I love fried green tomatoes. I love sandwiches, especially those sandwiches that feature bacon. and turkey. and fried green tomatoes.

This is not a recipe, sometimes I just like sharing ideas. Like this idea for a fried green tomato turkey blt. Yes. I know. It is not a true blt because I added turkey, but oh my word, pair this with a bit of honey mustard and it is so good.

You can find my recipe for fried green tomatoes here. If you ever should happen upon some at your grocery, give them a try. The green tomatoes have a tart flavor and when fried, they are fabulous.

To make this sandwich, fry your green tomatoes following the steps in this recipe, add your lettuce, turkey and bacon. Top with a bit of honey mustard for a little added sweet tartness.






Here in the South, at least in Mississippi, there is not a place you can go to for a quick lunch that does not offer 'beef tips and gravy'.  Usually served with rice, sometimes it is sided with mashed potatoes. It is one of those dishes that working men love because hey, it's meat and potatoes and it is very filling.

It is a simple meal...no frou-frou ingredients...just meat, gravy and some onions/bell peppers. Season it just right, and this simple, traditional meal is so good.

My family loves it, but then again, we love mostly anything that comes paired with gravy. We are gravy addicts....at least I am and being that mama is, the kids happen to be too.

This meal is perfect after a long day's work or on a cool night.  I served mine with honey roasted carrots with bacon, but any green side will do just fine or a nice simple side salad.



You will need

Beef stew meat ( I used a large family pack for my family of 5)
1/2 large onion (sliced)
1/2 green bell pepper (sliced)
3 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
1 tbsp pepper
3 tsp salt

(you can add more salt and pepper to taste. I like my food nicely seasoned, so sometimes I use a bit more. Don't be afraid to taste and add more if you need to)

In large pot of water, bring meat to a boil. Add in a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water and meat. reduce to medium heat and cook for about 40 minutes to an hour. This helps tenderize the meat.

Drain water and place meat in a skillet with onions and peppers. Add in your Worchestershire sauce  and seasoning. Stir well. Cook on medium heat until peppers and onions are softened.

Brown Gravy
1/4 cup unsalted butter or vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups water
4 teaspoons beef bouillon cubes (crushed)

In skillet, add in your butter or oil, cook on high heat. Once it starts to heat up, immediately add your flour, sprinkling around the entire skillet.  Stir quickly and consistently. The flour will start to brown.  Add in your water (still stirring so it does not burn)  and once it starts to bubble, reduce heat to low.  Add in your crushed bouillon cubes and stir until dissolved. Add in your salt and pepper, stir again until smooth and turn off heat.

Pour your gravy over your beef and stir. Serve hot.

*You can also add in sliced onion before you add the flour...cook them for a minute or so in the hot oil and then follow the rest of the steps. 



I have been on a philly cheesesteak kick lately and the smoked gouda and cheddar sauce I make to go with them is most definitely the reason why.

Of course I have done the typical cheesesteak with beef, but oh my when you change the beef to chicken....yes!


For two sandwiches you will need:

1 chicken breast (cooked and seasoned with salt/pepper and sliced)
1/2 bell pepper (sliced)
1/4 large onion (sliced)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

buns

In skillet, add your sliced peppers and onion. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle your salt and pepper.  Cook on medium until translucent and tender. Add in your cooked sliced chicken and reduce heat. Serve warm on a toasted bun.  Realllllllly good if you add a topping of my smoked gouda and cheddar cheese sauce. I added the sauce to the bottom bun and then to the top. Delicious!

Cheese Dipping Sauce

1/2 block smoked gouda cheese
1/2 block cheddar
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream

In pot pour in whipping cream, add in cheeses chopped.  Cook on low, stirring until cheeses melt. Add more whipping cream if too gooey. Remove from heat and serve on top of your sandwiches or as a dipping sauce.


A few years ago, I photographed a wedding. At the end of the night I was able to grab a quick bite to eat. One of the dishes I tried is one I had wished I had gotten the recipe for. It was a mashed potato casserole with shrimp and sausage in it. I was floored. It had cheese in it and it was so good!

I am thinking maybe I should reach out to the bride and ask her, but until then, I saw these online and it made me think of that delicious dish.

Mashed potatoes, in shrimp, rolled in chips? What?  Seems crazy but it seems soooooo sinfully good.


Check out this recipe by Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

I bet this would be perfect at parties.



I am a sucker for a philly cheesesteak.


Being a mama and a lady who likes to throw parties, I am always looking for things to make that can act as snacks or appetizers. My cousin told me a couple years ago that one of her favorite appetizers were empanadas. I had never had one but immediately upon consulting google, I feel in love.

Of course, I will try and make more traditional versions but I had a hankering for some cheesesteak. I had flour, I had meat...I had time. So cheesesteak empanadas it was.

This is super easy and tasty...and perfect for parties.  And the sauce....not your typical cheese whiz....a little heavy whipping cream and smoked gouda with some cheddar makes it delicious.


I used this dough recipe from Laylita.

Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), chilled and cut into 12 pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 4-5 tbs water
Instructions
    Making homemade empanada dough:
  1. Mix the flour and salt in a food processor.
  2. Add the butter, egg and water until a clumpy dough forms.
  3. To make the empanada dough by hand, follow the same instruction but use your hands to mix the ingredients together. To make it easier to incorporate the butter you can freeze it and then grate it into the flour mix.
  4. Form a ball, flatten slightly, and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).
  6. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator/freezer to use later.
  7. Assembling and baking the empanadas:
  8. To assemble the empanadas or turnovers, place a spoonful of the filling on the middle of each empanada disc. The amount of filling will vary based on the size of the empanada, but in general, it’s easier to seal an empanada that isn’t overstuffed. Also, the more you make empanadas, the easier it becomes to stuff them to the max and still seal them properly.
  9. To seal the empanadas, fold the disc and seal the edges by pressing the dough with your fingers. If you’re having a hard time sealing the edges, you can use brush the inside edges with egg white, it will act as a glue for the empanadas. You can also use a fork to help seal the edges, just press the top of the fork against the edges. To the repulgue or churito, the curl type seal, use your fingers to twist the curl the edges. There are also empanada molds that you can buy and will help seal the empanadas.
  10. For best results, I recommend refrigerating for at least 30 minutes the empanadas before baking – this also helps them seal better and prevents the filling from leaking out.
  11. If you want your empanadas to have a nice golden finish, then you can brush them with egg wash (a whole egg whisked or egg yolk plus a few drops of water whisked).
  12. Bake the empanadas in a pre-heated oven. I usually bake them at 375F-400F, the temperature will vary based on the oven and the size of the empanadas. I bake the smaller sized empanadas at 375F. The baking time also varies (again based on the oven and size), but it’s in the range of 18-25 minutes – the empanadas will be ready once they are golden.
(dough recipe from Laylita)



Filling:

1 New York Strip Steak (sliced, diced, chopped)
1/2 green pepper chopped
1/2 white onion chopped
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste




Cook your steak with a little salt and pepper. Allow to cool and slice and chop. In skillet, add your butter and then your sliced and chopped bell pepper and onion. Add in a tsp of salt and pepper or as to taste.  Cook until soft and translucent. 

Mix in steak and cook for about 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Roll out your dough as lined above. Cut into circles. I used a ramekin as my guide to size. It was enough to make 8 full serving empanadas.  Fill with steak filling. Fold over and crimp the edges to seal. Brush with an egg white wash. Bake as above.




Cheese Dipping Sauce

1/2 block smoked gouda cheese
1/2 block cheddar
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream

In pot pour in whipping cream, add in cheeses chopped.  Cook on low, stirring until cheeses melt. Add more whipping cream if too gooey. Remove from heat and serve as a dipping sauce for the empanadas.












This is a recipe I posted a few years ago. It is sooooo good. If you love alfredo sauce, shrimp, artichoke and spinach, oh yes, you should try this.   We love pasta over here, so this is the perfect meal for cool nights. 


You will need:

pasta (cooked and drained, then added a bit of olive oil, tossed, to avoid pasta from sticking together)

3 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of parmesan cheese
2 tbsp of italian seasoning
Creole seasoning to taste

Artichoke hearts (quartered, drained and rinsed)
shrimp
fresh baby spinach

In skillet, put in 2 tbsp of butter and let melt on medium heat. Add in rinsed artichokes and let them cook for about 10 minutes, stirring so they do not burn. Add in shrimp and add in creole seasoning and dash of italian seasoning. Once cooked, pour in heavy whipping cream, add parmesan and seasoning. Stir constantly, add in fresh spinach and stir. The spinach will cook down in a few minutes. If it is not enough sauce, add more whipping cream. Serve over your pasta.

*I kinda go a bit heavy on seasoning, so add it slowly and taste to make sure it is seasoned to your liking.



It is not everyday that your oldest child turns 16. Even though her birthday party is not until later this month, I had to do something. So a simple Asian dinner it was...her favorite.

Her party will be fused with much better Asian dishes....I just had to get something on the table though to celebrate.

Here are a few detail shots.





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