Monday, December 30, 2013

YoMamas Frozen Fruit

My husband, in observance of his 10th anniversary with his company, received a Wal-mart gift card. As he hates going to Wal-mart, he gave it to me. I told him if he gave it to me that I would buy nothing useful with it and would spend it all on kitchen gadgets I have talked myself out of buying. He said that was fine.

He didn't think I'd do it. He didn't think I had it in me. Then I came home today with a Yonanas machine and a Ninja Professional Blender (among other things).

I have been coveting this one for awhile, but have resisted, sure it would not really work. It's an intriguing machine with an unfortunate name. (We renamed it YoMamas at my table because YoNanas seems like you're making crusty, stale jokes about your grandma, which just ain't allowed at my house.)

The premise is that you take frozen fruit, put it in this machine, and it turns it into ice cream. It's my version of Rapunzel's spinning wheel - turning straw into solid gold!

I was skeptical. I had mixed frozen fruit in the freezer, so just tried that. And it worked! It was delicious and it tasted just like sherbet. And that was just a bag of frozen mixed fruit, so I can't wait to try all of these other recipes!

p.s. If you're looking for a new product idea, my son decided that  YoMama Joke Machine that actually came up with some original material would be a quick sell to the teen set. Maybe a YoMama App. Hmmmm. ;)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Waffle Iron Hash Browns

I am, admittedly, a kitchen gadget junkie. It's a weakness. (Somehow, I've stopped myself from the Soda Stream thang so far, but I think that's the only restraint I've shown.)

I'm also a breakfast junkie. Breakfast for breakfast. Breakfast for lunch or brunch. Breakfast for supper. So I was excited when I found (on Pinterest, of course) a new use for my waffle iron for one of my favorite breakfast items: hash browns.

The great thing about this idea - using tater tots to make hash browns with your waffle iron - is that it also eliminates the need to buy hash browns just for breakfast. You can just use tater tots!

Here was my first test (on just one). 

I experimented for you. If you have a square waffle maker like me, just put three rows of three tater tots on each square, close the lid tight (lock it if you have that feature) and cook for 5 minutes.

Perfect hash browns. They taste an awful lot like McDonald's hash browns too (without the strange shape)!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

We made these during the 4th of July festivities. They are easy and delicious!

Jalapeno Peppers
Cream Cheese

Cut large jalapeno peppers in half and get seeds out. Fill with cream cheese and wrap with a piece of bacon. (We put it on the grill with other stuff but you can also bake at 350 degrees until the bacon is done.)

FREE Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving Cookbook Download

Right now you can get a FREE download of the Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving Cookbook. This digital copy has the same content as the popular hard copy.

You’ll find favorite recipes like:

  • Brined Turkey Breast with Lemon-Parsley Gravy 
  • Bread Dressing with Celery 
  • Broccoli with a Crunchy Crumb Topping 
  • Ginger Pear Torte
[ via Saving with Shellie ]

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Eggs Benedict Breakfast Pizza

So I decided at some point last week (what brought this on I cannot remember) that instead of just cooking, my husband and I needed to start creating our own recipes. We do this all the time in theory, but rarely in practice - so I started searching recipe contests online to give us a direction and some incentive. 

Ironically, this breakfast pizza recipe that came to me this morning fit none of the recipe contests we are currently working on. (This is just how my brain works. No matter what structure I try to force upon it, it will find a way to revolt!)

It all started because I needed to use up a tube of Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Dough that I bought on sale a while back and had been sitting in our fridge since then because we lacked pizza sauce or cheese or toppings or whatever I needed then whenever I grabbed it.

This is why Google is both your friend and your enemy. I thought this was SUCH an original idea...and then googled it and found over 5,000 with the same original idea, of course. (I immediately clicked off the page so as not to be tempted to read ANY of them.)

We enjoyed our final product, but it is very rich. (In other words, we have a LOT left over even after three of us had it for brunch - and we're not sure yet how easily it will save). We both agreed next time we might add tomatoes. Maybe thinly sliced Roma tomatoes over the hollandaise sauce. And I followed the directions for the crust, but I think it should have cooked a little longer.

Eggs Benedict Breakfast Pizza

1 tube Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust 
Hollandaise sauce (recipe follows)
6 eggs, scrambled
6 pieces bacon, Canadian bacon, or pancetta,  cooked and crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup Mozzarella/Cheddar mix

Follow the directions for the pizza crust but add 2-3 minutes on the first round of cooking. Prepare hollandaise sauce and spread over crust when removed from oven. 

For the scrambled eggs, crack six eggs and place in bowl with 1/4 cup milk. Whisk briskly for 5 min. Put 1 tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan over med-lo heat and cook the scrambled eggs until just done (because they will cook even longer in a hot oven). 

Sprinkle eggs over hollandaise sauce and then sprinkle bacon and cheese over the eggs. Return to oven, and bake for an additional 8 minutes. 

Hollandaise Sauce: In a small to medium saucepan, heat an inch of water on medium-low. Separate four eggs. Put yolks in stainless steel bowl with 1 tbsp lemon juice. Using a whisk, stir the mixture constantly but gently until it increases in size by about half. Smooth out any bubbles that form by continuing to stir. When the water is just below simmering, place the stainless steel bowl on top of the saucepan. (Make sure it does not touch.) Continue to constantly stir the mixture while slowly drizzling in 1/2 cup of melted butter. Keep stirring until sauce reaches consistency to coat bottom of spoon. Remove from heat and add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Set in warm place until ready to be served. (If the sauce starts to take on a custard-like consistency, you can drizzle in a small amount of hot water to thin the sauce.)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Delacata Style Catfish Tasting

To celebrate the retail debut of Delacata Style Catfish to the metro-Jackson market, Simmons Catfish, a Yazoo-based farm and processing plant, will offer free Delacata tastings at McDade's Maywood Mart location on Friday, August 30, from 4 to 6 p.m. Country music station Miss 103 will broadcast live in front of the store, giving away prizes and promoting the event. 

Delacata Style Catfish is an earth-friendly, sustainably sourced whitefish developed and marketed by The Catfish Institute. A premium seafood option comparable to redfish, snapper and grouper, Delacata has a mildly sweet flavor that works well with sauces, marinades and herb rubs. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mississippi Foodie on Flipboard

Mississippi Foodie is now available on Flipboard. It is available online but looks even better on your smartphone or tablet. Hope to see you there too!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mississippi Chef John Currence participating in Music City Eats

Nashville food, wine, and spirit festival Music City Eats recently announced that Mississippi chef John Currence will be participating (along with more than 25 local Tennessee chefs). Taking place from September 21st to September 22nd, the event includes restaurant tastings as well as panel discussions and cooking demonstrations.

The festival is produced by Caleb and Nathan Followill of Kings of Leon, world-renowned chef Jonathan Waxman, Vector Management’s Ken Levitan and Andy Mendelsohn, and C3 Presents (whose festival production credentials include the Austin City Limits Music Festival and Lollapalooza).

For more information or for tickets, which begin at $275, visit Follow on social media at and

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Food Network names Moon Pie-RC Cola Ice Cream Sandwich best in Mississippi

Ice cream. My one weakness. Chocolate. My other one weakness.

Moon Pies? Not so much. Unless they are warmed up ever-so slightly in the microwave to the point the marshmallow gets perfectly almost-mushy. But I digress...

The Hook Up Bar & Restaurant in Biloxi (no...not that kind of hook up) has combined many of my one weaknesses into their one Food Network award-winning Moon Pie & RC Cola Ice Cream Sandwich. So I had an official excuse to try it. It wasn't dessert. It was research!

Before I say anything, let me say it was good. It was very good. But it could be better. 

It needs more ice cream. It's winning a Food Network award for best ice cream treat, but the one and only thing it needs is more ice cream. The ice cream should be between both layers of Moon Pie and not just one.

It is a brilliant combination and the idea deserves all kinds of accolades. And it did inspire me to create The Elvis.

Make this peanut butter cup ice cream. (Yes, it's as yummy as it looks here. And, somehow, miraculously, it stays just as creamy even after sitting in the freezer for days.) Separate the two cookie sides of a Mini Banana Moon Pie. Put softened ice cream in between the two layers and put the Moon Pie back together. Wrap in aluminum foil and store in freezer.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grape Salad

I went to the Neshoba County Fair today (for the first time). It was hot. And humid. So, thankfully, everyone kept trying to feed me and give me something to drink. And I just had to have the recipe for this Grape Salad. (And I asked. And they even gave it to me! Special thanks to the Murphys for the hospitality, the Sunshine - and this recipe!)

Cabin #210 Grape Salad

2 lb green seedless grapes
2 lb red seedless grapes
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans, crushed

Wash and stem grapes. Set aside.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla by hand until blended. Mix with grapes in large bowl.

For topping, combine brown sugar and pecans. Sprinkle over top of grapes to cover completely. Chill overnight.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wine Spectator honors Mississippi restaurants

Mississippi has been honored in Wine Spectator’s newly released 2013 Restaurant Wine List Awards, which highlights the eateries around the globe that offer the best wine selections. This year, 3,793 restaurants were named award winners, spanning all 50 states and 76 other countries and territories, along with 11 cruise ships. Overall, 16 Mississippi establishments were honored.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hal & Mal's P.J. Lee: From Lawyer to Restauranteur

P.J. Lee recently changed careers. He is the son-in-law of Hal White, and after he passed away, he has taken over the reins at the restaurant.

“Going from a law practice to a kitchen is a big difference, but I’m enjoying it,” Lee told the Clarion-Ledger. “I don’t like the circumstance, but I’ve enjoyed the change ... This is my job and my life now.”

Lee has added Grilled Mahi Tacos with Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa to the Hal & Mal's menu, but he considers his signature dish to be Crystal Scallops.

Stop by and see P.J. soon, but in the meantime...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fast and Fresh Summer Pasta

The Clarion-Ledger recently published Sara Moulton's recipe for Fast and Fresh Summer Pasta. I was looking for more Meatless Monday (and Tuesday and Wednesday and sometimes Thursday too) recipes, so decided to give it a try. It's a keeper!

I did not use fresh tomatoes. I used a large can of diced tomatoes, rinsed and drained. I used 1 tsp of olive oil (and no lemon zest). Honestly, I think it would have been fine with no oil. The goat cheese makes it creamy enough.

3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (about 1-inch pieces)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
8 ounces whole-wheat penne or fusilli pasta
1 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, basil, oregano, mint, dill, chives, cilantro and tarragon)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl toss the tomatoes with a few hefty pinches of salt and some black pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes, then add the lemon zest, oil and goat cheese and toss well.

Add the pasta to the boiling water, stir and cook according to package instructions until just al dente. Drain the pasta (it’s fine to have some water still clinging to the pasta), then add it to the bowl. Toss until the cheese is melted.

Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the pasta between 4 serving bowls, then sprinkle each portion with some of the herbs. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving: 360 calories; 110 calories from fat (31 per cent of total calories); 12 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 51 g carbohydrate; 7 g fibre; 5 g sugar; 17 g protein; 390 mg sodium.

Congratulations to Brent's Drugs!

Congratulations to Brent's Drugs! They were recently named one of America's Best Diners by Travel + Leisure magazine. (And they probably didn't even get to try the King Cake Milkshake that I'm STILL raving about!) 

Brent's got the #2 spot on a list of 25. Not shabby at all!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fresh Market hosting sampling event this weekend

Fresh Market is offering us a Taste of Summer this weekend! Stores will be sampling Gourmet Burgers, Broccoli Cranberry Slaw, Cajun Krab Dip, TFM Gelato, Ice Cream, Summer Breeze Coffee, TFM Chocolate Gems and more!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Shed gets TV series on Food Network in August

The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint in Ocean Springs will be featured on a Food Network show, The Shed, starting in August. The restaurant will be featured on the show, along with the shenanigans of The Orrison family.

You can watch a sneak peak on Aug. 4 at 9 p.m.! Until then, you can try Mama Mia's Mac Salad to get ready...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 12 is Cow Appreciation Day

For one day only, Friday, July 12,  black and white spots, cow bells and furry ears will be appropriate attire at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the nation. In celebration of Cow Appreciation Day, Chick-fil-A will award a FREE Meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) to any customer who comes to one of their restaurants fully dressed as a cow.

If you wear a partial costume, you get a free entree. If you dress head to hoof, you get a free meal. Read the FAQs for full details. (I mean it's worth it just to read someone trying to explain what "fully dressed as a cow" means!)

In the meantime, Chick-fil-A offers you this Starter Kit to get ready.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Corinth hosts slugburger-eating championship

Hot dog eating champ Joey Chestnut will take on the Mississippi slugburger on Saturday in Corinth. He will be competing against Matt Stonie, also from San Jose and a 21-year-old nutrition major at Mission College in Santa Clara, Calif. Main Street Corinth made the announcement over the weekend on its Facebook page. The winner will get $1,500 (and bragging rights).

The 26th Annual Slugburger Festival is Saturday, July 13. The eating contest is at 4:30 p.m. at the Crossroads Museum in Corinth. The Festival begins on Thursday, July 11, and offers a full line-up of entertainment.

Tamale couple ultimate winner of Food Court Wars

Clinton couple Thomas and Mary Jordan will get to open their tamale stand after the premiere episode of the Food Network’s “Food Court Wars.”

The show pits two teams dishing up regional favorites, competing for a restaurant space in a shopping mall, rent-free for one year. The season opener was set at Meridian’s Bonita Lakes Mall. It’s hosted by celebrity chef Tyler Florence.

Oxford best friends Erika Lipe and Stevo McCain, both originally from Batesville, competed with Po-Boy Station and won with a slim $29 margin in the final tally of most money earned. But the two were unable to open the restaurant based on personal reasons, the show said. (Oxford's Local Voice has more here. Thanks to Martha Foose on Facebook for the link!)

The Jordans will open their restaurant at Bonita Lakes Mall in August, a mall representative said.

Read more from Sherry Lucas in Clinton News here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

It's trial, error for north Miss. catfish farmer

Brent Wedel routinely produces more than 1 million pounds of catfish a year from his 26-pond farm in Egypt in Chickasaw County. His success is noteworthy in an industry that, as a whole, has declined steeply over the past decade.

The Mississippi catfish industry peaked in 2002, with more than 113,000 acres of ponds statewide. Today, that acreage is down to about 45,000, according to Mississippi State University aquaculture expert Jim Steeby.

Read more from Sarah Robinson here.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Kids Will Eat Their Veggies If You Explain Why They Need To

Seems like my father knew what he was doing. He used reason and logic and "how things work" explanations to my brother and me about why we needed to eat all of our veggies or great detail. It just had very little to do with nutrition most of the time! ;)

Congratulations to Chef Vishwesh from Snackbar in Oxford!

Congratulations to Chef Vishwesh from Snackbar in Oxford! He just had a recipe featured on Here is one of his recipes, Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Pickled Okra, featured in Southern Living.

[ via Mississippi Seafood Promotion Council ]

This year's shrimp season

More than 250 boats launched June 11 to open the shrimp season in Mississippi's coastal waters. A cold, wet spring had delayed the season's start, which opened June 1 last year.

Read more about this year's Mississippi shrimp season from Keri Collins Lewis in the Sun Herald here.

Find places to buy Mississippi gulf shrimp here.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hobby turns into job for beekeeper

The Estes family apiary is hidden on the back roads of Itawamba county, near Evergreen. Justin Estes strains and pots all the honey on site. By the end of the season, he expects to collect about 1,000 gallons.

 He sets up once a month at the Tupelo Flea Market. He also sells five-frame nucleus hives and single and double hives for anyone looking to start their own bee yard.

Read more from Sarah Robinson in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal here.

International Gumbo Festival returning to Jackson

After a decades-long absence, the BankPlus International Gumbo Festival is set for 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 28 at Smith Park in Jackson. Tickets, $10 in advance, are on sale now. 

Cooking team entry fees will benefit the Harold T. and Hal White Memorial Fund at Hinds Community College. Malcolm White, state tourism chief and partner with his late brother, Hal White.

Read more from Sherry Lucas in The Clarion-Ledger here.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Succotash Salad with Buttermilk Avocado Dressing

This salad eats like a full meal, which is a good thing because it just about takes as long to prepare as a full meat. But it is worth it!

  • 2ears fresh sweet corn (or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn)
  • 1cup fresh lima beans (or frozen)
  • 3/4cup buttermilk
  • 1/2of an avocado, seeded, and peeled
  • 1tablespoon snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1/4teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1clove garlic, minced
  • 1large head butterhead (Boston or bibb) lettuce, torn
  • 2cups sliced grilled chicken breast
  • 6slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2cup crumbled blue or feta cheese (2 oz.)

1.Cut corn kernels from cobs; set kernels aside. Discard cobs. In a small saucepan bring 1 cup of lightly salted water to boiling. Add lima beans and simmer about 15 minutes or until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add corn to saucepan. Simmer about 3 minutes or until tender; drain. Set aside.
2.For dressing, in a blender combine buttermilk, avocado, parsley, salt, onion powder, dry mustard, pepper, and garlic. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into a small pitcher.
3.Line a large platter or four serving plates with the lettuce. Arrange chicken, crumbled bacon, corn, lima beans, onion, and cheese in rows on lettuce. Serve with dressing.
After making this once, I think you could use low-fat buttermilk for the dressing and it would be fine. I think I would also use goat cheese instead of feta (because the feta was pretty salty with the bacon and other salty things on there). I did use a rotisserie chicken so that could have added to the salt.
I broke the dressing up with a bit of chicken broth because it was too thick for my taste at first. (I did use the whole avocado instead of half. This could be why.)
This recipe is from the June 2013 edition of Better Homes & Gardens! Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Peace Love and Pork Butts

Yep. You read that right.

If you go to find a big, juicy pork butt to throw into your crockpot on a hot, humid Southern won't find it. It's now a (much classier) blade roast. (I mean it already sounds drier, somehow.)

No more pork loin rib chops either. Those are now rib-eye pork chops. Pork loin chop? New York pork chop. Bone-in pork loin chop? Porterhouse pork chop.

It's not a good summer to be a butcher, I'm guessing.

The National Pork Board and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association say the names are meant to be less confusing. (Which begs the question, less confusing to whom?)


Beef Magazine blog has a list of all of the new names here.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blueberry crop smaller because of early spring frosts

Late-spring cold snaps and untimely freezes have delayed harvests and reduced yields for Mississippi’s 2013 blueberry crop.

George Traicoff of Hernando runs a family owned and operated you-pick operation in DeSoto County. He started Nesbit Blueberry Plantation with 6,000 plants in 1984, and today his family tends 16,000 plants.

Read more from The Clinton News here.

(Mississippi has about 2,500 acres of blueberries, mostly located along Interstate 20 and south.)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

I have a confession to make. I don't like lasagna.

And by that, I don't mean that I don't like the dish as much as the pasta itself. What attracted me to this dish was that it's just like lasagna, but using penne noodles instead (so if it worked, I could change up all of those lasagna recipes that I liked).

Thankfully, it works! And it could work with any lasagna recipe using the method of slightly undercooking the pasta you like and then baking it in the oven. 

Now I look forward to a summer of getting all of those old lasagna recipes out I left behind!

Damn Good Ham Sliders with Zucchini Chips

Last night, we tried Tasty Kitchen's Darn Good Ham Sliders with Eat Jackson's Zucchini Chips (because I felt we just had to have a vegetable of some sort with such ooey goodness, even though I really wanted sweet potato fries).

First off, Tasty Kitchen is being modest. I renamed the recipe Damn Good Ham Sliders, because that's what they are. And the drizzled ooey gooey goodness is what makes it, so you could put whatever combo you wanted in the sliders, from sweet to savory, and if you pour that sauce over it, all will be fine. Just as promised, it makes the most delicious, crusty, caramelized bread (two words which I had not previously imagined together).

The zucchini chips were good but stuck to the aluminum foil, which would be important to the recipe re-do except when I went back and re-read the recipe, it did not say to put it the chips on aluminum foil. The sliders went on aluminum foil though so I guess I just grouped them together. (Now I have to go back and try it again without aluminum foil.)

One zucchini made two trays of chips, so one sliced thinly is definitely enough for about three servings. And they need to be served hot too. Because there were two trays of chips and I had to put the sliders in, I had a timing issue and they were served 10 minutes after coming out of the oven. Not recommended. They should be served hot too. 

(I guess now I have an excuse to go buy a new oven, huh?) ;)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Crews wins 4th annual Mississippi Seafood Cookoff

Chef David Crews of Cleveland came in first place at the 4th annual Great Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off in Biloxi. Crews won first place and was crowned “King of Mississippi Seafood” for his award-winning Deconstructed Gumbo featuring Mississippi Gulf Shrimp, Mississippi Gulf Oysters and Mississippi Gulf Crab.

As the winner, Chef Crews will now go on to represent Mississippi in the 10th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off (GASCO) in New Orleans on August 3, 2013.

St. Bethany Fresh tomatoes available at new Germantown Farmers Market

St. Bethany Fresh tomatoes will be available at the new Germantown Farmers Market. St. Bethany Fresh is able to grow tomatoes out of season due to hydroponic gardening. The Mississippi company started in 2011.

This fall, the local tomatoes will be available in Whole Foods and in 82 Sprint Mart locations in northeast Mississippi. The tomatoes are also available at farmers markets in Tupelo, New Albany, and Oxford.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mississippi Farmers Market to Celebrate 2013 Summer Kick-Off

The Mississippi Farmers Market, located adjacent to the Fairgrounds, will celebrate its 2013 Summer Kick-Off on Saturday, June 8, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It will feature the finest farm-raised fruits and vegetables that Mississippi farmers have to offer along with an assortment of fresh baked goods, specialty foods, and unique Mississippi hand-crafted items.

During the celebration, shoppers will be able to sample the culinary display of Chef Reynolds Boykin of Parlor Market as he dishes up tasty tidbits that can be prepared right at home. Shoppers will enjoy live music from local musician Ralph Miller, complimentary Blue Bell Ice Cream, and freshly popped corn. (And bring the kids because Pam Edwards will be on hand to kick-off the summer season with fun activities!)

The Mississippi Farmers Market, located at 929 High Street adjacent to the Fairgrounds, is currently open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For more information about the Market or to find out what's fresh each week, call (601) 354-6573, visit, or visit the Mississippi Farmers Market on Facebook.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Medium-Rare Mississippi

I started craving a burger at the beginning of the week. By this morning, I just NEEDED a burger. I googled "best burgers in Jackson" and noticed many had mentioned The Blue Rooster in Flora. We were looking for a Saturday road trip, so headed to Flora.

Most recommended The Flame Thrower, and they were not wrong. The bread makes the burger, but the burger itself is pretty close to perfect too. (If you order a different burger, be sure to ask for the Jalapeno Cheddar bread still!) The Mississippi Beef Council named it the Best Burger in the State.

The cheese fries were also tasty. (Though I couldn't even finish half the burger because I had to try them!)

We have been experimenting with Google Maps and started a Medium-Rare Mississippi map to share the great hamburger places we find around the state. Hope this helps you find your perfect burger (medium rare or not!).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Red Beans and the crokpot!

After the success of my white beans crockpot experiment, I decided to branch out to red beans and rice this weekend. And we had some deer sausage we needed to use up to make room for more deer sausage coming, so it was doubly nice!

Generally, I use Emeril's Red Beans and Rice recipe (just using andouille sausage instead of the tasso and ham). I had pinned this crockpot red beans and rice recipe from Cooking Light to try, but I did notice it only had three stars (out of five) - which was a cause for concern. So I decided to meld the two recipes together.

Here is the Shawn Emeril Cooking Light Crockpot Red Beans and Rice Mashup...

1 lb red beans
1 container chicken stock
1 lb andouille sausage (or spicy deer sausage), sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 bunch of celery, chopped
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp red pepper (less if you don't like it spicy)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
3 bay leaves
Cooked rice
1/4 cup chopped green onions for garnish, if desired

Put the red beans in the crockpot. You will add the stock to enough water to equal 9 cups of liquid total.

Saute the sausage in a cast iron skillet. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the crockpot but leave the drippings in the pan. Saute the onion, pepper, celery and garlic until tender, about 5 min. Add to crockpot along with the rest of the seasonings (thyme through bay leaves).

Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. Remove bay leaves before serving over cooked rice. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Turkey Spaghetti for National Spaghetti Day

We unknowingly - until after dinner anyways - celebrated National Spaghetti Day on January 4. We were knowingly celebrating turkey stock - or the turkey aftermath of said stock anyways. After Thanksgiving, my husband decided to master soup stock - and we have discovered that though we like chicken better than turkey we much prefer turkey stock to chicken stock. It's much richer! So when we need more stock, we are on the lookout for great turkey leftover recipes.

I decided to start close to home and begin with the chicken recipes I knew we loved and just substitute turkey. This chicken spaghetti was my first experiment (and I hope the rest are just as successful!)

Turkey Spaghetti

3 cups of shredded turkey
16 oz. spaghetti
4 cans chicken broth
5 sticks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 stick butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small pkg of Velveeta, cut into small cubes

Boil the spaghetti, as directed on the package, in the 4 cans of chicken broth. Reserve the broth when draining the spaghetti.

Saute the celery and onion in the butter until soft, about 5 min. Add the turkey to heat up (if not hot).

In a Dutch oven, combine spaghetti, sauteed vegetables with turkey, the soups, and the Velveeta. Add enough chicken broth to make it all juicy. Sprinkle paprika on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Greenwood's Viking Range to be sold for $380M

Food service equipment maker Middleby Corp. says it will buy Mississippi-based oven and kitchen appliance maker Viking Range Corp. for $380 million. Fred Carl Jr., Viking's founder and chief executive officer, tells the Greenwood Commonwealth that the manufacturer of upscale kitchen appliances will stay in Greenwood. He expects few changes resulting from the new ownership other than future growth in the city of its birth.

Read more from The Clarion Ledger here.

Quentin's Birthday Turtle Cheesecake

Quentin's birthday request is always Turtle Cheesecake. Every year, I have tried a different recipe - and every year the result is a delicious-tasting cheesecake with a layer of caramel that can almost break a tooth it gets so hard in the oven!

No more. This year, I took matters in my own hands and just created my own recipe.

I made it in a 13x9x2 pan because we were having folks over and needed a little more for others to help celebrate too!

2 cups crushed graham crackers
1 stick butter
2/3 cup brown sugar

Melt butter and stir in graham crackers and brown sugar. Pat into bottom of greased 13x9x2-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 min.

3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla

For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until smooth. Add eggs and beat well. Beat in sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and the vanilla. Pour filling over baked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until set. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Glaze: While cheesecake is still warm, pour 17-oz. jar of Mrs. Richardson's Butterscotch Caramel Topping on top and spread evenly with knife. (You can try other caramel toppings, but there is a wide variation of taste and texture in ice cream toppings - and I can only vouch for Mrs. Richardson's!) Add Heath Bar bits and pecan pieces.

Chill cake from two to 24 hours. Enjoy!