Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fresh Blueberry Cobbler (

My husband Roger loves to cook big Sunday dinners and invite all the family. During the week, we usually don't have big desserts -- some low fat ice cream or fruit bar, maybe. But on Sundays, Roger always cooks a nice dessert. This is one of his summer favorites.  In fact, he planted three blueberry bushes in our yard to help supply berries for this dessert.  This is one of Rachel's favorites, too.  


  1. 1
    Add flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder to a mixing bowl; stir to combine.
  2. 2
    Add in milk and butter; stir to combine.
  3. 3
    Spread batter into a greased 8-inch square baking pan.
  4. 4
    Sprinkle blueberries evenly over batter.
  5. 5
    Sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar and drizzle with vanilla.
  6. 6
    Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a pick comes out clean.
  7. 7
    Can serve plain or with ice cream on top.


Eastern North Carolina BBQ (Crock Pot Version)

I'm from Kinston, NC.  That means I like my barbeque one way.  With vinegar.  I don't want mustard sauce.  I don't want tomato sauce.  I just want vinegar.  Roger does the barbeque on the grill for the family, but he was slow to warm up to the vinegar idea, being from South Carolina mustard sauce country himself.  So, when I wanted my kind of barbeque, I had to make it myself.  So, this is what I did.  It's not as good as on the grill, but it's still worth the effort on rainy, cold days.  Roger now makes both versions on the grill, but I like to keep this recipe in reserve.  Just in case.  


  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs. salt
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
Boston Butt


    1. Mix ingredients
    2. Cover, and let stand at least 3 hrs. before using as a basting sauce
    3. Sear outside of Boston Butt in frying pan.
    4. Place in crock pot.
    5. Pour sauce on meat.
    6. Cook 8-10 hrs. 


    Around our house, summer means pesto.  We grow two crops of our own basil, and usually have pesto once a week until the plants turn woody.  The girls have their own pesto song and dance - and they have learned to make this dish on their own.  In the height of the growing season, we make some batches without cheese for freezing for winter.  But, really, we like it best fresh.

    I know many people like to use a food processor or a blender for pesto.  I was once one of them.  However, I've converted to chopping all the ingredients by hand, and we like it so much better.  In fact, the children don't know it any other way.  Once, I had so much basil, I used the blender to try to keep up.  The kids didn't like the pesto at all.  They were very clear:  chopping is better.  So, you might want to give it a try!


    • 5 cloves garlic 
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 2 cups fresh basil (packed)
    • 1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
    • salt to taste
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese 
    • 1/2 cup romano or asiago cheese 
    • 1 lb pasta of your choice


    Step 1:  Mix the garlic and oil and put on the water
    • Pour the olive oil into a large bowl
    • Mince or press the garlic
    • Add the garlic to the olive oil
    • Let sit while you do the rest
    • Put on the water for the pasta
    Step 2:  Chop the basil
    • roll the leaves together on the cutting board in small batches
    • chop fine with a knife
    • add to the olive oil in the bowl
    Step 3: Crush the nuts
    • put the nuts in a plastic zip lock bag
    • use a meat tenderizer or other type of hammer to crush the nuts
    • add to the bowl and stir
    Step 4:  Add the grated cheese
    • Grate the cheese using the medium size side of the grater
    • Sprinkle in the cheese, stirring as you go
    • Add more oil if needed to moisten all the cheese
    • Salt to taste  
    • Let sit as you cook the pasta
    Step 5:  Cook the pasta and toss
    • Cook the pasta until al dente
    • Put in colander and spray the pasta with some cool water
    • Let pasta cool a bit as it drains
    • Put pasta in the bowl with the pesto and toss, like a salad, until the pesto is mixed in. 
    • Pour into serving bowl  
    • Garnish with left over basil leaves

    Classic Pecan Pie (Karo Syrup)

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    2. Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.

    3. Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes (see tips for doneness, below). Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.

    4. **To use prepared frozen pie crust: Place cookie sheet in oven and preheat oven as directed. Pour filling into frozen crust and bake on preheated cookie sheet.

    5. RECIPE TIPS: Pie is done when center reaches 200°F. Tap center surface of pie lightly - it should spring back when done. For easy clean up, spray pie pan with cooking spray before placing pie crust in pan. If pie crust is overbrowning, cover edges with foil.

    6. NUTRITION TIP: To reduce calories, substitute new Karo® Lite Syrup for the Karo® Light or Dark Corn Syrup.

    7. High Altitude Adjustments: Reduce sugar to 2/3 cup and increase butter to 3 tablespoons. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

    8. VARIATION: coarsely chopped walnuts may be substituted for pecans to make a walnut pie.

      From Karo Syrup

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese (

    Like any other household filled with children, mac and cheese is a favorite.  I rebel, however, again Kraft out-of-the-box.  If you can't pronounce most of the ingredients listed on the box, you shouldn't eat it.  So, we have this.  Roger tried out numerous recipes, and this one, THIS ONE is the best!

    • 1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
    • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
    • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water.
    3. In a bowl mix milk, eggs, sour cream, seasoning salt, and pepper. Layer macaroni, cheddar cheese, and milk mixture until pan is full. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and pour melted butter on top.
    4. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until milk mixture is done. Serve and enjoy!
    Recipe from

    Blackberry Cobbler (Modified from All Recipes)

    Blackberry Cobbler


    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups white sugar
    • 2 cups milk
    • 3 1/2 cups blackberries
    • 3 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. vanilla


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Once oven temperature is reached melt butter in a 9x13 inch baking pan.
    2. In a medium bowl stir together the flour, sugar and milk; batter will be slightly lumpy. Pour mixture on top of melted butter in baking pan. Do not mix butter and mixture together.
    3. Drop blackberries into batter; if more crust is desired add less blackberries. Bake in preheated oven for one hour or until golden brown.

    Nutritional Information open nutritional information

    Amount Per Serving  Calories: 337 | Total Fat: 9.7g | Cholesterol: 26mg

    Grape Smoothie (Sarah)

    • 2 1/2 cups chilled red seedless grapes
    • 2/3 cup rasberry sherbert
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened grape juice
    • 2 cups ice

    Blend together and enjoy!

    Grandma Debbie's Pimento Cheese

    No one should ever eat store-bought pimento cheese.  It's just so . . .  not good.

    My stepmom Debbie made this homemade version for us when we were growing up, and she now makes it for the grandchildren, too.  So, it has grown into one of the comfort foods my whole family loves.  And as my family grows and changes, the fans of this pimento cheese just keep increasing.  My husband Roger loves for me make this for him, so much that he has altered the recipe and added jalapeƱos.

    Hint:  If you want it to taste like Debbie's, you have to use the Duke's mayonnaise.  Don't even think of trying any other brand.

    • 2 packages Kraft grated cheddar cheese 
    • 1 large jar pimentos (drained)
    • 2 tablespoons or so of Duke's mayonnaise (adjust to taste)
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 teaspoons celery seed
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Mount Olive jar of chopped jalapeƱos 
    Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. I don't like it when it's soupy, so I use less mayonnaise than others, but you can get it to the consistency you like by adding it little by little.  Serve on crackers or use in a sandwich.  We also like to put it on hot dogs and burgers!

    Greek Chicken (

    Sarah loved to eat this as a child, and then, when she got older, it was the first dish she learned to make on her own.  She still makes it, and it is wonderful!

    • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • Cooking spray
    • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained
    • 1/4 cup pitted kalamatta olives, sliced
    • 1 tbsp bottled minced garlic
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese
    1. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan and chicken with cooking spray; place chicken in pan. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until chicken is browned.

    2. Reduce heat to medium; add tomatoes, olives, garlic and pepper. Cover and cook 11 minutes or until chicken is done.
    Take out and sprinkle with feta cheese.

    Summer Pasta (modified from

    I so love this recipe, and so does the family.  Quick, simple, all veggie. A no-cook tomato sauce.  What's not to love? I modified it a bit from the original, making it yet another way to use fresh basil in the summer.  It seems so simple, but it is so amazingly good. 

    • 2 ½ pounds of the ripest tomatoes you can find (a mix of varieties is really nice)
    • 2 loose handfuls of tender young spinach and basil (about 2 cups, but whatever)
    • ¼ cup shaved vidalia onion, as thin as you can cut it
    • 1 pound spaghetti or linguine
    • Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • Red wine vinegar, to taste 
    • Parmigiano cheese, to taste
    • 1 pkg of fresh mozzarella
    1. Boil a gallon of water in a large pot, and make it taste salty (not unpleasantly salty, but distinctly salty). When the water comes to a full rolling boil, add the pasta and stir.
    2. While the water is heating, cut half of the tomatoes into roughly ½-inch chunks and put in a large salad bowl. Coarsely chop the rest, and don't forget to tip the cutting board to get all the juice in the bowl too.
    3. Season the tomatoes generously with salt and pepper, and pour in a few glugs of olive oil. Taste them. Hey, save some for the pasta! If they're sweet and delicious but could use a little tartness, give them a little lick of vinegar.
    4. Lay basil and spinach and then onion on top of the tomatoes, spreading out the onions so they're as close to lying in one layer as possible. Now wait for your pasta to finish cooking. You can't steal any more tastes of the tomato, because the layering is important -- the heat from the pasta that you'll dump on top will wilt the greens and just barely cook the onions, mellowing them out. Right about now is when I start really failing at the art of anticipation and scream obscenities at the pasta to finish cooking.
    5. When the pasta is finally done, al dente, drain it well in a colander and immediately dump it in the bowl, spreading it out so it covers the vegetables evenly. Bite your lip and let it sit undisturbed for five whole minutes and try to distract yourself by shaving Parmigiano on top. Mix it together well -- really stir it up to stretch the melting cheese and coat the pasta in juice and oil. Add bits of the fresh mozzarella.  Give it a taste, adjust with salt, pepper, vinegar, or olive oil if you'd like more richness, and serve immediately.
    Modified from

    Grilled Marinated London Broil (Epicurious)

    Grilled Marinated London Broil


    For marinade
    • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
    • 2/3 cup olive oil

    • a 2-to-2 1/2 pound London broil


    Make marinade:
    In a bowl whisk together marinade ingredients until combined well.
    Put London broil in a large resealable plastic bag and pour marinade over it. Seal bag, pressing out excess air, and set in a shallow dish. Marinate meat, chilled, turning bag once or twice, overnight.
    Grill meat, marinade discarded, on an oiled rack set about 4 inches over glowing coals, turning each once, 9 to 10 minutes on each side, or until it registers 135°F. to 140°F., on a meat thermometer for medium-rare meat. (Alternatively, meat may be broiled.) Transfer meat to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Cut meat diagonally across the grain into thin slices.

    Key Lime Pie (Food Network)

    Key Lime Pie


    • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted
    • 2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk
    • 1 cup key lime or regular lime juice
    • 2 whole eggs
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon lime zest


    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
    In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.
    Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
    In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
    Once chilled, combine the sour cream and powdered sugar and spread over the top of the pie using a spatula. Sprinkle the lime zest as a garnish on top of the sour cream and serve chilled.

    Recipe from Food Network

    Lemon Squeeze Smoothie

    • 1 lemon
    • 1/2 inch fresh ginger
    • 1 mango
    • 1 tbsp maca powder
    • 1 tbsp hemp seed
    • 1 handful of cilantro
    • 4 ice cubes
    • 1/4 cup water
    1. Blend together 2 at a time.
    2. Serve in decorative glasses and enjoy!

    Redneck Caviar

    • 2 cans black eyed peas, drained
    • cans shoe peg corn, drained
    • 2 cans Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained
    • 2 lg bell peppers
    • 1 can black beans, drained
    • 12 sm. green onions, chopped
    • 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp garlic salt
    • 1 tsp parsley flakes
    • 16 oz bottle Zesty Italian Dressing

    1. Mix peas, beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes with garlic salt, garlic powder, parsley flakes, and Italian dressing.
    2. Refridgerate at least 12 hours before serving. Serve with Frito or Tostitos Scoops.

    Chinese Chews (My Grandmama)

    • 2 cups light brown sugar
    • 1 stick butter
    • 2 eggs
    Sift Together
    • 2 cups plain flour
    • 2 tsp. baking powde
    • 1/2 tsp. salt

    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    • 1 cup chopped pecans


    Melt butter and stir in sugar; then add eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and then nuts.  Spread into a greased baking pan and bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

    Memaw's Special Cole Slaw

    My Mom (now "Memaw" to the grandchildren) spent 20 years living in the Alaskan wilderness where fresh vegetables were rare and very perishable.  She made this vinegar cole slaw because it would keep for a week.

    I've been making it for years, but when I asked her to check this recipe to see if I had it right before I published it, she said, "What about the mustard?"  Now I know why mine didn't taste quite like hers.  This is the correct version (secret ingredient included).

    • large cabbage
    • 1 red pepper
    • 1 yellow pepper
    • 1 orange pepper
    • 1 cup shredded carrots
    • 2 cups of purple onion
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 2 teaspoons celery seed
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
    • 3/4 cups canola oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
    • knife 
    • cutting board
    • large measuring cup
    Step 1:   Make the dressing
    • add all the ingredients under "dressing" together
    • warm in the microwave so sugar will dissolve
    • stir until sugar dissolves
    • let sit so flavors can meld
    Step 2: Make the slaw
    • take the cabbage in your hands with stem down
    • strike the stem against the counter - hard
    • loosen stem and pull out
    • chop cabbage 
    • chop peppers
    • chop purple onions
    • grate carrots
    Step 3:  Mix all together.  This slaw is best if made in advance and let sit.  A great dish to take to cookouts.

    Southern Grits Casserole (All Recipes)

    This is one of those recipes that transcends relationships, time, and distance.  I learned to cook this from a woman I loved very much.  Unfortunately, I didn't stay with her son, so I lost her.  But I can still cook this dish and remember her teaching me.


    • 6 cups water
    • 2 cups uncooked grits
    • 1/2 cup butter, divided
    • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
    • 1 pound ground pork sausage
    • 12 eggs
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • salt and pepper to taste


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking dish.
    2. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan, and stir in grits. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 5 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed. Mix in 1/2 the butter and 2 cups cheese until melted.
    3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until evenly browned. Drain, and mix into the grits. Beat together the eggs and milk in a bowl, and pour into the skillet. Lightly scramble, then mix into the grits.
    4. Pour the grits mixture into the prepared baking dish. Dot with remaining butter, and top with remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
    5. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned.

    Nutritional Information open nutritional information

    Amount Per Serving  Calories: 403 | Total Fat: 29.9g | Cholesterol: 221mg