Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cornbread Stuffing


Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year. I love the time off to spend with family and friends and love cooking amazing food. Every year I have a 3 course menu planned out like this and this, but this year we are not hosting. Because I am not sure what we will have tomorrow or if it will include any of my traditional favorites like this pumpkin soup, I decided to make one of my absolute musts tonight. This is the best stuffing recipe I have ever had/made. It is super moist and stays moist even after re-heating 2 days later. It is a simple recipe with simple ingredients and lots of flavor. Make sure your cornbread base is the exact one as I have listed in the ingredients below and you won't be disappointed. It's the key. 

Ingredients:
1 box of Krusteaz honey cornbread, substitute butter for the oil when making
1 loaf of french bread* (see note below)
1 stick butter
4 cups (one 32 oz carton) low sodium chicken broth
2 cups diced celery (I used 5 stalks, leaves included)
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tsp fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme (I used fresh)
1/4 tsp sage (I used fresh)
1/4 tsp turmeric 
1/4 cup fresh parsley

Directions:
First, make the cornbread as instructed on the back of the box, substituting the oil or butter. Let cool, cube, and set out to dry overnight. Cut the french bread and set out over night as well. 
*Note: My loaf of french bread was really long. I cut 7 1-inch slices and cubed them. If you forget to set out the night before, just put the cubes on a baking sheet and let crisp in the oven on 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. 

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the celery, carrots, and onion. Season with salt (a little), black pepper, turmeric, fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme. Cook until soft. Add the broth and fresh parsley. Bring to a boil then turn off heat. 

In a large bowl toss the cubed bread with the vegetable/broth mixture. 

Pour into a pyrex. Place in the oven (350 degrees) until golden brown on top, approximately 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with cranberry sauce on the side. Makes great leftovers!



Source: adapted from Pioneer Woman


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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fried Okra


When you no longer live in the South and all you want is crispy fried okra.  You search 3 grocery stores for the breaded kind, but no one carries it. When you are out of luck, you just have to make it yourself. Even after these have cooled quite a bit, they are still delicious. Serve with ketchup or hot sauce, or eat them plain alongside blackened catfish, lima beans, and black eyed peas. Enjoy! 


Ingredients:
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk**
1 pound okra, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
Vegetable oil for frying

Directions:
In a cast iron skillet or deep pan, heat the oil.

Place cut okra in buttermilk to soak for a couple minutes while you assemble the coating.

In a bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, and seasonings. Transfer okra to coating mixture and toss well to coat. Fry okra in hot oil. Do not over crowd the pan. Flip to cook evenly. Remove to paper towels to drain.


**To make buttermilk: Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to a measuring cup, fill with whole milk to make 1/2 cup total, let sit 5 minutes.



Source: adapted from Pinterest
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Sour Cream Banana Bread


Super moist and delicious and an easy recipe to throw together one Sunday afternoon. I was out of sour cream, so I substituted Greek whole milk yogurt and it turned out so good. I also have this recipe for brown butter banana bread that is fun to make.

Ingredients:
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 mashed bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one 9-inch loaf pan. 

In a large bowl, cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; combine with the butter mixture. Add the sour cream, bananas, and vanilla; stir well. 

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and then turn the loaf out onto a rack.



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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sweet Potato Casserole


Loved this recipe of Ina's as I do most her recipes in general. But this one in particular really stood out because of the orange juice/zest that was added to the mix. It is a good recipe if you are not wanting something too sweet. Her recipe doesn't call for candied pecans, but how can you have sweet potato casserole without them? Try it now so you can be one step ahead of Thanksgiving day menu planning. It was a huge hit as well as the stuffing (recipe coming soon) when we had family over and had Thanksgiving in July. 

Ingredients:
6 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup orange juice (zest half of orange before juicing)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick unsalted melted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup candied pecans


Thanksgiving in July

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Scrub the potatoes, prick them several times with a knife, and bake for 1 hour or until soft.  

Remove from the oven and scoop out the insides as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Place the sweet potato meat into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add the orange juice and zest, heavy cream, melted butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Mix together until combined and transfer to a baking dish.

Bake the potatoes for 20 to 30 minutes, until heated through.

In the meantime, make the candied pecans. Melt some butter and brown sugar in a skillet and mix in the pecans. Stir to evenly coat and let brown for just a few minutes. Remove from heat and lay flat on wax or parchment paper to cool. Once the sweet potato casserole comes out of the oven, spread on top. 




Source:adapted from Ina Garten
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