Dressed Up Hotdogs....

8:17 PM



My kids love hotdogs and brats and I love coming up with different toppings for them! This is super easy and perfect for summer bbqs or parties. Great way to make a 'grown up' hotdog!  In the photos I topped some with baked beans and bacon pieces and the others with grilled red and yellow bell peppers and fresh jalapeno! Delish! I miss summer!

Southern Salmon Patties....

5:52 PM


Here in Mississippi, we call these 'salmon patties' or salmon croquettes.  Usually we eat these for breakfast with rice, in place of sausage.  My kids call these 'Crabby Patties' because they look like the burgers on Spongebob. I absolutely love them!

Alot of people will fry them without the cornmeal coating, but trust me, the added crunch from the cornmeal really makes them spectacular! They are similar to crab cakes, super easy to make and inexpensive.  I use canned salmon....because, well, that is what I have always used.  It looks super funky coming out of the can, but it truly is a great meal. 

Canned Salmon (one can makes 3 medium sized patties)
Peppercorn Grinder
1 tsp Salt
1 egg (1 egg per can)
Cornmeal
1 cup of vegetable oil

Drain juice off of salmon and empty the meat into a bowl. Although the bones are edible and soft, I pick out the bones and also use a spoon to remove the skin/fatty layer from the outside of the fish.  These things are completely edible, but I just choose to remove it. Once that is removed, use a fork to flake the fish meat. You can make larger chunks or make them smaller.

Once flaked, season with  1 tablespoon of ground peppercorn, 1/2 tsp salt. 

Season your cornmeal the same way.  I have a rule of generously coating the top of my flour/cornmeal when I am frying because some of the seasoning gets carried away when frying. 






Mix the salmon well and the cornmeal well. Add the egg to salmon and mix with your hands until egg has been mixed in well.  Form into patties. I use a process of 'coat and pat' when coating my patties with the cornmeal.  I place a nice heaping of cornmeal in one hand then place the patty on top, then pat and turn, then pat and turn over, pressing to make sure the cornmeal forms a nice layer outside of the patty.


Heat your vegetable oil on medium and then add in the patties when hot. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Make sure to flip them over!  Remove from grease and place on a plate with paper towel to absorb the grease. 


Today, I served my salmon patties with rice and a nice broccoli and grapefruit salad. I was in heaven!



Aromatic Burger with Provolone and Jalapenos

10:44 AM


 The other day, my mom made a delicious looking burger that consisted of sauteed jalapenos and it made my mouth droooooool! But she only made one!  My fault for getting there late. So I decided yesterday to make my own.

Ground beef (seasoned)  I seasoned mine with a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp of italian seasoning, 2 tsp of garlic powder, a little salt and pepper.  

Topped with provolone cheese, I sauteed the jalapenos in the ground beef drippings.  I used a delicious herb topped italian loaf as the bread and made a simple pasta salad of bow tie pasta with grilled artichoke. I dressed the pasta with a little italian dressing. 

Simple, quick and very delicious!

candy

Homemade Whatchamacallits

9:49 PM



Growing up I loved anything that had peanut butter in it.  My father, a doctor, had his practice right across the street from a convenience store that sold lots of peanut butter candies for a nickle each.  Atkinson's Peanut Butter bars, why of course. I usually bought plenty. Chico sticks, peanut butter cups and of course whatchamacallits.

whatchamacallits were my favorite. I hardly eat sweets these days but I still love anything peanut butter. I have been wanting to try my hand at homemade candy bars for the longest. This was one of the easiest to start with. When I say, easy, I mean super easy. 

I followed a recipe I found on Mele Cotte.  I added a layer of caramel that the recipe does not include but I thought was only right to include since the bars have a chewey layer of caramel that is delish. 


1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Puffed Rice Cereal (like Rice Krispies)
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
2 cups good-quality bittersweet chocolate
1 bag of Kraft Caramel bits or caramels

In saucepan on medium heat, combine everything except the cereal and chocolate.  Stir constantly to avoid sticking and burning. When sugar is melted into the mixture, remove from the heat and stir. In large bowl, pour over the cereal and mix well with a rubber spatula until all cereal is coated. 



You can grease a pan with butter or spray or use wax paper as I did here.  Cote Melle recommends a pan size of 13 X 18 X 1.  Spread the cereal mixture evenly in the pan, pressing firmly to pack it all.  Place in the refrigerator. 

For the caramel layer, I just melted down a bag of Kraft Caramel Bits. I followed the directions on the bag and once melted, I spread evenly over the cereal mixture. 


Place back into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes until caramel has set.  Remove from the refrigerator and remove the uncut bars from the pan.  The wax paper came in handy since I drapped it over the sides and was able to just lift it from the pan.

Cut into bars or squares. This would be a perfect party treat cut into bite size mini pieces.

Once cut, prepare your chocolate. In a microwave safe bowl, begin heating the chocolate, first at 45 seconds, then stir, place back in microwave and microwave at 30 second intervals until melted and smooth from stirring. If your chocolate clumps, add a dab of vegetable shortening and it should smooth out. 

Place your bars on wax paper.

I used a spoon and spooned over heapings of chocolate onto each bar and then used the spoon to spread the chocolate on each bar.

Allow your bars to cool and then you have a nice homemade and easy treat!











Thankful....

11:01 PM

What a wonderful week to be thankful!  Not only am I thankful for the well being and happiness of my friends and family, I am thankful for the new opportunities that have come my way!


I am now a food contributor for Living Locurto!  What a fabulous site full of printables, party ideas, recipes, crafts and so much more! I cannot wait to use some of the printables in my upcoming Christmas party plans with my children.

If you have not checked out the site, please do! My first recipe is listed there. I show you how to make a super easy Cranberry Chipotle Lime Sauce that you can use for Thanksgiving dinner or to use as a relish year round on a nice turkey sandwich!

Also this month, I was thankful to photograph the November Cover for Town and Gown Magazine....a local magazine here in my state. This blue and brown set up is amazing and was styled by an amazing event planner, S Is For Sweet.


Coming up soon, homemade candybars! I made my version of Whatchamacallits and they were fabulous!

Happy Thanksgiving, all!



Chicken and Red Pepper on Ciabatta

7:09 PM


Hi, my name is Divian and I am a sandwichaholic.  I love, love, love making sandwiches.  Since I homeschool my 9 year old son, sandwiches are the quickest and easiest things to make.  Since he is also taking a medication that causes him to lose weight, I try to make as hearty a lunch as possible.

This is heaven.  Multigrain ciabatta bread from the local grocery, roasted chicken breasts (sliced) fresh spinach, turkey bacon, sliced roasted red peppers and a chipotle red pepper spread.

I made the spread by combining 1 can of chipotle peppers with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons italian seasoning,2 sundried tomatoes,  a dash of sea salt, and half of a roasted red pepper in a blender. 

I served with fresh berries and plain potato chips.  My son and I enjoyed it. Yes!

Easy Homemade Fish Sticks

8:44 PM


I admit, I was one of those moms who bought the huge $7 bag of a gazillion fish sticks for my kids.
It made for a super quick dinner. Today, I decided, nope, no more bagged minced fish meat sticks for my kids....we need better! 

These are so easy.  You need...

Fish (I used tilapia)
Cornmeal
Water
Breadcrumbs
Seasoning (I used Creole Seasoning, added to the cornmeal)


I found it easier to slice the fish if it was slightly frozen. It made the cuts smoother and easier.  Slice the fish into strips, you can cut off the ends for straight blunt edges.

Dip the sticks into cornmeal, then water, then into breadcrumbs. I press down when  coating in the breadcrumbs to make sure it sticks.  

Then fry in vegetable oil until brown.

Seriously, you will love these! My kids said they do not want bagged fish sticks again!

New York Strip and Garlic Pepper Shrimp

8:55 PM


Dinner tonight consisted of New York Strips. I love a good steak and when I ask most people, they all chime in that they like Ribeye the best.  I have not ever tried a ribeye (sad,  I know)...but of the ones I have tried, I just cannot get enough of the New York strip. 

I prepared this steak very simply....seasoned with coarse sea salt and fresh  ground peppercorn and seared it with a little bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  

I used fresh meaty mushrooms that I cleaned well (seriously guys, clean the mushrooms! They are filthy!) and sliced.  I sauteed the mushrooms and shrimp in butter, then I drained and used a packet of Southern Belle Simply Fresh Garlic Pepper sauce.  Seriously this stuff is amazing!

I boiled the sliced potatoes I cut for about 15 minutes,drained, then placed in the oven topped with rosemary, oregano, evoo,and salt and pepper.  

The salad is made from "Artisan Lettuce"...seriously amazing stuff! Freshly crumbled feta and roasted red peppers. Oh My GOD,  you must try.

Simple meal, easy and quick to make.  Oh, did I forget delicious? Mmmmmm!

Easy Tartar Sauce

2:52 PM






I have never really been a fan of tartar sauce. I guess it was the relish that was in it, because I do not like pickeled relish either.  I have always wanted to give tartar sauce a chance, so yesterday, after deciding to make fried fish sandwiches for lunch, I said, making my own, should not be too hard...And guess what...it is not hard at all.  

I used diced up some hot and spicy Claussen spears.  I also diced one regular dill pickle spear and 3 sliced of pickled cucumbers.  I had just purchased a McCormick Lemon and Pepper grinder and since I did not have fresh lemons on hand thought this would work. Start off slowly with adding the lemon pepper, a little bit of it goes a long way and you can season it to your liking.

Mix well and you now have a quick and tasty tartar sauce!

*When I fry my fish, I 'double batter'.  I coat in the cornmeal mix, dip in milk or water, then back into the cornmeal before frying. It makes it extra crispy.









Easy French Toast Kabobs

2:32 PM



These were a hit today with my son. Easy and quick to make, they are appealing to children and would be perfect on display for guests to take one at a brunch.


I cut up a french loaf.  I mixed three eggs with 1/4 of a cup of heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup of milk. I added in 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of brown sugar. I mixed until blended and dunked the bread cubes in it until soaked. I used a griddle to cook the toast and sausage.  Cook on medium until not only browned but the french toast is springy but firm...in other words, not squishy. 

Assemble with fruit and there you have it. I told you it was easy. 

Bacon Cheeseburger Eggrolls....

10:18 PM



All I can say about these is wow. I loved, loved, loved them....and my kids did too. 

Ingredients:

ground beef
bacon
shredded cheese
eggroll wrappers
vegetable oil for frying (optional)
Condiments


Brown your ground beef and season it like you would do a hamburger. I seasoned mine with Creole seasoning, a few dashes of  worcestershire sauce. After done, I drained the grease and then added in bacon that I had already prepared and chopped into pieces. 

Wet your eggroll wrapper and place it in front of you so it looks like a diamond rather than a square ( I took this photo before I corrected it)

You want the filling to go straight from corner to corner.

Fill with ground beef and bacon mix and top with a nice heap of shredded cheese.


Roll by taking the bottom corner and tucking it under the filling. Then bring in both sides and continue to roll.


*Your wrapper needs to be wet so it will stick and not come apart when cooking.

I deep fried mine for added crispiness but you can place in the oven at 325 until brown.






Chocolate Wontons...

9:51 PM

I have been completely addicted to making things using wonton and eggroll wrappers. I guess, I took it as somewhat of a challenge to see just what all I could make using them that my children and friends would enjoy. So far, everything I have tried has been a win. I have seen these posted online on restaurant menus so I decided to try. It is so amazing just how many things one can think would be difficult to make that only take a few minutes!


All you need is a chocolate filling or nutella.  I used a chocolate sauce called Chocolate Lava.

It is best to run the wrappers under water, then add filling, so it is easier to seal them.

Fold in half to form a triangle, pressing to seal tightly.

You can fry these in vegetable oil or bake in the oven until brown.  If baking, bake at 325 until browned. 



You can dust them with powdered sugar or a cinnamon sugar mix for added sweetness.





Food Round-up

12:30 AM

Some things I made recently....I am so behind on posting the step by steps.


A donut tower with fruit for my son's 9th birthday. This would be amazing served at a brunch or breakfast party. Can you just envision little milk cartons and glasses of orange juice lined up next to it? Amazecraze and delish!


Sesame seasoned tilapia over steamed fresh spinach served with fresh hot beignets and cherries for dessert. My kids loved it!

Cheese Taco Shells...

9:54 PM

My mother is a big fan of Spanish and Mexican inspired foods. Being from Texas, she loves asking me to make Spanish and Mexican dishes. We are always eating some sort of taco around here. Since Hungry Dudes posted the bacon taco that I made, I wanted to try the cheese one. For this one, I filled it with scrambled eggs, bacon and hashbrowns. It was so good!


I used a griddle to make the cheese shells. I sprinkled shredded cheddar cheese on the griddle set to high. It will start to bubble and then it will form a harder crust like appearance. I turned the griddle off at that point, waited for it to cool just a bit and filled it. Fold it over and let it rest and it hardens. 



Cake Batter Pancakes...

1:29 AM

When Mickey Dee's had the griddle cake sandwiches, I was in heaven. I was not a fan of the sausage patties but the breading that sandwiched those bad boys together was divine. It was sweet and oh so good. Imagine my delight when I saw cake batter pancakes popping up all over the internet. Simple, easy and takes like um, a few minutes to make.  1/3 dry cake mix of your choice to 2/3 pancake mix. Oh yeah. So good you do not need syrup!


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