Category: holidays & breaks

Rustic Herbed Dressing With apples and cheddar

Rustic Herbed Dressing with apples and cheddar

You know it’s fall when the aroma of baked apples and fresh herbs fills the air! Roasted pork, chicken — this stuffing makes just the right side dish. Or crisp up leftover dressing in the toaster oven for a banner breakfast with bacon, sausage and a drizzle o’ maple syrup!

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No fair? No fair! … so cook yourself some turkey legs at home!

Smokey Spiced Grilled Turkey Legs

Smokey Spiced Grilled Turkey Legs

Published in Carolina Country Magazine November 2017

Well 2020 just keeps giving us disappointment on top of disappointment.  Some of us look real forward to our NC State Fair each year, each for our own reasons.  I will miss going there several mornings to judge the daily cooking contests… one of my favorite fall culinary adventures.  Some go for their favorite foods scattered about the fairgrounds.
Grease! Salt! Sugar! Finger lick’n…
What’s not to love?

You can’t miss folks walking around gnawing on big ole turkey legs!  This recipe was part of a few I created several years ago for Carolina Country Magazine for a little twist on Thanksgiving… and when I was thinking about fair foods to share, realized I never put this here on my blog.  

We never know what sort of weather we will have here around fair time… or Thanksgiving… it might be brrrrr! cold… or we may be out in shorts and flip flops firing up our grill.  Either way, these turkey legs are tasty… and something fun to cook this year during fair week to pretend you’re there!  Or to give your Thanksgiving a twist too.

So grab yourself some legs and crank up the grill!  Enjoy some of my tasty turkey legs… and come on over to my facebook playground and share your pics and what you think about ’em!

Smokey Spiced Grilled Turkey Legs

No fair this year... no problem! Grill your own turkey legs at home... or fix some for Thanksgiving this year.

Course: Fun Food!, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Carb Free, Gluten Free, Grilling, Southern, Tailgating
Keyword: fair food, thanksgiving, turkey legs
Servings: 1 1 leg per person
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 5-6 medium size turkey legs
Marinade:
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 teaspoons salt
Baste:
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter
Instructions
  1. Combine all marinade ingredients. Place turkey legs into large container with lid. Pour marinade over legs, cover and shake to coat. Refrigerate (up to 2 days), shaking periodically to coat.

  2. To grill: Preheat grill to high heat. Oil grates and place legs onto grill. Sear on all sides several minutes, turning to get good grill marks. Reduce heat to low or move coals to sides (for indirect heat) and continue cooking, covered, for about 50–60 minutes. Turn every few minutes to prevent burning. 

  3. Melt butter in honey. Baste legs, turning often, the last few minutes of cooking. Remove legs when temperature reaches 165 degrees by thermometer.

  4. Place legs onto serving tray and pour remaining baste over legs.

Easter Brunch Asparagus Casserole

Easter Asparagus Brunch Casserole

This light and velvety asparagus casserole will be a favorite with the cheese lovers in your crowd for Easter brunch, or anytime. Other vegetables can be substituted or added, and have fun trying other cheeses too. You can even add in diced ham or bacon. Use this recipe as a base and spiff up to make it your own.

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Anytime is Deviled Egg time!

While recipe developer and food stylist at Our State Magazine, I was asked to give a classic deviled egg a North Carolina twist. These recipes inspired by our culture are fun to make and good to eat.

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Spiced Plum Cream Pie

Spiced Plum Cream Pie

Sometimes, a simple pie is all that’s needed to round out Easter lunch or a spring supper… or just to enjoy all by itself. Like this Spiced Cream Plum Pie. Not a plum fan? You can sub other fruits like summer peaches with the same tasty outcome!

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Cherry Chocolate Date Nut Truffles

Cherry Chocolate Date Nut Truffles

Fifteen minutes, a few pantry items, and a North Carolina wine are all it takes to make these bite-size treats. They’re almost as easy to make as they are to eat.

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Winter White Velvet Cake

Winter White Velvet Cake

January has me thinking “winter whites.” So I tweaked my GrandMa Perry’s Red Velvet Cake a little into this White Velvet version… served on my mama’s cake stand. I like to make it a day ahead and chill for cake to “ripen” and let all the flavor bloom and cake to moisten from the icing.

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Merry & Bright Holiday Cheerwine Punch… with fruit-filled ice ring

Merry & Bright Christmas Cheerwine Punch

Having friends over for a holiday supper? No need to fret over multiple beverages … punch to the rescue! Let your imagination loose as exact measurements are not necessary with this Cheerwine punch!

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Pork Tenderloin Sheet Pan Supper with Sweet Potatoes & Caramelized Onions

Pork Tenderloin Sliders & Sweet Potato Sheet Pan Supper

You won’t go wrong serving your holiday company this Peggy Rose’s pepper jelly glazed-Heritage Farm bacon wrapped NC pork tenderloin…. nestled among seasoned NC Sweet Potatoes!

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Gingerbread Banana Pudding With Molasses Whipped Cream

Gingerbread Banana Pudding

This southern favorite with a seasonal twist feeds quite a few folks, can be made ahead, and guests can self-serve. Find a fun, hinged, wide-mouth jar to make it in and wow your company!

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Molasses Ginger Crinkles

Molasses Ginger Crinkle Cookies

I love this perfectly spiced cookies… just the right touch of molasses and crispy crunch!

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Cinnamon Candy Apple Nut Brittle

Cinnamon Candy Apple Nut Brittle

Published in Carolina Country Magazine October 2019

YaY!  It’s finally NC State Fair week.  Most everyone loves the fair, for so many different reasons.  I have fond memories of fairs with friends during high school… fun dates… and taking my now 15-year-old nephew Wyatt in his younger years and loving every minute of glee in his little eyes and giggles on the kiddie rides and playing the games where he’d win a toy for $20 that we could buy at the dollar store.
Or a fish in a bag!! LOL 

Another enjoyable thing for me is to find a bench to plop down on… and just watch people.
You see some of the damndest things at the fair.  I’ll leave my thoughts and comments right there!

I have no idea what year it was… 15-20 or so ago, when I was first invited to be a judge for the daily cooking contests. By far, this may be my most favorite fair thing of all!  As a recipe creator myself, I always love sitting in that little room and seeing what will show up on the days I judge… and enjoy the camaraderie of those of us in that little room all tasting… oooh-ing and ahhh-ing… and sometimes saying “nope, can’t do that!”  I do admire all who enter their recipes, but some need to be sure and have a back up plan if they have aspirations of a culinary career.  

So… back to this recipe!  This is my final of 3 recipes to blog here I created for Carolina Country’s October 2019 fair-inspired recipes.  I had this idea in my head, and it took me a couple of times to get it like I wanted it… so I do hope you will enjoy.  My best advice for making this, as with most all candies, is to not make it on a humid day.  When creating and testing this candy apple brittle, it just fell that way in my schedule a couple of times.

Results = Total Sticky Pull-Your-Teeth-Out FAIL!

So when you’re missing fair time, and a good ole candy apple, give this a try.  It might help satisfy your craving just a bit.  It makes a pretty red Christmas red for your holiday festivities.  

I hope you’ll give it a try and come over and add your comments or questions on my facebook community.

…and hope you can make it to the NC State Fair next week too!

Cinnamon Candy Apple Nut Brittle

For those who might miss our NC State Fair, I stirred up something reminiscent of those iconic candy apples. My nut brittle will tickle your taste buds with its crunchy texture and candy apple flavor filled with toasty NC pecan pieces, plus a hint of cinnamon! Made in less than 10 minutes in your microwave.

Course: Fun Food!, Sweet Treats
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons flakey or coarse ground sea salt, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine sugar and syrup in an 8-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 5–6 minutes until it reaches a rolling boil.

  2. Carefully remove and stir in ¼ teaspoon salt, butter, extract, spices and pecans. Microwave 1–2 minutes longer until boiling. Remove and quickly stir in food coloring and soda.

  3. Pour onto greased slab or cookie sheet and spread with back of spoon. Sprinkle with salt.

  4. Let the brittle cool at least 1 hour. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

Recipe Notes

Variation: Unsalted roasted peanuts or other nuts can be substituted for the pecans.

Tip: Best not to make this (or most candy) on humid days. You may end up with chewy rather than crunchy brittle.