Showing posts from June, 2012

Roasted Green Beans

I love roasted green beans!  They are quite possibly my most favorite vegetable.  The best part about making them is that the recipe is extremely simple.  I realized I say that a lot when I am posting recipes.  However, I think everyone is capable of doing what I do.  People should believe in trying something out, if it does not work out well or they do not like it, they can always decide not to try it again.

Now, I did not create this recipe myself.  I actually found it on the Food Network's website by Emeril Lagasse, found here.  Someone had told me about roasting vegetables, so I Googled the topic and the first one that came up seemed really tasty.

Green beans
Olive oil (I always use extra virgin, but you could probably use any kind)
Kosher salt
Black pepper

You may notice from the list of ingredients that I did not include measurements.  The original recipe did, however, I choose to eyeball everything.  You would have to kind of go out of your way to mess up this r…

Blog Changes

I've made some changes to the blog.  Hopefully, I've made the blog better with these new features.
The first change you may notice is the new header.  I wanted to spice up the look of the blog a bit.

As I have been blogging along, I have been constantly looking for ways to make the blog more user friendly.  I added pages to the top banner of the blog.  Each page has a topic and provides links to specific posts relative to that topic.  Now users can find posts a little quicker than before.

Hope you all enjoy the changes!

Floating Shelves for the Nook

I saw this idea on the Young House Love blog.  A link to that project is posted here.  We wanted to put some floating shelves in our computer nook, just above our computer desk.  We found this lovely secretary style computer desk at Wal-Mart when we lived in our old apartment.  It has been a couple of years since we made that purchase, I'm not sure if the item is still available.  However, it is a great solution for small spaces.

Now, I am not a huge fan of the placement of our outlets.  We requested they be lower, but the builder overlooked that request.  I am working on a solution for them.  To the left of the secretary desk, I plan to put a decorative chair.  When that happens, the TV trays may have to move to another location, but we shall see.  This area is still a work in progress.

We followed the instructions from YHL's blog to construct these.  I chose white paint for the shelves to compliment our white baseboards.

We built out the shelves and the brackets. The bracket…

Rice Dressing

Rice dressing, or dirty rice as it is also called, is a great side dish.  It is perfect with beef, chicken or pork dishes.  For holidays in my family, it is a staple, it is always there.  A holiday just isn't a holiday without it. 

Some companies produce box mixes of dirty rice.  However, this is so easy to make, you don't need the box anymore.

2 cups cooked rice
1 lb of ground beef
1 container of frozen rice dressing mix (I used Savoie's, but there are several other kinds out there)

1 stalk of celery, chopped
cayenne pepper

In a pot, season the ground beef with salt, cayenne and celery.  Brown the ground beef and add the frozen rice dressing mix.  Let the mix cook thoroughly, consistently stirring the ingredients together.

Once the mix and beef are cooked, turn the fire off under the pot.  Add the rice to the mix, a little at a time.  Stir to incorporate the mix and the rice completely.

Coffee Filter Wreath

While looking for a Spring wreath idea, I came across this lovely coffee filter rose wreath on Pinterest. This idea originated from the Lovely Crafty Home blog.

It seemed as if it was easy enough to do.  Paint the coffee filters with desired colors for your "flowers".

Lay them flat to dry.  I did not mind if some of the colors bled through, it seemed more like the natural variations that occurred in real flowers.

Then, gather them up into groups of three filters, fold into quarters.

I loved seeing this sea of coffee filters once the folding was complete.

Then I cut out the the bottoms, to form the smaller circles in the rings.  I cut a slit in the rings.  The smaller circles were opened, separated and twisted at the center.  I placed the three smaller circles from each bunch at one end of the long strip of masking tape.  Then the three rings from each bunch were gathered and lined along the strip of masking tape.

The strip of masking tape with the filters taped to it was rol…

Buttermilk Pancakes

What do you do with your leftover buttermilk?  Well, you can always make buttermilk pancakes.  For this, I used the same recipe as the pancake recipe used here.

The only difference in this recipe and the other is in this one I increased the amount of buttermilk used because buttermilk tends to have a thicker consistency.  Because the of the difference in the consistency, the batter seemed a bit drier than necessary.  So, three cups of buttermilk worked out well.

Below I listed the ingredients again for convenience.  And of course, these pancakes were made on my trusty griddle.  Gosh, I really love that griddle!

3 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
7 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups buttermilk
2 eggs

Eggplant and Shrimp Stuffed Pockets

Eggplant and shrimp stuffed pockets are very much like meat pies or crawfish pies, except they are stuffed with an eggplant and shrimp stuffing, of course.  For this, you use the same recipe for stuffing as used for the Stuffed Catfish.  While that is cooking, you can begin to put together a crust for the pies.  The crust is a simple recipe that bakes up light and flaky.

4 cups of flour, plus some for rolling out the dough
2 cups of cold water
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
4 tablespoon butter, sliced thinly
olive oil, for burshing on pies

In a bowl, mix the flour, water, kosher salt and butter together using your hands.  Knead the ingredients until they form a cohesive ball.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Then spread flour generously over the counter.  Put the ball of dough on the flour and roll out using a rolling pin.

Then cut the dough into circles.  I used a bowl and cut around it with a knife.  This may require you rolling the dough out several times, but cut all of t…

Early Girl Tomato Update

The first fruit from my Early Girl plants I first told you about back in April, had ripened.  I pulled it and inspected it.  It was a nice size.  This is a medium sized fruit, a little smaller than my palm and plump.  It was it had a true red color to it.

The taste was great.  It wasn't too bitter or sweet.  It was good enough to eat like an apple, if you are into that sort of thing.  I'm into that sort of thing.

So far, this is the first of only two fruit on my plant.  I don't plan to grow anymore than the two tomato plants I have for now because I don't need a lot of tomatoes.  Currently, the plants are still in that medium sized round plant.  I have noticed they have gotten taller, so I may need to add a cage so they don't droop.  However, I don't think the plants have yet outgrown the pot.  That may change as the summer continues and the plants progress.

I'm so excited about growing my first tomato!  This is very rewarding, who knows, I may become an a…

Italian Cream Cake

I recently made my first Italian Cream cake.  From what I hear, it was pretty decent.  Prior to making the cake, I searched for the best recipe I could find that did not seem too complicated.  I came across this recipe from Southern Food, it had several good reviews.

Ingredients for the cake:
1 stick of butter
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
5 eggs, yolks and whites will be separated
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans, plus some extra to sprinkle on the outside of the cake

First separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.  In another bowl, mix the flour and baking soda together and set aside.  In yet another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.  Then add in the egg yolks to the creamed butter and sugar.

Mix it in.  The batter will look a little like potato salad.

Add in the flour a little at a time and mix.  Once all the flour has been added, pour in the buttermilk and…

Shrimp Etouffee

Shrimp etouffee is a great family meal.  It is filling and not at all difficult to make.  This recipe can also be used to make crawfish etouffee.  To do that, you would simply substitute the shrimp for crawfish tail meat.

1 medium size onion
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
1 lb. shrimp, can be frozen, but must be peeled, deveined and without tails
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

Finely chop the onion, celery and bell pepper and toss into a pan.  Add the minced garlic and saute.
As the seasonings start to cook down, add the shrimp.  Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. 

Add the can of cream of mushroom soup and tomato sauce. 

Stir and continue to let the sauce cook for about 15 minutes.  Lower burner to low setting and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Cook rice separately to go with the etouffee.  Serve over a bed of rice.