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  • A Spring-Inspired Easter Brunch

    Spring is blooming on your Easter table. From yellow chick cupcakes to blueberry French-toast casseroles, there are plenty of ways to wow your brunch guests with simple seasonal recipes. "Between hiding eggs and preparing baskets, you may be tempted to fall back on brunch basics like pancakes and scrambled eggs, but that's no fun," McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter said. "With simple pantry staples - like food color - and a little planning the night before, you can enjoy a fun and tasty holiday brunch." These simple tips from Vetter can help you transform a boring brunch into a colorful Easter feast: Waffle art is a fun way to get kids (and adults) involved during breakfast time. Try tinting the waffle batter orange by using McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors. Cut them into wedges hot out of the iron and pipe green frosting for the stems to create these Carrot-Shaped Waffles. Making French toast for a crowd can be a hassle. Instead, make a sweet breakfast casserole the night before to pop in the oven Easter morning. Add fresh, sweet-tart blueberries to celebrate spring. Rather than splurging on designer cupcakes, just pipe yellow marshmallow creme on mini cupcakes for a baby chick then decorate with sprinkles for the nose and cut up wafers to look like a hatching egg. For more recipes and tips, check out McCormick.com and visit McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest. Baby Chick Cupcakes Prep time: 30 minutes Servings: 24 Ingredients: 1 package (12 ounces) white confectionary coating wafers 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme 1 teaspoon Sunflower color from McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors 2 Tablespoons milk, plus additional (optional) 48 unfrosted mini yellow cupcakes, baked in white paper liners Sprinkles (optional) Additional McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors (optional) Method: To make broken egg shell pieces: melt coating wafers as directed on package. Spread on large foil-lined baking sheet to 1/4-inch thickness. Refrigerate about 10 minutes, or until firm. Break into small, irregular pieces. Set aside. In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, beating until well blended after each addition, frequently scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Beat in marshmallow creme until well blended. In small bowl, stir food color into milk until dissolved. Add colored milk to frosting; beat until light and fluffy. Stir in additional milk, as needed, to reach desired consistency. To decorate cupcakes: spoon frosting into large pastry bag fitted with large round tip. Pipe two dollops of frosting on top of each other to form baby chick. If desired, insert sprinkles into face for eyes and beak. Or tint any remaining frosting with food colors to pipe out eyes and beak. Place coating wafer pieces around bottom of baby chick to resemble broken egg shell. Overnight Lemon Blueberry Muffin Casserole Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Servings: 12 Ingredients for the Streusel Topping: 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup flour 2 teaspoons McCormick Cinnamon, Ground 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into chunks Ingredients for the Casserole: 6 eggs 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, milk, divided 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, granulated sugar, divided 1 teaspoon McCormick Cinnamon, Ground 1 loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes Nonstick cooking spray 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Lemon Extract 2 cups blueberries, divided Method to make Streusel Topping: In medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cover. Set aside until ready to assemble in the morning. To make Casserole: In large bowl, mix together eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon with wire whisk until well blended. Add bread cubes; toss gently to coat. Pour evenly into 13-by-9-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, remaining milk and sugar, and lemon extract until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup blueberries. Spread evenly on top of bread cubes. Top with remaining blueberries. Cover. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, heat oven to 350 F. Remove casserole from refrigerator. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Cut butter into Streusel Topping mixture with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

  • 7 Foodie Fun Facts for Super Bowl Sunday

    This article was updated on Jan. 27, 2024 Many Americans spend time watching the Super Bowl, even those who normally don’t watch football and other sports. In fact, in 2023, over 99 million people tuned in or attended in person. Super Bowl LVIII is coming up Sunday, February 11. The matchup will be between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. No matter which team you root for, you’ll enjoy these Foodie Fun Facts about this very popular pastime! Fun Fact #1 After Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is the second-highest eating day for Americans. The Hass Avocado Board predicts that we’ll consume about 100 million pounds of guacamole – and use 14,500 tons of corn chips to scoop it up. (See our fun recipe for BLT Guacamole.) Fun Fact #2 Nearly one in eight (13%) Americans order takeout or delivery food for the Super Bowl. The most popular choices are pizza (58%), chicken wings (50%), and subs/sandwiches (20%). (Instead of ordering out, why not make some Muffaletta Mini-Sandwiches? Not only are they tasty, but you can get a jump start on Mardi Gras, which is coming up fast on Tuesday, February 13.) Fun Fact #3 The average Super Bowl watcher consumes 1,200 calories. Potato chips are the top munchie and account for 27 billion calories and 1.8 billion fat grams, or 13,000 NFL offensive linemen at 300 pounds each. Fun Fact #4 According to the National Restaurant Association, pizza restaurants love Super Bowl Sunday – it’s their busiest day of the year, selling twice as many pies as any other day. (If you're looking for a slightly healthier option, you might like this recipe for Zucchini Stuffed Pizza Boats!) Fun Fact #5 You'll never believe this next one! 175 baby carrots = 5 oz. nacho cheese-flavored snack chips = 700 celery sticks... each has 700 calories. Watch out how many chips (or carrots or celery) you eat... you'd have to run the length of 123 football fields to burn off those calories. Fun Fact #6 According to 7-Eleven, sales of antacids increase by 20% on the day after Super Bowl. Fun Fact #7 About 2 million cases of beer are sold every year for Super Bowl weekend – which might explain why 6% of Americans call in sick for work the following Monday.

  • Grandma’s Cookbook: Red Cabbage Gratin and Halibut Olympia

    By Michele D. Baker Winter is the time for fresh fish, root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, and for cabbages of all kinds. These delicious recipes from Grandma's cookbook will help you make the most of these seasonal beauties. Red Cabbage Gratin Ingredients: ½ red cabbage (can use green if desired) Olive oil 6 oz. gruyere cheese 4 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese Salt and pepper 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 cup heavy cream or half and half 1-2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour Method: Wash and core the cabbage. Slice about half of the cabbage into thin wedges (1” at thick edge). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper. Arrange the cabbage slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove the cabbage slices to a 9” x 13” casserole dish well coated with butter. Sprinkle the cheeses over the cabbage. Mix the cream, spices and flour then pour over the cheese. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and melted. Serve hot. Roz Strang’s Halibut Olympia If halibut is not readily available, cod or any other firm, white fish can be substituted. Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped green peppers 2 lb. halibut Bread or panko crumbs Slivered almonds Method: Melt butter and stir in mayonnaise. Spread half of this mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle half the onion and green peppers over the mayonnaise mixture. Slice fish diagonally every ½”, cutting only about three-quarters of the way through the fish. Layer half the fish on top of the onions and peppers. Add a second layer of onions, peppers and fish. Top with the remaining mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Top with bread crumbs and almonds. Bake at 350 F for about 60 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the top is golden brown.

  • Mississippi Food Culture Spotlight: Philippines: Nora's Leche Flan

    By Nora Parikh and Nina Parikh Everyone’s favorite dessert on special occasions in our family is my Filipina mother Nora’s leche flan. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or any other time of celebration, we all look forward to topping off our meal with leche flan which translates to “milk custard.” The version made in the Philippines differs from the Spanish version because it includes more egg yolks, condensed milk, and it is steamed. Nora’s Leche Flan Ingredients for the caramel syrup: ½ cup sugar 2 Tablespoons water Ingredients for the custard: 10 egg yolks 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.) 14 oz. water (fill the empty sweetened condensed milk can) 1 teaspoon vanilla ¼ - ½ teaspoon lemon extract (optional) Method: First, make caramel syrup. In a 6-inch round metal pan (the one you will bake the flan in), slowly melt ½ cup white sugar with 2 Tablespoons water until it is completely melted and turns golden brown. Cook on the stove over low heat, stir to mix water and sugar initially, but after combined do not stir it anymore. Watch it closely so it does not burn. Keep an oven mitt nearby so you can move the pan around as needed to keep the sugar from burning. Set aside and let cool until hardened; you’ll hear it cracking. It should take about 15-20 minutes to cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine all remaining ingredients: egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, water, vanilla, and lemon extract. Mix with a whisk or with mixer until fully combined. Pour mix through a mesh strainer into the pan with the cooled and hardened syrup. It should almost fill the pan. Place the pan in a larger baking pan with sides. Add hot water to the larger pan to create a water bath to create steam while baking. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes until firm, similar to how gelatin might look when set. Cool for at least an hour. It can also be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve. When ready to serve, run a butter knife around the edge of the pan. Turn out onto a serving dish. The flan should easily release from the pan and the syrup will surround it.

  • Made in Mississippi: Farmers Hands Market: Healthy Eating Starts With Farmers 

    By Carol D. Andersen Healthy eating starts with the farmers, says Dr. Cindy Ayers Elliott, co-founder of the Farmers Hands Market, which recently opened near the Jackson Medical Mall to connect Mississippians with locally grown produce. The new farmers market was a collaboration between Elliott’s Foot Print Farms and the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation (JMMF), funded by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, to improve access to healthier foods in urban areas. It is now funded by TIME, Inc. (To Improve Mississippi Economics, Inc.). The market was established not only to provide consumers access to fresh, healthy foods, but also to supply a culinary kitchen that opened inside the mall last year. Elliott, a former Wall Street investment banker, came home to Mississippi after 9/11 to direct a nonprofit working on agricultural policy. “But I knew I couldn’t help farmers just by talking policy to them,” she says. “I needed to immerse myself in their world. For me, the questions were: What is lacking in my community, and how can I help?” So she founded the state’s largest urban growing operation, Foot Print Farms in 2010 on 68 acres of land in southwest Jackson. The farm operates as a worker cooperative, and through its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, offers customers a wide range of produce, from kale, carrots and onions to tropical crops like callaloo (a high-protein Caribbean green) and edible hibiscus, as well as livestock including cows and goats. Foot Print Farms’ mission encompasses a variety of outreach initiatives, such as educating younger generations about agriculture, enhancing community availability of nutritious foods, utilizing food to tackle health challenges like diabetes and heart disease, fostering entrepreneurial prospects for community members, and promoting deliberate environmental stewardship. Related: Double Up Food Bucks Gives SNAP Users $2 for Every $1 Spent on Fruit & Vegetables The new Farmers Hands Market and Culinary Kitchen are part of that outreach. The JMMF acquired the culinary kitchen three years ago but did not have a network with local farmers to supply the facility. “They reached out to Foot Print Farms to connect with farmers, and to help with the marketing needed,” says Elliott. “Foot Print Farms has worked diligently for the past 13 years to create partnerships with farmers throughout the state – as well as nationally and internationally.” Elliott and her team now partner with more than 200 farmers, providing the volume needed to operate the culinary kitchen. With Elliott’s connections, the culinary kitchen finally opened in December 2022 with Chef Sherron Day (“Chef She-She”) at the helm. Day is a self-taught culinary artist who has worked with Jackson celebrity chef Nick Wallace and created her own small business, Just In Thyme, LLC, during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating prepared meals for purchase using healthy, local ingredients. Elliott tapped Chef She-She to lead the culinary kitchen at the medical mall because she “doesn’t just talk – she does.” The mission of the culinary kitchen is to bridge the Farmers Hands Market with end-users: people who want to eat healthy, delicious food created with locally grown farm products. “It’s a farm-to-fork operation,” says Elliott. “It is also educational. Chef She-She doesn’t just show people how to cook, she is educating them about where the food comes from, how it’s grown, who is growing it, how to prepare and store the food and how to cook it in a variety of ways, including techniques for addressing health issues like diabetes or hypertension through diet.” The Farmers Hands Market is currently open every Friday and Saturday in the northwest corner of the Jackson Medical Mall campus, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In September, with the fall harvest season, the market will begin opening year-round, Elliott says. The Farmers Hands Culinary Kitchen is located inside the medical mall through the east retail entrance and is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. offering a variety of prepared vegetables, soups and salads (with optional meat add-ons), as well as fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Learn more at farmershandsmarkets.org.

  • What's Happening: Winter 2023

    This article first appeared in the December 2023/January 2024 edition of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI magazine. What’s Happening around Mississippi this winter? Well, a lot, actually! Here are just a few of the restaurants and food businesses that are new or recent: Robert St. John Opening 3 Restaurants in Jackson The Hattiesburg restaurateur is planning to open three restaurants in the Jackson area. The Clarion Ledger reported Robert St. John is planning to open two Ed’s Burger Joints, but the locations have not been finalized. (St. John currently owns the Ed’s Burger Joint in Hattiesburg.) The third restaurant in the Jackson area would be El Rayo, a Tex Mex restaurant. St. John closed the El Rayo in Hattiesburg to take the strain off of the kitchen, which also prepares meals at Crescent City Grill. Stay tuned for opening dates for the new restaurants. Buschman Street Café in Hattiesburg Hits the Spot Buschman Street Cafe is one of the newest restaurants to hit the downtown Hattiesburg scene. The eatery is located just steps from Train Depot in downtown Hattiesburg. A vintage vibe with a modern twist awaits you once you step inside. With a menu that encompasses everything from roasted chicken, to 14-ounce ribeyes, to osso bucco and lamb chops, to pan-seared scallops, dill-crusted salmon, and pan-crusted pompano, there’s something for everyone. A meal this fantastic deserves to end on a sweet note, so be sure to ask your server about dessert specials. Sunday brunch and a full bar are added perks! Visit www.BuschmanStreetCafe.com for a full menu and follow them on Facebook. West Point Filmmaker Michael Williams Opens Herbal Tea Business The Great Catsby Herb Cartel in West Point supplies quality and love-grown herbal teas, spices, and medicinal goods to aid in healing, growth, and overall balance. The seasonal herbs are hand grown and harvested in small batches in a small cottage garden containing veggies, flowering plants, and many rosemary bushes. Try Tooty Fruity Basil Tea, Cozy and Bold Immuni-Tea, Golden Shiso Allergy Relief Tea, Gouda Thyme Tea, Everything Basil Tea, Cali’s Anti Anxie-Tea, stevia leaf, Ripley’s Kickin’ Cayenne Seasoning, Ripley’s Mild Pepper Seasoning, Toasted Garlic and Herb Salt, and Sage Rosemary Seasoning Salt. Buy limited-edition teas and spices onsite in West Point or the medicinals online at catsyherbcartel.com. New Pura Juice Bar and Smoothies in D’Iberville This summer, a new franchise of Pura Juice Bar opened on Popps Ferry Road in D’Iberville. Touted as a cleansing and refreshing drink, each smoothie is hand-made from fresh ingredients and designed to push toxins out of the body. Choose from classic combos such as Dr. Double K (spinach, red apple, pear, celery, lemon), Beet It (red apple, beet, celery, carrot, ginger) or Fi’s Fave (red apple, green apple, pineapple and pear) or create your own combination from a delicious array of choices: banana, strawberry, kiwi, blueberry,  watermelon, lime, orange, kale, cucumber, beet, mint, cayenne, tumeric, basil, cacao powder. For an additional charge, add special ingredientslike ginseng, whey protein, chia seeds, multivitamins, or probiotics. Available by the glass or in half gallon jars. Find them on Facebook: Pura Juice Bar and Smoothies - D’Iberville.

  • Memories of Eating Well in Vicksburg

    This article first appeared in the December 2023/January 2024 issue of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI magazine. By Tina P. Dill Vicksburg sits high on a bluff overlooking the Mighty Mississippi River, richly steeped in civil war history, where antebellum homes still stand and monuments are around every corner. Growing up in Vicksburg surrounded by history, hardworking people and wonderful friends and family made a lasting impact on me. As is the case with many cities, food can often become a focal point for family time, hanging out with friends, meetings and a variety of other activities. Some of my favorite memories from my childhood are often linked with the unique culinary offerings that Vicksburg had and still has to offer. When I moved to Vicksburg as a six-year-old, I remember crossing the Mississippi River bridge for the first time, I remember the unique terrain and layout of the city and I remember spending time exploring the city with my dad, my mom and my sister. As memories often fade with time, my recollection of those early years in Vicksburg come in fleeting moments of time that I greedily snatch and commit to memory. One of my earliest memories is the old Battlefield Mall, which has now become an office building. At the mall was one of my dad’s favorite places to eat – Taco Casa. Taco Casa is an institution to anyone who grew up in Vicksburg. Their taco burgers, tostadas and enchiladas were always some of our favorites. Their chips and queso is my personal favorite and I swear they have the best sweet tea anywhere in the south. To this day, my stomach growls and my mouth waters when I drive by Taco Casa. Sitting on one of Vicksburg’s bluffs overlooking the river stood one of my favorite restaurants called Top of the River. I swear everything in that restaurant was fried and delicious. The fried catfish melted in your mouth, we always fought over the hush puppies, and I could eat fried pickles until my stomach was about to explode. Food was served in tin pie pans, drinks in mason jars and I can still smell the grease and fish when I close my eyes. When Top of the River closed, I am pretty sure I cried. I remember going with my dad to the Pizza Inn on East Clay Street for their pizza buffet. The all-you-can-eat pizza buffet was a child’s wonderland. I can still remember walking in to a mix of wonderful smells and the employees calling my dad by name. They knew his name and knew exactly what pizzas to throw in the oven when we walked through the door. As life moved on, my family changed dramatically as my parents divorced and remarried. In what seems like an instant, I was part of a blended family with five children instead of two. My mom and stepdad were working class, supporting five children and money was tight. Eating out became more infrequent and as I was getting older, I was spending more time with friends. I, however, cannot forget my mom’s tamale casserole which was actually more like a dip (see recipe at bottom). Fresh homemade tamales from The Tamale Place on Frontage Road are like no other and to this day all other tamales pale in comparison. We ate out on occasion as a family, but always for a special birthday, graduation, anniversary or other accomplishment. Bringing home KFC was a treat and when my grandparents visited, we would often eat at Ryan’s steakhouse or the Golden Corral buffet. I remember one particular birthday celebration at one of the newly opened casinos in town. This particular casino opened a restaurant as well which was an all you could eat buffet. My siblings and I were not yet old enough to gamble, so I remember being escorted through the casino as we made our way to the restaurant. When we walked into the restaurant I could not stop looking around in awe and wonder. Room after room after room of tables and buffets with every food you could imagine. The restaurant was like this winding maze with sights, sounds and smells all around. I remember thinking that it would take me hours just to decide what I wanted to sample. In one room I discovered a soft serve ice cream bar with every topping a person might want. I think we may have stayed there for two hours eating to our heart’s content. My best friend introduced me to another town favorite, Sun Koon Restaurant (sadly, no longer there). Walking in for the first time alerted my senses to new smells, sounds and sights. Everything I tasted was delicious, but my favorite quickly became the chicken fried rice. I still miss Sun Koon’s chicken fried rice today. Sun Koon became one of those places where I felt special and very grown up. The restaurant holds many memories for me including pre-prom dinner, birthday celebrations and fun times with my best friend. After high school graduation, I left for college in Starkville and eventually landed in Nashville as I started my own family and career. I go back to Vicksburg often and love to see how the culinary offerings have changed over the years. Every time I visit, we go to El Sombrero and I always see someone I know from high school. My mom’s favorite restaurant is 10 South Rooftop Bar and Grill. You can dine on some great cuisine while enjoying the best view in the city. My step-dad’s favorite restaurant is Billy’s Italian which stands right in the middle of the outlet mall. In fact, Billy’s has been one of the constants at the outlet mall while other establishments come and go. When coming back to Vicksburg to visit, I love showing my own children the city where I grew up. I love taking them downtown to explore, I love taking them shopping at the Levee Street Marketplace, I love teaching them about the town’s history and I love taking them all around the city to enjoy the vast dining options. I feel that we have come full circle in a way as my children have their favorite restaurants now as well. Of course they love Chick-fil-A and El Sombrero, but they have come to love Taco Casa just as I have. They love when we order pizza from Fox’s Pizza Den and they are always up to trying something new. I think their favorite meals, though, are when our family gathers at my mom and step-dad’s house and all cook a meal together. Spend time with family and friends, plan a meal with family and friends and explore with family and friends as often as you are able. For a city steeped in so much history, Vicksburg might surprise you with the vast culinary options. Whether you are driving through or visiting, take a moment to sample some of the many choices Vicksburg has to offer. I know you will not be disappointed. Mama’s Easy Tamale Dip Ingredients: 1 dozen tamales (such as from The Tamale Place or Tony's Tamales) 1 can of Wolf Brand chili - no beans 1 jar of chili queso - medium Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Place the tamales in the pan. Spread chili on top of tamales and then pour the queso on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

  • Supper Clubs: Eating Well & Savoring the Social

    This recipe first appeared in the December 2023/January 2024 issue of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI magazine. By Susan Marquez In my years as a young wife and mother, eating out at a restaurant was a special treat. It wasn’t something we did often – not that we didn’t want to – we simply didn’t have the budget for it. But the desire to have a night out to eat delicious food with friends was strong. When a friend called and asked if we would like to be in a supper club she was starting, my husband and I jumped at the chance. There were four other couples in the supper club, ten people total. It was an ideal number, as most of us had a dining room table that would seat six, and a breakfast room table that would seat four. We met once a month, and rotated houses. The months of July and December were “off” months, and we met up at a restaurant we all agreed upon. We didn’t always go to a restaurant. We once tailgated at a baseball game, and once we had a picnic at the Reservoir. One summer we all went in and rented a pontoon boat, and in December we rented a party bus to drive around town looking at Christmas lights while we ate gourmet box dinners from a local deli. The first couple of years, we split the work. The hostess would decide the theme, and others would bring assigned dishes to the dinner. That changed when one of the hostesses who was of Lebanese decent wanted to do an authentic Lebanese dinner. She felt more comfortable preparing the food the way her mother and grandmother taught her. At that dinner, we decided to have the host and hostess be responsible for the entire meal. The other guests simply had to show up and enjoy. Two times a year, for the next six years, we hosted ten friends for dinner in our home. It put a little pressure on us to do things we had put off, such as having the carpet and upholstery cleaned, finally buying drapes for the dining room, and filling out our china so that we would have ten place settings instead of mismatched dishes (although there is nothing wrong with that, if done creatively). Some dinners were pure crowd-pleasing comfort food, such as spaghetti and meatballs swimming in homemade sauce with fresh baked focaccia bread and tiramisu for dessert. Others challenged us to up our cooking skills by trying difficult or time-consuming recipes (Hey Julia Child, we loved your beef bourguignon and floating island dessert). Sure, there was the time the dinner was a complete failure, and the hostess ordered pizza to be delivered. It was delicious, and we still enjoyed a fun evening with friends. After almost a decade, the supper club fell apart. Two couples moved away, and one person developed severe food allergies. It had been fun, but it had run its course. Fast forward about 25 years, and my husband and I are in a new supper club. This time there are four couples. We are all empty-nesters, and some are retired. There is more experience among all of us, and our palates are probably a bit more refined than those early days. We have traveled and eaten food around the world. Most of the people in our group are daring home cooks who aren’t afraid to try something new. We have a few ground rules, mostly aimed at trying not to have rules. We meet monthly-ish, no pressure. We may skip a month, or two, if it’s not convenient for everyone. There are no food restrictions. Sure, we are older, and some of us have diabetes or other health issues. We just know to eat clean for a few days before supper club. We also don’t have to eat massive amounts of anything. We taste. We savor. We enjoy. One bite, or even three or four, is not going to kill us. And for goodness’ sake, drink the wine. We sometimes do themed dinners, but mostly it’s just a delicious meal, typically starting with appetizers and cocktails, followed by a salad, entrée, and dessert. One of the members loves cooking more than just about anything else, and she will regale the members with a seven-course dinner with wine pairings when supper club meets at her house. Sometimes tables are set with fine china, crystal and silver, other times we may eat gourmet hotdogs from children’s cafeteria plates. The first supper club my husband and I hosted for the group was a low country boil, with a huge platter of peel-and-eat shrimp in the middle of the table. Another gathering wasn’t supper at all. Instead, we hosted an elaborate brunch complete with a do-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar. Some supper clubs have a name. Ours does not. It’s just “the supper club.” It’s a mighty fine way to spend an evening around the table with friends, enjoying good food, and trying new things. The best part of being in a supper club isn’t the food – although that’s an important component – the best part is being with people who have similar interests, who have interesting experiences to share; people you enjoy spending time with. Some Supper Clubs in Mississippi: Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a meal in a group setting with no commitment other than the price you pay to participate. Pop-up supper clubs are becoming more popular than ever. There are a few outstanding ones in the state: Delta Supper Club – provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience with guest chefs, brew masters, sommeliers, and more. With the goal of preserving and celebrating the rich culture of the Mississippi Delta, the members-only club holds events throughout the year in culturally significant sites around the Delta. www.deltasupperclub.com Flora Supper Club – Chef David Raines, an internationally-acclaimed chef who has worked in Michelin star restaurants now makes his home in Flora. He owns the Flora Butcher Shop and Raines Cellars, but when he needs to flex his culinary muscles, he hosts an intimate multi-course dinner with wine pairings for a limited number of guests in a historic building on Flora’s main drag. Reservations made on a first-come-first-served basis. See The Flora Supper Club on Facebook. Dirty Napkins Supper Club – Kayland Partee believes the true symbol of a good meal is a dirty napkin. He has collaborated with a professional chef and a cigar sommelier to present a beautiful dining experience at a long communal table in The Plant, a repurposed building in Jackson. The venue is the ideal setting for pre-dinner cocktails before moving into the main room with a table that comfortably seats fifty people. Follow Dirty Napkins on Facebook and Instagram. Plenty – A seasonal supper series at the Little Blue Stem Flower Farm in Carthage. Held a few times each spring and fall on the porch of an old farmhouse, the dinner features seasonal, locally sourced fare prepared by George and Ann Elizabeth Gillespie of Supper Club Chef Services in Jackson. www.littlebluestemfarm.com

  • Till We Eat Again: Got Chicken?

    This article first appeared in the December 2023/January 2024 issue of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI magazine. By Jay Reed Twelve short years ago I wrote my very first “Till We Eat Again” column in this magazine. That issue was delivered at the same time of year (the hap-happiest season of all), and in it I talked about the unique mains my family eats for Christmas dinner: fried chicken and homemade ice cream. Sides vary. I won’t take the time to re-hash the whole scenario and backstory but suffice it to say that once we crossed that road with chicken in hand (now you know how it got to the other side), we have never wavered. In the early days, I was living under the assumption that everybody else had turkey and dressing on Christmas Day - more or less Thanksgiving 2.0. And a lot of people did. Still do. Since then I’ve learned that Christmas meals show a lot more diversity than I realized. Some folks are tired of turkey but not quite ready for ham.  I’ve heard more than one discussion about prime rib. Ditto tamales: they take a village to make, and the holiday season is when the village comes home. Some have steaks. It’s definitely easier to grill steaks outside when you can wear shorts on Christmas Day and that white you see is not snow, it’s the glare from my pale, sun-forsaken legs. Bottom line: customs of Christmas chow depend on families, cultures, location, and in our case, the fact that I got sick one Christmas morning and we couldn’t go to Granny’s house as planned. Plan B turned out to be fried chicken and from then on it has been Plan A. Until it wasn’t. Related Recipe: Whole Roasted Chicken Once marriage and in-laws came into the picture, plans changed. In our situation, I didn’t get the full chicken dinner on Christmas day if we were spending it with my wife’s family, but my mother would still call my in-laws and ask if they could arrange just one piece of fried bird (not turkey) for her eldest son. Then we moved overseas, and things got even more interesting. Perhaps the most interesting part of that story is how the script got flipped. We lived in Yemen for the better part of ten years, and for at least the first half of our time there turkeys were almost impossible to come by. No turkeys for Thanksgiving, no turkeys for Christmas.  Lots of little frozen chickens from France were in the grocery stores, so we had make-believe turkeys. (Maybe Santa’s elves were involved?) Also, there were no bags of self-rising corn meal to make the cornbread that would metamorphose into dressing. But it was easy enough to find a place to get corn ground into meal - just look for the dude covered in flour. With a little experimentation and enough expatriated Southern ladies guiding the work of the man in white, we could get it ground to a size Martha White would approve of. Beyond that, all the other sides were a bonus. We couldn’t get pork, so if we wanted bacon-wrapped green bean bundles (and we did), we had to think ahead and bring the pre-cooked, no-refrigeration-required bacon strips back from the USA in our suitcases. Corn casserole (aka souffle’ or pudding) was doable if you brought a Jiffy corn muffin mix back in that same suitcase. We also got to experience holiday foods from other countries thanks to our friendships with expatriates from around the world. I was not food-savvy enough back then to record what we ate and to ask a lot of questions about ingredients, whether it was an international dish or a local plate, and that drives me crazy with regret. But I do remember holiday potlucks that included Filipino, Russian, Indian, and Dutch dishes. Sometimes even British and Texan. Yes, I did get my fried chicken most of the time; that’s the B side of the aforementioned flip, and the B stands for “broast.” That’s what they called fried chicken in Yemen. I have no idea how that term developed linguistically. It was not braised, nor was it roasted - it was most definitely fried. And unless the broast place was closed for some reason on the day Christmas fell, I usually found a way to procure at least a drumstick.  And when Mama called, I could tell her I had kept up the tradition.

  • Foodie Finds for the Holiday Season

    By Evangeline Davis This article first appeared in the December 2023/January 2024 issue of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI magazine. The holidays are here, which means lots of great foodie finds for the holidays are flooding the marketplace! We've collected some of our favorites for your consideration: Hale Holiday Gift Collection, $39.99 This fruit and snack variety box is a customer favorite and a can’t-miss gift. Treat loved ones to Hale’s premium seedless grove navel oranges and easy-peel honey-sweet tangerines for a healthy snack that tastes indulgent. satisfy your salt and crunch cravings with our deluxe mixed nuts and fruit and nut snack. For something even sweeter, we’ve added foil-wrapped chocolates. Find them at HaleGroves.com. Eat What You Watch Cookbook, $25 It’s quiz time, movie buffs. Take movie night to the next level with this one-of-a-kind cookbook that lets you eat what you watch. It has 41 recipes for dishes seen on the big screen, such as blueberry pie from the film “Stand By Me,” hazelnut gelato from “Roman Holiday,” and double-decker New York style pizza inspired by “Saturday Night Fever.” It makes a delightfully unexpected gift for movie lovers and foodies alike. Give the gift of movies at Uncommongoods.com. e-Wine Class from the San Francisco Wine School, $100 and up Wine education is the gift that lasts a lifetime! From “Intro to French Wines” to “California Wines 101” to “Beer and Sake” to “Spirits” to “Coffees and Teas of the World,” the San Francisco Wine School e-Gift Cards are the perfect choice for the food & wine enthusiast in your life. Even for experienced wine professionals, the gift of continued learning will still inspire them. (Don’t see the amount you want? Email help@sfwineschool.com for custom orders.) www.SanFranciscoWineSchool.com “Pasta with the Grandmas” Class, $32 per person Even if you’re not on vacation in Italy today, you can still experience what Italy has to offer — pasta! In this 90-minute online class taught by “Nonna” herself, pick a day (each day of the week follows a different pasta recipe), round up the ingredients, and follow along. You’ll cook pasta from scratch, and Grandma will share her culinary secrets and the traditional authentic pasta technique. (She’ll also tell stories and get you involved in her community!) Find out more at Airbnb.com/experiences

  • Mississippi Food Culture Spotlight: Jewish Noodle Kugel

    This article was originally published in the December 2023/January 2024 issue of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI. This recipe and image are respectfully sourced from and courtesy of Jenn Segal, Once Upon a Chef (onceuponachef.com) See Jenn's recipe here. Noodle kugel is a traditional Jewish holiday dish of egg noodles baked in a sweet or savory custard. Although made with noodles, this sweet recipe is really more like a dessert. Ingredients for the streusel topping: 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 1-¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon salt 1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch chunks Ingredients for the kugel: 12 oz. bag wide egg noodles 4 large eggs 8 oz. sour cream 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 2 cups half & half ½ cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon Method: Combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture has a clumpy, crumbly texture. Refrigerate until ready to use. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil. Cook the noodles for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Drain well. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sour cream and cream cheese and whisk to combine. Add the half & half, sugar, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon, and whisk until completely smooth. Spread the cooked noodles evenly in the prepared baking dish. Pour the custard mixture over top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top, making sure to cover all the noodles. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes more, or until the streusel topping is crisp. Cool for about 20 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.

  • Tangy and Sweet: Jezebel Sauce Finishes Any Meal 

    This article first appeared in the December 2023/January 2024 issue of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI magazine. By Susan Marquez The origin of jezebel sauce is difficult to pin down. The traditional sauce, typically made during the holiday season, most likely originated in the deep South, and most probably from the Gulf Coast area. The tangy-sweet sauce has several interpretations. Just look it up on Pinterest and there are dozens, if not more, recipes (including this version from Southern Living). While the ingredients vary from recipe to recipe, the main ingredients remain the same: assorted fruits, jellies, mustard, horseradish, cayenne and black pepper. The combination of the sweet fruit with the savory mustard, horseradish and pepper hits the tastebuds just right. It’s hard to take a taste and not want more. While no one knows for sure, it is a good guess that the tart sauce was named after Jezebel, wife of King Ahab of Israel. Jezebel has the reputation of being the bad girl of the Bible. Her reputation has surely softened over time, with the introduction of the tasty sauce that bears her name. Evelyn Roughton’s company, Taste of Gourmet, has been selling Jezebel Sauce as one of their products since 1989. The company has a full line of gourmet products made in Indianola, Mississippi. Jezebel Sauce is a best seller. “It always has been,” says Roughton. “We had been in business for a few months and needed to expand our product line. Jezebel Sauce was a natural addition, and it was successful from the first introduction of the product. People love it.” Roughton thought it would be a seasonal holiday product, but people buy it year ‘round. “We can hardly make enough to meet the demand.” Roughton says the recipe was her grandmother’s and mother’s. “When I was growing up, they made big batches of it in late October to last throughout the holidays. They put it up in quart jars, and when it was gone, that was it until the next year.” Because she loved it so much, Roughton says she began making the sauce year-round and keeping it on hand in her refrigerator. “It’s the perfect party food,” she says. “Just pop a block of cream cheese onto a platter and cover it with Jezebel Sauce. I like to serve it with Ritz crackers. (see recipes below) It’s the one thing on the buffet that will be gone at the end of the party. People love it.” Not just for parties, Roughton says she uses the sauce all the time. The Taste of Gourmet’s Jezebel Sauce is made with apricots, peaches and apples combined with horseradish and mustard. “It’s a finishing sauce,” says Roughton. “It’s a perfect addition to a ham or turkey sandwich, or even on a hamburger. I love to pan-fry catfish then rub the fish with Jezebel Sauce before I eat it. It enhances pork tenderloin or pork chops, and it’s also delicious on chicken. I even use it as a dip – it’s wonderful with shrimp. Jezebel is just a fabulous finishing sauce to drizzle over a simple broiled chicken breast or catfish fillet.  It’s delicious as a dipping sauce for po-boy sandwiches too.” The Jezebel Sauce is a signature ingredient on the Royal Beef sandwich at The Crown Restaurant in Indianola, where many of the Taste of Gourmet products are both tested and tasted. “When we were sampling the Jezebel Sauce at The Crown or food shows my husband Tony loved when people asked why we called it Jezebel Sauce,” recalls Roughton. “He would say it was named for that sweet hot woman in the Bible.” Not just for ladies’ book clubs and bridal showers, men love Jezabel Sauce as well. It has become a staple at tailgate parties around the state as well as for football parties at home. “While Ritz is my cracker of choice for Jezebel Sauce on cream cheese,” says Roughton, “I also think a good bread, toasted and cut into slices, is great.” Taste of Gourmet’s Jezebel Sauce can be purchased in gourmet shops around the state or ordered from the company’s website. A nine-ounce jar sells for $10.99. Jezebel’s Delight Ingredients: 12 oz. cream cheese, softened 4 oz. butter (1/2 stick), softened 1/2 cup sour cream 1/2 cup Jezebel Sauce 1 envelope gelatin 1/4 cup cold water 1/2 cup golden raisins 1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds Method: Mix cream cheese, butter and sour cream in a mixer. Add Jezebel Sauce and mix well. Soften gelatin in the 1/4 cup of water and then dissolve the gelatin by holding it over very hot water. Add the gelatin to the cheese mixture and stir. Then add raisins and almonds. Put into a mold that has been very lightly oiled and refrigerate. Jezebel’s Delight will freeze perfectly, so double it and be ready for two parties! Serve with crackers. Ham Bites Dipped in Jezebel Sauce and Sesame Seeds Ingredients: 1 jar of Jezebel Sauce 1 cup of sesame seeds, toasted bite size pieces of ham (or very lean cooked roast pork) toothpicks Method: Cut the ham into small pieces and put each onto a toothpick. Spread the sesame seeds on a baking pan and toast in a 300-degree oven for about 15 minutes. (You can keep the toasted sesame seeds tightly covered for months.) The day of the party, dip the end of each piece of ham into the Jezebel Sauce and then immediately into the toasted sesame seeds. Set the bites onto a serving platter that has been lightly sprinkled with sesame seeds and cover until ready to serve. Jezebel’s Potato Salad Ingredients: 16 to 20 small new red potatoes 1 teaspoon salt 1 jar Jezebel Sauce 6 green onions, chopped Method: Place the clean new potatoes in a pot of water deep enough to cover the potatoes. (Do not peel the potatoes.) Add the salt. Bring the water to a boil and let it continue to boil for about 5 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and let the potatoes cool in the water. Drain the potatoes and let them dry before placing them in a bowl. Add the green onions and half of the Jezebel Sauce. Toss the salad gently to lightly coat the potatoes. Taste a bit and add more Jezebel if desired. Make a day ahead and refrigerate. Jezebel’d Eggs Ingredients: 10 hard-boiled eggs, shelled 1/4 cup mayonnaise 3 Tablespoons Jezebel Sauce 1/4 tsp. Sassy Seasoning Salt (optional) or table salt Method: Cut eggs in half - lengthwise. Remove yolks and mix with remaining ingredients. Fill egg white halves and refrigerate until 1/2 hour before serving Garnish with a tiny bit of Sassy Seasoning Salt (or paprika)

  • Baking Up a Mississippi Christmas: A Tour from Jackson to Oxford

    This article first appeared in the December 2023/January 2024 issue of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI magazine. By Kathy K. Martin Twas way before the night before Christmas and we already have visions of sugar cookies and frosted cakes dancing in our heads. Many bakeries around the state feature their finest holiday creations to add to our decadent dessert table. These bakers also share a few suggestions to help make baking at home the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas Baking: Campbell's Bakery, Jackson Campbell’s Bakery, the iconic bakery in Jackson, greets every Christmas with their famous Southern tea cakes and holiday decorated petit fours. Owned by Damien Cavicchi and Mary Sanders Ferriss Cavicchi, this husband-and-wife duo remains true to the original recipes and its owner, Louis Campbell. He was an Army veteran who opened the bakery in 1962 on North State Street, where it still stands today. “We feel that we’re involved in something meaningful from someone’s everyday need to satisfy a craving to their celebration of a special occasion that spans generations of customers,” says Damien Cavicchi, who is also chef/owner of Hal & Mal’s music venue and restaurant in Jackson. He describes their traditional Southern tea cake as a cross between a cookie and a cake with the appearance and taste of a sugar cookie flavored with almond extract. “Our classic tea cakes are usually cut in the shape of the state of Mississippi and covered in icing, and like so many Southern things, it’s very sweet.” Their tea cakes are still so popular that the bakery offers nationwide shipping. “We’ve had a lot of requests, especially from people who have moved away and have roots in Jackson.” The bakery also offers ice cream and one flavor, of course, has crumbled tea cakes in it. While staying true to its heritage, Campbell’s also seeks to be relative to today’s new tastes with more diversity in their products. The bakery still creates custom cakes, but also has cakes ready to go for last-minute shoppers. In addition to a variety of Christmas sugar cookies, cookie-decorating kits (including cookies for Santa accompanied by a milk bottle, reindeer food, and a coloring sheet), chess squares, caramel blondies, and cheesecakes, he says that they have deep-dived into all the recipes to maintain the best flavors. One of his favorite cookies is the kitchen sink chocolate chip cookie, which features chopped pretzels and potato chips in a classic chocolate chip cookie. Some of their seasonal offerings include a variety of pies, a toffee apple cake bar, and a pumpkin cheesecake that is texturally lighter than the traditionally rich cheesecake. Related Recipe: Praline Pecan Pumpkin Crunch Cake Cavicchi begins the baking preparations at his home by asking for suggestions from family. “My youngest son especially wants a say in what I make.” As a chef, he also likes to take traditional recipes and put new twists on it with aromatic spices and other interesting flavors, as well as textures to give desserts extra crunch. For instance, he likes to make the Southern classic pineapple casserole because of its simplicity, but he can make his own interpretation with different cheeses and crushed crackers. He also creates a time line for their holiday baking, which begins two days prior with recipe planning and shopping to remain organized. He makes desserts the day before and preps and measures ingredients before he begins. “Everyone always ends up in the kitchen, so I don’t want to be unorganized or rushed. Better to enjoy it all and not be stressed.” During the holiday season when many people stop by a local wine shop on the way to a holiday gathering, Cavicchi hopes they consider stopping by the bakery to bring sweet treats that are beautiful enough to put on fine china at the party. Christmas Baking: R & R Cookies, Oxford Jessica Franks, owner of R & R Cookies in Oxford, is known for her shaped sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. She also offers decorated cakes, cookie cakes, petite fors, and cookie decorating kits. “I’m 100% self-taught and offer hundreds of different shapes of cookies and about 20 different flavors of cookies from chocolate and vanilla to lemon, strawberry or king cake.” She also makes her own cookie cutters with her 3D printer. Over six years ago, Franks and her son, Noah, were recovering at home after being injured. “I started testing my baking skills while I healed,” Franks says about watching many online videos of cookie decorating. Practicing became the best therapy for her arm to heal. The name for her business came from that at-home “rest and relax,” as well as from one of her favorite Bible verses, Matthew 11:28, which says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Her home business grew into a storefront in 2017, which she describes as family-friendly and family-owned and operated. While her son and husband, Chad, moved on to different careers, she and her daughter, Sarah Garrett, now operate the business daily. Their main cookie recipe is a sugar cookie, but without the almond flavoring. She and her daughter also offer other types of cookies, as well as pound cakes, dessert poke cakes, cupcakes, and even cake shooters, which are individual cake servings with icing. For Christmas, R & R creates cookies in the shape of wrapped presents, personalized elves, snowman faces, stockings, reindeer heads, gingerbread men, and more. Their cookie-decorating kits are always a hit, she says, with groups like Ole Miss sororities who want to have a holiday activity to do together. Their motto is to rest, relax, and eat more cookies, she says. As for baking at home, Franks suggests planning ahead and doublechecking recipes to make sure you have all the ingredients before beginning the baking process. “You must plan since it takes about three days to complete cookies.” The dough should chill overnight, and the next two days allow for the base frosting to dry before decorating the top. In order to develop the correct consistency of royal icing, she suggests practicing often until you get it right and watching tutorial videos like she did to discover what works best for you. “I practiced so much that now my daughter and I could make icing in our sleep.” For her family’s Christmas celebration at home, Franks usually makes a sweet cinnamon monkey bread (recipe below). She said her mother-in-law also makes a chocolate chip pound cake. Since three family members have December birthdays, they also have a joint birthday celebration with three different kinds of cake during the week of Christmas. May your Christmas be merry and bright – and extra sweet – as you bake (and buy) treats to celebrate. Holiday Baking Tips From Taste of Home Use an ironing board as an oversized cooling rack. Just remove the cover and cool your cookies and cakes while saving precious counter space for prep work. Soften butter quickly by cutting the cold butter into small cubes and letting it sit about 15 minutes. Use a lazy Susan when decorating Christmas cookies. Place the supplies on the lazy Susan to keep everything within reach and to maintain the mess in one place, which is helpful if this is a group project. Make your cookies ahead of time and freeze them. Stack and arrange them in plastic storage containers with layers of parchment paper between cookie layers. You can always refresh them in a low oven (300 to 325 degrees) for a few minutes after they thaw. Use food coloring pens for easy decorating. Use corn syrup to get sprinkles to stay in place. Keep cookies soft by storing with a slice of bread in the container. It will give the cookies the moisture they need. When baking, it’s important to use room temperature ingredients. If you forget to take the eggs out of the refrigerator in time, just place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. Use aluminum foil to keep pie crust from burning. Sometimes crust bakes more quickly than their fillings. To prevent the crust from over-browning or burning while the filling cooks, cover the crust with foil to make a shield for it. Repurpose cookie cutter shapes. Think outside the box with your cutouts. Many shapes can be repurposed to make seasonal designs. Stars can become Santas and diamonds can become elves. Coffee Cake/Monkey Bread From Jessica Franks, R & R Cookies Ingredients: ½ cup butter 2 Tablespoons water 1 cup brown sugar 2 to 3 cans of refrigerated biscuits Melt the butter in a saucepan with the brown sugar and water. Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray and tear biscuits into small bite-size pieces. Once the sauce is melted, pour it over the biscuits. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes. Forgotten Cookies This old family recipe is a cross between a Soldiers Kiss and a meringue cookie. From Betty Jennings, mother-in-law of writer Kathy K. Martin Ingredients: 2 egg whites 2/3 cup sugar 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips Red and green sprinkles (optional) Method: Preheat the oven to 350F. Beat egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in the chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Top with red and green sprinkles. Place in preheated oven. Immediately turn off the oven and don’t peek. Leave in the oven overnight, as if you have “forgotten” them.

  • Mississippi Food Culture Spotlight: Philippines: Chicken Adobo

    By Maria Krohn My mom made chicken adobo for me and my siblings in the Philippines, but she used pork belly instead of chicken (chicken or pork are both delicious). Now that I’m married, I make it for my own children so they can know their heritage from both sides. They love it and ask for it on a regular basis. Ingredients: 2 lbs. chicken 8 Tablespoons soy sauce 5 cloves garlic (chopped) 3 Tablespoons cooking oil 1-1/2 cups water 3 bay leaves 1 teaspoon peppercorns 1/4 teaspoon salt 4 Tablespoons white vinegar Method: Cut up the chicken into small pieces. Combine chicken, soy sauce, and garlic in large bowl. Marinate chicken for at least an hour. Heat cooking pot. Pour in cooking oil. When the pan is hot, pan fry the marinated chicken for 2 minutes on each side or until browned a little. Pour in the remaining marinade. Add water and bring it to a boil. Add bay leaves and peppercorns. Simmer for 30 minutes or the chicken is tender. Add vinegar and salt and stir and cook it for 10 minutes. Serve hot with jasmine rice.

  • Mississippi Food Culture Spotlight: China: Classic Fried Rice

    by Dennis Seid This classic Chinese recipe is one of my favorites. A caveat: these are approximate measurements! Like many cooks, I do a dash here, a pinch there and adjust on the fly. For practical purposes, you have the basic outline for the recipe, and feel free to improvise. Also, a wok works best with the fried rice, but a large skillet will work, too. Ingredients: 2 cups rice 3 large eggs Green onions 1/2 onion, diced 6-8 oz. Chinese roast pork (or cooked chicken, beef, ham) 4-6 oz. shrimp Cooking oil (vegetable, canola or peanut, NOT olive oil) Light soy sauce (optional) Salt and white pepper Crushed garlic Method: Rinse the rice three to four times in water (put about an inch of water above the rice), pouring out the starchy water after each rinse. Cook the rice either on the stovetop or in a rice steamer. After cooking, refrigerate overnight. Chop two green onion stalks into small-medium size pieces. Separate white from green parts. Dice up proteins into small cube-sized pieces. Cut the shrimp into halves or thirds depending on size. Crack and beat eggs in a bowl. Add a touch of salt, but not too much. Heat wok, add a little oil and scramble eggs for 20-30 seconds. They don't have to be thoroughly done as they'll go back into the heat later. Set eggs aside and wipe down wok. Heat wok with oil, add one teaspoon (or as much as you want) crushed garlic and the onion and cook until translucent. Add meat, then slowly add in rice, being sure to break up the clumps of rice. Constantly stir so as not to burn the proteins and/or rice. Add about 1 Tablespoons of light soy sauce (optional) or salt (sea or kosher) and white pepper to taste. Add eggs back into the rice mixture, continue stirring. Once thoroughly cooked, add green onions, stir, take off heat and serve. Top with fresh green onion if desired.

  • From the Bookshelf: "The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook"

    From the Bookshelf: “The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook,” by Regula Ysewijn “Christmas would be nothing without its food, of course, and indeed its drink. Flemish food writer and culinary historian Regula Ysewijn has brought to life not only the dishes of the Downton era, but also some of the magnificent edible delights of earlier centuries. It is a brilliantly researched book full of tasty treats. I do hope you enjoy it.” – Julian Fellowes For devotees of the series (and for those who just love holiday cooking), “The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook” is a delight from cover to cover, chock full of full-page photos which bring the beloved show to vibrant life. Sprinkled throughout with quotes and stills from the TV series, it’s almost as if Mrs. Patmore and her sidekick Daisy are in your kitchen walking you through the festive recipes. The first part of the book sets the stage: Edwardian traditions such as the Christmas tree and decorations, the exchange of Christmas gifts, entertainment including Christmas crackers and singing carols, and of course, the special foods and drinks enjoyed during the holiday season. A “kitchen notes” section translates for modern readers the ingredients that were once common in kitchens of 100 years ago. The ingredient guidelines allow modern cooks to be successful when adapting recipes originating from a time when eggs were brought in from the henhouse each morning and the milk was still warm from the cow! The gorgeously photographed recipes section is divided into chapters including soups; fish and shellfish; meat, game and roasts; meat pies and savory puddings; sides and vegetables; sauces; savories; desserts and sweets; and the all-important drinks chapter. Ingredient amounts are given in both imperial and metric quantities to make this a truly international cookbook. Just a few of the over 70 recipes include pheasant soup and oxtail consommé; roast beef, goose or turkey; jugged hare with prunes; Yorkshire pudding; tomatoes à la Bruxelles; apple and celery salad, orange salad with kirsch and curaçao, and roasted parsnips; parmesan biscuits and macaroni and cheese tartlets; mince pies, apple pie, gingerbread biscuits, trifle, and Epiphany tart; and mulled wine, wassail, and “Smoking Bishop,” a popular Victorian Christmastime mulled punch which famously appears at the end of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Ysewijn has also included fascinating and useful essays throughout the text to explain the cultural context or history behind the various dishes. The passage on “How to host a Downton Christmas” details creating decorations from evergreens, pine cones and holly berries; creating a festive menu; and setting a splendid table. “Boxing Day” explains the history of the holiday and how the English upper classes saw it as yet another day to enjoy themselves. Readers can also learn more about Christmas desserts (“On Plum Pudding,” and “A Downton Christmas Cake,”) or gain practical information such as how to choose a bird using the “Downton Turkey Checklist” and how to fashion “DIY Christmas Crackers.” Available from most booksellers online, the cookbook can also be purchased in a boxed set with a companion volume, “The Downton Abbey Cookbook.” For even more Downton Abbey cookery, try The Official Downton Abbey Night and Day Cookbook Collection, which contains “The Official Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook” and “The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Cookbook.”

  • From the Editor: A New Year and a New Start for eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI magazine

    By Michele D. Baker Hello, Friends – Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I am excited to share news of a change to eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI magazine was launched in December 2011 when one of our own Mississippi newspaper editors saw a need to shine a light on something that makes Mississippi special... our food culture. She foraged the state to bring us the best Mississippi has to offer in terms of food, talent and local businesses. The magazine changed hands in 2020, and I joined the magazine as editor in 2022. I am pleased to share that I have purchased the magazine and will be taking it over on January 1, 2024. This is the beginning of an exciting change which will bring it back home to Mississippi and allow it to evolve into something different, but nonetheless wonderful. Some of the details are still being worked out, but the emphasis will remain the same – focusing on the food, people, and restaurants that makes Mississippi special. I intend to create a writing collaborative among Mississippi food, wine and travel writers. This expanded EDM team has a long list of ideas on the drawing board and we will be sharing some of these ideas and changes in the coming months. What will remain are the weekly e-newsletters featuring recipes and stories. We are also committed to revamping and expanding the recipe section. EDM will still feature heritage recipes, beautiful photography, and informative blog posts. Following along with the idea of making EDM a more cooperative venture, in the future, you can expect to see articles from new writers, including videos and interactive content. There will also be opportunities for readers to have their essays, recipes, and photos posted on the website, and we are exploring partnerships with foodie-friendly groups to promote products we think are worthwhile. We are also planning to do much more with our social media! Finally, EDM will also conduct regular surveys and reader polls to get your input – this collaboration includes you, too! We hope you will take the time to add your recipes, share your voice, and help us shape the future of this storied and important magazine. With your support, help, and a bit of love, we can all take EDM into the future together! Happy Holidays and a bright and blessed New Year, Michele D. Baker Editor, eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

  • Mississippi Food Culture Spotlight: Classic English Christmas Pudding

    By Carol D. Andersen This recipe is a classic English steamed “Christmas pudding” – what Americans would call “dessert” – usually with a soft texture like custard. While “pudding” can be steamed, baked, or boiled, it is almost always a homely or rustic dish, while the English consider a “dessert” a lighter and more sophisticated offering such as chocolate mousse. Feel free to change up the fruit to your favorites and/or add nuts in place of some of the fruit. The whiskey adds a lovely flavor, but substitute rum if you prefer, or omit altogether. I make it for holidays or whenever my English husband Tony is feeling homesick for his native London. Ingredients: 2 cups shredded suet (or Crisco) 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2-1/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg small can crushed pineapple, drained 4 eggs, beaten zest and juice of 1 lemon 1-1/2 cups golden syrup (recipe at bottom), warmed* 2-3 Tablespoons rum or whiskey (optional) a little milk 2-2/3 cups raisins** 2-2/3 cups currants 2-2/3 cups sultanas or golden raisins 8 oz. candied mixed peel Method: Combine the suet, flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, nutmeg and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Stir in the crushed pineapple, beaten eggs, lemon zest and juice and mix well. Add syrup and whiskey and mix thoroughly. Add a splash of milk and mix again. Add in all the fruit - mix well to combine. Put into a greased 4 cup (1 liter) pudding basin (see note at bottom), seal with a double thickness of aluminum foil, and tie with a string to make a handle. Steam in a pudding steamer for 6 hours. Turn out onto a serving dish. Serve warm with freshly whipped cream or crème Anglaise. *Golden syrup is also called "light treacle." If you cannot find it, you may substitute maple syrup, honey, dark or light corn syrup in this recipe. Or, see the recipe below for a simple 3-ingredient recipe for golden syrup will will keep at room temperature for months. **Raisins, sultanas (also called golden raisins) and currants are three different varieties of dried grapes. Don’t have a pudding basin? Use a Pyrex bowl or any deep glass or ceramic bowl with a lip. Don't have a pudding steamer? You can also improvise a steamer. Take a large pot (such as a spaghetti cooking pot) and put a metal trivet or heatproof plate in the bottom so the pudding basin won’t touch the bottom. Fill the pot partway with water. Using the string handle, gently lower the pudding basin in the water to rest on the trivet; the water should reach about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up the bowl. Put on the lid. Over medium heat, bring the water to a gentle simmer. Cook according to the recipe. Check frequently and as necessary, add more boiling water to keep the water level high enough to replace what has evaporated. NOTE this should be a gentle simmer, not a full rolling boil, to steam the pudding (not boil it). Once the pudding is done, lift out of the hot water using the string or heatproof oven mitts. Easy 3-Ingredient Golden Syrup Ingredients: 1-1/4 cups water 4 cups sugar 2 Tablespoons lemon juice Method: Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and stir to combine. Bring it to a boil, stirring regularly to prevent burning until the sugar is dissolved. Stir very gently to prevent sugar water from splashing up the sides of the saucepan. Once boiling, gently stir in the lemon juice. Reduce the heat to a very low and gentle simmer and leave the saucepan uncovered. DO NOT STIR the syrup again. Let it simmer on very low for 40-60 minutes or longer until the syrup is a rich amber color. If you’re using a thermometer, the temperature should be about 240-250 degrees F. Be patient – the rich, caramelly and buttery flavors develop over time. (Note: If your syrup is too thick and stiff you can reheat it, adding a little bit of water. If your syrup is too runny then you need to let the syrup caramelize longer.) Turn off the heat, let it sit for a few minutes, then pour the hot syrup into a glass jar and let it cool completely before storing at room temperature in a jar with tight sealing lid. Golden syrup can be substituted for any liquid sweetener, especially in recipes that calls for light or dark corn syrup. With its deep caramelly, buttery notes, try it in your next pecan pie for a whole new flavor sensation!

  • Mississippi Food Culture Spotlight: Gambia: Benachin

    Recipe and images by Lingerie Sock-Camara, owner of Mrs. L’s Kitchen Benachin (also known as Jollof rice) originates from the Senegambian regions of West Africa, commonly Senegal and Gambia. The name “bena-chin” means “one pot,” which is how the dish is prepared, making it one of the easiest and most delicious dishes in West Africa. Benachin is also very similar to the red rice of Georgia and South Carolina, dating back to when west African slaves brought their native dishes with them (Benachin being one of many). One of the reasons Benachin is so popular in West Africa is its versatility. The dish can be made with beef, chicken, fish - or any protein, really - and almost any vegetable. It can be cooked with or without the tomato paste that gives it its red color. Either way, the dish is delicious. In the Gambia, Benachin is usually prepared on special occasions -- such as Kwanzaa -- or for a special guest because of the time and patience it requires. It is best enjoyed when everyone sits together and eats from the same plate. Benachin with Beef and Vegetables Ingredients: 2/3 cup vegetable oil 1 pound beef, cut into bite size pieces 1/2 yellow onion, diced 1/2 green pepper, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced 3 cups water 2 Tablespoons tomato paste (optional) 2 Roma tomatoes, diced salt and pepper red pepper flakes to taste 2 cups rice, washed Baby carrots Whole okra 1/2 cabbage, cut into wedges Lime (optional) Method: In a large deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add beef, season with salt and pepper and cook until brown. Remove and set aside. Add chopped onions, bell pepper, minced garlic and tomato paste, stirring until onions are cooked down and mixture becomes a paste-like consistency. Keep stirring pot to prevent burning, about 10-15 minutes. (The longer you stir, the richer the flavor; be patient!) Add diced tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir for 5 minutes. Add water, seared beef, carrots, okra, cabbage and bring to a boil. Partially cover with lid and allow vegetables to cook. Once vegetables are tender, remove everything except the beef and set aside. Adjust seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Add washed rice, stirring until totally coated in broth. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and put on the lid. Cook 10 minutes. Stir again and replace the cover, cooking until the rice has absorbed the liquid, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Squeeze in half a lime for extra flavor (optional). Spoon onto serving dish and garnish with cooked vegetables. NOTE: for a more authentic taste, blend a bundle of parsley, half a green pepper, three garlic cloves, a small piece of ginger root, the juice of half a lime, one Tablespoon of Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and add in step #5. As described in the introduction, you can substitute any vegetables you want.

  • Mississippi Food Culture Spotlight: A Hanukkah Treat: Sufganiyot

    This article was originally published in the December 2023/January 2024 issue of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI. This recipe and image are respectfully sourced from and courtesy of Jenn Segal, Once Upon a Chef (onceuponachef.com) See Jenn's recipe here. A cross between a beignet and a jelly donut, sufganiyot are pillowy donuts eaten around the world during Hanukkah, when foods fried in oil symbolize the miracle of oil that burned for eight days instead of one in the Hanukkah story. Sufganiyot are traditionally filled with jelly or jam, but if your crew doesn’t care for jelly in their donuts, the filling options are limitless: vanilla custard, Nutella, pudding, pumpkin butter, apple butter, or dulce de leche are all great options. Sufganiyot are also delicious plain. Ingredients: 1 cup warm water, heated to about 110°F 1 Tablespoon instant/rapid-rise or active dry yeast (note that this is more than 1 packet) 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for coating ¾ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 large egg yolks 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, plus about 2 quarts more for frying 1 teaspoon vanilla extract About 1 cup jam or jelly, optional Method: Combine the warm water and yeast in a small bowl and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine and set aside. Add the egg yolks, 2 Tablespoons of oil, and vanilla to the water/yeast mixture and whisk with a fork until combined. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir with rubber spatula until the dough comes together. It should be a bit sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise on the countertop until doubled in size, 1-2 hours. Generously dust a clean countertop and your hands with flour. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and dust with flour. Pat the dough into ¼” thick rectangle (about 10” x 12”), making sure the bottom doesn’t stick and adding more flour to the counter and your hands as needed. Using a pizza cutter or very sharp knife, cut the dough into 24 two-inch squares and transfer to a floured baking sheet, leaving a little space between the squares. Sprinkle the squares lightly with flour. Fry the dough squares in hot oil (350°F) for about 3 minutes until golden brown, flipping halfway through frying. Drain the donuts on paper towels. Use a paring knife to puncture the side of each donut to form a pocket in the center. Place the tip of a squeeze bottle or piping bag into the pocket and squeeze 1 to 2 teaspoons of jam or jelly inside. Dust the donuts generously with confectioners’ sugar. Make-Ahead Instructions: The dough can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated. Let it sit out at room temperature for about an hour before rolling out and cutting.

  • Holiday Cocktails to Keep You Sipping All Season Long

    Story and images by Lisa L. Bynum What better way to add a little merriment to your holiday season than with a delicious craft cocktail? Whether you're planning a cozy night by the fireplace or a lively holiday party, these cocktail recipes promise to infuse your festivities with the perfect blend of flavors that will be remembered long after the last sip. Raise a toast to the magic of the holidays. Bourbon Milk Punch Makes 1 cocktail Ingredients: 3/4 cup whole milk ¼ cup heavy cream 2 ounces bourbon (such as Cathead's Old Soul High Rye Bourbon) 1 ½ ounces simple syrup ½ ounce vanilla extract Method: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until well-chilled and pour the cocktail into a rocks glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick if desired. Rosemary and Gin Grapefruit Cocktail Makes 1 cocktail Ingredients for the rosemary simple syrup: 1 cup sugar 1 cup water 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary Ingredients for the Rosemary and Gin Grapefruit Cocktail: 2 ounces gin (such as Wonderbird Spirits Gin No. 61) 3 ounces ruby red grapefruit juice 1 ounce rosemary simple syrup (more if you want it a little sweeter) Method to make the rosemary simple syrup: Combine the simple syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then allow the mixture to simmer until the sugar has dissolved, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat. Allow the mixture to cool completely. Remove and discard the rosemary stems before serving. How to make the Rosemary and Gin Grapefruit Cocktail: Combine the cocktail ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for a few seconds until everything is combined. Strain into an ice filled glasses and garnish the cocktail with grapefruit wedges and rosemary springs if desired. Tuaca Pineapple Martini Makes 1 martini Tuaca (pronouced too · aa · kuh) is a type of Italian brandy flavored with citrus and vanilla spice. Ingredients: 1 oz. Tuaca 1 oz. Amaretto 1 oz. vodka (such as Cathead Vodka) 1 ½ oz. pineapple juice Maraschino cherries, for garnish Method: Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Pour in liqueurs, vodka, and pineapple juice. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and shake until combined. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with cherries if desired.

  • What's Happening: ALDI + Pecan Festival + Dolce Bakeshop + Chipotle Mexican Grill

    by Evangeline Davis This edition of "What's Happening" was first published in the October/November 2023 issue of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI magazine. What's Happening: ALDI Supermarket Opens in Flowood ALDI’s new Flowood store includes organic meats, fresh produce, gourmet cheeses, sustainable seafood, gluten-free products, and specialty wine, all at unbeatable prices. The discount German supermarket chain is known for carrying a smaller selection of products than other stores -- only about 900 core items, meaning they need less warehouse space -- of which 90% are “private label.” They keep prices low by offering these generics and sourcing local meat from regional farms, translating to lower transportation costs. The stores also use energy saving refrigerators, LED lights and support a bring-your-own-bag policy, which means they are also eco-friendly. See the weekly specials at ALDI.us. 35th Annual Mississippi Pecan Festival in Perry County Held September 29 - October 1 in Perry County, the festival is sponsored by Fulmer’s Farmstead, a horse-powered farm with old-fashioned charm. There’ll be horse drawn carriage rides, vendors selling vintage clothing, arts & crafts, and homemade goodies of all kinds; a pecan bake off; the “purtiest rooster contest;” the annual talent show with singing and dancing; and cafe and General Store will be open for you to pick up jams, jellies, cinnamon rolls and all your other favorite baked goodies, all in a historic homesteading atmosphere! Learn more at FulmersFarmstead.com. Dolce Bakeshop Opens 2nd Location in Bay St. Louis Long Beach bakery Dolce Bakeshop in has opened a second location in downtown Bay St. Louis this summer. The “bakery by the sea” is only a block away from the water. “We’ve watched it grow and boom down here,” said owner Brooke Rester. “We thought we could fill a niche because there wasn’t another bakery in Old Town.” Rester said they are glad to be part of all the “excitement” and recently joined the Old Town Merchants Association. Patrons can enjoy coffee, pastries, muffins, scones, and danish and Dolce has started shipping their cookies nationwide. Learn more about weddings, cakes, classes and events at www.dolcebakes.net and on Facebook and Instagram. Chipotle Mexican Grill Now Open in Olive Branch Open since early September, a new location of the franchise Chipotle Mexican Grill is now open in Olive Branch on McGregor Crossing. The franchise is famous for fresh, “real” food, with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, no freezers, no can openers, and no shortcuts. In fact, they claim that they only use 53 ingredients and the hardest of those to pronounce is chipotle (it’s chih-poat-lay). They are also one of the first national brands to commit to goals on local and organic produce and responsibly raised meat with no added hormones. The store also features the brand’s signature “Chipotlane,” a drive-through lane that allows customers to pick up digital orders. The restaurant will be open every day until 10 p.m.

  • Taste of Magnolia: Blue Cornmeal Cakes

    Story and Images by Divian Conner This article first appeared in the October/November 2023 issue of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI The fall décor is out and our porches are starting to match the hues that are shrouding the trees outside. Rich oranges and browns have rushed in the fall as we ready for the grays of winter. Cooler months mean heartier and more filling foods are to be had and we seem to huddle indoors away from the chilly breezes that Mother Nature is gently whispering at us. Fall in the South is a perfect balance of just the right vibe and temperatures, and it is when I bring out those dishes that will leave you nestled on the couch watching your favorite movie or reading your most recent book purchase. Fall is also the time when we start our family and friend game nights. The cooling air has made everyone more comfortable and relaxed, and we can whip up warming ciders and cocoas. We shop around for new games; we play the tried-and-true ones and we have a night full of good snacks and good laughs. I guess the summer heat tires us out so by the end of a summer night you just want to relax and cool off. Come fall, all bets are off and we ramp up the indoor activities and the food flows in form of small appetizers, dips, and drinks. Speaking of food, the Brunswick stews, the hearty chicken and dumplings, all the dinners that summer banished into time out, make a hasty breakout and are now front and center again. I am big on one pot meals like soups, stews and casseroles. It seems that fall and winter are perfect casserole months. You can’t have a good stew or casserole without a nice bread to go with it, and cornbread is my go-to for any southern stew. It is the diversity of cornbread that amazes me. Not only can it act as an accompaniment for your dinners, but it can also easily transform into a dessert. I recently traveled to Taos, New Mexico and picked up a ton of blue cornmeal. I have never had any dish using it and was curious about the taste. Since I have been back in Mississippi, I can’t stop using it. It tastes very similar to yellow cornmeal but there is a slightly sweeter taste with a strong “fresh corn” flavor. I have been making so many things using it and my family has decided that blue cornmeal cake is their favorite. This recipe is not overly sweet and can even be used to scoop up thick stews full to the brim with nice roasted vegetables and meats. Of course, substitute regular white or yellow cornmeal for the blue if you can’t find it (but it’s available online). I urge you to try it; it does change the taste and is amazing! Blue Cornmeal Cake Ingredients: 1-¼ cups all-purpose flour ¾ cup blue cornmeal (or regular cornmeal) 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter ¼ cup vegetable oil 3/4 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1-¼ cups milk Maple Chili Glaze ½ cup maple syrup 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder (more chili powder for more of a kick) Method: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients well -- but gently -- in medium bowl. (Overmixing will make the cake tough.) Pour batter in greased cast iron skillet or baking dish of your choice. Bake for 20-30 minutes until cakes have puffed and are slightly brown around the edges and in middle. Allow to cool and top with maple chili glaze or your favorite jam or cream.

  • Grandma’s Cookbook: 3 Cream Cheese Recipes Fit for the Holidays

    These three forgotten gems from the 1950s are perfect to bring back (70 years later!) to all your Thanksgiving parties. As always, feel free to make substitutions to customize these recipes! Party Salmon Pâté Recipe by Marian Hankins Almost any spice that goes well with fish can be added (or substituted). Be cautious with the liquid smoke, which can make this dish very salty -- use 1/2 teaspoon to begin and then taste. This recipe can be made the day before to allow the flavors to meld. Great for a Thanksgiving or Christmas party! Ingredients: 1 (14.75 oz.) can of pink salmon 12 oz. cream cheese, softened (1.5 bricks; can be light or low fat) 2 teaspoons minced horseradish ½ - 1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring 1 Tablespoon lemon juice 1-2 Tablespoons minced, dried onion (or 3 Tablespoons minced fresh onion) 1-2 Tablespoons chopped, dried parsley (or 3 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley) Dash of hot sauce (optional) Paprika, parsley, lemon slices, dill, and green olives for garnish Method: Drain and carefully remove the skin and bones from the canned salmon. Using two forks, flake the remaining fish into uniform pieces. Add the softened cream cheese and all the spices; mix thoroughly to achieve a smooth, stiff mixture, not quite a paste. Lightly spray a fish shaped mold with nonstick vegetable spray. Press the pâté into the mold and refrigerate at least 2 hours before unmolding. If you don’t have a mold, don’t worry! Wet your hands first so the pâté won’t stick. Then, on a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper dusted with cornmeal, form into the rough shape of a fish about 8” long (shape and size to fit the serving platter). Sprinkle the tail area with paprika and use a triangle cutout stencil to make a paprika fin. Sprinkle on additional parsley flake scales and a sliced green olive with pimiento center for an eye. Serve on a bed of Panko crumb “sand.” Serve with Melba toast or Wheat Thin crackers. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. If taking to a party, make a day ahead but wait to decorate until closer to serving time. Aunt Fern’s Festive Thanksgiving Cream Cheese Ball Of the hundreds of cheeseball recipes available for parties, this is one of the easiest and most delicious. Make it a day ahead, press into a pretty mold, and turn out onto the serving platter just before the party begins. Sprinkle the top with chopped vegetables and voilà! A beautiful, delicious addition to any party table. Ingredients: 16 oz. (2 bricks) cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened 2 Tablespoons chopped chives 2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes 1 teaspoon garlic pepper 1 teaspoon dried dill 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup) chopped black olives, diced yellow pepper, and baby tomatoes for garnish Method: Mix together the cream cheese, butter and all the spices until well blended. Fold in the chopped red bell pepper. Lightly spray a circle, pumpkin, or star shaped mold with nonstick spray or vegetable oil. Press the cheese mixture into the mold and top with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. To serve, unmold the cheese and place on serving plate. Smooth the top with a spatula or knife and decorate with chopped yellow pepper, diced black olives, and baby tomatoes. Serve with crackers, celery sticks, or cucumber circles. Super Simple Pumpkin Pie Dip Recipe by Anna Howard, Baton Rouge Ingredients: 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree 8 oz. (1 brick) cream cheese (can be light), softened 2 cups powdered sugar 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger Method: Beat all ingredients until soft and smooth. Pour into serving bowl and cover tightly. Chill up to 8 hours to thicken. Serve with pear and apple slices and ginger snap cookies.

  • Thoughtful Foodie Finds for Thanksgiving

    by Evangeline Davis This article first appeared in the October/November 2023 issue of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI. When it comes to food holidays, Thanksgiving is probably the Super Bowl! These fun and thoughtful Foodie Finds make great hostess gifts or holiday happies for your own kitchen. Julie Pedersen Gourmet Oil Dipping Spice Kit, $42. You could give your loved one a fancy set of gourmet olive oils, or you could let them make their own with this set inspired by international flavors. Stocked with 15 different types of herbs and spices (think: oregano from Italy, smoked paprika from Spain, za’atar from Levant), each tin comes with recipes and bread pairings so they can get the full tasting experience. Mix into EVOO and go! Find at UncommonGoods.com. Lemon-Lime Citrus Bush Aurantifolia, $74.95 If you’re anything like us, you probably use lemons almost every day, so how would you like to enjoy your favorite ingredient fresh off the tree? Reaching about two feet tall, the potted bush will thrive by a sunny window, on the porch, or planted in the yard, and will eventually produce little Meyer lemons perfect for freshly baked scones, delicious dressings, and your favorite Thanksgiving cocktail. Order from Fast-Growing-Trees.com. Uncle Nearest 1884 Small Batch Whiskey, $45 This blend of premium aged whiskies is made by Uncle Nearest, a brand created in honor of an enslaved man named Nathan “Nearest” Green, the master distiller who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. “Folks who love diversity in business and a superb drink will be glad to unwrap this gift,” said Oprah, when she picked it for her 2020 list of Favorite Things. Small batch made in Tennessee by a Black-owned, Woman-owned business. Available in select Mississippi stores or visit Drizly.com. High Point Coffee Roasters, $17.99+ Craving coffee? Look no further than New Albany-based High Point Coffee Roasters, one of the top producing coffee roasters in the Southeast United States! They can accommodate any order from restaurants and convention centers all the way to individual bespoke coffee sales. Try the breakfast, campfire, or Mississippi Magnolia blend, or one of their single origin coffees. Available as whole beans or pre-ground. Get caffeinated by HighPointRoasters.com.

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