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Country Cooks

Best Wishes For All Your Country Dishes!

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It’s traditional in the South to make sweet cornbreads and this one is really good.  Over Thankgsgiving last year I made Martha Stewart’s dressing with buttermilk cornbread and that was just about the saltiest cornbread I’ve ever had.  Didn’t care for the Northern version but I love this version. 

2 cups cornmeal
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 medium eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine cornmeal and milk; let stand for 15 minutes or more. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan (or a large cast-iron skillet, which is more traditional).

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix in the cornmeal mixture, eggs and oil until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean.  Sprinkle with a little cheddar cheese if you want.

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I know it’s pretty cold up North this weekend so try some beef chili to warm you up!

3 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups beef broth
1 15 oz can red pinto beans
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 large onions, diced finely
1 large green bell pepper, diced finely
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons ancho chile powder (optional)
1  tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons cumin, ground
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 chipotle peppers, seeded and chopped in adobo sauce

In a large pot, heat the brown the ground beef, making sure to continuously break up large pieces with a spoon or spatula.  Once browned drain fat off of ground beef.  Return the ground beef to the pot.

Add onions and green bell pepper to the ground beef and cook over medium heat with stirring until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the garlic, ancho chile powder, cumin, sugar, thyme, cayenne powder, oregano, and black pepper.  Heat over medium heat with stirring for 12 minutes.

Pour in the beef broth, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, cider vinegar and chipotle peppers.  Stir to mix well.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 2 hours before serving or refrigerating.  Skim any leftover fat off before serving.

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These are the best Apple Dumplings I have ever made, hands down. They’re so easy, it’s ridiculous!  I would suggest getting a padlock for the fridge because Ambien or not you will be rumaging through your fridge at 3 o’clock in the morning with a mouthful of dumplings.

2 whole Granny Smith Apples
2 can (8 oz) Crescent Rolls (original)
2 (Yes, I said 2) sticks of butter
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Cinnamon, to taste
1 can (12 oz) Mountain Dew

Peel and cut each apple into 8 slices, remove the seeds and core.  Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a buttered 9X13 pan.  Melt butter, then add vanilla and stir.  Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the apples and pour the butter over the apples.  Pour Mountain Dew around the edges and up the middle of the rows. 

Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream.

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These came from Southern Living Magazine, June 2010.  They are so good I just had to share.

1  (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast
2  cups  warm water (110°)
4  cups  self-rising flour
3/4  cup  melted butter
3/4  cup  chopped fresh chives
1/2  cup  chopped fresh parsley
1/4  cup  sugar
1  large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400°. Combine yeast and 2 cups warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in flour and remaining ingredients. Spoon batter into 2 lightly greased 12-cup muffin pans, filling three-fourths full.

Bake at 400° for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.

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This is possibly the best thing I have ever invented.  I make it all the time, in fact, I’m making it as I type.  It is great “go-to” recipe when you can’t figure out what to do for dinner and the best part is, no need to defrost!  This stew goes great with herb rolls.

2-3 Chicken Breasts (Frozen or thawed)
4 red potatoes, quartered
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
½ cup (or more) frozen sweet peas
1 ½ cups chicken broth
2 tbsp dried parsley
¼ tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 slices of bacon, diced

Place frozen chicken breasts in a crock-pot.  Add potatoes, celery, carrots, onion and peas.  In a medium bowl, mix broth, herbs, salt & pepper and lemon juice.  Pour over the chicken and vegetables.  Dice bacon and spread over the top.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.

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With my mom and other family members diabetic, I thought it would be nice to share diabetic friendly recipes at least once a week.   I made these just to test them and they are actually very good. 

*Now for those who are maybe baking for a diabetic person for the first time the unbleached flour is very important because enriched or bleached flour is just as bad a straight sugar.  Diabetic or not, I use unbleached flour for everything I make though because the bleaching agents in enriched flour break down the beta cells of the pancrease which causes…you guessed it, diabetes. 

2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Butter Flavor Crisco shortening
1/4 cup Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking
1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend for Baking
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or
60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Set aside.

Mix shortening, Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking, Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer till blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon rounded teaspoonfuls of cookie dough onto ungreased baking sheets and press gently to lightly flatten dough.

Bake 10-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Note: If you like chewy cookies, you may want to bake them for less time (just make sure you watch them!) Of course, this all depends on your oven temperature!

This recipe makes 3 dozen medium size cookies.

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