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Dore Sander’s Vegetables

This week I am featuring recipes from a cookbook I am reading, “Dori Sanders Country Cooking.”  This book brings back so many memories for me.  Dori lives on a farm in York, South Carolina and the produce from the farm is sold at the family’s  peach stand.  Dori describes each recipe so beautifully and stirs so many memories for me of my childhood.  Back in the day, we stayed at home all summer and it was a real treat when we would drive out in the country to visit a fruit stand and buy vegetables.  Many times we would visit a stand, buy a watermelon and go to a picnic table nearby and eat the melon.  I would be super excited because each stand had a personality of it’s own.  Some of them were built very sturdily and some of them would be no more than just a roof built to cover and protect the fruit and vegetables from the sun.

Today, I am sharing two of Dori’s vegetable recipes.  The first is for crowder peas and reminds me of my sister, Maxine.  She was a picky eater but she absolutely loved crowder peas.  I love crowder peas too and they are so good when they are cooked with bacon grease.  If you serve them with fresh corn bread and fresh sliced tomatoes, you don’t need anything else.

This is page one of the crowder pea recipe

crowder peas 1

This is page two of the crowder pea recipe

crowder peas 2


Here is the recipe Dori mentions for the cornbread

skilled corn bread

I am also including a recipe for stir fry vegetables that looks delicious.  As much as I love summertime and the fruits and vegetables of summer, I do become overwhelmed at times when I have a few squash, tomatoes or other vegetables on hand.  This would be a great way to incorporate a few vegetables into one delicious dish.

Here is the first page of the stir fry vegetable recipe

dtir fry vegetables


Here is the second page of the stir fry vegetable recipe.

dtir fry vegetables 2

Thank you Dori Sanders for stirring such wonderful memories of simple pleasures of my childhood.  Thank you to you, my readers, for letting me share those memories with you.

Dori Sanders’s Peppery Milk Gravy

Dori Sanders is a Southern writer from York, South Carolina.  She still lives on the family farm and works with family members planting, harvesting and running the farm where they sell peaches, okra,, crowder peas and other wonderful produce they grow.  When I was browsing through our library the other day, I borrowed Dori’s cookbook and I am enjoying it.  Her collection of recipes are truly southern recipes and bring back so many memories of my experiences growing up in the south.

Here is a picture of the book:
dorrie sanders cookbook


Dori includes a recipe in her cookbook for marinated wild turkey with peppery milk gravy.  Today I am going to share the peppery milk gravy recipe with you and I am sure it could be used with any type of pan drippings. I am not a big fan of gravy but a well seasoned gravy of the right consistency can’t be beat.  As I read Dori’s recipe I thought it looked extremely easy to prepare and reminded me of the way my Mother would make gravy.  My Mother always used water instead of the milk.


pepper gravy

After reading this cookbook, I want to read Dori’s books, Clover and A Place Of Her Own.  In this cookbook, Dori invites us to her family’s farm and offers us delicious country cooking along with her family experiences.  I look forward to sharing more of her recipes with you this week and thanks for stopping by.





Southern Living Recipes Again

Today I am sharing more recipes from the cookbook “Southern Living 40 Years of Our Best Recipes.  Southern Living is a magazine that I enjoyed for many years.  I know for sure there were and still are many home cooks that would receive their magazine and be inspired by the cover photo.  They would make the recipe and probably serve it to their family for dinner that very same day. The magazine features gardening articles, travel articles about Southern places and recipes that are photographed beautifully.

The first recipe I am sharing with you is for a Nacho Dip.  This type of mexican dip was all the rage in the 80′s and I remember going to so many events that served a version of this.  The recipe is easy to make and I think it would be a hit for any event.

nacho dip

The second recipe for Blue Cheese Thumbprints caught my eye and looks easy to make.  It has such an unusual combination o f foods and would be a great alternative to cheese straws that are made with cheddar cheese.  I would definitely be inspired to make these.


thumbprint cookies

The next recipe includes white chocolate and that has become one of my favorite new flavors.  If I saw this recipe on the cover of my Southern Living Magazine, I am sure I would make it right away.  In fact, this recipe is one that I plan to use for our holiday celebrations.

white choc cake

I am so glad I was able to share some of the best recipes from Southern Living Magazine.  I do believe the magazine enriched my Southern life in so many ways.  Thanks for stopping by.

40 Years of Southern Living Magazines Best Recipes

I love to visit he library and I always browse through the cookbook section.  Recently, I found a great cookbook entitled “Southern Living 40 Years of Our Best Recipes.  I checked the book out and saw so many recipes in the book that I really wanted to try.  Southern Living Magazine is a magazine about the South that began in 1966.  This cookbook showcases many of the great recipes published in the magazine over the years.

Last week I shared with you the Tomato Basis Asparagus Pasta Salad that is in the book. Today I want to share two more recipes and the first one is for spicy okra tomato corn saute. I saw fresh okra at the farmers market last week and I do plan to purchase some soon.  Okra is a very southern vegetable and I think you either love it or hate it.  I think you could use fresh okra in this recipe even though it calls for frozen okra.  I do prepare frozen okra in the winter because I think it is great in vegetable soup or fried.

okra saute

The next recipe I am sharing with you caught my eye because it has a comment from John Grisham and he is one of my favorite Southern authors.  In fact, I have one of his books on my walkman right now and I listen to it at the gym.  Catfish Lafitte is not a dish I am familiar with at all and I had never tasted catfish until earlier this year.  This recipe is for pan fried catfish in a cajun cream sauce.  It does sound good and I will agree with John about the pan fried fish as it is definitely my favorite way of eating fish.


I enjoyed this cookbook so much and it was a sentimental journey for me as I read many of the recipes and remembered seeing them for the first time in my Southern Living Magazine.  I really believe the magazine was a big influence in my cooking development and helped me to prepare many great Southern dishes.

I have a few more recipes from the book that I will share with you on Friday.  Thanks for stopping by.





It’s Blackberry Season – What about a Merlot Blackberry Sauce?

Front View of the Restaurant at Chateau Morrisette Winery in Virginia

Front View of the Restaurant at Chateau Morrisette Winery in Virginia

About a year ago we visited Chauteau Morrisette in Virginia and had lunch in their restaurant.  I had pork with a blackberry sauce and I have thought about that wonderful sauce many times.  I made a mental note that I would make that sauce when blackberries came into season this year.  Here in North Carolina we are in the middle of blackberry season and a Blackberry Festival was held in a neighboring town of Lenoir last weekend.  Mr. D and I attended the festival for the first time and we enjoyed it. The highlight of the festival for us was the patchwork quilt of blackberry cobblers.  They give generous portions of cobbler to everyone until it is all given away.  The minute I tasted mine I realized the blackberries used for the cobbler were wild blackberries and they have such a bite to them and it was delicious.

When we returned, I decided I would make the blackberry sauce I had been thinking about for our Sunday lunch.  I found several versions of the sauce when I browsed websites and the one I am sharing with you is from a website I had not visited before entitled Dr. Gourmet.  Here is a link to the recipe on that website:

Their recipe included Beef Tenderloin served with the sauce.  We used ours for grilled chicken.  I was very pleased with the results and the only thing I did differently was to use Cabernet Sauvignon instead of Merlot wine.  Mr D, the wine expert in our family, thinks there would be a stronger or richer wine flavor to the sauce if I would have used the Merlot. The sauce was tangy and adding the butter gave it a rich creamy flavor.  It was very similar to the sauce I had at the winery.

As I was preparing lunch at the same time, the recipe was not labor intensive but did take a considerable amount of cooking time because of the reduction process.  We are planning to smoke a turkey breast soon and I think this sauce will go well with it or any other meat for that matter.


Merlot Blackberry Sauce

Servings = 4 | Serving size =2 tablespoons sauce with 4 ounces of meat

Cooking Time = 60 Minutes

This recipe can be multiplied by 2.

This recipe can be divisible by 2.

This sauce keeps well for about 2 – 3 days in the refrigerator.

Note: Those who are gluten-sensitive will want to use a gluten-free stock.

2 cups merlot
1 pint fresh blackberries
1 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Place the Merlot, blackberries, chicken stock, salt, pepper, thyme and maple syrup in a medium stainless or non-reactive sauce pan. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Use a potato masher or a slotted spoon to gently mash all of the blackberries. Cook on simmer for another 15 minutes.

Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Press down with a rubber spatula to remove all the liquid. Discard the pulp and seeds.

Rinse the sauce pan and return the strained sauce. Simmer for another 15 minutes until reduced by half. There should be about 1/2 to 2/3 cup sauce. Add 2 tablespoons Promise Buttery Spread Light and whisk until dissolved. Set aside.

I know every time I make this I will remember my wonderful visit to Chateau Morrissette last summer.  Special People, Special Places, Special Times.  Thanks for stopping by.




Black Mountain, Montreat, Old Fort and Lake James – Beautiful North Carolina Places

Have you ever road down the Interstate at about 70 miles an hour and whizzed past a town, lake or landmark and said, “Someday, I am going to stop there.”  We visited Black Mountain, NC last Saturday and it is just a few miles from Asheville on Interstate 40.  We have passed the small town many times on our way to Asheville but never stopped.  It is a picturesque location in the mountains of North Carolina. We also visited Montreat that is a small community surrounding Montreat College.  On our way home we stopped at Old Fort and Lake James.  We enjoyed our day and it was good to visit charming places that make up such a beautiful part of our state.

First, here are the pictures from Black Mountain.

Street View Of Downtown Black Mountain

Street View Of Downtown Black Mountain

Another Street View - Black Mountain

Another Street View – Black Mountain

We ate lunch at this restaurant.  I had pizza and Mr. D had a sub.  The food was delicious and I was fascinated with the crust of the pizza as it was crispy on the outside but had a very chewy texture.  This restaurant is probably the most popular restaurant in downtown Black Mountain but there are many options for a meal.  The choices include the Red Rocker Inn for breakfast and a German restaurant.

Very Popular Pizza Restaurant in Black Mountain

Very Popular Pizza Restaurant in Black Mountain

Garden In Front of Downtown Shop -Black Mountain

Garden In Front of Downtown Shop -Black Mountain

From Black Mountain we went to Montreat.  It is only a few miles away and is in a lovely setting.  The population of the town is around 700 people and they do not have one traffic light.

Entryway to Montreat NC

Entryway to Montreat NC



People in Hammocks by River way in Montreat, NC

People in Hammocks along the river in Montreat, NC

Flowers In Bloom In Montreat

Flowers In Bloom In Montreat


Close up of Flower In Bloom - Either a Rhododendron or Mountain Laurel

Close up of Flower In Bloom – Either a Rhododendron or Mountain Laurel

From Montreat we returned to Old Fort, NC and as many times as I have traveled Interstate 40, I have never stopped in Old Fort.  It is a very small town but is very pretty.

Historical Sign - Downtown Old Fort

Above is a historical marker in downtown Old Fort.  The picture below is of a park downtown and I loved the picture with the Crepe Myrtles in bloom.


Below is a close up view of a Crepe Myrtle and I love their lacy blooms.


Depot At Old Fort, NC and is now an Art Center

Depot At Old Fort, NC and is now an Art Center

We visited the Museum in Old Fort and it is small but informative.  The setting is very pretty.



Cabin @ Mountain Gateway Museum, Old Fort, NC

Cabin @ Mountain Gateway Museum, Old Fort, NC

River beside Mountain Gateway Museum

River beside Mountain Gateway Museum


Outdoor setting at Mountain Gateway Museum

Outdoor setting at Mountain Gateway Museum

On the way home we stopped briefly at Lake James located in McDowell Count.  The Lake has 150 miles of shoreline and a state park.  There are many access areas for boating and swimming.

Lake James - Burke County, NC

Lake James – Burke County, NC


Another View of Lake James, NC

Another View of Lake James, NC

Oops!  I almost forgot this picture.  Camp Ridgecrest is near Old Fort and the cross is on their campus.  We have seen this cross many times from the Interstate and wanted to take a picture of it.  We went to the Camp and they told us the best vantage points to take the picture.  We were very pleased to FINALLY be able to do this.




We had a fun day and our mission was accomplished to take the time to stop and enjoy places along the Interstate that we have never taken the time to visit before.  Maybe that will be the theme of our road trips in the future.

Happy Weekend Everyone.  Thanks for stopping by.




A Summer Pasta Salad – Is It Suitable For A Diabetic

In the summer, I love to make salads and I do enjoy a good pasta salad.  As Mr. D is diabetic, I have dismissed making them because pasta can so easily cause a sugar spike.  We recently visited our local library and I borrowed a book entitled, “Southern Living – Forty Years Of Our Best Recipes.  I saw this recipe and I thought I might be able to make it for us if we use the whole grain pasta.  I think it is a good choice because it includes a vinaigrette and there are so many available in the supermarket now. I think you could make your own dressing if you wanted to.  The fresh vegetables would help to balance eating the pasta.  When I visit the grocery store today, I plan to buy the ingredients and make this over the weekend.

tomato pasta salad_0001

I love the colors and the freshness of the vegetables in the picture of the salad.  I do think the recipe seems fairly simple and it would be a great way to use some of those fresh summer vegetables and herbs.

tomato pasta salad

Thanks for stopping by.




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