Thursday, December 29, 2011

Black Eyed Pea Patties

If you are looking for a creative way to serve your black eyed peas this New Year here's an idea. We can still be traditional without being predictable. There are many versions of these on the internet. I chose the simple version. My husband's grandmother, Lena, used to make these. I never got to try hers, but I would imagine this recipe comes close to what she would serve. She was a very sweet, no nonsense lady who had to do a lot with a little, as did a lot of women in rural Mississippi raising families back in the day. This was probably a second or third day dish from a pot of peas. She also had some picky eaters who wouldn't eat their peas, or at least they didn't know they were eating their peas! Creativity was alive and well back then too, we modern day cooks sure didn't invent it! This is a very basic recipe that can be altered to suit your taste. I will probably add more peas, less flour, maybe some bacon and red pepper. The possibilities are endless.  Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups cooked black eyed peas, mashed
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1   egg, beaten
1/4 cup water

Mash peas with a fork
Mix in flour, onion, and egg
Add enough water to make a stiff batter.

Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil. Medium heat.
Cook until brown, flip and brown other side.
So, another year is about to be over. It seems like only a short while ago this one was starting. I hope everyone has had a good 2011 and wish you nothing but great things for 2012. I'm not one for resolutions for myself, more like attainable goals. I have a few. One of them is to bring you the best I have to offer, from my kitchen, as well as my friends and families kitchens. When you have a family of good cooks the possibilities are endless. I am finding that everyone has a favorite recipe that is shareworthy. Most of them have a particular memory or history, which makes it more special. I hope to provide a little entertainment along with delicious, tried and true, realistic recipes for you.
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to view my blog. It isn't something I planned to do, I sort of just started it on a whim. Curiousity about blogging led to to a google search, which led me to blogspot, next thing you know, I had this blog! The name just came to me, for once, that name that I despised so as a child, that is now fairly popular, has now provided me with a catchy, fitting title for something that is bringing me such joy. For those of you who don't know me personally, I have always went by Lila, only Delilah for business stuff. It just kind of rolled off my tongue, and here I am! Sometimes being spontaneous is a good thing! It has served me well lately. Maybe I will make a resolution this year...To live in the moment...Happy 2012!
I got a bunch of yummy stuff coming your way!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sissy's Sugar Cookies

This is an awesome cookie recipe. They are delicious, easy and soft, yet firm enough to decorate with children. They have been a tradition in my sister, Sissy's home at Christmas for almost 30 years. Partly what makes these cookies so unique is the way she and her son Cody decorate them. They glaze them and paint them with food coloring. It is really quite amazing some of the things they have come up with over the years. On many occasions, they would bring them to the family Christmas Dinner, with a cookie personalized for each family member. Imagine the excitement of everybody crowding around a huge tin of cookies looking for "their" cookie! They spent a lot of time creating these pretty little treats for us, and built some great memories together in the process. When Sissy sent me this recipe a few days ago for the blog, they had just finished painting some. Only difference is now Cody is almost thirty and is sharing this tradition with not only his mom, but his wife Sara. I am happy to share this recipe with you. There is still time to bake up a batch of these and get creative! A good way for the kids to make Santa a special cookie as well. Thank you Sissy for sharing this.

1/2 cup butter or margarine (softened)
1 cup sugar                   
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk and vanillla. Beat well
Sift flour with baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend into creamed mixture.
 Cover and chill for 1 hour. Roll out on lightly floured surface...1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness...Cut into shapes... Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 until firm to touch....they don't have to brown. Allow them to cool completely. (Next is the fun part!) Once they are completely cooled, you can glaze them with a thin glaze of confectioner's sugar and milk and allow to dry.
“One of my and my Son Cody's favorite things to do when he was a small child..and into to paint our do this ....all you need is food coloring and a small artist can make all kinds of beautiful creations and memories.....on your cookies...I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have over the years...Love....Sissy”

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Chowder

This is a hearty soup that is perfect for winter days, or any day for that matter. It is easy to make and can be altered to suit your taste. I sometimes add broccoli, and on occasion add more potatoes and veggies, such as spinach and leave out the chicken. This soup is hearty enough to be a main course. To quote a favorite person from my past "This stuff fills up all your nooks and crannies!" Meaning, it leaves you feeling all warm inside and is very satisfying. Try it for yourself!

4 cups chicken broth
2 cups diced potatoes
3/4 cup celery, finely chopped
3/4 cup carrots, diced or sliced thin
1 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 pound processed cheese, cubed
2 cups cooked chicken, diced

In a large pot combine broth, carrots, celery, potatoes and onion.
Cover and cook at a low boil for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
In a seperate saucepan melt butter on low heat. Add flour, stir until smooth, simmer about a minute.
Increase heat to medium, stir constantly.
As it starts to bubble, add milk gradually, stirring constantly.
Continue to stir until thick and bubbly.
Add flour and milk mixture to broth and veggies.
Add soy sauce and gradually stir in cheese until completely melted.
Add chicken and heat through.
If desired, you can add a handful or so of cheddar cheese to enhance flavor.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Not So Salisbury Steak

This is unbelievably good! I'm not sure what to call it, since it isn't really steak, or traditional Salisbury. It is sort of like meatloaf, but not really. Just try it and label it however you want! I'm sure you will agree that delicious will come to mind once you taste it! My friend, Darlene, always requests this when I invite her over. I am always happy to oblige, since it is easy and very affordable. I love my low maintenance friends! This one is for you, Darlene.

4 slices of bread, (white or wheat will work)
1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
Mrs. Dash Seasoning, to taste, I prefer Garlic and Herb
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 eggs, beaten
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (you can use 1 each of golden mushroom and cream of mushroom)
5 tablespoons A1 Steak Sauce (at least, more if you love it as much as I do!)
3/4 cup water

Soften bread in milk in a bowl
Add ground beef, salt,pepper, and Mrs Dash, mix well
Stir in onion and eggs
Shape into 3 inch patties
Brown patties on both sides in a non stick skillet
Arrange patties in a baking dish
Mix A1, soup, and water together and spoon over patties
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes

Three Cheese Ball

This is a delicious and easy appetizer to whip up for your next gathering. Your guests will love it and so will you. It barely takes any time at all and is sure to please. Serve with a variety of crackers and you are good to go!

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 (4 ounce) jars pimento cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup finely chopped nuts or parsley

Mix everything together,except nuts or parsley, in a bowl.
Chill until firm. Roll into a ball.
Roll in nuts or parsley and wrap in plastic wrap
Chill again, until firm.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cranberry Bliss Bars

I love these things. Every year Starbucks has them during the holidays. My husband became addicted to them a few years back. My sister buys them by the dozen every year as well. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I treated myself to one. Wow! They are bliss! But, being the tight wad that I am, even though they are sinfully good, and only available during the holiday season, I set out to find a recipe for myself. The internet has several options, some vary slightly. I found my favorite on As usual, I altered it some to suit our tastes. This was a huge hit last year at all of our Christmas functions. It is a little time consuming, but well worth it. Not only are they delicious, they look so festive. Give them a try, and you can release yourself from the over priced ones that Starbucks only offers sometimes. No more teasers, you can bake, share and enjoy all year if you so choose!

1  cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
3  eggs
1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2  teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
6 ounce white chocolate, cut into chunks
3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2  teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup diced dried cranberries

Drizzle Icing:  (I don't always do this step. It is delicious, but not really necessary, unless you want authenticity)

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
orange zest (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt. Beat well.
Gradually mix in flour until smooth.
Mix 3/4 cup of  dried cranberries and white chocolate into batter by hand.
Pour batter into a well greased baking pan. You can use 9x13, I prefer a larger pan so the bars will be thinner. I use a small cookie sheet. It measure about 11x14. Spread evenly.
Bake at 350 for about 30 to 35 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Let cool.
Frosting: Mix cream cheese,powdered sugar and lemon juice and extract with a mixer until smooth.
Frost cake and sprinkle with diced dried cranberries.
Drizzle:  Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and shortening.
Drizzle over top in a sweeping motion, or use a fine tipped pastry bag.
If desired top with orange zest.
 Allow to sit for several hours before slicing.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chicken Florentine

I don't know if this is authentic Italian or not, but I do know that it sure is good! I got this recipe from a store demonstrator at my local Kroger. He is a regular there and never fails to deliver. I changed it slightly. His recipe calls for fontina cheese. I didn't have any on hand, so I used Italian Blend the first time and Monterey Jack mixed with parmesan the second time.They were both yummy! It is a good way to use extra spinach you have, since it has such a short shelf life. This is quick and easy, even though it doesn't taste that way. I serve it with pasta and usually add a little extra cheese and spinach.

Season 1 to 1 1/2 lbs chicken with salt and pepper, or whatever you like to use.
Cook chicken in about 2 ounces of oil on medium high heat.
Add 4 cloves garlic, chopped or mashed in pan, and cook until browned.
Add 1/2 pack of fresh mushrooms, sliced
Cok until browned.
Add 1/2 pint of heavy cream, cooking at a medium boil.
When cream reduces add 2 cups of fresh spinach.
Add 4 ounces of fontina cheese, or cheese of your choice.
Simmer for about 10 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of melted butter and serve with your favorite pasta.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Burrito Casserole

This dish is simple quick and sure to please everyone. My family never complains when we have this. I like it because it can be prepared quickly. The "baking" process is done in the microwave! How easy is that? Another good thing about this one is you only need minimal sides. I usually have tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded lettuce. Guacamole is also a nice touch. Cooking time is only 10 to 12 minutes, which is a big plus!

6  large flour tortillas
1  lb. ground beef
1  medium onion, chopped
1  clove garlic, minced
1  tsp. salt
1/4  to 1/2 tsp pepper
1  Tbsp. chili powder
1  8 oz. can tomato sauce
1  small can chopped green chili peppers
1  can refried beans
2  cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2  cup water

Brown meat; add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are tender. Drain.
Add salt, pepper, chili powder, tomato sauce and green chili peppers. Stir well.
In a 2 quart casserole dish layer three tortillas, half the meat, half the cheese, all of the refried beans.
Repeat, topping with cheese. I am usually generous with the cheese (isn't everyone?)
Pour the 1/2 cup of water around the edge of the dish along the sides.
Cover and microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes until heated throughout.
Let stand  5 to 10 minutes.
Serve with shredded lettuce, sour cream and tortilla chips.