I grew up in the South and spent a lot of time as a young man along the Gulf coast. I wouldn’t change a thing, that life has really suited me, so many wonderful things that I’m grateful for every day. The people, the history, the climate… and most of all the food! One of my favorite dishes is a Jambalaya recipe I learned as a young man living near Mobile, Alabama. Take a look at the video to see me make a batch in my kitchen. I think it’ll be one of your favorites too!
Heat oil in a large stew pot over medium heat. Stir in shrimp and chicken and cook for 2 minutes or so just to brown. Take out and set aside. In the same pot stir in onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, brown sugar, and rice. Add broth, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add basil, parsley, thyme/sage pepper and bay leaf. Bring everything to a boil and simmer for 8 minutes covered. Add chicken, shrimp and simmer for 5 minutes. Add sausage, ham, salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until rice is tender.
There’s a special magic about Thanksgiving. Some say it’s all about great food. The more high-minded will say it’s about shared memories with family and friends. I'm in the middle and feel strongly both ways! With that in mind here’s a cranberry recipe my mother used to make. And her mother before her. My family has enjoyed it for generations… and I’d like to share it with yours.
Combine OJ, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add cranberries, raisins, and pineapple and bring to boil. Continue at lower heat for about 8 to 10 minutes while stirring. The cranberries should open. Turn off heat and stir in walnuts and wine/brandy. Top with zest. Let cool and cover and refrigerate.
There’s nothing like a hot bowl of chili. It’s a real family favorite, and almost as much fun to make as it is to eat. Here’s a short video of me in the kitchen making a batch from my secret recipe. Take a look and give it a try. I think you’ll like it!
Food is always a great way to get family and friends to together. In that spirit, I’d like to share a recipe tip I learned from a friend out in Amarillo. Now, I don’t normally share recipes I haven’t tried yet. But with my recent travels to Enesco Showrooms, QVC and other appearances I am a little behind on my summer baking. But this was so ingenious I thought I would share it with my friends.
It’s a vodka apple pie crust. That’s right, vodka! I realize apples are not necessarily in season right now as we eat watermelon in abundance but give it a try before sharing this fall. Let me know what you think!
Foolproof and delicious! The vodka evaporates quicker than water, so when you bake it, it makes a light, flaky crust that’s perfect every time and the vodka is tasteless!
Process 1 1/2 cups of the flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined. Add butter and shortening and process until dough just starts to collect (about 15 seconds; make sure there’s no dry flour left) will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down the bowl and then add the remaining cup of flour and give it 4-6 pulses.
Transfer dough to mixing bowl and sprinkle with the vodka and water mixture. Fold liquid in with a rubber spatula until it all sticks together. Divide in to two even balls; flatten each into a 4” round. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate from 45 minutes to 2 days before using to make your pie.
Every once in a while, a friend will pass on a recipe that they insist we try. If we love it, we’ll add it to our lineup of family favorites. There were two recipes that popped into my mind right away when I started thinking about what I could share with you. Vodka pie crust and banana caramel pie-they’re both so good, I decided to share both.
This pie recipe was shared from a great friend of mine down in Houston. But before I do that I need to make a couple of things clear. First, some of you who’ve seen me on QVC recently have noticed I’m a mere shadow of my former self. Let me assure you this is absolutely intentional. Under orders from a very stern doctor and even sterner wife, Jan. I’m on a strict program and have lost a lot of weight. It feels great. But it means I won’t be able to enjoy this pie this summer and have to live through the pleasure of others. Secondly, I am breaking a vow of secrecy to my friend in Houston who guards this recipe jealously. I plead for forgiveness. It’s perfect for summer parties and your friends will think you’ve gone to culinary school!
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Remove the label from the can of sweetened condensed milk and put it in a big pot of water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 3 hours until the milk caramelizes. Check the pot regularly to make sure there’s always plenty of water in the pot, enough that the can is always completely covered.
While the milk is “cooking,” cut the banana into 3/4” thick slices and cover the bottom of the graham cracker crust.
Once the milk is done, open the can and pour the caramelized milk over the layer of bananas. Top the milk layer with Cool Whip or freshly whipped cream.
Refrigerate for one hour. Slice and serve.