Mash-up Teas: Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride + Orange Pekoe

Todays Tea 04 30 2014

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It Is Time To Get Our Punch On With: T&C’s Sweet Nectar

T&C’s Sweet Nectar

Mix all of your ingredients expect the frozen soda cubes. Chill the concoction until ready to serve. I like to make this in the morning and bring it out after 4 hours. When ready to serve add frozen soda cubes or if you want to make slushies, freeze all the soda into cubes and blend with chilled punch and bagged frozen strawberries.

Perfect for a crowd!

Get this little beauty at Amazon.com

Lunch @ Iriana’s Pizza in the River Market

Bonnie and I had lunch at Iriana’s Pizza the day before the Little Rock Marathon– Half. It was my first time in this iconic Little Rock locale and I was in store for some serious eats!

20140301_134009Iriana’s is like going to eat at Cheers. You know the old TV show…I felt right at home like everyone really did know my name. The dining area is divided into cozy sections that give the seating a down home feel. One of my favorite radio stations (94.1) was playing lightly in the background. There are lots of windows and the sun streams in during the day and at night gives diners a view of the great Little Rock River Market nightlife.

But you are here to see the food! OK, twist my arm. 🙂

20140301_134838Bonnie and I started with Cheese bread sticks. Sounds standard but they were anything but.
The bread was truly outstanding, it was traditional yeast risen, and soft on the inside, but just a tender snap on the outside. If you love bread then these are the sticks for you! The sauce was bright and not too heavy on the garlic. Honestly the only thing about these sticks that I didn’t like was the cheese. It was really an afterthought and if we had left it off, I wouldn’t have cared…these sticks are all about the amazing pizza dough.

After that we had what I would call the genuine article. This pizza is what I expect in a true New York-style pie. It does not disappoint!20140301_140325

We got a pie with pepperoni and beef and then in regular Bonnie Style she got black olives on her side of the pie.
The pizza is out of this world good. The same great dough we had in the sticks made for a dazzling pie. I loved the way the toppings were distributed throughout. Each bite had just the right amount of cheese to meat and bread. The one pictured above is a large and can easily satisfy four adults or three hungry Honey Badgers.

20140301_140420Just look at the texture on that pie. You can see the herbs and spices in the cheese. The bright sauce that Iriana’s uses is right on point. It counters the mellow mozzarella herbed cheese but doesn’t overpower the other toppings. The beef we had wasn’t just some browned up hamburger, NO WAY, not at Iriana’s. The beef topping is spiced with garlic and oregano. On it’s own it is good stuff but put with hot and spicy pepperoni it is a sensory experience.

I highly recommend Iriana’s Pizza. The location at the corner of Markham and Scott Street right in the heart of downtown can’t be beat.

Check out the menu here.

Or on Facebook.

Comeback sauce…Southern Classic Sauce Series

This is the basic Wikipedia definition of Comeback sauce: a distinctive dipping sauce and salad dressing often seen in the cuisine of central Mississippi. Similar to Louisiana remoulade, the base of the sauce consists of mayonnaise and chili sauce.

Well, lands Almighty, that’s not quite right.

Now comeback is one of the quintessential Deep South sauces. Much like the definition above it does have similarities to remoulade but it also harkens to a familiarity with Thousand Island dressing. But in my humble opinion the best comeback sauce has one requirement that the other two sauces do not:  Worcestershire. Without this touch of the old country, comeback sauce loses some of its traditional flavor and uniqueness.

comebackThere are recipes all over the Internet for comeback sauce.  Many agree with Wikipedia and have a chili sauce component that makes it redish, but what you need for true comeback sauce is a good quality mayo and ketchup. That’s the base of the sauce.  Then you add in minute quantities of Worcestershire, garlic, onion, and cracked pepper. Oh, the cracked pepper is so important to get the proper texture and flavor that is the unique central Oxford, Mississippi style comeback sauce.

Now the good thing about comeback sauce is you can make it in a myriad of ways and styles. There’s the epicurean way where you make your own homemade mayonnaise in the French Method along with heirloom tomato ketchup bottled by monks in Spain. Then there’s the Martha Stewart/ Junior League variety where where quality ingredients like Duke’s Mayo and hand crushed peppercorns are involved. Then there’s my way where you can pick your stuff up at the local Kroger. Or perhaps you’re in a  bit of a pickle, like Grandma Agnes is coming for a visit and Bubba-Jo ate the last of the comeback sauce with his tater tots and you need to make a dash to the Dollar General. Either way you choose your comeback sauce will turn out perfectly if you follow these basic directions and proportions.

  • Equal parts mayo and ketchup
  • Equal parts Worcestershire and black pepper
  • Equal parts garlic and onion powder
    Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until the spices are  is thoroughly incorporated and the sauce is all one color.

I’d do it like this: 1/2 cup mayo and ketchup, 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire and black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic and onion powders

Now I always like to tinker with recipes but like my great aunt Ida always said, simple made well is a classic in the making. But sometimes you just have to take the pig to the county fair.

Lisa’s Roasted Garlic and Green Onion Comeback Sauce

1/2 cup mayo and ketchup
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire and freshly cracked tricolor peppercorns
1/8 cup of mashed roasted garlic and finely chopped green onion
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly incorporated and the sauce is all one color.

Now when that flavor combo hits your mouth you’ll swear you have been transported to a picnic underneath the Oaks at Faulkner’s place!

Hot and Spicy Cornmeal Pudding…STAT!

Well last night I was in a dire way for a pan of cornbread and nearly had a conniption fit. Why a fit? I was nearly out of cornmeal mix and did not have enough for even one pan! Not one! OH MY. My grandmother, Ruby, must have been looking out for me from Glory, as I had an inspired thought. I would make corn pudding!

Hot and Spicy Cornmeal Pudding 20140218_122355

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl and dump in one can of Rotel. Mix well until the eggs are incorporated. Mix in a can of cream corn, and then the cornmeal mix (optional sugar). Pour into a prepared 9×13 dish. (I use nonstick spray when using glass.) Place in the oven for 25 mins. I have a convection oven so it took more like 19-20 for me.

Note: I reheated this in the microwave for lunch the next day and still delish! Make a big batch for lunches. Oh, yes I will. Once I get to the store for more supplies :)!

Roasted Sweets…Veggies That Make’em Smile…In 1 2 3

Lisa’s Roasted Carrots and Sweet Potatoes

  1. 2-3 large sweet potatoes chopped into small pieces (I leave the skin on)
  2. 3-6 oz of baby carrots cut lengthwise then in half
  3. 1/8 cup of canola oil (or coconut oil melted)
  4. salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Dump all the cut veggies on to a cookie sheet or large roasting pan. Pour the oil over the top and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 30 mins. In my convection oven this takes more like twenty mins. You want the veggies to be fork tender. Eat them as is or at this point they can be used as the base of a root veggie mash or mixed with nuts and honey as an alternative to the standard Thanksgiving marshmallow covered candied sweet potato dish.

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Lisa’s Chunky Coleslaw

Lisa’s Chunky Coleslaw

  • Half a head of cabbage chopped into fine ribbons20140121_205429
  • 3 oz of baby carrots sliced into rounds
  • ¼ cup of Macadamia nuts roughly chopped
  • Olive oil mayonnaise
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Salt and pepper

Place all the veggies and nuts into a large bowl. In a smaller bowl mix 3 Tbsp mayo, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar,  2 -3 tablespoons of sugar (honestly some people like coleslaw sweet, some not so much. It is up to you), salt, and pepper to taste. Pour over the veggies mixture and toss to coat. Chill for at least 2 hours.

The great thing about coleslaw is you can add whatever you like. Some people like onions, shallots, or green onions. You can try other nuts or mix your cabbages. I think one with nappa and purple cabbages would be beautiful on white plates. The cabbage in the picture is green and I think the light celadon color looks beautiful with the bright orange of the baby carrots. Remember you have to not only enjoy your food, you have to feed the eyes.

Tea and Cornbread’s round up of the best and most nutritious salad recipes on the net!

Here is a head start for your New Year’s resolution to get fit and eat healthy. Tea and Cornbread‘s round up of the best and most nutritious salad recipes on the net! We have something for everyone…Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, and Carb-lovers.

  1. Savory Watercress Berry Saladsalad-leaves
  2. Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette over Roasted Butternut Kale Salad
  3. Loaded Carrot Salad
  4. Anti-inflammatory Kale Salad
  5. Hot Bacon & Sweet Potato Salad
  6. Green Beans, Olives & Sun Dried Tomato Salad
  7. Chipotle Chicken Caesar Salad
  8. Not Your Mama’s Niçoise
  9. Artichoke Heart & Caper Chicken Salad Radicchio Cups
  10. Avocado Egg Salad
  11. Lacinato Kale, Radish, and Apple Salad
  12. Carrot, Pistachio and Cranberry Slaw
  13. Autumn Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
  14. Grapefruit & Avocado Salad with Shrimp
  15. Chicken and Dragon Fruit Salad
  16. Chicken, Avocado, and Blueberry Salad
  17. Fig Salad
  18. Cranberry-Avocado Salad with Candied Spiced Almonds and Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette
  19. Red Fruit Salad
  20. Power Packed Oriental Salad

Smacktacular Sugar Cookies

Smacktacular Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup of butter, softened or your favorite butter spread (for a Vegan option use coconut oil)
  • 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup of cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (vegan egg substitute)
  • 3 cups of self-rising flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix the butter and sugars together until a past is formed. Add vanilla and eggs and incorporate completely. Dump in the flour and mix carefully until a dough is formed and all the flour in the bottom of the bowl is mixed in.

Line your cookie sheets with foil and spray with nonstick. Using a tablespoon, measure out 9 cookies per pan, evenly spaced. Cook for 10-12 min or until just golden on the edges. Cool before eating.

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