Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dinner on the fly

Life is so busy...isn't it? We live in such an incredibly fast paced culture, it can be hard to catch up. I take great comfort in the small things I am able to do to drown out the crazy world outside my door. One of the small comforts (or great), is to provide a warm, healthy meal, that brings my family to the table. But, the reality is that we just don't feel like we always have the time to do that. It is always my goal to offer you recipes that are simple, heartwarming, and empowering....empowering? Yes, because as you expand your repertoire (ha ha big word), you will be empowered to silence your inner need to order out. Really, we all have that inner voice.
So, listen up, I was bored with just about everything that my fridge and pantry had to offer tonight. I also have of late needed to monitor my husband's cholesterol intake (which can glop up my creative juices a bit)- so, this is what I came up with. It was absolutely yummy delicious. So, try it...or else.



1 large spaghetti squash
3 Tablespoons butter/margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place cut side down in a greased baking dish; bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes or until the shell is pierced easily with a fork. Allow to cool slightly. In a bowl, use a fork to separate squash into strands, resembling spaghetti. Mix in the butter, salt and pepper.

3 chicken breasts,sauteed and sliced
1/4 cup of butter/margarine
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk/skim milk
3 Tablespoons onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
pinch nutmeg
1 cup frozen peas
In a saucepan with just a touch of olive oil, saute the garlic and the onion until translucent. Add the butter and melt. Next add the flour and cook for one minute. Slowly add the milk and stir over medium heat until smooth. stir in the Parmesan and seasonings and bring to a bubble. Add the sliced chicken and peas and serve over spaghetti squash.

P.S. What should I call it? The best I could come up with was Pseudo Alfredo and Chicken over Spaghetti Squash....doesn't sound all that great...does it?



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Funnel Cakes

No need for a catchy title...Funnel Cake says it all doesn't it? There is something irresistible about these fried dough treats, especially served with strawberries and ice cream. You need not go to the fair anymore to enjoy this treat, because they are so simple to make at home.

FUNNEL CAKES

1 cup water
8 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
pinch salt
1 1/4 cup flour
4 eggs
2 yolks
Vegetable oil, for frying

Boil water, butter, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan. Add flour and work it in until it is all incorporated and dough forms a ball. Transfer mixture to a bowl and beat eggs in, 1 at a time, completely blending each egg before adding another. Dough should be smooth. Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a heavy pan. Spoon dough into a pastry bag with a round tip and pipe dough into oil. Fry until golden, make sure you turn it. Remove cake from oil, drain.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hey Ya'all

So, I go to Harmon's the other day to pick up some fresh Okra, and alas! there was none to be found. I pounced on the produce man and say, "you always have okra...where is the okra?" "Well, ma'am, we haven't gotten any in for a couple of weeks....there is some sort of okra shortage.....there is frozen okra on isle 12..." he replied. Okra shortage? Why hadn't I heard about this? I bet Paula Deen knows about this! And frozen okra...that stuff is the reason no one likes okra...sooo slimy! So, even though fried okra was on my menu at my cooking class, I had too improvise, thus resulting in a pretty great recipe. The recipe for buttermilk Ranch below, makes a wonderful dipping sauce...enjoy!
And by the way Mr. produce man...I googled okra shortage....there is an okra shortage in Uganda, and I hardly think that would effect our okra supply!

FRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND BABY ZUCCHINI

6 cups oil, for frying
1 cup cornmeal
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika, pepper and garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lb butternut squash cut into sticks
1 lb baby zucchini squash
1/2 cup buttermilk
Heat the oil to 350 degrees.
Combine cornmeal, flour, and seasonings in a bowl. Soak the squashes in the buttermilk and then dredge in cornmeal-flour mixture to coat well. Fry the squashes separately. Carefully add squashes to the hot oil and cook until golden brown (5-5 minutes) in small batches. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels.

BUTTERMILK RANCH

½ cup mayo
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons parsley
2 green onions, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Pinch of pepper
Whisk together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Transfer the dressing to an airtight container and refrigerate it until serving time