Friday, October 17, 2014

KFC Copycat Recipe

I periodically get the urge to eat fried chicken. I've never been a big fan of dealing with chicken bones though, so I tend to make it with boneless breasts/tenderloins. As a child, KFC extra crispy was one of my favorite treats.

Well, poking around on the internet, I found this copycat recipe for the 11 herbs & spices. Here it is- maybe I'll make a batch this weekend if the weather is cool!

11 Secret Herbs and Spices (KFC Copy Cat)

Minutes to Prepare: 10
Minutes to Cook: 10
Number of Servings: 1


2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon onion salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon basil leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon marjoram leaves, crushed finely


Combine all ingredients as listed in a small jar with a tight fitting lid (baby food jars work good). Shake mixture to combine. Stores for months. Keep out of direct sunlight, heat and humidity.
(makes about 1/3 cup)
To Use:
Mix together 4 teaspoons mixture, 1 cup flour, 2 Tbls. packed light brown sugar and 1 teaspoons salt. Place in a doubled plastic food bag and add chicken to coat. Fry, drain on paper towels, serve!

yields : 1/3 Cup

Number of Servings: 1

Friday, October 10, 2014

Foodie Friday: Basil Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Have you READ the ingredients on a bottle of salad dressing lately? All those chemicals...UGH. I've decided to start making my own. This one, originally found here, is tasty.

Makes about 2 cups

2 tablespoons minced shallot

2 tablespoons chopped basil

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 small clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons teaspoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons yogurt or sour cream

1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional

Honey, as needed

In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the shallot, herbs, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice, mayonnaise, and yogurt or sour cream. Screw on the the lid and shake the jar to combine. Stir in most of the buttermilk. Check for consistency, and add more if needed. Taste, then season with salt, pepper and paprika. If the dressing is too sharp, drizzle in some honey to mellow the acidity. Taste again, and adjust if needed. Cover and refrigerate for an hour before using, to allow the flavours to blend and develop.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Like The Weather

"The color of the sky is gray as I can see through the blinds
Lift my head from the pillow and then I fall again
I get a shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather"

From "Like The Weather by 10,000 Maniacs. Lyrics found here

We've had another weird spell of weather here. I went from sporadically running the air conditioner to turning on the central heat, digging out the blankets, and praying for a quick death as my sinuses exploded. Today is beautiful. Tonight, it's supposed to rain and get icky again. I give up.

The good thing in all of this is that the little black furball has been coming inside and is being very sweet and cuddly. I spent Monday mostly unconscious with Nightshade snuggled against me. You know you feel bad when a raspy kitty tongue on your forehead feels good!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Foodie Friday- Pumpkin Spice Cake

Pumpkin Spice Cake (Country Living)
Serves: 16 Yields: 1 eight-inch 3-layer cake
Oven Temp: 350
3/4 cup(s) (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup(s) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup(s) sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup(s) pumpkin purée
1/2 cup(s) buttermilk
1 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground nutmeg
1 recipe Pumpkin Cream-Cheese Frosting

Prepare cake pans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat three 8-inch cake pans with softened butter. Cut three 8-inch circles out of parchment paper and fit them into the bottom of the cake pans. Lightly coat the paper circles with butter and set aside.
Make the batter: Cream butter until smooth in a large bowl with an electric mixer set on medium speed. Add the sugars and mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and light. Set aside. Combine the pumpkin purée, buttermilk, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. In thirds, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture, blending well after each addition until smooth.
Bake the cake: Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean -- 35 to 40 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan on wire racks for 30 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and return to the wire racks until completely cool.
Assemble the cake: Place one layer on a cake plate and top with one-third recipe of Pumpkin Cream-Cheese Frosting. Repeat with the second and third layers. Serve or store refrigerated for up to four days.

Pumpkin cream-cheese frosting:
Yields: 3 1/2 cups
1 package(s) (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup(s) pumpkin purée
1/4 cup(s) (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon(s) fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon(s) grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
4 cup(s) confectioners' sugar, sifted
Blend the cream cheese, pumpkin purée, butter, orange juice, zest, and vanilla in a large bowl using an electric mixer set at medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy -- about 5 more minutes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October and the Lack of Monthly Goals.

So last month's goals, as listed here should have been easy-peasy.

Short version of long story- they mostly didn't get done. Dad had several massive setbacks and I just plain couldn't cope with much of anything. The Shady-cuddling is about the only thing that I managed.

I'm not setting any goals for October. It's just not working right now. Actually, I take that back- my sole goal is to make it through October without checking myself into the local psych ward.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Foodie Friday- Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie (Country Living)
Serves: 8
Oven Temp: 425
1 cup(s) apple butter
1 cup(s) (solid-pack) pumpkin
1/2 cup(s) brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
3/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon(s) ground ginger
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup(s) evaporated milk
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
1 egg white, beaten
(optional) whipped cream, for garnish
Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Combine apple butter, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt and spices in a bowl. Stir in eggs. Gradually add milk and mix well, using electric mixer. Brush pie shell with egg white, coating lightly; discard remaining egg white.
Pierce holes in bottom of crust with a fork. Pour apple-butter mixture into prepared pie shell; bake 15 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350ºF. Bake 35 minutes more until center is slightly puffed and jiggles a little bit when pan is tapped.
Cool until still slightly warm on wire rack. Serve with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon, if desired.

Monday, September 22, 2014

10 Random Questions Answered

Gail Carriger, one of my blogging/writing idols, posted these on her blog last week. Here are my answers!

1. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Well, I'm not sure I've grown up yet, but I went from actress, to writer, to morning show DJ, to wrestler (actually did that one, briefly), to anything but what I am now...LOL. I'm not sure what I want to be anymore. Except a princess. I'll always want to be a princess!

2. What is your favorite food-related memory?
So many good memories in my life center around food! Here are two, one for each of my parents:
1. Daddy used to work for a chain called Jack's Steak House that had really good chocolate cake. I was in 2nd/3rd grade then. If I had been good, he would bring home a piece of cake when he came in for the night (He'd get home between 1030-1100) and I was allowed to get up and watch Odd Couple re-runs with him while I ate my cake.
2. Mom & I went to England for my 32nd birthday. On the actual day, we took a day-trip to Bath & Stonehenge. We had our first official British tea in a little tea-house in Bath. (not Sally Lunn's- couldn't get near it, but the little place we wound up in was charming!) I discovered the joys of clotted cream that day!

3. Summer or winter?
Winter. I just can't deal with summer heat, despite the fact that I was born & raised in the American South and it's pretty much a year round thing. Actually, I prefer moderate spring/fall weather to just about anything.

4. Proudest five-minutes-of-fame moment?
I won a best lips contest at a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. We'll go with that.

5. What is your most irrational fear?
Not really irrational- I'm terrified of blindness & suffocation.

6. Favorite holiday destination?

7. What singer / band did you see at your first concert?
Eeep. I'm not entirely sure anymore. Does going to see my friend Peter's band in high school count? If not, I'll go with Garth Brooks in the early 90's. Not sure it's right, but it's one of my most vivid concert memories! (as talked about here)

8. What’s the worst lie you ever told?
"I've just got the flu."

9. Which teacher had the biggest impact on you?
My 8th grade English/Social Studies teacher taught me not to try to answer questions in her class. She asked us what amendment freed the slaves. Nobody in my class knew. I had read the chapter we were supposed to, but couldn't remember for sure if it was the 13th or 14th. (it's the 13th, BTW. I will NEVER forget that for the rest of my life) Anyway, I was brave enough to guess and got treated to a thirty minute diatribe about how disgraceful it was that I didn't know the amendment that set my people free. And another 5 minutes about being a smart ass when she paused for breath & I told her it only set half of them free, thank you very much.

My 10th grade Spanish teacher was a better influence. She was a big lady, and saw how uncomfortable I was in my own skin. She tried to teach me to appreciate myself as I was, and got me involved in the school student council. I'll never forget her for that. Sadly she died of cancer a few years ago. I regret that I never went back and told her how much she meant to me.

10. If you won a million bucks, what would you spend it on?
My parents get a house wherever they want it and then I'm taking the rest and going straight to England.