Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Dinner: Cornish Game Hen and Vegetables

While the foot is still healing, I knew the long-standing tradition of a big Christmas night meal would be impossible. So, I incorporated the helpfulness of the slow cooker! With about 15 minutes of prep time and four hours on the high setting, this lovely meal was ready to devour.

You can use whichever root vegetables you'd like. I chose fennel, onions, garlic, multi-colored potatoes, and baby carrots.

2 T. olive oil
2 T. unsalted butter
2 (20 oz.) Cornish game hens, thawed, rinsed and patted dry
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Herbes de Provence
1 cup dry white wine
2 T. lemon juice
1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb, reserve some fronds for garnish
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onions
8 cloves garlic, peeled
8 - 10 small multi-colored potatoes
2 cups baby carrots
2 T. butter

Heat olive oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When butter bubbles, add hens on at a time and brown until both sides are golden. Repeat with the other hen. Set aside when both are browned.

Add white wine to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Add lemon juice and let boil another minute or so.

Set slow cooker to high setting. Add fennel, onions, garlic, potatoes, and carrots. Lightly season with salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence.

Place Cornish hens on top of vegetables. Add 1 T. of butter each to the interior of the hens.

Pour wine/lemon juice mixture over hens and vegetables. Cover and let cook 4 hours or high or 6 hours or low. The internal temperature of the Cornish game hens should be 180 degrees F.

Place vegetables on the plate and add game hen on top or side of vegetables. Spoon sauce over everything and enjoy!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve Seafood Chowder

If you love seafood, this is an elegant and impressive chowder to serve on special occasions. The chowder is very easy to prepare with an incredibly rich-tasting broth which begins with smoky bacon, fresh fennel, and thyme. Add the seafood at the end of the cooking time for just a few minutes of simmering to prevent it from becoming overcooked and tough.

I used cod, shrimp, oysters, and mussels.

5 strips thick sliced bacon, diced
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced fennel bulb, fronds reserved
1 T. unsalted butter

2 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine

3 bottles clam juice (8 oz. each)
1 1/2 cup diced peeled potatoes
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 8 oz.)
16 oz. mussels, debearded
8 oz. firm white fish such as cod, cut into 1-inch chunks
8 oz. oysters

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 t. minced fresh thyme
Tabasco sauce to taste

Saute bacon in a pot until crisp; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 T. drippings. Add onion, fennel, and butter to pot, cover, and sweat over medium heat until vegetables are translucent about 5 minutes.

Stir in flour and cook 1 minute, then add wine and boil 1 minute.

Add clam juice and potatoes, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to medium-low, and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, 8 - 10 minutes.

Stir in shrimp, mussels, and fish. Cover pot; simmer chowder until fish and shrimp are cooked through and mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels.

Stir in oysters, cream, and thyme and simmer chowder to heat through 2-3 minutes more. Season chowder with salt and Tabasco. Top servings with diced bacon and fennel fronds. Serve with toasted bread.

Recipe courtesy of Cuisine: Celebrate the Seasons

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Table 2017 - Twelve Days of Christmas

This year's Christmas table featured the Twelve Days of Christmas as place settings! I got a really great deal on these Better Homes and Gardens plates, salad plates, bowls, mugs, and serving pieces!

The table runner was purchased from a very nice Amish lady in Lancaster, PA several years ago while we were on vacation.  The glassware was won on an online auction site.  

The dinner plates and bowls have the rim showing the Twelve Days of Christmas along with the wording.

The salad plates and mugs are divided into groups of the Twelve Days.

I loved how the place settings contrasted with the deep red chargers.

Santa Table - Christmas 2017

We were expecting two more grandchildren here this weekend, but the eldest grandson is sick, so hopefully, they will be able to visit next weekend.  I love to decorate with Santas and this is a great mix and match of all sorts of St. Nick.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Old Bay Salmon Patty

If you've been keeping up with the saga of my broken foot, we're almost to the end of the story. I am once again vertical (after11 weeks!) and tonight was the first night I've been able to stand and cook supper from start to finish!

To reward Sweet Harold for all his hard work in taking care of me and the house and the cooking, cleaning, laundry......I made one of his favorites:  Salmon Patties. For this meal, I seasoned with Old Bay seasoning. These were delicious!

2 large cans boneless/skinless salmon (drained and flaked)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 T. chopped parsley
2 t. Old Bay Seasoning
1 t. minced garlic
3 T. self-rising flour
Vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, lightly mix first six ingredients with a fork until well blended.  

In a large skillet, add enough vegetable oil to have a depth of about 1/4 inch. Heat over high heat until oil shimmers. 

Shape salmon mixture into equal sized patties. With this amount, I usually have 7 or 8 patties. Lower heat to medium-high and fry salmon patties in batches, turning when one side is golden brown, about 3 - 4 minutes each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Easy Broccoli Casserole

You can easily whip this recipe up on a weeknight. Don't think you have to wait for the holidays or special events to have a broccoli casserole. This recipe should be baked in a 9 x 9 or 11 x 9 casserole dish. If you want to use a round casserole dish, a 2-quart size should be fine.

4 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. sour cream
freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray the casserole dish with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and pour into the baking dish.  Bake for 45 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Let rest a few minutes before serving.

White Cheddar Potatoes

Our comfort food recipes continue with this one.  The use of a food processor will give you the uniformly thin slices of potatoes that make this dish so beautiful and allows all the creamy cheesy goodness to fill in between the layers.

4 medium potatoes, washed and sliced very thin
8 oz. sour cream
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 t. salt
1/2 t. white pepper
1 t. dried parsley
8 oz. block of white cheddar cheese, shredded, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. F.  Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.

Layer one-half of the potatoes into the dish.

In a medium bowl, combine the next six ingredients along with one half of the shredded cheese.

Slowly pour one half of the sour cream mixture over the potatoes. Layer remaining potatoes, pour remaining sour cream mixture over the potatoes, and top with remaining shredded cheese.

Cover with foil and bake 45-50 minutes. Remove foil and let potatoes cook another 15 minutes or so. Potatoes are done when a knife can be easily inserted into potatoes. 

If needed, place potatoes under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese.  

Ground Pork Meat Loaf with Black Mission Fig and Garlic Glaze

I'm still on non-weight bearing with the broken foot. But I was craving meatloaf and cooked us a great comfort food meal. A flavorful meatloaf that's made even better with a unique glaze. No ketchup and/or brown sugar here!  I also use whole grain oats as my filler instead of bread or breadcrumbs. It's a delicious way to add whole grains to your diet!

Figs pair well with pork, so Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar immediately came to mind as an ingredient IN the meatloaf, as well as for the glaze to add during the last 10 minutes or so of cooking.

Let's make the meatloaf!

2 lbs. ground pork
1/3 cup diced onions
1/3 cup diced green bell pepper
2 t. minced garlic
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 - 2 t. salt
few grinds of black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Spray two loaf pans or a parchment lined baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Lightly spoon the meatloaf mixture into the loaf pans or shape into a loaf on the baking sheet.  

Place in oven for an hour or until an instant-read thermometer shows the internal temperature of the meatloaf at 160 degrees F.

While the meatloaf is baking, make the glaze. In a small saucepan, add 3 - 4 T. of Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar and whisk in 2 - 3 T. of Garlic Olive Oil.  Bring to a gentle simmer and let cook until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat. During the last 10 minutes or so of cooking time, spoon or brush the glaze over the top of the meatloaf and return to oven.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dining Out Southeast: The Peerless Saloon and Grille, Anniston, AL

I received a gift certificate from The Peerless Saloon and Grille for my birthday. At long last, we were finally able to go today to check out this historic building located in downtown Anniston.  Dating back to 1899, the Peerless Saloon is on the U.S. Register of Historic Places and features live music Thursday through Saturday nights. Thursday is open jam session night and local bands play on Friday and Saturday nights. The Peerless Grille Restaurant is adjacent and offers delicious southern cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere. While at the Saloon, be sure to see the massive mirror-backed mahogany bar that was featured at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

Now on to today's visit!

Meghan was our server today. I'm still nursing the broken foot and she quickly made accommodations for my wheelchair and made me very comfortable.  

There's something for everyone on the menu. The appetizer section is your usual suspects, fried green tomatoes, fried dill pickles, chips and salsa, quesadilla, nachos, mac and cheese bites, and buffalo chicken dip.

Now y'all know me well enough by now if Fried Green Tomatoes are on the menu, I have to give them a try. 

These were exactly the way I like them.  Thinly sliced, lightly breaded and fried just until they are perfectly browned. They were served with a nice garnish of fresh diced tomatoes and onions with a house prepared buttermilk ranch dipping sauce.  Notice those fried flour tortilla chips are resting on.  They were freshly fried and hot. I inquired to Meghan and she confirmed that you can also choose these for your nachos if you'd prefer them to the corn tortilla version.  $6.99

Now on to the main event menu choices. A wide variety of sandwiches, chicken wings, chicken tacos, steaks, burgers with a wide variety of build your own toppings, vegetable plates, and seafood selections galore!

Harold, upon the recommendation of our son in law, chose the Big Nasty. I'm not sure where this name originated because the sandwich was anything but.  You can choose either a fried, blackened or grilled chicken breast (Harold chose blackened), tossed in one of the signature sauces (he chose garlic romano ranch). The sandwich is topped with mayo, Swiss, cheddar, AND pepper jack cheese!  The sandwich is served with one side item. He went with the sweet potato fries which are thinly sliced, seasoned with cinnamon sugar and notice the small container on the side? Yep, that's maple syrup to dip the fries! $8.99

The chicken was perfectly cooked, the bread was nice and chewy, and the garlic romano ranch was an excellent dipping sauce. 

Now my turn to order. As always, I'm usually torn between four items. Today was no exception. Meghan answered all my questions and helped me choose wisely! 

Now, this may seem like an odd choice to some, but that's exactly why I ordered this sandwich.  A smoked salmon BLT.  Toasted sourdough bread with pesto mayo, smoked center cut bacon, lettuce, tomato, and hardwood smoked salmon. This sandwich was also served with a choice of one side, and I picked sauteed Brussels sprouts with bacon. $9.49.

This was one of the most delicious slices of sourdough bread I've ever eaten. The sandwich was LOADED with smoked salmon, the pesto mayo was spot on, and the bacon had a great crunch. I fell in love with this sandwich.

The Brussels Sprouts were perfectly seasoned, lightly sauteed (NOT MUSHY!), and had an ample amount of crumbled bacon as a topping. You would love these even if you don't like Brussels Sprouts!

We certainly enjoyed our early afternoon meal, and are looking forward to returning and sampling more the menu items.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Espresso Beef Stew

We had our first frost of the season this weekend. That called for a comfort food meal! One of my favorites is Beef Stew with Cornbread. After this pot of comfort food goodness was ready to eat, I tried a bite and knew it needed something. I saw the bottle of Espresso Balsamic Vinegar and decided to add a tablespoon or so. Perfect! The richness of the vinegar gave just the right finish for this delicious beef stew.  

2 T. olive oil
1 lb. stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper
6 cups of low-sodium beef stock
2 large carrots, sliced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 envelope French's Beef Stew Seasoning Mix

In a 5 - 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Lightly salt and pepper beef. Brown stew meat in batches. Add the beef back into the Dutch oven and pour in beef stock.

Bring to a gentle boil and add the vegetables, garlic, and seasoning mix. Stir to combine everything and lower heat to a simmer.  Cover and let stew cook for several hours, stirring occasionally.

Just before serving, stir in the Espresso Balsamic Vinegar. 

Serve with cornbread or yeast rolls.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs

While I am sidelined, Sweet Harold has really stepped up to the plate (see what I did there?) and gone above and beyond to do everything possible to help me. While I called out instructions from the den, he made the marinade, got the chicken in to marinate for a few hours while he went back to work, and came home and cooked dinner. On top of that, he even plated and made this great picture for the blog!  Thank you, Sweet Harold! 

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 T. Garlic olive oil
2 T. Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
2 T. Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. Herbes de Provence
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

Rinse the chicken thighs and pat dry.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients, and pour into a large Ziploc bag and place chicken into the marinade. Close securely and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place a baking rack onto the baking sheet and spray it as well.

Place chicken onto rack and back for 20 - 22 minutes or until chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Serrano Adobo Pork Sandwiches with Rosemary Garlic Mayonnaise

I'm on Week #2 of the foot/leg cast and cooking is still a challenge. So the slow cooker to the rescue! If you're preparing food for a crowd, make a batch of these sandwiches and you'll have friends for life. The heat level can be adjusted by adding more or less of the canned peppers in adobo sauce. Here's the type I used.

The Serrano Honey Balsamic Vinegar adds a subtle heat and sweetness to the pork as well.

I served these on slider style buns, but regular buns or hoagie rolls would work just fine. Take a few minutes and make the Rosemary Garlic Mayonnaise.  These were delicious!

2 cups drained, chopped tomatoes
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. chili powder
3 T. Serrano Honey Balsamic Vinegar
3 T. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 T. honey
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 1/2 lbs. pork shoulder
Sandwich Buns
Rosemary Garlic Mayonnaise
Lettuce Leaves
Sliced Tomatoes

Process the first seven ingredients in a food processor until mixture is smooth.

Cut pork shoulder in half and place in 5 quart (or larger) slow cooker. Pour tomato mixture over pork. Cover and cook on high for 8 hours. Remove from slow cooker. Cool slightly and shred. Return to the slow cooker to remain warm.

Spread buns with Rosemary Garlic mayo.

Top with shredded pork.

Spread top bun with mayo and place on sandwich and serve!

Adapted from 2001 South Living Annual Recipes.

Rosemary Garlic Mayonnaise

I made this mayonnaise to go with the Serrano Adobo Pork Sandwiches. It definitely complimented the spicy flavor of the sandwiches. This condiment would be delicious on sandwiches or burgers or as a dressing for potato salad.

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
1 T. lemon juice
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper

Stir together all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Chill until ready to serve.

From 2001 Southern Living Annual Recipes.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Peasant Stew

While thinking of something I could prepare for us to have to this week, I grabbed the 2001 Southern Living Cookbook off the shelf.  I decided I'd try to cook whatever was on the page I opened the book to.

And here we are, Peasant Stew.  I adapted somewhat for the ingredients I had, but this one will definitely be placed in the rotation.

3 carrots, sliced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 celery ribs, diced
1 t. minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 - 16 oz. Conecuh sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 bay leaf
9 cups chicken stock
3 cups shredded cabbage
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can Italian cut green beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. pepper

Add all ingredients into a large Dutch oven (at least 5-quart size). Stir to combine and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, 30 - 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve with cornbread or rolls.


Just wanted to let you know that I took a tumble Friday a week ago. I thought it was a sprained ankle, but further tests showed that it is a break of bones in my foot. I'm going to be off my feet for awhile, but am still managing to do a little cooking.

I didn't want y'all to think I was shrinking on my blog duties! Please leave a note here and let me know you're still out there and reading.  I'm fighting cabin fever and would love to have some messages here!

This is going to take a while to heal.  

Monday, October 2, 2017

Slow Cooker Cubed Steak with Peppers and Onions

I had a nasty tumble last Friday and have been instructed by the doctor to stay off the sprained ankle for two weeks. I had doubts I'd be doing any cooking whatsoever, but I surprised myself by preparing a slow cooker with a little help from Sweet Harold.

I think y'all will enjoy this one. You can definitely add this one to your "comfort food" or "slow cooker" file.

1 can Golden Mushroom Soup
1 can beef broth
2 envelopes dry onion soup mix
1 T. minced garlic
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. cubed beef steak
1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise, and then thickly sliced into chunks
1 green bell pepper, thickly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thickly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thickly sliced
Cooked white rice
Chopped parsley for garnish

Set the slow cooker to high heat setting. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the Golden Mushroom Soup, beef broth, and dry onion soup mix. Stir in garlic and freshly ground black pepper.  Add a 1/4 cup or so of this mixture into the slow cooker.

Add a layer of cubed beef steak, top with half of the onion chunks and half of the peppers.

Pour half of the soup mixture over the steak and vegetables.

Repeat layers.

Cover and let cook 3 - 4 hours on high or lower heat to low and let cook 5 - 6 hours.

Serve over cooked rice and top with chopped parsley.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tropical Cole Slaw with Pineapple

Last night I experimented with a new flavor for chicken wings. Here is the result:  Passion Fruit and Blood Orange Chicken Wings.

I tried a new slaw recipe as well for our side dish. The tropical flavors come from crushed pineapple, passion fruit balsamic vinegar, and blood orange olive oil.  Such a fresh, bright taste for this slaw.

1/3 cup of Duke's mayonnaise
16 oz. bag of finely chopped slaw mix
8 oz. can of crushed pineapple in juice (don't drain)
salt to taste
a few grinds of black pepper

In a large bowl, combine whisk together the mayonnaise, oil, and vinegar. 

Fold in slaw mix until thoroughly combine. Add pineapple and combine.

Add salt and pepper and taste. You may need a little more oil and/or vinegar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wing Wednesday: Passionfruit and Blood Orange Chicken Wings

With summer coming to a close, I thought I'd have one last "tropical" burst of flavor for dinner. Passionfruit and Blood Orange with chicken? Oh yes! I started with one of my most favorite condiments: Heinz 57 sauce. Then I mixed and added and tasted and mixed and added and tasted until I had a great balance of sweet, tangy, and citrusy.

For the wings:
1 1/2 lb. chicken wings, separated and tips removed
1/2 t. salt
a few grinds of black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add chicken wings and toss to coat. Let wings marinate while oven preheats.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place chicken in a single layer.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and drain any accumulated fat.

While the chicken wings bake, make the sauce.

For the sauce:
1/2 cup Heinz 57 sauce
A few grinds of black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together.  Using tongs, place the chicken wings into the bowl of sauce and toss to coat. 

Place wings back into the baking pan, and pour any remaining sauce over wings.  Return to oven for another 10 minutes or so until the sauce glazes onto the wings.