Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Southern Living Challenge! Recipe #6


Southern Living's Best of 2011

They say "timing is everything" and this final recipe for February was no exception. I always try to schedule these challenges when my husband is in town from work so that we can enjoy the experience together. On this weekend, my husband was not feeling well and our weather turned rainy and cold. So the Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie was just what the doctor ordered. 

Here is the link to the recipe:


I did have to change it up and added mixed vegetables instead of leeks. I knew my husband would enjoy the more traditional version.

Here is how I did it:

I purchased a Rotisserie Chicken, pick your battles and without compromising the recipe take shortcuts when you can. 

Sauteed one small onion in the butter, I couldn't find the onion/pepper hash browns called for in the recipe. 

Slowly added the flour, makes a roux. Do not walk away, keep stirring not to burn the butter and flour.

Add the chicken stock while stirring, you want a saucy texture so if needed add a little more stock. I had to add a tad more to get the consistency I wanted. 

Added the chopped chicken, frozen hash browns and frozen mixed veggies (16oz bag).

 Blend all ingredients

Add the fresh parsley

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured board and rolling pin.

I had a square deep dish plate so I added the pastry in opposite directions in the pan instead of the traditional round crimped edges.

Add the chicken mixture.

Folded over the pastry and crimped the edges, brush with the egg wash.

Baked and golden brown.

It's flaky crust and creamy filling makes this recipe a "must do" for your family!



Friday, February 17, 2012

A fresh juice version of our classic drink...The Hurricane!

Mardi Gras 2012 is Tuesday, February 21st.  Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday”, is the last day of the Carnival season as it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The Hurricane is a fruit-colored relative of the “daiquiri”, and it’s credited to New Orleans tavern owner Pat O'Briens. In the 1940s, he created the fruity concoction and served it in hurricane-lamp-shaped glasses to give away to sailors. The drink caught on, and it has been a mainstay in the French Quarter in New Orleans ever since. I did find a healthier version of the Hurricane which is filled with fresh fruit juices, making it perfect for kids to enjoy too....minus the alcohol, of course!    

What you will need:
Makes 8 servings 

2 cups orange juice
2 cups pineapple juice
11/2 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Crushed ice
1 Fresh cut pineapple
Maraschino cherries

What to do:

 Combine orange juice, pineapple juice, pomegranate juice, grapefruit and lime juice in a large pitcher stirring well. Serve in tall hurricane-style glasses over crushed ice. Garnish with pineapple and cherries.

To create an alcoholic version, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups light rum, mixing well.

 Happy Mardi Gras...!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Sweet Valentine's Day and Recipe #5 of My Southern Living Challenge!

A Day of goodies made with LOVE!

Southern Livings First Kiss Cupcakes:

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes...for fluffier cupcakes, reduce oven temp to 325, fill 3/4 of cups and bake 20-25 mins. 

Icing mixed with cherry juice.

Makes a pretty pink icing

I use a Ziploc freezer bag to pipe the cupcakes

Blot the cherries (need them with the stems) before dipping in chocolate.

So Cute!

LOVE...with a cherry on top!

Southern Livings Salted Chocolate Caramels:

Sweet and Salty...YUM!

Sweetheart Cherry Pie Pops:


Happy Valentine's Day from my heart to yours!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Your Place or Mine?

Bell Peppers stuffed with Shrimp Rice Dressing in a light lemon butter sauce:

If you have been following my blog for a while than you already know that many things impressed me about my Mom. It use to amaze me that she would look in the fridge, pull out various leftovers and transformed them into a whole new delicious meal. There were no recipes to follow just thought up in her head. When I cook I rarely have leftovers. That is unless I am making a casserole, jambalaya or gumbo than we love having leftovers. 

My husband came home with two beautiful green bell peppers the other day and I thought immediately that they needed to be stuffed. I usually make a ground meat or seafood stuffing and a red sauce. But when I looked in the fridge and freezer yesterday all I saw was leftover rice from gumbo and a bag of small Louisiana shrimp that I had purchased for shrimp pasta. I had contractors at the house and couldn't go to the store and thought "I can do this"...don't panic!

So instead of my traditional stuffing for the peppers I decided to use the rice as my base and add the shrimp for seafood peppers. Then instead of a red sauce, I thought just butter and fresh lemon sounded light and delicious. I mean...peppers, shrimp, rice, butter and lemon...what could be bad about that??

This is what I used:

(2) Large Bell Peppers
1 1/2 cups small raw shrimp (I used Louisiana shrimp, look for Gulf shrimp)
Fresh lemons
2 cups of cooked rice
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp. of butter ( I don't use real butter, I use I can't believe...)
1 cup of seasoning blend (fresh or frozen chopped onion, bell pepper, celery)
1/2 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp. Creole seasoning

This is what I did:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Par-boil peppers in boiling water for 5 mins. Saute the seasoning blend in butter while the peppers are boiling.

Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir together.

Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Stuff pepper halves with mixture, top with a slice of lemon, butter and sprinkle with Creole seasoning. Squeeze 1/2 a lemon in the pan, add 1/4 cup of butter. The butter and lemon will cook in pan with peppers and create a light sauce. Bake at 350 for 30 mins. 

I served with my hubby's favorite...peas and a simple green salad.




Sunday, February 12, 2012

You're Invited!

So excited...

Added a button on my blog...

Please join me!!

Your Place or Mine?

Stuffed Lemon Garlic Pork Tenderloin

As I have grown as a cook over the years I have learned one very valuable lesson, be able to go to Plan B! I had purchased a Lemon Garlic Pork Tenderloin to put on the grill, one of my family's favorite things.  But with a VERY cold evening on my hands last night I just couldn't deal with being outside on the grill. So instead I went to Plan B with a few items in my pantry.  It actually was a much needed comfort dinner for my husband that had been working in and out of the cold all day!

How I did it:

Purchased a Hormel Lemon Garlic Pork Tenderloin, let the meat come up to temperature before cooking.

I made three cuts to open, one down the middle, not going all the way through and two inner side cuts to attempt to butterfly to stuff.

I had a bag of Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing in my pantry, prepare as directed for about 2 cups of stuffing. Spoon mixture in tenderloin and sit upright in baking dish pre-sprayed with cooking spray. I sprinkled with a Creole seasoning, of course...:-)

Baked at 350 degrees until meat reached 155 degrees...because of the stuffing this took my oven around 55 mins, 15 mins longer than tenderloin package indicated. 

Most importantly, let the meat rest covered with foil for 10-15 mins.

Slice to your desired thickness to serve, I did thick slices since my hubby loves a thick-cut pork chop.  Juicy and delicious...I served with a side of steamed broccoli sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.



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