Thank God for rain, family and…collard greens!!

I’m sitting here with a hot cup of coffee watching the rain pour down. There is nothing like an Alabama thunderstorm.  The greyness of the sky makes the grass a deep beautiful green that I can’t get enough of.

Today is my brother Shane’s birthday and I have been thanking God for him today. He has always called me sister and that’s to this day one of my favorite things he does.  Last night we ate with the fam and the conversation turned to collard greens- Shane had given me a bundle from his garden two days before.  I spent a good hour cutting them and preparing them night before last and cooked them all night and all day yesterday.  My mouth waters when I think of eating collard greens and cornbread. Mmmmmm.  My family was asking how I cook them and I thought I would share with you…this has been a work in progress and is still in progress.  They are wonderful when seasoned right and terrible if not.  Here are a few pointers to get you started.

Method: A little bit of this and a little bit of that…..

  • Wash the greens very very well.  I usually clean out the sink or a big bowl and soak them in water before washing them.
  • After they are washed you want to cut the stem off and set it aside.  I will take about 3 or 4 leaves at a time and do this.
  • After they are de-stemmed roll the leaves up and cut them. I like to cut them into long strips but you can cut them however you like.  You can also buy them from the store that are already cut and washed but I prefer them out of the garden.
  • After you have cut all of the leaves, cut the stems into small pieces.
  • Put all the cut leaves and stems into a big pot.
  • I always add a ham hock or two when I cook greens. It flavors them nicely.
  • I also use a couple of chopped onions, beef or chicken broth, peppers, pepper juice, a little bit of sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar, and a couple cloves of fresh garlic.
  • After I have everything in my pot I pour enough water to reach the top of the collards.
  • Bring to a boil and let them cook.  I usually bring mine to a simmer after they have been boiling for about 30 minutes.  I let them simmer until tender.

Don’t forget the cornbread!!!!

Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Today is my Nannies birthday. In honor of her I am going to give you the most incredible, scrumptious, delectable peanut butter cookie you have ever put in your mouth.  This recipe is well over 70 years old.  When she was a little girl her school friend’s mother would make these after school as a snack.  She has passed it on to me and I reluctantly give it to you….

**Be careful not to overcook them or make them too big**

Ingredients:

1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C peanut butter (good peanut butter)
1 stick softened butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C all purpose flour
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients until well married.
In large bowl beat sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla.
Add peanut butter and gradually mix in dry ingredients.
Pinch off about thumb size and drop onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Dip fork into flour and press cookies down.
Bake for 8 minutes.

Side Note: I used whole wheat flour and added 3 tbsp ground flax seed. You could also add chocolate chips  or nuts.  The key here is to not over mix the batter or make the cookies to large.

My favorite part of this recipe is the balance of sweet and salty. I hope you will enjoy these cookies as much as I do.

my little cookie monster

The Beginning…

I have always enjoyed cooking. I mean it involves one of my favorite things: food.  I love everything about food- good food that is. The smells, tastes, textures…it is extremely enticing.  I learned to cook from my grandparents and my dad, a little bit of this, a little bit of that and then the amazing experience of eating what you have created.  I started this blog because I got to thinking about the simple pleasures in life- my simple pleasures.  I want to enjoy everyday that God has given me on this earth and this is part of my journey….Welcome.