Sweet Pepper Relish!

I love a good relish or chow chow.  It is so good with beans and fresh vegetables or on a hot dog or good smoked sausage.  However, it's hard to find a really tasty recipe for sweet pepper relish.   

This is probably one of the best.  It's one of those really old recipes that has been around for a while and it came from the lady that ran our elementary cafeteria years ago.   My mother was fortunate enough to get several of her recipes.  She was a wonderful southern cook.  

I am sure this recipe was in her own family for years.  You will be surprised by how uncomplicated making something like this actually is, if you have a good recipe.  Here is what you will need:

4 cups ground onions
1 medium head of cabbage, ground (4 cups)
10 green tomatoes, ground  (4 cups)
12 green bell peppers, ground
6 red bell peppers, ground
1/2 cup salt
6 cups sugar
1 Tbs. celery seed
2 Tbs. turmeric
4 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water

Grind the vegetables using the coarse blade of the grinder.  This recipe was before the invention of the food processor, but you can use your food processor. 

 If you do use a food processor, be careful not to over process this.  It should be left coarse.  We are making relish, not juice and it's easy to over do it with those powerful food processors nowadays.  

Do I sound like I have experience with   I have had a few batches of salsa that was more like spicy tomato juice, before I got used to a new food processor.

Sprinkle the vegetables with the 1/2 cup of salt.  Cover and let sit in the fridge over night. 

The next day, rinse and drain.  Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over the vegetables in a large pan.  Place on the stove and heat to boiling.   Turn the heat down and simmer for about 3 minutes. 

Seal in hot, sterilized jars.  My mother always turns the jars, after filling and sealing, upside down on a kitchen towel to aid in the sealing process.  This makes 8 pints of relish. 

Isn't it pretty?  This would be great for an inexpensive, but thoughtful, Christmas gift.  Tie a little burlap or gingham bow around the jar and it would be darling!

Caramel Pumpkin Lush!


This time of year my mind turns to recipes I can make that include pumpkin, sweet potatoes, or apples, the things that are plentiful and so good here during Autumn.    I must admit I am one of those people who love all things "pumpkin spice" and I did even before it became such a thing with the latte drinking crowd!   I just love pumpkin and anything cinnamon or pumpkin spice flavored!   

That is how this dessert came to be.  There are some similar recipes online, but I sort of adapted it to make it my own version,  and it's delicious!!!  This is great for serving company or to take to a big family dinner, because it serves several people.  Here is what you will need:

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
2 cups self rising flour
1 cup nuts, chopped pecans, divided
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla
2 (3 oz.) small boxes instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
16 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided 

Fall sprinkles
candy corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   In  a mixing bowl, combine the flour and the softened butter.  Spray a 9"x13" baking pan with nonstick spray.  

 Pat the flour and butter mixture into the pan evenly.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of chopped pecans over all and press them lightly into the crust before you bake it.   Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool.  

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla until smooth.  Fold in two cups of the whipped topping until blended. Spread evenly over the crust.  

In another large bowl beat the dry pudding mixes with the cold milk until thickened.  Beat in 1/2 cup of caramel topping.  Spread over the cream cheese layer.  
Drop the remaining whipped topping by spoonfuls over the top and spread evenly.

Drizzle the top with the other 2 Tablespoons of caramel topping and sprinkle with the rest of the chopped pecans.    You can also garnish with Fall colored sprinkles!!! 

Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight!!!

When ready to serve, cut in squares!  I garnished with a little candy corn for an extra Fall touch!!!   This is wonderful dessert for Fall and the upcoming holidays and it keeps in the fridge for several days!!! Enjoy!!! 


Sausage Gravy!

Sausage gravy is an old southern favorite we have been making and eating for years and it's still a family favorite at our house! 

 Sometime when I plan recipes to make and post,  I tend to forget some of the simple and most loved favorites, just because they are not all that impressive or pretty!  I tend to think about the three layer cakes or the pretty salads and such!   Sometime the simple things, like sausage gravy, are the things people will actually be more likely to make!  

I was asked about a recipe for sausage gravy a few weeks ago and it just dawned on me that I hadn't posted one for it!   When I do post this sort of thing, I will always get comments like,  "Who needs a recipe for that?"  "Doesn't everybody know how to make that?" 

Well,  as a matter of fact, they do not know, especially, nowadays.   More and more people just don't learn to cook or they don't have anyone who taught them to cook.   It is always so gratifying to me when someone writes me and says I have helped them learn to cook better meals for their family!   

1 lb. breakfast sausage, browned
2 Tbs. reserved bacon drippings
1/3 cup flour
4 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

In a large skillet, brown 1 lb. of sausage.  Break it up in fairly small pieces.  Add the bacon drippings.  Don't skip this step, because your gravy won't be as good and sausage now, doesn't have enough grease in it to make gravy. 

  Add 1/3 cup flour to the browned meat and cook for about 1 - 2 minutes.   Be sure to break up any clumps.  

Pour in the milk in and whisk until smooth.  I prefer to use whole milk in this.   Bring up to a low boil, where bubbles just  start to form.    You need to stir this frequently, because it can stick to the pan.   Add the salt and pepper and stir.   It will continue to thicken as it cooks.

Pour up in a bowl when you are ready to serve!

Serve over homemade biscuits!    It's so yummy!