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

Orange-y Everything Beer Bread with Mediterranean Dipping Oil

Orange-y Everything Beer Bread with Mediterranean Dipping Oil

Now those that follow me here know my fondness for talking about and cooking with my favorite North Carolina made and produced food and beverage goodies.  Today, I offer you a twofer. With my tweaks… Mimi’s ORANGE-Y Everything Old Tavern Beer Bread… dipped in Carolina Gold Sunflower Mediterranean Oil… a perfect pairing for nibbling or adding to a charcuterie tray…

Keep reading!

Mimi's Mountain Mixes

I met “Mimi” (aka Lin) years ago when she was doing her first #GotToBeNC Festival. We were “neighbors” that weekend, and I knew from tasting her simply made breads and pretzels AND by the crowd lined up to sample she would soon make a name for Mimi’s Mountain Mixes. They had brought a LOT of samples for day one but ran out early in the day (of 3 days!). With the addition of a little oven in their space, they just couldn’t make more fast enough over there!! 

Well y’all, she did just that… made a name for herself, and soon I started seeing her boxes of mix here and there. I’m so glad fate put us beside each other that weekend.  I use her mixes often as y’all also know here I’m THE non-baker, so when I can have scrumptious bread with just the addition of a beer or club soda, I’m there.  You can’t believe how damn good and EASY this stuff is!  You’ve GOT to get some if you haven’t yet.  I usually pick mine up locally at Lowes Foods on the NC product shelf, but you can take a look at her web page and see where else to find Lin’s mixes. In addition to this Old Tavern Beer Bread Mix, she also has soft pretzel mix,  Italian Herb Beer Bread Mix, Cinnamon Spice Beer Coffee Cake Mix, Bodacious Beer Biscuit Mix, Delectable Beer Donut Mix, Red Pepper Chili Beer Bread Mix, Spice Beer Pancake Mix, and Ooey Gooey Beer Fudge Brownie Mix!  Some are even gluten free!!  (Not all products are available at every location.)  I promise you will LOVE this stuff…

NOW… as for the wondermous Carolina Gold Oil

I’ve been buying this for a while and called eastern North Carolina sunflower farmer Lee Britt a couple of months back to chat and tell him how much I love his oils.  I have made a few other things with them I’ll be sharing soon too… 

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting 5th Generation farmer Lee and his daddy of R. Britt Farms at their little processing facility in Harrellsville, NC!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more about Lee, his family and Carolina Gold Oils here in NC Farm Bureau’s North Carolina Field & Family Magazine
and Farm Flavor.

Lee grows acres and acres of sunflowers in Hertford County that are cold-pressed into the beautiful gold oil… great for sauteing and cooking. 

Read about cooking, health benefits and more with sunflower oil HERE!

Sunflower fields

Along with the non-GMO gluten free Carolina Gold, he offers 4 Carolina Gold dipping oils… Cajun (I made the BEST fresh corn salad with that one last week), Garlic, Italian, and Mediterranean that I enjoyed with Mimi’s Orange Everything bread.  What a perfect match!  

So how did I tweak Mimi’s bread mix?  I’m not a big beer drinker but recently found an orange infused beer that I love… being the orange-y loving gal that I am.  Those that are out and about with me know I want orange in my tea… NOOOO lemon please!  The only beer I had on hand the day I took a notion to make this twofer was an orange beer… and I always keep an orange or two on hand, so I added some orange zest, but that’s not necessary… just another little layer of added flavor! I just made according to Mimi’s instructions… and add some of my own Everything Bagel Mix  (optional) in bottom of a bundt pan before pouring in the batter. (You would usually use a loaf pan, but I had to do something different!)  That’s all.

Y’all!  The orange in this was just right!  In the bread AND with the herbs and seasonings in the Mediterranean Dipping Oil! For those that don’t have orange beer on hand, just use any beer, regular or orange scented club soda/seltzer. I think you will get the same goodness… although I do think beer gives Lin’s mixes a deeper richer taste.  When done, just flip out onto a cooling rack… slice or pinch off pieces and dip into any of Lee’s oils!
Oh.My.GOODness.  What a perfect pairing of these two North Carolina goodies!

So look out for both Mimi’s Mountain Mixes and Lee’s Carolina Gold Oil when out and about. If you’d like some but can’t find, check their web pages or drop me a note and I’ll see what I can do to help out.  I do hope you will enjoy both… and come back here or to my fun facebook community and tell all about it!

 

No-Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream With vanilla bean

No Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream with vanilla bean

No Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream with vanilla bean

Published in Carolina Country Magazine July 2020

No cooking ice cream for this gal!  I’m a simple throw cooker, and created this yummy summer treat for my throw cook’n brothers and sisters.  Just a little planning ahead is the most “work” needed for this sweet and creamy frozen treat.  It’s too hot to even write a long blog post or ask you to read one, so today, short… and sweet!

Just make some. And come add your 2 cents worth on my facebook post… 

No Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream with vanilla bean

Nothing says summer like the combination of sweet, ripe cantaloupe and creamy coconut. Close your eyes and you might even think you’ve landed on a tropical island. No need to pull out the ice cream freezer for this one. Fun to make as popsicles too!

Course: Dessert, Fun Food!, Sweet Treats
Cuisine: American, Garden Goodies, No Cook, Southern Desserts
Keyword: cantaloupe, coconut, dessert, ice cream, no churn, vanilla bean
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 can (13.5 ounce) full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 can (11.6 ounce) sweetened, condensed coconut milk*
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 2 cups roughly chopped ripe cantaloupe pulp with juice
  • Toasted coconut, optional
Instructions
  1. Put the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

  2. Remove coconut fat solids from the chilled can of milk and place in deep mixing bowl for about 20 minutes. (Save the liquid for use in smoothies, muffins, oatmeal or cocktail mixes.) Whip with mixer until fluffy.

  3. Blend in coconut milk, condensed milk and vanilla bean. Fold in cantaloupe. Pour into loaf pan or bowl and freeze. Garnish with toasted coconut at serving time.

Recipe Notes

*You can sub regular condensed milk if you don't find condensed coconut milk (I buy that at Walmart.)

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

... a southern seafood platter twist!

Deviled Crab Hushpuppy Waffle and Pickled Seafood Medley

Published in Our State Magazine May 2015

A few years back, when I was at Our State Magazine, the idea was tossed about to create a newfangled version of the seafood platter. Now we all know that our traditional seafood platter will always take top billing, but it was fun to imagine something outside the box.  Hence… these 2 ideas.

First up, my Crab Hushpuppy Waffle!  This is really quite delicious. It’s basically deviled crab, fried crispy in a waffle form.  I have made these waffles several times since creation, and always enjoy them; y’all know I love any things crispy. They are nice with a creamy sauce for you Ranch Dressing folks… or with something a little sweet and spicy too, like a hot pepper jelly.  These are fun to make ahead for a crowd… and pair nicely with cold beer.  You can make/freeze and heat up in your oven or quickly in toaster oven for your gatherings. Serve with one of the above ideas, or with cocktail or tarter sauce.

Next up… Pickled Seafood Medley ~ a sort of ceviche! This one is for those who enjoy raw/pickled fish and seafoods.  I like on occasion, but not my personal first choice.

I hope you will enjoy these… do come and join in the conversation on my fun facebook community!

Deviled Crab Hushpuppy Waffle

Fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside, this is the best crab hush puppy you’ve never had — no frying necessary.

Course: Appetizer, Breads & Cornbreads, Brunch, Fun Food!, Main Course, Side Dish, Supper
Cuisine: American, Seafood, Southern
Keyword: crispy, deviled crab, fish tacos, watermelon, pico de gallo, seafood, hushpuppy, waffle, waffle iron
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 2 cups hushpuppy mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil (I like Carolina Gold Oils)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely diced sweet onion
  • 1 cup club soda or seltzer
  • 1/2 cup cooked lump crabmeat
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients. In another bowl, stir together remaining ingredients except crab.

  2. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir to blend. Gently fold in crab. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes while the waffle iron heats.

  3. Preheat waffle iron on highest setting. Once heated, grease the iron with cooking spray to prevent sticking. 

  4. Spoon mixture onto hot iron, spreading into a thin layer with the back of a spoon. Close iron and check at 5 minutes. Cooking times will vary depending on waffle irons. 

  5. For softer, cake-like waffles, remove and keep warm in oven when lightly browned (about 5 minutes). For crispier waffles, spread batter thinner and cook longer, until a dark chestnut brown (about 10 minutes).

Recipe Notes

When making for a crowd, preheat oven and baking pan to 250º. As waffles are done, place on baking pan in warm oven. Waffles can be made ahead of time, frozen, and heated in the oven or toaster oven.

 

Pickled Seafood Medley

North Carolina flavors — peaches, pickles, and local seafood — get the South American treatment in this Southern twist on ceviche.

Course: Brunch, Main Course, Supper
Cuisine: American, No Cook, North Carolina Goodies, Summer Food
Keyword: ceviche, fish, mahi, north carolina seafood, scallops,, seafood, seafood cocktail, shrimp, snapper, tuna, watermelon rind pickles
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds resh fish and shellfish, such as medium cleaned shrimp, bay scallops, squid, and firm fish (such as tuna, snapper, mahimahi, or sea bass), rinsed and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup pickle juice
  • 2 tablespoons local honey
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon  pickling spice, tied in cheesecloth
  • 1/2 cup diced watermelon rind pickle
  • 1/2 cup okra pickle, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large peach, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. In a nonreactive (glass or stainless steel)bowl, combine lime juice, pineapple juice, pickle juice, honey, salt, pepper, and pickling spices to create a brine.

  2. Put fish and seafood into large nonreactive bowl. Pour brine over seafood. Cover and refrigerate for 8-12 hours, until the seafood is firm and opaque. The brine will “cook” the seafood, but if preferred, blanch before adding the brine.

  3. About 2 hours before serving, stir in pickles, vegetables, fruit, and parsley. Serve chilled and keep cool.

Recipe Notes

Always use fresh, clean seafood. Choose fish that’s mild and not too strong-tasting

Spicy Citrus Seafood Cocktail With NC wild-caught shrimp

Spicy Citrus NC Seafood Cocktail

Spicy Citrus NC Seafood Cocktail

Published in Carolina Country Magazine July 2020

Who has time or desire to do much cooking during the lazy hazy hot days of North Carolina summer?  Not me! Y’all, this seafood cocktail is light… so full of flavor with just a hint of fresh citrus, and only a little bit of fuss when it comes to cook’n. Loaded with a bounty of fresh seafood from our coast, you can enjoy this for a late morning brunch… for lunch… or right out of a jar in your porch swing watching the sun set!  

This is one of those recipes where specifics and exactness isn’t important — you know, throw cook’n!  Use all of one seafood or whatever combo you like. Go with your favorite vegetables and what’s in season.  Add veggies you like to my recipe… as The Frugal Gourmet Chef Jeff Smith would say…

“Omit and substitute! That’s how recipes should be written. Please don’t ever get so hung up on published recipes that you forget that you can omit and substitute.”

And in keeping with my North Carolina company ingredients, I chose North Carolina’s Bruce Julian’s Blood Mary Mix to finish out my recipe!  Just round up what you need and throw together some of my seafood cocktail… soon!  You’ll be so glad you did… and so will your company.

And while you’re at it, be sure to make some of my Savory Bay Crackers with browned butter too.  Followed up with a little dish of my No-Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream.

Come on over, and hang out with us in my fun facebook community too, where you will find this and lots of other goodies.

Spicy Citrus North Carolina Seafood Cocktail

Light and spicy... with just the right hint of fresh citrus, the seafood cocktail features all sorts of North Carolina goodness!

Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Fun Food!, Main Course, Snack, Supper
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Gluten Free, Mexican, North Carolina Goodies, Seafood, Southern, Summer Food, Tailgating
Keyword: bloody mary mix, bruce julian, crab, got to be nc, grilled salad, romaine, southwestern, north carolina shrimp, lobster, mexican seafood cocktail, north carolina seafood, seafood cocktail, spicy
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
Spicy Sauce
  • 2 quarts favorite Bloody Mary mix* or V8
  • 1 bunch radishes, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • zest of 1 lemon, lime, orange and juice of ½ each, Cut the remaining halves into wedges for guests to squeeze into their cocktails
  • cracked black pepper
Seafood Mixture
  • 2 pounds wild-caught North Carolina shrimp, peeled, cooked and cooled
  • 1 pound bay scallops
  • 6 small lobster tails
  • 2 firm avocados, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Garnishes
  • 1/2 pound lump crab meat
  • cilantro
Instructions
  1. Combine and chill the spicy sauce ingredients.

  2. A few minutes before serving, add about four pounds of cooked shellfish of your choice (or use our suggestions above) and gently stir in the avocados and cilantro.

  3. Sprinkle with crabmeat and more cilantro.

Recipe Notes

*I used NC’s Bruce Julian Bloody Mary Mix.

 

Savory Bay Crackers with browned butter

Savory Bay Crackers with Browned Butter!

Published in Carolina Country Magazine July 2020

Sometimes, you just need a little “something something” to go alongside a dish.  My Savory Bay Crackers with browned butter are that “something.”  I created them to enjoy with my Spicy Citrus North Carolina Seafood Cocktail, but they are just right for serving with soups, stews, chowders… or just plain ole nibbling.

You can use one kind of cracker… or do like I did. Use some of those packages of this, that and the other from my pantry shelf. Actually, I kinda prefer having a variety like this instead of just one or the other.  And don’t they look snazzy all jumbled up like that?  

They will keep just fine for a spell too, as long as you keep them stored in an airtight container.  And they are real good with a bit o’butter smeared on top.  Tasty with cream cheese and pepper jelly as well.

No matter how you want to eat them, just make some.  And come along on over to my fun facebook community where you will find this and all sorts of other stuff.

Savory Bay Crackers with browned butter

Browning the butter releases a whole new depth of toasty, buttery flavor in these crackers. Seasoned with a touch of Old Bay, they keep perfect company with our Seafood Cocktail — and with soups, salads or as a snack. 

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Tailgating
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 16 ounces crackers (like saltines, crispy round and club-type)
SEASONING MIX
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
Instructions
  1. For the browned butter, heat butter over medium heat in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, whisking and watching closely as it melts. Continue heating for about 6–7 minutes until butter smells toasty and has turned golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside. Cool to room temperature.

  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

  3. Combine seasoning mix and add to browned butter. Stir to mix well.

  4. Put crackers in a large bowl. Pour seasoned butter over crackers, and gently toss with hands for about two minutes to make sure the crackers are well coated. Put in a large baking pan (I used a foil, lasagna-sized pan). Toast in oven for about 25 minutes, gently stirring every few minutes. Let cool before storing.

  5. Keep in airtight container up to a week.

No-Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream With vanilla bean

No Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream with vanilla bean!

Published in Carolina Country Magazine July 2020

Keeping with the little to no cook’n theme for hot North Carolina summertime, this creamy coconutty ice cream with cantaloupe fits the bill.  No cooking OR churning here… just a little thinking ahead to make a day, or days, ahead of time to just stir and throw in the freezer.  If you have never enjoyed cantaloupe this way, I hope you will give it a try.  It pairs so well with coconut… and the vanilla bean is a quiet layer of flavor that rounds it out.

I’ll just leave it at that. Simple post. Simple dessert. To enjoy with this simple meal of my Spicy Citrus North Carolina Seafood Cocktail with Savory Bay Crackers with browned butter.  Whether enjoying on a beach vacation, or at home on your porch… simply delish!

Be sure to come on over and hang out with us in my fun facebook neighborhood too!

No-Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream With vanilla bean

Nothing says summer like the combination of sweet, ripe cantaloupe and creamy coconut. Close your eyes and you might even think you’ve landed on a tropical island. No need to pull out the ice cream freezer for this one. Fun to make as popsicles too!

Course: Dessert, Sweet Treats
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Gluten Free, No Cook, North Carolina Goodies, Southern Desserts, Summer Food
Keyword: cantaloupe, coconut, ice cream, no churn, vanilla bean
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 can (13.5 oz.) full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 can (11.6 oz.) sweetened, condensed coconut milk*
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 2 cups roughly chopped ripe cantaloupe pulp with juice
  • toasted coconut, optional
Instructions
  1. Put the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

  2. Remove coconut fat solids from the chilled can of milk and place in deep mixing bowl for about 20 minutes. (Save the liquid for use in smoothies, muffins, oatmeal or cocktail mixes.) Whip with mixer until fluffy.

  3. Blend in coconut milk, condensed milk and vanilla bean. Fold in cantaloupe. Pour into loaf pan or bowl and freeze.

  4. Garnish with toasted coconut at serving time.

Recipe Notes

*You can sub regular condensed milk

Aunt Fran’s German Chocolate Cake

Aunt Fran's German Chocolate Cak

 

In honor of #NationalGermanChocolateCakeDay today, I’m sharing my Aunt Fran’s recipe.  She made a gazillion of these over the years and it was always one of the first to go at our church homecoming days. Some of us would go get dessert first to assure we got some before everybody else hit that table. 

I don’t have a really great picture. Actually, my sister, who does little cooking, made this one last year and snapped this picture. Even my cousins couldn’t find a picture of their mama’s delicious cake. So just know it’s delicious! 

Fortunately, I have her recipe preserved in a cookbook of Perry family recipes I compiled decades ago.  I’m so glad Aunt Fran shared her recipe with me way back then… so I can share with you!
DO make one… and if you do, send me a picture and I will add it here.

I hope you have a Happy German Chocolate Cake Day!  What a great thing to celebrate…

Come over and join the fun on my facebook page where I’ve shared this recipe today.

Aunt Fran's German Chocolate Cake

The delicious homemade German Chocolate Cake is, as they say, fit'n!

Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern Desserts
Keyword: cake, German Chocolate
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
CAKE
  • 4 ounce bar German chocolate
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, unbeaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
COCONUT-PECAN FROSTING
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Instructions
CAKE
  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Melt chocolate in boiling water; cool.

  3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

  4. Add egg yolks, one at a time; beat well.

  5. Add chocolate and vanilla; mix well.

  6. Sift flour, salt and soda together.

  7. add alternately with buttermilk to chocolate mixture; beat until smooth.

  8. Fold in egg whites.

  9. Pour into 3 deep 8" or 9" was paper lined baking pans.

  10. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Cool.

COCONUT-PECAN FROSTING (makes 2 1/2 cups)
  1. Combine everything except coconut and nuts in a saucepan. Cook about 12 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly as this will scorch easily.

  2. Remove from heat and beat in coconut pecans. Beat until thick enough to spread on layers and side of cake.

Peanut Butter & Hot Pepper Jelly Doughnut Holes… with Peggy Roses jellies and all natural peanut butter

Peanut Butter & Hot Pepper Jelly Doughnut Holes… with Peggy Roses jellies and all natural peanut butter

 

Join me today in celebrating #NationalJellyDoughnutDay and make yourself a batch of these scrumptious doughnut holes… bite into these crispy little fritters and find a burst of flavor from Peggy Roses Hot Pepper Jelly, some with her All Natural Peanut Butter too!  The little bit of heat you get with the savory peanut butter and dusting of spiced sugar makes for a beautiful song in your mouth!  

Visit PR web page if in NC or around the southeast to find in your area, or order some here

Free shipping with just a $25 order!

I hope you enjoy… come on over to my fun facebook community and add your comments!  And follow along at Peggy Roses too.

Peanut Butter & Hot Pepper Jelly Doughnut Holes

Light and crispy doughnut holes with a surprise tucked inside of hot pepper jelly with peanut butter!

Course: Dessert, Fun Food!, Snack, Sweet Treats
Cuisine: American, Kid-Friendly, North Carolina Goodies, Southern Desserts
Keyword: all natural peanut butter, doughnut holes, hot pepper jelly
Servings: 16 holes
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • oil for frying, I used peanut oil
  • 1- 8 count can Grands biscuits
  • Peggy Roses Hot Pepper Jelly, or one of her others
  • Peggy Roses All Natural Peanut Butter
  • COMBINE:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or pie spice, (I used Georgia Peach Spice from Savory Spice Shop)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil deep enough for frying to med-low.

  2. Flatten each biscuit with hand or roller and cut in half. Flatten halves as much as possible so insides get done.

  3. Place dollop of jelly (with or w/out PB) in center and pinch to seal. Roll in hands to round the balls.

  4. Fry a few at the time a couple of minutes, turning to brown.

  5. Toss while warm in sugar mixture.

Recipe Notes

Best to eat while warm!

 

Krispy Kreme Cannoli Strawberry Shortcakes!

 

Published in Carolina Country Magazine May 2020

 

Who doesn’t love a Krispy Kreme doughnut?  Or juicy sweet spring strawberries?  I don’t know many folks who don’t… and that don’t love a good ole strawberry shortcake topped with fresh whipped cream!  My head was spinning trying to think of a way to give this old staple a new twist… when I happened upon cannolis.  Now this southern gal didn’t grow up being fed cannolis. I have had a few times in Italian restaurants… but have never made them.

I chatted with my Italian friend Elise who has the most fabulous and comprehensive cookbook with hundreds of recipes and stories from her Italian ancestors and family members… you can read about We Are Cooking With Love here! 

Elise gave me some pointers on making the cannoli filling… and explained the importance of draining the ricotta.  It was amazing how much liquid drained out during that process… and made the cheese nice and fluffy.  I suppose you could skip that step, but I suggest you not.

So now as we are in prime strawberry season, I suggest you visit one of your nearby strawberry farms for some and make this tasty treat.  Be sure not to scrimp on the whipped cream.  There’s just nothing like the real thing… good rich creamy whipping cream!

I hope you will make some Strawberry Shortcake Cannolis, and be sure to come join the conversation in my facebook community!

And if you like this recipe, please click over and give it 5 stars!

Krispy Kreme Cannoli Strawberry Shortcake

We love strawberry time! And Krispy Kreme doughnuts, of course. How about an NC cannoli strawberry shortcake? Those signature doughnuts, combined with a creamy cannoli-like filling, sweet berries, plus a pillow of whipped cream drizzled with chocolate? Yes, please!

Course: Brunch, Dessert, Sweet Treats
Cuisine: American, Garden Goodies, Italian, No Cook, North Carolina Goodies, Southern, Southern Desserts, Summer Food
Servings: 12 shortcakes
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 12 Krispy Kreme doughnuts, air dried for a day
  • 1 32 ounce whole ricotta cheese, drained in refrigerator for 24 hours
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 quarts strawberries, sliced and sweetened with honey as needed
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • chocolate syrup
  • 1 block baking chocolate, shaved*
Instructions
  1. Drain cheese for one day (two is best).

  2. Blend in sugar, chocolate chips, cinnamon and extracts. Too stiff? Add a few tablespoons of cream.

  3. Slice berries. Stir in honey and orange juice.

  4. Whip cream until stiff.

  5. Split doughnuts horizontally. Cover each bottom half with cheese mixture. Spoon over strawberries. Top with doughnut half and whipped cream. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and garnish with shaved chocolate.

Recipe Notes

*For shaved chocolate, using a vegetable peeler, carefully “shave” the sides of a block of baking chocolate over the shortcakes.

Pulled Pork & Orzo Italian Salad With roasted garlic

Pulled Pork & Orzo Italian Salad

Published in Carolina Country Magazine May 2020

Creations like this one is why I sometimes feel like the Queen of Throw Cooking!  Because that is just how this tasty salad came to be.

Each year, on the 2nd Sunday in September,  Dinner in the Meadow is held in Franklin County outside Louisburg, NC. Held atop a grassy knoll in the meadow of Meadow Lane Farm, this dinner supports a grant for the chosen applicant of that year’s small farm fund grant.  For many years, I have been a part of the dinner, handling marketing and social media. Most years, I throw together lunch for all the volunteer set up crew and that is how this dish came about.

Friend and farm owner Martha Mobley owns this NC Century Farm where she grows all sorts of organic produce and flowers… and raises all sorts of farm animals, mostly sheep and cows.  Although a full time extension agent in Franklin County, you can find her selling her farm goodness every Saturday at the Durham Farmers’ Market.  She gives me some goodies to work with for the volunteer lunch, so I had the best pork butts you can have to make this salad.

When she gave them to me, freezer to freezer, I had no idea what I’d do with them.  I figured I would probably just make some pulled pork sandwiches… but when time came around, I dug around my pantry to see what else I could throw together instead!  I found some orzo… sun dried tomatoes… some toasted pine nuts… and my head started getting all giddy as I had this vision!  TaDa.
Pork and orzo salad!

That day, Martha said it was the best food she’d ever had and wanted me to make her more.  It took me a while but I did.  I also wanted to put on paper out of my head so I could share with others.  Thus, here came to be, that recipe, on paper, for Carolina Country Magazine customers and anybody else that wants it!  It’s has become one of my favorites too… and I hope you will give it a try as well. It takes just a little forethought to cook the pork, pasta and roasted garlic, but you can then make and enjoy this salad for days. I even froze some to see how it would hold up… and it was just as tasty! 

I do hope you will throw together this salad too.  And if you do, snap a picture and share over on my fun facebook page!  Enjoy y’all…

Pulled Pork and Orzo Italian Salad

 

 

Pulled Pork & Orzo Italian Salad with roasted garlic!

For those who love pasta salads and Italian food, it doesn't get much better! This will feed a crowd, but easy to cut in half... everybody will love it, so make a bunch! Freezes too...

Course: Main Course, Salad, Supper
Cuisine: Italian, Southern
Keyword: Italian, orzo, pasta salad,, pork, pulled pork
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 5-6 lbs. pork butt, cooked, shredded and chopped (cook ahead in crockpot)
  • 1 16 ounce box orzo, cooked per package directions
  • 1 8,5 ounce jar julienned sun dried tomatoes with oil, undrained
  • 1 3.5 ounce capers, drained
  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (We used Mt. Olive.)
  • 1 cup white raisins
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 6 ounce bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 heads roasted garlic
  • 1 cup oil*
Instructions
  1. Cook pork and roast garlic to have ready for assembling salad. For pork, I simply cook in crock pot until fork tender. Remove from drippings when done, shred with fork and cut up big pieces with scissors to bite size.

  2. To roast garlic: *Cut tops from 4 heads of garlic. Place in small baking dish. Pour oil over garlic. Roast at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool and squeeze cloves into salad, along with the oil.

  3. To make salad: Fold pork into orzo. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until well blended. Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve later. Best if removed from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Note: The orzo can be cooked 1–2 days ahead. Cook al dente, and toss with 2 tablespoons oil. Refrigerate in airtight container until ready to make salad.

 

 

Easter Brunch Asparagus Casserole

Easter Asparagus Brunch Casserole

 

Published in Carolina Country Magazine April 2018

 

Tis the season when our chickens or those of our nearby friends with eggs start having an abundance… their “girls” are coming out of their winter doldrums and are busy laying lots more eggs.  Just as spring asparagus is poking up from the earth.  These two marry well together and can be paired in many ways.  If you are looking for a tasty and crowd-pleasing dish for your Easter brunch table, you will love this casserole.

Cheesey. Fluffy. And so flavorful with the fresh asparagus! You can even use other veggies instead… add bacon, ham or sausage too.  Super quick and easy to throw together, this is a good recipe to let your aspiring chefs make.  

Do enjoy, and come on over to my fun facebook page and share your recipes.  Happy Easter!

Easter Brunch Asparagus Casserole

This light and velvety 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.

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Carb Free, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Southern
Keyword: asparagus, brunch, casserole, eggs, spring, throw cooking
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 eggs. beaten
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (only Duke's for me!)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tall can evaporated milk
  • 2 cups shredded Velveeta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • several turns freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 1½ quart baking dish

  2. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces and sauté in butter 3 to 4 minutes until tender. 

  3. Combine asparagus with all the other ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake about 30 minutes until it sets in center and starts to brown on top. 

  4. Let stand about 10 minutes, and serve while hot. 

Recipe Notes

This can be mixed a day ahead to bake at serving time.

Anytime is Deviled Egg time!

Published April 2013 in Our State Magazine!

Wendy's Deviled Eggs at Our State Magazine

I just realized today that I’ve never shared my deviled egg recipes here on my blog!  So I must remedy that.  Just in time to share for Easter fixins.  I’ll tell ya right here my secret ingredient to my deviled eggs…. BUTTER!  Why yes, doesn’t that make everything better?  So be sure not to leave that out in the recipes below.  It can become your secret ingredient too.  And if there’s such a thing at your house as “leftover” deviled eggs, just chop up and turn into egg salad for topping crackers or making sandwiches. 

During my years at Our State Magazine, I was asked to create several for a special feature.  Not only did that happen, but my eggs and food styling of them ended up as the cover for that issue!  That was my 2nd cover at OS… they even had a big soiree at Crook’s Corner Restaurant in Chapel Hill to celebrate that issue.  They gave me this big ole sign board they had made that was displayed as folks arrived.  That’s editor Elizabeth Hudson and Art Director Joseph at that time.

Our State Issue Celebration at Crook's Corner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m very grateful for so many opportunities like this I have been given during my decades of culinary adventures.  So here you go… my collection of Our State deviled eggs!  I have others I’ll get around to sharing one of these days.  Since I’m crazy busy these days with my farm and restaurant social media clients due to the virus, I’m not taking the time to enter into my printable recipe maker… so just take a snapshot with your camera to have handy or copy paste!

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

Basic Deviled Eggs

¼ cup mayonnaise (Duke’s)
2 tablespoons pickle cubes (Mount Olive bread & butter)
2-3 tablespoons sweet pickle cube juice
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon white pepper

Mash one dozen egg yolks with fork. Add all ingredients and stir to blend. Garnish with paprika.
NOTE: I got some criticism by some for not adding salt. I didn’t do that since the pickles, juice and mayo have salt.  Please do add salt as you’d like!

Rise n’ Shine Breakfast Deviled Eggs

Crisp bacon and mashed potatoes are the secrets to this egg. Because what North Carolinian doesn’t love breakfast?

4 slices maple bacon, cooked and crumbled (drippings  reserved)
2 tablespoons bacon drippings
2 small red potatoes (not peeled), grated
3 tablespoons finely diced onion
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
freshly ground black pepper
chives for garnish

In small sauté pan, heat bacon dripping on medium heat. When hot, add grated potatoes and onion. Cook until the potatoes are crispy and onions are golden. In small bowl, combine egg yolks with softened butter, maple syrup and pepper, mashing with fork until blended and creamy. Fold bacon and potato-onion mixture into yolk mixture. Spoon into egg whites. Garnish with chopped chive. Best if served warm or room temperature. Note: If filling is a bit too stiff, add 1 tablespoon bacon drippings with the butter.

Sweet Pete’s Deviled Eggs

Whip up this outlaw of an egg using Winston-Salem’s Texas Pete. Folks won’t be able to keep their hands off.

2 tablespoons Texas Pete
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ cup mayonnaise (Duke’s)
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
¼ cup finely diced celery

Add Texas Pete, sugar and mayonnaise to egg yolks. Mash together until well blended.  Gently fold in blue cheese and celery. Fill egg whites. Garnish with a few shakes of Texas Pete and celery leaves.

Swiss Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

Pick up pimento cheese any number of folks making it here in NC. You’ll need some for this devilishly cheesy egg.

½ cup pimento cheese
½ cup grated Swiss cheese
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon salt

Mash egg yolks with fork until crumbly. Add cheeses, red bell pepper and spices to yolks. Fold together until well blended. Fill egg whites and garnish with red pepper pieces.

Sassy Habañero Deviled Egg

Find some sweet n’hot bread-and-butter pickles for this egg… like Mt. Olive’s!

½ cup diced habañero  (or hot) bread and butter pickles
4 tablespoons pickle juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup chopped cilantro
a fresh pepper, jalapeño or habañero
¼ teaspoon salt

Add diced pickle, juice, cumin, cilantro and avocado to egg yolks. Fold together until well blended. Fill egg whites with mixture. Garnish with pepper rings.

Carolina Coast Deviled Eggs

Sorry, mountain people, but the blue crab found in coastal NC pairs perfectly with corn for this beach treat.

¼ cup mayonnaise (Duke’s)
½-1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (I used Savory Spice Shop Cape Hatteras smokey seafood seasoning)
2 tablespoons pickle juice
2 tablespoons sweet pickle cubes (Mt. Olive sweet relish)
4 tablespoons finely diced red onion
kernels from 1 ear roasted corn
½ cup N.C. lump crab meat

Add mayonnaise, seasoning and juice to egg yolks. Mash together with fork until well blended. Gently fold in pickle, onion, corn and crab. Stuff egg whites with mixture. Garnish with corn and dust with seasoning.

Happy Easter y’all!  Stay safe… and “socially distanced!”

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