Showing posts with label Brunch

Dolly Parton's Famous Gravy Recipe

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, April 13, 2022

This Southern girl loves biscuits and gravy, I grew up eating it and I know my way around a skillet making it.   Dolly's recipe is seriously good, knock your socks off gravy.  This gravy thickens quickly and smells amazing from the thyme and pepper.   Don't be tempted to omit the thyme, trust me, it's what takes it over the top.  It's subtle, not overpowering.  


1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2½ cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream*

Biscuits sausage patties and bacon for serving


In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, thyme and pepper. Gradually whisk in milk and cream until smooth.

Pour the mixture into skillet or saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until thickened.

Serve over biscuits and sausage patties.

*If you want to reduce the calories use Half & Half or Fat Free Half & Half, that works well, also.

#dollyparton #dolly #biscuits #gravy #today #yummyfood #yummy #foodporn #homemade #breakfast #southernfood #jancooksrealfood #jancancook #janspicx 

Lemon Filled Crescent Rolls, So Quick, So Easy and SO good!

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, March 30, 2022

All you need is a tube of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, a container of lemon curd, some sugar, a little spice and in five minutes you can have these in the oven.  They are delicious and off the charts with WOW factor. 

1 package of refrigerated Pillsbury crescent rolls
1/3 cup of good quality lemon curd
6 tablespoons turbinado (coarse) sugar (you can just sprinkle on regular sugar if you don't have this)
milk to brush tops of rolls
ground cardamom to dust 
confectioner's sugar to finish
sprinkle of sesame seeds for a little crunch (optional)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.   Lightly spray the paperwith nonstick spray.  Set aside.

Unroll the crescent rolls and separate them at perforations. Place one portion of lemon curd at the wide end of each roll.  Gently spread it down about half way the length of the dough towards the point, being careful to not spread the curd all the way to the edge. 

Roll up, starting at the wide end towards the small point, totally encasing the lemon curd.   Twist each end into a crescent shape.  Then pinch one end closed and place each on the prepared baking sheet, narrow pointed side down.  Brush each with some milk. 

Sprinkle with the coarse turbinado sugar and dust lightly with ground cardamom if desired.

Add a few sesame seeds and serve...

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from the oven.   Serve warm and dusted with confectioners sugar.  


#lemon #croissants #lemoncrescentrolls #pillsbury #pillsburycrescentrolls #brunch #homemade #jancooksrealfood #jancancook #janspicx #yummy #foodie #yummydessert

Glazed Lemon Poppyseed Scones with Faux Lemon Curd and Strawberry Jam 😋

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, March 27, 2022

It's teatime y'all and this is the perfect springtime recipe.  We don't make lemon curd in the South, but I do have a recipe for faux lemon curd made with cream cheese with lemon zest added to it.   It's a good dupe and really easy to make.  Heaven forbid making real clotted cream, the process is beyond hideous, it takes forever, so this is a good work around. But,  if you want to buy clotted cream, they sell it on Amazon 😏

I do have another option for you, forget the clotted cream altogether and just fill it with lemon curd.  Who doesn't love lemon curd, and you can buy it at the grocery store or make your own, it's easy to do.

However you make it, you can't go wrong with any of these options - there is nothing better than a warm, buttery scone, split and filled with "something" and topped with strawberry jam.  I love strawberry jams, especially the ones from the little gourmet shops, and it's fun to browse the aisles looking for them.  I've found some really good ones over the years at Marshalls and Home Goods, too.  


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup  granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) very cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg, cold
1/2 cup very cold heavy cream or half and half (plus more for brushing the tops)
2 tablespoons  lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

turbinado sugar, optional


1 cup  powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2-4 tablespoonslemon juice


Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, until well combined.

Add the pieces of cold butter into the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into the dough using a pastry cutter or a fork until the texture or coarse meal.

Lightly whisk together the heavy cream (or half and half), the egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice together. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Do not over-mix.

Lay the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead with a lightly floured hand about 4 times. Be gentle so that you do not overwork the dough. Pat the dough out to an 8 or 9 inch circle (about 1 inch thick) and cut using a biscuit cutter, or you can also cut into triangle shaped pieces.  I think the biscuit makes a prettier presentation, just do whatever floats your boat.  Gently transfer the scones onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush lightly with cream and sprinkle liberally with turbinado sugar, if desired.

Bake at 425 F (220 C) for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Allow the scones to cool completely before glazing.

Make the lemon glaze by whisking the sifted powdered sugar and lemon zest with the lemon juice little by little until you have a thick but pour-able consistency.

Store leftovers completely cooled in an airtight container for up to 2 days. OR you can wrap cooled scones in plastic wrap or in a ziplock freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Refresh in the oven at 300F ) until warmed through


3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1⁄4 cup powdered sugar
1⁄4 cup sour cream
1⁄8 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons lemon zest


Combine the cream cheese, sugar and sour cream in a small bowl.

Beat until fluffy.

Add the extract and milk to thin a bit.  Add the lemon zest and blend well.

Allow to set at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Makes enough for about a dozen scones.

#scones #britishscones #homemade #lemon #lemoncurd #clottedcream #yummy #yummyfood #foodie #jancooksrealfood #jancancook #janspicx

Rolled Lemon Raspberry Pancakes with Lemon Curd

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, March 19, 2022

You won't believe how simple this is to prepare and it's really special.  And since I'm all about easy, this is as easy as it gets.  I could give y'all a recipe, prepping the pancake batter, cooking the lemon filling, and if you want to do that, go for it.  But I have a quick alternative and it's so yummy, and it's a show stopper, nobody will realize it isn't all made from scratch.

It's not even much of a recipe, it's just a process, an easy process with amazing results.

Pick up a tub of lemon curd and a box of pancake mix at the grocery store, grab some berries and that's all you need.

Here's The Process

Make pancakes using your favorite mix, Krusteaz, Bisquick, Hungry Jack, whatever floats your boat.  If you're really short on time you could thaw frozen pancakes, but that's taking it a bit far, even for me.  Freshly made is always better.  Notice I didn't say "homemade" because that would entail measuring, mixing, folding, all time consuming things that you may not have time for or want to do.

Before you make your pancakes, warm the lemon curd in the microwave, stir it, then make your pancakes and start to assemble, spreading the pancake with lemon curd, then rolling with the seam tucked underneath.  As you build them,  you can put them in a very low temp oven, 225 degrees, on a baking sheet covered with a slightly damp towel to keep warm while filling and rolling the rest of them.  

Now how easy was that. Scatter around a few blueberries and raspberries, sift a bit of powdered sugar on top and if you feel really ambitious and want to knock it out of the ballpark, make a quick raspberry sauce for the top.  Don't forget the ice cream, that's the best part.

Again, this all about easy, just take a big scoop of raspberry jam, thin it out with some hot water until you get the consistency of syrup, put it in a pretty little serving pitcher,  your guests will never know how easy this was and think you went to a lot of trouble to make them a really special breakfast.

Well, it is really special, it just happens to be really easy.  

And shhhhhhh, it's our secret, I'll never tell. 🤫

 #pancakes #brunch #lemon #lemoncurd #yummy #yummyfood #delicious #foodie #jancooksrealfood #jancancook #janspicx #weekendrecipe

Dolly Parton's Milk Gravy

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 11, 2022

Who doesn't love Dolly and when she talked about making her husband, Carl, this milk gravy on The Today Show, I was all over this recipe like, well biscuits and gravy 😏

I make it often, hubby and I love it.  Don't leave out the thyme, it's what makes this really special. 


1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2½ cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Biscuits and sausage patties or bacon, for serving


In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, thyme and pepper. Gradually whisk in milk and cream until smooth.

Pour the mixture into skillet or saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until thickened.

Serve over biscuits and sausage patties or top with bacon.

And since this an indulgence with whole milk and whipping cream, I do have a healthier version that I fix regularly, sometimes we have it for dinner.  I'm a fan of CarbMaster 60 calorie per cup milk from Kroger, but you can use Fairlite or fat free milk as well.  Then use Fat Free Half and Half and Jimmy Dean Sausage Crumbles and you really reduce the calories to a more manageable level.  I also have a workaround for the biscuits.  I toast Sara Lee 45 calorie Delightful Multi Grain Bread and serve the gravy on toast points.  Not quite the same as the fully leaded, but still an excellent gravy on toast for a lot less calories.

Healthy Recipe with Nutritional Info:

1/3 cup all-purpose flour - 150 calories
2.5 cups CarbMaster Milk @60 calories per cup - 150 calories
1/2 cup fat free half and half - 71 calories
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Total - 371 calories

Half Recipe - 185 calories

Optional: Jimmy Dean Turkey Crumbles - 70 calorie per half cup

#dollyparton #countrymusic #dollywood #dolly #nashville #s #country #to #jolene #tennessee #music #queenofcountry #coatofmanycolors #gravy #biscuitsandgravy #countrygravy #countryfood #soulfood #milkgravy

Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 04, 2022

This is the easiest oatmeal, EVER!   Steel cut oatmeal is a pain to make, it takes forever, sticks easily and who needs that hassle in the morning.

I did a little research and found that you can do this overnight in the slow cooker, but there is a trick.  You don't just put it in the crock, it sticks, the edges brown, it dries out easily.  So this is what works for me...

The Basic Recipe:

1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
Dash of salt

Put an inner bowl inside your slow cooker.  Don't just sit in the bottom, take a couple of Ball metal rings, or a few balls of aluminum foil to boost it up so that your inner container isn't sitting on the bottom of the slow cooker.  The reason for this is to prevent the bottom of the oatmeal from browning because it has direct contact with the heat source.   

Pour your oatmeal, water and salt in the inner bowl, place it in the slow cooker and then pour water in the outer bowl.  Fill the slow cooker about half full of water.  Then before you go to bed, set it to cook for 8 hours on low, put on your jammies and go to bed.

How easy is that 😀  I turn mine on at 10pm, and by 6am I have perfect oatmeal.  My slow cooker switches to warm after 8 hours and it's ready to eat when we get up.  The only thing I have to do is add cinnamon, toppings, a splash of cream and brown sugar and breakfast is ready.  I refrigerate the leftovers for another morning...


Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, December 10, 2014



Oh so easy for the holidays.  Just precook the bacon a bit, roll in the cinnamon rolls and bake for 12 minutes.  

Just had to share ~ Jan

Pillsbury Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Waffles

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, April 05, 2014


How easy is this.  Just put the cinnamon rolls in a waffle iron, then spread with the frosting that comes in the can when they’re finished.  A little maple syrup on top, maybe some fresh strawberries or blueberries, and you’ve got a great breakfast with no work!

Watch them closely, they can burn quickly once they’ve cooked!

Lemon Meringue Pie Stuffed Waffles

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, March 02, 2014

Banners and Alerts


Lemon is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  Pair lemon and waffles and you have a great spring brunch!

Cooking Classy has this amazing recipe, complete with marshmallow fluff, you have to check it out.

Grab it here...


Pillsbury Cinnamon Butter Buns

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, January 27, 2014



1 can Pillsbury Grands™ Refrigerated Biscuits
1/2 cup Land o’ Lakes Cinnamon Sugar Butter Spread™
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons water

Learn how to make them here...

Low Carb Pumpkin Pancakes

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, October 06, 2013



I'm a huge fan of pumpkin pancakes, and also a huge fan of George Stella's Still Livin' Low Carb Cookbook.  His other books are good, but his latest is my favorite, he's switched from using that nasty soy flour to almond flour, with wonderful results.  Almond flour wasn't around a few years ago, and low carb eating has vastly improved because of it.

I make his Cinnamon Toast Pancakes weekly, but our family loves pumpkin pancakes in the fall, so I modified his recipe with amazing results.  This one is a keeper, it's so yummy!  ~ Jan

  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup almond flour (Bob's Red Mill sells it in your grocery store, I get mine at Trader Joes, MUCH cheaper)
  • ¼ cup milled flax seed (available at WalMart)
  • ¼ cup bulk sugar substitute (recommended: Splenda)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  1. Grease a griddle or large skillet with vegetable oil spray and heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Mix all the batter ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon until well blended.  You may have to add a bit more water if the pancakes are too thick, pumpkin is dense.  If you think yours are too thick, just stir in a bit of water until they look right, it's not rocket science, it's just cooking… ;o)
  3. Pour approximately 6 large pancakes onto the hot griddle, and cook on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes until almost done, and then flip and cook for just another minute or so to finish. 

The absolute BEST Greek Yogurt

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 22, 2013



It's been a year now since I started making Greek Yogurt.  In the beginning I made it with non-fat milk, several months passed and it wasn't working any longer.  I made it exactly the same way, but always ended up with just sour milk.  So I got discouraged and quit.  Then last fall I read an article about how your digital thermometers have to be recalibrated on a regular basis, and the light dawned.  My temperature was off, that's why it wasn't working!  

So I pitched the digital thermometer, went back to using a regular meat/utility thermometer and I was back in business.  And then I decided to try eating low-carb for the umpteenth time and read that I could eat whole milk yogurt.  I started making it, and oh my, it's absolutely decadent, wickedly delicious, there is no comparison between non-fat yogurt and whole milk yogurt.  It has 20+ grams of protein per cup and approximately 220 calories, but I never eat a cup, a half of a cup is sufficient.  I eat it with raspberries, blackberries, strawberries.  I mix a tablespoon of peanut butter in it, sometimes I use maple extract, sometimes lemon, but I always use a lot of Splenda.  It isn't that sour to begin with, not like Fage or Chobani Greek Yogurt you buy in the store, but it's so good sweetened, it's almost like ice cream.

I make it and give it away, and always get great feedback.  I make it every couple of days, a half gallon of milk makes a quart of yogurt.  I bit the bullet and invested in equipment, a YoGourmet Yogurt Incubator and that pricey Mafter Boullion Strainer, and it was worth every penny.  I've already paid back my investment many times over, since I get a gallon of milk for $1.79 at Aldi's, and a gallon makes two quarts of yogurt.  I know I'm repeating some of this information, but I've had so many people ask about this and some things are worth repeating.

I've read extensively about yogurt making, you don't have to buy any equipment.  Some people incubate theirs on a heating pad, I used to put mine in the oven with the light on, another way of incubating is to wrap it in a towel and put it in an insulated cooler along with a bowl of hot water.  There is a ton of information about yogurt making if you just Google it.  

When I tell people what I do to make it, the standard response is "that's too much trouble."  But once you do it a few times it's a no brainer and doesn't take that much effort.  I know exactly how long it takes to get to temperature in my microwave, I know that it takes 20-30 minutes for the temperature to fall to 100-110 degrees in an ice water bath, then I just put it in the YoGourmet, and in 6-8 hours I have yogurt.  

I always refrigerate mine for a few hours or overnight before I strain it, it just works better to refrigerate it first.  Then whisk, jar it and enjoy.

Okay, that's my last yogurt post for now, but I did want to update you one more time.  I'm going to give you some links to my original entry, but do yourself a favor and watch Paula's video.  I consider myself a serious yogurt maker these days, but Paula is the guru.  And yes, I know I've already put her video on here, but it's worth watching again.

I've tried several different recipes, including adding dry milk.  Yuck!  Paula's recipe is best by far, trust me on this one.

Now go buy a gallon of whole milk, and make some yogurt, it's good for your bones and it's good for your gut and it tastes like no yogurt you've ever eaten.  And don't try and calculate calories from the milk jug, it doesn't work that way, because you drain off the whey which has carbs and calories in it.  And yes, I pour the whey on my houseplants and they love it.  And I'll quit posting about this for awhile, pinky swear I will.  Well, until I make frozen yogurt, but that's a whole other ballgame.  ;o)

~ Happy Yogurting - Jan

Click thru the following links for more information...

My original yogurt post from last year

Mafter 17360 Exoglass Boullion Strainer

YoGourmet Electric Yogurt Maker 

And one more viewing of Paula's Video, it's worth watching again...


Hummingbird Pancakes with Cream Cheese Anglaise

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, December 17, 2012
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 cup drained, canned crushed pineapple in juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Garnishes: sliced bananas, chopped fresh pineapple


Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk and next 5 ingredients in another bowl. Gradually stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in toasted pecans. Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto a hot buttered griddle or large nonstick skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look dry and cooked. Turn and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until done. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and keep warm in a 200° oven up to 30 minutes.

Serve with Cream Cheese Anglaise

Note: When using a griddle, heat it to 350°.

Tip: For tender pancakes, don't overmix the batter; it should be lumpy.

Cream Cheese Anglaise


1 1/2 cups half-and-half
 1/2 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Process half-and-half, cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt in a blender until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter and vanilla. Serve immediately

Source:  Southern Living

Holly Clegg’s Praline French Toast with Orange Sauce

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, December 07, 2012
You won’t find a better french toast recipe than this, the taste is just amazing!  it’s fluffy, crunchy, yummy, with a hint of orange, not overpowering, it’s just right.  And, it’s an overnight dish, wonderful for the holidays, and very simple to make. 

Your friends and family will love this.  Pinky swear, they will.  ~ jan


6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. white corn syrup
1 cup chopped pecans
2 eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup skim milk
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (16 oz.) loaf French bread, cut into 12-15 (1 inch) slices

In a large 9x13” ovenproof baking dish, melt the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup by putting it in a warm oven until everything  turns to liquid.  Then sprinkle the bottom of the dish with pecans.  The original recipe called for 1/2 cup, I used at least a cup, because I like lots of pecans, and 1/2 cup just wasn’t enough.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, orange juice, sugar, milk, orange rind, vanilla and cinnamon. Arrange the bread slices over the mixture in the baking dish and pour the egg mixture over all.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Serve this immediately, flip each slice when you take it out of the dish so that the praline sauce is on top.  Serve with Orange Sauce.


¼ cup margarine
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup orange juice
orange zest
2 Tbsp orange liqueur or flavoring (optional) – I omitted this
Mix ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat.
Note:  I doubled the orange sauce because I wanted everybody to have plenty.  Serve the sauce in a small pitcher so people can drizzle it on the french toast.

Mini Pumpkin Croissants

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, October 08, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Filling

Crescent Rolls, 2 tubes

1/2 block of cream cheese

1 cup of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

3 - 4 tablespoons sugar (granulated or powdered)

Mini Pumpkin Pie Croissants Preparation

These start with the crescent rolls. Roll each crescent roll out and cut lengthwise in 2. This recipe will make 32 mini croissants. Each croissant will get a generous tablespoon of this luscious pumpkin pie filling:

Beat cream cheese and canned pumpkin together until fluffy and creamy.

You do want to stuff them a little full and they are messy to roll up. Now here is the fun part! Mix together 4 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice and roll each pumpkin pie croissant in it!

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes. These are sweet but not so-much-so - sublime little bites of pumpkin pie heaven that are easy and portable and the perfect addition to any fall celebration.

Jan's Tweak: After reading several reviews suggesting that these are a little bland, I added extra cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to the pumpkin pie spice. 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of cloves.

Picture and Recipe Source: The Big Oven

This was a Delicious Ham & Veggie Frittita

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, July 23, 2012



It was fast, easy to prepare and so yummy.  I use a Bullet Blender to blend my eggs and milk, I think it makes the eggs fluffier.

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees

I sauteed the potato separately, as I’m eating low carb, and hubby isn’t, so I prepared his potato and only put it on half of the frittata.  Worked for us ;o)

I sliced a large potato thinly, added a bit of salt and pepper and sauteed it in a 12” iron skillet in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil until tender.  I put on a lid, it took about 10-12 minutes.

Then I removed the potato and and to the skillet I added a bit more olive oil. a small diced onion, half of a chopped green pepper, half of a zucchini cut into small dice, a handful of sliced fresh mushrooms, and a slice of ham, diced.

I sauteed this until veggies were tender, added a clove of minced garlic (I always add garlic at the end of cooking time as it burns easily), let that cook for a minute, then I added a large handful of fresh spinach, put on the lid, took it off the heat and let it sit for the spinach to wilt.

Meanwhile, I cracked 9 eggs into my bullet blender, added salt and pepper, and a couple of tablespoons of half and half and blended it.

Then to the skillet with the wilted veggies, I sprinkled on a cup of sharp cheddar cheese, then I poured on the egg mixture, and finally I put the sliced potatoes on hubby’s half of the frittita.

Into the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes.  Just open the oven door and jiggle the skillet handle, and when the mixture quits jiggling, it’s set and ready to eat.

This is good leftover, also good at room temperature.  You can vary the fillings, add cooked bacon or sausage, green chiles, fresh asparagus or a diced tomato, it’s so versatile and so easy, just add fruit and/or salad for a quick summer meal.  Cooking it in the oven makes it simple, too.

And it’s fluffy, the Bullet Blender, remember.  Awesome little machine!  Sorry about the picture quality, I’m an amateur, not a professional.  Sometimes I take good pictures, sometimes not, this was one of the nots.  ;o)


Make your own Greek Yogurt for a fraction of the cost of Fage!

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 29, 2012

I didn’t realize that Greek Yogurt was just yogurt with the whey extracted.  It sounds so exotic, but it’s a really simple process.  It takes no equipment, just some time and the results is wonderful!

Before I start this post, I have to give credit to Paula at Salad-in-a-Jar, I followed her techniques, and she made it so simple.

The first time is the hardest, but it’s really not that difficult, ladies.  I went to Amazon to price yogurt, 17.6 ounces of Fage Total Greek Yogurt is $6.99.

The weight of my yogurt was 18.8 ounces, and it cost me approximately $1.50 – I used a half a gallon of milk, and I paid $2.99 a gallon for the milk at Aldi’s.  Now I did have an initial investment of $1.69 for a tiny single-serve container of Fage Unflavored Yogurt, but I’m not counting that, because I will never have to buy this again, as I can save a couple of teaspoons of each batch when I make more.

To make yogurt you need a half a gallon of non-fat milk and 2 teaspoon of live yogurt culture.  Buy unflavored non-fat yogurt and look on the side of the container to make sure that it has live yogurt cultures.  I bought Fage, I’ve also heard that Dannon non-fat has live yogurt cultures, as well.

I have an 8 cup measuring bowl, so I poured 8 cups of milk into the bowl and put it in the microwave to heat to a temperature of 175-180 degrees.  This is much easier than doing it in a saucepan on the stove because you don’t have to constantly watch it.  Paula said that it took 17 minutes in her microwave, in mine it took 18 minutes, 20 seconds to reach a temperature of 175 degrees.

Big_Green_Egg_Digital_ThermometerI have a Polder Digital Thermometer which makes it really simple to tell what temperature your milk is, but a candy thermometer would work just as well. 

I started putting my thermometer into the microwave and testing at 16 minutes, I repeated this several times as I had never done this before and didn’t want it to get too hot.  The next time I do this I will know how long it takes and it will be much easier.

It looked like this when I took it out of the wave.



You need to let this sit and cool to a temperature of between 110-120 degrees, it will take about 30-45 minutes to reach this temperature.  I was anxious to get on with the process, patience is not a virtue for me, so as soon as the thermometer registered 120 degrees I was ready to proceed.  I whisked in 2 level teaspoons of the Fage Unflavored yogurt and went to the next step.

This is where it got tricky for me, I didn’t know how to keep my yogurt at 100 degrees.  I preheated my oven to 170, as low as my temperature allows, for less than a minute, and my temperature had already risen to 110 degrees, so I opened the door until it backed off to 100 degrees.  I left on my oven light, sealed my mixing bowl of yogurt with aluminum foil, wrapped it in a towel and put it in the oven to “ferment.”  Some ovens can be set to 100 degrees, if you’re one of the lucky ones that has that feature this would be much easier to regulate.

It takes anywhere from 6-12 hours to make yogurt, the longer you leave it, the more sour it gets, and I like it mild so I checked mine after 6 hours, and it wasn’t gelatinous, so I put it back into the oven and pulled it after 8 hours.  It still seemed thin, and I was pretty skeptical at this point, but I whisked it, covered it and put it in the refrigerator overnight. 

A lot of people ferment their yogurt overnight, but I made mine mid-day, as I didn’t know how to regulate the temperature.  I found that my oven stayed at a pretty consistent 105 degrees with the light on, occasionally it would start creeping up to 108 and I would panic and open the door until the temperature backed off to 100 degrees.  

This morning I took the yogurt out of the fridge, it still seemed runny, I didn’t whisk it again, I just poured it into my makeshift strainer.  You need a really fine mesh boullon strainer for yogurt, they are pricey $60 on Amazon, but you can pick them up for $30+ on eBay, but I don’t have one so I had to make my own.

I have a strainer that sits over the sink, it’s wide, so I think it takes less time to strain, I lined it with a tea towel, and then put several folded layers of paper towel on top of the towel, as I didn’t want to yogurt to touch the tea towel and let it strain.


I quickly realized that I didn’t actually need the towel, I used an old one, it looked icky, so I just removed it and it worked fine to let the yogurt drain on the layers of paper towel.  You can also use cheesecloth for this, but then you have to wash it, paper towel is easier, you just toss it.


You can see that the yogurt has gotten really thick, look at the difference between picture 1 and picture 2, I let it drain for almost 3 hours.

Then I put it in mother’s old stainless steel bowl, my very favorite thing in the kitchen, but you’ve all heard before about how much I love this old bowl, and you can see how thick this is.  You could slice it with a knife, it’s so thick.


Then I whisked it, and it turned into this fluffy, wonderful yogurt.  Some people add a bit of skim milk at this point to make it even creamier, but I want it really thick, so I didn’t add milk back in.


I’m going to have a scoop of this on a baked potato tonight with some fresh chives from my garden.  Oh so good!


I put it in my Ball jar and the finished product yielded a little over two cups.  I’m amazed by the fact that it reduces so much, but you’re taking out all of the liquid (whey) which some people use for different things, they use it instead of water for cookies veggies, for homemade bread, some people even water houseplants with it.


And here’s the weight, you’re probably thinking “this is a lot of work,” but it seriously isn’t, once you figure out how to do this, it’s going to be really simple.


If you’re interested in this, Paula has a video, explaining it all.  You can access it here.

Note:  Some recipes called for powdered milk to give added protein and make it richer.  I was going to put it in, but I noticed a notation on salad-in-a-jar website that said she no longer does this, as she likes the texture better without it, so I left it out.

It’s healthy, it’s good for your gut, it’s cheap, it’s totally natural, it’s Yogurt!!!!!!!

Egg in a pepper ring

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 07, 2012


Isn’t this a great idea, kind of like “toad in a hole” but with a yellow pepper ring instead of toast.  I saw this idea a couple of weeks ago, but I can’t remember where so I can’t give credit to the original poster, but it worked great and was really yummy.  I microwaved my pepper slice for a minute to soften it, then broke the egg in it to cook.  I flipped mine, but next time I’m going to cover it with a lid so the top cooks without flipping. 

Chicken and Waffles, don't forget the Tabasco!

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, January 24, 2012


We had chicken and waffles for Christmas brunch this year and they were amazing. My youngest son and his wife, Ryan and Lindsay, are huge fans, and they thought it would be great to have a southern Christmas meal.

He used Ina Garten’s recipe for Oven Fried Chicken which was so good and so easy. You just brown your chicken, and finish cooking it in the oven on a rack, it was so crispy, you would never have known it was cooked in the oven.

The waffle recipe was from King Arthur Flour,Classic Buttermilk Waffles, light, fluffy, the batter was extremely stiff, I thought it wasn’t going to work, but oh was I ever wrong, they ware the best waffles I’ve ever had. We made them at home this past month, and stored the leftovers in the fridge between sheets of waxed paper in a gallon sized baggie to reheat in the toaster. Super recipe.

To serve the chicken and waffles, you put them on the plate, pour on the maple syrup and then you top the syrup with a few shakes of Tabasco. I was really hesitant, as I’m a hot sauce lover, but not on syrup, and Tabasco would never be my hot sauce of choice, but the combination of salty/sweet/vinegar/hot was perfect.

If you’re looking for something different for brunch, give this a try. You will be talking about it for weeks afterward, it’s that good.


VERY Cherry Stuffed French Toast

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, May 04, 2011

  • 8    eggs
  • 1/4  cup  evaporated milk
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 6 thick slices of french bread, slit in the center to make a pocket
  • 1  8-ounce package  cream cheese, softened
  • 1  21-ounce can  cherry pie filling
  • 2  tablespoons  butter, margarine or cooking oil
  •     Granulated or powdered sugar (optional)
  •     Maple-flavored syrup (optional)
  • Directions

    1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

    2. Spread each slice of the bread with some cream cheese. Top six of the slices with cherry pie filling, spreading almost to the edges.

    3. Cover each with the remaining bread slices, cream cheese side down. Dip in the egg mixture.

    4. In a skillet or on a griddle, cook the sandwiches in hot butter over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

    5. Cut filled French toast into halves or quarters and dip in or sprinkle with sugar, if you like. Serve with hot maple syrup, if you like. Makes 6 servings.

    Source: Adapted from a recipe from Midwest Living