Monday, July 18, 2011

Southern Ladies..there's a reason we are nuts!

For reasons that are never explained to little girls in the South, we are groomed from birth to be the way we are. Our Mom's, Grandmother's, & Aunt's take their jobs very seriously.

As a little girl I knew you couldn't wear white shoes before Easter. My birthday is in the summer, need I say more?
I think my Mom should have been more concerned with me falling & breaking my neck!

With those lovely manners of standing in a chair, I guess I had the etiquette down!
You don't go barefoot after Labor Day, even though it may be 85 degrees outside!
Your feet could still get chilled & the story of the little girl who died with something akin to the consumption is burned in your brain.

Notice it's warm enough for my arms, but the feet were totally a different story. This picture was taken at Thanksgiving of course!

All Southern homes are built with huge fireplaces & beautiful hearths. When it does drop below 50 the wife starts wanting a fire in that fireplace. Southern men like to please their wives so they build huge wood fires. As long as the wife wants the ambiance of a log fire burning, it will burn regardless of the need for comfort measures from the A/C. So when you come in from outside, you have to shed layers of clothes quickly to prevent your make up from running down your chin! It is acceptable to turn the air conditioner on to prevent this from occurring. I can vouch for the fact that the A/C is running full blast because my Daddy was really into that PacMan game. I'm sure my Mom ask for that lovely fire!

Horror stories are told by women everywhere in the South about the dangers of running to the store in curlers & no makeup. Some will try to cover it up by wearing a scarf or hat. Just the time you take the chance & go out looking a mess, that's when you'll run into the one person who will tell everyone in town!

Southern ladies love beautiful things that are passed down from generations before.
They must be displayed in a place of honor.
Never make the mistake and use these items. Family feuds have started over much less in the South. 

Heaven help you if you break a tooth out of Great-Great Aunt Alice's comb!!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spicy Cole Slaw with Candied Jalapenos

I love cole slaw. It's so easy now that they do all the shredding for you. I know fresh chopped cabbage is better & I should tell you to use that, but sometimes we need things that are really quick & easy!

Cole slaw is one of those salads that can take on many different flavors. One of our favorites would be Spicy Cole Slaw with Candied Jalapenos. It's great with BBQ, burgers or anything off the grill.

Spicy Cole Slaw

1 package of precut slaw mix

2 tablespoons of Franks Sweet Red Chili

1/2 cup pineapple tidbits, drained well
reserve 1 tablespoon of the pineapple juice

2 tablespoons of chopped candied jalapenos (recipe below)

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

Mix the Frank's Sweet Red Chili sauce & 1 tablespoon of the pineapple juice.

Add this to the slaw, then add all other ingredients. 

Toss well to coat.

Will still look a little dry, but the cabbage will release moisture as it sits, so don't add more wet ingredients.

When you are ready to serve, if it looks to dry add a little more of the Franks before serving.

Place in fridge & let chill for at least 30 minutes before serving for the full flavor to develop.

Candied Jalapeno Peppers

4 large jalapeno peppers, washed well
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/8 tsp of kosher salt

Wash jalapenos & cut into rings. You can remove the seeds if you would like less heat. I enjoy the heat & left them in.
In large skillet mix water & sugar, add the salt. Bring to a low boil, mixing well.

Reduce heat to medium-high heat & add jalapenos.
Stir to coat peppers with sugar mixture, cook for 3 minutes.

Remove & let cool the peppers cool.

After they are cooled, bring sugar mixture back to medium-high heat & cook again for 3 minutes. Remove & cool.

Can be stored in fridge until ready to use in recipes. Use within a week for food safety sake!

Monday, July 11, 2011

John & Paula's Whipped Pies...oh my!

Okay, to start this blog post I will confess, I love sweets & hate to cook them. I just don't follow rules very well & baking is just full of those pesky directions. I can do it, I will do it, but I don't enjoy it as much as savory dishes. When a person who doesn't like to be pushed into a mold is told to measure 1/16th tsp of something we get a little crazy...what will 1/16th of a teaspoon really do to a dish? So when I see a dessert recipe that makes my life easier & is fun to make then I really like it! When it tastes incredible & you want to hide it from others..then you really love it!

Robert Medina's new cookbook "If You Can't Stand The Heat,A New Orleans Firefighter's Cookbook" is coming out on July 12, 2011. This great cookbook can be ordered at Barnes & Nobles or Amazon online. If you only get one cookbook this year, then this is the book to get.

The recipes are easy & they are pure Southern style, with a true Cajun flare that makes you hear Zydeco music in your head! Well, maybe I'm listening to it on You-Tube right now, get the point!

Cajun & Creole food are two individual styles of cooking, although they both share many of the same foods. Creole foods are strongly influenced by the French settlers that tend to be more refined & celebrated. Cajun food is rustic, real & can accommodate changes to what is available.

Robert's cookbook includes many different foods; Enchilada's, Venison Tenderloin Marsala, Smoky Barbeque Pork Ribs, Cedar-Smoke Salmon, & Lasagna a la Lori just to start... It's not all about Cajun & Creole, just about good food cooked for those you love! That's what makes a true cook happy & that's what we like to do in the South...feed people & see them smile!

Robert's recipe for John & Paula's Whipped Pies on page 327 is my new favorite sweet addiction. It is so easy to make & looks like you worked all day making it. It's only 5 ingredients, stirs up in one bowl & pours into a graham cracker pie shell. Chill it while you sleep & it's ready to go! You will look like you worked all day on it. If you're nice, tell others how you made it, if you're not so nice...tell them it takes more than a few hours to make & let them be in awe of you! That isn't lying, it has to chill overnight doesn't it?

The recipe is for a pineapple pie, but you can make it with lots of different canned fruits or pie fillings. I am dreaming of a Chocolate Blueberry Whipped Pie in my future soon. I will resist the urge to hide it from my family...hope it works!