Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2011

Southern Collard Greens for "Luck" in 2012!

With 2012 less than 24 hours away, I thought it would be fun to write a post about traditional, lucky foods associated with the New Years holiday.  What are you cooking to celebrate the new year?   One staple around our house is collard greens.  This recipe is very special to me, because it was my GrannyRene's recipe.  I'll always cherish this handwritten copy that she gave me: Here's a list of "lucky" foods for the new year! - Grapes :  In Spain, it's a tradition to eat 12 grapes at grape for each stroke of the clock.  The saying goes that if you are able to swallow all 12 before the last stroke of midnight, you are sure to have a prosperous year. - Cooked Greens :  Greens such as kale, collards, cabbage and chard are eaten at New Years because their leaves resemble folded money.  This makes them symbolic for economic fortune. - Lentils :  In Italy, lentils are a traditional new years food (eaten for good fortune) because they

Absolutely Sinful Cinnamon Rolls - 2011!

Before baking...look at those pecan pieces...Yum! What a wonderful, wonderful holiday season it's been around our home!  I can't believe that 2011 is coming to a close.  It's been an awesome year, and we are excited to see what 2012 will bring! If you've been following this blog for a while, you may know that homemade Cinnamon Rolls are one of our holiday traditions on Christmas Day.  The Pioneer Woman's recipe is BY FAR the best!  In fact, I've blogged about these rolls every year since 2009.  The maple and coffee glaze really sends these cinnamon rolls over the top...After all, I called them "Absolutely Sinful Cinnamon Rolls" for a reason! I tried something a little different this year...I added finely chopped pecans before rolling them up, which was incredible.  I have a feeling that pecans will be a regular addition in the future. You can find the recipe and posts from previous years HERE .  This recipe rocks because you can put the cinnamon

White Chocolate Dipped Oreos with Peppermint Sprinkles

MERRY CHRIST MAS TO YOU ALL! I hope that this Christmas brings wonderful family, friends and food to your dinner table, along with new memories made with loved ones and old traditions enjoyed. As I type this, the Cinnamon Rolls have been started (I'll make them today so that all I have to do on Christmas morning is pop them into the oven!) and there are only a few gifts left to wrap.  I've got to get started on a Vanilla Bean Cheesecake , and whip up some homemade doggie treats for our fur babies.  :) Brad and I have been so blessed already this holiday season.  We've gotten to spend time with lots of family over the past several weeks and even more tomorrow.  What a wonderful holiday, so far! Today, I want to share a quick and simple holiday treat that is incredibly easy, yet wonderfully scrumptious.  It technically probably doesn't even need a formal recipe, but here's one anyway... Merry Christmas and Bon Appetit!  White Chocolate Dipped Oreos

Peanut Butter Logs - A Family Favorite

Only 4 more days left to Christmas!  Can you believe it?  I sure can't...It seems like the holidays came so fast this year.  We are so excited, though...What a wonderful time of the year! There are piles and piles of Christmas candy around our house right now.  There have been chocolate covered pretzels, martha washington candies, chocolate covered oreos, cinnamon rolls....and these peanut butter logs!  Much have that has been given as gifts to co-workers and such. This recipe for Peanut Butter Logs is something that my family has made during Christmas time as long as I can remember.  They bring back special memories every time I make them and are SO easy to whip up!  There are only 4 main ingredients, plus the dipping chocolate, so they really do come together in a flash.   They make great candies to take to family gatherings during the holidays and can be decorated with your favorite sprinkles or white chocolate drizzles. Bon Appetit and MERRY CHRISTMAS! Peanut Butter Logs

Martha Washington Candy - A Family Tradition

Merry Christmas to all my wonderful readers out there...I hope that you are all having an amazing holiday season so far.   This time of year is so special to me.  Many of my very best memories from childhood were made during the Christmas season.  Christmas was such a magical time around our house.  When I was little, my grandmother would read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to us, as we lay there filled with the excitement that only Christmas Eve can bring.  As we tried and tried unsuccessfully to go to sleep, there would always be some sort of noise on the roof, and she'd exclaim, "WAIT!  DID YOU HEAR THAT?!?  I think that I just heard Santa on the roof!"  She'd look at us with a twinkle in her eye and a huge smile on her face, and it's moments like those that make me still believe in Santa to this day.  ;-) I can also remember going to visit family on Christmas Eve, and it would usually be dark outside on the drive back home.  My gran

Sausage and Grits - Creamy, Cheesy and Decadent!

When was the last time you had breakfast for dinner?  Breakfast foods are so delicious, so why don't we eat them for dinner more often?  That's exactly what Brad and I did recently with this comforting recipe for Sausage and Grits. It had been a particularly long day, and this casserole was just the thing we both needed.  It's creamy, cheesy and decadent with every bite, which makes it oh-so-perfect! While a lot of recipes for Sausage and Grits incorporate TONS of butter, cheese and eggs, my version is somewhat conservative when it comes to fat content.   I say "somewhat" because these ingredients are still included, just not at heart-stopping quantities.   If you have guests visiting for the holidays, this Sausage and Grits Casserole will make such a wonderful dish for them to wake up to.  One bite, and they are guaranteed to feel loved! Plus, you can make it up to 2 days in advance, keep it in the fridge and then bake it whenever you are ready. Bon Appeti

The Pioneer Woman's Buttermilk Biscuits + Tips!

If you're a Southern gal like me, you've probably passed your fair share of buttermilk biscuits around the dinner table.  It's hard to beat those buttery, delicious layers that are accompanied so perfectly by your favorite fruit preserves, fresh honey or jam.   I've made homemade buttermilk biscuits several times with pretty good results, but they don't always come out the way I want.  THESE from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home cookbook were particularly yummy.   I do have to say that this recipe from Ree Drummond was excellent, and it was fun to watch them rise in the oven! Here are a few tips for making delicious buttermilk biscuits: 1.  Don't overwork your dough, because it will make the biscuits tough. 2.  Cut straight down with the biscuit cutter...don't turn it as you cut, because that will seal the biscuits and prevent a high rise.  Also, use a sharp biscuit cutter! 3.  Keep your butter as cold as possible, and again...don't overmi

Roasted Peanuts - Alton Brown

Here's something many of you don't know about me....I grew up in a city that is proclaimed to be the "Peanut Capital of the World."  What city is that, you ask?  Well, Dothan, AL of course!  :) Not only do we have the best peanuts in the world right here in Alabama, but we've got some pretty awesome football, too! On the eastern side of the state, you'll find a town called Auburn, and another little town called Tuscaloosa on the western side.   These two cities are home to the state's biggest rivals in college football, and the folks around our state sure do take their football seriously!  Your battle cry is either ROLL TIDE! (University of Alabama)  or WAR EAGLE! (Auburn University).  There's absolutely no in-between, people.  You must choose a side.  We're talking serious business here.  :) Last weekend, the two teams played each other in the Iron Bowl.  Fans of both teams look forward to the big game every year, and this year I'm proud

Apple & Toasted Pecan Cornbread Dressing

This Thanksgiving, I decided to change things up just a tiny bit.   Since the dressing is Brad's very favorite dish during the holidays, I always make this Classic Cornbread Dressing with Sausage , which is his VERY favorite.  The holiday just wouldn't be complete with it, and I'd have A LOT of explaining to do if I didn't make it for him...hah.  I needed to make extra dressing this year to take to family gatherings, so I thought it might be a good opportunity to try something new. Our local Fox station has just recently started a brand-new cooking segment on the morning news show, where they feature a local chef whipping up a fabulous dish.  They even unveiled a beautiful new kitchen to use on the show.  One morning before Thanksgiving, Chef Chris Zapalowski from Homewood Gourmet made this Apple-Pecan Cornbread Dressing, and my mouth my drooling by the time the segment was over.  I knew then that this dish would grace our Thanksgiving table. You can see the video

My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

This year, I wanted to compile a list of some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes for you all.  Some of these are family recipes that have graced our table year after year, while others are more recent dishes that I've made and thought, "That would be perfect for Thanksgiving!" Right now, there's a 24-lb turkey thawing in the bottom of our fridge, and I can't wait to roast him up!  This is the BIGGEST turkey I've ever attempted to roast, so let's hope it turns out okay.  I may do a combination of the two recipes below.  The Bacon-Herb Butter from Picture #1 that's placed underneath the turkey's skin is amazing, so I may do that but still top Mr. Turkey with the bacon and maple glaze from the second recipe.  Hmm...I'm still trying to decide.  I made the Roast Turkey with Bacon-Herb Butter in 2009, and the Maple Glazed Roast Turkey with Applewood Smoked Bacon last year. I hope your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving this year, filled with de

Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree

Wait!!  Stop right there!  Don't let the "pea puree" in the title scare you away...haha. I know, I know...When we hear the two little words "pea puree," thoughts of irresistible deliciousness aren't usually the first things that come to mind.  However, maybe it's time to give peas a chance. This dish from Giada de Laurentiis will put all those unsavory thoughts that pea puree sometimes conjures up to rest.  After all, this isn't just any old pea puree...It's flavored with fresh mint, garlic and grated Parmesan.  Plus, when paired with the Lemon Brodetto and seared salmon, you've got one pretty amazing dinner on your table.   Every time I serve this dish, my husband insists that it looks (and tastes) like something you'd order in a 5-star restaurant.  It makes such a beautiful presentation, and you know what??  It's so EASY to make, too. The Lemon Brodetto has such a great flavor, and the pea puree sort of melts into the brodett

Vegetable Tian - Ina Garten

Are you looking for a veggie filled side dish that's got a pretty presentation?  Ina Garten's recipe for Vegetable Tian fits the bill perfectly!  This dish is easy to put together and is a great way to use up some yummy produce.  The colors of this recipe make you want to dive right in! The combination of the potatoes, zucchini and tomatoes makes this a one-stop recipe.  Your starch and your veggies are all right need for a second dish to round out the meal.  And the Gruyere cheese...Oh my!  Gruyere has GOT to be one of my favorite varieties of cheese.  If you look closely at the photos, you can see that I actually had to substitute a little cheddar cheese since I didn't have enough Gruyere.  It tasted great, and I'm sure you could substitute your favorite if you aren't crazy about Gruyere. This dish is so pretty that it would make a great addition to your holiday table this season. Bon Appetit!! Before going into the oven... Vegetable Tian Sou

Quick Macaroni & Cheese

It's beginning to feel more and more like the holidays around here with each passing day.  A few homes in our neighborhood even have Christmas lights up...I can't believe it's November already!  Christmas music is playing in most stores and on the radio, the department store aisles are decorated, and I'm getting in the mood for the yummy, comfort food that this time of year brings. I can't quite decide how I feel about the rush to put up the Christmas decor.  On one hand, I'm super excited, and on the other I keep thinking about that saying - "Respect the turkey!"  Now, don't get me wrong - I still get excited about Christmas just like when I was a little girl.  My tree goes up every year promptly the day after Thanksgiving.  Hopefully everyone will still take a moment to remember all the things they are thankful for during the coming weeks. With that, let's celebrate the approaching holiday season with some yumminess - How about a quick,