Sunday, November 27, 2011

Here's a Health Carolina...


it's a great day to be a gamecock. actually...the past 3 years have been pretty amazing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving is the BEST!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

I love it for so many reasons...

1.  There is no gift giving/receiving, unless you count food as a gift.

2.  Eating is my favorite, and my family is filled with good cooks. My momma makes the BEST collard greens ever. My daddy fries a mean turkey. Sally bakes a yummy pumpkin pie.

3.  Cooking is my second favorite, and we do Thanksgiving at our house so I make a large portion of the food for our feast. I love every minute of it.

And finally...
4.  Thanksgiving is all about family, and I have one amazing family.

Speaking of family, here are a few family recipes that I made today for Thanksgiving morning breakfast/dessert.

My grandmother's recipe for Graham Cracker Pralines, Andy's grandmother's recipe for Cranberry-Orange Bread

MaMa's Graham Cracker Pralines

graham crackers
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400.
Line the bottom of a ridged cookie sheet with a single layer of the graham crackers. Heat sugar and butter over medium-high heat until it boils vigorously. Remove from heat and stir in pecans. Pour immediately over crackers. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

*I baked mine for about 8 minutes and they were perfect.

Andy's Grandmother's Cranberry-Orange Bread

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 egg
juice and zest from one orange
2 tablespoons shortening
boiling water
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup raw firm cranberries, cut in pieces

Preheat to 350.
Sift together twice the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. 
Pour the orange juice and zest into a measuring cup. Add enough boiling water to make 3/4 cup-ful. Add the shortening, and whisk to combine--set aside. Stir the egg into the dry ingredients. Add the orange juice mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Add the cranberries and nuts and mix well.
Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to and hour (until a wooden pick comes out clean).

This pumpkin bread isn't a family recipe, but its one I made based on a recipe I found a while ago. I made some changes, and it turned out yummy. 

Pumpkin Bread
yields 2 loaves

3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
2 cups canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and stir well. Pour into two greased loaf pans, and bake for 1 hour (or until wooden pick comes out clean).

*The recipe calls for 1 full cup oil, instead I substituted applesauce.
*It also called for 4 eggs. I misread the recipe (imagine that) and didn't add any eggs at all. And my bread is moist and dense and lovely.

I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Here is our menu for today

She Crab Soup

Cranberry Salsa
Pecan Cheese Ball
Liver Pudding and Cheddar (for my daddy)

Fried Turkey
Asparagus Casserole
Squash Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Collard Greens
Glazed Carrots

Pumpkin Pie
Graham Cracker Pralines

Monday, November 14, 2011

Charleston Cheese

This is my go-to quick appetizer dip. Easy and delicious. 
Really, really bad for you, too.
It would be great for a quick Thanksgiving appetizer.

1/2 cup mayonaise
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped
Ritz crackers, crushed
Fried and crumbled bacon

Mix mayo, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and onion. Put in a baking dish, and top with crushed crackers and crumbled bacon. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

"Melt-in-your-Mouth" Mini Pumpkin Cookies

Objects in picture are smaller than they appear. Seriously, they are smaller than they look in this picture.

As I've mentioned before, I have a thing for pumpkin. Fall is, by far, my favorite season, and when it comes around, I overload on the pumpkin. And there is nothing wrong with that. This is another pinterest recipe find, found on this amazing blog. All I can say is....deeeelicious. They really do melt in your mouth. I brought them to work with me today and they might have lasted 1 hour in the teacher workroom. And there were about 60 of them. Yes, they are little guys, but still. And everyone raved about them. I will definitely be making these again.  I found them to be even better the next day. 
You need to make these. They are so cute and little...would be great "happy fall, y'all" gifts for coworkers, friends, etc.

2 cups butter, softened (4 sticks)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat 2 cups butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. 
Add eggs and vanilla, beat until combined. Beat in pumpkin until combined. Beat in as much flour (a little at a time) as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. 
Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are set. Cool on a wire rack.

In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter and the brown sugar until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in milk and vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle the icing on the cooled cookies. 

*If your icing thickens on you, just pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so. I did this a few times.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Five-Spice Pork with Roasted Oranges and Broccoli

I've been on a five-spice kick. It's just so good, and good for you. I think. 
This is a very low-calorie meal and its packed with flavor. The pork was so juicy and tender, unlike a lot of pork tenderloin recipes I've tried. It was super easy, too. The recipe came from the newest issue of Food Network Magazine.

1 head broccoli, florets roughly chopped
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1  2-in. piece ginger, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 small orange (unpeeled), cut into wedges
2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 lb. pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon five-spice powder

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the broccoli, onion, ginger, garlic, and oranges with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a shallow baking dish. Set aside.
2. Pat the pork dry and rub all over with the five-spice powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the pork on each side, about 2 minutes per side.
3. Add the pork to the baking dish with the broccoli-orange mixture and roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 145 degrees, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, return the broccoli-orange mixture to the oven and roast 5 more minutes. 

*I didn't have any onion, and it was just fine without it.

Per Serving: Calories 329; Protein 34g

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fabulous Fall Fun-Filled Weekend

Do you like the alliteration in my title? Remember, I am a third grade teacher...and I'm teaching figurative language this week so it's on the brain.

Here is my weekend in pictures:

Trunk-or-Treat at school with Allyson.
Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffrey.
Friday night fire-pit/homemade venison chili at Megan's
Ready to watch the game with Lucy in our matching jersies

touchdown kisses.

i could eat her up.
seriously? so cute.

halftime playdate with uncle andy and cousin birdie.

Birdie's ready to cheer on the Georgia Tech yellow jackets (they were playing clemson)
Mom with her trunk for trunk-or-treat at church.

a very excited sock monkey.

and she's off!

so stinkin' cute!

that's a good-lookin' family right there.

can i please have one more piece of candy? look how cute i am!

ava (friend katie's niece) not too thrilled with her elmo costume. haha

the monkey on the left is cuter.