Category: Mindless Mutterings from the Teacher’s Lounge

Hot n’Honey Dill Pickled Mustard Seeds

Hot n'Honey Pickled Mustard Seeds

This one might sound a bit odd, but do give them a try. They add a fun little pickled crunch to deviled eggs, sandwiches, meats, salads and dips.

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Buttermilk Citrus Green Goddess Dressing (and roasted vegetables & shrimp skewers)

Buttermilk Citrus Green Goddess Dressing

Here’s an old dressing with a bright twist thanks to some citrus alternatives to the standard lemon. Super simple to throw together, it’s free of preservatives and packed with vibrant flavor. Use as a sandwich spread, veggie dip, topping for meat and fish or a pasta sauce  — the possibilities are endless!

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Strawberry Vanilla Simple Syrup

Strawberry Vanilla Simple Syrup

Simple syrups are just that — simple to make. But you can use them in so many ways. Visit a local farm, pick some fresh strawberries and prep this syrup. We also subbed local honey for part of the sugar to make our syrup sing with flavor!

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A”peel”ing to you… the maddening art of egg peeling!

Peeling Eggs Wendy's Home Economics

Don’t let peeling eggs make you crazy! Even though frustrating at times, give this method a try. It works best for me…

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Dilled Reuben Deviled Eggs

Reuben Deviled Eggs

Reuben Deviled Eggs

I don’t know about you, but I don’t recall ever meeting a deviled egg I didn’t like.  I’m not particularly fond of the white part… and either eat just the part of that holding the deviled part… or just the deviled itself!  It’s a texture thing for me… egg whites remind me of jello, which I cannot and do not eat!  Although I do love a good farm fresh boiled egg with shakers of salt and pepper. Go figure.

This is a “throw cook’n” recipe.  One where I cannot give you exact measurements because I simply throw stuff in to make it taste good.

Being that it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and I did cook a corned beef this weekend in my crock pot, I enjoy it in a lot of ways… and have had this one in my head for a while.  I will also point you to a recipe I threw together long ago, with horrible pics before I had a clue about food styling or photography.  This is a really tasty Cream of Reuben Soup... another way to use that corned beef.

Another St. Patrick’s Day dish is my version of colcannon… “Southern Colcannon.”  It was actually published in Our State Magazine years ago when I was house chef there… it’s a realllll good side dish for not only corned beef, but just about anything!  What’s not to love about greens (my cabbards or cabbage) and good ole North Carolina Sweet Potatoes?

St. Patrick’s Day is also a pretty momentous day for me too… as it is my Quit Smoking Anniversary!  I think this marks year 15 for me… my motivation?  My new little nephew when he was born, who is now SIXTEEN!  He was born in September, and I didn’t want him growing up smelling me and my house… nor seeing me smoking so he would think that was OK!
If you have tried to quit or want to… if I can quit after 26 years… You Can TOO!
It’s not easy. It’s HARD. But find your motivator and do it… read my story above… and just do it!

Till next time… (recipe below)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reuben Deviled Eggs

Sliced boiled eggs in half and put yolks in bowl.
Add a bit of thousand island dressing (or mayo) and minced dill pickles.
Add some Bavarian Sauerkraut (seasoned and has caraway seeds!)
Stir in a little bit of coarse ground mustard… salt and pepper.
Mix together and fill egg whites.
Scatter with some fresh chopped dill.

EAT!

Crispy Churro Cake Bites with chocolate hazelnut dip

Crispy Churro Cake Bites with chocolate hazelnut dip

Look no further for a fun, finger food dessert to put smiles on faces! Keep cake pieces on hand in a freezer bag to fry in a flash for when you need “just a bite of something sweet.”

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Carnitas Enchiladas Suiza

Carnitas Enchiladas Suiza

This one needs a bit of planning ahead to cook the pork, but using one large butt yields lots of meat to freeze to make several batches of these easy, creamy Carnita Enchiladas Suiza. Olé!

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Salted Butterscotch Crème Brûlée

Salted Butterscotch Crème Brûlée

Turning sugar, butter and cream into this browned, decadent custard is only made better by devouring it fireside in the dead of winter. Can be made up to four days ahead. Salted Butterscotch Crème Brûlée all around please!

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Creamy Rosemary Parmesan Grits

Creamy Rosemary Parmesan Grits

Many long-lived mills here in North Carolina still stone grind the best grits. Slow cooked creamy grits pair well with so many dishes (and stand alone quite nicely, too). Seasoned with fresh rosemary and salty parmesan, enjoy them alongside my Savory Oxtail Stew.

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Savory Braised Oxtail Stew with Herbs and Prunes

Savory Braised Oxtail Stew with herbs and prunes

Chilly winter days make us want to throw something hearty and comforting in a big ol’ pot and let it slowly simmer for hours, filling the house with the enticing smell of what’s to come. This stew is a bit spicy, subtly sweetened by the prunes, with many layers of flavor.

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Egg Nog Chess Pie with bananas and cream…

Egg Nog Chess Pie with bananas and cream

It seems fittin’ to use up that last bit of holiday eggnog in a good old southern chess pie. ‘Nog and bananas go together like mac and cheese, so partake of pie while toasting toes in front of a cozy fire as you settle into the New Year.

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Roasted Grape & Cheese Crostini with spiced pecan crumbs

Roasted Grapes & Cheese Crostini with spiced pecan crumbs

Sometimes we just need “a little something” to nibble on — roasting grapes and serving over warm, softened cheese on crostini is a new favorite! The grapes become nice and “jammy” and oh-so-good with a drizzle of herbed oil, vinegar and honey. No exact measurements needed for this one.

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