Category Archives: Emily Favorite

Sweet and Spicy Twice As Nice-y

I have to say that I do enjoy eating healthfully, now if I can eat healthfully while feeling a wee bit sinful that’s even better. Kind of like my obsession with dark chocolate squares, a little bit of guilt but it has antioxidants and other good stuff so it can’t be that bad right? Anyhoodles, when I watched the episode from Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger that featured recipes from A Day at the Diner I was more than intrigued.
This episode featured a grilled cheese sandwich that would become a favorite of mine in no time. Her Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches features sauteed red onions, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, beefsteak tomatoes on whole wheat bread. See, she didn’t even call for reduced fat sucky cheese or anything, rejoice! I like to serve this with her Chopped “Fixin’s” Salad from the same episode which is simply greens, pickles, onions, tomatoes (although I used red bell pepper instead) salt, pepper and a little bit of blended red wine vinegar and olive oil. So simple but what a fun and unique side to go with just about anything.
To really throw Ellie’s Healthy Appetite straight out the window, I thought of another sweet and spicy concoction that I love from Gourmet, that’s right people, Sweet and Spicy BACON. To make myself feel a little better I did use the Oscar Mayer Center Cut kind which counts as being a little healthier correct? :) Not really but I’ll just keep telling myself that. Seriously the sweet and spicy bacon with the sweet and spicy grilled cheese sandwiches is not overkill! Try it for yourself and I promise you will love it.

Cool, Creamy Dessert from Cooking Light

This week is a week of “house favorites” so I started it off with Turkey Meatloaf Sandwiches from the Neiman-Marcus cookbook that my dearest friend The Boo gave me for my birthday last year. When I first saw Neiman Marcus I thought “oh dear, this is going to be too fancy schmancy for me!” but dear readers it is NOT at all! The salads, sandwiches, entrees etc are actually pretty easy to make and everything I’ve made so far has been delicious. Now, I’m going to be a tease here because I don’t have the book with me today but will post the recipe soon…sorry, I suck!

I did also make the Cool, Creamy Dessert from Cooking Light last night. I would recommend this for a day when you have some time to spare since it is a layered dessert that takes time to, well, layer. This dish is sweetened by the powdered sugar, fat-free cool whipped topping, cream cheese (1/3 less fat and fat free), fat-free chocolate pudding and the flaky, pecan laden crust is wonderful. This is definitely something for a special occasion and is reminiscent of a tiramisu, without the icky coffee aftertaste or ladyfingers plus the fact that it won’t add 10 pounds to your backside. Also, I just got the new Cooking Light and Everyday Food so watch out all 10 of you gentle readers, there are going to be some really good recipes coming up!

Mom’s Fried Okra

I had the pleasure of growing up in home where my Mom made a home cooked meal every night. I’ll never forget the nights of her Enchiladas or Chicken Fried Steak or Corn Bread with Pinto Beans and Pork Chops.

My mom a few years ago lovingly put together a cookbook that had all of her signature recipes in them including one of my favorites – fried okra. I’ll never forget my mom making this during special occasion meals and when she would set it out on the plate with a paper towel over the top, me (and my whole family actually) would casually walk by and steal a few pieces before dinner. You know she saw us but never said anything!

With that I would like to share with you my Mom’s Fried Okra recipe. I love how she wrote this because the key to this crispy treat is (1) not fresh okra as it’s too slimy (2) the proper cooking method to get it just right (3) and leaving it alone to work its magic in the pan. You do not know how many times I called my Mom asking her how she did it so well. Follow these instructions and you will get it down pat.

I know my Mom is reading this right now and so happy that I’m sharing her love of great food with you. Thanks Mama Ingle and I hope you make a batch the next time I’m home.

Mom’s Fried Okra
Approximately 30 minutes to one hour before cooking the okra, let it thaw in the bag. If cooking the entire bag, fill it with water to thaw it more thoroughly. If using only a small portion of the bag, take out what you need and put in a bowl of water and place the rest back in the freezer. Either way, drain well of water and pour enough corn meal (white or yellow) to coat okra well. In a large skillet fill with oil (about 1/2 full)*. Turn burner on low and fill skillet with coated okra, try to not get too much in pan. Cover and turn burner on high. Check on it about every 5 – 10 minutes. When okra starts becoming very brown in color, it is most likely fairly crisp. Remove from pan and place on paper towel covered dish. Add salt to taste.

*Emily note, I like vegetable oil