Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Creamy Caesar Pasta Salad with Diced Ham

This salad is perfect for a ladies' luncheon or a family dinner.  I used shortcuts and it was on the table in 15 minutes.  

enclosed seasoning package
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 t. red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sliced grape tomatoes
1/2 cup finely diced ham (or cooked chicken)
Parmesan cheese for garnishing

Cook the pasta in boiling water in a medium saucepan over medium high heat for 12 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water and drain again.

In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, seasoning packet and vinegar.  Add the drained pasta noodles and gently fold in tomatoes and ham.

Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

May Day Table Setting

May Day brings images of May Pole dances, flowers and SPRING!  I chose pink and white as my theme colors for the table and used White and Pink Fiestaware plates, a table runner from Hobby Lobby and Sweet Pea scented candles.

This is a beautiful tea pot, sugar and creamer given to my by Grandmother Clara. The great thing about this beautiful tea pot?  It's a music box, too!  You wind the music box up on the bottom of the pot and when the tea pot is lifted from the table, it plays, what else?  Tea for Two!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Classic at Buckhorn

We had a lovely, relaxing dinner at Classic at Buckhorn Saturday evening. An offspring of the perfectly charming Classic on Noble, we were thoroughly impressed with the service (Thanks Adam!) and food.

Bread and butter delivered to the table almost immediately.

We started with the fried oysters appetizer.  As y'all know, I KNOW my fried oysters.  These were prepared perfectly.  

A dining companion ordered a serving of the soup of the day....which was lamb stew.  A request for several additional spoons was met promptly and we all had a taste.  Perfectly seasoned with a thick broth and tender chunks of lamb and lots of vegetables.  Oh my, this was awesome.

Dining companion also ordered the grilled salmon salad.  She reported the salmon was cooked to perfection.

Sweet Harold ordered the fried catfish (two whole fish, no fillets here!).  Crunchy and lightly breaded.  Not greasy in the least.  He also enjoyed the side of slaw.

For myself and other dining companion we chose the blackened redfish over cheese grits.  The sauce?  Oh my goodness.  Tomato based with crawfish tails, vegetables and nice slices of andouille sausage.  This was perfection.

Dessert was shared all around.....

Sorry for the blurry picture, but I was in too big of a hurry to dig into my portion of this homemade Butterfinger cake.

I didn't try the coconut cake, but it was the agreement of the other diners that there had to be a grandmother on the premises that baked this delicious cake.

Mississippi Purple Hull Peas

These are my favorite type of peas.  Typically referred to simply as "field peas" in the South, I can make a meal from a bowl of these and some hot cornbread.

1 pound of frozen purple hull peas
water to cover by about 2 inches
4 slices bacon, diced OR 1/2 cup cubed ham or 1 ham hock
salt and pepper to taste

Bring peas and water to a boil over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven or cast iron pot.  If you're using a ham hock, add it now.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  Add diced bacon or ham and let simmer for another 1/2 hour or so.

Add water as needed.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ina Garten's Carrot Cake

This was the PERFECT Easter dessert!

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups plus 1 T. all-purpose flour, divided
2 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. baking soda
1 ½ t. kosher salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 pound carrots, grated
½ cup diced fresh pineapple

For the frosting:
3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
½ pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

For the cake:
Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 tablespoon flour. Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.

Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.

For the frosting:

Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

Place 1 layer, flat-side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. 

Creamy Silver Queen Corn

Silver Queen corn is my all time favorite corn.  These precious little kernels were grown in our garden and lovingly "put up" in the freezer by yours truly.  It honestly tastes as if it was just picked from the summer garden.  

Follow this link Silver Queen corn for more information.

When I cut the kernels off the cob, I usually make two passes through the kernels. That releases the milky goodness from the kernels.  

If you are fortunate to find Silver Queen corn this summer, please take advantage of the opportunity and make this recipe.

8 cups corn kernels (with milk)
1 stick butter
salt and pepper to taste
3 T. self-rising flour
3 T. water

In a large saucepan add corn and juice.  If the corn appears to be dry, add additional water.  Over very low heat, bring corn to a gentle simmer.  Stir frequently to keep from sticking.

After about 30 minutes of cooking, add butter and salt and pepper.  

Make a slurry of the flour and water in a small bowl and add to the corn.  The mixture will have to return to a simmer to allow the flour to thicken the corn.

Cook an additional 30 minutes or so, continue to stir frequently.

Brown Sugar and Butter Glazed Baby Carrots

Carrots are a must on Easter Sunday at Lolly's house.  These are simply delicious and can be ready to put on the table in about 20 minutes.  The younger family members especially liked the "baby carrot" version, but you could certainly dice or slice regular sized carrots for this recipe.

1 pound baby carrots 
3 T. light brown sugar
3 T. unsalted butter
pinch of salt

Lightly steam carrots over boiling water with a steamer basket until a knife will easily slide into carrots, about 8 - 10 minutes depending on their size.

Drain carrots.  In a shallow saucepan over medium low heat, melt butter and add sugar and stir until the mixture thickens into a glaze.  Add carrots and gently stir to combine with the glaze.  Add a pinch of salt and serve immediately.

Easter 2014

You'll see dishes in this album that you've seen me cook before.  To me, Easter is the MOST traditional food meal of the year.  I seldom vary the menu.  I did add a new Springtime punch and Ina Garten's carrot cake made its debut. I'll post individual pictures and recipes in the next few days.  

Silver Queen Corn 

Mississippi Purple Hull Peas

He Is Risen Eggs with Country Dijon Mustard 

Hashbrown Casserole

Lolly's Potato Salad

Brown Sugar and Butter Glazed Baby Carrots

Brown Sugar Glazed Baked Ham with Pineapples and Cherries 

Southern Green Beans 

Carrot Cake 

Springtime Fruit Punch 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cookbook Giveaway

If you haven't sent Fleur de Lolly a Facebook Friend request, you need to do so soon!  Contest time is quickly approaching.  

Garden News

Saturday I helped to plant Cherokee Purple tomatoes, beets, parsnips, carrots, spaghetti squash and Kentucky Wonder green beans.  

We are going to have so much fun with recipes with these wonderful vegetables. I'm especially intrigued with the beets.  Also the beet greens!

I'll post some pictures as soon as I have some "green" to show y'all popping up in the rows.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Royal Lolly Pina Colada

4 oz. cream of coconut
4 oz. pineapple juice
4 oz. light rum
Pineapple juice

Mix together and serve over ice cubes. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Royal Lolly Mai Tai

1 oz. light rum
1 oz. dark rum
1 oz. triple sec

1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. pomegranate juice

1/2 oz. lime juice
3 oz. simple syrup

Pineapple garnish
Umbrella optional

Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher and serve over ice in rocks glasses. Garnish with pineapple wedges and a fun paper umbrella if you'd like!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Weidmann's in Meridian, Mississippi

Last week while traveling through Mississippi, I had the privilege of dining at Weidmann's in Meridian. Mississippi's oldest restaurant, which opened in 1870, is a true gem.  Southern hospitality greets you the minute you walk through the door.  

Our hostess greeted up promptly and our server Michelle was absolutely perfect and charming.  

We started our meal by sharing the Fried Green Tomatoes with 1870 Sauce - their famous fried green tomatoes topped with shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes and spicy cream sauce $11.95. Sorry for the not perfect picture. I was in too big of a hurry to dig in and try them.

We shared a Ceasar salad. Very lightly dressed and topped with shaved Parmesan. $3.50 We ate every bite!  It was delicious.

Harold had the soft shell crab sandwich (dressed) with a side of their homemade potato chips.  $12.95

I chose the Loaded Crab Cakes. Two homemade crabcakes topped with crabmeat Belvedere and melted fontina cheese and topped with buerre blanc. And surprise! They're sitting atop two additional fried green tomatoes. I chose Creole Cabbage as my side item.  $17.95

Fleur de Lolly wouldn't lie to you. These are absolutely as delicious as they look. 

I could have eaten an entire plate of the side dish and been perfectly happy. 

We ordered a slice of Black Bottom Pie ($5.25) to share while on the road. I'm so glad we did!

A Southern Comfort Food Meal

Sweet Harold has been requesting butterbeans for awhile and hopefully this batch cured his craving.  Dried beans cook wonderfully in a crock pot and that's the way I cooked these.

1 pound of large white dried butterbeans, rinsed and sorted
Water to cover them by about 2 inches
2 T. chicken bouillon granules
2 slices bacon, chopped

Add butterbeans and water to cover.  Stir in the chicken bouillon granules and cover.  Set crockpot to low and cook for 6 hours or set to high and cook for 4 hours.  

Add the bacon slices during the last hour or so of cooking.  Taste for seasoning and add a little salt if needed.  

I made a skillet of cornbread, fried some diced up potatoes, steamed some Brussels sprouts and cooked some cubed pork steaks.  A delicious meal.

Rainbow Eggs

How much fun to have your Easter stuffed eggs, in bright, multi-colored "whites"?

Prepare your eggs just as you would for regular stuffed eggs (follow the link for the recipe) but using a little food coloring mixed with water in small bowls or a prepackaged egg dying kit, dye the whites before stuffing with the filling!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Southern Ladies Luncheon

Recently I was invited to a lovely Saturday afternoon Ladies Luncheon.  I hope you enjoy these pictures.  The food was delicious and the company was wonderful.  

The perfect menu

Gorgeous napkins

Let's get the party started with a mimosa (or three!)

A most beautiful table!

Roast Beef, Watercress and Ham Sandwiches 

Tomato Aspic 

Cheese Straws


Deviled Eggs 

Scones with Devonshire Cream or Lemon Curd

Tea Time Tassies and Petit Fours

Hot Tea

I was very honored to be included with this lovely, charming and gracious group of Southern Ladies.  Our hostess went above and beyond to provide a wonderful afternoon of delicious food and memories.