Fried Green Tomatoes

1:06 PM

Yesterday, I made fried green tomatoes. Even though they are my absolute favorites, it was not for me.  I had a friend visiting from Chicago and she had never tried them. She said she could not leave Mississippi without giving them a go. And give them a go she did. She loved them!

Fried green tomatoes are truly a southern delicacy. I can't get enough of them and whenever I see green tomatoes in the store I always load up on them. I do not like red tomatoes raw but the tartness of the green ones get me everytime.

I can't remember the first time I had these but I know I was an adult. It was one of those things that I never thought I could make but when I found out how easy it was I could not stop. The only problem is finding green tomatoes! If you happen to find some at your local grocery, stop and pick up a few. You have to try these.

My mom prepares her fried green tomatoes differently from me. She likes to use flour while I prefer the crunch you get with using cornmeal. Like I do with most fried foods I double batter my tomatoes for an extra crunch as they tend to get soggy fast if you do not.

You will need:
2 green tomatoes
1 cup of yellow cornmeal
3 tbsp of all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of Creole Seasoning ( or salt and pepper mix)
1 cup of water or buttermilk

2 cups of vegetable oil for frying

In a bowl, mix your dry ingredients. Pour your water or buttermilk into a separate bowl.

Heat oil in skillet or pot on meduim high heat.

Slice your green tomatoes into your desired thickness but remember that the thicker they are the more likely they are to not be as tender on the inside without burning the coating.

Coat your slice in the cornmeal mix on both sides, pressing down so that the mix sticks to the tomato from the moisture inside of it. Quickly dip the slice into the water or buttermilk and back into the cornmeal mix, patting and pressing down for a nice coating.

Once all are coated, place into frying oil.  Remove when golden brown.

Here in the South, we usually coat these bad boys in hot sauce and eat them that way. I like to add a bit of hot sauce and ranch dressing for dipping and it is so good!

You can also serve them with a nice remoulade and they are perfect on turkey sandwiches!


Ice Cream Pocky Cake....

2:38 PM

I am thinking that this summer heat calls for one of these!  Nothing like an ice cream cake to beat this Mississippi heat.

What you will need:
Ice Cream (softened)
Cake (I used box cake mix but I am sure a homemade cake would be divine!)
Raspberry or strawberry jam
Strawberry Frosting
Pocky sticks (I used two large bags of pocky sticks to cover the 9 inch cake)(you can find these in the Asian section of your grocery store or at an Asian food market)
clear wrap
ribbon if you like

After the cake has cooled, I trimmed off the top excess to make it even. I then spread a generous amount of jam to the layer. Place in the freezer until it is hardened. This is important because it will need to be frozen to ice it later. Otherwise,it will become a slippery mess!

On the other cake layer, spread your softened ice cream. Wrap tightly in clear wrap and place in the freezer until frozen.


Once both layers are frozen, place them together like the photo above. You can use a knife to trim off any icecream that is sticking out from the cake. Place back into the freezer.

Once it is again frozen solid, take out and begin frosting. You will need to move fast and do not worry if it is not perfectly frosted. You just need enough frosting on the sides so that the pocky sticks. After frosting, immediately begin placing the pocky sticks around it. This would be fun for the kids to help with but be careful, pocky is very delicate and they will break easily.

I tied ribbon around my cake because I thought it looked super pretty and it helps keep the pocky in place. Place back in the freezer.  I topped my cake off with chocolate covered strawberries and plain strawberries. You will need to leave in the freezer until it has hardened and take out when you are ready to serve.  It is sooooo good!


Travel Snack Idea...

11:42 PM

Summer is in full swing and that means travel for most families. Some are skipping on the planes and opting for road travel instead. With kids on the road, and a schedule to keep, taking snacks on the road with you is essential.

I love this idea of a snack case. I found this child size case in the hardware section of Wal Mart. You should be able to find some similar in most stores. They are used to house nails, fishing gear and pieces but are perfect for snacks!

You can even personalize the front using colorful or metallic sharpies with your child's name or a cute design.

I love it because you can place in it enough snacks for the duration of the drive. So it limits the time you need to stop and shop for food or snacks.

My kids loved this and it was just an easy way to show my kids they are worth the extra effort of debagging these badboys.


Blueberry Sriracha BBQ Sauce

7:04 PM

Yesterday while on a shoot for a magazine, the editor gave me a large bag of fresh blueberries. 4 pounds. It was heavy! Of course, I immediately wanted to make cobblers and muffins but when I started cooking my ribs today and saw that I was out of store bought bbq sauce, I decided, hey, this could work. And work it did. Not overly sweet and the Sriracha adds a nice kick. Even my kids loved this blend of sweet and spicy. Quick and easy, I can't wait to try this sauce on some pork tenderloin. 

You will need:
1 (4 to 5 pound) Rack Pork Ribsibs
1 1/2 cups Fresh Blueberries
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup of Worcestershire Sauce 
¼ cup  Sugar
1/4 cup of Sriracha

3 tbsp of Creole Seasoning

Rinse your ribs and place on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with the creole seasoning. In an oven at 350 degrees, cook for 2-3 hours. 

In skillet, add in your other ingredients. Cook on medium heat, smashing the blueberries as it gets hotter.  Stir well and taste. Add more sugar should you need to.  Cook for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Sauce should be fairly thick like a syrup.  Coat your ribs with your sauce and serve.

This recipe is adapted from Living Locurto's Blackberry BBQ sauce.


Pinterest Love: Rustic Dining

2:47 PM

When it comes to entertaining, I love simplicity. I often go complex in a sense with food, but sometimes less is certainly more. Being here in the South, our range of cultural diversity is not high. We are limited in certain cuisines and international flavors. Although I have never traveled abroad, there is something about the timeless classical elegance in some European foods.

Right now, I am on a rustic European kick and cannot get enough of beautiful trays of simple, fresh vegetables, cured meats, fruit and cheeses. How about these serving ideas for your next get together with friends?


My Ma's Southern Potato Salad

12:29 AM

Just in time for the 4th of July, this simple southern classic is a sure win at your bbq!

I must admit...I am not a fan of potato salad. In fact, I have never tasted it until today. It is one of those things that makes me question if I am really Southern. I mean, who in their right Southern mind does NOT like potato salad? You only see it at every single potluck, party, office shindig, family reunion and gathering here! At any event, someone is sure to have a casserole dish full of this potato-ey tradition.

But here I am, posting a Southern Potato Salad recipe for a dear and awesome reader who requested it. I can't take the honors of making this because I sought the help of my number one cooking mom. I will say this, I tried it today and I liked it! Why oh why did I wait so long!?

You will need:

6 large potatoes (peeled)
5 boiled eggs (diced/chopped)
1 stick of butter (room temperature)
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 whole sweet onion (diced)
1 tbsp sugar
1 small jar of Sweet Pickle Relish
2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 jar of mayo (less if you want it less creamy)
Paprika to sprinkle as a garnish

Boil your potatoes, drain and let cool. Then cut into bite size pieces.  I made the mistake (having never made this myself and thinking I would save my mom some prep time) of cutting the potatoes before boiling. My mom threw a fit and said that it would bring about a mashed potato type consistency....which it did. But hey, it was still tasty as heck.

In a large bowl, add your ingredients. There is no rhyme or method to the madness...just add everything into a large bowl and mix.

Place the mixture into your serving dish. Top with a sprinkle of paprika and some sliced eggs if you like. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap or cover. If not covered, it will get that crusty mashed potato layer that although is perfectly fine, looks like the server was too busy to mix it to keep it fresh.


Make sure you keep this dish cool until ready to serve.

Everyone here in the South swears by potato salad. They love it. I am kinda liking it too.

Thanks, mama for making this for me!


Easy Candy Slushes

1:18 AM

This has been blowing up on pinterest, so I thought I would reshare! It is the perfect homemade summer treat.

My youngest son, Anderson just had a birthday. He turned 11 and being the Sonic slush-aholic-that he is, he wanted slushes at his birthday dinner. Mind you, he never deviates from the 'green apple' slush, I finally got him to try another flavor and I made it at home. These are super easy and perfect to make while we battle this heat here in the South.

You will need:
Nerds Candy
Airheads Extreme Sours
Hawaiian Punch To Go

I used the Hawaiian Punch To Go because each of my children wanted a different flavor. Being that you can get like six packets for a dollar and each packet is enough for one drink, I thought it was perfect.

Mix your drink mix and water and pour over ice in your blender. Add in a few Nerds candy if you like (they will lose their color in the slush, so they will be white pellets of sugar). Blend until ice is that nice slushy consistency. Pour in your glass, top with Nerds and garnish with a sour Airheads candy ribbon. I placed mine of a toothpick to make the ribbon garnish.

My kids loved them. Simple, quick and made right at home.

* I have seen adult versions of these with much more candy on top and of course, alcohol. Would make a nice frozen cocktail.

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