Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Good Morning Everyone!

Happy July from a hot and muggy Alabama! Hope this finds all doing well and enjoying their summer.
Sadly, this past month, we lost a dear friend that will SO miss being a part of the upcoming football season. God's Speed, Dearest Betty.

This month's recipes are just some simple dips, salsas, appetizers and desserts.

Paula Smith
Reflecting Independence
by Paula George
June 26, 2006

As Independence Day approaches, many thoughts and memories travel through my
mind and heart.

Thoughts of the freedoms, others have sacrificed home and lives for bringing us
to this point in time.

Families divided, others brought closer as they faced enemies seeking to destroy
these freedoms.

Goodbyes said as loved ones shipped to foreign lands, never to return, yet;
giving their lives to protect their homeland.

Unfortunate the divisions in our own homeland, families divided, others
reunited...infiltrated within by...

Outsiders...taking advantage of our freedoms and government, unwilling to accept
our land according to the laws it was founded upon.

Only taking of the opportunities...unwilling to become an intricate part of the
Independence we have because of lives sacrificed.

Reflections still remain that I have the opportunity to live in "freedom" and I
am a "citizen" of the "Land of Independence".

Reflections of those who serve in our military forces...those near and
far...those past and present...those willing to sacrifice home and family to
protect our freedom and homeland..."Reflecting Independence".


Applebee's Spicy Queso Blanco

1 tablespoon refined coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
1 small onion, divided
1 medium roasted poblano pepper, seeded, de-veined, and minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into chunks
4 ounces white cheddar cheese, cut into chunks
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, divided
1 Roma tomato, de-seeded and diced

Cut onion in half and mince one half. Set aside.

Warm oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 2/3 of minced
poblano and grate 1/2 onion into pan. Stir to coat and cook for 3-5
minutes until tender. Add cream and bring to a bubble. Add cheese a
little at a time, stir until cheese is melted. Stir in 1 tablespoon

To create a simple pico de gallo: Combine chopped onion, tomato,
1/2 tablespoon cilantro, and remaining poblano in a bowl.

Pour queso blanco into a medium size serving bowl (2 1/2 cup or
larger). Top with pico de gallo. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 2 Cups


Blueberry Salsa
per Grit Magazine

1 cup fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
2 green onions, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
A pinch of sugar
A dash of hot sauce (optional for additional heat)

In medium bowl, combine ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Salsa will keep in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Yields approximately 1 cup.


Black-eyed Pea Croquettes

Unusual, but surprisingly tasty!



2 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup self rising flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons season salt


Slightly mash black-eyed peas in large bowl.
Stir in remaining ingredients, except oil, until well blended.
In a large deep skillet on medium-high heat the oil.
Drop bean mixture into oil by 1/4-cupfuls (I use an ice cream scoop), flattening slightly.
Cook croquettes, 7 minutes, turning once or until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels.
Keep warm while cooking remaining croquettes.

for the mango chutney

    1 tablespoon oil
    2 spring onions, or 1 small regular onion
    1 ripe mango
    2 tablespoons vinegar
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1-2 jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and sliced
    dash of salt and pepper
    pinch cinnamon
    pinch allspice
    pinch cardamom
    pinch coriander powder

Mango Jalapeno Chutney
To make the mango chutney:

    Slice the spring onions in small rings.
    saute in a small sauce pan with the oil
    Peel the mango and de-seed.
    Cut the mango in small pieces and add to the onions.
    Add the vinegar, sugar and spices.
    De-seed and chop the jalapeno in small pieces.
    Add the jalapeno pieces to the cooking mango chutney.
    Keep at a low simmer until the liquid has cooked off and it is a well blended mixture.
    Season to taste with additional seasonings or salt and pepper.


Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta w/HOney Glazed Apricots


    1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2 1/4 teaspoons)
    2 tablespoons cold water
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
    One 17.6-ounce tub of Greek yogurt, such as Fage Total brand (2 cups)
    1 cup dried apricots
    1 cup semi-dry white wine,
    1/4 cup honey

    In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water; let stand until softened, 5 minutes.
In a small saucepan, bring the cream, sugar and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer. Off the heat,
stir in the gelatin until melted. In a bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth.
Gradually whisk in the vanilla cream; remove the vanilla bean.
Pour the mixture into six 1/2-cup ramekins and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, simmer the apricots in the white wine over moderately low heat
until the apricots are plump and the wine has reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the honey and simmer the syrup until thickened, about 5 minutes; let cool.
    Run a knife around the inside of each ramekin. Set a plate on each ramekin and
invert each panna cotta onto a plate; you may have to tap and shake the ramekins to loosen the panna cottas.
Slice the apricots and spoon them on top of the panna cottas. Drizzle with some of the honey syrup and serve.


Momma's Chocolate Pie
from my kitchen

Made this with Stevia last night for Rick and he said it was perfect!

1 9" deep dish pie pastry, baked until golden

5 egg yolks
1-1/2 cups Stevia
1/2 cup dry cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 cups milk (I used skim)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. butter

In heavy saucepan, whisk together dry ingredients. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes and whisk in egg yolks. Continue cooking and whisking over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and extract. Pour into baked pie shell. Prepare meringue, spread over and bake in 350 oven until top is golden.


5 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup Stevia

Beat egg whites, extract and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add Stevia and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spread over pie filling, sealing to edges of crust. Bake until golden.

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