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Showing posts from May, 2010

Remember Memorial Day

Here’s to taking time off to observe one of our most sacred holidays.  It is the day to reflect on the sacrifices and services of the American soldiers and veterans.  From ArlingtonNationalCemetery to all the other national cemeteries; not only in this country, but on foreign soil also, where soldiers fought and died for freedom. 
Memorial Day strives to stir the patriotic sentiments of every American citizen and remind us that we owe our freedom and liberty to the finest of young men and women who laid down their lives for us ~ they paid the extreme price for the freedom we enjoy today. 

Bill, my favorite veteran: Bamberg, Germany ~ early 1967

Instructor at 1st Engineering Training Brigade Ft. Leonard Wood, MO fall of 1967



God Bless all service members and God Bless the U. S. A.!

Have a happy, safe Memorial Day, everyone!


Bubba’s Homemade Summer Sausage

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Bubba did it again!




I posted Alice’s (my MIL) summer sausage recipe back on February 16th and I just have to post the updated version of it now.

Bubba has been working on this recipe for a while now ~ he has tweaked it way up several notches into an amazingly delicious spicy sausage.  You may remember how he loves hot spicy food but, this one does not have as much heat as the others.  (See Bubba’s recipes on the right side-bar under “labels.”)  This summer sausage is pungent with all the garlic powder and mustard seed ~ it will keep those vampires at bay.

 Bubba, 1971, almost 3 years old
It looks like it might be a lot of work as it’s spread out over so many days but, it’s not!  It just requires a little mixing each day with a long oven time on the final day.  And then you have it, freshly made summer sausage from YOUR very own kitchen.  It’s a wonderful thing!
If you enjoy summer sausage and have never tried making it yourself, you must make…

Blueberry Martini and Cheese Pie

Hallelujah!  Memorial Day weekend is close and what better way to jump start summer than with a refreshing cocktail and some cheese pie!


I’ve done the blueberry pancake thing and the blueberry muffins ~ now it’s time for a mighty blueberry cocktail.  If you favor a fancy martini, here it is; filled with vodka, lemon juice and blue curaçao garnished with a skewer of fresh blueberries. 
Curaçao, say “cure-ah-so” is named for the CaribbeanDutchWestIndianIsland.  It’s a liqueur made with dried sour orange peel, a method popularized on that little island.  The blue coloring is for added flair.  Berry drinks bring out the kid in us all ~ you just might like this so much that you’ll end up making it by the pitcher!
Blueberry Martini
Ingredients:
About 30-40 small blueberries 3 ounces vodka 1 ounce Blue Curaçao Liqueur 2/3 ounce lemon juice, or more to taste Several blueberries on a cocktail pick for garnish
Method:
Muddle the blueberries in a cocktail shaker. Add the vodka, curaçao and lemon juice. Fi…

Sautéed Shrimp over Creamy Grits

I first had this dish in Savannah, Georgia and this is as close to it as I can get. 


Even though it is a traditional Southern dish, it is extraordinary to this Midwestern girl.  How wonderful it would be to live along the Southern coastline ~ do some fishing, go home and cook up a little shrimp fresh from the water and serve it over creamy grits!

Shrimp and grits is an easy recipe.  Just have all the prep work done before you begin.  Then it will be a snap to cook up the dish.  And, you can even make the grits a little bit ahead of time as they will stay hot for a while.
This is one of the most satisfying grits dishes!  I could eat grits with just about anything ~ especially shrimp. 
Sautéed Shrimp over Creamy Grits
For the grits: 
Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream 2 cups water 1 ½ cups hot chicken or vegetable stock ¼ cup butter Salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup stone-ground grits
Method: In large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cream, water and hot stock, bring to a boil. Add butter, salt and …

Blueberry Corn Muffins

I have baked a plethora of blueberry muffins and am thrilled when I see a new recipe for them.  This recipe definitely got my attention when I read it and tore it out of some magazine; now I don’t have a clue what magazine it was.  Anyway, blueberry muffins ~ corn muffins; they’re both great.  But combine the two, who would’ve thought?
These are so very delicious, I couldn’t believe it!  The blueberries and cornmeal with a little sugar and a touch of cinnamon is a wonderful thing.  I much prefer a muffin that is not terribly sweet and these have just the right amount of sweetness.  I used fresh blueberries; however, frozen can be used also but, do not thaw them before adding them to the batter.
These blueberry corn muffins are so good and the color is just-right with the corn meal addition.  And to make matters better, they are just as delicious a day or two after baking!
I really hope you give these a try as they are easy and filled with great blueberry corn flavor.  Yummy delicious war…

Parmesan Potato Wedges

It’s satisfaction to the hilt when you bite into a potato wedge that has some crunch on the outside and then sink your teeth down into the fluffy potato inside.
I have not made French fries in years because these Parmesan potato wedges are so easy to make and delicious with hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, steaks or about any meat.  Just cut the potatoes into wedges, add the seasonings and bake.  I made certain these were golden brown and covered well with the seasonings by turning them over in the pan a couple of times while baking.  This also ensures that they will be cooked evenly. 
These wedges are great and definitely a change from the run-of-the-mill potatoes.  Add more paprika or garlic powder or even make them using chili powder ~ there are so many options!  Lovely chunky potato wedges; they are the best!
By the way, I’m sure you can guess what shop the filet came from if you read the post before this one!  One great meal!
Parmesan Potato Wedges
Ingredients:
3 russet baking potatoes 1/3 …

Spicy Calabrese Sausage with Red Peppers and Our Favorite Butcher

We have a wonderful quaint specialty butcher shop here in Cary!  The name of it is Orchard Prime Meats, located on Main Street.  They have a huge variety of prime meats to choose from.  

Their fresh cut steaks are the absolute best with their stuffed pork chops coming in close but, one of their unique, tasty items is Chicken Dijon.  In fact, they say it is their biggest seller and I know why after eating it.   It is so very savory delicious and the aroma as it bakes in the oven is to die for, I’m not kidding!  It fills the house with the best garlic aroma you can imagine.  The chicken breasts are pounded flat and seasoned with garlic and panko bread crumbs and the rest is a secret.


 Orchard Prime Meats also has delectable cold cuts and cheeses.  Then there is the wine ~ the shop is filled with a plethora of varieties of it and they have wine tastings to help you decide which one meets your criteria. 
 Bill does most of the shopping here.  He is not much for grocery store shopping but lo…

Sole Piccata

When I buy fish, it is usually orange roughy, tilapia or turbot but, this time I saw sole and wanted to try it.


Sole is a delicate fish in more ways than one.  It has a mild delicate flavor but is downright frail as it cooks and you must be careful when handling it.  So, turn it carefully, plate it with even more care and hope that it does not break apart.  If it does, don’t worry about it ~ just eat it.

Since sole is a mild fish, it needs some help and capers come to the rescue.  If you have never cooked with capers, you are in for a treat as they definitely have a unique taste.  
A caper is a spiny perennial bush that bears rounded, fleshy leaves and white to pinkish-white flowers that grows like a weed in the Mediterranean.  A caper is also a pickled bud of this plant.  They have a sour, salty taste from the pickling and come in a variety of sizes; small is better.  One of the classic ways to eat capers is a lemon sauce which leads us to this delightful Sole Picatta. 
























The sauce in thi…

Balsamic Cucumber Salad with Tomatoes and Red Onions

Did you know “cool as a cucumber” isn’t just a catchy phrase? It’s actually true; the inside temperature of a cucumber is 20 degrees cooler than the outside air!



Going back to the days of Dad’s gardens, I loved cucumbers and still do. 
Summer time is great for this salad but, I can’t wait that long so spring is a wonderful time for it also!  Sweet onions such as Vidalias or Walla Wallas can be substituted for the red onions in this, just double the quantity.  

It’s a quick salad with a little olive oil, balsamic and red wine vinegars and Dijon mustard added.  If you don’t have balsamic vinegar, use more red wine vinegar. 
This salad never fails to satisfy us with all its great flavors.  I think the next time I will add a green chili to it for a little heat.  

I can’t resist a good cucumber salad and this one leaves me yearning for summer!

Cucumber Salad with Onions and Balsamic Vinegar
Ingredients:
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut in half lengthwise 1 large red onion, thinly sliced and se…

Chocolate Kahlúa Cream Pie

Kahlúa is a well-known Mexican coffee-flavored liqueur. It is sweet and dense with a distinct taste of coffee, from which it is made. 

Chocolate, Cream, Cinnamon Cabannes and Ryman
This chocolate pie uses Kahlúa for its deep rich coffee flavor, along with chocolate and cinnamon wrapping up into a decadent, creamy dark chocolate pie filling.  It is made even more delicious by being smoothed out over a chocolaty pecan crust, then covering it all with whipped cream that’s loaded with even more Kahlúa.  


Another great thing about this chocolate pie is that it may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.  What could be easier and more delicious?  This pie could make a chocoholic out of about anyone, it’s heavenly!


Chocolate Kahlúa Cream Pie
Ingredients:
1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs ¼ cup pecans, ground fine ½ stick butter, melted and cooled 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 2 tablespoons cornstarch 4 large egg yolks 2 cups milk, scalded 3 tablespoons Kahlúa 2 ounces unswe…

Green Chile Chicken Pasta

Chicken and Rigatoni!
Yum!


This recipe was posted by Linda at My Kind of Cooking
I thought the list of ingredients sounded delicious and knew I had to try it.  I broke the chicken into bite-size pieces and added about three-fourths of a pound of mushrooms to it along with a few twists of freshly ground pepper.  The green chiles are a perfect complement to the dish and it baked quickly to a golden brown. 

I divided it into 2 casserole baking dishes and froze one for later usage.  You must try this dish to see just how mouth-watering delicious it is!  It will make a perfect entrée for guests!  Thanks for the recipe, Linda!


Here is Linda’s recipe:
1 (16 ounce) package rigatoni noodles, cooked, drained 2 (16 ounce) jars Alfredo sauce 1 pound chicken breasts, cooked, shredded 2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chiles 2 (8 ounce) packages shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In 4 quart baking dish, arrange rigatoni noodles. Pour 1 jar Alfredo sauce over top.  Arrange chicken over sa…









Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape…

~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird






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