Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Ate Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Today I went on a road trip to Juliette, Georgia, the small town immortalized in film as fictitious Whistle Stop, Alabama in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes .

You can see more about by visit on my other blog, A Virtuous Woman, but I just had to show ya'll the some of best part of my visit---the food!

We started with--what else?--Fried Green Tomatoes
The "sauce" they serve with these tastes like Thousand Island Dressing.

I had a dinner plate of Southern Fried Chicken--this definitely tastes like homemade fried chicken. You get your choice of sides--I chose mashed potatoes and fried okra--and either cornbread or a roll. I brought half of it home so I could save room for dessert...

..they call this pecan cobbler, I just call it delicious.

It's a deep dish pecan pie made in a tart shell, served with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce, dusted with cinnamon. I ate the whole thing, full sugar and all!

But on the way home I stopped in the middle of tree farms and orchards and bought some tree-ripened peaches from a farm stand. I ate two of them already tonight, I can't wait to make something good with them!

Until next time, good (un)cooking, and good eating!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sugar Free Sunday--Peanut Butter Cookies

Welcome to this week's edition of Sugar Free Sunday!

I'm extremely pleased with my sugar-free baking efforts this week--I started with an easy recipe for Believe it or Not (no-flour) Peanut Butter Cookies, made a couple of substitutions, and came out with cookies that are quick, easy, and delicious.

  • 1 c peanut butter
  • 1 c Splenda
  • 1/2 c powdered milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Measure your dry ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and mix well. (Hint: Spray the measuring cup lightly with cooking spray before you measure the peanut butter and it'll be much easier to remove.)

Shape into 1 inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Flatten with a fork dipped in water in the traditional criss-cross pattern. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes until cookies are set and very lightly browned around the edges. Be careful with these--it's hard to judge the color when they're brown to start with!

I ate some packaged sugar-free peanut cookies recently, and these are way better! Everyone in my family gave them the thumbs up, so I'll definitely be making these again!

How about you? What sugar-free recipes or products have you tried lately?

This post is linked to:

Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace

Tuesday at the Table at All the Small Stuff

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free

Tuesday Tastes at Crazy Daisy

Recipe Swap the Grocery Cart Challenge

Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

Until next time, good cooking, and good eating!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sugar Free Sunday--The Post That Almost Wasn't

Welcome to this week's Sugar Free Sunday post!

I came really close to not having a post at all. It's been a scorcher again this week, so I haven't been cooking much. And besides that, this has been one of those weeks where nothing I've touched has turned out right!

Remember last week's sugar-free bean pie? I left out the butter, and while it was palatable I thought it was a bit dry, and it looked funny, too...

I made a load of Italian herb bread in the bread machine, and forgot both the butter and the salt. (What is it about leaving out the butter with me lately?) It, too, was edible, but just not the same.

I had just about decided to throw in the towel with the sugar-free baking for this week. I had promised myself when I first started on this sugar-free kick that half-way through the summer I was going to have an "indulge" weekend, and this was going to be it. I was really craving some ice cream and some doughnuts. Not together, that's just the two things I thought I wanted. So yesterday I decided that what I really wanted was a thick, creamy, vanilla milkshake from one my favorite places, the kind where they put whipped cream and a cherry on top. And then today would be doughnut day, from the place where they light up the sign when they have fresh hot doughnuts. You know where.

First up was the milkshake. It was hot outside and I really really wanted that milkshake. Not a regular, a large. If I was going to do it, I was going to do it good! I drove to the place, paid my money, and got my milkshake. First I ate the cherry off the top. Umm, not bad. Cough. Maybe a bit sweet. Then a big old draw on that thick milkshake. Ummm. Really good. Really really good. Another big sip. Umm. Good. um, that's good. really, really good. that's pretty good. It's okay. really.

I thought I was going to be sick. Really. For the rest of the night I thought I was going to be sick. Hours and hours of feeling like I was almost going to be sick.

And so this morning--doughnuts? No way. Not this weekend, anyway.

And so I made another bean pie. With Splenda, just like last week. Only this time I added slightly more Splenda, and the butter, and a little extra on the spices. And I also sprayed the top lightly with cooking spray before I baked it, for more even browning.

It did look better...

...and while it's never going to taste exactly the same as the regular version...

...this one turned out very well.

And so this is the version that I did this week:

  • 1 c cooked, drained navy beans
  • 1 1/4 c Splenda
  • 1/2 c powdered milk
  • 1/2 c evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T flour
  • 3/4 t cinnamon
  • 3/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t baking powder

I used canned navy beans, drained and well rinsed. Next time I'll just use the whole can, and increase the sweetener and spices just a smidge. Put everything in the blender, and blend until smooth. You could use a food processor or even a hand mixer (mash the beans first if you use a hand mixer.) Pour into an unbaked single crust pie shell. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes, or until lightly browned and set in the middle.

Allow to cool (it's normal for it to puff up while baking and "fall" and crack slightly when it cools. Even the full sugar version does it.)

Topped with some sugar free whipped topping, if desired.

I do still miss some of my full-sugar treats, and I'm sure the milkshake was a fluke--but I have to say that I'm finding my palate much more sensitive these days, not just to sweet, but to saltiness, as well.

Do you find your tastes changing as you consistently leave certain things out of your diet?

Until next time, good cooking, and good eating...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sugar Free Sunday--Bean Pie

Welcome to this week's edition of Sugar Free Sunday!

My son has been requesting another navy bean pie, and since he's been eating sugar-free right along with me, he asked me to try a sugar free version.

After actually reading the Splenda bag last week and discovering that I needed to add 1/2 cup of powdered milk and 1/2 t baking powder for every 1 cup of Splenda that I substitute for sugar when making baked goods, I was ready to tackle another sugar-free challenge.

  • 1 c cooked navy beans (I used canned)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c evaporated milk
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 c) butter
  • 1 T flour
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 c sugar Splenda
  • 1/2 c powdered milk (added due to the Splenda substitution)
  • 1/4 t baking powder (I wasn't sure if I would need this addition for a pie, so I used a little less than the 1/2 t recommended)

Put everything into a blender and process until well blended.

    Pour into a single crust pie shell. (I used a refrigerated pie crust that you unroll, but you could use a frozen (thawed) crust, or one made from scratch.) The original recipe calls for baking at 350 for 50-60 minutes; I baked this one about 35-40 minutes and it was done.

    I don't know how, but I messed this up a bit, I totally forgot to add the butter. So I actually made a pie that was both sugar-free and fat-free. So, instead of my pie looking like this:

    (my first bean pie--the one with sugar and butter in it) came out looking like this.

    Just a bit disappointing? Another thing that's mentioned on the back of the Splenda package is that baked goods made with Splenda don't brown the same way as those made with sugar. You can lightly spray the top with cooking spray if you want the browning. I have a feeling that even having butter in the batter might have helped the looks of this!

    As far as taste goes, it was okay--I think the butter would have really helped it--and the texture was just a bit dry. I will make this again, this time with the butter, and possibly lightly spraying the top, as well.

    What sugar-free goodies have you made this week?

    Until next time...