Blog Archives

Best WILD RICE side dish, ever!

This is my favorite wild rice side dish!
It is a great companion to pork chops, baked chicken, or your holiday turkey!
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Some side dishes are best served at room temp after flavors have chance to meld. Since I volunteered at Robinson Band Boosters’ Concession Stand at the high school basketball game last night, I made this ahead of time for my family to eat with baked chicken! It takes awhile to cook, then cool, but it is not fussy. It really doesn’t require your attention much during the process!

Basically, it’s wild rice cooked in vegetable broth. Add salt, raisins, and orange zest. Then, when it’s done cooking add the juice of the Orange, a cup of pecans, and fresh herbs: chives and mint (from my garden!) Its heavenly!! It’s a pretty versatile dish! I think it would be great to add a few hot red pepper flakes, if you like heat!

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4 cups of unsalted vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon salt
1.5 cups uncooked wild rice
Ground/grated peel of one fresh orange
Juice of one orange
1.5 cups golden raisins
1.5 cups pecan pieces
Fresh mint, coarsely chopped
Fresh chives, coarse my chopped
*Red pepper flakes, or my house pepper flakes

1) Bring veg broth to a boil. Add salt and rice. Boil for 10 minutes, covered. Reduce heat to simmer, add raisins, orange peel, and optional pepper flakes. Simmer, covered, for one hour.
2) Remove from heat. Squeeze juice from one orange into the pot and fold in pecans, mint, and chives. Allow it to it to cool about an hour, melding flavors, to room temperature before serving.
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I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Feel free to leave a comment if you try this one! You can find more of my recipes on my this site by clicking, here!

Your Friend,
~Amber Hamilton Henson

Blueberry Pretzel Salad!

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Happy Sunday, y’all! How was your weekend? Ours was awesome! Yesterday, I went to an estate sale, had lunch at Purple Cow diner and then spent the afternoon with Mitch, our girls, my dad, Tammy, and a few nephews. Today, I visited another estate sale this morning and bought a cute little hand painted bowl, grocery shopped, have had a parade of my daughters’ friends stopping by to see Abigail’s newly redecorated room, and am now making this yummy, yummy treat!

This year, we grew enough blueberries to eat a few fresh, shared some with the birds (not by choice), and we froze the rest. Today, we decided to put some to use in a BLUEBERRY PRETZEL SALAD! It’s great as a snack or dessert!

Using whatever fruit is seasonal, make a delicious Jell-O dessert that is sweet, savory, creamy and crunchy by adapting this easy recipe:

Ingredients:
3 cups crushed pretzels
1 cup melted butter
4 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 (8 oz) container whipped topping
1 (6 oz) packages Berry Blue Jell-O gelatin dessert mix
2 cups boiling water + 2 cups cool water
1 pound of frozen blueberries (mine are from my garden, frozen)

Easy Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Make Jell-O with water per package instructions.
Take off burner and stir in blueberries. Set aside to cool.
For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and the 4 tablespoons of sugar.
Press pretzel mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes.
Set aside on wire rack to cool.
In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar
Fold whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.
Once crust and Jell-O is cool you are ready to put your salad together!
On pretzel crust, spread cream cheese mixture evenly then pour Jello with strawberries on top
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours until well set.

Notes:
Please be sure to spread cream cheese mixture evenly and up against the edges of the pan…this will ensure that the Jell-O will not seep to the bottom under the pretzel crust. Also, kids LOVE helping with several steps of this recipe! Enjoy!

(For the strawberry version from which this was adapted, visit Strawberry Pretzel Salad at Women Living Well.)

Your Friend,
~Amber Hamilton Henson

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PS
This post will link with some great blog hops this week!
Pop into the parties at these links:
ArkansasWomenBloggers ~ Sunday Link Up
my1929charmer ~ Sunday’s Best Par-Tay #64
Rattlebridge Farm ~ Foodie Friday

Stuffed Dates Re-Invented!

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Y’all, I love to give to a precise, technical recipe, but that’s not how this one went down. I saw a cool story/recipe about stuffed dates and decided to use the same ingredients in a slightly different way, because I just couldn’t find the time to stuff all of the dates individually, but I was drooling about using those flavors and textures together!

So here’s what I did:
I baked a traditional, flour based pie shell.
I softened 8 oz cream cheese.
I mixed in a few Tbsp of local honey and a tsp of cinnamon.
I folded in about 1.5 cups chopped walnuts.
I folded in about a pound of pitted dates, cut into quarters.
I spread the mix into my pre-baked pie shell.
I used a few leftover dates and walnuts to make a cute heart shape on top!
Fam and I ate it! LOVED it!!

Photos:

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Your Friend,
~Amber Hamilton Henson

This post will link with some great blog hops this week!
Pop into the parties at these links:
FromMyFrontPorchToYours ~ Treasure Hunt Thursday
SweetBellaRoos ~ Pin It Thursdays
SavvySouthernStyle ~ Wow Us Wedsnesdays #181
RattlebridgeFarm ~ Foodie Friday

BANANA PEPPER POPPERS!

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Q: what should I do with a bumper crop of Banana Peppers from my little garden?
A: I should stuff them and bake them!

Q: what should I stuff them with?
A: a mix of softened cream cheese, crumbled bacon, & fresh chives!

Q: should I top them with anything?
A: grated sharp cheddar cheese, of course!

Q: how long should I bake them?
A: a 375*F for about 10 minutes, then with broiler for a couple more!

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🙂

Your Friend,
~Amber Hamilton Henson

More questions?
Just ask!
I’m here!

Feel free to pin, fb, tweet it, etc!

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PS
This post will link with blog hops!:
Savvy Southern Style ~ Wow Us Wednesdays
IvyAndElephants ~ What’s It Wednesdays #127
MigonisHome ~ Everyday Enchanting #6
FromMyFrontPorchToYours ~ Treasure Hunt Thursday #164
MizHelensCountryCottage ~ Full Plate Thursday
SweetBellaRoos ~ Pin It Thursday
FiveLittleChefs ~ Fantastic Thursdays
RattlebridgeFarm ~ Foodie Friday

Turnip “Fries”

Take 4 turnips, peel and slice into French fry size strips. Toss with 2 tsp. olive oil and add seasonings you like (I use sea salt, garlic powder, and Mrs. Dash extra spicy). Lay out on a baking sheet and bake at 400 until lightly browned. They will not become crispy as they dehydrate, but they will have a consistency like McDonald’s fries. 🙂 Enjoy!

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🙂
~Amber
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DOLMA! (Lamb in GrapeLeaves!)

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LAMB DOLMAS

1 1⁄2 Lb lean ground lamb
1⁄2 medium sized leek (finely chopped)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
2 lemons (zested and juiced)
1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
small handful of mint leaves (chopped)
small handful parsley (chopped)
small handful fresh dill (chopped)
2 tsp mustard
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper to your liking
1 jar grape leaves (drained of brine and soaked in fresh cold water)

*Place a medium to large size sauté pan over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of grape seed or olive oil and lightly cook leeks and garlic till softened but not browned (about 5 minutes), to cool. set aside
*After allowing leeks to cool, add all ingredients except grape leaves in a sufficient mixing bowl. Begin to mix filling until just thoroughly combined making sure not to over mix . *Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
*Lay out a clean towel or some paper towel. One at a time, take a grape leave, place shiny side down on towel stem facing yourself. Add a couple small spoonfuls of lamb mixture to center of grape leaf. Firmly tuck in left and right side of leaf, then with both of your thumbs tightly roll forward. (You can do this one by one or lay ten leaves out at a time)
*Place each dolma on a lightly sprayed (with olive oil) sheet pan seam side down. Place sheet pan on middle rack in a preheated 400 oven and bake for about 8 minutes or until internal tem- perature is 140 degrees.
Makes 25-30 dolmas. ENJOY!

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🙂
~Amber Hamilton Henson
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St. Patrick’s Day Fun!

We used a cookie cutter as template/border for pouring our sprinkles onto our St. Patrick’s Day pie! It’s a Jello brand no bake cheesecake that we tinted green with food coloring! Yummy!

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My nails are also painted sparkly green for the occasion! Haha! Can’t pinch me!!

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I may update this post with a few more pics, tomorrow!

We hope you enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day, too!!

Your Friend,
~Amber Hamilton Henson

King Cake!

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Mini-Me(s) & I made tomorrow’s breakfast! We looked for them at two stores, but who needs purple sprinkles when candy coated chocolate purple beads are available?! 😃

Yep, that’s about a pound of cream cheese icing melted across our cinnamon bundt cake. Love it!

~Amber

Happy National Margarita Day!

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Happy National Margarita Day! Feb 22, 2014!

Margarita Night!

5 rings fresh pineapple
3 Tbsp Orange Liqueur
3 Tbsp simple syrup
2 Tbsp Agave nectar
4 Tbsp lime juice
8 Tbsp tequila
3 cups ice

Blend in blender, thoroughly!
Drink. Repeat as needed!
(Please, drink responsibly!)

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Sriracha Fig Jam Wings!

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Sriracha Fig Jam Wings: Is there anything better than sweet and heat meets meat? Mmmmmmm!! I let my chicken wings marinate all day, coated first in a dry Sriracha seasoning and then slathered generously in a blend of fig preserves and more Sriracha seasoning! Then, this evening baked them to perfection at 375*F! Soooo yummmmm!

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If you can’t find dry Sriracha seasoning in your local grocery store yet, no worries, you can buy it online, here at this link, and have it delivered to your door! It’s still new to me, but I’m loving experimenting with it. Having the option to add Sriracha flavors into recipes without adding extra moisture is fantastic!

Side note: I’m a bit of a jelly snob, I think. I am drawn primarily to local, artisanal jams and jellies that aren’t widely available in big box stores. Peach/Lavender Preserves, Strawberry/Jalapeño Jam, and Blackberry/Habenero are a few of my faves. And fig. As much as I love the fig preserves that I buy, I’d been searching for a fig preserve that was amped up a bit. This dry Sriracha seasoning is my answer! I mixed a few spoonfuls into my fig preserves and SUCCESS!! DIY Sriracha Fig Preserves is now among my faves for everyday use! Mmmmmm!!

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🙂
Your Friend,
~Amber Hamilton Henson