Happy middle of August! Thank you for checking in on the blog; I would love to have comments and know who is visiting, here and on the Dished With Love Facebook page!
It has been a wonderful, busy Summer! The dog sitting jobs have ended for the Summer and now I've taken a little part-time job. I am still keeping Sawyer two days a week, hopefully until she's grown! The Department of Agriculture folks came out last week for a home inspection so I'm eagerly awaiting my Cottage Food License. In the meantime...
I was able to do one of my favorite things last weekend, and that was to fix friends' favorite foods for them. Sadly, the occasion was the passing of my friends' father, so this was my way of showing them some love. The food was greatly appreciated, and my family appreciated it, too! I was glad I could do this for my "family" who I have known for at least two decades now. We've shared so much over the years!
My dear friend, Lynette, told me recently about one of her favorite things to eat, and that is Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana Soup, so of course I had to try it, and it was delicious! It's spicy and hearty enough to have as a meal on its own, but Lynette and April, my friends, they have some pretty hearty boys, including Kenneth, so I decided to go all out and fix another of their favorites, the Olive Garden Steak Gorgonzola!
Here are my copycat versions of the Olive Garden favorites!
This dish has a few steps, so let me make it simple for you. Once you've made it you'll want to make it over and over again. The most important part of preparing a stress-free meal is "mise en place", or "everything in its place". Organize all of the required ingredients and have your necessary utensils and pots and pans at hand before you start cooking anything! I promise, it makes a huge difference in enjoying your time in the kitchen!
Step 1 - Balsamic Reduction
In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet, combine balsamic vinegar and brown sugar over med-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Once the sauce coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat. Set aside. The sauce will thicken as it cools. A heavy-bottomed saucepan is good for making delicate sauces or for cooking anything that burns easily because the heat is distributed evenly. The first batch of the balsamic reduction I tried to make I had in a non-stick pot, and it never thickened.
Step 2-Cheese Sauce
In a small saucepan melt butter with the garlic clove over low heat. Once melted remove the garlic. Turn heat to medium; add heavy cream. Whisk constantly until it starts to thicken; remove the butter and cream mixture from the heat; add gorgonzola and parmesan cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted. Set aside.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to package directions.
Step 4-Steak Medallions or Beef Tips
Preheat grill or grill pan. Salt and pepper beef tips. Add to grill, cook for about 7 minutes; this is for a medium. Cook to your liking.
Step 5-Put It All Together!
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat, add just a dash of olive oil. Throw in the kale or spinach, wilt down. Reduce heat, add drained pasta and gorgonzola-alfredo sauce. Stir to combine.
To plate: place fettuccine mixture in a pasta bowl, top with a few steak medallions, drizzle with balsamic glaze.
And there you go! It was loved by everyone!
Like I said earlier, this soup is hearty enough for a meal by itself. Once you get the prep work done it just all goes into the pot and it's easy as pie to make! This was a big project, and thankfully my Sous Chef (my sister, Janise) was eager and willing to help. She did a great job peeling the potatoes and preparing the kale. The potatoes look a little funky because I didn't realize at first that I had the crinkle blade on the mandoline, but I just kept going with that.
Ingredients and prep instructions:
Kenneth specially requested bread, so I made this easy popover recipe for him! If you're going to make this with a meal I suggest you make it ahead of time. It is four or five simple ingredients, but it takes 50 minutes to finish baking, so it will tie your oven up for a while. I have posted this recipe before and it included Gruyere Cheese, but this time I made it without the cheese, and I liked it better that way. Click on the picture for the recipe!
If you make these dishes for your family and friends, they will want them over and over. If you can line up a dishwasher to work with you, that would be so much better!
I hope you like these recipes and that you will try them. Let me know if you have any questions, and let me know how they turn out! Until next time, Dished With Love, Denise!
Hello, my Friends! I just realized that I missed the whole month of July on my blog! I really don't want to be out of touch that long, but I have had a busy and fun-filled Summer so far. I can't believe it's already August. I've been away from my home almost the whole month of July and I've been dog sitting and housesitting for friends while they are on vacation. I love the animals. I'm posting current pictures on the slideshow on the side of this page so y'all can see them.
I've also applied for a cottage food industry license in Georgia so I've been working on storage space in my home. I have done a lot of cleaning out! I can't wait to get started on some of the goodies I'll be making and selling, and I'll be showing you those, too.
In the middle of all that, I have started a part-time job AND I have had jury duty this week. So far I've reported twice. All of you know Sawyer from this blog, the most beautiful girl in the world, and I am blessed to be able to keep her two days a week while her parents are working. She is napping currently, so I'm grabbing this time to catch up with you all! If it sounds like I'm in a hurry, I am. :-)
On a couple of days that I have been home, I grilled and baked some chicken dishes, and they both turned out beautifully, and tasted as delicious as they looked. This dish I just made last night, and it is a complete meal. I am going to show it to you first.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line your baking dish with parchment paper. Make sure your chicken is dry by drying it with a paper towel anytime you're going to cook it. This will allow the seasonings to adhere more to the chicken and the chicken will cook properly instead of "steaming". Coat your chicken with the seasonings that you have mixed up in a bowl. Wrap each piece of chicken with bacon, seam side down. Then lightly coat each piece with brown sugar, drizzle or mist with olive oil, and bake for 25 minutes. How easy is that!
If the bacon is not as brown as you like, turn the heat up to broil and watch that chicken until it is like you like it. Never leave food in a broiler setting unattended, it will be food history before you know it. Paula Deen always leaves her oven door cracked open when she needs to broil something, she says that is plenty of heat, and I guess you can watch it better, too. I try to remember to do that.
While the chicken was baking, I sautéed some small diced onions and minced garlic in a little butter and olive oil, then I added arugula and spinach and sautéed it, stirring it constantly. It doesn't take long for greens to wilt, and it takes a good bit of fresh greens to make a decent portion when you cook them. The greens were a great, fresh accompaniment to the chicken.
The chicken was delicious and the breasts turned out so juicy and moist, seasoned with those peppery seasonings and wrapped in bacon. And...it was all so easy!
This recipe is another delicious and easy dish! Click on the picture above for the link to the recipe. It calls for ground red pepper, and since that could be paprika or cayenne or a chili powder, I used my personal favorite, cayenne, for a little heat. I cooked this on the grill, and since I have trouble regulating the heat on my grill, it did not take 30 minutes to cook. Just make sure you have an internal temperature of 165 degrees on that chicken! If you don't have one, get a small kitchen thermometer. The chicken can also be baked in the oven. Since I had buttermilk, I had to make cornbread, so we had the chicken with some black beans and cornbread and we were in heaven.
I hope you'll try these recipes and love them as much as we do!
I hear a baby, so I must go. Here's a recent picture of Sawyer, the most beautiful girl in the world, who is almost 18 months old now, and who gets more beautiful every day, if you can believe it. It has been a year now that Sawyer had heart surgery and she is such a joy. We can't be thankful enough!
I will see you soon! I hope to be getting back into somewhat of a routine next week. Please feel free to comment on the website or on the Dished With Love Facebook page. If you comment on Facebook it will help me to be viewed by more people. Please share my page with your friends, too! Thanks!
Dished With Love! Denise
It is truly Summer here in Georgia, and the best part of Summer is making plans with friends to enjoy the weather! We were invited by our friend Karen to her place on Lake Weiss in Alabama last month on Memorial Day Weekend. (This post is a little late but the last few weeks have been so crazy! I blogged a lot about our cruise last month, and I've been babysitting and dog sitting, and doing some volunteer work. Time has flown by!)
Our visit to the lake was so much fun! Karen and her husband, Ronnie, are the best hosts, we made a few new friends, and of course, being on the water is wonderful!
Here are some wonderful "Greek" Chicken Kabobs my sister and I took to the party. They were grilled up by Mike, one of the new friends we made that day and they disappeared pretty quickly, so I'm pretty sure they were a big hit! I wanted to make fresh tzatziki sauce but ended up having store bought because there were no pretty cucumbers at the grocery store.
Besides hanging with friends, the second best thing about Summer is all the beautiful produce. This recipe calls for two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2" cubes (one is too small, two is too big), and the kabobs also have zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, onions, and red bell peppers. Cut the veggies into the most uniform pieces possible for more even cooking. These were cooked on wooden skewers after alternating the chicken and veggies onto the skewers. There is a difference of opinion about wooden skewers, to soak or not to soak to keep them from burning, but I did soak mine for an hour before adding the chicken and veggies. I marinated the whole kabobs for two hours in a plastic covered container in the refrigerator, and I also wrapped the ends with aluminum foil before cooking. Do not marinate chicken for more than two hours in a citrus or other acidic marinade. The acid can actually toughen the chicken by the way it breaks down the proteins if marinaded too long.
Here are the marinade ingredients!
*Did you know you can get more juice from a lemon or lime by microwaving the whole fruit for 10 seconds before cutting and squeezing? It's true!
Here's something cool and refreshing! Because strawberries were in season, and because I found this beautiful recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Mely of Mexico In My Kitchen, I made a Tres Leches Cake (three milk cake) for the first time ever, and it was a huge success! Click on the picture for Mely's recipe!
To round out the Memorial Day Weekend, Sis and I enjoyed grilling out at home with our personal favorite on the grill, t-bone steaks. T-Bone steaks are something I mastered before going to culinary school because they were so often requested at my house. There's nothing fancy at all about them. They are marinated in Dale Seasoning Sauce for 30 minutes before putting them on the grill. I cooked them that way a while back and we like that flavor. I will admit, I did learn about grill marks at culinary school. The veggies in the grill basket were left over from when I was making the chicken kabobs, so we enjoyed those again!
Well, if I'm going to get this posted by the end of June, I have to close it out now. We were invited by friends and relatives to Florida and made a trip to Destin in early June that I will tell you about later and also about our great hosts and the wonderful Gulf Coast food we had there! In the meantime, I hope you all have a great 4th of July weekend!
Dished With Love! Denise
Okay, this is not an advertisement for Carnival Cruise Lines, it's just that the only two cruises I have been on so far have been with Carnival. My first cruise was a retirement present from my sister and we went with a large group of friends. That was a great time to the Bahamas where we stopped at Freeport and Nassau. Here is the ship we traveled on last month, but the pictures of the food on the cruise are the real reason we're here!
These were two of my favorites. The pizza was an all around favorite and it was also from a 24 hour pizza bar! Heaven! The pizza crust was made with an Italian flour, which I am going to buy, and the pizzas were baked at a high temperature in an oven with a conveyer belt. The crust was thin with a little crisp and char. Delicious! Sis and I had our favorite a few times, the prosciutto pizza, with fresh mozzarella cheese, roasted garlic, prosciutto and rucola (known to us as arugula) pizza. They also had margherita pizza, funghi (mushroom) pizza, quattro formaggi (four cheese pizza, and pepperoni pizza, and all were wonderful!
The sopes (pronounced "soap-a's" to the best of my ability) on the right were handmade at a taco and burrito bar, Blue Iguana. Sopes are like thick corn tortillas with a little more corn texture. They had every kind of protein and veggie toppings you could think of for burritos, fajitas, tacos, sopas, or to eat by themselves. The bar also included a variety of salsas, in all kinds of spice, from mild to habanero hot! These two food bars are good enough reason to take a cruise. Yeah, that's a little silly, but it's almost true!
For dinner we arranged fixed seating for dinner at 6 p.m. each evening, so we had the same table and same waiter and waitress all week. This is Luca, from Croatia, a European state on the Mediterranean Ocean (on the map you can see Italy across the ocean), and Yupar, from Myanmar, a Southeast Asian state that borders Thailand. If they can slow down a little from their busy tasks, the staff on the ship are from all over the world and are very interesting to talk to. They presented us with menus with appetizers, entrees and desserts, and you could order one item or everything on the menu. There were a couple of nights I ordered more than one of each from each category, but I had to try them, and it was all paid for in the cruise package! Don't judge me.
I made some notes, and I lost them, so I cannot remember what night we had some of these, and what exactly goes together, but I'm going to caption the pictures. This is not all my food, there were four of us!
Guess which dessert was one of the favorite desserts here! It rhymes with hazelnut and chocolate!
If I remember correctly, this Greek Salad was one of Sis's favorites. Guess who ordered the tacos!
Believe it or not, one of my most favorite dishes was the Red Beet Carpacchio! I did find my notes on it! It includes red beets, arugula, Feta cheese, red grapefruit segments, thin radish slices, and a grapefruit vinaigrette! I haven't made it at home yet, but I fully intend to. It was marvelous! That is a thin cheese crisp on top, maybe parmesan. Those are so easy to make, too. Just use some parchment paper on a sheet or cookie tray, plop little mounds of shredded cheese onto the paper (I've only done cheddar and parmesan, but a lot of different kinds should do), stick them into a 350 degree (universal temperature) oven until melted and a tiny bit brown. Take them out and let them cool. Voila!
The French Onion Soup was delicious, too! I'm going to try a crockpot recipe I have since Vidalia onions are in abundance right now. Click on the picture for that recipe! Sorry for not wiping the bowl off before taking the picture. I was probably hungry or I was holding someone else up from eating their dinner. I'm known for that.
Believe me, this is just a sampling of the food that these ships carry. They have an on-board excursion that is not advertised where you can tour "behind the scenes" on the ship, and that includes a tour of the kitchen and the Executive Chef prepares an exclusive lunch. It also includes the engine room, and all the other parts of the ship that I can't remember the names of. This was on Friday, our last day at sea, and it was $99 and it was three hours long. I wish they had an exclusive kitchen-Chef excursion, I would have liked that!
That's all of the pictures I have from this trip. I hope you have enjoyed them, and maybe you'll get the hankering to take a cruise! I think everyone should take at least one!
Until next time, Dished With Love! Denise
Imagine going on one of those fancy vacations to Mexico like they give away on Live With Kelly. I'm going to start playing that give-away game one of these days! Those vacations cost thousands of dollars! Then think about just getting to go to Mexico at all, at prices most of us can afford. That would be on a cruise. You can be as extravagant as you wish, or pretty plain and simple, and still enjoy places you never would have gotten to go to otherwise!
My sister, Janise, went on a cruise to Cozumel and Grand Cayman this past October, and when she wanted to go back I knew it must have been pretty nice! This time we went together with a friend to Cozumel and Yucatan, and y'all know I am all about the food, especially Mexican food! So let me share with you some of the great foodie experiences we had!
This is an excursion I took at Cozumel upon the recommendation of my sister who had taken the same excursion last year, and it was wonderful! It wasn't far from the port where our ship came in. This one is called "La Casa En La Playa - A Select Retreat. It features authentic Mexican food, drinks and beach time! What more could you ask for?
This was in a little house on the beach, and it included this kitchen and a little room for seating inside and seating on the porch that wrapped most of the way around the house. Our Chef demonstrated Chiltomate, one of the world's first cooked salsas, and it includes cooked tomatoes and habaneros, which means it is very hot, so use more or less peppers, seeds or no seeds, but handle the peppers carefully! Our Chef's recipe is made with roasted and ground pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, and he says that is what makes his recipe special! This is what he did. He toasted the pepitas in a dry pan on the stove, and then ground them in the molcajete. He had the vegetables prepped already and he roasted the tomatoes, onions, habaneros, and garlic in an iron skillet on the stove. Did you know that garlic is a vegetable? It is! Once the vegetables were evenly charred he put them, along with the ground, toasted pepitas, in a blender, added a good bit of cilantro, salt to taste, and blended it all up. Then he tossed it all back into the hot skillet to meld the flavors, for just a few seconds, and poured it into a beautiful molcajete (see the pretty stone bowls holding the salsa and chips? You've seen a molcajete if you've ever had guacamole made tableside at your favorite Mexican restaurant! The salsa was served with hot, fresh, fried corn tortilla chips! I was in heaven!!
We had a lot of beach time on this excursion, and while we were enjoying the water and sunshine, the leaders came by to take our lunch orders. When lunch was ready they set our tables up on the beach, in the shade of the beautiful palm trees, and brought us an appetizer of chips and fresh guacamole. More heaven! And then the heavens came down! It was only a 5-10 minute tropical storm, but our lunch was moved to the little house and the porch. Lunch was fabulous! Look at this!
How beautiful is that! We had chicken mole, and I believe that is mashed jicama with a carrot and squash garnish. The baked flounder was spiced with smoked paprika and baked with peppers and onions, and cooked on a banana leave. We were in the Western Caribbean, after all! Both dishes were served with cilantro rice. Sadly, we could not go back for seconds! They were both very memorable dishes!
Then we had a little more beach time and we had to go. It was a beautiful day, as you can see from the picture above, and everything was perfect, even the little storm.
Janise and a friend of ours, Kendall, decided to forego the excursion this trip and hailed a cab to a local Mexican restaurant and a tequila tasting. What could be more Mexican? Here are the pictures Janise took at their lunch!
This was on Wednesday, the third day of our cruise. That evening we sailed to the city of Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico. The pier was very long and the city ran buses from the ship's terminal to the beach, for just tips. There were other means of transportation that would carry you to Progreso and Merida, the capital of Yucatan, and it was only 20 minutes from Progreso. If I get to go back my goal is to visit Merida, even though there's not a beach there. Janise and I took the city bus to Progreso and enjoyed walking the streets. There are many, many vendors covering the streets and all of them are wanting your attention and your business. We were hailed to a local restaurant by one of those vendors and sat down to have lunch on tables set up on the street. It was delicious, too. The food looks familiar to most of you, I am sure!
And then we go back to the ship for a day at sea on our way back to New Orleans! Nothing can beat the experience of actually being in Mexico. Cozumel was beautiful, but my favorite part was walking the local streets in Progreso. We found out that most of Cozumel is actually owned by Carnival; therefore, it is pretty touristy with expensive shopping. Progreso has a different economy and the money spent there supports the local vendors, once you get off the pier. There is much, much more to see, so I would not hesitate to go back on this same cruise, with a different itinerary at the ports.
I still have lots of pictures of food served on the actual cruise ship, so stay tuned! I have started working on those but I'm about to go out of town again (and I will have more foodie pictures), so it will be a few days before I get back here.
Maybe my pictures will inspire you to try a cruise if you've never been on one, just so you can see these beautiful parts of the world. I know many of you are Mexican food junkies like me, too! Until next time, Friends!
Dished With Love - Denise
I started to name this "New Orleans or Bust", as in "pants are busting at the seams!" New Orleans is one of a kind, and we spent a good night and day there before we left at the Port of New Orleans on a cruise to Cozumel and Yucatan, Mexico. The next four blogs will not have any of my cooking or recipes in it; they will be about the wonderful food we had on our travels.
I hope you enjoy the food blogging and looking at the special food we had. I wish you could try it, and hey, now you know where to find it!
Our first stop in New Orleans on Saturday night was at Pat O'Brien's on Bourbon Street for dinner and Hurricanes! There was a line up and down the street and when we walked up we were granted immediate access. We thought we were special that we didn't have to wait in line. I think there was something else going on there, but we pretended, anyway. They sat us at the bar to wait for dinner at a four-top table, and then we found out we could eat dinner in the bar. The stars were aligned in our favor. We're still telling ourselves we're special because we didn't have to wait for dinner on a Saturday night!
This is our waiter, Lorenzo. He was very happy to serve our World Famous Pat O'Brien's Hurricanes, and we were very happy to see him!
Dinner at Pat O'Brien's! It was so hard to choose from all of the great food. Janise had shrimp and grits. The grits were prepared a lot like I made them at a Cajun restaurant I worked in for a minute. You make the grits as you like them (with cheddar, cayenne pepper and jalapeno is a suggestion), spread them out and refrigerate them in a sheet pan overnight. Then cut them into the shape you desire, dredge them in egg wash and flour, and deep fry. This was a unique take on the traditional shrimp and grits. Janise said they were great!
Next, our non-seafood eating partner-in-crime, Kendall, had a classic Muffuletta. This sandwich was created by an Italian immigrant who also founded Central Grocery on Decatur Street in NOLA. It is traditionally made on a huge Italian roll. It has lots of Italian meats and cheeses, and the best part is the olive spread! I brought home a quart (it was the smallest size they had that didn't have to be refrigerated until I got home). Pat O'Brien's version is made with an herb Foccacia bread (another favorite of mine). The best local Muffuletta, and first, I ever had was in Atlanta at Jason's Deli, and there's one on Barrett Parkway in Marietta, local friends!
The next dish, and my favorite because it was my dinner, is the Seasonal Seafood Cakes. These were made with fresh shrimp and crabmeat, and maybe lobster and they were heavenly, and served with a lemon butter Creole sauce, topped with an aioli. Aioli is usually mayonnaise with garlic, but it can be whatever you like in your mayonnaise. I believe this one had Cajun seasonings in it.
Last, but not least, we shared a bread pudding like dessert, covered in pecans, whiskey sauce, whipped cream and topped with a pretty mint leaf. This was very rich and very delicious.
Then we walked some of this dinner off by taking in the sights and sounds of Bourbon Street before ending our first night in New Orleans. It was a memorable and wonderful experience!
Breakfast on Sunday morning at Café Du Monde in the French Quarter! World Famous Beignets and Café au Lait! The beignets, deep fried rectangle doughnuts, are served in threes and covered in powdered sugar. If you look closely you can see I took a bite out of mine before I remembered to take the picture. That happens a lot when I get excited to eat! The Café Du Monde Coffee and Chicory is traditionally served Au Lait, mixed half and half with hot milk. Did you know you can find their chicory and coffee, and their beignet mix, in the supermarkets now? I know I'm going to try them! They would be a great special occasion treat, like having a friend over for brunch!
The French Market! This is a place where you could spend the whole day with your family! There's local produce, shopping, restaurants, and musical entertainment. There are local vendors set up at the market, in addition to the shops and stores that line Decatur Street! The guy shucking the oysters at the Market was amazing to watch He also had pounds and pounds of crawfish in an ice table behind him but when I went to take a picture it was covered up. He was so busy I only bothered him to ask if I could take his picture. There were LOTS of food places there with local seafood and Po' Boys and tables set up for eating there.
Lunch at The Gazebo Café in the French Quarter! We sat down outdoors at the café to have a casual lunch and listen to the Jimmy Balermo band! Look at that Louisiana Gumbo! Kendall had a Roast Beef Po' Boy, Janise had a Shrimp Po' Boy, and I had a Crawfish Po' Boy with Remoulade Sauce. Do you see the shrimp that sneaked into my sandwich? It did not die in vain.
Let me give a shout out to Abita beer. It is locally crafted by Abita Beer Company in Abita Springs, Louisiana, 30 miles north of NOLA. This light version was nice with lunch. Henry's Louisiana Grill in Acworth, Georgia is the largest purchaser of Abita beer in our South Eastern part of the United States (I heard Henry say that at a Mardi Gras party in Acworth). Henry's is the place to go for great Cajun food close to home! I think that was more of a shout-out to Henry's than to the beer!
These are snacks I made for the road. The idea was to eat healthy on the way to New Orleans because we knew we were going to "blow it out' when we got there! We strayed from that idea a little. These were very good, kept in the cooler. We also had these for dinner on Sunday night while we were getting our things ready to sail out the next day. Next blog...Carnival Triumph to Cozumel!
P.S. Let me throw in this easy roll-up snack. I bought 100 calorie Flat-Out Flatbread, layered it with mayo that I mixed up with some small diced hamburger dill chips, 98% fat free lunch meat, American cheese, shredded lettuce and salt and pepper. Then just roll it up and slice it into little round sandwiches. You will need toothpicks to hold them together! Looks like you did a lot of work and they are delicious!
Hi, Friends! This is a short ribs recipe from my Facebook friend, Mely, of Mexico In My Kitchen! It just looked so delicious, and after I was introduced to tomatillos in an enchilada recipe of Rick Bayless', I was very excited to try something else new. I'm sure that sometime in my life I have eaten short ribs, but I couldn't tell you when, and I've never even shopped for short ribs before, so this was new and fun for me. Then there's the chopped cilantro to go in the sauce made from the charred tomatillos. You can't get much better! It is well worth the cooking time. Click on the picture for Mely's recipe, and check out the rest of her blog while you're there!
I served this dish with pinto beans and onion, "sticky" Calrose rice, my favorite, and crusty bread that I love. I call this my Mexican-Asian-American Fusion! To make this truly authentic Mexican, Mely serves with rice, refried beans and corn tortillas. I love all of those things, too. My sister and I had leftovers as burritos in whole wheat tortillas, adding lettuce, refried beans, and sour cream to the short ribs and green sauce. It was a truly delicious and convenient second dinner!
Now...here's the little miracle at 11 months old! Sawyer is almost one year old! She went through so much her first few months, and now she is such a happy baby, and very independent, and she gets more beautiful every day! The bottom picture is a sleepy baby ready for church! I love every minute I get to spend with her!
You know, the weather is getting warmer, so the dinners will be getting lighter. It's almost time for gorgeous Summer produce to be in and I can't wait to do different things with that. I'm thinking I may start doing some light baking for a while, and everyone loves that! I'm helping a cousin set up an online business, and also getting ready for an upcoming vacation. I can't wait to show you pictures and tell you about it! I'm trying to come up with some "road trip" snacks. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!
Later, Friends! Dished With Love, Denise!
Hello, Friends, I hope your Spring is beautiful and happy for you so far! I'm going to share with you two very simple tomato-based recipes that will have your family thinking that you slaved forever in the kitchen for these dinners!
Here is just one version of one of my favorite dishes, Mexican Chicken Soup. This one is made with tortillas, and the tortillas add such a beautiful, corn, Mexican flavor, along with the cornmeal or Masa that is added for flavor and thickening. I tend to use more tomatoes than chicken broth when called for because I love tomato based soups, so use chicken broth, or canned crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes, or whole tomatoes (I love tomatoes), or half chicken broth and half tomatoes. So many choices, and you can't make a mistake, it's delicious all kinds of ways! Don't forget about all of the salt in the broth and canned tomatoes, so don't add salt until you've tasted all of the flavors together! Click on the picture of the soup with the beautiful avocado garnish for the recipe!
Here's a dish that I have been wanting to try for a while, Ravioli Lasagna, and when the occasion came along that I needed to make a good amount of food for friends in a short amount of time, I made it, with much success. This recipe came from Clinton Kelly and it is lasagna made with frozen ravioli. In this case, I couldn't find frozen, so I used already prepared cheese ravioli from our local grocer.
Another edit I made to Clinton's recipe is I added a mixture of hot and regular ground sausage and added Italian seasonings to that. I couldn't find any ravioli that I thought my crowd would like because I was fixing for some good ole' country folks who would prefer a meaty dish to a vegetarian dish. There is such a thing as meaty ravioli, but I couldn't find it when I needed it.
Viola! I made two pans of this for my friends, and because I got carried away with the groceries, I had enough to make a dish for home. When you add the last layer of cheese and before you put it back in the oven for melting and browning, make sure you sprinkle with chopped parsley for freshness and beauty! Click on the picture for the recipe!
This is my latest effort to eat nutritious foods rather than high carb and fried foods. This is a baked jicama fries recipe that is low in carbs and calories and high in fiber and healthy nutrients. Let me tell you one, no, two things I would do differently. I would definitely cut the fries a little smaller, and then put them in a clean dish towel or paper towels so the towels can absorb more of the moisture out of the jicama before baking. I did put them in paper towels but I am impatient sometimes and I did not let the moisture dry out enough.
These turned out pretty tasty, and even more so because you can eat lots of them without feeling guilty! I just used a French fry seasoning we had at home, but I am attaching a delicious looking recipe in a link to the picture below, and it also shares more info for those of us who were not really familiar with jicima. These are pretty and brown, and have a nice texture, and they're good with ketchup, too!
And now, for closing, a picture of the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world, Sawyer. Sawyer has learned to dodge the camera and I have no pictures of a smiling baby this time, so I took one when she wasn't looking. She's 11 months old now. She and this blog are almost a year old. Time sure flies, and we thank God for the joy this baby has brought us!
Until next time, Friends, happy eating and be happy!
Dished With Love, Denise!
Hi, Friends! For those of you who spend any time with me, you know I never turn down Mexican food! It has been my favorite food since I started a job on Broad Street in Rome back in 1984 and my new friend (now old friend) Susan Marx introduced me to El Zarapes Mexican Restaurant across the street from our offices. Susan is a vegetarian and we would order Vegetarian #3, and eventually I discovered the Burrito Fajita with Cheese Sauce, a/k/a the "Special Burrito Fajita". Wow, that place and their food really made an impact on my life, and the restaurant is still there! Now I get that same special burrito at Los Portales in West Rome because I live on that side of town!
Eventually I learned about Rick Bayless on Top Chef Masters and learned he was a chef of authentic Mexican cuisine. Then I caught his show, Mexico: One Plate At A Time, on PBS. I wrote a paper on him when I was in culinary school, and one of my practicals was a buffet where we planned the menu, the decorations, and worked as Executive Chef; I chose Mexican for the food and I used a few of his recipes. They didn't come out quite the same because the chef at school did not know how to buy the appropriate groceries that I requested, and at the last minute he changed most of the recipes. It was more of an "Americanized" Mexican buffet than I intended, and I didn't "own it" anymore, but everyone enjoyed it. There is a previous blog with photos of the buffet on here if you haven't seen it already.
I follow Chef Bayless on Instagram and last year he had a contest where we could create four of his dishes and submit our photos to him for a chance to win his latest cookbook, "More Mexican Everyday". I didn't win a cookbook but I did create three of the four dishes and had so much fun making them, and then eating them Here are pictures of those projects, and you can find his recipes by clicking on the pictures. Enjoy!
Hi, Friends! Time is flying by, it seems like we just had New Year's and we just had Easter! I hope you all had a great holiday.
A lot of things have been going on for me in the last few weeks. I spent some time with my favorite little girl, Sawyer, I am doing a good bit of dog sitting, which I love, and doing a lot of cooking for family and friends! One of the things I made is a repeat performance by special request for a family Easter weekend picnic for 16-20 people. I made Jumpin' Jack Cheddar, a delicious cheese spread (you can find the recipe by typing the name into the search feature here), and Apple Bacon Jam. Keep reading for that recipe!
Another dish I have made many, many times, and I really surprised that I have not put it on the blog before. I do have it on Pinterest under my board "Tried and True". It's hard to keep up with everything! It is Ina Garten's Turkey Meatloaf! We love it here and I recently made it for a friend who had back surgery and his mom,(he sent me the picture of the complete dinner) and I think you'll love it, too!
Click on the picture of the meatloaf for Ina's recipe. Her recipe is made with five pounds of ground turkey, and that's a lot of meatloaf. I've broken it down to two pounds (you have to have leftovers for sandwiches, right?). Here is one of my best friends in the kitchen, a recipe conversion site at www.fruitfromwashington.com. There are harder ways to convert recipes, but why?? Follow these ingredient measurements with the original cooking instructions. They look a little odd, but you're dividing 2 by 5.
I make this meatloaf recipe in two 8 x 3 3/4 loaf pans.
Now let me take you through the recipe for my first ever potato salad. It is all "TT", or "to taste" in case you ever see that TT anywhere. This is a no recipe dish; even I can remember it, because there's nothing to remember. Just pick out how many potatoes you want depending on how much potato salad you want. I made five pounds because most of it was going to a friend's place. That made about 8-10 cups of potato salad.
Want to know how to make a "perfect" hard-boiled egg, as taught in culinary school? Place eggs in cold water on the stove, bring to a hard boil and as soon as it's boiling turn the water down to simmer for 12-13 minutes for large eggs. Cool the eggs in cold water, some use ice water, so you can handle them. Press and roll the eggs on the stove or counter to crack them and peel while they are still warm. I find peeling them under cold running water works for me.
And here's the Apple Bacon Jam recipe! This batch can be divided, also. When I finished it the final product provided 80 ounces of jam. Remember, those apples and onions are going to cook down a lot! This is not preserved so it only has a seven day shelf life. Make sure it stays refrigerated, but I like to heat it up a little when I'm ready to eat it. It's great on burgers, grilled cheese, cheese toast, hot sandwiches, etc.!
Ignore the granulated garlic in the picture, it belongs in the Jumpin' Jack Cheddar recipe, but I have seen it in other bacon jam recipes. I used Granny Smith apples because they're my favorite, but you can use any favorite apple. You can also change up the type of onion you use. I prefer sweet onions.
Cook bacon in a heavy bottomed pan until crispy. Drain the bacon grease except for about three tablespoons, leave the bacon grease in the pan, and set the bacon aside on a paper towel lined plate. Add the remaining ingredients together, except for the bacon, and cook on medium heat until it is all cooked down to a nice brown, somewhat thick mixture. Add the bacon back. Pulse the mixture a few times in the food processor until you get the texture you want and there you have it! Taste the jam along the way to make sure it has the flavor you want! Let the jam cool down before refrigerating. Use within seven days.
I love avocados, the Hass avocadoes, not the California ones! Did you know they are "seasonal" all year round? Yum! This was delicious and easy enough! I sprayed my iron skillet with non-stick buttery spray and crisped up the corn tortillas (flour tortillas won't work here, those are for other yummy dishes). Then you just dice up that avocado, add salt and pepper and top it with a fried, over easy egg! So delicious, and pretty too, especially with fruit on the side!
Have y'all been missing pictures of Sawyer? Me, too! Let me catch you up!
I hope y'all enjoy the recipes on the blog! These are definitely some favorites with my friends and family!
'Til next time, Dished With Love, Denise!
Hi, Friends! When you read my previous blogs (I know you did!), you know I made ham and cheese sliders for our Super Bowl party. I had some Provolone cheese leftover, so I looked for a recipe to use this up. I've said this before, but a great way to get a new recipe is to just enter the ingredients you have on hand into your search engine and see what pops up! I always have extra sharp cheddar on hand, so I bought some broccoli and made this delicious soup!
It looks like I took a bite out of that baguette, but I promise that's just where I tore that piece of bread off! I love whole wheat and whole grain baguettes, and you can now buy the already baked whole wheat ones at Walmart! Baguettes can be sliced for crostinis, sliced for sandwiches, diced for croutons, or just break off a piece for your soups and stews!
I forgot to tell you, this is a slow cooker recipe, and it is so easy!!! It's also a large recipe, probably about eight large bowls of soup, so you may want to half it. Here's the recipe! "First you make a roux....". That's how many French cooks begin to share a recipe! A roux is the foundation to numerous soups, sauces, gumbos, etc.! A roux is simple, it's just equal parts fat and flour. In this case it is butter. I have sautéed sweet onions in this butter (onions are not always in a roux, but something else I always have on hand is sweet onions, and in the Summer it is only Vidalia onions!). I will buy other onions as the recipes call for them. See the roux in the picture above that has thickened up after adding flour? Make sure you cook the roux enough to get the floury taste out. In the next picture I have added warm evaporated milk. In France and in culinary school, you have now made a Béchamel sauce, one of the five mother sauces in French classical cuisine. That wasn't hard, was it? This is a base for many dishes. Here's our soup recipe!
Cheese and Broccoli Recipe
This was made in a large slow cooker and made about 12 servings.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions (optional) and saute until soft. Add the garlic and flour, and season lightly with salt and pepper (you will more salt and pepper later, to taste, if needed). After this has cooked for 3-4 minutes and has become thick but no more than a light pale tan color, whisk the warm evaporated milk into the roux, whisking briskly to smooth the Bechamel. Let it cook until you have a nice sauce and the taste of the flour has cooked out. Know how to test if a sauce is done? Dip a tablespoon into it, and when it coats the back of the spoon swipe your finger across the back of the spoon; if the swipe is clean, it's done!
Pour the Bechamel sauce into your slow cooker along with the chicken broth, diced broccoli and thyme. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or low heat for six hours. When this time is up, turn the slow cooker to warm (or off) and stir in heavy cream, add shredded cheeses, and stir to blend. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
You can make this on the stove top, also. Start with a stock pot on medium heat, make the Bechamel sauce, add broth, broccoli and thyme together and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until the broccoli is tender. Take the soup off the heat and add your cream, shredded cheeses and salt and pepper and blend well.
(Bonus: When you finish the Bechamel sauce, take it off the stove, add shredded cheddar and hot, cooked macaroni noodles, and voila, mac and cheese!!)
This soup is a wonderful cold weather recipe. Unfortunately in Georgia right now you can't plan ahead with the weather, but it's good any other time, too! Hope you enjoy it!
Hi, Friends! I ate at a favorite pizza place recently with friends and we all had wonderful Italian Sausage Calzones. This was before the Super Bowl, so I'm still thinking about what I might do for the Super Bowl party. I was thinking of hand-held, bite sized foods, so I thought, I can make baked empanadas with these same ingredients that we all love! So, I found already made empanada discs in the frozen seafood section at Publix, the only place in town I could find them (I didn't check the Mexican supermarkets, that was going to be my next stop). These can be fried, also, but I call myself health conscious by not frying much. Every little bit helps, right?
Then I bought hot Italian sausage. Let me tell you something I learned about sausages. Just because a lot of the sausages you like are in casings, that doesn't mean you have to use it as a link sausage! Cut it out of the casings! That may seem elementary to some of you folks, but if you haven't cooked much, that's a revelation! We learned how to make our own sausages, patties and in casings, in culinary school and they were so fabulous! I will buy a meat grinder one day!
I also made a very, very simple pizza sauce, no cooking required! The pizza sauce recipe calls for fresh herbs. I had fresh rosemary but dried oregano and basil. When using dry herbs and the recipe calls for fresh, use about 1/3 to 1/2 of what the recipe calls for, because dried herbs have a much stronger flavor than fresh herbs. This is where tasting your food as it cooks is important. Start out with the smaller amount and add as needed. You know you can't take it out once it's in there. That especially goes for salt! Let me share these recipes with you!
For the empanadas: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
How easy is that, and they were delicious! Because of time constraints I didn't have time to make these for the upcoming party, but they are on my list of things now that I can do easily and quickly, for a small or a large group!
Another friend told me that Publix sells homemade pizza dough, ready to use, at their deli counter. You can always make your own doughs, but it is nice to have options, especially if you're doing a lot of different dishes for a party! So next time I will use pizza dough, and I will call them mini calzones!
Hope you enjoy the recipe!
Dished With Love, Denise!
This post is not about the Super Bowl, but about the Super Bowl party that my friends and I have been having for the last several years! It started with June Reyes, our "friend to all", who loved feeding people with his wife Gail's food, and obviously loved having happy people around him!
Gail puts out a real spread, from hot wings and barbecue to some of June's and our favorite Filipino dishes, panzit (noodles) and lumpia (spring rolls) to mention a couple, and opens her home to everyone and their friends. I'm really not into professional football, so I won't mention who I wanted to win Super Bowl 50 (see image above).
Here is my contribution. I was out of town the whole week before the party, so I didn't do as much as I would have liked. These ham and cheese sliders have been a big hit at the SBP (Super Bowl Party). I made them a few years ago and they are now there every year by popular demand.
As you can tell, these are made from yummy King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, and I don't know anyone who doesn't love these all by themselves. I bought deli honey ham and provolone cheese from Sam's and cut the meat slices in half and the cheese slices into quarters. Janise helped me make 120 of these, and somehow there were five left at the end of the evening. Click on the picture above for the recipe!
Here are some of the goodies from other partiers! This is just a little of the food we brought home. There's Karen's Crack Dip (you can find the recipe for that by using the search feature), Gail's Spinach Dip (a Knoll's recipe), 15 bean soup, panzit, and hot wings. The Filipino pork medallions were made by our new friend, Blessie! There's a picture of cornbread I made to eat with the soup, with onions. Delicious! Here's the recipe for Friend Becca's Corn Salad!
Becca's Corn Salad
2-15 oz. cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 c grated cheddar cheese
1 c mayo
1 c green bell pepper, small dice
1/2 c red onions, small dice
1=10 oz. bag Fritos, crushed (or use as a dip with corn chips)
This salad was delicious! I won't tell you how much I ate!
The week before the Super Bowl I stayed with my friends Bo, Marley, Willie and my new friend, Cinder, the Yorkie, while my friends Jeff, Carrie, and Jeff, were on vacation. These are the sweetest pets, and I really miss them when I leave. This was my first time to stay with Cinder, and he is such a good dog. Look at Willie, she looks like she's in charge, right? Well, she was!
As her father would say, here's the most beautiful girl in the world! Here they are dressed for their first Father-Daughter Date! She is a happy baby! There's a lot of love there! I get to spend a little time with her this week, and I can't wait!
Here's what I did for Valentine's Day. My sister works for Read, Martin and Slickman, CPA's, and everyone in the office is so nice and willing to be my guinea pigs. These are some pretty sweet doughnuts and I love the easy recipe. I think I will cut back on the toppings next time I make them. I didn't buy doughnut pans, I made these in mini Bundt pans. Click on the picture above for the recipe!
The batch of doughnuts in the smaller picture is what I made for my cousins, Jeff and Amy. We celebrated Valentine's Day at The Steak House in Rockmart. They have the BEST steaks and the service there is always great! I forgot to take a picture of my prime rib, but that was Jeff's fault, because when he's here he's supposed to remind me!
Well, Friends, I've had a great couple of weeks, getting to do what I love to do best. I got to spend time with my doggie and cat friends, spend a lot of time with and cook for friends that I don't get to see enough of, and watch some football, and tomorrow I get to keep Sawyer while her parents are working and at school!
Until next time, Dished With Love, Denise!
This blog post could also be called "I Finally Had To Put On Long Pants!" This weather is so crazy! It's true what is said about weather in the South in January; it's warm one day, raining the next, and we're preparing for a blizzard the next! The thing I don't like the most when we have severe weather (besides tornadoes, of which we have a lot), is the power going off. I prepared for that by buying Bojangles chicken and biscuits. Those are good at any temperature!
Let me start by sharing my contribution to eating healthy. These are black bean burgers, and guys, they are really good! Click on the picture above for the recipe. They're easy to make and inexpensive! Sis and I had them with a couple of veggies, but I can't wait to try them as a cheeseburger! I can't wait for home grown tomatoes!!
One of my favorite dishes, in cold weather or anytime, is this chicken and tomato soup. Let me tell you why! I shared with you previously how much I love shredded chicken for freezer cooking! When I got ready for this soup I just pulled the shredded chicken out of the freezer (thus the frozen chicken) and popped it in the slow cooker with whole, peeled tomatoes that I cut up with my handy kitchen scissors. I added a can of Rotel because I love the chile peppers, and it cooked on low for 5-6 hours. Delicious! Even better topped with diced avocado! If you want to cook it on the stove just take it out of the freezer and defrost the chicken in the refrigerator, or in the microwave. You can use the new great search feature I love so much at the top right of this page to find the shredded chicken recipe. It's all so easy!
Aren't those red onions pretty? I made these for a picnic at our friend Karen's lake lot last Summer and her husband Ronnie really liked them, so I made them again! This time I preserved them by canning them and they will have a shelf life for a year. Ronnie has already told me they will not last a year. Click on the picture above for the recipe and methods for preparing these. The only thing I did differently from the recipe is I used cilantro instead of bay leaves. That's how I made the onions before because I saw Bobby Flay use cilantro, and I love cilantro.
Random Pictures! These are some beautiful items I just want to show off because I bought them in thrift stores. I have a picture frame for a picture of Sawyer, and lots of planters for my herbs, and a beautiful glass pitcher for Sangria. Yellow is my favorite color. I'm sure I've mentioned that before!
Speaking of yellow, or rather, lemons, these are some tasty "Mini Lemon Pound Cakes" I made for my Sis and her co-workers at Read, Martin & Slickman, CPA. It's tax season and they are working some long, hard hours!
I did not make these from scratch, they are made from a combination of two recipes. One is the Limoncello Pound Cake Mix I bought at Sam's, because I love Limoncello, a lemon liqueur. The other is a regular cake mix recipe. I added the eggs, vanilla pudding mix, and sour cream from that recipe, mixed it all up and put it in mini muffin pans. If you look closely, the muffins are three different sizes because I have three different sizes of pans. They also cooked at different times because of their sizes. Just make sure your toothpick comes out clean!
I used the glaze that came with the Limoncello Pound Cake Mix, but there is a glaze recipe attached to the recipe I'm going to show you. Just click on the picture above for the link! My sister asked me why I glazed them upside down. So they would look like mini pound cakes!
Here is a wonderfully "cozy" cold weather dish, made from one of the easiest most satisfying dishes, ever! Spaghetti! I knew how to cook spaghetti when I didn't know how to cook! Pasta is not a great dish for those of us watching carbs, but I used Dreamfield pasta, which has low net carbs, and tastes like our favorite store bought pastas. After we had spaghetti a couple of times, I took the leftovers, added parmesan cheese and an egg, a few crushed red peppers and extra garlic powder, covered it with foil, and baked it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then top it with mushrooms and Mozzarella cheese and bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Even though we did not have any major blizzards we did have wind and ice advisories to stay in the house, so we ate pretty good for a few days!
Lastly, for now, here's an all-time favorite, Turkey Chili! Hearty, delicious, nutritious, and perfect comfort food for cold weather! Use the search feature and type in turkey chili for the recipe! While you're add it, look up the jalapeno cornbread that is delicious with it!
To close out, and to make you smile, here is a recent picture of Sawyer, being held by her daddy and smiling at her mother! She's a heart breaker. These are her pets, Callie and Chloe!
I'll be doggie sitting and cat sitting for friends next week, and also getting ready for an annual Super Bowl party a week from Sunday! I will be sharing pictures of my furry friends. I'll also share the party goodies with you on my Dished With Love Facebook page. I'll tell you now, they don't fit into the nutritious, healthy food category. But hey, the Super Bowl comes but once a year!
It's also the one time a year I'll pick a favorite NFL team! I am very torn. Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers is from College Park, Georgia, and he plays for a Southern team, but this is Peyton Manning's last year to play and I'd love to see him go out in a blaze of glory!
Stay warm, Friends, stay busy, love life, and dish with love!
It's still a new year, so Happy New Year again, Friends! Now I'm going to share with you some of the great food we had for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, while listening to and watching the college football playoff games!
These Apple Pie Cookies were beautiful and tasty and the kitchen smelled like Fall again! If you want the cookies to look like the picture on the original recipe, you need to dice those apples a lot smaller than I did and use smaller scoops of the apple mixture to make the cookies! Click on the picture above for the recipe and a video. Easy and delicious! Great with vanilla ice cream, too, but we were too full for that!
I have been wanting to make these forever! I've never made chicken wings except frozen, fully cooked ones from Sam's. I am sure now I will make them over and over again! I saved some money by buying fresh chicken wings and sectioning them myself.
Kim, a friend from culinary school, introduced me to Gochujang, a Korean red pepper paste. It is spicy and delicious. Click on the picture above for the recipe. As you can see from the picture of the recipe, I forgot to toast and use the sesame seeds. I think I was in too much of a hurry to eat the wings, or sometimes I just forget things!
The cucumbers are drizzled in sesame oil and kosher salt. I want some right now! The texture on these wings is perfect; they have just enough bite on the outside and they're moist and tender on the inside, and they're baked! It was all a big hit with the family!
Here is one of my lifetime favorites, Mexican food! The first picture is of diced onions, just because they're in almost every savory dish I cook. The third picture is of the ingredients used in the guacamole. I forgot to take a picture of the guacamole, because I forget things (I think I said that already), and it had diced onion in it, also. My Cousin Jeff liked the guacamole and he usually doesn't! It had avocados, diced grape tomatoes (the best looking ones in the store right now), finely diced jalapeno, lime juice, and chopped cilantro. If you're not going to serve the guacamole right away, make sure you have added the citrus juice. Press Saran Wrap directly onto the guacamole when covering the bowl and refrigerate. It might turn a little brown anyway, but if it does, just stir it up, it'll be back to it's bright green again!
These enchiladas are considered "Mexican restaurant style" rather than authentic Mexican.
Here's what I used to make the enchiladas:
I used flour tortillas in the above recipe, but my sister and I like a tortilla found at Publix that is a combination of corn and flour. I am very, very picky regarding salsa and I prefer homemade, but I will admit, I have not mastered that yet. It's just hit and miss. So I was happy to find one I could purchase that I like a lot (not counting the salsa from my favorite Mexican restaurant, Los Portales). My friend Kendall introduced me to this. Then I covered the enchiladas with white cheese dip, which is American, but we love it very much! Then I sprinkled chopped green onions on top to make it even prettier!
Now, let me tell you about the shredded chicken filling! This is a recipe that is made in the Crock Pot, and is great for freezing! Then you just pull it out to make many delicious dishes, such as soup, chili, enchiladas, tacos, sandwiches, and the list goes on and on! Here's how to do it!
Take 3 - 4 pounds of chicken breasts, season all over with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place it in a Crock Pot, add small diced onions and peppers, and cover with low sodium chicken broth. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. If you want to cook it faster, cook on high for 3 - 4 hours. When it's done, place the chicken on a cutting board and shred it with two forks. The sooner you shred it while the chicken is still hot, the easier it is to shred!
My Cousin Amy came in and helped me assemble the enchiladas, and my sister Janise, was helpful in making the Sangria. It is nice to have help in the kitchen when you're trying to do several things, especially in the cleaning up! So, first lightly spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray; lay out the tortilla and spread refried beans down the middle. (If using canned refried beans, heat them up on the stove with a little water first, just a little bit of water; this will make them smooth and easy to spread. ) Then top the beans with the shredded chicken. Fold the tortilla over the beans and chicken and then roll the tortilla. Place it in the greased baking pan with the seam down. Top with salsa and cheese dip and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle with diced green onions for garnish. These were also a big hit!
I made a Sangria a few months ago for a friend. That recipe is on an earlier post, and you can find it by using the new search feature at the top right of this page! My sister requested Sangria for our little New Year's Eve gathering, so I decided to "winterize" it! We still had several bottles of wine from our friend June's collection, so I gathered two bottles of merlot, a bottle of Applewine, and a bottle of sparkling wine (you can use champagne, or even sparkling water if you want to)! I then bought some red pears, some Asian pears when I thought I couldn't find red pears, and diced them all up. They taste so good! I wanted blood oranges, because they are pretty and they are supposed to be available in December, but had to use regular navel oranges, and I sliced those. I had Granny Smith apples in the house which I wish I had remembered to use, but I didn't. Mix it all up, except for the sparkling beverage, and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Before you're ready to serve, add the sparkling wine! Beautiful and delicious!
As you can see, these was no measuring in this recipe. Just take what you like and mix it up!
Because we were going to be staying up late with friends, I made a breakfast bread pudding for the next morning that I put in the fridge and it was ready to pop in the oven! I went ahead and cooked it on New Year's Eve so Jeff and Amy could take half of it home with them for their breakfast the next morning. I love breakfast! This has butter, ground, hot sausage, eggs, cheese, onion, half & half, bread, and a little parsley for freshness, everything you need for breakfast except for the coffee! Click on the picture above for the recipe!
Now for the finale! Southern cornbread, collard greens, black-eyed peas in the Crock Pot, and spiral sliced Honey Baked Ham that was a Christmas present from one of my sister's clients! See previous posts of these by using the search feature (I love that thing)!
I really love collard greens! I made them to accompany Veal Scallopini in a practical I had in culinary school! If you ever go to culinary school, don't make collard greens with Veal Scallopini, especially if your instructor is from Chicago. I should have used an "Italian" vegetable. I guess they don't have greens in Italy. The only thing I did differently with the greens and peas recipes is that I don't use ham hocks or pork in them. Most of the time I am a food "purist" (I learned that from Michael Symon), so most of the time I'm happy with just salt, pepper, onions, and garlic!
The black eyed peas were cooked in the Crock Pot with low sodium chicken broth (always on hand), salt, pepper, garlic, bell pepper and onion. Cover the peas with the broth by about two inches and cook on low all day!
Whew, Friends, this post was lengthier than the rest of them, but you know, it was the holidays and there was LOTS going on. I enjoyed every minute of it. I love prepping and cooking the food, but my favorite part is watching friends and family enjoy eating it! It's almost the middle of January now, and I'll be looking for healthier, delicious recipes to share to get back on a healthy eating track!
I would love to have your comments and feedback on the blog and on the different recipes!
Until next time, Denise, @ Dished With Love!
Hi, Friends! It's a new year and I haven't posted in a month! I really let December get away from me! My twin sister and I went on vacation, something we do for our birthday every December, and of course there is always lots to do between Thanksgiving and Christmas! I hope you all had great holidays!
There are some funny stories behind my baking adventures. I made a couple of dishes for my sister's Christmas office party, and also for our Christmas dinner at our friend Gail's house. This could be a learn what not to do blog, or, how to make something out of a big mess! I had a lot of fun, regardless, while baking, cooking, and learning new things. I share the stories with the appropriate pictures.
I also got to spend a couple of days with Sawyer, so there are a few pictures her parents took and some I took. She gets more beautiful every day!
These are my first "crackle" cookies. These are key lime cookies I found in the Christmas Food Network magazine. Last year I saved a red velvet version off the internet, so I had this grand idea to make lots of these red and green cookies for everyone I loved. But life gets in the way.
I began prepping for these cookies and then I had to put them off for a couple of days. It turns out that zest doesn't keep it's flavor very long; the cookies didn't have enough key lime flavor after the delay. So, I took an idea from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. It was something she did when making Pretzel Turtles. I melted white melting wafers (I like Ghiradelli White Melting Wafers) and mixed in lots of fresh key lime zest, put dollops on a sheet pan layered with wax paper, and placed the cookies on the dollops and let them set. I must say, those were some beautiful, delicious cookies, with lots of citrus flavor! I think I'll keep that idea.
Click on the picture for the basic Key Lime Crackle recipe. As a bonus, here's the link to The Pioneer Woman's Pretzel Turtles recipe. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/pretzel-turtles/ I haven't made these yet, but they are in my "mental queue".
These beautiful glittery cake pops were a delicious surprise! I had in my mind for a while that I wanted to make a fudge and praline cake, and I found this 2005 recipe from Southern Living: New Orleans Double Chocolate Praline Fudge Cake. Could that sound any better or more delicious?
Now let me say, I don't do a lot of baking. The last layer cake I made was in culinary school and I had a wonderful chef instructor in baking class (it was a devil's food cake with dark chocolate icing; it was delicious, too! I'll share that recipe another time). I like Bundt cakes, because you use only a couple of bowls, one pan, pour or drizzle icing on top. Done. Well, almost.
I put a three, 8" inch layers cake recipe into a 10" Bundt pan. I'm not sure if I didn't grease the pan well enough, or I didn't allow the cake to cook long enough because a Bundt cake will take almost twice as long, or I didn't allow it to cool long enough before I tried to take it out of the pan. It looked good and it pulled loose from the sides of the pan, but unfortunately, only the part I could see. Fortunately, I had seen a baker on television make cake pops from scraps of layer cake she had in her bakery, so this failed attempt at a Bundt cake did not go to waste! See, it's not bad to watch hours of Food Network!
So, whatever I did wrong (I think it was the cooling part because I'm not the most patient person in the world), it resulted in delicious and beautiful cake pops. Here's what you'll need:
And now, for the main attraction! I took the same cake recipe and the same Bundt pan. The only two things I did differently was I greased and powdered (with cocoa powder) the Bundt pan even more thoroughly, and when the cake came out of the oven I left it in the pan on top of the baking rack to cool and didn't touch it until the next day.
Click on the picture for the printable recipe. It looks lengthy and it's in a Word document, but it actually has a lot of commentary, because I adapted the recipe from Southern Living so I noted my adaptations. I also noted my experiences that you may learn from if you're interested and I will have made this recipe a lot easier for you the first time than it was for me. It was worth all the effort, believe me! You will have a lot of happy people on your hands with this one!
Isn't that a beautiful red dish? Here's a little bit of tanginess (sounds better than acidity) to offset all of the sweetness in this post, even though it does have sugar in it. Taste the cranberry sauce as you go along to make it sweet to your liking. Add toasted pecan pieces to make it a truly elegant dish! I made this for Christmas at our friend Gail's.
And now, as promised, Sawyer! Her pets are on here, too. Callie has the darkest ears. Chloe looks huge in her picture, but she's not, she's small like Callie.
I still have more holiday goodies to share with you, Friends! My sister, Janise, and my cousins, Amy and Jeff, celebrated New Year's Eve together. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog to see and read about all the goodies we had to celebrate, including my new favorites, Korean-Style Hot Wings!
The blog has some new features but I don't know what all of them are yet. One of them is a search feature. If it works you can find the dressing I made for Christmas because I posted it on the Thanksgiving blog. I also made some Jumpin' Jack Jalapeno Cheese for Sawyer's parents. That recipe is in a previous post. If the search feature doesn't work I'll have to figure it out, but I hope it works. The box is at the top right of the page.
Happy New Year from Dished With Love!
P.S. There's not much healthy about this post, but that comes along after the holiday blog, Part 2, is finished!
Friends, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! My sister and I did, as we get together every year with a great group of friends and adopted family, and generous hostesses that they are, our "family" gets bigger every year. It's great to meet new people and share great company and great food. Here are my contributions to the dinner table!
Thelma has had this cake before and requested it for Thanksgiving. She is our friend who hosts Thanksgiving every year, along with her husband, Carlton. She is also mother to my pet friends, Dakota and Taffy. Sadly, Taffy is no longer with us as of recently, and she is missed.
This cake is delicious! You can't beat the flavors of lemon and blueberry. It's also easy to make with easy clean-up! Click on the picture for the recipe!
I did not photo the steps of this recipe. My friend Jimmye and I started out playing early on the day before Thanksgiving and came home late! It was about midnight when I finished the cake and I finished the dressing for the oven the next morning. I was a little tired and ready for bed! I'm sure I am not the only cook who did that the night before Thanksgiving! I surely loved having the day to hang out with Jimmye!
This dressing meets my friend Renee's standards, because it includes cornbread AND biscuits, just the way her mother used to make it! It did turn out nice and moist and flavorful! In case you noticed there is organic celery in the picture, it's because you have to buy the pricier celery when you wait until two days before Thanksgiving to buy groceries! Thank goodness it was there, though! Click on the picture of the cornbread for the Martha White recipe that I use. I had baking mix (generic Bisquick) in the house, so I did use that to make the biscuits. I also added two cups of homemade garlic croutons that were made a few days before and kept in the freezer. They were originally made for homemade potato soup (recipe below), but they were finished off nicely here!
Instead of saving Sawyer's picture until the end of the blog as usual, let's look at her here! This is her first Thanksgiving and I can't wait to watch her grow every year! Maybe when she gets old enough she'll help her Aunt Nise in the kitchen, or at least hang out with me!
Before I made this potato soup, the only potato soup I had ever made was from a packet I bought at a gourmet coffee shop at which I used to work many, many years ago. It was tasty, but not as special as making your own. This is another easy dish. Prep the veggies and bacon and throw them all in the Crock Pot! The croutons are made from a baguette that was diced, tossed in melted butter (you can use olive oil) and minced garlic, salt and pepper, and toasted in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Homemade croutons are great!!!
As a personal preference, next time I make this soup, I will use chives (they go with potatoes, right?), and leave out the bacon (forgive me!). It's also nice with fresh shredded cheddar on top!
Well, next year will be a lot different for us. I have been a Virginia Tech fan since my friend Lynette's son, Dorian, started playing for them as a red shirt Freshman in 2005. Now Coach Beamer is retiring after 29 years, and it is the end of the Beamer Ball era. Coach Bud Foster is staying on so there will still be some familiarity. The Hokies did not make the ACC Championship game this year, but they will have a bowl game before Coach Beamer retires!
I have not been a fan of UGA until recently, but I certainly know many avid Georgia fans! I'm from Georgia! Coach Richt at the University of Georgia is leaving after 15 years. He has been hired by the Miami Hurricanes (in the same Coastal division of the ACC as the Hokies!). So we'll all be getting used to someone new next Fall!
Best wishes to both of these men, Coach Beamer in his retirement, and Coach Richt in his new move!
I guess that's all for now, Friends! It's only 21 days until Christmas, so there's going to be a lot of cooking and baking going on in the upcoming days. I also have a new toy I can't wait to show you if you didn't see it already on my Facebook page!
Enjoy this time with your family, or your adopted families which are really the same thing, and never take anything for granted!
Dished With Love, Denise!
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!
Hey, Friends! Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. My sister and some friends went on vacation for a few days and I had been making big plans for some house cleaning while they were gone! Before they left, though, I did make some goodies for their road trip to Tampa.
These are some cheese balls I made, and some of them have olives, which is an idea I got from my friend, Gail. This was the first time I made them and I probably overworked the dough a little bit in the food processor, so that's something to correct next time. That can make your dough dry. They were still pretty tasty, and everyone liked them! You can click on the picture above of the pretty cheeseballs and thrift store platter for a recipe that I copied.
The girls embarked on a cruise to Mexico and Grand Cayman, and I knew they would be indulging in lots of wonderful food! I sent some apples their way as a healthy option, some citrus to cut through all that rich, indulgent food they were going to have. I'm saying that with a big grin!
I didn't make the Apple Festival in Ellijay this year, but my friend, Jimmye, and I rode to Blue Ridge and Ellijay last week. The picture above is of Mercier Farms and you can pick your own apples there. It's really pretty in the Northwest Georgia mountains. The leaves on the trees should be turning colors in a couple of weeks so I hope we make another trip to see the beautiful Fall colors! I did pick up quite a bit of apples and I have great plans for them. I will post those projects on here, you know I will. The deep red Arkansas Black apples are for my friend, Howard, because he likes them and he introduced me to them last year. The Granny Smith and Gala apples are for...well, it'll be a surprise. Plus, I keep changing my mind!
These were easy no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal drop cookies! A favorite! I do have friends that do not like chocolate or peanut butter, and I overlook that. You can make these without peanut butter if you want to and they're still delicious! Click on the picture for the easy recipe!
This is a delicious pork roast I copied from my friend, Patricia. (I did tell you that I've only been cooking for a little over two years, didn't I? We didn't learn country cooking in culinary school.) GMC, a little store in town that has the BEST meat, had their pork butts on sale for $1.29 a lb. so here it is! My favorite part is the roasted vegetables.
To make this simple and delicious pot roast, I actually used a ShurFine pot roast seasoning packet and a baking bag. You mix the seasoning packet in a cup of water, pour it over the roast in the baking bag and add all the chopped carrots, celery, potatoes and onions. Before I added the veggies I let the roast marinate 30 minutes on each side before finishing it. Tie the bag at the end but make sure you make about three little 1/4 inch slits in the bag. Bake at 350 degrees for about two and a half to three hours for a four lb. roast. Pork should be cooked to 165 degrees, make sure you do that!
And now for the best part of Sis's vacation...my souvenirs from Mexico!!!
JJ picked up these things in Cozamel. The pottery was actually made in Mexico City. She knew I would love the bright yellow, and the staircase reminds me of a beautiful staircase in Savannah, Georgia, another one of my favorite places. The pottery is on the baker's rack in the dining area so I can stare at it while I'm in the kitchen. The bracelet is Mexican silver and it's gorgeous. It also goes with most everything I own because most of my clothes are black. And then to round everything out, Pure Vanilla from Mexico, a Jalapeno Salsa she got with the purchase of the pottery and vanilla, and a key chain with my name and ocean waves on it! We're hopefully going back in the Spring, with me! I really wanted her to bring home a Mexican chef, and she did meet one but had to leave him there.
I have to show you the latest pictures of beautiful Sawyer. Here are the first family pictures of Sawyer, Lindsay and Ghee. The top middle picture is Sawyer's five months picture. Lindsay and I have been friends for many years and even worked and lived together for a while. But really, we're family, and I'm so proud of all of them. Ghee and Lindsay are the sweetest, most hard working people, and Sawyer is a fighter, a real fighter, and at just a few months old. They are beautiful, and I love them!
Until next Friends, Denise! Dished With Love!
Hi, Friends! I've been in the house a lot the last few days because it has been raining; however, on Saturday I helped a friend on his food truck, and it was raining and we were tailgating, and even though it was a little slow at first we picked up some great customers! That was a fun, first time experience!
On those days that I was in the house trying to stay dry, I cooked up some regular cooler weather comfort food! I hope you find something you like!
Put the ground turkey, bell peppers and onions in a dutch oven and cook until the turkey is browned; drain the fat off the turkey mixture and put it back into the dutch oven. Add all of the other ingredients, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for two-three hours.
I doubled the recipe and froze half of it for another day. I love easy freezer dinners!
These are some of my favorite things! If I had the money I would blow these pictures up and hang them in my house! These are some more beautiful vegetables that my next door neighbors, Helen and Jay, gave me. I have never seen a purple bell pepper before! Beautiful! Look at those tomatoes and peppers on this breakfast dish!
HONEY GARLIC CROCKPOT CHICKEN BREASTS
BLT Steak NYC Popovers
I can't tell you about these great popovers without telling you that I am a Chef Tyler Florence fan. If you don't know who that is, he is the host of The Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network, and he has other shows, and he is very good looking. On one of the Food Network shows, Best Thing I Ever Ate, Chef Tyler picked these popovers as one of his favorites. The steakhouse in New York that makes them gives out the recipes with the baskets of popovers in their restaurant, so I had to try them, and they're delicious.
The recipe calls for a topping of Gruyere cheese. SOMETIMES, I am a food purist, so I think I will like these better without the cheese. However, these were easy and tasted great, my sister liked them a lot, and I can't wait to make them again for friends! Click on the picture of the popovers for the recipe!
Here's the latest on Sawyer. Here she is a few weeks after her open heart surgery, happy and healthy and smiling and beautiful! She's going through a lot of therapy for a few more weeks so she hasn't been able to socialize. I hope I'll be able to have lots more pictures of her soon! She loves her Aunt Niecey, can't you tell?
Friends, I hope you're enjoying the cooler weather. Let's send up some prayers for our friends in South Carolina who got more than their share of the latest rain.
Stay safe, I hope you enjoyed the blog, and enjoy some easy, comfort food! Until next time!
Dished With Love! Denise
This is a delicious, light, crunchy side dish, without the chicken, that was very popular at some of our catered events at the school where I used to work. I finally got the "secret" recipe and enjoy this by itself or as a light side dish with all kinds of entrees, such as roast beef, lasagna, or any dish that needs a light accompaniment.
Then I got the idea to make it a main course by adding chicken! This is a great dish and it refrigerates well for three or four days. Try it, I'm sure it'll be a hit at lunch or at dinnertime! Click on the .pdf file for the printable version!
Dished With Love! Denise
Hi, Friends! I'm still thinking about the beautiful beach and delicious food my family enjoyed a couple of weeks ago, but we are back in the real world now, and that has been good, too!
One of the best things about playing with different recipes is finding something that is easy to make with simple ingredients, and easy clean-up (that's really nice!), but so delicious and beautiful it will seem like you worked on it for hours! I make dishes sometimes that I normally wouldn't (such as sweets because I have to watch my sugar intake) but when I come across a special recipe and I already have all the ingredients in the house, I can always share the goodies with my friends, such as this Cinnamon Roll Bread!
Ahhh, the smells of vanilla and cinnamon, they just make me happy! Click on the picture of the cinnamon bread for the recipe!
Now, let me tell you about this fabulous seafood restaurant that my cousins, Amy and Jeff, introduced my sister and I to on our way home from the beach. This is Log Cabin Restaurant in Blakely, Georgia! For all of my friends who travel to Panama City Beach by way of Columbus and Eufaula, this restaurant is worth going a little out of the way to visit. I don't want to say it, but the seafood was better than any I ate at the beach, and that is saying a big mouthful! It was also priced better! Just look at Amy's ribeye, it doesn't need words! Hover over the pictures for a brief description! Visit theFacebook page, Log Cabin Restaurant!
When I was growing up, Daddy would not let my sister and brother and I wear shirts with logos on them because he didn't believe in free advertising for others. I'm not sure what he would think about my blogging, but I do know he liked to eat as much as I do! Love ya, Daddy! Where do you think I got it from?
I'm showing you pictures of vegetables ready for roasting, spaghetti sauce with roasted vegetables, and tomatoes from my neighbor's garden, just because I think they are beautiful!
Now, back to my modest home cooking!
One of our locally owned grocery stores in town (GMC Value Mart) had pork butt for $1.39 a lb, so it became a Chipotle and Citrus Pulled Pork recipe, in a Crockpot! So easy! I reduced the liquid from the Crockpot on the stove to thicken it up a little. I did not mix the sauce and pork together as in the original recipe because the chipotle has a lot of heat, and a lot of heat is not for everyone! I enjoyed the sauce, and Sis and I also enjoyed soft tacos made with the pulled pork. So delicious, and plenty to freeze and have anytime, without the work! Click on the picture of the pulled pork for the original recipe!
Now I'm going to leave you with something easy, beautiful, and delicious! My Friend Thelma asked me to make a Mexican Layer Dip for a dinner/birthday party, and an accompaniment. What I came up with, after finding out the rest of the dinner menu included enchiladas, was this layered dip and a beautiful Sangria!
These were delicious! I know because I made small portions of them for my sister and cousin the next day, after we slaved all day moving storage units! I may have gotten a little heavy handed on the extra sharp cheddar cheese, but can you really have too much cheese? The layers are refried black beans and added green chile peppers; sour cream and softened cream cheese mixture (next time I won't use cream cheese or at least not as much); a thin layer of extra sharp cheddar cheese; homemade guacamole with homemade pico de gallo; small diced Roma tomatoes, and sliced black olives! I did not add much heat except a little jalapeno in the pico de gallo because I wasn't sure of everyone's taste. If it was just for me I would have piled on the pickled jalapenos! You can also mix your choice of taco seasoning in the sour cream.
The Sangria was really special because it was made from a wine collection of our Friend, June Reyes. You can click on the picture for the recipe, but besides the 750ml bottle of sparkling white wine and the coconut rum, I added extra of the white cranberry juice and all of the fruit. Thelma called me after her guests left and said the dishes were a big hit. Janise, Amy and I enjoyed them, too. I appreciate Thelma asking me to do the dishes for her. I really had fun making them, and love knowing they were enjoyed by everyone!
Thanks for coming in for a visit, and I hope you found something you liked. Until next time!
Dished With Love! Denise
Recent pictures of Sawyer and her mom and dad! Look at her smile!
My family and I had the BEST vacation last week at Panama City Beach! At the beginning of the trip Tropical Storm Erika was threatening to become a hurricane and was heading our way, but she fizzled out in South Florida. The whole week was full of calm, beautiful emerald waters and white sandy beaches and sunshine!
Besides enjoying the beach, our second mission on vacation was to seek out the best seafood, and boy, did we! I have become a baked oyster fiend, especially since there's nowhere near home to get any that I know of! I'm just going to share a couple of my favorite on here, but there are lots of pictures with commentary on my Instagram account as lorettadenise1221. I am also posting ratings and pictures on Yelp.
Our favorite baked oysters after visiting a couple of other places are at Hunt's Oyster Bar at St. Andrews' Marina! They're huge and fresh and delicious. The toppings don't overpower the flavor of the oyster. These were the three cheese jalapeno oysters, and we scarfed most of them up before I remembered to take a picture! Cousins Jeff and Amy had the seafood platter, and Sis had a cheeseburger, which was great, and that's my grouper fingers at the bottom. I can't wait to go back for those oysters!
A swimming pool on a beautiful day, a shopping mall (for any kind of day), and a beautiful beach at sunset. What more can you ask for, besides hoping to make it back again next year!
These are two of the vendors at the Grand Lagoon Farmers Market at Captain Anderson's on the weekends! Pattycake Bread Co. is there on Saturday and Pita Queen is there on Sundays. Pita Queen had tables of organic vegetables, including those beautiful tomatoes, and they also had "Falafel King" making fresh falafel. Falafel King says he is famous. There was also a little man named Bill who had homemade jalapeno cornbread and homemade mini fruit pies. Delicious! Check out Grand Lagoon Farmers Market's Facebook page!
I have to give a shout-out to Angelo's Steak Pit! They have seafood, but we go for the steaks and have been there on every trip to PCB for many years, except for one year when we were there in the off-season and they were closed. It's a mandatory stop and we are very loyal to Angelo's!
We got up very early to catch the sunrise this morning, so this was our view from the front of our condo, through the clouds. So beautiful. This was my visitor on the balcony. He flew pretty high to look for company, or maybe someone told him the people staying here ate a lot and he was looking for food!
I'm not through talking about vacation, but I need to get into the present right now instead of reliving last week! I'll leave you with some more happy pictures. We got to spend some quality time with Cousins Amy and Jeff's doggies, Harley and Bogart! They are the sweetest dogs! Here is a recent picture of Sawyer with her silly daddy, Ghee! Can you tell she's going to be an Alabama fan? I can't wait to visit with her again!
Until next time, Friends,
Denise, Dished With Love!
Hi, Friends! I posted this recipe on my Dished With Love Facebook page, but I'm not sure how it appears on everyone's devices. I'm posting it here so hopefully the text will be big enough for some of you to read.
This is a delicious, inexpensive, and easy dish to make, but your family will think you slaved for hours. Click on the attached link to print. Enjoy!
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!