Blackberry Blueberry Muffins with Blood Orange Icing

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Earlier in the week, Sally shared with you a recipe that is great for a Valentine who prefers the savory to the sweet. Today, we have a recipe that will appeal to any taste buds. Why not extend your Valentine’s Day into the weekend? These Blackberry Blueberry muffins are the perfect item for a weekend Valentine’s Day breakfast or brunch. You can make them for your loved one, or have the whole family join in! Kids will enjoy decorating with the Blood Orange Icing in a design of their choosing. Have a great Valentine’s Day weekend!

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Bacon Bourbon Polenta Hearts

Bacon Bourbon Polenta Hearts
Valentine’s Day is only a few days away. Have you decided what to do for your Valentine? My valentine is a big fan of chocolate, especially when peanut butter is involved, so I know exactly what to do. In this sugar filled holiday, what do you do if your valentine lacks a sweet tooth and prefers more of the bacon and bourbon flavors?
Well Sally has a solution for you. Why not make them Bacon Bourbon Polenta Hearts? You can make the polenta on February 13th and let it cool overnight. At any point on the 14th, you can cut out the heart shapes, cook them for a few minutes on each side and serve up a hot meal for your bacon and bourbon loving Valentine! Serve them with eggs for a “hearty” Valentine’s Day breakfast in bed. If you are celebrating in the evening, heart shaped polenta is the perfect side to a tender steak.

Grilled Tangelo Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

Grilled Tangelo Teriyaki  Pork Tenderloin
Another storm (PAX) is coming to the sunny South  and people are flocking to the grocers for bread and milk.  I joined the flock. Forget the bread and milk. I  made a bee line for the meat department. Pork Shoulder, Pork Tenderloin and Chickens for the fryer. I needed  the brightness of Tangelos to perk up my pork tenderloin. Tangelos are the result of  the intentional (late 1800′s in the US or 3,500 years ago in Asia) and/ or unintentional (thank the birds and the bees, literally) crossing of a Tangerine and a Grapefruit or Pummelo. Tangelos are tasty.  They smell divine. Like tangerines! Their juice is sweet and tart, like a pink Christmas grapefruit with sugar on top.

Tangelo juice makes an already tasty Teriyakii marinade zippy. This pork is excellent warm, with a citrus scallion rice, (page 126 of The Southern Tailgating Cookbook). If the power fails, I will eat the leftovers in a salad with canned Mandarin  oranges, almonds, arugula and a Dijon vinaigrette. Bring it on Pax, this pork dish has my back!

Creamy Almond Cheesecake with Amaretto Caramel Sauce

creamy_almond_cheesecake
Back in the dark ages, before instagram and the internet, there were cheesecakes. Darn good ones…Sweet and savory. Baked and unbaked.  New York style and Philly style cheesecakes. My internal Pinterest board (my memory) carries an image of a particular pumpkin cheesecake from a palm-sized, 1974, photo book called “15 Cheesecakes.”  That cake was a stunner and started my continuing love of and fascination with all things cheesecake.

I am sharing with you one of my favorite cheesecake recipes. This Creamy Almond Cheesecake isn’t difficult to make. Follow the instructions and you will be gifted with a velvety, no crack, beauty of a cake. The almond flavor is rich, yet subtle. The graham cracker crust is nutty, sweet, and salty. Serve the cheesecake naked with coffee. Laden it with all manner of fruity toppings, or drape with chocolate sauce, or serve it with Amaretto Caramel Sauce. Yum. It is so good!

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Caramel Sauce

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Yes, you can buy your caramel sauce at the store, but why deny yourself the magical experience of transforming white granulated sugar into a beautiful rich brown caramel. This recipe uses the dry caramelization method, which involves heating granulated sugar until it melts and then caramelizes. To make the sauce, use a large, light colored, heavy-bottomed skillet or saucepan. If this is your first time making caramelized sugar, low and slow is the way to go. Remember that if you do not have immediate success, all you are out is a little bit of sugar. Try again, the results are worth it.

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B&B Mango Bellini

B&B_mango_Bellini
I count myself lucky to have a gal pal like Mrs. S. She is a visual artist, a vintage jewelry maven and a Bellini over Martini kind of lady. We can’t always get together (“Real Life” can be ill-mannered and cut in line), but, when we do, the conversation picks right back up where we last left it.
B&B liqueur combines the herbal liqueur Benedictine and French Brandy. As a cocktail, mixing Benedictine and Brandy  became popular when Hemingway mentioned the beverage in one of his short stories. Soon thereafter, B&B became widely available to satisfy consumer demand for the cocktail.
A pitcher of B&B Mango Bellinis promises to soften the stalwart and brighten an already stellar day. There is something haunting and warm and fresh and complex about this cocktail. Perfect for a gab fest with your vintage friends or a marathon conversation with the keeper of your secrets.
For Mrs. S, B&B Mango Bellinis.  Cin cin!

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Blonde Macaroni and Cheese

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Charlotte has been damn cold this January.

I am weary of thinking that mixing cherry ChapStick and Chanel lip colour is an innovation in winter makeup. My go-to Southern quickie car window defrost (warm water) only froze the windshield this morning. I know, I should have used my plastic kitchen spatula as a scraper! I am horrified to realize that after an hour stroll in my black yoga pants (aka the uniform), my fanny does not thaw for another 2 hours after I return inside. Yes, I am weary. Weary of Winter.

I need something cozy and comforting and decidedly grown-up. Enter my knight in winter white, Blonde Macaroni and Cheese. This Mac-n-Cheese has an attention grabbing blend of four cheeses (White Cheddar, Mascarpone, Gruyere and Parmigiano Reggiano). The cream sauce is infused with bay leaf, garlic and a footnote of fine cognac. Topped with the buttery crunch of panko crumbs, Blonde Macaroni and cheese satisfies and seduces. I am feeling better already.

 

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sliders

slow cooker pulled pork slider

The slider is the perfect dish for your Super Bowl menu. It’s small enough to classify as an appetizer, but with several on a plate, they make the perfect entree. Most importantly, you can easily eat a slider with one hand while standing up. Looking for a slider that will easily feed your Super Bowl crowd and not leave you in the kitchen all game? Try this slow cooker pulled pork slider topped with Blood Orange Bourbon Barbecue Sauce and Weekend Slaw with bacon.

Blood Orange Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

blood orange bourbon bbq sauce

After last week’s Blood Orange White Sangria, Sally had a few leftover blood oranges she needed to use. The result is this Blood Orange Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. Its vibrant orange color will grab your guests’ attention as you serve it over pork, chicken, or roasted potatoes. When mixed with a little ranch dressing, it makes the perfect salad dressing for your winter salads.
Hey Denver Bronco fans! This bright orange sauce would look great on your orange-themed Super Bowl Tailgating menu!

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Fried Oysters

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Oysters are one of those foods that you will have an opinion on. You will either love them or hate them. Sally loves them. I on the other hand used to not care for them. I say used to, because this recipe makes the statement, “I hate Oysters” no longer true. While I may not ever have the stomach to eat an oyster straight from the shell, after trying this recipe I can now say I do like fried oysters. Want to know how to start the oyster loving conversion process? Here is what you need to know.

Blood Orange White Sangria

blood orange white sangria single glass

Is there ever a bad time for Sangria?  I think the answer is no. It might be the middle of winter, but there is plenty of fresh citrus that you don’t have to wait until Spring to take advantage of. Whether you need a beverage for the Super Bowl, a drink for your Oscars Party, or something for a weekend brunch, every occasion is the right time to enjoy this beautiful and refreshing Blood Orange White Sangria.

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Split Pea and Bacon Soup

split pea and bacon soup There is soup and then there is comfort soup. Comfort soup is the kind that you crave on a cold winter day. Everyone has a different idea of what their comfort soup is. If a warm bowl of split pea soup is what you hunger for when the weather drops below freezing, then we have a soup for you. Its smoky flavor and silky texture will make the perfect meal on a cold winter day.
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