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Sherry

Side dish

Funky Corn with Pickled Fresnos and Aioli

Funky corn will take your funk away!

If you love corn and can’t get enough of it in the summer and you’re always looking for a new recipe and something EASY to make for dinner, then this one’s for you.

When we lived in Ft. Madison, Iowa back in the late 70’s we use to go to festivals in the summer; the strawberry and corn festivals were my favorite. I remember the corn especially because you could eat all the hot buttered corn you wanted for free and the kids could run around and play and you wouldn’t think of worrying about their safety.

My son, Scott, who lives in Chicago is always sending me websites to restaurants he and his wife, Missy, go to. This particular restaurant, Funkenhausen was just named one of the 16 best restaurants in Chicago and their chef comes from Charleston, SC and has German roots.  I’m sure this corn recipe was probably his take on grilled corn and similar to a Mexican street corn.

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Dessert/ Morning Foods/ Muffins

Chocolate Banana Muffins

What to do with those black bananas?

In less than 24 hours we will be at Beaches Resort in Turks and Caicos celebrating our 50th anniversary with kids and 6 grandsons. There’ll  be 14 of us and I’ve been accumulating so much stuff that I probably won’t need. One suitcase is full of 4 floating chairs, gummy bears, sand molds, sand buckets and shovels, large bags of M&M’s (at least 6), mosquito bracelets, bottles and bottles of sun screen.

So, what could happen? Six little boys under 10 are bound to be up to something this summer and sure enough I get a text a couple of weeks ago and grandson Charlie (7) fell off the monkey bars and broke his wrist. Poor little guy was pretty unhappy that night but by the next day sporting a neon green cast he looked like he was ready to jump in a pool. Well, maybe by the time they get there. Hoping to see a waterproof cast by then, if not, then he’ll have something to put over the cast so he can join his cousins doing everything (maybe almost everything) at the beach and at one of the 8 pools. 

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Side dish

Grits with Corn and Goat Cheese

Here’s another “kiss my grits” grit recipe.

Well, not sure if grits need to be kissed but these were so delicious I want to kiss someone to thank them for the idea. Guess that would be Bobby Flay. I saw one of his shows where he made these and he pureed the corn but I decided to put the whole kernels in my version. My recipe also has a couple of eggs in them and they set up nicely for a casserole.

I love serving grits with bar-b-q of course but any grilled meat or chicken would go nicely with these grits. Add something green and your done.

So, when it comes to the grits, first of all don’t use instant grits as they are precooked and dehydrated and do not have nearly the flavor as other types. Quick grits and regular grits are about the same with the only difference being the size of the grind. If you are lucky enough to find stone-ground grits then buy those. They are made from whole dried corn kernels and coarsely ground between two stones of a grist mill. The entire kernel is ground so the stone ground grit will have a more speckled appearance and a rich corn flavor. (I store mine in the freezer.) I still buy my South Carolina grits and now find them on Amazon – here. The first time I bought Charleston grits was at a farmer’s market in Charleston and they were mixed – yellow and white. On Amazon they sell either white or yellow so I buy one of each and mix them and then freeze what I am not using. They last a long time in the freezer. (I just found Palmetto Mixed Grits on Amazon so no need to buy a bag of each.)

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Appetizers/ ColdApp

Crawfish Spread

Another use for those leftover crawfish tails.

Back in January I joined a book club which was good for me because I usually choose watching a movie over picking up a book. 

I gave up on the book Goldfinch after three years. I just could not make myself finish it. Then when I tried to read the DiVinci Code after seeing the movie first, the book was almost word for word from the movie (or the movie from the brook), so I gave up on that book. So since January I have read four books but, the fifth one started – Oil and Marble I quit. My record is improving though.

Our May bookclub was at my house and the book was “Where The Crawdads Sing” which was a very good book from the first page right up until the very end. For a snack for the ladies I couldn’t resist making something with crawfish to go along with the theme of the book. I’m wondering what I would have made for the Oil and Marble book if that meeting had been at my house; maybe marinated olives.

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Appetizers/ HotApp

Jalapeno Cocktail Pie Squares

How could I have forgotten this favorite recipe?

I use to make this recipe all the time for parties I catered because it could be made in advance and frozen and then taken out and rewarmed in the oven before serving.

If you like spicy and you like cheese and you want to get your veggie in for the day, give these a try. It’s also a great little appetizer you could freeze in small portions to go with your summer cocktails.

Recently we had a bar-b-q for our Israel travel group from last year. It was so nice getting together with the ones close enough to come and sharing a meal together that wasn’t Mediterranean food. I have to say that was the only part of the trip I didn’t care for — the food.

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Dessert/ Desserts

Banana Split Dessert

Second time around for an old 60’s favorite.

Ya know, I see recipes popping up on Pioneer Woman and use to on Paula Deen’s show that my mother was making back in the 50’s and 60’s. And, on Pinterest I’m always seeing “new” recipes that I remember my mother making. I guess the younger viewers are seeing/testing/tasting these recipes but some of us who have been around a few decades longer have been enjoying these old family favorites for quite a while.

Take this Banana Split Dessert; use to be one of my mother’s dessert recipes she enjoyed making for family and friends. When it comes to banana splits all I remember about that ice cream favorite was that when my sister and I would go to a Dairy Queen or ice cream shop we would ask for a banana split but we only wanted the banana, only vanilla ice cream and no pineapple or strawberry toppings. For us it was chocolate all the way; I guess that really wasn’t a banana split.

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Side dish

Shooked Potatoes

I’m all shook up!

Remember these these famous lines of Elvis’ song “I’m All Shook Up”

♫I’m in love

I’m all shook up

Mm mm mm mm, ya, ya, ya,♫

Well, you will be going mmm, mmm, after eating these potatoes; and they are all shooked up.

My mother use to make two types of potatoes that we really liked as kids. One was these “shooked” potatoes and the other potato recipe (no recipe at all) was called “stewed” potatoes.

Let me tell you about the Stewed Potatoes first. First, you have to be making some home made cornbread in order to make these potatoes (no boxed, sweet cornbread either). So, my mother would have some peeled, quartered potatoes cooking in water. She would have her cornbread ready to go in the oven and before putting the bowl in the sink to be washed, she would add a little water (maybe 1/2 cup or so) to the bowl and swish it around and then she would pour this into the cooked potatoes and cook for about 5-10 minutes longer and this watery mushy stuff would thicken the water and then she would add some salt, pepper and butter and they were ready to serve up. Very good and I think about her every time I make them.

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Appetizers/ ColdApp/ Sandwiches

Deviled Egg Salad and Asparagus Tartines

A favorite food into a sandwich.

Don’t you just love finger foods? And, especially those little finger sandwiches. Whether it’s the softness of the bread that holds your toppings or the crunch of toasted, crustless bread slices topped with some savory concoction, you want to try them on first sight and you will probably go back for another one.

Little sandwiches/savories/sweets makes me want to make a pot of tea. I’ve been buying tea from The Tea Embassy in Austin for about 10 years and it’s the only place I’m going to place an online order. I will pick up specialty teas when I travel because I like to try different teas but I always go back to my Almond Cookie Green Tea from the Tea Embassy as one of my favorites or the Green Walnut tea is also a favorite of mine. And a pot of tea is just what I wanted when I made these little sandwiches. Or, if not in the mood for a cup of tea how about a bottle of champagne.

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Bread/ Morning Foods/ Scones

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Peanut butter and chocolate!

Don’t you just love a good scone to go with a cup of tea. I’ve been experimenting with different flavors of scones over the years. Some of my favorites are still my Black Walnut Scone and I absolutely love the Orange and Golden Raisin scones I just posted about a couple of weeks ago. 

What is it about a scone anyway that seems to take you away to foreign places? Maybe it’s the hot pot of tea you made to go along with it or maybe its the Devonshire cream and the strawberry jam (fresh made even better) that you are going to slather on the scone that takes you to that place. When I’m having a pot of tea I usually think of tea at the Fairmont in Victoria, afternoon tea once in Jamaica at our resort, tea at the St. Regis in Houston or even my own house with some nice scones coming right out of the oven.

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Salads

Asian Salad with Chicken

Thanks to BJ Brewhouse for this recipe.

I don’t know about you but I expect certain things in an Asian Salad; cabbage (red and savoy or Napa), Mandarin oranges, almonds, green onions just to name a few.

BJ Brewhouse use to have to best Asian salad but for some reason they changed their cabbages to lettuce and that does not work in an Asian salad for me so I no longer order it. Recently I ordered an Asian salad from Pei Wei (owned by Pf Changs). Not good and I told them about it (not in person of course; I do not have that much nerve). Their salad was made of lettuce, and tomatoes. I’ve never had an Asian salad with tomatoes and it didn’t even have an Asian salad tase. It was more like a “house” salad that they threw in some fried wonton strips and called it a day. No longer will we be going to that restaurant either. I’m really not that picky I don’t think.

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Appetizers/ Beverages/ Cocktails/ Drinks

Blackberry Thyme Champagne Cocktail

What would afternoon tea be without a cocktail.

Our afternoon tea a couple week ago started with this blackberry thyme champagne cocktail and of course our committee had to sample it before the tea to make sure it was just right. Some of the ladies helping decided they liked it a little sweeter so we added more than the one teaspoon of blackberry syrup the recipe. One teaspoon of the syrup will give you a nice glass of pinkish champagne or prosecco. 

Don’t you just love the bubbles of champagne and when you add this blackberry syrup to the glass it makes for a perfect cocktail and the sprig of fresh thyme and a blackberry for garnish.

At the tea we served this cocktail with some blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped with prosciutto before the ladies sat down to an afternoon of tea with sandwiches, sweets and scones.

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Bread/ Morning Foods/ Scones

Orange and Golden Raisin Scones

What would a tea party be without some good scones!

I love parties, especially tea parties. I love tea, I love tea sandwiches, and most of all I love a good scone, slathered with devonshire cream (or clotted) and some strawberry jam.

These were recently served at a tea party that was auctioned off by our craft circle. Twenty ladies for the afternoon enjoying tea, sandwiches, savories, desserts and these delicious scones.

Over the years I have experimented with so many different recipes for scones; Black Walnut, Almond Coconut, Chocolate Cherry, Pumpkin Chocolate and one of my favorite has been my Walnut Lavender Scones. I’m sure I’ve made orange scones before maybe with raisins but for this one I decided to use golden raisins and then brush the tops with cream and add some of my hail sugar. 

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