Perfect Pie from Lord of the Pies

Submitted by Christi

I have known Chris Robbins for as long as I can remember. We go way back to when we lived on the same block as pre-schoolers. We grew up in the same little city of Ada, Oklahoma. We have both left our little home town but, I enjoy keeping up with what is going on with him and his family on Facebook. Chris is famous for his amazing pies. He is known, by many, as the Lord of the Pies.

Lord of the Pies - Chris Robbins

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Lovely Lagniappe

Submitted by Christi

Who doesn’t love a little lagniappe? It is always nice to get (and give) a little something extra, which is the definition of lagniappe (pronounced lan-yap). Recently, I received a lagniappe from the lovely evening out at Le Petit Salon. If you read that story, you may remember, the oysters that were shucked and served on in the courtyard of the Salon. These were served before the program and there were many left, so in the spirit of true hospitality, the wonderful hostesses insisted that we take some home. I was handed a container of at least a quart of plump, juicy, brine, freshly shucked oysters to take home! This is enough for my husband and me to make two generous meals.


First up – fried oysters on the porch (shown above) with my husband’s famous french fries.
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How to Boil Crawfish

Submitted by Cindy

Crawfish boils are a rite of spring in New Orleans.  They combine two of our favorite activities – eating good food and visiting with friends.  We recently spent a picture perfect Saturday afternoon in a beautiful setting eating to our heart’s content.  Here’s the star of the show.

closeup (640x366)

We are lucky here to have boiled crawfish readily available.  You can buy a few pounds, still hot from the pot, at a lot of groceries this time of year.  There are specialty caterers who will bring their equipment on site to cook for larger parties.  But it’s a lot more fun to cook them yourself.

crawfish in pot (640x504)

My friend Chris, a master crawfish boiler when he’s not behind his desk at an investment firm, shared his cooking secrets with me.  It’s as much an art as a science, and the results are delicious!

my first serving (640x407)

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Fish on Friday

Submitted by Cindy

New Orleans is a very Catholic city.  I’m not Catholic, but I heartily endorse one of the faith’s tenets – the “sacrifice” of eating seafood as opposed to meat.  On a recent Friday during Lent, I decided to honor the occasion by featuring Louisiana specialties from the sea.

For starters, we had Crawfish Bisque.  I have to confess that it wasn’t my creation – it was stashed in the infamous freezer after a catered party I hosted.  The main course was Trout Pecan accompanied by a rice pilaf.  My husband caught the trout while on a male bonding office outing, and it arrived home cleaned and filleted.  (Any time, dear!)  The dessert was a praline parfait.


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No Bake King Cake

Submitted by Cindy

Have you ever wanted to make a Mardi Gras king cake but were turned off by the complicated yeast bread recipes?  Here’s a quickie recipe with beautiful results – and no cooking necessary.

I attended a presentation today given by Cindy Pagragan of Cindy’s Sweet Sensations.  She showed us slides of her exquisite novelty and wedding cakes – have you ever seen one in the shape of a castle?  She taught us some fascinating things about cake icings, such as the trade-offs of transfat vs. smoothness and stability.  But what I really want to share with you is her creative king cake recipe.  This is the secret ingredient:

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Comfort Food Cook-a-Thon

Submitted by Cindy

I’ve been craving simple, home cooked food lately.  I’m still paying for the eating excesses of the Christmas holidays, and the less than nutritious fare of parade parties is just around the corner.  I devoted a dreary Sunday afternoon to restocking my freezer.

I’m sure the gourmands are rolling their eyes right now.  I’d love to cook an exquisite meal every night, but who realistically has the time?  Plus, most of my comfort foods are of the slow simmering variety – not the type of project you want to tackle after a long day unless your gang likes to eat at midnight. Read more…

Southern Basil Pesto

Submitted by Christi

Yesterday’s lagniappe was a recipe for basil pesto. Why? Because my basil is growing beautifully and I need to do something with it!



So, I’ll make some pesto with it. But then what do you do with the pesto? Today’s Lagniappe will feature 3 different recipes using basil pesto!

Here is the recipe for the pesto from yesterday:

Basil Pesto

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

Do you make pesto? Is your recipe similar to the one above? What do you do with the pesto after you have made it?

Today’s Lagniappe: 3 Recipes with Basil Pesto

1. Melted Pesto Cheese Dip
3 ingredients and very easy!

  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1/4 lb. mozzarella cheese, fresh if possible
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. If using packaged cheese, cut into 1/2″ cubes and place in oven safe serving dish. If using fresh cheese, slice it and place in oven safe serving dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 4-6 minutes or until cheese begins to melt. Remove from oven and drop pesto by teaspoonfuls over cheese. Top with Parmesan cheese and return to oven for 1 minute. Serve with crackers. Serves 6-8

2.  Pesto Brie Bruschetta
Tomatoes and basil – a classic combination.
  • 8 slices french bread
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1 (8 ounce) wedge Brie cheese
  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

Spread each slice of bread with some pesto and top with cheese slices, cut to fit. Place in toaster oven and toast until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly. Top each slice with some cherry tomatoes and serve.To grill, place bread on grill over medium coals. Grill for 2-3 minutes until toasted. Turn, remove from grill, and top with pesto and cheese. Return to the grill and cover. Grill 2-4 minutes until bottom of bread is toasted and cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with cherry tomatoes and serve.

3.  Pesto Pasta
Last but certainly not least!

  • 1 lb. uncooked linguine pasta
  • 12-oz. container refrigerated basil pesto
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta as directed on package; drain and return to pot. Stir in basil pesto, tossing gently over low heat until pasta is coated. Add grape tomatoes and toss for 1 minute. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. 4 servings


Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More

Southern Pinks

Submitted by Christi

It is still really hot here, but I still try to brave the back porch whenever possible. Today, while I was out, a small rain shower moved in and cooled things just a tad. The sun was still out while the rain fell. Norvelle Turner, who helped raise my husband used to say, “the devil is beating his wife” when it rained while the sun was shining.

We may have to have our meals earlier in the morning or way later in the evening to enjoy them outside, but still, I love to be outside and watch the birds and the rabbits and see the wind blowing the trees. Here is my pink outside tablescape:

Pink Flowers

The inspiration

pink tablesetting

pink table setting with purple charger

Pink table with pink stem glasses

boy statue

girl statue

overhead shot of pink tablesetting

complete tablesetting

A pink table for:

Tablescape Thursday with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

Some pink for:

Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

And today’s lagniappe is a summery recipe for:

Foodie Friday

With Designs by Gollum

Today’s Lagniappe:  Summer Squash and Cherry tomatoes in Basil Butter
From Dining by Fireflies: Unexpected Pleasures of the New South – The Junior League of Charlotte, North Carolina

1 lb yellow squash, thinly sliced
8 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
2/3 cups basil butter, divided

Saute squash and tomato in 2 tablespoons basil butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until squash is tender. Serve with remaining basil butter.

Basil Butter

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
3/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup butter, softened
freshly ground pepper to taste

Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth,  stopping once to scrape down sides. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Save any leftover basil butter to slather on hot corn on the cob.

Southern Pink Lemonade

Submitted by Christi

Well, the weather is nice and warm and I’m looking for something pretty and refreshing to quench my thirst!

I’ll take some pink lemonade please. Love a drink that looks as good as it tastes!

Today’s Lagniappe:  Pink Lemonade

6 – lemons
2 – teaspoons grenadine syrup
1/2 to 3/4 – cup sugar
4 – cups water
1 – cup crushed ice

This is a very easy recipe to make. Rinse lemons thoroughly. Prepare lemons for squeezing by rolling them between the palm of your hand and the kitchen counter top, to break up the pulp and produce more juice.

Next cut lemons in half and squeezed out the juice. If you have a juicer use it, if not just squeeze your juice into a bowl. Remove the seed from the squeezed lemon juice.

Pour lemon juice into a pitcher and add grenadine syrup, sugar and water. Stir vigorously until sugar is completely dissolved. Next add crushed ice and serve immediately.

Southern Mimosa

Submitted by Christi
It's Foodie Friday with Designs by Gollum

It's Foodie Friday with Designs by Gollum

After all the great breakfast recipe lagniappes this week, I thought we needed to have something to drink with it. On special occasions, a Mimosa is the special touch to a wonderful brunch.


My husband tells me about Sundays as a kid, his father, Dr. Joe B. Wharton, would sometimes take him on rounds at the hospital and then they would attend St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in El Dorado, Arkansas. My husband’s god-mother lived across the street from the church. Often, after church they would go to his god-mother’s home, and they would have Mimosas and Brandy-Milk Punches (the adults, not the kids!). The kids would all run around and play and have a great time.

I grew up in a Baptist home where we had a Sunday lunch after church. No mimosas at our house! I love the line in the book “Being Dead is No Excuse” by Gaydon Metcalf where she explains that Methodists are Baptists that want to be Episcopalians.

Anyway, we really enjoy a brunch Mimosa on special occasions. Here is how I make them.

Pour a little Gran Marnier in a saucer. Pour a little sugar in another saucer. Dip the rim of a champagne glass in the Gran Marnier and then the suger. Pour the glass half full of brut champagne (or sparkling wine) and then finish with orange juice. You  can add a splash of Gran Marnier, if you like. Personally, it makes it a little too sweet for me.

What a relaxing and wonderful drink to have with a fabulous breakfast. Check out the earlier posts this week for the rest of the breakfast recipes including Linda’s Spicy Egg Casserole, Buttermilk biscuits, strawberry freezer jam and a delicious blueberry coffee cake.

Let’s see, what is the next special occasion? Labor Day? Oh, wait my older sister’s birthday is this weekend! Happy Birthday Tammy. Here’s to you!

Today’s Lagniappe: Garlic Cheese Grits
It’s a flashback to last March when I first added this recipe to the Lagniappe lineup. What better to have with the perfect breakfast?

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups grits
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 16 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • cayenne pepper to taste

Bring water and salt to a rolling boil; gradually stir in grits with fork. Cook, stirring constantly, until all water is absorbed. Stir in butter a tablespoon at a time; stir in the beaten eggs, working quickly so eggs will not cook before thoroughly blended into the grits, then stir in the shredded cheese, garlic and a little cayenne pepper. Put into a greased 2 1/2-quart casserole. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes.
Serves 8.

Southern Gracious Plenty

Submitted by Christi
Metamorphosis Monday

Metamorphosis Monday hosted by Between Naps on the Porch

Southern Cornbread Before

Southern Cornbread Before

After - Golden and yummy!

After - Golden and yummy!

Southern Food and Southern Cornbread – More than just something to eat! (The first in a series on Southern Food)

One of the things that really defines the South is the food. It is one thing that has always brought us together. Whenever a family suffers a tragedy, the Southern community goes into action to bring food and share in the tragedy. One of the best places to find and learn about Southern food is the community cookbooks. The church cookbooks, the Junior League Cookbooks, the garden club cookbook. All of them are compiled recipes from the homes of those mysterious Southern cooks that have the old family recipes that they are happy to share and pass along.

The first community cookbooks were compiled during the War Between the States (known to some as the Civil War)  to raise funds to treat wounded soldiers, to support family members who had lost fathers and sons and also those who had lost farms to the ravages of the war. After the war, many other charitable organizations continued compiling the community cookbooks and it still continues today.

I love to collect cookbooks but some of my favorites are these community compiled cookbooks. They may never win culinary acclaim, for the recipes contained within are simple recipes from real people using simple ingredients. So many of the recipes have a story to tell, a history of generations past.

In my own history, Southern food was defined by more than what was on the table. It was about my family sitting around the supper table sharing a meal and getting to know each other. It was about sharing our table with the company of friends and family, where everyone was always welcomed. It was also about being in the kitchen with my mother learning how to create a wonderful meal and serving it with warm hospitality.

Southern food – it has a mysterious connotation that surrounds the culture of the South. I hope you enjoy this series of posts about Southern food and some of the stories surrounding the culture.

I have been including a lagniappe with every post for some time. That is part of my attempt at Southern hospitality. Lagniappe simply means “something extra that is added.” The word is used in Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, Louisiana, Eastern Oklahoma, Southern Arkansas, Charleston in South Carolina, southern and western Mississippi, the gulf coast of Alabama, and parts of eastern Texas. Mark Twain writes about the word in a chapter on New Orleans in Life on the Mississippi (1883). He called it “a word worth travelling to New Orleans to get.” It is something thrown in, gratis, for good measure. The lagniappes that I will include with this series will all be about Southern food.

Today’s Lagniappe: *Southern Cornbread
At one time, corn was “virtually the sole grain of the South and cornbread the true staff of Southern life,” according to A Gracious Plenty, Recipes and Recollections from the American South by John T. Edge for the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.

My grandmother used to make cornbread and crumble it in a bowl with buttermilk. Personally, I prefer it hot and slathered with butter.

2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup white cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
1/3 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon bacon drippings (or oil)

Preheat oven to 425. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Add the buttermilk, then the cornmeal, and mix. Add the salt, flour, baking soda, and baking powder. mix thoroughly. Place the drippings or oil into a 9 inch iron skillet. Heat the skillet in the oven.

Pour the batter into the hot skillet. Put it in the oven and bake the cornbread for 10 to 15 minutes. Place it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top slightly. Turn the cornbread out upside down on a plate. Cut it like a pie and serve immediately.

Concerts from the Kitchen
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Society Guild
Little Rock, Arkansas
* -The story is that this recipe is from Georgetown, Arkansas, a community of about 75 people located on the White River. This recipe is said to have originated with a cook employed on a nearby plantation.

Photo by fritish via flickr

Mama’s Southern Guest Post

Submitted by Christi

A couple of days ago I posted a recipe that my mother gave me for poppy seed rolls. Mama called and was telling me about how she got the recipe and that she should leave that as a comment. I thought a better idea was for her to write a guest post. So . . . here it is – enjoy:

<i>My Mother, Carrol Ward</i>

My Mother, Carrol Ward

The bread recipe on Christi’s blog (3/11/09) has an interesting beginning for us:
My husband, Chester and I were in Monticello, Utah last September doing a revival for a church there.  The Pastor’s wife invited us for dinner one night before church. The meal was delicious but when she set the bread on the table, I thought it looked soooo good, I was sure it was desert.  Well, of course, it wasn’t but it looked so pretty and tasted so good it could have been. She also served some  of her home canned apricot jam with it.  Well, I could have skipped church that night because I thought I had died and gone to heaven already.

I have since shared the recipe with several people.  I fixed it one night, along with a roast dinner for my next door neighbors.  The wife has MS and so her husband does most of the cooking, which he is learning to do, so they really did appreciate the meal.  He especially liked it and asked for the recipe.  He has sent it to several family members and friend all across the country.

The trip to Utah was also memorable for another incident which happened to us:
One afternoon The Pastor and his wife took us to the top of Abajo Peak which is 11,000 ft, located in the Blue Mountains.  It was a beautiful site and you could see forever.  They have two ATV’s and often ride on the mountains around Monticello. They suggested that my husband use them one day and even had one of the members of the church go along as a guide (thank goodness, we would probably still be there without him).

It had been at least 30 years since I had ridden an ATV and my husband had never ridden one.  So, we purchased some sweat suits at Alco, layered our clothes, starting with our pajamas, and put on the warmest clothes we could put together and met our guide at 7:30 one morning.  After a brief overview of how to operate the machines we took off.  Everything went great until our guide took off on what he called a trail, with lots of deep ruts, sheer drop-offs, low hanging tree branches and I don’t know what all. But, we kept up with him and it was fun.  We had reached about 10,000 ft.when the trail (if you can call it that) became more of challenge.  I was riding behind the guide and in front of Chester when I came to some ruts. The left wheels of the ATV kinda slipped into the ruts and began to “fall” over and . . . I began to pray! ” Lord don’t let this thing fall on me!”  I was yelling “Help!” but no one could hear me for the noise the ATV’s make. Chester could see something was happening to me and the guide stopped and looked back and later said that I just didn’t look right. Well of course I didn’t look right, I was slipping off the ATV!
When I got off the ATV to the ground, unhurt, the machine righted itself. After we decided that I was alright we remounted the things and took off again.

We were riding along enjoying the scenery which was beautiful and I began to thank God for letting me see all this and taking care of a 70 year old woman who didn’t have sense enough to take care of herself.  But I believe life  is to be enjoyed and shared. Good recipes should be shared as well.

Today’s Lagniappe: Also from Mama – Pear Relish
This recipe for Pear Relish is one of Christi’s favorites)

Pear Relish
16 -19  pears (fairly firm, not soft) cored and ground.
6 medium onions, ground
8 green peppers, ground
4 sweet red peppers, ground
6 cups vinegar (5% acidity)
6 cups sugar
3 Tbs. mustard seeds
2 Tbs. pickling salt
1 Tbs. ground tumeric
1 Tsp. ground allspice
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 Tsp. ginger

Let pears, onions and peppers stand in separate containers for 1 hour.  Pour boiling water  over each; drain very well.  Combine pears, onions, peppers, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings in a large kettle.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered, 30 minutes.
Pour hot mixture into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 in headspace.  Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims.  Cover at once with metal lids and screw on bands.  Process in boiling-water bath 20 minutes.  Remove jars from hot water carefully and place on cloth to cool.  When the jars are cool enough to handle move to a cool place and let set for 1 month before opening.  Yield about 10 pints.

This is especially good with chicken and dumplings or pinto beans and corn bread.

Christi’s note: I think I have mentioned this before – my father died in 1992 of cancer. My mother has since remarried a wonderful man, Chester Ward. Chester is a minister who serves as Director of Missions for Kay Baptist Association in Oklahoma.

Southern Cooking Legend

Submitted by Christi


8 days til Spring!

Yesterday, I was in my home office looking for one of my gardening books when I came across Mme. Begue’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery. I had forgotten having this little gem. It is copyrighted @1937. The price on the inside cover was .60 but it was marked out in pencil and .75 was written in. Along with the recipes is an interesting story.

Shortly before the end of the War between the States, in 1863, a two-story brick building at the downtown corner of Madison and Decatur Streets, became a distinctive dining place . . .It was then, as was the custom, a “Coffee House”, and the proprietor was a Creole named Louis Dutrey. He attended bar, saw to the proper mixing of the beverages, and to meeting all guests. The presiding genius of the kitchen, where was prepared the delectabel dishes that lured the husky butchers of the French Market to Louis Dutrey’s Coffee House for their “second breakfast,” was the proprietor’s wife, she who had been Elizabeth Kettenring when she landed in New Orleans in 1853, a strapping German girl, born in 1831 in Bavaria.

Apparently, after Mr. Dutrey died, Elizabeth went on to marry Hypolite Begue who had worked for her, tending bar and was 8 years her junior (tre risque!).  In 1880 the coffee house name was changed to Begue’s and then later Madame Begeue’s


Many of the recipes call for frying in hot lard as does this recipe for Lost Bread or Pain Perdu:

Take six slices of stale bread and soak in sugared milk, to which has been added a large spoonful of brandy. Drain and when ready to use turn each slice in beaten eggs. Fry in hto lard, brown well on both sides, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve hot.

I enjoyed looking through this little book and reading about Elizabeth’s life and recipes. In 1900 Elizabeth wrote down her recipes. “In spite of her German birth she spoke French fluently, but she never became proficient in the English tongue, so when she set down in words the secrets of her cookery they were written in the language of France.” Madame Elizabeth Begue died October 19, 1906.

Today’s Lagniappe: Pain Perdue
or as we call it – French Toast

* 4 (1/2 inch) slices egg bread
* 1 egg
* 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 3 tablespoons white sugar
* 1 pinch salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 pinch ground nutmeg
* 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup milk
* 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Cut the bread and place on a wire rack to dry out a little as you prepare the batter.
2. Whisk the egg to blend. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan or on the stovetop and allow to cool slightly. Whisk the sugar, salt and spices into the egg. When the butter has cooled slightly, slowly drizzle it in to the egg, whisking all the time. A little at a time, add the flour to the egg mixture to make a smooth thick paste. After it is all added, slowly blend in the milk and finally the vanilla. Whisk until just smooth and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip a slice of the bread in the batter and allow to soak for 30 seconds, no more. Remove from the batter and allow the excess to drip off, back into the bowl. Place the battered slice in the skillet. Repeat with the remaining slices. Cook until golden on one side and then flip to brown the other. Serve immediately–a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and a good dusting of powdered sugar is traditional.

Southern Monday

Submitted by Christi

Oh, it's Monday!

Oh, it's Monday!

Ah Monday – again. Hope everybody had a restful weekend. As for me, I did cleaning and more party planning. I’ve been looking for recipes for the Mardi Gras party. I got a Mam Papaul’s king cake mix. It includes the praline filling, decorative sugars and even the baby. I’ve heard they are really good. If you can’t get one locally, you can do a Google search and get one online. I also found a praline cheesecake recipe that looks great and I want to make some white trash.

Anyway, back to Monday. I am working on a 3 hour workshop called First Steps to E-Commerce for the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center from Arkansas State University. The workshop will be on Friday the 20th at the Mountain Home ASU campus. That, of course, is the day before the Mardi Gras party. Looks like a couple of busy weeks coming up.

I’m also still working on my book. I saw an interview of  the author of The Man Plan: Drive Men Wild, Not Away recently and thought, “I need to write faster!” I am so tired of books about how to catch a man. These books give men all the power in relationships. Apparently women are supposed to read these books and talk the way they say to talk, dress the way they say to dress, act the way they say to act and they will catch the man of their dreams. Give me a break! How about finding a man that likes the way I act and dress and talk and he tries to impress me instead of always the other way around. Anyway, I’m working on the book. Sorry to get carried away.

Today’s Lagniappe: Southern Pecan Praline Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnaps (about 24 cookies)
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted and divided
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
15 Caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Stir together gingersnaps and 1/4 cup melted butter; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
Beat cream cheese, sugar, and 2 tablespoons flour at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt; beat 3 minutes. Pour batter into prepared crust. Set aside.

Stir together brown sugar, pecans, remaining 1/4 cup flour, and remaining 1/4 cup melted butter until crumbly. Sprinkle around edge of cream cheese mixture.

Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until center is firm. Turn off oven. Leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours. Drizzle caramel topping on edge of chilled cheesecake, if desired.

To make caramel topping, place caramels and whipping cream in 1-cup microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at High for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring halfway through cooking time, until melted.

Note: Commercial caramel ice-cream topping may be substituted for caramel topping.

Yield: Makes 12 servings

Southern Sunday Lunch

Submitted by Christi


I remember Sunday lunches when I was growing up fondly. When we got home from church we would set the table with the good china and all gather round the table. Often, we would have company and spend 2 or 3 hours at the table visiting.

I remember one occasion when my mother had put a roast in the oven before church. When we got home, she had a migraine headache so we were going to just have a low key lunch so she could rest. As it happened, there was a mix up in dates and one of the ministers from the church and his wife thought they were invited for lunch that Sunday and, of course, showed up ready to eat. My poor mother, got us to set the table and she went ahead and presented a lovely meal with a smile (even though she felt terrible).

I’m not sure how my mother managed. She often didn’t know how many would actually show up but there was always plenty of food for everyone served with grace and beautiful Southern hospitality. I always appreciated how everyone always felt welcome in our home. I hope people feel as welcome in my own home as my mother made them feel in hers.

Todays Lagniappe: Mama’s Sunday Roast

Place a 3 to 5 lb. roast in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper.

Mix together cream of mushroom soup, 1 pkg. of Campbell’s beefy onion soup mix and a can of beef consumme.  Pour over roast.

Put roast in 325 degree F. oven and roast for 2 to 3 hours.

Place potatoes that have been quartered or cut into 8ths and carrot chunks into pan around the roast after the roast has cooked for 2 hours or so.

Raise oven temperature to 35o degrees F. and cook for an additional 30 to 40 minutes until vegetables are soft.

Remove roast and vegetables from pan and make a gravy with the pan drippings. Serve roast and vegetables with hot rolls, a green vegetable and a smile.

photo from mc-q via flickr