Tag Archives: comfort food

Baked Dulce de Leche Apples

Growing up there was no baking done in our house.  None.  No cookies, no cakes.  Except during the holidays Mama would bake a frozen apple pie and when girlfriends spent the night, which was almost never, she always and without fail prepared Pepperidge Farm Puff Pasty Apple Turnovers.  But Mama had a tendency to burn things…anything…everything and these turnovers were no exception.  She had one baking sheet, an old, warped aluminum sheet covered with burnt-on stains.  I looked at them as friendly reminders of her past culinary disasters.  Saturday mornings during sleepovers Mama couldn’t “pop” the turnovers in the oven, oh no.  Everything she did was done at hyper speed, from the moment she flew out of bed in the morning until the moment she collapsed into bed at night.  As Mama slammed the baking sheet into the oven, the pastries skittering wildly about the tray, the crash of metal on metal and the slamming of the oven door could be heard down the street…or at least on our side of the house.  And as I stretched in my twin bed with its girly white lace bedskirt, I looked over at Dana/Andrea/Ann waking up in the matching twin bed with the identical bedskirt.  We always smiled knowing we could breakfast later at their house with the utmost confidence it wouldn’t be burned.  Sure enough,  Mama rapped on our door on the bedroom door with the back of her hand, her middle knuckle sounding like the rat-a-tat-tat of a machine gun.  “Girls!  Breakfast is ready!”  I always wanted to sing back, “We know.  We smelled the smoke.” but that would have been sassy and disrespectful and Mama DID NOT tolerate any of that in her house.  No, ma’am.  She would not have batted an eye in front of anyone outside of the family, but later?  Holy Mary, mother of Jesus!  She was liable to wash your mouth out with an enormous, white bar of Ivory soap AND ground you.  Uh uh.   Don’t sass Mama.  Anyway, in our soft blue or pastel pink baby doll nighties off we’d saunter into the kitchen to find a bowl of freshly cut fruit, cold glasses of milk and a gorgeous platter of beautifully arranged turnovers, the pastries were all puffed up with layers of crunchy sweetness.  Sadly, the bottom  of each and every turnover was a solid, black charred mess.  Every.Single.Time.  Without speaking, we’d peel off and enjoy the tops which hadn’t burned and scrape the apple and nut goo on the bottoms with spoons while the exhaust fan roared in the background sucking out the smoke. That was the closest Mama came to baking apples and pastry and we were fine with it.  When you’re twelve or thirteen you know when life is good and our lives were good.  Good and rich with Mama’s love!



Baked Dulce de Leche Apples

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 apples
  • 1 13-ounce can dulce de leche
  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed and kept chilled until needed
  1. Line a small baking sheet with tin foil and set aside.
  2. Mix sugars, corn starch and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  3. Using a melon-baller 1″ in diameter, scoop the core out of each apple beginning at the stem and stopping before you get to the bottom of the fruit.  You don’t want the dulce de leche to run out of the bottom.
  4. Roll each apple in the sugar mixture and press the mixture into the outside and inside of the fruit.
  5. Open both sheets of puff pastry and lay down side by side.
  6. Cut both sheets to make 4 rectangles.
  7. Place an apple in the center of one of the rectangles and fill with 2-3 teaspoons of dulce de leche.  Save the remaining dulce de leche to serve with the hot apples.
  8. Bring up the short sides of the puff pastry and press into the apple.  Gather up the long ends of the pastry and pinch together as if it was a bundle.  Pinch closed any gaps or holes.  Continue with the remaining apples and pastry.
  9. Preheat oven to 400°.
  10. Place apple bundles on the baking sheet and put in the freezer for 15 minutes for the pastry to firm up.
  11. Bake the apples 30-35 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden.
  12. Cool the apples 10-15 minutes before serving.
  13. Warm the remaining dulce de leche in the microwave until runny and serve with the baked apples.



Heavenly Cream of Roasted Mushroom and Brie Soup

Winter got you down?  Tired of the cold and dreariness of it all?   I understand.  This mushroom and brie soup will wrap you snugly in its velvety smoothness and help sooth the Old Man Winter blues.  It won’t make it so you can slap on a pair of Tory strappy sandals and show off your perfectly pedicured feet but I guarantee you will feel uplifted and heartened.  And, besides, spring is almost around the corner.  All right, maybe not quite around the corner, however, it will be here soon enough.  In the meantime, tuck into this soup with a great book or movie and treat yourself kindly.  This recipe calls for three pounds of mushrooms and that’s three pounds of any kind of fresh mushroom that floats your boat.  I love using one pound of shiitake, (that’s all I can afford), and two pounds of button mushrooms.  I purchase the button mushrooms whole and leave the stem on when roasting them.  The stems of the shiitake should be removed prior to roasting due to the fact they are tough as leather.  I pinch them off and discard them although some people save them for mushroom or vegetable broth.  I’m not one of those people.  Shiitake mushrooms are loaded with flavor; they’re quite woodsy and smoky; and I find button mushrooms to be earthy and meaty.  It’s a marvelous combination.  Because this soup is so luxurious and rich, I find a double cream Brie to be perfect.  Triple cream tastes wonderful but is considerably more expensive so I leave it up to you.  This mushroom soup is ample enough that, truly, the only addition one could possibly want is some hot, crunchy bread to dip and sop.  I typically serve my mushroom soup with hot-out-of-the-oven garlic bruschetta.  Yum!  And the soup gets better overnight so pack up a  couple of thermoses, share some with your coworkers and they’ll love you forever.

Cream of Roasted Mushroom and Brie Soup

  • Servings: 6 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 3 pounds fresh mushrooms, mixed is great but pull off any woody stems
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 generous tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces Brie cheese, rind cut off
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°.
  2. Place mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil over the mushrooms, toss them with your hands until they are completely covered with the oil and spread out in an even layer.
  3. Roast in the oven until they begin to brown, about 45 minutes.
  4. In a heavy bottomed soup pot or dutch oven melt the butter over medium high heat.
  5. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they are clear.
  6. Add the garlic and thyme and stir.
  7. Add the flour and stir well.  Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly.
  8. Add the wine and chicken broth and stir until the flour has been incorporated completely and there are no lumps.
  9. Add the roasted mushrooms, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  10. Use an immersion blender to puree to your liking.  You can also blend this in a food processor or blender.
  11. Add the milk and Brie and stir until the cheese has melted.
  12. Taste for any needed salt and pepper and serve.


Classic Sunday Pot Roast

I’m almost done with all my Christmas wrapping.  I have two more gifts to buy both for my husband.  I wish I could tell you what they are… you’d laugh your tail off.  My girlfriend, Andrea, described them as the equivalent of Jimmy giving me a vacuum cleaner for Christmas.  Believe me when I say,  that would be a huge mistake!  But I know my husband and I know he’ll be pleased.  The beauty of this year is that although I have no money my modest gifts all have thought, consideration and much love behind them.  For instance, and I can say this because I don’t think either of my two sisters read my blog, (thanks, y’all), I have for both Cynthia and Pamela a pretty little bag full of travel size shampoo and conditioner tubes.  I get them every month in my hair color kit that comes in the mail.  And as I’ve been using this hair color system for a few years now I have BAGS of these travel size products stored in my closet.  They’ll love them!  Of the highest quality these hair products enhance hair texture and color.  Humble gifts, yes, but ones that will give sincere pleasure.  I’ve taken that perspective with this meal, this humble and ordinary pot roast.  It is pretty much a no-fail dish which gives such satisfaction and appreciation to the diner.  My entire family will be coming over to our house this weekend to revel in each other’s company, catching up on family news and achievements of the year.  It will give me great joy to serve them this simple but fall-apart tender and delicious dinner.  That’s part of everyone’s Christmas gift.  Glorious, unforgettable dinners at  our house.  Dinners full of laughter between cousins and secrets whispered in corners.  More warm and loving memories to store in our ample collection.  For those of you who’d like to know just what exactly it is I bought for Jimmy, keep reading.  Jim, this is a spoiler alert.  If you don’t want to know what you’re getting this Christmas close up this page and move on to answering your never-ending e-mails.

He’s getting a shovel.  I broke his old shovel while I was digging up a palm we lost during Hurricane Irma.  Now he’s getting a brand new one!  But that’s not all he’s getting.  I also bought him a new pool filter.  Nice, huh?  It’s all fine.  He’ll enjoy his utilitarian gifts but most of all he’ll enjoy family time and great meals.  Especially this one.  This dish is infinitely easy, however, it cannot be rushed.  If you don’t have the time it’s best to save this pot roast for another day.  It is of paramount importance that the meat is well-browned on all sides.  The browning adds mucho flavor to the dish.  You’re only searing the meat not cooking it through.  The hours in the oven will slow-roast it to tender, savory perfection.  I don’t include potatoes in this dish as it reminds me too much of beef stew, which is fine, except I don’t want beef stew.  I want pot roast.  I serve it with mashed potatoes prepared with real butter, some cream cheese and a generous suggestion of sour cream.  The juices left in the pot make a fabulous gravy if a bit of corn starch is whisked in and the gravy allowed to thicken.  Mushrooms may be browned and included in the pot but I find they have a tendency to get soggy so it’s up to you.  Oh, and the leftovers make for tremendous sandwiches when served up on toasted sour dough bread.  Merry Christmas everyone!  Here’s to getting it all done with peace and gladness in our hearts!

Classic Sunday Pot Roast

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • one 2 1/2-3 pound boneless beef shoulder roast (much less fat than a chuck roast)
  • 6 small onions, peeled and cut in half from end to end
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half lengthwise
  • 5 carrots, washed, ends cut but not peeled, cut into 3-4″ lengths
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth, don’t fret if you don’t have any.  Chicken broth works just fine!
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh marjoram, if you can find it
  • 5 or 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 or 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper throughout the cooking process
  1. Pre-heat oven to 300°.
  2. Over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy Dutch oven which has a lid.
  3. Add the onions to the pot and brown on both sides.  Remove to a waiting bowl.
  4. Add the carrots and the garlic halves cut side down.  Move the carrots to brown a bit on all sides.  Remove from the pot and set aside with the onions.
  5. Add the third tablespoon of oil to the pot, salt and pepper all sides of the beef and sear all sides until it has been browned all over.
  6. Remove the beef from the pot and reserve with the vegetables.
  7. Pour the wine and broth in the pot and with a wooden spoon scrape off all the browned bits and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Place the roast back in the pot and nestle the vegetables around it.
  9. Tuck the fresh herbs around the pot and on top of the meat.
  10. Place the lid on the pot and roast for 4-5 hours.
  11. Check the meat for doneness at the 4 hour mark.  Continue roasting until fall-apart tender.
  12. Shred the meat with two forks prior to serving.


Jennifer Paterson’s British Shooter’s Sandwich

This sandwich is for the meat lovers, those who appreciate dinner already prepared when they arrive home from work and  the moms who have college kids home for the holidays.  Or me, who loves when I plan and prepare dinner in the morning and it makes its magic all through the day without me having to lift a finger.  This hearty, savory sandwich is perfect for a casual dinner by the fire or a picnic in the park.  It feeds the whole family and has the flavor impact of a labor intensive dinner.   Do you remember the food network’s show “The Two Fat Ladies”?  Oh my gosh.  I was crazy about that cooking show, the only one ever to catch my attention and keep it.  It was quintessentially British.  The Two Fat Ladies were incredibly well-educated, well spoken, well-traveled and both had a dry as a bone sense of humor that elicited screams of laughter from me.  They had such a lust for life and often burst into rowdy, off-colored song as the spirit moved them.  But their fabulous recipes were what I was truly interested in and valued.  Jennifer Paterson was the dark-haired of the pair, the cigarette smoker, the driver of the sidecar featured on the show and this is her recipe.  I believe this sandwich gets its name from both hunters and travelers and I find it positively charming.  Apparently it was often served on British trains.  For this beef and mushroom sandwich I typically use a small London broil but the recipe calls for a very thick, boneless sirloin steak and, let me tell you, the steak IS better!

I’ve changed the recipe over the years in order to have to have a bit more flavor with the addition of finely chopped garlic but, other than that, the recipe remains true to its original specifications.  Jennifer’s recipe calls for the sandwich to sit quietly under a weight for a minimum of 6 hours and she’s right.  In order for the juices of the steak and mushrooms to be released and soaked up by the bread the sandwich needs 6 hours or more.  In the above photo I sat my hefty dutch oven in an equally heavy steel and ceramic saute pan.  Make certain to carefully cram as many sautéed portobello mushroom into the bread both on top and under the meat as well as seasoning both sides of the steak with salt and pepper.  When serving the meal slice the sandwich with a serrated bread knife and it won’t fall apart.  I make available a clean linen towel to hold the bread in place while slicing.  The Shooter’s Sandwich is not picked up but enjoyed with knife and fork.  It’s fantastic the following day also, cold out of the fridge.  I guarantee your people will love it.  As Jennifer used to say, “Quelle treat!”

Shooter's Sandwich

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 hearty grained, unsliced loaf or round of bread
  • a 1 1/2-2-pound very thick boneless sirloin steak or london broil a bit smaller than the loaf of bread
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 or 7 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed and reserved for another use
  • 7-8 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper
  1. Cut one end off of the loaf of bread, maybe 1-2″, and reserve the end.
  2. Remove by hand the inside crumb of the loaf leaving it hollowed out.  Take care not to rip the crust.  Do the same to the cut end piece.
  3.  In a screaming hot pan sear all sides of the steak but keep it rare.  set aside.
  4. Coat the bottom of a frying pan with the olive oil and add the garlic and mushroom caps, cooking and stirring until soft.  Turn the mushrooms occasionally to cook both sides.
  5. Line the bottom inside of the bread with half the mushrooms and garlic.
  6. Season all sides of the meat and push into the bread loaf.
  7. Carefully cover the top of the steak with the remaining mushrooms and garlic.
  8. Close the sandwich up with the cut end and tightly wrap the sandwich in parchment paper, tying with kitchen twine.
  9. Wrap the sandwich in a sheet of tin foil and let sit quietly under a heavy weight for at least 6 hours.
  10. When ready to eat slice with a serrated bread knife.
  11. Serve with salad greens dressed in a vinaigrette.


Deep South Tomato Pie

The end of tomato season is almost tragic.  Not only is this favorite food lying low for four or five months but it’s an obvious sign that summer is over.  Pools are way too cold to dip a toe in.   Cotton nightgowns have been put away and it’s dark out at 6:00 p.m.  I told a friend it makes me feel like Persephone on her way to the underworld.  I hate you, Hades, and your stupid pomegranate, too!  On the upside we have college ball which I’m crazy about.  Plus this is the time of year when Trader Joe’s carries brussel sprouts on the stalk, figs are in season and one can work out outside and not faint from heat stroke.  Tomatoes, though, are not the sweet, juicy apples of love they were just last month.  It’s okay if the last of the tomatoes just don’t have enough flavor because this is the recipe which will make them sing.  Baked with a generous amount of fresh basil and grated cheeses, this pie is heaven served next to a homemade mixed green salad.  Tomato Pie has been around forever in the South and not only makes wise use of the last-of-the-season fruit but is a perennial favorite at baptisms, first communions, funerals, brunches and pot lucks.  I always make two; one for my house and one to give away or take to one of the aforementioned functions.  The pie needs to be enjoyed relatively soon after baking as the bottom will get soggy if it sits around too long, as with any pie.  It can be re-heated but only in the oven.  Heated in a microwave turns this little jewel into a squishy, wet mess.  It’s super easy to prepare and the crust is merely Bisquick and milk mixed together and patted into your pan.  There’s no ice-cold, cubed butter or rolling out involved.  And everybody loves it.  So when you’re craving some ‘maters but Mother Earth has other ideas, try this recipe out.  It won’t let you down and Fall’s injustices will turn into Autumn’s glories!


Deep South Tomato Pie

  • Servings: one 9 inch deep dish pie
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, stacked, rolled and cut into thin ribbons
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise, Duke’s or Hellman’s
  • about 2 pounds not-so-ripe tomatoes, peeled, sliced and drained on a thick layer of paper towels.  It’s okay if you don’t quite have the 2 pounds but you don’t want more as the ingredients will over flow when the pie is baked.  We’ve all been there!
  • coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° and cover lightly a 9″ pie pan with non-stick spray.  Set aside.
  2. Place cheddar, basil, parmesan and mayonnaise in a medium-sized bowl and mix until completely combined.  Set aside.
  3. While the tomatoes drain on the paper towels, mix the Bisquick with the milk in a medium size bowl until a dough ball has formed.
  4. Dump the dough into the pie pan and lightly grease your hands.  Gently press the dough evenly over the bottom of the dish and all the way up the sides.
  5. Using your fingers or a pastry brush spread the mustard over the pressed pie shell.
  6. Sprinkle tomatoes with the black pepper and layer the tomatoes evenly over the pie shell.
  7. Cover the tomatoes with the cheese mixture and spread evenly.  I find breaking it apart with my hands is easiest.
  8. Bake in the oven for 60-90 minutes until the cheese turns a warm, golden color.
  9. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes prior to serving to make for easier slicing.

http://www.theirreverentkitchen .com

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Ever wondered why restaurant whole wheat pizza always tastes better?  And why the at-home whole wheat pizza comes out of the oven hard and brittle, stony enough to break off a front tooth?  Well, last night I finally figured it out.  And let me say, the answer is not more olive oil in the dough.  No.  It’s the combination of two things…a little bit of white all-purpose flour mixed into the whole wheat flour and more water than you would think makes sense.  You would have thought I’d have figured this out by now.  I’ve only been making pizza at home for years now but I confess.  Every time I made whole wheat pizza using only whole wheat flour it came out hard as a flat brick.  I strove for a crisp crust with a chewy center while maintaining a relatively healthful dinner.  These pizzas were made palatable with generous toppings of turkey pepperoni, arugula or spinach and the great compromise of 2% reduced fat mozzarella.  Finally I just stopped preparing pizza altogether.  Months and months went by without it being served at our house.  But last night I had a hankering for it and, by gosh, I was going to get it right.  It had been such a long time since I had mixed up the dough that I couldn’t remember the recipe I had cobbled together and, boy, was THAT liberating.  I felt such freedom not having any rules or even any do’s or don’ts to follow.  I had escaped the confines of the culinary box I’d been living in!

I began in the afternoon with a free-flow of ideas and hunches rattling  around my brain.  Two thoughts remained front and center. 1.  White flour is produces a soft and tender product.  2.  Enough water will produce a sticky, floppy dough that won’t dry out.  After a few tries I believe I nailed it.  And the beauty of this dough is it’s so wet and unmanageable it can be mixed in a bowl with a spoon thus eliminating any kneading and messing up of your counter tops.  Life’s small blessings.  In any case, I sure hope you try this recipe out.  Look at it this way, whole wheat flour, turkey pepperoni and greens make for a more healthful pizza which means you can eat it more often!

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

  • Servings: two 12 inch pizzas
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water, tap is fine, no more than 115°
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour, plus additional to flour baking sheet etc.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cornmeal
  1. 1 hour prior to baking, pre-heat oven to 500°.
  2. In a large bowl mix all-purpose flour, yeast and warm water.  A wooden spoon works best.  You’ll a few have some lumps of flour but they’ll work their way out when you mix in the whole wheat flour.
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and honey/agave to the mixture and combine well.
  4. Add 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour and salt and mix well until all the lumps are gone.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap, place in a warm corner and allow to rise for 45-60 minutes or until double in size.  Now is a good time to pre-heat your oven.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and gather the dough into a ball while still in the bowl.  If you don’t have a bench scraper you can cut in half the plastic top of an oatmeal can then cut off the rim or use a butter knife that’s been covered with a bit of olive oil.
  7. Cut the dough in half and using the bench scraper or butter knife, push the sides of each ball of dough into rounds.  To keep the dough from sticking, dust the rounds and bowl with some whole wheat flour using as little as possible.  The wetter the dough, the more chewy the pizza.
  8. Dust your hands and a baking sheet or pizza paddle with a good handful of cornmeal and quickly transfer one dough round to the center of the baking sheet.
  9. Gently pat out the round, moving the round on the cornmeal to avoid it sticking to the baking sheet, until you have an 11″ to 12″ pizza.  If you prefer a thicker crust make the pizza smaller.
  10. Top the pizza with the sauce of your choice then add your toppings.
  11. Bake 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  12. Allow to cool 4-5 minutes before slicing.
  13. Serve immediately.


A Bacon, Lettuce and Fried Green Tomato Sandwich…the Southern BLT

Although the Tar Heels lost their football game on Saturday, Merritt’s is always a win for a BLT.  Our son, James, went back to UNC this past weekend to visit friends, hang out at the house, catch the game and drop by some of his favorite dives he enjoyed during his college days.  Anyone who went  to UNC knows Merritt’s.  Their BLT’s, pimento cheese and sour dough bread are probably known world wide.  Okay, well, if it’s not known world wide then at the very least it’s wildly popular in mid-state North Carolina.  James took us for lunch during one of our first trips to visit him and we flipped over the place.  Merritt’s stacks generous mounds of bacon strips entangled in a crispy, salty jumble.  Added to the sandwiches are juicy slices of ruby red tomatoes and cold, crunchy leaves of lettuce .  All this is bound together with a liberal slather of good mayonnaise on the bread of your choice.  Our mouths drooled while our eyes were wide open with wonderment.  It was the first of many adventures, culinary and otherwise, we shared with James.  In fact, ALL our weekends with him at UNC were sensational.  Our favorite boy was genuinely excited to see us, a marvelous host and a most fun master of ceremonies.  He introduced us to UNC football and basketball games, Parent’s Weekends for both school and fraternity and all the best restaurants on Franklin Street and in Chapel Hill.  We became acquainted with James’ friends and fraternity brothers, shop keepers, bell hops and waiters .  I look back at those days with such happiness and fondness.   Our son is always loving, thoroughly enjoyable and nonjudgemental even the time when Mama may have skirted the boundaries of proper parental behavior.  Yes, there is one Parent’s Weekend that comes to mind.  His fraternity had a cocktail party at the house Friday night.  They had a band set up in the formal room or big hall, I don’t recall the name of the room and I don’t dare call James at his work and ask because he won’t want me to write this and may become slightly irritated with me soooooo… anyway the boys had several kegs tapped and ready to pour and a myriad of handles out; the pledges had spent the day cleaning so the house sparkled.  Everything seemed to be perfect.  The only hitch was the cocktail party started at 11:00…at night.  Gentle Reader, I am IN THE BED at 9p.m. and, more often than not, lights are out at 10:00.  It was tough staying awake that night but no one was going to call me a party pooper.  Oh, hell no.  I had to keep up and keep up I did.  Drink after drink, before dinner, during dinner, after dinner… honey, time we hit that party this girl was LIT.UP.  James gave us a tour of his room, introduced us to more brothers all the while the band played on, cranking out hit after hit and, of course, we kept on sippin’.  Don’t want to let anybody down.  And what a time we had!  James and I danced to song after song reassuring me he’d have plenty of dances later with his gorgeous date after Daddy and I went back to the hotel.

Shaggin’ the night with away with boysie!


What a time we had!  While dancing it occurred to me the band sounded incredibly familiar and it turns out I HAD heard the band, Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts, at some party somewhere when I was in college!  It was positively magical.  Until James walked up and shouted in my ear so only I could hear, and these were his exact words, “It’s time to go home, Mama.  C’mon.  Time to go.”  He told me the following morning at the 9:00a.m. Bloody Mary tailgate he realized it was time for me to go when he looked over and saw I was dancing in the corner by myself.  Ouch, that hurts.  But James, prince that he is, has never made fun of me or thrown it back in my face.  No.  He’s quite aware I may get a bit out of hand every now and again…we all do and there’s just no nice reason to be holier than thou.  But, boy, did we have fun.  And I’ll end this story by adding my husband, Jimmy, has never poked fun at me over this.  Nope.  Not a word.

Probably the first time my Yankee husband ever set foot in a frat house. You have to admit though, we had a pretty good time!

Happy Parent’s Weekend everybody.  Hope all of yours are as splendiferous as ours were.  And I expect all of you to explore the towns where your kids are studying, their friends, suitemates, the town folk and all the foods and customs that go with them!

Bacon Lettuce and Fried Green Tomato Sandwich

  • Servings: 2 large sandwiches
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 4 slices bread of your choice, toasting optional
  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sriracha or hot chili sauce of your choice
  • 4 thick, fried green tomato slices.  If you need a recipe type “fried green tomatoes” in the upper right search box.
  • bib lettuce leaves, washed, dried and stem taken out
  • 5 slices thick cut bacon already cooked
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Lay out bread slices.
  2. In a small bowl mix mayonnaise and chili sauce until completely mixed.  Add additional chili sauce to taste.
  3. Divide evenly and spread mayo-chili sauce mixture on one side of each slice of bread.
  4. Place one tomato slice on two of the four slices of bread.
  5. Break bacon slices in half, vertically, and arrange 5 pieces on top of the tomato slices.
  6. Carefully place lettuce over the bacon.
  7. Top the lettuce with another slice of tomato and dust with black pepper.
  8. Place the remaining bacon on top of the tomato slice and top that with the second slice of bread.
  9. Gently press down when slicing in half.
  10. Serve immediately.