Hurray for Special Treats

We all love having a special treat! I’m no different. How ’bout you?

Well, earlier this week I had a special treat.

On Monday I attended a book signing by Christy Jordan of www.southernplate.com. This was the second cookbook and the second signing that I had the opportunity to attend.

 

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If you haven’t read her website, please take a look at it. You’ll find over 800 recipes and lots of good ‘ole Southern family atmosphere. Just the kind of southern atmosphere that makes you feel like . . . well, like family.

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You Can’t Go Wrong with the Classics

Not so long ago, I had a meeting of the mindsets with my son. My family is pretty simple. We live simple lives; we eat simple food. So you can understand how occasionally, and I mean occasionally, I get the urge to really cook something “nice.” And by nice I mean not plain.

And there in came the rub.

I said, ” I want to cook something nice, and you guys like just plain food.”

To which the reply came, “Classic! We like the classics!”

Mmmm. To which I said nothing.

My son was right. We eat a lot of the basics classics. The same menu items that you serve in your family: spaghetti, burgers, meatloaf, pizza, salads, ham, roast beef with potatoes and carrots, turkey and dressing, chili, chicken noodle soup.

And what’s wrong with that?

But here are a few suggestions for stepping up the classics if you are in need of a change:

1. Try different coatings on meats, i.e. fried chicken.

  • I use a mixture of flour and corn meal (southern roots 🙂 )
  • herb seasonings (like you use for dressing)
  • crunched corn flakes
  • crunched Cheese Nips (not to promote a certain brand or anything)
  • finely crushed nuts

 

2. Try different seasonings alone or in the coating.

  • Steak and Shake sells their brand of seasoning  ~ I use it on chicken as well as beef
  • Italian seasoning can be used on meats and vegetables alike
  • try a new one from the store that you haven’t used before ~ trade off your normal season salt for lemon pepper, etc.
  • check out this site for help with herbs and spices

 

3. Try different marinades.

  • Italian dressing ~ I just decided to make this a staple in my house. No one here uses this on their salads, but they all love the flavor it gives chicken. I believe it would work for vegetables or even beef.
  • McCormick seasoning has a couple of products out that  provides the individual herbs and spices for a particular one time marinade. Hence you get to try it before investing in bottles of spices you will never use again. Recipe Inspirations and Recipe Mixes.

4. Try a different flavor of the same ingredient.

  • cheeses ~ for example, try New York sharp instead of regular cheddar or Parmesan with your cheddar. Do be careful if you use choose a milder flavor of an ingredient; the recipe may lose its zing.
  • use a hotter/spicier version ~ I have a classic breakfast casserole that calls for sausage. Not until I used Italian sausage did my family really like it.

Peanut Butter Lovers Unite!

There’s a certain camaraderie among coffee lovers. There’s a certain camaraderie among tea lovers. There is even a certain camaraderie among foodies. Which actually leads me to this honorable mention (more like a discussion) that November is National Peanut Butter Month. Which leads us to the fact that there must be a certain camaraderie among peanut butter lovers. Let’s raise a spoon!

For the intellectuals, please note the following essential information about peanut butter captured from wikihow.com:

1) Americans eat three pounds of peanut butter per person each year.

2) We eat enough peanut butter to cover the floor of the Grand Canyon.

3) Peanut butter is nutritional; it provides protein, niacin, folate and fiber.

4) Peanut butter contains an anti-cancer ingredient, resveratrol.

For the foodies among us, please note the great ways to eat peanut butter captured from me (in this nice peanut butter color):

1) peanut butter cookies

2) peanut butter pie

3) peanut butter ice cream

4) reese’s peanut butter cups

5) reese’s brownie cup – find recipe here

6) peanut butter fudge

7) peanut butter balls (or Buckeyes)

8) peanut butter and jelly sandwich

9) peanut butter and banana sandwich (if you are from the South, please, please comment. People need to know that I have not lost my mind. Thank you in advance for your support.)

10) peanut butter on graham crackers

11) peanut butter on saltines

12) peanut butter on celery (not really a favorite, but I though I’d throw it out there.)

13) peanut butter rice krispie treats

14) Not to mention every other kind of food that is a shoot off of any of the above

14) a new found treat –   20131105_165724

Has anybody tried these? I won’t get to ’cause this bag is headed in the mail as a birthday present for my peanut butter lovers’ birthday. Oops! I guess it is no longer a surprise, since he reads my blog. Oh well . . . .

15) and our favorite way – BY THE SPOONFUL!

And now the side benefits of peanut butter:

1) Eating it makes you really tall.           Signing the marriage certificate

2) Eating it will get you a spouse. Mmmm. (Science hasn’t proven this one yet.)

3) You can catch mice with it.

4) And your dog will love it also. He can lick the spoon after you. No. Really.

I’m sending a shout out to all peanut butter lovers, especially my peanut butter lover whose birthday is this very day!!!