Connect with us


Wash Your Neck – It’s Red!

By Gini Raineycookbook_junkie[1]

So, I’ve been sitting here, reading a book that was sent to me for review that is written in south Texas dialect from the 1920s, and I’m thinking, what would be better to write about today than “The Redneck Cookbook” by Lo’retta Love?  This campy little 128 page cookbook should satisfy anyone’s need for mighty fine, down home cookin’ – including the trimmins – according to the author.  The introduction, written by Lo’retta, divulges the purpose of this book published in 1997 by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.  Seems this collection was put together for Lo’retta on the occasion of her cousin Nadine’s wedding to Dwayne and is filled with the recipes for the food served following the nuptials.

With the sound wedding advice that Lo’retta gives Nadine, remember that “cooking isn’t something you measure.  It’s something you feel.  Never be afraid to try something different.  If you don’t have wine for a sauce, try a little Coca-Cola.”  Keeping that in mind, I’m sure anyone who reads through this book will wind up with a permanent smile on their face.  Filled with disclaimers backed by knowledge gleaned from years of experience in the kitchen, just remember that “Black Bean Nachos might be a little messy, but are great for
entertaining if you aren’t too fussy about your carpet.”  Have you ever thought about using baby food as a time saver?  Well, there is a recipe for Fast Spinach Soup that calls for 2 large jars of junior baby food spinach.

In a section devoted to Chicken and Game Birds, Lo’retta shares a hen house full of great redneckways to prepare chicken, dove, and wild turkey.  When was the last time you barbequed a chicken using peanut butter?  It just might be time for you to try it.  Oh, and if you don’t feel like using your peanut butter on the chicken, she also has included the Elvis Sandwich that combines peanut butter, mayonnaise, and bananas on white bread.  I’ve heard that a lot of folks in the south like Fried Bologna Sandwiches.  For some reason that has about as much appeal to me as a Spam sandwich, so I’ve not tried that one.  Maybe I’m just not red-neck enough!  Nor have I understood the rationale behind a sandwich that has stuffing on it,  but I guess if I’m ever tempted, I could use Lo’retta’s recipe for Truck Man’s Sandwich that also calls for leftover turkey, gravy and cranberry mold on white bread.  If you’re looking for a really simple sandwich to make, you might want to try Baby Sister’s Favorite Sandwich – 2 slices of white bread, mayonnaise and potato chips.  And, then again, maybe not.

Actually, aside from the off-beat introduction, this little book is filled with some great sounding recipes and it probably would make a great wedding gift for some of your kissing cousins.  Anything to keep that new husband from having to eat spaghettios from a can would be a good thing!

So, back to that Fast Spinach Soup.  If you’re a fan of spinach soup, this might become a go-to recipe for you.  All it calls for is 2 large jars of spinach junior baby food mixed well with 4 cups of chicken broth, 2 cups of homemade (or canned) white sauce, and 1 teaspoon of curry powder. Heat it in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water and garnish with 2 chopped, hard-boiled eggs, croutons, or a dollop of sour cream.  What could be easier, or more elegant, and who would guess that it all started out with baby food?


A Good Pounding!

Ad Eguide

By Gini Rainey

Good grief, that’s exactly what I deserve.  I have been so over-whelmed with life in the past few months – okay, this year – that I have neglected to do what I love doing – writing!  So, apparently it took an email to our editor/publisher to get me off high center.  She forwarded this email to me on June 24th and it comes from an editor named Jess Miller who just happens to be associated with  Jen Reviews is the authority on everything food, fitness and home and has been featured in some mind-blowing (my mind, anyway!) publications such as Forbes, Fast Company, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Greatist, Reader’s Digest, MindBodyGreen, Livestrong, Bustle, Lifehacker, Wikihow, and oh my goodness, many many more. 

Jess email says “I was doing research on pound cake recipes and just finished reading your wonderful blog post: In that article, I noticed that you cited a solid post that I’ve read in the past:  We just published a delicious cranberry pound cake with orange glaze recipe complete with step-by-step pictures and detailed instructions. It is completely free and you can find it here:  If you like the recipe we’d be humbled if you cited us in your article.” 

The gauntlet was thrown and I tried it.  I baked it last night and it is yummy.  Of course, knowing me, you know I have to pull in a cookbook of some sort, and for those of you out there who don’t know where the name “Pound Cake” comes from, I pulled out my earliest reference that I have, which is a replica of “American Cookery” written by Amelia Simmons in 1796. It’s really interesting to leaf through this book and try to read some of the recipes.  It is actually a photocopy of the original and along with various spots and stains, the letter “f” is used in place of the letter “s.”  Originally, a pound cake called for one pound of sugar, one pound of butter, one pound of flour, one pound or ten eggs, one gill of rose water and spices to your taste. (Hence pound cake!) We are told to watch it well (remember – wood burning stoves/ovens back then) It will bake in a slow oven in 15 minutes. 

The recipe referred to by Jess is a bit different and perhaps produces a much lighter version than the 1796 version.  What you will need to do to make Jess’s recipe is to begin with a 350° pre-heated oven and a lightly greased and floured 12×4 inch loaf pan.  Then in a bowl, whisk together 1 ¾ cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt.  In another bowl, cream 9 ounces of softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon orange zest until light and fluffy.  Then slowly add in 4 eggs plus 2 yolks (at room temp), followed by 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar. Then alternating between the flour mixture and ¼ cup room temp milk, gradually add to the sugar/egg mixture.  Lightly dredge in flour 1 ¼ cups of washed and dried fresh cranberries (because fresh cranberries aren’t on the market at this time, I substituted rehydrated dried cranberries and I think they did well) and gently fold into the mixture.  Pour into the pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  For the glaze, combine 2 cups of powdered sugar with 2 ½ tablespoons of fresh orange juice, and using a small spoon, drizzle over the completely cooled cake. 

This is one yummy cake – the unexpected tartness is a wonderful compliment to the buttery richness of the cake and would serve you well at a winter holiday meal – or even right now in the middle of the hot Texas summer along with a bowl of home-made ice cream! 

Continue Reading


Smith’s Bar-B-Que Opens in Jacksonville

ben wheeler

Smith’s Bar-B-Que had a great Ribbon Cutting on Friday, April 5. Smith’s Bar-B-Que is owned and operated by Gary Smith and has been in business for 11 years. They started in the Exxon parking lot but has now found a home at the Travis Towers parking lot at 558 S. Ragsdale. They serve ribs, brisket, sausage, pulled pork and their famous stuffed baked potato. You can also add beans, potato salad and peach cobbler. They also offer catering with no event being too big or too small. Gary Smith is a culinary school graduate, food service manager and the 1st to obtain his vendors permit from the City of Jacksonville. Hours are Friday and Saturday 11 am until…..

They are at 558 S. Ragsdale in Jacksonville, Texas and can be reached at 903.944.0036.

stanleys bbq tyler tx eguide magazine

Continue Reading


Artists in the Kitchen

ben wheeler

By Gini Rainey

I have many passions in my life, mostly leaning toward my right brain, but after working for over 25 years as a business manager/owner, my left brain seems to have shoved a lot of those passions to the side, but trust me – they’re still there!  So, when I come across a cookbook that has wonderful recipes that are paired up with amazing works of art from the National Gallery of Art, you can be sure this is one book I had to have. 

With notable chefs such as Julia Child, Jeremiah Tower and Alice Waters creating dishes and menus to compliment the art of Matisse, Pissaro, and Gauguin, to name a few, you can only imagine what a lovely and creative book this must be. 

While using paintings of the obvious subjects, such as Vollon’s Mound of Butter and Jean Simeon Chardin’s Still Life with Game for inspiration, I think the recipes that truly intrigue me are from the chefs who viewed such paintings as Raoul Dufy’s The Basket and Mary Cassatt’s Afternoon Tea Party, let their imaginations run wild and came up with what might have been in the basket or what Cassatt might served at her Tea Party. 

Pablo Picasso’s Le Gourmet was the inspiration for Nancy Silverton’s Butterscotch Sauce that would make a delicious topping for a bread pudding or a dish of Blue Bell’s Homemade Vanilla ice cream. To make the sauce, combine 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup, and 2 ½ tablespoons Scotch whisky in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the mixture just begins to smoke and turns an amber color.  Meanwhile, place 1 ¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream in another large saucepan, split a vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape its seeds into the and then add the pod.  Add 1 cup of butter and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and set aside until needed.

When the sugar mixture reaches the proper color, immediately stop its cooking by whisking in the cream mixture in small amounts, waiting a few seconds between additions to prevent it from boiling over.  Once all the cream mixture is incorporated, simmer the sauce for 5 minutes.  Whisk in ½ cup of butter until combined.  The sauce will keep for several weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  To reheat, place the sauce in a bowl over simmering water.  If desired, add some toasted pecans or add a dash of sea salt to taste, and wow, you have got something really yummy going on there. 



Continue Reading

More To Do!