Just wanted to warn everyone that since I am about to begin a paying, hopefully, career I won’t be blogging much. As a result, I’m not going to pay for the domain name. After May 17th this blog can be found at raisingwerewolves.wordpress.com. You can always get my book on amazon! Kindle or paperback. A Texas Girl in Mississippi by Sukie Nemeth thanks for reading my posts all these years it has been a huge thrill to see people from all over the world looking at my recipes.
Happy Holidays to everyone! As a special gift to all those wonderful readers from all over the world I am giving you an easy recipe. My sweet friend Melissa sent me a jar of homemade apple butter as a gift. This is a big deal because generally people don’t cook for me and I know how long it takes to make apple butter. It smelled and tasted devine so I wanted something besides toasted bread to showcase it. I also had some of those amazing little caramel balls. Not sure how else to describe them since they aren’t chips. If you can’t find them, made by Kraft, you can just chop up some of the regular caramels and it should work just fine. This recipe is adapted from my trusty Betty Crocker Cookbook.
You will need:
3 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup softened butter
1 1/2 tsp rum extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup apple butter
1/2 cup caramel balls or chopped caramels
Grease a bundt pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, and rum extract together until fluffy and light. I could lie here and say I mixed the dry together in another bowl but then Santa would take me off his list and I need some new running gear so I am going to be honest. I never mix all the dry into another bowl because it means I have one more thing to wash. I always just add the baking soda and baking powder into the wet and mix well then I start to add the flour. Add one cup of flour after you add the baking soda and powder, or be proper and mix together it is up to you, then add in some of the yogurt. Mix this in well then continue to alternate dry and wet until everything is mixed in. Add about one half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan then spoon on the apple butter and sprinkle the caramel on top. Cover with the rest of the batter and bake in the oven for about 45-55 minutes. Mine took about 55 but test with a toothpick at around 45 minutes and see if it comes out clean. You can glaze with powdered sugar and milk if you want but I didn’t think it needed it. Wishing everyone a joyful and blessed new year thanks for sticking with me. Sukie
You know the quote about being the change you want to see in the world? I am trying to live it but in a way you might not think of. See, every morning I look in the mirror while trying to tame my curly hair in this very humid environment and I see more white hairs. Not grey but white. Do I pluck them out? Do I run to the store or my salon to have them covered up? Nope I smile, which makes my forehead wrinkles deepen, and let them be. I don’t try to wear cool outfits like I am still somehow in high school either. I’m not cool and I won’t pretend to be. I wear what I like in whatever color I fancy. It might even have a flower or jewels on it. I don’t buy women’s magazines either or decorator magazines. You see I don’t like how this world has decided that women who age are not of value or beautiful. I don’t like someone telling me what to wear or that I need more stuff or a different look for myself or my home to be happy. I have value at any age because I love people and care for them. None of that has anything to do with my clothes, my hair, or how my house looks. My mother was a gorgeous older woman right up until she died and she would have only gotten better. She created cozy and welcoming homes out of stuff she made or found. I do the same. Mine is a quiet revolution but maybe if just a few of us do it a few more might also. We all have value because of who we are and how we care for those around us.
I also have embraced the seize the day mentality since my mother passed. I published my book because I had always wanted to be an author and waiting longer was not an option. I am running my first 5K on Saturday because I just feel the need. I will probably walk most of it and I won’t get rich selling cookbooks but I can say I did those things. I am trying to teach my boys that there is no guarantee on how much time you get so if you want to do something then do it. So maybe go do whatever it is you have always thought about today rather than tomorrow. Embrace your wrinkles and let that grey hair stay. Perhaps you don’t need the latest outfit and your house is just fine if you like it. I like you just because you took the time to listen. I wish you all the best.
I had never eaten a Kolache before moving here. They were not a common offering in West Texas. You can buy them in parts of Central Texas but most of them are more like Danish than what we have here. In this area you get sausage and cheese Kolache in either spicy or regular and my boys love them. Normally I like to make things from scratch but I do have three boys and we don’t ever eat fast food so sometimes I take shortcuts. These Kolache are one of those times when I am making things easy for all of us. You can customize things however you like and use no cheese or a different kind and you can use any kind of sausage you like. These are easy to make ahead and freeze well. I make a double batch and freeze the extras so on school days I can take them out and pop them into the oven to reheat before the boys wake up.
You will need:
1 can (8 pieces) of Jumbo flaky biscuits
1 package of Kielbasa sausage
1 package (8 slices) of cheddar cheese
Small amount of flour for rolling
Preheat the oven to 350° and pull out a sheet pan. Cut your sausage into 8 pieces and then halve those pieces so that they have a flat side. Take a biscuit and roll it out flat on a dusted board. Lay down a piece of cheese and then set down the sausage. Fold the biscuit over the sausage and cheese pressing the sides together to seal it. Lay down on the sheet pan and repeat with the remaining biscuits until you have eight Kolache. Pop into the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until brown on the top. These are excellent warm but are just as good cooled down.
Next week will be Italian Pork Sandwiches! If you enjoyed this you should visit my photo blog @www.visionsofthemidsouth.com. Check me out on Facebook at Raisingwerewolves or on Twitter @SukieNemeth. You can also buy my cookbook A Texas Girl in Mississippi on amazon.com in paperback or eBook. Thanks for stopping by and share away!
I did a post on Hobbit Day and how it came about in my house as a teenager a year or so ago but I thought I would expand on the idea. So if your family is like ours then you have phones and game systems and DS systems, and Hulu, and Netflix and laptops, and all of those are going at once sometimes! Wouldn’t it be nice to shut them all down for one whole day and just connect to each other and eat some great food? That is the whole idea behind Hobbit Day. If you are not a Tolkien fan then center it around another favorite book or just the beginning of fall. We are having ours the Sunday before Fall Equinox because the Equinox falls on a Monday but you can plan it at any time. I will be making an exception on technology for the use of the stove to reheat food and the television so we can watch the movies but that is it. I will give you our plans for activities and menu with recipes so be prepared for a long post! Be sure to prepare for the day with plenty of candles to light the house but if you have really little kids then make an allowance and just use the lights turned low. I tried to make the menu full of things you could do mostly ahead of time so you can have fun rather than cooking all day. I used Lost Country Life and The Hobbit for my ideas for the menu. For more food ideas you can revisit my previous Hobbit Day post.
Breakfast: Apple Scones and bacon (if your family likes it use Canadian bacon which would be closer to what they had)
Activity: Read our favorite parts of The Hobbit. I am reading the chapter where the eagles come to rescue them because there is nothing better than giant eagles that talk! Okay maybe giant trees that walk and talk but we aren’t doing that book. Maybe next year.
Make butter and bread. I will give you a bread recipe later but the butter is easy! Get yourself some mason jars or a plastic container with a tight lid. Fill it with whipping cream leaving at least 2 inches of space at the top. Now make the kids shake it and shake it until you have butter. Really easy and it never fails to entertain them. I thought about doing cheese making too but that should probably be done beforehand because it takes a few days to drain.
Lunch: Cold roast turkey or roast beef, farls, and endive, radish, lettuce salad with mustard vinaigrette
Activity: Watch the movies!
Dinner: Cornish game hens with bacon, sage, and onions, roasted turnips and parsnips with butter, sun bread with salted tops, roasted mushrooms with thyme, and apple jam tart
Activity: Play Dungeon. I found this game on amazon.com and it looks easy enough to guide the five-year-old through. My mom used to make Dungeons and Dragons quests for us to do but I don’t want to get that extreme. This looks like an easy alternative but if you are into D & D then by all means pull out your old set and play. You could make up a scavenger hunt or something if you like.
If you really want to go all out do costumes. I may see what I can find at the thrift shops and then I will Halloween costumes done too.
1 medium apple
2 cups of flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of salt
6 tablespoons of butter or shortening
¼ cup of apple juice
Peel and core the apple then dice it up. Preheat the oven to 400°. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, two forks, or be reckless and just dice it really small and toss it with the dry mix. Add the apple juice and mix until combined. You can roll into a ½ inch round or just place directly onto an ungreased baking sheet and pat into about the size. Cut into triangles. Bake for about 10 minutes or until light brown.
Farls are like potato scones and if you find gluten free oats these are gluten free!
2 cups of dry oats
3 cups of warm water
3 cups of mashed potatoes (just mashed potatoes with no milk etc.)
2 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon of cornstarch
½ teaspoon of baking powder
Salt and pepper
Pinch of fresh, minced thyme
Oil for frying
In a pan, soak the oats in the warm water for 15-20 minutes, until soft and swollen. Drain off any excess water. Place these in a large mixing bowl and add the potatoes, butter, cornstarch, baking powder, spices. Knead until the mixture forms a thick dough. Form into eight round patties.
Fry in about ½ inch of oil until lightly browned. Serve immediately.
This is for the morning activity and you can shape it into any shape you like. Let the kids, or you, have fun!
½ cup sunflower kernels
6 cups of all-purpose or bread flour
1 package of rapid rise yeast
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of oil
2 cups of warm water
1 egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of water for glazing
Grind the sunflower kernels in a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder. Mix with the flour. Combine yeast, flour mixture, sugar, salt, and oil in a large bowl. Add in the water and stir until well mixed. Turn onto a floured board and knead for 10-15 minutes then return to the bowl. Cover with a cloth and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Cover a sheet pan with corn meal and preheat the oven to 350°. Turn the dough onto a floured board and shape into anything you like. You can try to make Gandalf’s staff if you want! Bake for 15 minutes and then glaze. Return to the oven for another 12-15 minutes or until the bread has a hollow sound. Just keep checking because different shapes may take longer or shorter.
I chose mustard because in the book Lost Country Life it says mustard was really popular in the Middle Ages.
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard or brown mustard (whatever you prefer)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 clove of garlic, minced
Pinch of paprika
Black pepper to taste
Pour everything into a small jar or container and shake vigorously until combined. If you do this ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator be sure to let it come to room temperature because the olive oil will harden.
For the roast beef or turkey you can use some from the deli or save some from a previous meal. You can do the Cornish hens ahead of time and serve cold or reheat. Just rub them down with salt and pepper, stuff with the sage and some onion. Lay the bacon on top and place in a roasting pan with oil on the bottom. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes then lower the heat to 350° and cook another 30 minutes. Should have an internal temperature of 180°. If you need to you can cover with foil if bacon is looking too done during this cooking time.
If you don’t have any vegetarians coming to your Hobbit Day you can just throw the turnips and parsnips in with the hens for the last 30 minutes of cook time. Don’t do this if you are doing them ahead of time though. Otherwise turnips and parsnips should just be washed and peeled, cubed then tossed with 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil, salt, and pepper then roasted at 350° for 25 minutes or until tender.
The mushrooms just toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon of minced thyme and roast for 15 minutes or until done.
Jam and Apple Tart
Dough for a 1 shell pie
Blackberry Jam (or whatever jam you like but I suggest seedless and whole fruit not jelly)
3 large apples (any variety you prefer I had Golden Delicious on hand)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cinnamon and sugar mixed together
That’s it folks really short list of ingredients isn’t it. Now turn your oven to 400 degrees and roll your dough out. I rolled mine into a rough square because I do not own a round sheet pan but you can make it whatever shape you want. Crimp the sides a little like a pie so that all of your jam does not drip off. Some of it will anyhow so you will want to make the dough slightly smaller than the pan to give room for this. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon and sugar. Peel and slice the apples fairly thin and mix them in the lemon juice just to keep them from browning up on you. Lay them out in whatever pattern you like it does not matter. Scoop your jam into a microwavable container, I used a glass measuring cup, and warm it until it can be poured. Pour it over your apples and use a utensil to even the jam out over the apples. Place it in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is browned and the apples are tender. This is great warm but you can serve it cold too.
For drinking you can serve mulled cider, hard cider, beer, ginger ale, root beer. Just have fun with family and friends.
If you liked this post then share it! If you loved it then buy my book on amazon! A Texas Girl in Mississippi is available for Kindle or in paperback!
It was a pretty good year for our tomato plants but they fizzled out early and I was left with a lot of small green tomatoes. Too small to fry much to the sorrow of Gavin but he came up with another option…green tomato sauce for pizza! It was easy to make, mostly bubbling away on its own, and when combined with chicken, bacon, and some sweet peppers was delish. I cheated and had real pizza crust which I am still paying for but it was worth it. I don’t use a recipe for pizza crust but I can give you my method.
For the crust I add a packet of yeast to about 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 cup of flour, and 1-1 1/2 cups of warm water. Mix to combine, cover, and let sit on the counter for a few hours or overnight. Then add 2 more cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Mix and then knead until smooth. Cover and let double in a warm spot. You will get the feel for making this as you do it a bunch. Now on to the sauce!! Adjust the liquid and seasonings on the sauce if you have more tomatoes. This recipe makes a lot so you can freeze the rest.
You will need:
1-2 pounds of green tomatoes
1/2 cup of white wine
2 cups of chicken or veggie stock
2 teaspoons of Italian seasonings
1 mild chili pepper or 1/4 teaspoon of chili flakes
1 small onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine everything in a medium saucepan and add a little water if the stock and wine do not cover your tomatoes completely. Let cook on low heat until tomatoes are completely soft and you have a puree. Keep an eye on it in case you need to add a little more water. Once cooked down you can put the mixture through a sieve and if not thick enough for you place it back on the stove and let cook down a little more. You are now the proud owner of some of the best pizza sauce ever! We had this on a pepperoni pizza too and it was just as good. By the way my book is available in paperback now on amazon.com just look for A Texas Girl in Mississippi!
Gluten-Free Fried Pickles
I had never eaten a fried pickle until we moved here but now I am addicted! These are a combination of several of the best I have had here with my own twist of using masa and rice flour which keeps them really crunchy. Eat these right away.
3 cups of hamburger dill chips
¼ cup cornmeal
½ cup masa
¼ cup rice flour
2 tablespoons dried dill
1/8 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning
Oil for frying
Place at least two inches of oil in a deep pan on the stove to start getting warm but don’t put it on too high or else it will burn the pickles. In a bowl mix together the cornmeal, masa, rice flour, dill, and Cajun seasoning. Get a sheet pan laid out with paper towels or if you have them paper bags for draining the pickles. Take the pickles straight from the jar and toss in the flour a handful at a time. Set aside on a plate and continue doing the rest of the pickles until they are all coated. Test the oil by dropping a single pickle in to see if they fry immediately. If the oil is ready then fry the pickles a handful at a time until they are a slightly darker color. Since these don’t use traditional flour they won’t brown up so don’t wait for that. Serve warm with Ranch dressing. They will go fast so you might want to sneak a few while you are frying. Quality control!
If you have to eat gluten free or are just interested in doing it part or full time then maybe you have run into the same issues I have. The recipes I have read each require some different specialty flour that is hard to find and expensive. I can’t even imagine what people who don’t live near a big city do to find any of those ingredients. The worst part is the taste. I don’t know what sort of pizza these people who have “the best gluten free pizza ever” were eating but it must have been really bad because I have now tried six different crust recipes and mixes and finally I just gave up and eat pizza fries. I keep trying to make gluten free bread at home too and it is pathetic and depressing. I can make beautiful regular bread but my gluten free bread always falls flat and has feels like a sponge. So you can understand why I used a mix in part for this. I usually askew mixes but in this recipe it makes things really easy and you get a finished scone that nobody will know is gluten free unless you tell them. So forgive the mix but you might thank me later.
You will need:
1 1/4 cup of gluten free Bisquick
3/4 cup of gluten free oatmeal flour (I cheat here and grind up steel cut oats in a coffee grinder but they are not 100% gluten free)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (the mix has this in there but you need a little extra because of the oatmeal flour)
2/3 cups half and half (substitute coconut, soy, etc. if you need to)
1/3 cup butter cut into very small cubes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon orange extract (If you really like orange you can add in a tablespoon of orange marmalade too)
pinch of cinnamon
cinnamon and sugar for dusting
Heat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a sheet pan with nonstick spray but only in the center. Mix together the Bisquick, oatmeal flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add in the butter and just toss a little. Mix the eggs into the half and half and then add the extract. Mix your wet into the dry just until everything is combined then scrape into a mound in the center of the sheet pan. Wet your hands and mold the mound into a circle about 2 inches thick. Wet a knife and cut the circle into triangle wedges. Dust with cinnamon and sugar then place in the center of the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bottoms are brown.
If you are wondering where I have been then let me tell you. I just finished and published my first cookbook! It has plenty of new recipes and all your old favorites from the blog put into handy sections so everything is easy to find. Available from amazon.com for Kindle. If you don’t have a kindle your can download a free app that will let you read it! Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00M677PTE/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1406499298&sr=8-2&pi=SY200_QL40 Pass it on!