September 28, 2012

Southern Pecan Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream


Boy oh boy I LOVE pie! We were invited over to our friend's house for dinner the other week so I decided to make one of my favorite ooey-gooey Southern specialities: Pecan Pie!
Then to make it even more decedent I whipped up (literally, haha!) a batch of Bourbon Whipped Cream!
Check out my recipe below and please comment and share the recipe on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest if you like it! 
 
Ingredients:
Pie:
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 tbsp bourbon (optional)
1 prepared pie crust, unbaked

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp bourbon
1 tbsp brown sugar
TIP: Place mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer so they are chilled before mixing.


 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Fit the defrosted premade pie dough in a 8 or 9 inch pie plate. Trim off excess with
 kitchen shears and crimp sides with your fingers or a fork.
 
Mix all pie ingredients together in a bowl except pecans. Stir well.
Add chopped pecans and mix.

The pie is ready to bake!
I can taste it now! Yum oh yum!
Bake 350 degrees for an hour.

For the whipped cream: beat heavy cream, bourbon, and brown sugar in a chilled bowl.
Beat on med speed until it thickens and peaks form, about 5 minutes.
The pie is fresh out of the oven!
Serve warm topped with a large dollop (or two) of bourbon whipped cream!
  
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September 23, 2012

Engagement Dinner & Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana Soup



In February we had an Engagement Dinner! Time to celebrate our upcoming March wedding with our favorite people!
And the prefect place for a lively celebration dinner....Olive Garden of course!  My favorite~

 
My best friend and maid of honor, Connie
 My parents, Gma, good friends Nathan and Vince, Ashton and I, and Connie and Michael 

 
Now I've been eating at Olive Garden since waaaay back in the day when it opened in my hometown of Fort Walton Beach, FL. I'm a big fan of their Italian Margaritas, Tiramisu, Steamed Mussels, and Seafood Portofino. But my all time favorite is their Soup and Salad Combo. You get unlimited salad, breadsticks, and their amazing soup for only $6.95!

My top choice: Zuppa Toscana soup- potatos, kale, and sausage! Oh my!
Check out my recipe version of this hearty soup below!
 
Zuppa Toscana Soup
This recipe makes a lot (check out my full soup pot above!) I would say 8-10 servings.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz breakfast sausage, crumbled (I like Spicy Italian flavored)
  • 1 Vidalia onion, Diced
  • 2 slices Bacon, Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3 whole Medium Potatoes, skin on and cubed
  •  4 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 bunch Kale, Chopped
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste 

 Instructions

Crumble sausage into a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain and set the sausage aside.
Add onions and bacon to the Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium and cook until onions are softened. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add chicken stock and potatoes to the Dutch oven and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until potatoes are almost done.
Add remaining ingredients as well as the sausage and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Serve hot with salad and crusty garlic bread!

 
If you make this at home the only thing missing is Olive Garden's addictive chocolate mints!



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September 20, 2012

Copeland's of New Orleans Chop Salad


 I remember, back in the day, driving to Pensacola with my folks and eating dinner at my favorite Cajun restaurant, Copelands. They had delicious seafood, beautiful decor, and a jaw dropping jazz brunch. Alas, all good things come to an end and one day it went out of business. I was crushed! Well, now I live in good ol' Louisiana and guess what restaurant I spotted on my first trip to Alexandria (the closest "big" town to us)? Yep, you got it: Copeland's of New Orleans! Ashton and I had dinner there right away and I've since been back for lunch a few times too. They have one of those huge menus (think: Cheesecake Factory) that is somewhat overwhelming but just about everything is lip smacking good! What are my faves you ask?
I tend to stick to their Classics and Fish along with their new Small Plates Menu.
1. Catfish Ricochet - hands down my favorite! Lightly fried, with pecans, sesame, and Creole Meuniere sauce!
2. Chop Salad, obviously! Great as an appetizer or add sliced steak and amke it a meal! Check out the recipe below!
3. Shrimp Ducky - Duck and Shrimp are a match made in heaven in this rich pasta dish with Burgundy mushroom sauce.
4. Eggplant Pirogue -fried eggplant on pasta, topped with crab claws, shrimp, and au gratin sauce.
5. Cajun Gumbo Ya Ya -classic Cajun loaded with shrimp and scallops!
6. Anything and everything on their Brunch Buffet!
7. Copeland's side items are large portions and rich flavors. Try the Loaded Mac and Cheese, Corn Macque Choux, Creamed Spinach and Smothered Green Beans!
8. Banana's Foster - Who can forget dessert?! This sweet concoction is amazing and big enough for 2-3 people!
 Catfish Ricochet with Creamed Spinach and Corn Macque Choux
 Jambalaya Pasta
 Here's a tip: ALWAYS sign up for your favorite restaurant's email newsletter. It's a great way to find out bout specials and receive coupons and bday deals! Copeland's has a great email program, with a $10 sign up coupon and free dessert on your bday!
Copeland's now has a Cheesecake Bistro offering all sorts of delicious cheesecake goodness but my fave will always be the classic Bananas Foster, served warm with gourmet vanilla ice cream!

Another tip: Try the Small Plates for lunch or dinner! It's a great way to sample a few items or have a "tapas" style dinner with a few friends. Here my hubby ordered a burger (surprise, surprise) but my Mom and I ordered two sides and Pecan Crusted Catfish and Oyster Eggplant Remoulade. This way we saved room for dessert..you guessed it...Bananas Foster!
Copeland's Chop Salad
Here's a simple version of Copeland's classic for you to make at home!

Super easy and super tasty!
Dice all your ingredients! I pretty much stuck to what was in the Copeland's original but you can add whatever you want...it's yummy any way you make it!
Serves 2, as an entree
Ingredients:
Bag of salad lettuce, finely chopped
2 boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 slices of crunchy bacon, chopped
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup hearts of palm, chopper
1/3 cup radish, chopped
4-6 oz crumbled blue cheese
1/3- 1/2 cup fried onions (to top the salad)
red wine vinegar, to taste
crushed black pepper, to taste

Make sure you finely chop the lettuce.
Then just simply mix together and add red wine vinegar and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Colorful, Flavorful, and down right Delicious!
Lastly, top with crunchy fried onions. Enjoy!

  
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September 17, 2012

Wedding Brunch at Another Broken Egg Cafe


 Last spring, I was lucky enough to win the EGGceptional Breakfast Photo Contest on Facebook for one of my favorite restaurants: Another Broken Egg Cafe!
 I won an "EGGceptional Breakfast" at my local Another Broken Egg Cafe in Destin, FL for myself and five friends! Perfect timing, since my wedding was coming up! So I planned a day before the wedding brunch with some of my visiting friends and family.
Check out Another Broken Egg's website and menu here: http://www.anotherbrokenegg.com/
They have hearty and delicious breakfast and lunch items and EVERYTHING on their menu is amazing!
My favorites would have to be the Biscuit Beignets with honey marmalade (you know what, I think I'll make some for a future blog post!), Blackberry Grits, and Bananas Foster French Toast
Brunch with my favorite people!
Ashton with his best man and fellow EOD tech, Michael. 
 The boys always have way of keeping us entertained. 
Here we are playing Michael's sugar or salt game.
  Guess who had the salt?
Poor Connie!
  Me with two of my favorite girls!
 He makes me laugh everyday! I am so blessed :)
 
 Our appetizer: Baked Brie Delight
Oh, ya'll this was amazing and I can't wait to make my own version at my next party! 
Top warm brie cheese with sauteed apples, raisins, and pecans and a sweet Grand Marnier butter sauce and served with toasted French Bread.
 My future hubby's meal: Crabcakes Cavallo (hmmm...pretty similar to my order! I guess we're meant to be!). This delectable delight includes 2 jumbo lump crab cakes, Benedict style topped with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce with andouille sausage and scallions.
 My sweet cousin Lauren and my best friend and maid of honor, Connie.
 My Southern Crab Stack: a grit cake topped with a crab cake smothered in shrimp and andouille sausage saute and garlic French bread.
 The goofy boys, Ashton and Michael
 My Bradenton family, Doug and Nancy! 
The perfect way to end our day.....pedicure time with Mom and Lauren!





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