The Best Collard Greens

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True southern tender collard greens flavored with smokey bacon.

We all have that one dish that is pretty much or signature dish. It just so happens that I have several, and collard greens happens to be one of them. My collard greens are infamous in my family and friends circle, and my husband has even named them! What does he call? He calls them ” Put A Ring On It Collard Greens”! Why? Because he claims that once he had a plate of my collard greens, he knew I was wifey ( and I thought it was because I was cute and had a nice personality…wtf!). I remember the first time I had cooked the greens for him. He had called all of his friends and his MOM, and bragged about how his girlfriend had just cooked him a homemade meal with some collard greens. I knew right then, that my greens were the BOMB hunty!!! My husband once said that although he liked greens, he never LOVED them until he tried my southern collard greens recipe. Little does he know, there really isn’t much to the recipe. Of course I don’t tell him that! Heck, he thinks that I have some special ingredient that I add to my pot of greens. And your boo will think the same thing once you make them a pot of these homemade southern collard greens. All I ask of you is…. Once you get that wedding ring- at least send me an invite!

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 So how do you make a authentic pot of southern greens?

Believe it or not, collard greens are actually easy to make. They can be a little time consuming. I remember whenever my mom would make greens it  seemed like it took her forever! As a child, I used to wonder why the heck it took her so long just to make a pot of vegetables. It just made no sense to me! It wasn’t until my mom taught me how to make greens, that I understood why it took so much time. In order to make tender and flavorful greens, you must be patient. You have to give the collards time to really absorb all of the flavors in the pot, and the longer you cook the greens, the more tender they will be.

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For southern collard greens, most the flavor comes from a smoked meat. There are many different smoked meats that you can use. I personally prefer to use pork bacon ends. I realize that there are some people that do not eat pork. Here are a few other smoked meats that you can use instead of the pound of bacon ends that I use for this recipe

  •  Two pounds of Turkey Bacon plus 1 tbsp of olive oil, chopped. Cook the same as written for the pork bacon.
  •  1 1/2  pound Smoked turkey wing. Boil in 3 to 4 cups of water for 45 to one hour over medium high heat. Reserve water and use along with the recipe instead of the 2 cups of water
  •  1 1/2 pound of smoked turkey necks. Boil in 3 to 4 cups of water for 45 to one hour over medium high heat. Reserve water and use along with the recipe instead of the 2 cups of water

I like my greens to have a slight kick of spiciness to them, so I add 1 large jalapeno to my pot. If you are not a fan of hot peppers, you can omit the jalapeno.

So now that we’ve talked about making the collard greens, the next thing to do is to make the greens. Be sure to watch my video down below for a visual, and print out the recipe.

Enjoy!

The Best Collard Greens

Ingredients

4 lbs collard greens, cleaned and cut

1 lb bacon ends, chopped

6 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 large onion, diced

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp seasoning salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 large jalapeno pepper, sliced

2 to 3 tbsp of white distilled vinegar

Instructions

  1. Place the bacon ends in a pot, and place the pot over medium heat.
  2. Brown the bacon then add in the diced onions, and cook until the onions start to sweat.
  3. Add in the minced garlic,then cook for 1 minutes.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth, and turn the heat up to high and let boil for 20 minutes.
  5. Pour in the 2 cups of water, and turn the heat down to medium.
  6. Start adding in the collard greens into the pot.
  7. Once all of the greens are in the pot, sprinkle in the seasoning salt and ground black pepper.
  8. Add in the sliced jalapeno, and the vinegar and stir the ingredients.
  9. Cover the pot, and let simmer for 1 hour and 10 minutes over medium heat. Be sure to peak in and stir periodically.
  10. Enjoy!
http://www.iheartrecipes.com/how-to-make-the-best-pot-of-soul-food-style-collard-greens/

Southern Hummingbird Cake

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A super moist spice cake infused with bananas, pineapples, and pecans.

Recently on Facebook, I asked my viewers to tell me what their favorite southern desserts were. I got  a lot of request for the most mentioned dessert was Red Velvet Cake, but one person mention a dessert that I haven’t had , nor heard of in a long time…. Southern Hummingbird Cake!

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Hummingbird Cake is one of those southern desserts that everyone expects to be available during the holidays, and other special occasions.  This cake has been known to be  the cause of a riot, if there isn’t enough to go around. So plan ahead of time, and make sure everyone gets their fix! ( this cake should feed 12 people… the keyword was SHOULD….. yall know some people are greedy!)

What is Southern Hummingbird Cake? 

If you never had a hummingbird cake, just imagine it being a super moist carrot cake, without carrots, but bananas instead. Not completely sold yet? How about this – Hummingbird cake is like a spiced banana cake. The cake not only has bananas, but it also has crushed pineapples and pecans ( some people use walnuts). The bananas in the cake not only work to flavor the cake, but it also makes the cake extremely moist, and fluffy. This cake is topped with a fluffy cream cheese frosting, and can be made as a sheet cake, layered cake, or even cupcakes!

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Tips for making an amazing Southern Hummingbird Cake

  • Make sure that the bananas that you use are super ripe. You can not achieve the same taste with regular “new” bananas. The aren’t as sweet, and don’t give the cake the rich signature flavor that it’s known for.
  • Make sure you crush or grind up the pecan. Nothing is worse than biting into a piece of cake with a huge nut in it ….(‘;’)……
  • Before you make this cake, make sure that all of the ingredients are at room temperature(eggs, buttermilk, butter..)!
  • Use the same Cream Cheese Frosting that I used for my Carrot Cake recipe, just double it – because we’re making a three layer hummingbird cake
  • Be sure to not over mix the cake. Over mixing can make the cake a little dry (even though this cake is probably one of the most moist cakes that you will ever have!)
  • Take your time! Don’t rush while making this cake. Let the cakes cool and sit before frosting.
  • If you don’t like pecans, you can leave them out
  •  I don’t recommend making any changes to this recipe. If you change the recipe, it’s at your own risk booboo! ;-P

 

So no that we have the basics down, let get in the kitchen and bake ourselves a cake!

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Ingredients

3 cups self rising flour

3 cups granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

5 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup shortening

3 very ripe bananas, pureed

2/3 cup crush pineapple

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Make sure that all of the ingredients are at room temperature.
  2. The first thing we need to do is, place our butter and shortening into a large mixing bowl and mix.
  3. Now pour in the granulated sugar, into the mixing bowl and cream the ingredients together.
  4. Add in the eggs, followed by the vanilla extract, then mix the ingredients until they are well combined.
  5. Add in the banana puree, pecans, and the pineapple, then fold in.
  6. In a separate bowl combine the sifted flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  7. Now alternate adding the dry ingredients, and the buttermilk into the wet ingredients, while using a handheld mixture on medium speed.
  8. You will need three 9 inch cake pans. Spray each pan with baking spray, then fill 2/3 of the way.
  9. Bake each cake for 30 minutes on 350 F.
  10. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them sit for 15 minutes, before removing them from the pan.
  11. Next, remove the cakes from the pan and let the cakes cool completely on the cooling racks.
  12. Double my recipe for the cream cheese frosting( check my carrot cake recipe)
  13. Layer, and frost the cake ( watch my video).
  14. Let the cake stand for at least one hour before cutting into.
  15. Enjoy!
http://www.iheartrecipes.com/how-to-make-a-old-fashioned-southern-hummingbird-cake-like-your-grandma/

Reindeer Corn Recipe

When I was a kid I used to love making cookies for Santa.  Now that I’m a parent, I make sure that my son and I not only make Santa treats, but we make the Reindeers a treat too! Why? Just think about it. Those cute little reindeers put in a lot of work too. They deserve a treat! Wouldn’t you want a reward after hauling a hefty man around the world all night? I know I would! LOL!!!

This reindeer corn recipe is not only delicious, but it’s so easy and fun to make with the kids. My son loves these things, and more than likely your babies will love them too! Try them out.

Reindeer Corn Recipe

Ingredients

4 cups popped popcorn

5 cups marshmallows

6 tbsp butter

2 tbsp colored sugar

Instructions

  1. Place the butter in a pan and melt it over medium heat.
  2. Once the butter is melted add the marshmallows, and let the marshmallows melt down.
  3. Once the marshmallows melt, remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Place the popcorn into a large bowl, then pour the marshmallow/butter mixture over the popcorn.
  5. Use a kitchen utensil to fold in the ingredients.
  6. Scoop out the popcorn mixture in ball shapes, and set it out on wax paper.
  7. Sprinkle on the colored sugar, and enjoy!
http://www.iheartrecipes.com/reindeer-corn-recipe/

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Turkey Gravy Recipe

Hi friends! Here is my Super Easy Turkey Gravy Recipe!  Keep in mind that the turkey dripping and broth that I used for this recipe was from a 10 turkey that was stuffed with onions and lemons. I thought I’d share that with you because a lot of people don’t usually get 4 1/2 cups of broth/drippings from their turkeys. Sometime they get 2 cups, and maybe 3 if they’re lucky. The lemons and onions ADD juice to the turkey, therefore I always have a lot of broth after I roast my turkeys. The particular recipe I used for this turkey was my Cajun and Herb Turkey recipe. There were plenty of seasonings used, therefore I didn’t have to add salt and pepper to my gravy. If you use a different recipe for your turkey you may have to season your gravy..

 

Also if you DON’T get enough broth from your turkey feel free to use turkey broth or chicken broth! Those will work just fine!

Turkey Gravy Recipe

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups turkey broth/drippings

1/4 all purpose flour

Instructions

  1. I started off by straining the turkey drippings/ broth.
  2. Next I skimmed about 1/2 cup of the turkey fat from the turkey broth( This broth was from my cajun and herb turkey)
  3. I placed the turkey fat in a pan, and placed the pan over medium high heat.
  4. Once the fat is nice and hot, sprinkle in your all purpose flour a tbsp at a time.
  5. Whisk continuously!
  6. Once all of the flour is in the pan, slowly pour in the turkey broth. Make sure you whisk while you pour in the broth.
  7. Turn the heat down to low, and let the gravy simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Be sure to whisk or stir periodically to make sure nothing lumps or sticks at the bottom!
  9. Serve of turkey, and mashed potatoes.
  10. Enjoy!
http://www.iheartrecipes.com/turkey-gravy-recipe/