Category Archives: food

Of Lasagnas and Birthday Traditions

Today is my youngest daughter’s 14th birthday. We are not having a birthday pary. She doesn’t even want us to sing to her! I suppose she is now officially a teen ager. One tradition that we do have for their birthdays that she still wants to stick to is the one that involves food.

Every year on their birthdays, they get to choose the meal. On previous years, when it came time to my youngest daughter’s birthday, everyone else in the house will start dreading the day because they know what is coming. SPAGHETTI!

No, my spaghetti isn’t that awful! It’s just that it’s the Clone’s favorite meal. She requests it at least once a month but especially on her birthday because she knows she’ll definitely have her wish granted.

Click on this photo for recipe

This year though, you can tell someone is getting older because spaghetti did not even come into play. What did come into play though is spaghetti’s more sophisticated cousin, LASAGNA!

This year, she requested Spinach Lasagna, roast beef with lots of gravy and collard greens. Yes, she specified COLLARDS because she was tired of malabar spinach which is the only green that we had a lot of from our garden this year. She didn’t want anymore spinach, well except for the small amount used in her lasagna,¬†so off to the market we went to buy collards.

Her main request of spinach lasagna, we discovered a year or so ago when I participated on a blogging carnival called Daring Kitchen where food bloggers were encouraged to try challenging recipes that they would normally not cook in their kitchen. For this particular challenge, it was making your own pasta, and spinach pasta at that!

The recipe looks a bit daunting, but I assure you, by the time you’ve made this dish a couple of times, it really does get a lot easier. This time around, I was thankful for the girl’s penchant to play with dough. I still haven’t got a pasta maker so was I glad when she asked if she could roll out the pasta! She did a great job, too, even managing to roll out wide sheets that almost covered the whole pan in one whole swoop!

It was also a great way to spend a birthday afternoon together. Fun and satisfying ūüôā

Hot from the kitchen!

With the weekend coming up, I’m scouting for recipes to try this weekend. I have a few in mind already now we’ll just have to see how much energy I have left to actually cook them!¬† It’s a grey and rainy day here in NC today and I’ve been craving some kind of bean soup. So if nothing else, I just may have me a pot of soup this weekend!

If you’re on a look out for food ideas, here’s a few recipes recently published in our kitchen blog:

Here is a delicious marinade for fajitas. My husband loves his red meat so steak fajitas it is for him but you can also use the same marinade for chicken or whatever meat you choose even shrimps. With shrimps though, just make sure to not marinate it too long as the lime will start breaking down your shrimps. i.e. cook it before you’re ready to put it on the fire.

This would be perfect for that last hurrah on the grill.

How about hamburgers for breakfast? Well why not?

It has all the elements of a good healthy breakfast: starch in the form of bread, your protein in the beef patty and the addition of an egg makes it complete! A great way to start the day.

Try it out!

Here’s another out of time dish if you’re like us and don’t mind eating out of turn once in a while. Grits is usually eaten for breakfast, but this dish is so good, it’s good enough for dinner!

If you’re up for something really delicious, you gotta try out this Mushroom and Shrimps over Cheesy Grits. As Paula Dean would say, this will make you want to smack yo’ momma!

¬†And if you’re wanting to want to try something exotic and new yet somehow comforting as the weather cools, then you’ll enjoy this chicken stewed in coconut milk.¬†The flavors are not shocking, but they are mildly exotic. Just enough¬†to make you dream you’re sitting somewhere sunny and warm.

Try this out when the weather starts getting too cold¬†and dreary. It’s a perfect thing to keep the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)¬†away.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

A Puffy Pancake

It’s the height of summer and most kids are home, probably sleeping in most days or involved in one kind of summer activity or another. Here’s one treat that most of them will love; I know my girls love having this ‘puffy pancake’ as they call it.

I usually reserve this for our weekend breakfast but it can easily be a weekday treat too especially when everyone is home during the summer.

With the dog days of summer upon us with a vengeance, I try not to fire up the oven in the middle of the day but early in the morning, this is a delicious exception to that rule!

German pancake

The great thing about this pancake, not only is it gorgeous as it puffs up over your skillet majestically, it is also so easy to put together that you can have an amazing breakfast ready in less than an hour.
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2 How To’s

Just plugging a couple of posts on my other blogs…

I have a guest post on Found Not Lost, Jillian Gile who is a guest blogger at My Dog Ate My Blog. She writes for us, 10 Tips for Running a Successful Book Club. She has some really great and sound ideas if you are running a book club or if you’re setting up a new one.

On my cooking blog, I posted a step by step recipe on HOW TO MAKE SAUSAGE GRAVY. It was the highlight of our Weekend Leftover Brunch that I wrote about last night.

The Weekend Leftover Brunch

Southern Breakfast

We had such a huge brunch today that we ended up not having dinner and just snacking. I was going to fry up some buttermilk fried chicken for our Sunday dinner but the thought of something fried after this humongous meal just was not appetizing anymore. So I’m saving the chicken for tomorrow’s dinner.

My husband who just love breakfast nearly swooned when he saw me putting this meal together. It was close to noon and we hadn’t had anything to eat but coffee and the girls were just getting out of bed. I decided to clean out the refrigerator. I took out sausage, liver pudding, and bacon. There was also some greens left over from Friday’s dinner so why not? Why not have some veggies to balance out all these fattening meats, right? Besides, it was sinfully good.

Midway to cooking breakfast, my husband nonchanlantly mentioned, “It would be nice to have some sausage gravy“. Well the man has been working hard, I figure, why not? So I made him gravy too on top of everything else.

So this was his plate and on it is: Neese’s ‘hot’ sausage patties, Neese’s Liver Pudding, 2 eggs over easy, and garlic fried rice smothered in Sausage Gravy. Along the side are some sliced tomatoes, some leftover greens and toast. He was a happy man!