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March Days and Pot Likker Soup

The month of March is such a transitional month here in the foothills of North Carolina. Monday it was 70 and sunny, Tuesday it was cloudy and in the 50’s, yesterday it was 65 and windy.  Today it is rainy and will be in the 50’s.  I still like to make soup in March but I transition a little to a lighter soup.  My chili recipes usually are put away until we have a crisp and cool fall day.

As I was reading through my “the Glory of Southern Cooking cookbook by James Villas, I saw the recipe I am sharing today for pot likker soup. I think James explanation of pot likker is spot on.  He said this soup was probably an invention of his grandmother’s and I am so glad he is continuing her tradition. One of my favorite memories of pot liker is my grandmother boiling turnips and then making corn meal dumplings in the pot liker or broth from the turnips.  I found a recipe that seems similar to my grandmothers and I hope to give it a try sometime soon while we are still in the cooler months.

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I can’t think of anything that would be more comforting than a bowl of this pot likker soup on a cold rainy day. Thanks for stopping by.

March Madness and Campfired Up Sloppy Joes for the Crockpot

I think all of us are looking forward to Spring.  I just told Mr. D that I would not get caught up in the madness of March and I wasn’t referring to basketball.  I hear so much about warm weather and Spring is coming that I decide not to wear a coat or pack up all the winter needs too early.  This year I will deal with March day by day and adjust to whatever the current weather conditions are.  The high today here in the foothills will be in the 60s but right now it is forty or so.  I will wear my coat when I leave home this morning.

I was feeling a lot better over the weekend after my sinus infection a week ago and I was really craving something spicy as I had been eating a very bland diet for the most part.  At; the same time, I did not feel that I should eat something really spicy. I recently purchased the Crockpot Recipe Collection and I saw the recipe I am sharing with you today.  I made the sloppy joes on Saturday and they were easy to make.  We enjoyed them and they were flavorful but did not have the bite to them that barbecue does.

IMG_3301 (1)I prepared my sandwich open faced so I could have more meat.  Mr. D ate his as a sandwich and we both are very happy that we will be eating the leftovers later this week.  One of the advantages of cooking on the weekend is that you can repurpose the leftovers and not have to prepare a meal from scratch during busy weekdays.

cookbook

When I saw this cookbook at Barnes and Noble I decided it would be a great addition to my collection.  I have a very small five ingredient crock pot cookbook that has served me well but I know that I will be using this cookbook many times.  I was talking to a fireman last week and asked them about the safety of a crockpot and they assured me that they do not get many calls because of crockpots.

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So on this second day of March it is a cold day but I do know this is a transition month and before long I will be talking to you about heat and humidity.  Thanks for stopping by.

It’s a Snowy Carolina Day So Let’s Make Some Bread

I know by now many people in the USA are thinking of snow as a four letter word.  I woke up this morning to the most beautiful snowfall and I think we had about five or so inches of snow.  The snow is wet and fluffy and was so pretty on the trees.  As I was preparing for this post I felt as if I had written about every comfort food that you could prepare and then I had a thought.  Is there anything more comforting than the smell of fresh baked bread?

Here are the pictures of our yard covered in the beautiful snow.

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I am sharing two recipes from a local cookbook entitled  Cooking with Authority and published by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority. The first one is for Oatmeal Apple Raisin Muffins and may seem more appropriate for a fall day but I think it would have a wonderful aroma for a cold snowy day.

oatmeal raisin muffins

The next one is for Mayonnaise Rolls and I have to say that mayonnaise is not one of my favorite condiments but I can see how it would be great to moisturize bread. I chose this because it would be easy to make and most of us have those ingredients on hand.

mayo rolls

The next recipe is one that I have had for years and I had totally forgotten about it,  The mayonnaise rolls recipe reminded me of this one that I made so many times with great success.  I like it because it does include yeast and the smell of yeast rolls baking is hypnotizing.  This recipe is in my handwriting and if I remember correctly, you could bake the rolls at 400 for about 13 minutes or 350 for about 18 minutes.  I do remember how much we enjoyed them.

self rising rolls

Won’t Mr. D be surprised when he comes home to the smell of fresh baked rolls?  I hope you enjoy the last weekend of February.  Hooray!!!  Spring is coming soon.  Thanks for stopping by.

Crockpot Peppered Beef Tips

I have always made menus for my weekly meals.  I do this before I grocery shop for the week and then I create my grocery list from the menu.  It really does save time and aggravation of having to run to the store every day to complete a meal.  As I create my grocery list, I incorporate items that I have purchased previously into my menus.

Over the weekend, I was so happy that I had an idea of the meals I would be preparing.  Every year around February and March, I get a sinus infection.  I felt it coming on last week and it really hit me over the weekend.  I was very pleased that my general practitioner is part of a practice that is open on the weekend.  I was able to get treatment on Sunday and know I am on my way to feeling better.

The recipe I am sharing with you today is the meal we had yesterday.  It was so good to have something prepared when I was feeling so bad.  We really enjoyed the meal and it was a new recipe for me to try. As winter is continuing for sure, I think this would be a comforting meal for a dreary cold day.

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crockpot beef and noodles

This recipe is from my Crockpot 5 Ingredients or Less Cookbook.  I hope you have a great Monday and thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

Comfort Foods – Chicken and Rice Casserole or Oyster Stew

I know it is cold all over the country and we are experiencing extreme cold here.  We had icy roads yesterday morning and will having below freezing temperatures for the next few days.  That is highly unusual for us and the only thing I can think of is comfort foods.  I have made soup, chili, casseroles and slow cooker navy beans.  As the cold weather isn’t over, I still need some more comfort foods.  I thought of this chicken casserole that I saw in The Gift of Southern Cooking by Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis.  It was Scott’s Grandmother’s recipe and his favorite. I love how he share’s a picture of his grandmother with the recipe.

chicken & rice

As I was browsing through my collection of recipes, I saw this one  for Beaufort South Carolina Oyster Stew.  Mr. D loves oyster stew and so we will have it sometime over the weekend.  It is definitely a comfort food too. I found fresh oysters at Sam’s and I think they will make the stew extra special. Even though I am not a big fan of oysters, I love the flavor of this broth. Of course, the oleo referred to in this recipe would be margarine.

 

oyster stew

Comfort foods have so many different meanings for us. It is good to see someone write a cookbook and include his Grandmother’s recipe. I truly believe we can try to impress our Grandchildren but they will remember the simplest things we made and the aromas that remind them of us.  My Grandmother made stew beef and she simply cooked it on the stove but I still remember that wonderful aroma and how comforting it was for me as a child. Oyster stew was one of my Daddy’s favorites.  So I am sure the aroma of the stew will stir some childhood memories for me too.

Stay warm and thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memories of ACC Basketball and Dean Smith

“You should never be proud of doing what’s right. You should just do what’s right.”  Dean Smith

Even though I am not a UNC Tar Heel fan, I was saddened last week when hearing about the passing of Dean Smith.  He was the legendary coach of the UNC Tar Heels and passed away at the age of 83.  His winning teams did put North Carolina on the map as being truly successful in college basketball.

Many of Dean Smith’s former players commented so favorably about him after his passing and I do remember what gentlemen I thought his players were even when they were beating my beloved NC State Wolfpack.  I also remember that when NC State played for the national championship that Dean Smith attended the game wearing a red sport coat.  He was a part of the old school Atlantic Coast Conference before Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Pitt became a part of the conference. The games were so exciting because it was a regional conference and most of us were very familiar with the opposing teams of Maryland, Clemson or Virginia.

On a personal note, I will always remember when Mr. D was working at the ACC basketball tournament in Charlotte several years ago and Dean Smith came out of the tunnel and Mr. D cheered him on.  Dean stopped and talked to Mr. D for a couple of minutes about his game strategy.  I know that is something that will always be very special for Mr. D and it shows what a kind unassuming person Dean Smith was.

I could quote many of Dean Smith’s fellow coaches or many of the players that he coached.  However, when I saw the quote below from Coach K of the Duke Blue Devil’s which have always been arch rivals of the Tar Heels, I thought that truly expresses what so many peoples thoughts were concerning Dean Smith.

“He had a style that no one’s ever going to copy, ” said Krzyzewski. “To be that smart, that psychologically aware, that good with X’s and O’s-with that system, and to always take the high road-that just isn’t going to happen again.”

By the way, when Coach K attended Dean Smith’s funeral last week, he wore a Carolina Blue tie.  We will miss Dean Smith but never forget the legacy of college basketball he created for our state. I miss the Atlantic Coast Conference of old and I don’t watch college basketball much anymore.  As we age so many things change and no matter what happens there are things we miss from the Good Old Days and I must say the wonderful old ACC tournament that created so much excitement in our state is missed so much.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Sharing Valentine’s Memories and Chocolate Fondue

As I write my last post before Valentine’s Day, I am sharing a recipe for Chocolate Fondue that I have shared before.  It is in the pamphlet that I received with my crock pot. You have so many different options of fondue ingredients and it would be something very easy to make for Valentine’s Day.

I am also thinking about Valentine’s Day when I was growing up and how we made the cute little mailboxes out of construction paper in elementary school.  We were always super excited to exchange valentine’s with our friends.  Today, as I go to my day care job, I am glad to say the tradition continues. Our kids will have a party this afternoon with all the wonderful valentine treats and share valentine’s.

Chocolate Fondue  for 4 quart crockpot

1 8 oz box semi sweet baking chocolate

1 8 oz box unsweetened baking chocolate

1 6 oz box white baking chocolate

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup milk

1/4 cup blackberry-flavored brandy, or other fruit-flavored brandy.

Combine all fondue ingredients in dish.  stir well.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes or until melted.  Stir well after 45 minutes.  Turn control knob to low.  Serve immediately or keep warm as desired.  Refrigerate leftovers and use as chocolate sauce.  Serves 4 to 6  ONLY THE HIGH SETTING IS RECOMMENDED FOR THIS RECIPE.

Use as a dip for fruit, cake cubes, marshmallows and cookies.

I think it is great to know that even though we have social media and so many other options of communication, kids are still exchanging paper valentine’s and making mailboxes out of construction paper.

Happy Valentine’s Day Y’all and thanks for stopping by.

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