easy

Cranberry Relish

It’s holiday time with Thanksgiving now behind us, Christmas on the horizon and then New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Let’s hope you have an opportunity to make this Cranberry Relish sometime during the coming weeks. If not, save the recipe and be sure to try it next Thanksgiving.

It truly is very good and will change your tune from always having the canned “jellied cranberry sauce” or the other canned “whole cranberry sauce”. I don’t know why anyone would do that when a relish like the one pictured above is so easy and yummy!

And if all is not consumed during the holiday meal, there are many uses for the leftovers. I love to warm it and spoon it over pound cake then top with whipped cream! You can make a Cranberry Crumble with it, too. Or make little Cranberry Hand Pies. Or make pancakes one Sunday morning and warm up a bit of Cranberry Relish to use as a topping! Or try it on waffles! Get creative! I’ve even been known to just eat it straight from the container. It is THAT good!

Bon appétit!

Cranberry Relish
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Starters
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 4 cups cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 13 ounces orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup walnuts
Instructions
  1. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and cranberries in a lightly greased pan. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Mix in remainder of ingredients and serve hot or cold.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 Tablespoons Calories: 134 Fat: 5.3g Saturated fat: 0.3g Unsaturated fat: 1.3g Trans fat: 3.1g Carbohydrates: 22.1g Sugar: 19.9g Sodium: 7988.6mg Fiber: 2.2g Protein: 2.3g Cholesterol: 0mg

 

Chocolate Ice Cream

Okay, so who doesn’t love ice cream? And I mean any time of the year? Well, I do know one person who doesn’t but most everybody does. I LOVE ice cream! And it’s no coincidence that my very first job was at Dairy Queen!

Of course that was a dream job short of having to deal with the tourists. This particular Dairy Queen was located in St. Andrews on the way to the beach in Panama City. Every July 4th holiday they would have a banana split special. I forget what the price was but apparently it was really good because every person driving down Highway 98 had to stop and get one. To this day, I have yet to have a banana split. I just haven’t ever really wanted to try it – not after making and serving a gazillion of them when I was 16 years old!

Working at the ole DQ did have it’s perks though. My Mom would call me about once or twice a week to ask me to bring a quart of vanilla and/or a quart of chocolate ice cream home. My family loves ice cream too and my Dad especially, would have a dish most every night. The soft serve is the best and only DQ can do it better than everyone else!

I still have an affinity to their ice cream and marvel if the server doesn’t quite get the swirl on the cone quite right. That is their trademark, that beautiful little swirl. They train and train their employees to “pull” that ice cream out of the machine so that the swirl is there and it must be perfect! If not, it goes into the sink and you do it again (no kidding).

This chocolate ice cream recipe is definitely not comparable to DQ’s soft serve but it is really, really, good and is fairly easy. Definitely a recipe to keep as a favorite as I have. Try it and you’ll see!

Bon appétit!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Ice Cream
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Endings
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Cocoa
  • 3 cups Half-and-half cream
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • 8 Egg yolks
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • pinch Salt
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla
Instructions
  1. Place the cocoa powder along with 1 cup of the half-and-half into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Add the remaining half-and-half and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.
  2. In mixing bowl beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually beat in the sugar, occasionally scraping down the beaters and sides of mixing bowl. Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about ⅓ of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Add in the pinch of salt and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees. Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer and into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Cover container and refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
  4. Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer''s directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ cup Calories: 200 Fat: 12.8g Saturated fat: 7.1g Unsaturated fat: .8g Trans fat: 4.1g Carbohydrates: 3g Sugar: 18.8g Sodium: 34.2mg Fiber: .4g Cholesterol: 174.5mg

 

Low Country Boil Packets

I named this blog post and recipe, Low Country Boil Packets but in reality it should be Low  Country Foil Packets because, well, these are cooked in foil packets on the grill. Yes, on the grill. No need to pull out the outdoor cooker and make a ton of food if you don’t need to although that’s always fun to do if you are having quite a few guests for dinner. But if not, this is definitely a great alternative.

And what a perfect thing for single people or those cooking for two! It’s just perfect. Just use the amount of ingredients you need for the foil packets and save the remaining ingredients for another day. Or invite a couple of friends over to enjoy dinner with you!

I put the shrimp in frozen but everything else is fresh and thinly sliced, as you can see in the photo. It all cooks and the flavors meld so nicely in the foil packet! You can add more spice if you want or less if that suits you better. It’s very easy to individualize each packet for the person.

Just a perfect meal anytime of year but especially during the summer months. It’s quick and easy and fool proof. Try it and let me know what you think!

Bon appétit!

Low Country Boil Packets
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ lb. large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Smoked Andouille Sausages, thinly sliced
  • 2 ears Corn, each cut crosswise into 4 pieces
  • 1 lb. Red Potatoes, chopped into 1-in pieces
  • 2 tbsp. EV Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Lemon, sliced into thin wedges
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Parsley Leaves
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill over high heat.
  2. Cut 4 sheets of foil about 12 inches long. Divide shrimp, garlic, sausage, corn, and potatoes evenly over the foil sheets. Drizzle with olive oil. Add the Old Bay seasoning and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Top each mixture with parsley, lemon and a tablespoon of butter each.
  3. Fold the foil packets crosswise over the shrimp boil mixture to completely cover the food. Roll the top and bottom edges to seal them closed.
  4. Place foil packets on the grill and cook until just cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 540 Fat: 26g Saturated fat: 8g Unsaturated fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 35g Sugar: 4g Sodium: 1120mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 40g Cholesterol: 230mg

 

Crock Pot Chicken

I’ve made this recipe before and honestly couldn’t figure out how to display the finished product to give my readers a reality of the finished product. So, I just came up with this shot. It’s not the prettiest thing but it does show the end result.

This “go to” recipe is perfect for whole chickens, as the recipe dictates. When cooking time is complete, you simply pull the meat off the bone and you have all this wonderful white and dark chicken meat to do whatever you want with!

I use it for tacos, quesadillas, chicken salad, barbecue chicken sandwiches, or any kind of chicken pasta dish you might want to try. It’s perfect for any of those dishes.

Or simply serve over salad greens or as a main course with steamed vegetables! The possibilities are endless!

It’s funny, I’ve had my Crock Pot for many, many years now and I love using it and do so almost weekly. Its typically a weekend when I’ll load it up with my favorite ingredients and then I’ll head out to do some photography. Love coming home to a house filled with the aromas of that night’s dinner which is perfect because I’m usually too tired to stand in the kitchen to cook!

Try this recipe one work day or weekend and see how you like it.

Bon appétit!

Crock Pot Chicken
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Red Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 whole Chicken (about 3-4 lbs)
Instructions
  1. Combine the dried spices in a small bowl.
  2. Loosely chop the onion and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Remove any giblets from the chicken and then rub the spice mixture all over. You can even put some of the spices inside the cavity and under the skin covering the breasts.
  4. Put prepared chicken on top of the onions in the slow cooker, cover it, and turn it on to high. There is no need to add any liquid.
  5. Cook for 4 – 5 hours on high (for a 3 or 4 pound chicken) or until the chicken is falling off the bone.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 202 Fat: 13.9g Saturated fat: 4g Unsaturated fat: 5.7g Trans fat: 3g Carbohydrates: .9g Sugar: .6g Sodium: 64.8mg Fiber: .3g Protein: 17.3g Cholesterol: 69mg

Crock Pot Steak Fajitas

Growing up in Panama City my family would go to a Mexican restaurant to eat dinner every Thursday night way out in Callaway. Well, at the time it was way out. The restaurant’s name? Sombrero Mexican Food Restaurant! And it’s still there on Tyndall Parkway. My, how I loved going there. Oddly, I didn’t have a love for Mexican food at the time. Again, I was a child, a tween, at best. I remember ordering the kid’s fried chicken or the kid’s spaghetti. Yes, indeed, I did. I think I finally progressed to a taco. Imagine that! I never looked back!

We’d love having dinner and then we’d visit the many goats living on property behind the restaurant. Funny goats of all shapes and sizes that would climb up on makeshift log bridges and knock each other off. Quite comical! It, too, is still there. If you’re in the area, you should stop by.

If you happen to visit, rest assured I have no idea how the food is today. I just read some terrible reviews on Google from a few years back. It is a family owned restaurant that has been there for 50+ years. More recent reviews are favorable.

You would never know my love for Mexican food started out like that as I absolutely LOVE it today. Did I say I love Mexican food? I do and I love cooking it at home. It is usually inexpensive, fast, and very filling. And I usually have leftovers for days on end. Which I also adore. And in today’s economy, stretching our grocery dollars is what it’s all about plus you save time in the kitchen. I also like the idea of not slaving in the kitchen every night, even though cooking is one of my passions.

This recipe is definitely a win-win for everyone!

Bon appétit!

Crock Pot Steak Fajitas
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 1⁄2 lbs Boneless Sirloin, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 -2 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoning Salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 green Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 -8 Flour Tortillas
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Guacamole (optional)
  • Sour Cream (optional)
  • Shredded Lettuce (optional)
  • Chopped Tomato (optional)
  • Chopped Onion (optional)
Instructions
  1. Brown the steak in oil.
  2. Place the steak and drippings into the crock pot.
  3. Add lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and chili powder.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2½ to 3 hours, or until meat is tender.
  6. Add green pepper and onion; cover and cook for 1 hour more.
  7. Warm the tortillas.
  8. Spoon beef and veggies down the center of the tortillas.
  9. Top each with cheese, salsa, sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes if desired.
  10. Fold in the sides of the tortillas and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 294 Fat: 11.9g Saturated fat: 2.8g Carbohydrates: 18.9g Sugar: 2g Sodium: 254.7mg Fiber: 1.7g Protein: 26.o9g Cholesterol: 71.4mg

Apple Fritters

Don’t those look just awesome?!! Let me tell you a secret – they were!! It’s funny, I’ve baked, I’ve cooked, and I’ve made made many dishes, desserts, sides, etc. You name it, I’ve done it! Except for the ever elusive Apple Fritter. At least until a few months back when I came across this recipe and decided to give it a go.

Oh my, I don’t know what took me so long! They were just wonderful – light and airy, flavorful with just the right amount of apples and then to top it off, that wonderful sugar/cinnamon coating. The only thing I might do differently next time is add a bit of cinnamon to the dough and then use a confectioners’ sugar glaze on top instead of the sugar/cinnamon coating.

One thing to remember, these are best devoured the morning you make them. They tend to get a bit soggy after they sit around overnight. You could crisp them back up in the oven, I suppose, but more than likely you won’t have any left over at your house.

Bon appétit!

Apple Fritters
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Beginnings
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 quart Vegetable oil; for frying
  • 1½ cups All purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup Milk
  • 2 whole Eggs; beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • 3 cups Apples; peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup Cinnamon Sugar
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or electric skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour in the milk, eggs and oil and stir until well blended. Mix in apples until they are evenly distributed.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and fry until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes depending on the size. Fry in smaller batches so they are not crowded. Remove from the hot oil using a slotted spoon and drain briefly on paper towels. Toss with cinnamon sugar while still warm.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 339 Fat: 28.9g Saturated fat: 2.5g Unsaturated fat: 17.9g Trans fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 18.8g Sugar: 18.1g Sodium: 167.2mg Fiber: .7g Protein: 2.3g Cholesterol: 36.2mg

 

The Best Bloody Mary

The title of this post is “The Best Bloody Mary”! Although I have little experience drinking these, I did make a gazillion of them as a bartender and certainly served just as many as a waitress. I have only recently tried the Bloody Mary myself. It is truly an acquired thing, much like a good Scotch. But I digress. . . this Bloody Mary is quite good and is the best in my book. It’s quite flavorful with just the right amount of spice!

Kick off your Sunday morning brunch with a round for everyone. You’ll thank me later!

Live it up and drink it down!

The Best Bloody Mary
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Libations
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 6 ounces Tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon Olive juice
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4-6 shakes Tabasco
  • pinch celery salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • lime juice
  • coarse sea salt
  • various veggies for garnish
Instructions
  1. Dip pint glass in lime juice. Roll in coarse sea salt. Fill glass with ice.
  2. In a shaker, add a few cubes of ice. Add all ingredients (minus the toppings) and shake to combine.
  3. Strain into the pint glass. Garnish with chosen veggies!

 

Crock Pot Beer Chicken

One day I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try. With beer being one of the key ingredients, I figure it had to be good, right? And it is!  It’s also low fat and low calorie and did I mention good? And oh so easy!

I usually make it for dinner one night and then make Chicken Salad out of the rest or even Barbeque Chicken Sliders. It’s great either way. Watch for both of those recipes shortly! They’re a coming!

Bon appétit!

Crock Pot Beer Chicken
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts (use eight 4 oz breasts)
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts into crock pot. Add beer. Sprinkle spices on top. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Delicious!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 oz Calories: 257 Fat: 5g Saturated fat: 1g Unsaturated fat: 1g Trans fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 3g Sodium: 491mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 44g Cholesterol: 116mg

 

Blushing Whiskey Sour

You asked for it, here it is! This is the most delicious and refreshing cocktail incorporating Irish Whiskey and lemon simple syrup. Oh, and blackberries which give it a little flavor and that beautiful pink color. I tend to gravitate to pink cocktails since pink is my favorite color.

Those who know me, know I used to bartend which means nothing except that I love finding (and testing, of course), new drink recipes.

This one, my friends, is definitely a keeper. Get your lemon simple syrup made, get your blackberries (and they are already beautiful) and get that bottle of Bushmills Irish Whiskey. You’ll thank me later!

Live it up and drink it down!

Blushing Whiskey Sour
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Libations
Serves: 1
Ingredients
Lemon Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1½ cups Fresh Lemon Juice
Whiskey Sour
  • Blackberries
  • 2 ounces Lemon Simple Syrup
  • 1 ounce Bushmills Irish Whiskey
  • Crushed Ice
Instructions
To make simple syrup:
  1. In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Add in lemon juice and stir well.
  4. Transfer to sterilized bottles. Refrigerate - keeps indefinitely.
To make cocktail:
  1. Add 2 ounces lemon simple syrup, Bushmills Irish Whiskey, and three blackberries to a shaker and shake vigorously until blackberries start to break up to give that gorgeous bush color.
  2. Strain into glass packed with fresh crushed ice.
  3. Garnish with additional blackberries.

 

Mardi Gras!

“A day late and a dollar short” as my Mama might have said, but here is my contribution to the week long celebration that is known as Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. Lent, as it is more commonly known, starts on Ash Wednesday (the day after Fat Tuesday), concluding 47 days later on Easter Sunday.  Whew!  Did everybody get that?

So, to commemorate Mardi Gras I made this fabulous Cajun inspired Shrimp Creole. It is quite simple and packs tons of flavor. Add a few extra dashes of Tabasco sauce to “kick it up a notch”. Paired with cooked white rice and you have a delicious meal.

Bon appétit!

Mardi Gras!
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Cuisine: Cajun
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 pounds shrimp unpeeled
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 14 oz cans tomatoes drained and chopped
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • dash Tabasco sauce
  • 2 cups cooked rice
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil in a large Dutch oven; add shrimp and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well; rinse with cold water. Chill. Peel and devein shrimp.
  2. Saute onion and green pepper in oil. Drain. Combine tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, Worcestershire, oregano, salt, lemon pepper, pepper, and Tabasco sauce in large Dutch oven. Add green pepper and onion. Simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer until shrimp are heated. Ladle hot shrimp creole over hot white rice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ Cup Calories: 338 Fat: 6g Saturated fat: 1g Unsaturated fat: 2g Trans fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 36g Sugar: 5g Sodium: 479mg Fiber: 3g Protein: 35g Cholesterol: 230mg

 

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