Traditions, Vegetable

Fried Okra cornmeal style

This is one of my favorites from My Grandmother Grace. This is a little this and that recipe.Grace was a Texan woman that lived in West Texas. She had real grit! Like her peppers on fire from the hot garden and could eat them raw off the vine. She made fresh okra In a cast iron skillet with fresh corn meal. The crumbles have a glorious popcorn flavor. (Sorry pictured not in cast iron as I highly recommend for the heat)

Mess of clean chopped okra

Cornmeal to cover pan.(1-2 cups)

Canola oil salt and pepper

Bring pan and enough oil to cover pan on high- add okra and cover w cornmeal.

Season.

Cook tossing continually not to burn but not to rough to hurt Okra. Until brown. About ten minutes.

Eat it up!

You can use bagged frozen okra. Be cautious putting into oil/ will spatter.

You might need to add oil if too dry.

Soups and Appitizers

Italian sausage and rice soup

Todays cooking has sparked my creativity and imagination for one pan meals. With home cooking comes many more dishes. This is a simple one pot simmer that is satifying and full of glorious veggies. Enjoy!

Chicken Italian sausage sliced bitesize

1.5 cups rice

6 cups chicken broth

Chopped 1/2 cup each

Carrot, sweet onion, celery, okra, thin sliced cabbage

2 clove diced garlic

3 cups fresh spinach leaves

2 can roasted diced tomatos

2 bay leaves

Tbls Italian seasonings

1 sprig fresh rosemary in seasoning bag.

Olive oil

Brown meat with oliveoil for about ten minutes.

Add rice and veggies and brown til onions limp (reserve add after veggies limp)

Add tomatoes , broth, herbs, and simmer 25 minutes covered.

Enjoy.

Serve with fresh Parmesan and warm bread.

Traditions

Shepherds Pie- from a childhood memory.

Comfort pie

So growing up the youngest- I have so many memories of the really cool friends of my older siblings. One person especially was a great Scotsman of the Campbell clan, named Andrew, with a huge red beard and a personality that was vibrant and alive. He was very smitten with my sister Leslie. I would say he was at least ten feet tall and wearing a kilt with a laugh that made anybody smile. Of course this is the memory of a 7 year old me. I just remember his kindness and love of good food. He made a Shepherds pie that still to this day makes my mouth water and heart warm. I hope you enjoy…

  • Hearty pie crust dough (scratch or store bought works fine)
  • 1 lb Ground lamb
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup Chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 2 clove chopped garlic
  • Garlic powder
  • tsp Rosemary
  • tsp oregano
  • Bay leaf
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbs beef better than bullion base
  • Olive oil
  • Mashed potatoes approx 4 cups
  • – I make my potatoes with evaporated canned milk. It adds a richness with out all the heavy cream and butter. Make on wetter side for baking

Saute chopped carrots and celery until tender in olive oil keeping peas out until pie assembly. Nothing worst than mushy peas. Set aside.

Brown meats with seasonings onion add garlic last couple minutes and drain well in paper towels. Lamb is very fatty.

Small bowl- mix 2 cups warm water- bouillon and two heaping Tbs corn starch.

Bring all veggies and meat together in skillet and add bouillon-corn starch mixture. Bring to low simmer boil until thickened. Taste. Salt and pepper- Taste again. Good??? More pepper if you like a bite- I like this more savory less spice.

You want this a bit saucy and potatoes wet so it can bake and not dry out.

Place pie crust dough in deep pie plate or casserole plate.

Cover with seasoned rich Mashed potatoes. (Some like cheddar on top as well- Im more traditional)

Bake in 375 oven 45 minutes uncovered and pie crust is golden brown.

Serve hot out of the oven- or good as a cold slice for leftover lunch pail.

A true hug in a pie plate!

I can smell it baking … makes my mouth water. Love from my kitchen to yours.

Traditions

Coconut Curry Chicken

Coconut Curry Chicken Bowl

Being the primary chef of the family and trying to make it fairly easy I lean on basic staples to pull together yummy options. I use our rice cooker often with rice being the complimenting starch to any savory. I love to visit all the varieties of rices. This also utilizes the simplicity of the rotisserie chicken. I can create wonders with a $4.99 Costco chicken. Enjoy from my home to yours…

•chicken breast and drk meat from a rotisserie chicken. 1/2 chicken chopped)
•1 cup chopped carrot
•1/2 c chopped celery
•1/2 cup chopped onion
•1/4 cup chopped red pepper
• tsp chopped garlic
•1/2 cop pineapple pieces optional
1 can whole coconut milk
1 -2 Tbl curry to taste
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Salt to taste
Olive oil
1.5 cup uncooked Jasmine Rice
Garnish
Chopped fresh cilantra
Lime wedge

Chopped veggies


Saute chopped vegetables in olive oil until just tender reserving garlic until last two minutes.
Add large chopped chicken.


I really like the Coconut cream from trader Joes but any whole coconut cream will add the richness and thicker broth.

Rotissere chicken makes meals quick and simple. Easy freezer item.
A favorite staple on my pantry shelf

Simmer with added spices to heat thru and add pineapple. Salt to taste. 

Don’t over cook to cause chicken to fall apart. Just to really heat thru and enjoy. 

Garnish with cilantro and squeeze fresh lime.

Quick healthy and so satisfying.
Traditions

Biscotti for that perfect bite

Growing up on a farm I didn’t get introduced to this delightful dipping cookie until into my adult years. I learned to appreciate cafe drinks and treats traveling abroad.  I loved how Europeans enjoyed a biscuit or a cookie/cake with tea and the famous biscotti is the perfect crunchy sweet bite for dunking in your cafe or even good vino. They have great shelf life and so easy to whip up a batch. I hope you too will enjoy…

Biscotti Toscanivanilla, almond with a hint of orange and nutmeg

  • 1/2 C whole raw almonds
  • 1/3 C  room temp salted butter
  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tsp Orange or lemon zest
  • 2 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 – prepare a large baking sheet greased and lightly floured.

Place nuts in a shallow baking pan and roast for 10 minutes.  course chop set aside

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy in a dough mixer.  Add beaten egg, vanilla, zest and mix well.  In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients until fully blended together and slowly add to the wet mixture incorporating slowly, take dough and fold in chopped nuts by hand.  Divide dough into two- creating two logs approximately 12 inches long, 1.5 inch wide and 1/2 inches thick. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes.  let rest for 5 minutes and then cut your biscuits at a 45 degree angle and lay flat on baking sheet. 

Return to oven for 5 minutes- flip then return to oven an additional 5 minutes.  Allow to cool on a cooling rack and store in airtight container.

 

Chocolate Cioccolato-Biscotti 

Follow the same directions of the Biscotti Toscani

  • 2/3 C Whole Almonds
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 2 Eggs beaten
  • 2 TBS Amaretto or Grand Marne Liquor
  • 2 C and 2 TBS all purpose flour
  • 1/3 C unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 milk chocolate chips

 

This chocolate cookie is so good with a rich glass of Merlot or cabernet.

 

 

 

Traditions

Simple pepperoni rolls (replacing pizza pockets)

In times like these it fun creating recipes that are easy- but versatile. I keep creating with multi meals or snacks in mind for easy heat up solutions. These rolls can be eaten next day cold or frozen for great grab and heat snack. The egg wash inside adds a bit of richness. Use store bough pizza dough if you don’t have a means to make dough. Im finding yeast is hard to acquire. Enjoy.

With me still struggling with arm recovery/ I depend on my bread machine dough setting for the work.

Pizza crust ingredients

3/4 C warm water

2 Tbs olive oil

1 packet yeast

2 1/3 c flour

1 tsp salt

T tsp sugar

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dried basil

I use my breadmaker dough setting

Dissolve yeast in baking pan then add oil

Separate bowl mix all dry ingredients

Pour over wet ingredients. Start. 1.3 hours

This batch made 10

rolls -I could have made 12

When dough is finished needed

1 beated egg and brush

Pepporoni

Mazzarella cheese shreaded

Divided dough into 10-12 roll size pieces.

Roll out to 1/4 inch

Paint w egg wash

Add cheese and overlap 4 pepperonis

Roll tight and pinch ends.

Seem side down on baking sheet.

Add dash water to egg wash thats left

Paint tops of rolls

Sprinkle w parmasean cheese and i used garlic rub. No salt herb mix)

Be creative

Bake at 400 degrees 12-14 minutes or til golden brown.

Traditions

Freeze the Fresh -smart conserving ideas and home project!

Growing up surrounded by the rolling country life in Virginia- I learned good techniques to stretch a meal and preserve the garden bounty. I have always enjoyed these learned lessons with my canning and preserves. I admired the techniques and awed the beauty of the country pantry stocked with a rainbow of jared loving work. But this simple trick of freezing is something Ive always done. Especially if I fine good deals in the produce isle. ( yes I am that woman that buys the dollar mark downs.) My favorite deal was bulk mushrooms by the jumbo bags on the mark down dollar shelf. (That story is in my mushroom soup recipe.) I am-friends with the produce guy- for getting me the big box of tomatoes going off the line that are mushy or bruised. Marked down for cost saving. Best salsa ever! (Salsa recipe) And Ill take a jar or two to share as a thank you next visit to the store.

Freezing vegetables and fresh fruit is so easy! Dont toss the wilting pepper- freeze the asparagus before it withers – onions and potatoes before they sprout are so easy if you prep a bit.

So many instructions on the internet but here are a few of my typical staples in the freezer.

Veggies-

Clean and prep cut the size you want in finished product. Bring a pot of water large enough to cover vegetables once dropped in. I use my larger stock pot. Bring water to a full rolling boil snd drop prepped vegetables in for two minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. A ice water bath is the best but I don’t have an ice maker so Ice is hard to get in my house right now. I do cold tap.

Spread out veggies on a plate or cookie sheet and pat dry with clean towel. Bag in clean dry freezer bag pushing as much air out as possible. If you have a vacuum sealer even better! Freeze.

Broccoli, onions, peppers, beans, carrots, potatoes, peas, corn … think frozen veggies you buy. You can make yourself easily!

DO Not Freeze- lettuce

Spinach and kale I have frozen right in the fresh bags. You can precook as well.

Fruit! Even easier!!! DO NOT BLANCH freeze fresh direct

Clean stems dirt and pick out bad berries

Pat dry- spread out on cookie sheet freeze for two hours. This keeps berries from sticking together in freezer bag. Place in airtight bag or container. Yummy snack frozen right out of the freezer. Great for smoothies and baking! Berries are best! Apples and peaches a like to cook first but you can toss slices in lemon juice to preserve color and freeze.

Fun home project with kids!! Eat healthy and put love in your cooking. ❤️❤️