Friday, July 30, 2010

The Friday Five

Photo credit:

Name five kitchen rules you were always given when you first learned to cook. 

  1. Always wash your hands
  2. Clean as you go (I either make a sink full of hot soapy water or make sure the dishwasher is unloaded to make my cleaning process easier.  Plus I start with a clean kitchen...clean makes me happy)
  3. Unless you are cooking a soup, stew, etc. stay in the kitchen while you cook
  4. Don't throw liquid on a grease fire (Not saying I have ever had a grease fire but it is good to know! lol)
  5. Always always always wash meats, fruits and vegetables before cooking or eating.  (When I was little this rule could get you smacked if it wasn't followed! lol)
You know the drill: Five Kitchen Rules? Have a great weekend


Monday, July 26, 2010

To My Mudear

I am fortunate to have grown up with an awesome grandmother. She let me tear up her kitchen on many a weekend! She always had cakes for me to bake, ingredients for cookies and her big, red Betty Crocker Cookbook was always at the ready. I learned how to make pancakes from that cookbook...yes kids we used to have to make our own pancake mix, NOT buy it from the store! LOL I can’t recall her ever using a recipe or measuring anything. I mean she made the best pound cake I have ever eaten in my life and she never measured a cup of flour or teaspoon of baking powder/soda. Her cornbread!!?? Don’t even get me started! Nina Mae put it down in the kitchen

Being around my “Mudear”, and other family who cooked, afforded me knowledge you just can’t get out of a book. . I learned how to wash greens, chop vegetables, scale and gut fish, cut up a chicken, fry chicken, bake, etc. from Mudear. She allowed me lots of trial and error but she offered guidance as well. She is quick to tell you about a minor mishap I had in the kitchen involving frying some fish! While the story is not that funny, it tickles her every time she tells it! LOL She will also tell you how “into” learning how to cook I was as a kid. I asked a million questions. She was always so patient with me in my learning process, there was never a silly question or a moment when I felt like an idiot. Let her tell it I was a B. Smith in the making! LOL.

Those times in the kitchen, cooking with her, chatting with her and listening to her hum her old time spirituals is cherished time that I will truly never forget. I pray that I create those types of memories with Babe.

Mudear, thank you for being the catalyst for my love of cooking and baking, for having the patience to instruct me and for sharing with me your vast knowledge of food and cooking. I love you so much!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Passion Fruit Sorbet

Remember how I gushed about this new restaurant I tried last week?  See here...well the food was so delicious I couldn't wait to try my hand at replicating it.  The first item I made, because it was just too simple, was the last item I ate...Passion Fruit Sorbet. *swoon*

I thought I would have a difficult time finding passion fruit pulp but it was in the freezer section with the Mexican foods at my local grocer; didn't have to trek to a specialty store! Ha-Zaaa! I purchased two packages because, well, I drink and anything mixed with passion fruit can't be too bad right??  Really easy recipe that packs lots of refreshing flavor.  This sorbet could also be used as a palate cleanser if you are ever so inclined to host a fancy dinner with several courses! Enjoy!

Passion Fruit Sorbet

What you need:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice from one lemon, about 1 Tbsp
  • 1 cup passion fruit puree, defrosted

What to do:
  • In a small boiler, combine sugar and water.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • After the mixture cools, stir in passion fruit puree and the lemon juice
  • Transfer the mixture to an ice cream or sorbet maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Store in freezer in an airtight plastic container.

Cook. Eat. Repeat!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Friday Five


Five Tips You Would Give a Beginning Cook
  • Start Small - Learn how to boil/scramble/fry an egg before attempting a fritatta
  • Learn the Basics - Difference between Tbsp/tsp
  • Learn How to Read a Recipe
  • Learn semi-homemade tricks
  • Just get in the kitchen and give cooking a try

OK folks...what tips would you give?? Have a great weekend!




Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Cooking" With Babe

We had a wonderfully rainy Sunday in Houston!  Babe and I played around with some of her cooking toys!

We had lots of fun in the kitchen! Babe said she'd forgotten all about her little cupcake maker.

She was quite happy that she found it! The process is painless. She really didn't even need supervision! So I snapped photos while she "baked" and talked NON-STOP...LOL

According to Babe, this was messy on purpose! LOL

Have great day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Watermelon Lime Sorbet

The folks in my home don't care for watermelon much!  Being Southern, this is blasphemous! LOL  So what do you do with a delicious, sweet and juicy watermelon? You make sorbet!

I also made watermelon martinis but that is not what this post is about! 

The fresh lime juice and lime zest really brighten this sorbet right on up! I didn't change the original recipe much, maybe added a little more sugar and the juice of two limes; it depends on the sweetness of your melons. Zing! You will be hard pressed not to just drink the puree from the darn blender jar! In the past I have made flavored simple syrups, instead of water for the simple syrup, replace it with fresh juice!

Watermelon Lime Sorbet

What You Need:
Enough fresh watermelon to make 4 cups of puree, about 8 cups cubed watermelon, seeds and rind discarded
1 cup simple syrup*
Grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 or 2 limes

What To Do:
Puree the watermelon cubes in a food processor
Measure 4 cups of the puree and place in a bowl
Add the simple syrup, lime juice, and lime zest; stir well
Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

*Simple Syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

Combine sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Store in refrigerator.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday Night Dinner

Malbec Braised Ribs

Passion Fruit Sorbet and Mango Filled Phyllo

Dinner with one of my best girlfriend's in her neck of the woods.  When I tell you this place was top notch all the way around trust!  From the service to the, appetizers, to the best tasting Pinot Grigio I have ever sipped.  The food, I just can't even tell yall how much I thoroughly enjoy every drop of our meal.  I told Stephanie, if I wasn't dignified I would have licked the plates! LOL

I enjoyed my meal so much for Sunday dinner I am making Wine Braised Ribs and Passion Fruit Sorbet.

The restaurant is not kid friendly and unless you are ballin out of control should be saved for special occasions or a fun girls night or a romantic dinner with your lovah!  It was a lovely evening so we sat on the patio.  Very beautiful place to eat! Can't wait to go back!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Friday Five

Five Things I Will Never Eat...Again

1.  Chitterlings - Once I realized what they actually were...sealed it for me
2.  Liver or other organ meats - My mom and grands use to make us eat liver with onions and gravy and white rice cause "of the iron"
3.  Spam - Canned "meat"...need I say more! LOL
4.  Hog Head Cheese - Just a heart attack in one slice!  Um yes this is made with the head of a hog
5.  Hog Maws - no comment

*sigh...I told y'all I was country*  Your turn...Five Things you used to eat that you won't ever eat ever in the history of ever! LOL

Monday, July 12, 2010

What To Do?

When I was little we had a fig bush in our front yard.  We ate so much fresh fig I stopped eating it for a loooong time.  The fig was so sweet and delicious! Well while perusing my favorite sites for recipe ideas I came across one that had a homemade fig jam.  Sounds fancy right?

Well while shopping at my local crack house Marshalls I came across this all natural goodness, fig spread.  The best part was the price!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

No Official Recipe...

Sometimes I'm just not going to have a recipe. 

Some things I prepare I've been preparing for years.  I know how I want it to taste, I know how it should look, I know how it should smell and I just know what to put in it to achieve the goodness.  I don't measure or use a recipe I just cook it or bake it.  I can provide basics but an exact recipe? Not so much.  That's how the women in my family cook.  In most cases that is how I was taught to cook.  One of my friends calls it free hand cooking.

My peach cobbler recipe is one of those things.  The ingredient list is so very simple: your favorite pie crust recipe, fresh or frozen peaches, cinnamon, sugar, fresh lemon juice, cornstarch, butter.

That's it.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until crust browns

That's it.

Cook. Eat. Repeat.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fresh Banana Cupcakes

So there will be more pictures on the blog. They may not be great pictures...just sayin. I am learning my point and click. Who knew there were so many tips and tricks with this little old thing!

Passion is in the risk...I just heard that in a movie...I like it!

So I am not a banana fan but the people in my home love them. The thing about that is we always have bananas and some of them always seem to over ripen. I hate waste so I needed to find different ways to use them up!

Who doesn't love a cupcake! I found this recipe here. The pictures on that site are so awesome. Anyway, these were easy to make and went over well with the Peanut Gallery!


My changes were:
  • I used regular sugar
  • I used cinnamon and nutmeg
  • I added banana extract
  • I brushed banana liqueur over the cakes after they were cooled and before I frosted them
  • For the frosting, instead of vanilla extract I used banana; I also only used 1 cup sugar

Fresh Banana Cupcakes
with Banana Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from 500 Cupcakes by Fergal Connolly


What You Need:
  • 2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp banana extract
  • 1 cup (about 2 large) mashed ripe bananas
  • Enough banana liqueur to brush over prepared muffins (Optional)

 What To Do:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix everything BUT the bananas until combined in a mixer until smooth.
  • Add mashed bananas to the mixture and incorporate
  • Line a muffin tin with baking cups (or non-stick spray) and spoon the batter in until about 3/4 full
  • Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until done
  • Let cupcakes completely cool before brushing with liqueur and frosting
  • Makes about 18 Cupcakes

For the Frosting
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp banana extract
  • Start by slowly beating cream cheese until soft. Then, add sugar, lemon juice, and banana extract. Beat until smooth and combined

Cook. Eat. Repeat.








Friday, July 9, 2010

Five Friday Faves

Five things I always have in my fridge:

1.  Bacon (Like yall surprised! LOL)

2.  Various cheeses (none of that processed stuff!)

3.  Chicken wings

4.  Eggs (I make lots of ice cream and actually bake quite a bit)

5.  Heavy Whipping Cream

What are five things YOU always have in your fridge?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Five Friday Favorites!

1.  My favorite fruit to cook with are lemons

2.  My favorite comfort food is fried chicken wings

3.  My favorite breakfast is bacon, grits with butter and sharp cheddar, my mother's fried eggs and cold orange juice

4.  My favorite non-alcoholic drink is lemonade (none of that country time mess either)

5.  My favorite condiment is probably mayo

Your turn! What are your favorite five??