Tag Archives: southern

Saying Grace

When my children were little, we always said this simple blessing before our meal.

 

Southern Grace

Our hands we fold, Our heads we bow,

For food and drink, We thank Thee now.

SayingGrace-prayers

Do you have a favorite family blessing?

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Spring 2015 ~ Randomness

Some peeks into my Spring.

hostas2015

The hostas I planted in 2013 and forgot about came up again.   Love me some hostas because they’re so easy to grow.

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sweettea2015

Eating supper on the front porch can be so relaxing after spending the day inside.

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purplepot2015

My oldest daughter has fallen in love with gardening.  She has planted so many beautiful flowers this Spring.  Now I need to get her interested in veggies. 🙂

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OWLMUG2015

After an extensive search, I was so excited to find this cute owl mug for only .25 at the thrift store!

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meat&veggies2015

I love it when my hubby cranks up the grill.  I know some yummy food is on the way.  He prepared enough for us to eat on through the week and when the grilled veggies were gone, I pan roasted these in the oven.  Real food and good eatin’!

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reelfoot2015

After my last post on that beautiful Spring day,  I found out my oldest brother had died suddenly.  He left a void in the lives of his daughters, grandchildren, siblings, and father.  I think of him often and miss him daily.  Some of my family made the trip to Reelfoot Lake in his memory.

Thanks for stopping by!

Spicy Mustard Glazed Chicken

This yummy chicken tastes very similar to barbecued chicken,

even though it doesn’t have the added sugar of a BBQ sauce.

mustard chicken

Spicy Mustard Glazed Chicken

8 chicken thighs, with skin
2 tbsp ground mustard
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400º.  Lay thighs out on baking sheet or pan.
Melt butter, whisk together with mustard and seasonings.
Spread glaze over thighs. Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and let meat rest 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with pan sauteed green beans or a side salad.  Or maybe both!  Enjoy!

*On the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this meal is in the S (satisfying/low carb) category.

You might also like these recipes:

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Broccoli Fettucine Alfredo

Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy

Southern Style Fauxtato Salad ~ Low Carb

My grandmother made the BEST potato salad!  After she was unable, my mom started making it and it was just like Grandma Butler’s.

Even though my mom didn’t eat anything “white, bland or mushy”, she would always make potato salad every holiday meal for my brother and me. I don’t know how she did it without even tasting, ’cause it was always perfect!

I’ve found out that substituting cooked cauliflower actually works and the results are very tasty.  It’s a simple recipe but makes a great side dish for a BBQ or even a holiday dinner!

fauxtato

Southern Style Fauxtato Salad

1 med head of cauliflower, steamed
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
½ small onion, diced
½ cup dill pickle relish
2/3 cup real mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
salt and pepper to taste
paprika

Use your favorite steaming method to cook the cauliflower or
to steam cauliflower, cut into florets and put in a large
saucepan. Add about an inch of water in the bottom,
cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat while leaving
lid on while the cauliflower steams, maybe about 7 minutes
or so. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Put in large bowl and cut florets into bite size pieces. Add
remaining ingredients and stir well. Sprinkle with paprika
and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Serve with grilled meat or as a side for your holiday ham.

COOK’S NOTE: I have used a 12 oz bag of frozen cauliflower
with favorable results. Steam and cut into bite-sized pieces
before adding the remaining ingredients.

Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy ~ Low Carb and Grain Free

I’m adding this recipe to my low carb comfort foods file!

pork steak and gravy

Totally filling and very satisfying, this meal has it all.  It’s fried and topped with gravy.  I felt like I was eating off plan!

On to the recipe…

Process the pork skins and almond meal for the breading until crumb-like.

photo 1

Put the pork steak into the egg wash then the “breading”.

photo 2

Cook the steaks one at a time until done.

photo 3Top with gravy when serving.  Enjoy!

pork steak and gravy

Chicken Fried Pork Cubed Steak with Cream Gravy

4 pork loin cubed steaks, medium size
1/3 cup almond milk
1 egg, beaten
1 cup pork skins
1/3 cup almond meal
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
½ tsp garlic powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon butter

Gravy:
3/4 cup cream
½ cup water
salt and pepper

Put the cubed steaks on a plate and place in the freezer while preparing the egg wash and breading.  The ones I used were very tender and almost fell apart.  Slightly chilling them in the freezer should help firm them up for the breading process.

For the egg wash: In a small flat bowl, combine the almond milk and egg. Beat with a fork until well blended.

For the breading:  In a food processor, process the pork skins and almond meal together until crumb-like.  Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse again.  Add some garlic powder and stir.  Pour into a flat bowl that will be usable for breading the steaks.

Melt coconut oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat.

Dip pork cubed steaks in egg wash and then the breading (on both sides).   Slightly press in the breading on the steak.  Place one steak in the skillet and fry on the first side about 4 minutes, flip and then cook 2 minutes or until done.  (It didn’t take too long and I cooked one at a time so they’d have plenty of room in the skillet.)  Remove from pan and drain if necessary.  Mine didn’t seem greasy at all.

After the steaks are cooked, pour the cream and water into the skillet for de-glazing and making a tasty gravy.  Cook until some of the water has evaporated and the cream has thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.  To serve, spoon over the steaks.

I served mine with buttered steamed broccoli and radishes.  I added cooked rice to my family’s plates.

Serves 4.

Disclaimer: Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links.  If you purchase through the links provided, I will receive a very small compensation at no extra cost to you.  Thanks!

September is National Biscuit Month

September is

National Biscuit Month!

I don’t know about you, but as a Southerner, that’s pretty exciting to me.  It’s like it almost gives me a reason to eat biscuits every morning, or maybe all day!  If I do, it will need to be the almond flour kind, otherwise I might not be able to fit through the door at the end of the month.

Anyway, I have several biscuit recipes on the site already and I wanted to link to those.

Buttermilk Biscuits are delicious with homemade jam!

 

Sour Cream Biscuits are simple, delicious, and only need three ingredients!  Yummy served with Apple Butter.

 

Almond Flour Biscuits ~ Low Carb & Grain Free are so good you’ll almost feel guilty!

bisc4

 

Low Carb Biscuits are made with Carbquik and great served with Sausage Cream Gravy.

So if you’re eating grain free, wheat free, low carb, or just plain eatin’, there’s a biscuit that you can enjoy.  Don’t grab a can off the shelf, be brave and try one of these easy recipes.  You won’t regret it!  Go ahead and celebrate!

Disclaimer: Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links.  If you purchase through the links provided, I will receive a very small compensation at no extra cost to you.  Thanks!

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Cooking with Cast Iron

Cast iron vessels have been used for cooking for hundreds of years.

In the early 19th century, meals were cooked in cast iron pots suspended over the fire in the fireplace.  In the 1960s cast iron became less popular as teflon-coated non-stick cookware was introduced.

I have to admit I have both types, but am leaning toward going to cast iron cooking full time.  I just got my Paula Deen cookware for my birthday, so it may be a gradual thing.

There are benefits in cooking with cast iron.   For one, it is very durable and can last a lifetime.  It can even be passed down to the next generation.   Cast iron retains heat and evenly redistributes the heat.  It’s even oven safe.  I have my favorite 10″ skillet for baking buttermilk cornbread and the cornbread just slides out of the well-seasoned skillet.

Cooking in cast iron actually adds iron to your food while avoiding the chemicals that non-stick cookware adds.  If it’s well seasoned, your food won’t stick.  The more you cook with it, the better it gets!  I even use it on my ceramic top stove.  I just try to be extra careful.

Cast iron is relatively inexpensive.  Most sets run around $100 and single skillets can run under $15.  This is for something that lasts for a lifetime!

Also, it doesn’t scratch so there’s no need to use the rubber coated cooking utensils, unless you just want to.  Sad to say, my large non-stick skillet is not looking too good, just after several months use.

It does get hot, so be sure and use a pot holder or handle mitt.

To clean and season cast iron, some people do not use soap.  If my pan was real messy, I have used soapy water and immediately dried and oiled the pan to prevent rust.  I have also cleaned with salt sprinkled in the pan and a scrubbie.  This works for pans that don’t have a lot of leftover residue.

Sometimes when camping I’ve used scrunched up  tin foil and some hot water.  So there’s several cleaning methods.  Just be sure to rub with a light coat of oil before storing.  I love my Dutch Oven for baking biscuits when we’re camping.  I’ve also fixed up a Beef Stew over the fire.

Lodge is my favorite cast iron brand.  There’s lots more cleaning and seasoning information found here on their site.

So enjoy cooking in your cast iron and think about all the healthy benefits that comes with it.  Pass some down to your children and grandchildren.  Tell them the history behind it.  Maybe generation after generation will benefit from your lovingly cared for cast iron.

Be sure and share any stories that you have of cast iron that’s been in your family, or how many pieces of cast iron you have.  I’d love to hear them!

DISCLAIMER: If you purchase from some of the links in this post you are helping support Heart of a Country Home at no extra charge to yourself.  Thanks for your kindness.

Almond Flour Biscuits ~ Low Carb • Grain Free

Looking for a sturdy wheat free biscuit to hold up some yummy sugar free pumpkin butter or maybe some sausage gravy?   Not exactly like grandma made, but close to it for sure.  And so tasty, you’ll almost feel guilty.

bisc4

Almond Flour Biscuits ~ Low Carb • Wheat Free • Grain Free

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of almond flour
1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
2 tablespoons cold salted butter
egg whites from 3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400º F.

Mix almond flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium size bowl. Add cold butter and using a pastry cutter, mix until crumbly.

bisc1

Next, in a small bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork until they are slightly frothy, about 30 seconds. Blend the eggs in with the almond flour mixture until combined.  Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow the bits of butter to harden.

Divide the biscuit mixture into 4-6 portions and spoon on to a parchment lined baking sheet or into a well-greased muffin top pan. Bake right away for 10 -12 minutes.  Remove when golden brown.  Makes 4-6 biscuits.

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Serve with butter and preserves or top the biscuits with your favorite sausage gravy.

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Nutritional information for 6 servings:

For each biscuit = Calories 147,  Carbs 5, Fat 13,  Protein 6

DISCLAIMER: If you purchase from the links in this post you are helping support Heart of a Country Home at no extra charge to yourself.  Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Peanut Butter Cornflake Candy

Sometimes we associate certain recipes with certain people and oh, what good memories they bring.

A lady at my church, Ms. Helen,  made these tasty candy-like cookies for almost every covered dish dinner we had.  What a special lady and how I miss her!

So when another lady, Ms. Dot, blessed me with several boxes of cornflakes cereal, I decided to make some goodies for the helpers at our church’s yard sale.  They were gone in a flash!

Easy, simple, and a great bake-sale item, I hope you try this soon.

cornflake candy

Peanut Butter Cornflake Candy

1 cup of white granulated sugar
1 cup of light corn syrup
1 cup of peanut butter
½ tsp salt, optional
5 cups of plain cornflakes

Measure out cornflakes into a large glass bowl and prepare a large sheet pan by lining with parchment paper or buttering the pan.

Combine sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter, adding salt if you want to at this time.  (I usually do all this with a wooden spoon, beating the mixture like fudge.)

Pour over the cornflakes and mix well. Working quickly, drop by spoonfuls on the prepared sheet pan and set aside to cool.

NOTE:  Mixture can also be pressed into a buttered 9 x 13 inch baking pan and cut into squares.

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And if you’re in the mood for some peanut butter cookies or candy, but you’re watching your sugar intake, try these recipes:

SF PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

LINDA’S CHEWY PEANUT BUTTER CANDY

 

Summer Squash Casserole

With an abundance of yellow summer squash from our garden, I’m using it in almost more ways that you can count!

I made this casserole for our Sunday dinner and some of it was left over.  It made a delicious breakfast this morning!  I think it has gotten better with age.  Some things just do that .  🙂

I found the recipe I used at Allrecipes.com.

Summer Squash Casserole

4 cups sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped onion
35 buttery round crackers, crushed
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Place squash and onion in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in a small amount of water.  Cover and cook until squash is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and place in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, mix together cracker crumbs and cheese. Stir half of the cracker mixture into the cooked squash and onions.  In a small bowl, mix together eggs and milk, then add to squash mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter, and season with salt and pepper.

Spread into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cracker mixture, and dot with 2 tablespoons butter.  Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Enjoy the day you bake it and be sure and save some for breakfast the next morning.  You’ll be glad you did.

*By leaving out the crackers and using a mix of cream and water, the carbs in this recipe can be lowered significantly.

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I forgot to mention that I made Squash Pickles the other day.  Stay tuned for the recipe.  🙂

Partying over at

 

 

DISCLAIMER: If you purchase from the links in this post you are helping support Heart of a Country Home at no extra charge to yourself.  Thanks!

Broccoli Cheese Cornbread

I usually like to serve Broccoli Cheese Cornbread when we’re having Fried Tenderloin and White Beans.

This year I made it to add to our family’s Thanksgiving feast.

Cheesy, moist and satisfying, this cornbread recipe is a winner!

Broccoli Cheese Cornbread

2 packages (8.5 oz each) corn bread/muffin mix
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups (12 oz) 4% cottage cheese
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 large onion, chopped

In a large bowl, combine corn bread mixes.  In another bowl, beat
eggs, cottage cheese and butter.  Stir into corn bread mixes just
until moistened.  Fold in broccoli and onion.

Pour into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan.  Bake at 350° for
40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes
out clean.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.
Yield: 12-15 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 196 calories, 13 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 89 mg cholesterol, 323 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.

 

Pear Preserves

Pear Preserves is probably my favorite preserves of all!

Every year around this time, I want to make Pear Preserves.

I don’t always get to, but thanks to my sweet sister-in law, Martha,

I did this year and I am so glad!

In fact, I plan on picking, peeling, and slicing some

more pears tonight!

I can’t wait to try it on some of these homemade biscuits!

I don’t really have a recipe, but here’s what I did…

By the time I  peeled, cored,  and sliced the pears I was left with 2 ice cream buckets full.

I covered the slices with sugar and put the lids on to sit overnight.  I didn’t measure anything, just kept in mind that most people put 1 part sugar to 2 parts pears.  My friend said her mom says 1/2 cup sugar to every 1 cup of pears but that might be too much, depending on how sweet you want them.  I think I might have used 5 or so cups of sugar.

I cooked the pears about a total of 3 hours on medium high heat.  About this time, they started turning amber colored and the smaller pieces were turning translucent.   They liquid was similar to honey so I knew the pears were ready.

I then poured the  preserves into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headroom and sealed with sterilized lids.

Yield: 4 pints and 2 half-pints

For more recipes, visit these sites…

Granny’s Pear Preserves

Pear Preserves with Lemon Slices

Southern Lady Cooks Pear Preserves

Help on my homemade biscuit quest

I’m on the quest for the perfect biscuit.

I plan on trying a new recipe on Saturday.  This cooler weather always makes me want to bake!

Do you have or know of a fabulous biscuit recipe I should try?

I’m looking for plain and simple biscuit recipes with no additions like cheese or spices…one you’d have for breakfast with your sausage gravy and eggs.  🙂

Anyway, if you have a great recipe, please post the link or recipe  in the comments section.

Thanks!

Sour Cream Biscuits

September

is

National Biscuit Month

and I do love me a fluffy biscuit still warm from the oven!  Total comfort food on a crisp fall morning.

I’m on a quest to find the perfect biscuit.  One that stays fluffy and tender even after they cool off.  The biscuits that I’ve made recently are fantastic out of the oven, but after they cool down and sit a while, they get kind of grainy.  I’m thinking it might have something to do with the fat or flour used.

Recently I tried a new recipe using sour cream and was impressed with the tenderness of dough.  Topped with some apple butter,  that warm biscuit was just right along with my scrambled eggs.

Sour Cream Biscuits
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2 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons water
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In a large mixing bowl, add flour and sour cream.   Mix to a soft dough.  Add additional water if necessary.
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With well floured hands, shape dough into round biscuit shapes.  Place in greased baking pan or cast iron skillet with sides touching.  Brush biscuit tops with oil.  Bake at 450º  for 10-12 minutes.  Brush with butter before serving.
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*For this batch of biscuits, I preheated a Lodge 10″ cast iron skillet,  along with about 3 tablespoons of oil.  I wanted to see if the bottoms of my biscuits would be crispy…and they were!  🙂
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COOK’S NOTE:  If you don’t have self-rising flour, use 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 3 teaspoons baking powder.
Also check out my Southern Buttermilk Biscuit recipe.
And here’s a great low carb biscuit recipe for all my low carb fans.
 
 
I’m linking to…


Roasted Cherry Tomato Focaccia Bread

My nephew blessed me with a bunch of cherry tomatoes.  

I had been wanting to try roasted cherry tomatoes for a while so I figured this was the best time.  What a delight!

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (Ina Garten)

4 pints cherry tomatoes
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
20 fresh basil leaves, chopped or julienned  (I used some dried spice here)
Sea salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

 Toss the tomatoes lightly with olive oil on a sheet pan.  Spread them out into one layer and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper.  Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.   (I wanted mine a little drier so I left them in about 45 minutes while checking on them ever so often.)

Transfer the tomatoes to a serving platter and sprinkle with basil leaves and sea salt.   Serve hot or at room temperature.

They are so tasty right by themselves, but I wanted to make a focaccia bread so I prepared the dough and topped with the roasted tomatoes.

Here’s the bread ready to go into the oven.

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When it came out, it looked like this.

It was quite delicious fresh out of the oven and would have gone great with a salad.

Easiest Focaccia Bread

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

In a small bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with flour; stir well to combine. Stir in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all of the flour is absorbed. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly for about 1 minute.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.  Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F .

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface; knead briefly. Pat or roll the dough into a sheet and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the dough with oil.   At this time add the roasted tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake focaccia in preheated oven for 12 to 22 minutes, depending on desired crispness. If you like it moist and fluffy, then you’ll have to wait just about 12 minutes.  If you like it crunchier and darker in the outside, you may have to wait 22minutes.  Mine was baked for about 22 minutes.

Later on my sweet sister-in-law called me over for supper.  Here’s what we had.  I’m ashamed to say this is my plate!  lol

My hubby cooked the fish and I made the corn salad and hush puppies.  My sister-in-law made everything else and my brother–in-law made his famous Banana Pudding.

What a delicious Southern supper made greater by time spent with family!

Linking to