Have you ever thought about making your own pinwheels? I can honestly say I haven't...until now. Pinwheel cream cheese treats are an excellent choice for a snack that's light and filling.
Friend Jody Davis shared this recipe with my Aunt Marge, Mom, and Uncle Danny. Jody and Danny are married and live in Florida. Another reason why my mind is on 'Florida, Florida, Florida.'
The crew got together for some family time and Jody brought the pinwheels. Everyone fell in love with the flavor, the ease of making the dish, and the idea of taking almost anything you love and adding it to a cream cheese base.
For this particular recipe you'll need the following:
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Four green onions, chopped
Bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 chopped red pepper
1/2 chopped yellow pepper
Small can of chopped black olives, drained
2 ounces of green chilis (optional)
6 large burrito-size (gluten-free) tortillas...of course, regular flour tortillas will do
Mix all ingredients, and spread equal portions of the cream cheese mixture on all of the burritos. Roll up. Wrap in saran wrap. Chill for an hour. Cut into bite-size pieces...in the shape of a pinwheel. Serve. If you want to use any dipping sauce, try your favorite salsa. Add some fresh cilantro and green onions for extra flavor.
Indulgence made simple with this no-bake chocolate graham cracker cake
Chocolate Graham Cracker Cake is a favorite of two sisters, my mom, and Aunt Marge, made by my grandma when they were kids. It's one of those childhood dessert memories that's never forgotten and designed to put a smile on your face and deliciousness in your belly.
To this day, the family tradition continues. In fact, when Marge comes to visit Mom on her birthday, this is the cake she makes.
The no-bake chocolate icebox graham cracker cake recipe
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup of whipping cream
16 graham crackers
(Note from Marge, "I use a pint of whip cream because I like lots. So, I add about 1/4 more sugar and an additional 1/4 cup cocoa, and a little more vanilla).
Sift sugar and cocoa and add slowly to the whipping cream. Beat until it peaks. Stack the 16 crackers in two rows of eight, side by side, horizontally. Spatula the cream mixture over the crackers, one cracker at a time. It will look like a loaf when completed. Be generous with the mixture between crackers. Hold the stack firm. Spatula icing over the sides and the top as well. Chill overnight.
To serve, add dark chocolate shavings or Hershey's chocolate syrup for another layer of deliciousness. Or do what Marge and Mom do, cut a slice right out of the fridge and eat it.
King Crab Legs after boiling in hot water with salt, lemon, and Old Bay Seasoning
Happy Anniversary to us!
"David and I treated ourselves to King Crab legs compliments of Sam’s frozen food section. It was pricey...around $50.00 a package and I bought two! I was a bit hesitant since they were pricey...sure didn’t want to mess them up but they were wonderful!" Margie Davis fields
If you're wondering the best way to cook King Crab legs, here's the low-down on this delightful indulgence.
Thaw the shellfish on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator overnight. Prepare a big pot, half full, of water, with a couple of Tsp. of kosher salt, old bay seasoning, and sliced lemon. Bring to a rolling boil. Place the crab legs in the boiling water, put the lid on, lower the heat to medium, and boil for 5-6 minutes (I did six). Remove the legs and rinse slightly. Pat with a paper towel. Serve with melted butter. David prefers clarified butter, I use unsalted butter! I served it with a salad and roasted asparagus! Yummy!
"I made chow chow today. Why, you ask? Because we can't find any. At our house, we love it with all kinds of things, and my mother, Liz's grandma, always had it around. I watched her make it lots of times from her garden veggies. So, I had a cabbage and a few things on hand and made it!" Margie Davis Fields
By Margie Davis Fields
Such a Southern thing to eat with beans, meats, or whenever you want a little relish on your plate. My Momma made green tomato chow chow, pepper chow chow, ripe tomato chow chow...all kinds. I throw in whatever I like and do a basic process of canning. The recipe for this particular chow chow consists of the following:
1 small cabbage
6 semi-red store-bought tomatoes (I prefer green tomatoes)
5 different color bell peppers
2 hot peppers
3 large sweet onions
Finely chop all vegetables. Place in a large pan. Add three cups of sugar, five cups of white vinegar, 1/4 cup pickling salt, one Tbs. yellow mustard seed, two-to-four cloves, minced garlic, 1 tsp. celery seed, 1 Tbs. pickling spices, and a dash of pepper flakes. You can be creative with the veggies added to the chow chow. Sometimes, I use zucchini or cauliflower.
Bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat for 20 minutes. Place in six to eight-pint jars and seal. Of course, the jars need to be washed and ready to use.
Next, boil the jars in a canner. The water needs to be at least an inch on the jar. Process for 10 minutes.
Canning isn't hard. There are more convenient and simpler ways to can than my Momma's technique. Whatever method you use, it will turn out great too!
Before smoking Sunday's chicken, it was injected with a special sauce called 'Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce.' Along with an injection, the chicken was basted in the sauce while cooking. After cooking, the sauce was used as a condiment for an extra spoonful of goodness. The entire process was performed on a pellet grill, the grill that's the new rave for those that like to cook outdoors.
"So we did this chicken on Sunday," said my Aunt Marge. I'm so grateful that she and her husband David Fields love to cook, BBQ, grow vegetables, and golf. Because of their active lifestyles, there's so much content available!
For this article, I'll share my aunt's whole chicken recipe, David's injection process, the Carolina sauce, and basic information on pellet grills.
What's the process of a chicken brine?
For a simple brine, use two quarts of water along with:
1/3 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
Let the chicken sit in the mixture for about four hours.
How do you inject the Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce into the chicken?
First, pat it dry and inject the chicken (or other meat) in several places with the marinade. Rub the entire chicken with olive oil and use your favorite Cajun spices (smoked paprika, kosher salt, garlic powder, ground black pepper, ground white pepper, onion powder, dried oregano, cayenne).
How do you cook the chicken?
The pellet grill smokes it. Set the temperature to 275 degrees and the smoke at four for about three hours. Once the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, let it rest for 10 minutes.
How do you make the Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce?
2 cups apple cider
1 and 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T salt
1T red pepper flakes
Mix all ingredients in jar, then shake it (always shake before using). Let it sit out for 24 hours before using. It will last in the refrigerator for two weeks. "It's good on pork of course, but can be used to grill chicken and that's what we did," said Marge.
How did the Fields' get interested in pellet grills?
"The kids gave us the grill for Christmas. My son, Bo is a cooker and loves his pellet grill and David’s son, Cody, does too! David is a diehard charcoal guy but we are learning. I think we will really like it as we figure a few more things out. I want to try salmon next. Bo says it's awesome!" Margie Davis Fields
What about these pellet grills?
Pellet grills have become the hottest trend in BBQ. If you're new to pellet grilling or smoking, it's good to learn the ropes.
For outdoor cookers, pellet grills combine the elements of a smoker, charcoal, gas grills, and an oven. Natural wood pellets are the fuel source that provides direct and indirect heat. The process...wood pellets are poured into a hopper. The pellets are fed into a cooking chamber that's powered by electricity. The pellets ignite through combustion. Air is brought in by intake fans. Then, heat and smoke are dispersed throughout the cooking area. You can read more about these grills at Pit Boss Grills.
A typical pellet grill
Strawberry butter is a sweet treat for your bread and your belly
Strawberries are in season! At least they are in Florida. Plant City, Florida is the Winter Strawberry Capitol of the World, so they say. The typical season runs from December to March and this particular little town is nestled in-between Brandon and Lakeland plus it's only minutes from southwest Tampa Bay.
Friends Melanie and Greg Godec posted their delectable harvest a few weeks ago on their Facebook page. I'll show you a quick picture:
Harvested in Tampa, Florida
And soon it will be Georgia's turn to reap the benefits of an early harvest. My Aunt Marge shared her strawberry butter recipe with me so I could share it with the readers of WKY Community Living. I'm sure most of us in western Kentucky and for miles around have had the strawberry butter served at Patti's 1880s in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. And if you haven't, it's one of the most delicious treats the server will 'plop down' at your table. Along with the strawberry butter, they serve the most precious loaf of flower pot bread. It's a must-see and taste.
Without further ado, let's get to making this delicious summertime or anytime butter.
"Made a little treat for my toast, rolls, or whatever bread is handy." Margie Davis Fields
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2-3 finely chopped strawberries
Dash of kosher salt
Mix all in an electric mixer, adding the strawberries last! Put into a little jar and refrigerate.
Today's inspiration comes from the Vietnamese sandwich that combines meat and vegetables. Derived from the popular Banh mi Sai Gon sandwich developed in Saigon, it's become a popular street food. In Vietnam, sandwiches are typically eaten for breakfast or as a snack.
There are days when time gets away from me. I'm not one to miss a meal but if I'm busy, I can be late to the table. In such instances, I like to make a sandwich as a snack. Other than the daikon, leftover chicken and the pictured vegetables are always in my refrigerator.
If you've never tried daikon, it's milder than the red radish. I like it for the crispiness and the crunch. Having the layered sandwich with all that goodness makes me smile. Plus, I get the heat from the siracha sauce which is incredible. Packed with protein coupled with nutritious vegetables will fill you up and get you moving.
Tip: The vegetables may either be fresh from the garden or pickled. It's your preference.
Leftover chicken breast (cold or reheated)
Cucumbers (thinly sliced)
Daikon or white radishes (thinly sliced)
Carrots (thinly sliced)
Siracha and mayonnaise mixed together
Leftover chicken preparation:
Butterfly chicken breasts pounded to flatten
Season with salt and pepper
Dredge in seasoned flour, next seasoned egg, and finally panko bread crumbs
Fry in a shallow pan of canola oil for about two minutes or so on each side over medium-high heat.