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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!

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Texas Cornbread Dressing

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Texas Cornbread Dressing

Finished Cornbread Dressing2

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.
cornbread

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 🙂

Spicy Chili

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Spicy Chili

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Yesterday when I woke up it was cold and foggy outside, and that’s when I knew for sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt… It was a perfect day for chili! This chili has the perfect amount of kick and goes perfectly on baked potatoes (pictured), tamales, Fritos, French fries, or even by itself. Trust me, you could put this on an old leather boot and it would be delicious!

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground meat (beef, turkey, deer, whatever you like)
1 large sweet onion chopped
1 large jalapeño chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 12 oz beer (I used a Miller Lite, but any beer dark or light would be ok. Rule of adding drinks like this to food is if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t put it in your food. That means don’t buy the cheap stuff.)
1 can Rotel
1 cup Spicy V8 juice
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons each of garlic salt, paprika, and cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup ketchup (Heinz ketchup is my favorite)
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (I love French’s)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Add onion and peppers to pot and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (go easy because you can always add more later, but you can’t take it out once you’ve added it). Sauté for 20 minutes on medium to high heat.

2. Add ground meat and chopped garlic and sauté until fully cooked. Add seasonings and stir well. At this point you can either keep in pot or transfer to crock pot on low.

3. Add beer, Rotel, V8, ketchup, and mustard and keep at a simmer on stovetop or crockpot for a few hours or even all day.

4. Garnish chili with your favorite toppings before serving. Classic chili toppings include onion, green onion, cheese, sour cream, and avocado.

Roasted Onions And Potatoes

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Roasted Onions And Potatoes

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Nothing says caveman (or cave-woman) quite like a meal of meat and potatoes. I like to make these roasted onions and potatoes with a medley of different potatoes, and sometimes with just sweet potatoes. Either way it pairs perfectly with any grilled meat, but my favorite is steak. Trust me when I tell you these are some tasty taters!

Ingredients:
1 large red potato
1 large sweet potato
1 handful of purple potatoes
1 large sweet onion
1/2 stick of butter
1 jalapeno sliced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Slice all of your potatoes into circle slices, slice onion into slivers (not too thin, don’t want them to burn), and jalapeno into slices. Place these in a cast iron skillet (or baking dish if you don’t have one) and drizzle with olive oil.

2. Season liberally with salt and pepper and stir them all around making sure olive oil and seasoning is well distributed. Top with 1/2 butter cut into slices and bake in 375 oven for approximately 1 hour.

Taco Soup

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Taco Soup

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This is my favorite soup and perfect for simmering in a crock pot or on your stove top. It’s easy to make and very delicious! I recommend eating this with a glass of wine by the fireplace. Perfection 🙂

Ingredients:
1 can Ranch Style beans (you can use a can of pinto beans in a pinch)
1 can black beans
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn or 1 cup frozen corn
2 cans diced green chiles or 3 roasted and diced chiles
1 lb ground meat (beef, turkey, deer, whatever)
1 sweet onion diced
2 garlic cloves diced
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch mix
1 packet taco seasoning (I like McCormicks)
1 chicken bouillon cube
4 cups of water

Ingredients for garnish:
Sour cream
Shredded cheese
Green onion
Crushed chips or fried corn tortilla strips

1. Sauté for 10-15 minutes on medium to high heat chopped onion drizzled with olive oil. After it turns translucent add ground meat and chopped garlic cloves. Once meat is fully cooked add both seasoning packets and stir well. At this point you can either dump contents into crock pot set on low heat or keep in soup pot.

2. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, chiles, bouillon, and water. Do not drain anything before dumping into pot. Allow soup to simmer for several hours if you can before serving so that flavor has time to develop.

3. Serve with your favorite toppings. Personally, I like to cut a corn tortilla into strips and fry in a little oil in a sauté pan then drain on paper towel and season immediately with a little Tony Chachere’s seasoning. I love the works on mine: fried tortilla strips, cheese, a dollop of sour cream, green onion, and sometimes a dash of Louisiana hot sauce to take up the heat an extra notch.