Southern Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'

Random Rantings about Food and Such

Chocolate Cherry Tea Bread


Okay, chocolate lovers.  Here’s a goodie for ya!  This is wonderful with your afternoon tea while you’re watching “Keeping Up Appearances” while using your Royal Doulton with the handpainted periwinkles.  If you’ve never experienced Hyacinth Bucket (it’s pronounced boo-kay), you really have to check out KUA.  Everyone knows or is related to a Hyacinth or a Richard or an Onslow.  ;0)  Anyway, i digress.  Chocolate bread.

Now–if you cannot find cherry chips, just double up on the chocolate or perhaps venture down another road like white chocolate, peanut butter, or the like.  Same thing with the almonds.  You can easily use walnuts, pecans, pistachio, etc.  Makes great mini loaves to give as gifts or as a special treat for someone.

Chocolate Cherry Tea Bread

1/2 cup applesauce

1/3 cup shortening

2 eggs

1/3 cup brewed tea or water

1 1/4 cup sugar or Splenda

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup baking cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup cherry flavored chips

1/3 cup slivered almonds

Combine applesauce, shortening, eggs, tea/water and sugar; beat on low speed for 30 seconds.  Combine dry ingredients and add to applesauce mixture.  Beat on low for 30 seconds; beat on high for 2 1/2 minutes.

Fold in chips and nuts.  Pour into a greased, floured 9 x 5″ loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack.

Can be eaten as is or with a glaze.

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Biscuit Breakfast Bowls


Has it sunk in yet that, this time next week, we’ll be cooking Thanksgiving dishes in preparation for the next day?!?  Yowza!  Where has the time gone?  Well, this ol’ cook is making a list and needs to check it twice but the kitchen is getting ready to be naughty and nice for the next month.

Yesterday our little chef Ashley made the most fantabulous breakfast (which i am trying to get her to blog!), so i guess you can say she inspired me this morning.  After seeing some food blogs with cookie bowls, my twisted mind went to breakfast via the biscuit route (because i was thinking that would be a cool way to do strawberry shortcake–which i LOVE with biscuits.)  So this morning, using the idea of shaping a bowl using the bottom end of a muffin tin, biscuit bowls were created.

Biscuit dough around bottom of muffin tin cups

Biscuit Bowls

You’ll see how we had ours but the possibilities are enormous!  Can’t you imagine treating your family to a biscuit bowl buffet on Black Friday or Christmas morning?  How cool would that be?!  You could have a variety of breakfast meats, scrambled eggs, assorted veggies like peppers/onions/tomatoes, a choice of cheeses, grits, gravy,….and so on and so on!  And throw in some syrup and jam for those who want to add a little sweetness to the  mix.

Now i need to get my carcass up and work off my biscuit bowl.  ;0)

Buttermilk Biscuit Dough (the same dough i normally use for biscuits)

Self-rising flour, oil and buttermilk

2 cups self-rising flour

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup oil

Mix ingredients together until dough is formed.

Using a standard sized muffin tin (although mini-muffin-sized would be cool to try!), grease the bottom of the muffin pan.  Shape a handful of dough around the muffin cup.  Try to make the top, in this case, flat so that it will sit well later.

Bake in a 400 degree oven until done, around 7–8 minutes.

Eggs and ham

Cheese Grits

Fill with ingredients.  We had scrambled eggs with ham and grits with Swiss cheese.  Wish we’d had gravy! ha

 

Biscuit Breakfast Bowl

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Bacado Omelette


Don’t know if everyone does this but get Southern women on the phone and food will somehow enter the conversation.  Some of the most meaningful moments i’ve spent talking with my Mama have been about recipes. ;0)  Okay, i’m teasing ( a little bit) but she has been my food mentor…my Mr. Miyagi…the Master Po to my Grasshopper.  Not sure why they’re both martial arts references, but we’ll go with it.  Anyway,…Mama was telling me she and Muffin Man Steve had made a reproduction of an omelette she had fallen in love with.  She and Bear found a great restaurant in Destin called Another Broken Egg (http://www.anotherbrokenegg.com/) and they have this fabulous “Bacado Omelette” which is made with bacon, avocado, onion, and Monterey Jack cheese.  She said their copy cat turned out really well and that she topped hers with some Plum Crazy Salsa.  So for supper tonight, i copy catted her copy cat and did the same thing.  Yeah, baby!  It is that good!

Now if you’re fortunate enough to live near one of the Another Broken Egg restaurants (and lucky for Mama they’re getting one in Pensacola), you ought to give it a try.  For those of us with no broken eggs in sight, you can make it yourself! My biggest challenge is getting the crazy thing folded in half but we all know i can’t make pretty food.  That’s okay.  Grasshopper can be taught.

Master Percy, feeling well enough to get back into mentoring/musing

Bacado Omelette

3 eggs

salt and pepper, to taste

1 Tbs. cold water (i used crushed ice in mine)

1 1/2 Tbs. butter or margarine

2–3 slices of bacon, fried or baked crisp

1 small avocado, sliced

Onion, diced (i used green onion)

Monterey Jack (or other) cheese

Salsa

In a small bowl, beat eggs, salt, pepper, and water until light.

In an 8″ non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter, tilting to cover bottom and part of side.

Pour eggs into skillet and let it begin to brown around the outside.  With a spatula, gently lift edges and tilt skillet to allow uncooked egg to run under the omelette.  Shake skillet occasionally to keep it moving in the pan.

When the omelette is mostly cooked but still moist on top, add bacon, avocado, onion, and cheese to one half.

Tilt skillet and fold omelette in half, using spatula.  Slide onto a pre-heated plate.  Top with salsa.

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins and Banana Crumble Muffins


Here’s a two-fer for ya.  Not sure why i wait till fall time to pull out this pumpkin muffin recipe but it is the quintessential fall breakfast sweetie.  You know they’re good when your youngest child is eating one (still warm from the oven), continually saying things like “Holy Cow!” and telling you you can’t die until you’ve taught her how to cook like you.  Here’s your lesson, kiddo.  These are easy as pie…or muffins.

The banana muffins were new to us but had SUCH an incredibly high rating at ( http://allrecipes.com/) that they were a must try (that, and the fact that i had some bananas that needed to be used.  Does anyone else have the same problem?  My family will either scarf down a large bunch of bananas in less than two days or they’ll be sitting there, gathering age spots faster than Joan Rivers can have hers removed.  We rarely hit that banana “sweet spot”, so to speak.  That’s okay–life gave us bananas, so now we have muffins!)

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

1 box Spice cake mix (Butter Pecan works also)

1–30 oz can Pumpkin puree

1–3.4 oz box vanilla pudding

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbs sour cream

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix cake mix, pumpkin, pudding and vanilla.  Add sour cream, eggs, oil and spice.

Scoop into lined or greased muffin tins and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Place muffin tin on a stone or cookie sheet and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes  or until toothpick comes out clean.

Banana Crumb Muffin 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 bananas, mashed

3/4 cup white sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup oil

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease muffin cups, or use cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.

Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

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Eggs Benedict


I’m baaaack!  Honey, let me tell you–going home to visit family is like going to food heaven.  Oh, how i’ve eaten the last two weeks!  My mouth and tummy have not known such glory in a while.  If Southern cookin’ does make you good lookin’, i should be Lynda Carter or Sophia Loren or somebody beautiful by now.  And all this yummalicious eating means one thing: more recipes!  Whoo hoo!  Isn’t it funny how you forget some of the things you’ve grown up with?  The other day, Mama mentioned a wonderful bread recipe that i had completely forgotten but when she said it, my childhood taste buds started salivating.  Don’t worry–it’s on the list of things to blog.

But first,…you are about to be blessed.  My brother Steve–remember the Muffin Man?  the one who gave us the scrumdillyumptious Blueberry Muffin recipe?–has gifted us with another of his wondrous concoctions.  Forgive the blatant boasting but i got to eat some of his cooking while i was home.  I know, i know.  And, yes, you should be jealous.  Anywho, i digress.  On today’s menu: Eggs Benedict a la Steve.

I’m gonna hush from here on out and let him do the blogging  but will say that i’m including the pic he sent of his eggberts and also pics i took the night we had dinner with him and his four lovely gals (wife Kim and daughters Courtney, Haley, and Karrigan.)  They made homemade pizza and, pa-zow!, it was out of this world!  Thanks for the recipe, brother mine, and for the terrific dinner and even better fellowship, all five of you!  We love you!

Eggs Benedict

8 Eggs
1 stick Butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or the juice of one small lemon)
pinch of salt
2 english muffins (or 4 pieces of toast-homemade bread works wonderful here)
Ham
Basil/Rosemary/Dill/Thyme (lots of leeway here..whatever you have fresh will work;  I have used all.)
Fill a large pot about a quarter of the way and set it to low boil.  Set large metal mixing bowl on top of the boiling pot making sure not to let water actually touch the bowl (double boiler works great if you have one).  Put 4 egg yolks only into the mixing bowl (I save the whites for meringue or other treats, but if you don’t have immediate plans then discard them before they go bad)  Add lemon juice to yolks and whisk until mixture thickens and almost doubles in size.  Melt the stick of butter and slowly incorporate it into the egg mixture (if you go too fast, the heat from the butter could scramble the eggs.)   Once you have all of the butter in, continue to whisk until mixture has doubled and the consistency is fairly smooth.   Good work, you just made hollandaise sauce!!
Leave the boiling water  pot on and take your remaining 4 eggs and crack them gently and drop into the water.  Keep an eye on them, it only takes a few minutes to properly poach (I prefer mine to be runny to add to the hollandaise sauce but some like the yolk cooked thoroughly)  A great tip I have learned for people having difficulty breaking the yolks during this procedure, take a large piece of saran wrap, crack the egg into the middle, close the edges of the wrap around the egg and tie it off.  Place the entire package into boiling water and poach.  This can also help you shape the finished product into neat little formations!
While the eggs are cooking, take your cooked ham (I like to smoke or grill mine to give it even more amazing flavor) and place into a chop chop or other food processor.  Blend the ham up to the consistency you desire (my kids like it fine chopped like a powder almost)  Set ham aside for now.  Take the fresh herbs you picked from your garden and give them a rough chop and set aside.
Toast muffins or bread and plate them.  Now take your eggs out of the boiling water one at a time and drain thoroughly.  Place one egg on each piece of toast and cover liberally with hollandaise sauce.  Take your chopped ham and sprinkle over the plate and finally take your herbs and finish off.
The flavor of the fresh herbs with the smokiness of the ham and the creamy heaven of the fresh hollandaise sauce will have your entire family requesting this breakfast over and over again.
Bon Appetit!

Culinary Artist Steve "Gator Boy" Scott

Karrigan aka Krusty

Haley aka The Saucy Minx

Courtney aka Cheezer

Pizza aka Gone!

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Steve’s Blueberry Muffins


Welcome to Southern Cookin’ Makes You Good Lookin’!  Today our very special guest is renowned cook, gardener, fisherman, tax guy and all around goofy boy, Steve Scott!

‘Tis true!  Ever since these calorie-laden posts began, it was intended for my little brudder, Steve, to join in the fun.  When i say the boy can cook, i mean the boy can COOK!  I really wish more men would venture into the kitchen for something other than making a mess or getting a snack.  How many chefs are men?  Huh?  Guys, you can go beyond the grill in your culinary pursuits.  Steve is an excellent example.  He’s my kinda cook–the experimenter.  Like a mad scientist in the lab, he’ll take a recipe or the ingredients for some dish he’s seen or tried and will tweak them until he’s found the combination he likes.  And at least he’s smart enough (or i should say, his wife Kim is smart enough because she’s the one who urged him to do so) to start compiling his recipes.  Me?  If i get some concoction right, it’s often a one-hit wonder because i don’t write it down and this brain thinks it’s at its storage capacity.  😛

Anywho, Steve has graciously sent along a recipe with photos from his latest escapades.  You know Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  Well, that’s gonna be  Steve’s family soon.  They picked 64 pounds of blueberries last week and are going again today!  He’s dehydrating a lot of them but he’s also used them for the recipe that follows. If his girls Courtney, Haley and Karrigan seem a little blue, not to worry.  It’s their diet, not their disposition.

This is how Steve describes his muffin-making madness.  ” I love the taste of lemon with blueberries so that was my main theme but I had a crumble or strudel topping left over from a peach crumble I made last week and thought it would make a great topping and boy did it!!  I later decided to blueberry it up even more (after everyone ate their first muffin) and I blended some berries, lime juice and brown sugar and drizzled it over a warm buttered muffin.  MMMM-MMM  Man, I wanted to slap somebody’s momma!!  I thought ahead this time though and made pics of all of them plus one individual (didn’t get the one with the drizzle tho..oops)  If you have some berries lying around I highly recommend this one.  There are a ton of variables too…I listed a few on the recipe card (like using buttermilk instead of milk and brown sugar instead of white granulated) but you could also do a sugar glaze (powdered sugar milk and butter melted) or something like that. ”

Oh, do you know the Muffin Man?  Yes, i do!  His name is Steve Scott.  Thanks, boudreaux!  Love ya!

Steve’s Blueberry Muffins

(makes 12 muffins)

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

4 tsp. baking powder

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

2/3 cup milk

1 (or more) cup blueberries

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

1 Tbs. lemon extract

Strudel Topping

1/2 cup butter, chopped

3/4 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

2 Tbs. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder with a wisk.  In separate bowl combine oil egg and milk until smooth then mix in vanilla and lemon.

Now combine wet and dry ingredients in large bowl with a spoon until smooth.  Butter muffin pan liberally or use Pam or liners.

Fill muffin cups halfway with mixture then toss in blueberries (I prefer 8-12, but adjust the number to your own taste preference).  Cover blueberries with remaining mix, all the way to the top of the cup.  Now sprinkle strudel mixture over each muffin (my kids like a LOT of topping).  Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Take muffins out of oven when done and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Break open muffin, butter and serve with a smile.

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