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I am a simple country girl who loves life and lives it to the fullest. I cook for one of the greatest families ever. Cooking is my passion and I consider it as well to be my gift.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Zucchini may not be the most loved vegetable on the planet but it has its place on the table...this is one of my favorite ways to prepare it.

3 cups (1/4-inch) sliced zucchini
2 tablespoons fat-free Italian dressing
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine zucchini and Italian dressing, tossing to coat well. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese and paprika in shallow dish. Dredge zucchini in breadcrumb mixture. Place on a baking sheet which has been lined with foil and coated with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes.
Serves 4

Monday, June 14, 2010


Baking on the lowest oven rack crisps the bottom of Lemon-Rosemary Focaccia, giving it a more traditional crunch.

1 (8oz.) can refrigerated reduced-fat crescent dinner roll dough
1 small lemon, sliced paper-thin
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll dough onto ungreased baking sheet, being careful not to separate dough into pieces. Gently press dough together along perforations to seal. Arrange lemon slices evenly over dough. Sprinkle evenly with rosemary leaves and next 3 ingredients; lightly coat with cooking spray. Place on bottom rack in oven, and bake for 14 minutes or until edges are golden. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Serve warm.
Yield: 8 servings


Transform a basic pizza crust into a spicy accompaniment for soup or salad.

1 cup reduced-fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
3/4 cup picante sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (1-lb.) Italian cheese-flavored pizza crust (Boboli)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1/2 cup cheese, picante sauce, and cilantro in a small bowl; stir well. Spread over pizza crust; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Place on a baking sheet; bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cut into 16 wedges.
Yield: 16 servings


This is a very good recipe for corn muffins. Make a batch then freeze them individually and place them in a Zip-lock freezer bag. Take out what you need when you have made a yummy homemade soup.

1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons dieced jalapeno pepper
1 (11oz.) can yellow corn with red and green peppers, drained
1 cup self-rising yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sugar or Splenda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups nonfat buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and jalapeno, saute 3 to 5 minutes until onion is tender. Add to corn, cornmeal and remaining ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into 12 lightly greased muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes until done.
Yield: 1 dozen muffins

Friday, June 11, 2010


By: Adele Forbes

LOVE LETTERS 1914-1924

Apr. 23rd, 1920-Akron, Ohio-Firestone Park Station

"My dear little girl, never before have I been so impressed with the thoughts of being with you. Sometimes when all is still and the mountains look cold and Blue I am then thinking of you in the mountains. But sweet to think of meeting again. When I see you then can I tell you more than can be expressed in cold letters. Wish to God I could come to you just now. Come to feel that touch of your pulsing heart near mine. To touch your sweet little lips and feel that mirror of two souls in one. So never can I tell you how great is the Emotion of my heart. Your Big Boy, Paul"

My maternal grandparents, Paul Madison Vance, and Effie Joe Wright, led an incredible life over all, but the most meaningful years to them may well have been the early years from 1914 to 1924 before they were married on Dec. 8th, 1925.
What is the most wonderful part of it to me, their youngest grand child, who was raised in their home in Newland, NC; was the legacy that was left by them in the form of letters, all with either 1, 2, or 3 cent stamps and post marks from at least 10 states.

I recently acquired these letters which were in my older sisters (Nan Daniels Trice) possession. There is a story here that transgresses not only a fascinating history of the United States but a love story like no other I have ever read or known before.

My grandfather, who we all called "Buddy", was a handsome, tall, and stately man who commanded attention where ever he went, and amongst whom ever he was with. He was strict yet loving, hard but kind. Over this 10 year period he traveled all over the United States from the East Coast to the West Coast, working many different jobs along the way.

One letter, post marked, New Orleans-Jan. 30, 1922, found him on a train on his way to the oil fields of Texas. He wrote: "Joe I have never been lonesome before to what I am tonight. I guess it is because I am so tired and sleepy. I would give lots if I had little Joe to talk me to sleep as it would only take a few words and I know I could sleep better if I dropped off to dream land with a smile on my face. Little dear I must go to bed. I will write to you again when I stop I will be in Houston Texas this time tomorrow night if I have good luck. Good night little Joe-Paul M"

My grandmother, Effie Susan Wright, always went by the name Joe, or Little Joe or Mama Joe, as she was the first born amongst her sibling's and her daddy's name was Joe and he was expecting a boy child which would carry his name. When this did not happen, he still insisted on calling her Joe and the name stuck with her for the rest of her life. She attended Lees McRae College in Banner Elk in 1914 and 1915 and studied medicine at the prompting of Dr's Eustace and Mary Sloop whom she rode horseback with over the remote hill regions all over Avery County. Her father was originally from Alabama and decided to move back to his native home and Little Joe went with him and finished her schooling there, receiving an RN certificate. She remained there until 1925 when she returned home to her native North Carolina to marry Big Paul.

Sept. 6, 1921, Guntersville, Ala. to Mr. Paul Vance, 405 East Holston Ave., Johnson City, Tn.

"My dear Big Paul, How have you enjoyed this hot-day! Hot! golly bum I thought July and Aug. was hot but-this is hotter hottest. Paul I believe if I was on Grandfather Mt. I could touch the sun with a broom handle, its pretty close to us down here in the valley's. The little old lizzards have to stay under a log all day to keep from scortching them selves as they run over the hot sand."-E.J.W.

There is no way that I can make anyone understand how overwhelming these letters have been to my heart and soul. It would take years to go through them all, and each new one that I have read has carried me away not only to another time, but they have given me a rare and sacred glimpse into the people whose blood runs through my veins. As a child I had no idea of what they both had been through to get to that point in their lives. These letters hold the key to not only their souls, but mine as well.
Adele Forbes

"The first time ever I saw your face, I thought the sun rose in your eyes, the moon and the stars were the gift that you gave to the dark and endless sky my love. To the dark and empty sky's.~Ewan MacColl 1957

Be sure to look for Part 2 in the Fall/Winter issue in the next edition of Carolina Mountain Life Magazine



Tuesday, June 8, 2010


By: Adele Forbes

"Summertime and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high
Your Daddy's rich and your Mama is good lookin'
So, hush, little baby don't you cry"~Renee Olstead

When I think of summertime, I think about my favorite fishing hole which was located on the Toe River behind my grandparents house where I was raised in Newland N.C. Sugar Mountain Nursery now occupies the old home place where precious memories were made on said riverbank. We did not have fancy fishing contraptions like the streamlined poles of today, but used what was native to the land around us which consisted of sturdy tree limbs tied with strong white string to which a safetry pin was attached. A can of whole kernal corn or a wiggleing worm was our bait of choice. Our sweet little grandmother, "Mama Joe", would happily 'fry up' whatever we happened to catch, which was mostly trout, and serve along side of it bowls of homemade coleslaw, oven-roasted potatoes, and small balls of deep-fried cornbread that would make all takers sigh with pure pleasure. Come along with me now and relive the special sides that always graced the fish on her dining room table.


The dressing for this slaw is actually a boiled marinade that gets poured hot over the cabbage and veggies. It is exactly what it claims to be...

1 large head of cabbage, shredded to your liking
1 green bell pepper, chopped fine
1 medium sweet onion, chopped fine
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon ground mustard

Combine cabbage, green pepper and onion in a large bowl, add sugar, mixing well. Place remaining ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Pour over cabbage, cover and refrigerate overnight. Toss well before serving. Serves 8


Crispy and golden on the outside, fluffy and tasty on the inside.

Wash and peel 8 to 10 medium sized white potatoes. Fresh out of the garden would be the best choice. Cut each one in half and boil in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and place in a baking dish. Top with melted butter, salt and pepper to taste, then bake in 400 degree oven until beautifully roasted. Sprinkle with some chopped rosemary if you like, prior to baking. I like. Serves 8 to 10


I actually saw a couple on 'Divorce Court' on television who were divorcing because the wife refused to make her husbands beloved Hot Water Cornbread anymore. Does that not speak volumes?

1 cup plain white cornmeal
1 cup plain yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening (Crisco)
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons warm water

Combine cornmeals and salt in a bowl, add shortening.
Bring 2 cups water to a rolling boil; stir in to cornmeal mixture, mixing well. Allow to cool 20 minutes. Combine baking powder and 2 tablespoons warm water. Add to cornmeal mixture; stir. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Press each ball in between two fingers to make a slight indention on two sides.
Heat cooking oil to 375 degrees in deep pan. Carefully drop in dough, cooking only a few at a time. Fry for a few minutes, just until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen.

Adele's E-mail: cookingwithadele@gmail.com Recipe Blog: inmamajoesshadow.blogspot.com

Be sure to check out ( blank blank's) trout story and recipes on page ?? The above side dishes should make for complimentory accompaniments.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Gazpacho of any hue..red, green, yellow..rings my bell everytime. Smooth, chunky..does not matter a hill of beans to me..I take it anyway I can get it. This version is quick easy and mighty tasty. Enjoy!

3 cups peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped Heirloom tomatoes in different colors
1/2 cup peeled, chopped cucumbers
2/3 cup red, green and yellow pepper, chopped small
1 clove garlic
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
tomato or V-8 juice to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 slices bread
hot sauce to taste

Put everything in a blender of food processor. Do this in batches. Chill well. It is usually better the second day as the flavors mellow and marry.
Serves 4


Oh Baby Baby!!! I just start thinking about these tasty nibblets and my mouth begins to water....get you some. Make you kiss your granny twice.

10 to 12 small heirloom tomatoes (green or ripe), cubed into bite-size
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or onion flakes (optional)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup crushed cornflakes
1 Tablespoon crumbled crisp bacon
1/3 cup butter

Mix everything together then take heaping tablespoons full of mixture and shape with hands into rounds about 1/2 inch thickness. Place into preheated non-stick coated skillet. Cook until golden brown, turning only once.
Serves 4


Heirloom tomatoes come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Look for them in Farmers Markets...and don't be shy about them...embrace each one for their uniqueness.

1 lb. mixed varities of heirloom tomatoes
1/2 cup thin slivers of red onion
1/3 cup Athenos crumbled feta cheese with basil and tomato
1/4 to 1/3 cup Kraft Tuscan House Italian Dressing & Marinade
2 tablespoons each of chopped fresh basil and flat-leaf Italian parsley

Combine all ingredients. Now how easy was that. Chill before serving, or if you just can't help yourself...dive head and tongue into it!

4 (1 cup) servings

"I never met an Heirloom tomato that I did not like"~Adele Forbes

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


3 corns make you want to get up and dance to the beat of a different drummer in this down-home casserole...it cooks long and slow until hot and golden...Enjoy!

1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 (10oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (16oz.) can whole kernal yellow corn, drained
1 (16oz.) white shoepeg corn, drained
1 (160z) cream-stule corn

Saute onion in butter until tender and a little golden in color. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Transfer to a glass baking dish and refrigerate at least 8 hours. Place in cold oven and bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours until bubbly and browned.
Serves 8

"I never met a corn casserole I didn't like."~Adele Forbes