Monthly Archives: August 2007

Mr. Lou’s Kicked-up Coffee cake

Mr. Lou’s Kicked-up Coffee cake
When we had overnight guests growing up, coffee cake was a staple in our house. My mom would always have coffee, juice, some kind of coffee cake and fruit ready to go the next morning. I can close my eyes and see my Aunt Cynthia and my mom on our deck in Bluefield early in the morning in their robes, laughing and drinking their coffee.

When my family was visiting in July, I made this coffee cake but I used blackberries (my favorite). It was delicious. And the funny thing was we sat out on our back deck and ate coffee cake and fruit. I guess I’m just following a family tradition.

On a side note: The week after they were here, my sister-in-law Jackie called and wanted the recipe to make for some friends while they were at the beach. So I guess it was hit.

Mr. Lou’s Kicked-Up Coffee Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: about 8 servings

1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries, or any combination, rinsed well and patted dry

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped roasted pecans

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch cake pan with the tablespoon of butter, and lightly dust with flour. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a mixer on high speed. Into a separate bowl, sift all the dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients in 3 stages into the butter, alternating with the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each. Fold the sour cream into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and arrange the berries evenly over the top.

To make the streusel topping, place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend. Evenly sprinkle the topping over the top of the berries. Bake in the oven until golden brown and risen, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.


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Filed under Breakfast, Coffee Cake, Emeril, Pecans, Raspberries

Nutty Orange coffee cake

Nutty Orange coffee cake

Paula Deen really knows what do to with a stick of butter and a can of biscuits. I have made this coffee cake three times now, and every time it’s been a hit. The first time was at Christmas when Dean’s parents and sister were here – we ate the whole thing! I then made it again New Year’s Day, and it was just as tasty. And most recently I made it for our dear friends, Trinity, Makenzie, Judy, and Wayne. They were passing through on their way home from vacation at The Forest (which Tiff and I had spent the better part of the week with them). Dean and I had such a nice visit with them and wished they could have stayed all weekend. Good food, good friends…what more could a girl ask for……

Along with this coffee cake, I also served Mr. Lou’s Kicked-Up Coffee cake, a prosciutto and Parmesan frittata, melon and strawberries.

Nutty Orange Coffee Cake
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (10 count)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, pecans, and zest; set aside. Separate the biscuits. Place about 3/4 teaspoon cream cheese in the center of each biscuit. Fold each biscuit in half over the cheese, pressing the edges to seal. Dip the biscuits in melted butter, then dredge in the granulated sugar mixture.

Place the biscuits, curved-side down, in a single layer in the hollows of a lightly greased 12-cup bundt pan, spacing them evenly (do not stack). Place any remaining biscuits around the tube, filling any gaps. Drizzle any remaining butter over the biscuits, and sprinkle with any remaining sugar mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Immediately invert the cake onto a serving platter. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice, stirring well; drizzle the glaze over the warm cake. Serve warm.


Filed under Breakfast, Coffee Cake, Oranges, Paula Deen, Pecans

Fiery shrimp cocktail in an ice bowl

fiery shrimp cocktail in an ice bowl

I love this shrimp cocktail. I made this dish for Nikki’s baby shower a couple of weekends ago. I really like serving it in an ice bowl. Yes, a bowl made of ice with fresh herbs and lemons frozen in it. (I will post the directions on how to make the ice bowl later.) It seemed that everyone loved the shrimp –thanks Rachael Ray. This recipe is so simple and yummy, and the shrimp cocktail has a wonderful kick thanks to the Texas Pete.

I only varied from the recipe in two places. 1. I used Texas Pete. 2. I boiled and peeled my own shrimp. I boiled them with 1 Tbl of Old Bay just until they turned pink.

Fiery Shrimp Cocktail

1/4 cup hot pepper sauce, eyeball it (recommended: Tabasco)
1/4 cup ketchup
1 lemon zested and 1/2 lemon juiced
2 ribs celery, from the heart, finely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1 pound small to medium peeled, deveined and cooked shrimp, tails removed
4 pieces leaf lettuce

Combine hot pepper sauce, ketchup, lemon zest and juice, celery and parsley in a small bowl. Add shrimp and coat evenly. Chill 20 minutes, then line 4 cocktail glasses or small dishes with leaf lettuce and top each with 1/4 of chilled shrimp.

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Filed under Appetizers, Rachael Ray, Seafood, Shrimp

Chicken Quesadillas with blue cheese

Chicken Quesadillas with blue cheese

Caramelized onions are one of my new favorite foods. It doesn’t matter what kind of onion it is, it always taste better caramelized. These quesadillas were very easy to make and fully of flavor. I did make one with sharp cheddar cheese just in case the blue cheese was too over powering, but the blue cheese was wonderful. (Honestly the cheddar one was very bland.) I also was able to use fresh rosemary and thyme out of my back porch herb garden (and basil of for the caprese salad on the side). Yum!

The only change I made was I used boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of thighs.

Chicken Quesadillas with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onions

One picky taster—a self-described onion hater—said she never realized how rich and sweet onions could taste when they are caramelized.

8 skinless chicken thighs on the bone (about 4 pounds)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Pinch of sugar
Freshly ground pepper
Twelve 6-inch flour tortillas
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

In a bowl, toss the chicken thighs with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the rosemary, garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cover and let the chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, melt the butter in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sliced onions, thyme, vinegar, sugar and a generous pinch of pepper. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 30 minutes; add a few tablespoons of water from time to time to keep the onions moist.

Light a grill and preheat the oven to 500°. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill over moderately high heat, turning, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Let the chicken cool, then pull the meat from the bones and tear into shreds.

Arrange 6 tortillas on 2 large baking sheets. Spoon the onions onto the tortillas and top with the shredded chicken and blue cheese. Cover with the remaining tortillas, pressing to flatten slightly. Bake for about 6 minutes, until the quesadillas are golden and toasted. Transfer the quesadillas to plates and serve right away.

MAKE AHEAD The unbaked quesadillas can be tightly wrapped in plastic and refrigerated overnight.

WINE Zinfandel’s rich fruitiness makes it a go-to wine for much of Mexican cuisine, since it can balance spiciness as well as stand up to bold flavors. (This holds true even when an interloper ingredient like blue cheese is in the picture.) One great region for Zinfandel is Sonoma’s warm Dry Creek Valley, as evidenced by wines like the plummy 2004 Ferrari-Carano and the chocolate-inflected 2005 Dashe Dry Creek Valley.


Food and Wine , August 2007

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Filed under Appetizers, Basil, Blue Cheese, Chicken, Entrees, Food & Wine, Grilling, Herbs, Rosemary, Sandwiches, Thyme

Pulled Pork and Coleslaw Sandwiches

Pulled pork

I am going to be completely honest – this recipe is very time consuming, but worth every minute, I promise. I spent one whole day cooking the pork and by the end of it all, I smelled like a smokehouse master. Dean, being a Memphian, loves pulled pork and ribs. I saw this recipe and decided that it was time for me to learn how to make one of his favorite things. He loved it! The next time I make it, I am going to double the recipe and freeze the extra.

The only change I made was I used hickory wood chips instead of chunks. Also the coleslaw was tasty, but I might use a Paula Dean recipe that I really love the next time.

Memphis Pork and Coleslaw Sandwich

If you’ve never eaten slaw on rather than with a sandwich, you’re in for a treat. You’ll need to start the pork and soak the wood chunks a day ahead; you can make the mustard-laced slaw a day in advance as well. If you’d rather not have sandwiches, serve the meat as is or use it to flavor baked beans.

8 hickory wood chunks (about 4 pounds)
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (raw sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 (5-pound) bone-in pork shoulder (Boston butt)
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 (12-ounce) can beer
2 cups water
Cooking spray

1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups chopped green cabbage

Remaining ingredients:
13 hamburger buns
1 2/3 cups Memphis Barbecue Sauce

To prepare pork, soak wood chunks in water about 16 hours; drain.

Combine paprika and next 6 ingredients (through dry mustard); reserve 1 tablespoon paprika mixture. Rub half of remaining paprika mixture onto pork. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and refrigerate overnight.

Remove pork from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Rub remaining half of paprika mixture onto pork.

Combine reserved 1 tablespoon paprika mixture, 1/3 cup vinegar, Worcestershire, oil, and beer in a small saucepan; cook over low heat 5 minutes or until warm.

Remove grill rack; set aside. Prepare grill for indirect grilling, heating one side to medium-low and leaving one side with no heat. Maintain temperature at 225°. Pierce bottom of a disposable aluminum foil pan several times with the tip of a knife. Place pan on heated side of grill; add half of wood chunks to pan. Place another disposable aluminum foil pan (do not pierce pan) on unheated side of grill. Pour 2 cups water in pan. Coat grill rack with cooking spray; place grill rack on grill.

Place pork on grill rack over foil pan on unheated side. Close lid; cook 4 1/2 hours or until a thermometer registers 170°, gently brushing pork with beer mixture every hour (avoid brushing off sugar mixture). Add additional wood chunks halfway during cooking time. Discard any remaining beer mixture.

Preheat oven to 250°. Remove pork from grill. Wrap pork in several layers of aluminum foil, and place in a baking pan. Bake at 250° for 2 hours or until a thermometer registers 195°. Remove from oven. Let stand, still wrapped, 1 hour or until pork easily pulls apart. Unwrap pork; trim and discard fat. Shred pork with 2 forks.

While pork bakes, prepare slaw. Combine onion and next 5 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt) in a large bowl. Add cabbage, and toss to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours before serving. Serve pork and slaw on buns with Memphis Barbecue Sauce.

13 servings (serving size: 1 bun, 3 ounces pork, about 1/3 cup slaw, and about 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 387(35% from fat); FAT 15.2g (sat 5.1g,mono 6.3g,poly 2.2g); PROTEIN 26.6g; CHOLESTEROL 74mg; CALCIUM 120mg; SODIUM 843mg; FIBER 2.3g; IRON 3.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33.7g
Bill and Cheryl Jamison , Cooking Light, JULY 2007

Memphis Barbecue Sauce

As the center of Southern barbecue, Memphis offers sauces that occupy the middle ground between other styles. These blends provide moderate amounts of sweet, heat, and tang, which add up to a lot of flavor.

1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes; serve warm.

2 cups (serving size: 2 tablespoons)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 25(4% from fat); FAT 0.1g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.1g,poly 0.0g); PROTEIN 0.4g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 10mg; SODIUM 247mg; FIBER 0.2g; IRON 0.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 6.4g
Bill and Cheryl Jamison , Cooking Light, JULY 2007

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Filed under Barbecue, Coleslaw, Cooking Light, Grilling, Pork, Pulled, Sandwiches, Sauce, Side dishes

BLT Salad

BLT Salad

Oh my goodness! This salad is destine to become one of my favorites. The creamy tomato-and-chive dressing is delicious. And talk about fast and easy, the most time consuming part was baking the croutons and frying the bacon. Besides the yummy, creamy dressing, the best part of this salad was I was able to use some of the tomatoes and chives we grew in the backyard.

The only change I made was I added 2 more slices of bacon because Dean and I were having this for dinner.

BLT Salad

Here’s a salad version of America’s favorite sandwich. We use shredded tomato as a base for the creamy tomato-and-chive dressing—adding great tang and flavor along with extra vitamin C.

1 cup cubed whole-wheat country bread
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium tomatoes, divided
3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced chives or scallion greens
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground pepper to taste
5 cups chopped hearts of romaine lettuce
3 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss bread with oil and spread on a baking sheet. Bake, turning once, until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut 1 tomato in half. Working over a large bowl, shred both halves using the large holes on a box grater. Discard the skin. Add mayonnaise, chives (or scallion greens), vinegar, garlic powder and pepper; whisk to combine.

Chop the remaining 3 tomatoes. Add the tomatoes, romaine and croutons to the bowl with the dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with bacon.

Makes 4 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each
ACTIVE TIME: 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 151 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 5 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 5 g protein; 4 g fiber; 306 mg sodium; 555 mg potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (110% daily value), Vitamin C (60% dv), Folate (30% dv), Potassium (16% dv).

EATINGWELL, July/August 2007

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Filed under Bacon, Chives, Dressing, Eating Well, Lettuce, Salad, Tomatoes