What to Cook Wednesday: Roasted Lemon-Chile Broccoli

June 21, 2017, posted by Gina – We are kicking off a new weekly post called What to Cook Wednesday and we have a delicious side dish recipe to share with you. This Roasted Lemon Chile Broccoli from Ree Drummond was perfect alongside some salmon and cheese grits I made recently. While she used fresh broccoli, I used frozen florets since I had a large bag on hand. I thawed them and then followed her directions. This was quick, easy and full of flavor. We highly recommend it!


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Meatloaf on Monday…and a couple of other recipes 2 comments

June 5, 2017, posted by Gina – We’re taking a little break this week from our regular manners and moods posts to share a few simple recipes. This meatloaf is one of Mr. GDFC’s favorite meals. If you are rolling your eyes over meatloaf, you might want to give this recipe a chance; I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Chicken Salad…as pretty as a centerpiece. This is the same chicken salad recipe that we posted HERE but this presentation is quite different. We took our favorite chicken salad recipe and tripled it for a large crowd. We topped it with a bit of fresh parsley and radish rosettes to give it a little color. Serve alongside crackers or fresh French bread.

Well, if these aren’t just the prettiest thing! We found this recipe for Buttered Rosemary Rolls in The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond. We followed her infamous step by step instructions in the link above and were mighty proud of these when they popped out of the oven. It kind of makes you look like a real chef. Thanks, REE!



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Pretty Green Greek Salad 4 comments

May 23 2017, posted by Gina – The colors in this salad are so pretty you could almost skip having a centerpiece on the table. The best part is that this is one of our all-time favorite salads. Easy and healthy!


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Cookbook Club: Garden Party Luncheon Menu

May 6, 2017, posted by Gina – This is the third in a series of posts about a recent garden party luncheon I hosted. Earlier this week, I took you on a tour of the garden and the patio where my guests enjoyed an appetizer and champagne bar. I also posted a tutorial showing how to make the rose pavé centerpiece for the main table. Today, I’m sharing the menu for the luncheon with you and a recipe for Salmon and Vegetable Smorgasbord.

You may recall I am in a cookbook club with 11 other members and it was my turn, and my pleasure, to host. We meet monthly and the hostess plans the menu and prepares the main course. We are currently cooking our way through the Junior League of Jackson Cookbooks, Southern Sideboards and Come On In. If you don’t have these cookbooks, I can’t recommend them enough to you. Our menu for this luncheon was:

Savory Pimento Cheese Finger Sandwiches
Onion Sandwiches
Dill Stuffed Eggs
Salmon and Vegetable Smorgasbord
French Potato Salad
Glazed Crackers
Chocolate Paté

Savory Pimento Cheese finger sandwiches (left) and Onion Sandwiches (right)

Dill Stuffed Eggs

Salmon & Vegetable Smorgasbord

Notes:  I used smoked paprika; I used Pepperidge Farm pumpernickel and sliced in half; I substituted very pretty dark organic kale for the lettuce

French Potato Salad and Glazed Crackers

Chocolate Paté

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Easter Menu

April 13, 2017, posted by Gina – If you saw our post on Easter decorations and tablescapes you know we’re excited about this holiday. I have also planned our Easter meal and want to share it with you along with links to the recipes.

I am preparing two main dishes, Baked Virginia Ham and Lamb Chops. Years ago, one of the hostesses for my cookbook club prepared this ham from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. The sauce really makes it special. Surround the ham with parsley or other herbs and slices of oranges and lemons and you will look like a pro! As for the lamb chops, I simply salt and pepper them…nothing fancy as they are so good just as they are. Sometimes I roast them and other times I grill them.


Creamy Deviled Eggs from Martha Stewart. What would Easter be without these little culinary delights? Everyone has a recipe for these but I trust Martha’s recipe.

Fresh Asparagus with Curry Dip from Paula Deen. I have been preparing this recipe for years. While I thought this would be a nice accompaniment with the ham, it’s also great as an appetizer.

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad from Come On In, Junior League of Jackson, MS. For some reason, I love to make this salad in the warmer weather months and Easter certainly ushers in warmer weather in my neck of the woods. This salad has a sweet and savory taste and is great with any type of meat.

Holiday Green Gelatin Salad from Allrecipes. So, this is a basic “Maw Maw” salad but if it has been around this long, it must be darn good. My family would start a revolution if I did not prepare this salad on Easter. My mother in law gave me this recipe and in the link above you’ll find the exact same recipe.

Creamy Hash Brown Casserole from Taste of Home. I have boys and boys like potatoes but they LOVE these!!

Dinner Rolls  – A fun thing I like to do is purchase frozen yeast dinner roll dough. I place two rolls standing upright in muffin tin (sprayed with cooking spray) and follow the thawing/rising directions on the package. These are pretty and delicious!

Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake from Paula Deen. I love the pink color of this cake but the taste just screams Spring to me. The perfect finishing touch to a lovely meal. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to make this cake and had to buy one. This very pretty one is from Sugaree’s Bakery. Delicious!

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St. Patrick’s Day Menu

March 16, 2017, posted by Gina – Let’s have a little fun this St. Patricks day and make a memorable meal.

Here’s our menu:
Potato Bar  – Baked potatoes with lots of toppings to choose from; shredded cheese, butter, sour cream, bacon, green onions… the possibilities are endless.
Green Salad
Irish Dessert Bars

For the Baked Potatoes:
Preheat oven to 450°. Scrub potatoes until clean. Place them on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil. If you like a steamed texture, you can wrap your potatoes in foil but we prefer them without foil. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Test to see if they are fork tender. Top with all types of goodness.

Green Salad

We thought we would share one of our favorite basic green salads. We avoid buying bagged lettuce since fresh lettuce tastes so much better. There are a few exceptions, like a nice bagged Spring Mix, Spinach or Arugula. But our go-to salad is iceberg and green leaf combined with tomatoes, green or red onions and croutons. Simple and good. Lately, we are loving the Olive Garden salad dressing that you can now purchase in the store. It is delicious and you should give it a try.

And for dessert

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Cookbook Club Mardi Gras Luncheon Recipes: Crawfish Quiche, A Very Special Tossed Salad and Grilled Asparagus

February 13, 2017
, posted by Gina – I had the pleasure of attending my Cookbook Club luncheon the week before last. Our hostess chose a Mardi Gras theme and we all enjoyed the décor as well as the food.

Each table was adorned with floral arrangements in the Mardi Gras colors of green, purple and gold. The sparkling tri-colored table runners enhanced the arrangements and the place settings, which incorporated McCarty pottery and copper placemats, worked beautifully.

One of the ladies was charged with making Bloody Marys and our hostess provided an assortment of garnishes for this libation.

We began our time together with a wonderful Zucchini Cheese Spread. Then we served ourselves buffet style beginning with a delicious salad. The main course included Marinated Tomatoes, Grilled Asparagus and Crawfish Quiche. To top the day off we enjoyed a King Cake and a Bourbon Chocolate Tipsy Cake.

We want to share three delicious recipes from this luncheon with you: Grilled Asparagus, Crawfish Quiche and the Very Special Tossed Salad.


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Be My Valentine: Banana Bread, Strawberries with Coconut Cream and Chicken Salad 3 comments

February 7, 2017, posted by Gina – Are there recipes that you find and would like to try but never seem to have the time to make them? Well, that was the case with two of these recipes that I made for a Valentine’s Brunch. I set up a simple and sweet buffet to serve these delights. Check out our Blog Page to see how everything came together.

You may have a favorite banana bread recipe like I do but I just had to try this one. The recipe I’ve used for years is tried and true but the toasted pecans and cream cheese filling in this version seemed too good to pass up. This was a wonderful treat.

The chicken salad recipe I usually use is one that I have made for over 20 years but I don’t make it very often. I like it because it tastes really fresh and has a great combination of flavors.

I have wanted to make these coconut cream filled strawberries ever since I came across the recipe 10 years ago! They were worth the wait. The sweet coconut cream is so delicious with the fresh strawberries and they look so pretty.

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4 Super Bowl Party Recipes That Won’t Kill Your Diet 1 comment

January 24, 2017, posted by Gina – It happens every year. Many of us may have indulged over the holidays and by January 1 we have started diets that include healthy shakes, veggies, fish or other light fare. Far from our thoughts are the decadent foods of the holidays. Then suddenly it’s time for the Super bowl. At the first invitation to a Super Bowl Party, we begin to sweat about eating something other than the healthy foods our bodies and minds have adjusted to for over a month. After all, we have made progress, hopefully. Our jeans fit nicely again, our exercise routine has ramped up and we are feeling better. How on earth can we ruin all of that? The fear is real!

Let’s try something a little different by indulging a little but not fall off the wagon totally. With these four simple recipes, we can have some gridiron fun without busting our weight loss goals. Instead of creating a menu filled with many appetizers, here we have a meal that will make you forget about those calorie laden finger foods.


Some notes for the Mexican Salad with Cilantro Dressing recipe: This beautiful layered salad works well in a pretty glass bowl or trifle bowl. Some stores sell thinly sliced lettuce in a bag. We suggest shredding the Monetary Jack cheese yourself rather than using the pre-shredded kind. If you need to save time, some stores sell pre-cooked bacon slices. This is an easy recipe but has many steps. Go ahead and prepare your beans and dressing in advance. You can chop your veggies the day before and they will keep in plastic bags. Following these steps makes this salad easy to put this together and creates a beautiful dish.



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Vertical Pear Salad 1 comment

January 17, 2017, posted by Gina – I recently attended a class at the Farmer’s Table Cooking School in Livingston, Mississippi where Chef Matthew taught us his recipe for a Vertical Pear Salad. Don’t let the architectural nature of this salad intimidate you. I show you step by step how to cut and layer the pears to create this delicious beauty.

Start with very ripe pears, a knife, a vegetable peeler, a melon baller and the ingredients. I used a red pear here but we used Bartlett pears in the cooking school. Peel the pear completely.

Slice the bottom of the pear so that it will be flat and able to stand up without wobbling. Scoop the core out of the pear with the melon baller…it may take a few scoops.
Slice the pear into four even pieces then place the bottom piece of the pear on the plate first.

Add a little salad and continue layering in the same fashion with salad in between each pear slice.

This is really a simple salad but the flavors are so fresh. I started thinking of how I would put something like this together for several guests. Here are my two cents: a few hours before serving I would prepare my salad ingredients but not toss them. I would go ahead and slice and core my pears and place them individually in plastic bags. I would assemble them right before serving. They do not take that long to put together if everything is ready. ENJOY!!

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