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A Southern Easter Tradition – Deviled Eggs

Easter and eggs go together no matter where you are.  However, in the South you must include deviled eggs in your Easter meal.  I don’t really know how I learned to make deviled eggs.  I think I just made up my recipe by trial and error.  I like adding vinegar to my eggs instead of pickle juice as it seems to be just a little more mellow and blends well with the other ingredients.  This recipe is one that I have used every year and I am happy to share it with you again this year.

Deviled Eggs

9 Hard Boiled Eggs – Most devil egg plates come with a space for 12 halves of eggs so I boil extra just in case I can’t get one of my eggs to peel correctly

1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar

1 tablespoon mustard

2 to 3 tablespoons of mayo

2 or three tablespoons of sour cream

1 Tablespoon of Durkees

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Cook, cool and peel hard-boiled eggs.  Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the yolk (yellow) of the egg.  Mix the mashed yellow of the egg with the above ingredients and put them back in the white reserved egg halves. If you are wanting a creamier filling, add more mayonnaise.

I usually use a fork to stuff the yellow back into the white of the egg.  I then smooth it with a knife.

The deviled eggs are tastier if you chill them in the fridge for four to eight hours before serving.

Below is the process I use for hard-boiled eggs and it works well for me.  I have found through experience that it is difficult to peel a fresh egg.

Place eggs in pan and cover with cold water.

Bring water to a rolling boil; immediately turn off heat.  (don’t let the eggs continue to boil and I usually set them off the hot burner)

Let eggs stand in hot water for 14 minutes if small or 17 minutes if extra large

drain eggs and cool in ice water.  I have learned to peel the eggs quickly when they are cool.  If you start at the rounded top of the egg and break that membrane the eggs will peel smoothly.  If you are having difficulty, make a small break in the membrane and continue to dip them in the cooled water.

This year Mr. D and I will not have family visiting so we will be having a very non-traditional meal.  Now can you just imagine what Mr. D said he wanted for Easter?  If you said steak you are exactly right.  So we will be grilling steak for Easter and the great thing about that is he will be preparing the steak.  Even though that is non-traditional, I can promise you we will have deviled eggs as our appetizer.

I hope you have a Happy and Blessed Easter and thanks for stopping by.

Bunny Cake or Pancakes for Easter

Growing up, I do not remember many food traditions from Easter.  Of course, we dyed and hid Easter eggs and had Easter baskets filled with wonderful chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs.  I do remember having ham for lunch but other than that the only other thing I remember is those itchy Easter dresses we wore as we hid our Easter eggs.

I do remember seeing bunny cakes when I was growing up and I thought they were the greatest things ever. My Mother never made one and I think it is because we had so many Easter treats the last thing in the world we needed was cake.  I thought I would make one someday for my daughter but then I messed up greatly and made a carrot cake first.  That is what she always wanted for Easter so we had that as a family tradition. I saw the following recipe for a bunny cake in my Holiday House Traditions published by the Hickory Junior Woman’s Club.  It stirred memories for me and it seems easy to make. I would recommend using a favorite layer cake recipe for this as I have found cake mix to be more delicate and tear more easily.

bunny cake

 

As I was reading my April issue of Good Housekeeping, I saw the recipe below for bunny pancakes.  I think this is the cutest idea ever and I think a kid of any age would love them.

bunny pancakes

 

I think I just talked myself into making the bunny cake for Easter.  I think it is just too cute to pass up.  I can imagine using a lemon layer cake recipe with a cream cheese frosting and then adding the coconut.  YUM!!

Spring, Easter and bunnies.  Doesn’t it all go together beautifully?  Thanks for stopping by and I wish you a very Happy Easter!

Spring Pictures

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Shiloh General Store – Hamptonville NC

On Saturday Mr. D and I took a road trip to Hamptonville North Carolina.  We visited Shiloh General Store and it is an Amish store.  There is a very small settlement of Amish people in the Iredell/Yadkin counties of North Carolina.  We did see an Amish buggy parked in the parking lot and there was an Amish lady shopping in the store with her two sons.  The store specializes in Troyer Deli Meats and Cheeses.  I had a chicken salad sandwich and Mr. D had a pulled pork sandwich. Of course we had dessert.  I chose a piece of chocolate chess pie and Mr. D had a blueberry fried pie. The food was wonderful.

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View of Countryside from Shiloh General Store

The store features Troyer deli meats and cheeses.  They had a wonderful variety of Amish Wedding Foods pickles, salsas and chow chows.  They have a bakery and we purchased a loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread, oatmeal bread and fresh cream Amish butter.  We also purchased apple butter, sugar free blackberry jam and the wonderful Amish peanut butter spread.

Horses in a pasture beside the general store

Horses in a pasture beside the general store

This part of  Yadkin county is very sparsely populated and has beautiful rolling farmland.  It was a beautiful Spring day and the temperature was in the 70’s.

I love old country churches and this one was so pretty and all of the windows were made of stained glass.

Shiloh Baptist Church that is near the store.

Shiloh Baptist Church that is near the store.

After leaving the general store, Mr. D found the Slightly Askew store on his GPS and we were curious as to what that could be.  We decided to be adventurous and had no idea where we were going.  We arrived in downtown Elkin, NC and visited the Slightly Askew winery.  It was a neat little place but did not include a vineyard.  I loved, loved, loved their bottle tree!!!!

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We realized there was another winery/vineyard that we wanted to visit in Elkin.  We left Slightly Askew and headed for Elkin Creek Vineyard. Here is a picture of the winery.

Elkin Creek Vineyard

Elkin Creek Vineyard

We were super excited to visit this winery as we celebrated one of our wedding anniversaries at this location in the 80’s.  At that time it was called Scheiber’s Jolly Mill Restaurant.  Here is a picture of the mill on the property.  The winery is in a beautiful setting beside a creek.

Old Mill on Elkin Creek Vineyard Property

Old Mill on Elkin Creek Vineyard Property

As we were returning home, I stopped and took a few pictures along the way.  I love to see pastures when the grass is turning green in Springtime.  Mr. D was very patient with me and stopped for me to take a picture of these cows in a pasture.

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The picture below was taken at a horse stable near our house.  I love that green grass.

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Here is a picture of the riding stable and at one time it was changing ownership and it was sad to see it empty and abandoned.

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Here is a picture of bradford pear trees in bloom at a home near Taylorsville, NC

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Below is another view of the Bradford Pear trees from the entrance to the home.

IMG_3329We had a wonderful road trip and came home with some wonderful Amish goodies.  It was truly a beautiful Spring day and we enjoyed every minute of it.  I am so glad I can share some of it with you.  Thanks for stopping by.

Perfect For Easter – Lemon Sponge Pudding or Coconut Parfait

Mr. D and I are big fans of the TV show American Pickers.  I am amazed at the people here in the US that have such enormous collections of so many different things.  As we were watching an episode the other night I commented to Mr. D that I don’t collect anything.  He gave me one of those looks that can only be shared by married couples as if I had lost my mind.  He told me he wanted me to think about that statement and then think about books.  Oh Dear!!! He was right.  Nothing makes me any happier than getting a new book and to receive a new cookbook is the best thing ever.

I had lunch with my friend Dixie this week and she brought me a cookbook.  Of course that made me very happy and I love Dixie because she likes to cook too and we share lots of food experiences.  The cookbook she brought me was from Williamsburg and I love to visit that historic place in Virginia.  As I have been browsing through the cookbook, I have been thinking of great options for Easter and I saw the recipes I am sharing with you today.  I love to serve coconut or something lemony for Easter and either one of these would be a great choice.

By the way, the ingredient in the parfait recipe that refers to top milk refers to the cream or milk that rises to the top. I think you should be able to use whole, skim or 2 percent milk. I included the maple sugar ice cream recipe because I thought it was a little unusual and would be good any time of the year.

macaroon parfait

The name of this cookbook is from Williamsburg Kitchens by Kay Willard and was published in 1968.  Isn’t it wonderful to have friends that are thinking about you and present you a gift that they know you will love so much.

Of course if you have been reading my blog for a long time, you know that my favorite macaroons come from the Solvang Bakery in Solvang, California. If you have some of their macaroons you don’t even need to make a parfait.  Yum, Yum!!!  Here is a link to their website: Solvang Bakery.com

Thanks for stopping by.

It’s Almost Spring So It’s Time For Pirate House Brunch Casserole Or Cheese Grits

I am really looking forward to Spring this year.  Next week we will have several days that will have temperatures in the 70’s.  I think I am more excited about Spring this year because I am not working in the afternoons and l love the idea of spending pretty spring weather outside.  As Easter approaches I start thinking of brunch.  One of my favorite meals is when Mr. D and I prepare brunch for my Mother’s Day celebration and lot’s of times we do the same on Father’s Day.  I will not be preparing Easter brunch this year but I do plan to have brunch for us sometime in the month of April.

The other day I glanced over at my cookbook shelf and saw my Pirate House Cookbook from Savannah, Georgia.  I realized I had not shared many of their recipes with you recently.  I have such fond memories of eating at the Pirate House and their cookbook is one of my absolute favorites.  I love the way they prepare so many Southern traditional foods so simply but so deliciously.  As I browsed through the cookbook I saw the recipes I am sharing with you today.

The first recipe would be a great brunch recipe if you are having a large family celebration for Easter.  You can prepare the casserole the night before and refrigerate it.  As it is baking in the oven, you can prepare the other dishes for your brunch.  I think this sounds delicious with the sausage and eggs along with the swiss cheese. The only other thing you would need to prepare is fruit and if you are making a southern brunch you need some grits.  Keep reading.

brunch casseroleI also love the recipes below for either a grits souffle or cheese grits.  I have made a cheese souffle before but I love to think of challenging myself again and giving the grits souffle a try.  Cheese and grits are such a wonderful creamy combination.

grits casserole

So as Spring approaches I think of the beautiful city of Savannah and the wonderful people and places that make that city so special.  Thanks for stopping by.

 

Spinach Lasagna From Duke University And NC State Beat Duke Tonight Please!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is ACC tournament weekend here in North Carolina and I wanted to feature a recipe today from the state.  Oh, of course, I could have made a Carolina hamburger because we do put cole slaw on our burgers but being a big NC State fan, I couldn’t do that. I could have featured a barbecue recipe but I wanted something just a little different.  I am not a Duke fan for sure but they do have a very strong basketball program.  Coach K was a real good friend of the late and great Jim Valvano from NC State so that kind of  justifies the recipe.

As the days have become warmer and we reached almost a record of 80 degrees here yesterday, I have been looking for recipes that are a little lighter.  I have eaten Spinach Lasagna before but never made it.  When I saw this recipe it really peaked my interest and I think it needs to go into my “Recipes I will make” file. The recipe is from the cookbook, “Come to the Table: by the congregation at Duke University Chapel.  So see it really isn’t from the school at all.

spiniach lasagna

Our temperatures change so much this time of year in the foothills of North Carolina. Tomorrow our temperature will not be over 50 and it is to rain all day.  This would be a great dish on such a cold day.

By the way, NC State will play Duke tonight in the tournament.  I am not superstitious or anything like that but I wouldn’t dare feature a recipe from NC State because I am afraid that would hurt their chances and they would lose tonight.  Go State!!!  And by the way, always pull for State because there is only one State – NC State.

Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

A Chocolate-Banana Refrigerator Cake by Honey Maid Grahams

Yesterday afternoon it was over 70 degrees here in the foothills of North Carolina.  I had chosen to make this chocolate banana dessert for our Sunday lunch and it was a good choice.  Sometimes I think I find recipes but I must say this recipe found me.  I was using the last of my honey graham crackers and crushing the box to throw it away.  I noticed a recipe on the back of it for the chocolate banana dessert.  It seemed easy to make and I realized I could use the sugar free chocolate or vanilla pudding and it would be great for Mr. D.  When I started to make the dessert, I realized I did not have sugar free vanilla pudding but sugar free banana cream pudding.  I made the substitution and the dessert was very good.

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The only thing that was confusing for me was in step two and the explanation of the use of the graham crackers.  You crush 7 graham squares, arrange 14 graham squares and 1 rectangle on the bottom of the pan and place another layer of 14 squares and 1 rectangle on top of the vanilla pudding.  The 7 crushed grahams are used in step three for the garnish.

I know I will make this dessert again and I look forward to experimenting with different pudding flavors and fruits.  Thanks for stopping by.

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