Family Favorites - By popular demand
Hi everyone! Belle Calhoune here. I'm very excited to be visiting the Yankee Belle Cafe.
Frankly, I love to cook, which is a good thing since my family loves to eat.
In Forever Her Hero, my May Love Inspired release, the Trask family gathers for a family celebration on the beach to enjoy a clambake and fellowship. When my own family comes together in Cape Cod, I tend to make family favorites. Seafood. Chicken kabobs on the grill. Grilled corn on the cob. One of my main goals is to satisfy the taste buds of the adults as well as the younger crowd (teenagers and the 11 and under crew).
First, let me say that I am a crock pot gal. Call me crock pot crazy. It fascinates me how many things I can make in this magical cooking device. Last year we had a tragic moment where I dropped the lid of my crock pot, causing it to shatter on the kitchen floor. Yes, there were tears. And a hushed silence as my husband and two girls waited for me to lose it. That's how much I loved my crock pot. Happily, a few weeks later a brand new one was sitting under my Christmas tree. Might I add that it was nicer than the one I broke. Score!
Savory Chili. This happens to be my all time favorite meal. Good thing the rest of my family loves it as well. Throw in some cornbread and I'm in heaven. I consider this the ultimate comfort food, perfect to put on the table all year round. My mother used to make it for us all the time. I love how easy it is to make. You can also choose an alternative to ground beef for a different taste and a healthier option.
Hamburger, Ground Turkey or Ground Chicken Meat.
Hamburger, Ground Turkey or Ground Chicken Meat.
1 can of tomatoes
2 can of tomato paste
1 cup marinara sauce
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 chopped onion
1/4th of a tsp of pepper
1/4th of a tsp of salt
1 tsp of oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
Chili Pepper (as needed)
1 Can of Kidney beans, strained
Packet of Chili seasoning.
Brown meat in skillet. Once browned and fat drained off you can start adding whole tomatoes, tomato paste and marinara sauce. Then add the kidney beans, onion and garlic. Mix in all the seasonings. Let the chili simmer for a half an hour on low for best results.
My Aunt Josephine was born on the island of Monserrat in the West Indies, along with my grandmother. Aunt Jo was a fantastic cook. She was a baker extraordinaire. My one major regret is that we didn't record all of her recipes in a family cookbook. I can still taste her rice and beans, as well as her carrot cake and almond cookies. Her recipe for lemon squares is one I still have the recipe for.
Lemon Squares with a tropical twist:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4th a cup of sifted powdered sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ tsp of finely grated lemon peel
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/4th tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Set oven to 350. Mix flour and powdered sugar. Add butter to mixture. Once mixture clings together place in baking pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. While crust is cooking beat eggs with a mixer, adding in granulated sugar along with lemon peel, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat until smooth and mixture thickens. Set aside. Stir together 2 tablespoons flour and baking powder then add to egg mixture. Take out crust from oven. Pour mixture over warm bottom crust. Place back in oven for 30 minutes. Once out of oven sift powdered sugar on top.
Voila! After the lemon bars cool, cut them into squares and enjoy.
Clabber Girl. I recently discovered this product. Can you believe it? My husband brought it home from the supermarket and I just stared at it because I thought it was the cutest thing. I then posted it on my author page and discovered that Clabber girl is famous. As a New Englander born and bred, I hadn't seen it or used it. All I can say is, I'm now a fan. Where has Clabber Girl been all my life?
Apple crumble. A favorite dessert often requested by my youngest daughter, Sierra. She could eat this every day, and it's my go-to dessert when I have lots of apples to use up.
I've used all kinds of apples to make this, which results in a sometimes sweeter and other times tarter taste.
Now that Spring has finally sprung in Connecticut, my mind is beginning to wander to family barbecues and get togethers. What's your family favorite recipe?
Belle Calhoune grew up in small town outside of Boston. An avid reader since she was a child, she was known to always have her nose buried in a book. Thankfully, her Physician mother and Biologist father never discouraged her from reading romance novels. While at Syracuse University, Belle met her future husband and majored in English literature. After graduation Belle became a Federal Investigator in Boston, celebrated the birth of her first child and worked full-time as her husband attended law school. After the birth of her youngest child, Belle moved to southern Connecticut where she began to focus on her writing dreams while being a stay at home mom. Writing for Harlequin Love Inspired is a dream come true. Being able to work in her pjs and stay home with her mini poodle and Chocolate Lab are huge perks. Busy writing and plotting her next novel, Belle loves to hear from readers. Visit Belle at: http://www.bellecalhoune.com