Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fresh Peach Cobbler

Oh ya'll.... I was a naughty girl tonight... NAUGHTY.  Curtis got some AWESOME fresh peaches from our dear friends at Smith's Nursery and Farmer's Market in Saltillo and I decided to make a peach cobbler.  Who would have a better recipe for pure Southern comfort food that Paula Deen?!  It did not disappoint!

Find some fresh peaches (Go to Smith's!) and get to work on this cobbler.  YUMMY!
  • 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Ground cinnamon, optional (didn't use this, but if that's your thing, go ahead with your bad self)
  • LORI'S ADDITION (1/2 tsp. vanilla, cause that's how I roll!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
This smells so yummy!

Put the butter in a 3-quart casserole dish and place in oven to melt.
Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping.(This is where I added the vanilla.  It just made sense.) Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon, if using. (yuck!)
This is what it looks like before it bakes.  I wanted to stir, but when Paula says "don't stir" you listen, ya'll!

Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  (I suggest homemade vanilla!)
So good!

Canned peaches will work if you can't get your hands on some good, fresh peaches.  Ya'll enjoy!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bride's Helmet

JC wearing what he called a bride's helmet.  Not sure why a bride would need a helmet, but in JC's little mind, one does. LOL!
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Turkey Meatballs with Bowtie Pasta

Curtis' favorite food is his Mom's spaghetti and meatballs! In our 10 years of marriage, he has given me props that I have finally almost gotten the hang of it.  I make this for birthdays, anniversary, Father's Day, any time a special dinner for my man is warranted.

No reason to mess with perfection, but tonight I made a variation of our traditional beefy meatballs and spaghetti, and it turned out so great I decided to share it with ya'll. (Incidentally, if you would rather use beef, the recipe is exactly the same.)

Can you dig it?

1.5 lbs ground turkey (my first time cooking with ground turkey, and it was a smashing success!!!)
1/4 cup bread crumbs (I like Italian variety, but any kind will do, or some crushed up crackers or crusty bread... you get it!)
1 egg
Splash of milk (maybe 1/8 cup)
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan (fresh would be awesome, but I shook mine right out of the green can)
1 tsp. onion salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper (to taste)

1 Tbsp. olive oil (for cooking meatballs)

2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 lb. Farfalle pasta (bowties)

Mix all meatball ingredients with your hands, just until well combined.  Mixing too much will make tough meatballs. Roll into walnut-sized balls.  Heat olive oil in a pan.  Cook meatballs until nicely browned (turning to evenly cook.)  Drain meatballs and place in a casserole dish.  Cover with two jars or spaghetti sauce.  If you make your own, go ahead and use that, but I haven't been able to make any that tastes any better than my "doctored" version of Ragu or Hunt's.  Sprinkle brown sugar on top of sauce and stir in to combine.  Bake meatballs and sauce for 30 - 45 minutes in 350 degree oven.  The longer you bake it together the more the meatballs take on the saucey taste and become even yummier!

Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Make sure you salt your pasta water.  Makes a HUGE difference in the yumminess of your pasta!

Nothing beats good ole red meat, but these turkey meatballs aren't bad for a slightly healthier choice!  I dare say my family might not have known the difference if I hadn't made such a big deal out of how fancy I was for buying turkey.  LOL!

Serve this up with some garlic bread and you have got yourself an Italian feast!  Mama Mia! :)    Let me know if you make this and how yours turn out.  Ya'll enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Pasta Salad

Summer in a bowl - the veggies
Curtis and I have this fabulous and easy pasta salad that we like to make in the summertime!  (I just realized this is kind of turning into a cooking blog.  LOL!  Oh well, I am a homemaker now.  What can I say?!)  It is just veggies, pasta and  Italian salad dressing. Easy peasy, right?! 

Here's the recipe:

Lori and Curtis' Super-easy and Super-yummy Pasta Salad

1 lb. pasta (We like the tri-color rotini for the color!) cooked al dente, drained and cooled
1 cucumber, cubed
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (more if you prefer)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool completely.  Chop all veggies and add to a large mixing bowl. Salt and pepper veggies liberally.  Add cooled pasta to veggie mixture and poor Italian dressing over the top.  Stir until everything is coated with the  dressing.  Chill and serve!  This is really good the next day too!

Looks delish, right?

This is one of the easiest recipes ever and so tasty and refreshing on a hot day!  Ya'll let me know if you try it!
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Monday, July 11, 2011

How many Harrisons does it take to make homemade ice cream???

Somehow Kristi and I wound up in charge of the homemade ice cream at the Harrison 4th of July get-together this summer, and neither of us were quite sure how to make it.  Neither of our smart phones were very "smart" when it came to locating a good recipe for us.  So we started asking everyone how much of this and how much of that went into homemade ice cream.  No one ever gave us exact measurements until we got to Tiny (my Daddy) - National Guard Mess Sargent Extraordinaire! :)  He said, "Well, this is how Mother (Mamaw Lucille again, ya'll) made it."  And we began cracking eggs, opening cans, borrowing vanilla flavoring (thanks kind neighbors down the street!!!), measuring, pouring and stirring until we got it just right.  Uncle Kenny and Curtis manned the freezer/ice/salt situation.  Although we all thought it took WAY TOO LONG (hungry, hungry Harrisons), it finally froze, and ya'll, it was the best, richest, smoothest homemade ice cream we've ever had!  If you are looking for a low fat or low calorie recipe, THIS IS NOT YOUR RECIPE.  

I decided so that we don't go through this again next 4th of July, I would document this recipe. 

I wish I had gotten a picture of Kristi and I in the height of our frustration, but this cute one of Uncle Jimmy and Lucy Goose in her 4th of July dress will have to do! :)

Kristi - bookmark this recipe on your phone for next year. :)

Harrison Homemade Ice Cream

6 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cans sweetened condensed milk (Yep, ya'll read right - that is a LOT of sweetness)
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
Whole milk

Using an electric mixer, mix the eggs, sugar, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until well combined.   Mix about 1 qt. of the milk into the mixture.  Carefully pour into your ice cream freezer and pour remaining milk up to the line on your freezer.  Put the freezer's mixer in and move it around to mix the milk in. 

Freeze, and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Remembering Lucille

When I mentioned recently to a friend that I was making chicken and dumplings, she asked if I made my own dumplings or used canned biscuits?  I always make my own dumplings, and you should too!!!  It is SO SIMPLE and it makes a huge difference in the taste.  Plus, when you roll out dough, no matter how simple the recipe, you feel like you've really done something special.   And you have!!!

I can remember standing on a chair at the counter with my Mamaw (Lucille) making chicken and dumplings with her.  So, when I do something like this, I always travel back in time to 1986 and cooking in that tiny kitchen on Harrison Hill!

So here is our simple recipe for delicious chicken and dumplings:

4 large fryer chicken breasts
3/4 - 1 stick of butter
4 cups of milk
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus about 1 cup to flour your rolling surface
1 tsp salt
Ice cold water
  • Place chicken in a large pot and cover with water.  Salt and pepper liberally! (I like to use fryer chicken breasts with the bone in and fat left on because it adds so much flavor to your stock.  We'll remove it later.)
  • Boil chicken until juices run clear.
  • Remove chicken from pot to cool. Turn heat way down.
  • While chicken cools, toss your butter in the pot of chicken stock.
  • Make your dumplings. Combine flour and salt with a fork and add ice water until you begin to get a good dough consistency.  You don't want to use too much or you'll never be able to get your dough to stick together.  This is the part that takes practice.  I would say you'll need no more than 1 1/4 cup of the ice water. You may add extra flour to your dough to get it right. :)
  • When you get a good doughy ball, scatter about 1/2 cup of flour on your rolling surface.  Flour your rolling pin too. Use all of your dough to roll one hugs sheet about 1/8 - 1/4" thick.
  • Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter (super fun and super easy way) to cut your sheet of dough into long 1" strips.   Then, go back and cut across so that your dumplings are 2 - 3" long.
  • Your chicken should be cooled by this point, so remove it from the bone into bite sized pieces and return to your pot. 
  • Add milk and turn up heat on pot until you get a slow boil going.
  • Now you're ready to add the dumplings.  Separate them so you don't wind up with a big clump of dough.  Drop in 2 or 3 at a time all around the pot.  Some will float, so dunk them under with your spoon so they begin to cook.
  • After you've added all of your dumplings, this will need to simmer for about 30 minutes more.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and clumping.
Ya'll enjoy!  These are better the next day, so make enough for leftovers!  I made a variation of Mamaw's "Cheesy Spaghetti" recently, but you would have gained 10 pounds from this post instead of 5 if I'd have shared it... so another day! :)

Do you have a favorite recipe from your childhood?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I LURVE my man

Curtis and I are currently on our 10-year anniversary trip in Atlanta, GA.  Curtis planned the whole thing - even an itinerary, and for those of your who know him, you know this is no small feat. :)

We are at the Omni Hotel at the CNN Center.  Last night we ate at The Varsity and then went to watch the Braves play at Turner Field.

Curtis said he intentionally framed this shot to say what it says.  Nice honey... real nice.
View of CNN Center from the door of our room.

View of Olympic Park from our picture window in our room.


Curtis and Lori at Turner Field
Today, we went to watch "The Hangover: Part II," which was hilarious (as funny or funnier than the first one!!!)  Then, we shopped at Target where I got a GREAT new floppy sun hat - which I have been wanting.  Curtis has deprived me of eating very much today, because he is taking me for a romantic dinner at Stoney River Legendary Steakhouse, and folks, I do expect it to be LEGEN... (wait for it...) DARY...

Gotta get ready to go now, but in a future blog I'll tell you all about Lucy's fall, cut on the head, trip to ER and CT scan yesterday while we were en route to Atlanta. Good times... She's fine, btw. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Olive Garden Breadsticks

Whaddup Bloggers?! Some of you may have heard that my last day at work is June 3rd, and I will become a STAY-HOME-MOMMY.   I am mucho excited!!!  This is truly a blessing from God, and is only possible through Him!  I have all of these awesome plans for my house - sewing, cooking, turning my children into tiny geniuses, etc.  I cannot wait to begin!

I fully expect that going from full-time working-Momma to Domestic Diva will come with its share of challenges and will lead to a lot of funny.  I hope to squeeze in the time to blog a little along the way about the new journey we are taking as a family.
Going from two incomes to one is going to be the biggest challenge, without a doubt, so one of the things we are going to cut out cut way down on is eating out. I love to cook and my family loves to eat - well, two of them do... We are going to work on JC this summer.  Tonight I made one of JC's favorites - spaghetti - in celebration of his last day of kindergarten.  As a special treat, he and I made "Homemade Olive Garden breadsticks." I found the recipe on a darling little blog called Full Bellies, Happy Kids.   These turned out really yummy, but here are a few tips from my experience.
  • Even if your boy decides at the last minute when you have the dough at the perfect consistency that he wants to help after all, DO NOT OVER-KNEAD THE DOUGH. Instead of light and airy you get very dense breadsticks.
  • No matter how hungry your family is.  Even if the baby has started nawing on Daddy's big toe, DON'T SKIMP ON THE RISING TIME. 45 minutes minimum.
  • USE LESS SALT THAN THE RECIPE CALLS FOR.  For the buttery, garlicy salty topping, the recipe calls for 2 tsp of salt.  I used maybe 1 1/2 and it was still too salty.

These little guys were good! Ya'll enjoy!

Check back soon for more adventures with the Robertsons!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday