Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#BookClubCookbookCC: BBQ Pot Roast over Cheddar Ranch Grits

It's time for another edition of the #BookClubCookbook Cooking Crew!  Each month, one of the group will send out an invitation to read and create a dish based on a book from Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp's The Book Club Cookbook (Revised Edition).  This month, Renee from Tortillas and Honey invited us to read A Lesson Before Dying.

I have to admit, I didn't read this book at this time.  I read it almost 20 years ago while in Teachers College.
This is a powerful story.  So powerful that I remember crying through the last 50 pages.  I just wasn't up to reading it again.  But if you haven't, I totally recommend it.  Just have the tissues ready.
I debated what I wanted to make this month.  The cookbook suggested pralines, but I'm not up to making candy right now.  I need quick and easy dinner recipes.
I considered posting a Facebook question asking what people would want as their last meal (the book centres around time before one of the main character's execution for a crime he didn't commit), I searched Southern Food on Pinterest, and ended up perusing a site called "South Your Mouth" with lots of interesting recipes, and having a few roundups that I pinned from.  But then I got smart.  I sent a message to Janet.
I've only met Janet once, but she used to work with J when he lived in Charleston, SC.  I sent her a message asking for some true Southern food.  J has always told me that Janet is a great cook, and she had lots of suggestions.
Janet is from the Low Country of South Carolina, not Louisiana, so her suggestions favour that part of the US.  I still want to try Benne Seed cookies, but the recipes I found all made a huge number.  She suggested shrimp and grits, but I don't eat shellfish.  She also suggested anything with sweet tea, or Coca Cola Cake.  I finally took her first suggestion, with a recipe I'd seen featured on South Your Mouth:  cheese grits and a crockpot roast.  Perfect for fall.
I present to you now from Plain Chicken BBQ Pot Roast over Cheddar Ranch Grits:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Bacon Wrapped Pesto Stuffed Chicken Drumsticks

It's time again for the Secret Recipe Club!  What's that, you ask?  Well, it's a group of bloggers who are all assigned each other's blogs.  We hunt for recipes on said blog, and then all reveal what we made and who had who at the same time.  Fun, right?
I always enjoy getting my blog assignment and planning what I shall make each month.  This month, I had the pleasure of perusing Cindy's blog over at Hun...What's for Dinner?  Cindy is a stay-at-home mom with 2 kids and a passion for baking.  She and I don't live all that far apart, either!  I've also spent a little time on her blog in the past when I've linked up my menu planning with her on a Sunday.
There were so many interesting things to look at, I had a hard time choosing what to make!  I started looking at desserts (again!), and then realized that in the last little bit I've made an awful lot of bread/sweets/carbs for SRC.  I wanted to branch out.  So I started looking at mains, and this just spoke to me.
I have a love/hate relationship with my BBQ.  I love it for its fast and easy food prep, and that there are less dishes by my sink but more in my dishwasher at the end of the night.  I hate that I seem to burn chicken when I attempt to cook anything but boneless, skinless breasts or skewers.  But after reading about these drumsticks, I had to try again.
J wasn't convinced - he's not a fan of things that are burnt off the grill; and between the chicken skin, dripping pesto and bacon, I was sure to have flare ups, but I decided to soldier on because the promise of bacon and pesto in one dish just sounded too good not to try.
I mean bacon, pesto, could that be bad?
I present to you now from Hun...What's for Dinner?  Bacon Wrapped Pesto Stuffed Chicken Drumsticks:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: September Planning

I know that there's no July/August planning post on the blog.  That's because the July/August 2007 issue of Everyday Food was a big bust for me.  I found 2 recipes - 2 that I wanted to make, and one I had already made in the past in my pre-blog days.  I may get around to making the Roasted Summer Vegetables and Pasta again, because it was good; and then again I might not simply because it doesn't stick in my mind as something I should make again.  The ice cream sandwiches, however, were fantastic and I will make those again.
Frankly, after 3 years of the challenge I'm surprised that there's only been 1 issue where I really haven't been thrilled with what was on offer.  I draw from a large variety of sources for what we eat, so I didn't know if it was that I just didn't like the sound of anything, or if I had reached saturation point with Martha Stewart and was starting to find things repetitive.  Perhaps it's a little from Column A mixed with a little of Column B combined with summer ennui.  No worries, though.  I soldiered on.  Everyone can have an off issue.
I wasn't sure what to think when I sat down with the September issue.  Would it be feast or famine (kinda literally)?  But with a cover boasting "No-fuss Family Fare", I had high hopes.  It was definitely better than what I had encountered last month.  I came up with a list of interesting things to try to make up for July/August.  A return to interesting food just as I return to work.  Sigh.
Here's what we're going to try on the Mountain this month:

  • Stuffed Tex-Mex Yellow Squash
  • Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce
  • Pigs in Blankets and Citrus Spritzers
  • Black Bean Tostadas with Corn Relish
  • Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Herbed Couscous
  • Family Dinner Menu featuring 3-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese, Sauteed Green Beans,  Garlic-Roasted Tomatoes, and Apple Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake
Looks like a good month.  Here's to fall!