Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pickled Green Tomatoes

This time of year everyone's gardens are about gone and I had friends give me some of their tomatoes that didn't make it in time.  Many were green or barely starting to ripen.  I used this recipe to make some wonderful Pickled Green Tomatoes that didn't require all the typical canning processes.  These should keep for several weeks or even a month or two.  The ones I made didn't last long enough to go bad!  Everyone loved them.  They are tart but tasty.


1 qt. jar of small green tomatoes, cut into eights
8 sections of garlic sliced in half
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
2 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs pickling spices
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp celery seed
½ tsp dill seed
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp pepper flakes

Place tomatoes tightly in a quart jar, arrange slivers of garlic throughout the tomato wedges. Combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, cook for 5 more minutes. Pour over the tomatoes in jar filling ¼ inch from top. Tighten lids and wipe off edges, and leave out on the counter for about 1 hour. Listen for the popping sound to make sure they seal. Place into refrigerator for 2 weeks before using to give the pickles time to develop flavor.

Make these wonderful pickles.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Savannah's Moon River Brewing Company

In 2003, the American Institute of Paranormal Psychology named Savannah the most haunted city in America. And what's widely regarded as the most haunted place in Savannah? The Moon River Brewing Company.

While in Savannah with my family, we went to Moon River for lunch and had a wonderful time. The burgers, most of us ordered burgers, were amazing. Everything we had there was wonderful, and I thought Halloween would be a good time to post about it.

Located on the historic Bay St. the only problem we had was parking, you're best to walk from your hotel if it's nearby, there's also a parking garage a few blocks away. Of course being haunted had peaked my interest to start with and was instrumental in our dining arrangements.

After lunch we made our way down to the cellar, which is the reported center of the haunting. Seems they have a ghost named Toby in the cellar and a lady ghost up on the third floor that has been seen by many. After roaming around and taking pictures, as well as recording some sound clips we determined the ghosts had taken the day off.

This doesn't mean it isn't haunted, it has been visited by suck paranormal television shows as Ghost Hunters, and the wacky boys of Ghost Adventures. As a matter of fact both caught valuable evidence in their investigations.

We had a wonderful day, a great meal, and top notch vacation in the historic city of Savannah Georgia. For more information you can find the Moon RIver Brewing Company at 21 W. Bay St., or call them at 912-447-0943. You can find them online at Moon RIver Brewing Company Pictured is the Savannah Georgia Customs House, which is on the other side of Bay Street from the Brewery.

Halloween Party Appetizers

Well, it's my favorite time of the year and many of you are having Halloween Parties and I thought I would give you some great little party recipes to use. These are easy but you can use your artistic side to dress them up as something nasty.

These recipes were published in my first book on building haunted attraction called "The Complete Haunted House Book". These were all recipes we used for years in our Halloween parties my wife and I used to put on. We would spend a week or more decorating the house to make it look spooky and haunted, and people would spend the whole party in the kitchen. You will find these are not only tasty but some look creepy and disgusting. The first one is one of my favorites.

Maggot Infested, Death Eatin' a Cracker

On a serving plate, place two 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, cover this with a ½ pound of boiled baby shrimp, and top with a bottle of red cocktail sauce. This is nasty looking, but tastes great. Serve with any type of wheat or vegetable cracker. This is my niece Kim Turner’s recipe.

Socket Poppers

2 lb. pkg. frozen meatballs
12oz. can cream of mushroom soup
12oz. carton sour cream
1 tsp. dill weed

In a bowl, combine equal parts of sour cream, cream of mushroom soup with a dash of dill weed. Pour this over ready-cooked meatballs in a casserole dish. Place this in an oven to bake at 300˚. Serve with toothpicks. Slice olives crosswise and garnish to look like an iris.

Sleaze Dip with Torture-tillas

Melt a 1 lb. brick of Velveeta cheese and stir in a can of Ro-Tel, (spicy tomatoes and peppers) or a jar of hot salsa and keep warm in a crock-pot. Serve with tortilla chips. You can also add a can of bean-less chili to the melted cheese instead of Ro-Tel. Use a double boiler to avoid burning. A microwave can also be used, but watch it closely.

Dead Man's Fingers

frozen, jointed, chicken wings
bar-b-que sauce
garlic powder & black pepper

Dip frozen wings in Bar-B-Que sauce and put them on a rack in a 300˚ degree oven. A dash of garlic powder and black pepper top it off. You might need to baste these occasionally. Bake really well done and keep them warm in the oven. Serve with Bleu Cheese dressing. Buy a packet of toy rings in the party section of a discount store and slip them onto a few of the wings to enhance the finger effect.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Zatarain's Jambalaya Mix

OK, I know I am gonna take some heat on this because most of you that really know me, and my somewhat snobbish ways, know that when it concerns food, and I should say authentic foods, that I am indeed... picky.

I have always been a Cajun "brown" Jambalaya lover/maker and have had some pretty atrocious versions of "red" in and around New Orleans. It takes me a couple of hours prepping, cooking, and finishing off my Jambalaya, so I only fix it once every other month or so. It is awesome though.

A girl at work brought in something the other day, I asked "what is that"? She said "Jambalaya, it's not as good as yours though" which flattered me, so I tried some. It was very good, even considering she had used Italian sausage in it. Now notice I am not going out on too long a limb.

She told me it was Zatarain's. I was amazed since I have usually not placed much stock in boxed dinners, but I do know and love some of Zatarain's products. So I went to the store, got a pack of the "Reduced Sodium" Zatarain's Jambalaya Mix, and made some up. I sliced up half a pound of andouille (or smoked sausage), one plump, de-boned, shredded-up, chicken breast from the kitchen here at work, (dinner theater with fried chicken) a half-cup of diced onion and half-cup diced celery. So I had really very little invested in it.

In 1 tbs of margarine, I sweated the onions and celery in a 3 qt. saucepan, added the chicken meat, andouille, and let it go a bit, then added the 2 1/2 cups of water the box called for. I brought it to a boil, then added the mix. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I turned the heat down a bit and simmered for about 20 mins., stirring occaisionally. Put the lid on the pot and popped it into the 300º oven for 15 minutes. Brought it out, fluffed it a bit, and tasted it. You know what? It was really, really tasty.

You dont have to add the onions or celery, and you can add diced ham, shrimp, or whatever for your meat. If a snob like me can enjoy this easy set-up anyone can. I knocked it together in about 10 mins. it cooked for about 40 mins. all together, and was cheap. Do I like it better than my scratch-made version? No, but in a hurry, this is fine... try it out.

BTW The Reduced Sodium version has 40% Less Sodium than regular Zatarain's Jambalaya Mix with NO MSG Added!

OK lemme have it!