Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Southern Special 26

My time at home is flying by and I'm down to my last week here. This weekend will be my 30th year class reunion. I'm excited and feeling anxious at the same time but that's a story for another time.
We had some great new bloggers link up last week and as always some great links. So many new recipes to try, craft ideas and interesting articles. I hope you checked some out. One of the reason we do this is because, we as bloggers, love to share and socialize with you.
Let's look at a few of my favorites from last week.

Be sure to follow your host!! Thanks so much AND link back to whichever blog you posted your link through.
Cate: Random Crafty GA Girl ~  Facebook ~ Twitter

ME:  Facebook ~   Twitter ~  Pinterest ~  G+ ~ Instagram

Trish: The Decoratoraholic ~ G+ ~ Pinterest ~ Twitter ~ Bloglovin' ~ Facebook

The Rules are simple:
 Share #recipes #crafts #DIY projects #beauty #fitness #homedecor #landscapes, #architecture #homemade items and more! 
Link 2 -3 links from YOUR blog. Link back to one of your host on the post you shared OR on a party page. Visit others, share the party and ENJOY!!
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Monday, September 29, 2014

Hibachi chicken with mushrooms

My family loves Asian food and since moving to GA it is next to impossible to find, at least where we live anyway. However, we did find this great place about 30 or so miles from us. Problem is, I can't just jump in the truck whenever I want and grab some food.
After looking around on the Internet and doing a little trial and error. I have come up with my own hibachi chicken recipe. Oh man was it good! This is definitely something I will make again and again.

 I actually cooked the chicken portion and then separated it, reason being I am allergic to mushrooms but my husband and son love them. To mine I added squash and onions. Their's had mushrooms and onions which is a more traditional way. Mine was delicious and they devoured the pan I prepared for them.

Hibachi chicken with mushrooms and onions
1-1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, chopped small
1 TBSP oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 TBSP butter
3 TBSP soy sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
dash salt
dash pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and toss into a hot skillet or wok. Stir around quickly until the chicken is done.
I did the chicken then added the same amount of each ingredient along with several squash sliced and 1/2 of a large onion sliced. This I removed and added to part of the chicken, then adding the chicken back to the pan along with the same amount of liquid ingredients/spices and a  pint container of button mushrooms plus the other half of the onion sliced. Sauteed it and added to the chicken.
If you can eat mushrooms you can of course skip the step with the squash, but since I'm allergic, I basically made the chicken and then two dishes out of that.
It was not a lot of work and we all enjoyed it so much it was worth the effort.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living

I feel very pleased to be able to review such wonderful cookbooks as this The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living. If you have been around long, you've seen the half dozen books I have reviewed. I love SL, I truly do. The books are lovely, the recipes are easy to follow, and I have yet to make something that was not fantastic!

I am not being paid to tell you these things, I give you my honest opinion, no strings attached, no "give us a positive review and we'll give you X amount of dollars". Nope, none of that. Just me receiving a book, reading it, trying recipes and thoroughly enjoying the entire process.

Every page goes from delicious to drool worthy. I could have made every recipe in this book, but I refrained. Here are the two I have made so far. Photos and recipes used by permission of the publisher and SL.

 Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake
Top a showstopping crown of Mascarpone Topping  with swirls of Apple Cider Caramel Sauce and a  scattering of pecans. Caramel sauce, rather than  frosting, sandwiches together the moist cake layers.
Makes: 10 servings  •  Hands-on: 30 min.  •  Total: 3 hours, 30 min.

2 1/3 cups finely chopped lightly toasted pecans, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. apple pie spice
1/2 tsp. table salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups peeled and grated Granny Smith apples
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp.  Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
Mascarpone Topping
Garnish: toasted pecan halves

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle 1 1⁄3 cups toasted pecans into 2 well- buttered shiny 9-inch round cake pans; shake to coat bottom and sides  of pans.
2. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients.
3. Stir together eggs and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Add flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Fold in apples, carrots,  and remaining 1 cup pecans. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted  in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.  Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
5. Place 1 cake layer, pecan side down, on a serving plate. Spread top  of cake layer with 2⁄3 cup Apple Cider Caramel Sauce; top with remaining  cake layer, pecan side down. Spread Mascarpone Topping over top of cake. Drizzle 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Caramel Sauce over topping, and  swirl sauce into topping. Serve immediately.

Apple Cider Caramel Sauce: Cook 1 cup apple cider in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup. Stir in 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/4 cup whipping cream. Bring to  a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly,  2 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool completely. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
Mascarpone Topping: Whisk together 1 (8-oz.) container mascarpone cheese, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 2 tsp. vanilla extract in a large bowl just until blended. Beat  1 cup whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into mascarpone mixture. Makes about 3 cups.
Lemon Curd-Filled  Angel Food Cupcakes
Makes: 12 cupcakes  •  Hands-on: 30 min.  •  Total: 1 hour, 32 min.

1 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. table salt
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. light rum
1/4 tsp. orange extract
1 3/4 cups egg whites  (about 13 to 15 large eggs)
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
12 (2 1/2- x 2-inch) muffin-size paper baking molds
Lemon Curd Filling
Cream Cheese Frosting  (page 43)
Garnish: lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 375º. Sift together sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl.  Combine lemon juice, vanilla extract, rum, and orange extract.
2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until stiff peaks form; gently transfer egg white  mixture to a large bowl. Gradually fold in sugar mixture with a large spatula, 1⁄3 cup at a time, folding just until blended after each addition. Fold in lemon juice mixture.
3. Arrange 12 (2 1/2- x 2-inch) muffin-size paper baking molds on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet; spoon batter into baking molds, filling almost completely full.
4. Bake at 375º for 17 to 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 45 minutes).
5. Make a small hole in top of each cupcake using the handle of a wooden spoon. Spoon Lemon Curd Filling into a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a tiny hole. Pipe a generous amount of filling into each cupcake. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting on tops of cupcakes.
Lemon Curd Filling
Stir together 1 (10-oz.) jar lemon curd and 1⁄3 cup sour cream until blended. Cover and chill until ready to use. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

My versions were no where near as lovely but OH SO GOOD to the tummy.

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