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
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!