Category: Mindless Mutterings from the Teacher’s Lounge

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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How to Host a Pig Picking… and P.S., barbecue is a noun, not a verb!

How To Host A Pig Pickin!

Ahhh… the good ole southern NC pig picking! Here’s all you need to know to host one for yourself. Nothing is much finer than gathering friends and family to pick pork, is there?

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Buttered Wilted Cabbage with Pepper & Caraway Seed

Buttered Wilted Cabbage with Pepper & Caraway Seed

Blanching tender cabbage is a great way to preserve nutrients and get vivid color! And don’t you love having a farm fresh side dish ready in 10 minutes?

Featured in Carolina Country Magazine November 2020

I.Love.Cabbage.

I cannot think of one way I do not love me some cabbage!  It’s so versatile and it such a great side dish for most anything.  It’s quick to prepare… and budget friendly too.  

With cabbage, usually “less is more.” It brings so much of its own flavor to the table you really don’t need to do much to it.  Like this recipe.  It’s as simple as blanching till tender, but still has a little “bite” to it.  A bit of crushed red pepper and caraway seed… and of course some butter, and you’ve got yourself a mighty fittin side.  It’s just right to round out your meal with my Bacon Stuffed Pork Loin with garlicky apple cider gravy and Rustic Herbed Dressing with apples and cheddar.  This meal just hollers “FALL!” and would be nice for something different featuring pork on your Thanksgiving table this year.

Put all these goodies on your grocery list so you’ll have on hand to cook up this comforting fall feast soon. Then come on over to my facebook community and share your comments!

 

Buttered Wilted Cabbage with Pepper & Caraway Seed

Blanching tender cabbage is a great way to preserve nutrients and get vivid color!  And don’t you love having a farm fresh side dish ready in 10 minutes? 

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Southern
Keyword: cabbage, side dish
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 8 cup chicken broth
  • 1 large head savoy cabbage
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • crushed black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. While bringing broth to a boil in large pot, cut cabbage into wedges and discard core. Tear by hand into 1”-2” pieces.  Add to boiling water. Stir and blanch for 1 ½to 2 minutes; drain and reserve broth for soup.

  2. Put cabbage back into hot pot. Toss with seasonings and butter to melt.  Taste and add salt as needed. Serve warm. 

Recipe Notes

Note: I save the core and simmer in the discarded broth for a delicious soup stock.
Don’t toss all that flavor! When cooking, save parts of vegetables for making the best soup base, sauces and gravy. Toss scraps into a freezer bag and add to it until you have accumulated a goodly amount and have time to make. Goodies to save are vegetable broth (like drained from this cabbage) along with leaves and core, onion and garlic peels, celery ends, corn cobs, carrot ends and peel, potato scraps, and fresh herb stems. Freeze in ice trays or small containers for adding flavor to all sorts of dishes!

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.

Hot and Sour Soup With Rotisserie Chicken & crispy wonton noodles

Hot and Sour Soup with Rotisserie Chicken

Some recipes for tasty hot and sour soup can take hours and require hard-to-find ingredients. This simple version takes only 30 minutes from prep to table when using time-saving rotisserie chicken.

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Mandarin Orange Upside-Down Cake

Mandarin Orange Upside Down Cake

This gluten-free Mandarin Orange Upside Down Cake is the perfect citrus dessert for a savory Asian meal, but it’s also the ideal pairing with a cup of tea or coffee. And if you’re a breakfast cake eater, this is IT.

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Pairing a couple of my NC favorite foods… Mimi’s Mountain Mixes & Carolina Gold Oils

Orange-y Everything Beer Bread with Mediterranean Dipping Oil

Pair North Carolina’s Mimi’s Mountain Mixes Beer Bread with Carolina Gold Oil’s Mediterranean Dipping Oil for an easy fun nibble. Great addition to your charcuterie boards too! I gave a little twist and used orange beer…. realllll good!

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Deviled Crab Hushpuppy Waffle & Pickled Seafood Medley ~ The New Southern Seafood Platter in Our State Magazine

... a southern seafood platter twist!

We love a seafood platter in the summertime — especially one that features fresh, local fish. Here, we imagined what a modern twist on this classic dish might look like with these Deviled Crab Hushpuppy Waffles and Pickled Seafood Medley!

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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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“Love Me Tender” Elvis Bread… a la North Carolina!

Love Me Tender Elvis Bread... a la North Carolina

You’re going to love this “Love Me Tender” Elvis Banana Bread… made with 4 North Carolina #GotToBeNC Goodies! Throw some together soon!

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