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Mini Shepherd’s Pies Perfect for Picnics

Today’s post continues our countdown to St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah with my recipe for mini shepherd’s pies! Creamy, cheesy delights, the pie crust makes a delicious vehicle for these hearty handhelds. Meat and potatoes, what’s not to love? Continue reading “Mini Shepherd’s Pies Perfect for Picnics”

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Springtime Brunch Fare Because HE is Risen

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Sunday Brunch at Home

In my family, Easter Sunday has always been a special time to gather around the kitchen table after celebrating the resurrection of Jesus at church. I can’t think of a better way to give praise than with a bounty of beautiful food. Whether you’re popping a spiral ham in the oven and pairing it with scalloped potatoes, or opting for a special mid-morning brunch after the Sunrise Service, I hope some of my favorite recipes will tempt your palate. I’ll share three that are menu must-haves including Vidalia Onion Quiche, Best Grape Salad and Spicy Cheddar Long Straws. Choose one, or make them all. Happy Easter, y’all!

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Martha Nesbit’s Vidalia Onion Quiche featured in “Savannah Celebrations”

Vidalia Onion Quiche
This recipe appears in the cookbook “Savannah Celebrations” by Martha Nesbit

  • 4 Slices bacon, minced
  • 1 Large Vidalia Onion, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 Eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 ready-to-roll pie crust
  • ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Fry the bacon in a medium skillet until it is very crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper towel to drain. Drain off all but one tablespoon of the bacon grease. Saute the onion in the grease un
    til it is very tender and just beginning to turn brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the flour.In a quart measuring cup, measure the half-and-half. Add the eggs and whisk together. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme. Place the pie crust in a deep-dish glass pie dish. Crimp the edges. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust. Layer both cheeses in the bottom of the crust. Distribute the bacon pieces and sautéed onion over the cheese. Pour the egg mixture over all.

    Place the pie dish on a cookie sheet for ease in handling and put in the center of heated oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes longer or until the center of the quiche is set. You may need to cover the outer edge of the crust with foil to prevent over-browning.

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Best Grape Salad

Best Grape Salad
Adapted from Food.com

Who doesn’t love cream cheese and graham crackers? Beware–the cold and juicy grapes in this crowd-pleaser are addictive. Thanks to my Aunt Susan for introducing me to such a fabulous recipe!

  • 2 lbs green seedless grapes
  • 2 lbs red seedless grapes
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, to tasteTopping Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed, to taste
  • 1 cup crushed pecans, to taste
  • Graham Crackers, crumbled to taste

Wash and stem grapes. Set aside. Mix sour cream, cream cheese, white sugar and vanilla by hand until blended. Stir grapes into mixture, and pour in large serving bowl. For topping: Combine brown sugar, and crushed pecans. Sprinkle over top of grapes to cover completely. Chill overnight.

Southern Living's Spicy Cheese Straws
Southern Living’s Spicy Cheddar Long Straws

“Our best tip for successful cheese straws is to shred your own cheese. It’s stickier and blends better than pre-shredded cheese.” – Southern Living

I can testify to that! These cheese straws have become one of my go-to snacks for entertaining any time of the year. I think they’re especially great at brunch with a Bloody Maria. Their buttery texture crumbles and melts right in your mouth.

Spicy Cheddar Long Straws 
SouthernLiving.com

  • 1 (10-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and turn out onto a well-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips using a sharp knife or fluted pastry wheel, dipping knife in flour after each cut to ensure clean cuts. Place strips on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are well browned; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes.

For more brunch inspiration, check out these photos (provided & styled by The Stylish Steed) from a brunch party I hosted at home. Some Kinda Good, good food and good company, that’s what it’s all about!

What are your favorite springtime dishes?

Experience Savannah Underground – Tapas Bar Delivers Big Flavor, Live Music

wpid-IMG_20130221_113537.jpgJazz’d Tapas Bar
Savannah, Georgia

Learn a place is underground and it’s immediately cool. Add a classy atmosphere, an attentive wait staff, well-presented food and creative cocktails that enliven your taste buds–now, that’s a place I’ll hang out. Jazz’d Tapas Bar in Savannah encompasses all these qualities. Let me show you.

wpid-IMG_20130221_114226.jpgMeet the Pomegranate Martini – $9: Vodka, Pama Liqueur and triple sec with a lemon twist. I love a good bartender that takes pride in his drinks. I can hardly wait to get back and order another one of these. Fruity. Cold. Smooth. Clean. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

wpid-IMG_20130221_113757.jpgThe Traditional Bruschetta- $9: Grilled garlic rubbed baguette, layered with tomatoes tossed in balsamic vinegar, fresh basil and Mozzarella. It’s topped with shaved Pecorino Romano cheese. Absolutely delicious and beautifully presented. Loved the grill marks on the bread and…the cheese, LAWD at the cheese.

wpid-IMG_20130221_113256.jpgAdam Rapoport, editor in chief of Bon Appétit magazine recently said, “Great nachos are about architecture.” Same concept here. Would you just look at the construction of this bruschetta? It’s the perfect bite(s). Hats off to the chef!

wpid-IMG_20130221_113940.jpgSesame Tuna- $11: Sesame crusted Ahi tuna slices over an apple-fennel salad. Garnished with a balsamic glaze. Note to self: That green stuff is not avocado. It’s wasabi. Will tingle nose hairs. The good-looking man I was with says, “I’m here to tell you, that’s some good eating.”

wpid-20130207_214008.jpgThe bar is elegant and sleek. Located in Savannah’s Historic District on Ellis Square, you can celebrate Happy Hour right here from 4 – 9 p.m. Monday – Thursday.
wpid-20130207_213604.jpgI visited on a rainy Thursday night and dined to the sound of Trae Gurley singing Sinatra. It was fantastic entertainment. That’s another thing I love about Jazz’d–live music six nights a week featuring blues, swing, jazz or local talent.

wpid-20130207_214048.jpgIf you’re like me and are fairly new to this idea of tapas, don’t be afraid. The concept originated in Spain and just means a wide variety of appetizers and snacks, usually ordered with the intent of sharing. The menu at Jazz’d explains: “An Americanized version of centuries old Spanish tradition.” They have over 35 tapas to choose from like Potato Leek Frittata with Mango Fig Chutney, Southern Crab Cakes (NICE!), Seafood Paella and the popular Martini Marinated Tenderloin Tips.

So, what’s the hold up? Let your hair down, get your good time on and head on over to Jazz’d!

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