Saturday, August 30, 2008

Banana Split

The end of summer is here, but you don't have to stop enjoying summertime treats. I got this recipe from my cousin's newspaper column, and tried it out. I think you will like it.

Banana Split Dessert
9 Honey Grahams,finely crushed (about 1 1/2 cups crumbs 1 cup sugar,divided 1/3 cup butter, melted 2 8-oz pkgs cream cheese, softened 1 20-oz can crushed pineapple in juice, drained 6 bananas, divided 2 cups cold milk 2 small pkgs Jell-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding 2 cups thawed Cool Whip, divided 1 cup chopped pecans, opt.
Mix graham crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the butter; press onto bottom of a 13x9 inch pan. Freeze for 10 minutes. Beat cream cheese and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with electric mixer until well blended.Spread carefully over prepared crust; top with pineapple. Slice 4 of the bananas and arrange over pineapple. Pour milk into a large bowl;add dry pudding mixes and beat with a wire whisk for 2 minutes or until blended. Gently stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping; spread over banana layer in pan. Top with remaining 1 cup whipped topping and refrigerate at least five hours. Slice remaining 2 bananas and arrange over dessert just before serving. Sprinkle with pecans if desired. Store leftovers (if any) in refrigerator. Makes 24 small servings. Note you can also use the fat free, sugar free pudding and Lite whipped topping to save on calories and fat grams.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ham & Cabbage

A wet and rainy day here, but I was prepared for it. I was ready for some ham and cabbage. Not your traditional, everyday meal, but a treat at my house. Let me tell you how I do it. I start off with my 2 1/2 gallon pot and usually boil a ham bone, but I did not have one saved from a Sunday dinner, so I fried 4 salt ham steaks. for those of you who do not know, most of the ham sold is sugar or honey cured. Salt ham is rubbed with salt, hung in a dark cool place, and left to rot for a little while. When you are ready, you cut off the mold, wash it, boil it, and then bake like a regular ham. I had some cooked ham steaks in the freezer, so I fried them crispy, sliced them, and then poured the ham, grease, and all into the pot. I then washed 5lbs of red potato's and added them whole to the pot, filled it half way with water, and set it to boil. I took 2 heads of cabbage, pulled the outside leaves off, cut the stem out and cut into quarters. when the water and potato's come to a boil, turn the heat down, add about 2 tablespoons of pepper, and then drop in the cabbage. Keep it on low and covered for about 30 minutes
Which is about the time it takes to bake a pan of cornbread. Yeah, I know, I should bake it in a cast iron skillet, but it was still dirty from frying the ham. A little trick with the cornbread if you are using the instant kind like Jiffy or Martha White, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons of sugar to the mix. When it's all done and on a plate, don't forget to add some seasoning salt, ( we just call it red salt ) and some butter

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Herbs and Vitamins

I do a lot of writing about food and recipes, and talk about some ingredients that many of you do not know much about. Today i want to tell you about a different use for ingredients, other than cooking.
Herbs are now used as remedies for all kinds of ailments. I know first hand that they can help with diabetes, bone loss, memory, and many other things. I am a user of Everflex for my back injuries, along with my physical therapy, and have noticed an improvement. I have a link here where I get my supplies I found it and took the free Health Analyzer test to find out what would help me. Stop by there and check it out, They have some great stuff, and it does work. If you are into the herbs and natural thing, leave a comment and tell me what worked for you

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Olympic Food

Here in the US, when we attend a ball game, or a race, or an amusement park we are content with the food the vendors offer. Hot dogs and corn dogs, pizza, pretzels, and such. What is available to spectators at the Olympics ?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tomato Cups

It's a good
thing my
wife and
son's love
so much !

My mom sent me an Email containing the column that my cousin writes for our local paper. It included a recipe for tomato cups this week. My wife makes these, but with a slight variation. Here is the recipe she printed this week
Tomato & Ham Cups
1 small tomato, finely chopped 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup finely shredded ham, layered type 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 tsp. dried basil 1 tube (12 ozs.) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits,
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, except the biscuits; set aside. Split each separated biscuit into three layers; press each layer into an ungreased miniature muffin cup. Note, you will have 6 left over, unless you put them into another pan. Spoon tomato mixture into cups and bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm, if possible, but we had them after they had cooled and they were lip-smacking good.

My wife's variation to the recipe is 8 to 10 strips of cooked bacon instead of the ham

I looked around the web to see if we were the only people in the world that had made these, and I found about 8 separate versions, but all the same idea. Give these a try, we are making some tonight.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Had Me Some Denny's

I had an early appointment this morning, and my wife and I left a little earlier than we should have because we thought the drive would take longer than it actually did. We somehow managed to get to our destination an hour too early. Since it was just the 2 of us, we thought we would grab some breakfast. I have been a Denny's fan for a long time. It is one of the few places that anytime you go there, crowded or not, you will get some great food. I have ordered from the breakfast menu every time I have been there, and get the same thing every time I go.
I order the country fried steak and gravy, a side of grits,
And coffee. For breakfast, no place can beat Denny's. IHOP, Waffle House, and all the others come close, but for me Denny's is the king.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Quick Squash Bake

We are having a family reunion today, and our tradition is that everyone brings a covered side dish. We decided that we would bring some baked potato and squash casserole.

It's quick and easy, and its good cold or hot. First use 2 boxes of cheese potato's. I am partial to the Betty Crocker brand. Remove the dried potato's, and add them and the required water to your baking dish, and set off to the side. Wash and slice about 4 yellow squash, and half a yellow onion and fry until tender. When done, add to water/potato mixture. Mix cheese packets and milk together and add to potato/ squash. Stir well, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and add a bag of shredded Cheddar cheese, and bake for 10 more minutes. When done, wrap with foil, and off you go. I got a lot of new recipes today at the reunion, and will be sharing in the coming days. If you have a homegrown creation, please share. I would give it a try. Until next time, Have a great weekend !!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Banana Pudding

Earlier this evening as I was making a list for my wife to go to the grocery store with, My younger brother called. We talked about all the great food that we were going to eat at our family reunion this Saturday. Steamed crabs, BBQ, and such. He mentioned that last

year our cousin had brought banana pudding, and what a big hit it was. Well, I couldn't get it out of my head, so I added the ingredients to the shopping list. I am sure everyone knows how to make banana pudding, but just in case, let me refresh your memory. I will be making about 1/2 a gallons worth, so you will need to scale down a little for a smaller portion. I have the large tin pans I got from Costco last Thanksgiving, so I will be using one of
those. I mix 2 large boxes of Jello banana pudding and 1 box of Dream
Whip Topping in a bowl with milk. I line the bottom of my pan with the
wafers, and then a layer of pudding, and then a layer of sliced banana's
I keep doing the layers until I run out of ingredients, but make sure the final layer is pudding. You will want to keep it in the fridge overnight
but we waited only 2 hours before getting a little. This has to be the
best summertime treat you can make. It is fast, and easy to make,
and you can make it with the kids. There are many variations to this
old time favorite, this is just the easiest way I know to make it. If you
have a different version, please share

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Where's the Chicken ?

I have been a loyal soldier to the Colonel

for as long as I can remember. I was more

than happy when they decided to bring

out a southern style sandwich like

you-know-who, and had made plans this

weekend to check one out. My travels took me past three separate KFC,s and neither one had them yet. Where do I complain ? Oh well, I'll find one someday.

Anyway, I went home and made my own for dinner Sunday. Here's how I do it. I washed 6 boneless chicken breasts, and put them in a bowl with buttermilk and let sit in the fridge for a couple hours. I heat about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of vegetable oil in my cast iron skillet, and then in a large bowl, I mix 1 and 1/2 cups of flour, 3 teaspoons Lawry's seasoning salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, and 1 teaspoons garlic powder. I get the oil very hot, and then pull the chicken from the buttermilk, roll in the flour and squeeze it on, and lay in the oil. I seal both sides of the chicken in the oil and then turn the heat down. I turn the chicken constantly to keep from burning, and cook it for about 8 to 12 minutes. When done, turn up the heat and start again. For the buns, I have a little trick. I set my big strainer in a pot with a little boiling water. I split the buns and put them in the strainer, covered, for about a minute. It makes the buns nice and soft. My grandmother had a pot just for this, and used it for hamburger and hot dog buns, rolls, and biscuits. I wish I knew what happened to it. It was a great kitchen tool. Another tip I have, to dress your sandwich with something different, Try 1/4 cup mayo, 1 teaspoon cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon pepper. My wife likes to use the Dukes cole slaw dressing. If anyone finds one of the new KFC sandwiches, let me know !

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tomato Recipe

For those of you with gardens, I'm sure you are pulling tomato's left and right. We have been eating tomato sandwiches, and making salsa, and even canned some. I planted twice as many as I had last year, and they have produced ! Well, today, I got an Email today that had a preview of my cousins column that she writes for our local paper. She writes about who is sick, or who had visitors in the past week, and local upcoming events and such. Anyway, at the end of her column this week, she had a recipe for Bruchetta. We tried it tonight, and it looks great. I can't taste it yet, but here it is....
4 to 6 ripe tomatoes 1 medium sweet onion 3 Tbls. basil 1 tsp. garlic powder 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 cup parmesan cheese Salt and pepper to taste
Chop tomatoes and onions into small pieces.
Mix all ingredients and chill overnight
I made some tonight, so I will have to wait until lunch time tomorrow to eat some, but the little sneak taste I got was really good. Try it and let me know !

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Biscuits and Gravy

When was the last time you had some biscuits and gravy ? In the colder months of the year, it is several times a week. This time of year its not that often. But today, its whats for breakfast . While my coffee is brewing, I am going to tell you how I do it. I have an electric skillet, so I use it for my gravy. I turn it up to about 350 and add about a 1/4 inch of water. When it gets steaming, I add a whole roll of sausage. As it cooks, I break it up with a spatula into little pieces. After it browns, I turn down the heat and drain off the fat and remaining water. In a 2 cup measuring cup, I add 2/3 cup flour and 1 cup cold milk. I mix it with a fork, and pour over the sausage. I ill fill the measuring cup with water, and keep it ready. I add about 2 teaspoons pepper, ans 2 teaspoons seasoning salt. I turn up the heat again and add the water while stirring until it gets just thick enough to where it will coat the spatula, but not stick. Now for the biscuits. I need to give a big thumbs up here, because I love these biscuits.

I started using these frozen biscuits a little while back, and decided I would never buy the can kind again. These things are the best, pop them in the oven for a few minutes, and it tastes like you mixed them yourself.
Well, there you go. Fry some eggs and potato's, and your set for the day. And speaking of fried potato's, I think I will share hoe I do those sometime, you will love them. If you have a version of sausage gravy, or chipped beef gravy, please let me know.

Monday, August 4, 2008

What the heck is that ?

OK, Who can guess what this is ? Some strange cookies ? Maybe some really bad biscuits ? Well, depending on what part of the US you are from, you would have guessed before you started reading. They are fried green tomato's. If you have been reading my post's, you already know that I have a vegetable garden, and have posted some pics in the past. But anyway, for dinner tonight, we had some pork steaks, string beans and potato's from the garden, and some fried green tomato's. Our conversation got around to " how many people know about these " so I decided to share how we make them.

First off, pick the right tomato to fry. Look at the bottoms before you pick them, and make sure it has not turned yet. They will turn from the bottom up, so make sure it is still bright green. We usually fry about four regular size tomato's, cut into about four or five slices each. Get your skillet hot, about medium heat, then pour in about 1/4 inch of oil in the pan. I add about 4 bacon slices to the oil and let it cook. While this is happening, get a bowl and add about a cup of cornmeal, and a few shakes of salt and pepper to your own taste. When bacon is cooked down, remove it, then dip tomato slices into cornmeal mix, coating both sides, and put them in the skillet. You need to cook them slow so you get a good crust. About 2 minutes on each side should do. I know there are as many recipes for these, as there are tomato's, and I have tried a few. I grew up with this one, and it's the only one that tastes good to me. BUT...If you have another way of making them, please share.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday dinner

We were expecting some family over today for a late lunch, and I was thinking I would cook some crabs and shrimp. My wife informed me that some of our guests would not be able to sit outside due to the heat, and had bought a turkey to eat inside. That was great news to me, because I am fried turkey lover. This morning I got out my fryer and gave it a good clean, and
made sure my tank had plenty of propane. I got my cooker at Home Depot about 4 years ago, and think it was the best $50 bucks I ever spent. I have a gravel spot off of my patio that I use for this cooker. I'm sure you all know not to use one indoors, or under a patio. My cooker holds 8 gallons to the top, but I only add 4 gallons, which will usually cook a 15lbs bird. To get the bird ready, I wash it off and pat dry. I then make a marinade for the bird that I usually inject the night before, but if you inject it in the bird a few hours before, you should be OK.
I use a few recipes for the marinade, but this one seems to be every ones favorite at my house. Its easy enough, I melt a stick of butter, then add 2 teaspoons garlic salt, 4 drops liquid smoke, and 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce. On the outside of the bird, I only inject around the drumstick and thighs. On the inside cavity of the bird, I inject in several locations around the breast area. On the outside of the bird, I use a dry rub of seasoning salt and garlic powder. When my oil is ready, at 350 to375 degrees, I lower the bird slowly into the oil. I do it slow to keep the oil from splashing out and starting a fire. My bird was a little over 15lbs, so I cooked it for 3 and 1/2 minutes a pound, about 52 to54 minutes. This is the standard time per pound for frying turkeys. When it was done, I put it on a platter and let it cool for an hour or so until we were ready to eat. We are a long way from Thanksgiving, but fried turkey is too good to have only once a year. Our meal did not include the typical sides that you serve for Thanksgiving, we had some cole slaw, green bean salad, sliced cucumbers, and baked squash. Everyone enjoyed it, and all went home happy and full. There is still plenty of turkey left for sandwiches, and speaking of that, I think I will sneak in the kitchen for one now