Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Deep South Party: Coffee and Donuts Shower Part One: The Food and Drinks

Upon finding out my good friend Sarah was expecting, I was excited to tackle another fun shower. I really love to make showers and parties personal instead of the typical swagger. Since Sarah and her husband Michael are often seen on Sunday mornings at church with a fresh mug of coffee in their hands, what is more perfect than a Coffee and Donuts Shower? 

Babies do tend to make you sleepy...and lots of coffee is necessary to keep awake from feeding to feeding during the day....and since we are showering Sarah with gifts for the nursery, why not PERK up the nursery? At the end of the day, I really had SO much fun planning this shower. From the invite, the food and coffee, decor, to the fun that was had by all I would say it was a tremendous success!

Coffee and Donuts Shower Part One
The Food and Drinks

The amazing display of food thanks to all my great friends helping out!

You definitely cannot have a Coffee and Donuts shower without an incredible tower of Krispy Kremes. 

These beauties are from none other than Sara Doughnuts (yes that is Sara and not Sara's). They have an amazing selection of cake donuts and we went with (from top to bottom) blueberry cake, strawberry cake, and devil's food cake. Over the last few days I have tried each of them and they are incredible. I am a little partial to the blueberry cake.

 Of course, we had to keep it a little healthy with a selection of fresh fruit.

These mini breakfast casseroles (aka meat muffins) were the perfect compliment to all the sugary sweet. I will have to get Melodye to post these on her blog so you can enjoy the deliciousness. PS: they freeze well for a hot breakfast on the go.

What is a Coffee and Donuts shower without a deluxe coffee bar? Two Keurigs allowed guests to quickly get a hot cup of coffee and choose from an assortment of flavors. 

Assorted Donut Shop Coffees:
Regular, Decaf, Cinnamon Roll and my personal favorite Chocolate Glazed Donut

The coffee bar was revved up with some Torani syrups in Toasted Marshmallow, French Vanilla, Peppermint, and Sugar Free Brown Sugar Cinnamon. Of course we had to have some Splenda (the yella stuff) and sugar cubes (as my daughter says: they are just sooooo cute).

I almost missed this picture, but grabbed it towards the end of the shower. For those non-coffee drinkers (crazy people I tell you) we had some ice water with lemon and an Apple Julep punch from Southern Plate. I loved the Apple Julep and froze the leftovers to enjoy later down the road,

Check back tomorrow for Part Two: The Decor.
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Deep South Eats: Waste-Not, Want-Not French Toast

Have you ever had those pesky few hamburger or hot dog buns sitting around just waiting to be thrown out? I really hate throwing out food, but this seems to always happen when we eat hamburgers or hot dogs. Well, throw away no more. After purchasing my new favorite cookbook, Southern Plate, I was so excited to see this recipe for Waste-Not, Want-Not French Toast that uses leftover hot dog and hamburger buns (there is even a recipe for bread pudding using leftover buns). The best part about this recipe is that they are super quick and can even be frozen for eating on other days. We love a hot breakfast around here and this is a new favorite.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 hamburger or hot dog buns (I think there is plenty of the egg mixture for 3 buns and this includes both sides of the bun)
  • Syrup, for serving
  • In a shallow bowl, beat together eggs, milk, and cinnamon with a fork until well blended.
  • Dip both sides of the buns in the egg mixture.
  • Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.
  • Place buns in the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned.
  • Serve with syrup.
  • To Freeze: Place on parchment or wax paper lined baking sheets and put the baking sheets in the freezer. Freeze french toast until hard. Take them off the baking sheets once frozen  and place in freezer zipper-seal bags. Return to freezer. When ready to eat, reheat by placing a slice into the toaster for two cycles and turn between cycles.
Original Recipe found in this book and on
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Monday, August 29, 2011

The Sweet Kitchen: Whats on the Menu?

After a major fail last week on the crock pot Teriyaki Chicken last week, I have decided to play it safe this week. I am going to stick to things I know will turn out well while still trying a few new things. Have you had any major recipe fails lately? It is always so disappointing when you expect something to turn out awesome and it is just a dud.

Oh well, onto better and brighter! This week I have taken some recipes from my personal collection and others from Southern Plate and Pinterest (my newest addiction).

Monday: Cowboy Calzones and Chopped Salad (Didn't get around to this last week with all the shower planning)
Tuesday: Crock Pot BBQ, Miss Millie's Coleslaw, and Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Wednesday: Rosemary Pork Tenderloin Medallions, Roasted Red Potatoes and Green Beans with Toasted Pecans
Thursday: Apple, Swiss and Bacon Quesadillas with Tomato Soup
Friday (Work Night): Leftovers
Saturday (Work Night): Baked Spaghetti, Salad, and Garlic Bread (I am sure my laboring patients will love my garlic breath)
Sunday: Leftovers or Sandwiches

What is cooking in your homes this week?
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Deep South Eats: Homemade Ranch Dressing & How-To Make Your Own Buttermilk

After my homemade Chipotle Ranch, I have fully grasped making the majority of my salad dressings. There are just so many better options and flavors to crafting dressing yourself rather than buying it at the store. I just love the taste of super fresh ingredients and the overall crispness. This Ranch Dressing is no exception.

It is excellent over a super crisp salad with lots of fresh summer vegetables or great for dipping chicken or veggies. I don't think I can ever venture to buy the opposite of "found mountain" (you know the green and blue bottled stuff) after having this amazing ranch touch my taste buds.

  • 3/4 cup of light mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup of light sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/4 - 1 cup of buttermilk (see buttermilk directions below recipe)
  • 1 small bunch of chives
  • small handful of parsley (fresh or dried - I used dried and it turned out fine)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

  • Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor, starting with 1/4 cup of buttermilk. 
  • Blend for 10 seconds.
  • Check the consistency and taste and add buttermilk as needed.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Making your own buttermilk.
  • Using a 1 cup measuring cup, add 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar to the measuring cup.
  • Pour milk (preferably whole but I have also used 1%) in with vinegar until the liquid reaches the 1 cup measure.
  • Allow to sit on the counter 5 -10 minutes and use as needed.
  • You will NEVER have to buy buttermilk again.
Original recipe from Annie's Eats.
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Monday, August 22, 2011

The Sweet Kitchen: Whats on the Menu?

This week is busy preparing for this exciting shower. After being at the beach all last week and eating out I am definitely ready for some home cooked meals no matter how busy this week may be!

Monday: Leftover Hot Dogs, Chips, Fruit
Tuesday: Crock-Pot Chicken Teriyaki, Steamed Brown Rice, and Broccoli
Wednesday: Beer Braised Brisket, Rissole Potatoes, Sweet and Sour Green Beans
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Cowboy Calzones, Salad with Homemade Italian Vinaigrette
Saturday: Dad's Birthday Dinner
Sunday: Church Picnic

What are you fixing in your homes this week?
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Sweets: The New Southern Belle

Earlier this month, when my husband's issue of Garden and Gun came in the mail I was excited to see an article on Southern Women. Since he wasn't home yet and wouldn't be for awhile I broke into the magazine and started reading (I know it is such a no-no to read someone's magazine before they get a hold of it....I just couldn't help myself).

This article on the New Southern Belle is fantastic. I could not have said this better myself.
Take a few moments and enjoy this article this Saturday.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Deep South Eats: French Breakfast Puffs

Oh these I love them. They had me at the cinnamon-sugary crusting and then clenched it with their sweet, nutmeg inside. I have had problems getting these to come out of my pans without breaking apart. After many attempts, my final conclusion is that your pan must be VERY well greased and floured and you should fill your muffin pan cups only half full. When they are more than half full, the tops of the muffin tend to break off when you remove them from the oven. 

I have yet to find a person that did not love these muffins. I have served them for breakfast in my own home and taken them to many potluck brunches. You can make these muffins the night before, a few days before or even the morning of and they turn out perfectly!

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 sticks butter

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour muffin cups.
  • In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, cream together shortening and 1 cup of sugar.
  • Add eggs one at a time mixing in between each addition.
  • Add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the creamed mixture. Beat well after each addition.
  • Fill prepared muffin cups 1/2 full. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
  • Remove from oven and set aside.
  • In a bowl melt one stick of butter (I have found that I don't always need both sticks). Combine 1 1/2 cup of sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
  • Remove muffins from pan and dip into butter. Roll around until well coated.
  • Dip butter coated muffins in cinnamon sugar mixture and roll around well to coat.
  • Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Deep South Eats: Raspberry Sauce

At a recent birthday dinner, the dessert of request was Chocolate Chess Pie with Chick-Fil-A Ice Dream and Raspberry Sauce. What a great dessert request because it was quick and easy, but the flavor combination was excellent. 

Throw this together to serve with a rich pound cake, chocolate pie, over ice cream, or even stir in some lemonade and you will not be disappointed!

1 bag of frozen raspberries (around 12 oz)
2 Tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup of sugar

Put everything in the blender together and blend until you no longer see large chunks of raspberries.

Pour small amounts at a time into a mesh sieve fitted over a bowl. I did about 1/3 of the blended sauce each time.

Use the back of the spoon to press the juice through the sieve leaving the solids behind. I always stir vigorously with the back of my spoon pressing the sieve.

Be patient and keep stirring and pressing until all you have in the sieve is the solids. Before you discard the solids use your spoon to scoop the sauce off the underside of the sieve. Repeat this process with the remaining blended sauce.

When it is all said and done you will be left with a beautiful, rich raspberry sauce.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Deep South Eats: Crispy Tortilla Strips

When making our taco salads with Chipotle Ranch Dressing, I loaded up our usual favorites on fresh greens. Seasoned ground beef, black beans, tomato, corn, and a little bit of spanish rice made for an awesome salad, but something was missing. The salad needed a little bit of crunch. I hunted down some day-old tortillas in my pantry and whipped up some Crispy Tortilla Strips.

Start off with a couple of tortillas on a cutting board. You can use flour or corn, but I prefer corn.

Give them a light spray of cooking spray.

Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut into thin strips. The thinner the crunchier. You can even cut into triangles to make your own chips.

Flip the cut strips over from the cutting board to a cookie sheet (so that the unsprayed side is now facing up). Give this side a light spray of cooking spray.

Sprinkle liberally with kosher salt or sea salt.

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or to desired crispness.

These can also be cut into triangles and made into wonderful homemade chips and much healthier than fried.
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