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Showing posts from 2014

Easy Oven Pulled Pork

With the weather turning colder, being able to go outside and enjoy the deliciousness of pulled pork on our smoker gets more difficult. The long hours outside keeping watch on the meat, adjusting the settings to account for the colder air, and, frankly, spending all day working on a meal when you really have other things you need to be doing. So what do you do when you want the tender pulled pork you enjoy in the summer months without all the hassle? You make Easy Oven Pulled Pork. This recipe combines many of the flavors my husband and I love in our favorite pulled pork recipes. There is a sweetness from the brown sugar, a tanginess from the vinegar, a spice from the chipotles in adobo, and a unique pepperiness from the hoppy India Pale Ale. Unlike when you are working with a smoker, the oven provides a consistent temperature without adjustment while the use of the heavy Dutch oven traps in all the moisture, creating a decadent pan sauce for spooning over the final product. Even if

Broccoli Cheddar Cornbread

A few weeks back, my husband and I were at a group tailgate for our alma mater. It was a cold day and the first snowfall of the season was happening. In order to stay warm, we were all huddled together enjoying our favorite cold weather foods. One of the ladies we were with brought a slow cooker full of chili beans and a dish of broccoli cornbread. "Broccoli cornbread?" I was astonished. I had never heard of such. However, once I took the first bite, I was in love. I immediately gave a piece to my husband, who, reluctantly, took his first bite; I could tell by the look on his face that he was shocked! I had to have this recipe. Once I got home, I began thinking about how I could make the recipe my own. The lady who brought it used a store bought boxed cornbread mix as the base. While I have nothing against using these products, I always have cornmeal on hand and did not want to spend money to purchase something unnecessary. As I stirred  up the first batch, I was a little s

The Absolute Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

One day last week, after a long, hectic day, my husband calls me right before I am heading home from work. He had just found out that his department was having an afternoon gathering the next day and was expected to bring a dessert. When he asked me if I could throw something together, I of course said yes, but in the back of my mind I was panicked. I was tired! I had no time to go to the store to get special ingredients! What was I going to do?!?! As I rushed home, I thought about what was stocked in my pantry. I knew I had plenty of quick cook oats as well as brown sugar. Hmm...a husband loves tender, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies; that would be simple enough! Sure enough, these were a huge hit. We even made a batch for the weekend tailgate and they were frequented by all in attendance. The sugary crust on top gives an extra crunch while the silicon baking mat creates the perfect cookie bottom. 2 Sticks Margarine, Softened 1 Cup Sugar 1 Cup Light Brown Su

Jalapeno Lime Rice

It is well documented that I love vegetables and I love taking advantage of the bounty harvested from my garden. This year, my husband and I decided to plant hot pepper plants. Throughout the last two months, we have been harvesting a handful of peppers everyday. While this is a blessing, it is also a curse. How, you ask? Well, imagine an entire refrigerator crisper drawer filled with jalapeno and habanero peppers....what do you do? Instead of panicking, I have decided to embrace it and create some new recipes. I have pickled peppers, made spicy burgers, and even spicy barbecue sauce, however, I still have a full drawer. On this particular day, I was looking for something to serve as a filling lunch item for my back-to-school lunchbox that was quick, easy, tasty, and healthy. The result was Jalapeno Lime Rice. The refreshing lime juice paired with the black beans, tender rice, and spicy jalapeno were the perfect combination. If you do not want as much spice, you can always seeded both

Monkey Treats

As a general grocery item in our house, bananas are always on hand. Usually we can eat them all before they ripen too much, but last week, we were left with three bananas that needed to be made into something before they went too far. I did not want to make banana bread, so I decided to figure out something new for these sweet, but very ripe, bananas. This recipe was developed to satisfy my craving for a cookie but with nutrition in mind. Are these "healthy" cookies? No, not really, but they are healthier than some of their relatives. Another great thing is that they stay moist and soft, making them almost like a tiny cake! Why call them Monkey Treats??? The bananas, of course!  1/2 Cup Butter, Softened 1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter 3 Ripe Bananas, Peeled 2 Eggs 1 teaspoon Vanilla 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips FOR THE DRY INGREDIENTS 2 Cups All Purpose Flour 2 Cups Oats 1 teaspoon Baking Soda 1 teaspoon

Summer Squash and Zucchini Bake

The abundance of zucchini and summer squash in our garden is still overwhelming. This is the longest we have ever had plants to continue to produce; we are blessed this year. However, this also means that I have to find new ways to use the vegetables in order to avoid burnout. While I love our traditional methods, this recipe allowed me to focus on the natural flavors of the squash in a healthier method. Unlike squash casserole, there is no cream or large amounts of cheese in this recipe.....although I do enjoy squash casserole! I also threw in some jalapenos for a little spice, and, in full disclosure, I needed to use up some of the dozens of jalapenos coming from our garden. Try this recipe. You will be pleasantly surprised! 1.5 Pounds Yellow Squash, Thinly Sliced 1.5 Pounds Zucchini, Thinly Sliced 1/4 Cup Canola Oil 1 Clove Garlic, Minced 2 Jalapenos, Minced 1/2 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese 1/2 teaspoon Salt 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

Zucchini Chips

The zucchini recipe trend is continuing. I am working to find more and more inventive ways to use this wonderful vegetable. When I am making "fried" zucchini, I normally use my Southern Summer Squash   recipe, simply swapping the zucchini in for the yellow squash, for a delicious un-fried zucchini. While this is wonderful and easy, I wanted to branch out a little more last week and find a new way to make baked zucchini resulting in a crisper zucchini chip. This recipe uses panko to make a crisp outer coating without a heavy batter. These chips were fantastic! Crisp, light, delicately seasoned and the flavor of the fresh zucchini came shining through. Perfection! 1-2 Zucchini 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour 3/4 teaspoon Salt 3/4 teaspoon Black Pepper 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder 2 Eggs 1 Tablespoon Water 1 1/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs 5 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil 1. Slice the zucchini into 1/8"-1/4" thick slices. 2. Prepare your dredging bowls. Fill t

The Best Zucchini Bread

Our garden is in full production mode right now. The peppers, tomatoes, corn, and squash are abundant. As we began gathering from our bounty this year, the first vegetables to ripen were the zucchini, and, just like always, when they start coming in, they come in! We only grow 2 plants because they always produce so abundantly. Everyday, we are getting 2-3 mature zucchini from the plants. For 2 people, that is a lot of zucchini! While we love grilled and baked zucchini, my husband asked me to develop a zucchini bread recipe, as he had never tried it before and had always heard of it. I was shocked! How could you grow up here and never have tried zucchini bread? Now, for those of you that are not from the South and have never eaten zucchini bread, please do not think that it is some bread that tastes like zucchini, because you would be sorely mistaken. This bread is moist and tender, filled with cinnamon flavor. For you mothers out there, this is also a great way to work some vegetable

Southwestern Beans

With the Fourth of July just a few days away, we are all preparing for family gatherings and backyard barbecues to celebrate our independence. While we all expect something delicious to be coming from the grill, getting creative with the side items is always fun. Here in the South, baked beans are a standard at any backyard gathering. The sweet, sticky, and bacon covered beans are fantastic. However, I love baked beans so much that I make several varieties throughout the year to enjoy as a meal. This recipe was inspired as a hybrid of my Mexican Campfire Beans and traditional Southern Picnic Beans . These beans are spicy! However, the heat is well rounded with the deep flavor of the chipotle powder and the sweetness of the brown sugar. So, as you prepare for your gathering this week, consider spicing up the cookout with these Southwestern Beans. 1 Pound Ground Beef 1/2 Cup Minced Yellow Onion 3-15 ounce Cans Pork-N-Beans 1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar 1 Cup Ketchup 2

Perfect Grilling Marinade

Part of perfect grilling is in the preparation. The coals of the charcoal grill have to be at the perfect temperature and properly stacked to maintain heat throughout the entire cooking time. Your timing has to be on point. You don't want your side dish coming off the grill when the main course is still only partially cooked. However, sometimes, even with perfect planning, the meat comes out dry, a little tough, or just under-seasoned. The key to solving this problem is in the perfect grilling marinade. This marinade combines the flavors of Asian cuisine with the classic American grill. While I used it for chicken and pork, you can marinade shrimp and beef in this same marinade with amazing results. Simply grill until the proper internal temperature for your meat is reached and enjoy with a nice side of fresh summer vegetables. 1/3 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce 1/3 Cup Lime Juice 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger 1/4 teaspoo

Confetti Salsa

I absolutely LOVE fresh vegetables. When the spring air becomes reminiscent of early summer days, all I can think about is enjoying the harvest. This salsa was a creation of my desire for something light, refreshing, and crisp. The lime juice adds a Caribbean flavor to the dish while the colors are so festive that they scream confetti. I make this salsa every weekend and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick, filling, and delicious after work snack, however, I have been known to simply eat it with a spoon for lunch. It is my new favorite go-to treat! In fact, I love this dish so much that I could not resist eating the salsa when I took the picture before finishing this post. Keep this recipe on hand for all those summer gatherings! 15 oz Canned Black Beans 15 oz Canned Yellow Corn 1 Red Bell Pepper 3 Green Onions, Chopped 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped 1/4 Cup Lime Juice 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil 1 teaspoon Salt 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper 1. Place the red bell pepp

Baked Apple Sauce Donuts with Maple Glaze

On Sunday evening, I was in the mood for something sweet and delicious. As I searched through the cabinets, nothing really seemed to catch my interest. Then, I remembered I had applesauce in the refrigerator and maple flavoring in the cabinet; the perfect solution was to create an applesauce donut with all of the flavors and spice of the old fashioned applesauce cake my grandmother made during my childhood. Another great thing about these donut is the maple glaze. The flavors scream breakfast with a subtle caramel undertone. On top of everything else, these are baked, not fried. So, in the world of donut consumption, they are basically guilt free! (Do you like my rationalization there???) No worries; with one bite of these delicious cake donuts, you will forget about an resolutions you may have made. Enjoy! FOR THE BATTER 2 Cups All Purpose Flour 3/4 Cup Sugar 2 teaspoons Baking Powder 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg 1 teaspoon Salt 1/2 Cup Cinnamon A

Chipotle Grilled Chicken Wings

It seems like when the days get longer and the sun gets warmer, the grill is the place to be. Why heat up your house cooking for hours when the grill can do all the work while you enjoy the great outdoors. These chicken wings are perfect for parties, tailgating, or just for a night on the couch watching the big game. The utilization of chipotle powder adds a nice warmth to the wings without being overly spicy. If you have the time, you can allow the wings to marinade in the rub, but it is not necessary. I could see preparing them in the rub and packing them in a cooler for a weekend camping trip. YUM!!! 36 Chicken Wings/Drummettes 2 teaspoons Salt 1 teaspoon Mustard Powder 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Powder 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder 2 teaspoons Paprika 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil, for oiling the grill 1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. 2. Place the chicken wings/drummettes in a large, resealable bag. 3. Sprinkle with the dry rub. Pre

Picnic Beans

As summer approaches, picnic and cookout season begins to crank into full swing. Here in the South, no matter if you are grilling chicken, burgers, or even having a pig-picking, a large pot of sweet baked beans is a must. This weekend, I wanted to create a variation on the classic baked bean and create a simple, slow-cooked version that was less sweet and more savory. These beans turned out wonderful! The pale ale adds a subtle undertone in the background without overpowering the savory flavor. The ease of this recipe also allows you to set the slow cooker to low and leave it without worries. 1 Pound Ground Beef 1/4 Cup Green Pepper, Chopped 1/2 Cup Yellow Onion, Chopped 1 Clove Garlic, Minced 30 Ounces Pork-N-Beans 3/4 Cup Pale Ale 6 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar 1/2 teaspoon Cumin 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper 2 Tablespoons Mustard 3 Tablespoons Ketchup 1. Brown the beef over medium heat with the green pepper, onion, and garlic. 2. O

Cream Cheese Lemon Pound Cake

With Spring in the air, everything is starting to come to life. During this time of year, the farm fresh products are beginning to be available. We are lucky enough to have farm fresh eggs available to us at various times during the year. The only issue is that some weeks you end up with an overabundance and have to figure out something to do with them. This week's solution was a glorious Cream Cheese Lemon Pound Cake. As you already know, pound cake is a Southern staple and a favorite on the site. My grandmother made the absolute best pound cake and I have used her recipe to develop several different varieties. The lemon pound cake was developed for my husband who prefers a little tart flavor in this Southern treat. The cream cheese was a last minute switch for me. I was afraid the normal stick of butter addition would overwhelm the lemon flavor, so I opted instead for the use of cream cheese. The result was a delicious, moist pound cake with a crisp lemon finish, perfect for

Apple Nut Oatmeal Muffins

So several people have asked me since I began the Modern Southern Cook for a muffin recipe that reduces the oil and fat without bananas. Of course. the reasonable substitute is apple sauce. This recipe uses apple sauce both as a substitute for oil as well as a flavoring ingredient. The addition of oats also adds a great texture to the muffin. For an added benefit, while these tender, delicious muffins are in the oven, your house will smell of apple pie, which is never a bad thing! Give these muffins a try; they are absolutely so moist that you would never guess they are a lighter version of something so hearty. 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour 1/2 Cup Oats 2 teaspoons Baking Powder 1 teaspoon Cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon Ginger 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar 1 pinch Salt 1/2 Cup Milk 1 Cup Cinnamon Apple Sauce 1 Egg 1 teaspoon Vanilla FOR THE TOPPING 1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans 2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar Yield: 6 Jumbo Muffins 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coa

Oatmeal Muffins

When trying to decide what to make for breakfast this week, I wanted to experiment with a new muffin recipe. By replacing some of the flour with oats, the fiber content of these muffins is bumped up. Additionally, the oil is replaced by a mashed bananas, adding a little sweetness, creaminess, and additional nutrients. This oatmeal muffin has all of the flavor profile of a traditional banana nut without all the guilt....if you feel guilty about things such as that. More than anything, this recipe gives you an extra muffin recipe to add to your archives. Plus, you will have an easy and portable oatmeal breakfast for those rushed weekday mornings! 1 Cup Oats 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Pecans 2 teaspoons Baking Powder 1 teaspoon Cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon Ginger 1 pinch Salt 1 Banana, mashed 1/2 Cup Milk 1 Egg, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon Vanilla FOR THE TOPPING 1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar 1. Place the oa