Pimento Cheese “Caviar of the South”

First, let me clear up a dilemma…the pimento vs pimiento dilemma. Why different spellings? Is it like doughnuts vs donuts?! These are question I ponder. Well, worry no more. You can spell it either way, it means the same thing, the variation in spelling has to do with the country of origin (and, you know, if you really want to know more…Google is your friend). Pimento/pimiento is a cherry pepper that can be mild or spicy depending on the variety. The ones I buy in the jar from the grocery store are pretty mild.

If you are from the South, you probably are very familiar with pimento cheese. It’s kind of a Southern staple found at picnics, potlucks, baby showers…you name it. Little pimento cheese sandwiches on white bread cut into little triangles or shapes…a tradition ūüôā They are also delicious. However, my favorite way to eat pimiento cheese?

On crackers, topped with pickled jalapenos! Yummm! It’s also good, as I’ve mentioned before, on top of a burger…

Or, you can make a grilled cheese with it. Now, there are a couple of different ways to make pimiento/pimento cheese. The easiest method…

Pimiento Cheese

  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (or you can mix sharp and mild)
  • 1 jar of pimientos (I use the large jar, but if you are not a huge fan, you may want to use the small jar)
  • light mayo – enough to bind it all together. I never measure this, and the quantity will vary based on which jar of pimientos you use, if you use the juice of the pimientos (I do) and personal preference.

Add cheese to a medium size mixing bowl. Dump in the entire jar of pimientos (juice and all). Mix well. Add enough mayo to bind it all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like lots of pepper!

This is how I have made mine for years…until recently. I recently made Bobby’s version. If you are thinking Bobby who? Well, Bobby DEEN of course! Paula’s beloved son. Regardless of your feelings towards Paula and her ‘I said a bad word 20 years ago that used to be socially acceptable, however ugly it is, and now it’s not for a certain segment of the population but okay for others’¬†drama; the woman can cook. Albeit not the healthiest of meals, but she has a lot of recipes that are pretty awesome. Her son Bobby has come along and often times will ‘healthify’ some of his mama’s recipes, or make his own. Anyway, this is my version of¬†Bobby’s Pimento Cheese which I originally found through Madison and Mayberry.

Bobby’s Pimento Cheese

6-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
2 cups grated Monterey Jack
1/4 cup light mayonnaise (or too taste)
1 large jar pimentos, undrained
Salt, Cracked black pepper, Onion Powder – too taste

  • Mix cream cheese with a mixer until smooth and creamy.
  • Stir in both cheeses, and entire jar of pimentos (juice and all).
  • Mix well (I do this by hand, but you can use a mixer if you want a smoother/creamier spread).
  • Stir in enough mayo to reach desired consistency – you may want a little more or less than I use. Cheese mixture will thicken up a little the next day.
  • Add a little salt, plenty of pepper and a little onion powder to reach desired taste.
Serve with crackers, veggie sticks or as a sandwich filling.
 Are you a pimento cheese fan?
Mini Van Dreams

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday)¬†The Tumbleweed Contessa,¬†The Dedicated House,¬†Skip to my Lou,¬†Making the World Cuter,¬†I Should Be Mopping the Floor,¬†This Gal Cooks,¬†Huckleberry Love¬†(Tuesday)¬†Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday,¬†Sowdering About in Seattle,¬†Naptime Creations,¬†Mandy’s Recipe Box,¬†Love in the Kitchen,¬†Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew Life,¬†VMG206,¬†Anyonita Nibbles,Tasty Tuesdays¬†(Wednesday)¬†The Newlyweds Pilgrimage,¬†Fluster Buster,¬†Mostly Homemade Mom,¬†Adorned from Above,¬†Lady Behind the Curtain,Ginger Snap Crafts,¬†Naptime is My Time,¬†Tessa the Domestic Diva¬†(Thursday)¬†Project Inspire,Joyful Homemaking,¬†Designed Decor,¬†Miz Helen’s Country Cottage,¬†Lamberts Lately¬†(Friday)¬†Foodtastic Fridays,¬†Simple Living and Eating,¬†Just Us Four,¬†Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo,¬†Diana Rambles,¬†The Better Baker,Craftionary,¬†The Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home,¬†30 Handmade Days,¬†A Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution¬†,¬†Walking on Sunshine,¬†Vintage Chic¬†(Saturday)¬†Six Sisters’ Stuff,¬†Made from Pinterest

Salmon Cakes

If you are looking to get more Omega-3’s¬†into your diet, want a low-carb/high protein meal or just like salmon, then this Southern dish may be for you. I can remember my Grandma frying up salmon cakes and cornbread, and my mom makes them too. I’ve been carrying on the tradition and have made them a few times over the years.
They may not be the prettiest things, but they are quick and easy, and I am trying to get more fish into my family’s diet. It’s not easy when the only fish they usually want is in the form of fish sticks! I’ve cut back on the flour used in my mom’s recipe to make this very low carb (for my diabetic husband) and I’ve found that it’s not really necessary, as everything binds together well. Sometimes I add a small amount of seasoned breadcrumbs in place of the flour, and that gives them a little added flavor. Tiffany over at Eat at Home adds corn meal to hers, and I am definitely trying that next time. I almost always have cornbread as a side to salman cakes, so I don’t know why I’ve never thought of this!

Salmon Cakes

1 (15 ounce) can salmon, drained and flaked
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup diced onion (or more to taste)
1/8 cup seasoned bread crumbs or flour (or cornmeal!)
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (optional)
salt and pepper – to taste
1 T. olive oil for skillet
 
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, add salmon, removing any large bones.*
  • Add eggs, onion, bread crumbs (or flour), and Old Bay Seasoning.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Shape into patties and pan fry over medium heat in olive oil.
  • Cook patties until crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.

*If you have never opened a can of Salmon, beware…it’s kinda gross looking and has bones in it. Just pull out the large spine running down the center, and don’t worry about all the little ones. I know it sounds disgusting, but they just¬†disintegrate when everything is mixed up and cooked. ¬†Yeah….so I know everyone will be rushing to make these now! But I wanted to forewarn any newbies b/c I found it shocking the first time and had to call my mommy ūüôā¬†

The patties can be served with cocktail or tartar sauce if desired. Or ketchup, if you are like my children! And as I said, I usually have cornbread with it…check here and here for a baked and fried version.

Have you ever made salmon cakes? 

‘Fried’ Biscuits

I’m really making an effort to use up leftovers. I’ve been bad about sticking all the leftovers in the fridge, just to throw them out a few days later. I hate being so wasteful! It was actually a resolution I made for myself last year, and I think I’ve done pretty good at sticking to it. Just the other day I posted the Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole, which was a great way to use leftover chicken, turkey or ham!Guilty!
Pin
Today, I have a way to ‘re-purpose’ those leftover biscuits. Now, granted, we don’t get too many leftover biscuits in this house, because my kids love some bread products. They came by it honest!¬†

My mom used to do this frequently when I was growing up, and I loved them! I mean really, bread is good, but fried bread?! Holy cow.
Now that I’m older and we know that frying is bad (boo!) I usually just “fry” mine in a skillet with Pam cooking spray. Or sometimes a little butta.

Fried Biscuits

Leftover biscuits, cut in half (horizontally)
Pam cooking spray or butter…or if you are really going all out, bacon grease!
Heat skillet over medium to medium high heat, spray with Pam (or add butter or grease) and place biscuits cut side down. Gently press down with a spatula while the biscuits are cooking. It just takes a few minutes to lightly brown the biscuits, then flip and brown the other side.
Top biscuits with butter, jam or apple butter!
You will be hoping to have leftover biscuits from now on ūüôā What’s your favorite way to use up leftovers?

Southern Iced Fruit Tea

Southern Iced Fruit Tea

2 family-size iced tea bags
6 cups boiling water
1 cinnamon stick
1 can (48 ounces) pineapple juice
1 can (12 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
optional: fruit slices and/or mint, for garnish (I omitted)
  • Bring water just to a boil, remove from heat, then add tea bags and the cinnamon stick.
  • Steep for at least 15 minutes (longer for stronger tea).
  • After steeping, remove tea bags and cinnamon stick. Pour tea in a large pitcher (I used a sun tea pitcher).
  • ¬†Stir in the thawed orange juice and lemonade. ¬†Stir until blended.
  • ¬†Add the pineapple juice, stir well.
  • ¬†Refrigerate until fully chilled, and stir before serving (the juice tends to settle, so you will need to stir every so often,)

I think you could add in some rum for a delish grown up beverage too!

I may be linking up at any of the following –¬†(Monday)¬†The Tumbleweed Contessa,¬†Holly’s Stamping Addiction,¬†The Dedicated House,¬†Homemaker on a Dime,¬†Skip to my Lou,¬†Making the World Cuter,¬†I Should Be Mopping the Floor,¬†This Gal Cooks,¬†Watch Out, Martha!,¬†Huckleberry Love,¬†The Newlyweds Pilgrimage¬†(Tuesday)¬†Naptime Creations,¬†Mandy’s Recipe Box,¬†Blessed with Grace,¬†Love in the Kitchen,¬†Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew Life,¬†Sarah Lynn’s Sweets,¬†BeBetsy¬†and¬†VMG206,¬†The Real Thing with The Coake Family¬†(Wednesday)¬†Fluster Buster,¬†Mostly Homemade Mom,¬†Adorned from Above,¬†Lady Behind the Curtain,¬†Ginger Snap Crafts,¬†Hungry Little Girl,¬†Naptime is My Time,¬†Cherished Handmade Treasures,¬†The Wilderness Wife¬†¬†(Thursday)¬†Project Inspire¬†,Joyful Homemaking,¬†Designed Decor,¬†Miz Helen’s Country Cottage,¬†The Mandatory Mooch, ¬†The Busy Bee’s,¬†Lamberts Lately¬†(Friday)¬†Not Your Ordinary Recipes, ¬†Simple Living and Eating,¬†Just Us Four,¬†Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo,¬†Diana Rambles,¬†The Better Baker,Craftionary,¬†One Artsy Mama,¬†The Best Blog Recipes,¬†One Creative Mommy,¬†Michelle’s Tasty Creations,¬†Close to Home,¬†30 Handmade Days,¬†A Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution¬†,¬†Walking on Sunshine(Saturday)¬†Lemons for Lulu, ¬†Or So She Says…,¬†Six Sisters’ Stuff¬†(Sunday)¬†Mommy’s Sweet Confessions¬†

Yay! This recipe was featured at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

 

¬© copyright 2013 ‚Äď All rights reserved

Makin’ it Mo’Betta

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

(updated pics – 6/1/13)
This is one of those dishes that the picture does not capture its awesomeness. ¬†I’ll admit, I was skeptical. Being a Southern girl and all, being brought up eating traditional chicken and pastry/chicken and dumplings, I did not think this would be all that great. ¬†I was WRONG! ¬†This was delicious – comfort food at its best. ¬†My husband and I ate the entire thing, minus one little portion.
I think one of the reasons it was so delicious is that I made a little boo-boo in melting my butter, and actually browned my butter instead.  Best mistake I ever made! Browned butter is really awesome. Like, awesome x 10.  This dish had so much yummy, buttery flavor, that I think the amount of butter could be reduced and it would still be the bomb.
Chicken and Dumpling Casserole 
adapted from Plain Chicken

3-4 cups of cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup unsalted browned butter
1 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup skim milk
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken¬†soup (I’ve also made with Cream of Mushroom)¬†
         *I use this homemade Cream of Chicken recipe

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Place butter in a 9×13 pan and put in oven while it is preheating, to melt and brown. Once butter is melted, watch for it to start turning brown. You will also probably start to smell it. ¬†It would be good to stir it a couple of times while it is browning, but I didn’t (b/c I forgot all about the butter being in the oven until I started smelling it!) You can also brown the butter on the stove, which will give you more control over even browning, and prevent burning. Once the butter has browned, remove from oven – be careful, it will spatter! You will see some little brown bits from the browned butter, this is okay.
  • Shred the chicken and spread it on top of the butter.
  • Whisk together the milk, flour, baking powder and salt. ¬†Pour over the chicken, but do not stir.
  • Whisk together chicken broth and cream of mushroom (or chicken) soup.¬†
  • Pour over the top of casserole, again, do not stir. ¬†

Bake uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes. It will start to brown in spots, and look thick and bubbly.

This is definitely going to make a regular appearance on our dinner table.  As a matter of fact, I think I am going to make it again this week since I have some leftover crockpot beer chicken from last week. (update РI did, and it was delicious! The more flavorful your chicken, the better this dish is!)

Speaking of this week’s menu….we have 3 nights of volleyball games, un-solidified birthday plans (Number One is turning 12!) and now my little one has a terrible cold…so it will be interesting…and probably not in a good way. Wish me luck! You can check out the menu¬†here.

I am linking this recipe up at (Monday)¬†The Tumbleweed Contessa,¬†Holly’s Stamping Addiction,¬†The Dedicated House,¬†Homemaker on a Dime,Delightfully Dowling,¬†Skip to my Lou,¬†Project Inspire,¬†Making the World Cuter,¬†Mrs. Happy Homemaker,¬†I Should Be Mopping the Floor,¬†This Gal Cooks,¬†Watch Out, Martha!,¬†My Favorite Finds¬†(Tuesday)¬†Snappee Turtle,¬†Naptime Creations,¬†Mandy’s Recipe Box,¬†Pocket Change Gourmet,¬†¬†33 Shades of Green,¬†Blessed with Grace,¬†Zentmrs. & The Mr.,¬†Memories By the Mile,¬†Hun…What’s for Dinner?,¬†Inside BruCrew Life¬†(Wednesday)¬†Fluster Buster,¬†Semi Homemade Mom,¬†Adorned from Above,¬†Lady Behind the Curtain,¬†Ginger Snap Crafts,¬†Hungry Little Girl,¬†Naptime is My Time,¬†Bloom Designs,¬†Cherished Handmade Treasures¬†¬†(Thursday)¬†Joyful Homemaking,¬†Designed Decor,¬†Taste and Tell, ¬†Miz Helen’s Country Cottage,¬†The Mandatory Mooch, ¬†The Busy Bee’s,¬†(Friday)¬†Not Your Ordinary Recipes, ¬†Simple Living and Eating,¬†Just Us Four,¬†Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo,¬†Diana Rambles,¬†The Better Baker,Craftionary,¬†Mummy Deals,¬†One Artsy Mama,¬†The Best Blog Recipes,¬†One Creative Mommy,¬†Michelle’s Tasty Creations,¬†Close to Home¬†(Saturday)¬†Sassy Little Lady,¬†¬†Lemons for Lulu, ¬†Or So She Says…,¬†Six Sisters’ Stuff,¬†Sweet as Sugar Cookies¬†(Sunday)¬†Mommy’s Sweet Confessions¬†

**I have had some people inquire about my casserole dish…it came from The Polka-Dot Palm ūüôā

Crockpot Hamburgers in Gravy & Menu Monday

Recently, I posted how to cook ground beef in the¬†crock pot¬†(aka slow cooker), and it got me to thinking…what about hamburger patties in the crock pot? ¬†I wasn’t sure if it would work or not, I was afraid the patties would just fall apart, but they didn’t! ¬†It actually worked out well. ¬†I started with lean frozen hamburger patties…

Excuse my terrible cell phone picture. The patties look gross and freezer burned, but they weren’t.
 I stacked 6 patties in my crock pot (with a liner Рcompletely optional, it just makes clean up so easy!)  I added hamburger seasoning, water and beef bouillon. (You could use a cup of beef broth or beef consomme)  I would have added onions too, but I was out.  I let them cook for 6 hours on high.
If you have a packet of gravy mix, or a can of Cream of Mushroom, you could go ahead and add those too, I would think. ¬†I, however, didn’t have either of those (can you tell I needed to go to the store!), so I removed the hamburgers at the end of the cook time and added the liquid to a skillet. To the liquid (basically beef broth, because I used lean ground beef), I added homemade cream of chicken and brought it to a boil so it would thicken up. ¬†I then put the hamburger in the skillet with the gravy and let it all simmer together while I got the sides done and table set, etc. ¬†It only took a few minutes. ¬†As you can tell, I’m not a gravy connoisseur. ¬†If you actually know how to make gravy, you may be able to do it all in the crock pot and skip this step, or make the gravy and add to it. ¬†This is just what worked for me with the stuff I had on hand.

Crock Pot Hamburgers in Gravy

Lean Beef Hamburger Patties (I used 6)
1 cup water
1 tsp beef bouillon
homemade cream of chicken (equivalent to 1 can)
salt and pepper – to taste
Place patties (mine were frozen, I think you would need to reduce cook time if using fresh) in crock pot with water and beef bouillon (or beef broth). Cook on high for 6 hours. ¬†Remove patties and use broth to make gravy. Add broth to skillet and add homemade cream of chicken soup, bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until thickened. ¬†Add hamburgers, stir, and add salt and pepper as needed. ¬†I don’t like to add salt at the beginning of a dish in the crock pot, b/c sometimes it ends up way too salty.
NOTES: As stated above, you could probably make the gravy in the pot with the patties if you have prepared Cream of Chicken, Cream of Mushroom, Golden Mushroom, gravy mix, etc.  Also, this is a very basic version of hamburgers in gravy.  If your family likes mushrooms, onions, peppers, garlic, etc., have at it!
I served this with Cauliflower Gratin and canned green beans. We love some canned green beans.  Exciting, I know.
Something new I am trying to do is MENU PLAN! I don’t know about y’all, but for me, it’s hard and time consuming! ¬†However, it really helps me out during the week to have a plan. ¬†Granted, it often changes, but at least I have a general idea of what I want to make based on the ingredients I have on hand. ¬†I base our meals for the week on what is already in the pantry/freezer and then make a list of things I need to get to finish out a recipe. ¬†I’ve been doing menu plans since January, and thought I would begin to post them on the blog. ¬†Maybe it will help someone else out! ¬†I can also keep up with what I have made, what worked, etc. ¬†So here goes…
MondayChicken & Dumpling Casserole (I have a rotisserie chicken in the fridge that I am going to use)
TuesdaySausage, Egg & Biscuit Breakfast Casserole (We love breakfast for dinner. I have some homemade turkey sausage in the freezer.)
WednesdayCrockpot BBQ Beer Chicken (hopefully I will make homemade buns¬†to put it on, but we’ll see how that goes!)
Thursday – leftovers or pasta
Friday – French Bread Pizzas (loaf of bread in freezer, easy homemade pizza sauce in fridge)
Saturday & Sunday – I’ve left open because I don’t know what our plans are yet.
If you do not have time to menu plan, you should check out Eat at Home’s Weekly Meal Plans. ¬†She does all the work for you! ¬†You get a slow cooker AND traditional menu plan each week, emailed to you, with a grocery list, printable recipes, side dish suggestions and more, for only $4 a MONTH!
So what about you? Do you plan out your meals or just wing it?
I may be linking this recipe up at (Monday)¬†The Tumbleweed Contessa,¬†Holly’s Stamping Addiction,¬†The Dedicated House,¬†Homemaker on a Dime,Delightfully Dowling,¬†Skip to my Lou,¬†Project Inspire,¬†Making the World Cuter,¬†Mrs. Happy Homemaker,¬†I Should Be Mopping the Floor,¬†This Gal Cooks,¬†Watch Out, Martha!,¬†My Favorite Finds¬†(Tuesday)¬†Snappee Turtle,¬†Naptime Creations,¬†Mandy’s Recipe Box,¬†Pocket Change Gourmet,¬†¬†33 Shades of Green,¬†Blessed with Grace,¬†Zentmrs. & The Mr.,¬†Memories By the Mile,¬†Hun…What’s for Dinner?,¬†Inside BruCrew Life¬†(Wednesday)¬†Fluster Buster,¬†Semi Homemade Mom,¬†Adorned from Above,¬†Lady Behind the Curtain,¬†Ginger Snap Crafts,¬†Hungry Little Girl,¬†Naptime is My Time,¬†Bloom Designs,¬†Cherished Handmade Treasures¬†¬†(Thursday)¬†Joyful Homemaking,¬†Designed Decor,¬†Taste and Tell, ¬†Miz Helen’s Country Cottage,¬†The Mandatory Mooch, ¬†The Busy Bee’s,¬†(Friday)¬†Not Your Ordinary Recipes, ¬†Simple Living and Eating,¬†Just Us Four,¬†Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo,¬†Diana Rambles,¬†The Better Baker,Craftionary,¬†Mummy Deals,¬†One Artsy Mama,¬†The Best Blog Recipes,¬†One Creative Mommy,¬†Michelle’s Tasty Creations,¬†Close to Home¬†(Saturday)¬†Sassy Little Lady,¬†¬†Lemons for Lulu, ¬†Or So She Says…,¬†Six Sisters’ Stuff,¬†Sweet as Sugar Cookies¬†(Sunday)¬†Mommy’s Sweet Confessions¬†

Dark Chocolate Chess Pie

When I get stressed, I like to cook. So, when my Grandma passed away a couple of weeks ago, I found myself in the kitchen the next day, cooking away. ¬†I wanted to take some food to my Grandma’s house, because that’s what Southern women do. ¬†Whenever someone dies, the grieving family is taken food. Sometimes LOTS of food…but hey, who am I to argue with tradition. ¬†Besides, as I’ve mentioned before, my Grandma was all about food. ¬†Whenever I would tell her about something I had done (an event/wedding/etc), her first question was always “what’d ya have good to eat?” ¬†And obviously, that is the most important thing.

updated pic 11/27/13

I decided to make a couple of things, one was my favorite Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup, (b/c chicken soup is comfort food and half my family was sick with colds/allergies), and something chocolate. ¬†Because chocolate is my comfort food! ¬†I decided upon Chocolate Chess Pie, b/c that was one of my husband’s grandmother’s specialties. It just seemed fitting. ¬†I had pinned the recipe a while back since I had planned on making it for the holidays, and the pictures are definitely drool worthy. ¬†The picture below…not so much. ¬†I completely forgot about taking pictures, given the circumstances, but happened to remember to get this one, when I saw the last lonely piece of pie sitting in a pan with a couple slices of coconut pie! (I’ve since added some updated pics!)

(Instagram pic)
new pic 11/27/13 with pastry pie crust

Dark Chocolate Chess Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons Hershey's Dark Cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter and cocoa together over medium heat.  
  2. Pour into a bowl and whisk in the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt.
  3. Pour the filling into the crust and bake in a 325 F oven for about 40 minutes, until the top is set. (Some people like Chocolate Chess Pie very ooey-gooey. I prefer mine to be fully set...it is delicious either way!)
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://makinitmobetta.com/dark-chocolate-chess-pie/

Recipe slightly adapted from¬†A Little Bit Crunchy…
 
*Crust – The first time I made this, I used a chocolate graham cracker crust, but the Chocolate Chess Pie I am familiar with has always been in a pastry shell pie crust. ¬†I wanted to try the graham cracker, but I didn’t really care for it. ¬†However, I think an Oreo pie crust would be good. ¬†Because you can never go wrong with Oreos, right?!
 
Verdict? ¬†Several family members said it was delicious. ¬†One of my uncle’s actually used the phrase “award-winning”…and we don’t sugar-coat things in my family (correction, we sugar coat everything, just not our words!) ¬†Personally, other than the crust not being quite what I would like, I thought it was delicious. ¬†And that last piece? ¬†I ate it.