Happy 1 month Birthday Tuck!
Daisy sang “Happy Birthday” sweetly in his ear…. then she asked if she could have a swig out of his milk bottle, to go with the cake of course!
Have I got your attention yet?
I got his! Well, to be completely honest, I always have his attention unless I’m talking about veal, hamburgers, steak or chuck roast. In that case he runs for cover and gets in the fetal position for hours until I apologize and promise he’ll never be any of these, give him a giant bottle of warm milk to calm his fears and a big hug. Then we’re friends again…….Meet Tuck! Also known as Tucky boy and Daisy Dog’s BFF. (She thinks he’s here solely for her amusement.) He’s currently our resident orphan calf. To see more of his adventures with his best friend Daisy, follow them along on Instagram @cowgirlskitchentales.
Today, I’m making Potato Salad. But this ain’t like Aunt Verns ole’ tradtional tater salad, it’s my twist on a Southern barbecue staple. Seriously, how can you go wrong with bacon, cheese, potatoes and to top it all off….. ranch dressing? Whew……..my taste buds are jumping already and I haven’t even started shredding the cheese!
Here’s what you’ll need:
5 lbs Red Potatoes
12-16 slices of Bacon (cooked and crumbled)
1 pack dry Ranch Dressing
1 ½ cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
3 Tablespoons chopped Green Onions
For the dressing you’ll need:
1 pack dry Ranch Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
Start with 5 lbs of red potatoes like these.
Wash the taters and cut.
This is a good size. Try to cut them as close to the same size as possible so they’ll cook evenly. Huge chunks of hard potatoes in your potato salad is a big faux pas. Especially when it’s up against Aunt Verns tater salad at the 4th of July barbecue!
*Tip- You can cut the potatoes in advance. To keep them from browning put them in a large container and cover with water. Making sure they’re all completely submerged. Keep them refrigerated until you’re ready to cook.
Put the cut potatoes in a large stock pot, submerging them all in water. Boil on medium to high heat until they’re tender.
While the potatoes are cooking make the ranch dressing. Whisk together 1 cup of buttermilk, 1 cup of mayonnaise ( I use Kraft) and 1 pack of dry ranch dressing. Set aside for later.
Once the potatoes are done, drain them in a colander and cool completely. I usually run cold water over them to speed up the cooling process. Just make sure they’re completely cool before you move forward.
Take one pack of dry ranch dressing and sprinkle over the cooked potatoes.
This is what I use. *NOTE* You will notice that I talk about the brands I use. I’m not suggesting that one product is better than another nor do I get paid to talk about specific brands. I simply share what I’ve found to work for me. Like in all recipes fill free to adjust measurements and use the brands you love. I’m only sharing for reference.
Now, throw in the crumbled bacon, shredded cheese and green onions. Stir to distribute everything evenly.
Pour the prepared Ranch Dressing over the potato mixture and stir, making sure everything is incorporated.
Garnish with cheese and green onions.
How easy was that? Simple but crazy delicious. Now, set that luscious bowl of tater salad next to Aunt Verns with pride. With just one bite she’ll know you’re the champion of potato salad! I overheard her say congealed salad is actually her specialty…….
Indulge and Enjoy,
Thank you to all that left comments and shared our page. It was fun reading them and seeing how you spent your day with dad. Some comments made me laugh, some made me cry and some made me think about all the special men that have made an impact on my life. Yes, Father’s Day is a day to celebrate dad, but I also think of it as a day to celebrate and tell the men that have positively influenced your life how much you appreciate and care for them. So here’s to you….. dad, stepdad, grandpa, grandaddy, uncle, brother, pastor or mentor…whatever you’re called by the people who love you most, I hope you felt loved on your special day!
Here are the 10 winners that were chosen in the most scientific, non bias and up to date technological way………….
Our “Comment” winners are:
1.) Mandy Griffin
2.) Jenny Loughridge
3.) Scott Sanders
4.) Nancy Graves
5.) Tammy Wetmore
Our “Facebook” winners are:
1.) Kristy Ingalls
3.) Traci Stricklin
4.) Sarah McCray
5.) Aimee Tucker Jinright
I’m also throwing in one honorary winner: Erin Braxton
Erin, cares for a 74 year old Veteran whose family lives away. Her story touched me so I’m sending her and her fella loot too!
Thank you to all that played! Check back with me soon for more fun giveaways!
Winners please private message me on Facebook with your mailing address or you can leave a private message here on the blog in the “contact us” section. Please send your information before Friday.
I love games and I love to win. Another cool fact about me is that I love to GIVE! Today I’m giving away Sweet P loot and it’s FREE!………..FREE!………..FREE!
**Photo credit: Big Dreamz Creative**
Shirts, hats and other random things from Sweet P’s could be yours!
Here’s how we’ll play the game. There’s 2 ways to win!
1.)Leave a comment below on what you did for Father’s Day and I’ll TREAT you! Just say….We grilled out, played at the lake or I took dad on an all expense paid tropical vacation……if that’s the case…..I want to be your daddy! Whatever you did, just tell me about it, I want to know. I need some great ideas for next year!
I’m going to randomly select 5 winners from the comments on this page.
2.) Share me with your friends on Facebook and I’ll SHARE with you!
I’ll randomly select 5 winners who share this post on Facebook.
*** Winners will receive 1 or more items from the old Sweet P market. You will not be able to select size, color or quantity. It will be like Christmas except Aunt Myrtle knows your shirt size and favortie color but I don’t! There are no exchanges, returns or complaints! You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit!
Hey guys it’s FREE!!
Check back here tomorrow for the winners and the information on how you’ll receive your goodies!
Cheers to FREE and old Sweet P,
Are you cooking up something special for dad this weekend? If so, I’ve got a quick and easy side dish that he’ll love!
Here’s what you’ll need
1 head of iceburg lettuce (chopped)
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 bunch broccoli florets
1 pound bacon (cooked and crumbled)
1 ½ cup mayonnaise (I use Kraft)
1 pack dry ranch dressing
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
Start by putting your chopped lettuce in a serving bowl. Layer the next three ingredients….green onions, broccoli and bacon. Reserve the shredded cheese for later.
This is what it should look like. Now, mix 1½ cups of mayonnaise with the dry ranch dressing.
Spread the mayonnaise mixture on top. Cover and refrigerate over night.
Right before you serve add the shredded cheese and blend. Sit back and watch it disapper.
Yippee yay a ………Cow Patty
This tune rings threw my head and invariably out of my mouth in song whenever I start to think about this special dessert.
Have you ever walked in a pasture filled with cows and smelled a proverbial aroma? It’s coming from a hot, steamy chocolate like patty…..well folks that’s poop…or nicely said a cow patty. Our best selling dessert looked like a cow patty but tasted better than a BonBon!
I originally called it a BonBon as a nod to the chocolate encased cake that I adored eating at Greg’s Deli, a local family owned deli and bakery, that once thrived in Montgomery, AL. The sweet chocolate cake merely resided as a mouth watering memory since Greg’s closed over fifteen years ago.
The name BonBon was always so enticing to me but just didn’t work for our establishment. I think it might have been to refined for us. I renamed it the “Cow Patty” and guess what……..it sold like crazy! Who would have ever thought something that sounded so wrong could be so right!
Today I’m going to show you a slighty different version of the original Cow Patty. Most people will remember buying them in small tin pans as single servings. Today, I’m showing you how to make it in a layered cake version. If you’re bias to the single serving, you can simply make your cake in a 9×13 cake pan then slice into single servings.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2½ cups sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pound butter (4 sticks softened)
½ cup butter (1 stick)
2 cups sugar
¼ cup cocoa
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Let’s start! Line four (8 inch) round pans.
Lay out a long sheet of parchment paper and trace the outter side of the pan with a pencil.
Fold the the parchment paper in half.
Fold again and cut your outline.
You should end up with four 8″ circles like this.
Lightly spray the inside of the pan with a non stick spray and place your parchment paper circle in the bottom.
Run your fingers around the inside to crease the edges and push any excess parchment paper up the side of the pan.
Now let’s get to the good part……CAKE!
Start by sifting 2 cups of all purpose flour into a bowl. DO NOT FORGET TO SIFT! It’s hard explaining to your 3 year old child why mommies chocolate cake has white chunks in it……ummm…… so say’s my friend. Trust me…just go with it and DON’T FORGET TO SIFT!
Now add 2½ cups of sugar.
Then sift in ¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt. Whisk to combine them well.
Pour in 1 cup of neutral vegetable oil. ( I use canola but you can also use soybean or a vegetable blend.) Now add 1 cup of sour cream. Confess….which one of you burst out in song……just a dollop of daisy…..if it wasn’t you, I’m sure you are now and YOU’RE WELCOME!
Moving right on. Gently stir to blend.
Gradually beat in 1½ cups of water until it’s all combined.
Blend in 2 tablespoons of distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. (I make my own vanilla extract but that’s another subject we will touch on soon.)
Whisk in 2 eggs. I always crack my eggs in a separate bowl just in case one happens to be bad and to also prevent pesky egg shells from roosting in my cake.
*TIP* I prefer to bake with eggs that are at room temperature. To achieve this quickly you can place your cold eggs in a bowl filled with luke warm water for a minute or so.
Beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure everything is incorporated.
Divide the batter between the four cake pans and give each a light tap on the counter to release any air pockets. Bake at 350 degrees until a tooth pick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean (20-30 minutes).
While your cakes are in the oven you can make the meringue and here’s how…..
You’re going to start the meringue by pouring 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar into a heat proof bowl, I use a Kitchen Aid mixing bowl. Then add 5 egg whites and a pinch of salt.
(You can use a double boiler but to save having to clean one more thing, I use the Kitchen Aid bowl and a pot filled with water about a quarter ways up…… I’m a rebel like that.)
Don’t over fill the sauce pan, one to two inches of water is enough. The bowl should not sit in the water. The steam is what cooks the mixture.
Side note…my husband officially thinks I’m a little to detailed because he watched me take a picture of this pot! I can’t tell you what he said but it was funny! I’ll introduce you to my funny man one day.
Back to where I was……. You will need to continually whisk this mixture until…
you can pull a string of it between your fingers and not feel the grains of sugar. The mixture should feel silky. At this point remove the mixture from the heat and…
begin to whisk. Start on the lowest setting, gradually increasing to the highest setting until soft peaks form. This should take 8-10 minutes. A good sign is when the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch.
Slice 4 sticks of butter into small cubes. When the mixture reaches the soft peak stage slow the whisk down. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla and the butter cubes one at a time, until all of the butter has been incorporated.
This is what it should look like.
Start assembling the cake by placing one cake layer on a plate and add a dollop of meringue.
Evenly spread the meringue. Continue the same pattern with each cake layer until you’ve placed the last layer on top.
At this point stop and begin to make the chocolate icing.
Melt one stick of butter in a sauce pan with 2 cups of sugar……
¼ cup of cocoa and a ½ cup of milk in a sauce pan.
As the butter begins to melt you will need to stir, allowing everything to incorporate, so that the sugar doesn’t stick to the bottom of the sauce pan.
Allow the mixture to boil 1-2 minutes without stirring.
Give it a good stir and allow it to boil another minute or so. This is a good example of what it should look like.
The chocolate icing is very easy to make. Just be sure not to walk away from it to fold a load of laundry, wipe the babies nose and check Facebook. If you over cook it, the icing turns into a brick….. so say’s my friend……. just go with it and DON’T OVER COOK! If you do you might as well throw the sauce pan away…..so say’s the same friend!
Place strips of parchment or wax paper under the bottom layer. Prepare a bowl of ice. You will sit the hot pan of chocolate on top of the ice. This is called an ice bath. Stir until the chocolate has cooled and becomes the perfect consistency to pour over the cake. Make sure to stir all the way to the bottom of the pan. If you feel the chocolate is setting or hardening too fast simply pull it off the ice while you continue to stir. You should work fast during this stage because as the chocolate cools the perfect consistency is hard to control.
Start pouring the icing onto the center of the cake.
Work your way around the outter edges. Make sure you pour extra chocolate to allow excess to run over the sides.
As the chocolate begins to cool pull the parchment strips up along the sides of the cake to push excess chocolate back along the bottom layers.
Pull the strips away and voilá you’ve got your self a cow patty. The best cow patty you’ll ever eat…….so says my friend!
Yippee a yay……….. Cow Patty!
When we closed the restaurant, the burning question in everyone’s mind was …..where’s Sweet P, the pink cow?
We all know how she relished in her duties at the restaurant.
She loved greeting people who had traveled from all over the country.
And she always made tons of new girl friends.
Sweet P was some what bummed about her name sake restaurant closing. She even went into a mild depression. To snap out of it , she handled it like most girls would….
She got a brand new look.
She washed that pink right out of her hair and went totally punk blonde. Picture Miley Cyruss plus a thousand pounds; give or take. Thank goodness I haven’t seen her twerk yet. That would be awkward.
She’s been turned out to pasture for the last five month’s and is still living the sweet life!
She’s traded this hunk in for..
She definitely has a room with a view
and the pool is always open.
She’s even made a new friend; meet Geraldine. Sweet P says Geraldine is a sweet girl with lots of things on her mind. Sugar junkie. Easy to get a long with and stands up for her friends. She aspires to be on the cover of next years Chick-fil-A Calendar. Sweet P is rooting for her!
As you can see, Sweet P is living it up.
But just between you and me, I think she’s gaining a little weight. Do you think she might be……………
Here’s my twist on the Southern favorite…..Chicken Salad.
Our Chicken Salad evolved into something extra spectacular from its original conception after we hired a cook named Marion. Marion would quickly teach me about the importance of correctly seasoning food and to never be afraid to do so. Her tactics along side the spice rack would soon put this Deli favorite over the edge of perfection and it reined as the customer favorite for many years. Here’s the “skinny” on the Sweet P’s chicken salad.
*NOTE* contrary to what your mom and grandma taught you, you do not, I repeat do not need to wash your chicken! I know, shocker, right? This is a tip I learned during a class that anyone operating a commercial kitchen must be certified in. The program is called ServSafe. Their reasoning is that by washing your chicken under running water in your sink you’re actually splashing bacteria all over the surrounding surface area. So that means bacteria from raw chicken can splash on your counter tops, cabinets, even a window that may be located above your sink. Now that’s just gross. So tell mama and em’ to stop washing the chicken for heaven’s sake! It’s the ServSafe plea to save the world from germ destruction and chicken bacteria. You can find more food myth busters “here”.
Now, that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get started!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need.
4 Chicken Breast (Boneless/Skinless)
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Sour Cream
½ cup Celery (chopped)
1 ½ cups Red Grapes (seedless)
½ cup Toasted Pecans (medium pieces)
3 Tbsp Tony Chachere’s
Salt and Pepper
Serves 6-8 generous portions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Take (4) boneless/ skinless chicken breast and trim the fat and yucky parts off. (A good idea is to keep a cutting board that is reserved only for the use of raw chicken to prevent cross contamination)
Place the breast on a pan. (You will only need 4 breast for this recipe. I cooked additional seasoned breast this day for my family to enjoy for supper.)
Season the breast, front and back, with Tony Chachere’s and Pepper. This is where the magic is made in this recipe, so don’t mess this part up! No pressure, right? In all truth, if you properly season your chicken at this stage, little to no seasoning will be needed during the mixing stage.
Place slices of onion on top of the breast and drizzle with oil. Approximately 3 Tbsp of oil; give or take.
Cook the chicken in a preheated oven until it reaches the internal temperature of 165 degrees. (All ovens cook differently. I suggest keeping a meat thermometer on hand, especially when cooking chicken, to ensure it is fully cooked.)
While your chicken is cooking, you can prep the rest of your ingredients.
Chop the pecans. This is an example of the perfect size. You can also purchase prepackaged medium piece pecans “here” if you can’t find them in your local grocery store.
Toast the pecans in a preheated 350 degree oven on a sheet pan. Do not burn the pecans, I repeat……. do not burn the pecans! Doing so may cause convulsions and tears; I speak from experience. So watch these babies like a hawk! When they’re perfect, remove them from the oven and place on the counter to cool completely.
Slice your grapes in half.
Slice the celery.
And dice the celery.
I suggest keeping the celery and grapes separate. This way you can add as little or as much as you want to satisfy your tastebuds or your mama and em’s tastebuds.
When the chicken has reached the proper temperature, remove from the oven to cool. (If you’re getting ahead on the cooking for Sundays Dinner On The Grounds but it’s only Thursday morning, you can store the cooked chicken in an air tight container in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. I promise the preacher will never be able to taste the difference. *Just be sure to consume all of the chicken by the fourth day.)
After the chicken has cooled, remove any fat that you might have missed and begin to pull apart.
( A food processor can be used, but be aware that you can over chop in a processor.)
After you’ve pulled apart all of the chicken you can give it a quick rough chop.
When the chicken looks like this, it’s perfect.
Now add the grapes.
Add the celery.
And finally my personal favorite; toasted pecans.
Toss these ingredients by hand. It’s o.k., I won’t tell the preacher you used your hands!
Now add the mayonnaise and sour cream.
Mix until everything has been incorporated or what I call “married”.
Taste and season if needed with salt and pepper. Please don’t double dip or I will tell the Preacher, the Deacons, and Sister Sara!
Now lather that deliciousness between two slices of Whole Wheat bread. Top with a slice of home grown tomato and a crisp leaf of romaine lettuce and by George you’ve got yourself a Sweet P’s Chicken Salad Sandwich.
Indulge and Enjoy!