“Kiss my grits!” ~ Flo Castleberry

Some things are just southern.

Fried chicken.

Pimento cheese.

SunDrop and Nehi.

Cornbread.

But nothing says southern like grits.

Luckily the rest of the United States have started to catch on and use them in recipes at great restaurants across the country.

If you are new to the south and want to solidify your place here – try this recipe. If you are already from here, you already understand the importance of trying this recipe.

This recipe is versatile – it’s great for breakfast or to add to any shrimp and grits recipe.

Perfect Cheese Grits

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grits
  • 3 oz. Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook grits according to directions in chicken broth, adding garlic before grits.

Once grits are cooked, remove from heat and stir in cheese, butter and cream.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

-abp

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“How quick come the reasons for approving what we like!” ~ Jane Austen

Some days I just need to make something quick for dinner.

I don’t mean a frozen pizza but something I actually make.

Something I can feel good about, knowing, I cooked dinner for my family.

But dang it,  sometimes I don’t feel like spending 30-45 minutes in the kitchen making dinner.

As you can tell, I’m not feeling very domestic today. I want/need to feed my family, I want/need to eat and I don’t want/need to get  take out.

The following recipe is a perfect fix for that dilemma.

Make a quick sauce. Boil noodles. Done.

20 minutes top.

I’ll even one up it and throw frozen garlic bread in the oven.

You know, I could try and be hip and say this is a “Meatless Monday” meal.

Even though it is just Sunday……but I’m just not that hip. 🙂

Oh well, it was very tasty, the hubs is happy and I can get back to working on my needlepoint.

Nice lazy day.

Pasta with Tuscan Cream Sauce

(adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or the kind in a jar
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into 8 pieces
  • 8-ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste, if needed

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.

Add basil, then cream cheese. Whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy

Stir in sun-dried tomatoes.

Gradually add the milk, ¼ cup at a time. Each time, whisking until completely blended in sauce.

Once all milk is incorporated, stir in cheese, pepper and salt.

Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring until the cheese is melted (5-10 minutes).

Serve over warm, cooked bow-tie pasta.

Garnish with Parmesan cheese and chopped tomatoes.

**This would be great with a grilled chicken breast**

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-abp

“And the idea of just wandering off to a cafe with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for awhile is just bliss.” ~ J. K. Rowling

As I have mentioned before – I have never been to Mardi Gras but it is definitely on my list of “to-dos”!

And just like last year when I made Mini King Cakes, I am determined to have a little Mardi Gras fun right here at home this Fat Tuesday.

This year it will be in the form of Beignets.

When in New Orleans, Cafe du Monde is a must at least once a day. I have been known to pop in twice. My own order of beignets and a cafe au lait (hot in the winter, iced in the summer) makes for one very happy girl.

Making them at home will never be the same but it is a great holdover until I make it back to my happy place!

Biscuit Beignets

  • 1 can buttermilk biscuits
  • Vegtable Oil
  • Powdered Sugar

Cut each individual biscuit into thirds.

In a dutch over, heat 2 inches of oil over medium high heat until it gets to 350º. (Check with a candy thermometer – it must not be too hot).

In batches, fry biscuit pieces on each side until golden brown (30-60 seconds per side).

Drain on a paper towel lined plate and dust with lots of powdered sugar.

Let sit for 10 minutes.
Serve.

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-abp

“Why is it so hard to find an exercise bike with a nice little basket where I can put my nachos?” ~ Ron Alderson

If you are like me and should always be watching what you put in your mouth but never really want to – this quick little jewel of an idea is a great compromise.

It is great for an afternoon snack, a family dessert or can be taken to a party or get together.

And you don’t have to feel too guilty.

The wonderful bonus is how SIMPLE it is to create.

Caramel Apple Nachos

  • Pre-sliced bag of Granny Smith Apples
  • Tub of Caramel apple dip
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Salted peanuts, chopped

**The amounts would be determined by how much you are making.**

Layer apples on a serving platter.

In a glass bowl, melt caramel dip in microwave until soft enough to drizzle.

Drizzle (amount up to you) caramel over apples.

Sprinkle chocolate chips and peanuts on top.

Serve immediately.

 

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-abp

“It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.” ~ Ernie Harwell

My friends and I, The Regular Crew,  as they are called, will pretty much come up with most any reason to have a “gathering”.

These gatherings are always a fun, good excuse to try one of those new appetizers that cover up Pinterest. This gathering is no exception except that is will be bittersweet because the reason for this gathering is to say goodbye to 2 of our own, as they embark on their next life adventure in Indiana. 😦

While trying not to get too blue about that fact for the moment, lets focus on the app at hand.

I know most everyone has had the ham and cheese sandwiches with the popyseed/mustard spread and those really can’t be beat so today, so I’m not going to change up the original idea of the sandwiches but the way they are constructed.

Ham and Cheese Rolls

(adapted from Kevin & Amanda)

  • 1 can refrigerated pizza crust
  • 3/4 lb deli ham (thinly sliced, but not shaved)
  • 12 slices Swiss cheese (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350º.

Spray a 9×13 in baking dish with cooking spray.

Unroll pizza dough and stretch/press it out until it is around 13×18 in size.

On a cutting board, layer ham and cheese evenly on top of pizza crust. Tightly roll up the longer side, all the way to the edge. Pinch together and place seam side down.

Cut into 1 inches slices (12 in all) and arrange in baking dish.

In a small sauce pan, over medium heat,

Combine the butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and poppy seeds.
Whisk until all the butter is melted and ingredients are completely combined.
Pour evenly over rolls.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

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-abp

“My bathing suit said ‘go to the gym’, but my sweatpants said ‘nah girl, you’re good'” ~ unknown

Do you ever get lazy in the kitchen?

Boy, I do.

I get the incredible urge for cookies and I have all these fabulous recipes I want to try but the minute I think about pulling out that heavy Kitchenaid mixer – I think, nah.

If I can’t easily mix it up with the hand-mixer, I’ll just forgo them that day.

That’s why these cookies are just perfect!

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup of butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 jar (16 oz) peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350°
In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.

Scoop out and roll into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet. Then make the classic peanut butter cookie indentations with a for – dip fork in white sugar before making each hatch mark..

Cook for around 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

**note: all ovens cook differently, so watch closely as cooking times may need to be adjusted.

Really, how simple is that?!

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-abp

“See your disappointments as good fortune. One plan’s deflation is another’s inflation.” ~ Jean Cocteau

It’s that time of year again!

The time when you can totally not feel bad about making a meal out of grazing for hours over the best appetizers there are to offer.

Well, at least that’s how we normally do the Super Bowl.

This year, it’s just going to be me and the hubs so we really don’t need several dips for just the 2 of us. Although, I still wanted a Super bowl party feel meal.

Que the Chicken Wings!

I have never attempted to make these at home so I thought what a good time to give them a go.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings

  • 20 chicken wings
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon hot sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 2 Gallon Ziploc bags
  • Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing for dipping

Place the salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon hot sauce, and vegetable oil into Ziploc bag, and shake to mix. Add the chicken wings, seal, and toss until well coated.

In the second Ziploc bag, place the flour, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder and shake to mix. Pour the chicken wings from the first bag into the flour bag, seal, and toss until well coated with the flour mixture.

Place the wings onto the prepared baking sheet rack, and place into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a medium microwave safe bowl. Whisk in the hot sauce.

**If you want to skip this last step, you can buy your favorite jarred wing sauce – mine is Franks – and use it instead. **

Dip the wings into the butter mixture one at a time, and place back on the baking sheet rack.

Bake in the preheated oven until cooked through and crispy on the outside, about 1 hour, turning half way through baking.

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