Southern American

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Creamy Macaroni and Cheese (w/ Ham)

This is a delightfully easy and delicious rendition of a creamy (vice baked casserole style) macaroni and cheese. I will admit that it is reminiscent of boxed mac n' cheese, but it is one of the few hot dishes our toddler will share with us. And although I have included ham here, it is entirely optional (and frankly just a great way to use up leftover Christmas ham). A tweaked version of this Southern Living recipe.

MacNCheese.jpeg
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Chicken Pot Pies

This recipe is built off of The Kitchn's review on The Pioneer Woman's recipe. We doubled the recipe and used most of two rotisserie chickens.

  • Pie crusts (we like bottom crusts as well as on top)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup EACH Finely Diced Onion, Carrot, Celery (mirepoix)
  • 2 rotisserie chickens, Shredded
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 3+ cups Chicken Broth, Plus More If Needed
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Chopped Fresh Thyme To Taste
  • 1 cup Cream
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Fried Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 3–4-lb. chicken parts (just boneless breasts worked fine)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 qt Peanut oil (for frying)
Fried Chicken
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Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole

Courtesy of the internet and tweaked to address some errant sweet potato purchases. The tweaked version was a big hit!

Fills a ~9x13 oval dish.

Base
1 pound purple or white sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)

Filling
2.5 pounds orange sweet potatoes (about 4-5 medium)
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream

Topping
1/8 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup melted butter

Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole
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Dill Cucumber Salad

A cool, refreshing side dish. Inspired by these two recipes, but mostly a notional recipe.

1 large English cucumber, sliced on a mandolin to 1/8" thick
1/2 small red onion, also sliced on a mandolin to 1/8" thick (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup mix of your favorite vinegars (I used mostly white vinegar + cider vinegar + red wine vinegar)

Dill Cucumber Salad
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Chile-Corn Custard Squares

A nice side for a BBQ, courtesy of Bon Appetit.

3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2/3 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend or 1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese mixed with 1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco, divided
1/2 cup sour cream (plus additional for garnish, optional)
1/2 cup canned creamed corn
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chiles

Chile Corn Custard
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Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes (more or less, depending on size) Skin-off or on per choice
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Marshmallows

Do-ahead option: pre-roast the sweet potatoes: Wrap them in foil and bake them whole for 1 hour at 400 degrees before slicing them - this provides a softer texture.

Alternatively, slice the raw potatoes thin and add them directly to the casserole; this method results in a firmer texture.

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Maurine's Chocolate Sheet Cake

Cake Ingredients
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1 tsp baking soda
1 stick butter
1/2 cup Crisco
4 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup water
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon**
1 tsp vanilla**

Frosting Ingredients
1 stick butter
4 Tbsp cocoa
1/3 cup milk
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Making the Cake

Preheat oven to 350/375 (depending on your oven).
Grease and flour a 11 x 16 inch shallow pan or 9 1/2 x 14 x 2 1/2 inch pan.

Sift together sugar and flour.
Add salt.

Mix together buttermilk and soda.

Maurine's Chocolate Sheet Cake
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Double Layer Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake

Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 12 to 16

Cribbed from a co-worker's recipe:

This has been adapted from a few recipes. I made a bourbon glaze, but you can also just put
the bourbon into the batter as described here.
!
Also, two points from Cooks Illustrated:
!
- For a smooth and creamy texture, we blotted the canned pumpkin puree with paper
towels to remove excess moisture before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients. (see
step-by-step instructions below)
!
- Baking the cake in a water bath in a moderate oven also helped give our pumpkin

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Deviled Eggs

For some reason, I always get compliments on my deviled eggs. They're really not that hard to make. I typically go to deviledeggs.com for advice on cooking, peeling, etc. the eggs, but their tricks don't always work that well. I usually find inspiration in one of their recipes, but frankly it's not that difficult. This here is what I call a "notional" recipe because you can and should adjust the proportions to your liking.

Deviled Eggs
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Granny's Tea Cakes

1 large egg (or two medium)
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. vinegar
½ c. milk
1½ c. sugar
1 c. shortening
Flour (see below, but about 3 cups in the mix)

Mix all ingredients except flour. Gradually add flour until the shortening is mixed in and the dough is stiff enough to roll out. Roll on floured surface. Cut cookies out and bake at 400 degrees until brown, 10-12 minutes. Top with sprinkled sugar or icing:

Black And White cookie style frosting:

(Let cookies cool completely before starting)

4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup boiling water

Tea Cakes
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Cheese Snappy Wafers

From M. Egan via S. Camfield

2 sticks (1c) butter, softened
2c flour
1.5 cups sharp cheddar, shredded and at room temperature
1/2 t cayenne
1/2 t salt
2c rice krispies

Cut butter into flour until texture resembles chunky cornmeal. Mix in cheese, spices. Fold in rice krispies.

Mold small pices, place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes

Cheesy Snappy Wafers
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Peach Pie

Courtesy of Cook's Illustrated, with our pie crust.

Peach Pie Slice
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Sloppy Joe

This was one of the first recipes I learned to make while living on my own. Not the fanciest thing in the world, but it is quick, easy, and not terrible for you. It is Rachel Ray's. A full recipe (shown here) easily serves 4, but it can easily be halved to serve 2-3.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 1/4 pounds ground beef sirloin
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons steak seasoning blend
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped

Sloppy Joe
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Corn Fritters

Via WhatIHaventCookedYet, a recipe for corn fritters (not unlike Venezuelan cachapas):

This is a slightly modified, and halved, version of the recipe.

1/4 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cups buttermilk
1/8 cup melted butter
1 Tbsp honey
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
Olive oil for frying

Mix together dry ingredients – salt, baking powder, flour and corn meal – in a large bowl.

Corn Fritters
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Fruit Cobbler

Make two pie crusts: http://www.audreyandjon.com/recipes/pie-crust

Mix together:
6 cups fresh fruit (blackberries, sliced peaches...)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon appropriate spice (i.e. cinnamon for peaches, cardamom for apricots, lavender for blueberries, lemon zest for blackberries, etc.)
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Let stand for 15-30 minutes, or until fruit is juicy. Add 6 tablespoons tapioca.

Lay a bottom crust down (no side crust!) in a 9x9 square pyrex, then add in the fruit mixture. Place a lattice of the rest of the crust on top.

Peach Cobbler with Ice Cream
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Blueberry Muffins

A great and easy blueberry muffin recipe that doesn't need milk - perfect for the weekend. Also, the raw batter is addictive.

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
Heavy pinch of salt
Dash of Nutmeg

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 generous cup plain, unflavored yogurt (throw in extra if you want)
Vanilla Extract

2 cups fresh blueberries
Softened Butter, for muffin tins
Turbinado sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 385 degrees.

In a medium bowl sift flour, baking soda, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Blueberry Muffins
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Baked Ham

This recipe yielded our best ham results yet: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a58445/best-... :

  • 1 (10-lb.) fully cooked whole ham (boneless or bone-in)
  • ½ c. packed brown sugar
  • ¼ c. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ c. apple cider

Preheat oven to 325º. Place ham cut side down on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan and score diagonally.

Cover with foil and bake until warmed throughout, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Ham
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Maurine's Orange Peel Bread

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend together:

  • 1 c. sugar ( a little less if you are using the syrup from the rinds)
  • 2T. butter, melted.

Then add

  • 2 eggs and mix well.

Stir in

  • 3 ¼ c. flour
  • 3 t. baking powder
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 c. chopped pecans (or more)
  • 1½ candied orange peels (recipe follows)

Mix well then add

  • 1 c. milk, or milk and syrup to measure 1 c. (no more than half syrup)
  • 1 t. vanilla

If the syrup has become solid, put the jar, uncovered, into the microwave for 30 second intervals until thin. Let cool some before adding to milk.

Orange Bread
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Jennifer's Hot Rolls

Jon's cousin-in-law Jennifer makes these delicious biscuity rolls.

In a stand mixer bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1.5 tsp salt, and 2 cups warm water.

Sprinkle on 2 packages yeast. Let it sit for a few minutes until it "blooms."

Add 1 egg and 1/4 cup shortening.

Mix in 5 1/2 cups flour using stand mixer with dough hook. Make sure to scrape down sides occasionally to ensure all flour gets mixed in.

Let rise until doubled (~1 hour or so).

Punch down.

Hot Rolls
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Nan's Bread and Butter Pickles

Courtesy of Nan.

I use the recipe that is on Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime container. It can probably be found at the grocery store with the canning good--like jars, lids, etc. You'll need that lime.

Briefly (as can be) I cut them up a tad LESS than 1/4 inch thick into a large non-reactive pot or big bowl--something that will fit in your frig. (with a plate on top you
can put other stuff on top of it).

Mix 1/2 cup lime with a gallon of water and pour over them. If you are doing a huuuuuuge amount in biiiiig bowl you can make more or this. Let this sit in frig overnight.

Bread and Butter Pickles
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Pound Cake

This is Jon's Mom's Sour Cream Cake recipe

1 cup butter (softened)
3 c. sugar
Cream together until well blended.

Sift together in a large bowl:
3 c. flour
¼ t. baking soda
½ t. salt

6 eggs (may be separated, beat egg whites until almost stiff and fold in last) Or just add one whole egg at a time (this is what I do)
1 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla

Add one egg at a time to butter/sugar and beat well after each.

Pound Cake
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Ian's Corn Casserole

This recipe, courtesy of our friend Ian (though we promised to keep it a secret...thus not promoting it on the Recipe Box) is really tasty. I mean, it's made from cans (which is sort of anti our whole food philosophy), but it's good... really good. So, I collect the recipe and will one day make it on some turkey-centric holiday and take credit for making it from scratch!

Makes a 9 inch by 9 inch glass baking pan.

  • 1 16oz can of corn (with liquid)
  • 1 16oz can of cream corn
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 box of Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
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Jalapeño Mint Jelly

Adapted from epicurious.

Yield: 3 half-pints

ingredients

7/8 cups finely chopped fresh mint, divided
3/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/8 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp (25 mL) strained fresh lemon juice
2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
1 pouch liquid fruit pectin

preparation

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Pickled Beets

Yield: 5 pints

~12 medium sized beets (ideally, your beets are the same diameter as your jars)
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar

Wash beets well. Trim roots, but leave attached to vegetable so the beet doesn't bleed too much when cooked.

Put beets in boiling water for 30-45 minutes (until they peel easily).

Peel beets. Put in cold water to cool.

While beets are cooling, mix water, vinegar, and sugar. Warm on stovetop until hot, but not boiling.

Meanwhile, warm jars and lids. Use mandolin to slice beets ~1/8-1/4" thick.

Beets
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Sweet Pickles

This is the recipe I used for our annual batch of canned sweet pickles.

Yield: 3+ pints (I saved some in the fridge for a quick pickle with dinner)

  • ~6 small Kirby (pickling cucumbers), sliced 1/8" thick
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups vinegar (split between white vinegar and rice vinegar)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Salt

Sprinkle sliced cucumbers with salt. Let stand for 5 minutes. Wash off salt and drain.

Heat jars and lids.

Sweet Pickles
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Shrimp and Grits

This was adapted from a NYTimes article in search of an improved shrimp and grits recipe:

For the grits:

  • 1/2 cup grits
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (a 50/50 mix of cheddar and jarlsberg works great)
  • dash paprika
Shrimp and Grits.jpg
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Elaine's Lemon Meringue Pie

My grandmother makes the best lemon meringue pie. She swears by the My-T-Fine brand of lemon pie filing mix, though I've decided that Jell-O brand is an acceptable substitute. Her secret is the lemon juice.

To make this into a pie, we use a one of Jon's pie crusts, pre-baked. However, you could just as easily fill bowls, ramekins, etc. and have as a tasty pudding treat.

Filling Ingredients
1 box lemon pie filling
1/4 cup sugar

Lemon Meringue Pie
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Simple Biscuits

The vintage Joy of Cooking book I have had always held the answers to almost any question in the kitchen - the last stop before a call to Mom, basically. I've always found its biscuit recipe lacking, though. So when I stumbled across this one when trying to make a biscuit-topped cobbler, I wanted to keep it for posterity:

Biscuit Dough

1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

Mix dry ingredients; cut shortening in with pastry blender or knives. Add milk gradually to make a soft dough. If too soft, add a little more flour.

Biscuits
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Deviled Potato Salad

Because of my awesome cole slaw recipe, whenever BBQ season rolls around I always forget that I also have an awesome (borrowed) potato salad recipe.

I have unabashedly used Rachel Ray's recipe and added eggs (in my opinion, a must!).

Ingredients
6 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
3 eggs, hard boiled and diced
Coarse salt
1/4 onion

Potato Salad
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BBQ'ed Ribs

  • 1 rack of Pork Spare Ribs (not the "country style" which are thicker and harder to cook thouroughly)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sauce (recipe follows)

Salt and pepper (with smoked salt, if available) a rack of ribs as it comes up to room temperature, 30 minutes to an hour ahead of BBQing.

Over a medium flame, sear the ribs on both sides. Move away from direct heat, add wood chips, and let cook via smoke and indirect heat at 250° for ~4 hours (2-3 for baby back ribs, more if you're smoking multiple racks). This brings in the smoke flavor and slowly cooks the rack.

Ribs
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(Lightly) Candied Pecans

Jon's grandmother has a pecan tree in her yard. Two years ago, it was very prolific and we received a huge bag of pecans to bring back to DC. Having now waited two years for Jon to make a pecan pie, I decided to candy some of them. Note these are not the heavily sugared pecans you would have as a dessert, but more like a salad topper.

From http://www.slashfood.com/2006/10/24/candied-pecans-easy-and-addictive/

CandiedPecans
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Bernice's Brisket

This is Audrey's family's brisket recipe. Sort of like a potroast, but made on the stovetop. It has a sweet and savory sauce. It's really easy to freeze leftovers and reheat - almost better that way!

Bernice's Brisket
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Pecan Pie

Originally from Dear Abby / Houston Post, via Mom

1c white Karo syrup
1c dark brown sugar
1/4t salt
1/4c melted butter
1t vanilla

Mix above together. I found that using an immersion blender got the consistency to a pleasantly creamy texture, but I was also using block-style brown sugar, instead of granulated. Regardless, it should be well mixed together and not lumpy.

Add:
3 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 heaping cup pecan halves
squeeze of lemon juice

Stir together.

Pecan Pie
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