November 24, 2008

Hey Good Lookin, Whatcha Got Cookin?

Are you invited to a fun, glam, Thanksgiving and you have no idea what to bring? You might just be doing the same thing you've done for the past 18 years and you're looking for something new to cook. Well, you've come to the right place! Southerners know how to cook, and our recipes are passed down from generation to generation. I can't give away all of my family secrets, but here are a couple of winners that I assure you, the entire crowd will love!

Nana's Spinach Madeleine (aka Creamed Spinach)

3 Boxes Frozen Chopped Spinach
1 Small Package of Velveta, Mild Mexican if possible (any processed cheese will work)
1/2- 1/3 Cup Cream, (or Half & Half or Regular Milk... whatever you have)
1 Small Onion Chopped
2-3 Tablespoons of Butter
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1-2 Tablespoons of Chopped Jalapenos (depends on how spicy you like it!)

Thaw the spinach in the microwave, and drain well. Saute onion and butter until the onions are clear. Add the cheese to the onions and melt completely. Add the spinach and stir well. Mix in the cream all the way through (you may need 1/2 Cup or 1/3 Cup, you be the judge). The consistency should be sort of soupy/milky. Add the jalapenos, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Place in a casserole dish and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until the liquid has cooked out and it's creamy.

Pecan Pie

1 Cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 - 1 teaspoon salt
about 1/3 Cup Shortening

Combine flour and salt. Work in shortening with a fork until it becomes very crumbly, resembling corn meal, or grits. Little by little add water until the dough becomes just damp enough to hold together. Each time you add a bit more water, add it to the driest part of your bowl and work it as little as possible. The less you work the dough once the water has been added, the nicer and flakier your crust will be. Once the dough is holding together, place it on a floured surface and roll out to fit your pie pan. Double the ingredients to make two pies or a crust topped pie.

6 Tablespoons of Butter
1/2 Cup Sugar
3 Eggs, beaten slightly
Dash of Salt
1 Cup Dark Corn Syrup
1 Cup broken pecans, plus extra halves to decorate the top
1 9 inch unbaked pastry shell

Cream butter and sugar until blended, not fluffy. Add beaten eggs, salt, syrup and broken pecan pieces. Pour into unbaked pastry shell, and top with unbroken pecan halves. Bake at 325 for about 50 minutes, or until pie tests done when a knife is inserted into the middle of the pie and comes out clean. If the top begins to brown too much, lay a piece of tin foil over it to prevent it from burning. Make sure you serve it with fresh whipped cream (don't you dare buy whipped cream from the store already made)!! Make sure you save a piece of pie for the next day... it's always the best then!




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