Eggplant and Shrimp Casserole

4 Aug

This recipe is from my side of the family (New Orleans) and has become a particular family favorite at Thanksgiving.


  • 2 medium Eggplant (Black Beauty variety)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (plus a little more to cover top)
  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled, de-veined and cut in small pieces (about 4 pieces per shrimp, depending on size of shrimp)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 stick butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Peel eggplant and cut into big pieces.  Put cut pieces in pot of boiling water and boil until tender, about 5-10 minutes.  Drain in colander then remove to large bowl, mash and set aside.

In a skillet sauté onions and celery in 1/2 stick of butter.  When onions have turned clear mix with drained, mashed eggplant in large bowl.

In same skillet sauté shrimp with 1/4 stick butter until most of liquid is gone and shrimp have just turned pink all over.  Remove from skillet and mix into eggplant mixture.

Add bread crumbs, beaten egg, salt and pepper to taste.

Pour into casserole dish, and cover with thin layer of breadcrumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and slightly brown, about 30 minutes.

This recipe will feed 6 as a side dish.

Fig Glazed Ham

27 Jul


  • 1 (10 pound) cooked bone-in ham, preferably shank end, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup Fig Jam
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Trim the ham by removing the outer skin/rind, leaving a 1/4 inch layer of fat.  Score the fat layer with a paring knife in a diamond pattern.

Put the ham, cut side down, in a roasting pan or large baking dish.  Add 1 1/2 cups of water and cover with foil.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile make the glaze by whisking all of the remaining ingredients together in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Simmer, stirring often, to infuse flavors and to thin the jam, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Set aside 1/4 cup of the glaze.

Remove the foil after the ham has cooked for 1 hour and brush it with the glaze, working into the scores.  Bake the ham, uncovered, another 40 minutes, basting again after 10 minutes.  Remove the ham from the oven when an internal temperature of 140 degrees F is reached on an instant-read thermometer.  Transfer the ham to a carving board and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Skim off as much of the fat as possible and then whisk in the reserved 1/4 cup of glaze.  Bring the pan to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer until the desired consistency is reached.  Strain into a warmed gravy dish for a smooth sauce, if desired.  Thinly slice the ham and arrange it on a serving platter.  Serve with the gravy on the side.

Fig Jam Vinaigrette

27 Jul


  • 3 Tablespoons Fig Jam
  • 1 dollop Dijon mustard
  • a few glugs of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Put all ingredients in a small mason jar and shake it up until well incorporated.  Pour sparingly over your favorite salad combo.  Enjoy!

Corn and Jalapeno Jelly Muffins

27 Jul


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels
  • 3/4 cup Jalapeno Jelly

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease muffin pan.

Sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and cayenne in a bowl and set aside.

In a larger bowl, beat together the buttermilk, butter, and sugar.  Mix in the eggs, followed by the corn, blending well after each addition.  Add the flour mixture and stir to combine lightly.

Spoon about half of the batter (it will be a bit stiff) into the muffin pans, filling each just about 1/3 full.  Drop a dollop of jelly, about 1 teaspoon, on top of the batter in each cup.  Top with remaining batter, covering the jelly completely for each muffin.

Bake the muffins 22-24 minutes until they are deep golden.

Makes 12 muffins

Cilantro Jalapeno Chicken

27 Jul


  • 4 to 6 boned and skinned chicken breast halves
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed with stems removed
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 (8 oz.) jar Jalapeno Jelly
  • 1 (6 oz.) can limeade concentrate


In a food processor or blender, add garlic and cilantro (do not over process).  Add jelly and limeade.  Process until thick.  Set aside 1/4 cup for dipping.  Pour sauce over chicken in a zip-top back.  Marinate several hours or overnight in refrigerator.  Bake or grill.

Garlic and Jalapeno Jelly Wet Rub

27 Jul

Great on Chicken or Ribs.


  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Pick-a-peppa Sauce
  • 5 Tablespoons Jalapeno Jelly

Mash the garlic and salt together to form a paste.  In a small bowl combine the paste with the cumin, chili powder, ketchup, Worcestershire and Pickapeppa sauces and the Jalapeno jelly.  Stir to for a paste.  Rub on your favorite meat (chicken, ribs, brisket or maybe a pork tenderloin) and grill that baby up!

Is it July already?

6 Jul

I have no idea where this year went.  Perhaps planning and hosting 2 weddings in 19 months have taken up more of my time and brain than I realized.  But hey, we increased our family by 2 gorgeous hunks that make wonderful husbands for our 2 youngest daughters!  To top that off Paige and Adam (who got married in October 2012) are now expecting TWINS!!!

If that wasn’t hard enough to pull off without an emergency admit to the loony bin, our spring garden has pushed more buttons than I knew I had.  If you live in Texas you know we’ve had some pretty unusual weather for this part of the country.  Who would have ever thought we would have freezing temperatures in April for crying out loud, not to mention one brief cold snap in May!

Praise the Lord we survived and so did the plants.

The first Farmers Market of the season was pretty scary with hardly any vegetables available.  Talking with other farmers did make me feel somewhat better as we were all pretty much in the same boat.  Harvest ready vegetables were scarce all over, talk of having to “replant” after loosing an entire crop to frost damage made me thankful my husband learned many valuable lessons from his grandfather.

The Jacksonville Tomato Festival 2013 on June 8 made all the hard work worth it when we took First Place for our Heirloom Plate of Three Orange Heart Tomatoes, First Place for our Plate of Three with our Big Beef tomatoes, and First Place People Choice Award for our Plate of Three Big Beef tomatoes!  What a surprise that was, and it was our first year ever to enter!!!

So, the weddings are over, the honeymooners are back in Texas, and July is in full swing.  The tomatoes are still producing, the purple hull peas are in, shelled and bagged, there are a million eggplant out there growing daily, we’re starting to harvest the corn, peppers are everywhere and it’s time to harvest the dill seed.

The truck is in the shop AGAIN, so getting to the Farmers Markets is near impossible.  Our solution:  OPEN THE FARM!  We’ll set up a farm stand on Mondays and Fridays from 5-7 pm, and Saturdays from 9am-12 noon in the front of the house for all that want to come and get some fresh locally grown produce.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.