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Heading Southern Comfort Food

Feel Better Chicken Soup

3 quarts water

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 teaspoon sea salt

1-16 ounce package frozen mixed vegetables

1-3 oz. Package Ramen noodle soup (any flavor), broken slightly

Put the water, chicken and salt in large stock pot and boil for 20-30 minutes, until chicken easily shreds between two forks. Add the frozen vegetables and cook five more minutes. Add the noodles and seasoning packet an cook another 3-5 minutes.   


Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Michigan Cherry Glaze 

1 ½ lbs lean pork tenderloin                                                                                                         
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Diet Cherry Coke
3 T. olive oil
1 t. minced onion
1 t. black pepper
½ t. salt
½ t. minced garlic
6 oz. sugar-free cherry preserves
1 T. pure maple syrup
½ T. vinegar
½ T. water
½ t. Worcestershire sauce
The night before (or several hours before), combine marinade ingredients and mix well.  Place pork tenderloin in marinade, and refrigerate for 4-12 hours.  In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients and blend well.  Pre-heat grill to 250 degrees.  Place tenderloin on grill with indirect heat, and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Brush glaze on pork while on the grill.  Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.  Internal temperature should be 160 degrees.  Remaining sauce can be served on the side, or used with leftovers.
Use for Leftover Pork Tenderloin
Slice leftover meat into small strips, and place over a bed of mixed Spring greens.  Sprinkle with bleu cheese crumbles, fresh berries, slivered or sliced almonds or pine nuts, and a dressing of made with the leftover glaze and an equal amount of balsamic vinaigrette.

Best....Stuffed....Mushrooms....Evah. Bacon, cream cheese, onions, garlic....oh my.

Bacon and Cream Cheese Mushrooms

8 oz bacon
1/2 cup finely minced sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
16 oz white button mushrooms
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Using scissors, cut raw bacon into small pieces. In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. While bacon is cooking, remove mushroom stems from caps and finely chop stems. When bacon is done, remove from pan and set aside; reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease and pour the rest from pan. Saute onion until soft about 5 minutes, scraping up any brown bits on bottom of pan. Add chopped mushrooms stems and garlic and cook a few minutes longer. Reduce heat to low. Add cream cheese and parmesan cheese and stir until cheeses are melted. Add reserved chopped bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper. (Mixture can be made, cooled, and stored, covered, in the fridge for up to two days.) Remove mixture from heat and stuff each mushroom cap generously with mixture. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and filling is hot.

Fall is in the air!  I don't know about you, but I am loving these cooler temps!  What a relief from the 100 degree Georgia summers we have!

Here is a fun fall recipe that is fun to take to parties, potlucks and get togethers.  Fellow Golden Key Realty colleague an awesome cook, Caren Bridges, was kind enough to share this recipe with me several years ago, and I have made it many times since!

Apple Cheese Ball

Mix together 10 oz. shredded white cheddar cheese, 1 t. garlic powder, 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. ground cayenne pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped apple and 8 oz. softened cream cheese. Chill 30 minutes. Shape into a tight ball. Put 1/2 cup paprika in a zip-lock bag and add cheese ball, tossing gently to coat completely with paprika. Put it on a serving plate and add a stick of cinnamon for the stem and a bay leaf or two for leaves.