Southern Pimento Cheese Spread

Okay, it is Spring in Kentucky.  All of the “Southern” recipes emails that have been flooding my inbox should have given me a clue about a social event happening soon. Yeah, I’m not one for crowds of any kind. In fact, a couple of weekends ago I attended  a conference in Tulsa. 4500+ people. Man, I felt like a recovering agoraphobic on her first fieldtrip. I survived and it was a great time. So anyway, this weekend is the Kentucky Derby. I might watch if I remember and if I am not on the mower. I will make some munchies and finger foods though.

There are many recipes for Pimento Cheese Spread. I found this one in a cheeky little book titled, “ Being Dead is no excuse. The Official Southern Ladies Guide to hosting the Perfect Funeral.” It calls pimento cheese “the paste that holds the South together.” Enjoy this classic spread on butter crackers, celery or as a tea sandwich. Keep the crusts on!

 ½ cup Mayo, store bought or better yet, homemade

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tsp Powered Mustard

1 Tbsp grated Onion

Sea Salt and fresh ground Black Pepper to taste

Several splashes of Tabasco Sauce

4 oz jar, diced Pimentos, drained

3 cups shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Mix first four ingredients in a medium bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Add hot sauce.  Add pimentos and cheese. Mix thoroughly. If you want a smoother spread process in a 4 quart food processor until it is the consistency you want. Taste and season again if needed. Store in a covered bowl and chill at least 3 hours. Flavors meld better overnight. Enjoy!

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Sweet and Spicy Shrimp and Pea Stir Fry

  I just had a nice pea harvest and I wanted to something that highlighted the peas. This is a perfect weekend lunch or work week dinner. Use uncooked shrimp for this recipe since they will be quick cooked in the stir fry. I found this recipe over at .The original recipe called for soy sauce. I used ponzu sauce instead. It has a wonderful citrus flavor to it. I was in Louisiana a couple of weeks ago. My friend’s neighbor has bees and sells Catahoula Wildflower honey. It is awesome. BTW this dish goes very nice with a dry white wine, (as seen in the photo!)



  • ¼ cup Ponzu or Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Corn Starch
  • 3 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • ¼ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 large clove Garlic, peeled and pressed or minced

Stir Fry

  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • 1 ½ cups Snow Peas
  • 1 lb raw Shrimp, deveined and peeled

Cooked Brown Rice or White Rice

In a small bowl, whisk the corn starch into the ponzu sauce until combined. Add honey, lemon juice, pepper flakes, and garlic and whisk. Set sauce aside.

Heat oil over medium high heat in a large cast iron or heavy skillet. Add snow peas and stir fry for about one minute. Stirring frequently. Add snow peas and cook until pink. Add sauce and stir to combine. Cook for about a minute until thickened. Serve over rice. Enjoy! This so good.

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Cauliflower Tabbouleh




This a wonderful lo-carb substitute for bulgur tabbouleh. Since this is my own recipe I cannot claim that it is gluten-free; however, my ingredients are comparable to commercial recipes that are labeled gluten-free.

  • 2 small heads Cauliflower, riced or grated. You can buy already riced cauliflower but if you are thrifty like me you can grate the florets on a box grater
  • ½ lb Tomatoes, small dice
  • ½ large Cucumber, grated
  • ½  cup Oil, I use extra light Olive Oil
  • ½ cup Lemon or Lime Juice
  • 1 bunch of Green Onions or 3 Leeks, sliced fine
  • ½ bunch of Italian Parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Seasoned Salt, Aldi’s has a seasoned salt without MSG
  • 1 Tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper

Mix all ingredients and chill for 2 hours before serving.

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Lo Carb Thai Beef and Broccoli in a slow cooker

I do large quantity cooking on the weekends so I have enough for lunches and dinner during the work week. I have made this recipe several times and it never fails to satisfy! Tastes better the second day after the flavors meld. I found this over at





  • 1 ½ lbs Beef diced, chuck is best
  • ½ cup Beef Stock
  • ½ cup Tamari, Soy or Coconut Aminos
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil, not toasted
  • 2 Tbsp sweetener, I use Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce
  • 2 cloves Garlic, peeled and pressed or minced
  • 3 cups Broccoli Florets
  • ¼ cup Green Onions, thin sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Put beef, stock, tamari, sweetener, sesame oil, sriracha sauce and garlic in the slow cooker. Cook on high for four hours. Add the broccoli and cook on high for 30 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.  Season to taste. Serve with green onions and sesame seeds. Can serve with cauliflower rice as a side.

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Yogurt Ranch Dressing

This is a wonderful recipe that I got from a cooking show on PBS OETA Create channel, Ellie’s Real Good Food. I have made it several times already and it is always gone quickly. What I like about making this recipe is that you choose what you put into it. I stay away from commercial products like mayo that has soy or canola oil in the ingredients. You can also make your own mayo using just olive oil. Be the master of your food destiny! LOL.

This easily doubles or triples.

  • ½ cup Plain Yogurt, not Greek
  • 2 Tbsp Mayo
  • 1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ Tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ Tsp Sea Salt
  • ½ Tsp White or Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Chives
  • 1 Tsp dried Dill Weed


Mix all together. Place in wide mouth jar and use within a week.

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San Francisco Fisherman’s Stew – Cioppino

Lately I have been on a fish kick. Rarely am I in one of the cities to get fresh fish so fortunately the local stores have a decent selection of frozen fish and shrimp.  I have not tasted honest to goodness Cioppino so I hope my version is close.  I will post a photo the next time I make this. The stew went too fast to get a photo!

  • 8 Tbls Butter
  • 2/3 cup Shallots, Green Onions, Leeks, Sweet Onions, small dice
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 cup dry White Wine
  • 1 can (28 ozs) Crushed Tomatoes
  • 4 Tbls Tomato Paste
  • 2 (8 ozs) bottles Clam Juice
  • 2 Tsp Kosher Salt, divided
  • 2 ribs Celery, diced
  • ½ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tbls dry  Italian Seasoning
  • 1 ½ lbs firm White fish, cubed, Pollack, Cod, Flounder, Haddock, etc
  • 1 ½ lbs Littleneck Clams or Mussels
  • 12 ozs Scallops
  • 1 ½ lbs large raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the wine and increase the heat to high. Boil until the wine is reduced in half, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, clam juice, celery, 1 tsp salt, pepper flakes and Italian Seasoning.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 25 minutes. Add the White fish and remaining salt  and cook for 10 minutes. Add clams/mussels, scallops and shrimp. Cook for about 6 minutes. Can garnish with chives or parsley. Pairs very well with garlic bread or focaccia.

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New England Fish Chowder





I just had a craving for fish chowder this week. Not exactly lo carb with the potatoes but it is very good!

  • ½ cup Butter, divided
  • 2 large Sweet Onions, diced
  • 5 medium Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
  • 3 cups Water
  • 2 lbs any type of mild white Fish, cubed. Cod, Haddock, Swai, Flounder etc
  • 4 cups Full fat Milk
  • 1 can (12 ozs) Evaporated Milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Chopped Chives or Parsley to garnish

Melt ¼ cup butter over medium heat in a Dutch Oven. Saute the onions until tender but do not brown them. Add potatoes, salt, pepper and water. Top with the fish. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add milk and evaporated milk and remaining butter. Heat but do not boil. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with chives or parsley. Pairs well with crusty bread.

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Swirled Persimmon and Cream Cheese Tart

This recipe was originally Swirled Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Tart from the most recent issue of “Victoria” magazine. I made it twice as pumpkin, amazing flavor, but I wanted to use some of the native persimmons from my trees in the pasture. They are ripe right now and the trees are full. This year looks like a bumper crop. There are definitely enough for me, the deer and the coyotes. If you don’t like or don’t have access to native persimmons, the original version of this is wonderful. It pairs well with coffee(pumpkin spice anyone?) or fresh brewed hot tea. You will need a 10 or 11 inch tart pan with a removable bottom for this recipe.

For the crust:

  • 1 ½ cups fine ground Gingersnap cookies (I use my blender)
  • ½ cup fine chopped or ground Walnuts (use Black Walnuts for extra flavor)
  • 3 Tbsp firmly packed Brown Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp melted Butter

For the persimmon filling:

  • 15 ozs Persimmon Pulp or canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup granulated cane Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ cup Heavy Whipping Cream

For cream cheese swirl:

  • 4 ozs Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbsp granulated cane Suagr
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • ¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crust – In a large bowl, stir together the ground cookies, walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter, stirring to combine. Press mixture into the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Bake for 12 minutes and set aside to cool. It works best if the crust is cool. Don’t skip this step.

Pumpkin Filling – In a separate large bowl whisk togetherpersimmon/pumpkin, sugar, eggs,egg yolk, spice and vanilla extract. Add cream, whisking until smooth. Pour into cooled crust.

Cream Cheese Swirl – In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Add egg yolk. Beat until smooth. Drop the cream cheese mix into the persimmon/pumpkin mixture by the teaspoon full. Gently swirl the mixture with a butter knife.

Bake until center is set, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

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Roasted Acorn Squash Soup with Kale and Bacon

Fall is here is Oklahoma and I am loving it. The weather is cooler and a little rainy. Perfect time for Autumn soups.  This recipe is not low carb as are some of my recent ones. Sometime you just have to say, what the heck and go for some great soup.  I found this recipe on Martha Stewart’s site. I always change things up for my taste. I roasted my acorn squash fresh  versus using frozen. It took longer, but the sweet roasted flavor was there! I also added more bacon because….. well because I love bacon. LOL.  I used fresh garden kale, (yup mine is growing) with blanched kale from the freezer.  This weekend was cook from the fridge and freezer. Recently I ordered a half side of beef from my local butcher. They raise their own. It will be ready in mid-December, and  now I must get another deep freezer. I planned this for years and finally everything fell into place for me.  Well, enjoy this recipe!

  • 8 or more strips of Bacon, sliced in half inch pieces
  • 1 medium Onion , fine diced
  • ½ pound Kale thick stems removed and leaves fine chopped, about 8 cups
  • 4 cups or 24 ounces of roasted pureed Acorn Squash, (cut in half, deseed, roast for 1 hour in a 350 degree oven, peel and puree)
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth or Water
  • Sea Salt and fresh ground Black Pepper to taste


Cook bacon in a large sauce pot over medium heat until crisp about 5 to 6 minutes.Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.  Add onion to bacon fat in pot cook until translucent  about 5 minutes. Add kale and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add half of the bacon pieces. Add squash puree and 3 cups of water  or chicken broth. And more to desired consistency. Season to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer for about 15 minutes. Garnish bowls with remaining bacon and serve with biscuits or bread if desired.

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Shrimp Ragu

Earlier this week I was watching OETA Create. It’s the PBS station in Oklahoma. Anyway, Nick Stellino’s cooking show featured a shrimp, pepper and asparagus ragu.  Now it so happens that asparagus is popping up in my garden. Oh so good.  After I came home from my errands today, my planned dinner was this shrimp ragu.  And it was yummy! I had some day old bread and I made garlic bread. Up ‘til that point it was fairly lo-carb, but there are times when you just have to go for it! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

  • 1 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 4 slices of thick cut Bacon, cut into 1” pieces
  • 4 cloves Garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup Asparagus, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 Red Pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 lb large Shrimp, shelled, de-veined and cut into 3 pieces (freeze the shells & save for fish stock)
  • ½ cup White Wine
  • 2 Tbls Butter
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Bread

Heat the EVOO in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until it starts to brown.  Add garlic and asparagus and cook about 4 minutes. Add red pepper, stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Add shrimp and cook about 3 minutes. Add wine to the skillet and stir until it reduces by half. About 4 minutes. Add butter. Stir until it melts.  Season to taste. You can serve this with garlic bread that you were cooking while the ragu was on the stove.

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