Mamma's Sausage Gravy
You know those egg bi… um… little crustless quiche like things that you can get from your favorite coffee shop? I love those things! I love them so much that I figured out how to make them at home, and y’all, they’re delicious. The only problem is that they disappear fast!
What I love about this recipe is that you can use almost anything you have in your fridge. Veggies, meats, cheese, anything! I honestly make them different every time, and they’re always delicious, so let your imagination run wild here. Or use it an opportunity to clean out the fridge!
I think the secret to these is: 1. Blending the cheese with the eggs, and 2. Steaming them while they cook. These techniques give them a beautiful silky texture.
Remember to put the pan on the oven rack before you add the water. Trust me on this. Otherwise you’ll be sloshing water everywhere. And for goodness sakes, when you pull them out of the oven remember there’s hot water still in there! Pull that thing out of the oven like you’re trying to slide out that last Jenga piece before the tower falls.
One of these days I might up my game by making these in a fancy silicone mold, but for now I’ll stick with my trusty old muffin tin.
Busboys and Poets
Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Old Ebbitt Grill
Chocolate Banana Bread
I made this chocolate banana bread during COVID-19 quarantine, because apparently that’s what we were suppose to do during quarantine. Make bread.
My Big Strong Handsome is gluten free, so I have to get creative when I’m in the kitchen. This recipe was a big hit! He and my stepson devoured it in one night!
Wine Tasting Party
Spanish Grazing Table
These taco bowls are guilt free comfort food! Well, that is if you don’t cover it in cheese and sour cream, which I’ve been known to do. Whoops!
This recipe, and most recipes, really, are all about “mise en place,” meaning everything in its place. This is a fancy way of saying get everything prepped and ready, then cook. It will make your life so much easier and you just might enjoy it. Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on some music, and get to chopping. It may even be a little therapeutic.
You can use almost any veggies in this dish, but I recommend sticking to onion, corn and some kind of pepper at the very least, then you can add on from there if you’re feeling creative. The more veggies, the better. Dice everything up the same size and set aside.
For the meat, I like to use an organic ground turkey and a medium to hot Italian sausage. Truthfully, any ground meat combo should work here. I like this particular combo because I get the nutrition from the turkey and the flavor from the sausage.
With the seasoning, you can simplify the whole dish and just use a packet of taco seasoning. I opt for the individual spices so we don’t end up with any sugar, preservatives or yucky chemicals.
For the sauce, again, you can take a shortcut here and use a big jar of taco seasoning, but the control freak in me prefers to use a simple tomato sauce with my seasonings. It’s delicious either way, but a little “cleaner” by creating your own sauce and seasoning.
Eat the Rainbow
"I am a firm believer in ALL THINGS IN BALANCE, and I try to apply it to all aspects of my life. Cause let’s be real y’all. None of us are perfect. Well, my Big Strong Handsome might be. He’s the most disciplined human I’ve ever known. So, for the rest of us let’s just try to keep things in balance. Some days will be working out, drinking plenty of water, and eating fruits and veggies. Other days might be pizza for breakfast, and consuming an entire block of cheese and a bottle of wine while binge watching the Real Housewives on Bravo. Pro tip: Robert Mondavi Private Selection Monterey Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cabernet is a lovely every day wine to pair with an aged gouda. Throw in a few grapes and it’s basically a salad.
Wow. That went off the rails quickly. See what I mean? That’s why balance is important. When you have a day like that, you get up the next day and do better. How? You can start by simply "eating the rainbow."
I love making colorful fruit bowls! They’re beautiful, and let’s face it. When your food is beautiful, it’s just more fun to eat. For a delicious twist, add in Greek yogurt, nuts, honey, sea salt, or citrus zest.
TIP 1: When you get home from the grocery store, wash and cut up your produce. When you’re hungry it’s way too easy to grab a bag of chips, but if you have some fruit or veggies already cut up, it’s just as quick and easy.
TIP 2: Try to choose fruits that are in season so they’re more flavorful and more affordable.
TIP 3: Go for brightly colored, delicious, juicy fruits that are loaded with vitamins. If the good Lord made it, it’s good for your body. If it comes out of a can or a box, chances are it’s not that nutritious.
What occasion is appropriate for a grazing table? Ummm… all occasions! (giggle) Seriously, though, they’re pretty simple to put together, and they’re always a show stopper. I’ve done them for multiple occasions and they never disappoint.
You should know, though, there is a wrong way to do these, and trust me, I’m speaking from experience. Here are a few tips to help get you started.
TIP 1: Use parchment paper that matches or compliments your surface. If it’s brown, use brown. If it’s white, use white. Also, it’s best to select a surface that is flat. If you’re working with a textured table, it can get pretty messy. You don’t want to be scraping blue cheese out of the grooves in your table.
TIP 2: Pick a theme. Your theme can be a color scheme, a holiday, a type of food, etc. Just make sure that everything goes well together.
TIP 3: Fill in the gaps. Use something small like edible flowers, popcorn, nuts, candy, etc. to fill in any random gaps in your grazing table. You want it to look full and bountiful.
TIP 4: Be careful not to overdo it. Stick to your theme and keep it simple. I recommend you choose 1 or 2 at the most of your filler (see tip 3), otherwise it can start to look junky. You want your table to be artfully arranged, not a table that looks like you dumped out your grocery bags.
TIP 5: Lastly, if you don’t know how to arrange your table, copy one from a photo! There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. There should be no shame in your game! No one is going to walk in, see your epic grazing table, and search the internet to find out who you copied. Well, Karen might. Just don’t invite Karen. So, find one that you like, and copy it the best you can. You’ve got this. (and your secret is safe with me)
Uncle Mike's Chicken Marinade
This will forever be my favorite way to prepare chicken. The original recipe was from my late Uncle Mike who lived in Georgia. I have so many happy memories of Uncle Mike and my dad sitting around the fire pit making this chicken. He would slow cook chicken halves over a fire pit at Granny’s house, “mopping it” with this marinade/sauce.
Y’all, it’s delicious. Just smelling this marinade cooking makes my mouth water. Wait… it’s watering right now just talking about it. It’s so good that I not only use it as a marinade, but I serve a little on the side so you can dip your chicken into that vinegary goodness. When I was little you could find me dipping my chicken in a red solo cup with some of Uncle Mike’s marinade in it. Now, I put it in a pretty little ramekin, you know, cause I’m fancy like that.
This recipe is just for the marinade/sauce. You can literally cook the chicken anyway you like, baked, grilled, pan seared, whatever. Just put this sauce on it and thank me later.
I’ve made some tweaks from the original recipe over the years, and I must admit, if he knew I was putting olive oil, Himalayan sea salt, and Dijon mustard in his marinade, whoooooo! He’d tilt his head, look at me over his glasses, and say something like, “you gon’ ruin some good chicken.” He was a tough old guy, but he had a tender heart and could cook the heck out of some chicken. That’s why this will forever be, “Uncle Mike’s Chicken.”
We miss you Uncle Mike!
Best Sliders Ever
This recipe is my spin on the amazingly talented Sunny Anderson's sliders. These are probably the most requested thing I make. Not because they’re super fancy, but because they’re amazeballs. Seriously, they’re the best thing ever. You can make these with any meat and cheese combo you like too! I’ve made them with ham & cheddar, turkey & swiss, and this recipe is for roast beef & provolone. So. Good.
I like to use the Publix bakery dinner rolls. I’ve tried Hawaiian rolls, but they’re too sweet for my taste. I tried water rolls, but felt like they were too crunchy. These dinner rolls, though, are just right.
For the pimento cheese, you can be all boujee and make your own, or you can do what I do and buy Palmetto Cheese, "the pimento cheese with soul." I love it. Just try it. It’s delicious. There’s also a spicy version, but if you’re not looking to blow the roof off, stick with the original.
Y’all, this is not a diet dish. Don’t try to make this healthy and skip the butter. That’s what makes it amazing! So just say a little prayer and go with me on this. Use the whole stick of butter.
When you remove the foil and start to broil the sliders, it just takes a minute or two, so don’t walk away. Watch over them like the precious little nuggets of deliciousness they are.