Monthly Archives: November 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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If you’re one of those people that thinks they don’t like Brussels Sprouts, I urge you to try this recipe. It’s delicious and goes great as a side to any main course!

Ingredients:
1 container of Brussels Sprouts halved
1/2 stick of butter
Olive oil
Garlic salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

1. Normally, I use a container of Brussels Sprouts for this recipe. However, my grocery store had this bad boy in stock for a steal! So I cut them off the stalk myself.
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2. Spread Brussels Sprouts halves over a cookie sheet lined with foil (to help with clean up later). Drizzle with olive oil and 1/2 stick of butter sliced into pats. The thing about butter is it makes everything delicious. I’m not a big stickler for how much to use here, so I try to go by this rule: when I think I’ve added enough butter, I add a little more just to be sure! Then season with garlic salt and pepper liberally and a light dusting with cayenne pepper.
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3. Pop these puppies into a preheated 375F degree oven for about 45 minutes.
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4. You’ll know they’re done when some of them begin to caramelize and turn golden.
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Sauted Cabbage

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Sauted Cabbage

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This is one of the cheapest, most delicious ways to add a side to your dinner. I dare you to tell me you don’t like cabbage after eating this!

Ingredients:
1 small head of cabbage chopped roughly
1/2 stick of butter
4-6 pieces of bacon sliced into 1 inch pieces
Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

1. Add cabbage, olive oil, butter, cayenne and red pepper, salt, and pepper to saute pan and set to medium-high heat. Saute for about ten minutes. -1

2. Add chopped bacon and garlic to cabbage. Saute until it looks like this:
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3. Bask in the greatness that is cabbage. Wonder why you never ate it before. Sit in the shock that this is cheaper than dirt!

Beef Fajitas

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Beef Fajitas

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Who doesn’t love a hot and delicious fajita? These are so delicious, and the marinade for the meat is the best I’ve ever tasted. So pour yourself a margarita and let’s get started!

Ingredients:
Skirt steak (you can use flank steak too if you can’t find skirt steak)
1 tablespoon of your favorite fajita seasoning
Juice of 1 lime
1 shot of tequila
1 cup Italian dressing
2 sweet onions sliced
1 bag of sweet peppers sliced into rings
1 jalapeño sliced into rings
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 stick butter
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Tortillas

1. Combine Italian dressing, lime juice, seasoning, and tequila in ziplock bag. Shake until combined and place your meat in there to marinade at least four hours. I usually do mine the morning of the day I’m cooking them for dinner. Here is a picture of my all-time favorite fajita seasoning:
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2. Sauté on medium to high heat onions, peppers, butter, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large skillet until it begins to caramelize. Then add chopped garlic and sauté another 7-10 minutes. It will look like this when it’s ready:
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3. Throw your fajita meat on the grill and cook until you reach desired doneness. Slice up and serve on warm tortillas and top with sautéed veggies, pico, sour cream, cheese, or whatever else you like on your fajitas. Don’t forget your margarita 🙂

Texas Cornbread Dressing

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Texas Cornbread Dressing

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With a busy schedule I like to make different parts of Thanksgiving ahead of time and take them out of the freezer closer to the big Turkey Day, so I have less to do when it actually gets here. Dressing is one of the easiest things to make and freeze ahead of time, and I’ll tell you step-by-step how to do it. This is my Mamaw’s recipe she has been making for years. She combined her mother-in-law’s cornbread dressing recipe with another she found in the paper years ago and it is truly the yummiest dressing ever. Let’s get started!

Ingredients:
1 pan of cornbread (you can use your favorite cornbread mix and make as directed on the package – I used Arrowhead Mills Whole Wheat Cornbread Mix)
5 pieces of toasted bread
1 stick of butter
1 sweet onion finely chopped
4 celery stalks chopped
4 hard boiled eggs chopped
1/2 chopped toasted pecans
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/8 tsp curry powder (we’ll talk about this in a second…)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. First get your cornbread mix going and bake as directed on the box/package. It takes about 30 minutes to get that cooked and another 5-10 to let it cool before handling it so you can get this started while you do everything else. Next, toast 5 pieces of bread so that all pieces are golden and crisp. Once the bread is done, break up with your hands into bread crumbs. It’s ok if they’re all different sizes. We’re in Texas and we’ll call it “rustic” 🙂 Set aside in large mixing bowl.
Cornbread Dressing Seasonings

2. About that curry powder… Yes, I know it’s totally weird but as my Mamaw says “People should just barely be able to taste it and think ‘I wonder what that seasoning is?’ without actually putting their finger on it.” Even though it is such a small amount, it really gives this dish a deeper dimension of flavor. Place onions, celery, butter, and seasonings in a saute pan and cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat. Cue the music, it’s about to get sexy up in here…
Butter and Veggies Cornbread Dressing

3. Once the veggies are getting closer to done, I like to put both soups and chicken broth in a microwave safe container and nuke it for about 40 seconds because I think it makes it easier to whisk them together.
Cornbread Dressing Liquid

4. Is your cornbread done yet? You’ll want to get it out and let it cool for a few minutes before scraping it all out and dumping into the bread crumb mixture. Again, break the cornbread up with your hands into those beautiful rustic breadcrumbs.
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5. While your veggies are finishing up cooking go ahead and toast your chopped pecans. This only takes a few minutes and the moment you smell them, they are done.
Cornbread Dressing Veggies

6. Combine the veggies, soup/broth mix, chopped hard boiled eggs, and pecans all together in large mixing bowl with cornbread/breadcrumbs mixture. Now listen because THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! Do not stir this up too much, because it will cause the dressing to become dense instead of fluffy and delicious. Have you ever tasted someone’s dressing and the texture is similar to a fruit cake/door stop? That’s because they stirred it too much. Stir just enough to combine and place in 9×11 buttered baking dish.

Now, if you’re like me and going to freeze this before Thanksgiving, this is where you get out your plastic wrap and foil. First, wrap 1-2 layers of plastic wrap around baking dish and press plastic wrap onto dressing so that it is actually touching the top. Then finish with a layer of foil. The day before Thanksgiving you can take this out and place it in your fridge to defrost, then bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Otherwise, if you’re making it right now just cook as I just said and bask in the deliciousness that is Southern Cornbread Dressing. Go ahead and pour yourself a glass of wine, you’ve earned it tackling Turkey Day ahead of time!
Cooked Cornbread Dressing

Southern Turnip Greens

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Southern Turnip Greens

Turnip Greens

I think Billy Currington said it best with his lyrics “Thank God for good directions and turnip greens.” I love greens and especially turnip greens! This recipe is great for just them, or you can mix and combine any greens together as well. The trifecta for me is collard, mustard, and turnip greens together, but this time I stuck with the classic original turnip greens. I love to serve these aside grilled chicken and sometimes I’ll even eat a big bowl of them for breakfast. I also like to shake a little pepper sauce on them to wake them up a little bit! Here’s what you’ll need…

Ingredients:
1 big bunch of greens roughly chopped (you can get these already chopped in a bag in the salad isle if you don’t feel like doing them yourself)
1 sweet onion chopped
2-3 cloves of chopped garlic
6-8 slices of bacon chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
1/8 tsp (pinch) of cayenne pepper
1 chicken bouillon cube (I only use Knorr brand)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Pepper
Olive oil
3 cups of water

1. In a pot saute onion with a little olive oil for about 15 minutes on medium to high heat. You want them to start caramelizing before you add anything else in. Once this happens, put your bacon in and cook for about 5 minutes before adding your chopped garlic in. Continue to cook for another 7-10 minutes or so until the bacon is mostly cooked. (I know traditionally in the South people use a ham hock here, but I really do prefer the bacon flavor over the ham hock. Scandalous, I know!)

2. You’ll probably have to do this in batches, but start adding in handfuls at a time chopped greens. You’ll need to saute each batch for a few minutes to make room for the rest to make it into your pot. Once you’ve done this 2-3 times, you should be about finished with wilting down your greens. Now you can add your seasonings.

3. You’ll want to add your water to the greens just so that they’re slightly covered. For me, this was about 3 cups. Then you’ll let the greens simmer with the lid on for a while until they are tender and delicious.

*Note* Some people like to add the actual turnips into the greens and serve them with them as well. If you want to do this, get out your best peeler and a glass of wine, because this will take a little time to get the turnips peeled. Chop them up into bite size pieces and add to the greens when you’re adding the water. You’ll need to let them simmer for at least 30 minutes for them to cook, and you might consider adding additional seasoning. Taste it first though before you add anything to make sure. Enjoy 🙂