Monday, October 14, 2013

Amish Turnips

Autumn is here... and that means great root produce!! Turnips are in season and I love to cook with them during this time of year. I've mashed them, boiled them and glazed them... but this recipe was new to me - Amish turnip pie!? Never heard of that before!? I got this from an Amish recipe food application on my iphone called, "The All in One Cookbook." This makes for a wonderful side dish, has only a few ingredients, easy to throw together and... the most important aspect... it's tastes good! If you have somebody in your family who hates turnips, give this recipe a try. If they still don't like turnips afterward take them to the doctor... because there is something seriously wrong with them! ;-)



2 1/2 cups cooked turnips
2/3 cups bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg
salt & pepper


1. Peel & chop turnips into chunks. Boil them until tender.

2. Drain, mash and then add 1/2 cup of bread crumbs - save the rest for the topping.

3. Add egg, milk, sugar and salt & pepper to taste. Mix together and pour into a greased baking dish - a pie dish works well!

4. Dot with butter and top it off with the rest of the bread crumbs.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Beef Casserole

I believe "comfort food" is always better during the Fall season... so, it goes without saying, I enjoy getting out recipes, like this one, when the weather starts cooling down. This delicious, easy to make Beef Casserole is perfect for those weekday meals... when you just need something quick to throw together for you and the family. I've made this many times... it's nothing fancy... but it's only a few ingredients, it's fast, tastes good and hits the spot after a long, hard days work. Enjoy!

Beef Casserole


1 pound ground beef
1 tsp salt
16 oz. canned pork & beans
1 cup BBQ sauce (I like honey BBQ sauce!)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup of chopped onion
1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can biscuits


1. Brown ground beef and pour off fat.
2. Add all the other ingredients, except for cheese and biscuits. Mix well.
3. Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish and lay biscuits over the beef mixture. Cover biscuits with shredded cheese.
4. Bake at 350 F until biscuits are brown (about 20 -22 minutes... but I would check it at 15 minutes to be sure)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Homemade Egg Bread

I was looking for an easy recipe for homemade egg bread and, lo and behold, I found this wonderful YouTube channel that teaches you how to make various types of breads - visit Stevethebreadguy . My first few attempts at making bread were disappointments, but this channel on YouTube has been extremely helpful in changing that. I now find making egg bread to be fun and stress-free. It's makes a perfect addition to meals and snacks. I love having a buttered slice of egg bread with my coffee in the morning. Feeling adventurous? Give this a try!

Homemade Egg Bread


1 tbsp of yeast
1 tsp sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp salt
2 tbsps of honey
4 cups of flour
2 tbsps of sesame seeds


1. Add 1 tablespoon of yeast & 1 tablespoon of sugar to a large bowl.  Add 1/2 cup of warm water and stir. Set aside.

2. Crack 2 whole eggs in a bowl, then, with the other 2 eggs, separate the yolk and the whites. Add the yolks to the bowl with the two whole eggs and, in another small bowl or cup, add the whites and set aside - you'll need this later. Add 2 tablespoons of honey to the bowl with the egg yolks mixture and beat.

3. Check to see if the yeast is activated - it should look foamy. Once it's activated, add the egg mixture to the yeast and stir. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Stir.

4. Add flour, one cup at a time until dough starts to form. Using your hands, make a ball with the dough. Remove the dough ball for second and grease the inside of the bowl with canola oil, then place the dough ball back in the bowl, flip once, cover with a damp towel, and let it sit for an hour. It should double in size.

5. After an hour, take dough and kneed for a few minutes. Separate the dough into three pieces and roll them out into 2 feet long, "snakes" shapes. Joining the bottoms of each "snake", proceed to braid the dough. Watch this video if don't know how to braid.

6. After braiding the dough, place it on a greased baking sheet, cover it with a damp towel and let it rise sit for 1 hour to allow it to rise.

7. Brush the dough with the egg whites you set aside earlier, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

8. Place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. Set in for 12 - 17 minutes, but check it around 10 minutes... just to be sure.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

This week's recipe for Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs is brought to you from allrecipes. com. I love using my slow cooker, especially when I know I'm going to busy during the day and/or have side dishes that need an extra amount of time to prepare. This is such a simple recipe and the meat is so tender and delicious... falling off the bone! Serve this with corn-on-the-cob and mashed potatoes or a big pasta salad.

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs


3 pounds baby back ribs, trimmed
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup water
salt & pepper, to taste
1 bottle (8 oz.) of BBQ sauce

  1. Season ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour water into slow cooker. Layer the ribs into the slow cooker. Top the ribs with onion and garlic.
  3. Cook on High for 4 hours (or Low for 8 hours).
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  5. Transfer ribs to a baking sheet. Discard onion and garlic. Coat ribs with barbeque sauce.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until the sauce caramelizes and sticks to the meat, 10 to 15 minutes.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Avocado Chicken Salad

Here's a really delicious chicken salad recipe from Paula Deen's website that's sure to be a winner for those end of Summer potlucks or family BBQ's. If you have a few extra avocados laying around that need to be used and/or some left-over chicken, this would be a perfect way to use them up. The first time I made this, I cut the ingredients by half... I don't like wasting food when experimenting with a new recipe. It was ridiculously good... but make sure the chicken salad has had time to chill in the refrigerator before serving... it's much better cold! Feel free to use a reduced-fat mayonnaise and sour cream, if you wish... if you're concerned about that. This would also be wonderful if you used a rotisserie chicken that you buy at the grocery store, pull off the meat, chop it up and throw it into the salad. You could serve this on a bed of lettuce with freshly sliced tomatoes.     

Avocado Chicken Salad
by Paula Deen


3 cups cooked, diced chicken
3 cups cooked white rice
2 avocados, peeled, diced, and tossed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Avocado Dressing:
1 large avocado, peeled and mashed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
Thick, crusty bread, multi-grain or sourdough, for serving
Lemon wedges, for garnish


Mix all ingredients and chill. Pass with avocado dressing.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Chill and serve alongside chicken salad.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Crispy Oven Zucchini Fries

At long last - I'M BACK!!!

This Summer has been tough keeping up on my food blog... but I've been home and back in my kitchen in Philadelphia for the last few weeks and have tried a few new recipes that I'm excited to share with you! I'm spare you the recipes that didn't turn out so well. ;-)

Summertime brings in one of my favorite vegetables - zucchini!! There are so many different ways to prepare zucchini. You can serve it grilled, sautéed, mashed, and, my favorite, bread & fried with a side of ranch dressing. YUM! I found this recipe for Crispy Oven Zucchini Fries on Paula Deen's website- Go here to visit the site. It has the same type of crunch that fried zucchini has... only a bit healthier because it's baked. Using panko breadcrumbs for a coating is a brilliant idea... mixed in with some grated Parmasean cheese and fresh parsley (I add it)... it's a winning combo! They make perfect finger foods, appetizers and/or a side dish that everybody can enjoy.

Because of this recipe, I was introduced to baking with parchment paper... which, if you haven't baked with it before, it's wonderful. Why didn't I know about this before!?! It saves your cookie sheets or baking sheets the hassle of getting messy while baking... after you're finished baking, just remove the paper from the sheet and that's it... an easy clean up! I guess you do learn something new everyday!

 Crispy Oven Zucchini Fries
by Paula Deen

½ cup all purpose flour 
1 beaten egg with 1 egg white
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 zucchini, sliced into ½ inch thick and 4 inches long
Cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Add flour to a pie plate and whisk in some salt and pepper.

3. Beat the eggs together in another pie plate.

4. In a third pie plate, whisk together the panko, Parmesan, smoked paprika, and another big pinch of salt and pepper.

5. Dip the zucchini in the flour, then in egg, and then through the breadcrumb mixture. Add the zucchini to a parchment lined sheet tray, leaving ample room between each fry so it has room to crisp up form the heat of the oven. Give the zucchini a light spritz with some non-stick spray and sprinkle again with some salt.

 6. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip, and continue cooking for 10 minutes more, until golden and crisp.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fried Green Tomatoes

I've been away from the kitchen the last few weeks rehearsing an opera in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm also away from my home in Philadelphia and subletting an apartment with very little cooking utensils... so I'm challenged in with preparing certain dishes.

However... I'm back today with a FANTASTIC recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes! A true Southern classic! This is brought to you by Patrick & Gina Neely and listed on Click HERE to see their video.

I tried fried green tomatoes this past March for the first time while I was performing in Valdosta, Georgia. I was instantly hooked, unsurprisingly. I couldn't wait to find a recipe when I got home so I could make my own batch. After hunting around through cookbooks and various cooking sites online, I was drawn to The Neely's recipe. I loved the idea of using panko instead of cornmeal. Green tomatoes are usually out in early Summer and are easy to find in certain regions in the United States... as Gina Neely says in the video though, Northerners may find it a bit more difficult to find them. Southerners, you're in luck!

I made these for my best friend, whom I'm living with in Cincinnati... and we both were in the love with these tomatoes after the first bite! I'll be making these again and again for years to come. :-)

NOTE: There is a recipe for a dipping sauce at the bottom that goes wonderfully with these tomatoes!

Fried Green Tomatoes


4 green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch rings
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
4 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch paprika
Buttermilk Dipping Sauce - recipe follows


1. In a deep-fryer, preheat oil to 350 degrees F.    (I used a skillet & heated the oil on medium-high)

2. Season tomatoes, on both sides, with salt and pepper. Place flour and garlic powder in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat eggs with the milk.
3. In another dish, mix bread crumbs with cayenne and paprika. Dredge tomatoes through the flour, then the eggs, and then through the bread crumbs. Add only a few pieces to the fryer at a time, so they can cook evenly, about 2 to 3 minutes. 
4. Drain on paper towels and serve with Buttermilk Dipping Sauce.

Buttermilk Dipping Sauce:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (online, they forgot to list this as apple cider VINEGAR)
2 tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Neelys BBQ sauce
1 lime, juiced
4 scallions, sliced thin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Allow to reduce until thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, add buttermilk, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce and lime juice and whisk well. Add in the scallions and the apple cider mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with Fried Green Tomatoes.