Friday, November 30, 2012

Filet Mignon with Bearnaise Sauce

Time for some beef!

Steak is my favorite, and I must say that I'm a filet mignon kinda girl.  I love that it's lean, and cooks up soooo tender!

After a week of turkey and chicken I'm ready for some steak.  This dish is a little more involved since it features Bearnaise Sauce to top the steak.  It lends such a wonderful flavor, it's a great addition to the steak, and is worth the effort.  The Bearnaise sauce comes from Martha Stewart.  She sure knows her stuff and her recipes come out perfect!  She's my go-to source when I want the best of the best!

When cooking a filet mignon, the following cooking technique is recommended because of the thickness of the steak.  In order to cook the inside enough and not char the outside a quick sear on the stove top and finishing it up in the oven is the best way.  All you need for the steak is some good old salt and pepper plus a hot skillet.  One that's oven proof.  If your skillet is not oven proof you will need to transfer the steaks to an oven safe pan for cooking.

Turn your oven on to 350 degrees and let it preheat.  Prepare the Bearnaise Sauce (recipe below).  Once completed start on the steak and any side dishes you may like.  Salt and pepper your steak and then sear on each 2-3 minutes.  Place seared steak and skillet in oven and continue to cook about 6 minutes for a medium done steak.  More or less time to your liking.

Remove steak from oven and allow to rest about 5 minutes.  Serve with Bearnaise Sauce poured over the top.  

Enjoy the deliciousness of a fabulous steak!

Bearnaise Sauce
By Martha Stewart

2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/4 cup very finely chopped shallots
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, more if desired
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon leaves
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
1/2-3/4 cup unsalted butter, very soft ( I've always used 1 1/2 sticks)
coarse salt
pepper, if desired
lemon juice, if desired


Combine vinegar, wine, shallots, black pepper, and 1 1/2 teaspoons tarragon in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until reduced to 1 tablespoon, 5 to 10 minutes.  Add egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of water to reduced vinegar mixture.  Whisk until thick and pale, about 2 minutes.

Set pan over moderately low heat and continue to whisk at reasonable speed reaching all over bottom and insides of pan, where eggs tend to overcook.  To moderate heat, frequently move pan off burner for a few seconds, then back on.

As they cook, the eggs will become frothy and increase in volume, then thicken.  When the bottom of the pan is visible in the streaks left by the whisk and the eggs are thick and smooth, remove from heat.

By spoonfuls, add soft butter, whisking constantly to incorporate each addition.  As the emulsion forms, add butter in slightly larger amounts, always whisking until fully absorbed.  Continue incorporating butter until sauce has thickened to consistency desired.  Season with salt, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped tarragon and, if desired, pepper.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Turkey Havarti Hot Sandwich

Another weekend has gone by and another great sandwich was made.

Being that last week was Thanksgiving and there was left over turkey to be eaten I decided to make a hot sandwich.  I like hot sandwiches more than cold ones.  Not sure why, but I do.  Do you?

This is a quick put together sandwich that you can use deli meat or leftovers.  It would work well with chicken or turkey.  Both are neutral enough.  The special additions are some deli mustard.  You know the grainy type, as well as Havarti cheese. Choose any special deli mustard you like, brown, whole grain, they all work, but get some with a little zip.  The cheese?  It's a nice mild cheese that lends a burst of flavor.

That's all there is to it.  Add your favorite toppings such as lettuce, tomato...oh and don't forget to broil it open faced to melt the cheese.  We love cheesy gooeyness!


Turkey Havarti Hot Sandwich

serves 1

1 French roll
1 1/2 T of deli mustard
2-3 slices of fresh or deli turkey
1 slice of Havarti cheese
toppings:  lettuce, tomato (optional)

Set the oven to broil and allow to preheat.  Split the French roll in half.  Place roll on a cookie sheet cut side up and broil for about 1 minute or until brown and toasted.  Remove from oven.

Spread each half with deli mustard.  Top bottom half of roll with turkey.  Layer on cheese.  Place back in oven and broil until cheese is melted.  About 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Remove from oven.  Top with any optional toppings, and the top half of the roll.  Serve.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Italian Chicken and Bean Soup

NOTE:  Southern Sundays will continue next week!

Baby it's cold outside....

Not really, once again it's warm in So. California.  The weather is up and down.  Very unusual this late in the year.  But I'm pretending that it's cold...I'm craving soup.  A nice hearty, meaty, Italian flavored soup!

This soup is that and more.  Full of flavors that you love about Italian cooking.  Such a great dish to make on the weekend or during the week if you want as it doesn't take long to make.  I was very pleased with the outcome, seeking for the right pairing of ingredients to make this tasty.  And it is!

Serve with a crusty Italian bread, such as ciabatta, and a salad of bitter greens, such as arugula, and you are good to go.

Enjoy a nice pot of homemade soup!

NOTE:  Southern Sundays will continue next week!

Italian Chicken and Bean Soup

serves 4

3 center cut bacon slices, chopped
1 large boneless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14 ½ oz.) diced tomatoes, partially drained
1 T dried oregano
1/4 t black pepper
2 cups water
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup uncooked orzo
1 (15-oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained
2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 T white wine vinegar
1/4 t salt

Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat 7 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan; set bacon aside.

Add chicken to drippings in pan; saute 6 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add tomato, oregano, and pepper; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return bacon and chicken to pan. Stir in 2 cups water and broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil. Add orzo, and cook for 9 minutes or until al dente. Add beans; cook 2 minutes or until heated. Remove from heat; stir in parsley, vinegar, and salt.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Leftover Recipes and Ideas

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

One filled with family, friends, and love.  And lots of leftovers!
So you may be thinking what am I going to do with all this left over turkey?

I have some great ideas for you.  Some of them I've made, and a few that I found that I want to try myself and wanted to share them with you too, so you can try them as well.

Last year we celebrated Thanksgiving at my sister Sue's house in Tennessee.  We had quite a bit of leftovers, turkey among them.  We decided to make Enchiladas substituting the chicken for turkey.  It was a secret though.  We didn't think that everyone would actually want to eat turkey enchiladas.  So we made them, ate them, and no one knew...until after.  A couple of groans, but everyone actually like them.  I thought they were great.  Turkey is a meat that when mixed with other items it looses it's distinctive flavor.  And this is one of those dishes.  Here's a pic of Sue's enchiladas (lookin' good Sue!).  You can take your favorite enchilada recipe and just use turkey, or try mine in the link below.  They rock!

Soup is always a great way to use leftover turkey.  This one with wild rice is really easy to make and very hearty.  Great for the fall weather.  You can find the link to the recipe below in the title name.

Chicken Tetrazzini is a nice Italian casserole and has been adapted to utilize leftover turkey.  A wonderful dish to try, full of flavor the whole family will love.  I made the turkey version of this dish  but never did post it.  So here it is!

Turkey Tetrazzini
serves 4

8 oz. uncooked spaghetti
1/4 cup margarine or butter
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 to 3 tablespoons dry sherry, if desired
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash pepper
3 cups cubed cooked turkey
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh parsley, if desired

Cook spaghetti as directed on package. Drain.
Meanwhile, melt margarine in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add flour; cook and stir until bubbly. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat; stir in half-and-half, sherry, 1/4 cup parsley, salt, nutmeg and pepper.

Add cooked spaghetti and turkey to mushroom mixture; stir gently to mix. Spoon mixture into ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Cover with foil; refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 350°F. Uncover baking dish; sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top. Cover; bake at 350°F. for 45 to 55 minutes or until thoroughly heated, removing foil during last 10 minutes of baking time. Sprinkle with parsley

Lastly I saw this on the food network channel the other day and thought "what a great idea".  It's for a turkey sandwich on a stuffing patty, using most of your Turkey day ingredients.  Wonderful!

Open Faced Turkey Stuffing Patty with Gravy and Cranberry Sauce
Recipe courtesy Jeffrey Mauro
Prep Time: 30 min
Inactive Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 2 hr 0 min
Level: Intermediate
Serves: 4 servings
·         4 slices bacon
·         2 cups Old Fashioned Turkey Stuffing, recipe follows
·         Canola oil, if needed
·         12 fresh sage leaves
·         8 ounces leftover turkey meat
·         1 cup leftover turkey gravy, heated through
·         1/2 cup Simple Cranberry Sauce, recipe follows

Cook the bacon in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until extra crispy, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined-plate to drain and reserve the fat in the skillet.

Meanwhile pack a 1 cup dry measure tightly with a 1/2 cup of the Old Fashioned Turkey Stuffing. Dump the stuffing onto a baking sheet and press down into a 4-inch-wide-cake, using a flat spatula. Repeat until you have 4 patties.

Heat the reserved bacon fat in the skillet over medium heat. Carefully lay 2 patties in the skillet and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes each side. Transfer the patties to a plate and repeat with the remaining 2 patties.

Add oil to the skillet if needed. Add the sage and fry, about 30 seconds. Transfer the sage to a paper-towel-lined-plate using a slotted spoon.

Divide the turkey meat onto each patty and pour gravy over top. Crumble 1 crispy bacon slice over the turkey. Dollop with the Simple Cranberry Sauce and garnish with the sage.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Favorite Pancakes with a Blackberry Compote

What to do with leftover blackberries?

I had some leftover from my Red Leaf Salad with Blackberries and Blue Cheese dish the other night.  Not wanting to freeze them, (my freezer is full...seriously!) I decided to make a compote with some of them.  

Breakfast is a favorite meal of mine for the weekend, and I decided to make my favorite pancakes and top them with a warm blackberry compote.  Yum!

A compote is a mixture of whole fruit that is cooked with water, sugar, and in this case lemon juice to break down the fruit and create a nice syrup.  Chunks of whole fruit will remain in the mixture adding texture.  So delishhh!  You can use this over the pancakes I have here, or over pound cake, how about some ice cream!

See how yummy these look.  Enjoy your breakfast!

Kitchen tip:  Freeze any leftover pancakes.  You can heat them in the microwave or toaster during the week for a quick breakfast or use them as a base for a snack. 

You can find the pancake recipe here just omit the fruit topping ingredients: Strawberry Banana Pancakes  

Blackberry Compote

2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine 1 cup of the blackberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the blackberries and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently. Serve warm.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Tips, Recipes, and Ideas

Today is usually my weekly Southern Sundays party.  Since the holidays are coming up and there is so much planning to do I think a break from the party for a couple of weeks is needed.

Instead I'm bringing you some wonderful Thanksgiving Tips, Recipes, and Ideas that you might like, and want to try this holiday season.

Last year I did a wonderful series of posts that are certainly worth another look.  Click on any of the links below to read about these topics.

How-To: Roasting the Turkey

These are the subjects that are discussed in the post.  Click on the link above to read about any of these.

What Size Turkey to Buy
What Size Pan to Use
Roasting an Un-stuffed Turkey
Roasting a Stuffed Turkey

Here's my FAVORITE recipes!

Oven Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter
By Tyler Florence
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 3 hr 0 min
Serves: 10 to 12 servings 

1 (12 to 14) pound fresh turkey 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
Sage Butter, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and remove the top rack of the oven. 

Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with stuffing and, if required, truss the legs. Cover the turkey with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Push the sage butter under the skin of the turkey, being careful not to puncture the skin.
Put the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan, and into the oven. Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F. The thigh juices will run clear when pricked with a knife, about 3 hours total (15 minutes per pound). If the legs or breast brown too quickly during roasting, cover them with foil.
Sage Butter: 
2 sticks butter, softened 
1/4 cup chopped sage 
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients.

Turkey Gravy
3/4 cup water
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
2 Tbs. dry sherry, Madeira or other wine (optional) (we used balsamic vinegar the other day!)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Skim and discard any fat from the juices in the roasting pan. Or use a gravy separator and pour the defatted juices back into the pan.
2. Add the water to the pan and place over medium heat. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Transfer the juices to a bowl.
3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until bubbly. Add the flour and whisk rapidly for a few seconds to cook the flour.
4. Rapidly whisk in the reserved pan juices and the stock. Cook until smooth and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sherry and season with salt and pepper.
5. If desired, pour the gravy through a fine-mesh sieve or chinois into a warmed sauceboat or wide-mouthed pitcher. Makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups gravy.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Red Rice Stuffing

4 acorn squashes, each about 1 1/2 lb.
2 Tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 box (12.5 oz.) herbed quinoa and red rice stuffing mix
3 1/4 cups water
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup chicken stock, warmed
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil.

Cut the acorn squashes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Coat the squash cavities with the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheets and roast for 15 minutes. Turn the squash halves over and rotate the pans from top to bottom. Continue roasting until the squashes are just tender when pierced, about 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.

Using the stuffing mix, water, salt, butter, onion, celery and stock, prepare the stuffing according to the package instructions, adding the almonds along with the dried cranberries (included with mix). Instead of transferring the stuffing to a baking dish, spoon about 1 cup into each squash cavity. Bake the squash for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley and cut the squash halves into wedges. Serves 12 to 16.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

LIBBY'S Famous Pumpkin Pie
Prep:15 mins
Cooking:55 mins
Cooling:120 mins
Yields:8 servings

This is the traditional holiday pumpkin pie. This classic recipe has been on LIBBY'S® Pumpkin labels since 1950. This pie is easy to prepare and even easier to enjoy. Just mix, pour, bake for a delicious homemade tradition.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Verna's Apple Crisp

Can you believe that some people don't like pumpkin?
It's true I swear!

Not, I...I absolutely love the stuff...but I know some that don't...not at all.
So no pumpkin pie for you?
What about apple pie instead?

Don't have time to make an apple pie?
What about Apple Crisp instead?

Apple Crisp tastes very similar to apple pie, without the crust.  Instead of a crust on the bottom it is usually topped with an oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, and butter combo that becomes crisp when baked. It is wonderful!

So tasty and so easy to make.  A very versatile dessert that is great when warm and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

This recipe is an "old" recipe.  It comes from my mom's long time best friend Verna, and has been a standard in our house forever.  I happy to share this with you today.  It's straight forward and delishhhh in every way!

Perfect dessert for the upcoming holidays and for those that don't like pumpkin!

Some of the best recipes are the old ones that are passed down, or from friend to friend.  Don't you think so?

Verna's Apple Crisp

6 c sliced and peeled apples
1 T lemon juice
1 T water
1 t cinnamon
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c flour
1/2 c oats
1/2 c butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In and 8" suqare pan, place apples in pan.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and water.  In another bowl combine brown sugar, flour, oats, and cinnamon.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over apples and bake for 40-45 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Red Leaf Salad with Blackberries and Blue Cheese

Sometimes the simplest salads are the best salads.

There is a whole new array of salads out there that feature fruit.  Fruit can lend a new texture and a little sweetness to a salad.  Using seasonal fruit allows you to change up your salad no matter the season.  The other bonus with fruit is that is can be added to your salad whole, raw, chopped, grilled, or pureed!

MGG never really liked fruit in his salad.  He typically sticks to the garden variety vegetables.  Me? I started out by putting raisins on my garden salad.  A little sweetness on top.  I loved it!  Now I've expanded to all kinds of fruits, and so has he.  The best part is he actually likes them!  Being the rabbit he is (he loves salads) it wasn't too hard of a sell to start getting him used to the fruity sweet taste.  A few cranberries here, a pear here, and before you know it he's craving them.

I particularly like to balance the sweetness or tartness of the fruit with a nice cheese.  And I really enjoy a regular ole vinaigrette rather than a fruit based one.  So this salad is just that.  Tart plump blackberries served on a bed of red leaf lettuce.  It is dressed with a balsamic homemade dressing and topped with some crumbled blue cheese to give it that edge.  YUMMY!

This is the perfect side salad, as it goes well with chicken and beef dishes.  You could also turn this into a wonderful main dish salad by adding some caramelized red onions and some sliced steak.  Hint Hint, this would be a wonderful Thanksgiving salad, simple to make and full of flavor!

So try this wonderfully "simple" salad.  The flavors are outstanding!

Red Leaf Salad with Blackberries and Blue Cheese

Serves 4-6

3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper
6 c torn red leaf lettuce
½ lb blue cheese, crumbled
1 c fresh blackberries

In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Place lettuce in a bowl.  Add the dressing and toss to coat evenly.  Add crumbled blue cheese.  Divide among serving plates, or platter and top with blackberries.  Serve.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Polenta Cakes with Vegetables

Need a quick healthy meal?

How about polenta?  There are sometimes when you can take a little help from processed foods to assist you with getting a healthy, fast meal on the table.  Polenta is one of those items.  Sure you can make polenta from scratch and it tastes great.  But...when time is of the essence pre-made polenta is just fine to use.  You've seen them in the grocery tubes? 

I really love polenta for it's versatility.  It is a great foil for surrounding flavors and can be used in many different ways. 

What is polenta?
Polenta is yellow or white cornmeal that is cooked with a liquid to make a paste-like substance.  After is it cooked it can then be baked, fried, or grilled.  Typically associated with Italian cuisine it can be used in place of pasta or rice and topped with meat, a nice sauce, or vegetables as I have done today.  As this is a versatile item you can also use polenta with a variety of regional dishes such as French with mushrooms and a sauce, or Mexican using black beans and tomatoes.  Let your imagination run wild with the toppings and discover a new dish. 

The dish I made today can be considered a meatless or vegetarian dish.  Use it as a main dish for dinner or lunch.  The addition of the beans provide the protein.  If you want to make this as a side dish, remove the beans and serve alongside a nice grilled chicken or serve with beef short ribs.

I also used wine in this dish as added flavor.  Just a tad.  But if you don't want wine use either chicken broth or vegetable broth as the liquid.  Both work great.  I've also added basil as the main herb in the dish which lends it a very Italian flavor.  For something more mild, change up the herb to thyme, or just use the parsley.

This is a great dish to make in under 30 minutes.  It's very filling and provides you with an array of vitamins along with protein and still keeps the calories down.  A wonderful healthy dish!  Enjoy!

Polenta Cakes with Vegetables
4 Servings

1 tube (1 lb) polenta, cut into 12 slices
4 T olive oil,
1 large zucchini, halved and chopped
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T white wine
salt & pepper to taste
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3/4 c white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 t dried basil
1 T torn fresh parsley
4 T mozzarella cheese, shredded

In a large nonstick skillet, cook polenta in 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat for 7 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in another large skillet, saute zucchini in remaining oil until tender. Add shallots and garlic and cook for another minute. Add the wine, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is almost evaporated.

Stir in the tomatoes, beans and basil.  Cook until heated through, about another 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley.  Place 3 polenta cakes on each plate and top with vegetable mixture.  Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon of cheese.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kitchen Tips and Guides

Thanksgiving is literally around the corner.

Are you starting to plan your menu yet?  I've been thinking about it.  Tossing around some new side dishes to thrown in with my standard ones.

Well, I found some great cooking guides on that I think every kitchen should have! It makes life easier.   I hope that you find these useful, especially with all the holiday cooking coming up.

First up is a guide to internal cooking temperatures for all types of meat, seafood, eggs, and even leftovers.  You name it, it's there.  A great resource. Safe Internal Cooking Temperatures |

Next is a Holiday Turkey Timeline.  This has great tips from deciding how big a turkey to buy, how to thaw a frozen turkey, different methods of cooking, to testing that it's done.  It even has tips on how to store leftovers.  All we need now are some recipes for the leftovers!!

MyRecipes Holiday Turkey Timeline |

Lastly is one of my favorites, a cooking conversion chart.  I ALWAYS need to know how many tablespoons are in a 1/4 cup and can NEVER remember!  This guide has it all, and it's cute too!

MyRecipes Cooking Conversion Chart |

Happy planning!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Southern Sundays

Welcome to Southern Sundays !

I'm running out the door to go cook and sample some new Thanksgiving side dishes, but before I go I wanted to put up the party for you.  Hopefully we have some winner side dishes that I can share with you shortly.

Before we start I wanted to give you some Thanksgiving decor inspiration courtesy of my talented sister, Sue.  What a great tablescape!

Last week's party was fun, fun fun!  Dishes are getting better and better all the time!

There was one recipe that stood out by far...and got the most clicks!  
Congratulations on our featured recipe this week.

by Something Sweet - Winnie's blog

This sure is a winner!
Stop by and say Hi!

This wonderful dish has been pinned on Pinterest!

Ready to party?

Couple of reminders to make the most of your posts.  ** Make sure to tell all your friends so they can join the party as well!  **Please make sure to visit 1 or 2 other posts to share your compliments and enjoy their dishes as well!

Please become a follower by joining my site with Google Friends Connect in the right side bar.
Link back to your specific recipe and not to your main site.
Link back to Southern Sundays either in your post, or grab my Southern Sundays Button located in the right side bar.
Please visit a few of the links in the post and say hello to your fellow bloggers!
Enjoy, have fun, cook lots of food, and relish your Southern Sunday!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Who can resist the flavors of lemon and blueberry?

Not my mom!  I've said this many times before, and I'll say it again.....Mom is a lemon lover.  Anything lemon, bars, pie, cake, cookies, hard name it.

So obviously when I found this recipe for Lemon Blueberry Bread I bookmarked it and took it along with me on my next trip to visit mom.  First thing I made when I got there was this Lemon Blueberry Bread, so we could munch on it during my visit. 

The recipe is one adapted from  You can find her recipe here.  A wonderful site with how-to videos of most recipes, and a great resource.  Note: She put a lemon glaze on the top.  We chose to leave this off as it was sweet enough.  This is not really what I would consider a quick bread.  It was more like making a cake.  It's denser, and a little more involved than a quick bread, however, the results were heavenly.  Just ask my mom the lemon expert!

Kitchen tip:  When folding fresh blueberries into a batter use a delicate hand so they don't crush and stain the batter blue. Tossing blueberries in a little flour helps to prevent them from falling to the bottom of the bread during baking.

Now I'm off to find another lemon wonder for my next visit with my Mom!

Lemon Blueberry Bread

adapted from

makes 1 loaf

1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1T lemon zest
1 c fresh blueberries
1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c Splenda or sugar
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 c 2% milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray the bottom and sides of a  loaf pan. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Place the blueberries in a small separate bowl and toss the berries with 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture.

In  a mixing bowl using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter until softened.  Add the sugar and cream together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla, making sure to scrape down the sides as needed.  

Add in the flour mixture in three additional, along with the milk, alternating.  Start and end with the flour.  Mix only until combined.  Gently fold in the blueberries.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ranch Chicken

Who doesn't love dipping chicken strips into Ranch Dressing?

I think most kids do, and if truth be told adults too!  I myself love the flavor combo but sometimes I don't want to take the time to make chicken strips...I know lazy, especially on a weeknight or a busy weekend. They really are easy to make and there's no excuse, but I came up with a way to have the same flavor combo without all the prep work.

This is a fun, quick dinner that the family and the kiddos will love.  The taste is 'ranchilicious' and the chicken is soooo moist.  MGG helped me with this dish and to his credit he was "MMmnnnning" all through the meal! 

You just take chicken breasts, we used one super large one ( I'm not sure where these chickens are from they are really 'healthy' sized!) and I cut in to two thin but still medium sized breasts, and dipped them in ranch dressing ( no egg here) and panko.  Cook them in a skillet and serve.  Done, presto, chango!  A really quick and tasty meal in under 20 minutes.  As you can see I served this with a combination of yams, sweet potato, and pumpkin roasted vegetables.  YUM! (to see how to roast vegetables please see my post here.)

This was so flavorful that I think the next time I'll use Blue Cheese dressing for the tang.  Can't wait.  Hope you enjoy this quick and tasty dish.

Ranch Chicken

serves 2

2 medium sized boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 c ranch dressing
1/2 c panko crumbs
salt & pepper
2 T canola oil

Trim your chicken breasts of any unwanted fat or skin.  Place the ranch dressing in a dipping plate and the panko crumbs in another dipping plate.  Season the panko crumbs with salt & pepper to taste.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Dip the chicken breast into the dressing and then into the panko crumbs, pressing lightly to adhere.  Add chicken to the hot skillet.  Repeat with remaining chicken breast.

Cook on each side about 6 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the breasts.  Turning to cook another 5-6 minutes until done, and golden brown.  Serve and enjoy!


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