Basic Crab Cake

Crab cakes are perfect for spreading holiday cheer, ringing in the New Year, as well as serving up a light dinner during summer heat waves.  It’s kind of an all-around great dish!

Making crab cakes is fairly simple and generates very little kitchen heat.  I like to pair this with my $30 salad.  For one, it kind of reminds me of living in Florida.  Andy loves both of these so I know I will not get an eye roll or some weird noise he makes signaling to me he doesn’t really want whatever it is I had planned for dinner.

Planning for weekly menus is hard enough to do when you ask what someone wants for dinner this week and you get “I don’t care” as a response, especially when you know the eye rolls and snorts are forthcoming.  OBVIOUSLY you do care!

Continue reading “Basic Crab Cake”

Ice Cream Cake Roll

Ice Cream Cake Roll makes me a feel a little nostalgic.  One of my earliest food memories is sitting with my dad and sharing a piece of Newlyweds Ice Cream Cake Roll.  It must have been a summer day because I recall the ice cream being a little melty.

It came in a green and pink box.  Sometimes my dad would eat the last piece right out of the box.  It must have saved on dishes or something.  Or maybe Mom wasn’t home to put it on a plate for him.  This is the same man that once, when he was “babysitting” me and told to give me a can of soup fir dinner, literally put a spoon in a can of soup and handed it to me.  Hey, it really isn’t that bad and you should try your next condensed can of soup with little or no water.

As I got older it became hard to find in the store.  Eventually, it was impossible to find and the dessert just kind of fell off my radar.  I suppose I may have been trying to recreate that earliest memory when I eat cake with ice cream and let the ice cream softened a little and then smash it together with my cake and make cake pudding out of it.

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Grilled PB&J

Sometimes, what we eat doesn’t really need a recipe, but grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches seem to go against every cooking gain I have so it needs a recipe.

One of the first times I served tomato soup to Andy he asked me to make him a grilled peanut butter.

Me: “Huh? A what?”

Him: “A grilled peanut butter.”

Me: “Never heard of it.”

Him: “Really?!?!  It’s like a grilled cheese but with peanut butter instead of cheese.  My mom used to make them all the time. Didn’t yours?”

Me: “Um, no…….”  Continue reading “Grilled PB&J”

Red Beans and Rice

I will not be able to concentrate on writing this post or recipe if I do not clear this out of my head – but a famous Sir Mix-A-Lot song keeps running through my head when I read red beans and rice in my head, the part about red beans and rice didn’t miss her………..  So there, I said it and I bet a few of you have that song running through your head now too don’t you?  Sorry about that.

I am not from the New Orleans area and have only visited there.  If it weren’t so stinking hot and humid there in the summer I might want to live there.  I love New Orleans in the fall months.  I am telling you all of this so that you will understand that I am not claiming that this is an authentic southern style red beans and rice recipe made in my grandmomma’s house in the deep south or even taught to me be anyone who lives even near the Mississippi Delta.

This a recipe that recreates for me what my mind remembers as one of the best rice and beans dishes I had ever eaten.  I ate it in New Orleans but don’t ask me to tell you when or where.  I used to travel with my job in my younger years, and New Orleans was frequently on my agenda. Continue reading “Red Beans and Rice”

Old Fashioned Slow Simmered Green Beans

Old Fashioned Slow Simmered Green Beans have been in my life since I was old enough to eat.  The first indication a holiday feast brewing in the kitchen is the smell of bacon and onions cooking at the crack of dawn.

My grandmother and mother both made green beans often.  I don’t know if it was tradition, cheap, a comfort food, or just the first vegetable that came to mind at dinner time.  When I was growing up, everyone’s normal evening meal included a protein, a starch and a vegetable.

My grandmother used a spoonful of bacon grease when she cooked almost anything.  She had a can of bacon grease sitting on the stove.  She added to that can every time she made bacon for breakfast, which if memory serves me right was daily.  My grandfather loved his bacon.  Even after my grandma passed, he still made himself a breakfast of bacon, eggs, biscuits, and grape jelly.  He also drank his coffee out of a saucer instead of a cup.  I never did know why he did that.  It remains a mystery to me to this day.  He lived to be 89 and had it not been for dementia he probably would have lived longer than that. Continue reading “Old Fashioned Slow Simmered Green Beans”

Beer Boiled Shrimp

Beer boiled shrimp is something I make for others. Shrimp is kind of the bane of my existence, most seafood really. I can eat salmon only if it’s hidden in a salmon patty. Crab can be covered up in a stuffed mushroom. Crab cakes and fried fish must be covered in lemon juice and tartar sauce.

This recipe is quick, simple and perfect for serving at gatherings. It can be served hot or cold so you can make it while company waits or make it earlier in the day and avoid kitchen detail when guests arrive.

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Beer Boiled Shrimp Ingredient Lineup. PearTreeKitchen.com

This recipe uses just a few simple ingredients, all easily found at your local grocery store.  Celery, lemons, onions, beer, and Old Bay are ingredients I tend to have on hand. Shrimp, not so much.  Continue reading “Beer Boiled Shrimp”

Home Roasting Coffee

I love coffee. I love everything about it: the aroma, the flavor, and the beneficial boost in energy. I am fortunate enough, even in north Mississippi, to have a local roaster. Strangebrew in Starkville always has an excellent variety of beans and blends to choose from.  However, even with a local roaster, I have managed to take coffee drinking too seriously by home roasting my own coffee beans. I don’t know many people who home roast, but I have found home roasting to be a really great hobby that doesn’t take up a lot of time and is relatively inexpensive to start. I figured it was time to give quick crash course on home roasting your own coffee. I still consider myself to be a noob when it comes to roasting, but I think I got enough of a handle on it to point newbies in the right direction.

So why home roast coffee? Well, the coffee you buy at your local coffee shop or grocery store has probably been sitting on the shelf for a while. Most american roasters don’t purge their packaging with nitrogen, so their beans will have optimum flavor for 10-14 days. The flavors of coffee you buy off the shelf probably aren’t at their peak anymore. Home roasting gives you the freshest coffee beans you can get. Green coffee beans also last a very long time if left unroasted and kept in proper storage conditions. If you buy your green beans in bulk, you will always have a supply of fresh coffee on hand in case of a zombie apocalypse. Green coffee beans are also very cheap compared to already roasted coffee. The primary reason to roast your own coffee is because it can taste better than anything you can buy at the store. Home roasting my coffee has opened a pandoras box of flavors and experiences with coffee.  Continue reading “Home Roasting Coffee”

Daiquiri Ice

You might be getting tired of hearing about the brutal Oklahoma heat, but man its hot and it has influenced my cooking habits more than usual this year.  Its hard to cook for the blog when all I want to do is stay cool.  So, I have dusted off my old recipe binder looking for summertime treats that won’t make me wish I wasn’t cooking.

This recipe for daiquiri ice is perfect for what I need today.  I even dusted off the ice cream maker.  I am not all about making homemade ice cream, I only bought an ice cream maker just for making this recipe.

This is a lime run flavored sorbet of sorts.  It is kid friendly since it uses rum flavoring instead of actual rum.

Baskin Robbins used to have Daiquiri Ice as part of their 31 flavors. Of course, it would be Andy’s favorite, and if you have been a follower you already know how this story ends. Either the item one of us loves disappears or we move somewhere that it isn’t available. Continue reading “Daiquiri Ice”

Midwest Quesadillas

This recipe was also inspired by a restaurant from back in my hometown.  It was the first place I experienced the goodness of quesadillas.  I have to call these Midwest Quesadillas because just plain ole quesadillas might cause folks to expect a recipe containing toasted tortillas with tomatoes, peppers and perhaps some chicken, beef, carnitas, or even barbacoa in them.  Although, all of those options are tasty and I even think Ron may have one he will share on the blog someday, this one has none of the common ingredients in it expect maybe cheese and onions.

Even the cheese is not a common sight in quesadillas, this one uses jack cheese.  I remember when I first started making these I had to shred my jack cheese by hand.  These are so much easier to make now that shredded jack is readily available at most markets. Continue reading “Midwest Quesadillas”

Margherita Pizza

Margherita pizza is one of my favorite summertime foods. It tastes the best with garden fresh tomatoes and basil. Generally, I am overrun with basil and looking for ways to use it. This year I bought a mint plant and a chocolate mint plant. They were both impulse buys since I have absolutely no clue what to do with them besides use them for photo props and making mint tea. Maybe I will learn how to make a mint julep this summer. Any suggestions for using it up in cooking I’d love to hear. Sorry, I kind of drove off course didn’t I? Back to the margherita pizza.

I have seen this made several different ways. Some use a red pizza sauce, some use white sauce, others garlic. I like mine best with a garlic infused olive oil base with juicy red or yellow tomatoes providing the tomato flavor. I make my own garlic infused oil by slicing 2 or 3 garlic cloves thinly and putting it in 3 tablespoons of olive oil in an oven proof small dish, like a ramekin. I place this dish in the oven as it is preheating for the pizza. I take it out when I can smell the garlic.

In the winter when the tomatoes aren’t so juicy and delicious, I add a spoonful or so of pizza sauce to the base. (Or I skip it altogether and go with a regular pizza.)

Any pizza crust will do too. I prefer my thin pizza crust recipe for this recipe, but have been known to use the prepackaged ones when I am being lazy or just don’t have time. Continue reading “Margherita Pizza”