Monday, July 25, 2016

Crock Pot Cranberry Chicken

I've had this recipe in my recipe files, pinned to Pinterest, etc.  For years.  Seriously years.  As I was going through my Pinterest file the other day I decided it was now or never time.  I have Cranberry sauce about to expire (though I expect, as acidic as it is, it will be good for a while yet) on my pantry shelf.  I had a bottle of Catalina type dressing in the fridge.  I had chicken.  I'd just purchased onion soup mix.  It was a "Go" on all points.

I admit I was slack this morning. I waited until 9:30 to start this dish.  My chicken breasts were frozen solid.  I forgot the cranberry sauce about to expire in the pantry and hunted all through the fridge for cranberry sauce I thought I had leftover.  In the end, I grabbed a container of homemade cranberry relish from the freezer to use and I'll explain why.  I wanted to make just enough for two.

Buttered Peaches and Ravioli

For August, I've challenged myself to try some of those recipes I've pulled or pinned.  This one, from Better Homes and Gardens Magazines was pulled just this summer.  I had the majority of the needed ingredients on hand and what I didn't I felt I had reasonable substitutes for.

This dish came together quickly.  The most time intensive part is waiting for the water for the ravioli to come to a boil.  The warm peach with the addition of the lemon zest becomes a savory sweet flavor which is perfectly balanced by the cheese ravioli with it's hint of garlic.

I made two substitutions: I used dried parsley and I used pistachios since I had no hazelnuts.   Hindsight says that perhaps toasted walnuts or even almonds might have been a better substitute.  

Buttered Peaches and Ravioli
9 ounce package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli
cup butter
cups fresh or frozen peeled peach slices, thawed and cut up
cup hazelnuts or almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
tablespoons snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley

DirectionsCook ravioli according to package directions; drain, return to pot, and cover to keep warm. Finely shred peel from lemon (chill lemon for another use); set peel aside. Heat butter in a very large skillet over medium heat until browned (watch carefully so butter doesn't burn). Add peaches, nuts, Parmesan, parsley, and lemon peel; stir to combine. Add ravioli; toss to coat. Season with salt.

Final Verdict:  This came together quickly. It would be great for one of those necessary quick meal evenings especially in summer when peaches are usually at hand and I almost always have cheese ravioli in the pantry or freezer.

Tried and True Thursday Flashback 2009: Black Eyed Susans

Tried and True Thursday

Black-Eyed Susans
I didn't get to spend a lot of time with my dad's mom, whom we called "Grandmama".  I have very few memories of her, but one stands out vividly to me.  We're standing next to a concrete brick retaining wall which was probably 3-4 feet high and the day is sunny and bright.  I am watching Grandmama tend to her flowers on top of that retaining wall. They are beautiful, sunshine yellow with velvety soft black centers.  "Tell me their name," I beg her.  "Black-eyed Susans, " she replied.  I loved that they were named Susan, one of my favorite names among all.
When I came across this recipe first, it was in a Southern Living Eating Light cookbook.  Nearly every one has had these easy cookies in some form.  But in my Atkins days these were mainstays (made with Spelnda) when we had a sweet tooth.  These cookies are super easy, take few ingredients and make a pretty presentation on a platter for a tea party.
Black-Eyed Susans
2 cups peanut butter (1 15 ounce jar)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips or 2 - 2 1/2 dozen Hershey kisses
Mix peanut butter, sugar, and eggs.  Chill.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Roll dough into 2 - 2 1/2 dozen balls and place on foil lined cookie sheet.  Gently depress thumb into center of cookie dough ball.  Place 3 chocolate chips in depression (5 if especially large) or one unwrapped Hershey kiss.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool on cookie sheet.

Tried and True: Pepper Coated Roast Beef

Tried and True Thursday

Pepper Coated Roast Beef
Something about Roast Beef just makes it seem a special dinner, for Sunday or to share with guests...Thankfully, many cuts are relatively inexpensive and may be purchased for under $3/pound.  I'm not partial to one cut over another.  I pretty much like them all.  I require two things from a roast: that it be within my budget limits and that it serve us more than one meal.
I remember watching an episode of Little Rascals an original Our Gang black and white film where Spanky's parents nearly broke up their marriage over Roast Beef...Well actually, it wasn't the roast beef on Sunday but the Hash on Monday.  Seems Father had a very real dislike of the hash Mother served on Mondays/Wash Days following Sunday dinner.  No such luck in our household!  My kids would beg me to make hash and skip the roast dinner!
This particular recipe isn't a homey pot roast.  It's easy as can be, but the presentation is a little more elegant, nice enough for Sunday dinner or a dinner party for special guests.  The original recipe appeared in a 2004 issue of Woman's Day magazine.  It was the simplicity of ingredients that led me to try this recipe, but my family's raves has made it a menu staple.  It's a lovely roast for a celebratory dinner, would be nice for a holiday meal, as well.
As I said, I'm not partial to one cut of roast over another.  The original recipe calls for Eye of Round, which I do sometimes find well priced, but more often I use a Round Shoulder or Rump Roast and they do just fine, too.  A sirloin could be used, but you'd want to have your butcher roll it, and I must say I prefer any of the three mentioned earlier over the sirloin for this particular recipe.
When I make this roast I use whatever mustard I have on hand.  It's great with dijon, yellow or any whole grain mustard.  To crush the peppercorns place in a zippered plastic bag and use a rolling pin or meat mallet to coarsely crush them.  And if you want still more flavor add minced garlic and/or chopped fresh rosemary to the mustard. 
Pepper Coated Roast Beef
4 pound beef roast (eye, round rump or shoulder round)
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
3 Tbsps coarsely ground peppercorns
Heat oven to 425F.  Rub roast with mustard, press peppercorns into surface and place on rack in pan.  Bake 45-55 minutes for rare, 50-60 minutes for medium rare.  Remove from oven and tent with foil.  Let rest for ten minutes. 
This is excellent served with a flavored herb butter, roasted red pepper butter, or my favorite, a creamy dijon sauce.  To make the dijon sauce:  Heat 2 tbsps dijon mustard in a small skillet.  Add 1/2 cup half and half to pan and heat through until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.   Add 1 tbsp butter and stir until well blended.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Leftover Makeover: Chicken Quesadillas

I'd planned to make a different meal from these components but this was what I decided to make today...and they were GOOD!   That's always a bonus in my book when you take leftover food that was good the first time around and you make it a different dish that is just as good or better for the second round.

Leftover Makeovers: Meatballs, Stuffed Peppers, Spanish Rice, Steak and Cheese Burrito, Italian Pepper Steak Sandwiches

I started this morning with a plan.  I had in the fridge, about 1 cup of leftover bread stuffing, tomato sauce, 1/2 of a large sirloin steak,  2 cups of frozen rice.  Here's what I made with all three items.

I thawed the rice and a  pound and half of ground beef.

Makeover #1:  Meatballs
1 pound of ground beef, 2/3 of a cup of tomato sauce (leftover from meatloaf two weeks ago), chopped onion and garlic, the bread stuffing crumbled, 1 egg.  I mixed up all this and made up into 27 meatballs which I flash froze in the freezer.  These will be good for sandwiches, pizza and soup later on.  I doubled my usual servings per pound of beef by stretching with the other items.

Makeover #2:  Stuffed Peppers
I mixed 1/2 pound ground beef with 1 cup of cooked rice, 3 tbsps  diced tomatoes, chopped onion, and garlic and stuffed five pepper halves that I'd blanched and frozen after grocery day.  Typically we eat 1 pepper half as a serving (the peppers were huge)

Makeover #3:  Spanish Rice
I sauteed chopped onion, garlic and green bell pepper in a saucepan and added 1 cup rice, juice from the diced tomatoes and about 2 tbsps of diced tomato, seasoned with salt/pepper/chili powder to make a side dish for dinner.

Makeover #4:  Steak and Cheese Burrito
Years ago I used to have a Del Taco near my home.  I really enjoyed their steak and cheese burrito.  No Del Tacos anywhere that I'm aware of these days.  I sliced my leftover sirloin into strips.  I cooked onions in a bit oil until browned.  Some of the steak strips and onions were layered on a flour tortilla, topped with shredded sharp cheddar and a couple of teaspoons of homemade Enchilada Sauce.  I rolled and heated the filled burritos in the microwave.  Yum!

Makeover #5:  Italian Pepper Steak Sandwiches
I felt we had plenty of sirloin steak for the burritos so put some aside with some of the cooked onions and poured over the tail end of a bottle of Italian dressing.  I'll cook some bell pepper strips  (frozen) and add those in, pile on Onion Rolls and top with Provolone Cheese. 

Watermelon for Grown Ups

I've always been a purist where watermelon is concerned.  Just give me a cold slice and we'll call it good.  But this salad was AWESOME.  I'll post it here and at my recipe blog, too.  I've looked online for it with no result.  It was one of those minor recipes, tucked on the corner of a page of other items.  It's called Watermelon for Grown Ups.   Sorry to say I didn't take a photo of it but it was a pretty salad and the freshness was perfect with the spiciness of the tacos.

Watermelon for Grown Ups

4 cups melon cubes
1 6 ounce container plain Greek style yogurt (I used my homemade)
1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsps honey
juice of 1 lime
chopped pistachios for garnish

Mix yogurt, honey, ginger, lime.  Pour over watermelon just before serving, sprinkle with nuts..

Friday, July 22, 2016

Beef and Noodle Toss

Start to Finish: 25 minutes

Beef and Noodle Toss
  • 8 ounces lasagna noodles
  • 12 ounces boneless beef sirloin, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes (2 cups)
  • 8 ounces sliced crimini or button mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or (2 teaspoons)
  • 1 14-ounce can beef broth
directions1. Break noodles in half; cook according to package directions. Drain (do not rinse).
2. Meanwhile; season beef with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Toss with flour. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat, any remaining flour, and the tomatoes to skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until beef is well browned, stirring often. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook 5 minutes more. Add broth; cook 3 to 4 minutes more or until beef is done and liquid is slightly thickened.
3. Add cooked noodles to skillet; stir gently to coat. Heat through. Spoon into pasta bowls to serve. Makes 4 servings.
nutrition facts
  • Calories468
  • Total Fat (g)16
  • Saturated Fat (g)5,
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g)7,
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g)1,
  • Cholesterol (mg)40,
  • Sodium (mg)712,
  • Carbohydrate (g)52,
  • Total Sugar (g)5,
  • Fiber (g)3,
  • Protein (g)28,
  • Vitamin C (DV%)21,
  • Calcium (DV%)5,
  • Iron (DV%)21,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

***my notes:  I didn't buy a sirloin steak to cube.  I bought a sirloin tip roast at the very beginning of summer on sale and cut it into cubes then.  This recipe caught my interest because I almost always have half a box of lasagna noodles left in the pantry. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Granny's Fried Apple Pies


Fried Apple Pies

Granny was well known for her specialties: potato salad, pound cake, fried apple pies...
What, you may ask, is a fried apple pie?  Well if you're from the South you've likely tried them.  Traditionally they are made with dried fruit and are fried.  Not like McDonald's apple pies, either.  These are far more tender and delicate than that.

About this time of year, Granny's trees were full of green apples.  Green apples are not Granny Smith variety but immature apples, which are still green, as opposed to the ripened apples.  Green apples of all varieties  are tart and sweet and a little bit hard to bite into, but as children we haunted the trees when the apples got big enough to eat, even if they were green.  Granny was forever warning us we'd have a stomach ache from eating so many but we never did have.  And we knew they were good to eat because Granny would gather up big pans full to pare and slice.  Often too she'd make some into her wonderful  lattice topped deep dish Green Apple Pie, a dish I grow more and more nostalgic for year after year.  Alas, a dearth of green apples exists in my life. 

She would take all the rest of the apple slices  and lay them out on old window screens, covering with cheesecloth and another screen and let them dry in the hot August sun.  She'd gather up those dry apple slices to store in muslin bags and a little later, make Fried Apple Pies.  Typically we'd have them all through the winter months for Sunday desserts, when she wasn't making Pecan Pie or Pound cakes.

Now the 'recipe' that follows is a very loose one.  The measurements can be adjusted up or down to suit your family's needs.  The apple filling is merely one option.  Some folks like to make sweet potato pies (using mashed cooked sweet potatoes), some use dried peaches, and Mama's grandmother liked to make chocolate pies (she'd fill with cocoa and sugar and  a drizzle of cream over the dry ingredients).  You can make berry pies using preserves.  Suit yourself, but do try a fried pie at least once.

Granny began by taking about 2 cups of dried apple slices and poured over them apple juice to cover.  Then she put the apples on to cook, adding more apple juice as needed.  When the apple slices were plump and tender and most of the liquid had been cooked away, she'd make up a biscuit dough and roll it thin.  She'd cut into circles roughly as big as a saucer, plop 2-3  tablespoons of apples in the middle,  fold and pinch the edges shut.  Then she'd heat a cast iron skillet, add a couple tbsps of oil and butter mixed and when the oil was hot, she'd place those pies in the skillet to fry slowly.  When browned on one side, she'd turn to cook on the other side and then remove them to drain on a paper towel. 

You can do this whole recipe with canned biscuits and applesauce if you'd prefer. I have just baked them in the oven which suits us and our digestion admirably.  My family looks forward to this as a seasonal treat just before Autumn arrives and Summer ends

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Tried and True Thursday


I have always loved Gingerbread.  Years ago when I was in elementary school, Gingerbread days in the lunchroom were hailed as mighty fine ones.  That was truly years ago, when food in the schools was made from scratch, not this frozen processed stuff that is merely heated and served now in the schools.  School lunches in my youth were awesome things.

Anyway, back to Gingerbread:  spicy, warm, rich, moist and topped more often than not with a warm lemon sauce.  Awesome!  Granny made Gingerbread as well and served hers warm with chilled homemade applesauce on the side.  Yum!

When I grew up and had children of my own, Gingerbread was one of our frequent desserts, especially in those early days when money was so terribly tight.  It was fairly inexpensive to make and rich enough to satisfy the family sweet tooth and a smaller portion satisfied.   Then I lost my recipe...and I spent years looking for a good gingerbread recipe.  For once my favorite recipe book, The Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedia Cookbook, utterly failed me.  Not one of the recipes was quite right.  Some were too light, all were too dry and none had that spicy richness I wanted.

Last year when I was visiting the Culloden Library Booth at the Peaches to Beaches Yard Sale, I found a 1970 issue of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, close enough to my long lost 1978 version to give me hope.  Flipping it open to cakes, I found my favorite recipe for Gingerbread.  I bought the book on the spot and made gingerbread that afternoon after returning home.

For me, Gingerbread is the quintessential Autumn dessert.  I love it best when the weather is rainy and cold and I can turn on the oven, whip up a panful and fill the house with warmth and spice.  That said, I do make it in occasionally in other seasons.  But I make it more often in the colder months. 

Sometimes I make it just as it is written below.  Other times I make it more like an upside down cake and if you haven't tried this you really should.  Proceed as you would for a pineapple upside down cake, melting butter in the bottom of your pan and adding brown sugar...then layer in thinly sliced pieces of apple or pear, pour over the Gingerbread batter and bake.  It's an interesting twist and a good way to use up those last two apples or pears.

To serve Gingerbread: Cut into squares and eat plain, out of hand, while warm with a tall cold glass of milk to wash it down.  For dessert, serve topped with lemon sauce (I don't have a recipe for this but it is essentially lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and water cooked until thickened.  It's a sweet tart sort of sauce), or applesauce or mix a spoonful or two of warm lemon curd into whipped cream and dollop on top. 

1/2 cup shortening (some recipes call for butter.  I use what I have on hand)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses (I like dark for the darkness it gives the bread...I have substituted cane syrup but I prefer molasses)
1 1/2 cups sifted self-rising flour
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup boiling water (you can use hot brewed coffee if you've leftovers)

Cream shortening and sugar until light.  Add egg and molasses, beating thoroughly.  Sift flour then add alternately with water, beating after each addition.  Bake in greased and lightly floured cake pan, 8 X 8, at 350F for 35-40 minutes, until pick inserted in center comes out clean. 

***Just a side note here...when I lived in an older home with plenty of holes for wintering mice to find their way indoors, I often baited mice traps with Gingerbread cubes.  The mice found the spicy goodness irresistible, too!


Tried and True Thursday


When I was growing up the Avocado was a pretty much exotic fruit.  We might see an occasional one at the bigger chain grocery stores, but seldom.  Things have changed dramatically.  Now even the tiny local grocery stores carry avocados (though not the one in my hometown). 

My first experience with avocado came in my early twenties.  My neighbor and friend was from California, Riverside to be exact, and she knew all about wonderful things like Hispanic cooking, avocados and wine, all exotic stuff to this rurally raised Southern gal.  I kid you not, the first macaroni salad I ever ate in my life was served at this woman's table, complete with the equally exotic black olives as garnish! lol   My California born friend was responsible for broadening my food horizons. 

I love avocado now.  I like it on burgers, in salads, and made into guacamole.  There are all sorts of recipes out there for guacamole.  It's kind of like eating Brunswick Stew or Barbeque or Clam Chowder...every region has it's particular version.  I can't recall just where I got my recipe from, but it is fairly straightforward, it tastes wonderfully fresh and when I do make it I fight to get a tablespoonful before it's all gone.  While one might traditionally eat guacamole with tortilla chips, it's wonderful spread on a burger, dolloped in the midst of a green salad and topped with grilled chicken, or even eaten with crackers.

2 ripe avocados (about 1 cup flesh total)
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 small jalapeno, seeded
2 green onions, whites and green tops
salt to taste

Cut avocados in half, remove pit and scoop out flesh.  Mash with a fork.  Add seasonings and stir well.  Serve immediately.  If you plan to keep in fridge for a few hours, put one of the avocado pits in the bowl with the guacamole and cover tightly.

Lemonade Stand Pie

Tried and True Thursday *Flashback to July 2009

1920 kitchen

Lemonade Stand Pie
This was one of the very first desserts I made as a brand new homemaker.  I loved the tart rich flavor of the pie filling and because it was a frozen pie it was perfect for a summer dessert.  I'll never forget the first time I served it.  Granny and her mother, Big Mama, came to lunch at my house.  I made sure the table was pretty with a tablecloth and my wedding china and because I had no flowers my bouquet was bunches  of  branches with green leaves of various trees from the yard.  I served potato salad and dusted the top of the salad with paprika for additional color.  I can't for the life of me remember what else was on our menu, except for the pie.

This recipe is versatile and easy to make.  A graham crust is the traditional crust, but you could use gingersnaps, vanilla wafers, pecan shortbread cookies or cornflakes, etc.   While the recipe calls for lemonade concentrate, I have used lime and you could use pineapple or orange juice concentrates as well.  I can tell you for sure that this is an easy recipe.  It's less than five ingredients if you have a pre-made crust. 

Lemonade Stand Pie
1 6-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-ounce container whipped topping
1 prepared crust, graham or your choice

Allow lemonade concentrate to thaw.  While still cold, pour into mixing bowl.  Add condensed milk and stir until thick and creamy.  Gently fold in all but 1/2 cup of the whipped topping.  Pour into pie shell and freeze. To serve, allow to sit at room temp for 15 minutes.  Slice and serve.  Use remaining whipped topping to dollop on slices

Fried Green Tomatoes

Tried and True Thursday  *Flashback to July 2009

1920 kitchen
Fried Green Tomatoes
Growing up in the South and in a gardening family, we had plenty of vegetables to eat fresh all summer long.  Often lunches were vegetable plates only, no meat.  And it wasn't uncommon to have cucumber sandwiches, tomato sandwiches or vegetable garden sandwiches (whatever was fresh and ripe and ready to eat along with a lettuce leaf between two slices of white bread!).

Occasionally we'd have green tomatoes on the vine come end of season and at that time Mama and Granny and Big Mama went into a frenzy of making up huge batches of green tomato relish.  Boy was that stuff good, especially on a mess of black eyed peas mid-winter.  (A mess of anything  is a potful).  During the relish making it was inevitable that we'd want lunch.  And with all those green tomatoes on the counter it seemed only fitting that we'd eat them for lunch. 

In later years, we often didn't wait for relish days to make fried green tomatoes.  When tomatoes were plentiful and in various stages of ripeness they were brought indoors and put on the windowsill.  Just let Mama think for one minute she didn't have a green vegetable to go on the table.  Why right there was a green tomato on the windowsill.  She'd take two, slice them and fry them right up.

Then Fannie Flagg wrote a book, which was made into a movie, both titled Fried Green Tomatoes.  Suddenly, everybody wanted to try those fried green tomatoes.  Nowadays many  groceries carry green tomatoes as well as ripe ones, so I can buy them.  And do you know they charge more for green tomatoes?  Well they are worth it.

Several years ago a friend from up North happened to drop by as I started to prepare supper, which happened to have Fried Green Tomatoes in the menu.  He was fascinated by the whole concept of eating a green tomato.  My kitchen was very small and as I took up the tomatoes from the pan, I put them on a plate on the counter behind me.  I urged him to "Try one..."  Well I should have known better!  The man not only tried one, he tried every single tomato slice that came out of the pan.  Imagine my surprise when I turned to pick up what was supposed to be a platter full of tomato slices and found just three lonely little slices on the plate!  He looked at me sheepishly and apologized...for not eating them all!  "I got full," he said.  Needless to say, he was a convert to eating green tomatoes!

I do things a bit differently.  Number One, I don't garden.  I know it's a darned shame, but Chance was city born and bred and truly did believe for many years that gardens were for those who couldn't get to the grocery store!  He's changing his thinking though and perhaps next year, he says, we shall plant a small garden of our own.  Being limited to the grocery store, meant I didn't have access to green tomatoes for a long time, unless someone with a garden blessed us.  (2016 and he's still saying, "Maybe next year..." or more often, "When I retire...")

Number Two, I have perfected my own method of making Fried Green Tomatoes.  Mama's method was straightforward, dip the sliced tomato in flour, drop in a skillet of hot oil, brown, flip and brown and eat.  They are perfectly edible prepared this way.  A neighbor of ours used to dip them in corn meal, which was pretty darned good, too. 

Here's my way of making them:
Fried Green Tomatoes
2 or 3 large green tomatoes (some red streaks are okay but all green are even better)
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup corn meal
1/2 cup flour

Slice tomatoes thin (I know in the movie they sliced them thick, but honestly no one I know ever cut them that thick to fry.  Thin is best.  The tomatoes will crisp up a little).  Pour buttermilk over tomato slices.

Mix the dry ingredients in a pie plate.  Heat oil in skillet (you don't need to deep fry, just cover the bottom of the frying pan with oil.  You'll be adding more as you go).

Take a tomato slice that is fairly wet with buttermilk, dredge in dry mixture, drop into hot pan and repeat until pan is filled but not overfull.  They will fry fairly quickly and about the time you drop in the last that will fit in the pan you'll be turning the first one over.  By the time all the slices in the pan are turned over, it's time to take up the first one. 

The slices are best put on a rack over paper towels to cool slightly, rather than right on a plate, if you want them to remain crispy.  Otherwise, as you layer them on a plate they will get soft, but believe me they are still wonderful.  Repeat process until all slices are cooked.

Homemade Cream Style Corn

Tried and True Thursday (flashback to July 2009)

1920 kitchen

Homemade Cream Style Corn
I grew up in a family of gardeners.  We ate fresh vegetables all summer long and canned and froze and preserved everything we could for eating the other nine months of the year.  Fresh foods are soooooo much better than the stuff we get today in the grocery.

I've made the most of corn on the cob thus far this summer.  But I was homesick for some of the foods I grew up homemade cream style corn, which has absolutely no relationship to the canned stuff on the grocery shelves, nor the frozen stuff that comes in tubes either.  Twenty years ago, when Mackenzie Foods was still a small independent produce plant in the small town I lived in, they offered up packages of frozen cream style corn that was like homemade.  Alas, that business bit the dust after the union came in and took over the plant.
So this past week, while I was with Granny I asked: How do you make cream style corn?  I well remember the shucking and silking of ears each year.  But the part that came after we weren't allowed to participate in.  So Granny told me how to do it with a knife and as an afterthought she told me I could also use my box grater and use the long slicing side.

I bought corn on Big Shop day and yesterday I set to work.  First I cut off the tassels and the stem.  Then I shucked the corn and silked it and washed the ears well.  Then I put the box grater in a big deep bowl.  I did recall this part correctly.  Grating corn is a messy splattery sort of job.  I ran the ears of corn over the box grater until I saw nothing but cob on them.  And then I began the cooking of the corn. 

It was delicious!  We had fried green tomatoes with the dish (I'll try and remember to share that recipe with you next week) and cold ham slices and freshly buttered homemade bread.  While Katie declares me a gourmet cook, this was pure country cooking, good food, and boy was it worth every bit of my time and effort!

Homemade Cream Style Corn
6 ears of corn, trimmed, shucked, silked and washed
Place box grater in deep dish pan, or pot.  Grate corn on box grater (use the cheese slicer side) until nothing but cob remains.
Put corn in frying pan.  Add just enough water to cover slightly, then bring to boil over medium heat.  Stir and scrape pan often (I found about every ten minutes was just about right).  Add more water as needed.  Corn will need to simmer over medium to medium low heat for about 40 minutes.  Taste to determine 'doneness'.  It will taste sweet and not have the 'raw' milky taste of fresh uncooked corn.
When done, slowly stir in 3 tbsps cream, and 1 generous tbsp of butter.  Salt and pepper to taste and cook a few minutes longer until corn is thick and creamy. 

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

Forgive the banner in the midst of this.  I was being lazy and used copy/paste instead of editing it properly, but only because I'm anxious to share this recipe.  It's one of the meals made while Bess was here and sharing cooking duties and it was so awesome.  John has mentioned it three times and each time he ends with "And it was good!"  I'm not sure but he might have liked it.

This recipe is from the website 

Slow Cooker Paprkia Chicken

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • 2-3 lbs. chicken drumsticks or thighs
  • 3-4 russett potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp worchestershire
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Chicken Bullion cube
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  1. Add all ingredients (except the sour cream) into the slow cooker.
  2. Mix to evenly distribute the spices.
  3. Cook on high for 4 hours (or medium for 6, or low for 8).
  4. Remove chicken and vegetables from the slow cooker.
  5. Add sour cream to the remaining liquid and whisk.
  6. Pour some of the gravy over the top of the chicken and vegetables and serve.