Monday, July 28, 2014

Better Butter Beans

Sunday we (the family) all ganged up and prepared a half bushel of Butter Beans with Shrimp. There is no doubt in my mind that fresh or frozen butter beans are the way to go. It was so much easier and faster than dry beans. I will not go down that dry road again. These butter beans were fresh from Ed Lester Farms. They sell them hulled and in bags. We bought a half bushel and it made a huge pot of butter beans. They were the small green ones, Mom's favorite. This pot really looked like Maw Maw's (Dad's Mom) Shrimp and Butter Beans. I think I may need to go back and get some to put in the freezer for this winter. This pot we made salt free. I have been experimenting and I have found that Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy is a great salt free alternative for Cajun recipes. Of course the salt eaters added salt at the table. But I tried it without, it was delicious! The shrimp adds some salt to the beans, they were actually salty tasting next to the butter beans and rice. This pot of butter beans were better in so many ways. Better for you. Fresh beans are better than dry beans. And finally they looked better, just like Maw Maw's.

Butter Beans and Shrimp
Serves 10 to 12


1 cup Flour
1 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1/2 bushel fresh or frozen butter beans
2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy and seasoned pepper, to taste 
    or salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and Cajun seasoning, to taste
1 bunch green onions, sliced 
1/2 bunch of parsley, chopped
Cooked white rice 


Heat flour and oil on medium heat, stirring constantly until the color of a brown paper bag.
Add bell pepper, celery, and onion cook until softened. About 30 minutes covered stirring often. Add beans and enough warm water to cover. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook stirring often scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking. Cook until beans are tender and creamy inside but still whole. Season with your seasonings or choice from above. Add shrimp and cook until pink. If necessary add more warm water until desired consistency. Taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary. Add green onions and parsley just before serving. Serve over rice.

Linking to:
Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday
Stone Cottage Adventures: Tuesdays with a Twist

Sunday Dinner and a Peach Pie

We had a great family dinner this past Sunday. The meal was prepared from veggies and fruit from Ed Lester Farms. We all ganged up and prepared a half bushel of Butter Beans with Shrimp. Then for dessert we enjoyed a peach pie Mom made. This pie is a family recipe. She uses it for all her fresh fruit pies. Most often she would use strawberries. But I remember her using blueberries and even hand picked blackberries. She says her favorite is actually cherries in a chocolate graham cracker crust. I am rather fond of the peach version. I like fresh fruit pies more than baked fruit pies. They are so refreshing on a hot summer day. What makes this pie a little different is the layer of cream cheese in the bottom of the crust. It creates a nice barrier between the fruit and the crust preventing the crust from getting too soggy. This pie is so delicious! It is not a looker, it can be a bit of a mess to cut sometimes. But it is oh so tasty. I sure hope we can find the time and the occasion to make a cherry pie while the cherries are still in season.

Peach Pie
Serves 6 to 8


1 ready made graham cracker crust
3 oz cream cheese, softened
5 cups sliced peaches, (approx. 7 medium)
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 to 1 cup water *
1/2 pint whipping cream 
2 tsp powder sugar (optional)


In a small bowl mix softened cream cheese with just enough whipping cream to make it spreadable. Spread in the bottom of pie crust and set aside. Peel and slice the peaches. Reserve 1 cup and set aside. Arrange peach slices on top of cream cheese in pie crust. Mash reserved peaches. Add peaches sugar, cornstarch and water to a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool. When cool pour over sliced peaches in pie shell. Chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight. Whip whipping cream and powder sugar (if using), spread on top of the chilled pie.

Notes: This recipe can be made with any fresh fruit. Try strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, or cherry. You can use a baked pie crust too. 

* About the amount of water in the recipe, I used 1/2 cup when I made it in the past. Mom used 1 cup this weekend. It sort of depends on the fruit. She said she always uses a cup when making berry pies. I say use less and the pie will hold together better.

See the cream cheese layer? YUM!

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday
Stone Cottage Adventures: Tuesdays with a Twist

Saturday Shopping

This Saturday my friend D and I went out to Ed Lester Farms. She had never been and there is only one more week to enjoy the experience. I walked away with more tomatoes, both ripe and green. A few more peaches which I promptly turned into Peach Buttermilk Sherbet (but that is for a future post). I also bought some yellow squash. D got peaches, blueberries and a watermelon. I am going to miss my trips out there.

Photo from Spice & All Facebook page

Our second stop was Spice & All a relatively new Mediterranean grocery store in Shreveport, LA. I had a blast looking around. I replenished some of my Hummus supplies. I got some great tahini and dried chickpeas. I bought some almonds I plan to turn into almond butter one day. They had fenegreek seeds too. I can't tell you how hard that is to find around here. Now I can make more Curry Powder. I also found rose water for a Greek iced tea recipe I love. I found Maggi Seasoning too! I need this for a Slow-Cooker Braised Brisket (Machaca) recipe I want to try. But the best find of them all was paneer and halloumi. I have never seen these items in the average grocery store. I can't wait to cook with them. This store has so many hard to find items and so much more. The owner told us he will be starting cooking classes soon. I look forward to many more visits in the future.

D and I said goodbye at Spice & All and for some reason my car just drove me straight to Bao Bao the Asian grocery store. Here I found Furikake which is an amazing rice seasoning. I got two flavors. Nori Komi Furikake is just sesame seed, nori, sugar and salt. The second one, Seto Fumi Furikake has bonito flakes, sesame seed, nori, sugar and salt. I open it and it is delicious. I can't wait to use it on a California Roll Salad. I bought some kombu and bonito flakes so I can try making dashi and miso soup. I got more annato seeds so I can make more Sazon. Finally I bought a shredding vegetable peeler. I foresee some fancy shredded veggies in future recipes. Saturday shopping was a lot of fun.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Dear sister and I are fans of Taco Bell's Meximelt. It is a warm tortilla filled with seasoned ground beef, cheese and pico de gallo. Delicious! Well ever since I found the recipe for Double Tomato Relish, I have been thinking about other ways to use it. I dubbed it "Italian salsa" so a Italian melt seemed logical. I would just modify the Meximelt to include more Italian ingredients. I used a small individual thin pizza crust for the tortilla. Italian sausage in place of seasoned ground beef. Mozzarella cheese and of course the "Italian salsa". Mom and dear sister said it reminded them of a calzone. It was sure easier than a calzone. If you can make a grill cheese or quesadilla, you have the skills to make this sandwich. This Italimelt is a delicious, hearty sandwich, perfect for a weeknight meal.

Serves 3


2 links turkey Italian sausage, casing removed
Olive oil
3 individual thin and crispy pizza crusts
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Double Tomato Relish [click here for a recipe]


Brown sausage in a skillet over medium high heat, breaking up sausage with a wooden spoon. Cook until brown and set aside. Wipe skillet clean and drizzle with a little olive oil. Place pizza crust down, cover with cheese, a third of the crumbled sausage and two teaspoons of tomato relish. Cook covered until cheese is melted and pizza crust browns. Fold in half and remove from skillet to serve. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut each sandwich in half if desired.

Linking to:
Hungry Harps: #GetHimFed Fridays
My Turn for Us: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Stone Cottage Adventures: Tuesdays with a Twist

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Suiza Rellenos Tacos

I bet you are thinking there she goes again. She is obsessed with Rellenos Tacos
I AM!!!! I admit it. I wonder if there is a group yet? 

Well this recipe came to mind while on the phone with dear sister tonight. We were discussing what we could throw together for a quick meal. We had grilled poblanos ready to use. I had just made Cilantro Lime Salsa with six fresh tomatoes from Ed Lester Farms. Dear sister said she wanted to make Pico de Gallo with her veggies from Ed's. So it felt like Mexican night! I knew I had tortillas, poached chicken, cheese, sour cream and avocados. Sister had a bottle of green salsa. So Suiza Rellenos Tacos were born. It is a mash up of my favorite enchilada suiza and chili rellenos tacos. I loved the sour cream and avocado with the poblano. They had a cooling effect on the spicy poblano chili. These were really, really good tacos! I will have to plan to make this meal again real soon.

Suiza Rellenos Tacos
Serves 4


4 poblano peppers
1 poached chicken breast, shredded
8 small flour tortillas
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 tsp. green salsa or taco sauce
8 tsp. light sour cream 
1 Avocado, sliced
Cilantro, to garnish


To grill the poblanos: Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Place poblanos on the grill. Grill for five minutes on each side until skins are charred. Remove poblanos and cover with plastic wrap. When poblanos are cool enough to touch, peel off the skin of the poblanos. Cut poblanos in half from stem to tip, remove seeds, stem and veins being careful not to split open the sides of the pepper.

To assemble the tacos:  Place a poblano half on each tortilla. Place some chicken over the chili, top with cheese. Warm in the microwave for a 30 seconds to a minute to melt the cheese. Top with salsa, sour cream, an avocado slice and cilantro.

Linking to:
Stone Cottage Adventures: Tuesdays with a Twist
Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesdays
Anyonita Nibbles: #tastytuesdays
Dizzy Busy & Hungry: Wine'd Down Wednesday
Buns In My Oven: What's Cookin' Wednesday
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures: #FoodieFriday
My Turn for Us: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
Hungry Harps: #GetHimFed Fridays
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo

Monday, July 21, 2014

Benton Farmer's Market

Sunday my friend and I went to Benton, LA for their farmer's market. We were still having slightly cooler days, so it was a great day to be out and about. This was both our first time at this market. We made one mistake, we had lunch before we went. This market had many food vendors and lots of samples being offered at every turn. Next time we go hungry. There were some tamales I need to try. This market has a little bit of everything, food, produce, baked goods, preserved items, a demonstration or two. My favorite was the young boy who brought his club shaped gourds to sell. He told us that the native Americans would dry them, cut off a portion of the round bulb of the gourd and make a drinking cup to hang by their water source. Very cute, smart young man.

We walked away with some bread-n-butter pickles, 2 fruit breads, squash, onions, heirloom cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. 

But my friend found the most amazing find of the day, Almond Toffee Butter! It is so amazing! I mean I have had commercial almond butter you purchase at the store, but it has nothing on this handmade butter from Hoover's Seasonal Produce. It is delicious! I love the crunchy texture. It is not to sweet, just perfect on toast. I enjoyed some this morning with my coffee. So good! Thanks D for the treat! What will we do when we run out? I guess we will go back right? The market is open Sunday only from 12:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. and continues through Sunday, July 27, 2014. So don't miss out, only one left.

For more about Benton Farmer's Market check out their website here.

For your own Almond Butter and more about Hoover's Seasonal Produce 
go to their website here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Mango Tomato Gazpacho

This gazpacho recipe is inspired by a salad we make often when mangoes are in season. Mango, Tomato and Avocado Salad is a delicious mix of sweet, bright and creamy ingredients. Mangoes, tomatoes and avocados are just meant to go together in my humble opinion. I love the cilantro, onion and garlic with these fruits. It is what makes this salad savory too. I just knew this combo would make a great summer gazpacho. I was right. It is so smooth and well balanced. I decided to add jalapeno, sweet pepper and cucumber for crunch and texture. I really liked the sweet and spicy together. This would make a great starter for a fish or seafood meal. I added a lot more avocado to my serving than you see here in the photos. It was so good! Next time I see mangoes it will be hard to decided what to make salad or gazpacho?

Mango Tomato Gazpacho 
Make 1/2 gallon; 8 (1 cup) servings


2 ripe mango, peeled and diced
2 ripe tomatoes, diced 
1/2 English cucumber, seeded and diced 
1/2 purple onion, diced 
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced 
1 mini sweet pepper (red, yellow or orange), seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced 
1/2 bunch Cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup low sodium V8 vegetable juice 
1 cup orange juice
2 or 3 dash of hot sauce 
Kosher salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil 
Sliced avocado, jalapeno and more sweet pepper for garnish


Combine first eight ingredients in a large bowl. Place half of these ingredients in a blender with vegetable juice, pulse until the desire consistency. Place in a large pitcher or bowl (I use a one gallon pitcher). Place remaining ingredients except avocado in the blender, pulse until the desire consistency. Add to the pitcher and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight to blend. Serve garnished with sliced or chopped avocado, jalapeno and sweet pepper.

Linking to:
My Turn for Us: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
Snippets of Inspiration: Weekend Wind Down Link Party
The Tumbleweed Contessa: What'd You Do This Weekend?
Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday
Stone Cottage Adventures: Tuesdays with a Twist
Anyonita Nibbles: #tastytuesdays
Buns In My Oven: What's Cookin' Wednesday
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday

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