Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hey Y'all: Paula Deen's Peach Cobbler

So I went on vacation this summer with my friend Brett and his family.  Our trip included a stop in beautiful Savannah, Georgia and we were lucky enough to eat at Paula Deen's restaurant The Lady and Sons.  It was absolutely delicious (of course)!  While there I had the buffet of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, roast turkey, pork stew, stuffing, cabbage, mac and cheese, and many more delicious dishes.  After eating at least one of everything in sight the waiter told us that dessert was included!! I had the peach cobbler which was warm from the oven and absolutely delightful!  Literally I could have eating an entire 9x13 pan of this cobbler, I may or may not have even licked the bowl it came in (Don't judge me!!).  After dessert I marched myself right down to the gift store in search of that recipe!  Much to my convenience, they have postcards at the Paula Deen store with recipes printed on the front one of which being the peach cobbler recipe of my dreams!    This might not be peach cobbler the way many people make it.  There is no crumble topping, it's cake-y, not crunchy.  The dough rises around the peaches and the result is fruity pillow-y like deliciousness! I made this the first time for my last day of work for the summer and it turned out great (it only lasted on the table about 15 minutes)  but there weren't enough peaches for my liking so this time when I made it I increased the amount of sliced peaches from 4 to 6 cups and it turned out great!

Paula Deen's Peach Cobbler

4 c. of peeled, sliced peaches ( I used 6c.)
2 c. sugar, divided
1/2 c. water
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups self rising flour (recipe below)
1 1/2 c. milk

self-rising flour (1 c.): 1 c. flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder.

1. preheat the oven to 350
2. combine the peaches, 1c. of sugar, and the water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from the beat.
3. put the butter in a deep baking dish and place it in the oven to melt.
4. mix remaining 1c. sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping.
5. pour mixture over melted butter. DO NOT STIR.
6. spoon the fruit over the top, gently pour on the syrup.  batter will rise to the top during baking.
7. bake for 30-45 minutes. to serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Unlike revenge, this cobbler is a dish best served warm!  So feel free to eat it as soon as you can get it onto a fork!  I like to pour a little bit of heavy cream on top before I eat it!

The Lady and Sons...home of the best fried chicken EVER!
Right out of the oven...if pictures had smell, you'd be grabbing a fork already!



Fist Pumpin': Sausage and Peppers

First off, I want to apologize for the Jersey Shore reference in the title of this post.  But hey, it got your attention right!!  There will be no guest appearance by "The Situation" just some darn good Italian fare on the menu tonight!  Now I made this recipe up myself one day last semester when all I had in the house was a bag of sweet peppers, some Italian sausage, a can of diced tomatoes, and some garlic.  I wanted something really filling because the neighbors were coming over for dinner (which they are tonight as well) and I hadn't had time to shop that day!  I basically chopped up everything, put it in a baking dish and roasted it turning it every 15 minutes until it cooked evenly.  I've never tried it with any sausage other than Italian but I'm sure that you could and  if you mix up the veggies and add spices you could really diversify the dish!  Even though it is summer I like this dish the most when it gets cold out.  i like to pair it with either pasta or rice, tonight I'm serving it with cheese tortellini yum!

Sausage and Peppers (my own recipe)

1 pkg sweet Italian sausage
1 pkg hot Italian sausage
4 cloves of garlic sliced
1 lrg green pepper sliced
1 lrg red pepper sliced
1 small yellow onion sliced
1 lrg can diced tomatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350
2.  Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a glass baking dish and place sausages on the bottom.  Cover in chopped veggies, tomatoes, and salt and pepper.
3.  Roast in the oven turning every 15 minutes until sausage is cooked.  This generally takes 45 minutes to an hour.
4.  Serve with bread and side of rice or pasta.

 Roasting in the oven!

I forgot to take a picture before we started eating because it looked and smelled so wonderful (tasted pretty darn good as well!)

Enjoy this recipe with a crowd it's meant to be shared!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner: Sour Cream Waffles!!

Breakfast is the most versatile and delicious meal of the day in my opinion.  Breakfast can be as simple as a bowl of cereal, a yogurt, and a LARGE cup of coffee, or as complicated as a 4 course meal with fruit, bread, eggs, meat, and some element covered in my favorite hollandaise sauce.  I love to eat breakfast at all times of the day, this also coincides with my need of cups of coffee periodically during the day (I get cranky if I don't have my caffeine!!).  I like that breakfast can be savory or sweet or both!!  This is where these sour cream waffles come into play.  The recipe is Art Smith's (all bow down!) and it has everything that I could ever want from a waffle.  It's crunchy, it's cake-y (which I happen to like in a waffle),  it has a nice tang at the end from the sour cream, and combine it on a plate with a little butter and some syrup and there you have it, the perfect tangy-sweet melt in your mouth deliciousness that I crave on the regular.  I like to make these waffles in large batches and freeze them in gallon bags.  Then I am free to throw one in the toaster as I please.  They are also wonderful the next day placed ever so delicately under a huge pile of ice cream (just a thought)!  If you like your waffles on the lighter side, may I suggest separating the yolks and whites, whipping the whites to soft peaks, and folding in after everything else is combined.

Art Smith's Sour Cream Waffles

1 3/4 c. A.P. flour
1 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick melted then cooled unsalted butter
1 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
3 large eggs

1.  Turn your waffle maker on to preheat
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl and make a well in the center with a spoon
3. In a separate bowl mix all of the wet ingredients.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and mix gently with a wooden spoon until just combined. note: do NOT over mix or the waffles with be tough and don't worry about some lumps that is what it's supposed to look like.
5.  Spoon mix into greased preheated waffle iron and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the outside is golden and the inside is cooked through.

Note:  you can keep your already made waffles warm in a 250 degree oven on a cookie sheet while you wait to serve them.

The batter...yes it's lumpy!

Waiting for it to be done...I'm really impatient when separated from what will soon be on my plate!

Delicious and WELL worth the wait!!

See you all next time!
and remember....Food is Love

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Beginnings: First Day of School Feast!!

Hello again everyone! Today was the first day of my senior year of college (wow! scary!).  I had class and a meeting for my independent study (which has to do with food so more on this at a later date!!).  When I came home all I wanted to do was to pig out to reward myself for a hard day of work.  Now let me tell you I love to eat things that are unhealthy and I definitely always  have at least 2 boxes of emergency butter hidden away in my fridge at all times( 1 box salted, 1 box unsalted...hey! butter emergencies happen!) and I never turn down any type of dessert. So, on days when I just want to eat and eat all things that make my waist line say,  "whoa there, who the heck do you think you are miss," I try to mix a really healthy flavorful dish with something that might not be so healthy (and then I put in an extra 15 mins. at the rec the next day!)  For my back to school feast I invited my friend Mitch over and also fed my roommate Ali, and I made a quick Vegetable Ratatouille and some of my Super Easy Really Cheesy Bread.  It was Delicious!! The firmness and freshness of the vegetables really compliments the creamy cheesy goodness of the bread.  This recipe is super easy to make, the most time consuming part of the whole thing was the time it took to simmer which was absolute torture because it smelled delicious.  I just used the vegetables that I had in the house, but you can add whatever others that you like.  Also, feel free to mix up the herbs in the recipe and really make it your own. I mean that is what cooking is all about right?!

Vegetable Ratatouille (a mish mash of 3 or 4 recipes from my various French cookbooks)
olive oil
2 medium size yellow onions diced
1 eggplant diced
2 zucchini diced
1 red pepper seeded and chopped
1 green pepper seeded and chopped
1 yellow pepper seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves crushed
1 28oz can of chopped tomatoes
3T chopped fresh basil
about 2T dried Herbes de Provence (or mix your own dried rosemary, oregano, savory, marjoram, thyme, and basil in equal parts)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1.)  Swirl oil around a large pan 2-3 times and heat until very hot.  Saute all of the chopped vegetables except for the tomatoes.  Season with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence until softened (about 6-8 minutes).
2.)  Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil while stirring.  Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
3.)  Turn the heat off and stir in the fresh basil.  Re-cover the pot and let sit for 3 minutes.
4.)  Serve with grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Super Easy Really Cheesy Bread (I saw this in a magazine somewhere and tweaked it to my liking)
1 1/2 c. mixed Monterrey Jack and Colby shredded cheese
4 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 c. mayo (I used light mayo)
1 spoonful of sour cream
1 stick of butter softened
1 loaf of French bread (cut into a top and bottom half)
1 to 2 green onions chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

1.) Preheat the broiler ( I have a hi and lo option, I used hi).
2.) Cover a cookie sheet with foil and put the bread on it.
3.) Mix all of the other ingredients together in a bowl. Spread the mixture on the bread.
4.) Broil for 4-5 minutes (watch your bread!!! Every oven is different so watch for the cheese to begin browning.
5.) Allow to cool for 2 minutes.  Slice and serve!

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Small Bites: An Introduction.

Hello Everyone!
Welcome to my blog! My name is Liz and I'm a 21 year old student in IL studying my favorite thing in life, FOOD!  Food is my passion, it's what gets me through the day.  I created this blog because I want to bring you into my life and into my kitchen because I feel like I have so many recipes and restaurant reviews and just general musings about life that I want to share with everyone.  My love of food began at a very young age and the spark hasn't fizzled yet.  I am always trying new recipes, exploring unique flavors and love taking risks in the kitchen because there really are no mistakes in cooking, just new dishes waiting to be discovered.  I hope that you will join me on my culinary adventures and learn with me because deliciousness is meant to be shared with everyone!  I hope you enjoy reading and eating with me, and remember Food Is Love.

Take Care,