Friday, February 26, 2010

Some Food Randoms

This cooking web blog thing is new to me. It is starting as a way to share my love of cooking. I have bigger plans for it though...

I currently take pictures with my Crackberry because I always have it with me.

Aside from maybe taking the plate of food outside and sitting it atop my backyard grill for better lighting, I don’t stage my food. When I take a picture, someone is about to chow down on said food...usually it is me!

That may change when I get a Fancy Nancy camera.

All of the pictures are mine unless otherwise noted.

I give credit where credit is due. If I don’t remember where or who I get a recipe from I note it.

I have not had any professional training unless you count the training I had in my family’s kitchens or my own trial and error. Those teachings are priceless!

My sometimes sous cook is my cute 8 year old daughter “Babe”.

Luckily I have a healthy cooking self esteem, because she is very honest when telling me if something tastes good or bad....VERY. “I’m not trying to hurt your feelings but.....”

Cooking gadgets, pans, pots, utensils, glasses, etc....bring me Anita Baker JOY!

Lemons are my favorite fruit to cook with. It is versatile and can brighten savory or sweet dishes!

I am a self proclaimed bacon whore. I don’t care much for pork chops and I don’t like ham...but bacon can have its way with me “anytime, anywhere, anyhow” moderation of course.

I’d rather have a small portion of something I really want instead of a larger portion of something slated as “healthy version” (i.e. butter over margarine)

I don’t cook with lard or solid cooking oils or margarine.

I am using up all of my non-organic foods and replacing them with all is expensive as heck. I have done it in shifts to lessen the financial sticker shock.

If I had enough backyard space, I would grow my own vegetables...even though I have a brown thumb.

I hate when people shorten the word vegetable to “veggies”....*shrug*

I am planning my first at home entertaining event for Spring...go me!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bourbon Pecan Pie

If I had to pick a favorite holiday pie it would be pecan or maybe a sweet potato. Growing up in Mississippi, I have shelled and eaten my weight in “puck-cuns”. Back in the day days before Thanksgiving we would shell the heck out of some pecans to ensure we got A FEW pies outta Mudear! Before store prepared crusts were all the rage, Mudear would make homemade crusts for all of her pies! Flaky crusts sweet Delta (type of syrup) syrupy custard goodness and FRESH pecans….yes ma’am!

Well I found a recipe that is a kicked up version of my family’s pecan pie…add likka (liquor for you fancy folk). A few tablespoons of bourbon and you will never go back to regular pecan pie again!!

A couple of notes:
I use a store bought crust, it just saves a tone of time
I use a cup of whole pecans and ¼ cup pecan pieces
I have used dark and light corn syrup

Happy Cooking!


Bourbon Pecan Pie
Adapted from

What You Will Need:
  •  ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp bourbon (I used Southern Comfort)
  • 1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
  • 1 ¼ cup pecans

What To Do:

  • Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
  • In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stir butter, sugar and corn syrup. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Let cool slightly.
  • Add eggs, vanilla, salt and bourbon to mixture and stir well
  • Add pecans and pour filing into unbaked pie shell.
  • Bake for 50 minutes . Be careful not to over bake.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Coffee Marinated Skirt

"Coffee? On steak? You know you're supposed to DRINK coffee?"

Those were the snarky comments from my sometimes sous cook, Babe.  She is 8 and recently, effectively learned sarcasm....yeah she thinks she is hilarious.  Alas I had the last laugh when she couldn't get enough of this tender tasty goodness.

You know how you read an ingredient list and they seem like they may go together but youre just not sure until you begin putting it all together?  This is that kind of recipe. Coffee and balsamic vinegar?  Nope! But when you add the brown sugar and garlic and salt and pepper, the smell alone will entice you to continue!
I have used flank steak and skirt steak with this marinade.  I have marinated for five hours and up to 24 hours. I am going to try it on a slab of ribs next!!! Depending on the size of the steak you should be able to place in a large plastic resealable bag to marinate.

Happy Cooking!



Coffee Marinated Steak
Adapted from

What You Will Need:

  • 3 Tbsp strong brewed coffee
  • 1 Tbsp each balsamic vinegar, olive oil and brown sugar
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb flank steak, trimmed of fat

What To Do:

  •  Whisk all ingredients except steak.
  • Place steak in large plastic bag (or large glass dish)
  • Pour marinade all over steak. Make sure marinade coats the entire steak
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 24 hours
  • Spray non stick spray on skillet or grill pan
  • Heat skillet or grill pan on high
  • Remove steak from marinade. Discard marinade.
  • Place steak on skillet or grill pan and grill 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare
  • Transfer to cutting board and let steak rest for five minutes before cutting.
  • Slice thinly across the grain and serve.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Food and Wine

This is my first issue of Food and Wine Mag.  I purchased the subscription from Amazo.n when they were having all of these crazy magazine sales.  So far it is just OK...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Juicy Roast Chicken

Nothing brings the boys to the yard family to the table faster than my roasted chicken. It smells up the house in all kinds of deliciousness. Roasted chicken smells like a big momma, that made sense in my head!
When I entertain folks at the crib for the first time, roasted chicken is my go to dish. I keep the spices simple, salt pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika olive oil. Yessir! The great thing about roasting an entire bird is that you can switch up the spices, add fresh herbs under the skin, stuff citrus in the is versatile! Also if there are any leftovers, chicken sandwiches, soups, or chicken salad. Slow and low that is the tempo when cooking a whole bird in my opinion!  Keep in mind you will have to adjust your cook time to the size bird you buy. These instructions are for a small chicken NOT a roasting hen.

Happy Cooking

Juicy Roast Chicken
What You Will Need:
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika to taste
  • 3-4 Tbsp Olive Oil (or whatever cooking oil you have on hand)
  • 5-7lb Chicken

What To Do:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Mix spices and olive oil. You should make enough to cover the entire bird really well. Set aside.
  • Rinse chicken and pat dry. Don’t forget to remove the innards!
  • Gently lift the skin from the breast and rub some of the mixture directly on the breast meat.
  • Rub remaining mixture all over the chicken.
  • Roast on a sheet pan for 1 to 1.5 hours or until juices run clear
  • Be sure to let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes after you remove it from the oven so all of the juices can redistribute!
Place crushed garlic under the skin
Instead of olive oil use unsalted butter
Place fresh herbs underneath the skin
Place lemons and/or limes and/or oranges in the cavity for a different flavor
Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lee's Fried Corn

My mother’s brothers can cook. ALL of them get it in in the kitchen! For years, my Uncle Lee has made this dish. It is soooo Southern, bacon, ham, butter, onions, peppers, garlic, BAYBEY!! During the holidays we would form alliances so that whomever wasn’t going to be home to eat it fresh out of the skillet, the other would hide some away. It is THAT good! This is the number one requested ("like one of my jams" word to JD) dishes when any of us head to Dallas to visit him and his family!
Now once I got a tad more health conscious I had to lighten it up a bit. Not by much mind you but it is less of everything without missing any of the flavor. For convenience, I often use frozen corn, I eliminated the ham and the flour and I added herbs and fry the corn in olive oil mostly...I love butter.  The colors in this dish just scream FRESH! Again, this is another recipe that can be easily suited to your tastes! Hope you enjoy!
What you will need:
  • Pat of butter
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Olive Oil (or whatever cooking oil you have on hand)
  • Small red onion diced, or half of a large one (you can certainly use a white or yellow onion)
  • Half green pepper, diced
  • Half red pepper, diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Bag of frozen corn
  • 3 strips of cooked bacon crumbled to bits
  • Black and cayenne pepper to taste
  • Couple of stems of fresh parsley chopped or 2 tsp dried, optional

 What to do:

  • Place the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Place onion and peppers in oil/butter mixture and cook until good and soft, about 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add garlic and cook another 5 minutes stirring often.
  • Add corn; give mixture a good stir to incorporate all of the ingredients
  • Cover with lid and cook, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes or until corn is cooked through and begins to brown. You may need to add another pat of butter or tsp of oliveoil but this is optional (the steam usually gives you the moisture you need).
  • During the last 5 minutes of cooking add the bacon pieces and stir.
  • Top with parsley.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Linda's Salmon Croquetts

First off, my mother sets it off in the kitchen! The. End. When we were growing up cans of salmon were a mainstay at our crib. It was cheap and filling! With three mouths to feed you better believe we ate plenty! When I got out on my own I never purchased a single can! I was too high brow for some canned fish (EYEROLL)

Couple of years ago LBeezy comes to visit (she always cooks when she visits!) she whips up a batch with her famous from scratch biscuits with Blackburns syrup! Bay bey, you would have never thought I'd ever had any. We bashed! I asked and she rattled off the recipe like nothing and I've been making them ever since! The recipe is simple: can of salmon, half chopped onion, pepper, tblsp self rising flour and the same of cornmeal, garlic powder, and for extra kick cayenne, fried in olive oil. So delicious!

I KEEP a can in the pantry now...not so high brow anymore!  Hope you enjoy!

Linda's Salmon Croquettes

What You Will Need
  • 1 Can Salmon
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • I egg
  • About 1-2 tbsp of self rising flour
  • About 1-2 tbsp cornmeal
  • Garlic powder, pepper, salt, cayenne to taste (I never use salt)
  • Enough Olive Oil to fry but NOT deep fry (You can certainly use a different type of frying oil)

What To Do
  • Add olive oil to a frying pan and heat on medium high heat
  • Mix remaining ingredients
  • You want the consistency such that you can easily form round patties with a spoon.  The mixture shouldnt be drippy but it shouldnt be dry either
  • Place rounded patties in hot oil and fry until golden, about 3-5 minutes per side depending on the size of your croquettes
  • Drain on paper towel and enjoy!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chocolate Kahlua Brownies

These brownies right here...gave me chocolate brown butter LIFE.  The frosting is heaven! The brownie is chocolately moist goodness...just all around a delicious brownie.  The brownie is so rich I promise you only need a small square...if you can contain yourself of course.

Chocolate Kahlua Brownies w/Brown Butter Frosting
Adapted from

What You Need:

2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1½ cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup + 2 Tbsp. Kahlua (or another coffee liqueur), divided

¼ cup butter (½ stick)
2 Tbs kahlua
1 Tbs whipping cream
2¼ cups powdered sugar (more or less)- sift after measuring

What To Do:
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9×9-inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt; set aside
  • Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (pan shouldn’t be touching the water). Place butter and chocolate chips in bowl and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool a bit.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer, mix sugar, eggs and 1/2 cup kahlua. Pour in buttery chocolate mixture and beat until mixed well. Mix in dry ingredients and beat just until combined.
  • Pour brownie batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until top cracks slightly and toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean (it might be slightly gooey on the bottom of the toothpick- that’s ok!) Remove brownies from oven and immediately brush warm brownies with 2 Tbsp. of kahlua. Let brownies cool completely. I like to refrigerated them after they have cooled down a bit.
  • Prepare Icing: Place butter in saucepan and heat until lightly browned. Remove from heat and add kahlua & whipping cream. Whisk in powdered sugar until you have the consistency that you desire (you should be looking for a thick, smooth icing that is still pourable). Pour on top of cooled brownies and spread to edges to cover completely. Refrigerate until set. Chilled brownies are easiest to cut… use a large, sharp knife and you’ll get nice, clean cut