Hi. My name is Divian and I am a breadaholic.

I love bread. I am one of those people who firmly believes that a sandwich is only as good as the bread you make it with. I always go for rolls and baked loaves instead of the typical sandwich bread.

Although I love bread, I am no baker. I can bake a mean biscuit but hey, I am in the South and biscuits are easy. Imagine the thrill (and apprehension) I felt when I decided that I wanted to learn how to make homemade bread.  I tried the artisan crusty bread first....needs tweaking. Then I came across this bread....from Farmgirl Gourmet.

It looked amazing. Could I make it? Could I get it to look like hers? Would it taste good? I was going to try and try I did.

Although it does not look like hers believe me it tastes AMAZING. Everyone who tried it said they did not need anything to go with it...they were tearing into it like wolves! The first batch was gone in minutes. Today I made two more loaves and I had to fight everyone off.

Seriously....it is just that good. A slightly sweet white bread that is not dry and is just heaven in your mouth.

I would definitely recommend anyone who is interested in breadmaking to try this recipe from Farmgirl. I have already decided this will be on the Thanksgiving table.

I have a bit more practice so that I can get that smooth and noncracking top, but hey even though it is a bit ugly, it tastes like I went to school for this stuff lol

Also, google Challah and read up on the symbolism of the bread. Definitely interesting and makes it even sweeter.

Last month, I was able to work with Town and Gown magazine here in my hometown alongside, Thyme to create this tablescape. I am far from an interior decorator or event planner but I love how I was able to bring what I saw in my mind to life on the table. It was a great experience to be able to work with the store and choose what I needed. They were SO accomodating and helpful!

If you are in the Starkville area and looking for high quality and unique items for hosting and entertaining, please stop by and tell them Divian sent you. They are an amazing group of ladies with such fantastically beautiful pieces!

I went with a rustic silver look and I loved it.

I love chicken. I love sandwiches. Back when I was in college there was this chicken place that served nothing but wings and chicken tenders. They had my favorite which was the Professor Plum. That was fried chicken tenders topped with a tangy plum sauce and mozzarella.  It was the best ever. They also had a sandwich that was dusted with bbq rub, slathered in honey and then drizzled with bbq sauce. This is my attempt at that sandwich. Nothing is like the original but with this sandwich being a complete hit with everyone I served it to, I must say it is pretty dang good.

I made my own chicken tenders but you can use store bought or frozen.
If you make your own, you will need:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 tbsp of Creole Seasoning or your favorite dry rub
1 cup of cold water  or buttermilk
Vegetable Oil for frying

Clean your chicken and slice them into tenders.  In a bowl mix your flour and seasoning. In a smaller bowl, fill with either cold water or buttermilk.  Dip your tenders in your flour and coat. Quickly dip into the liquid and then back into the flour mix. Make sure to coat by pressing down. You can do this one more time. I flour mine a total of three times for a nice crunchy coating.

Heat your oil on meduim and once oil is hot, place your tenders in. Remove when they are golden in color. Place on paper towel to drain grease.

The idea of this sandwich is more assembly then recipe. My mom made a batch of bbq sauce in preparation for Thanksgiving and I snagged a half a cup of her sauce. You can use your favorite bbq sauce or make your own.

For the Sandwich:

Texas Toast
BBQ Sauce
BBQ Dry Rub
Fried Chicken Tenders

In oven toast your bread, before it is completely toasted, add slices of mozzarella to the bottom slice of bread.  Allow it to melt in the ovena and remove.

Place your chicken tenders on top,  sprinkle with a bit of your BBQ dry rub, drizzle your honey on top and then add about a tablespoon of BBQ sauce on top of that. Top with the remaining slice of bread.

And there you have it, a big fat tex sandwich that is HUGE and so filling.

Thanksgiving is on my brain and I can not wait to dig into my mom's creamy and buttery cornbread dressing. Dressing is my all time favorite dish ever. I could eat it every single day. Unfortunately, I have not mastered the art of making dressing, the few times I have tried it was NOT like my mom's. I am going to pay close attention this year and take photos as she makes it. My mom is a no recipe kinda girl, so I will have to make sure I am right there to record her steps and process.

Although I cannot make dressing to save my life, I do make nice cranberry sauces. Yesterday I did a test run on a cranberry raspberry sauce. It was to die for so good. Seriously, why buy the canned stuff when making the real thing is so easy and tastes so much better.

Not only does this sauce go perfectly with holiday dressing, it is amazing on french toast. (That's how I had it yesterday and it was sooooo good)  I am stocking up on some cranberries so I can make more batches of this sauce. Everyone loved it and it is the perfect breakfast condiment.

You will need:

1 1/2 cup of cranberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1 cup of water
1 or 1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp of lemon juice

In pot , bring water to a boil.  Add in your clean cranberries and raspberries. Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar and reduce heat when it bubbles. Your cranberries will begin to pop open, add your lemon juice.  Cook on meduim heat while stirring for about 5 minutes.

Take a taste and if you need more sugar, add it in slowly while stirring.  Remove pot from heat and allow it to cool.

When I was in college, there was this amazing place that served chicken tender po boys. One had a sweet and tart plum sauce on it. It was the best sandwich I had ever had. This cranberry and raspberry sauce would be perfect on top of a fried chicken tender sandwich. Hmmmm, I might have to try that tomorrow.

Fried green tomatoes are truly a southern delicacy. I can't get enough of them and whenever I see green tomatoes in the store I always load up on them. I do not like red tomatoes raw but the tartness of the green ones get me everytime.

I can't remember the first time I had these but I know I was an adult. It was one of those things that I never thought I could make but when I found out how easy it was I could not stop. The only problem is finding green tomatoes! If you happen to find some at your local grocery, stop and pick up a few. You have to try these.

My mom prepares her fried green tomatoes differently from me. She likes to use flour while I prefer the crunch you get with using cornmeal. Like I do with most fried foods I double batter my tomatoes for an extra crunch as they tend to get soggy fast if you do not.

You will need:
2 green tomatoes
1 cup of yellow cornmeal
3 tbsp of all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of Creole Seasoning ( or salt and pepper mix)
1 cup of water or buttermilk

2 cups of vegetable oil for frying

In a bowl, mix your dry ingredients. Pour your water or buttermilk into a separate bowl.

Heat oil in skillet or pot on meduim high heat.

Slice your green tomatoes into your desired thickness but remember that the thicker they are the more likely they are to not be as tender on the inside without burning the coating.

Coat your slice in the cornmeal mix on both sides, pressing down so that the mix sticks to the tomato from the moisture inside of it. Quickly dip the slice into the water or buttermilk and back into the cornmeal mix, patting and pressing down for a nice coating.

Once all are coated, place into frying oil.  Remove when golden brown.

Here in the South, we usually coat these bad boys in hot sauce and eat them that way. I like to add a bit of hot sauce and ranch dressing for dipping and it is so good!

You can also serve them with a nice remoulade and they are perfect on turkey sandwiches!

I had never had eggs benedict.  It is one of those dishes that I am familiar with seeing over and over again online but something about the poached egg turned me off. It was not until about a year ago that I actually started to appreciate and enjoy eggs sunny side up.

Eggs Benedict is one of those dishes that I always felt was the epitome of  having brunch at a fancy restaurant.  Maybe that is why I have never attempted to make it but I thought, today, why not and why not use a nice smoked bbq brisket instead of the traditional ham. 

To make this process easy, I used Sadler's BBQ Brisket...I found it at WalMart. It is already cooked and sliced. It is a bit pricey, but so worth it because the taste is amazingly good!

It looks like this:

Of course, if you are like my mom, you can bbq or smoke your own brisket. My mom makes a killer brisket for holidays. 

I started by just warming my slices of brisket in a pan.

I also tasted my english muffins in the drippings left by the brisket (which is not a lot). 

Now...poaching an egg....this is the part that actually intimidated me. I had never poached eggs before and really thought is was going to be some difficult process, but you know what...it was so easy!

You will need to use fresh eggs.  If your egg is not fresh, once you drop it in the water, it will look like you are making egg drop soup.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once it begins boiling, lower the heat to medium/medium low.  Add one cap of vinegar (this keeps egg whites together) and a tsp of salt. stir and once the water has lowered from boiling, drop in your egg. If a few strands break away, don't worry, you can scoop them out. Once the whites turn well, white, you can use a stirring spoon to turn the egg. You want to cook the egg for 7 minutes.  Remove from water. 

For the hollandaise sauce, I used this recipe found over at She Knows... I followed the steps precisely and was very happy with the results. If you want to make this even easier, you can purchase Knorr Hollandaise Mix at your grocery store. I have not tried it but I know Knorr makes awesome sauces and seasoning mixes.

Once your sauce is done, assemble your brisket eggs benedict. These were absolutely delicious and I will be making these again very soon and they will be at my next brunch with friends and family. 

For a few years it seemed that most people began to shy away from formal entertaining. Parties and dinners became more relaxed. As I get older, I want to throw more formal events. I am excited about the upcoming holidays and I love the thought of actually using the 'good stuff'.  I have narrowed my menus down for Thanksgiving and Christmas, to ohhhhh say 100 possibilities (it is so hard to choose!!) and while I continue to widdle down my choices, I have other decisions to make.

One thing I do know is that the holidays will be formal dining experiences. Being that I made that one final decision, it has led me on an online quest for unique and gorgeous napkin ideas.

Here are a few that I found. I will be practicing these and sharing how well I could do them, how easy or how tough or if I just could not hack it.

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