Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

Entries Tagged as 'food'

Southern Charm

February 27th, 2014 · 4 Comments

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As a newly minted southerner myself, I’m always fascinated by southern culture!  The first year we lived in Texas, I was surprised to find out things really are different in the south.  It’s true: the pace is a little slower, the people are a LOT friendlier, and the landscape is a little more colorful than I’ve seen anywhere else.

So I was super excited to tackle some classic southern recipes in celebration for Bravo’s new reality series, Southern Charm!  (Check out the trailer here!) It’s about a group of twenty-somethings in Charleston, and I love that it’s showing all the traditions of southern culture, and the behind-the-scenes drama too! 

I’ve already set my DVR for the premiere on Monday — it’s basically everything I look for in a reality show!  Southern aristrocrats, backstabbing drama… I.  Cannot.  Wait!

For this post, I picked two of the ultimate classic southern recipes: Strawberry Shortcake and Sweet Tea!  (Incidentally, these are two of Chad’s favorite things on this planet, so I had a very happy husband when he got home!) One of my favorite things about southern culture is the way that it can be so traditional and so modern at the same time, so I thought these were the perfect dishes to try!  They’re both recipes that his parents and grandparents have made, but they’re perfectly at home in our modern kitchen.  Kind of like this show — a little old, a little new, and the perfect guilty pleasure. 

(And yes, I totally ate shortcake for breakfast after making this!)

So mark your calendars for the premiere on March 3rd, and in the meantime, get in the mood by whipping up these southern recipes!

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Sweet Tea

INGREDIENTS
Pinch baking soda
2 cups boiling water
6 tea bags
3/4 cup white sugar
6 cups water
1 lemon, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

Sprinkle a pinch of baking soda into a large metal bowl or glass pitcher (must be heat-proof). Carefully our in boiling water, and add sugar and tea bags. Stir, and allow to steep for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, pour in cool water, stir again, and then refrigerate.  Serve over ice with sliced lemons.

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Strawberry Shortcake

INGREDIENTS
16 ounces fresh strawberries, stems removed and sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
2 cups whipped heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss the strawberries with 1/2 cup of white sugar, setting aside a few for garnishing.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tbsp white sugar and salt.  Cut in the shortening until combined, and then add the beaten egg and milk.  Stir until just combined.

Spread the batter onto a greased 8-inch cake pan.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden, and then allow the cake to cool for about ten minutes on a wire rack.

Slice the partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with the whipped cream and reserved strawberries, and serve.

And remember to tune in on Monday, March 3rd at 10/9c for the Season Premiere of Southern Charm only on Bravo!

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Tags: desserts · food · sponsored

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

January 27th, 2014 · 9 Comments

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Here’s the thing about our slow cooker:

We have owned it for YEARS.  I’m not sure if it was a present or just something I picked up one day, but we have a beautiful, fancy-schmancy one from All Clad, and we’ve had it for probably five years.

And up until a few months ago, do you know how many times I had used it?  Once.  (Conveniently documented on Sugarlaws, I used it to make beef chili back in 2009… during which I accidentally fed Chad a spoonful of straight cayenne pepper, oops!  He still brings it up.)

For a long time, I thought our slow cooker might go the way of the breadmaker — a bulky, essentially useless appliance that eventually we’ll either give away or toss when we run out of kitchen space.  But then a few months ago, I thought to myself: “Hey, these things are supposed to be really good for easy meals, and I’m about to have an infant on my hands in a few months, so anything that can make cooking dinner into a five-minute endeavor might be worth revisiting.”

And so I did.  This recipe is about the simplest, easiest thing ever — just a couple of ingredients, and you literally put them in a pot and check back in 5 hours. 

And when I did?  I went to lift a chicken breast out of the pot, and it literally fell apart on the fork.  Needless to say, a big grin spread across my face — this one was an instant success.

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Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

INGREDIENTS

3 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
8 ounces barbeque sauce (I used Bulls Eye Original, because Chad is extremely picky about these things)
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Sandwich rolls, split

DIRECTIONS

Place chicken in a slow cooker.  Mix together the barbecue sauce, italian dressing, brown sugar, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.  Cover, and cook 4 hours on your slow cooker’s “High” setting. 

When the chicken is cooked, use two forks to shred the breasts.  Spoon generously onto sandwich rolls (I also like to add a layer of extra bbq sauce to the rolls) and serve. 

Makes enough chicken for 6 sandwiches.

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Tags: food · main dishes

peanut butter bars

January 3rd, 2014 · 1 Comment

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Oh, I know.  You’re *so* over baking right now.  You made Thanksgiving dinner, and then Christmas cookies, and then Christmas dinner, and then a few special treats for New Year’s, and now you’re ready to hang up your oven mitts until Valentine’s Day, thank you very much.

But… I bet I can tempt you into one more recipe.  Just one more.  An hour of your time, tops.  A few more dirty dishes.  And in exchange for that tiny little bit of effort… Peanut Butter Bars.

Still not convinced.  Here’s my clincher: No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Yup, you can have these delicious bars without even turning on the oven!  So if anything can get you back into the holiday spirit, it’s this recipe. 

Also, can I brag for a second?  These plates are from two different Noritake patterns, and I fell in love with how they looked together!  The black and white BoB and WoW patterns are a little more casual, and perfect for taking my longtime favorite (Cometa) into more low-key parties.  One of my favorite things about Noritake is how easy it is to mix and match their patterns — I feel like I get so many different options just by owning a bunch of pieces from a selection of different patterns!

And, as a quick reminder, you can always use the coupon code SUGARLAWS for 15% off!  (And check out some of my favorite patterns on their site here!)

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

INGREDIENTS
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons peanut butter

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.

Melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter (I did mine in the microwave on 20-second intervals), stirring until smooth. Spread over the prepared crust.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

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Tags: food · holiday · sponsored