Red
It is not required by any means but it always helps to have humor in the kitchen!
When the family gets together my kids love telling the story of when I re-inacted a Lowery Season Salt commercial. Lowery’s used to come in a glass container and in the 80’s they switched to plastic. The Lowery commercial touted the amazing ability of the new container to bounce on the floor and not break.
The girls were with me in the kitchen and the I said to them, “Hey, watch this!” I start reciting the commercial and used a Vanna White whisk of the hand to show off the the amazing NEW plastic shaker bottle of Lowery's in my hand. With a look of surprise on my face, I "accidentally" dropped the bottle onto the floor, fully expecting the beautiful bounce as shown in the commercial. Well that didn't happen..... it broke all over the floor and we all busted out laughing...
Oh well! Laughter is good medicine!
Red
You know in today's fast paced society, home cooking seems to have gone a wee bit to the wayside. My grandmother raised me and every meal, breakfast. lunch and dinner, were all full course meals with very little from a can, frozen (that wasn't garden grown) or microwaved. I sometimes wished I had that time now but as I don't, I try to make at least one thing from scratch when we do sit down to a meal or have quests over. These rolls are pretty easy and it seems everyone likes homemade breads!

Ingredients:
1c warm water
2 pkg. yeast
2 c flour
2t baking powder
1t salt
2T oil
2T sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add flour, baking powder, salt, oil and sugar. Mix well. Knead and let rise in a greased bowl for 15 to 30 minutes or double in size. Knead again. Pinch into rolls and dip in melted butter. Let rise again until doubled. Bake 400 until lightly browned.
Red
Louisiana rates up there as one of the most interesting places I have lived in my life. The people, the places and the cooking is to die for! This is a recipe I learned to make while living there and is one of my favorites. Along with boiled crawfish, crawfish enchiladas and crawfish pie. Blackened Alligator tail isn't to shabby either!

INGREDIENTS:

3 lbs. Shrimp – peeled
1 lb. Crabmeat
1 doz. Oysters
1 lb. Smoked Sausage - sliced
3 c Rice
1 sm. Can Tomato Sauce
1 large Onion
2/3 c Parsley – chopped
2/3 c Bell Pepper – chopped
2/3 c Cooking Oil

Boil rice and set aside. +/- click to read more

Sauté onion over med low heat in oil until almost brown, then add Shrimp and cook 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add parsley, shallots and bell pepper; sauté 10 minutes, stirring. Add smoked sausage and cook for 10 minutes. Add 3 cups water and cook ½ hour over medium heat. Add oysters and crabmeat; cook 15 minutes then salt and pepper to taste. Add rice a little at a time, steadily stirring, until all rice is added. Heat over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serves 5 to 6 people.

Red
This is out of my husbands family recipes. It is easy, so easy my sister could make it and impress her co-workers at the next pot luck they have!

INGREDIENTS:

1 can French cut green beans - drained
1 can green peas - drained
1 large onion – cut in rings
1 bell pepper - de-seeded and sliced in thin slices
½ c celery
½ c sugar
½ c vinegar
1/3 c oil
½ t salt

Mix vegetables together. In a separate container mix the sugar, vinegar, oil and salt until blended. Pour over vegetables and refrigerate overnight.
Red
These I have been making since I was a little girl. They are a great cookie, not super sweet, makes a large quantity and stores well! Great for gifting also!

Ingredients

• 1 C Shortening
• 2 C Sugar
• 3 Eggs – beaten
• 1 t Vanilla
• 1 C Sour Cream
• 5 C Flour
• 3 t Baking Powder
• 1 t Salt
• ½ t Baking Soda
• 1 ½ C Walnuts – chopped

Preheat oven to 350

In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar; then add in eggs, vanilla, sour cream and mix well. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture and blend well. Stir in the walnuts. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.

Mix up in a small bowl, 3 T Sugar and 1 t cinnamon. Grease the bottom of a flat glass, dip in sugar mix and then press onto dropped cookies. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until edges are lightly brown.

Makes 6 dozen.

Red
This goes on the list of things I can't live without. I purchased mine from Pampered Chef but a good garlic press can be found at a good cooking store. It's worth the money honey!


Kitchenware:NewGarlic Press
#2576 $16.00



I also use mine for mincing peppers when making sauces...Great for ginger, too!
Red
I love cheese! I love cheese about as much as I love a great dessert. That's a lot! This is a great recipe for this time of year as summer squash is in abundance.

Ingredients
1 T vegetable oil
6 medium yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1 T butter
1/2 c grated Parmesan
1/2 c grated Swiss Cheese
1 c shredded sharp Cheddar
1/2 c sour cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 sleeve crackers, crushed medium to fine

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. +/- click to read more

Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the squash, onion, and butter and saute until soft. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.Stir in the Parmesan, Swiss, Cheddar, and sour cream. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Place in the greased casserole dish and sprinkle the cracker crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.

Red
This is one of my favorite cheesecakes. It doesn't have to much pumpkin to be only for the fall or winter holidays and a shot of Bourbon is always good for the soul. The sauce is also great on ice cream!

Crust
1/4 c butter, melted
3/4 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c crispy crushed gingersnaps
1 T brown sugar
1 t cinnamon

Filling
24 ounces cream cheese – softened
1 ¼ c sugar
1c heavy cream
1 t vanilla
1 c canned pumpkin
3 eggs - room temperature
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice

Sauce
1/2 c unsalted butter
1 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c whipping cream
2 T bourbon or 1 t vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

+/-click here to read more

Make the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs and the gingersnap crumbs with the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Stir enough to coat all of the crumbs with the butter, being careful to not let it become pasty. Keep it crumbly. Use a non stick spray on 10” spring form pan. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and about two-thirds of the way up the sides of pan. The crust doesn't come all the way up the back of each slice of cheesecake. Bake the crust for 5 minutes, then set it aside until you are ready to fill it.

For the Filling - In a medium chilled bowl pour heavy cream and beat until soft peaks form. Refrigerate.
In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Divide filling in half. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mixture is fluffy and pale Divide filling in half. Stir in half of the whipped heavy cream into one bowl of cream cheese mix and pour that half of the filling into the pan.
Mix the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in medium bowl then stir into other half and continue to beat until smooth and creamy. Stir in remainder of heavy cream.
Pour the filling onto the first layer in the pan.
Wrap one piece of aluminum foil around outside of spring form pan. (I used the wider foil)
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes in hot water bath. The top will turn a bit darker at this point. Remove from the oven run knife around edge and allow the cheesecake to cool. When the cheesecake has come to room temperature, put it into the refrigerator. When the cheesecake has chilled, remove the pan sides slice cake and serve with a bourbon butter sauce on top.
Store remaining cheese cake in the fridge.

To make sauce, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in brown sugar until mixture is smooth. Whisk in cream and bourbon; bring to a boil. Pour into medium bowl and cool completely.
Serve with cheesecake.
TIP: I put my cooled sauce in a plastic picnic Katsup bottle for both ease of applying the sauce to the cheesecake and ease in storage of the remaining sauce.
Refrigerate leftover sauce.

Red
The next recipe I want to share this week is a Cheesecake recipe. In preparation for that, I first wanted to share tips for making a cheesecakes that I learned from my grandmother. We'll call her Nannie. Cause that is what we called her....

Dental floss can be used for cutting cheesecakes. It makes nice, smooth cuts and no “build up” like you get on a knife.

Bake cheesecakes, especially large ones, in a water bath. This helps produce a texture that is creamy almost custard-like and the cheesecake to cook evenly.
+/- click here to read more


Don’t over-beat the cheesecake filling. Over-beating incorporates additional air and tends to cause cracking on the surface of the cheesecake.

Cornstarch or flour can help keep cheesecakes from cracking as easily from over-baking. If the recipe doesn’t contain cornstarch or flour, add 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup of cornstarch to the batter with the sugar.

Before placing the pan in the oven, gently tap the pan on the countertop to remove air bubbles that can cause the cheesecake to crack. (is there a cracked pattern here? LOL)

For smooth batter, make sure the cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature.

Don’t skimp on the cream cheese by trying to substitute low-fat or fat-free cream cheese for cheesecake. If the recipe isn’t written for low fat or fat free, they tend to make the texture of the cake rubbery or crumbly.

And yes this old wives tale is true:

Be careful not to open the oven door during the first 30 minutes of baking. Drafts can form cracks and make the cheesecake fall.

Red
I love to cook! It's as simple as that. I love making tasty things that make people's mouths smile.

So to start, I am sharing with you a simple but tasty coffee drink. I like Mocha Coffee but times being what they are, I can't always afford to buy one at the local Coffee house. If you like Mocha, you'll love the ease of this recipe:

MOCHA COFFEE
Ingredients

1 cup hot brewed STRONG coffee
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder (I prefer Ghirardelli)
1 T white sugar
2 T half and half

Directions

1. Pour hot coffee into a mug. Stir in cocoa, sugar and milk.


How simple was that! Mocha Coffee for cents a cup.
Suggestions:
Don't skimp on the Cocoa Powder, quality powder does make the difference!
Lower the calories and use whole milk and Splenda.
Cool it down and pour it over ice.

AH! Mocha Coffee, a relaxing Sunday morning and CBS Sunday Morning!
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