Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Fall Y'all!

Parfaits, bites and puffs, oh my! Recently I hosted a Stella & Dot Open House and provided some festive finger foods since I knew I would be launching my blog the following week! The theme was: Happy Fall Y’all: Fashion & Food ‘Must Haves’ for the Season (thanks to my gal-pal J Lev for the idea).

On my menu: Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits, Ham & Chive Puffs, Sausage & Cornbread Stuffin’ Bites and Pan-FRYed Onion dip.

Here’s the recipe for Sausage & Cornbread Stuffin’ Bites. I created this one based off some ingredients I use in my southern-style stuffing I make around the holidays. A little taste of Thanksgiving in one simple bite!

1 box of cornbread mix with accompanying ingredients (make ahead)
 ¼ cup unsalted butter 
1 cup onion diced
¾ cup celery diced
1 tablespoon parsley
1 pound of mild pork sausage
½ cup Bisquick
1 egg
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (or ½ teaspoon each of sage & thyme)
¼ cup chicken broth (or more if needed)
Salt & pepper

Melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute onion, celery and parsley until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. This is one of my favorite smells in the kitchen!

While sauteing the onion and celery, break up corn bread in large mixing bowl. Add sausage and Bisquick to the bowl and mix thoroughly with hands. Add onion, celery and parsley mixture, along with seasonings (salt and pepper as desired) egg and chicken broth; mix until well blended.  

Use palm of hands to roll into 1 inch balls.  Place on non-stick baking sheet and cook at 400 for 30 minutes, turning the bites once while cooking (to prevent sticking). Ta-da: Sausage & Cornbread Stuffin' Bites!    

Stay tuned for more recipes from "Happy Fall Y'all"... which one should I post next?? Also - you can check out the fabulous jewels on my website!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ham Fettuccine. What??

Once you make this EASY recipe it will be one of your go-tos for fall comfort food. Trust. Me.

I was a little skeptic at first…thinking ham and creamy fettuccine wouldn’t be a match…but the smoky flavor of the meat paired with the sauce & spices…wowzers! You can use leftover ham from a holiday gathering or buy it smoked (ready-to-eat) from the grocery store. I had some left-over spaghetti sauce that I had made, but a jarred version from the store would still do the trick!

12 ounces fettuccine
½ cup chopped (white) onion
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups cubed ham, fully cooked
½ pound fresh mushrooms (optional)
1 teaspoon each dried oregano, dried basil and dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup (meatless) spaghetti sauce
¾ cups heavy whipping cream

Cook the fettuccine according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt butter on medium heat and sauté onion until tender (about 4-5 minutes). Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Then add the ham, mushrooms and spices; cook 5-7 minutes, stirring often,  until mushrooms are tender and ham is slightly browned.

Stir in spaghetti sauce. Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Drain fettuccine and toss with ham mixture. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home magazine.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's Official

I am now a blogger. After a month of discussion over the name (cred goes to my long-time friend Angela Macrae) and deciding on a theme that “fit” (thank you for your patience Sylvia Rose Design) I am finally taking the leap! I have to admit that the site has been ready to go for almost two months now but I was nervous to publish the first post.

I hope this will be a great way for our friends and family to stay in touch with us…and for me to have a fun outlet to share what happens in our kitchen! Before your mouth starts watering over the Shrimp & Cheddar Grits recipe below, you have to check out our story to learn a little about me and my life blessed with family, friends and food!


Shrimp & Cheddar Grits

Shrimp. And. Grits. I was first introduced to this dish after moving to North Carolina. I became an immediate fan and started thinking of ideas for my own, simple (and a little bit lower cal) version that could be on the table in 30 minutes or less on our busy weeknights. Here is the result :)

This recipe serves 2-3 so double if you're feeding more.

Ingredients for the shrimp 
1 Tbsp. oil
1 cup sliced turkey kielbasa
5 scallions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. fresh baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp each salt, pepper & red pepper flakes

Ingredients for the grits1/2 cup stone ground grits
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup half & half
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp each salt, pepper & garlic powder
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Step One

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet on medium/high heat - the cast-iron is a must-have in any kitchen! Add the kielbasa and cook for about 5 minutes until browned. Add the scallions (leaving a handful for garnish later), garlic and mushrooms. Cook about 5-6 minutes.

Step Two

While the mushrooms are cooking down, make the grits. Add all ingredients (except cheese) to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat to simmer and cover with lid. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes. 

Step Three

Add the shrimp to the cast-iron and continue cooking on medium heat until they are just pink; 3-4 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil; cook for another 3-4 minutes until liquid has reduced by half and shrimp are cooked all the way through. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (one of my favorite go-tos for that added "kick").

Step Four
Stir cheese into grits until melted. Scoop onto plates, top with shrimp mixture and garnish with scallions.

Add a side salad and crusty bread for a 
simple and delicious southern meal. Enjoy, y'all!