Hey ya’ll! I’m BAAAAACCCCKKKK!!! I know, I know ya’ll have missed me oh so much and I just have to say I’m so sorry for leaving my loyal readers for so terribly long!! I’ve been sooooooo sick though! I’ve had a mixture of a bunch of awful illnesses and have been pretty much comatose over the past week! I’m finally better though and I’ve been catching up on my cooking so I can please you wonderful folks with some more delicious recipes!! In fact, I’ve cooked so much that I didn’t know what in the world to write about tonight…. Don’t worry…. ya’ll will have plenty of stuff to read over the next couple of weeks!! So I finally settled on telling ya’ll about my Mama and Daddy’s 29th wedding anniversary!! Unfortunately, I’ve given ya’ll most of the recipes I made tonight so I’m going to throw in a couple others for ya’ll!
First, I want to talk a little about my mom and dad. It’s been 29 years of not quite bliss. Haha I know that’s not what I’m supposed to say but anyone who has parents who have married for a long time or anyone who has been married for a long time knows. My mom got married to another man at the tender age of 16. She had my two older sisters at 19 and 20 and then was divorced by 23. At 25, she and my dad were married. As you can imagine, her first marriage was awful. My sister’s biological father was an awful man. When my mom and dad got married, my dad legally adopted my sisters and raised them as his own. In fact, many of my closest friends that I’ve grown up with don’t even know that they’re not his biological daughters. In our eyes, they are his. But, as with any family there are a lot of ups and downs along the way. Of course, living in a small town where, if you don’t know what you’re doing everyone else can tell you, doesn’t help at all either. Then we moved to the big ole town of Brandon, Mississippi where the “big city life” was full of temptations! 🙂 There have been so many arguments and screaming matches between us all that we sure can’t count them all. At the end of the day, or should I say week, it all comes down to Sunday dinners and family meals and celebrating our family. At the center of all that mess, there have been three constants: mama and daddy and love. Mama and Daddy have always been the ones that we could go to when we couldn’t go to anyone else. No matter what… there are always things you don’t want to talk to your parents about, obviously. But in the end, if there was ever anything we needed we could always go to them… even if they weren’t always on the same page or didn’t exactly tell us what we wanted to hear. For that, from all your kids, we thank you! Here is normally where I would insert a picture but my daddy is not much of a picture takin’ man and the last picture I have of the two of them is not even digital! So… that’s my assignment for the next couple of weeks… gettin’ me an updated picture of the rents!! For now…. I’ll stick with my recipes!!
I’ve told ya’ll before, that my family has one go to favorite meal, especially in the summer and that held true tonight. My dad’s been out of town, most of the summer, working. He’ll be out of town most of the winter between work and deer season so tonight was our night to give him a good home cooked meal for the next little while! I asked him what he wanted and before I even got the question out all the way his response was, “Fried pork chops, okra, squash, green tomatoes, and onions, peas, and rice and gravy. Oh! And banana pudding!” I’ve made banana pudding several times before but I’ve always made it from a instant pudding packet. Well, today that just wasn’t going to do. So I started looking through recipes and I compiled one from all of those, instant shminstant, this girl wanted Homemade!! And it was awesome! If I do say so myself! 😉 Now, I’ve already given ya’ll recipes for the fried okra medley, gravy, and peas. Ya’ll can find it here. But the pork chops are something sort of new. First things first, we need to pick the right chop! We like the bone in, center cut pork chops or the 1/4 loin cut chops. Of course, we buy the huge family pack but they have them in small packs. Also, I never measure my flour out when I bread them; however, for the family pack I probably use 3 cups of flour and for the small pack maybe 1 1/2 cups flour. I also don’t measure out my seasonings because, I hate measuring on most things. I deem it unnecessary in most recipes. I like to think it’s because I’m a natural cook but some people may say it’s because at my very core, I’m lazy and don’t have time or patience for that mess! So here’s what I do, do!
Fried Pork Chops:
Self rising Flour,
Center Cut Pork Chops.
Put the flour, salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and garlic salt in casserole dish or plastic Tupperware container (judicious amounts of each seasoning.) Mix with a fork. Take one pork chop and lay it in the flour mixture and cover it with the flour mixture. Once there is a thick layer of flour on each side, set the pork chop aside, repeat with the rest of the pork chops.
If you can make out the hand print in the first picture, that my friends is a pork chop underneath that hand print. Now that the pork chops are covered completely in flour, you need to get your grease in order. I use vegetable or canola oil. You can use shortening or coconut oil, even olive oil. Vegetable and canola oils are cheaper and fry well. Coconut oil will give you a faint coconut flavor. Shortening will take a little longer to get started but will work the same as vegetable oil or canola oil. You want to make sure the oil is covering the bottom of the pan, about 3/4 of an inch thick. Allow the oil to get hot, if it’s not hot enough, the flour will wash off, so you want it to be hot enough for the pork chop to immediately start cooking. Test with flour! If the flour immediately starts sizzling, its ready! Place the chops in the hot grease, when all the blood rises to the top of the uncooked side, flip. More blood and some juice will come to the top of the other side and you’ll flip one more time. Then they’re done! You don’t want to flip them too much or cook them too long. They’re pretty thin so it won’t take long!
Now that the pork chops are done, try to keep yourself from devouring them while you finish up the rest of the meal! For the banana pudding, you won’t need much. You probably have most of it in your cabinets or pantry already. The main thing you’ll need is to know how to separate eggs. I know a lot of you probably know how but some people may not so I have a little tutorial on how to do so.
First, you’ll need two bowls… I used a measuring cup and one of my nieces bowls. Grab your eggs and crack the egg open. Allow the white to drop into the first bowl like so:
Gently move the egg yolk into the other side of the shell, allowing the whites to continue dropping into the bowl. This should only take one or two times. Drop the yolk into the second bowl and move to the next egg.
That’s all there is to it. No big deal! Now, the original recipe’s I went by, used the egg whites to make a meringue which is totally fine if that’s what you want; however, I’ve never really like meringue all that much. It’s okay on some things, I just don’t think it has much flavor. It is pretty though! If you want to make the meringue, just put the egg whites with 1/2 cup of sugar into a mixer or mixing bowl and whip until they reach a stiff peak. Top the pudding or other dish and put in a 325 degree oven for about 15 minutes. It HAS to be cooked because even though it’s not the whole egg, its still got egg in it! ANYWAY!! On to the wondrous Banana Pudding that I made!
EGGCELENT Banana Pudding: (Yes, I know… I’m such a doofus!)
1 cup sugar,
1/2 cup flour,
1/2 tsp salt,
4 egg yolks,
4 cups milk,
1 can sweetened condensed milk,
1 tsp vanilla,
1 box Nilla wafers,
Line a casserole dish with Nilla wafers and cut up banana’s on top of the wafers.
I like mine a little more banana-y so I repeat this step. Otherwise only use two bananas. Mix sugar, flour, and salt in a boiler. Add milk, yolks, and sweetened condensed milk. Turn on low to medium heat. Stir constantly until thick. I got lazy with mine and it ended up a little lumpy and the bottom of the pan was a little burnt. The pudding wasn’t and let’s face it, it’s banana pudding, it’s gonna be lumpy anyways, who cares?!? But, stirring constantly does make for a prettier pudding. I used a flat wire whisk, you can use any kind of whisk or spoon. Whisk’s are best though! Keep stirring until nice and thick. Then, once it’s done, add in the vanilla. Stir one more good time.
Pour this beautiful, yummy mixture over the Nilla wafers and bananas. Then I added another few Nilla wafers on top. Now, my mom insists this is supposed to be eaten warm, I think it’s supposed to be cold. However you like it, I hope you enjoy!!
One of my moms favorite meals is a spinach quiche. She likes spinach and bacon, I like spinach and sausage. So I’m going to give ya’ll both the recipes I use. They’re very similar and super easy. I change up my cheeses sometimes but these work really good together and even my nephews adored them. Which is saying something because, well, what 10 and 8 year olds do you know that’ll eat spinach without complaining? This is what you’ll need!
Spinach and Bacon Quiche:
1 deep dish pie crust,
5 oz. crumbled Feta cheese,
4 oz. Colby Jack cheese, shredded,
4 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded,
8 slices bacon,
1 medium onion, chopped,
1/2 a package of frozen chopped spinach,
Tony Chachere’s, Garlic Salt, Pepper.
Pull the spinach out of the freezer and allow it to come to room temperature. Cut bacon into small chunks, cook bacon and onion in a skillet until done and drain. Allow the bacon to cool while you crack, whisk, and season the eggs with the Tony’s, garlic salt, and pepper. Squeeze the water out of the spinach and set half aside for the sausage quiche. You can add the whole package but I only like half the package. Add the bacon, onions, and half of the cheeses to the eggs. Now add the spinach and stir well, making sure all the spinach is evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until it doesn’t jiggle anymore.
Spinach and Sausage Quiche:
1 deep dish pie crust,
4 oz. Pepper jack cheese, shredded,
4 oz. Colby jack cheese, shredded,
4 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded,
1 pkg. Country Pleasin Pepper Jack and Green Onion link sausage,
1/2 pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
1 medium onion, chopped,
Tony Chachere’s, garlic salt, and pepper.
Pull the spinach out of the freezer and allow it to come to room temperature. Cook sausage and onions and drain. Allow that cool while you crack, whisk, and season the eggs with the Tony’s, garlic salt, and pepper. Squeeze the water out of the spinach and set aside half for another time. You can use the whole package if you want but it might be too much! Add the sausage, half the cheese, and the spinach to the egg mixture. Mix it well, making sure all the spinach is evenly distributed. Pour into the pie shell and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until it doesn’t jiggle!
As you can see, the sausage one overflowed a bit. This looks like a lot of stuff in one little pie shell but it’s really delicious! You can sub broccoli for the spinach and you can also do ground sausage. I’ve done one with ham, bacon, cheese and onions. It’s really just whatever you like. Quiche’s are super easy to customize and they’re always delectable. They’re also pretty easy to make depending on what you meat you use.
That’s it for tonight ya’ll!! Be looking out for my next post later this week. I’m gonna share a family recipe for boiled cookies, a new recipe for Apple Fritter Bread, a new family favorite for Sausage Bread, some Chicken Salad, and maybe a little more! Ya’ll have a good night and go spend some time with your family and friends!