It’s a journey not a trip!

Hey yall! How are you? I’m sure you’re as happy about this warmer weather as I am! Spring and winter had a fight and winter won…lol. I’m just saying… it’s been an unusually long winter and I for one am ready to enjoy this warmer weather.

And with that being said….its strawberry season again! I have been so busy at work that I haven’t gotten a chance to really enjoy them this season and it’s almost over. Ive made 4 pies. Enjoy them while you can!  Just as you should stop and smell the roses, enjoy, participate, be creative, do something different or out of your comfort zone…enjoy the moments of your journey. YOLO! You only live once! 

On a other note, gardens are planted and if not they will be soon. There is nothing better to me than fresh spring veggies from the garden. No worrying about what’s in your food. Simply because you or someone in your family has grown the best produce in the world right your backyard or in my cousin’s case…planters because she has extremely sandy soil. But she was determined to grow something and her garden boxes are looking great. 

I wish I had a green thumb.  Unfortunately I’m not so lucky when it comes to plants. However I have some exceptional gardners in my family and they always send me some goodies.

I’ve been working on several recipes with an Asian theme for my cookbook. I’ve also been creating a lot of cakes.  So bear with me during this time. I’ll have some new recipes for you soon. In the mean time….love your family and friends, be kind to strangers, and always extend a smile. You never know how your smallest kindness will impact another individual’s day/life. Cook for someone you love! 

These are some of my latest projects. Let me know what you think…enjoy life and each other! Talk to you soon!

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Veggie Beef Soup

Hey yall! Happy New Year! I’m still trying to get all of this blogging tech down. I thought I set up an automatic posting for the leftover  recipes.  Unfortunately they weren’t posted nor were they saved. However, I’ll give you the scoop along with this comforting soup. 

My first leftover recipe was Turkey & dressing sliders. Use some sweet Hawaiian rolls, turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce/relish, and a little mayo. It sounds like a lot of bread but it’s ohhh so good. The other was a veggie stewp.  Basically you combine your leftover veggies…especially the green bean casserole…along with a little veggie stock and a can of your favorite condensed soup and voila you have stewp! A mix of a stew and  soup!

It rarely snows here in our little town. It’s usually a cool winter but it has definitely been a cold one this year. Temps have been in the low double digits. So what’s better than a nice pot of warm, delicious, soup….nothing! Add a nice hot grilled cheese. Woohoo! Warm and tasty.

I normally like to use frozen veggies but you can use canned veggies too. Frozen seems to hold up to the cooking process better. I use two different cuts of beef. It’s entirely up to you if you prefer the same or different cuts. The veggies are too. Just keep in mind if they’re fresh, it may take a longer time for some to cook. This means you want to cut them in similar sizes to cook evenly and some will go in the pot before others.

Veggie Beef Soup

1.5 lbs ground beef

1 lb stew beef

3 cloves of finely minced garlic

1 tbs Italian seasoning

Salt & Pepper to taste 

1 bag of mixed veggies

1 bag of white sweet corn

1 bag of French cut green beans (they’re cute)

1 bag of baby lima beans

1 bag of sweet peas

1 large can of diced petite tomatoes

1 cup of orzo pasta (looks like rice)

3 containers of 32oz boxes of stock (beef, veggie, chicken…your choice)

 

Instructions…very easy

1. Brown the stew  beef with half of the garlic and salt and pepper. Set it aside. Cook the ground beef and pour off the grease. Add the stew beef with the ground beef. Add remaining garlic.

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2. Add the frozen veggies, Italian seasoning, and the stock. Cover the pot and let simmer on medium heat for about 45 min or until stew beef is tender and veggies are done.

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3. Add tomatoes and orzo and continue to cook for another 15 minutes or so until pasta is done. Make sure you taste to check the seasoning and adjust as necessary.

 

Time to eat! Grill cheese, cornbread, or crackers are a great accompaniment to this hearty soup. This soup can be frozen or invite your family and friends to help eat it. Sharing is caring!  Enjoy and let me know what you think. Let’s cook!

 

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Giving thanks!!

Happy Thanksgiving yall! I hope you’ve enjoyed spending time with family and friends along with great food! I’m thankful for my family and friends and all of you that take a little of your time to read my posts. 

We can safely say that there were a lot of passed down recipes made today. Im sure they were delicious. Of course we all have a few recipe horror stories…that sweet potato pie was my thorn…lol. However, the way I see it…you keep trying until you get it just right or you leave it alone if it doesn’t live up to what you thought it could or would be. As for me…I keep trying until I get it right. I love to tinker with recipe ideas. Sometimes an idea is better than a recipe because it gives you freedom to try different things.

Some of the memes on Facebook had me laughing so hard today because some people feel that there are some traditional recipes that should not be altered. I am the queen of alteration when it comes to a recipe. Don’t misunderstand me, sometimes a subtle change can make all the difference in the world and there are times when a major overhaul is in order. You know what I’m talking about…that quick recipe that you found and it looked so good in the picture. You had all of the ingredients, you prepared it exactly as written and it was flat when you tasted it for the first time. Your first thought was it needs a little something to jazz it up or OMG…never again…lol. I think these are the times that stimulate your creative juices in the kitchen. You decide to try something that could potentially be the best thing you’ve ever created! Trying the old with the new and learning how to put flavors together is a good thing! Now on a side note…I don’t ever want to see hotdogs cut up in my collard greens! I love them both but not together! There was a video posted about this…seriously…lol.

Some of my favorite Turkey day dishes are ham, turkey wings (the flat piece), baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens, mustard greens, succotash, potato salad, green bean casserole, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, and all of the desserts that come along for the ride. The chocolate layer cake is always a hit and sweet potato pie, strawberry cream cheese pie, chocolate supreme (my mama’s is the best), walnut pound cake, let’s just say I could be here for a while listing desserts…lol. 

Over the next few days, I’ll remix some leftovers and share the recipes with you…heres that creative juice in action. You don’t want to miss it!

It’s late and I hope that you’ve had a beautiful day with family & friends surrounded by great food! Stay positive and continue to move forward. Your kind word or smile could be the turning point for someone! Thank you for stopping by and until next time…cook with and for those you love!

 

Sherry’s Pineapple Cake

I went to visit a friend to begin my month long birthday celebration a few months ago and boy did we have a good time…laughing, talking, catching up. We all need to do that sometimes.  You know how it is when girlfriends get together…and although she didn’t cook for me…lol…I made her a cake that she has been requesting for quite some time now. So I’ve decided to name it after her. Fortunately, her family enjoys a little more sugar than she does. I had to add that in there because she was so happy when she started eating her slice and although her intention was to only sample a little she ended up eating the whole slice. She strives to eat very little sugar and this cake was definitely more than her normal share. However, the family was so glad I made it and truly enjoyed it as did she!

I think a little indulgence is warranted every now and then. Moderation is key to anything in life. Life would be boring without awesome sweet treats! The summer gardens offer so many great healthy choices that make it a lot easier for me to eat healthier.  So after eating healthy all week please treat yourself to a slice of this heavenly delicious pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting. It will make your tongue slap your brains out….lol! Yes, it’s that good! Let’s cook! Let me know what you think!

 

Sherry’s Pineapple Cake

Ingredients

3 sticks of butter (unsalted)

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

3 cups of SRF (self rising flour)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or pineapple

1 cup of whole milk

1/2 cup of pineapple juice

 

Filling Ingredients:

1 can of crushed pineapple

1 tbs SRF

3 tbs sugar

2 tbs butter

1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350°F.  Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

2. Add eggs one at a time and mix until blended.

3. Add extract to the butter mixture.

4. Add a third of the SRF alternating with the milk and the pineapple juice. (for each cup of SRF add 1/2 cup of liquid) to the butter mixture.

5. Divide batter into three 8″ round pans that have been greased and floured or sprayed with Baker’s Joy(my fav). Bake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. Bake times will vary depending on your oven. Check the center with a toothpick to make sure its done. Normally it will pull away from the sides of the pan when it’s done.

6. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

7. While the layers are cooling you will need to prepare the filling.

 

Directions for Filling:

You need a small pot. Combine butter and flour into a rue. Cook on medium heat until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Cook until well mixed and it thickens slightly.

 

Preparing the cake:

One layer of cake then spread a generous amount of the filling on top. Make sure you leave a little space between the edge of the cake and the filling because it will ooze out the side of the cake if you’re not careful when you add the next layer. Once you have completed the layering process, you will use the cream cheese recipe from a previous post to ice the outside of the cake. Decorate the top with crushed pineapple.

Next step is to EAT!!!!  Thank you for reading and ENJOY!! Make sure to share with your family and friends! I’m super excited to be blogging again and I hope you enjoy the recipe! Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

Hey yall!

I know, I know, I know….where have I been? I had to take some much needed time to do some more research and learn more about this blogging business that I’ve jumped into! I do that sometimes. Sometimes you have to take the first step and learn as you go. I had only uncovered the surface to this enormous world of blogging. The possibilities are endless! So just to let you know…there will be a few changes coming. 

I love blogging and I want to make sure that I am able to give you, my readers, family, and friends the best of me! With that being said…I am looking forward to getting back in the swing of things and sharing more recipes, tips, and things I’ve learned along the way! I hope I haven’t lost y’all! I’m still ready to knock it out the box and I hope you’re ready to take the ride with me! Thanks for being here and taking the time out of your busy day to hang out with me! Until next post….get cooking and let me know what you would like to read about or learn to do in the kitchen. Enjoy life and move towards your dreams! I am!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope yall are enjoying each other over some phenomenal food on this beautiful Sunday! 

I appreciate all of the women who have had a hand in nurturing and guiding me throughout my life! Without them I wouldn’t be the woman I am today! Nor would I share these wonderful treats with you via this blog!

Dreaming is epic! You have to have a dream and don’t allow anyone to stop you from it.

My wonderful family and friends have always supported me in my endeavours and this is just one more time I get to say thank you!

Thank you all for supporting my dream! I love the skin I’m in and doing what I do! 

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had the opportunity to help celebrate some great people with my cakes! Here is how they turned out! 

 

Remember to love and supoort each other. You never know what your kind smile, words of encoragement, or just being there to listen will do for someone else! It doesn’t cost a penny to be kind!

Love y’all and keep cooking!

Strawberry Bonaza continues….

Hey y’all! Last week I promised the other strawberry pie. So here we go…let’s cook!

It was my first time…cooking this pie. I was pleasantly surprised by this simple but ohhhhh sooooo delicious pie! I took it to work so that my taste tester co-workers could test it for me and boy did they enjoy it.

Who would have thought that strawberries in a strawberry gelatin syrup mixture surrounded by a flaky pie crust could be so sweet and refreshing at the same time?….don’t get me wrong…I like jello but I didn’t think I would want it presented this way….boy was I wrong! 

A few friends sent me recipes and from my understanding, this particular pie was a star at Shoney’s restaurants. So this is the knock off version. Well knock me off because I don’t think it will get much better than this. 

Shoney’s Copycat Strawberry Pie

Ingredients:

1 frozen (9-inch) pie crust
1 cup water
1 cup white granulated sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup strawberry gelatin powder
1 pint of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
Cool whip to spoon on as needed! Hmmmm makes it that much better!
Directions:
  1. Prebake pie crust according to directions on package. I usually prick it with a fork to keep the air bubbles at bay.
  2. Cool to room temperature
  3. Wash and hull strawberries. Then cut them in quarters.
  4. In a sauce pan, over medium-high heat, add water, sugar, cornstarch, & strawberry gelatin.
  5. Whisk together until thoroughly combined. Continue to whisk mixture constantly while heating to prevent clumping or scorching until mixture begins to come to a gentle boil.
  6. Remove pan from the heat and allow the glaze to cool. You may use an ice bath for the pot of you like.
  7. This will cool the glaze quickly and allow it to set up a bit more.
  8. As the glaze cools it will become translucent in color and you should notice it will thicken a little more as well.
  9. Whisk it occasionally as it cools. It will be thickened but still pourable.

  10. Add your sliced berries to the baked and cooled pie crust.
  11. Pour strawberry glaze over berries. Make sure they’re covered well. I like a lot if berries so my pie was piled too high. It was still awesome though!
  12. Chill pie in the refrigerator at least 2-3 hours before serving.
  13. Add cool whip to each slice when you serve it!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Let me know what you think!