Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bacon wrapped Sweet Onion with Gruyere

4 large Vidalia or other sweet yellow onions
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon Montreal seasoning
4 thick slices bacon
4 ounces Gruyere, sliced thin or grated

3/4 cup chicken or beef broth
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 tablespoon Montreal seasoning
Prep smoker to 250 degrees (or can cook in the oven).

Peel and cut about 1/2” of the onion tops. Trim off a small amount of the bottom of onions so they stand upright. With spoon, scoop out a few of the inner the layers of the onion leaving the majority of the outer layers.

Brush onions with olive oil and liberally sprinkle seasoning over each onion. Wrap bacon slices around each onion; secure with toothpick.

Combine sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl. Put 2 tablespoons of sauce in the center of each onion. Smoke for 2 hours. Baste every 30 minutes. The last 5-10 minutes, place cheese inside and onions allowing melting. NOTE: you may cut onions in half and if so, scoop out just a little of the inner layers.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pickwick Almonds - savory with a little sweet makes them addicting

  Pickwick Almonds
Warning – these are addicting. Serve them with your favorite cocktail or a cold beer after a day on the river.
3 cups peeled raw almonds
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
3  teaspoons brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons sea salt, or to taste
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast for about 15 minutes until almonds begin to look toasty and the smell is divine. Enjoy hot or at room temperature.

Low sodium diets can easily adjust the salt added to the almonds. They are way beyond delicious and more nutritious than salty chips.

Pair these Pickwick Almonds with a wedge of cheese, sliced Artisan bread, marinated fresh veggies or fresh berries and you’ve got a quick, delicious lunch. Pair them with ice cold beer or cocktails and you’ve got an appetizer that never last long. 

Beautiful time of day at Pickwick Lake/Tennessee River
For more almond recipes and where to purchase - click here.
For more news about ALMONDS CLICK HERE

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Southern Scratch and Hooch Lemonade

2 cups sugar
1 cup hot water
2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 gallon cold water
1 lemon, sliced
1-3/4 ounces Jack Daniel's TN Honey (optional)
1/4 ounce Triple Sec (optional)
In a gallon container, place sugar and hot water, and stir until sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice and cold water to make 1 gallon. Stir until well mixed. When ready to serve, pour lemonade over glasses of crushed ice, squeeze slice of lemon on top of each. Put glasses in the freezer ahead of time so they will be chilled. Cheers!

For a little added cheer – add Tennessee whiskey and Triple Sec to each glass, fill with lemonade, swirl it around, add a spring of mint, and enjoy! Now you’ve turned your Scratch into Hooch.

Jack Daniels Tasting Dinner with the Master Distiller, Jeff Arnett

Master Distiller Jeff Arnett of Jack Daniel's Distillery, Lynchburg, TN

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Key Lime Ice Cream with White Chocolate Curls

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup bottled Key lime juice
1/2 key lime zest
1/2 cup heavy cream
Dash of salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
White chocolate candy bar and key lime zest for garnish (optional)

In a large bowl, combine milk, lime juice, heavy cream, zest, salt and sweetened condensed milk; whisk to combine.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container if not serving immediately. Ready to serve, sprinkle with lime zest and shaved white chocolate.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Simply Silly Roasted Potatoes with Sautéed Sage in Brown Butter

The nutty flavor of brown butter with the garden fresh sage is wonderful – a great flavor enhancer. It’s so delicious and easy it is simply silly!
3 large red potatoes, washed, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
8-10 fresh sage leaves
1-1/2 tablespoons butter

Clean and cut the potatoes into wedges. Boil until just fork tender in salted water. Remove from water and allow to cool and dry.

In large bowl, gently toss potatoes with enough oil to coat potatoes. Add 2 sage leaves which are minced, salt and pepper to taste and place in iron skillet; roast in preheated 400 degree oven until golden brown. Turn potatoes two or three times during roasting period.

In frying pan, gently melt butter. Don't melt the butter too quick, or it will burn. Once butter melts and starts to bubble, add the sage leaves. Sauté sage leaves on both sides, until crispy; remove and set aside.

As the butter as it browns; skim foam as needed. Take butter off heat when it is golden brown, and strain the butter to remove any sediment. Toss potatoes with the brown butter and garnish with fried sage leaves.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Buttery and Cheesy Addictive Asparagus Sandwiches

Oh just imagine the buttery crunch lace with asparagus and your favorite cheese. I'm warning you these little sandwiches are  addictive and the flavors melt together into indescribable deliciousness.
Serve at luncheons, brunches, teas, with soup or just by them selves!
1 (10-oz.) can asparagus spears, drained
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 boiled eggs, shelled and diced fine
1-1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. celery seed
¼ cup soft melting cheese, grated (Gruyere, Pepper Jack, Provolone, Colby)
Mix all ingredients and spread onto white sandwich bread. Trim off the crust. This will make 14 sandwiches; set aside. Melt 1 stick and liberally brush to cover a sheet pan; sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Place sandwiches on top of the cheese. Brush tops of sandwiches with melted butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cook in a preheated 400 degree oven until golden brown and crunchy.  Turn over once if you want both sides to be really crunchy. (Although I always use fresh grated Parmesan, I’ve had these made with the grated cheese from refrigerator section of deli or grocery and it’s good.)

Asparagus Basics
Thickness is a matter of taste. Choose bunches with tightly closed tips and no flowering. Stalks should be bright green and firm. If the asparagus is thick, use a peeler to thin out the stalks. If the asparagus is on the thin side, simply reduce your oven time.

Asparagus can be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days by wrapping the bottoms of the stalks in a damp paper towel and place in a paper bag to refrigerate; store in crisper; or stand the bundled stalks in a bowl with about an inch of water and cover with plastic bag to store

Sunday, June 7, 2015

LEMON PIE Luscious Ice Box, Wicked Chess, Sure Nuff’ Good Meringue or Riverboat Rub – YOU PICK

Luscious Lemon Ice Box Pie
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
8 large egg yolks
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
In a medium bowl, whisk the condensed milk with the cream cheese and lemon juice. In another bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the lemon zest with the egg yolks until pale. Beat in the condensed milk mixture until smooth. Pour the filling into the crust.
Bake the pie for 25 minutes in 325 degree oven, until the edges are set. Transfer the pan to a rack; let cool for 1 hour. If topping with meringue, do so now. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate the pie for at least 6 hours if topping with whipped cream.
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
6 tbsp. sugar
Beat whites and cream of tartar, when soft peaks form, gradually add sugar; beat until stiff. Pour meringue on pie and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. This makes a large pie.

Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 - 1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Garnishes: lemon slices, fresh mint leaves
Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form; blend in the zest and dollop over chilled pie. Garnish, if desired.
Lemon Ice Box Pie Crust
3 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 stick butter, melted
In a medium bowl, mix together the wafer crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until mixture resembles wet sand. Using your hands, firmly press the mixture across the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
Wicked Lemon Chess Pie
They say this old Southern favorite got its name from “It’s jess pie,” when someone would ask the cook about what kind of pie they had made. When you mix the butter, sugar, eggs, and lemon juice with a little dash of misbehaving, the results are sure enough wicked! 
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
Beat eggs in a large bowl until well blended; gradually add the sugar, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon juice, melted butter, cornmeal, flour, and salt; mix well. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Do not over bake. Cool on a rack.

Grandma Messer’s Lemon Meringue Pie
This is Stella and Dolly Parton’s grandmother’s recipe and it’s sure nuff good!
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons flour
1 pint hot water
1 cup sugar, heaping
2 lemons, juice only
1 tablespoon butter
Mix all ingredients, and cook in a double boiler until thickened. Pour into a cooked pie shell. Beat egg whites to make the meringue. Bake to brown the meringue

Riverboat Lemon Rub Pie
If you like lemon, you will love this old-fashioned recipe that was served on riverboats.
1-1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 stick butter
3 eggs well-beaten
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Dash of salt
Cream butter & sugar; add eggs, lemon juice, salt, zest and flour. Pour into uncooked pie crust and bake at 350 degrees. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hydrangeas - I love these big floppy blooms!

Hydrangeas are all loaded with blooms this year. They must like all the rain and cooler than normal temperatures. If you can't tell, I love the whites, greens and purple/blues. Some will grow in the sun and others prefer shade with a little sun. You can find one to suit your garden. Enjoy!


Raspberry Chipotle Dunking Sauce on Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Big Boss Man Biscuits

This time of year grilling season really gets started. On the deck I have tomato plants, jasmine, gardenias, geraniums, hummingbird feeders and a bird bath and fountain. Before it gets too hot, we enjoy dining al fresco and toasting friends and family as the sun goes down and the moon comes up.

2 tbsp. oil
3/4 cup yellow onion, diced fine
1-2 tsp. minced garlic
1-2 tsp. chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped
2 pints fresh raspberries, rinsed
1/2 cup champagne or raspberry vinegar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Sea salt and fresh grated pepper, to taste
1 tsp. chicken base or bullion
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft and slightly caramelized, 4 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for 1 minute. Add the chipotle chilies and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute. Add the raspberries and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and stir to deglaze the pan. Add the sugar, chicken base and seasoning to taste, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thickened and reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool before using. Baste a pork tenderloin with this sauce as you grill or roast in the oven, then serve additional sauce for dunking.
Use as a barbecue sauce, glaze, or basting sauce for poultry, shrimp, and meats. Pour over a block of cream cheese and serve as a dip with crackers. Yield: about 1-1/2 cups

Grilled Pork Tenderloin 
1-1/2 cups cooking oil
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsps. dry mustard
2 tbsps. snipped parsley
1 tbsp. black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1-pound pork tenderloins
For the marinade, combine oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire, dry mustard, parsley, pepper and garlic.  Cover and chill for 3 hours.
Place tenderloins in plastic bag and set in a shallow dish.
Pour marinade over meat and close bag.  Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning bag a few times during the night.  Drain tenderloins and place on cooking grid.  Grill covered directly over medium coals for 14 to 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes, slice and serve.  Ronnie Price of Jackson
Big Boss Man’s Biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup sour cream
1/2 can Sprite
1/3 stick melted butter
Mix flour and sour cream cutting it in with a fork.  Add Sprite; knead together and cut into biscuits.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spoon butter over biscuits; cook until done in a greased baking pan.  Donnie Prince of Booneville, MS

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Back Door Baked Beans with Coca Cola and Bacon

Back Door Baked Beans
You better watch it or they will slip in the back door to sample these before it's time to eat. Who wouldn't like a pot full of doctored up baked beans with bacon, Coke and sorghum? Sure-nuff good!
2 (16 - 18 ounce) cans Bush’s baked beans
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup Sorghum (or Karo dark syrup)
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce
2 medium yellow onions, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
10 slices thick bacon, chopped
1/2 cup Coca Cola
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. onion powder
Greased casserole or iron baking dish
Cook bacon in skillet for about 5 minutes over medium/ low heat – don’t crisp bacon but make sure it’s done. Remove bacon and set aside, add onions and pepper to skillet and cook in bacon drippings for 10-15 minutes over medium heat.  In a bowl mix the remaining ingredients. Drain bacon, onion and pepper and add to bean mixture. Mix well and pour into casserole or iron baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 2-½ hours or until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of thick syrup. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cherry Delight - a forgotten favorite that is just plain DELISH

This recipe has been in our family for years, and is always a favorite for potlucks and other special occasions.  It is easily and quickly prepared.  The red cherry topping makes this dish a delightful dessert for occasions like 4th of July and Christmas.
1 ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs, crushed
¼ cup butter, melted
l ( l-lb.) box powdered sugar
l  (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
l  pint whipping cream
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
l  tbsp. vanilla flavoring 
1 (21-oz.) can cherry pie filling 
Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter to form crust in 9-inch pie shell or 9x9-inch pan.  Soften cream cheese and mix with powdered sugar.  When thoroughly mixed, spread over pie crust.  Mix whipping cream, adding sugar and vanilla flavoring.  Spread over cream cheese and powered sugar mix.  If time permits, refrigerate until whipping cream is firm before topping with cherry pie filling.  Add cherry pie filling and serve. Emily Crabtree of Jackson TN

Monday, May 18, 2015

Old-fashioned Strawberry Preseves - just pure goodness gracious on a biscuit.

Easy Old-fashioned Strawberry Jam  - Slather some on a hot buttered biscuit; atop a cheese ring; use as filling for a cake; or drizzle over a piece of pound cake with a dab of whipped cream. It’s a most welcomed gift!
2 pounds fresh ripe strawberries, hulled
4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees. Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace, and seal. Process in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate. This will make 5 cups.

Pimento Cheese - the epitome of Southern comfort food!

The simple blend known as pimento cheese is the epitome of comfort food. It is so ingrained in the lives of most Tennesseans that it’s hard to imagine that it exist only in the South. A pimento cheese sandwich on white bread (usually with the crust cut off) has long been a staple of any table south of the Mason Dixon line, at picnics, church pot luck suppers, or as funeral food. This authentic Southern delicacy has been around since the beginning of the 20th century and every good cook has their own recipe.
Southern Pimento Cheese
8 ounces extra sharp Cheddar
8 ounces American or White Cheddar
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Duke’s or homemade)
1 2-ounce jar of pimentos, diced
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of onion powder
Dash cayenne
1 teaspoon sugar or sweetener

Blend pimentos and cheese in food processor until well blended. Add dry ingredients and mayonnaise and blend. Last add Worcestershire sauce. Add more mayonnaise as needed for preferred consistency. Scrape sides of bowl to ensure well-blended texture.

Cooked Pimento Cheese
2 tablespoons white syrup
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 small jar pimentos, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
  1/4 cup milk
1 pound Velveeta cheese

Combine in medium saucepan, all ingredients except pimentos. Cut cheese into small blocks and let melt over medium heat with other ingredients in saucepan. When cheese is melted combine pimentos with mixture. Stir and store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Grilled Peach and Vadilia Salad with Candied Bacon and Poppy Seed-Peach Vinaigrette

Creamy Poppy Seed Peach Vinaigrette
3/4 cup sliced peaches 
3 tablespoons peach preserves
3 tablespoons champagne or fruit-based vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup  oil
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Process peaches, peach preserves, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and salt in a food processor until smooth. With processor running, pour oil through food chute in a slow stream. Process until smooth; stir in poppy seeds; refrigerate.

1 pound thick-sliced bacon
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 pounds Vidalia or other sweet onions, cut into 1-inch-thick slabs
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
4 large ripe firm peaches, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 325°.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the bacon slices on a rack in a single layer and sprinkle with the brown sugar and cayenne. Bake for about 25 minutes, until caramelized (the bacon will crisp as it cools). Let cool, then cut the bacon into bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the onions with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until softened and browned, 10 minutes. Separate the onions into rings. Brush the peaches with olive oil and grill over moderately high heat until tender, 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

In a large bowl, toss the onions with the peaches and bacon. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper; serve.