Suet for Birds

IMG_1014When Pat and I hosted this year’s Cousin Camp for the grandchildren, the kids and I made each family a bird feeder and stuffed it with homemade suet.
by Kent Savoie

Ingredients

1    cup    lard
1    cup    peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
3    cups    cornmeal
1/2    cup    wheat flour

Method 

Melt lard and peanut butter together.

Add cornmeal and flour, mixing well.

Cool slightly to thicken and pour into container.

Stuff mixture into holes drilled in a log, then hang for birds to feed.

Refrigerate or freeze extra to store.

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Orzo with Sugar Snap Peas

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This beautiful spring salad was vibrant on the Easter table. Because it is meatless, it would also work well for Lenten Fridays. Even Elizabeth, who claims she doesn’t like peas, cleaned her plate! If you are invited to a salad luncheon, consider bringing this orzo salad to give the buffet some variety.
by Pat Savoie

Ingredients 

8 oz    orzo pasta
2 tsp    lemon zest
1/2 cup    lemon juice (may add more before serving to brighten the flavor)
2    Tbsp    olive oil
1/2 tsp    salt
1/2  tsp     pepper
1 Tbsp    Dijon or Creole mustard
1/4 cup    shallots or onion, diced
1 cup    frozen peas
8 oz   sugar snap peas, chopped
2 Tbsp     parsley or mint, chopped
1/2 cup     almonds, toasted, chopped or sliced

Method

Cook orzo according to package directions in salted water.

Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, mustard and shallots.

Toss together pasta and lemon mixture.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Toss together lemon zest, peas, sugar snap peas, parsley and almonds with chilled pasta.

Add additional salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. We also added freshly grated parmesan cheese before serving.

 

 

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Filed under Holidays, Lunch Box, Salads, Showers or Teas, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Mandarin Orange Pineapple Cake

Cake

This light and cool cake is perfect for Easter and summer celebrations!

by Elizabeth Savoie Dronet

Cake Ingredients

1 pkg. butter cake mix (yellow)
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges with juice
3/4 c. oil
4 eggs

Icing Ingredients

1 (13 1/2 oz. or 16) Cool Whip
1 (3 oz.) pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained

Method

Mix cake mix with mandarin orange with juice and oil. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Grease and flour 2 round cake pans. Divide batter evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. (See cake box for recommended cook times for different pans.) Cool thoroughly.

Mix Cool Whip, pudding and crushed pineapple. Return to refrigerator for 10 minutes. Frost cake and keep in refrigerator.

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Filed under Cakes, Dessert, Holidays

Black-eyed Peas

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Black-eyed peas and cabbage has always been served to family and friends on New Years Day as we gather to celebrate.  Parades followed by football games are on television with everyone talking at once, trying to hear and be heard.  A dime or two is washed and tossed into the pot of black-eyed peas.  As plates are served, everyone tries to scoop up the hidden dime for good luck.  Cabbage, whether cooked or raw, is eaten for wealth.

Recipe by Pat Savoie

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Ingredients

Dried black-eyed peas, from the garden or store bought (soak in water overnight or simmer for 20 minutes then drain)

3 slices thick bacon, chopped into small pieces

1 large onion, chopped

6 cups of water, more or less as peas absorb

1 ham hock

2 tsp Tony’s Seasoning

Salt if needed

Method

Brown bacon pieces then add chopped onions.  Saute until clear.

Add peas, water, ham hock and Tony’s

Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for about an hour or until tender.

Serve over cooked rice or by itself

Here is a little history on eating Black-Eyed Peas each New Year:

Black-Eyed Peas

A Southern Tradition for Luck and Prosperity in the New Year

By Sheridan Alexander

The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman’s troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.

Today, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for the New Year has evolved into a number of variations and embellishments of the luck and prosperity theme including:

                Served with greens (collards, mustard or turnip greens, which varies regionally), the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money. In some areas cabbage is used in place of the greens.                 

                Cornbread, often served with black-eyed peas and greens, represents gold.

                For the best chance of luck every day in the year ahead, one must eat at least 365 black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.

                Black-eyed peas eaten with stewed tomatoes represent wealth and health.

                In some areas, actual values are assigned with the black-eyed peas representing pennies or up to a dollar each and the greens representing anywhere from one to a thousand dollars.

                Adding a shiny penny or dime to the pot just before serving is another tradition practiced by some. When served, the person whose bowl contains the penny or dime receives the best luck for the New Year, unless of course, the recipient swallows the coin, which would be a rather unlucky way to start off the year.

The catch to all of these superstitious traditions is that the black-eyed peas are the essential element and eating only the greens without the peas, for example, will not do the trick.

http://gosoutheast.about.com/od/restaurantslocalcuisine/a/blackeyedpeas.htm

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Belgian Waffles

IMG_8669Much to my delight, my mother, Dolores Borel, gave me a waffle iron for my birthday.   I was told my nephew’s wife, Aubre’, had the best recipe for crispy waffles and they were right!  I make the batter the night before and pop it into the refrigerator.  In the morning Kent and I make the whole batch, then freeze the leftovers.  My favorite toppings are strawberries and whipped cream.

by Pat Savoie, based on Aubre’ Polo’s recipe

Ingredients

1 envelope dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/4 tsp baking soda

Method

Combine yeast and water and let stand 5 minutes

Combine yeast mixture, milk, butter, sugar and salt

Add flour mixing until smooth

Chill 8 hours

Whisk in eggs and baking soda

Bake in waffle iron

Waffles for breakfast Christmas morning!

Waffles for breakfast Christmas morning!

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Filed under Breakfast, Holidays

Pumpkin Soup with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

IMG_0100Mom served this soup to a crowd of witches at her Halloween pokeno party. She had all of them wondering what was the secret ingredient in her concoction:  frog’s eyes, newt’s toes, spider’s webbing? Just as Ms. Terry predicted, they never guessed that there’s honey and curry mixed in the brew. Serve this soup with or without Pumpkin Seed Pesto garnish. Either way, they’ll be coming back for a second and third cup. 
Recipe by Ms. Terry, Elizabeth’s neighbor

Ingredients

1             onion, chopped
1 lb        mushrooms, chopped fine
1/2 c     butter
1/3 c     flour
2 qts     chicken stock or broth (sub. veggie broth for vegetarian version)
2 c         pumpkin
2 c          heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp     curry
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Saute onion in butter until clear.  Add mushrooms and cook a few more minutes.

Stir in flour and cook forming a blond roux.

Add stock, pumpkin, honey, curry, salt and pepper.

Simmer 30-45 minutes.

Stir in cream and heat, but do not boil.

Garnish with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

For extra flair, make a spider out of puff pastry to top the soup.

For extra flair, make a spider out of puff pastry to top the soup.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto:

1             garlic
1/3 c     fresh mint
1/8 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 c     olive oil
1/4 c     pumpkin seeds, roasted, salted

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Filed under Holidays, Soup, Vegetarian

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

IMG_8419By Pat Savoie  from Half Baked-The Cake Blog

Ingredients

3    cups    flour, all-purpose
1    tsp        baking soda
2    tsp        baking powder
1    tsp        salt
2    tsp        cinnamon
1/2 tsp        ginger
1/2 tsp        nutmeg
2 sticks        butter, room temp
1    cup         sugar
1    cup         brown sugar, light
4                   eggs
1    cup         milk
1 1/2 cups  pumpkin puree

Method

Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Combine dry ingredients:  flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg

In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and sugars until creamy

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition

Start adding dry ingredients a little at a time, alternating with milk and ending with dry ingredients until all is combined.

Stir in pumpkin.

Fill cupcake liners almost to the top and bake 18 minutes

Cool  in pans 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack

Cool completely then ice with cinnamon cream cheese frosting:

Icing Ingredients

1 1/2 sticks    butter, softened
8    oz                 cream cheese, softened
4    cups            powdered sugar
1    tsp                vanilla
1    tsp                cinnamon

Icing Method

Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy.

Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy.

Add vanilla and cinnamon and mix until all is combined.

Frost cupcakes

*For Halloween, make witches legs by cutting black and white striped paper straws to size. Draw and cut out little witch’s shoes on black paper. Cut two small slices in the top of the straws to hold the paper shoes and slide them into the slots.

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Filed under Cakes, Dessert, Holidays