National Sweet Tea Day…

In honor of National Sweet Tea Day (yesterday, yes I realize I am a day late) I decided to share some of my favorite sweet tea recipes I have collected. Being from the South, we like – no we LOVE – our sweet tea!
Recently, we held our Annual Ladies Tea at church. I had a great time designing the centerpiece and table setting and it was a blessing to serve my friends and family at the table I hosted. A truly wonderful day of love & fellowship.

 

I called it “Shabby Chic”

 

Although it it was a miserably wet, rainy day here in South Louisiana, of which we are used to down here, it was a wonderful day of friends, family & community with over 125 ladies in attendance. We served a variety of teas; cold & hot, plain and flavored. Also on the menu were traditional scones, finger sandwiches (the walnut & grape chicken salad was to die for) and some fabulous desserts.

 

It’s summertime…… and nothing says summer in South Louisiana like sweet tea!!

Try one. Try them all. Tell me what you think!
Blessings From the Deep South

 

 
 

Easy Homemade Marshmallow Cream "Fluff"

Making your own homemade Marshmallow Cream “Fluff” is simple! The light, fluffiness is delicious when you pair it up with peanut butter or spread it over your favorite dessert.
 
 
Ingredients Needed:
3 egg whites
2 c. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
 
Directions:
Using an electric mixer, in a large mixing bowl, combine egg whites, corn syrup, and salt. Beat for approximately 10 minutes on medium-high until thick. Reduce speed of mixer to low and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until completely mixed. Then add the vanilla extract and beat until well blended. 
 
Yields approx: 2 quarts
 
Storage: Store covered, in plastic container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Freeze for up to 2 months.
 
 

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Homemade Chili (Stove or Crockpot)

Always on the search for a good recipe, a long time ago, I set out to find a match for Wendy’s chili because it is one of my favorites. Since I am the self-declared “Google Queen” I started there. I then went to my other favorite option Pinterest.
Source
I tried several different recipes claiming to be “Wendy’s copycat recipes”. Let me just say that if Wendy’s chili taste like some of these recipes posted and claiming to be a match in your neck of the woods…. I am SO SO sorry for you! Yuck-o!
Source
However, after many failed attempts I finally came across one that I liked. Unfortunately, I can not link to its original author because it was just an uploaded cell phone screen shot as a pin, with no link back. *I hate that* (If someone can show me the original website that published this particular recipe, I would be more than happy to link it to them.)
Anywho, I tried it and I loved it. Now that one of my dear friends and assistant Samantha has posted on her Facebook recently asking for a good chili recipe, I figured now would be a great time to share this delicious recipe.
So…. this one is for YOU Sam!!

Wendy’s Copycat Chili

Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh ground beef
1 qt tomato juice
1 (29oz) can tomato puree
1 (15oz) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15oz) can pinto beans, drained
1 1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup chili powder (use more or less to taste)
1 tsp ground cumin (use more for added flavor)
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Stovetop Instructions:
In a large skillet, brown ground meat with onions, celery, and bell peppers. Drain fat & liquid. Place the meat mixture in a 6-qt pot along with all remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and allow chili to simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes.

Crockpot Instructions:
In a large skillet, brown ground meat with onions, celery, and bell peppers. Drain fat & liquid. Place the meat mixture in crockpot along with all remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and allow to cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Blessings from the South!

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Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Another Cool Weather Favorite…..
Easy Chicken Pot Pie
Ingredients
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 bag frozen vegetables (peas/corn/carrot/green bean mix)
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
4 chicken breasts,cooked and cubed
Salt & Pepper
1 frozen pie crust
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400°F
1. Sautée the onion and garlic in oil.
2. Microwave the veggies until just under tender.
3. Add the chicken, cream of potato soup, vegetables and S&P to taste.
4. Transfer to a casserole dish or four ramekin dishes.
5. Unroll the pie crust on top of the casserole dish or cut to size of ramekins.
6. Brush the egg on top.
7. Cut a few slits in the crust and bake at 400°F for about 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Note:
If you prefer a soupier consistency, add milk or cream. However, don’t add too much, or it will spill over the top and cause the oven to have crusty burnt pieces things on the bottom of the oven. In this case, you will probably want to place the ramekins on a cookie sheet while baking.
Enjoy!!

Mandarin Orange Chicken

This recipe can be made with chicken or tofu, but if you are making both chicken and tofu, but I think you have to keep a close eye on this cooking, since they don’t cook at exactly the same rate. I personally don’t care for tofu, so I have no idea what it would taste like in the recipe.
Mandarin Orange Chicken
Ingredients:
1 package skinless, boneless chicken breasts OR
1 pkg Extra Firm Tofu, cut into 1/4″ slices
1/3 cup Soy Ginger Sauce
1 TB honey
1 small can mandarin oranges
1 TB olive oil
1 TB minced garlic
2 cups fresh broccoli flowerets
1 small can water chestnuts 
steamed white or brown rice
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Brush both sides of the chicken or tofu slices with sauce and arange in a 6 x 9 baking dish, overlapping as needed. Mix sauce with honey and spoon on top of the tofu or chicken. Top with orange slices. Bake 30 minutes, or until the tofu is lightly browned. In a large sauté pan or wok, heat olive oil and saute garlic until lightly browned. Add broccoli and water chestnuts and cook until crisp-tender. Serve over rice and baked tofu or chicken with additional sauce on the side.
Let me know what you think!

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The Heart of Your Home, The Dedicated House, Time Warp Wife,

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

I found  this great summer salad on Paula’s Home Cooking, courtesy of my cooking idol, Paula Deen. Surprisingly, this particular P.D. recipe contains no Crisco, bacon fat or sour cream. [I looooove Paula Deen’s fatty homestyle cooking, but unfortunately, my hips don’t.] Now that Paula has been diagnosed with diabetes she is cleaning up her cooking, so many of her recipes are taking on a healthier nature.
Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad
Ingredients:
2 cups cooked corn, fresh or frozen
1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine the corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion in a large glass bowl. Mix together the dressing ingredients in another bowl, pour over the salad, and gently toss to mix.
Enjoy!!

Sonoma Chicken Salad

This is a variation to a recipe from one of those free little recipe books at Whole Foods. The grapes make it stand out from a garden variety chicken salad. I didn’t have some of the ingredients on hand in the original recipe, so I had to improvise a little….. but it was delicious nonetheless.
Sonoma Chicken Salad
The Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise (I used my favorite lite mayo to save on calories & fat)
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
5 tsp honey
2 tsp poppy seeds
Sea salt and Black pepper
The Salad:
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup pecan halves, chopped and toasted (I didn’t toast mine)
2 cups red seedless grapes
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
Directions:
Prepare the dressing by thoroughly mixing together all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad (can be prepared up to 2 days ahead). Preheat oven to 375°F. Place chicken breasts in one layer in a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes until completely cooked through. Remove cooked chicken breasts from baking pan, cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate. When the breasts are completely chilled (at least 2 hours refrigerated), chop & tear into small bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in pecans, grapes, celery, and dressing.This Post Is Linked To:
From My Front Porch To Yours
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A Peek Into My Paradise
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