Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Old Firehouse Drive Inn & Nostalgia

Growing up in Pensacola in the 50's & 60's...I still have fond memories of the Old Firehouse Drive Inn. Loved their Chief's Salad (a twist on a Chef's Salad). A combination of shredded lettuce, cabbage, meats, cheeses and tossed with a 1000 Island type dressing. SO good with saltines with butter spread on them!

There are numerous restaurants that are still operating that have the same name. Here's a recipe from one of them:

Old Firehouse Restaurant's Hollywood Shrimp
Hollywood shrimp:
Oil, for sautéing
1/2 pound sliced country ham
3 pounds (21 to 25 count per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons minced garlic
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, melted
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large lightly oiled skillet, sauté the country ham over medium heat
until crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly,
then slice or chop; the restaurant juliennes the ham.
In a large casserole (about 11 by 15 inches), place the peeled shrimp
in a single layer. Top the shrimp with the minced garlic, country ham
and drizzle with melted butter. Place the casserole in the oven and
cook just until the shrimp are opaque and firm, about 15 to 25 minutes.
Serve the shrimp over the cooked grits.
2 cups water
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup grits
2 tablespoons heavy cream
In a 3-quart stock pot, combine the water, milk, butter and salt.
Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then stir in the grits. Reduce
the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, following the
package instructions.
Remove from heat, and stir in the cream for added richness.
This makes about 4 cups cooked grits. Serve immediately.
Makes 6-8 Servings

Another favorite was downtown...The Driftwood Restaurant.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It all began with a call for "nuts"!!!

One of the foodie boards that I post on has a "secret ingredient" each week...this week's ingredient, "nuts". I had made Pecan Pralines on Saturday...but chose to use sliced almonds that I had in the freezer. Other items on hand, a package of puff pastry, cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, my homemade vanilla extract and a jar of Raspberry Rhubarb Preserves that I received from my Secret Santa (on another foodie board).

I chose to make a Raspberry Rhubarb Strudel.

Rolling out the 2 sheets of puff pastry I placed them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
The filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg
Beat together until smooth and spread 1/2 on one side of eash pastry sheet.
Divide 12 oz. jar of Raspberry Rhubarb Preserves over each cream cheese layer.
Fold remaining pastry over and seal.
Cut slits about 1" apart across pastries.
Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees, sprinkle each pastry with 1/3 cup sliced almonds. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Make thin confectioner's sugar glaze and drizzle over pastries.
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 -3 tsp. milk

Cut in slices and serve.


                                                     Glazed and ready to eat!

Monday, January 9, 2012

December 2011 Newsletter for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Lovers

Food For Thought:
Together As One
I want all our joys, dreams and laughter to be..
Together As One...
Whether we are experiencing pain or heartache,
Loving times or sad times...All of Them...
Together As One...
Fulfilling one another's dreams...
The music plays in the background...Tears On A Rose...
But together our tears can fall and blossom into joy...
Together As One...
Paula ...June 2002
I made a chocolate cake, topped with peanut butter cream frosting, then with chopped peanut butter cups. The frosting is fabulous, got it from All Recipes.
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup cream
Cream butter and peanut butter. Add 2 cups sugar and blend. Add half the cream. Add remaining sugar and cream, mix until blended. Can add more sugar or cream to get the consistency you want.
Peanut Butter Pie...not sure where I got this recipe from YEARS ago, but it is like the signature pie served at Little Joe's Restaurant in Oneonta, AL in the early 60's.

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For meringue:
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
6 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) deep-dish pastry shell(baked)
Combine peanut butter and confectioner's sugar until mealy. Sprinkle 1/2 of
mixture in bottom of baked pie crust.
In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, flour, salt, and milk. bring to boil over
medium heat, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat,
blend 1/2 cup hot mixture into beaten egg yolks; return egg mixture to custard.
Return to heat and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and add butter and
vanilla. Pour 1/2 custard in pastry shell. Top with remaining peanut butter
mixture and then remaining custard. Prepare meringue. Top pie and bake at 350
for 12-15 minutes until golden.
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, 1
Tbsp. at a time until stiff peaks form. Stir in vanilla and top pie.
Chocolate Peanut-Butter Icebox Cake
Martha Stewart Living
Serves 8.
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup smooth natural peanut butter (not unsalted)
1 box (9 ounces) chocolate wafer cookies
1.In a large bowl, whip 1 1/2 cups cream with sugar until soft peaks form. In a small bowl, whisk peanut butter until soft and smooth; whisk in 1/2 cup cream until light and fluffy. Fold peanut-butter mixture into whipped cream until incorporated.
2.Dab the bottom of 6 cookies with a very small amount of cream mixture and arrange in a circle on a serving plate; place 1 cookie in the middle of circle. Top with cup cream mixture, spreading outward to cover all but outer edges of cookies. Repeat process five more times (staggering the cookie layers), ending with cream. Cut 3 cookies in half; decorate top of cake with cookie halves.
3.Refrigerate cake at least 8 hours (or up to overnight). To serve, cut into wedges with a serrated knife.
1-2-3-4 Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting


1 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond or maple extract
1 cup milk
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
4 large eggs

Cream butter, sugar, baking powder and salt until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add flour and milk alternately. Beat at low speed after final addition until smooth. Beat in extracts. Pour batter into
greased & floured 9x13 baking pan. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 45-50 minutes until center
springs back when touched lightly.


1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine sugars and milk in heavy saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Cook to soft ball stage of 240 degrees. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, butter and extract.
Beat with hand mixer until spreading consistency. Spread over warm cake.
Double Peanut Butter Cookies
Source: Southern Living
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Combine flour, baking soda, salt and sugar; cut in
shortening and 1/2 cup peanut butter with pastry
blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir
in corn syrup and milk. Shape dough into a 12-inch
roll; wrap in wax paper, and chill at least 2
Unwrap roll, and cut into 1/4-inch slices; place
half of slices on ungreased cookie sheets. Spread
each with 1/2 teaspoon peanut butter. Top with
remaining cookie slices, and seal edges with a
fork. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.
Yield: about 2 dozen.
NOTE: Dough may be frozen up to 3 months. Slice
dough while frozen; let thaw slightly. Assemble
and bake as directed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 2012 Newsletter

As many of you know, I have done a monthly newsletter for a number of includes a Food for Thought (usually something that I have written) and several recipes. Some of the recipes may already be posted here. Sending the newsletter out today, thought I would share it on my blog.

Can you believe another year is at hand? Wishing all health and happiness in the coming year!
Sad, that this year begins with some friends and family no longer with us in this walk of life.
Glad, that there are signs of new beginnings for many!
Blessings to all!
Food For Thought:
Your Life Canvas
by Paula 2009
Brushes in hand...we contemplate our palette of life...choices we will make
Each day brings added touches...some of warmth and beauty
Yet others, not so ends with a blank canvas
Contemplate carefully, making strokes of color to enhance your canvas
Build on your canvas, adding texture and warmth...embrace beauty
Be creative...sensitive, inspired, preparing a masterpiece...
Unfolding the Master Artist's plan, allowing His guidance of each stroke.
 Baked Spaghetti   
Makes 8-10 servings
 1 lb. ground chuck, browned and drained
 1 lb. sausage ( I use hot) browned and drained
 2 medium onions, chopped and cooked with meat
 1/2 tsp. minced garlic (1 tsp.)
(1 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. dried basil, 1 tsp. dried oregano)
 1/2 tsp. salt
 1/2 tsp. pepper
 1 small can mushrooms
 1 48 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
 1 1/4 cup water

 Combine the above ingredients and simmer 30 minutes

 8 oz. pkg. uncooked spaghetti noodles
 8 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
 8 oz. grated mozzarella

 Use a large (13x9 or larger) casserole dish. Put a little
 sauce in the bottom of dish, then begin layering:

 1/2 of the spaghetti noodles
 1/2 of the sauce
 1/2 of each cheese
 Repeat layers

 Spray aluminum foil with cooking spray before
 covering. Place in refrigerator over night.
 Set out 30 minutes before baking.
 Next day , bake covered at 325 degrees for 35 minutes,
 then remove foil and bake another 10 minutes.
Enchilada Casserole
from my kitchen
Paula George
1 lb. ground sirloin, browned and drained.
Add 1 packet taco seasoning and cook according to directions for taco meat.
1 medium onion, chopped, add with taco seasoning.
1 can refried beans,
1 can black sliced olives, drained
8 corn tortillas
1 can enchilada sauce.
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese medley.
Prepare meat & onions.
On each tortilla place 2-3 Tbsp. refried beans and meat/onion mixture. Roll and place in 13x9 baking dish. Top with black olives and pour enchilada sauce over. Sprinkle cheese over top. Cover and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
Serve with diced tomatoes, diced onions, salsa, sour cream for additional toppings.
Mo Better Cajun Shrimp & Sauce
5 lbs. 21-25 count peeled & de-veined shrimp,
Tail-on and butter-flied
4 eggs
1-½ cups cornstarch
1-½ cups all-purpose flour
1-½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1-½ cups milk
Whisk batter until smooth. Dip shrimp in batter (allow excess batter to drip from shrimp) and drop into 350 degree oil, cook for 3 minutes until golden.
Mo Better Sauce
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 cups Thai Sweet Chile Sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crush red pepper flakes
Whisk together and drizzle over shrimp when fried.
1-1/2 cups hot picante sauce
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3 cups hot cooked rice (I use Zatarain's yellow rice)

Mix picante sauce, sugar and mustard.
Place chicken breasts in a 2 quart shallow baking dish.
Pour mixture over chicken.
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.
Serve over rice.
Double ChocolateTiramisu
from the kitchen of Paula aka Nana!
2-3 packages Ladyfingers (enough for 2 layers in 10" springform pan)
2 cups strong coffee
1/2 cup kahlua divided
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup hot water
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1-1/4 cups heavy cream divided
1 cup confectioner's sugar
3 cups marscapone cheese
1 Tbsp cocoa powder mixed with 1 Tbsp confectioner's sugar for dusting
Dissolve cocoa powder in hot water. Melt semi sweet chocolate with 1/4 heavy cream in 30 second intervals in microwave.
Beat 1 cup heavy cream with confectioner's sugar until soft peaks form. Add cocoa & chocolate mixtures, marscapone and 1/4 cup kahlua. Beat on low speed until combined.
Line springform pan with plastic wrap. Combine 1/4 cup kahlua with coffee. Dip 1 side of ladyfingers in coffee/Kahlua mixture. Place in bottom of pan. Spread 1/2 of the Chocolate Marscapone mixture over. Repeat another layer of dipped ladyfingers and remainder of Chocolate Marscapone mixture. Sprinkle with cocoa/confectioner's sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight.  Remove outer ring from pan and plate tiramisu on serving plate. Enjoy!