Tag Archives: Recipes

Hoppin’ John – Black-eyed Peas and Rice – Means riches for the new year!

 

“EAT POOR THAT DAY, EAT RICH THE REST OF THE YEAR.  RICE FOR RICHES AND PEAS FOR PEACE.” 

What are your traditions for the New Year?  Do you eat certain foods for good luck in hopes of increasing your wealth ?   I have always had black-eyed peas and cabbage on New Year’s Day.   It was for good luck for the rest of the year I was told.  

I love Hoppin’ John!  We were discussing food traditions in class one day and I mentioned Hoppin’ John and I was surprised that so few were familiar with the dish.  History says it came from the Charleston , South Carolina area.  The name from children hopping around the table before eating, or a saying ” Hop in John”  meaning for a guest to sit down to eat or a cripple named John hawking peas on the streets of Charleston.   

I have been using Emeril Lagassse’s  recipe since 2002.   I love this stuff!  But I am one of those that grew up eating butter beans over rice as a snack after school. It  is very inexpensive to make.  Pair it with some hot cornbread and it is better than dessert!!   I like to make it a day ahead because the flavors develop.  Anyway I am eating 365 peas for good luck and I am going to enjoy every one of them. 

Happy New Year to all! 

Start with a pound of dried black-eyed peas

  These will have to be soaked overnight then rinsed.  I have tried the shortcut method of boiling them first, but it just has never worked for me. 

Soak in water overnight

 Make sure that you put enough water because these little peas will double in size.  That means a lot of water. 

After soaking all night then drain and rinse with cold water.

! cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped green pepper

Tablespoon of chopped garlic

Now it’s time to start cooking !! 

Sear large ham hock in olive oil

This one looked pretty scrawny to me so I seared 2 small ham hocks.  I really do not know how to judge the size of ham hocks.  Use your best judgement here! 

Searing 2 ham hocks in olive oil

Add green pepper, celery, onion and garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes.

Add peas

Add about 1 1/2 qt of chicken stock

Add seasonings now!  Bay leaf, 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. 

Add seasonings

Now be patient and let this simmer for about an hour or until the peas are nice and soft.  Be careful not to use a really high heat because the boiling will tear the skins of the peas.  You want the peas to be soft and creamy.  Yummy!! 

Cover and simmer for about an hour.

Cooked rice

Follow the directions for cooking the rice that are on the package and you cannot go wrong.  You will been 2 parts water and 1 part rice.  Bring 3 cups of water to boil and add 11/2 cups of long grained rice.  Bring back to a boil and turn to simmer.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Perfect! 

Now pair this with your favorite cornbread! 

Looks good

You can crumble it up and add to the broth.

 Hoppin’ John 

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large ham hock
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 teaspoons dry thyme leaves
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 8 cups of cooked rice

Heat oil in large soup pot, add the ham hock and sear all edges for about 4 minutes.  Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, cook for 4 minutes.  Add the black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and seasonings.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour until the peas are creamy and tender,  stir occasionally.  If the liquid evaporates add more water or stock.  Adjust seasonings .  I like to add Tobasco sauce for some heat!  Serve over hot cooked rice and garnish with green onions. 

Makes about 10 servings 

Happy New Year! 

The Teacher Cooks

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Blackeyed peas, Cooking, Hoppin' John, Recipes, Rice

Hummingbird Cake

The first time I encountered this wonderful cake was on a romantic dinner with GI Joe!!!  He took me to Dailey’s for dinner before a show at the Fox.  The night was what can I say other than just plain great!  Sorry to say that Dailey’s closed this year so we can no longer experience their wonderful desserts.  But we can treat ourselves to the delicious cake that they served.   After that night we took the Athlete there before seeing the Christmas Carol and to this day it is his favorite dessert!  So here is a family favorite for many reasons.  I hope that you can enjoy as much as we have.

This is not your normal cake where you cream butter and sugar and then add flour alternately with liquid.  It is made by the muffin method of mixing.  In other words it is just plain easy!!!

Continue reading

88 Comments

Filed under Cake, cream cheese, cream cheese frosting, easy, frosting, Hummingbird cake

Candied Fruit Magic Bars

We all have favorites that we love to eat and make during the holidays.  This is one of my all time favorites.  It is great tasting and very easy to put together.  Just what we all need this time of the year.  There is one problem.  It is very hard just to eat one square!!  I made these last night and found myself having a cup of coffee with two of these sweet morsels.

Looking at the recipe last night I could not believe how long I had been making them. I got the recipe one Thanksgiving at my Dad’s. My step mother always made them for Christmas.   On the back of the recipe I had written  sizes of my nephews 2T and size 8 so that I could pick them up a couple of things for Christmas.  They are both young men now.  One in his last year of residency and the other  is running a farm!  Time flies!!!

Continue reading

47 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Cooking, Dessert, Eagle Brand Milk, fruits, quick, Recipes

Sour Dough Bread

This is good stuff!

There is nothing better than fresh bread cooking in the oven.  The aroma will drive you crazy.  I love making this sour dough bread.  It taste great  and  makes your kitchen smell so good.    The first time I made it I also baked a ham .  When I took this bread out of the oven I could not resist putting mayonnaise on the fresh hot bread along with a piece of baked ham.  It was heaven.  I ate the whole loaf!!!

I have been making this for years.  But it is addictive so I can’t make it every week like I did when The Athlete was in high school. It’s one of those foods that goes straight to your hips.  Now it only shows up for special occasions .   Make this and give it to your friends.     They are going to love you!!!

Sour Dough Starter

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pkg. yeast
  • 3 T of potato flakes (level spoon)

Place the starter in a glass jar.  Do not use metal and stir with a wooden spoon.  Leave the mixture on the counter for 3 days.  Feed the starter and let it sit on the counter for another 8 hours.   It is going to bubble.  Below is the food for the starter.  After 8 hours refrigerate for 3-5 days.  Now you are ready to feed again and make bread.

In the morning take out the starter and feed it and sit on the counter.  You will be ready to make your bread in the evening.  Here’s what you add each time you feed this hungry little thing.  This starter can  be fed every day, but has to be fed at least once every 10 days to keep it from dying.  Another note :  Don’t keep alot of starter.  It will be too weak to rise.  Only keep 2-3 cups and give the other away to friends or pour it out. 

Food for the starter:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 T potato flakes
  • 1 cup warm water

In the evening make the dough and let it rise overnight.  I have halved the original recipe so that I could use my bread machine .  The next morning I knead the dough, put it in pans to rise and bake it that evening.   Feel free to double it and make three large loaves of bread. 

Here is the recipe for the dough:

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1/2 starter ( stir it up to get some of the potato flakes)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup warm water

Sometimes I will cheat and add 1/2 t of yeast.  Why?   The starter is ornery.  Sometimes it does not act right.  If the temperature is too cool it will not rise like it should.  In the summer it does much better.  

liquid in first then dry ingredients

 

I use the dough cycle on my machine and let it knead for 5-8 min.  Let it rise 4 – 8 hours until double in size.  Punch down dough.  Knead lightly for about  5 minutes on a floured board.  You will have to add in extra flour.  Dough will be sticky. 

This is after about 8 minutes in the bread machine.

Overnight it has doubled

Knead dough for about 4 minutes

Divided dough into four equal pieces

Place into 4 greased pans

Dough in pans

Doubled in size

Divide the dough into four pieces.  Place in small greased bread pans. Let the dough rise in the pans until doubled.  I use the proofing cycle on my oven and it will take about 4-5 hours. 

 Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 – 25 minutes.  Butter the top and cool on a cooling rack.  This bread freezes well.  But with bread this good mine rarely gets to the freezer.

Happy cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

38 Comments

Filed under Bread, Cooking, Recipes, Sour Dough Starter

Sweet Potato Bread

With whipped creamI love this time of year.  Cool crisp mornings,  the color of the autumn leaves in the sunshine, pumpkins,  sitting by the fire, football , hayrides, hot chocolate, the smell of cinnamon,  and nutmeg. 

With this weather it just made me want to make something that  would make the kitchen smell like fall. 

So that is the reason for the sweet potato bread.  At least one of the reasons, the other being that I have an abundance of sweet potatoes from the CSA that I have not used.  I pulled out half of them for the bread and will use the rest for a fall root roast. 

One year for Christmas a student brought me this bread all wrapped up real pretty for a gift.  Now for those of you that aren’t teachers you might not understand this.  Teachers  have to be real careful when it comes to eating food that students bring you from home.  You never know.  You could have made Suzie Q  real mad cause you called her mama for talking back to you or it just wasn’t fair that you sent her to the office because she was half dressed.    Needless to say I am wary of eating anything that I don’t see made right in front of me.  This little cute blonde I trusted her.  No really I knew her mama real well.  So here is the best sweet potato bread that has ever passed your lips.  I promise you.   Eat hot right out of the oven or freeze and eat later.  Whatever you choose you are going to love it!

Coming from the south I have grown up eating sweet potatoes.  Not sweet potato souffle.  I hate that.  Just plain sweet potatoes with butter and salt.  There is nothing better.  My grandparents grew these in their garden.  As a small child I watched my mother with her apron on putting sweet potatoes in a brown paper bag and pushing them in the oven.  I would help her peel them when they came out.  It was almost like peeling a banana.  I could not help myself from putting hot pieces in my mouth as we took the peelings off.  They were so good. 

You can do the same.  Create some childhood memories with your family.  Let them help you make this bread and maybe years from now they will be writing about how good it made them feel to be in the kitchen with you.

                                                                                              Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes ready to go in the oven.

Put in a paper bag on a baking sheet.

Put in a paper bag on a baking sheet.

You have to bake them in a brown bag.  Trust me.  It helps to make the sugars caramelize.  The taste is unbelievable.  Bake at 400 degrees F.  Bake until nice and soft for about 1 hr. and 20 minutes.  It will make your house smell so good.

Cooked Sweet PotatoesHere they are right out of the oven. Soft skins and ready to peel.

Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes peeled and ready to whip.

Whipped potatoes

Whip hot potatoes with mixer.  Do not add a thing.  At this point you can refrigerate until you are ready to make the bread.  Bring to room temperature or heat in the microwave for a few minutes.

My Kitchenaide mixerCream 1 cup butter with 3 cups of sugar.  That’s alot isn’t it.  It will be allright. 

Creamed butter and sugar

 Creamed butter and sugar . Ready to add the eggs.

Adding eggs

Add 3 eggs one at a time.  Beat after each one.

Good Vanilla

Add 1 teaspoon of good vanilla.

DSCN0207 Add 2 cups of whipped sweet potatoes.

 

3 cups flour, 1 1/2 t salt, 1 t soda, 1 1/2 cinnamon, 1 t cloves, 1/2 t nutmet

Add Flour, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg

At this point you can add nuts and/or raisins.  I added both.  About 1 cup chopped nuts and 1 cup of raisins.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Check with toothpick that comes out clean.  Cool for 10 min. before removing from pan.

Baked and ready to serve

DSCN0246

 

 

DSCN0256

I like this picture.  It looks lonely.  Ready for someone to eat. 

Here is the recipe;

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t soda
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t. cloves
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  •  raisins and pecans to taste

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs 1 at a time.  Add vanilla.  Add 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes.  Add dry ingredients.  Stir in nuts and raisins.  Bake in a Bundt pan at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 min.  Check for doneness with a cake tester or toothpick that  comes out clean.

Happy Cooking, 

The Teacher Cooks

27 Comments

Filed under Bread, Cooking, easy, healthy, Recipes, Sweet Potato

French Dip Sandwiches

blog 296GI Joe took me to eat dinner when we were dating after a tennis tournament.  How romantic!  He ordered a French Dip Sandwich.  I had no idea what he was eating.  I just ordered a hamburger. 

 When the waitress brought it I thought to myself, ” This is what my Mama called a hot roast beef sandwich.”   Au Jus –  we won’t even go there!   

Here is another quick and easy meal using the crockpot.    Very Tasty!  It is  one of my Southern Living recipes I use regularly.  Hope you will, too.   This recipe make 12 servings.  Half  the recipe and you still have leftovers.

 

French Dip Sandwiches

  • 1 4 lb boneless chuck roast
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 beef bouillon cube in 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • French rolls , split

Place a crockpot liner in the slow cooker.  Put roast in.  Combine all ingredients except rolls.  Add water to cooker until roast is almost covered.  Cook on LOW 7 hours.  Remove roast, reserving broth: shred roast with a fork.  Place roast in rolls and serve with au jus for dipping.  Yield 12 servings

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

15 Comments

Filed under Au Jus, Cooking, Crockpot, easy, French dip, quick, Recipes, Roast beef

Cookies – Wedding, Lady Fingers, Nutty Fingers

blog 266

These nutty fingers hold a lot of memories for me.  The first road trip that I ever took with GI Joe to Dallas, Texas  I made these little sweet things to eat on the way.  That was the start of a real romance!   Almost every vacation, tennis tournament or TDY it was a given for me to make them.These little morsels of butter, flour and nuts just melt in your mouth and I am not exaggerating at all.  So  easy to make you can do it blindfolded and with one hand tied behind you. So get in the kitchen right now and put these little babies together.  Here’s  how you do it.

 

Nutty Fingers

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 5 Tablespoons of  powdered sugar
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chopped pecans

Mix all the ingredients together.  Shape into small balls or fingers.  Place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Roll in powdered sugar.  After cooled roll in sugar again.

I can tell you these are not going to last very long on the cooling rack.  I cannot control myself and end up popping them in my mouth as I roll them in the sugar.  They are so good!!!

I took these to serve at my tennis match in these cute little foil papers, but the picture is blurry so I will not embarass myself.  Just use your imagination and think about how cute they were in those little foil papers.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks  

Here are the pictures to guide you along:

 

Soften butter and plain flour in a mixing bowl

Soften butter and plain flour in a mixing bowl

  

Add 5 Tablespoons of powdered sugar

Add 5 Tablespoons of powdered sugar

                                                                                                                     

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped pecans

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped pecans

 

Mix together with wooded spoon

Mix together with wooded spoon

Shape and ready to bake

Shape and ready to bake

Out of the oven

Out of the oven

Roll in powdered sugar -  TWICE

Roll in powdered sugar - TWICE

Cool on cooling rack

Cool on cooling rack

 

 

64 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Cooking, Dessert, easy, quick, Recipes

Cheese Biscuits – Quick Bread Lab

Almost perfect!!!

Almost perfect!!!

I love teaching!! No, I mean I really LOVE teaching! Today anyway. It makes my day when my students come into the classroom and can’t wait for me to call the roll because they are so eager to get busy with their assignment . There has to be a reason for this other than the fact that they are all starving.

I read something on Monday when I attended the Leonardo DiVinci exhibit that could be the reason for the eagerness . Di Vinci said, ” Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” Could it be a spark of passion here that has created this excitement? I hope so.

 Cheese biscuits are the last of our quick bread labs and we go out with a perfect 10. As you look at the pictures you can see they did great! One group put the cheese in at the wrong time, but recovered very well. They learned from the first time not to add too much flour and surprisingly they were very good . We had a couple of equipment malfunctions. One oven was turned off by mistake and another did not heat properly.

 I now feel as if our lab is  a small reproduction of ” Top Chef” , because there is so much competition between the groups to be at the top of the post. It is quite comical. You would think that I am giving out money as an award. Competition is good, but I have to think of a way to tone this down before it ruins some friendships.

How do you prepare these little cheesy morsels? Check out Making Biscuits From Scratch and make one little change. Grate 1 1/2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese and add after cutting in the shortening.

Some information about grating cheese:

  • Use a food processor
  • Go ahead and grate a lot of it at one time
  • Freeze what you don’t use

 You might ask why not save time and use pre-grated cheese? I am not totally against it but, it is dry and not as flavorful. It is more expensive, too.

 Okay I have to get to the gym . I ate more than my usual taste of each biscuit today. They were just sooo good that I could not resist. Hopefully I can STEP some of these calories off before they attach to my body as fat.

Enjoy the Bake-off pictures!

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

Very Good

Very Good

12 Comments

Filed under Biscuits, Brunch, Cheese, Cooking, easy, quick, Recipes

Cinnamon Rolls

 

Awesome Group Work!

Awesome Group Work!

The smell of warm cinnamon rolls permeated the halls of our school today.  You can imagine how many visitors I had popping their heads or their bodies into my classroom to find out what we were cooking that smelled so delicious.  This was the second time for my chicklets to use biscuit dough.   They did very well.   You can try these for yourself if you are in the mood for cinnamon rolls and do not have the time to make the yeast roll variety.  These can be rolled out and cut in less than 15 minutes.  Can’t you just taste  them now along with a hot cup of coffee for breakfast?    Come on, if you can make biscuit dough you can make these easily.

How do you make these wonderful rolls?  Well, if you have mastered my post “Making Biscuits From Scratch”  you can do this.  After rolling out the dough into a rectangle a little smaller than a 9 x 13 inch pan, spread 1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Here is a photo.

Rolled dough with cinnamon and sugar

Rolled dough with cinnamon and sugar

  • Starting on the long side of the dough roll the dough up tightly. 
  •  Pinch the dough together when you get to the end. 
  • This dough is very forgiving.  If it sticks to the wax paper just take a straight edge spatula and push the dough toward the roll.  Pinch holes that you might make together.   
  • The diameter of the roll should be the same from end to end. Push the ends toward the middle to shorten the roll.  This should help with the diameter.
Roll dough jellyroll style

Roll dough jellyroll style

Now here is a trick I learned from some cookbook.  Use dental floss to cut the dough.  Pull off about 10 inches and hold the floss the same way you would when flossing teeth.  Place the floss under the dough and pull together quickly to cut.  This will keep your rolls nice and round.  See the photo.

Place floss under the dough and pull to middle

Place floss under the dough and pull to middle

Cutting through the dough

Cutting through the dough

Place in a 9×13 inch lightly greased pan.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Place in pan to bake

Place in pan to bake

When you take them out of the oven ice them with a heaping cup of powdered sugar mixed with just enough milk for the correct consistency.  Usually it takes about 1-2 tablespoons.  You can flavor with vanilla, lemon, orange, or almond flavoring.  Serve hot.

Here is what we cooked up today.  You take a look while I head to the gym after tasting 12 of these wonderful little things!!

These were very good!

These were very good!

You are all sweethearts!

You are all sweethearts!

These are bakery style!

These are bakery style!

I love your group effort!

I love your group effort!

Very Good! Where's the Bacon?

Very Good!

Strawberry icing was fantastic!!!!

Strawberry icing was fantastic!!!!

Excellent work!

Excellent work!

Tasted very good!

Tasted very good!

Great!  Where is the bacon?

Great! Where is the bacon?

Picture Perfect!

Picture Perfect!

What a pan of rolls!!!

What a pan of rolls!!!

Happy cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

42 Comments

Filed under Biscuits, Cinnamon Rolls, Cooking, easy, quick, Recipes

Cajun Pork Roast

Low calorie, easy and delicious!

Low calorie, easy and delicious!

Another day at home with little water.  I am clean though.  Just took a bath in about 2 inches of water.  Brought me back to the  days of  staying  at my grandmother’s farm with no running water.  It was fun when I was 5 years old , but now you could say I am spoiled!  The news is that it could be into next week before our water is back to normal.  It could be worse.

I usually grill pork tenderloin , but with all the rain I pulled out an old recipe from  pork The Other White Meat.   Pork is so versatile.  I serve this with Hashbrown Casserole ( I will share the recipe later ) or a baked potato and something  green like asparagus, broccoli, or green salad.  All of this is quick and easy to do.  Here is the recipe.

 

Cajun Pork Roast

  • 2 lb. boneless pork loin roast
  • cooking oil
  • 3 Tbs. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper
  • 1 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Combine all the seasonings

Combine all the seasonings

Brush the roast with oil

Brush the roast with oil using Le Creuset silicone brush

Rub seasoning over roast

Rub seasoning over roast

Place in pan and roast 350 degrees

Place in pan and roast 350 degrees

Roast until internal tempt. is 155 degrees

Roast until internal tempt. is 155 degrees

Your prep time  is only about 5 minutes and the oven does the rest.  After taking out of the oven let it rest for about 10 minutes.  This serves  6 at 196 calories each.  ENJOY!!

The Teacher Cooks

12 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Pork Roast, Pork tenderloin, Recipes