Category: holidays & breaks
|April 10, 2020||Posted by Wendy Perry under asparagus, breakfast, Carolina Country, casseroles, Easter, eggs, gluten free, low carb, Mindless Mutterings from the Teacher's Lounge, published, sensational sides|
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.
|April 8, 2020||Posted by Wendy Perry under appetizers, bacon & belly, buttahhhh, cheesy, cook'n with NC goodies, corn, crab, duke's mayo!, Easter, fun food, gluten free, low carb, Mt. Olive Pickles, Our State Mag, party foods, product recipe development, published, sensational sides, wendy's signature recipes|
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.
|April 7, 2020||Posted by Wendy Perry under baking (she said in terror), Carolina Country, Easter, pie please, plums, published, sweet treats, wendy's signature recipes|
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!
|February 10, 2020||Posted by Wendy Perry under candy, cherries, chocolate, cook'n with NC goodies, cooking with wine, gluten free, Mindless Mutterings from the Teacher's Lounge, no cook, Our State Mag, published, sweet treats, Valentine's Day, wendy's signature recipes|
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.
|December 18, 2019||Posted by Wendy Perry under baking (she said in terror), buttermilk, Carolina Country, Christmas, published, sweet treats, wendy's signature recipes|
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.
|December 15, 2019||Posted by Wendy Perry under beverages, Carolina Country, cheerwine, cherries, Christmas, cook'n with NC goodies, party foods, product recipe development, published, wendy's signature recipes|
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!
|December 15, 2019||Posted by Wendy Perry under bacon & belly, Carolina Country, Christmas, cook'n with NC goodies, party foods, Peggy Rose's Jellies, product recipe development, published, roasted goodness, sensational sides, sweet potatoes, wendy's signature recipes|
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!
|December 15, 2019||Posted by Wendy Perry under Christmas, fun food, Mindless Mutterings from the Teacher's Lounge, molasses, party foods, published, sweet treats, wendy's signature recipes|
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!
|October 13, 2019||Posted by Wendy Perry under apples, candy, Christmas, fun food, party foods, published, sweet treats, wendy's signature recipes|
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!
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.
- 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
Combine sugar and syrup in an 8-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 5–6 minutes until it reaches a rolling boil.
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.
Pour onto greased slab or cookie sheet and spread with back of spoon. Sprinkle with salt.
Let the brittle cool at least 1 hour. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.
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.
|February 13, 2019||Posted by Wendy Perry under cherries, chocolate, Mindless Mutterings from the Teacher's Lounge, party foods, published, sweet treats, Valentine's Day|
Published in Carolina Country Magazine ~ February 2018
I do love cherries! Any kind of cherries, but most especially, maraschino cherries. There’s just something about those bright red sweet little nuggets that take me back to my childhood in an instant.
I suppose my cherry affection is genetic. My Daddy Hocutt and Ma Hocutt, my mama’s mama and daddy, planted cherry trees in their back yard in Zebulon when they built their house back in the early 1950’s. It was only the 6th house built in the city limits best I remember them telling me. When I was born in 1958, they planted me a tree! My Daddy Hocutt died when I was only 8 years old… he had a massive heart attack and they went off the side of a remote mountain road near Charlottesville, VA coming back from vacation in Washington, DC. He died then and there, and Ma Hocutt was torn all to pieces and was “invalid” the rest of her life until she died at 91.
Ok… so back to the story. Every year, when the cherry trees would blossom, Daddy Hocutt would cover them with this gauze kinda cloth to keep the birds from eating our cherries! He would let me help him do that. And I can remember waiting impatiently for “my” cherries to ripen so we could pull that cloth back and eat cherries until I had a stomach ache. After he died, the trees all just wearied themselves away, but I do have a few short years of those memories.
We had a place in town called the Dairy Bar. One side served the BEST cheeseburgers, hot dogs… and milkshakes! The other little room had a jukebox and bar stools where the cool teenagers would go hang out and dance. Daddy Hocutt would sometimes take me in there for burgers and a shake.
Ma Hocutt loved a cherry milkshake too! And after a few years of recovery from their accident, she was able to drive again. She would ride over the the Watkins Dairy Bar, just a few blocks from her house, and toot the horn. They knew she wasn’t able to get out and walk in to order, so they’d just make a cherry milkshake… and take it out to her! If I went with her, I’d go in and order them… “2 cherry milkshakes please!”
They were in those big old waxed cups… white, with red lines around them and best I remember, hearts around the tops. And big ass straws!
God I loved those things! And to this day, still my favorite of all milkshakes, but it’s near’bout impossible to find a good cherry milkshake anymore!
Did you know that Dairy Queen… yep, the Dairy Queen, doesn’t have cherries?
How in the hell can you have a proper sundae, or banana split, without a cherry on top? Silliest thing I’ve ever heard tell of! Cherries are a staple of such.
Sooooo… when coming up with ideas for the February issue of Carolina Country, my mind immediately went to cherries! I also associate cherries with Valentine’s Day. And I created some really yummy chocolate cherry truffles for Our State magazine years back too. I will have to throw those here on my blog soon too.
But for now, for my maraschino cherry brothers and sisters… I encourage you to make these rice krispie treats! They are cherrylicious… fun to eat AND share. Grab some icing in those tubes and sprinkles and let your aspiring little culinarians get creative in decorating.
Y’all have a Happy Valentine’s Day too… I love you all for being here!
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 16 ounce bag mini marshmallows
- 5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 16 ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained & chopped (save juice)
- 8 cup Rice Krispies® cereal
- 1 cup toasted almonds, crumbled
- decorating icing and sprinkles
- heart shaped cookie cutters
Melt butter in a heavy pot over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, cherries and cereal.
Using a buttered spatula, fold together until well combined. Pour out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread to about 1-inch thickness. Cool.
Cut, decorate and dust with toasted almonds.
Very Cherry Vanilla Treats
Make basic recipe, stirring in 2 tablespoons of red cherry gelatin powder.
Black Forest Treats
Make basic recipe, substituting chocolate Rice Krispies cereal. Stir 1 cup of milk chocolate chips in with cereal.
Cherry Juice Goodness
Wait! Don’t pour out that delicious drained cherry juice leftover from this recipe. Use in frostings, whipped cream or cake batter. A splash makes your hot chocolate into “Chocolate Covered Cherry” hot chocolate and will turn your cola drinks into fun cherry ones. Use to make lemon or limeade cherry ice cubes, too.