vegetarian beer-braised collard greens

What you’ll need:

  • 5 pounds washed, stemmed, and chopped collard greens
  • 12 ounces of amber ale (I used Fat Tire) – 12 for the greens and 12 for the cook!
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbps. crushed red pepper
  • 6 tbps. quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves smashed
  • 2 tsps. balsamic vinegar
  • about 2 tsp. salt

What you’ll do:

  1. Heat oil to medium in a small stock pot.
  2. Add garlic and red pepper until fragrant.
  3. Pour in vinegar, beer, stock and salt. Increase heat to medium high & bring to a rolling boil.
  4. Add greens in batches until all are in the pot. Combine all ingredients well.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, folding every 15 minutes. Takes approximately 45 minutes to reach desired tenderness.
  6. Enjoy!

rosemary cornbread muffins

Rosemary Cornbread ... yes, please!

Rosemary Cornbread … yes, please!

Being a Southern woman comes with it’s perks … don’t you never mind! I’m not saying I’m a “Southern Belle”, but when it comes to cornbread, one can do no wrong. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, side item … serve it up! If you’re not a fan of rosemary, live a little! Add your own combination of your favorite fresh herbs. Granted, this variation is a tad bit more savory than I’d kick off just any day – but, it’s delicious all the same.  Enjoy!

What you’ll need …

2 cups plain white cornmeal
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups milk or buttermilk
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp fine sea salt
3 springs fresh chopped rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin tin (I like to use Canola spray for bakers – though I am not one) or or use some festive muffin liners. Combine all ingredients and combine until smooth and batter-like. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake until golden brown. Approximately 20-25 mins. Serve with a smile.

***Got leftovers? Not to worry, we’ll be making cornbread dressing with those later this year. Throw ’em in the freezer***

my favorite (almost famous) blackeyed peas

Blackeyed Peas, if you please!

Blackeyed Peas, if you please!

Most folks are fair-weather Johnsons when it comes to blackeyed peas – thinking only of them when New Year’s comes around. That’s just wrong! Blackeyed peas are a welcome surprise to any dinner and are readily (affordably) available every day. This recipe is meant as a side, but can easily be translated into a delicious winter soup to chap the cold. Just add more stock!

What you’ll need …

2 16 oz. bags dried blackeyed peas
4 tbsp quality olive oil
3 dried bay leaves
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 large carrots (diced)
3 stalks of celery (diced)
1/2 large red onion
4 cloves garlic (minced)
12 oz. country ham seasoning pieces *optional*
6 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
2 cups good drinking white wine (1 for you, 1 for the peas)
8 springs chopped fresh thyme

Soak dried blackeyed peas in a large bowl with enough water to cover entirely. Refrigerate uncovered overnight. Rinse and drain peas with fresh water then set aside. In a large pot on medium heat add olive oil, dried bay leaves, and crushed red pepper flakes. Heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add carrots, celery, red onion and garlic. Top with a hefty pinch of salt and allow to sweat until celery and onions are close to translucent. Add 12 ounces of country ham pieces for seasoning (if you’re opting for vegetarian – skip this step). Combine thoroughly. Add drained peas and thyme. Then cover with enough chicken stock (or vegetable stock) to cover peas. Throw in the wine and take a good swig yourself. Bring to low boil for 30 minutes. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 2 hours or until thickened and peas softened. For additional flavor burst, serve with your favorite hot sauce and Southern Chow Chow.

***Don’t worry if you’ve made too much … these freeze amazingly well for at least 3 months! Keep that luck rolling!***

sweet + sour fried cabbage

Eat your greens!

Eat your greens!

I’m a newly converted fan of cabbage. Having only had it prepared overcooked and soupy … YUCK! I revisited this glorious veg about 3 years ago – determined to put more viable greens into my diet. This is not a healthy option per say, but it’s a tasty one. Hey! Give a little, take a little. This number is one of my grandmother’s recipes (altered just a tad) and my mother’s favorite meal side. Goes great with Chicken ‘n Dumplins or as a side for any entree you can think of.

What you’ll need …

1 medium head of green (or red) cabbage
2 tbsp quality olive oil
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
fresh ground black pepper *optional, to taste

Heat olive oil, unsalted butter in a skillet, apple cider vinegar, and crushed red pepper flakes over medium heat. Combine until fragrant. Cut cabbage into ribbons and add to to heated skillet. Cover and allow to sweat for 3-5 minutes. Fold in so the oil and butter mixture coats all the cabbage. Add 1 tsp. salt and 1 tbsp. sugar continuing to fold. Reduce heat to a simmer. Serve when cooked through (should be slightly translucent).