Hi, Friends! I have had a few things going on the last couple of weeks, and I got to cook for some of my friends, which I LOVE doing! Before that happened, though, I still had a few, no, make that many, many apples to cook and I needed to take care of those. Next year someone please remind me that I don't have to buy a year's worth of apples at one time during apple season in Ellijay! We have gotten some nice goodies from them, though!
This is a tasty little condiment. I used Gala apples and sweet onions for this dish, based on a apple bacon jam recipe. Next time I am going to use my favorite apple, Granny Smith, or a new favorite thanks to my friend, Howard, which is the Arkansas Black, if I can find any. This jam is absolutely delicious on hot sandwiches and hamburgers! I don't have the recipe exactly where I want it yet, but when I do I will definitely share!
A friend's daughter got married recently, and had a "pot luck" reception, so I made this delicious macaroni and cheese! First you make a roux! A roux is simply a mix of equal parts fat (butter in this case) and flour, the same thing your grandmother did when she made gravy on Sunday afternoon. When you add warm milk to that roux and let it thicken, you have a Bechamel, which is a white sauce and one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine. Now you're a French chef!
Take your sauce off the heat and add freshly grated cheddar cheese (I favor extra sharp) and you have a cheese sauce for those lovely macaroni noodles. See how easy! I used large shell pasta because I think it's pretty and it also holds a lot of that cheesy sauce! Check out the recipe by clicking on the picture of the finished dish!
The bride, Becca, also sent out blank recipe cards with her wedding invitations so her guests could share their favorite recipes, handwritten, with the happy couple. I love that idea!
Here's a repeat recipe! We all love cheesestraws, and these "cheesestraws" have olives in them! This is an appetizer requested by my friend, Kendall, who loves olives, and so do I! So here's the link again, just click on the picture!
And More Cheese!!!!!
We're southern, so most of us love pimento cheese! Some of us are hot pepper fanatics, so we change it up a little with jalapenos! You can't go wrong with either version, pimentos or jalapenos; just ask my picky friend, Lindsay (Sawyer's mother)! Next time you make pimento cheese, try this for your jalapeno loving family and friends, like me! It's great on sandwiches, crackers, and hamburgers! I use both jalapenos and pimentos!
Jumpin' Jack Cheddar
12 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz. pepper jack cheese
1 ½ c mayo (I use Blue Plate) Tried many, this is most preferred
1/4 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, and granulated garlic powder
1/8 c diced jalapenos (Mt. Olive sells them diced in a jar already)!
1/8 c pimentos, or preference
Grate the cheese, dice the jalapenos, and mix it all together! Voila!
Fried Apple Pies! Now this was a labor of love, and I do mean labor! These are my first fried apple pies, and the learning experience was well worth it! A couple of friends expressed their love for fried apple pies, and since I love to make my friends happy with my cooking, I decided I needed to master this creation (and I also used the remaining Gala apples)! Click on the fried apple pies for the recipe!
The most laborious part for me (besides a lot of clean-up in the kitchen) was that I was challenged with the pie dough. I refrigerated it overnight but it was very sticky. I don't know if my kitchen was too warm (we're in that transitional time where it's too cool to run the air), or if it was because I didn't use cold water to mix the dough the night before, or what made it so sticky. I used a baking mix (like Bisquick but the Walmart brand). I ended up adding more mix to try to "unsticky" it, and came out with a thick dough. I worked the dough too much because by the time I cut the rounds for the pies, it bounced back like a rubber band. Fortunately, I was still able to make a few of the pies (less than half what the recipe called for) and they were delicious!
I shouldn't admit this part, and I blame it on my friend Patricia for suggesting it, but I used lard, so I'm giving a lot of the credit to the socially unacceptable, politically incorrect lard! For the dough and apples that did not make the cut into pie form, I wadded the mixture all up and plopped it into the oven a mini muffin pan coated with butter flavored cooking spray at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Those turned out pretty good! See the picture above!
I loved sharing these! I am going to try different versions of the dough, such as flaky biscuit dough and refrigerated pie dough.
My friend Thelma and I took a road trip to Philadelphia, Mississippi last week. This is what we saw just as we were driving into town I pulled over onto someone's farm and got out of the car (I had plenty of time to run in case I got caught for trespassing) to capture this beauty. The picture doesn't halfway do the sunset justice!
Lastly, but most importantly, here is Sawyer a few days ago! She's the most beautiful, sweetest, happiest baby EVER, and I think she loves her Aunt Nisey! This week is Thanksgiving, and at the top of the list of things to be thankful for is Sawyer, and Sawyer's health! She had a successful open heart surgery in July for Tetralogy of Fallot when she was just over two months old! God is good!
Friends, don't forget to be thankful in all things, every day! If you cook for your family this week (or just pick up paper products for dinner), do it with love, because the love shines through! Happy Thanksgiving!
Dished With Love, Denise
Hi, Friends! Remember all of those Georgia mountain apples I showed you recently? Well, here's what I did with some of them!
Here's the first apple pie I've made, and it was super easy. I think I've got the hang of peeling, coring and slicing apples now without taking three days to do it! I used Paula Deen's apple pie filling recipe, you can click on the picture to get it, and I did use a frozen double deep dish crust for this one. I could have actually added more apples. Now I know! Next time, I will also sift the cinnamon and sugar onto the top instead of globbing cinnamon on it; however, it did not hurt a thing!
It was delicious, if I do say so myself, and I got to share it with a friend, Marc, who was visiting, and his mother, Jan, and my Cousin Debra, who just had neck surgery, and her boyfriend, Ray, even though he is a Gators fan. Sis loved it, too. If you ask me why I developed a love of cooking, I would say it's because I love how good food makes people happy, and how it brings friends and families together!
In addition to the frozen pie crust I bought refrigerated pie crust. I have never used either one and a lot of them are used in recipes so I wanted to see what they are like. The frozen pie crust was very successful, in my opinion, but I wasn't crazy about the refrigerated one, it was bland to me. It's a good thing the mini apple pie filling was very flavorful! You can click on the picture for that recipe, too! I have a great vodka pie dough recipe from school that I'm going to make that we used in school. Of course, I will share it with you!
FYI, we also learned to make laminated doughs in school, such as puff pastry, and let me tell you if you don't know it already, frozen puff pastry is your best deal for your money. The results of homemade puff pastry are, of course, delicious, but making it is very laborious and time consuming.
Most of my week was spent with these friends, Willie (who is a girl), and Marley and Bo. The days were cold and windy and sometimes raining at the end of October so Willie spent more time indoors than usual, and I really enjoyed her being around! These are not my favorite pictures of Marley and Bo, but they're the only pictures I could get of them being still! They were a lot of fun, too! These are the best pets to sit with! They belong to my friends, Jeff and Carrie. I hope you saw them in a previous blog!
I have Gruyere cheese leftover from a popover recipe (in a previous blog), and ham. What to do?? I also have many mini muffin pans that I love to use, so what else? Ham and Gruyere Cheese Mini Muffins! These were very good served with apple butter, too! Click on the picture for the recipe!
Stuff! In this section (called Stuff!), let me show you my thrift store find, these three beautiful, red, stackable bowls! The crystal gravy bowl on the top shelf also came from an online thrift store that I'm addicted to, 2 Broke Girls Thriftique Online Action Group. I hesitate to share because I don't want the competition! The peace lily is from my friend, Patricia. It won't be long before it's too big for that shelf!
Here are three of my lovely friends, Amy, Lindsay (Sawyer's mother), and Tiffany (Avery's mother). That's Avery on the left, and then of course, Sawyer, and this is her first Halloween.
Amy reminded me today of our girls' trip to Florida eight years ago. If it weren't for the fact that now we have precious Avery and Sawyer, I would be begging for time to slow down, please!
That's it for now, Friends! In addition to the homemade pie dough, I'm also going to try a fried apple pie recipe my Cousin Amy sent to me. I was planning to ride back up to the mountains this weekend while the leaves are still changing but the weather is not cooperating. Right now it's supposed to rain all weekend. If you get a chance, make sure you check out the apple farms in Ellijay. There's still a few good weeks of apple season left!
'Til next time! Denise, Dished With Love!
A place to share my favorite things...friends and food, dogs, college football, and my inspiration, Sawyer, the most beautiful little girl in the world!