Frijoles Negros 

This recipe for black beans is another from Atlanta Cooknotes, an old Junior League book. My husband, who already has the body of a Greek god, has been wanting to gain muscle (and prior to marrying me existed on cereal, pop tarts, and peanut butter with occasional bacon and eggs, so nutrition might actually have an influence now), so I Googled, as a refresher, good food to eat for that. I sadly have never been in a position of “wanting to gain weight” so it’s not like we can both suck down whey protein at every meal and chase it with three hard boiled eggs (also, ew. Also, actually a bad idea). Rice and beans it is! Alongside some (small) fish tacos. These flavor choices brought to us by my coworker trying to give away this basket of jalopeños.

I searched the tag jalopeños and came across this Green Sauce recipe from Finding My Inner Chef. It sounded like it would go amazingly well with fish tacos and black beans and rice, so I whipped up a batch in my blender. It’s fantastic.

Frijoles Negros
This recipe calls for dried black beans, so plan accordingly for that soaking process.

1 cup black beans
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 garlic clove
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small piece of bacon, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and soak beans in water eight hours or overnight.  Boil beans in two and one half cups water until tender (about an hour). Saute chopped onion and garlic in olive oil.  Add onion, garlic, chopped green pepper, diced bacon, salt, and pepper to beans.  Simmer 15 additional minutes.  Serve with rice, if desired.


Sister ‘Ceal’s Pecan Pie

I feel like this is a pretty standard pecan pie recipe, but my mother always credits it to Sister ‘Ceal who, I think, was my mom’s mom’s sister…or cousin.  That grandmother of mine was the youngest of eleven kids (born in 1922, so some of them were born before 1900 which blows my mind) so a lot of her siblings had kids older than her, and I’ve never been able to keep them straight because my grandmother, the youngest, was 70 when I was born, so I was never quite sure who was a great aunt or a cousin or an in-law of some kind. The joke’s on me because I just married the fourth of ten kids so my kids get to deal with all of that confusion too. But that has nothing to do with this pie, which is delicious. My mom baked it for a Georgia game the other weekend, and during half time, we made the wreath pictured below with a wreath frame and ribbon from Michael’s.

Sister ‘Ceal’s Pecan Pie
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup butter
a pinch of salt
1 unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350.
Beat eggs and add sugar.  Add syrup and nuts, vanilla, and pinch of salt.  Bake in an unbaked pie shell for one hour.

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

I got this recipe from a church cookbook, specifically my church cookbook.  I actually grew up down the street from the lady who submitted the recipe.  I feel like that has to be the most classically southern thing ever.

I love this cookbook because I know so many of the ladies who added recipes.

I don’t know how Indonesian this recipe is…the lady who submitted it is certainly not Indonesian.  It is definitely gingery though.  Shout-out to my wedding gift box grater for making the ginger grating process much less painful. Also…so much garlic! I’ve never put that much into one recipe before.  I should invest in something that makes the mincing process easier.

Indonesian Ginger Chicken
This recipe requires overnight marinating.
1 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup minced garlic (8-12 cloves)
1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger
6 bone-in chicken breasts (or two chickens quartered with backs removed)

Cook the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted.  Arrange the chicken in large, shallow baking pan, skin side down, and pour on the sauce.  Cover the pan tightly with foil.  Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.  Preheat oven to 350.  Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 1/2 hour.  Uncover the pan, turn the chicken skin side up, and raise temperature to 375.  Continue baking for 30 minutes or until the juices run clear and the sauce is a rich dark brown.

Aunt Eileen’s Peach Cake

Here is the aforementioned recipe for the cake I made for my friends’ engagement party. It also happens to be Tea and Cake Tuesday! Oh, happy day!

This recipe came from a glorious Junior League cookbook from the 80s, Atlanta Cooknotes. Sadly “Aunt Eileen” is not my Aunt Eileen, but perhaps she is Mrs. Wendling Peacock’s.

I recently inherited my grandmother’s Bundt pan, still in its original box, so I was eager to use it.  I have so many memories of chocolate chip cakes made in that pan…

Sadly, I didn’t get a good picture of the cake in its whole Bundt-y form because some of the peaches sunk to the bottom, so it wasn’t that pretty, flawless image that I was looking for.  It was still very delicious and could almost be coffee cakeish.  It suited very nicely for a party that had fruit and punch and cheesecake squares along side.  It’s not overly sweet, but I would still feel weird about serving it for breakfast…if that makes sense.

Aunt Eileen’s Peach Cake
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sliced fresh peaches (I would make my slices smaller next time to prevent sinking)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Optional: Confectioner’s sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat eggs and add sugar and oil, mixing well.  Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; add to egg mixture alternately with orange juice (just an FYI, the orange juice to flour ratio is like 1:12). Add vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl, toss peaches with sugar and cinnamon.  Pour one third batter into a greased, lightly floured tube or Bundt pan.  Layer one half peach mixture over it.  Cover with one third batter and the remaining peach mixture.  Spread remaining batter over all.  Bake one hour.  Cool cake ten minutes before turning out onto wire rack.


Butter Cheese Dips

I don’t actually know where this recipe came from. My husband’s mom, a saintly mother of ten, triples it for her family. They are like the cheese biscuits that restaurants bring before meals, except tiny, so you can eat seven without feeling too terrible about yourself. I had extra cheese from making a broccoli salad and tend to have everything else involved on hand, so I made these with the Crockpot Cornish game hens the other night.

They’re called butter dips because of the way butter is used in this recipe. There is a lot of butter. Embrace it because they are delicious.

Also, shoutout to my biscuit bowl from R. Wood Pottery. I actually used it to make biscuits!

Butter Cheese Dips

1 stick butter plus 2 tablespoons
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat the oven to 450 and melt the stick of butter in a 9×13 jelly roll pan or casserole dish (or divide butter among smaller pans)

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together.

Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into the flour mixture (I used a grater to do this since I had already used it to shred the cheese).

Stir in cheese and milk.

Turn dough onto floured surface and knead 2 to 3 times.

Roll to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut with small cutter, like actually very small.  I used a milk lid.  Shot glasses work.  That size.

Dip both sides of biscuits into the melted butter in the pan, and place them side by side in the remaining butter for baking.

Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes.


Crock Pot Cornish Hens with Dressing

I am a child of mixed cooking styles. My mom is the recipe follower. She doesn’t believe in substitutes. My dad treats recipes as guidelines and amends them as he sees fit. He tries to get a basic understanding of several recipes and combine them to fit the ingredients he has on hand or to suit his taste. My mom is more of a baker, I suppose, and my dad is a cook.

This is a recipe in my father’s style that I kind of threw together last weekend, based on something my dad made on Sundays when I was growing up. I’m pretty sure he came up with this himself. Since this isn’t from a book, I’m gonna be a little looser with the instructions and God bless you if you are a recipe follower; this will probably bother you.

I wanted an easy crock pot dish that would feed me and my husband all week. So I decided to throw some Cornish hens in. One feeds two people with the help of some sides, and I managed to shove four into my crockpot. I salted, peppered, and saged the hens to taste and poured a cup of chicken broth over them. I cut up some celery and onions and put them in all of the crevices and added three cloves of minced garlic.

Now the fun part: that all took up most of the crock pot, but there was still a little room at the top. I laid some ton foil over the hens and followed the directions for Stovetop dressing from the box (I went cheap and got Kroger brand instead of Pepperidge Farm). Basically mix it like you are going to follow the microwave directions (that is, don’t actually cook it). I added a little celery and onion too, but that’s my preference. Then I folded the tin foil over, covered the crock pot, and cooked it all on high for 4 hours. At the end of that, I got four hens so tender they were falling apart, and dressing that tastes way better than the typical stovetop version. I paired it with some broccoli salad, cranberry sauce, and little cheese biscuits (recipe HERE) Success!


Because the World Needs Another Zucchini Bread Recipe

Zucchini bread seems to have gotten really popular lately. I guess a lot of people have started growing their own gardens and zucchini often make more than any family can consume or give away. That was my motivation when I pulled out my copy of Mountain Elegance, put together by the the Asheville Junior League. This particular recipe is very cinnamony.

Zucchini Bread

Yield: Two Loaves
Prep: 20 mins
Baking Time: 60 mins


3 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups zucchini, grated (shoutout to my new box grater that made this process a dream!)

Mix flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, thoroughly beat eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla (I used a stand mixer!).  Stir in sifted ingredients.  Blend in grated zucchini.  Pour into two greased standard loaf tins.  Bake at 325 for 60 minutes.

Also, I wanted to show off my new and much beloved tea towel made by the fine folks at Double Dutch Press in Athens.  Their tea towels are adorable and their prints are pretty cool too! Check it out!

I feel like it’s also important to add that Mrs. B. G. Powell gets all the credit for this recipe! Thanks Jeanne!