Southern


First – I want to thank all of you up North who honored my request and sent me some of your snow.

It started about 8:00 Thursday night.

And continued into the wee hours of the morning.

By the time we were up Friday, the ground was snuggled under a blanket of white.

The trees were draped in garlands of crystals.

And the sounds of life were muted by the softness of nature.

Everywhere was pristine, quiet, and lovely.

    UNTIL…….

    The Children Discovered their new Environment.

    And they romped in the cold.(Well, some romped, some just dragged their bellies.)

    While some of nature’s creatures probably found it somewhat disconcerting after coming here for the warmer winter

    they, too, left their mark on the cotton topping.

    Altho’ somewhat smaller marks than the other animals (there WAS a snow angel there).

    Some of us made new Friends.

    With funny faces.and spindley arms.

    But that was yesterday. Today….

    there is but a single sentinal to remind us of yesterday’s snowball fights, crunchy footsteps, and a seldom enjoyed pleasure of winter.

    Thank you, Mother Nature (aka El Nino) for simple winter fun.

BRRRR!!! It. is. COLD. outside. Since it has only been in the twenties for the last few nights it has been the perfect time to enjoy some comfort foods to warm you up . In many regions of the U.S. comfort foods would include Mac and Cheese, Tomato Soup, Stew. In Louisiana comfort foods are a little different.


In Louisiana comfor foods include wonderful foods like Gumbo, Okra and Tomatoes, or

      Crawfish or Shrimp Bisque
    1 stick butter or margarine
    Green Onions
    2 lbs. crawfish tails
    2 cans whole corn (drained)
    2 cans cream of potato soup
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 pint half/half
    8 oz. cream cheese

Drain water off crawfish – heat with margarine. ( set aside)
Heat corn, soups, 1/2 and 1/2 and cream cheese in large pot till everything is creamy. ( heat on low or it will stick )
Add crawfish and onions.
If you want to spice this up, you can add about 1/4 tsp (or more….) cayenne

Thanks to my new friend, Joy, for this warming bisque.

My Favorite Pecan Pie was chosen for this week’s TWD by Beth of Someones in the Kitchen with Brina. The Pie is a basic SOUTHERN Pecan Pie with the addition of bittersweet chocolate and expresso. I made it for Thanksgiving (and again today for Christmas Dinner on Friday) but left the expresso out. I have to say the Family didn’t really care for the pie with the chocolate. I don’t think it really enhanced the pie. But then I am a purist when it comes to Pecan and Pumpkin Pie.

Go check out the other TWD bakers and see how they liked it.

Cornbread is a staple in our house. We eat it with gumbo in the winter, we eat Fried Cornbread year round but mostly with Bar-B-Q. I usually use the recipe on the back of the Aunt Jemima Cornmeal bag and I usually make it SWEET. Now I live in the south – don’t make sweet in the Deep South. But I am 1/2 Hoosier and 1/2 Cajun and I like my cornbread sweet. Blame it on my Yankee Dad – Mom used to make cornbread with Ham Hocks and White Beans. I ate the ham and cornbread. They ate the beans. And it was not sweet cornbread. What can I say – I’m 1/2 Yankee and 1/2 Rebel


Where is that leading? It’s leading to the next bread on the Slow and Steady BBA baking list – Corn Bread!DSC04161


What can I say about this cornbread except – It’s Good!! Real Good!!

And it is not like any cornbread I have ever made. Why??

    First step is to make a soaker. This was new to me.
    Next step is mix the soaker with the rest of ingredients. Including crumbled bacon and corn kernels.

DSC04163

The bacon is crumbled on top, but spreads through the rest of the bread. The instructions called for an 8″ cake pan, but I always make our cornbread in a cast iron skillet with melted butter. So I did that here. Worked just fine.


This is definitely a keeper. Tasty! Moist! Easy!

Please visit the other members — Kayte, Nancy, Cathy, Audrey, Jessica, Melissa, Sarah, Di, Karen, Natalia, Tracey, and Leslie, of the Slow and Steady BBA and see their takes on the Corn Bread.

And if you want to see where the not so slow and steady BBA group are doing you can visit them.

One of the items I really like to make are Hand Pies. They are ‘hand’y little things – – As I mentioned in the previous TWD Flaky Apple Pie post. Remembering how much they were to make I started a flurry of Hand Pie making.
One of my favorites is the:

    Natchitoches Meat Pie – Louisiana’s answer to the Empanada

Instead of typing out the recipe I am just including the recipe I have from a very old Louisiana Agricultural Newspaper

meat pie

See how yellow that ‘paper’ is. I’ve been using this recipe for a L-O-N-G. time. Easy Peasy. DSC04202 A few tips on making these.

    Make sure your crumble you meat very well as it cooks. The smaller the pieces the better they will fit into the pie.


    Don’t fry the pies longer than necessary – the filling is already cooked.

    And as the recipe says, you CAN bake these instead.

DSC04203

DSC04208

shrimpboat

      …their sails are in sight.”

    (SHRIMP BOATS (Paul Mason Howard / Paul Weston) (1951)

In Louisiana that means fresh shrimp in the summer months. Along the roads you will find individuals selling shrimp out of the backs of their trucks. Lugging huge freezers from the gulf to towns that are 2 to 5 hours away. And since they are regulated much better now the shrimp are usually fresh. If you are smart you load up during the summer so you can have ‘fresh’ shrimp all year.


Shrimp etouffe, shrimp creole, shrimp bisque, shrimp kababs… (I’m starting to sound like Bubba in “Forrest Gump“)seasonal-shrimp_small But there is a lot you can do with shrimp besides shrimp cockail.

    Shrimp Monica

      1 lb shrimp (or lump crabmeat or crawfish or oysters, drained and quartered)
      1 stick butter, melted
      1 pint half and half
      1 good sized bunch green onions chopped, including tops
      3 – 10 cloves garlic (I usually use 5 good sized cloves)
      Creole season to taste (Zatarains, Tony’s, etc.)
      1 lb cooked fresh pasta (or bagged will do, but….)

    Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse, drain again.
    Melt butter in a large saucepan. DSC03985
    Add and saute onions and garlic.
    Add seafood and saute additional 2 minutes.
    Add half and half and then Creole seasoning to taste.
    Cook 5 – 10 minutes over medium heat until sauce thickens.
    Add pasta “(or serve over pasta)
    Toss and let sit over low heat for about 10 minutes.
    Serve immediately.

    with toasted ciabatta

    with toasted ciabatta

    The recipe is from Gumbo Pages.


    Enjoy!!

Now, if that cliche doesn’t age me – nothing will!!! But Peachy Keen is what I would call this weeks TWD pick of Honey Peach Ice Cream by Tommi of Brown Interior. I do love ice cream. And there is nothing better than a round juicy peach where the sweet juice dribbles down your arm as you bite into its delicious sweetness on a hot July day. peach**SIGH** (For just that reason I wish it were late July) But it isn’t and there are

    NO SWEET JUICY PEACHES IN LOUISIANA!!!

And I do not like frozen, so I used canned peaches!! I know – it is a tragedy to have to stoop to canned fruit!!! So I cut them up and soaked them in Peach Schnapps. That helped – a lot!!! (But it didn’t keep them from freezing hard!!!)

I only had 1 tsp of vanilla so I added a tsp of almond (and that was a little too much) and a touch of cinnamon. The almond was actually a little overpowering, so I should have just left it out. But the Schnapps added a little extra kick. DSC03773Sprinkled with a little brown sugar/almond/cinnamon crumble – perfect parfait.


Thanks Tommi!


Now, go visit the other 300+ members of TWD and see their Peachy Keen Ice Cream

Yes, friends, the gardens of America are starting to yield their yearly bounty of wonderful fresh veggies (don’t you wish we could grow seafood/meat, too?) And every year we all look for some new way to use up those delightful veggies. DSC03673 I don’t know about y’all, but I get a little tired of Casseroles with squash/zucchini/maters. Making marinara/tomato sauce. Frying, stuffing, grilling eggplant. Now, don’t get me wrong – I LOVE FRESH VEGGIES!!! But I crave something new…… So when we our good friend brought in a basket of squash I was facing the yearly dilemma. And then he said, “My granny used to make a pie from squash. Hated the idea of squash in a pie, but it was really good.” So I started thinking….. Gotta be a recipe for that out there. And there is!!

    This is from White Trash Cooking (Great Name!!)

      1 cup white sugar
      1 tsp nutmeg
      1 cup steamed yellow squash, mashed (About 2 large or 5 small)
      1 cup heavy cream
      3/4 tsp salt
      3/4 tsp ginger
      3 eggs
      1 9″ unbaked pie shell

      (I used Dorie’s all purpose crust)
      Add sugar, salt and spices to squash and mix thoroughly. Beat eggs and add cream. Mix with squash. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell. Bake in hot oven (450 degrees) for 10 minutes. Reduce temp to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

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I gotta tell y’all. This is go-od. It was like a custard pie with squash in it. Very tasty. But I would make a few changes next time.

    1. I would partially bake the crust. The filling makes it soggy.
    2. I would increase the nutmeg and add about 1 tsp of cinnamon.
    3. I would use smaller squash so the seeds would not be quite as obvious.
    4. Try to reduce the sugar by using 1/2 Splenda.

Other than that, I wouldn’t change anything. I used my processor instead of mashing the squash and just added everything in after that. It came out quite smooth.


Great dessert. Add a little whipped cream (and I was out of cream so used Cool Whip – ugh!) and it was just right.

So we celebrated Memorial Day with the ritual BBQ, with the new Pie, and thoughts of our Dads, Brothers, Sons, Moms, Sisters, Daughters, Uncles, Aunts, Friends who gave us the chance to have those BBQs, gardens, free speech, and the other rights we enjoy on a daily basis.

Whew!!! Finals are over. Summer is here. Maybe I will finally have time to have some fun in the kitchen. I didn’t get to the TWD this week, but I am looking forward to the Lemon Tart next week. And I can take my time cause the semester is over, my Son is graduating from High School, and I going to do some experimentation with bread, baking, and cooking. I used some fellow bloggers ideas this week, just a couple. Thanks to Joelen of Joelen’s Culinary Adventures for the Pork Chop fried with Panko Bread crumbs. I usually use just flour, but the Panko were soooo much better.DSC03597(I really need to practice my presentation skills!!!!!) This is the way from now on. I know, I know — fried is not good for you, but we don’t do it THAT often.

The other blogger bite comes from Grace at A Southern Grace. She posted some Pecan Pie Muffins that were absolutely heavenly. And please follow her suggestion to use muffin papers, because they will stick to the pan even if you slather it in butter/spray.DSC03505 Mine aren’t much to look at, but don’t let that fool you. These. Are. Darn. Good!!! DARN GOOD!!!.

In addition to those, tonight was the Band Banquet and Seniors were to bring the dessert. I gave The Hunk several choices – Banana Pudding, Dump Cake, Punch Bowl Cake, Cupcakes. He chose Banana Pudding. Remember how mom used to make it. Just pudding with some bananas and nillas thrown in and around. Well, bloggers, times have changed – big time. Now it is bigger and better. This recipe has been around for a while, but here it is again in case you get the craving.

    Banana Pudding

      1 5.? ounce package vanilla pudding ( I prefer to use Banana Pudding when I can find it)
      1 14.? ounce sweetened condensed milk
      2 cups milk (some recipes use 2.5 cups, but I prefer a little less)
      1 regular container whipped topping (not the big one)
      Vanilla Wafers
      Sliced Bananas.

    Mix together the pudding and milk until well blended. Fold in the whipped topping. (Some recipes call for 1/2 of the container, some called for all – I used about 2/3 of the container.) Layer the wafers, then the bananas. Pour at least half of the pudding over the top. Repeat. Top with wafers/bananas or whipped cream.

I made a triple recipe and ended up with enough to fill a 7 quart bowl (and they ate. it. all!!!) This is all I had left.DSC03595Three little ramekins. Two bites each. Good. Just enough.

Is there going to be another frost? How long will the mornings be nice and cool? ARE THE MOSQUITOES OUT YET??? Those of us in the Deep South like the spring to last as long as possible and always know when the last frost has occurred. How? You ask. Well, nature gives us a few clues.

Pecan Trees bud out.

Pecan Trees bud out.

Oxalis Blooms

Oxalis Blooms

Azaleas Burst into Flower

Azaleas Burst into Flower

And the best sign…..

March 21st

March 21st

March 23rd

March 23rd

March 26th

March 26th

Dad on Watch

Dad on Watch

Just thought I would share. Happy Spring, Y’all!!

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