I don’t know about you guys, but one of my favorite things about summer is the fresh corn on the cob. Our grocery store will usually have them for around 5 for a dollar, so I stock up! We grill them, roast them, make salads, casseroles and all kinds of awesome dishes. But right now, fresh corn on the cob isn’t in season, so I’m stuck with frozen. Luckily, I found this tip about how to make oven roasted corn using frozen kernels. I was so intrigued I just had to try it.
I’m not going to say it’s as sweet and awesome as fresh-off-the-cob, but hey, in a bind, it works great! I added in some red and green peppers and my family gobbled it up!
[Short Cut] Oven Roasted Corn
1 bag frozen corn kernels
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the frozen corn with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread on a baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for about 10 minutes until corn begins to blister slightly. Serve immediately.
Recipe source: adapted from Bev Cooks
Being a Southerner, fried okra is a big deal to me. I love it. I grew up eating it every summer when okra was in season (my great-grandmother, both grandmothers, and my mom all made/make a MEAN plate of fried okra). When we eat at Chicken Express (Mmmm….), I always, always order fried okra as my side. Obviously, I like fried okra a little. So, then you’re probably wondering why I’m posting a recipe for BAKED okra, huh?
Because I’m a weenie. I’m too scared to fry okra. It’s intimidating. I just know I’d screw it up. So, I just don’t attempt it. And why should I have to, when all I have to do to get a rockin’ plate of fried okra is walk down the street to my mom’s house?! I’ll learn when I’m older…. (I have no doubt my mother is reading this post while shaking her head disapprovingly.)
Besides being a whooooole lot less messy, this is so much healthier for you! And the good news- while this doesn’t quite hit the bullseye (nothing but old fashioned fried okra will), it’s VERY close to the real thing. Still crunchy, crisp, and delicious! We absolutely love it.
Crunchy Baked Okra
1 bag frozen, cut okra (or fresh, if it’s in season)
2 tablespoons cornmeal
3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs (if you don’t have panko, regular will work just fine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the cornmeal, panko, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese in a large plate or pie dish.
In a separate plate or pie dish, beat the two eggs.
Toss the okra in the eggs until evenly coated. Then dredge the okra in the cornmeal/breadcrumb mixture.
Place on greased baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the okra halfway through baking. Serves 2-4.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original, inspired by The Spotted Fox.
Recently, when I posted these pork chops, you may have noticed the yummy looking mashed potatoes on the plate. As much as I loved those pork chops, the potatoes were my favorite- they were mixed with lots of butter, tangy goat cheese and crisp, smoky bacon- a real winner! My mom likes to add cream cheese to her mashed potatoes when she wants a “fancier” feel, and we’ve always loved them, so when I had tons of delicious goat cheese to use up I thought it might be a nice spinoff of my moms’ idea. It certainly was! This is my new favorite way to eat mashed potatoes! Next time you have some goat cheese laying around just begging to be used, try this recipe- you’ll love it!
Bacon-Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
4-5 medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3 ounces goat cheese
3/4 cup milk
salt and pepper
4 or 5 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
In a medium pot, cover the potatoes with water and cook over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain the potatoes and add in the butter, goat cheese, milk and salt and pepper. Using a potato masher, stand mixer or hand mixer, mash the potatoes until fluffy and free of lumps. Stir in the bacon and check for seasoning. If your potatoes are thicker than you’d like, add in more milk. Serves about 2.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
One of my very favorite things about fall is the smell of apples and spices cooking. It really puts me in the perfect “fall” state of mind…even if it is still 90+ degrees outside (we’ll get there, Dallas, we’ll get there!). The other night we had a nice “cold front” (86 degrees instead of the usual 97 or more), so I decided to whip up a quick pot of homemade applesauce. Joel and I both love applesauce, but when it comes to homemade, there’s no contest. The beauty of this recipe is, you can just throw it all in a big pot and leave it. And of course in the meantime, your house will smell amazing!
4 apples, peeled and cored (I used Red Delicious, but Honeycrisp or Pink Lady would be ideal)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup water
Cut the apples into large chunks and put them in a heavy pot over medium heat; add the brown sugar, salt, lemon juice, cinnamon and water. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the apples are extremely soft and mushy. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the apples together until you have an applesauce-like consistency. Serves 4.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper
If you were to ask 10 people what the quintessential American side dish is, I’m betting at least 6 or 7 of them would say ‘mac and cheese’. I’m pretty certain it’s most people’s favorite comfort dish. Think about it, when you’ve had a rotten, tiring day and want something easy and comforting for dinner, what do you turn to? For me, no doubt, it’s mac and cheese. Something about that cheesy, gooey goodness makes me feel like a million bucks after just one bite. All my stress melts away. While I do, indeed love the stuff from the blue box, I have to admit, nothing beats homemade. This is a spin on how my mom used to make it, with cheddar and Velveeta cheeses. Yum, yum, yummy!
Classic Macaroni and Cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
salt and pepper
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk (feel free to use reduced fat milk)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
Boil the pasta until al dente then drain and set aside.
While pasta is boiling, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, ground mustard, salt and pepper and whisk for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk constantly until it thickens. Add the cheeses and stir until melted.
Pour the sauce over the macaroni and stir to coat. Serve immediately.
Recipe source: adapted from my mom’s recipe (I’m not certain where the original recipe came from)
WOOO! It’s Thanksgiving food time! Now is the time everyone is planning menus, gathering delicious new recipes to try and calling their grandmas for the old tried and true recipes they just HAVE to have. So in honor of all that, I’ve decided to share a couple of excellent, easy Thanksgiving recipes with you this week. Starting with stuffing. Now, let’s get one thing straight- I am a Southerner. We don’t do ‘stuffing’; we do ‘dressing’. Made with cornbread. And we don’t put anything snooty in it, either. None of this Yankee-fied “chestnuts and sausage” business. Very straight-forward and very, very delicious. BUT, that doesn’t mean I can’t experiment with some delicious ideas before Thanksgiving! I do realize that the majority of my reader enjoy what my family calls “Yankee Stuffing”, and I need to stretch my boundaries a little, SO I made you some Yankee stuffing. It’s pretty good, too….for Yankee stuffing.
Sourdough Stuffing with Caramelized Onions, Apples and Cranberries
(this only makes one 9 inch pan- you may want to double or triple it for a large crowd)
1 loaf sourdough bread, crusts removed and cut into cubes
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced into thin rings
1 small green apple, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 teaspoons dried, ground sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the onions in a little olive oil for about 15-20 minutes, or until soft and caramelized. Stir in the apples and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes (you don’t want the apples to get mushy- just fairly soft).
In a large bowl, combine the bread, onion/apple mixture, cranberries, sage and salt and pepper. Pour into a greased 9×9 baking dish then pour the chicken broth over the mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.
I made this for my Project Food Blog ‘Luxury Dinner Party’ and it was a HIT! I know the combination might seem a bit weird for some, but believe me when I tell you it’s totally delicious!! Hubby and I first tried this at the Dallas State Fair, of all places (weird, right?) about 4 years ago. There was a local chef there doing a cooking demonstration and this was the dish she made for us. When it came time to taste it, I took a sample, only because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings- but the truth was, I hated onions and wasn’t eager to try this at ALL. Finally I decided to get over my childishness and just go for it- thank goodness I did, because I discovered a winner of a recipe that day. There’s something about the tartness of the cranberries that pairs so well with the bacon and sweet caramelized onions. And the gorgonzola adds just a hint of extra flavor- it’s SO amazing!! This would be a perfect dish to add to your Thanksgiving table this year!
Needless to say, this was an enormous hit at my dinner party the other night- and since posting pictures from my party, this is the recipe everyone can’t wait to get their hands on. Well here it is, folks: a delicious Caramelized Onion-Cranberry Tart with Bacon and Gorgonzola – enjoy!!
Caramelized Onion-Cranberry Tart with Bacon and Gorgonzola
-Kathleen’s Sky Diner in Dallas, TX
For the crust:
1 cup flour
2/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
pinch cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
1 tablespoon milk
In a food processor, pulse dry ingredients; add butter until ingredients are the size of small peas. Add milk and pulse just until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overprices.
Press dough into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom until even and smooth. Prick crust with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Bake chilled crust at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Make filling.
4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
2 small-medium onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen- if frozen, don’t worry about thawing)
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (blue cheese would work as well)
In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the bacon until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels and pour off all but 3 tablespoons of fat. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes, until soft and caramelized. Add cranberries and sugar and continue to cook on low heat until cranberries begin to ‘pop’ (they will literally pop in the pan!); season with salt and pepper; add the bacon back in and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk eggs and heavy cream together until smooth. Place the onion/cranberry mixture in the bottom of the cooked crust, crumble the gorgonzola on top, then pour the egg mixture last. Bake tart at 350 degrees until golden brown and center is set, about 20-30 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
This is a really useful recipe to have around. Not only does it pair well with the quesadillas I made the other night, it goes great with grilled fish, chicken, pork chops….almost anything! The pineapple flavor is just delicious and adds a great sweetness to the rice. It’s amazingly simple and comes together in about 10 minutes. I make it all the time!
1 cup quick cooking rice (I like brown)
1 cup chicken broth (or water)
1/2 cup fresh chopped pineapple
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
salt, to taste
In a medium-sized pot, boil the chicken broth and add the rice. Remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Add the salt, chopped pineapple, pepper, almonds and cilantro. Stir and let sit for a couple more minutes before serving.
*Additionally you can also add a little soy sauce or in my case, lime Ponzu.
My mom made these for our 4th of July party. They’re insanely good. So good I was lying in bed around midnight that night wishing I had another one. I’m not sure what else to say here- those are the cold hard facts. Make these. Make them soon.
BBQ Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos
20 fresh jalapenos, cut in half and seeded
2 blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound bacon, cut into thirds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Spread some of the cheese mixture in each jalapeno half. Wrap each piece with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Brush with BBQ sauce, and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bacon is nicely browned.
I love all things tangy, briny, or “vinegary”. My favorite flavor of potato chip is hands down, Salt and Vinegar (YUM!). So of course, I love to make my own “pickles”- however, these probably can’t really be considered real pickles. They’re more like quick pickles. Let’s call them “Quickles”. Hehehe…quickles….. Anyway, anytime I go to the Dallas Farmer’s Market, I always linger over the short little pickle-sized cucumbers and think, “I could SO make my own pickles”. But I never do and still never have, really. Someday, though, I promise, I’m going to dive head-first into this whole pickling thing- pickles, beets, okra, you name it! Until then, these “quickles” will have to do.
Basically, I slice cucumbers (any size will do, but these little ones work perfectly!), throw them in with some vinegar, water, salt, sugar, pepper and dill; let them sit in the fridge for awhile and voila! Quickles! You can add in anything you want, really- garlic, cayenne pepper…the possibilities are endless! I like mine extra “puckery” so I use plenty of vinegar, but you can use less if you like a more mild pickle. These measurements are just approximations, as I just throw everything in without measuring, so think of them more as “guidelines”.
Quick and Easy “Pickles” (or Quickles!)
10-12 small pickle-sized cucumbers, cut into thick slices
1/2 – 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons dill (fresh or dried)
1 – 2 teaspoons salt (depending on how salty you like them)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Check for seasoning. Make sure all the cucumbers are covered by the liquid. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve cold.
*I should mention that these small cucumbers are delicious by themselves with just a little salt and pepper – a great side dish!
And now onto more important matters- the winner of the Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Cookbook! And the winner is…………
Congrats, Jen! And thank you to everyone for your sweet comments! I’m so lucky to have such wonderful readers!!!
*On a separate note: if any of you are having issues with my blog not loading…please be patient- hubby is working on it. Once again, (it seems like this stuff never ends!) thanks to Go Daddy.com, we’re having server issues. Sometimes it kinda sucks hosting your own site……