Friday, October 9, 2015

Y'all Comeback Pasta Salad

Y'all Comeback Pasta Salad
Robert St. John

2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup Chili Sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 small onion -- grated
salt -- to taste
1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
few dashes Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Combine all ingredients , blend with immersion blender and refrigerate. 
2 lbs. tri color rotino pasta cooked and drained
6 green onions, diced (white & green part)
1 cup diced celery
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
Stir sauce into pasta and veggies. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

This is a very tasty pasta salad from Robert St. John...the Comeback Sauce is very popular in many Mississippi restaurants and can be googled to find numerous recipes using this tasty sauce. It makes a great salad dressing or dipping sauce for fried foods. It is a cross between 1000 Island & remoulade.
Originating in Jackson, MS. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Game Day Food Newsletter

Good Morning!
A blustery, Chilly morning here this morning. It's game day!
Hope this finds all doing well!

Paula Smith

OCTOBER 2015 Game Day Food Newsletter


You happen upon them when least expected...
friends from days gone by, sometime since you've seen them...
Yet that bond of friendship is rekindled in a moment...
Cherished memories recalled...some happy times, others trying
times that you have been through together.
Old friends and new friends are necessary in life...
They are the family we choose.

Paula 2011


Another Cannoli Dip


10 servings
 2 cups ricotta cheese
 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Beat ricotta cheese and cream cheese together in a bowl until smooth; add sugar and vanilla. Continue to stir mixture until sugar is completely incorporated. Fold chocolate chips through the cheese mixture.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 10 minutes.

Serve with waffle cones broken into chip size pieces.



  • 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
  • 24 toothpicks or cocktail sticks
Corn Dogs
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup crumbled cooked bacon (about 9 strips)
  • 24 cocktail wieners (such as Lit'l Smokies), or 6 hot dogs cut into 4 pieces each


1. In a medium pot, preheat oil to 365°F.
2. In a mixing bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, sugar, cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, white pepper, baking powder, and baking soda. {Tip: If you prefer a smoother batter, pulse the cornmeal and flour together in a food processor before stirring in the remaining dry ingredients.} Stir in buttermilk, egg, and honey and gently whisk until no lumps remain. Fold in bacon.
3. Skewer 1 cocktail wiener on each toothpick. Working in small batches, dip and roll wieners in batter until fully coated and then quickly and carefully drop them, toothpick and all, into the hot oil. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Serve trays of warm corn dogs with a side of ketchup, stone ground mustard, and hot sauce or a selection of your favorite condiments.
Bang Bang Shrimp
Aka Paula's Mo' Betta Shrimp
Dipping sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. Thai chili sauce 
1 Tbsp. honey
Dash of Kosher salt
Few grinds of coarse black pepper
1 Tablespoon water

Whisk together ingredients for dipping sauce.

Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail-on
Bibb lettuce leaves, for serving
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Make the sauce: Mix the mayonnaise, chili sauce, honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, Old Bay and 1 tablespoon water in a large bowl; set aside.

Prepare the shrimp: Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Meanwhile, pour buttermilk in a shallow bowl. Whisk the flour, cornstarch and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper, Old Bay in another shallow bowl.

Working in batches, dredge the shrimp in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess, dip in the buttermilk then return to the flour mixture, turning to coat each side. Fry the shrimp in the hot oil until lightly golden, 2-3 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the oil temperature. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.

Arrange the lettuce in a shallow serving bowl or on individual plates. Top with the shrimp and garnish with scallions. Serve the dipping sauce on the side.

Ham & Cheese sliders
  • 20 small Hawaiian sweet rolls, cut in half crosswise 
  • 1 pound deli ham, sliced 
  • 20 slices provolone cheese 
  • 8-oz. container spreadable cream cheese 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted 
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onions 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. 
  3. Line the bottom of the pan with the bottom halves of the sweet rolls. 
  4. Top with the ham, then the provolone cheese slices. 
  5. Spread the cream cheese onto the bottoms of the sweet roll tops and place them in a layer on top of the cheese. 
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onions and Parmesan cheese. 
  7. Mix well and pour evenly over tops of the sandwiches. 
  8. Sprinkle the poppy seeds over the top. 
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until warmed through. 
  10. Cut at the seams with a knife and serve warm!


Cheddar thumbprint cookies with pepper jelly   Per Nancy...
I had a jar of Red Pepper Jelly I needed to use, I found this on Pinterest, very easy. I'm taking them to a gathering tonight, good with a glass of wine.

Cheddar Thumbprint Cookies with Pepper Jelly
2 cups Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 stick (6 TBSP) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup flour
1/3 cup hot pepper jelly
Place cheese and butter in a food processor (could be creamed by hand or mixer); add flour and process until the mixture forms a soft dough. Gather up the dough and divide into two flat disks. Wrap in wax paper and freeze until chilled, about 45 minutes. (You really don’t need to chill the dough)
Preheat to 400°.
Using 1 teaspoon dough for each, roll the dough into small balls and place 1 inch apart on parchment lined sheets. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, (A small spoon worked for me) poke an indentation in each cookie. Place 1/4 teaspoon of the jelly in each indentation, or enough to fill.
Return to the oven and bake, switching the positions of the sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking, until the tops are very lightly browned, about 10 minutes. (Cookies will continue to crisp as they cool.) Transfer to racks and cool completely. Recipe makes about 20 cookies.
Can be baked up to two days ahead. Store at room temperature in an airtight container and separate layers with wax paper.

Chicken & Corn Fritters with Green Chile Sauce
adapted from Taste of Home


  • 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) Mexicorn, drained
  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups Shredded Colby Jack cheese, 


  1. Place corn in a large bowl; lightly crush with a potato masher. Stir in the chicken, egg, milk, butter, salt and pepper. Combine flour and baking powder; stir into the corn mixture just until combined. 
  2. In a deep-fat fryer or skillet, heat 2 in. of oil to 375°. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls into oil. Fry for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels; keep warm. 
  3. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in flour and seasonings until smooth. Add chilies. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in 1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese. Serve with corn fritters; sprinkle with cheese if desired. Yield: 1 dozen. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Publix Aprons...Asiago Chicken Pasta

 Asiago Chicken Pasta


1 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves only
2 oz Asiago cheese, shredded
1 lb boneless chicken cutlets
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 oz presliced baby portabellas
1 teaspoon minced garlic
9 oz fresh linguine pasta
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock (or broth)
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 cups baby spinach leaves 


  • Remove thyme leaves from stem. Grate cheese (1/3 cup).


  1. Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; coat chicken with flour on both sides, shaking off any excess (wash hands).
  2. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place oil and butter in pan, cook chicken 2–3 minutes on each side or until browned and 165°F. Remove chicken from pan.
  3. Place mushrooms, garlic, thyme, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in pan; cook and stir 2 minutes. Cut pasta in half.
  4. Stir in stock, half-and-half, and pasta; cook and stir 3–4 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in cheese and spinach; cook 1 minute or until cheese melts. Serve chicken over pasta.


I made this tonight with just a few changes.
1. I used shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken (about 1 lb.)
2. I used salted butter & lower sodium chicken broth omitting addition of kosher salt
3. I floured the chicken, sautéed, removed from the pan and added back to the pasta at the end.
4. I increased the broth amount to 2 cups.
5. I increased the Asiago cheese amount to 1/2 cup.

Delicious! Will definitely make again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Granny Seale's Fresh Apple Cake

In the early 70's, we attended church with Granny Seale. She gave me the recipe for this wonderful cake during that, I guess that means that I have been making it for about 40 years! Wow!
A friend of German decent always welcomed this cake for his birthday, his mother had always made it for him prior to her passing. It is so moist and apple season is a perfect time to make it!

or Apple Dapple Cake
Or as I call it...GRANNY SEALE'S APPLE CAKE (she went to church with us in Robinwood, AL in the early 70's) that is when I first began making this cake.

1 1/4 c. salad/vegetable oil
1 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
4 c. chopped apples

Mix oil, sugar, eggs, well with vanilla. Sift flour, salt, baking soda,  gradually add to egg mixture. Stir in nuts and apples. Pour into greased & floured  Bundt pan.Bake at 350°F approximately 1 hour (or test with toothpick). Very moist. Allow to cool in pan after pouring frosting/glaze over.

Frosting (optional):

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 cup half & half

Bring to boil & cook for 3 minutes. Pour over hot cake in pan, allow to sit in pan until cool. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Butter Dip Biscuits & Sausage Gravy, two ways

Butter Dip Biscuits
Adapted from several recipes that I had seen online

1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, divided

3 cups White Lily Self-rising Flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 to 1-1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray 10" cast iron skillet with cooking spray. Add 1 stick butter & melt.

In mixing bowl, stir together flour, confectioner's sugar, baking powder & pinch of salt.
Melt 1/2 stick butter & add to flour mixture starting with 1 cup buttermilk. If necessary, add remaining buttermilk to form a soft but sticky dough. 
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface & knead until firm enough to pat out, adding flour as needed. Do not overwork dough. Cut with 2" biscuit cutter. Dip each biscuit in melted butter in skillet & turn so both sides will be coated. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden.

Sausage Gravy:

1 lb. bulk sausage, hot or mild. I prefer hot.
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper if I am using mild.
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup bacon drippings 
1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk or water

In large skillet, crumble sausage in bacon drippings. Cook over medium heat until sausage is cooked through, add salt, pepper & crushed red pepper if using. Add 1/2 cup flour & cook stirring occasionally for 1 minute for white gravy. If you want brown gravy (my preference) add flour and cook stirring constantly until browned (fairly dark, like a roux). For white gravy, whisk in milk, stirring, bring to boil until thickened. For brown gravy, whisk in water, stirring, bring to boil until thickened. 

If too thick, add milk or water to reach desired consistency. Add small amounts & heat until bubbling to know how thick your gravy will be. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

SEPTEMBER 2015 Newsletter

SEPT 2015 Newsletter


 "I Thank Thee, Lord"
I sometimes get so busy, Lord, I know not where I'm going;
But find that my determination is leading what I'm doing.
At times like these, I thank Thee, Lord, for bringing me to a halt
And putting me down on my knees, where I can see my fault.
For what can I accomplish, when following my will?
So make me take the time to Listen and Be Still
For unless my life is guided completely By Your Hand,
I know my foolish works will never be able to stand.
So take my life and mold me to what You'd have me be;
That through a yielded life, a Loving Jesus some might see.
American Poetry Anthology
Vol. III, No. I 10/15/83
Paula George Smith


Hoisin Dijon Chicken Skewers
From Glynda
Servings 6

3/4 c. hoisin sauce
1/4 c. dijon mustard
1-1/2 T. rice vinegar
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 lbs. chicken tenders
Kosher salt and black pepper

Count out the number of chicken strips you have, then soak an equal number of bamboo skewers in warm water for 15 minutes. Heat the grill to medium-high. 
In a small bowl, mix together the hoisin sauce, mustard, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Divide the sauce into two portions, one for basting he raw chicken, another to serve with the chicken after it is cooked. (Cooks notes: I just marinated it for about 1 hr or more)
Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper (Notes: I just put in marinade) Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked skewers and brush all over with one portion of the hoisin mixture. Grill the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side, basting with more of the mixture a it cooks. As the skewers finish cooking, reading 165F at the thickest part, transfer them to a platter. Serve with the reserved sauce.

Author: Little Spice Jar
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4-6 servings
This soup is loaded with classic Italian flavors and it's simple to make! Orzo tomato spinach soup is completely vegetarian friendly and it's so warm and comforting! The perfect soup so serve on a chilly day.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1//2 cups chopped onions
1¼ cup carrots, sliced into ½ inch rounds
1 cup celery
6 cloves of roasted garlic (see notes)
6½ cups of vegetable stock (or chicken)
2 (14.5 oz) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1½ tablespoons pesto
1½ cups orzo (whole wheat or regular)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon oregano
3 cups baby spinach, packed
salt and black pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté them for 4-5 minutes until they get soft. Add the carrots, celery, and roasted garlic and continue to sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Add the stock, along with the tomatoes, pesto, orzo, thyme, Italian seasoning, and oregano, stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and let the orzo pasta cook to al-dente, about 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
Just before serving, add the baby spinach and continue to cook for 1 minutes or until the spinach gets nice and bright green and wilts down. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Roasted garlic can be found in jars in the International food aisle in most grocery stores. You can also substitute fresh garlic for this recipe. 
To roast your own garlic: Heat an oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Peel off most of the paper from the garlic, leaving the head intact with the cloves attached. Trim the top off the head of garlic by ¼ inch. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the exposed surface, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and bake for 40 minutes. Check the garlic, it is done when the center clove is completely soft with pierced with a paring knife. Continue roasting for an additional 5 -10 minutes to help deepen the golden color and caramelize further. Exact roasting time may vary due to size. Garlic can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks and frozen for up to 3 mo
Creamy Tomato Basil

One of my favorite sandwiches is a Triple Grilled Cheese that I served at Canebrake.
He used to order 2 of them every Saturday!  It also became a favorite of some customers from the Courthouse. The Creamy Tomato Basil soup is one of my
requested soups by a former customer at LuVici's.

Two slices wheatberry bread (preferably Rotella brand)
softened cream cheese
2 slices Swiss cheese
2 slices Colby or Cheddar cheese
sliced purple onion
sliced tomatoes
salt & pepper

Butter both sides of bread. Place on hot grill pan and brown. Turn and spread softened cream cheese on grilled side of bread. Top with onions, tomatoes, salt & pepper and remaining cheeses. Put sandwich together and grill remaining buttered sides until sandwich is browned and cheeses are melted.

Optional: Can also add ham or bacon to make them heartier!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
Paula George Smith

4 Tbsp. butter
1 med onion, chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 Tbsp. flour
28 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 qt. chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup julienned, fine basil leaves
1 cup heavy cream or culinary cream, if available

In stockpot, melt butter. Saute onion, celery, carrots for 5 minutes. Add garlic
and cook 1 more minute. add flour and cook 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients
except basil and heavy cream, bring to slow boil and simmer for 30 minutes. With
immersion blender. puree. Stir in heavy cream and basil and heat through (about
5 minutes). Do not boil.

Pecan Pie Cobbler
1 Box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
2 1/2 cups light corn syrup
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
6 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Butter-flavor cooking spray
2 cups pecan halves
Vanilla ice cream, if desired
1. Heat oven to 425°F. Grease 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with shortening or cooking spray. Remove 1 pie crust from pouch; unroll on work surface. Roll into 13x9-inch rectangle. Place crust in dish; trim edges to fit.
2. In large bowl, stir corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs with wire whisk. Stir in chopped pecans. Spoon half of filling into crust-lined dish. Remove second pie crust from pouch; unroll on work surface. Roll into 13x9-inch rectangle. Place crust over filling; trim edges to fit. Spray crust with butter-flavor cooking spray.
3. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until browned. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Carefully spoon remaining filling over baked pastry; arrange pecan halves on top in decorative fashion. Bake 30 minutes longer or until set. Cool 20 minutes on cooling rack. Serve warm wit

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rustic Chicken Sausages Sauté

Rustic Chicken Sausage & Pasta

2 links of Tomato Basil Chicken Sausage, sliced
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
3/4 cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced fresh San Marzano tomatoes or Heirloom cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine (I used Moscato)
2 cups baby spinach julienned
2 -3 Tbsp. fresh basil, julienned & divided
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Fresh grated Asiago or reggiano 
Pasta of choice, I used bucatini tonight, linguine would be great also.

In medium skillet, sauté sausage in EVOO for 3 minutes, add onions & garlic, sauté a few more minutes to soften onion. Deglaze with wine & add red bell pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes, S&P. Cook 5-7 minutes. Add spinach & basil, cook for 1 minute to wilt spinach. Spoon over desired pasta, garnish with grated cheese & fresh basil.