Saturday, January 1, 2011

KITCHEN KREATIONS: New Year's Feast


First and foremost, I would like to wish every one reading this message a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and Happy New Year! For me and our family, 2010 was full of a lot of health problems, stress, and downright craziness. On the flip side of that, with all the hardships and heartaches, there was life and love, peace and resolution. There was joy with the pain and a renewed sense of being on the right path God has set for me. 2010 has probably single-handedly made me realize that not only am I doing what it is God wants for me to do, but I know first hand what it means to say that you are blessed and highly favored. It humbles me. Lord knows that I am not worthy of such grace, but I am so thankful and awed. I am here for a reason and I know that I have work to do...

So, to celebrate being blessed to see another year, I decided to fix the hubby a New Years feast!
On the menu for tonight was a baked hen with cornbread dressing, collard greens, black-eyed peas (recipe courtesy of Pat & Gina Neely), homemade cranberry sauce (thanks LadyRosie!), and sherbert punch (recipe courtesy of my girl Paula Deen). I was so pleased that everything turned out deliciously. I'm glad that I started yesterday so that I wouldn't be too tired to enjoy my meal today. Hubby gave tonight's feast two thumbs and two big toes up! LOL!!!

Here are a few recipes from tonight's menu:


Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon

Recipe courtesy of The Neelys



Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (fresh or canned black-eyed peas can be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 strips thick sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, small diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Hot-pepper vinegar, as desired

Directions

If using dried black-eyed peas, put them in a large pot and cover with about 4 inches of water. Soak the peas overnight, then drain the water and rinse. Alternatively, you can "quick-soak" the peas by bringing them and the water to a boil for 2 minutes. After this, remove them from the heat, cover the pot and soak the peas for 1 hour. Then, drain and rinse the peas.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until the onion and garlic are lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the salt, black pepper, cayenne and garlic powder. Cook until the entire mixture is coated with the spices, about 2 minutes. Pour in the stock and water and drop in the bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.

When the pork begins to fall apart, add the prepared peas to the pot and simmer until the peas are very soft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


The next wonderful recipe comes courtesy of Paula Deen. It was delicious!






Lime Sherbet Punch


From Paula's Home Cooking

Ingredients

2 quarts lime sherbet (we used Rainbow Sherbet)
2 liters ginger ale
1 (46-ounce) can pineapple juice
Lemon slices
Lime slices
Maraschino cherries

Directions

In a punch bowl, add 2 quarts of lime sherbet. Then add ginger ale and pineapple juice. Decorate with lemon and lime slices and some maraschino cherries.


The last recipe comes from my girl LadyRosie's blog. Let me tell you, she has helped to make my hubby a cranberry convert! No more canned cranberry sauce for our house. LOL!!!
Here is Rosie's delicious cranberry sauce recipe:

Rosie's Homemade Cranberry Sauce RECIPE

16 oz of frozen cranberries
12 oz can of DOLE'S Pineapple Orange Concentrate
1 cup of white sugar, OR splenda!
1/2 of water

Pineapple Orange Concentrate










1. Put your Dole's Orange Pineapple Concentrate in a medium size pot. Turn your stove on medium high. Wait for the concentrate to completely melt.
2. Add your cranberries.
3. Add your sugar or splenda.
4. Turn your heat to high. When it starts to bubble, Turn it down to MEDIUM. Make sure you constantly stir to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
5. Cook until your cranberries fall apart or POP... Once they do, turn your heat to low, and let cook for 5 minutes
6. Remove your sauce and place it into a glass bowl, make sure you cover it with plastic wrap.
7. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving!

Well, I know that this was a long one. I hope that you can take one (if not all) of these recipes and give them a try. They were amazing and made my New Year's dinner a true triumph.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful year ahead.

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