Zesty Marinated Vegetables

Looking for a healthy and different way to serve vegetables at a buffet over the holidays? This recipe for Zesty Marinated Vegetables is quite unique. It consists of nutritious and colorful vegetables — carrots, bell peppers, cauliflower and turnips — that are marinated in a curry, sweet and sour dressing. You might not think of combining these vegetables — much less serving them at a holiday meal — but that’s part of the appeal. Served cold as an appetizer, they are quite tasty.

Continue reading

Pecan Tassies with Persimmon

If you like pecan pie, then you will like Pecan Tassies. And if you are not a fan of pecan pie, I bet you might like my version of this dessert. I added persimmon pulp (or you could add pumpkin puree) and the custard filling mellows out the rich and so, so sweet flavor of traditional pecan pie. A Pecan Tassie is a favorite Southern dessert served during the holiday season and is a great addition to any party or buffet.

Continue reading

Easy Cook: Fresh Cranberry Fruit Compote

Cranberries add a festive and refreshing touch to holiday meals. The tart flavor of cranberry sauce helps tone down the rich flavors of a large holiday turkey meal. Doesn’t cut the calories of the meal you just ate, but it does cleanse the palate. Last weekend  company was visiting — they helped with the cooking. My niece and I created wonderful fresh fruit compote with cranberries and foods on my kitchen counter. We served the dish at almost all meals and discovered it was a satisfying substitute for high-calorie desserts. Guess we found a way to save on calories, after all.

Continue reading

Marie’s Southern-Style Cornbread & Sausage Dressing

Thanksgiving will be here soon; roasted turkey and dressing are always on the menu. I especially love cornbread dressing; but never have been very successful at making it myself. Folks rave about Marie’s Cornbread & Sausage Dressing and she shared the recipe with me. Her recipe has a Cajun flare, it is uniquely Southern with a different twist from most recipe books and magazines. Marie also shared some of her secrets to making the dressing taste special. I’m sure you will enjoy it, too.

Continue reading

Let’s Eat Pumpkin! Cajun-Inspired Roast Pumpkin Slices

Who would think that we might be eating roast pumpkin and liking it. Small sugar pumpkins which are available in grocery stores in autumn are really quite tasty when simply roasted. Once I discovered how much I liked the pumpkins, I’ve continued to purchase them. I added Cajun-type spices which made these very flavorful.

Continue reading

Louisiana-Style Smothered Mustard Greens

Winter greens such as mustard and collard greens have never been my favorite vegetable. But when a co-worker brought her version of Louisiana-style mustard greens to work one evening, I had a new opinion. This dish was so good. It is flavored with typical Cajun seasonings and bits of ham and simmered slowly on the stove — as in old fashioned southern cooking. Best of all, greens are “good for you” — plenty of  healthy benefits. Don’t overlook this often forgotten vegetable; especially when it in season in the fall and winter. Here is my co-worker’s recipe made with mustard greens from my garden.

Continue reading

Persimmon Log Roll

I wanted to bake something really unique for a fall covered dish supper. I kept looking at the persimmons ripening on my backyard tree. How about a persimmon sponge cake roll? Now that’s different. Well I was in a hurry — the egg whites didn’t get stiff and my husband ate one of only two ripe persimmons. But I took the cake anyway and was pleased that it all disappeared. The cinnamon in the cake and cream cheese filling really toned down the flavor of the persimmons. Many folks said how tasty the cake was. Think I’ll make it again — this time properly.

Continue reading

Vegetarian Chili with Pumpkin

Here’s a different kind of chili –vegetarian chili with pumpkin. I was a bit skeptical of adding pumpkin puree to chili and omitting the beef but went ahead and gave it a try. And I was pleasantly surprised. The result is a dish which has the spices of traditional chili; full of vegetables and black beans which add texture and flavor. The pureed pumpkin thickened the chili but didn’t overpower it. 

Continue reading

Homemade Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

I decided to make a batch of pickled jalapeno peppers with my remaining garden produce. I have just enough of the peppers for three small jars. And surprise. It is really quite easy to make your own pickled peppers. These brined peppers turned out to be crunchy and full of hot flavor — much better than store bought ones, in my opinion. Although they can be kept in the refrigerator for several months, I doubt if they will last that long.

Continue reading

Pumpkin and Spice Snickerdoodles

It’s October — the season for pumpkins and gourds. I’m beginning to see small pumpkins for sale in grocery stores and farmers markets. These pumpkins are called sugar pumpkins and are best suited for baking and eating– rather than the huge ones sold for carving and decorations.  A recipe for Pumpkin Snickerdoodles caught my attention. Adding pumpkin puree to cookies is a unique way to use  pumpkin pulp; I thought I’d try to make a batch. 

Continue reading