Gathering together to feast, family, and friend during the holidays or just because on a Monday in cozy spaces with good food (fancy schmancy or crackers and can cheese) is rooted in connection, love, and celebration of relationship.
Speaking from years of experience, the kitchen is about to be a hot spot of holiday activity. Music is a must, quality kitchen tools and gadgets essential, organization the sous chef to friend, and the taste of Thanksgiving present and accounted for.
Louisianans do love to do delicious fried turkey when the weather turns cold and the good holiday times roll.
Country Living – Photography by Johnny Miller
1½ tbsp. kosher salt
1½ tbsp. smoked paprika
1½ tsp. garlic powder
1½ tsp. onion powder
1½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
1¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (12- to 14-pound) whole fresh turkey
Peanut oil (about 3 gallons)
Stir together first 6 ingredients. Remove giblets and neck from turkey, and discard. Drain cavity well; pat entire turkey dry with paper towels.
Loosen and lift skin from turkey with fingers, without totally detaching skin; generously spread seasoning under skin. Carefully replace skin and secure with wooden picks, if desired.
Sprinkle and rub remaining seasoning inside cavity and on outside of turkey. Let turkey stand at room temperature while oil heats.
Meanwhile, pour oil into a deep propane turkey fryer 10 to 12 inches from top; heat to 350°F over a medium-low flame, according to manufacturer’s instructions (about 45 minutes).
Place turkey on fryer rod. Carefully and slowly lower turkey into hot oil with rod attachment.
Fry 35 to 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thigh registers 165°F (about 3 minutes per pound plus an additional 5 minutes. Keep oil temperature between 300°F and 325°F). Remove turkey from oil; drain and let stand 25 minutes before slicing.
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and add asparagus. Top with canola oil, salt, and pepper, and brush evenly with basting brush. Bake until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add water to a large saucepan, and bring to a simmer. In a stainless steel bowl, add egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. Hold bowl over simmering water making sure bottom of bowl does not touch water, and whisk vigorously until volume of egg mixture doubles. Slowly whisk in melted butter until sauce is thick and combined.
Remove from heat, and stir in crawfish. Serve immediately over asparagus.
Football and tailgating season is here, and we’re a nation of football enthusiast who live for this time of year when fans gather together with the common interests of good times, good eats and victorious scores.
PTO days have been building, work schedules cleared, weekend honey-do-list put on after football season hold, supplies gathered, parking passes purchased, hotel rooms, campground sites and flights booked, menus planned, grills and smokers cleaned, the ESPN college football app downloaded.
Initial costs sting the wallet at first, but grant a good deal of bang for your party buck satisfaction from season to season.
To this day I find burlap a neutral and inexpensive choice of table covering. Burlap does come in a good selection of colors allowing you to go with team colors game to game.
Seasonal local fruits and vegetables make excellent table and centerpiece decorations. Scatter about or stack on a pedestal in groups. I’m never disappointed with the outcome and the response fellow tailgaters have to the seemingly effortless placement details.
Stems, leaves, and branches denoting regional and seasonal beauty in varying heights and colors gathered together in vases or free form vignettes achieve the look of effortless style and casual elegance.
Recipes in this tailgating post give a spirited and seasoned tip of the hat to Louisiana.
LSU Spiked Blueberry Lemonade Recipe
2 oz. vodka
1 handful blueberries
1 pinch sugar
12 oz. lemonade
Add the vodka, blueberries and sugar to the bottom of the glass and use a spoon to muddle (or mash) everything, just until the sugar has dissolved and the blueberries are broken up. Add ice and lemonade, stirring to mix in the vodka-soaked blueberries.
I invite you to visit The Farm Girl Cooks for more farm fresh delicious recipes.
Creole Sugar ‘N’ Spice Pecans
Add as much cayenne or other spicy chile powder as you like. Pure ancho or chipotle powder are especially good here.
1 egg white
⅓ cup sugar
2 T Creole seasoning purchased or make your own
10 oz pecan halves
Preheat oven to 300° and place a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet. Alternatively, use a silicone baking pan liner.*
In a medium bowl, whisk egg white until frothy. Whisk in sugar and creole seasoning. Using a spatula, stir in pecan halves, making sure to coat them evenly and completely.
Pour the nuts onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, ensuring they are in a single layer. There shouldn’t be much gooey eggy spicy liquid, but if there is, don’t scrape it all out of the bowl and onto the pan. It will just stick to the parchment and will make for more difficult nut removal.
Bake the nuts at 300° for 15 minutes. Give the nuts a stir – I used a large off-set spatula to do the dirty work – then reduce the oven to 250° and bake the nuts for another 10 minutes. Immediately give the nuts another stir to release them from the parchment.
Allow to cool and store in an airtight container (something with a padlock would have been helpful here) for as long as you can stand not eating them.
1/3 cup paprika
3 tablespoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon granulated onion
4 teaspoons dried thyme
4 teaspoons granulated garlic
In a medium bowl combine paprika, dried oregano, ground black pepper, dried basil, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, granulated onion, dried thyme and granulated garlic. Stir to combine. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to three months.
-Places In The Home
Country Living – Photography by Brian Woodcock
Caramelized Onion Dip with Crispy Shallots
¼ cup olive oil, divided
3 large sweet onions, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 shallots, sliced into thin rings
1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
Pretzels and potato, beet, and sweet potato chips for serving
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are a deep golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon; cool completely.
Combine sour cream and onions in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Top with crispy shallots and chives. Serve with pretzels and chips.
Preheat oven to 400°. On a rimmed baking sheet, roast sweet potatoes until tender, about 1 hour. While sweet potatoes are still warm, peel and pass them through a food mill into a large bowl. Add egg yolks, tasso, cheese, Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper. Using a spatula, gently combine.
Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prepare 3 shallow bowls of pastry flour, egg, and panko. Roll each sweet potato ball in flour, egg, and bread crumbs, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze overnight.
In a large Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 4 inches, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry or candy thermometer reads 325°. Add sweet potato balls, in batches, and cook until golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus 12 tbsp. cut into 1/2″ cubes and chilled
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1⁄2 cup Crystal hot sauce
1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. Creole seasoning
4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1⁄2 lb. head-on large shrimp, unpeeled
Kosher salt, to taste
French bread, for serving
Heat 3 tbsp. butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook until soft, 1-2 minutes. Add hot sauce, Worcestershire, juice, Creole seasoning, and pepper. Bring to a simmer; cook until sauce is reduced by half, 5-7 minutes.
Add shrimp; cook, flipping once, until cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in chilled butter to make a smooth sauce. Season with salt. Serve with French bread.
On bottom halves of muffuletta bread, layer half of salami, prosciutto, mortadella, soppressata, and provolone on each bread half. Top each with 2½ cups olive salad, add top half of the loaves; slice sandwiches into quarters, and serve.
Muffulettas may be made up to a few hours in advance. Cover, and refrigerate until serving.
Four Generation Olive Salad
1 anchovy fillet
2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cups coarsely chopped cured green olives with pimento
2 cups coarsely chopped black olives
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrot
1 cup thinly sliced fennel
1 cup finely diced cauliflower (optional)
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup capers, chopped
10 baby artichokes, boiled and quartered
1 thinly sliced lemon
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
In a large bowl, combine anchovy and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mash with a fork until combined. Add olives, celery, carrot, fennel, cauliflower, garlic, capers, artichokes, lemon, and oregano, stirring to combine. Add remaining ¼ cup olive oil to just cover mixture, and stir well. Cover, and refrigerate 1 hour.
Taste mixture, and add lemon juice, salt, and pepper as needed.
***When I can’t find muffuletta bread I use a loaf of Everything Italian Bread from the bakery at Walmart.
When only the original will do, and no recipe I’ve tried quite captures that New Orleans sweetness, place an order for these original creole delights guaranteed to be a sweet hit.
Place your order online or by phoning Aunt Sally’s Original Creole Pralines direct at (800) 642-7257
Talk about the Big Easy!
New Orleans Beignets
1 package (¼ ounce) active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water (110° to 115°)
1 cup evaporated milk
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
4-½ cups self-rising flour
Oil for deep-fat frying
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, oil, sugar, egg and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Do not knead. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Punch down dough. Turn onto a floured surface; roll into a 16×12-in. rectangle. Cut into 2-in. squares.
In a deep cast-iron or electric skillet, heat 1 inch oil to 375°. Fry squares, in batches, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Roll warm beignets in confectioners’ sugar.
Pumpkin may rule the season and seasons, but easy with a side of impressive puts the spice in my fall recipeapalooza.
Hearty stick to your ribs dishes and delights just seem to be called for on a crisp evening when day turns to night right about 5:30 p.m., warm fuzzy socks take the place of shoes, and you have a craving for an easy dish big on cozy and delicious.
Take heart and soup stock, my fall loving friends, cozy and delicious soup weather is coming.
Every season is soup season at Places In The Home, but we especially associate fall with a hearty soup for supper meal.
Great Northern Bean and Chicken Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon minced garlic
2 cans Great Northern beans
1½ cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 32 oz. box chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 cups water
Melt the butter in Dutch oven (or just toss the butter in with the veggies like I do). Add the sliced carrots, chopped celery and chopped onion. Sauté until onions become translucent.
Once a good bubbling boil is reached, reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer for 45-60 minutes.
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.