I am so glad to be back in Montana, however I am already missing the fabulous southern food we ate in the great south. One night last week I decided to re-create my southern favorites!
I remade the ribs that I had created for my family in Florida that I posted on the Sharing Thyme and Space blog and I also made some Slow Cookin' Collard Greens varying the recipe and experimenting and I made my ultimate favorite.. Cheesey Grits! For dessert I picked a new recipe that I had just learned and created a delicious Rasberry Cream Cheese Layer Cake. I even tried my hand at videoing! But I couldn't figure out how to to load it to the blog.. so maybe next time!
The trick to the mouth-watering aspect of this meal is that it is all cooked low and slow. I started the ribs at noon and started the greens at 2pm. By 3pm the house smelled so good that I could barely hold myself together to wait for my dinner guests.
This is one of those comfort meals that helps your loved ones forget the stresses of the day and immediately be transcended to a happy place. In my opinion that is what family dinner should be about. A safe place to take off you burdens and curl into a comforting delicious meal surrounded by people who love you no matter what. I might even say, love you because of your craziness! Dinner for me is about releasing the day and starting the transition into quality time, relaxation, and laughter.
That's why it is so important for me to share dinner around the table with my loved ones. I want to share in the joy of togetherness and delicious food with the people that mean the most to me. I hope you try these recipes out. You won't be dissapointed and let me know how it turns out!
Cheesey Grits.. Montana style
2 cups broth
1 cup half n half
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups polenta
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 can cream corn (14oz)
1 tbsp butter
1 cup shredded chedder cheese
1/4 cup diced fresh green onions
Combine all liquids with the polenta and salt then cook over medium high heat for 15 minutes stirring constantly. After 15 minutes it should thicken up; add the can of cream corn which will thin it out some, then cook another 15 minutes on low heat, stirring periodically. It should have the consistency of thick batter. Mix in the chedder cheese and the chives. When this tasty shiznit is ready, pour it in a baking pan, and then bake that mother fucker like it aint no thing, bitches. Peace out.
Slow Cookin' Collards
2 lbs. fresh collard greens
1/4 cup white onion diced
6 strips bacon; sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chicken stock (you can substitue any kind of stock you have on hand here)
To clean the collard greens fill a large bowl with cold water. Next remove the stem from the collard greens with a knife all the way up the leaf and slice into large chunks. Repeat with all of the collard leaves and throw them into the cold water. Bathe swirling them around for a few minutes to make sure any dirt is removed. Strain them through a collander and set aside.
Place the olive oil in a large pot and heat over high heat. Once the pan is hot add the bacon and onions and brown until the bacon is crispy. About 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the collard greens and the chicken stock. Cook on low for 5 hours or longer. The longer you cook them the more flavorful they will become. You can't go wrong or overcook these. They just keep getting better and better!
Rasberry Cream Cheese Layer Cake
1 cup graham cracker; crushed
4 tbsp. butter; melted
Combine and press into the bottom of a round baking dish. Bake in a 250 degree oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling.
8 oz. frozen rasberries (you can substitute blueberries, blackberries, etc)
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar (separated)
8 oz whipped topping
Combine cornstarch and 3 tbsp. of water. Then add the cornstarch, sugar, and fresh rasberries in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. The mixture will become thickened and glutenous and have the consistency of jelly. That is exactly what you are looking for. Set aside to cool while you prepare the cream cheese filling.
Combine the cream cheese and sugar using a mixer until creamy and smooth. If you don't have a mixer you can also use a large spatula to combine. Then gently fold in 4 oz of the whipped topping reserving the other half for the top layer.
To prepare, place the rasberry mixture on top of the graham cracker crust. Layer the cream cheese mixture next, then top with the remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle leftover graham cracker crumbs over the top if desired!
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but it could be overnight as well! This is a super easy, refreshing dessert that is sure to please a crowd or you! After all you are number one!
Mental Health Benefit: If you are in need of a little ego boost, try these easy recipes out. I guarantee that you will get praise from your loved ones for days following this meal! I also used the leftovers to create the best sandwich for lunch the next day. I toasted whole wheat bread and heated the greens and leftover rib meat and piled them on for the best sandwich EVER! Two meals in one and both were equally satisfying and mouth-watering!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I whip up an egg scramble in about 15 minutes and we make toast and call it dinner. We have some white wine that we brought along and pop the cork. We are in a celebratory mood. I am only a half a day to Montana and my man, who I haven't seen in WAY too long! We hit the sack early and before I know it my alarm is waking me up telling me that today is the day! Montana here we come! We load up the car and hit the hard road for one more day!
Abby's Famous Burgers
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 package dried onion soup mix
2 tbsp. garlic; minced
1 tbsp. red pepper
Heat the grill and grill for 3-5 minutes a side depending on how well done you like your burgers. Make sure not to mash the burgers, you will loose that juicy taste which makes these the best around.
For an added bonus, we sliced white onions and added 2 tbsp. garlic and 1 tbsp. olive oil. We placed this all in a foil package and grilled right next to the burgers. It was a perfect juicy topping to the grilled burgers.
1 package ranch dressing mix
2 tbsp. olive oil
Heat the grill to medium-low heat and place the potato 'chips' on the grill. Reserve the leftover olive oil mixture for basting. Cook on 5 minutes a side continously flipping and basting for 30 minutes or until the potatoes squish easily with tongs.
Sprinkle with 1 tsp. sea salt and serve alongside the delicious cheeseburgers. Enjoy!
Here's to cookin' in the great outdoors from my home to yours!
~ "Too Lovely" Hot Messes back in Montana
Monday, April 19, 2010
The Original Mexican Restaurant and a mariachi band comes to our table and asks us if we want a song. Everyone turns to me. Why? I have no idea. It isn't like I have been calling the shots around here for the past month or anything? My mom smiles at me as if she wants to hear something even though I know she hates these bands. They drive her nuts. I choke, not in my right mind (I'm not sure I even have a 'right' mind), and say yes. After he leaves to go get the band I look at my parents, "Why did you let me make the decision? And mom, you hate these bands, why were you smiling at me?" Oh, well it was too late he was there and played a song and I gave him my last $2. When they leave my mom says, "And now she is officially out of money."
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Over lunch, I commented to my mom, "I really don't get the 'Who Dat' thing? What is is all about?" She responded, "It doesn't matter. Just go with it." And sort of waved me off. Okay, we had another drink and were off. We found a jazz club and before we knew it things were out of control. At least we were anyway.
Cafe Du Monde. You can't do New Orleans without their classic dougnuts. We also had to compare them to the ones that mom and I had created. They were slightly larger, just as delicious and had tons of powdered sugar just like I remembered as a kid!
Bacco. The food was great, service was impeccable, and the martini's were 10 cents! It was a no brainer and a wonderful tip from my dear friend Mike. We finished lunch of delicate pastas and muscles with a ricotta cheesecake. Oh yes, I will be making this at home. It was light and airy laced with citrus and honey. Perfect end to a delicious lunch.
Spotted Cat (another tip from Mike) and listened to live music. Mom and I tried to start a band, but it seems we weren't up to par. So we moved on to dinner feeling a little more defeated, but still happy non the less.
The Praline Connection for dinner. We had ribs, mac n' cheese, ettouffe and fried pork chops before returning back to the Spotted Cat to see another great live jazz band. We danced until we couldn't handle it anymore and retired to our room.
We sufficiently witnessed everything that I thought I would when in New Orleans and I now get "Who Dat!" It isn't about making sense, nothing really is. It is about throwing caution to the wind and getting into the spirit of things. Really letting yourself be rediculous. I am very good at this by the way. If only I could find a way to make money at it?
Next Stop... San Antonio, Texas! Come along!
Who Dat! From our long road trip to your trip through life. Everything is a trip.... Get into it! Who Dat!
~ "Too Hot" Messes still on the road.
Monday, April 12, 2010
I am sad to see them go, but the memories of this week that we have shared time and space is priceless. Unforgettable, that is what it was... The next stop for us is New O'rleans; or the Big Easy during the annual French Quarter Fest. My first time to New O'rleans in 10 years! Come along for our next adventures in cajun/creole cuisine!
Slow Cooked Ribs
4 tbsp. blackened cajun seasoning
1 jar of Stubby's barbeque sauce (This is the lowest sugar content and we love it!)
Rub the ribs with the blacked cajun seasoning on both sides of the ribs and wrap in foil. Place the ribs on a baking sheet and place in a 225 degree oven for 7 hours.
After 7 hours remove the ribs from the foil and cover with the barbeque sauce. Turn the oven up to 350 degrees and bake for one more hour. Cover the ribs with foil while they are baking the last hour.
Remove from the oven and cut and serve. The meat will fall right off the bone and into your mouth! This is so easy and delicious, it just requires that you start in the morning if you want to eat it by dinner time!
2 sprigs fresh thyme; chopped
4 cloves garlic; minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary; chopped
Olive oil cooking spray
1 cup cheddar cheese; shredded
Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into inch thick rounds. Spray a cooking sheet with olive oil and place the sweet potato rounds in one layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the rosemary, thyme, and garlic and spray with more olive oil. If you are cooking along side the ribs they can be place in the 225 degree oven for the last 1 and a half hours. Then can remain in the oven for the last hour at 350 degrees right next to the ribs.
If you are doing this separate, cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes at 350.
We used the leftover potatoes and added garlic and chopped up tortillas and baked it in the oven for a cheesy potato bake that I served with fried eggs the next morning! Delicious and a great way to use the leftovers!
We are sharing our thyme and space with you from our kitchen in Destin to yours!
~ "Too Lovely" Hot Messes headed to New O'rleans!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
My aunt has recently gotten into growing her own yeast to make sourdough bread and has turned us on to it and this may be a new experiment in my future. The seafood here is so fresh it practically tastes like it jumped from the ocean to our plates. However, you can substitute fresh fish that you have at your local market or even frozen and it will still turn out delicious and healthy.
Between the sunshine, fresh salty air, delicious seafood, and the best company, I am feeling like I am back on track. I have been swimming, walking, and cooking again and I feel great. I hope you will share these healthy seafood recipes with your family this spring and get out in the sunshine and soak up a little vitamin D with me!
1 package Old Bay Shrimp Boil Seasonings
Pinch of salt
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with the seasoning packet, lemon, and salt. Once a rapid bubble is reached, add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. The shrimp should be pink. It is that easy folks. Pretty much.
4 cloves garlic; minced
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 cans stewed tomatoes (16 oz)
1 can fish stock (16 oz)
1 can lobster stock (16 oz)
2 bay leafs
3 tbsp. Italian Seasoning
2 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
2 sprigs fresh rosemary; chopped
1 cup fresh vermouth
1 cup parsley; chopped
1/4 cup dry
1 1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lb. uncooked shrimp
1 lb. bay scallops
15 clams; scrubbed
15 muscles; scrubbed
8 oz. jumbo lump crabmeat
Saute the onion, garlic, and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until the onions become transluscent. Transfer to a large cooking pot and add the additional ingredients. Cook all of the above ingredients on low heat for 1 hour to allow the flavors to really pop together.
We served this Italian seafood stew in bowls topped with freshly grated parmesean cheese alongside some crusty bread. I also made a great olive oil dipping sauce and a fresh green salad. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day on the beach!
4 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. italian seasoning
1 spring fresh rosemary; minced
In a large boil, pour the olive oil in and top with the remaining ingredients. Serve on the table with fresh crusty bread alongside to dip in this delicious and healthy olive oil.
Here's to sharing a meal and cooking with your family!
~ "Too Lovely" Hot Messes from the beach