Starches plus tryptophan results in a full, satisfied and sleepy husband, son, brother, and nephews, and that means guilt free Black Friday shopping, keyboard style, for Mama Places In The Home, nieces, and yours truly.
F is for fall flavor, and this Autumn Harvest Rice is a recipe developed with the intention to bring the flavors of fall to table and plate.
Dave the Builder and I love spending time at The Buckhorn Inn when we are in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Travel to Tennessee has been off the table for us over the last two years, but where there’s a website and webcam, there’s a way to pop in for a virtual visit every now and then.
The Buckhorn post its weekly dinner menu at the first of the week, and I’ve noticed Chef Frank including Autumn Harvest Rice Pilaf for fall.
Immediately intrigued and inspired to create, I decided to try my hand at mastering a main to side dish teeming with seasonal seasonings.
Out from the cabinet comes my new Dutch oven and seasonings ready to boil, blend, steam and simmer.
Chopped apples, apple juice, brown sugar, butter, cloves, nutmeg, walnuts, and fig preserves do a fall-autumn dessert good, but can I just tell you this sweet power flavor combo delectably complements the savory of fresh mushrooms and onions sautéed in butter, brown and long-grain white rice, chicken broth, Kosher salt, black pepper, and fresh parsley in balanced and well-seasoned taste of fall perfection.
Autumn Harvest Rice
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
½ Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 16 oz. container fresh sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper or to taste
1 apple, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup apple juice
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon fig preserves, optional
1 cup chopped walnuts
Mix butter, water, chicken broth, long grain white rice, and brown rice in a medium saucepan, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
In a large skillet, melt 4 Tablespoons (½ stick) butter over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until onions become translucent.
Next, add sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper, stirring to coat.
Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook onions and mushrooms until soft, about 7 minutes.
In a large saucepan, melt 4 Tablespoons butter (½ stick). Add the chopped apples, brown sugar, ground cloves and ground nutmeg.
Stir in apple juice and fig preserves and bring mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium; stir in chopped walnuts.
Lower heat to low, allowing walnuts to slightly soften.
Fold cooked rice into sautéed mushrooms and onions then incorporating seasoned apples and walnuts mixture into the rice combination.
Maple sweet potato patties rounded out the menu, and the crowd went wild.
Well, our taste buds did.
Dave the Builder put his request in for Autumn Harvest Rice to be added to our traditional Thanksgiving menu.
We aim to prepare, plate, and please.
Let me know if you make this recipe, and what you think.
Quickly taking its place as the big dog restaurant on the block, Piccadilly has been the one word answer to the what and/or where do you want to eat for dinner question asked what seems a gazillion times over all these years.
A recent walk down memory lane conversation began with Dave and I naming our favorite dishes and desserts that sadly are no longer on the menu at Piccadilly.
Southern fried chicken so crisp you could hear the crunch clear across the rows of booths and tables.
Cinnamon crusted egg custard served in dark green pottery custard cups.
It’s that time of year when holiday cake recipes are cooking, baking, and taste of the holidays making in the Places In The Home test kitchen.
Grandmother’s Tennessee Pound Cake with Nutmeg is tradition on a cake plate, and Wilshire Walnut and Spice Cake is a newly developed recipe worthy of center stage on the holiday dessert table.
The warm and inviting colors, textures, and patterns found in this house of the year kitchen by Susan Burns Designs offers holiday cake recipes baking inspiration.
Reflecting on holidays past brings back memories of recipes baked with love and taste traditions.
Crammed between the pages of a beloved cookbook inherited from an aunt is a collection of handwritten recipes cooked, baked, tested, and penned in the kitchen of my paternal grandmother.
Truth in baking disclosure:
The cupboard was bare of mace, and most importantly, what is mace?
Mace is a spice native to Indonesia. The flavor is sweet and woody reminiscent of nutmeg, however, not quite as sweet. Some describe the taste of mace as a blend of cinnamon and pepper.
Nutmeg stands as the spice I have plenty of, and so 2 teaspoons found its way into the batter.
Grandmother’s Tennessee Pound Cake with Nutmeg
3 cups granulated sugar
3 sticks salted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour; sifted
2 teaspoons nutmeg or to taste
Preheat oven to 300° F. Using a mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar together until mixture reaches a fluffy texture. Add eggs one at a time to creamed butter and sugar.
Reduce mixer speed to low; slowly add sifted all-purpose flour and nutmeg to wet ingredients.
Using a wooden spoon or cake spatula, spoon batter into greased and floured tube pan.
Bake at 300° F for 1 hour or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove cake from tube pan and transfer to cake stand or platter of choice.
Building upon a traditional holiday recipe, this next cake highlights the spices, fruits, and nuts associated with the taste of the holidays.
Wilshire Walnut and Spice Cake
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 cups fresh apples, peeled and chopped
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup golden raisins
1 Tablespoon candied lemon peel
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Grease and flour Bundt pan.
Peel and chop apples; sprinkle with lemon juice.
Mix together sugar and oil; add eggs one at a time and beat until creamy.
Using a whisk, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves together.
Add dry ingredients in small amounts to sugar and oil mixture.
Next, add chopped apples, walnuts, candied lemon peels, coconut, and golden raisins.
Stir until incorporated.
Using a wooden spoon, evenly spoon mixture into a greased and floured Bundt pan.
Bake in 350° F oven for approximately 1 hour 10 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Meyer lemons are pucker power packed with bright flavor that complements two of my favorite fall spices– nutmeg and cloves.
Candied Lemon Peels
6 cups cold water, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2½ cups sugar
Peel lemons by taking off long thick strips. In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups water, ½ teaspoon salt, and lemon peels. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, strain mixture and reserve liquid.
Return liquid and lemon peels to pan. Add in ½ teaspoon salt and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, strain mixture, and reserve lemon peels.
Add 2 cups water and sugar to pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low. Add lemon peels. Gently simmer for 45 minutes being careful not do let the sugar caramelize. Remove from heat and drain.
Place lemon peels onto a piece of parchment paper that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Allow candied lemon peels to dry for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Store candied peels in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
In preparing and feasting anticipation of traditional and new traditional Thanksgiving dishes sure to impress plate and palate, it is my pleasure to share with you all a collection of company worthy Thanksgiving dishes for your gather together holiday celebration.
There’s nothing better for dinner on a down right cold here in the Deep South night than homemade buttermilk biscuits.
We’re on a buttermilk biscuit kick of late, which is probably attributed to changing weather patterns, leaves, internal clocks tuned into this weekend’s fall backwards gain of an extra hour, and feathering our nest routines.
Dave the Builder is a hot biscuit (yeah he is!) and butter man.
His view on jelly, jam, preserves, honey, or even good cream gravy is it complicates matters and covers up the true biscuit goodness.
I on the other hand go the small smear of butter with a drizzle of honey route.
Heat oven to 500°F. Grease your pan (I use a black cast iron skillet) with shortening.
Make a well in the center of the flour by pushing the flour to the edges of the bowl. Pour cold buttermilk into well and add shortening. Using your hand (I wear a vinyl food service prep glove- a total game changer) incorporate the shortening into buttermilk.
Begin to pull the flour from the sides of the bowl into the buttermilk and shortening well until you’ve worked the flour from the sides of the bowl into a dough.
Do not overmix.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently 10 to 12 strokes. No need to over knead. Shorter kneading time makes for a flakey biscuit.
Pat the dough out to slightly more than a ½-inch thick. Very lightly dust dough with flour.
Cut dough with a biscuit cutter of choice making sure to dip cutter in flour between cuts.
My biscuit cut turns out to be about 2½ inches across each biscuit.
Transfer cut biscuits to your greased pan, skillet or baking sheet.
Place biscuits close together in pan, sides touching.
Reroll scraps of dough and cut into biscuit shapes.
Bake in a 500°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until biscuits are lightly brown on tops.
Makes eight 2½ inch biscuits.
Easy, warm, filling, familiar, and satisfying- homemade buttermilk biscuits hit the spot.
When word gets out our favorite fresh vegetable vendor has homegrown tomatoes in stock, it’s time to place a call to my brother who lives closer to the stand located about 10 miles from our house.
As long as I’m making and sharing with him a dish, sandwich, or burgers with fresh tomato slices or dices in the mix he’s happy to oblige.
Fresh sunflowers, squash, and eggplant accompanied this latest tomato haul- a bit of Louisiana lagniappe.
Crazy is the word of the week here at Places In The Home.
I’ve been crazy busy tying up loose ends before Dave the Builder’s upcoming heart procedures.
In all the planning, packing, and pre-admit madness remains the fact you still gotta eat, and homegrown tomatoes at room temperature, which is the way we like our tomatoes, will ruin if left unrefrigerated for too long.
As delicious as a homemade hamburger and a tomato sandwich is, I was looking for a something on plate.
Something on a plate is a Places In The Home family term.
Credit goes to Dave the builder for taking a commonly used phrase into colloquial territory.
Here’s how it came to be:
My mother-in-law took a day off from work to finish sewing junior prom dresses for Dave’s fifteen-year-old identical twin sisters.
That’s two times the daughters, two times the junior prom dress fun. To say she had a lot on her plate is an understatement.
Dave is eight years younger than his sisters, the baby of the family, and on this particular day was underfoot more than normal.
Parents in Covid quarantine know exactly what I’m talking about.
Dave set in asking his mother to fix him something for lunch. Her promise of just one more minute and I’ll fix you a sandwich was met with Dave’s verbal protest.
“I don’t want a sandwich. I want something on a plate.”
Dave wasn’t having any part of the simple sandwich solution to lunch. What he wanted was a salad-meat-vegetables-bread something on a plate lunch.
Southerners know the comfort found in a warm, buttery, flaky pan of homemade Southern biscuits.
food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.
Quarantine days into nights hum right along to the catchy tune “Wishin’ and Hopin'” cause bakin’ and cookin’ and eatin’ and eatin’ is how I’m filling the stay-at-home times, days, afternoons, nights, plates, and stomachs of my fellow quarantine loved ones.
Add to that recipes and wisdoms handed down through the years and practice makes perfect the dashes and splashes of spices and seasonings secrets handed down from generation to generation, and now we’re speaking truth to taste, y’all.
All of the above biscuit options are distinctive and delectable in their own right, but are no match for the small bites of biscuit perfection set in the oven and upon the dining room tabletops of the Carriage House Restaurant located on the grounds of Stanton Hall in Natchez, Mississippi.
Photo courtesy of Brittany of Hello, Honey. Please do check out her blog post detailing a visit to Natchez and her very cool photos of Longwood and Arlington properties. Here’s the link- Natchez, Mississippi
When in Natchez, lunch at the Carriage House Restaurant is a biscuit must.
A menu mixing of popular Southern fare classics and new-traditional dishes appeal to palate and plate.
Preheat oven to 400˚F. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut the shortening in with 2 knives until the mixture resembles peas. Stir in the milk ¼ cup at a time until you have sticky dough.
Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead as little as possible. Roll lightly to a ¼ inch thickness. Cut biscuits with a small (2-inch diameter) biscuit cutter or a clean, small open tomato paste can.
Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick baking spray or grease lightly with shortening. Place the biscuits with edges not touching on the prepared pan. Brush tops with milk. Bake at 400˚F until biscuits are puffed and slightly golden. Remove immediately, split and butter while hot.
Chef Bingo Starr
Chef Regina Charboneau
Southern hospitality and butter biscuits are the calling card of Chef Regina Charboneau aka Queen of Biscuits.
Regina’s Butter Biscuits
4 cups flour
¼ cup baking powder (Regina suggests using Calumet baking powder.)
¼ cup sugar
¾ pound margarine, salted
¼ pound butter, salted
1¾ cups real buttermilk, not low fat
Put flour, baking powder and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Turn the machine on low and blend the dry ingredients for 15 seconds.
Add the butter, margarine and buttermilk to flour mixture before turning mixer back on. Turn mixer on medium and count to 10. This goes very quickly; the key is to not overmix the dough. There will be large chunks of margarine, the size of quarters, in the dough.
Scrape dough from the bowl onto a generously floured tea towel (or other floured work surface) and shape into a long, vertical rectangle about 2 inches thick. The dough will seem rough and messy. Using the edges of the towel, fold the lower part of the dough (about one third) toward the center, then fold the top portion down. With a rolling pin, roll dough out to a 2-inch thickness. Fold the two ends in again, lifting the edges of the towel to help move the dough. Give dough a one-quarter turn, and roll it out again to a 2-inch thickness. Continue folding, turning and rolling dough until it is smooth, with noticeable yellow ribbons of butter and margarine throughout.
Roll dough to a 1-½-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut dough into rounds. Punch cutter into dough cleanly, without twisting. When refolding and rerolling the dough, gently stack it to retain the layers. Do not overwork.
Place biscuits on a baking sheet and freeze. Once they are frozen, transfer biscuits to plastic bags. The unbaked biscuits can be frozen for 2 months.
To bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Place frozen biscuits in the cups of muffin tins, and let thaw in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Bake until golden brown, 23 to 25 minutes. Makes two dozen large or three dozen small biscuits.
No Places In The Home Southern fare blog post is complete without a biscuit recipe from Southern Living.
Angel biscuits made with butter and shortening- heavenly!
½ cup warm water (100°F to 110°F)
1 (¼-oz.) pkg. active dry yeast (2¼ tsp.)
1 teaspoon plus 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup cold salted butter, cubed
½ cup cold shortening, cubed
2 cups whole buttermilk
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted and divided
Stir together warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl; cut cold butter and cold shortening into flour mixture with a pastry blender or 2 forks until crumbly. Add yeast mixture and buttermilk to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; chill at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 or 4 times. Gently roll into a 1⁄2-inch-thick circle, and fold in half; repeat. Gently roll to 1⁄2-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter. Reroll remaining scraps, and cut with cutter. Place rounds with sides touching in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. (If using a 12-inch skillet, place remaining biscuits in a 10-inch skillet or on a baking sheet.) Brush biscuits with 3 tablespoons of the melted butter.
Bake in preheated oven until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Brush with remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter, and serve.
Served with butter, jelly, preserves, gravy, or ribbon cane syrup, a batch of homemade Southern biscuits may not be the healthiest part of a daily diet, but sure do body and soul good as a staple comfort food.