Monthly Archives: May 2009


This isn’t a recipe that I checked off or anything, I just really liked the photo and wanted to share. I had originally planned to make a shrimp and artichoke bake for dinner, but it just didn’t sound good anymore. So, I just followed the directions on the Old Bay seasoning container and ended up with the most delicious peel and eat shrimp I’ve ever had. I had no idea it was so easy. Leaves me with plenty of time to clean up and get ready to go see the Avett Brothers this evening.


French Coconut Pie

This is a French Coconut Pie that I made this afternoon. Despite my best efforts, I still managed to overcook one side of the crust a smidge. I blame the fact that I was simultaneously trying to beat Guitar Hero World Tour (which I did!).

It tastes sort of similar to a chess pie, but with coconut. Mmm… it’s a shame I already had one piece today.

Two Dinner Salads

Today for dinner, I had Tomato and Mozzarella Salad, and some Avocado Chicken Salad. Since Travis is in South Carolina, I am taking full advantage of the situation to eat foods he finds completely disgusting.

I realize it doesn’t look all that appetizing (my food photography skills may require a little work), but it was actually quite delicious.

Tomato Mozzarella Salad is easy – just toss some tomatoes with olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. It’s best if you let it chill a little, but not absolutely necessary. You can use whole tomatoes and a whole piece of fresh mozzarella and slice them, but I like to cut some grape tomatoes in half and use little baby mozzarella balls. Either way is fine. Definitely use fresh mozzarella though, from the deli section. You can tell, it’ll be really soft, not like the weird kind over by the ricotta and refrigerated pasta.

The Avocado Chicken Salad is a really long recipe that you can find here. In the salad, I used half mayonnaise and half sour cream instead of all mayo. I also used a bit less avocado in the salad, but the full amount in the dressing. I tend to prefer avocado pureed or mashed rather than in chunks. I feel like the dressing is really the best part. Things like this make me so happy to own a food processor.

Even though it’s salad for dinner, I wouldn’t go around thinking this is overly healthy. The nutritional value of Paula Deen’s recipes is rarely posted, but I once saw her make this salad on TV and heard her say that she had never much cared for avocados until she found out they were fattening!

Best Ribs Ever

I feel like it’s important to take a minute to discuss the best ribs that you can possibly make in an oven. I don’t have a grill, and I love ribs, so this is an issue that is dear to my heart. And it’s really quite simple.

Just take your ribs, rub both sides with liquid smoke and some seasonings and leave them in the fridge for 4-24 hours. For seasoning, I use Paula Deen’s house seasoning (which is a combination of salt, pepper, and garlic powder that I use on pretty much everything and keep a tupperware container of at all times) and seasoned salt.

Before you get really overwhelmed by the planning that will have to go into doing this 4-24 hours ahead of time, I would like to note that I rarely (if ever) remember to do this. I find that even an hour increases the yumminess factor, but if I forget entirely, they still turn out good.

Once you’ve done this, roast the ribs on about 325 for an hour and a half. If you like sauce, you can add some about half an hour before they’re done. Sometimes I do, but usually I prefer my ribs dry.

I just finished eating the leftover ribs for lunch (forgot to take a photo before they were all gone.. oops!), and writing this has already made me hungry again.

Cookie Day!

Yesterday was a cookie day, which is a lovely sort of day. I really love these cookies, and I ate three. This probably negated the hour of Pilates I did in the morning.

This post was edited, because the first time I forgot to add this awesome cookie photo!

Chewy Pecan Cookies

This recipe yields approx. 5 dozen – I cut it in half, as I was making cookies for two people, not an army.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter
One 16-oz box of brown sugar (I used light, but I suppose dark would work too)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 300. Melt butter and sugar together in a double boiler, remove from heat. Add eggs and vanilla. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to egg mixture, mix well. Stir in nuts. Drop spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.

These cookies are so good! I don’t even always like pecans that much. The first batch I made came out pretty crispy. On the second try, the cookie batter ran together a little, and those are chewier.

I know the double boiler thing makes it sound really complicated, but it’s really not. You can make your own double boiler by putting a metal or glass bowl inside another pan. Be sure the bowl fits snugly and only goes about halfway into the pan. I like using glass, because it conducts heat nice and evenly. Also because you can see the water boiling underneath, and it feels like a crazy science experiment. You should also be careful, because the bowl does get really hot. I use a small casserole dish, because the little handles on the side reduce the odds that the bowl will slip and fall into the boiling water underneath.

I am hoping to post a blog later this evening about ribs and collard greens, but we’ll see. Maybe later on in the week, so that all my blog posts aren’t on Sundays. It’s just that I do the most cooking then 🙂