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Showing posts from July, 2013

Superfood Scramble

This is the perfect time of year to enjoy fresh produce and farm fresh eggs for a beautiful, colorful meal. Although most people only think of eggs for breakfast, this meal is great for any quick meal, any time of the day. One of the best things about this recipe, besides the taste, is the big bang-for-your-buck in terms of health benefits. The Superfood Scramble combines the health benefits of not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR known superfoods in one easy meal. Just look at some of the health benefits of the ingredients: Avocado: Promotes Heart Health, Anti-Inflammatory, Regulates Blood Sugar, Antioxidants Onion: Promotes Heart Health, Supports Bone Density, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Cancer Spinach: Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Cancer, Antioxidants, Supports Bone Health Tomato: Antioxidants, Promotes Heart Health, Supports Bone Health, Anti-Cancer Don't let the simplicity of the dish fool you. There is more flavor in the small dish than in some of the most e

Perfect Pizza Pockets

This recipe was inspired by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman . I have tried several different pizza dough recipes over the years and have never been really happy with any of them; I was struggling to find a soft, pillowy dough for my homemade pizza recipes. However, that all changed while watching my favorite cooking show when she made calzones with dinner roll dough. I was shocked! Really?? Frozen bread dough for pizzas??? I had to try it and quick! What I discovered was phenomenal. I finally had the soft, billowy dough I had been working so hard to make from scratch, and it was easier and cheaper than anything I had tried before. These pizza pockets are delicious, a crowd pleaser, and budget friendly. My husband loves these so much that we have had them once a week for the past two weeks and he has gladly taken the leftovers for lunch, which is a win in my book! This recipe is basically a technique. You can customize the fillings with your favorites, but I would make sure not to

Summertime Pasta Salad with Vinaigrette

I could not wait to share this recipe! I will be honest, I am not the biggest fan of pasta salads, but this recipe has changed my outlook! I am used to pastas coated in a thick mayonnaise or loaded with Italian dressing, neither of which says "Yummy!" to me. This recipe combines a fresh vinaigrette with perfectly ripened vegetables. One of the great things is that this salad has it all. You get you starch, vitamins, and protein! Additionally, since there is no mayonnaise involved, you can take this to a picnic and not have to worry. FOR THE PASTA 1/2 Pound Spiral Pasta 8 Cups Water 4 Tablespoons Salt FOR THE SALAD 1 Large Cucumber, Peeled and Seeded 2 Large Tomatoes, Seeded 1 Haas Avocado 15 Ounces Canned Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed 1 Ear Corn, Kernels Removed from Cob FOR THE VINAIGRETTE 3 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice 3 Tablespoons Honey 3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar 1/4 Cup Cilantro 1 Clove Garlic 1/4 teaspoon Salt 1/4 teas

Blueberry Biscuits with Lemon Glaze

Today is my husband's birthday and I woke up prepared to make him anything he wanted for his big day's breakfast. I was truly expecting some meal laden with bacon, sausage, or eggs, but, surprisingly, he requested blueberry biscuits. I will be honest, I had never made blueberry biscuits, but I have made hundreds of batches of biscuits in my life and I was not about to back down to the challenge. My inspiration for the biscuits comes from a fast food restaurant in North Carolina and some other Southern states. However, I did a twist on the standard glaze and went with a lemon glaze instead. The glaze was the key! You get a flaky, tender biscuit with plump berries finished off by a refreshing citrus tart. A-MA-ZING! You could easily adapt this for a brunch or shower by using a smaller biscuit cutter and make them bite-size. All you would have to do is reduce the time of baking and wallah, blueberry tea biscuits! FOR THE BISCUITS 2 Cups All Purpose Flour, plus more for

Slow Cooker Brisket

I think when people hear the word "brisket," they are immediately intimidated. All you hear on television is about it turning out tough or dry unless cooked by a talented pit master. While I can attest that cooking one on the grill is tricky, picture a charred chunk of meat, but the slow cooker is a perfect pairing for the novice brisket cook. This recipe produced a tender brisket covered in a concentrated sauce, perfect for sandwiches or sliced on a platter. 2 Pound Brisket 1 Large Yellow Onion 3 Cloves Garlic FOR THE SAUCE 2 1/2 Cups Ketchup 1 Cup Water 1 teaspoon Black Pepper 1 teaspoon Dried Parsley 1/4 teaspoon Cumin 1/4 teaspoon Beef Bouillon 1 teaspoon Paprika 1. Slice the onion into 1/2" rings. Separate the rings and layer onto the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with sliced garlic. Lay the brisket onto the bed of aromatics. 2. In a large measuring cup, combine all of the sauce ingredients. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Pour the sau

Strawberry Pound Cake

Nothing seems to scream Summertime more than fresh berries straight from the fields. It is always great to get large bounties of fruit when they ripen, but, you might find yourself looking for something different to do in an effort to enjoy all the deliciousness.  This past week, I was going to a covered dish dinner and decided to make one of my famous pound cakes with fresh strawberries. While I knew that the result would be good, I had no idea exactly how delicious it would be once complete. Imagine strawberry shortcake inside of a pound cake; that is how I would describe this cake.  One gentleman at the dinner actually said, "This is the kind of cake that would make a bulldog break his chain!" I will take that as a compliment. 1 Cup Vegetable Shortening 3 Cups Sugar 1 Stick Softened Butter 5 Eggs 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour 1 teaspoon Baking Powder 1/2 teaspoon Salt 1 Cup Whole Milk 2 Cups Fresh Strawberries, Diced Preh

Southern Summer Squash

  Summer squash is a Southern favorite. I love it almost any way it comes......casserole, steamed, sautéed ...however, my husband is not as flexible. He likes the traditional fried squash, and that is about it! But being the modern southern girl I am, I prefer to find a lighter way to enjoy the same flavors; for this recipe, that meant doing away with the frying and modifying the recipe to baking. My mom was actually the first perfect this technique. She started baking her squash when I was in college; she is just like my husband in that she only wants her squash battered and fried, so she wanted a simpler, healthier way to enjoy this summertime delight. We also use this exact same cooking technique and batter for our zucchini as well. You should try this recipe for your next summer dinner. You will love the crisp texture without all the grease, and the cleanup is much easier than standing by a stove cooking in grease. 2 Yellow Squash 2 Eggs, Beaten 1 Cup Corn Meal 1 teaspo

Spinach Stuffed Filet with Avocado Cream Sauce

So my husband is away this week and I decided to experiment with ingredients I love that he is, well, let's just say, not too fond of eating. Tonight's selections include avocado and spinach. This recipe was a winner! The rolled up filet steak gets filled with cheese and spinach and then topped with a lovely avocado cream sauce. While it tastes completely decadent, it is actually a light indulgence. I guess while the husband's away, the wife will play..... Avocado Cream Sauce 1 Ripe Avocado 1 Clove Garlic, Chopped 1 Lime, Zest and Juice 1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt 1/8 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 1 1/2 teaspoon Rice Vinegar Spinach Stuffed Filet 5 Ounce Beef Filet Steak 1 Slice Provolone Cheese, Halved 1/4 Cup Baby Spinach 1 Pinch Salt 1 Pinch Cracked Black Pepper 1 teaspoon Olive Oil 1. Combine all of ingredients for the cream sauce in a food processor. Run until completely smooth. Add additional salt and pepper to

Chocolate Sandwiches with Creamy Filling

Cookies, cookies, there anything better than a really good cookie at the end of a party? For our Fourth of July celebration, I did not want to make some large cake or elaborate dessert. I considered cupcakes, but that didn't seem different enough. I decided to go old school  and create a whoopie pie, a tender chocolate sandwich cookie with a creamy filling. This recipe is different from other recipes I have made because the filling is creamy and smooth, rather than the typical frosting center. This recipe was a big hit, allowed everyone to keep socializing while enjoying a handheld dessert, and the extras are great for a decadent snack. FOR THE COOKIE 1/2 Cup Baking Cocoa 1/2 Cup Hot Water 1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening 1 1/2 Cup Sugar 2 Eggs 1 teaspoon Vanilla 2 2/3 Cup All Purpose Flour 1 teaspoon Baking Powder 1 teaspoon Baking Soda 1/4 teaspoon Salt 1/2 Cup Whole Milk 1/2 teaspoon Distilled Vinegar FOR THE FILLING 8 Tablespoons Un

Thai Basil Chicken

Summertime is a time to enjoy the freshness of the garden and the bounty of the season. A co-worker of my husband gave him some beautiful Thai basil from her garden this week and I could not wait to make something delicious. This recipe uses thin chicken breasts, which means they cook very quickly. The light breading and pan frying provide a thin yet crispy crust, reminiscent of southern fried chicken without all of the heaviness and fat. The marinade allows the chicken breast to be infused with the beautiful basil aroma and a slight spice. This chicken recipe is perfect for summer! 4 Thin Sliced Chicken Breasts (Approximately 1 Pound) FOR THE MARINADE 1 Tablespoon Thai Basil, Chopped 1 Clove Garlic, Chopped 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 1 teaspoon Rice Vinegar 1/4 teaspoon Salt 1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes FOR THE BREADING 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour 2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten 1/2 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs FOR COOKING 1 Tablespoon Veget