know your favorites.

Mar 18, 2010

HOE Cakes


Ya'll have been asking for it...so I thought I would deliver... The Blog on my famous "Hoe Cakes". The name "Hoe Cakes" cracks everyone up and no one seems to know exactly what I'm talking about when I say hoe cakes....so I thought I would give you a history lesson on how Hoe Cakes came about.

But before that... let me tell you why I decided to make Hoe Cakes. For the past few years, we've had an oyster roast for my sister and law Lauren's Birthday. This year...Gail, my mother in law told me the menu for Lauren's Birthday Dinner... it went something like this: Oysters, Fish Stew, Hot Dogs and Hush puppies. At that point I immediately said (being the GA girl that I am)... "Great... I'll bring Chili and cornbread". It was my polite way of saying..."um yeah...I don't really eat oysters and something called fish stew just sounds nasty!"

Here's your History Lesson on Hoe Cakes:
The term hoecake first occurs in 1745, and the term is used by American writers such as Joel Barlow and Washington Irving. The origin of the name is the method of preparation: field hands often cooked it on a shovel or hoe held to an open flame. Hoes designed for cotton fields were large and flat with a hole for the long handle to slide through; the blade would be removed and placed over a fire much like a griddle. Hoe Cakes are often called "griddle cakes" as well.

So whether you call them Cornbread, Hoe Cakes or Griddle Cakes... here's a Great recipe to try!


Meme's Cornmeal Griddle Cakes
Bon Appetit, Ya'll- Virginia Willis

2 Cups white or yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup water, plus more if needed
1/5 corn oil, for frying

To prepare the batter, in a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a second bowl or large liquid measuring cup, combine the egg and the 1 cup water. Whisk until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, using as few strokes as possible.
To fry the griddle cakes, heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Ladle 1/4 cup of batter onto the heated skillet.
Repeat with additional batter, without crowding.
Cook the cakes until the bottoms are brown and bubbles form on the tops and edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Serve Immediately.

Serve with Butter (and Syrup if you're looking for a way to make it even more fattening!)

Mar 17, 2010

Nana's Squash Casserole

Meet Nana.

Some of you remember her fondly. She was an INCREDIBLE lady! My Dad told me last week that I was turning into her. That my readers, is a true compliment!
I have a lot of Nana in me. She was 100% Southern. She loved nice things... she had impeccable taste, she loved to cook, she loved her family above everything else and she loved to entertain.
She never left the house without her "face on". I only saw her once in my entire life with her beehive down...and that was at the beauty shop. I unfortunately have her flabby arms and big ole butt...I got them both honestly...and from all the years of great food she would feed me!

Today's Recipe, is one that comes from her collection. Every occasion that our family would dine together, there was always a Squash Casserole present. It's one of the Treado/Zeagler staples at holidays. I made it for Thanksgiving last year for Brian's family and it's now its my signature item to always bring to their house for pot luck meals.


Nana's Squash Casserole

2-3 Cups Cooked Squash
1 Medium Onion
1 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon Pepper (or to taste)
2 Eggs
1 cup Evaporated Milk
1 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers
1/2 Stick of Butter

Cut Squash into round pieces. Chop onion into pieces. Place in a pot with a little water. Cut butter into pieces and place over squash/onions season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender-stir occasionally.
Once cooked-- Drain off liquid.
In a Separate Bowl, Beat eggs and add to evaporated milk.
Mix Egg/Milk Mixture, Cooked Squash and Shredded Cheese in a bowl.
Pour into a greased Casserole Dish. Crumble Ritz Crackers on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Mar 16, 2010

Cashew Nut Chicken

Brian and I headed to Savannah on Saturday to watch our favorite little girl... Paige. Paige is the daughter of our friends Chris and Amanda, who just recently moved to Savannah. We got a full weekend of P-Time.



To Paige we are "Aunt Boo" and "Uncle Bri". She is 2 and as sweet as pie! On Saturday, we spent time in Forysth Park, we read books at E Shavers Booksellers and treated her to her first Afternoon Tea at the Gryphon. I'm not sure who had more fun... Us or Her!



So what does this have to do with Cashew Nut Chicken? Well... during our visit to E Shavers Booksellers (one of my favorite little secrets in Savannah) I purchased a new cookbook. I've decided to try and purchase a new cookbook that is representative to the place or culture that we're in. Saturday I had a tough time trying to decide...they had a GREAT selection of Savannah choices. I ended up getting " Downtown Savannah Style" - Savannah's Junior League Cookbook.


Tonight we tried our first recipe from Downtown Savannah Style... and we weren't disappointed! Listed in the cookbook as "Stir Fry Chicken with Vidalia Onion". I renamed it to Chashew Nut Chicken! (since it sounded a lot like my favorite entree of choice at the Thai restaurant).


Chashew Nut Chicken
Serves 3-5 (depending on serving size)

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (I used minced instead)
7 tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large vidalia onion, chopped
1 1/4 cup lightly salted cashews


Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Cut into bite-size pieces. Place in a shallow dish. Combine the soy sauce and white wine in a bowl and mix well. Stir in the cornstarch, sugar and garlic powder. Pour over the chicken, stirring to mix. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 Hours, shirring occasionally. (I marinated it overnight)

Heat 5 tablespoons of the peanut oil and the broth in the wok or skillet until hot. Add the undrained chicken mixture. Stir-fry for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken mixture to a bowl. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in the wok or skillet. Add the red pepper, green pepper and onion. Stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the chicken mixture and cashews and mix well. Serve immediately over cooked white rice.

Mar 8, 2010

Key Lime Pie


MMmmm, MMmmm, MMmmm... I love a Good Key Lime Pie!

I used to think that Publix had THE BEST Key Lime Pie.. that was until I made my own!

I've always stayed away from making pies...that was my Nana's expertize and now it is my Dads. But I decided to just go for it...and let me tell you, it was soooo incredibly easy and fast. After making Dad's Birthday Cake earlier in the week...(German Chocolate) I've decided I can cook or bake just about ANYTHING!



Key Lime Pie

From: Susan Mason's Silver Service
Serves: 8

1 (14- ounce) Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 Cup Fresh Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon Grated Lime Zest
2 Egg Yolks
1 (9-inch) Graham Cracker Crust

Preheat Oven to 325 Degrees.

Mix together the milk, lime juice, lime zest and egg yolks. Beat until smooth. Pour mixture into the crust.
Bake for 15 minutes. It should be firm to the touch. Cool in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.

Serve with a dollop of Whip Cream on top and Lime Zest.

**I made a double making of this for 12 Mini Pies.**

Feb 14, 2010

Cheesecake for my Valentine

I made my first ever Cheesecake today for my Husband and Valentine...Brian. Coming home from Georgia last week he mentioned to me that he would love for me to make him a cheesecake sometime. I said..."sure honey"... and didn't think much more of it at the time.

We decided to stay in this year for Valentines, so I thought it would be the perfect time for me to attempt baking one. I've always had it in my head that making a cheesecake is a tough thing to do..but the hard part of it was to wait 5 hours to indulge in it! It was a time consuming project...but WELL WORTH THE WAIT! Brian took a bite and said,
"Damn Baby, you've got it goin' on! This is Amazing!"

I decided after cooking tonight's meal that it makes me really HAPPY to cook. Due to the fact that my butt is ALREADY extremely large...this is NOT a good thing! But seriously...I slaved in the kitchen for most of the afternoon making dinner for us tonight...and when I was plating it up...I was so proud of what I had accomplished. The cheesecake was a great way to finish off the night. I don't cook meals like this often...but when I do... it makes all the work worth it!

I have a feeling this Cheesecake Recipe will be around for many years to come....and will be made for many special occasions in the future. Make it...Indulge in it...and last of all, but not least...Enjoy it!



Ultimate Turtle Cheesecake

From: www.allrecipes.com
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 5 hours and 40 Minutes
Serves: 16

Ingredients:
2 cups OREO Chocolate Cookie Crumbs
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 (14 ounce) package KRAFT Caramels
1/2 cup milk
1 cup PLANTERS Pecan Pieces
3 (8 ounce) packages PHILADELPHIA
Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 eggs
2 (1 ounce) squares BAKER'S Semi
-Sweet Baking Chocolate

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 300 degrees F if using a dark nonstick springform pan). Mix crumbs and butter; press firmly onto bottom and 2 inches up side of pan.
2. Place caramels and milk in small microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 3 minutes or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after each minute. Stir in pecans. Pour half of the caramel mixture into crust. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate remaining caramel mixture for later use.
3. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over caramel layer in crust.
4. Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around side of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing side of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
5. Microwave reserved caramel mixture on HIGH 1 minute; stir. Pour over cheesecake. Melt chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over cheesecake. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Feb 10, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie


My name is Beth Simms and I am addicted to
Chicken Pot Pie.

There I said it... the truth shall set me free!

Every time the question is asked, "What would your last meal be on earth?" My answer is always the same... "Dennis Treado's Chicken Pot Pie!" It seriously is my favorite meal. I've offically named myself ... A Chicken Pot Pie Connoisseur. I'm very leery to order pot pie out at a restaurant because so many people think they can cook pot pie. I disagree... It's seriously an art and most people don't even have a clue! I don't know why people feel the need to put every vegetable under the sun in their pot pie...come on... it doesn't need potatoes or corn... just the basics of carrots, peas and celery. The crust is another thing...every recipe you look at recommends a thick, biscuit like crust...again.. why?? I mean, no one loves Biscuits more then me...but there no need with pot pie... just stick to the basics. Sometimes less is more!

So... in honor of Valentines and it being the month of Love... I thought I would spread the Love of Pot Pie!

Treado's Chicken Pot Pie

Serves: 4
Cook time: 30-40 minutes

3-4 Boneless Chicken Breast
Better than Bouillon Chicken Base (get next to Chicken Bouillon Cubes at Grocery Store)
4-6 Stalks of Celery
1 1/2 Sticks of Butter
1 Cup Milk (or Heavy Cream) (you might need less or more...you just have to judge it)
5 T. Flour
1 Can Lesueur Peas
1 Can Chopped Carrots
2 Rolls Pillsbury Pie Crust
Salt and Pepper to taste


Step One:
Cut celery into chunks
Place in pot and cover with water
Boil with 2 T - 1/2 stick of butter until it has cooked down to very little water left and tender (about 15-20 minutes)

Cut raw chicken into chunks
Cook in frying pan with Better than Bouillon Chicken Base (around 2 T or more if you like)
Salt and Pepper your Chicken to Taste
Once Cooked, place aside until later


Step Two:
Place Pie Crust on Baking Sheets and Spread butter on Top (We use squirt butter)
Cut into Strips or Pieces and Cook according to the directions on the box

Step Three:
To Make White Sauce:
Melt Stick of Butter in Bottom of Pan
Add about 5 T. flour and stir constantly over medium heat. (Watch out it will burn if you don't keep whisking)
Add Milk (or heavy cream...the cream is sooo good!) in small amounts and continually stir until you have a desired amount of sauce is made. Probably need about a quart of sauce. (Make sure you are constantly whisking so the sauce won't clump up or burn...it will get thick after a few minutes...if its too thick...just add more milk)
Add Salt and Pepper to Taste.

Step Four:
Add chicken, celery with small amount of juice, can of Drained Lesueur Peas and can of Drained Sliced Carrots to White Sauce

Simmer for a few minutes

Step Five:
Place on Plate
Put Crust on Top
Bless Your Meal
Indulge


Step Six:
Email me and tell me how much you Love Me for Sharing with you My Favorite Meal!

Feb 9, 2010

Our Famous Wedding Welcome Gift Bags




I'm about to toot my horn here...but we had the most amazing Welcome Gift Bags for our Wedding Weekend last month! We wanted the bags to be personal...and I think we totally accomplished that. Included in the bag were my Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies, my Nana's Pecan Pie from our family's restaurant, Brian's Mom's Hello Dolly Cookie Bars and our friend Sally's Cheese Straws.

Since food is so much apart of who we are as a couple and family...we thought it would was a great idea to fill the bags with some of our favorite treats. Also included in the bags were recipe cards of each thing included, for those who love to cook. I thought it would be fun to share these special recipes with each of you.

Kathie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 Cups White Sugar

1 Cup Margarine

1 Egg

1 T Vanilla

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 Pkg. Chocolate Chips

1 C Chopped Pecans

Cream Margarine and White Sugar with mixer. Add Egg and Vanilla.

Sift Dry ingredients together and blend into the mixture.

Stir in Chocolate Chips and Nuts.

Bake in a 350 degree oven on an ungreased cookie sheet for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes a really crispy cookie.


----------------------------------------

Treado’s Pecan Pie

3 Eggs, Slightly Beaten

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup White Corn Syrup

3/4 Stick Butter

1/4 tsp Salt

1 1/2 Cup Pecans, Chopped

2 tsp Vanilla

1 (9 inch) Pie Shell

Slightly beat eggs, add sugar, syrup, vanilla and salt. Melt and cool butter.

Mix in butter to other ingredients by hand.

Place chopped pecans in the bottom of an unbaked pie shell, cover pecans with mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.


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Sally’s Cheese Straws

5 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese

2 Cups Plain Flour

1 Stick Margarine

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Mix All Ingredients together. Let Mixture Soften.

Fill Cookie Press with Star Attachment and Squeeze onto 4 Trays.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes, cut into 2-3 inch pieces, return to oven and cook until hard to the touch

(about 5 minutes).

Place on plate to cool.

Makes about 4 Dozen.


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Gail’s Hello Dolly Cookie Bars

1/2 Cup Margarine (Melted)

1 1/2 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 Cup Chopped Pecans

1 1/3 Cup Flaked Coconut

1 Can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk

Melt Margarine in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs evenly over the margarine. Spread chocolate chips followed by the pecans and then the

coconut. Next pour condensed milk over the top of the coconut.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool completely and cut into bars.


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By the way...in the process of making the bags, I now understand why wedding and event planners make so much money! They sure were a lot of work...but in the end they were totally worth it.

Feb 8, 2010

The New Betty Crocker

Move over Betty.... there's a new baker in town!!

Growing up I spent a lot of time at my Grandparents house on the weekends. My Gama had this cookbook in her collection (that was actually my Mom's as a child)...it was "Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls" from the 1950's. I would beg Gama to let me cook recipes from it...so we'd head off to the store and get the ingredients for the recipes I'd pick out. Whether it was Sloppy Joes, Pigs in a Blanket or Sugar Cookies... I loved cooking from it. I look back on those memories and am so appreciative to have them. My mom has that cookbook in her collection now...and every time I'm home...I eye it and smile.

Tonight I searched and found my inner Betty... I think we all have her inside of us somewhere... she just hides deep down inside of me! I don't especially love to bake. It takes a lot of patience and I get anxious because the house smells so good during the whole process!

Well...We had 3 Banana's sitting around our kitchen tonight and I decided to be economical and find a way to use them....so what did I do... I whipped up some Banana Nut Bread. You see, I'm not a baker...but I'm starting to appreciate the art of baking. It's the measuring, the sifting and all the dishes you get dirty in the process of creating something, that drives me "bananas"!


White Chocolate Banana Nut Bread

PREP TIME: 20 Min
COOK TIME:
45 Min

READY IN: 1 Hr 15 Mins
SERVINGS: 12

INGREDIENTS

* 1 1/2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 pinch of salt
* 3 ripe mashed bananas
* 2 tablespoon soft butter
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup white chocolate chips
* 1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts or walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and coat lightly with flour to prevent sticking. (I didn't have a loaf pan..so I used my Le Creuset Dish)

2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl with the baking soda and salt.

3. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar then add in the mashed bananas and mix well.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.

5. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

6. Allow to cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes and then place on a cooling rack to cool fully.


Jan 26, 2010

Measuring Up

Tonight I decided to make something for dinner called "Cheesy Chicken". Cheesy Chicken is a recipe of Brian's sister. When the family travels to the beach for their yearly vacation...it is always a request of the family for Lauren to make her famous dish. I personally have never had it... but decided that tonight I would attempt it.

Upon taking out all the ingredients, I decided not to make it according to her recipe, but to make it my own. This was not because the original recipe didn't sound great...but because I didn't want to end up in a fight with Brian! Knowing that the only Cheesy Chicken he had ever had was his sister's...and I would probably not make it the same!

I attempted to make his mother's famous Broccoli Casserole a few months ago...and those who were at the table during dinner would say it's our "ever famous fight". There we were... arguing in front of our closest friends because he told me that I needed to use less mayonnaise next time I made it. Right then and there I declared I was never going to attempt another one of Gail's recipes! I've officially messed up her brown rice and her broccoli casserole and swear to never cook them again!

I have to say... my creation tonight was de-lish! I'm going to call it... "In Sickness and Health, Curry Chicken Pot Pie" ... the name is because since our return from our honeymoon, I've been taking care of my sick husband! I sure hope tonight's meal is his turnaround point...and he's on the road to recovery!

So without further adieu...

"In Sickness and In Health, Curry Chicken Pot Pie"
Serves: 2-4
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Temperature: 350 degrees

2-3 Boneless Chicken Breast
1 Bag of Frozen Broccoli Florets or Pieces
2 Cups of Sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Can of Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Cup Milk (I used Skim)
2 Tablespoons Sour Cream (I used Low Fat)
1 Can Crescent Rolls (I used Reduced Fat)
Curry Powder (to taste)
Chicken Bouillon (optional)
Salt and Pepper


Cut Chicken into pieces and either boil until cooked or put in a pan and brown with Chicken Bouillon, Salt and Pepper. (I think it tastes better when you brown it in the pan). During the time the chicken is cooking, boil your broccoli according the package directions and drain after done. Combine broccoli in the pan with the chicken and stir in 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Allow to melt.

Place mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 Pyrex dish. Open can of Crescent Rolls and take apart. Place all over the top of the chicken/broccoli mixture (leaving spaces so sauce can get down into the bottom of the dish).

In pan where you cooked chicken, over medium heat, mix 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 2 T of Sour Cream, 1 Cup of Cheese, 1 Cup of Milk, Curry Powder, Salt and Pepper until cheese has melted and becomes like a sauce.

Pour Sauce over top of Crescent Rolls.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until brown and bubbly.


Here is what It should Look Like:




Brian really liked it...but he LOVES anything with Curry...so I knew I was going to be hitting a home run with this one! (it's very similar to Chicken Divan...but easier)

Sorry Lauren for not making your recipe...but now that means you can make it for me! :)

Note to the women reading this blog: Don't make something his Mama has made for him his whole life....you end up fighting over silly things like Mayonnaise!!