Tuesday, February 21, 2017

January 2017 Newsletter


Food for Thought: 

This weekend I had opportunity to visit my Momma's gravesite & see her grave-marker, it had been over 28 years since her passing. 
This is something that I wrote on the 5th anniversary of her passing.

Unaware You’d Leave So Soon
By Paula George
November 5, 1993
The years flew swiftly by, and we didn’t take the time to grasp them within…
Yet memories of days gone by, will always remain within my heart.
Unaware you’d leave so soon, we should have spent those days more wisely.
You held my hand, taking unsure steps; falling down, you’d pick me up again.
Rebellious days through childhood and youth, your love did not depart.
Unaware you’d leave so soon, I would have spent the days more wisely.
From Momma to Grandma, you knew the love in each one’s grin…
And cherished them, as Grandma’s should, you carried that love within your heart.
Unaware you’d leave so soon, we should spend the years ahead more wisely.
Addie Alberta Taylor George Richardson
June 3rd, 1920 - November 5th , 1988

Trader Joes Mac & Cheese

1 oz (1/4 cup) butter
2 oz (a little less than 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
4 oz good quality white Cheddar cheese, grated
3 oz good quality Havarti cheese, grated
2 oz good quality Gouda cheese, grated
1 oz good quality Swiss cheese, grated
3/4 tsp salt
24 oz milk (3 cups) whole milk (or 2% for less calories)
white pepper
1 lb De Cecco elbow pasta

Start by putting a large pot of water on to boil the pasta-make sure to salt it well.
Now, start making the cheese sauce, but if the pasta water comes to a boil before you add the cheese to the sauce you are making, turn it down.
Melt the butter in a medium sized pan over medium heat, then add the flour and stir well.
Continue to cook while stirring for about 3 to 4 minutes, but do not let it brown. (Cooking the flour well is important because the sauce will have a “raw-flour” taste if it isn’t cooked long enough.)
Have the milk close by in a jug that is easy to pour from, and add a little drop of milk. The milk should sizzle and steam immediately, if it doesn’t, turn up the heat a little. Once the milk does sizzle, begin adding a little at a time, and stirring quickly to keep the sauce smooth. The secret to not having lumps in white sauce is to gradually increase the amount of milk you add each time; if you add too much at once, especially early on, chances are you will end up with lumpy sauce (which is completely reparable with an immersion blender)!
Start with about 2 tablespoons of milk, then 2 more, then a little more each time. Once the sauce begins to form, you can add more milk each time. Just make sure all the milk has been absorbed after each addition, before adding more.
Once the sauce is finished, add salt, nutmeg and white pepper to taste, and lower the heat.
At this point, add the pasta to the boiling water. Stir well, and stir the white sauce, too, so it doesn’t stick. Now, add the grated cheeses to the white sauce, and stir until it is melted, adjusting the heat if necessary. Stir constantly or it will stick.
When the pasta is ready (al dente), drain and return to the pot and stir in the cheese sauce; serve hot.

NOTE: The following recipe will make enough cheese sauce (about 4 1/2 cups) for about 2 lbs of pasta. Because the cheese sauce freezes perfectly, it’s worth making a larger batch and freezing half for another time. To make less sauce, halve the sauce recipe.


Cajun Corn and Crab Bisque

This is the recipe that I started with from allrecipes and made my changes. My changes are marked with an asterisk.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Ready In: 50 Minutes
Servings: 8
"Traditional seasonings and ingredients from Louisiana's Cajun country make this creamy soup of fresh crab, corn, onions, celery, and garlic a hit."
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped *(I have used the variety of orange, yellow, red mini peppers)
1 large celery stalk, minced
1 TBSP Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels *(I use 1 pkg. Green Giant shoepeg corn in butter sauce)

2 bay leaves * (they called for 1)
2 cups milk
2 cups half & half * (they called for heavy cream)
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and black pepper to taste
Additional chopped green onions
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; then gradually whisk in the flour. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, whisking constantly, until a golden roux forms; set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Combine the onion, garlic, and celery and cook 1 minute. Add the Cajun seasoning to taste. Stir in the broth, corn, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, then pour in the milk, cream, and additional cajun seasoning (optional). When the mixture begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer 7 minutes. Stir in the roux, 1 tablespoon at a time, blending thoroughly. Continue to cook, on low heat, whisking until mixture thickens. Stir in crabmeat, green onions, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer 6 to 8 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


1. Make roux with butter, flour & oil. add onion, bell pepper, celery & garlic...I cooked about 5 minutes. add broth, milk, half & half, Cajun seasoning, corn, bay leaf...simmer about 10-15 minutes. Stir in crabmeat, green onions and worcestershire. Simmer 6-8 minutes more. Season with salt & pepper to taste. I also served mine with fresh chives on top.


Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

1 lb ground chicken
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 egg

Buffalo Sauce:
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup franks hot sauce
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Blue Cheese Dressing:
5 oz blue cheese
1 cup mayo
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 T white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
couple twists of fresh ground pepper

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients.

Using your hands mix together.

Drop by the teaspoon onto a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with pam.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.

Transfer to a slow cooker and top with buffalo sauce.

Cook on low to keep warm.

Buffalo Sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.

Cook over medium high heat and whisk until combined and butter is melted.

Blue Cheese Dressing:
For smooth dressing place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Or, you can mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined.

Let dressing marinate for an hour or more before serving.

Refrigerate leftovers in airtight container. 


From a friend...
Having to share Shane's dip recipes....hahha...they have to be great!!!! 

Karen Bethea
Bad Hombre Dip:
1.5 big blocks of Velveeta
2 packages hot breakfast sausage, cooked and drained
2 cans Rotel
1 pkg. cream cheese
A little Taco/Cajun/ similar seasoning. 
Heat on low in slow cooker. Serve with chips. 
Nasty Woman Dip:
36. oz apricot preserves
6 tsp prepared horseradish
6 T. Dijon mustard
Black pepper to taste
Simmer and let cool. Refrigerate to allow flavors to blend. Serve over cream cheese with crackers.

This was Momma's favorite cake! I made it for her each time that she would visit. Momma was an excellent cook although her baking repertoire only included biscuits and cornbread!

•1 stick margarine, (4 ounces)
•2 cups flour
•2 cups sugar
•1 cup buttermilk
•flaked coconut, about 2 cups
•5 egg whites, stiffly beaten
•1/2 cup shortening
•5 egg yolks
•1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•1 cup chopped pecans, or walnuts
•1-1/2 package cream cheese, softened (12oz)
•6 cups confectioners' sugar, (1 pound)
•1 stick butter, softened (8 Tbs)
•1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cream margarine and shortening; add sugar. Add egg yolks and beat well. 
Combine soda, salt and flour; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in vanilla. Add coconut and nuts. Fold in egg whites. 
Pour into 3 or 4 greased and floured cake pans; bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
Frosting: Beat cream cheese & butter until smooth; stir in sugar. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in coconut. Spread on cake layers; 
sprinkle top with chopped pecans or pecan halves. 

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