Tag Archives: family

Holiday Aromas

Are you in the holiday mode? Have you started shopping yet? Is your Thankgiving dinner menu ready? Something about Thanksgiving gets me in the holiday spirit. It might be all of the food, the cooking, gathering together with family. My original Thanksgiving plans have been put on hold and I may be going home next week. Being home for Thanksgiving got me thinking about family, fellowship and food.

As I prepare for a weekend filled with fun, food, family and friends I can’t help but think about certain aromas of food that put me in the holiday spirit. The picture above is from Christmas a  few years when I surprised my dad and went home to Massachusetts. I was baking a sweet potato pie and peach cobbler (both of my dad’s favorites and the memories of holidays started coming back. Do you get flashbacks when you smell certain foods? I know I do. A certain smell can bring all types of memories to mind.

The smell of bread pudding reminds me of the many moments I spent in the kitchen with my gramma. She taught me so much about life, marriage and taking care of your family. I’m excited about going back to Massachusetts for the holidays.

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Every year my cousin Tiara and I try to make it home for Christmas. This year she won’t be there but I will eat her portion of yams Christmas day. LOL Something about my gramma’ yams that gets us all together in one place. The smell of the sugar, butter and nutmeg reminds us all the time we spend with our grandparents.

What about you? Are there certain foods that get you in the spirit? Tell us about them, we would love to hear it.


Foodie Friday’s: Shrimp & Grits

It’s Friday, we’ve made it through another week. The weekend is here and you can relax. This’s week’s recipe is definitely a favorite of mine. I grew up eating this dish almost every weekend. To me it was viewed as a treat because seafood was involved. As kids we all knew Friday & Saturday were seafood days in our family.

Friday nights at grandma’s house was a full-blown Fish Fry, which included Porgies, Whiting, Red Snapper, Salmon or whatever my grandparents had in the freezer from their fishing trips. Saturday mornings were filled fish & grits, shrimp & grits, crab cakes, fried green tomatoes, okra, and what ever else the grandkids asked for. So today I thought I would share one of the many Shrimp & Grits recipes that I have. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.

Simple Shrimp & Grits

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup yellow stone-ground grits or Quaker Grits
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (or your favorite seasoning)

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Stir in the grits, and reduce heat to low.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until silky, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until tender, then toss in shrimp. Season with Old Bay, and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink.
  4. Stir shrimp mixture into grits, and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 4 Servings

Add-In’s:

  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Bacon
  • Green Onions
  • Sausage
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Hello February!

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Hello there, we made it through another month. Valentine’s Day is this month along with Black History Month, so this month we will spread some love about both. There will be lots of chocolate, soul food and ideas to spend time with your loved ones in the kitchen. Get your music ready, grab something to drink and get ready to spread the love this month.


Foodie Fridays Are Coming Back!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Foodie Friday post. Well starting next week, they will be back. Each week we will have a post about food and family. Some of these posts may come from me or a guest poster. The topics will surround enjoying food with your family, cooking with your significant other, sharing a recipe with children and even trips to restaurants, markets and more.

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Cooking for me is fun. I learned a lot by being in the kitchen with my family. My uncles taught me a lot about creating rubs, combining seasonings and BBQ. My grandparents taught me about gardening and canning. These lessons have inspired me. The time I’ve spent with my family in the kitchen has molded me into the women I am today. The wisdom I have received from my mother has taken place in the kitchen while cooking. Being with my family, surrounded by food is one of the reasons I started Southern Roots Kitchen. Be sure to check back for our first foodie Friday post next week.

How do you and your family bond in the kitchen?

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Taste Test Tuesday: Our Home Crab Apple Jelly

Happy Tuesday love bugs! There are many times where I will just come across food items made by various people. Sometimes I mention them and other times I don’t, a lot of has to do with the owner and how receptive they are to me talking about their product with my wonderful readers. Well, at work a few weeks ago we had a chili cook off ( yeah I know I probably should have written about it, got you all next time), as I was visiting each station a coworker of mine has his chili out along with some homemade jelly, butters and pickled peppers.

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Ian and his wonderful wife Heather graciously allowed me to try out their crabapple jelly. This jelly is so good you can eat it with a spoon ( most of you know I did.) First let’s talk about the packaging, who doesn’t love a great glass jar? One look at the jar and it truly felt like I just got to my grandmothers house and she told me to grab a jar out the pantry. I can truly see why they call it ‘Our Home’, when your packaging fits your product line; you have a winner.

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For the sake of tasting I knew I would have to try this on something else besides a spoon, I chose a wheat bagel…DELICIOUS!! I honestly don’t know if it matters what you eat this jelly with because it’s just that good. I also had it on toast, a waffle and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, along with….. Shrimp! I sautéed my shrimp in it, tossed in some spinach and angel hair pasta..loved it!

So with that in mind, just want to say loved this product I will be getting some items from them as well. They have gift sets, apple butter, watermelon jelly and pickled tomatoes and peppers. Check them out on Facebook and on their Etsy page ‘Our Home 757’ as new items come into the product line we will be sure to let you know.

Here are a few more pictures from the chili cook off which he won.

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Know someone with a food or kitchen decor item that you would like us to feature? Send us an email and let us know.


There is still time to plan for Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is almost here and we all know preparations for Thanksgiving dinner can be hectic. There is so much to do, in such a small time frame that things can be overwhelming. Having a plan in place helps ease the stress of the big day and helps you relax and enjoy your loved ones.

Create a menu- Having a menu planned ahead of times helps for many reasons. Knowing ahead of time what groceries you need to buy; Ideas for left overs; Knowing you’ll have enough food for everyone invited. Once you create your menu get your loved ones involved, have them bring a dish. This cuts down on what you have to cook. 

Designate tasks and dishes- The holidays give us time to spend with family and friends. Make these special days count by not doing everything yourself. Make being in the kitchen a fun family event. Share responsibilities in preparing the food, setting the table, playing games with the kids, etc. If you know certain family members are good with particular tasks, use that to your advantage.

Cook/Bake/ Prepare in advance- Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. A lot time the side dishes that you are making can be made a head of time. String beans, collards greens, butternut squash, mashed potatoes even macaroni & cheese can be made the day before. this is also perfect for your cold salads, such as carrot slaw, potato salad, macaroni & tuna salad and pasta salad. Season your meats down a day or two before this way you can cook them the night before or early Thanksgiving morning. Use your time wisely so you can enjoy your day with your family.

Make use of your slow cooker/crockpot- Do you own one? You know the appliance that you haven’t used in months, the one that comes out for times such as this. Many items can be cooked in your slow cooker, it will cut down on the amount of pots and pans you use and you can serve from it. Hot dips, soups, chili, gravy, vegetables, meatballs, all can be cooked and served directly from this dish.

Hopefully these tips will help you with your planning. Remember you don’t have to do everything yourself, enjoy this time with your family.

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Sunday Dinner: Recipe or No Recipe?

How often do you use a recipe when you cook? Me, not that often; if I’m baking then all the time. But, yesterday after cooking Sunday dinner with my mother, taking a picture and posting it, I realized we didn’t use a recipe.

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Sunday Dinner: BBQ Pig Feet, Baked Beans and Potato Salad

People ask me all the time about recipes for the items that I cook throughout the week. Most of the time my response is “I don’t have one.” Usually, I don’t. I just cook sometimes I experiment with spices and other times I know what the ingredients are, I just don’t know the measurements.

Growing up in the kitchen with my family, I watched my mother, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents just add stuff to the pot. As I got older I started to ask about the measurements and how much is too much to put in certain dishes. The unanimous response for family ” I don’t know, I just pour and stop when it looks like it’s enough.” That right there is trial and error. I’ve learned a lot from the people in my family and have chosen to educate those that come after me. My challenge is to take one recipe at a time and write down the measurements so my younger relatives and children (when they come) can have them.

So often we learn things just by doing them. When it comes to show others we have to figure out a way to do because there are no accurate directions. No recipe? No problem. But what do you do when a family member or friend wants a recipe of a dish that you make? I have had to make the dish again, recording the measurements just so I can give it to them or I end up making the dish then telling them to come pick it up. But due to my schedule lately, I don’t always have that option.

Here’s to me recording all of my recipes that don’t have measurements to them!


Taste Test Tuesday: Coffee-Mate Holiday Flavors

Good day everyone, thanks for stopping by the kitchen today. The holiday season is here and many companies have brought out their holiday flavors. You know those flavors that you only get this time of year, like Peppermint and Eggnog. How many of you crave Egg Nog in April or even July? One of our readers Ms. Stacey from Plano, Texas asked us to review the holiday flavors of coffee creamers.

Coffee -Mate Creamers

This year there are five flavors of holiday creamer from Coffee – Mate. Each of these flavors brings out memories of favorite holiday foods.The flavors are: Eggnog Latte, Pecan Praline, Peppermint Mocha, and Pumpkin Spice, Warm Cinnamon Sugar Cookie.

All four flavors are available in liquid form. Peppermint Mocha and Pumpkin Spice are available as a sugar-free option with Peppermint Mocha and Pumpkin Spice available in a powder form as well.

Eggnog Latte – If you are a fan of eggnog this is for you. A smooth rich taste that gives you the taste of creamy eggnog added to your favorite morning latte.

Pecan Praline – We wait for this one every year. Some people have even requested that it be made available year round. Sweet nutty flavor of pecans dipped in sugar syrup added to your coffee is sure to get your day started.

Peppermint Mocha – Think candy canes and rich chocolate. That’s what you get when you combine these two great flavors.

Pumpkin Spice – A great way to kick off the holiday season. A combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and anise makes up this wonderful flavor of a pumpkin pie.

Warm Cinnamon Sugar Cookie – This is exactly what it says. A hot sugar cookie fresh out the oven with just a hint of cinnamon on top.

We really enjoyed tasting these flavors and we thank Ms. Stacey for the recommendation. Remember you don’t have to use coffee creamer just for coffee. Add it to your baking goods. Works well with scones, tiramisu, cookies, muffins.

Thank you for joining us for Taste Test Tuesday. If you would like us to review a product for you, send us an email at southernrootskitchen [at] Gmail [dot] com.