Category Archives: Recipes – Side Dishes

Chicken & Dressing Again

Unwilling to waste 3/4 pan of good cornbread, and having a stewed chicken, bones shredded of meat, and a gallon of homemade chicken broth in my fridge meant mixing together a casserole dish of Chicken & Dressing for supper tonight.  I was also cleaning my house for three hours, Chicken & Dressing stewing on my back burner, and on each pass through the kitchen on my way to the back porch, I added another ingredient to my counter top and that is how this dish came together this evening. I adjusted the recipe to my ingredients on hand, and their amounts, from the recipe of the same name found in my “Missouri to Maui” cookbook so it is a different recipe altogether. I also used a 2-qt. baking dish, not the larger dish in my cookbook’s recipe.  This is the second time I’ve posted a chicken-n-dressing recipe on my blog, and I made the dish the same  I always do, but since it is also what I cooked today, a smaller version, using ingredients I had leftover or just on hand, this ample dish is worthy of another blog post.  Chicken & Dressing is a dish that easily adjusts to your ingredients and your taste so nothing hard about it.

Day-old cornbread is an essential ingredient here as is the chicken, the chicken broth, and the boiled eggs. I love the addition of the soft celery and chopped onion which add strong flavor. Make sure you really smoosh everything together before scraping into your baking dish. The batter will be wet; that’s fine. Because my chicken had been in the fridge for several days, I simmered it again in its leftover chicken broth before beginning. There’s nothing special called for in this recipe; just make sure you have what you need and get going. Bake the dressing just long enough for a light brown crust to form at the edges, leaving the center moist and creamy.

I like this dish cut in squares and some times served with chicken gravy over the top. Add a salad or steamed-crisp broccoli on the side and you can dig right in within an hour and a half from Step 1. I wish I had my hands on a side dish of the large pot of ham-n-beans I cooked a few days ago but that went to KY and it’s now history, but because beans really are a perfect accompaniment to this dish, tonight i added a side of jazzed-up canned beans on the side and was happy with the substitution.  It’s a supper worthy to be used as a reward for all the hard-at-it housecleaning I did today.  I like, I like!


1 whole chicken, pieces cooked, cooled, deboned, shredded
1-2 stalks celery, sliced in large pieces
3/4 pan prepared cornbread, cooled and crumbled
3 eggs, boiled, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups homemade chicken broth (or 1-2 cans chicken broth)
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
Poultry seasoning to taste, optional

Directions Preheat oven to 350. Cook chicken breasts in water and the canned chicken broth (add 1-2 cubes of chicken bouillon if desired), with celery, until tender. Do not over cook or the chicken will get hard. When tender, drain. When cool, shred the chicken and coarsely chop the celery. Combine with other ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir to blend all ingredients; mixture will be a little wet. Scrape into a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until set. Cool slightly then cut into squares to serve.

Country Cabbage

A rainy day seemed a good day for preparing this dish; it is colorful, nutritious, and mama and I love it!  Reasons enough to get out the electric skillet and mix up this combination of cabbage, vegetables, and bacon!  Mashed potatoes on the side a must!

This simple dish has a quick prep. Shred the cabbage and prepare the vegetables and you’re ready to go. Saute the vegetables in the reserved bacon drippings, add the cabbage, the seasonings and the tomatoes (with juice) and let it cook covered. With 5 cups of cabbage in this dish, I find my high-sided electric skillet best for mixing the cabbage well with the other vegetables and the liquid from the stewed tomatoes.  Cook only until the cabbage is fork tender.  I allow this to sit, covered, a few minutes after cooking to allow the flavors to mingle and the cabbage to soften. This makes a perfect side dish for meatloaf or a pot of beans and any leftovers are fine microwaved for one more serving.

It really is country good, y’all!

Country Cabbage


3-4 slices bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
5 cups cabbage, shredded
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1-(16 oz.) can stewed tomatoes, chopped small

Directions Fry bacon; drain, crumble, and set aside. Reserve drippings in pan. Add onion, green pepper and celery to bacon grease. Cook until tender but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to simmer in skillet. Reduce heat to medium low; cover, and cook 8-10 minutes longer or until the cabbage is tender. Top with the crumbled bacon and serve immediately.

Garlic Parmesan Asparagus

Time to add some green to the kitchen landscape! I have waited for good-looking fresh asparagus at my market for preparing this dish ever since I saw the recipe on friend, Phyllis Gardner’s, Facebook page.  This is a dish that an asparagus lover knows exactly how it will taste just reading the recipe and my “prediction” was spot on today! This asparagus dish is ready in 25 minutes and easily prepared while your main dish finishes.  I had one last serving of meat loaf today so a quick-prep-dish like this was perfect, and before I knew it, lunch was ready.

Use the freshest asparagus spears you can lay hands on and don’t be stingy with the garlic for the sautéed garlic gives a real boost of flavor in this dish.  I adjusted the recipe today, adding toasted almond slivers as well for a bit of crunch.  Don’t over cook the asparagus; 8 minutes  was just right for tender, but crisp, spears. Use a large enough skillet so you aren’t crowding the pieces, allowing room for each spear becoming well-coated with the butter-garlic mixture.  Turn your heat to low and cover the skillet once the asparagus begins cooking.

Grate the Parmesan from a fresh block for a tangy cheesy bite and serve it all up warm for a quick and healthy side dish.  Hello, green! You make me believe that Spring is definitely on her way!

Garlic Parmesan Asparagus


3 T. butter
2 T. minced garlic
1 bunch asparagus
1 t. salt
2-3 T. fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
2 T. slivered toasted almonds, optional

Directions Prep asparagus by breaking off the lower woody part of each spear.  Rinse and drain.  In a large skillet, heat butter until melted over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add asparagus to the skillet. Using tongs, flip and stir to coat each asparagus spear with butter/garlic. Sprinkle asparagus evenly with salt. Cover and let cook for 8-10 minutes, or until asparagus is tender. Flip and turn asparagus once  during cooking time.  Add salt as needed, to taste. Serve warm with slivered almonds, if using, and the grated Parmesan for garnish.

Custard Baked Mac-n-Cheese with Gingered Carrots

I’m going to post recipes for both dishes here not because I’m that lazy but because both are simple recipes that don’t require much direction and because I enjoyed them together for supper and am thinking you might like to as well so you’re getting a 2-for-1 tonight! The idea for a meatless supper was more a necessity than anything else since the country ham is gone, the pork sausage used up, and the chicken on hold for tomorrow! The idea was a sound one, however, as with these two dishes I had a satisfying and filling supper on the table in just 45 minutes. All I needed was the last two biscuits from yesterday drizzled with honey and it was supper time!

The macaroni, as found in my “Missouri to Maui’ cookbook adapted from James Villas wonderful recipe collection, “My Mother’s Southern Kitchen”, has evolved into my only mac-n-cheese recipe of late. The creaminess of the custard is a great contrast with both the sharp cheddar and the chewy al dente texture of the macaroni. So many mac-n-cheese dishes are heavy with flour-based sauces that overwhelm the elemental flavors of the macaroni and the sharp cheese but this simple custard allows those two ingredients to star equally here. Do buy a block of good sharp cheese and slice it thin; no using prepackaged rubbery cheese for this dish. There’s nothing easier and nothing that nets you so much bang for your buck.

James Villas’ mama also supplied the recipe for tonight’s Gingered Carrots. A simple prep for the carrots then boiling them until fork tender. Drain then return them to the sauce pot and toss in the flavorful ginger and fruit juice glaze. I used both fresh orange and lemon juices tonight because that is what I had and love the tanginess of the glaze balanced with the plain carrots. The glaze is plentiful so serve it liberally. You can make the glaze for the carrots as the macaroni bakes and you’re done! Lots of “stick to your ribs” goodness here for another chilly winter night.  Add biscuits!

 Custard Baked Mac-n-Cheese


1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1-(8 oz.) block New York State sharp cheddar cheese, very thinly sliced (not grated)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk plus a little more

Directions Preheat oven to 350. Cook the macaroni in salted water according to package directions and drain in colander. Arrange half the macaroni in a 2-qt casserole. Place half the cheese over the top and arrange the remaining macaroni over the cheese. In small bowl, beat the eggs with 1/2 cup milk; pour over the casserole. Top with the remaining cheese slices and add just enough milk to cover all the macaroni but not the top layer of cheese. Sprinkle lightly with paprika then bake until the custard is firm and the top browned, 20-30 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting into squares or scooping into bowls for serving.

Gingered Carrots

1 lb. carrots, peeled, cut 1/2-inch rounds
1 T. butter
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Directions Place carrots in a saucepan with enough water to cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly, and cook til the carrots are just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain the carrots in a colander. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then add the sugar, cornstarch, salt, ginger, and pepper and stir well. Add the orange juice stirring, bring to a boil, and cook until thickened, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the drained carrots and stir until well coated with the glaze. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Blistered Green Beans

Following this week’s cookie marathon it was definitely time for this girl and her mama to get some fresh vegetable action!  I first tried this recipe last summer, looking for different ways to use fresh green beans, and it was good then, but even more delightful in February after spotting fresh beans in our market.

Not a long prep, but do save 30 minutes for it.  Only trim the beans, spread in your pan coated with olive oil and seasonings then while they roast prepare the orange peel, use your nut chopper to chop the pistachios evenly, mince garlic and parsley you’re all set. The pistachios are a great addition, but they are hard so chop them small for ease in eating; they are a great contrast in texture to the soft beans.  The beans roasted 20 minutes, not the 15 called for in the recipe; don’t worry about the wrinkles, they will be there by the time the beans are tender and it’s just the result of their cooking up hot in the olive oil.  The roasting provides  the base of the dish’s flavor.

My flat-leaf parsley wasn’t looking too spry today so I used a bottled Herbes de Provence spice blend I have and that was just right though the fresh parsley would be good too.  Do let them settle a few minutes before adding the pistachios and orange peel garnish. The dish is savory with the olive oil and fresh garlic providing what is really a dressing so serve them warm for the best flavor.  They were a great lunch with yesterday’s leftover garlic-parmesan chicken wings from Logan’s and i’m sure that we will be saying hello later tonight for supper.

Blistered Green Beans

1 lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed
2 T. olive oil
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 T. orange peel, cut in thin shreds

Directions Preheat oven to 450. Place beans in a 15x10x1” jelly roll pan and drizzle with olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Spread beans in a single layer. Roast 15-20 minutes or until blistered and tender. Sprinkle hot beans with fresh parsley and garlic. Garnish with pistachios and orange peel. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir gently and serve warm or at room temperature.