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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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Sunday, November 28, 2010


In Loving Memory of Jaymason Andrew Fitts 6-9-07~7-27-10

You just have to know that good things are going to happen when you combine fresh shrimp with Mexican cornbread, cream-style corn, green onions and pickled jalapeno peppers....

1/2 pound medium-size fresh shrimp-cooked and chopped
1 (6 oz.) package Mexican corn bread mix
1/2 cup flour
1 (8 oz.) can cream-style corn
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 or 3 pickled jalapeno peppers-chopped

Combine cornbread mix and flour. Stir in remaining ingredients just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in shrimp. Drop batter by teaspoons into hot oil and fry in batches, 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

4 months that seems like a lifetime ago...yet at the same time, it was only yesterday....Even hundredfold grief is divisible by love. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Of all the cookies I make and bake this just happens to be the most requested recipe of all the others. Take these over the holidays to such places as nursing homes, sheriff and police offices, rescue squads, hospital waiting rooms, and any other locations that you can think of to spread some cheer. Believe me when I say that you could make a difference in others lives by such actions. Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Love to you all today and everyday.

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 big egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
1/3 cup molasses
coarse sanding sugar..or just plain old sugar if that's what you have on hand

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour through salt; set aside.

Put butter and sugar into bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment; mix on medium high speed until pale and fluffy. Add egg and yolk, mix to combine. Mix in grated and candied ginger. Add flour mixture in batches, alternating with the molasses, beginning and ending with flour.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Coat with sugar. Space 2-inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake, rotating once, until dark golden brown around edges, about 12 minutes. Do not over bake. Let cool on sheets for a few minutes; transfer to wire racks to cool.
Yield: 6 1/2 dozen

"If bitterness wants to get into the act, I offer it a cookie or a gumdrop."~James Broughton

Monday, November 22, 2010


This is absolutely one of the best salads ever! Not only is it delicious as delicious can possibly be, it makes for a beautiful presentation that will make all the heads turn at your holiday table. It is one of my most requested catering recipes and I am giving it up today just for you.


1 (6oz.) can frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons raspberry vinaigrette or raspberry vinegar
1 cup dried cranberries
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups sliced unpeeled apples
8 cups torn spinach
1 cup thinly sliced celery

Combine the cranberry juice concentrate through the salt in a mason jar, place lid on it securely and shake it up baby until it is well mixed. Pour over the apples in a shallow dish. Chill, covered, for 24 hours, stirring several times. Combine the spinach and celery in a salad bowl. Add the apple mixture and spiced pecans; toss to mix.


1/3 cup mild honey
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecan halves

Combine the honey through the salt in a bowl and mix well. Add the pecans and toss to coat evenly. Spread in shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 16 minutes, stirring several times. Bake for several minutes longer if the pecans are still sticky, watch closely so they do not burn. Let stand until cool. Store in an airtight container.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

From 'A Taste of Murder'~Diabolically Delicious Recipes from Contemporary Writers: Neil Hamel's Jell-O Shots

Judith Van Gieson's mystery series, featuring Albuquerque PI Neil Hamel, includes Ditch Rider, Parrot Blues, and The Other Side of Death.

"One of the best ways not to feel like a lawyer on those days when I don't want to feel like a lawyer is to mix up a batch of Jell-O shots and have the Kid over for dinner. I got home late, so he brought the dinner, sopapillas from Paco's, not as good as the sopapillas from from Arriba Tacos in Santa Fe, but hot enough to remind you that you were in the state where people ask if they need a visa to visit and whether it's safe to drink the water. We sat on my deck slurping cool green Jell-O shots and eating red-hot sopapillas, but it wasn't doing a thing to lower my bodies temperature...."~from The Wolf Path

1 package lime Jell-O
1 cup hot water
1 cup cold tequila
Splash of triple sec
Slices of lime

Stir the cup of hot water and Jell-O together in a bowl until mixed. Add the tequila (Neil likes Quervo Gold) and triple sec, and float lime slices on top. Put in refrigerator until it jells. Cut into cubes and serve in wineglasses, or let sit at room temperature until it is liquid enough to drink. Slurp slowly; they are strong.

"There are some foods in mysteries it's never safe to trust. Dover sole, baked or poached. Ladyfingers. Any cream sauce. Eggs, unless their hard-boiled. Chocolates, if they're given as a present. Warm milk. And, of course, any sort of spirits. The Case of the Deadly Decanter has been written at least a hundred times, and there's probably a fiend out there typing up another one right now. When analyzed, the sediment always contains enough poison to fell a hippopotamus."~Carlotta Oglethorpe in Murder Ink


Holidays are that special time of the year meant to be shared with family and friends. It is a time to be grateful..not only for all you have, but it is also a time for reflection.
We each need to look deep within our hearts and find peace with ourselves and others. Our nation as a whole needs to continue to stand tall and proud in the face of adversity. Make an extra effort during the approaching season to show and tell those you love just how very much they mean to you. Start today. Continue it tomorrow.
My wish for each of you reading this is for you to be happy, healthy and safe during the holidays and that your table groans under the weight of good food and most importantly, that you are warmed by the company of those you love.
Life as we know it is short and can often be uncertain and trying. We should each make the most of every day that we are given. And remember, no one can do this for you. You have to do it for yourself.

COOKS NOTE: The Cranberry Salad and the Gratin can both be made ahead of time. The ingredients for the Dressing can also be made ready ahead of preparing the dish itself. Take advantage of this, and you will have more time to enjoy yourself and your loved ones when the time comes.

This delightful salad graciously takes the place of the typical canned cranberry sauce on your Thanksgiving table.
Cranberries are not only low in calories but are a potent "health food" due to their rich supply of Vitamin C and ellagic acid, an antioxidant which has shown significant cancer fighting properties.
The tart little berry has been paired with the naturally sweet orange in this recipe. Your taste buds and your immune system will stand up and applaud you. Enjoy!

1 (12oz) pkg. fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 (8oz.) can crushed pineapple
1 (3oz.) pkg. raspberry gelatin
1 pkg. unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 (15oz.) can mandarin oranges-undrained
2 large ribs of celery-diced
1 Granny Smith apple-diced
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Process cranberries along with the sugar in a food processor just until berries are coarsely chopped. Add pineapple, pulse 3 times.
Sprinkle raspberry and unflavored gelatins over 1/2 cup cold water in a saucepan. Stir and let stand 1 minute. Cook over low heat stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in cranberry mixture, oranges, and next 3 ingredients. Cool to room temperature. Stir in marshmallows and pour into a 9X13 dish or pan. Cover and chill overnight.
Serves: 8 to 10


Sweet potatoes are a powerhouse of beta-carotene with ample supplies of vitamins B and C, making them potent cancer fighters.
Futhermore, they are loaded with fiber which helps to prevent digestive disorders and keeps cholesterol levels low. One large baked sweet potato contains only 180 calories, no saturated fat or cholesterol and only 18 mg. of sodium (a blood pressure bonus).
This holiday gratin is made special with the addition of fresh squeezed orange juice and an oatmeal and nut topping. Can be made a day ahead of time to the point of baking.

6 medium sweet potatoes, baked
1 stick butter, divided
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
2 eggs
2/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup chopped nuts

While they are still hot, clean the pulp from the potatoes into a bowl. With an electric mixer, beat in half stick of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the sugar just until butter is melted. Add eggs, orange juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg, beating until smooth. Pour into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish, smooth top with the back of a spoon.

Combine flour, oats, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in remaining 1/2 stick of butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add nuts and sprinkle over sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then slide under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, just until golden brown.
Serves: 8


Our family has been having an affair with this oyster for a long time. Our children, even in their youthful years, could eat their share and somebody elses of this long awaited Thanksgiving or Christmas delicacy. What makes it special is not only the fresh oysters but the homemade cornbread (the recipe follows)...you may say "Well, my cornbread recipe will work just as good"...Try it if you must...but first try my original recipe, and then try yours. Please let me know if you think yours is better...I am open to compromise, otherwise..take my word for it and follow the recipe. 
I have yet to see anyone who did not love this dressing. Even non-oyster lovers will ask for the recipe. It's also delicious warmed over. Have all of your ingredients ready and on hand.

4 cups torn wheat bread
4 cups chicken or turkey broth
12 ounces fresh oysters-drained and quartered
6 cups crumbled cornbread
1 1/2 cups finely chopped sweet onion
1 cup finely chopped celery hearts
4 fresh eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 generous pinch of sage

Combine first 2 ingredients; set aside for about 8 minutes. Combine with remaining ingredients; spoon into a lightly greased large crock-pot.
Allow to cook for 6 to 8 hours.
This will 'fluff up" like a souffle. Serve with a roasted or deep-fried turkey, Festive Cranberry Salad and the sweet Potato Gratin.


1 stick of butter
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup white self-rising cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups of buttermilk

Melt butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet in a 375 degree oven. Combine remaining ingredients mixing only until smooth. Add melted butter to batter leaving only a couple tablespoons of butter in the hot pan. Pour batter in pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes.

And now I would like to share with you this Ayurvedic blessing:

"May the good belong to all the people in the world. May the rulers go by the path of justice. May the best of men and their source always prove to be a blessing. May all the world rejoice in happiness. May rain come in time and plentifulness be on earth. May this world be free from suffering and the noble ones be free from fears."


This article first appeared in the Avery Post on November 21st, 2001. I made up all of the injector flavors and each one has become a favorite over the years of friends who love deep frying their birds. Enjoy!

If you have never before partaken of a dee-fried turkey, you have definitely missed out. Years ago we replaced our traditional roasted turkey with a succulent deep-fried Cajun version of "The Bird" and we have never looked back. The flesh is tender, tasty and juicy, while the outside boasts a golden brown, crispy crust which is achieved only by the deep-fry method. Don't plan on any leftovers, for unlike the roasted bird which always has plenty, the deep-fried version will assuredly be picked clean to the bone. One taste and the eater is hooked for life. You keep gravitating back to it just like a moth to the flame.

There are rules to follow when deep-frying a turkey or any other poultry or meats for that matter.

#1. Take it outside on the ground. Never try to do it inside or even out on the deck. The hot oil can be very volatile. Believe me I know! I have had my eyebrows singed before, and I was lucky it did not fry my entire head.
#2. Keep the kids and the pets away from the cooking area during the duration of the Fry.
#3. Invest in a turkey cooker. You can buy the entire outfit for less than a $100.00 at outdoor speciality shops, that big retail store we all navigate towards, or keep your tax dollars in the county and go to Christa's Country Corner down Pineola way.
#4. Have your bird ready. That means it should be dry with no moisture remaining on it. You can either inject it prior to frying or do it ahead of time (8 to 36 hours). This method allows for a more flavorful marination. Have your oil ready. never let it get above 350 degrees. Peanut oil is the best oil to use. We have used canola oil as well. If you have never cooked one before and are not sure of how much oil to put in the pot, then try this method. Put your unmarinated turkey in the pot, cover it with water 2 to 3 inches above the bird, then measure the amount of water it took. This will be how much oil you will need. You can strain and reuse the oil as well.
#5. The rule of thumb for the cooking time is 3 to 4 minutes per pound. A 10 to 15 pound turkey is ideal. Never try to do one larger than 15 pounds. If you are planning on a crowd, you had better do two birds. Remember the gravitation thing.

So now for the recipes. In the grocery stores, you can purchase Cajun and other flavored marinades which come with an injector. These, in my opinion, are over priced. If you buy one of these, save the injector; and then make your own marinades. I've been experimenting with them for years, and these are some of my favorites. You don't have to always do a turkey. Try the Sunday roaster or Cornish hens. They are all delicious.


The Sunday roaster will be the fat-est hen in the meat counter. Inject it with the Lemon-Lime Marinade; then allow it to sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Serve the deep-Fried Roaster with green field peas and mashed potatoes.

the fresh juice from 1 lemon and 2 limes
1 teaspoon each of freshly grated lemon and lime rind
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey

Combine all ingredients with a wire whisk. Allow to stand at room temperature for several hours to combine flavors. Strain through a sieve before injecting into poultry.


Use a 10 to 12 pound turkey for this recipe. Inject with the marinade; then allow to stand at room temperature for a couple of hours before frying. Accompany with a shrimp sauce, a pot of greens and a bowl of either Egg Drop or Won Ton Soup.

1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients with a whisk.


The nut and wine injector needs to be made at least a day and up to two days ahead of time for the flavors to blend. This makes a wonderful dinner for two. Watch carefully. They will be done before you know it. Serve on a bed of wild rice with a side of candied carrots.

1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup walnut pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Heat oil over medium-high heat in skillet. Add nuts and saute for 3 to 4 minutes just until lightly browned. Do not burn or you will have to start over. With a slotted spoon, transfer nuts to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Remove skillet from heat and allow to cool. When cooled, transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Add remaining ingredients, and shake to blend. Allow for the flavors to blend before injecting into the hens. Strain prior to using.


A turkey breast takes less time than the whole turkey and since it contains less fat, be sure to not overcook it or it will dry out. Serve this delicious sweet and sour version with green beans and grilled or baked fresh pineapple slices which have been coated with butter and maple syrup.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon each of dry mustard, paprika and salt
1 cup peanut oil

Combine all ingredients, beating well. Allow to stand at room temperature for several hours before using. Strain out the onions prior to injecting.

"Let us be thankful that there still is sunshine, that we still can glimpse the blue of the sky and in our onward way, continue to look up. Let us be thankful for friends with kindly smile and cheerful words. This is a time for grateful Thanksgiving!"~anon

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Memories, sweet memories, flood my mind, for Apple Snow can take me back in time to a warm, cozy kitchen, 'twas a room chock-full-o-love, because it was looked over by the man up above. I can see her standing there now, my "Mama Joe," over that old wood stove, where a sweet cake of gingerbread emitted wonderful scents into every crook and cranny. No one, simply no one, could top off gingerbread like my granny.

3 large cooking apples
white of 1 big egg
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Wash and dry apples; prick them with a fork in a few places, and bake at 350 degrees until soft. Remove the skin, and run the pulp through a sieve. Beat the egg white to a froth; add sugar gradually; then add apple pulp and beat it all together until thoroughly mixed, light and soft. Serve over gingerbread.

"So few people have learned the art of collecting memories. They collect old china and prints and books...all good and pleasant, but fragile and perishable. Happy memories are indestructible possessions which nothing can take from us."~anon

Friday, November 19, 2010


A simple pleasure in life, canning in todays modern world of convenience has become more of a hobby than a necessity, as it was in days gone by.
I use to love to go into my grandparents damp and musty cellar under the house when I was growing up and stand and marvel at the number and varieties of jars filled with every imaginable shape and color of the earths bounty.
My grandfather had a garden on each side of the house and they were his pride and joy. You name it, he grew it. He loved to share with others what he had helped the land to produce. He was a tall, handsome, gentle, yet firm man, who always worked in the garden wearing a long sleeve khaki shirt and pants, complete with a tie and wide-brimmed hat. It didn't matter how hot the weather was, his attire never wavered. The grandchildrens job was to keep the rows weeded. I hated it with a passion. That may possibly be the reason he always sent me back to do mine over.
His wife, my Mama Joe, canned each and everyday it seemed the entire summer long. Whatever was "coming off" got "worked up" and then put in a mason jar. My sister Nan and brother Bill and myself got to help "tote" the jars to the cellar and line them up in orderly rows. These are precious memories to an old country girl who has not forgotten where she came from.
"His house was perfect, whether you like food, or sleep, or work, or storytelling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all."~J.R.R.


This was my Mama Joe's recipe and she had written on it: Arlene's Receipt-verry verry good-made my first in 1978." (Arlene being Mama Joe's brother Thomas Wright's wife.) It is simple to make and wonderful on a hot buttered biscuit-or use it to make an old-timey stack cake.

13 cups applesauce
12 cups sugar
2 boxes strawberry jello
1/4 cup vinegar

Have applesauce bubbling hot. Stir in sugar. When well dissolved, pour in vinegar, bring all to a bubbly boil. Stir frequently. Have jars ready and can. (15 to 20 minutes in a boiling bath).


This also came from Mama Joe's handwritten recipe books which I inherited. It was dated 1975 and she had written on it 'verry good" as well. Serve with soup beans and cornbread.

8 red sweet peppers
8 green sweet peppers
3 lbs. cabbage
2 hot peppers
1 gallon green tomatoes
1 pint onions

Chop all ingredients and sprinkle with 1/4 cup salt. Let stand overnight. Next day: drain off salt water, add enough boiling water to cover. Boil 5 minutes, let cool.
Squeeze out with hands. Add 1/2 gallon vinegar and 8 pounds sugar. Let come to boil. Add while boiling 1 cup cornstarch, 1 tablespoon dry mustard, 2 1/2 tablespoons tumeric, 1 tablespoon white mustard seed, 1/2 teaspoon celery seed and 1 gallon cucumbers, cut fine. Pack in jars and seal.


My Mama Joe was known far and wide for her dill pickles. My grandfather, Paul Madison Vance, whom we affectionately called "Buddy", delivered them to friends all over Newland and they were considered a rare treat to recieve. This recipe is written in her own words. she had evidently written it out for my mother Dot, or her sister Nan.

"Alma's receipt-good! good! Put cucumbers in jars. Place a half head of dill in bottom of jar first then add the rest of dill down side & on top of jar after packed.
Dissolve 1 1/2 cups salt in 13 cups boiling water and 1 cup vinegar. Bring this to a boil and pour over cucumbers and seal. If dill heads are not large use two small heads. Use new lids and tighten just like other canning-use my quart jars-and most all my jars have new rings but get new lids-and you can get dill at Howard Turbyfill's mothers at Elk Park. June Lecka got mine for me some 2 years ago. Split cucumbers almost into if they are from 4-inches and over."


"Poor Old Harvey" was my Mama Joe's brother. He was a true character.

1 gallon vinegar
1 cup yellow prepared mustard
1 cup salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon saccharin

Mix all together and pour over cucumbers-do not heat-can add hot peppers if desired.


"Myrtle Hodges Receipt-1968"
1 quart water
1 cup vinegar
1/4 cup pickling salt

Mix together and pour over cucumbers. Process 20 minutes in hot water bath-can add a hot pepper.


Dated "1949-Miss Molly Braswell's Receipt"
Cook corn on cob; when done, cool. Then place in stone jar. Pour cold water over corn; add enough salt to taste. Put weight on it and place in a very warm place. It will pickle in about two weeks. If a scum comes on it, take it off. Leave corn in the same water and use right out of the jar. Heat and serve.

"Summer cooking implies a sense of immediacy, a capacity to capture the essence of the fleeting moment."~Elizabeth David


I am so excited...my blog has been excepted into the foodieblogroll.com family of blogs...it is the place to be of food blogs...i am so beside of myself. Sometime tonight the process will be complete and i will become part of the team. Visit my blog and take a look at the foodieblogroll widget..it will also be available tonight to use for all of you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

DADDY'S GONE A HUNTING (Taken from the Avery Journal, Thursday Oct.17th, 1991) By Adele Forbes

The sport of game hunting is perhaps more active in the South than any other part of our country. It is bred down through the generations and has been a way of life and of supplying meat for the table for hundreds of years.
If you've never eaten a squirrel which was prepared by your grandmother on a wood stove, not to mention the delectable cake of cornbread in the oven, and a pot of soupy rice-just waiting for a pat of butter and a lump of sugar-warming on the back of the stove, then you've certainly missed out on what to me was a glorious part of growing up in the southern Appalachian Mountains.
Following are game recipes which the cook can use to create savory dishes from the rewards of the hunt.


I fondly remember my great uncle, Thomas Wright, bringing my grandmother wild squirrels, (shot and cleaned of course) which she would promptly put in a pot and the ending result was something out of the ordinary. I can taste the delicious and tender meat just thinking about it. If he brought more than she could use, she put the extras in a milk carton, covered them with water, and them in the freezer.

2 young squirrels-dressed
1 1/2 teaspoons Crisco shortening
1 quart water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
dash of red pepper
2 teaspoons flour

Cut each squirrel into 8 pieces. Brown in a large pot in shortening until lightly browned. Add water and seasonings, stir well. Cover and bring to a boil. Add a small amount of hot liquid to flour; stirring to make a paste. Add to pot, stirring until blended. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour or until squirrel is tender.
Yield: 8 servings


The glossy black bear of our region enjoys berries, fruit, vegetables, honey, and small game, and the flesh is rich, sweet and delicious. It should be hung and marinated to get the best results.

Mix 1 cup vinegar and 1 quart dry white wine. Add 2 onions-sliced, 2 carrots-shredded, 1 bunch of celery-coarsely chopped, 6 shallots-finely chopped, 1 large clove garlic-mashed, 2 large bay leaves, 16 peppercorns-bruised, 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, boil 1 minute, then cool. Turn the meat occasionally during the marinating.


Marinate a 4 1/2 lb. slice of bear loin for at least 24 hours, dry it well. Rub a mashed clove of garlic on a heated platter. Make a paste of 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons finely minced chives, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Cover the platter with this paste and add a thick layer of onion smothered in butter. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and a little paprika. Keep the platter hot. Sear the bear steak well on both sides over a high flame. Reduce the flame and broil to desired doneness, basting frequently with melted butter. Dust the steak with salt and pepper and serve on the platter topped with mushroom caps sauteed in brown butter and sprinkled with parsley.


A highly prized and beautiful game bird, the pheasant should be hung for four days in warm weather or 10 days in cold weather, to bring out the succulent, rich flavor of the bird, which is somewhere between poultry and venison, and possibly better than either. When the tail feathers can be easily plucked, it is ready for cooking. Since the bird is naturally lean, it should be covered in fat before cooking.

Singe bird and cut into serving pieces. Fry bacon, or use cooking oil as grease, and saute bird, turning frequently, until well browned. Add 1 to 2 sliced onions and salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 cup dry white wine, cover, and reduce the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour; test by sticking fork into leg joint to make sure bird is tender. Serve with wild rice, cranberry relish and fresh kale.


The raccoon is a carnivorous mammal, found throughout North America. It was a much used food during the pioneer days and is still considered good game by many people today. Coons feed on fruits, vegetables, fish, frogs, birds and other small animals. It is related tot he Asian panda. The meat is dark and the fat strong in flavor and odor. To improve the flavor of a dressed raccoon, wrap tightly in foil and refrigerate for 5 to 6 days.

1 dressed raccoon (4-5 lbs.), 4 teaspoons salt, 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes, 3/4 cup seedless raisins, 2 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs, 1 3/4 cups peeled, diced apples, 1/4 cup corn syrup, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

From the raccoon remove the waxy nodules, commonly referred to as "kernals," from under each fat leg and on either side of the spine in the small of the back. Wash meat thoroughly and dry. Remove part of the fat, leaving just enough to cover the carcass with a thin layer of fat. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt inside body. Fill with mixture of 2 teaspoons salt and remaining ingredients except pepper. Skewer the vent by inserting several toothpicks through the skin from side to side. Lace with string, tying the ends securely. Fasten both the hindlegs and forelegs with toothpicks and string. If there are any lean parts on the outside of the body, fasten a small piece of the surplus fat to this part with a toothpick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place on side on greased rack in shallow baking pan and roast in preheated slow oven (325 degrees) for 45 minutes per pound. Turn when half done.
Serves: 6 to 8

"To everything there is a season. and a time to every purpose under the heaven."~Ecclesiastes 3:1


Fresh peaches and pecans in a pie...say "my my".
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups diced fresh peaches
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

 Cream butter, sugar and flour together. Add syrup and salt, mixing well. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended in. Add peaches and pour into pie shell. Sprinkle with  Pecan Topping.

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine flour and brown sugar. Work in butter with a fork until crumbly, add pecans. Sprinkle over top of pie. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until set in center of pie.

"When the moon hits your eye like a peach pecan pie that's amore."~me

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


If you love a Reuben sandwich then these individual rollups should flip your trigger!

8 oz. can crescent rolls
cooking spray
Thousand Island dressing
4 oz. corned beef deli

4 to 8 slices Swiss cheese
sauerkraut, shredded canned, drained and squeezed dry

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

 Preheat oven to 375°. Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; separate dough into 4 rectangles, gently pressing perforations down center of rectangles to seal. Spread Thousand Island dressing over each rectangle. Layer 1 slice corned beef, 1 or 2 slices cheese and 2 tablespoons sauerkraut on each rectangle; sprinkle each with 1/8 teaspoon caraway seeds. Roll up each rectangle, starting with short edge,  pinch seam to seal. Using a serrated knife, cut each roll evenly into 4 slices. Place slices, cut sides up, on pan.. Bake at 375° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and  puffed. Cool on pan a few minutes. Serve warm with additional Thousand Island dressing.
Yield: 16 Rollups

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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Larry D. Sudderth Via Shannon Phillips: Had to share this with all of you who loved Shannon... Around Christmas time one year when Shannon worked at the dumpsite, I took my trash out. While I was there someone brought Shannon a fruit cake. She was very kind to the lady and thanked her. When the lady left Shannon asked me if I liked fruitcake. I said yes and she handed it to me and said "Merry Christmas". I told her I couldn't take it because that lady just gave it to her. She said "Take the damn thing. This is my fourth fruitcake today and I have three more at the house. It ain't that I'm not grateful but damn. If you are gonna give me something make it something I can get my teeth into like a ribeye steak." I went home with the cake and told Diane about it. The next day I showed up with the ribeye and baked potato. She said "Damn Mr. Sudderth, You are a man after my heart and stomach." Every time I took the trash off after that she wanted to know where her "other" steak was. Just thought I would share this. Her wit will be dearly missed.

Adele Daniels Forbes Shannon = a jewel in the rough...

Kandi Lynn Butler sounds about right for her lol

Mary Beth McGuire Shell Shannon told it just like it was. There was no beating around the bush

Adele Daniels Forbes Larry..thank you so much for sharing! Anyone else out there with a Shannon tale to tell, please do so here and I will see that it gets to my blog for keepsakes for us all to enjoy and remember her for the wonderful and unique creature that she was.

Natalie Puckett Buchanan thats great....

Sherry Fletcher I pulled up one day with all kinds of stuff to unload out of the back of my Dad's truck. Please understand, my Dad and Shannon were great buddies. Shannon said, "what is all that damn stuff in the back of your Daddy's truck? Look at all that dirt! You'd better clean that - - - - off there before you take that back to him!"

Robin Vance Greene i don't sleep very well sometimes at night and shan would always be up when i got on the computer-2 a.m. and mary nell tucker happened to be on fb that one night and suggested that we all get together and go to wal mart, being that it stayed open 24/7-mary nell said she would wear her pink panther pj's and i had bought me a pair of leo "leopard britches" as i called them at the thrift store, and said i would wear them. shan said she wouldn't go with us if we were dressed like that! then we decided to start a new "club" nite owl asses club-which consisted of just us 3- because all the "normal people" were sleeping at that time of morning!! shan and i shared alot of conversations and thoughts on fb in the wee early a.m. hours! we always teased each other about our cats-she wanted ted and i wanted maggie-but neither one of us would give in! i miss her so bad~just seems like i could pick up the phone right now and call her and she would answer in her cheerful way. she always could come up with something to cheer you up.

Martha Hicks She visited me and mom when mom was in the hospital in Feb. She brought mom an angel made out of a tin can-was so neat and kind...I will miss her down right boldness, wit and humor!

Natalie Puckett Buchanan This was on a more serious side...my grandparents committed suicide and so had her brother..we got talking one night about this and we talked for over 2 hrs...she told me it was one of her first times of really opening up and talking about davids death...it was a great emotional and funny talk..but I've always just had such a special bond with shannon...breaks my heart and make you laugh. RIP shan-gone but not forgotten♥

Robin Vance Greene and you never had to wonder what shan was thinking-cause she'd sure tell ya!

Adele Daniels Forbes ‎@Robin...the three of us were and are soul sisters! She is looking down on us and smiling....I just know it!

Robin Vance Greene i know she is to, adele. i can feel my granny that passed away almost 4 years watching me. i know she is with me, and i know shan is, too.

Robin Vance Greene i also remember when she worked @ linville-i didn't really know her that well then. somebody from out of state had left 2 new cat carriers there and shan had them sitting on the porch and i asked her if she was trying to catch a "wild" animal. she said no, but asked if i wanted the carriers and i took them. she was so giving and considerate of others. i know this might not seem like a big deal, but i think that's when our friendship struck up.

Robin Vance Greene

i'm so flooded with memories of shan-i don't know where to start-here are a few more: she would tease me for eating cottage cheese and tomato on my burger all the time. said she hated cottage cheese-i told her not to knock it till she tried... it! and then one time i was looking for "coconut liners" for my hanging baskets and she thought i was crazy-that there was no such thing-so she asked miss helen what a coconut liner was and this was miss helen's exact words:"shannie pooh, that's something you line your baskets with!"
Robin Vance Greene i talked to moma earlier, and she shared this with me: shannon was working at the old pharmacy where cvs is now, and moma said she didn't know her too well, but shan came in one day and had moma a gift-just to let her know she was a good friend. it was one of those "mary's moo moo's" collection and said "i love moo" on it. she still has that after all these years have passed. just goes to show you how kind hearted she was-didn't matter if she had just met you. she was so kind and thoughtful.
March Terrell Henley
As Donny was pulling away in his truck after emptying the Tartan's trash, I pulled up in my truck with the trash from Henry's and she pointed to the sign that said something about not being for commercial use...I ignored her and put our tra...sh in the dumpsters and when I went back to the truck to get some trash out of the front and hand swept some scraps from the back she screamed, "THIS AIN"T NO CAR WASH!" I waved and left. She pulled the fruitcake stunt on us when we used to regularly bring cookies on a paper plate.

"She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind." ~Toni Morrison, Beloved

Monday, November 15, 2010


Stop! Don't throw away those leftover biscuits...use them in this soul-warming dessert. Dictionary.com defines it as follows:
a baked pudding, made with layers of sweetened and spiced apples, brown sugar, and buttered crumbs. It's origin dates back to Colonial America, thus making it as American as apple pie.

1/2 stick butter
3 cups crumbled biscuits
10 cooking apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Melt the 1/2 stick butter in skillet over medium heat, add biscuit crumbs and cook, stirring constantly until lightly browned. Set aside.

Place apples in large pot, add water and bring to a boil. cover, reduce heat, and simmer until apples are tender; drain. Mash apples until pulpy; add sugar and cinnamon.

Alternate layers of apple mixture and biscuit crumbs in a 9-inch baking dish, beginning with apple mixture and ending with crumbs. Dot top with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
Serves 8

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Or else what? Or else I am going to take you out to the woodpile and give you what you have been needing!

1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 stick melted butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup cubed Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet with shortening. Place in the oven while you mix up the batter.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Whisk together the buttermilk through butter in another bowl. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, just until moistened, add the cheese. Pour the batter into the hot pan, return to the oven, and bake 30 to 35 minutes until golden in color. Remove from the oven and brush the top with the honey. Cool for a few minutes then cut into wedges. Serves 10 to 12

"Cornbread are round...pie are square."~me


I love Shepherd's Pie, and have yet to give out my traditional recipe which uses Yukon Gold mashed potatoes for the topping. Here is a unique version that gives my own version a 'run for it's money'. A homemade cheese sauce mixes with whole-grain elbow macaroni pasta and this is used to grace the uniquely flavored meat sauce. I made this up this morning as I was going through my refrigerator looking to see what I had to work with to make something for dinner. My brother had given me a bottle of Charleston Pig Company's Pigs & Peckers BBQ Sauce, so I used this in the meat sauce, along with sweet onion, garlic, and red, yellow and orange bell peppers. Oh, baby, my prediction is that Shepherd's Pie will never be the same.

2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 lb. multi-grain elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped varied colored sweet peppers
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
3/4 cup Charleston Pig Company's Pig & Pecker BBQ Sauce (or other thin vinegary crushed red pepper sauce)
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups half-and-half or evaporated milk
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Tabasco sauce to taste

Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt, stir in pasta shells, cook until al dente. Drain, rinse in cold water. Set aside.

In large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, add half the onions and half the peppers, and cook until soft, stirring. Toss in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more. Add the ground beef, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the pieces, and cook until the meat loses its pinkness. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Mix in the Charleston BBQ Sauce, remove from heat.

Melt the butter in a large pot and cook the remaining onions and peppers until soft. Add the flour and stir well. Slowly add the half-and-half, stirring as you go. When it bubbles and thickens slightly, remove from the heat and add 2 cups of the Cheddar, the mozzarella, mustard and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the Tabasco to your liking. We really like it! Stir until the cheeses are melted, then add  the macaroni. Set aside.

Lightly spray a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the ground beef mixture into the dish, then top with the macaroni mixture. Top with the last cup of cheddar cheese, and the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. To bake: preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until cheeses are golden and it is bubbly around the edges. Allow the dish to rest for 15 minutes please before serving, if you can get whoever is eating with you to wait that long.

Serves 8

"How many shepherd's does it take to make shepherd's pie? One, if you slice 'em thin enough."~Anon

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


And now for a little something to get you through the night...the ultimate dessert experience...crumbled Oreos layered between light coffee and vanilla ice cream, with layers of fat-free chocolate syrup.

1 cup vanilla light ice cream
1/4 cup fat-free chocolate syrup, divided
4 reduced-fat Oreo cookies, crumbled and divided
1 cup coffee light ice cream

Place 1/4 cup of the vanilla ice cream in each of 4 dessert glasses. Drizzle with 1 1/2 teaspoons chocolate syrup and 1 tablespoon crumbled cookies. Spoon 1/4 cup coffee light ice cream over crumbs in each glass, and top with remaining syrup and cookies.

4 servings with 4 points value each

Thursday, November 4, 2010


A Passion for Pralines...that is what I am calling this play on candy. 5 ingredients never had it so good! Sugar, pecans, evaporated milk, butter and vanilla....

2 cups sugar
2 cups chopped pecans
1 5oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 stick butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a 2-qt. microwave-safe liquid measuring cup. Microwave at High 5 to 6 minutes, stirring well. Microwave 5 to 6 minutes more, stirring well. Working rapidly, drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper; let stand until firm.

2 1/2 dozen


Absolutely love these!!! Take my word for it...you will too.

Brownie mix with chocolate chunks and syrup-baked.
Mix 8oz. softened cream cheese with 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until creamy. Spread over cooled brownies; sprinkle with 1 cup chopped (16) miniature peanut butter cup candies and 1/2 cup candy-coated peanut butter pieces. Drizzle with 1/4 cup chocolate syrup. Chill in refrigerator at least 45 minutes. Cut into bars.


These frozen treats taste like peanut butter pie sandwiches between graham crackers.

8oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup powdered sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip-thawed
36 honey or chocolate graham crackers (or mixture of both-1 box plus 1 sleeve)

Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed of electric mixer until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Break crackers in half. Dollop 1 heaping tablespoon filling over 1 cracker half, top with remaining half. Repeat with remaining crackers. Place in a single layer or jelly roll pans, cover and freeze at least 2 hours. Wrap leftovers in nonstick aluminum foil to freeze.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


If you like Sloppy Joes, you will love this recipe. Onions, ketchup, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, paprika, and brown sugar all combine together to give this sandwich filling its panache. Serve with coleslaw and chips.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
4 onion buns or toast
shredded cheese

Cook ground beef and onion in large skillet until beef is crumbly and no longer pink, drain.

Stir in ketchup through brown sugar, season with salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, over low hear for 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Divide the mixture among the hamburger buns. Top with cheese if you like and serve with coleslaw either on the bun or on the side.

Serves 4