Peas and Carrot Fritters… with lemon-dill yogurt tzatziki

Peas and Carrot Fritters With lemon-dill yogurt tzatziki

Published in Carolina Country Magazine April 2020

Peas and carrots. Carrots and peas.  Don’t those paired together just say “SPRING!?!”

Fritters, crispy fritters, are such fun food, and simple to throw together. In the spring and summer, when we have all sorts of fresh produce… and tidbits of this or that leftover, fritters are a great way to toss with a little egg and flour and fire up the frying pan.  Of course I prefer my cast iron, but your fave will do. 

A good fritter needs a little dollop of something to finish off too.  Lemon and dill just seemed the perfect pairing for peas and carrots… and starting with lemon yogurt gives you the base to whirl together in a flash!

If you can get your hands on these ingredients while corona-quarantined… give them a try. Most of these produce items can be found now at your local farmers markets… #shoplocal and #knowyourfarmer! Now, and once “this” is over… wouldn’t you rather have food handled from dirt to farmer to you, than by many from states and countries away?

And then hop over the my fun facebook community and find this post to add your comments!

Peas and Carrot Fritters With lemon-dill yogurt tzatziki

Spring has us thinking peas and carrots! But not just any peas and carrots. We’re hungry for crispy fritters, with a zesty Greek twist.

Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Fun Food!, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Summer Food
Keyword: carrots, foil packets, grilled potato salad, dill, fritters, lemon, peas, tizatziki
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 2 cups frozen garden peas, thawed and roughly mashed
  • 2 cups grated carrot, about 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions, white and green parts
  • 2 tablespoons oil
Lemon-Dill Yogurt Tzatziki
  • 1 large seedless cucumber
  • 2 cups Greek lemon yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Combine peas, carrots, garlic, flour, eggs and scallions in a bowl and toss to mix.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, spoon mounds of mixture into the pan and flatten a bit, making sure there is space between each while cooking.

  3. Cook 2–3 minutes, flip, and continue cooking 1–2 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

  4. Drain on paper towels.

  1. Grate the cucumber. Roll in paper towels and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

  2. Stir into yogurt and add remaining ingredients.

  3. Serve with hot fritters. The sauce can be refrigerated for 3–4 days.

Spiced Plum Cream Pie


Spiced Plum Cream Pie

Published in Carolina Country April 2020

Looking for something “plum good?”  Here you go!  This pie is super simple… and oh so creamy with spiced plums nestled into the creamy goodness.  Perfect for your Easter table… 

This is one of those recipes you can twist up, and use other fruits instead of plums… depending on what is in season and what you have on hand.  Soon, I want to try this with bananas… and make a banana cream pie, with a dollop of whipped cream, of course. Doesn’t that sound tasty?  Stuck at home because of Ms. Corona, I think I have all the ingredients to make one… guess I’ll have to invite folks to come have some handed out the door on a paper plate.

I hope you will give this one a try… and come chat about it in my fun facebook community too. 

And stay safe… hopefully she will be gone soon and we can return to somewhat normalcy.  

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. Not a plum fan? You can sub other fruits like summer peaches with the same tasty outcome!

Course: Dessert, Pie, Sweet Treats
Cuisine: American, Southern Desserts
Keyword: cream pie, easy pie, hushpuppies, plums
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 9" pie crust, unbaked
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • 4 cups plums, pitted and thinly sliced (about 6 plums)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Combine spices with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Dust bottom of crust with 1 teaspoon of sugar-spice mix, pressing into soft dough.

  3. Grate cold butter over spiced crust. Cover with plums.

  4. Add remaining spice mix to ⅔ cup sugar, flour and cream. Whisk to blend well.

  5. Pour over plums and bake on center rack about 35–40 minutes, until center is set. Cool before serving.

Recipe Notes

Note: If crust edge gets browned before pie is set, cover pie with foil to finish baking.

Honey Baked Ham Salad …with wilted caraway slaw and rye croutons

Honey Baked Ham Salad With wilted caraway slaw and rye croutons

Published in Carolina Country Magazine April 2020

Well then.  When I created my April recipes, I envisioned post-church or Sunday eve family gatherings… carrying on traditions of little girls in their frilly dresses and Easter bonnets, little boys with bow ties, and family pictures snapped out by grandma’s azalea bushes.  Ha!  Little did we know Corona was coming to town, all towns, and keeping us sequestered in our houses, from sea to shining sea… not even able to go to church!  Unimaginable!!!!
I think this is the first time in my long lifetime I can remember anything so terrible as to keep us from the Lord’s house!  But… alas, here we are.

I’m quarantined because of knee surgery 3 weeks ago… and since I work at home, not a lot has changed for me. I’ve realized how much of a hermit I already am!  But honestly, I do have a little cabin fever… so I’m going to have to wrangle me somebody soon to come get me and take me for a countryside ride… to see some cows… pastures… woods…. A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G!  I mean, I like my physical therapist, but I need to see something besides ice packs and heating pads.

At this point, most or many of us are ordering our groceries online and driving thru, as fast as possible, to pick them up and airing them out on the porch before we even bring inside!  Years from now, when reading this, we’ll “remember when,” and those too young to remember Corona will say “do what?”

A “new normal” is coming to be for us all.  And we don’t even yet know what that is yet.
A fresh salad sounds real good right about now.  So if you can round up these ingredients, or something similar in your online grocery adventures, throw this together.  It is meant to be made with your honey baked ham leftovers.   It really is tasty and something a bit different and refreshing.  When I made it a few months ago as I got my recipes done with surgery looming and our 2 month out deadline, I enjoyed it for days and shared it all around.  

So, my friends… throw these ingredients you need into that online shopping cart and maybe you’ll get lucky because a truck came in!  LOL  Then, you will have them ready to make this salad with the ham giblets you have left… and don’t forget to add some dry navy beans to your order too. Because you will surely want to throw them in your crock pot with that ham bone for a delicious pot o’beans…  Now lookie there, at all the meals you can get from one big ole ham.  

So Happy Easter all!  This will for sure be one we will look back on for the rest of our lives… hopefully all as survivors.  Stay HOME. Do not risk being an unknown carrier and taking Corona to someone without even knowing it.  WE can get through this together.  

BE SAFE!  And come hang out with us over on my fun facebook community to chat about this recipe, and some of this… that and the other!  

Honey Baked Ham Salad ...with wilted caraway slaw and rye croutons

Ready for something traditional with a nontraditional twist? Impress your table of Easter guests with this eye-catching ham salad. Or jazz up your leftover ham and skip the boring ham sandwich!

Course: Brunch, Main Course, Salad, Supper
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Summer Food
Keyword: caraway, honey baked ham, rye croutons, salad, slaw
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 4 slices rye bread
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 8 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 4 cups finely shredded purple cabbage
  • 2 small red onions, cut in thin slivers
  • 3 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 3/4 cup juice from a jar (24 ounces) of bread and butter pickles (We used Mt. Olive Sweet Heat.)
  • 1 1/2 cups preferred salad oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • about 2 pounds honey baked ham, chopped
  • 1 bunch broccolini florets, blanched and chilled
  • 4 boiled eggs, chopped
  • drained bread and butter pickles (from juiced above)
  • 1 cup honey roasted cashews, crumbled
  • pea shoots for garnish, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. For the croutons, butter the bread, cube and place on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for at least 5 minutes or until desired crunchiness. Cool.

  3. For the slaw, combine ingredients into a container with a cover. Then place dressing ingredients in a jar and shake. Pour over slaw mixture, cover and shake to coat.

  4. Marinate several hours or overnight, shaking occasionally.

  5. To assemble, spread slaw onto serving platter. Garnish with ham, toppings and croutons.

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

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

Folks that know me know I have always been an evangelist when it comes to singing the praises of so many of our #MadeInNC #GotToBeNC goodies. And I have so many ideas of recipes to create with many of them… and will never get them all done in this lifetime.  Sometimes they stand alone, and sometimes, like this one, I end up combining several into one tasty treat!

My pantry is “cluttered” with things I pick up here and there to have on hand for when an idea strikes… or is already simmering in my head! So when we had a snow day last week, I went “shopping” in my pantry to find stuff to cook… because that’s what I must do on such days.  

I started with a box of Mimi’s Mountain Mix Tavern Bread.
And those 2 bananas staring me in the face needed “doing something with.” Or they needed to g.o.
So, I get to thinking “banana bread!”  But of course it can’t be “just” banana bread if I’m fix’n it.
As I looked around at my stash, this idea quickly came to happen.
Now being that Elvis’ favorite sandwich was banana, peanut butter and bacon, it was just a given to get at it, and of course, give this banana bread creation the name “Elvis Bread!”   

And what’s a peanut butter sandwich… without jelly?  So realizing it is #NationalBananaBreadDay… today is the perfect day to debut this new recipe creation!  I do hope you will gather up these goodies and make some.  The bananas make it super moist, and it freezes great, so enjoy, then if any is left after a couple of days (unlikely!), slice, wrap and freeze for an out-the-door breakfast to enjoy with your coffee on the way to work… or for a snack, anytime of day.

I met Mimi Lin, the creator of Mimi’s Mountain Mixes, years ago when she was doing her first Got To Be NC Festival in her space beside the one I was manning for a client at that time. Bless her heart… she’d made “mountains” of samples but they were gone within hours on the first (of three!) days… and having traveled to Raleigh from the mountains, was staying in town with friends.  Her helper went outside to the flea market to buy a toaster oven (best I remember) and a couple of dishes, and they made batches of bread, one after the next… handling out samples fast as they made ’em!  And I think they probably didn’t sleep all weekend making more samples all night long for the next 2 days!  Her mixes (and pretzels and brownies and more!)  are delicious… and all you have to do is add… a beer (or carbonated water)!  How easy is that?  I have made them in several ways over time but never took the time to write up, photograph and blog about, till now! Lin’s company has grown over the years, and her products can be found across America… find locations and more information on her web page!
I mostly pick some up at Lowe’s Foods.

Next… I grabbed a jar of my friend Dani’s peanut butter from Bakers Southern Traditions Peanuts in Roxobel, NC!  I met Dani years ago working in a local Raleigh meat market when they opened.  Dani would drop by to stock her many yummy peanut goodies and we became friends way back then, and have remained so for years.  Dani’s company offers all sorts of peanut yummies… year round, and her peanuts can be found in many outlets and ordered from her web page too.  Check out her web page for more on all she has to offer… gift boxes for year round and so much more!!

To round out the trio of delicious NC made goodies for this recipe is my friend’s hot pepper jelly!  I met Ms. Peggy of Peggy Roses Jellies somewhere along my adventures years ago and have been a huge fan of her jellies ever since, and call her my friend too.  They are all delish as is, but are so versatile for many uses… from giving meats and veggies a quick glaze, to swirling into baked goods like this one!  Most folks love it simply over cream cheese with crackers or ginger snaps. You can find Peggy Rose’s Jellies, cranberry pepper spread and mustard in many locations throughout the southeast.  Check out the “buy here” page on her web site to find in so many grocers and other stores throughout the southeastern US!  

The crown jewel to this tender bread is a scattering of crumbled bacon!  I can’t always get my hands on it and use a variety of other bacons, but it’s hard to beat Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork bacon.  Their bacon can be found at many locations so look for it, drop by the Heritage Farms General Store if in Goldsboro, and check out their web site for places to buy.  It’s the #BaconBomb!  

Love Me Tender Elvis Cake a la North Carolina Sliced

If you can’t find these exact products, improvise and substitute what you can get your hands on.  And hop over to my facebook community where we chat about this and all sorts of fun stuff!

Do you need a few recipes and use ideas for your products?  Freelance Recipe Development, styling and photography available.  I would love to hear from you!

Disclaimer:  Peggy Roses Jellies is a social media client of mine.

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

This tender banana bread/cake features 4 North Carolina made/grown goodies.

Course: Breads & Cornbreads, Brunch, Dessert, Fun Food!, Sweet Treats
Cuisine: North Carolina Goodies
Keyword: bacon, bakers peanuts, bread, cake, heritage farm cheshire pork, mimi's mountain mix, peggy rose's jellies
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 1 box Mimi's Mountain Mixes Tavern Bread Mix
  • 1 12 ounce beer or carbonated water (per mix instructions)
  • 2 large bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Baker’s Southern Traditions Peanut Butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup bacon drippings, optional
  • 1/2 cup Peggy Rose’s Hot Pepper Jelly, melted
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Baker’s Southern Traditions peanuts
  • 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork bacon
  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Mix bread per package instructions.

  3. Mix in bananas, peanut butter and bacon drippings, if using. Pour into sprayed 12” cast iron skillet. Pour half of the warmed jelly over batter and swirl in with knife.  Bake about 35-40 minutes till done to touch. 

  4. As soon as removed from oven, brush with remaining melted jelly and scatter with peanuts and bacon crumbles!

Recipe Notes

“Love me tender, love me true, all my dreams fulfill. For my darling, I love you, and I always will.” – Elvis Presley

You're gonna LOVE this banana bread... and I think Elvis would have too! 

Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Cranberry Glaze & Pomegranate

Grilled Koolheads Cabbage Steaks with Cranberry Glaze & Pomegranate

Created for L&M Companies Produce with Koolheads™ Cabbage!

Y’all know my favorite thing is creating recipes and on occasions, I have had the fun pleasure of doing that with produce from L&M Companies!*  One of my personal favorite vegetables is cabbage. And from my trend newsletters, 2020 is going to be “the year of cabbage!”  So long kale… see ya!  Bring on the cabbage.  I will share the others I did for them in the coming weeks and months.  But today, on #NationalCabbageDay, enjoy this one while you can still find a few pomegranates.

Be sure to come over and join my fun facebook community too!

*Compensation was paid for creating this produce recipe.

Grilled Koolheads™ Cabbage Steaks with Cranberry Glaze & Pomegranate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Grilling
Keyword: cabbage, grilling, koolheads cabbage, pomegranate
Servings: 8
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1 8 ounce can cranberry sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • pinch salt
  • butter pan spray
  • arils of 1 medium pomegranate
  • 8 8" skewers
  1. Preheat grill to medium heat while preparing cabbage.

  2. Slice cabbage into eight ¾” thick “steaks.” Slide a skewer all the way through
    to hold in place. (If very large cabbage, cut rounds in half.)

  3. In a microwave-safe glass bowl, heat the cranberry sauce about 1 minute until
    “melted.”  Stir in sage, molasses and pinch of salt.

  4. Spray each side of the steaks with butter pan spray. Brush one side with the sauce and gently place steaks onto hot grill, brushed side down.
    Cover, and let cook on first side about 2 minutes or until cabbage has light char and getting tender. Brush top side with sauce, carefully turn and repeat on the other side. 

  5. Place onto serving platter and brush with any remaining sauce mixture. Scatter with pomegranate arils. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cherry Chocolate Date Nut Truffles

Cherry Chocolate Date Nut Truffles

Published in Our State Magazine February 2015

Well good gracious!  It’s been over five years since I did this recipe and only realized today I’d never shared it here on my blog…  this is a simple recipe to make in just about 20 minutes.  At the time, I sourced a delicious chocolate wine from Shadow Springs Vineyard here in North Carolina… Dark Shadow.
The description…
This wine has a warm chocolate cherry flavor. It is a blend of merlot, cab franc, cab sauv, petit verdot, seyval blanc, and dark chocolate. Yum!!

I see this unbelievably delish wine is still available on their web site. DO get your hands on some if you can.  If not, check your local wine shelves for something similar.
If you can’t do that, try subbing a little bit of similar red wine (or chocolate milk) with a little splash of maraschino cherry juice.  That should work just fine!

Just make some.  And come on over to my FB community and talk about them…

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.

Created for and published in Our State Magazine February 2015.

Gluten Free, depending on aging barrels.

Course: Dessert, Sweet Treats
Cuisine: American, Southern Desserts
Keyword: cherry, chocolate, red wine, shadow springs vineyard, truffles
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 2 cups nuts, any kind
  • pinch salt, omit if using salted nuts
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups dates, whole or chopped
  • 1/4 cup Shadow Springs Vineyard Dark Shadow wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  1. Place nuts, salt, cherries, dates, wine, and extracts into a food processor. Pulse until fruit is finely chopped. The mixture will be a sticky paste. 

  2. Put mixture into a bowl and incorporate chocolate chips by hand. (At this point, the mixture can be kept for several days, covered, in the refrigerator.)

  3. Toast half of the coconut in a nonstick skillet or on a microwave-safe plate. In a small bowl, mix toasted and untoasted coconut flakes together.

  4. Pinch mixture and roll by hand into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in coconut and refrigerate until firm. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Tip: You can use any single kind of nut, but this is a great recipe to use a mixture of leftover nuts. And although not necessary, toasting them will add another layer of flavor.

Ms. Velma’s Soup

Miss Velma's Soup

Ms. Velma Faison was a kind and reserved landlady of mine years ago when I lived in her and Mr. Thomas’ basement apartment. She made the BEST soup… just simple, but with my favorite things in it…
so although I could “see” what was in it, I asked her one day how she made it. She was surprised… said “oh it’s nothing special… it’s just soup.”

To me, some vegetable/meat soups just have too MUCH stuff in them… and I think that is why I like her soup so much… Because it’s rather basic and doesn’t have every vegetable in the garden in it. For soup, less is more for me. I’m a white corn gal… just seems sweeter to me.  I prefer chicken over beef in my soup too.

Ms. Velma passed away several years ago, but her soup, as she told it to me, lives on… my version without her special loving touch.

I do keep a soup scrap zippered bag in the freezer for other soups… (can’t stand to waste food!), but when I want just good basic comforting soup… this is what I make.
Those that know me well know that recipes like this are rarely exact nor do they need to be. So here are the ingredients and approximates best I can offer!  Just throw-cooking at its finest.

You can make this on the stove top in a soup pot, which I usually do, or like my latest batch, in a crockpot while hanging around the house on a rainy day. I cooked this slowly all day in my 6 quart crock pot that was full to the brim so I ended up with about a gallon and a half of soup… Enough to freeze several pints for myself and share some with others too.  

This is a great food gift to give as “funeral food” too.  Rather than take the easy way out and go get another box of chicken to add to the ones already given, reach into your freezer and take some delicious soup!  Your friends will welcome the change and they can enjoy it then, or in coming weeks as the dust settles.

I love egg salad with crackers or sandwich with this soup!

Come on by my facebook community and tell me what you think. 

Ms. Velma's Soup

This simple soup is my favorite when I was just good homemade soup. I prefer chicken in my soup, and just a few veggies. You can make on stovetop, or low and slow in your crock pot too. Nothing is exact here... measurements are just close guesstimates.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: soup, soup with chicken
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 1 whole chicken, or lots of leg quarters (I prefer mostly dark meat in my soup)
  • 2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • a couple large onions, diced
  • about 1 1/2 cups white corn
  • about 1 1/2 cups butterbeans
  • 4-6 cups thinly shredded cabbage
  • salt and pepper
  • a little bit of sugar to take the edge off the tomato acid
My 2 personal ingredients:
  • 1 15 ounce can creamed white corn
  • 2-3 stalks celery, diced
  1. Bring to boil then simmer chicken in several (3ish) quarts of salted water. (white and dark) for broth. (If doing in a crockpot, you will want to simmer your chicken for quite some time for it to be done. Cut whole chicken into smaller pieces so it will cook faster.

  2. Using slotted spoon, remove chicken to cool. Once cool enough to handle, debone, skin and shred chicken.

  3. After removing chicken, return to rolling boil and add remaining ingredients except sugar. Let simmer until nice and rich and flavors marry.

  4. Towards the end, add the sugar in little bits at the time until you have the acid balance you like!

Recipe Notes
  • Although you can use parts, a whole chicken will give way more flavor from the skin and bones (that you will discard). Legs and breasts are fine, with skin and bones. Just be sure to use chicken with skin and bones for all the flavor that offers!
  • I have used Brussels sprouts a few times when I had those and didn't have cabbage.


Whole Grain Nutty Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Syrup

Whole Grain Nutty Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with blueberry maple syrup

Published Carolina Country Magazine February 2020

I’m not a big pancake eater, but when thinking about ideas for February issue of Carolina Country, hearty breakfast came to mind.  I’ve had some tasty pancakes here and there… and especially love those with nuts in them.  So I set out to create a good one of my own… that included nuts, but also a bright little note of lemon.  These lemon ricotta pancakes turned out pretty darn tasty!

Of course, they deserved more that just a bottled syrup, and you can certainly use your favorite… but I wanted to include fresh blueberries too.  So voila… this blueberry-maple syrup!  Be sure to add the fresh lemon juice and zest… it makes a big difference in flavor!

I think the whole family will enjoy these… and pancakes are a fun recipe to let your aspiring chefs help in the kitchen.  Let them measure and mix up this tasty batter.  You can keep extra in the fridge for a few days to make at a moment’s notice. But you can also make ahead and freeze to warm quickly in the microwave.  Just cook, cool and flash freeze. Once frozen, put your pancakes into a freezer zippered bag.  

What is flash freezing?  Simply place whatever you are freezing in a single layer on a baking pan. Place in freezer. Once fully frozen, bag and freeze. That way you can remove only what you need as the food will not be frozen in a big clump!

And if you’re looking for a “breakfast in bed” for your honey… here you go!  Who wouldn’t love these set before them, with a side of my Chicken Breakfast Sausage

So round up what you need and stir up a batch of these pancakes for a comfort food breakfast… or supper on a chilly winter’s day. 

And come on over to my fun facebook community where we’ll chat about this and all sorts of other goodies! 


Whole Grain Nutty Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Syrup













Whole Grain Nutty Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Syrup

Everyone will enjoy these wholesome pancakes with bright lemon flavor… great for a winter’s morn breakfast, brunch or supper too!  Serve the blueberry syrup warmed alongside the pancakes.

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Supper
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: lemon, maple, pancakes,, ricotta, syrup, whole grain
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup solid coconut oil
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • zest and juice of 2 small lemons
Blueberry Maple Syrup
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3/4 cup blueberry jelly
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • pinch salt
  1. Lightly oil nonstick skillet, and preheat it to medium heat.

  2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. 

  3. In another bowl combine buttermilk, cheese, oil, egg, honey and extract with mixer until smooth.

  4. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Fold in nuts, zest and juice.

  5. Ladle 1/3 cup of batter onto the hot skillet and cook the pancakes for 2 to 4 minutes per side or until brown. 

Blueberry Maple Syrup
  1. Sauté blueberries in butter over medium heat until tender. Add jelly, syrup and salt. Continue heating until syrup consistency. Can be stored in refrigerator for about 1 week.  Makes about 2 cups.

Pizza Bread Bowl Fondue

Bread Bowl Pizza Fondue












Published in Carolina Country April 2019

Well who doesn’t love pizza?  And cheese?  And party food?  Let’s throw all those things together and enjoy some pizza fondue!  Great for gatherings… like next Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Let your imagination run and throw together any sort of combination your crowd loves.  Pepperoni is probably “the” all time most loved pizza… so start there. I have also included a Hawaiian pizza fondue… for folks like me that are not fans of pepperoni!

You can also have fun with dippers… with veggies, crackers, pork rinds for low carbers, tortellini and whatever your imagination comes up with!  Bake in your oven, or cook on the grill… over indirect heat. 

Be sure to drop by my facebook community for chatter on this and lots of other fun stuff!

Pizza Bread Bowl Fondue

Try this fun way to enjoy a simple supper. You can get creative with fondue and dippers, but here are a couple of our favorites.

Course: Appetizer, Fun Food!, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Grilling, Summer Food, Tailgating
Keyword: pizza, fondue
Author: Wendy Perry
Bread Bowls
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 prepared round loaf King's Hawaiian bread
  • 1 prepared loaf cheese bread
Hawaiian Pizza Fondue

  • 2 cups Colby Jack cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 6 ounces diced ham
  • chopped green onions or chive
  • coconut chips, optional
  • Dippers: Toasted bread, sliced Canadian bacon, plantain chips, steamed veggies
Pepperoni Pizza Fondue

  • 1 6 ounce package sliced pepperoni, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed American cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup grated or cubed mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Dippers: Deep fried tortellini and Ravioli, toasted bread, assorted veggies

  1. Add ½ teaspoon each of garlic and onion powder to ⅔ cup oil.

  2. Hollow out bread bowls, making sure not to cut through bottom of the loaves. Brush insides with seasoned oil. Cube and brush the cut-out bread as well.

  3. For Hawaiian Pizza Fondue, toss cheeses with cornstarch. Stir
    in pineapple and ham. Fill bread bowls and place on baking sheet. Tent with
    foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and lay cubed bread pieces around bowls.
    Bake another 8–10 minutes. Garnish with onion and coconut.

  4. For Pepperoni Pizza Fondue, set aside Parmesan, half the
    pepperoni and half the Italian seasoning. Combine all remaining ingredients and
    fill bread. Sprinkle with the remaining pepperoni and seasoning. Place bowls on
    baking sheet. Tent with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and lay cubed bread
    pieces around bowls. Bake another 8–10 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan.

Butterscotch Pecan Skillet Pie… with Sweet Potato & Molasses Ice Cream

So I see that today is #NationalPieDay!  We can’t let that slip by without a pie can we?  I meant to post this before Thanksgiving… but, oh well!  And let me just say right here that this pic was way long ago, when I don’t even remember WHAT I was taking pictures with and knew n.o.t.h.i.n.g. about food styling… and one day, I’ll make and reshoot this pie… but till then… we’ll live with this thing!

Butterscotch Skillet Pecan Pie












Way back when, I used to be a frequent guest on the local My Carolina Today Show. I always had so much fun with Sharon and Valonda… producer Kim, and all the crew behind the scenes.  Way back in 2011, I was on their show with some fun ways to give a twist to thanksgiving… you can read all about that and recipes here!
I shared this pie then, but not in a printable format… so I’m giving this one a 2nd time around.  

It is such an easy pie to make for such a big bang!  You can make in a “normal” pie plate, but I like the rustic touch from making in a cast iron skillet.  This Butterscotch Skillet Pecan Pie is only made better if you also take a minute to make some sweet ‘tater and molasses ice cream to plop on top.  You can even blend in leftover sweet potato casserole to make the ice cream more better!  No picture of that for now… 

So, check your pantry and see what’s missing to make this pie. A good southern stocked pantry probably already has everything you’ll need!

Once you’ve made, come and add your comments in my facebook community!

Butterscotch Skillet Pecan Pie with Sweet Potato Molasses Ice Cream

This is such an easy pie to throw together... and you might already have all you need right in your pantry. Make yourself a Butterscotch Skillet Pecan Pie today!

Course: Dessert, Pie, Sweet Treats
Cuisine: American, Southern, Southern Desserts
Keyword: butterscotch, molasses ice cream, pecan, skillet cooking, sweet potato ice cream
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 1 1/2 cup North Carolina pecan pieces
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 large local fresh eggs, beaten with whisk till slightly frothy
  • 1 11 ounce bag butterscotch morsels
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 unbaked pie crust, store-bought or your own
  1. Preheat oven to 350. 

  2. Spray 10"-12’ cast iron skillet; place crust into prepared pan.  It will naturally ‘ruffle’ as shown in picture.

  3. In medium bowl, mix pecan pieces with flour. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into pie shell and bake 350* for about 40-45 minutes.

  4. Let pie cool before slicing as it is easier to cut at room temperature.


    Sweet Potato Molasses Ice Cream (not shown): Soften 1/2 gallon of vanilla (or butter pecan) ice cream. Blend in cooked mashed sweet potato (about 1 cup) and about 1/2 cup molasses. Refreeze until serving time.

    Note: A bit of cinnamon added to sweet potatoes or ice cream doesn't hurt a thing! You can even used leftover sweet potato casserole in the ice cream!

Country Ham and Pierogi Benedict with Red Eye “Hollandaise”

Country Ham & Pierogi Benedict

Published in Carolina Country February 2020

I didn’t grow up eating pierogies in rural North Carolina… and haven’t had many as a grown up either. But I do like to re-create old favorites with a new twist. When I polled facebook friends for breakfast ideas, one said “pierogies.”  And I thought… “Huh?  She must not be from ’round here!”  LOL

But it got me thinking outside my box. And just how I could incorporate some into one of my breakfast recipes for February Carolina Country.  I had one of those “a-HA” moments… fortunately as a recipe developer I have lots of those… more than I’ll ever be able to create in this lifetime… and way too many in the middle of the night keeping me awake! 

I love Eggs Benedict…. and am a country ham gal too!  So it just made sense to somehow pile all the usuals on top of cheese pierogies!  Now I realize some of you probably make your own, but that’s not happening for this gal. And not for most readers either.  I’m busy… they’re busy… and need recipes that come together without much fuss.  And with them being readily available at the store… no need to reinvent the wheel, right?  I grabbed some Mrs. T’s to play with in this recipe, and was tickled at how well they worked… all buttery and cheesy!

So without further fuss, here is my Country Ham Benedict… with a twist.  I hope you have fun making and eating them.  And be sure to see below how to make a bunch of poached eggs ahead of time so you can serve to a posse… all nice and warm… without fuss’n with all those poached eggs at eat’n time!

Be sure to click here and come on over to my facebook community too… for chatter on this and other goodies!  See you there…
And if you like this recipe, be sure to click over to Carolina Country’s page and give it some (5!) stars. 

How to poach eggs

Eggs can be poached up to 24 hours in advance—handy if you are cooking for a crowd.

Heat 2–3 inches of water in a pan to a low boil. Break eggs, one at a time, into a custard cup or small bowl. Slide gently into water. Do not stir. Remove with slotted spoon after the whites set and the yolks begin to set, about 3–5 minutes. Drain on paper towels if using immediately. For later use, lower into an ice water bath to chill. Drain and keep refrigerated until needed. Warm in water at serving time.

Country Ham and Pierogi Benedict with Red Eye "Hollandaise"

Take this old favorite into a new one by piling your country ham and eggs on top of cheese pierogis!

Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: apple, benedict, breakfast sausage, brunch, country ham, eggs benedict, pierogies
Servings: 4
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 4 poached eggs (see note below to make ahead)
  • 1 12 count box cheese pierogies, (I used Mrs. T's)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 12 ounces country ham, cut into strips
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup black coffee
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • black pepper
  • chopped chives
  1. Heat skillet to medium. Sauté pierogies in butter per package instructions. Set aside and keep warm.

  2. Add oil to drippings and sauté ham for 4–5 minutes until tender, making sure not to overcook. Remove ham with slotted spoon.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk cornstarch into coffee to make a slurry. Pour into pan drippings and deglaze skillet. Whisk in milk and pepper; heat sauce until it reaches gravy consistency. If too thick, add a bit more milk.

  4. Divide pierogies onto four plates. Top with strips of country ham and a poached egg. Drizzle with "hollandiase" gravy and garnish with chopped chives.

Recipe Notes

How to poach eggs:

Eggs can be poached up to 24 hours in advance—handy if you are cooking for a crowd.

Heat 2–3 inches of water in a pan to a low boil. Break eggs, one at a time, into a custard cup or small bowl. Slide gently into water. Do not stir. Remove with slotted spoon after the whites set and the yolks begin to set, about 3–5 minutes. Drain on paper towels if using immediately. For later use, lower into an ice water bath to chill. Drain and keep refrigerated until needed. Warm in water at serving time.

Chicken Breakfast Sausage

Chicken Breakfast Sausage





















Published Carolina Country Magazine February 2020


Long ago… in what seems like another lifetime, I was a crazy busy personal chef.  Over a couple of decades, I cooked for so many folks that became like family to me…. singles young and old, couples young and old, families… senior parents whose children would hire me to look after them from afar!  I did dinner parties and cooking classes. I even founded a professional association in 2000 that taught many personal chefs across America (and a few other countries) how to set up, manage and operate their own personal chef businesses!  A “mishap” in a convenience store parking lot “hole” changed all that in 2014 and I had to suddenly re-career off my feet.  Another story for another day.

During the nearly 2 decades I cooked for so many, one of my most requested recipes was this chicken breakfast sausage.  Folks loved and requested it for all sorts of reasons.  No Pork. Seasoned this way or that. Etc. This is kid-friendly too.
I tweaked it until it was just like I wanted it.  And sometimes tweaked per client to suit their personal tastes.  I have also made it with apple tucked in too.  Grating in some fresh apple makes it super moist, but that’s another recipe for another day!  (Or just add some into this recipe.)  

If you find you like this recipe, it’s easy to double batch and freeze patties to have on hand.  Notice my suggestion for making some as is, and some as maple sausage too.  Either way, I think you will enjoy this recipe.  I like to cook in a cast iron skillet to get a little bit of a “crunch” on the outside.  (See note in recipe about cooking with maple syrup in it.)

This sausage is perfect alongside my Whole Wheat Nutty Lemon Ricotta Pancakes that I will be sharing in the next week once published at CC!  

I hope you will give these a try, and comment below or come over and find the post about this on my facebook community and add there!

Chicken Breakfast Sausage

Enjoy this moist and tasty chicken breakfast sausage... as is, or with a hint of maple too!

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Supper
Cuisine: American, Kid-Friendly, Southern
Keyword: breakfast sausage, kid-friendly, maple sausage, sausage
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken, dark/white mix is best
  • 1 small onion, minced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (or more!) crushed red pepper, omit or reduce to suit taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • maple syrup, optional
  1. Combine all ingredients except syrup and mix well, forming 12 patties.

  2. Heat skillet to medium heat and add just enough oil to coat.
    Fry about 12-15 minutes, turning once until cooked through center (165).

Recipe Notes

Option:   Make the recipe and divide in half, and add 2 tablespoons maple syrup to half to have some with and without maple. Note that the patties with maple will brown more due to the sugar.  Watch carefully to prevent burning from the sugar.  (I cook these a bit lower and cover to make sure they get done inside.

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